August 1973 at the Bhaktivedanta Manor, in the countryside near London. Several thousand guests (including the Indian High Commissioner) listen to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada speak about the day Lord Krsna made His appearance on earth.
Your Excellency the High Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, I thank you very much for your coming here and participating in this ceremony -Janmastami, the advent of Krsna. In the Bhagavad-gita [4.9] Krsna says,
janma karma ca me divyam
evam vo veto tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma
naiti mam eti so’rJuna
“One who knows the transcendental nature of My advent and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode.”
It is a fact that we can stop our repeated births and deaths and achieve the state of immortality. But the modern civilization our great philosophers, great politicians, and great scientists they have no idea that it is possible to attain the stage ofamrtatvam, immortality. We are all amrta, deathless, immortal. In the Bhagavad-gita [2.20] it is said, na jayate na mriyate va kadacit: we living entities we never die and never take birth. Ajo nityah sasvato yam purano na hanyate hanyamane sarire. Every one of us we are primeval and eternal, without beginning and without end. And after the annihilation of this body, we do not die. But when the body is finished, we will have to accept another body.
dehino ‘smin yatha dehe
kaumdram yauvanam jara
dhiras tatra na muhyati
“As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change:” [Bg. 2.13]
At the present moment, all over the world people are lacking knowledge of this simple thing: that all of us living entities are part and parcel of Lord Krsna that like Krsna, we are eternal, we are blissful, and we are cognizant. Krsna is described in the Vedic literatures:
isvarah paramah krsnah
anadir adir govindah
“The supreme controller, the uncaused cause of all causes, is Krsna, whose transcendental form is full with eternity, knowledge, and bliss.” [Brahma-samhita 5.1]
Krsna when I say Krsna, that means “God.” It is sometimes said, “God has no name:” That’s a fact. But God’s name is given by His activities, For instance, Krsna accepted sonship to Maharaja Nanda and Yasodamayi and also to Vasudeva and Devaki. Of course, no one is actually the father or mother of Krsna, because Krsna is the original father of everyone. But when Krsna comes here, when He makes His advent, He accepts certain exalted devotees as His father, as His mother. Krsna is adi-purusam, the original. Adyam purana purusam nava-yauvanam ca: He is the original person.
Then must Krsna be very old? No. Nava-yauvanam ca: always a fresh youth. That is Krsna. When Krsna was on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra you have seen the picture He was just like d boy of twenty years or, at most, twenty-four years. But at that time He had great-grandchildren. So Krsna is always a youth. These are the statements of the Vedic literatures.
But if we simply read the Vedic literatures as a formality, it will be very difficult to understand what Krsna isalthough all the Vedas are meant for understanding Krsna. In the Bhagavad-gita [15.15] Krsna says, vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah: “By all the Vedas it is I who am to be known:” What is the use of studying the Vedas if you do not understand Krsna? The ultimate goal of education is to understand the Supreme Lord, the supreme father, the supreme cause. As it is said in the Vedanta-sutra, athato brahma jijnasa “Now in the human form of life is the time to discuss the Supreme Absolute Truth, Brahman:”
And what is this Brahman? Janmady asya yatah. Brahman is the one from whom everything emanates. So science and philosophy mean finding out the ultimate cause of everything. And this we are getting from the Vedic literature that Krsna is sarva-karana-karanam, the cause of all causes.
Just try to understand. For instance, I am caused by my father; my father is caused by his father; he is caused by his father, who is caused by his father . . . In this way if you go on searching, then you’ll ultimately come to someone who is the cause that has no cause. Anadir adir govindah: the cause that has no cause is Govinda Krsna. I may be the cause of my son, but at the same time I am the result of another cause (my father). But the Vedic literatures say that Krsna is the original person; He has no cause. That is Krsna.
Therefore Krsna says, “Just try to learn about the transcendental nature of My advent and activities.” The advent of Krsna it is a very important thing. We should try to understand Krsna, why He makes His advent, why He comes down to this material world, what His business is, what His activities are. If we simply try to understand Krsna, then what will be the result? The result will be tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so’rjuna: we will get immortality.
The aim of life is amrtatvaya kalpate, to achieve immortality. So today, on the advent of Krsna, we shall try to understand the philosophy of Krsna.