750709 - Interview - Chicago

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Go-previous.pngConversations by Date, 1975
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



750709PC-CHICAGO - July 09, 1975 - 41:06 Minutes


(Press Conference)



Prabhupāda:

oṁ ajñāna-timirāndhasya
jñānāñjana-śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ

Ladies and gentlemen, regarding Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement . . . (about microphone) It is working? We are talking about the spiritual existence of the living being. By evolutionary process we come to the human form of life, and here we have got developed consciousness. We can decide now which way to go forward. There are different planetary system. That we can experience. We can see innumerable planets, upwards and downwards. So the upper planetary system is called Svargaloka, or the heavenly planets, and the middle planetary system is called Martyaloka or Bhurloka, in which we are staying at the present moment, and the down planetary system is called Pātālaloka or downwards. Downwards means fall down; upwards means getting promotion; and middle means we remain where we are now. That is . . .

Indication is given in the Bhagavad-gītā, ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā (BG 14.18): "Those who are cultivating the modes of goodness, they are promoted to the higher planetary system." And madhye tiṣṭhanti rājasāḥ: "Those who are passionate, or under the modes of passion, they remain in the middle planetary system." And jaghanya-guṇa-vṛtti-sthā adho gacchanti tāmasāḥ: "And those character is very abominable, they go down." And beyond this, there is another nature. That is called spiritual nature, which is beyond this material universe. There, we understand, that is eternal. This material nature is not eternal. It is manifested, or created, and again it is dissolved, or annihilated. But beyond this material nature, there is another nature. There are also innumerable planets. They are known as Vaikuṇṭha planets, or Vṛndāvana planets. That is the kingdom of God. If we transfer ourself to that eternal nature, then we won't have to come back to this material nature again. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama (BG 15.6). Anyone who goes to that eternal nature, he hasn't got to come back again to this material nature.

The material nature has been explained as duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam (BG 8.15). Material nature is full of miserable condition. And the most miserable condition is explained as janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9): birth, death, old age and disease. So we living entities, we are eternal, part and parcel of God. God is eternal and we are also eternal. Just like gold and little portion of gold: both of them are gold, but the big gold and the small gold, that is different. Similarly, we being part and parcel of God, qualitatively we are one; quantitatively we are different. Although we are different, still, in the spiritual world we can enjoy the same facilities in cooperation with God. We are trying to be happy in this material world. That is not possible, because here there are four principles of miserable condition, which we cannot avoid. They are birth, death, old age and disease. In the spiritual world there is no such thing as birth, death, old age and disease. Therefore in this life, in the human form of life, where we come after evolutionary process, 8,400,000 species of life, our consciousness being developed, we should decide now whether we shall remain within this material world or we shall go to the spiritual world, where the life is eternal: there is no birth, death, old age and disease.

So the Vedic civilization trains all human being how to go back to home, back to Godhead. That is Vedic civilization. We cannot be happy in this temporary material life. We are working very hard, but if we work a little only, not very hard . . . there is no need of working very hard. We have created a civilization that we have to work very hard. The Vedic civilization does not recommend that for sense gratification you shall simply work very hard, day and night. This is not very good life. You should know what is the value of life, what is the aim of life. God has provided everything for our living condition. We should be satisfied, whatever is allotted by God, and save time for being promoted to the spiritual world. That is the arrangement already there by nature. It is said:

pūrṇam idam pūrṇam adaḥ
pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate
pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya
pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate
(Īśo Invocation)

God is complete, and His arrangement is also very complete. Everyone has his necessities of life completely. In the Vedas it is said that we are all living entities. God is also the chief living entity. The difference is that that one God, eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13), He supplies the necessities of all other living entities. In the Christian world also, they believe God gives bread to everyone, and they go to the church, "O God, give us our daily bread." But higher philosophy is that we should not or we need not ask God for our bread. That is already there. We should approach God how to love Him. That is our business. Otherwise, God is supplying food to the elephant, who can eat forty kilogram at a time, or forty kg. And the ant eats only one grain of sugar. So God is supplying all of them.

So there is no question of asking God to give us our food. It is already there. We should not waste our time to ask God for our sense gratification. That arrangement is already there. We should try to know God and try to love Him. That is the business of human form of life. If we are missing that occupational duty, how to learn how to love God . . . our philosophy . . . or this is the philosophy, that that is the first quality religious system which teaches how to love God. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). And if we learn how to love God without any motive, nobody can check our love of God. And if we reach that platform, then we become actually happy. God is the supreme proprietor of everything, He is friend of everyone, and He is the enjoyer. We, being part and parcel of God, our duty is to serve God how He is pleased. Our . . . just like part and parcel of our body, this finger, it is always engaged in serving the body according to the desire of the person. Similarly, we being part and parcel of God, our duty is to serve God as He wants service from us. This is perfection. If the finger or any part of my body cannot give service to the whole body, it is to be understood that the part is diseased. Similarly, when we do not give service to God, that is our material condition, or diseased condition, or miserable condition. And if we learn how to love God, how to serve Him, that is our healthy condition.

So in the material world everyone is busy how to satisfy the senses. Nobody is interested to satisfy God. So in this condition of life we are misled, misled in this way, that we have got this human form of body, very nice body, and if we are misled—instead of giving service to the Lord, if we simply are engaged in the service of the senses—then we become subject to the karma, or fruitive activities. That means we get different types of body. There are 8,400,000 different types of body. So if we do not properly use this human form of body, if we become subjected to sinful life, then we get a different type of body, very . . . animal life, tree's life, plant's life, aquatic's life, insect life. Or even we are promoted to the higher standard of life, as in higher planets the demigods, the four principles of material miseries, namely birth, death, old age and disease, we cannot avoid, either in the higher planetary or in the lower planetary system. But if we want eternal life of bliss and knowledge, then we must endeavor in this life how to go back to home, back to Godhead. And such persons who are endeavoring for this purpose, they are called first-class men. And they are called brāhmaṇas, or the first-class men.

So society must be divided into four classes: first class, second class, third class, fourth class. That is general. They . . . those who are endeavoring for realizing God, they are first-class men. Those who are less intelligent—they are trying to rule over the material world—they are second-class men. And those who are engaged in producing food and cow protection, they are third class. And those who are useless for any of these three occupational duties, they are called fourth class. And those who are still lower than that, they are called fifth class, sixth class, like that.

So our educational system should be so arranged that there may be first-class, second-class, third-class, fourth-class men, not less than fourth-class men. Then the social structure will be in order and everyone will be peaceful, aiming at the point how to go back to home, back to Godhead. Unless there is such structure of the society . . . just like in our body we have got four divisions: the head, the arms, the belly and the leg. All of them are required. But the position of the head and position of the leg are different. Head means giving direction, and arms means giving protection, and belly means receiving food for energy of the body, and leg means working. So the human society must be divided into four section, and they should work combinedly, cooperatively. Then there will be peaceful condition for realization of the goal of life, back to home, back to Godhead.

Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is teaching this process of life, and the whole world is now in chaos on account of no brain. Just like we have got this body. If the brain is not working in good condition, then he is called a madman. So in spite of possessing other parts of the body, namely, the arm, the belly and the leg, if the head is not in good condition, then the body is useless. At this present moment there is want of first-class men and also second-class men. The whole world is filled up with third-class, fourth-class, fifth-class men. Therefore the society is not properly adjusted. By accepting this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement . . . the process is described very nicely in the Bhagavad-gītā. If we follow the principles of Bhagavad-gītā, we will find answers for all the problems of life, and if we take it seriously, then the whole human society will be happy, peaceful, in this life, and next life they will go back to home, back to Godhead for eternal blissful life of knowledge.

So we are giving literary information in fifty books. Some of the books are distributed here. You can see. Otherwise, the process is very simple. If we chant the holy name of the Lord, we become purified, our heart becomes cleansed, and we can understand the aim of life, the goal of life, and in this way everything can be adjusted very nicely.

Thank you very much. (break)

Reporter: You're taking now questions?

Jagadīśa: Yes.

Reporter: You are taking. This four-division society that you advocate is contrary to everything in American tradition. How can that be accepted?

Prabhupāda: That has to be trained up. Just like in your country there are medical, professional men, the engineering class of men, the lawyers class of men; similarly, you can train how to become a first-class man. The training process is there in the Bhagavad-gītā. (aside:) Where is Bhagavad-gītā? Bring it. Śamo damaḥ titikṣa satyaṁ śaucam ārjavam. The . . . just like you have got formula how to train medical man, how to train in the mechanical man, or different department of knowledge, similarly, you can train how to become first-class man, how to become second-class man. The direction are already there. You can take advantage of the direction and train people as first class, second class, third class.

Reporter: When does this training begin? In the very youngest age, or . . .

Jagadīśa: When does the training begin?

Prabhupāda: Training, every training should begin from childhood. Just like you send your boys and girls to school. So any educational system should be begin from childhood.

Reporter (2): What is the secret to learning to love God?

Prabhupāda: Secret of learning God?

Jagadīśa: Learning to love.

Prabhupāda: Yes. The secret—that he must be a first-class man. Otherwise he does not understand what is God, and what to speak of loving Him.

Woman reporter (3): What is the definition again of a first-class man?

Prabhupāda: First-class man? Where is that Bhagavad-gītā?

Devotee: It isn't here, Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Brahmānanda: Bhagavad-gītā, they did not bring.

Prabhupāda: (aside:) What is the nonsense? You are all nonsense. First-class man, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, that he should first of all try to . . . not try, practice how to control the mind, how to control the senses. Then he must be truthful. He must be very clean, outside and inside. He must be very simple. He must be tolerant. He must be full of knowledge. He must apply knowledge in practical life. And he must believe in God. These are the qualification of the first-class man.

Reporter (2): Once a person is trained in one of the classes, can he move to another class once he's been trained as, say, a third-class man?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Any class man, you can train him. It requires training. Even one is in the last class, fourth class, fifth class, sixth class, if he likes, he can be trained up to become a first-class man.

Woman reporter (3): How many followers do you have?

Prabhupāda: Well, to find out first-class man is very difficult. Therefore, our followers, you cannot count a large number. We are training them to become first-class man. Still, we have got about ten thousand followers in the Western countries.

Woman reporter (3): In the Western countries.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Woman reporter (3): Where do you train them in the Western countries?

Prabhupāda: We have got our headquarter in Los Angeles, and we have got many centers all over the world.

Reporter (4): Who is God? Who is God?

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Devotees: Who is God?

Prabhupāda: Who is God? God means, you know . . . you have got any definition of God?

Reporter (4): Pardon me?

Harikeśa: Do you have a definition of God?

Reporter (4): That's beside the point. I am asking the Swami who is God.

Prabhupāda: God is great. "Great" means who is greater than you in every respect. We understand a rich man as very great, a wise man as very great, a strong man is very great, beautiful man is very great. In this way there are six opulences: riches, strength, wisdom, beauty, education . . . in this way the six opulences, when you find in somebody in full, in complete, without any competition, that is God.

Woman reporter (3): You listed five.

Jayatīrtha: The sixth one is renunciation.

Prabhupāda: Another, renunciation.

Woman reporter (3): Religious, strong, beautiful . . .

Prabhupāda: Religious?

Jayatīrtha: Wealthy, riches.

Woman reporter (3): Riches, strong . . .

Jagadīśa: Famous.

Woman reporter (3): . . . wise, beautiful, education and renunciation.

Prabhupāda: These six opulences, when you find in the greatest quantity, nobody can excel. Here in America you have got rich man, but nobody can say that "I am the richest of all." But God can say that He is richest of all. He is strongest of all, He is wisest of all, He is the most beautiful. In this way, where nobody can compete and nobody can surpass, that is God.

Reporter (5): What do . . . you said there are four classes, and the first class is to rule?

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Reporter (5): The first class should rule?

Jagadīśa: What do the first-class men do?

Jayatīrtha: Is their position to rule?

Prabhupāda: No. First-class man means, I have already explained, he is the brain. Everyone should take advice from him. That is first-class man. And he will give perfect advice. That is first-class man.

Reporter (5): What does he do?

Prabhupāda: He does . . . give you advice. If you take his advice, then you get perfect advice.

Reporter (5): What do the other classes do?

Prabhupāda: Other classes . . . the second class, they are supposed to be administrator. They are very . . . they are also very strong. They do not go away when there is fighting. They have got a ruling capacity, and they are charitable. They have got seven qualifications. So . . . but he rules according to the advice of the first-class men.

Reporter (5): Then . . . well, how about the third and fourth classes?

Prabhupāda: Third class means they should engage themselves how to produce food and give protection to the cow. It is said . . .

Reporter (5): The cow?

Prabhupāda: Cow, yes.

Reporter (2): The cow?

Prabhupāda: Yes, cow, from where you get milk, that cow. So the exact word is used in Sanskrit, kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.44). Vaiśya, the third-class man, is called vaiśya. So his duty is how to produce food, food grains, for both for the animals and the man. And he gives protection to the cows. As the second-class man, the administrator, he gives protection to the human being from danger; similarly, the third-class man is entrusted to give protection to the cows. Cow is very important animal in the society because it is supplying milk, the most nutritious food. And . . . (aside) Find out. This is the third-class man's duty. And the fourth-class man means general worker. He has no brain; he simply helps the other three classes: first class, second class and the third class. And below the fourth-class men, they are called fifth class, sixth class. So they are called lower class, less than the fourth class. So the society should be generally divided into four classes. As I have given example, there is head, arm, belly and leg.

Woman reporter (3): Where . . . do women fit into this social structure? You keep referring to man.

Prabhupāda: Woman is not equally intelligent as a man.

Woman reporter (3): Equal in intelligence?

Prabhupāda: Not equal intelligence. In the psychology, practical psychology, they have found that the man's brain has been found up to sixty-four ounce; woman . . . sixty-four ounce, man's brain. And woman's brain has been found, thirty-six ounce. So therefore woman is not equally intelligent like man.

Woman reporter (3): So where does she fit?

Prabhupāda: You will find in practical psychology.

Woman reporter (3): Pardon?

Prabhupāda: Practical psychology.

Brahmānanda: She's asking where does woman fit into this structure?

Prabhupāda: Now, woman is supposed to be assistant of man. If woman is faithful wife of the first-class man, then she also becomes first class. If she is assistant of the second-class man, then she is also second class. If she is assistant of the third-class man, then she is also third class. Because she is assistant, so, according to her husband, or protector, she becomes first, second, third, fourth.

Woman reporter (3): But she doesn't have any structure at all until marriage?

Prabhupāda: No, she has got structure—she has got brain. I have already told. But not as good as man's brain.

Woman reporter (3): You means she's not qualified as first, second or third class until she marries?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Woman requires to be protected—in childhood by the father, in youthhood by the husband, and in old age by the elderly sons.

Reporter (2): What is your feeling in regard to Mrs. Gandhi's actions in India at the present time, particularly in relation to what you're saying about women? Is what's happening there because she has a thirty-six-ounce brain and is incapable of ruling?

Prabhupāda: Well, what is scientific proof, that is equally applicable to Mrs. Gandhi or to any ordinary woman.

Reporter: Is she having problems because she is a woman, though? If a man were in her position . . .

Prabhupāda: (laughs) Why you are trying to put me in the emergency law? (laughter)

Reporter (2): In the what?

Devotee: In the emergency rule.

Reporter (2): Did you say emergency room or emergency law?

Brahmānanda: Emergency rule that is going on in India.

Jayatīrtha: He will be arrested if he says like that.

Reporter (2): Oh.

Prabhupāda: But one thing I can say, generally. There was a great politician, Cāṇakya Paṇḍita, under whose name in New Delhi there is a quarter called Canakya Puri. All the foreign embassies are situated there. He said, viśvāso naiva kartavyaṁ strīṣu rāja-kuleṣu ca: "Never trust a woman and a politician." That is his remark. Of course, I do not say anything. (devotees laugh)

Woman reporter (3): Are these books all . . . have you written all of these books, or are they by other philosophers of . . .

Jayatīrtha: Have you written all of these books?

Prabhupāda: Yes, I have written all these books.

Woman reporter (3): Who has published them?

Prabhupāda: We have got our own publishing house, Bhaktivedanta Trust. But we are selling our books very nice.

Woman reporter (3): Is that part of your income, to run a . . .

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes, that is our only income, by selling books.

Reporter (2): You commented that . . . you gave the words "Never trust," if I understood you right, "never trust an old man and a politician?"

Jayatīrtha: A woman or a politician.

Prabhupāda: That is Cāṇakya Paṇḍita's remark.

Woman reporter (3): Jonathan who?

Brahmānanda: Cāṇakya Paṇḍita.

Prabhupāda: You perhaps know, there is a embassy quarter in New Delhi which is called Canakya Puri, under his name. He was a great politician. About three thousand years ago when there was the reign of Candragupta, he was the prime minister. (break)

Woman reporter (3): The parade on Saturday, would that be down the same route it was last year, with the thing at the Civic Center?

Jayatīrtha: Yes.

Woman reporter (3): You'll be serving food?

Jagadīśa: Yes.

Woman reporter (3): Have you got all the civic permits this year? You ran into quite a bit of trouble last year, as I recall.

Jagadīśa: We started very early this year.

Woman reporter (3): Do you have permits for the warm food? Is that what you didn't have last year?

Śrī Govinda: No, it's all food that's packaged. So it's . . .

Jagadīśa: We have to package it.

Woman reporter (3): And your celebration's at 1:30 on the Civic Center?

Jagadīśa: It begins at 1:00 from State and . . .

Śrī Govinda: The city has changed it to 1:30 on Saturday.

Woman reporter (3): State and Quincy?

Śrī Govinda: State and Quincy, then to the Civic Center.

Woman reporter (3): And you'll be serving warm and hot packaged food.

Śrī Govinda: Just cold packaged food.

Reporter (3): The cookies and the . . .

Śrī Govinda: Called lugloos and halavā and poppers.

Woman reporter (3): Is that what you served last year?

Śrī Govinda: Yes. And cold water also.

Woman reporter (3): Is that why you're in Chicago, for the parade? Or, there's something tonight in Evanston?

Śrī Govinda: There's an open house tonight at the temple.

Woman reporter (3): What will happen? What will you be doing Thursday and . . . what day is today? Thursday or Fri . . .? I hate to show my thirty-six ounce brain. (laughs) Thursday and Friday, will you be having more celebrations?

Śrī Govinda: Yes, there's celebrations going on at the temple daily, throughout the day.

Woman reporter (3): Then where does he go?

Jagadīśa: Next, to Philadelphia.

Woman reporter (3): How do you address him in the general? Is he called Swami?

Jagadīśa: He's addressed by his affectionate disciples as Śrīla Prabhupāda or Your Divine Grace.

Woman reporter (3): Okay. So I would speak of him as Your Divine Grace. Does he go to Philadelphia for another festival?

Jagadīśa: Yes.

Reporter: Do you fly?

Jayatīrtha: Yes. (end)