730713 - Conversation - London

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



730713R1-LONDON - July 13, 1973 - 46:49 Minutes



(Conversation with Educationists)

Guest (1) (young British woman): What was the meaning in that?

Prabhupāda: Ṭhākura, they belong to kṣatriya class. Brāhmaṇa... According to Vedic conception, there are four divisions: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra. So next to brāhmaṇa is the kṣatriya. So this Ṭhākura title is given to the kṣatriyas, administrator class. Yes.

So in your library you are keeping our books? No. All books?

Guest (2) (young British man): Well, not all of them. We couldn't keep all.

Prabhupāda: Hmm.

(pause)

So you have known something about our movement?

Guest (2): Yes.

Prabhupāda: You have also known?

Guest (1): No.

Prabhupāda: No? Huh?

Guest (1): No, I came as a Christian, not knowing anything. I still know very little.

Prabhupāda: Our movement is to revive God consciousness. Just like a man is sleeping, and he has got some engagement, say, in the morning, at six o'clock. But still he's sleeping. So somebody is trying to awake him: "Get up! Get up! You have got this engagement. You have..." Our movement is like that. The human society is sleeping. So we are just trying to awake them: "Get up. Get up. You have got this engagement." That is our business. It is not our manufactured business, but it is stated in the Vedic literature, uttiṣṭha jāgratā prāpta-varān nibodhata (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.3.14): "Now you be awakened." "Now" means "You have got this human form of life. You can now be awakened." In animal form of life there is no possibility.

Therefore, in the human form of life, one should be awakened to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness. And if he sleeps, then he loses his business. This is our mission, to awaken him. And when a man sleeps, how he can awaken him? Simply by vibration of sound. The sleeping man can be awakened simply by this process, allowing the sound to enter the ear. By no other process. He's sleeping. If you show him a stick, "If you don't get up, I shall strike you," that will not be effective. Because sleeping. If you say... So many things; there are other senses—there will be no action. But only through the ear, if you cry, "Please get up! Please get up! Now your time," that will act.

So our process is that, to force him to hear. Then he'll be awakened, by hearing. Therefore Vedic literature is called śruti. Śruti means it has to be received by hearing. You may be uneducated; it doesn't matter. If you simply hear from the right source, you get right knowledge. There is no need of education. Simply by hearing.

Guest (1): You teach your children, don't you?

Prabhupāda: Yes, all my disciples, they're taught.

Guest (1): No, I didn't mean disciples. I meant children, little ones.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. We have got children's school also.

Guest (1): They understand, do they not?

Prabhupāda: Everyone will understand. Because hearing is there. Everyone, even a child, after hearing Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, he claps, he dances, he joins. That is practical. We have seen, small child, say four, five months old, on the lap of the mother, he's also moving, clapping. So this, this is also yoga system, bhakti-yoga. So it is so practical that even a small child can take part in it, without any advanced knowledge. Universal.

Guest (1): Sorry?

Prabhupāda: Universal. Even dogs sometimes, they take part. We have got practical experience. They don't like to leave us. (laughter) Yes, I have seen.

Devotee: I have, too.

Prabhupāda: Yes. They like this chanting and dancing. So we are..., our business is to awake the sleeping man. Sleeping man means when you sleep you have no knowledge. If somebody kills you, you cannot protect yourself. Sleeping. That is sleeping stage, that we do not know what is happening. That is called sleeping stage. Even if you are so-called awakened, if you do not know the value of life, that is sleeping stage.

That is sleeping stage. So in that sleeping stage, we are trying to awake the human society. A man, a human being, may be materially very qualified, but he does not know what is the value of human life; he's sleeping. He's sleeping. Can you distinguish—you are all educationist—what is the difference between a human being and an animal?

Guest (1): Higher intelligence?

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Guest (1): Higher intelligence, I guess.

Prabhupāda: What is that higher intelligence?

Guest (1): Speech and ability to compute what you hear.

Prabhupāda: Oh, that, dog can also do. If you train dog that "If somebody, outsider, comes, you bark," he'll do it.

Guest (2): The consciousness is...

Prabhupāda: And so... Real intelligence is that to know "What I am." "I do not want to suffer. Why suffering in this world is imposed upon me?" This is intelligence. Take, for example, nobody wants to die. Why death is forced upon him? Nobody wants to die. If there is now news immediately, "Now this house will collapse," immediately we shall fly away. Because we don't want to die. If we understand that this house is going to be bombed immediately, we'll immediately leave. If there is earthquake... So many things.

So nobody wants to die, but death is sure. So what solution they have made? I do not want to die, and death is forced upon me. So what solution we have made? What is, what is the scientists have done in this connection? Psychologically, if I do not want to die, then I must find out some way that death will not bother me. That is intelligence. You are talking of intelligence. Therefore I am explaining what is intelligence. Intelligence means, "I do not want something, but it is being forced upon me. How to check it?" That is intelligence.

Actually, the whole world is going on, we do not want to suffer. But suffering is there, three kinds of suffering. One kind of suffering is called pertaining to the body and mind. I don't want to be diseased, but there is, all of a sudden, there is disease, diarrhea. I don't want it, but it is imposed. This is suffering due to the body. Some discrepancies. Mind... Body's sound, but mind is not sound. Mind is "Oh, I don't feel today very nice." You see.

This is one kind of suffering. Another suffering: other living creature gives you some pain. There are so many. Some of your friends, he turns to become your enemy. He puts you in difficulty. Or there are so many animals, so many insects, they give us trouble. This is one kind of suffering. Another kind of suffering: by nature's... All of sudden, there is drought. Now, just like all, in India there is drought; they are suffering. No rain. All of a sudden there is earthquake. That is also suffering. There is some epidemic, pestilence. You cannot check it.

So in this way, either of these three, suffering's going on. But those who are sleeping, they cannot understand that this is suffering. Just like animals. They cannot understand. That is sleeping stage. And when one is awakened, he will think, "I don't want all these sufferings. Why they are imposed upon me? How I can avoid?" That is intelligence. So human being, unless he comes to this platform of intelligence, he is animal. The animal cannot do any remedy. You take one animal to the slaughterhouse, he cannot do anything. So sleeping means to remain in ignorance. And awakened stage means in knowledge. So intelligence means one must have knowledge. That is intelligence.

So this division—brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra—means the highest intelligent class man is called brāhmaṇa. He knows. He's in knowledge. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati (BG 18.54). Next intelligent, less, is the kṣatriyas. Next, the vaiśyas. And the śūdras, they are like..., almost like animals. They have no independence. Just like animal has no independence. A dog without a master, he cannot live. His life is very precarious. So at the present moment, however one qualified may be, unless he gets a good job, he's just like a dog, a street dog. He may be very highly qualified, technologically, but if he does not get a job, then he's useless. He'll go, "Sir, can you give me any job?" "No vacancy." A dog like. Just like dog goes, moves the tail, "Can you give me some food?" Somebody gives him, "Eh! Hut!" This is the position.

Therefore in this age, kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ (Skanda Purāṇa). In Kali-yuga, there is no brāhmaṇa, no kṣatriya. There are some vaiśyas. And all śūdras. Because they cannot live without being engaged by somebody else. And the whole civilization is going on, big, big factories, big, big... What is that? Śūdras. They are creating śūdras: "People should be dependent." Unless you work... Therefore people are going fifty miles away, going... I have seen in New York. People are coming from the other side... What is that?

Haṁsadūta: Connecticut.

Prabhupāda: No, no. Staten Island?

Haṁsadūta: Staten Island.

Prabhupāda: Crossing by ferry, one hour. Then waiting for bus, another hour. Then going to the office. Then after office, they're coming back. Again going. Whole day, they're dependent on everything. That is the condition in New York. It is to be supposed the most advanced city. The same thing is everywhere. People are becoming dependent, śūdra, just like dogs. A dog, unless he gets a nice master, he's not happy.

So at the present moment, all the population, just like the cats and dogs, they're dependent. They are not intelligent. Intelligence means he must be independent. That is intelligence. And people are struggling for independence. That is their motive. Everyone is struggling hard for independence. Because that is the culmination of intelligence. So our problem is that we do not know what we are. Neither we know how to get out of the miserable condition of life. Therefore we have no intelligence. We are like cats and dogs. This is the conclusion. What do you think? Am I right or wrong?

Guest (1): I couldn't follow you.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Guest (1): I haven't followed you.

Prabhupāda: No, what is your opinion, my description of intelligence and not..., no intelligence?

Guest (1): I think you're right.

Prabhupāda: Thank you. (laughter)

Guest (1): But you know, my thoughts in the matter really aren't worth very much.

Prabhupāda: But we can give intelligence by which he can become independent. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

Guest (1): How can we, in a money-orientated world?

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Haṁsadūta: How can we become intelligent or independent?

Guest (1): In a money-orientated world.

Prabhupāda: Well, money you can get. That money does not mean independence.

Guest (1): No, I know.

Prabhupāda: They are, while working, they're getting money, but they're not independent.

Guest (1): No, I understand that.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So without money if you become independent, that is intelligence.

Śrutakīrti: That was her question.

Prabhupāda: Ah. That, if you can get Kṛṣṇa, you'll...

Guest (1): But how do you... What I mean is how do you, how can you...

Prabhupāda: That "how to," that we shall teach, as we are teaching others. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated,

yaṁ labdhvā cāparaṁ lābhaṁ
manyate nādhikaṁ tataḥ
yasmin sthito guruṇāpi
duḥkhena na vicālyate
(BG 6.22)

Yaṁ labdhvā. You get something which getting, you will be satisfied: "I don't want anything more." That is highest gain. Yaṁ labdhvā cāparaṁ lābhaṁ manyate nādhikaṁ tataḥ. Cāparam. Another kind of benefit is not required. So yasmin sthite: if we remain in that position, then even there is hardest difficulty of life, he'll not be disturbed.

(pause)

Where is Paṇḍitjī?

Devotee: I'll get him.

(pause)

Haṁsadūta: Should I put on the light, Prabhupāda?

Prabhupāda: Yes. (Pradyumna enters) Sit down.

(pause)

He gets such thing, when he gets it, he'll consider that he doesn't want anything more. That is the greatest profit. And the result is that when one gets that thing, even he is in the greatest difficulty of life, he's not disturbed.

yaṁ labdhvā cāparaṁ lābhaṁ
manyate nādhikaṁ tataḥ
yasmin sthite guruṇāpi
duḥkhena na vicālyate
(BG 6.22)

Hmm. (to Pradyumna) Take that. Bhagavad-gītā. Yaṁ labdhvā. Yaṁ labdhvā cāparaṁ lābhaṁ manyate nādhikaṁ tataḥ. I think it is in the Sixth Chapter.

Pradyumna: Yaṁ nam?

Prabhupāda: Labdhvā.

Pradyumna: Oh, cāparaṁ lābham?

Prabhupāda: Ah.

Pradyumna: 6.22.

yaṁ labdhvā cāparaṁ lābhaṁ
manyate nādhikaṁ tataḥ
yasmin sthito na duḥkhena
guruṇāpi vicālyate
taṁ vidyād duḥkha-saṁyoga-
viyogaṁ yoga-saṁjñitam
(BG 6.22-23)

"Established thus, one never departs from the truth, and upon gaining this, he thinks there is no greater gain. Being situated in such a position, one is never shaken, even in the midst of greatest difficulty. This, indeed, is actual freedom from all miseries arising from material contact."

Prabhupāda: Purport.

Pradyumna: "By practice of yoga, one becomes gradually detached from material concepts. This is the primary characteristic of the yoga principle. And after this, one becomes situated in trance, or samādhi, which means that the yogī realizes the Supersoul through transcendental mind and intelligence, without any of the misgivings of identifying the self with the Superself. Yoga practice is more or less based on the principles of the Patañjali system. Some unauthorized commentators try to identify the individual soul with the Supersoul, and the monists think this to be liberation, but they do not understand the real purpose of the Patañjali system of yoga.

There is an acceptance of transcendental pleasure in the Patañjali system, but the monists do not accept this transcendental pleasure out of fear of jeopardizing the theory of oneness. The duality of knowledge and knower is not accepted by the non-dualist, but in this verse transcendental pleasure, realized through transcendental senses, is accepted, and this is corroborated by the Patañjali Muni, the famous exponent of the yoga system. The great sage declares in his Yoga-sūtras (4.34): puruṣārtha-śūnyānāṁ guṇānāṁ pratiprasavaḥ kaivalyaṁ svarūpa-pratiṣṭhā vā citi-śaktir iti.

This citi-śakti, or internal potency, is transcendental. Puruṣārtha means material religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and, at the end, the attempt to become one with the Supreme. This oneness with the Supreme is called kaivalyam by the monist. But according to Patañjali, this kaivalyam is an internal, or transcendental, potency by which the living entity becomes aware of his constitutional position. In the words of Lord Caitanya, this state of affairs is called ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam, or clearance of the impure mirror of the mind. This clearance is actually liberation, or bhava-mahādāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam (CC Antya 20.12). The theory of nirvāṇa—also preliminary—corresponds with this principle. In the Bhāgavatam this is called svarūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ (SB 2.10.6). The Bhagavad-gītā also confirms this situation in this verse.

"After nirvāṇa, or material cessation, there is the manifestation of spiritual activities, or devotional service of the Lord, known as Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In the words of the Bhāgavatam, svarūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ: this is the real life of the living entity. Māyā, or illusion, is the condition of spiritual life contaminated by material infection. Liberation from this material infection does not mean destruction of the original eternal position of the living entity. Patañjali also accepts this by his words kaivalyam svarūpa-pratiṣṭhā vā citi-śaktir iti. This citi-śakti, or transcendental pleasure, is real life. This is confirmed in the Vedānta-sūtras as ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12). This natural transcendental pleasure is the ultimate goal of yoga and is easily achieved by execution of devotional service, or bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga will be vividly described in the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā.

"In the yoga system as described in this chapter, there are two kinds of samādhi, called samprajñāta-samādhi and asamprajñāta-samādhi. When one becomes situated in the transcendental position by various philosophical researches, it is called samprajñāta-samādhi. In the asamprajñāta-samādhi there is no longer any connection with mundane pleasure, for one is then transcendental to all sorts of happiness derived from the senses. When the yogī is once situated in that transcendental position, he is never shaken from it. Unless the yogī is able to reach this position, he is unsuccessful.

Today's so-called yoga practice, which involves various sense pleasures, is contradictory. A yogī indulging in sex and intoxication is a mockery. Even those yogīs who are attracted by the siddhis (perfections) in the process of yoga are not perfectly situated. If the yogīs are attracted by the by-products of yoga, then they cannot attain the stage of perfection, as is stated in this verse. Persons, therefore, indulging in the make-show practice of gymnastic feats or siddhis should know that the aim of yoga is lost in that way.

"The best practice of yoga in this age is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which is not baffling. A Kṛṣṇa conscious person is so happy in his occupation that he does not aspire after any other happiness. There are many impediments, especially in this age of hypocrisy, to practicing haṭha-yoga, dhyāna-yoga and jñāna-yoga, but there is no such problem in executing karma-yoga or bhakti-yoga.

"As long as the material body exists, one has to meet the demands of the body, namely eating, sleeping, defending and mating. But a person who is in pure bhakti-yoga, or in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, does not arouse the senses while meeting the demands of the body. Rather, he accepts the bare necessities of life, making the best use of a bad bargain, and enjoys transcendental happiness in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He is callous toward incidental occurrences—such as accidents, disease, scarcity and even the death of a most dear relative—but he is always alert to execute his duties in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or bhakti-yoga. Accidents never deviate him from his duty. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, āgamāpāyino 'nityās tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata (BG 2.14). He endures all such incidental occurrences because he knows that they come and go and do not affect his duties. In this way he achieves the highest perfection in yoga practice."

Prabhupāda: If you have got any question in this statement, you can ask.

Guest (1): Just, just how?

Prabhupāda: How, that you have to learn, but this is the process.

Guest (1): That is the end product.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Guest (1): That is the end product.

Prabhupāda: Hmm. You learn. We have got this institution. You can come and learn how others are doing, others are learning. We have got class in the morning at seven. If you've got time, you can..., you are welcome. We don't charge anything. You can come and join. There is no business. You can live with us. We don't charge anything. Or you can come and go, attend class. There is no charge. Kṛṣṇa gives us everything. Just like this house. This is two hundred thousand pounds. George Harrison has purchased it, and he has given us. Similarly, everything comes from Kṛṣṇa. None of our members go to office or factory. (chuckles) But we eat also, nicely.

Guest(2): Yes, but if somebody didn't go to the factories, you wouldn't, would you?

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Guest (2): Somebody has to go and do the work to make the food, keep the country running.

Prabhupāda: No. We don't hate to work. That is not our business. If we get work, we work for Kṛṣṇa. The income comes to Kṛṣṇa. But if we don't get work, we are not bothered, that "There is no work. Where shall I eat? Where shall I sleep? Where shall I go?" No, there is no such botheration. So all the members, I think, eighty, ninety percent, they do not go to work outside.

Haṁsadūta: Ninety-nine percent.

Prabhupāda: Eh? (laughter) But they get their food and shelter and everything, even they live with the wife, children. So we... Kṛṣṇa gives. Not only that, that we are simply sannyāsī, brahmacārī. There are gṛhastha, householder—husband, wife, children. They are also living. So that is not our problem. How to eat, how to sleep, that is not our problem. Our only problem is how to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. That is...

Guest (1): Yes. That was the question that was puzzling me. What is...?

Prabhupāda: That you have to learn. Not in a moment you can understand. Then you have to come to the schooling process. Otherwise, how you can learn in a moment, such a big subject matter?

Guest (1): Yes.

Prabhupāda: We are going to solve all the problems of life. Such a nice proposal. Don't you think it requires little patience to understand how to do it?

Guest (1): It requires a little bravery.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Guest (1): It requires bravery, too.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Because we have got background Kṛṣṇa, so bravery, personally we haven't got to practice. Just like a child is in the protection of a able father, he's happy. "Whatever happens, father will see." He's happy. He's confident, "My father is there; my mother is there. Who can do any harm to me?" He's confident.

Guest (1): There is so much that's wrong.

Prabhupāda: So similarly, if you depend on Kṛṣṇa, God, He'll take care of you. He says in the Bhagavad-gītā:

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
(BG 18.66)

Yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham. Teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham (BG 9.22). Everything is there. And that you have to understand practically.

(pause)

You are all living in neighborhood, this village? No. You have come from distant place?

Guest (1): Hmm.

Prabhupāda: Oh. So whenever you find time, you can come, or, if you like, you can live with us. We have got ample place. Girls and ladies, they live separately. Boys and gentlemen, they live separately. Those who are married, we have got apartments for householders. And gradually, we are improving, I mean to say, arranging further facilities. First of all you try to attend our class in the morning and inquire all about your doubts.

Have some clear idea what is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Read our literatures as far as possible. You have taken some book, I see, I saw. (break) ...foodstuff to Kṛṣṇa, and that is called prasādam, remnants of foodstuff offered to Kṛṣṇa. (break) (indistinct)...one book, Hare Kṛṣṇa cookbook.

(aside:) Show them.

Devotee: (showing book) Hare Kṛṣṇa cookbook.

Prabhupāda: Simply hear in our class and take this prasādam, your business will be done. You haven't got to do anything. Simply hear and take prasādam. Actually, it is not like that? Let him hear and take prasādam. And if you agree to this principle, we take charge of you. You haven't got any botheration, how you'll get prasādam. We shall arrange for you.

Guest (3) (young British woman): Religion, meaning trying to serve God, is any more right than another?

Prabhupāda: This is not religion. This is the only business. Religion is different thing. Suppose... Just like, I have already explained, that you are sleeping, and you have got a good engagement. And somebody's trying to awake you, that "You have to go there. Just get up. Get up." So this kind of business is not religion. Religion is a..., what is a meant a kind of faith, a sentiment. That is different thing. It is the main business of human being.

Because we are part and parcel of... Just like a boy, he's very rich man's son. Some way or other, he's out of his home, and he's suffering for want of food, want of shelter. And somebody is giving information that "I know you are such-and-such big man's son. Why you are loitering in the street? Why don't you go back to your home, back to your father?"

So is it not the best business? So everyone is suffering. That I have already explained, how they are suffering. We are trying to save his suffering by dispatching him back to home, back to Godhead. This is our business. So it is not religion; it is the most important humanitarian work. What do you think?

Haṁsadūta: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes. We are giving the right information how human being can be really happy. This is end. It is not religious sentiment. Religion means a kind of faith. Today I am Hindu; tomorrow I am Christian; next day I am Muhammadan. What benefit I may get by changing so-called faith? Unless I understand what is my constitutional position, why I am suffering, how to get out of it... That is real life. Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is that. It is not a sentimental religious faith. It is not like that. It is absolutely necessary for the human being. We are talking of human being because without being a human being, nobody will be able... The cats and dogs, they will not be able to understand the problem. In the human form of life you can make solution of all the problems of life. It is a science, how to make that solution. That we are teaching. We are not talking of religion. Religion... Somebody will say, "I believe," "We believe..." Another will, "We believe." You believe; if it is not a fact, what is the use of such believing? We are dealing with facts, not the question of believing and not believing. Facts are facts. If you don't take facts, then you are missing the opportunity.

(pause)

(aside:) You have got some visitors' book, to...?

Haṁsadūta: Visitors' book, to sign?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Haṁsadūta: No, I don't think so.

Prabhupāda: Somebody told me they have got.

You have seen all our books? You have seen?

Guest (2): Yes.

Prabhupāda: You have seen?

Guest (1): Some of the little...

(pause) (end)