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730502 - Morning Walk - Los Angeles

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

730502MW-LOS ANGELES - May 02, 1973 - 39:57 Minutes

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Recently I went to a lecture called "The Origin of Life." It was given by a well-known biochemist whose name is Professor Stanley Miller. He was talking about the origin of life.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So what is origin of life?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: He said there are twenty amino acids, twenty of them, which are necessary for the maintenance of life, the living entities. So he was discussing how these amino acids are formed before the dawn of creation, and he had so many theories, all nonsense.

Prabhupāda: So did you not protest?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes. Then there was . . . after his lecture . . . it was a one hour long seminar, and there was question and answer. So they invited questions. Nobody asked.

Prabhupāda: So you did not ask?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: No, I asked later on. I asked that, "Your topic is about origin of life, but you are not talking about the origin of life. So there is no basis of your argument."

Prabhupāda: Very good. (laughs)

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Then I asked, "Supposing I give you all the chemical materials, say, the molecules like amino acids and the big molecules like DNA and RNA . . ." These are the molecules which they think necessary for the maintenance of life. "Supposing I give you all these chemical compounds, then do you think that you will be able to put life into it? If you get all the chemical materials necessary, but will you be able to put life into it?" Then he said, "I do not know."

Prabhupāda: "Then why you are talking nonsense?" (laughter) Then? People did not laugh?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes. No, everybody was silent. Everybody was silent, because everybody believes that life started from matter, all the . . . in the audience. So I said: "Your basis means life started from matter. That means . . ." He was saying that when the earth . . . before the life started, there was no living entities on earth. Then I said, "How do you know there was no living entities on earth?" Then he could not answer.

Prabhupāda: I see. Very good. Yes. You have to go and lecture all the universities, calling these rascals fools. That will be our mission. They do not know anything, and talking all nonsense. That's it. There was nobody to challenge till now. Now we are creating persons to challenge these rascals. That is our credit. Till now, whatever nonsense they are talking, people thought, "Oh, he is a big scientist."

Now our scientist will protest against them, stop them talking all nonsense. That is what we want. If a layman like me goes and protesting, he may say that, "First of all you come to my level, then I shall talk with you." Now, he cannot talk with you like that, because you are on the level. So challenge all this nonsense. Why they talk nonsense? So later on, other persons, they did not talk with you?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: No, the chairman of the department, he was telling later on that: "About theology let us talk later on." So he dispersed the meeting after that. Theology . . . they thought just theology; I was talking on theology.

Prabhupāda: It is not theology; it is science.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes, it is science. But he was assuming like that because his business is to protect the . . . this is outside speaker, comes from outside the university.

Prabhupāda: So how do you say it is theology?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: He was just commenting like that, that . . .

Prabhupāda: So you should have presented, "No, it is not theology. I am talking on the scientific basis."

Svarūpa Dāmodara: I said: "Why not think like life started from life? What is wrong in it?" Because he was talking that life started from matter. So why not think like life started from life? What is wrong in it? That is why they thought I was talking about theology, when I asked them.

Prabhupāda: Yes, this protest must be now. If they accept life started from life, then they will have to accept God. That is their difficulty. That is their difficulty. And practically we have no experience . . . we can see life started from life—father begetting child. We can see father is a living man, and another child is born. But where is life starting from matter? Where is that evidence? Life starting from life, we have got practical experience, but where is the evidence that life started from matter?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: They are assuming. There is no proof. They just think . . . they're just assuming.

Prabhupāda: Assuming, what is that? There is no proof?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: There is no proof.

Prabhupāda: What is their proof? What they go on, proof?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: They are just speculating that life started spontaneously. There was a time, they said, it started all spontaneously, only once.

Prabhupāda: That's all right. But life, whether begins from life or matter? That is the question. You are saying that life started from matter. We are saying life started from life. How to make solution of this question? For life starting from life, we can see practically: birds, beasts, human being, they are begetting children, eggs. The life from life, he's a living entity.

That we have got proof. But where is the proof that life started from the matter? Where is that proof? Just give one instance that, "Here is a life starting from matter." Where is that instance? Anyway, at least one audience protested. It will be recorded. And he said: "I do not know."

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Oh, then what kind of scientist he is? So they know that you are theologist?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: In the department everybody knows. (laughter) There is one theoretical chemist. His name is Max . . . (indistinct) . . . he is from Germany. He is a theoretical chemist. Once I invited him to come to Los Angeles to talk with Prabhupāda, Śrīla Prabhupāda. He agreed and . . . but then he told me that he will think for one day whether he will come or not. Then next day he told me that he is afraid. "I cannot come because I am afraid that I will be put on the walls." (laughter) But he is very philosophical. He believes in God. He has some . . . that's why if you talk with him, very nice.

Prabhupāda: So that is also nice. We do not . . . we are not afraid of meeting any philosopher or scientist, but they are afraid. That is our credit. All scientists know that they are on the wrong basis, but because they are scientists, they say like that. That is their position. They do not believe in their own statement. Therefore he said: "I do not know."

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Because there is no solid background.

Prabhupāda: No.

(pause) (japa)

You and Dr. Rao just make a combination, world-touring. I shall give you all expenditure. And go to the universities, scientists, and talk with them. Our kīrtana party also will go. We challenge all scientists, "Come on." We shall pay all expenditure. Ask Dr. Rao to come and join. Just like in Calcutta University, all the students . . . no, one leader student, he came. He talked about economic development, and he said that, "Our students did not derive any speach by your theological statement." So I told them that "Because you are all rascals, therefore you could not." I told them freely.

Because in the Bhagavad-gītā . . . they are student of Sanskrit. And in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, na māṁ mūḍhāḥ duṣkṛtino narādhamāḥ prapadyante (BG 7.15). "So you are amongst these. You are duṣkṛtinas, sinful, lowest of the mankind, and the university is responsible for creating such rascals." So professors clapped, and later on they said: "Swāmījī, you have rightly said." All the professors said. And so far economic question is concerned, the bird, beast, animals, they have no economic concern. Why you have got? You are less than bird and beast, you have created this economic problem. Harer nāma harer nāma . . . (CC Adi 17.21).

Where is the economic question? Just the small birds, teeny birds, they are solving their economic question, coming (makes sound) "bup, bup," finished. They are not stocking, they are not thinking of tomorrow, but are satisfied. They have got eating, sufficient eating, sufficient sex, sufficient intelligence to defend. As soon as we go, immediately they fly away. That is defense. They know how to defend them. They immediately understand, "There are human beings, stronger. They may do some harm. Let us fly." So these things are everywhere: eating, sleeping, mating and defending. There is no scarcity. Only scarcity is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That we have to preach. Theology . . . "Logy" means science, is it not?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes. Biology . . . Astrology.

Prabhupāda: Everything, logy means science. So theology is also science. Why they reject theology, "Yes, you are talking . . ."? What kind of scientist you are? It is a "logy," it is a science. Why you are giving preference to one "logy" to another? What kind of scientist you are? Even though I am talking of theology, why should you reject it? In Vedic knowledge, "logy" is the basic . . . nyāya-prasthāna, śruti-prasthāna, smṛti-prasthāna. These are the three ways of understanding the Absolute Truth.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Logic and argument?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Nyāya-pra . . . just like Vedānta-sūtra, it is logic and argument to approach the Absolute Truth. Athāto brahma jijñāsā: "Now it is the time for inquiring about Brahman." This is logic. Because other animals, they cannot inquire about the Absolute Truth, but human being can. Therefore the first proposition is, atha . . . ataḥ, "Now, because you have got human form of life, therefore you should now inquire about the Absolute Truth." This is the beginning. It is logic. And actually we feel, "Who has created the ocean? Who has created the star? How it is floating? Whether there are human being?" So many questions. So that should be solved now.

And actually they are doing, the scientist. Scientist means they are also trying to solve so many problems. So that is . . . human being can be scientist, not a dog can be scientist. So why not become the supreme scientist to know the Absolute Truth? That is Vedānta-sūtra. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. Now you propose that, "Why don't you accept that life begins from life?" What is their objection? This is also theory, and why not accept this theory? And now let us compare which theory is feasible. Why you are afraid?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: They are silent.

Prabhupāda: Biased. Rascal biased.

Karandhara: They say life is also matter.

Prabhupāda: Life is matter, that's all right. But produce from matter life. That you cannot do. Life is also matter, or we say: "Matter is also life." We say that. Sarvaṁ khalv idaṁ brahma (Chāndogya Upaniṣad 3.14.1). Brahma means life. So everything is life. The basis, basis of everything. Just like my body is depending on my life. Therefore the whole cosmic material manifestation is also depending on God. So matter is another energy of life. That we practically see. So in that sense we can say that matter is also life. That we can say. Or obvertly, we can say, "Life is matter." That we can accept.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Matter is a part of life? A part of life. A component.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like this nail is coming. This is matter. But it is coming from life. Because the body is in life, therefore the nail is coming, daily growing. Any child can understand. When this body is dead, no more nail will grow. Therefore this is matter coming from life. This body grows because the life is there. Life is there.

If there is no life, the body will not grow. So it's natural conclusion that matter grows upon life. And because matter is the cause . . . life is the cause and matter is the effect, therefore as in the effect the cause is there . . . just like cotton. Cotton is the cause, and the thread is the effect. In the thread there is cotton. That is understood. Similarly, because life is the cause, matter is the effect, therefore in the effect there is life—in another form.

Karandhara: They say there is no difference between that life and that matter.

Prabhupāda: No, how can you say, rascal? Then you are rascal immediately. There is so much difference. Then immediately you talk like rascal. There is difference. You have to accept superior, inferior. Just like two things. When you go to purchase something, the shopkeeper gives you, "Here is superior." Although there is no difference, but there is difference of superiority and inferiority. That you have to accept. Therefore you pay more price to the superior. How there is no difference? This is another rascaldom. You have to distinguish between superior and inferior.

Karandhara: Well, they say it is all made up of the same elements.

Prabhupāda: That is all right, but why do you pay more? That is difference. Question is difference. You have to accept difference. Why do you pay more for the superior thing? That is difference. Why do you pay more respect to a superior person? That is difference. Mr. Nixon is also a human being, you are also human being. But if Mr. Nixon immediately comes, we shall all pay him respect. Why? That is difference.

Karandhara: That's all on the same plane.

Prabhupāda: That's all not. That not all. He is the superior; he is getting respect. Therefore he is not equal to you. You cannot say that. You may say . . . a rascal may say that, "A superior person is as good as I am." But people will not accept it. People will say, "No, you are a rascal. He is an intelligent." Although you have got two hands, he has got two hands, that doesn't matter. So you must distinguish between superior and inferior. We say it is one, but superior and inferior.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: But in other words, the matter cannot grow without a living force.

Prabhupāda: No, that is another branch of, I mean to say, accepting matter as life. We have to distinguish them, that life is superior than matter. That we have to accept. You cannot say both of them are all the same. No. We have to distinguish them as superior, inferior.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: That is why these scientists, when they are trying to find out the origin of life, they are concerned only on the matter, the elements, chemical elements, and the chemical compounds, the molecules, not on the superior energy.

Prabhupāda: No, there is superior energy. The same example: Just like because I am now living, I am eating something, going to the stomach, the chemical action is going on. If I am dead, it will not. Therefore life is superior. On account of presence of life, the foodstuff which we are taking, that is being divided into different chemicals, some urine, some stool, some blood, and they are being utilized differently. So how can you say? But without life, such distinction will not act. Therefore life is superior. Even accepting life is also matter.

Karandhara: They say there is no evidence that life is eternal.

Prabhupāda: Life is eternal? That is another question. That we shall see. First of all, you accept that life is superior. Make solution one after another.

Karandhara: Well, so long as they do not see that life as eternal or significantly different . . .

Prabhupāda: Eternal, that can be understood by any child. First of all you have to accept that life is superior.

Karandhara: That is just a conventional superiority. That superiority is just conventional, or relative.

Prabhupāda: Why conventional? Actually. Just like a child and a teacher, they are of the same. He is also human being and children also, human being. But still, the children are controlled by the teacher. Therefore superior. It is not convention. If you disobey the superior, you will be punished. That superiority is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā:

apareyam itas tu viddhi
me prakṛtiṁ parā
jīva-bhūtāṁ mahā-bāho
yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat
(BG 7.5)

Svarūpa Dāmodara: It is explained nicely in today's Bhāgavata śloka that by influence of Kṛṣṇa, the rivers are flowing filled with water, the trees are bearing fruits, flowers of the . . .

Prabhupāda: That's a fact. What is the time?

Brahmānanda: There's time yet.

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. I have several times explained that in higher sense there is no matter. Did I not?

Brahmānanda: Yes.

Prabhupāda: So life and matter equal, that can be accepted, but there is superior and inferior position. Just like Kṛṣṇa is life; I am also life. Kṛṣṇa is also person; I am also person. Kṛṣṇa has got . . . what Kṛṣṇa, propensities He has got, I have also got. Kṛṣṇa wants to love another girl, so I want to love. A girl wants to love another boy, so Rādhārāṇī wants to love Kṛṣṇa. So everything qualitatively are all equal, but Kṛṣṇa can marry at a time millions of wives. You cannot maintain even wife . . . one wife. That is the position.

Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaḥ (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13), Vedas says. That is the difference. He is life; I am also life. All the life symptoms, there is in Kṛṣṇa and there is in me, but still I am inferior—He is superior. And that is the law, that the inferior should be subordinately serving to the superior. Therefore we want to . . . our business is to serve Kṛṣṇa, although qualitatively we are one. That inferior, superior, that is the difference between God and the living entity.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: I am not clear about the life equal to matter.

Prabhupāda: Life equal to matter means the same thing. Just like here you pinch, you feel, but here with a, I mean to say, iron instrument you pinch, you will not feel. Both things are the same, is it not? But here you feel, here you do not feel. So matter means where there is less feeling, and life means where there is acute feeling. That is meaning.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: I can understand it that matter is a part of life.

Prabhupāda: This matter . . . you can understand by the finger. This matter, this nail, is production of this part. This part is life and this part is not life. But it is a production of this life. When you have cut your nails, you don't feel pain. But same instrument you touch your little . . . half inch down, immediately you feel pain. So therefore although qualitatively . . . this is also produce of matter, as produce of this part. But where there is feeling, that is spiritual, and where there is no feeling, that is matter. What is Kṛṣṇa consciousness? The human being is the same. But as soon as he feels that, "There is Kṛṣṇa," he is spiritualist. As soon as he does not feel, he is materialist. That is the difference.

It is the question of feeling. Matter, matter means where there is absence of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In other things there is also consciousness. Because there is not Kṛṣṇa consciousness, it is material. And so far we are concerned, we have got the same consciousness, but Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore we are superior, spiritual. So this material world means this part, and spiritual world means this part. This is the difference. Here you have got feeling. So that means the conclusion is when you have feeling in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that is spiritual, that is superior. When you have no feeling of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that is inferior. The same thing can be turned into superior and inferior by the change of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: So matter can be converted to spirit.

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. Just like expert electrician—the same energy, electric, converting into heat, converting into refrigerator. The energy is the same. Both places the electricity is working, but by his expert management, one is heater, one is cooler. But heat and cool completely different, just opposite. That is stated in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa: parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate . . . (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.8, CC Madhya 13.65, purport). Ah. Viṣṇu-śaktiḥ parā. Both matter and spirit, they are energy of the Supreme. So the energy or the energetic—nondifferent. But by His arrangement, one is working as superior, one is working as inferior.

The same example, that the same electric energy is acting as cooler and acting as heater. But the energy the same. Similarly, originally the energy is God's energy. So God's energy and God, there is no difference. But by His manipulation one is working as material energy, another is . . . (indistinct) . . . this is difference. Therefore originally it comes all spiritual energy, life. Therefore we have to take everything from life, not from the dead. Same example—the finger is first coming, life, and then the nail is coming, matter. Not that first of all nail is coming. You can study. This is meditation.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: So in any case, everything is controlled by the superior energy.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That superior energy is life.


A small seed of banyan tree fructifies; there is life, and the big tree comes—so many wood, so many twigs, so many things, huge quantity. Here is the proof. Life is the origin. According to our Vedic description, Brahmā is first created. He is life. Not that matter is first created, then Brahmā comes. No. And Brahmā comes from Viṣṇu. Viṣṇu is life, the supreme life. Then Brahmā creates this universe. That is Vedic version. What do you think?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes.

Prabhupāda: So life is the origin.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Life started from life.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: It cannot start from matter.

Prabhupāda: No. If you can establish this theory, you will get also Nobel Prize. Yes, try to . . . yes, do it. And all these rascals will be defeated. Do that. Their so-called theory that life has come out of matter . . . do this by your education. Yad-uttamaśloka-guṇānuvarṇanam (SB 1.5.22). Here is life: Kṛṣṇa. Here begins everything. Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate (BG 10.8). Kṛṣṇa says. Vedānta says. Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). Everything is there. Simply we have to present it scientifically. That's all.


So you were the only person to protest against him in the meeting?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes. Nobody asked any questions.

Brahmānanda: Blind leading the blind.

Prabhupāda: That's all. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ (SB 7.5.31). Anyway, he has admitted, "I do not know." That is sufficient defeat for him. But they are shameless. In spite of being defeated, they won't admit that, "I am defeated." Not gentlemen. Formerly, between two learned scholars there will be argument. If one is defeated . . . just like Sarvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya. As soon as he became defeated, he became His disciple. That's all. That was the system.

Not that we go on arguing for hours, and one is defeated—still he remains the same. No. If you are defeated, then you must accept the other party as your master. That was the system. As soon as he said that, "I do not know," he should have become your disciple. That is the system. "If you do not know, why you have come to teach me?"

Svarūpa Dāmodara: He should come and become a disciple of Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: No, Prabhupāda . . . no. We want everyone to become Kṛṣṇa's disciple. That is our mission. We are disciplic succession. The original master is Kṛṣṇa. (end)