St. Augustine
Hayagriva: This is St. Augustine, or Augustine. We'll call him Augustine. Augustine, like Origen, considered the soul to be immaterial, noncorporeal. He believed that the soul did not exist prior to the birth of the individual human being. It is only at death that the soul attains its immortal nature and lives on through eternity.
Prabhupada: What is that? He sometimes says it is not eternal? What is the clear ending?
Hayagriva: The soul did not exist previous to the birth of the individual human being.
Prabhupada: Does not exist?
Hayagriva: When the individual was created, the soul was created with him. Only after this initial creation is there immortality.
Prabhupada: What does he mean? It is not very clear.
Hayagriva: It is not clear.
Prabhupada: He...
Hayagriva: The soul is created, he is saying. That means it has...
Prabhupada: If it's created, then how it is immortal?
Hayagriva: It's immortal after it's created. It's created but it doesn't die.
Prabhupada: Then what is this death?
Hayagriva: The death is simply the death of the body.
Prabhupada: Then if he accepts another body, then he has to accept transmigration.
Hayagriva: No, he doesn't. Now here's, here's the point. Augustine believed that God elected some men to everlasting happiness and others to everlasting suffering. With the fall of Adam, or the first man, man was subjected to death. For Augustine, however, death is of two types: physical death—the soul leaves the body—and soul death—the death experienced by the soul when God abandons it. The damned face not only physical death but spiritual, soul death as well.
Prabhupada: So it may..., it can be taken figuratively, that when one forgets his position, that is a kind of death also. One forgets himself. But actually soul is eternal, and what Augustine says as spiritual death, that is his forgetfulness. Just like in unconsciousness one forgets his identity, but if he is dead then he cannot revive consciousness. Similarly, it is little difficult for the bodily concept of life persons, but there are many proofs and understanding that soul is eternal. He, of course, until he gets his freedom from this material existence, he is spiritually dead. Even though he is working in this material form, because he has forgotten his real identity, that is also a kind of death. Ya nisa sarva-bhutanam tasyam jagarti samyami. This sloka explains how one is dead and how one is alive. When one is forgetful of his spiritual consciousness, God consciousness, he is supposed to be dead, and when he, one is alive to the spiritual consciousness or God consciousness, he is alive. In this sense, it is a question of two stages, awakening stage and forgetful stage, but actually a soul is eternal. He never dies, even after the annihilation of this body.
Hayagriva: But the forgetful stage is never everlasting or eternal, is it?
Prabhupada: Yes, it is not. It can be, what is called, revived, his consciousness. That is our Krsna consciousness movement. Just like a man is sleeping, almost unconscious, but if you call him again and again, and the sound enters through the ear into the heart, he becomes awakened. Similarly, by this chanting process he revives his spiritual consciousness, then he is alive in his spiritual life.
Hayagriva: So then... But Augustine would say that God would eternally abandon the damned soul, a soul damned to eternal perdition.
Prabhupada: "Eternally abandon" means for very, very long years, millions of years, he remains forgetful. So...
Hayagriva: Seemingly eternal.
Prabhupada: Ah. But actually he can be revived at any moment in good association, sadhu-sanga [Cc. Madhya 22.83], by this method of hearing and chanting, sravanam. Therefore this devotional service, beginning with hearing, is very important. If he consciously hears from the self-realized soul, then he becomes awakened to his spiritual life, and keeping himself always in the devotional service, he remains spiritually alive.
Hayagriva: (aside:) That's the end of that tape. Augustine speaks of two cities in his... He wrote a famous book called The City of God, and one city is divine. In one city, love of God unites all men, and the other city, men are united by love of the world. One society loves the flesh, and the other society loves the spirit.
Prabhupada: So this figurative description is there in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. The body is considered as like city, and the soul is described as the king of the city, and he goes out from different gates. The body has got nine gates. In this way a figurative description in the..., is in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. But that city is figuratively taken as this body, and the king of the city is the soul. [break]
Hayagriva: This is the continuation of Augustine. Augustine writes, "God is not the soul of all things but the maker of all souls." So this doctrine seems to admit of the transcendence of God but not of the eminence of God, at least not as the Paramatma accompanying the individual soul.
Prabhupada: He does not accept Paramatma?
Hayagriva: It doesn't seem to be. It seems that...
Prabhupada: Then how God is all-pervading? The Paramatma conception is there in the Brahma-samhita:
eko 'py asau racayitum jagad-anda-kotim
yac-chaktir asti jagad-anda-caya yad-antah andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara...
[Bs. 5.35]
One part of His feature, eko 'py asau. Racayitum, creation, this creation is done by one plenary portion of His person, the purusa-avatara, the Maha-Visnu, Garbhodakasayi Visnu, Ksirodakasayi Visnu, in expanding. So, and not only one universe but millions of universes, jagad-anda-kotim. And in the Bhagavad-gita also same thing is confirmed, atha va bahunaitena kim jnatena tavarjuna, ekamsena, vistabhya aham, sthito jagat: "By My one plenary portion I expand throughout all the universes, all the living entities. Even within atom I am present." So unless God has got that omnipresence potency everywhere, then how He can be omnipresent? This is one meaning. He is everywhere present by His expansion of His one plenary portion.
Hayagriva: Augustine disagrees with Origen, who looked on the body as a prison. He says, "If the opinion of Origen and his followers where true, that matter was created, that souls might be enclosed in bodies as in penitentiaries for the punishment of sin, then the higher and lighter bodies should have been for those whose sins were slight, and the lower and heavier ones for those whose crimes were great." So...
Prabhupada: That is Vedic conception. The soul, he, as he is, he is part and parcel of God, but he is imprisoned in different types of body. Therefore Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita that "I am the seed-giving father of all different forms of life, and the mother, material nature is the mother." That is actually very logical. Through the matter different varieties of living entities are coming out. From water, from earth, from air, even from fire, ether, everywhere, sarva-gatah, life, living entities are visible. Therefore the combination of five elements—earth, water, fire, air—that is the body of the living entities. And the soul is the part and parcel of the Supreme, and the souls are impregnated within this material world by God, and they come out through the womb of the mother, nature or individual mother, whatever you say. The soul is coming out of matter but it is not matter. The living entities, part and parcel of God, assuming different types of body, either you say according to pious or impious activities, or according to his pious and impious desires. Vasanah. So the desire actually is the cause of higher and lower grades of body, but the soul is the same. Therefore those who are advanced in spiritual consciousness, they see the same soul in, in each and every body. Either in the body of a dog or in the body of a brahmana, the same soul is existing, but according to different desires and karma one gets a different types of body.
Hayagriva: Augustine believed that all men came from Adam, that is the first man or one man, and that this one man God created—this one man—and this one man is the root of all mankind. He writes, "God knew how good it would be for this community often to recall that the human race had its roots in one man, precisely to show how pleasing it is to God that men, though many, should be one."
Prabhupada: They... It is, our Vedic conception is also like that, that the mankind has come from Manu. From Manu, human being, or manusya... The Sanskrit word is manusya, "coming from Manu." So Manu is also coming from Brahma. In this way, as the conception of a first creature, Adam, similarly, a first living being is Lord Brahma. Therefore our proposition is that a living being coming from the living being. Brahma is living being, or Adam is living being. Then the living being does not come from matter. Brahma is also coming from the Supreme Lord as raja-guna avatara, incarnation of raja-guna. So all living being, they are coming from the Supreme Living Being. So Brahma is also the first creature within this universe.
Hayagriva: Augustine... Just as Augustine saw that the soul is created into a particular body, he felt that this was a gift from God, and that this was not an...
Prabhupada: Soul is coming from particular body?
Hayagriva: That the soul is created at a particular time... We went though this yesterday, I believe.
Prabhupada: Hm.
Hayagriva: The belief in the creation of the soul. The soul is created, and that the body is a gift. And he also rejects, on the basis of this, he rejects reincarnation. He writes, "Let these Platonists..." Because Plato believed in it, reincarnation. "Let these Platonists stop threatening us with reincarnation as a punishment for our souls. Reincarnation is ridiculous. There is no such thing as a return to this life for the punishment of souls. If our creation, even as mortals, is due to God..."
Prabhupada: Punishment of the soul? What is that return?
Hayagriva: He says, "There is no such thing as a return to this life for the punishment of souls." And the reason he gives, he says, "If our..."
Prabhupada: Soul is life. What does it mean, "returning to the life"?
Hayagriva: He believes there is no reincarnation as punishment. Reincarnation is envisioned as a kind of a punishment. To have to take birth again is a type of punishment, and Augustine rejects this, saying that how can the return to bodies, which are gifts of God, be punishment? He doesn't see how that this is a form of...
Prabhupada: But does he think that the body of a hog and the body of similar lower creatures eating stool and living in filthy place, is it not punishment? Does he think like that? Why one gets the body of King Indra or Lord Brahma and why one gets the body of a pig and hog, and living in filthy place and eating stool? Is it not punishment and reward?
Hayagriva: Well, he would say that, um...
Prabhupada: How he explains the body of a pig eating stool?
Hayagriva: I've been putting this off. He wouldn't agree that man could be reincarnated as an animal.
Prabhupada: Why, why he will not agree? If a body is a gift by God, then body can be a punishment also by God.
Hayagriva: Yes.
Prabhupada: This is reasonable. When he is punished, he gets the body of a pig. When he is rewarded, he gets the body of King Indra. So that is punishment and reward.
Hayagriva: What about the body of a man? Is that punishment or gift?
Prabhupada: Man, man, there are many men who are very well situated and there are many men who are suffering. So two things are there according, suffering and enjoyment, according to the body. So this has been explained in the Bhagavad-gita, matra-sparsas tu kaunteya sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah [Bg. 2.14]. According to the body the heat and, what is called, cold? Heat or cold?
Prabhupada: Sita usna. That is perceived. An old man perceives very much cold, and a young child, he does not perceive—according to the body. An animal, naked body, he can walk on the street in severe cold, but a man cannot. So this body is the source of suffering and enjoying. So why not take it as punishment and reward?
Hayagriva: Well, Augustine believes that each individual man, or each individual soul within man, is not necessarily condemned to earth due to his own personal desire or sin but due to the original sin of Adam, the first man. He writes, "When the first couple," that's Adam and Eve, "were punished by the judgment of God, the whole human race, which was to become Adam's posterity through the first woman, was present in the first man." So that was the origin of sin and death. So man's sin is not personal. The reason I'm in..., conditioned in this human body is not because I personally committed a mistake...
Prabhupada: Your becoming conditioned is punishment. Why you should be conditioned?
Hayagriva: For my..., as punishment for my own desire.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Hayagriva: For my personal desire.
Prabhupada: Then why does he say there is not punishment?
Hayagriva: But here he says it's because not for anything I did, but because of the original man, the sin of the original man, that everyone coming from the original man is...
Prabhupada: Original man was punished. So the next man, he, why he comes to such father, unless he is punished? Sometimes father's disease is inherited by the son. Is it not punishment?
Hayagriva: Yes. So the very coming into...
Prabhupada: Body.
Hayagriva: ...the race is a punishment in itself.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Hayagriva: He says this on the one hand, and on the other hand he says it's a gift, not a punishment.
Prabhupada: Yes, gift you can take. If you take it that it is given by God, so it is gift. "God has given me this body for punishment. It is His mercy that undergoing punishment I am becoming purified, making progress towards God." The devotees, they think like that. Although it is punishment, they take it as reward, because by undergoing the punishment he is making progress towards God-realization. In that sense it is a gift. Gift actually means something given by somebody. So when it is given by God for our correction, it can be taken as gift.
Hayagriva: Augustine believes that the physical body comes first, and then the spiritual. "What is so in a natural body arises a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. But it is not the spiritual which comes first, but the physical and then the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, earthy. The second man is from heaven, heavenly. But the body which, by the life-giving spirit will become spiritual and immortal, will under no conditions be able to die." So that man must first come as a, as man, as a mortal, physical being first, in order to attain immortality.
Prabhupada: Why man? Every living entity has a mortal body. So to enter into the mortal body, that is a kind of punishment. And then there is evolutionary process from lower grade of body to higher grade of body. That is quite reasonable, that every living entity or soul is part and parcel of God, but on account of some sinful activities or disobedience to God, as they believe Adam on account of disobedience to God they lost Paradise and came to this material world, similarly, the soul belongs to the Paradise, or heaven, or Krsna, but somehow or other he falls down within this material world, and he gets first a body like Adam. But again, on account of his further, low-grade activities, he goes down, sometimes as human being or sometimes as more than human being—the demigod—and sometimes as animal, trees, plants. In this way he goes down, degradation, or goes up by elevation. But he is always aloof from the material body, but according to his desires and activity he gets different body. This is quite reasonable and confirmed by the Vedic literature. But his actual life is when he is freed from this material contamination, getting different bodies life after life.
Hayagriva: Augustine conceived of peace in this way. He says, "Peace between a mortal man and his maker consists in ordered obedience guided by faith under God's eternal law. Peace between man and man consists in regulated fellowship. The peace of the heavenly city lies in a perfectly ordered and harmonious communion of those who find their joy in God and in one another in God." So that peace in its final sense is the calm that comes out of this order.
Prabhupada: Yes. Peace means to come in contact perfectly with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is peace. When a man is in ignorance, he thinks that he is the enjoyer of this world, but when he comes in contact with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Controller, he understands that God is enjoyer; we are not enjoyer. We are servants to supply the needs of enjoyment of God. That is our life. Just like a servant supplies the needs of the master. The master has no need, but he enjoys the company of the servant, and the servant enjoys the company of the master, because our relationship is as master and servant. A servant getting a good, nice government job is very happy, and similarly the master is also happy getting a very faithful servant. This is the relationship. So when this relationship is disturbed, that is called existence in maya, and when this relationship is restored, that is called spiritual life. So in the spiritual consciousness, or Krsna consciousness, one understands that the Supreme Lord is the actual enjoyer; we are servant. The Supreme Lord is the actual proprietor, and we are residents. And bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram [Bg. 5.29]. And Supreme Lord is the Supreme well-wisher, friend of everyone. When a living being understands these three features of God's transcendental quality, he becomes happy.
Hayagriva: Augustine writes, "No man must be so committed to contemplation as in his contemplation to give no thought to his neighbor's needs, nor so absorbed in action as to dispense with the contemplation of God." So he felt that activity and meditation, neither should be exclusive, but they should complement one another. They should go together.
Prabhupada: That means devotional activities.
Hayagriva: There should be both activity and meditation, not just one exclusive.
Prabhupada: Meditation, when you are active, the meditation is already there. Unless you think of God, how you can be active in the service of God? So meditation about whom? Meditation about the Supreme Personality of Godhead or the Supersoul within the core of heart, that is real meditation, and activities more important than meditation. If I simply sit down and think of God, that is very good, but if I factually work for God as God desires, that is more important than meditation. If you love me and simply think of me, that may be taken as meditation, but if you love me, if you carry out my orders, that is more important.
Hayagriva: Augustine says...
Prabhupada: You can call this (indistinct) here. Now.
Devotee: It's ten to, ten minutes to six.
Prabhupada: So we shall finish up.
Hayagriva: We will finish, we can finish Augustine.
Prabhupada: Hm.
Hayagriva: He conceived of the spiritual world as a place where the bodies are very beautiful, are very happy, they move with, with grace. The... God is the source of every satisfaction and is the consummation of all desires. The people in the spiritual sky never cease praising God, never tire of praising Him. There is no envy, and bliss is all-pervasive. Sin has no power of temptation.
Prabhupada: Yes. When he, we remain in contact with God, the sin cannot touch. That is the explanation given in the Bhagavad-gita: daivi hy esa guna-mayi mama maya duratyaya [Bg. 7.14]. According to our desires we are associating with the different qualities of material nature, and we are getting different types of body. Karanam guna-sangah asya. Nature is the agent of Krsna, God, so as we desire, Krsna gives us the facility by giving us a body which is a machine. Just like father and the son. The son insists, "Father, give me a cycle." So the affectionate father gives him a cycle. And he says, "Father, give me a motorcar." So affectionate father gives him a motorcar. So this is the relationship between the father and the son. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gita, that,
The father, or Krsna, is there within the core of heart of every living entity, and as he desires, the father supplies him a type of vehicle manufactured by the material nature. So this body is given by God because we desire it, but the body is manufactured by the material nature. This is very reasonable. So we are in different types of body means in different types of vehicle, sometimes as acting on the vehicle of a pig, and sometimes we are acting on the vehicle of a very important person or demigod. But we desire such thing, and God gives us such vehicle manufactured by the material nature.
Hayagriva: This, this is the last point. It's actually very crucial. For Augustine, the mind, reason and soul are one and the same, and he writes...
Prabhupada: Mind, reason?
Hayagriva: Mind, reason and the soul are all wrapped up together.
Prabhupada: Wrapped up. But there are different identities. Intelligence... Everyone has got mind, but the mind acts under intelligence. But the intelligence of different living entities are different. Similarly mind is also different. A dog's intelligence is not equal to the intelligence of the human being. A dog's mind is not equal to the human being's mind. So actually the soul, being put under different types of body using different types of intelligence, and different some mental, psychic action, thinking, feeling, willing. So according to the body, the mind and intelligence are different.
Hayagriva: Well, this..., thinking in this way Augustine writes, he says, "We do not apply 'Thou shalt not kill' to plants, because they have no sensation, or to irrational animals that fly, swim, walk or creep, because they are linked to us by no association or common bond. By the creator's wise ordinance they are meant for our use, dead or alive. It only remains for us to apply the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill' to man alone, oneself and others." So...
Prabhupada: So that is imagination of Augustine. But Jesus Christ does not say such qualitative killing. He says frankly, "Thou shalt not kill." When he says that, he means, "You should not kill." But when there is absolute necessity, just like he says that "One life is food for the another life..." Does he not say it like that?
Hayagriva: He says, uh... [break] He says..., this is, this is Augustine writing. He said, "Some people try to stretch the prohibition 'Thou shalt not kill' to cover beasts and cattle and make it unlawful to kill any such animal, but then why not include plants and anything rooted in and feeding on the soil? After all, things like this, though devoid of feeling, are said to have life and therefore can die and so be killed by violent treatment."
Prabhupada: No, that is not Vedic philosophy. Vedic philosophy admits that one living entity is the food for another living entity. That is natural. That is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam,
Those who have got hands, they eat the animals without hands, only four legs, and the four-legged animals eats the animals which cannot move—that means plants and vegetables. Similarly, the weak is the food for the strong. In this way there is natural law that one living entity is food for another living entity. But our philosophy, Krsna consciousness philosophy, is not based on this platform, that plant life is not sensitive and animal life is more sensitive or human life is more sensitive. We take all of them as life, either human being or animal or plants or fish, it doesn't matter. That is inevitable. Either you eat animal or vegetable, you eat some living entity. That is inevitable. You cannot avoid. Now it it the question of selection. That, of course, is there. But apart from this vegetarian or nonvegetarian diet, we are concerned with Krsna prasadam. Krsna, whatever..., our philosophy is whatever Krsna eats, we take the remnants of His foodstuff. So Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, "You give Me food, and prepared from patram phalam toyam, vegetation." So if by killing vegetable or plant there is any sin, that, that is Krsna's. We simply eat after His eating. This is our philosophy. We are not after vegetarian diet or nonvegetarian diet. Whatever Krsna eats, we take the remnants of food.
Hayagriva: So that's the conclusion of Augustine. (end)

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