Recorded on May 17, 1973,
A Misty Morning,
In Cheviot Hills Park, Los Angeles
Śrīla Prabhupāda is accompanied by Dr. Singh, Karandhara dāsa adhikārī, Kṛṣṇakānti dāsa adhikārī and other students.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. You have no power to drive away this mist. Scientists merely explain it with some word jugglery, saying that it contains certain chemicals. (He laughs.) But they have no power to drive it away.
Dr. Singh. They do have an explanation as to how the mist is formed.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. That they may have, and I may have that also, but that is not a very great credit. If you really know how it is formed, then you should be able to counteract it. Dr. Singh. We know how it is formed.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. Then discover how to counteract it. Formerly, in Vedic warfare, the atomic brahmāstra(19) was used. And to counteract it, the opposing army would have to use a weapon that would transform it into water. But where is such a science today?
Dr. Singh. Mist is something like milk. Milk looks white, but actually it is a colloidal suspension of certain protein molecules. Similarly, fog is a colloidal suspension of water.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. So if you could create some type of fire, the mist would be immediately driven away; water can be driven away by fire. But that you cannot do. If you were to explode a bomb, it would generate heat, and all the mist would go away.
Karandhara. That might damage the whole city.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. Everyone knows that fire can counteract water, but you cannot drive away the mist without killing people or destroying property. But by nature's way, as soon as the sun rises, the mist is vanquished. The power of the sun is greater than your power. Therefore, you have to accept that inconceivable power exists.
Symptoms of God
Śrīla Prabhupāda. Without accepting the principle of inconceivable power, no one can understand God. God is not so cheap that any so-called yogī can become God. Such imitation gods are for rascals and fools. Those who are intelligent will test whether or not such a person has inconceivable power. We accept Kṛṣṇa as God because He has demonstrated His inconceivable power. As a child, Kṛṣṇa lifted a big hill. And Lord Rāma, an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, constructed a bridge without pillars by floating stones on water. So one should not accept God cheaply. Nowadays, some rascal comes along and says, "I am an incarnation of God," and another rascal accepts him. But Lord Rāma and Lord Kṛṣṇa actually demonstrated Their inconceivable power. Sometimes people say the descriptions of Their activities are just stories or myths. But these literatures were composed by Vālmīki,(20) Vyāsadeva and other ācāryas, who are all great and vastly learned sages. Why would these great sages simply waste their time writing mythology? They never said it was mythology. They treated the accounts as actual facts. For instance, in the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Vyāsadeva tells of a forest fire in Vṛndāvana. All of Kṛṣṇa's cowherd boyfriends became disturbed and looked to Kṛṣṇa for help. He simply swallowed up the whole fire. That is inconceivable mystic power. That is God. Because we are tiny samples of God, or Kṛṣṇa, we also possess inconceivable mystic power within our bodies - but only in very minute quantities.
Scientific Knowledge Comes From Kṛṣṇa
Kṛṣṇakānti. The doctors marvel at the complex nature of the human brain.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, but it is not the brain that works the body; it is the spirit soul. Does a computer work by itself? No, a man works it. He pushes the button; then something happens. Otherwise, what is the value of the machine? You can keep the machine for thousands of years, but it will not work until a man comes to push the button. But who is working, the machine or the man? Similarly, the human brain is also a machine, and it is working under the direction of Paramātmā, an expansion of God within everyone's heart.
Scientists should accept God and His mystic power. If they don't, they should be considered foolish. On the basis of transcendental knowledge, we are directly challenging many big scientists and philosophers. The other day, you brought that chemist, and I told him, "You are foolish." But he was not angry. He admitted it, and I defeated all his arguments. Perhaps you remember.
Dr. Singh. Yes. In fact, he acknowledged that perhaps Kṛṣṇa didn't give him all the procedural steps needed to perform his experiments.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. He is against Kṛṣṇa, so why should Kṛṣṇa give him any facilities? If you are against Kṛṣṇa and you want credit without Kṛṣṇa, you will fail. You must first be submissive, and then Kṛṣṇa will give you all facilities. We dare to face any scientist or philosopher and challenge him. How? On the strength of Kṛṣṇa. I know that when I talk with them, Kṛṣṇa will give me the necessary intelligence to defeat them. Otherwise, from the viewpoint of scientific qualification, they are much more qualified than we. We are laymen before them. But we know Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa knows everything. Therefore we can challenge any scientists, just as a small child can challenge a very big man because he knows, "My father is here." He clutches the hand of his father, who makes sure that nobody can harm him.
Dr. Singh. Is the human form of life spoiled for those who do not try to understand Kṛṣṇa consciousness?
Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. People who do not try to understand their relationship with God simply die like animals-like cats and dogs. They take birth, eat, sleep, beget children and die. This is the sum total of their human lives. These rascals think, "I am this body." They have no information of ātmā. Ātmā means the self, or the individual soul. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā give us knowledge about the ātmā, but people are unaware of this.
People are unaware of the knowledge given to human society in the Vedic literature. For example, the Vedas inform us that cow dung is pure. Here in America especially, people bring their dogs onto the street to pass stool. Of course, dog stool is very impure - germs thrive in it. But people are such rascals that they do not consider this; instead, they distribute dog stool everywhere. But there's no cow dung to be seen, even though the Vedas say that cow dung is pure. Here is a sign: "Littering Illegal." But dog stool is allowed. Just see how foolish people are. It is illegal to drop a paper on the grass, but your dog is allowed to pass stool. The government authorities will not allow you to bring even one mango from another country; but they will allow your dog to distribute its stool everywhere, although this stool is full of infectious germs.
The Space Program: A Childish Waste of Time and Money
Dr. Singh. When the astronauts returned from the moon to the surface of the earth, the scientists in the space program were very careful. They thought the astronauts might have brought some new germs as yet unknown, so they put the astronauts in quarantine for several days to make sure that -
Śrīla Prabhupāda. First of all, find out whether they have gone to the moon. I am not so sure. Sixteen years ago, when I wrote Easy Journey to Other Planets, I remarked that the scientists were childish in their attempts to explore outer space and would never be successful. Many years later, when I visited San Francisco, a press reporter asked me, "What is your opinion about the moon expedition?" I told him, "It is simply a waste of time and money, that's all."
Kṛṣṇakānti. The space program recently had another failure.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. That is always happening. What was it?
Kṛṣṇakānti. They sent up a space vehicle to orbit the earth and act as sort of a space outpost, but it failed. It cost two billion dollars.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. Why are they wasting time and money in that way?
Kṛṣṇakānti. They were criticized in the newspapers.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. They are simply childish fools. What have they gained in the last - how many years? For how many years have they been trying to go to the moon? with their sputnik.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. But they were trying for many years before that. So let us say that for twenty-five years they have been trying. They have not gained anything except dust, but still they are trying. How obstinate! The space program will never be successful.
Dr. Singh. They say that in the future they want to go to the subsurface of Mars.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. They are all becoming "big men" with their statements about the future.
Dr. Singh. They say that it will happen in about ten years.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. So what if they say one year? They may say ten years or one year, but we do not accept such propositions. We want to see what they are doing now.
Dr. Singh. They are developing their technology by using small scale models.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. They are simply childish. In my childhood I used to watch the tramcars go along the rail. Once I thought, "I shall take a stick and touch it to the wire, and I shall also go along the rails." The scientists, with all their plans, are just as childish. They spend so much time and money, but what is their purpose? Their effort is hopeless because they do not actually know the purpose of life. The scientists are spending large sums of money, and politicians are financing them, but the result is zero. They are like a doctor who doesn't understand a particular disease, but who still says to his patient, "All right, first try this pill, and if that doesn't work, then try this pill." The doctor will never admit that he doesn't know the remedy for the disease. The scientists are simply bluffing and cheating. They cannot solve the real problems of life - birth, death, old age and disease - and therefore all their programs are taking place on the utopian platform, which in Sanskrit is called ākāśa-puṣpa. Ākāśa-puṣpa means "a flower from the sky." All their efforts to know the truth by exploring outer space are like trying to pluck a flower from the sky.
To give another example, the scientists act like foolish ducks. In India we may sometimes observe a duck following all day behind a bull. The duck is thinking that the testicles of the bull are a fish. In India this is a common sight. The bull is walking, and all day the duck is walking behind, following that big fish and thinking, "It will drop, and I will eat it."