A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA – Vedic literature is a vast literature, and it is complete. Every religion, every human society accepts God, or at least appreciates Him and says God is great, but no one knows how great God is. That information is available in the Vedas. In school, children may use a pocket dictionary, which gives brief definitions, but if they use a big dictionary, just like the International Dictionary or the Complete Oxford English Dictionary of many volumes, they will see that the descriptions are more complete and vivid for any given word. So those who are actually interested in the science of God will find ample opportunity in this Krishna consciousness movement. It is not that we are decrying any other religion. No. This is a postgraduate study of higher consciousness or God consciousness. Therefore there is no objection to any religious group coming to Krishna consciousness. Many students from India come to America for higher study in technology, so we are offering the higher study of learning how to love God. That is our program. Sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje.
The test of first-class religion is whether or not the followers are developing love of God. It doesn’t matter what that religion is. It may be Christian, Hindu or Mohammedan. If one is developing love of God, then his system of religion is first class. Of course every system of religion is nice, but as mentioned before, some are more complete. Desa-kala-patra. Desa means country, and kala means time, and patra means the receiver or the student. The Christian religion was taught in a different time. Now people are more advanced in education. And it was preached in a desert; the people were not very prosperous at that time. So they have some description of God. But Vedanta was compiled under different circumstances for a different audience and with a different view. Vedanta means to know God. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah. Veda means Knowledge, Ultimate Knowledge, which is to know God or Krsna. That is perfection of knowledge. Bahunam janmanam ante. After many, many births and cultivation of knowledge, when one comes to the point of understanding God or Krishna, that is perfection. Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate. God is full of joyfulness, pleasure; He is the reservoir of pleasure. We are hankering after pleasure, but somehow or other we are already connected with the supreme pleasure. Everyone is connected. I am sitting here and you are sitting here, but without being connected with God we cannot sit even for a moment. God’s energies are working at all moments, otherwise the whole material world would be vanquished. So it is by the mercy of God. I am now speaking to you, but within a twinkling of the eye the whole body may be paralyzed immediately. Factually we are living at the present moment by the mercy of God. I am speaking to you by the mercy of God, and you are hearing by the mercy of God. The mercy of God is there. The prisoner is living at the cost of the government, even though he is in prison. Similarly, although we are in this conditional stage of life, we are living by the mercy of God. God’s mercy is there even if we are against Him, so how much more will His mercy be bestowed upon us when we are His devotees.
Therefore we should read this Vedic literature, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, Teachings of Lord Caitanya — there are volumes and volumes. One cannot even finish reading the Srimad-Bhagavatam in his whole life. These literatures are meant for human society, for advanced human society. One should therefore take advantage and make his life sublime. Labdhva su-durlabham idam bahu sambhavante. This life is obtained after many, many millions of births. That we do not know. Modern education, university education, is lacking here. They are simply after technology. Technology is good, for technology has produced this microphone, but don’t forget the real technology of life, how to understand God, how to love God. That is real technology. This other technology will be finished as soon as this body is finished. And if, by chance, my next life is something other than human life, then I will have no concern with technology.