Category Archives: Prabhupada quotes

My Dear Jayananda

My Dear Jayananda,

Please accept my blessings.

I am feeling very intensely your separation. In 1967 you joined me in San Francisco. You were driving my car and chanting Hare Krishna. You were the first man to give me some contribution ($5000) for printing my Bhagavad-gita. After that, you have rendered very favorable service to Krishna in different ways. I so hope at the time of your death you were remembering Krishna and as such, you have been promoted to the eternal association of Krishna. If not, if you had any tinge of material desire, you have gone to the celestial kingdom to live with the demigods for many thousands of years and enjoy the most opulent life of material existence. From there you can promote yourself to the spiritual world. But even if one fails to promote himself to the spiritual world, at that time he comes down again on the surface of this globe and takes birth in a big family like a yogis’ or a brahmanas’ or an aristocratic family, where there is again chance of reviving Krishna Consciousness. But as you were hearing Krishna-kirtana, I am sure that you were directly promoted to Krishna-loka.

janma karma ca me divyam
evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma
naiti man eti so’ rjuna

[Bg.4.9]

Krishna has done a great favor to you, not to continue your diseased body, and has given you a suitable place for your service. Thank you very much.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Jayananda Prabhu joined the San Francisco Radha-Krishna Temple early in 1967, just after it opened and less than a year after Srila Prabhupada founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in New York City. Though he had both an engineering degree from Ohio State University and a San Francisco State Teachers College degree, Jayananda was then supporting himself by driving a taxicab. He was looking for a way to make life simple. At twenty-eight, he became the senior devotee in San Francisco, and soon the temple president.

Back in 1967 Jayananda gave Srila Prabhupada his life savings of five thousand dollars, and then again, with his last letter to Srila Prabhupada, Jayananda enclosed a second gift of five thousand dollars—money that had been earmarked for medical expenses. Jayananda was so anxious to serve Srila Prabhupada that he even gave up the desire to go back to the spiritual world. “When I leave my body,” he said near the end, “I want very much to come back to continue serving Srila Prabhupada in this world.” These are the sentiments of Krishna’s most exalted devotees (Vaisnavas), of whom Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, our great-great-grand-spiritual master, once wrote:

He reasons ill who says that Vaisnavas die
When thou art living still in sound!
The Vaisnavas die to live,
and living try
To spread the holy name around.

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Can we make a special iskcon/sadhu sanga/bhakti sanga for homosexuals? Prabhupada answers!

Can we make a special iskcon/movement/bhakti sanga for homosexuals ?
Prabhupada answers!
 
Tamala Krsna: Now they have churches for homosex. That means the priest is a homosexual, and the persons who come are homosexuals. A special church for homosexuals.
Prabhupada: Just see. Is that religion?

Room Conversation January 8, 1976, Nellore

SB 3.22.11

Translation:
Therefore please accept her, O chief of the brāhmaṇas, for I offer her with faith and she is in every respect fit to be your wife and take charge of your household duties.
Purport:

The words gṛhamedhiṣu karmasu mean “in household duties.” Another word is also used here: sarvātmanānurūpām. The purport is that a wife should not only be equal to her husband in age, character and qualities, but must be helpful to him in his household duties. The household duty of a man is not to satisfy his sense gratification, but to remain with a wife and children and at the same time attain advancement in spiritual life. One who does not do so is not a householder but a gṛhamedhī. Two words are used in Sanskrit literature; one is gṛhastha, and the other is gṛhamedhī. The difference between gṛhamedhī and gṛhastha is that gṛhastha is also an āśrama, or spiritual order, but if one simply satisfies his senses as a householder, then he is a gṛhamedhī. For a gṛhamedhī, to accept a wife means to satisfy the senses, but for a gṛhastha a qualified wife is an assistant in every respect for advancement in spiritual activities. It is the duty of the wife to take charge of household affairs and not to compete with the husband. A wife is meant to help, but she cannot help her husband unless he is completely equal to her in age, character and quality.

Part 1: Lecture_on_SB_2.3.20_–_Los_Angeles,_June_16,_1972

Translation: “One who has not listened to the messages about the prowess and marvelous acts of the Personality of Godhead and has not sung or chanted loudly the worthy songs about the Lord is to be considered to possess earholes like that of the snakes and a tongue like that of the frogs.”
Prabhupāda: Hmm. So the impersonalists or the voidists, so where is their God? So there is no God for them. Impersonal. So there is no activity. What they will hear and where they will chant? If you have no activity, then what shall I hear about you? If you are a dead stone, then what can I hear? Simply one…, a big stone. That’s all. So they have no this opportunity. These impersonalists, they are so unfortunate that they cannot hear. As soon as there is some activity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they will say, “It is māyā.”
That is called Māyāvāda. “These are…, our activities, māyā, and therefore God’s activities are also māyā.” A poor fund of knowledge, or rascaldom. “Because I cannot do this, therefore God cannot do this. I am pleased in this way; therefore God can be… Permanent, they are identical.” Big, big sannyāsī explained like that. “When I am pleased, God is pleased. When I am dissatisfied, God is dissatisfied.”
So roundabout way, their philosophy is to satisfy one’s own sense gratification. That’s all. The Māyāvāda philosophy means, impersonalist means, the same material condition. The material condition means everyone is busy in sense gratification. And therefore they cannot understand. And when there is a question of sense gratification… Just like, “We are dancing here, ball dance. So this is material māyā. Therefore Kṛṣṇa’s dance with the gopīs, that is also māyā.” This is Māyāvāda symptom.
The example can be given like this: Just like a patient, since his birth he is sick, and he is lying in the hospital, cannot walk freely or cannot eat nice things. All bitter medicine, injection, always suffering. So if he is informed that “After your cure, you shall be able to eat nice rasagullā, sandeśa,” he cannot believe it. He says, “Again eating? Oh, it is horrible.” Because he has got bad experience of eating in sick condition, he thinks that eating in healthy condition is also the same. This is Māyāvāda. He has no experience what is healthy eating. Therefore his bad experience of this diseased condition, he wants to make it zero. He is thinking that “When my this drinking of medicine and lying down will be zero, oh, that will be my real healthy condition.” This is their philosophy.
Because bad experience… Just like foolish persons sometimes commit suicide or they talk of suicide. The whole thing is zero, wants to make the life zero. That is their happiness. Śūnyavādi. Because they have no experience that there is another life, going back to home, back to Godhead. There also, Kṛṣṇa is eating, Kṛṣṇa is dancing, Kṛṣṇa is playing, Kṛṣṇa is killing. Everything is there. They are all transcendental. Everything is there. Here, only perverted reflection, false reflection only.
There are five principal rasas: śānta, dāsya, sākhya, vātsalya, mādhurya. Here also, the same rasas are here—śānta, dāsya… Just like I am sitting in this comfortable seat. This is śānta, śānta-rasa. The throne is giving me service in silence. This is called śānta-rasa. Above this, somebody is giving me flower, sandalwood. This is called dāsya-rasa, serving. Better than. This is silent; there is work. The śānta-rasa, dāsya-rasa, then, again develop, sākhya-rasa, more intimate, friendly. Then vātsalya-rasa, more intimate. Just like the parental affection. And more intimate, conjugal love. Just like young boy, young girl, try to love one another.
So these rasas are there, Vṛndāvana. Kṛṣṇa is in love with the gopīs. He is playing with friends, cowherd boys. His affectionate mother, Yaśodā, feeding Him, and there are servants also, serving Kṛṣṇa. And the trees, the water, the flowers, they are serving silently. Pañca-mukhya-rasa, five chief mellows, humors. The same thing is here also. Here also the śānta-rasa, sākhya-rasa, dāsya-rasa is there. But that is mixed with material grains. Just like sweet rice. Sweet rice is very nice, but if it is mixed with some grains of sand, just imagine. How it is pleasurable?
So all the rasas… The Māyāvāda philosopher, they have eaten sweet rice with grains, with sand grains. Therefore when you offer him next sweet rice, “Oh, I have got taste. Don’t supply it.” Or “I wish to live without eating—zero.” This is Māyāvāda philosophy, try to understand: impersonal, making everything zero, without any varieties. Nirviśeṣa-śūnyavādi. Nirviśeṣa means without any varieties, and śūnyavādi means zero, voidist. So two kinds of Māyāvādīs, generally headed by Saṅkara philosophy and Buddha philosophy.
But our position is transcendental, above. Karmīs… Karmīs, they are on the material field. They are trying to enjoy on the material platform. Jñānīs, they are trying to make it variety-less, and the Buddhists, they are trying to make it zero. Our philosophy is substance. This is difference: substance, reality. Vāstava-vastu, real reality, not the false thing.
So these people, the voidists and impersonalists, because they have no information of the Supreme Lord and His activities… Activities are there. Kṛṣṇa is coming, showing His activity. But they will say, “It is māyā. Kṛṣṇa is māyā.” Although Kṛṣṇa is practically showing them that it is not māyā, it is completely spiritual, but their dull brain cannot accommodate that Kṛṣṇa is Supreme Absolute Truth. Therefore the so-called scholars, when Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65)—Kṛṣṇa says, “Just become My devotee, offer your obeisances unto Me, always think of Me,” man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ—the scholar, the so-called scholar, says, “This is not to Kṛṣṇa the person. It is to the unborn which is within Him.”
The rascal does not know that Kṛṣṇa has no within-without. Kṛṣṇa is absolute. Otherwise there is no meaning of absolute. When there is duality, how it can be absolute? That sense they haven’t got. Still, they are passing as big scholar. Kṛṣṇa is no such thing as within and without. We living entities, ordinary living entities… I am soul. I am within this body. I am not this body. But Kṛṣṇa is not like that. Kṛṣṇa is both body and soul together. Kṛṣṇa is everything. Kṛṣṇa has no such difference as material and spiritual. For Kṛṣṇa, everything is spiritual. Because material and spiritual, they are two energies only, but they are energy of Kṛṣṇa.
So for Kṛṣṇa, there is no such distinction, material or spiritual. He can convert the material into spiritual and the spiritual into material because He is the original source of these two energies. He is the original source. The same example: just like an expert electrician, he can convert the heater into cooler and the cooler into heater, although they are two opposites, because he knows how to utilize the electrical energy. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa says that “These material elements, they are also My energy. And the spiritual energy, the jīva-bhūta, they are also My energy.” And the whole cosmic manifestation is combination of this material and spiritual energy.
Therefore… But Kṛṣṇa is Absolute. He has nothing to do with material or spiritual. Another example can be given: Just like government. Government has got many departments—the criminal department and the educational department. Educational department is giving knowledge to the citizens, and the criminal department is punishing, chastising the citizen. Now, to us, we find difference, that “In this department government is so liberal, is giving education. People are becoming learned, enjoying. And this department… So government is discriminating. This department is favorable, and this department is not favorable.”
But to the government it is not like that. To the government, both the departments are equal. Rather, sometimes the government has to spend more to the criminal department than to the educational department. Because they have to maintain both these department. To run on the street politically, they have to maintain both these. Similarly, because the individual soul has got little independence, is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, so Kṛṣṇa has full independence, and we, being part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, we have got that independence quality. How it can be without? Then how can be part and parcel?
The same example—just like a drop of ocean water, it is also salty, the same ingredient. Similarly, we have got little independence. Just like you have taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness out of your independence. There are many other American boys or girls—they are not taking to it. It is not obligatory. But the door is open for everyone. One who is intelligent, he is taking to it. That is due to independence. And some of our boys are also falling back. After remaining few years, again he falls back, again into hodgepodge, you see, due to this misuse of independence.
So because God has given us little independence, therefore there must be two departments: material and spiritual. Otherwise, there is nothing material; everything spiritual. Material is called māyā because those who are in poor fund of knowledge, they cannot see Kṛṣṇa’s spiritual energy. They are covered. Therefore they are called Māyāvādī. So the unfortunate Māyāvādī cannot chant. They criticize, “This chanting is sentimentalism.”
Even Caitanya Mahāprabhu was criticized at Benares when He was chanting. You know the story. Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, a great Māyāvāda sannyāsī, he used to criticize that “This sannyāsī is sentimental. Sannyāsī’s business is reading Vedānta, but this sannyāsī is chanting and dancing.” So there was strong criticism. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu was arranged to meet this Māyāvāda sannyāsī, and He talked on Vedānta and He defeated him. And the sannyāsī , along with his 60,000 disciples, became His followers.
So you should not be simply chanting and dancing. Along with, you must know philosophy. There are so many Māyāvādīs; you have to defeat them. It is not that we are coward. We are Kṛṣṇa’s soldiers. So as soon as there is Māyāvādī attack, you must immediately defeat him. That is wanted. Therefore so many books are being written. Jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam.
vāsudeve bhagavati
bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam
(SB 1.2.7)
If you become pure devotee, this jñāna to defeat this Māyāvāda philosophy will be revealed unto you. Kṛṣṇa is within you. As soon as “He’s… Oh, he is very sincere. He’s doing seriously,” He will give you all intelligence. Buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi tam. So… But if you are in doubt, “Oh, whether Kṛṣṇa is person or not?” then Kṛṣṇa will not give you intelligence. That is the difficulty. He does not talk with nonsense. He talks, but not with the nonsense. So when you are above the nonsensical platform by sincere service, then Kṛṣṇa will talk with you from within.
(aside:) Sit down properly.
So the fact is that “One who has not listened to the messages about the prowess and the marvelous acts of the Personality of Godhead…” Now, they have got… These Māyāvādīs, they have got their ears, but they cannot hear about the activities of the Lord. They’ll reject, “Oh, this is all māyā. Let us meditate.” So their these earholes is compared with the snake holes.
When you go, walk on the paddy field, you will find so many holes. Have you got experience? Huh? There are so many holes. Even on the beach, you will find so many holes. But especially in the agricultural field there are holes, because the paddy… The rats and mouse, they come to eat the paddies, and they make hole to live there. And the snake take advantage. They enter the hole and eat the rat and mouse and live peacefully.
So these holes, because there are snakes, nobody utilizes it, that hole. Similarly, when these earholes are not receptive of the message of Kṛṣṇa, it is like that: it is not being utilized properly. Similarly, you have got tongue, but you cannot chant Hare Kṛṣṇa—jihvāsatī dārdurikeva: it is just like the tongue of the frogs. The frogs, you have got experience during rainy season, they use their tongue very nicely. They sing ka-kara-kaa, ka-kara-kaa, ka-kara-kaa. (laughter) Yes. But what is the result of singing? The result of singing: in the darkness, the snakes, they can understand, “Here is a frog,” and it comes and takes, immediately eats.
Similarly, we have got tongue, and we are lecturing all nonsense things, mental speculation, or singing in the dancing club, “ho-ho, ho-ho,” like that. So the result is that we are diminishing our duration of life in that way. The opportunity, the human form of life opportunity, is being uselessly diminished. In the previous verse we have learned, āyur harati vai puṁsām udyann astaṁ ca yann asau (SB 2.3.17). Because the sun’s business is to take away your span of life gradually. So same. As the frog is calling his death, the snake, “Please come here, I am here,” similarly, these persons who are talking all nonsense without kṛṣṇa-kathā, they are inviting the Yamarāja, “Please come soon. I am here. I am here.” This is the position.

Lecture_on_SB_2.3.20_–_Los_Angeles,_June_16,_1972

The same earholes, you hear some radio message, some materialistic news, some advertisement, so many things you can hear. And in the same earholes, you can hear Hare Kṛṣṇa. So the hearing is there. But when you hear something for your sense gratification, that is material, and when you hear something about Kṛṣṇa, that is spiritual.
This is the difference between material and spiritual. The things are already there. You have got your ears; you have got your tongue; you have got your hand; you have got your leg; you have got your eyes—everything is there. You can utilize it for material purpose and for spiritual purpose. How you can utilize? If you change your consciousness, then you can realize.
So if you change your consciousness to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and utilize the senses for that purpose… Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam (CC Madhya 19.170). Just like you are American and I am Indian. We are not concerned about hearing about Indian and America. We have no other business, no more any business. I am not interested hearing about something Indian, and you are also not interested to hear something about American. No. This is called sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam (CC Madhya 19.170). The designation is… Freed from the designation. Tat-paratvena nirmalam. When we simply hear about Kṛṣṇa, then we are purified.
Hearing… The machine is there. People are hearing as American the message of the President or some politics or… They are very much interested, “What my country is advancing? How they are killing in Vietnam? How they are doing this, that?” The whole big, big lump of newspaper, you see—for hearing. For hearing. So when one is interested with this big, big lump, lumpy newspaper, for American interest or Indian interest or German interest…
Everyone has demarcated: “This is Germany, this is America, this is…” Everything belongs to God, and these rascals, they have demarcated, “This is Germany. This is…” Īśāvāsyam idam. Kṛṣṇa says, bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram (BG 5.29). Sarva-loka-maheśvaram: He is the proprietor of all the planets. And in this teeny planet we have made, “Oh, this is America, this is German, this is Japanese.” I come as American, live for, say, fifty years or hundred years, and then kicked out, and I become absorbed in the thought of that land.
Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ (SB 10.84.13). Bhauma ijya-dhīḥ. I’ll live for some years, and because I have got this misconception that “I am this body,” I am worshiping the land, nationalism. What is this land? Does it belong to you? No. Because I have got this designation, title, “I am American,” “I am Indian,” therefore I am fond of. Just see how much illusory things are going on. I have got a false designation. On account of this designation, I am thinking, “This is mine.” This is illusion. Actually, it is God’s.
Suppose you are twenty-five years old. Say, before twenty-five years old, where was your country? That you do not know. Might be it was in China or in the hell. You have no knowledge. And now, since twenty-five years you are born in this land, you are absorbed in thought, “This is my country.” People are mad after nationalism and fighting. One nation is fighting with another. But these rascals do not know that why they are fighting. The land belongs to God. “You simply fight, and die, and go to hell. That’s all.” This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So when people become Kṛṣṇa conscious, this nonsense fighting will stop. Otherwise there is no possibility. Otherwise it is not possible. They are trying to stop fighting by the so-called League of Nation, or United Nation. They are disunited. On principle, they are disunited. So many hundreds of flags, how they can be united? They can be united in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. When they will be really learned, paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18). Paṇḍitāḥ.
When one is learned… Just like we are sama-darśinaḥ. We don’t discriminate “American,” “Indian,” “African,” “this…” We distribute Kṛṣṇa consciousness to everyone. Because we know, “Everyone is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Everyone is son of Kṛṣṇa. They are suffering on account of this material contamination. Let us do something for them.” This is wanted. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Otherwise… Hm.
 

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.

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 Progress of the Asses

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

CT39-174.jpg

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Everyone is suffering here in the material world, and scientific improvement means that the scientists are creating a situation of further suffering. That’s all. They are not making improvements. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura confirms this by saying, moha janamiyā, anitya saṁsāre, jīvake karaye gāḍha: “By so-called scientific improvements, the scientist has become an ass.” Moreover, he is becoming a better and better ass, and nothing more. Suppose that by working very hard like an ass, a person builds a skyscraper. He may engage in a lifelong labor for this, but ultimately he must die. He cannot stay; he will be kicked out of his skyscraper, because material life is impermanent. Scientists are constantly doing research, and if you ask them what they are doing, they say, “Oh, it is for the next generation, for the future.” But I say, “What about you? What about your skyscraper? If in your next life you are going to be a tree, what will you do with your next generation then?” But he is an ass. He does not know that he is going to stand before his skyscraper for ten thousand years. And what about the next generation? If there is no petrol, what will the next generation do? And how will the next generation help him if he is going to be a cat, a dog or a tree?

The scientists—and everyone else—should endeavor to achieve freedom from the repetition of birth and death. But instead, everyone is becoming more and more entangled in the cycle of birth and death. Bhave ‘smin kliśyamānānām avidyā-kāma-karmabhiḥ. This is a quotation from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.8.35). Here in one line the whole material existence is explained. This is literature. This one line is worth thousands of years of research work. It explains how the living entity is taking birth in this world, where he comes from, where he is going, what his activities should be, and many other essential things. The words bhave ‘smin kliśyamānānām refer to the struggle for existence. Why does this struggle exist? Because of avidyā, ignorance. And what is the nature of that ignorance? Kāma-karmabhiḥ, being forced to work simply for the senses, or in other words, entanglement in material sense gratification.

Student. So, is it true that modern scientific research increases the demands of the body because the scientist is ultimately working to gratify his senses?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes.

Word Jugglery and World Crisis

Śrīla Prabhupāda. It is said in the Vedas, yasmin vijñāte sarvam evaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3): “If one knows the Absolute Truth, then all other things become known.” I am not a Ph.D., yet I can challenge the scientists. Why? Because I know Kṛṣṇa, the Absolute Truth. Yasmin sthito na duḥkhena guruṇāpi vicālyate: “If one is situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then even in the greatest calamities he will not be disturbed.” (Bg. 6.22) Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.5.22) declares, avicyuto ‘rthaḥ kavibhir nirūpito yad uttamaśloka-guṇānuvarṇanam: “Great personalities have decided that Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the perfection of life.” This kind of knowledge is required. Not that we do some research, come up with a theory, and after fifteen years say, “No, no, it is not right—it is another thing.” That is not science; that is child’s play.

Dr. Singh. That is how they discover things—by research.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. And what is the cost of the research? It is a scientific method for drawing money from others, that’s all. In other words, it is cheating. Scientists juggle words like plutonium, photons, hydrogen and oxygen, but what good will people get from this? When people hear this jugglery of words, what can they say? One scientist explains something to some extent, and then another rascal comes along and explains it again, but differently, with different words. And all the time the phenomenon has remained the same. What advancement has been made? They have simply produced volumes of books. Now there is a petrol problem. Scientists have created it. If the petrol supply dwindles away, what will these rascal scientists do? They are powerless to do anything about it.

The Billion-Dollar Dustheap

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Now there is a scarcity of water in India, but what are the scientists doing about it? There is more than enough water in the world, so why don’t the scientists bring water where it is urgently required? They should employ irrigation immediately. But instead they are going to the moon, the dusty planet, to make it fertile. Why don’t they irrigate this planet? There’s plenty of seawater, so why don’t they irrigate the Sahara or the Arabian or Rajasthani Desert? “Yes,” they say, “in the future. We are trying.” In their pride, they immediately say, “Yes, yes. We are trying.” In Bhagavad-gītā it is said that when one is engaged in the business of satisfying unnecessary desires, he becomes bereft of all intelligence (kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ [Bg. 7.20]).

This moon project is childish. Those who aspire to go to the moon are like crying children. A child cries, “Mother, give me the moon,” so the mother gives the child a mirror and says, “Here is the moon, my dear son.” And the child takes the mirror, sees the moon in it and says, “Oh, I have the moon.” Unfortunately, this is not just a story.

Karandhara. After spending all that money to go to the moon and bring back just a few rocks, the people on the space project decided that there was nothing more to do there.

Brahmānanda Swami. Now they want to go to another planet, but they are short of money. Going to other planets costs millions and billions of dollars.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. People work very hard while the rascal government takes taxes and spends money unnecessarily. There should be no sympathy when so much hard-earned money comes from the public and is spent so foolishly. Now the leaders are presenting another bluff “Don’t worry, we are going to another planet. Now we shall bring more dust. We shall bring tons of dust. Oh, yes, now we shall have tons of dust.”

Dr. Singh. They believe there may be life on Mars.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. They may believe or not believe. What is the difference? Life exists here, but people are fighting. So suppose there is life on Mars. There is life on Mars, undoubtedly. But what will we gain from this?

Dr. Singh. People are curious to know what is going on there.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. That means that for their childish curiosity they must spend vast sums of money. Just see the fun. And when they are asked to help one of the many poverty-stricken countries, they say, “No. No money.” Do you see?

Sāṅkhya Philosophy and Modern Science

Dr. Singh. Śrīla Prabhupāda, may we hear a little bit about Sāṅkhya philosophy?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. There are actually two kinds of Sāṅkhya philosophy: the ancient Sāṅkhya philosophy originally taught by Lord Kapiladeva, and the modern Sāṅkhya philosophy taught more recently by the atheist Kapila. Lord Kapila’s Sāṅkhya explains how to become detached from matter and search out Lord Viṣṇu within the heart. This Sāṅkhya is actually a process of devotional service. But the modern Sāṅkhya philosophy simply analyzes the material world into its various elements. In that respect, it is just like modern scientific research. Sāṅkhya means “to count.” We are also Sāṅkhya philosophers to some extent because we count the material elements: this is land, this is water, this is fire, this is air, this is ether. Furthermore, I can count my mind, my intelligence and my ego. Beyond my ego, however, I cannot count. But Kṛṣṇa says that there is something beyond the ego, and that is the living force. This is what scientists do not know. They think that life is merely a combination of material elements, but Kṛṣṇa denies this in the Bhagavad-gītā (7.5):

apareyam itas tv anyāṁ
prakṛtiṁ viddhi me parām
jīva-bhūtāṁ mah-bāho
yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat

“Besides this inferior nature [earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego] there is a superior energy of Mine, which consists of all the living entities who are struggling with material nature and sustaining the universe.”

Dr. Singh. Are both the inferior and the superior energies studied in modern Sāṅkhya philosophy?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. No. Modern Sāṅkhya philosophers do not study the superior energy. They simply analyze the material elements, just as the scientists are doing. The scientists do not know that there is spirit soul, nor do the Sāṅkhya philosophers.

Dr. Singh. They are analyzing the creative material elements?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. The material elements are not creative! Only the soul is creative. Life cannot be created from matter, and matter cannot create itself. You, a living entity, can mix hydrogen and oxygen to create water. But matter itself has no creative potency. If you place a bottle of hydrogen near a bottle of oxygen, will they automatically combine, without your help?

Dr. Singh. No. They must be mixed.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Of course. Oxygen and hydrogen are Kṛṣṇa’s inferior energy, but when you, the superior energy, mix them, then they can become water.

The Remote Cause and the Immediate Cause

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Inferior energy has no power unless superior energy is involved. This sea [indicating the Pacific Ocean] is calm and quiet. But when the superior force, air, pushes it, it manifests high waves. The ocean has no power to move without the superior force of the air. Similarly, there is another force superior to the air, and another and another, until ultimately we arrive at Kṛṣṇa. This is real research. Kṛṣṇa controls nature just as an engineer controls a train. The engineer controls the locomotive, which pulls one car, and that car in turn pulls another, which pulls another, and so the whole train is moving. Similarly, with the creation, Kṛṣṇa gives the first push, and then, by means of successive pushes, the entire cosmic manifestation comes into being and is maintained. This is explained in Bhagavad-gītā (9.10). Mayādhyakṣena prakṛtiḥ sūyate sacarācaram: “This material nature is working under My direction and is producing all moving and unmoving beings.” And in the Fourteenth Chapter [Bg. 14.4] Kṛṣṇa says:

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

“All species of life are made possible by birth in this material nature, O son of Kuntī, and I am the seed-giving father.” For example, if we sow a banyan seed, a huge tree eventually comes up and, along with it, millions of new seeds. Each of these seeds can in turn produce another tree with millions of new seeds, and so on. This is how Kṛṣṇa, the original seed-giving father, is the primary cause of everything we see.

Unfortunately, the scientists observe only the immediate cause; they cannot perceive the remote cause. Kṛṣṇa is described in the Vedas as sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam [Bs. 5.1], the cause of all causes. If one understands the cause of all causes, then he understands everything. Yasmin vijñāte sarvam evaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3): “If one knows the original cause, the subordinate causes are automatically known.” Although the scientists are searching after the original cause, when the Vedas, perfect knowledge, declare the original cause to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the scientists won’t accept it. They keep to their partial, imperfect knowledge. This is their disease.

The Cosmic Machine

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Scientists do not know that there are two types of energy—inferior and superior—although they are actually working with these two energies every day. Material energy can never work independently; it must first come in contact with spiritual energy. So how can people accept that the entire cosmic manifestation, which is nothing but matter, has come about automatically? A competent machine does not work unless a man who knows how to work it pushes a button. A Cadillac is a nice car, but if it has no driver, what is the use of it? So the material universe is also a machine.

People are amazed at seeing a big machine with many, many parts, but an intelligent person knows that however wonderful a machine may be, it does not work unless an operator comes and pushes the proper button. Therefore, who is more important—the operator or the machine? So we are concerned not with the material machine—this cosmic manifestation—but with its operator, Kṛṣṇa. Now you may say, “Well, how do I know that He is the operator?” Kṛṣṇa says, mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sacarācaram: [Bg. 9.10] “Under My direction the whole cosmic manifestation is working.” If you say, “No, Kṛṣṇa is not the operator behind the cosmos,” then you have to accept another operator, and you must present him. But this you cannot do. Therefore, in the absence of your proof, you should accept mine.

Life on Other Planets

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Śrīla Prabhupāda is accompanied by Dr. Thoudam Dāmodara Singh, Karandhara dāsa adhikārī, Brahmānanda Svāmī and other students.

Life on Other Planets

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Even on the sun and moon there are living entities. What is the opinion of the scientists?
Dr. Singh. They say there is no life there.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. That is nonsense. There is life there.
Dr. Singh. They say that there is no life on the moon because they did not find any there.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. Why do they believe that? The moon planet is covered with dust, but within that dust the living entities can live. Every atmosphere is suitable for life—any atmosphere. Therefore the Vedas describe the living entities as sarva-gataḥ, which means “existing in all circumstances.” The living entity is not material. Although encaged in a material body, he is not material. But when we speak of different atmospheres, we refer to different material conditions.

Karandhara. They say that the moon’s atmosphere is unsuitable for life, but all they can legitimately say is that it is unsuitable for life as they know it.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. The Vedas say that the living entity has no connection with material things. He cannot be burned, cut, dried up or moistened. This is discussed in Bhagavad-gītā.Bhagavad-gītā is widely renowned throughout the world as the essence of Vedic knowledge. It contains the sacred instructions given by Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to Arjuna, His intimate devotee, on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. In these instructions Lord Kṛṣṇa gives a scientific exposition of the perfect path to self-realization in the present dark age of hypocrisy and quarrel.

Originally written in Sanskrit, Bhagavad-gītā has been published in almost every language in the world (there are more than six hundred English translations alone), but Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, is the first English translation and commentary by a pure devotee of the Lord in a bona fide disciplic succession of spiritual masters stemming from Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself. Therefore, Bhagavad-gītā As It Is presents Lord Kṛṣṇa’s message without the slightest distortion or personal interpretation. Thus it is the first edition to have actually awakened the dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness of its readers.
Dr. Singh. Scientists extend their knowledge about life on this planet, thinking that it must apply to life on other planets also.
Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. They are thinking foremost of their own selves. They are thinking limitedly, in terms of their own circumstances. This is what we call “Dr. Frog’s philosophy. [Laughter.]

Once there was a frog in a well, and when a friend informed him of the existence of the Atlantic Ocean, he asked the friend, “Oh, what is this Atlantic Ocean?”

“It is a vast body of water,” his friend replied.

“How vast? Is it twice the size of this well?”

“Oh, no-much, much larger,” his friend replied.

“How much larger? Ten times the size?” In this way, the frog went on calculating. But what is the possibility or ever understanding the vastness of the great ocean in this way? Our faculties, our experience, and our powers of speculation are always limited. The speculations of the scientists only give rise to such frog philosophy.

Karandhara. The basis of what they call “scientific integrity” is that they talk only about what they can directly experience.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. You may talk about your experience, and I may talk about my experience. But why should I accept your experience? You may be a fool, so why should I also become a fool? You may be a frog, but suppose I am a whale. Why should I take your well as all in all? You have your method of acquiring scientific knowledge, and I have mine.

Dr. Singh. Because the scientists haven’t detected any water on the surface of the moon, they’ve concluded that no life could survive there.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. They haven’t seen the whole surface of the moon. Suppose someone were to come here from another planet, drop into the Arabian Desert and then return home. Could he come to a complete conclusion about the nature of the whole earth? His knowledge would not be complete.

Karandhara. They have a device that senses water. They say they’ve had it orbit the moon, and they’ve concluded that the moon has no water and therefore no life.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Even if, as on the sun, there is apparently no water, still there are living entities there. How does a cactus grow in the desert, apparently without water?

Karandhara. It gets water from the atmosphere.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes, because the atmosphere contains all the elements needed to sustain life: earth, water, fire, air and ether. In anything material, all these elements are present. For example, in my body there is water, although you cannot see it. Similarly, you don’t see fire in my body, yet my body is warm. Where does this warmth come from? You don’t see any fire. Do you see any fire burning in my body? Then where does the warmth come from? What is the answer?

The Universe in the Atom

Śrīla Prabhupāda. All matter is a combination of five gross elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether) and three subtle elements (mind, intelligence and false ego).

Karandhara. According to the Vedic science, material energy begins with the false ego and then develops into the intelligence, then the mind and then the gross elements—ether, air, fire and so on. So the same basic ingredients are present in all matter. Is this right?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. The creation of the material universe is like the growth of a great banyan tree from a tiny seed. No one can see the tree within the seed, but all the necessary ingredients for the tree are there, including the required intelligence. Actually, everyone’s body is simply a sample universe. Your body and my body are different universes, small universes. Therefore, all eight material elements are present within our bodies, just as they are within the whole universe. Similarly, an insect’s body is another universe.

Karandhara. How about the atom?

Śrīla Prabhupāda. The same formula applies: all these constituents are within the atom. Aṇor aṇīyān mahato mahīyān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.2.20). This means that whether something is extremely large or infinitesimal, it is still made of the same basic elements. This is true everywhere in the material world. Just as a woman’s small watch has all the requisite machinery for its smooth functioning, so an ant has all the necessary brain substance to manage its affairs nicely. How is this possible? To answer this properly, you must minutely examine the brain tissues in the ant. But this you cannot do. Moreover, there are innumerable insects smaller than the ant. So there must be a mechanical arrangement for all this detailed activity, but scientists cannot discover it.

Relativity and Knowledge

Śrīla Prabhupāda. All living entities possess the required intelligence to execute four principles: eating, sleeping, sexual intercourse and defense. These four principles exist even in the atom. The only difference in the human being is that he has the extra intelligence with which to understand God. This is the difference. Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca samānam etat paśubhir narāṇām. Eating, sleeping, sex life and defense are to be found everywhere. You have seen trees growing. Wherever there is a knot, the bark does not go this way; it goes that way. [Śrīla Prabhupāda gestures to show that a tree’s bark grows not over a knot, but around it.] The tree has intelligence: “If I go this way, I will be blocked, so I will go that way.” But where are its eyes? How can it see? It has intelligence. That intelligence may not be as good as yours, but it is intelligence. Similarly, a child also has intelligence, though not as developed as his father’s. In due course of time, when the child gets a body like that of his father, the child’s intelligence will be fully developed and exhibited.

Dr. Singh. Then intelligence is relative.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. Everything is relative. You have your body, your duration of life, and your intelligence, and the ant has his. Both we and the ant live for one hundred years, but the length of our hundred—year life—span is relative to our bodies. Even Brahmā, the longest—living entity in this universe, lives for one hundred years. To us the ant’s life-span may seem only a few days. In the same way, on other planets with atmospheres different from the earth’s, there are life-forms suited to those conditions. But the scientists try to view everything according to the relative conditions of planet earth. This is nonsense. Why are they doing that? If the whole cosmic manifestation follows the law of relativity, how can the scientist say that the conditions of this planet must apply to life on other planets? The Vedas instruct us that knowledge must always be considered in terms of deśa-kāla-pātra. Deśa means “circumstances,” kāla means “time,” and pātra means “the object.” We must understand everything by taking these three elements into consideration. For example, a fish is living very comfortably in the water, and we are shivering on the shore of the sea. This is because my deśa-kāla-pātra and the fish’s deśa-kāla-pātra are different. But if we conclude that the sea gulls will also shiver in the water, that is nonsense; their deśa-kāla-pātra is again different. There are 8,400,000 different species of life in the material cosmic manifestation, and each species must adjust to circumstances differently. Even on this planet, you cannot go live comfortably in Alaska, although it is America. Similarly, the living entities enjoying life in Alaska do not come here.

Karandhara. Relativity, then, is based upon our individual situation.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. Therefore it is said that what is food for one is poison for another.

Brahmānanda Swami. Because scientists cannot survive on the moon, they think no one else can.

The 8.6-Billion-Year Day

Dr. Singh. The problem with the world is that practically everyone is thinking only in terms of his own circumstances—and that is nonsense.

Student. Someone who has never gone out of his village thinks that his village is the whole world.

Śrīla Prabhupāda. Yes. The frog is always thinking in terms relative to his well. He has no power to think otherwise. The ocean is great, but he is thinking of the ocean’s greatness in terms relative to his own greatness. Similarly, God is great, but we are thinking of God in terms of relative greatness, greatness relative to our own. There are certain insects that are born at night, and they grow, bear offspring and die—all before daybreak. They never see the morning. So if they conclude that there is no morning, that is nonsense. In the same way, as soon as we hear from the śāstras [revealed scriptures] that Brahmā’s duration of life is equivalent to millions of our years, we do not believe it. We say, “How can it be?” But Bhagavad-gītā (8.17) says, sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmaṇo vidu: “Four billion three hundred million earth years equal Brahmā’s twelve hours.” Even a leading Indian politician who was known as a great scholar of the Gītā could not accept this information. He said it is mental speculation. Such a rascal! Yet he is passing as an important scholar. This is the problem. Rascals and fools are passing as scholars, scientists and philosophers, and therefore the whole world is being misguided.

is it possible to understand Kṛṣṇa directly?

Mrs. Sahani: Excuse me, once you surrender to God, will you still have to look for an authority to guide you, or Kṛṣṇa helps you to find Him?

Prabhupāda: Yes, Kṛṣṇa is giving direction, but we have no such intelligence. Therefore Kṛṣṇa advises:

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ
(BG 4.34)

You go to a person who has seen the truth and you understand. Because they are not understanding Kṛṣṇa directly or through the agent, they are misled, they are misinterpreting. That is their folly. They’ll not understand Kṛṣṇa directly, neither they’ll understand through Kṛṣṇa’s agent. Therefore they are misguided.

Mrs. Sahani: But is it possible to understand Kṛṣṇa directly?

Prabhupāda: No. You can if you are intelligent enough. Otherwise, everyone can take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He says directly everyone. He’s not saying to Arjuna: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekam (BG 18.66). Why don’t you do it? Because you cannot understand it. If you understood, you have done it immediately. But you do not understand. Therefore Kṛṣṇa-tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā upadekṣyanti (BG 4.34)—you have to understand through the person who tatva-darśinaḥ, who has seen Kṛṣṇa. Tattva-darśi, not theoretical. You have to approach such person, then he will show you, “Here is Kṛṣṇa.” But if you don’t follow the instruction in Bhagavad-gītā directly or indirectly…. Kṛṣṇa says sarva-dharmān parityajya (BG 18.66), if you do not do that and because you may not understand Kṛṣṇa…. But Kṛṣṇa also says tad viddhi praṇipātena… You do not go to a seer, then how you’ll understand Kṛṣṇa? You do not understand directly or indirectly. Then you are hopeless.

Mrs. Sahani: If you don’t understand Kṛṣṇa directly…

Prabhupāda: Neither indirectly. If you don’t understand directly, you should go to a person who understands Kṛṣṇa. But if you don’t do either of these things, then how you’ll understand Kṛṣṇa?

Mrs. Sahani: But how to, because in India there’s so many…

Prabhupāda: Don’ talk of India; at any place.srila-prabhupada-speaks-with-brahmacari-in-room