When we talk of spiritual topics as we do on this Hare Krishna program, we
are only speaking of that knowledge that has been given us by our guru, our
spiritual teacher, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the
International Society for Krishna Consciousness, is unique because he taught
all over the world that the Vedic literatures like the Bhagavad-gita and the
Bhagavat Purana should be accepted exactly as they are without any undue
interpretation or change.
This might not seem very astonishing to the casual student of the Vedic
literatures if there are such persons at all, but actually people who do have
some knowledge about the ancient book known as the Bhagavad-gita generally do
not realize that the Gita is factual history, not mythology.
We are sorry to say that some great personalities, even the late, great
"Mahatma" Gandhi did not actually think that the Gita was historical but he
felt that the Gita was allegorical. And even today in a recent India Tribune
Newspaper article, the author makes reference to the Hindu culture which, in
his opinion, is held together by the belief in the mythological King, Lord
Why are they taking the knowledge of the great Vedic literatures as
mythology? The great books known as Mahabharata written by Shrila Vyasadeva
and the Ramayana written by the sage Valmiki are actual historical works
recounting the glorious days when the Supreme Lord actually walked on the
Earth as common men do, but by His uncommon activities, that Supreme Lord
showed His supreme position.
For example, Lord Ramachandra built a bridge from the mainland of India to
the island of Shri Lanka by floating huge boulders in the water. This is not
very astonishing for God. We give God credit for creating the entire universe
with its countless number of planets of different varieties and He floats such
huge planets in the vast ocean of outer space just like balloons in the air.
So why can't he float some small rocks in the ocean to build a bridge from
India to Shri Lanka? Not only Lord Rama but other agents of God like Lord
Jesus Christ displayed many astonishing spiritual powers which are the
characteristics of such great personalities.
So when people start to minimize the powers of God and the historical events
surrounding His appearance on earth, they become increasingly faithless and
degraded. Just like Robert Sherman, local atheistic activist, he and his
athiestic friends protested recently on a college campus holding signs that
read, "God is make believe."
So sure, it's not at all easy to accept the existence of a person you can't
even see who displays such uncommon and unbelievable powers that when we hear
of them we think that such so-called historic accounts as found in the Vedic
literatures are merely the creation of a fertile imagination. We should turn
our attention to more important and down-to- earth concerns like how to work
hard to make our weekly salaries.
Of course not. Our spiritual life should have first priority. We admit,
understanding God takes a great deal of humility, a commodity that's rare in
these days. But as long as we are skeptical about the unconcievable powers of
the Lord as given in the Vedic literatures, we cannot make any advancement in
spiritual understanding. Another thing, this Krishna movement is not only for
the Indians or Hindus as they like to refer to themselves, but it is meant for
all humanity. But if the Hindus simply prefer to neglect the validity of the
Gita and Ramayana, they'll have to remain athiestic despite their outward
display of religious culture. They have just begun to get absorbed in the
degraded Western culture which is foreign to the values of their native India
where there is still some remanants of the ancient Vedic civilized life. In
that way of life, they used to work hard to understand God, but in Western
life, God is being reduced to mythology.