Los Angeles August 23, 1972

To understand God one must first come to the enlivened state of
liberation, free from the influence of the material modes of nature.

evam prasanna-manaso
mukta-sangasya jayate

"Thus established in the mode of unalloyed goodness, the man whose mind has been enlivened by contact with devotional service to the Lord gains positive scientific knowledge of the Personality of Godhead in the stage of liberation from all material association. Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.20

Back To Godhead - The Science of Knowing God

Vijnana means science. Krsna consciousness is not a concoction or speculation. It is a science, just as mathematics is a science: Two plus two equals four. You cannot make two plus two equal five, according to your whims. No. Anywhere you go, it doesn't matter, two plus two equals four, because mathematics is science. So either in America or in India or in England, everyone will accept that two plus two equals four. That is science.

Science is true everywhere. Not that I can imagine my God according to my whims, you can imagine your God according to your whims. That is going on. But how can you imagine? There is no question of imagining.

This bhagavat-tattva-vijnanam this truth, this science can be understood by a person who is mukta-sanga, freed from material association. He can understand. Mukta-sangasya jayate. And one's condition at that point will be evam prasanna-manasah enlightened, engladdened. As long as we are in the jurisdiction of ignorance and passion, there cannot be any jubilation, there cannot be any enlightenment. Therefore we have to come to the platform of goodness.

As stated in the previous verse,

tada rajas-tamo-bhavah
kama-lobhadayas ca ye
ceta etair anaviddham
sthitam sattve prasidati

"As soon as irrevocable loving service is established in the heart, the effects of nature's modes of passion and ignorance, such as lust, desire, and hankering, disappear from the heart. Then the devotee is established in goodness, and he becomes completely happy." Cetah everything is working within the heart. The heart is the central point of the body. So when the heart is not punctured by rajo-guna and tamo-guna the modes of passion and ignorance and you become situated in the mode of goodness, then you become jubilant.

A jubilant person can understand, "Why are people working so hard like cats and dogs?"

Human life is meant for understanding God. Athato brahma-jijnasa. In animal life, one cannot understand. But in human life, consciousness is developed. One can understand. That understanding is there in the mode of goodness. How does one becomes intelligent in understanding God? When he is on the platform of goodness, he can study the nature of things and ask, "Why shall I work so hard for getting all my material necessities? They are being supplied by nature. The birds and beasts are getting their food, they are getting their mates, they are being protected in their own way, they have a sleeping nest, an apartment."

When we sit down in the garden, we see that even the small ant has a family, it has a home, it has food. Everything is there. From the ant to the elephant. Who is supplying? The animals do not do any business. They have no profession. But they are getting their necessities of life.

The Light Of Goodness

Goodness means intelligence, and ignorance means darkness. In darkness, we cannot see what is what.

Goodness means light. Anyone can see that all the 8,400,000 species of life are getting their food. They are getting their shelter. They are satisfying their sexual desire. They are also defending without any extra endeavor. By nature, they are doing these things in their own way. So why is the so-called civilized human being so harassed to obtain these four things? We have better intelligence. We should be more comfortable than the animals without struggling for existence. But our struggle for existence is greater than their struggle for existence.

What is this civilization? This is not civilization. Everyone wants a peaceful, calm life, even those who are struggling so hard, such as big business magnates. On weekends they find some nice secluded place, without trouble. That is natural.

Human nature should be like that. "Why should we work so hard simply for eating, sleeping, mating, and defending?" Modern civilization is a wrong type of civilization. In the modern age human society is so made that one has to work like an ass, day and night, simply to satisfy these four necessities of life.

And that satisfaction is not guaranteed. When I was in India, I was contemplating coming to your country. I thought that America is very rich, so there is no problem for eating, sleeping, and mating. But the civilization is so made that there is no shelter. People are lying down in the park, on the street. Why? There was no necessity, but you have created such a civilization that a certain section of people are lying down on the street, in the park no dress, no food, no fixed shelter, no fixed sex life. Everything is topsy-turvy. This is not civilization. Then how can people understand God? Their minds are always disturbed and full of anxiety.

Only By Bhakti-Yoga

First of all you have to come to the stage of tranquillity. Evam prasanna-manasah. Prasanna-manasah means to be always jubilant. That can be achieved by this process: bhagavad-bhakti-yogatah, by devotional service, not by any other process.

There are many other yoga systems karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, dhyana-yoga, hatha-yoga. Every endeavor for spiritual enlightenment is called yoga. There are different types of yoga, but real yoga is bhagavad-bhakti, devotional service. Therefore Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita [6.47]:

yoginam api sarvesam
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah

"That yogi who is My devotee and is always thinking of Me within the heart is the highest yogi." Sraddhavan: faithful. Bhajate: worship. This is bhajana: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. The first-class yogi chants the Hare Krsna mantra and thinks of Krsna within his heart. That is bhagavad-bhakti-yoga. And if in the beginning he does it nicely, according to the rules and regulations, then he becomes prasanna-manasah enlightened, engladdened. There is no more lamentation or hankering. That is the sign.

Evam prasanna-manaso bhagavad-bhakti-yogatah. Then you can understand God. God is not so cheap: "Come on, I shall show you God. You haven't got to follow any rules and regulations." People want to be cheated. Therefore there are so many cheaters; they take advantage of that. People want everything very cheap, but that is not possible. This is the stage: prasanna- manasah. Then you can understand God. It is a science.

If somebody says, "Come on, I shall teach you the science of chemistry within a second. Give me some money," is that possible? If somebody says, "I shall teach you mathematics. Come on, give me some money," why are these rascals misled?

Knowledge of God is a science; it is not sentiment. Trying to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead without reference to these scientific books, Vedic literature, is simply a disturbance, simply rascaldom. Rascals are creating disturbances, always cheating people. That is the instruction of Rupa Gosvami:

pancaratra-vidhim vina
aikantiki harer bhaktir
utpatayaiva kalpate

Utpata means "disturbance." If anyone, without reference to the Vedic scriptures, claims that he has understood God and devotional service, he simply creates a disturbance. That's all. Knowledge of God and devotional service is a science. How can you manufacture it?

Philosophy And Religion

Therefore any religion without scientific understanding through philosophy is simply sentiment. It is not religion. And philosophy without religious understanding is mental speculation. That is also useless. Philosophy which does not search ultimately what is truth, what is God that philosophy is mental speculation. And knowledge of God without philosophy is simply sentiment. They should be combined.

To understand God, our relationship with God, our duty, everything should be understood, scientifically. Bhagavat-tattva-vijnanam. Therefore this word has been used: vijnanam, which means visesa-jnanam. Jnanam refers to ordinary knowledge, and when vi, meaning "particularly," is added, it refers to the practical application of knowledge. That is vijnanam.

This vijnanam, this science, can be understood by mukta-sanga, one who is freed from the lower modes of material nature, especially tamo-guna and rajo-guna. So do not be fooled by so many rascals who imply that bhagavat-tattva-vijnanam understanding the science of God is so cheap that you can get it simply by one day's association with some rascal. That is not possible. It has to be studied, it has to be practiced, it has to be realized.

Vijnanam is being presented in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Therefore in the beginning of the Srimad-Bhagavatam [1.1.2] it is stated: dharmah projjhita-kaitavo 'tra. All rascaldom going on under the name of religion all cheating religion is completely kicked out from the Srimad-Bhagavatam. We are presenting Krsna consciousness on scientific understanding. It is not for sentimentalists.

Manlike Animals

[To a disciple:] Read the purport.

[Disciple:] "In the Bhagavad-gita (7.3) it is said that out of many thousands of ordinary men, one fortunate man endeavors for perfection in life. Mostly men are conducted by the modes of passion and ignorance, and thus they are engaged always in lust, desire, hankerings, ignorance, and sleep. Out of many such manlike animals, there is actually a man."

Prabhupada: "Manlike animals." They show two hands, two legs, but actually they are animals. Two legs have been transformed into two hands. Go on.

Disciple: "Out of many such manlike animals, there is actually a man who knows the responsibility of human life and thus tries to make life perfect by following the prescribed duties. And out of such many thousands of persons who have thus attained success in human life, one may know scientifically about the Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna."

Prabhupada: Yes. So it is not so easy to understand Sri Krsna. Manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye, yatatam api siddhanam [Bhagavad-gita 7.3] Out of many persons who have endeavored for perfection of life, hardly one can understand Krsna. It is not so easy. But it is easy by Krsna's grace. Krsna being very compassionate with the fallen souls of this age appeared as Lord Caitanya and distributed Krsna. That is His prerogative. That is His right. If Krsna wants to distribute Himself freely, that is a different thing.

Otherwise, it is not so easy to understand Krsna. To earn one million dollars is not so easy. But if you are fortunate, you meet somebody who can distribute a million dollars at a time. That is a different thing. Therefore Lord Caitanya was recognized by Rupa Gosvami, who prayed, namo maha-vadanyaya krsna-prema-pradaya te: "My dear Lord, You are the most munificent of all incarnations. In the other incarnations, people could not understand You, but now You are freely distributing Yourself." Therefore we have to follow the footsteps of Rupa Gosvami. Then we can understand Lord Caitanya. And if we get the favor of Lord Caitanya, we can easily understand Krsna. This is the process. Go on.

Disciple: "In the same Bhagavad-gita (18.55) it is also said that scientific knowledge of Sri Krsna is understood only by the process of devotional service (bhakti-yoga)."

Prabhupada: Yes. Here also it is confirmed: bhagavad-bhakti-yogatah. It is not said, "by mystic yoga," "by hatha-yoga," "by jnana-yoga," "by karma-yoga." No. Bhagavad-bhakti-yogatah. If we want to understand the science of God, then we have to adopt devotional service. Not by other yogas. Otherwise, in the Srimad-Bhagavatam it would have said, "by karma-yogatah," "by jnana-yogatah," "by hatha-yogatah," "by dhyana-yogatah." No. It is clearly said, bhagavad-bhakti-yogatah.

Bhagavat-tattva-vijnanam mukta-sangasya jayate. If you are still after jnana-yoga, dhyana-yoga, you cannot understand Krsna, God. It is clearly said. In the Bhagavad-gita [18.55] also it is clearly said, bhaktya mam abhijanati: "simply through devotional service."

If you want to know God, you have to follow the prescribed rules and regulations of bhagavad-bhakti-yoga. It is very simple. It has been made very easy, especially in this age: simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra. It has been made easy, but we are so unfortunate that we do not take advantage of this. Etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi durdaivam idrsam ihajani nanuragah. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu laments, "My dear Lord, You are so compassionate and merciful to us that in this age You have descended as Your name, and one can chant this name without any regulation." Niyamitah smarane na kalah. Any time, any circumstances, one can chant the Hare Krsna mantra. Krsna has become so liberal. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi: "My dear Lord, although You are so merciful to me, I am so unfortunate that I could not be attached to chanting the mantra. Oh, I am so unfortunate."

You see? Things have been made so easy, actually, but the unfortunate class of men cannot take to it.

Thank you very much.