By His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

The Bhagavad-Gita and other Vedic scriptures tell us that we can trace everything back to Krsna.

punyo gandhah prithivyam cha
tejash chasmi vibhavasau
jivanam sarva-bhuteshu
tapash chasmi tapasvishu

“I am the original fragrance of the earth, and I am the heat in fire. I am the life of all that lives, and I am the penances of all ascetics.” —Bhagavad-gita 7.9

All varieties of fragrance come from the earth. The gardener uses the same fertilizer and the same water, but different flowers have different fragrances. How is this done? Can any scientist answer? Why are there differences? If it is nature and the ingredients are the same, why is nature not producing the same kind of flower or tree or fruit?

Bhagavad-gita says that nature is not all in all. Nature, the material elements, cannot work independently. There is superintendence by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. He dictates, “This seed will produce this flower and this fragrance.” We fools cannot explain the variety. We say “nature,” but what is nature? There must be a brain behind nature. Otherwise, how does a rose come out so nicely? Even from the artistic point of view, if you want to paint a flower you have to take so much labor. You have to use instruments and mix color, and even then the flower you paint is not as good as the original flower. So if you have to apply so much brainpower to paint a third-class flower, how can the first-class flower have no brain behind it? Is that very good logic? There must be a brain. And that is stated here: “It is under My superintendence.”

Krishna is giving us intelligence: “If you do not go to the temple or do not hear from the acharya, you can at least try to understand My presence when you see or smell a flower.” Is that very difficult? Krishna consciousness is so nice that you can be Krishna conscious even by drinking water, even by seeing the sunshine, even by seeing the moonshine. Or if you are a Vedic scholar, by chanting om or even by hearing the sound vibration. Or by seeing a flower or smelling a flower. Or by seeing something brilliant.

The sun is brilliant, and the moon is brilliant. Where does the brilliance come from? It is a reflection of Krishna’s bodily brilliance. That is stated in the Brahma-samhita (5.40): yasya prabha prabhavato. Then why should we disbelieve? We can see that the sun is so brilliant. It is a material product only. But its brilliance and temperature are unlimited. So where has the brilliance come from?

You can say, “The sun is a composition of these chemicals,” but why don’t you produce an imitation sun and save so much money for electricity? At night you could have a sun to light up Bombay city. Rascals will give descriptions, but they’ll never be prepared to manufacture a sun.

Recently in California one learned chemist who got the Nobel Prize said, “From matter, life has come.” So one of my disciples, Svarupa Damodara, asked, “Sir, if I give you all these chemicals, can you produce life?” Then he said, “That I cannot say.” But if you know that these chemicals compose life, why don’t you produce life when I give you the chemicals?

They are simply theorizing. We cannot decide by theorizing. But if we take shelter of Krishna, we get perfect knowledge: “I am the background.” Otherwise, how can we explain? If you have to paint a flower or create a scent, you have to mix so many chemicals. But Krishna is so powerful, and His energies are so perfect, that simply by His will, immediately everything is there. That is the appreciation of the energy of God. If you do not appreciate it, that is your fault, but there is a brain at work.

Nowadays, because of electric energy, you simply push on a button and so many things happen immediately. Krishna’s way is still hundreds of thousands of times subtler. Simply by His will everything has come out. But because we have no brain, we evade the issue.

If you want to understand how this flower has come, how this fragrance is there, try to understand that it is due to Krishna. And appreciate that. That is Krishna consciousness.

The Brahmana and the Cobbler

A story illustrates how one can appreciate Krishna.

Once, Narada Muni was passing by, and a very learned scholar, a brahmana, asked him, “Sir, where are you going?”

Narada said, “I am going to Vaikuntha to see my Lord.”

“Oh, will you ask Narayana when my liberation will come?”

“All right, I shall ask.”

Then Narada met a cobbler who was sewing shoes, and he also asked, “Sir, where are you going?”

“I am going to Vaikuntha to see my Lord.”

“Will you ask when I shall get salvation?”

“All right, I shall ask.”

When Narada Muni met Narayana, after finishing his business he asked the two men’s question.

Narayana said, “The cobbler will get his salvation after finishing this life, and the brahmana will have to wait for many, many births.”

Narada Muni thought, “How is that possible?”

Narayana said, “When you meet them again, if they inquire, ‘What was my Lord doing?’ say, ‘He was pulling an elephant through the eye of a needle.'”

When Narada came back, first of all he met the brahmana, who asked, “Did you inquire about me, sir?”

“Yes, yes. He said that you have to wait many, many births.”

The brahmana asked, “What was Narayana doing when you met Him?”

“I saw that He was pulling an elephant through the eye of a needle.”

The brahmana immediately said, “Sir, I cannot believe such a story.”

The cobbler asked Narada Muni the same question, and he replied in the same way.

The cobbler began to cry.

“Oh, my Lord is so powerful!” he said. “He can do anything.”

Narada Muni asked, “How can you believe that an elephant is being drawn through the eye of a needle?”

“Why not?” the cobbler replied. “I am sitting under this banyan tree, and every day I see that inside the banyan fruit are thousands of seeds, and I know that each seed contains a big tree like this one.”

That’s a fact. Krishna says, bijam mam sarva-bhutanam: “I am the original seed of all existences.” (Bhagavad-gita 7.10) The beginning of everything is the Supreme Lord. That is stated in the Vedanta-sutra, janmady asya yatah: “[the Absolute Truth] is that from which everything comes.” You cannot say that life has come from matter. That is not possible. Krishna says bijam mam sarva-bhutanam: Krishna is the original source of anything that has come into existence. Krishna is life; He’s not dead stone. Therefore the conclusion is that from life, life and matter have come. Not that life has come from matter. That is not the conclusion.

The Source of Perfect Knowledge

If we require perfect knowledge, then we have to accept knowledge in this way. It is called avaroha-pantha, the descending or deductive process. In our Krishna consciousness movement we claim we have perfect knowledge of everything because we take knowledge from the perfect person: Krishna. That is the real process.

If you want to study whether man is mortal or immortal, there are two processes. With the deductive process, you take the idea from a superior person that man is mortal. If you accept, then your knowledge is perfect. But if you want to approach the knowledge by the inductive process, by studying whether each man is mortal or immortal, you may study a thousand, two thousand, five thousand, but you cannot study all men. Your conclusion remains always defective. Therefore the best process is to receive knowledge from the authorized person. Actually, we do that. We go to school, we go to college, to receive knowledge from the superior person. That is our process to receive perfect knowledge.

You cannot manufacture knowledge. Real knowledge of everything can be had from the Bhagavad-gita. Study it nicely; it is very easy and perfect.

Lord Krishna says,

sarva-yonishu kaunteya
murtayah sambhavanti yah
tasam brahma mahad yonir

aham bija-pradah pita


“It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father. (Bhagavad-gita 14.4) The father gives the seed in the womb of the mother, and the child comes out. Similarly, the original seed-giving father of all living entities is Krishna. Therefore Krishna is international, or inter-universal. Krishna is not a Hindu or an Indian or this or that. Krishna is for everyone. I have explained to my foreign students—American, European, African, and others: “Krishna is for everyone. Don’t take it that Krishna is for the Hindus, for the Indians, or for the brahmanas or the kshatriyas. No. Krishna is for everyone.” Therefore our society’s name is “Krishna Consciousness.”

The Original Father

Our only request is “Take Krishna as the original father.” It is very easy to understand. I have my father, my father has his father, who has his father, and so on. But who is the original father? The original father is Krishna. Aham bija-pradah pita.

Where is the difficulty to understand this? There must be an original father. If you go on researching who is the original father, then you’ll come to the conclusion that Krishna is the original father.

ishvarah paramah krishnah
anadir adir govindah



“Krishna, who is known as Govinda, is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, and He is the prime cause of all causes.” (Brahma-samhita 5.1)

This is the Vedic version. Father’s father, his father, his father—you go on and on and you come to Brahma, who is considered the forefather or grandfather, pitamaha. But Krishna is addressed in the Bhagavad-gita as prapitamaha, the father of Brahma.

Those who are conversant with the shastra, or Vedic scriptures, know that another name for Brahma is Svayambhu, “self-born,” because he’s not born of any material father and mother. He’s born on the lotus sprouted from the navel of Garbhodakashayi Vishnu. Brahma is an authority because he was first educated about the Vedic knowledge by Krishna, or Vishnu. Tene brahma hrida ya adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.1). Brahma here means “Vedic knowledge,” tene means “imparted,” adi-kavaye means “unto the original learned person” in this universe, and muhyanti yat surayah means that even big, big personalities become bewildered when trying to understand Krishna. Therefore Krishna says, as we have already discussed,

manushyanam sahasreshu
kashcid yatati siddhaye
yatatam api siddhanam

kashcin mam vetti tattvatah


“Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.” (Bhagavad-gita 7.3)

Krishna is the Supreme Person and the original source of everything. Therefore Arjuna accepted Krishna’s teachings: “My dear Krishna, whatever You are saying I accept in toto, not deducting, not giving my own commentary.” That is the way to study Bhagavad-gita.

If you study Bhagavad-gita as it is, and if you accept it, then your life is successful. Otherwise, you’ll never understand God or the ultimate source, the Absolute Truth.

Spread Krishna’s Teachings

The Bhagavad-gita is the essence of all Vedic literature because, after all, the purpose of Vedic study is to understand Krishna, the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Vedaish cha sarvair aham eva vedyah: “By all the Vedas I am to be known.” (Bhagavad-gita 15.15). The Supreme Personality Himself is giving knowledge of the Supreme. Therefore we are preaching Bhagavad-gita as it is, or Krishna consciousness. And the easiest method to attain Krishna consciousness is to chant Krishna’s name. That is recommended in the shastra. We have not manufactured the idea.

When Maharaja Parikshit learned all the defects of this age, Kali-yuga, he was a little disappointed. He asked, “How will human beings be relieved from the miserable condition of materialistic life in this Age of Kali?”

It is stated in the shastra that in Kali-yuga the government will be all mlechchas, uncivilized persons, not kshatriyas, or rulers trained in spiritual principles. Mlechchas will take government posts, and their business will be to devour the citizens, who will feel so harassed that they will give up their home and hearth and go to the forest.

That time is coming. If there are no such divisions as brahmana, kshatriya, vaishya, and shudra, that is animal civilization.

Social, political, economic—all solutions are there in the Bhagavad-gita. The Bhagavad-gita is the property of Indians—it was spoken in India—and it was desired that all Indians should learn it and spread the knowledge all over the world, But unfortunately, the rascals are doing nothing. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ordered,

bharata-bhumite haila
manushya-janma yara
janma sarthaka kari

kara para-upakara


“One who has taken his birth as a human being in the land of India [Bharata-varsha] should make his life successful and work for the benefit of all other people.” (Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila 9.41). Bhagavad-gita is for the perfect human being. The other parts of the world are in darkness. So there is great need to spread the knowledge of Bhagavad-gita all over the world. The customers are ready. If you want to glorify India, if you want to glorify your life, just study Bhagavad-gita as it is and spread it all over the world. You’ll be honored.

People think that whatever I have done singlehandedly is wonderful. If many, many persons go outside India and preach this gospel ofBhagavad-gita, those who receive it will be benefitted and those who preach will be glorified. Your country will be glorified. The message of Bhagavad-gita is a fact; it is not a story.

People are fed up with this wrong type of civilization. It is not civilization. We have been warned in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.5.4):

nunam pramattah kurute vikarma
yad indriya-pritaya aprinoti
na sadhu manye yata atmano ’yam

asann api kleshada asa dehah


“When a person considers sense gratification the aim of life, he certainly becomes mad after materialistic living and engages in all kinds of sinful activity. He does not know that due to his past misdeeds he has already received a body which, although temporary, is the cause of his misery. Actually the living entity should not have taken on a material body, but he has been awarded the material body for sense gratification. Therefore I think it not befitting an intelligent man to involve himself again in the activities of sense gratification by which he perpetually gets material bodies one after another.”

According to Vedic principles, at least the brahmanas and leaders should avoid four kinds of sinful activity: meat-eating, illicit sex, gambling, and intoxication. But practically everyone is addicted to these sinful activities. Therefore they are mad, pramattah. These are forbidden in the shastra, and people are doing them. Why? Because they are mad. Why are they are so mad? Yad indriya-pritaya aprinoti: “Simply for sense gratification.” That’s all. Not for anything big but to satisfy the senses.

“Oh, oh, my tongue is asking for a cigarette, asking for wine. All right, give the tongue wine.”

Why? Without a cigarette, without wine, shall you die?

“I want to satisfy my tongue.”

Why are meat-eating, illicit sex, intoxication, and gambling considered sinful? Because they force the atma, or soul, to accept another body, which is the source of misery. People have lost their brain. They do not know what is actual unhappiness; they do not know what a miserable condition they are in. They are like animals that do not know what is going on when they enter the slaughterhouse: “All right, let me go.” That’s all.

This kind of civilization will not make you happy. You have been born in the punya-bhumi, in the sacred land of Bharata-varsha. Here is your knowledge. Take it and be successful in your life.

Thank you very much.