Talk with Svarupa Damodara

June 20, 1977, Vrndavana
Svarupa Damodara: ...Calcutta yesterday all day. I was stranded for several hours.
Prabhupada: So this can be given to the Deities, these flowers.
Tamala Krsna: They're very nice. Are they scented?
Svarupa Damodara: Some... We have another one. It has 108 petals exactly. It's white when full bloomed. Just started, this monsoon. The full season will come sometime in August, August and September. Lotus are everywhere, these flowers, on either side of the road, and all lakes full of lotuses.
Prabhupada: Pineapple, your country is famous for pineapple.
Svarupa Damodara: Pineapple is very sweet. This is another season, but in about three weeks the larger variety will come. This is a little smaller type. The bigger ones, big. And it is green outside, but it's very sweet, full of juice. The hillsides all covered with pineapples, and it's very cheap.
Prabhupada: So Calcutta, there was rain.
Svarupa Damodara: Oh, yes. The farming is very good this time in our side, Bengal and Assam and Manipur, so much rain from the south. And I saw from the plane that everything is already green.
Prabhupada: (aside:) Why you are breathing? Is it necessary? [break]
Svarupa Damodara: But he doesn't want to speak.
Prabhupada: You have asked him already?
Svarupa Damodara: Yes, I said, "We are coming in September," so he's... We'll be giving lectures there. And the Atishah(?) personally told me that he never thought these ideas before. He said this is the first time that he's seeing such things, that science can be utilized in understanding the nature of the self or life from Bhagavad-gita. Then I also went to Bose Institute. I wanted to talk with the dir...
Prabhupada: Oh, Bose Institute.
Svarupa Damodara: The director wasn't there, but there was very leading professor. His name was Amrtabal Singh. He's the..., just next to the...
Prabhupada: Woman? Woman?
Svarupa Damodara: No, no, Amrtabal Singh is the name. And he told me he didn't have time to talk with me because, he said, he had a meeting. So I told him that I just came to see the director, but since the director is not there I just want to let him know that "We want to hold a conference on life sciences and Krsna consciousness, so if you are interested, I'd like to invite you because you're a leading scientist. And the Bose Institute is quite well known. So I'd like you to participate in our conference." Then he asked me, "What is that conference?" Then I started describing about the way modern science is going at this time. "Science says that everything is molecules. So what do you think as a scientist? Now, the way we communicate... I talk with you, and you talk to me, but the way we communicate, science say that these are just chemical reactions. You talk because of some chemical reactions. And so what do you think about this modern philosophy?" Then I started talking about the very unsatisfactory explanations of these ideas according to modern science and trying to introduce concept of Bhagavad-gita, that "Life is nonchemical and nonphysical. It is spiritual. When we study physics, chemistry and mathematics, we simply study matter, but actually we don't really study life. But modern science says that life is nothing but chemicals. So we are determined to show to the people, especially to the leading scientists, that the knowledge that we have is all wrong. There must be something beyond that we just know so far." Then he started taking great interest, and I talked with him for a little more than an hour. He... And even he was thinking of postponing that... He had a meeting, and he telephoned. He said... He said he started discussing with me, and the talk became so interesting that he postponed the meeting. He even said. (laughs) So he was very nice, actually. He said that he agrees that in the Western..., especially in the United States, the leading scientists are taking too much for granted. They're saying too much, very unscientific, saying that life started from molecules. He said it's all unknown. These are all stories. So he said that it's a little too much. Science doesn't know these things. He agreed to that point very clearly. I said, "Do you think scientists like...? It is your responsibility, especially from this land, to show that the concept..."
Prabhupada: We know.
Svarupa Damodara: Yes. And he actually was very interested, and he told me to write about Mandeha(?), the director, so that they can make arrangements and so we can speak. So I just had few hours, and I wanted to go to the Indian school for experimental medicine that is in Jadavpur. I know the director. The director is from Calcutta University, and I just about to see him, but I couldn't see him. I didn't have the time. But we have, I think, plenty of scope, doing these things on a wider scale.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Svarupa Damodara: And I also published this little concept about what these, all these lectures is about. So it says, "Announcing a worldwide lecture tour on the origin of life and matter, sponsored by Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies, Founder-Acarya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada." And then I give a whole series from here to here, and I also give the topics and...
Prabhupada: Very nice.
Svarupa Damodara: So like to hear a little bit?
Prabhupada: Yes. (Svarupa Damodara reads pamphlet announcing worldwide lecture tour of Bhaktivedanta Institute) All glories to Svarupa Damodara.
Svarupa Damodara: All glories to Srila Prabhupada. And I already got some very positive remarks, especially in Manipur. They invited us... There is a center called Bhaktambabu(?) Research Center in Manipur, so they invited for a speaking engagement. They wanted in printed form so that they also publish. There is a Jawaharlal University in Manipur, and there is also low college. In several college they already invited.
Prabhupada: So the Bose Institute of Research, they have invited you?
Svarupa Damodara: Oh, yes.
Prabhupada: Did you not mention...?
Svarupa Damodara: Oh... Yeah, I haven't mentioned it yet.
Tamala Krsna: Did this article come out after?
Svarupa Damodara: Yeah, this article came after. I could have mentioned, but it was just for general remark.
Prabhupada: So let them issue later on, and you can make.
Svarupa Damodara: Sometime we are preparing, called, a brochure for this lecture series. We'll make it color. So I already have the outline in Boston. So we're titling, "Announcing a Worldwide Lecture Series on the Origin of Life in the Matter, sponsored by Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies and Founder-Acarya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada." And we have some colored pictures inside and a little also, synopsis of the theme, the topics. We said, "Chemical Evolution-A Molecular Fairy Tale," and we have about three or four lines describing what the lecture should be about and what is the main theme of the talk. And we also have photographs of four or five of us who are going to speak and a little background of the candidate. So we wanted to make it very official.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Svarupa Damodara: And also making it nice-looking.
Prabhupada: And print very well.
Svarupa Damodara: Yes. So that will be useful for making engagements. That we will do before we come here. And it's already outlined.
Prabhupada: Very nice. So money is ready there?
Tamala Krsna: Yes, money is ready there. Svarupa Damodara hasn't heard yet about Ambarisa's offer.
Svarupa Damodara: I haven't heard about this?
Prabhupada: For starting our museum.
Svarupa Damodara: In Washington?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Svarupa Damodara: So Ambarisa is buying...
Prabhupada: He is prepared to pay us about two hundred...
Tamala Krsna: Thousand(?).
Svarupa Damodara: Jaya. That's wonderful. In Washington it will be very nice, the center of the world.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Svarupa Damodara: So we'll all save our Bhaktivedanta...
Prabhupada: Three? Three hundred million?
Tamala Krsna: He said... He has thirty million dollars.
Svarupa Damodara: I think that will be very attractive, and it will open up wide cultural aspects of Krsna consciousness. And we will also have our institute in Washington, D.C...
Prabhupada: Yes. So there is money, there is intelligence and... That's all. I can give you one... (indistinct) You have taken your lunch now?
Svarupa Damodara: Yes, we'll take prasadam.
Prabhupada: (Bengali)
Svarupa Damodara: You look better, Srila Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: Accha? [break] ...I want.
Tamala Krsna: Neither would simply just begging some rice and dal to feed ourselves.
Prabhupada: Now Krsna is (indistinct) [break] Do you think that the..., if the scientists attend meeting, they are interested? Or they feeling dry?
Svarupa Damodara: I think they are very interested, very much. Otherwise they won't take time to discuss. In fact, some of them feel that it's very unique.
Prabhupada: Unique it is. There was no such proposal before. They have taken God as something mystic, imagination. Especially this rascal Darwin's theory, "People are animals," and they accept that "We are animals. My father was monkey." Very easy. This rascal has convinced them that "Your father, grandfather, were monkeys, and you are Sir Walton Rose(?)." "How I became a Sir Walton Rose, the son of a monkey?" This is their business. How much bluff. Disgusted learning and jump. A monkey has become man. Body's changed.
Svarupa Damodara: That is just nonsense.
Prabhupada: Hm?
Svarupa Damodara: That is nonsense.
Prabhupada: Full nonsense, this rascal. How much havoc he has done to the human society. A grand rascal, this Darwin. And he is taken as the basic principle of anthropology. The whole world has become... So all scientists, by combined meeting, they should kick out his Darwin theory. All, they should modify... (pause) Long, long ago, before, things were there. Nobody knows how long. In the Padma Purana it is said, bhramyadbhir jiva-jatisu. You know this word?
Prabhupada: Bhramyadbhih. There are different forms of bodies of jiva. That is also stated. Jalaja nava-laksani sthavara laksa-vimsati. So first of all, general, from water. That you have got experience. Fish is coming. As soon as there is some reservoir of water, after some day mosquito will come, fish will come, many other bugs and germs will come, jalaja. And their number is also given, nava-laksani. In this way, bhramyadbhir jiva-jati, the soul, the living entity, is wandering, jiva-jatisu. Then he gets a human form of life. The civilization is there. And five thousand years ago Krsna said, tatha dehantara-praptih [Bg. 2.13]. So what this nonsense Darwin will tell us? Rascals. We have already information-jiva-jati, they are already existing, one after another. [break] "...missing, fossil." What is this nonsense? What is missing? The monkeys, they, your father, is there, monkey. Where is monkey is missing? Your father, grandfather is there. So why you have got this body of all a sudden? Enjoy. You have to accept. You are changing body from monkey to man. So these so-called scientists, they are hovering for some false understanding. Now they should come to welcome this point and accept that living entity is completely different from these eight elements, physical or chemical or mental. This should be propagated. Then they will understand what about this spiritual... Actually the spirit soul is the basis of all activities. Jiva-bhutam maha-baho yayedam dharyate... [Bg. 7.5]. Actually, because the living entity is there, all activities are going on. Who else would have taken care of this garden unless there was a living entity? Not that all of a sudden the bricks have developed to become a fountain. What is this nonsense? Such a rascal scientific theory?
Tamala Krsna: Chance.
Prabhupada: Chance? Chance is science?
Svarupa Damodara: So we are proving that all their theories are wrong.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Svarupa Damodara: One by one.
Prabhupada: Yes, do that. Why one should be kept in darkness in the name of science? This is our proposal. Jnana-khale. Sarasvati-jnana-khale yad asati. Jnana-khala. We have got this knowledge. Why should we suppress this knowledge? We must distribute. These rascals will keep the whole human society in suppressed knowledge.
Tamala Krsna: For money.
Prabhupada: Yes. Cheating.
Svarupa Damodara: I saw a newsletter issued by the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life from Chemicals. They just had an international meeting in Japan this April, and I am a member, so they send me a newsletter, national newsletter. They have interesting schemes. The next meeting is in 1981 in Israel. I was actually thinking of presenting a paper in the last meeting, but time was little short for us. So we are thinking of presenting papers in that international meeting. It is a whole scientific community all over. So I thought it will be very interesting to present our viewpoint and make it very strong. We are very small in number, but our thoughts will be very challenging to all of them, especially mathematics and physical chemistry together. They also have a journal, the Journal of the Origin of Life, and there the write only about chemicals. Everything is just like a story. So we make it a fairy tale, the molecular fairy tale, and it's very appropriate. All are stories.
Prabhupada: They invented stories for going to the moon planet.
Svarupa Damodara: Yeah, they're making stories about everything.
Prabhupada: A small toy sputnik, background, a big picture, and photograph.
Tamala Krsna: Did you see that article, "Moon Hoax?"
Svarupa Damodara: Our Back to Godhead?
Tamala Krsna: No, there's an article that was published in a paper in America called "Moon Hoax."
Svarupa Damodara: No, I didn't see.
Tamala Krsna: I'll show you that article.
Svarupa Damodara: In Time Magazine?
Tamala Krsna: No, in a weekly newspaper from Pennsylvania.
Prabhupada: No, there are companies. They came to us. Your theory they'll present in a scientific way, so-called scientific way.
Tamala Krsna: Oh, yes, company.
Prabhupada: They have got all toys and take photograph.
Svarupa Damodara: I am also feeling that in the last, about five years ago, scientists, though they were very arrogant about ten years ago, seems a feeling that they may be little bit on the humble side. They are not as arrogant as they used to be, say, ten years ago. We couldn't talk these things in the West, but now, since they promised all these things, and up till now, actually, we have all those things that they promised about ten years ago. Now nothing's happening. So they're making a second thought, that maybe whatever they thought, it's all wrong, so...
Prabhupada: It is wrong.
Svarupa Damodara: It's very timely that we present our philosophy and science just in the right time.
Prabhupada: Now they will think twice.
Tamala Krsna: This movement is very dangerous. They'll see. First they though it was simply some people clapping cymbals. Now they're beginning to feel the weight, these scientists especially.
Prabhupada: Just like Trnavarta. He took away Krsna as a small child. When he was up, He became as heavy as the mountain, and then he could not go up. Then he wanted to smash the child and throw it, but the child wrapped the neck of Trnavarta in such a way, he could not. The result was that he fell down and died. And the child was saved.
Tamala Krsna: So in the same way Western civilization will fall down and die, and we will go on chanting.
Svarupa Damodara: If we get some very leading scientists in the world on our side, at least few, let's say about three, that's enough.
Prabhupada: So that I am asking to enroll as members of the Bhaktivedanta Institute.
Svarupa Damodara: That must have come from the United States.
Prabhupada: Yes. We have got enough material to convince. We are not blind.
Tamala Krsna: Why do they have to come in the United States?
Svarupa Damodara: Well, people nowadays expect, if anything comes from the States, that's a fact. So sometime all the leading scientists of the world are in the States. Even if they are coming from other countries, they all get together in the States. Everybody goes there. So something is coming from the States, it is formally respected by all the big men all over the world. So that is why I want to attack United States as my last, bringing men from all over. Then we can make a strong presentation in the States.
Prabhupada: And actually it so happened. Who would have joined unless I would have gone from United States? Useless. Their money, their men, they are helping. That's a fact. And that was my aim.
Tamala Krsna: You tried here first.
Prabhupada: And they are useless here, waste of time. Neither I wanted to go to London. "New York I shall go."
Tamala Krsna: Anyone else would have gone to London.
Prabhupada: Yes, to go to the Western countries means to go to England. I didn't like that. I thought, "I shall go to New York."
Tamala Krsna: Very modern thinking, Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: Yes. Krsna has arranged.
Svarupa Damodara: Everybody's attracted to go to the States nowadays. Even I was attracted. When I had a choice to go any place in the world 'cause I got a scholarship from Indian government, a Western scholarship. I could study in any part of the world, and I could choose any school I liked. And I told the interview board in Delhi... There was a man from England at that time. I told him that "I don't want to go to England." (Prabhupada laughs) So he was little offended.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Svarupa Damodara: Nowadays all students, scholars, going outside means going to the States. That is the...
Prabhupada: They give facility. No, I have got good respect for America.
Svarupa Damodara: Yes, I'm sure that the scientists, some of the leading scientists, will accept.
Prabhupada: I therefore say America is my fatherland. India is my motherland.
Svarupa Damodara: Yes, in the normal dealing also...
Prabhupada: Yes.
Svarupa Damodara: ...the Americans are very friendly, very nice actually, in general. When I studied in California, I was a stranger, but everybody looked like a friend, very different from England. England is very conservative. They don't say hello, and different.
Prabhupada: England, nonsense number one. Worst false prestige, England. In that respect, other countries are better. They had a British Empire. They are still puffed up. And they will stay there to continue British Empire. Now they are earning money for eating, showing British Parliament House. Now there is no business.
Tamala Krsna: They make money by tour of the Parliament House.
Prabhupada: "Shopkeepers' nation." The Parliament has become a shop. Artificially they're maintaining an atmosphere of aristocracy. There is not... I talked with some of their Lords. Artificial. The have lost all prestige. Still, "I belong to the Lords' House." The priestly order, the Lord family, I talked with them. Simply artificial.
Tamala Krsna: Actually you gave it up as useless. To talk with those priestly orders, I remember, you concluded, "This is a waste of time." They're not at all priestly.
Prabhupada: They have no intelligence. Anyway, do something.
Svarupa Damodara: I want to clarify a point. The other day I was discussing with this Professor Kundu...
Prabhupada: Professor Kundu is a famous man, I think.
Svarupa Damodara: Oh, yes, he's the director. He works on the nature of consciousness. He has great interest in Bhagavad-gita.
Prabhupada: Was he in Scottish Churches College?
Svarupa Damodara: I never know his background.
Prabhupada: I think in our student there was some Kundu. The same?
Svarupa Damodara: He looks like in his sixties.
Prabhupada: Oh, then... May or may not. It doesn't matter.
Svarupa Damodara: We were discussing about life, and he was talking about the idea that Krsna is within the atom.
Prabhupada: Atom is matter. And within atom there is God. That is God.
Svarupa Damodara: But the point was...
Prabhupada: They have not fully analyzed within the atom.
Tamala Krsna: Andantarastha-paramanu-cayantara-stham.
Svarupa Damodara: So the point was that there is life within the atom. But that life is not... The consciousness is not developing to the extent that...
Prabhupada: That is very natural. Just like in a child there is life. But it is not... Consciousness is not developed. That does not mean there is no life. That you can see, daily affair. The same child, when he's grown up or changed body, his activities will change. So where is the difference? Differencewhen he was a childish body, the consciousness was not developed, and when he's transferred in another body, his consciousness will develop. This is the point. The ant, there is life.
Svarupa Damodara: There's life in any material...
Prabhupada: Yes.
Svarupa Damodara: But we wanted to avoid that...
Prabhupada: In the physical combination of atoms is combination of life also.
Svarupa Damodara: In order to make a distinction between that life and the matter, especially to the material scientific community, we were thinking of presenting in the manner that matter, though in the spiritual sense there is nothing like matter, but still, there is matter...
Prabhupada: No, there is no... Matter means matter develops on spirit. Without spirit there is no existence of matter. Just like spirit means consciousness. You see in this finger. Here is consciousness, and little after, there is no consciousness, this nail. But the nail has grown from the skin. So therefore, from consciousness, unconsciousness... Not that from unconsciousness, consciousness.
Tamala Krsna: Very good example.
Prabhupada: Unconsciousness means absence of consciousness.
Svarupa Damodara: Unconsciousness also means no life?
Prabhupada: Yes. Originally conscious. When there is forgetfulness, that is not. So unconsciousness is a covering of life. You develop this argument. There is no such thing as unconsciousness, but when the consciousness is covered, that is unconsciousness, negation.
Svarupa Damodara: That becomes matter.
Prabhupada: Yes. That we say, "matter." Absence of consciousness is matter, jada.
Satadhanya: We say "covered consciousness."
Prabhupada: Hm.
Bhakti-caru: But, Srila Prabhupada, the body is matter, but still it is conscious as long as I am alive. So that means the life is consciousness?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Svarupa Damodara: So the distinction that we are making is still proper, that matter is the inferior part of that Absolute Truth, and life is the superior part, and without being manipulated...
Prabhupada: Superior feature.
Svarupa Damodara: Yes. But both are spirit in a sense.
Prabhupada: Everything is spirit. Sarvam khalv idam brahma. Therefore I say there is no matter. Only matter means when the spirit is not discovered. When people are rascals, then there is matter. When people are intelligent, there is no matter. Sarvam khalv idam brahma. Therefore Mayavadi philosophy, that "You are thinking you are not God," that is maya.
Tamala Krsna: Like a kirtana party now, Srila Prabhupada?
Prabhupada: This is kirtana, going on. You do not understand what is kirtana. Any topics on Krsna, that is kirtana. Abhavad vaiyasaki kirtane. Vaiyasaki, Sukadeva Gosvami, he became perfect by kirtana. What kind of kirtana did he do? Hm?
Tamala Krsna: Bhagavata discussion.
Prabhupada: Yes. You are thinking simply by lungs and karatala, kirtana will go on. Anything we do here, there is no material connection. It is spiritual. We are not talking for how to increase our business and enjoy women and wine. That is not our business. Yad uttama-sloka-gunanuvarnanam [SB 1.5.22]. We are trying to establish Krsna. Uttama-sloka-gunanuvarnanam. And that is kirtana. (pause) Sravanam kirtanam visnoh [SB 7.5.23]. Hm? You know this?
Prabhupada: Yes. Just explain this.
Svarupa Damodara: The other day, when I went from Delhi to Calcutta in the plane, I happened to see that Dr. Chatterjee from Calcutta University. She's a lady, woman, but she's very well known. International scientist she has become. Her name is Asina Chatterjee. And I never saw here, though I was studying side by side in the next building, in Calcutta University. She discovered some drug. That's why she became famous. And she's also a member of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research all over India, and also a member of University Grants Commission. So she told me that she went for a meeting to attend in Delhi, and there was also an engineer who was sitting in between me and her, and I was discussing about our plan for scientific conference on Krsna consciousness. He was also Bengali from Calcutta. Somehow she became very interested. I was explaining how scientists misleading, thinking that life can be chemical. And I was describing about how life can be nonchemical and nonphysical. So Chatterjee immediately joined the talk. And I immediately recognized that she must be Chatterjee. So I asked her, "Are you Dr. Chatterjee?" I never saw her before, but I just guessed right. She was Dr. Asina Chatterjee. And she became very interested in the talk, and then she was completely agreeing to our discussion that life is something spiritual, beyond physics and chemistry. So she actually invited me to come and give a talk in chemistry department Calcutta University. So I said that we are coming back with our scientific group from Krsna consciousness and would like to present the philosophy in that chemistry department. So like that, there are many...
Prabhupada: Yes. Recruit them, at least some.
Svarupa Damodara: Very favorable and a person like that, by Krsna's mercy... I never saw her before, but just happened to be in the right time. And she thought that whatever is thinking in the Western thought about this Darwinian philosophy is also wrong. So I requested her that "It is your duty or responsibility as a leading scientist at least to also present this knowledge. You only accept that whatever knowledge is coming from the West, especially in the science, that that is the ultimate. Why don't you also present this genuine scientific knowledge of the Gita as factual science? That way..."
Prabhupada: Or very...
Svarupa Damodara: She said yes. She actually felt the necessity, and she was actually praising a lot about Krsna consciousness, that such things are being discussed in our Krsna consciousness society, and she had a great hope that this can be pushed on and the philosophy can be very accepted in the scientific community. So I request her also to help us in different capacities. She can write articles, we can publish in this journal, Sa-vijnanam. We can print it and publicize more on the presentation of Vedic scientific knowledge. So like that, I want to generate some momentum among the leading Indian scientists.
Prabhupada: Hm. Do.
Svarupa Damodara: It will be very helpful. And I think it is also their responsibility, duty.
Prabhupada: Great duty, great respons...
Svarupa Damodara: I told the same thing to this Professor Kundu, that "You know all these things, but you just remain silent. You never speak out. You only accept that whatever quantum theory is coming from that West, that is all knowledge, scientific knowledge. What about this aspect?"
Prabhupada: Sir Jagadish was influenced.
Svarupa Damodara: Yes. That is why we want to have a very strong discussion in Bose Institute.
Prabhupada: He wanted to give to the Western world that there is life in plants, the same Vedic knowledge. Jalaja nava-laksani...
Tamala Krsna: I think you mention in one of your books that he has proved that the plants also have feelings.
Prabhupada: Hm. That is his contribution. He is the first man.
Tamala Krsna: Did you know him, Srila Prabhupada?
Prabhupada: No. He was also older than our father. But I have seen him in childhood, when I was ten, twelve years old. Very intelligent man, soft speaker. His... This Marconi's theory is his theory. The wireless... The thief has taken. They have stolen. And the British government gave credit to Marconi. He was very sad.
Svarupa Damodara: That everybody knows.
Prabhupada: Yes. The wireless, there was a system. That was his discovery. He was very sorry. The British government stole the idea and gave the credit to Marconi. The Britishers, they always wanted to minimize the value of India, that "They are not civilized. We are present there to make them civilized."
Tamala Krsna: Very... The English were expert in diplomacy.
Prabhupada: Therefore they paid.
Tamala Krsna: That Dr. Sharma here, he was saying that the English, they took advantage of..., I think it was either Canakya Pandita or one other book about military ruling, some book. Every one of them would have a copy translated into English. They'd all keep a copy of it on their desk, how to subdue by diplomacy and politics. They were all told to learn this book.
Prabhupada: Samrat Veda(?). That is another.
Svarupa Damodara: I'm thinking of the title of our conference as "Bhaktivedanta Vijnana Conference."
Prabhupada: They'll take it farce, that "Bhaktivedanta is no a vaijnani."
Svarupa Damodara: It will be scientific conference.
Prabhupada: It may be, but they will take it lightly because "Bhaktivedanta Swami is not a scientist."
Bhakti-caru: Yeah, but you are above science, Srila Prabhupada.
Svarupa Damodara: No, this will be "Bhaktivedanta Vijnana Conference." That includes everything.
Prabhupada: Yes. That you can...
Svarupa Damodara: I have taken that idea because in the United States there is a conference called Garden(?) Conference, and I want to develop this in the future as a regular feature of our movement, organize this conference all over the world. We'll title as "Bhaktivedanta Vijnana Conference," and it involves all sources of knowledge. Just like Garden Conference. They have a meeting in Boston, in Harvard, in chemistry, and Garden Conference is in all fields, in physics, chemistry, the humanities. It is very respected all over the academic world. So we also wanted to generate a spiritual scientific conference along these lines.
Prabhupada: Bhaktivedanta is spiritual.
Svarupa Damodara: So is that title sound not so attractive, Srila Prabhupada?
Prabhupada: Yes, but they may not take it seriously.
Svarupa Damodara: Seriously.
Prabhupada: Yes, personal. Vedanta means last knowledge. Vedanta is there. And that last knowledge is bhakti. Therefore bhakti-vedanta is most scientific.
Tamala Krsna: They should learn the real meaning of Bhaktivedanta. They take it wrongly, but we should teach them what is the real meaning, that it is scientific. You always point out that sometimes people say that bhakti is sentimental, but where is there more scientific person than Jiva Gosvami, more philosophical?
Prabhupada: Mad-bhaktim labhate param. It is the last stage of knowledge. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma [Bg. 18.54]. When you surpass all the stages... Mad-bhaktim labhate param. It is the last word of knowledge. Yasmin vijnate sarvam evam vijnatam bhavanti. So unless you understand the supreme cause, Krsna, there is no knowledge. And if you understand Krsna, then you understand everything. Yasmin vijnate sarvam evam vijnatam bhavanti. Krsna also says, aham adir hi devanam [Bg 10.2], aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate [Bg. 10.8]. If you understand Krsna, then everything.... And how Krsna can be understood? Bhaktya mam abhijanati [Bg. 18.55]. No other way. You cannot understand by any other way. Therefore bhakti-vedanta is last knowledge. There is.... Argument there is.
Svarupa Damodara: The reaction from that Dr. Kundu... As soon as I said Bhaktivedanta, he immediately realized that this is the personal aspect or, they would say, the personalism or Vaisnava philosophy. So it is also a good fact on those who know some meaning about this. So we can make it...
Prabhupada: Unless there is personal conception, there is no question of bhakti. [break] Bhakti means the way to understand the person. Bhaktya mam abhijanati [Bg. 18.55]. Mam means person, aham, mam. Vague idea, Brahman; distributed idea, Paramatma; and the personal idea can be applied here. It is said, bhaktya mam abhijanati [Bg. 18.55]. It is not impersonal, not scattered. Particular person, Krsna. When Yasoda-ma was allowing her child to suck her breast, the child was.... And Yasoda mother was enjoying the beautiful face, patting. But all of a sudden she saw within the mouth the whole universe. Immediately she became disturbed: "Another danger is coming." She's not concerned with Krsna's expansive, gorgeous.... She's only concern is to Krsna, what.... She became disturbed: "What is this nonsense? Again something is coming, danger? Let me remember Narayana. He'll save my child from all..." The personal conception is so strong that he (she) disliked to see gorgeous opulence of his (her)...
Tamala Krsna: Therefore it transcends jnana.
Prabhupada: That is jnana.
Svarupa Damodara: It's so scientific, it's very difficult to also describe it, especially in scientific language.
Prabhupada: Why you have to do?
Svarupa Damodara: We are describing that life, or atma, as such. Sometimes they ask, "Show me the experiment so that I know that there is life," so we are proposing that "Yes, the experiment is bhakti-yoga."
Prabhupada: Another example you can give. Suppose a man is high-court judge, very... Now, his mother is feeding him, sitting down. And if the son says, "No, let me dress like a high-court judge, then I shall eat," will the mother like it? That is like...(?) "You become high-court judge and be satisfied."(?)
Svarupa Damodara: Once I gave a lecture at Emory University to the scientific community, and I tried to introduce this bhakti-yoga in a scientific language and found it difficult, but I tried to bring the idea by comparing that an electron... In order to study an electron, we actually take advantage of a field where an electric current can be generated. Otherwise the property of electron cannot be studied in a scientific experiment. Similarly, we established that atma, being nonphysical and nonchemical, is spiritual and also has personal character. We must take advantage of a personal feature where one can have direct relationship between this individual atma, and there should be also a supreme atma. And the relationship of the study of this will be the experimental study, and that experiment is bhakti-yoga.
Prabhupada: I have several times stressed that living being is a sample of God. If you study living being, you understand God.
Svarupa Damodara: Actually it's very true and also very scientific to propose this simile because life, being nonmaterial...
Prabhupada: It is Vedic version. Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananm. But where is the difference? The difference is that eka is so important that He is the source of everything, and He is maintaining this bahunam. That is... Both of them, quality, the same. But one is maintaining; others are being maintained. One is predominator; others are predominated. That is the difference. Asraya, visaya. So therefore when you come to the asraya, that is perfection.
Pradyumna: We are all visaya. Every living entity is visaya, and Krsna is the only...
Prabhupada: Asraya.
Tamala Krsna: And everybody is making believe that they are asraya, trying to gain the worship of others.
Prabhupada: He cannot be.
Prabhupada: All these big, big leaders, they want to become asraya. Gandhi wanted to be asraya. And he was kicked out: "Get out! You are visaya. You are trying to be asraya." Immediately kicked out. That is false theory, Mayavada. Bhakativinoda asraya... What is that song?
Pradyumna: Namasraya kori' jatane tumi thakaha apana kaje.
Prabhupada: There is another... Yasomati...
Satadhanya: Yasomati-nandana, in that last line, Bhaktivinoda asraya.
Prabhupada: Asraya.
Tamala Krsna: Yeah, the spiritual master is the shelter.
Prabhupada: No, spiritual master is under the shelter of Krsna.
Pradyumna: Spiritual master is also visaya.
Prabhupada: Everyone is visaya, asraya. Ultimate asraya is Krsna. Mattah parataram nanyat [Bg. 7.7]. There is no more superior asraya.
Tamala Krsna: Can't we say that because the spiritual master is taking shelter of Krsna, he is also...
Prabhupada: Therefore he is asraya, electrified. Saksad-dharitvena samastra-sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva, kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya. Priya visaya. Therefore he can act as asraya. Asraya laiya bhaje, krsna nahi tare tyaje, ara saba more akara. Narottama dasa Thakura. Asraya laiya bhaje, krsna nahi tare tyaje, ara saba more akara. Others simply wasting time.
Svarupa Damodara: The mental attitude of the inquirer or the seeker in this bhakti process, you also said, it plays a very important role in understanding this relationship between the jiva, or individual life, atma, and Paramatma, these two relationships. So we proposed that since it is based on psychological interactions, willing, feeling and the thinking, so the attitude should be humble and it should not be arrogant, and it should feel the limitations. Actually we try to bring all the brahminical qualities in order to study this bhakti-yoga in a scientific manner, and we presented like that, briefly, in a scientific community, and it was mildly accepted. They were just thinking that...
Prabhupada: Therefore in the society there must be qualified brahmana. The all rascals, sudras, professors...
Svarupa Damodara: Just like in a scientific experiment we have so many conditions...
Prabhupada: Just this morning I gave: balayor anayor nrnam brahmano rupa... Nanda Maharaja. Bring that book.
Upendra: Downstairs.
Prabhupada: Tvam hi (sic:) brahma-bhujam sresthah. Gargamuni is addressed by Nanda Maharaja. Tvam hi brahma-bhujam sresthah, balayor anayor nrnam brahmano rupa. Seven.... Eighth Chapter. There is mark. Read there. Just let...
Prabhupada: Janmana brahmano guruh. As soon as you take birth, brahmana is your guru. So where is brahmana? Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. Where is that guru? Therefore the society, chaotic condition.... As soon as you take birth, you have to accept brahmana guru. So there must be brahmanas. Therefore Krsna says, catur-varnyam maya srstam [Bg. 4.13]. There must be brahmanas. Otherwise where is human society? It is animal society. In the animal society they are clever, enjoy. "How! How! How! How!" Jackals and tigers and big, this animal, that animal, they are everything. Where is the brahmana? This is the first time attempt is being made"There must be brahmanas"this Krsna consciousness movement. They do not know the aim of life, how it should be organized, what kind of members there should be. No knowledge. Therefore I have challenged that "Your brain is filled up with stool. You do not know how human society is happy." Here is janmana brahmano guruh. So where is brahmana? Janmana brahmano guruh.
Bhakti-caru: (Bengali)
Prabhupada: (Bengali) Actually this Krsna consciousness movement is a process of making this animal society into human civilization. At the present moment especially, all animals. I take them as animals. Therefore I say so boldly. I care for them. They are animals. That's all. Maybe very well do. I have not said. Bhagavata says. Sva-vid-varahostra-kharaih samstutah purusah pasuh [SB 2.3.19]. What are these leaders? Pasu. "Pasu? And they are so much held in estimation." Whom? By whom? Sva-vid-varahostra-kharaih: "They are in estimation by the dogs and hogs and camels and asses." Actually they have no position. The public is dog, hog, camel and.... And they are selecting one leader. So what he should be? Another big pasu, another big camel, another big ass. That's all. Sva-vid-varahostra-kharaih samstutah purusah pasuh. (Bengali) A big animal. These leaders, they are only big animals. Just like in the jungle, a lion. A very powerful. Then does it mean that he's human being? He's animal. May be an elephant or lion, but he's not human being. A human child is more important than this lion. It doesn't matter that the human child is taken away by the lion and immediately killed or carried. That does not make the lion very important. (Bengali) A big pasu.
Svarupa Damodara: So the brahminical qualifications are prerequisites to conduct this bhakti experiment. That's why we want to bring it indirectly, even in a scientific lecture, by making similes with normal conditions necessary to do any experiment. So we make it a conditions necessary. Otherwise you cannot just do experiment without...
Prabhupada: Satya samo damo titiksa arjava, jnanam vijnanam astikyam brahma-karma svabhava... [Bg. 18.42]. Where is that?
Tamala Krsna: That Dr. Kapoor, your Godbrother? There's an article that was published in Back to Godhead. So he proves that spirit can be brought out of matter, provided that the bhakti, the brahmana, the person, develops brahminical qualities to the point of purity. And he uses the example of Prahlada Maharaja, that because Prahlada Maharaja had developed such a pure love for Krsna, Krsna came out of a material element, the pillar, to prove Himself: "Here is God." So spirit came right out of matter. So Dr. Kapoor used the point that if you want to see spirit, qualify yourself. Then you'll be able to see spirit. You can make spirit come right out of matter.
Prabhupada: That is sarvam khalv idam brahma.
Svarupa Damodara: Actually that's a good example, that, the one that we are using, same simile, that in order to study this life being nonphysical, so the experiment also has to be nonphysical, not that directly we observe just like any other material experiment. So those conditions necessary have to be fulfilled in order to conduct this experiment. So they become very quiet. The audience doesn't..., becomes serious, at the same time quiet. Let them think, "Yes, these things are part of the clear thinking and at very high level." So that since these experiments are nonphysical, the conditions necessary must be very subtle. And the... Because the diet that man eats also plays a very important role, and the brain has to be very clean, and the habit must be very clean. Otherwise these experiments...
Prabhupada: Anartha-nirvrttih. This is called anartha-nirvrttih. Adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sangah tato bhajana-kriya, atha anartha-nirvrtti syat [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15]. Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. Srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah, hrdy antah-stho abhadrani [SB 1.2.17]. These are abhadrani. Vidhunoti.
Svarupa Damodara: You have so mercifully given us so many wonderful instructions, Srila Prabhupada. If we can develop just fraction of it...
Prabhupada: That is your deci... I can suggest fundamental principles. Now you can develop, as you have already begun. So they are accepting this scientific...
Svarupa Damodara: Oh, yes.
Prabhupada: Bose Institute has developed?
Svarupa Damodara: They are doing many kinds of research on life. They're specializing on life sciences. But they have also been taken away by the Western ideas, I gather. So first of all, when I went... Actually there is a professor called Professor Bakat(?) in science college. He was my former teacher. So he took me along. So it makes things very easy because he knew all of them, and he had great appreciation for us, like a father. He's a professor, full-time professor, and he knew all these friends, big, big scientists there. First of all, Professor Bakat introduced me, "He's from the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. He's former student, but now fully engaged in scientific Krsna consciousness." So they thought it is some sort of religion. Then... "No, no, he's not speaking about religion. He's speaking about the science of life and about the fundamental principles of life and matter and its origin." Then they changed their little outlook.
Prabhupada: Then they changed?
Svarupa Damodara: Yes. Then they became little... They opened up their mouth and then started talking. Then, once they start talking, then we can generate some platform where we can actually discuss. This Amrtabhal Sena is a professor in Bose Institute. Firstof all he asked my qualifications, said what, what do I have. Then I said I studied in the States, and I had this degree, and I was working this line. Actually I told him all the sophisticated experiments that we did when I was studying. And he was very impressed with those ideas or experiments that I did which they don't do here. Then he asked me... First of all he was interested "How you became... How you left those things and become a devotee of Krsna?" Then I... At that point I got the opportunity to explain how science is an attempt to see the unknown laws of nature, in other words to find at least the ultimate cause or the Absolute Truth. Vaguely it's an attempt at least amongst those highly thoughtful scientists. They think like that. But we are seeing at this stage of our scientific age that science is not giving those answers. Rather, science is failing. We thought we would do like this, that, and so many experiments and so much knowledge we uncovered, but we do not know anything about life, so there are limitations of this scientific knowledge. So there must be something higher. It cannot be the finishing stage at this moment. So there must be something higher. It cannot be the finishing stage at this moment. So there must be something higher beyond what we know so far. That is why I was interested in knowing more about the principles of life. It cannot be just coming momentarily for some time and staying and getting a family and getting some false prestige. That cannot be the ultimate. There must be something higher. Then he began to understood what I meant and he accepted, "Yes, it's true." That he agreed, "Yes, we are not... The knowledge that we have is not able to give all the answers. In fact, science doesn't know anything about life. But we are leaving this most important knowledge of life and just studying something garbage in the name of scientific knowledge."
Prabhupada: (laughs) You have fatally...(?)
Svarupa Damodara: So he became very interested. That's why he took me in an hour. About five minutes he gave me. Then he extended about an hour to a very interesting talk. And he became very impressed with the ideas about Bhagavad-gita. And Dr. Kunja(?) asked me, "What sloka are you using from Bhagavad-gita?" Then I was describing about nainam chindanti sastrani nainam dahati pavakah [Bg. 2.23]. "We're developing that on a scientific language." And he was very impressed with our presentation for the nature of consciousness and quantum physics. So they thought that this is very unique, and they never thought that this could be done. They have great respect for Srila Prabhupada also. Said that they have read Bhagavad-gita As It Is. And they actually accepted and developed lot of scientific thoughts, appropriating with our current scientific frame from Bhagavad-gita. So once they have that feeling developed properly...
Prabhupada: It will further develop.
Svarupa Damodara: Yes. It's unlimited, scientific knowledge. It's all Srila Prabhupada's mercy that all these people are getting at least a second thought, being born in this material, just been carried away by some sort of temporary knowledge without really knowing what real knowledge is behind. Now, by Prabhupada's mercy, they have been given the opportunity also to think about it.
Prabhupada: Yes. You are proper person to understand what is pervading(?). Monkey cannot understand what is pervading(?). (Bengali) Just like mother Sita. When Hanuman approached, she gave her pearl necklace. He immediately remove it. So one who knows pearl and one does not know pearl. Anyway, it is all Krsna's desire that you are combined together. So it is my duty to show you, "Here is the pearl." Now, to the few, value of pearl will be appreciated. All theories, bogus, vyapa, garbage(?)... At least you have got now basic principles to talk with high-grade scientists. Hm?
Prabhupada: But I dared to approach them because I am confident that what I am presenting, it is solid. There is no mistake. It is solid. I never said, "May be, may not be." No. Life cannot come from matter. Never. And the knowledge distribution takes some time. They have distributed ignorance by taking time. We have to distribute knowledge by taking time. False knowledge... Simply promise, future hope... Durasaya. Punah punas carvita-carvananam [SB 7.5.30]. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum durasaya bahir-artha-maninah, andha yathandhair upaniyamana... [SB 7.5.31]. The society remains in darkness, misled by blind men. We want to save the human society from this catastrophe. This is our noble mission. Why they should remain in darkness? Karmis, jnanis, yogis.... That should be. Just like some professor in Bangalore, they are trying to expose this Sai Baba. Why? Because they are scientific men, they are protesting, "Why this rascal should keep so many men in darkness? The same rascal. By false propaganda he is appearing mukta, God. What about Sai Baba? We don't see anything.
Tamala Krsna: No new news about him. Same tricks. He does the same tricks.
Prabhupada: He is half finished.
Satadhanya: He's a juggler, magician.
Svarupa Damodara: Balesvara Yogi is also almost finished.
Prabhupada: Almost.
Svarupa Damodara: Nobody takes seriously now. I saw an article just a few weeks ago about Balesvara Yogi, how he is, you know, he has not been accepted. Rather, it's increasing that many believe him that he's just fake.
Prabhupada: He's bogus.
Tamala Krsna: In Hrishikesh, when he saw how strongly you were preaching, especially to his, you know, his student teachers, he sent a message that "As you are not feeling well, you should take complete rest." He was a little worried. Prabhupada was preaching so strongly in Hrishikesh, and he was there also.
Svarupa Damodara: Oh, Maharishi?
Tamala Krsna: Yeah.
Prabhupada: Hm. He wanted to invite me. I refused, "I cannot..."
Tamala Krsna: Then he sent a message that "You should take complete rest and not do any preaching."
Svarupa Damodara: Recently I saw a book in Boston. It was from England, that book. The title was called The Origin of Johnny. Johnny's the name of a little boy.
Prabhupada: Johnny Walker. (laughter)
Svarupa Damodara: And it was very interesting, that book. That was... This is the Origin of Species. That was Darwin's book. This was the modern version of Darwin's book. It's about this big, and it's full of nice colors with all molecules, DNA and all these nice, modern-looking molecules, and then they say... They start... It starts like this, "In the beginning there was a big blank." (Prabhupada laughs)
Prabhupada: "There was..."?
Svarupa Damodara: "There was a blank. There was a void." Everything was blank. And the way he started, the foreword was given by a scientist called Crick, Watson and Crick. Crick is in Cambridge, and Watson is in Harvard. So these two men were the men who discovered the structure of the DNA molecule that they thought that may be life. And they got Nobel Prize for this. And Crick was writing in the first page, saying that "This is the way we have understood about life." But "Everything was started like that, from blank and a blank, blank. And somehow all these molecules get together and then it became Johnny later on." (laughter) And we can make a nice story out of it.
Prabhupada: No.
Svarupa Damodara: They make such a story that sometime they make the little children believe and thought that it might be the fact.
Prabhupada: Fairy tales.
Svarupa Damodara: Yes, so we titled, called, Chemical Evolution-A Molecular Fairy Tale.
Prabhupada: Yes. Yes.
Svarupa Damodara: And we have developed...
Prabhupada: (laughs) That is very nice.
Svarupa Damodara: And we also have a little chapter called "Intellectual Dishonesty Among the Scientists," and said, "Let's be honest about it. These things are not scientific."
Prabhupada: This is intellectual dishonesty. They produce sputnik and going to the moon in the laboratory.
Prabhupada: And then it is exposed, "Moon Hoax." This is intellect... There was a... There were many films. One film was... What is that? A big monkey?
Tamala Krsna: King Kong.
Prabhupada: (laughs) King Kong. They are producing chemical laboratory, yes, studio, and the monkey played...
Tamala Krsna: Yeah, they showed him going up and down the Empire State Building in a movie.
Prabhupada: And it was so interesting, it gathered so many public to see.
Tamala Krsna: Now they have another one, "King Kong Returns." Still it's very popular.
Prabhupada: So they can do these things.
Tamala Krsna: They made another one where they go into the human body. They make the man very small, and then they send him on a trip through the human body, and he's fighting with germs. He gets attacked by germs, and the whole thing is very believable.
Prabhupada: That Frankenstein?
Devotees: Frankenstein.
Svarupa Damodara: We gave a lecture in Gainesville, Florida. It was last year. So Amarendra made a nice poster about our lecture. I don't exactly remember, "Frankenstein or Einstein," describing a little about our talk, that life cannot come from matter. And he made a nice poster all over the campuses.
Tamala Krsna: Many people came?
Svarupa Damodara: Yeah, some came in the temple. We also gave university, in the physics class, called "Physics for Skeptics," the title of the class. It was very interesting.
Prabhupada: Now it is clearing. You can go inside.
Svarupa Damodara: All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: Jaya. [break]
Tamala Krsna: One basement is there where the restaurant is. You saw that. And kitchen. Then, below that, I was going to take you to the boiler room, but you didn't want to come. That's another basement, sub-basement. That boiler... (end)

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