Syamasundara: So today we're discussing the philosopher Hegel, a German philosopher. His basic method is that he wants to synthesize all opposites to arrive at the truth and by doing so his conclusion was that everything that exists is reason, whatever exists is reason, whatever is real is rational, whatever is rational is real.
Prabhupada: So, that means he wants to arrive at the absolute, that there is no duality. That is Krsna. That is Krsna. Because Krsna says that His mission is to protect the devotees, paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam [Bg. 4.8]. And killing the demons. Krsna actually did it. Just like He killed the Putana, the great giant Putana. Superficially he killed, but she got salvation exactly like His mother. Krsna gave Putana a position like His mother Yasoda. Then, what is the difference between loving Yasoda and killing Putana? Because He is absolute, whatever He does, it is good. God is good. So superficially you may see, "Now God is doing bad," but it is not bad, it is good. Therefore two opposing, viruddhatta samanvaya(?), the Sanskrit word is viruddhata samanvaya(?). Coinciding two opposing elements, and that He can do. Therefore if he comes to Krsna, he becomes Krsna conscious, he surrenders to Krsna, then his philosophical aim will be fulfilled.
Syamasundara: He saw that his predecessors had become increasingly abstract in their thinking, trying to find out what is the nature of substance, the essential substance, and they had reduced it to nothingness, practically.
Prabhupada: Because they do not know, that is vairasana(?). Nirakara, nirakara, the Sanskrit word... When one cannot actually specify what is the nature of God, what is the form of God, and by thinking, speculative speculating, they cannot come to the right conclusion, so out of frustration they say, "No, there is no God."
Syamasundara: Just like to analyze an object they would divide it up into smaller and smaller parts until they came to nothing.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: That was their process.
Prabhupada: (indistinct). The absolute cannot be divided into parts. Nainam chindanti sastrani, in the Bhagavad-gita. In the material thing, if you want to cut into pieces, that is (indistinct), but a spiritual being, avyaya, inexhaustible, there is no possibility of dividing the spirit into pieces. The Mayavada theory is that the absolute is all-pervading. Then when the question of His form, that is their poor fund of knowledge. The absolute, keeping His form as He is, He can expand Himself. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, maya tatam idam sarvam jagad-avyakta murtina [Bg. 9.4], "I am spread all over the creation, avyakta, My impersonal form." So God, or Krsna, has two features, rather three features, brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate [SB 1.2.11], impersonal feature, localized feature and personal feature. So unless we come to understand this science, tattva, it is very difficult to come to the conclusion what is the right form of the absolute truth. So one who cannot go, one who is not so competent, with poor fund of knowledge, they come to the conclusion, nira, void, but actually it is not so.
Syamasundara: But he wanted to reverse this trend, from abstraction to concretion. He believed that every phenomenal object had its relationship with the whole and that the whole is reality. So in order to understand reality one had to examine every object and relate it to the whole, and to each other, then he would understand what is the truth.
Prabhupada: Yes, that we are doing. The whole is Krsna. And just like, take this material example. The whole is sun. The sunshine expanding, that is also in relation with this whole, and similarly Krsna is the whole and everything is relative to Krsna. That is our philosophy. We see everything related with Krsna and because everything is in relationship with Krsna that I do not give up anything. We try to utilize everything for service of Krsna. The Mayavadi philosophers, they, although they say everything is Brahman, they say this is non-Brahman. They say neti, neti, not this, not this. Just like Mayavadis, they also say Krsna and maya. This Krsna worship is maya. So we say there is nothing maya, it is simply illusion; but they say also like that, one, but as soon as Krsna actually comes they say Krsna is maya. So our philosophy is that everything is manifestation of Krsna's energy. The energy and the energetic, they're one. So Narada explains idam hi visvam bhagavan ivetaro. The whole universe is bhagavan, Krsna, but ivetarah, it appears like separate. So how it is not separate, that can be understood through this Krsna consciousness movement. Otherwise, ordinary man, they think Krsna and non-Krsna. Actually there is no non-Krsna, that is illusion, everything is Krsna.
Syamasundara: This was Hegel's idea, too. That everything together is the, as a whole is the truth or the of the spirit. The whole, the summation of everything is the spirit, nothing can be separated from the spiritual whole, everything is related to it. There is one important point that I'd like to clear up. There was one philosopher we discussed named Kant, before. He... It was his idea that the phenomenon are modes of expression of the spirit or the thing in itself, that the thing in itself expresses itself in an object.
Prabhupada: That we say. Just like the sun is expressed by the sunshine, by the heat and light. We understand sun through all spreading heat and light. Similarly, we understand God, Krsna, by His two energies. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gita, the material energy and the spiritual energy, two energies. The spiritual energy is described as superior energy, and material energy is described as inferior energy. Superior, inferior, that is in our consideration because we cannot understand. Therefore Krsna has said. Otherwise there is only one energy, the superior spiritual energy. When the spiritual energy is covered by ignorance, then it is called material energy. Just like the sky, in the sky naturally it is clear but when there is cloud, we cannot see the sun. So sun is there. When we cannot see Krsna, cannot understand Krsna, that is material. Otherwise there is nothing material. Everything is spiritual.
Syamasundara: But there is a distinction between what Hegel is saying. Hegel is saying that the objects themselves are the spirit expressing itself whereas Kant says the spirit expresses itself through the object. There's a distinction being made between the spirit within the object expressing itself or the spirit as the object.
Prabhupada: (indistinct)
Syamasundara: What is the distinction?
Prabhupada: Object as it is, it is spirit.
Syamasundara: It is spirit, as it is.
Prabhupada: As it is. Because, just like sunshine. Sunshine is not sun, in one sense, but it is sun because in the sunshine there is heat and light and in the sun there is heat and light. So there is no difference. But still sunshine is not the sun. Therefore that is our philosophy, acintya bhedabheda, simultaneously one and different.
Syamasundara: So in a sense this is spirit.
Prabhupada: Yes. It is spirit actually. But because I have no sense of Krsna, I am taking it as matter. Just like sometimes people criticize that "You are spiritualists, you hate materialism, why you are using this table, why you are using this typewriter, microphone." But our reply is that it is not matter, it is spirit. But when you use it for your sense gratification then it is material. Just like prasadam—the people will say "What is this nonsense, prasadam, we are taking also dahl, rice, capati, how it becomes spiritual?" They can argue like that and sometimes they do that. But, they do not know that we are accepting this dahl, rice, capati in Krsna consciousness. Actually it belongs to Krsna. They, you cannot produce dahl, rice, it is Krsna's production; everything is Krsna's production. But when you forget Krsna, his relationship with Krsna, then it is material. Therefore you revive the relationship with Krsna, you offer to Krsna, then you understand Krsna has eaten, now let us take. Therefore it is spiritual. The consciousness is spiritual.
This is our philosophy, Rupa Gosvami's philosophy. That hari-sambandhi-vastunah; everything has relation with Krsna and those who are giving it up, "No, no it is matter, brahma satyam jagan mithya, this is false," Rupa Gosvami says, phalgu-vairagya, that kind of renunciation is insufficient or, phalgu means false, false renunciation. So our renunciation means renounce things for sense gratification. That's all. (indistinct) we renounce anything for our sense gratification, but we accept everything for Krsna's senses. But actually everything is spiritual. Just like if Krsna does not accept anything material but they argue that you are offering material flower, material food, how will Krsna accept? Therefore in essence it is not material, but because we have been habituated to accept them for our sense gratification, therefore it is material. This body... Just like this body, this body is material, everyone knows, but Krsna says,
mam ca 'vyabhicarena
bhakti-yogena yah sevate
sa gunan samatityaitan
brahma-bhuyaya kalpate
[Bg. 14.26]
As soon as one engages himself fully in devotional service, he immediately becomes spiritualized. How the spiritual quality is defined. Actually everything is spirit but it is covered. Just like gold, gold is covered by some muddy dirt. So if you cleanse it, the heart, then immediately spiritualized. Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. So our process is—that we will stress also—cleansing process, sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. I am now thinking (I am) American, Indian. You are thinking (you are) American. This is false. This is false but as soon as you come to consciousness, "No, I am not American, I am Krsna's. I am Krsna's part and parcel." Then you are spiritual. The same thing remains intact but as soon as you come to the consciousness that I am Krsna's, then you are spiritual. What is that verse?
atma-mayam rte rajan
na ghatetartha-sambandhah
svapna-drastur ivanjasa
Atma-mayam rte, it is a mayam rte. Maya, this spiritual and material conception is maya; except maya there is nothing. Na ghatetartha-sam... Otherwise, except maya there is no such thing as material. Na ghatetartha-sambandhah. It is just like the example in Bhagavad-gita, nice example, svapna-drastur ivanjasa. Just like I am dreaming so many things, I am dreaming; there is nothing such thing, still I am dreaming. I am feeling that I am fallen in a dark well and I am now suffocating. But actually there is no well, there is no suffocation, but I'm thinking because I've fallen or I am absorbed in dream, therefore all these conceptions, material conceptions, maya, exactly like dreaming. Dreaming, this is the best example. When one dreams he factually suffers, he is put into some dark place and he is trying to get out, he cannot get out; there is no such dark place, he has not fallen, everything is (indistinct). He is suffering, he is suffering, he is crying, "Save me." So actually there is nothing material. But due to our dreaming that I am separate from Krsna, "I'm Mr. American, I'm Mr. Indian, I'm Mr. This, I have got this duty, I have got that duty." All this maya. You have no other duty than to serve Krsna because you are part and parcel of Krsna, that's all. When that consciousness comes, then spiritual (indistinct). So you have to change the consciousness, that's all. (indistinct) Everything is spiritual.
Syamasundara: The Kant philosophy, and he took this idea from Plato, is that there is an ideal on which these temporary objects are representatives. For instance the idea of tableness is an abstract idea of perfection. It's represented before me in this table in a perverted form. This table represents the ideal, expresses the ideal, but it is not the ideal.
Prabhupada: That we say, that this material world is perverted reflection of the spiritual world. This is reflection.
Syamasundara: They say an "image", everything is an image.
Prabhupada: Yes, we say that, that the same example, just like mirage. Mirage, there is no water but we see a vast sea, or big river is flowing. It is like that. Actually there is no river. No. This is going. This material world is like that. Just Sridhara Swami (said that) due to the factual position of the spiritual world, this illusory world appears to be true. Because there is real table.
Syamasundara: Yes.
Prabhupada: The table concept.
Syamasundara: Yes.
Prabhupada: Because there is a real table, therefore I am considering this table. This is not table, this is wood. Somebody (may say), "This is not wood, but it was tree." All right, it is tree. Then what? It is not tree, it is seed. All right it is seed. No, it is not seed, it (indistinct) You see. Therefore it is perverted reflection. But there is a real table.
Syamasundara: Oh, I see.
Prabhupada: There is a real table. Therefore the whole material creation is a perverted reflection and people are enamored by it. People are taking, "This is real table. This is real body. This is real happiness. This is real country. This is real society."
Syamasundara: This is what Hegel says, that this is the real table, that these are real objects. They are not images of the real but they are themselves real. There's where...
Prabhupada: Then he has not the idea what is real. What do you mean by real?
Syamasundara: This is a real fact, this table, that this is spirit itself.
Prabhupada: This is not real fact. This is imitation of the real table. It is fact to a person who has no knowledge of the real. Because it will not exist; that, our reality means which will exist. Otherwise it is not reality.
Syamasundara: So this may be real for some time and then...
Prabhupada: It is temporary, temporary. It is not real. It is some temporary manifestation. The same example, like dreaming; dreaming is not real but temporary hallucination, that's all. You cannot say this "dream-real". This word is used, svapna-drastur ivanjasa. Just like dream, it is very nice example. In dream everything appears to be real but it is not real, it is all false or temporary.
Syamasundara: So what I want to clarify is that you say...
Prabhupada: He wants to say something.
Devotee: So actually we say there's a difference between reality and existing, even though it exists doesn't mean that it's real.
Prabhupada: No, real means which exists eternally, that is real.
Devotee: But this exists only temporarily therefore it can't be classified as reality.
Prabhupada: No, temporary, illusion we'll call it, reality means which exists eternally.
Devotee: That's the table on the spiritual platform.
Prabhupada: Yes. There, Krsna's abode, Krsna's house, Krsna's table, chair, furniture, they're all existing, ever-existing. Here they will not exist.
Syamasundara: So what is the distinction then between saying that spirit expresses itself in this object or the spirit is this object.
Prabhupada: It is the expression of the energy of spirit. Everything is energy. Whatever is manifested, that is the energy of Krsna. Thus one energy manifestation is eternal and another energy manifestation is temporary. Which is temporary manifestation, that is material, and which is eternal manifestation, that is spiritual.
Syamasundara: So you could say both, you could say this is made of spirit.
Prabhupada: Yes, originally it is made of spirit in this sense, that Krsna is whole spirit, and because it is Krsna's energy, so factually it is Krsna.
Syamasundara: Is this Krsna?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: Or is Krsna inside of this?
Prabhupada: No, Krsna... He's(?) Krsna.
Syamasundara: This is Krsna.
Prabhupada: Krsna.
Kirtanananda: That which is giving rise to your perception of something material is actually spirit. The cause of what you are perceiving is spirit. But what you are perceiving is material.
Prabhupada: Just like gold. Now you have made an earring. You say it is earring but, it may be earring but it is gold. Another example is, just like earth, earth. So you may take dirt and make a pot. So, and a doll, so many things, varieties. So we say it is doll, it is pot, it is this, it is that, but that is also earth. Is it not?
Syamasundara: Yes.
Prabhupada: And when it is broken, then it is again earth. In any condition it is earth.
Syamasundara: This pot and this brick, these are not images then, they are dirt, they are...
Prabhupada: Then you make images. You make images, but when you make images, that is also earth. And when it is broken, that is also earth. And originally it is earth. Sarvam khalv idam brahma. The three conditions: formless condition, form, and again, what it is called-merging. In three conditions it is earth. Aham evasam evagre, in the Bhagavata Krsna says, "I existed in the beginning of creation, I maintain the creation, and when the creation is broken, I exist."
Kirtanananda: But that's what the Mayavadis, they say that all of these forms, all form is maya.
Prabhupada: Yes, we say temporary, they say maya.
Kirtanananda: So we also say that there is spiritual world full of form, and that is not-
Prabhupada: Yes. That they do not know. That is their ignorance. We say wherefrom this form came, who gave this idea? The Vedanta says janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1], the origin, from the original source it comes.
Kirtanananda: So the question is that, these forms that are here, are they actually eternal forms?
Prabhupada: No. There is eternal..., this is not eternal. This is imitation. Perverted reflection. Reflection is not eternal. As soon as the condition is gone, there is no reflection.
Syamasundara: He says that they are not eternal but that the interaction of forms is an eternal process, that one form interacts with another...
Prabhupada: They cannot explain it. The real is that this form is not eternal, but there is an eternal form. Just like the water. The form of the water on the desert, that is not fact, neither it is eternal. But there is eternal water. Otherwise wherefrom I get this idea here it is water. There is water. Now the presentation of water in the desert, that may be false. The Mayavadi philosophers they do not know.
Syamasundara: But if the universe is rational and everything has a purpose, then this temporary form is also spiritual because it has some kind of purpose.
Prabhupada: Yes, and that we are utilizing, everything, for the purpose, to make the best use of bad bargain.
Syamasundara: Even if someone can't see it, isn't there a purpose?
Prabhupada: Now why not? Everything can be seen. Without seeing, what is the...? Everything can be seen.
Syamasundara: Even if someone, there is someone outside who cannot see it and they're utilizing a car or some object, isn't that object also...
Prabhupada: Why he cannot see? He's seeing. Why does he say that he cannot see? He's seeing car.
Syamasundara: He's seeing it but perhaps he doesn't have the knowledge of what it is.
Prabhupada: That is different thing. But he's seeing.
Syamasundara: So supposing he has no knowledge what it is, but isn't that object still a spiritual...
Prabhupada: Then he has to take knowledge from person who knows.
Syamasundara: My question is, is that object still not spiritual?
Prabhupada: Yes. He knows or does not know, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. Fact is fact.
Syamasundara: It's still spiritual.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: Any object.
Prabhupada: Yes. He has no see. He has not eyes to see it, that it is spiritual. He has no knowledge.
Syamasundara: So God's plan is unfolding itself everywhere, whether we understand it or not.
Prabhupada: Yes. He's unfolding Himself. In Bhagavad-gita He is sending His representative for unfolding.
Syamasundara: But even in the material world, in the way water erodes the land and trees grow and die, like that. Even though there is no knowledge of the spiritual content aren't they still spiritual? Going on?
Prabhupada: Yes. Like the same example, just like the earth when it comes to form it is also earth, and if there is no form, that is also earth. The earth remains always. Therefore spiritual energy. The sky is sky, but when there is cloud you'll say there's no big sky, it has become shortened or something like that; you cannot see. So cloud comes, and if there is no cloud, a sky, sky is always there.
Kirtanananda: It is both, isn't it Srila Prabhupada, it is both material and spiritual. In essence it is spiritual.
Prabhupada: Essence is spiritual, that's it. But my imperfect vision makes it material.
Syamasundara: His idea, too, is that everything has a purpose, the whole universe is rational.
Prabhupada: Certainly, certainly. Those who do not agree to accept this, just like so many rascal philosopher, there is no purpose of life, chance, they are rascals.
Syamasundara: But his idea is that to understand this reality or this truth is that one must examine all relationships of everything to each other.
Prabhupada: Yes. That we are teaching. That original is Krsna. Krsna's expansion in energy is everything. Parasya brahmanah saktih. Just like heat and light; practically whole physical existence is heat and light. So heat and light, there is a fire wherefrom the heat and light comes. Similarly two energies, heat and light, the spiritual and material, they are emanating from the fire, Krsna, and everything is made of heat and light, material (indistinct). So one who has got to see, one has got the eyes to see, that is the spiritual, he can see it. And when he hasn't got the eyes to see, he thinks material.
Syamasundara: Another way of looking is that Hegel considered that his predecessors were abstract philosophers, in other words they were isolating or severing from the whole into parts and that each part was static, not moving, but he saw that the truth is dynamic, it is always changing that these dynamic or that these isolated factors, he called them moments, momentums, that the total of moments was a moving force, that truth was actually dynamic and always changing, not static.
Prabhupada: That we can understand from our personal self, that I am the soul, I am existing, and the bodily features changes, changes. Then it is changing, therefore it is material. And the spirit soul, it is existing in all conditions. That is the difference between spirit and matter. Hm.
Pradyumna: I wanted to ask you if the difference between the realisation of what... Everything is spiritual in that sense, but some things have more of an effect when we can see everything spiritually. What is the difference between the Ganges water and the ordinary water to someone who doesn't know that the Ganges water is spiritual? He doesn't have the realisation of it but still he gets spiritual benefit.
Prabhupada: Yes, one who does not know... Krsna, He makes the difference between Ganges water and ordinary water. Because we are giving Ganges water important, but because it is coming out, flowing from the toe of Krsna. So, as soon as the other water, it is offered to Krsna's lotus feet, then how it becomes other water? It becomes Ganges water. The one who hasn't got to see, by touching to the lotus feet, this Ganges water will form. So any water when it is touched in Krsna's feet, it is Ganges water.
Pradyumna: You write in Bhagavad-gita that by using something in Krsna's service it regains it's spiritual qualities.
Prabhupada: Yes, that's it. We have to see how you can becomes Ganges water. Why you give importance to the Ganges water? Because it is flowing from the toe of Krsna, Visnu. So anything comes in contact with Krsna's lotus feet, it will be Ganges water. Just like we are offering water, generally in India the Ganges water is used for worshiping. Then the worshiping of Krsna will stop here in America? Does it mean so? We create Ganges water. As soon as it is touched with Krsna, it is Ganges water.
Pradyumna: Yes, but someone, still who doesn't know, if he comes...
Prabhupada: If someone does not know, one who does not know we are not talking about. This is the issue, that, why Ganges water is important. Because it is flowing from the toe of Krsna. That means touching the toe of Krsna makes Ganges water important. So, any water when it touches Krsna's lotus feet it becomes Ganges water. This is logic. Things equal to the same thing are equal to one another. Is it not?
Pradyumna: So you use something material in Krsna consciousness...
Prabhupada: If you have got material idea, then it will... [break] ...so the fire makes it warm, warm, hot, red hot. When it is red hot, you cannot say it is iron, it is actually burning. You touch that red hot iron, you know it is iron rod but it is acting as fire. Similarly, when everything is acting for Krsna's (indistinct). It has no other business. Just like in this dictaphone and all these things, you don't use for any other purpose, therefore it is spiritual. Prachurja(?), it is called prachurja. Prachurja means this original function is stopped. That gold. Just like this is wooden, but if you cover it with gold plate, everyone will say, "Golden." (indistinct). It is called prachurja. That means his wooden quality is covered. Therefore it is gold. And another is that when it is completely made of gold. So both ways it is gold. Both ways. Prachurja te and (indistinct), you transform gold into table or you cover it with only gold, they are both ways (indistinct) golden.
Kirtanananda: But they're not equal.
Prabhupada: Well, why not equal? When it is serving the purpose of gold, why it is not equal? Why it is not equal? The gold table, whatever you can do with the gold table, you can do with this gold covered table, don't you think?
Kirtanananda: Then in function there is no difference between a tape recorder here used in the service of Krsna and one existing in the spiritual sky.
Prabhupada: Yes. Prachurja(?). Just like Krsna says, mam ca 'vyabhicarena bhakti-yogena yah sevate. Anyone who is engaged in devotional service, brahma-bhuyaya kalpate, he is Brahman. Krsna says. Why? Because he is..., that material function has stopped. You are all..., brahma-bhuyaya kalpate because your material function, that illicit sex, meat-eating, drinking, gambling, these things are stopped now. It is working in a different way, therefore it is spiritual.
Devotee: There's one verse in the First Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam that explains that Maharaja Yudhisthira and Arjuna after Krsna left the earth, returned to the spiritual sky in this same body. Does that indicate that their bodies were so spiritual from spiritual activities that they no longer were material bodies?
Prabhupada: Yes. Yes, that is possible. Now, let us talk of this philosopher. If you bring so many questions then we cannot do it.
Syamasundara: His idea was that the truth is in the sum of all moments, he called the organic theory of truth. The truth is not static or composed of isolated segments or parts, but it is the sum total of everything and it is constantly changing. So he says that these phenomena or facts of nature or these moments, they are progressing in an evolutionary process according to a course which is prescribed by a universal reason or the world spirit, weltgeist. That the world spirit is unfolding itself through phenomenal events.
Prabhupada: That means... This is another nonsense proposition. According to the universal reason. So wherefrom the reason comes unless there is a person? That he does not know.
Syamasundara: He called it weltgeist, which means world spirit, world mind.
Prabhupada: World spirit? That is a person. Unless you accept a person where there is question of reason? That he does not know. He's trying to explain (how could God be) but he has not clear knowledge. But as soon as speaks of reason there must be some person. That reason is explained in the Bhagavad-gita, mayadhyaksena [Bg. 9.10], under my superintendence, under my guidance, direction. So direction means reason. So as soon as we speak of reason, you must accept the person, the supreme person who is giving this reason, who is directing all these things.
Syamasundara: So would you say that all world events, all phenomenon of the world are expressions of this world reason unfolding itself? There is a gradual development.
Prabhupada: Yes, yes, there is a plan. After this, this should be done. After this, this should be done. Otherwise why Krsna says superintendence, mayadhyaksena [Bg. 9.10]? Just like you stand, you get your assistant, "Work like this. Do like this. Do like this. Do like that." So there is a plan, and there is direction. And there is reason also.
Syamasundara: What is the purpose of the plan? Is there any ultimate...?
Prabhupada: Plan is... The whole plan is that living entities, they're part and parcel of Krsna. Somehow or other they wanted to enjoy this material world so Krsna has given them chance (indistinct). Just like children, some small children, they want to play with something but the father guides so that they may not meet(?), fall down, so many things. "No, no, don't do this. You can play like this." So Krsna says, sarvasya caham hrdi sannivistho, I am sitting in everyone's heart, mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca [Bg. 15.15], I am giving him intelligence, forgetfulness, everything. So he wanted to play, "All right, give to him the chance to play." But the whole plan is that "Let him play, and again come back." That is Vedic knowledge, that he wants to play, "All right, you play." But when he's fatigued by this nonsense play, he says, "Give up this. Come to me," sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. This is the plan.
Syamasundara: So the world is a school house or a school ground where we become educated...
Prabhupada: Yes, a playground, it is called field. It is called field. Ksetrajna. Idam sariram kaunteya ksetram ity abhidhiyate [Bg. 13.2]. Idam sariram, this body is field, a small field. You wanted to play, "Alright take this field and work." That is going on. You are exhausted with this field, Krsna gives another field, "Alright, take this." He gives another field, in this way changing different fields, fields of action, that's all. This body is field of action.
Syamasundara: It's not aimless, there's a gradual evolution...
Prabhupada:. No, there is aim, that Krsna is giving knowledge also. The Vedas are there, Krsna is coming, giving knowledge, that this kind of playing will not help you, therefore I, His request, you give up all this playing, come to Me. This is the point.
Syamasundara: So Hegel has a method for relating all phenomenal objects to this whole, or to the ...
Prabhupada: Hegel's method will not do because he has no idea. Hegel's method will not help.
Syamasundara: His method is called the dialectic.
Prabhupada: Dialectic means speculation.
Syamasundara: Well, just like...
Prabhupada: Logic, dialectic, this and that, this and that. What is the meaning of dialectic?
Syamasundara: Well, just like he divides it into three parts, the triad...
Prabhupada: Well, let him do that, but dialectic, what does it mean?
Syamasundara: It means the synthesis of two opposing elements, like if you have...
Prabhupada: Yes, yes, I understand.
Syamasundara: ...the thesis, the antithesis and the synthesis.
Prabhupada: Mm. That is means argument. You say something, I say something, and then you come to conclusion.
Syamasundara: Reconciliation.
Prabhupada: That's it. Conclusion is there, what is called? Premises, premises, (indistinct) are called premises. Man is mortal. Mr. John is a man, therefore John is mortal.
Syamasundara: No, but that's the Aristotelian process, he rejects Aristotle's process.
Prabhupada: He may reject Aristotle's process, that is..., the real thing is like that, that by your scanty reason, you come to this conclusion, in that (indistinct).
Syamasundara: His process would be more like: man is immortal. The antithesis is that man is not immortal. So then the synthesis would be the combination, the resolution of those two.
Prabhupada: What is that synthesis?
Syamasundara: The synthesis would be perhaps that man's body is mortal and he's immortal.
Prabhupada: Perhaps. There is no certainty.
Syamasundara: Man's body is mortal and he's immortal.
Prabhupada: What is this conclusion?
Syamasundara: I'm only using it as an example. You said that... You gave a proposal that man is immortal, that John is a man, therefore John is immortal. That's Aristotelian logic, Aristotle's logic.
Prabhupada: That means his business is to defeat Aristotle's philosophy.
Syamasundara: Yes. He says that that kind of reasoning is static, that it...
Prabhupada: That means he... All right, there are two processes. One is inductive and one is deductive. This is deductive process.
Syamasundara: It's a syllogism.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: It deals with the "isness" of something.
Prabhupada: Yes. And there is another process, inductive. Now let us see whether man is mortal or immortal. So go and study. So there are two processes. We say in our Sanskrit language, avaroha pantha, aroha pantha, knowledge coming from up, and knowledge for trying to go up. Ascending process and descending process. So we say that descending process is perfect.
Syamasundara: Actually the example you brought out is very good because he says the essential dialectic of all is just this: there is a thesis of being, and an antithesis of nothing. So that, you said man is immortal, that is...
Prabhupada: Being.
Syamasundara: That is being. So the antithesis of that is that man is mortal, or nothing; so how to reconcile those two is...
Prabhupada: The reconcile is the body is nothing and the spirit is something. This is synthesis. This is our proposal. The body is nothing, false, but I am real. But those who have no knowledge, they are taking one side. But we are taking two sides: this body is there, this is false, but it is temporary. Although I say I'm not this body, if somebody knocks me I feel pain. So this is temporary. Matra sparsas tu kaunteya sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah [Bg. 2.14]. Due to this body, I am feeling pains and pleasures. So the Buddha philosophy is you make this body nil, then there is no pains and pleasures. But that is imperfect. Because I am there, I will accept another body. So that, death does not mean liberation. Death does not mean liberation. Tatha dehantara-praptir. You have to accept another body. Liberation means when you are no more in this material world, you go back to spiritual world, that is liberation.
Syamasundara: His idea is that this constant struggle between being and non-being is what makes the world go round.
Prabhupada: That is also our proposition. That the spirit: yayedam dharyate jagat [Bg. 7.5]. Therefore we are talking of two energies, the superior energy and the inferior energy.
Syamasundara: What is the synthesis?
Prabhupada: The synthesis is that the superior energy, because it has accepted this material energy, therefore the material world's energy is working. Because I have entered into this body, therefore the body's material, it has no movement, but because I am within this body, it is moving. As soon as I shall go away, then this body is a lump of matter.
Syamasundara: He says this dialectic, basic dialectic between being and nothing is the basis of becoming, that because these two things are always conflicting, we are always becoming.
Prabhupada: Becoming, that's... Therefore, the question becoming means I am now in this awkward position, that I am eternal and immortal but I have been entrapped by something which is mortal, therefore I am changing my position. So when I shall stop this taking of different position, I shall remain in my own being, that is the (synthesis).
Syamasundara: The previous example that you gave, that John is a man, man is immortal...
Prabhupada: That is body, that is body, superficial.
Syamasundara: He says that that is a static analysis. That only deals with what is...
Prabhupada: No, that is, that is static means those who are seeing simply the body. No introspection. They're simply, exoteric, no? Exoteric, what is called? Superficial, that is superficial.
Syamasundara: Exoteric.
Prabhupada: So, but Krsna says, na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. Although the body is not mortal, still the proprietor of the body is immortal. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20].
Syamasundara: So that's a combination of thesis and antithesis into synthesis.
Prabhupada: Yes. So when we perfectly come to that position then you become synthesis.
Syamasundara: That's what Hegel is trying to find out, that ultimate synthesis.
Prabhupada: He has to find out that he has no knowledge to find out; he has to take knowledge from us. We can help him.
Syamasundara: But anyway the basic idea is that every fact can only be understood by relating it to its opposite.
Prabhupada: That is in the relative world because here everything is relative. We cannot understand what is father unless he has got a son, and he cannot understand a son unless he has got a father. So similarly this world is like that. You cannot understand what is white unless there is black. And you cannot understand black unless there is white. So this is relative world, this is not absolute world. In the absolute world the black, white, everything is one.
Syamasundara: Well he says you can find out that absolute world by tracing out all of these black-white relationships in the material world. Eventually you come to the point of understanding the absolute.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is Bhagavad-gita says: bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]. After many, many births when actually one comes to the understanding of the Absolute, he surrenders unto Me because I am the Absolute. So our Krsna consciousness movement is teaching to approach the Absolute. That is our...
Syamasundara: He says that for instance by relating one idea to its opposite that we discover a different truth about each of them which transcends their separate truths.
Prabhupada: Yes. It is just like this Bhagavad-gita says, that dehino 'smin... It says that this dehi, the soul which is within the body, that is immortal and this body is mortal. Two things are there.
Syamasundara: Opposites.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: So the synthesis transcends their separate beings.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Syamasundara: The synthesis transcends their separate beings.
Prabhupada: Separate means mortal and immortal.
Syamasundara: The combination is higher than both of them.
Syamasundara: Then what is the synthesis?
Prabhupada: Synthesis is to get out, the soul, from this awkward position of matter.
Syamasundara: Is that a higher understanding than understanding the soul by itself?
Prabhupada: Yes, when soul is liberated, that is higher understanding. The soul should be liberated. He is in awkward position within this material world. He is in awkward position.
Syamasundara: Does the condition of being entrapped, enhance the understanding of liberation?
Prabhupada: Yes, unless one understands that he is entrapped, there is no question of liberation. If he's in ignorance that this is the real life... Just like ordinary man, they think this is real life but we are giving education, "No, this is not real life. The real life is Krsna consciousness."
Syamasundara: Does someone who has been in prison and then he becomes free, does he appreciate his freedom more than someone who has always been free?
Prabhupada: So, that's very easy to understand. You can apply the same thing in your life. That is not very difficult. Everyone can understand.
Syamasundara: So to enhance the understanding of freedom is it, if someone...
Prabhupada: You come to the platform of freedom.
Syamasundara: But say one has always been free. His understanding...
Prabhupada: No, why? So long as we are entrapped by this material body you are not free.
Syamasundara: No but for instance, just an example, there is someone who has always been free in the spiritual world and he comes into the material world...
Prabhupada: Yes. He comes for a mission, just like Krsna comes. He is not born. He is not born like a materialist. Similarly Krsna's devotee also comes, he is also not born. They come with a mission.
Syamasundara: I mean if someone is in the spiritual world, he falls down into the material world...
Prabhupada: Falls down is different.
Syamasundara: ...yes, and then he becomes again released...
Prabhupada: Again he is free.
Syamasundara: Is his understanding after release higher than the previous?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: Because he has learned something.
Prabhupada: Yes. Learned something, has become free; just like Narada is giving history of his past life to Vyasadeva. You have not read it, conversation between Narada and Vyasadeva? He knows perfectly well that I was a maidservant's son and in this way I have become free. That is freedom. Anyone knows. As soon as he comes to spiritual consciousness, he knows, "Oh, I was this in abominable condition, now I am decent(?) position. (indistinct).
Syamasundara: So it's in the... Is it good if someone comes to the material world and then they leave? I mean is the fact that they should come here...
Prabhupada: It is not good. Then where is the question of taking him back to Godhead? It is not good. But if someone falls down somehow or other... But not that those who are coming with a mission, they are fallen down. When the governor goes to the prison house to inspect, it does not mean he's also prisoner. If the prisoners think, "Oh, the governor has come here, therefore he's also one of us." That is not. Therefore it is forbidden, gurusu nara-matir, you never should think of guru as ordinary man. Gurusu nara-matir, vaisnave jati buddhih, arcye sila-dhir, if you think that is stone, "Ah, we are worshiping stone," these are forbidden. Actually they are not. Arcye sila-dhir, gurusu nara-mati, vaisnave jati buddhih. Just like Krsna says, avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam [Bg. 9.11], because he's coming just like ordinary man. Not ordinary man, as man, so people are thinking, "Ah, He's a maybe little powerful. That's all." (indistinct). That is ignorance.
Syamasundara: Hegel's idea is actually not too much different than ours because he says that...
Prabhupada: It is very much different, (indistinct) of difference. He'll have to go through millions of births to come to our understanding.
Syamasundara: Yes. In one sense he believes that the absolute truth is always changed, is always changing and yet is also permanent.
Prabhupada: Absolute truth, how can you change?
Syamasundara: But it is also permanent at the same time.
Prabhupada: No, that means he does not know what is Absolute Truth. Absolute cannot be changed.
Syamasundara: Just like Krsna is walking, moving, that means changing...
Prabhupada: That does not means He is not Absolute Truth.
Syamasundara: At the same time it is permanent, eternal.
Prabhupada: That we are. We, part and parcel of Krsna, we are moving in this material body, but we are permanent. That is (indistinct). But Krsna is not like that. Then it will be avajananti mam mudha [Bg. 9.11], a rascaldom.
Syamasundara: He says it appears that there is conflict between contradictory factors but...
Prabhupada: But everything will be coincided in Krsna.
Syamasundara: The whole process is eternal and permanent.
Prabhupada: Just like so many radius, and it, everything middle points. You expand, you go, long, long, long.
Syamasundara: Even when the wheel turns the center...
Prabhupada: The spoke. Spoke, and what it is called? Hub. Hub.
Syamasundara: ...remains constant. That's his whole idea of history.
Prabhupada: That is explained in Bhagavata. Krsna says, aham evasam evagre. All expansions take place but He remains the same.
Syamasundara: Does it, does the spirit, is it the divine idea being actualized by the evolution of history and social, biological and everything...
Prabhupada: Yes, yes. Hetunanena kaunteya jagad viparivartate. That is explained in Bhagavad-gita, hetunanena kaunteya jagad viparivartate. Can you find out this verse, hetunanena, where is the Bhagavad-gita?
Syamasundara: But if the truth is unfolding itself in history, in biology, in sociology...
Prabhupada: Everything. Center is Krsna.
Syamasundara: So all events are leading toward what?
Prabhupada: Then all, everything is emanating from Krsna and after some manifestation, temporary, again going to Krsna. Bhutva bhutva praliyate [Bg. 8.19].
Syamasundara: So everything is coming from Krsna and going toward Krsna.
Prabhupada: Going to Krsna. Going back. In the mean time there is some manifestation.
Syamasundara: Oh. So the unfolding of history is simply a...
Prabhupada: Repetition. That's all. History repeats.
Syamasundara: He also, that's his idea, history (indistinct).
Pradyumna: Hetunanena kaunteya jagad viparivartate.
Prabhupada: Ah. What is the first line?
Pradyumna: Mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram [Bg. 9.10].
Prabhupada: What is the meaning? (indistinct)
Pradyumna: Material nature is controlled by Me. Under My direction.
Kirtanananda: Material nature is working under My direction.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Devotee: Caracaram?
Pradyumna: Moving and not moving.
Prabhupada: Moving and not moving, they are not self-sufficient. They are under direction.
Syamasundara: He only sees the movement and not the mover.
Prabhupada: Yes, therefore insufficient.
Pradyumna: It says, "This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, producing all the moving and unmoving beings, and by its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again."
Prabhupada: Is there any explanation?
Syamasundara: So that's enough for today. Tomorrow we'll take (indistinct).
Prabhupada: The conclusion is that Mr. Hegel is not in perfect knowledge.
Syamasundara: No. At least he sees a purpose in the universe.
Prabhupada: That's alright. He's trying to see in his own capacity; but he is not perfect.
Kirtanananda: All glories to Srila Prabhupada. (break—after this Syamasundara is dictating a few extra notes:)
Syamasundara: In this regard, later Srila Prabhupada said that a man who has fever and a man who has never had fever, they enjoy... When the man who has fever recovers he enjoys equally with the man who never had fever. Therefore someone who has fallen into the material world, if he is liberated, he enjoys equally with the man who has never fallen into the material world. Neither he enjoys more, for instance, that he has learned some lesson so therefore he enjoys more his freedom, nor does he enjoy less than the man who has never fallen. [break]
Prabhupada: Well, everything is the expression of spirit.
Syamasundara: So everything is art?
Prabhupada: Well, what is his definition of art?
Syamasundara: Art is the expression of the spirit in sensuous form.
Prabhupada: That is there. We are worshiping Radha-Krsna, there is love of Radha and Krsna, but that is sensuous, sensual. The gopis are coming to Krsna, lusty. Krsna is beautiful, they are attracted. So these are there: sensuous, beautiful, art.
Syamasundara: What about a tree? We say a tree is the artful display of absolute.
Prabhupada: Yes, tree, tree is also art. Because in a place, if you find so many green trees to (indistinct) nice. And in a barren land, in a desert, you don't think nice. Therefore there is art.
Syamasundara: But the barren desert is not art?
Prabhupada: That is also art in a different way.
Syamasundara: So everything is artful.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: So the second expression of the absolute mind, he calls religion. He says that "This is the absolute expressed as representations in our consciousness."
Prabhupada: This is (indistinct) mean to accept God. Does he mean like that?
Syamasundara: Yes, but he means it as the opposite of sensuous form but as something intangible, something you can only relate to...
Prabhupada: No. Intangible it may be at the present moment, that is another thing. But religion means understanding of God. Otherwise there is no religion. What do you mean by religion? First of all, you must define.
Syamasundara: What he means by religion is that the objects of our religious consciousness are mere representations in your consciousness, nothing more, but they are not tangible, like...
Prabhupada: So then he has got no clear definition of religion. We define religion, is to abide by the laws of God. That is religion. God says, "You do this." When you do it, that is religion.
Syamasundara: So you would say that the absolute expresses itself in the laws of God...
Prabhupada: Yes, that is religion. And should the absolute gives you direction, and if you follow that direction, then you are religious. You cannot create religion.
Syamasundara: That's a tangible...
Prabhupada: That is tangible, that is tangible. That is every religion, actually. Just like in Christian religion, "Thou shall not kill." That is the order. So if you kill, then you are not religious. When you do not kill, then you are religious. So therefore it is very difficult to find out real Christian because everyone is killing, violating the law of God. In one sense there is no Christian.
Prabhupada: And every religion means connection with God.
Syamasundara: But he says that the highest form that the Absolute manifests itself, the highest mode, is in philosophy. He says that this combines art and religion and it synthesizes them so it is highest, philosophy.
Prabhupada: Philosophy means that there is some order of God. Just like God says "Thou shall not kill." Now if you want to kill, then you must present your philosophy why you are killing, why you are violating the order of God, or why you are accepting the order of God. This is philosophy, not dry speculation.
Syamasundara: He says that philosophy is highest because it can...
Prabhupada: It is highest. But now God says, "Thou shalt not kill." Then you stop killing. That's all right, be religious but did you understand?
Syamasundara: Oh, why I (indistinct).
Prabhupada: Why I shall not kill. That is philosophy. Jnana, vijnanam(?). Just like devotee, he accept Krsna or God, that's all right. He's also devotee but one understands actually what is Krsna, therefore he is very dear devotee. Madhyama-adhikari. He is kanistha-adhikari, the lowest stage of devotee. He's as good as the other devotees. He does not like to... Just like gopis, they are not philosophers and they're, neither they knew that Krsna is God, but they loved Krsna, that is highest. Without any consideration. Caitanya Mahaprabhu, "Whatever you may be, I love you."
Syamasundara: Last time we discussed Hegel, you said, "Yes, philosophy is highest but even higher than philosophy is the practice of philosophy."
Prabhupada: Yes. This is practice as I say, the gopis. They're actually loving.
Syamasundara: They were practising the result of philosophy.
Prabhupada: Enjoying the result of philosophy. (laughter)
Syamasundara: I guess that's a good place to stop for today. We'll try to finish Hegel tomorrow. [break] First we'll be discussing the ethical, social and political philosophy of Hegel. He believed that one's basic right was to be a person and respect others as persons.
Prabhupada: Yes. So what is the philosophy of killing animals?
Syamasundara: Well, animals are considered as things and persons have the dominion over things.
Prabhupada: Therefore they are rascals. Rascal philosophy. So the basic principle is this, one has right to be.
Syamasundara: One has the right to be a person.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: And respect others as persons.
Prabhupada: Yes. So why do they not respect others' person. The animal is also person. What is this philosophy? That is the defect, that one is a rascal and he is taking the position of a philosopher. That is the defect. He's a rascal number one. He does not respect others' individuality, and he philosophizes that ones individuality should be observed.
Syamasundara: He says that there are three basic rights. The first is property rights; the second is the right of contract; the third right is the right of redress of wrongs; in the sense that crimes should be punished.
Prabhupada: Yes. But it is not crime to kill an animal? The animal has no right to live independently?
Syamasundara: They say that the standard of what is right is the universal or the rational will...
Prabhupada: Is that rational, that another living entity like me should be killed for my benefit, for satisfying my tongue?
Syamasundara: Their idea is that the animal is not in the same category as myself because it has no...
Prabhupada: So that's alright; then might is right? Hitler is right? When Hitler, Hitler kills the Jews, he's right? He thinks that they are not in my category.
Syamasundara: The animal cannot understand philosophy.
Prabhupada: What does he understand of philosophy? He is mad; he is less than an animal. He does not understand philosophy. He does not know that the animal has also a soul, the animal has also life. Then he should be killed first.
Syamasundara: He said that one standard whether something is right or wrong is that if it is self-contradictory, if somebody's action is self-contradictory.
Prabhupada: He is actually self-contradictory. He is going to give right to others that he does not want to give the same right to the animals. That is self-contradictory.
Syamasundara: He uses the example of someone who doesn't want anyone to steal something from him but he steals something from others.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: And that is self-contradictory.
Prabhupada: Yes, self-contradictory action is here, that I don't want to be killed but I kill another animal. This is self-contradictory. Supporting by some nonsense philosophy. I don't want to be killed but I kill other, this is self-contradictory.
Syamasundara: He would say a self-contradictory act is irrational.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: Is not acting according to the rational will.
Prabhupada: He is irrational and he is taking the position of a philosopher.
Syamasundara: Another one of his ideas is that conflict creates progress. So that a man kills the animal and progresses.
Prabhupada: Then I kill him and make progress?
Syamasundara: Yes, that is the law of nature.
Prabhupada: Then kill him and make progress?
Syamasundara: He says that acting in accordance with a conscience is the right type of activity.
Prabhupada: The conscience, the so-called conscience is created. You go on killing, your conscience will be killing conscience, "It is all right." The thief becomes accustomed to steal, the conscience will say, "Yes, I must steal. It is my right." So you can create your conscience in that way. By association, by misguiding, they also create their conscience. Just like the Christian religion says, "Thou shalt not kill," but they are killing, creating a conscience, "Yes, killing is all right." In the religion it is forbidden, "Thou shalt not kill," but they are creating another conscience, "It is right." The conscience is created by association. By good association, conscience is the good conscience and by bad association, a bad conscience is created. So there is no such standard as conscience. Conscience means discriminating power.
Syamasundara: He says that there is an absolute conscience, which means pure rationality. Whatever is purely rational is conscience.
Prabhupada: Pure rationality is Krsna consciousness. That is purest. Unless one comes to that standard, the so-called conscience, so-called philosophy is of no value.
Syamasundara: He says that punishment for crime is justified because it vindicates justice and restores rights.
Prabhupada: Yes, therefore when one is killing an animal, he should be prepared for being killed. That will be justice. That is Manu's... Manu-samhita says that when a man, murderer is hanged, that is complete justice, complete justice. That is to save him, because without being hanged in this life, he if he escapes justice, then he will have to suffer next life very severely. So to save him from so many troubles in the next life, if he is killed, I mean to say, hanged, in this life, then he is saved. Therefore the king who is hanging him is doing him justice. Life for life. If this is the justice, then why one should not be prepared of being killed because he is killing an animal? That is justice. That is Vedic philosophy. In Vedic philosophy, when an animal is killed, it is said that "You are animal, you are being sacrificed before goddess Kali, so you get next chance to become a human being." That means he is given a lift from the evolutionary process to come to the human being because he is giving his life innocent, and one man wants to kill him, he will be killed. So because you are being killed before the deity, you get next chance human being and you have got the right to kill him. This is kali-da, mantra. So any sane man will understand that "I am going to be killed by him so why shall I take the risk."
Syamasundara: I observe in nature that everything is killing something else for eating so it seems only rational that I should be able to eat animals.
Prabhupada: Well, that also accepted in the Vedic philosophy, jivo jivasya jivanam. One life is, one living being is food for another living being. But that does not mean that you shall kill your son and eat, and it will be supported by the society. That is discrimination, that is conscience. You can say that "I must eat some, another living entity. That is by nature's law. So I produce my children and I kill them and I eat them so that the population problem will be solved." You can say that. Will you be accepted? So therefore there must be discrimination. That you have to eat another living being, that is nature's law, but if you eat fruit, you don't kill the tree. You take the fruit. If you eat vegetables, you take, still it is growing, and that is a factually not killing. But if you eat animals, you are killing. Actually he is being dead. So things should be done intelligently so that... The word is to make the best use of a bad bargain. So our philosophy is that although you can take that, although it is not killing, it is taking fruits, flowers and vegetables, it is taking from him, it is not killing, and we are offering to Krsna and so if there is any responsibility, it is Krsna's responsibility. We take the prasada. Therefore we have no such responsibility and that is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, bhunjate te tv agham papa ye pacanty atma-karanat [Bg. 3.13]. Anyone who is cooking for himself, he is taking all responsibility for sinful activity even if he is a vegetarian, it doesn't matter. Yajna-sistasinah santo mucyante sarva-kilbisaih. But if he takes the remnants of yajnawe are offering Krsna daily—this is performing yajna. So we are taking the remnants of yajna. This is our philosophy. We are not taking directly. If I take directly, either a vegetarian or non-vegetarian, then I become responsible. Sinful. This is our philosophy. The law is there, but we have to tackle things very intelligently.
Syamasundara: So far the social ethics are concerned, he says that these begin with the family, then they go to the society or community, and then finally the state. He says that the family is the single entity and is the thesis. The individual finds his real nature only in the presence of others.
Prabhupada: What about the family of the animals? They have got family. What does he say? The tiger has got family—he has got his wife, cats.
Syamasundara: When man finds himself in the presence of his family members he is able to understand himself by relating with others. So...
Prabhupada: Relations with others, just like you are a family man, you don't encroach upon other families, this is society law. So the animals, they have got their family. Family, what do you mean by family, husband, wife, also two children, that is family. So the animals, they have got. So why you encroach upon the animal family? What is his answer?
Syamasundara: Families, when they relate together in communities, are related by certain laws or rights, that one voluntarily abstains from killing and stealing from other families so that no one will do the same to him.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: So but...
Prabhupada: This is not applicable to the animal family?
Syamasundara: No.
Prabhupada: This is philosophy. (chuckles) What kind of philosopher he is? Our, Lord Buddha preached that if you feel pain when somebody pinches you, you should not pinch (them). He does not say that you should not pinch a human being. Therefore his dharma is ahimsa paramo dharmah. This is philosophy, something. What is this philosophy? Nonsense philosophy. That you protect your family but you eat the animal family. This Lord Buddha's philosophy has got meaning, but where is the meaning of this philosophy?
Syamasundara: Well, he doesn't consider the animal kingdom at all.
Prabhupada: And he is a rascal. He is a rascal. A philosopher must be all-pervading(?). This is (indistinct).
Syamasundara: Yes, he purports to cover everything. He says that his philosophy is complete, that it covers everything.
Prabhupada: Then complete. (indistinct) complete.
Syamasundara: He says that one understands himself the more he relates to others, so eventually as he relates to the whole universe, then he understands himself perfectly.
Prabhupada: Universe means his brother. And white men. That's all. (laughter) That is his universe. There is a Bengali verse, (Bengali), "My elder brother is good man, I am good man. All bad men (?). This philosophy. (Bengali-repeats saying).
Syamasundara: He gets as far as the state, he says that one relates with all of the citizens in the state but it is nearly impossible to relate with the citizens of another state. Therefore disputes must be settled by war between states. So he clarifies war as a means of progressing.
Prabhupada: That's all right. War also, we, Vedic philosophy, we say, dharma-yuddha. Just like Arjuna was encouraged, dharma-yuddha. So everything has got his use. War has got also use, you(?). But that is progress?
Syamasundara: Yes, progress comes about through conflict of opposites. So that as states fight each other, the one that comes out victorious is the most progressive, advanced state.
Prabhupada: When the war should be declared? Is there any philosophy?
Syamasundara: He doesn't believe in peace; he says that peace is a dream.
Prabhupada: Peace cannot be possible within this material world, especially without God consciousness, there cannot be any peace. That is a fact.
Syamasundara: He says that the state, I will just read a segment of what he says about the state: "The state is the realization of the ethical idea. The true state is the ethical whole and the realization of freedom. The state is the march of God through the world.
Prabhupada: March of?
Syamasundara: God.
Prabhupada: God.
Syamasundara: Through the world. The state is an organism. The state is real and its reality consists of the interests of the whole being realized in particular ends. The state is the world which the spirit has made for itself. One often speaks of the wisdom of God in nature, but one must not believe that the physical world of nature is higher than the world of spirit. Just as spirit is superior to nature, so the state is superior to the physical life. We must therefore worship the state as the manifestation of the divine on earth.
Prabhupada: That is very nice idea. We agree to that. Therefore we have to see what is the duty of the state. It is accepted that the state is the representative of God. Therefore the state's first business is to make citizens God-conscious. That is the state's first business. Any state who is neglecting this duty, he immediately becomes unqualified to hold the state office, either he may be president or the king. Because if it is admitted, the king... We say that the king's name is naradeva, God in human form, and king is offered that respect. There are... King is respected, why? Because he is to be considered God's representative. So therefore, as God's representative... Just like we are working as God's representative. We present ourselves as God's representative, Krsna's representative, then what is our duty? What is our business? What we are doing? We are trying to lead others to God consciousness. That is the proof that I am God's representative. I am not teaching them anything else. I am teaching everything, that is duty, but this is my prime duty. Similarly, if the state or the state executive head, the president or the king is taken, accepted as God's representative, his first and foremost duty is to train the citizens to become God conscious. If he's lacking in that duty, he's not fit to become executive head, king of the... What does he say about that?
Syamasundara: He also agrees that the monarchy, constitutional monarchy is recommended to head the state.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: And that he fulfills the universal will, he's simply the executor of the world's spirit.
Prabhupada: Yes, that's nice. That's nice. That is the system, Vedic system. A king must educate.
Syamasundara: But because he was so vague, this left room for someone like Hitler to come in and use this philosophy...
Prabhupada: Well, Hitler came not as a king, he came as a usurper. He's not king. That is going on that any rascal, somehow or other he gets power, he becomes the head. But he has no training how to become actually the protector of the citizens. Therefore after the whole world is in trouble. He whimsically declares war and involve all the citizens, implicate. Therefore this support to monarchy is better in this sense that a person, by saint to saint, or by disciplic succession, or hereditary succession, he can be trained and if one man is trained nicely, he can govern over hundreds and thousands inhabitants(?) very nicely.
Syamasundara: He says that in a well-ordered monarchy, the law alone has objective power to which the monarch has got to affix the subjective "I will". In other words the law alone rules, the king is simply the order-supplier for the law.
Prabhupada: That is now, democracy, constitutional king. He is simply show-bottle. But if the king has got complete power and if he is trained, he is God conscious king, rajarsi... Imam rajarsayo viduh, the Bhagavad-gita, the Fourth Chapter it is said, imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. The saintly king understood it. Not ordinary man. Therefore a king, monarch is supposed to be saintly. He must understand the philosophy of Bhagavad-gita and he should introduce educational system so that people may understand Bhagavad-gita, or the science of God. That is the first duty of the state, of the king. And in another place the Bhagavata says that one should not become father, one should not become the head of the state, one should not become guru, if he cannot save persons from the imminent danger of death. So we are, we are now in entanglement, repeated birth and death, it is the state duty to stop the citizens' repeated birth and death.
Syamasundara: He says it is the purpose of the state and king to apply the moral law.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is the duty of the king, that is the king but the modern democracy state, they're simply concerned with the tax. That's all. But in the sastra it is said that if you keep the citizens blind in the matter of morality and immorality and levy tax only, you will be satisfied with tax, then you will also go to ruin and they also go to ruin.
Syamasundara: Ruin.
Prabhupada: Yes, ruination. Yes. Because he is taking all the sins. Tax means it is sinfully earned, and he's taking the money.
Syamasundara: So he gets it worse than anyone.
Prabhupada: Yes, he'll be the worst sufferer, in this life and next life. These things I have discussed in Maharaja Prthu's. You cannot, if you keep the, just like I am accepting disciples so I am taking responsibility of the sinful reactions. So similarly a king levying taxes, that means that he will take the share, the sinful or pious life of the citizens. Therefore if he keeps the citizens pious life, then he will be profited and citizens will be profited. Otherwise he will go to hell and the citizens will go to hell. Andha yathandair upaniyamana. One blind man leading another blind man. So this is nice philosophy, that this is not the right philosophy, that the state head, the president or the king or whatever his name is, he is the representative of God. Therefore his duty is to train the citizens to become God conscious, pious, without any sinful life. But these big, big state head, just like in our country, Dr. Radhakrishnan is supposed to be a very great philosopher, and what he was doing? He was sanctioning to keep slaughterhouse. So he is philosopher and he had no sense that "I am the state head. I am sanctioning slaughterhouse. And I am passing as a philosopher." And now he is suffering, you have seen?
Syamasundara: Yes.
Prabhupada: You see. He is lost, he is a dead man, living dead man. He cannot (indistinct).(laughter) He's finished. This philosopher for money's sake, he occupied the presidential post and maintained slaughterhouse. He is a philosopher.
Syamasundara: So he got the reaction.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is his opportunity, he's finishing his sinful life in this life.
Syamasundara: Oh, you said, that's right, you said it was good for him that he was suffering.
Prabhupada: Yes, it is good for him. Because he is fortunate that his sinful reactions are being finished in this life. Otherwise he would have to drag it, he would have to continue, and he might have been a dog or cat, like that. So it is good for him. I said that. It is good for him.
Syamasundara: So he says that we rise up to the level of the state but then each state is independent and not subordinate to other states.
Prabhupada: Independent, no. Independ..., that is also another contradictory philosophy. If the state is representative of God, then how he's independent? That is less intelligent. He's speaking contradiction. That's all.
Syamasundara: He says that no state is subordinate to any other state.
Prabhupada: That is another thing. If you all, my disciples, you are working under my instruction, so there is cooperation but not that other's order is obligatory to me. Similarly, one state is representative of God, another (is) representative of God, so they are not independent, dependent. That can be applied any field. Citizen, everyone is independent but everyone is dependent on the state laws. Similarly every state may be independent in their individual capacity, but he is dependent on God's order. That is the position. That is the perfection.
Syamasundara: But whenever there are disputes arising between states, then there must be war.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is natural. Just like in our ordinary lives, citizens, they disagree. They go to the court.
Syamasundara: But here he says there's no higher body between two, jurisdiction between states, that it can only be settled by war. There's no court or higher authority for judging between states.
Prabhupada: There is higher body if there is religion, if there is philosophy, if there is learned section, brahmanas, Krsna conscious people. There is higher authority.
Syamasundara: He says there's no potent world authority.
Prabhupada: No, you have killed all these things, but the system is there. Therefore the brahminical culture is above the ksatriya culture. Therefore this division must be there; brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra. The administrators, the kings, they are ksatriyas, but above them the brahmanas are there. But because there is no brahminical class—they have all killed them-therefore he says there is no authority.
Syamasundara: Just like between presidents, Rama's kingdom and Ravana's kingdom, there was no judge to settle the argument, there must have been war.
Prabhupada: No, the judge, judge was Ramacandra Himself. He is God.
Syamasundara: But there was war to settle it.
Prabhupada: Yes.

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