Getting the Eyes to See God

Śrīla Prabhupāda is accompanied by Dr. Singh, Dr. W.CT39-095.jpg H. Wolf-Rottkay and another student.

Getting the Eyes to See God

Student. For the last one hundred fifty years, one of the major problems of Western theologians has been the relationship between reason and faith. They have been seeking to understand faith through reason, but they have been unable to find the relationship between the reasoning abilities and faith. Some of them have faith in God, but their reason tells them there is no God. For instance, they would say that when we offer prasāda to the Lord, it is only faith to think that He accepts it, because we cannot see Him.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. They cannot see Him, but I can see Him. I see God, and therefore I offer prasāda to Him. Because they cannot see Him, they must come to me so I can open their eyes. They are blind—suffering from cataracts—so I shall operate, and they will see. That is our program.

Student. Scientists say that their common ground of objectivity is what they can perceive with their senses.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, they can perceive things with their senses, but very imperfectly. They perceive the sand with their senses, but can they see who has made the sand? Here is the sand, and here is the sea; they can be seen by direct perception. But how can one directly perceive the origin of the sand and the sea?

Student. The scientists say that if the sand and the sea were made by God, we would be able to see Him, just as we can see the sand and the sea themselves.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, they can see God, but they must get the eyes to see Him. They are blind. Therefore they must first come to me for treatment. The śāstras say that one must go to a guru to be treated so that one can understand God. How can they see God with blind eyes?

Student. But seeing God is supramundane. Scientists only consider mundane vision.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Everything is supramundane. For instance, you may think there is nothing in the clear sky—that it is vacant—but your eyes are deficient. In the sky there are innumerable planets you cannot see because your eyes are limited. Therefore, because it is not in your power to perceive, you have to accept my word: “Yes, there are millions of stars out there.” Is space vacant because you cannot see the stars? No. Only the deficiency of your senses leads you to think so.

Student. The scientists will admit their ignorance of some things, but they say they cannot accept what they cannot see.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. If they’re ignorant, they have to accept knowledge from someone who knows the truth.

Student. But they say, “What if what we are told is wrong?”

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Then that is their misfortune. Because their imperfect senses cannot perceive God, they have to hear it from an authority. That is the process. If they don’t approach the authority—if they approach a cheater—that is their misfortune. But the process is that wherever your senses cannot act, you must approach an authority to learn the facts.

The Frustration of the Atheists

Dr. Singh. The difficulty is that in a group of atheists, you can’t prove the existence of God.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. The atheists are rascals. Let us teach the others—those who are reasonable. Everything has been made by someone: the sand has been made by someone, the water has been made by someone, and the sky has been made by someone. Kṛṣṇa consciousness means learning who that someone is.

Dr. Singh. The scientists will say, “Present that someone to me so I can see Him.”

Śrīla Prabhupāda. And I answer them, “I am presenting that someone to you, but you have to take the training as well.” You have to qualify your eyes to see that someone. If you are blind, but you do not want to go to the physician, how will you be cured of your blindness and see? You have to be treated; that is the injunction.

Student. That step requires faith.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, but not blind faith—practical faith. If you want to learn anything, you must go to an expert. That is not blind faith; it is practical faith. You cannot learn anything by yourself.

Student. If somebody is actually sincere, will he always meet a bona fide guru?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. Guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. Kṛṣṇa is within you, and as soon as He sees that you are sincere, He will send you to the right person.

Student. And if you are not completely sincere, you will get a cheater for a teacher?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. If you want to be cheated, Kṛṣṇa will send you to a cheater. Kṛṣṇa is superintelligent. If you are a cheater, He will cheat you perfectly. But if you are actually sincere, then He will give you the right guidance. In Bhagavad-gītā (15.15) Kṛṣṇa says, sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca: “I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness.” Kṛṣṇa speaks of both remembrance and forgetfulness. If you are a cheater, Kṛṣṇa will give you the intelligence to forget Him forever.

Student. But the atheists are in control. They have the dominance.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. One kick of māyā and all their dominance is finished in one second. That is the nature of māyā. The atheists are under control, but due to māyā, or illusion, they think they’re free.

moghāśā mogha-karmāṇo
mogha jñānā vicetasaḥ
rākṣasīm āsurīṁ caiva
prakṛtiṁ mohinīṁ śritāḥ

“Those who are bewildered are attracted by demoniac and atheistic views. In that deluded condition, their hopes for liberation, their fruitive activities and their culture of knowledge are all defeated.” (Bg. 9.12) Because they are bewildered, all their hopes are frustrated. That is stated here in Bhagavad-gītā, and that is actually happening. So many of their big plans, like this moon project, are frustrated, but they still claim that they can dominate nature.

Dr. Singh. They do not want to come to their senses.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Therefore they are rascals.

Scientists Bravely Going to Hell

Śrīla Prabhupāda. A sensible man will take a good lesson, but a rascal will never take a good lesson. There is a story of a great poet named Kālidāsa, who was a great rascal also. Once, Kālidāsa was sitting on the branch of a tree and simultaneously cutting it. A gentleman asked him, “Why are you cutting this tree limb? You will fall down.”

Kālidāsa replied, “No, no, I will not fall down.” So he kept cutting the limb, and he fell down. The conclusion is that he was a rascal because he would not take good advice. By their so-called scientific advancement, scientists are going to hell. But they do not listen when they are told; therefore they are rascals. Rascals repeatedly make a plan, see it frustrated, and again make another plan. This plan is also frustrated, so they make another plan. Yet when we try to explain to them that all their materialistic plans will be unsuccessful and useless, they refuse to listen. That is rascaldom. The rascals repeatedly chew the chewed. At home, in the street, at the nightclub, at the theater—wherever he is, sex in its different varieties is his only pleasure.

Student. Śrīla Prabhupāda, one could say that that is bravery.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, you can say that, but that bravery is their rascaldom. They are bravely going to hell, that’s all. Once, one man was chasing another man, and the man who was chasing asked, “Why are you fleeing? Are you afraid of me?” The other man replied, “I am not afraid of you. Why should I not run? Why should I stop?”

In the same way, the gross materialist is bravely going to hell. “Why should I stop with my sinful activities?” he says. “I will Bravely face any reaction.”

Dr. Singh. They are crazy.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, crazy. The Vedas say that once a man becomes crazy, or haunted by ghosts, he speaks all kinds of nonsense. Similarly, anyone under the influence of the material energy is crazy. Therefore he talks only nonsense, that’s all. Though scientists are not expert in science, they are expert in bluffing others and juggling words.

Mystic Television

Dr. Singh. They now have things they did not have before, like telephones, televisions, airplanes, missiles and many other new discoveries.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. But there are better telephones that they do not know about. In Bhagavad-gītā, Sañjaya demonstrated this when he was sitting with his master, Dhṛtarāṣṭra, and relating all the affairs that were taking place far away on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. Sañjaya’s vision was actually greater than the telephone. It was mystic television. It was television within the heart, for he was sitting in a room far from the battlefield and still seeing everything that was occurring there. In Bhagavad-gītā, Dhṛtarāṣṭra inquired of Sañjaya, “How are my sons and nephews? What are they doing?” Then Sañjaya described how Duryodhana was going to Droṇācārya, what Droṇācārya was speaking, how Duryodhana was replying, and so on. Even though these activities were too far away to be seen by ordinary eyes, Sañjaya could see and describe them through his mystic power. That is real science.

Dr. Singh. Some scientists say that we have improved on nature by making things like plastic and medicine.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. In Vedic times people ate on silver and golden plates, but now the scientists have improved things with plastic plates. [Laughter.]

Dr. Singh. The plastic has become a great problem because they cannot get rid of it. There is no way to dispose of it. It just continues to pile up.

Here Is the Proof

Dr. Wolf-Rottkay. The materialists would be more sincere if they said, “We don’t want to be taken out of our dream. We want to continue trying to enjoy our senses with all our machines.” But they will not admit that their attempts to enjoy always fail.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. That is their foolishness. Eventually they have to admit it.

Dr. Wolf-Rottkay. But they say, “Try, try again.”

Śrīla Prabhupāda. How can they try? Suppose you cannot see because you are suffering from cataracts. If you try to see—you try, try, try, try, try. Is that the cure for cataracts? No. You will never be cured like that. You must go to a physician, who will perform a surgical operation to restore your eyesight. You cannot see by trying and trying.

Dr. Wolf-Rottkay. That is just what they do not want to accept—that all their efforts to know the truth by materialistic science have failed.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. They are foolish. They will not take good advice. If you give a rascal some good advice, he will become angry, just like a serpent. Suppose you bring a serpent into your home and say, “My dear serpent, please live with me. Every day I will give you nice food—milk and bananas.” The snake will be very pleased, but the result will be that its poison will increase, and one day you will say, “Ah!” [imitates a bitten person.]

Dr. Wolf-Rottkay. But the scientists will never give up hope.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Their plans are being frustrated at every moment, but still they are hoping.

Student. Śrīla Prabhupāda, one librarian wanted me to prove that Bhagavad-gītā was five thousand years old. He wanted to see a copy that was written down five thousand years ago.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Suppose I go into a dark room and say to the person inside, “The sun has risen. Come out!” The person in darkness may say, “Where is the proof that there is light? First prove it to me; then I will come out.” I may plead with him, “Please, please, just come out and see.” But if he does not come out to see, he remains ignorant, waiting for proof. So, if you simply read Bhagavad-gītā you will see everything. Come and see. Here is the proof.

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The Origin of the Interplanetary Gases

Śrīla Prabhupāda is accompanied by Dr. Singh, Dr. W. H. Wolf-Rottkay and other students.

ct39-167The Origin of the Interplanetary Gases

Dr. Singh. The scientists say that at one point the earth was composed of dust particles floating in some gaseous material. Then, in due course, this colloidal suspension condensed and formed the earth.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. That may be, but where did the gas come from?

Dr. Singh. They say it just existed!

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (7.4):

bhūmir āpo ‘nalo vāyuḥ
khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca
ahaṅkāra itīyaṁ me
bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭadhā

“Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego—all together these eight comprise My separated material energies.” Here Kṛṣṇa explains that vāyu (gas) came from Him. And finer than vāyu is kham (ether), finer than ether is mind, finer than mind is intelligence, finer than intelligence is false ego, and finer than false ego is the soul. But the scientists do not know this. They understand only gross things. They mention gas, but where does the gas come from?

Dr. Singh. That they cannot answer.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. But we can answer. From Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam we know that gas has come from kham, or ether, ether comes from mind, mind comes from intelligence, intelligence comes from false ego, and false ego comes from the soul.

Dr. Singh. The scientists argue that before Darwin’s biophysical type of evolution could take place, there had to be what they call prebiotic chemistry, or chemical evolution.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. And the term “chemical evolution” means that chemicals have an origin, and that origin is spirit, or life. A lemon produces citric acid, and our bodies produce many chemicals in urine, blood, and bodily secretions. This is proof that life produces chemicals, not that chemicals produce life.

Dr. Singh. Scientists say that once the seed of life is present in the cells, then the living entity automatically develops and functions.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, but who gives the seed? In the Bhagavad-gītā (7.10) Kṛṣṇa answers this question. Bījaṁ māṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ viddhi pārtha sanātanam: “O son of Pṛthā, know that I am the original seed of all existences.” And later (14.4):

sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ
tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā

“It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kuntī, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.”

Giving Credit to the Primal Creator

Dr. Wolf-Rottkay. But in all humility, Śrīla Prabhupāda, suppose the scientists actually succeed in artificially creating a living cell. What would you say?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. What would be their credit? They would only be imitating what already exists in nature. People are very fond of imitations. If a man in a nightclub imitates a dog, people will go and pay money to watch him. But when they see a real dog barking, they don’t pay any attention to it.

Dr. Singh. Śrīla Prabhupāda, the idea of chemical evolution came from a Russian biologist in 1920. He demonstrated that before biochemical evolution, the earth’s atmosphere was in a state of reduction. In other words, it was mostly full of hydrogen, with very little oxygen. Then, in due course, the sun’s radiation caused these hydrogen molecules to form into different chemicals.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. This is a side study. First of all, where did the hydrogen come from? The scientists simply study the middle of the process; they do not study the origin. We must know the beginning. There is an airplane. [indicates an airplane appearing on the horizon.] Would you say the origin of that machine is the sea? A foolish person might say that all of a sudden a light appeared in the sea, and that’s how the airplane was created. But is that a scientific explanation? The scientists’ explanations are similar. They say, “This existed, and then all of a sudden, by chance, that occurred.” This is not science. Science means to explain the original cause.

Perhaps the scientists can create imitations of nature, but why should we give them credit? we should give credit to the original creator, God; that is our philosophy.

Dr. Singh. When a scientist discovers some natural law, he usually names it after himself.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, exactly. The law is already there in nature, but the rascal wants to take credit for it.

Gerontology: Prolonging the Suffering

Dr. Singh. They are actually fighting against the laws of nature, but often they take pleasure in the struggle.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. That pleasure is childish. Suppose a child builds a sand castle on the beach with great effort. He may take pleasure in it, but that is childish pleasure. That is not a grown man’s pleasure. Materialistic men have created a standard of false happiness. They have created a gorgeous arrangement for a comfortable civilization, but it is all false because they cannot create a situation in which they will be able to enjoy it. At any moment, anyone can be kicked out by death, and all his enjoyment will be finished.

Dr. Singh. That is why they say that God hasn’t given us everything—because we are not able to live here forever.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. But God has given them everything necessary to live peacefully, and everything necessary to understand Him. So why will they not inquire about God? Instead, they do things that help them forget God.

Dr. Singh. Now the scientists have organized a whole department in science called gerontology, in which they study how to prolong life.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Their real aim should be to stop the suffering. Suppose an old man is in great pain, suffering from many diseases, and suddenly the doctors increase his life-span. What is the profit?

Dr. Singh. That is what they do with heart transplants.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. It is nonsense! Let them stop death; that would be an achievement. Let them stop all disease; ah, that would be an achievement. They cannot do these things! Therefore, I say that all their research is simply a struggle for existence. Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (15.7):

mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke
jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ
manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi
prakṛti-sthāni karṣati

“The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.”

Student. Now there is a shortage of oil.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, we have built a civilization that is dependent on oil. This is against nature’s law, and therefore there is now an oil shortage. By nature’s law, winter is now coming. Scientists cannot stop it and turn it into summer. They wrongly think they are in control of nature. In Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa informs us that the living being thinks himself to be the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by nature. The sun is now rising. Can they make it dark? And when it is dark, can they command the sun, “Get up!” They do not realize that if they really want to conquer nature, they should try to conquer birth, death, old age and disease. In Bhagavad-gītā (7.14) Kṛṣṇa says:

daivī hy eā guṇa-mayī
mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante
māyām etāṁ taranti te

“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.”

Dr. Singh. So, is it very hard to overcome nature’s laws?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. For the materialists, it is impossible. But if one surrenders to Kṛṣṇa, it becomes easy.

The Real Origin of Species

Dr. Singh. To explain why there are so many varieties of living entities, the scientists say that at a certain time during evolution, the cells’ genes, which normally reproduce themselves perfectly for the next generation, sometimes make a mistake in copying—something like the printing press that sometimes makes mistakes. In some circumstances these mistakes, or mutations, have stood, and different species of living entities have been formed because of the difference in the genes.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. But that “mistake” has been continuing since time immemorial, for you will find that all varieties of living entities have always existed. Therefore the “mistake” is eternal. But when a “mistake” is permanent, it is not a mistake; it is intelligence!

Dr. Singh. But scientists say that if there were no mutations, then there would be only one kind of living entity in the whole universe.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. No. Every living entity has a different mind, and therefore there are so many different species of life to accommodate the different mentalities. For example, we are walking here, but most people are not coming to join us, because they have different mentalities than we do. Why does this difference exist?

Dr. Singh. Maybe it is a mistake.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. It is not a mistake. It is their desire, and at the time of death everyone will get a body exactly according to his desire. Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (8.6):

yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ
tyajaty ante kalevaram
taṁ tam evaiti kaunteya
sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ

“Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.” What you are thinking of at the time of death exactly determines your next body. Nature will give you the body; the decision is not in your hands, but in nature’s, and she is working under the direction of God.

Dr. Singh. But science seems to have evidence that different species of life do arise by mistakes.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. That is their mistake! In the laws of nature there are no mistakes. In railway cars there are first-class, second-class and third-class sections. If you purchase a third-class ticket but by mistake go to the first-class section, you will not be allowed to stay there. It is not a mistake that there are sections; that is the arrangement. But it is your mistake that you have gone to the wrong section. So, God is so thorough that He knows all the mistakes that will be made. Therefore, according to the mistakes you commit, you enter a particular body: “Here, come here. The body is ready.” There are 8,400,000 species of life, and nature works, assigning different bodies, with mathematical precision. When the government builds a city, it builds a prison even before the city is completed, because the government knows that there will be many criminals who will have to go to prison. This is not the government’s mistake; it is the mistake of the criminals. Because they become criminals, they have to go there. It is their mistake.

In nature there are no mistakes. Kṛṣṇa says:

mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ
sūyate sacarācaram
hetunānena kaunteya
jagad viparivartate

“This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kuntī, and producing all moving and nonmoving beings.” (Bg. 9.10) Nature works under the supervision of God, Kṛṣṇa, so how can nature make mistakes? But we commit mistakes, we are illusioned, our senses are imperfect, and we cheat. That is the difference between God and man. God does not have imperfect senses; His senses are perfect.

Satisfied Animals

Dr. Wolf-Rottkay. Because our senses are defective, the technological enlargements of our senses must also be defective, of course.

Dr. Singh. The microscopes with which we detect things must also be defective.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Material existence means defective existence. If you construct something with defective knowledge and imperfect senses, whatever you construct must be defective.

Dr. Singh. Even if scientists devised a perfect microscope, they would still have to look through it with defective eyes.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. That is right. Therefore we conclude that whatever the scientists may say is defective.

Dr. Singh. But they seem quite satisfied.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. The ass is also satisfied. The ass is satisfied to carry the load of the washerman. Everyone is satisfied, even the worm in the stool. That is nature’s law.

Dr. Wolf-Rottkay. It is said that even the pauper is proud of his penny.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. In some parts of India one may sometimes see a dog starving to death. But as soon as it gets a female dog, it is satisfied with having sex. Is that satisfaction? The dog is starving, but still it is satisfied with sex.

The Devotee Beyond Desires

Śrīla Prabhupāda is accompanied by Dr. Singh, Hṛdayānanda dāsa Goswami. Kṛṣṇa kānti dāsa adhikārī and other students.

The Devotee Beyond DesiresCT39-133.jpg

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Now, who knows the difference between the karmī, the jñānī, the yogī and the bhakta?

Hṛdayānanda dāsa Goswami. The karmī wants to enjoy the gross senses, the jñānī wants to enjoy the subtle mind—to mentally speculate—and the yogī wants to manipulate the universe with mystic powers.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. These are all material powers.

Hṛdayānanda dāsa Goswami. And the bhakta has no material desires.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. And unless one is actually desireless, he cannot be happy. The karmī, the jñānī and the yogī are all full of desires; therefore they are unhappy. Karmīs are the most unhappy, the jñānī is a little less unhappy, and the yogī is still more advanced. But the bhakta, the devotee, is perfectly happy. Some yogīs have a mystic power that enables them to snatch pomegranates from trees in another country, thousands of miles away. Others can fly without an airplane. And some yogīs can hypnotize anyone. Then they point to someone and say, “This is God,” and their victims believe them. I have actually seen such magical nonsense.

Kṛṣṇakānti. Is the pure devotee more merciful than Kṛṣṇa?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. A real Vaiṣṇava, a real devotee, is even more merciful than Kṛṣṇa. Take Lord Jesus Christ, for example. It is said that Lord Jesus took everyone’s sins upon himself, yet he was crucified. We can see how merciful he was. Today, rascals think, “Let us go on committing sinful activities; Christ has taken a contract to suffer for us.” [There is a long, thoughtful silence.]

The Difference Between Matter and Spirit

Dr. Singh. Scientists say that trees also have consciousness.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, that is true, but a tree’s consciousness and my consciousness are different. My consciousness is more developed. If you pinch my body, I will immediately protest. But if you cut a tree, it will not protest. Actually, everything has consciousness in it; it is simply a question of degree. The more covered consciousness is by matter, the more it is considered material. And the more consciousness is developed, the more it is considered spiritual. This is the difference between matter and spirit.

Spirit souls are everywhere. They are trying to come out of the earth. [Points to the grass.] As soon as there is an opportunity, they want to express their consciousness. Those souls who descend from higher planets to this planet sometimes fall down to the ground in raindrops. Then they become grass and gradually evolve to higher forms of life.

Dr. Singh. Oh, that is terrible.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. These are the workings of subtle energy. What do the scientists know about this? Actually, their knowledge is carried away by māyā, illusion, and they are thinking, “Oh, I am a very learned scholar.”

Soul Transplants?

Dr. Singh. Śrīla Prabhupāda, what about heart transplants? We know that the spirit soul is within the heart. But nowadays doctors can replace an old heart with a new one. What happens to the spirit soul in each heart? Does the person who receives a new heart also get a new personality?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. No.

Dr. Singh. Why not?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Suppose I get up from one chair and go sit in another chair. Does my personality change? I may change my seat, but does that mean I have changed?

Dr. Singh. But the heart is changed, and the heart contains the spirit soul.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. The Vedas describe the heart as a sitting place for the soul. So when they transplant hearts, they simply change the soul’s seat. The same soul remains. If they could prove that by changing the heart they have increased the patient’s duration of life, then that would prove they’ve caught the spirit soul. But they cannot increase the duration of life, because people have acquired their bodies by a superior arrangement. You have this body, and you must live within it for a certain period. If you simply change one of the parts of your body, that will not help you prolong your life. That is impossible. The doctors think that by changing the heart they will increase the duration of life, but that is not possible.

Dr. Singh. So a heart transplant is a kind of artificial transmigration of the soul from an old heart to a new one?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, it is something like that. Kṛṣṇa explains in the Bhagavad-gītā (2.13):

dehino ‘smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntara-prāptir
dhīras tatra na muhyati

“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.” Changing hearts is just a change of material bodily organs. The heart is not the real source of life, and therefore changing the heart does not prolong the duration of life.

Dr. Singh. Yes, most heart transplant patients live only a very short time after the operation. But is it ever possible to transplant the soul from one body to another?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Sometimes certain yogīs can do that. They can find a better body and transfer themselves into it.

Dr. Singh. When the doctors perform a heart transplant, they take a heart from someone who has just died and exchange it for a weak heart in someone else’s body. Does the soul from the dead heart change places with the soul in the weak living heart?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. No. The soul has already left the dead heart. There is no question of bringing in another soul.

Dr. Singh. Let me see if I understand you correctly. When the doctors remove the heart of a man who has just died, the soul has already left his heart. Then, when they transplant his dead heart into the body of the patient, the patient’s soul passes into the transplanted heart.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. The soul is destined to live in a particular body for a certain number of years. You may change whatever part of the body you like, but you cannot change the duration of the life of that body.

Dr. Singh. So the heart is just a machine—an instrument?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. It is the sitting place of the soul.

A Mustard Seed in a Bag of Mustard Seeds

Dr. Singh. Śrīla Prabhupāda, biologists tell us that there are many species of life that can reproduce without sex. Do the Vedas agree with this?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Oh, yes.

Dr. Singh. So we cannot curtail their reproduction?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. No. How could we? There are so many living entities that have come into this material world to enjoy life, and therefore reproduction must continue. This material world is like a jail. You cannot put an end to jails. As soon as one man leaves the jail, another is ready to enter it. This same question was discussed by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. One of His devotees, Vāsudeva Datta, said, “Please take all the living entities of this entire universe and release them from material bondage. And if You think they are too sinful to be rectified, then just give all their sins to me.” But Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “Suppose I were to take this entire universe and all the living entities with it. This is only one of innumerable universes. It is just like a mustard seed in a huge bag of mustard seeds. If you removed one seed from the bag, what would be the difference?” So reproduction cannot actually be stopped. Living entities are unlimited in number, and therefore it must continue.

Dr. Singh. You have said that this material world is like a correction house to teach one to get out of material entanglement and the cycle of repeated birth and death.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. Therefore you must practice Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Yogic Weapons

Śrīla Prabhupāda is accompanied by Dr. Singh, Karandhara dāsa adhikārī, Kṛṣṇakānti dāsa adhikārī and other students.

Yogic WeaponsCT39-085.jpg

Śrīla Prabhupāda. You have no power to drive away this mist. Scientists merely explain it with some word jugglery, saying that it contains certain chemicals. [He laughs.] But they have no power to drive it away.

Dr. Singh. They do have an explanation as to how the mist is formed.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. That they may have, and I may have that also, but that is not a very great credit. If you really know how it is formed, then you should be able to counteract it. Dr. Singh. We know how it is formed.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Then discover how to counteract it. Formerly, in Vedic warfare, the atomic brahmāstra was used. And to counteract it, the opposing army would have to use a weapon that would transform it into water. But where is such a science today?

Dr. Singh. Mist is something like milk. Milk looks white, but actually it is a colloidal suspension of certain protein molecules. Similarly, fog is a colloidal suspension of water.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. So if you could create some type of fire, the mist would be immediately driven away; water can be driven away by fire. But that you cannot do. If you were to explode a bomb, it would generate heat, and all the mist would go away.

Karandhara. That might damage the whole city.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Everyone knows that fire can counteract water, but you cannot drive away the mist without killing people or destroying property. But by nature’s way, as soon as the sun rises, the mist is vanquished. The power of the sun is greater than your power. Therefore, you have to accept that inconceivable power exists.

Symptoms of God

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Without accepting the principle of inconceivable power, no one can understand God. God is not so cheap that any so-called yogī can become God. Such imitation gods are for rascals and fools. Those who are intelligent will test whether or not such a person has inconceivable power. We accept Kṛṣṇa as God because He has demonstrated His inconceivable power. As a child, Kṛṣṇa lifted a big hill. And Lord Rāma, an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, constructed a bridge without pillars by floating stones on water. So one should not accept God cheaply. Nowadays, some rascal comes along and says, “I am an incarnation of God,” and another rascal accepts him. But Lord Rāma and Lord Kṛṣṇa actually demonstrated Their inconceivable power. Sometimes people say the descriptions of Their activities are just stories or myths. But these literatures were composed by Vālmīki, Vyāsadeva and other ācāryas, who are all great and vastly learned sages. Why would these great sages simply waste their time writing mythology? They never said it was mythology. They treated the accounts as actual facts. For instance, in the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Vyāsadeva tells of a forest fire in Vṛndāvana. All of Kṛṣṇa’s cowherd boyfriends became disturbed and looked to Kṛṣṇa for help. He simply swallowed up the whole fire. That is inconceivable mystic power. That is God. Because we are tiny samples of God, or Kṛṣṇa, we also possess inconceivable mystic power within our bodies—but only in very minute quantities.

Scientific Knowledge Comes From Kṛṣṇa

Kṛṣṇakānti. The doctors marvel at the complex nature of the human brain.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, but it is not the brain that works the body; it is the spirit soul. Does a computer work by itself? No, a man works it. He pushes the button; then something happens. Otherwise, what is the value of the machine? You can keep the machine for thousands of years, but it will not work until a man comes to push the button. But who is working, the machine or the man? Similarly, the human brain is also a machine, and it is working under the direction of Paramātmā, an expansion of God within everyone’s heart.

Scientists should accept God and His mystic power. If they don’t, they should be considered foolish. On the basis of transcendental knowledge, we are directly challenging many big scientists and philosophers. The other day, you brought that chemist, and I told him, “You are foolish.” But he was not angry. He admitted it, and I defeated all his arguments. Perhaps you remember.

Dr. Singh. Yes. In fact, he acknowledged that perhaps Kṛṣṇa didn’t give him all the procedural steps needed to perform his experiments.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. He is against Kṛṣṇa, so why should Kṛṣṇa give him any facilities? If you are against Kṛṣṇa and you want credit without Kṛṣṇa, you will fail. You must first be submissive, and then Kṛṣṇa will give you all facilities. We dare to face any scientist or philosopher and challenge him. How? On the strength of Kṛṣṇa. I know that when I talk with them, Kṛṣṇa will give me the necessary intelligence to defeat them. Otherwise, from the viewpoint of scientific qualification, they are much more qualified than we. We are laymen before them. But we know Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa knows everything. Therefore we can challenge any scientists, just as a small child can challenge a very big man because he knows, “My father is here.” He clutches the hand of his father, who makes sure that nobody can harm him.

Dr. Singh. Is the human form of life spoiled for those who do not try to understand Kṛṣṇa consciousness?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. People who do not try to understand their relationship with God simply die like animals-like cats and dogs. They take birth, eat, sleep, beget children and die. This is the sum total of their human lives. These rascals think, “I am this body.” They have no information of ātmā. Ātmā means the self, or the individual soul. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā give us knowledge about the ātmā, but people are unaware of this.

People are unaware of the knowledge given to human society in the Vedic literature. For example, the Vedas inform us that cow dung is pure. Here in America especially, people bring their dogs onto the street to pass stool. Of course, dog stool is very impure—germs thrive in it. But people are such rascals that they do not consider this; instead, they distribute dog stool everywhere. But there’s no cow dung to be seen, even though the Vedas say that cow dung is pure. Here is a sign: “Littering Illegal.” But dog stool is allowed. Just see how foolish people are. It is illegal to drop a paper on the grass, but your dog is allowed to pass stool. The government authorities will not allow you to bring even one mango from another country; but they will allow your dog to distribute its stool everywhere, although this stool is full of infectious germs.

The Space Program: A Childish Waste of Time and Money

Dr. Singh. When the astronauts returned from the moon to the surface of the earth, the scientists in the space program were very careful. They thought the astronauts might have brought some new germs as yet unknown, so they put the astronauts in quarantine for several days to make sure that—

Śrīla Prabhupāda. First of all, find out whether they have gone to the moon. I am not so sure. Sixteen years ago, when I wrote Easy Journey to Other Planets, I remarked that the scientists were childish in their attempts to explore outer space and would never be successful. Many years later, when I visited San Francisco, a press reporter asked me, “What is your opinion about the moon expedition?” I told him, “It is simply a waste of time and money, that’s all.”

Kṛṣṇakānti. The space program recently had another failure.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. That is always happening. What was it?

Kṛṣṇakānti. They sent up a space vehicle to orbit the earth and act as sort of a space outpost, but it failed. It cost two billion dollars.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Why are they wasting time and money in that way?

Kṛṣṇakānti. They were criticized in the newspapers.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. They are simply childish fools. What have they gained in the last—how many years? For how many years have they been trying to go to the moon? with their sputnik.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. But they were trying for many years before that. So let us say that for twenty-five years they have been trying. They have not gained anything except dust, but still they are trying. How obstinate! The space program will never be successful.

Dr. Singh. They say that in the future they want to go to the subsurface of Mars.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. They are all becoming “big men” with their statements about the future.

Dr. Singh. They say that it will happen in about ten years.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. So what if they say one year? They may say ten years or one year, but we do not accept such propositions. We want to see what they are doing now.

Dr. Singh. They are developing their technology by using small scale models.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. They are simply childish. In my childhood I used to watch the tramcars go along the rail. Once I thought, “I shall take a stick and touch it to the wire, and I shall also go along the rails.” The scientists, with all their plans, are just as childish. They spend so much time and money, but what is their purpose? Their effort is hopeless because they do not actually know the purpose of life. The scientists are spending large sums of money, and politicians are financing them, but the result is zero. They are like a doctor who doesn’t understand a particular disease, but who still says to his patient, “All right, first try this pill, and if that doesn’t work, then try this pill.” The doctor will never admit that he doesn’t know the remedy for the disease. The scientists are simply bluffing and cheating. They cannot solve the real problems of life—birth, death, old age and disease—and therefore all their programs are taking place on the utopian platform, which in Sanskrit is called ākāśa-puṣpa. Ākāśa-puṣpa means “a flower from the sky.” All their efforts to know the truth by exploring outer space are like trying to pluck a flower from the sky.

To give another example, the scientists act like foolish ducks. In India we may sometimes observe a duck following all day behind a bull. The duck is thinking that the testicles of the bull are a fish. In India this is a common sight. The bull is walking, and all day the duck is walking behind, following that big fish and thinking, “It will drop, and I will eat it.”

Detecting the Spirit Soul

Śrīla Prabhupāda is accompanied by Dr. Singh and other students.CT39-139.jpg

Detecting the Spirit Soul

Dr. Singh. Scientists find it very hard to see the spirit soul. They say its existence is very doubtful.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. How can they see it? It is too small to see. Who has that seeing power?

Dr. Singh. Still, they want to sense it by some means.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. if you inject someone with just one hundredth of a grain of very venomous poison, he dies immediately. No one can see the poison or how it acts, but it is acting nevertheless. So why don’t the scientists see the soul by its action? In such cases we have to see by the effect. The Vedas say that because of the minute particle called the soul, the whole body is working nicely. If I pinch myself, I immediately feel it because I am conscious throughout the whole of my skin. But as soon as the soul is out of my body, which is the case when my body dies, you can take the same skin and cut and chop it, and nobody will protest. Why is this simple thing so hard to understand? Is this not detecting spirit?

Dr. Singh. We may detect the soul in this way, but what about God?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. First of all let us understand the soul. The soul is a sample God. If you can understand the sample, then you can understand the whole.

Modern Science: Help or Harm?

Dr. Singh. Scientists are in the process of trying to create life.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. “Process of”! “Trying to”! That we kick out; that we do not accept. A beggar is saying, “I am trying to be a millionaire.” We say, “When you become a millionaire, then talk. Now you are a poor beggar; that is all.” The scientists say they are trying, but suppose I ask you, “What are you?” Will you say, “I am trying to be…”? What are you now? That is the question. “We are trying” is not a proper answer, what to speak of a scientific proposition.

Dr. Singh. Well, although they haven’t been able to create life so far, they say that soon they should be able to do so.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Any rascal may say that. If you say, “In the future I shall be able to do something extraordinary,” why should I trust or believe you?

Dr. Singh. Well, the scientists say they have done so much in the past and they will accomplish more in the future.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. In the past there was death, and people are dying now. So what have the scientists done?

Dr. Singh. Helped them.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Scientists have helped to minimize the duration of life! Formerly men lived one hundred years; now they seldom live more than sixty or seventy years. And the scientists have discovered atomic energy; now they can kill millions of men. So they have helped only in dying. They have not helped in living, and still they dare to declare that they will create.

Dr. Singh. But now we have airplanes and—

Śrīla Prabhupāda. The scientists cannot stop death, they cannot stop birth, they cannot stop disease, and they cannot stop old age. So what have they done? Formerly people used to become old, and nowadays they are becoming old. Formerly people used to become diseased, and now they are becoming diseased. Now there is more medicine—and more disease. So what have they accomplished? Scientists have not helped improve the order of the world. We are going to challenge all the rascal scientists who say that life has grown out of matter. The fact is that matter has grown from life.

The Illusion of Progress

Śrīla Prabhupāda. How long can science cheat people? One hundred years, two hundred years? They cannot cheat them for all time.

Dr. Singh. Cheating has been going on since time immemorial, so perhaps they think they can continue forever.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Not since time immemorial! Science has been cheating people for only the past two or three hundred years, not before that.

Dr. Singh. Oh, really?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, for the last two hundred years they have been preaching that life comes from matter—not for thousands of years. And the cheating will be finished in another fifty years.

Dr. Singh. Yes, now there is a so-called anti-intellectual movement. People are rebelling against science and modern progress.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. And what is that science? It is not science! It is ignorance. Ignorance is passing for science, and irreligion is passing for religion. But this cheating cannot go on for long, because some people are becoming intelligent.

Dr. Singh. In Newsweek, one of the largest magazines in the United States, there was an article about the degradation of Christianity. The article included a cartoon picturing the devil causing earthquakes. There was recently a very large earthquake in South America that killed many thousands of people. The cartoon attributed such things to the devil, and right next to him it showed Richard Nixon presenting himself as a follower of Christ but bombing Southeast Asia. In this cartoon, the devil turned to Richard Nixon and said, “It’s hell keeping up with Christians.”

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, people will criticize in that way. People are becoming advanced. How long can they be cheated by so-called science and so-called religion? If Mr. Nixon loves his countrymen, why does he not love his country’s cows? They are also born in the same land, and they have the same right to live. Why are they killed? “Thou shalt not kill.” But the animals are being killed. That is imperfection. Kṛṣṇa embraces both the cows and Rādhārāṇī. That is perfection. Kṛṣṇa even talks with the birds. One day on the bank of the Yamunā River, He was talking with a bird, because He speaks even in the languages of the birds. An old lady saw this and was struck with wonder: “Oh, He is talking with a bird!”

Dr. Singh. You mean He was actually talking the way the birds talk?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. One of Kṛṣṇa’s qualities described in the Vedas is that He can speak any language. He is the father of all living beings, and the father can understand the language of his children.

Kṛṣṇa is the supreme enjoyer. Actually, except for those who are Kṛṣṇa conscious, no one can have any real knowledge, nor can anyone enjoy. One simply suffers, but he thinks the suffering is enjoyment. This is called māyā, or illusion. In America people work hard day and night, and they think, “I am enjoying.” This is māyā. A conditioned soul cannot enjoy anything; he simply suffers, but he thinks he is enjoying.

Therefore, in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam the conditioned soul is likened to the camel. The camel is very fond of eating thorny twigs that cut his tongue. While he is eating them, blood issues from his tongue and mixes with the thorny twigs. They become a little tasty, and he is thinking, “Oh, these twigs are very nice.” That is called māyā. Māyā means “that which is not.” Mā means “not,” and yā means “this.” So māyā means “not this.” That is the explanation of māyā, or illusion. The scientists are in māyā because they think they are improving things and becoming happy. But this world, along with everything in it, will eventually be finished because it is māyā; it is not what we think it is. As Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam explains, the materialists are thinking they are becoming victorious, but they are actually being defeated.

Evolution from Human to Dog

Śrīla Prabhupāda is accompanied by Dr. Singh, Karandhara dāsa adhikārī and other students.CT39-185.jpg

Evolution from Human to Dog

Śrīla Prabhupāda. The so-called scientists are putting their faith in a fraudulent theory. Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ: “I am the origin of everything.” (Bg. 10.8) Kṛṣṇa is life; Kṛṣṇa is not a dead stone.

Dr. Singh. So matter is caused by life?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, and matter grows upon life; my body grows upon me, the spirit soul. For example, I have put on this overcoat, which is made according to the size of my body. But i would be foolish if I thought, “I am this overcoat.”

Student. Śrīla Prabhupāda, mineralogists have proven that mountains are growing by sedimentary activity. Is this growth due to the presence of the spirit soul?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam describes mountains as the bones of God, and the grass as the hair on His body. So, in this sense, God has the biggest body.

Dr. Singh. Śrīla Prabhupāda, what is the difference between the transmigration of souls in animal bodies and the transmigration of human souls?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Animals transmigrate in only one direction—upward—but human beings can transmigrate to either a higher or a lower form of life. The body is awarded according to the living entity’s desire. The lower animals have one kind of desire, but the human being has thousands and millions of desires—animal desires as well as human desires. By nature’s law, the lower species are coming up from animal forms to the higher, human forms. But once you come to the human form, if you don’t cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness you may return to the body of a cat or dog.

Nirvāṇa

Dr. Singh. The scientists have no information that there is evolution up or down from the human platform.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Therefore I say they are rascals. They have no knowledge, yet they still claim to be scientists. Real science is in the Bhagavad-gītā, where Kṛṣṇa says, yānti deva-vratā devān pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ (Bg. 9.25). This means that whatever one worships in this life will determine the type of body he gets in his next life. But if one worships Kṛṣṇa, he ends the process of transmigration entirely. Yaṁ prāpya na nivartante tad dhāma: “When one goes to that supreme abode of Mine, he never returns [to this material world of birth and death].” (Bg. 8.21) Promotion to the spiritual world (saṁsiddhiṁ paramām) is the ultimate perfection of human life. Read Bhagavad-gītā; everything is there. But the scientists have no idea of this perfection; they do not even believe in the existence of the living entity apart from the gross body.

Dr. Singh. They do not speak of the living entity; they speak only of bodies.

Student. Their conception is something akin to Buddhism. The Buddhists say that the body is like a house. Just as a house is put together with wood, the body is put together with chemicals. And when the body dies, it is just like a house that falls apart. Just as the house becomes simply pieces of wood and then there is no more house, so the body becomes simply chemicals, and there is no more body and no more life.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. That state is called nirvāṇa. And then, with the ingredients, you can build another house or another body. That is Buddhism. The Buddhists do not have any information regarding the soul.

Destiny and Karma

Student. Some scientists argue that there are several souls within each body. They use the earthworm as an example. If you cut it in half, both parts will live. They say this proves that two souls occupied the original worm’s body.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. No. It is simply that a new soul has come to occupy the other half of the worm’s body.

Dr. Singh. Must the spirit soul necessarily have a body—either spiritual or material?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. The soul already has a spiritual body, which the material body covers. My material body grows upon me—my spiritual body—but my material body is unnatural. The real body is spiritual. I am accepting various bodies that are unnatural to my constitution. My real, constitutional position is to be the servant of Kṛṣṇa. As long as I do not come to that position, I remain a servant of matter and get many material bodies according to the laws of material energy. i get one body and then give it up. I desire something else and again get another body. This process is going on under the strict laws of material nature. People think they completely control their destinies, but they are always under nature’s law of karma:

prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā
kartāham iti manyate

“The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities that are In actuality carried out by nature.” (Bg. 3.27) The source of this bewilderment is that the living entity thinks, “I am this body.”

īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
hṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣṭhati
bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni
yantrārūḍhāni māyayā
[Bg. 18.61]

In this verse the word yantra, or “machine,” means that in any species of life, we are traveling in bodies that are like machines provided by material nature. Sometimes we are moving to higher species, sometimes to lower species. But if, by the mercy of the spiritual master and Kṛṣṇa, one gets the seed of devotional service and cultivates it, he can become free from the cycle of birth and death. Then his life is successful. Otherwise, he has to travel up and down the different species of life, becoming sometimes a blade of grass, sometimes a lion, and so forth.

Advertising Ignorance as knowledge

Student. So it is our desire to enjoy that causes us to take on these material bodies, and our desire to achieve Kṛṣṇa that brings us to our natural position?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes.

Dr. Singh. But there seems to be a constant struggle with our lower nature. We are constantly fighting our desires for sense gratification, even though we want to serve Kṛṣṇa. Does this continue?

Student. The body is almost like a dictator from within.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. That means you are strongly under the control of material energy, or māyā.

Dr. Singh. Even though we also desire to serve Kṛṣṇa?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. A thief may know that if he steals he will be arrested and put into jail—he may have even seen others being arrested—yet he still steals. Even though he is aware that he is under the authority of the state, he still acts according to his desires. This is called tamas, or ignorance. Therefore, knowledge is the beginning of spiritual life. In Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa gives Arjuna knowledge. He teaches, “You are not this body.” This is the beginning of knowledge. But where is the university that teaches this knowledge? Dr. Singh, can you tell me where that university is that teaches this knowledge?

Dr. Singh. There is none.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. That is the position of education: there is no knowledge. They simply advertise ignorance as knowledge.

Dr. Singh. But if the scientists knew that they were not their bodies, their whole outlook would change.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, we want that.

Student. But they don’t want to admit their failure.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Then that is further foolishness. If you are a fool and you pose yourself as intelligent, that is further foolishness. Then you cannot make progress. And if you remain in ignorance and advertise yourself as a man of knowledge, you are a great cheater. You are cheating yourself and cheating others. People are so mad after the material advancement of civilization that they have become exactly like cats and dogs. For instance, they have set up an immigration department, and as soon as you enter a country these dogs go “Woof, woof, woof! Why have you come? What is your business?” This is a watchdog’s activity. A first-class gentleman is being searched for a revolver. People cannot be trusted, and now there are so many educated rogues and thieves. So what is the meaning of advancement? Can we say that education means advancement? Is this civilization?

Fighting Ignorance With Arguments and Knowledge

Student. Some people say that one reason for the Vietnam war was that the Communists were atheists. It was a dispute between the theists and the atheists. At least that is one excuse given for the war.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. We are also prepared to kill the atheists. But that killing is by preaching. If I kill your ignorance, it can also be called killing. Killing doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone has to take the sword.

Dr. Singh. A new method of warfare?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. No, fighting ignorance with arguments and knowledge has always existed. The bodily conception of life is animal life. The animal does not know about matter and spirit. And one who is under the bodily conception of life is no better than an animal. When an animal “talks,” the intelligent man laughs. Such “talk” is nonsense. The animal is not talking knowledge.

Student. At least the animals live by certain codes. They do not kill unnecessarily, and they only eat when necessary, whereas humans kill unnecessarily and eat unnecessarily. So in one sense humans are lower than animals.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Therefore we must suffer more than animals. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not a bogus, sentimental religious movement. It is a scientific movement designed to alleviate human suffering.

Dr. Singh. Scientists and other people say that everything in the universe is happening by chance.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. So, are they also writing books on the subject by chance?

Karandhara. The books are also written by chance, they say.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. So, what is their credit? By chance, anything can be written.

Dr. Singh. The French scientist Dr. J. Monod got the Nobel Prize in 1965. He says that everything started by chance—that by chance certain chemicals combined and formed the basic molecules.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. But where did the chemicals come from?

Dr. Singh. According to him, they were created simply by chance, and when the necessity arose, molecules of the chemicals reoriented themselves.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. If everything was happening by chance, how can there be necessity? How can he speak of chance and necessity in the same breath? It is nonsense. If everything is directed by chance, why do people send their children to school? Why not let them grow up by chance? Suppose I break a law. If I say, “Well, it just happened by chance,” will I be excused?

Dr. Singh. So, is crime caused by ignorance?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. That is the cause: my ignorance.

Student. It would certainly be stupid to say that a beautiful instrument like a violin was made by chance.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. It is most regrettable that such a rascal can get recognition. He is talking foolishness and getting recognition.

The Evolution of Consciousness

Śrīla Prabhupāda is accompanied by Dr. Singh and other students.

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Dr. Singh. Śrīla Prabhupāda, I came across a statement in the Bhagavad-gītā to the effect that all 8,400,000 species of living entities are created simultaneously. Is that correct?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes.

Dr. Singh. Does that mean that there are some living entities who come directly to the human species without undergoing the evolutionary process?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. Living beings move from one bodily form to another. The forms already exist. The living entity simply transfers himself, just as a man transfers himself from one apartment to another. One apartment is first class, another is second class and another is third class. Suppose a person comes from a lower-class apartment to a first-class apartment. The person is the same, but now, according to his capacity for payment, or karma,Karma means “activity,” and the law of karma refers to the process in which higher authorities award us favorable or unfavorable reactions according to our pious or impious activities, respectively. As the Bible says, “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.” Thus, our present condition-whether we are wealthy, wise or beautiful, or whether we have an American, an Indian or a Japanese body-completely depends on the activities we performed in our previous life or lives.

Ultimately, all karma, whether good or bad, is unfavorable, for it binds us to the material world. Devotional service in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, however, is akarmic. In other words, it produces no reaction at all. Hence, when Arjuna killed his opponents on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, he suffered no reaction, for he was simply carrying out the will of Lord Kṛṣṇa. he is able to occupy a higher-class apartment. Real evolution does not mean physical development, but development of consciousness. Do you follow?

Dr. Singh. I think so. Do you mean that if one falls to one of the lower stages of life, he must evolve step by step up to the higher stages?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. As you get more money you can move to a better apartment. The apartment already exists, however. It is not that the lower-class apartment becomes the higher-class apartment. That is Darwin’s nonsensical theory. He would say that the apartment has become high class. Modern scientists think that life has come from matter. They say that millions and millions of years ago there was simply matter, but no life. We do not accept that. Of the two energies—life and matter—life, or spirit, is the original, superior energy, and matter is the resultant inferior energy.

Dr. Singh. Do they exist simultaneously?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, but spirit is independent, and matter is dependent. For example, I can live even without my hands or legs. If they were amputated, I could survive. Therefore I am not dependent on my hands and legs; my hands and legs are dependent on me, the spirit soul within my body.

Bodies for Eternal Desires

Dr. Singh. But do life and matter come simultaneously?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. No. They do not “come” at all. They already exist. The “coming” idea is in our minds because we are living in this limited world, where we see that there is a beginning to everything. Therefore we think in terms of things “coming.” But actually matter and spirit already exist. When I am born, I think my birth is the beginning of the world. But the world already exists. Another example is a fire. When you light a fire, do the light and heat begin later on? No. Whenever a fire is ignited, immediately there is light and heat. But suppose I think, “Now there is a fire, but I have to wait for the light and heat to come later on.” isn’t that foolishness?

Dr. Singh. But fire is the source of the heat and light.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, but still the heat and light exist simultaneously with the fire. Similarly, the eternal living entities have many different eternal desires. And all the varieties of species also exist eternally to fit these various eternal desires.

Dr. Singh. And the living entities are made to live in different bodies according to these desires?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. For example, the government constructs a prison house because it knows there will be criminals. So when a criminal is tried and convicted, the prison already exists, even before the judgment period. Similarly, God is described as sarva-jña, He who knows everything. Thus He knows that some living entities will become criminal and rebel against His service. Furthermore, He knows the various desires the living entities in the material world acquire according to the three modes of material nature. Therefore He creates all the species of life from the very beginning to accommodate all the conditioned souls.

The three modes of material nature are sattva-guṇa [goodness], rajo-guṇa [passion] and tamo-guṇa [ignorance]. With these three qualities, all the different objects of the material world are made, just as one might mix the three primary colors (blue, red and yellow) to make millions of hues. The great expertise required to handle this arrangement exists in nature. According to the Bhagavad-gītā (3.27), prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ: “All activities are performed by the modes of material nature.” And these modes are manifested in the different types of species, which include plants, trees, aquatics, human beings, demigods, cats, dogs and many others, totaling 8,400,000.

The Supreme Lord expands Himself as the Paramātmā, or Supersoul, in everyone’s heart. Although dwelling in the material body, this Supersoul is not material, even though He is the original source of the material body. Because heat and light are the energies of the sun, the sun never feels “too hot.” Similarly, for the Paramātmā there is no distinction between spiritual and material because both the material and the spiritual energies emanate from Him. Sometimes we see that clouds cover the sun; but that is actually our imperfection. We on this planet experience both sunshine and cloudiness, but on the sun, even though it can create clouds, only sunshine is experienced. Similarly, the division of matter and spirit is our experience, not God’s. Whether He comes in a so-called material body or in a spiritual body, He is always spiritual. For Him matter and spirit are the same because He is the energetic. He can turn matter into spirit, and spirit into matter.

H2O Plus Mystic Power

Dr. Singh. The chemists and the scientists think that certain elements enable the spirit soul to remain in the material world. These elements, they say, are carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen—the main elements that combine to form living units. I think the Vedas teach that in order for a living creature to develop, spirit must first enter within these preexisting chemical elements. Is that correct?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. For example, the earth contains everything necessary for a plant to grow, but you must first put a seed in the earth. Similarly, a mother has within her womb all the necessary ingredients for creating another body, but the father must first inject the semen, or seed, into the womb; then the child will develop. A dog forms a dog’s body, and a human forms a human body. Why? Because all the required ingredients are there, respectively.

We find a certain quantity of chemicals in my body, a smaller quantity in an ant’s body, and a greater quantity in an elephant’s body. So, if I can create so many more chemicals than an ant, and an elephant can create so many more chemicals than I can, then just think how many more chemicals God can create! This is the basis on which scientists should consider how hydrogen and oxygen combine to form water. Otherwise, they cannot identify the source of the vast quantities of hydrogen and oxygen required to make the oceans. But we can. This hydrogen and oxygen exist in the virāṭ-rūpa, the universal body of the Lord. Why do the scientists fail to understand this plain truth? Hydrogen and oxygen combine to form the water in the seas. We both accept this fact. But the scientists are surprised to hear that the origin of this huge quantity of hydrogen and oxygen is actually acintya-śakti, or the inconceivable mystic power of the Lord.

The Definition of “Life”

Dr. Singh. I have noticed a disagreement within the scientific community over the definition of living and nonliving. Some say that if a being can reproduce, it is alive. Therefore, they claim to have created life because certain large DNA molecules produced in the laboratory can replicate themselves; that is, they can reproduce other chains of molecules by their own power. Some scientists say these DNA molecules are living, and others say they are not.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Because somebody is saying one thing and somebody is saying another, their knowledge must be imperfect.

Dr. Singh. Can we define living as “containing consciousness” and nonliving as “without consciousness”?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, that is the difference. As Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā (2.17), avināśi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idaṁ tatam: “That which is spread all over the body is indestructible.” Anyone can understand what is spread all over a living body; it is consciousness. According to our consciousness at the time of death, we are awarded a particular bodily shape. If you have a dog’s consciousness, you will get a dog’s body, and if you have a godly consciousness, you get a demigod’s body. Kṛṣṇa gives everyone the freedom to take whatever body he wants:

yānti deva-vratā devān
pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ
bhūtāni yānti bhūtejyā
yānti mad-yājino ‘pi mām

“Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors; and those who worship Me will live with Me.” (Bg. 9.25)

Darwin Condemned

Dr. Singh. If a human being doesn’t attain liberation, does he have to pass through all 8,400,000 species of life before again coming to the human form?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. No, only in the lower forms of life does the living entity progress step by step, according to the laws of nature. In the human form of life, he is endowed with developed consciousness—he has discretion. Therefore if he is advanced in consciousness, he is not going to get the body of a dog or cat; he will get another human body.

prāpya puṇya-kṛtāṁ lokān
uṣitvā śāśvatīḥ samāḥ
śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe
yoga-bhraṣṭo ‘bhijāyate
[Bg. 6.41]

The word yoga-bhraṣṭaḥ refers to someone practicing yoga who somehow or other could not fully succeed. There’s no question of evolution here; he is again awarded a human body. He does not get a cat’s body or a dog’s body. As with the apartments we were discussing, if you can pay more, you get a nicer apartment. You do not have to come to the lower-class apartment first.

Dr. Singh. What you have been saying completely contradicts Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Darwin is a rascal. What is his theory? We kick out Darwin’s philosophy. The more we kick out Darwin’s philosophy, the more we advance in spiritual consciousness.

Dr. Singh. Many scientists doubt Darwin’s theories. But Darwin’s supporters say that life started from matter and evolved from unicellular organisms to multicellular organisms. They believe that higher species like animals and men did not exist at the beginning of creation.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Darwin and his followers are rascals. If originally there were no higher species, why do they exist now? Also, why do the lower species still exist? For example, at the present moment we see both the intellectual person and the foolish ass. Why do both these entities exist simultaneously? Why hasn’t the ass form evolved upward and disappeared? Why do we never see a monkey giving birth to a human? The Darwinists’ theory that human life began in such and such an era is nonsense. Bhagavad-gītā says that you can directly transmigrate to any species of life you like, according to your efforts. Sometimes I travel to America, sometimes to Australia and sometimes to Africa. The countries already exist. I am simply traveling through them. It is not that because I have come to America, I have created or become America. And there are many countries I have not yet seen. Does that mean they do not exist? The scientists who support Darwin are nonsensical.

Bhagavad-gītā clearly says that all the species exist simultaneously, and that you can go to whichever species you like. You can even go up to the kingdom of God, if you so desire. All this is declared in Bhagavad-gītā by Lord Kṛṣṇa.

The Cheaters and the Cheated

Śrīla Prabhupāda is accompanied by Dr. Singh and other students.

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Śrīla Prabhupāda. Natural phenomena such as the law of gravity or weightlessness are acintya-śakti, inconceivable energies, and real science means to understand this acintya-śakti. To observe a chain of events only from a certain point in time is unscientific and gives only incomplete knowledge. We must know where things begin. If we carry our investigation far enough, we will find that the origin of nature is acintya-śakti. For example, with brain, brush and color we can paint a flower. But we cannot conceive how vegetation throughout the whole earth is automatically growing and fructifying. We can explain the painted flower, but we cannot explain the real flower. Scientists actually cannot explain biological growth. They simply juggle words like molecule and chromosome, but they cannot actually explain the phenomena.

The essential fault of the so-called scientists is that they have adopted the inductive process to arrive at their conclusions. For example, if a scientist wants to determine by the inductive process whether or not man is mortal, he must study every man to try to discover if some or one of them may be immortal. The scientist says, “I cannot accept the proposition that all men are mortal. There may be some men who are immortal. I have not yet seen every man. Therefore how can I accept that man is mortal?” This is called the inductive process. And the deductive process means that your father, your teacher or your guru says that man is mortal, and you accept it.

Dr. Singh. So there is an ascending process of gaining knowledge and a descending process?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. The ascending process will never be successful, because it relies on the information gathered through the senses, and the senses are imperfect. So we accept the descending process.

God cannot be known by the inductive process. Therefore He is called adhokṣaja, which means “unknowable by direct perception.” The scientists say there is no God because they are trying to understand Him by direct perception. But He is adhokṣaja! Therefore, the scientists are ignorant of God because they are missing the method of knowing Him. In order to understand transcendental science, one must approach a bona fide spiritual master, hear from him submissively and render service to him. Lord Kṛṣṇa explains that in the Bhagavad-gītā (4.34): tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā.

My Guru Mahārāja once said, “The modern world is a society of the cheaters and the cheated.” Unfortunately, the cheated are eulogizing the cheaters, and the small cheaters are worshiping the great cheaters. Suppose a flock of asses comes and eulogizes me, saying, “Oh, you are Jagad-guru.” What is the value of their praise? But if a gentleman or learned man gives praise, his words have some value. Generally, however, the persons who are praising and those who are being praised are both ignorant. As the Vedas put it, saṁstutaḥ puruṣaḥ paśuḥ: “A big animal is being praised by a small animal.”

Compassion

Śrīla Prabhupāda. The law is cheating, medical science is cheating, and the government is cheating. Top government officials are charged with taking bribes. If the governor takes bribes and the constable takes bribes, then where is the good society? People elect the leader who promises them happiness. But since that happiness is māyā [or illusion], he can never deliver it, and society simply becomes filled with cheaters. Since people are actually after this illusory happiness, however, they continue to elect such unscrupulous leaders time and time again.

The position of a Vaiṣṇava is to take compassion on all these ignorant people. The great Vaiṣṇava Prahlāda Mahārāja once prayed to the Lord, “My Lord, as far as I am concerned, I have no problems. My consciousness is always absorbed in Your very powerful transcendental activities, and therefore I have understood things clearly. But I am deeply concerned for these rascals who are engaged in activities for illusory happiness.” A Vaiṣṇava thinks only about how people can become happy. He knows that they are vainly searching after something that will never come to be. For fifty or sixty years people search after illusory happiness, but then they must die without completing the work and without knowing what will happen after death. Actually, their position is like that of an animal, because an animal also does not know what happens to him after death. The animal does not know the value of life, nor why he has come here. By the influence of māyā, he simply eats, sleeps, mates, defends and dies. That’s all. Throughout their lives the ignorant animals—and the animalistic men—greatly endeavor to do these five things only: eat, sleep, mate, defend and die. Therefore the business of a Vaiṣṇava is to instruct people that God exists, that we are His servants, and that we can enjoy an eternally blissful life serving Him and developing our love for Him.

Beyond the Cage

Dr. Singh. But doesn’t the living entity need matter as long as he is in material nature?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. No, the living entity is purely spiritual; therefore, he doesn’t require matter. Because his thinking is diseased, however, he believes he does. The conditioned living entity is like a drunkard who doesn’t require drinking, but who nevertheless thinks, “Without drinking, I shall die.” This is called māyā, or illusion. is it true that if a drunkard doesn’t get his drink, he will die?

Dr. Singh. No, but if a man doesn’t eat, he will die.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. That’s also not a fact. Last night we were discussing Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. In his later life, he almost completely abstained from eating and sleeping. He would drink only a little buttermilk every three or four days, and he worked twenty—two hours a day, sleeping two or three. And some days he did not sleep at all. So you may ask, “How could he survive?” Actually, he lived for one hundred years. Eating, sleeping, mating and defending were not problems for Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, but still he lived. Because he was a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa, he was fully aware that the soul is eternal and independent, although it has been put into this bodily cage, which it actually does not require. Suppose a bird is encaged. Is he living simply because he is in the cage? Without the cage he is free. People are thinking that by being encaged within the body they are happy. That is nonsense. Actually, our encagement within this body makes us fearful. But as soon as we purify our existence—we do not even have to come out of our bodies—we will immediately be abhaya, fearless.

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
[Bg. 18.54]

Lord Kṛṣṇa says, “One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments nor desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me.”

We can immediately awaken to our original, spiritual existence, in which there is no more fear, no more lamentation, and no more material desire.

Dr. Singh. But the scientist would still want some more explanations as to how the living entity can be independent of matter.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. As long as you are conditioned, you are dependent on matter. For example, a man from Africa is conditioned because he cannot tolerate this cold weather. Therefore he feels discomfort. But there are many people here [gesturing toward children playing on the beach] who are not affected by the cold. The ability to tolerate is simply a question of conditioning.

When you are conditioned, you think in terms of dualities like hot and cold, pain and pleasure. But when you are liberated, you have no such conditioned thoughts. Spiritual life means to become unconditioned—to come to the brahma-bhūta stage. [SB 4.30.20] That is the perfection of life. Being conditioned means that although the living entity is eternal, due to his conditioning he thinks that he is born, he is dying, he is diseased and he is old. But an unconditioned person is not even old. Kṛṣṇa is described in the Brahma-saṁhitā as advaitam acyutam anādim ananta rūpam ādyaṁ purāṇa-puruṣaṁ nava-yauvanaṁ ca [Bs. 5.33]. This means that He is the oldest person, the first person, but that He has no old age. He always appears just like a young man of twenty because He is fully spiritual.

Chemicals from Mystic Power

Śrīla Prabhupāda is accompanied by Dr. Singh, Brahmānanda Svāmī and other students.

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Śrīla Prabhupāda: The scientists say that life begins from chemicals. But the real question is, “Where have the chemicals come from?” The chemicals come from life, and this means that life has mystic powers. For example, an orange tree contains many oranges, and each orange contains chemicals—citric acid and others. So where have these chemicals come from? Obviously they have come from the life within the tree. The scientists are missing the origin of the chemicals. They have started their investigation from the chemicals, but they cannot identify the origin of the chemicals. Chemicals come from the supreme life—God. Just as the living body of a man produces many chemicals, the supreme life (the Supreme Lord) is producing all the chemicals found in the atmosphere, in the water, in humans, in animals and in the earth. And that is called mystic power. Unless the mystic power of the Lord is accepted, there is no solution to the problem of the origin of life.

Dr. Singh. The scientists will reply that they cannot believe in mystic power.

Śrīla Prabhupāda: But they must explain the origin of the chemicals. Anyone can see that an ordinary tree is producing many chemicals. But how does it produce them? Since the scientists cannot answer this, they must accept that the living force has mystic power. I cannot even explain how my fingernail is growing out of my finger; it is beyond the power of my brain. In other words, my fingernail is growing by inconceivable potency, acintya-śakti. So if acintya-śakti exists in an ordinary human being, imagine how much acintya-śakti God possesses. The difference between God and me is that although I have the same potencies as God, I can produce only a small quantity of chemicals, whereas He can produce enormous quantities. I can produce a little water in the form of perspiration, but God can produce the seas. Analysis of one drop of seawater gives you the qualitative analysis of the sea, without any mistake. Similarly, the ordinary living being is part and parcel of God, so by analyzing the living beings we can begin to understand God. In God there is great mystic potency. God’s mystic potency is working swiftly, exactly like an electric machine. Some machines operate by electrical energy, and they are so nicely made that all the work is done simply by pushing a button. Similarly, God said, “Let there be creation,” and there was creation. Considered in this way, the workings of nature are not very difficult to understand. God has such wonderful potencies that the creation, on His order alone, immediately takes place.

Brahmānanda Swami. Some scientists don’t accept God or acintya-śakti.

Śrīla Prabhupāda: That is their rascaldom. God exists, and His acintya-śakti also exists. Where does a bird’s power to fly come from? Both you and the bird are living entities, but the bird can fly because of its acintya-śakti, and you cannot. To give another example, semen is produced from blood. A man has mystic power in his body so that because he is sexually inclined, blood is transformed into semen. How is this done unless there is some mystic power involved? There are many mystic powers in the living entities. The cow eats grass and produces milk. Everyone knows this, but can you take some grass and produce milk? Can you? Therefore there is mystic power within the cow. As soon as the cow eats grass, she can transform it into milk. Men and women are basically the same, but as a man you cannot eat food and produce milk, although a woman can. These are mystic powers.

Dr. Singh. Scientists would say that there are different enzymes or chemicals inside different types of bodies and that these account for the cow’s producing milk.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, but who produced those enzymes and that arrangement? That was done by mystic power. You cannot make these enzymes or that arrangement. You cannot produce milk from dry grass in your laboratory. Within your body, by mystic power, you can transform food into blood and tissue, but in your laboratory, without mystic power, you cannot even transform grass into milk. Therefore you must accept the existence of mystic power.

The Origin of Mystic Power

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yogīs are mainly concerned with developing different mystic powers. A yogī can walk on the water without drowning. The law of gravity does not operate on him. That is a mystic power called laghimā. Laghimā means that a person can become lighter than cotton and counteract the law of gravity. The yoga system simply develops the inconceivable potency already present in the practitioner. These boys are swimming [gesturing to surf bathers], but I cannot swim. Yet that swimming power is potential within me; I simply have to practice it. So, if yogic power is so potent in the human being, think how much more yogic power God has. Therefore, in the Vedas He is called Yogeśvara, which means “master of all mystic power.” In the Bhagavad-gītā (10.8) Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate: “I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me.” Unless we accept this statement from God, there is no conclusive explanation to the origin of material nature. God cannot be understood without accepting the existence of mystic power, but if you understand God scientifically, then you will understand everything.

Dr. Singh. So do you mean to say that science has started from an intermediate point—not from the original point?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, that is it exactly. They are ignorant of the origin. The scientists start from one point—but where does that point come from? That they do not know, in spite of vast research. One has to accept that the original source is God, who is full of all mystic powers and from whom everything emanates. He Himself says in the Bhagavad-gītā, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate: “I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me.” [Bg. 10.8] Our conclusions are not based on blind faith; they are most scientific. Matter comes from life. In life—in the origin—there are unlimited material resources; that is the great mystery of creation. If you drop a needle, it will fall immediately, but a bird weighing several pounds can float in the air. We must establish the origin of this floating. If we study nature, we find that every living entity has some mystic power. A man cannot live within the water for more than a few hours, yet a fish lives there continuously. is that not mystic power?

Dr. Singh. It is mystic power for me, but not for the fish.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. That is because mystic power is not uniformly distributed. But all the mystic powers exist in God, the origin of everything. I derive some of His mystic power, you derive some, and the birds derive some. But the storehouse of mystic power is God.

There are eight basic types of mystic powers. Some of them are laghimā (by which one can become lighter than a feather), mahimā (by which one can become bigger than a mountain), prāpti (which enables one to capture anything he likes) and īśitva (by which one can completely subdue and control another being). Another type of mystic power can be seen in the sun, because from the sunshine innumerable things are inexplicably produced. Unless the scientists accept the existence of mystic power, they cannot explain these phenomena. They are simply beating around the bush.

Dr. Singh. A clever scientist may say anything to prove his point, without actually proving it. A real scientist must reach the ultimate, original cause—the final analysis.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, unless he finds the ultimate source, he is not actually practicing science.

Dr. Singh. Does understanding mysticism mean knowing that every day our bodies are dying?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes.

Dr. Singh. But the average man does not think he is dying.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. That is due to foolishness. Every moment he is dying, but he is thinking, “I shall live forever.” Actually, death begins from the very moment of birth. Our analysis of the problem is that since people are dying, we should stop their death. But the so-called scientists are not only accelerating the process of death, but also refusing to take constructive advice to correct themselves.

The Invisible Pilot

Śrīla Prabhupāda is accompanied by Dr. Singh and Brahmānanda Svāmī.

The Invisible Pilot

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Almost eveCT39-197.jpgryone in the world is under the false impression that life is born from matter. We cannot allow this nonsensical theory to go unchallenged. Life does not come from matter. Matter is generated from life. This is not theory; it is fact. Science is based on an incorrect theory; therefore all its calculations and conclusions are wrong, and people are suffering because of this. When all these mistaken modern scientific theories are corrected, people will become happy. So we must challenge the scientists and defeat them; otherwise they will mislead the entire society. Matter changes in six phases: birth, growth, maintenance, production of by-products, dwindling and death. But the life within matter, the spirit soul, is eternal; it goes through no such changes. Life appears to be developing and decaying, but actually it is simply passing through each of these six phases until the material body can no longer be maintained. Then the old body dies, and the soul enters a new body. When our clothing is old and worn, we change it. Similarly, one day our bodies become old and useless, and we pass on to a new body.

As Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā (2.13), dehino ‘smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā/ tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ: “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.” And a little later (2.18): antavanta ime dehā nityasyoktāḥ śarīriṇaḥ. This means that only the material body of the indestructible and eternal living entity is subject to destruction. The material body is perishable, but the life within the body is nitya, eternal.

Everything works on the basis of this living force. This is the Pacific Ocean, and these high waves are being manipulated by living force. This airplane [Śrīla Prabhupāda gestures toward a passing aircraft] is flying, but is it flying undirected?

Dr. Singh. Someone is directing it.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. Everything is working under someone’s direction. Why do the rascal scientists deny this? The airplane is a big machine, but it is flying under the direction of a small spiritual spark, the pilot. Scientists cannot prove that this big 747 airplane could fly without the small spiritual spark. So, as the small spiritual spark can direct a large plane, the big spiritual spark directs the whole cosmic manifestation.

Setting the Real Problems Aside

Śrīla Prabhupāda. The Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad says:

keśāgra-śata-bhāgasya
śatāṁśaḥ sādṛśātmakaḥ
jīvaḥ sūkṣma-svarūpo ‘yaṁ
saṅkhyātīto hi cit-kaṇaḥ
[Cc. Madhya 19.140]

According to this verse, the measurement of the soul, the proprietor of the body, is one ten-thousandth part of the tip of a hair. This is very small-atomic. But because of that atomic spiritual energy, my body is working. That atomic spiritual energy is within the body, and therefore the body works, and the airplane flies. Is it so difficult to understand?

Suppose a man thinks himself very stout and strong. Why is he stout and strong? It is only because within him there exists a spiritual spark. As soon as the small spiritual spark is gone, his strength and vigor disappear, and the vultures come and eat his body. If scientists say that matter is the cause and origin of life, then let us ask them to bring back to life just one dead man, one great man like Professor Einstein. Let them inject some chemicals so that just one dead man may come back to life and work again. But this they cannot do. There are so many things they do not know, but still they are called scientists.

Dr. Singh. Sometimes when a problem is too dreadfully serious, we tend to take it lightly.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. When a monkey confronts a tiger, the monkey closes its eyes, and the tiger immediately attacks. Similarly, if scientists cannot solve a problem, they may think, “All right, let it go on.” This is actually what they are doing, because our real problem is death. No one wants to die, but scientists cannot stop death. They speak superficially about death because they cannot give any relief from it. We do not wish to die, we do not wish to become old, and we do not wish to become diseased. But what help can the scientists offer? They cannot do anything about it. They have set aside the major problems.

President Jackal

Śrīla Prabhupāda. In Bengal there is a story called jaṅgal-kī rājā, concerning a jackal who became king of the forest. Jackals are known for their cunning. One day this jackal came into a village and fell into a tub of blue dye. He fled to the forest, but he had become blue. So all the animals said, “What is this? What is this? Who is this animal?” Even the lion was surprised: “We have never seen you before, sir. So who are you?” The jackal replied, “I have been sent by God.” So they began to worship him as God. But then one night some other jackals began to cry: “Wa, wa, wa!” And since jackals cannot restrain themselves from returning the call of their own kind, this blue jackal also began to cry, “Wa, wa, wa!” And thus he exposed himself before all the other animals as being nothing more than a jackal. Many jackals have been arrested and have resigned from your government.

Brahmānanda Swami. The Watergate affair. It is called the Watergate scandal.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Practically speaking, at the present moment no honest man can become a government official. This is true everywhere. Unless one is a rogue, a dishonest person, one cannot maintain his governmental position. Therefore no noble man goes into the government. But what can you do?

Dr. Singh. Politicians are the greatest cheaters.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, they are scoundrels. One philosopher said that politics is the last resort of scoundrels.

Science Should Stop Death

Brahmānanda Swami. Do scientists know the cause of cancer?

Dr. Singh. They have several theories.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Suppose you know the cause of cancer. What is the benefit? Even if you could stop cancer, you could not make a man live forever. That is not possible. Cancer or no cancer, a man has to die. He cannot stop death. Death may be caused, if not by cancer, simply by an accident. Real scientific research should aim at stopping death. That is real science, and that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Simply to discover some medicine to cure disease is not a triumph. The real triumph is to stop all disease. Bhagavad-gītā (8.16) asserts that the real trouble is birth, death, old age and disease. Ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino ‘rjuna: “From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place.” The solution to the problem of repeated birth and death is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which we are practicing and offering to everyone. The perfect result of this practice is that after the present body becomes useless and dies, one is no longer forced to accept a material body subject to birth, death, disease and old age. This is real science.