LEIBNITZ.HAY
Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz
Hayagriva: And this is Leibnitz, Leibnitz.
Prabhupada: Hm.
Hayagriva: Concerning the relation between the soul and the body, Leibnitz writes, "In so far as the soul has perfection and distinct thoughts, God has accommodated the body to the soul and has arranged beforehand that the body is impelled to execute its orders," the orders of the soul.
Prabhupada: Who, who orders?
Hayagriva: "God has accommodated the body to the soul and has arranged before..."
Prabhupada: That is explained in Bhagavad-gita,
That the body is a machine. The soul wanted to walk or move in a certain specific way, and He has given these instructions. Just like if you want to go by car, the car is there; if you want to go by bus, the bus is there; if you want to go by railway, the railway is there; if you want to fly by airship, the airship is there. Similarly, the soul is desiring in a particular way, and God is supplying through His material agent a..., that particular type of body. Therefore the bird is flying, the fish is within the water, and the uncivilized men or animals within the forest and civilized men in the city. In this way different, 8,400,000's of different bodies are there according to the desire of the soul, and the machine of the body is supplied by nature under the order of God. This is explained.
Hayagriva: Oh, he says insofar as the soul is perfect it controls the body, but insofar as the soul is imperfect or its perceptions are confused, the soul is slaved by the passions arising out of corporeal representations.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Hayagriva: In other words, uh...
Prabhupada: That is explained in the Bhagavad-gita very nicely, that the soul is in this material world, and he is influenced by the three modes of material nature. So according to his position under the influence of three different kinds of modes, he is getting this body. It is on account of his free will. Just like if he wants to eat anything and everything up to stool, then he is given the body of a pig. If he wants to eat direct blood, sucking, then he gets the body of a tiger. And if he wants to eat first-class nutritious food, then he is given the body of a brahmana. In this way we are getting different types of bodies according to our desire. We are creating different types of desires, that "We shall be happy in this way, we shall be happy in this way." Just like we see practically, somebody is going to the restaurant, he thinks, "By eating here in restaurant I shall be happy." And somebody is going to the Krsna consciousness temple, he is thinking that "I shall be happy by eating here." So Krsna has given everyone the chance, but he is trying to be happy but he is not becoming happy, because he is misusing his intelligence, cent percent abiding by the orders of God; therefore he is suffering. As such, Krsna comes personally and induces him that "You don't desire in this way. You give up all this material desire. You simply desire to act according My order, you surrender unto Me, and I will give you all happiness."
Hayagriva: Leibnitz pictures a kind of city of God. He writes, "God is the monarch of the most perfect republic composed of all the spirits, and the happiness of this city of God is His principal purpose. The primary purpose in the moral world, or the city of God, which constitutes the noblest part of the universe, ought to be to extend the greatest happiness possible."
Prabhupada: Yes. We agree to that. If everyone becomes Krsna conscious and acts according to the instruction of Krsna, then this hell, hellish world, becomes the city of God.
Hayagriva: He says we must... "Therefore we must not doubt that God has so ordained everything that spirits not only shall live forever, because this is unavoidable, but that they shall also preserve forever their moral quality so that His city may never lose a person."
Prabhupada: Yes. This is Vaikuntha conception, yaj jnatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam, "That is My specific place, where going nobody returns back to this miserable material world." These ideas are taken from Vedic literature, that's all. They are not new. It is known already to the Vedic students. Everyone has taken from Vedas, and they have presented their own way.
Hayagriva: He writes, "The soul changes its body only gradually and by degrees, so that it is never deprived of all its organs at once. There is often a metamorphosis in animals, but never metempsychosis or transmigration of souls."
Prabhupada: Hm?
Hayagriva: That is he does not believe that the souls in animals transmigrate at death from one body to another.
Prabhupada: Then what is his understanding of the soul?
Hayagriva: He says there are no entirely separate souls without bodies.
Prabhupada: That is rascal. That means he is imperfect. How he can say so when we practically see that the soul is changing from childhood to boyhood, boyhood to youthhood? How he can say like that? He is transmigrating. That is, every day we have experience. How he can deny that? Otherwise, if he, if the soul does not transmigrate, then how the child becomes a young man? The body is different. The, this is simple understanding, that he has changed the body. The body changes and the soul remains eternal.
Hayagriva: He further writes on this... He says, "There is strictly speaking neither absolute birth nor complete death consisting in the separation of the soul from the body. What we call birth is development or growth, as what we call death is envelopment and diminution."
Prabhupada: Yes. That is transmigration. That is transmigration. He hasn't..., he is not dead, but he has developed into another body. That is transmigration. Then why does he deny that?
Hayagriva: So he says, in other words, as soon as the human soul leaves the body, it must immediately...
Prabhupada: Enters another body.
Hayagriva: ...enter another.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Hayagriva: But not nec..., but not in the case of ghosts.
Prabhupada: Hm?
Hayagriva: With the exception of...
Prabhupada: Ghost, he is already in the body.
Hayagriva: Oh, uh huh, the subtle body.
Prabhupada: The subtle body.
Hayagriva: He further writes, "God alone is wholly without body."
Prabhupada: Yes. He has no material body. He does not transmigrate.
Hayagriva: He didn't...
Prabhupada: Therefore Krsna says, avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritah: [Bg. 9.11] "The rascals, they think, because I am just like a human being, they think I am another human being." He is not human being; He is the Supreme Person. And when He said that "I remember," this is also another proof, that "I spoke to the sun-god millions of years ago." Because He remembers, that means He does not change His body. Just like we can remember of this body so many things, so long as..., but we do not remember what I was in the past life because the body has changed. And Krsna remembers because His body has not changed. He is in the same body.
Hayagriva: Leibnitz did not believe that the city of God, what he called the city of God, is divorced from the natural world. Rather, it is a moral world within the natural world. He writes, "The assembling of all spirits must compose the city of God. That is the most perfect state possible and of the most perfect of monarchs," meaning God. "This city of God, this truly universal monarchy, is a moral world within the natural world and the highest and most divine of the works of God."
Prabhupada: Yes. We can construct such city immediately if the League of Nation—they are trying to be united—they come to their right sense, that this planet does not belong to any particular nation; it belongs to God. This simple fact, if they accept and cultivate on this point, then immediately the whole world will be the city of God. But they will not do this. They have gone to the United Nation to settle up all problems of the world, but they keep themselves in the dog's mentality: "I am this body." "I am American," "I am Indian." But he is not. But if they give up this designation, that "I am American," "Indian" or "Hindu" or "Muslim," "Christian..." We are all part and parcel of God, and the whole planet belongs to God. We are His sons, and we can live peacefully as the sons of father. Father is supplying everything, so we can utilize. Now they, in some country, just like in Australia or New Zealand we find enough cows to supply milk, and in India practically there is no milk. So if the United Nations gives this, accepts this version, that everything belongs to God, so where is the scarcity? It may be in one place one thing is in scarcity, but other place it is enough. So where it is enough, that can be distributed where there is need. Then immediately it becomes city of God. If anyone abides by the order of God and everything produced is divided among the sons of God, then where is the question of scarcity? There is..., there cannot be any scarcity. But they have no reason. They are denying the actual fact that everything belongs to God. It is common sense. Such a vast ocean, who has created this? Has any nation has created, or any individual person has created? So to whom belongs this ocean? What will be the answer? Huh? What will be the answer? If I question that "Shall we dig a little ditch and there is water. We fill up." So such a big ditch, who has done it? Where is the question that there is no God? Somebody has done. That is common sense. And who has done it not only this one ocean-millions of oceans are floating in the sky—who has done it? Who has created? Huh? What will be the answer? So they, this modern so-called civilization, they have lost their common sense. They want to remain in animal consciousness; therefore they are suffering. (end)

Link to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/classes/philosophy/hayagriva/gottfried_wilhelm_von_leibnitz

Previous: Benedict Spinoza     Next: John Locke

If you Love Me Distribute My Books -- Srila Prabhupada