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681226 - Interview - Los Angeles

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



681226IV-LOS ANGELES - December 26, 1968 - 66:55 Minutes



(Interview with LA Times Reporter About Moon Trip)

Reporter: . . . about the movement, and it occurred to me . . . I was wondering if there were any religious people in this country that had any misgivings or thoughts about the trip around the moon. And whether there were any, say, objections or opinions that would run counter to the usual thought about traveling to the moon, and he said that in some of your recent lectures you had said that man would not be able to land on the moon because of—now these are his words—because of spiritual beings there or that there would be an impossibility or something along that line. I was wondering if you could elaborate on that or explain what you meant.

Prabhupāda: You are particularly interested with that subject matter?

Reporter: Yes. I told Dan that was what I was interested in. I have background information on the movement, for instance, and yourself.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So far the movement is concerned, it has nothing to do with the moon planetary journey. It has nothing to do. But in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the authoritative Vedic scripture which we generally follow, in that scripture there is statement that for promoting oneself to the moon planet, one has to accustom himself to the different kind of worshiping process.

Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that yānti deva-vratā devān (BG 9.25): those who are worshiper of the demigods, they are promoted to different planets of the particular demigods. Yānti deva-vratā devān pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ: and those who are worshiper of the pitṛs, or forefathers, they go to that planet.

Similarly, one who is engaged in worshiping the Supreme Lord, he also goes to the supreme planet. These informations are there in the Bhagavad-gītā. And so far moon planet is concerned, that is within this material world. And those who are pious actors, those who are engaged in pious activities according to Vedic rituals, they can go to the moon planet. That is stated in the . . .

Reporter: Those who are engaged in . . .?

Prabhupāda: Pious activities.

Reporter: What activities?

Prabhupāda: Pious. There are two kinds of activities: vicious and pious.

Reporter: Pious and . . .

Prabhupāda: Vicious.

Reporter: Vicious?

Prabhupāda: Yes. So those who are engaged in vicious activities, they cannot go to that moon planet. And it is also stated that if somebody goes to the moon planet, he gets duration of life very, very long period.

Reporter: If someone goes to the moon planet . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes. He has a long duration of life there in that moon planet.

Reporter: I guess I didn't understand.

Prabhupāda: Just like we are living here utmost hundred years, but they can live there ten thousand years. Do you follow? Just like difference forms of body have got different duration of life. A dog lives for six years or a cow lives for twenty years, a man lives for hundred years. Similarly, the residents of moon planet, they live for very, very long time, ten thousands of years.

Reporter: The residents of the moon live for a long time? Thousands of years?

Prabhupāda: Thousands of years.

Reporter: Are you talking about . . .

Prabhupāda: This information we get from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, this book. I have rendered into English.

Reporter: Which book is this?

Prabhupāda: Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Reporter: Now was this a book which you wrote, or translated or . . .

Prabhupāda: Translated and commented.

Reporter: Translations and comments.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Similarly, I have translated this book also. This is being published by Macmillan company, one of the biggest publisher of your country. Yes. I have published this book . . .

Reporter: Now, were you referring to this book when you meant that . . . when you said residents of the moon, you mean people that go there to live or that are . . .

Prabhupāda: They are there already. In every planet there are living entities, residents.

Reporter: And this is written in this book.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. That is a vivid description of different planets in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. There are innumerable planets within this universe, and all of them are described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The sun planet, the moon planet and other planets, they are all vividly described, what kind of residents there are, their mode of living. Everything is there.

Reporter: Now, Dan Donnelley says that, that you said that if people try to land on the moon they would not be able to. Can you explain what you meant by that?

Prabhupāda: Yes, it is very common sense. Suppose if somebody wants to land on your country, America, you do not allow. There are so many restriction: visas, passport and immigration. And how do you expect to land there, all of a sudden there? They are so intelligent, and their duration of life so long.

They are far advanced in knowledge. Everything they're advanced. So you cannot expect in that way to land there. This is commonsense affair. Besides that, the scientists also agree that the temperature there is two hundred degree below zero, so how you can expect to land there and live there?

Reporter: You don't . . . how do you yourself feel? Do you feel that if the United States or the Soviet Union were to attempt a landing and their spacecraft went down, what do you, yourself, expect . . .

Prabhupāda: No, so far our calculation goes, from the books, nobody can do so. That is impossible.

Reporter: Well, does the book say that it would be impossible for anyone to even approach it? At what point would it be impossible . . .

Prabhupāda: Impossible means the process by which you are trying to reach there.

Reporter: To live there.

Prabhupāda: No, to reach there.

Reporter: Oh, to leave there.

Prabhupāda: Live there and reach there also. Reach.

Reporter: Reach, I see. But would the flight that was just completed, that doesn't contradict with anything in this book? I mean they were within, I don't know, so many miles . . .

Prabhupāda: But so far . . . so far we have got information, that no flight has been successful to land there till now. So I do not think how they are going to be successful in the future. This process, that we . . . just like we are going from one place to another by motorcar or by airplane, this process will not help us to go to the moon planet. The process is different, as described in the Vedic literature. One has to qualify.

Reporter: What would be . . . when you say impossible for one to land or to reach the moon's surface.

Prabhupāda: Just like why you speak of moon? Suppose in the ocean, in the ocean you can land by some artificial means for some time, but it is not suitable for human being to live on the ocean. Apart from moon planet, you take the ocean.

Reporter: The ocean?

Prabhupāda: Ocean. Water, ocean.

Hayagrīva: You can't live in the ocean. It's a different atmosphere. You cannot live on the moon because the climate is so different. You can't survive on the moon.

Prabhupāda: Everything is different. You require a different type of body to live there, to go there. Just like if you want to live within the water, this body will not be suitable. But the fish, it has got a type of body they live very peacefully. Similarly, the residents of moon planet, they are meant for living there. You cannot go and live there, abruptly. That is not possible.

Hayagrīva: Are there people living on the moon now, or were they in other yugas living there? Are they in this yuga living there?

Prabhupāda: No, they're still living there. Yes. As we are living here, they are living there. Yes.

Reporter: And how would you describe these people that live there? Would they be invisible to us or visible?

Prabhupāda: Almost invisible, yes.

Hayagrīva: Spiritual body.

Prabhupāda: Not spiritual. That is also material.

Hayagrīva: Like ghost bodies? Subtle bodies?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Hayagrīva: Excuse me.

Reporter: Okay, thank you. Thank you. (door closes)

Hayagrīva: Their bodies are subtle bodies. They're not like gross bodies.

Prabhupāda: Just like . . . you try to understand me, that this matter, consisting of five elements, earth, air . . . earth, water, air . . . earth, water, fire, air, ether. And then, still subtler than ether is the mind, and then, subtler than the mind is intelligence, and subtler than intelligence is the spirit soul. So before we reach our spiritual platform, there are so many elementary material platforms.

So in different planets one of the element is prominent. Just like we can experience in the ocean and sea, the water is prominent. In the land, earth is prominent. Similarly, in different . . . just like in the sun planet, fire is prominent. So in each and every planet there are particular type of body, particular type of residents. You cannot expect that the same type of body and same type of residents are there.

Reporter: Now, in a way, when you talk about this, you're getting into an area which to outsiders would be interpreted as a type of prophecy, since . . .

Prabhupāda: No, it is not prophecy.

Reporter: No, not intended to be . . .

Prabhupāda: We have got this description in these Vedic literature. We are speaking on the strength of authority of Vedas. We are not prophesying.

Reporter: Speaking on the strength of . . .

Prabhupāda: Of the Vedic literature.

Hayagrīva: V-e-d-i-c.

Reporter: Oh, on Vedic literature.

Prabhupāda: Yes. We don't talk anything which is not authorized by the Vedic literature. That is our process.

Reporter: So let me see if I can summarize correctly your views on this: that it would be impossible for human beings to land on the moon planet?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Reporter: I wonder if you could explain how it would be impossible, to what extent. I mean, whether . . .

Prabhupāda: The same example as I have already given, that if you want to reside in ocean water, is it possible? If you want to construct a city like New York in the ocean, is it possible?

Reporter: No. But what if they wanted . . . they have resided in the ocean or on the ocean for a short period . . .

Prabhupāda: Anywhere. Any, in the ocean or on the ocean, you cannot build up a city like Los Angeles and New York. That is impossible. So even in your presence, in different atmosphere, you cannot go and live. So similarly, the moon planet is completely different atmosphere. How you can live and go?

Reporter: But of course they're not going there to build a city, but they're only going there to take some rock samples and do some experiments, and then leave.

Prabhupāda: That may be possible. Just like you go in the ocean and live for some time and come back, but you cannot make any permanent settlement there. Yes. But that also I am doubtful, whether you can land and take some, I mean to say, earth or water from there. That is also very difficult. So far our literature goes, our information goes, it is not possible.

Reporter: Do you think that the, say, astronauts that would land on the moon, do you think they would encounter any difficulty in going about and doing what they wanted to and then leaving?

Prabhupāda: The first thing is that according to our knowledge from the Vedic literature, they cannot go there.

Reporter: But you admitted that it may be possible for them to go there for a short time and leave.

Prabhupāda: That I am taking this example, just like we go for a short time on the sea but we cannot make any permanent settlement there.

Reporter: Yeah. But according to the Vedic literature they cannot go there.

Prabhupāda: Yes. In this body we cannot go there. With this body we cannot go there. We shall have to change this body. Either you do it scientifically or spiritually or by any other method, with this body you cannot go there. You have to prepare a similar body which is suitable for living condition there.

Reporter: Would a spacesuit substitute for that?

Prabhupāda: Space?

Reporter: In other words, the spacesuits that the astronauts wear . . .

Prabhupāda: I don't think so. I don't think so. Spacesuits are . . .

Reporter: You see, I'm a little confused, because I can't tell whether you feel that based on Vedic literature, that you said it may be possible for them to land and to return for a short visit, yet you say they cannot go with this body.

Prabhupāda: Yes. I say also this, that to land there you must have the specific body suitable for that place.

Reporter: To land there you must have . . .

Prabhupāda: The specific body.

Reporter: I didn't get that.

Hayagrīva: A specific body.

Prabhupāda: Now that specific body, if you are able to make by your modern science, then it may be possible. But you have to change your body to that specific condition. But the space dress which is now being used, that is not useful.

Reporter: The space uniform, you don't feel that is adequate?

Prabhupāda: Space uniform, that is not adequate.

Reporter: Now what about the beings that live on the moon planet?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Reporter: Do you feel that they would interfere with any experiments or persons from earth landing there or trying to land there? Say, even if they had some specific body change or came up with a spacesuit that would withstand any changes in temperature . . .

Prabhupāda: The first thing is that with this body you . . . neither you can land there nor interfere with their business. The first thing is . . . the scientists say that the temperature in moon planet is two hundred degree less than zero. Is it not?

Reporter: I don't know.

Prabhupāda: Howard?

Hayagrīva: It's very cold.

Prabhupāda: Very cold. So even taking the scientific statement, how you can live there if it is two hundred degree below the zero degree?

Reporter: Well, I don't know, unless they intend to land at a time that . . .

Prabhupāda: No. There is suggestion of the scientist that there the temperature is two hundred degree below zero. I have read some paper. So if it is a fact, then how you can live? You feel uncomfortable even in the Arctic region within this planet. How you can go and stay there even for a few minutes where the two hundred degree . . .

Reporter: Yes, that's an argument based on logic . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Reporter: . . . and given the information about the degree. But obviously, they're going ahead with plans to do so, and you have a transition period, for instance, between the part of the moon that is in sunlight and the part that is in darkness.

Prabhupāda: That I've already admitted, that by modern scientific method if you can change the condition of your present body then you can go. It may be possible. But that is very remote.

Reporter: The, er . . . well, do you rule out talking about the beings living on the moon planet? Do you disregard talking about that because you feel it is too remote to chance that anyone would ever land there, or do you have any feelings . . .

Prabhupāda: Remote chance in the present way of going there. But this is not remote. If one wants to go there, there is a particular ritualistic process. If you adopt that, then you can go in your next life. That means after quitting this body you get a different body and you get your birth there. That is Vedic process.

Reporter: Did you say through a particular ritualistic process you can go there in your next life?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Reporter: Okay. Now I still want to find out if you have any feelings about, say, if . . .

Prabhupāda: Going there with this body?

Reporter: Yes.

Prabhupāda: No. I am not very much optimistic. Almost I say it is impossible.

Reporter: But if the impossible happened and they were able to safely land on the moon's surface, do you feel they would have any difficulty or encounter any trouble with the beings that you say live there?

Prabhupāda: The trouble is already there. You are going with great difficulty, and even if you land there you may die immediately; everything is finished. You are already encountering the difficulty. It is not very easy. The Russian scientists, the American scientists, they're trying for the last ten years. Still, they have not approached the moon planet. So difficulty is already there.

Reporter: But . . . yes, there are difficulties, but still people feel . . .

Prabhupāda: Just like the Russians advertised that "We are going there," in 1965. They advertised to sell land. So these are utopian. You see? Somebody wanted to purchase land in the Russia. And they advertised also that they have plucked their flag, Sea of Moscow. What is this?

Reporter: Well, my point is that I was trying to determine if there are any particular religious beliefs . . .

Prabhupāda: It is not religious belief. It is not religious belief. It is fact.

Reporter: Well, I mean not . . .

Prabhupāda: Knowledge received from Vedic sources. Just you are talking on the source of knowledge from the modern scientific books; similarly, we are talking also on the source of knowledge received from Vedas. It is not a religious belief or faith, blind faith. We are not inventing anything. We are talking on the basis of authoritative knowledge contained in the Vedas.

Reporter: Does this basis of knowledge include any information about beings and how they would react to people from another planet? Would there be . . . is there anything containing, you know, how they would react, how the moon people react to the earth people coming there?

Prabhupāda: Of course, such description is not in the Vedas, but in some sources we can understand that one king, he wanted to enter the heavenly kingdom, but he was opposed. He was opposed by the demigods. So much information we have got. So those who are not fit to live there or enter there, maybe they will be opposed by the inhabitants there.

And that is also natural to think. If somebody all of a sudden comes to your country, oh, there is immediately immigration department. They will see the bona fides, how you can enter. So why don't you take that also? If you are . . . if moon planet is inhabited by more intelligent class of living entities, how do we expect that without opposition you will be allowed to enter?

Reporter: So they are said to be a more intelligent entities.

Prabhupāda: Oh yes. Oh yes. Oh yes. They are living ten thousand years. Are they not intelligent? Their standard of living, their mode of civilization, their mode of thinking, everything is higher than this planet.

Reporter: Is this from this book?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Hayagrīva: You say they may not be visible to us, though.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Hayagrīva: To these material eyes they are not visible.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So many things are not visible to our eyes.

Reporter: And when you speak of the analogies of one, say, a foreigner coming to another country and wanting to do whatever he wants to do there and being rejected or opposed by the inhabitants of that country, do you say only by analogy that there might be opposition to earth people?

Prabhupāda: No. There are informations, that somebody trying to enter in the heavenly planet was opposed because he was not qualified.

Reporter: So that because of this example, are you saying that if earth people were able to land on the moon that they would be . . .?

Prabhupāda: First of all, my first conviction is they will never be able. But even they are able, I do not know how they will be easily received.

Reporter: You do not know how . . .?

Prabhupāda: They will easily admitted.

Reporter: You said you don't know how they would easily be received or admitted.

Prabhupāda: Yes, by the residents there.

Reporter: The word "easily" there, I don't know how that would . . . you don't know how they would be received, whether they would be hostile or friendly. Is that right?

Prabhupāda: Naturally, when I oppose, I must be hostile. When I oppose, then I must be hostile.

Reporter: Yes. And you expect that they would oppose?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Reporter: The example of the king that wanted to enter the heavenly kingdom and was opposed, is this in this book also?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Reporter: And he was opposed by the demigods?

Prabhupāda: Demigods, or the residents in the heavenly planet.

Hayagrīva: Mike, find it mentioned there are three planets, three . . . there are the lower planetary systems, middle planetary systems and higher planetary systems. And this earth is considered to be in the middle planetary system of the universe. It's called a middle planet.

Reporter: Would that relate to anything that we're talking about?

Prabhupāda: In the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that there are three planetary system: upper, lower and middle. So ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti (BG 14.18), those who are in the modes of goodness, they are allowed to live in the upper planetary system. And those who are in the modes of passion, they are allowed to live in this middle planetary system. And those who are in the modes of ignorance, they are allowed to live in the lower planetary system.

Reporter: Now where would the moon planet fit?

Prabhupāda: Moon planet is the upper.

Reporter: Upper.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the beginning of upper planetary system. Still upper, upper, upper, there are many layers.

Reporter: Now can you explain to me . . . I have some background information about the Kṛṣṇa consciousness Society, but I don't know how to explain it in relation to the broad word Hinduism. Now how do you relate the International Society of Krishna Consciousness to Hinduism? Would you describe it as a part of Hinduism?

Prabhupāda: No. Hinduism practically we do not recognize, because this word "Hinduism" is not mentioned in any Vedic literature. It is a foreign term. The Muhammadans, they called the inhabitants of India as "Hindus." From that word, it has come to "Hinduism." Otherwise, we don't find that word in any Vedic literature. "Hinduism" is a foreign term. It is not a Vedic term.

Reporter: Yes. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness, its Vedic literature, they have some of the same books or also holy books for what we call Hindu religions, aren't they?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Just try to understand, the inhabitants of India were called by the Muhammadans from Persia and other places "Hindus." "Hindus" means the resident on the other side of the River Indus. You know the . . . you have heard the name of River Indus.

So they cannot pronounce it Indus, they say: "Hindus." From "Hindus," it has come "Hindu." So actually, the residents of India were called "Hindus." And generally, at least in, say, three thousand years ago, all the inhabitants of India were strictly followers of Vedic principles.

After the advent of Lord Buddha, a different religious system developed. Otherwise, before Lord Buddha, there was all the—not only in India; in other parts of the world—they were followers of Vedic principles. So in that sense, you can say if followers of Vedic principles are called Hindus, then before Lord Buddha, everyone was Hindu, all over the world. Not that particular part of India.

So far we have got historical reference from Mahābhārata, Indo-European stock, they are also Hindus, the so-called Hindus, followers of Vedic principles. Yes. Gradually, they deviated. Just like recently there is division of Pakistan and India. Twenty years before, this Pakistan was part of India.

Now, these Muhammadans, they did not come from outside. They changed their faith from Hindus to Muhammadans. Now they divided their property. Similarly, actually the whole planet was called Bhārata-varṣa. Gradually, people deviated from Vedic principles or imitated something else and they became different.

Reporter: Considering that the people, say, the space program in the United States, was able to achieve its goals for this current flight they just finished and do what they wanted to do . . .

Prabhupāda: No, can you inform me . . . recently you told me that they're within sixty miles from the moon planet. Is that a fact?

Reporter: I'm afraid I don't know. I don't know what the mileage was.

Hayagrīva: They circled it. They circled the moon at sixty miles.

Prabhupāda: So if they're, I mean to say, circumambulating within sixty miles, how they could not land? They could not go further sixty miles?

Reporter: Well, they didn't want to land at this time.

Prabhupāda: Why this?

Reporter: That was to test their ability.

Prabhupāda: Why this?

Reporter: They didn't have the mechanism ready. They take a special . . .

Prabhupāda: But for sixty miles, fifty miles, if they could stand sixty miles off from the moon planet, they were already on the atmosphere. Suppose if I am sixty miles away from a city, I am in that atmosphere. So if I could stay that atmosphere, how it is possible that . . . how it is wonderful that they could not go further sixty miles? I don't believe these things, these statements, that they were within sixty miles area. This is simply imagination.

Reporter: Well, they didn't take along the spaceship that they need that they . . .

Prabhupāda: Anyway, anyway, just like I am inhabitant of Vṛndāvana. Vṛndāvana, that is ninety miles off from New Delhi. The atmosphere is almost the same. So, if I could live at Vṛndāvana, I could live at New Delhi also. So if they stayed sixty miles off from moon planet, how is it that they could not go further sixty miles? This is most ludicrous. At least, we cannot believe such things. Sixty miles is no much difference. It is almost in the same atmosphere.

Reporter: If the space program, either the Russian or the American program, which have plans to try to land on the moon and return safely, if this is successful, do you think this accomplishment would hurt the Kṛṣṇa movement in the United States? It would contradict Vedic . . .

Prabhupāda: Why? First thing is that even they are successful, according to our principle, it is simply waste of time. Because we are not concerned even with the moon planet. We are trying to go to the planet of Kṛṣṇa, from where nobody returns back to this wretched condition of life. So the wretched condition of life is as good in moon planet as it is in this earth planet. And do you know what is the wretched condition of life? Yes. The birth, death, old age and disease. This is the wretched condition of life.

So you cannot avoid this wretched condition of life in the moon planet also. There is birth, death, old age and disease. But where we are trying to go by Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there is no birth, death, old age and disease. So even there are . . . people are successful to go to the moon planet, what connection we have got there? We are not at all concerned with any planet where there is birth, death and old age and disease—even in the highest planet of this universe.

Reporter: Well, what I'm getting at is that if, for instance, you say that first this conviction that they would not be able to land, and secondly that whatever earth people would go there would be opposed and would not be able to safely return, if you say this, based on Vedic literature, and other members of the Kṛṣṇa movement heard this, and then if the feat were accomplished, would this not seem a contradiction, or something that had been said would be the case and then the opposite was proved true? Would this . . .

Prabhupāda: What is that contradiction? There is nothing contradiction. We say that if you get a suitable body you can enter there. So if by your scientific process you can equip yourself with suitable body, you can enter there. Where is the contradiction?

Reporter: Well, you said the spacesuit was not a suitable . . .

Prabhupāda: That is a fact. That is a fact.

Reporter: That is suitable?

Prabhupāda: That is not suitable.

Reporter: That's the way they intend to go.

Prabhupāda: That is, that is not . . . that we can safely say, that with this suit you cannot go there. You have to make a different suit. Perhaps you do not know that.

Reporter: Okay, then let's say that if with that suit they do go there and do return, would that be a contradiction?

Prabhupāda: Why contradiction? We say that if you get suitable suit you can go there. Where is the contradiction?

Reporter: Well, I thought you said the spacesuit was not suitable.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Spacesuit is not suitable. But if you can go with the spacesuit that may be contradiction. But that I am certain you cannot go.

Reporter: I'm confused.

Prabhupāda: I say . . . just try to understand me, that if you can prepare a suitable body, you can go there. But this spacesuit is not the suitable body. Is that all right? Now if you actually go there by this spacesuit, that will be contradiction to my statement. But I am certain you cannot do that.

Reporter: I see.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So there will be no contradiction. Just clearly try to understand me.

Reporter: Okay. Then I'll try to repeat what you said and see if I am correct.

Prabhupāda: I'll repeat. I'll repeat. First thing is that to enter into the moon planet you have to prepare yourself for a different body. If that body, you think that it is already made by the spacesuit—spacesuit is that different body—then it will be contradiction to my statement. But I say that with the spacesuit that you have manufactured, that is not fit to enter there. Now it is clear?

Reporter: Well, it's clear if . . . if . . .

Prabhupāda: The spacesuit is not fit for entering there. Is that clear?

Reporter: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Now, if by chance with this spacesuit you enter there, that will be contradiction, that nobody can enter. But I say you can enter there with a suitable body. If you think that the spacesuit is that suitable body, then you can enter there. But I think this spacesuit is not that suitable body.

Reporter: If I think the spacesuit is suitable . . .

Prabhupāda: For entering that moon planet. That is your statement, but I say that spacesuit is not suitable for entering into the . . .

Reporter: If I think the spacesuit is suitable and, say, if I am an astronaut and I land there, I can land there?

Prabhupāda: If it is suitable. First thing that if it is suitable you can land. But to my opinion it is not suitable. Therefore you cannot land.

Reporter: Well . . . so then you are not saying, then, that it would be impossible for . . .

Prabhupāda: That I never said. I say in the beginning that in order to enter moon planet you have to get a suitable type of body. That suitable type of body is not that spacesuit. Therefore the conclusion is that you cannot enter with this spacesuit. Is it clear?

Reporter: That part is clear, but not if other questions are asked.

Prabhupāda: Other question you may ask. Other, that is future hope. That is not a fact. You are trusting in the future that with this spacesuit you will be able to enter there. That you are believing. But similarly, I have got my belief from the authoritative scripture that you cannot.

Reporter: Well, all I know is what they plan to do and what they've done so far. So in view of what they hope to do, that's . . .

Prabhupāda: Well, that hoping . . . that hoping also, from practical point of view . . . just like the other day the information was they were sixty miles off from the moon planet, and still they could not enter. This is . . . I do not know what kind of statement it is. If you go to some place just sixty miles off from that place and you are trying for the so many years, you should be inquisitive, "Oh, let me go there sixty miles further. Let me see."

Reporter: Well, it's like you walk near a theater and you don't have a ticket. You might be able to walk around the theater . . .

Prabhupāda: Then you come to my conclusion that your ticket is insufficient; you cannot enter there. Then you support my statement. Then you support me, that you cannot enter there.

Reporter: Then you support me.

Prabhupāda: Why? I don't support you. I say that you cannot enter. You are supporting me. You say that I have no ticket, therefore I could not enter.

Reporter: And these astronauts did not have the ticket . . .

Prabhupāda: Therefore my statement is that you cannot enter in this way. Therefore you support me.

What do you think? Huh?

Hayagrīva: They haven't been able to enter yet.

Prabhupāda: Therefore they haven't got the ticket. Even going near sixty miles, still they could not enter. So they are supporting my statement. Whether you admit or not, this? If they could not enter even being off sixty miles, then my statement is strongly supported, that you cannot enter. You go, you went there sixty miles up to, just off sixty miles; still you could not.

Reporter: Well, I think I'm still not clear on whether . . .

Prabhupāda: Why you are not clear? Just making clear.

Reporter: It is your opinion that—perhaps you can help me—that you cannot go to the planet unless you . . .

Prabhupāda: You take some, take some . . . take this.

Reporter: Oh, thanks. Unless you go to a . . . have a suitable body, and his belief that the spacesuit is not a suitable body or a substitute or whatever. It is not the same thing. And yet if this is accomplished, it seems to be that he's also saying that there's no contradiction to his statement.

Prabhupāda: Because I say if you get a suitable body. So if you think that this is suitable body, then you can enter. There is no contradiction. But I think it is not suitable body. But in all cases, if you get suitable body you can enter there.

Hayagrīva: It's just these, says the means. He said it's not impossible to go there, but the means that they're using now are not very good means to go there.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Hayagrīva: He has some doubts about the means they're using to go there. He doesn't think that the . . .

Reporter: I think what . . . really, I think we have to carry it further enough so that we can tell whether, for one thing, whether I have a story or not. If it's felt if you have doubts that it can be done, that's one thing. But if you have great confidence that it can never be done except by changing one's body . . .

Prabhupāda: No, I don't say that. I say that in order to enter into the . . . just try to understand me clearly. In order to enter the moon planet you have got to prepare yourself for a suitable body. Is that clear? If you, by some way or other, you make that suitable body, you can enter. But the present body which you have manufactured—the spacesuit—is not suitable.

Reporter: Okay. Then when I try to carry it further, if they use the present body and do . . . are successful . . .

Prabhupāda: That they could not do till now. That is future contemplation. Because even going up to sixty miles off they could not. Therefore this is not suitable. Now you say also, just like they didn't have the ticket. The further arrangement is still waiting. That means this is not suitable. This is . . . we just try to convince you.

Reporter: Do you think that any improvements in a spacesuit . . .

Prabhupāda: That is future hope. Not the present suit. I say the present suit is not suitable.

Reporter: What about a future suit?

Prabhupāda: Future, if you improve, that my statement is that if you can make your body suitable you can enter. So far the present suit is concerned, it is not good.

Reporter: Now I think that if the trip is made, and it is successful . . .

Prabhupāda: "If." "If."

Reporter: . . . that there would be no contradiction there, and in the case of, say, no interference from any moon beings, that I can foresee that there would be no contradiction there if it is achieved.

Prabhupāda: No. That means simply by your suit, if you . . . just like if I got a nice suit and enter your port, New York or any port, but if the Immigration Department does not allow me, what can I do? Is that suit is sufficient? You cannot enforce there. There are intelligent persons there.

Suppose if I come, a very nice, costly dress, in your port, and if your Immigration Department does not allow, what can you do? There are intelligent persons there. How do we expect that simply by you have got suit, therefore you'll be able to, allowed to enter there? That is not sufficient qualification.

Reporter: I'm just trying to pin you down to a very exact statement, if I can, as to whether or not, if they found the suitable spacesuit and did land, whether they would be interfered with.

Prabhupāda: Interfered . . . interfered . . . now you try to understand. You come from Europe or from India in a very nice, gentlemanly suit. Does it mean that Immigration Department will allow you to enter the country? That means even if you have got suitable suit they may be opposed if you haven't got, I mean to say, proper qualities and other bona fides.

Because to live in the moon planet there are different qualities and bona fides. So not only you have got to make a proper, suitable dress, but you have to qualify yourself for getting visa of entrance into moon planet.

Reporter: Well, what I'm saying is that if astronauts were able to land and return to the earth successfully . . .

Prabhupāda: What is that successful?

Reporter: . . . I would predict that you would not feel that there was . . . would you then interpret it that they were able to get the visa or to . . .

Prabhupāda: No, if you go and land there and come back, that may be a pleasant thing for you, but we don't think it is a very nice thing. If I go in New York border and see and come back, and I am not allowed to enter, why should I take so much trouble? It is useless trouble.

Hayagrīva: He says if you can't go there and live there, what's the point in going there?

Prabhupāda: Just the Russians advertised that, "We are going to distribute land." That is a feasible understanding. But if you simply go and touch and come back, is that success? Why should you take so much trouble simply for touching the moon planet?

Reporter: Well, I mean, anyone can make that . . . there are many people who feel just that way . . .

Prabhupāda: That may be.

Reporter: . . . although they may have no acquaintance with Vedic literature either, and might feel the same way: Why go?

Prabhupāda: No, it is a commonsense affair that if somebody takes the trouble of doing so many things for the last ten or twenty years and go there and touch the moon planet, come back, it is successful, so it may be complacence for him, but I don't think it is success. Why should I take so much trouble to touch the moon planet, come back? (chuckling) I have no useless time for that thing.

Reporter: But I think that what you're saying, that it is also not strictly impossible for someone to go there and be able to come back—that many conditions would have to change for them to do that—but you wouldn't rule out as impossible. Is that right?

Prabhupāda: No. Actually, if anyone goes there, he'll not like to come back.

Reporter: If anyone goes there . . .

Prabhupāda: He'll not like to come back. Otherwise, he will give false information, that "I went there and touched it and come back." Just like this is the information that they were sixty miles off.

Reporter: Why wouldn't he like to come back?

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Reporter: Why wouldn't he like to come back?

Prabhupāda: Why you are trying to go there? First of all, let me know.

Reporter: For science, for getting some samples of the moon's surface, for one thing.

Prabhupāda: Do you mean to say simply by knowing the moon planet your scientific research is complete? There are so many millions of other planets of different nature. Is it possible to study all these?

Reporter: No.

Prabhupāda: Then? Why you are taking so much trouble to study the moon planet? What is your idea?

Reporter: I think it's to do what I said and also the fact that it's there, and it's reachable, and why not go there? You know? Why climb a mountain?

Prabhupāda: You can go there, but if you take the trouble of going there, why not live there? Because the place is more comfortable than this place.

Reporter: Why leave there, because the place is more comfortable than this place?

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. The duration of life is more; the standard of living is fine; everything is . . . knowledge, advanced.

Hayagrīva: He's saying, if you're going to take the trouble to go to the planet, why not go to the planet that you can live in with your present body, and why go someplace where you have to make so many accommodations with spacesuits because the atmosphere is not conducive to our . . .

Reporter: But they're not going there to . . . with a mind that they themselves won't live there.

Hayagrīva: Then he says it's useless to go there.

Reporter: But obviously they're going to go there anyway, and . . . so that's why I'm trying to think to see whether there are any . . .

Prabhupāda: Now, do you think that after so much trouble, so much labor, if you go there and simply come back and be complacent that, "Oh, I went there," is that very great achievement? If you can live there, you can utilize that place, then it is all right.

Just like so many Europeans, they came to America, and not simply to see and go back. Why they settled here? That is successful. Columbus invented this island, and people came and they utilized it. Otherwise, if simply coming and going, why take so much trouble?

Reporter: Well, that's a point.

Prabhupāda: But our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has nothing to do with this moon planet going.

Reporter: No, I realize that. Only in the sense that I could see some . . . from the way Dan Donnelley told me.

Prabhupāda: But we have got some information in the literatures dealing with Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Reporter: For instance, the Jehovah's Witnesses have all but predicted that the Armageddon, or the end of the world, will come in 1975. And obviously, if nothing happens in 1975 or shortly thereafter, their sect will suffer in some relation because they have said this, and if it doesn't happen . . .

Prabhupāda: But they said so many things.

Reporter: Right.

Prabhupāda: But does . . .? As the Russian said that in 1965 "We are going to . . ."

Reporter: So that when Dan Donnelley told me that . . .

Prabhupāda: So we never believed in such statement. We never believed.

Reporter: Right. What I mean is that when Dan Donnelley told me that in some of your lectures you had said that it would be impossible for man to land on the moon and that they would be opposed by beings on the moon, those sounded like very definite statements, that if those things did not happen, then there would be a similar potential for a crisis within the Kṛṣṇa movement of people hearing one thing said, and it doesn't happen in the future. Then if those things are said that definitely, then there's always a danger that . . .

Prabhupāda: No. Danger . . . when the scientists said that 1965 they would go, did not happen, what danger has happened?

Reporter: The danger to the faith of those who felt, say, in Jehovah's Witnesses, that those who believed that the Jehovah's Witness knew, and nothing happens. They say: "Well . . ."

Prabhupāda: But they're still believing. First of all, they say that 1965 they're going to the moon planet. That has not happened. Now you say 1975. So they are still believing. So a class of men will always be cheated like that. A class of men. So there will be no danger of cheating such persons.

Hayagrīva: I don't think Swami Bhaktivedanta's students would be swayed one way or the other, because their faith is in Kṛṣṇa and in the spiritual master, and it wouldn't be swayed by man going to the moon or not going to the moon. These are very incidental.

Reporter: No, but only if, say, a spiritual master of a faith made very definite statements about what man could or could not achieve, if a spiritual master were to say man cannot achieve this—period—and then man went ahead and achieved it, there would be a crisis.

Prabhupāda: The spiritual master does not say such nonsense thing. Man can achieve in a suitable body. Why don't you say that? But that suitable body is not . . .

Reporter: Yeah, well that's . . . when I talk to you, I find that the way you say it, after, if the events are achieved . . .

Prabhupāda: He can enter.

Reporter: . . . there could be explanations for it, and there would be no crisis in faith.

Prabhupāda: No.

Hayagrīva: He never came out and said that it's absolutely impossible.

Reporter: Right. Okay. Well, thank you very much. I appreciate your tolerance of all my questions and everything.

Prabhupāda: Yes. You take this orange.

Hayagrīva: Do you want to take this, these informations? This one's just a running history of the Society, and this is the magazine. So if you'd like, you can take it.

Reporter: Okay. Fine.

Prabhupāda: Our Kṛṣṇa . . . you should kindly note it that our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has nothing to do with this moon planet.

Reporter: No. I . . . I just . . .

Prabhupāda: But we are not aiming to go to the moon planet.

Reporter: I realize that. Yes. Your name was Howard . . .?

Hayagrīva: Wheeler.

Reporter: Wheeler? Thank you very much.

Hayagrīva: That's . . . (indistinct) . . . my business card.

Reporter: Okay. Thank you.

Prabhupāda: Thank you . . . (indistinct) . . . (end)