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720227 - Conversation 1 with Bob Cohen - Mayapur
- Reproduced in the book Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
Śyāmasundara: (introducing tape) Conversations with Bob a Peace Corps worker from..., American Peace Corps worker in Māyāpur, February 27, 1972. Bob's first question is, "What is a scientist?" (break)
(devotees are singing prayers to Lord Nṛsiṁha-deva loudly over loudspeaker in background)
Prabhupāda: ...because he knows things as they are.
Bob Cohen: He thinks he knows things as they are.
Bob: He hopes he knows things as they are.
Prabhupāda: No, he's supposed to know. We approach to a scientist because he's supposed to know the things right.
(loudspeaker is playing very loudly)
(aside:) Let them make a little soft.
(break) (laughter) Great relief. (laughter)
Bob: I have felt that the loudspeakers were too loud all day.
Bob: And I mentioned it to somebody.
Prabhupāda: It is pinching.
Bob: Yeah. It loses some maybe transcendentalism through the amplifier.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. Ask them to make it softer. So scientist means one who knows things as they are. That is scientist. So Kṛṣṇa means all-attractive. (speaks to someone in Bengali) (break) So just like your daughter, (laughs) she was also... I was little older, so I was beating her like anything. (laughter) (pause) So Kṛṣṇa means all-attractive.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So unless God becomes all-attractive, how He can become God? (pause) A man is important when he's attractive. Is it not?
Bob: It is so. It is so.
Prabhupāda: So, God must be attractive, and attractive for all. Therefore if God has got any name, or if you want to give any name to God, only "Kṛṣṇa" can be given.
Bob: But why only the name Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: Because all-attractive. Kṛṣṇa, this word, means all-attractive.
Bob: Oh, I see.
Prabhupāda: Yes. God has no name, but by His quality we give His name.
Bob: May He be called...?
Prabhupāda: Just like if a man is very beautiful, we call "beautiful." If a man is very intelligent, we call him "wise." So name is given according to the quality. Because God is all-attractive, therefore the only name Kṛṣṇa can be applied to Him. Kṛṣṇa means all-attractive.
Bob: What about a name meaning "all-powerful"?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Attractive means... Unless you are powerful, how you can be attractive? (laughter)
Acyutānanda: It includes everything.
Prabhupāda: Includes everything. He must be very beautiful, He must be very wise, He must be very powerful, He must be very famous...
Bob: Is Kṛṣṇa attractive to rascals?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. He was the greatest rascal also.
Bob: How is this?
Prabhupāda: (laughing) Because He was teasing always the gopīs.
Prabhupāda: Yes. The Rādhārāṇī would go, because She was married, and Kṛṣṇa will attack Her. And when She fall down, "Kṛṣṇa, don't torture Me in that way." She will fall down, and Kṛṣṇa will take the opportunity and kiss Her. (Prabhupāda laughs) So from superficially, Rādhārāṇī was very pleased, but superficially Kṛṣṇa is a great..., the greatest rascal.
Unless rascaldom is not in Kṛṣṇa, how rascaldom is there, existence in the world? Because our formula of God is that He's the source of everything.
(aside:) Ask her not to talk. (shouts at someone in Bengali: Katha kaibe nā! Katha kaibe nā.)
Unless rascaldom is not in Kṛṣṇa, how it can be manifest? Because He's the source of everything. But His rascaldom is so nice that everyone worships His rascaldom.
Bob: But what about the rascals who are not so nice?
Bob: What about...
Prabhupāda: No, rascaldom is not nice. But Kṛṣṇa is absolute God; therefore rascaldom is also good. Kṛṣṇa is all-good. God is good.
Prabhupāda: Therefore, when He becomes rascal, that is also good. That is Kṛṣṇa. Rascaldom is not good, but when it is practiced by Kṛṣṇa, because He's absolute good, that rascaldom is also good. That one has to understand.
Bob: Are there some people who do not find Kṛṣṇa attractive?
Prabhupāda: It is not the..., no question of some people. Kṛṣṇa cannot be compared with some people. He's God.
Bob: No, do some people find Him not attractive?
Bob: Do some people find Kṛṣṇa not attractive?
Prabhupāda: No. Anyone will find Him... Some people must be of some kind. You cite any kind of people, he'll be attracted. Who's not attracted? Just place a man, example, that "This man or this living entity is not attracted to Kṛṣṇa." Just find out.
Bob: Somebody who wishes to do things in life that he may feel are wrong, but he wishes to do to gain power or prestige or money...
Bob: ...may find God unattractive. He may not find the God attractive, because God gives him guilt.
Prabhupāda: No, not the God. Because he wants to be powerful, his attraction is to become powerful. A man wants to become powerful or rich. Is that not? But nobody is richer than Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa is attractive to him.
Bob: So if a rich..., if a person who wants to become rich prays to Kṛṣṇa, will he become rich?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Bob: He can become rich through this means.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Because Kṛṣṇa is all-powerful. If you pray to Kṛṣṇa to become rich, Kṛṣṇa will make you rich.
Bob: But even if you do not live..., even if you live an evil life, you will still become rich?
Bob: If somebody lives an evil life but prays to become rich, they may still become rich?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Prays to Kṛṣṇa, that is not evil.
Bob: All right, I... Oh, yeah.
Prabhupāda: (chuckling) Somehow or other, he prays to Kṛṣṇa, so you cannot say that he's evil.
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, api cet sudurācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk (BG 9.30). You have read it?
Bob: Yeah. I think, the Sanskrit I don't know, but the English maybe I do. Is it "Even if the most evil man prays to Me..."
Bob: "...then he will be elevated."
Bob: Something like that.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So as soon as he begins to pray to Kṛṣṇa, that is not evil. Therefore He is all-attractive.
Śyāmasundara: Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: Why don't you cover?
Devotee: I covered the outside with a cloth. I didn't want to disturb you, so I put thick cloth on the outside.
Prabhupāda: You have covered?
Devotee: Yes. (break)
Prabhupāda: Kaṁsa... You know Kṛṣṇa's life?
Bob: Not, not much.
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa mother, Kṛṣṇa's mother... (pause—background noise is very loud) (break) ...the Vedas that the Absolute Truth, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the reservoir of all pleasure—raso vai saḥ. Everyone is hankering after something because he relishes some mellow in it.
Bob: Excuse me?
Prabhupāda: Some mellow.
Bob: Ah, some mellow.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like a man is drinking. Why he's drinking? He's getting some mellow out of that drinking. A man is hankering after money because by possessing money he gets a mellow out of it.
Bob: What does mellow mean? Maybe I...
Prabhupāda: (aside:) What is mellow?
Śyāmasundara: Taste, pleasure.
Bob: Oh, okay.
Prabhupāda: Yes, pleasure. Pleasing taste. So Vedas say, raso vai saḥ. The exact Sanskrit translation of mellow is rasa.
(aside:) What is that?
Mālatī: Eggplant, fried.
Prabhupāda: Oh! (laughter) All-attractive. All-attractive. You are becoming all-attractive.
Prabhupāda: Yes. (referring to portion size:) No more, no more. No more attraction. (laughing) Where is your all-attractive daughter?
Mālatī: She is in all-attractive māyā. (laughter)
Śyāmasundara: She has been stung. She has been stung by the mosquitoes.
Prabhupāda: Actually, she's all-attractive. (chuckling) Everyone loves her. (break) ...Kṛṣṇa, the Reservoir of All Pleasure.
Bob: This must be a new book.
Prabhupāda: Yes. (break)
Bob: (to Śyāmasundara) Prabhupāda said tonight again, he said, "Kṛṣṇa is the greatest scientist." And he said some more that I remembered, but I can't recall now. There was something else he said that stuck in my mind, I just can't recall it. Can you remind me?
Śyāmasundara: How is Kṛṣṇa the greatest scientist?
Prabhupāda: Because He knows everything. A scientist means one who knows a subject matter thoroughly. He's scientist. Kṛṣṇa, He knows everything.
Bob: You said... I told you I teach science. You had said something about teaching, or teaching of science.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Teaching, unless you have got perfect knowledge, how you can teach? That is our proposition.
Bob: Without perfect knowledge, though, you can teach what knowledge you have.
Prabhupāda: No, that is cheating. That is not teaching, that is cheating. Just like the scientists said, "There was a chunk, and the creation took place," "Perhaps..." What is this? Simply cheating. It is not teaching, it is cheating.
Bob: Let me say what else you said this morning that was interesting. I asked him about miracles, and Prabhupāda said that only a fool would believe in miracles, because... Let us say you are a child, and an adult lifts this table. That's a miracle. Or you're a chemist, and you combine acid and base and make smoke, an explosion or whatever.
To somebody ignorant, that's a miracle. And for everything there's a process. And so when you see a miracle, it's just ignorance of the process. So that only a fool would believe in miracles, and..., you correct me if I say wrong...
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.
Bob: ...that when Jesus came, the people then were somewhat more ignorant and needed miracles as aid. Was that... I wasn't sure if that's quite what you said.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, yes. Miracle means ignorant.
Bob: I had asked this in relation to all the miracle men you hear about in India.
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is the highest miracle man.
Prabhupāda: That is stated by Kuntī.
Bob: But without perfect knowledge, can I not teach some things? For example, I may...
Prabhupāda: You can teach up to that, which point you know.
Bob: But should not claim to teach more than I know.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is cheating.
Yaśodānandana: In other words, you can't teach the truth...
Yaśodānandana: ...you can't teach the truth with partial knowledge.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is not possible by any human being. Because any human being, his senses are imperfect. So how he can teach perfect knowledge? Just like you see the sun like a disc. You have no means to approach the sun. If you say, "We can see the sun by telescope and this and that," that is also made by you.
And you are imperfect, your instrument is imperfect. Because that telescope you can say that you are seeing, but that machine is made by you, and you are imperfect. How your machine can be perfect? Therefore your knowledge of the sun is imperfect. So you don't teach about sun unless you have got perfect. That is cheating.
Bob: But what about to teach that it is supposed that the sun is 93,000,000 miles away?
Prabhupāda: As soon as you say "it is supposed," it is not scientific.
Bob: Yeah, but I think almost all of science, then, is not scientific. Because all science... (laughter)
Prabhupāda: That is the point.
Bob: Oh, I see. Is based on, you know, suppositions of this or that. So imperfect knowledge may be taught.
Prabhupāda: They're teaching imperfect. Just like they are advertising so much about moon. Do you think this knowledge is perfect?
Bob: What do you think is the proper duty of the teacher?
Prabhupāda: (aside:) No more. Bās. Huh?
Bob: What is the proper duty of the teacher in society? Let's say a science teacher. What should he be doing in the classroom?
Prabhupāda: Classroom, you should simply teach about Kṛṣṇa.
Bob: He should not teach about...
Prabhupāda: No, that will include everything. But his aim should be how to know Kṛṣṇa.
Bob: Can a scientist teach the science of combining acid and alkaline and this kind of science with Kṛṣṇa as its object?
Prabhupāda: How it can be?
Bob: If you... When one studies science, one finds general tendencies of nature, and these general tendencies of nature point to a controlling force.
Prabhupāda: That I was explaining the other day. Where? In Madras, or where? "Who has supplied these chemicals?"
Śyāmasundara: Ah, in Madras.
Prabhupāda: I asked one chemist that according to chemical formula, hydrogen and oxygen mixed, it becomes water. Is it not?
Bob: That's true.
Prabhupāda: Now, this vast water in the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean, how much chemicals were required?
Bob: How much?
Bob: Oh, I don't know.
Prabhupāda: How many tons?
Prabhupāda: So who supplied it?
Bob: This was supplied by God.
Prabhupāda: Somebody must have supplied.
Prabhupāda: So that is... You can teach like that.
Bob: And should one bother teaching that if you combine acid and alkaline, or neutral...
Prabhupāda: The same thing. The same thing, that now we have to..., that... There are so many effervescence. So who is performing it? Who is supplying the acid and alkaline? (pause)
Bob: So this comes from the same source as the water.
Prabhupāda: Um-hm. Yes. Water you cannot manufacture unless you have got hydrogen and oxygen. So here is a vast... Not only this Atlantic or Pacific; there are millions of planets, and there are millions of Atlantic and Pacific oceans. So who created this water with hydrogen and oxygen, and how it was supplied? That is our question. Somebody must have supplied; otherwise how it came to existence?
Bob: But should it also be taught how you make water from hydrogen and oxygen, the procedure of burning them together? Should this also be taught, that if you burn hydrogen and oxygen together...
Prabhupāda: That is secondary.
Bob: Excuse me?
Prabhupāda: That is secondary. That is not very difficult. Just like this Mālatī made purī. So there is flour and there is ghee, and she made purī. But unless there is ghee and flour, where is the chance of making purī? (laughter)
(pause) (break) In the Bhagavad-gītā there is this, "Water, earth, air, fire, they are made of My energy."
Bob: Made of, what is that?
Prabhupāda: "My energy."
Prabhupāda: (Bengali?) What is your body. This external body, that is your energy. Do you know that? The body is made out of your own energy. Just like I am eating.
Prabhupāda: So I am creating some energy, and therefore my body is maintained.
Bob: Oh, I see.
Prabhupāda: So therefore your body is made out of your energy.
Bob: But when you eat the food, there is energy from the sun in the food...
Prabhupāda: No, that... I am giving the example, I am creating some energy by digesting the food, and that is maintaining my body. Therefore my body is maintained by my energy. If your energy supply is not proper, then your body becomes not in proper order.
Therefore the conclusion is that your body is made out of your own energy. Similarly, why this big gigantic body, universes, is not made of Kṛṣṇa's energies? How can you deny? As your body is made out of your energy, similarly, the universal body must be made by somebody's energy. That is Kṛṣṇa. (pause)
Bob: I have to think about that. I have to think about it to follow that.
Prabhupāda: Why follow? It is a fact. (Bob laughs) Your hairs are growing daily. Why? Because you have got some energy.
Bob: The energy I obtain from my food.
Prabhupāda: Somehow or other, you have obtained that energy. And through that energy your hairs are growing. So if your body is manufactured by your energy, similarly, the whole gigantic manifestation is made of God's energy. It is a fact, it is not your energy.
Bob: Yeah. Okay.. I see that.
Śyāmasundara: Just like, aren't the planets in this universe the sun's energy, a product of the sun's energy?
Prabhupāda: Yes. But who produced the sun? That is Kṛṣṇa's energy. Because it is heat, and Kṛṣṇa says, bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ (BG 7.4). Analaḥ, analaḥ, heating. "That is My energy." The sun is representation of the heating energy of Kṛṣṇa. It is not your energy. You cannot say that "The sun is made by me." But somebody must have made. And Kṛṣṇa says. So we believe therefore Kṛṣṇa. Therefore we are Kṛṣṇa-ites.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Our knowledge is perfect. You cannot say... If I say that "Heat is energy of Kṛṣṇa," you cannot defy it. Because it is not your energy. Just like in your body there is some certain extent of heat. Similarly... Heat is somebody's body's energy. And who is that body? That is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, "Yes, it is My energy."
So my knowledge is perfect. Therefore I am the greatest scientist. Because I take the version of the greatest scientist, therefore I am greatest scientist. I may be fool personally, but because I take the knowledge from the greatest scientist, I am greatest scientist. I have no difficulty.
Bob: Excuse me?
Prabhupāda: I have no difficulty to become the greatest scientist, because I take the knowledge from the greatest scientist. (pause) (break) "This earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego—they are My eight separated energies."
Bob: They're separate energies.
Prabhupāda: Separated. (indistinct), no? Just like this milk. What is this milk? The separated energy of the cow. Is it not? It is the manifestation of the separated energy of cow.
Śyāmasundara: Is it like a by-product? By-product?
Bob: So what is the significance of this energy being separated from Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: Separated means this is made out of the body of the cow, but it is not cow. That is separation.
Bob: So this earth and all is made out of Kṛṣṇa, but is not Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: It is not Kṛṣṇa. Or you can say Kṛṣṇa and not Kṛṣṇa simultaneously. That is our philosophy: one and different. You cannot say different, because these things without Kṛṣṇa has no existence. At the same time you cannot say, "Then let me worship water. Why Kṛṣṇa?" That the pantheists, they say, that "Because everything is God, so whatever I take, that is God worship." The Ramakrishna Mission says like that. But that's wrong.
Bob: The Ramakrishna Mission says that?
Prabhupāda: Yes. And the Māyāvādīs. "Because everything is made of God, therefore everything is God." That is their... But our philosophy is everything is God, but not God also.
Bob: So what, on earth, is God? Is there anything on earth that is God?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Because it is made out of the energy of God. (pause) But (that) does not mean that anything you worship, you worship God.
Bob: So what is on earth, though, is not māyā. It is...
Prabhupāda: Māyā means energy.
Bob: It means energy.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Māyā, another meaning: illusion. So foolish persons, the energy is accepted as the energetic. That is māyā. Just like sunshine. Sunshine enters your room. Sunshine is the energy of the sun. But because the sunshine has entered in your room you cannot say the sun has entered. If sun enters, then your room and yourself, everything will be finished, immediately. (laughter) You'll not have the leisure to understand that sun has entered. Is it not?
Bob: It is so.
Prabhupāda: But you cannot say that sunshine is not sun. But without sun, where is the sunshine? So you cannot say sunshine is not sun. But at the same time it is not sun. It is sun and not sun, both. That is our philosophy. Acintya-bhedābheda, inconceivable. In the material sense, you cannot conceive that a thing simultaneously positive and negative. That you cannot think. That is inconceivable energy. And because everything is Kṛṣṇa's energy, Kṛṣṇa can manifest Himself from any energy and act.
Therefore, when we worship Kṛṣṇa made of something of earth, water or something like that, that is Kṛṣṇa, that is not Kṛṣṇ... You cannot say it is not Kṛṣṇa. When you worship this metal form of Kṛṣṇa, that is Kṛṣṇa. That's a fact. Because metal is energy of Kṛṣṇa; therefore it is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa. And Kṛṣṇa's so powerful that He can present Himself fully in His energy. So this Deity worship is not heathenism. It is actually worshiping God, provided you know the process.
Bob: If you know the process, then the Deity becomes Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Not becomes, it (is) Kṛṣṇa.
Bob: The Deity is Kṛṣṇa.
Bob: But only if you know the process of it.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like this electric wire is Kṛṣṇa..., er, is electricity. One who knows the process, he can derive electricity out of it.
Śyāmasundara: Otherwise it's just wire.
Prabhupāda: That's all.
Bob: So if I build a statue of Kṛṣṇa, it is not Kṛṣṇa. But if I..., unless I know the process...
Prabhupāda: No, it is Kṛṣṇa. But you have to know the process that it is Kṛṣṇa. It is Kṛṣṇa.
Bob: It is not just earth and mud, it is Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: No, earth... Earth has no separate existence without Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, "It's My energy." You cannot separate the energy and the energetic. It is not possible. You cannot separate heat from fire. But fire is different from the heat, and heat is different from the fire. You are taking heat, that does not mean you are touching fire. Fire, in spite of expanding heat, it keeps its identity. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa by His different energies creating everything, He remains Kṛṣṇa.
The Māyāvādī philosophers, they think, "If Kṛṣṇa is everything, then Kṛṣṇa's separate identity is not there." That is material thinking. Just like drinking this milk, so little, little, when I finish, there is no more milk. It has gone to my belly. Kṛṣṇa is not like that. Because He's omnipotent, we are utilizing His energy continually, but still He's there, present. Just like a man begetting children unlimitedly, but the man there..., man is there. Crude example. But not that because he has produced hundreds of children, therefore he is finished.
So similarly, God, or Kṛṣṇa, in spite of His unlimited number of children, He's there. Pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam eva avaśiṣyate (Īśo Invocation). This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa is never finished. (break) ...is so powerful, therefore He is attractive. This is one side of the display of Kṛṣṇa's energies. Similarly, He has got unlimited energies. This study of Kṛṣṇa's energy is only one side, one portion only. So in this way if you go on studying Kṛṣṇa, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is not a bogus thing, that "maybe," "perhaps not." Absolutely. It is.
Śyāmasundara: And the study itself is never finished.
Prabhupāda: No. How can you? Kṛṣṇa has unlimited energy. (break)
Bob: I've asked some devotees this and have some questions... (break) ...(indistinct) of sex in one's life. (break) I've asked devotees about how they feel towards sex in their relations, and I under..., I see their..., the way they feel, but I can't see myself acting the same way. See, I'll be getting married in the end of this summer.
Bob: I'll be getting married the end of this summer, in September or August, when I return to America. And the devotees say that the householders only have sex to conceive a child. And I cannot picture myself at all in such a position, and... What kind of sex life can one lead, living in the material world?
Prabhupāda: The Vedic principle is that one should avoid sex life altogether. The whole Vedic principle is to get liberation from this material bondage. And there are different attachment for this material enjoyment, out of which sex life is the source of topmost enjoyment. The Bhāgavata says that this material world... Puṁsaḥ striyā mithunī-bhāvam etam (SB 5.5.8). Means that a man is attached to woman and woman is attached to man. Not only human society, in animal society.
That attachment is the basic principle of material life. So a woman is hankering or seeking after the association of a man, and a man is hankering or seeking the association of a woman. Just like we see the, all the fictions, novels, dramas, this cinema, or even ordinary advertisement, simply they depict the attachment between man and woman. Even in tailor's shop you'll find on the window some woman, some man. (break) So this attachment is already there.
Bob: The attachment between man and woman.
Prabhupāda: Man and woman. So if you want to get liberation from this material world, then that attachment should be reduced to nil. Otherwise, simply for that attachment, you'll have to take birth and rebirth, either as human being or as demigod or as an animal, as a serpent, as a bird, as a beast. You have to take birth. So this basic principle of attachment increasing is not our business. It is decreasing.
Pravṛttir eṣā bhūtānāṁ nivṛttis tu mahā-phalam (Manu-saṁhitā 5.56). This is the general tendency. But if one can reduce and stop it, that is first class. Therefore our Vedic system is that first of all a boy is trained as a brahmacārī, no sex life. Brahmacārī. He goes to the teacher's home.
(pause—devotee chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa very loudly over loudspeaker)
Who is this? Stop it. (break) The whole principle is, Vedic principle is, to reduce it, not to increase it.
Therefore the whole system is varṇāśrama-dharma. Our the Indian system is called varṇa and āśrama, four spiritual order and four social order. The social order is brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. Er, this is spiritual order. And social order is brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. So under this system the regulative principles are so nice that even one has got the tendency for enjoy material life, he is so nicely molded that at last he gets liberation and goes back to home, back to Godhead. This is the process. So sex life is not required on principle, but because we are attached to that, therefore there are some regulative principles.
(loud kīrtana begins again) Sex life... It is said in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that,
- puṁsaḥ striyā mithunī-bhāvam etaṁ
- tayor mitho hṛdaya-granthim āhuḥ
- ato gṛha-kṣetra-sutāpta-vittair
- janasya moho 'yam ahaṁ mameti
- (SB 5.5.8)
It is said that this is the basic principle of material life: attachment for man or woman. And when they are united, when a man and woman is united, that attachment becomes increased. And that increased attachment will induce him for gṛha, means home; kṣetra, means land; suta, means children; āpta, friendship, or society; and vitta, vitta means money. In this way, gṛha-kṣetra-sutāpta-vittaiḥ, he becomes entangled. Janasya moho 'yam. This is the illusion. And by this illusion he becomes ahaṁ mameti, "I am this body, and anything in relationship with this body, that is mine."
Bob: What is that again?
Prabhupāda: This attachment increases, the material attachment. The material attachment means "I am this body, and because I have got this body in a particular place, that is my country." And that is going on. "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am German," "I am this," "I am that," this bodily... "This is my country. I shall sacrifice everything for my country, society." So in this way the illusion becomes increased.
So under this illusion, when he dies he gets another body. That may be a, I mean to say, superior body or inferior body, according to his karma. So if he gets superior body, then that is also entanglement. Even if he goes to the heavenly planet, that is entanglement. And if he becomes cats and dogs, then his life's lost. A tree. There is every chance.
So this science is not known in the world, that how the soul is transmigrating from one body to another and how he's being entrapped in different types of body. This science is unknown. Therefore when Arjuna was speaking from the bodily concept of life, that "If I kill my brother, if I kill my grandfather, the other side..." So he was simply thinking on the basis of bodily concept of life. But when it was not solved he surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, accepted Him as spiritual master.
And when Kṛṣṇa became his spiritual master He chastised him in the beginning, aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase (BG 2.11), that "You are talking like learned man, but you are a fool number one because you are talking on the bodily concept of life." So this sex life increases the bodily concept of life. Therefore the whole process is to reduce it to nil.
Bob: To reduce it over the stages of your life?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Reduce it. Just like a boy is trained up as a student up to twenty-five years, restricting sex life. Brahmacārī. So some of the boys, they remain naiṣṭhika-brahmacārī. He, because he's given education, so if he becomes fully conversant, he doesn't like to marry. But one who has not such restraint, he's allowed to marry. That is also restricted, that he cannot have sex life without being married. Therefore in the human society there is marriage, not in the animal society.
But we are reducing human society gradually to animal society. We are forgetting marriage. That is also written in the śāstras: svīkāra eva codvāhe (SB 12.2.5). In the Kali-yuga there will be no marriage performances, but the boy and the girl, they'll simply agree to live together. Dāmpatye 'bhirucir eva hi (SB 12.2.3). And their relationship will exist on sexual power. If the man or the woman is deficient in sex life, then there is divorce.
So on this philosophy... There are many Western philosophers like Freud and others, they have written so many books. But according to Vedic culture, we are not interested. We are interested only for begetting children, that's all, not to study the psychology of sex life. There is already psychology, pravṛtti, natural. Even if one does not read any philosophy, he'll be sexually inclined.
There is no need of philosophizing sex life. Nobody is taught sex life in the school and the colleges, but everyone knows it, how to do it. (laughs) So pravṛttir eṣā bhūtānāṁ nivṛttis tu mahā-phalam (Manu-saṁhitā). That is the general tendency. But education should be given to stop it. That is real education. (pause)
Bob: That, for today, is a radical concept, for nowadays.
Bob: Presently, in America, that's a radical concept.
Prabhupāda: Well, in America there are so many things which requires thorough reformation. And this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is that. When I went to your country, so I saw these boys and girls, they're living like friends. I said that "You cannot live as friends; you must get yourself married."
Bob: Many people see that even marriage is not sacred. So they find no desire to. Because people get married, and if things are not proper, they get divorced, so very easy...
Prabhupāda: Yes, that also.
Bob: ...that some people feel to get married is not meaningful.
Prabhupāda: No, the idea is that marriage is not sacred. They think marriage is a legalized prostitution. They think like that. But marriage is not that. Even that Christian paper, what is that, "Watch...?"
Śyāmasundara: Christian...Oh, Watchtower?
Prabhupāda: Watchtower. It has criticized, one priest has allowed the marriage between man to man, homosex. So these things are going on. They take it purely for prostitution. That's all. So therefore people are thinking, "What is the use of keeping a regular prostitution at a cost of heavy expenditure? Better not to have this."
Śyāmasundara: You use that example of the cow and the market?
Prabhupāda: Yes, when the milk is available in the market, what is the use of keeping a cow? (laughter) It is very abominable condition. In the Western countries I have seen. Here also, in India, gradually it is coming to be so. (speaks to someone in Bengali) (break) ...movement is especially meant for making human life reaching the real goal.
Bob: The real goal?
Prabhupāda: The real goal of life.
Bob: Is the real goal of life to know God?
Bob: So that is the real goal, to know God.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Go back to home, back to Godhead. That is real goal of life. Just like the water coming from the sea as cloud falls down as rain, and the actual goal is to flow down the river and again go to the sea. So we have come from God. Now we are embarrassed in this material life. Therefore the aim should be how to get out of this embarrassment and go back to home, back to Godhead. This is real goal of life.
- mām upetya tu kaunteya
- duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam
- nāpnuvanti mahātmānaḥ
- saṁsiddhiṁ paramāṁ gatāḥ
- (BG 8.15)
That is the version of Bhagavad-gītā. "If anyone comes back to Me," mām upetya kaunteya... Mām upetya tu kaunteya duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam, nāpnuvanti, "he does not come back again." Where? In this place, duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam. This place is the abode of miseries. Everyone knows, but he has become fooled, befooled by so-called leaders. This is miserable life, material life. So duḥkhālayam... Kṛṣṇa says, God says, that this place is duḥkhālayam, it is a place of miseries. And that also aśāśvatam.
You cannot make a compromise, "All right, let it be miserable. I shall remain as American" or "Indian." No. That you also cannot do. You cannot remain as American. You may think that you are born in America, you are very happy. But you cannot remain as American for long. You'll have to be kicked out of the place, and next life you do not know. Therefore it is duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam (BG 8.15). That is our philosophy.
Bob: But when you have some knowledge of God, then life is not so miserable.
Prabhupāda: No, some knowledge will not do. You must have perfect knowledge. Janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ (BG 4.9). Tattvataḥ means perfect. That perfect knowledge is being taught in the Bhagavad-gītā. So we are giving chance to the human society to learn Bhagavad-gītā as it is and make his life perfect. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. What your science says about the transmigration of the soul?
Bob: I think that science cannot deny it; by scientific methods cannot deny it, or does scientific method show it. Science does not know of it.
Prabhupāda: Therefore I say imperfect science.
Bob: Science may, though, say something. It is said in science that energy is never destroyed. It is just changed.
Prabhupāda: That's all right, but how the energy is working in future, that science does not know.
Prabhupāda: How the energy is diverted, how by different manipulation the energy is working differently. Just like electric energy, by different handling it is creating heater and it is creating cooler. Just opposite. But the same electric energy. So similarly, these energies, living energy, how it is being directed, which way it is going, how it is fructifying in the next life, so they do not know.
They do not know. And in the Bhagavad-gītā it is very simplified. Vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya (BG 2.22). You are covered by this dress, by this shirt. When this shirt is not workable, you change it. Similarly, this body is just like shirt and coat. When it is no longer workable, we have to change.
Bob: What is the "we" that has to change? What is constant between one life to the next?
Prabhupāda: That is soul. That is soul, "I", what you are speaking, "you", what I am speaking, identification, ātmā, or soul.
Bob: My soul is different than your soul.
Prabhupāda: Yes. You are individual soul, I am individual soul.
Bob: But you have removed yourself from karmic influences. If I was to remove myself from karmic influences, would our souls be the same or different?
Prabhupāda: Soul is the same. Just like you are under certain conception of life at the present moment. Just like your these countrymen, they were under certain conception of life. But by training they have taken another conception of life. So the ultimate training is how to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. That is perfection.
Bob: If two people are Kṛṣṇa conscious, is their soul the same?
Prabhupāda: Soul is always the same.
Bob: In each person. In each person is it the same?
Bob: If... At this point... (break)
Prabhupāda: Soul, as spirit soul, pure soul, they are all equal. Even in animal. Therefore it is said, paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18); means those who are actually learned, they do not see the outward covering, either human being or animal.
Bob: Oh, then they are all equal and the same, or just equal? Are they equal and the same, or are they just equal?
Prabhupāda: No, equal and the same. Qualitatively and quantitatively.
Śyāmasundara: I thought there was also a difference.
Śyāmasundara: Isn't there also individuality and difference?
Prabhupāda: Their individuality becomes different in accordance with the development of consciousness.
Śyāmasundara: Oh. The soul before the development of consciousness.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So therefore, when one comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then there is no difference. (break) Because their aim is at that time how to serve...
(break) ...(indistinct) varieties. And that is nice.
Bob: But they are the same because they are flowers.
Bob: In that sense.
Prabhupāda: Same. That is acintya-bhedābheda philosophy. That everything is one and different, simultaneous.
Bob: Now, if I may ask another question on this?
Bob: The soul may be, I have considered, somewhat as part of God. But my soul I do not feel, but at times I think I feel God. It's... I'm here maybe, and you may say God is here. If the soul is inside me, then should I be able to feel God inside me? Not all of God, I mean, but a...
Prabhupāda: Part of God.
Bob: Yeah. Not to mean to say that I feel I am God, but to mean to say I feel that I am God...
Prabhupāda: (speaks to someone in Bengali) (break)
Bob: I was asking Prabhupāda of... the soul being part of God, but I don't feel my soul, God in me. But God may be here, separate, separate from me. But should I be able to feel God inside me because my soul is part of God?
Prabhupāda: Yes, God is inside also.
Bob: If I could feel God inside me, then I should be able to understand transmigration, I would think.
Bob: If I could feel God inside me...
Bob: ...feel this soul, then I should be...
Prabhupāda: God is everywhere. God is inside and outside also. That is to be known.
Bob: And how do you feel God inside you?
Prabhupāda: That is, of course, not in the beginning. But you have to know it from the śāstras, by the Vedic information, as in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61): God is there in everyone's heart. In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is also said, aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayā... (Bs. 5.35) Not only in my heart; God is also within the atom. So this is the first information. And then, by yogic process, you have to realize it.
Bob: Yogic process.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Paramātmā realization.
Bob: Is chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa such a yogic process for realizing this?
Prabhupāda: Yes, it is also yoga, yogic process.
Bob: What kind of yogic process must I do to find out, to feel this information, to feel the soul inside?
Prabhupāda: Yes, there are many different yogic processes, but for this age this process is very nice.
Bob: Through this I can feel not only God outside, but God inside?
Prabhupāda: You understand everything of God. How God is inside, how God is outside, how God is working—everything will be revealed. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ (Brs. 1.2.234). By the service attitude God will reveal Himself. You cannot understand God by your endeavor. If God reveals. Just like when the sun is out of your sight you cannot see the sun by your torchlight or any light.
Any amount of scientific method, you cannot see the sun at night. But in the morning you can see the sun automatically, without any torchlight. Similarly, you have to create a situation, you have to put yourself in a situation wherein God will reveal. Not that by your method you can ask God, "Please come. I will see." No, God is not your order carrier.
Bob: You must please God for Him to reveal. Is that correct?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau (CC Madhya 17.136).
Śyāmasundara: How do we know when God is pleased?
Śyāmasundara: How do we know when God is pleased, when we are pleasing God?
Prabhupāda: When you see Him. (pause) Then you'll understand. Just like when you eat you needn't require to ask anybody whether you are feeling strength or your hunger is satisfied. If you eat, you understand that you are satisfied, you are feeling strength, you're feeling energy. It doesn't require to inquire anybody. Similarly, if actually, if you serve God, then you'll understand that "God is dictating me. God is..., I am seeing God."
Brahmānanda: Or God's representative.
Brahmānanda: Or God's representative.
Brahmānanda: Becomes easier.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Therefore you have to go through the God's representative. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ. If you please God's representative, then automatically God becomes pleased. That is a... That you can directly see. Huh?
Indian man: How to please God's representative?
Indian man: How to please God's representative?
Prabhupāda: You have to carry out his order. That's all. God's representative is guru. So he's asking you to do this, to do that. If you do that, that is pleasing. Yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto 'pi. If you displease him, then you are nowhere. Therefore we worship guru. Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair uktas tathā bhāvyata eva sadbhiḥ. A guru should be accepted as God. That is the injunction of all śāstras.
Bob: The guru should be accepted as representative of God?
Prabhupāda: Yes, guru is representative. Guru is the external manifestation of Kṛṣṇa.
Bob: But different than..., like the incarnations of Kṛṣṇa that come?
Bob: In what way is the external manifestation of the guru different than the external manifestation of, let us say, Kṛṣṇa or Caitanya when They come to earth.
Prabhupāda: Guru is one, representative of Kṛṣṇa. So there are symptoms who is guru. The general symptoms are described in the Vedas: tad-vijñānārthaṁ gurum evābhigacchet, śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham (MU 1.2.12). The first symptom is śrotriyam. Guru is in disciplic succession: one who has thoroughly heard about the Vedas through his spiritual master. This is general description. So another description is in the Bhāgavatam:
- tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta
- jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam
- śabde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ
- brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam
- (SB 11.3.21)
Generally, the guru's symptom is that he's a perfect devotee. That's all. And he's serving Kṛṣṇa by preaching His message.
Bob: Lord Caitanya, He was not a guru; He was different than guru?
Prabhupāda: He's guru.
Bob: Lord Caitanya, He was a different type of guru than you were?
Prabhupāda: No, no. No. Guru cannot be different types. All gurus are of one type.
Bob: But He was..., was He also an incarnation at the same...?
Prabhupāda: Yes, He is Kṛṣṇa Himself, but He is representing as guru.
Bob: I, I see.
Bob: And then...
Prabhupāda: Because Kṛṣṇa, as God, He demanded that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). But people misunderstood Him. Therefore Kṛṣṇa again came as guru and taught people how to surrender to Kṛṣṇa.
Śyāmasundara: Doesn't He say in the Bhagavad-gītā, "I am the spiritual master"?
Śyāmasundara: Doesn't Kṛṣṇa say, "I am the spiritual master"? In Bhagavad-gītā it says...
Prabhupāda: Yes, He's the original spiritual master, because He was accepted spiritual master of Arjuna. So what is the difficulty? Śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam (BG 2.7). "I am Your disciple." So unless He's spiritual master, how Arjuna becomes His disciple? He's the original guru. Tene brahma hṛdā ādi-kavaye, in the Bhāgavata, that He gave instruction about Vedas in the heart of Brahmā. So He's guru.
Prabhupāda: Yes, He's the original guru. Then His disciple Brahmā is guru. Then his disciple Nārada is guru. Then his disciple Vyāsa is guru. In this way there is guru-paramparā. Evaṁ paramparā prāptam (BG 4.2): the transcendental knowledge is received through the disciplic succession.
Bob: So a guru receives his knowledge through the succession, not directly from Kṛṣṇa. Do you receive some knowledge directly from Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇa's direct instruction is there, Bhagavad-gītā.
Bob: I see, but...
Prabhupāda: But you have to learn it through the disciplic succession; otherwise you'll misunderstand.
Bob: But presently you do not receive information directly from Kṛṣṇa. It comes through the succession, from the books?
Prabhupāda: Yes. There is no difference. Suppose if I say that this is a pencil, and if you say to him, "This is a pencil," and he says to another man, "This is a pencil," then what is the difference between his instruction and my instruction?
Bob: Kṛṣṇa's mercy allows you to know this now?
Prabhupāda: No, Kṛṣṇa's mercy you can take also, provided it is delivered as it is. Now, just like we are instructing people Bhagavad-gītā. The Bhagavad-gītā says, Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66).
Now we are saying that "You give up everything, just surrender to Kṛṣṇa." Therefore there is no difference between Kṛṣṇa's instruction and our instruction. There is no deviation. So if you receive knowledge in that perfect way, then it is as good as receiving instruction directly from Kṛṣṇa. But you don't change anything.
Bob: When I pray faithfully and reverently, does Kṛṣṇa hear me?
Bob: From me to Him?
Prabhupāda: Because He's within your heart, He's always hearing you. When you are praying or not praying, you are doing some nonsense, He also hearing. And when you pray, that is very good, welcome. But even if you are doing some nonsense, He's hearing.
Bob: Is praying louder than nonsense?
Bob: To Kṛṣṇa's ear, is praying louder than nonsense talk.
Prabhupāda: No. He's all-perfect. He can hear any temper, or any degree of saying. Even if you don't speak, even if you simply think, He can hear you. As soon as you think that "I shall do it," then He hears you. Sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ (BG 15.15).
Bob: But one should pray. Is that so, that one should...
Prabhupāda: That is his business.
Bob: Excuse me?
Prabhupāda: That is his business.
Bob: Whose business? You mean...
Prabhupāda: Every living entity's. That is the only business. Eko bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). That is the statement of the Vedas.
Bob: What does that mean?
Prabhupāda: He supplies everything. Everyone, actually He's supplying. He's supplying food to everyone. So He's father. So why should you not pray, "Father, give me this"? Just like in Christian Bible there is, "Father, give us our daily bread." That is good, they are accepting the Supreme Father. But grown-up children, they should not ask from the father, but they should be prepared to serve the father. That is bhakti. (break)
Bob: My questions, you solve so nicely. (laughter)
Prabhupāda: Thank you very much.
Bob: So, should I ask you another question now?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes, yes.
Bob: I have read that we are influenced by the different guṇas, passion, ignorance... (break)
Prabhupāda: (speaks with someone in Bengali) (break)
Bob: I've read about there are three guṇas—passion, ignorance and goodness—in life. And I was wishing that you could explain this somewhat, especially what is meant by the mode of ignorance and the mode of goodness.
Prabhupāda: Goodness means you can understand things. Knowledge. You can know that there is God, that this world is created by Him, and so on, so on, so many things, actual things. The sun is this, the moon is this—perfect knowledge. Even not perfect, he has got some knowledge. That is goodness. And passion means he identifies with this material body, and he tries to gratify his senses only. That is passion.
And ignorance means animal life. He does not know what is God, how to become happy, why I am in this world. Just like you are taking one animal to the slaughterhouse, it will go. But a man will protest. So this is ignorance. The goat, it is to be killed after five minutes, but if you give him a morsel of grass, he's happy, he's eating. Just like a child: you are planning to kill her or kill him, he is happy, he's laughing, because innocent. That is ignorance.
Bob: This is... Being in these modes determines your karma. Is that correct?
Bob: Determines your karma.
Prabhupāda: According to the association of the modes of nature your activities are being contaminated. Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sya sad-asad-yoni-janmasu (BG 13.22). A man gets higher birth or lower birth according to the association of the guṇa, or the modes of nature.
Bob: So cheating and like that, what mode is that?
Prabhupāda: Cheating is mixed up passion and ignorance. Just like one man cheats other. That means he wants to obtain something. He's passionate. But he commits some murder. He does not know that "I'll have to suffer for it." So it is a mixture of passion and ignorance.
Bob: And what about when somebody helps another person?
Prabhupāda: That is goodness.
Bob: Why is that goodness? What intelligence is that? I mean, is... This represents knowledge of what? You said that goodness is when you have knowledge, intelligence.
Bob: So helping another person...
Prabhupāda: That means he's ignorant, you're trying to enlighten him.
Bob: So giving intelligence...
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is goodness.
Bob: What about just giving assistance just like you give...?
Prabhupāda: That is also goodness.
Bob: ...to, to a beggar who has nothing, you give alms.
Prabhupāda: Hm-hm. So that is goodness. But still... Just like in your Bowery Street, they give some charity and immediately he purchases one bottle of wine and drinks and lie down flat. (laughter) So that is charity... That is not goodness, that is ignorance.
Bob: That charity is ignorance.
Prabhupāda: Yes. There are three kinds of charities: goodness, passion and ignorance. Goodness means charity where charity must be given. Just like this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. So if anyone gives charity to this movement, that is goodness, because it is spreading God consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is goodness. And if one gives charity for some return, that is passion.
And if somebody gives in charity, he does not know what he's going to do, just like the Bowery man, that is ignorance. So our Vedic principle is, Kṛṣṇa says that yat karoṣi yad juhoṣi dadāsi yat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam (BG 9.27), that "Give Me." There is no question of knowing what is going to happen. If Kṛṣṇa takes, that is the perfection of charity. Or anyone who is representative of Kṛṣṇa, he takes, that is perfection.
Bob: And what kind of charity is it when you give to..., food to somebody who is hungry?
Prabhupāda: Well, that is also depends on goodness and passion and ignorance. That example I was giving, that a doctor has forbidden, that "This patient should not take any solid food." But if you make charity, "Oh, he..." And he's asking, "Give me some solid..." Sometime patient asks. And if you give him solid food, then you are not doing good to him. That is ignorance.
Bob: Are the devotees beyond accumulating karma? Have they... Does a devotee, these devotees, do they feel karma? Do they work in these modes? Are they in the mode of goodness?
Bob: Are the devotees...
Prabhupāda: They are above goodness. Śuddha-sattva. Devotees are not in this material world. They're in the spiritual world. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:
- māṁ ca 'vyabhicāreṇa
- bhakti-yogena yaḥ sevate
- sa guṇān samatītyaitān
- brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
- (BG 14.26)
Devotees are neither in the goodness, passion or ignorance. They are transcendental to all these qualities.
Bob: This is a devotee who practices very faithful...
Bob: A devotee who is very faithful reaches this stage?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Devotee..., you can become devotee, as they have become. It is not difficult. Simply you have to engage yourself in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. That's all.
Bob: I wish to gain more knowledge of God and be able to feel God's presence more. The reason for this is because I feel life has little meaning without this.
Prabhupāda: Yes. If you miss this human form of life, then it is a great loss. This is a chance given to the living entity to get out of the entanglement of material existence.
Bob: As I feel now, I...
Prabhupāda: (speaks to someone in Bengali) (break)
Bob: ...thankful that I've been able to...
Prabhupāda: Yes, you can learn more and more.
Bob: Now I still have my connections in home. Marriage is... I'm engaged and all this...
Prabhupāda: No, no. There are so many man, he is married. Marriage is no barrier. I told you, there are four different orders of social life: brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. So after brahmacārī, one can marry. But that is not obligatory. He may remain naiṣṭhika-brahmacārī for whole life.
But a brahmacārī can marry. So after marriage there is vānaprastha life. Means little aloof from family. Live—husband and wife—separately. That time there is no sex life. And then, when he's fully renounced, detached from the family life, he takes sannyāsa.
Bob: Does somebody forget his wife completely then?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Forgetting is not very difficult if you try to forget. That's all. "Out of sight, out of mind."
Just like I have got my wife, children, my grandchildren, everything. But out of sight, out of mind. That's all.
Therefore vānaprastha, sannyāsa. Everything is nicely arranged by the Vedic system. (break) (end)