HH BVPS Riga June 2014
Lecturing in Riga, Latvia, June 2014. Photo courtesy of RadhaDamodar Channel

Prabhu (1): Mahārāja, you were just mentioning that we should, to understand the scriptures we should accept that the Ācāryas are perfect.

His Holiness Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Mahārāja: Yes.

Prabhu (1): Then some people, they argue that they are perfect in the spiritual sense, but they are not perfect to comment on day-to-day life. Some people, they have this argument. Or sociology, or science, or whatever.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: And who are these people? What is their qualification?

Prabhu (1): Some people are even gurus.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: But what is their qualification? Just because you are a guru... Ānandamayī Mā is also a guru. Ravi Shankar is the guru.

Prabhu (1): ISKCON gurus.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah. So, the whole point is is, that is like saying, 'Yeah, yeah, great, he knows quantum physics and all that, but he won't understand 3rd grade math.' That is the level of intelligence we are working with here on this point. We are not commenting on other points. We are just commenting on this, is that if you know... It is like saying, 'Oh, he understands himself and the form, but the form in the mirror he can't understand.'

Mātājī (1): What is the question, Mahārāja?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: The question is that... I have not heard this for a long time, so the difficulty is is, this question, when I last heard it would have been back in the 1990s. And so, back in the 1990s, when we would deal with these things, we would be a bit more paciferous than more lately when we are trying to be more pleasant.

So, the idea is that Śrīla Prabhupāda and the Ācāryas and all that, they are from the spiritual world, so they know all that stuff, but here in the material world we are the guys, we are the men, we are the guys that walk around with a wheel barrel for our genitals because we are just so qualified. And like that, and so, therefore, what do they know about the material world? As if we knew anything about the material world before we met Prabhupāda. If they were so successful, why weren't they doing all that? Why weren't they there and why aren't they giving it? So the point is is, the conditioned soul is in ignorance. He can't know what is reality. We are not talking about the mode of ignorance here. We are talking about the ajñāna-śakti that is covering the living entity, and that is there because he thinks 'I am the controller and the enjoyer.' So he cannot actually understand things as it is, and he has flaws. So, therefore, those from the spiritual world aren't under this. So the material world is easy because it is just a perverted reflection of what is in the spiritual world. That's the real thing, and this is just a perversion of that. It is being taken as if it is a different place. It's like, you have that area of the town where the policemen don't go, but as long as anyone in that area doesn't come out, they don't care? And it's kind-of like 'In here we are the masters.' So that's what we are talking about. This is a criminal mentality. It is not a mentality based on reality.

So to say they can't comment on what is going on here, based on what? And then, if we are going to say this, who are we? How are we so expert in the material world? We understand the primary and secondary creation? We understand the metaphysics of how everything works? Like that? Otherwise then, who is the authority?

Prabhu (1): They say, the academics.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: The academics? And since when are they an authority? And so, who in the academics is an authority in the Gaudīya Vaiṣṇava siddhānta? Who was, what was the name? In Philadelphia, our academic there? Ravīndra Svarūpa, he was saying that in Boston, that some of the academics there, they are sitting down at the pub, drinking beer and discussing some technical points on the Sandarbhas. How is this...? How are they in any way...? Because even you say, the academics are the authorities, are they accepted like that in the world? Does the business community accept that it is the academics that know what is going on? If they are, then why are they getting five thousand dollars a month while they are making 500 million a month? You know, what is so great about them? The guy who teaches the MBA course gets less money than the guy that goes out and gets the job after the course. Now, is that foolish, or is that foolish? I mean, if we want to be fair, maybe we can say it is foolish. That's the whole thing. Since when? Does the government say that they are the ones, they know how to run things? How well... Means, here, we have an intellectual here, Karl Marx, how well did his thought pattern work? It doesn't work, you can't... It does not function. So this whole idea is that because they sit around and speculate. But that is the whole point, that's why we hear that if you speculate, you cannot understand Kṛṣṇa. So they are taking the academics as authority, that means they will never understand Kṛṣṇa. And to say like that, that is like saying that them as academics, they cannot understand what is going on in grade school and nursery school, it is that foolish. Why don't they understand?

It's like when Prabhupāda was walking on the Harbor in Boston. He asked the devotees, 'What is this?' The devotees are going through all kinds of things, this, that, so many things like that, and they couldn't figure out. So Prabhupāda at the end says, 'It is sex life.' You know, all those big ships and cranes, all this and that. They are all going, 'Sex life?! That's weird!' He says, 'There is a guy running all this, so he could make the money, so he can have sex.' Because unless he is the big guy with lots of money, then what lady is going to be impressed with him?

Or the other one, they are walking along and there is a tree, and underneath there is a pile of bird stool. Prabhupāda is going, 'What does this mean?' And they are going on all kinds of things, like that. Prabhupāda says, 'No, it means attachment.' So he can so clearly see what is going on. Anybody who has worked with him personally can see that. So then how can they even say? They are so expert, they have been with Prabhupāda and that? I have never heard anyone who spent personal time with Prabhupāda ever say that.

Prabhu (1): Yes, Mahārāja.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So that is now two counts against them. So, it's just, you can't do that. They know, that is perspective, otherwise then why would we take them? What have they done in the material world? If the material world is, that is the reflection, what have they done? What academic? And that means, most academics you can't take, so which ones? Let's have a list of who is the... We can give a list of who is authorized, exact names. But they can give? How the material world works, how it functions, what is the reality? When every few months or few years they change their philosophy, so how can they be taken as authority?

Prabhu (2): Also we see that every time when the particular Ācārya was there, like Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, or Jīva Gosvāmī, during their time language, grammar and the astrology were the top things, and they were the top of it.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah, that's also the point, that even if we want to take it from that, they were the scholars amongst scholars. Even amongst scholars they went out and discussed, they weren't just sitting around, they were not armchair speculators, as Prabhupāda points out, are modern academics. They actually, you see, Baladeva Vidyābhūṣana, he actually went and discussed with the scholars of the other sampradāyas. Jīva Gosvāmī discussed with all these, Rūpa Gosvāmī was accepted by Akhbar as his scholar, so those were the scholars. And so, then we are going to say it's only Western, First-World Western academic scholars? Now as a next thing we are going to say they have to be white? Right? They have to be white, they have to be male? You know, I mean, where are they going to take this discussion? Because these were the scholars of the day. When in Europe they were running around chasing wild boars for dinner, in India they were discussing Sanskrit. And so, now we are going to take that these modern academics know what they are doing, suddenly? Out of where? Who has decided their authority? Each other. So it is a mafia, that's all. [Laughter] Before people did not accept them, and then they start a thing, and then they get established, and now no one except them has the authority. It is a mafia.

But this is an eternal principle, it comes down from the Lord, it descends. While this knowledge that they are dealing with is ascending, so it can never get past the aparokṣa level on the misguided, it cannot even get above that. So, the highest consciousness that they will be able to get, basically is, they will always be on prāṇa-maya, and maybe they might get into mano-maya, but they can't get past that because they don't know the soul, they don't know we are not the body. What branch of knowledge... Prabhupāda talks about that, the academics, what branch of knowledge is there? It is not there, it is lacking. So they are saying they know the material energy, how do they know the material energy? They are just guessing, they are looking at it.

I was just talking with one doctor. He was telling me how medical research goes on. He is a full-on doctor. He says, they sit there, they have a disease, whatever it is they are looking at. And they go, 'Well, let's try this,' and nothing happens. 'Well, let's try this.' And they do that for thousands of times and then it reacts to something, 'Oh, my mom's, my grandmother's borsch.' 'Okay, so what is that? So now, what about that? Was it the beets? Was it the carrots? Was it that it was sitting in my refrigerator for two weeks, so therefore it went sour? What is it?' And then they go after that. That's why it takes millions and millions of dollars to research these things, because that is all they are doing, sitting there and going, 'Well, let's try this.' They may be using their intelligence, but the point is is, it is purely speculative. While the Āyurveda, they can look at things and decide what things are there, what is the nature of a plant, what it can actually do. Even if it is a plant they don't know, they have tests. You are from one area, you get another plant you don't know, you have ways to test it to tell what medicine it is useful for. Like this. So what are they talking about?

Prabhu (2): Among them, the one who finds out what is the essential ingredient, he is a pharmacist, either a biotechnologist or... But one who designs a drug, he is a chemist, he is different. And the one who is actually giving the medicine is a doctor, he doesn't have any idea what is the medicine, he just only knows that it will help... Three people.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah, and then all of those work for who? The businessman without a degree. Yes. And by lobbying, then he is lobbied to some other guy who is a lawyer and he is running in the government, and then therefore he gets his stuff approved. So yeah, that is the fun part. Does that make sense?

Prabhu (1): Yes, Mahārāja.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, just as a general principle, no one bring this one up again. [Laughter] Means, this is so 1990s, this one. Sorry?

Mātājī (1): We have a list of things.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah, a list of things not to bring up. [Laughter] Okay? Everyone awake now?

Reading from Caitanya Caritāmṛta Study guide: [Cc Ādi 2.86 Purport] Bhrama refers to false knowledge or mistakes, such as accepting a rope as a snake or an oyster shell as gold. Pramāda refers to inattention or misunderstanding of reality, and vipralipsā is the cheating propensity. Karaṇāpāṭava refers to imperfectness of the material senses. There are many examples of such imperfection. The eyes cannot see that which is very distant or very small. One cannot even see one's own eyelid, which is the closest thing to his eye, and if one is disturbed by a disease like jaundice, he sees everything to be yellow. Similarly, the ears cannot hear distant sounds. Since the Personality of Godhead and His plenary portions and self-realized devotees are all transcendentally situated, they cannot be misled by such deficiencies.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So then, back to verses 87 to 89,

Reading from Caitanya Caritāmṛta Study guide: [Cc Ādi 87-89]

“You say something contradictory and become angry when this is pointed out. Your explanation has the defect of a misplaced predicate. This is an unconsidered adjustment.

“Only the Personality of Godhead, the source of all other Divinities, is eligible to be designated svayaṁ bhagavān, or the primeval Lord.

“When from one candle many others are lit, I consider that one the original.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right, here. 'You say something contradictory and become angry when it is pointed out.'  That's like the Academy in a nutshell.

Reading from Caitanya Caritāmṛta Study guide: Śrīla Prabhupāda, [Cc Ādi 89 Purport] 'The Brahma-saṁhitā, chapter five, verse 46, states that the viṣṇu-tattva, or the principle of the Absolute Personality of Godhead, is like a lamp because the expansions equal their origin in all respects. A burning lamp can light innumerable other lamps, and although they will not be inferior, still the lamp from which the others are lit must be considered the original. Similarly, the Supreme Personality of Godhead expands Himself in the plenary forms of the viṣṇu-tattva, and although they are equally powerful, the original powerful Personality of Godhead is considered the source.'

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, even if they want to say is, okay, 'These personalities don't, can't understand the material world because they are from the spiritual world,' are they going to say this about Kṛṣṇa? Kṛṣṇa is creating everything, He is in the heart, He is in-between every atom, He is every atom, He is why anything functions, He is the life airs, He is the power of the senses, power of the intelligence, power of the memory, all these things. And so, in Gītā He is speaking Himself. Eleventh Canto, He is speaking Himself. In Third Canto, He is speaking Himself. So, and what they are talking about is how the material world functions, the mentalities and what is the reality. So now they are going to extend this to Him? Are they going to be so bold? Who would dare? Yes?

Prabhu (3): I was thinking, it is purely Christian idea because that is what they did to their God. They say, He created spiritual and material world, but then He lost control and He is not... So that's where it is...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay, yeah, yeah, that makes sense. Because the modern academy is based on the Christian kind-of perspective, like that. Means, even if you are not from that background, you still have to toe the line there. Does that make sense? Yeah, it has to come from that. Because otherwise then why would it be there? Because I even think in the Gītā Kṛṣṇa says that 'There is no control, there is no God, there is no...' all these things, so it is an atheistic principle.

Prabhu (2): [Chapter] 16, Divine and Demoniac natures.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Divine and demoniac, like that. So these are just mundane things. So the point is is that a devotee may get distracted by these. As long as everything else is solid in their practice, if they kind-of are not dealing with this much, or it doesn't come up that it creates, becomes very big, then by association with devotees and by the devotional process that they are doing, hearing and chanting, then the heart will become purified, these things will go away. But one has to be very careful not to make these prominent. Otherwise one will get distracted.

From lecture on Caitanya Caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā, Chapter 2, Bhaktivedānta Academy, Śrī Māyāpura This passage starting at 5 min 35 s
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