Henri Bergson
Syamasundara: So Henri Bergson, his philosophy is called vitalism. He believes that there is a life force which is separate from the laws of physics and chemistry. Darwin thought that the life force was made up of physics and chemistry, but he said no, the life force is separate from Darwin's mechanical laws, and that science will never be able to adequately explain what is life, the source of life.
Prabhupada: That's nice. It is soul. He's learning of soul. But he is unable to capture the..., positively. But the soul is not controlled by the physical laws. That is described in the Bhagavad-gita. What does He say?
It is in the Second Chapter.
nainam chindanti sastrani
nainam dahati pavakah
na cainam kledayanty apo
na sosayati marutah
[Bg. 2.23]
Prabhupada: What is the translation?
Pradyumna: "The soul can never be cut into pieces by any weapon, nor can he be burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind."
Prabhupada: What is the purport?
Syamasundara: "All kinds of weapons, swords, flames, rains, tornadoes, etc., are unable to kill the spirit soul. It appears that there were many kinds of weapons made of earth, water, air, ether, etc., in addition to the modern weapons of fire. Even the nuclear weapons of the modern age are classified as fire weapons, but formerly there were other weapons made of all different types of material elements. Firearms were counteracted by water weapons, which are now unknown to modern science. Nor do modern scientists have knowledge of tornado weapons. Nonetheless, the soul can never be cut into pieces nor annihilated by any number of weapons, regardless of scientific devices. Nor was it ever possible to cut the individual souls from the original Soul. The Mayavadi, however, cannot describe how the individual soul evolved from ignorance and consequently became covered by illusory energy. Because they are atomic individual souls (sanatana) eternally, they are prone to be covered by the illusory energy, and thus they become separated from the association of the Supreme Lord..."
Prabhupada: The vital source of the soul can be temporarily covered by physical elements, but it is not belonging to the group of physical elements. That is our system.
Syamasundara: And he says that reason is only to explain the life process because reason is not...
Prabhupada: Reason explain... He cannot explain because he does not know. The soul is a living force, and it has got little independence. So the supreme living force is God, and he is part and parcel of God, exactly like the spark of the whole fire. So this song, he has finished, bhuliya tomare samsare. So as soon as the soul receives his independence from (indistinct) become God Himself or wants to become enjoyer of the material nature, he becomes powerless, and he is subjected to the influence (indistinct) by the physical elements, and because he forgets his real identity, he thinks that he is body. Just like Darwin's theory. He is not this body. It is simply, circumstantially, a covering, a dress, and the living soul is different from the physical body.
Syamasundara: He says that since the reality is a living force, it is always becoming something else; therefore logical explanations or scientific explanations are ineffective because they deal with static problems.
Prabhupada: Yes. The so-called scientists, they do not know the real, basic principle; therefore they are misled. Actually the soul, the living force, because they are getting independence and has to, wants to enjoy the material world, which he cannot do, but falsely, after life (indistinct), he is running after (indistinct) material nature, and he is becoming more and more (indistinct). That is his (indistinct).
Syamasundara: When science tries to investigate something, they assume that what they are investigating is static, that it is a constant, that it is not changing, that it's static, mechanical. But the life force, he says, is dynamic; it's always changing, unpredictable.
Prabhupada: Yes. Because it is living force, it must be dynamic. It is not a dead stone. Because it is living force, it must be dynamic. We are all living force, sitting here, we may sit down or we may go away. That nobody can check. Similarly, we are dynamic forces, and God does not interfere with our dynamic force. He allows us, "Do whatever you like." Because if He interferes with our independence, then we are no longer living entities; we become dead stones. So God does not interfere. He gives us full freedom. But at the same time He comes down and instructs us, "But why you are engaged in this foolish activity? Please come to Me, back to home, back to Godhead, (indistinct)."
Syamasundara: So if he says that the physical world...
Lilavati: Does that mean that the spiritual body changes, Prabhupada?
Prabhupada: Not spiritual body, material body. Spiritual body cannot be changed.
Syamasundara: No. We're not talking about bodies, we're talking about the life force.
Prabhupada: Life force means that the spirit soul has got spiritual body. That I have explained several times. Just like you have got this body. When you cut your coat, it is according to the body. Because we have hands, legs, therefore it is to be understood that this dress is made according to that real body. So originally the spirit soul has got body, so these physical elements are just like a covering, exactly to the size of the hands, legs, everything.
Syamasundara: He says that this life form is unpredictable, that it's always creating new things, new manifestations.
Prabhupada: Yes. It is creating new things in the material phenomena. Otherwise how he is spiritually situated, there is no such changes. The only one business is to serve Krsna, although when we satisfy Krsna there are many varieties. That is spiritual varieties. At the present moment, because He is lover of varieties, we are creating this material (indistinct), varieties of body, and this is subjected to threefold miseries and difficulties—birth, death, old age, disease. So, so long we are materially entrapped, our so-called (indistinct) force is creating troubles. We are becoming more and more entangled.
Syamasundara: But can we ever predict the movement of the life force, the dynamic force...?
Prabhupada: Yes. This (indistinct), called varieties of (indistinct).
Syamasundara: But can we predict, can we tell in advance what there will be, what is the future?
Prabhupada: The future is to go back to home, back to Godhead. That is the ultimate future. But because he's not intelligent, he has to be kicked on his face very strongly by the (indistinct). That is the foolish man. And if one is intelligent, he can tell immediately, "Oh, my duty is to serve Krsna." That's all. "Why I am trying to serve my senses?" But to come to this platform, this understanding that "I am eternal servant of God. My business is to serve Krsna," it requires (indistinct); therefore the maya is there. Just like police force. The police force is there after the criminal, just to teach him that "You cannot (indistinct) the laws of the state. When you are under our supervision, and we shall simply kick on your face, that is our business." So maya is always kicking on the face, and (s)he is creating varieties, that's all. This is called conditional life.
Syamasundara: So that much is predictable, that for...
Prabhupada: You can see it is not predictable, it is actually happening. Everyone is trying to be happy, but he is being frustrated. Everyone can see. They are manufacturing different ways of material happiness but becoming frustrated. This is maya's kicking. There is no question of prediction. Any man who has got a little intelligence, he can see.
Syamasundara: So someone can understand, someone can know what the life force is going to do in the future, how it will manifest itself in the future?
Prabhupada: The future, because he is eternally servant of God, so now he has forgotten. He wants to become master, and the material nature is kicking him, life after life. So one day he'll come to his senses and become again, renovate himself to become servant of God.
Syamasundara: So we can predict that everyone will...
Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Everyone will be. Somebody sooner, somebody later.
Syamasundara: So that the purpose of the life force then is to eventually go back...
Prabhupada: Just like when a man becomes a prisoner, he will be freed, he'll be a free man at the end of his term, and within this term he is simply kicked by the police, so that he may not come back again to prison house.
Syamasundara: But we can't predict that the process of punishment will have permanent effect, can we? Can we predict that? Many prisoners leave the prison, but some come back.
Prabhupada: No, there is no permanent effect because we have got little independence. There is nothing as permanent. You can misuse your independence at any time.
Syamasundara: And come back.
Prabhupada: Yes. Otherwise there is no meaning of independence. Independence means you can do this, you can do that. "All right. Whatever you like."
Syamasundara: His conception of the soul, which he calls elan vital in French language, means the vital impulse.
Prabhupada: Yes. Vital..., this is living force, vital force. (indistinct), it is never addressed. God has (indistinct) for the mind, for the intelligence, for the body, God has (indistinct).
Syamasundara: Is it (indistinct) in the same quantity in every body, in every living body?
Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. Same quantity. The same measurement: one ten-thousandth part of the tip of the hair.
Syamasundara: I mean the energy, the amount of energy.
Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. That much, that spiritual energy is everywhere, in the ant or in the elephant.
Atreya Rsi: Prabhupada, you mentioned the size of the soul, and this size seems to connote a physical size. Now, my question is: in the spiritual world, size, it seems that it is a material concept, it is a relative thing, distance...
Prabhupada: Material size and spiritual size is not the same. Spiritual size is permanent; material size is changing.
Atreya Rsi: In other words, how could you measure the spiritual phenomenon with something like one-thousandth of the tip of the hair? Hair is material.
Prabhupada: No. Because you have no spiritual vision, therefore you have to be understood by material example.
Atreya Rsi: That's an example.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Atreya Rsi: And also Syamasundara Prabhu was asking about predicting about spiritual life. What is the qualification of the person who can make such predictions?
Prabhupada: He must be Krsna's representative, one who knows Krsna. That's all.
Atreya Rsi: No one else.
Prabhupada: No. If he does not know Krsna, how he can explain?
Devotee: That independence, if he exercises that independence from now on, forever, Krsna knows exactly how that independence is going to be used forever?
Prabhupada: Krsna?
Devotee: Well, the living entity has independence: now he may be liberated, then he may be conditioned, then he may be liberated, then he may be conditioned.
Prabhupada: No. Krsna has given you liberation. Now you misuse your liberation, you become entrapped.
Syamasundara: But it is that predictable?
Devotee: Is that known beforehand?
Syamasundara: Does Krsna know beforehand everything, before...?
Prabhupada: No. How Krsna can know? You can change your mind. So Krsna says "Surrender unto Me." If you don't surrender, then what Krsna can do? That much independence is there.
Syamasundara: So even God cannot predict?
Prabhupada: What is the use of prediction? Prediction is so much, that he will be kicked, kicked, kicked, and some day he will come.
Devotee: But the independence...
Prabhupada: Independence is there. Independence is always there. When he is being kicked, there is also independence.
Devotee: Then he is so many times falling down, again and again, eventually permanently he will come back.
Prabhupada: No. There is no question of permanent. Because he has got independence, he can misuse his independence, he can fall down. That's why one man is released from the prison house, that does not mean permanently he... He can come back again.
Syamasundara: There's no guarantee.
Atreya Rsi: This concept of prediction, Prabhupada. You just said it's the duty of the material (indistinct) because he's (indistinct) material. Because he's not sure and...
Prabhupada: (indistinct) by experience (indistinct). Just like you can predict that four months after, there will be winter season. This prediction is like that. You have got experience that last year there was winter season, and again four months after there will be winter season. We call this prediction of experience, that's all.
Atreya Rsi: In the spiritual world everything is permanent.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Atreya Rsi: There is no need for making predictions all the time.
Prabhupada: No. Why there is? Prediction means when there is something wanting. There is no want at all.
Devotee: Once he's liberated, can he (indistinct)?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Devotee: (indistinct) Krsna conscious (indistinct)
Prabhupada: No. That is the general law. But if he likes, he can come back. Because otherwise, what is the meaning of independence? Just like one should become fit in the prison house, naturally he should not go again. But (indistinct) running again kicking, that's all.
Lilavati: So those eternally liberated souls in the spiritual sky will never come here because they choose not to. It's not that... (indistinct) they never choose to come here.
Prabhupada: Yes, yes. They never choose. They are very experienced. (laughter)
Syamasundara: Bergson says that this quality of the soul can only be perceived by man's intuition, not by his senses, but by his intuition.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is nice. Soul cannot be experienced by senses, but we can understand when there is a dead man, we can perceive that there was soul, which is now absent; therefore the body is dead. This is called perception.
Syamasundara: The dictionary defines intuition as "immediate apprehension by the mind without any reasoning."
Prabhupada: That is experience. That is experience. Intuition means mature experience. Just like when as soon as there is mosquito, my hand immediately sees. You can say it is intuition, but it is experience, that when there is mosquito my hand must go there and try to kill him. But the experience is so mature that without consideration the hand goes.
Syamasundara: Like instinct?
Prabhupada: That is instinct, or intuition, or whatever you call it.
Devotee: Just like in the Bhagavad-gita it explains that a yogi in this life means that in his last life (sic), but in this life it may look like he has intuition towards yoga, but actually...
Prabhupada: Because he has got experience.
Syamasundara: Just like in mathematics they use the concept of intuition a lot, that...
Prabhupada: A big mathametician, suppose there is a big addition, sum, and one experienced mathematician, he can simply... Sometimes there is some difference. You know that? Generally we have some (indistinct). Is it not? But there are many experienced (indistinct) immediately (indistinct). That is experience.
Devotee: The concept of intuition...
Prabhupada: (indistinct)
Devotee: (indistinct)
Prabhupada: This is not intuition, this is experience.
Devotee: Tuition(?) means experience.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Devotee: Or they use another word, "insight." There is one (indistinct) to apprehend something immediately, see into it without any reasoning. They think of it in another sense.
Prabhupada: That is also true. Just like a child does not know that by touching the fire, his hand will be burnt. His father says, "No, no, no. Don't touch this." He has got experience; the child hasn't got experience. That's all.
Devotee: Suppose if there are two people, and if you try to teach them mathematics, one person learns very quickly and one person doesn't learn it.
Prabhupada: That varieties are always there. Impersonalists, they do not want to see the variety, but we know in everything there is variety. One man is learning (indistinct) and another man is learning very quickly—these are the varieties. But the process is the same.
Devotee: (indistinct)
Prabhupada: Yes. Whatever it may be, but there must be some cause. (indistinct) the variety, these varieties are existing everywhere.
Syamasundara: He says that the life impulse moves through the universe, creates ever newer forms or varieties, just like an artist creates different paintings. But he says that that painting the artist creates becomes better than the previous one.
Prabhupada: Yes, that you can say, evolution. That is evolution. Similarly, this living force is also coming through 8,400,000 species of life, so the next one is better than the last one. In this way they come to the human form, and from this human form they can become demigods or they can become as good as God. Just like Brahma, Brahma is also a living entity. He is not in the Visnu category, but still, Brahma's power, he can create this universe. God can create many universes, but he can create at least one universe. So it is not less powerful.
Syamasundara: He says that evolution through the past history has moved in three stages so far. He says that the first stage of evolution was instinct. The second stage of evolution was intelligence. And now man has moved into the realm of intuition, which is higher than both.
Prabhupada: Then he agrees that from the lowest stage he has come to the higher?
Syamasundara: But you said instinct and intuition were the same thing.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: His description is that instinct is lower because it's almost blind.
Prabhupada: Belonging to the same category, that's all. One is little superior than the other.
Atreya Rsi: What is realization, Prabhupada? Realization belongs to the same category?
Prabhupada: No. Realization means when you come to the truth.
Atreya Rsi: Bergson is using the word "insight" in the same way as "realization."
Prabhupada: No. Insight is not realization. Insight may be the beginning of realization.
Syamasundara: Understanding something. He says that insight or understanding something by intuition is higher than understanding something by the intelligence.
Prabhupada: (indistinct) (pause)
Devotee: (indistinct) the understanding, understand Bhagavad-gita by our intelligence, (indistinct).
Devotee: (indistinct)
Syamasundara: With the creative process advancement in ever higher levels up into the level of immortality.
Prabhupada: Yes. You are getting different types of body, and when you are properly or perfectly Krsna conscious, then no more this material body; you get spiritual body.
Devotee: Does that mean that I am, if I don't make it to immortality, I (indistinct)?
Syamasundara: No. The life force is eternal but it advances to higher and higher levels.
Devotee: It's eternal, but I don't realize its eternality (indistinct).
Syamasundara: No. The forms. The life force itself is eternal but the forms will change up to the stage of immortality.
Prabhupada: Material forms have changed. The living force has not. The same example: the living force is there, the forms babyhood to childhood, childhood to boyhood, boyhood to youthhood, the form is changed, but the person whose bodies have been changed, he is permanent, he is spiritual, he is not changed. But when he identifies with the body, he thinks that "I am changed." The example is, just like in the rainy season, at night there is cloud, and the cloud is moving, but if you see, you see the moon is moving, moon is moving. But actually the moon is not moving, the cloud is moving. You have any experience?
Syamasundara: Yes, we have.
Prabhupada: You find the moon is moving like anything. Spirit soul (indistinct) is not moving.
Syamasundara: Is this progress toward human immortality, is that a creative process?
Prabhupada: What do you mean by creative process? This is not creative.
Devotee: Well, Bergson's idea of creative means we are creating our immortality.
Prabhupada: No. You are immortal always, by constitution, but you are changing your bodies exactly like the moon is fixed but the bodies are changing, clouds, changing, and it appears that the moon is also going on, but moon is not going on. Similarly, soul is permanent.
Syamasundara: Is that process we take, from body to body to body, is that a creative process?
Prabhupada: Yes, yes. You create your own body, next body, as you desire. If you create your mentality like a dog, you get a body of a dog; if you create your mentality like a hog, you get a body of hog; if you create your mentality like a tree, then you become a tree; and if you create your mentality as servant of God, you go back to home, to Krsna.
Atreya Rsi: Has Bergson recognized that we may fall also, or does he think that we are constantly moving up?
Syamasundara: He says it's unpredictable, that the life force...
Prabhupada: He does not know. At the present moment I am fallen, so even if I go to my original position, there is chance of again falling down. Otherwise, how I became fallen? Just like a child once falls and again stands up, he has got chance of again falling down. You cannot say, "Now he has stood up, he'll not fall again." That is not possible.
Devotee: The different kinds of bodies, they're just different phases of the illusion, because the real, spiritual body is always the same, it's not changing.
Prabhupada: Yes. This is called sanatana, eternal.
Atreya Rsi: But Prabhupada, the process of realization, the process of reaching up to perfection, is the only creative process.
Prabhupada: [break] You are creating disturbance, I say, "Get out." (indistinct)
Syamasundara: He says that the world is a machine for the making of gods. The world...
Prabhupada: Another nonsense. Another nonsense. (indistinct) Uncover it. (Sanskrit). A rascal is beautiful so long as he does not speak. If he remains silent, then he looks very beautiful. But as soon as he speaks nonsense, then it is (indistinct).
Syamasundara: He means it, in a sense that it's a training ground, the world is a training ground... [break] ... to make ourselves... [break]
Prabhupada: ...will not die. But you have forgotten that you are eternal. Atma-mayam rte rajan parasya..., what is that?
Devotee: Parasyanubhavatmanah.
Prabhupada: Explain that verse. Atma-mayam rte rajan parasyanubhavatmanah, na ghateta...
Devotee: Na ghatetartha-sambandhah...
Prabhupada: ...artha-sambandhah svapna-drastur ivanjasa. Actually there is no bewilderment (indistinct) spirit. I am eternal spirit soul, eternal servant. Just like the (indistinct) but it is somehow or other (indistinct) for a time it is covered by the clouds it appears moving. [break] Actually it is not moving. (indistinct) we see that the moon is moving. So we are spirit soul eternally. Just like I am lying down on my bed, bit I am dreaming I have gone to Pacific Ocean and being drowned and so many things, you have come to save me, and so many troublesome things. But actually there is no Pacific Ocean, nothing of the sort. It is simply my dream. So this temporary covering of the body is just like a dream. As soon as you come to Krsna consciousness, everything is finished.
Devotee: In the dream, they are also suffering. So in the same way it is actually happening in a subtle form in your dreams. It is actually happening.
Prabhupada: Yes, and it has no actual value, but when it is happening and I am under dream, I am thinking it is all actual. Actually it has no value. Therefore it is called maya. Maya means which has no real existence, but it appears.
Syamasundara: Last night you said that what is the meaning of the word "nothing." That maya means "nothing"?
Prabhupada: You can say like that. Nothing is appearing like something. But we don't say nothing. The Mayavadi philosophers, they say nothing. We say temporary, just like cloud, you cannot say it is nothing.
Devotee: "Not this."
Prabhupada: Like cloud. Cloud has appeared and it will go; therefore you can say it is nothing. But we say it is not nothing, but it is temporary.
Syamasundara: "That which is not." You said that maya is "that which is not."
Prabhupada: No. That which is not, but as you are seeing it is not that.
Syamasundara: Oh, as soon as you see it, it changes.
Prabhupada: Yes. Just like you are thinking that "I am this body." Most people, all people, they think "I am this body." That is not.
Devotee: The body is there, it's just not...
Prabhupada: Temporary. Temporary, for a few years, for a few hours, for few minutes, that's all. Therefore we cannot say "nothing." The exact word is "temporary." What is that? You wanted to speak something?
Devotee: I was just curious about dreams. Sometimes (indistinct).
Prabhupada: These are false.
Devotee: Did you say once that sometimes Krsna will let you work off some of your karma in a dream (indistinct)?
Prabhupada: So whatever it may be, that is all temporary.
Devotee: Just like Bergson, his idea of the (indistinct) of immortality, does that mean (indistinct), scientific, technological revolution.
Syamasundara: Yes, I think so. His idea is that evolution, as it passes through different bodies, the life force, and that eventually on this planet, man will become immortal.
Prabhupada: That is another nonsense.
Syamasundara: That life forms are improving more and more and and more, until some day they'll improve to be perfect.
Prabhupada: After (indistinct), they are living sixty years, and they think (indistinct) sixty years (indistinct). Here in this material, either sixty years or hundred sixty years or millions of sixty years or trillions of sixty years (indistinct). One who is living for sixty years, for him millions of years means immortal.
Syamasundara: So we took up here on the tape. We already have the rest of this on tape. So should we finish for today?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Atreya Rsi: Prabhupada, I have another question about... There are certain scientists, who through speculative knowledge, they have acquired some little bit of knowledge through speculation. My question is, Prabhupada, that yes, maybe through speculation we can get knowledge, some knowledge, but isn't it, as Krsna says that He is the source of all knowledge and there is no way to get to any knowledge except through His representative, that that, for example, if Bergson comes to the knowledge, even though he did not accept a spiritual master or a prophet, he acquired it because that knowledge was made available to him through some other way. In other words...
Prabhupada: How he takes the knowledge, if it comes..., does not come to the final conclusion? That kind of knowledge anyone can get. It does not need a philosophy. To some extent.
Atreya Rsi: But knowledge of God, knowledge of soul...
Prabhupada: Yes. That is real knowledge.
Atreya Rsi: Real knowledge. Can one, purely speculatively, can one...
Prabhupada: No. Otherwise the Vedas would not have asked you, tad vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet [MU 1.2.12], that in order to learn that transcendental science one must approach a guru.
Atreya Rsi: So when we see a speculator having some knowledge, some real knowledge...
Prabhupada: Not real knowledge.
Atreya Rsi: But some. Maybe some speculator will say, "Yes. I am convinced there is God." He heard that from either, for example, he heard it in his own culture or somewhere indirectly he heard it from God. He didn't make that up. Is that the conclusion?
Syamasundara: You mean by intuition can we understand.
Prabhupada: Yes. One can understand. It is very easy. That I explained in the meeting, that we see, that any way you take, I have got my father, my father has got father, his father, his father, his father—so there must be some original father. That is supreme father. Another way: I don't find myself free. I am in American state, so I have to submit report to the immigration department. Or you, American citizens, you have got some obligation to the state: the draft man is there, calling you; if you don't go then you have to go to jail. So nobody is control-free; everyone is being controlled. Again, I see that the man who is controlling me, he is also controlled, and that man is also controlled, that man is... So here you see relative—I am controller and controlled. So when I approach the person who is simply controller, not controlled, that is God. How can you deny this definition of God? Simply (indistinct). Here by our experience we see, everyone is rejecting the controller and controlled. But if you can find out the Supreme Person, who is controller but not controlled, then He is God. Find out. Now, if i say that it is beyond my capacity, so go to experienced man, Brahma. He has got duration life a million times greater than you, and he got knowledge. He said,
Sarva-karana. Krsna also said, mattah parataram nanyat kincit asti dhananjaya: [Bg. 7.7] "There is no more superior." (indistinct) Brahma said, "He's God." Now Sridhara said, "He's God." My Guru Maharaja said, "He's God," and Caitanya says, "He's God." Then where shall I go? (indistinct) God. (indistinct) rascal, God? Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. I shall accept the path of the great (indistinct).
Devotee: (indistinct) this thirteen year old god (indistinct). Then you ask them, "Who says he is God?" They really don't know what to say.
Syamasundara: We asked him in Bombay, "Are you God? Are you Krsna?" And he laughed and said, "I never say I am God, but my disciples feel."
Prabhupada: He did not want to be (indistinct). So why does he not stop his disciples to speak like that?
Syamasundara: He enjoys it. He enjoys being flattered. His followers are a bunch of shaggy hippies, so who respects their judgment? [break] So Bergson wants to search out what is the pattern of evolution, how it will go in the future, and he says that because men have progressed from the (indistinct).
Prabhupada: (indistinct)
Syamasundara: Since you know beforehand everything before (indistinct).
Prabhupada: You can change your mind. Therefore Krsna says (indistinct). That is explained in the Bhagavatam... [break] ...progress, why do you talk of these things? What do you think, eh? That is explained in the Bhagavatam: andha yathandair upaniyamanas. Andha. One blind man is trying to lead another blind man. So what is the use of such leading? You must have eyes, then you can ask other hundreds of blind men, "Please come behind me, I shall get you across." But if you have no eyes, then why you are asking others, philosophizing?
Syamasundara: It seems like these two philosophers have two different viewpoints. The first one, Huxley thinks that man can take nature into his own hands and mold his own evolution.
Prabhupada: That is nonsense.
Syamasundara: Whereas this philosopher thinks that we should just..., that the vital force is guiding everyone and is creating its own evolution, that we should just drift in the course of things and the vital force will determine history or will determine our future.
Prabhupada: Yes. Vital force will determine. That is somewhat...
Syamasundara: Without our doing—without anything of our own doing.
Prabhupada: No. Vital force must know how to make progress, how to do it. Then he'll be... If he does not know how to do it, how it will be possible? Can you do anything... Suppose you are learning some mechanical business, can you do it without direction? You have to learn. You must get a teacher. So, without teacher, that is not possible.
Syamasundara: Just like the seasons. We just place ourselves in the seasons, take us towards something, towards springtime. [break] Yes. So the other type of morality he calls "open morality." This is determined by individuals, in a dynamic way. You blaze new trails guided by...
Prabhupada: As soon as it is invented by individual men or society, this is all rascaldom. It has no value.
Syamasundara: He calls it the higher morality. Just like St. Paul or some great saint receives inspiration from God, and he blazes a new trail to morality in the society.
Prabhupada: That is nice. Because he is God conscious, he can dictate what is real morality.
Syamasundara: He is speaking in this case of St. Paul.
Prabhupada: So St. Paul, he is a sadhu. So our process is that sadhu, guru, sastra. We have to accept everything through saintly persons, confirmed by the scripture, and described or explained by guru. Then it is perfect. The scriptures are already there, and we have to see how the scriptures are being followed by saintly persons. And if there is any difficulties, they should be explained by the spiritual master. Then it is confirmed: sadhu-sastra-guru vakya (cittete koriya aikya). Scriptures you cannot understand directly. Then you have to see how the scriptural injunctions are being followed by saintly persons. Even if you cannot understand, then the spiritual master will explain to you.
Syamasundara: And he sees also in the same way two types of religion. He sees the static religion and calls this... Static religion: myths devised by human intelligence as a means of defense against the depressing experiences of life. He says that being fearful of the future, man attempts to combat his fate by constructing religious myths. [break] ...mythology...
Prabhupada: Well, that I have already answered. Anything manufactured by man, that is not religion. That is not religion. That I have already answered. Religion is not manufactured, but it is given by God. That is our point, that God is giving religion, "Here is religion: surrender unto Me." So any religious system may be different in method, but ultimately if it comes to this point, (surrendering to God), then it is religion. Otherwise it is not religion; reject it.
Syamasundara: He says that prompted by this vital impulse, the human will identifies with the divine will in a mystical union...
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: ... and that this is real religion.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is our Krsna consciousness. We are teaching people that you agree with the divine will. The divine will is that you surrender. So you agree to surrender. That we are teaching. That is real religion.
Syamasundara: He says that real religion is a mystic oneness with God.
Prabhupada: Yes. Oneness means that I agree with God. God says that "You surrender," I say, "Yes, I surrender." God says to Arjuna, "You fight," he fights. That is oneness. That we have no disagreement, in any point, with God, that is oneness. Just like in this institution, our Krsna consciousness. When I say anything, there is no disagreement of any of the disciples. It is being done, taking God's representative, Krsna's representative, so similarly with God also. But what I am doing? I am simply taking the order from God, and I am disseminating the same knowledge. I have accepted surrender unto Krsna as my life. I am teaching others, "You also surrender." This is called disciplic succession. There is no disagreement with God. It is not that I am... [break] Yes. That means one who is God conscious, he is a mystic.
Syamasundara: But the modern interpretation of the word mystic is something different. People take mystic to mean someone who is very mysterious and magic.
Prabhupada: Yes. It has come to that. God consciousness... Just like at the present moment if a guru can show some miracles, just like that Sai Baba, so they accept. That's a mystic.
Syamasundara: Yes. That's the modern meaning of mystic.
Prabhupada: Yes. Although it may be rascaldom, false, still if they see like that, miracles... That means less intelligent class of men. They want to see some miracles. That is mysticism.
Syamasundara: And he says that God means love. And the creative..., thus the creative... Through creative love the world came into being, and the world is a manifestation of God's love.
Prabhupada: Yes. God loves. Because, unless He loves, why does He come personally? Why He gives instructions through the scriptures? [break] (end)

Link to this page:

Previous: Charles Darwin     Next: Jeremy Bentham

If you Love Me Distribute My Books -- Srila Prabhupada