710514 - Interview - Sydney

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



710516IV-SYDNEY - May 16, 1971 - 28:12 Minutes



Prabhupāda: ... (laughs) And just to see my disciples here, center. They have got a center here. So for them I visit my centers all over the world. So for that purpose I have come, as well as to let you know more about our philosophy, if you are interested.

Interviewer: Can you tell me a little bit about it, please?

Prabhupāda: The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to give the human society a chance for solving all the problems of their life. In the present context of civilization they are interested in the bodily comforts. Whatever scientific advancement you are making, just to give more comfort to the body.

Unfortunately, none of us is the body. We are spirit soul. We are changing different bodies, as you can see in our presence there are so many living entities, and this body can be changed to any one of them. Today I am in human body, tomorrow I may be in the body of a dog. So this cycle of changing body is going on. The modern science has no knowledge about these things. They are simply identifying with the body.

So according to Vedic civilization, anyone who is identifying with the body is not a human being; he is an ass.

yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke
sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
(SB 10.84.13)

Go means cow and kharaḥ means ass. Such a person is either a cow or an ass who is identifying this body as self. This body is a bag of bones and flesh, blood and urine. So I am not this body. I am within this body. But people are identifying with this body.

So this is the grossest type of ignorance, and we are trying to dissipate this ignorance and bring people to real consciousness, real identity. And that is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Interviewer: Now you mentioned some particular problems, (indistinct) people with, and then you spoke of a general problem of the body as opposed to the spiritual.

Prabhupāda: Well, when the particular problem is the repeated..., change of body, there is no science or university. Everyone wants to lead the medical science. It is time to give greatest relief from disease, but they cannot stop disease or death. That is the problem. Although the problem is there, they are trying to solve, but they have no means. Here is the means.

Interviewer: You mean, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness can solve...

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the means. There are prominent problems: birth, death, old age and disease. There is no science which has solved these problems. Nobody wants to die, but death is there. They are trying to stop increase of population, birth but the birth is there. And the medical science is giving us good medicine but they cannot stop disease, neither death. These are the problems. Why they are neglecting these problems? What is their remedy for these problems? Is there any remedy for these four things?

Interviewer: Then what can Kṛṣṇa consciousness do about that?

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is a great science one has to learn, how to make these problems solved. But here is the medicine, or here is the solution for all these problems.

Interviewer: But how can Kṛṣṇa consciousness solve them?

Prabhupāda: How, that is..., one has to learn it. We say how one becomes passed M.A. examination? That is not a thing to be learned in half an hour or fifteen minutes. There is a science; you have to undergo training, as these these boys and girls are going under training. You have to come to us; you have to try to learn what is the subject matter, and you have to undergo the process. But from the examples...

Or we have got volumes of books written on this matter, so you have to learn from those books. You have to undergo practical training, and then you will learn how to. It is not such a trifle question that in ten minute interview I can explain.

Interviewer: Is Kṛṣṇa consciousness sort of achieved after a period through application and study?

Prabhupāda: No. It is simply agreement. The process begins: to accept God first of all and to surrender to God. But nobody is prepared to surrender to God, neither they are prepared to accept God. That is the difficulty. But as soon as one accepts that there is God, God is there and I am subordinate, and my business is to surrender unto Him, then immediately he becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious. But that is not very easy thing; people will not agree to this. Therefore training required, association required. But the method is so simple it can be achieved in one second.

But that nobody is accepting that method. But if one accepts, that method will be a business of one minute. It is not difficult. God is there, that's a fact; you are here, that's a fact. But the surrender is not there. And to come to the surrendering point requires training, agreement.

Interviewer: Are you happy with the way the mission's going in Australia, the center?

Devotee: (explaining question) "Are you happy with the way the mission is going in Australia, our activities?"

Prabhupāda: Well, after all, this is a difficult job, because to accept God or to know God, that is very difficult job. Out of many thousands of people are anxious, one may be very much anxious to know what is the highest perfection of life. And those who have attained the perfection of life, out of many thousands of them, one may know what is God actually. So to know God actually is not a very easy job.

So those who are coming to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, they are very fortunate, because they are not in the category of ordinary men. They are serious to know about God. Therefore you cannot find in our group many thousands of people, only selected, fortunate people. So... But anyone can become fortunate, provided he agrees that "There is God, and I must submit to God."

That's not.... But that mentality is very rare to be found. It has to be created. Therefore you will find not very many followers of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. But one who is following he is very fortunate.

Interviewer: How many centers are there altogether, then? How many have you opened personally, yourself?

Devotee: Fifty-two.

Interviewer: You've opened all of them?

Devotee: Yes.

Interviewer: I see.

Prabhupāda: Fifty-two outside India, but in India there are many thousands.

Interviewer: I see. And what specifically will you do in Australia? How long will you be here for, and what will you do while you are here?

Prabhupāda: Well, I am going from Australia day after tomorrow. I simply came to see my disciples, how they are doing; to give them direction, further direction to improve. That's all. But if the Australian people like to hear me, I invite any scientist, any philosopher to understand. But I don’t think they are interested.

Interviewer: Why do you suppose that is?

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Interviewer: Why do you suppose they are not interested?

Prabhupāda: Because they are too much materially involved with this bodily concept. They think this body is everything. Therefore we must give. Just like I went to the beach: many young men, they were stout and strong, walking, running. They are interested in this body. They are not interested in the spiritual subject matter. That is the training they have got. Nobody is interested.

We are creating interest on behalf of God. That is our business. We are servant of God. We are trying to save people from the cycle of repetition of birth and death in different varieties or species of life. But even the great scientists, great philosophers they do not want to understand this science. What can we do?

Interviewer: Have you found this attitude also in other areas that you have opened centers?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Unless they are interested, how we have opened so many centers? There are interested persons, but their number is very little. It is not that zero, but many people are interested. We are selling our books. We are selling our magazines. We are recruiting members, and they are dedicating their life for this cause. But it is not like a political movement, that you speak some jugglery of words and many thousands of people come and join. It is a great science. Only cool-headed, fortunate men can understand.

Interviewer: Tell me, you talk about the spiritual and how we have neglected this with our emphasis on material things, but what place is there for the material things?

Prabhupāda: We are not neglecting material things. Just like you are taking care of your body; I am also taking care of my body. But the difference is that I am not thinking that I am this body, but others, they are thinking that they are this body. That is the problem. Just like if you are taking service from your car, so you don’t identify yourself with the car. But you take care of the car to take service from it.

Similarly, we are taking service from this body because we are living, so I must eat or I must sleep. It is not that we are not eating or not sleeping, but our eating is different from ordinary eating. We discriminate eating. We do not eat so many things. We simply eat things which may keep my body just fit for understanding and executing this mission of life. That's all.

Let's take for example we don't take meat, we don’t take eggs, fish, we don’t take liquor or any sorts of intoxicants, even up to the cigarette, coffee, tea, because we know these things are superfluous. Nobody learns to smoke from the beginning of life, but the child requires to eat something. That's a fact. But it doesn’t require to smoke. So these are artificial things. So we have to minimize the non-necessary things.

Interviewer: But does the child, for example, require to achieve Kṛṣṇa consciousness?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Every human being is given the chance by nature's way. You are given this human form of body, civilized man with developed consciousness, to understand these problems of your life. The animals cannot understand. You have come here because you are human being. The dog is not coming, the cat is not coming, because they are animals. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is for the human being.

So every human being not only shall take care of this body but should take care of his problems, because he is eternal; he is changing body after body, and that is very botheration, and there is no guarantee what sort of body you are going to get next. Even if you are going to get body next life, you must have a better body. Or the best thing is that you must have an eternal body. If such solution is there, why the human society should neglect it? That is their foolishness.

So we are trying to give this information to the human society, but they are so callous, they are so bodily conscious, they are not very much serious about it.

Interviewer: Thank you... (break)

Prabhupāda: The child is changing body to boy. The boy is changing his body to youth. But young man does not like to change his body to old age. Rather, the old man wants to come back to his youthful ages.

(break) So similarly, nobody wants to die, to change this body also, but that is being forced. But they do not take it as problem. How nonsense they are. I did not want to change my body from youthful to this old age, neither I want to give up this body. Even a very old man, the doctor says that "It is hopeless now," but still they have to find out some medicine to save him. Just see.

This is the danger(?), that I don’t want this; still they do not think it as problem. Such a foolish civilization. I don’t want old age, I don’t want die, but death is forced upon me, old age is forced, and there is no solution, and they are declaring themselves as scientists, philosophers, advanced. They are avoiding the major problem, and still their problem is civilization, advancement of knowledge. Just see their stupidity. There is a problem, big problem, and they cannot solve it, and still they are proud of their advancement of knowledge. How much foolish they are, just consider.

And we have to deal with all these rascals and fools, so there must be hard labor. Because we are servant of Kṛṣṇa, we have to execute the order of Kṛṣṇa. That is our business. Success or failure, that's not our business. Kṛṣṇa says that "You surrender unto Me." We have to preach this cult. We surrender unto Kṛṣṇa, and you be saved from the problems of your life. That is our business. They may not hear it—that is up to them—but as servant of Kṛṣṇa we have to push on this movement.

Devotee: If they are hearing, Srila Prabhupada. Somehow or other they are hearing.

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, any sane man will hear. But the major portion of the so-called leaders in the society, they are (indistinct), and still they are proud. They cannot make a solution, and still they are very much proud of their education, their social status. Just see the illusion.

Devotee: World of names.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Devotee: World of names.

Prabhupāda: What can be done? But we have to do our business, despite all hindrances, all obstacles, because we are servant of Kṛṣṇa. That is the thing. We have to remain faithful to our master. We don’t mind whether ones taking this philosophy or not; that doesn’t matter. We have to try our best. But as soon as this service is done with some selfish motive, personal interest, then it is spoilt. Then it is spoilt.

Devotee: Our success is our surrender, and not our...

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Devotee: Our success is our surrender.

Prabhupāda: Sometimes we get honor. Just like I have become spiritual master; I am getting honor, I am getting respect. But if I want to utilize your service for my personal comfort and do not actually preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then I am another fool. That's all. But as soon as you are surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, your business is done. My business is to introduce you to Kṛṣṇa, to convince you some way or other that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, you surrender unto Him and you will be happy. That is my business.

Devotee: Thank you very much for dragging me back.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So that business I must do, and I have dedicated my life for that business. That is my interest. Na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu... (BG 18.69). Kṛṣṇa said, "Anyone who is trying to introduce this philosophy to My devotees, he is My great..., dear to Me." So in order to become recognized by Kṛṣṇa, it is my duty to do my best to introduce as many persons as possible to Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. I give you the information. I don't say that "You surrender unto me," but I say "Surrender unto Kṛṣṇa."

Devotee: Kṛṣṇa says, "Surrender to My devotee."

Prabhupāda: That is another thing. Kṛṣṇa is very kind. Kṛṣṇa is very obliged. Kṛṣṇa, if you render service to Kṛṣṇa one percent, He is willing to give you protection fifty percent. That is Kṛṣṇa. He is great. Just like a great man, if you give him little service, he rewards you more than you expect. And what to speak of Kṛṣṇa? He is the greatest of all. If you give Him little service, He gives you more than you expect. That is a fact. But not that because He will give me something more than expectation I am giving service. That mentality is not good.

I should render my service in all circumstances, without any expectation of profit or return. A pure devotee does not ask any return from Kṛṣṇa. Rather, a pure devotee refuses, even if he is offered by Kṛṣṇa, because that will be business, that I do something for some return. Prahlāda Mahārāja flatly refused in the presence of Nṛsiṁhadeva. "Sir, You are..., we are so prone to accept this material benediction, and Your great personality is offering.

So this is a great allurement. Kindly save me. I am not a merchandise man, that I want something from You." That was his answer. He refused. You see? God wanted to give him something and he refused, and He was pleased, "Oh, here is My real servant." But He was given everything, but by his that refusal, He was very much pleased. Not that He was offended, "Oh, I am offering, and you are not accepting?" No. He was very much pleased.

Devotee: And (indistinct) with each other.

Prabhupāda: "Here is a real servant." That is the reciprocation between devotee and Kṛṣṇa. And devotee does not require anything. Why it shall be? Kṛṣṇa gives him all protection. Why should we bother Him, "Now give me protection"? My asking Him protection is the greatest job? No. If He wants to give me protection, without asking He will do that. Why should I ask Him and make my position degraded? The devotee never asks to Kṛṣṇa anything. He simply asks for the opportunity to serve His servant. Prahlāda Mahārāja says, "Give me opportunity to serve Your servant." He doesn't want to serve Him directly.

Devotee: What was it that that Lord Caitanya was saying? How does that go in Sanskrit? That He's a servant...

Prabhupāda: Yes. Lord Caitanya as a teacher, He is teaching us that gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ (CC Madhya 13.80): "I am a servant of the servant of the servant of the master of the gopīs, the maintainer of the gopīs." Kṛṣṇa is never directly approached.

(break) ...break, and one day death comes and kicks on his back and he will be finished off. Now if you are so brain, just try to save yourself. Where is your brain? Or make another brain like you, so that at the time of your death the brain will act—upon your brain. (indistinct) He is dependent on God, Kṛṣṇa. Still, he'll not agree. Kṛṣṇa will come as death. He may come, just He is death. Kṛṣṇa says, "To such rascals I come as death." Then they will believe that there is God.

(break) So far... So far we are concerned, they are as good as an ordinary man, because they do not know actually the real problem of life. But they are puffed-up: "Oh, we are (indistinct)."

(break) ...problems of life, then your science is perfect. Simply jugglery-of-words theories, what will help? Stop death, stop birth, stop disease, stop old age, then I shall understand that your scientist. That is not in your command. If the problems are there, real problem, then what is the use of this science? Simply by advertisement?

So-called comfortable life for few years, and then becoming a dog and hog, a tree? It is possibility. If your next life you become a tree, you stand up for ten thousand years in one place. Would you like? In childhood the teacher says, "Stand up on the bench," that was so much troublesome. (break) (end)