Thomas Hobbes
Hayagriva: His most famous work, Thomas Hobbes, yes, is called Leviathan, and the word Leviathan...
Prabhupada: Leviathan?
Hayagriva: Leviathan. It initially referred to a sea monster who was defeated by Yahweh in the Judaic scriptures, and the word can refer to anything large or formidable, like a great sea monster, Leviathan. So Hobbes used the word Leviathan to refer to a ruling body or monarch in a state, and he called this Leviathan a mortal God who is under the immortal God. And this Leviathan or king or monarch would rule the government above the law. Now you discussed this with Syamasundara, but Syamasundara didn't point out that Hobbes felt that the Leviathan, or ruler, need not obey the law. Now according to the Vedic conception, is the king or the monarch above the law?
Prabhupada: No. The king is also under the law. King, as we understand from Bhagavad-gita, Krsna instructed the law to Sun-god, and he followed the laws. Therefore he is, to the common man, he is the supreme. The king is supposed to be representative of God in the state. So "above the law" means because king is perfect by abiding the laws of Krsna, he cannot be subjected to any subordinate laws. But his perfection is there only when he follows Krsna's order. Therefore monarchy, the law, king's order, is final. There cannot be any... Just like king's mercy. Even one is condemned to death, but if the king's mercy is there that he should be excused, he should be free, nobody can check. So why it is? Because king is representative of Krsna. Imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1]. He first of all said the laws, the Bhagavad-gita, which is so important for the human civilization millions of years, at least forty millions of years it was spoken to the sun-god, and sun-god gave it to his son Manu, Manu, and his son Iksvaku inherited from Manu. This way the absolute law is coming by disciplic succession. And formerly India was governed by monarchy. They received the law of God by disciplic succession. They executed. Therefore whatever he decides, that is final. He cannot be subjected to any other law. So the king, if he is following the laws given by God, then he is above all laws, material convention.
Hayagriva: Hobbes compares man to a machine ultimately made by God, but he does not see this machine as controlled directly by God but by the Leviathan, by the, by the king, the ruler.
Prabhupada: No. God is situated in everyone's heart, and He is seeing every minute action of the soul—what he is desiring, how he is manipulating the machine. This is explained in the Bhagavad-gita: isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese arjuna tisthati [Bg. 18.61]. Specifically it is indicated that God is situated in the heart of the living being and He is observing what he desires. So according to his desire, God is so kind He is supplying a machine. If he wants to enjoy this material world as a human being, God gives him opportunity to become a human being, and if he wants to enjoy this material world as a dog, He gives him the body of a dog. If he wants to enjoy as a hog, He gives the body of a hog. If he wants to enjoy as demigod, He gives him the body. So this is God's mercy. So long the individual living being wants to enjoy this material world, so according to his eagerness to enjoy in that way, He gives the facility, and that facility is the particular body. This body is material. It is supplied by the material nature, bhramayan sarva-bhutani yantrarudhani mayaya [Bg. 18.61]. The machine is made by the material ingredients, upon the order of Krsna, or God, for the enjoyment of the living entity. So he sits in that machine and travels. Just like we have got a car, we can travel, similarly we get particular machine and we travel in some species of life in some planet. There are innumerable planets, and 8,000,000 species of life. So according to the contact with material nature, the living entity is desiring something, and God is so merciful that He is giving him facility. But actually, because God is friend, when he is prepared to understand from God how he will be happy, He says that "You give up all this nonsense plan. You just surrender unto Me." Then he is perfect. Otherwise if he desires, God will supply him unlimited number of machine for going here and there, up and down, within this universe. There are two process: either you go up or come down, and the down means lower species of life; up means higher species of life. Just like demigods, Brahma, his one day's life calculation is impossible to do. So there are different places of life, millions of years' living and a few moment living. So everything opportunity is given by God because He is supreme controller. We desire: Man proposes, God disposes. This is God's position. But so long he will go on proposing this and that, he will never be happy. When he agrees to the plan of God, then he will be happy.
Hayagriva: Hobbes says that warfare is perpetual and that the struggle for existence goes on and on, and therefore the Leviathan is necessary. This... He believes in the divine right of kings, that the Leviathan is like God's representative, God's lieutenant, and he has his sovereignty under God.
Prabhupada: Yes. If...
Hayagriva: Like a Vedic monarch or a...
Prabhupada: That is perfection of monarchy. God... The king is called nrpa-deva, nara-deva. Although he is in human form of body, he is God.
Hayagriva: He also said that this could be not only an individual but a group of individuals.
Prabhupada: Yes. Group of individuals can remain, provided they are all devotees. But if the group of individuals, if they are all rogues and rascals, they cannot be representative of God. But either singular or plural, if all of them or single actually representative of God abiding by the laws... Laws means actual, dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. For God said that is actual religion or law. And if we manufacture in our own ways, without reference to the God's program, it will be useless and failure.
Hayagriva: He says, "Some men have pretended for their disobedience to their sovereign a new covenant or a new agreement with God, made not with men but with God. This also is unjust, for there is no covenant or agreement with God but by mediation of somebody that represents God's person, which none does but God's lieutenant, who has this sovereignty under God." Could a monarch use this argument, which is the argument of divine right, in order to discourage his subjects' rebelling under the pretense that they are communing directly with God? What guidelines are there to assure against this? There was... Wasn't there one king, King Vena, King...?
Prabhupada: Yes. Vena. So everything depends on the king's accepting the absolute instruction of God. So king, in Vedic civilization, the king was absolutely following the regulation given by God, and it was confirmed by saintly persons, sages. Then it was executed; not whimsically. There was advisory board of the monarchy always. They were not politician, diplomat, but they were all saintly person, knew very well the Vedas, and they used to guide the monarch. Therefore the monarch is absolute governing body. The ministers were helping, but the king was educated by God's direct instruction, as Krsna said, imam vivasvate yogam proktavan. Vivasvan, the sun-god, there are tradition two ksatriya family—one from the sun-god and one from the moon-god. Surya-vamsa and candra-vamsa. The ksatriyas in India, they claim. And that is a fact, because we see that Surya, sun-god, is the original ksatriya. From him came Manu, Vaivasvata Manu. This is the age of Vaivasvata Manu, and from him came his son, Iksvaku. So by the parampara system, if we take Krsna's instruction... Krsna's instruction is already there. If the governments all over the world take Krsna's instruction, then every government will be perfect and there will be no disturbance of peace and happiness. That will be perfect world. Krsna has given instruction in all fields of activities. Simply we have to take it practically. But the people are so foolish that instead of taking the standard way of living, they are manufacturing on account of their demonic tendency. They, the head of the state, they are degraded, either individually or collectively, so how there can be good government? If they become perfect according to the instruction of God, then everything will be perfect.
Hayagriva: And Hobbes, finally, gives the, this definition of God: "A most pure, simple, invisible spirit corporeal."
Prabhupada: Corporeal?
Hayagriva: Spirit corporeal.
Prabhupada: Well why invisible?
Hayagriva: Invisible.
Prabhupada: Why? Invisible...
Hayagriva: Invisible...
Prabhupada: When Krsna says, Krsna came, He was visible, and Arjuna was talking with Him face to face. So why is unvisible? If He likes, that is His..., that depends on His good will. He becomes visible to a competent or perfect person. He is visible. Just like Arjuna was talking with God, not only visible, was talking face to face. He was asking question, and Krsna was answering. So one has to become qualified like Arjuna to..., then he will see Krsna, or God, and he will talk with Him, he will get direct instruction. There is no difficulty. So He is not visible to the imperfect person, but He is visible to the perfect person. But He is not at all invisible.
Hayagriva: Well, that's all on Hobbes. (end)

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