This conversation between Srila Prabhupada and some guests took place in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 23, 1969.
Srila Prabhupada: By following any guru or any principle, if you actually develop your love of God, then it is nice. Otherwise it is a useless waste of time. That is the test. But as far as I know these yogis say they are themselves God. They say that everyone is God. And then who is dog? So I think their idea is not very congenial. How can everyone be God? Then what is the meaning of God?
Guest 1: I want to love everyone.
Srila Prabhupada: That is bogus. You cannot love everybody. If you love God, then you can love everybody. Because God is everything.
Guest 1: If God is everything, then why don't you love all beings one by one?
Srila Prabhupada: If you love a tree, then you have to pour water on the root not every leaf. If you want to maintain your body, then you have to supply foodstuff to the stomach. Not to your eyes. Not to your ears. When you get a nice cake, you don't put it here [indicates the ears]. You put it here [indicates the mouth]. Why? That is the process. There are nine holes in your body. Why do you put it in this hole?
Guest 1: Yes, but…
Srila Prabhupada: First of all answer this.
Guest 1: Well, I agree with you, but…
Srila Prabhupada: You have to follow the real process; then you'll get it. That is love.
Guest 1: You have to go to the root, but in the meantime you don't ignore everything else. I mean…
Srila Prabhupada: If you ignore the root and you take the leaf, you simply spoil your time.
Guest 1: No, but what I wanted to say is, Why can't love of God and love of matter go and rise up to…?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, if you love God, you love matter and God. Because matter is the energy of God.
Guest 1: But you said that you will know that a technique is succeeding when your love for God will increase and your love for matter will decrease.
Srila Prabhupada: What is matter? Matter is another manifestation of God's energy. If you love your body, then naturally you love your finger, the part of the body. So God is the supreme whole. Therefore if you love God, then you can understand that you have to love everybody.
Guest 2: What is God?
Srila Prabhupada: What is God? Can you define God?
Guest 2: No. Is God supposed to be the energy or is God supposed to be…
Srila Prabhupada: Energy is God's energy, just as sunshine is the energy of the sun. Just try to understand. The energy sunshine and the sun are not different. But if you are satisfied with just the sunshine, it is not the sun.
Guest 2: Are you saying that energy is God? God is energy?
Srila Prabhupada: Energy, being nondifferent from God, is in one sense God. But at the same time energy is not God. Sunshine is the energy of the sun. But if when the sunshine enters your room you think, "The sun has entered my room," that is wrong. But sunshine is not different from the sun.
Guest 2: It would appear that to claim that you can reach eternal bliss just by chanting is too easy.
Srila Prabhupada: That is one process of self-realization. There are different processes of self-realization. For this age, when people are less intelligent, this process is right.
Guest 1: What you are doing by chanting is kind of…
Srila Prabhupada: You chant and you will understand. If you have no child, then how can you understand the labor of producing a child?
Guest 2: But that is like saying that if you haven't ever leaped into a well, you don't know what will happen to you if you leap into a well.
Srila Prabhupada: First of all, you do not know your self. The first sign of ignorance is that you are identifying your self with this body, which you are not. First of all try to understand your self, then you will understand what is God. You do not know your self.
Guest 2: But I am God, right? I am God. You are God too.
Srila Prabhupada: You are dog.
Guest 2: But you are me and I am you. We are both God. Right?
Srila Prabhupada: No, no.
Guest 2: Why not?
Srila Prabhupada: You do not know what is the meaning of God. What do you mean by God? First of all define.
Guest 2: Everything is God.
Srila Prabhupada: If you apply that definition, then you are God. First of all define what is God.
Guest 2: God is everything. God is it.
Srila Prabhupada: That is not the definition. God is not everything.
Guest 2: And it is God. It is all it.
Srila Prabhupada: I say everything is God's energy. Not everything is God.
Guest 2: Not everything is God?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. The sunshine and the sun are one but at the same time different, simultaneously. You cannot accept the sunshine as the sun. Suppose you are in the sunshine, you cannot say that you are on the sun planet.