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720811 - Interview - London

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



720811IV-LONDON - August 11, 1972 - 37:23 Minutes



Prabhupāda: So far I am personally experienced, in our childhood there were not so many problems. Now India is faced with so many problems on account of imitating Western civilization.

Journalist (1): Not simply because of the increased population?

Prabhupāda: There is no question of increased population. This is, I say always, this is foolish.

Journalist (1): That's foolish?

Prabhupāda: Yes. When you say "increase of population," it is a proposal of foolish persons.

Journalist (1): Oh, so someone . . . someone who's foolish . . .

Prabhupāda: No. Even there is . . . just like the birds and beast, they are also increasing their population. Yes. If you find one hole in the room, millions of ants will come out. So who is giving their food? There are millions of elephants in the forest. Who is giving their food? There, there are millions and trillions . . .

There are 8,400,000 species of life. Out of that, 8,000,000 species are other than human being, and 400,000 species human being, out of that, civilized persons are very few. And all the problems are in the civilized . . . so-called civilized population.

Journalist (1): And that's because, you would say, that we have the wrong . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: No, I, I . . . we, we, we are all, we are are believer in God. You see? So we know God is the original father. He is supplying maintenance for everyone. So there is no question of increasing population. If there is increase of population, God has enough resources to feed them. It is not the question of increasing population, but it is the question of demonic civilization.

Journalist (2): Well, I was going to ask you about that, civilization.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. That, and then demonic civilization is creating problems. Not the increase of population. This is not the fact. Now, so far I have studied, that in America, in Africa, in Australia, there are so much vacant places that the present population of this world, if it is increased ten times, still there is enough food . . .

Journalist (2): And you think there's enough food . . .

Prabhupāda: There is enough so far as . . . (indistinct) . . . but we have made artificial division, "This is America." The Americans, they went from Europe, and they illegally occupied that place. Now they won't allow anyone to come there. Similarly, the Australians, they won't allow to come there. New Zealand, Africa. Why? Our philosophy is everything belongs to God, and we are all sons of God. Everyone has got the right to live at the cost of God. This is our philosophy.

Journalist (2): But the values of Western civilization have made that . . .

Prabhupāda: Western civilization created artificial: "This is Africa," "This is America," "This is Europe . . ."

Journalist (1): Yes. Therefore that's made living as children of God impossible.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Because the one son of God is not allowing the other son to come in. And that he hasn't got the right to forbid. Just like your father has got ten sons. So all the tens sons have got, have got the right to use the property of the father. That is law. Similarly, all the living entities—not only human beings; birds, animals, birds, beasts—everyone. This is called spiritual, transcendental communism.

According to Vedic civilization, a householder has to see that even a lizard in the room is not fasting, to see whether it has got his food. Even there is a snake in the house, the householder is to see whether the snake has got his food. A householder should stand on the street, and before taking his food, he will say loudly, "If anyone is hungry, please come. Still I have got my food." And if there is no response, then he takes prasāda.

Journalist (1): That's a very difficult doctrine for many people in civilization . . .

Prabhupāda: Because . . . that is civilized. That is civilization. Animal civilization is that one dog, as soon as the other dog is coming: "Yow! Yow! Yow! Why you are coming? Why you are coming?" Just like here—here, everywhere—the immigration department, "Oh, how long you will stay? Oh." So many things. Why? A human being is coming . . . Vedic civilization is, even one is enemy, if he comes to your home, you receive him as . . . so friendly that he will forget that you are his enemy. Yes. That is . . .

Journalist (1): But it must be very difficult for you to . . .

Prabhupāda: No. It is difficult because this civilization is demons. Just like India. India welcomed everyone. But the result was they occupied. Just like you English people. They were welcome. Lord Christ was welcome, but he intrigued to occupy India. And his statue is worshiped here. Because what is his credit? He made an intrigue, illegally entered India and made occupation. That is his credit. And he is worshiped. That is Western civilization.

Journalist (2): That's really what I was going to ask you. You must find life difficult, preaching the values of brotherhood in a society . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: Natural brotherhood. Just like in a family, naturally, a father has got ten sons, they are brothers. But one son is intriguing how to take the whole property. Yes. That is going on. That is demonic. If every one of the father's sons thinks that, "Father is one, and father's property equally should be distributed . . ." But no. One cunning son is simply intriguing, "How to occupy the whole estate for me." Yes. That is going on all over the world.

Journalist (1): How do you stop that?

Prabhupāda: By Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Journalist (1): By Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Prabhupāda: Yes. As soon as you are educated that God is one, Father is one, we are all sons, then the whole solution is made.

Journalist (2): Because there's no need for any one person to have any more than anybody else.

Prabhupāda: No. God has given everything. God has given everything, but if one party, becoming demonically powerful, he occupies everything, the others suffer.

Journalist (2): Yes. But the difficulty is . . . and that's a very optimistic view of human nature.

Prabhupāda: That is civilization.

Journalist (2): But, no . . .

Prabhupāda: That is not optimist; that is proper civilization.

Journalist (2): Some people might say, who weren't perhaps as convinced as you . . .

Prabhupāda: "Some people" means the demons. We are creating demons. By our education, we are creating demons. That demons, they are being frustrated; they are now becoming hippies. Yes. That is the position. Because everyone wants to enjoy. So as soon as we cannot enjoy, there is some reaction. You see?

Journalist (1): He rejects.

Prabhupāda: Rejects or reaction. Yes. Protest, rejection. So before this protest and rejection and reaction, if the leaders of the society become cool-headed that, "Actually God is proprietor of everything. Everyone is son of God; so everything, property of God, must be enjoyed by everyone," this, if the leaders only think, then everything will be all right.

There is no question of increase of population. There is enough food. In America there is so much excessive food that they throw away. They throw away. And they forbid, "Don't produce more." Why? Produce more. Distribute more. That is civilization.

Journalist (2): Yes. I know you define that as civilization. But I was trying to suggest that some societies, and indeed some individual personalities, are avaricious, seemingly by nature. How do you . . . well, graft and greed and . . .

Revatīnandana: Sometimes that is their natural position.

Journalist (2): (indistinct) . . . disease.

Prabhupāda: It is a disease. Yes. Disease. Lust and greediness. There are three qualities in the world, material world. One is called sattva-guṇa, one is called rajo-guṇa, another is called tamo-guṇa. Goodness. Rajo-guṇa is passion, and tamo-guṇa is darkness.

So at the present moment these two guṇas, qualities, darkness and passion, are prevalent. Goodness gone. Goodness. And the darkness and passion, the symptoms are greediness and lust. People are being educated to become greedy and lusty. Yes. That's all. Nobody is being educated to become good.

So what is the use of these rascal universities? If they are producing greedy and lusty people, then what is the use of education? Vidyā dadāti namratā. Education means everyone should be gentleman. That is education. And if you produce lusty and greedy people, there is no . . . this is animal education. The animals are lusty and greedy. (break) . . . (indistinct)

Journalist (2): What is your view of predominant Western civilization, Sir?

Prabhupāda: This predominance is dwindling. Where is your British Empire gone?

Journalist (2): Yes, quite. In fact, I was asking you about . . .

Prabhupāda: So this is artificial. There was Roman Empire, there was Mogul Empire, there was Carthagian Empire, there was Egyptian Empire, and Greece and so on. They come and go. And there is a song by a Vaiṣṇava, koto caturānana, mari mari jāota (Śrīla Vidyāpati). There are so many Brahmās come also, and they die.

So this kind of empirical, imperial onslaught, they will come and stay for hundred or two hundred, and create some problems. There were . . . just like there was Napoleon, there was this and that. So they will come and go. They will come and go, create some disturbances and go. Nobody will stay.

Journalist (2): Yes, but they don't seem to be improving society. When they do come and go, society doesn't seem to improve on the way.

Prabhupāda: If you cannot . . . if you remain demon, then there is no question of improvement. You must be prepared to become . . . there are two classes of men. One is called god, or demigod; another is called demon. If you continue your demonic civilization, there is no question of happiness.

That Hitler will come and this will come, that will . . . they will fight for some time, create some disturbance and go away. Another Hitler will come, another will come, another will come. This way.

Journalist (1): There will always be unhappiness amongst . . .

Prabhupāda: Our philosophy is you cannot be happy and prosperous in this demonic civilization.

Journalist (2): What about the Western religions like Christianity? That's been with us now for two thousand years and doesn't seem to have helped people to become particularly . . .

Prabhupāda: First of all, try to understand what is religion. Then you come to different types of religion. Religion means to understand God. Do you agree to that or not?

Journalist (2): Yes.

Prabhupāda: So if Christian religion is teaching to understand God and to become obedient to God, then it is all right. If it is not teaching that, then it is useless. Simply by stamping, "I am Christian," what do you gain by that?

Journalist (2): Well nothing, but that . . .

Prabhupāda: That is going on. Simply by stamping, "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am Christian," what is the gain?

Journalist (2): I've never been able to understand what the gain was either.

Prabhupāda: Now just try to understand: Christian religion is good, provided the followers of the Christian are actually following. But they are not following. They are not following. They are simply artificially stamping, "I am Christian."

In the Christian religion the first order is "Thou shall not kill." But the Christians are very expert in killing. So who is Christian? First of all let me see. Their First Commandment is, Lord Jesus Christ, that "Thou shall not kill." Now, everyone is killing, and still he is Christian. So this kind of Christian religion or Hindu religion, what will be the benefit?

If you don't follow, simply you stamp yourself that, "I am Christian," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim . . ." That is going on. Nobody is Christian. Nobody is Hindu. Nobody is Muslim. Everyone is demon. Everyone is demon! That is our proposal. There is no Christian, there is no Hindu, there is no Muslim. That is our proposal.

Journalist (1): Except people who have accepted the Kṛṣṇa consciousness, presumably. That . . .

Prabhupāda: Well, Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not so easy. First of all, you were talking about the Christian religion. I say that Christian religion or Hindu religion or Muslim religion, there may be different religions, but what is the aim of religion?

That you should understand. The aim of religion is to know God. If you profess some religion, but if I ask you what is God, if you cannot explain, then what is the use of your becoming religious?

Journalist (2): Probably none. But people like to have, or seem to like to have, a religion.

Prabhupāda: They don't like. They don't like God. They don't like God. As soon as somebody speaks of God, they say: "They are crazy." So actually there is no Christian, no Hindu, no Muslim. All demons. That's all.

Journalist (1): How do you stop that?

Prabhupāda: Well, become religious. If you are really Christian, that is all right. But you are not Christian, because you are violating the orders of Lord Jesus Christ. Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed his life, and he says that he atoned for your sins, but you are not stopping your sinful life, and still you are claiming to be Christian. The fun is going on. Yes. Actually there is no Christian. Otherwise, Christian religion is very nice religion. Yes.

Journalist (2): Do you think that you can help large numbers of people in this country understand that . . .

Prabhupāda: I can help everyone, provided he takes my help. If you refuse my help, how can I help you?

Journalist (2): No, I'm merely suggesting that you would . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes. What is our . . .? I am helping. I am asking people to become God conscious. But if you refuse to become God conscious, how can I help you?

Journalist (2): But to become God conscious, do you think they have to become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa consciousness?

Prabhupāda: No. You become devotee of God. If you don't accept Kṛṣṇa, then . . . you have got some idea of God?

Journalist (2): Yes.

Prabhupāda: Or not?

Journalist (1): You could accept the idea of God in another manner than your Church?

Prabhupāda: Suppose . . . we are giving Kṛṣṇa, presenting Kṛṣṇa, as God, and we are giving God's name, address, place, everything. Yes. Yes. (laughter) Don't laugh; it is serious. If you refuse to accept Kṛṣṇa as God, then you present your God, give me His address, name and occupation. Can you give me?

Journalist (1): No.

Prabhupāda: Then? You take from me. Why you are refusing? If you do not know, then take it from me. And if you know better than me, you give it to me. You do not know; still you will not accept. Then what is your position? That you don't want to know God.

Journalist (1): . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: When I say: "Do you know what is God?" you say: "No." When I present God, you say: "Why shall I accept? It is your God." At least we have got some God. But you know . . . do not know what is God. So my position is better than you.

Journalist (2): Well, if you accept. Again, it's a slight digression.

Prabhupāda: No. You have no idea of God. You cannot give name, address, occupation of God. I can give.

Journalist (2): Do you need to have a name and address and occupation for God?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. Just like when you come, I ask you what you are: "What is your name? What is your address? What is occupation?" This is the first introduction. If I do not know your name, address, occupation, then what is the use of talking with you?

Journalist (2): Well, I would . . . again, it's a very interesting concept, because often in Western civilization God is defined more as an idea than as a . . . something . . .

Prabhupāda: No. That is nonsense. God is fact. God is a person like you and me. You can talk with Him, you can see Him. That is God. Not idea. We are talking with Kṛṣṇa. We are taking His instruction and abiding by His order. It is not an idea; it is fact! That is God.

Journalist (2): That's a difficult thing for people . . .

Prabhupāda: Not difficult thing. If you do not take, it is difficult. If you accept, there is no difficulty. They are accepting. There is no difficulty. They have also belonged to Western country. They are happy. And ask him.

Journalist (2): I don't dispute that they are, but you said that they are . . .

Prabhupāda: I am saying we'll give you all information of God.

Journalist (2): Yes. I'm not suggesting that they're not happy, nor that your followers aren't convinced that you're right.

Prabhupāda: So you can become also happy, you can know also God—provided you take. If you don't take, how can I help?

Journalist (2): What I'm suggesting is, I mean trying to suggest is that for a large number of people . . .

Prabhupāda: Well, large number . . . large number . . . when, when you speak of something good, you cannot expect many. Just like if you want to sell diamond, you cannot expect that the whole population of England will purchase it. When there is question of diamond, the customer also must be very rich.

Similarly, to understand God is not so difficult or . . . easy job. Only the fortunate, pious, nice people can understand God. Not ordinary.

Journalist (2): And only get to work at it, find the time to try it . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: But we are giving facilities to everyone to understand God. That is our mission.

(knock on door)

Journalist (2): But it does require a certain price for them to pay as individuals.

Prabhupāda: No price. Simply to become sincere.

Journalist (2): To sincerely try to find Him.

Prabhupāda: Yes. If you are sincerely anxious to know God, there is no difficulty. There is no difficulty. Tatra laulyam eka-mūlyam. One must be very much anxious that, "I must know God." Then God is revealed.

There is no question of paying so much money. Our transaction in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, there is no monetary transaction. I did not pay anything to them, neither they are paying to me. It is a question of understanding.

Journalist (2): Yes. I'm only suggesting that you were saying already that only people who were kind or gentle perhaps would find it easy to start. There are obviously, as you were saying, lots of people who are not so kind or gentle, and presumably would find it more difficult.

Prabhupāda: No. They may not be gentle, but we are gentle. Please come to us and learn. They may not be gentle. We can create gentle, provided he follows.

Journalist (2): Is that one single . . .

Dhanañjaya: (background talk) Śrīla Prabhupāda . . . (indistinct) . . . the BBC One, Radio. They're . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: You can also note—this is common, talking of God.

Journalist (2): One last question. Is there a single, simple . . . (indistinct) . . . that you could give to people who don't know anything about Kṛṣṇa consciousness to help them to understand it? Is there one simple, single . . .

Prabhupāda: Very simple: God is the proprietor. God is the enjoyer. If God is proprietor, He must be enjoyer. And God is the supreme friend.

Journalist (2): Thank you very much. How long're you going to be . . .?

Prabhupāda: If you simply understand these three things. This is fact.

Journalist (2): God is the proprietor.

Prabhupāda: God is the proprietor. God is the enjoyer.

Journalist (2): Enjoyer.

Prabhupāda: And God is the supreme friend. Now if you analyze . . . now you cannot say that you are the proprietor of this land. Somebody else is. Just like the land was there before your birth, and the land will remain there after your death, so during your span of life you are simply claiming, "This is mine."

But before your birth, after your death, it belongs to somebody else, the supreme proprietor. And because He is the supreme proprietor, He is the supreme enjoyer. And He is the supreme friend in this way, that He is giving all necessities of life to everyone. Nobody can be better friend than God.

Journalist (2): Thank you very much.

Prabhupāda: So these three things, if you try to understand—that God is the proprietor, God is the supreme friend and God is the supreme enjoyer, then all problems solved.

Journalist (2): Thank you.

Journalist (3): May I come in another queue for BBC Radio 4, just to tell me in fact what is the purpose of your visit to London?

Prabhupāda: To teach you these things, as we were just talking with your friend, that God is proprietor, God is friend of everyone and God is the supreme enjoyer.

Journalist (3): I understand in fact that you are a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa. What does this mean?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Journalist (3): Can you tell me what it means?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Yes. Devotee of God.

Journalist (3): But what is the extent of your purity?

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Journalist (3): What how . . . how, what do you mean by being pure? Does it mean that you have seen Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Yes. I am seeing every moment. And if you want to see, I can show you. (laughter)

Journalist (3): Please do.

Prabhupāda: Yes. But it is not so easy. It is not so cheap that you want to see, immediately I can show you. You have to become student like him. Then you can see.

Journalist (3): I would have to become a member of the Kṛṣṇa movement.

Prabhupāda: Not only member; a student like him. There are many members, they pay some money. But they are learning according to my direction.

Journalist (3): Can you tell me what is Kṛṣṇa consciousness?

Prabhupāda: First of all you have understood this thing or not? If you want to see God, you have to become a student like him. Are you prepared to that?

Journalist (3): I haven't got the opportunity to become a student.

Prabhupāda: Then don't talk of seeing God. Don't talk of seeing God. God seeing is not so cheap. You talk about seeing God. If you want to see God, then you have (to) become a student how to see God.

Journalist (3): Can I see God by becoming a Christian, Christian?

Prabhupāda: Yes. That I was speaking, that if you are true Christian, you will see God. But who is true Christian let me see first of all.

Journalist (3): Have you got a particular mission for London?

Prabhupāda: I have particular mission for the whole world. Why London? London is included in the world.

Journalist (3): What is that mission?

Prabhupāda: That mission is to make you understand what is God. You cannot say what is God. If I ask you, can you say what is God?

Journalist (3): I can't. Can you?

Prabhupāda: Therefore you have to learn.

Journalist (3): Can you say what is God?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. Yes. Therefore you have to become student.

Journalist (3): Tell me what is God.

Prabhupāda: First of all, you become a student; otherwise you'll not be understand . . . that I say: "God is the supreme enjoyer, God is the supreme proprietor." That I have already told. Can you understand this? Can you refute this, that God is not the supreme proprietor?

Journalist (3): What sort of people do you want?

Prabhupāda: No, why you are going away? You are talking one thing and then going another thing.

Journalist (3): I have to go, I'm afraid.

Prabhupāda: No, no. Then I cannot waste my time. You question one thing. Make a solution.

Journalist (3): What sort of people do you want to become students?

Prabhupāda: Tell him, Bhagavān.

Bhagavān: We want everyone to become our students. No one has a good understanding of what is God.

Journalist (3): I can't get this on the microphone.

Prabhupāda: You can take instruction from the students who are actually trying to understand God.

Journalist (3): I read somewhere that possibly you wanted to convert people who were politicians and businessmen. Why?

Prabhupāda: Who said? Where you have got this idea that I am trying to convert politicians? Where?

Journalist (3): Well, I read it somewhere. In a newspaper.

Prabhupāda: Where is that newspaper? This is not a fact. You are telling something which is not a fact.

Journalist (3): You want to convert everyone.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Everyone requires to understand God. Why politicians and newspapermen? Everyone. God is for everyone. Everyone requires . . . the human life is meant for understanding God. Why politicians and businessmen? Without knowing God, he cannot be happy, whatever he may be.

Journalist (3): Do you think if people had a deeper understanding of God, a spiritual consciousness . . .?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Then he will be happy.

Journalist (3): Do you think it would solve the problems of . . .

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Certainly.

Journalist (3): Which problems?

Prabhupāda: All problems. Whatever problems you have got. Social, political, religious, cultural, everything.

Journalist (3): The problems that exist in Ireland and India?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Everywhere. You simply give education to understand what is God, then all problems will be solved.

Journalist (3): What about yourself? How long have you had this understanding and awareness of God?

Prabhupāda: How long you want? (laughter) I have had this understanding from my birth. My father was God conscious; he taught me how to become God conscious.

Journalist (3): And you are in fact the spiritual leader of these students. What does that mean?

Prabhupāda: Huh? Because I want to teach them what is God. If anyone is interested with God, I can teach him.

Journalist (3): How long does it take?

Prabhupāda: It takes one second.

Journalist (3): Well, can we do it?

Prabhupāda: Yes. You accept, surrender to God, then you become God conscious.

Journalist (3): And what happens to me then?

Prabhupāda: Then you become happy. And the Bhagavad-gītā says that God said that, "You surrender unto Me, I give you protection from all sinful reaction." That is the statement of God. So if you surrender to Kṛṣṇa, or God that, "God, so long I was forgotten about You. Now I surrender unto You. You do whatever You like," everything is all right.

Journalist (3): Thank you. Thank you for your time. (break) Hare Krsna.

Prabhupāda: We are simply presenting the fact that everything belongs to God. God is the supreme friend and God is the maintainer of everyone, everything, and He is the supreme enjoyer. These three things if we understand, then the whole problem is solved. Now, I say that God is the proprietor. Now you refute. Those who will not accept, that "God is not proprietor, I am the proprietor," this requires discussion. How you become proprietor?

Bhagavad-gītā says, God says, bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram (BG 5.29). I am not manufacturing this. It is stated in the śāstra. God is the supreme enjoyer. He is the proprietor. He should be enjoyer. Just like here, if I am the proprietor of a factory, so the profit should come to me; similarly, if God is the proprietor of everything, then we cannot enjoy anything without the sanction of God.

We therefore eat prasāda. We know that the fruit, flowers or grains or milk, whatever we are offering to Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa has given us. You cannot manufacture these things, nice oranges, in factory. You cannot manufacture rice or wheat. Actually, God has given. That is God consciousness. Anything, even those who are eating animals, they cannot manufacture animals in the factory. That is also God's creation.

So in the Vedas it is said, eko bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13), "That one supreme living being is supplying food or necessities of life to all living entities." That's a fact. He is the maintainer. He is the giver of food. We are simply handling. That's all. Everything. Even this house or your car, everything, the material ingredients are supplied by God. The intelligence is also given by God. So by God-given intelligence, by God-given ingredients, you are preparing something, and you are claiming that, "It is mine." Why?

Suppose if I give somebody intelligence, "You make this table like this," I give ingredients, I give him money, then after the table is manufactured, if the carpenter says: "It is mine," is that proper? "Sir, I have given you money, I have given you the wood, I have given you the intelligence, I have maintained you. How it belongs to you?" So this is going on. Everything God's, and we are claiming "mine." Ahaṁ mameti, janasya moho 'yam (SB 5.5.8). This is called illusion. I am not the proprietor, but I am thinking I am. This is called illusion.

So Kṛṣṇa consciousness means to remove this illusion, to accept the real fact. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is nothing that we . . . (indistinct) . . . manufactured artificially. To come to your real position. Just like a madman has got in some consciousness, he's thinking so many crazy ways. That sort of consciousness will not help us. If we actually come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that is our perfection. (break) God is the proprietor, God is the enjoyer and God is the maintainer. Three things.

So our this movement is nothing new. It is oldest and authorized. So now if we can push on this movement, that is the greatest welfare activity in the human . . . (break) (end)