Young woman (1): I have a question. I would like to know your beliefs concerning who Jesus Christ was. Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: She wishes to know what your beliefs are concerning Lord Jesus Christ. Prabhupāda: Yes. He is representative of God, son of God. That's all. Young woman (1): Do you believe in the blessed trinity? Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Do you believe in the blessed trinity? Prabhupāda: I do not know what is that. Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Father, son, and holy ghost. Madhudviṣa: Holy spirit. Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Holy spirit. Prabhupāda: Yes. Why not? (laughter) Young woman (1): Thank you. Prabhupāda: Yes? Young man (2): What is the outcome of continuous practice of the chant "Oṁ?" Prabhupāda: Oṁ is also another form vibration of Lord. Oṁ. That is also accepted in Bhagavad-gītā. So Hare Kṛṣṇa or oṁ, practically the same value, but this is easier. Yes. And because Hare Kṛṣṇa was chanted by Lord Caitanya specifically. Oṁ is generally added (when) just beginning one mantra. That is the Vedic way. Oṁ tad viṣṇoḥ paramaṁ padaṁ sadā paś... Oṁ is also addressing the Lord. Oṁ. And Hare Kṛṣṇa is also addressing. But this is easier and recommended for this age. Otherwise, transcendentally or spiritually, there is no difference. Young woman (3): What do you believe in reference to Ramakrishna? He was in the Hindu faith. Prabhupāda: Not Hindu faith. What is your belief of Ramakrishna? Young man (2): Well, I've read a little about him, and he supposedly... Prabhupāda: What he is? What you have studied about him? Young man (2): He was an incarnate of God. He believed in Jesus Christ, he believed in Buddha, he believed in yoga. I just wondered if you had anything to do with him. Prabhupāda: We have got original Kṛṣṇa. So original Kṛṣṇa includes everyone. Kṛṣṇa, govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi **. So if you believe in the original, the categories automatically come. But the categories, under the influence of māyā, becomes different. So if you want to study any person, you have, you must have some standard way of studying. How you have accepted this Ramakrishna as incarnation? What is the authority? Simply suppose if somebody says, "I am incarnation." Will he be accepted? If somebody comes here and says that "I am President Johnson," will it be accepted like that? And if somebody believes in that way, is he very intelligent man? So what is your basis of taking Ramakrishna as incarnation? So far Vedic literature is concerned, we cannot accept. Because in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, kāmais tais tair hṛta jñānāḥ yajante 'nya devatāḥ [Bg. 7.20]. If somebody is lost of his intelligence, then he worships demigods. What is that?
Young man (2): What do you think of kuṇḍalinī or rāja-yoga?
Prabhupāda: We are practicing the emperor yoga. Therefore rāja-yoga is included there. The Bhagavad-gītā says that,
yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
śraddhāvān bhajate māṁ yo
sa yuktatamo mataḥ
Anyone who is always thinking of Kṛṣṇa within himself, he is the topmost yogi. Therefore a person who is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness on the authority of Vedic literature, he is supposed to passed all kinds of yogic principles. What is your understanding of kuṇḍalinī yoga? Do you know?
Young man (2): It's very dangerous.
Prabhupāda: So why do you accept such dangerous thing?
Young man (2): No, I just wanted to know what you thought of it.
Prabhupāda: There is no need of... It is not possible to practice that yoga. Yoga practice... That kuṇḍalinī process of yoga is not possible in this age. It is a very difficult process. So we should recommend not to waste your valuable time following something which is not possible to be done by you. That is our recommendation. But if you have got some hobby, that is a different thing. But it will never be successful. It is very difficult to perform. At the present age, as it is recommended and it is followed, practiced, and experienced, this bhakti-yoga is the only possible way for self-realization. It is made very simple: simply chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma... Anyone can do it. Any part of the world can people practice it, of any age, it doesn't matter, either old, young, or child. We have got many children of our devotees, they are also chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. And many old men like me, they are also chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. And these young boys and girls, they are also chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. So it is universal. And all these boys and girls, they are neither Hindus nor Indians, nor they have any knowledge of Sanskrit. But they easily pick up this Hare Kṛṣṇa and chant and getting the result. So this is the easiest, universal method of self-realization in the present age. Any other practice of yoga system will never be successful. It will be simply waste of time.
Young man (3): May I ask this, Swami, as you said after. Have you yourself reached the superconscious state, or the Christ consciousness state?
Prabhupāda: Why don't you come and sit down here. Yes. What is your question?
Young man (3): I asked, Swami, that you have yourself reached this Christ consciousness or superconscious state and then talked with the Divine.
Prabhupāda: It is not very difficult. You can also do that. It is the easiest process. What Christ consciousness? What did Christ say? That you surrender unto God. Did he say anything more than this?
Young man (3): No, the understanding I had of Christ consciousness was when one's mind reaches the state where he is within all atoms and all the flowers...
Prabhupāda: That we have already explained, that Kṛṣṇa is within yourself, within your heart, within my heart, within the atoms, everywhere. So if Christ thinks also like that, then there is no difference between Christ consciousness or Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa is also, aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham [Bs. 5.35]. Nothing can move, nothing can act without spiritual touch. That is a fact. So this world, or anything, that is moving, jagat... The Sanskrit name of the world is jagat, "which is moving, making progress." That movement is not possible without the spiritual touch. Just like my body, your body is moving because there is spiritual spark within you, within me. So if you can understand this simple fact, that nothing can move without spiritual power, touch... Just like this watch. This watch is moving. You can say it is machine, but not machine. If I wind, then it will move. Therefore there is spiritual touch. If I don't wind, if I keep it in my box, it will not move. So this simple truth, that without spiritual touch nothing can move, and spirit is God. Therefore you can have immediately God consciousness or Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Young man (3): Isn't there a difference between... When I say Christ consciousness, to get your mind on the same level as the atoms, and on a higher level, beyond the atoms as pure spirit—are these two levels of consciousness in the atoms and...
Prabhupāda: Actually, there is no two levels. There is only one level. Just like there is one sky, but when the sky is overcast with cloud, you divide the sky: "This is friendly sky, and this is nonfriendly sky." Just like the airlines, they advertise, "Fly in friendly sky." Wherefrom this "friendly sky" comes? The sky is one. But the part of the sky which is covered with cloud, that is unfriendly sky. Similarly, sarvaṁ khalv idaṁ brahma. There is... Without exception, everything is spirit. But the portion of spirit which is covered by ignorance, the cloud of ignorance, that is matter. Just like what is material civilization? All activities minus God. This is material. And as soon as all activities plus God, it is spiritual. So all activities minus God means trouble, and all activities plus God is wholesome, is pleasing. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness means all activities plus God. That's all. We are also doing the same thing. The candle is burned here, you also have candles at your home. You have got your apartment; this is also apartment. What is the difference between this apartment, your apartment? Because here is relationship of Kṛṣṇa. So you make everything in relationship with Kṛṣṇa, it is spiritual. That is the technique you have to learn in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Actually, there is nothing but Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but artificially we have covered Kṛṣṇa consciousness with something else, which is called māyā. So you have to get out of this māyā consciousness and stand in your original Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then your life is perfect. That is being taught. There is nothing artificial, neither extraordinary, neither a very difficult thing. It is very plain and simple.
Young man (4): Is there a regression at all in your system of reincarnation? Can we... What I mean to say is, can a man regress to, if you call it a regression, I don't know... Can a man become, after his body dies, I mean, say, an animal or an insect of some sort?
Prabhupāda: Yes. There are 8,400,000 species of different kinds of life. So, so far my condition is concerned, I am not this body; I am spirit soul. Just I am changing my body even at the present moment. Just like when you were born from your mother's womb, your body was very small. Now it has grown. You were a boy; now you are young. Now you will become old man like me also. That means the changing body. It is simple fact. You are changing. From your childhood body, this body is different. Either you take it that it has grown or either you take it that the body has changed, the same thing. But actually it has changed. So the changing of body is accepted. Therefore it is concluded that when you change this body, you may get another body.
Young man (4): What is it that you take with you? What is the...
Prabhupāda: Just like... I will explain. Now, how this change of body is being done? That change of body is being done according to your mentality. Just like here you have got different dresses, different features, different modes of life, all these boys and girls and ladies and gentlemen who are sitting. Why? Due to different modes of mind. Somebody likes to keep hair, somebody like to cleanse hair. Why? This difference. Difference due to mind. So according to your mind at the time of your death, the position, the status of your mind will give you a next body. So if your mind is God conscious, then you get your body next like God. And if your mind is dog conscious, then you get your body, next body, a dog. So it is a question of training your mind so that at the point of death if you keep yourself Kṛṣṇa conscious mind, then you get as good a body like Kṛṣṇa. This is the whole philosophy. And Kṛṣṇa's body is sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1], full of bliss, full of knowledge, eternal. So we are hankering after eternal body, blissful body, and full of knowledge. That should be the destination. That is our aim. So to fulfill that aim, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness is very nice thing.
Young man (5): When we get the next body does our mind retain much of what is learned in the life before? At least the general principles? Or does it start all over again and live within that body and gain its knowledge through that body?
Prabhupāda: No. Death means forgetfulness. Death... Just like when you sleep you forget your day's activities. So sleep is partial death. In sleep also, you sometimes think that you have got a different body, you are floating on the air, or you have gone somewhere which you never seen. So that means the mind is forgetful of the day's activities. It has taken a different activity. Similarly, as soon as the body's changed, the mind is also changed. Mind function is thinking, feeling, and willing. So we feel, think, and will according to circumstances. Just like now you have got an American body, you are thinking like American. I have got an Indian body, I am thinking like Indian. Similarly, a dog has got a dog body, he's thinking like a dog. So mind changes also according to the position of the body.
Young man (6): Is it possible through Kṛṣṇa consciousness to, in the supreme state, to be able to remember all that you were?
Prabhupāda: Yes. It is possible. If you come to the supreme state, you can remember. That is also possible. Because there are instances... One King Bhārata, he died thinking of a deer, so he got his next body as a deer. But he remembered that "I was such and such person." There are sometimes report in the newspaper that a child is dictating that "I have got my home there," and when he goes there he says, "He is my son. Here I kept in this box this thing." Perhaps... There are many instances like that. So that is, exceptional cases it is possible.
Young man (5): One more question. Could you tell me why at times it is dangerous to meditate on concentration on the astral world?
Prabhupāda: Because at the present moment mind is always disturbed, full of anxieties. You cannot concentrate. Therefore this process, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, it is forcibly. When you chant, I chant, loudly, at least you hear "Kṛṣṇa," your mind is immediately turned to Kṛṣṇa. So that is meditation. Because after all, meditation means you have to concentrate on the Supreme. The Supreme is nondifferent. Supreme name—Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's name, nondifferent. So when you hear Kṛṣṇa, the name, you immediately remember the Kṛṣṇa person, and there is no difference between His name and the person. So immediately you associate with Kṛṣṇa. Forcibly. Even you don't like, I'll chant "Kṛṣṇa," you'll be forced to associate. You will chant "Kṛṣṇa," I'll be forced to associate. This is going on. One devotee is forcing another devotee to remember Kṛṣṇa. And what he'll do by meditation? He'll think of his office or his home or his dog or his cat. That's all. So therefore meditation... Not only at the present moment, even five thousand years ago when Kṛṣṇa advised Arjuna that "You take to this practice," he said, "Oh, it is not possible for me. I am a warrior. I am a politician. I have got to do so many things. How can I concentrate my mind? Kṛṣṇa, excuse me." You'll see in Bhagavad-gītā. But we are trying to be more than Arjuna at the present moment. It is simply waste of time. It is not possible. This is the only process of meditation.
Young man (5): I have known some people who have meditated, and they don't know how to meditate, and they try to meditate, as I say, on the astral, and they contact the incarnate souls in the astral world. And sometimes they get ahold of the wrong one. And when their mind is left open, these spirits or incarnate souls that are not good will take over the mind of a person. Now, how can one avoid this?
Prabhupāda: By Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You can avoid all rubbish things by simply keeping your consciousness in Kṛṣṇa. That's all. It is a very simple thing. Satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ [Bg. 9.14]. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Those who are great souls, they're always chanting, glorifying the Lord. So there is no opportunity of engaging the mind in something else which is nonsense. We are teaching our student, "Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma..." He is being practiced to this. He cannot avoid it. Even if he goes on the street he'll chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. His samādhi... He hasn't got to attain samādhi; the samādhi is going with him, samādhi. It is so nice thing, and easy. They are not practicing breathing exercise or sitting exercise. No. They are ordinary boys and girls. But simply by chanting they are making practical progress. Their health, their character, their mode of living—everything is increasing, developing. And spiritual advancement means all goodness. It does not mean that a man is spiritually advanced and doing all nonsense. That is contradictory. How pure thing can be impure? Pure is pure; impure is impure. If you say it is impure pure, how it is possible? One is addicted to all nonsense habit and he's practicing meditation and elevating himself. Is it possible? That is all bogus. As soon as one becomes purified, the manifestation of his character, of his mode of life, living, everything will be purified. That is the test. Pareśānubhava. Bhaktiḥ pareśānubhava. Just like if you're cured, then there is no fever. The temperature is at the normal point. And if you say, "I am cured. I am taking medicine, and still, my temperature is 105," that is not possible. So advancement in self-realization means purification from material contamination. That is real advancement. This is practical. Now, how practical it is? In your country, smoking, drinking, taking tea, and keeping boyfriend, girlfriend, liquor, meat-eating, they are common affairs. How they have avoided all these things, within very short time? None of them are associating with me more than one year, and just see their character. It is so practical. You cannot induce them even to smoke. We don't say that you go on with all nonsense, at the same time you become spiritually advanced. We don't talk all this nonsense. There must be practical exhibition that one is advanced in spiritual consciousness. Yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ [SB 5.18.12]. All good qualities will develop. That is spiritual advancement. That is the test. But it may be due to my past habit I may sometimes commit mistake, I may fall down. But Kṛṣṇa says, śaśvad bhavati dharmātmā. Even if he falls down sometimes out of ignorance, still, he'll very soon become purified. The process is so nice. Just like a fan is moving and make the switch off. Still you will see the fan is moving, but rest assured it will stop because the switch is off. Similarly, a person taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, his material life's switch is off immediately. And even though it is seen it is moving, it will stop very soon. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means to put off the switch of material existence immediately. It is so nice. Yes.
Young man (5): Do you think that drugs would help attain the Kṛṣṇa consciousness?
Prabhupāda: It is nonsense. It will not help, but it is nonsense. We don't allow any kind of intoxication.
Young man (5): Does it interfere with the, the soul?
Prabhupāda: Yes. It is artificial. You are already artificially complicated by your, this body, because you have got this body. And you want to make yourself more complicated? And do you mean to say that is advancement? You have to get free. So just like in order to get free from a type of disease one has to take proper medicine and proper diet, similarly, in order to get out of this material contamination, you have to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is the medicine. And you have to take Kṛṣṇa prasādam, the diet. The disease will be cured. Simple method. And it is practically seen. When these boys came to me first, from that time and this time, their face has changed so much. And what I am giving them? These fruits, Kṛṣṇa prasāda, that's all, and chanting. Their mind, their face, their activity, their habit, their character—everything has changed. But what is the process? This medicine and this diet. That's all. There is no surgical operation. It is very simple. You take to it and you see the result. Yes?
Young man (5): What are the good qualities you referred to not too long ago?
Prabhupāda: To become devotee of Kṛṣṇa. That is the greatest quality. We are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. We have forgotten it. And when we come to understanding that "I am part and parcel of God," that is your greatest qualification. Simple thing. What is the greatest qualification of good citizen? American, when he thinks that "I am American citizen. I have to look after the interest of American state," that is his good qualification, or good citizenship. Similarly, when you transcend all these artificial designations, that "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am this or that..." "I am part and parcel of the Supreme," that is the greatest qualification.
Young man (5): When you succumb to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or to Kṛṣṇa, do you still have any obligation to, say, the worldly affairs, in making, say, the world a better place?
Prabhupāda: Yes. This is my obligation, to give them education in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the best service I am giving to the humanity. Why I have come to your country? I am old man. Just to fulfill this obligation. So when one becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious he feels obligation very extensive, not limited. He is called mahātmā, very broad-minded. Not cripple-minded. So "I am good, my father is good"—not like that. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so nice that it makes your mind broader. Mahātmā. Sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ. This exact word is there in the Bhagavad-gītā:
bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ
After many lives' cultivation of knowledge, when one comes to the point that Vāsudeva or the Supreme Personality of Godhead is everything, He is the cause of all causes, then he surrenders unto Him. But such kind of surrendering soul is very rare. So in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we do not expect that everyone can join, but anyone who joins, it is to be understood that in his previous life he has passed all cultivation of knowledge. Otherwise it is not possible. But if one is... Just like this verse says, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]. If one is intelligent to understand this verse, that only a wise man, only one who has become very wise after many, many births; cultivation of spiritual knowledge, he surrenders to Vāsudeva or Kṛṣṇa... So I do not know whether I cultivated knowledge in my past life, but if it is a fact that this is the result of many, many births' cultivation of knowledge, why not surrender immediately and become the most learned wise man? Take the opportunity. One has to become very intelligent. Just like if one man is earning, say, ten hundred millions of dollars by depositing little, little, in the bank, so if somebody offers, "All right, you take immediately ten hundred thousands of dollars immediately," so who will refuse it? So if it is a fact that one comes to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness after many, many births... So, little intelligence required, that "Why not take it immediately? Even I did not cultivate knowledge in my past life, let me take immediately." So this opportunity is offered. Take Kṛṣṇa consciousness. There is no tax. There is no loss. But everything is gained. Try it. At least, make an experiment for week or for fortnight and see. It is not difficult. Simply we must be willing. That's all. Because every one of us are independent. Not fully, little. So we can use our independence, we can misuse our independence. So here is the offering. Take Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Now it is your choice. If you can take, it is good. If you don't take, that is your good will.(?) Is there any difficulty to accept our formula? I ask all of you, is there any difficulty? I am asking this. You have asked so many questions of me. Is there any difficulty to accept this formula?
Young man: No.
Young man: No.
Prabhupāda: So why don't you take it?
Young man: I have.
Prabhupāda: Thank you. (laughter) It is so simple, nice. Try to understand by your knowledge, question. We are not pushing forcibly. You have got your intelligence, argument, logic, everything. But you'll find it. Caitanyera dayāra kathā karaha vicāra. The author of Caitanya-caritāmṛta says that we are placing it for your judgment. Not that we are pushing it by force, that you have to accept it. Just like sometimes it is said that the Muhammadans, they propagated one hand sword and one hand Koran: "Either you accept Koran or there is sword for you." It is not that. It is placed for your judgment. And if you like, you can accept it. Otherwise, I came here empty-handed, I shall go back empty-handed. There is no loss, no gain. (laughter) So any other question? All right. Then join with Hare Kṛṣṇa. Chant.
Lecture -- Seattle, October 11, 1968