So the Absolute Truth is scientific knowledge. It is not sentiment—"I accept somebody as God by votes." That is not bhagavat-tattva-vijñānam. One must know what is the definition of God. It is not that somebody comes forward with a long beard and says, "I am God," and we rascals accept him as God. No, not like that. It is vijñānam. Vijñāna means science. Without scientific knowledge, one cannot understand what is God. Bhagavat-tattva-vijñānam. And who can understand this vijñāna, this scientific knowledge? Mukta-saṅgasya. One who is liberated from the contamination of the three modes of material nature, he can understand.

Those who are contaminated with tamo-guṇa, rajo-guṇa, they can create their own God. There are different types of "God" also. In one sense everyone is God. God means the controller. So everyone is to some extent a controller. But as I have explained several times, real controller means who is not controlled by others. That is God. If I am controlled by the material nature, daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā... [Bg. 7.14]. Birth, death, old age and disease, if I am controlled by these conditions of nature, then how I can become God? God is never controlled. Therefore one who can understand God must be free from the contamination of this material nature.

Prabhupada's lecture - Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.2.20 - Vṛndāvana, October 31, 1972

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