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730810 - Conversation A - Paris

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

730810R1-PARIS - August 10, 1973 - 65:30 Minutes

(Conversation with Anna Conan Doyle, daughter-in-law of author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Prabhupāda: . . . (desert) in India, is expanding. It is coming near to Mathurā and Vṛndāvana. So everyone is concerned.

Bhagavān: The desert is expanding, because it's . . .

Prabhupāda: Desert expands. As everything expands and diminishes, desert also. That is nature's course. Desert means less production. So na . . . if nature wants, she can make the whole world desert. What your tractors and so many agricultural machine will help? It will turn into desert. There will be no rain. What you can do? And still you are very proud of your scientific advancement. You cannot struggle with nature.

Bhagavān: They have one city in Italy, it's called Venice, and it's built . . . they say they have conquered the ocean. So they've gone out into the ocean and built it up, and there are so many houses. And you travel through the city on boat. That's the only way you can get . . . and now the city's sinking. (laughs)

Prabhupāda: Sinking?

Bhagavān: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Just see. Then what they are doing?

Bhagavān: They are concerned. (laughter)

Prabhupāda: The indication is already there. Still, they are not alert. They have to leave that place. Sinking also, Mexico.

Haṁsadūta: Mexico, yes. Mexico City is built on . . . also way up. But that's not very . . . in New York, in New York, you know, they have so many tunnels under the ground that every now and then there's some place just caves in, the street will suddenly just cave in. Because there's so many tunnels for electric wires and plumbing, for the subways, everything. And the whole thing is . . .

Prabhupāda: I have seen in New York, Park Street . . .

Devotees: Park Avenue.

Prabhupāda: Park Avenue, that one skyscraper foundation was . . . and I see within the foundation, the subway train is running.

Haṁsadūta: Within the foundation.

Prabhupāda: Yes. And I was looking at least five, ten stories from the subway.

Haṁsadūta: They're working so much just for this . . .

Guru-gaurāṅga: They have people here in Paris that work in the subway, in the Metro. And when they have to make repairs, they close the Metro down, twelve o'clock at night, and they come and work from twelve o'clock at night all through the brāhma-muhūrta and work on the Metro, on the tracks, and they leave at four in the morning, and the Metro starts again. And there are so many people working in holes in the ground all night like that.

Haṁsadūta: Working just at night.

Bhagavān: Underground.

Prabhupāda: Repairing?

Haṁsadūta: Repairing.

Prabhupāda: Mouse business. This repairing and working is done by the mouse also.

Bhagavān: At night. They also work at night.

Prabhupāda: Ugra-karma. They have invented working method, very, very hard, very, very . . . at night, in darkness, go down, ten stories down, and work for a livelihood.

Guru-gaurāṅga: Pungent activities.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Guru-gaurāṅga: Pungent activity.

Prabhupāda: And lots of land is lying in our Letchmore Heath. They won't work for producing food. That land is kept for keeping cows for killing them. And for their food, they are working underneath the ground, and whatever money they get, they import grains. Just see the māyā's influence that, "We are working, getting money, and importing grains." Why not work and grow grains?

Now he's thinking that, "I'll get more money underground than by cultivating on the surface." This is māyā. He's working very hard. Still, he's thinking it is better happiness. "I haven't to work on the surface. I am working underground. Therefore I am happy." This is māyā. He'll prefer that kind of work. But he won't agree to grow food on the surface of the country.

Guru-gaurāṅga: That's because in America, for example, the government will pay so much money. They will pay you more than if you grow so many fields of wheat.

Prabhupāda: No, it is my experience—I have seen practically all parts of the world—if we grow food, all countries, especially America, both North and South, whole America, whole Canada, whole Africa, whole Australia . . . they are not producing food. There is so much land. So if you combine together on Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there is no scarcity of food anywhere, in any part of the world.

Bhagavān: Prabhupāda, when we talk like this, is this to perhaps mean sometime in the future the movement will become so big that we will . . .?

Prabhupāda: Yes, if we accept that Kṛṣṇa is the proprietor of everything, then it becomes one state, as it was formerly, five thousand years ago.

Bhagavān: But to do that from the position the world is in today, it seems like it's so . . . it'd be almost . . . very difficult to come to that platform again, unless we . . .

Prabhupāda: It may be difficult, but the philosophy is there. Solution is there.

Bhagavān: That requires getting some kind of political position, perhaps? At least, if not us, someone else adopting the principles of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, appreciating them, or . . .

Prabhupāda: Now thing is, that political consciousness . . . just like Hitler planned, Napoleon planned. They also thought that, "If I can unite all these European states under my plan, under my 'ism,' they will be happy." That is the plan. He also thinks like that. But whether he is perfect? This Lenin, this Hitler, this Napoleon, whether they are perfect? So unless they are perfect, any such utopian planning will not help.

Bhagavān: But for our plan to be put into action on big scale, big people must accept, who . . . who are presently, who presently have power to control the state.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Bhagavān: So is this to say that we must . . .?

Prabhupāda: The big people are rogues. Just like yesterday we talked with the Cardinal. He is defending animal-killing. He's a rogue. Anyone who is killing animal, he's a rogue. But he is representing as big man, important man.

Bhagavān: So either they must accept our philosophy or we must replace them.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Bhagavān: That is . . .

Prabhupāda: First, first of all, you take care of yourself. (chuckles) Then you think of others. (break)

Devotee: . . . hear from Bhagavad-gītā . . . (indistinct) . . . will reply very directly. There is soul . . . (indistinct) . . . envy with the body just like everything . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: How he claims to be the body?

Devotee: He said people say that there is consciousness in this body because there is soul. Then at the end of the body, soul is finished, the body is finished. Everything finished.

Prabhupāda: Why soul is finished?

Devotee: Because they say the body is finished.

Prabhupāda: No . . . body is finished . . . my childhood body is finished, but the soul is not finished.

Bhagavān: They will not listen logically. What can you do?

Prabhupāda: How it is? My childhood body, my babyhood body is finished. It is no longer existing. So how I am existing? Therefore his statement that the body is finished and the soul is finished is wrong. We see practically. The body is finished, the soul is existing. This is practical. Why he's talking nonsense—"The body is finished and the soul is finished." Where the soul is finished? I remember my childhood body. So I, I am existing, but my childhood body's finished. That is the fact. Therefore with the annihilation of the body, the soul does not annihilate. This is the conclusion.

Guru-gaurāṅga: The baby body is finished, but soul is still there.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Guru-gaurāṅga: So when this body is finished, why shall the soul be gone?

Prabhupāda: Even the father, mother is not crying. The mother's baby dies, she cries, she becomes mad. But when the child gives up that childhood body, accept another body, she's happy because she knows, "My son is there. He has only changed the body." The mother knows. Mother is not crying "Oh, where is my child gone, sir?" He (she) knows that, "My child is here. He has changed his body." These are the arguments.

If the foolish rascal will not accept genuine arguments, logic, then how he can be convinced? He's a animal. The animals cannot be convinced. In another way. Any man, any man with little brain substance, he'll understand this. Where is the difficulty? But it is useless to talk with animals. You cannot argue with the dogs and hogs. That is not possible. So if their brain is doggish and hoggish, how you can convince them? But the logic is there, the argument is there.

Guru-gaurāṅga: How is it they can see continuity between baby's body and young boy's body and young man's body—they say: "Oh, he's still here"—but they can see no continuity between this body and . . .

Prabhupāda: That, he has no eyes. How I have got my continuity of my childhood thoughts and now also? Just like for a old man, he hasn't got so much sexual power, but the sex continuity is there. He wants to enjoy. Therefore he takes some medicine. He takes some injection. Why? The continuity. That means the continuity is mind. The gross body has changed. The mind is there, subtle. Intelligence is there.

That is continuity. And that continuity, that subtle body, mind and intelligence, carry me to another body, as it is doing now. My gross body has changed, but mind and intelligence continuing. Similarly, when this body will be completely finished, my mind and intelligence will carry me to another gross body. Then, in the womb of my mother, I shall grow another gross body, the mind and intelligence being continued. And I get a particular type of body on the condition of mind and intelligence at the time of death. Death means finishing this body. But the mind and intelligence is the same, as the air carries the flavor. This is the logic. Everything is . . .

Guru-gaurāṅga: So is subtle body ever finished?

Prabhupāda: Subtle body can be finished when you are liberated from material bondage.

Guru-gaurāṅga: Otherwise, it's the same subtle body . . .?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Carry, carrying you, carrying you in different types of bodies, gross bodies.

Guru-gaurāṅga: It's the same mind, but it's covered?

Prabhupāda: Subtle body will be finished when you regain your Kṛṣṇa consciousness fully. Then the subtle, this material mind, intelligence will not work.

Bhagavān: But it's one mind. The soul also has a mind.

Prabhupāda: Yes. One mind. There . . . just like I am one, but I am speaking just like madman. The man is one, but under some condition he's talking nonsense. So any materialistic man is a madman, under the influence of this energy, external energy. Therefore he's talking all nonsense.

Bhagavān: Śrīla Prabhupāda, guests.

Prabhupāda: Come on. Come on. Namaskāra.

Guru-gaurāṅga: Sit here.

Bhagavān: I'll get one more pillow . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Guru-gaurāṅga: This is, this is Anna Conan Doyle. And her father-in-law is a very famous author. She's very, very interested. She wanted to put a festival on for you in the Riviera, but didn't have enough money to do it. So she said next year she will do this for you. And she has all your books and reads them every morning. She rises very early and studies Bhagavad-gītā and Bhāgavatam.

Prabhupāda: She looks very intelligent face. Yes. Yes.

Anna Conan Doyle: I speak English.

Prabhupāda: Oh, that's nice.

Anna Conan Doyle: I'm Danish, but I speak English.

Prabhupāda: Oh, that's nice. It is very nice. So intelligent men and women should take interest in this great movement. It is a very scientific spiritual movement. People are suffering for lack of spiritual knowledge. They have become materially like animals. Materialism means animalism. Yes. Materialism means animalism. Animalism means in the lower grade of existence. What is the difference between dog and a human being? He has got a lower grade body, and the human being has got a higher grade body.

So the more we become materialistic, we get lower grade body. In the lower grade body, the consciousness works only on four activities: eating, sleeping, sex life and defending. This is lower grade activities. And higher grade activities: working for understanding God. That is higher grade life. In the lower grade life, nobody can understand God. In the higher grade life, one can understand God. Yes. One can feel with intelligence. Just like dog may understand this is day, this is night. But he does not understand why it is day, why it is night.

But a man can understand that it is day because the sun is there, and it is night because sun is now set. That is the difference between dog, dog and man—better knowledge. So as we advance in better knowledge, that is perfection of life. And the topmost knowledge is to understand Kṛṣṇa. Then he's most perfect being. That is perfection. Knowledge other than Kṛṣṇa consciousness—degraded knowledge, or lower grade knowledge.

So at the present moment, although superficially we have got very nice building, nice apartment, but the knowledge is doggish: how to eat, how to sleep, how to have sex life and how to defend. That's all. No more. The same degraded life as the dog. Dog is also trying how to live, how to sleep, how to have sex and how to defend. He's making bok-bok-bok. (barking sound) That is defense, his way of defense. That is defense. He's defending for the master. Similarly, dog has also sex life, dog has also sleeps, dog also eats. So if a human being is also engaged in these four principles of business, then where is the difference between him and the dog? He must be interested in the business of understanding God. Then he's human being. Otherwise, he's a dog. Do you agree? Eh?

Anna Conan Doyle: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Thank you.

Anna Conan Doyle: Actually, we are, in a sense, the God to the dog, aren't we?

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Anna Conan Doyle: We are, in a sense, to a dog, we are God to him. As man is a dog, we are God to him, to the dog. Because the way he loves us, his fidelity to us, he doesn't understand God, and we understand God.

Prabhupāda: No, he's not in position to understand God.

Anna Conan Doyle: He doesn't understand. He understands only us.

Prabhupāda: He understands that he has got a superior, but he does not understand who is the most superior. A human being can understand who is the most superior, topmost superior.

Anna Conan Doyle: Well, we have also superior, but we have forgotten to understand that.

Prabhupāda: Yes, we have forgotten. Everyone is . . . dog is also forgotten. But his forgotten stage is more acute. More acute. And human being is advanced.

Guru-gaurāṅga: Should we distribute this?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Guru-gaurāṅga: Would you like some, Śrīla Prabhupāda?

Prabhupāda: In the human form of life, if we do not try to understand God, then we are committing suicide. Yes. Because we got the chance. Nature gave us the chance to understand God. But if we do not divert our attention in understanding God, then we are making suicide. Misuse of human life. For a human being, the only business is how to understand God. Not for economic development. What economic development? This Napoleon planned so many things. But where he is now? Can anyone say where is Napoleon? (eating) One astrologer in India has said that Jawaharlal Nehru is now a dog in the house of a gentleman in Sweden. (laughter)

Guru-gaurāṅga: Could you understand that?

Anna Conan Doyle: Not exactly.

Guru-gaurāṅga: Prabhupāda said that Jawaharlal Nehru, the former prime minister of India, someone has said now he is the house dog in a home in Sweden.

Anna Conan Doyle: Yes, (laughs) I hope not for him. Sad.

Prabhupāda: You may not; but nature is different. Just like a child does not hope that if he puts his finger in the fire, it will not burn. But nature is so strict, it doesn't care for the child or the old man. It will burn. I may prove very innocent, but nature doesn't care for that. Nature doesn't care for that. Nature will not show any mercy for the innocent child. No. That is nature. Is it not fact? If a child puts his finger on the fire, nature will not consider that, "Here is a innocent child. He may not be burned." No. Equally.

Therefore nature is very strong. We cannot avoid the control of the nature. If you do something, it must acting . . . react in the same way. The same . . . if you put your finger in the fire, it must react, burn it. Nature is so strong. So as soon as you violate any laws of nature, you'll be punished. That is . . . just like God . . . State police is there, engaged by the government. As soon as you violate law, the police will arrest you and give you punishment. Similarly, material nature means the police of God. As soon as you violate God laws, it will give immediately punishment. That is material nature. It is always punishing us. Because we are, one after another, we are violating the laws of God. Therefore she's always punishing. That is her business.

Mother nature is described as Goddess Durgā, and she has got a trident in her hand. That is punishment. Three kinds of miserable condition: adhyātmika, adhibhautika, adhidaivika. Adhyātmika, pertaining to the body and mind; adhibhautika, miserable condition offered by others, and adhidaivika, miserable condition offered by higher authorities. Just like if there is no rain, you cannot do anything. Your so-called science and advancement of knowledge will not be able to help. Or if there is overflood. That also you cannot do anything. Therefore you have to accept there is a controller of this raining. It is not under my control. That is nature. But nature is working under the direction of God. Behind the background of nature is God. Just like background of police force is the government, similarly, background of the stringent laws of nature is God.

That they do not understand. They're struggling with the natural laws. And that struggle they are taking as advancement. That's all. It is a struggle, but they're taking it as advancement. This is called illusion. It is not advancement. It is simply struggle. But they're taking it as advancement. Such a great, powerful man like Napoleon, Hitler, they struggled only. Later on, they vanquished. So what to speak of others? Such big, big men, they struggled against the nature, but they vanquished. Nature is there. Nature is always victorious. So we have to own over victory over the nature. That is only possible if you take shelter of Kṛṣṇa. Otherwise, not possible. (break) Do you think we are right in our statement?

Anna Conan Doyle: Yes.

Prabhupāda: If not, you can ask that, "Why I am talking nonsense?" (laughter)

Guru-gaurāṅga: Mrs. Conan Doyle is interested also, we were speaking in St. Paul, in her home, about traveling to visit other planets.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Guru-gaurāṅga: Traveling to visit higher planets, still in the material world, to accumulate experiences before going back home, back to Godhead. I was trying to explain the more important aspect . . .

Prabhupāda: You can, you can experience. That is stated in the Bhāgavata.

Guru-gaurāṅga: She wants to go to other planets.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Guru-gaurāṅga: Before going home.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is stated in the Bhāgavata. Yogīs, they try to see also other planets. They're inquisitive. Instead of going directly to the planet of Kṛṣṇa, they want to see intermediate planets, how they are working.

Bhagavān: Instead of express to Goloka.

Prabhupāda: No. Yes. That is natural. Only the strong devotee, they don't like, "No, I don't want to see anything. I want to go immediately to Kṛṣṇa." That is strong devotion. Because they are after . . . mad after seeing Kṛṣṇa. Yugāyitaṁ nimeṣeṇa cakṣuṣā prāvṛṣāyitam, śūnyāyitaṁ jagat sarvam (Śikṣāṣṭaka 7). For them, the whole universe is vacant for want of Kṛṣṇa. Just like if you love somebody, if he's not seen, you see, in spite of so many cars and . . . you see the whole city of Paris void, void.

You don't give you any pleasure. A strong love for Kṛṣṇa. Śūnyāyitam. Śūnyāyitam means everything vacant. Without seeing Kṛṣṇa, everything is vacant. What is the value of this house or this city, he doesn't take . . . (indistinct) . . . so higher planetary system means better standard of life. Just like if Indian comes here, materially they see the higher standard of life in Paris, in London. But because we are interested in Kṛṣṇa, we do not take very much care of this higher standard of life.

So higher planetary system means many, many thousand times better standard of life. Many, many thousand times. Just like Brahmaloka, the one day of Brahmā, described, you cannot even calculate mathematically.

(aside) Just find out: sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ (BG 8.17).

This is the topmost planetary system, Brahmaloka, and the duration of life in Brahmaloka is described in the Bhāgavata . . . Bhagavad-gītā. Sahasra . . . s-a-h. Sahasra-yuga-paryantam.

Bhagavān: This is Bhagavad-gītā.

Anna Conan Doyle: Yes . . .

Guru-gaurāṅga: Just like before you said you had a distaste for sightseeing in Paris, Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Guru-gaurāṅga: You had a distaste for sightseeing wherever you were.

Prabhupāda: No, I don't go.


ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ
rātriṁ yuga-sahasrāntāṁ
te 'ho-rātra-vido janāḥ
(BG 8.17)

"By human calculation a thousand ages taken together is the duration of Brahmā's one day, and such also is the duration of his night."

Prabhupāda: What is the purport? Read.

Śrutakīrti: "The duration of the material universe is limited. It is manifested in cycles of kalpas. A kalpa is a day of Brahmā, and one day of Brahmā consists of a thousand cycles of four yugas, or ages: Satya, Tretā, Dvāpara and Kali. The cycle of Satya is characterized by virtue, wisdom and religion, there being practically no ignorance and vice, and the yuga lasts 1,728,000 years. In the Tretā-yuga vice is introduced, and this yuga lasts 1,296,000 years. In the Dvāpara-yuga there is an even greater decline in virtue and religion, vice increasing, and the yuga lasts 864,000 years."

"And finally in Kali-yuga, the yuga we have now been experiencing over the past 5,000 years, there is an abundance of strife, ignorance, irreligion and vice, true virtue being practically non-existent, and this yuga lasts 432,000 years. In Kali-yuga vice increases to such a point that at the termination of the yuga, the Supreme Lord Himself appears as the Kalki avatāra, vanquishes the demons, saves His devotees and commences another Satya-yuga. Then the process is set rolling again. These four yugas, rotating a thousand times, compromise one day of Brahmā, the creator god, and the same number compromise one night. Brahmā lives one hundred of such years and then dies. These hundred years, by Earth calculations, total to 311 trillion and 40 billion Earth years."

"By these calculations, a life of Brahmā seems fantastic and interminable, but from the viewpoint of eternity, it is as brief as a lightning flash. In the Causal Ocean, there are innumerable Brahmās, rising and disappearing like bubbles in the Atlantic. Brahmā and his creation are all part of the material universe, and therefore they are in constant flux. In the material universe, not even Brahmā is free from the process of birth, old age, disease and death. Brahmā, however, is directly engaged in the service of the Supreme Lord in the management of this universe. Therefore he at once attains liberation. Elevated sannyāsīs are promoted to Brahmā's particular planet, Brahmaloka, which is the highest planet in the material universe, and which survives all the heavenly planets in the upper strata of the planetary system. But in due course, Brahmā and all inhabitants of Brahmaloka are subject to death, according to the law of material nature."

Prabhupāda: In the higher planetary system also, the four rules, birth, death, old age and disease, they are also there. The life is long duration. But the miserable conditions of . . . or living conditions, that one must die, that is there also. Simply if you go to Kṛṣṇa's planet, you haven't got to die. Ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino 'rjuna (BG 8.16). Ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino 'rjuna.

Śrutakīrti: Ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino 'rjuna, mām upetya . . .

Prabhupāda: Upetya punar janma na vidyate.

Śrutakīrti: Punar janma na vidyate. "From the highest planet in the material world to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kuntī, never takes birth again."

Prabhupāda: Just see. So going to the higher planetary system means to achieve higher standard of life, but that does not mean solution of material problems. Just like Western country, they are supposed to be living in higher standard of life than Eastern countries, but that does not mean they have conquered over death. That's not possible. They might possess a nice motorcar, but the Eastern man may not possess; he has a bullock cart. This much advancement may be there. But the death, birth, death, is the same in the Eastern and the Western.

Guru-gaurāṅga: Why should we think that birth and death is so painful, Śrīla Prabhupāda? Because wherever we are, we can think about Kṛṣṇa . . .

Prabhupāda: But you feel pain, or do you like to die?

Guru-gaurāṅga: Well, some people like to travel.

Prabhupāda: Why it is painful? That is painful. You, even if you think, shudder that, "I have to die immediately," you'll shudder immediately. It is very painful. It is very painful, because as soon as you die, you are again packed up within the womb of the mother to develop another body. And that is also not certain. Nowadays the father, mother is killing the child. So even if you develop a body to come with the expectation to come out, the father, mother kills you, again you have to enter another mother's body. Again you may be killed. This is the position of the sinful man. Because a man is sinful, he shudders, "Oh, again death is coming."

So you, you cannot argue. Death is very painful. It is so painful that at the last stage, because the pain is not tolerated, the soul immediately gives up the body. Just like a man commits suicide. It is very painful. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha (BG 13.9). It is painful. Duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam. Anudarśanam means if he's a foolish, if he cannot understand, then he should understand described by higher authorities. It is painful. So unless you make a solution that no more birth, there is no question of getting out of the painful condition of material condition. That's not possible.

Anna Conan Doyle: But what if we are reincarnated into other planets?

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is easy.

Anna Conan Doyle: Is it less painful, or is it the same procedure of . . .?

Prabhupāda: As soon as you enter into the womb of a mother, it is painful. You are packed up like this, in this way. Can you . . . can you live for a few minutes, packed up like that? At the present moment, if I pack up and put in a bag, and then put in a box, how long you can exist?

Anna Conan Doyle: But we are not conscious at, at that particular moment.

Prabhupāda: That doesn't matter. Just like surgical operation is going on. He's unconscious. That is another thing. By some method, he's unconscious. But the pain is there. The pain is there. The pain is not felt. Just like animals, they, they are in painful condition, but because they are animal, they do not feel it. On the horseback, you are driving horseback, like this, like this. Is it painful, but because he's animal he cannot protect himself. It is very painful.

Anna Conan Doyle: Sometimes they're kicking.

Prabhupāda: Suppose if a chain is shackled on your mouth, and I constantly push like this . . . is it not painful? The horse is controlled by the mouth . . .

Anna Conan Doyle: Yes, by the foot . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: By the chain, yes. Horse is very powerful animal than the man. How the man can control the horse? But he knows the trick, that it has to be controlled in the mouth. As soon as there is pain in the mouth, he becomes puzzled—he has to abide by the order. The man knows the tricks. Horse is not controlled by the tai . . . (break) What is called, that?

Bhagavān: Stick?

Prabhupāda: Not stick. That is . . . wooden mace, he's controlled. Such a big, powerful animal, but he is controlled here. As soon as . . . (break)

Guru-gaurāṅga: Really?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Guru-gaurāṅga: So every animal can be controlled . . .

Prabhupāda: Therefore there was a meeting of all animals that how to get out of the control of man. (laughter) The elephant said: "My dear sir, I am so powerful. I am also controlled by that. So it is useless to hold meeting. I am also controlled by man." The meeting was organized by an ass. (laughter) He thought that, "I have to work so hard. Let us have a conference of animals to avoid man's control." But he saw that elephant also said that, "I am so powerful. Still I am also controlled by the man. So it is useless."

Anna Conan Doyle: But many human beings get into the same conditions.

Prabhupāda: Similarly, our position is like that, like ass. We are also trying to get out of the control of material nature, like an ass. But it is not possible. The conference is failure. (laughter) Here, in the material world, even a so powerful being as Brahmā, he's also controlled, by God. He's also controlled. You have seen that picture? Brahmā is bowing down before Kṛṣṇa.

Guru-gaurāṅga: You remember this picture? In the temple in Geneva? Brahmā with four heads is offering his respects to Kṛṣṇa.

Anna Conan Doyle: Yes, yes. Yes.

Prabhupāda: He's the controller of the whole universe. He also bowing down before little Kṛṣṇa, "Sir, I wanted to show You my superior power, but I am insignificant before You." Brahmā stole away all His calves and cows and cowherd boys, and he saw again the same calves and cows and boys are playing with Him. So he became surprised, "How is that? I took away, and again He's keeping. He has expanded Himself." You have read that portion?

God is called self-sufficient because He can expand Himself to satisfy His needs, whatever He wants. So He doesn't require anyone's help. He's completely independent. But still He's so kind that He comes to your temple, as He has come today, and He's dependent. If you give Him some foodstuff, He'll eat. Otherwise, He'll starve. So we should always remember the most powerful, self-sufficient has come kindly at my place, just to become dependent on my foodstuff. This is His kindness. And if we think, "Oh, I am giving food to Kṛṣṇa. What is Kṛṣṇa?" then you are finished. You have to think always that, "He is self-sufficient, but He's so kind, in spite of His being self-sufficient, He invites my . . . He accepts my invitation, and He has come." We have to treat in that way.

Guru-gaurāṅga: Do you have any questions about the ceremony that you saw this morning?

Anna Conan Doyle: Yes. I wanted to know what was that . . . the meaning of that little mark you made with, er . . .

Bhagavān: Oh, from the fire. The ashes of the fire.

Anna Conan Doyle: The fire, yes. Yes, oil and . . . was it a third eye?

Prabhupāda: No.

Anna Conan Doyle: That means you are dust and you become dust again, or what?

Prabhupāda: No, we attended the ceremony. (laughter)

Anna Conan Doyle: We . . .?

Bhagavān: It is a souvenir of the ceremony. (laughter)

Prabhupāda: (to other guest) You were not marked, because you did not attend the ceremony.

Anna Conan Doyle: I see. It's just a sign. It has no particular meaning.

Prabhupāda: No, this is the general meaning. And this is blessing. After the, after the ceremony, if there is any blessing, you get the blessing. Yes.

Guru-gaurāṅga: It's a nicer kind of souvenir than the kind you find in Paris.

Anna Conan Doyle: Exactly . . . (indistinct) . . . to my eye.

Prabhupāda: Just like nowadays, voting, the man who goes to put his vote, he's marked with a star here. You know that? That means he cannot come again. He cannot represent a false voter. Like that. (break) . . . book you are reading now, my books?

Anna Conan Doyle: At the moment I'm going to be reading the Gītā.

Prabhupāda: Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. Very nice.

Anna Conan Doyle: Yes, yes. It is a very complicated book to read. I've read it many, many times.

Prabhupāda: That is the elementary A-B-C-D. Yes. Here is a statement of my interview with the Vice-President.

Guru-gaurāṅga: Yes. (break)

Prabhupāda: Just Arjuna, he was a family man. Is it not?

Guru-gaurāṅga: Arjuna, in the Bhagavad-gītā.

Anna Conan Doyle: Yes, Arjuna, yes.

Prabhupāda: Not only family man, he was in the battlefield. So if he could understand Bhagavad-gītā in that position, why we cannot?

Anna Conan Doyle: Yes, that's right.

Prabhupāda: So it is no question of you have to give up family life. There is no such thing. You have to understand the science. Arjuna was a family man. After understanding Bhagavad-gītā, he did not give up family.

Anna Conan Doyle: No.

Prabhupāda: No. So it is a wrong impression that to become Kṛṣṇa conscious one has to give up family relation. No, that's not the fact. Sometimes people think like that, but that is wrong thinking.

Anna Conan Doyle: (indistinct) . . . complicated mixed up a little bit . . .

Prabhupāda: Spiritual understanding does not depend on material conditions. No.

Anna Conan Doyle: That is true. That is true.

Prabhupāda: You may be in any material condition, still you can develop your spiritual consciousness. That is there. But sometimes we accept a certain position for our personal convenience. That is another thing. But spiritual consciousness is not dependent on any material condition. It is spontaneous. Either he's a householder or a sannyāsī or brahmacārī or businessman or . . . it doesn't matter. He can become fully Kṛṣṇa conscious if he accepts the principles. Then . . . (break) . . . we have got our regulative principle: no illicit sex. So is it very difficult thing? A householder has got his wife. Why he should indulge in illicit sex? It is simply self-control.

(aside) You can keep it here. If somebody comes, you can give.

Guru-gaurāṅga: If our Kṛṣṇa consciousness is dependent on some material condition which we are in, then that material condition is superior to God consciousness. "Oh, I am a businessman. I cannot become Kṛṣṇa conscious." That means business is more than Kṛṣṇa?

Anna Conan Doyle: Yes, but I think that, oh, anyways . . . we have to have businessmen who are business conscious. Otherwise our world would come to a standstill.

Guru-gaurāṅga: Exactly.

Anna Conan Doyle: And even you people . . . (indistinct) . . . you have to have people donate, like we have in the Catholic church . . .

Prabhupāda: The difficulty is . . .

Anna Conan Doyle: . . . is to make from the people are working. We are dependent on the materialistic man also . . .

Prabhupāda: No, the difficulty is that we are not satisfied with our living condition. Suppose I am, I have got this body. To maintain this body, I require my food, and for getting the food, I must have some money, I must have some occupation. This is one thing. But people are now . . . suppose one thousand francs will provide his family, himself. He's not satisfied with one thousand francs, he wants ten thousand. That is the fault. Therefore he does not find time for Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Anna Conan Doyle: That's right.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the disease. Otherwise, if, if everyone is satisfied when the necessities are supplied and balance time he saves for Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there is no difficulty. But he is . . . he is always, twenty-four hours busy, how to increase, how to increase. Yes.

Anna Conan Doyle: It becomes a vice. A vice.

Prabhupāda: (indistinct) . . . yes. Yes. Greediness. Atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ (NOI 2). Atyāhāra. Atyāhāra means eating more or collecting more. So they want to eat more, collect more than necessity.

Anna Conan Doyle: That's true. They do not need all the things they have around. It is perfectly . . .

Prabhupāda: For livelihood, one has to work. That is material world. So you work. And what is that work? If one . . . one works for three months on the field, he can get his whole years' food. That is economically fact. How many maunds of grains we can produce per acre? Do you know that? We know, in our Indian calculation, we can produce at least ten maunds of grain per bīghā. So if one has got ten bīghās of land, he can produce hundred maunds of grains.

So how much you can eat daily? Just calculate. Utmost two pounds. Utmost. So if you eat two pounds grains per day, in a month, sixty pounds. And eighty-two pounds makes one maund. You are getting one thousand pound. One thousand maunds. Then? Ten bīghās of land . . .

Bhagavān: One hundred maunds.

Prabhupāda: One hundred.

Guru-gaurāṅga: Maunds.

Prabhupāda: So you get enough food by working three months. But they'll not work in the field. They'll work in the factory. The . . . now the world situation is there that they have invented so many artificial work. So people are embarrassed with this kind of work. He doesn't find any time.

Anna Conan Doyle: He's not trained.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Anna Conan Doyle: He's not trained.

Prabhupāda: Yes. This is the . . . so if we make our living condition very simple, there is enough time. Enough time. But we don't say that you go back to the primitive stage of life. That is not possible. We simply request that wherever you are, simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. There is no difficulty. Then everything will be clear. And we are not charging anything for that, that "You give me so many pounds, I'll give you a mantra." Not like that.


There is no necessity. Unnecessarily they are killing animals, and becoming sinful. So they have created their own field of activities just to become bereft of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Formerly in the human society, there was no slaughterhouse. If they wanted to kill one animal, they went to the forest or anywhere, kill one animal and eat it. But here it is now regular business. Somebody's supplying cows regularly by increasing livestock. That has become his business. And somebody's killing.

So we have invented so many things like that, simply for sinful activities. How we can become happy? It is not possible. So many big, big factories for producing beer and liquor. But they have become accustomed to this. And the net result is now we increasing the hippie population. This irresponsible life is producing children most irresponsible, brainless. Yes. But they have no eyes to see that, "How we are degrading. This is our children." I have been to Amsterdam. One park, there is . . .

Bhagavān: Vondelpark.

Prabhupāda: Bondelpark?

Bhagavān: Vondel.

Prabhupāda: Vondel. So hippies are there. Oh, how wretchedly, voluntarily, they are living. They don't require to live in that way, but they are living. Lying down on the ground. No regulative principles. They do not know where to eat, where to sleep. Unnecessarily. Thousands of them. But they are thinking they're happy.

Haṁsadūta: Yes, they think it is very nice.

Guru-gaurāṅga: We were also discussing with Mrs. Conan Doyle and a friend of hers how is it, if I'm thinking I am happy, or I do not have love for God, nor do I want to have love for God, how will I cultivate it?

Prabhupāda: Well, because at the present age we are in crazy, or mad, condition . . . what is called? Deformed brain. Therefore we cannot become. There is a poetry: piśācī pāile yena mati-cchanna (Prema-vivarta). As one becomes crazy when it is ghostly haunted, similarly, a person under the clutches of māyā, he becomes also crazy like that. He talks all nonsense. How he can understand about God? Big, big hospitals in America for curing this craziness. Not only of the common being, even for the priest.

In America, they have got hospital for curing alcoholic habit of the priest. Five thousand patients. So he's alcoholic and he's in the priestly dress. This is going on. Because he's getting his salary, so he's maintaining his priestly dress. But internally what he is, he knows only. Or when he comes into the open eyes, then one can know, "Oh, here is a priest, admitted in the alcoholic hospital." (end)