Continued from previous page… There is a spiritual sky. There is another nature, which is beyond manifestation and nonmanifestation. But how will you know that there is a sky where the planets and inhabitants are eternal? All this knowledge is there, but how will you make experiments? It is not possible. Therefore you have to take the assistance of the Vedas. This is called Vedic knowledge. In our Krishna consciousness movement we are accepting knowledge from the highest authority, Krishna. Krishna is accepted as the highest authority by all classes of men.
I am speaking first of the two classes of transcendentalists.
One class of transcendentalists is called impersonalistic, Mayavadi. They are generally known as Vedantists, led by Shankaracharya. And there is another class of transcendentalists, called Vaishnavas, like Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Vishnu Svami. Both the Shankara-sampradaya and the Vaishnava-sampradaya have accepted Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Shankaracharya is supposed to be an impersonalist who preached impersonalism, impersonal Brahman, but it is a fact that he is a covered personalist. In his commentary on the Bhagavad-gita he wrote, “Narayana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is beyond this cosmic manifestation.” And then again he confirmed, “That Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, is Krishna. He has come as the son of Devaki and Vasudeva.” He particularly mentioned the names of His father and mother. So Krishna is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead by all transcendentalists. There is no doubt about it.
Our source of knowledge in Krishna consciousness is the Bhagavad-gita, which comes directly from Krishna. We have published Bhagavad-gita As It Is because we accept Krishna as He is speaking, without any interpretation. That is Vedic knowledge. Since the Vedic knowledge is pure, we accept it. Whatever Krishna says, we accept. This is Krishna consciousness. That saves much time. If you accept the right authority, or source of knowledge, then you save much time. For example, there are two systems of knowledge in the material world: inductive and deductive. From deductive, you accept that man is mortal. Your father says man is mortal, your sister says man is mortal, everyone says man is mortal—but you do not experiment. You accept it as a fact that man is mortal. If you want to research to find out whether man is mortal, you have to study each and every man, and you may come to think that there may be some man who is not dying but you have not seen him yet. So in this way your research will never be finished. In Sanskrit this process is called aroha, the ascending process. If you want to attain knowledge by any personal endeavor, by exercising your imperfect senses, you will never come to the right conclusions. That is not possible.
There is a statement in the Brahma-samhita: Just ride on the airplane which runs at the speed of mind. Our material airplanes can run two thousand miles per hour, but what is the speed of mind? You are sitting at home, you immediately think of India—say, ten thousand miles away—and at once it is in your home. Your mind has gone there. The mind-speed is so swift. Therefore it is stated, “If you travel at this speed for millions of years, you’ll find that the spiritual sky is unlimited.” It is not possible even to approach it. Therefore, the Vedic injunction is that one must approach—the word “compulsory” is used—a bona fide spiritual master, a guru. And what is the qualification of a spiritual master? He is one who has rightly heard the Vedic message from the right source. And he must practically be firmly established in Brahman. These are the two qualities he must have. Otherwise he is not bona fide.
This Krishna consciousness movement is completely authorized from Vedic principles. In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna says, “The actual aim of Vedic research is to find out Krishna.” In the Brahma-samhita it is also stated, “Krishna, Govinda, has innumerable forms, but they are all one.” They are not like our forms, which are fallible. His form is infallible. My form has a beginning, but His form has no beginning. It is ananta. And His form—so many multiforms—has no end. My form is sitting here and not in my apartment. You are sitting there and not in your apartment. But Krishna can be everywhere at one time. He can sit down in Goloka Vrindavana, and at the same time He is everywhere, all-pervading.
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Source: Sri Isopanishad – Introduction by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Copyright BBT International http://www.vedabase.com/en/iso
(Delivered as a lecture by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on October 6, 1969, at Conway Hall, London, England.)