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750222 - Conversation - Caracas

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

750222R1-CARACAS - February 22, 1975 - 61:32 Minutes

(Conversation with Psychiatrists translated throughout by Hṛdayānanda)

Hṛdayānanda: . . . cannot tell them they were God.

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Hṛdayānanda: I was explaining to him that a real spiritual master cannot lie to them and tell them they were God.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Spiritual master is the servant of God. He is not God, although he is respected like God. Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair uktas tathā bhāvyata eva sadbhiḥ. Spiritual master is described as good as God in all scriptures, and all advanced spiritualists accept this. But he is the most confidential servant of God. Because he receives respect like God, he does not think at any time that he is God. He always thinks himself as eternal servant of God. (pause) (break) What is the difference between animal and man?

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He feels that they are both animals. The difference is that one is rational and the other is not.

Prabhupāda: What is that rationality?

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) The ability to think, the ability to encounter different situations and solve different problems . . .

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Hṛdayānanda: The ability to think, to encounter different situations and solve problems, and the ability to plan for the future. And memory.

Prabhupāda: So both of them are life. And what is this body?

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He doesn't understand very much the meaning of the question.

Prabhupāda: Just like the animal: he is busy in maintaining the body. He wants to eat, he wants to sleep, and he wants to have sex and he wants to defend. So man is also in need of these things. The method may be different. So dog's eating and man's eating, the method may be different. That method is also different in different countries also. So because the method may be different, therefore he is distinct from animal?

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He's saying again that he thinks the difference between man and animal is that the man can postpone his desires or feelings or sublimate them. Then he also said that he did not come so much for dialogue. He wanted to hear our position, but . . . I don't know what he's saying. These questions and answers seem to disturb him.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Hṛdayānanda: It seems he's a little disturbed by the questions and answers.

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Psychiatrist (2): (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He said that he came here . . . he wants to know, more or less, our views on psychiatry.

Prabhupāda: Of course, I am not a psychiatrist, but what is the subject matter of psychiatrist? May I know? So far I know, that when a man becomes mad, he requires consultation of a psychiatrist. Is that all right? (Hṛdayānanda talks with other man in Spanish)

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He says that nowadays psychiatry is not so much concerned just with crazy people, but it's just concerned with the human problems.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is very good. So what is the human problem in their understanding?

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He said to some extent they see that when there's something wrong with the physical body, it causes a manifestation of a mental disease.

Prabhupāda: When there is something wrong in the physical body, there is mental disease. That we accept also. But the . . . that mental disease is there, basically, that he is thinking that he is body.

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He says that he was speaking about an organic . . . for example, if someone has a tumor in their brain, it causes irritability, anxiety, suffering and so many things. They are seeing more there's some physical defect.

Prabhupāda: The physical defect . . . just like a driver of the car, and when his car is damaged, the driver becomes very sorry, that "My car is now broken, damaged." But is the driver is the carriage?

Hṛdayānanda: Is the driver . . .?

Prabhupāda: Is the carriage. Sometimes a valuable car is damaged, and the proprietor or the driver, he becomes very sorry, almost half-dead, "Oh, my car is lost." So this is due to his too much attraction for the car. When the machine, car, stops does not mean the driver is damaged. But he thinks, "Now I am finished. My car is damaged." But although he is not the car, he thinks that he is damaged. So that is mental disease. He is different from the car, but he thinks that he is damaged by the damage of the car. And if he knows correctly that, "What is that? I will get another new car," what is the cause of suffering? The driver is not the car, but on account of his too much absorption, identifying the car with him, he suffers. So if the psychiatrist informs him that "Why you are sorry? You are not the car," then he's cured.

So the modern civilization defect is that he is not this body, but he does not know it. Therefore, in the Vedic literature it is said, yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke (SB 10.84.13): "Anyone is identifying himself with this body, which is made of material element," yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu, "and in bodily relationship he is thinking his family is protector, his nation is protector—in this way, one who lives, he is no better than the animal." Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā. . . (aside) Find out this verse, aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase.


śrī bhagavān uvāca
aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ
prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase
gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca
nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ
(BG 2.11)

(reads translation in Spanish)

Prabhupāda: So this verse says that, "You are speaking like a learned man, Arjuna," He addressed Arjuna, "but you are not very learned man, because you are considering of the body." Just like the proprietor of the car, the driver, while the car is going on nicely or car is stopped, no more working, he is disinterested that he knows very well that, "I am not this car." Therefore it is said, gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ: "Anyone who is actually learned, he does not consider very seriously about the body, either it is dead or alive." So basically we are, all, every one of us, we are spirit soul. The body is just like a machine. We have got it. But we are taking of the machine very much, not for ourself. Whole world is taking care of the body but not of the driver of the body, the spirit soul. Everyone is thinking, "I am this body, and because this body is born in America, I am American, and because the body is white, therefore I am white, or black." In this way everyone is identifying with the body. Nobody is identifying with the spirit soul. That is the basic disease of the human society.

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He says that he has no objection philosophically to this position, and he understands our example very well.

Prabhupāda: No, this is not . . . philosophy, of course . . . philosophy is the science of science. This is scientifically true that we are not this body.

Hṛdayānanda: So I'll tell you what else he said. He said that even though we may not be this body, even though we should be looking for God, still, for example, he, as a doctor, if a patient comes to him and has, for example, say, some disease, he can, within twenty-four hours, cure the disease and stop the person's suffering. And he feels that even though he may be looking for God, that does not mean that he should let someone go on suffering if he can very easily stop it.

Prabhupāda: No, no, it is not I am talking of God. I am talking of the constitutional position of the living being. That is science. So just like the same example—the driver is different from the car, but when there is some defect in the car, we are not advising that don't take care of the car. But if we simply take care of the car and don't take care of the driver, that is the basic mistake of the civilization.

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He's saying because this body can be used for intellectual advancement, therefore he's saying that sometimes he thinks people become so much concerned with intellectual things that they neglect their body.

Prabhupāda: It is not . . . it is beyond intellectual. The intellect also belong to the body. But understanding of the soul is beyond intellectual.

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He said that he has come with the idea that in order to pursue the philosophy, whatever philosophy we have, that the body must be in the best possible condition.

Prabhupāda: That I have already said, that the driver is different from the car. But if you simply take care of the car, not of the driver, is that very good intelligence?

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He agrees with that, that one should keep the body in the best condition in order to try to advance in life as far as possible . . .

Prabhupāda: No, unless you take care of the driver, the car cannot run.

Psychiatrist: (Spanish) (lady saying in Spanish that something is not correctly put)

Hṛdayānanda: (aside to lady) Is that correct? If you think something is left out, you can help.

Lady: (Spanish)

Psychiatrist: (Spanish with Hṛdayānanda)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He also believes in the spiritual advancement, but he feels that the body must be kept in the best possible condition.

Prabhupāda: That we also say. We never say . . . I have already given the example that the driver is different from the car. But if you simply take care of the, I mean to say, car and do not take care of the driver, is that very good intelligence?

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) So he agrees with you.

Prabhupāda: So the driver is not in order—he may create disaster at any moment. So the insanity is not of the car, but the insanity is of the driver. So when we feel problems of the humanity, it means the insanity of the soul, not of the body. And because the driver, or the soul, is not taken care of, therefore so many problems are coming in the body. Just like if one man takes care of hygienic principle, his bodily ailments are less—similarly, if the driver is kept in proper sanity, then there will be no accidents in the car. Another example—just like the bird in the cage. If you take care of the cage only and do not supply any food to the bird, it will cry, "tanh! tanh! tanh! tanh!" (aside to devotee) This gentleman comes. Give him a seat.

Hṛdayānanda: Come on in. Get a seat.

Prabhupāda: So the problem is, if we don't take care of the driver or the bird in the cage, the human problems will not diminish, it will increase. Keeping the car in good order does not mean taking care of the driver. And if we don't take care of the driver, the, I mean to say, disasters of the car will increase. So what is the program of taking care of the driver? Actually, they do not know what is the driver. And what to speak of taking care of it? This is the problem, real problem. Do you think it is all right or not?

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He's saying that these points are actually common to many different philosophies, and he feels there are many different ways and many different philosophies for passing our time in this temporary life.

Prabhupāda: So he is interested only on the temporary life, never mind there may be disaster.

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) As a doctor, he says he is naturally interested in this life in the problems of the body, but he also feels that a human being should follow whatever philosophy he chooses in order to achieve what one may call the spiritual world, or eternal happiness.

Prabhupāda: Then it is something like that, that the motor mechanic is interested with the motorcar, but he is not interested with the welfare of the driver. But the fact is, if the driver is not in order, the car will not go. It may be well equipped, well engined, well oiled, but if the driver is defective, it will create another disaster.

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He feels that you don't understand what he's saying; that actually he does not feel that we should dedicate ourselves exclusively to the body . . .

Prabhupāda: I don't say exclusively. I say the first care should be taken of the driver, and taking care of the car is secondary.

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He agrees.

Prabhupāda: So why you do not take care of the dead body? Because the driver is gone. Then who is important: the car or the driver? So that is the defect of the modern civilization. They don't take care of the driver. He is taking care of the car. So you said your . . . that what is the problems of human society. This is the root cause of the problems, that we are not taking care of the driver; we are simply taking care of the car. But if we take care of the driver, the driver knows how to take care of the car.

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He's saying that while we are living within this body, we cannot separate the body and the soul . . .

Prabhupāda: That we have already said. There is no question about it, that the driver is there, the car is there. So we must take care of the car, but the first treatment or first care is for the driver. Just like dead body: the everything is there, present. The machine is there. Now, somehow or other, you again drive it. Why you cannot drive it?

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He said that he also . . . he says the body cannot be driven because the spirit is gone, and that he admits. . .

Prabhupāda: That means the driver is gone. So who is important, the body or the driver?

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) Both, he says, are important.

Prabhupāda: Both is there, but comparatively, which is more important?

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) The spirit is.

Prabhupāda: So that is the defect, that the modern civilization, they are not taking care of the spirit soul; they are simply taking care of the machine, body. Therefore the problems are there. You asked, "How to solve the problems?" The problems are there on account of this, that they are not taking care of the driver; they are simply taking care of the machine, body. So if you take care of the driver, then he will remain sane, he will drive nicely, the body will not be disastrous, he will live peacefully. This is the problem. If the driver is careful, then he will not require very frequently the mechanical engineer for the car. He will keep the machine in order. If he keeps himself sane, then he keeps the machine also in order.

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He said that's, that's what he said at the beginning. He said this is what he said at the beginning.

Prabhupāda: So then what is your program to take care of the driver?

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He feels that there are different philosophies and different methods . . .

Prabhupāda: That's all right. There are different medical men and difficult diagnoses, but the urgent case is: cure the driver, and then car will go on nicely. Unfortunately, modern civilization, they do not know what is the driver. And how he will keep him sane, he does not know what is the driver? He thinks the car is automatically going on. Just like child. A child sees the car is going automatically. But that's not a fact. There is a driver. So if our vision is childish, how we can solve the problems of life? I talked with big, big professor, Kotovsky, in Moscow. He said, "There is no driver." This is a big professor, and he is teaching others. So if the leading men of the world, they think there is no driver, the body is automatically going, then what is the fate of the civilization? (break)

Hṛdayānanda: . . . they do not believe in the soul.

Prabhupāda: No, there are, similarly, capitalists, Communists, "this"-ists, "that"-ists. They are full of these rascals. So how the human civilization can be without problems? The leaders are rascals. How we can expect that it will go on without problem?

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He says that the spirit is also extremely important for the following reason: he feels that the human being needs to have problems and fight for something. The example he gave was in the Scandinavian countries they've practically solved all material problems. They have so many Social Security and this and that, and there are practically no material problems, but they have the highest suicide rate in the world.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that's right. So where is the institution, university, for educating people of the spirit soul? Where is it? Therefore the whole civilization is going in the wrong way.

Psychiatrist: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) He feels there are some people, for example, I mean who are teaching the right thing, those. There are missionaries who go to the Amazon jungles and also to Africa to teach. And he feels they are offering . . .

Prabhupāda: But we, we find the great cities are great jungles. A great city is a great forest. (lady begins speaking) Let her come forward.

Lady: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) She has said that you have repeatedly talked about the . . . those things which are wrong with the society. So she would like to know exactly what you mean by modern society and exactly what you feel are the problems with the society . . .

Prabhupāda: The modern society is not taking care of the driver; they are taking care of the car. This is the defect.

Lady: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) Also she would like to know what other societies there have been in history which did not have these problems.

Prabhupāda: The problems . . . in the material world this problem is always there. Sometimes it is more; sometimes it is less. Material world means ignorance of the driver. That ignorance is sometimes very big, and sometimes it is less, but ignorance is there.

Lady: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) She said in other words, it's not a . . . she saying in other words it's not a problem simply of the modern society but a problem of man, and then also she said: "What are . . ." she keeps saying: "What are specifically . . . what are more specifically the problems, and how can we solve the problems?"

Prabhupāda: The real problem is that the human being . . . I am speaking only of human being, not of the animals, because the animals, they do not know what is the problem—neither they can solve it. It is not possible. In the human form of body there is possibility of making a solution of this problem. Therefore in the human society, along with other educational department, there should be an educational department to understand what is soul, what it is nature, how it is working, what is the future, wherefrom it is coming. So many things there. But there is no education for this prime factor, the driver. There is no education.

Lady: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) She feels that your affirmation is somewhat radical because she feels there are many groups and organizations of religion and philosophy and so on that are dealing with these matters.

Prabhupāda: Then why there is no solution? Why there is no solution?

Lady: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) That, therefore she is asking you, "What is the solution?"

Prabhupāda: Yes, so that solution we are preaching, we are trying to preach, at least one section of people should know the science of the soul. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Just like medical necessity is there, does not mean that everyone should become medical man. Similarly, the science of soul is necessity—it does not mean that everyone will be the transcendentalist or the scientist about soul. But at least one section of people must be there who knows perfectly well about the science of soul. As much as there is medical man—he knows perfectly well what is psychology . . . what is physiology, anatomy—there is engineer—he knows how to construct—similarly, a section must be there who knows perfectly well about the science of soul. So as there is need of medical men, engineer or lawyers or other, similarly, there is need of one section of expert who knows the science of soul. The medical man, the engineer, the archaeologist or this or that, they are all meant for the body. Similarly, there must be one expert section who are meant for the soul. But all the universities, all the universities, they have got these departments—medical department, engineering department, law department—but there is no department which is teaching perfectly well about the science of soul.

Lady: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) She said that she has studied . . . she, for example . . . she's not sure, because she herself has, for example, studied two years in theology when she was a student.

Prabhupāda: Theology is different. Not very much different; but the modern so-called theology, that is also different speculation. That is not science. There are different theologist. Science cannot be differently opinion. "Two plus two" is science. It is always four. Nobody can say that "In my opinion it is five," "In my opinion it is three." That is not science, that is speculation.

Lady: (Spanish)

Hṛdayānanda: (translating) She would like to know—nice question—what would be the characteristics of this brahminical class. How would they be selected, and what are their qualities and so on?

Prabhupāda: Just find out this, satyaḥ śamaḥ damaḥ, titikṣa ārjavaḥ āstikyaṁ, jñānam vijñānam, brahma-karma svabhāva.


śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ
kṣāntir ārjavam eva ca
jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ
brahma-karma svabhāva-jam
(BG 18.42)

(reads translation in Spanish)

Prabhupāda: A brāhmaṇa means one who knows Brahman, the soul. This qualification required. Just like to become a lawyer, to become lawyer one must be graduate. Similarly, one must have all, first of all be trained up as brāhmaṇa—then he can understand what is God, what is soul. So there is no such training college. Therefore they cannot understand what is God, what is soul. That is required. Then your problems will be solved. (end)