750519 - Interview - Melbourne
Prabhupāda: (indistinct) . . . because the whole world was merged into water. So evolution takes place from aquatics, fish. Then, as the water dries up, there was vegetation, plants. Plants, creepers, trees. Then, gradually, the insects, moths, reptiles, serpents, they come out. And then, from insects, the birds, varieties of birds. There are three million kinds of birds. And aquatics, 900,000. And eleven hundred thousand, 1,100,000 species of these insects and reptiles. And one million varieties of birds. And then beasts, animals, four-legged, there are three million varieties. So all together this is eight million. Huh? No?
Australian devotee: Eight million, four hundred thousand.
Prabhupāda: No, total human being, 400,000 species. Altogether, 8,400,000 species of living entities. So these are coming, evolution, by the laws of nature. You cannot stop it. The laws of nature, you cannot interfere. In this way we come to the human form of body, and especially civilized human being. Supposedly, it is the Āryans. The Āryan family, they are the topmost civilized group amongst the living entities. Now, in this life one has to enquire about himself that "What is the difference between me and the dog? Why I am claiming a better position than the dog? What is the difference?" The difference is that a human being, if he endeavors, he can understand his real constitutional position and he can understand God also. God. Therefore in the human society, civilized human society, there is some sort of religious system. It does not matter whether it is Hindu religion, Muslim religion, Christian religion or Buddha religion, there is some religion in the civilized human society.
Journalist: Some what, sir?
Prabhupāda: In the civilized human society there is some system of religion. So that system of religion means try to understand God. Religion means the law given by God. So civilized human beings, they are trying to understand God and His law. That is called religion. Now the difference between dog and me is that I can try to understand what is God, what is my position; the dog cannot understand. Dog means the animals. They cannot understand. So that is the difference between a human being and a dog. So if we give up religion or the method to understand God and our relationship with Him, then we remain dog. Then we remain dog. We are not human being. So at the present moment the so-called human society, civilized human society, is giving up the conception of God, understanding God, especially the Communist party. They are openly declaring that, "We don't believe in God." But those who are not Communists, they, lip sympathy, they say that "Yes, we believe in God," but actually they do not believe.
So practically the entire human society is now becoming godless. That is very dangerous position. And we have already come to that dangerous position. There are so many problems, and recently we have heard that New York City, the most important city in the world, they are in a problem, that they cannot keep the city very nicely maintained and clean, and they asked for help, some millions of dollars, and the federal government has refused. In this way this godless society will have to meet so many problems of life, and if they want solution of all these problems, they must take to God consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So that is our sum and substance of the movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. So we are trying to . . . it is very simple method. Anyone can accept it by chanting and dancing and eating. And if one does not like this method—he wants to understand the philosophy—we have got fifty books of four hundred pages. You can see all these books. (aside) Bring some of them. It is scientifically, philosophically presented. Fifty books, we have got. Four hundred pages each.
Journalist: What about other religion?
Prabhupāda: Well, we are speaking of religion. There is no question of "other religion," "your religion," "my religion." We are speaking of God. God is God, just like gold is gold. Because it is in the hand of a Christian, you cannot say that, "It is Christian gold." The gold is gold.
Journalist: But do you accept the validity of other religion?
Prabhupāda: Validity . . . any religion which is seeking after God, that is valid. If any religion does not obey God, does not know God, that is cheating. That is not religion.
Journalist: How would you say this godlessness is . . .
Prabhupāda: Godlessness is one does not know what is God. And just like you know me, you have come to me. You know I am a person, I am talking, I have written so many books. This is knowing me. Similarly, one must know what is God, what is His feature, what does He do, what does He teach, what law He gives. This is knowing God. Simply to understand, "Oh, well, there is God. Let Him remain at His place, and let me do whatever I like," that is not understanding of God. You must know God just like you must know your father. If you are interested with your father's property, then you must know your father, who is your father.
Journalist: How is this godlessness showing itself in our society?
Prabhupāda: Godlessness means foolishness, because . . .
Journalist: Is liquor . . . too much liquor and self-indulgence?
Prabhupāda: There are details. There are so many things. The total is rascaldom and foolishness. Godlessness means rascaldom and foolishness.
Journalist: Ras . . .? Ras . . .?
Prabhupāda: Rascal. How can I say: "There is no God"? Is it very reasonable? Just like you have got a father, and your father has got father, his father has got father . . . go on, you come to the supreme father, the original father. There must be one original father. That is God. How can I deny God? Can you deny?
Journalist: No, I don't deny.
Prabhupāda: Personally you may not. But the atheists, they say: "There is no God." The so-called scientists, atheists, they say: "There is no God." So how can it be? If you say: "There is no father," how it is possible? Without father, how you exist? So God is accepted the supreme father, the original father. So how the atheists can deny the existence of God? Is that very good argument, to deny the original father?
Journalist: Yes. I would like to know more about what do you think our society is doing wrong.
Prabhupāda: Wrong because they do not care for the original father. The father has given so many facilities. We require water. There is oceans and big, big seas and oceans. Father has given. We require light. The father has given the sun. We require heat. Everything arrangement is there so that we can live very nicely and thank father. This is our duty. But people are becoming more or less rebellious, "Oh, there is no God. We are God." What is this foolishness?
Journalist: Are people using the wrong things to live too sophisticated?
Prabhupāda: Yes, he must be. Because he is foolish, he will do all nonsense . . . wrong things, which will create unhappiness. To deny God means foolishness, and foolish man simply will create trouble. Just like monkey. Monkey is always busy by simply creating trouble, that's all. And they are claiming, the foolish Darwin's theory, they are also claiming that monkey is our forefather.
Journalist: Is that true? Do you believe that?
Prabhupāda: No, I have told you already, the evolution. The monkey is not our forefather, but in the evolutionary process we came through monkey. That is a fact. Because that is an animal, so we have to pass through three million varieties of animal's body. So monkey is one of them.
Journalist: When did we stop becoming the monkey and start to become a man?
Prabhupāda: Yes, that depends. By nature's course, you automatically come to human body. Now, in the human body it is a junction, whether you want to make further progress and if you want to go back again to the cycle of the birth and death and the evolutionary process. That is to be decided by you. If you want to go to God, you can go. And if you want to become again a monkey, you can do that. That will depend on your work. Yes.
Journalist: You founded the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. How long ago was that?
Prabhupāda: Yes, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is since five thousand years ago, or before that. You may say forty millions of years ago as is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. But taking by modern history, in your country, in the Western countries, I have started it since 1966 from New York. The movement is very, very old. But it is started in the Western countries since last seven or eight years.
Journalist: And where did it first start? Which country?
Prabhupāda: New York.
Journalist: In New York.
Journalist: What is your background? Are you from India?
Journalist: Yes. What is your age, then?
Prabhupāda: I am now just almost complete seventy-nine. In September I will be eighty.
Prabhupāda: No, September. My birth date is 1896.
Journalist: And when did you go to the United States?
Prabhupāda: Oh, very old age. I went there in 1965.
Journalist: Yes. To found the Kṛṣṇa consciousness?
Journalist: And what were you in India before that? Did you have a religious background?
Prabhupāda: No, no, from the very childhood we are Kṛṣṇa conscious, our family, the Vaiṣṇava family. My father and my forefathers, they are all belonged to this cult, Kṛṣṇa cult. So naturally from our childhood we were trained up in this cult.
Journalist: Yes. Do you have children?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. I have got my wife, children, everything. But now I have no connection with them; I am a sannyāsī. Sannyāsī means to give up all material connection.
Journalist: Yes. Is your son in the cult?
Prabhupāda: Yes, everyone. But they are not so advanced. Just like one belongs to some cult, religion, but one may not be very expert to understand that religion. So they are Kṛṣṇa conscious, but not so expert.
Journalist: Not so . . .?
Journalist: Not so expert. Yes. In India or the United States?
Prabhupāda: India, in Calcutta. My family is there in Calcutta.
Journalist: You live in New York?
Prabhupāda: No, no, I travel all over the world. My, in America headquarter, Los Angeles. And European headquarter, London.
Journalist: Is Kṛṣṇa consciousness connected with any other religion? Does it derive from Hinduism or Buddhism?
Prabhupāda: Yes, you can call it Hinduism, but actually it is . . . does not belong to any "ism." It is a science of understanding God. But it appears like Hindu religion. In that sense Buddha religion is also Hindu religion, because Lord Buddha was a Hindu, and he started Buddha religion.
Journalist: Do you think modern man must mend his ways or he will. . . he must get better and know God or he will destroy himself?
Prabhupāda: Yes, he is destroying already. The society is not in stable stage. Just like in America, they are also in trouble now. They are asking money from the federal government. They cannot make solution. So as soon as the monetary source will decline, this civilization will be finished.
Journalist: As soon as the money declines.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Because there is no culture. They are not standing on culture. They are standing on money.
Journalist: You think we pay too much importance to money?
Prabhupāda: Yes, everybody, yes. They do not know what is culture of life. They simply want money, that's all.
Journalist: Do you think we have too much for our needs?
Prabhupāda: You are creating your needs. You are not too much in need, but you have created so many artificial needs.
Journalist: Such as what?
Prabhupāda: Everything. Suppose this boy is sitting down. Now I am sitting in a very nice couch. So it is not absolutely necessary that couch is required. But for getting this couch, we had to spend so much energy. So similarly, unnecessarily we have created so many things and going on. That I was going to say, that we come to the human form of life by nature's way. Now what is our duty? Our duty is to make further progress. But instead of going further progressively we are again going to become monkeys and dogs. This is our position.
Journalist: What about other artifacts of civilization, like television and motorcars . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes, it is very good. Just like we also use motorcar, but not for fashion. Suppose if we go for preaching. If we can go by car quickly, we take advantage of the car. We have got many cars for preaching work. So everything is good, provided it is used for progressive goodness. (coughs) That our mistake is that where . . . now this, there is the mistake in Darwin's theory also. He has no information that the evolution is taking place, of the body, by the desire of the soul. That he does not know. Just like sometimes people were happy and living in a small cottage. Now they are making big, big skyscraper building. So what is the difference? The cottage and this . . . the cottage is not becoming the skyscraper building, but the man who was living in the cottage, by his desire the skyscraper building is coming. Similarly, the evolution means the soul within the body desires a certain type of body and he gets it. Not that the monkey body has developed into human body, but the soul within the monkey's body desired a human body, and he has got it. This is the process of evolution. In the Darwin's theory, this knowledge is lacking. He is thinking that the cottage has become big skyscraper building. That is not the fact. The owner of the cottage desired to have a skyscraper building, therefore he, from the cottage he transferred to the skyscraper building. It is due to the owners.
Journalist: In that case, if we go on developing, we stay in the skyscraper, or the skyscraper gets bigger.
Prabhupāda: Yes. The skyscraper is not impediment. It is not impediment. If you remain in the skyscraper and develop your spiritual consciousness, you can do that. But the unfortunate thing is that we are too much absorbed in constructing the skyscraper building, forgetting our real business. That is the defect.
Journalist: What about sex and drugs, sex and alcohol?
Prabhupāda: Sex? Yes, alcohol, we condemn any kind of intoxication. All our students are forbidden illicit sex. We don't say: "No sex," but illicit sex we forbid. Similarly, we forbid meat-eating. We don't say that, "Don't eat"; we simply say that, "Don't eat meat." You can eat other things, just like we are eating so many nice things.
Journalist: Why not meat?
Prabhupāda: Because it is sinful; you are killing one animal. Your Christian religion says: "Thou shall not kill." Why you are killing?
Journalist: Yes. How many followers do you have throughout the world now?
Prabhupāda: No, throughout the world . . . in India, everyone is Kṛṣṇa conscious. In the outside India we have got about ten to twelve thousand dedicated followers.
Journalist: Do you mean every . . . the whole of India is Kṛṣṇa conscious?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they know what is Kṛṣṇa.
Journalist: But how many of them practice it?
Prabhupāda: Many millions. Still, if you hold any Kṛṣṇa conscious meeting, they will come by thousands—twenty thousand, thirty thousand, like that. Even village to village, if there is any chance of Kṛṣṇa conscious meeting, all the villagers will come, still.
Journalist: How many years has Kṛṣṇa consciousness . . .
Prabhupāda: That I told you, according to the modern history, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is there since five thousand years.
Journalist: Nine thousand years.
Prabhupāda: Five thousand.
Journalist: Five thousand years.
Prabhupāda: Mm. And before that there was Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement also, and that date is taken not less than forty millions of years. (break) (end)