730712 - Conversation B - London
(Conversation with Two Buddhist Monks)
Buddhist Monk (1): . . . living religion . . .
Buddhist Monk (1): . . . without which we cannot go very much further.
Prabhupāda: This is humanity.
Buddhist Monk (1): Yes, humanity. I was in Hrishikesh and five or six times in India. So that is why . . . wherever possible, I lived with them, not for long times—a day or two or three or a week at most; share our spiritual food together.
Prabhupāda: So far hospitality is concerned, according to Vedic culture, Indian homes were open for everyone, even for the enemies. Gṛhe śatrum api prāptaṁ viśvastam akutobhayam. If one gets an enemy at his home as guest, he should receive him in such a way that the man would forget about his enmity with him. Gṛhe śatrum api prāptaṁ viśvastam akutobhayam. So these are preliminary human behavior. Even without any understanding of spiritual values, they are expected to behave nicely.
Buddhist Monk (1): Yes. It is very easy to love someone who loves you. But real, purified, selfless love is to radiate it without any discrimination, both to the person who loves and to . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes, therefore I said . . .
Buddhist Monk (1): . . . whom does not love you. That is the beginning . . .
Prabhupāda: Therefore I said.
Buddhist Monk (1): . . . of that good hospitality. That's real hospitality.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is . . . that I said, gṛhe śatrum api prāptam. Even one gets an enemy, he should be also be received.
Buddhist Monk (1): He's come to your place, and treat him with all the respect and courtesy . . .
Buddhist Monk (1): . . . and that loving kindness.
Prabhupāda: From Mahābhārata we can understand that when Bhīma, Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa went to Jarāsandha to fight with him, enemy, so in the daytime they were fighting like enemies, and at night Kṛṣṇa, Bhīma and Arjuna were guest in the house of the same Jarāsandha.
Buddhist Monk (1): Yes.
Prabhupāda: Yes. At night they were guest. They were talking very friendly, and there is no enmity. But in daytime they'll fight. (laughter)
Buddhist Monk (1): Yes. Gautama the Buddha, whom I follow, who is my teacher, a poor man came, and he found him panting, asked him, "Well, what's the trouble?" "Oh, I've got news that you're here. I want to see you." And the Buddha found that not only had he run . . . he asked him, "When did you last have a meal?" He said, "That's quite a few days ago." He said: "We cannot preach on empty stomachs. Ānanda, give this man a good meal before he could come to me." And this fine virtue of hospitality, much as we have treasured in the past, when people leave their shores, they are inclined to forget this. I've been addressing various groups. I do not confine myself to Buddhist groups only. Whatever group was interested, to foster some understanding, good will and peace, I addressed. I said three things that many people forget when they leave their countries are: first, their serene smile; secondly, hospitality; thirdly, they become ashamed of their own cultures because many are strangers of their own cultures.
Buddhist Monk (1): I had last time an opportunity, before coming to Southampton, I addressed some people from Sri Lanka, and there were some people from Canada as well, at Montreal. And I pointed this out. In this light, I find almost all the teachers that come from that part of the world and their followers are trying to live up to this noble virtue. And if people get together, live together and have meals, perhaps even that . . .
Prabhupāda: So these devotees, they have not been separately instructed about hospitality. But because they are devotees of the Lord, this hospitality automatically they learn. Yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ (SB 5.18.12). If one becomes perfectly a devotee of the Lord, all the good qualities of demigods manifest automatically.
The hospitality is also a good quality. So out of many good qualities, this is one of them. So these devotees, they are automatically well behaving to the guest, newcomer, on account of their advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Because a Kṛṣṇa conscious person takes everyone—not only human being, but even animals, insect, trees, birds, beasts, everyone, living entities—as part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. So it is their duty to behave well with all living entities, not only the human being, but also even with the animals. Ahiṁsā.
Amānitvam adambhitvam ahiṁsā kṣāntir ārjavam (BG 13.8). The ahiṁsā preached by Lord Buddha, that is also one of the qualifications of devotee. Amānitvam adambhitvam ahiṁsā. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. So we are preaching. Every religion preaches, but people do not follow. The Christian religion also preaches ahiṁsā, "Thou shall not kill," but they do not follow.
Buddhist Monk (1): Yes, we, as followers of the Buddha, take it from this angle, that this mental process, which is normally subject to lobha, doṣa and moha, we have to purify this mental process from these defilements and substitute liberality, including hospitality and loving kindness and wisdom. It's not only a process of purifying. It is a parallel purpose of building good will.
Buddhist Monk (1): According to us, if we know how to live together, eat together in a cooperative spirit, we are not going to violate the five fundamental precepts, starting with (Sanskrit or Pali) panatipata o ermani siksa patan samanti ami, that is, not to cause any hurt to any mentally conscious living being.
Buddhist Monk (1): And ahiṁsā paramo dharmaḥ: nonviolence is the highest righteousness. And from this can come so much good. If we love each other, we express that love in its purest form by sharing, and if we share, we are not going to steal anything from someone else, we're not going to commit adultery, we're not going to say lies, and we'll not be under the influence of narcotics and so on.
So that's that purification process, which is very, very powerful, not only for oneself, but the society in which it is used. So this is why I emphasize this virtue, and wherever I go, I try to meet, within the limitations of time and transport . . .
Prabhupāda: Where you are staying here? London?
Buddhist Monk (1): That had become a little difficult because . . . it's difficult. We didn't know these āśramas, and we came yesterday. The guru Nanak temple people made arrangements for our transport. We were staying with them for one week, and they looked after us dearly, and they made arrangements for our transport to come here. Some people were coming on some other business, so they brought us.
So it was not much time. So we met a person in the street, and we told them that we are looking after a place to stay. And that person said: "Well, it's difficult here." Then I asked about two or three, and we had some addresses, and they were far away. Then we met a friendly gentleman who was just reversing his car. He was smiling, and we smiled. We said: "Well, could you tell us a small place to pitch a tent?" We carry a small tent. We said: "For a day or two." He asked me how long. I said: "Just to find some breathing space at least." So we have pitched up a small tent in a private garden. That's somewhere in Cheswick Lane.
Prabhupāda: Where it is?
Devotee: You know where Cheswick is?
Haṁsadūta: Cheswick Lane.
Buddhist Monk (1): That's by the river, uh? It's quite far away, yes. So last night we stayed there. Is that on the western side of . . .?
Devotee: Yes, that's the West Fork.
Buddhist Monk (1): West Fork. West Fork.
Prabhupāda: This is northern? No, southern. I do not know. We are also (Buddhist laughs) camped for the last few days. We do not know much about . . .
Buddhist Monk (1): Much about it, yes.
Buddhist Monk (1): I was here in 1952, and somewhere in '60 as well. I have been traveling eighteen years in nearly a hundred countries and trying to give a little good will. Of course, I am just one man, and within the capacity of one person, and this boy joined me in New Zealand about one and a half years ago. A few bridges are being made. A religion that is not lived, according to us, fails the purpose of religion because religion should be a way of living. And if we live that, there'll be less duḥkha and more śānti, more peace.
There is an awakening in almost all these parts. I was even in the East European countries, from Sofia right up to Moscow. Even there, I carried all the books—the Bible and the Bhagavad-gītā, Buddhist books. At the frontier, they opened the books. I had all these books with me—Rāmāyaṇa, Vedas, something from Egypt, Kung-fu-tzu, Lao-tse. They opened. They looked. They put them back. Not one question was asked. And that very police officer who was passing my passport, I saw him in the restaurant. He called me. Because I had an old photograph which I had taken when I first started traveling. That's twenty years. I didn't take it seriously.
So he said: "This is not you." First, before I met him in the restaurant, I said: "Technically you may be right, because we are changing every moment. So it's not myself." (sighs) But after some time he passed my passport, and then I went to the restaurant where I saw him. He said . . . he called me, he said: "Formerly I was an officer, and now you are my friend. What do you eat?" (Prabhupāda chuckles) Well, he asked the waitress to, "Come, bring him a very fine meal, the best you can offer in the restaurant." I said: "That's very kind." Then he said: "I'll bring you meat and all that . . . (indistinct) . . ." I said: "Please keep me out of it." I said: "I am a pure vegetarian." "What do you eat?" I said: "All vegetables. If you have rice, it's good." "Oh, bring him a vodka!"
Prabhupāda: Vodka? What . . .?
Buddhist Monk (1): Vodka.
Haṁsadūta: Whiskey. Liquor.
Buddhist Monk (1): He tried whiskey. He said: "Come to vodka, because Johnnie Walker's whiskey here, Scotch". I told him, "I don't drink that either." "What do you eat ? And what do you drink?!" So . . . he asked me, "What's the matter with you?" "There's nothing wrong with me. (laughter) I am quite healthy and everything. I am a follower of the Buddha, and our first precept is nonviolence to all mentally conscious living beings. And that's the reason why we follow this." "Ah, you miss the steak don't you?" I said: "I miss nothing. If one wants to have vegetables prepared, there are so many ways of preparing it, healthier, and if one wants taste, it could be even more tasteful." "All right, all right. Bring him as many vegetables. And what then you drink? Beer?" I said, "No. Fruit drinks, if you have." "You order." He gave me a listing. I wanted to pay. He wouldn't allow me to pay, and he paid it.
Those people are kind there. And from the time I got . . . went across, I could talk to anyone without any restriction. I could discuss religion with farmers, factory workers, doctors, lawyers, whom I met in the course of my visit. And they were getting interested. Because people who have not seen materialism, they are very crazy for it. But once they have it, and it is beginning to be a surfeit, and divorces and suicides and other troubles increase, nervous cases, they think, "Oh, now there is a vacuum setting in."
So they are interested. I was in every East European country. They never tried to tamper with my books or my talks. Of course, I didn't organize any public talks. I didn't . . . made no attempt. Then Czechoslovaks, Hungarians, very warm-hearted people. There are yoga classes there. And I met quite a few Hungarians outside who referred to yoga. Then Romanians, Yugoslavs, Bulgarians. They are friendly people. Swāmījī, have you been there in Eastern European countries?
Prabhupāda: I have been in Moscow.
Buddhist Monk (1): Moscow? They're friendly people. I will go back again.
Prabhupāda: Yes. I know.
Buddhist Monk (1): Yes. So it is a world which is shrinking . . .
Prabhupāda: The government is against any religious . . .
Buddhist Monk (1): Well, not so strict now as the past, because the word "religion" has been used as a narcotic by people. The religious institution was kissing the state, and the state was kissing religion.
Prabhupāda: When I was in airport, the custom clearance, as soon as they saw my book, Bhagavad-gītā, they called police. (laughter)
Buddhist Monk (1): I was also getting ready . . .
Prabhupāda: So the policeman saw and said: "Oh, you can go."
Buddhist Monk (1): Well . . .
Prabhupāda: They were so suspicious.
Buddhist Monk (1): Well, I was wondering whether they would ask me whether I am bringing narcotic, the religion, the heart of the heartless, soul of the soulless, the opiate of the masses. So I had read Marx before I left my country. I had thought, "They will ask me," but no such question was asked. And ultimately, when I was leaving the Soviet Union, they again opened my books, you see, and put them back.
One book, an officer kept one book. I thought, "Now, what is this? All right." He closed the suitcase, did not put this book, and he comes behind me and says: "Could I have this book?" I said: "You see, I have made many notes in the book. Why do you want that book for? So kindly return it to me, please." He wouldn't return it. He follows. And he says, "Please let me have it." I asked him, "Why do you want this book really for?" He said: "I have studied Buddhism from the Northern School, and I would like to know something about the Southern School of Buddhism." I said: "Anyhow, you can get these books. I'll give you an address." But he wouldn't give it to me. He said: "Please let me have it." I said: "All right. Good health and peace to you. You can have it." Hungarians are very warm-hearted people, very warm-hearted people.
Prabhupāda: (aside) It is for me?
Prabhupāda: Leave it.
Buddhist Monk (1): And Swāmījī, you generally spend more of your time here?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Generally in America, Los Angeles. And also in Europe.
Buddhist Monk (1): We went to Hare Kṛṣṇa in Los Angeles, also, did we stay a couple of days there?
Buddhist Monk (2): . . . (indistinct)
Buddhist Monk (1): Yes. Can you remember? There we took our car, and when we were coming there, they were waving to us. I think that the world is shrinking; not that any continents are going down to the sea, but people are moving about the place. I think the more we start thinking about one world rather than big barriers, and get together and meet together and talk together in a spirit of loving kindness, with tolerance, radiating our love always, I think this is the only way I know of. And people are getting interested in the universities, and other, high schools. Not still by the millions, but certainly by the hundreds and thousands. And that's good enough for a start.
Prabhupāda: Some of our books were selected textbooks in many colleges, universities. You have seen our books?
Buddhist Monk (1): I have seen some of them, not all of them. Because I meet these boys and girls, and . . . I seen that book about . . .
Prabhupāda: Our this book, Nectar of Devotion, that is a study book in the Temple University, Philadelphia. Similarly, our Kṛṣṇa Book,
(aside) and what other books? They are . . .? Especially Kṛṣṇa Book and Nectar of Devotion. Bhagavad-gītā also, As It Is.
We consider Lord Buddha also as incarnation of God.
Buddhist Monk (1): Yes, I know that. Of course, on this there's a difference of view between the Orthodox Buddhists and that thinking. Because during the earlier days of Buddhist preaching there were certain differences of opinion. And the brāhmaṇa sections fell into various categories. Some of them were not very friendly, and others accepted quite a few of his . . . their teachings. And a third section, led by people like Sarikuta and Munkali Sanmukhala they became followers as well. And, of course, so many things have been incorporated, kāma, krodha, lobha, kleśa, abhimāna. They are very similar to the teachings of the Buddha, and they are very progressive.
Because lobha, lobha, lobha, lobha is at the root of our problems. Tanhaya jayate soko, tanhaya jayate bhayak, tanhaya vipra muktasya, nati soko ato bhayat: "Greed is the cause of suffering; greed is the cause of fear. Remove this greed: Where is the suffering? Where is the fear?" And, of course, being tolerant and understanding, man being a bundle of habits and customs, we cannot eradicate all grief overnight. But certainly we can start reducing this greed. Reduce and reduce.
And then that's the only way to purify the mind. And then ought show such a society where greed has been reduced will be relatively a peaceful society. Simple living, high thinking and high practice. That's the cornerstone of our philosophies. Multiplication of so many . . . (indistinct) . . . colonational output, flying to the moon and not going into one's mind, and producing these things and calling them . . . (indistinct) . . . What is . . .
Prabhupāda: Sometimes we find that peaceful living is visible even in animal society. Just like the cows, they're very peaceful. There are other animals—dogs and others—they fight. But hundreds of thousands of cows, they live very peacefully. Birds also. Just like the swans, they live very peacefully. So is that the highest goal of life, to live peacefully? Because that is also found in animal society. Is that the perfection of life?
Buddhist Monk (1): Yes, a man has to ask himself a simple and straightforward question. What really does he want to put his life to? Does he want suffering or peace?
Prabhupāda: No, suffering, of course, nobody wants. That's a fact.
Buddhist Monk (1): That's it exactly.
Prabhupāda: But in this material world, even if you become peaceful, does it mean that you are out of suffering? I don't think.
Buddhist Monk (1): Yeah. Well, I've been asking in all these universities, high schools, and all those, all those audiences, "What is the purpose of this so-called modern education? What is the purpose? If so, kindly define this purpose. Have people thought on this?" I just gave a broadcast at Southampton day before yesterday.
Nobody . . . not many people appear to have seriously considered this question. Is it to fly to the moon? Is it to be a food taster or a noise lover? Or is it to build dreams and castles in the air? Or to soak one's self in the whirlpools of kāma, sensuality? What is this life for? What is our education for? No one appeared . . . very, very few people have appeared to . . .
Prabhupāda: No, there is no aim of the education. Their only aim is economic development.
Buddhist Monk (1): That's right.
Prabhupāda: And that means higher standard of sense gratification.
Buddhist Monk (1): The more material doubts people can produce, that's supposed to be the educated person.
Buddhist Monk (1): And I told them directly and indirectly, "Your systems, which have transplanted the well-type system, especially of India, has created a catastrophe. We have made mistakes in the past, but we profited by them, and we want a successful educational system that taught the individual how to build some peace within himself, mentally and physically—within his family, within his relations, society, nation and the world. And today that system has been overtaken by this materialistic system. One calls himself materialist directly; another, camouflage, just under the name of religion. That's the only difference I know of in these two systems in the West.
That's the only difference." And I told them. I said: "We want peace. Śānti, śānti, śānti. And we know the danger of playing with the fireball of materialism, which is throwing its tentacles into any part of society: divorces, nervous cases, mental cases, cancers, suicides, family life is breaking. And it reminds me of Gibbon's writing about the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. And all those symptoms are there in this so-called progressive, civilized culture." I used the word "so-called." And this mind . . .
Prabhupāda: But what remedy you have suggested?
Buddhist Monk (1): Reduction of greed, and substitution of liberality. There is no other remedy.
Buddhist Monk (1): Because greed causes the rats-race. Greed causes these wars. But if we reduce this, and the reduction parallely followed by simple living, high thinking and high practice. There is no other remedy, whatever religion a man follows. If they get involved in this rat-race of materialism, war is inevitable, whether for a stretch of water or for land. But if man lives a simple life, this Mother Earth can be made to produce everything that is necessary. Soya beans are a very fine substitute for meat. And if they do not damage the crust of the earth, and if they scientifically control birth, scientifically, not by drugs and pills, which are dangerous . . .
Prabhupāda: What is that scientifically?
Buddhist Monk (1): It's a control of the sex, sex.
Prabhupāda: That is brahmacārī.
Buddhist Monk (1): Brahmacārī. (background talking, people entering)
Prabhupāda: Let them come. They want to see me. Let them come.
Buddhist Monk (1): And (Sanskrit or Pali:) tan moha veda krati dhanacari.(?)
Prabhupāda: Come. (people entering) This greediness . . . that is a good suggestion, that you reduce your greediness, but unless they get a substitute, they cannot. That is the difficulty.
Buddhist Monk (1): Yes. The substitute is, according to us . . . we point out the difference between the sensual, fleeting pleasures, which is not quite a proper word . . . it's no pleasure, in that it brings pain and suffering. In the renunciation of greed is prīti, delight. And when a man enjoys delight, that's incomparably better and lasting, more . . .
Prabhupāda: According to Vedānta philosophy, every living entity is searching after delight. Ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12). By nature, a living entity is delightful, but he has been covered by this temporary material covering, and therefore his delightness is perverted. So our philosophy, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness philosophy, is that paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate (BG 2.59). If you give him better delight, then he can give up this inferior delight of material enjoyment. Otherwise, simply by instructing that, "You give up this," it is difficult.
Buddhist Monk (1): That's right. You are . . . one has to . . . Śambhuḥ pāpas cākāraṇa, kuśalasya upasampada sac citto parayodapanam etaṁ buddham anuśāsana. Abstain from the unwholesome, the source of all our problems and suffering, lobha, doṣa, moha. Kuśalasya upasampada. Practice the virtues, that is when the mind is rooted in alobha, that is nongreed, liberality, including hospitality; adoṣa, nonhatred, evil, all-loving kindness; amoha opanya(?) wisdom. And why?
When one is on the noble, eight-fold path—right understanding, right thinking, right speech, right bodily action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration—there is that oozing joy and delight. And that is the finest substitute. Man, because of avidyā, have not tasted delight. Because of his weakness, they thought mokṣa . . . (knock on door)
Buddhist Monk (1): . . . that it was here in this earth when they indulge in sensualities. (more people enter)
Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. Aiye. Jaya.
You are from India? (Hindi for few sentences with guest)
Indian man (1): Vaikuṇṭha dāsi, he has been very kind.
Prabhupāda: So we are therefore presenting Kṛṣṇa, the most delightful feature. So chanting and dancing before Kṛṣṇa, taking His prasādam, and practicing delightful nature, awakening the delightful consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So as this is taking practical shape, all these European, American boys, Canadian, African, they are becoming delightful, and with great delight they are chanting, dancing and taking prasādam.
- ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi
- na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ
- sevonmukhe hi jihvādau
- svayam eva sphuraty adhaḥ
- (Brs. 1.2.234)
We cannot understand God by our present senses. So the senses are to be purified. And that purification begins, sevonmukha, by engaging the tongue, jihvādau, in the delightful activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So practically we are getting result. These boys, they were very morose, but now they are very delightful simply by following this method, engaging the tongue in the service of Kṛṣṇa. Tongue has got two business: tasting and chanting, vibrating. So they are vibrating harer nāma harer nāma harer nāma eva kevalam (CC Adi 17.21), and tasting Kṛṣṇa prasādam. And we are practically seeing that they are becoming delightful, living very happily, preaching all over the world.
I started this movement alone in 1966, but these boys, inexperienced boys, having no spiritual training—they were trained up in their own ways, meat-eating, illicit sex, intoxication—but they gave up all these habits, and delightfully they are going any part of the world and preaching this cult, and we are meeting with success. It is not that I have gone every place. It is not possible. I am old man. So I give them direction.
Just like this boy. He's a gṛhastha. So husband and wife, they are organizing in Germany. We have got four, five branches in Germany. We have published this record (shows album) and so many books and literatures. So this saṅkīrtana movement, even though conducted by inexperienced young men, but they are creating delight to the masses.
Indian man (1): But they are very . . . I am very envious of them.
Indian man (1): I am very envious of them because they have got this guru's grace on them.
Prabhupāda: (chuckling) Yes.
Indian man (1): This guru's grace is working. It is invisible, you see. This is all-powerful.
Prabhupāda: No, you can get also, provided you take it. (laughter) guru is not miser. (laughter)
Indian man (1): . . . (indistinct) . . . is, gurudeva you see, I want that . . .
Prabhupāda: The one thing is they take it. Others will not take it. That is the difference. If . . . there is a picture: my guru Mahārāja has . . . one man has fallen in a deep well, and he's crying, "Save me!" So another man dropped a rope that, "You catch it. I shall carry you." Then he'll not catch it. Then how he can be drawn? So the . . .
(break) . . . mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat (BG 7.7). "There is nothing more superior than Me." We are preaching the same thing that, "You are searching after God. You are, some of you, are disgusted that, 'There is no God,' but here is God. You take His name. You take His address. You take His daily activities. Everything is there." And that is our mission.
And we started this Kṛṣṇa consciousness Movement in 1966. So when I registered this Society, somebody suggested that "Why not make it 'God consciousness'?" And no, I want to give definitely what is God. God, they have got different conception. But here is God: kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28). That is the Vedic injunction. "Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead." And when He was present, He proved it that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So we have not introduced any new system of religion. That is not a fact. We have simply placed, administered, the same thing which was spoken five thousand years ago. That's all.
Five thousand years ago, Kṛṣṇa said that, "There is nothing, no more superior authority than Me." We are preaching the same thing, the same old thing. Kṛṣṇa said, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66): "You just surrender unto Me." Kṛṣṇa said that, "Surrender unto Me," and we are speaking, "Surrender unto Kṛṣṇa." Same thing. Kṛṣṇa said that, "I am the origin of everything," ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate (BG 10.8). We are speaking the same thing, that the original source of everything is Kṛṣṇa. We are challenging the scientists also. They are of opinion that, "Life has come from matter," and we are challenging, "No, life and matter, both have come from life." This is our challenge. So originally life, originally Kṛṣṇa, life. Not matter. Matter has come subsequently.
So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not a new movement. It is the old movement. At least, historically, five thousand years old. And we have got so many books. We have . . . out of sixty volumes, we have published only about twelve volumes. So it's a great literature, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So everything is there; nothing new. We haven't got to make a new system of religion. It is already there. Simply people may kindly understand it. That is our proposition.
Buddhist Monk (1): What happens when similar statements are made by other people that we have, they have their own God, who is . . . they made a unique system, and someone else says: "No, we have our own unique system." Someone else says: "No, all those three systems we do not agree with. We have got our unique system." What's going to happen in that thing?
Prabhupāda: That will . . . phalena paricīyate. The system which is accepted more, that is successful. You can present so many system, but the test will be which system is more accepted by the people, by the mass, general people. That is successful. Phalena paricīyate. And if somebody says that, "I have got my own God," and some other says: "I have got my own God," but this is a fact: God is one. You may call by different name. That is different thing. But God cannot be manufactured that, "You manufacture your God, I manufacture my God, he manufactures his God." That is not God.
Buddhist Monk (1): That's exactly what is happening.
Prabhupāda: That . . . happening, that is another thing. We are talking of the principle. God is one. God cannot be two. Then there is no meaning of God. Now, if I present Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, if you disagree, then you'll have to present your God. Now, we have to consider who is actually God. Just like I talked with Professor Kotovsky in Moscow. So I asked him that "Where is the difference between your Communist philosophy and our philosophy? The Communist philosophy, they have created their own God, Lenin." Lenin is their God. You have seen in Moscow.
Buddhist Monk (1): Yes, I've been . . .
Prabhupāda: Every street, every a . . .
Buddhist Monk (1): Every street. I know, all over.
Prabhupāda: Lenin, Lenin's picture, Lenin's book.
Buddhist Monk (1): Yes, yes, yes, yes. That's right.
Prabhupāda: So I told him that "You have created your own God, Lenin. And we have got our own God, Kṛṣṇa. Now, the principle of accepting somebody as God is there, in your philosophy and in my philosophy. So that you cannot avoid. Your communistic philosophy cannot avoid the conception of God, the leader." Just like in Buddha philosophy also, there is the conception of God, of Lord Buddha.
Buddhist Monk (1): No. That's not correct. Because we do not treat the Buddha . . . in fact, when the Buddha preached his atheistic philosophy . . . that's why he was termed a nāstika, a wasala. We do not believe in a God. We say panya, wisdom, and dharmuddha is an incompatible . . .
Prabhupāda: At least, you follow the leadership of Buddha.
Buddhist Monk (1): Leadership, that's correct.
Prabhupāda: So that is, I am pointing out. Leadership . . . God means the leader. According to Vedic injunction, God means the supreme leader. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). He is the chief living entity. Mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram (BG 9.10). God means the supreme leader. So leader you have to accept. That is the conception of God. Either you select Buddha or Lenin or somebody else, you have to accept one leader and follow. That is your business. So our philosophy is that Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, He's the supreme leader. And we are to obey His orders. This is our philosophy.
So if you do not obey the orders of Kṛṣṇa, if you obey the orders of Lord Buddha, or somebody obeys the orders of Lenin, the principle is there that you have to follow the orders of somebody. Now, you select Lenin, Kṛṣṇa, Buddha there is Gandhi or anyone, that is a different thing. But the principle—to accept one leader and follow his leadership—is there everywhere. That nobody can change. That is not possible.
So the professor could not give me any satisfactory answer, you see. The leadership you have to accept. You cannot do anything independently. You have to accept. That is our constitutional position, that we have to follow somebody. Now you select whom you shall follow. If you are following the most perfect, then you become perfect. And if you are following less perfect or imperfect, then you are imperfect. This is our philosophy. You have to follow some leader. If your leader is perfect, then you are perfect. If your leader is not perfect, then you are also not perfect.
Buddhist Monk (1): How is one to find out?
Prabhupāda: That is another thing.
Buddhist Monk (1): Yeah, that's a very important advantage, you know.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. So that is another thing. Our philosophy is: God is the most perfect. Otherwise He cannot be God. So you follow God, then you become perfect. So Kṛṣṇa is teaching personally. We accept Kṛṣṇa as God. And if we follow Kṛṣṇa's instruction, then you become perfect. Where is the difficulty?
Indian man (1): There is no difficulty.
Prabhupāda: Simple thing.
Buddhist Monk (1): What we say is . . .
Prabhupāda: If you think that Kṛṣṇa's not perfect, somebody is perfect, then you follow him.
Buddhist Monk (1): What we believe is that incomparable bliss and peace everlasting is the most perfect.
Prabhupāda: That is . . . these are items. These are items. First of all you have to follow a perfect leader. Then whatever he says, that is perfect. So that peace, you have given a definition of peace. Kṛṣṇa is giving definition of peace:
- bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
- suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
- jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati
- (BG 5.29)
"I am the proprietor of all the lokas," sarva-loka-maheśvaram. Suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām: "I am the friend of everyone." Bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasām: "And I am the enjoyer of all fruitive activities." Jñātvā mām: "When one knows Me like that, he gets śānti." This is the śānti formula given by Kṛṣṇa. One has to accept Kṛṣṇa as the supreme enjoyer. Because He's the proprietor of everything; therefore He should be enjoyer. And because everything belongs to Him—we also belong to Him—so suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām, He's friend of everyone. So these three things, if you understand—Kṛṣṇa, or God, is the supreme enjoyer; He is the supreme proprietor; and He is the supreme friend of everyone—then you get śānti. If we understand these three things only, then there is śānti. Otherwise there is no possibility of śānti.
Now, how it is fact, that is a subject matter of discussion. Say, Kṛṣṇa says that sarva-loka-maheśvaram (BG 5.29), "I am the proprietor of all the lokas." And now you study this fact. Who is the proprietor? We are claiming proprietor, nation. Englishmen, they are claiming, "This land belongs to the English people." Others claiming, "This land belongs to the American," "Indian," like that. But are they actually the proprietor? Take for example the American land. Two hundred years ago, or, say . . .? How many years ago they won it?
Haṁsadūta: Four hundred ago.
Prabhupāda: Four hundred years ago. The land was there. They, these Europeans, migrated there. Now they are proprietor. So four hundred years ago, who was the proprietor? In this way, trace history. The land is there, the ocean is there, everything is there. We sometimes claim that, "I am the proprietor," "We are the proprietor," but this is lying there.
Who is actually the proprietor? Actually proprietor is God, Kṛṣṇa. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam (ISO 1). Everything is owned by the supreme īśvara. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (Bs. 5.1). So if we study scrutinizingly, then we'll find God is the proprietor actually. He is the creator; therefore He is the proprietor. And because He is the proprietor, He is friend of all, actually. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). Īśvara is situated in everyone's heart as Paramātmā, and He's giving us good counsel. We are not abiding by that. We are disobeying. Therefore we are suffering. Otherwise, He's giving us good counsel, good advice.
So this formula, that bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram, suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām . . . (BG 5.29). So if we accept God, or Kṛṣṇa, as the supreme friend, then whatever advice He'll give me, if we follow, then I am happy. There is no difficulty. He says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). If we do that, we become happy. Where is the difficulty? From historical point of view . . .
Of course, no, I mean to say, religious literature is older than Bhagavad-gītā. It was spoken by the Supreme Lord personally five thousand years ago. And that old thing we are presenting as it is. Our Bhagavad-gītā is therefore named Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. Without any interpretation. Without any addition, alteration. No, we don't make that. If we make addition, alteration, then where is the authority of Bhagavad-gītā? We don't do that.
And that is proving effective. Those who are taking according to the instruction, they're becoming happy. Practical. Without any consideration of time, country, people, anyone is accepting, and he's becoming happy. And they are not expected to undergo very severe type of austerities, neither prāṇāyāma or yoga. They are unable. Simply I have advised them, "With these beads chant Hare Kṛṣṇa sixteen rounds."
They are chanting. It is very easy: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma . . . sixteen rounds. It takes about two hours. And they're refraining from four kinds of sinful activities: illicit sex, gambling, intoxication, meat-eating. This much they are following austerities, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, taking prasādam. They are happy. Anyone can take it. It is not difficult at all. Anyone. They are gṛhasthas. It is not that one has to become a sannyāsī. No. All my these disciples . . . here is a gṛhastha. Here is a sannyāsī. Here is a brahmacārī. So all together, they are serving the same purport. And we are getting good result. You have seen our Ratha-yātrā?
Indian man (1): We were with you.
Indian man (1): We were with you. . . . (indistinct) . . . at your feet while you were . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes. So . . .
Indian man (1): It was a miracle . . .
Prabhupāda: . . . ten thousand participated.
Indian man (1): . . . my wife, she was with you, Swāmījī.
Prabhupāda: Oh! I think, yes.
Indian man (1): For the first time in two years, she has walked two miles.
Indian man (1): It was only because of Your Grace.
Prabhupāda: (laughs) Yes, it was three miles.
Indian man (1): (laughter) And she has never walked even three hundred yards.
Prabhupāda: I also, since I became sick, I was not walking. But that, I . . .
Indian man (1): No, it was a game for us, you know. Actually, we asked to make arrangements for us to follow you, sit in the van and then follow you.
Prabhupāda: (aside:) So you can distribute this prasāda, little, little.
Indian man (1): Yes. It is given by Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Yes, after all, Kṛṣṇa's property. But it has come through George . . . (laughter)
Indian man (1): He is lucky person.
Prabhupāda: (aside) I am coming, yes.
(break) . . . dehaṁ punar janma naiti. Such person, those who are fully absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, such person, after giving up this body, does not accept any more material body. He goes back to Kṛṣṇa. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti (BG 4.9). "He comes to Me." So you cannot go to Kṛṣṇa unless you have your spiritual body. Because the spiritual world and Kṛṣṇa, they are all spiritual. So you cannot enter into fire unless you are fire. So you have to revive your spiritual body, spiritual consciousness. Then, after giving up this body, you enter the spiritual world.
So Lord Buddha did not speak anything about the spiritual world, but his philosophy said that, "Dismantle this material existence." Nirvāṇa. Nobody has preached that, "You become happy here," either Lord Buddha or Lord Christ or Kṛṣṇa or anybody, Śaṅkara. Nobody. But modern materialistic people, they are thinking that, "We can become happy by adjustment of our material condition." That is not possible.
Buddhist Monk (1): They want to have the cake and eat it.
Buddhist Monk (1): They want to have the cake and eat it. They want to have two paradises—one here and one there also.
Buddhist Monk (1): And they want to bite.
Prabhupāda: No, they have no idea of any other paradise than this paradise. They have no idea.
Buddhist Monk (1): Which to us is the fools' paradise.
Prabhupāda: That . . . again I am quoting that Professor Kotovsky. He said: "Swāmījī, after this body there is no life." That is their conviction. This is the primary teaching of spiritual life, that we have got next life. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ. Dehāntaram. After giving up this body, you have to accept another body. This is the first lesson of spiritual education. But they do not understand the first lesson even. What is their spiritual understanding?
- dehino 'smin yathā dehe
- kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
- tathā dehāntara-prāptir
- dhīras tatra na muhyati
- (BG 2.13)
So dehāntara-prāptiḥ they do not understand. And it is very easy that, "I am, dehāntaram, I am changing my body. I was a baby, I was a child, I was a boy, I was a young man. So I have changed so many bodies. But I remember I was a child. I remember I was a boy. I remember. Therefore I am existing. My body has changed." Simple truth. Similarly, when this body will be changed, I will exist. Where is the difficulty to understand?
But this plain thing they cannot understand. And they are passing as educated, philosopher, scientist. This plain truth is they cannot understand. The brain is so dull. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG 2.13). "As I have changed so many bodies . . ." I exist. I remember, I had this body. So I may forget. Suppose in my babyhood, what was the feature of my body I do not know. But there was. My mother knows.
He can . . . she can explain, "My dear child, you were like this, you were like this." So forgetfulness is also not that I did not exist. I may not remember my last birth. That does not mean I did not exist. So forgetfulness is my nature. I cannot remember even what I was doing exactly this time yesterday, if somebody asks me. I can generally speak that "I was sitting," but actually what I was doing, I'll have to remember.
So the forgetfulness is our nature. Because I have forgotten . . . death means forgetting. Just like in dream, at night, when we get another body and dream and hover, we go somewhere and talk with somebody, we forget about this body. And again, when I come to this body, I awaken, I forget the dreaming body.
So I . . . every day I am forgetting. At night I am forgetting this body, and daytime I am forgetting my night body. So forgetfulness is not the basic principle of knowledge. The things as they are we have to study. That body we change, but we are, as living entity, we are existing. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). This is confirmed by authorities. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre. After destruction of this body, the soul is not destroyed. The soul continues. He accepts another body. Now, what sort of body we have to accept, that is responsibility.
- yānti deva-vratā devān
- pitṟn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ
- bhūtejyā yānti bhūtāni
- mad-yājino 'pi yānti mām
- (BG 9.25)
So about the next life, change of body, you can prepare yourself. Yānti deva-vratā devān: If you prepare your life to go to the higher planetary system, the moon planet, the Venus planet, and other—there are thousands and millions of planets—you can go. Yānti deva-vratā devān . . . it is clearly stated. Yānti deva-vratā devān pitṟn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ: "You can go to the Pitṛloka planets." Or bhūtejyā yānti bhūtāni: "If you want to remain here, you can remain." Mad-yājino 'pi yānti mām: "And if you like, you can come to Me." Everything is there.
So next life there is. I'll have to accept a body, and there are eight million . . . (break) . . . you prefer. But Kṛṣṇa says that whichever body we accept, it is subjected to the four miserable condition: birth, death, old age and disease. Even Brahmā. He has got millions and millions of years' duration of life, but still, he has to die. So anywhere in the material world you have to undergo the material tribulations: birth, death, old age and disease.
Here an ant's life may be for few hours, and my life may be for few years. So it is a question of hours and years, but one has to die. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino 'rjuna (BG 8.16): "Even if you go to the Brahmaloka, the topmost planet, there also, you'll have to die and again accept another body." This will go on. Mad-dhāma gatvā, punar janma na vidyate (Gītā-māhātmya 5). "But if you come to Me, then you don't come back to accept a material body again."
So why not try for that? If I have to endeavor for my next better life, so why not accept the supermost life, eternal life? That is intelligence, and that is our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, that you try in this life to get back your spiritual life and come back to Kṛṣṇa, the eternal home, and live there peacefully, eternally, without any disturbance of birth, death, old age, disease. This is our program.
(guests entering or leaving) Jaya. (Hindi: How long have you lived here?)
Indian man (1): Fifteen years.
Prabhupāda: Oh! So whenever you find time . . .
Indian man (1): It's only a question of time and your convenience.
Prabhupāda: No, I am . . . I am for your service.
Guest (2) (British man): Thank you very much indeed. Thank you very much.
Prabhupāda: Come again.
Guest (2): Thank you very much.
Indian man (1): This is Bhakti.
Prabhupāda: Oh! Bhakti-latā, very good.
Indian man (1): (Hindi)
Prabhupāda: That's nice. She is your eldest daughter?
Indian man (1): No, she's my sister.
Prabhupāda: Sister. Oh, I see.
Indian man (1): She's getting married on this day. (Hindi) (break)
Guest (2): No, I've come from, er, about thirty miles away.
Prabhupāda: You often then really come here? No.
Guest (2): No.
Prabhupāda: This is first time you are coming?
Guest (2): First time I've been here, yeah.
Prabhupāda: Oh. (aside) What is this, "K.C.C. Ghee"?
Indian man (1): Ghee.
Śrutakīrti: Ghee. I don't know where it's from.
Śrutakīrti: Nairobi, Kenya. It was made and packed by . . .
Haṁsadūta: Brahmānanda. (laughter)
Prabhupāda: That ghee, Nairobi, is very nice ghee.
Śrutakīrti: Yes, very good.
Prabhupāda: Australia also.
Śrutakīrti: And New Zealand.
Prabhupāda: This ghee-producing animal, and they're killing. Just see how much injustice. They have no sense even. I exact from you all the resources, and then I kill you. What is this?
Buddhist Monk (1): For no other reason but for greed again.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Simply . . . I have seen. I was telling that these people take meat, a small slice, not very much. But because they are taking, everyone, so many slaughterhouse are maintained. If they give up little, and we can replace it by other thing, then so many lives are saved. Swāmījī, if you . . . your most philosophical thesis is ahiṁsā, you can teach them, and that will help us also.
Buddhist Monk (1): If they only want to use their minds. (Sanskrit or Pali:) Mano pugbanga ma dhamra mano sikta manomaya, manasarthe palitena vahasati va karoti va, thako mam sukham amreti cakra . . .
Buddhist Monk (1): Mind, right. If you can make people use their minds.
Prabhupāda: So therefore we are trying to engage the mind in Kṛṣṇa. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane (SB 9.4.18). Mind has to be engaged on the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, and talk, only glorifying Kṛṣṇa. Then things will come out nice.
Buddhist Monk (1): But many people are acting more on emotions and feelings than on their mind. (Sanskrit or Pali:) Mano manas mano is disappearing with many people, except to make some money. So . . .
Prabhupāda: Every . . . everything has two sides, black side and bright side. We are interested with the bright side. Black side we can point out, but anyone who is sincere, he'll take the bright side. Saj-janā guṇam icchanti doṣam icchanti pāmaraḥ. There are guṇa and doṣa, fault and good qualities. So those who are sajjana, they take the good qualities, give up the bad qualities. Then there, gradually things will come out. But if we accept God, God is all-good; then all good qualities automatically manifest. Yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ (SB 5.18.12). All good qualities manifest. If you remain with the fire, you become warm. The quality is acquired. If you remain in the sunshine, you become warm. Because sun is warm. So you acquire the quality. So if we remain always with Kṛṣṇa, then we acquire the qualities of Kṛṣṇa.
So God is all-good. Therefore I become good by association with God. It is very simple reasoning. Yes. God is all-good. So if you remain always with God, then you become good. The same example: if you remain with fire, you become warm, the quality of the fire. If you remain in sunshine, you become warm. And the more you remain, the more you become warmer, warmer. Then become hot. Yes. Just like you put one rod, iron rod in the fire. It becomes warm, warmer, warmer. Then it will be red hot. When it is red hot, it is no longer iron rod; it is fire. Touch anywhere, it will burn.
(pause) So from Nairobi they import ghee here, I take.
Śrutakīrti: Yes. Brahmānanda Mahārāja was saying many fruits also get to England. He said in Africa they have many nice fruits, but you can't buy them in Africa. They ship them all to England. Although they're all grown there, you can't get nice fruit in Africa.
Prabhupāda: Neither the Africans like to eat.
Prabhupāda: Yes, they don't. Yes. God has created different foodstuff for different living entities.
Buddhist Monk (1): But they interpret that God created them also for their consumption.
Buddhist Monk (1): They interpret that they have . . . the God has created the cattle also for their food.
Prabhupāda: Yes. But that is . . . the cattle food is food for the non-civilized man. If you claim to be civilized, you cannot eat.
Buddhist Monk (1): (laughs) "Live and let live." That's what I have been asking people wherever I go. They talk of culture, civilization, progress, development, living standards, education, equality, freedom, lots of things. I ask them to define this, and I ask them, "The animals are of two types: the carnivorous and the vegetarian. Of course, the carnivorous looks even fiercer. But where has one found in the forest so many thousands of animals slaughtered and lying at random? But man today, in the name of progress and civilization . . ."
Prabhupāda: Very, very good. Yes.
Buddhist Monk (1): Yeah. So they have gone, according to me, lower than our animal brothers.
Prabhupāda: Certainly, certainly. Your argument is very good.
Buddhist Monk (1): Of course, it's very, very . . .
Prabhupāda: In the forest there is no slaughterhouse, although they are carnivorous animals.
Buddhist Monk (1): Is the only way.
Prabhupāda: So actually in India the meat-eaters were always, but there was no slaughterhouse. The meat-eaters, they were allowed that "You can sacrifice one goat before the goddess Kālī and eat it." That means once in a month, restriction. And individual person . . . but no slaughterhouse. What is this nonsense, slaughterhouse? Big, big slaughterhouse. Trade with slaughterhouse. This is the . . . even, even in India during Muhammadan period, there was no slaughterhouse. Individual, if he liked, he can kill one animal and eat. No slaughterhouse.
Buddhist Monk (1): No mass slaughters. No mass slaughters.
Prabhupāda: No. This is from the Western world. This is very nice argument, that in the jungle there are carnivorous animals, but they don't maintain slaughterhouse. Neither they attack unless they are hungry. Otherwise, in Africa, there is national . . .
Prabhupāda: All the animals are freely rotating.
Buddhist Monk (1): Or they think their life is in danger.
Buddhist Monk (1): If one radiates love and kindness . . .
Prabhupāda: That is another thing. Defense is allowed to everyone. You must defend. That is another thing. But ordinarily, not that because a lion has got jaws and teeth, therefore he's simply jumping over. Not like that. Even people have experienced that when the, these ferocious animals, they are not hungry, they don't attack. They don't attack.
Haṁsadūta: They don't bother.
Prabhupāda: No. Or if you keep a pet lion, give him sumptuously to eat, he'll not . . . that is experienced. I have seen in the World Fair in, in . . . one man was keeping a lion and a tiger, and playing just like with dog. Just like sometimes dogs, they pounce over the master. Same thing. They were doing like that. I have seen it. They have tamed the lion and tiger like that.
Buddhist Monk (1): Even the carnivores could be trained to be vegetarians.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Buddhist Monk (1): They could easily be. It is only a habit and custom.
Prabhupāda: But their nature is to eat meat. You have to give him. That is different thing. But they can be tamed. But not very trustworthy. (laughter)
Buddhist Monk (1): If they get a little irritated and hungry, they may go to gather.
Prabhupāda: No, if you give them nice food, they'll never attack you.
Haṁsadūta: In the Bible also, in the very beginning page, there's a verse. After God created everything, the animals and the trees and everything, then He gave allotment of food to the human society. It says very plainly that, "The seed-bearing plants and trees of the earth shall be your meat," or "shall be your food."
Prabhupāda: Just see.
Haṁsadūta: And it says nothing . . .
Haṁsadūta: It says nothing about . . . yes.
Buddhist Monk (1): Yes, but later it goes to add something saying: "Meat is meat unto you," you know. There your difficulty comes in. Well, Isaiah in the Bible, one of five prophets in the Bible, he says: "Peace will come on earth when even the feroci . . ."
(break) May you have long, healthy life.
Prabhupāda: What is your age?
Buddhist Monk (1): I am fifty-nine years.
Buddhist Monk (1): We say, arogya parama labha santuṣṭi paramam dhanam, viśvasa parama narthi nirvāṇa parama sva-dharma.
Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. Jaya. (end)