730723 - Conversation A - London
(Conversation with Lord Fenner Brockway)
Śyāmasundara: Prabhupāda, this is Lord Fenner Brockway.
Prabhupāda: I'm so glad to . . .
Śyāmasundara: And . . .
Prabhupāda: So you were born in Calcutta?
Lord Brockway: Yes, a little before you. (laughter)
Prabhupāda: Oh. So how long you remained after your birth?
Lord Brockway: I only remained in India for four years.
Prabhupāda: Four years.
Lord Brockway: And my childhood was spent at Berampur.
Lord Brockway: Yes.
Prabhupāda: I see.
Lord Brockway: My parents were missionaries there.
Prabhupāda: Hmm. I was also a student of missionary college, Scottish Churches' College.
Lord Brockway: Oh, yes.
Prabhupāda: Yes. We had very good professors. W. S. Urquhart, Dr. W. S. Urquhart, he was a Scotsman.
Lord Brockway: Yes, yes. Was that in Calcutta?
Prabhupāda: Yes, in Calcutta. And Lord Ronaldshay, Zetland, Marquis of Zetland. He was governor of Bengal. So he's also a Scotsman.
Lord Brockway: Yes.
Prabhupāda: So he came to our college in our . . . when we were young men, second-year student. All our professors, mostly they were Scotsmen, and there was one English professor, Mr. Warren. All other professors, they were Scotsmen—Mr. Keye, Mr. Cameron, Mr. Scrimgeour, in this way.
Lord Brockway: Those are Scottish names.
Prabhupāda: Yes, Scottish name. So you remained only four years after your birth.
Lord Brockway: That is true. But I have quite clear memories, especially of Berampur, of our house, of playing with Indian children under a tree. (laughs)
Śyāmasundara: He goes back frequently to India for visits.
Prabhupāda: Berampur is not very far away from our temple.
Śyāmasundara: In Māyāpur?
Prabhupāda: Yes. That road goes to Berampur. That is called Berampur National Road.
Lord Brockway: Yes, it was then a village. I understand it is now a town. When I was in India five years ago, I had set aside one day to visit Berampur, and unfortunately, it was the one day when I was not well. So I never went back.
Prabhupāda: Yes, I have seen, you have so many nice books. We have got also some books. Have you shown him these books?
Śyāmasundara: Yes, I've given him some.
Lord Brockway: Oh, you . . . I have received many books.
Śyāmasundara: Mr . . . Lord Brockway has been a vegetarian his life long.
Prabhupāda: Oh, that's nice. That's a good advancement for spiritual understanding.
Lord Brockway: Yes, I became a vegetarian, oh, seventy years ago.
Prabhupāda: Oh, I see.
Lord Brockway: All from aesthetic ideas, humanitarian ideas. And I've proved one can be just as healthy.
Prabhupāda: Yes, you look very healthy.
Lord Brockway: Over eighty-five years. I'm very fortunate.
Prabhupāda: Yes, he's older than me. Still, he looks very nice.
Śyāmasundara: Yeah. Still active in the Parliament.
Lord Brockway: And I know little about your religion and your philosophy. I do not belong to any religious denomination, though I believe in the spiritual basis of the universe.
Lord Brockway: And the great moments of inspiration are those rare moments when you feel you belong to all of life, from the beginning of time, now, everywhere.
Prabhupāda: No, our preaching is also on that point, that God is one, and we are all sons of God.
(aside) Call our paṇḍita.
In the . . . I think you have read Bhagavad-gītā.
Lord Brockway: Yes.
Prabhupāda: There it is stated,
- sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
- sambhavanti mūrtayaḥ yāḥ
- tāsāṁmahad yonir brahma
- ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā
- (BG 14.4)
Lord Kṛṣṇa says that there are different species of life, yoni. According to Padma Purāṇa there are 8,400,000 species of different forms of life. So Kṛṣṇa claims that "All these living entities in different forms of life, I am the seed-giving father of all of them, and the material nature is the mother." Just like father impregnates with the seed, and the mother gives the body, similarly, God impregnates material nature with all kinds of living entities—not in different forms, but the original seed. And according to one's karma, he comes out in different types of bodies. The body is given by material nature, and the life is given by God. This is the sum and substance. And therefore God is one, and He's the father of everyone.
As such, without the center point, God consciousness, we cannot substantiate the ideas of universal brotherhood. Because if the center is missing, then how we can think of universal brotherhood? If we accept God is the center point, father, then I can understand you are my brother, because you are also son of God; I am also son of God. But I am missing the father, then we miss also our mutual relationship. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18). One who is learned, he does not make any distinction between a tree or a man or animal or a brāhmaṇa or a caṇḍāla, because he sees that within the body there is the soul, and the soul is spirit, part and parcel of God. That is his vision.
(aside:) You can take Bhagavad-gītā and . . . read the Sixteenth Chapter.
So at the present moment, the world is missing God, or they are rejecting, demonic. There are two classes of men always. One is called devatā, godly, and the other is called demon, asura, or satanic. Whatever you call, the two classes. So those who are God conscious, they are godly. And those who have no God consciousness, they are demonic, or satanic. So these two classes of men are always there. But at the present moment, the number of demonic or satanic consciousness, they have increased. Yes. So the symptoms of the demonic people are described in the Bhagavad-gītā. If you kindly hear . . . you can s . . .
Pradyumna: Start with the godly?
Prabhupāda: Yes, godly. Yes.
- śrī bhagavān uvāca
- abhayaṁ sattva-saṁśuddhir
- dānaṁ damaś ca yajñaś ca
- svādhyāyas tapa ārjavam
- ahiṁsā satyam akrodhas
- tyāgaḥ śāntir apaiśunam
- dayā bhūteṣv aloluptvaṁ
- mārdavaṁ hrīr acāpalam
- (BG 16.1-2)
Prabhupāda: This boy is American boy, but he has learned Sanskrit very nicely.
- tejaḥ kṣamā dhṛtiḥ śaucam
- adroho nātimānitā
- bhavanti sampadaṁ daivīm
- abhijātasya bhārata
- (BG 16.3)
Translation: "The Blessed Lord said, fearlessness, purification of one's existence, cultivation of spiritual knowledge, charity, self-control, performance of sacrifice, study of the Vedas, austerity and simplicity, nonviolence, truthfulness, freedom from anger, renunciation, tranquillity, aversion to faultfinding, compassion and freedom from covetousness, gentleness, modesty and steady determination, vigor, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, freedom from envy and the passion for honor, these transcendental qualities, O son of Bhārata, belong to godly men endowed with divine nature."
Prabhupāda: Then the demonic nature?
- dambho darpo 'bhimānaś ca
- krodhaḥ pāruṣyam eva ca
- ajñānaṁ cābhijātasya
- pārtha sampadam āsurīm
- (BG 16.4)
"Arrogance, pride, anger, conceit, harshness and ignorance, these qualities belong to those of demoniac nature, O son of Pṛthā."
Prabhupāda: Then characteristics of demonic people?
Pradyumna: Uh . . .
Prabhupāda: Pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ ca . . .
- pravṛttiṁ ca nivṛttiṁ ca
- janā na vidur āsurāḥ
- na śaucaṁ nāpi cācāro
- na satyaṁ teṣu vidyate
- (BG 16.7)
"Those who are demoniac do not know what is to be done and what is not to be done. Neither cleanliness nor proper behavior nor truth is found in them."
Prabhupāda: Then? Next verse.
- asatyam apratiṣṭhaṁ te
- jagad āhur anīśvaram
- kim anyat kāma-haitukam
- (BG 16.8)
"They say that this world is unreal, that there is no foundation and that there is no God in control. It is produced of sex desire and has no cause other than lust."
Prabhupāda: This is the opinion of the demoniac people, that the . . . there is no God, there is no controller; it has come into existence by chemical reaction, just like a child is born by sex intercourse, reaction of some chemical. This is the demonic theory. But . . . what is the next? Go on.
- etāṁ dṛṣṭim avaṣṭabhya
- naṣṭātmāno 'lpa-buddhayaḥ
- prabhavanty ugra-karmāṇaḥ
- kṣayāya jagato 'hitāḥ
- (BG 16.9)
"Following such conclusion, the demoniac, who are lost to themselves and who have no intelligence, engage in unbeneficial, horrible works meant to destroy the world."
Prabhupāda: So work is required. But godly persons, they want to live a simple life and high thinking, save time for understanding of God. The demonic people, they are engaged in horrible activities. They have manufactured so many things. So in this way . . . there are so many descriptions. Actually, by the increase of demoniac people, people are not very happy, and they are missing the ultimate goal of life. That is the defect of the modern civilization. They do not believe that there is an ultimate goal of life, there is life after death, and what kind of body he's going to get next. These things are not . . . neither in the university education curriculum, neither people are interested. So at the present moment—this is called Kali-yuga—so people are being misled. Actually, the human being, the form of human life, is distinct from animal life. So if we live like animals, then we are missing the chance. At the present moment, this is the position.
So we are preaching this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement strictly on the basis of this Bhagavad-gītā. In the Bhagavad-gītā, there is everything explained. So if people take to it, if people are educated, then things will change in a different way. They'll be happy and they will be peaceful, nice. And above, over and above them, they will have next life very blissful, full of knowledge and eternal. Yad gatvā na nivarta . . . these things are all very nicely explained.
There is eternal life. There is another nature. Paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ (BG 8.20). This is material nature, but there is another, spiritual nature. There everything is permanent. Here everything is nonpermanent. Just like my body, your body, it is now getting older. And it will vanquish. This body will be finished. It will never come again back. Never come. This exactly type of this body you'll never get. So we have to accept another body. Tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati (BG 2.13). Dehāntara-prāptiḥ.
It is exemplified just like we change our shirt and coat and take another set, similarly, this gross body, material gross body, five elements—earth, water, air, fire, sky—and then mind, intelligence, ego, subtle body, within that subtle body the soul is there, and after annihilation of this gross body, the subtle body takes to another gross body. The nature is going on like that. And we are wandering in different species of life, in different planets. But our real purpose is God-realization. That we are missing. That chance is in the human form of life.
So if people are not educated to this goal of life, that is not helping the country or the society or the human being. If we simply engage them in the activities of animal life—how to eat, how to sleep, how to have sex life and how to defend, no more—then it is simply advancement of animal civilization. But those who are thinking good for all humanity, they should note this defect, that simply giving him nice food, nice shelter, nice sex facilities and nice defense, his problem of life is not solved. He should be given enlightenment about God consciousness. And if he is educated in that way, if he . . . by next life, he can go back to home, back to Godhead. This education is lacking.
So we are trying in our small endeavor. But if leading personalities like you of the society, they try to understand this philosophy scientifically, critically, and take it seriously, they can . . . there will be great benefit for the human society. The program we have got, but we are not leading personalities. You are all leading personalities, at least in England. Lord . . . this group, House of Lord, is there. It was always there. In previous days also. They were called amātyas. All leading men of the society, they used to give advice to the king. And brāhmaṇas also. I think the knighthood means that. What is the meaning of this knighthood? Eh? Personal advisors to the king?
Lord Brockway: Not necessarily to the king. It's a recognition of some service to society, but it doesn't mean any close association with the monarch.
Prabhupāda: Oh, I see. But knight means the associates of the monarch, is it not the meaning? Knight?
Śyāmasundara: No. It's more like an award, I think, given to someone who has done service.
Prabhupāda: No, that's all right. This is recognition. But this "knight," this very word, means "associates of the monarch." Is that . . .? No.
Lord Brockway: I don't think so. It may have done in its original form . . .
Lord Brockway: . . . when the number of knights were much less than they are today.
Prabhupāda: I see.
Lord Brockway: But there'll be too many today to be associates.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. Now it has come to another platform. So anyway, the knights, they are respectable gentlemen of the society, leading men of the society. So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant for enlightening people to the right standard of understanding the goal of life. Because after this life, after this body is annihilated, we do not know what kind of body we are getting next. We must prepare. Just like you are elevated to the position of lordship. So you had to prepare yourself. Not that this lordship is offered to anyone and everyone.
One who is qualified, he is offered this position. Similarly, we should know how we are becoming qualified for the next life. But that education is lacking. There is no such education. In the university or anywhere, nobody thinks, "What we are going to become next life?" But we should be prepared. If, after becoming prime minister in this life, or president, like Mr. Nixon, and again, by his activities, he's going to be another animal, oh, that is not very successful proposal. But there is such chance. Because after death, after giving up this body, we are completely under the grip of material nature.
- prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni
- guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
- kartāham iti manyate
- (BG 3.27)
(aside:) Find out this verse.
Prakṛti, nature, will offer the body, and there are so many varieties of body. So one should know at least what kind of body I'm going to get next. That is intelligence. And if he remains in the darkness, and if he becomes other than human being, that is not very good proposal. They should know.
(aside) What is that? Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni . . .?
- prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni
- guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
- kartāham iti manyate
- (BG 3.27)
"The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature."
Prabhupāda: Yes. So the whole problem is how to get out of the control of material nature. That is also mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā.
- daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī
- mama māyā duratyayā
- mām eva ye prapadyante
- māyām etāṁ taranti te
- (BG 7.14)
- daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī
- mama māyā duratyayā
- mām eva ye prapadyante
- māyām etāṁ taranti te
- (BG 7.14)
"This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome, but those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it."
Prabhupāda: So this thing we are teaching, how to get out of the control of the three modes of material nature, to put him into the transcendental platform. That is the success of life. And this chance is obtainable in this human form of life. If he misses this chance, again he becomes, suppose, a tree or a cat or a dog . . . there is every chance. Because it is under the control of material nature; according to my work and mentality, I'll get another body.
Lord Brockway: Yes, there are . . . there are many things I'd like to say, many questions . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.
Lord Brockway: . . . I would like to ask. I do not belong to any church. I'm attracted to Eastern religions and the Hindu religion because they are pantheist, they have a sense of belonging to everyone and everything in all time and, because of that spiritual feeling, service to all. And I find that better than Church theology, because Church theology is so often thinking entirely of personal salvation rather than service to all. And for those reasons I'm attracted to Eastern religions. I think the second comment I would make is this, that you have said that if the world is to move towards brotherhood it must be by a recognition of the fatherhood of God, and that all men are the sons of God.
Prabhupāda: Not only men; all living entities.
Lord Brockway: Oh, yes, I mean men in the human aspect. Men and women are the sons and daughters, the children of God. I would say two things about that, that I think that those who sincerely have that conviction can be inspired to serve the coming of the brotherhood of mankind, but in experience I would not limit it to those who have that experience.
And I find in life that many people who do not have religious convictions at all have a humanist conception which leads them to be very active for peace in the world, a human brotherhood, compassion, and all those characteristics which you have described as the capacities of those who share your religion. And in life they will express that even if they have the deeper recognition which you have described. I think the third thing that I would say about what you have said is this: it may be—I do not know—that there is a form of life after death. I don't know. I think if there is, the best preparation for it is service to one's fellow human beings in our present life.
Prabhupāda: Yes, but one thing is . . .
Lord Brockway: Yes?
Prabhupāda: . . . that whatever service you render, because this world is of three qualities, the service will be, of course, of three qualities: goodness, passion and ignorance. These are described there.
Lord Brockway: Yes, I listened with a very great interest and almost complete agreement . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes. So . . .
Lord Brockway: . . . to what has been read.
Prabhupāda: . . . what kind of service we shall give? I can give you one example. I have seen it practically, that in Calcutta one neighbor, neighboring gentleman, his daughter-in-law, he (she) was beating her young son. So I inquired, "Why that daughter-in-law . . .?" Because her father-in-law was of my age, little older. "So why daughter-in-law is punishing her son? What is the fault?" Naturally, young, a small child. So the report came that the . . . one of the child, one of the boy, was suffering from typhoid, fever, and another boy stole from the kitchen some parāṭā and gave him to eat.
And when the mother came into knowledge, she was punishing that, "Why you have given this parāṭā?" Because in typhoid, no solid food is taken. So he cannot . . . but the suffering child was thinking that, "Mother is not giving me food," so he requested his younger brother, "You give me some food." So he does not know. He has given the food. But the result is that he is being punished. So without knowing how to give service, sometimes we may be punished. What kind of service we shall give? . . . (indistinct) . . . example. So there are three kinds of services: goodness, passion and ignorance. If we . . .
Lord Brockway: Goodness . . .?
Prabhupāda: Passion, yes.
Prabhupāda: And ignorance. If we give service in ignorance, without knowing what is wanted, that kind of service may lead us to become punished. So we must know what kind of service we shall give.
So real suffering of the society, human society, or any society you take, real suffering is because the living entity has forgotten God, so he is being punished in different way by the material nature. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). So many ways. But everyone is being punished. At least, the three kind . . . why three kinds? That is stated in Bhagavad-gītā, that this is also punishment, repetition of birth and death. This is also punishment.
Because we are eternal. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). We are spirit soul; we are eternal. So our this constant change of body, birth and death, that is also punishment. Because nobody wants to die, because he is eternal. How he'll like to die? He wants to keep his eternal position, but he, because he's criminal . . . just like one man is condemned to die, murderer, so he has to die. But he wants to protect himself, placing himself in the court, "How to save? How to save?" So that is our natural tendency, that we do not want to die. Why? Because we are eternal. We have got the prerogative.
So if . . . anyone does not want to die. Anyone does not want to take birth even. Now we have forgotten. Otherwise, in the womb of the mother, everyone knows that we are kept in such a way, in a packed, compact water bag, without any facility to move, not only for one day, two day, but ten months. Medical science knows; everyone knows. And at that time there are worms in the womb of the mother, taking the advantage, delicate skin; they also bite. And he cannot make any protest. He moves sometimes. The child moves. These are the sufferings. But we do not take care. If I have to take birth again, then I have to go, again enter into the womb of the mother, and to develop my body and in such precarious condition, the body will develop.
So there is suffering. There is suffering of birth, and at the time of death there is suffering. And between birth and death, there is duration of life, there is disease, there is old age, and what to speak of other sufferings. That we may not mention. But at least these four sufferings are there. Therefore the best service is to save him from this suffering. That is the service.
Lord Brockway: Yes, two things: First, when I speak of service, I don't just mean individual goodness to others. I think the service to the world today means an understanding of the causes of war, of the causes of poverty. It means an intellectual analysis and seeking to end what are the causes of war and poverty and suffering and crime. And it isn't only individual goodness. It's a combination of a desire, which is good, with a knowledge of how to achieve it. That would be the first thing that I would say. And the second thing I would say is this, and this may surprise you: I would quite welcome death. I've no fear of it at all.
Prabhupāda: Because you are pure.
Lord Brockway: I, uh . . . (Prabhupāda laughs)
Prabhupāda: You are little advanced.
Lord Brockway: I would not want death through suffering. I should love to go to sleep and die. When I have an operation, I would like to die under the anesthetic. It would be quite beautiful. And I say that, though I have no picture in my mind at all of what would happen after death or if anything happens. I love the description which was given by my friend Bertrand Russell, that life is like being born in a spring on the hillside, and the stream becoming a river . . .
Prabhupāda: . . . so many tossings. That is the problem of life. It is not that it begins and goes. Going to the end, oh, we have to face so many tossings. That is the problem of life.
Lord Brockway: Yes, and I acknowledge I don't know. And I am personally satisfied with trying to do what I can while I'm living in this life for the betterment of mankind. And I believe that's the best preparation for any future life, if there is a future life.
Prabhupāda: Well, there is future life, undoubtedly. It is not the question . . . just like you say you remember your childhood days. You were playing with Indian children in Berampur.
Lord Brockway: Yes.
Prabhupāda: But that body is no longer there; your childhood body, that is not existing. Now you are existing in a different body. So you were existing, that's a fact, because you remember. But that body's not existing. Similarly, when this body will not exist, you'll exist. This is natural conclusion. Your that childhood body is no longer existing. Your youthhood body is no longer existing. That's a fact. And it is also a fact that you had such and such body. Therefore you, as the soul, you are permanent, even changing so many types of bodies. Similarly, the conclusion should be when you give up this body, you'll be in another body.
Lord Brockway: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ.
(aside) Find out this.
- dehino 'smin yathā dehe
- kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
- tathā dehāntara-prāptir
- dhīras tatra na muhyati
- (BG 2.13)
Pradyumna: "As the embodied soul continually passes in this body from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change."
Prabhupāda: Yes. This is understanding of the immortality of the soul.
Lord Brockway: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Common, common reasoning.
Lord Brockway: What you've said has impressed me.
Lord Brockway: I wouldn't say it has convinced me one has to think . . .
Prabhupāda: No . . . yes, one has to think; one has to consider. But this is the fact, that I have changed so many bodies, I remember them, but the bodies are not existing; I am existing. This is very simple philosophy. And it is stated, it is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā, and it is accepted by all the ācāryas, learned scholars.
So there is a change of body, or transferring from one body to another. That's a fact. Under the circumstances, we should consider what kind of body will be nice next. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:
- yānti deva-vratā devān
- pitṟn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ
- bhūtejyā yānti bhūtāni
- mad-yājino 'pi yānti mām
- (BG 9.25)
Just like people are trying to go to the moon planet. So if you prepare yourself, you haven't got to take a machine and go to the moon planet. You can go to the moon planet. That is stated in the śāstras. You can prepare yourself. That means transfer your . . . yourself to a body in the moon planet. You transfer yourself for a body in the sun planet. So there are innumerable planets. And there is a planet where Kṛṣṇa lives, or God lives, also.
So if you like, you can transfer yourself to a body in Kṛṣṇa's planet. These are explained here. Simply you have to adopt the prescribed method: "By following this method, you transfer to such and such planet," "By following this method, you can transfer . . ." There is no need of taking this mechanical . . . that is not possible also. It is futile attempt. You cannot go by force. Because different planets, they have got different atmosphere. So you have to transfer yourself to a suitable body which is suitable in that planet. And for that, you have to prepare.
You cannot go with this body into moon planet, because atmosphere . . . some scientists say—I read in the paper—that the temperature in moon planet is two hundred degrees below zero. So how you can go and live there? It is not possible. But if you want to go there, you can go there after death by preparing yourself. You transfer yourself to a body there. That you can go. So in the Bhagavad-gītā we learn that you can transfer yourself, your soul, to any planet you like, but . . . yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama (BG 15.6): "If you come to that planet from which you'll not have to come back again, that is My abode." So if I have to endeavor for getting another nice body in another planet, why not apply the same energy for going back to home, back to Godhead, after death? This is our conclusion.
Lord Brockway: I think the only thing I'd say is this, that whilst the body that you have and I have is different from the body, the material body, when we were a child, it has been a continuous transformation; it hasn't been the ending of one body and the beginning of another. And in the process of change, a, an existence is carried on. It isn't like death, which means that at that point your personality becomes separated from your physical body suddenly, like that. It is different.
Prabhupāda: No. We become separated from the physical body, but we remain in the astral body, or subtle body—mind, intelligence . . . mind, intelligence and ego. That mind, material mind, material intelligence, you give up when you actually remain in your spiritual body. So this is also a great science. But unfortunately, there is no discussion on this point in any university of the world. But this is a science.
So actual human civilization means they should study, they should inquire about this science and be well conversant. And that is the human . . . athāto brahma jijñāsā. Therefore in the Vedānta-sūtra it is said that human beings should be interested to this science first. Because animals cannot inquire about this science. The animal, they are simply interested how to eat. So similarly, if a man also simply interested in economic development, which means how to eat, how to sleep . . . that is also there in the animal kingdom. They are trying in their own way. But they have no problem. We have created problem. In the morning, we are thinking, "How to get such and such thing?" But a bird, beast, he has no such anxiety.
Therefore the Vedic injunction is that you cannot get more or less. That is already destined. So don't spoil your time in getting more. Because . . . the example is given that nobody wants unhappiness or some disaster. But the disaster comes, unhappiness comes. We have experience in our life. Nobody tries for that: "Let disaster come upon me. Let there be fire in my house." No. But the fire takes place. So similarly, because you are destined to some unhappiness and happiness, that will come, either happiness or unhappiness. You don't bother for that. There is already program, according to the material nature. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni (BG 3.27). You save your time. You simply try how to get out of this dangerous position of repetition of birth and death and go back to home, back to Godhead. That should be your endeavor.
Lord Brockway: I've listened, and I think I understand. And one has to think about it.
Prabhupāda: So my only appeal is that those who are leading men . . . yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ . . .
(aside) Find this verse.
- yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
- tat tad evetaro janaḥ
- sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
- lokas tad anuvartate
- (BG 3.21)
Leading men, whatever they do, ordinary men they'll be followed. Find out.
Pradyumna: "Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men follow in his footsteps, and whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues."
Prabhupāda: Yes. So therefore we are trying to make men like you interested. (laughs)
Lord Brockway: Yes. Yes and no. I've lived in public life for sixty years. I've been in Parliament. I'm now in the House of Lords. But I don't regard myself as a great man in any sense at all.
Prabhupāda: No, no. Of course, there are degrees, but . . .
Lord Brockway: And I've never wanted to be in a gov . . .
Prabhupāda: No great man wants to become great. But because he's great, God helps him to become great.
Lord Brockway: Yes. Well, what I was saying is, I've never wanted to be in a government. I've never wanted to have power. I've had certain ideals that I've wanted to serve, and just prepared to serve them . . .
Lord Brockway: . . . wherever it led.
Prabhupāda: That every human being can do.
Lord Brockway: But as I see so many men and women who are regarded as ordinary men and women, and their heroism in life, their sacrifice in life, their service in life makes me small compared with them, even if they are not known, and even if they are not thought to be great. And so I don't think to be great at all.
Prabhupāda: (laughs) No big man thinks like that. He thinks always small.
Prabhupāda: So that is natu . . . that is good, big, big man. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He was lear . . . "I am fool number one." And the author of Caitanya-caritāmṛta, he says that, "I am lower than the, a worm in the stool." So this is good attitude. Nobody . . . Sir Isaac Newton also used to say that "What knowledge I have got? I have simply collected . . ." They're . . . Every, every big man thinks like that. That is good attitude.
But there is comparative study that, "Here is a big man, here is a common man." So our proposition is that it is a great science, great philosophy. So Western country, they are intelligent, especially the Britain . . . British people. They had very good opportunity. Still they have got opportunity. So my request is that let us study this philosophy and science and if possible introduce it to the human society. That is our proposal.
Śyāmasundara: I think Lord Brockway was saying that his ideal is that, at present moment, that men of the world try to make an understanding, intellectual understanding of the problems and try to make an intellectual solution . . .
Śyāmasundara: . . . philosophical, conscious . . .
Prabhupāda: So here is the opportunity. Here is the opportunity.
Śyāmasundara: . . . consciousness, become conscious, conscious of . . .
Śyāmasundara: . . . the problem.
Prabhupāda: We can, we can discuss on higher intellectual platform this philosophy. It is a science. Therefore we invite the best intelligent person to take part in it. Then other people will follow. That is our proposal.
Śyāmasundara: Interchange of ideas.
Lord Brockway: Well, I don't want to keep you. (laughs)
Prabhupāda: No, it is very nice . . .
Lord Brockway: It has been very, very kind of you.
Prabhupāda: . . . to associate with you.
Lord Brockway: And, uh . . .
Śyāmasundara: She's bringing some dinner for you. Just, just coming.
Lord Brockway: Yes.
Śyāmasundara: One minute.
Prabhupāda: Give him this garland. I forgot to give the garland.
Lord Brockway: (laughs) As in . . . as in India.
Lord Brockway: Very often.
Śyāmasundara: Mālatī gave him a rose, but . . .
Prabhupāda: That's all right.
Lord Brockway: These are very beautiful.
Prabhupāda: This is produced in our garden.
Lord Brockway: Yes. Very, very beautiful.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Now we can simply study the beautiful flower, and we can come to God consciousness. How it is made, so beautiful, unless there is brain? And what is that brain? Then you come to God. Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate svā-bhāvikī-jñāna-bala-kriyā ca (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.8, Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport). Para, the Supreme, has got so nice brain that things are happening as if natural. But no, the brain is acting. Brain is acting. But His energy and brain is so nice that He hasn't got to do it personally. As soon as He desires, immediately the energy works. Just like nowadays, electronic. So simply by pushing one bud, a button, thousands of business is done immediately.
So if it is materially possible, just we have to think how much it is great and possible by spiritual energy. Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate, na tasya kāryaṁ karaṇaṁ ca vidyate. These are the Vedic description. God hasn't got to do anything with His hands. Just like here also: A big man, he has got secretaries, officers. He simply directs, "Do this," everything is done. Similarly, the Supreme Lord, how much energy He has got, and spiritual energy, that as soon as He desires something, immediately it is done. But it is done by employing energy. Not that it has come for nothing. No. This flower, it grows. There is energy. First of all, it was bud. But we cannot see how it is growing. But the act, action, is going on.
Therefore it is called svā-bhāvikī-jñāna-bala-kriyā ca. There is knowledge, there is brain, there is activity. Everything is there. But it is so quick and subtle, we cannot see. We say it is nat . . . it has grown naturally. No, no. There is brain. How nicely it is done. Whatever color is suitable, it is there. So without color, without that brush, without that brain, without that energy, how it has come? How we can think of? Even if you make an artificial flower, oh, you have to take so many colors, you have to take brush, you have to apply your brain. So it has no brain behind? Simply explaining "nature"? What is that nature? The nature is the brain of Kṛṣṇa.
So those who can study, they can study even from this flower what is the greatness of God. This is God consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Everything he sees the hand of God. That is God consciousness. And when a man becomes God conscious, then he's qualified with all good qualities. That is God consciousness. Yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ (SB 5.18.12). If you train a person to become God conscious, then all the good qualities automatically becomes manifest in him. So why not try this? Make a school simply to make people God conscious. You'll find nice people are coming. All good character. And you can take any service from them, good service. This should be attempted. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā mano-rathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ (SB 5.18.12).
And without God consciousness, there cannot be any good qualities. Just like President Nixon. He's exalted. He is occupying such exalted position, but public is criticizing like anything. Hmm? And he's still not leaving that post, unless he's forced. So harāv abhaktasya . . . is that a very good quality? He's publicly elected president. If public accusing him in so many ways, he should have, "All right. If you don't like, I resign." But no. So where is the good quality? There is no good quality, because he has no sense of God consciousness. So without sense of God consciousness, nobody can possess any good quality. That is impossible. And a small man, like our students, because he's God conscious, you'll find so many good qualities in them in comparison to others.
So these are the version of the Vedas. Yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā. One who has become a devotee of the Supreme Lord, all the good qualities will be manifest in him. So we want good quality men. So the one process—to make him God conscious. He'll become the best person in the society. And if the society is composed of the nice person, then where is the war, where is the strife, where is the competition, where is the . . .? Nothing. Everything will be solved. So all the problems will be solved simply making the people God conscious. If not all, a section will do that. Sinless, God conscious persons, their examples will be followed, and society will change.
(aside) Where is prasādam?
Devotee: It's here.
Prabhupāda: Bring it.
Śyāmasundara: I was telling Prabhupāda about our visit to the House of Lords that day . . .
Lord Brockway: Yes.
Śyāmasundara: . . . when you allowed us into the chamber.
Lord Brockway: Yes.
Śyāmasundara: And how . . . the highly civilized manner in which discussion was going on, problems were being solved, very gentlemanly, with high thinking . . .
Lord Brockway: Yes.
Śyāmasundara: . . . and that actually, if all countries of the world had House of Lords, and there were pious men in the House of Lords of all countries, easily the world would solve all of its problems.
Lord Brockway: Not easily. Not easily. And you have a House of Lords which is not democratic. Many of its members . . .
Prabhupāda: No, democracy we don't approve.
Lord Brockway: We don't . . .?
Lord Brockway: Hmm?
Lord Brockway: Of what?
Śyāmasundara: Democracy we don't approve.
Lord Brockway: Oh, I approve of it very, very strongly. Very strongly. It must be . . . it must be the basis of all . . . of all good.
Prabhupāda: No, basis . . . now, suppose if a people in general, they are not advanced, by their votes somebody is elected, he may not be also advanced. That is the defect of democracy. Mass of people, they are not advanced. So simply by their vote, if somebody is elected, then they will have to repent. Just like Nixon. He's elected, but these people are again decrying him, that, "No, you are not good." So why do you . . . did you elect him? You elect, and again you reject. That is the defect of democracy, that people are not advanced. They can commit mistake, elect somebody wrong. And then they will lament. This is the defect.
But monarchy, as it was approved by the Vedic culture, the monarchy, if the king is first class, God conscious . . . a king should be like that. That is the ideal king. They are described in the Bhagavad-gītā, rājarṣi. The king should be just like saintly person, although he's king. Rājarṣi. Imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). And just like Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira. He was rājarṣi. All the kings in those days, they were trained up in such a way that they were saintly persons, although they were the king. Not debauch.
So one person, if he's authorized . . . just like the Communists, they are thinking of dictatorship. This is also another kind of dictatorship. But if the dictator, or the king, is a perfect man, then his dictatorship or royal power is quite . . . but that, that is not possible at the present moment. But at the present moment, the democracy is also not perfect. Because mass of people, they have no perfect knowledge. By sentiment. So it may be they're electing a wrong person. That is the defect of democracy.
Lord Brockway: No, I'm not saying that democracy as we have it is perfect. I am saying that a people will advance only as it is a reflection of the progress of the people themselves, and that they . . . and that they cannot be changed by an external pressure . . .
Prabhupāda: That is not possible.
Lord Brockway: . . . which is dictatorship. And even . . .
Prabhupāda: No, dictatorship, I told you . . .
Lord Brockway: And even a, a good dictatorship is a bad thing. I would rather have . . .
Prabhupāda: No, how good dictatorship can be a bad thing?
Lord Brockway: I would rather have people made mistakes when they had self-government than if you had a dictatorship which didn't make mistakes and imposed its own . . .
Prabhupāda: No, but my proposition is that they should not commit—either the king or the elected person—should not commit mistake. But if you try to educate the mass of people to become educated to elect the right person, that is very difficult. But if a king, a person, is educated nicely, that is easier. That is my point of view.
Lord Brockway: Yes. Yes, but the mass of people in poverty, the . . .
Prabhupāda: No, everything will be all right. Because the man on the head is perfectly, he'll manage. He'll manage. But if he's not perfect, then it is not possible. Therefore the endeavor should be made . . . either call it dictator or president or king, it doesn't matter. The man on the top of the executive must be a perfect man.
Lord Brockway: Now, in taking your view that all men and women are the children of God, they've got God within them, then the advance of mankind must be by giving the opportunity of God in all men and women . . .
Lord Brockway: . . . to come to fulfillment.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is our mission.
Lord Brockway: And at the present time you haven't got those conditions. Because of inequalities, because of poverty, because of hunger, because of war, you haven't got those conditions.
Prabhupāda: No, I . . .
Lord Brockway: And therefore, therefore, it is not only the goodness of an individual which you want. You want, combined with the goodness of an individual, of an understanding of the causes . . .
Lord Brockway: . . . which lead to hunger and poverty and war.
Prabhupāda: That . . .
Lord Brockway: It's only when you have those two things together . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes, we have got . . .
Lord Brockway: . . . that you can bring about a solution.
Prabhupāda: Because . . . because people are godless at the present moment, they're suffering.
Lord Brockway: It's not only because of that.
Lord Brockway: It's not only . . .
Prabhupāda: That is the only cause.
Lord Brockway: No . . .
Prabhupāda: That we can . . . that we can give very scientific evidence. That is the only cause.
Lord Brockway: No, it's not the only cause.
Prabhupāda: No, that we have to understand.
Lord Brockway: No, please. I know, I know of people who are very God conscious, beautiful people, kind in all their human relations, but they haven't got a beginning of an understanding of how one can bring brotherhood and peace to the world.
Prabhupāda: Hmm. Then . . .
Lord Brockway: And therefore, in addition to God consciousness, you must have understanding, knowledge.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that understanding, that required. So that is needed. People have no opportunity to understand. Just like if you speak . . .
Lord Brockway: Yes.
Prabhupāda: . . . they'll talk of universal brotherhood, but they'll send the poor animals to the slaughterhouse.
Lord Brockway: They . . .?
Prabhupāda: To the slaughterhouse.
Lord Brockway: Yes.
Prabhupāda: That means they have no right understanding of universal brotherhood.
Lord Brockway: No. With that I agree.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So what is the use of talking of universal brotherhood when you actually do not treat like that?
Lord Brockway: Yes.
Prabhupāda: But that is due to his lack of God consciousness. He'll talk very high words, but practically he cannot do it.
Śyāmasundara: No information.
Prabhupāda: Yes, no information. Just like the Commu . . . even in Communist country, they, they are thinking that national, everything should be national. So what is the meaning of national? But, any living entity born in that country is national. So why the poor animals are not nationals? That is . . . means lack of God consciousness. He does not know. He thinks simply human being national.
Lord Brockway: Oh, I agree. I'm a vegetarian.
Prabhupāda: (laughs) Thank you. Hare Kṛṣṇa. So this is all due to lack of God consciousness. Therefore the only remedy is to make people God conscious, thoroughly, perfectly. Then everything will be all right.
Lord Brockway: That I don't accept. God consciousness plus understanding.
Prabhupāda: Now, God conscious means understanding. Without understanding, how there can be God consciousness?
Lord Brockway: And you, you may easily have a person who is very God conscious, beautiful in their own lives, beautiful to all the group around them, who have no understanding of the problems of the world at all.
Prabhupāda: That is not perfect God conscious. That is partial. Perfect consciousness means full understanding also. That is perfect God consciousness. Yasmin vijñāte sarvam evaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3). This is the Vedic injunction. If you understand only God, then you understand everything. But if he does not understand everything rightly, that means he's not fully understanding God. This is the . . . if, as you say, that a man is fully God conscious but he cannot do this, cannot do that, that means his understanding of God consciousness is still lacking. It is not full understanding.
A full understanding of God consciousness means he's a perfect man. He's a perfect man. He'll never commit anything mistake. Because he's guided. Teṣām . . . what is that? Bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam, buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi tam . . .
(aside) Find out.
A God conscious person is getting direct instruction from God. How it can be defective? It cannot be. Practical. But if one is defective, he's not yet fully God conscious.
Devotee: Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ . . . (BG 10.10).
- teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
- bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
- buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi taṁ
- yena mām upayānti te
- (BG 10.10)
Pradyumna: Ananyāś cintayanto māṁ ye janāḥ paryupāsate . . . (BG 9.22)
Prabhupāda: No, no. That is another thing.
Pradyumna: Teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktā . . .?
Prabhupāda: No, no, no. Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti- . . . that is Tenth Chapter.
- teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
- bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
- dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ
- yena mām upayānti te
- (BG 10.10)
"To those who are constantly devoted and who worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me."
Prabhupāda: So if he gets understanding from God, how there can be any defect? If he's not getting direct understanding from God, that means he's still imperfect.
Mālatī: (entering) Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Pradyumna: Need some table.
Devotee: I have some kind of table.
Śyāmasundara: Can we use this table?
Devotee: I have some . . .
Prabhupāda: Just like . . .
Lord Brockway: Thank you very much.
Mālatī: Thank you for waiting. I'm sorry it's a little late.
Prabhupāda: This is . . . these European and American girls, they have learned to prepare . . .
(background noise of furniture moving)
Oh, you have prepared for me? No, I don't want any more.
Śyāmasundara: No, this table is too small.
Lord Brockway: Don't take all this trouble.
Prabhupāda: Oh, two tables? That's all right. That's nice.
Lord Brockway: Splendid. Thank you very much. Now, is it your custom to say some kind of grace?
Prabhupāda: Yes, it is already offered to the Deity.
Lord Brockway: Before you eat?
Prabhupāda: Yes, we say,
- mahā-prasāde govinde
- nāma-brahmaṇi vaiṣṇave
- svalpa-puṇyavatāṁ rājan
- viśvāso naiva jāyate
- (Skanda Purāṇa)
Mahā-prasāda, the foodstuff offered to the Deity, this is not ordinary foodstuff. Mahā-prasāde govinde. And to the Lord. Mahā-prasāde govinde nāma-brahmaṇi: "And in the holy name of the Lord." Svalpa-puṇyavatāṁ rājan viśvāso naiva jāyate: "Those who are less pious, they cannot have faith in these things." So anyone who is accepting prasādam as grace of God, he must be considered as very pious. This is the way. So you can take it.
Lord Brockway: Thank you.
Śyāmasundara: Shall I move this closer?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Oh, you have made so nice preparations.
Lord Brockway: And you do not eat yet?
Śyāmasundara: No, they're bringing.
Prabhupāda: She has prepared?
Śyāmasundara: Yes, I think so.
Prabhupāda: Hmm. (break)
Śyāmasundara: Would you like to wash your hands?
Lord Brockway: Yes, thank you.
Haṁsadūta: Such a simple point. If a cow is living by God's grass . . .
Haṁsadūta: He said only grass. It doesn't cost anything.
Prabhupāda: Grass is grown by God, and she is eating. What is your problem?
Haṁsadūta: Their argument is that there'll be overpopulation.
Prabhupāda: Now, you kick them on their face. (eating) Oh, what is this? This is not sweetrice. It is some . . .?
Prabhupāda: Kaḍi, kaḍi.
Haṁsadūta: Kaḍi. They always argue that, "In India they should kill the cows and eat them, and then they would not starve," because they're so foolish.
Prabhupāda: You have got your natural teeth?
Śyāmasundara: Your teeth?
Lord Brockway: No, not natural.
Prabhupāda: Not natural.
Lord Brockway: No, no. I used to play rugby football.
Lord Brockway: And my teeth got kicked out of my mouth. (laughter)
Śyāmasundara: He was a great athlete when he was young, a famous athlete.
Lord Brockway: And I was an athlete when I was a vegetarian. I proved that one could be a vegetarian and one could be an athlete. Swimming, running, everything.
Prabhupāda: Therefore you are keeping your health very nice. In younger days, you were sportsman.
Śyāmasundara: (to Prabhupāda) You eat entirely everything. (laughs)
Lord Brockway: You have done very well. (laughter)
Śyāmasundara: You told Mālatī when you first came that you have come to London to eat. (laughs) 'Cause in India you were not eating very much.
Lord Brockway: No?
Prabhupāda: Not at all. Due to excessive heat, I could not eat. Therefore I came here. Yes.
Lord Brockway: I have had a big meal tonight.
Prabhupāda: A big meal?
Lord Brockway: And I do not eat very much usually.
Prabhupāda: I also do not eat, but when there is palatable, I eat. (laughs)
(to devotee) Sit down. (goes to wash)
Lord Brockway: Now listen, I do not want to detain him long.
Śyāmasundara: All right, whenever you wish to go, you just tell me.
Lord Brockway: Yes, we will . . . we will go soon.
Śyāmasundara: All right, maybe in ten minutes. Eight-thirty . . . seven-thirty?
Lord Brockway: Yes. Half past seven.
Śyāmasundara: Oh, he likes to speak. He likes to speak with learned men and discuss things.
Lord Brockway: Yes.
Śyāmasundara: Exchange of ideas is always healthy. So it's . . .
Lord Brockway: Oh, it's very valuable.
Śyāmasundara: It's just like what you were saying. Men get together and try to (have) an intellectual understanding of the problems, then it's much easier. That's what I . . . why I was saying in the House of Lords we observed that day, a very . . . just like what you're talking about, men exchanging ideas and compromising, and finding the . . .
Lord Brockway: Oh, well, our discussions are better than the discussions in the House of Commons because we're not so bitter, we're not so partisan. And many of them speak with great knowledge.
Śyāmasundara: Yes. That's what impressed us. In one sense, this House of Lords preserves your cultural advantages.
Lord Brockway: Yes, a little. I would make it into a political British association, just as the British Association is gathering of all the scientists. I would have the House of Lords gathering of people who are representative of creative thought in all spheres, from all spheres.
Śyāmasundara: Yes, great thinkers from all different parts of society.
Lord Brockway: Yes. Then I think it could be a real gathering.
Śyāmasundara: Yes. We noticed that day in the House of Lords that great . . . such great thinkers were discussing topics.
Prabhupāda: Yes, selected person.
Lord Brockway: What was the subject of discussion that day?
Śyāmasundara: Well, they were discussing something in the airport, and . . .
Lord Brockway: Oh, Macklin(?) airport?
Śyāmasundara: . . . Pakistan and Bangladesh and two or three other points.
Lord Brockway: Yes. Was I speaking?
Śyāmasundara: No, you spoke just before . . . when we arrived, you were speaking. You had addressed one question . . .
Lord Brockway: I was speaking; then you arrived. Yes.
Śyāmasundara: And at the end of the discussion, they take a vote: those who are content and those who are not content.
Lord Brockway: That's right. But I often say that when I do not know what we are discussing, the answers, then I vote with my party. When I do know, then I often vote against my party. Do you understand what I said?
Śyāmasundara: Maybe you could tell him about that Cāṇakya Paṇḍita.
Prabhupāda: (laughs) Yes. I think he'll not like that.
Śyāmasundara: There was one famous politician from India five hundred years ago, or . . .?
Prabhupāda: No, no. About three thousand years ago.
Śyāmasundara: Oh, three thousand years ago.
Lord Brockway: Three thousand years ago!
Śyāmasundara: He's written a book of . . .
Prabhupāda: During the time of Candragupta. Before Muhammadan or British rule. Long ago.
Śyāmasundara: He wrote a book of political wisdom, how to run on the state.
Prabhupāda: According to his opinion, viśvāso naiva . . .
(someone knocks on the door)
Yes? Come on. Viśvāso naiva kartavyaḥ strīṣu rāja-kuleṣu ca. He's giving warning that "Never trust woman and politician." (laughs)
Lord Brockway: A great deal of truth in that. (laughter) Well, Your Divine Grace, I must be going.
Prabhupāda: All right. Thank you for your coming here.
Lord Brockway: It has been a great privilege to meet you.
Prabhupāda: We enjoyed your company, talked very nicely. Sometimes you come with your wife.
Lord Brockway: I would have liked that.
Lord Brockway: But she didn't feel able to come tonight.
Prabhupāda: No, no. Any other day.
Śyāmasundara: Sunday afternoon or something.
Śyāmasundara: More time.
Lord Brockway: Don't trouble to get up.
Prabhupāda: No, no. I . . .
Lord Brockway: And thank you very much indeed. Thank you.
Prabhupāda: You're so kind. Hare Kṛṣṇa. Jaya. Take him to the car. Go.
Lord Brockway: And good-bye, all. (end)