(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada and his books)
"A person who acts exactly according to the tenets of scripture is called śāstra-cakṣus. Śāstra-cakṣus means one who sees through the eyes of the authorized scriptures. Actually, any man of knowledge and experience should see everything through these books. For example, with our naked eye we perceive the sun globe simply as some glaring substance, but when we see through authorized books of science and other literature, we can understand how much greater the sun globe is than this earth and how powerful it is. So seeing things through the naked eye is not actually seeing. Seeing things through the authorized books or authorized teachers is the correct way to see. So, although Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and can see all that is past, present and future, to teach the people in general He used to always refer to the scriptures. For example, in Bhagavad-gītā, although Kṛṣṇa was speaking as the supreme authority, He still mentioned and quoted Vedānta-sūtra as authority."
(Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 21)
"First thing is that the senses with which you are studying, they are imperfect. What is the value of our eyes? Unless there is sunlight, you cannot see. So how can you say that 'Our seeing is absolute'? It is relative. So whatever knowledge we are getting, they're all relative knowledge. Relative means according to my power I am studying, 'This is this. This is this.' But they are all wrong. You do not know what is actually the position. Therefore the conclusion is that we have to take knowledge from the perfect. Śāstra-cakṣusā."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Tokyo, April 23, 1972)
"So śāstra-cakṣusā. Everything we have to take from the śāstra. Because we are blind now. Śāstra-cakṣusā. Our, the śāstra-jñāna, because the spiritual master enlightens the disciple with śāstra-jñāna, therefore he is spiritual master. If the spiritual master bluffs the disciple, then he is not spiritual master. Bluffing. No.
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-guruve namaḥ
This is guru. Guru means he'll always enlighten the disciples with the light of śāstra. Not that he will say, 'There is no need of śāstra. I am incarnation. I, whatever I speak, you take it.' No. This is rascal. You should immediately, who has no reference to the śāstra, immediately take him as a rascal number one. This is the conclusion."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, London, July 20, 1973)
"So we have to study. If we are serious student of Kṛṣṇa, then in the śāstras everything is there. So when we understand the greatness of Kṛṣṇa, then we become more attached. More attached. The greatness attracts. Suppose a man is very exalted position. He attracts the attention. Similarly, if we know the greatness of... One who does not know the greatness of Kṛṣṇa, he thinks Kṛṣṇa, 'Yes...," that kūpa-maṇḍūka-nyāya, Doctor Frog: 'Maybe little greater than me. That's all.' Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhāḥ (BG 9.11). Such person thinks Kṛṣṇa as one of them, and therefore it has become a very fashionable thing to become Kṛṣṇa's avatāra, very cheaply. No. They do not know actually what is Kṛṣṇa's position.
Kṛṣṇa's position, if one understands, then he is liberated person. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti (BG 4.9). He's liberated person, even in this body. Simply by knowing how great Kṛṣṇa is, simply by knowing this fact, how Kṛṣṇa... Then one understands that mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate, iti matvā bhajante mām... Then our bhajana for Kṛṣṇa's service will become very much fixed-up and determined. Budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ (BG 10.8). This is bhāva. Bhāva means... One can understand very easily: when you are fully conscious of something, greatness, 'Oh, Kṛṣṇa is so great,' that is called bhāva. That can be understood. It is not very difficult. Because in the śāstras everything is there about Kṛṣṇa. Simply we have to take it, accept it. And if we do not believe śāstra, then there is no, I mean, use of understanding Kṛṣṇa. Śāstra-cakṣusā. You have to see... Kṛṣṇa is adhokṣaja, beyond the perception, sense perception. But through the śāstra we can understand little bit of Kṛṣṇa. It is very difficult to know. We cannot understand. Kṛṣṇa is unlimited; we are limited. Still, whatever limited power we have got, we can understand Kṛṣṇa if we follow the śāstra, sādhu and guru. Sādhu-śāstra-guru-vākya tinete kariyā aikya."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Bombay, March 30, 1974)
"How we can guide the people? How we can become teacher? How we can become leader? Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ, yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape (SB 7.5.31). Andha. I am andha, blind, and I try to lead others, andhas. Therefore there must be chaos. This will not help us. We must see through the eyes of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We must study Bhagavad-gītā perfectly well. How to read? Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam (BG 4.2), through the disciplic succession. As Kṛṣṇa said, you have to accept that teaching through the disciplic succession, not concocted meanings: 'Oh, I am a very good scholar. I passed my D.H.C. or M.A.C. or M.A. I can comment on Bhagavad-gītā in my own way." That is rascaldom. That is not understanding of Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā means you must understand what Kṛṣṇa says. That is understanding. But generally it is done, 'Kill Kṛṣṇa. There was no Kṛṣṇa. There was no battlefield. There was no Mahābhārata. I have my concoction about Kṛṣṇa.' This kind of commentary and understanding of Bhagavad-gītā has spoiled the whole world. Therefore in the Western countries so many svāmīs and yogīs went there and they misrepresented Bhagavad-gītā.
Of course, everyone knows in Western country Bhagavad-gītā. Every institution, every gentleman, learned man, knows that there is a nice book, Bhagavad-gītā, but they read these faulty commentaries. They cannot understand. Now we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is, and they are now understanding what is real Bhagavad-gītā. Therefore they are now devotees. For the last two hundred years, so many svāmīs and yogīs went there and talked about Bhagavad-gītā. Not a single person became a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Now you will find thousands. Why? The Bhagavad-gītā is being accepted as it is. This is the secret of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
So our only request is that if you want happiness, if you want to prosper, make your life successful, you must read Bhagavad-gītā thoroughly, as it is, as Kṛṣṇa says. Don't try to misinterpret, 'Kṛṣṇa means this,' and 'Pāṇḍava means this' and 'This means this.' Don't make this foolish rascaldom. Take as it is, Bhagavad-gītā."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Bombay, April 2, 1974)
"God is guru, original guru. God gave lessons to Brahmā. Brahmā gave lessons to Nārada. Nārada gave lessons to Vyāsadeva. Vyāsadeva gave lessons to us. This is Vyāsadeva's contribution. And if you follow this disciplic succession, then you get perfect knowledge. Otherwise, if you speculate, then you are in darkness, tamasi. What power you have got? All your senses are imperfect. How you can get perfect knowledge? That is not possible. Therefore the injunction is, tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12): 'You must go to guru.' And who is guru? This paramparā system. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2).
So this is the process. If you want perfect knowledge, you must approach guru. And who is guru? Guru means the representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyān nāvamanyeta karhicit (SB 11.17.27). 'Ācārya,' Kṛṣṇa says, māṁ vijānīyāt, 'he is Myself. I am. Because he is My perfect representative—he won't speak anything nonsense; he will speak something or everything which he has heard from Me—therefore he is ācārya.' Ācārya means one who knows the śāstra and practically uses in his life, and the same thing, he teaches to his disciple. That is called ācārya. Ācārya is not a self-made man. No. Ācārya means ācinoti yaḥ śāstrāṇi. One who understand the śāstra, the Vedic śāstra, and practices in life and teaches the same thing to his student—that is called ācārya. So ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyān nāvamanyeta karhicit, na asūyeta martya-buddhyā (SB 11.17.27).
So ācārya should not be considered as ordinary man, because he is representative of Kṛṣṇa. Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstraiḥ. Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says, 'All the śāstras...' The śāstra is the basic strength, platform. So all the śāstra says the ācārya: 'He is representative of the Supreme Lord.' So sākṣād-dharitvena. Sākṣāt: not indirectly, supposingly. No. Directly, sākṣāt. Sākṣāt means directly."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Bombay, January 9, 1975)