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760704 - Conversation B - Washington D.C.

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

760704SS-WASHINGTON DC - July 04, 1976 - 45:28 Minutes

(Life Comes From Life, Slideshow Discussions)

Rūpānuga: Svarūpa Dāmodara Prabhu, You want to ask some questions?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes.

Prabhupāda: What is that? Astronomical chart?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Oh, it was just, Pradyumna was just telling me all this . . . yes, astronomical chart, about the moons, and . . .

Prabhupāda: Astrological?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes, astrological.

Prabhupāda: He has become astrologer. (laughter)

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Śrīla Prabhupāda, we thought, now, the biologists have a difficult time in defining species. It's not very clear, the way they do it. Now we want to bring up the concept that the, by the combination of the three modes of material nature produce all these different varieties of species. We say 8,400,000. And on that line . . .

Prabhupāda: 8,400,000.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes, now along that line, we want to make a nice chart on . . .

Prabhupāda: Chart is already there, jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi, nine hundred thousand species. Not species, forms.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes. Now we want to make a very clear distinction of, say, the mode of goodness and mode of passion and ignorance. And we want to give some very specific examples . . .

Prabhupāda: The demigods, they are in goodness. And the human being in passion, and the animals in ignorance. That is general division.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: The animals are ignorance. But now even we come to the, let's say . . .

Prabhupāda: Nitijugdeva. Deva means demigods, they are in goodness. And human being in passion, and animals in ignorance. This is general division.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: What about the plants and other smaller . . .?

Prabhupāda: That is also animals, less, still more in dense darkness.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: The other point along this line, we also wanted to, even in the same animal or bird kingdom . . .

Prabhupāda: No, no. You can very minutely distinguish, this is the general division. Then there is minute division. That is numbering about 8,400,000.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Under that category, that minor divisions, now let's take the animals. Even in the animal kingdom, there are some animals which are influenced . . .

Prabhupāda: From the animals down, it is all ignorance.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Animals down, all ignorance.

Rūpānuga: What about like the cow, little goodness in it, mixed?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Rūpānuga: And the lion, little passion?

Prabhupāda: Yes. No, everywhere there is mixture. Otherwise, how it comes to 8,000,000? There is mixture. But this is the general division. Now you cannot make how much passion, how much goodness is there. That you can understand from the behavior. But this is general division. We can speak of general division. The minute division is made by nature. That nature's study, one who can study nature, then he can do that.

Rūpānuga: That means to study the activity, psychology of the . . .

Prabhupāda: So all the qualities are working, mixed up practically. But prominently like this. Here you cannot have any quality completely of that quality. Other qualities are there, but prominently that particular . . . just like demigods. They also become sometimes passionate, sometimes ignorant. So in this material world it is very difficult to find out pure modes of nature in anything. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Sometimes some quality prominent, sometimes some quality is prominent. So the best thing is to become transcendental to all these qualities. Sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate (BG 14.26). That is devotional service. Śuddha-sattva, completely pure goodness. That is wanted.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: That is not the direction that we were thinking. We were thinking that we could give some specific examples. We understand that the modes of nature are mixed, but even then . . . now let's take birds. A bird like swan likes to be very clean habit, likes to live in a nice environment like lotus and clean water, but on the other hand birds like eagle, very passionate, wants to . . .

Prabhupāda: Crow.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Crow is rather very ignorant and wants to be very dirty, whereas . . .

Prabhupāda: So what you will do by such study?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: By this . . .

Prabhupāda: Generalize the divisions, that's all. But none of the divisions are spiritual. Our aim is to come to the spiritual platform. Traiguṇya-viṣayā vedā nistraiguṇyo bhavārjuna. Not that to increase goodness and keep a less quantity passion and ignorance. Be completely free from all the three qualities, that is required.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes, that is our philosophy, but . . .

Prabhupāda: So some other living entity who is prominent in this quality, prominent that, it does not make much difference. So long he is in the material qualities, he's entrapped. So get him out of this condition and put him into the spiritual platform. That is the solution. Nistraiguṇyo bhavārjuna. In the material world if you think that the quantity of goodness is now big than the other modes of nature, that does not make a solution. Next moment the passion will be prominent, next moment the ignorance will be prominent. You cannot check it or fix him up in one quality. It is not possible. That is not possible. The best thing is to bring him to the unconditional stage, transcendental stage. Sa guṇān . . . keep him engaged in devotional service, he is free from influence of all these qualities. That is wanted.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: That is on a human platform, but we wanted to appeal purely on a scientific level to the scientists. Now in order to bring these concepts that these three modes of nature, because of mixing of these three modes of nature it produces different species, varieties of species . . . now this is completely unknown to them. They have no idea about these modes. So somehow we thought if we bring some specific examples like this, that looking the products of nature as a source, not worrying about transcendental or not . . .

Prabhupāda: What is the use of such things? If you particularly study that this living entity is now in this mode, say goodness fifty percent and passion ten percent, in this way, but it can change at any moment. You cannot fix it up.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: That is good, because if we argue this we can always defeat this concept of evolution. Our main point is to defeat the concept of evolution.

Prabhupāda: No, no, evolution is already there.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Evolution means material evolution, from chemicals.

Prabhupāda: No, no. It is not evolution. The species are already there, 8,400,000. Now the living entity is changing the position. The status is already there.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes, but they don't understand that.

Prabhupāda: They don't understand. That is their foolishness.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: So that's why we want to bring up this point that . . .

Prabhupāda: You can bring up. This is the position. Just like there are apartments are already there. Sometimes I am coming here, sometimes going there, but this is the position. I'm not fixed up. Similarly, living entity, as soon as he changes his mind, the apartment is ready. Here is your position. Again he changes, "Here, here is your position." They are already there. Not that for him especially being created. The species are already there. As soon as he fixes himself up particular species, he's transferred, daiva-netreṇa karmaṇā. He gets a similar body, "Come on, here, take this body." Yantrārūḍhāni māyayā (BG 18.61). These are explained. So he's transmigrating, he's not fixed up. Bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate (BG 8.19). He gets, by his desire, he gets a particular body. Then after some time he changes to another body.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: That we understand, only Your Divine Grace's disciples, but not everyone.

Prabhupāda: Then you try to make understand others that this is the position.

Rūpānuga: One thing is, the modern biologists, they have no . . .

Prabhupāda: You cannot, you cannot . . . what is your question?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: The question is, now we want to argue that how is it possible, now you are claiming that life is coming from molecules? If you claim like that, then how is it possible that in the same species, let's say in the birds, that these qualities are spreading? Some birds we see behave like a little influenced by the modes of goodness, though it is mixed. Like swan, we are taking that example. But some are like eagle, very passionate, wants to kill small birds as their food, and on the other hand, birds like crows, they like just to be completely ignorant, or they like to survive in a dirty environment. Why? Is this possible just from the concept of molecular evolution? It's completely, it's failing. They have no explanation along those terms. So we thought to bring up these points, it will be very clear that this evolution is completely wrong. So we want to use that . . .

Prabhupāda: There is no question of evolution. It is already there. This is a wrong theory. The monkey is there, the man is there. The soul is going from monkey to man. It is not the evolution. Just like you have got apartment, ten rupees, five rupees, twenty rupees, thirty rupees, like that. Now, as you pay, "Come on, here." There is no question of evolution. It is already there. Jantur dehopapattaye. These dehas, these bodies, are already there. So immediately it develops a particular type of desire, "Yes, come here, sit down." First class, second class, third class, fourth class is already there. As you pay, "Yes, come here." It is not evolving; it is already there. He is transferred from one apartment to another. This has to be convinced. We don't find that monkey's body became a human body. That is not in the experience, anyone. The monkey is there, the human being is there. But the soul is going from monkey's body to human's body, or monkey's body to another body. That is by superior administration. Their theory is the body is evolving and some body is missing. Nothing is missing. Every body is there. The soul is being transferred from one body to another. Asatims caturam caiva laksams jīva jātiṣu. Jāti means the form of the body. So the form of the body is already there, and the living entity is being transferred from one body to another. This is called transmigration. We have come here, not that that room developed. This room is here, that room is there, but I am transferring. Because they have no idea of soul, they are thinking that this nice room, now transform into this room or this room, transform . . . this is foolishness. A civil man transferred into jail—not that his civil house becomes jail. They are thinking wrongly like that, Darwin's theory. Body becoming changed. No. The different types of bodies are already there. The living entity is being transferred from one body to another. Just try to explain. So evolution you take that this apartment is better than that apartment, that apartment better than, and a living entity's going from one after another. So this is evolution. That you are now getting salary, one thousand dollar, now you get fifteen hundred dollars. So according to your qualification, you are getting.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: When we talk about evolution, in our understanding, evolution is evolution of consciousness.

Prabhupāda: Yes. We say karma. Evolution of karma. So karma is also based on consciousness. If you like to do a particular type of work, that can be changed, consciousness.

Rūpānuga: We can give them some examples. There's no harm, is there? To give them some example of different kinds of work and activity?

Prabhupāda: Just like eating. You are eating meat, you can give it up. If you think it is not good, you can give it up. What is the wrong there?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: So, Śrīla Prabhupāda, you think giving examples, or like making a division of these animals under category of these three modes is not proper? After all, all the modes are mixed. Now can we say that a cow is, although there are other modes, but predominantly the mode of goodness?

Prabhupāda: Predominantly ignorance. Cow, just like cows, or, yes . . .

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Cows, then tigers, lions we can give predominantly passion. Now coming to either camels or pigs we can call ignorance.

Prabhupāda: So many, very subtle, subtle mixture. That subtleness of mixture is impossible for you to analyze.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes, that's true. So we shouldn't do this?

Prabhupāda: Therefore it is said daiva-netreṇa, superior administration. You cannot do it.

Rūpānuga: We have to simply teach them that evolution really means some . . .

Prabhupāda: It's taking place in this way, that's all. That much you can say. You cannot actually analyze a particular body, what percentage of this or . . . that's impossible.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Actually, we are not analyzing, but we're just giving this by seeing from practical example.

Prabhupāda: That is already there, one life after another. That is already there by superior arrangement. Very fine arrangement, exactly to the percentage of different qualities, the body is already there. Simply the soul has to be put into that body by superior arrangement. Say, first-class passenger, what does he require? The apartment is already made by expert, what is needed for a first-class passenger?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: He needs some more money. He must be rich to get a first-class apartment.

Prabhupāda: Yes, but so far arrangement, just like Western hotels, everything is so complete. They know what a first-class man wants. So expert. They have already made. You don't require to say anything that, "I want . . ." So complete. But the steps are already mentioned. Aquatics, then plants, vegetation, then insects, reptiles, then birds, then beasts. These are the gradual . . .

Svarūpa Dāmodara: So we'd like actually to bring out very clearly why the swan is different from a crow. What is it. What makes it different. Why a swan behaves this way and a crow behaves this way.

Prabhupāda: According to combination of these modes.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: That's why we want to bring out, that modes of nature, that can explain so many things so nicely, the difference, but science has no background on that.

Prabhupāda: That means you have to analyze different bodies. But that is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which apartment is better than the other apartment, there is description. Just like a dog's body is so made that two furlongs away some newcomer is coming, immediately he will bark, he can immediately understand, perceive. He can smell that, "Somebody is coming who is not known to me." Is it not? So he has got that special quality. Even in animals we will find. A fish in the water, two miles away there is some enemy, they can understand by touch.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Science calls those chemical senses.

Prabhupāda: These are described in the Bhāgavata, the different perception of different senses, how one is prominent in one animal body. That is described.

Rūpānuga: That is coming? That is not yet printed? I don't remember that description.

Prabhupāda: No, I think that in the Third Canto. In Third Canto there is. You can consult Third Canto. One sense is prominent.

Rūpānuga: Like you have the example the tongue for the fish, an elephant, his genital, and you gave some other, these are there in the Bhāgavatam. The deer, the ear.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: That's due to the combination of the modes, as a result of the mixing of the three modes in different percentage. So we can even just mention like that in this,

Prabhupāda: That you can take from the authoritative statement you find.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: So shall we make an attempt to give these examples like this, or just mention it? What's better? What do you think?

Rūpānuga: Well, one thing, the biologists haven't even really counted up many so-called species themselves. So why should we get into such . . . worry about the details? They don't have the detail themselves.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: No, not details, but we wanted to show that there is such thing as the three modes of nature, they are working, not just by chemical combination these things are produced. We want to say that the three modes are there. Because of the working of the . . .

Prabhupāda: No, the three modes induces chemical composition. Then RN, DNA (laughs) . . .

Svarūpa Dāmodara: But this is very unique in science itself. It's a very novel concept just from scientific level.

Devotee: The scientists have a desire to explain things. They like to see that you can explain so many different things. Perhaps it doesn't have any real utility to explain.

Prabhupāda: So, as far as possible, you can give explanation from Bhāgavatam. Otherwise, how you can . . .

Devotee: So by giving these examples then they might think this has very good explanatory power, and they will therefore accept it, they will . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: So the general division in the higher planetary system is the devatās, beginning from sun, moon and other planetary systems, they are in modes of goodness prominent. Less, below that, bhūr bhuvaḥ, they are passionate, and below that, they are ignorant.

Devotee: Do the number of demigods have something to do with the number of species, like there are thirty-three million demigods?

Prabhupāda: There are thirty-three million. Thirty crores. There are also divisions, Gandharvas, Apsarās.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Do they belong to these species? They are also included in these eight million four hundred? These Gandharvas?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: So they are counted, what, as human beings?

Prabhupāda: Some of them are devatās, some of them are human being.

Rūpānuga: When we say four hundred thousand species of human beings, that doesn't include all the demigods then.

Prabhupāda: The demigods are like human beings.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Prabhupāda told me that when you become a devotee, you are a demigod. (laughs)

Prabhupāda: The whole evolutionary process means to bring the living entity to the platform of goodness and then transcend that platform also, come to pure goodness. That is devotion.

Devotee: Prabhupāda? You explained that all those forms are already existing. What is the meaning of all those forms if there is no one inhabiting them? Why is it that they all exist without . . .

Prabhupāda: No, no, how you can say nobody is inhabiting?

Devotee: You said that they are there, you just go to the different forms. So that means they are existing without anyone living there?

Prabhupāda: No, form, a class of form. It can be immediately, that A class, B class, C class, D class. So if you are fit for D class, immediately form for you, a D class body is there, made.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: It is also existing in the sense that in the unmanifested form, before it is manifested, the form is there.

Prabhupāda: No, no. That is species. Form is there already. They are existing. So you require to get another form, but the same class. First-class compartment is there. If it is, one bogey is already, first-class filled up, then railroad company brings another bogey and gives place to the passengers. That's all, there is no difficulty. What is the difficulty? Put him into this particular mother's womb and he gets a form, that's all. Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate (CC Madhya 13.65, purport). Don't compare Kṛṣṇa's power with your power. He can do anything, anyone, immediately.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: So called Acintya.


Prabhupāda: What is the biological concept of species?

Sadāpūta: All they can do is base it on the similarity of what the animals look like. They have trouble counting species. Śrīla Prabhupāda? Are there different meanings, this day of Brahmā? Are there different creations and annihilations of species? Different Manus, they are sometimes flooding the whole earth.

Prabhupāda: There are different, when Brahmā goes to sleep, that is one kind of devastation, and when he dies there is one kind. And during Brahmā's days there are other devastations, manvantara.

Sadāpūta: After a devastation, do the . . .

Prabhupāda: Different classes of devastation. There are many devastations during Brahmā's day, and there is another devastation during Brahmā's sleep, and another devastation when Brahmā dies.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: And during different Manus also.

Prabhupāda: That is day. Such devastation takes place during Brahmā's day. Fourteen Manus.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Do we know that in detail, Śrīla Prabhupāda? What type of species are extinct? Not all the species extinct. As it is during Brahmā's day, that partial annihilation, devastation, now some species are extinct?

Prabhupāda: No species extinct. What you are reading? This is garbage.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: The physical forms.

Prabhupāda: No, nothing is extinct. Everything is going on.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: At that point, they are going to come up with the point that, "How about dinosaurs?" They are going to ask like that.

Prabhupāda: That is imagination, where is dinosaur finding.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: They say they have all the bones.

Prabhupāda: No, they are describing maybe another animal. That is existing. That is Timiṅgila, they can swallow up big, big whale fishes. That big, bones, they are living still. Nothing is extinct. They are already there.

Rūpānuga: Did these dinosaurs exist, or is it just their imagination?

Prabhupāda: The big animal exists. I call it dinosaur or finosaur, that is your choice. Big animals existing. Timiṅgila, I said the name, Timiṅgila, still exist.

Rūpānuga: Still exist.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. They are always existing. Water elephants. There are elephants in water. Everything.

Rūpānuga: So there is no such thing as extinction.

Prabhupāda: No extinction, there is no question of extinction.

Rūpānuga: If these animals were on this planet some millions of years ago, they are still here, is that correct?

Prabhupāda: Yes. What do you know what are there within the water? You can take information from the śāstras. It is not possible for you to see and go into the water, how big, big animals are there.

Hari-śauri: But it's possible that an animal may disappear from one planet, but still be on another planet, though, like that.

Prabhupāda: No.

Hari-śauri: Because they claim that even within recorded history . . .

Prabhupāda: They claim everything. That is . . . there is no question.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: (indistinct) . . . fossil, they are called fossil record.

Prabhupāda: That is another thing. You can get a dead animal's body, but what is that?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: They claim that many species are extinct.

Prabhupāda: How they are extinct?

Hari-śauri: Well, like, they say that within modern history,

Prabhupāda: First thing is they are all imperfect speculators. So what is the value of their sport? We don't take any value of it.

Rūpānuga: They don't know where these animals are, that's all.

Prabhupāda: They, simply like child, they are speculating. If he's imperfect, then what is the value of his speculation? There is no value.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: But then what happens at the time of partial devastation? At the end of Manu, the partial devastation, what happens to the species?

Prabhupāda: Happens means these different ways become destroyed, but again, during creation, they come in.

Hari-śauri: The same species.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Is it also—I don't know if this is speculation or not—but is it, Śrīla Prabhupāda, is it also not possible, say, at the time of creation, now those material bodies are going to be created, also possible not to manifest all of them but some are not still manifested?

Prabhupāda: Yes, they are created. What is the wrong there?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: They are created, but not all of them. Not all the bodies . . .

Prabhupāda: Why? Why not? If some of them can be created, why not all of them? If some of them can be created, all of them can be created. Why do you say some of them can be created, not all of them?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: No, all of them can be created, but according to the karma-phala, or action of the individual, so there may be some time to . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes. The last devastation he died, but his karma-phala remained. So he has to appear in that form, begin his work.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: So in principle, at the time of creation, all forms must be created.

Prabhupāda: According to . . .

Rūpānuga: Because there is always someone to occupy some form.

Prabhupāda: Someone is ready already.

Rūpānuga: Waiting.

Prabhupāda: It is called suptotthita-nyāya. Suptotthito-nyāya. Just like you are sleeping, you forget everything. And as soon as you get up, immediately remember, "I have to do this." Immediately your duty is present. Immediately you understand "I have to go here, I have to do, I have to purchase . . ." But while sleeping, he forgot everything. It is like that. When devastation, everything is finished. Again creation, this suptotthita-nyāya, he's coming in this body, he's coming this body, so many. Unless he has got the particular body, how he can work? Unfinished.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: (to devotees) What is that examples of that plants, trees appearance?

Sadāpūta: I was thinking like in Bhāgavatam, it says Cākṣuṣa-manvantara, Dakṣa recreated all the necessary living beings. So I was thinking it must have been that they were destroyed in a devastation and that he recreated them.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Sadāpūta: We were trying to see how we could explain these fossils that geologists speak of, and it seems like one way of looking at them.

Prabhupāda: But their calculating mind, in whatever you explain you have to give reference to the śāstra, and they will say it is, what is called? Myth, mythology. They'll refuse immediately that thing. But you have no other source to explain. And they will take it immediately, "It is all mythology."

Rūpānuga: (to Sadāpūta) What about that chart you were working on comparing the ages, the Vedic ages and the scientists ages? Do you have that? Can we talk about that now? We should ask Śrīla Prabhupāda if there's any real parallel there. One thing we were thinking, the way they talk about time in past ages, Sadāpūta put the Vedic ages side by side with their idea and saw some comparison there, it looks like there may be some . . .

Prabhupāda: That is the . . . they will take our idea as mythology, and we shall take their idea as most imperfect.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: No, we can argue on scientific . . .

Prabhupāda: This is the position. Now you try to argue, but they will take everything we propose as mythology, and we will take, "Because you are rascal, whatever you say, it is all rascaldom," that's all. This is the position. "You are imperfect, rascals. So whatever you say it is all rascaldom." That is our position. And as soon as we say from śāstra, they will say it is all mythology. Then how you'll meet? This is the difference.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Now we can argue that mythology is not so serious. I think we can argue on very sound logic, pointing out that their method of measurement of the ages are also based not on very scientific background, but there are many mistakes, and in fact there are several reports that . . . (end)