You dont need a “living guru” to understand Prabhupadas books-SP

May 12, 2022 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Note-Below we have one conversations where Srila Prabhupada destroys the iskcon myth that you need a “living guru” to explain his books. These people seem to mistakenly think nobody can understand Prabhupadas book unless you go thru them.
May 21 1975 Melbourne
Madhudviṣa: ...cannot become a medical practitioner by simply reading the books. He must study under a medical practitioner. So in the case of your books, is it possible to become a devotee without actually having personal association with you? Just by reading your books?
Prabhupāda: No, it is not that you have to associate with the author. But one who knows, if you cannot understand you have to take lesson from himNot necessarily that you have to contact with the author always.
Devotee: Just like the textbooks are not written by the teachers; they’re written by other professors.
Devotee: Usually you don’t even meet the author.
Prabhupāda: Simply one who knows the subject matter, he can explain.
Madhudviṣa: But can your, would your purports, would that serve as explanation besides…
Prabhupāda: No, no, anyone who knows the subject matter, he will be able to explain. Not necessarily the author is required to be present there. [break] …to study from a medical man, I never said you have to study from the author. Or one who understood the author’s purpose. Just like we are explaining Bhagavad-gītā as it is. Not that one has to learn directly from Kṛṣṇa. One who has understood Kṛṣṇa, from him. That is paramparā system.

Madhudviṣa: Also in the lecture last night, Śrīla Prabhupāda, you were saying that after the water subsides, then the trees come out, and then the insects, then the birds. That would indicate that the creation takes place in stages?
Prabhupāda: Hmm?
Madhudviṣa: It would indicate that the creation of this universe takes place in stages, over quite a long period of time, and this is what the scientists also claim. Darwin’s theory is similar to that, that first there was water, then vegetation came up, and then gradually, gradually, each and every species evolved, like that. So is there some correlation between those?
Prabhupāda: But the varieties of creation, not that everything is coming like that. Just like Brahmā was first created, the first intelligent man. So although there was water, he was above water. He was on the lotus flower, which is not in the water. So that is also creation. So suppose this part is not covered by water—you see grass. But where there is lake there is no grass. So both things are there. Somewhere where there is water, unless the water is dried up, there is no grass. But somewhere you will find, immediately, grass. But there is no water. Or above water. So far the material elements are concerned, that is this stage. But the material elementary presentation, in different places, different way.
Madhudviṣa: From the Bhāgavatam we understand, though, that Brahmā first created human species of life.
Prabhupāda: Yes, from him.
Madhudviṣa: So if he created the human species of life, how is the...
Prabhupāda: No, that other’s creation was there. Just like Lord Śiva. He began to create all demons. The Brahmā stopped it. So somebody was creating demons, somebody was creating animals.
Madhudviṣa: Oh, different Manus, uh, different procreators were creating different types.
Prabhupāda: Yes.
Madhudviṣa: Paramahaṁsa was… we were discussing this morning about the species of life. We understood that there is actually all the species of life on this one planet, or some species don’t exist here?
Prabhupāda: No, everywhere the same process. Everywhere there are living entities in different forms.
Śrut akī rti: The 8,400,000 species is for the whole universe or for each planet?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. No, whole universe.
Devotee: So not all of those species are on this planet.
Prabhupāda: No, all of them are there.
Devotee: On this planet.
Prabhupāda: Yes.
Madhudviṣa: And the demigods we cannot see. Like the demigods, the higher human species, we cannot see.
Prabhupāda: You, why do you believe on your seeing? That is the defect. That is the defect of the Westerners. They are very deficient; still they say, “I cannot see.” What is your seeing power? Suppose if Nārada comes, some demigods come, but you cannot see. Just like when Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva appeared, Prahlāda was seeing. “Is your God here?” “Yes.” And he could not see. So why do you believe so much on your seeing? You have to attain seeing power. That is very good example, Prahlāda… Hiraṇyakaśipu asking Prahlāda, “Where is your God?” “My God is everywhere.” “He is on the pillar?” “Yes.” So he was seeing, but he was not seeing. He became angry and broke the pillar. “Let me see, where is your God.” This is the position. So one has to create the eyes to see things. Not that whatever eyes you have got you can see everything. No. Just like motorcar is being driven, a child is seeing that the car is running automatically. And the father is seeing, “No, there is driver.
So the seeing of the child and seeing of the father is different. In our childhood we were thinking that in the gramophone box there is a man. And the fan there is a ghost. (laughter) I remember quite. “How these records are being played? There must be one man. He is singing.” And the electric fan was running, I was thinking there is some ghost. This is the way.