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Philosophy Discussion on Hegel
Śyāmasundara: So today we're discussing the philosopher Hegel, a German philosopher. His basic method is that he wants to synthesize all opposites to arrive at the truth and by doing so his conclusion was that everything that exists is reason, whatever exists is reason, whatever is real is rational, whatever is rational is real.
Prabhupāda: So, that means he wants to arrive at the absolute, that there is no duality. That is Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa. Because Kṛṣṇa says that His mission is to protect the devotees, paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām (BG 4.8). And killing the demons. Kṛṣṇa actually did it. Just like He killed the Pūtanā, the great giant Pūtanā. Superficially he killed, but she got salvation exactly like His mother. Kṛṣṇa gave Pūtanā a position like His mother Yaśodā. Then, what is the difference between loving Yaśodā and killing Pūtanā? Because He is absolute, whatever He does, it is good. God is good. So superficially you may see, "Now God is doing bad," but it is not bad, it is good. Therefore two opposing, viruddhatta samanvaya(?), the Sanskrit word is viruddhata samanvaya(?). Coinciding two opposing elements, and that He can do. Therefore if he comes to Kṛṣṇa, he becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, he surrenders to Kṛṣṇa, then his philosophical aim will be fulfilled.
Śyāmasundara: He saw that his predecessors had become increasingly abstract in their thinking, trying to find out what is the nature of substance, the essential substance, and they had reduced it to nothingness, practically.
Prabhupāda: Because they do not know, that is vairasana(?). Nirākāra, nirākāra, the Sanskrit word... When one cannot actually specify what is the nature of God, what is the form of God, and by thinking, speculative speculating, they cannot come to the right conclusion, so out of frustration they say, "No, there is no God."
Śyāmasundara: Just like to analyze an object they would divide it up into smaller and smaller parts until they came to nothing.
Śyāmasundara: That was their process.
Prabhupāda: (indistinct). The absolute cannot be divided into parts. Nainaṁ chindanti śastrāṇi, in the Bhagavad-gītā. In the material thing, if you want to cut into pieces, that is (indistinct), but a spiritual being, avyaya, inexhaustible, there is no possibility of dividing the spirit into pieces. The Māyāvāda theory is that the absolute is all-pervading. Then when the question of His form, that is their poor fund of knowledge. The absolute, keeping His form as He is, He can expand Himself. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, mayā tatam idaṁ sarvaṁ jagad-avyakta mūrtinā (BG 9.4), "I am spread all over the creation, avyakta, My impersonal form." So God, or Kṛṣṇa, has two features, rather three features, brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate (SB 1.2.11), impersonal feature, localized feature and personal feature. So unless we come to understand this science, tattva, it is very difficult to come to the conclusion what is the right form of the absolute truth. So one who cannot go, one who is not so competent, with poor fund of knowledge, they come to the conclusion, nira, void, but actually it is not so.
Śyāmasundara: But he wanted to reverse this trend, from abstraction to concretion. He believed that every phenomenal object had its relationship with the whole and that the whole is reality. So in order to understand reality one had to examine every object and relate it to the whole, and to each other, then he would understand what is the truth.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that we are doing. The whole is Kṛṣṇa. And just like, take this material example. The whole is sun. The sunshine expanding, that is also in relation with this whole, and similarly Kṛṣṇa is the whole and everything is relative to Kṛṣṇa. That is our philosophy. We see everything related with Kṛṣṇa and because everything is in relationship with Kṛṣṇa that I do not give up anything. We try to utilize everything for service of Kṛṣṇa. The Māyāvādī philosophers, they, although they say everything is Brahman, they say this is non-Brahman. They say neti, neti, not this, not this. Just like Māyāvādīs, they also say Kṛṣṇa and māyā. This Kṛṣṇa worship is māyā. So we say there is nothing māyā, it is simply illusion; but they say also like that, one, but as soon as Kṛṣṇa actually comes they say Kṛṣṇa is māyā. So our philosophy is that everything is manifestation of Kṛṣṇa's energy. The energy and the energetic, they're one. So Nārada explains idaṁ hi viśvaṁ bhagavān ivetaro. The whole universe is bhagavān, Kṛṣṇa, but ivetaraḥ, it appears like separate. So how it is not separate, that can be understood through this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Otherwise, ordinary man, they think Kṛṣṇa and non-Kṛṣṇa. Actually there is no non-Kṛṣṇa, that is illusion, everything is Kṛṣṇa.
Śyāmasundara: This was Hegel's idea, too. That everything together is the, as a whole is the truth or the of the spirit. The whole, the summation of everything is the spirit, nothing can be separated from the spiritual whole, everything is related to it. There is one important point that I'd like to clear up. There was one philosopher we discussed named Kant, before. He... It was his idea that the phenomenon are modes of expression of the spirit or the thing in itself, that the thing in itself expresses itself in an object.
Prabhupāda: That we say. Just like the sun is expressed by the sunshine, by the heat and light. We understand sun through all spreading heat and light. Similarly, we understand God, Kṛṣṇa, by His two energies. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, the material energy and the spiritual energy, two energies. The spiritual energy is described as superior energy, and material energy is described as inferior energy. Superior, inferior, that is in our consideration because we cannot understand. Therefore Kṛṣṇa has said. Otherwise there is only one energy, the superior spiritual energy. When the spiritual energy is covered by ignorance, then it is called material energy. Just like the sky, in the sky naturally it is clear but when there is cloud, we cannot see the sun. So sun is there. When we cannot see Kṛṣṇa, cannot understand Kṛṣṇa, that is material. Otherwise there is nothing material. Everything is spiritual.
Śyāmasundara: But there is a distinction between what Hegel is saying. Hegel is saying that the objects themselves are the spirit expressing itself whereas Kant says the spirit expresses itself through the object. There's a distinction being made between the spirit within the object expressing itself or the spirit as the object.
Śyāmasundara: What is the distinction?
Prabhupāda: Object as it is, it is spirit.
Śyāmasundara: It is spirit, as it is.
Prabhupāda: As it is. Because, just like sunshine. Sunshine is not sun, in one sense, but it is sun because in the sunshine there is heat and light and in the sun there is heat and light. So there is no difference. But still sunshine is not the sun. Therefore that is our philosophy, acintya bhedābheda, simultaneously one and different.
Śyāmasundara: So in a sense this is spirit.
Prabhupāda: Yes. It is spirit actually. But because I have no sense of Kṛṣṇa, I am taking it as matter. Just like sometimes people criticize that "You are spiritualists, you hate materialism, why you are using this table, why you are using this typewriter, microphone." But our reply is that it is not matter, it is spirit. But when you use it for your sense gratification then it is material. Just like prasādam - the people will say "What is this nonsense, prasādam, we are taking also dahl, rice, capātī, how it becomes spiritual?" They can argue like that and sometimes they do that. But, they do not know that we are accepting this dahl, rice, capātī in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Actually it belongs to Kṛṣṇa. They, you cannot produce dahl, rice, it is Kṛṣṇa's production; everything is Kṛṣṇa's production. But when you forget Kṛṣṇa, his relationship with Kṛṣṇa, then it is material. Therefore you revive the relationship with Kṛṣṇa, you offer to Kṛṣṇa, then you understand Kṛṣṇa has eaten, now let us take. Therefore it is spiritual. The consciousness is spiritual.
- Nirbandhe kṛṣṇa sambandhe
- yukta-vairāgyam ucyate.
- prāpañcikatayā buddhyā
- mumukṣubhiḥ parityāgo
- phalgu-vairāgya kathyate
This is our philosophy, Rūpa Gosvāmī's philosophy. That hari-sambandhi-vastunaḥ; everything has relation with Kṛṣṇa and those who are giving it up, "No, no it is matter, brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā, this is false," Rūpa Gosvāmī says, phalgu-vairāgya, that kind of renunciation is insufficient or, phalgu means false, false renunciation. So our renunciation means renounce things for sense gratification. That's all. (indistinct) we renounce anything for our sense gratification, but we accept everything for Kṛṣṇa's senses. But actually everything is spiritual. Just like if Kṛṣṇa does not accept anything material but they argue that you are offering material flower, material food, how will Kṛṣṇa accept? Therefore in essence it is not material, but because we have been habituated to accept them for our sense gratification, therefore it is material. This body... Just like this body, this body is material, everyone knows, but Kṛṣṇa says,
- māṁ ca 'vyabhicāreṇa
- bhakti-yogena yaḥ sevate
- sa guṇān samatītyaitān
- brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
- (BG 14.26)
As soon as one engages himself fully in devotional service, he immediately becomes spiritualized. How the spiritual quality is defined. Actually everything is spirit but it is covered. Just like gold, gold is covered by some muddy dirt. So if you cleanse it, the heart, then immediately spiritualized. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12). So our process is - that we will stress also - cleansing process, sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam (CC Madhya 19.170). I am now thinking (I am) American, Indian. You are thinking (you are) American. This is false. This is false but as soon as you come to consciousness, "No, I am not American, I am Kṛṣṇa's. I am Kṛṣṇa's part and parcel." Then you are spiritual. The same thing remains intact but as soon as you come to the consciousness that I am Kṛṣṇa's, then you are spiritual. What is that verse?
- ātma-māyām ṛte rājan
- na ghaṭetārtha-sambandhaḥ
- svapna-draṣṭur ivāñjasā
Ātma-māyām ṛte, it is a māyām ṛte. Māyā, this spiritual and material conception is māyā; except māyā there is nothing. Na ghaṭetārtha-sam... Otherwise, except māyā there is no such thing as material. Na ghaṭetārtha-sambandhaḥ. It is just like the example in Bhagavad-gītā, nice example, svapna-draṣṭur ivāñjasā. Just like I am dreaming so many things, I am dreaming; there is nothing such thing, still I am dreaming. I am feeling that I am fallen in a dark well and I am now suffocating. But actually there is no well, there is no suffocation, but I'm thinking because I've fallen or I am absorbed in dream, therefore all these conceptions, material conceptions, māyā, exactly like dreaming. Dreaming, this is the best example. When one dreams he factually suffers, he is put into some dark place and he is trying to get out, he cannot get out; there is no such dark place, he has not fallen, everything is (indistinct). He is suffering, he is suffering, he is crying, "Save me." So actually there is nothing material. But due to our dreaming that I am separate from Kṛṣṇa, "I'm Mr. American, I'm Mr. Indian, I'm Mr. This, I have got this duty, I have got that duty." All this māyā. You have no other duty than to serve Kṛṣṇa because you are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, that's all. When that consciousness comes, then spiritual (indistinct). So you have to change the consciousness, that's all. (indistinct) Everything is spiritual.
Śyāmasundara: The Kant philosophy, and he took this idea from Plato, is that there is an ideal on which these temporary objects are representatives. For instance the idea of tableness is an abstract idea of perfection. It's represented before me in this table in a perverted form. This table represents the ideal, expresses the ideal, but it is not the ideal.
Prabhupāda: That we say, that this material world is perverted reflection of the spiritual world. This is reflection.
Śyāmasundara: They say an "image", everything is an image.
Prabhupāda: Yes, we say that, that the same example, just like mirage. Mirage, there is no water but we see a vast sea, or big river is flowing. It is like that. Actually there is no river. No. This is going. This material world is like that. Just Śrīdhara Swami (said that) due to the factual position of the spiritual world, this illusory world appears to be true. Because there is real table.
Prabhupāda: The table concept.
Prabhupāda: Because there is a real table, therefore I am considering this table. This is not table, this is wood. Somebody (may say), "This is not wood, but it was tree." All right, it is tree. Then what? It is not tree, it is seed. All right it is seed. No, it is not seed, it (indistinct) You see. Therefore it is perverted reflection. But there is a real table.
Śyāmasundara: Oh, I see.
Prabhupāda: There is a real table. Therefore the whole material creation is a perverted reflection and people are enamored by it. People are taking, "This is real table. This is real body. This is real happiness. This is real country. This is real society."
Śyāmasundara: This is what Hegel says, that this is the real table, that these are real objects. They are not images of the real but they are themselves real. There's where...
Prabhupāda: Then he has not the idea what is real. What do you mean by real?
Śyāmasundara: This is a real fact, this table, that this is spirit itself.
Prabhupāda: This is not real fact. This is imitation of the real table. It is fact to a person who has no knowledge of the real. Because it will not exist; that, our reality means which will exist. Otherwise it is not reality.
Śyāmasundara: So this may be real for some time and then...
Prabhupāda: It is temporary, temporary. It is not real. It is some temporary manifestation. The same example, like dreaming; dreaming is not real but temporary hallucination, that's all. You cannot say this "dream-real". This word is used, svapna-draṣṭur ivāñjasā. Just like dream, it is very nice example. In dream everything appears to be real but it is not real, it is all false or temporary.
Śyāmasundara: So what I want to clarify is that you say...
Prabhupāda: He wants to say something.
Devotee: So actually we say there's a difference between reality and existing, even though it exists doesn't mean that it's real.
Prabhupāda: No, real means which exists eternally, that is real.
Devotee: But this exists only temporarily therefore it can't be classified as reality.
Prabhupāda: No, temporary, illusion we'll call it, reality means which exists eternally.
Devotee: That's the table on the spiritual platform.
Prabhupāda: Yes. There, Kṛṣṇa's abode, Kṛṣṇa's house, Kṛṣṇa's table, chair, furniture, they're all existing, ever-existing. Here they will not exist.
Śyāmasundara: So what is the distinction then between saying that spirit expresses itself in this object or the spirit is this object.
Prabhupāda: It is the expression of the energy of spirit. Everything is energy. Whatever is manifested, that is the energy of Kṛṣṇa. Thus one energy manifestation is eternal and another energy manifestation is temporary. Which is temporary manifestation, that is material, and which is eternal manifestation, that is spiritual.
Śyāmasundara: So you could say both, you could say this is made of spirit.
Prabhupāda: Yes, originally it is made of spirit in this sense, that Kṛṣṇa is whole spirit, and because it is Kṛṣṇa's energy, so factually it is Kṛṣṇa.
Śyāmasundara: Is this Kṛṣṇa?
Śyāmasundara: Or is Kṛṣṇa inside of this?
Prabhupāda: No, Kṛṣṇa... He's(?) Kṛṣṇa.
Śyāmasundara: This is Kṛṣṇa.
Kīrtanānanda: That which is giving rise to your perception of something material is actually spirit. The cause of what you are perceiving is spirit. But what you are perceiving is material.
Prabhupāda: Just like gold. Now you have made an earring. You say it is earring but, it may be earring but it is gold. Another example is, just like earth, earth. So you may take dirt and make a pot. So, and a doll, so many things, varieties. So we say it is doll, it is pot, it is this, it is that, but that is also earth. Is it not?
Prabhupāda: And when it is broken, then it is again earth. In any condition it is earth.
Śyāmasundara: This pot and this brick, these are not images then, they are dirt, they are...
Prabhupāda: Then you make images. You make images, but when you make images, that is also earth. And when it is broken, that is also earth. And originally it is earth. Sarvam khalv idaṁ brahma. The three conditions: formless condition, form, and again, what it is called-merging. In three conditions it is earth. Aham evāsam evāgre, in the Bhāgavata Kṛṣṇa says, "I existed in the beginning of creation, I maintain the creation, and when the creation is broken, I exist."
Kīrtanānanda: But that's what the Māyāvādīs, they say that all of these forms, all form is māyā.
Prabhupāda: Yes, we say temporary, they say māyā.
Kīrtanānanda: So we also say that there is spiritual world full of form, and that is not-
Prabhupāda: Yes. That they do not know. That is their ignorance. We say wherefrom this form came, who gave this idea? The Vedānta says janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1), the origin, from the original source it comes.
Kīrtanānanda: So the question is that, these forms that are here, are they actually eternal forms?
Prabhupāda: No. There is eternal..., this is not eternal. This is imitation. Perverted reflection. Reflection is not eternal. As soon as the condition is gone, there is no reflection.
Śyāmasundara: He says that they are not eternal but that the interaction of forms is an eternal process, that one form interacts with another...
Prabhupāda: They cannot explain it. The real is that this form is not eternal, but there is an eternal form. Just like the water. The form of the water on the desert, that is not fact, neither it is eternal. But there is eternal water. Otherwise wherefrom I get this idea here it is water. There is water. Now the presentation of water in the desert, that may be false. The Māyāvādī philosophers they do not know.
Śyāmasundara: But if the universe is rational and everything has a purpose, then this temporary form is also spiritual because it has some kind of purpose.
Prabhupāda: Yes, and that we are utilizing, everything, for the purpose, to make the best use of bad bargain.
Śyāmasundara: Even if someone can't see it, isn't there a purpose?
Prabhupāda: Now why not? Everything can be seen. Without seeing, what is the...? Everything can be seen.
Śyāmasundara: Even if someone, there is someone outside who cannot see it and they're utilizing a car or some object, isn't that object also...
Prabhupāda: Why he cannot see? He's seeing. Why does he say that he cannot see? He's seeing car.
Śyāmasundara: He's seeing it but perhaps he doesn't have the knowledge of what it is.
Prabhupāda: That is different thing. But he's seeing.
Śyāmasundara: So supposing he has no knowledge what it is, but isn't that object still a spiritual...
Prabhupāda: Then he has to take knowledge from person who knows.
Śyāmasundara: My question is, is that object still not spiritual?
Prabhupāda: Yes. He knows or does not know, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. Fact is fact.
Śyāmasundara: It's still spiritual.
Śyāmasundara: Any object.
Prabhupāda: Yes. He has no see. He has not eyes to see it, that it is spiritual. He has no knowledge.
Śyāmasundara: So God's plan is unfolding itself everywhere, whether we understand it or not.
Prabhupāda: Yes. He's unfolding Himself. In Bhagavad-gītā He is sending His representative for unfolding.
Śyāmasundara: But even in the material world, in the way water erodes the land and trees grow and die, like that. Even though there is no knowledge of the spiritual content aren't they still spiritual? Going on?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Like the same example, just like the earth when it comes to form it is also earth, and if there is no form, that is also earth. The earth remains always. Therefore spiritual energy. The sky is sky, but when there is cloud you'll say there's no big sky, it has become shortened or something like that; you cannot see. So cloud comes, and if there is no cloud, a sky, sky is always there.
Kīrtanānanda: It is both, isn't it Śrīla Prabhupāda, it is both material and spiritual. In essence it is spiritual.
Prabhupāda: Essence is spiritual, that's it. But my imperfect vision makes it material.
Śyāmasundara: His idea, too, is that everything has a purpose, the whole universe is rational.
Prabhupāda: Certainly, certainly. Those who do not agree to accept this, just like so many rascal philosopher, there is no purpose of life, chance, they are rascals.
Śyāmasundara: But his idea is that to understand this reality or this truth is that one must examine all relationships of everything to each other.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That we are teaching. That original is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa's expansion in energy is everything. Parasya brāhmaṇaḥ śaktiḥ. Just like heat and light; practically whole physical existence is heat and light. So heat and light, there is a fire wherefrom the heat and light comes. Similarly two energies, heat and light, the spiritual and material, they are emanating from the fire, Kṛṣṇa, and everything is made of heat and light, material (indistinct). So one who has got to see, one has got the eyes to see, that is the spiritual, he can see it. And when he hasn't got the eyes to see, he thinks material.
Śyāmasundara: Another way of looking is that Hegel considered that his predecessors were abstract philosophers, in other words they were isolating or severing from the whole into parts and that each part was static, not moving, but he saw that the truth is dynamic, it is always changing that these dynamic or that these isolated factors, he called them moments, momentums, that the total of moments was a moving force, that truth was actually dynamic and always changing, not static.
Prabhupāda: That we can understand from our personal self, that I am the soul, I am existing, and the bodily features changes, changes. Then it is changing, therefore it is material. And the spirit soul, it is existing in all conditions. That is the difference between spirit and matter. Hm.
Pradyumna: I wanted to ask you if the difference between the realisation of what... Everything is spiritual in that sense, but some things have more of an effect when we can see everything spiritually. What is the difference between the Ganges water and the ordinary water to someone who doesn't know that the Ganges water is spiritual? He doesn't have the realisation of it but still he gets spiritual benefit.
Prabhupāda: Yes, one who does not know... Kṛṣṇa, He makes the difference between Ganges water and ordinary water. Because we are giving Ganges water important, but because it is coming out, flowing from the toe of Kṛṣṇa. So, as soon as the other water, it is offered to Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet, then how it becomes other water? It becomes Ganges water. The one who hasn't got to see, by touching to the lotus feet, this Ganges water will form. So any water when it is touched in Kṛṣṇa's feet, it is Ganges water.
Pradyumna: You write in Bhagavad-gītā that by using something in Kṛṣṇa's service it regains it's spiritual qualities.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that's it. We have to see how you can becomes Ganges water. Why you give importance to the Ganges water? Because it is flowing from the toe of Kṛṣṇa, Viṣṇu. So anything comes in contact with Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet, it will be Ganges water. Just like we are offering water, generally in India the Ganges water is used for worshiping. Then the worshiping of Kṛṣṇa will stop here in America? Does it mean so? We create Ganges water. As soon as it is touched with Kṛṣṇa, it is Ganges water.
Pradyumna: Yes, but someone, still who doesn't know, if he comes...
Prabhupāda: If someone does not know, one who does not know we are not talking about. This is the issue, that, why Ganges water is important. Because it is flowing from the toe of Kṛṣṇa. That means touching the toe of Kṛṣṇa makes Ganges water important. So, any water when it touches Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet it becomes Ganges water. This is logic. Things equal to the same thing are equal to one another. Is it not?
Pradyumna: So you use something material in Kṛṣṇa consciousness...
Prabhupāda: If you have got material idea, then it will... (break) ...so the fire makes it warm, warm, hot, red hot. When it is red hot, you cannot say it is iron, it is actually burning. You touch that red hot iron, you know it is iron rod but it is acting as fire. Similarly, when everything is acting for Kṛṣṇa's (indistinct). It has no other business. Just like in this dictaphone and all these things, you don't use for any other purpose, therefore it is spiritual. Prachurja(?), it is called prachurja. Prachurja means this original function is stopped. That gold. Just like this is wooden, but if you cover it with gold plate, everyone will say, "Golden." (indistinct). It is called prachurja. That means his wooden quality is covered. Therefore it is gold. And another is that when it is completely made of gold. So both ways it is gold. Both ways. Prachurja te and (indistinct), you transform gold into table or you cover it with only gold, they are both ways (indistinct) golden.
Kīrtanānanda: But they're not equal.
Prabhupāda: Well, why not equal? When it is serving the purpose of gold, why it is not equal? Why it is not equal? The gold table, whatever you can do with the gold table, you can do with this gold covered table, don't you think?
Kīrtanānanda: Then in function there is no difference between a tape recorder here used in the service of Kṛṣṇa and one existing in the spiritual sky.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Prachurja(?). Just like Kṛṣṇa says, māṁ ca 'vyabhicāreṇa bhakti-yogena yaḥ sevate. Anyone who is engaged in devotional service, brahma-bhūyāya kalpate, he is Brahman. Kṛṣṇa says. Why? Because he is..., that material function has stopped. You are all..., brahma-bhūyāya kalpate because your material function, that illicit sex, meat-eating, drinking, gambling, these things are stopped now. It is working in a different way, therefore it is spiritual.
Devotee: There's one verse in the First Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that explains that Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira and Arjuna after Kṛṣṇa left the earth, returned to the spiritual sky in this same body. Does that indicate that their bodies were so spiritual from spiritual activities that they no longer were material bodies?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes, that is possible. Now, let us talk of this philosopher. If you bring so many questions then we cannot do it.
Śyāmasundara: His idea was that the truth is in the sum of all moments, he called the organic theory of truth. The truth is not static or composed of isolated segments or parts, but it is the sum total of everything and it is constantly changing. So he says that these phenomena or facts of nature or these moments, they are progressing in an evolutionary process according to a course which is prescribed by a universal reason or the world spirit, weltgeist. That the world spirit is unfolding itself through phenomenal events.
Prabhupāda: That means... This is another nonsense proposition. According to the universal reason. So wherefrom the reason comes unless there is a person? That he does not know.
Śyāmasundara: He called it weltgeist, which means world spirit, world mind.
Prabhupāda: World spirit? That is a person. Unless you accept a person where there is question of reason? That he does not know. He's trying to explain (how could God be) but he has not clear knowledge. But as soon as speaks of reason there must be some person. That reason is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, mayādhyakṣeṇa (BG 9.10), under my superintendence, under my guidance, direction. So direction means reason. So as soon as we speak of reason, you must accept the person, the supreme person who is giving this reason, who is directing all these things.
Śyāmasundara: So would you say that all world events, all phenomenon of the world are expressions of this world reason unfolding itself? There is a gradual development.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, there is a plan. After this, this should be done. After this, this should be done. Otherwise why Kṛṣṇa says superintendence, mayādhyakṣeṇa (BG 9.10)? Just like you stand, you get your assistant, "Work like this. Do like this. Do like this. Do like that." So there is a plan, and there is direction. And there is reason also.
Śyāmasundara: What is the purpose of the plan? Is there any ultimate...?
Prabhupāda: Plan is... The whole plan is that living entities, they're part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Somehow or other they wanted to enjoy this material world so Kṛṣṇa has given them chance (indistinct). Just like children, some small children, they want to play with something but the father guides so that they may not meet(?), fall down, so many things. "No, no, don't do this. You can play like this." So Kṛṣṇa says, sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭho, I am sitting in everyone's heart, mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca (BG 15.15), I am giving him intelligence, forgetfulness, everything. So he wanted to play, "All right, give to him the chance to play." But the whole plan is that "Let him play, and again come back." That is Vedic knowledge, that he wants to play, "All right, you play." But when he's fatigued by this nonsense play, he says, "Give up this. Come to me," sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). This is the plan.
Śyāmasundara: So the world is a school house or a school ground where we become educated...
Prabhupāda: Yes, a playground, it is called field. It is called field. Kṣetrajñā. Idaṁ śarīraṁ kaunteya kṣetram ity abhidhīyate (BG 13.2). Idaṁ śarīram, this body is field, a small field. You wanted to play, "Alright take this field and work." That is going on. You are exhausted with this field, Kṛṣṇa gives another field, "Alright, take this." He gives another field, in this way changing different fields, fields of action, that's all. This body is field of action.
Śyāmasundara: It's not aimless, there's a gradual evolution...
Prabhupāda: No, there is aim, that Kṛṣṇa is giving knowledge also. The Vedas are there, Kṛṣṇa is coming, giving knowledge, that this kind of playing will not help you, therefore I, His request, you give up all this playing, come to Me. This is the point.
Śyāmasundara: So Hegel has a method for relating all phenomenal objects to this whole, or to the ...
Prabhupāda: Hegel's method will not do because he has no idea. Hegel's method will not help.
Śyāmasundara: His method is called the dialectic.
Prabhupāda: Dialectic means speculation.
Śyāmasundara: Well, just like...
Prabhupāda: Logic, dialectic, this and that, this and that. What is the meaning of dialectic?
Śyāmasundara: Well, just like he divides it into three parts, the triad...
Prabhupāda: Well, let him do that, but dialectic, what does it mean?
Śyāmasundara: It means the synthesis of two opposing elements, like if you have...
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, I understand.
Śyāmasundara: ...the thesis, the antithesis and the synthesis.
Prabhupāda: Mm. That is means argument. You say something, I say something, and then you come to conclusion.
Prabhupāda: That's it. Conclusion is there, what is called? Premises, premises, (indistinct) are called premises. Man is mortal. Mr. John is a man, therefore John is mortal.
Śyāmasundara: No, but that's the Aristotelian process, he rejects Aristotle's process.
Prabhupāda: He may reject Aristotle's process, that is..., the real thing is like that, that by your scanty reason, you come to this conclusion, in that (indistinct).
Śyāmasundara: His process would be more like: man is immortal. The antithesis is that man is not immortal. So then the synthesis would be the combination, the resolution of those two.
Prabhupāda: What is that synthesis?
Śyāmasundara: The synthesis would be perhaps that man's body is mortal and he's immortal.
Prabhupāda: Perhaps. There is no certainty.
Śyāmasundara: Man's body is mortal and he's immortal.
Prabhupāda: What is this conclusion?
Śyāmasundara: I'm only using it as an example. You said that... You gave a proposal that man is immortal, that John is a man, therefore John is immortal. That's Aristotelian logic, Aristotle's logic.
Prabhupāda: That means his business is to defeat Aristotle's philosophy.
Śyāmasundara: Yes. He says that that kind of reasoning is static, that it...
Prabhupāda: That means he... All right, there are two processes. One is inductive and one is deductive. This is deductive process.
Śyāmasundara: It's a syllogism.
Śyāmasundara: It deals with the "isness" of something.
Prabhupāda: Yes. And there is another process, inductive. Now let us see whether man is mortal or immortal. So go and study. So there are two processes. We say in our Sanskrit language, avaroha panthā, āroha panthā, knowledge coming from up, and knowledge for trying to go up. Ascending process and descending process. So we say that descending process is perfect.
Śyāmasundara: Actually the example you brought out is very good because he says the essential dialectic of all is just this: there is a thesis of being, and an antithesis of nothing. So that, you said man is immortal, that is...
Śyāmasundara: That is being. So the antithesis of that is that man is mortal, or nothing; so how to reconcile those two is...
Prabhupāda: The reconcile is the body is nothing and the spirit is something. This is synthesis. This is our proposal. The body is nothing, false, but I am real. But those who have no knowledge, they are taking one side. But we are taking two sides: this body is there, this is false, but it is temporary. Although I say I'm not this body, if somebody knocks me I feel pain. So this is temporary. Mātrā sparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ (BG 2.14). Due to this body, I am feeling pains and pleasures. So the Buddha philosophy is you make this body nil, then there is no pains and pleasures. But that is imperfect. Because I am there, I will accept another body. So that, death does not mean liberation. Death does not mean liberation. Tathā dehāntara-prāptir. You have to accept another body. Liberation means when you are no more in this material world, you go back to spiritual world, that is liberation.
Śyāmasundara: His idea is that this constant struggle between being and non-being is what makes the world go round.
Prabhupāda: That is also our proposition. That the spirit: yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat (BG 7.5). Therefore we are talking of two energies, the superior energy and the inferior energy.
Śyāmasundara: What is the synthesis?
Prabhupāda: The synthesis is that the superior energy, because it has accepted this material energy, therefore the material world's energy is working. Because I have entered into this body, therefore the body's material, it has no movement, but because I am within this body, it is moving. As soon as I shall go away, then this body is a lump of matter.
Śyāmasundara: He says this dialectic, basic dialectic between being and nothing is the basis of becoming, that because these two things are always conflicting, we are always becoming.
Prabhupāda: Becoming, that's... Therefore, the question becoming means I am now in this awkward position, that I am eternal and immortal but I have been entrapped by something which is mortal, therefore I am changing my position. So when I shall stop this taking of different position, I shall remain in my own being, that is the (synthesis).
Śyāmasundara: The previous example that you gave, that John is a man, man is immortal...
Prabhupāda: That is body, that is body, superficial.
Śyāmasundara: He says that that is a static analysis. That only deals with what is...
Prabhupāda: No, that is, that is static means those who are seeing simply the body. No introspection. They're simply, exoteric, no? Exoteric, what is called? Superficial, that is superficial.
Śyāmasundara: So that's a combination of thesis and antithesis into synthesis.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So when we perfectly come to that position then you become synthesis.
Śyāmasundara: That's what Hegel is trying to find out, that ultimate synthesis.
Prabhupāda: He has to find out that he has no knowledge to find out; he has to take knowledge from us. We can help him.
Śyāmasundara: But anyway the basic idea is that every fact can only be understood by relating it to its opposite.
Prabhupāda: That is in the relative world because here everything is relative. We cannot understand what is father unless he has got a son, and he cannot understand a son unless he has got a father. So similarly this world is like that. You cannot understand what is white unless there is black. And you cannot understand black unless there is white. So this is relative world, this is not absolute world. In the absolute world the black, white, everything is one.
Śyāmasundara: Well he says you can find out that absolute world by tracing out all of these black-white relationships in the material world. Eventually you come to the point of understanding the absolute.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is Bhagavad-gītā says: bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19). After many, many births when actually one comes to the understanding of the Absolute, he surrenders unto Me because I am the Absolute. So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is teaching to approach the Absolute. That is our...
Śyāmasundara: He says that for instance by relating one idea to its opposite that we discover a different truth about each of them which transcends their separate truths.
Prabhupāda: Yes. It is just like this Bhagavad-gītā says, that dehino 'smin... It says that this dehi, the soul which is within the body, that is immortal and this body is mortal. Two things are there.
Śyāmasundara: So the synthesis transcends their separate beings.
Śyāmasundara: The synthesis transcends their separate beings.
Prabhupāda: Separate means mortal and immortal.
Śyāmasundara: The combination is higher than both of them.
Prabhupāda: Avināśi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idaṁ tatam.
Śyāmasundara: Then what is the synthesis?
Prabhupāda: Synthesis is to get out, the soul, from this awkward position of matter.
Śyāmasundara: Is that a higher understanding than understanding the soul by itself?
Prabhupāda: Yes, when soul is liberated, that is higher understanding. The soul should be liberated. He is in awkward position within this material world. He is in awkward position.
Śyāmasundara: Does the condition of being entrapped, enhance the understanding of liberation?
Prabhupāda: Yes, unless one understands that he is entrapped, there is no question of liberation. If he's in ignorance that this is the real life... Just like ordinary man, they think this is real life but we are giving education, "No, this is not real life. The real life is Kṛṣṇa consciousness."
Śyāmasundara: Does someone who has been in prison and then he becomes free, does he appreciate his freedom more than someone who has always been free?
Prabhupāda: So, that's very easy to understand. You can apply the same thing in your life. That is not very difficult. Everyone can understand.
Śyāmasundara: So to enhance the understanding of freedom is it, if someone...
Prabhupāda: You come to the platform of freedom.
Śyāmasundara: But say one has always been free. His understanding...
Prabhupāda: No, why? So long as we are entrapped by this material body you are not free.
Śyāmasundara: No but for instance, just an example, there is someone who has always been free in the spiritual world and he comes into the material world...
Prabhupāda: Yes. He comes for a mission, just like Kṛṣṇa comes. He is not born. He is not born like a materialist. Similarly Kṛṣṇa's devotee also comes, he is also not born. They come with a mission.
Śyāmasundara: I mean if someone is in the spiritual world, he falls down into the material world...
Prabhupāda: Falls down is different.
Śyāmasundara: ...yes, and then he becomes again released...
Prabhupāda: Again he is free.
Śyāmasundara: Is his understanding after release higher than the previous?
Śyāmasundara: Because he has learned something.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Learned something, has become free; just like Nārada is giving history of his past life to Vyāsadeva. You have not read it, conversation between Nārada and Vyāsadeva? He knows perfectly well that I was a maidservant's son and in this way I have become free. That is freedom. Anyone knows. As soon as he comes to spiritual consciousness, he knows, "Oh, I was this in abominable condition, now I am decent(?) position. (indistinct).
Śyāmasundara: So it's in the... Is it good if someone comes to the material world and then they leave? I mean is the fact that they should come here...
Prabhupāda: It is not good. Then where is the question of taking him back to Godhead? It is not good. But if someone falls down somehow or other... But not that those who are coming with a mission, they are fallen down. When the governor goes to the prison house to inspect, it does not mean he's also prisoner. If the prisoners think, "Oh, the governor has come here, therefore he's also one of us." That is not. Therefore it is forbidden, guruṣu nara-matir, you never should think of guru as ordinary man. Guruṣu nara-matir, vaiṣṇave jāti buddhiḥ, arcye śilā-dhīr, if you think that is stone, "Ah, we are worshiping stone," these are forbidden. Actually they are not. Arcye śilā-dhīr, guruṣu nara-mati, vaiṣṇave jāti buddhiḥ. Just like Kṛṣṇa says, avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam (BG 9.11), because he's coming just like ordinary man. Not ordinary man, as man, so people are thinking, "Ah, He's a maybe little powerful. That's all." (indistinct). That is ignorance.
Śyāmasundara: Hegel's idea is actually not too much different than ours because he says that...
Prabhupāda: It is very much different, (indistinct) of difference. He'll have to go through millions of births to come to our understanding.
Śyāmasundara: Yes. In one sense he believes that the absolute truth is always changed, is always changing and yet is also permanent.
Prabhupāda: Absolute truth, how can you change?
Śyāmasundara: But it is also permanent at the same time.
Prabhupāda: No, that means he does not know what is Absolute Truth. Absolute cannot be changed.
Śyāmasundara: Just like Kṛṣṇa is walking, moving, that means changing...
Prabhupāda: That does not means He is not Absolute Truth.
Śyāmasundara: At the same time it is permanent, eternal.
Prabhupāda: That we are. We, part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, we are moving in this material body, but we are permanent. That is (indistinct). But Kṛṣṇa is not like that. Then it will be avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā (BG 9.11), a rascaldom.
Śyāmasundara: He says it appears that there is conflict between contradictory factors but...
Prabhupāda: But everything will be coincided in Kṛṣṇa.
Śyāmasundara: The whole process is eternal and permanent.
Prabhupāda: Just like so many radius, and it, everything middle points. You expand, you go, long, long, long.
Śyāmasundara: Even when the wheel turns the center...
Prabhupāda: The spoke. Spoke, and what it is called? Hub. Hub.
Śyāmasundara: ...remains constant. That's his whole idea of history.
Prabhupāda: That is explained in Bhāgavata. Kṛṣṇa says, aham evāsam evāgre. All expansions take place but He remains the same.
Śyāmasundara: Does it, does the spirit, is it the divine idea being actualized by the evolution of history and social, biological and everything...
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. Hetunānena kaunteya jagad viparivartate. That is explained in Bhagavad-gītā, hetunānena kaunteya jagad viparivartate. Can you find out this verse, hetunānena, where is the Bhagavad-gītā?
Śyāmasundara: But if the truth is unfolding itself in history, in biology, in sociology...
Prabhupāda: Everything. Center is Kṛṣṇa.
Śyāmasundara: So all events are leading toward what?
Prabhupāda: Then all, everything is emanating from Kṛṣṇa and after some manifestation, temporary, again going to Kṛṣṇa. Bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate (BG 8.19).
Śyāmasundara: So everything is coming from Kṛṣṇa and going toward Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Going to Kṛṣṇa. Going back. In the mean time there is some manifestation.
Śyāmasundara: Oh. So the unfolding of history is simply a...
Prabhupāda: Repetition. That's all. History repeats.
Śyāmasundara: He also, that's his idea, history (indistinct).
Pradyumna: Hetunānena kaunteya jagad viparivartate.
Prabhupāda: Ah. What is the first line?
Pradyumna: Mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram (BG 9.10).
Prabhupāda: What is the meaning? (indistinct)
Pradyumna: Material nature is controlled by Me. Under My direction.
Kīrtanānanda: Material nature is working under My direction.
Pradyumna: Moving and not moving.
Prabhupāda: Moving and not moving, they are not self-sufficient. They are under direction.
Śyāmasundara: He only sees the movement and not the mover.
Prabhupāda: Yes, therefore insufficient.
Pradyumna: It says, "This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kuntī, producing all the moving and unmoving beings, and by its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again."
Prabhupāda: Is there any explanation?
Śyāmasundara: So that's enough for today. Tomorrow we'll take (indistinct).
Prabhupāda: The conclusion is that Mr. Hegel is not in perfect knowledge.
Śyāmasundara: No. At least he sees a purpose in the universe.
Prabhupāda: That's alright. He's trying to see in his own capacity; but he is not perfect.
Kīrtanānanda: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. (break - after this Śyāmasundara is dictating a few extra notes:)
Śyāmasundara: In this regard, later Śrīla Prabhupāda said that a man who has fever and a man who has never had fever, they enjoy... When the man who has fever recovers he enjoys equally with the man who never had fever. Therefore someone who has fallen into the material world, if he is liberated, he enjoys equally with the man who has never fallen into the material world. Neither he enjoys more, for instance, that he has learned some lesson so therefore he enjoys more his freedom, nor does he enjoy less than the man who has never fallen. (break)
Prabhupāda: Well, everything is the expression of spirit.
Śyāmasundara: So everything is art?
Prabhupāda: Well, what is his definition of art?
Śyāmasundara: Art is the expression of the spirit in sensuous form.
Prabhupāda: That is there. We are worshiping Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, there is love of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, but that is sensuous, sensual. The gopīs are coming to Kṛṣṇa, lusty. Kṛṣṇa is beautiful, they are attracted. So these are there: sensuous, beautiful, art.
Śyāmasundara: What about a tree? We say a tree is the artful display of absolute.
Prabhupāda: Yes, tree, tree is also art. Because in a place, if you find so many green trees to (indistinct) nice. And in a barren land, in a desert, you don't think nice. Therefore there is art.
Śyāmasundara: But the barren desert is not art?
Prabhupāda: That is also art in a different way.
Śyāmasundara: So everything is artful.
Śyāmasundara: So the second expression of the absolute mind, he calls religion. He says that "This is the absolute expressed as representations in our consciousness."
Prabhupāda: This is (indistinct) mean to accept God. Does he mean like that?
Śyāmasundara: Yes, but he means it as the opposite of sensuous form but as something intangible, something you can only relate to...
Prabhupāda: No. Intangible it may be at the present moment, that is another thing. But religion means understanding of God. Otherwise there is no religion. What do you mean by religion? First of all, you must define.
Śyāmasundara: What he means by religion is that the objects of our religious consciousness are mere representations in your consciousness, nothing more, but they are not tangible, like...
Prabhupāda: So then he has got no clear definition of religion. We define religion, is to abide by the laws of God. That is religion. God says, "You do this." When you do it, that is religion.
Śyāmasundara: So you would say that the absolute expresses itself in the laws of God...
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is religion. And should the absolute gives you direction, and if you follow that direction, then you are religious. You cannot create religion.
Śyāmasundara: That's a tangible...
Prabhupāda: That is tangible, that is tangible. That is every religion, actually. Just like in Christian religion, "Thou shall not kill." That is the order. So if you kill, then you are not religious. When you do not kill, then you are religious. So therefore it is very difficult to find out real Christian because everyone is killing, violating the law of God. In one sense there is no Christian.
Prabhupāda: And every religion means connection with God.
Śyāmasundara: But he says that the highest form that the Absolute manifests itself, the highest mode, is in philosophy. He says that this combines art and religion and it synthesizes them so it is highest, philosophy.
Prabhupāda: Philosophy means that there is some order of God. Just like God says "Thou shall not kill." Now if you want to kill, then you must present your philosophy why you are killing, why you are violating the order of God, or why you are accepting the order of God. This is philosophy, not dry speculation.
Śyāmasundara: He says that philosophy is highest because it can...
Prabhupāda: It is highest. But now God says, "Thou shalt not kill." Then you stop killing. That's all right, be religious but did you understand?
Śyāmasundara: Oh, why I (indistinct).
Prabhupāda: Why I shall not kill. That is philosophy. Jñāna, vijñānam(?). Just like devotee, he accept Kṛṣṇa or God, that's all right. He's also devotee but one understands actually what is Kṛṣṇa, therefore he is very dear devotee. Madhyama-adhikārī. He is kaniṣṭha-adhikārī, the lowest stage of devotee. He's as good as the other devotees. He does not like to... Just like gopīs, they are not philosophers and they're, neither they knew that Kṛṣṇa is God, but they loved Kṛṣṇa, that is highest. Without any consideration. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, "Whatever you may be, I love you."
Śyāmasundara: Last time we discussed Hegel, you said, "Yes, philosophy is highest but even higher than philosophy is the practice of philosophy."
Prabhupāda: Yes. This is practice as I say, the gopīs. They're actually loving.
Śyāmasundara: They were practising the result of philosophy.
Prabhupāda: Enjoying the result of philosophy. (laughter)
Śyāmasundara: I guess that's a good place to stop for today. We'll try to finish Hegel tomorrow. (break) First we'll be discussing the ethical, social and political philosophy of Hegel. He believed that one's basic right was to be a person and respect others as persons.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So what is the philosophy of killing animals?
Śyāmasundara: Well, animals are considered as things and persons have the dominion over things.
Prabhupāda: Therefore they are rascals. Rascal philosophy. So the basic principle is this, one has right to be.
Śyāmasundara: One has the right to be a person.
Śyāmasundara: And respect others as persons.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So why do they not respect others' person. The animal is also person. What is this philosophy? That is the defect, that one is a rascal and he is taking the position of a philosopher. That is the defect. He's a rascal number one. He does not respect others' individuality, and he philosophizes that ones individuality should be observed.
Śyāmasundara: He says that there are three basic rights. The first is property rights; the second is the right of contract; the third right is the right of redress of wrongs; in the sense that crimes should be punished.
Prabhupāda: Yes. But it is not crime to kill an animal? The animal has no right to live independently?
Śyāmasundara: They say that the standard of what is right is the universal or the rational will...
Prabhupāda: Is that rational, that another living entity like me should be killed for my benefit, for satisfying my tongue?
Śyāmasundara: Their idea is that the animal is not in the same category as myself because it has no...
Prabhupāda: So that's alright; then might is right? Hitler is right? When Hitler, Hitler kills the Jews, he's right? He thinks that they are not in my category.
Śyāmasundara: The animal cannot understand philosophy.
Prabhupāda: What does he understand of philosophy? He is mad; he is less than an animal. He does not understand philosophy. He does not know that the animal has also a soul, the animal has also life. Then he should be killed first.
Śyāmasundara: He said that one standard whether something is right or wrong is that if it is self-contradictory, if somebody's action is self-contradictory.
Prabhupāda: He is actually self-contradictory. He is going to give right to others that he does not want to give the same right to the animals. That is self-contradictory.
Śyāmasundara: He uses the example of someone who doesn't want anyone to steal something from him but he steals something from others.
Śyāmasundara: And that is self-contradictory.
Prabhupāda: Yes, self-contradictory action is here, that I don't want to be killed but I kill another animal. This is self-contradictory. Supporting by some nonsense philosophy. I don't want to be killed but I kill other, this is self-contradictory.
Śyāmasundara: He would say a self-contradictory act is irrational.
Śyāmasundara: Is not acting according to the rational will.
Prabhupāda: He is irrational and he is taking the position of a philosopher.
Śyāmasundara: Another one of his ideas is that conflict creates progress. So that a man kills the animal and progresses.
Prabhupāda: Then I kill him and make progress?
Śyāmasundara: Yes, that is the law of nature.
Prabhupāda: Then kill him and make progress?
Śyāmasundara: He says that acting in accordance with a conscience is the right type of activity.
Prabhupāda: The conscience, the so-called conscience is created. You go on killing, your conscience will be killing conscience, "It is all right." The thief becomes accustomed to steal, the conscience will say, "Yes, I must steal. It is my right." So you can create your conscience in that way. By association, by misguiding, they also create their conscience. Just like the Christian religion says, "Thou shalt not kill," but they are killing, creating a conscience, "Yes, killing is all right." In the religion it is forbidden, "Thou shalt not kill," but they are creating another conscience, "It is right." The conscience is created by association. By good association, conscience is the good conscience and by bad association, a bad conscience is created. So there is no such standard as conscience. Conscience means discriminating power.
Śyāmasundara: He says that there is an absolute conscience, which means pure rationality. Whatever is purely rational is conscience.
Prabhupāda: Pure rationality is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is purest. Unless one comes to that standard, the so-called conscience, so-called philosophy is of no value.
Śyāmasundara: He says that punishment for crime is justified because it vindicates justice and restores rights.
Prabhupāda: Yes, therefore when one is killing an animal, he should be prepared for being killed. That will be justice. That is Manu's... Manu-saṁhitā says that when a man, murderer is hanged, that is complete justice, complete justice. That is to save him, because without being hanged in this life, he if he escapes justice, then he will have to suffer next life very severely. So to save him from so many troubles in the next life, if he is killed, I mean to say, hanged, in this life, then he is saved. Therefore the king who is hanging him is doing him justice. Life for life. If this is the justice, then why one should not be prepared of being killed because he is killing an animal? That is justice. That is Vedic philosophy. In Vedic philosophy, when an animal is killed, it is said that "You are animal, you are being sacrificed before goddess Kālī, so you get next chance to become a human being." That means he is given a lift from the evolutionary process to come to the human being because he is giving his life innocent, and one man wants to kill him, he will be killed. So because you are being killed before the deity, you get next chance human being and you have got the right to kill him. This is kālī-da, mantra. So any sane man will understand that "I am going to be killed by him so why shall I take the risk."
Śyāmasundara: I observe in nature that everything is killing something else for eating so it seems only rational that I should be able to eat animals.
Prabhupāda: Well, that also accepted in the Vedic philosophy, jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. One life is, one living being is food for another living being. But that does not mean that you shall kill your son and eat, and it will be supported by the society. That is discrimination, that is conscience. You can say that "I must eat some, another living entity. That is by nature's law. So I produce my children and I kill them and I eat them so that the population problem will be solved." You can say that. Will you be accepted? So therefore there must be discrimination. That you have to eat another living being, that is nature's law, but if you eat fruit, you don't kill the tree. You take the fruit. If you eat vegetables, you take, still it is growing, and that is a factually not killing. But if you eat animals, you are killing. Actually he is being dead. So things should be done intelligently so that... The word is to make the best use of a bad bargain. So our philosophy is that although you can take that, although it is not killing, it is taking fruits, flowers and vegetables, it is taking from him, it is not killing, and we are offering to Kṛṣṇa and so if there is any responsibility, it is Kṛṣṇa's responsibility. We take the prasāda. Therefore we have no such responsibility and that is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, bhuñjate te tv agham pāpā ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt (BG 3.13). Anyone who is cooking for himself, he is taking all responsibility for sinful activity even if he is a vegetarian, it doesn't matter. Yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ. But if he takes the remnants of yajña - we are offering Kṛṣṇa daily - this is performing yajña. So we are taking the remnants of yajña. This is our philosophy. We are not taking directly. If I take directly, either a vegetarian or non-vegetarian, then I become responsible. Sinful. This is our philosophy. The law is there, but we have to tackle things very intelligently.
Śyāmasundara: So far the social ethics are concerned, he says that these begin with the family, then they go to the society or community, and then finally the state. He says that the family is the single entity and is the thesis. The individual finds his real nature only in the presence of others.
Prabhupāda: What about the family of the animals? They have got family. What does he say? The tiger has got family - he has got his wife, cats.
Śyāmasundara: When man finds himself in the presence of his family members he is able to understand himself by relating with others. So...
Prabhupāda: Relations with others, just like you are a family man, you don't encroach upon other families, this is society law. So the animals, they have got their family. Family, what do you mean by family, husband, wife, also two children, that is family. So the animals, they have got. So why you encroach upon the animal family? What is his answer?
Śyāmasundara: Families, when they relate together in communities, are related by certain laws or rights, that one voluntarily abstains from killing and stealing from other families so that no one will do the same to him.
Śyāmasundara: So but...
Prabhupāda: This is not applicable to the animal family?
Prabhupāda: This is philosophy. (chuckles) What kind of philosopher he is? Our, Lord Buddha preached that if you feel pain when somebody pinches you, you should not pinch (them). He does not say that you should not pinch a human being. Therefore his dharma is ahiṁsā paramo dharmaḥ. This is philosophy, something. What is this philosophy? Nonsense philosophy. That you protect your family but you eat the animal family. This Lord Buddha's philosophy has got meaning, but where is the meaning of this philosophy?
Śyāmasundara: Well, he doesn't consider the animal kingdom at all.
Prabhupāda: And he is a rascal. He is a rascal. A philosopher must be all-pervading(?). This is (indistinct).
Śyāmasundara: Yes, he purports to cover everything. He says that his philosophy is complete, that it covers everything.
Prabhupāda: Then complete. (indistinct) complete.
Śyāmasundara: He says that one understands himself the more he relates to others, so eventually as he relates to the whole universe, then he understands himself perfectly.
Prabhupāda: Universe means his brother. And white men. That's all. (laughter) That is his universe. There is a Bengali verse, (Bengali), "My elder brother is good man, I am good man. All bad men (?). This philosophy. (Bengali-repeats saying).
Śyāmasundara: He gets as far as the state, he says that one relates with all of the citizens in the state but it is nearly impossible to relate with the citizens of another state. Therefore disputes must be settled by war between states. So he clarifies war as a means of progressing.
Prabhupāda: That's all right. War also, we, Vedic philosophy, we say, dharma-yuddha. Just like Arjuna was encouraged, dharma-yuddha. So everything has got his use. War has got also use, you(?). But that is progress?
Śyāmasundara: Yes, progress comes about through conflict of opposites. So that as states fight each other, the one that comes out victorious is the most progressive, advanced state.
Prabhupāda: When the war should be declared? Is there any philosophy?
Śyāmasundara: He doesn't believe in peace; he says that peace is a dream.
Prabhupāda: Peace cannot be possible within this material world, especially without God consciousness, there cannot be any peace. That is a fact.
Śyāmasundara: He says that the state, I will just read a segment of what he says about the state: "The state is the realization of the ethical idea. The true state is the ethical whole and the realization of freedom. The state is the march of God through the world.
Prabhupāda: March of?
Śyāmasundara: Through the world. The state is an organism. The state is real and its reality consists of the interests of the whole being realized in particular ends. The state is the world which the spirit has made for itself. One often speaks of the wisdom of God in nature, but one must not believe that the physical world of nature is higher than the world of spirit. Just as spirit is superior to nature, so the state is superior to the physical life. We must therefore worship the state as the manifestation of the divine on earth.
Prabhupāda: That is very nice idea. We agree to that. Therefore we have to see what is the duty of the state. It is accepted that the state is the representative of God. Therefore the state's first business is to make citizens God-conscious. That is the state's first business. Any state who is neglecting this duty, he immediately becomes unqualified to hold the state office, either he may be president or the king. Because if it is admitted, the king... We say that the king's name is naradeva, God in human form, and king is offered that respect. There are... King is respected, why? Because he is to be considered God's representative. So therefore, as God's representative... Just like we are working as God's representative. We present ourselves as God's representative, Kṛṣṇa's representative, then what is our duty? What is our business? What we are doing? We are trying to lead others to God consciousness. That is the proof that I am God's representative. I am not teaching them anything else. I am teaching everything, that is duty, but this is my prime duty. Similarly, if the state or the state executive head, the president or the king is taken, accepted as God's representative, his first and foremost duty is to train the citizens to become God conscious. If he's lacking in that duty, he's not fit to become executive head, king of the... What does he say about that?
Śyāmasundara: He also agrees that the monarchy, constitutional monarchy is recommended to head the state.
Śyāmasundara: And that he fulfills the universal will, he's simply the executor of the world's spirit.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that's nice. That's nice. That is the system, Vedic system. A king must educate.
Śyāmasundara: But because he was so vague, this left room for someone like Hitler to come in and use this philosophy...
Prabhupāda: Well, Hitler came not as a king, he came as a usurper. He's not king. That is going on that any rascal, somehow or other he gets power, he becomes the head. But he has no training how to become actually the protector of the citizens. Therefore after the whole world is in trouble. He whimsically declares war and involve all the citizens, implicate. Therefore this support to monarchy is better in this sense that a person, by saint to saint, or by disciplic succession, or hereditary succession, he can be trained and if one man is trained nicely, he can govern over hundreds and thousands inhabitants(?) very nicely.
Śyāmasundara: He says that in a well-ordered monarchy, the law alone has objective power to which the monarch has got to affix the subjective "I will". In other words the law alone rules, the king is simply the order-supplier for the law.
Prabhupāda: That is now, democracy, constitutional king. He is simply show-bottle. But if the king has got complete power and if he is trained, he is God conscious king, rājarṣi... Imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ, the Bhagavad-gītā, the Fourth Chapter it is said, imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). The saintly king understood it. Not ordinary man. Therefore a king, monarch is supposed to be saintly. He must understand the philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā and he should introduce educational system so that people may understand Bhagavad-gītā, or the science of God. That is the first duty of the state, of the king. And in another place the Bhāgavata says that one should not become father, one should not become the head of the state, one should not become guru, if he cannot save persons from the imminent danger of death. So we are, we are now in entanglement, repeated birth and death, it is the state duty to stop the citizens' repeated birth and death.
Śyāmasundara: He says it is the purpose of the state and king to apply the moral law.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the duty of the king, that is the king but the modern democracy state, they're simply concerned with the tax. That's all. But in the śāstra it is said that if you keep the citizens blind in the matter of morality and immorality and levy tax only, you will be satisfied with tax, then you will also go to ruin and they also go to ruin.
Prabhupāda: Yes, ruination. Yes. Because he is taking all the sins. Tax means it is sinfully earned, and he's taking the money.
Śyāmasundara: So he gets it worse than anyone.
Prabhupāda: Yes, he'll be the worst sufferer, in this life and next life. These things I have discussed in Mahārāja Prthu's. You cannot, if you keep the, just like I am accepting disciples so I am taking responsibility of the sinful reactions. So similarly a king levying taxes, that means that he will take the share, the sinful or pious life of the citizens. Therefore if he keeps the citizens pious life, then he will be profited and citizens will be profited. Otherwise he will go to hell and the citizens will go to hell. Andhā yathāndair upanīyamānā. One blind man leading another blind man. So this is nice philosophy, that this is not the right philosophy, that the state head, the president or the king or whatever his name is, he is the representative of God. Therefore his duty is to train the citizens to become God conscious, pious, without any sinful life. But these big, big state head, just like in our country, Dr. Radhakrishnan is supposed to be a very great philosopher, and what he was doing? He was sanctioning to keep slaughterhouse. So he is philosopher and he had no sense that "I am the state head. I am sanctioning slaughterhouse. And I am passing as a philosopher." And now he is suffering, you have seen?
Prabhupāda: You see. He is lost, he is a dead man, living dead man. He cannot (indistinct).(laughter) He's finished. This philosopher for money's sake, he occupied the presidential post and maintained slaughterhouse. He is a philosopher.
Śyāmasundara: So he got the reaction.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is his opportunity, he's finishing his sinful life in this life.
Śyāmasundara: Oh, you said, that's right, you said it was good for him that he was suffering.
Prabhupāda: Yes, it is good for him. Because he is fortunate that his sinful reactions are being finished in this life. Otherwise he would have to drag it, he would have to continue, and he might have been a dog or cat, like that. So it is good for him. I said that. It is good for him.
Śyāmasundara: So he says that we rise up to the level of the state but then each state is independent and not subordinate to other states.
Prabhupāda: Independent, no. Independ..., that is also another contradictory philosophy. If the state is representative of God, then how he's independent? That is less intelligent. He's speaking contradiction. That's all.
Śyāmasundara: He says that no state is subordinate to any other state.
Prabhupāda: That is another thing. If you all, my disciples, you are working under my instruction, so there is cooperation but not that other's order is obligatory to me. Similarly, one state is representative of God, another (is) representative of God, so they are not independent, dependent. That can be applied any field. Citizen, everyone is independent but everyone is dependent on the state laws. Similarly every state may be independent in their individual capacity, but he is dependent on God's order. That is the position. That is the perfection.
Śyāmasundara: But whenever there are disputes arising between states, then there must be war.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is natural. Just like in our ordinary lives, citizens, they disagree. They go to the court.
Śyāmasundara: But here he says there's no higher body between two, jurisdiction between states, that it can only be settled by war. There's no court or higher authority for judging between states.
Prabhupāda: There is higher body if there is religion, if there is philosophy, if there is learned section, brāhmaṇas, Kṛṣṇa conscious people. There is higher authority.
Śyāmasundara: He says there's no potent world authority.
Prabhupāda: No, you have killed all these things, but the system is there. Therefore the brahminical culture is above the kṣatriya culture. Therefore this division must be there; brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. The administrators, the kings, they are kṣatriyas, but above them the brāhmaṇas are there. But because there is no brahminical class - they have all killed them-therefore he says there is no authority.
Śyāmasundara: Just like between presidents, Rāma's kingdom and Rāvaṇa's kingdom, there was no judge to settle the argument, there must have been war.
Prabhupāda: No, the judge, judge was Rāmacandra Himself. He is God.
Śyāmasundara: But there was war to settle it.
Śyāmasundara: So Hegel glorifies this war, he says, "There is an ethical element in war."
Prabhupāda: No, war, we also say dharma-yuddha, dharma-yuddha. Just like battle of Kurukṣetra is concluded by Sañjaya that, what is that? Yatra yogeśvaro hariḥ (BG 18.78). Yatra yogeśvaro hariḥ, he said to Dhṛtarāṣṭra, "My dear sir, I think the side on which Kṛṣṇa is there, he'll be victorious." So actually even there is war, the party who is God conscious, they"ll be victorious. Yatra yogeśvaro hariḥ. What is that verse? Eh?
Śyāmasundara: What about between America and Germany, for instance? Neither one of them were God conscious.
Prabhupāda: Then it is demonic. This is not justified war, this is where two demons, we fight, just like cats and dogs fight. That's all. But there is, according to Vedic literature, yuddha, dharma-yuddha.
Kīrtanānanda: What does that mean?
Prabhupāda: Dharma-yuddha, on behalf of supreme God, that is called dharma-yuddha. Just like Arjuna. Arjuna, they are not for fighting, but Kṛṣṇa said, "Yes, I am on your side, you fight." That is dharma-yuddha. And therefore Arjuna became victorious because God was on his side. That is dharma-yuddha. So if you declare war on the principle of God consciousness, that war is justified and you will become victorious. This is the conclusion.
Śyāmasundara: His idea is that our everyday life, everything is a state of war and that this is a purifying, this conflict is purifying, that it has an ethical element and he makes the statement, "By this war, ethical health in the nation is preserved and their finite aims uprooted. War protects the people from the corruption which an everlasting peace would bring upon it. He says that to be in a state of peace is corrupt, and when there's always a war that it purifies the country, makes it more ethical, moral.
Prabhupāda: Then he wants continuous war?
Śyāmasundara: Something like that; he glorifies war, says that it makes a nation healthy to have war.
Prabhupāda: Then Hitler was first-class man by his standard.
Śyāmasundara: He says that progress only comes through conflict.
Prabhupāda: That means, according to his philosophy, people should always engage themselves in war, because they will be progressing?
Śyāmasundara: He says that it makes for progress to be in conflict. Competition, conflict, this creates progress.
Prabhupāda: Competition, that is another thing. But if you say that war settles up morality, ethical law, then... Without any aim. We say yes, war may be there or must be there, but the party who has got Kṛṣṇa's support, they are victorious, they are right party. This is our philosophy. We don't say that war should be stopped, war must be there, because this world is material world, there must be war, opposite elements. Now, the party who has got Kṛṣṇa's support, that party... That is the battlefield of Kurukṣetra. We don't say stop war, but we say if you fight, fight on behalf of Kṛṣṇa.
Śyāmasundara: So his statement that progress comes through conflict is true, but in the conflict you should take the right side.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is real progress. Right side means on which side Kṛṣṇa is. That is the instruction on the battlefield of Kurukṣetra.
Kīrtanānanda: But what is it that we can make progress on? He is simply thinking in terms of material advancement.
Śyāmasundara: Ethical advancement, he says that there's an ethical element...
Prabhupāda: He has no ethical principle. He does not know what is ethics. Otherwise he would not have supported that animal killing. He does not know what is ethics. He speaks something (indistinct) only. That's all. There is no practical application.
Śyāmasundara: What about the statement that "Peace is stagnation"?
Prabhupāda: Well, nobody is in stagnation, everyone is working. Stagnation means, just like a stagnant water, it has no flow. That is stagnation. But who is, he is not, everyone is acting.
Śyāmasundara: So there is no peace anywhere.
Prabhupāda: No, no, it is not stagnation. Just like we, we have taken to Kṛṣṇa, it is not stagnant. We was going on. We are sending preachers, so we are not stagnant. So the question of stagnation does not come anywhere.
Kīrtanānanda: In the Vedic culture, the thing that keeps it from becoming stagnant is the presence of the brāhmaṇa. The brāhmaṇa community, they give purpose so that all of the other orders, they can remain just as much involved as if they were involved in war because this kind of society that Hegel is describing where there is no brāhmaṇa, there is simply this materialism. So they require war or else they become stagnant. Our answer is that they require the brāhmaṇa community directions so that everyone can work with full energy in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Śyāmasundara: So would you say that we are in a state of peace or a state of war?
Prabhupāda: Real peace... That definition we don't accept, "Stagnation is peace." We don't accept that. Our peace is working for Kṛṣṇa. That is peace.
- Suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ jñātvā mām.
- bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
- suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
- jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati
- (BG 5.29)
So our work is there. We are educating people that Kṛṣṇa is your friend. This is not stagnation, this is the real work, that we take Kṛṣṇa as the supreme enjoyer, so whatever enjoyable things are there, we are supplying to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa. "Kṛṣṇa, you take all nice foods. Kṛṣṇa you live nicely, you take all women, you enjoy rāsa-līlā, sixteen thousand wives. He is the supreme enjoyer, He should be given all enjoyment. That is our... (break)
Śyāmasundara: The material nature, māyā?
Prabhupāda: Well, we don't fight with māyā. Those who are under the clutches are being kicked by māyā, they are struggling. We have nothing to do. Māyām etāṁ taranti te. Māyā does not disturb us, so where is the fight? (laughter) Those who are being kicked by māyā, they have got fight. Just like the police. Police is for chastisement, but he has nothing to do with honest men. Let there be police, what is the trouble. Those who are criminals, they have got fight with the police. But we are not criminals.
Śyāmasundara: Then he describes world history to be the supreme tribunal or the higher judge of events. He says that what actually happens to a state or a people represents the final judgment as to the worth of a national policy or a course of action, that the history will bear out...
Prabhupāda: Alright, the state is imperfect; then there is no such question.
Śyāmasundara: He says that the history will bear out whether a policy is good or bad. For instance the Roman Empire came, and then it fell. So their policy is...
Prabhupāda: So we say that any empire will come, and fail. Without studying history. Because godless empire will never exist.
Śyāmasundara: He says that each state represents some phase of the absolute truth, that it expresses itself in the temporal events or the march of time.
Prabhupāda: We accept that without historical reference, we say unless one state or king is representative of God, that is not state. That is a group, that is not state. Just like even in aboriginals, they have also group. They have also group. That is not state. I think there must be some distinction...
Prabhupāda: Yes, tribe and state.
Śyāmasundara: He says that the dominant nation in any epoch represents the dominant phase of the absolute idea during that time. Just like now America is the dominant nation in the world so that the dominant phase of the truth is being expressed through America.
Prabhupāda: Therefore Mr. Nixon supported Pakistan. (laughter) Everyone knew, all other nations knew that this Pakistan is creating havoc, genocide, they're killing innocent men in Bangladesh, and Nixon, Mr. Nixon publicly supported. And still he is angry about India because India is the richest country. He has withdrawn all help. So he is supporter of mischievous activities.
Śyāmasundara: Just like before, the British were the dominant nation and then again some other country would be the dominant nation, he says that this dominant nation expresses at the time what the, the absolute truth expressing itself in time.
Prabhupāda: Yes, the dominant nation is, it is connected with the absolute truth that up to Mahārāja Parīkṣit, five thousand years ago, the king of Hastināpur, they were dominating the whole world. Because Mahārāja Parīkṣit, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira were actually representing God, therefore their domination was possible. Now, that being lost, there are so many small states, they are not God conscious, therefore fighting each other, that's all, like cats and dogs. But it is a fact that the Vedic culture kings like Mahārāja Rāmacandra, Mahārāja Prthu, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, Mahārāja Parīkṣit, and later on some other kings also, they were actually representative of God, so there was no trouble. One king was ruling all over the world.
Śyāmasundara: Is the fact that America is now the dominant nation also God's will?
Prabhupāda: Yes, that I say, because some of the Americans are Kṛṣṇa conscious.
Śyāmasundara: So what is the meaning, then, that America is the dominant nation?
Prabhupāda: America is dominant now. Actually most of you don't support Mr. Nixon. But he is on the head. So how he has become head, that is mysterious. Because people, when you study the people, they do not support him. There are so many, I mean to say, procession against, protesting against Mr. Nixon's policy and so many things. But still he is on the head, of the executive power. So there is something mysterious. Actually, the present government does not represent the others. That is everywhere. So, how we can understand that this nation is good or bad by the state behavior. Just like we issued that statement that these Americans not... These Americans were following the Nixon philosophy. There was a cartoon, that in our temple nobody is coming.
Kīrtanānanda: Nobody is what?
Prabhupāda: Nobody is coming.
Prabhupāda: In India. Because there was a feeling against the Americans. People are going to the ambassadors and place, the consulate, they are protesting, the police was there, very good. Eh? Against, against killing, counter feelings against the Americans doing the work. So I issued one statement that these Americans, they are devotees, they have nothing to do with politics. So at the present moment (indistinct), actually what is the American nation, simply by seeing the state we cannot give our judgment that this is the American nation, because there are many who are not in agreement with the state power. But they are posing themselves, that we represent America.
Śyāmasundara: He says that it is God's will that a certain nation will be dominant at a certain time, so I'm just wondering what is the reason that God has made America dominant.
Prabhupāda: That is his philosophy. He says. God does not say. He has no connection with God that he can speak on behalf of God, "It is God's will, God's..." (indistinct), like this?
Śyāmasundara: No, he says that whatever is, is right, and that this good and this reason in its most concrete form is God. God governs the world.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That also we admit because in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, yad yad vibhūtimat sattvam, mama tejo 'ṁśa-sambhavam, whenever there is some extraordinary power, it should be understood that it is derived partially from God's power. That we accept. So the dominance of American nation is God's favor. We can accept that. Now, if you put on the head representative like Mr. Nixon or some other, then it will deteriorate. If you spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness and if you make your president Kṛṣṇa conscious, then actually you will be God's empowered nation. Let the president become Kṛṣṇa conscious man. Why not? You are American, you can also capture the post. You can become senator, you can be congressman. So educate the American public (in) Kṛṣṇa consciousness, elect Kṛṣṇa conscious president and actually you will be God's favored nation is there. You have got the opportunity and the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is also in your hand, now it is up to you to utilize it and become actually the leaders of the world. That was my mission: "I shall go to America, and educate them, and they, if they follow, the whole world will follow." And that is coming to be true. You are all young men, it is in your hand. Now you make policy in that way. Just like the communists. A few communists, Stalin, Lenin, they formed a big communist party, now it is predominating all over the world. Similarly, you are so many nice, young, flowers, intelligent young Americans you have understood the philosophy, and now it is up to you to spread this "ism". You don't become stagnant - "Now I have understood Kṛṣṇa consciousness, I shall sit down and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa."
Prabhupāda: No, we don't want that. Go, spread, preach, and make your nation glorified.
Śyāmasundara: He discusses one more topic, aesthetics, or what is the idea of beauty. He says that beauty is the absolute idea shining through to the sense world, or the spirit shining through to the sense forms.
Prabhupāda: Yes, therefore our Kṛṣṇa is the most beautiful. That beauty. Because Kṛṣṇa is most beautiful. Just like I said the other day that the nice bird was chirping, I say Kṛṣṇa is speaking. So reservoir of all pleasure, all beauty. So beauty is appreciable because it is one of the qualifications of Kṛṣṇa.
Śyāmasundara: So beauty in the material world is Kṛṣṇa's, Kṛṣṇa...
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa's perverted reflection. Just like now the sky is clear, now the sunshine is bright, but even if the sky is covered by clouds, you will understand it is daytime because the glaring, shining of the sun is still to be understood. Similarly, whatever little beauty we find in this material world, that is a perverted reflection of Kṛṣṇa's beauty.
Śyāmasundara: We still understand it's beauty, but not very much.
Prabhupāda: Yes, not very much.
Śyāmasundara: Just a few more minutes and then it's finished. He says that art is a combination of spiritual content and sensuous form, that this is really art, that the artist should try to form spiritual content with these material...
Prabhupāda: That we are doing, whenever we are painting picture, art, music, we are praising Kṛṣṇa with it. Our music, our painting, our anything, we center Kṛṣṇa.
Śyāmasundara: He says that of all arts, that music and poetry are the highest.
Prabhupāda: Yes, so therefore we write, Vyāsadeva has written so many nice poetries in praise of Kṛṣṇa. Brahmā is writing, cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vṛkṣa lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam (Bs. 5.29). All sages, they write praise of Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Yes, poetry. Therefore Kṛṣṇa's another name is Uttama-śloka, He is described by first-class poetry. And a devotee is supposed to be poet also, among the twenty-six qualification. So all of us writing, glorifying Kṛṣṇa. Poetry or prose doesn't matter. Anything sublime is called poetry, not that it has to be written in meter. Everything sublime is called poetry.
Śyāmasundara: Then actually he talks about the philosophy of religion. He says that the absolute manifests itself in representations. In other words pure thought is couched in imagery and pictorial contemplation, that this is religion. Religion is pure thought which we imagine in form. We put into form.
Prabhupāda: No, there... He has no knowledge of religion. Religion means imagining pure, not pure thought. Religion means the order coming from the most pure. That is religion. You, you cannot imagine. Your imagination... Imagination (indistinct) best thing. But if you receive the best thing directly from the most pure, that is religion. Just like we are receiving directly from the most pure Kṛṣṇa. He says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65). That is religion. That is religion, he is directly receiving the orders from the most pure, Kṛṣṇa. He is not imagining. It is not imagination.
Śyāmasundara: He says that religion unfolds in three phases. In the first phase, or natural religions, they worship objects of nature like the thunderbolt, trees. Then as men beome more advanced, they begin to think of God as localized, like the Jewish religion, perhaps God is somewhere, as one thing. Then highest religion, he says, is Christianity because it gives us a clear idea of God, His son, and the Holy Ghost. He says that Christian religion is the perfect religion.
Prabhupāda: Why perfect? God has only one son? Is that perfect? God is unlimited, and He is limited to one son? Why He should be limited to one son?
Śyāmasundara: He says that this son represents nature and the objective world, because it is God incarnate; we can see Him, we know what He looks like...
Prabhupāda: Then he believes in incarnation? So, when there is son incarnation and God incarnation, which is better? Incarnation, He incarnates as son and He incarnates Himself.
Śyāmasundara: He maintains that God is an absolute idea, that he is pure conception.
Prabhupāda: That means he has no clear idea of God. If God has got a son, then the father must be a person. Where is a son who is born out of imperson father? Where is the evidence?
Śyāmasundara: An idea, born out of an idea.
Prabhupāda: Idea. This is nonsense. If son is a person, his father must be a person.
Śyāmasundara: He says that in philosophy we approach closest to the absolute or God, whereas art is the form of the absolute.
Prabhupāda: Then his statement that Christianity is perfect, that is refuted.
Śyāmasundara: Yes. That stands refuted.
Devotee: As Hegel presents Christianity.
Śyāmasundara: He says that the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, is just like his philosophy of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. So he says, "Therefore it is perfect."
Prabhupāda: He may think it. Everyone thinks that way, (that) his philosophy is perfect.
Śyāmasundara: He says that even higher than religion is philosophy because you can approach God through pure concept or thought, pure thought, and reach God.
Prabhupāda: Therefore Bhāgavata, Bhagavad-gītā is combination of religion and philosophical thought.
Śyāmasundara: He says that philosophy, knowledge of the absolute idea is unique because it is in and for itself, or is pure idea, that philosophy is pure idea.
Prabhupāda: That we say, that religion without philosophy is sentiment and philosophy without religion is mental speculation.
Śyāmasundara: But he wants to have philosophy without religion. He says that philosophy...
Prabhupāda: That is mental speculation. He says that above religion is philosophy. That means religion supported by philosophy is real religion. Religion supported by philosophy is real religion. Otherwise insufficient. It is same thing. That's all. Actually except Bhāgavata religion, all other religions in the world are sentiments. Therefore in Bhāgavata beginning is said, dharmaḥ projjhita kaitava, all cheating type of religion is kicked out from dharma. Projjhita, kicked out. Except Bhāgavata religion, any religion which is going on in the world, they're all cheating.
Śyāmasundara: The philosophy of Bhāgavata is not...
Śyāmasundara: But it's not purely conceptual, is it?
Prabhupāda: Well, it is religion in this sense that carrying out the order of God. That is religion. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Just like law means the law given by the state. Similarly, religion means the order given by God. That is religion.
Śyāmasundara: He says that philosophy is higher than religion.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Then you apply your philosophy. Then why... Just like Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). You just surrender unto Me. This is religion. Now try to understand why Kṛṣṇa says that you surrender unto Me, and why we are obliged to surrender. That is philosophy, that is philosophy. And when your philosophy supports, "Yes, we have to surrender to Kṛṣṇa," then it is perfect, it is not sentiment. (break)
Śyāmasundara: So yesterday we were discussing Hegel. He says that the absolute idea or God assumes three forms. The first form is called the idea in itself, the second form is called the idea for itself, the third form is called the idea in and for itself.
Prabhupāda: Idea in?
Śyāmasundara: In and for itself.
Śyāmasundara: And these three things may also be called...
Prabhupāda: That means he is creating God. Is it not? God is an idea. So his philosophy is that you create by imagination something as God. Actually there is no God. Just like Māyāvādīs, they say, "God is imperson. God is dead." Like that. And you can create a God. Just like Vivekananda, that is their theory. Therefore they create Ramakrishna as God.
Śyāmasundara: He said that God is the idea behind all concrete objects. Whatever is concrete there is a superior idea.
Prabhupāda: (indistinct) Idea can be changed so God becomes a thing which is subjected to the whimsical change of rascals. That is his idea.
Śyāmasundara: He says that God is the sum total of all concrete phenomenon.
Prabhupāda: That's all right but that means he has no clear knowledge. That's all. So therefore we can say they are rascals. And one who does not know God, he is rascal. Following, that is our philosophy(?). But because knowledge means to understand God. The animals, they do not understand God. Therefore they are called animal. Similarly, any man, any so-called (indistinct) does not know God, he is animal. He may be nicely dressed, that is another thing, but factually he is an animal, because he does not know God. That is the position of animals. What is the difference between man and animal? That is the difference, the animal cannot know what is God, the man can know. That is fundamental. It may be... There are difference of animals but no animal is able to understand God. And here the difficulty is that one is in the animal's position, he does not know God but he takes the position of teacher. That is the difficulty of this modern civilization. The person in position of animal is trying to teach others. Andhā yathāndair upanīyamānaḥ as Prahlāda Mahārāja says, "The blind man is trying to lead other blind men." That is the defect of the modern civilization. We, our Vedic civilization, not our (indistinct) everyone, we accept a teacher, Vyāsadeva, Kṛṣṇa. They must be beyond the, beyond suspicion. Just like there is an English proverb, "Caesar's wife must be above suspicion." Is it not? Is it an English proverb? "Caesar's wife must be above suspicion." So anyone who is on the position of teacher, he must be above suspicion. That is our first acceptance of teacher. We don't accept any teacher who is under suspicion. How he can be teacher if he's under suspicion? Now they may question that if you are above suspicion. "No, I am not above suspicion, but I am carrying the message which is above suspicion. Therefore I am above suspicion." The peon delivering you four hundred dollars, he is not rich man but he is actually delivering four hundred dollars. That is our position. Therefore we say, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam (BG 4.2). I may be rascal, it doesn't matter, but because I am carrying the message which is not rascal, therefore I am fit. This is our... We don't say anything rascaldom because we don't say anything which is not spoken by Kṛṣṇa or by authorities like Vyāsadeva. That is our position. Don't teach anyone else, except what Kṛṣṇa teaches. Kṛṣṇa says, "Surrender unto Me." We say, "Surrender unto Kṛṣṇa." Just like Śyāmasundara's daughter, she says, "Do you know Kṛṣṇa?" (indistinct) "No, I don't know." "Supreme Personality of Godhead." She may be child, but the message she is delivering is perfect. The message she is delivering, that is perfect. Is it not? She says, "Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Now the child may (not) be perfect, that's all right, but the message she is giving, it is perfect. So there is no suspicion about the message. That message is above suspicion. So our position is: you don't change it. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam (BG 4.2), receive message by paramparā. (indistinct) is the same. Kṛṣṇa says, "Surrender unto Me." We say, "Surrender unto Kṛṣṇa." I may be rascal, that is (indistinct) but the message I am carrying is without (indistinct).
Śyāmasundara: The idea in itself is that thesis, the idea for itself is the antithesis. Now the idea...
Prabhupāda: The first thing is that idea, anything... Idea is not God. God is substance.
Prabhupāda: Anything nonsense idea, that is not God. God has created you. You cannot create God. And they are creating God. Just like Vivekananda mission, yata mata tata patha. As many opinion you have got, you can have your religious way. Yata mata, this is their mission, yata mata tata patha, "Whatever you are thinking, all right." Ramakrishna, he wanted to realize God from any way. And later on he wanted to realize God by the Mohammedans' way and he asked the proprietor of the temple to allow him to take meat, cow's flesh. So when he asked, the proprietor said, "Please go out. Get out." Now don't real..., I don't want the (indistinct). This philosophy also you can realize God in any way, yata mata. Now he wanted to realize in the Mohammedan's way, therefore he thought it wise that he must eat cow's flesh. These things are there.
Śyāmasundara: If God is not an idea but He's substance, how do you mean that, substance? How do you define substance?
Prabhupāda: You define substance. What is your definition of substance?
Śyāmasundara: Substance is the...
Śyāmasundara: ... the realization of the idea.
Prabhupāda: I know. Something concrete. (indistinct). Substance is concrete. The gold idea and... Just like you know gold, and you know a big mountain. So now you form an idea, the gold mountain. This is idea. But when you see actually gold mountain, that is substance. This is difference between idea and substance. But you have never seen gold mountain but you say gold mountain. You combine some idea. You are thinking, "There is gold. Now if I get the mountain, like gold." So that is idea. But when you actually find a (indistinct), "Here is a gold mountain." That is fact. That is substance.
Śyāmasundara: Hegel's idea is that there is idea, then there is substance but the synthesis is spirit. Spirit combines both idea and substance.
Prabhupāda: Yes, but spirit is, according to our philosophy, the spirit is realized in three phases, brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate (SB 1.2.11). The supreme spirit is realized in three phases. An example is given, just like you see from a distant place the mountain, you see just like a hazy cloud. You go forward, you will see something, substance, green, and if you enter it you'll see so many trees, so many animals. So you are seeing the same object but according to your understanding, somebody is saying, "Oh, it is a cloud." Somebody is saying, "It is some green (indistinct)," and somebody is saying, "No, it is very nice place." It is a question of where he is standing, to understand God. So those who are standing in distant place, for them imperson. Just like we are seeing the sunshine imperson, and the sun globe localized, and if you have got capacity to enter into the sun globe, you'll see sun god. Similarly, God is realized in three capacities, brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate (SB 1.2.11). Either impersonal Brahman, or localized Paramātmā, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But if you somehow or other approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead, it is Kṛṣṇa. Then you understand the other two things. And Kṛṣṇa is explaining, brahmaṇo ahaṁ pratiṣṭhā. "I am the resting place of brahmajyoti." Brahmā-saṁhitā says, yasya prabha (Bs. 5.40), this brahmajyoti, impersonal brahmajyoti is the bodily rays of Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, Paramātmā, īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna (BG 18.61), that is another feature of Kṛṣṇa. He is sitting in everyone's heart. Just like the sun is reflected in thousands and millions of (indistinct). There are no so many suns, there is only one sun. How you will (indistinct)? So God is one but according to realization, one who has seen the (indistinct), he says, "Oh, there are millions of suns." And one who has not seen the (indistinct), he has seen only sunshine, "Sun is impersonal." It is a question of (indistinct) person who is realizing. But actually God is a person, sat-cit-ānanda-vigraha. That is (indistinct). We have got clear conception of God, sat-cit-ānanda-vigraha, Kṛṣṇa.
Śyāmasundara: His idea is that...
Prabhupāda: His idea, but we are talking of substance.
Śyāmasundara: Yes. First before, for instance we make a table, we have to have an idea about a table.
Prabhupāda: No, that makes... Anything, if you are trying to approach by your idea, that is not substance.
Śyāmasundara: No, he says first there is the idea of something, then the substance, but spirit is that which...
Prabhupāda: No, no, no that is, that is...
Śyāmasundara: ...has both the idea and the substance.
Prabhupāda: When you think that first of all let us have an idea. That is not substance.
Śyāmasundara: No, so we, for instance the table. I want to build a table. So I have an idea this is what it's shaped like. Then I gather the substance together. There is a table.
Prabhupāda: Now, why idea? If you are going to make a table, you have seen table, that is not idea, that is substance. Why do you say idea? Nonsense, it is not idea.
Śyāmasundara: Suppose I've never seen a table?
Prabhupāda: But then you cannot say what is table. (laughter)
Śyāmasundara: But I have an idea, I want to make something...
Prabhupāda: No, no, that is false. As soon as you speak of idea, that is nonsense. You cannot make an idea of God. That is nonsense. What do you think?
Devotee: All ideas are coming from Kṛṣṇa. (indistinct).
Prabhupāda: Yes. Idea is coming because there is substance.
Śyāmasundara: I'm not talking about God. I'm talking about the objects of the senses.
Prabhupāda: Anything, anything, you cannot make an idea of table. You are...
Śyāmasundara: I can make an idea...
Kīrtanānanda: First of all Hegel uses the word idea, he doesn't mean just like thinking, some mental image. He's using the term differently. I always thought.
Śyāmasundara: He's using it as a rational form which precedes the material form or physical form. Just like I can think in my mind that e equals mc squared...
Prabhupāda: Anyway, that you are speculating. We don't accept that.
Śyāmasundara: No, but I can put that into practical form.
Prabhupāda: No, practical form we can know. Just like we understand what is God, that Kṛṣṇa, īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ (Bs. 5.1), Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is vigraha, He is a form. He is a form but what kind of form-sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha. He is sat-cit-ānanda. Now this sat-cit-ānanda, we have no understanding what is sat-cit-ānanda, but you can understand what is sat-cit-ānanda. Sat means eternal. So you can compare that Kṛṣṇa has got a body which is sat, whereas I have got this body which is asat. Therefore Kṛṣṇa's body is not like this body. This is philosophy. They are ānanda, blissful. Now if I compare myself whether my body is blissful, no, it is always painful. So therefore His body is not like this.
Śyāmasundara: So you are saying that the ideal also has substance.
Prabhupāda: Substance, everything substance.
Śyāmasundara: For instance the ideal table, the ideal table. I don't see any table that's ideal but I can imagine there's one ideal table...
Prabhupāda: No, no, if you do not know what is table, you cannot manufacture table. You have to ask what is table. You have to ask somebody that... You have got... Practically unless you see or know from some way or other how can you manufacture a table?
Śyāmasundara: Just like Albert Einstein, he thought about this theory...
Prabhupāda: Because he's Albert Einstein, he's not perfect.
Śyāmasundara: No, but he was able to conceptualize that the speed of light squared times the mass equals the energy of an object. And then he was able to experiment in the laboratory and actually find out that it was true. But no one told him that formula. He found it out through process of idealizing, ideas.
Prabhupāda: That is another thing. That is, he is studying science. He is a scientist. You cannot say but he's scientist. He, just like the same you are seeing the mountain from a distance, you are seer. Now the more you make progress you see it is green, then more progress, "Oh, it is (indistinct)." The seer, because he is scientist, he is searching so he is making progress but all of a sudden a layman cannot see like that.
Śyāmasundara: No but doesn't he have an idea before he finds the substantial...
Prabhupāda: Then idea... Idea means, scientist means they see something, observation. That is called observation. So observation, in the beginning there may be hazy. Just like two scientists, Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose and Marconi were, both of them were trying to capture sound. This, I mean to say, radio. They are theorizing that sound can be captured.
Śyāmasundara: That's an idea.
Prabhupāda: Not idea. Somehow or other - they are both scientists - they thought it (that) the sound can be captured. So they were making research. Now, they said - Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, he found first, how sound can be captured but because he was Indian, the British government did not give him the credit. They gave it to Marconi and it was discovered (indistinct) Jagadish Chandra Bose. Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose personally told. I was present in the meeting in my childhood. That is a fact. One Baptist Mission Church in College Square, I saw Sir Jagadish, he spoke there. Then you challenge that "Now I shall give something which no others, which is (indistinct)". So he gave that the trees have sense, sensitive (indistinct). They can feel when you cut. That machine (indistinct). In Calcutta I have seen Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose Institute, we have got in (indistinct).
Śyāmasundara: When we were discussing Plato, Plato has this idea also that the ideal precedes the physical representation and you said yes, that the ideal was in spiritual realm, it exists in the spiritual realm. Because of that we are able to conceptualize some idea.
Prabhupāda: Not that that idea is like this. Just like we have found that in the spiritual world and this is perverted reflection so in the śāstra we hear, cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu, the houses are made of touchstone. So we have never seen touchstone, neither you have seen a house made of touchstone. We have seen house made of bricks or wood. So this is, this may be an idea but that idea comes by hearing from authority. Not that we manufacture that spiritual world must be made up. Like this.
Śyāmasundara: So there is always some substance which forms the contents of the idea.
Prabhupāda: Yes, idea means there is substance but I have not seen it. That is idea.
Śyāmasundara: His idea is that the spirit, the spirit is the one who both has ideas and puts them into practice.
Prabhupāda: We say spirit has got everything. Why this or that? Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). Everything is coming from. Why this or that? There is no such discrimination.
Śyāmasundara: What about a notion or a concept? How does that come into being if it has never existed before?
Prabhupāda: Notion, notion is the same thing like that. You have got, you have seen gold and you have seen mountain so you can build a golden mountain. Although you have never seen what is golden mountain.
Kīrtanānanda: But if I have that idea of a golden mountain, that means that in the spiritual world that must exist?
Prabhupāda: No, not necessarily. Spiritual world means everything existing. Unless there is substance in the spiritual world there cannot be anything even(?]. Because it is said, janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). Everything is (indistinct).
Kīrtanānanda: But I can form an idea that is not in the spiritual world. Am I understanding you?
Pradyumna: We're a reflection, just like (indistinct) there's no dogs in Vaikuṇṭha, but there's dogs here, the dog's mentality is here.
Prabhupāda: No, therefore it is called temporary. Dog is a spirit soul. The spirit soul is there. That's a fact.
Śyāmasundara: There's a, for instance in mathematics, advanced mathematics has to do with sets of formulas, equations, symbols which have no place in reality. They have no substance. They're merely ideas on paper or in my brain. What about these kind of ideas. They are, how to say, like the square root of minus one.
Prabhupāda: Ad infinitum, ad infinitum, like that.
Śyāmasundara: Like the square root of minus one. There is no substantial reference for that idea but there is an equation: the square root of minus one.
Prabhupāda: The ultimate understanding, if we have accept this formula janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1), so everything is emanating from the substance, so without having a place of that idea in the substance, you cannot have... That is another thing (indistinct). Because you are also a product of that something. So whatever you are thinking, that must be there, in the original.
Śyāmasundara: Suppose I have an idea, tomorrow I want to go to Pittsburgh. So then I actualize my idea, tomorrow if I go to the airplane, airport, get a ticket...
Prabhupāda: But you have heard that Pittsburgh, there is a place, a substance, you may not have seen. So you are preparing to go to Pittsburgh means Pittsburgh is a fact. Not idea. You are not going to idea Pittsburgh, you are going to actual Pittsburgh. That you have known, therefore you are (indistinct). You might have not seen. Just like I came to New York. I never saw it. I got an idea, "It may be like this." But I was coming to actual fact.
Kīrtanānanda: Now I see your point.
Śyāmasundara: I see your point also but supposing then that I have an idea I'm going to a vacant place, a vacant land and build a house which has never existed before...
Prabhupāda: So you have seen other house, that you have got this idea.
Śyāmasundara: A new house.
Prabhupāda: That's all right, new house means you have seen other houses. Try to make a new idea. That's all.
Śyāmasundara: But originally, originally before there was ever any houses.
Prabhupāda: That doesn't matter. But you have seen another place, a house. (indistinct), we have seen, in that particular (indistinct).
Śyāmasundara: No, but millions of years ago before there was any house... Suppose I am the first man on the planet, there has never existed any other house, then I get an idea to build a house, does that idea precede the substance?
Prabhupāda: Yes, according to our philosophy, just like Brahmā. Brahmā, he created another universe in his previous birth, but in this birth he forgot. So therefore he underwent tapasya for one hundred years, is it not? It is stated. So it is called... Just like you know something, so you think (indistinct). This is like that.
Śyāmasundara: If I invent a new invention...
Prabhupāda: It is not invention. That I am seeking where I have kept a thing, that means it is there, I have not forgot.
Śyāmasundara: In other words it existed before.
Śyāmasundara: Just like I invent the television set...
Prabhupāda: Because you cannot invent anything which is not in the substance.
Śyāmasundara: Even if I invent, for instance I invent the atomic bomb...
Prabhupāda: There is no question of inventing. The atomic bomb, what is that, it is brahmāstra, it is already made. You are not inventing.
Śyāmasundara: Where does the idea come from?
Prabhupāda: From the origin.
Śyāmasundara: From our past lives?
Prabhupāda: From the origin, yes.
Devotee: (indistinct) one of the chapters of the Bhāgavatam, Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: That is, that is, I have explained in Bhagavad-gītā that a yogī remembers in due course, past activities, and again he begins. Where he left it, from that point again he begins. Śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yogo bhraṣṭo sañjāyate (BG 6.41). He is given the chance.
Kīrtanānanda: So all ideas can be traced back to the original substance which is Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo (BG 10.8). Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, "Everything from Me." Therefore if you get Kṛṣṇa, then you get all the substance. Yasmin vijñāte sarvam evaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3]. That is the Vedic statement. If you simply understand God, then you understand everything.
Śyāmasundara: So you say that form precedes idea.
Śyāmasundara: Form precedes idea, not idea precedes form.
Prabhupāda: Yes, we accept that. Form precedes idea. (indistinct).
Devotee: In one of the chapters of the Bhāgavatam you state that before man has an idea about anything, the Supreme Lord has the idea. In the Vedic aphorism, the Lord's eyes see before our eyes, His ears hear before our ears, and actually all substance, before you get an idea there must be the substance, and the substance is Kṛṣṇa.
Devotee: And any idea that we have, whether good or bad, that has come from Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Yes. (indistinct). That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, Fifteenth Chapter, sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭho mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca (BG 15.15), "The ideas are coming from Me."
Devotee: So if a person thinks he has an idea of a skyscraper building, it's because Paramātmā has given him that idea.
Prabhupāda: Yes, he gets idea: "Yes, there is a building like that, you can do that." For man there cannot be anything, invention. He can say "discovered", there is nothing invented.
Śyāmasundara: So he says that these two things are opposing, idea and substance, they are thesis and antithesis but the spirit contains both of them so it is the synthesis.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That we agree. Viruddha (Sanskrit), viruddha, contradictory thing can be adjusted in Kṛṣṇa. Because what is viruddha, opposite, that is also coming from Kṛṣṇa, and what is substance, that is also coming from Kṛṣṇa. We are thinking viruddha. Just like this same example, cooler and heater. They are opposite but they are coming from electricity. Therefore in electricity power, both can be adjusted(?]. You can say, "Electricity can be cooler, electricity can be heater." That is called viruddha (Sanskrit). Contradictory things adjusted in Kṛṣṇa. Inconceivable, therefore we say inconceivable. Simultaneously one and different. That is our philosophy. Simultaneously we are all equal, one with God, and different. In our..., this material world, it is impossible to think like that, therefore it is called inconceivable.
Śyāmasundara: Everything we can conceive of, that must exist somewhere?
Śyāmasundara: Just like I conceive of a gold mountain. Now in this world there is no gold mountain...
Prabhupāda: There is actual gold mountain. You have not seen. That information (is] from Bhāgavatam.
Śyāmasundara: Then let us say I can conceive of a building eight hundred stories high.
Prabhupāda: Eight hundred, eight million stories. (laughter)
Śyāmasundara: It doesn't exist.
Prabhupāda: It exists.
Śyāmasundara: On this planet, no.
Prabhupāda: On this planet, you can say like that.
Śyāmasundara: So you can conceive of it somewhere so it must exist.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like when many Brahmās came. So not only four-headed but millions of headed Brahmās.
Śyāmasundara: Yes. So I can conceive of that so it must exist.
Prabhupāda: The substance is, the fact is you cannot conceive anything which is not in existence.
Śyāmasundara: So somewhere must be the square root of minus one, even though...
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is, spiritual world is like that. But here in this material world, we have got experience, one plus one equal to two, and one minus one equal to zero. In the spiritual world this does not apply. There one plus one equals one and one minus one equals one. Pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate (Iso Invocation), Vedic wisdom. Pūrṇam, that from the complete, you take the complete, still it is complete. So where you have got this idea? So therefore you have to know from the Vedic.
Śyāmasundara: So it must exist if I can...
Śyāmasundara: But what about the idea that God is evil?
Prabhupāda: He is evil also. He has got His evil also.
Devotee: But not according to our understanding.
Prabhupāda: Yes, but because He is absolute, either He is evil or good, He is God. That is absolute. You cannot say, "God is evil (indistinct) and now, therefore He is evil." No, He is good.
Śyāmasundara: What about the idea that God does not exist?
Prabhupāda: Yes, He does not exist in the rascal. That's a fact. The rascal cannot understand what is God therefore (indistinct) does not exist.
Kīrtanānanda: He is covered by the curtain of māyā.
Devotee: (indistinct) I am God.
Prabhupāda: That is also fact. Because you are part and parcel of God. Gold is gold, gold particle is also gold. If you say, "I am God," that means if you are particle of gold you can say, "I am gold." Just like you can say, "I am American," and President Nixon also can say, "I am American." That does not mean you are President Nixon.
Śyāmasundara: What if I think I am President Nixon? I can conceive...
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, you can hold the post of President Nixon somehow, somebody.
Śyāmasundara: Let us say, "I am now president of the United States."
Prabhupāda: That is madness. (laughter) You can say, "I am President Nixon," this will be taken you are, President Nixon as American. Because he is also American. So you are also American. In that way you can say, "I am President Nixon." In the American understanding.
Devotee: So that madness is coming from the spiritual world.
Prabhupāda: That is not madness. You can say like that that I am... It is not clearly said. You can say, "I am as good as President Nixon, as American." That is the explanation.
Śyāmasundara: Anyway whatever I can conceive must exist.
Śyāmasundara: So he says that this absolute consciousness or the idea in and for itself manifests itself in three forms. The first was the subjective mind. This is the individual who creates abstractions and he...
Prabhupāda: Subjective mind, just like although I have never heard what is God but I can think within my mind that as there is every man there is some controller, some chief man. So all this creation as I have seen, there must be a controller. This is thinking, right way.
Śyāmasundara: He says the subjective mind manifests itself again in three ways. First...
Prabhupāda: So that three ways, impersonal, localized and personal.
Śyāmasundara: In a way. First I understand that I relate to this body, somehow, then I get some understanding of outside objects, and then I get intelligence, real and moral choice.
Prabhupāda: Yes, these things are there. These things are there. Supposing the animal, he is thinking that he's body but when he comes to the human form of body he thinks, "Am I really body?" Then he thinks, "No, I am not this body. It is my body." Advanced thinking. "Then what I am?" This is progression.
Śyāmasundara: Then he says that this absolute idea, the in and for itself manifests itself in the objective mind such as our laws, our ideas of morality, our social ethics. In other words the individual consciousness manifests itself as a group consciousness, as we have laws that govern the state. These are extensions of our own...
Prabhupāda: As soon as we accept a controller, all these things will come. The laws must come, the control must come, the morality must come, immorality, everything will come as soon as we accept a controller. The atheistic persons do not accept the controller, they do everything nonsense, immoral.
Śyāmasundara: He says that the free will develops in these three areas of experience of law, morality and social ethics.
Prabhupāda: That's nice. That is the field of free will activities. Unless you have got platform to execute your (indistinct), there is no meaning of free will. So that is the platform. There must be law, there must be system, morality. That is (indistinct). Just like Arjuna was advised by Kṛṣṇa, "Now, whatever you like, you do." That is free will. But He has explained to him, "This is this, this is this, now it is you have your choice."
Śyāmasundara: Here's where he may differ from you. He says that morality is where the will evaluates itself and sets its own standards.
Prabhupāda: No. Our morality is not like that. We accept morality from higher authorities. Our morality is standardized. Just like Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekāṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). We accept that is morality.
Śyāmasundara: Just like the state of California's morality may change. It may say gambling is legal tomorrow and then drinking is not legal.
Prabhupāda: Because that law is imperfect but God's law cannot be imperfect. That's perfect. Therefore we don't take others' advice. That is imperfect. We take God's advice because that is perfect. Or God's representative's advice, that is perfect.
Śyāmasundara: Then he says that the idea in and for itself expresses itself as the absolute spirit.
Prabhupāda: That means he is speaking the imperfect perfect. He is speaking from material platform. He has no spiritual platform.
Śyāmasundara: He says the subjective mind deals with inner experience, the objective mind deals with outer experience but the absolute mind deals with both, it unites them.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is absolute, that we can (indistinct).
Śyāmasundara: And that this absolute expresses itself in three forms again, art, religion, and philosophy. On the first level the absolute assumes a sensuous form which we call beauty, and this is art, that the spirit...
Prabhupāda: So our definition of God (is] He is all-beautiful.
Śyāmasundara: So He is all art, artful too, artistic.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So all-beautiful means includes everything, everything beautiful. (end)