Lecture by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada given at
Boston on May 1, 1969 on the occasion of Lord Narasimha’s Appearance Day
… Narasimhadeva has appeared to convince the atheist (laughter) that there is no God. This is a lying propaganda that nobody has seen God. Everyone has seen God. The devotee sees within his heart, in the temple, and everywhere. And the atheist sees when he's… when the clock, the handles in the clock are over. You see? Prahlada Maharaja was seeing always, constantly Narasimhadeva. Maha bhagavata. Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti. Those who have developed love of God, prema, premanjana-cchurita… So when the ointment of love of Godhead will be applied in our eyes, then with these eyes we shall be able to see God. God is not invisible. Simply just like a man with cataract or any other eye disease, he cannot see. That does not mean the things are not existing. He cannot see. God is there, but because my eyes are not competent to see God, therefore I deny God. God is there everywhere.
So in the material condition of our life, our eyes are blunt. Not only eyes, every sense. Especially eyes. Because we are very proud of our eyes, and we say, "Can you show me God?" You see. But he does not think that whether his eyes are competent to see God. That is atheism. He does not consider his position, "In what position I am." Even one cannot see a big man like President Nixon, and he wants to see God without qualification. That is not possible. Naham prakasah sarvasya yoga-maya-samavrtah [Bg. 7.25]. Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita that "I am not exposed to everyone. There is a curtain of yogamaya." The yogamaya will not allow to see God. Just like we have our condition that if anyone wants to see here in the temple, we ask him that "First of all take your shoes." Just like a little condition. Similarly, to see God, there must be some condition. That condition is that unless you become a lover of God, God is not exposed to you. Otherwise God is there, always. Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu [Bs. 5.38]. Sadaiva means always. Not that simply when we come to the temple we see God. No. God is always visible to the devotee. Sadaiva. Sada means always, twenty-four hours. That is Krishna consciousness.
The same example which I gave you, that the woman who has got a lover, and she's very busy in her duties, but she is always thinking of the lover, "When I shall meet him." This is an example given by Rupa Gosvami that her mind is always engaged in the form or the activities of the lover. If that is materially possible, when you develop your love of Godhead, at that time you'll see God everywhere, always, twenty-four hours. That was the position of Prahlada Maharaja. He was seeing always God, Krishna, but his father was not seeing because he was atheist. He was asking, challenging, "Where is your God? You are talking of so many times God. All right, I shall teach you a lesson today." So he took his sword and wanted to kill his own son. Atheist is so unkind, cruel, that he is prepared to kill his own son, beloved son, five years old. That is atheism. And theism, the father who tortured him so much. So after the death of his father, he's praying to Narasimhadeva, "Please excuse my father." This is theism. So that is the difference between Krishna consciousness and ordinary consciousness. They're very kind, everyone. Vancha kalpatarubhyas ca krpa-sindhubhya eva ca. You utter this prayer, krpa-sindhubhya eva ca. Vaishnava is the ocean of mercy. There is no end. As you cannot, I mean to say, draw all the waters from the ocean, it is not possible. Similarly, a Vaishnava, a devotee, ocean of mercy. You can draw from it as much mercy as you like; still, it is full.
So Prahlada Maharaja is the symbolic representation of Vaishnava. So try to be not imitator, but follower. Don't try to imitate: "Oh, Prahlada Maharaja was thrown into boiling oil. Let me try, fall into the boiling oil." No. That is imitation. Just first of all you become like Prahlada Maharaja, then that will be possible. Don't try to make experimental. That is not good. But follow, try to follow. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. Mahajanas, great personalities, what they have done, you cannot imitate them. You have to follow them. You have to follow the instruction of Krishna or His representative, but you cannot imitate them. Then you'll fall down. Anusarana. Not anukarana. Anukarana means imitation; but anusarana, follow. So what Prahlada Maharaja did, that we have to follow his example. His example was that in spite of continuous torturing by his father, he never forgot Krishna. This we have to follow. In spite of all kinds of inconveniences and torture by the atheist class of men, we shall never forget Krishna consciousness. There were many examples. Just like Lord Jesus Christ, he was tortured. So he was crucified, but he never agreed that there is no God. So that should be our motto. This is following. Either you be Christian or be Hindu or be any, but be God conscious. Krishna conscious means God conscious. And in any circumstances do not forget. That is called saranagati. That is surrender.
So Prahlada Maharaja is protected by Narasimhadeva, and… Now, it is a fact that an atheist like Hiranyakashipu, who denied the existence of God, so he was shown God at his last stage of life. Yes. So the atheist will see God, but when he will see, his life is finished. That means death. Atheist will see God in the form of death. And theist, Krishna conscious devotee, will see God twenty-four hours within his heart. That is the difference. Nobody can avoid death. So atheist will see God. If he denies God, he will see God in the form of death. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gita, that every moment our things are being taken away by time. It is not difficult to understand. Just like my age, seventy-four years, seventy-five, that means seventy-four years from my whole duration of life is already taken away.
Therefore every one of you should think that every moment, whatever asset you have got, the most valuable asset is the duration of life. That is being taken away. That is the law of nature. And the last taking away is death. So Krishna says that mrtyuh sarva-haras caham [Bg. 10.34]. Mrtyu, death, takes away everything. Your education, title, M.A., Ph.D., D.A.C., your bank balance, millions of dollars, your good name, your house, your family, your friends, your country — all taken away. So for atheist, this is God. When He'll take away everything, he'll understand, "Yes, there is God." Yes. Just like a civil disobedient person, when he's arrested and he's put into the bars and given severe punishment, then he understands, "Yes, there is government." For a nice citizen, government is there. He's taking all advantage offered by the government and he's obeying the laws of the government. No trouble. But one who says "I don't care for the government. I am free. I shall become naked…" Just like that John Lennon. (chuckling) He exposed himself naked, and government stopped immediately, that "You cannot do this."
So things are going like that. Atheist class of men, they're declaring themselves free, no God, and that is all nonsense — they have been described as mudha. First-class fool. Na mam duskrtino mudha prapadyante naradhamah [Bg. 7.15]. Study Bhagavad-gita. Everything is there. Those who are naradhama, lowest of the mankind. As the lowest of the mankind is atheist, similarly, the highest of the mankind is Krishna conscious. So try to be the highest kind of mankind. The world is suffering for want of highest kind of mankind. And be an example.
So you'll learn this lesson on this day of the advent of Lord Narasimhadeva.
Chant Hare Krishna.