760724 - Conversation - London

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



760724R1-LONDON - July 24, 1976 - 39.43 Minutes


(at Bhaktivedanta Manor)



Viśāla: I have understood from other devotees that you said that anyone who has taken birth in India is in the mode of goodness, but anyone who has taken birth in the United States is in the mode of passion. And yet everyone is born śūdra. So could you make it clear to me? I don’t understand. If we’re all born śūdra, how are the people born in the mode of goodness in India and the people in the United States are born in the mode of passion?

Prabhupāda: Same thing: that if you are born in a rich family, but you can squander away your money and become a poor man.

Viśāla: Ah. Ah. Thank you very much.

Prabhupāda: (laughs) To be born in a rich family is not a guarantee that you will continue to be rich. (laughs) (break)

Viśāla: …how do you achieve the transcendental blessings of Lord Kṛṣṇa, but better still, how do you achieve the transcendental blessings of the spiritual master?

Prabhupāda: (to Gurudāsa:) Answer him.

Gurudāsa: By carrying out the orders of the spiritual master, cent percent.

Prabhupāda: Answer him explaining. What is his question?

Viśāla: How does one achieve the mercy of the spiritual master, the real mercy of the spiritual master, in order to achieve full Kṛṣṇa consciousness? (break)

Gurudāsa: The spiritual master is the representative of Kṛṣṇa, so by serving the spiritual master, then we know how to serve Kṛṣṇa, and in that way we’re serving..., we are receiving the mercy of Kṛṣṇa. So this process is descending process, that we’re receiving the benediction moon of Lord Kṛṣṇa's mercy through the spiritual master, and Lord Kṛṣṇa is saying, "Surrender to Me," but the question is how to surrender. So the spiritual master is there to explain how to surrender to Kṛṣṇa. So by doing what the spiritual master wishes, that is what Kṛṣṇa wishes. Just like a representative of an industrialist or the head of a university or any big, big man, his representative can distribute how best to serve in that way. And when that is being carried out, then the mercy is distributed. (break)

Devotee (3): …simply, you know, following out your orders and instructions, then this will destroy all material desires that we have? We have no real desire to serve Lord Kṛṣṇa. We would rather be in His place. That's why we’re here. And similarly, with the spiritual master, we don’t really know how to serve him. We can say, "I surrender to you, Śrīla Prabhupāda," but that doesn’t mean very much. But from simply by following your instructions you have set down, will this be enough to destroy all material desires we have?

Prabhupāda: What do you mean by material desires?

Devotee (3): Even within spiritual life, I may…

Prabhupāda: No. Define material desires.

Devotee (3): Material desires? To enjoy the senses and the body. To desire…

Prabhupāda: Sense gratification.

Devotee (3): Yes, sensual gratification.

Prabhupāda: Then?

Devotee (3): Even within spiritual life one can desire to be a great spiritualist, or one can desire to be a best devotee or best at doing this or being closest to the spiritual master, and things like that.

Prabhupāda: That is not material desire.

Devotee (3): That is not material desire?

Prabhupāda: No. Material desire means sense gratification: I shall eat more, I shall sleep more, I shall have sex life more, I shall defend more—these are material desires. I shall serve more Kṛṣṇa—that is not material. I shall try my best for serving Kṛṣṇa—these are not material desires. These are spiritual desires. Desire you cannot stop. That is not possible. So long you are, your desires are there. Desire should be purified. When I desire to gratify my senses, that is material. When I desire to satisfy Kṛṣṇa, that is spiritual. The desire is there. Not to stop desire. But desire for some personal sense gratification, that is material. And desire for satisfying Kṛṣṇa, that is spiritual. So you have to understand how you are desiring. Are you desiring for your personal gratification, or you are desiring to satisfy Kṛṣṇa? That anyone can understand. If you are in doubt, then ask your spiritual master that "I am desiring like this. Whether it is material or spiritual?" That's all. General definition is: desiring for personal gratification is material; desiring for Kṛṣṇa's satisfaction is spiritual. Now, because we are not experienced, we may commit mistake, one for the other. Therefore, whenever there is doubt, refer the matter to your spiritual master. So Māyāvādī philosopher says that “Don’t desire.” That is not possible. “Don’t desire” is not possible. Desire must be there, but I have to see whether I am desiring for my personal gratification or I am desiring for Kṛṣṇa. That is to be seen. And if you are in doubt, then ask your spiritual master. Is it clear?

Devotee (3): Yes, Śrīla Prabhupāda. (break)

Devotee: …is that in our neophyte stage, how can we have actual desire to satisfy Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Therefore you have to refer to the spiritual master.

Devotee: You have to what to the spir…?

Prabhupāda: Refer the matter to your spiritual master. If he says yes, it is all right. If he says no, then it is not right. (break) In primary school, the small child is writing and showing to the teacher, "Sir, it is all right?" and he says, "Yes, it is all right." That's all. If he says "No," then you have to write again. (break) …candlestick?

Woman devotee: Candles?

Prabhupāda: These, candles.

Woman devotee: In your room?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Woman devotee: Your light is on.

Prabhupāda: Huh? (break) That means, according to their system, sun is 93 million miles away. And if the moon is above that, 1,600,000, so it is almost 95 million. So after 95 million miles, how they can go in moon?

Jayatīrtha: Of course, they say that the moon's only 263,000 miles away.

Prabhupāda: That is wrong. Wrong means according to Bhāgavata, the moon is above.

Harikeśa: It says, "The Viṣṇu Purāṇa describes that the covering of the universe is 200…" uh, wait a minute now, "260…"

Prabhupāda: Billion

Harikeśa: "260 million yojanas, and 2 billion"that's 2,080,000,000—"miles away from the sun. The distance from the sun to the earth is a hundred thousand yojanas."

Prabhupāda: That's all right. Yes.

Harikeśa: So I took this reference, and I added it to the reference on 22.8. 22.8 says that "Above the rays of the sunshine, by a distance of a hundred thousand yojanas, is the moon." Then it says, "When we take into account that the moon is a hundred thousand yojanas above the rays of the sunshine…"

Prabhupāda: Above the rays of the sunshine.

Harikeśa: Hmm. So the…

Prabhupāda: Above. So the sun is far away from the earth.

Harikeśa: But "The sun only goes as far as the rays of the…" (mumbles, trying to calculate)

Prabhupāda: That's all right, you can calculate (indistinct) now. I want just a rough estimate that if moon is accepted above the sun, it is their calculation the sun is from the earth at a distance of 93 million miles. So 93 million miles and 1,600,000 is about 95 million miles. So 95 million miles, even at the speed of 25,000 per hour, how they can they go in four days? When there is argument, I shall take your words in my favor. (laughter) That is the way. Whatever is in my favor, I shall take as good. And Mars is beyond that. So the others may be calculated. At the rate of 18,000 miles per hour, it takes about seven months to go to the moon planet. And above that, another 1,600,000 miles above, will be Mars. So it will take about nine months for that.

Devotee (6): Actually, that's how long it took.

Hari-śauri: Well, they say it's 208 million miles from earth.

Devotee (6): This spaceship to Mars was supposed to have been launched almost a year ago.

Hari-śauri: No. Their calculation to Mars is over 200 million miles.

Prabhupāda: 200 million miles.

Hari-śauri: Over. More than that. I can’t remember the exact figure, but it was more than 200 million.

Prabhupāda: But the sun is 93 million miles. So above that?

Jayatīrtha: It's the other direction. The sun's that way, and Mars is the other way.

Hari-śauri: It's away from the sun.

Prabhupāda: That, what is called, solar system, eh? The sun is fixed up, and there are circle.

Jayatīrtha: Yes.

Prabhupāda: It is not calculated above. What is there above? How they calculate the seven stars? Or the polestar? What is their calculation?

Jayatīrtha: They say that it's hundreds of light years away.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Jayatīrtha: They say that the North Star is hundreds of light years away.

Prabhupāda: Now, what does it mean, north?

Jayatīrtha: It's always... Because it's...

Prabhupāda: Up.

Jayatīrtha: Umm-hmm.

Prabhupāda: So where is up?

Gurudāsa: Isn’t it a fixed star? It's the one star that doesn’t move, the North Star. The other stars move; this one doesn’t.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Hari-śauri: Polestar.

Gurudāsa: The North Star doesn’t move, while all the others move; so therefore they call it the fixed point of north.

Prabhupāda: No, no.

Jayatīrtha: The sailors always used to point to it, towards north.

Prabhupāda: Where is the North Star? Where solar system is, here is sun, and the circle, different types of other planets. So where is this North Star? Where it is situated in the solar system?

Jayatīrtha: It's a long ways away from their solar system, they say.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Jayatīrtha: They say it's many billions of miles away from their solar system.

Prabhupāda: So away, which side? Up? Down? North? South? You have to know the direction.

Jayatīrtha: Must be up.

Prabhupāda: And then what is that "up"? Why do they take "up," north? When we see the map, why do we take north as the up and south as the down? Why they take direction like that? So north means up?

Jayatīrtha: Can you see the North Star from Australia?

Hari-śauri: I don’t think so.

Jayatīrtha: There's different stars that are visible in Australia.

Prabhupāda: How it must be visible?

Gurudāsa: They do all navigation…

Prabhupāda: Australia is (indistinct) place on this planet. If North Star is visible from here, it can be visible from there.

Hari-śauri: No. I think they say that it's only visible from the northern hemisphere.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Hari-śauri: That in the southern hemisphere, it's a completely different set of stars. You can’t see the same set of stars from the southern hemisphere that you can from the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, they take their navigational readings from what's called the Southern Cross. It's a group of stars, and they take it from them.

Prabhupāda: The seven stars are not visible?

Hari-śauri: I don’t know about the seven stars. I don’t think the North Star is visible.

Prabhupāda: If the North Star is not visible, the seven stars also you will not see.

Hari-śauri: No. Other stars are visible.

Prabhupāda: How it is visible? Because the seven stars are attached with the North Star.

Hari-śauri: I don’t know about the seven stars, but there's some stars. Some stars are visible.

Jayatīrtha: It's called the Big Dipper.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Jayatīrtha: In the West they call the seven stars the Big Dipper.

Hari-śauri: Big Dipper.

Jayatīrtha: And the North Star is one end of that.

Hari-śauri: That's the Plow, right? It looks like that.

Gurudāsa: It is like a ladle.

Hari-śauri: No. You can’t see that in the south.

Prabhupāda: Saptarṣi. We call saptarṣi.

Gurudāsa: Saptarṣi.

Hari-śauri: That's not visible in the south.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Hari-śauri: That is not visible in the southern hemisphere.

Prabhupāda: I do not believe this.

Gurudāsa: In India it's visible.

Hari-śauri: That's northern hemisphere.

Jayatīrtha: North of the equator.

Hari Śauri: It's not visible in Australia.

Jayatīrtha: It makes sense.

Prabhupāda: What?

Jayatīrtha: It makes sense, though.

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Jayatīrtha: That you couldn’t see it, because the earth, they go like this, and the sun also, and the stars are up there.

Prabhupāda: Then you cannot see sun also.

Devotee (6): The sun is above the earth.

Prabhupāda: (indistinct)

Devotee: Earth.

Hari-śauri: They can see the sun, because the sun is going around and moving up and down.

Jayatīrtha: They say the sun is here, the earth is here, so that the earth is turning around like this. Therefore, sometimes you can see the sun and sometimes you can’t.

Devotee: And the seven stars (indistinct).

Jayatīrtha: In the nighttime you cannot see it; in the daytime you can. Because the earth is turning around and going like this.

Prabhupāda: You know the seven stars are not visible from there?

Hari-śauri: Yeah, I looked. I’m sure they’re not visible. In the northern hemisphere they’re always visible, but in the southern hemisphere they’re not. I can check on it, but I’m…

Prabhupāda: You can ask anyone from Australia whether the seven stars are visible there.

Jayatīrtha: Yeah. Okay.

Prabhupāda: Or you can ask any mathematicians or (indistinct) men.

Hari-śauri: This is very confusing, this…

Harikeśa: No, this chart was very carefully done. This chart was very carefully done. I appreciated it after I studied it for about a week. Very carefully done.

Jayatīrtha: Yeah, I know what you mean.

Hari-śauri: It's…, there's only…

Prabhupāda: It (indistinct) be it will be right.

Devotee: But otherwise it was pretty good.

Prabhupāda: It requires a little mathematical astronomy knowledge to translate this very difficult subject in the Sanskrit language. I have done as far as possible, but when we make our planetarium, we have to consult the Indian astronomers or mathematicians. In this way, we have to correct if there is (indistinct).

Harikeśa: Kṛṣṇa wouldn’t let me find any.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Harikeśa: Every time I tried, it was a failure. I couldn’t find anybody who knew.

Prabhupāda: (indistinct) That is just like this chandelier. The North Star is up, and it is hanging, and the whole (indistinct) moon.

Harikeśa: You should take your camera one day, put it on the roof, and point it at the polestar, and you’ll see everything going like this. You put it on that beam where it's open all the time.

Gurudāsa: Yes, open all the time.

Harikeśa: You should do that, and you’ll see everything going like that. It’ll prove it. It’ll knock out the whole scientific world.

Hari-śauri: They’ve already done that, though, but they say it's for a different reason, don’t they?

Harikeśa: Well, that's what they say, but we’ve got the proof.

Gurudāsa: But they agree on that, that it doesn’t work.

Harikeśa: Yeah, but then why everything's going around it? You can see it. Everything goes like that around the polestar. The whole thing. You can see little circles all around the polestar. That proves it. They can’t deny it. (laughs)

Gurudāsa: You can leave the camera lens open.

Prabhupāda: If, when our night is, Australia is day?

Hari-śauri: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: Huh? Is that the fact?

Harikeśa: No, not necessarily.

Hari-śauri: Partially.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Jayatīrtha: When it's nighttime in England, then it's daytime in Australia.

Hari-śauri: Yeah, just like it's midsummer here now, and in Australia it's midwinter.

Prabhupāda: That I know.

Harikeśa: Day and night goes by the way it's situated around the earth, like India is nighttime now, and here is…

Jayatīrtha: When it's daytime in Alaska, it's also daytime in Australia, because they’re more or less on the same…

Harikeśa: It goes by the…

Jayatīrtha: It's on the same side.

Harikeśa: Longitude.

Hari-śauri: It's opposite. England and Australia are opposite on the globe. It's nighttime there as well.

Jayatīrtha: Therefore they used to say that the sun never sets on the British Empire. Because when it was daytime in Australia, it was nighttime in Britain. (laughter)

Gurudāsa: They say the sun never sets in the British Empire because the sun never shines on them (indistinct) the set.

Jayatīrtha: (laughs) Nowadays that's true.

Prabhupāda: (break) (indistinct) …better now it is morning. So he says what is for me morning, evening. It is all dark. There are many millions of universes. So that is not visible. That is beyond the visible.

Jayatīrtha: Yes. They would dispute that, but they have no proof.

Prabhupāda: They have nothing proof. We have got proof. Their brain developed two hundred years ago, and this brain… They cannot calculate when it was developed. That is the difference. They were microbes at that time. While they were microbes, still development took place. In the beginning they were microbes?

Jayatīrtha: That's what they say, yes. (laughs) Again you’re using their argument against them.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Jayatīrtha: Again you’re using their argument against them.

Prabhupāda: Yes. They were microbes. What can you say (indistinct)? So when you were microbes, the Vedic civilization was there. They have to admit. We speak of millions and trillions of years, and they speak of some thousands of years. They say the, what is called, human brain, the technical, 40,000 years ago, (indistinct).

Jayatīrtha: Forty thousand?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Jayatīrtha: They say?

Prabhupāda: Forty thousands or something, forty.

Jayatīrtha: Oh, but it wasn’t civilized.

Gurudāsa: It wasn’t developed.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Jayatīrtha: It wasn’t civilized.

Gurudāsa: The Pleistocene is one million, Pleistocene. But the brain developed 40,000.

Prabhupāda: Because the life was beginning from microbic. But ours is in the beginning there was Brahmās brain, who is in charge of creating this universal affair.

Gurudāsa: How many years is that calculated?

Prabhupāda: That you cannot calculate.

Jayatīrtha: It's logical that things were originally very big or very developed and then became degraded, and it isn’t logical that things were originally small and became developed, because everything we see in the material world becomes eroded or becomes degraded over a period of time. A big stone gets washed down.

Gurudāsa: From nature we see that things start nice and decay. Therefore this supports our facts also, that there was high civilization, not a civilization that's lower. It supports that.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is called Kali-yuga.

Gurudāsa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Everything is degraded.

Gurudāsa: Some people ask why there are no signs of dinosaurs at the time of Rāmacandra. Sometimes they ask that.

Prabhupāda: So who knows? Who says there was no dinosaur?

Gurudāsa: Because it's not…

Prabhupāda: And what is that nonsense, dinosaur? That is manufactured by Darwin.

Jayatīrtha: They put together the bones.

Gurudāsa: Big bones.

Jayatīrtha: Big bones.

Prabhupāda: Big bones can be had still. Timiṅgala.

Devotee (7): Also people were bigger at that time, so the little animals might have been bigger.

Prabhupāda: No. Apart from that, the timiṅgala is there. It is about maybe two miles, three miles long. What is that? In the Pacific Ocean, if there is a fish two miles long, what is that?

Jayatīrtha: Oh, the timiṅgila fish. They swallow whales.

Gurudāsa: In the Rāmāyaṇa it talks about large birds, but it doesn’t mention the dinosaur.

Prabhupāda: But dinosaur, it is English word. There may be some Sanskrit. Just like timiṅgala. Timiṅgala you will not find in the English dictionary, but this word is there. In the Bhāgavata there is timiṅgala. We haven’t got to tax our brain so much for these things, but we can have an idea of the whole universe through the knowledge given by the Bhāgavata. That is all. We are not concerned where is the sun, where is the Mars. We kick all these things. We go to Vaikuṇṭha.

Jayatīrtha: (laughter) Right.

Prabhupāda: Even there are such things—there are undoubtedly—we don’t care for these billion planets. We don’t care.

Jayatīrtha: Like the scientists were arguing. Recently they made a big campaign against astrology because they said that the stars and the planets have no influence on human behavior or human life; therefore astrology is useless. So I was saying to one man that the scientists say here that the planets and the stars have no influence on human life; therefore why are they spending so much time studying them and trying to go to them, if they have no influence? Waste of time.

Prabhupāda: Then how long they will study? Even they study…

Jayatīrtha: As long as they can get money from the government, they’ll study.

Prabhupāda: …what they will study? Their lifetime will be finished, and they are going to be a dog. Then instead of studying, they will bark. What they are going to do then?

Gurudāsa: It's nonsense. There are so many people who just do nonsense in the name of science because they are weakened. They don’t have an idea of the meaning of life, so they say "the quest for new worlds." They don’t even know what they’re questing for. Nonsense.

Prabhupāda: And what benefit they will get?

Gurudāsa: No benefit, except money.

Jayatīrtha: I read in the paper…

Prabhupāda: From an economic point of view, it is simply waste of money. But they will do it.

Jayatīrtha: One scientist did research in Texas…

Prabhupāda: For knowledge sake, we have got this Bhāgavata. Bhāgavata says it is like this. That's all. Why shall I go to research unless I have got some business?

Gurudāsa: Because they are not satisfied. They want to see something new. We are satisfied with the nectar of the Bhāgavata. They want something new because they’re dissatisfied.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Gurudāsa: They’re dissatisfied, so they want something new.

Prabhupāda: Dissatisfied is the material life. Nobody is satisfied with any position. That is material world. If you have got one thousand rupees, you are not satisfied. If you have got one million rupees, you are not satisfied. If you have got many millions of rupees, you are not satisfied. Birla, ask them, "Are you satisfied? Why you are doing business? Go on." Nobody is satisfied. Indra is not satisfied, Candra is not satisfied. There is fight between the demons and devotees. This is material world—nobody can be satisfied. Therefore Vāmanadeva says that it is not possible to be satisfied. When Bali Mahārāja said that "You are so learned-speaking that Your instructions are to be accepted by the greatest learned man, but still You are so childish that You are asking me three feet of land. This is Your childish innocence. So why not ask more?" But He said, "No. Why shall I ask more? If I ask more, that will not satisfy Me. If I ask more, that will not satisfy Me. It will never satisfy Me. The best thing is, now whatever I need at the present moment, that much I want." And He is giving reason, that "A beggar should not ask from the giver more than what is absolutely necessary. So why shall I ask more?" Bali Mahārāja was inducing it, that "He is a child, so what three feet will do of this beggar?" He did not know that two feet is sufficient to cover up and down. So for argument's sake, that "You are asking me just like a..., exactly as You are small boy."

Gurudāsa: It also states in the Bhāgavatam that a beggar should not ask something that someone cannot give.

Prabhupāda: No. Beggar, they should ask alms, little—not big amount from one person. The brahmacārīwas sent house to house. Begging means alms, muṣṭi, for muṣṭi. So any family, one palmful of rice to give anyone in those days, practically.

(long pause)

Prabhupāda: So, where I have to go now?

Jayatīrtha: We were thinking that it would be good if you rested for the day.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Jayatīrtha: We were thinking that it would be good if you rested for the day and didn’t go down, because yesterday you were quite tired after you went down.

Hari-śauri: If you have to go out tomorrow morning, better thing is to rest completely today, and not strain yourself. Have at least one more day of full rest. Because yesterday was the first time that you’ve had a full meal also. (end)