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.
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.
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam
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.
Śrīla Prabhupāda is accompanied by Dr. Singh, Dr. W. H. Wolf-Rottkay and other students.
The 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):
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):
“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
“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:
“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.
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.