His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
August 13, 1973, Paris
Yogesvara: …Mr. Belfiore and his wife Mrs. Belfiore. Mr. Belfiore is the inspector general for the French area, Paris area, for the Rosicrucian movement, the Rosicrucian order.
Prabhupada: What is that Rosicrucian?
Yogesvara: It is a very big religious movement all around the world. (Yogesvara speaks in French with Mr. Belfiore and then translates for Srila Prabhupada throughout) He says our movement is very well known in the United States. Have you never come across our society?
Prabhupada: What is the aim of this movement?
Yogesvara: The evolution of man.
Prabhupada: Evolution of man. So man is going to evolve more? What is that ultimate evolution?
Yogesvara: To a reintegration of man with the cosmos or cosmic consciousness.
Prabhupada: Cosmic consciousness. We also believe individual consciousness and cosmic consciousness. We are now studying this subject matter in our class. Ksetra-ksetra-jna. So ksetra-jna, the knower… The individual soul is also knower, conscious, and the Supersoul, God, is also conscious. So we also admit, universal consciousness, that is God’s consciousness. [break]… consciousness is limited.
Yogesvara: [break] …is studying the same thing.
Prabhupada: Yes. So that is the evolution, when our consciousness is in agreement with the supreme consciousness. [break] That is Krsna consciousness.
Yogesvara: He says that the Rosicrucian order is a mystical and philosophical order that allows its students…
Prabhupada: Who is Rosin? He is a philosopher?
Yogesvara: He says that the term Rosicrucian means, it’s an image of a cross with a rose in the center. It means that the disciple is aspiring towards the perfection of his consciousness and that this also means the perfection of consciousness.
Prabhupada: So what is the ideal of that perfection of consciousness?
Yogesvara: He says it is love.
Prabhupada: Love, that’s nice. Very good. So the supreme consciousness and our individual consciousness, when they are in exchange of love, that is perfection. Is that…?
Yogesvara: [break] …that this ultimate consciousness is one of union with the Absolute, that it is one of light, of samadhi, of total love. This is the highest.
Prabhupada: So love, love. When we speak of love, there must be two persons. (Yogesvara translates) So what is their philosophy?
Yogesvara: The love of which they are speaking is a love that binds everything together, that bathes everything in light and love.
Prabhupada: So there is no action? No action?
Yogesvara: No, he says there is action.
Prabhupada: What are those activities?
Prabhupada: Giving and taking also. [break]
Yogesvara: …there is giving. There is also taking. But it’s not… The person who has achieved this ultimate perfection, whenever he takes, he immediately gives it to someone else.
Prabhupada: That’s all right. The transaction between two lovers, one gives, another takes. Sometimes one gives, another takes, another gives, and one takes. This is exchange. Similarly, feeding. I give something to my beloved to eat something. He also gives me something. I eat also. Similarly, I disclose my confidence unto my beloved. My beloved also discloses her or his confidence. These are loving exchanges.
Yogesvara: He says that he understands that we are talking of love meaning two people, but does that mean that… Why can’t we think of love in terms of an exchange between man and everything, between man and the cosmos?
Prabhupada: Yes, yes. Cosmos represents, as he says, consciousness. That is the person, consciousness. Just like if I love a tree, I love the leaves and twigs also. If I pour water on the root of the tree, it goes to the leaves, twigs, branches, automatically. So if we love the supreme consciousness, Supreme Person, who has got universal consciousness, then automatically my service goes to everywhere.
Yogesvara: This is also what their philosophy is, he says.
Prabhupada: So you cannot love everyone and anyone or everything without finding out the original source of everything.
Yogesvara: The Rosicrucian order is a school that teaches its students to progress step by step towards that ultimate source of all sources.
Prabhupada: So what is that step? What is that step?
Yogesvara: He says it’s a gradual progress, that their students come, they receive initiation and then they are guided. They are given certain principles, certain practices, and then gradually, at their own rate, by their own powers, they ultimately arrive at perfection.
Prabhupada: So what is that ideal of perfection?
Yogesvara: That it is nirvana, it is the kingdom of Lord Jesus Christ. He says it is the ultimate point for which all men are ultimately striving.
Prabhupada: So what is that? Nirvana means zero. Everyone is trying for the zero?
Yogesvara: [break] Nirvana means something different for them?
Prabhupada: What is that?
Yogesvara: [break] He says it is an entering into something that is alive and real.
Prabhupada: Nirvana, this word is Sanskrit word. Nirvana means finish. [break]
Yogesvara: For them the word nirvana means an end but an end to this material existence and an entrance into the silence of the Absolute, onto a level that is real, whereas this one is false. This one is rejected.
Prabhupada: Why silence?
Yogesvara: He says the term “entering into silence” is a mystic term that means…
Prabhupada: He cannot explain. [break]
Yogesvara: …it is undescribable because it’s something that’s arrived at inside through meditation. You can’t really describe it in words?
Prabhupada: Why? You are describing so many thing in words and the ultimate goal you cannot describe.
Yogesvara: He says that many great masters like you from the East tend to smile at their explanations, but he…
Guru Gauranga: They tend to smile when this question is asked, “Who am I?” So what can I say compared to these masters?
Prabhupada: That means his knowledge is not perfect.
Guru Gauranga: His knowledge is not perfect, and like us, he is simply trying for perfect knowledge.
Prabhupada: So unless you have got your goal perfectly known, how you can make progress? [break]
Guru Gauranga: …their organization is the guru, and their whole organization knows the ultimate goal which they can attain.
Prabhupada: And he is part of that organization. He does not know.
Guru Gauranga: He says that evolution of man which is the goal of this order is something that is mystical. It is not scientific, that it is so easily…
Prabhupada: That means it is pale. It is not distinct.
Yogesvara: He says he is surprised that we raise such objections. He thought that we were also searching for something mystical. He says he’s heard our chanting.
Prabhupada: Who, who? Who?
Yogesvara: He said he thought we were also searching.
Prabhupada: No, no, we have got definite goal, Krsna… We have got definite goal, Krsna… [break] …Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He has got His form, He has got His place, He has got His name, He has got His pastimes, and we want to enter in that kingdom.
Yogesvara: He says that he thought that in our movement we were following Ramakrishna who had discovered everything.
Prabhupada: No, no. Ramakrishna we kick out. We don’t.
Yogesvara: He says he’s not familiar personally with him.
Prabhupada: Ramakrishna is bogus.
Yogesvara: He says that this is not a new order, this Rosicrucian order. It goes back at least as far as Ancient Egypt.
Prabhupada: That’s all right, but you do not know what is the aim of your this progress.
Yogesvara: He says all he can is repeat to you his answer previously, which is that (it) is to reach the perfection of consciousness at which point man is in communion, in unity with the beyond. He calls it the cela (French), “the inexplicable.”
Prabhupada: But he cannot express what is that beyond. But he cannot describe what is God. That is imperfect knowledge.
Yogesvara: He says that communion with God is something that is subjective; it’s something you experience, not that you describe.
Prabhupada: That is not perfect.
Yogesvara: He says that according to every individual’s place of birth, his age, his upbringing, he will experience this communion with God differently.
Prabhupada: No. God is God. If the experience will have to be taken from God, then it will be equally most possibility for everyone.
Yogesvara: He says what they are looking for in the Rosicrucian order is the ultimate realization when all these other relative communions with God will disappear and there will be one common realization, experience of God.
Prabhupada: Yes, that’s all right. But if you cannot describe what is that ultimate goal, then how others can be attracted? [break]
Yogesvara: …but in their society they have many different religions, many different groups, and they don’t ask anyone to leave being Christian or Jew or Muslim or Hindu or anything like that.
Prabhupada: So we are not asking in that way. We are asking, “What is that ultimate goal?” [break]
Yogesvara: …ultimately, by following a process that the Rosicrucian order gives its students, one reaches the goal.
Prabhupada: That’s all right. Suppose if I am going to London. So unless I am interested to go to London, what is the use of knowing how to go to London?
Yogesvara: Their students feel the need for this ultimate perfection and that’s why they come to the movement.
Prabhupada: But if he does not know what is ultimate perfection, this is bogus.
Yogesvara: [break] …realization of God.
Prabhupada: That’s all right. Just like if I say that “If you do like this, you can make one million dollars.” But you know what is the value of one millions dollars; then you endeavor. But if we don’t know what is that one million dollars, why should we endeavor?
Yogesvara: No, he said, all of their students, they know the value of realizing God in their heart.
Prabhupada: How do they know? How do they know?
Yogesvara: There are already people who are aspiring after a richer, more spiritual life.
Prabhupada: What is that spiritual life? [break]
Yogesvara: …high spiritual values, the things…
Prabhupada: These are simply words. What is the spiritual life. I want to know. [break] …is useless.
Yogesvara: He says when God. He is just using a lot of names.
Prabhupada: He is simply speaking. He does not know what is the aim, what is the goal, what is spiritual life… [break] …no tangible knowledge of everything, what I ask. As I asked you what is spiritual life, he cannot describe. [break] …distinguish between spiritual life and material life?
Yogesvara: [break]… as we can have spiritual realization and still live in the material world.
Prabhupada: But what is the spiritual life? What is the distinction between spiritual life and material life? What is the goal? He cannot define Spiritual life.
Yogesvara: [break]…want to know how does a person who is realized the perfection live.
Prabhupada: Yes. [break]
Yogesvara: …tolerant. Above all, he is tolerant.
Prabhupada: Tolerant. Spiritual life. That is also spiritual life. That’s all. So in their way of spiritual life, what are the process? There must be some process, definite process.
Yogesvara: [break] …that comes when you become initiated in the movement. They give you the process for arriving at this tolerance.
Prabhupada: That’s all right. But suppose I want to enter. So you must give me some formula that “You have to do this like this.” Otherwise how can I enter?
Yogesvara: He says there are many different techniques, but ultimately they are really all the same because they lead to the same conclusion. [break]
Prabhupada: …those techniques? Let him say some of the techniques.
Yogesvara: He says the first thing is that we have to awaken our internal consciousness which is ninety percent asleep.
Prabhupada: So what is the process?
Yogesvara: I don’t care to talk about them here.
Prabhupada: Then how can I accept it? I cannot enter into some vague thing.
Yogesvara: All the systems have to do with meditation, concentration, things that will reawaken your consciousness.
Prabhupada: What is the object of meditation?
Yogesvara: [break] …different objects, many different.
Prabhupada: But tell one of them.
Yogesvara: The body for example. [break] He says that there is “the eternal meditation number three.”
Prabhupada: So what is the number one?
Yogesvara: He says that this one is one that’s basic. It is given to all their students.
Prabhupada: Number three, and no number one. [break]
Guru Gauranga: …wants to say that you will meditate on the number three and this was that you would wake up the consciousness in your body starting from the tips of your toes and working up like this. And it may seem easy to you, but all the great masters of the Orient have taught this and no one can succeed without doing this.
Prabhupada: That means their knowledge is not perfect. It is all bogus. [break] …if you meditate on the body what do you gain?
Yogesvara: To wake up your psychic consciousness which is sleeping inside this body.
Prabhupada: But you tell me, what is that process?
Yogesvara: Well, “meditation number three” is to… [break] He says he would like to talk to you a little bit about a book he is reading which describes how the Russians have just discovered the soul. They have photographed the soul, he says,…
French guest devotee: No, no, the aura.
Yogesvara: …how they have, the Russians have found the soul and they have described all the different phenomena of para-psychology and extra sensory perception, and he said it’s an incredible book, and the Russians have made great discoveries. He hasn’t finished the book yet.
Prabhupada: That is Russians. I am asking him about his…
Yogesvara: He says that the Rosicrucians they know what is the duty of human life.
Prabhupada: What is that?
Yogesvara: The destiny of human life.
Guru Gauranga: :…the soul is a state, of crystik consciousness, Nirvana, call it what you will.
Prabhupada: That cannot be described.
Guru Gauranga: …with an understanding that is a million times beyond our understanding.
Prabhupada: If it is beyond understanding, how can I accept it? [break]
Guru Gauranga: …understanding, and it is translated onto the objective level.
Prabhupada: If I do not understand whom to love, how can I learn?
Guru Gauranga: It is in the heart of everyone. Simply it is a question of repressing the false ego for, eliminating the old man, the false ego.
Prabhupada: What is that?
Yogesvara: I’m not quite sure. He says that he doesn’t understand why you are objecting. He says love is a part of everyone.
Prabhupada: Because if you ask me to love, I want to know what is, whom I shall love.
Yogesvara: A mystic, he loves everything, everyone.
Prabhupada: Is there any example?
Yogesvara: An example is the master of their movement. He was supposed to come, but he was on vacation. But the grand master of their movement, he says, is one example.
Prabhupada: No, suppose to love everyone, that means you love the animals also. Their community allows, animal killing?
Yogesvara: When you come into the movement, there are no regulations required of you. But little by little, it comes to that point. Their experience is that they give their students in the movement… For a short period of time, they are required to give up intoxication and meat and things like that. But it’s not permanent.
Prabhupada: And then they can take.
Yogesvara: Yes, afterwards.
Prabhupada: So why in the beginning stop? Why in the beginning they are requested to give it up? [break]
Yogesvara: Rosicrucian order doesn’t force anything, doesn’t make you do anything. [break] …people that join this organization, only seven succeed.
Prabhupada: Then it cannot be preached among the mass of people.
Guru Gauranga: Some people, when they just can’t make it anymore, they just (indistinct) flip out. (?)
Yogesvara: He says all movements experience the same thing.
Prabhupada: What is that?
Yogesvara: That out of one hundred people…
Prabhupada: One hundred people…, but the ideal must be there. One may follow or not follow.
Yogesvara: Their order doesn’t reject anyone.
Prabhupada: I think… Whether their order approves animal killing?
Yogesvara: There are no restrictions. The order doesn’t require.
Prabhupada: Then let us stop here. No more questions. Waste time.
Yogesvara: He doesn’t like the idea of killing animals, and he has advised that to friends.
Prabhupada: But what is the ideal of the order? That I am asking.
Guru Gauranga: Love between men, understanding.
Prabhupada: What the animals have done? No brotherhood is there.
Yogesvara: He says he loves the animals. He has many animals living with him. He is surrounded by animals, he says.
Prabhupada: That is nice. [break]… a person who is habituated to kill animals, so will he be admitted in the order?
Guru Gauranga: He doesn’t think that someone who kills animals would like to enter, but if a butcher wants to enter, that’s okay, and gradually they’ll elevate him. [break]
Prabhupada: …on principle the order does not allow animal killing, is it?
Yogesvara: They would rather not see anyone killed. Ideally, on an ideal level, their movement would not want to see animals killed, anyone killed.
Prabhupada: Therefore I want to know what are the principles, rules and regulation of the order.
Yogesvara: Their principles are love, beauty, harmony, peace. [break]
Guru Gauranga: He says there are no rules, but as you progress, one initiation after another initiation, if you start out as a butcher, then gradually in your own self, you will wish to give it up. But there are no rules. [break]
Prabhupada: …one initiation after one initiation, there is no progressive rules?
Yogesvara: [break] …that are steps, but the order itself doesn’t require that you give up meat-eating at any point. He says he thinks that the people themselves would probably give it up in the higher stages. He says that their order has a very smart way of doing things, that if they were to try and tell people, “Don’t do this, don’t do this, don’t do that,” right away, nobody would join them. So they don’t say that. [break] They fall away gradually by themselves. [break] …quotes a passage from St. Paul who said if you go and visit someone who is a meat-eater, don’t trouble him. Accept meat with him. The real mystic is someone who has controlled his body.
Prabhupada: That he cannot explain, how to control the body. [break]
Guru Gauranga: …it happens right away, it will happen in awhile.
Prabhupada: At least, I cannot accept this. [break] …if there is definite program. [break] The thing is that if I want to enter your association, you must give me some prescription which if I follow, I’ll make progress. So that is another thing. But you have no prescription. [break]
Yogesvara: :…submit to his grandmaster your request for a specific prescription to be given to you. He’ll send in your application.
Prabhupada: He hasn’t got. [break]
Yogesvara: …make one special just for you.
Prabhupada: But not for general people. [break]
Guru Gauranga: …is that Yogesvara explained the four principles to this man, so the man said, “Yes, very good. Sometime we can get to that too, but it is something that on our own we accept personally. Just like you yourself, Your Divine Grace, you have come to this by accepting it yourself.”
Yogesvara: In other words, “These are nice principles that you are following and we are sure that you have come to these conclusions on your own, just like maybe one day we will come to those conclusions on our own also.” They are something that is self- initiated, these regulative principles.
Prabhupada: So for the time being there is no such rules and regulations? In their order. [break]
Yogesvara: …makes certain suggestions, but it doesn’t oblige anyone to follow their suggestions.
Prabhupada: What is that suggestion?
Yogesvara: The movement suggests that people live a life as perhaps yours is, of purity, and pure thoughts and moral living and even following certain principles of…
Prabhupada: But these things are there, but they don’t say. Suppose a man is killing animals. They don’t prohibit him. Then that is immoral life, but if they don’t prohibit him, then how he can become moral? [break] …killing of animals and morality will go together?
Yogesvara: It’s an order that likes very much the ideals of beauty and harmony and morality, but they can’t see imposing on anyone these things. I guess their idea is that you can’t impose beauty and morality on anyone. You can’t insist that anyone stop killing. You can’t tell anyone forcibly not to do this or not to do that, that these are things that you have to realize.
Prabhupada: But is there such rules and regulation or injunction from the society that “You do not kill.” Just like Bible there is, “You shall not kill.” So they have no such thing.
Yogesvara: He says Jesus ate meat and furthermore there is a sect in the Orient that wears gauze over their mouth so as not to kill microbes while they breathe. But we are killing those microbes. We have killed these flowers.
Prabhupada: So they are to satisfy everyone.
Yogesvara: Don’t you think we are killing other living beings?
Prabhupada: That is another thing. [break]
Yogesvara: …study everything.
Prabhupada: (laughs) They haven’t got their own anything. Simply they are studying.
Yogesvara: Realization is what counts.
Prabhupada: So that he cannot explain, what is the realization. If you cannot describe, then what is the realization?
Yogesvara: He says he is only forty-nine years old. He can’t describe it for you.
Guru Gauranga: He knows the Rosicrucian order is good because everything he has attained in his life, he owes to the order. So he knows it is good by what he has attained.
Prabhupada: That’s all right. But I think for mass of people, unless they have got some ideal, how they can join? That is my point.
Yogesvara: [break] …devotees think, think, “Who am I? Where do I come from? Where am I going?”
Prabhupada: That is nice. [break] …realize what he is.
Yogesvara: If he had not realized something, he would never have come tonight.
Prabhupada: No. Then therefore he can describe what he is.
Yogesvara: He says when Moses saw the burning bush and he asked the fire, “Who are you?” The fire said, “I am what I am.” “Who I am?” that’s a question that you are going to have to answer by your own meditations.
Prabhupada: But what is his meditation? What he has learned?
Yogesvara: The thing to realize, which he has realized a little bit, is peace. And when you join up, you get a letter back, and at the bottom of the letter it says “With our best wishes for your peace and happiness.”
Prabhupada: But that’s all right. Everyone wants that. But what is the process?
Yogesvara: …by praying, courage, by faith. A serious movement, a serious order would never guarantee instantaneous illumination.
Prabhupada: No, that also we say. But we must have the program. Just like he say that “Who am I?” So at least one must know who he is. If this vague reply is “I am what I am…” If I ask you, “you come,” so “Who are you, sir?” then if he says, “I am what I am,” is that the proper answer? (laughter) This is nonsense answer. If I ask you, “Who are you?” If he says, “I am what I am,” is that the proper answer?
Yogesvara: He would tell you his name, Mr. Belfiore. [break]
Guru Gauranga: …that forms his identity is Maurice Belfiore, but the interior, that reality, is different. [break] If we all join up here now in silence and we enter into ourselves and create one person, then we will know who we are from that silence.
Prabhupada: But how it is possible to become silent?
Yogesvara: …many, many births and deaths.
Prabhupada: That’s all right. That’s all right. That’s all right. Now talk [break]
Yogesvara: …privilege for him to be here amongst us.
Prabhupada: Thank him.
Guru Gauranga: Thank you very much and he is going to tell the grandmaster about you.
Yogesvara: Srila Prabhupada, in San Jose, California, their grand emperor of the movement has his, their headquarters. And he said one day perhaps there would be the opportunity…
Prabhupada: No, we have got our temple. (end)