Friday, May 3, 2013

Here is Krishna (Srila Prabhupada)

Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
interviewed in Melbourne, Australia, 1974

InterviewerYour Divine Grace, is the purpose of human life to realize God? 

Srila Prabhupada: Yes — that is the only purpose.

Interviewer: Srila Prabhupada, have you realized God?

Srila Prabhupada: What do you think? What is your opinion?

Interviewer: I can't say.

Srila Prabhupada: Then if I say yes, what will you have understood? If you are not expert, then even if I say, “Yes, I am God-realized,” how will you take it? If you do not know what God-realization is, then how can you ask this question, and how will you be satisfied by the answer? Therefore, you should not ask this question. It has no value  unless, of course, you are prepared to accept whatever answer I give. Are you prepared?

Interviewer: Yes.

Srila Prabhupada: Then it is all right. I am seeing God every moment. [Pause] But unless you are prepared to take the answer, you should not ask such questions.

Interviewer: Your Divine Grace, is meditation a means to realize God?

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Meditation is one means, but you cannot meditate now, because you do not know what God is. So how will you meditate? If you do not know what God is, upon whom will you meditate? First of all, you must know. We know God — Krishna, and Krishna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah: “Always think of Me.” So we meditate upon Krishna. That is perfect meditation, because meditation means to think of God. But if you do not know what God is, how can you think of Him?

Interviewer: It is written in many scriptures that God is light.

Srila Prabhupada: God is everything. God is darkness, also. We say that God is that person from whom everything comes. So light comes from God, and darkness also comes from God.

Interviewer: Do you think that meditation is a way to see God inside yourself?

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. That is the description of meditation. Dhyanavasthita tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginah: by concentrating his mind, the yogi tries to see God within. So you must know what God is. Consider our ISKCON institution, for example. My disciples know what God is, so they can think of God. But if you have no idea of God, how will you think of Him?

Interviewer: This path of devotional yoga, or bhakti-yoga that you teach — is this the path for the present age?

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Bhakti-yoga is the real yoga. You’ll find in Bhagavad-gita that when the Lord describes the yoga system, He says, yoginam api sarvesam mad-gatenantaratmana sraddhavan bhajate yo mam sa me yuktatamo matah. “The first class yogi is he who is always thinking of Me within himself and rendering transcendental loving service to Me.” The bhakti-yogi is the first-class yogi. So these students of ours are being taught how to think of Krishna always, twenty-four hours a day, without any stop. And that is first-class yoga.

Interviewer: To think about something, don’t you first have to see it?

Srila Prabhupada: Yes.

Interviewer: Well, are you showing your disciples Krishna?

Srila Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Certainly.

Interviewer: Then what is Krishna?

Srila Prabhupada: Ask my disciples. They have already seen Krishna. Ask them. They’ll tell you what Krishna is. But let me ask you, as before: if they give realized information about Krishna, will you accept it?

Interviewer: Yes.

Srila Prabhupada [motioning]: Then see. Here is Krishna.

Interviewer: But that’s a painting.

Srila Prabhupada: That is a painting. Suppose a painting of you were there. Could I not say, “Here is Mr. Such-and-such”?

Interviewer: Yes.

Srila Prabhupada: Then what is the wrong there?

Interviewer: Well, to paint me, the artist would have to see me.

Srila Prabhupada: No, first of all, are you in your picture or not?

Interviewer: Yes, I am.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Similarly, Krishna is in His picture. But the difference is that people cannot talk with your picture, but we can talk with Krishna’s picture. That is the difference. [---] Since Krishna is absolute, He and His picture are nondifferent.

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