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750513 - Conversation A - Perth

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

750513R1-PERTH - May 13, 1975 - 69:41 Minutes

(Conversation with Justin Murphy - Geographer)

Amogha: . . . these kinds of ideas, and that we have ideas that can be very useful for them. So actually there is a . . .

Prabhupāda: First of all, you have to understand what is the basic principle of civilization, what we want to fulfill, what is the goal. There are different species of life, beginning from aquatics, fishes and animals in the water. Then, as the water dries up, then vegetation come. In this way, there is evolution from aquatics to vegetable life, then moving—insects, reptiles. Then, gradually, birds. From insect, the flies come out, and then flies gradually comes to bird. Then from birds to beast, four-legged. Then from beast to human being. Then human being, the aborigines, uncivilized. Then you come to civilized life, which is generally known as Āryan life. So the Āryan civilization, Vedic civilization. In this way we get this human form of life, developed consciousness. Now we should try to understand, "What I am? Am I this body or something else?" That is the subject matter of enquiry. So where is that department of knowledge?

Justin Murphy: Where do we fit in?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Justin Murphy: We, the organization that I work for, the government that I work for, is, of course, very, very different, no doubt to . . . in ideas and in philosophies to all of you, and you for example. We work within, however, a situation where we are concerned that within the framework of Australia's society, which involves people, private enterprise, industry, increasing . . .

Prabhupāda: People.

Justin Murphy: . . . population . . .

Amogha: People and business.

Justin Murphy: . . . private enterprise, industry, increasing population, all of these placing demands on what naturally is Australia, what you were talking about to begin with—the evolution of Australia, the continent, the land mass, and the birds, the animals. Of course, we have a magnificent and unique and diverse fauna and flora.

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.

Justin Murphy: These we must try to protect and preserve for two reasons. Our ideas are that we must . . . we have to be, to an extent, slaves to the twentieth-century civilization, or what we call and know as civilization. In other words, our function stops or is frustrated if a government won't give us money to continue our work and our research. So in other words, we have to direct a large part of our research towards people and making life and opportunities better for people. We can't, however, do that—we can't improve agricultural production, we can't improve forests, we can't improve recreational opportunities in the forest lands around cities—if we don't consider sympathetically, thoughtfully and scientifically the natural resources of Australia. So it's interesting that you mentioned to begin with in the evolution, say, of the evolutionary cycle in Australia, you mentioned the Aborigines. The Aborigines were in fact far better at maintaining and conserving the central Australian landscapes, the central Australian arid regions, than any Australian since European colonization.

The Aborigines lived in almost perfect harmony with their environment for thirty thousand years, thirty to forty thousand recorded years—that's how far our research can take us back—whereas in a little over a hundred years, European man in Australia has done in places irreparable damage to not only the vegetation but also the soils of arid Australia. It's damage that will probably never, ever be repaired because the environment is so delicate in central Australia that as soon as our cloven-footed animals, our sheep and our cattle, for example, are brought into the arid areas, they eat, they trample, they remove vegetation. This loosens the soil. The soil is very thin, it's very infertile, and it blows away. And virtually all you have left is rock. And nothing grows, of course, on rock. That's an over-simplification and perhaps an over-dramatization, but this has happened in Australia. It didn't happen when the Aborigines lived here, undisturbed by us. It has happened since European man has come.

In Perth, in this city, around this city, since Europeans have come, we have removed forests, we've cut down trees, we've tilled the soil, we have changed the natural order of things, we have increased the amount of water from rain that flows through the soil. It's getting more and more salty. We are affecting our coastal wetlands, as we call them, the lagoons and the lakes and the marshes, so that they are becoming both more salty and more clogged with silt and soil and debris. Water birds can, in some areas, no longer live there. Fish are dying. A lot of migratory fish and crabs, for example, are no longer migrating to their traditional breeding grounds. So our work, our approach, is—and I have to stress that it is scientific and therefore it's long-term, and we're only a very young group here in Western Australia—but our approach is to attempt first to understand what has happened, to understand what is happening, and then slowly to be able to suggest ways of improving or halting what is happening which is bad and putting forward ideas for what might happen which is good, which is good both for people . . .

We're stuck with that, we're stuck with our urban . . . whether we like it or not, we're stuck with our urban civilization. We're stuck with our Western way of doing things, unfortunately. But, that being the case, we . . .

Prabhupāda: Did the Aborigines, they were growing their food, the Aborigines?

Justin Murphy: Oh, no, no, no, no. The Aborigines grew nothing really. They were nomadic. They were mostly meat-eaters and insect-eaters. There are . . . for example, one of the staples of the Aborigines was a very thick and very fat grub called a witchetty grub, which lived in the roots of certain low bushes, and they used to tear the bush over and these fat grubs would appear, which would be eaten live, eaten raw.

Prabhupāda: Without cooking.

Justin Murphy: No cooking. No cooking. Immediately. Wiggling. The fresher the better. They used to eat small furry animals—bandicoots, wombats. There were no rabbits, of course, in those days. Rabbit has been a disaster introduced by man, by European man. But they used to occasionally pound the grass seeds from a few species of arid sand grasses and make a kind of an unleavened bread, which they would then bake. But generally the Aborigines were nomadic, they were shifting, and they didn't cultivate. They didn't till the soil ever. But we must, whilst attempting to provide for the inevitable Australian people and the growth of population, we must also try to do that within the confines and the dictates of nature and the natural resources which we have. Australia is very rich in a lot of natural resources; it's very, very poor in others. It is quite poor in water, and, of course, water is absolutely basic to the growth process. Australia has abundant sunlight, solar energy, which is the basis of photosynthesis.

Prabhupāda: Vegetable.

Justin Murphy: And vegetable growth. But we lack water. And in Perth we are doing an excellent job at ruining our water. It's criminal in many respects, what is going on. And this is what we must do. So we are trying to strike a balance between science for, and research for, the benefit of people. But it must be also for the benefit of the environment, because . . .

Prabhupāda: (aside) You find out this verse: annād bhavanti bhūtāni. Annād. A-n-n-a-d. Annād.

Amogha: A-n-n-a-d. Hmm.

Prabhupāda: Find out.


annād bhavanti bhūtāni
parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ
yajñād bhavati parjanyo
yajñaḥ karma-samudbhavaḥ
(BG 3.14)

Translation: "All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rains. Rains are produced by the performance of yajña, sacrifice, and yajña is born of prescribed duties."

Prabhupāda: Purport.

Amogha: Purport: "Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, a great commentator on the Bhagavad-gītā, writes as follows: ye indrādy-aṅgatayāvasthitaṁ yajñaṁ sarveśvaraṁ viṣṇum abhyarcya tac-cheṣam aśnanti tena tad deha-yātrāṁ sampādayanti, te santaḥ sarveśvarasya bhaktāḥ sarva-kilbiṣair anādi-kāla-vivṛddhair ātmānubhava-pratibandhakair nikhilaiḥ pāpair vimucyante. The Supreme Lord, who is known as the yajña-puruṣaḥ, or the personal beneficiary of all sacrifices, is the master of all demigods who serve Him as the different limbs of the body serve the whole. Demigods like Indra, Candra, Varuṇa, etc., are appointed officers who manage material affairs, and the Vedas direct sacrifices to satisfy these demigods so that they may be pleased to supply air, light and water sufficiently to produce food grains. When Lord Kṛṣṇa is worshiped, the demigods, who are different limbs of the Lord, are also automatically worshiped; therefore there is no separate need to worship the demigods.

"For this reason, the devotees of the Lord, who are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, offer food to Kṛṣṇa and then eat—a process which nourishes the body spiritually. By such action not only are past sinful reactions in the body vanquished, but the body becomes immunized to all contamination of material nature. When there is an epidemic disease, an antiseptic vaccine protects a person from the attack of such an epidemic. Similarly, food offered to Lord Viṣṇu and then taken by us makes us sufficiently resistant to material affection, and one who is accustomed to this practice is called a devotee of the Lord. Therefore, a person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, who eats only food offered to Kṛṣṇa, can counteract all reactions of past material infections, which are impediments to the progress of self-realization. On the other hand, one who does not do so continues to increase the volume of sinful action, and this prepares the next body to resemble hogs and dogs, to suffer the resultant reactions of all sins."

"The material world is full of contaminations, and one who is immunized by accepting prasādam of the Lord, food offered to Viṣṇu, is saved from the attack, whereas one who does not do so becomes subjected to contamination. Food grains or vegetables are factually eatables. The human being eats different kinds of food grains, vegetables, fruits, etc., and the animals eat the refuse of the food grains and vegetables, grass, plants, etc. Human beings who are accustomed to eating meat and flesh must also depend on the production of vegetation in order to eat the animals. Therefore, ultimately, we have to depend on the production of the field and not on the production of big factories. The field production is due to sufficient rain from the sky, and such rains are controlled by demigods like Indra, sun, moon, etc., and they are all servants of the Lord. The Lord can be satisfied by sacrifices; therefore, one who cannot perform them will find himself in scarcity. That is the law of nature."

"Yajña, specifically the saṅkīrtana-yajña prescribed for this age, must be therefore performed to save us at least from scarcity of food supply."

Prabhupāda: Did you follow? So the only remedy is that you should perform yajña. And this yajña is, in this age . . . yajña, performance of yajña, is very costly affair. At the present moment, things are not available. So you should perform yajña. If you don't perform yajña, then nature will restrict supply and put so many impediments. That yajñād bhavati parjanyaḥ (BG 3.14). If you regularly perform yajña, then there will be sufficient rainfall. There is sufficient water. Just like all around there is water. There is no scarcity of water. But you cannot touch it without God's intervention. The same water will be converted into cloud and will be distributed on the land, and the water again glide down to the reservoir of water. This is nature's way. But if you do not perform yajña, this machine will not work to get water from the sea, convert into cloud, and then distribute. This will be restricted.

Justin Murphy: But we must all perform yajña?

Prabhupāda: Yes, you have to perform yajña. And that yajña, at the present moment, is very easy, to . . . saṅkīrtanaiḥ yajñaiḥ (SB 11.5.32). It is recommended that we have to recognize the authority of the Lord, and in this age, simply by performing saṅkīrtana-yajña, He will be satisfied. Saṅkīrtana-yajña means to glorify the Lord in so many ways. We glorify the Lord His form, His activities, His name, His quality. So it is not difficult job. We can sit together, family-wise, community-wise, or in office, in factory. We can sit down together and glorify the Lord. Is it very difficult job?

Justin Murphy: You make it sound very, very simple, of course.

Prabhupāda: Yes, then why don't you accept it?

Justin Murphy: Well I, for one, might. But . . .

Prabhupāda: No, no, I am not talking about you.

Justin Murphy: No, no, sure, certainly. But imagine the man, as we have to consider, the men, the thousands of them on their tractors, at their bulldozers, hacking down natural forest . . .

Prabhupāda: Thousand . . .?

Amogha: He says we have to consider the men who are working the machines to take down the forest for agriculture . . . is that what you mean?

Justin Murphy: The point I'm making is that there are so many people in Australia who would have no time. They are too busy making money. They are too busy doing what . . .

Prabhupāda: But what you will do with money? If there is no grain, then will you eat money? (laughter)

Justin Murphy: Certainly not.

Prabhupāda: That is foolishness. That is foolishness. Money is not required. Required—food grains.

Justin Murphy: But unfortunately, of course, increasingly now, in our society, there is an increasing ability to produce food almost artificially. And this happens more and more . . .

Prabhupāda: Then where is the scarcity? Why you are complaining, "There is scarcity of water." Why? You are complaining "scarcity." If there is enough food, then why you are complaining about scarcity?

Justin Murphy: Well, I complain because I am a geographer, because I am working with an eye to the future, with an eye to a long-term situation where I can see that . . .

Prabhupāda: But I . . . your problem and my problem is not different. You are thinking . . . I am not thinking; it may be. But you require food grain, I require food grain, the animals require food grain, and everyone requires food grain. So if there is sufficient food grain, then everyone will be happy.

Justin Murphy: Yes, now perhaps. How about in fifty years' time, though?

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Justin Murphy: How about in fifty or a hundred years' time?

Prabhupāda: But you were complaining about scarcity of water.

Justin Murphy: Yes, sure.

Prabhupāda: You do not?

Justin Murphy: But also . . . sorry, I don't mean—and perhaps I didn't explain myself well enough—I do not mean to address myself only to a problem which is here with us right now. Perth, for example, right now this city does not have a scarcity. There's plenty of water around. Seventy percent in fact of the water which is delivered to domestic homes every summer is put on gardens to make them green. It's not used for growing vegetables. It's not used for human consumption or human existence, for supporting human life. It's used for making lawns, such as outside this house—making lawns and trees green so that houses will be attractive and the property values will go up. Once again it's the money ethic. It's the money situation. It's what our society exists on. It's what makes it all go around. But what I am worried about is the situation in a hundred years' time. There isn't a scarcity now, although the water is getting . . . is becoming less and less acceptable, where, by taking down the forests, we're letting more water seep into the soil, it's unlocking the salt that's been in the soil for thousands of years, and so on. That's our problem. It's long term and it's complex. I'm worried about generations to come, not now.

Prabhupāda: That's all right. If there is rainfall sufficiently, that water is distilled water, pure water. So if pure water is distributed all over the country . . .

Justin Murphy: It's pure when it hits the ground, but it isn't, unfortunately, when it comes out into the streams.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Amogha: He says it's pure when the rain comes down, but when it hits the ground it becomes impure and then the salt gets in it.

Prabhupāda: That's all right. It is not . . . rainwater is pure water.

Justin Murphy: Sure.

Prabhupāda: So when it touches the ground, it may become impure. It doesn't matter. But the water is pure. Water is coming. You cannot take water from the sea and moisten the ground with. That is not possible. But if pure water comes down from the rain, it is utilized.

Justin Murphy: But a lot of the water that is in our dams and the water that we use for irrigation south of here, which is the basis for the dairy produce of Perth, is becoming slowly, because of its contact with the ground and its travel through the soil and its seepage out into streams and into underground areas, that water is slowly becoming, in many respects, almost as salty as the sea.

Prabhupāda: But first of all, you want water. If the water is reserved on the top of the hill, then it gradually comes down. That is nature's, God's, arrangement: let river fall down, and you can use that water. That is the nature's arrangement. Just like you keep your water on the tank, and by pipe you get down. But there is nature's arrangement. The water is stocked on the top of the hill, and throughout the whole year the pipe is the river. That water must be there. That is the first problem. Therefore here it is said, parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ (BG 3.14). You must have sufficient water. Water is already there. But it has to be purified, kept on the top of the hill, water tank, and it will come down in rivers. Then you take and utilize. And when the water falls down and there is sufficient water, the ground becomes cleansed, so it is no more polluted.

Justin Murphy: Do you know how much . . . it's a very complex thing. In the hills outside Perth there are . . .

Prabhupāda: No, this is the general plan, that you must have sufficient water. And that water must fall down from the cloud, not by your system you pump out water from the sea and utilize. That is not . . .

Justin Murphy: No, sure, we can't do that. We can't do that.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Therefore you must have pure water. And that water is manufactured or supplied through God's machine, not your machine.

Justin Murphy: Certainly not. And I wouldn't presume to suggest in any way that that was the case. What our problem is, though, is that because . . .

Prabhupāda: So that problem solved if you perform sacrifice. That is the verse. Annād bhavanti bhūtāni parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ. And yajñād bhavati parjanyo yajñaḥ karma-samudbhavaḥ (BG 3.14). Very simple formula. If you follow this formula, that first of all, if we want regular water supply . . . that we want, not that "if we want." We must have regular water supply. So that is possible by performing yajña.

Justin Murphy: Um-hmm, um-hmm.

Prabhupāda: Yajña means to satisfy the Supreme Lord. That is yajña. Yajñaḥ karma-samudbhavaḥ. Karma means your activities. Whatever you are doing, that is karma. You are working as geologist? What is?

Justin Murphy: Geographer.

Prabhupāda: Geographer. And another man is working in the factory or somewhere else. Everyone is working. So by working, the aim should be how to perform yajña. That is . . . that should the . . . suppose you are geographer, and I am a religious preacher, and he is a cultivator, he is a factory man, he is a motorcar driver. So that is all right. But if we sit down together and perform yajña simply by glorifying the Lord, where is the loss in your part or my part or his part? Where is the loss? Suppose as a geographer you sit down; as a religious preacher, I sit down; as a motorcar driver, he sits down; as a factory worker, he sits down and perform yajña. Yajña means we chant the holy name of the Lord. Where is the difficulty?

Justin Murphy: I wish it were as simple as that for the majority of people.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Everyone. Even the child can take part. Even the child, woman, educated, noneducated, rich man, poor man, worker—everyone can sit down and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. So why don't you accept this formula?

Justin Murphy: How do you know that I haven't? But . . .

Prabhupāda: There is no check.

Justin Murphy: But how about the people living next door or the people . . .?

Prabhupāda: No, they can form different groups. You can form your group. Suppose there is hundred gentlemen in this neighborhood. We can sit down. If he has no time, they can sit down with family members. Everyone has got family. Everyone has got his wife, children or somebody else, servant. Sit down for half an hour and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Where is the difficulty?

Justin Murphy: No difficulty at all. But it doesn't happen, does it?

Prabhupāda: We have to introduce. That is our movement.

Justin Murphy: Sure, yes, I can see that. But why aren't people doing it? Why aren't more people? In Perth, in this city, why aren't more doing it? I'll tell you one reason. And it is because Austra . . .

Prabhupāda: The people should be educated that "If you do not perform this yajña, you will suffer."

Justin Murphy: But, of course, there are conflicting educations, aren't there?

Prabhupāda: Whatever they may be. What is the wrong there, that if we sit down together and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra without any loss of our factory or work? But if there is some gain, why not try it?

Justin Murphy: A delightful idea, a beautiful idea, and a very simple-sounding idea. How about, however, the Anglicans, the Roman Catholics, who are bound in this . . .

Prabhupāda: No, what is the . . . no, Roman Catholics . . . we don't say that Roman Catholics cannot perform yajña. We say that you chant the holy name of God. So Roman Catholics they have God or not? No God?

Justin Murphy: Well, they think they do a lot of that on a Sunday morning.

Prabhupāda: No, whatever it may be, any religious system . . . religious system means connection with God. Is it not?

Justin Murphy: Yeah, well, that's what it's supposed to be.

Prabhupāda: Without God, is there any religion? Any religion . . . is there any religion who will say: "No, we have no God"? Is there any religion?

Justin Murphy: No.

Prabhupāda: So we are asking, "Chant the holy name of God." So if you are Roman Catholic . . .

Justin Murphy: Any man's God.

Prabhupāda: Any man's God. God is one. God cannot be two. But we are thinking . . .

Justin Murphy: Roman Catholics don't agree with you on that, do they? Roman Catholics have their own God.

Prabhupāda: No, no. No, no.

Justin Murphy: And this is one of the problems. It's nowhere near as simple as, I am sure, as you suggest, and I wish it were.

Prabhupāda: No, no. It is simple. It is simple.

Justin Murphy: The Roman Catholics are a jealous people. Roman Catholics are jealous religious people. They refuse even still to accept, for example, that Anglicans pray in the same way as they do. They refuse to accept that Anglicans pray as well as they do.

Prabhupāda: No, one thing is that it may be Anglican, may be Roman Catholics, may be Christian, may be Hindu or Muslim or anyone. Whether they have God in their conception of religion or not? Do they have God or no God?

Justin Murphy: Well they all have. They must have, to be a religion.

Prabhupāda: So I am asking that "You chant the holy name of God. If you have God, you chant the holy name of that God." I don't say that "You chant the holy name of my God." You chant the holy name of your God. God is one. Just like water. Somebody says "water," somebody says "pāni," somebody says "jala," but the end is, the aim is, water. Similarly, God . . . I may say "Kṛṣṇa," you may say "Jehovah," the Muslims may say "Allah," or others may say something else, but the aim is God.

Justin Murphy: Well, why aren't we better off, then? Because obviously, therefore, going on what you've just said, there are a lot of people in Australia every day, perhaps certainly once every week, chanting the name of their God. Why, then, do we still have problems?

Prabhupāda: No, problem . . .

Justin Murphy: Are there not enough people chanting to their God or to the one God?

Prabhupāda: So problems . . . suppose if you are . . . aborigines, they have God? They have their name of God?

Justin Murphy: Yes, well, they have multiple gods, yes.

Prabhupāda: So if they chant the holy name of God, there is no loss. At least there is no loss.

Justin Murphy: No, certainly. Oh, well, we've established that, sure.

Prabhupāda: So why not begin this? There is no loss. You are not losing anything. Suppose if you chant the holy name of God . . .

Justin Murphy: Why do we still have problems?

Prabhupāda: . . . as a geographer. Your salary is not decreased. So there is no . . .

Justin Murphy: Certainly not, no. But why is there . . .? If people are, in their own way, then, chanting to their God, why . . .

Prabhupāda: No, no . . . ultimately, you require sufficient supply of water to grow your food, vegetables. Or even if you are animal-eater, to maintain your animals you require sufficient water. And that is recommended, that yajñād bhavati parjanyaḥ (BG 3.14). And the yajña is very simple—chanting the holy name of the Lord. So why not introduce that every home, every factory, every community, every place, they should sit down at least for half an hour and chant the holy name of the Lord?

Justin Murphy: Could I ask you very simply? If . . . you suggest this. If we all do this, will that, for example, remove the problems that we do . . . that our society, at any rate, at any guess, generates for ourself? We have more and more pollution. Depending on the way the wind blows, for example, we get at times choking pollution from the industrial complexes down to the south of this city. Are these problems going to be . . .

Prabhupāda: No, no, the next question will be, "If you get sufficient grain for eating, why should you take to industry?"

Justin Murphy: To make money, very simply.

Prabhupāda: Then what for, money? Money means you require the necessities of life. So . . .

Justin Murphy: But that's not what the multinational corporations that enjoy using Australia's resources are going to say. All of the hills to the east of Perth are almost entirely made up of bauxite, from which, of course, we get, not that, the stainless steel, but from which we get aluminium. Aluminium is a very . . . Bauxite is a very, very favored material now. The West Indies are rich in it, and a few other countries, but not many. Australia is now part of, as they call it, part of "the bauxite club." And Dr. Cairns, our deputy prime minister and treasurer, was some months ago talking with a number of people in the West Indies about fixing world prices for bauxite and eventually aluminium. America has Comalco and Alcoa, two very large international groups, have large interests in the bauxite in the hills around Perth. They are in it to make money. They're in it to return money to their shareholders in America.

Prabhupāda: But therefore, there are two ways of living. One way of living is called material enjoyment, or sense enjoyment. This is one way of life. In Sanskrit it is called pravṛtti-mārga: how to enjoy more, more, more, more, more. This is called pravṛtti-mārga. That is going on. The whole . . . at the present moment the whole civilization, throughout the whole world, everyone is trying to get more money. More money means more sense enjoyment. More money means more sense enjoyment. This is called pravṛtti-mārga.

Justin Murphy: Well, maybe less enjoyment but more possessions.

Prabhupāda: No, enjoyment in this way of life, more sense enjoyment, you will never be able to enjoy or happiness. That is not possible. That is the nature's way. (aside) You can close the door. If you simply want to enjoy, you can enjoy. But you will create more miseries. So this is one way of life, that you enjoy your senses and create more miseries. This is one way of life. And if you want to decrease your miseries, then there is another life, which is called simple life. Simple life means you produce your food and you produce your cloth so you dress yourself nicely, you eat, yourself, nicely, keep yourself fit, and glorify the Lord. This is one way of life. And the other way of life, that "We don't care for the Lord. Let us enjoy the senses to the topmost capacity and be happy." So this way of life will never make you happy. You will simply go on struggling. This is one way of life. Another way of life, that the human life is meant for God realization. That is Vedānta philosophy. Athāto brahma jijñāsā (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.1).

Now, by evolutionary process, we have come to the human form of life, and it is meant for asking, "What is my constitutional position? Am I this body, or I am something else?" The dogs, he cannot put this inquiry. A dog, he thinks that he is dog, that's all. He is jumping, he is barking, and eating, sleeping and having sex. That's all. If I ask one dog, "Please sit down. Hear Bhagavad-gītā," it is not possible. But you are human being. If I ask you, "Mr. Such-and-such, sit down, hear from the Bhagavad-gītā," you can do that. First of all we must know the difference between dog and me. The dog is incapable to understand Bhagavad-gītā. But human being . . . just like we are selling this book in the Western countries, many millions of copies, because they are human being. We are not selling among the cats and dogs.

Justin Murphy: Hmm, no.

Prabhupāda: So if a human being does not become inquisitive to understand what he is, in which way his progress should be made, then he remains a dog. The dog cannot do it. And we have got the capacity. If we neglect this facility and remain like a dog, simply engaged in eating, sleeping, sex and defense, then we remain dog. Then again we become dog. The opportunity was given to us to understand the problems of life, how to solve. If you don't take this opportunity, facility, if you simply remain like dog, then we are next life . . . that also they do not understand, that there is next life. Do you believe in a next life? You, a person, do you believe in a next life?

Justin Murphy: No, I don't.

Prabhupāda: You do not.

Justin Murphy: No.

Prabhupāda: Just see. Now . . .

Justin Murphy: So therefore I'm bad material. (break)

Prabhupāda: " . . . no, I don't believe it."

Justin Murphy: But I will become an old man anyway, in the course of my life.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So therefore there is future life. If you say: "I don't believe in it," . . .

Justin Murphy: Are you talking about reincarnation, life after death?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Reincarnation . . . you are already reincarnated. Where is your that childhood body? Where is that body?

Justin Murphy: Here it is. It's grown.

Prabhupāda: No. No, it is changed.

Justin Murphy: It's grown, it's changed, it's evolved, I have evolved. Just like evolution, I have evolved to the situations . . .

Prabhupāda: Anyway . . . just try to understand. Anyway, that, your boy's body or childhood body, is no longer. Either you say changed or grown, whatever you say, it doesn't matter.

Justin Murphy: But they're the same bones, it's the same skin.

Prabhupāda: But you are the same man. That's a fact. You understand that you were a child or you were a boy, youthful boy, jumping. You remember that body, but that body is not existing. That's a fact.

Justin Murphy: I can't agree.

Prabhupāda: And why not? Suppose somebody had seen your childhood body, and for many years he has not seen you, and he all of a sudden comes. Suppose your father's friend. So father introduces. He says, "Oh, you are the same?" He will be surprised, because he saw you in a childhood body.

Justin Murphy: But I'm less interested in what . . .

Prabhupāda: No, no. First of all think that you have changed your body. The other man says, "Oh, you have grown up?" Or . . . generally they take it as grown up. But the actual position is the body has changed.

Justin Murphy: But they're the same bones. It's the same skin. My face looks just about the same.

Prabhupāda: Not it is same. Medically, it is not the same.

Justin Murphy: The functions are different, but it's the same heart that's beating, the same veins . . .

Prabhupāda: No, no, no, it is not the same body. Just like in your childhood, when you were a boy, you had no sex impulse. Now you have got sex impulse. The body of a child, the body of a boy, they cannot understand sex life because the body is different. And now, because you have got different body, you can feel what is sex life. So it is imperceptibly changing. Therefore we think that it is growing. But it is changing. It is changing swiftly. Just like in the cinema spool, the picture is changing, but because it is changing so swiftly, you are seeing that one man is moving. That is the fact. There are hundreds and thousands of pictures passed on. When you see that, "This man is taking the stick and bringing this way," this means there are many pictures. So similarly, it is like a spool. Your body is changing every moment. That is medical science.

Justin Murphy: Absolutely. Yes. Couldn't agree more.

Prabhupāda: So changing. So you are changing your body. That's a fact. But because you are seeing all in one spool, you are thinking, "It is growing; it is moving." That's all. But it is changing. This is the science. So body is changing. And you remember that you had such-and-such body. Therefore you are different from the body. This is the science. So unless we understand that "I am not this body. I am different from the body. I am changing bodies. Therefore I will have to change this body and accept another body . . ." This is the science, beginning of scientific knowledge. Without understanding this fact his advancement of knowledge is simply for eating, sleeping, sex and defense. That's all. There is no advancement. According to Vedic literature, he remains animal. Sa eva go-kharaḥ.

yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke
sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
(SB 10.84.13)

If we cannot understand ourself . . . it is very simple, that "I have changed my body so many times, so naturally, when this body will be useless in this life, then I will have to accept another body." This is the version of . . . (aside) You find out.

dehino 'smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntara-prāptir
dhīras tatra na muhyati
(BG 2.13)

Read it.

Amogha: English?

Prabhupāda: English and . . . yes.

Amogha: Sanskrit first?

Prabhupāda: Uh-huh.


dehino 'smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntara-prāptir
dhīras tatra na muhyati
(BG 2.13)

Translation: "As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change."

Prabhupāda: The simple truth. But people have no education. That is the defect of the modern civilization. This is the fact, that you are accepting every moment a different body. So after death, you will have to accept another body. Now, we should know, "What kind of body I am going to accept next?" That is intelligence. That is civilization.

Justin Murphy: Do you mean that the . . . that that, then, will allow me, if I come to that realization, that that will allow me to then continue to improve my mind, continue to study, to think, to gain knowledge . . .

Prabhupāda: As far . . . yes.

Justin Murphy: . . . beyond, say, the normal sixty-five or seventy years that I might live in what I imagine to be this body?

Prabhupāda: The knowledge should be acquired from the beginning of life, from childhood. But if by circumstances I could not get this knowledge from childhood, then we should begin immediately. Because unless we get this knowledge, our life remains imperfect. We remain animal. The animal does not know this. And after evolutionary process, coming to the human form of body, if we keep ourself in the darkness of animal life, then our this opportunity is lost. This is the first problem. Unfortunately, the modern education is . . . leaders, they have no education, and they are thinking just like animal that "I am this body." Therefore you are thinking you are Australian, I am thinking I am Indian, he is thinking American, he . . . only on this bodily concept of life. But we are not this body. We are different from this body. So unless we understand this point, our aim of life, our standard of civilization, is incorrect.

Justin Murphy: I suppose it's very easy to understand and to credit that so many people will be thinking maybe this way, because that's part of the basis of being selfish, and, after all, a lot of people, particularly, I would imagine, a lot of Australians, are basically selfish. They are interested far more in what they can get and do for themselves, not necessarily by working hard, by striving or by reading or by thinking or by studying. They, they . . . the old saying . . .

Prabhupāda: The human life is meant for acquiring knowledge, real knowledge.

Justin Murphy: But so many people don't see it that way.

Prabhupāda: At least one class of men must be thoroughly conversant, thoroughly aware of the things as they are. They are called brāhmaṇas. Therefore the society should be divided into four classes. The first-class men, who have got full knowledge of life and the problems of life . . . that there should be, the first-class men. They may be very few; it doesn't matter. Ideal class. People will learn by their behavior, by their character, by their knowledge. So must be there. Then the next class would be the administrators. They would be advised by the first-class men, and they would administer the state. And the third-class men, they should produce food, enough food for the whole population. And the fourth-class men would assist these three higher class, first class, second class and third class. This is the arrangement, nature's arrangement. There are first-class men; there are second-class men; there are third-class men; there are fourth-class men. But if you produce simply fourth-class men, there cannot be any adjustment. It will be chaotic society. That is the present position, that there is no first-class men, there is no second-class men. There may be some third-class men, and all fourth-class men. This is the position. Therefore the whole human society is in chaotic condition. The first-class man should understand this. Therefore it is called dhīras tatra na muhyati (BG 2.13). What is the meaning of dhīra? Just see.

Amogha: Sober.

Prabhupāda: Sober, gentle. He understands immediately. Because . . .

Justin Murphy: But would you . . . again . . . this thing, the attainment of this first class, which, if I understand you correctly, you're saying is very, very necessary for . . .

Prabhupāda: All are necessary.

Justin Murphy: . . . for the removal . . . yes, sure. But you're saying that we don't have the first class of man.

Prabhupāda: So you create.

Justin Murphy: But . . . but . . .

Prabhupāda: By education you create.

Justin Murphy: Fine. But how . . . okay. How about, then, the, some of the ancient and maybe even now the latter-day philosophers . . .

Prabhupāda: No, just see . . .

Justin Murphy: . . . the men of sobriety and gentleness, the Bertrand Russells for example.

Prabhupāda: They have to be trained. Just like you have been trained up as geographer; similarly, a certain man can be trained up as first-class man by education.

Justin Murphy: But trained by others or trained by themselves?

Prabhupāda: No, there must be institution.

Justin Murphy: But surely training by oneself. But training by oneself, such as for example an Albert Einstein or a Bertrand Russell . . .

Prabhupāda: No, no, no, no, no, no. By teacher. You have become geographer not by yourself.

Justin Murphy: Oh, yes, but we're not talking about me. I'm nowhere near what you're saying is a first class. I'm talking about some of our latter-day philosophers, and Bertrand Russell is a person, for example, who, for gentleness, sobriety and thought, whom I admire very much. And he has attained that himself. He hasn't been . . . he was certainly, as we all must be, surely, trained to begin with. But then it's a process of individual thought.

Prabhupāda: No, no, no. No, no, no. But that's all right. Just like we have got different institution—this is for educating engineers, this is for educated medical man, this is for educating geographer—as there are different departments.

Justin Murphy: Oh, sure, to begin with, and so there must be.

Prabhupāda: Similarly, there must be a department to train first-class men. That is required.

Justin Murphy: We don't have them in our universities.

Prabhupāda: So therefore it is chaotic, no first-class men, all third class, fourth class.

Justin Murphy: What are the specifications for your first-class man?

Prabhupāda: Yes. (aside) Find out. Satyaṁ śamo damas titikṣā.

Amogha: Satyam?

Prabhupāda: Śamo damas titikṣā, brahma-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.42). Eighteen Chapter.

Amogha: Satya or sata?

Prabhupāda: Satya. S-a-t-y-a.

Amogha: (looking for verse) I know approximately.

Prabhupāda: Satyaṁ śaucam śamo damas. You find out jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyam. Jñānam, find out jñānam. J-n-a-n, jñānam.

Amogha: Jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyam, 18.42.

Prabhupāda: Yes.


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

Translation: "Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge and religiousness—these are the qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work."

Prabhupāda: This is first-class man.

Justin Murphy: Who decides whether a man, then, is . . . fits into those criteria and becomes a first-class man? Who decides? Who is to say whether a man is first class or not?

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. He should be first of all qualified like this. What is that?

Amogha: "Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge and religiousness."

Justin Murphy: But once a man has strived for those qualities, how does he know when he's attained them? And . . .

Prabhupāda: No, you . . . śamaḥ, śamaḥ. The first word is śamaḥ? Śamaḥ means equilibrium of the mind. One should be trained up in such a way that he is not disturbed in his mind in any circumstance. That is called śamaḥ. And damaḥ, damaḥ means controlling the senses. Naturally I find one beautiful woman, I want to talk with him (her), and he (she) is other's wife. But I should: "No, why should I talk with other's wife?" This is damaḥ, controlling the senses. So śamaḥ means keeping the mind always equiposed, and damaḥ, the controlling the mind. And suppose if . . . I have to eat something to live. So God has given me so many nice foodstuff: food grain, fruits, milk. Why should I kill an animal unnecessarily, for the taste of my tongue?

Justin Murphy: Selfishness.

Prabhupāda: But I want to live. There are . . . India, eighty percent people, they are vegetarian. They are living very nicely. They are eating sufficient food grain and fruits and milk and milk product. God has given us so many. So why should we maintain slaughterhouse, killing other animals? So a first-class man will not do that. First-class man will think that "I want to eat something to keep myself fit. If by natural products I can keep myself fit, why shall I kill another animal?" And every religion teaches that. Now take in your Christian religion, Christ said: "Thou shall not kill," and they are maintaining slaughterhouse. So this is the condition of the society. How you can become happy? You are violating the rules and regulation of religion and God. You cannot become . . . nature will disturb in so many ways. That is nature's business.

Justin Murphy: But so many of us, of course, are used to it. We like it.

Prabhupāda: No, I am not talking about you particularly, but general way, general way. So this is first-class man. Śamaḥ, damaḥ, titikṣā. Now, suppose I was not a first-class man; I was a fourth-class man. Now I want to become a first-class man. So I was eating meat. Just these boys, European, American boys, they were eating everything. Now they have given up. On my word or to associate with me, they have given up meat-eating, illicit sex, meat-eating. So in the beginning it may be disturbing, because "I am habituated to all these things, and by my spiritual master order not to do this . . ." So it may be disturbing. But that is called titikṣā, tolerance: "No, I have to do it. If I want to make progress to become first-class man, this is order, so I must do it even . . ." The tolerance, even it is disturbing in the beginning. It is not disturbing. In the beginning, because I habituated to do something . . . just like a thief. If you ask him to become honest, it will be disturbing for him because he is habituated to steal. So that we have to tolerate. Therefore it is called titikṣā.

Śamaḥ damaḥ titikṣā ārjavam. Ārjavam means simple life, simplicity, that "If I can live in this way, why shall I acquire so many things for artificial life?" That is called ārjavam. Śamaḥ damaḥ titikṣā ārjavam, then jñānam. Jñānam means knowledge, that "I am not this body; I am spirit soul. My . . ." Actually that is the fact. This body is not important. The living force within the body is important. As soon as the living force goes out of the body, what is this value? You may be a great geographer or scientist or Professor Einstein or whatever. As soon as the living force is gone, you are useless, this body is useless; you have to throw it. That is jñānam, that "I am taking so much care of this material body, which will not exist, which I shall become . . . 'Dust thou art; dust thou beist.' Again it will mix up with these dirty things. I am taking so much care of this body. What about that living force, which is important?" Nobody is taking care.

Therefore they are not in jñānam, knowledge. They are in ignorance, just like cats and dogs. This is called jñānam. And the vijñānam . . . vijñānam means practical application of the knowledge. That is called vijñānam, science. Scientific knowledge there is. Jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyam. Āstikyam means to believe in the authority. That is called āstikyam. Just like we are speaking about this Bhagavad-gītā because it is spoken by the most supreme authority, Kṛṣṇa. To believe in the authority. You also believe in authority. But ultimately, in this way, if we acquire this qualification, then we become first-class man. So anyone can be trained up. Just like these boys, they were fourth class, fifth class. And now they are trained up to become first class. Just like anyone can become geographer, anyone can become engineer by proper training.

Justin Murphy: (to Amogha) Do you think you'll make it?

Amogha: We're making progress.

Prabhupāda: They are young men. They are all within thirty years.

Justin Murphy: And your aim, all of you, is to become first-class men?

Amogha: Yes.

Justin Murphy: Does it matter how long it might take you? Can you become first-class men soon, within five years?

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Sufficient, sufficient. We can make in one year.

Justin Murphy: Really. I wish you all well. Well, I hope I won't give you offense if I look at my watch and say that . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes, it is a very important matter. If you do not spare time, that is your business, but . . . (laughs)

Justin Murphy: I'm afraid my life is one of these selfish lives. It's a life that's dominated by . . .

Prabhupāda: No, it is natural, just natural. Just like why first-class men required in society? Just like in your body there is first-class part, second-class part, third-class part and fourth-class part. Just like your head is the first-class part of your body. If your head is cut off, then everything is finished.

Justin Murphy: Sure.

Prabhupāda: Similarly, if in the society, if we don't create first-class men, that society is dead. That society is dead. So at the present moment there is no first-class men according to this word. Therefore there is chaotic condition, problems, and so on, so on, so on. So unless you create at least a few percentage of the people first-class men according to this standard, there cannot be any progress. This is my last word to you.

Justin Murphy: Thank you. I wish you all well, and maybe I should think along those lines myself. It's been most interesting talking to you.

Prabhupāda: Yes. It is necessary to create a class of men first class, ideal. And if you all create fourth-class men, then there cannot be peace. It is not possible.

Justin Murphy: Thank you.

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Justin Murphy: Excellent talking to you. Thank you very much, and I wish you well in Melbourne, and then in Hawaii?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Fiji and Hawaii. You can keep his address. He may talk with you.

Śrutakīrti: Here is a sweet we have made from milk product.

Justin Murphy: Thank you. Goodnight.

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. Jaya. (end)