Presenting the Correct Thing
This conversation took place in Allahabad, India, on January 18, 1971.
Guest (1): We believe in an incorporeal God.
Srila Prabhupada: Who says, “incorporeal”? Who says?
Guest (1): It is scripture – jyotir linga, “incorporeal.”
Srila Prabhupada: You are bringing in something else besides Bhagavad-gita. You should know that we are preaching Bhagavad-gita. So this jyotir linga – all these theories – they are not in Bhagavad-gita. They may be in other literature, but we are particularly interested in preaching Bhagavad-gita. Because Bhagavad-gita has been wrongly preached all over the world by nonsense commentary, we want to rectify that. Therefore our society is specifically named “Krishna conscious.”
Guest (1): What is wrongly preached about the Gita?
Srila Prabhupada: Yesterday, for instance, I went to that Gita Samiti [Gita Society]. There is a lamp [on display]. Why is there a lamp instead of Krishna?
Guest (1): I don’t know.
Srila Prabhupada: You do not know. Therefore I say there is wrong preaching. Why is there a lamp in place of Krishna? Does Krishna say this?
Guest (1): The Gita Samiti people must evolve with this idea because . . .
Srila Prabhupada: No, no. The Gita is spoken by Krishna. So why is there no picture of Krishna?
Guest (1): They didn’t put the picture.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. That means they have not understood Krishna. Therefore, this so-called Gita Society is not bona fide. Suppose there is a political meeting. You keep Gandhi’s photo or Jawaharlal Nehru’s photo, because they are political leaders. Yet in this Gita Samiti they are preaching Bhagavad-gita, and there is not a single picture of Krishna. This is misguided. They are wrongly representing Bhagavad-gita. So our position is to rectify that wrong propaganda about Bhagavad-gita.
Guest (2): What is that wrong propaganda?
Srila Prabhupada: That is one instance. And there are many other instances. In the Ninth Chapter there is the verse man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru. [Krishna says to Arjuna, “Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me, and worship Me.”] One respected scholar says, “It is not to the person Krishna [but to the unborn within Krishna that one must surrender].” Where does the scholar get this nonsense idea?
Guest (1): V – has also said that . . .
Srila Prabhupada: They are all nonsense. Anyone who deviates from the original text of the Gita is nonsense.
Guest (2): Swamiji, by declaring other interpretations nonsense …
Srila Prabhupada: You cannot interpret! First of all, my proposal is that you cannot interpret.
Guest (2): We’ll come to that. But if I say that you are not interpreting correctly, that does not make me correct. I must be correct also.
Srila Prabhupada: I am correct as long as I present the correct thing. If I present Krishna as He is, then I am correct.
Guest (2): Swamiji, most respectfully, how do you judge that “I am correct”?
Srila Prabhupada: Because I am presenting what Krishna says. First of all, you answer this: What is the standard of correctness? You cannot create correctness. When Krishna says man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah – ”Just surrender unto Me, become My bhakta [devotee] – how can you say, “It is not to Krishna [one must surrender]?” Is this not nonsense? If I say, “Give me a glass of water” and you say, “It is not to Swamiji [that the glass of water should be given],” isn’t that an interpretation?
Guest (1): But surrender is what Jesus Christ says, Mohammed says, everyone says.
Srila Prabhupada: Let others surrender to Christ. But why don’t you surrender to Krishna?
Guest (1): That is true, but . . .
Srila Prabhupada: That is true, but you do not know how.
Guest (1): Your way of thinking and your purpose is that Lord Krishna should be the Lord of the whole universe, so . . .
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, Lord Krishna is the Lord of the universe.
Guest (1): So that is what you want to say to me?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes.