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Guest: Uh, I heard it said that you have perfect enlightenment. If this is true, I'd like to know what does that mean?

Prabhupāda: That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Guest: Well, is everybody who is a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, initiated, do they all have perfect enlightenment?

Prabhupāda: Yes. That I just now explained. That is liberation. I am identified just now with this matter. "I am this body, I belong to this country, I belong to this world." This is illusion. And as soon as I can understand that I belong to none of these, I belong to Kṛṣṇa, that is enlightenment. Simply changing the understanding. It is not very difficult. But it is difficult one who cannot understand. That is another thing. But if one can understand this fact, then he's immediately enlightened. Just like this light, it is now enlightened. There is illumination. And as soon as the switch is off, immediately darkness. And switch is on, immediately light. So it is not very difficult to understand what is enlightenment. Enlightened means ahaṁ brahmāsmi. I do not belong to this material world. I belong to the Supreme Spirit. That conviction makes you enlightened. So anyone who has got this conviction, he's enlightened. This is not very difficult.

Guest: Although all of the initiates, everybody who has been initiated into Kṛṣṇa consciousness...

Prabhupāda: So initiation means the beginning. The very word initiation means if you are engaged in some work, just in the beginning, that is called initiation. Initiation is not the end. Initiation means you agree to enter into the world of enlightenment. And if you make progress, then more you make progress, more you become enlightened. Initiation means the beginning. This is the dictionary word meaning, initiation. What is that meaning, Hayagrīva? Is that...?

Hayagrīva: Yes. Beginning.

Prabhupāda: Beginning. If you begin, agree to execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that is called initiation.

Guest: How many other people are there on this planet who have made as much spiritual progress as you have?

Prabhupāda: Many. But not many, but there are many also. There is no statistics in my possession. But... The formula is that what is the use of taking statistics how many there are? Why don't you become one of them? (laughter) Why you are wasting time in that way? These are not very intellectual questions. You just try to become enlightened. What is use of who is enlightened or not. You try to be enlightened. That's all. You are going somewhere, purchasing the plane ticket. Do you ask, "How many tickets you have sold?" Huh? What is the use of? You just purchase your ticket and get on the airplane and go. (laughter) Don't waste your valuable time in that way. If you are serious, just purchase ticket and get on the airplane and pass on. That's all.

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Los Angeles, December 13, 1968)
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