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Evening Darsana

July 7, 1976, Washington, D.C.
Vrsakapi: ...Flemings, Prabhupada. You are a professor?
Professor Flemings: Well, I'm retired.
Vrsakapi: Retired professor? From what school?
Professor Flemings: University of Maryland.
Vrsakapi: The University of Maryland. What was your subject?
Professor Flemings: Modern poetry and theater.
Vrsakapi: Oh, very nice, very nice. This is, ah, you are a physicist?
Carl Warentz: That's correct.
Vrsakapi: And your name is?
Carl Warentz: Carl Warentz.
Vrsakapi: Carl Warentz, Prabhupada, he's from Catholic University, physicist.
Prabhupada: If you are uncomfortable you can sit on this cot...
Carl Warentz: No, that's okay, I'll sit like this.
Prabhupada: You are welcome to sit down here.
Hari-sauri: You can sit on the couch.
Vrsakapi: This is Eugene Thoreau, Prabhupada. He's an attorney in Washington, D.C. He's helped us very much opening up sankirtana places. Very good.
Vipina: Srila Prabhupada, this is a professor from Catholic University, a physicist.
Vrsakapi: I told him already.
Vipina: Oh, did you?
Hari-sauri: Bring one or two chairs.
Prabhupada: So how do you like our movement, Hare Krsna movement?
Vrsakapi: He said how do you like our movement?
Guest (1): Well, for myself I know nothing about it, that's why I'm here.
Guest (2): I like it, I've seen some very good people go into it, and I like it.
Woman guest: I've known two people who went into it, and I was at a meeting when you were on Q Street. And I've always liked it.
Eugene Thoreau: I have found it strangely appealing. I met it by accident at an airport, and one of the devotees gave me a flower, and I was struck by it. So I happen to be a lawyer and I offered my services, and I got a call just a few days after that.
Prabhupada: Open the fan.
Carl Warentz: I find it interesting.
Vrsakapi: You like this speed, Srila Prabhupada? Should we turn this on for you?
Prabhupada: Yes. Ap? (Hindi, "You?")
Dr. Sharma: I'm professor at Berkeley, California. And I was Regents Professor at UCLA, University of California, Los Angeles.
Prabhupada: Accha. In Los Angeles we have our mandira, we have... You sometimes go to our temple?
Dr. Sharma: Yes, I go to the temple in Berkeley. I was at Berkeley about a week ago. I'm in London now, at the Royal Institute of Chemistry. I was born in Haridwar.
Prabhupada: Haridwar. (laughs) Bhagavan ka desa hari. Hari, Hari means the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and dvara means the door, the doorway to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is a place in India, Haridwar, people go there for pilgrimage, very famous place.
Dr. Sharma: I grew up with yogis and sannyasis in Hrishikesh. My father is a recluse.
Prabhupada: Oh, your father is also recluse.
Dr. Sharma: Recluse. And I must tell an incident which, although I was growing up with meditation, I find the bhakti-yoga, the chanting, really fulfilling and actually making the difference. Actually making the difference. In one case, it is abstract philosophy, which is the raja-yoga, other yogas, philosophies, and this actually makes the person transformed. Another incident occurred yesterday, when I was meditating and I wanted to ask about five different slokas of Gita, out of which, surprisingly, you discussed four. (laughter) This was most astounding to me.
Prabhupada: Which one?
Dr. Sharma:
yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham
[Bg. 4.7]
That was one. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. I'd like to discuss two more: karmany evadhikaras te ma phalesu kadacana. If you could please kindly...
Prabhupada: That is explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Everyone is engaged in his occupational duties. Everyone is engaged. Generally according to Vedic civilization, the society is divided into eight divisions. Varnasrama-dharma it is called-four varnas and four asramas. Materially, four varnas: brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra. And spiritually, brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa. These eight divisions. So according to these eight divisions, everyone has an occupational duty. So what is the duty and how the duty is perfected? That is hari-tosanam, to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That people do not know. Especially at the present moment, they do not know who is Hari and they do not know how to please Him. That is the defect of the modern civilization, that they do not care to know who is God and how to satisfy Him. That is the defect. The life is meant for, human life, for satisfying God. That is going on under religious system, and the Vedic civilization is called varnasrama-dharma. Dharma is not a kind of faith, religion is not a kind of faith, but it is a duty, varnasrama-dharma. So that duty we are forgetting. And therefore we are coming to the level of animals. Because the cats and dogs, they have no duty-animal. But human being has an obligation, a duty to understand God and to satisfy Him. That is human life. Without this knowledge, without this performance of duty, human life is on the level of animals. There are many other verses in this connection. Where are others? They are not present here?
Prabhupada: Pusta Krsna.
Hari-sauri: I can find them.
Prabhupada: That is the defect of modern civilization, that they do not care to know what is God and what is our duty. That is lacking.
Dr. Sharma:
Prabhupada: So we are trying to enlighten...
Vrsakapi: This gentleman is from the embassy, Srila Prabhupada. The ambassador couldn't come personally but sent his representative.
Vipina: The minister of political affairs at the embassy, Venkateshvara.
Prabhupada: Venkateshvara? So by evolutionary process we come to this human form of life. It is a chance to understand the value of life, to understand God and our relationship with God, and if we are missing this opportunity, that's a great loss. Then you again become in another form of life. That is sure. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, tatha dehantara-praptih [Bg. 2.13]. We have to change this body, and if we are not prepared, what kind of body we are going to get next life, then we remain like animals. The animal does not know. And human life, if you are missing this important point, that "I am going to change this body, and what kind of body I'm going to get?" if I do not know, then what is the difference between me and the animal?
Dr. Sharma: Perhaps you can comment on the fact that in the movement, the Krsna people, not only the sannyasis, but also the common working man, his karma is karmany evadhikaras te ma phalesu kadacana. He also...
Prabhupada: This is karma. Karma means according to that division, that brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra and brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa. Karma means activity. There must be some prescribed activity. Just like you are professor, you have got your prescribed activities. He's the minister of ambassador's, he has got prescribed activities. So everyone has got prescribed activities in whatever position he is, but what is the standard of success, that I have done my duties, prescribed duties properly? What is that standard? The standard is given in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, samsiddhir hari-tosanam: [SB 1.2.13] whether you have satisfied the Supreme Personality of Godhead by your duty. Then it is success.
Professor Flemings: How do you know if you have satisfied God?
Prabhupada: Yes, that is the intelligent question. If you do not know who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and how He is satisfied, then you are lacking knowledge. That is being instructed in the Bhagavad-gita. God Himself is instructing how you can satisfy Him. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. It is not very difficult. Anyone can do it. "Just always think of Me," God says, Krsna says. "Always think of Me." Just as we think of our friend, of our master, of our beloved, similarly we can think of God also. There is no difficulty. But if you have no knowledge about God, how you can think of God? That is the defect. So the..., how God is satisfied, that is there, but if you do not do it... That is our business, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. Four things. God says that "You always think of Me, you become My devotee, you just offer Me obeisances, just worship Me," four things. Anyone can do it. It is not difficult.
Dr. Sharma: You are so very kind you have given us the temple, and these devotees are such saints.
Prabhupada: Yes, it is for this purpose. People may come, see God, then you can think of God. There is no difficulty. If you see something, you think of it. That is man-mana bhava. And if you regularly do it then you become a devotee. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji. And when you come to the temple you worship Him. Patram puspam phalam toyam [Bg. 9.26]. Worshiping means give and take. Take blessings and offer little fruit or little flower. Patram puspam phalam toyam. And if you cannot do anything, just offer your obeisances. Very simple thing. Even the child can perform it. But they will not do it. Na mam duskrtino mudha prapadyante naradhamah [Bg. 7.15]. Why does he not do it? That is explained. Because unless one is sinful, duskrtina... He has got merit, but he's utilizing his merit for sinful activities. Krti, krti means meritorious, but duskrti, he has got merit, intelligence, but he's utilizing merit and intelligence for sinful activities. Therefore duskrtina. Na mam duskrtino mudhah. Mudha means rascal. He knows everything except God. Naradhama, the lowest of the mankind. The human life is meant for this purpose, to understand God. But he does not. Therefore we say naradhama, lowest of mankind. "But he is very educated." mayayapahrta-jnana. He is so-called educated. Actually, he is not educated, because he does not know what is God. Mayayapahrta-jnana asuram bhavam asritah. The basic principle is atheistic attitude. So these class of men will never offer obeisances or surrender to God.
So asuric life is very dangerous, and it is punishable. This is the position. So we should not become asuric. With all material opulences, just like in the Ramayana, Ravana was called asura. He was materially very advanced. He made his capital made of gold, he was so advanced materially. But he did not care for Rama, therefore he is called asura, raksasa. He was son of a brahmana, but he did not care for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He was a learned scholar, materially very intelligent, there was airplane, everything, but he did not care for Rama, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore he is described as asura. So asuras are divided into four classes-duskrtina, mudha, naradhama, and mayayapahrta-jnana.
Devotee (1): Srila Prabhupada, in our preaching activities we see that, of course, in Kali-yuga more and more individuals are turning away from Krsna, or God, thinking that God is dead, they don't need to do any type of activities for Him. Then how can we explain to these people that they are missing the entire point of life? In other words, they don't even want to hear. They simply don't want to hear anything. God is dead, and they think that they are enjoying, and it's very difficult sometimes to explain to these people that actually they are not enjoying at all.
Prabhupada: They are mudhas, that is already explained. If you cannot convince them, then avoid them. What can be done? Instead of wasting time, you better avoid them. Upeksa. Useless. Because godless persons means duskrtino mudhah naradhamah. So it is the duty of the preacher to enlighten them also, to take some risk. But if one is unable to take risk, he may avoid them.
Devotee (1): When we go to universities, so often we run into very educated people, so-called educated people. Of course, they see us, they think that we are simply sentimentalists, that actually we are not..., don't really have knowledge of the universe. I've explained to these people, it's not necessarily that they are sinful so much as they are just miseducated.
Prabhupada: No, educated means they have knowledge, but real knowledge is taken away. He does not know God. Just like a man is rich, but he has no food. It is like that. mayayapahrta-jnana. Therefore his knowledge is misused, duskrtina. This knowledge, without any sense of God... Yes, come in. Sit down. (guests entering)
Vrsakapi: This is Mr. Davis, Mr. and Mrs. Davis, Prabhupada. Their daughter is a devotee here, very good devotee.
Hari-sauri: There's chair if you'd like to sit in the chair. We can bring one more. Bring another chair.
Vipina: Used to be a senator.
Prabhupada: Perfection of knowledge means to understand God. That is perfection of knowledge. Otherwise, it is imperfect knowledge. Therefore it is called Vedanta. Veda means knowledge. (more people enter)
Vrsakapi: This is Bill Sauer. He wrote this book, The Fourth Kingdom.
Prabhupada: Fourth kingdom? What is the idea?
Vrsakapi: The idea is that the goal of life should be to...
Bill Sauer: To put people on other planets.
Vrsakapi: Put people on other planets, so that the race can survive.
Bill Sauer: So that all of life can survive.
Vrsakapi: So that all of life can survive.
Prabhupada: That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita:
If you want to transfer yourself to other planetary system, you can go. You can go to the higher planetary system, which is resided by the demigods, devas, yanti deva-vrata devan; and you can go to other planets, Pitrloka; or you can remain here as you like; and you can go to the planet where God is there. Mad-yajino 'pi yanti mam. So this human life, you can make your selection. After all, you have to change your body, that is compulsory. Nobody can remain here with this body, janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi [Bg. 13.9]. And we have to change our body. So we can make our selection, where we shall go next, either in the higher planetary system or the Pitrloka or we shall remain here or we can go even back to home, back to Godhead. So we must prepare ourselves for that purpose. Then next life we can go wherever we like. But anywhere within this material world, there are four principles, janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi. There is birth, there is death, there is old age and disease. But if you go to the spiritual kingdom, there is no more such things, no birth, no death, no disease, no old age. Now we can make our selection. And if we do not make our selection, if we live like cats and dogs, without any responsibility, then again we become in the category of cats and dogs. Mudha, janmani janmani [Bg. 16.20], life after life, they remain like animals, without any knowledge.
Vrsakapi: Bill's idea is that we should go by spaceship, right?
Bill Sauer: Well, in the natural world and in the cosmos, nothing is stable. Life only survives all the things that can cause it to perish by mobility, by moving. A coconut tree on one island drops its seeds in the ocean to float for thousands of miles to wash up on another shore, so that if that island is destroyed it will have life on another island. The seed blossom of a plant is the way the plant survives. It sends its seeds off to other meadows to assure its survival. The premise here is that humanity arrived in nature very recently. We are part of nature, but we arrived very recently to give life on earth the same mobility, the same chance to survive. Among the hundreds of other planets in the universe, as a dandelion does in seeding other meadows, as a coconut palm does in surviving on other islandsthe coconut palm does not know that there are other islands, but yet it launches its seeds to the unknown currents of the oceanI believe it is our duty to launch our seeds, our space arks, launch those seeds to the unknown gravitational currents of the stars and find the hundreds of other planets that are out there, so that there cannot be enough cosmic disasters to cause life to perish. And it was meeting two or three of your people at the airport, and I asked them aboutat the Washington National Airport, I think it was Meena and Mary Davis, and Sarvabhauma I believeand I said "What about your philosophy?" He said, "We talk about living on other planets." Boy, (laughs) right away I got very interested. And I believe people have had visions of life to other planets because I believe that's our destiny, and that is our reason for existence in nature. I've been interested in the Krsna movement. You'll say why? I'm a materialistic type, why am I here? (laughs) You have an interesting philosophy that... You see, not all of us can be building space arks, not all of us can leave the earth, and we should not be using up all our material resources, destroying all other life unnecessarily. And I think that we have to adopt a life style that is a little simpler, that we would enjoy life on this earth, where most of us have to stay, with lesser material requirements. Secondly, I believe we are going to have to have a different type of society on a space ark if we're going to have maybe a hundred years to two hundreds years going to another star. The traditional societies that we are familiar with may not be able to survive the social pressures. Maybe this type of an environment-Is this communal, would you say?I think it's going to have to be some type of communal environment to survive this kind of a trip. So this is my interest in the Krsna movement. I think they seem to have the visions of going to other planets, which I think is our only reason for existence.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is, I was discussing. Yanti deva-vrata devan [Bg. 9.25]. You can go to the higher planetary system where the devas, the demigods live. Their duration of life is very, very big. Our six months is equal to one day there. Such ten thousands of years they live. But they die. It is not permanent. But the duration of life is very big, the standard of life is very high. These are the advantages. But there is death, old age, disease; birth, death, old age and disease. But if you transfer yourself in the spiritual kingdom, then tyaktva deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9], then you don't get any more material birth there. That is because we are eternal, we living entities. We do not die. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. After giving up this body we do not die actually; we accept another body.
Bill Sauer: I believe the spirit of life lives on totally in this marvelous planet earth, but I feel the spirit has to be carried and nurtured and improved in the body. So I feel we have to carry the bodies, the material bodies, to the other planets to allow the spiritualism to live there also.
Prabhupada: That is in the material world. If you want to stay in the material, then you change the material body just suitable for a particular place, atmosphere. But we have got our spiritual body. That spiritual body, without any material covering, you can transfer to the spiritual world.
Bill Sauer: You believe you can transmit that to other planets?
Prabhupada: Yes. We have to transfer, because we are giving up this body. So you must accept another body. So either in this planet or in other planets or as human being or less than human being... There are 8,400,000 types of body. You have to accept one of them according to your karma. Karmana daiva-netrena jantur dehopapattaye [SB 3.31.1]. How the next body is developed, that is depending on our work. If we work like demigod, then we go and get the body of demigod. And if we work like dog, then we get the body of a dog. Nature's. Karanam guna-sango 'sya sad-asad-yoni-janmasu [Bg. 13.22]. According to activity and association of the modes of material nature, we get, up and down, different varieties of body. Some of them are low grade, some of them are high grade. That depends on our association with the modes of nature. Nature's work is going on. Just like if we contaminate some particular germs of disease, that disease will develop and we have to suffer. Similarly, by our contamination or association with the guna, qualities of nature... There are three qualities, goodness, passion and ignorance. So we have to know how to associate. If we associate with the goodness, then we are elevated to the higher planetary system, deva. And if we associate with passion, then in the middle, just like human being. And if we associate with ignorance, then go down like animal, trees, plants, like that.
Bill Sauer: How is the spirit held in the system till it finds a new body?
Prabhupada: Body, that I have explained, that you are associating with some modes of material nature. So according to that association, you'll get next body. Just like, I have already explained.
Bill Sauer: Is that immediately after one dies you transfer to another body, or later?
Prabhupada: Yes, body is changing every moment. That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gita lesson.
dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantara-praptir
dhiras tatra na muhyati
[Bg. 2.13]
Every body... Just like a child is changing his body to boyhood, boy is changing his body to youthhood, kaumaram yauvanam jara. The young man is becoming old man. Similarly, when the body is no more endurable, then you get another body. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. This body is being destroyed, we are not destroyed. We living entities, we are nityah sasvato 'yam. We are eternal. The proof is given that the child is growing, getting the boy's body. That means the living entity is there, he has changed bodies. When a child is grown to become a boy, the father, mother do not think that "My child is no more existing." He knows "My child is existing, but in a different body." This is common sense. So we shall exist, we existed in the past, we are existing now and we shall exist in the future, but in a different body. [break]
Bill Sauer: ...in theses that we..., nature tolerates us. We are part of the tree of life, this is the tree of the animal kingdom. And since there is no way that the animal or plant can escape this planet in the body form, but we are here to support this new tree, the tree of technology, the tree of the fourth kingdom, which started out as the animals lived very simply and became more complex until we finally developed a means to launch the seeds of our civilization from this planet to others. We are a special creature which has been given special brain power, special power, which we have abused many times, by the way. But special power in order to create space arks to take, not just humanity, but really an ark of the totality of life to another planet, to, hopefully, hundreds of planets. Because sooner or later this planet will be destroyed by the sun.
Prabhupada: Other planets also will be destroyed.
Bill Sauer: Pardon?
Prabhupada: Other planets also will be destroyed.
Bill Sauer: Other planets? There couldn't be enough cosmic disaster to destroy a hundred planets at once.
Prabhupada: Bhutva bhutva praliyate [Bg. 8.19].
Bill Sauer: Our star will eventually turn into a red giant, will incinerate this earth. Other stars, the astrologers have found, or astronomers, excuse me...
Prabhupada: You find out that verse? (Sauer laughs) Paras tasmat tu bhavo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktat sanatanah [Bg. 8.20].
Bill Sauer: The... Many stars in this galaxy are far less stable than our star. Our star has been stable now for five billion years. Many stars are not stable that long, and we're kind of living on borrowed time.
paras tasmat tu bhavo 'nyo
'vyakto 'vyaktat sanatanah
yah sa sarvesu bhutesu
nasyatsu na vinasyati
[Bg. 8.20]
"Yet there is another nature, which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is."
Bill Sauer: Well, I could interpret that in another way, not having any backgroundyou'll have to excuse my ignorancethat we are the tool of eternity. We are, through our technical capabilities, the ability to spread life so far among so many billions of stars that there will be eternal life, there will be eternal spirituality.
Prabhupada: But there is eternal life.
Bill Sauer: But when this planet sits for a billion years at a thousand degrees Fahrenheit, what we know as life will be destroyed.
Prabhupada: Anything within this material world will be all destroyed. But there is another nature, that is being described. Paras tasmat tu bhavo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktat sanatanah [Bg. 8.20].
Bill Sauer: But the spirit is manufactured in the body, is it not, sir?
Prabhupada: Yes, spirit is, but there is a spiritual world also, where you don't require this material body, you remain in your spiritual body.
Bill Sauer: But if there is no bodies left, they are all burned up, there's no spiritual development.
Prabhupada: (laughs) No, that is not the fact.
Bill Sauer: So you need to take the bodies somewhere so that... (laughs)
Prabhupada: No, so long you are in the material world you need to take a material body, but if you are in your original spiritual body, then you remain in the spiritual world.
Bill Sauer: Well, I believe there is a matrix of creation, a spiritual... Technical people call it an electromagnetic world, where I'm sure a lot goes on that we are unaware of, but I believe the... It's like one product of the fourth kingdom is the automobile. And that has it's spiritual world. Automobiles, if you destroyed all the automobiles, there are still blueprints around, there are still things that can manufacture other automobiles. But the trial, the improvement, the development the automobile has to take place as an automobile... Likewise, I think the spiritual improvement, the improvement of...
Prabhupada: Automobile, automatically the automobile does not develop. When a man, a person, develops the design, that is a question of development. But the automobile as it is, it does not develop. It is matter. When matter is handled by a spirit soul, then there is change. Otherwise there is no change.
Dr. Sharma: Perhaps I can give you a scientific explanation. I'm a scientist. According to science every cell is changed within twelve years. Every single body's cell is changed.
Bill Sauer: It's continuous, yes.
Dr. Sharma: It's a continuing process, by the molecular process, all right? And Gita says: vasamsi jirnani yatha vihaya navani grhnati naro 'parani [Bg. 2.22]. Just like you change the old clothes to new clothes-it's an exact word-to-word translation.
Sauer: We're a continually changing image, right.
Dr. Sharma: The body changes. Now the concept of God, according to the scripture, is infinite. With our finite mind, we cannot comprehend the infinite. Because the finite can only comprehend a finite portion of it. Just like when I was a child, my concept of God, the infinity, was a certain portion of infinity, but it changes. So long you are comprehending the material part of an infinity, you are only comprehending a small part, and consequently, when the body changes or the soul changes, you will never be able to comprehend the material and the transition of the material to another planet, because there is no way you can comprehend the totality of the God's manifestation. In the Eighteenth Chapter, when the virad-rupa is given, he cannot comprehend the whole maya. And the idea of transporting body or material is just a very small, finite portion of the total infinity, which no one can comprehend. This is what Prabhupada is...
Bill Sauer: I agree. What we are, are the resulting images of the power of creation. We are the evidence that there is a creative power.
Dr. Sharma: And consequently, since we are only a manifestation of the total power...
Bill Sauer: That's right, we are a manifestation, an image of it.
Dr. Sharma: That's why you cannot... An electric bulbs, when they are turned on and off, the light is there, but it is very hard to say where the electrons are flowing into, which...
Bill Sauer: Well in our case, our electrons are flowing from one place, the sun, and the imagery in your magazine is just beautiful. It shows the imagery of the man and the sun, and what we are, scientifically, as you know, (devotees laugh) we are images of sun energy, and this is where electrons come from. And when the sun goes out, we go out, unless we go to another star where there is another sun.
Vipina: Bill, could you explain to Srila Prabhupada how you think life is created?
Bill Sauer: How it is created?
Vipina: Yes.
Prabhupada: Who is the creator?
Bill Sauer: Well, there is a creative force. The power of life is light, and you say (laughs) Godhead is light, nescience is darkness. I believe it, it's trite and very true, in my understanding.
Vipina: He thinks everything comes from light, Srila Prabhupada.
Bill Sauer: Now all the religions refer to God as light. Most of the religions, and science agrees. Light is that very fugitive bit of energy that allows life to be possible.
Prabhupada: Unless there is fire, wherefrom the light comes?
Bill Sauer: From the fire in the sun.
Prabhupada: Yes, therefore the fire is the source of light.
Bill Sauer: That's the source of light, yes.
Prabhupada: So as soon as you say light, you must find out the source of light.
Bill Sauer: That's correct. You must destroy matter in order to create light.
Woman guest: What about water?
Dr. Sharma: You don't destroy any matter; it is transmutation.
Bill Sauer: Or, excuse me, I don't mean destroy, it's transmuted from matter to energy.
Dr. Sharma: That's the Einstein's equation, mcrs11up6 2 is equal to mass and the speed of light, you described that. You can transmute matter, there is no matter destroyed or created.
Bill Sauer: That's correct. Matter and energy are really the same thing. It's another form, that's correct. So once you have light, you have the source of life, and then you have to have an enormously creative power to take the light, move it into a form which can become life. It started out as single cells in the ocean or simple chemicals in the ocean, then single-celled, then more complex celled, all with an extraordinarily complicated creative power causing the light to flow through, to create a new image, which is light. And it's very similar, as you understand the television picture has the same electromagnetic energy that we are. We, with our simple brains, can take electromagnetic energy, tune it, transmit it, retune it as a two-dimensional picture. The creative power in life has taken the same electromagnetic coming from the sun, and has tuned it in the form of living images, three-dimensional images, far, far more complicated than our simple television.
Dr. Sharma: I'll read your book page by page and you do the same number of chanting. (laughter)
Bill Sauer: All right.
Dr. Sharma: Okay?
Bill Sauer: Yes, sir.
Dr. Sharma: And you'll be surprised what happens. I'm a hard-core scientist, and to me, it's a transformation, absolutely. I'll read your book and you read the transformation. I'm sure you'll get ahead much quicker than me.
Bill Sauer: I've talked to your people, and I think there's pretty much agreement on the fundamental philosophical concept.
Dr. Sharma: There's something magnetic about it, something creative which comes from inside.
Prabhupada: Where is our scientist?
Vipina: Svarupa Damodara-could you get him?
Hari-sauri: I already sent somebody for him, Srila Prabhupada. I don't think he's here.
Prabhupada: He's not here.
Vrsakapi: They went to the Library of Congress today, Prabhupada. They aren't here right now.
Bill Sauer: I think you put it better than I did. We do not destroy matter, we transmute it to energy, that's exactly correct. And it is the..., and in fire you are again transmuting material chemical energy into light. And when our light source goes out...
Dr. Sharma: And it surprising, I'm a scientist, I publish papers, now it is all coming together. It is after a long search which we are doing, the body systems, how to be coordinated. Endocrine systems and the nervous systems (indistinct) and that is coordinated through pranayama-yoga and the chanting. Basically indirectly is a straightforward...
Bill Sauer: Well, there, fundamentally, there should not be a difference between science and religion, really should not be.
Dr. Sharma: All scientists, all big scientists are the greatest religious people. I am at Berkeley right now. All Nobel Prize winners, they always say that all of our science, we cannot create a single leaf or a single flower, we feel so helpless.
Bill Sauer: You know Calvin?
Dr. Sharma: I was professor at UCLA.
Bill Sauer: Very good. See, he got his Nobel Laureate in explaining how the chemistry of light turns into life. So I passed my manuscript by him to make sure that he didn't run me out of town. So he agreed. He said it was rather novel. But I believe there is a fundamental truth that runs through the whole system, and I've read some of your comments in the magazines, and I think you are fundamentally in agreement.
Dr. Sharma: Prabhupada, perhaps you can make commentary on this sloka,
Prabhupada: The material civilization is the jagrati for the materialistic person. But those who are spiritually enlightened, they think that these persons are sleeping. They got the opportunity of understanding God, and without understanding God, they are simply busy with the material body and its comfort and working hard day and night, and missing the point. And whereas the materialistic persons, they see these Krsna conscious people, Hare Krsna people, they are wasting their time by chanting Hare Krsna and they are doing nothing. Just the opposite business. These people are seeing the materialistic persons, they are sleeping, not enlightened to the spiritual life; and these materialistic persons, they are seeing that these people, under some fictitious idea, they are spoiling their life without enjoying material facilities. Just the opposite.
Bill Sauer: I try to resolve these two views. I believe that materialism has a divine purpose.
Prabhupada: Everything has got divine purpose. But if you do not understand the divine purpose, then you remain animal.
Bill Sauer: Yes, that's right.
Prabhupada: Everything has got divine purpose. This human form of life is given to us by laws of nature to understand what is God, what we are, what is our relationship with God, what is this material world, why you have come here, these things we have to know in this human form of life, and, if we like, we can know also. But instead of knowing these different phases of life, if we simply take care of this body like the animals, then we miss the opportunity. The animal is concerned to take the care of the body, that's all. If we simply remain taking care of this body, then we are animal. Sa eva go-kharah [SB 10.84.13].
yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke
sva-dhih kalatradisu bhauma-ijya-dhih
yat-tirtha-buddhih salile na karhicij
janesv abhijnesu sa eva go-kharah
[SB 10.84.13]
Bill Sauer: Sir, may I read you back the, my version of "Materialism Without Purpose"? May I read you "Materialism Without Purpose"? "Mankind's insatiable appetite for material things stems from instinctive desire to pursue technology, which in turn drives civilization to a frenzy of activity. However, without a cause or a purpose," or spirituality, as you say, "the rush and hurry in uncertain directions to uncertain places creates an excess of technological gimmickery. Perhaps this continuing quest for more material goods would be less anxious if the cause of this obsession of mankind were universally recognized. If we saw the ultimate use of technology as an extension of nature with a purpose for the whole life system, perhaps a new life style would evolve. We would see creative natural instinctive satisfying outlet for energies, and we might all collectively attain more peace of mind. The waste of technological gimmickery would then disappear. Hard reality, however, will extinguish our relentless desire for material things if we do not correct the situation ourselves. We will soon run out of resources and power if our technological explosions continues as blind as a raging torrent of water flowing in any direction gravity takes it."
Prabhupada: Yes, we are carried away by the laws of nature. However you may improve your technological science, you are under the laws of material nature. That you cannot change. But if you revive your spiritual life, then you can change. Otherwise it is not possible. If you keep yourself under the laws of material nature, then you have to be carried away by the laws of material nature, however expert you may be in technological understanding. Because, after all, you are an instrument in the hands of material nature.
You are falsely thinking "I am everything. I can, by technological understanding, improve the condition." But the real problem is, as it is put forward by Bhagavad-gita, janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarsanam [Bg. 13.9]. We are eternal, na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. We are put under the laws of material nature, by which we have to accept birth, death, old age and disease. This is our real problem. So unless you make a solution of these problems, there is actually no advancement of education. But the problems remains the same.
Bill Sauer: Saying that we're governed by the laws of nature, since we are a biological creature like the rest... (laughs)
Prabhupada: So you should not remain under the laws of material nature. Daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya [Bg. 7.14]. It is very difficult.
Bill Sauer: In one of the cover letters that went out to some of the people in the American Institute of the Aeronautics and Astronautics, I referred to mankind as a biological phenomenon to solve one of nature's big problems. And a man wrote back, "Anyone who calls man a biological phenomenon shouldn't try and talk to me." So I don't know what he thinks we are, but...
Prabhupada: Biological phenomenon...
Bill Sauer: It is nature, it is governed by the laws of nature, exactly.
Prabhupada: So you can get out of it as it is advised, daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya [Bg. 7.14]. It is very difficult. But mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te. If you surrender to God, then you can get out of this biological problem. Otherwise it is not possible.
Mr. Davis: May I just add one little note to my friend, and I'm sure my scientist friend will back me up, that the radiation from the sun is far more than just light, which is, after all, just a mere part of the electromagnetic radiation.
Bill Sauer: Physical light is what you're talking about.
Mr. Davis: Yes.
Bill Sauer: I'm talking about the whole electromagnetic spectrum.
Mr. Davis: Yes, but you said light.
Bill Sauer: I wrote, I've said it in the book, that it is far more complex than we can even imagine. Let's see...
Dr. Sharma:
Devotee (2): Excuse me, is your name Bill? Did you ever inquire to ask what is the source of the light? If you look at a light bulb you can examine that it has a source. You can trace it back to the electric company, and the people who are running the electric company are personalities, right? So in the same way the light of the sun and the light of the moon is coming from a person, a personality, right? And that person, we say that person is the source of all truths actually.
Bill Sauer: That's an interesting way... I said: "Radiant energy from the sun was to be the most important ingredient for our living earth. We know the content of the sun rays to be light and heat. This is what our senses tell us. We measure waves lengths and we see colors in sunlight. However the sun rays are a blend of radiant energy so complex that we may never understand their significance." And I believe, at least in our generation, I don't think we'll quite understand how complex the sun is. So I agree totally with you.
Dr. Sharma: It's not only that, by the theory of relativity, the observer is also a part of the observed...
Bill Sauer: That's correct. We will never understand...
Dr. Sharma: For that reason, it's difficult to comprehend infinity by our finite mind, and chanting gives you something, gives me something.
Bill Sauer: :That's right. Well, you find an intuitive understanding...
Dr. Sharma: I can't explain it.
Mr. Davis: It brings you to the uncertainty principle.
Dr. Sharma: Uncertainty principle, yes.
Bill Sauer: I'm glad you said that. Then this holds true, that we may never understand the significance, and being observers on the scene we probably never will. Einstein used to say he'd like to..., he used to wonder how it might be to ride a wave of light so he could see how it really was. But since we're sitting here... (laughs)
Dr. Sharma: Someday we have to have the faith, and the only thing, as Prabhupada said, that there is a bottle of honey inside, and being outside, you can see, but unless you taste it, you can't really feel it.
Bill Sauer: Probably the most important... I quoted some people. This is Tierre De Jardin, who was a very religious man in science, was caught right in the two, and I consider this probably the most important quote in the book. De Jardin said "In the mutual reinforcement of these two still-opposed powers...," namely religion and science...
Dr. Sharma: No, I would never agree to that. Religion and science...
Bill Sauer: In the Western civilization it's opposed. He's saying philosophically, he said "In the mutual reinforcement of these two still-opposed powers and the conjunction of reason and mysticism, the human spirit is destined by the very nature of its development to find the uttermost degree of its penetration and the maximum of its vital force." In other words, spirituality and science already have truth.
Vrsakapi: Excuse me, one thing is you should address your questions to the authority. This discussion that you are having will get you nowhere. Unless you apply your questions to the authority, then you will never understand anything. So the authority is Srimad-Bhagavatam, and His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta is teaching on that authority. So if you have come here, then you should try to address your questions to His Divine Grace rather than arguing among yourselves, because you will not find any satisfaction in your argument. If you want information, then you must go to the authority.
Guest: Still, the argument was an aspect of the occasion, and it came out of the wisdom that he's here.
Prabhupada: Acintyah khalu ye bhava na tams tarkena yojayet. Things which are inconceivable, do not try to understand by argument. Acintyah khalu ye bhava na tams tarkena yojayet. So our process, this Krsna consciousness movement, is to take knowledge from the authority. Unless we take knowledge from the authority, however we may go on arguing, we cannot come to the conclusion. The modern scientists, philosophers, they are arguing, but they do not come to the conclusion. If you want to take conclusion... Just like two lawyers are arguing in the court, but the conclusion is given by the authority, the judge. That one has to accept. So we take authority, the Bhagavad-gita or Krsna. He is accepted authority by all the acaryas, Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Visnu Svami, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and in the sastra also, Vyasadeva, Narada, Devala, Asita. So our authority is confirmed. So if we take conclusion from the authority, then we benefit. Otherwise, with our limited knowledge, if we go on arguing, then we cannot understand the conclusion. That is not possible. Tarko 'pratisthah srutayo vibhinna. By argument we cannot come to the conclusion. I can argue, and you can argue, but you may argue more than me. Another person can argue more than you. In this way, you do not come to the conclusion. And srutayo vibhinna. So far scriptures are concerned, there are also different scriptures. Nasav rsir yasya matam na bhinnam. And a philosopher is not a philosopher if he does not agree with others, if he does not agree other philosophers. So in this way, you are perplexed. Therefore it is advised, mahajano yena gatah sa panthah [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. We should accept the authority, and then we shall be benefited. So the authorities are mentioned in the sastra, who are authorities. So if we follow the authorities, then we get the conclusion. So Krsna is the authority accepted. At least in India, all the Vedic authorities, Vedantists, they have accepted, Krsna is the authority. So we simply follow what Krsna says, and we get benefit out of it. Then it is all right. And without following authority, if you go on arguing, there is no end. The same example, that two lawyers, both of them are learned scholar. They are going on arguing on some point, they do not come to conclusion. But when the judge gives his conclusion, that has to be accepted. That is final. So we have to find out the judge. That is Krsna. So we have got many points to understand by argument, but if we take the judgment of Krsna, then it is conclusive. And He has His direction in every field of life, in the Bhagavad-gita. Even our political leaders, they also accept Bhagavad-gita in guidance. So if you take guidance from Bhagavad-gita without malinterpretation, then we are benefited. Unfortunately, we interpret our own way, which is favorable to us, and that is not required. Then the authority of the Bhagavad-gita is gone. We make our own conclusion, supposing on the authority of Bhagavad-gita. That will not help us, by malinterpretation. You take the conclusion of Bhagavad-gita as it is, then you will be benefited.
Eugene Thoreau: May I ask a question? Is it possible to aim at any form of personal existence after death?
Prabhupada: Yes, you are personally existing, you are old man. When you were a child, you were person. When you were young man, you were a person. Now you are old man, you are a person. We are personalities continuing although the body is changing. You are not missing your personality. So therefore personality continues even when you change this body. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gita, in the Second Chapter. Krsna says... Find out this verse.
Prabhupada: No, there is another verse where Krsna says, "My dear Arjuna, you and Me and all these persons who are assembled here..."
Hari-sauri: Na tv evaham jatu nasam.
Prabhupada: Ah, that verse.
Translation, "Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings, nor in the future shall any of us cease to be."
Prabhupada: Yes, that means in the past we existed, at present we are existing, and in future we shall continue to exist, individually. And that is our experience. I existed in the past as a child. So I existed as a person. I existed as a young man, so I existed as a person. I am an old man now, now I am existing as a person. Naturally, the conclusion is when I shall change this body, I shall remain as a person. How we can change this conclusion? I am continuing to exist as a person. I am still existing as a person. And here is the authority, He says in the future also you remain a person. So there is time factor, past, present and future, and in all these time factors I live as a person. Not only I, but also Krsna. He says "I also remain as person. You Arjuna, you also person, I am also person, and all these soldiers and kings who have assembled, they are also persons." So our personality continues, past, present and future.
Mr. Davis: Then when you die and you are buried, they bury your body.
Prabhupada: My body you bury, but I go away.
Mr. Davis: They bury my body, they bury your name, they write it on a stone maybe, but they bury your name, they bury your memory. What survives, I was going to ask, and then what survivesno memory, no body, no nameis the spirit.
Prabhupada: That is soul.
Mr. Davis: And the spirit would not necessarily have the ability to point and say "I used to be in that body or that body or that."
Prabhupada: No, that he forgets. Death means forgetfulness. Just like accepting that I was existing in previous life, but now I do not remember. This is death. But I am existing, that's a fact. The same example. Everyone knows that he was existing as a child, he was existing as a young man. So because it is short period, I remember, but when the body is completely changed, the atmosphere is completely changed, we forget. But actually I exist continually. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. This is the authoritative statement, that I am not annihilated on account of my body being annihilated. So they bury the body or giving some name, some tomb, that is the business of my relatives, my friends, my family members. But as I am, I am aloof from this. I have accepted another body. And then begin my life in a different way. So people do not try to understand this science, how it is happening. That is all described in the Bhagavad-gita. If we study Bhagavad-gita very carefully, we can understand the philosophy of life correctly.
Pusta Krsna: This gentleman here has a question, Srila Prabhupada.
Eugene Thoreau: You mentioned understanding, you mentioned lawyers arguing and the judge make the decision and their higher authority resolves the question. Can you suggest how people can go beyond that to spiritual understandingnot just appealing for judgment over a controversy about facts. What suggestions or comments do you have about achieving spiritual understanding?
Prabhupada: That is very simple. Spiritual understanding, that is, I was speaking... This is beginning of Bhagavad-gita. Spiritual understanding is that I am not this body. (to devotee) You move it this way. This is spiritual understanding. So long I am under this bodily concept of life, that "I am this body," "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am Hindu," "I am Christian," "I am white," "I am black" and so on, so on, these are all bodily concept of life. So long we keep ourself on this platform, then we are on the material platform. When we understand that "I am not this body..." That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gita. Dehino 'smin yatha dehe [Bg. 2.13]. Deha means this body, and dehi means the owner of the body. So unless we distinguish the owner of the body and the body, there is no spiritual knowledge. So long we identify with this body, that is material knowledge. And when we understand that "I am not this body, I am a spirit soul, I have been entrapped by this body," that is spiritual knowledge.
Mr. Davis: Is it not also true that the more you can realize "I am not this body," but there is that within my body which is spiritual, and that is there in an African's body which is spiritual, or a Chinese...
Prabhupada: Everyone's body.
Mr. Davis: Everyone's body, therefore the thing we have in common is we are all a part of the spirit.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is fact. We are part and parcel of the supreme spirit, God. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gita. Mamaivamso jiva-bhutah [Bg. 15.7]. "All these living entities, they are My part and parcel." Qualitatively, we are one. Just like a small particle of gold is also gold. It is nothing else. Similarly, we being part and parcel of God, we have got that godly qualification. God can create. We can also create. That example I have given in my last magazine, that we have created this big 747 airplane, but we cannot create a mosquito. That is also plane, with pilot. That is God's creation. So the creative power, both of us, we have got, but we are limited, and He is unlimited. That is the difference. A drop of seawater contains the same chemicals, but the quantity of Atlantic Ocean and drop of Atlantic Ocean is not the same. So we are just like drop of the Atlantic Ocean, and God is Atlantic Ocean. That is the difference. But chemically test, the whole Atlantic Ocean is salty, we are also salty. Whatever chemical composition is Atlantic Ocean, we are also of the same chemical composition. And because we are part and parcel of God, therefore we show sometimes activities very wonderful, but still, God's activities are still more wonderful. That we cannot compare. That is not possible. So we should understand what is the duty of the part and parcel. Now, just like this finger is the part and parcel of my body. So what is the duty of the finger? To serve the whole body. I order the finger "Please come here," immediately it does like this. So the finger, being part and parcel of the body, it is the duty of the finger to serve the whole body. When the finger is unable to give any service, then it is diseased. If there is some pain in the finger, I want to use this finger for some purpose, to pick up this flower, I cannot do it, that means it is diseased. Similarly, we living entities, part and parcel of God, when we are unable to give service to the Supreme, that is our diseased condition. That is not normal condition. And when we are actually able to give service to God, that is our healthy condition. So in the materialistic way of life we are diseased. Because we are diseased, therefore we have to accept birth and death. Tapo divyam putraka yena suddhyet sattvam [SB 5.5.1]. So we have to get free from this diseased condition. Suddhyet sattvam. Yasmad brahma-saukhyam tv anantam.(end)

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