720802 - Conversation - London
(Redirected from Room Conversation and Interview with Ian Polsen -- July 31, 1972, London)
(Conversation and Interview with Ian Polsen)
Prabhupāda: . . . and if we repeat that, what is our fault? (laughter) (Hindi), Caturbhuja. (Hindi) We say Kṛṣṇa said that "He is a rascal who does not surrender unto Me." (laughs) Kṛṣṇa has chastised in so many places. Tān ahaṁ dviṣataḥ krūrān kṣipāmy ajasram . . . (indistinct) . . . (BG 16.19).
"Those who are envious, like that, I put them in the darkest region of hellish condition." (laughter) Kṛṣṇa says like that. Another place He says, avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā (BG 9.11): "A person who is rascal, he considers Me as ordinary human being." (break)
Ian Polsen: . . . to surrender.
Prabhupāda: Thank you very much.
Ian Polsen: And you said that prostrate . . . (indistinct) . . . (laughter)
Prabhupāda: Very good. (laughs) Very nice.
Ian Polsen: And I have come to ask Your Grace because I cannot make spiritual progress without the grace of the spiritual master.
Prabhupāda: Thank you. You will make progress. Your attitude is very nice. This is the asset. Hmm.
Ian Polsen: My next question is . . .
Prabhupāda: Our Caitanya Mahāprabhu says:
- tṛṇād api sunīcena
- taror api sahiṣṇunā
- amāninā mānadena
- kīrtaniyaḥ sadā hariḥ
- (CC Adi 17.31 / CC Antya 20.21, Śikṣāṣṭaka 3)
The . . .
(aside) You are feeling uncomfortable?
(aside) You can give him some seat. He is not accustomed.
Ian Polsen: No, thank you. I can sit here.
Prabhupāda: (laughs) The . . . our present conditional life is rebellious. We have rebelled against the authority of Kṛṣṇa, or the Supreme Lord. It is very simple thing. Just like a person, a citizen, if he becomes rebellious, then he is arrested and put into custody, and his life becomes conditioned; he has no freedom. Similarly, as soon as we are rebellious to the authority of the Supreme Lord, we are captured by māyā—that is also an energy of Kṛṣṇa—and we become conditioned. So this is our position.
So in this conditional life we can never be happy. That's a fact. So we have to transcend this conditional life and again become engaged in our constitutional position. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Now our consciousness is polluted. We are thinking different way. Just like a madman thinks that . . . sometimes he says: "I am the king." He stands sometimes in the midst of the road: "Stop. I order you!" Does it not? Madman. (laughs)
Nobody cares for him, but he says . . . thinks like that. Similarly, under the spell of this illusory energy, we are thinking differently. Somebody, I am thinking, "I am Indian," you are thinking "Englishman," he is thinking "American." I am thinking, "I am proprietor of this"; I am thinking, "I am the master of this." So many ways.
These things are all madman's proposition, that's all. So this madness can go when we actually surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Then we can understand things as they are. So we are training our students in that way. If anyone is serious, then he can make his life successful, even during this span of life. So I'm very glad that you have got this attitude. So it is very simple thing. Hmm? There is a Bengali verse:
- pisaci paile jana muti chana hoy
- maya grst jivers sei dasa upajay
Just like a person ghostly-haunted, he speaks so many nonsense, up to somebody's declaring, "I am God." First of all, "I am this; I am that. I am this; I am that. I want to become this. I want to become this." And when he is frustrated with everything, then he says, "I am God."
That is also another illusion. How you can become God? So, insanity. Kṛṣṇa consciousness means sanity. That's all. So to come to that position of sanity, Lord Caitanya has given us very simple method: chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That's all. If anyone sincerely chants without any offense, then his life is successful.
So what is your name?
Ian Polsen: Ian Polsen.
Ian Polsen: Yes.
Prabhupāda: (aside) So you . . . you can talk with Mr. Polsen and give him instruction.
Ian Polsen: Thank you, Your Grace. Before I go, Your Grace: I am employed in government service. Is it your wish that I resign?
Prabhupāda: No, no. We don't say like that. The thing is that you serve Kṛṣṇa. Our predecessors, the ācāryas, they are also government servant, but they resigned when they decided to preach this cult. If you have desire to preach this cult, then that is different. Otherwise, as a gentleman you can remain in your position, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and follow the rules and regulation. That we recommend.
Ian Polsen: Your Grace, how many times do you recommend that I chant on my beads? How many rounds?
Prabhupāda: We recommend minimum sixteen rounds.
Ian Polsen: Minimum sixteen rounds, every day.
Prabhupāda: Otherwise, you can chant twenty-four hours. Minimum sixteen rounds.
Ian Polsen: Is it true that if I follow the regulative principles, the four, that I will be able to chant without offense?
Prabhupāda: Yes. But, ah . . . you are married? No.
Ian Polsen: No.
Prabhupāda: No family man? No. So best thing would have been to live with us and work, give contribution as much as possible for running on this missionary work. But the thing is, we have no place to . . .
Śyāmasundara: We haven't got a very nice place.
Prabhupāda: Otherwise I would have asked you to live with us and work.
Śyāmasundara: We're trying to get a nice place, with bigger facilities. Now they're sleeping in the hallways practically.
Prabhupāda: You have got your own apartment?
Ian Polsen: I've just transferred down from Edinburgh on Friday for the first time. So I have not found a place yet. I'm staying in a hotel for the time being.
Kulaśekhara: Śrīla Prabhupāda, he used to be a shepherd in France.
Kulaśekhara: He used to be a shepherd three years ago. He lived as a shepherd for some years. And, ah, he was with a Muslim man who was telling him about sac-cid-ānanda, explaining to him about the philosophy of sac-cid and ānanda, about the soul and the spirit. So, in explained—that's when I first met him—he said: "I may appear to you that I'm a businessman, but also I've been living as a shepherd."
Prabhupāda: So you can read our Teachings of Lord Caitanya. You have got?
Ian Polsen: Yes, I have got Caitanya's teachings. I have . . .
Prabhupāda: Nectar of Devotion . . .
Ian Polsen: I have Nectar of Devotion.
Prabhupāda: . . . Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. Ian Polsen: I have Bhagavad-gītā.
Prabhupāda: In this way, study seriously these books.
Ian Polsen: May I speak, Your Grace?
Ian Polsen: There is a magazine called Studies in Comparative Religion which is published in this country, which I feel . . .
Prabhupāda: That will not help you.
Ian Polsen: No, but the reason why I mention it is that I think it is a magazine that Your Grace might contribute to, to propagate Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Because it's based on three principles: principles of a traditional religion, the principles of spiritual guidance from a spiritual master, and the invocation of the name of God. There is great similarity there, and I think that the few people who read that magazine could be reached through the magazine.
Prabhupāda: What is the name?
Ian Polsen: It is called Studies in Comparative Religion. And I could leave the . . . I have no interest in this magazine except that I subscribe to it.
Prabhupāda: Hmm. Comparative religion, from our point of view, that there cannot be many religion. Cannot be many religion. Religion means . . . we define religion as the law given by God. So we understand from Bhagavad-gītā that God says, Kṛṣṇa says, that man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ, mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65): "Always think of Me, become My devotee, offer your obeisances unto Me."
So any religion who has no conception of God, how he can think of God? If I think of something, that something must be known to me; otherwise how can I think of it? If I imagine something, that is not God. My imagination of God is . . . God is not a thing to be imagined by me. He is a concrete thing. Therefore according to our philosophy, any so-called religion which has no conception of God, that is not religion; that is simply mental speculation. We accept religion means the law given by God. But if you do not know what is God, what is His law, then where is religion?
Therefore in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said that all types of pseudo religion is rejected. You can ask any religious man, "What is your conception of God?" he cannot give any clear conception. So far we are concerned, we can immediately give conception of God—His name, His address, everything. That is the difference. Therefore strictly speaking, we do not accept any system of religion as bona fide. They are all rejected. That is not religion. They do not know what is God. What is that religion? Strictly speaking, that is not religion. But if we speak publicly, they will be angry. So this comparative study of religion, we don't believe in it, because there is no religion. Where is the scope of comparative study?
Śyāmasundara: Nothing can compare.
Prabhupāda: There is no religion. Strictly speaking, simply some dogmas, maybe some moral principle. That is another thing. But moral principle we have to transcend. We don't say that don't follow moral principle. But even they do not follow the moral principles. Then what is the . . . where is the religion? Just like Christian religion, it is said that, "Thou shall not kill." But everyone is killing. So nobody's . . . factually, religion means conception of God and the words of God, following the words. Just like good citizen means he knows what is the government and what is the law of government. He is following. Similarly, religious person means he must know what is God and what is the words . . . what are the words of God.
So our principle is that we follow the words of God. God says . . . God says that, "Always think of Me." So who can object to this, if he's seriously about religion? Why one should not think of God always? God says that, "You think of Me." But if you have no idea of God, how you'll think of? We have got God, Kṛṣṇa, here. We can think of His form.
We are busy in His service. We are not only thinking; we are trying to become His devotee. We are serving, trying to serve Him: rising early in the morning, offering maṅgala-āratrika, then prayers, then reading His message, trying to apply in our life as far as possible. We are not perfect, but we are trying to follow the instruction of God. This is our life. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakta mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru.
So you have studied that magazine. Can you give me any idea, what do you think about religion? What is religion?
Ian Polsen: Religion to me means more now that I have come in contact with Kṛṣṇa consciousness than it did before. It means self-realization. It means realization of my relationship with the Supreme.
Ian Polsen: It is to understand that, and to realize it to the limit of my intelligence.
Prabhupāda: Say . . . so first of all you have to realize what you are; then you can understand what is your relationship with God. And according to that relationship with God, when you act, that is religion. That is religion.
Ian Polsen: And one needs guidance.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. First of all we have to know ourselves. To know ourselves means self-realization: "I am not this body. I am spirit soul." Then what is this spirit soul? Naturally, part and parcel of God. Therefore as spirit soul my duty is to serve God. That is religion, plain thing.
Just like this finger is part and parcel of my body. It is serving me. That is healthy condition. If there is any pain—"Oh, this finger I cannot scratch. I'm feeling pain"—that is irreligion. So long the part and parcel of my body, the finger, cannot serve me, it is not normal condition.
So every living being is part and parcel of God. So long he's unable to serve God, that is his material condition. But as soon as he's engaged actually in the service of God, that is his real, liberated position. Same example: If the finger is diseased, it cannot serve. But when it is serving . . . (indistinct) . . . that is his healthy condition. Similarly, we living entities, we are part and parcel of God. When we are not engaged in the service of the Lord, or God . . . everyone is engaged to some service. Somebody's serving his family, somebody's serving himself, somebody's serving his government, somebody's serving so many things. And somebody's serving even cats and dogs.
So these are all mad condition. So when he turns to God . . . service he must give. Nobody can say: "I'm not serving anybody." That is not possible. You must be serving somebody. Just like you are serving government, he is serving some office, because service is our nature. So we are not happy, because the service is misplaced. When the service is rightly placed, then it is our normal condition. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that: "You surrender unto Me." That is real liberated condition.
So our mission is serving God. In this way, that people are suffering on account of their godless life. Just see. So we are making propaganda that, "Serve God, then you will be happy." We know why he's suffering. The same example: The finger in diseased condition cannot serve me. It has to be treated when there is some pain. Suppose this, the nail, so I apply some medicine, cure it so that it can serve. So the whole world is suffering because he's not fit to serve God. So if he becomes fit to serve God, then all the suffering will be gone. The same example again: When the finger is fit to serve, that means it has no disease. And so long it is diseased, there is pain, it cannot serve.
Śyāmasundara: It suffers.
Śyāmasundara: And it suffers.
Prabhupāda: It is suffering. When it is not serving, therefore it is suffering, and when it is serving, there is no suffering. Two things. There cannot be three thing. This is very scientific. It is not imagination. The finger is not serving me means it is diseased. It is suffering.
So they're not accepting this process. We say that you are suffering because you're not serving God. You serve God, your sufferings will be gone. Do you think our philosophy is all right, or not?
Ian Polsen: I accept it completely. Yes.
Śyāmasundara: I think he has been also well educated. He understands the truth.
Kulaśekhara: Did you go to ārati?
Ian Polsen: No.
- māṁ ca vyabhicāreṇa
- bhakti-yogena yaḥ sevate
- sa guṇān samatītyaitān
- brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
- (BG 14.26)
As soon as you are engaged in the service of the Lord, we are in healthy condition; there is no suffering. Just like these boys, they did not know Kṛṣṇa, what is Kṛṣṇa, two years or three years ago. But since they have been engaged in the service of, they are feeling very nice, healthy. Everyone is asking me, "Why so many young men are attracted by this movement?" (laughs)
They think it is movement. No. They have taken the real occupation—serving Kṛṣṇa. Therefore they are receptive. When one is normally situated, naturally he feels happy and he's healthy. When in the diseased condition, he cannot be happy. When the disease is gone, in healthy condition, naturally you'll be happy.
Indian man: Prabhupāda, is it to say it is a way of life or an aim of life?
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Indian man: Way of life or aim of life?
Prabhupāda: The aim is that you must get free from your diseased condition. That should be the aim. It is not the way of life. You must get free yourself from the diseased condition. That is not a way of life; that is a must. If you want to be free from diseased condition, you must treat yourself properly. The treating is . . .
Treatment is you surrender unto God and take to His service. This is simple. You are suffering, that's a fact. Everyone knows. Anyone who has got this material body, he is suffering. Nobody can say: "No, I am not suffering." Is there anybody? The body is meant for suffering, this material body. But because they do not approach the real physician, they think that they have got a material body, and that material body means there are senses, the sense gratification will give him satisfaction. Therefore he's simply after sense gratification, that's all. That is not treatment. That is still more complication.
Śyāmasundara: Aggravates the disease.
Prabhupāda: That's all. People after sense gratification. A diseased man who cannot digest, if he thinks that, "I shall eat this, I shall eat that, I shall eat that," but actually he cannot digest. Eating this or that, how it will help him? (laughs) If you have lost your digesting powers, then if you change, "I shall eat this, I shall eat that," that will not help you. So the modern civilized man, he has lost the point how he can be happy. He is simply changing the program of sense gratification. That's all.
Ian Polsen: Becoming more and more desperate.
Prabhupāda: Huh? Yes. He has no other idea. Just like here in this material world the highest pleasure is sex life, so they are changing, different types of sex life, that's all. (break) We have no objection. We want to see that you are lover of God. God is one. God is neither Hindu nor Muslim nor Christian. So we want to see that you love God, that's all. That is our mission. You are forget . . . (break) You understand little Bengali?
Guest: Oh, yes.
- kṛṣṇa bhuliya jīva bhoga vañcha kare
- pāśate māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare
After forgetting Kṛṣṇa, one wants to lord it over the material nature, but he becomes . . . (break) Especially in the Western world—everywhere—attracting sex life. Mini-skirt, so that the other party may be attracted. So many means and ways, they want to avoid the after-result of sex life, contraceptive.
The center is sex life. They are giving up everything, the hippies, but sex is there. That they cannot give up. You see? So-called giving up, but they cannot give the real central point.
So this is māyā. He's captured by this one idea, mithuna. Mithuna. Yan maithunādi-gṛhamedhi-sukham hi tuccham (SB 7.9.45). Everyone is attracted by this sex life. We are trying to use this sex life in different way. Tṛpyanti neha kṛpaṇa-bahu-duḥkha-bhājaḥ. They're becoming diseased in so many ways. Sex life, indulgence of sex life, means you will become diseased, so many disease. That is a medical fact.
So this movement is very scientific movement, authorized. Anyone who will take to it seriously surely will be cured of this material disease and be happy.
Ian Polsen: Your Grace, you said I needn't give up my job, but may I look forward to the time when I may give up my job?
Prabhupāda: You come morning, evening; you come. As far as possible associate with us and try to give some service.
Ian Polsen: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Suppose you are getting some money. We have no money. If you try to serve, that will . . . sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ (Brs. 1.2.234). This line is service. The more you render service, the more you become enlightened. If you simply philosophize, theorize, you'll get no benefit. You must render service.
Ian Polsen: May I join the kīrtana in the streets over the weekend?
Prabhupāda: Huh? Yes, whenever you get opportunity, kīrtana. Yes. Very nice.
Ian Polsen: Dressed as I am?
Ian Polsen: Dressed as I am?
Prabhupāda: Why not? Dress is not very essential.
Ian Polsen: There is another question, Your Grace. I wear leather shoes, and I know they come from animals . . .
Ian Polsen: . . . which have been slaughtered for this. Should I stop wearing leather shoes?
Prabhupāda: Well, that also you can continue. That is not . . . just like we are using so many things made of skin. But as far as possible, you avoid. There are many shoes without skin, nowadays they are available. First of all try to understand the philosophy. It is very nice attitude that you are . . . (pause) What salary you are getting, government service?
Ian Polsen: I've just been promoted.
Ian Polsen: I've just been promoted to deal with Value Added Tax, and I will go up from 1,400 pounds a year to 1,700 or 1,800 pounds a year. I'm not sure of my new salary, because I'm starting on Monday.
Prabhupāda: Hmm. That means our 150 pounds per month?
Ian Polsen: Less the tax.
Prabhupāda: Less the tax.
Śyāmasundara: About 4,500 a year, dollars, I think. Thirty-six hundred? (other devotees calculate)
Ian Polsen: Do you deal in percentages?
Prabhupāda: Anything can be . . . which can be engaged in the service of the Lord should not be given up. This is our philosophy. Should not be given up. We don't say: "Oh, money is material. I do not touch. My hand becomes turned up." No. (laughs) We don't say all these nonsense philosophy.
We know the money, lakṣmī, is Kṛṣṇa's property, so it should be engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service. Why it should . . . money we should not touch? Money is Kṛṣṇa's. It must be touched and it should be used for Kṛṣṇa. We don't try to . . . forget that pseudo renouncement. What I have got I shall renounce? Everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa.
Our renouncement means we renounce our personal sense gratification, that's all. That is renouncement. Materialism means personal sense gratification, and spiritual life means no personal sense gratification—all Kṛṣṇa's gratification. That's all. The same teaching by Bhagavad-gītā. Arjuna was thinking in terms of personal sense gratification: "I shall not fight. It is not good to kill my kinsmen, my brother." That was his personal sense gratification. From ordinary point of view people will say: "How Kṛṣṇa is . . . Arjuna is nice, that he's giving up his claim, and nonviolent."
But this philosophy Kṛṣṇa immediately kicked out. Kutas tvā kaśmalam idaṁ viṣame samupasthitam (BG 2.2): "Oh, why you are talking nonsense like this?" That was His answer. (laughs) And next He said, aśocyān anvaśocas tvam prajñā-vādāṁś ca (BG 2.11), "You are talking just like a very learned man, but this kind of lamentation is not done by any learned man. That means you are fool number one." (laughter)
So after understanding Bhagavad-gītā he agreed to fight: "Yes. I shall fight." That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Now people will say, "Oh, fighting, killing is Kṛṣṇa consciousness?" Yes, Kṛṣṇa wants it. To . . . therefore our business is not in the estimation of this material world to become a good man. Our estimation is how Kṛṣṇa will accept me as good man, that's all. We don't care for this world. Just like gopīs, they left their husband, they left their father, went to Kṛṣṇa. What is this philosophy? They wanted to satisfy Kṛṣṇa, not their father, brother.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu said: "This is the highest worship." Ramyā kācid upāsanā vrajavadhū-vargeṇa yā kalpitā (Caitanya-manjusa). There is no greater, or topmost sample of worship than the gopīs did. Because their only purpose was to serve Kṛṣṇa, unalloyed, without being disturbed by any other consideration. That is highest perfection: How to serve Kṛṣṇa. How Kṛṣṇa will be pleased.
So at the present moment the best service to render for Kṛṣṇa is that . . . Kṛṣṇa . . . when I speak of Kṛṣṇa, means God, the Supreme Lord. The whole rascal world, they have given up God consciousness. They have become rascal. Therefore to teach them about Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the best service at the present moment. Because the whole world—the so-called politician, so-called scientist, so-called philosopher—they're all rascals. They have forgotten God. We, we call them directly, they're all rascals, mūḍhā, duṣkṛtina mūḍhā. All sinful, all rascals, because they have no information of God, Kṛṣṇa.
Ask any scientist, "Do you know anything about Kṛṣṇa?" "Oh, what is Kṛṣṇa? What is God? This is all foolish, humbug." They will say like that. And he's passing as great scientist. He's fool number one, but he's passing as great scientist. (laughter) Hah! Our Śyāmasundara's daughter, little daughter, she preaches, "Do you know Kṛṣṇa?" If somebody says: "No, I do not," "The Supreme Personality of Godhead." (laughter) Actually that is nice preaching.
Śyāmasundara: The scientist's in California.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So many scientists comes to us. We say: "You are rascal number one." And he agrees. (laughter) Hah! I call him by rascal, fool, demon, and at last he agrees, "Yes." (laughter)
Śyāmasundara: Still they went away happy.
Prabhupāda: This is actual fact. One who does not know about God, what is the value of his knowledge?
Ian Polsen: What you say about scientists is also true of Western philosophers . . .
Ian Polsen: . . . who consider . . .
Prabhupāda: That is . . . that is temporary. Suppose a scientist has discovered this nice lamp. So I give him credit, but I can do without this lamp. It is not very necessary. (laughter)
Indian man: The modern science is medicine.
Indian man: Medical science.
Prabhupāda: What medical science? Can they stop disease? What is the value? If they can stop disease then I can accept that they know something. What is their . . .
Śyāmasundara: In India the doctors, simply by feeling your pulse they know everything that's wrong with you.
Prabhupāda: No. Even that. No physician can stop disease. He can suggest, "This is very nice medicine," but my problem is, "Why shall I become diseased?" That is my problem.
Ian Polsen: They only treat the symptoms, not the cause.
Prabhupāda: Huh? Well, you can give me some medicine; for the time being I am cured and again I fall diseased. You cannot stop disease. Suppose you have got a very nice coat. That's all right. But one has got not so nice coat, so what is the difference?
Prabhupāda: Coat, yes. So this so-called scientific improvement, nice medicine . . . nice medicine or not nice medicine, what is the difference? I fall . . . I become diseased. You cannot stop disease. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā says, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9). You may think that "I have overcome so many distresses," but real distress is birth, death, old age and disease. What you have done for that?
Ian Polsen: That's true.
Indian: That's the hardest part of the whole . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: Just like your British Empire. You are British?
Ian Polsen: Yes.
Prabhupāda: British Empire, when there was British Empire, when they were getting money from all parts of the world, some way or other they constructed so many big, big buildings. Now their income is not so big, and now it is difficult to maintain it. We can see practically that you have got so nice buildings in London, but it is not being properly maintained. You haven't got sufficient means now to maintain them. Therefore it was . . . British Empire was for the time being that prosperity. Now to keep up your prestige you are concerned in so many ways.
So anything you do in this material world, that is temporary. So many Roman Empire, Moghul Empire, British Empire, Hitler Empire—they came and gone. But my real problem is that I am eternal, so what I am doing for my eternal life? That is real.
Temporarily I may become very rich or poor; it doesn't matter. But people are being taught, "Oh, you are poor? You become rich." That's all. Just like our India trying to imitate the Western world. But they do not see that in the Western world, in America, in Europe, why these young boys, they are rejecting this materialistic way of life? These boys have come to me because they have rejected. They don't like. Just like you are coming. Why you are surrendering to me? Because you are not satisfied.
So our Indians, they do not see that, "These men, they . . . they have already everything. Why they are rejecting it?" All facility. Because this will not give us real happiness. We are spirit soul. We cannot be happy simply by material opulence. That is not possible. This is Vedic civilization: how people will be happy. They can be happy simply by self-realization, spiritual realization, because he is spirit. Material advancement will never make us happy. That's a fact. People have not become happy.
In India they say that we neglected this material side therefore. But actually that's not the fact. They have lost their own spiritual culture; therefore they are not . . . but still, whatever little spiritual culture they have got, still they are happier than others, if I make comparative study. In India still in village you'll find a man of practically no income, but he has got his happy home, good wife, a cottage, little bread, but he is happy.
You see? Here I see they have no home, no family life. Even ordinary necessities of life—means eating, sleeping, sex life and defense . . . they have no fixed-up eating. In America, in the Bowery street, lying down on the street, drinking. You see? So many. Here also in your country, day and night. In India they are lying, suppose they are poverty stricken, lying on the street. Now why you are lying on the street? When I go to the park I see so many there.
Our philosophy is that there is no necessity of wasting time for economic development. Be satisfied whatever Kṛṣṇa has given you. That's all right. Be satisfied according to your position, save time, and be Kṛṣṇa conscious. That is the verdict of the śāstra. Because your happiness and distress is already fixed up. According to the body you have got it. You cannot change that. You cannot change that.
Indian man: Prabhupāda, I may be wrong here, but Lord Kṛṣṇa has given human being brain, mind . . .
Prabhupāda: But misuse it.
Indian man: No, if we use it properly.
Prabhupāda: But he does not know. That is . . . therefore we call these rascal. Why we are calling these scientists, philosophers, politician rascal? Because they have got brain, but they're misusing. Therefore they have been called duṣkṛtinaḥ. You have got brain; you can utilize it for smuggling and you can utilize it also how to understand Kṛṣṇa. The same brain.
Indian man: But the development of mankind . . .
Prabhupāda: Development . . . if you become miscreants by utilizing your better brain, then what is the use? You are going to hell. This brain has no meaning. MIsuse of brain. Brain means to understand Kṛṣṇa. That is brain.
Indian man: Yes. Perform his duty.
Prabhupāda: He does not know what is his duty. He talks of so many big, big things, duty. But if I ask, "What is your duty?" he cannot explain. So these things will not help. Simply . . .
Indian man: Every man in this world, every being in this world have got a duty, performance, object . . .
Prabhupāda: But first of all say what is your duty.
Indian man: Duty of the soul.
Prabhupāda: Huh? What is your duty? If I ask you: "What is your duty?" what is your answer?
Indian man: Lead a good life, develop soul, and, ah, be honest, sincere to people, and, ah . . .
Prabhupāda: These are simply words, but you cannot say what is your duty.
Indian man: To serve, Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: So, why don't you do that? (laughter) That is real duty, yes.
Indian man: So we agree.
Prabhupāda: We are teaching that it is your . . . this your duty. Our so-called material duties as we have done, "This is my duty," that is called dharma. But Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya (BG 18.66): "You give up your all nonsense duty." (laughter) Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya.
Śyāmasundara: Give up your duty.
Prabhupāda: Give up your all nonsense duty. Kṛṣṇa says. So your first duty is to give up your nonsense duty. (laughter) That is your first duty. That "You have concocted so many duties, but please give up all these ideas," that is your first duty. Everyone has manufactured his duty. Just like in our country all the leaders, they thought, "It is my duty," and every other country also, "take to politics." Huh? But people did not become happy. Rather, they were so unhappy that a great leader like Gandhi was killed. But he thought, "I am doing my duty." But why he was killed?
Indian man: T’is inevitable.
Indian man: It was inevitable. Someway or other he has to be . . .
Prabhupāda: But inevitable means . . . inevitable, that's all right, but as you are speaking of duty, so Gandhi was working his duty, but other man killed him. He thought that, "You are not doing your duty."
Śyāmasundara: Hmm. So who is the judge of what is your duty? What I may think is my duty, someone else may think it's his duty; it's not my duty.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is going on. So what is the duty?
Dhanañjaya: The duty is to serve Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is the real duty. But people do not know that. They are manufacturing their duty. A big man like Gandhi, he also manufactured his duty, but he does not know what is the duty. He never preached Kṛṣṇa consciousness, therefore he does not know his duty.
Śyāmasundara: He said that the message of Bhagavad-gītā is nonviolence.
Prabhupāda: That's all. Opposite. Whatever message it is . . . he was supposed to be a very good scholar of Bhagavad-gītā. His photograph is with the Bhagavad-gītā. But he did not speak a single word that "You become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa." He talked so many nonsense. All others . . . the real Bhagavad-gītā is Kṛṣṇa says that, "You surrender unto Me."
Nobody says, neither Tilak, Gandhi, this Ramakrishna, this Aurobindo. Nobody says that. He's made purposefully avoiding his duty. And these rascals are going as dutiful. His duty was to say as Kṛṣṇa says, if he is actually student of Bhagavad-gītā. Here is Kṛṣṇa saying that you surrender, you surrender to Kṛṣṇa. We are doing that duty. We are not speaking something nonsense.
We are speaking, "Here Kṛṣṇa says surrender. You surrender unto Kṛṣṇa." That's all. Simple thing. We don't manufacture duty. We are servant of Kṛṣṇa. Our duty is to say people, "Here Kṛṣṇa says man-manā bhava mad-bhakto (BG 18.65). You become His devotee, you always think of Him, you offer Him obeisances." Our simple duty.
Indian man: Prabhupāda, yes, that's the way, but we ". . . (indistinct) . . . that is, to love Thy creation." We cannot see Kṛṣṇa straightaway. But human beings, the medium to love His creation.
Prabhupāda: You are also talking. Kṛṣṇa says: "You surrender unto Me." If say: "Surrender to Kṛṣṇa," what is the difficulty?
Indian man: No difficulties.
Prabhupāda: Then why are you manufacturing words? Why don't you go in the simple way? Why you are manufacturing in your own way? This is simple thing. Kṛṣṇa says: "Surrender unto Me." You serve Kṛṣṇa, speak to people, "Surrender to Kṛṣṇa."
It is simple. Why you are manufacturing words? That is the disease. The Gandhi did like that. Tilak did like that. (break) (end)