13 Mar Dinner Lecture By Guru Maharaja, Australia 13 March 2010.
THE FOLLOWING DINNER LECTURE WAS GIVEN BY HIS HOLINESS BHAKTI CHARU SWAMI IN AUSTRALIA ON 13 MARCH 2010.
…giving an opportunity to everyone to elevate themselves from material platform to spiritual reality. I was very impressed with Vara Nayaka prabhu’s presentation. It was a very, very succinct and profound presentation.
Actually, ISKCON is here to unify the world. Today’s world is divided in so many ways and ISKCON is here to show everyone how to transcend those differences and come to a platform where we all can become united as a family. That is the essential teachings of the Vedas. Vasudhaiva kutumbakam. Vasudha, the entire world is actually one family. It is unfortunate that we are creating so many differences among ourselves, but when we become properly situated in spiritual understanding then we can very easily become united as a family.
Once, in New York City, some devotees, I’m sorry, some priests, Roman Catholic priests came to meet Srila Prabhupada and they questioned Srila Prabhupada in a rather challenging way, that why are you converting these Christian boys and girls into Hindus? Prabhupada’s response was, “No, I am not converting the Christians into Hindus or Jews into Muslims. I am simply making better Christians out of the Christians, better Jews out of the Jews, better Muslims out of the Muslims and better Hindus out of the Hindus.”
I come from a Hindu background. I honestly admit, I didn’t actually know what Hinduism meant until I came across Srila Prabhupada. And when I met Srila Prabhupada, when I became exposed to his teachings, then I realized what my actual identity as a Hindu is. In a similar note, Vara Nayaka also was saying that he was a Christian, he is coming from a Christian background, but probably he became a better Christian when he became a Hare Krishna.
What all the religions are actually trying to convey, what all the religions are trying to teach, all the religions in this world are talking about God. And they are showing us the way to God. And all the religions, all the bona fide religions are admitting that there is only one God. He may be identified in different names according to difference of languages, but He is one without a second. That is the identity of God.
Therefore, when Srila Prabhupada used to present his teachings he did not use the expression just ‘God’, he used the expression ‘The Supreme Personality of Godhead.’ The Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the definition of Supreme is, that there is no one equal to Him and no one is superior to Him. So He is the Supreme. He is one without a second. That is the Vedic presentation. Ekam eva advitiyah paramah purusah. The identity of God is, He is ekam, He is one. Eva advitiyah, there is no one equal to Him. And paramah purusah, the Supreme Personality. So when we approach different religions in a proper way, in an appropriate way, under the guidance of qualified teachers then we get the same message everywhere; God is one without a second.
Now, often a misunderstanding prevails that Hinduism is a polytheistic religion, but actually that’s not true. Hinduism has two concepts. One is devas, devatas, and the other is Bhagavan. Devatas are actually the different controllers of different departments of the universal affairs. Like, there is a controller of the fire department. There is a controller of the water department. There is a controller of the wind department. There is a controller of education department. There is a responsible controller of the finance department. Now, those personalities are devas and devis, but Bhagavan, bhaga asti iti bhagavan, that Personality is one without a second.
That’s the difference. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishnas tu bhagavan svayam [SB 1.3.28], whereas there is Indra, Chandra, Varuna, Pavana etcetera. Pavana Deva is the controller of the wind department, Varuna Deva the controller of the water department, Agni Deva the controller of the fire department, Lakshmi Devi controller of the finance department, Sarasvati the controller of the education department. So these are the different controllers of different affairs of the universe, but Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishna is not a deva. Krishna is Bhagavan. Then again, the expression ‘Bhagavan’ has been identified or defined. Bhaga asti iti bhagavan. And most of you are coming from Indian background so you know this expression ‘van.’ The suffix ‘van’ indicates one who possesses. Like, for example, one who has wealth, which is dhana, one who has dhana he is dhanavan. One who has bala, he is balavan. One who has guna, he is gunavan, and so forth.
Now, similarly, one who has bhaga, he is bhagavan. Now what’s the definition, what’s the meaning of the word bhaga? Bhaga has been defined as
aisvaryasya samagrasya viryasya yasasah sriyah
jnana-vairagyayos caiva sannam bhaga itingana
[Vishnu Purana 6.5.47]
Definition of bhaga is complete wealth, aisvarya samagrasya, samagra means complete, one who possesses complete wealth, one who possesses virya (the strength, power), one who possesses sri, (the beauty), fame (yasa), jnana (knowledge) and vairagya (renunciation). The one who possesses the six opulences, wealth, strength, beauty, fame, knowledge and renunciation to an absolute extent he is Bhagavan. In the material nature we never come across a personality like that who can claim that he possesses all the wealth, he possesses all the strength and so forth. But the Vedas are indicating, no, there is a person who possesses all of this. He is one without a second. He is ekam eva advitiyah paramah purusah and that personality is identified according to His different qualities and different activities. He is identified by different names.
For example Krishna, the word Krishna means all-attractive. Because He possesses all these qualities He is all-attractive. He is the giver of the supreme pleasure and He is the Supreme Enjoyer, therefore He is Rama. Ramate iti ramah. He is the source and shelter of every living entity, therefore He is Narayana. He is the cause of entire creation, therefore He is Vishnu. And that same personality appeared as the son of Nanda Maharaja, therefore He is Nandanandana. Yashoda’s son, Yashodanandana. He is very dear to the gopis, therefore He is Gopinatha, Gopijanavallabha. He performed His wonderful pastimes in various ways, therefore He is Lila Purushottama. He resides in Vrindavana, therefore He is Vrindavaneshvara. So in this way all the names that He is identified by are nothing but the indication of His different qualities. He has innumerable qualities, therefore He has innumerable names. He has unlimited pastimes, therefore according to that He has innumerable names.
So He has many names, but He is one without a second. And He expands Himself into various forms. His expansions take place in two different ways. One is ‘svamsha’ expansions and the other is ‘vibhinnamsha’ expansions. He expands, He Himself expands without any difference. There is no difference in those expansions. Those expansions are known as ‘avatara’, or incarnations. And He has His vibhinnamsha expansions, that is His parts and parcels, He expands in minute expansions and those expansions are known as ‘jivas’. Like, we are His expansions, but we are His minute expansions. Therefore, qualitatively we are one with Him, but quantatively we are different.
An example, the sun and sun’s rays. The sun is complete. The sun is the source of all the rays of the sun, but from the sun innumerable rays are coming out. So those rays are his vibhinnamshas, minute expansions. We are His minute expansions, but qualitatively, just as the sun ray is qualitatively one with the sun, similarly we are one with Him. But a ray is not equal to the sun, whereas, like you consider a situation where one sun expands into two, three, four, five and so forth. Now those suns are qualitatively non-different from each other. The entire potency just try to imagine, like if the sun expands like that, the entire potency of the sun is retained in those expansions. Those are the incarnations or avatars.
In Brahma Samhita a very nice analogy has been given in this respect defining His incarnations as
diparcir eva hi dasantaram abhyupetya
yas tadrg eva hi ca Visnutaya vibhati
Govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
[Brahma Samhita 5.46]
Diparcir eva hi dasantaram abhyupetya dipayate vivrta-hetu-samana-dharma. Just as one lamp lights many other lamps, but when those lamps are lit they give out the same amount of light and heat. Qualitatively they’re the same and quantatively also they are the same. But the first lamp lit the other lamps. That’s the only difference. So Krishna is that Original Personality. Govindam adi-purusam, the Original Personality, Who lit or Who expanded into these different forms.
So this is the basic teachings of the Vedas which Srila Prabhupada has presented and when we go into the depth of it, and when we go to the depth of every single religion, we will find that all the religions are speaking about that same personality. In some religion the informations may be more profound, in some other religion maybe it’s less, but that doesn’t matter. The subject is the same, but the degree of presentation or degree of exposition may be different. So, anyway, actually I didn’t want to speak that much today. I thought of making rather a Power Point presentation, because I notice when we speak, we take a lot of time, but it doesn’t go very deep. Because, for various reasons our hearing faculty is not very acute nowadays, but if we have a visual presentation there is both hearing and our seeing, both the faculties become active and it goes a little more deeper than that.
And as a result of that, to tell you frankly, like I got involved in making movies [laughter], because I felt that that is the best way to convey our message. And when I started to make, actually the first movie that it was not a movie, I first wanted to make it a movie but then one day I was having a discussion with Hema Malini about that project and she suggested that we, instead of making a movie we make a TV series, TV serial. Her point actually was that if the movie doesn’t make it to the box office then the whole project will be a failure, whereas a TV serial it will continue. So if people will be forced to see it and get the message, our business is to convey the message so that’s why that’s the best way to present it. And that’s why in 1995 I got involved in this project of making a TV serial on Srila Prabhupada’s life, which was telecasted in Indian National TV, Channel One.
Anyway, I thought of making a presentation of who Srila Prabhupada is, what Srila Prabhupada did and what Srila Prabhupada gave us and what will be the benefit of receiving this wonderful gift of Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada appeared in Calcutta in 1896 as the son of a cloth merchant and who was a Vaishnava. His father was a pure devotee of the Lord and he brought up Srila Prabhupada also to become a pure devotee of the Lord. For example, whenever some saintly personality used to be invited to their house, Srila Prabhupada’s father used to request them to bless Srila Prabhupada so that he could become a pure devotee of Srimati Radharani. His only desire was that his son grew up to become a devotee of the Lord.
Srila Prabhupada met his spiritual master in 1922 when he was twenty six years old and he was the manager of a pharmaceutical company. He was one of the first pharmaceutical companies in India. The first one was actually Bengal Chemical, started by a very well known scientist, Prafulchandra Ghosh. And another, the second one, was started by Dr. Kartika Bose, Dr. Bose Laboratory. At the age of twenty six Srila Prabhupada was the manager of that company. He was married, he had a little son when he met his spiritual master, His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. And during the first meeting his spiritual master instructed Prabhupada to spread the message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world. And Srila Prabhupada took it up as his life’s mission.
From that time onwards he completely committed himself to that mission and eventually, after forty four years of struggle, in 1965 Srila Prabhupada set out for the United Stated of America. So, Srila Prabhupada actually went to America not the way we travel nowadays, not by plane or other such very sophisticated means of travel. Srila Prabhupada travelled from Calcutta to New York in a cargo ship called ‘Jaladuta’. Srila Prabhupada was the only non-crew passenger in that it was a cargo ship so it didn’t carry any passenger as such. Srila Prabhupada was the only person travelling as a passenger in that ship.
Actually, at that time Srila Prabhupada was seventy years old. Srila Prabhupada celebrated his seventieth birthday in a rather unceremonious way in the boat Jaladuta. No one was there to celebrate his birthday. At that age of seventy Srila Prabhupada set out from India to go to America to start this mission that his spiritual master assigned to him.
Some months ago one devotee was telling me, he was from Delhi, he was talking to an elderly gentleman who also was acquainted with Srila Prabhupada. So that person told this boy, who was a devotee, a fulltime devotee, so he was telling him that, “Do you know what Srila Prabhupada has done?” So this boy, being a fulltime ISKCON devotee naturally responded, “Yes, I know what Srila Prabhupada has done.” Then that person said, “No, you don’t know.” So he felt a little offended and he insisted that, “No, I know what Prabhupada has done.” He said, “No, you do not know what Srila Prabhupada has done.” And then finally he told him, “You do not know what it is to be like seventy years old. You are young. You do not know what it feels like when you are seventy.”
And at the age of seventy Srila Prabhupada went to America singlehandedly to preach this mission. No money, no support, no patronage. He didn’t even know where he was going to stay in America. What to speak of where he is going to stay in America, he didn’t even know where he was going to stay in America. He didn’t even know what he was going to eat in America. In this total uncertainty, at the age of seventy, Srila Prabhupada set out for America. And that also in a cargo ship. Sumati Morarji, the chair person of India Steamship Company, I am sorry, Scindia Steamship Company, Prabhupada begged her to give him a passage to America. Sumati Morarji refused, “Swamiji, I can’t let you go. You do not know what America is like. You do not know what you are going to do there. You don’t even know that you won’t even get proper food there. Then, people do not know what vegetarianism is.” And then she pointed out, “And why do you think the Americans are going to listen to what you have to say? Their lifestyles, their ways, they’re completely different.”
And Srila Prabhupada just insisted, “No, please let me go. Just for you it doesn’t take anything. All you have to do is just write a letter to your company to make me some arrangement to travel. Please allow me.” Sumati Morarji finally even told Srila Prabhupada. “Swamiji, you are like my father and that’s why it breaks my heart when you are requesting me in this way. In one hand I cannot disregard your request and at the same time it breaks my heart to fulfill that request.”
Anyway, finally Srila Prabhupada convinced Sumati Morarji and he got a passage to America in this Jaladuta ship, cargo ship, and while travelling Srila Prabhupada had two heart attacks. There was no medical treatment. Srila Prabhupada didn’t even know that it was a heart attack. First he had one and then it occurred again. He felt a terrible pain in his chest, but one wonderful thing happened soon after that. Srila Prabhupada had a dream, not a dream actually, Prabhupada presented it as a dream but Prabhupada had the vision that Krishna came and Krishna was massaging his chest.
And Aruna Pandiya, the captain of that boat, admitted that he, in his entire carreer, he’d never seen Atlantic to be so peaceful. So Krishna actually helped Srila Prabhupada to come to America. In spite of all these difficulties Srila Prabhupada came to America, but he didn’t know where to go. Eventually Srila Prabhupada got a place in twenty sixth Second Avenue, and there, nearby there was a park, Tompkins Square Park. In Tompkins Square Park Srila Prabhupada used to go with a karatala and he used to chant Hare Krishna Mahamantra. And some young boys and girls became attracted to Srila Prabhupada’s chanting.
Then Srila Prabhupada started to speak to them about the teachings of Bhagavad Gita and in this way some young boys and girls became attracted to Srila Prabhupada and the Hare Krishna Movement started in twenty sixth Second Avenue. It’s a small storefront, maybe that picture will come afterwards. So these are the boys and girls who came forward to assist Srila Prabhupada in his mission. This is the storefront. The name of the shop, actually, it was a shop, storefront that Srila Prabhupada rented with the help of some of the young boys that were assisting him. The name of the shop actually was ‘The Matchless Gift’ and it was so significant that Srila Prabhupada when he Prabhupada kept that name actually, because it was so relevant to what he went to give there: the matchless gift of Krishna Consciousness.
Today we celebrated the Ratha Yatra festival in the Sydney beach front and Srila Prabhupada started the Ratha Yatra first in San Francisco in 1968, yeah, ’67 actually, Srila Prabhupada started the Ratha Yatra. The Ratha Yatra also was very wonderful, the way it manifested. Like, in the early days Srila Prabhupada first set up the centre in New York and then Srila Prabhupada went to San Francisco. And in San Francisco, one day one girl brought something she found in a curio shop which looked Indian. So she bought that one and thought she would give it to Srila Prabhupada. So she brought that to Srila Prabhupada and as soon as Srila Prabhupada saw that he got out of his seat and offered his pranama, offered obeisances.
And they all were very surprised, why Swami ji is offering obeisances to this doll? That happened to be Lord Jagannatha! [laughs] Then Prabhupada asked, “Was there any other such models?” Then she said yes. So Prabhupada said, “Go and get them.” So that is how Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra first appeared.
Then one of Srila Prabhupada’s early disciples who was an artist, he was quite adept in wood carving, so Srila Prabhupada gave those small Deities of Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra and asked that disciple of his, Shyamasundara prabhu, to carve a bigger one. And that is how Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra’s Deities were carved out of wood, and They were the first Deities that were installed in ISKCON, in San Francisco.
So, one afternoon Srila Prabhupada found that Lord Jagannatha is not there in the temple. So he became very surprised and he became quite concerned also, and upon inquiring Srila Prabhupada found out that some devotees have taken Jagannatha out to Golden Gate Park. Golden Gate Park is the big park in San Francisco where the young Americans used to hang out there those days. So Prabhupada immediately went there and Prabhupada found that they all are chanting and dancing in circles around Jagannatha in Golden Gate Park. So from that time, from that Prabhupada got the idea of holding Jagannatha’s Ratha Yatra festival, Chariot festival.
The first chariot was built, it was just a regular flatbed truck and the flatbed truck was decorated and Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra were carried through the Golden Gate Park. In this way, in ISKCON the Chariot festival of Jagannatha started. And today in practically all the major cities of the world we hold Jagannatha’s Chariot festival, like we celebrated the Chariot festival here today. So that is how, we are seeing the devotees chanting and Prabhupada dancing in ecstasy along with them.
Srila Prabhupada, while spreading Krishna Consciousness, travelling around the world, but one thing that Srila Prabhupada was very, very particular about, it didn’t matter how busy he was, but he always translated at night. Prabhupada’s schedule was amazing. Like, I had the good fortune of serving Srila Prabhupada personally and I used to see, Srila Prabhupada would take rest around nine thirty, ten o’clock and about one o’clock he would get up at night. No matter wherever he was and he would start translating with giving his commentary, which is known as Bhaktivedanta Purport. Srila Prabhupada in this way, within the short span of ten years time, Srila Prabhupada wrote seventy five volumes of books. The entire essence of the Vedic wisdom had been presented by Srila Prabhupada in his books, in his translations of Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, Chaitanya Charitamrta, Nectar of Devotion.
Srila Prabhupada’s main mission was to distribute his books. Srila Prabhupada wrote the books and the devotees distributed those books. And today we can claim that worldwide we have distributed a few hundred millions of books written by Srila Prabhupada. They have been translated in all the major languages of this world and millions of books are going out every year all over the world. These are some of the books of Srila Prabhupada. The upper one is Srimad Bhagavatam. Then the next one is Chaitanya Charitamrta. This side is Nectar of Devotion and Bhagavad Gita on the other side.
Many wonderful personalities came forward to assist Srila Prabhupada’s mission being inspired by Srila Prabhupada and one of them is George Harrison. George Harrison played a very, very significant role in spreading Krishna Consciousness all over the world. In 1969 George Harrison came in contact with our devotees in London and he… actually his first meeting was very wonderful with the devotees. Some of the devotees managed to go into the Apple studio without having a proper appointment with George Harrison and they got to know some of the members of The Grateful Dead group, which was very famous. And when The Grateful Dead came to London their manager actually arranged this meeting with them to come to Apple studio. And they went dressed up like the devotees, the way the devotees dress. They were Americans, Shyamasundara, Mukunda and Gurudasa.
So when George actually came, George Harrison just came out of his room and he was going into the studio. While he was passing through the passage he saw the devotees and he just asked, “Where you guys have been? I have been searching for you for so many months!” And he said, in San Francisco he actually heard the chanting, the devotees chanting and he was very impressed and since then he had been searching for the devotees to meet with them. And here accidentally he just bumps into the devotees who sort of get crashed into his studio. So this is how George actually became involved, and this is the property that George Harrison offered to Srila Prabhupada. It’s in North London, Northwest London, in Watford area. It’s a manor, a beautiful old building on seventeen acres of land that George Harrison offered to Srila Prabhupada, and that’s how our London temple was established in that area. Today we have about hundred and ten acres of land. The credit actually goes to George Harrison undoubtedly for that.
So these are some important people that have been affected by Srila Prabhupada. One of them is the mayor of Geneva. Then in 1976, Newsweek interviewing Srila Prabhupada.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu predicted five hundred years ago, incidentally let us also make this point here, that who is Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu? Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself. At the end of Dvapara Yuga Krishna performed His pastimes and then in the following Kali Yuga- that is this age- about five hundred years ago, Krishna again appeared as a devotee. This has been presented in the scriptures like Srimad Bhagavatam and Mahabharata.
For example, Bhagavatam is describing that fact as
Krsna varnam tvisa Krsnam
yajanti hi sumedhasah
[Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.32]
Krishna assuming a non-darkish complexion, Krishna’s complexion is dark like a monsoon cloud, so He will assume an a-krishna, which means a non-krishna varna, complexion, and He will appear along with His associates and entourage, sangopangastra parsadam. And He will propagate, He will establish yajnaih sankirtanam-prayair, a very unique sacrifice called Sankirtana Yajna: the congregational chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord. And yajanti hi sumedhasah, those who are extremely intelligent, sumedhasah, they will worship Him in this Sankirtana Yajna.
So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu not only propagated this Krishna Consciousness Movement or Sankirtana Yajna five hundred years ago, but He also predicted that
prithivite ache yata nagaradi-grama
sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama
[Chaitanya Charitamrta Antya 4.126]
In every town and village all over the world this Sankirtana Movement, chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord will spread. So that prediction was made five hundred years ago, when, what to speak of every town and village, people did not even know how many continents were there. At that time Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu made that prediction that in every town and village, which was apparently an impossible prediction, but today that has become a reality. We are seeing Krishna Consciousness Movement or Sankirtana Yajna is spreading all over the world in every town and village. Although it didn’t spread in every town and village, but it has spread all over the world and now it’s only a matter of time that the ultimate fulfillment of the prediction will take place.
Srila Prabhupada established many, many temples and after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance Srila Prabhupada’s dedicated devotees have built a monument for Srila Prabhupada’s Samadhi mandir in Mayapura. This is about two hundred feet high and it is considered to be the largest dome in Southeast Asia. Another temple in Delhi, which was inaugurated in 1998. The Prime Minister of India, Mr. Atul Bihari Vajpayee, actually inaugurated this temple and that was the first program that he did after he became the Prime Minister of the country. This is our temple in Vrindavana. This is a temple that I built, or rather, I kind of was instrumental in building, a temple in Ujjain. It’s a fully hand carved marble temple, covering about ten thousand square foot area. This was built in nine months and twenty days. [applause from audience] This is a temple in Auckland, in New Zealand, not too far from here.
Of various activities that ISKCON is involved in, one of them is Food for Life. Srila Prabhupada made it a point, or instructed us empathically that in the vicinity of our temple no one should go hungry. Therefore, we have one of the most important projects to distribute food to the people in general. So this is one of the food distribution programs in India, Midday Meal Project.
Now, coming back to Srila Prabhupada’s teachings, Srila Prabhupada did not really concoct anything or invent anything new. Srila Prabhupada simply presented what is the essential teachings of the Vedas. And the Vedas simply present the scientific facts and reality. Like, one of the teachings of the Vedas is a very simple principle of action-reaction principle, which is known as karma. As you sow, so shall you reap. As you act, accordingly you will generate the reactions. To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So this is a warning that the Vedas give us: be careful how you act, because your action is going to generate reaction. If you don’t act properly then its result, its reaction, is also not going to be pleasant. Wrong action will lead you to suffering and right action will lead you to enjoyment. Therefore, act properly.
Like, here is one picture that you are seeing that another thing is that karma, the karmic theory, whether we believe it, whether we accept or not, is going to catch up with us. Like I may deny the state law, but the state system is going to get me when I break the law. The police system is going to arrest me and subject me to punishment. Whether I accept it or not, it doesn’t matter. Similarly, in a larger sphere, in a larger concept, in the universal concept there are laws, given by the Lord Himself. And it is proper to abide by those laws. If we abide by the laws then the result will be beneficial, but if we disregard those laws, if we break those laws, then we will be convicted and we will be subjected to punishment.
So, how they act? Today someone may be slaughtering a cow and eating its meat, but this life is not everything. His life is going to continue, even after death. And even if he doesn’t suffer the consequences of his action in this life, he will be subject to that in his next. So, today somebody maybe slaughtering a cow, but he should be prepared to be born as a cow and somebody else will slaughter him. That was a very simple principle of karmic reactions.
Now, Srila Prabhupada was presenting a science; the science of spiritual reality. Srila Prabhupada was not actually asking us to follow a certain faith. Srila Prabhupada was simply presenting us to accept the scientific facts. And this is the universality of teachings of Srila Prabhupada.
Like, Bhagavad Gita is explaining that
Dehino’smin yatha dehe
Kaumaram yauvanam jara
Dhiras tatra na muhyati
[Bhagavad Gita 2.13]
Just look at our life. Kaumaram yauvanam jara, we are born, then kaumara, childhood, to boyhood, to youth and then gradually old age and then finally we die. So this is the reality. Everybody who is born gradually from childhood will grow to boyhood, to youth and then after the youth, the decline will start and eventually he’ll become old and then finally he will die. But what actually changes, it is the body that changes, but our self doesn’t change. We do not change. Like, our body may change, but our eyes do not change. We relate to ourselves, when I was five years old, when I was fifteen years old, when I was twenty five years old, when I am fifty years old and so forth. Like, my five year old body is completely different from fifteen years old body. Then, when I am twenty five then the body changes into another body altogether. Clinically it is admitted that every seven years the entire cell structure of our body changes. That means seven years back the cells that I had in my body, not a single one from that time is existing in this body. The body changes, but we do not change. So who is that ‘I’? That I is the self, I is the soul, I is the spiritual identity of our selves, that I is non-material. That I is eternal. The I is imperishable. The body dies, but the I continues. The soul continues in the next body. So this is called dehantara-praptir. From one body we transmigrate to another body and in this way our spiritual identity has been established in Bhagavad-Gita. And this was the basic teachings of Srila Prabhupada or the foundation of our spiritual understanding.
So thank you all very much. And we have our temple in Sydney and, please, if you are not a regular visitor of our temple, please come to our temple. We will be very happy to receive you all and if you haven’t read Srila Prabhupada’s books, I will request, please read Srila Prabhupada’s books and I am sure, you will like it. You will learn a lot from that and if there is any way we can help you in your spiritual understanding, please don’t hesitate to let us know. In this way we are trying to benefit the world, we are trying to benefit everybody. Besides giving this spiritual awareness, the spiritual understanding, we do not have any other motive. We do not have any other agenda. We don’t have any other intention. All we want is to simply benefit everybody by giving them the spiritual wisdom, which is a science. It is a science! It is not a matter of faith, what to speak of blind faith. It’s a science and Srila Prabhupada used to inspire us to accept it as a science and we also try to present it to everybody as a science. That means, science means, it can be experimentally verified and its facts can be established in that way. If the definition of science is experimentally verified facts then this is the science about the spiritual reality.
So, if you’re interested, please come to us.
Thank you very much!
Transcription : Her Grace Ranga Radhika Dasi
Editing : Ramananda Raya Dasa