Śrīla Prabhupāda is accompanied by Dr. Singh, Dr. W. 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.
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.
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.