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Philosophy Discussion on John Dewey

Philosophy Discussion on John Dewey - 01:30:58 Minutes

John Dewey
John Dewey (1859 - 1952)

Śyāmasundara: Today we are discussing the American philosopher John Dewey. Last time we were discussing William James, who is called a pragmatist. His philosophy deals..., believes that practice is better than theory. So this John Dewey is more or less a successor in this same line of philosophizing. He says that practical consequences are the only valid test of truth, and he says that the proof of an idea consists in its being subject to predictable results. The idea is not true unless the results of the idea are predictable.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Śyāmasundara: He is also...

Prabhupāda: That is practical. That is practical. No theoretical knowledge is necessary.

Śyāmasundara: But do the results of an idea have to be predictable?

Prabhupāda: Idea may..., if it is a concocted idea, the result cannot be ascertained. If it is fact, then the result can be predicted.

Śyāmasundara: He says that the object of inquiry or asking questions is belief; that because we want to believe something we often ask questions in order to find something to believe in. This is the nature of inquiry.

Prabhupāda: So that is the Vedānta-sūtra: to find out the ultimate cause of everything, the inquiries about the Absolute Truth. So these inquiries should be made to the person who knows; otherwise, what is the use of inquiring? That is the Vedic injunction. If you want to inquire about truth, then you must approach the bona fide spiritual master, guru. Guru means bona fide. But because there are so many pseudo gurus at the present moment, therefore we have to add this word "bona fide." Otherwise, guru means bona fide. One who is not bona fide, he cannot be guru. But people are misled by persons, pseudo or false gurus; therefore you have to add this word "bona fide." Otherwise there is no necessity of adding this word.

Śyāmasundara: He believes that it is the nature of inquiry itself to want to believe something, even on the small, everyday level. If I want to know who put these flowers here, because I want to believe the truth about these flowers, I ask, I inquire.

Prabhupāda: So inquiry means to know the truth. Therefore our inquiry should be made to a person who knows the truth. Otherwise the inquiry has no valid position. Tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). That is Vedic injunction. The inquiry should be genuine and the answer should come from a genuine person. Then it is all right.

Śyāmasundara: He says that the final outcome of inquiry is the fulfillment of human needs by practical action, to change the external environment.

Prabhupāda: Yes. A human being, unless he is inquisitive about the Absolute Truth, he is not considered sufficiently developed in human form. Unless this enquiry is there, about self, what I am, he is not considered sufficiently developed in his consciousness. He is still in ignorance.

Śyāmasundara: But his perspective is that by inquiring, we find out what is wrong with our environment, our external environment.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Śyāmasundara: And we take practical actions to change that environment and thus fulfill human needs.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is nice. That inquiry will clear everything. If the person is serious, if he inquires what is the aim of human life, then he is supposed to be intelligent. Otherwise, the animals, they cannot inquire what is the aim of life. They are simply eating, sleeping. That's all. But a human being must be inquisitive what is the value of life.

Śyāmasundara: But is our... Is the result of our inquiry to change the external environment?

Prabhupāda: Yes. If you are seriously inquiring and if you know things as they are, then we can change our activities. What we are preaching? That your business is to know Kṛṣṇa. So if people actually take this movement seriously, then his mode of life will be changed. That is practically happening. All our students, they were leading a certain type of life, and since they have come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, their whole program has been changed.

Śyāmasundara: We have come to the same question we were discussing with Marx: whether changing external environment is prerequisite to improvement or changing the consciousness is prerequisite. And you answered before, in Marx's case, that if we change the consciousness, then the environment becomes changed...

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Śyāmasundara: ...rather than vice versa. Also, to a certain extent the other way. If we change the environment, the consciousness changes.

Prabhupāda: It is the cause and effect. One is the cause of the other; other is the cause of the other. But actually it is the consciousness that requires to be changed - either by hearing from authority or by circumstances. There are two processes to achieve knowledge. This, in Bengali it is said, dekhe sekhara, teke sekhara. When one is actually in an awkward circumstances, that's a fact. So "This kind of way of life is not good. I have to change it." This is called tekhe sekhara. When he is actually in danger, he takes precautions of danger. But one who is intelligent, he understands by hearing that "If you do like that, then you will fall in danger." So that man is intelligent who learns by hearing from the authorities. And one who actually experienced the awkward position, and then he changes his consciousness... That is also one of the processes, but this is better. Therefore our process is to approach the bona fide teacher and learn from him everything. That is brahmacārī life. Not by practical experience. That is Vedic knowledge. The experience is already there. You simply hear and take it. Then it becomes easier. But if you expect that "First of all let me fall down into the ditch, then I shall cry..." Better man is, he takes advice, "Don't go there. You'll fall down in the ditch." Just like Kālidāsa. Kālidāsa was in the beginning he was a great fool. So he was cutting a tree, sitting on the branch. So some intelligent men was going around, "What you are doing, nonsense? You shall fall down." He didn't care, but cutting, he actually fell down. Then, "Oh, you are very intelligent! How did you say? How did you foretold?" Then they saw that he was a first-class fool. So "This boy should be taken to the king's daughter to become her husband." The girl was so intelligent that the challenge was that "Any man who will defeat me in argument, I shall marry." But she was so intelligent that nobody could defeat. So all the learned scholars, the father was asking, "Bring me an intelligent boy to marry her." So they did not find any intelligent boy. Whoever comes, he is defeated. So they decided "Now, because she is so determined to have a very nice husband, we shall make this boy her husband, this fool number one." So they took him there and instructed that "That girl..." and he will show his finger like this. "You'll show this." So he was a fool, so "All right, I'll do that." So when he was brought to the girl, the girl held up one finger and he showed two fingers, and then the all the paṇḍitas, "Oh, the answer is given him. Your girl says eka brahma, 'Brahman is one.' " And he immediately answered (indistinct), "There is no two Brahma. Brahman is one." The girl also thought, "Yes, this boy is a genius." So in this way this foolish man was made her husband, and at night, when she came to understand that he was fool number one, she kicked him and asked him, "Get out of my room." So he became very insulted: "My wife has kicked me. I am so fool. So I shall make suicide by drowning in the water." He was crying and remembering the goddess of learning, that "I am so foolish, my dear mother Sarasvatī. You did not favor me, so I shall kill myself." With great lamentation he was going to die. At that time, Sarasvatī became very kind and she appeared, "Kālidāsa, why you are drowning this way?" "My mother, this is my position. I have been insulted by my wife because I am a fool." "All right, from henceforward you shall be very learned." "Oh, but I do not know..." "No, whatever you say, it will be all right." He got this benediction from mother Sarasvatī. He came back, then he was knocking the door. The wife said, "Who are you?" He replied, hastigrati vada viśeṣaṇa (?], "Somebody who can speak very learnedly." Then whatever he was replying, he became, by the grace of Sarasvatī, he became highly learned scholarly speaking. So Kālidāsa, with these four words he wrote four books that is very famous: the Kumāra-sambhava. He began with this word hasti, and the word raghu-vaṁśa kaścid. In this way he was (indistinct), and he became very famous by this. Hasti uttarasyandeśa himalayanarna naradi rajan uddhva paro toyanidhi balaja stita pratijñān eva mana danda (?]. This is the beginning of Kumāra-sambhava. Kumāra-sambhava means Lord Śiva's marriage with the daughter of Himalaya. He begins describing Himalaya: hasti uttarasyandesi himalayanamadira uttare syan deśe (?] (indistinct), in the northern side there is a king of mountains known as Himalaya. Somebody interprets it that is Arctic region. Urdhva pare yato nidhi upa rājan (?]. North and east, there are two oceans - I think this is Atlantic and Pacific-abagajan-touching-sthita pratijñāna eva mana gandha (?] - as the whole (indistinct). In this way he became... He became famous poet by the grace of Sarasvatī. In the beginning he was cutting the same branch on the tree on which he was sitting.

Śyāmasundara: So maybe there is some hope for these philosophers.

Prabhupāda: What?

Śyāmasundara: Maybe there is some hope for these...

Prabhupāda: Yes. By the grace of the superior, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo **, we sing every day. If there is blessings of higher authority, everything can be achieved. There is no doubt.

Śyāmasundara: He puts forward five steps for solving problems. (aside conversation-indistinct] The first step is, he says, to observe a problem and think of its nature. The second step is intellectualize the problem further: to analyze the total of difficulties. Three, you make hypothesis which constitutes possible solutions. Four, you analyze these hypotheses in the light of past experience. And five, you put these possible solutions into practice experimentally, and to ascertain the results in actual experience. So his method is that... So the idea is that problems are only solved when the possible solutions are put into practice and we experiment and get a result. Then we find solutions to problems. But not simply by theorizing, but by practice.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So our process of solving problems is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati (BG 9.31). So we take Kṛṣṇa's shelter and our problems are solved. As it is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā, yatra yogeśvaraḥ kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa, He is the reservoir of all mystic power, yogeśvara. So Bhakta's business is instead of endeavoring to become a yogi, he takes shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is yogeśvara, the master of all mystic power. We take it that this is the solution of our problems. Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te, instead of... I was reciting the verse from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, bālasya neha saranay vicinvam (?]. So there are different kinds of methods of solving the problems. The best method is to surrender unto Kṛṣṇa, and all problems are solved.

Śyāmasundara: On a social scale as well?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Everything. Social scale also.

Śyāmasundara: His idea is... John Dewey's idea is that...

Prabhupāda: Just like on the political scale, the Pāṇḍavas took shelter of Kṛṣṇa. There was a political problem, so it was solved in their favor, in the Pāṇḍavas favor. Political means social, political, everything.

Śyāmasundara: This Dewey's idea is that all sciences must be subservient to human needs.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Śyāmasundara: So he believes in the social sciences, the educational sciences, that...

Prabhupāda: Our educational system is tan manye adhītam uttamam. One who is a devotee and executing the nine different processes of devotional service, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam (SB 7.5.23), Prahlāda Mahārāja says, tan manye adhītam uttama, "I think he is first-class scholar. He has studied nicely everything." One who has... Caitanya-caritāmṛta kaj says also that kṛṣṇa ye bali sevalacasi (?], unless one is highly intelligent, he cannot take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In the Bhagavad-gītā also says, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān (BG 7.19). After many, many births of experimenting for solving all problems, when he is actually wise, at that time he takes shelter of Kṛṣṇa, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā (BG 7.19), he's first-class, learned scholar.

Śyāmasundara: Yes. Dewey's definition of truth is that truth is the means of satisfying human needs and improving social conditions which create problems. So he sees truth as a practical tool...

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Śyāmasundara: ...to solve social problems.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Social problems... We have mismanaged social problems because Kṛṣṇa is perfect, so whatever He has created, that is perfect. Pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate, pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate (Iso Invocation). So everything is perfect, but because we want to disturb Kṛṣṇa by disobeying His order, things appear to be imperfect. (aside in Hindi] So if we remain faithful to Kṛṣṇa, there is no problem. Kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati (BG 9.31). So we are presenting this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement as the solution of all problems. Let any intelligent man come and discuss with us, and we think that we shall be able to convince him that this is the only suggestion. (Hindi aside with guest]

Śyāmasundara: He says that truth is useful and it is public and is objective, and it benefits to society, not merely the individual.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That truth people do not know. The Bhagavad-gītā gives us information of that truth: na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31). They do not know that the ultimate truth, ultimate objective is Viṣṇu. Without reference to Viṣṇu they are trying to solve the problems of the world differently. That is not possible.

Śyāmasundara: How does worship of Viṣṇu solve social problems? Just like in Calcutta there are more social problems than practically anywhere.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Viṣṇu... In the Viṣṇu Purāṇa, it is said that varṇāśrama-dharma. Varnāśramācāravatā puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān (CC Madhya 8.58). Any man who executes this varṇāśrama-dharma, he satisfies Viṣṇu. The varṇāśrama-dharma is there, and the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, the vaiśyas, and the śūdras. So according as they are prescribed, how the brāhmaṇas should live, how the kṣatriyas should live, how the..., then there is no trouble. The whole problem is solved. But they have killed the varṇāśrama-dharma. They are now all śūdras. The śūdras, how they can make solutions? Śūdras means nonintelligent persons. So what they can do? They are running on democratic government voted by the śūdras. So what these rascal śūdras will do? They require... Śūdras are meant for serving the higher sections - brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya. And if the śūdras are given government... Just like we are seeing, in Africa they have been given independence, but they have not improved. The Englishman is still controlling, the Indians are still controlling. And what is the meaning of their so-called self-ruling? We have seen it, still they are poor, because they are śūdras. Śūdras have no brain. In America also, the whole America once belonged to the Red Indians. Why they could not improve? The land was there. Why these foreigners, the Europeans, came and improved? So śūdras cannot do this. They cannot make any correction. Now people are becoming śūdras by so-called education. So they cannot make any solution of the problems. If that daiva varṇāśrama again established, then the whole problem will be solved. That was the plan of my Guru Mahārāja, daiva-varṇāśrama city. Daiva varṇāśrama means that it is stated by Kṛṣṇa, guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). By qualification, by the work, one should be brāhmaṇa. By qualification, by work, one should be kṣatriya. By qualification, by work, one should be vaiśya. By qualification, by work, one should be śūdra. When this order is established, that is called varṇāśrama-dharma. Then Viṣṇu, Lord, will be happy, and He will give us... He is already giving. Eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān. Actually, He's giving us all the necessities of life. But because we are now śūdras and devoid of devotional service, so prakṛti is controlling the supply. That is the difference. That is stated in connection with Pṛthu Mahārāja. Pṛthu Mahārāja, because there was not enough production, he wanted to kill the pṛthvī. So he says that "That's all right, but I am controlling because production is meant for performing yajña. These rascals, the demons, they are simply eating. They are not performing yajña. Therefore I am controlling." Saho yajña pratiṣṭhita. The whole plan is that the living entities, especially the human beings, they are meant for performing yajña. Yajña means to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu. The Bhagavad-gītā also says, yajña-dāna-tapaḥ-kriyā na tyājam. You cannot give up these three things, even if you are in the renounced order of life. Yajña-dāna-tapaḥ-kriyā. It is just like our Vaiṣṇava sannyāsīs, they are performing saṅkīrtana yajña and they are distributing Kṛṣṇa love. And to keep themselves fit, they are observing the rules and regulations and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is yajña-dāna-tapaḥ-kriyā. Following the rules and regulations and regularly chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, that is tapasya. And this is the best dāna, charity. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He was eulogized by Rūpa Gosvāmī: namo mahā-vadānyāya kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te (CC Madhya 19.53). "You are the most munificent incarnation because You are giving love of Godhead." So those who are distributing the idea of love of Godhead, they are the best charitably disposed man. So we, we have not given up yajña-dāna-tapaḥ. That is not to be renounced. Because a sannyāsī is renounced. Renounced means he should renounce his sense gratification, not renounce these things, yajña-dana-tapaḥ.

Śyāmasundara: So these three items are necessary to solve social...

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes!

Śyāmasundara: So everyone should try...

Prabhupāda: For everyone. Especially if..., not everyone. Yajña for the brahmacārīs, dāna for the householders, gṛhastha, and tapa for the renounced. Tapasya. If it is not done all, at least these three classes of men should not give up their occupation, yajña-dāna-tapaś caiva pāvanāni manīṣiṇām. Yajña-dāna-tapaḥ-kriyā, pāvanāni manīṣiṇām. Even if you think that you are very highly elevated, still, yajña-dāna-tapaḥ-kriyā is necessary for you. You should not give it up.

Śyāmasundara: Dewey says that the ethical goals are fulfillment of human needs and desires, that all morality should lead to this goal of fulfillment of human needs and desires.

Prabhupāda: The human need is to get out of the clutches of māyā. That is the actual need. Janma-maraṇa-mokṣaya, that is the need. But the modern society, they do not know what is needed. They are making simply plans, uselessly. Śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8). Simply laboring hard, they do not know the need. The real need is to get out of the clutches of repetition of birth and death in different forms. But people do not know this. They are simply concocting ideas. Durāśayā ye bahir-artha-maninaḥ. Durāśayā, hopeless, or they are trying to educate something which is impossible. They are making plans to be happy in this material world. And by the United Nations it is impossible. That is not intelligence. He says... We can say in the United Nations clearly that "Your, this attempt will be failure." It is already failure. (aside in Hindi] Hariṁ vinā naiva mṛtiṁ taranti. What is the solution? You cannot make any solution of this repetition of birth and death, disease and old age. What do you mean by solution? The real problems are there. So they do not know what are the problems, how to solve them. So andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās (SB 7.5.31). Some blind leaders, so-called leaders, they are leading other blind men. This is going on. They do not know what is the aim of life, how to make solutions of the problems. They do not know.

Śyāmasundara: He says that there must be a continuous probe of human beings in moral sensitivity. In other words, that people must become more and more sensitive to moral values and that there must be practical realization of a better social world.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness society, International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. Simply come forward and understand. Therefore we have made it society, Kṛṣṇa conscious society.

Śyāmasundara: He makes one statement. He says that "The good man is the man who, no matter how morally unworthy he has been, is moving to become something better."

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Śyāmasundara: "Growth itself is the only moral end."

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā: api cet su-durācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk. The devotee, even in the beginning he is found not in order, doing something wrong, still, because he has taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is accepted as sādhu. Api cet su-durācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk, sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ (BG 9.30). Where one may say that there are so many discrepancies in his life and yet he is doing all right in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but he has not corrected his habits, the reply is, kṣipraṁ bhavati dharmātmā śāśvac chāntiṁ nigacchati. Because he has taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, all his bad habits will be corrected very soon.

Śyāmasundara: So that as long as one is improving in his moral nature...

Prabhupāda: Yes. This is ultimate moral nature - take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and gradually all moral things will come. Yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ (SB 5.18.12). All good qualifications will come automatically if he sticks to these four principles - these regulative principles and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, and abiding by the orders of the spiritual master. Then everything will come automatically.

Śyāmasundara: Moral qualities will follow?

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Śyāmasundara: It's not that one has to develop them independently?

Prabhupāda: No. Automatically it will come. Because the good qualities are already there in the spirit soul, and it is being purified, uncovered by the material contamination. The original cult is coming out. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Śyāmasundara: What does the word "cult" mean?

Prabhupāda: Cult means... What do you mean by cult? Cult is an ordinary word.

Śyāmasundara: I've always thought cult meant something sectarian or...

Prabhupāda: Not sectarian. Cult means the natural occupation.

Revatīnandana: It usually means... A group with a common interest is usually called a cult. Some group with some common, agreed-upon interest.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is I was explaining this, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye (BG 7.3). So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not for everyone. It is meant for a certain group. Therefore you can take it as a cult, although it is meant for everyone. But generally we are accepted by the high-class intelligent men. Therefore we can call it cult.

Śyāmasundara: Same word, "cultivation" or "culture"?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇanuśīlanam. The exact word is kṛṣṇānuśīlanam. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam (CC Madhya 19.167). That is cult, cultivation of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Favorably. Not Kṛṣṇa consciousness like Kamsa, always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, how to kill Him. That is not ānukūlyena. That is not favorable. But you have to cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness favorably: How Kṛṣṇa will be satisfied. How Kṛṣṇa will be pleased. And that is required. This cult is required. Hṛṣīkeṇa-hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir uttamam (CC Madhya 19.170). When your senses will be purified and they will be engaged in serving Kṛṣṇa, satisfying Kṛṣṇa, that is bhakti. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Śyāmasundara: He says that there is no such thing as absolute good and bad but that each specific situation must be treated individually. There is no absolute good and bad; that each individual situation must be...

Prabhupāda: Yes. So that situation means Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Anything done in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is good. Anything done not for Kṛṣṇa's satisfaction, it may be ethically, so-called ethically right - it has no use.

Śyāmasundara: He says that the greatest good...

Prabhupāda: That situation... (indistinct) That situation means Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In practical life also we see that the soldier's killing, it is supported by the government. The same soldier killing for his personal satisfaction, he is condemned to death.

Śyāmasundara: He says that the greatest good is the elimination of the greatest evil or the fulfillment of man's greatest needs.

Prabhupāda: That's it. We follow that, that the highest objective, the ultimate objective is Kṛṣṇa, Viṣṇu. So becoming a Vaiṣṇava, the highest perfection of human life is achieved.

Śyāmasundara: So that greatest need is...

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The greatest need is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (Hindi with guest] Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that is the supreme consciousness. Yes. That is pure consciousness, Kṛṣṇa. Mamaivāṁśo jīva loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ (BG 15.7). Every living entity is Kṛṣṇa's part and parcel. He always remembers that "I am part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. It is my duty to serve Kṛṣṇa." This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Śyāmasundara: He says that...

Prabhupāda: Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya kṛṣṇa dāsa (CC Madhya 20.108-109). If he remembers always this.

Devotee: Eternal position of the living entity...

Prabhupāda: Yes. Then he'll be in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, perfect consciousness. But they are thinking that "I am Kṛṣṇa. I am God." That is not Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Śyāmasundara: He says that the choice between good and bad is not made on theoretical grounds, but for reducing specific evils. In other words...

Prabhupāda: It is not theoretical that if you accept the universal form of God, then everything within the universe is part and parcel of that form. That is practical.

Śyāmasundara: But say there...

Prabhupāda: Like a big tree, the every leaf, every branch, every twig, every flower is a part and parcel of the whole tree. Similarly, virāṭ-rūpa. Apart from Kṛṣṇa's personal rūpa, the virāṭ-rūpa as it was manifested before Arjuna, if you take the virāṭ-rūpa, the whole universal form of the Lord, then anything within the universe is part and parcel of that virāṭ-rūpa, the resulting form.

Śyāmasundara: So the choice between a good and a bad action should be practiced to reduce evil, not just theoretical. That's his idea. That's his point.

Prabhupāda: Yes. No theory. This is practical. Now, as a big machine, the screw is a part, so if every part works nicely, the machine goes nicely. So if we understand... Just like I think last night I was explaining mukha baho rūpa divya: the gigantic body, the brāhmaṇa class, they are the mouth. So one must do the duty of the mouth. The mouth speaks, vibrates and eats. So our proposition is to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and eat Kṛṣṇa prasādam. Then the mouth duty, the brāhmaṇa's duty, is performed. Similarly, the kṣatriya's duty - again we come to that varṇāśrama-dharma. So everyone is factually part and parcel of God and executes his prescribed duty, then it is perfect.

puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān
viṣṇur ārādhyate puṁsāṁ
nānyat tat-toṣa-kāraṇam
(CC Madhya 8.58)

If you want to satisfy the Supreme Lord, then you must execute the functions as they are prescribed in the varṇāśrama system. Then everything is all right. The same example: If all the parts of a machine is in order, working, it will make no trouble. If one of the screws, I mean, is slack, or it has fallen down, then another part is dislocated, that whole work is stopped. So we should consider in that way, that we are all part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. So according to part and parcel, you must execute your duty - as brāhmaṇa, as kṣatriya, as vaiśya, as śūdra. And the brāhmaṇa being head, he should give the direction. Therefore he is considered the guru of other varṇas. But he... Because if there is no head, no brāhmaṇa, then the whole thing is disturbed. And that is the position at the present moment. Actually there is no brāhmaṇa, or scarcity of brāhmaṇa. So others are not guided properly. Therefore there is chaos in the whole society. So we require to create some brāhmaṇas, and others should understand to abide by the direction of the brāhmaṇas. Then the whole society will be in order.

Śyāmasundara: He says that the world can be made better by man's efforts, but that perfection is not possible.

Prabhupāda: No. Yes. In one sense it is all right, because this world is so made that you make it perfect today, again it deteriorates. Therefore in one sense we cannot make it perfect. That is a fact.

Śyāmasundara: But you can improve it?

Prabhupāda: Improve it. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati (BG 4.7). Paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām (BG 4.8). So it can be improved, in any bad condition, by... How you can improve? By this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. As Kṛṣṇa says, "I am..." (break) Svarūpa means ādayaḥ. Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the same thing. If you are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that means you are living with Kṛṣṇa. And if you are living with Kṛṣṇa, then what is your fear? Just like Arjuna, fighting with Kṛṣṇa, he had no fear. Similarly, if you live with Kṛṣṇa and go on with Kṛṣṇa, then what is your fear?

Śyāmasundara: What is that quote you said last night in the taxi, padma, padma...

Prabhupāda: Padaṁ padaṁ yat vipadāṁ na teṣām.

samāśritā ye pada-pallava-plavaṁ
mahat-padaṁ puṇya-yaśo murāreḥ
bhavāmbudhir vatsa-padaṁ paraṁ padaṁ
padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām
(SB 10.14.58)

Śyāmasundara: And the purport?

Prabhupāda: And the purport is, one who has taken shelter of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, for him, this ocean of nescience, bhavasamudra, because just like a small pit foot created by the cow's hoof.

Devotee: Footprint.

Prabhupāda: And this place wherein there is step by step danger, this is not God's place. That Kṛṣṇa also says. As soon as he understands Kṛṣṇa, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti (BG 4.9). He immediately becomes eligible to transfer to the spiritual world.

Śyāmasundara: So actually, we're removing people from danger, from evil, by making them Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Prabhupāda: Certainly.

Śyāmasundara: So this is a welfare activity.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. This is best welfare activity in the world. What others can do in comparison to this?

Śyāmasundara: They may be able to remove some of the temporary dangers...

Prabhupāda: Yes. To give some temporary benefit, but again he is fallen.

Śyāmasundara: Step by step there's danger. When we discussed the utilitarians...

Prabhupāda: (indistinct) In Caitanya Mahāprabhu's address, namo mahā-vadānyāya. If I give some charity to a needy man, it will serve for a temporary period, but if you give him Kṛṣṇa-prema, then immediately he'll be transferred to the spiritual world.

namo mahā-vadānyāya
kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te
kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-
nāmne gaura-tviṣe namaḥ
(CC Madhya 19.53)

Mahā-vadānyāya. This is the most munificent path - to distribute Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, yāre dekha tāre kaha kṛṣṇa: "Whomever you meet, just deliver this message of Kṛṣṇa." That is best welfare activity in the world.

Śyāmasundara: When we were discussing the utilitarians, we discussed that their goal was to achieve what was desired by the people, to do whatever was required...

Prabhupāda: No. Desired by the people-happiness. But they are trying to give happiness temporary, and we are giving happiness direct. Just like Bhāgavata says, yasmād brahma-saukhyam anantam, tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyed sattvam (SB 5.5.1). Purify your existence, and you'll get perpetual, eternal happiness, bliss. So everyone is working hard for happiness, but how happiness can be attained in diseased condition? So cure the disease and he'll get it eternal. That is... Here is a physician. If you go when there is ailment, if you go to him, "Sir, cure me." "Why?" because it is impediment to happiness. Similarly, the real disease is janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9). You cure this, then you get real happiness.

Śyāmasundara: These utilitarians said that activity should be to achieve all that is desired by the people, but Dewey says that activity should be to achieve what is worthy to be desired.

Prabhupāda: No, no. First thing is, people are desiring happiness. Whatever one may desire, the ultimate end is happiness. Nobody can deny this. But a diseased fellow, if he thinks that "I am happy," that is false happiness. A diseased man cannot be happy unless the disease is cured. Sometimes we go to a diseased person and ask, "How are you?" "Yes, I am all right." If he is all right, why is he lying down? He is not all right. He is artificially saying that "I am all right." What is this "all right"? Similarly, these foolish people, they are thinking, "I am happy." What is their happiness? If you have to die, then where is your happiness? Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam. A real intelligent person will see that these are the things which are giving me distress: janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi. So where is the happiness? Foolishly if we accept something as happiness, that is not happiness. Real happiness is when you are free from these four principles of distress: janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9). Otherwise, where is your happiness? But if you think that "Although I am dying, I am happy," that is another thing, a fool's paradise.

Śyāmasundara: He says that "Desirable courses of action must meet specifiable conditions which are subject to prediction, and they must be based on judgments of experience." In other words, the desirable courses of action should be chalked out by experience, and they must be predictable.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Predictable. Just like we don't want death. So if I get the chance to come to a position not to die, is it not predictable? You don't want to die, and if I say, "You will come to this position, you will not die..."

Śyāmasundara: Yes. Is there some experience that shows me that that is a predictable result?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Experience... You may not have experience, but the superior has got experience. Just like Kṛṣṇa says, yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāmaṁ paramaṁ mama (BG 15.6). He says that "If you come to Me, you will never come back again." Just see. Who can excel Kṛṣṇa's experience? Vedāhaṁ samatītāni: (BG 7.26) He knows past, present, and future, so you have to take His assertion.

Śyāmasundara: He says that "Judgments about values are judgments about the conditions and the results of experienced objects, judgments about that which should regulate the formation of our desires, affections and enjoyments." In other words, in order to place a value on something, to judge what is the value of a particular item, that we should base this judgment upon the results of experience. Then we can guide those things which we should enjoy, where our desires should be, where our affections should lie, upon experience.

Prabhupāda: That experience we may not have personally, but if you take advice from a person who has got experience, that is as good as my experience. Just like you are going somewhere, you are purchasing a ticket. You have no experience where you are going, or you do not know whether actually you will go, but because others have gone and come by purchasing a ticket, you take advantage of that experience and you purchase a ticket.

Śyāmasundara: He says that value equals satisfaction. In other words, the fulfillment of...

Prabhupāda: So unless you have faith in some person, how you can be satisfied? Therefore you should find out a person in whom you can place your faith. And who can be a better person than Kṛṣṇa?

Śyāmasundara: If certain specific conditions are met, then the satisfaction is transformed into a value. In other words, if my hunger is satisfied by eating a certain foodstuff, then this foodstuff is given value.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So Kṛṣṇa gives that value. Just like Kṛṣṇa gave the value in Bhagavad-gītā, and Arjuna in the beginning denied to fight, but he agreed to fight. He agreed to fight.

Śyāmasundara: Because he was satisfied by his faith in Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Yes. This is required.

Śyāmasundara: He says that moral laws are comparable to physical laws. In other words, they are guidelines to elicit certain responses under given conditions. Just like if I throw a ball up, I know it is going to come down. So a moral law will guide me in the same way. If I act in a certain way, there will automatically be a certain result, a response.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like we prescribe, ādau śraddhā tato sādhu saṅgasya. If you follow one after another, you get the result. If you have got faith, you make association with devotees. Then the next step, you will be eager to execute devotional service. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-sango 'thya bhajana-kriyā 'nartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt (CC Madhya 23.14-15). Then all misgivings are eradicated. Then you become firm faith, niṣṭhā, then attachment, one after another. Unless you experience the next result, how can you make progress?

Śyāmasundara: Are there any moral guidelines to Kṛṣṇa consciousness?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Moral guidelines are there. That is given by Rūpa Gosvāmī, sato vṛtteḥ, sadho saṅge, utsāhān niścayād dhairyāt (Upadeśāmṛta 3). With patience and conviction, enthusiasm, becoming very fair in your dealings, and in association of saintly persons, devotees, you will advance.

Śyāmasundara: Then the result of following these guidelines is predictable results? Automatically certain things happen.

Prabhupāda: Yes. One after another. Just like a teacher gives a task to the students, one type of task in the beginning, next another type, next another type, he makes progress.

Śyāmasundara: What are those again? Patience...?

Prabhupāda: First of all, enthusiasm.

Śyāmasundara: First enthusiasm.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Unless you are enthusiastic, how can you enter into any activities? Utsāhān. Then patience - not to be impatient, "Oh, I am working so hard, I am getting no result." No. You will get. So (indistinct) niścaya, the firm conviction that "Because I have taken the path of the mahājanas prescribed by Rūpa Gosvāmī or prescribed by Kṛṣṇa, it must be successful." It may be taking some time, it is delayed, that doesn't matter. It will be successful. Niścaya. Not that niścaya can sit idly. No. Tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt. Prescribed duties must be performed fairly, in good faith, sato vṛtteḥ. And in the association, that will give us impetus. People are coming to our association automatically. Just like John came in our association, and gradually he has become a devotee.

Śyāmasundara: So if one follows these moral guidelines, the result is certain, predictable?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Certainly. (Hindi with guest] Good association means to associate with one of the devotees. Sādhu-saṅga (CC Madhya 22.83). (Hindi with guest]

Śyāmasundara: He says that moral laws are not absolute rules which never permit exceptions. He says that moral laws are flexible; that they're not absolute.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Real moral law means the law of the Supreme. Just like Kṛṣṇa has preached dhyāna-yoga, jñāna-yoga, haṭha-yoga, so many yoga systems. Then He says, sarva-dharmān parityajya (BG 18.66). These principles have not less moral, dhyāna-yoga, jñāna-yoga, aṣṭāṅga-yoga, but ultimately He says, "Give up all of them." Then what is moral? His word is moral. Whatever He says, that is moral. Not this dhyāna-yoga, jñāna-yoga. No. Whatever He says, that is morality. So it is changed. Nobody can argue: "Sir, you have prescribed so many kinds of yogas. Now You say to give up all these things. It is contradictory." No. It is not contradictory. Whatever He says, that is morality. That is Vaiṣṇava principle. We don't consider anything moral or immoral. Whatever is ordered by Kṛṣṇa or His representative, that is moral. That is our position.

Śyāmasundara: He says, "It is the function of intelligence to serve action, and action benefits man when it obeys the dictates of intelligence."

Prabhupāda: Yes. So who can be more intelligent than Kṛṣṇa?

Śyāmasundara: Then he says that "Values must be regarded as goods of practical significance which result from intelligently directed activities." So something we place value on must be acted...

Prabhupāda: Yes. Arjuna followed the decision of Kṛṣṇa, so there is value. He became victorious, he enjoyed the kingdom, and he became a famous devotee.

Śyāmasundara: As a practical result of his activities?

Prabhupāda: Yes. As a practical result. Parīkṣit Mahārāja said that this Kurukṣetra fight was just like a great ocean, and all these Bhīṣma, Droṇa, Karṇa, they were just like big animals in the ocean. He said, "It is important for my grandfather to cross the ocean dangerously with all these big, big animals. But by the grace of Kṛṣṇa it was possible." This is value.

yatra yogeśvaraḥ kṛṣṇo
yatra pārtho dhanur-dharaḥ
tatra vijayo... (tatra śrīr vijayo bhūtir)
(BG 18.78)

Śyāmasundara: He says that morality is social, that besides a personal meaning it must have a social meaning.

Prabhupāda: So Kṛṣṇa consciousness is a type of morality which is above social meaning. It is transcendental. Social means guided by the three modes of material nature. But Kṛṣṇa's order is above, transcendental. Sa guṇān samatītyaitān (BG 14.26).

Śyāmasundara: So it's asocial but not antisocial. Our morality is above social.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Social is subordinate to this world.

Śyāmasundara: But it is not antisocial.

Prabhupāda: No. It is social. It is sublime social. It is not only social but sublime social.

Śyāmasundara: He says that rights are also social, just like if I claim a right, a certain social right, that I must also accept my responsibility. Just for instance free speech. If I accept free speech as my social right, that I must also accept others' right to free speech.

Prabhupāda: But that is lacking in the present society, because these rascals, they are proud of their nationals but they are denying this same national life to the animals. They are being sent to the slaughterhouse. Therefore they are rascals. Why the animals should be denied their national right? They are born in the same country. They have a right to live at the cost of God. Why we are interfering with their independence, given right? Therefore they are rascals. Their so-called social, moral, philosophical, political, they are all rascaldom. Therefore our decision is, harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā: (SB 5.18.12) anyone who is not a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, he has no good qualities. In the other direction, we will find so many defects with his so-called moral and social position.

Śyāmasundara: He says that God... He defines God as the active relation between the ideal and the actual.

Prabhupāda: Yes. We are active in God's service. People are thinking, "What service they are doing? They should be giving service to the country, to society, and they are making ārati and brass idols." They are thinking like that. But for us it is practical.

Śyāmasundara: His idea is that there is no particular being who is God, but that God is the unity of all ideal ends, which allows us to desire an action. In other words, whatever motivates us to higher activity, that is God, that motivation, but that God is...

Prabhupāda: In other words, whatever you do for God, that is higher activity.

Śyāmasundara: Well, he would say whatever you do for anyone - for community or country - whatever is higher activity...

Prabhupāda: Then why does he name "God"?

Śyāmasundara: He says God is not a particular being.

Prabhupāda: Then why does he name "God"? Why does he bring in the word "God"? Suppose if he is concerned with the man only, so why does he bring the word in, "God"? What is the purpose?

Śyāmasundara: He is trying to define that which motivates us to desire something higher or more.

Prabhupāda: That means God should be an instrument to serve our purpose. That is his philosophy.

Śyāmasundara: Not necessarily. He leaves that open.

Prabhupāda: Then why does he bring the name of God? That is my position.

Revatīnandana: It says he could not accept the term as referring to a particular being.

Śyāmasundara: He said that "God summons us to intelligent actions which calls for deliberate choice, purposive behavior that is selective." In other words, he is trying to find out why is it that the human intelligence acts in such a way that it selects this over that and guides itself by selecting purposefully. That purposiveness he calls God.

Prabhupāda: That is making the name of God as a scapegoat. He has no practical use of God.

Śyāmasundara: He has no clear idea of God.

Prabhupāda: That means he is godless. So therefore we say, harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā (SB 5.18.12). As soon as he becomes godless, all his philosophy becomes null and void.

Śyāmasundara: He says that the word "God" is that ideal which we acknowledge as having authority over our emotions and our will or volition.

Prabhupāda: But he says there is no being; it is an ideal.

Śyāmasundara: It's an idea.

Prabhupāda: So people may not like that ideas; therefore the communists are there. Others may not like this idea.

Guest: He says God summons. He says God summons us. But I cannot see how a nonbeing can summon.

Prabhupāda: Summons. That is contradiction.

Śyāmasundara: He says it is the idea which...

Prabhupāda: How the idea summons? He says the idea summons us.

Śyāmasundara: Ah, yes. Well, and he says that it is the value to which one is supremely devoted, that this is God.

Prabhupāda: How can devotion be possible without a being? Just like devotion means between the devotee and the person who is offered that devotional service.

Śyāmasundara: Just like the Communists would say that "God is the state, and all my supreme devotion is for the state, to serve the state."

Prabhupāda: That's all right, but your state, Communist Russian state, is not overgrowing others. So that cannot be God. God is obeyed by everyone. Your state may not be obeyed by other states. God means the supreme controller. You are not the supreme controller. Then how can you make the state as God, your state?

Śyāmasundara: So actually his idea of God would change. For the Communists God means the state; for the primitive savage God means the...

Prabhupāda: Just like Gandhi made Cāṇakya his god.

Śyāmasundara: Yes. That to which one is supremely devoted, that means God.

Prabhupāda: Anyone may be supremely devoted to his wife or sometimes supremely devoted to his dog. The dog is God? Wife is God? So everyone has got one god, and I think that it is supported by Vivekananda, yata mata tata patha: "Whatever you think of God, that's all right." (Hindi with guest] Everyone can manufacture his own God. (laughter) Yes.

Śyāmasundara: He says that we cannot achieve absolute certainty or perfection. So we must rest content...

Prabhupāda: That means he has got a poor fund of knowledge. He does not admit that. But we can say that because his knowledge is not perfect, he's saying like that.

Śyāmasundara: So he says that we must rest content with a faith and a commitment which helps us to face the future resolutely, reconstructing our environment to obtain more satisfactory adjustments. This is the Western philosophy in a nutshell.

Prabhupāda: Why not take directly the words of God? (Hindi with guest]

Śyāmasundara: He says that the idea of God is relative to the observer; that it may be something for one man and something for another. So there is no absolute certainty...

Prabhupāda: That means that none of them know what is God. That is the difference. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā says,

manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścid māṁ vetti tattvataḥ
(BG 7.3)

Nobody knows God. Only one person in many millions may know.

Śyāmasundara: He finds refuge in a kind of humanitarian welfare idea that by...

Prabhupāda: This is called utilitarian.

Śyāmasundara: Called what?

Prabhupāda: Utilitarian.

Śyāmasundara: Utilitarian. He differs from the utilitarians, because they say that we should not...

Prabhupāda: They say if some idea can be utilized for some better position of society. That is utilitarian.

Śyāmasundara: But the utilitarians say that everything should be utilized to serve man's desires. But he says everything should be used to serve man's worthiest desires, man's highest desires, worthy desires.

Prabhupāda: What is the difference between desire and highest desire?

Śyāmasundara: Well, someone may desire more broadness.

Prabhupāda: Who will judge who is highest? Everyone will say, "My desire is the highest."

Śyāmasundara: The utilitarians might say that "People desire more brothels, so let us build more brothels.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Modern world, that is the highest desire. How can you refute that if there is no standard? Everyone says, "This is my law." Unless you go to the court, who will judge?

Revatīnandana: Now he wants to make his desire the highest desire. He's got a theory now that "This is the highest thing I can think of, so this is God." That means I have the highest.

Śyāmasundara: He says that...

Prabhupāda: Our formula is perfect.

Śyāmasundara: He says...

Prabhupāda: We say that if one is Kṛṣṇa conscious, then he is all right. Otherwise reject him. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā manorathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ (SB 5.18.12). They are mano-ratha. They are mental speculators. They are hovering on the mental plane.

Śyāmasundara: He says that we must continually make satisfactory adjustment; that things change...

Prabhupāda: That you cannot do, because you are hovering on the mental plane. And the mind is always imperfect, rejecting and accepting. So nothing will be standard. Your mind is accepting something, I am rejecting it. So on the mental plane you cannot come to the standard. It is not possible.

Śyāmasundara: He says that...

Prabhupāda: In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said,

indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur
indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ
manasas tu parā buddhir
yo buddheḥ paratas tu saḥ
(BG 3.42)

We have to go, transcend the mental platform, go to the intellectual platform, then surpass intellectual platform, come to the spiritual platform. That is the process. (Hindi with guest] No. That is not sufficient.

Śyāmasundara: He says that the nature of existence is temporary and so we must make a constant revision to change things.

Prabhupāda: This nature is temporary, but there is another nature, sanātana. That he does not know. Paras tasmāt tu bhavo anyaḥ, 'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ (BG 8.20). That is standardization. Sanātana means eternal. That does not change. It is neither created or annihilated. That is standard.

Śyāmasundara: So somehow or other we must develop a...

Prabhupāda: Just like this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Five thousand years ago Arjuna became Kṛṣṇa conscious. The same Kṛṣṇa consciousness we are also preaching. This is standard. And before that Arjuna, the same Kṛṣṇa consciousness was preached to the sun-god forty millions of years ago. So this does not change. This is unchanging, avyakta. Param avyayam. Kṛṣṇa is avyayam and His consciousness is avyayam. It is not changing.

Śyāmasundara: He says that we must develop..., the whole world must develop a common faith in practical activity.

Prabhupāda: Yes. This is Kṛṣṇa's position.

Śyāmasundara: He says that "Ours is the responsibility of accepting a precious heritage of values, accumulated by the continuous human community at great cost in effort and suffering, and to expand, conserve, transmit, and rectify these values bequeathed to us." In other words, he says that we must take the lessons of history and build upon them in order to transmit these values and preserve them.

Prabhupāda: Yes. We are doing that. We are taking from the history of forty millions of years ago and transmitting it by guru-paramparā, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam (BG 4.2). Accepted by great authorities like Vyāsa, Nārada, Devala, five thousand years, Arjuna, and later on the great ācāryas, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya. Lately, five hundred years ago, Lord Caitanya. And we are following Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura.

Śyāmasundara: So the values that are taught to us by history, are they not...

Prabhupāda: The same value. The value has not deteriorated. It has not fluctuated.

Śyāmasundara: What is that?

Prabhupāda: This Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The price has not fluctuated. The same price. Kṛṣṇa says, "The same thing I am teaching you," in the Fourth Chapter, "which was taught to the sun-god, Vivasvān, forty millions of years ago, the same thing, because it is now broken, the chain, I am teaching you again the same thing." So it does not change. Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that does not change.

Śyāmasundara: He would say that those values which civilizations most cherish or prize, that those are the values that we should accept. Just like that...

Prabhupāda: That is the Vedic civilization. That is the Vedic civilization. The Vedic system still stands. So many civilizations come and go on; therefore this is value in civilization.

Śyāmasundara: I think all civilizations have cherished those values at their peak.

Prabhupāda: But because they are not factual, they have failed. But Vedic civilization is still going strong.

Śyāmasundara: Just like the Christian civilization, they, at their peak, when they are most enlightened, they also prized honesty, uprightness, love thy neighbor - these different social values.

Prabhupāda: The Christian civilization has got values undoubtedly. But they do not follow it. They do not follow it. There is God consciousness, there is morality, there are ethical laws, there is acceptance of God's authority, (indistinct), but they do not follow it. Not only Christians, even the so-called Hindus, they also do not follow. That is the world situation.

Śyāmasundara: His idea is that the problems of philosophy are rooted in social conditions, so that we should... Urgent social reform is required in order to solve the problems of philosophy. By changing social structures through education, then the problems of philosophy will be solved.

Prabhupāda: Therefore we take the standard method. Just like this varṇāśrama method-standard. We maintain it and there will be no trouble in the society. Actually, there is natural division. The intelligent class of men, the administrative class of men, the production class of men and the laborer class of men, that is prevailing all over the world. That is no doubt. But they are not doing their duty. The brāhmaṇas, the intelligent class of men, they are not following these strictly the principles, satya, śama, dama, titikṣava. Similarly the administrative class, they are not following the strictly the rules and regulations. Therefore it is fallen.

Śyāmasundara: Presumably this is from a lack of education.

Prabhupāda: Na bhajanti (Sanskrit) nainad bhrastha (Sanskrit). If you do not follow the principles... Just like the administrative class is there all over the world. The class of men who is interested in administration, they are taking vote, they are coming to governmental high, high post, but they are not following the principles of administrative class: na bhajayante avama bhṛtya (?].

Śyāmasundara: Is this the result of a lack of education?

Prabhupāda: Lack of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The so-called education is there. Lack of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The administrative class is forgetting that they are belonging to the arms of Kṛṣṇa. Mukha bāhu rūpa (?]. So the administrative class is supposed to be the arms of Kṛṣṇa, but they are not thinking in terms of Kṛṣṇa, that "I am part and parcel of the body of Kṛṣṇa." That is forgetfulness of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore they are in trouble. They are separated from Kṛṣṇa. This hand is my arm, but if it is separated from my body, it will be called the arms or the hand, but it has no value.

Śyāmasundara: Dewey's greatest faith was in the educational system, that the educational system should reflect the real welfare of the community.

Prabhupāda: Yes. This educational system is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, tan manye adhītam uttamam. The best educational system is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So because people are being educated without Kṛṣṇa consciousness, it is becoming valueless. Therefore we are giving, I mean to say, purificatory method in every department.

Śyāmasundara: Because value equals satisfaction.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇa (indistinct). Kṛṣṇa is one, and everything is zero, so if there is one, zero is added-ten, hundred, thousand-increases its value. Take out the one and it is all zero. Thousands of zeros will not carry any weight (?]. So they are all zero without Kṛṣṇa.

Śyāmasundara: He says that philosophy has a social responsibility to influence intelligent management of human affairs.

Prabhupāda: That we are doing. We are asking everyone that "You become Kṛṣṇa conscious and do things intelligently, your life will be successful. You'll be happy." How else you'll be happy? That is our propaganda.

Śyāmasundara: Well, we also are influencing the managers, intelligent managers of society.

Prabhupāda: That I say. The managers, when they are forgetful of Kṛṣṇa, he cannot manage. Cannot manage. That he has (indistinct) relationship. You are managing something, but you have to satisfy somebody. So that is given in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhir hari-toṣanam (SB 1.2.13). If you want perfection of your managerial work, then you should try to see whether Kṛṣṇa is satisfied. If not, you are simply wasting time. You cannot satisfy anyone. Yasmin tuṣṭe jagat tuṣṭo. If you satisfy Kṛṣṇa, then everyone will be satisfied.

Śyāmasundara: His idea was that no philosophy can be fixed or finished or absolute, but that all ideas must be continually revised.

Prabhupāda: Because they have got imperfect philosophy. Imperfect is not perfect; therefore he is thinking of advancing further to make it perfect. So without Kṛṣṇa consciousness he remains always incomplete; therefore imperfect.

Śyāmasundara: He says that "All ideas must be tested in the laboratory of educational experience, where they can be challenged, their consequences evaluated, and where they can be continuously modified or reconstructed."

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Because you see how Arjuna was perfectly good man, because he was Kṛṣṇa conscious. He was not willing to kill his enemy. He was hesitating, "What is the use of taking this kingdom?" This is Kṛṣṇa conscious. Because the other side, they were not thinking, but Arjuna, because he is Kṛṣṇa's devotee, he was considering, "What is the use of taking this kingdom, by killing (indistinct)?" In other words, nobody can be perfect without Kṛṣṇa consciousness. No philosopher, no scientist, no sociologist can be perfect without Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Śyāmasundara: But in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness philosophy the ideas are not to be re-evaluated. Aren't they absolute, the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness?

Prabhupāda: Yes, the philosophy is absolute. Kṛṣṇa is absolute, so His consciousness is also absolute.

Śyāmasundara: His idea is that philosophy is always changing, that we always have to revise.

Prabhupāda: That is in the material platform. He has no information what is perfect state. He does not know. Ārādhito yadi haris tapasā tataḥ kim (Nārada-pañcarātra). All tapasya finished. Samsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam (SB 1.2.13). If Kṛṣṇa is satisfied, then the all duty is all right. You don't require to satisfy anyone else. Whether Kṛṣṇa is satisfied. That's all.

Śyāmasundara: So that's all.

Revatīnandana: It seems like his philosophy - he knows what to do with knowledge, but he hasn't got any knowledge.

Prabhupāda: Therefore we say, harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā: (SB 5.18.12) anyone who is not Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he has no good knowledge, he has no good qualification. That's all. (end)