Radio Interview

July 27, 1976, London
Mukunda: Srila Prabhupada, this is Mr. Robinson, Mike Robinson, from London Broadcasting Company. It's a very prominent news program in London, and he wanted to interview you, ask some questions.
Mike Robinson: If I could just spend one or two minutes of your time. Shall I explain the program? We do a religious program for two and a half hours on a Sunday which covers all different religions, and what we'd like is, people in London have seen, you know, many members of the Hare Krsna movement on Oxford Street. And if you would explain more about the Hare Krsna movement, how it was formed, what you believe, this sort of idea, so that people would have a better understanding of the movement. And I'll just set up a tape recorder first.
Mukunda: This is your biography, Srila Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: Yes, I have seen it, encyclopedia.
Mike Robinson: Could we just talk for a minute or two so that we could get all this set up? If you'd like, just to tell me. You're going to India tomorrow, is that correct?
Prabhupada: Yes, I am leaving tomorrow.
Mike Robinson: And when did you come into England?
Hari-sauri: He came seven days ago.
Mike Robinson: Oh, I see. Your Grace, could I ask you, first, how you pronounce your name.
Prabhupada: Bhaktivedanta Swami
Mike Robinson: Gee, it's very, very difficult isn't it. Now I understand you're the founder of the Hare Krsna movement. Can you tell me how it came to be founded?
Prabhupada: Give him the name.
Mike Robinson: That's the name, is it.
Jayatirtha: Yes.
Mike Robinson: I see. And what's he pointing, that he should...?
Mukunda: He wanted you to see how it's pronounced.
Jayatirtha: Spelled.
Mike Robinson: Oh, thank you very much. Can you tell me how the Hare Krsna movement came to be founded?
Prabhupada: You can tell these things. These ordinary things you can say.
Jayatirtha: It's being recorded now. It's being recorded directly for the radio program now.
Mukunda: Srila Prabhupada was a student of a great spiritual teacher in India, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati.
Mike Robinson: There's a problem with me asking him questions, is it?
Mukunda: Well, these are, just these preliminary questions. He prefers to discuss mostly the philosophical side. This is like background.
Mike Robinson: So perhaps I'd like an interview with you as well.
Jayatirtha: That would be good.
Mukunda: You want to do it now or later?
Mike Robinson: It would perhaps be easier if I could do that one first. You could answer the ones that.... So which questions would he be happier answering? What you believe, that sort of?
Jayatirtha: Yes.
Mike Robinson: And develop from that. I'm sorry about that. If I ask you a few questions about what you believe and that sort of, along those lines, and then get some of the background material from some of your other members of the movement. Can you tell me what you believe, what is the philosophy of the Hare Krsna movement?
Prabhupada: Yes, it is not a question of belief, it is a science, a spiritual movement. Just like a man is living and he's dead, what is the difference? The difference is that the spirit soul or the living force is out of the body. Therefore he's called dead body. So there are two things, anyone can appreciate. One, this body, and other, the living force of the body. So we are speaking of the living force of the body. That is the difference between material and spiritual. As such, in the beginning, it is very difficult for ordinary man to understand what is our movement, but our movement begins when one understands that he is soul or something other than this body. Then this movement begins.
Mike Robinson: And when we understand that...
Prabhupada: You can understand at any moment, but it requires little brain. Just like a child is growing or changing the body. A child is becoming a boy and the boy is becoming a young man. The body is changing, but the child cannot understand that his body's changing. Actually, the body is changing. So the young man's body is also changing, and the old man's body. Therefore the conclusion is that the body is changing, and the occupier of the body, it is the same. So on this logic, the occupier being the same and the bodies changing, it is to be concluded that when this body is changed, we get another body. This is called transmigration of the soul.
Mike Robinson: So when people die, it is just the physical body that dies.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is explained very elaborately in the Bhagavad-gita: na jayate na mriyate va kadacin na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20].
Mike Robinson: Are you there referring to references from the scriptures?
Prabhupada: Yes, so many references. It is a series of education. What is that? Read it.
"For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain."
Mike Robinson: Thank you very much for reading that. So can you explain to me just a bit more, if the soul is undying, does everybody's soul go to be with God when they die? Do you have a belief in a heaven or a hell?
Prabhupada: Not necessarily. If he's qualified, if he qualifies himself in this life to go back home, back to Godhead, then he can go. If he does not qualify himself, he gets another material body, and there are 8,400,000 different forms of body. And according to his desire and karma, activities, the nature, laws of nature, gives him a body. Just like a man infects some disease and he develops that disease. Is it difficult to understand?
Mike Robinson: It's very difficult to understand all of it. Perhaps we can...
Prabhupada: Now suppose somebody has infected some smallpox disease. After seven days it develops. What is that called, that period?
Mike Robinson: Incubation? Is that the word?
Prabhupada: Ah, incubation, no, another technical, yes, that after some time, the disease comes. There is a technical name. Anyway, so you cannot avoid it. If you have infected some disease, it will develop by nature's law. It is not possible to avoid it. Similarly, during our this life, we are in association with different modes of material nature, and that will decide what kind of body we are going to get next life. That is strictly under the laws of nature. Everything is under the laws of nature. You have no control over it; you are completely dependent, but people, on account of dull brain, they think that they are free. They are not free. They are imagining they are free. They're completely under the laws of nature. So this next birth will be decided according to my activities this life, sinful or pious, like that.
Mike Robinson: Your Grace, if we could perhaps go back over that just for a minuteyou said nobody is free.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Mike Robinson: But are you saying that if we live a good life we in some way determine our future as well?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Mike Robinson: So we are free to choose in so far as what we believe important. I mean religion is important, because if we believe in God and live a good life...
Prabhupada: There is no question of believe. Don't bring this question-belief. It is law. Just like there is government, you believe or not believe, who cares for you? That is government. Similarly, you believe or not believe, there is God. If you don't believe in God and do independently whatever you like, then you'll be punishable.
Mike Robinson: I see. Does it matter what religion you believe? Does it matter which religion you believe? Would it matter if one was a devotee of Hare Krsna...?
Prabhupada: It is not the question of which religion, it is a question of science, that what is your position. You are a spiritual being, you are under the laws of nature. So you may believe.... Just like you may believe in Christian religion, I may believe in Hindu religion, but it does not mean that a Christian child is not going to become a boy. We are talking of the science, that the child become a boy. This is natural law. It is not that because you are Christian you are becoming a boy, or because I am Hindu I am becoming.... Everyone becomes a boy. So similarly, the laws of nature is applicable to everyone. You believe this religion or that religion, it doesn't matter.
Mike Robinson: So you're saying there's only one God.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Mike Robinson: Provided you believe in that one God.
Prabhupada: Yes. One God, one God's law, nature's law, and we are all under that nature's law, under the control of the Supreme. So if we think that we are free, we can do independently, that is our foolishness.
Mike Robinson: I see. Can you explain to me then what difference it makes being a member of the Hare Krsna movement.
Prabhupada: Hare Krsna movement means one who is serious to understand this science-he's member of Hare Krsna movement. There's no question of he belongs to some group, anyone, student. Just like in a college, students can be admitted. He may be a Christian, he may be a Hindu, he may be Muhammadan, it doesn't matter. It is a science to understand.
Mike Robinson: And what difference would it make to him, being taught what the Hare Krsna people...
Prabhupada: This is the beginning of education, that you are a spirit soul. Because you are spirit soul you are changing bodies. This is the understanding, beginning A-B-C-D. So when the body is finished, annihilated, you are not finishedyou get another body. Just like you have got this coat and shirt. If you change tomorrow, you come to me in another shirt or another coat, that means you are not finished. This science has to be understood. Then one can make progress about the Hare Krsna movement.
Mike Robinson: I'm beginning to understand. What I'm finding difficult is, for instance, we see on Oxford Street a lot of people who are handing out Hare Krsna literature. Now...
Prabhupada: Yes, this is the literature, how to convince them about the spiritual life.
Mike Robinson: And you're really not concerned whether or not they join the Hare Krsna movement?
Prabhupada: It doesn't matter. One must be.... Our mission is to educate. People are in ignorance. They are living in fool's paradise, that he is his body. Bas. When the body's finished, everything is finished. That is foolishness.
Mike Robinson: And you're basically just concerned to tell them that there's a spiritual dimension to life. And if they then were to find that spiritual dimension in something like the Anglican Church, that would not worry you.
Prabhupada: I do not know what is Anglican Church...
Mike Robinson: Sorry, the English Church.
Prabhupada: ...but we are concerned with the educational propaganda, that "You are not this body. Body is your covering, shirt and coat. Within the body you are living, and as you are spirit soul, you have got so many things to know."
Mike Robinson: Sorry, could I just change the tape? Perhaps if we can pick up where we were, if you could just carry on. Perhaps if I can carry on from where I was, that what I'm trying to understand is the difference it makes, a person being a member...
Prabhupada: You try to understand this, that as you have got experience of change of body.... Have you got or not?
Mike Robinson: Yes, I've got the difference there.
Prabhupada: Similarly, the so-called death is also a change of body. This has to be understood first.
Mike Robinson: Yes, I think I've got that far. Now if we could go on from there. And then we said, you said that it therefore made a difference in the life after death, how you lived, that there were natural laws that determined that.
Prabhupada: Yes. The process is that the spirit soul is invisible in our material eyes, very small. So after the destruction of this gross body, there is another body, subtle bodymind, intelligence and ego. So at the time of death, when finishing this body, mind works. So, according to that process, the mind carries the small spirit soul to another body. Just like the air carries the flavor. Nobody can see wherefrom this rose flavor is coming, but it is being carried by the air, very subtle. You cannot see, but it is being done. Similarly, the soul is very subtle. It is being carried by the mind. According to the mind, he enters into the womb of another mother through the semina of the father, and then he develops a particular type of body given by the mother. It may be human being, it may be cat, dog or anything.
Mike Robinson: So we will come back in another body.
Prabhupada: Yes. Then, that's when the body is developed, he comes out and his work begins.
Mike Robinson: Are you say that we were perhaps something else before we were born as well? And we keep coming back in something else next time?
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Mike Robinson: And how long does this go on?
Prabhupada: This is going on, this is going on, because you are eternal. According to your work, you are simply changing body. Therefore you should be educated how to stop this business, how to remain in our original, spiritual body. And that is Krsna consciousness movement.
Mike Robinson: Oh, I see. So if I gain Krsna consciousness, I wouldn't have to have the threat of coming back as a dog or something like that.
Prabhupada: No, no.
Mike Robinson: Can you tell...
Prabhupada: Read that, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9].
"One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna."
Prabhupada: God says like that, that "Anyone who understands Me..." Because one cannot understand God with material speculation; that is not possible. When he comes onto the spiritual platform, then he gets the required brain to understand what is God, and if he understands God, what He is, then he does not get any more this material body, he goes back to home.
Mike Robinson: And then he is with God forever.
Prabhupada: Then he lives eternally, he lives eternally, no more change of body.
Mike Robinson: I see. Now, we've had two readings from your scriptures. Where did these scriptures comes from? Can you explain that briefly?
Prabhupada: This is coming from Vedic literature, which is eternal. That is also eternal. But when there is creation, this creation, material creation, anything, material creation.... Just like this microphone is a material creation. So how to deal with it, there is some literature. Is it not?
Mike Robinson: How to deal with the microphone?
Prabhupada: Yes. There is some literature.
Hari-sauri: There's some literature explaining.
Mike Robinson: Yes, that's right, there is.
Prabhupada: Yes. So that literature comes along with the creation of the microphone. So similarly, the Vedic literatures comes immediately with the creation.
Mike Robinson: I see. So these scriptures have been in existence since we have, is what you're saying. What about other scriptures, other religions have got their scriptures. Do you believe, do you accept them?
Prabhupada: Any scriptures, any.... Just like the same example. The literature issued along with the manufacturer of this microphone is bona fide. So if anyone follows that bona fide literature, he can deal with it. Otherwise, a bogus.
Mike Robinson: I see. Well, if we could take something which I believe you feel very strongly about, and that's some of the other Eastern cults and gurus.
Prabhupada: That I cannot study.
Mike Robinson: Yes, can you explain to me why it is that...?
Prabhupada: So far I know, they do not know anything. They simply come and bluff and cheat, that's all.
Mike Robinson: I see. What are the big differences that you seem to be...
Prabhupada: The difference is they are not following the original literature. They are manufacturing their own literature. That is the difference. Not authorized.
Mike Robinson: I mean of the big differences I'm noticing is that you are stressing very much science and rational thinking, and they very often stress feeling, which doesn't seem to...
Prabhupada: Yes. When there is something wrong, you just consult the original literature, not any literature issued by a bogus man.
Mike Robinson: Can you explain to me, then, the place of feeling in your religion. The place of emotions.
Prabhupada: Our feeling is that we are dealing with the genuine thing, that's all.
Mike Robinson: And can..., if we can go on with that. Everybody seems to chant Hare Krsna a lot of times during the day.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is the easiest process to become purified, especially given in this age. Because people are so dull that they cannot understand spiritual understanding very easily. So in order to purify him, this chanting is especially offered, that if he chants Hare Krsna, then his brain becomes purified to understand spiritual things.
Mike Robinson: You say it's the simplest one. Are there presumably other chants that maybe you yourself use?
Prabhupada: I don't think there is any other chanting. This is the only chanting. Where is other chanting? You can manufacture so many, but this is the only, Hare Krsna. Yes.
Mike Robinson: I see. Let's see, what else? You founded this movement I think it was ten years ago, that's correct. Why was it that you left till you were so late in life before you founded it?
Prabhupada: I must be prepared, I must be bona fide to preach.
Mike Robinson: And how do you become qualified? How did you become qualified?
Prabhupada: That is a spiritual process.
Mike Robinson: And so you presumably had your teachers.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Mike Robinson: Just as you now are teaching many...
Prabhupada: If one is going to pass M.A. examination, he must be qualified. Not that all of a sudden one becomes M.A. He must be qualified.
Mike Robinson: So what are you doing now? You've come to England for a brief stay. I gather you travel a lot.
Prabhupada: Just to guide my disciples and to see how they are doing things, that's all.
Mike Robinson: And do you do that, or travel around the world, don't you.
Prabhupada: Yes, but now I am getting old. So it is little difficult for me. Still I have to do and come and see.
Mike Robinson: And that is your mission in life, is it, to...
Prabhupada: Yes, I have established it, I want to see that it is not spoiled.
Mike Robinson: I see. Can you tell me how you feel led, you know, how you are guided to do what you do?
Prabhupada: Well, there are the books, just like I also told you, the literature.
Mike Robinson: So it's from your scriptures that you've learned that you've got to do this.
Prabhupada: Yes, we have got so many literatures. We are explaining in English. Guide is.... It is not manufactured. The guide is from the beginning. Simply one has to take that guidance, then everything's all right. And if we manufacture guidance, then it is spoiled. Just like in the literature of this microphone you say that this should be like this, this should be like this, number two should be by the side of number four. You cannot make any change. Then it is spoiled.
Mike Robinson: Now we've talked for some time concerning spiritual matters and the philosophy of Hare Krsna. How does it affect the way people live?
Prabhupada: Yes, because he's suffering for want of this knowledge. He's misunderstanding himself that he is the body. Suppose if you misunderstand that you are coat and shirt, and so you sew and wash the coat and shirt. Will you be happy? Will you be happy?
Mike Robinson: No, I won't.
Prabhupada: Yes. So similarly all these rascals, they are simply washing the coat and shirt. They have no information that what is there within the coat and shirt. They have no information. Ask anybody. All rascals will say, "Yes, I am Englishman, I am this coat," that's all. "I am thinking like an Englishman." That is shirt. And what you are, he cannot say. You are thinking, that is your mind. You are having this body, that is your body, but what you are? Who is thinking over this? Nobody.
Mike Robinson: So by understanding...
Prabhupada: Misunderstanding. The whole civilization, the modern civilization, is going on misunderstanding. Dehatma-buddhih just like cats and dogs. Suppose if you become very proud, "I am Englishman. Why you have come here?" As the dogs bark, "Row! Row! Why you have come?" So where is the difference? What is the difference? He's thinking "I am dog," you are thinking "Englishman," I am thinking "Indian." There is no difference. So if we keep people in darkness of dog's mentality, and declare we are advanced in civilization, most misguiding.
Mike Robinson: I see. And so when people are taught, they will then understand. But what I'd also like to know, how would it affect the way they live? In sort of purely..., the way they go about their life.
Prabhupada: You see they are living, these boys are living. It is not very difficult. They are not dying, they are living.
Mike Robinson: Yes, I accept that completely, but I want to know what differences, if you could tell me basically, what difference it makes to their life.
Prabhupada: Difference is that if you accept this mode of life, it is very simplified, and no botheration, and you make your spiritual progress very easily. If you take otherwise, then it is difficult.
Mike Robinson: But are you asking people, if they accept your teachings, to retreat from the world, like for instance, the people who are surrounding us now?
Prabhupada: No, they are not retreated. What do you mean by retreat? I am using this microphone. Where is retreatment?
Mike Robinson: Sorry, maybe retreat was the wrong word. But are you asking them, for instance, if I was to become a member of the movement...
Prabhupada: No, we are asking that use this microphone for spreading Krsna consciousness, not for sense gratification.
Mike Robinson: Not for?
Prabhupada: Sense gratification.
Devotees: Sense gratification, pleasing the senses.
Mike Robinson: Oh, thank you.
Prabhupada: That is the.... The microphone is the same. And the politician can speak all nonsense, and the so-called scientist may speak all nonsense of going to the Mars planet, but we don't talk all nonsense.
Mike Robinson: If we could just put one more tape on it. No, if I can explain to you, the question I am trying to ask, which I'm finding difficulty to explain. Obviously, the members of the movement who are here have made a definite sort of decision that you've decided, they've decided, for instance, to dress differently, and they're dressing now in what would appear to be an Indian style. Is it necessary to do that, or could I carry on being a member of a radio station and still be a member of the Hare Krsna movement?
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Harikesa: That would be very nice.
Mike Robinson: Perhaps if I phrase it a bit differently. I gather that the Hare Krsna movement also has some concern for areas of the world where there is suffering, physical suffering.
Prabhupada: We have got the only concern. Others, they are simply avoiding. They have no responsibility. They are talking all nonsense. We have got real responsibility. These people are being misguided, they are kept in darkness. Let us try to give them some enlightenment.
Mike Robinson: Yes, but apart from giving spiritual enlightenment, do you also..., are you also concerned for people's physical well-being?
Prabhupada: That is automatically done.
Mike Robinson: And how would you go about doing that? Would you help the sick people?
Prabhupada: Just like if you have got a car to drive on. So naturally you take care of the car also. But not that you identify yourself, "I am this car." That is nonsense. They are doing that. They are taking too much care of the car, thinking that the car is one. He forgets that he is different from the car, he has got different business. He cannot eat the petrol and be satisfied. He has got different eating. But these rascals, they are thinking that "Petrol is also my eating." And they are drinking petrol and dying, that's all. Petrol is meant for the car, and for you there are so many fruits, flowers, milk. But if a man thinks that "I am the car, I must drink this petrol," then he is doomed.
Mike Robinson: I see. There's two things if I could perhaps bring up. One is a quote that we had.... I was given this literature by some of your people before I came, in which one of the things you say is that "Religion without a rational basis is just sentiment." Can you explain that to us, and the converse of it, which...
Prabhupada: Just like they, most religions, they say, "We believe." So what is this believe? You may believe something which is not naturally correct. Just like some of the Christian people, they say "We believe there is no soul of the animal." That is not correct. You have believed because you want to eat the animal. You have discovered philosophy, but that's not the fact.
Mike Robinson: How do you know the animal has a soul?
Prabhupada: You can know also. What is the difference? How do you distinguish that the animal has no soul and the man has soul? How do you distinguish? How do you say the man has soul and the animal has no soul? How do you distinguish?
Mike Robinson: I believe this Christian religion do it because their scriptures say...
Prabhupada: Again you believe, don't believe, don't believe. When you say that the animal has no soul, but you believe or you know that man has soul. So what is the distinction between the man and the animal you find so that you say that the animal has no soul? What is your scientific conclusion? How do you say that animal has no soul?
Mike Robinson: As far as the Christian faith is concerned, doesn't it base it...
Prabhupada: Why are you bringing Christian?
Mike Robinson: Well, I thought you quoted Christianity. But as far as the Christian faith is concerned, don't they quote their scriptures?
Prabhupada: Then it is misleading. As soon as you say that "We Christians, we believe," then it is misbelief. It is not scientific.
Mike Robinson: Well how does it become scientific?
Prabhupada: Scientific because the animal eats, you eat. The animal sleeps, you sleep. The animals have sex, you have sex. The animal defends, you also defend. Then where is the difference between you and the animal? Why do you say there is no soul?
Mike Robinson: I can see that completely, but what I'm maybe querying is, for instance, the Christian scriptures would say that someone...
Prabhupada: Don't bring Christian scripture now. Simply you just try to understand, that animal eats, you eat, and the animal sleeps, you sleep. The animals have sex, you have got sex. He also defends when he's attacked, you also defend. Then if the behavior of a living being is the same, how do you say that the animal has no soul? Why do you say like that? Irresponsibly?
Mike Robinson: I see what you're getting at, but is that also...
Prabhupada: What is your answer, first of all?
Mike Robinson: Well, my...
Prabhupada: Apart from your believing as Christian. As we are talking, as a scientist, how do you deny this animal has no soul?
Mike Robinson: But ultimately you're basing all your faith factually, aren't you, on your reasoning?
Prabhupada: No, no, no. It is quite logic, that the animal can eat, you can eat; the animal can sleep, you can sleep. The animal can have sex, you can have sex; the animal can defend, you can defend; so why do you deny this poor animal soul?
Mike Robinson: Well, perhaps if I put my point perhaps a slightly different way, if, by your reasoning, if.... This is a hypothetical situation, but if you, by your reasoning, could imagine something that seemed contrary to the scriptures that you were reading earlier...
Prabhupada: Again scripture, why do you bring scripture?
Mike Robinson: Well, I'm referring to your scripture, not...
Prabhupada: Not my scripture, it is common sense, talking.
Mike Robinson: Yes, but everything that you, because in...
Prabhupada: No, forget that everything, come to the common platform of understanding. The animal is eating, you are eating, the animal sleeping, you are sleeping. The animal is defending, you are defending. The animal is having sex, you have sex. The animal have children, you have got children. You have got a living place, they have got a living place. So why do you say.... If your body's cut, there is blood. If the animal body's cut, there is blood. So all the similarities are there. So why you deny one similarity? Analogy. Analogy means points of similarity. So this is logic. You have read logic? There is a chapter, analogy. Analogy means points of similarity. If the points of similarity are so many things, why one similarity should be avoided? That is not logic. That is not science.
Mike Robinson: But if you take that logic and use it the other way...
Prabhupada: Otherwise, there is no other way.
Mike Robinson: No, if you say...
Prabhupada: If you are not on the basis of logic, then you are not rational.
Mike Robinson: Yes, okay. But let's start from another hypothesis. If you say the animal has no soul...
Prabhupada: How you can say?
Mike Robinson: No, hang on, if you started off by saying that, then you'd have to say human beings would have no soul, wouldn't you?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Mike Robinson: And therefore...
Prabhupada: If you accept human being has soul, you have to accept animal has soul. If you accept animal has no soul, then there is no soul.
Mike Robinson: Well what proof have you got, then, that a human being has got a soul?
Prabhupada: That is your business. We say everyone has soul. The animal has soul and the man has soul.
Mike Robinson: But if you're going to be rational, you've got surely to prove, you see you've got to prove that a human being has a soul.
Prabhupada: This is rational. Because we see all the points of similarity, analogy, therefore the human being has soul and the animal has soul, by points of similarity.
Mike Robinson: Yes, I can see the point you're trying to make about similarity, but what I'm asking is, what proof do you have that a human being has a soul?
Prabhupada: That is, I have already begun. As soon as the soul is gone, what is the value of your this beautiful body? Who cares for this body? You throw it away, kick it out. And now, if I touch your hair, there will be fight. (laughter) Yes. That is the distinction. The soul is there and soul is not there. As soon as soul is not there, it has no value, useless.
Mike Robinson: I see. So what part then do...
Prabhupada: Therefore you have to study, that, this.... At the present moment people are so dull-headed, they are not taking the important point, that this body, one minute ago it was so important, and now it has no value. If you kick on his face, nobody will say. But they have no brain to understand what is that thing missing, that it has become so unimportant that within a minute.... They have no brain. The so-called scientists, philosophers, all dull-headed. It is very abominable condition of society. There is no man who is real brain.
Mike Robinson: Are you, sir, writing off all scientists because they've failed to understand the spiritual dimension in life?
Prabhupada: Huh? Yes, it is scientific, everything scientific. Science means knowledge, full knowledge.
Mike Robinson: But you were a chemist yourself, were you not, in secular life before you took up the position you have...?
Prabhupada: It doesn't require to become a very big chemist. Any common sense man can do it. Of course, I was chemist in my previous life.
Mike Robinson: So presumably you think that that science is also important, even if scientists are being dull-headed.
Prabhupada: The important so farnot all-important. Not all-important.
Mike Robinson: I see. Can I come back to a question that is interesting me, and that is when we were differing a few minutes ago, you were saying don't bother, you know, don't bring the scriptures in, use common sense. But what part do the scriptures have in your religion? How important are they?
Prabhupada: Our religion is science. As we, when we speak, that a child grows a boy, it is science, it is not religion. Every child grows to become a boy. Where is the question of religion? Every man dies. Where is the question of religion? And when a man dies, the body is useless. So where is the question of religion? It is science, it is science. Either you Christian or Hindu or Muslim, when you die your body's useless. This is science. You cannot say that "We are Christian. Now the body is dead. Now we don't consider it as dead. We believe it is not dead." No, it is dead. Either you are Christian or Hindu or Muslim, it is dead, it is useless. So when we speak, we speak on this basis, that the body is importantit doesn't matter whether it is Christian body or Hindu body or Muslim bodyso long the soul is there. When the soul is not there, it is useless. It is applicable to everyone.
Mike Robinson: I think I'm beginning to get, if you could explain, a bit confused. What I'd like you to explain is...
Prabhupada: We are trying to educate people on this basis.
Mike Robinson: But that's, if I understand you correctly, you seem to be educating people on a purely scientific basis.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Mike Robinson: So where does religion come into it at all?
Prabhupada: Religion means also science. But they have taken religion as faith, "I believe." Religion means, actually, religion means.... Just like in the dictionary you find what is the religion...
Hari-sauri: Obeying the Supreme Person.
Prabhupada: Yes. Religion means to learn how to obey the supreme controller. That is religion. So you may be Christian, I may be Hindu, it doesn't matter. But we must accept there is a supreme controller.
Mike Robinson: Are you happy to carry on for a few more minutes perhaps?
Hari-sauri: I have that reference, in the dictionary. It says "Human recognition of superhuman controlling power..."
Prabhupada: Just see!
Hari-sauri: "...and especially of a personal God entitled to obedience, and effect of such recognition on the conduct of mental attitude."
Prabhupada: This is religion. This is religion. So this religion is applicable to everyone, any human being. Why do you bring Christian or Hindu or Muslim, or...? Everyone has to accept that. That is real religion. And this is not religion, "We believe there is no soul of the animal." That is not religion. That is most unscientific. That is not religion. Religion means scientific understanding of the supreme controller. So now if you accept the supreme controller, then if you violate something, you must be punished. Immediately you have to accept. As soon as you accept there is supreme controller, so immediately as you violate the laws of the supreme controller, immediately you are punished. That is nature's law.
Mike Robinson: Can we, can you say a bit more of that, just for the tape? You were saying that religion is obeying the supreme controller.
Prabhupada: Yes! Religion means to understand the supreme controller and obey. That's all. Just like good citizen means he understands the government and obeys the laws of government. That's all. Good citizens. What is the difference between bad citizen and good citizen? The bad citizen means he doesn't care for the government"Ah, I don't care for"that is bad citizen. That is irreligious. If you are bad citizen, then you are irreligious. If you are good citizen, then you are religious.
Mike Robinson: Would you..., in your opinion, is it impossible for somebody to be a scientist and not to believe in God?
Prabhupada: Unless he's a rascal, he cannot say that. Scientifically, you have to accept God. You cannot deny God. Just like the example I have given sometimes, just like you see there are so many living entities, beginning from grass, or anything. There are so many living entities coming out of the material elements. Some of them are coming from water, some of them coming from land, some of them coming from air.... [break] There is life in fire also. So the material nature is giving birth to so many living entities. So if the material nature is the mother and all these living entities are children, then where is the father?
Mike Robinson: I don't know. The father is God.
Prabhupada: There. You must know there must be father. I may know, not know him, but without father the children cannot be brought into existence. This is science. First of all, try to understand this. The mother is there, the children are there. So there must be father. This is scientific. So who is that rascal scientist who can say "No, there is no father"? Then he's not a scientist, he's a rascal. How you can deny the existence of father? You may not see him or may see Him, it doesn't matter. There must be father. This simple understanding.
Mike Robinson: So you completely write off anybody who says that there should be a step of faith. And would you, in other words...
Prabhupada: No faith! It is fact!
Mike Robinson: So you would say that science can prove that God exists?
Prabhupada: Yes, here is proof. Here is the proof, that there is children. Children are children; there is mother; so there must be father. This is proof. It doesn't require much proof.
Mike Robinson: I see. Can you tell me what you believe to be the meaning of life, why do we exist in the first place?
Prabhupada: Meaning of life means to enjoy, but we are in a different platform of life. Therefore we are suffering instead of enjoying. But if you come to the real platform, then you enjoy. Because here we see struggle for existence, everyone is struggling, but what is the aim? For enjoyment of life. Therefore life means enjoyment. But at the present moment our life is not enjoyment.
Mike Robinson: At the present moment, our life is not...?
Prabhupada: Our life is not enjoyment-suffering.
Mike Robinson: Suffering, hmm.
Prabhupada: Yes, do you admit or not?
Mike Robinson: You are saying at the present moment we are all suffering?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Mike Robinson: Yes, I would agree with that.
Prabhupada: Yes. Then the question should be, "I want to enjoy. Why I am suffering?" Then you will have to mold your real life.... Then you'll enjoy. And that is spiritual knowledge.
Mike Robinson: I see. Can you explain to me, then, perhaps finally, just some of the stages you go through in this spiritual life. Sort of, from somebody being a new devotee to Hare Krsna, what are the mental or the spiritual stages you go through?
Prabhupada: As they follow the principles, they realize that "Yes, I am advancing," Otherwise, why they should stick? They are also educated, they are young men, and they are coming from respectable family. They are not dull-headed dogs. So why they are sticking to this principle unless they feel, "Yes, I am making progress"? Just like you are hungry, and if you are given some foodstuff, you eat the.... With every morsel of food you feel, "Yes, my hunger is satisfied. I am feeling strength, I must go on till I am fully satisfied." It is like that. It doesn't require certificate from others. He'll feel himself, "Yes."
Mike Robinson: Yes, what I'm asking you, saying, maybe if you could explain to me how you personally, the different feelings...
Prabhupada: We simply suggest that you follow this method and you'll advance. And if anyone follows, he advances, that's all. Our, I am teacher, my business is to give them direction. So if they follow the direction, their business is successful.
Mike Robinson: Yes, but perhaps you could explain to me the different feelings that you've gone through in your life. Is that possible?
Prabhupada: Everyonewhy I, you?everyone. So long one is in ignorance, there are different feelings. When one is in knowledge, that is permanently. Suppose a man was in ignorance, he was committing a theft and he suffered. And now when he has come to knowledge, that "This business is not good," he does not any more steal and does not suffer. That's all.
Mike Robinson: But there must be different stages that you go through, is that not correct?
Prabhupada: Yes, yes, different stages.
Mike Robinson: Can you tell me from your own experience some of these different stages you've been through.
Prabhupada: Yes, first stage is that you are inquisitively trying to understand. This is the first stage. This is called sraddha, that you have got some faith, "What is this movement? Let me study." This is the beginning. Then, if you are serious, then those who are cultivating this knowledge, you mix with them, try to understand how they are feeling. Then you'll feel, "Why not become one of them?" Then when you become one of them, then all your misgivings go away. And then you become more faithful and you, then you get a taste. Why these boys are not going to see the cinema? They can go-other boys are going. They never ask me. Neither they would like to see even. They hate. Their taste is different. Why they do not eat meat, go to the restaurant? Their taste has changed. In this way you make progress. Firm faith, taste is changed, then God-realization, then love of Godhead, the perfection. That is wanted, love of Godhead. That is first-class religion. Not that ritualistic ceremony, "I believe," "This belief." That is not religion; that is cheating. Really when you develop your love for God, that is perfection of religion.
Mike Robinson: Perhaps finally, then, I could ask you, do you ever have any doubts?
Prabhupada: If I have doubts, how I am preaching? That means I am cheating. And how I am writing so many books? Do you think a man with doubt can produce, in doubtful condition, he can produce so many books? (devotees quietly laughing) Do you think like that?
Mike Robinson: Well, I don't know, I just...
Prabhupada: Well, you should know. (laughter)
Mike Robinson: So you never doubt any of this, anything at all.
Prabhupada: We are sure.
Mike Robinson: That you have found the truth.
Prabhupada: Utsahan dhairyat niscayad. Find out this verse.
utsahan niscayad dhairyat
sanga-tyagat sato vrtteh
sadbhir bhaktih prasidhyati
[Upadesamrta 3]
"There are six principles favorable to the execution of pure devotional service: (1) being enthusiastic, (2) endeavoring with confidence, (3) being patient, (4) acting according to regulative principles (such as sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam [SB 7.5.23]hearing, chanting and remembering Krsna), (5) abandoning the association of nondevotees, and (6) following in the footsteps of the previous acaryas. These six principles undoubtedly assure the complete success of pure devotional service."
Prabhupada: Yes. Everything is there.
Mike Robinson: And you are sure this is the truth.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Mike Robinson: Thank you very much for talking to me. It's been a pleasure talking to you.
Prabhupada: Hare Krsna. Give him prasadam.
Hari-sauri: This is a, just a...
Prabhupada: Take prasadam.
Mike Robinson: It's lovely. Do I eat it with a spoon? (laughs) How's the normal way to eat it?
Hari-sauri: You can eat it with a spoon, it's all right.
Mike Robinson: Yes, there is.... Thank you very much.
Harikesa: There's no rule for taking prasadam.
Mike Robinson: What's it made of?
Hari-sauri: This is called halava.
Prabhupada: Farina.
Hari-sauri: Farina and ghee, it's cooked.
Harikesa: Clarified butter.
Prabhupada: Most of our preparations are made from milk products. Therefore we are so much fond of cow protection. It gives the basic principle of palatable foodstuff. But these people, they do not know. They simply cut the throat of the cow and boil it and with salt. (laughter) They do not know how to keep the cow and take milk from it and prepare hundreds and thousands of nice preparations. That is a lack of civilization. Just like all the, what is called, aborigines, they find an animal, kill it and eat. They do not how to utilize the animals. Most aboriginal. We keep cows, we take milk, and from milk we make yogurt, we make ghee, and from ghee we prepare so many things.
Mike Robinson: What do you do with a cow when it dies? Do you just bury it?
Prabhupada: Yes. If the cow-eaters can come and take it free of charge. (laughter)
Mike Robinson: Well, let me know, you know.
Prabhupada: You can get the skin free of charges. In India still, there is a class, they, when the cow dies, they are called, they are called chamar. So he comes, take away the animal, dead animal, and they eat the flesh and take the skin, make shoes. They get all, everything free. There is no question of going to the butcher's place to purchase. So this much patience they have got, that "We want to eat this cow. All right, let us wait till her death." No, immediately. Just see, what a civilization. And cow is giving milk, she is mother. Killing the mother. Do you think it is civilization? Mother who has given you milk in your childhood, and maintained your life, and because she is old, cutting throat. Is that good civilization?
Mike Robinson: Seems silly, doesn't it. Umm, I think are you keeping cows here?
Jayatirtha: Yes. We have about twelve cows here.
Prabhupada: We have got many farms all over the world. They are living very happy. Have you got some pictures?
Jayatirtha: Of the cows?
Prabhupada: No, of our farms, farmland. Leading very simple life, in your country, in, I mean to say, America, Europe. Very simple life. Food grains and milk. You can prepare hundreds of nice preparations, full of vitamins, nutritious. And they do not know how to live civilized life.
Jayatirtha: Here are some nice pictures here. Some of our cows, you see this small one. And here's one of our farms in West Virginia in America. There's over a hundred and fifty cows in this farm.
Mike Robinson: Do you find the English weather cold?
Prabhupada: Because I am old man, I'm not a young blood like you.
Mike Robinson: And you think it's more because of your age, I mean you've got used to a colder climate than India, have you?
Prabhupada: We are accustomed to tropical climate. This.... Heat does not disturb us, but cold disturbs us. We can tolerate extreme heat, 120 degrees, but we cannot tolerate fifty degree cold.
Mike Robinson: That's cold. (laughs)
Prabhupada: Yes.
Mike Robinson: That was very good. Thank you very much.
Prabhupada: Why young men are attracted to, they inquire? Why young men are attracted in this movement?
Mike Robinson: What is the answer?
Prabhupada: They are receptive. Young man is blank slate. They are not sophisticated. Therefore they receive very nicely.
Jayatirtha: Mind is more open.
Prabhupada: Huh? Mind is open. That is.... And they are not so sinful, because they are young.
Hari-sauri: Not quite so defeated by material nature.
Prabhupada: Yes. There is time.
Jayatirtha: Here's some more pictures of our farms. We have about eighteen farms.
Hari-sauri: Actually, we have a whole film that shows this farming project; it's very nice.
Prabhupada: You come here every Sunday. You come here every Sunday, take our, this prasadam.
Mike Robinson: I'd very much like if I could sometime in the future perhaps to come and interview some of the people who are here.
Prabhupada: Come and see, he's the president, he can see you. He's the more command. You can see him.
Mike Robinson: That would be possible if sometime I could just spend the day up here and talk to some...
Prabhupada: You can live here comfortably, yes.
Jayatirtha: If you like, you can spend the whole day with us, you can stay overnight, we have a guest room, very comfortable.
Prabhupada: Yesterday George Harrison came, he stayed with me for whole day.
Mike Robinson: Sorry?
Devotees: George Harrison came.
Mike Robinson: Yes, I know, I'd like to have met the two of you together. It should have been very nice.
Prabhupada: He came yesterday and lived with us the whole day. He has given us this house, George Harrison, yes.
Mike Robinson: Actually, it's very good, isn't it. It's a lovely house, isn't it.
Jayatirtha: Very nice house.
Mike Robinson: How do you find it in winter? Do you find it difficult coping then?
Jayatirtha: No. I do, because I'm from the desert, but our British boys of course appreciate it. When it gets over 75 they immediately become prostrated with the heat.
Mike Robinson: Which desert are you from?
Jayatirtha: Well, from California desert.
Mike Robinson: Oh, I see...
Prabhupada: I shall request you, you are young man, just try to study our philosophy. And as you are journalist, try to do some good to the people. That is your duty.
Mike Robinson: Well, certainly we're trying to present both other people's views and...
Prabhupada: Don't take it as a sectarian religious system. It is very scientific understanding for spiritual life.
Harikesa: But, ah, "Beware of the undefeatable reasoning and logic of the Hare Krsnas, who will steal away your children." (laughs) Because we argue so nicely because Srila Prabhupada has trained us up very perfectly, because he also is the perfect teacher of this. Therefore the students can learn that way. So when we argue people become afraid, because it makes so much sense.
Prabhupada: They accuse me, "kidnapper of children." But what is my kidnapping method? The young men, they understand philosophy. What I can do, kidnap them? I have no money, I have no strength.
Mike Robinson: But it exists purely as a charity, isn't that correct?
Hari-sauri: Yes, purely nonprofit.
Mike Robinson: Which must make it difficult sometimes, doesn't it?
Harikesa: No, it's done out of love. So it is not at all difficult.
Mike Robinson: I see.
Jayatirtha: No one requires any payment. The only payment is the fulfillment that they are experiencing.
Mike Robinson: But how about the electricity board and people like that? I mean, where do you get the money?
Jayatirtha: Krsna gives us the money.
Prabhupada: Yes, we have no scarcity of money. We are selling our books daily, sixty thousand dollars' worth. So we have got sufficient income to maintain the whole institute.
Jayatirtha: No one takes any personal benefit. All the money is used for the furtherance of our principles.
Prabhupada: Besides that, when we require a nice house, somebody gives. Just like George has given us. Similarly, we have got many houses. One boy, his name is Alfred Ford, he's the great-grandson of Mr. Ford, Henry Ford. He has given us two, three very nice properties. So the money, there is no scarcity, and Krsna is everywhere. If Krsna dictates "Give him this," he'll give, that's all. And that is being happening actually. Within ten years nobody can expect to construct a house like this in a city like London. Is it possible? Even if he is a very big businessman. Not only one, there are so many. It is all Krsna's mercy. (kirtana in background)
Mike Robinson: I don't know. Cost a lot, wouldn't it. Is this worship that's taking place downstairs?
Harikesa: Yes, go down and see.
Prabhupada: You can see the Deity, yes, go and see.
Mike Robinson: Thank you very much, pleasure to meet you.
Prabhupada: Thank you very much for your coming.
Devotees: Hare Krsna.
Prabhupada: Hare Krsna. (Mike Robinson leaves) [break]
Hari-sauri: Actually he was quite intelligent, he was asking good questions because he was following the conversation. He was better than most of the interviewers, anyway. You're very expert. (laughter) You capture them and then you guide what they're going to say. It's perfect.
Harikesa: I was noticing that, that when you finish speaking with somebody, although he's bewildered, all of a sudden he understands, and he becomes amazed. I mean that happens with me also. It's just, it's the most fantastic technique. You're so patient.
Hari-sauri: Like that man from the Associated Press. You forced him to stay on those two analogies until he understood. For ten minutes you explained that, the car and the driver, until it finally got through to him. Then when he finally had some realization of it, then you again gave him another analogy about breaking the bricks in the prison. And again you forced him to stay on the same subject matter. And he..., you do it in such a way that they think that they're asking very good questions from their own intelligence. Actually, you've already captured them.
Harikesa: It's like taming wild animals. The perfect animal trainer. (laughing)
Prabhupada: He said that breaking the bricks is the business. I said the sooner you give up this, then you are happy. Karmis, the karmis want this, breaking the bricks. They think this is civilization. Brick, more brick, and bring more bricks and break it. That is civilization.
Hari-sauri: And then when we tell them that this is not your business, they ask us, "Why aren't you breaking bricks?"
Prabhupada: You are punished. You are being punished in this way. Actually, I saw in New York, big, big building, they are breaking, again, another skyscraper. "No, I have business. Breaking the bricks," that's all. They think this is very good business. Once constructed, again break it. As child, children, they make a sand house and break it again. This is the occupation.
Harikesa: But there's nothing else to do for them.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is the difficulty. Now see, there is no soul. Why no soul? How foolish it is. "We believe." You believe something nonsense, it has to be accepted? Where is the difference of analogy?
Harikesa: (laughs) They have to give up.
Prabhupada: Analogy, the more the points of similarities are there, it is perfect. That is the logical conclusion. Everything is there similar, why you should deny the other? How rascaldom it is. Common sense.
Hari-sauri: He was a little bit confused because first of all you quoted sastra, said everything was from sastra. Then again you said "Forget the sastra; this is logic." (laughter) He couldn't figure out how they both came into play. And then at the end you said that religion is logic.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is religion. If you have to accept the supreme authority, then as soon as you violate you are punishable. Very common sense.
Hari-sauri: It's because they're so conditioned by this man-made religion. They think that the scriptures they read is something that's made up.
Prabhupada: Therefore they change.
Hari-sauri: Yes, it's a belief that's...
Prabhupada: Whatever they are suitable, they make. But he cannot control over the supreme controller. They have no brain. And they are going on under the name of religion. Just see. All these rascals. Therefore they're all cheating. If you believe in the supreme controller, how you can change whimsically the law given by the supreme controller?
Hari-sauri: If you actually know God, then...
Prabhupada: :Yes, that means it is fictitious. You don't believe in God.
Harikesa: We have to get you on every radio in the world, Prabhupada. We just have to put you on the radio everywhere.
Prabhupada: You do it, I give you the ideas.
Harikesa: Oh, everything you say is so wonderful. We have to put you on the radio. These people, they have no idea.
Prabhupada: No, thing is that I say all these things because I always think of this. I always think.
Hari-sauri: If you don't forget Krsna, then...
Prabhupada: Yes, you always think how to talk with these demonic people. Then Krsna will give you intelligence.
Hari-sauri: This is the most difficult welfare work.
Harikesa: They don't want it.
Prabhupada: Not difficult, it is easiest. But this rascal will not take the easiest.
Hari-sauri: That's the difficulty.
Prabhupada: Yes. They have made it difficult. Accept the supreme controller, everything is clear. Accept the father, everything is clear. There is mother, there is children, no father. How rascal they have made. How it can be? No experience, and still they will persist, "No father." Can you show me the father? What is nonsense, if you do not see the father, it does not mean that there is no father? Father must be there. You may not have seen, that is different thing. And you can see the father because the father is maintaining the family order. Therefore there is father. From this simple analogy. Just like father gives money in the hand of the mother and she maintains the children comforts. Similarly, whatever comforts we are getting, from the nature's gift, you say that is arrangement of the father. Mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sacaracaram [Bg. 9.10]. Clearly said. Father gives order, "Nature, do this way, do this way. He's disobeying, then punish him like this, that's all. Don't give him anything. Punish him." Just like nature is not supplying water. The order of Krsna, "Let them suffer for some time." This is going on. You cannot check it, father's order. Common sense. How they can deny the supreme father? Dull-headed fools. Mudha. Any fruits you have got?
Hari-sauri: We have some grapes. Shall I get them?
Prabhupada: Grapes, sometimes they are sour. What other?
Hari-sauri: Pears, apples, bananas, watermelon.
Prabhupada: Banana is very good. And give me apples.
Hari-sauri: Pear also?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Hari-sauri: I'll try the grapes. If they are not sour, I'll bring some.
Prabhupada: So you keep that.... [break] They are opening hospital for giving medicine to the shirt and coat, and where is the man's medicine? Washing the shirt and coat, laundry work. They do not know that the man within the shirt and coat requires different treatment, different, he has got different necessities, different life. If I simply wash the shirt and coat, does it mean the man is happy? They have no common sense even. "Yes, we are supplying petrol to the car. It must drive." "Well, sir, to give good to the driver who will drive?" "Doesn't require, petrol is there." That's all. This is their intelligence. They are supplying petrol. Will the driver eat, drink petrol? They have no knowledge. He requires spiritual food. And these rascals, they do not know it. They'll say that petrol is sufficient both for the car and the driver. This is their intelligence.
Harikesa: They are always maddened by lusty desires.
Prabhupada: Nunam pramattah kurute vikarma [SB 5.5.4]. Very, very risky civilization. Keeping the whole human society in darkness. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum bahir-artha-maninah [SB 7.5.31]. By material adjustment they are thinking that "Everything we will enjoy."(?) There are two different things, matter and spirit. The spirit requires spiritual food. (sound of water pouring, scraping noise, cracking noises)
Harikesa: ...this is going to go.
Prabhupada: Keep in the right place. Keep.... Yes. They are thinking like it is another religious system, like Christianity. So.... If they are so fools, they are giving up one system and coming to another system? Why they should come at all? There is no necessity. And what advantage I am giving.
Harikesa: In fact, quite a few disadvantages.
Prabhupada: Yes. (laughter)
Harikesa: You say we cannot eat meat, have sex life. Be right back. (end)

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