Philosophy Discussion on John Stuart Mill
Śyāmasundara: So the second person we'll discuss of the utilitarians is called John Stuart Mill.
Prabhupāda: He was a great philosopher.
Śyāmasundara: He says that reason is essentially inductive, that is, if we can generalize from particular instances. For instance, we have observed that all men die, so we can say that all men are mortal.
Prabhupāda: That's all right, but you cannot see all men in your whole life; therefore it is defective. You cannot study all men; therefore it is defective. Which is not possible by you, if you propose something which is not possible by you, then what is the meaning of this? What is the utility?
Śyāmasundara: You mean you cannot generalize from particular instances.
Prabhupāda: Yes. You cannot generalize because your senses are limited, your life is limited. How you can study all men? You cannot go all countries where there are so many men all over the world, universe. You cannot test them. Therefore your method is defective. From his definition, that studying all men - but you cannot study. You can study a limited number of men. And if you conclude, suppose whoever you have met, you have seen that he has died. But I may say that you might not have seen a man who never dies. Then what will he accomplish?
Śyāmasundara: Well, since knowledge is limited to our experience...
Prabhupāda: Yes. That's all right. If your knowledge is limited, then you cannot generalize. Therefore our conclusion is that we don't take knowledge from anyone whose power is limited. There are four defects of the ordinary man - he may be John Stuart Mill or something - because he's to commit mistakes, he's illusioned. Just like he's talking of that induction, studying all men. This is an illusion. He cannot study. Suppose you have hundreds and thousands of men you have studied. That does not mean the whole set of human being is finished. That is, therefore, this theory is illusion. And because he's an ordinary man, he's illusioned that it is possible. So these are the defects. One commits mistakes, one is illusioned, one cheats. This is cheating also. The theory which he is putting forward is never possible to be executed, and still he's posing himself that he is philosopher. That is cheating. His senses are imperfect. He cannot do that. And still he proposes the theory. That is cheating. So these four defects are there: committing mistake, to illusion, to cheat others, and studying everything with imperfect senses.
Śyāmasundara: He has five methods for ascertaining knowledge.
Prabhupāda: We have already proved that all his methods are defective.
Śyāmasundara: He says there are five ways. All knowledge, he says, is cause and effect. So he said we can determine what is the cause and what is the effect of anything according to these five methods. One is the method of agreement, that is, if we have two or more instances of a phenomenon and there is one common circumstance behind both of them, that we can conclude that that circumstance is the cause of the effect. Just like if we observe that two stones are thrown into the water, and that each stone is thrown by someone, then we can determine that throwing is the common cause of that stone's going into the water, the common circumstance.
Prabhupāda: Why this example? What is the value of this example?
Śyāmasundara: Any example. Anything that is caused, if there are two instances of it-two balls are dropping - we can conclude, if we studied both of them, that they were both moved by some person, that that person is the cause of their falling. If there is a common circumstance for any phenomenon.
Prabhupāda: Any phenomenon that has natural law, so that is the cause. And if we go on, so what is the cause of that natural law? Then ultimately we find Kṛṣṇa. Everything, janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1), everything has got a cause, original source. So if you make actually research work what is the cause of this, what is the cause of this, that is called darśana. Darśana means seeing, finding out the cause. Therefore philosophy is called darśana-śāstra, to see the cause of the cause, cause of the cause, cause of the cause. So ultimately they have found Kṛṣṇa is the cause, original cause of everything.
Śyāmasundara: He is more interested, I think, in the immediate cause of something that is caused immediately by something else. Ultimately Kṛṣṇa is the cause, but what about the immediate cause?
Prabhupāda: Yes, immediate cause, we take, immediate cause. Immediate cause also we accept. So what is the conclusion? There is cause, immediate and remote. That we agree. But what is his proposition?
Śyāmasundara: His proposition is that we can study any instance of a phenomenon and find out the cause by applying these five methods: the method of agreement, then the second one is the method of difference. They're rather complicated.
Prabhupāda: That means five causes.
Śyāmasundara: No. Five methods of studying something to find out the cause. Five tests to find out the circumstances behind the phenomenon, the instance of the phenomenon, to find out the cause.
Prabhupāda: The final agreement.
Śyāmasundara: One is agreement, one is the method of difference. In other words, if we find two rocks, and one is thrown into the water, and the other remains standing still, that we can examine them both and find out that all circumstances for both of the rocks are the same except one, and that one circumstance which is different will be the cause. So say that we find out that both come from the same place, they are both sitting in a similar position, they are both at the same time, they are there, like that, but we find that one rock is thrown by someone and one rock is not thrown by someone. So we can say that the cause of the rock being thrown is the thrower, like that. That's a rough example.
Prabhupāda: That means that to cause everything, there is, behind, a living entity. Just like there are so many rocks, they are not moving, but one rock moves because behind that rock, there is a living entity who pushes the rock.
Śyāmasundara: What about if it accidentally fell off; a thunderbolt hit the rock and it moved, like that, or gravity made it fall.
Prabhupāda: Gravity, but when you say law of gravity, then the question is that somebody has made that law. One - we should give, of course - these materialistic philosophers... Just like when Rāmacandra threw stones on the sea, the gravity did not work. It was floating. The rocks were floating. Therefore the law of gravity ultimately is made by the Supreme Lord. So he can change it. So my study of gravity is not final.
Śyāmasundara: One of the other methods of testing is called the method of concomitant variation.
Prabhupāda: This method of studying the cause, so we take the ultimate cause of everything, with His full independence. The ultimate cause can do anything and everything beyond our calculation. There is cause, but the cause is so powerful that it is beyond our calculation how it is being done. Our knowledge is limited; therefore our calculation may be, may be or almost always, is not perfect.
Śyāmasundara: For instance, he observes if a ball being hit by a bat, it always moves. So he concludes that whenever there is circumstance of a bat hitting a ball, that the ball will always move.
Prabhupāda: But the bat is hitting, it is caused by a living being. The bat is not hitting automatically. And not each hitting is of the same force. Therefore the hitting of the ball by the bat, it depends on the other cause, the man who is handling the bat.
Śyāmasundara: Then using another example, that every apple on the tree will fall, but when it is ripe, it will fall to the ground. There is no man involved with that. What about that?
Prabhupāda: No. That is his imperfect vision. We say that God is everywhere. God is everywhere. Aṇḍāntara-sthaṁ paramāṇu cayāntara-stham. God is present everywhere, even within the atom. Now the modern atomic theory, they will explain from atomic theory about the falldown of the apples. But we say that within the atom there is God; therefore God is the ultimate cause.
Śyāmasundara: What kind of test do we apply to phenomena to see what is the cause?
Prabhupāda: For every phenomenon there is a cause.
Śyāmasundara: But how do we determine that God is the cause behind everything?
Prabhupāda: Because then we know that God is the ultimate pusher, the pushing begins from there. So it may come through various agents. Just like one railway wagon is pushed by the engines, and it strikes another wagon and that is also pushed; another wagon, and that is pushed, that is also pushed. Similarly, the original pusher is the engine. Our study is like that, that the original, sa aikṣata, sa aikṣata... These are the Vedic... He glanced over, He desired; immediately there was creation. Therefore the original pusher is God, Kṛṣṇa. Now, how it is happening, that we cannot see. Just like same example, the wagon is already pushed, it is coming automatically. A child sees, "Oh, this wagon is coming automatically, and it caught another wagon, and it is now moved." He sees the (effect]. But he did not see that ultimately there was a big engine that has pushed it.
Śyāmasundara: If we see a phenomenon like the rain falling or anything, and we want to apply the test that will prove that God is the cause of that phenomenon, what test do we apply?
Prabhupāda: The śāstras, the Vedic literature is there, the Upaniṣads are there, books are there, śāstra cakṣuṣa. You have to see it through the śāstras. That is the injunction. You cannot see directly. You have to see śāstra cakṣuṣa. Your eyes, they are defective. Just like if you read astrology, astronomy, then you can understand what is the actual volume or the bulk of the sun, but by your eyes you are seeing just a disc. So all your senses are defective. So directly seeing or perceiving or tasting has no value, because these are all defective. So we have to, it is said, you should see through śāstras, through authoritative instruction.
Śyāmasundara: So if we see the apple fall from the tree, the test that we apply is the sastric test. In order to see God in that act of falling, we have to see it through the eyes of the śāstras.
Prabhupāda: Now what do the scientists say - the law of gravity.
Śyāmasundara: Yes. The fruit became ripe, the stem...
Prabhupāda: The law of gravity, why was it not applying..., why did it not fall before?
Śyāmasundara: Now the fruit has become ripe so the stem has rotted...
Prabhupāda: Therefore the law of gravity is not all. There is another condition. So that he does not know.
Śyāmasundara: Yes, many conditions must...
Prabhupāda: Yes. So these conditions are made by God. The same apple is hanging and not falling down. That means other conditions are not yet fulfilled. So therefore simply studying law of gravity is not perfect.
Śyāmasundara: No. They all study that the fruit was not yet ripe, and when it becomes ripe the stem rots, dies, and then it will become loose and fall.
Prabhupāda: So that means there are other conditions. And ripening condition is also not an effect. There are similar other fruits also. Why are they not ripened?
Śyāmasundara: Well, eventually they will all become ripened.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So that is the law, not in your hand. When it will ripen, your law of gravitation will act. And that ripening condition is not in your hand.
Śyāmasundara: But there are other material conditions that cause the ripening.
Prabhupāda: Whatever conditions they may be, these conditions are already there, made by God. You are simply studying some of them, that's all. Therefore your studying is not sufficient. Here is a scientist. He'll say. What do you think?
Svarūpa Dāmodara: Our senses are imperfect, simply by empirical scientific knowledge is (indistinct) are not complete (indistinct). So you..., we cannot compete with māyā. The ultimate conclusion is that there is a supreme cause.
Prabhupāda: Sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam (Bs. 5.1). So our knowledge, Kṛṣṇa conscious people, our knowledge is perfect. We say everything is caused by Kṛṣṇa. That's all.
Śyāmasundara: Even if you study the way the sun and the rain and so on combined to make this fruit ripe, you still have the question, "Well, why is there fruit in the first place?" Why is there fruit? Why has fruit appeared on this planet? There's no cause, apparently. But God has a cause.
Prabhupāda: God has made the law so perfect that one after - one cause affects something, and that affects another thing, another thing, one after another, so many things, ultimately. So we do not know so many things. We see the fruit, but how the fruit is growing, under which law, we simply explain nature. But it is not nature. There is a law. It is not only growing, the apples are having this nice color outside the skin, they have been painted; everything is perfectly being done by the laws, by the energy of Kṛṣṇa. Just like if you want to make a beautiful fruit, you paint it yellow or red, you take so much time. You apply your energy. The same energy is being applied there. Otherwise why, wherefrom you get the idea that a nice fruit can be painted like this? God is dictating that "You want to make a fruit, paint, you do like this, do like that." So similarly He is doing. But my doing takes so much time, because my energy is so blunt and limited. But His energy is so perfect that immediately (indistinct). The same example, just like Telex. There are so many methods, now this is latest. Immediately type here, immediately there. So before that, one could not believe that how is it I type here and five thousand miles away the type striking. So there is a law. It is not that it is magic.
Śyāmasundara: Oh, I see. Before the Telex there was law, but we didn't know it.
Prabhupāda: Yes. We didn't know it. Similarly, everything is being done under some systematic law, but we do not know it.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes. There is one common observation also in science. They say that nothing can come out of nothing. That is already there. But it is not known, due to our imperfect senses.
Prabhupāda: That is science, we do not know.
Śyāmasundara: Nothing can come out of nothing.
Prabhupāda: Nothing. If something has come out, then background must be something. Therefore our definition is janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1), everything, the root cause, the original source, is the Brahman, Absolute Truth. So whatever we are exhibiting, just like the other day, whatever we are thinking, there is some existence. Otherwise it cannot come to our ideas and thinking. The same scientific theory: nothing can come out of nothing.
Śyāmasundara: So if you are thinking of something, then it is already there.
Kṛṣṇa Kanti: The scientists say they haven't created something. They have..., we've discovered something.
Prabhupāda: That's it. That I also said the other day. We can say we have discovered. We cannot invent. America was discovered, not invented. The land was already there.
Bhavānanda: We want to claim credit.
Prabhupāda: Anyone does something new, he takes credit. (break) ...so sun is taking away life. Why you were not present when we were discussing this verse?
Śyāmasundara: The sun is taking our life?
Śyāmasundara: Yes. I came in about halfway through.
Prabhupāda: Why? You should have come.
Śyāmasundara: I was typing. I should have come.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Unless you hear, how you will be able to preach? Hearing is very important.
Devotee: Do the rays of the sun actually take away our life?
Prabhupāda: Rays... Actually, don't you find you're dying daily? Then? That is real.
Devotee: It means each time the sun rises and set...
Prabhupāda: Yes. One day's past means one day you lose. That's all. The sunshine..., the sunrise and sunset means passing days, that's all.
Devotee: (in background] She said it was only $400 and it would be another hundred at the end of June.
Prabhupāda: Oh! That's all right. No. I thought if it's dropped somewhere.
Devotee: She said Karandhara had made a mistake. She told him $400 and he said $500.
Prabhupāda: Oh. That's all right.
Śyāmasundara: Today we will finish up John Stuart Mill, by discussing his ethical, social and political philosophy...
Prabhupāda: Somebody was typing this, you told me, this philosophy?
Śyāmasundara: Two girls.
Prabhupāda: (indistinct) done?
Śyāmasundara: Yes. They've done some.
Prabhupāda: Let's see how they're doing.
Śyāmasundara: Well, they're going to... Whatever they cannot understand, they're leaving blanks, and I'll listen later and fill it in.
Prabhupāda: Hm. Yes.
Śyāmasundara: We were discussing last time these utilitarians. Their philosophy is that the greatest good for the greatest number of people, and that that should be followed, that law, and that that means the greatest pleasure for the greatest number.
Prabhupāda: Greatest good for the greatest number of people. So that means even if the people are fools and rascals. Does it mean so? Now some of the fools and rascals, they, just like at the present moment, they'll want, "Give us LSD." Then LSD is first-class thing? Is that philosophy?
Śyāmasundara: Well, according to some...
Prabhupāda: Well, "according to," that's another thing. We are discussing whether this is philosophy or nonsense. That is our question. The greatest number at the present moment in your country, they'll say, "LSD is very nice. We like it." So does it mean government will allow, "Yes, the greatest number of people are wanting it. It must be..."
Śyāmasundara: Mill makes a distinction between quality and quantity. If we are only thinking of quantity of pleasure...
Prabhupāda: Then if you come to the quality, then it will be the smallest, because quality... Suppose the whole population, two million population, if you pick up from the population quality, first-class population, you find very small number. In a mass meeting if you ask in the meeting, "Who has passed M.A. examination?" maybe three or four may come. Quality.
Śyāmasundara: But I mean the pleasure, the type of pleasure, he says it should be qualitatively and quantitatively the greatest.
Prabhupāda: Pleasure also, whatever you take, when you put the question of quality of pleasure... Just like ordinary people, they are taking pleasure in eating, sleeping, mating, drinking, like that. But Kṛṣṇa pleasure is transcendental pleasure. Very few people are taking it. Very small number. So the same question again, why he said that many number of people, they are taking pleasure, so-called pleasure in taking LSD? So will that be taken as pleasure or will that be accepted? We are talking of philosophy.
Śyāmasundara: Qualitatively that's not a very high pleasure, so he would not recommend it.
Prabhupāda: What is his philosophy? First of all he says the greatest number of people, generally... After all, these conditioned souls, they are fools. So if the greatest number you take, that is a great number of fools only. Because in the conditioned state, abodha-jāto, they are all fools. Our Vedic philosophy is that a man is born fool, but he is made intelligent by educational culture. That is fact. That is fact. In practical life also we see that we send our boys, our children, to school to become educated. Out of the fools, so many fools, children, who go to school, some of them take degrees, and out of many who take the degrees, some of them become postgraduates, M.A., and out of many postgraduates, some of them become still more learned, doctor in philosophy, like that. So if you go to the quality, the number will decrease. You cannot say greatest number.
Śyāmasundara: But his idea is to find or to utilize those principles of life which give qualitatively and quantitatively the most pleasure to the most people. That means, he says, by quality he means... Like, for instance, he makes the statement, "It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied. It is better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied."
Prabhupāda: But how many Socrates will you find? Then again he comes to the minimum. You cannot find Socrates on the street, loitering.
Śyāmasundara: But he says that that standard of pleasure...
Prabhupāda: Then where is the question of maximum men? A Socrates you will find in millions, one.
Śyāmasundara: But he says that that standard of pleasure that Socrates...
Prabhupāda: Then there is no question of maximum people. The number of Socrates is not maximum. That is minimum. That is minimum. If you come to the question of quality, the quality philosophy, quality understanding, that is for the minimum. Just like Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye: (BG 7.3) "Out of millions and millions of persons, one person is trying to become perfect." And yatatām api siddhānāṁ kaścid vetthi māṁ tattvataḥ: (BG 7.3) "Out of millions of such perfect men, one may understand Me, Kṛṣṇa." That is not quantity, that is quality. That is quality.
Śyāmasundara: He says that the highest quality pleasure, such as Socrates would enjoy, the high intelligence...
Prabhupāda: That is not for mass of men, not for the greatest number of men. That is the minimum. That philosophy is understood by minimum number.
Śyāmasundara: But he says that this standard should be applied to all men, that all men should be trained to find pleasure in this standard.
Prabhupāda: That is another thing. That means quality pleasure should be introduced to the... What, at the beginning you said maximum pleasure?
Śyāmasundara: Maximum number. He wants to find out something that will give them maximum pleasure. The purpose of government, politics, social and ethical life is to provide the greatest pleasure for the greatest number. Now to...
Prabhupāda: Greatest pleasure to the greatest number.
Śyāmasundara: ...find out what is the greatest pleasure, we look for the greatest quality, which we find in someone like Socrates, he says. And then we introduce that as the standard for the greatest quantity.
Prabhupāda: But that is not acceptable by the greatest number. That is to be accepted by the smallest number.
Śyāmasundara: Yes. But he says that should be the standard.
Prabhupāda: That is not meant for mass of people, the greatest number. The mass of people, abodha-jāta, they are fools and rascals. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement cannot be understood by mass of people. A selected number of men who are fortunate, they can understand.
Śyāmasundara: He advises that the state or the ...
Prabhupāda: Just like ekaś candra tamo hanti. Moon, you will find one in the sky, but stars, millions. But moon is wanted, not the stars, to drive away the darkness. That is our philosophy. You cannot say that there may be many moons. No. That is not possible. Many stars, maybe, which have no utility. They are glittering only. What is called? Peeping?
Prabhupāda: Twinkling. But they cannot drive away darkness. That is not possible. Glowworms. As soon as you come to the quality, that is the lowest number, minimum.
Śyāmasundara: He is trying to find out the standard of pleasure that is most desirable.
Prabhupāda: That he does not know. That he has to learn from us. He may be a big philosopher in the Western countries, but our utility of pleasure he does not know. Our pleasure is... (break) ...incessant. It will not stop. That is the standard of high-class pleasure. That is quality. Here in the material world we have got experience, we get pleasure, but that is transient. Just like ordinary men, they understand sex pleasure is the highest pleasure. Actually, on sex pleasure the whole material world is existing. But how long this sex pleasure can remain? A few minutes. So our philosophy is we don't want that few minutes' pleasure. We want pleasure which will continue perpetually. Nityānanda. Nitya. Nitya means eternal. Ānanda means bliss. Satyānanda, real pleasure. Satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi (SB 1.1.1). We want the actual truth. That is quality. So that standard is mentioned in the Vedic literature, that those who are intelligent persons, those who are yogis... Yogi means perfect man. So they want pleasure which is eternal, not transient. Transient pleasure is liked by fools and rascals. Because fools and rascals, they do not know what is their constitutional position. But one who is intelligent, one who is learned, he knows his constitutional position, that he is eternal, he is not this body. Therefore he must be seeking eternal pleasure. Bodily pleasure... Body is transient, and bodily pleasures are also transient. So that is not sought after by any intelligent man. Those are sought by rascals. Because one identifies himself with the body, therefore bodily pleasure is this pleasure. But one who knows that he is not body, he is eternal. Then he seeks what is that eternal pleasure.
Śyāmasundara: He says that a small amount of a higher type of pleasure is better than a great amount of a lower type of pleasure.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is our philosophy. What is that..., small?
Śyāmasundara: A small amount, a small quantity of a high quality pleasure...
Śyāmasundara: ...is better than a great quantity of low quality pleasure.
Prabhupāda: That is right. In Bhagavad-gītā: svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt. If one executes devotional service a little, he can be delivered from the greatest danger. In another place it is said that if anyone by sentiment accepts Kṛṣṇa consciousness, without any much understanding... Sometimes we are led by the majority, "Oh, so many people are chanting. Let me also chant." Even in that way, by sentiment if one accepts Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and because he did not accept Kṛṣṇa consciousness very diligently, or he was not very strong, later on he may fall down - still he is gainer. Still he is gainer. While on the other hand, a person who is very intelligent, karmī, "Oh, what is this nonsense Kṛṣṇa consciousness? Let us do our duty. We have got our duty to serve our country, to our family, we must earn money," and so many things, that is called varṇāśrama. According to varṇa and āśrama we are working. They think to execute the duties of varṇāśrama is first class. They do not take to devotional service. For such persons, Bhāgavata says, "What do they gain?" What do they gain? That is our philosophy. That Kṛṣṇa consciousness qualitatively, it is so great that even taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness even for a few days, just like this boy, what is his name? He has come back...
Prabhupāda: He has come back. He is frank enough. Rayarāma, he is coming, but he wants to put some condition, but we say "No. No conditions." You see? Puruṣottama is writing me letter, "Excuse me." You see? The other boy, what is his name? No, no. Kauśalyā's husband?
Prabhupāda: Durlabha. He is also coming. They cannot go. They cannot go. Svalpam apy asya, even for a few days they have mixed with us, it is very difficult for them to give it up. The quality is so nice.
Śyāmasundara: Yes, this is Mill's idea, that...
Prabhupāda: Just like his wife went away and the boys went away, and again come back. Because the quality is so great.
Śyāmasundara: So that's his idea. He says that this standard should be introduced in the society.
Prabhupāda: So therefore, those who are sane men, actually philosophers, they should take up this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is the best philosophy and best utilitarian product. They should take it seriously. But they have no such knowledge. They are simply speculating. But when the actual thing is given, they cannot understand, they cannot evaluate. We were discussing this morning: except this, everything is taking our life, except this. Uttama-śloka-vārtayā. Tasyarte yat-kṣano nīta uttamaśloka-vārtayā. Except this, this discussion of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, except this time, any time, that is being taken away by the sun. Anything in this world, whatever it may be, they are all transient. This is only permanent. And because we are permanent, eternal, we should give, we should accept things which has permanent value. It is foolishness to be satisfied with something temporary. Tasyarte yat-kṣano nīta. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says also: saced nirartha ksana-nīta kanuhani. Sacet nirartha (?], such valuable time, if it is spoiled without any utility, kanuhani tatho vidhaḥ (?]. Then what is the greatest loss than that? So you should utilize this philosophical point of Mr... Sir... What is it?
Śyāmasundara: John Stuart Mill.
Prabhupāda: Sir John Stuart Mill to support our movement. Yes. Write one article that "John Stuart Mill suggests this. This is real utility, and here is real utility."
Śyāmasundara: He gives the same idea by saying that it is better to be like Socrates and be dissatisfied than to be like a pig satisfied.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That's nice. Just like we, we have given up everything, dissatisfied. I left home because I was dissatisfied with my wife and children; gave it up. Yes.
Śyāmasundara: Just like to be a devotee, even though I may be dissatisfied a little, still, but it's better than to be like a pig satisfied.
Prabhupāda: Dissatisfaction is a good thing if it is for better advancement. That is wanted. Dissatisfaction. Just like the karmīs, they are also dissatisfied with 100,000 of dollars. That means they want to make one million thousands of dollars. So that kind of dissatisfaction for the karmī is good, because he can increase further assets. Similarly, if I am dissatisfied spiritually or I am not making advance, I am still on the material platform. That is good. That dissatisfaction is... Socrates also. Yes. And ass, cats, dogs, they are satisfied with a morsel of grass, that's all. You see? A little stool, what is the value of that satisfaction? What is the value of that? That is our philosophy. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu is dissatisfied. What is that? Kadā tava-nāma-grahaṇe bhaviṣyate.
- yugāyitaṁ nimeṣeṇa
- cakṣuṣā prāvṛṣāyitam
- śūnyāyitaṁ jagat sarvaṁ
- govinda-viraheṇa me
- (CC Antya 20.39, Śikṣāṣṭaka 7)
Nayanaṁ galad-aśru-dhārayā, cakṣuṣā prāvṛṣāyitam. What is that verse? Nayanaṁ galad-aśru-dhārayā? Pulakair nicitaṁ vapuḥ. Gadgada-girā. Kadā tava-nāma-grahaṇe bhaviṣyati (CC Antya 20.36, Śikṣāṣṭaka 6). There is dissatisfaction, that "When My heart will be throbbing? When torrents of rain will come out from My eyes? When My speech will be faltering? When that day will come?" That means this ordinary way He's not satisfied. That is the ecstatic summit: one becomes like a madman, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. So He is expecting, "When that stage will come?" This stage comes when one is in the summit of chanting, this stage, aṣṭa-śakti-vidhā, eight kinds of transformation. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu is putting forward that "When that stage will come?" Dissatisfaction. This is dissatisfaction. He says, "I have not a pinch of devotion to Kṛṣṇa." Even after crying, even coming to that stage of crying, He says, "No, it is not the stage. I am crying just to make a show that I am a great devotee. I do not love Kṛṣṇa. The evidence is that I am still living. Without Kṛṣṇa and still I'm living. That is My imperfection. If I would have been really lover of Kṛṣṇa, without Kṛṣṇa I would have long, long ago died. But that I have not done. I am still living." So who can show dissatisfaction like this? He says that "I am still living. This is the evidence that I do not love Kṛṣṇa." Even coming to the crying stage, first of all He said, "When I shall cry incessantly for want of Kṛṣṇa?" And again coming to that stage, He is still dissatisfied. He says, "I am simply crying just to make a show. I do not love Kṛṣṇa. If there was pinch of love for Kṛṣṇa, then I would have died long, long ago without Kṛṣṇa." This is dissatisfaction. Who can show such kind of dissatisfaction? And who can feel such dissatisfaction? So the best utility is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, from any philosophical point of view.
Śyāmasundara: He says that the only standard we have for that, to understand what is desirable, is that people actually do desire it.
Prabhupāda: Desire Kṛṣṇa, they do not know. Even he does not know, Stuart Mill. We are desiring for Kṛṣṇa. Actually we love Kṛṣṇa. That we have experienced several times. First of all, I love my country, or I love my body. Why I love? Because I, the spirit soul, I am there within the body. Therefore I love my body.
Śyāmasundara: His idea is that if something is desired by people, then it is desirable.
Prabhupāda: That means... People desire so many things. Just like hog desires stool. Is that desirable? So similarly, the Bowery bums, they desire simply drinking. Is that very desirable thing? Desirable by the quality. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu desires, that is desire, not the bums. If something is desired by a personality like Caitanya Mahāprabhu, that is standard of desire. He desires Kṛṣṇa. That is real standard of desire. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). The greatest personalities, what they are desiring, that is standard.
Śyāmasundara: Yes. There would seem to be a fallacy in what he says, because...
Prabhupāda: He does not know anything. For the fools he is hero, that's all.
Śyāmasundara: Just like if you are sick, the medicine the doctor may prescribe may be bitter, not desirable at all, but it will cure you. Still you don't want it. It's not desirable.
Prabhupāda: He says?
Śyāmasundara: No. I mean that seems like he..., there's a fallacy in his reasoning, because if the medicine were undesirable, still it will cure you.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. Just like I was not desiring to take my medicine. When I was a child it was very difficult to give me medicine. Three men required. (laughter) Yes. One will capture me, another (laughing) will take my legs, and then my mother will by force, I will do like this. (gestures locking of teeth, trying to force spoon into mouth, much laughter all around] This was my position. I won't agree to take any medicine. I was so obstinate.
Śyāmasundara: So that which is really desirable...
Prabhupāda: But because it is desirable, the force was applied.
Śyāmasundara: So we cannot judge what is desirable. Only...
Prabhupāda: No. Therefore our philosophy is mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). The great personalities, what do they desire? Therefore we accept spiritual master, higher authority. Whatever he desires, that should be standard of desire, not my desire. Just like Kṛṣṇa desired the fight, not Arjuna's desire. Arjuna desired not to fight, but he changed his desire not to fight, to fight, because Kṛṣṇa desired, wanted it. Therefore our standard of desire should be that which is desired by greater personalities, not by me. What I am? I should always think of me as fool. Just like the same, when I was child, I was not desiring to take medicine, but my parents desired. That desire should be forced. Similarly, this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, if actually the state is serious to do the best desirable thing, they should make a law that anyone who is not chanting sixteen rounds, he will be hanged! Then everyone must chant: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa - the whole world. (laughter) Yes. There was a king. Yes. He wanted to see that everyone must have tilaka and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. So he was inspecting silently "Whether my subjects, they are chanting?" So one day he was... How you say? What is called? Incognito, in disguise, he was going. So one householder he was asking "Oh, bring them the beads. I will not forget, or they did not do. I have to abide by the laws, so Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa." Then the king could understand that "My order is being carried out in this way. A whole day he forgot, now he may be captured by law; therefore he's chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa." It happened so.
Śyāmasundara: He says that there are two moral sanctions for our conduct: one is the internal sanction, or our own inner conscience...
Prabhupāda: These are all nonsense-inner conscience. These are all nonsense. He's a nonsense philosopher. What do you mean, inner conscience?
Śyāmasundara: Well, our sense of duty...
Prabhupāda: Sense of duty is different from conscience. The duty, that should be taught by higher personalities: "This is your duty." Just like our principles. The spiritual master orders we must chant so many times, you must give up all these bad habits, sinful habits. This is duty. By conscience what you will understand of duty, a child?
Śyāmasundara: He's not so much talking about what is the duty, but that these two things are what motivate our moral behavior. They are what check and safeguard our moral behavior: one is conscience, or my own sense of duty, whatever that may be.
Prabhupāda: But how you will know it is? He says that one should know whatever his duty. So whatever what is his duty, how he will know it?
Śyāmasundara: Well, that, our duty is that which produces the most good for the most people.
Prabhupāda: This is also vague. This is also vague. There is no definite understanding.
Śyāmasundara: Just like the golden rule, "Do unto others."
Prabhupāda: Then if I conclude that most of the people are taking LSD, so to take LSD is my duty. Is that all right? He is vague. This is not philosophy. How a rascal can conclude about his duty? Rascal has to be trained to know what is duty. A rascal cannot conclude out of his own accord that "This is my duty" or "This is the best thing." Mr. Stuart... What is his name?
Śyāmasundara: John Stuart Mill.
Prabhupāda: John Stuart, he may be able, but it is not possible for ordinary man to know what is duty. The child plays, he does not know that his duty is to study. So parents teach him that "This is your duty. You must go to school. You must learn." So duty is not created by the rascals and fools. Duty is created by higher authority.
Śyāmasundara: He would agree with that also, but here he says that the higher authorities who determine what is duty, that their rationale or their guiding principles should be what is the greatest good for the greatest number, and that should be our duty.
Prabhupāda: Then how he suggests that a man should know his duty, like that? Then he has to approach that greatest authority. Tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). That is our philosophy. In order to know our duty, in order to know what is knowledge, we must approach a guru. Gurum evābhigacchet. We must, eva, certainly.
Śyāmasundara: His guiding principle for that, to determine what is the greatest good for the greatest number, is the golden rule of the Christians, "Do unto others as you..."
Prabhupāda: That means you have to approach Christ through... One cannot determine himself. Golden rules of Christianity means that he has to abide by the orders of Christ. That is superior authority.
Śyāmasundara: That rule is, "Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you." That is the golden rule, this rule of the utilitarians.
Prabhupāda: Yes. But they are not following. They are killing, but when he is to be killed, he goes away. But he does not think that "I don't want to be killed. Why shall I kill?" And Jesus Christ said, "Thou shall not kill." But they do not abide by this, and still they will call themselves Christians. Who wants to be killed? Nobody wants. Then why you are killing other animals? Where is your philosophy? If that is the philosophy, that I don't want to be killed, why shall I kill others? Who is following this? I shall kill you under some bad name. We'll give the dog a bad name and hang it. I want to kill cows and I say, "No, they have no soul." And what is the proof that we have got soul? I can kill you? Why there is law? By killing a man, he is hanged. Then why there is no such law for killing animal? What is this philosophy? Rascal's philosophy.
Śyāmasundara: He says that the second sanction for moral conduct is external - that is, fear of displeasing men, other men, or fear of displeasing God, hope of winning their favor, that this keeps us in moral conduct.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So that means accepting authority. That means accepting authority. So without authority, nobody can be good. That is the conclusion of this philosophy.
Prabhupāda: That we accept. Without becoming, without following authority, nobody can become good. That is not possible. Therefore our Vedic injunction is tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). You must approach a guru if you want to be really learned. Like that. John Stuart had any guru?
Śyāmasundara: His father.
Prabhupāda: His father.
Śyāmasundara: Also a great philosopher, James Mill.
Prabhupāda: So without following guru authority, nobody can be learned. That is not possible.
Śyāmasundara: Actually, he accepts authority in both cases of moral, of moral sanctions. One, he says, that the authority should determine what is duty, and also so that my conscience will keep me following the duty.
Prabhupāda: That duty means to take orders from authority. That is real duty. Otherwise, I cannot create my duty.
Śyāmasundara: If I accept the authority as my duty...
Prabhupāda: The orders of the authority.
Śyāmasundara: The orders of the authority as my duty, then my conscience keeps me following that order. My conscience.
Prabhupāda: Yes. If you agree.
Prabhupāda: Authority means we agree to follow.
Prabhupāda: Just like we follow Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, "You give up everything. Surrender unto Me," we accept that. So similarly, that is the duty. Now I may accept Kṛṣṇa, you may accept Christ, but that doesn't matter. But duty means what the higher authority orders, you must follow. That is duty.
Śyāmasundara: And if I am aware what is that duty...
Prabhupāda: You will be aware as soon as you approach the higher authority. He'll give you order, "Do this," "Do not do this."
Śyāmasundara: Then my conscience tells me if I am doing it right or wrong, my inner conscience, it tells me...
Prabhupāda: Yes. That anyone can understand. Even a dog can understand. You see, if the dog is trying to enter the room, I say "Hut!" he can also, he has got conscience, "Oh, the master does not want me to enter." That conscience is there in cats and dogs. That is not very high consciousness. Real consciousness is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That discrimination is there.
Śyāmasundara: So my inner conscience tells me...
Prabhupāda: You know the consciousness of the tiger? Actual fact, you know the big, big circus tigers are trained to play. So the training is, I learned it from their men, that when the tiger comes, raw tiger from the (jungle] comes... What is the tiger player, player, what he is called? What is his name?
Śyāmasundara: Ring master? Trainer. Trainer. Animal trainer.
Prabhupāda: Trainer, yes. So the raw tiger is kept in the cage and the trainer comes for several days, he simply whips. Then for several days whips and gives some food, and then he comes with the whip and food. So he does not whip, he gives some food. In this way tiger becomes tamed by him. So he plays before the trainer only. He has got that whip. Because he is animal, he has got that impression, "He will kill me." Therefore he plays. As soon as this man goes away, he will immediately attack, anyone comes. Just like dog, he fears the (master]; for others he jumps over. So it is a question of training. So he has got the conscience. My point is that he has got the conscience, "Oh, here is my trainer. He will kill me." He has got this conscience. This is good. "If I attack, oh, he will kill me. But here is an ordinary man, I can kill him." So he has difference of conscience. Even the tiger, even the cats, and the dogs. This discrimination, power of discrimination, is there in the animals also. But that is not consciousness. Real consciousness is to accept Kṛṣṇa. That is real consciousness. (break)
Śyāmasundara: He advocates complete individualism and freedom, that everyone should have complete freedom to do...
Prabhupāda: That is nonsense. That is nonsense. That is nonsense. Nobody has got that.
Śyāmasundara: He says that everyone should be free...
Prabhupāda: Then everyone should be philosopher. He has got his own philosophy. Everyone has got his own philosophy.
Śyāmasundara: Yes. He says that in this way by everyone being free to compete, the best ones will come out.
Prabhupāda: That is another thing. That is not freedom; that is competition.
Śyāmasundara: Competition. But in order to compete, there has to be freedom.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is another thing. But nobody is independent. That is our point of view. Everyone is dependent. Somebody is voluntarily dependent on Kṛṣṇa and somebody is by force dependent on māyā. That's all. But he must be dependent.
Śyāmasundara: He says in this way that society should be organized so that there is freedom of belief, freedom to unite, freedom of taste, freedom of competition. But one individual's freedom should not encroach upon another individual's freedom.
Prabhupāda: Then why they are killing? The freedom of the poor animals, why they encroach on the freedom of others? Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvaṁ mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam (ISO 1). Do not encroach upon others' freedom. That is Vedic injunction. That is nice. But why these people are encroaching upon the freedom of these animals? The birds, they are flying, freedom, the ducks. Why they kill? Encroaching upon other's freedom. Without any harm, the birds are flying, without... If you kill an aggressor then you are right. Suppose somebody is coming to kill you, then you kill first. That is good. But if somebody's not doing anything harm to you, and if you kill, then what is this philosophy? What is this philosophy? Give him some bad name, because I have to kill him. "Oh, he has no soul." You can attack, he has no consciousness, you have no soul. You can attack him. Why you are killing? Let him kill you. So far this philosophy of religion, he says that God is good, but that he is involved in a world which is not his own making. That God didn't create the world, but that he is involved with it. Then we should be judged by Mill. God is good, but not as good as he thinks he is. That is his opinion about God.
Śyāmasundara: No. God is... God is good...
Prabhupāda: God is good in all conditions, or God is good when Stuart Mill accepts? What is the position of God?
Śyāmasundara: He says that the presence of evil indicates that if God were everything, that He would be not so good.
Prabhupāda: Why? Therefore God has to depend on the free will or on the opinion of Mr. Mill? Is that? He says that God is not so good. God is good, but not so good because he does not approve all of His activities.
Śyāmasundara: No. He says that God is good, but He is limited in His power; otherwise everything would be good.
Prabhupāda: How nonsense he is! And he is philosopher. He is making God limited, and he is philosopher. Just see.
Śyāmasundara: He says if God were good then everything would be good.
Prabhupāda: Everything is good! That is our philosophy. When the God kills the demons, immediately flowers are showered upon Him from the sky. You have not read in...? He is good. He is always good. He has no idea of God, and still he poses himself as philosopher. God is good. Kṛṣṇa chanted, danced with others' wives at dead of night. Any man who does it, he is immediately a debauch, licentious. But still we worship that rasa-līlā. We worship that rasa-līlā. We keep the picture of God's dancing with others' wives. That is God. In all circumstances, God is good. That is worshipable. That is idea of God. Not that I put Him under my judgment: "Oh, yes, you are good, but not so good." Then I am a fool. I create my own God. "I am better than God. I can create God." No. God creates you. You cannot create God.
Śyāmasundara: He says that because there is evil present in the world, that this shows...
Prabhupāda: But he does not know what is evil, what is good. He should know what is created by God is good, even if it appears to be evil to us. That is conception of God. I may think it is evil, but it is good. I do not know how it is good - that is my fault. That is my fault. But it is good. If I put God under my discrimination, under my judgment, that He is not good. He is not God; He is dog. God cannot be under my judgment. God is good always.
Śyāmasundara: So that's all for John Stuart Mill. (end)