Srila Prabhupada gave an invigorating class this morning, emphasizing the difference between modern and Vedic education. In the verse, Lord Rishabhadeva instructs His sons not to remain in ignorance, abodha-jatah, and thence be subject to sinful reactions. Prabhupada compared this with the phrase Lord Krishna uses in the Gita 10:9, bodhayantah parasparam, which he translates as "always enlightening one another." Strongly condemning modern education, he said that those who are without any idea of spiritual enquiry are simply dull like trees, which do not protest even as they are cut down. Similarly, although we are being cut down by the miseries of old age, disease, and death, we never inquire about how to stop this process. Real education lies in spiritual inquiry. One who has bodha becomes budha, and to get out of ignorance we have to approach such a person. "Budha bhava samanvitah?one who knows what is the destination of life. So one has to approach a budha. Therefore Lord Buddha's name is Buddha. From this bodha. He has understood everything. He was a prince, and he never came out of the palace. When he came out he saw one old man with a stick, with great difficulty walking. So he inquired of his servants, 'What is this?' 'This is old man. Everyone has to become like this.' That was the inspiration of understanding. Why he should be like that? Why one should become old man? Why he should walk on sticks? So these inquiries made him Buddha, Lord Buddha, by meditation. That is his pastime. That means one should understand by nature study, why this man is diseased, why this man is old, why this man is suffering. Then bodhayantah parasparam?the inquisitiveness can lead him to the proper knowledge."
Proper knowledge, he said, is attainable by approaching a guru. And he laid great stress on what the proper attitude must be in order to get benefit from such an approach. "To accept guru means the disciple should be very, very eager to know. Sad dharma pricchat. Adau gurvasrayam. Why you accept a guru? 'It is a fashion.' Fashion. 'Everyone has guru. Everyone has a dog. Well, let me keep a dog.' Like that. A pet dog. So similarly, to keep a pet guru. It should not . . . One should be very inquisitive. And everywhere the same thing, tad viddhi pranipatena paripras-nena sevaya [Bg. 4.34]. But don't make inquiries cheap: 'Here is my guru, and he's meant for answering all my questions. Let me go on questioning, questioning, questioning.' No. Sevaya. You must serve. You must be ready to serve him. Then you have got right to make question. Otherwise not. Two things; first of all, you must find out a person where you can fully surrender, pranipatena. And then you can inquire, and the inquiry should be compensated by seva. The more you are inclined to render seva, the more the truth becomes revealed: yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau/ tasyaite kathita hy arthah prakasante mahatmanah [SU 6.23]. It is a different science. The more you are inclined to render service, the more spiritual truth becomes revealed. If you are not inquisitive, don't bother yourself to have a guru. Useless. There is no need."
Referring to our human propensity to make plans for happiness, Prabhupada differentiated between the results of modern education and the knowledge coming from Krishna. "So this abodha jatah, this rascal civilization, whatever they are planning, whatever they are doing, that is simply defeat. He does not know what is the aim of life. They are being defeated. This life I have become prime minister, making so many plans and so many things and so many things; next life I become a dog. That you cannot check. The God's law or nature's law will not take account of your premiership, prime ministership. What you are actually?that is nature's law. Krishna is there within your heart. Outwardly you become a very big man?minister, president, and so on?and God is seeing within what you are. Within. Isvarah sarva bhutanam hrid dese 'rjuna tishthati [Bg. 18.61]. Within you are a dog, and outside if you are a president, that will not help you. Therefore whatever plan they are making, that's all defeat.
"Plan making is already there. Krishna has given plan gradually. The last plan is sarva dharman parityajya mam ekamsaranam vraja. This is real plan. This is Krishna has given so many plans: karma yogi, dhyana yogi, this yogi, that. But everywhere He has concluded that the real plan is how to become Krishna conscious. That is the real plan . . . If you do not get success, what is the use of your working so hard?
"So without consulting sastra, without consulting guru, without consulting Krishna . . . Krishna is so kind, He has given. He has come to help you because you are being misled by the so called leaders. These rascals, these leaders, they will simply mislead you. Andha yathandhair upaniyamanas. They are blind. They do not know how to live. They do not know. Therefore Krishna personally comes: 'All right. I shall lead you. Take My advice, take My instruction, and ultimately surrender unto Me. Then I'll lead you back to home, back to Godhead.' "