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730722 - Conversation A - London

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

730722R1-LONDON - July 22, 1973 - 61:22 Minutes

(Conversation with Dr. Arnold Toynbee - Historian)

Prabhupāda: You have heard something about our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement?

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: I know something in general, yes. Perhaps you would tell me more.

Prabhupāda: It is based on Bhagavad-gītā.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: You have read Bhagavad-gītā, I think.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: So primarily, it is based on Bhagavad-gītā, and then it is being explained from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: Bhagavad-gītā is the preliminary study of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: So we get ideas from Bhagavad-gītā how God consciousness can make the human society happy.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: The aim of human society should be God realization. That is the distinction between an animal and a human being.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: So Bhagavad-gītā recommends that the whole society should be divided into four divisions: the brāhmaṇa, or the most intellectual persons; the kṣatriyas, the administrators; the vaiśyas, the mercantile agriculturists; and the śūdras, ordinary men, laborer or worker. Because this material world is conducted by three modes of nature, goodness, passion and ignorance. So according to the quality of the person, he should be listed in different categories. And it is the duty of the state to see that all these categories, divisions, they are working nicely.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: Then, by God's arrangement, by nature's arrangement, all the necessities of the living entities, they will be supplied. They will be free from all anxieties, diseases. This was practically demonstrated during the reign of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira. I, I wish to quote some passages from . . . during the reign of . . .

Pradyumna: Start with number one?

śaunaka uvāca
hatvā svariktha-spṛdha ātatāyino
yudhiṣṭhiro dharma-bhṛtāṁ variṣṭhaḥ
sahānujaiḥ pratyavaruddha-bhojanaḥ
kathaṁ pravṛttaḥ kim akāraṣīt tataḥ
(SB 1.10.1)

Prabhupāda: Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, after the Battle of Kurukṣetra, all the five brothers, they were almost fasting as, what is called, atonement for so many people killed for their sake. Then, under the instruction of elderly persons, Bhīṣma and Kṛṣṇa, he accepted the ruling power, governmental, and during his time . . .

(aside) You read that, kāmaṁ vavarṣa . . .

Pradyumna: It says:

kāmaṁ vavarṣa parjanyaḥ
sarva-kāma-dughā mahī
siṣicuḥ sma vrajān gāvaḥ
payasodhasvatīr mudā
(SB 1.10.4)

Prabhupāda: Translation.

Pradyumna: Translation: "During the reign of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, the clouds showered all the water that people needed, and the earth produced all the necessities of man in profusion. Due to its fatty milk bag and cheerful attitude, the cow used to moisten the grazing ground with milk."

Prabhupāda: This was the position of the kingdom, that the cows felt secure. At the present moment, the cows are very unhappy. I have seen. They are almost crying. Because they can understand that, "After some time, we'll be killed."

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: They can understand that. So during Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira's time, the cows were happy, and because they were happy, they were producing so much milk that when they were on the pasturing ground, the pasturing ground became moist with milk. Milk was dropping, so much milk supply. And kāmaṁ vavarṣa parjanyaḥ (SB 1.10.4): there was regular rainfall and ample production of food grains, other things also. Just like jewelries, they are also produced by the rainfall and certain constellation of the star. That we understand from the astrological books.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So they produce these stones also, mean puṣyanna-kṣatra. So therefore it is said that kāmaṁ vavarṣa parjanyaḥ (SB 1.10.4). And this parjanyaḥ, or the rainfall, is made possible by performing sacrifices.

(aside) You read that portion, parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ.

Pradyumna: This is from Bhagavad-gītā. Annād bhavanti bhūtāni parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ (BG 3.14).

Prabhupāda: Annād bhavanti bhūtāni means by eating sufficiently, the living entities, they grow, they become strong, both animal and human being. Then?

Pradyumna: Parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ.

Prabhupāda: And the anna, these grains, they are produced from parjanyaḥ, from clouds. Now? Next?

Pradyumna: Yajñād bhavati parjanyo . . .

Prabhupāda: And yajñād bhavati parjanyaḥ (BG 3.14). And when we regularly perform yajña, then there is regular cloud in the sky. And when there is cloud in the sky, there is regular rainfall, and when there is regular rainfall, there is sufficient production of food grains, fruits and other vegetables, so that both the animal and the human being, they eat sufficiently, they grow strength, they become happy and again perform yajña. And the animal supplies . . . the cow supplies milk. In this way, the whole society becomes happy. These are the prescription, or direction, given by the Vedic literature.

So if people take advantage of this instruction, as you have mentioned in your article "The Great Seers," so if we follow their instruction, the whole history of the human being can be changed. There is no difficulty. But whether the people will accept or not, that is the business of the leaders of the society. So far I think that British people, they organized very nicely the British Empire, but some way or other, it is now lost.

But still, the British prestige can be elevated if actually, according to the Vedic instruction, you try to make your social construction, the political institution and economic development . . . every direction is there. So you are all great historians. And there are many politicians. If you take this instruction of the Vedas little seriously, you can make your state an ideal state, and people are still ready to follow you. Then the whole history of the world will change. And if you people agree, then I can help. I can help.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes. Yes, yes.


Prabhupāda: There must be ample production of food grains and milk product. Then the whole economic problem solved. And the formula is there. How to get ample agricultural production and milk, everything is there in Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And the examples of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, that is also there. But one . . . we must be serious to accept this formula for practical application.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes. You would apply the teachings of the Gītā to all human societies at all times. Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. Yes, that is my ambition, that let the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā be practically accepted by the human society, and surely they'll be happy. Surely. Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glanīr bhavati bhārata (BG 4.7). That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. So now everything is confused. And in your country, or Western countries, they are very organized. So you are not feeling now so much confusion. But it is coming. But in India and countries like that, it is very confusion state.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes. They have lost their own culture, and they could not assimilate the Western type of civilization. So they are lost. They are lost.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Now in India is everybody lost, the Indian culture . . .?

Prabhupāda: No, not everybody.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: No, no.

Prabhupāda: Not everybody. But general mass of people, at least the so-called educated, five to ten percent people, they are lost.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes. And so-called educated, they practically guide. You'll be surprised to know that in 1950, one of my student, he was a government statistic officer. So he went to some village, and he gave me report that the villagers inquired from him that, "Babuji, agar angarej ko vote diya yai pasatela (Sir, if we again give vote to the Englishmen, will they come and rule)."

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: You understand Hindi? No.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: No, I don't, actually. No, no, no.

Prabhupāda: No. The inquiry was that, "If we again give votes to the Englishmen, will they come and rule?" (laughs)

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So they were feeling the . . . actually, in India . . . in our childhood, we know, every Indian felt very secure. They never expected that Britishers will go. They were so sympathetic. And now they . . . this is the pulse felt by that statistics officer. They are not very much satisfied with the present system of government. British administration was very much appreciated by the Indians. Even Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura appreciated.

Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, he has written in something, somewhere that, "The Britishers also very nice, because they don't interfere with the religious affairs." So as soon as they changed their views and tried to divide the Hindus and Muslim, the British Empire lost. According to Queen's declaration, the Britishers pledged that, "They will not interfere with your religious affairs." Later on, for political purposes, when they interfered with this Hindu-Muslim question, then the British Empire lost.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes. But the people who rule India now have a Western education mostly. The Indians who . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes. Perverted. Perverted. Just like Nehru. Nehru was Western-educated. He was educated in London. But he hated everything Indian.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That was the res . . . formerly, in our childhood, we saw that any gentleman coming here in London and goes back to India, he no more mixes with the Indian soil. He . . . they were called "England-returned." So they made their own society. Then our Ram Mohan Raya, he formed a Brahmo Society. And so many things changed. Again, they are now topsy-turvied. So actually, India's position is that they have lost their own culture, and they could not assimilate the Western culture. But in the Western countries, if they accept this Vedic process of civilization, then they will again take it.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes.


Śyāmasundara: "A Rival for Nelson."

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Śyāmasundara: "A Rival for Nelson."

Prabhupāda: Yes. There was newspaper photograph. You have seen that?

Śyāmasundara: Guardian.

Prabhupāda: Guardian. "A Rival for Nelson." Yes.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Well, the Western countries are mostly concerned with economics, money, wealth . . .

Prabhupāda: No, that is . . .

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: It's about the same as . . .

Prabhupāda: That, that they can continue. But the spirit of Vedic culture should be accepted. It is not that because one has to accept the Vedic culture, he has to stop industry or material progress. Not like that. Bhagavad-gītā does not teach that. Simply to change the consciousness. Therefore we have named the Society "Kṛṣṇa Consciousness." One has to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. Then everything will be adjusted.

Not the mode of life should be changed. Little change. Just like we recommend that four things should be avoided: illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling. So to give up these four kinds of activities, which are considered to be sinful, that is not very difficult. That is not very difficult.

These English and, I mean to say, European and American boys, they are young men. They have given up. So in this society, if there is prevalence of sinful activities, then there will be reaction. So these four things are considered sinful activities: illicit sex, meat . . . unecessarily killing of animals, and intoxication and gambling. Yatra pāpas catur-vidhaḥ. These are four kinds of sinful activities. So Vedic civilization means they should be freed from the sinful activities. Then other things will automatically come.

Śyāmasundara: I think Mr. Toynbee . . . I saw on television . . . I saw you once on a television program in New York.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes.

Śyāmasundara: And you concluded that if men came out of this age who had developed a spirit of renunciation, true renunciation from material pursuit, that this would enable the world to rectify its present precarious position.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes, yes. Yes.

Śyāmasundara: So . . . yes.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Do you see any signs of change in the Western world or not?

Prabhupāda: Well, change can take place any moment, provided they will take this movement little seriously. Change for good.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Change for good. Yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes. And your article showed that you are also for change for good.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So our Movement and Your Honor, we can cooperate for the good of the general people.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Śyāmasundara: How do you see this "Spirit of true renunciation," as you call it? How do you see it . . .?

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Śyāmasundara: How do you see that that is able to come about at this time in history?

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: There are some signs in Western countries of people turning away from just money-making professions, I think. Small signs, but distinct signs, perhaps. But it'll take a long time, and probably only through a great deal of suffering will people learn to change their attitude to life, I think. I think in Britain at the present, people of all classes are going for more wealth, more material standard of living and so on. They're thinking almost entirely of this, which doesn't make for happiness and cannot really be achieved by everybody.

Śyāmasundara: Many young people, especially young people . . .

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Śyāmasundara: Many people nowadays are finding this renunciation quite simple and easy . . .

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes.

Śyāmasundara: . . . as Prabhupāda was saying about the four rules and so many other activities. We may perform something on the surface, but the renunciation is there in our consciousness because we're giving everything to Kṛṣṇa as a service.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes. What about America?

Śyāmasundara: Ah, yes.

Devotee: Some water, Dr. Toynbee?

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: No, thank you. And what about Japan? She's an Asian country, but has been very successful in the Western way now.

Śyāmasundara: Well, we have two centers there also. Japan also, we have centers.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes. One gets the impression the Japanese are not very happy. They're very . . .

Prabhupāda: Nobody can be happy with this materialistic way of life. That is a fact.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes, yes, yes.

Śyāmasundara: Our centers . . . Prabhupāda has started centers all over the world, one hundred and ten centers. Thousands of people are giving up the material attachment.

Prabhupāda: In Bengal, there was one secretary of the government, Toynbee.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: You knew him?

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: No, no.

Prabhupāda: He's different man.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Probably some connection there. Yes, yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: I . . . in some business I saw him sometimes in 1948, like that.


Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Sad that Bengal has been divided.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Very sad.

Prabhupāda: Bengal is now divided. East Bengal is now called Bangladesh, and West Bengal is there.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: They still keep to the language, and they feel themselves Bengalis, though they're just most Muslims.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. They're keeping the Bengali language.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: India was divided, Pakistan and Hindustan.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes. There's a great consciousness of difference of language too, in India, which is rather new. In the past . . .

Prabhupāda: These two Bengals, they speak the same language.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Two . . . yes.

Prabhupāda: But West Pakistan, they speak Hindi, or Urdu.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: And the southern states are very conscious of their different languages.

Prabhupāda: Actually, English language . . . now we see, we have got the facility of speaking in English language all over the world. Yes.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: That is true. Yes.

Prabhupāda: Whole America speaks English language—Australia, New Zealand. In India also, practically all educated men, they speak in English. So in Africa, in Europe also, they understand English language. Not very much, but . . . (laughs) The Germans especially, they do not like.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes. No.

Prabhupāda: They do not like.

Śyāmasundara: Only at the airport.

Prabhupāda: France? What is the position in France? They don't like also.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: No.

Prabhupāda: In Canada, there is two languages, English and French.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes. And unfortunately, a great feeling between the two.

Prabhupāda: This material world is based on jealousy. And spiritual world is based on friendship. That is the difference. So the, these materialistic person, United Nation, League of Nation, they are trying to unite, but they, at heart, there is jealousy. So they can never become united. This is only bogus farce.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: What do you think?

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: They cannot be united, because at heart there is jealousy. They go to the United Nation assembly. So one man is speaking with jealousy for the other, the other man is speaking (laughs) with jealous . . . so how they can be united? It is not possible.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes. Yes. No.

Prabhupāda: Therefore, they should adopt this Kṛṣṇa conscious platform. Paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satāṁ vāstava vastu vedyaṁ atra (SB 1.1.2). So it is a very scientific movement. I would like that persons like you, you should take some little active part to push on this movement.


Śyāmasundara: Śrīla Prabhupāda?

Prabhupāda: Hmm.

Śyāmasundara: What do we mean by renunciation?

Prabhupāda: Renunciation . . . practically there is no question of renunciation. According to our philosophy . . . just like father and the son. So son cannot renounce father's protection or the property. Some way or other, he has to take advantage of it. But . . . therefore renunciation means that as every son has got a right on the property of the father, similarly, every living entity has got right to live at the cost of God. But they should not encroach upon others' right. That is renunciation.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: But at the present moment, they are encroaching upon others' right. And that is sinful, and he's punishable. Just like every living entity has got the right to live at the cost of God. But the human being is interfering with the rights of living of the animals. They have got the right. As human being has got the right to live . . .

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes. I agree.

Prabhupāda: . . . why not they? National. National means a living entity born in particular country. So at the present moment, the national means only human being. The animals are not nationals. They are being sent to the slaughterhouse. So these kind of sinful activities are going on. Therefore renunciation means to give up these sinful activities. That is real renunciation. Otherwise, you cannot renounce anything. You have to live. And that is allowed at the cost of God.

Everything belongs to God. You are son of God. So you live. But don't encroach . . . mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam. That is the instruction of Īśopaniṣad. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvaṁ (ISO 1). Everything belongs to God. Tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā. So you have got the right to enjoy what is allotted for you. Don't encroach upon others' right. This is renunciation. But they are encroaching upon others' right. Especially the human society. And that is the cause of all trouble. Because they have no God consciousness, they have no sense about God, and there is no sense about next life. What is your opinion about life after death?

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: My opinion is that an individual human being is, in life in this world, is temporarily separated from the whole of spiritual reality, and after death we rejoin the reality that we are separated from.

Prabhupāda: That is Christian idea.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes. After death . . . but so far I know, Christian, there is consideration of hell and heaven.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Somebody is going to hell, somebody's going to heaven. Is it not? After death?

Devotee: Yes, I think so.

Śyāmasundara: That was my understanding.

Devotee: That is the Christian idea.

Prabhupāda: So, if there is question of hell and heaven, then we are responsible in this life for our next life, whether we are going to hell or heaven.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes. I would agree. Yes.

Prabhupāda: So that is nice. There is next life. And according to your work, you get hellish life or heavenly life.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: And you would believe that karma is continuous from . . .

Prabhupāda: karma, yes.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: . . . one life to another.

Prabhupāda: Yes, transferred. Yes.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: That is practical. If you become nice student . . .

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: karma can be . . .

Prabhupāda: . . . then, in future, you become a nice professor. But if you do not study nicely, how you can become a professor?

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: So karma you cannot deny.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Similarly, in this life, my karma . . . that is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa. According to your karma and by the supervision of superior authority, you get a body. karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa jantur deha upapattaye (SB 3.31.1). The living entity gets a certain type of body according to the karma. And this is allotted by superior authority.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: The people do not know all these things. They have no idea. They have no idea, neither . . . even these things are there in the Vedic literature, they are not very much interested. And practically, in the darkness, they do not know what is next . . . I talked with Professor Kotovsky in Moscow. He, he is in charge of Indology. But that gentleman told me, "Swāmījī, after death there is nothing. Everything is finished." So I was surprised that such a learned man, and he has no idea of the transmigration of the soul. These are the defects of modern civilization. Those who are leaders, teachers, they are not sufficiently in knowledge.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: I think, in Western countries now, people are very much afraid of death. It's . . .

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Especially in America, people are very much afraid of . . . they won't even mention or think about death, which is a great weakness. One should be able to think about death.

Prabhupāda: No, no. The thing is . . . that is natural. That is natural. Suppose if, after my death, I am going to become something lower than my present position, certainly I must be afraid of it.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: Suppose if somebody gives me . . . this is a fact. Recently one astrologer has said that one of the biggest politician in India, he has now become a dog in Sweden. May be correct or not, but there is possibility. There is possibility.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: Because from the śāstra we understand, karmāṇa, by work, one has to . . . prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ (BG 3.27). By prakṛti, by nature, as we make . . . just like if we eat little more, so by the laws of nature, immediately there is indigestion.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: So you cannot deny this adjustment. So why not . . .? I am sufferer of my karma. So according to my karma, I get a body . . .

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes, yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: . . . suffering or enjoyment. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Yānti deva-vratā devān pitṟn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ, bhūtāni yānti bhūtejyā . . . (BG 9.25). Who goes where—that is stated here. Ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā madhye tiṣṭhanti rājasāḥ (BG 14.18). Everything is there. We can understand. We can understand where we are going. So one who is going to a higher level of life—and the most perfection of life is go back to home, back go Godhead—he's not afraid of death.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: Sādhu maro vā jīva vā. It is said, for a sādhu, saintly person, either he lives or dies, he has the same position: back to home, back to Godhead.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: karma can be changed for better or for worse.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: karma can be changed by bhakti. Otherwise, cannot be.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes. In each life.

Prabhupāda: By bhakti. Karmāṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājam (Bs. 5.54). That is stated in the śāstras. The karma can be counteracted only by bhakti-bhājam, devotional service. Otherwise it is not. Therefore our duty is only to endeavor for advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, not to bother with other things, economic development. Because they are under the karma laws.

So whatever happiness and distress under karma I am destined to suffer or enjoy, that will come automatically. So you haven't got to try for it. But if you . . . if we do not try for development of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then we are wasting time. So far our other things are concerned, that will come and go according to karma.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes, yes. But not many people . . .

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Not many people in Western countries are thinking about this now.

Prabhupāda: That's not very good.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: No.

Prabhupāda: That's not good.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: No.

Prabhupāda: That means it proves less intelligence.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: If they do not know the law of karma and the transmigration of the soul, change of body, that means no intellectual . . .

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes.


Prabhupāda: So let us . . .

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Now, in India more people are living in the Western way. They are living in cities, working in factories and offices. Does this make them have the Western state of mind, the Western point of view? Or can they resist it?

Prabhupāda: No, everything can be changed, if they take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The consciousness has to be changed.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, that . . . yes.

Prabhupāda: Otherwise, let him work in the factory or in the office, in the city. It doesn't matter. One has to change his consciousness. Then he's perfect, Kṛṣṇa conscious, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). That consciousness has to be changed. Then everything will be automatically become . . .

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes.


Prabhupāda: What book you are writing now?

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Well, I'm writing a book about Greece, about the effect of ancient Greece on present-day Greece.

Prabhupāda: Oh.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: The Greeks, like India or China, have a great past, and this is quite a difficulty for them. They're rather overshadowed by their own past. They don't quite know how to deal with it. I am writing about that.

Prabhupāda: What is your view about connection of the old Greeks with India?

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: About the Greeks in India?

Prabhupāda: Greek, Greek people and Indian.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: For several centuries they had a very important part in Indian history. Very important.

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: And a number of them changed their religion and adopted Indian religion, didn't they? Yes.

Prabhupāda: No, they . . . so far our Mahābhārata is concerned, we understand that the Greek people came from India.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Originally.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: There's that famous Buddhist work, the . . .

Prabhupāda: Jajati. The son of Jajati Maharaja.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: And that we get information from our . . .

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: There was a Greek called Heliodorus. I think it was put up a monument showing he'd become a Hindu, in religion.

Prabhupāda: No, five thousand years ago—I do not know what is your study—the all over the world there was Vedic culture.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: All over the world. Now, gradually, new type of religious system or culture came in. Just like very recently, India is divided into Pakistan and Hindustan. So, say twenty years ago or say twenty-five years, there was no such thing. All parts of India was the Hindustan. But now they have made Pakistan. And few days after there will be some other "stan." This is going on.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Pakistan is also now divided.

Śyāmasundara: Yes.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: And also Indonesia, and they're . . . on the surface they're Muslims, but underneath they're Hindu. There's been . . .

Prabhupāda: I have been in Indonesia.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: You've also . . . yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Their culture is Hindu culture. But by religion they have accepted Muslim. They still, their names are Hindu names.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: Names are Hindu. There Garuḍa, Garuḍa. The airway is Garuḍa.

Śyāmasundara: Garuḍa Airlines.

Prabhupāda: Garuḍa is the carrier of Viṣṇu.

Śyāmasundara: Śrīla Prabhupāda . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes?

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: I've seen their shadow plays, and all the subjects and the heroes are from the Indian history, the Indian epics, not from Muslim. So . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: They all have two names. They have a Sanskrit name and an Arabic name, isn't it?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes. I've also been in . . .

Prabhupāda: And Java. Java, they are Hindus. Java. Still. In Indonesia also, there are many Hindus. They have got their Vedic way of worship. They accept Viṣṇu.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: (aside) You were with me in Indonesia?

Devotee: No, Śrutakīrti.

Śyāmasundara: Śrīla Prabhupāda, what is your view of the future, the history, the future history?

Prabhupāda: Oh, that is there, described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The . . . the governmental power will go to the rascals and thieves, rogues. And their only business will be how to exploit the people. So one side, by not sufficient rain, there will be scarcity of foodstuff, and one side, the government will tax like anything. In this way, people will be so much harassed that they will give up their hearth and home and go to the forest.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: This will be done in Kali-yuga. And gradually, there will be no supply of grains. Especially rice, wheat, sugar, milk—these things will be finished. So people will be obliged to take flesh. These are all stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Śyāmasundara: In that case, is there any hope in a Movement like ours to rectify the situation?

Prabhupāda: Yes. If they take to Kṛṣṇa co . . . that is also stated: kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet (SB 12.3.51). Kīrtanād, by Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one can become free from all these calamities and go back to home, back to Godhead. Only Kṛṣṇa conscious people will be free from all these calamities. Others will have to suffer.

Śyāmasundara: So societies in general will not improve, but more people . . .

Prabhupāda: Improve . . . major portion is stated like that. But there is always light and darkness. Always. So the light party will be also there. This is the only, that take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ (SB 12.3.51). In the Kali-yuga, it is an ocean of faults. Doṣa-nidhi. Nidhi means ocean, and doṣa means faults. But there is one opportunity. Kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ, very great profit.

What is that? Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya: simply by chanting Kṛṣṇa's name and becoming Kṛṣṇa con . . . one shall be freed from all these calamities and he'll go back to home, back to Godhead. Simply by this. Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya. This very word is used. Mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet. So this is the only shelter. If people take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they'll be saved from all the calamities of this age. Otherwise, there is no other . . . now they are going to the forest, the hippies. Eh? Ācchinna-dāra-draviṇā gacchanti giri-kānanam (SB 12.2.8). Giri-kānanam means to the forests, to the hills. They'll go. Ācchinna-dāra-draviṇām. Dāra means wife, and draviṇā means money. So they'll be separated from wife and money, and they'll go to the forest and hills, being disappointed. This is happening already. Ācchinna-dāra-draviṇā gacchanti giri-kānanam.

Śyāmasundara: Does this correspond, Mr. Toynbee, with your view of the future history?

Prabhupāda: Yes, this is the future history. You can predict in your writings. Yes.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes. With more people in politics in India, are they able to keep the Vedic ideal? Or . . .?

Prabhupāda: No, no. They have given up.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: No.

Prabhupāda: The politicians they, "These books are useless. Throw them in the water." They say like that publicly. They are not interested. Rather, this Movement, as I have now began with my disciples, European, American boys, they're . . . they are not very satisfied, the present politicians. They are not very satisfied. They don't want. Everywhere this . . . more or less the same mentality. But it is our duty on behalf of Kṛṣṇa to push on this Movement. So we are doing, and we are getting response. It is not without response. It will increase. That is also stated, that for ten thousand years Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement will increase. Yes.

Śyāmasundara: Ten thousand years.

Prabhupāda: Within ten thousand years, if they become Kṛṣṇa conscious, then life is successful. After ten thousand years, the gloomy picture of Kali-yuga will come. Still there is time. Ten thousand years is not small period. Yes. So we have passed five thousand year. So still ten thousand. We have got to the fifteen thousand year. Kali-yuga's duration of life is four hundred thousand . . . four hundred and twenty-seven thousand. Chār-lakh murti saja. Yes.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Do you travel much all over the world and . . .?

Prabhupāda: Yes. At least twice in a year, all over the world. (chuckles) Just in April I was here, in London. April? Or May?

Śyāmasundara: May.

Prabhupāda: May.

Śyāmasundara: Then to India.

Prabhupāda: In the month of May I was here. Again I have come in July. Formerly, from India to come to London, it was like a dream. And now it is daily affair. (laughs)

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes, yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: You get on the plane in the morning and go in the evening there. Simply you have to pay. Otherwise, there is no difficulty. So let us . . . so thank you very much for your . . .

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: It was very kind of you to come.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: I'm sorry I couldn't see you next week, which would have been more convenient to you, but unfortunately next week I was very much occupied, and I'm very grateful to you for coming this afternoon. It was kind of you.

Prabhupāda: Thank you.


Devotee: These are some of His Divine Grace's books here, Dr. Toynbee.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Hmm? Yes?

Devotee: And we'd like to leave them with you, in fact.

Prabhupāda: Any one you can take. There are so many.

Mukunda: Give first volume.

Prabhupāda: Give him the first volume.

Devotee: This is First Canto, Part One, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.

Śyāmasundara: With the commentaries, Sanskrit . . .

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, this is the original text and the translation. Yes.

Śyāmasundara: Yes. This is Śrīla . . .

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: I have some small editions up here, I think.

Prabhupāda: But this is elaborate.


Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, this is . . .

Śyāmasundara: Would you like a drink of water, Śrīla Prabhupāda?

Prabhupāda: No. No.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: (gets books down) Several. (laughs)

Śyāmasundara: Bhāgavatam?

Devotee: Bhagavad-gītā.

Śyāmasundara: Bhagavad-gītā.

Devotee: Dr. Radhakrishnan's . . . (indistinct) . . . and Prabhavananda and Isherwood, Christopher Isherwood.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: (laughs) So I'm very grateful for this . . .

Śyāmasundara: This is Bhāgavatam.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, yes.

Devotee: Have you studied Sanskrit, Dr. Toynbee?

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes? What?

Devotee: You have studied Sanskrit?

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Sanskrit? No, unfortunately not. No. No.


(looking through book)

This is a very fine edition, this. I'm very grateful for it. This is for me, is it?

Śyāmasundara: Oh, yes. Please accept it.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Very kind of you.


Yes. Other side.

Devotee: Thank you very much, Dr. Toynbee, for your time.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: I'm very grateful to you for coming. Yes.

Śyāmasundara: Thank you very much.

Devotee: Oh, my shoes.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Oh, have you left something behind?

Devotee: I left my shoes. (laughter)

Śyāmasundara: We've been living in the country lately, and we're not used to wearing shoes.

Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Oh! (laughter)

Śyāmasundara: Thank you very much for . . . (indistinct) . . . Hare Kṛṣṇa.

(sounds of devotees leaving) (end)