(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 25 April 2008, Leicester, UK)
I used to teach a course on faith, and that faith in Krishna consciousness is very important and of course blind faith is not sufficient.
If everything we do rests on blind faith where will we go? So we must investigate, we must ask questions and Prabhupada said to his western disciples that they are proof hungry, they had endless questions and they wanted to know everything, ‘but what about this, what about that?’ But Prabhupada was firm: ‘They didn’t go to the moon! They didn’t go to the moon!’ ‘No?’ It was difficult to them all, but Prabhupada wouldn’t budge and like that Prabhupada was sometimes saying things that were outrageous. ‘They didn’t go to the moon’, is in one sense an outrageous thing to say, you get crucified for that and Prabhupada said they didn’t go to the moon? No, they didn’t go to the moon! So of course we can ask many questions about Krishna consciousness, about everything. But there is one thing in faith and that is that we have Srila Prabhupada who is the shortcut.
How do we know that Krishna is the Supreme Lord. Please tell me, how do you know?
1st Devotee speaks : I don’t.
2nd Devotee speaks : I’m not sure.
3rd Devotee speaks: Bhagavad-gita.
Maharaja: That’s a good answer. So one thing that is the basis of our faith is Bhagavad-gita. Accepting Bhagavad-gita, that is something, but then of course some nerd of a professor will come and say (in a posh arrogant voice), “How do you know about the Bhagavad-gita, how do you know? It has been found that India is a very unreliable source of information, the historical data coming out of India are very difficult to verify, therefore after dating the Bhagavad Gita we have approximately dated it to be about seventeen hundred years old, and we see that it heavily leans on Christianity. So I really appreciate this faith of the young Hindu man in his tradition and his scripture, that he believes that Krishna is God, but of course, no…really, really, young chap.. I mean there is no evidence, there is no true evidence.”
Ok, so why do you believe that Krishna is God?
Maharaja: Oh, that’s nice, so why do you believe in Prabhupada?
Maharaja: I like your answer because that is also my answer; my answer is also Prabhupada. Although we do investigate this Krishna consciousness and although we need to take it back to Vedic scriptures and say we accept Krishna as the Supreme Lord, because he is mentioned as such in the ancient scriptures such as Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, Upanisads and so many others – he is established as the Supreme Lord. So that is one fact. Then beyond scriptures we see that there is tradition, for thousands of years Krishna has been worshipped, there is a huge culture of worshipping Krishna, it’s like an ancient tradition. Many great personalities have followed the direction of Krishna and become self realized souls.
We have that kind of proof and beyond all that we have our shortcut; we don’t have to read all the Vedas to collect all the proof as we have a shortcut – Prabhupada. Prabhupada was not an ordinary Jo Blo, he was definitely not an ordinary man. Prabhupada was by all means a perfect example of what he taught, he lived this – never was there a moment he was caught out of his role. Usually some one is caught with his pants down, pajamas they say, this is what they said of a head of state, usually there is a some scandal involved. Nothing was ever found – what to speak of no scandal – not even the slightest contradiction in his behaviour and the prescribed behaviour in the scriptures. No contradiction in anything that he taught, with the scriptures, totally consistent until the very last moment. And even at the last ultimate moment, the moment of truth, one might say, the moment of death, then you can no longer keep up a show, through out life it may be there – there’s no business like show business! But at the end of life, it’s over, then if you have a fear of death, it will show, but for Prabhupada, that was not an issue. Prabhupada was not worrying about death, Prabhupada just continued to teach and he was in his last moments, he was just translating the Srimad Bhagavatam as he had been doing in his life, he didn’t stop – he went on with his service to Krishna until the very end. So Prabhupada is the living proof to us that it is all true!