.(Reprinted from the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust)

Janmastami Lecture by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

(August 21, 1973, London, England)


Prabhupada: (chants mangalacarana prayers) His Excellency, the High Commissioner; ladies and gentlemen, I thank you very much for your coming here and participating in this ceremony, Janmastami, advent of Krsna. The subject matter I've been ordered to speak on is advent of Krsna. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita,

janma karma me divyam
yo janati tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma
naiti mam eti kaunteya
[Bg. 4.9]

This fact, that we can achieve such a stage of life when we can stop our birth and death... Sa 'mrtatvaya kalpate. This morning, I was explaining this verse:

yam hi na vyathayanty ete
purusam purusarsabha
sama-duhkha-sukham dhiram
so 'mrtatvaya kalpate

Amrtatva means immortality. So the modern civilization, they have no idea, either the great philosopher, great politician or great scientist, that it is possible to attain the stage of immortality. Amrtatva. We are all amrta. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said, na jayate na mriyate va kadacin. We living entities, we never die, never take birth. Nityah sasvato yam, na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. Every one of us, we are eternal, nityah sasvato; Purana, the oldest. And after annihilation of this body, we do not die. Na hanyate. The body is finished, but I have to accept another body. Tatha dehantara praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati. Dehino 'smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara [Bg. 2.13].

This simple thing, at the present moment, they are lacking knowledge, that we, all living entities, part and parcel of Krsna, we are eternal, we are blissful, and we are cognizant. Krsna is described in the Vedic sastras:

isvarah paramah krsnah
anadir adir govindah
[Bs. 5.1]

Sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah. God, Krsna, when I speak Krsna, that means God. If there is any important name... God, it is sometimes said God has no name. That's a fact. But God's name is given by His activities. Just like Krsna accepted the sonhood of Maharaja Nanda, or Yasodamayi, or Devaki, or Vasudeva. Vasudeva and Devaki were Krsna's real father and mother. Nobody is real father and mother of Krsna, because Krsna is the original father of everyone. But when Krsna comes here, advents, He accepts some devotees as His father, as His mother. Krsna is the original, adi-purusam. Adyam Purana-purusam nava-yauvanam ca [Bs. 5.33]. He is the original person. Then must be very old? No. Adyam purana purusam nava-yauvanam ca. Always fresh youth. That is Krsna. When Krsna was on the battlefield of Kuruksetra, you have seen the picture, He's just like a boy of twenty years or, at most, twenty-four years old. But at that time, He had great-grandchildren. Therefore, Krsna is always youth. Navayauvanam ca. These are the statements of Vedic literatures.

advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam
adyam purana-purusam nava-yauvanam ca
vedesu durlabham adurlabham atma-bhaktau
[Bs. 5.33]

So, to understand Krsna, simply if we read as a formality the Vedic literature, it will be very difficult to understand what is Krsna. Vedesu durlabham. Although all the Vedas are meant for understanding Krsna. In the Bhagavad-gita, it is said, vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo. Aham eva vedyo. What is the use of studying Vedas if you do not understand Krsna? Because the ultimate goal of education means to understand the Supreme Lord, the supreme father, the supreme cause. As it is said in the Vedanta-sutra, janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1]. Athato brahma jijnasa. Brahma-jijnasa, to discuss about the Supreme Absolute Truth, Brahman. What is that Brahman? Janmady asya yatah. That Brahman means wherefrom everything emanates. So science, philosophy, means to find out the ultimate cause of everything. That we are getting from the sastras, Vedic literature, that Krsna is the cause of all causes. Sarva-karana-karanam. Sarva-karana-karanam.

isvarah paramah krsnah
anadir adir govindah
[Bs. 5.1]

Cause of all causes. Just like try to understand. I am caused by my father. My father is caused by his father. He is caused by his father, his father... Go on searching, then you'll ultimately come to somebody who is the cause. But He has no cause. Anadir adir govindah [Bs. 5.1]. I may be cause of my son, but I am also result of the cause, my father. But the sastra says that anadir adir, He is the original person, but He has no cause. That is Krsna. Therefore, Krsna says that janma karma ca me divyam yo janati tattvatah [Bg. 4.9]. The advent of Krsna, it is very important thing. We should try to understand Krsna, why He advents, why He comes on this material world, what is His business, what are His activities. If we simply try to understand Krsna, then what is the result? The result is tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. You get that immortality. The aim of life is to achieve immortality. Amrtatvaya kalpate.

So in the advent of Krsna, we shall try to understand the philosophy of Krsna. His Excellency was speaking of peace. The peace formula is there, spoken by Krsna. What is that?

bhoktaram yajna-tapasam
suhrdam sarva-bhutanam
jnatva mam santim rcchati
[Bg. 5.29]

If the politicians, diplomats, they are trying to establish peace in the world... The United Nation is there, and there are many other organizations. They are trying to have real peace and tranquillity, no misunderstanding between man to man, nation to nation. But that is not happening. That is not happening. The defect is that in the root is wrong. Everyone's thinking "It is my country. It is my family. It is my society. It is my property." This "mine" is illusion. In the sastra it is said, janasya moho 'yam aham mameti [SB 5.5.8]. This "I and my" philosophy is illusion.

So this illusion means maya. maya... If you want to get out of this illusion, maya, then you have to accept the Krsna's formula. Mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te. Everything is there in the Bhagavad-gita for guidance if we accept the philosophy of Bhagavad-gita as it is. Everything is there. Peace is there, prosperity is there. So that is a fact. Unfortunately, we do not accept it. That is our misfortune. Or we misinterpret it. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. Krsna says that "You always think of Me," man-mana bhava mad-bhakto. "Become My devotee." Mad-yaji, "You worship Me." Mam namaskuru, "And offer obeisances unto Me." Is it very difficult task? Here is Krsna's Deity. If you think of this Deity, Radha-Krsna, is it very difficult? Man-mana. You come into the temple and, just as a devotee, offer your respect to the Deity, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto. As far as possible try to worship the Deity, patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati [Bg. 9.26]. Krsna does not want your whole property. Krsna is open to the poorest man for being worshiped. What He is asking? He says, patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati: "With devotion, if a person offers Me a little leaf, a little fruit, a little water, I accept it." Krsna is not hungry, but Krsna wants to make you devotee. That is the main point. Yo me bhaktya prayacchati. That is the main principle. If you offer Krsna little things... Krsna is not hungry; Krsna is providing food for everyone. Eko yo bahunam vidadhati kaman. But Krsna wants your love, your devotion. Therefore He is begging little patram puspam phalam toyam. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto. There is no difficulty in understanding Krsna and to accept Krsna consciousness. But we'll not do that; that is our disease. Otherwise, it is not difficult at all. And as soon as we become devotee of Krsna, we understand the whole situation. Our philosophy, Bhagavata philosophy, is also communism because we consider Krsna the supreme father, and all living entities, they are all sons of Krsna.

So Krsna says that He is the proprietor of all planets, sarva-loka-mahesvaram [Bg. 5.29]. Therefore whatever there is, either in the sky or in the water or in the land, they're all Krsna's property. And because we are all sons of Krsna, therefore every one of us has the right to use (the) father's property. But we should not encroach upon others. This is the formula of peace. Ma grdha kasya svidhanam, isavasyam idam sarvam [Iso mantra 1]. Everything belongs to God. You are sons of God. You have got the right to use father's property, but do not take more than you need. That is punishable. These things are stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Stena eva sa ucyate [Bg. 3.12], in the Bhagavad-gita, "he's a thief." If anyone takes more than he needs, then he's a thief. Yajnarthat karmano 'nyatra loko 'yam karma-bandhanah [Bg. 3.9]. If for the satisfaction of Krsna... Yajna means Krsna. Krsna's another name is Yajnesvara. So you act for Krsna, you take prasada Krsna. That what we are teaching here. In this temple, we are residing Americans, Indians, Englishmen, Canadians, Africans, different parts of the world. You know that. Not only in this temple, all over the world. [break]

...when we forget this philosophy, that Krsna is the supreme father, Krsna is the supreme proprietor, Krsna is the supreme enjoyer and Krsna is the supreme friend of everyone. When you forget this, then we come into this material world and struggle for existence, fight with one another. This is material life. So you cannot get... The politicians, diplomats, philosophers, they have tried so much, but actually nothing has become fruitful. Just like the United Nations. It was organized after the second great war, and they wanted that peacefully we shall settle everything. But there is no such thing. The fighting is going on between Pakistan and India, between Vietnam and America, and this and that. It is not the process. The process is Krsna consciousness. Everyone has to understand this fact, that we are not proprietor. Proprietor is Krsna. That's a fact. Just like America. Say two hundred years ago the Americans, the European migrators, they were not proprietor -- somebody was proprietor. Before them, somebody was proprietor or it was vacant land. The actual proprietor is Krsna. But artificially you are claiming that "It is my property." Janasya moho 'yam aham mameti [SB 5.5.8]. This is called maya.

So Krsna advents for give us lesson. Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata [Bg. 4.7]. Krsna says, "My dear Arjuna, I come when there is discrepancies in the process of religious life." Dharmasya glanir bhavati. And what is dharma? The simple definition of dharma is dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. This is dharma. Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. Just like what do you mean by law? Law means the word given by the state. You cannot make law at home. That is not possible. Whatever the government gives you, that "You should act like this," that is law. Similarly, dharma means the direction given by God. That is dharma. Simple definition. You create dharma. I have created this dharma, another man creates another dharma; these are not dharma. Therefore, where the Bhagavad-gita ends, that sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam [Bg. 18.66], this is dharma -- to surrender to Krsna. Any other dharma, they are not dharma. Otherwise, why Krsna asks sarva-dharman parityajya: "Give up"? He said that dharma-samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge: "I advent to establish the principles of religion." And at last He says, sarva-dharman parityajya. That means the so-called dharmas that we have manufactured, man-made dharmas, they are not dharmas. Dharma means what is given by God. But we have no understanding what is God and what is His word. That is the modern civilization defect. But the order is there, God is there -- we won't accept. Where is the possibility of peace? The order is there. Krsna says, the Supreme, bhagavan uvaca. Vyasadeva writes bhagavan uvaca. One should know what is bhagavan. Vyasadeva could have written krsna uvaca. No. He says... If one may misunderstand Krsna, therefore he writes in every stanza, every verse, sri bhagavan uvaca. So Bhagavan is there. Bhagavan is speaking. Bhagavan is accepted by all the acaryas. Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Visnu Svami. Latest, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu also, even Sankaracarya, he also accepts Krsna-sa bhagavan svayam krsna. So the verdict of the modern acaryas, and in the past also, Vyasadeva, Narada, Asita, everyone accepted Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Arjuna, who heard from Krsna, after understanding Bhagavad-gita, he said, param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan purusam adyam sasvatam [Bg. 10.12].

So everything is there. Especially in India, we have got so much asset for understanding God. Simple thing. Everything is there ready made. But we won't accept. So what is the remedy for such disease? We are searching after peace, but we won't accept anything which is actually giving us peace. This is our disease. So this Krsna consciousness movement is trying to awaken the dormant Krsna consciousness in everyone's heart. Otherwise, how these Europeans and Americans and other countrymen, they never heard of Krsna four or five years ago, how they are taking Krsna consciousness so seriously? Krsna consciousness is there in everyone's heart. It has to be awakened only. That is described in the Caitanya-caritamrta

nitya-siddha krsna-bhakti 'sadhya' kabhu naya
sravanadi-suddha-citte karaye udaya

It is awakened. Love for Krsna, devotion for Krsna, is there within everyone's heart, but he has forgotten. So this Krsna consciousness movement is simply meant for awakening that Krsna consciousness. This is the process. Just like when you are sleeping, your, I have to call you loudly -- "Mr. such and such, such and such, get up. You have got this business." No other senses will act when you are sleeping. But the ear will act. Therefore, in this age, when people are so fallen they will not hear anything, if we chant this Hare Krsna maha-mantra, he'll be awakened to Krsna consciousness. This is practical.

So actually if we are anxious for peace and tranquillity in society, then we must be very serious to understand Krsna. That is our request. Don't take it neglectfully, the Krsna consciousness movement. This movement can solve all the problems of life, all the problems in the world. Social, political, philosophical, religious, economical -- everything can be solved by Krsna consciousness. Therefore, we request those who are leaders -- just like His Excellency is present here -- you should try to understand this Krsna consciousness movement. It is very scientific, authorized. It is not a mental concoction or sentimental movement. It is most scientific movement. So we are inviting all leaders from all countries: try to understand. If you are sober, if you are actually reasonable, you'll understand that this Krsna consciousness movement is the sublime movement for the welfare of the whole human society. That's a fact. Anyone may come. We are prepared to discuss this subject matter. Krsna bhuliya jiva bhoga vancha kare. We should not...

Our human life, the ultimate goal of human life is to achieve immortality. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9], This is our..., we have forgotten this. We are simply leading the life of cats and dogs, without any knowledge that we can achieve that perfection of life when there will be no more birth, no more death. We do not understand even that there is possibility of amrtatvam. But everything is possible. Amrtatvam. Nobody wants to die. That's a fact. Nobody wants to become old man, nobody wants to become diseased. This is our natural inclination. Why? Because originally, in our spiritual form, there is no birth, no death, no old age, no disease. So after evolutionary process down from the aquatics, birds, beasts, plants, trees, when you come to this form of human form of body after... Asitim caturas caiva laksams tad jiva-jatisu. This is evolutionary process. We come to the human form of body. Then we should know what is the goal of life. The goal of life is amrtatvam, to become immortal. That you can become immortal simply by becoming Krsna conscious. Krsna says. It is a fact. We have to simply understand. Janma karma me divyam yo janati tattvatah. If you try to understand Krsna in truth, tattvatah, then, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9], after giving up this body, you don't accept any more material body. And as soon as you don't accept any material body means you become immortal. Because by nature we are immortal.

So Krsna advents, Krsna advents to teach us this lesson, that "You are immortal by nature. As spirit soul you are part and parcel of Me. I am as immortal. So you are also immortal. Unnecessarily, you are trying to be happy in this material world."

mamaivamso jiva bhuto
jiva-loke sanatanah
manah sastanindriyani
prakrti-sthani karsati
[Bg. 15.7]

Simply struggle for..., unnecessarily. The best thing is that you have enjoyed sense life in so many varieties of life, as cats, as dogs, as demigods, as tree, as plants, as insect. Now, in this human form of life, don't be captivated by sensuous life. Just try to understand Krsna. That is the verdict of the sastras. Nayam deho deha-bhajam nrloke kastan kaman arhate vid-bhujam ye [SB 5.5.1]. To work very hard like dogs and hog for sense gratification is not the ambition of human life. Human life is meant for little austerity. Tapo divyam putraka yena suddhyet sattvam. We have to purify our existence. That is the mission of human life. Why I shall purify my sattva existence? Brahma-saukhyam tv anantam. Then you get unlimited pleasure, unlimited happiness. That is real pleasure. Ramante yogino 'nante satyananda-cid-atmani iti rama-padenasau param brahmabhidhiyate [Cc. Madhya 9.29].

So, at least in India, all the great personalities, saintly persons, sages and acaryas, they have cultivated this spiritual knowledge so nicely and fully, and we are not taking advantage of it. It is not that those sastras and directions are meant for the Indians or for the Hindus or for brahmanas. No. It is meant for everyone. Because Krsna claims

sarva-yonisu kaunteya
sambhavanti murtayah yah
tasam mahad brahma yonir
aham bija-pradah pita
[Bg. 14.4]

Krsna claims that "I am everyone's father." Therefore, He is very much anxious to make us peaceful, happy. Just like the father wants to see his son is well situated and happy; similarly, Krsna also wants to see every one of us happy and well-situated. Therefore He comes sometimes. Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati [Bg. 4.7]. This is the purpose of Krsna's advent. So those who are servants of Krsna, devotees of Krsna, they should take the mission of Krsna. They should take up the mission of Krsna. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's version.

amara ajnaya guru hana tara ei desa
yare dekha, tare kaha, 'krsna'-upadesa
[Cc. Madhya 7.128]

Krsna-upadesa. Just try to preach what Krsna has said in the Bhagavad-gita. That is the duty of every Indian. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says.

bharata-bhumite manusya janma haila yara
janma sarthaka kari para-upakara.
[Cc. Adi 9.41]

So Indians, Indians are meant for para-upakara. Indians are not meant for exploiting others. That is not Indians' business. Indian history is all along for para-upakara. And formerly, from all parts of the world, used to come to India to learn what is spiritual life. Even Jesus Christ went there. And from China and from other countries. That is history. And we are forgetting our own asset. How much we are callous. Such a great movement, Krsna consciousness, is going on all over the world, but our Indians are callous, our government is callous. They do not take. That is our misfortune. But it is the Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission. He says any Indian, bharata bhumite manusya janma, if he's human being, he must make his life perfect by taking advantage of this Vedic literature and distribute the knowledge all over the world. That is para-upakara. So India can do. They are actually appreciating. These Europeans, American young men, they are appreciating that how great... I get daily dozens of letter, how they are benefited by this movement. Actually, that is the fact. It is giving the life for the dead man. So I shall specially request the Indians, especially His Excellency, kindly cooperate with this movement, and try to make successful your life and others' life. That is the mission of Krsna, advent of Krsna.

Thank you very much. (end)
(Srila Prabhupada, Janmastami Lecture, London, August 21, 1973)
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