At the end of a talk in Los Angeles, on November 18, 1968, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada took questions, and a memorable exchange ensued.
Woman: Are you familiar with Joan of Arc? She was a saint.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes.
Woman: Is there any person in the Srimad-Bhagavatam similar to her?
Srila Prabhupada: You want to see Joan of Arc in Srimad-Bhagavatam? Why don't you take Joan of Arc of the Srimad-Bhagavatam? Any activities of the Lord's devotees that is Srimad-Bhagavatam. What do you mean by Bhagavatam? Bhagavatam: this word comes from bhagavan, meaning "God." Anything pertaining to Bhagavan is Bhagavatam. So Bhagavatam can be expanded unlimitedly. Anything in relationship with God that is Bhagavatam. So if Joan of Arc was in relationship with God, she is also Bhagavatam. You should expand Bhagavatam in that way. [Turning to an inquiring disciple:] Yes.
Disciple 1: Srila Prabhupada, recently it said in the newspaper that the scientists were sending a rocket around the moon. I have read in your Easy Journey to Other Planets that no matter how many endeavors they make, they will never reach these other planets. Is this . . .?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. This is not the process for reaching the other planets. This is childish. About this, also, I have made a statement. This is childish. You cannot go to the moon planet in that way. It is not possible. The scientists will simply create a story, but they'll never be successful.
Disciple 2: Srila Prabhupada, will we come to know Krsna, as well, by thinking always how we can spread this Krsna consciousness? Will this kind of thinking help us to know Krsna as much as if we thoroughly study the Vedas?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Siddhanta baliya citte na kara alasa: somehow or other, you have to understand the science of Krsna. There are so many books. The Gosvamis were studying and writing. Nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau: they were very much expert in studying very scrutinizingly all Vedic literatures. Of course, the process is either reading or hearing. You may not have time to read, but try to read. If you have no time, you are hearing. We are publishing literature, books. And I am trying to speak to you. When you hear me, that is also understanding; that is also studying the Krsna science.
Rather, hearing is better reception. The Vedas are, therefore, known as sruti. Sruti means knowledge received through hearing. The real process is hearing. And in this age, Kali-yuga, people cannot study so much. For instance, when Caitanya Mahaprabhu was questioned by Prakasananda Sarasvati, He said of Himself, "What can I understand about Vedanta-sutra? I am a fool. Therefore, My spiritual master has ordered Me to simply chant."
So this chanting will help you. Yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau: simply by studying, by becoming a bookworm, you cannot advance; the real secret is this is stated in the Vedas unflinching faith in God and the spiritual master. Then things will be revealed from within. How much strength have we got to study all these books? But the Vedas say, yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau. If one has got unflinching faith in God and similar faith in the spiritual master, then tasyaite kathita hy arthah prakasante mahatmanah: to him only, the Vedic knowledge becomes revealed.
And this special revelation is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita. Lord Krsna says, tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam "Those who are engaged in My service with love and affection" buddhi-yogam dadami tam "I personally give them intelligence" yena mam upayanti te "by which they can come to Me." In another place in the Bhagavad-gita, Krsna states, tesam evanukampartham "In order to show these devotees special favor" aham ajnana-jam tamah nasayamy "I personally dissipate their darkness within the heart." The mind is utterly full of darkness; therefore, we are conditioned. So Krsna, from within He drives away the darkness of ignorance. Aham ajnana-jam tamah nasayamy atma-bhava-stho. Just like that.
So He is within you. If you are sincere to Him and to the instruction following then everything will come out automatically, even if you don't read. This is the special significance of Krsna consciousness, that we want simply sincere souls; then everything is there. You study or don't study. But for preaching work, studying is required. Because you have to meet so many opposing elements, it will be well if you can give some references from books of authority. But even if you don't give references, you can speak logically. You can place arguments logically. So Krsna will help. Krsna is within you. Don't think that Krsna is without.
He's without and within, both. That is explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam. When Krsna was standing before Kunti and He also entered within the womb of Uttara to save Pariksit Maharaja, Kunti said, "I see that You are within and without. Still, You are unseen." God is within and without, but the rascals cannot see. They say, "Where is God? Can you show me?" But He is always everywhere, within and without.
One has to train himself how to see. That is described in the Brahma samhita: premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena: one has to anoint the eyes with love of God then he can see. Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti.
This verse mentions the santah, the saintly persons. For instance, in your San Francisco, we find the word sant, or saint. Sant or santah is a Sanskrit word. The saint word is a Sanskrit word. And santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti: those who are saints santah they always see God, within and without. They have got eyes to see. What are those special eyes? Love of God. That's all.
Disciple 3: Srila Prabhupada, Lord Jesus Christ says that if you would see God, your eye must be single. Is he referring to this same scriptural statement and saying love of God is this single eye?
Srila Prabhupada: Do you mean that one of your eyes will be lost? What do you mean by that? What do you understand by this statement?
Disciple 3: I understand that your attention should be one-pointed on God.
Srila Prabhupada: That's it. That's it. When you actually see God, you cannot see anything except God. That is God-seeing. That is stated in Caitanya-caritamrta. Sthavara-jangama dekhe, na dekhe tara murti: an elevated devotee, a first-class devotee he sees trees or animals, nonmoving or moving beings of so many varieties, but he does not exactly see their form. He sees the soul within, and everywhere he sees Krsna.
That is a fact. Krsna says, sarva-yonisu kaunteya sambhavanti murtayayah yah: "There are millions of varieties of forms of life, but I am the seed-giving father." So a devotee sees, "Oh, right here is a son of Krsna. Over there is a son of Krsna. To my left is a son of Krsna. And to my right is a son of Krsna."
So if you love somebody, as soon as you see his son you immediately remember whose son he is. Therefore, the saintly person sees the tree and immediately remembers, "Oh, it is Krsna's." He sees a dog; he immediately sees Krsna. "Oh, he is Krsna's." He sees a watch; he immediately sees, "It is Krsna's." Therefore, he is single-eyed, focused on Krsna. That's all. He has no other vision. Everything Krsna's.
Therefore, he wants to take everything and everyone towards Krsna. "Please come to Krsna consciousness. You are missing Him. You are Krsna's. Why are you are identifying with this nonsense? Why you are thinking 'American,' 'Indian,' or this or that? You are Krsna's. Come to Krsna." This is our propaganda. We want to give eyes to the people. They are blind; their leaders are blind. Andha yathandhair upaniyamanas, na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum: they do not know what is their ultimate goal of life Krsna, God. So what Lord Jesus Christ says it is right.
Any other question? Then have kirtana. Hare Krsna.