If The World Is Illusion, Where Is The Illusion Coming From?

Citraka: ...newspapers, that now he is follower of Śaṅkarācārya in India. The queen of Greece. She's a follower.
Prabhupāda: Queen of Greece. This cloth is very inconvenient... [break] ...illusion. Accepting this illusion, wherefrom the idea came? Just like in the tailor's window, there are nice beautiful women or men standing. That is illusion. Actually, that is neither man or woman. It is doll. But wherefrom the idea came of this illusion?
Hṛdayānanda: Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: No, no. Unless there is a real man, a real woman, how the illusory man and woman is there, doll? Illusion means which is not fact. So the fact must be there; otherwise how the illusion, reflection, comes? Illusion is exemplified by the mirage, water in the desert. So the man is or the animal is running after water, but that is not water. This is illusion. But that does not mean there is no water. This is the conclusion. Unless there is real water, how... (aside) You can give around here. How this illusion of water is there?
Bali Mardana: Does that mean it is not possible to conceive of something that does not exist somewhere?
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is the real fact.

Karandhara: Some of them say that Brahman creates illusion to forget that he is Brahman. They say that Brahman, the one, creates illusion to forget that he's Brahman. That's his līlā.
Prabhupāda: It is līlā. Then you have to accept that Brahman is a person.
Karandhara: Well, they say there is only one person. There's no varieties of persons.
Prabhupāda: That's all right. But you have to accept the origin, the person. That is our philosophy. Then you accept our philosophy.
Karandhara: Then they say, "Well it's not exactly a person, it's inconceivable."
Prabhupāda: Therefore you cannot say that He is not a person, because He is inconceivable. You cannot say whether He is person or not person, because you are illusioned, and inconceivable... But why you are thinking that because you cannot say perfectly, everyone cannot say perfectly? You are thinking like that. Just like we have got experience: one body cannot say something, but the other can say. Practical experience. Just like this child cannot say something but the father can say.
Bali Mardana: It's their envious attitude. They are envious.
Prabhupāda: No, no. It is not the question of envious. Because you are thinking that He is inconceivable, because you cannot say... But how can you say that another person cannot say? There are so many things I do not know. That does not mean that somebody else does not know. You may not know. Your experience is not mature. But how you can say, "Another person cannot have the experience"? So that is answered in the Bhagavad-gītā, vedāhaṁ samatītāni, māṁ tu veda na kaścana: [Bg. 7.26] "I know everything, but nobody knows Me." There is the answer. So nobody knows Kṛṣṇa. That's a fact. But Kṛṣṇa reveals Himself to the devotee. That is also said, teṣāṁ satata-yuktānām [Bg. 10.10].
teṣām evānukampārtham
aham ajñāna-jaṁ tamaḥ
nāśayāmy ātma-bhāvastho
jñāna-dīpena bhāsvatā
 [Bg. 10.11]
"Those who are devotees, to show them special favor, I remove the ignorance." So Māyāvādīs, māyayāpahṛta-jñānāḥ [Bg. 7.15]. They are Māyāvādīs. Māyā does not allow them to see the cause of all causes, Kṛṣṇa. But if Kṛṣṇa reveals Himself, who can check it? Otherwise He is not Brahman. Brahman means the greatest. Brahman means the greatest, and He is Parabrahman. There are greatest demigods like Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva, but He's greater than them. He says, aham ādir hi devānām [Bg 10.2]. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ [Bg. 10.8]. Brahmā and Śiva, they have come out from Kṛṣṇa, Viṣṇu. So Brahmā, Śiva may not know, but that does not mean Kṛṣṇa does not know. So we are receiving knowledge from Kṛṣṇa. We are not receiving. Or we are receiving knowledge from Kṛṣṇa's representative, who knows Kṛṣṇa. So that is our position. We are not as good as Kṛṣṇa, just the Māyāvādī rascals say. No. We are nothing. We have no value. But we accept what Kṛṣṇa says. That is our qualification. A child is ignorant, but if he speaks what he has learned from his father, that speaking is perfect. Similarly, we admit we are in illusion. But what we are speaking, because that is spoken by Kṛṣṇa, that is not illusion. That is not illusion. That is perfect.

Morning Walk

December 2, 1973, Los Angeles

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