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We Worship Everything

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A conversation with His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, if material nature is the absence of Krishna, then what is material?

Srila Prabhupada: Nothing is material. If you continue Krishna consciousness, there’s nothing material. When we offer this flower in Krishna consciousness, is it material?

Devotee: No.

Srila Prabhupada: So how has it become spiritual? It was material in the tree and now it has become spiritual? No. It is spiritual. As long as I was thinking that it is meant for my enjoyment, it was material. As soon as I take it for Krishna’s enjoyment, it is spiritual.

Devotee: So actually this entire world is spiritual.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. That we want—to engage everything in Krishna’s service. Then this world will be the spiritual world.

Devotee: So we can also appreciate Krishna’s creation in that light? For example, this flower is very beautiful because it is Krishna’s.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. We realize that. The Mayavada philosophy says jagan mithya: “This world is false.” We don’t say that. Krishna has created so many nice things for His enjoyment, why shall I say mithya [false]? Suppose you build a nice house and you call me, “Just see,” and if I say, “It is all mithya.”

Devotee: I’ll be offended, because I can’t enjoy it if it is false.

Srila Prabhupada [Laughing.]: How depressed you’ll be!

The Bhagavad-gita explains that the demons say like this—asatyam apratishtham te jagad ahur anishvaram. The rascals, the demons say that this world is asatya, untruth, and that there is no cause, no ishvara. This is the declaration of the demons.

But if Krishna is a fact, His creation is a fact. His energy is a fact. Why shall I say it is false? We don’t say it is false. The Mayavadis say it is false.

Devotee: If someone looks at the Deity of Krishna and thinks it’s only stone or wood, for him it’s still material?

Srila Prabhupada: That is his ignorance. How can it be material? The stone is also Krishna’s energy. For example, electricity is everywhere, and the electrician knows how to utilize it. Similarly, Krishna is everywhere, even in the stone, and the devotees know how to utilize stone to appreciate Krishna. The rascals do not know. The devotee knows because he has no other view than of Krishna. Why should the stone be without Krishna? “Here is Krishna.” That is real oneness. The Mayavadi philosophers propose oneness, but they divide—this is stone, this is not Krishna. Why bring another thing?

Devotee: For a Krishna conscious person is Krishna as much in the stone as in the Deity?

Srila Prabhupada: Yes.

Devotee: Just as much?

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Why not?

Devotee: But we order Deities all the way from India?

Srila Prabhupada: Krishna explains, “Everything is in Me, but I’m not everything.” This is called acintya- bhedabheda—simultaneous oneness and difference. Everything is Krishna, but you cannot worship this bench as Krishna. That is rascaldom.

The sunshine is also sun. Is it not? But when the sunshine is in the room, you cannot say, “The sun is my room.” This is called acintya-bhedabheda.

Devotee: But you said one can see Krishna within the stone.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Why not?

Devotee: And one can worship Him within the stone or within everything.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. We worship everything. We see Krishna everywhere. We don’t see the tree; we see Krishna’s energy. Therefore the tree is also worshipable because Krishna and Krishna’s energy are both worshipable. Therefore we say, “Hare Krishna.” Hare means Krishna’s energy. We worship everything.

In our childhood we were taught by our parents that if a grain of rice falls on the floor, we must pick it up and touch it to our head to show respect. We were taught like this—how to see everything in relationship with Krishna. That is Krishna consciousness.

Therefore, we do not like to see anything wasted, anything misused. Why are we preaching? Because we see that so many rascals are misusing their life. We think, “Let us give them some enlightenment.” This is our mission.

We could think, “Let them go to hell.” Mayavadi sannyasis engage in meditation or go to the Himalayas, but we have come to Los Angeles. Why? This is our mission. “Oh, these people are being misused under maya. Let them gain some enlightenment.”

We are teaching how to utilize everything for Krishna, how to understand Krishna in everything. That is our mission. See Krishna in everything. Krishna says, “Anyone who sees Me everywhere, and everything in Me, is perfect.”