DEWEY.SYA
John Dewey
Syamasundara: Today we are discussing the American philosopher John Dewey. Last time we were discussing William James, who is called a pragmatist. His philosophy deals..., believes that practice is better than theory. So this John Dewey is more or less a successor in this same line of philosophizing. He says that practical consequences are the only valid test of truth, and he says that the proof of an idea consists in its being subject to predictable results. The idea is not true unless the results of the idea are predictable.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: He is also...
Prabhupada: That is practical. That is practical. No theoretical knowledge is necessary.
Syamasundara: But do the results of an idea have to be predictable?
Prabhupada: Idea may..., if it is a concocted idea, the result cannot be ascertained. If it is fact, then the result can be predicted.
Syamasundara: He says that the object of inquiry or asking questions is belief; that because we want to believe something we often ask questions in order to find something to believe in. This is the nature of inquiry.
Prabhupada: So that is the Vedanta-sutra: to find out the ultimate cause of everything, the inquiries about the Absolute Truth. So these inquiries should be made to the person who knows; otherwise, what is the use of inquiring? That is the Vedic injunction. If you want to inquire about truth, then you must approach the bona fide spiritual master, guru. Guru means bona fide. But because there are so many pseudo gurus at the present moment, therefore we have to add this word "bona fide." Otherwise, guru means bona fide. One who is not bona fide, he cannot be guru. But people are misled by persons, pseudo or false gurus; therefore you have to add this word "bona fide." Otherwise there is no necessity of adding this word.
Syamasundara: He believes that it is the nature of inquiry itself to want to believe something, even on the small, everyday level. If I want to know who put these flowers here, because I want to believe the truth about these flowers, I ask, I inquire.
Prabhupada: So inquiry means to know the truth. Therefore our inquiry should be made to a person who knows the truth. Otherwise the inquiry has no valid position. Tad vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. That is Vedic injunction. The inquiry should be genuine and the answer should come from a genuine person. Then it is all right.
Syamasundara: He says that the final outcome of inquiry is the fulfillment of human needs by practical action, to change the external environment.
Prabhupada: Yes. A human being, unless he is inquisitive about the Absolute Truth, he is not considered sufficiently developed in human form. Unless this enquiry is there, about self, what I am, he is not considered sufficiently developed in his consciousness. He is still in ignorance.
Syamasundara: But his perspective is that by inquiring, we find out what is wrong with our environment, our external environment.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: And we take practical actions to change that environment and thus fulfill human needs.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is nice. That inquiry will clear everything. If the person is serious, if he inquires what is the aim of human life, then he is supposed to be intelligent. Otherwise, the animals, they cannot inquire what is the aim of life. They are simply eating, sleeping. That's all. But a human being must be inquisitive what is the value of life.
Syamasundara: But is our... Is the result of our inquiry to change the external environment?
Prabhupada: Yes. If you are seriously inquiring and if you know things as they are, then we can change our activities. What we are preaching? That your business is to know Krsna. So if people actually take this movement seriously, then his mode of life will be changed. That is practically happening. All our students, they were leading a certain type of life, and since they have come to Krsna consciousness, their whole program has been changed.
Syamasundara: We have come to the same question we were discussing with Marx: whether changing external environment is prerequisite to improvement or changing the consciousness is prerequisite. And you answered before, in Marx's case, that if we change the consciousness, then the environment becomes changed...
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: ...rather than vice versa. Also, to a certain extent the other way. If we change the environment, the consciousness changes.
Prabhupada: It is the cause and effect. One is the cause of the other; other is the cause of the other. But actually it is the consciousness that requires to be changed—either by hearing from authority or by circumstances. There are two processes to achieve knowledge. This, in Bengali it is said, dekhe sekhara, teke sekhara. When one is actually in an awkward circumstances, that's a fact. So "This kind of way of life is not good. I have to change it." This is called tekhe sekhara. When he is actually in danger, he takes precautions of danger. But one who is intelligent, he understands by hearing that "If you do like that, then you will fall in danger." So that man is intelligent who learns by hearing from the authorities. And one who actually experienced the awkward position, and then he changes his consciousness... That is also one of the processes, but this is better. Therefore our process is to approach the bona fide teacher and learn from him everything. That is brahmacari life. Not by practical experience. That is Vedic knowledge. The experience is already there. You simply hear and take it. Then it becomes easier. But if you expect that "First of all let me fall down into the ditch, then I shall cry..." Better man is, he takes advice, "Don't go there. You'll fall down in the ditch." Just like Kalidasa. Kalidasa was in the beginning he was a great fool. So he was cutting a tree, sitting on the branch. So some intelligent men was going around, "What you are doing, nonsense? You shall fall down." He didn't care, but cutting, he actually fell down. Then, "Oh, you are very intelligent! How did you say? How did you foretold?" Then they saw that he was a first-class fool. So "This boy should be taken to the king's daughter to become her husband." The girl was so intelligent that the challenge was that "Any man who will defeat me in argument, I shall marry." But she was so intelligent that nobody could defeat. So all the learned scholars, the father was asking, "Bring me an intelligent boy to marry her." So they did not find any intelligent boy. Whoever comes, he is defeated. So they decided "Now, because she is so determined to have a very nice husband, we shall make this boy her husband, this fool number one." So they took him there and instructed that "That girl..." and he will show his finger like this. "You'll show this." So he was a fool, so "All right, I'll do that." So when he was brought to the girl, the girl held up one finger and he showed two fingers, and then the all the panditas, "Oh, the answer is given him. Your girl says eka brahma, 'Brahman is one.' " And he immediately answered (indistinct), "There is no two Brahma. Brahman is one." The girl also thought, "Yes, this boy is a genius." So in this way this foolish man was made her husband, and at night, when she came to understand that he was fool number one, she kicked him and asked him, "Get out of my room." So he became very insulted: "My wife has kicked me. I am so fool. So I shall make suicide by drowning in the water." He was crying and remembering the goddess of learning, that "I am so foolish, my dear mother Sarasvati. You did not favor me, so I shall kill myself." With great lamentation he was going to die. At that time, Sarasvati became very kind and she appeared, "Kalidasa, why you are drowning this way?" "My mother, this is my position. I have been insulted by my wife because I am a fool." "All right, from henceforward you shall be very learned." "Oh, but I do not know..." "No, whatever you say, it will be all right." He got this benediction from mother Sarasvati. He came back, then he was knocking the door. The wife said, "Who are you?" He replied, hastigrati vada visesana (?), "Somebody who can speak very learnedly." Then whatever he was replying, he became, by the grace of Sarasvati, he became highly learned scholarly speaking. So Kalidasa, with these four words he wrote four books that is very famous: the Kumara-sambhava. He began with this word hasti, and the word raghu-vamsa kascid. In this way he was (indistinct), and he became very famous by this. Hasti uttarasyandesa himalayanarna naradi rajan uddhva paro toyanidhi balaja stita pratijnan eva mana danda (?). This is the beginning of Kumara-sambhava. Kumara-sambhava means Lord Siva's marriage with the daughter of Himalaya. He begins describing Himalaya: hasti uttarasyandesi himalayanamadira uttare syan dese (?) (indistinct), in the northern side there is a king of mountains known as Himalaya. Somebody interprets it that is Arctic region. Urdhva pare yato nidhi upa rajan (?). North and east, there are two oceans—I think this is Atlantic and Pacific-abagajan-touching-sthita pratijnana eva mana gandha (?)—as the whole (indistinct). In this way he became... He became famous poet by the grace of Sarasvati. In the beginning he was cutting the same branch on the tree on which he was sitting.
Syamasundara: So maybe there is some hope for these philosophers.
Prabhupada: What?
Syamasundara: Maybe there is some hope for these...
Prabhupada: Yes. By the grace of the superior, yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado **, we sing every day. If there is blessings of higher authority, everything can be achieved. There is no doubt.
Syamasundara: He puts forward five steps for solving problems. (aside conversation-indistinct) The first step is, he says, to observe a problem and think of its nature. The second step is intellectualize the problem further: to analyze the total of difficulties. Three, you make hypothesis which constitutes possible solutions. Four, you analyze these hypotheses in the light of past experience. And five, you put these possible solutions into practice experimentally, and to ascertain the results in actual experience. So his method is that... So the idea is that problems are only solved when the possible solutions are put into practice and we experiment and get a result. Then we find solutions to problems. But not simply by theorizing, but by practice.
Prabhupada: Yes. So our process of solving problems is Krsna. Krsna says, kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati [Bg. 9.31]. So we take Krsna's shelter and our problems are solved. As it is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita, yatra yogesvarah krsna. Krsna, He is the reservoir of all mystic power, yogesvara. So Bhakta's business is instead of endeavoring to become a yogi, he takes shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is yogesvara, the master of all mystic power. We take it that this is the solution of our problems. Mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te, instead of... I was reciting the verse from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, balasya neha saranay vicinvam (?). So there are different kinds of methods of solving the problems. The best method is to surrender unto Krsna, and all problems are solved.
Syamasundara: On a social scale as well?
Prabhupada: Yes. Everything. Social scale also.
Syamasundara: His idea is... John Dewey's idea is that...
Prabhupada: Just like on the political scale, the Pandavas took shelter of Krsna. There was a political problem, so it was solved in their favor, in the Pandavas favor. Political means social, political, everything.
Syamasundara: This Dewey's idea is that all sciences must be subservient to human needs.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: So he believes in the social sciences, the educational sciences, that...
Prabhupada: Our educational system is tan manye adhitam uttamam. One who is a devotee and executing the nine different processes of devotional service, sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam [SB 7.5.23], Prahlada Maharaja says, tan manye adhitam uttama, "I think he is first-class scholar. He has studied nicely everything." One who has... Caitanya-caritamrta kaj says also that krsna ye bali sevalacasi (?), unless one is highly intelligent, he cannot take to Krsna consciousness. In the Bhagavad-gita also says, bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan [Bg. 7.19]. After many, many births of experimenting for solving all problems, when he is actually wise, at that time he takes shelter of Krsna, vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma [Bg. 7.19], he's first-class, learned scholar.
Syamasundara: Yes. Dewey's definition of truth is that truth is the means of satisfying human needs and improving social conditions which create problems. So he sees truth as a practical tool...
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: ...to solve social problems.
Prabhupada: Yes. Social problems... We have mismanaged social problems because Krsna is perfect, so whatever He has created, that is perfect. Purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavasisyate, purnat purnam udacyate [Iso Invocation]. So everything is perfect, but because we want to disturb Krsna by disobeying His order, things appear to be imperfect. (aside in Hindi) So if we remain faithful to Krsna, there is no problem. Kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati [Bg. 9.31]. So we are presenting this Krsna consciousness movement as the solution of all problems. Let any intelligent man come and discuss with us, and we think that we shall be able to convince him that this is the only suggestion. (Hindi aside with guest)
Syamasundara: He says that truth is useful and it is public and is objective, and it benefits to society, not merely the individual.
Prabhupada: Yes. That truth people do not know. The Bhagavad-gita gives us information of that truth: na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum [SB 7.5.31]. They do not know that the ultimate truth, ultimate objective is Visnu. Without reference to Visnu they are trying to solve the problems of the world differently. That is not possible.
Syamasundara: How does worship of Visnu solve social problems? Just like in Calcutta there are more social problems than practically anywhere.
Prabhupada: Yes. Visnu... In the Visnu Purana, it is said that varnasrama-dharma. Varnasramacaravata purusena parah puman [Cc. Madhya 8.58]. Any man who executes this varnasrama-dharma, he satisfies Visnu. The varnasrama-dharma is there, and the brahmanas, ksatriyas, the vaisyas, and the sudras. So according as they are prescribed, how the brahmanas should live, how the ksatriyas should live, how the..., then there is no trouble. The whole problem is solved. But they have killed the varnasrama-dharma. They are now all sudras. The sudras, how they can make solutions? Sudras means nonintelligent persons. So what they can do? They are running on democratic government voted by the sudras. So what these rascal sudras will do? They require... Sudras are meant for serving the higher sections—brahmana, ksatriya. And if the sudras are given government... Just like we are seeing, in Africa they have been given independence, but they have not improved. The Englishman is still controlling, the Indians are still controlling. And what is the meaning of their so-called self-ruling? We have seen it, still they are poor, because they are sudras. Sudras have no brain. In America also, the whole America once belonged to the Red Indians. Why they could not improve? The land was there. Why these foreigners, the Europeans, came and improved? So sudras cannot do this. They cannot make any correction. Now people are becoming sudras by so-called education. So they cannot make any solution of the problems. If that daiva varnasrama again established, then the whole problem will be solved. That was the plan of my Guru Maharaja, daiva-varnasrama city. Daiva varnasrama means that it is stated by Krsna, guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. By qualification, by the work, one should be brahmana. By qualification, by work, one should be ksatriya. By qualification, by work, one should be vaisya. By qualification, by work, one should be sudra. When this order is established, that is called varnasrama-dharma. Then Visnu, Lord, will be happy, and He will give us... He is already giving. Eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman. Actually, He's giving us all the necessities of life. But because we are now sudras and devoid of devotional service, so prakrti is controlling the supply. That is the difference. That is stated in connection with Prthu Maharaja. Prthu Maharaja, because there was not enough production, he wanted to kill the prthvi. So he says that "That's all right, but I am controlling because production is meant for performing yajna. These rascals, the demons, they are simply eating. They are not performing yajna. Therefore I am controlling." Saho yajna pratisthita. The whole plan is that the living entities, especially the human beings, they are meant for performing yajna. Yajna means to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu. The Bhagavad-gita also says, yajna-dana-tapah-kriya na tyajam. You cannot give up these three things, even if you are in the renounced order of life. Yajna-dana-tapah-kriya. It is just like our Vaisnava sannyasis, they are performing sankirtana yajna and they are distributing Krsna love. And to keep themselves fit, they are observing the rules and regulations and chanting Hare Krsna. This is yajna-dana-tapah-kriya. Following the rules and regulations and regularly chanting Hare Krsna mantra, that is tapasya. And this is the best dana, charity. Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He was eulogized by Rupa Gosvami: namo maha-vadanyaya krsna-prema-pradaya te [Cc. Madhya 19.53]. "You are the most munificent incarnation because You are giving love of Godhead." So those who are distributing the idea of love of Godhead, they are the best charitably disposed man. So we, we have not given up yajna-dana-tapah. That is not to be renounced. Because a sannyasi is renounced. Renounced means he should renounce his sense gratification, not renounce these things, yajna-dana-tapah.
Syamasundara: So these three items are necessary to solve social...
Prabhupada: Oh, yes!
Syamasundara: So everyone should try...
Prabhupada: For everyone. Especially if..., not everyone. Yajna for the brahmacaris, dana for the householders, grhastha, and tapa for the renounced. Tapasya. If it is not done all, at least these three classes of men should not give up their occupation, yajna-dana-tapas caiva pavanani manisinam. Yajna-dana-tapah-kriya, pavanani manisinam. Even if you think that you are very highly elevated, still, yajna-dana-tapah-kriya is necessary for you. You should not give it up.
Syamasundara: Dewey says that the ethical goals are fulfillment of human needs and desires, that all morality should lead to this goal of fulfillment of human needs and desires.
Prabhupada: The human need is to get out of the clutches of maya. That is the actual need. Janma-marana-moksaya, that is the need. But the modern society, they do not know what is needed. They are making simply plans, uselessly. Srama eva hi kevalam [SB 1.2.8]. Simply laboring hard, they do not know the need. The real need is to get out of the clutches of repetition of birth and death in different forms. But people do not know this. They are simply concocting ideas. Durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah. Durasaya, hopeless, or they are trying to educate something which is impossible. They are making plans to be happy in this material world. And by the United Nations it is impossible. That is not intelligence. He says... We can say in the United Nations clearly that "Your, this attempt will be failure." It is already failure. (aside in Hindi) Harim vina naiva mrtim taranti. What is the solution? You cannot make any solution of this repetition of birth and death, disease and old age. What do you mean by solution? The real problems are there. So they do not know what are the problems, how to solve them. So andha yathandhair upaniyamanas [SB 7.5.31]. Some blind leaders, so-called leaders, they are leading other blind men. This is going on. They do not know what is the aim of life, how to make solutions of the problems. They do not know.
Syamasundara: He says that there must be a continuous probe of human beings in moral sensitivity. In other words, that people must become more and more sensitive to moral values and that there must be practical realization of a better social world.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is Krsna consciousness society, International Society for Krsna Consciousness. Simply come forward and understand. Therefore we have made it society, Krsna conscious society.
Syamasundara: He makes one statement. He says that "The good man is the man who, no matter how morally unworthy he has been, is moving to become something better."
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: "Growth itself is the only moral end."
Prabhupada: Yes. That is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita: api cet su-duracaro bhajate mam ananya-bhak. The devotee, even in the beginning he is found not in order, doing something wrong, still, because he has taken to Krsna consciousness, he is accepted as sadhu. Api cet su-duracaro bhajate mam ananya-bhak, sadhur eva sa mantavyah [Bg. 9.30]. Where one may say that there are so many discrepancies in his life and yet he is doing all right in Krsna consciousness, but he has not corrected his habits, the reply is, ksipram bhavati dharmatma sasvac chantim nigacchati. Because he has taken to Krsna consciousness, all his bad habits will be corrected very soon.
Syamasundara: So that as long as one is improving in his moral nature...
Prabhupada: Yes. This is ultimate moral nature—take to Krsna consciousness, and gradually all moral things will come. Yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah [SB 5.18.12]. All good qualifications will come automatically if he sticks to these four principles—these regulative principles and chanting Hare Krsna, and abiding by the orders of the spiritual master. Then everything will come automatically.
Syamasundara: Moral qualities will follow?
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Syamasundara: It's not that one has to develop them independently?
Prabhupada: No. Automatically it will come. Because the good qualities are already there in the spirit soul, and it is being purified, uncovered by the material contamination. The original cult is coming out. That is Krsna consciousness.
Syamasundara: What does the word "cult" mean?
Prabhupada: Cult means... What do you mean by cult? Cult is an ordinary word.
Syamasundara: I've always thought cult meant something sectarian or...
Prabhupada: Not sectarian. Cult means the natural occupation.
Revatinandana: It usually means... A group with a common interest is usually called a cult. Some group with some common, agreed-upon interest.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is I was explaining this, manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye [Bg. 7.3]. So this Krsna consciousness is not for everyone. It is meant for a certain group. Therefore you can take it as a cult, although it is meant for everyone. But generally we are accepted by the high-class intelligent men. Therefore we can call it cult.
Syamasundara: Same word, "cultivation" or "culture"?
Prabhupada: Yes. Krsnanusilanam. The exact word is krsnanusilanam. Anukulyena krsnanusilanam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. That is cult, cultivation of Krsna consciousness. Favorably. Not Krsna consciousness like Kamsa, always thinking of Krsna, how to kill Him. That is not anukulyena. That is not favorable. But you have to cultivate Krsna consciousness favorably: How Krsna will be satisfied. How Krsna will be pleased. And that is required. This cult is required. Hrsikena-hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir uttamam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. When your senses will be purified and they will be engaged in serving Krsna, satisfying Krsna, that is bhakti. That is Krsna consciousness.
Syamasundara: He says that there is no such thing as absolute good and bad but that each specific situation must be treated individually. There is no absolute good and bad; that each individual situation must be...
Prabhupada: Yes. So that situation means Krsna consciousness. Anything done in Krsna consciousness is good. Anything done not for Krsna's satisfaction, it may be ethically, so-called ethically right—it has no use.
Syamasundara: He says that the greatest good...
Prabhupada: That situation... (indistinct) That situation means Krsna consciousness. In practical life also we see that the soldier's killing, it is supported by the government. The same soldier killing for his personal satisfaction, he is condemned to death.
Syamasundara: He says that the greatest good is the elimination of the greatest evil or the fulfillment of man's greatest needs.
Prabhupada: That's it. We follow that, that the highest objective, the ultimate objective is Krsna, Visnu. So becoming a Vaisnava, the highest perfection of human life is achieved.
Syamasundara: So that greatest need is...
Prabhupada: Krsna consciousness. The greatest need is Krsna consciousness. (Hindi with guest) Krsna consciousness, that is the supreme consciousness. Yes. That is pure consciousness, Krsna. Mamaivamso jiva loke jiva-bhutah sanatanah [Bg. 15.7]. Every living entity is Krsna's part and parcel. He always remembers that "I am part and parcel of Krsna. It is my duty to serve Krsna." This is Krsna consciousness.
Syamasundara: He says that...
Prabhupada: Jivera svarupa haya nitya krsna dasa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. If he remembers always this.
Devotee: Eternal position of the living entity...
Prabhupada: Yes. Then he'll be in Krsna consciousness, perfect consciousness. But they are thinking that "I am Krsna. I am God." That is not Krsna consciousness.
Syamasundara: He says that the choice between good and bad is not made on theoretical grounds, but for reducing specific evils. In other words...
Prabhupada: It is not theoretical that if you accept the universal form of God, then everything within the universe is part and parcel of that form. That is practical.
Syamasundara: But say there...
Prabhupada: Like a big tree, the every leaf, every branch, every twig, every flower is a part and parcel of the whole tree. Similarly, virat-rupa. Apart from Krsna's personal rupa, the virat-rupa as it was manifested before Arjuna, if you take the virat-rupa, the whole universal form of the Lord, then anything within the universe is part and parcel of that virat-rupa, the resulting form.
Syamasundara: So the choice between a good and a bad action should be practiced to reduce evil, not just theoretical. That's his idea. That's his point.
Prabhupada: Yes. No theory. This is practical. Now, as a big machine, the screw is a part, so if every part works nicely, the machine goes nicely. So if we understand... Just like I think last night I was explaining mukha baho rupa divya: the gigantic body, the brahmana class, they are the mouth. So one must do the duty of the mouth. The mouth speaks, vibrates and eats. So our proposition is to chant Hare Krsna mantra and eat Krsna prasadam. Then the mouth duty, the brahmana's duty, is performed. Similarly, the ksatriya's duty—again we come to that varnasrama-dharma. So everyone is factually part and parcel of God and executes his prescribed duty, then it is perfect.
varnasramacaravata
purusena parah puman
visnur aradhyate pumsam
nanyat tat-tosa-karanam
[Cc. Madhya 8.58]
If you want to satisfy the Supreme Lord, then you must execute the functions as they are prescribed in the varnasrama system. Then everything is all right. The same example: If all the parts of a machine is in order, working, it will make no trouble. If one of the screws, I mean, is slack, or it has fallen down, then another part is dislocated, that whole work is stopped. So we should consider in that way, that we are all part and parcel of Krsna. So according to part and parcel, you must execute your duty—as brahmana, as ksatriya, as vaisya, as sudra. And the brahmana being head, he should give the direction. Therefore he is considered the guru of other varnas. But he... Because if there is no head, no brahmana, then the whole thing is disturbed. And that is the position at the present moment. Actually there is no brahmana, or scarcity of brahmana. So others are not guided properly. Therefore there is chaos in the whole society. So we require to create some brahmanas, and others should understand to abide by the direction of the brahmanas. Then the whole society will be in order.
Syamasundara: He says that the world can be made better by man's efforts, but that perfection is not possible.
Prabhupada: No. Yes. In one sense it is all right, because this world is so made that you make it perfect today, again it deteriorates. Therefore in one sense we cannot make it perfect. That is a fact.
Syamasundara: But you can improve it?
Prabhupada: Improve it. Therefore Krsna says, yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati [Bg. 4.7]. Paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam [Bg. 4.8]. So it can be improved, in any bad condition, by... How you can improve? By this Krsna consciousness. As Krsna says, "I am..." [break] Svarupa means adayah. Krsna and Krsna consciousness is the same thing. If you are in Krsna consciousness, that means you are living with Krsna. And if you are living with Krsna, then what is your fear? Just like Arjuna, fighting with Krsna, he had no fear. Similarly, if you live with Krsna and go on with Krsna, then what is your fear?
Syamasundara: What is that quote you said last night in the taxi, padma, padma...
Prabhupada: Padam padam yat vipadam na tesam.
samasrita ye pada-pallava-plavam
mahat-padam punya-yaso murareh
bhavambudhir vatsa-padam param padam
padam padam yad vipadam na tesam
[SB 10.14.58]
Syamasundara: And the purport?
Prabhupada: And the purport is, one who has taken shelter of the lotus feet of Krsna, for him, this ocean of nescience, bhavasamudra, because just like a small pit foot created by the cow's hoof.
Devotee: Footprint.
Prabhupada: And this place wherein there is step by step danger, this is not God's place. That Krsna also says. As soon as he understands Krsna, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]. He immediately becomes eligible to transfer to the spiritual world.
Syamasundara: So actually, we're removing people from danger, from evil, by making them Krsna conscious.
Prabhupada: Certainly.
Syamasundara: So this is a welfare activity.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes. This is best welfare activity in the world. What others can do in comparison to this?
Syamasundara: They may be able to remove some of the temporary dangers...
Prabhupada: Yes. To give some temporary benefit, but again he is fallen.
Syamasundara: Step by step there's danger. When we discussed the utilitarians...
Prabhupada: (indistinct) In Caitanya Mahaprabhu's address, namo maha-vadanyaya. If I give some charity to a needy man, it will serve for a temporary period, but if you give him Krsna-prema, then immediately he'll be transferred to the spiritual world.
Maha-vadanyaya. This is the most munificent path—to distribute Krsna consciousness. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, yare dekha tare kaha krsna: "Whomever you meet, just deliver this message of Krsna." That is best welfare activity in the world.
Syamasundara: When we were discussing the utilitarians, we discussed that their goal was to achieve what was desired by the people, to do whatever was required...
Prabhupada: No. Desired by the people-happiness. But they are trying to give happiness temporary, and we are giving happiness direct. Just like Bhagavata says, yasmad brahma-saukhyam anantam, tapo divyam putraka yena suddhyed sattvam [SB 5.5.1]. Purify your existence, and you'll get perpetual, eternal happiness, bliss. So everyone is working hard for happiness, but how happiness can be attained in diseased condition? So cure the disease and he'll get it eternal. That is... Here is a physician. If you go when there is ailment, if you go to him, "Sir, cure me." "Why?" because it is impediment to happiness. Similarly, the real disease is janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi [Bg. 13.9]. You cure this, then you get real happiness.
Syamasundara: These utilitarians said that activity should be to achieve all that is desired by the people, but Dewey says that activity should be to achieve what is worthy to be desired.
Prabhupada: No, no. First thing is, people are desiring happiness. Whatever one may desire, the ultimate end is happiness. Nobody can deny this. But a diseased fellow, if he thinks that "I am happy," that is false happiness. A diseased man cannot be happy unless the disease is cured. Sometimes we go to a diseased person and ask, "How are you?" "Yes, I am all right." If he is all right, why is he lying down? He is not all right. He is artificially saying that "I am all right." What is this "all right"? Similarly, these foolish people, they are thinking, "I am happy." What is their happiness? If you have to die, then where is your happiness? Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi duhkha-dosanudarsanam. A real intelligent person will see that these are the things which are giving me distress: janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi. So where is the happiness? Foolishly if we accept something as happiness, that is not happiness. Real happiness is when you are free from these four principles of distress: janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi [Bg. 13.9]. Otherwise, where is your happiness? But if you think that "Although I am dying, I am happy," that is another thing, a fool's paradise.
Syamasundara: He says that "Desirable courses of action must meet specifiable conditions which are subject to prediction, and they must be based on judgments of experience." In other words, the desirable courses of action should be chalked out by experience, and they must be predictable.
Prabhupada: Yes. Predictable. Just like we don't want death. So if I get the chance to come to a position not to die, is it not predictable? You don't want to die, and if I say, "You will come to this position, you will not die..."
Syamasundara: Yes. Is there some experience that shows me that that is a predictable result?
Prabhupada: Yes. Experience... You may not have experience, but the superior has got experience. Just like Krsna says, yad gatva na nivartante tad dhamam paramam mama [Bg. 15.6]. He says that "If you come to Me, you will never come back again." Just see. Who can excel Krsna's experience? Vedaham samatitani: [Bg. 7.26] He knows past, present, and future, so you have to take His assertion.
Syamasundara: He says that "Judgments about values are judgments about the conditions and the results of experienced objects, judgments about that which should regulate the formation of our desires, affections and enjoyments." In other words, in order to place a value on something, to judge what is the value of a particular item, that we should base this judgment upon the results of experience. Then we can guide those things which we should enjoy, where our desires should be, where our affections should lie, upon experience.
Prabhupada: That experience we may not have personally, but if you take advice from a person who has got experience, that is as good as my experience. Just like you are going somewhere, you are purchasing a ticket. You have no experience where you are going, or you do not know whether actually you will go, but because others have gone and come by purchasing a ticket, you take advantage of that experience and you purchase a ticket.
Syamasundara: He says that value equals satisfaction. In other words, the fulfillment of...
Prabhupada: So unless you have faith in some person, how you can be satisfied? Therefore you should find out a person in whom you can place your faith. And who can be a better person than Krsna?
Syamasundara: If certain specific conditions are met, then the satisfaction is transformed into a value. In other words, if my hunger is satisfied by eating a certain foodstuff, then this foodstuff is given value.
Prabhupada: Yes. So Krsna gives that value. Just like Krsna gave the value in Bhagavad-gita, and Arjuna in the beginning denied to fight, but he agreed to fight. He agreed to fight.
Syamasundara: Because he was satisfied by his faith in Krsna?
Prabhupada: Yes. This is required.
Syamasundara: He says that moral laws are comparable to physical laws. In other words, they are guidelines to elicit certain responses under given conditions. Just like if I throw a ball up, I know it is going to come down. So a moral law will guide me in the same way. If I act in a certain way, there will automatically be a certain result, a response.
Prabhupada: Yes. Just like we prescribe, adau sraddha tato sadhu sangasya. If you follow one after another, you get the result. If you have got faith, you make association with devotees. Then the next step, you will be eager to execute devotional service. Adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sango 'thya bhajana-kriya 'nartha-nivrttih syat [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15]. Then all misgivings are eradicated. Then you become firm faith, nistha, then attachment, one after another. Unless you experience the next result, how can you make progress?
Syamasundara: Are there any moral guidelines to Krsna consciousness?
Prabhupada: Yes. Moral guidelines are there. That is given by Rupa Gosvami, sato vrtteh, sadho sange, utsahan niscayad dhairyat [Upadesamrta 3]. With patience and conviction, enthusiasm, becoming very fair in your dealings, and in association of saintly persons, devotees, you will advance.
Syamasundara: Then the result of following these guidelines is predictable results? Automatically certain things happen.
Prabhupada: Yes. One after another. Just like a teacher gives a task to the students, one type of task in the beginning, next another type, next another type, he makes progress.
Syamasundara: What are those again? Patience...?
Prabhupada: First of all, enthusiasm.
Syamasundara: First enthusiasm.
Prabhupada: Yes. Unless you are enthusiastic, how can you enter into any activities? Utsahan. Then patience—not to be impatient, "Oh, I am working so hard, I am getting no result." No. You will get. So (indistinct) niscaya, the firm conviction that "Because I have taken the path of the mahajanas prescribed by Rupa Gosvami or prescribed by Krsna, it must be successful." It may be taking some time, it is delayed, that doesn't matter. It will be successful. Niscaya. Not that niscaya can sit idly. No. Tat-tat-karma-pravartanat. Prescribed duties must be performed fairly, in good faith, sato vrtteh. And in the association, that will give us impetus. People are coming to our association automatically. Just like John came in our association, and gradually he has become a devotee.
Syamasundara: So if one follows these moral guidelines, the result is certain, predictable?
Prabhupada: Yes. Certainly. (Hindi with guest) Good association means to associate with one of the devotees. Sadhu-sanga [Cc. Madhya 22.83]. (Hindi with guest)
Syamasundara: He says that moral laws are not absolute rules which never permit exceptions. He says that moral laws are flexible; that they're not absolute.
Prabhupada: Yes. Real moral law means the law of the Supreme. Just like Krsna has preached dhyana-yoga, jnana-yoga, hatha-yoga, so many yoga systems. Then He says, sarva-dharman parityajya [Bg. 18.66]. These principles have not less moral, dhyana-yoga, jnana-yoga, astanga-yoga, but ultimately He says, "Give up all of them." Then what is moral? His word is moral. Whatever He says, that is moral. Not this dhyana-yoga, jnana-yoga. No. Whatever He says, that is morality. So it is changed. Nobody can argue: "Sir, you have prescribed so many kinds of yogas. Now You say to give up all these things. It is contradictory." No. It is not contradictory. Whatever He says, that is morality. That is Vaisnava principle. We don't consider anything moral or immoral. Whatever is ordered by Krsna or His representative, that is moral. That is our position.
Syamasundara: He says, "It is the function of intelligence to serve action, and action benefits man when it obeys the dictates of intelligence."
Prabhupada: Yes. So who can be more intelligent than Krsna?
Syamasundara: Then he says that "Values must be regarded as goods of practical significance which result from intelligently directed activities." So something we place value on must be acted...
Prabhupada: Yes. Arjuna followed the decision of Krsna, so there is value. He became victorious, he enjoyed the kingdom, and he became a famous devotee.
Syamasundara: As a practical result of his activities?
Prabhupada: Yes. As a practical result. Pariksit Maharaja said that this Kuruksetra fight was just like a great ocean, and all these Bhisma, Drona, Karna, they were just like big animals in the ocean. He said, "It is important for my grandfather to cross the ocean dangerously with all these big, big animals. But by the grace of Krsna it was possible." This is value.
yatra yogesvarah krsno
yatra partho dhanur-dharah
tatra vijayo...
Syamasundara: He says that morality is social, that besides a personal meaning it must have a social meaning.
Prabhupada: So Krsna consciousness is a type of morality which is above social meaning. It is transcendental. Social means guided by the three modes of material nature. But Krsna's order is above, transcendental. Sa gunan samatityaitan [Bg. 14.26].
Syamasundara: So it's asocial but not antisocial. Our morality is above social.
Prabhupada: Yes. Social is subordinate to this world.
Syamasundara: But it is not antisocial.
Prabhupada: No. It is social. It is sublime social. It is not only social but sublime social.
Syamasundara: He says that rights are also social, just like if I claim a right, a certain social right, that I must also accept my responsibility. Just for instance free speech. If I accept free speech as my social right, that I must also accept others' right to free speech.
Prabhupada: But that is lacking in the present society, because these rascals, they are proud of their nationals but they are denying this same national life to the animals. They are being sent to the slaughterhouse. Therefore they are rascals. Why the animals should be denied their national right? They are born in the same country. They have a right to live at the cost of God. Why we are interfering with their independence, given right? Therefore they are rascals. Their so-called social, moral, philosophical, political, they are all rascaldom. Therefore our decision is, harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna: [SB 5.18.12] anyone who is not a devotee of Krsna, he has no good qualities. In the other direction, we will find so many defects with his so-called moral and social position.
Syamasundara: He says that God... He defines God as the active relation between the ideal and the actual.
Prabhupada: Yes. We are active in God's service. People are thinking, "What service they are doing? They should be giving service to the country, to society, and they are making arati and brass idols." They are thinking like that. But for us it is practical.
Syamasundara: His idea is that there is no particular being who is God, but that God is the unity of all ideal ends, which allows us to desire an action. In other words, whatever motivates us to higher activity, that is God, that motivation, but that God is...
Prabhupada: In other words, whatever you do for God, that is higher activity.
Syamasundara: Well, he would say whatever you do for anyone—for community or country—whatever is higher activity...
Prabhupada: Then why does he name "God"?
Syamasundara: He says God is not a particular being.
Prabhupada: Then why does he name "God"? Why does he bring in the word "God"? Suppose if he is concerned with the man only, so why does he bring the word in, "God"? What is the purpose?
Syamasundara: He is trying to define that which motivates us to desire something higher or more.
Prabhupada: That means God should be an instrument to serve our purpose. That is his philosophy.
Syamasundara: Not necessarily. He leaves that open.
Prabhupada: Then why does he bring the name of God? That is my position.
Revatinandana: It says he could not accept the term as referring to a particular being.
Syamasundara: He said that "God summons us to intelligent actions which calls for deliberate choice, purposive behavior that is selective." In other words, he is trying to find out why is it that the human intelligence acts in such a way that it selects this over that and guides itself by selecting purposefully. That purposiveness he calls God.
Prabhupada: That is making the name of God as a scapegoat. He has no practical use of God.
Syamasundara: He has no clear idea of God.
Prabhupada: That means he is godless. So therefore we say, harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna [SB 5.18.12]. As soon as he becomes godless, all his philosophy becomes null and void.
Syamasundara: He says that the word "God" is that ideal which we acknowledge as having authority over our emotions and our will or volition.
Prabhupada: But he says there is no being; it is an ideal.
Syamasundara: It's an idea.
Prabhupada: So people may not like that ideas; therefore the communists are there. Others may not like this idea.
Guest: He says God summons. He says God summons us. But I cannot see how a nonbeing can summon.
Prabhupada: Summons. That is contradiction.
Syamasundara: He says it is the idea which...
Prabhupada: How the idea summons? He says the idea summons us.
Syamasundara: Ah, yes. Well, and he says that it is the value to which one is supremely devoted, that this is God.
Prabhupada: How can devotion be possible without a being? Just like devotion means between the devotee and the person who is offered that devotional service.
Syamasundara: Just like the Communists would say that "God is the state, and all my supreme devotion is for the state, to serve the state."
Prabhupada: That's all right, but your state, Communist Russian state, is not overgrowing others. So that cannot be God. God is obeyed by everyone. Your state may not be obeyed by other states. God means the supreme controller. You are not the supreme controller. Then how can you make the state as God, your state?
Syamasundara: So actually his idea of God would change. For the Communists God means the state; for the primitive savage God means the...
Prabhupada: Just like Gandhi made Canakya his god.
Syamasundara: Yes. That to which one is supremely devoted, that means God.
Prabhupada: Anyone may be supremely devoted to his wife or sometimes supremely devoted to his dog. The dog is God? Wife is God? So everyone has got one god, and I think that it is supported by Vivekananda, yata mata tata patha: "Whatever you think of God, that's all right." (Hindi with guest) Everyone can manufacture his own God. (laughter) Yes.
Syamasundara: He says that we cannot achieve absolute certainty or perfection. So we must rest content...
Prabhupada: That means he has got a poor fund of knowledge. He does not admit that. But we can say that because his knowledge is not perfect, he's saying like that.
Syamasundara: So he says that we must rest content with a faith and a commitment which helps us to face the future resolutely, reconstructing our environment to obtain more satisfactory adjustments. This is the Western philosophy in a nutshell.
Prabhupada: Why not take directly the words of God? (Hindi with guest)
Syamasundara: He says that the idea of God is relative to the observer; that it may be something for one man and something for another. So there is no absolute certainty...
Prabhupada: That means that none of them know what is God. That is the difference. Therefore Bhagavad-gita says,
Nobody knows God. Only one person in many millions may know.
Syamasundara: He finds refuge in a kind of humanitarian welfare idea that by...
Prabhupada: This is called utilitarian.
Syamasundara: Called what?
Prabhupada: Utilitarian.
Syamasundara: Utilitarian. He differs from the utilitarians, because they say that we should not...
Prabhupada: They say if some idea can be utilized for some better position of society. That is utilitarian.
Syamasundara: But the utilitarians say that everything should be utilized to serve man's desires. But he says everything should be used to serve man's worthiest desires, man's highest desires, worthy desires.
Prabhupada: What is the difference between desire and highest desire?
Syamasundara: Well, someone may desire more broadness.
Prabhupada: Who will judge who is highest? Everyone will say, "My desire is the highest."
Syamasundara: The utilitarians might say that "People desire more brothels, so let us build more brothels.
Prabhupada: Yes. Modern world, that is the highest desire. How can you refute that if there is no standard? Everyone says, "This is my law." Unless you go to the court, who will judge?
Revatinandana: Now he wants to make his desire the highest desire. He's got a theory now that "This is the highest thing I can think of, so this is God." That means I have the highest.
Syamasundara: He says that...
Prabhupada: Our formula is perfect.
Syamasundara: He says...
Prabhupada: We say that if one is Krsna conscious, then he is all right. Otherwise reject him. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna manorathenasati dhavato bahih [SB 5.18.12]. They are mano-ratha. They are mental speculators. They are hovering on the mental plane.
Syamasundara: He says that we must continually make satisfactory adjustment; that things change...
Prabhupada: That you cannot do, because you are hovering on the mental plane. And the mind is always imperfect, rejecting and accepting. So nothing will be standard. Your mind is accepting something, I am rejecting it. So on the mental plane you cannot come to the standard. It is not possible.
Syamasundara: He says that...
Prabhupada: In the Bhagavad-gita it is said,
indriyani parany ahur
indriyebhyah param manah
manasas tu para buddhir
yo buddheh paratas tu sah
[Bg. 3.42]
We have to go, transcend the mental platform, go to the intellectual platform, then surpass intellectual platform, come to the spiritual platform. That is the process. (Hindi with guest) No. That is not sufficient.
Syamasundara: He says that the nature of existence is temporary and so we must make a constant revision to change things.
Prabhupada: This nature is temporary, but there is another nature, sanatana. That he does not know. Paras tasmat tu bhavo anyah, 'vyakto 'vyaktat sanatanah [Bg. 8.20]. That is standardization. Sanatana means eternal. That does not change. It is neither created or annihilated. That is standard.
Syamasundara: So somehow or other we must develop a...
Prabhupada: Just like this Krsna consciousness. Five thousand years ago Arjuna became Krsna conscious. The same Krsna consciousness we are also preaching. This is standard. And before that Arjuna, the same Krsna consciousness was preached to the sun-god forty millions of years ago. So this does not change. This is unchanging, avyakta. Param avyayam. Krsna is avyayam and His consciousness is avyayam. It is not changing.
Syamasundara: He says that we must develop..., the whole world must develop a common faith in practical activity.
Prabhupada: Yes. This is Krsna's position.
Syamasundara: He says that "Ours is the responsibility of accepting a precious heritage of values, accumulated by the continuous human community at great cost in effort and suffering, and to expand, conserve, transmit, and rectify these values bequeathed to us." In other words, he says that we must take the lessons of history and build upon them in order to transmit these values and preserve them.
Prabhupada: Yes. We are doing that. We are taking from the history of forty millions of years ago and transmitting it by guru-parampara, evam parampara-praptam [Bg. 4.2]. Accepted by great authorities like Vyasa, Narada, Devala, five thousand years, Arjuna, and later on the great acaryas, Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya. Lately, five hundred years ago, Lord Caitanya. And we are following Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.
Syamasundara: So the values that are taught to us by history, are they not...
Prabhupada: The same value. The value has not deteriorated. It has not fluctuated.
Syamasundara: What is that?
Prabhupada: This Krsna consciousness. The price has not fluctuated. The same price. Krsna says, "The same thing I am teaching you," in the Fourth Chapter, "which was taught to the sun-god, Vivasvan, forty millions of years ago, the same thing, because it is now broken, the chain, I am teaching you again the same thing." So it does not change. Krsna consciousness, that does not change.
Syamasundara: He would say that those values which civilizations most cherish or prize, that those are the values that we should accept. Just like that...
Prabhupada: That is the Vedic civilization. That is the Vedic civilization. The Vedic system still stands. So many civilizations come and go on; therefore this is value in civilization.
Syamasundara: I think all civilizations have cherished those values at their peak.
Prabhupada: But because they are not factual, they have failed. But Vedic civilization is still going strong.
Syamasundara: Just like the Christian civilization, they, at their peak, when they are most enlightened, they also prized honesty, uprightness, love thy neighbor—these different social values.
Prabhupada: The Christian civilization has got values undoubtedly. But they do not follow it. They do not follow it. There is God consciousness, there is morality, there are ethical laws, there is acceptance of God's authority, (indistinct), but they do not follow it. Not only Christians, even the so-called Hindus, they also do not follow. That is the world situation.
Syamasundara: His idea is that the problems of philosophy are rooted in social conditions, so that we should... Urgent social reform is required in order to solve the problems of philosophy. By changing social structures through education, then the problems of philosophy will be solved.
Prabhupada: Therefore we take the standard method. Just like this varnasrama method-standard. We maintain it and there will be no trouble in the society. Actually, there is natural division. The intelligent class of men, the administrative class of men, the production class of men and the laborer class of men, that is prevailing all over the world. That is no doubt. But they are not doing their duty. The brahmanas, the intelligent class of men, they are not following these strictly the principles, satya, sama, dama, titiksava. Similarly the administrative class, they are not following the strictly the rules and regulations. Therefore it is fallen.
Syamasundara: Presumably this is from a lack of education.
Prabhupada: Na bhajanti (Sanskrit) nainad bhrastha (Sanskrit). If you do not follow the principles... Just like the administrative class is there all over the world. The class of men who is interested in administration, they are taking vote, they are coming to governmental high, high post, but they are not following the principles of administrative class: na bhajayante avama bhrtya (?).
Syamasundara: Is this the result of a lack of education?
Prabhupada: Lack of Krsna consciousness. The so-called education is there. Lack of Krsna consciousness. The administrative class is forgetting that they are belonging to the arms of Krsna. Mukha bahu rupa (?). So the administrative class is supposed to be the arms of Krsna, but they are not thinking in terms of Krsna, that "I am part and parcel of the body of Krsna." That is forgetfulness of Krsna. Therefore they are in trouble. They are separated from Krsna. This hand is my arm, but if it is separated from my body, it will be called the arms or the hand, but it has no value.
Syamasundara: Dewey's greatest faith was in the educational system, that the educational system should reflect the real welfare of the community.
Prabhupada: Yes. This educational system is Krsna consciousness, tan manye adhitam uttamam. The best educational system is Krsna consciousness. So because people are being educated without Krsna consciousness, it is becoming valueless. Therefore we are giving, I mean to say, purificatory method in every department.
Syamasundara: Because value equals satisfaction.
Prabhupada: Yes. Krsna (indistinct). Krsna is one, and everything is zero, so if there is one, zero is added-ten, hundred, thousand-increases its value. Take out the one and it is all zero. Thousands of zeros will not carry any weight (?). So they are all zero without Krsna.
Syamasundara: He says that philosophy has a social responsibility to influence intelligent management of human affairs.
Prabhupada: That we are doing. We are asking everyone that "You become Krsna conscious and do things intelligently, your life will be successful. You'll be happy." How else you'll be happy? That is our propaganda.
Syamasundara: Well, we also are influencing the managers, intelligent managers of society.
Prabhupada: That I say. The managers, when they are forgetful of Krsna, he cannot manage. Cannot manage. That he has (indistinct) relationship. You are managing something, but you have to satisfy somebody. So that is given in Srimad-Bhagavatam, that svanusthitasya dharmasya samsiddhir hari-tosanam [SB 1.2.13]. If you want perfection of your managerial work, then you should try to see whether Krsna is satisfied. If not, you are simply wasting time. You cannot satisfy anyone. Yasmin tuste jagat tusto. If you satisfy Krsna, then everyone will be satisfied.
Syamasundara: His idea was that no philosophy can be fixed or finished or absolute, but that all ideas must be continually revised.
Prabhupada: Because they have got imperfect philosophy. Imperfect is not perfect; therefore he is thinking of advancing further to make it perfect. So without Krsna consciousness he remains always incomplete; therefore imperfect.
Syamasundara: He says that "All ideas must be tested in the laboratory of educational experience, where they can be challenged, their consequences evaluated, and where they can be continuously modified or reconstructed."
Prabhupada: Yes. That is Krsna consciousness. Because you see how Arjuna was perfectly good man, because he was Krsna conscious. He was not willing to kill his enemy. He was hesitating, "What is the use of taking this kingdom?" This is Krsna conscious. Because the other side, they were not thinking, but Arjuna, because he is Krsna's devotee, he was considering, "What is the use of taking this kingdom, by killing (indistinct)?" In other words, nobody can be perfect without Krsna consciousness. No philosopher, no scientist, no sociologist can be perfect without Krsna consciousness.
Syamasundara: But in our Krsna consciousness philosophy the ideas are not to be re-evaluated. Aren't they absolute, the philosophy of Krsna consciousness?
Prabhupada: Yes, the philosophy is absolute. Krsna is absolute, so His consciousness is also absolute.
Syamasundara: His idea is that philosophy is always changing, that we always have to revise.
Prabhupada: That is in the material platform. He has no information what is perfect state. He does not know. Aradhito yadi haris tapasa tatah kim [Narada-pancaratra]. All tapasya finished. Samsiddhir hari-tosanam [SB 1.2.13]. If Krsna is satisfied, then the all duty is all right. You don't require to satisfy anyone else. Whether Krsna is satisfied. That's all.
Syamasundara: So that's all.
Revatinandana: It seems like his philosophy—he knows what to do with knowledge, but he hasn't got any knowledge.
Prabhupada: Therefore we say, harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna: [SB 5.18.12] anyone who is not Krsna consciousness, he has no good knowledge, he has no good qualification. That's all. (end)

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

Previous: William James     Next: Soren Aabye Kierkegaard

If you Love Me Distribute My Books -- Srila Prabhupada