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Room Conversation
with Jesuit

May 19, 1975, Melbourne
Jesuit: ...am very pleased to meet you. Good of you to see me.
Prabhupada: Yes
Jesuit: I've been in India just once.
Prabhupada: Oh.
Jesuit: I was over in Calcutta.
Prabhupada: Oh. Calcutta. Where?
Jesuit: Aah, I was staying with Brother Andrew. I don't know whether you know him. He works with Mother Theresa in (?)pur over there.
Prabhupada: Near Chowringhee? There is a place called Chowringhee.
Jesuit: Ah, no, it wasn't there. It was right in Calcutta itself.
Prabhupada: Oh. Right in Calcutta proper.
Jesuit: Yes. Right in Calcutta. And he was an Australian Jesuit who founded an order of Brothers to work over there with Mother Theresa. So he used to work near there. And, er, how long are you staying out here in Australia?
Prabhupada: Very nice.
Jesuit: You're finding it very nice.
Prabhupada: Hmm. Would you like to drink water?
Jesuit: No thank you. How many hours of prayer a day do, say, the men here do?
Prabhupada: To worship God, we have got nine processes. One is to hear about God and to speak about God—sravanam kirtanam. Then, memorizing God's activities. Sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam [SB 7.5.23]. Then worshiping his feet—just like we offer flower to the feet. Sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam arcanam. Then Deity worship, just like we are doing in the temple, Deity worship. Then vandanam, offering prayers, just like you do in the church. Vandanam, dasyam, to engage oneself always in the service. Sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam arcanam vandanam dasyam. Sakhyam—to taking as the best friend, considering God as the best friend.
Jesuit: Consider God as?
Prabhupada: Best friend.
Jesuit: Best friend.
Prabhupada: Just like Arjuna did. Arjuna worshiped God as friend, the best friend. God is the best friend for everyone.
Jesuit: That's right. As John says, "God is love."
Prabhupada: Yes. So, dasyam sakhyam atma-nivedanam, to offer everything to God—whatever I have got, my body, my money, my... everything. These are nine processes:
Nine processes. So these nine processes you take. Or you take eight or you take seven or you take six or you take five, you take four, you take three, you take two—at least one.
Jesuit: And is everybody able to take the nine processes?
Prabhupada: Yes. It is not difficult.
Jesuit: And do you have a, what I may call a training in contemplation, in which you get...
Prabhupada: That is smaranam. Memorizing. Thinking of God's activities.
Jesuit: And, er, now in mysticism, Christian mysticism, Western mysticism, we have, say, the seven castles of St. Theresa of Avila, and we have a process of contemplation which we call infused, which God gives. Ordinary prayer, which anybody is able to make. Theresa would speak about the three castles, the first three castles.
Prabhupada: Three castle?
Jesuit: Mm. In her book, Interior Mansions. But the real mystic prayer, well, is not given to everybody. Do you have... Do these men get trained in mystic prayer, contemplation?
Prabhupada: Mystic prayer means to think of God's activities. So that is smaranam.
Jesuit: Smaranam. Not so much thinking of them as just being really in His presence and open to receive love and to be active. Do you know what I mean?
Prabhupada: Well, but bhakti is activity. Bhakti is not passive. Active. Just like hearing. It is activity. Similarly glorifying, this is activity. Smaranam, remembering, memorizing, that is activity.
Jesuit: That is true. I see that. I think I sort of see a higher form of activity, where the senses really have taken over...
Prabhupada: Sense means activity.
Jesuit: Intuition. Something higher than...
Prabhupada: Sense, when you use your sense, just like sravanam, hearing. So you use your sense. So this is activity.
Jesuit: I see that. I understand that.
Prabhupada: You engage your ear. That means activity. I glorify, I speak, I engage my tongue in glorifying. That is activity. But as soon as there is sense activity, that is activity.
Jesuit: Hmm. But to get that real stillness and quiet in which...
Prabhupada: No. Bhakti is not stillness. That is neutrality. Stillness means you stop your material activity. That is stillness. But your material activities, when you stop it, that is stillness.
Jesuit: What is neutrality then?
Prabhupada: That is neutrality, that neither spiritual nor material-on the marginal stage. It is called simply realizing how God is great. That is neutrality. But real devotion begins when one understands that "God is so great, I am rendering my service to this world uselessly. Why not render service to God?" That is called dasyam, beginning of active devotion. We are active in the material world. It is useless. Simply wasting time and making one entangled in repetition of birth and death. Material activities. This is called pravrtti-marga. Pravrtti-marga means sense enjoyment. And for sense enjoyment we have to accept so many different types of bodies, 8,400,000. Everyone is busy in sense enjoyment. The tiger is busy, the hog is busy, the dog is busy. The man also, if he becomes busy like tigers and hogs and dog, then he's going to become again the same species of life.
Jesuit: When he reaches a higher state of activity, where he really loves all mankind, and he loves God...
Prabhupada: That is a kind of concoction.
Jesuit: A kind of?
Prabhupada: Concoction, mental speculation. Why should you love mankind? Why not tiger?
Jesuit: Because they are my brothers and sisters.
Prabhupada: So, brother and sister everyone loves? In the family, everyone loves his brother and sister. Does it mean that he's a very big man?
Jesuit: Because there is a common father, God is the father of all...
Prabhupada: Yes, common fellow, that is... (To devotee:) Who can read Bhagavad-gita? Bring Bhagavad-gita. Find out this verse:
Vidya, vidya. Call Paramahamsa. (indistinct)
Prabhupada: Ha.
Devotee: 5.18
Prabhupada: (inaudible)
Translation: "The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision the learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater (outcaste)."
Prabhupada: Mm. Just read again.
Devotee: "The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision...
Prabhupada: Equal vision.
Jesuit: Equal vision.
Prabhupada: Equal vision.
Jesuit: What does that mean, equal vision?
Prabhupada: Equal vision means that I don't make any distinction between you and a dog.
Jesuit: You make no distinction...
Prabhupada: No, this is spiritual vision because a pandita, pandita means learned man, his equal vision means he does not make any difference between the souls. The dog has got also soul and the learned scholar has got also soul. But the soul is covered by the dog's body, and here the soul is covered by the learned scholar's body. Actually both of them are souls, part and parcel of God.
Jesuit: Would you think that their souls are of different value, the soul of the dog...?
Prabhupada: No, soul is of the same value.
Jesuit: That I would find hard to accept.
Prabhupada: Huh?
Jesuit: 'Cause as I would understand it, the soul of the man, of any man, is what we would call a spiritual soul, an immortal soul, and the soul of the animal is a principle of life, what the Greeks would call savvy(?), Aristotle would call psyche. But it is not of an immortal soul, therefore the man has higher value than the animal, the dog, something like that.
Prabhupada: No. What do you think? Just like a child, as a child's father, the child has got different soul and the father has got different soul?
Jesuit: They've got different souls but they're both immortal, spiritual souls.
Prabhupada: Who is important, the child or the father?
Jesuit: Both are important, both very important, both more important than...
Prabhupada: Which one? Which important?
Devotee: He says both are equally important, but they're both more important than the dog.
Prabhupada: Important, so far important is concerned, both of them same.
Jesuit: Same, they're different people aren't they?
Prabhupada: No, you say both of them equal. That means from the importance point of view, they're the same. You say both of them...
Jesuit: The father and son, they're both the same importance.
Guest: But they're different people, they're different souls...
Prabhupada: That's all right, but you say both of them important, on which platform?
Jesuit: But when you say two things are important, you don't say they are they are of equal...
Prabhupada: Yes, life. Both of them are life.
Jesuit: Both of them are life, a flower has life, a dog has life.
Prabhupada: That's all right.
Jesuit: A man has life, for me that is a gradation of life, you've got to start...
Prabhupada: That gradation so far, just like there are gradation of motor cars. This is made by Ford, this is made by (indistinct), but the petrol is the same.
Jesuit: The petrol is the same.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Jesuit: Hm, even that can vary, but still...
Prabhupada: There is no still, petrol is the same. The machine
may be different.
Jesuit: They're all machines.
Prabhupada: Yes, the body is machine.
Jesuit: All inferior (indistinct).
Prabhupada: Yes, body is matter.
Jesuit: Body is matter.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Jesuit: But a person is more than just matter. I'm more than matter.
Prabhupada: No, the person, just like... that is... If a man is sitting on a Rolls Royce car, he's thinking, "Very important." And a man sitting on some ordinary car, he's thinking, "I am poor." But as man, both of them (are) equal. Falsely, because he is sitting in a particular type of car, he is thinking, "I am bigger."
Jesuit: Yes, I can see I agree with all that.
Prabhupada: So the soul is the same. So there is no difference, mamaivamso jiva-bhutah [Bg. 15.7], find out this verse. Soul is the part and parcel of the supreme soul, Supersoul, God.
Jesuit: That is what I find hard to understand, your divine grace, that my soul, your soul is part of the supreme soul.
Prabhupada: Yes, their soul is part and parcel...
Jesuit: I can't understand that because the supreme soul, God, the deity, is infinite.
Prabhupada: Yes, infinite, just like your, I'll let you know, just like the ocean and the drop of ocean.
Jesuit: But even the... No, no, I can't say that either, the ocean is not infinite, the ocean is not...
Prabhupada: It is a comparison, a drop of water... He is infinite, God is infinite, we are finite.
Jesuit: We are finite, God is infinite, therefore we cannot, added together, make up God.
Prabhupada: No. I don't say that. I don't say that. That finite and infinite, they... Finite is there, only "in" is not there. That is lacking. They, individual soul, (indistinct) we are not infinite.
Jesuit: No, of course.
Prabhupada: But God is infinite, and I am finite. So the finite portion is common. The "in" is more in God, infinite. So similarly I am giving the example, just like a drop of ocean water, it contains the same chemical, you find salty, and the whole ocean also salty, but the ocean is big salt and this drop is a small particle. The salt is there.
Jesuit: But I can't accept the example because the little drops of water which have salt and so on, all together coalesce to form the huge ocean but the ocean is still finite. It is not infinite. But you and I are finite...
Prabhupada: That is already explained.
Jesuit: If we coalesce together, then that how many of us that there are...
Prabhupada: No, I'm not comparing that combined together that we shall be equal to God. I don't say that.
Jesuit: I didn't follow you then.
Prabhupada: I don't (indistinct) some men here, or the whole universal souls combined together, still they are finite. They're not infinite. Yes, multi-billions of zeroes cannot make one. So I don't say that, but the quality is there very minutely.
Jesuit: Imitation of the divine powers.
Prabhupada: Not imitation, actually we have got. Just like, another example, gold and a particle of gold, a small fragmentary, that will be called gold, but not the gold equal to the mine.
Jesuit: No.
Prabhupada: Therefore the philosophy is acintya-bhedabheda, inconceivable one and different simultaneously. One in quality, but different in quantity. God's power... I have got some creative power, and God has got creative power. So the creative power is there. But God has created millions of the planets that floating in the air and we have created a 747 airplane, we want to take more credit than God. That is our foolishness.
Jesuit: Oh, I say that is man's sin, if you like, is that he prides himself on his achievements.
Prabhupada: That is false pride. The scientist, the modern scientists, they are taking false pride that there is no need of God, we are now creating...
Jesuit: Some of them are, not all...
Prabhupada: Some of the fools, not all fools, but some of the fools declaring themselves as scientists, "There is no God." We can (indistinct).
Jesuit: Let me see if I can understand what you mean by God.
Prabhupada: God means all-powerful, the great. You say also, "The great."
Jesuit: I'd say all-powerful, omnipotent, the great, yes.
Prabhupada: That is God.
Jesuit: All-loving?
Prabhupada: Yes, everything He's great. Nobody can surpass His love.
Jesuit: I mean God is all-loving?
Prabhupada: Yes. When you say "Great," He's great in every respect.
Jesuit: Good. Do you... In Christianity we have the trinity, the Father, Son and the relationship of love between them which we call three persons in one God...
Prabhupada: Yes.
Jesuit: In your understanding of God...
Prabhupada: God, God and His love towards us... Because we are sons of God, therefore Father has natural love for sons, therefore God comes. God sends His son or representative to canvass that "You come to God, you'll be happy there."
Jesuit: Who was the son He sent?
Prabhupada: Eh? Just like Jesus, we say "son of God." So...
Jesuit: That's the second person made man, become human, becomes a man.
Prabhupada: Yes, He is very important, but He is son, a very important son. Just like father may have many sons, but one of them may be very important, very good assistant to the father so Christ is like that. He is son of God, very important, He's helping God coming down to reclaim these fallen souls that "Come to God, why you are suffering here?" Son, He's very faithful and important son. But the others, they are also sons, but they have forgotten God. Therefore they are suffering. So sometimes He sends His son or His devotee and sometimes He comes Himself, that is Krsna.
Jesuit: And He comes in bodily form?
Prabhupada: Yes. God has... Why, the son has got body then the father has got body. Your son has got body so you have got your body. Without the father having body, how the son can get body?
Jesuit: I don't understand that.
Prabhupada: If... Suppose your son, you have got this body, so your father must have body.
Jesuit: Yes, true.
Prabhupada: Similarly if the son of God has body, the God must have body.
Guest: Not necessarily.
Prabhupada: Why? Can you show any example, a son is born from without body?
Jesuit: That is on a very human level which...
Prabhupada: Anyway that your experience is on the human field, you have to give some example that "Here is no body but the sun has body." Show me the example.
Jesuit: You can have a man who has a thing in what we would call super-eminence and he has it on a higher form...
Prabhupada: Higher form maybe, but there is form.
Jesuit: You take a musician like Beethoven, a musician...
Prabhupada: We also say that the God has got form but not form like this.
Jesuit: No, he hasn't got form in Aristotle's idea of the word form either, his higher wathic(?) theory of matter and form. In a sense, form there means spirit and so...
Prabhupada: Yes, spiritual form.
Jesuit: ...but we're not using it in that sense. When you're using the word form, you mean a material form like a shape, a body...
Prabhupada: No, no, I don't say material form, spiritual form.
Jesuit: Well, I haven't understood you then. God, you say, has a form.
Prabhupada: Spiritual form.
Jesuit: Ah well, matter of words, I can understand that. He has a...
Prabhupada: Not this form.
Jesuit: No, not material. He's not matter, He's pure...
Prabhupada: No, no.
Jesuit: We would say He's pure spirit...
Prabhupada: Yes, yes, yes, that is stated in the...
Jesuit: There's no form of passivity in God, there's no form of change in God, there's no, no limitations of any sort. Matter has limitations. The soul is immortal because it has no principle of corruption in it. Aristotle would say that matter has parts, outside parts, and so it can, it has in itself the power of dissolving and it would break up, corrupts. The soul never does.
Prabhupada: We have got this material body and spiritual soul. That is in this material condition there is distinction between the spirit and matter. As soon as the spirit goes from this material body, it has no value.
Jesuit: No life, true.
Prabhupada: It is matter only, lump of matter, combination of matter. Therefore the spirit is important even in this life.
Jesuit: Oh, I see that, of course.
Prabhupada: Yes, spirit is important. But God is fully spirit, He has no material quality. Yes. We have got, in this material condition, difference between the matter and spirit, but God has not so, such thing. He is whole spirit. That is the difference between God...
Jesuit: And also, as a result, the human, you, I, all these, we're all persons separate from one another, distinct from one another, and distinct from God, who is a separate person.
Prabhupada: Yes, yes, we admit that.
Jesuit: It's that I haven't understood. Sometimes you get pantheists who talk as though God is made up of a sum total of...
Prabhupada: That is a theory, that is a theory, that is not fact.
Jesuit: No, it's a false theory because it goes against all logic and philosophy.
Prabhupada: But no, theory in this form that God is everywhere, by His potency but everything is not God. This is our philosophy. God is everywhere. Just like the sunshine. Sunshine is spread everywhere but that does not mean that everything is sun.
Jesuit: That's true.
Prabhupada: It is like that. God is all-pervading by His potency. This book, this is also energy of God. Find out this verse, bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva ca [Bg. 7.4].
Jesuit: Do you, in your creed, do you believe in metempsychosis, that is the soul going through one form of life and then if it lives badly, the person lives badly, it comes back in another form and so on? Do you believe in the metempsychosis?
Prabhupada: Transmigration.
Jesuit: Transmigration of souls.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is stated here.
Jesuit: I find it hard to accept that.
Prabhupada: What is the difficulty? Just like you have entered this black dress and I have entered this as colored dress, but as human being we are the same.
Jesuit: But to think that my soul belongs, say to a dog in ages gone past, or that it's going to come back and be a tiger or another person that...
Prabhupada: Tiger is the body and human form is also the body, so if you want to become like a tiger, then God helps you to enter the body of the tiger.
Jesuit: I find it hard to accept that.
Prabhupada: How you'll not accept God is so kind if you want to be something, He helps you, "All right you come."
Jesuit: It seems to me that God sent Jesus to tell the whole world...
Prabhupada: God says that, that "You don't desire anything, you simply become faithful to Me." That is God's desire. But we are not abiding by the orders of God. We want, we desire so many things. Just like, don't mind if I say, that God says, "Thou shalt not kill." But we are killing. We are violating. Their tendency is there so we must suffer for that.
Jesuit: Ah, true, sure. If we know that we're doing wrong.
Prabhupada: Because we are not abiding by the order of God, therefore we must be prepared to suffer. So I, if I kill you then you kill me. Then going on, then I'll kill you, you kill me, go on. Life for life. You have no right to kill but if you kill then you'll be killed.
Jesuit: I can accept all that. Although it's true that God has said, "Love one another."
Prabhupada: Yes.
Jesuit: People have always obeyed God.
Prabhupada: They'd kill. Instead of loving, they kill, so they must suffer.
Jesuit: But it's not proved that the way of suffering is to come back in another form which is the theory of transmigration of the soul.
Prabhupada: Just like you're in this apartment, you can go to another apartment and that apartment may not be exactly like this. It may be better or it may be worse. Similarly we have entered, find out the tatha dehantara-praptih.
dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantara-praptir
dhiras tatra na muhyati
[Bg. 2.13]
"As the embodied soul continually passes in this body from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change."
Prabhupada: Just like a child gets another body, boyhood. The boy gets another body, youth. The youth gets another body, old man. Similarly when this body is not useful then he gets another body. Tatha dehantara-praptih [Bg. 2.13], as we experience dehantara, different types of body, we are getting one after another, similarly the soul is immortal, he'll get another body. Now here it is not mentioned what kind of body, "another body." The "another body" means, there are 8,400,000 different types of body so he can enter any one of them according to his karma. That will be selected by higher authorities. Just like I do not know here, in India, in New Delhi, the Indian government, they give, I mean to say, house, accommodation to the government servant. So there are different types of houses, for minister one type of house, for secretaries for one type of house, for the clerks one type of house. So according to the position, one type of house is offered. So our, we are acting here according to our resultant action of the activities we get next birth.
That is under the control of material nature. You find out, karanam guna-sangah asya sad-asad-janma-yonisu. Karanam guna-sangah asya.
"The living entity in material nature thus follows the ways of life, enjoying the three modes of nature. This is due to his association with that material nature. Thus he meets with good and evil amongst various species."
Prabhupada: Now the material nature has gone, three modes goodness, passion and ignorance, and mixture. So we are association with the modes of material nature and according to that nature we are manufacturing our next body. This is the... So in the material world we are infecting several types of quality of the nature. Not everyone is on the same quality. Just like these boys, they are being trained up under certain quality, they're not going to the restaurant, they are not going to the liquor shop, they're not smoking, they're not eating meat, they are no illicit sex, they are being trained up, this is a quality. And another man is going to the liquor shop, to the brothel, so many other things. They're not of the same quality.
Jesuit: What is it all leading to? A state of liberation from material things?
Prabhupada: Yes, there are two... Now in the human form of life, we have got two selection, I think in the Bible also it is said that one goes to hell, one goes to heaven. So we have got two selection, either to the path of hellish condition or to the path of back to home, back to Godhead. This is human life. It is in Sanskrit word it is called pravrtti-marga, nivrtti-marga. Nivrtti-marga means stopping the material way of life and go to the spiritual world, back to home, back to Godhead.
Jesuit: Does that name, that the things such as, you mentioned smoking and alcohol and sex and meat, that all those things are material and therefore bad?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Jesuit: Take sex, how can that be considered...?
Prabhupada: Or Christian religion also there is celibacy, life, you also trained up, the nuns, the priests, they are not meant for marrying.
Jesuit: That's true. We don't say that sex is bad.
Prabhupada: Why they are forbidden to marry?
Jesuit: Well, it's a question of something I freely accept, freely accept not to marry.
Prabhupada: No. No, this is spiritual life. Sex life is not spiritual life.
Jesuit: That I find so hard to accept because everything that God makes is good. When God makes a man...
Prabhupada: Good, what is good for you is not good for me, one man's food is another man's poison.
Jesuit: But everything that God makes is good.
Prabhupada: That's all right, good for somebody. Just like stool, stool is good for the pigs not for the human being.
Jesuit: But everything that God makes...
Prabhupada: Not everything is good. The pigs considers stool is very good, nice food.
Jesuit: Every man is made with sex appetites. Every man is...
Prabhupada: Yes, that is called pravrtti, pravrttir esa bhutanam nivrttis tu maha-phala. This is natural inclination, but if you can stop it, that is victory.
Jesuit: No, I can't accept that.
Prabhupada: Now why you do not accept? In the Christian religion there is unmarried life.
Jesuit: Married life is a good life. The use of sex is good.
Prabhupada: Good?
Jesuit: Eating is good. If it's abused it's bad.
Prabhupada: No. Married life is good, that if you follow the rules and regulations. Otherwise...
Jesuit: Therefore sex, in itself, is good.
Prabhupada: Sex is good, that is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, dharmaviruddhah kamo 'smi. Find out, balam balavatam asmi dharma..., like that.
"I am the strength of the strong, devoid of passion and desire. I am sex life which is not contrary to religious principles, O lord of the Bharatas."
Prabhupada: Just see.
Jesuit: What is this book?
Prabhupada: This is Bhagavad-gita. He is speaking, the God is speaking.
Jesuit: OK.
Prabhupada: So dharmaviruddha, sex life which is not against religious principle, that I am. Krsna, God says. So sex life is not bad provided it is under the religious system.
Jesuit: That's true of everything, yes. I thought you were saying sex in itself is bad.
Prabhupada: No, no. Sex life...
Jesuit: There have been people in the history of the world like the Manicheans and that who held that sex in itself was bad. Now I couldn't accept that. It's part of man.
Prabhupada: No, dharmaviruddha. Just you can have sex for begetting nice children but not for sense gratification.
Jesuit: Also for increasing the love between husband and wife.
Prabhupada: Mm?
Jesuit: Even though they can't have children.
Prabhupada: No, they can have children.
Jesuit: Suppose they can't.
Prabhupada: They can, if they can beget nice children, they can have sex.
Jesuit: But suppose they can't have children. Would you say they can still have sex.
Prabhupada: No. That is not allowed.
Jesuit: That is where I think...
Prabhupada: That is illicit sex. If you cannot produce children, and still you have sex, that is illicit sex.
Jesuit: Yes, well I find it hard to accept that. Tell me more about your concept of God. I'd be very interested to know.
Prabhupada: God is great. He's great in every respect, in strength...
Jesuit: Is He a person?
Prabhupada: Yes. Unless... A person... What is the meaning of great?
Jesuit: Well you can speak about a mountain being great and that's not God.
Prabhupada: But God can swallow millions of mountains. That is God. Your conception is: mountain is very great. But our conception is: God is so great that He can swallow millions of mountains. So whose greatness is greater, the mountain's or God's?
Jesuit: Well it's a different order altogether, one's...
Prabhupada: "God is great," means whatever greatness, just as sky is the great, there are millions of sky, that is God's...
Jesuit: That's all in the material world.
Prabhupada: Material and spiritual, we both speak. "God is great," means He's materially great and spiritually great. That is His greatness. If you think that He's spiritually great and materially small, that is not great. That is not greatness.
Jesuit: You know, in the Bible it says God knows everybody yet and knows them by name.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is greatness. That is His greatness.
Jesuit: A knowing person...
Prabhupada: You know yourself or you know myself, but you cannot know everyone.
Jesuit: That's right.
Prabhupada: But God knows everyone.
Jesuit: And loves everybody.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Jesuit: Would you say that He loves the person that is doing wrong?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Jesuit: Still.
Prabhupada: Therefore He comes...
Jesuit: To save.
Prabhupada: "Don't do wrong." That is love.
Jesuit: And if the person...
Prabhupada: Therefore that is love.
Jesuit: And if the person rejects that love, does He still love him?
Prabhupada: Yes, still love him. He's trying. God is situated in everyone's heart, isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati [Bg. 18.61].
Jesuit: God cannot change.
Prabhupada: Yes. God is friend always. He is sitting with the individual soul within the heart and giving him good advice that "You come to Me, you'll be happy." But he's not going. Therefore he's (indistinct). Still God is with him, "All right, let me see." Just like the father, he loves his son. He always gives him, "My dear son, why you are going out? Your father has got nice property, you live with me." But he'll not do, he'll go away and become hippie. What can be done?
Jesuit: "Krsna," what exactly does "Krsna" mean?
Prabhupada: Krsna means all-attractive. That is great. You say, "God is great." We say God, Krsna. Krsna means all-attractive. Unless you are the great, you cannot be all-attractive.
Jesuit: When you speak of Krsna consciousness, it means...
Prabhupada: God consciousness, God consciousness. God is great and I am His eternal servant. This is Krsna consciousness. Two words: God is great and I am His eternal servant, I am small. This consciousness is called Krsna consciousness.
Jesuit: Do you know the prayer that the Russians use, the Jesus prayer?
Prabhupada: Any prayer. God is one. Either you pray in a different way, I'll pray in a different way, it doesn't matter.
Jesuit: I know that but I want to know do you know what is known as the Jesus prayer which the Russians use?
Devotee: No, he doesn't know.
Jesuit: It seems to me that you chant, don't you, Hare Krsna?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Jesuit: That is a prayer, it's a rhythmic chant.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is prayer.
Prabhupada: Now that is a form of prayer and the Jesus prayer, would you do the same? You would either chant it...? [break]
Jesuit: Ah, well, maybe from the point of your giving glory to God, no difference.
Prabhupada: Yes. No, that is spiritual, that is spiritual. To give glory to God, that is spiritual. And otherwise, what do you think of this materiality of this chanting? Chanting is not material. Chanting is spiritual.
Jesuit: Well, it depends. I mean, some thing, of course...
Prabhupada: No. Spiritual thing does not depend on anything material.
Jesuit: The sum product that the full prayer is certainly a spiritual experience created by a material use of lips and things like that, it makes a noise.
Prabhupada: No, it is not material creation. Hare Krsna mantra is not material creation. It is from the spiritual world.
Jesuit: Oh, I see that, but I mean if you've spoken words... All I'm trying to say is that it's body and soul together praying.
Prabhupada: Yes, yes. Body and soul different.
Jesuit: Oh, of course, yes.
Prabhupada: Body and soul different.
Jesuit: But that's the point I was trying to make, that you have a gradation in your prayer of..., in the Jesus prayer, in which you speak and you can hear the noise, chanting. You might say something like this: (Sings softly) Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Now, that's a chanting, a singing, and it sums up everything I believe in, say, in the word Jesus. But then there can be the other where there's no sound is heard, but I'm still thinking it in my mind.
Prabhupada: Similarly you can think of Hare Krsna. (Sings) Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna... Same thing. Where is the difference? There is no difference.
Jesuit: The third form is where I do not think it, it's just, I'm sort of rapt, absorbed in the divine...
Prabhupada: Yes. But that attention, ecstasy, comes in Hare Krsna mantra. Otherwise these young boys are chanting and dancing... Unless there is ecstasy... They are not monkeys. They are human beings. They are dancing, with education, with culture. Unless there is spiritual ecstasy, how they can chant and dance for hours together? It is not monkey dancing. It is spiritual. It is spiritual.
Jesuit: Oh, I can see that.
Prabhupada: Yes. So that is God's omnipotency. When you offer sincere prayer, the words become spiritual. That is wanted. If you sincerely offer your prayers, God understands. Even though sound appears to be material it is no more material; it is spiritual. Just like... I will give you one example. Just you put one iron rod in the fire. So the iron rod becomes warm, warmer, warmer, and then it becomes red hot. When it is red hot, it is no more iron. It is fire. You touch that red hot anywhere; it will burn.
Jesuit: Hm. Transformed, it changes.
Prabhupada: Yes. So actually there is nothing material. When God consciousness is there, it is spiritual. This... In association with God, everything becomes spiritual. Just like there is a church and there is an ordinary house. People say, " This is church, God's place, and this is house." What is the difference? That is also made of bricks; that is also made of bricks. Why people go to the church? Why not to the house? So the conclusion is, when the atmosphere is surcharged with God consciousness, it is spiritual. Immediately. Otherwise, as soon as you forget God, then it is material. Material and spiritual means where there is no forgetfulness of God, that is spiritual. And where there is forgetfulness of God, that is material.
Jesuit: Hm. Sort of a figurative use of the word.
Prabhupada: Not figurative, it is actual. Actually, God is all-pervading. Everything is God's energy. Therefore God is whole spirit. His energy cannot be material.
Jesuit: Yes, I can see that.
Prabhupada: The material is, as soon as we forget the relationship with God. That is material.
Jesuit: Um hm.
Prabhupada: Otherwise God is everywhere.
Jesuit: But we're using the words in a figurative sense there. I mean...
Prabhupada: No, it is actually. Just like the sunshine...
Jesuit: This is matter (knocks on something). This is matter.
Prabhupada: This is matter so long we forget God.
Jesuit: But no matter what you do to this, it will still remain matter.
Prabhupada: It is energy of God. Matter is also...
Jesuit: But it is still matter.
Prabhupada: ...inferior energy of God. Matter is not different from God. Find out, bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh [Bg. 7.4]. Because everything is emanates from God. He is the father of everything.
Jesuit: God has created everything, yes. But not everything is spiritual.
Prabhupada: That I already said, that God is..., everything is depending on God, but not everything is God.
Jesuit: No, true. So this, no matter what you do to it, it must remain matter.
Prabhupada: This is matter, but when it is used for God, this is spirit.
Jesuit: Well, that's why I say it is figurative use.
Prabhupada: The same example, just like...
Jesuit: It still remains wood.
Prabhupada: ...the church is made of matter, wood and stone, but it is spirit, because here there is nothing other business than God. So the real thing is, matter means forgetfulness of God. Read that, bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh.
bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh
kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me
bhinna prakrtir astadha
[Bg. 7.4]
"Translation: Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego-altogether these eight comprise My separated material energies."
Prabhupada: That's it. So God being all spirit, His energy is also spirit. His energy cannot be different. But in this material energy we forget God. Therefore it is called material. If we know that this wood is also energy of God, that is spiritual understanding. And if we think that wood has come independently from any other source, that is material. In the Vedanta-sutra this is discussed in the beginning athato brahma jijnasa, to inquire about the Absolute Truth. The answer is janmady asya yatah: [SB 1.1.1] "The Absolute Truth is that, or is the source of everything, Absolute Truth." So there are two things, material and spiritual. So both are coming from God. Just like darkness and light, two sides of the sun. So when there is light, we call day; when it is darkness, we call night. But they are simply two sides of the sun, the supreme light, or the material light. Similarly, material is darkness, and spiritual is light. Both sides. Sometime it is said "The spiritual is the front side of God, and material is the back side of God."
So your back side or front side, they are the same. So similarly... Therefore this pantheism, they say, "Why should we take? This is back side? Everything is God." That is their philosophy. They say that everything is God, pantheism. But that is not perfect knowledge. Everything is God, and again, everything is not God.
Jesuit: Everything is distinct from God.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Jesuit: We are distinct persons.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is bhinna prakrtir astadha.
Jesuit: We share our being from God.
Prabhupada: Bhinna prakrtih, that is stated, "separated energy." Material things means separated energy. Just like this tape recorder. When we are not here, they will play the record and I am speaking. That is separated energy. And I am directly speaking, that is nonseparated energy. So separated energy and nonseparated energy, they are coming from the same source. The source is the same. Therefore, ultimate issue, the source being all spirit, everything is spirit. But the place where we do not directly perceive God, that is material. And the place where we directly perceive God, that is spiritual. So either separated or connected, God is the only one source of all energies. That is explained there. Bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva ca [Bg. 7.4].
Madhudvisa: I couldn't find the other verses. The next verse is apareyam itas tv anyam prakrtim viddhi me param.
Prabhupada: Yes. Read that.
apareyam itas tv anyam
prakrtim viddhi me param
jiva-bhutam maha-baho
yayedam dharyate jagat
[Bg. 7.5]
"Besides..." Just, that previous verse was saying that "Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence...all these comprise My separated material energies." In the next verse it says, "Besides this inferior nature, O mighty Arjuna, there is a superior energy of Mine, which are all living entities, who are struggling with the material nature and are sustaining the universe." The living entities are sustaining the universe.
Prabhupada: So from here we understand the material energy and the spiritual energy. So spiritual energy is predominating over the material energy.
Jesuit: Yes, I understand that. It's the spirit of God
Prabhupada: Therefore it is superior energy, and the material energy, inferior energy. Just like in your body there are some inferior parts and some superior parts. But they are body, parts of the body. This part is superior part, and the rectum is inferior part. But that does not mean it does not form the constitution parts of your body. Otherwise how you become whole? Whole means comprising everything, superior, inferior. But comparatively, there is superior part, inferior part. So the material energy is also God's energy. And spiritual energy is also God's energy, but the spiritual energy is described here as superior energy, and the material energy is described here as inferior energy. But altogether, they are energies. So those who are expert devotees of God, they can utilize inferior energy for the purpose of superior energy. That is the proper utilization. Just like the same brick and stone is required for constructing an ordinary house, and the same brick and stone can be used for constructing a church.
That is superior.
Jesuit: Yes, I understand that.
Prabhupada: Yes. The material is not different. The ordinary house is constructed with the same bricks and stone, and church is also made of that. But why it is superior? Because it is specially, only meant for God's purpose. So anything utilized for God's purpose, it becomes spiritual. This is our philosophy.
Jesuit: Very good. You're kind, talking to me.
Prabhupada: So we are trying to engage everything in God's service, to make it superior energy.
Jesuit: How do you see helping your fellow man?
Prabhupada: We are helping. We are making them God conscious. Yes. That is best help. Instead of making them drunkard, woman-hunter, meat-eaters, we are making them Krsna conscious. That is the best help.
Jesuit: And do they go out and make other disciples?
Srutakirti: He said do we go out and make other disciples.
Prabhupada: No, we don't accept as disciple anyone who does not follow the rules and regulations.
Jesuit: Is it by prayer to God that you help the world?
Prabhupada: Yes, this is prayer, Hare Krsna. Hare Krsna means "O Krsna, and Krsna's energy, please accept me as Your servant."
Jesuit: But are you praying for all these people outside who do not belong to...
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Jesuit: So you're...
Prabhupada: Therefore we chant Hare Krsna so that they can hear and take benefit. But they see that, "They are disturbing," but we are helping them.
Jesuit: And do you believe that God is pleased by your prayer and helps them because of your prayer?
Prabhupada: That depends on God. God is fully independent. He may not like. You cannot force Him. But it is our duty to request Him. You cannot force Him. If He likes... If He does not like, that is His will, because He is the supreme will. But God likes. If a devotee requests Him something, He likes to accept. That is God's mercy. He takes the devotee's prayer very seriously. Therefore our another process is to take the shelter of a devotee first. Because even one is inferior, not to be accept by God, but if a devotee requests, "God, kindly accept this fellow," God accepts. Mercy of saintly... Krpa-siddha. The Sanskrit word is krpa-siddha. He becomes perfect by the mercy of devotee.
Jesuit: What was the meaning of the bag you wear on your hand?
Prabhupada: These chanting. Beads.
Jesuit: Oh, beads in there.
Prabhupada: Yes. I think in Christian there are beads also.
Jesuit: I saw them in the picture, they had'em, and I didn't know what it was.
Prabhupada: This is covering of the beads because we put here, there may be some dust. So to show respect to the beads, we keep it covered. We do not touch on the floor. It is awe and veneration.
Jesuit: Well, I have kept you long enough. I...
Prabhupada: No, you can keep me engaged whole day and night, (laughter) provided you have got time. We are meant for this purpose. If anyone can understand God consciousness, that is a great profit for us. Now our appeal is to everyone, every religious sect, that people are becoming godless generally at the present moment. So we should make combined effort to revive their God consciousness. Otherwise it is doomed. And there is no question of Christian God or Hindu God or Muslim God. God is one. So there should be no difference between the system. According to the time and circumstances, there may be little difference, but really if we can understand God, either through Christianity or through Hinduism or Muslim, that is our profit. That is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje [SB 1.2.6]. "That is first-class religion, following which, one becomes a lover of God". You become a lover of God. That we want to see. It doesn't matter whether you go through Christian religion or Mohammedan religion or Hindu religion or Buddhist...
It doesn't matter. You understand God and love Him.
Jesuit: I agree entirely.
Prabhupada: This is our mission.
Jesuit: And it's good that, I think, we are coming more to understand that. And I think you see a lot of young people who really are longing for some form of contemplation and prayer. That is why you get followers.
Prabhupada: Yes. Now, these boys they are coming from your Christian group, Jewish group, but they are taking to Krsna consciousness. One priest in Boston, he issued one pamphlet that "These boys are our boys, and before this movement, they didn't care to come to the church. And now they are mad after God. How is it? The same boys." So indirectly he accepted this process as easier to understand God. And actually it is easier. What do they do? They don't go to the forest, or meditate, or make any very austere, what is called, penances. They simply chant in the morning and dance in ecstasy and then eat sumptuously. That's all. And now they have given up everything. Now, you bribe them, "You eat meat." They will never eat. They will not drink tea even. The method is... The American government they spent lots of money for stopping this addiction to drugs. And these boys, as soon as they come to me, they give up. Ask them what money I have bribed them. You can ask how they have left it.
How they have left it? How they have given meat-eating, how they have given drinking even tea, cigarette, everything? What I have given them? I am poor Indian. I have no money. (laughter) But how they have accepted?
Jesuit: It satisfies the longing in the heart one has for God.
Prabhupada: Yes. Now you can ask them. They will inform, that nobody of them, either Hindu or Christian, Indian... They are coming all from Christian group or Jewish group. So they are all educated boys. So there is no question of bluffing them. Young boys, they can earn money like anything, especially in America. But they have given everything. They are very respectable father's son. But they have given up...
Jesuit: The thing is like Augustine said, that "The heart is restless until it rests in You, our God." And I think that's...
Prabhupada: No, I don't teach them that I am God. I never taught. I always teach them I am servant of God, you are also servant. And they accept it. Actually that is our position. This is bluff. When somebody says "I am God," that is bluff, cheating. We protest very vehemently against the declaration that "I am God." No. Nobody can become God. God is one.
Jesuit: That's true.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Jesuit: Well, I must run away. It's been very good talking to you.
Prabhupada: Give him some prasada. Just take some prasada.
Madhudvisa: This is a little fruit that we traditionally offer to a guest. We offer them a little fruit so could you take one piece?
Prabhupada: You can take the whole plate. (laughter)
Jesuit: Take the whole plate? I just eat it?
Madhudvisa: (laughing) Yes, yes. It's just...
Jesuit: No special ceremony?
Madhudvisa: We've already done that.
Jesuit: Ok. When I was in India and I visited a shrine... It was the festival of the goddess of learning.
Prabhupada: Oh, Sarasvati-puja.
Jesuit: And they brought me fruit to eat at the end, and I was embarrassed, and I didn't know whether to take it or not, and they said it's their custom, "You must take it." So I did.
Prabhupada: We say by worshiping God, everyone is worshiped. There is no need of separately worshiping goddess of fortune, goddess of learning. Just like if you pour water on the root of the tree, it goes to every branch, leaf, and twigs, every..., approaches. Take some fruits.
Jesuit: No, no more, thank you. Thank you very much.
Devotee: Would you like a little water?
Jesuit: No, I am all right thanks.
Prabhupada: So people, either through Christianity or through any process, they must come to the understanding platform where we can understand what is God and how to love Him. That is required. Otherwise this human civilization will be spoiled.
Jesuit: And the great truth also that God loves every one of us.
Prabhupada: God loves. That is natural, but you do not love, I do not love. That is the difficulty. Father loves the son; that is natural. But when the son does not love father that is a very precarious condition.
Jesuit: Good. Well, thank you very much.
Prabhupada: Hare Krsna, jaya.
Jesuit: Thank you. We will pray for one another.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Jesuit: God bless you. Goodbye everybody. (leaves.)
Devotees: Hare Krsna.
Prabhupada: You have got that canteloupe? No.
Srutakirti: No. Guruprasada, you can get melon, honeydew melon now?
Guruprasada: Yes.
Srutakirti: Okay. You made him run away. He said, "I must run away." (laughing) (end).

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