GOD IS A PERSON AND HE SPEAKS

By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada gives the following explanation on a passage from the Bible during a Hare Krishna Festival in Paris, France on June 14, 1974:

The Gospel according to St. John, Chapter One. “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men, and the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.”

Prabhupāda: So now let us conclude that there is God and God’s word. This means God is person. As soon as we accept the word of God, then we have to conclude that God is a person. Just like you are vibrating some words, I am vibrating some words. This means both of us are persons. So the word of God and God is not different. But God is person and He speaks. If He speaks, then He also hears, He also smells, He also eats—everything. All the activities are there. If He cannot hear, then our prayer to Him, “O God, give us our daily bread,” is useless. So from this statement of the scripture, either you take it Bible or Bhagavad-gītā, it is understood that God is a person like you.

That is the statement of the Vedas, nityo nityānām cetanaś cetanānām eko yo bahūnām vidadhāti kāmān (Katha Upaniñad 2.2.13), that God is the Supreme Being. In the dictionary also it is stated, “God means the Supreme Being.” We are all beings, but God is the Supreme Being. Just like in every state, there are citizens, but there is one chief citizen. He is the President or something like that. (noise in the audience)

Jyotirmayī: They don’t like this government example.

Prabhupāda: No, no, it is not example. It is stated in the Vedic literature. Nityo nityānām cetanaś cetanānām. He is the chief living being amongst all living beings. God is eternal; we are also eternal. God is also a living being; we are also a living being. This is the meaning. But God is one; we are many. And what is the significance of that one? That is stated: eko yo bahūnām vidadhāti kāmān. “That ONE is maintaining so many living beings.” That is God.

Because He is a person, we are also person, but He is the person who is maintaining us. Therefore we go to God and beg for our daily bread. So our constitutional position is that we are predominated, and God is predominator. We are very small; God is very great. At the present moment we are defying this position; therefore we are in trouble. In our Krishna consciousness movement we are educating people that “You are always subordinate to Krishna. You surrender unto Him and become happy. Do not remain in rebellious condition of life. Just surrender to God and you will be happy.” That is the final conclusion of Bhagavad-gītā: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekam śaranam vraja [Bg. 18.66].

So we are planning so many things to become happy, but everything is a failure. However, if you take this plan, “Let us surrender to God,” then every problem will be solved. Our Krishna consciousness movement is not that, “You are Hindu. You become Christian,” or “You are Christian. You become Hindu.” That is not our plan. Our only request is that “Every one of you, just try to understand God, love Him and be happy.” The final conclusion in the Bhagavad-gītā is that if you want to be peaceful, if you want the peace of your mind, you should understand three things. God is the supreme enjoyer. He is the proprietor of everything; and He is the friend of everyone. If you merely learn these three things, very scientifically, that God is the proprietor, God is the enjoyer, and God is the supreme friend of everyone, then your life is successful. And these simple things will be understood by you through chanting God’s name:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.

Hare means the energy of God, and Krishna means God, all-attractive. Similarly, Rāma means God. So there are three words in this verse: Hare, Krishna and Rāma.

So anyone can chant these three names and make his life successful. I hope you shall join us in this chanting of the Hare Krishna mahā-mantra.

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