Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz
Syamasundara: Today we are discussing Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz. Leibnitz was a great mathematician. He invented the calculus. But he was also a philosopher. He said that in the universe every act is purposeful; that the purpose of the universe is to realize the goals set forth by God.
Prabhupada: Very nice. I see that he's first-class. Yes. Actually the aim is to reach God. That is the Bhagavata version: na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum [SB 7.5.31]. These rascals, fools, they do not know that the goal is to reach God. This version, na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah [SB 7.5.31]. Durasaya means they are hoping something which is never to be realized. All these people... [break] Actually this is the point: surrender. But they are so rascal they will not do it; therefore maya is giving them trouble in every way, ultimately. Just like my Guru Maharaja's plan was that I should come and preach. That was his first instruction. But I wanted that I will not take sannyasa and remain as a grhastha, and then I shall do it. That is special favor. Krsna says, yasya anugrhni harisye... "Especially if I am very much anxious to get one reformed, by My mercy, the first thing is that I take away all his money."
Syamasundara: Where is this stated?
Prabhupada: It is in Bhagavata. This question was raised by Yudhisthira Maharaja. So sometimes that is special favor. By force the whole plan is like that, but everyone wants to delay. By special favor he draws by force, "Come on. This time." Because that is explained in Caitanya-caritamrta that a rascal, he wants Krsna, or he wants God, but at the same time he wants to enjoy this material world, because to want God means finish with material world. But sometimes he is both ways. When Krsna sees the other way is hampering, He breaks his profit by force, so that in helpless condition. Everything is explained in the Bhagavata. "I take away his all money. He may try to get moneyagain I take. So in this way, when he becomes hopeless and there is no money, then he surrenders to Me." And as soon as he has no money, his so-called relatives, friends, wife, children, they neglect, "Oh, what is this man? He is useless." So he is bereft of money, he is bereft of friends, bereft of any love from wife and children, then hopelessly he surrenders to Krsna. So the plan is that: all these rascal living entities, those who are trying to be happy in this material world, nature's plan is to give him troubleevery attempt shall be frustrated, every attempt shall failso that he may come, after many, many births. Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyante [Bg. 7.19]. So He has pointed out that there is a plan, and this is the plan: to bring you back to home, back to Godhead. It is not partial, that somebody may remain here and somebody may go to Godhead. No. The whole plan is that everyone must come back. But he is obstinate, he is obstinate. Just like a bad boy, father says, "Come on," he's not. He's crying, "No, I'll not go." But the father's only business is to drag him. Therefore the final, after speaking all the proposals in the Bhagavad-gita, Krsna says finally, "I am giving you final, very confidential instructions," sarva guhyatamam. "You give up all this rascaldom, arguing with Me. Just surrender unto Me." Arjuna was arguing. "Just surrender unto Me. That is your business. If you think you will be sinful by killing your... I will give you protection." Therefore, before citing this verse He says, "I am speaking to you most confidentially." That means unless one is very sincere to God, he does not heed the final confidential instruction. "All right, you go on with your own work." But to show Arjuna special favor, He says that "I am talking to you now the most confidential instruction. I have talked to you about karma, jnana, yoga, and so many things, but the most confidential thing is this: that you fully surrender to Me. I will give you all protection."
Syamasundara: He explains the mechanistic phenomena, like the laws of nature. He explains that that is the only effective means of fulfilling God's purpose.
Prabhupada: That's it. Yes. All the laws of nature are working (indistinct). The body is durga, the superintendent of the fort. This is called durga. Just like fort is very much fortified; you cannot go; they say nobody can enter, nobody can leave, like that. This is called durga. And the superintendent is called Durga. From durga it has come to Durga. She is also confidential maidservant of Krsna, but she has got (indistinct) to punish these demons. Demon is (indistinct), that I worship his mother, but mother is engaged to punish him because (indistinct). She is giving whatever the demon wants. "Give me money. Give me good wife. Give me reputation. Give me strength." "All right," but at the same time everything is frustrated with this (indistinct). Two things are going on. One thing, that whatever he wants he is given: "I will get it." On the other side, punishment. This is nature's flow, and she is doing this under the instruction of Krsna. "This living entity, he has, or he wants immediately to become an enjoyer, so give him all sources of material enjoyment, but at the same time go on punishing him." Just like sometimes politicians give them everything (indistinct) military force. So that is going on. And this nature is working under the direction of Krsna. That is confirmed in the Brahma-samhita, (Sanskrit). Durga, the goddess of the fortress of the material world, she is so powerful that she can create such things, she can maintain cities, (indistinct) she has got all the power. (indistinct), she is so powerful. Her name is Durga. But (indistinct), but she is working just like a shadow. Shadow is called not independent-moving. Here is shadow; I move this hand, then it is moving. She is called (indistinct). But the movement is from Krsna. Srsti-sthiti (Sanskrit). All our activities are just like shadows. Icchanurupam (Sanskrit). She is working under the direction of Govinda. Therefore, "I worship Govinda, the cause of all causes." This is stated in Brahma-samhita.
So these rascals, foolish, they are thinking material nature is for our enjoyment. That is the materialistic view. There is a flower. "Nature has produced this flower for me. Everything is for me." Just like in the Bible, Jesus Christ says the animals are given under the protection of man. So they are thinking, "They are given to us for eating. God has given." Suppose I entrust Brahmananda Swami that you give him protection, but if you think, "He's in my protection. I can eat him..." How intelligent! How magnanimous! They are giving protection by eating. And the Mayavadi philosophers support them, that when they eat animals, Vivekananda's philosophy, "So what is there? I am Brahman, he is Brahman, so we become united." What is that? And I ask him, "Why don't you go to the tiger Brahman?" Because they are thinking that he is Brahman, the goat is Brahman, so when the man Brahman eats the goat Brahman, they unite. So why don't you unite with the tiger Brahman? This is rascaldom. They are all rascals. Anyone who has no trace of Krsna consciousness, he is a rascal. There is our challenge. (indistinct) He may be great philosopher, religionisthe is a rascal, degree only. Cent percent rascal, or maybe ninety percent rascal, or seventy percent rascal, but they're all rascals. The same example: stool, this side and that side. Because the upside of stool is dried up, you cannot say, "It is very nice." And they're all stool. Anyone who is not Krsna conscious, who does not know the science of Krsna, he's useless.
Syamasundara: Leibnitz believed that truth could be represented by symbols and made into an exact science, a mathematical science of symbols. He founded the school of symbolic logic.
Prabhupada: What is that, symbol? What is the symbol of a good man, and what is the symbol of a bad man? We have got the symbol. If one is Krsna conscious, he is good man. If he is not, he is bad man. That is our symbolic representation.
Syamasundara: He is talking more about mechanistic truths, scientific truths, laws of nature...
Prabhupada: But this is also scientific truth. Just like, according to Vedic scripture, this black body is a sign of sinful life. Therefore brahmanas are called sukla. Brahmanas are fair complexioned. Still it is said if a brahmana is black, then he is not a real brahmana born. Kalu-ban means black man. Black brahmana is to be understood that his father is not real brahmana. He is born of somebody else, but he is known as brahmana. Similarly a sudra, if he is fair-complected, he is also not real. Kalba kata sudra bete mussulman. Muslim, if he is a dwarf, he is not real Muslim, because Muslims from Afghanistan are very tall. And kanki chale, the son of a prostitute, and pusti putra, adopted son, all of them are rascals. Pusti putra, adopted son, he gets money because a rich man, when he hasn't got a son, he takes somebody else, adopted son, and he gets money for nothing and spends like anything. We have seen it in London. One Mr. Sil, he got immense money, and he died a penniless street beggar. And he was an adopted son. I have seen it. His only business was how to spoil his adopted father's money. And we have seen, he was such a rich man, died a street beggar. This I have seen.
Syamasundara: Leibnitz says that there are two classes of truth.
Prabhupada: What are the symptoms of truth? That he has not explained.
Syamasundara: Yes. He divides it into two classes. One is there are logically necessary principles, the truths of reason as innate knowledge, just like the three sides of a triangle equal 180 degrees. That is innate knowledge, or logically necessary truth. This is also called a priori knowledge, or knowledge that exists independently. Then he says that there is knowledge acquired by experience, or a posteriori, accidental knowledgejust like snow is white, but it could be red; it's possible that it could be redthis type of truth which comes from our experience but it's accidental and it is not necessary.
Prabhupada: So real truth is that God has got a plan, and one who knows it, that is real truth. One who hasn't got to be taught by another man but by nature, he knows it; that by nature he knows it, that is a symptom of his life, true life. And one who does not know it, that is not. That is explained in Caitanya-caritamrta, nitya siddha krsna bhakta. That truth is there already, but he has forgotten it. Therefore by this propaganda of devotional service, chanting and hearing, he simply revives the truth. The truth is there, that I am eternal servant of Krsna. Therefore the conclusion should be anyone who is cognizant of this truth that I am eternal servant, that is symptom of this truth. There is no other symptom. That is the symptom of truth, that is the symptom of goodness, all good qualities, everything good. He is good by nature. The living entity, he is part and parcel of the supreme good. But by his material association he has become bad. So again he has to draw it to goodness by this propaganda, Krsna consciousness. That is our business.
Syamasundara: He says there are two types of truth. One is just like the principle of a triangle, there are three angles equal to 180 degrees, and the other type of truth is gathered by experience. For instance, we see that snow is white, but it is also possible that snow may be red.
Prabhupada: But this is also experienced, that the three angles of a triangle make 180 degrees.
Syamasundara: But this truth exists independently, without any...
Prabhupada: How independently? Not everyone knows what is a triangle, what is an angle, and what is a degree. When one comes to study geometry, then he understands. You cannot ask any child or any man who has no knowledge of geometry that these three angles of a triangle makes 180 degrees...
Syamasundara: But this truth exists, whether the man knows it or not. This truth exists, that three sides of a triangle equals 180 degrees.
Prabhupada: But truth means it exists. Not this truth or that truth. Truth means that. That you may know or not know, but it exists. That is truth. So why is he making this example?
Syamasundara: Because there is also a truth that snow is white, they say snow is white, but that truth is not absolute because snow could be red also. But a triangle must always equal 180 degrees. That is an absolute truth, a necessary truth.
Prabhupada: So any mathematical calculation is like that. Why this example? Mathematical means this: Two plus two equals four. That is always the truth.
Syamasundara: He is trying to prove that there are certain truths that we cannot deny they exist independent of our knowledge. Fundamental. And there are other truths that people say, like snow is white, which may not be true because our senses deceive us.
Prabhupada: That is your defective senses. But snow is white, that's a fact. Why should it be red? At least we have no experience with red snow.
Syamasundara: I've seen red snow.
Prabhupada: How it is?
Syamasundara: Particles of lava dust gathered in the snow and in the air...
Prabhupada: That is not pure snow. That is another thing. Pure snow is white. Just like water. Water, by nature, it is crystal. But when it comes in touch with the earth, it becomes muddy. So that muddiness is due to contact with something external. Snow is white by nature, but in contact with something else it looks red. But the truth that snow is white, that is truth. Not that snow becoming red... You are making, or by some other contact it is looking like that. But snow is white, that's a truth.
Syamasundara: But he says that there are two types of truth. There's innate truth...
Prabhupada: This is innate truth: as three angles of a triangle are equal to 180 degrees, similarly snow is white. Snow is white, water is liquid, stone is hard, chili is hot, sugar is sweet. These are eternal truths, fundamental truths. Similarly, a living entity is eternal servant of God. This is eternal truth. It cannot be changed. Water is liquid. That is the natural position, but when water becomes hard, it is due to temperature, under certain conditions, but as soon as the temperature reduces, the water becomes liquid. So liquidity of water is truth. Similarly, whiteness of snow is truth. Similarly, servitude of the living entity is truth. But he is serving maya. That is untruth. If we take that there are two types of truth, there cannot be two kinds of truth. Truth is one. What we take as truth, that is maya.
Syamasundara: Oh, there's only one truth.
Prabhupada: Yes. There can't be two truths.
Syamasundara: But due to our imperfect senses...
Prabhupada: Yes. That is what is called maya. Maya has no existence, but it appears like truth. The same example: the shadow has no existence, but it also looks like my finger, and everything exactly. In the mirror you see your face exactly the same, but it is untruth. The truth is one. Truth cannot be two types of truth. What is taken as truth for the present moment, and by experience he comes to the right truth, that is called maya.
Syamasundara: He says that these two types of truth are governed by two different principles: the truth of reason or the logically necessary proof, like the triangle...
Prabhupada: This is reason, that truth is one. When we find another competitor truth, that is maya. Truth cannot be two.
Syamasundara: This is what he says, that these innate truths are governed by the principle of contradiction. That is, the opposite of the truth is impossible to conceive. If something is true, the opposite of that truth is impossible to conceive.
Prabhupada: The opposite is maya. Opposite to truth is maya.
Syamasundara: Just like the sum of the angles of a triangle must equal 180 degrees. It is impossible to conceive of the opposite.
Prabhupada: Similarly, the other example that snow is white. To think of snow not white, that cannot be conceived.
Syamasundara: He says that "snow is white" is not one of these eternal truths; that it is possible to conceive that snow could be red.
Prabhupada: Why? You say that redness of snow is possible under certain circumstances?
Syamasundara: Yes.
Prabhupada: So that is possible in every case. Therefore the real feature of snow is not red. It appears to be red under certain conditions, but that is not truth; that is untruth.
Syamasundara: What about two plus two equals four?
Prabhupada: That is true.
Syamasundara: It's impossible to conceive of the opposite of that truth. So that is what he would call logically necessary proof, proved by the law of contradiction.
Prabhupada: My point is that he says that there are two types of truth. No. There cannot be two types of truth. That is my protest. I say there is only one truth. When you think two types of truth, then you are mistaken. Then same thing: when you think that two plus two equals five, then you are mistaken. Two plus two is always four. That is truth. Similarly, snow is white always. That is truth. When you think it is red, it is untruth. But you cannot say it is another type of truth. Mistake cannot be accepted as another type of truth. Mistake is mistake.
Syamasundara: I think he says the same things, but the language is different.
Prabhupada: There are two types of truthwhat is that language? One truth is real truth, another truth is shadow truth. It is not truth, it is shadow. That is the exact language. The same example we can give: you see your face in the mirror as exactly the same, but it is shadow; therefore it is untruth. You cannot say that this reflection of your face on the mirror is another type of truth. Can you say like that? You cannot say that.
Syamasundara: Well, he would say that if I saw the shadow of myself in the mirror...
Prabhupada: No. Whatever he may say, we cannot accept that there are two types of truth. That is not possible.
Syamasundara: He calls this type of truth conditional truth.
Prabhupada: The conditional truth is the untruth.
Syamasundara: Just like if I saw by my senses some snow that was red.
Prabhupada: That is due to your defect of seeing a condition and not knowing the condition.
Syamasundara: But I can explain by sufficient reasons why that snow is red.
Prabhupada: Just like a living entity is trying to become master"I am the monarch of all I survey." That is untruth. The truth is that he is eternal servant. You cannot say that because one is trying to be imitation God, that that is another truth. You cannot say that. That is maya. There cannot be a second God. God is one. That is truth, absolute truth. Our point is that we do not accept this proposition, that there are two types of truth. That is not at all acceptable. Truth is one.
Syamasundara: Supposing you saw some ice, and you said, "Due to there being cold, this water has turned hard and become ice."
Prabhupada: That is another proposition. Water is liquid, but when water becomes hard, that is artificial. But that hardness... Snow is white, that is truth. Otherwise nothing is truth except Krsna. Relative truth. Krsna is absolute truth. There are relative truths. So this is relative truth. Krsna is substance. Now, from Krsna everything is emanating by His energy. Water is also one of the energies, but that energy is not absolute truth, that water. But in that relativeness, the water's liquidity is truth. But it is relative truth.
Syamasundara: This is what he is saying, that there's absolute truth and relative truth.
Prabhupada: Absolute truth is one. Then he can say that absolute truth and relative truth, not that two types of truth.
Syamasundara: That's what he says: there are relative truths and absolute truths.
Prabhupada: That we accept. There are truths, relative and absolute.
Syamasundara: And he says that the test for both typesof absolute truth and relative truthis that for absolute truth, it is impossible to conceive of the opposite.
Prabhupada: Opposite is maya. Maya is not truth. Maya is illusion.
Syamasundara: Relative truths are governed by the law of sufficient reason. In other words, they can be most reasonably explained by reference to all of the conditions in which they are found.
Prabhupada: Just like you can explain how the snow is formed-the molecular structure of the water, and how they become compact by temperature...
Syamasundara: He says that everything goes by steps in nature, and not by leaps. In other words, there is a law of continuity, like there are no gaps in nature. Everything is gradual. There is a gradual differentiation.
Prabhupada: No. There are two ways-gradual and immediate also. Of course, in one sense... [break] ...little force, it goes quickly. The ball has no power. So wonderful things are happening in the material nature due to the will of the Supreme. Everything happening is the same process; it is undergoing the process, but the method, pushed by God, it takes automatically. Just like He created this material nature. It is in the beginning nonmanifest, then gradually it grows three qualities, and by the interaction of qualities so many things come outthe sky comes, and as soon as the sky comes out, there is sound; sound comes, as soon as sound has come out, the ear comes; the controller of the ear comes..., so many thingsone after another, one after another, one after another. So the pushing is so perfect that all other things come automatically in perfect order. But foolish people, they are thinking that things are coming automatically out of it, without any background. They don't think there is God. They think that nature, there was a chunk, and the creation was there. And wherefrom the chunk came? That is imperfect observation. Perfect knowledge is you take Bhagavad-gita. Krsna says, mayadhyaksena prakrtih: [Bg. 9.10] "under My superintendence." And that is our practical experience. When I manufacture this table, the raw materials, matter, is there, but it has not automatically become table. I have made it by instrument, by my brain. Similarly, this cosmic manifestation has not come out automatically; it is the brain of Krsna. Therefore He is the creator. That is nature. Nature is instrumental. Just like the potter: his wheel is going around and the clay is making a pot, but the original cause is the potter. He has given force to the wheel. After the wheel is running, then so many pots are coming out. So nature... Foolish people are seeing that the wheel is moving. They do not see that behind the movement of the wheel there is a potter who has given force. So there is no question of nature. Everything is God, Krsna. This is imperfect vision, that the wheel is moving without any direction. So this kind of knowledge is imperfect. Real knowledge is, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, you take it from Bhagavad-gita that mayadhyaksena prakrtih: [Bg. 9.10] "Under My direction the material energy is working." So the wonderful working of the material nature is not perfect observation. Behind the wonderful work of the material nature there is Krsna, God.
Syamasundara: He also believes that God is behind it, but he is trying to analyze. He says that there is no gaps or sudden changes, great changes in nature; that everything is gradual.
Prabhupada: Yes. As soon as there is a process, there is a link of everything, one after another, one after another. That is nature's way. Just like in the creation, the first creation is mind. We have got it in the Bhagavad-gita, first creation is mahat-tattva, the sum total of material energy. Then there is interaction of the three gunas, qualities, and then mind comes out, ego comes out, intelligence comes out, in this way, one after another. That is explained in the Second Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, how creation takes place. So the Veda says, sa aiksata. Sa aiksata. The Supreme Lord, simply by glancing over... In Bhagavad-gita also it is said that. But just like we impregnate a woman by sex behavior, but here it is said that He simply glanced over the material nature, total material energy, and the creation begins. Sa aiksata. So because He is omnipotent, He can impregnate the material nature not by sex behavior but simply by glancing, and the material nature immediately becomes agitated, and things begin to happen. So the original cause is glancing over material nature by God. But we materialists, we cannot think how by simply glancing, the material nature is set into motion. That is material conception.
Syamasundara: He says that space and time are mere appearances, but the ultimate or genuine reality is different.
Prabhupada: That is Krsna, sarva-karana-karanam [Bs. 5.1], cause of all causes.
Syamasundara: He calls these ultimate entities monads. Monad means unity, or oneness. He says that the ultimate stuff out of which even the atoms are made are called monads, small particles.
Prabhupada: And within those small particles there is Krsna. That small particle is not final. Andantara-stha paramanu... That is also superficial.
Syamasundara: He says that these monads are individual, conscious, alive and active, and they range in quality from the lowest type, or matter, through the higher of types, such as soul, to the highest, which is God.
Prabhupada: So whether within the atom there is soul or not?
Syamasundara: His theory is that even the atoms are made out of these monads.
Prabhupada: What is a monad?
Syamasundara: It's difficult to understand, but a monad means a tiny particle of force which is...
Prabhupada: And we say that is Krsna
Syamasundara: He says that it has activity, consciousness, etc. But each monad is individual, and its inherent qualities are produced from that monad.
Prabhupada: That monad, as we say, Krsna, as we understand from Brahma-samhita, that Krsna is within the atom also.
Syamasundara: He says that a monad is the force or activity which constitutes the essence of a substance.
Prabhupada: But Krsna is the substance, summum bonum. Andantara-stha paramanu-cayantara-stham [Bs. 5.35]. He is within everything. That is His all-pervasive nature.
Syamasundara: Then how are the individualities accounted for?
Prabhupada: Every individual soul is awarded a little portion of independence, because every individual soul is part and parcel of God, so he has got the quality of independence, in minute quantity. That is individuality.
Syamasundara: Just like, for instance, say, this particulate substance, he would say that there is a force or activity which constitutes the essence of this substance, and that is the monad of this substance. He is attributing it to everything, matter.
Prabhupada: So we take the atom. Atom is the smallest. So we say within the atom the force is Krsna. He is simply suggesting there is some enforcing power. We are giving directly that that is Krsna.
Syamasundara: But he says that in that enforcing power each atom is individual, separate, different.
Prabhupada: Yes. Krsna, by His omnipotency, can expand Himself in innumerable forms. Advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam [Bs. 5.33]. Ananta, unlimited. As it is clearly said, andantara-stham. He is within the atom.
Syamasundara: Is He between each atom as an individual entity, different from each other entity?
Prabhupada: Yes. If Krsna is there, Krsna is individual. And atoms also, there are varieties of atoms. Sometimes they are combined together, six atoms, five atoms, three atoms.
Syamasundara: How is Krsna different?
Prabhupada: Krsna is there in every atom.
Syamasundara: How is He individual in each one of the atoms?
Prabhupada: Why not He is individual? Krsna is individual. How is He not individual? Krsna is always individual.
Syamasundara: He is a person.
Prabhupada: Yes. Krsna is always person, Supreme Person. But He can expand innumerably.
Syamasundara: And Paramatmais Paramatma a person?
Prabhupada: Yes. Paramatma is a person. Every expansionjust like we are also expansion, atomic expansion of Krsna. So we are persons. Every individual soul is a person. But we are expansion of Krsna. Paramatma is another expansion, visnu-tattva. Ramadi murtisu. That is another expansion, different kinds of expansions.
Syamasundara: Jiva atma is also a person?
Prabhupada: Yes. If not person, then why the difference? You may not agree with my opinion, but if we agree voluntarily, not that exactly what I think you think, but because you have accepted me as your guru, as superior, therefore we agree. You are individual; you may not agree. You are individual and I am individual, Krsna is individual. That is stated, nityo nityanam. Plural number. There are many individual souls, but He is the Supreme Individual Person.
Syamasundara: This idea of a monad means that...
Prabhupada: You call it by any name, but within the atom there is the forcethat is Krsna. You call it monad or something else.
Syamasundara: He says the lowest type of monad is in matter, material forms, and then it proceeds up through higher monads, which are souls.
Prabhupada: So we directly say (indistinct) Krsna, that is (indistinct) spiritual.
Syamasundara: He says that each monad has an inner or mental activity, a spiritual life.
Prabhupada: That is explained in everything, that as soon as we say there is Krsna, so there is everything.
Syamasundara: So even between the atoms of matter there is a spiritual life, spiritual force?
Prabhupada: Yes. That force means spiritual force.
Syamasundara: He says that all bodies are ultimate quantums of force, that the essential nature of all bodies is force.
Prabhupada: Yes. Force is the spirit soul. Without the spirit soul, the body has no force. It is a dead body.
Syamasundara: But just as there is a dead body of a man lying there, still there is force going on in that body. There are worms coming out...
Prabhupada: But that individual soul, force, is not perfect. As Krsna is within the atom, the body is combination of so many atoms, so therefore the force for creating another living entity is there.
Syamasundara: So just the decomposing is a force, turning to gasses. So there is force in every body.
Prabhupada: Yes. That individual soul's force is stopped. That we call dead body. But Krsna's force is still there, because it is combination of atoms.
Syamasundara: He says that which is manifested to our senses, which occupy space and exists in time, is only an effect of the basic nature, which is transcendental to the physical nature. The physical nature is just an effect of a higher nature.
Prabhupada: Physical nature is a by-product. Just like I explained that you create your body. The physical nature is subservient to the soul. Therefore, according to my desire, I get a body. I create a body.
Syamasundara: His idea is that these monads, they create bodies.
Prabhupada: Yes. That I say. So yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante kalevaram [Bg. 8.6]. At the time of death, as you are thinking, your next body is created. Therefore you create the body.
Syamasundara: But does the monad of a, say, a hydrogen molecule, does that also create its own body? Does it only accidentally become part of a water molecule, or does it...
Prabhupada: Nothing is accidental.
Syamasundara: It also desires to become a water molecule? Does the atom of hydrogen desire to combine with oxygen and become a water molecule?
Prabhupada: He... The ultimate desire is of Krsna.
Syamasundara: But does each atom, even of matter...
Prabhupada: If you take it that way, Krsna is within every atom. So Krsna wants to be it; therefore He is willing to let these two things become one, and there is some creation, and again another creation, and another creation. The ultimate brain is Krsna.
Syamasundara: Does the hydrogen molecule have an independent desire?
Prabhupada: No, but within the hydrogen atom, there is Krsna; therefore it is combining. Not this hydrogen atom as matter is combining, but because Krsna is within that hydrogen atom existing. He knows that by combination this thing will come about, that will come out, that will come out...
Syamasundara: But the individual soul has a little independence to choose?
Prabhupada: No, no.
Syamasundara: Has no independence?
Prabhupada: No. The individual soul does not. In Bhagavad-gita it says that anumanta, individual soul, wants to do something and Krsna gives orders. Man proposes and God disposes.
Syamasundara: So we have no free will?
Prabhupada: No. Without sanction of Krsna we cannot do anything. Therefore He is the ultimate cause.
Syamasundara: But I thought you had been saying that we have a little independence.
Prabhupada: That independence that Krsna wants me to do something but I want to deny it. But unless Krsna sanctions, you cannot do that also.
Syamasundara: What I'm trying to get at is that if we desire something and we take a body because of that desire, can a hydrogen molecule desire to become part of water and be given that body? Does it have the independence to desire something and take a body accordingly? The hydrogen molecule, does it have a life?
Prabhupada: So far as we get information, our knowledge is from the Vedic information, andantara-stha paramanu: Krsna is within, the Paramatma. It does not say the soul is within, the Paramatma.
Syamasundara: It doesn't say that an individual soul is present within the atom?
Prabhupada: No. Krsna is present.
Syamasundara: So then this philosophy of Leibnitz is not correct.
Prabhupada: No.
Syamasundara: Because he says in matter there is also this kind of individuality.
Prabhupada: That individual is Krsna. Krsna knows that so many atoms will be combined, then another thing will be formed. It is not the individual soul but Krsna directly.
Syamasundara: But when you come to the living entities, then the individual soul is also there.
Prabhupada: Yes. Within the body. Both of themKrsna is also there, and the individual soul is also there.
Syamasundara: He says that the definition of substance is a being capable of action. Substance means to be capable of action, and that existence means action.
Prabhupada: Substance is original. Other things are categories.
Syamasundara: So being capable of action, is that a good definition of substance?
Prabhupada: Yes. Substance means the original cause, so He is completely able to act.
Syamasundara: He says to be is to be active.
Prabhupada: Yes, to be means to be active. Without activity, what does it mean to be?
Syamasundara: He says that these monads change in their appearances because the inner desire impels it to pass from one phenomenal representation to another.
Prabhupada: The monad does not change, but his mind has changed. But I do not know what this means, monads. He is complicating. He cannot express what is this monad.
Syamasundara: Monad is very vague. It means a small unit of oneness or unity, which is the substance behind everything else, even the atom.
Prabhupada: That is Krsna. Krsna is fully independent.
Syamasundara: He says, for instance, that a monad changes its appearance according to its desires.
Prabhupada: That indication is for the soul. But Krsna is not that. Krsna is kuta; means he does not change.
Syamasundara: He says just like this thing, (holding up an object) it will change to another thing, to another thing, to another thing, depending on its desire, which impels it to change. He says that even behind some object there is some ability to change.
Prabhupada: That I have already said. Just like Krsna, first of all He created the whole total cosmic energy, and then, by His plan, by His devices, He divides into so many things, changes, parts and parts and parts. It can be taken in that way. The material changes are going on according to the will of God, or Krsna. Is that clear?
Syamasundara: Yes. He says that each monad is like all of the others. They are identical, so that to know one is to know all, to know the whole world.
Prabhupada: This individual monads can be taken as soul?
Syamasundara: Yes. And he sees soul even in matter.
Prabhupada: Yes. If Krsna is there, there is Supersoul.
Syamasundara: So he would say that each particle of Supersoul or each monad is self-contained, that there is no loss of gain of force.
Prabhupada: Yes. Eternal.
Syamasundara: He says that even though these monads are always active, they do not contact each other, neither do they affect each other. For example, if a bat hit a ball, in reality the bat did not really affect the ball.
Prabhupada: But some individual soul has taken the bat, he has hit it, not the bat has hit it.
Syamasundara: He says that the bat and the ball are independent.
Prabhupada: How they are independent? I am holding the bat. I am hitting the ball. So how can the bat is independent?
Syamasundara: That this is the function of the bat.
Prabhupada: No. If I don't hit..., bat in my hand, the bat cannot hit the ball. How is the bat independent?
Syamasundara: Let's take another example. Say a rock falls from a cliff into the water and makes the water move. He would say that the rock's falling and the water's moving, that the monad involved in the rock and the monad involved in the water did not really affect each other, that the water parted and the rock went through the water, but that this was the inherent nature of the water and the inherent nature of the rock, so that they did not really affect each other.
Prabhupada: But one thing is that when rocks were thrown on the sea by Lord Ramacandra's will, they began to float. Therefore the Supreme Will is the ultimate cause. Supreme Will wants that the rock may go down in the water, then it goes; if He does not wants, then the rock floats. Therefore rock is not independent. The Supreme Will of God is independent. There are so many other examples. The same example as I cited the other day, that the cow eats the dry grass and it gives so nutritious, full of vitamins milk. But the same dry grass, if a woman eats, she will die. Therefore the plan of the Supreme that the cow, by eating dry grass, she can deliver nicely. It is not on the dry grass she is producing milk; it is the will of God that is producing it. Similarly the stone falling. Because the will of God is there, therefore "You stone, go down in the water!" But when God wills that it floats, it will float. So that in that case the monad theory did not act.
Syamasundara: He is saying that there is no such thing as cause and effect.
Prabhupada: No. That is nonsense. The supreme cause is God. Sarva-karana-karanam [Bs. 5.1].
Syamasundara: Another example, he says that the body has no causal influence on the soul, neither does the soul affect or interact with the body.
Prabhupada: That is another nonsense. The soul desires something, and to fulfill that desire he gets a certain type of body; therefore soul is the cause of manufacturing a type of body.
Syamasundara: He likens the soul and the body to two synchronized clocks, both going at the same speed but separate.
Prabhupada: Yes. The soul is separate from the body, but the body is going or the body is being manifested on account of the soul's desire. Just like a young child desires how he will become a youth. He sees the youthful energy, gradually he develops or changes his body to a youthful body.
Syamasundara: Then is the body really affecting the soul? Does the body really have a causal influence on the soul?
Prabhupada: No. The soul is unaffected by the body, but the body is helping the soul to fulfill its desires. Just as I am taking the help of this microphone to serve my purpose, but microphone is not influencing me. It is not that microphone is willing that I shall dictate. It is not like that.
Syamasundara: His idea is that the body has a monad and the soul has a monad. They are two different monads.
Prabhupada: The body is a combination at atoms. If Krsna is within the atoms, the monads of the atoms and the monad in the body are different.
Syamasundara: So that although the monad of the body is acting...
Prabhupada: What is the meaning of monad?
Syamasundara: The only meaning I know is that it means unity or oneness. A small particle of unity or oneness.
Prabhupada: That is Supersoul. Supersoul, although it appears many, innumerable, it is one. Ekatvam anupasyatah [Iso 7]. That is Isopanisad. Although we find there are many Supersouls, but there is one. Yo mam pasyati sarvatra, in the Bhagavad-gita, "One who sees in Me everything, and sees everything in Me, he is really seeing." That is oneness. That means they have no clear idea, but trying to theorize something. Clear idea is in the Vedic literature.
Syamasundara: He says that God creates the principle of pre-established harmony. Just like He sets two clocks in motion, both synchronized. One is the body and one is the soul. Even though they are going together...
Prabhupada: The body is separate, body separate from the soul. We say that.
Syamasundara: Just like the body is acting, but the soul is independent. It's not really affected by the body.
Prabhupada: Yes. That's all right. We agree.
Syamasundara: So they are like two clocks going at the same synchronization, but not together. They are separate.
Prabhupada: But why two clocks? What is the relationship between the body and the soul? You cannot analyze separately. The body and the soul, they are practically combined. That example is not complete. They are two individual clocks. They are not combined. So therefore there is fallacy of analogy. If there is no common point, you cannot have analogy.
Syamasundara: The common point is that they say the same time. They have the same time.
Prabhupada: But the same time, gradually one clock goes slow and the other clock goes fast. This analogy is not perfect. Similar point. Analogy means there must be a majority of similar points. Similar point is lacking because the one clock is moving, you'll start the other one moving, and one may go slow or one may go at higher speed.
Syamasundara: I think it's like this, that the monad of the body desires a body like this, and the monad of the soul desires to inhabit a body like this. But they are separate entities, body and soul, and they work independently of each other.
Prabhupada: It is not exactly the way it is. It says in the Vedic sastras that the soul is the master of the body. Therefore how can you say that the body is working independently? This body, I am now liking to place my hand here, so I am desiring and the hand is there, not that all of a sudden my hand, by not desiring, it is coming...
Syamasundara: He would say the act of your desiring and the act of the hand coming are simultaneous but they are separate.
Prabhupada: Jugglery of words. It has no meaning.
Syamasundara: Just like the example of the rock falling in the water. He would say that the water separating and the rock falling are two separate acts. Neither one affects the other.
Prabhupada: This is nonsense. This argument is called in Sanskrit kaka-tal-nyaya. There was a tal tree, and one crow came, and immediately the fruit fell down. And there were two arguers: one said that the crow sat down on the fruit and it was so light it fell down, and the other said no, the crow was trying to sit down on the fruit but in the meantime the fruit fell and he could not sit. It is like that. It may be coincidence, the crow was just trying to sit on the fruit and the fruit fell. But these people's answer is no, the crow first sat down, then is was fallen. Another says no, the fruit has fallen down; therefore the crow could not sit. So this kind of argument has no value. According (indistinct), the water separated and the stone fellthey are nonsensical. Our argument is strong: that if Krsna desires, the stone can float on the water, despite the law of gravitation. The law of gravitation is not working. So many huge planets are floating. How they are floating? The law of gravitation is working here. The stone falls down and (indistinct) goes down in the water. But that is one of the ingredients of the planet. But the planet itself is floating in the air. Where is the law of gravitation? Therefore Krsna's desire. The cause is Krsna's desire. Krsna wanted, "Let it be floating." Or He has made some arrangement. By law of gravitation every planet should have gone down, and there is Garbhodakasayi Visnu, and broke His head, because he is lying down in the Garbhodakasayi... So all the planets fall on Him and He is dead. But no. By His order they are all floated. That is Krsna. Is that all right? Or still more?
Syamasundara: There's another page. This whole idea is so vague, that the water parting and the rock falling are individual.
Prabhupada: It is childish.
Syamasundara: He says that each monad is given a characteristic nature by the central monad, who is God.
Prabhupada: That's all right. Then why don't you take to the central monad?
Syamasundara: He says that God is the supreme monad, or pure activity.
Prabhupada: I was speaking like that. If God desires, then the other monads have no independence. The same example as I told you: the stone is falling down in the water, and the monads of the water giving way. It is falling down, but if God desires, the water will not give way, it will float. If God is the ultimate monad, that is possible. Therefore there is no reason for disbelieving that when Ramacandra threw so many stones on the water of the sea, it began to float. You cannot disbelieve. If Ramacandra is God and He is the ultimate cause, He can check. Whatever He wills will come into effect.
Syamasundara: But the point of whether the monad of the rock causes the monads of the water to part.
Prabhupada: These causes can be changedby God's will.
Syamasundara: Yes, I understand that, but if the monad of the rock causes the monads of the water to part, or whether the monads of the water part independently...?
Prabhupada: That is all dependent on God's will.
Syamasundara: That's a moot question.
Prabhupada: Therefore ultimate desire is God's.
Syamasundara: Just like the birdwhether the bird caused the fruit to fall, or whether the fruit happened to fall coincidentally. It doesn't matter. Is that the point?
Prabhupada: Yes. It is simply useless talk. Because it is a fact that the fruit has fallen, and the crow has flown away. Now why should we bother? A waste of time. But both can be possible. These argumentone is saying that the bird sat down, which is the cause of falling of the fruit, and the other says the falling down is the cause of the bird's not being able to sit on itboth can be possible. But we say therefore the ultimate desire is of God. If God desired that the fruit would not fall, it would not have fallen. That is our proposition.
Syamasundara: I think you said once that the devotee picks up the fruit and offers it to Krsna and eats it.
Prabhupada: Yes. We don't see the cause and effect; we see that ultimate cause is Krsna. "By Krsna's desire we have got this nice thing. Offer it to Krsna and eat it," that's all.
Syamasundara: So whether the water's parting allowed the rock to fall in, or whether the rock caused the water to part, it doesn't really matter.
Prabhupada: It is ultimately depending on God's will. That is the explanation.
Syamasundara: He says that these monads are spiritual in nature; therefore they are immortal.
Prabhupada: Yes. That we admit, because Krsna and Krsna's will, both of them are spiritual.
Syamasundara: So even the particle of matter is eternal?
Prabhupada: Ultimately everything is spiritual, because the matter is Krsna's energy and spirit is also Krsna's energy. If Krsna is the original cause, therefore the matter can be changed into spirit, spirit can be changed into matter. Just as it is the same electric energy acting as heater and as cooler, but the electrician, he can change the cooler to heater and the heater to cooler, because the original cause is electricity. Similarly, the original cause is Krsna. So Krsna can change matter into spirit, spirit into matter. That is in His power. The rascals and fools, when Krsna appears in His own body, atmamaya, they think it is just like material body, but they do not know that to Krsna there is no such distinction of material and spiritual. Even accepting that He had got a material body, there is no hamperingHe has changed into spiritual body. Otherwise how is it possible, Krsna, He has got material body, now He was seven-years' boy, Krsna is lifting the whole Govardhana Hill? And as much as Krsna desires, "Let this big planet sun float in the air," so is it difficult for Him to lift the whole hill? There is no difficulty at all. That is omnipotency. And those who cannot understand Krsna, avajananti mam mudha [Bg. 9.11], deride Him, "He is a man, therefore these are all stories," they have no idea of Krsna. But we don't take Him as ordinary human being. Therefore He can change anything into anything, matter into spirit, spirit into matter, as He likes. That is His omnipotency. Otherwise what is the meaning of omnipotency?
Syamasundara: Because He is the central monad which controls all monads...
Prabhupada: Yes. Everything. So taking the theory, the central monad and the other monad, the central monad is the cause of it. But he does not believe in the cause.
Syamasundara: No. He believes that God is the cause, the designer of everything.
Prabhupada: Then why does he say there is no cause?
Syamasundara: He says that there is no cause and effect relationship between monads.
Prabhupada: That is not clear. Once he says there is no cause. There is cause. There is no other cause than God. That is definite. The real cause is God.
Syamasundara: His idea is that when the bird landed, the fruit coincidentally fell. There is no cause between the bird and the fruit falling.
Prabhupada: No. We say if Krsna desired, it would not have fallen. Krsna desired it. Krsna desires "Let it fall down"; therefore it falls. That is the cause. Krsna desires that "Let the fruit fall down and the crow fly away."
Syamasundara: He says that God is absolute necessity because He is governed by the law of contradiction, and it is impossible to conceive of not God.
Prabhupada: To God there is no contradiction. That is absolute. Whatever He does, whatever He says, that is absolute. There is no contradiction.
Syamasundara: Because it is impossible to conceive of not God. In other words, God is absolutely necessary because to conceive not-God is impossible.
Prabhupada: That is artificial. The atheists say there is no God, so God is there, but he refuses to accept. Otherwise why does he say there is no God? The idea of God is there, but he refuses to accept. And unless God is there, wherefrom the idea is coming? The atheist... God is there, but he is refusing to accept. Just like the impersonalist: unless you have got personal understanding, how will you try to make it impersonal? The first is personal. You try to make it impersonal.
Syamasundara: Otherwise where does the impersonal idea come from?
Prabhupada: Yes. That is out of frustration. We see so many things, personal, varieties, but they are not giving us satisfaction; therefore we are thinking in a negative way, impersonal. But the person is first.
Syamasundara: He says that men, because they are...
Prabhupada: The atheist demons are like that. If he exists to accept God, then he cannot work irresponsibly. To facilitate his sinful activities he is denying that there is a God.
Syamasundara: He says that God is an absolute necessity because we cannot conceive not-God. But man, individual men, are relative truths because they are not absolutely necessary. Because I can conceive that I am not here, that I may die. So he says that we are conditioned, that men are conditioned. They are governed by the principle of sufficient (indistinct).
Prabhupada: That we can see. There are so many politicians, they are very busy. They think that "If I do not remain in the state, everything will collapse." But when he dies, everything goes on nicely without him. That is maya. So many politicians work so hard, up to the last point of his death he is thinking that "Without me, everything will be topsy turvy." But he dies in spite of his not willing to die. He dies, but things go on without depending on him. Therefore God's will is working, the Supreme Will. You may think so many waysthat is a different thing. Actually God's will is working.
Syamasundara: He says that men are all dependent upon another being for their existence. They are contingent.
Prabhupada: They are dependent... (breakcontinues next day)
Syamasundara: He says that the world could have been otherwise if God desired, but that He chose this particular arrangement, and from the standpoint of its ingredients, this is the best possible world.
Prabhupada: Yes. God can do anything He likes, but this world is planned not by God; it is given to the living entities who wanted to imitate God. So actually, the plan is according to the desire of the living entities who wanted to lord it over the material nature. God's plan is not this. It is exactly like the prison house is planned by the government because there are criminals. God's plan is "Come back home, giving everything up." Tyaktva deham punar iti mam eti. His plan is to invite all the conditioned souls back to home, back to Godhead. He doesn't like the living entities to live here. But because they wanted to lord it over the material nature, they have been given that facility.
Syamasundara: So from the standpoint of the ingredients of this world, material ingredients, is this the best possible world with those ingredients?
Prabhupada: No. The spiritual world. There are spiritual ingredients.
Syamasundara: I mean this world, just this earth planet. Given the ingredients of the earth planet...
Prabhupada: This planet is not a very good planet. There are many other planets thousands of times better. The more you go higher planetary systems, the comforts and amenities are a thousand times better, one after another. The next planetary system is a thousand times better than this planetary system, and the next planetary system a thousand times better than that. Similarly, the standard of life, duration of life, they are bigger. Therefore at the end, Brahmaloka, it is stated that twelve hours of the day of Brahma is incalculable by us. Immediately in the higher planets, suppose if one goes to the moon planet, he gets immediately ten thousand years duration of life, and their year, our six months is equal to their one day. Such years. So there are better, more comfortable situations than here in the higher planetary systems.
Syamasundara: Leibnitz, his point of view is that he accepts the conditions of this material world as being all right. They are the best we can hope for, the best of a bad bargain.
Prabhupada: But Bhagavad-gita says that it is the place for miseries only. Krsna says, duhkhalayam asasvatam [Bg. 8.15]. It is a place simply for suffering, and that also we cannot stay for a long time. Even if you agree to stay in this uncomfortable situation of life, still you will not be allowed; you have to change this place, change this body, that may go higher or lower. Therefore this life, the material life, is on the whole miserable. There is no question of any happiness.
Syamasundara: He says that because God has freedom of will, God decided it would be best to give man such freedom of will.
Prabhupada: Yes. Because every living entity is part and parcel of God, although very minute portion, similarly proportionately, he has minute proportion of freedom of will. Not absolute. That is natural. Every man has got a little freedom of will, but it is not absolute. A man cannot will as he likes. That is not possible. Therefore it is said, "Man proposes; God disposes." Although the freedom of will is there, it is subordinate to the freedom of will of God. You cannot fulfill your desire unless it is sanctioned and approved by God.
Syamasundara: He says that the fact that there is more good than evil in this world justifies its creation.
Prabhupada: Well, good and evil is according to his angle of vision. A devotee sees in this material world everything is good. Visva purnam sukhaya. People are complaining they are in distressed condition, but a devotee sees that there is no distressed condition, that it is all happy condition, because he lives with Krsna, he dovetails everything with Krsna, he dovetails himself also with Krsna. Therefore for him there is no misery.
Syamasundara: He says that if it would not have been worth creating, that God would not have created the world. The fact that He created it makes it worth creating.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is stated in the Vedas: purnam idam [Isopanisad, Invocation]. The creator is complete, and the creation is also complete. Purnat purnam udacyate. Nothing can come out incomplete which is created by the complete. So in that sense, everything wanted in this world, the arrangement is there, complete.
Syamasundara: He says that although some schools of philosophy, especially in Britain, said that the mind is a blank slate at the time of birth, Leibnitz defended the fact that there are necessary truths which are implanted in the mind before birth. These are innate truths, like mathematical truths. There are certain necessary truths that a person is born with, that he can understand, being implanted in his mind, just like mathematical proofs, "Two plus two is equal to four"that is a necessary truth with which a person is born.
Prabhupada: Yes. That truth is devotion. Everyone wants to be devoted to somebody else. And because such devotion is misplaced, he becomes unhappy. When that devotional spirit will be rendered to the Supreme Person, then he will be happy. But the devotional spirit is there.
Syamasundara: Everyone is born with this?
Prabhupada: Yes. Just like this child, he was asked to obey, immediately he offered obeisances. So this is devotion. Every politician, everyone has got some followers. That means the devotional spirit is there. Even a rogue, dacoit, plunderer, he has got also some follower, and one could not follow others without devotional spirit. Is it not? Therefore this devotional spirit is innate in everything. That is truth.
Syamasundara: Is this the only necessary truth that one is born with, or are there others?
Prabhupada: This is the prime truth. The method of devotional service and other ideas, they are included, but the basic principle is devotional service.
Syamasundara: For instance, Leibnitz says that concepts of mathematics are necessary truths, like "Two plus two is equal to four." Someone is born with that knowledge.
Prabhupada: So this is also mathematical truth. Because even the aborigines, they also offer obeisances to thunderbolt. As soon as there is some sound of thunderbolt, or as soon as there is earthquake, they offer obeisancesany big natural phenomena. That means the devotion is there, but that devotional service is misplaces so long as one does not reach God.
Syamasundara: Leibnitz states that there is nothing in the intellect which was not previously in the senses except the intellect itself. In other words, all of our knowledge comes through our senses except the fact...
Prabhupada: And it is banked in the intellect. That is a fact. That is permanent. Therefore even if we change our body, still we can find out our means of living by that inherent intellect. That is advertised as intuition. But this intuition is previous experience only. (end)

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

If you Love Me Distribute My Books -- Srila Prabhupada