Irrefutable knowledge that the Absolute Truth is possible through
the method of pure bhakti-yoga.

A lecture given in Los Angeles, on August 25, 1972

ato vai kavayo nityam
bhaktim paramaya muda
vasudeve bhagavati
kurvanty atma-prasadanim

Certainly, therefore, since time immemorial, all transcendentalists have been rendering devotional service to Lord Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, with great delight, because such devotional service is enlivening to the self. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.22)

ATAH MEANS "therefore." When we argue and then come to a conclusion, we say "therefore." Here "therefore" means that one is firmly convinced. As described in the previous verse, chidyante sarva-samsayah: "All doubts are destroyed." Samsaya means "doubt."

Srila Prabhupada

This morning we were talking with a scientist friend about the ultimate source of everything. First of all, the conclusion is that here everything is relatively situated. For example, one man is the son of another man, who is the son of another man. This world is a relative world: everything depends on something else. No one is independent.

Is the original source sentient or insentient? The original source must be sentient. In our experience we see matter and living things. Here I see a small ant and a big stone. The big stone is insentient; it cannot move. You can wait for millions of years, and the stone will not move, because it is insentient. But the small ant is moving. If you try to check its movement, it will struggle this way, that way, this way. That shows that the ant is sentient.

Sentient beings are superior to matter. There are two things within our experience: one is sentient, the other not. I am the seer, and sometimes I control both these things. But I am not the supreme controller. I can observe both the sentient and the insentient. So, for the time being, I am superior to both. The ultimate source of everything the ultimate knower, the ultimate analyzer must also be sentient. He cannot be insentient.

We can analyze in this way by experimental knowledge. Our Krsna consciousness movement is not sentiment. We can explain how God created. The Bible says, "God said, 'Let there be creation,' and there was creation." But readers of the Bible cannot explain how God created. Therefore in this modern, scientifically advanced age, people do not accept the Bible. But we can explain how God created everything. We can explain how God creates simply by desiring.

Chidyante sarva-samsayah. By following bhagavata-dharma or studying the Srimad-Bhagavatam, which presents the ultimate knowledge of everything, one can become completely doubtless. One can be sure that God is a person, that He is sentient, that He is the supreme director, the supreme knower, the supreme physicist, the supreme chemist everything supreme.

Because Krsna is supreme He can do anything. In Vrndavana He lifted a mountain Govardhana. There were torrents of rain, and Vrndavana was being flooded. All the inhabitants became greatly disturbed, and they looked to Krsna for shelter, because they did not know anything beyond Krsna.

Krsna said, "Yes, I am lifting this mountain. Let it become a big umbrella for the whole village."

The atheist will say that these are all stories. No. They're not stories. Because God is supreme, because He is the supreme physicist, He knows how to make a mountain weightless. He knows the art. So many gigantic planets are floating in the sky. Who is floating them? You cannot float even a small thing in the air, but millions and trillions of planets are floating. Who has made that possible? God. Therefore He is called the all-powerful, the great.

So if Krsna is God, is it difficult for Him to make a mountain weightless? No. He also enters the ocean. So He must know the physical laws that pertain to entering the ocean. One must only understand the technique. Modern scientists also enter the ocean. They're floating in the ocean by machine. If you know the physical science more perfectly, you can enter the water without a machine, you can float in the air without a machine, you can lift a mountain without a machine. It is a question of perfect knowledge.

When you are advanced in spiritual knowledge, in devotional service, then chidyante sarva-samsayah all your doubts are destroyed. Generally people think, "Oh, Krsna lifted a mountain? These are all stories." Because atheists speak this way, we may think, "Yes, maybe they are stories." But no. If you are Krsna conscious, you must be firmly convinced: "Yes, Krsna did it." It is possible because He knows the physical science perfectly. He knows and He can do it.

One who knows the proper science can turn one thing into another. An electrician can turn a cooler into a heater or a heater into a cooler because he knows the science. You cannot do that.

Don't study Krsna thinking, "I am also Krsna." No. That is defective thinking. Everyone thinks such "frog philosophy." When a frog with experience of a three-foot-wide well hears of the size of the Atlantic Ocean, he thinks, "How it is possible?" He thinks the ocean may be a little bigger than his well four feet, five feet, six feet, ten feet. At ten feet he bursts, because he has no more knowledge. He does not know that the three-foot-wide well can never compare to the Atlantic Ocean.

Because our senses are limited, we have limited creative energy so-called scientific knowledge, so-called other knowledge. We think that God may be a little bigger than we are. But as soon as we hear that He can lift a mountain and the whole world we doubt. But if you are advanced in Krsna consciousness, you must be free from all doubts. You must know Krsna perfectly, and that is possible by devotional service. In the Bhagavad-gita Krsna says, bhaktya mam abhijanati: "If one wants to understand Me perfectly, one must engage in devotional service." Krsna cannot actually be understood perfectly, but our doubts can be dissipated by bhakti, devotional service.

Why not by knowledge? There are three paths: karma (fruitive work), jnana (speculative knowledge), and bhakti. Krsna cannot be known by scientific knowledge. The so-called scientists are always in doubt, unsure. It is not possible to understand God through speculation, because God is unlimited and your knowledge is limited. How can you know God?

Then how can the bhaktas, the devotees, know God? They are not highly educated or scientists. How they can understand God is stated in the Bhagavad-gita:

tesam satata-yuktanam
bhajatam priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te

"To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me." Tam means "unto him." Unto whom? Bhajatam priti-purvakam: Unto one engaged in devotional service with love and faith.

God is within you. You don't have to search for God. Hrdy antah-sthah: God is within your heart, and He can give you intelligence to understand Him.

It is stated earlier in this chapter, srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah: "Hearing and chanting about Krsna are pious activities." Krsna says that for anyone engaged in devotional service and in hearing about Him, "I give intelligence." If one is sincere if one is actually a devotee Krsna will help. Guru-krsna-krpa. The guru is a mercy of Krsna. Krsna helps us from within and from the outside. The help from the outside is the guru, Krsna's representative.

Krsna is always ready to help us, and when Krsna helps us it is very easy to understand Him. Therefore a devotee is beyond all doubts. Not that blindly we are accepting Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No. We have all our scientific and philosophical arguments. Then we accept Krsna.

Stages of Devotees

One who accepts Krsna by science and philosophy is called an uttama-adhikari, a first-class devotee. There are three stages of devotees: kanistha-adhikari (lower class), madhyama-adhikari(middle class), and uttama-adhikari (first class). The third-class devotee accepts, "Here is God." That's all. But he has many doubts. The second-class devotee has doubts, but he accepts God on the authority of Vedas. The first-class devotee knows perfectly well, "Here is God." Chidyante sarva-samsayah: He is beyond all doubts. "Yes, Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Here is Krsna. My Lord is standing here in this temple. He has come very kindly, mercifully, to accept my service." These are the thoughts of the first-class devotee. As soon as Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw Krsna in His form as Jagannatha in the temple, Lord Caitanya fainted. "Here is My Lord, for whom I was searching."

Here it is stated, ato vai kavayo nityam bhaktim paramaya muda. Kavayah means the first-class devotees. Nityam: "perpetually, eternally." Bhaktim: "devotional service." Paramaya:"transcendental."

These distinctions first class, second class, third class are not ordinary material classes. Even in the spiritual world there are such divisions, just as in the sunlight there are divisions: the sunshine, the sun globe, and the sun-god. It is not that because you are in the sunshine you know the sun globe or the sun-god. That requires another stage of knowledge. Similarly, there are stages of devotional service:kanistha-adhikari, madhyama-adhikari, and uttama-adhikari.

The uttama-adhikari is firmly convinced that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No one can dissuade him. He can convince others that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but no one can convince him that Krsna is not God. Therefore those who are actually in knowledge of Krsna consciousness, the science of God, are firmly fixed in the devotional service of Krsna, Vasudeva.

Hope for the Third Class

What about the third-class devotee? If he sticks to devotional service according to the rules and regulations, he will gradually acquire knowledge of Krsna and become detached from material attraction. Everything will come.

The Srimad-Bhagavatam states:

vasudeve bhagavati
bhakti-yogah prayojitah
janayaty asu vairagyam
jnanam ca yad ahaitukam

"By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world." Prayojita means "just begun." Thekanistha-adhikari must stick to the principles of devotional service, and gradually everything will be revealed.

Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah. In the beginning, because we have blunt material senses, we cannot understand Krsna and Krsna's service. We think the chanting of Krsna's name is just like the chanting of so many vibrations. We cannot understand that Krsna's name is transcendental, that it is Krsna Himself. But if we take up devotional service in the right earnestness to serve the Lord, everything will gradually be revealed. And if we become slack in following the rules and regulations, we will stay third class: we will not be able to raise ourselves to the second-class and first-class position, and all our doubts will remain.

Thank you very much.