LIFE COMES FROM LIFE
Srila Prabhupada's startling challenge to the modern
scientific theory of the origin of life and the universe.
The First Morning Walk April 18, 1973
The Second Morning Walk April 19, 1973
The Third Morning Walk April 28, 1973
The Fourth Morning Walk April, 29, 1973
The Fifth Morning Walk May 3, 1973
The Sixth Morning Walk May 7, 1973
The Seventh Morning Walk May 8, 1973
The Eighth Morning Walk May 11, 1973
The Ninth Morning Walk May 13, 1973
The Tenth Morning Walk May 14, 1973
The Eleventh Morning Walk May 15, 1973
The Twelfth Morning Walk May 17, 1973
The Thirteenth Walk December 2, 1973
The Fourteenth Walk December 3, 1973
The Fifteenth Morning Walk December 7, 1973
The Sixteenth Morning Walk December 10, 1973
Life Comes From Life - Verse Notes
Dr. T.D. Singh [Bhakti-svarupa Damodara Maharaja]
The Thirteenth Morning Walk: December 2, 1973
Recorded on December 2, 1973, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles
Srila Prabhupada is accompanied by Dr. Singh, Hrdayananda dasa Goswami.
Krsna kanti dasa adhikari and other students.
The Devotee Beyond Desires
Srila Prabhupada. Now, who knows the difference between the karmi, the jnani, the yogi and the bhakta?
Hrdayananda dasa Goswami. The karmi wants to enjoy the gross senses, the jnani wants to enjoy the subtle mind--to mentally speculate--and the yogi wants to manipulate the universe with mystic powers.
Srila Prabhupada. These are all material powers.
Hrdayananda dasa Goswami. And the bhakta has no material desires.
Srila Prabhupada. Yes. And unless one is actually desireless, he cannot be happy. The karmi, the jnani and the yogi are all full of desires; therefore they are unhappy. Karmis are the most unhappy, the jnani is a little less unhappy, and the yogi is still more advanced. But the bhakta, the devotee, is perfectly happy. Some yogis have a mystic power that enables them to snatch pomegranates from trees in another country, thousands of miles away. Others can fly without an airplane. And some yogis can hypnotize anyone. Then they point to someone and say, "This is God," and their victims believe them. I have actually seen such magical nonsense.
Krsnakanti. Is the pure devotee more merciful than Krsna?
Srila Prabhupada. Yes. A real Vaisnava, a real devotee, is even more merciful than Krsna. Take Lord Jesus Christ, for example. It is said that Lord Jesus took everyone's sins upon himself, yet
he was crucified. We can see how merciful he was. Today, rascals think, "Let us go on committing sinful activities; Christ has taken a contract to suffer for us." [There is a long, thoughtful silence.]
The Difference Between Matter and Spirit
Dr. Singh. Scientists say that trees also have consciousness.
Srila Prabhupada. Yes, that is true, but a tree's consciousness and my consciousness are different. My consciousness is more developed. If you pinch my body, I will immediately protest. But if you cut a tree, it will not protest. Actually, everything has consciousness in it; it is simply a question of degree. The more covered consciousness is by matter, the more it is considered material. And the more consciousness is developed, the more it is considered spiritual. This is the difference between matter and spirit.
Spirit souls are everywhere. They are trying to come out of the earth. [Points to the grass.] As soon as there is an opportunity, they want to express their consciousness. Those souls who descend from higher planets to this planet sometimes fall down to the ground in raindrops. Then they become grass and gradually evolve to higher forms of life.
Dr. Singh. Oh, that is terrible.
Srila Prabhupada. These are the workings of subtle energy. What do the scientists know about this? Actually, their knowledge is carried away by maya, illusion, and they are thinking, "Oh, I am a very learned scholar."
Dr. Singh. Srila Prabhupada, what about heart transplants? We know that the spirit soul is within the heart. But nowadays doctors can replace an old heart with a new one. What happens to the spirit soul in each heart? Does the person who receives a new heart also get a new personality?
Srila Prabhupada. No.
Dr. Singh. Why not?
Srila Prabhupada. Suppose I get up from one chair and go sit in another chair. Does my personality change? I may change my seat, but does that mean I have changed?
Dr. Singh. But the heart is changed, and the heart contains the spirit soul.
Srila Prabhupada. The Vedas describe the heart as a sitting place for the soul. So when they transplant hearts, they simply change the soul's seat. The same soul remains. If they could prove that by changing the heart they have increased the patient's duration of life, then that would prove they've caught the spirit soul. But they cannot increase the duration of life, because people have acquired their bodies by a superior arrangement. You have this body, and you must live within it for a certain period. If you simply change one of the parts of your body, that will not help you prolong your life. That is impossible. The doctors think that by changing the heart they will increase the duration of life, but that is not possible.
Dr. Singh. So a heart transplant is a kind of artificial transmigration of the soul from an old heart to a new one?
Srila Prabhupada. Yes, it is something like that. Krsna explains in the Bhagavad-gita (2.13):
dehino 'smin yatha dehe / kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantara-praptir / dhiras tatra na muhyati
"As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change." Changing hearts is just a change of material bodily organs. The heart is not the real source of life, and therefore changing the heart does not prolong the duration of life.
Dr. Singh. Yes, most heart transplant patients live only a very short time after the operation. But is it ever possible to transplant the soul from one body to another?
Srila Prabhupada. Sometimes certain yogis can do that. They can find a better body and transfer themselves into it.
Dr. Singh. When the doctors perform a heart transplant, they take a heart from someone who has just died and exchange it for a weak heart in someone else's body. Does the soul from the dead heart change places with the soul in the weak living heart?
Srila Prabhupada. No. The soul has already left the dead heart. There is no question of bringing in another soul.
Dr. Singh. Let me see if I understand you correctly. When the doctors remove the heart of a man who has just died, the soul has already left his heart. Then, when they transplant his dead heart into the body of the patient, the patient's soul passes into the transplanted heart.
Srila Prabhupada. Yes. The soul is destined to live in a particular body for a certain number of years. You may change whatever part of the body you like, but you cannot change the duration of the life of that body.
Dr. Singh. So the heart is just a machine--an instrument?
Srila Prabhupada. Yes. It is the sitting place of the soul.
A Mustard Seed in a Bag of Mustard Seeds
Dr. Singh. Srila Prabhupada, biologists tell us that there are many species of life that can reproduce without sex. Do the Vedas agree with this?
Srila Prabhupada. Oh, yes.
Dr. Singh. So we cannot curtail their reproduction?
Srila Prabhupada. No. How could we? There are so many living entities that have come into this material world to enjoy life, and therefore reproduction must continue. This material world is like a jail. You cannot put an end to jails. As soon as one man leaves the jail, another is ready to enter it. This same question was discussed by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. One of His devotees, Vasudeva Datta, said, "Please take all the living entities of this entire universe and release them from material bondage. And if You think they are too sinful to be rectified, then just give all their sins to me." But Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "Suppose I were to take this entire universe and all the living entities with it. This is only one of innumerable universes. It is just like a mustard seed in a huge bag of mustard seeds. If you removed one seed from the bag, what would be the difference?" So reproduction cannot actually be stopped. Living entities are unlimited in number, and therefore it must continue.
Dr. Singh. You have said that this material world is like a correction house to teach one to get out of material entanglement and the cycle of repeated birth and death.
Srila Prabhupada. Yes. Therefore you must practice Krsna consciousness.
The Fourteenth Morning Walk: December 3, 1973
Recorded on December 3, 1973, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles
Srila Prabhupada is accompanied by Dr. Singh, Dr. W. H. Wolf-Rottkay and other students.
The Origin of the Interplanetary Gases
Dr. Singh. The scientists say that at one point the earth was composed of dust particles floating in some gaseous material. Then, in due course, this colloidal suspension condensed and formed the earth.
Srila Prabhupada. That may be, but where did the gas come from?
Dr. Singh. They say it just existed!
Srila Prabhupada. Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (7.4):
bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh /
kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me / bhinna prakrtir astadha
"Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego--all together these eight comprise My separated material energies." Here Krsna explains that vayu (gas) came from Him. And finer than vayu is kham (ether), finer than ether is mind, finer than mind is intelligence, finer than intelligence is false ego, and finer than false ego is the soul. But the scientists do not know this. They understand only gross things. They mention gas, but where does the gas come from?
Dr. Singh. That they cannot answer.
Srila Prabhupada. But we can answer. From Srimad-Bhagavatam we know that gas has come from kham, or ether, ether comes from mind, mind comes from intelligence, intelligence comes from false ego, and false ego comes from the soul.
Dr. Singh. The scientists argue that before Darwin's biophysical type of evolution could take place, there had to be what they call prebiotic chemistry, or chemical evolution.
Srila Prabhupada. Yes. And the term "chemical evolution" means that chemicals have an origin, and that origin is spirit, or life. A lemon produces citric acid, and our bodies produce many chemicals in urine, blood, and bodily secretions. This is proof that life produces chemicals, not that chemicals produce life.
Dr. Singh. Scientists say that once the seed of life is present in the cells, then the living entity automatically develops and functions.
Srila Prabhupada. Yes, but who gives the seed? In the Bhagavad-gita (7.10) Krsna answers this question. Bijam mam sarva-bhutanam viddhi partha sanatanam: "O son of Prtha, know that I am the original seed of all existences." And later (14.4):
sarva-yonisu kaunteya /
murtayah sambhavanti yah
tasam brahma mahad yonir / aham bija-pradah pita
"It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father."
Giving Credit to the Primal Creator
Dr. Wolf-Rottkay. But in all humility, Srila Prabhupada, suppose the scientists actually succeed in artificially creating a living cell. What would you say?
Srila Prabhupada. What would be their credit? They would only be imitating what already exists in nature. People are very fond of imitations. If a man in a nightclub imitates a dog, people will go and pay money to watch him. But when they see a real dog barking, they don't pay any attention to it.
Dr. Singh. Srila Prabhupada, the idea of chemical evolution came from a Russian biologist in 1920. He demonstrated that before biochemical evolution, the earth's atmosphere was in a state of reduction. In other words, it was mostly full of hydrogen, with very little oxygen. Then, in due course, the sun's radiation caused these hydrogen molecules to form into different chemicals.
Srila Prabhupada. This is a side study. First of all, where did the hydrogen come from? The scientists simply study the middle of the process; they do not study the origin. We must know the beginning. There is an airplane. [indicates an airplane appearing on the horizon.] Would you say the origin of that machine is the sea? A foolish person might say that all of a sudden a light appeared in the sea, and that's how the airplane was created. But is that a scientific explanation? The scientists' explanations are similar. They say, "This existed, and then all of a sudden, by chance, that occurred." This is not science. Science means to explain the original cause.
Perhaps the scientists can create imitations of nature, but why should we give them credit? we should give credit to the original creator, God; that is our philosophy.
Dr. Singh. When a scientist discovers some natural law, he usually names it after himself.
Srila Prabhupada. Yes, exactly. The law is already there in nature, but the rascal wants to take credit for it.
Gerontology: Prolonging the Suffering
Dr. Singh. They are actually fighting against the laws of nature, but often they take pleasure in the struggle.
Srila Prabhupada. That pleasure is childish. Suppose a child builds a sand castle on the beach with great effort. He may take pleasure in it, but that is childish pleasure. That is not a grown man's pleasure. Materialistic men have created a standard of false happiness. They have created a gorgeous arrangement for a comfortable civilization, but it is all false because they cannot create a situation in which they will be able to enjoy it. At any moment, anyone can be kicked out by death, and all his enjoyment will be finished.
Dr. Singh. That is why they say that God hasn't given us everything--because we are not able to live here forever.
Srila Prabhupada. But God has given them everything necessary to live peacefully, and everything necessary to understand Him. So why will they not inquire about God? Instead, they do things that help them forget God.
Dr. Singh. Now the scientists have organized a whole department in science called gerontology, in which they study how to prolong life.
Srila Prabhupada. Their real aim should be to stop the suffering. Suppose an old man is in great pain, suffering from many diseases, and suddenly the doctors increase his life-span. What is the profit?
Dr. Singh. That is what they do with heart transplants.
Srila Prabhupada. It is nonsense! Let them stop death; that would be an achievement. Let them stop all disease; ah, that would be an achievement. They cannot do these things! Therefore, I say that all their research is simply a struggle for existence. Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (15.7):
mamaivamso jiva-loke /
manah-sasthanindriyani / prakrti-sthani karsati
"The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind."
Student. Now there is a shortage of oil.
Srila Prabhupada. Yes, we have built a civilization that is dependent on oil. This is against nature's law, and therefore there is now an oil shortage. By nature's law, winter is now coming. Scientists cannot stop it and turn it into summer. They wrongly think they are in control of nature. In Bhagavad-gita Krsna informs us that the living being thinks himself to be the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by nature. The sun is now rising. Can they make it dark? And when it is dark, can they command the sun, "Get up!" They do not realize that if they really want to conquer nature, they should try to conquer birth, death, old age and disease. In Bhagavad-gita (7.14) Krsna says:
daivi hy esa guna-mayi /
mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante / mayam etam taranti te
"This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it."
Dr. Singh. So, is it very hard to overcome nature's laws?
Srila Prabhupada. For the materialists, it is impossible. But if one surrenders to Krsna, it becomes easy.
The Real Origin of Species
Dr. Singh. To explain why there are so many varieties of living entities, the scientists say that at a certain time during evolution, the cells' genes, which normally reproduce themselves perfectly for the next generation, sometimes make a mistake in copying--something like the printing press that sometimes makes mistakes. In some circumstances these mistakes, or mutations, have stood, and different species of living entities have been formed because of the difference in the genes.
Srila Prabhupada. But that "mistake" has been continuing since time immemorial, for you will find that all varieties of living entities have always existed. Therefore the "mistake" is eternal. But when a "mistake" is permanent, it is not a mistake; it is intelligence!
Dr. Singh. But scientists say that if there were no mutations, then there would be only one kind of living entity in the whole universe.
Srila Prabhupada. No. Every living entity has a different mind, and therefore there are so many different species of life to accommodate the different mentalities. For example, we are walking here, but most people are not coming to join us, because they have different mentalities than we do. Why does this difference exist?
Dr. Singh. Maybe it is a mistake.
Srila Prabhupada. It is not a mistake. It is their desire, and at the time of death everyone will get a body exactly according to his desire. Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (8.6):
yam yam vapi smaran bhavam /
tyajaty ante kalevaram
tam tam evaiti kaunteya / sada tad-bhava-bhavitah
"Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail." What you are thinking of at the time of death exactly determines your next body. Nature will give you the body; the decision is not in your hands, but in nature's, and she is working under the direction of God.
Dr. Singh. But science seems to have evidence that different species of life do arise by mistakes.
Srila Prabhupada. That is their mistake! In the laws of nature there are no mistakes. In railway cars there are first-class, second-class and third-class sections. If you purchase a third-class ticket but by mistake go to the first-class section, you will not be allowed to stay there. It is not a mistake that there are sections; that is the arrangement. But it is your mistake that you have gone to the wrong section. So, God is so thorough that He knows all the mistakes that will be made. Therefore, according to the mistakes you commit, you enter a particular body: "Here, come here. The body is ready." There are 8,400,000 species of life, and nature works, assigning different bodies, with mathematical precision. When the government builds a city, it builds a prison even before the city is completed, because the government knows that there will be many criminals who will have to go to prison. This is not the government's mistake; it is the mistake of the criminals. Because they become criminals, they have to go there. It is their mistake.
In nature there are no mistakes. Krsna says:
mayadhyaksena prakrtih /
hetunanena kaunteya / jagad viparivartate
"This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, and producing all moving and nonmoving beings." (Bg. 9.10) Nature works under the supervision of God, Krsna, so how can nature make mistakes? But we commit mistakes, we are illusioned, our senses are imperfect, and we cheat. That is the difference between God and man. God does not have imperfect senses; His senses are perfect.
Dr. Wolf-Rottkay. Because our senses are defective, the technological enlargements of our senses must also be defective, of course.
Dr. Singh. The microscopes with which we detect things must also be defective.
Srila Prabhupada. Material existence means defective existence. If you construct something with defective knowledge and imperfect senses, whatever you construct must be defective.
Dr. Singh. Even if scientists devised a perfect microscope, they would still have to look through it with defective eyes.
Srila Prabhupada. Yes. That is right. Therefore we conclude that whatever the scientists may say is defective.
Dr. Singh. But they seem quite satisfied.
Srila Prabhupada. The ass is also satisfied. The ass is satisfied to carry the load of the washerman. Everyone is satisfied, even the worm in the stool. That is nature's law.
Dr. Wolf-Rottkay. It is said that even the pauper is proud of his penny.
Srila Prabhupada. Yes. In some parts of India one may sometimes see a dog starving to death. But as soon as it gets a female dog, it is satisfied with having sex. Is that satisfaction? The dog is starving, but still it is satisfied with sex.
The Fifteenth Morning Walk: December 7, 1973
Recorded on December 7, 1973, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles
Srila Prabhupada is accompanied by Dr. Singh, Dr. W. H. Wolf-Rottkay and another student.
Getting the Eyes to See God
Student. For the last one hundred fifty years, one of the major problems of Western theologians has been the relationship between reason and faith. They have been seeking to understand faith through reason, but they have been unable to find the relationship between the reasoning abilities and faith. Some of them have faith in God, but their reason tells them there is no God. For instance, they would say that when we offer prasada to the Lord, it is only faith to think that He accepts it, because we cannot see Him.
Srila Prabhupada. They cannot see Him, but I can see Him. I see God, and therefore I offer prasada to Him. Because they cannot see Him, they must come to me so I can open their eyes. They are blind--suffering from cataracts--so I shall operate, and they will see. That is our program.
Student. Scientists say that their common ground of objectivity is what they can perceive with their senses.
Srila Prabhupada. Yes, they can perceive things with their senses, but very imperfectly. They perceive the sand with their senses, but can they see who has made the sand? Here is the sand, and here is the sea; they can be seen by direct perception. But how can one directly perceive the origin of the sand and the sea?
Student. The scientists say that if the sand and the sea were made by God, we would be able to see Him, just as we can see the sand and the sea themselves.
Srila Prabhupada. Yes, they can see God, but they must get the eyes to see Him. They are blind. Therefore they must first come to me for treatment. The sastras say that one must go to a guru to be treated so that one can understand God. How can they see God with blind eyes?
Student. But seeing God is supramundane. Scientists only consider mundane vision.
Srila Prabhupada. Everything is supramundane. For instance, you may think there is nothing in the clear sky--that it is vacant--but your eyes are deficient. In the sky there are innumerable planets you cannot see because your eyes are limited. Therefore, because it is not in your power to perceive, you have to accept my word: "Yes, there are millions of stars out there." Is space vacant because you cannot see the stars? No. Only the deficiency of your senses leads you to think so.
Student. The scientists will admit their ignorance of some things, but they say they cannot accept what they cannot see.
Srila Prabhupada. If they're ignorant, they have to accept knowledge from someone who knows the truth.
Student. But they say, "What if what we are told is wrong?"
Srila Prabhupada. Then that is their misfortune. Because their imperfect senses cannot perceive God, they have to hear it from an authority. That is the process. If they don't approach the authority--if they approach a cheater--that is their misfortune. But the process is that wherever your senses cannot act, you must approach an authority to learn the facts.
The Frustration of the Atheists
Dr. Singh. The difficulty is that in a group of atheists, you can't prove the existence of God.
Srila Prabhupada. The atheists are rascals. Let us teach the others--those who are reasonable. Everything has been made by someone: the sand has been made by someone, the water has been made by someone, and the sky has been made by someone. Krsna consciousness means learning who that someone is.
Dr. Singh. The scientists will say, "Present that someone to me so I can see Him."
Srila Prabhupada. And I answer them, "I am presenting that someone to you, but you have to take the training as well." You have to qualify your eyes to see that someone. If you are blind, but you do not want to go to the physician, how will you be cured of your blindness and see? You have to be treated; that is the injunction.
Student. That step requires faith.
Srila Prabhupada. Yes, but not blind faith--practical faith. If you want to learn anything, you must go to an expert. That is not blind faith; it is practical faith. You cannot learn anything by yourself.
Student. If somebody is actually sincere, will he always meet a bona fide guru?
Srila Prabhupada. Yes. Guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija. Krsna is within you, and as soon as He sees that you are sincere, He will send you to the right person.
Student. And if you are not completely sincere, you will get a cheater for a teacher?
Srila Prabhupada. Yes. If you want to be cheated, Krsna will send you to a cheater. Krsna is superintelligent. If you are a cheater, He will cheat you perfectly. But if you are actually sincere, then He will give you the right guidance. In Bhagavad-gita (15.15) Krsna says, sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca: "I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness." Krsna speaks of both remembrance and forgetfulness. If you are a cheater, Krsna will give you the intelligence to forget Him forever.
Student. But the atheists are in control. They have the dominance.
Srila Prabhupada. One kick of maya and all their dominance is finished in one second. That is the nature of maya. The atheists are under control, but due to maya, or illusion, they think they're free.
moghasa mogha-karmano /
mogha jnana vicetasah
raksasim asurim caiva / prakrtim mohinim sritah
"Those who are bewildered are attracted by demoniac and atheistic views. In that deluded condition, their hopes for liberation, their fruitive activities and their culture of knowledge are all defeated." (Bg. 9.12) Because they are bewildered, all their hopes are frustrated. That is stated here in Bhagavad-gita, and that is actually happening. So many of their big plans, like this moon project, are frustrated, but they still claim that they can dominate nature.
Dr. Singh. They do not want to come to their senses.
Srila Prabhupada. Therefore they are rascals.
Scientists Bravely Going to Hell
Srila Prabhupada. A sensible man will take a good lesson, but a rascal will never take a good lesson. There is a story of a great poet named Kalidasa, who was a great rascal also. Once, Kalidasa was sitting on the branch of a tree and simultaneously cutting it. A gentleman asked him, "Why are you cutting this tree limb? You will fall down."
Kalidasa replied, "No, no, I will not fall down." So he kept cutting the limb, and he fell down. The conclusion is that he was a rascal because he would not take good advice. By their so-called scientific advancement, scientists are going to hell. But they do not listen when they are told; therefore they are rascals. Rascals repeatedly make a plan, see it frustrated, and again make another plan. This plan is also frustrated, so they make another plan. Yet when we try to explain to them that all their materialistic plans will be unsuccessful and useless, they refuse to listen. That is rascaldom. The rascals repeatedly chew the chewed. At home, in the street, at the nightclub, at the theater--wherever he is, sex in its different varieties is his only pleasure.
Student. Srila Prabhupada, one could say that that is bravery.
Srila Prabhupada. Yes, you can say that, but that bravery is their rascaldom. They are bravely going to hell, that's all. Once, one man was chasing another man, and the man who was chasing asked, "Why are you fleeing? Are you afraid of me?" The other man replied, "I am not afraid of you. Why should I not run? Why should I stop?"
In the same way, the gross materialist is bravely going to hell. "Why should I stop with my sinful activities?" he says. "I will Bravely face any reaction."
Dr. Singh. They are crazy.
Srila Prabhupada. Yes, crazy. The Vedas say that once a man becomes crazy, or haunted by ghosts, he speaks all kinds of nonsense. Similarly, anyone under the influence of the material energy is crazy. Therefore he talks only nonsense, that's all. Though scientists are not expert in science, they are expert in bluffing others and juggling words.
Dr. Singh. They now have things they did not have before, like telephones, televisions, airplanes, missiles and many other new discoveries.
Srila Prabhupada. But there are better telephones that they do not know about. In Bhagavad-gita, Sanjaya demonstrated this when he was sitting with his master, Dhrtarastra, and relating all the affairs that were taking place far away on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. Sanjaya's vision was actually greater than the telephone. It was mystic television. It was television within the heart, for he was sitting in a room far from the battlefield and still seeing everything that was occurring there. In Bhagavad-gita, Dhrtarastra inquired of Sanjaya, "How are my sons and nephews? What are they doing?" Then Sanjaya described how Duryodhana was going to Dronacarya, what Dronacarya was speaking, how Duryodhana was replying, and so on. Even though these activities were too far away to be seen by ordinary eyes, Sanjaya could see and describe them through his mystic power. That is real science.
Dr. Singh. Some scientists say that we have improved on nature by making things like plastic and medicine.
Srila Prabhupada. In Vedic times people ate on silver and golden plates, but now the scientists have improved things with plastic plates. [Laughter.]
Dr. Singh. The plastic has become a great problem because they cannot get rid of it. There is no way to dispose of it. It just continues to pile up.
Here Is the Proof
Dr. Wolf-Rottkay. The materialists would be more sincere if they said, "We don't want to be taken out of our dream. We want to continue trying to enjoy our senses with all our machines." But they will not admit that their attempts to enjoy always fail.
Srila Prabhupada. That is their foolishness. Eventually they have to admit it.
Dr. Wolf-Rottkay. But they say, "Try, try again."
Srila Prabhupada. How can they try? Suppose you cannot see because you are suffering from cataracts. If you try to see--you try, try, try, try, try. Is that the cure for cataracts? No. You will never be cured like that. You must go to a physician, who will perform a surgical operation to restore your eyesight. You cannot see by trying and trying.
Dr. Wolf-Rottkay. That is just what they do not want to accept--that all their efforts to know the truth by materialistic science have failed.
Srila Prabhupada. They are foolish. They will not take good advice. If you give a rascal some good advice, he will become angry, just like a serpent. Suppose you bring a serpent into your home and say, "My dear serpent, please live with me. Every day I will give you nice food--milk and bananas." The snake will be very pleased, but the result will be that its poison will increase, and one day you will say, "Ah!" [imitates a bitten person.]
Dr. Wolf-Rottkay. But the scientists will never give up hope.
Srila Prabhupada. Their plans are being frustrated at every moment, but still they are hoping.
Student. Srila Prabhupada, one librarian wanted me to prove that Bhagavad-gita was five thousand years old. He wanted to see a copy that was written down five thousand years ago.
Srila Prabhupada. Suppose I go into a dark room and say to the person inside, "The sun has risen. Come out!" The person in darkness may say, "Where is the proof that there is light? First prove it to me; then I will come out." I may plead with him, "Please, please, just come out and see." But if he does not come out to see, he remains ignorant, waiting for proof. So, if you simply read Bhagavad-gita you will see everything. Come and see. Here is the proof.
The Sixteenth Morning Walk: December 10, 1973
Recorded on December 10, 1973, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles
Srila Prabhupada is accompanied by Dr. Singh, Hrdayananda dasa Goswami and other students.
The Meaning of "Supreme"
Srila Prabhupada. What is the meaning of supremacy in this material world? Why do you accept President Nixon as the supreme person within your state?
Dr. Singh. Because he has some power.
Srila Prabhupada. Yes. And why is he supreme? Because as the government's number one servant, he gets the highest salary, has all the best facilities, and his order is final.
Dr. Singh. He has the power to convince others.
Srila Prabhupada. No. You may not agree with him, but because he is supreme, you have to accept his order. That is his position. It does not depend on your acceptance or nonacceptance. That is the meaning of supremacy, is it not? The Vedic literature says that one who has the symptoms of supremacy is fortunate. The supremely fortunate person is God. Laksmi-sahasra-sata-sambhrama-sevyamanam: "He is served by hundreds and thousands of laksmis, or goddesses of fortune." (Brahma-samhita 5.29) Here on this planet we are begging a little favor from the goddess of fortune. But Krsna is always worshiped by many thousands of goddesses of fortune.
Dr. Singh. To conceive of anyone so fortunate is beyond our thinking capacity.
Srila Prabhupada. Yes. Therefore Krsna is acintya, inconceivable. We cannot estimate how great or fortunate He is! Acintya means "that which we cannot estimate." We can see only a part of God's opulence--this material nature--which is only a partial exhibition of God's potencies. The Supreme Personality has many potencies. He has inferior energies and superior energies. In Bhagavad-gita (7.4) Krsna says:
bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh /
kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me / bhinna prakrtir astadha
"Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego--all together these eight comprise My separated material energies." In the next verse of Bhagavad-gita, Krsna describes His superior energy (para prakrti), which is manifested as the spiritual world. So, if in the inferior, material energy there are so many wonderful things, just imagine how much more important and how much more wonderful things are in the spiritual world. This is the meaning of superior.
The Mysteries of Yogic Power
rdayananda dasa Goswami. And are all the varieties of life we see on earth contained in the spiritual world?
Srila Prabhupada. Yes. And, moreover, if in this inferior energy there are so many wonderful varieties of life, just think how wonderful are the superior varieties of life in the spiritual world. Even in this material universe, the inhabitants of some planets are far superior to those on other planets. For example, people on earth practice mystic yoga for achieving wonderful powers, but people on the planet called Siddhaloka have these great yogic powers naturally. On earth it is natural that a bird can fly; but we cannot, except with costly machines. However, on such planets as Siddhaloka, the residents can fly even from one planet to another without machines. They can go to other planets simply at will. Even on earth there are some yogis who can take their bath early in the morning in four places at once--Jagannatha Puri, Ramesvara, Hardwar and Dvaraka. One yogi friend used to visit my father in Calcutta. The yogi told him that when he (the yogi) would simply sit down and touch his guru, he would travel from Calcutta to Dvaraka in two minutes. That is yogic power. So what are today's airplanes? Durvasa Muni traveled all over the universe and up to Vaikuntha within one year. According to modern calculations, certain planets in this universe are more than forty thousand light-years distant from the earth. This means it would take forty thousand years to reach these planets if you traveled at the speed of light. Even if they had the means, how could the astronauts live for forty thousand years? So, why are they so proud?
Dr. Singh. The scientists have a theory that they can produce a machine that will travel at the speed of light.
Srila Prabhupada. That is rascaldom. They say that, but they will never be able to do it.
Srila Prabhupada. There are many invisible planets and stars. For example, when the Rahu planet passes before the sun and moon, there is an eclipse. But the scientists describe an eclipse differently. Actually, the Rahu planet causes an eclipse. There are many questionable points regarding the modern scientists' theory of the eclipse. Their explanation is incorrect according to Vedic information.
Dr. Singh. But the scientists say that they can prove their theories.
Srila Prabhupada. They say that science proves everything. But that is nonsense. The scientist has proved everything except what he is. That he does not know. And why does he die? That also he does not know. That is the extent of his knowledge.
Dr. Singh. They can make a model of the universe. They can make a model of the planets and the moon.
Srila Prabhupada. If they can make things, why don't they make an imitation sun to save electricity? These rascals say everything, but they cannot do anything. That is their position. If they can make a model of the universe, let them make a big model of the sun. Then in the dark night we will not have to spend so much money on electricity. But they cannot do it. Yet they speak big, big words, simply to take money from the taxpayers. They say they know the composition of the moon and the composition of the sun, so why can't they make them? Why can't they create an artificial sun so that the people of Iceland and Greenland can be saved from so much cold?
God Is Never Zero
Srila Prabhupada. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu once gave the example of the jewel called cintamani, which produces many other jewels while remaining as it is.
om purnam adah purnam idam /
purnat purnam udacyate
purnasya purnam adaya / purnam evavasisyate
(Sri Isopanisad Invocation)
The meaning of this verse is that although everything emanates from the Personality of Godhead, He never diminishes. Here on earth the petrol is running out, and this is becoming a terrible problem, but the sun is still shining and will continue to shine for an untold number of years. And Krsna can create millions of suns; in fact, He has already done so. But He is still fully potent. He has lost nothing. That is God, and that is the supreme energy of God, acintya-sakti.
We have some money to spend, and the next day our account becomes zero. Rascals say that ultimate truth is zero, sunyavada. They do not know that God is never zero--that He is always positive. So we must have a clear idea of God. Theologians should take these ideas from Vedic descriptions and not be misled by fools and rascals. God and His full energies are explained in the Vedic literatures. Our energy is lost, but God's is not. That is the difference between God and us. I cannot walk swiftly or do so many other things that a young man can do, because I have lost my youthful energy. But God is always youthful. Advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam adyam purana-purusam nava-yauvanam ca: "Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is absolute, infallible and beginningless. Expanded into unlimited forms, He is the original person, the oldest, and always appearing as a fresh youth." (Brahma-samhita 5.33) Krsna also says in Bhagavad-gita, isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati: "The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart." He is also within every atom. But still He is one. That is God. And He is advaita, without duality. Not that He is living within your heart and a different personality is living within my heart. No, they are one. God is everywhere by His all-pervasive features, and He is also localized; yet He is still one.
The Absolute Nature of Krsna's Love
Dr. Singh. In some Western theological literature, Srila Prabhupada, they say that God is love.
Srila Prabhupada. God is everything. Why do they say He is this or that? Anything is God because He is absolute. His love and His enmity are the same. In the material world, we distinguish between love and animosity. But God's animosity and God's love are the same thing. Therefore, He is called acintya. or inconceivable. God's love for the gopis and God's enmity for Kamsa achieved the same result. Both Kamsa and the gopis went to the spiritual world. Also, Putana came to poison Krsna, and mother Yasoda was always anxious to save Krsna, the naughty child, lest He be harmed. So mother Yasoda and Putana are opposite, but they both achieved the same results. Krsna thought, "I have sucked Putana's breast, so now she is My mother. She must reach the same destination as Yasoda." This is the absolute nature of Krsna's enmity and Krsna's love.
vadanti tat tattva-vidas /
tattvam yaj jnanam advayam
brahmeti paramatmeti / bhagavan iti sabdyate
"Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.11) God has His impersonal, all-pervasive feature (known as Brahman) and His localized Paramatma feature. At the same time He is Bhagavan, which is His original, personal, transcendental form. The three are different but the same. This is the nature of God, acintya-bhedabheda-tattva--simultaneously one and different. One who has reached the personal conception of Bhagavan has automatically reached Brahman and Paramatma. They are all Krsna, but there is a difference between them. They are simultaneously one and different.
Accepting Knowledge From a Learned Person
Dr. Singh. Srila Prabhupada, many people have difficulty accepting God.
Srila Prabhupada. They are diseased, but they do not want to be treated. If they do not agree to be treated, that is their fault. One who is not Krsna conscious--God conscious--is a madman. Under the power of the illusory energy--the inferior, material energy--he talks only nonsense, just like someone haunted by a ghost. You must approach a person who is learned. You must find such a person, a guru, and surrender to him. Then question him, and whatever answers you get from him you must accept. That is the process for understanding God. You must first find the guru; then you must satisfy him by service and by surrendering unto him. The guru will explain everything. Krsna explains in Bhagavad-gita (4.34):
tad viddhi pranipatena /
upadeksyanti te jnanam / jnaninas tattva-darsinah
"Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth."
1. Vedic knowledge was originally handed down as one Veda. About five thousand years ago the sage Vyasadeva divided it into four Vedas (Rg, Yajur, Sama and Atharva) so that less intelligent people might understand it. Vyasadeva was an empowered incarnation of God. He also undertook the task of expanding the Vedas into eighteen Puranas and the Mahabharata, and he summed up all the Vedic literature in the Vedanta-sutra. But he was still dissatisfied with this colossal literary achievement. Therefore, under the direction of his spiritual master, Narada Muni, he wrote the Srimad-Bhagavatam, which is "the ripened fruit of Vedic knowledge."
2. Bhagavad-gita is widely renowned throughout the world as the essence of Vedic knowledge. It contains the sacred instructions given by Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to Arjuna, His intimate devotee, on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. In these instructions Lord Krsna gives a scientific exposition of the perfect path to self-realization in the present dark age of hypocrisy and quarrel.
Originally written in Sanskrit, Bhagavad-gita has been published in almost every language in the world (there are more than six hundred English translations alone), but Bhagavad-gita As It Is. by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, is the first English translation and commentary by a pure devotee of the Lord in a bona fide disciplic succession of spiritual masters stemming from Lord Krsna Himself. Therefore, Bhagavad-gita As It Is presents Lord Krsna's message without the slightest distortion or personal interpretation. Thus it is the first edition to have actually awakened the dormant Krsna consciousness of its readers.
3. The banyan is the sacred Indian fig tree (Ficus religiosa). Its branches drop shoots to the ground, and these take root and support their parent branches. Extending itself in this way, one tree will often cover a very large area.
4. Srimad-Bhagavatam, one of the eighteen Puranas, is generally known as "the spotless Purana." It was written down five thousand years ago by Srila Vyasadeva, who specifically intended it for the people of the present dark age of hypocrisy and quarrel. It is the original commentary on the Vedanta-sutra (by the same author) and is the cream of all Vedic literatures. Here Srila Prabhupada quotes a verse from the Second Canto of the Bhagavatam (2.3.19). In Srila Prabhupada's English rendering of the Bhagavatam, this verse appears as follows:
sva-vid-varahostra-kharaih / samstutah purusah pasuh
na yat-karna-pathopeto / jatu nama gadagrajah
Men who are like dogs, hogs, camels and asses praise those men who never listen to the transcendental pastimes of Lord Sri Krsna, the deliverer from evils.
The general mass of people, unless they are trained systematically for a higher standard of life in spiritual values, are no better than animals, and in this verse they have particularly been put on the level of dogs, hogs, camels and asses. Modern university education practically prepares one to acquire a doggish mentality with which to accept the service of a greater master. After finishing a so-called education, the so-called educated persons move like dogs from door to door with applications for some service, and mostly they are driven away, informed of no vacancy. As dogs are negligible animals and serve the master faithfully for bits of bread, a man serves a master faithfully without sufficient rewards.
Persons who have no discrimination in the matter of foodstuff and who eat all sorts of rubbish are compared to hogs. Hogs are very much attached to eating stools. So stool is a kind of foodstuff for a particular type of animal. And even stones are eatables for a particular type of animal or bird. But the human being is not meant for eating everything and anything; he is meant to eat grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, sugar, etc. Animal food is not meant for the human being. For chewing solid food, the human being has a particular type of teeth meant for cutting fruits and vegetables. The human being is endowed with two canine teeth as a concession for persons who will eat animal food at any cost. It is known to everyone that one man's food is another man's poison. Human beings are expected to accept the remnants of food offered to Lord Sri Krsna, and the Lord accepts foodstuff from the categories of leaves, flowers, fruits, etc. (Bg. 9.26). As prescribed by Vedic scriptures, no animal food is offered to the Lord. Therefore, a human being is meant to eat a particular type of food. He should not imitate the animals to derive so-called vitamin values. Therefore, a person who has no discrimination in regard to eating is compared to a hog.
The camel is a kind of animal that takes pleasure in eating thorns. A person who wants to enjoy family life or the worldly life of so-called enjoyment is compared to the camel. Materialistic life is full of thorns, and so one should live only by the prescribed method of Vedic regulations just to make the best use of a bad bargain. Life in the material world is maintained by sucking one's own blood. The central point of attraction for material enjoyment is sex life. To enjoy sex life is to suck one's own blood, and there is not much more to be explained in this connection. The camel also sucks its own blood while chewing thorny twigs. The thorns the camel eats cut the tongue of the camel, and so blood begins to flow within the camel's mouth. The thorns, mixed with fresh blood, create a taste for the foolish camel, and so he enjoys the thorn-eating business with false pleasure. Similarly, the great business magnates, industrialists who work very hard to earn money by different ways and questionable means, eat the thorny results of their actions mixed with their own blood. Therefore the Bhagavatam has situated these diseased fellows along with the camels.
The ass is an animal who is celebrated as the greatest fool, even among the animals. The ass works very hard and carries burdens of the maximum weight without making profit for itself. The ass is generally engaged by the washerman, whose social position is not very respectable. And the special qualification of the ass is that it is very much accustomed to being kicked by the opposite sex. When the ass begs for sexual intercourse, he is kicked by the fair sex, yet he still follows the female for such sexual pleasure. A henpecked man is compared, therefore, to the ass. The general mass of people work very hard, especially in the age of Kali. In this age the human being is actually engaged in the work of an ass, carrying heavy burdens and driving thela and rickshaws. The so-called advancement of human civilization has engaged a human being in the work of an ass. The laborers in great factories and workshops are also engaged in such burdensome work, and after working hard during the day, the poor laborer has to be again kicked by the fair sex, not only for sex enjoyment but also for so many household affairs.
So Srimad-Bhagavatam's categorization of the common man without any spiritual enlightenment into the society of dogs, hogs, camels and asses is not at all an exaggeration. The leaders of such ignorant masses of people may feel very proud of being adored by such a number of dogs and hogs, but that is not very flattering. The Bhagavatam openly declares that although a person may be a great leader of such dogs and hogs disguised as men, if he has no taste for being enlightened in the science of Krsna, such a leader is also an animal and nothing more. He may be designated as a powerful, strong animal, or a big animal, but in the estimation of Srimad-Bhagavatam he is never given a place in the category of man, on account of his atheistic temperament. Or, in other words, such godless leaders of dogs and hoglike men are bigger animals with the qualities of animals in greater proportion.
5. Sometimes a very hungry person will pick up a discarded piece of sugarcane, from which someone else has sucked out the sugary juice, and chew the already chewed pulp in an effort to get some sweet taste. This is called "chewing the chewed."
6. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura (1838-1914) is one of the great acaryas, or teachers of Krsna consciousness in the succession of spiritual masters. His son, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada, was the spiritual master of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote prolifically on the science of Krsna consciousness. In 1896 he initiated the teachings of Krsna consciousness in the Western world by sending a copy of one of his small books--Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: His Life and Precepts--to McGill University in Canada. Many of his Bengali songs are available in Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas, published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.
7. In the ascending process of investigation, a person attempts to realize the truth by personal observation followed by speculation. In the descending process, on the other hand, he accepts instructions from an authorized source. These two methods of inquiry are known as induction and deduction, respectively.
8. "My Guru Maharaja" refers to Srila Prabhupada's spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja.
9. Jagad-guru means "guru of the entire world."
10. A Vaisnava is a devotee of Lord Visnu. Krsna is the original form of Visnu; therefore all the devotees of Krsna are Vaisnavas.
11. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was a contemporary and an exalted devotee of Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He was one of the six Gosvamis entrusted with continuing Lord Caitanya's mission of spreading Krsna consciousness throughout the world. Although born in a very wealthy family, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami led a life of great austerity after he met Lord Caitanya.
12. In Bhagavad-gita 18.54. Lord Krsna says, "One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments nor desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me."
13. Karma means "activity," and the law of karma refers to the process in which higher authorities award us favorable or unfavorable reactions according to our pious or impious activities, respectively. As the Bible says, "As ye sow, so shall ye reap." Thus, our present condition--whether we are wealthy, wise or beautiful, or whether we have an American, an Indian or a Japanese body--completely depends on the activities we performed in our previous life or lives.
Ultimately, all karma, whether good or bad, is unfavorable, for it binds us to the material world. Devotional service in Krsna consciousness, however, is akarmic. In other words, it produces no reaction at all. Hence, when Arjuna killed his opponents on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra, he suffered no reaction, for he was simply carrying out the will of Lord Krsna.
14. DNA molecules are essential building and replicating units in organic cells. Many scientists regard them as the source of life, but according to Vedic science we must distinguish the chemical constituents of the body (such as DNA) from the very source of the life symptoms, which is the spirit soul.
15. Demigods are beings more advanced than humans. Although they resemble us, they possess far greater intelligence and beauty, wonderful mystic powers and, in some cases, many arms and heads. In the material universe there are thirty-three million administrative demigods, each of whom is responsible for a particular phase of cosmic management (such as heat, light, water or air).
16. Bhagavad-gita 6.41-42. "After many, many years of enjoyment on the planets of the pious living entities, the unsuccessful yogi is born into a family of righteous people, into a family of rich aristocracy, or into a family of transcendentalists, who are surely great in wisdom. Verily, such a birth is rare in this world."
17. Bhagavad-gita 18.61. "The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine made of the material energy."
18. Radharani is the supreme devotee of Lord Krsna, and She is His eternal consort. She is also considered to be the embodiment of Krsna's internal, spiritual energy of pleasure.
19. The brahmastra is a subtle nuclear weapon sometimes employed in the Vedic military art. It was released by the chanting of a mantra, and even if released from a long distance, it could annihilate any target, large or small, without harming anything else. for further information, see Srimad-Bhagavatam, First Canto, Chapter Eight.
20. Valmiki was a great Vedic sage and scholar. He wrote the Ramayana, one of the most important histories in Vedic literature.
21. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is described in Vaisnava literature as the most merciful incarnation of God because He distributed love of Godhead freely, without consideration of one's caste, color or creed. He appeared in Bengal in 1486 and is also known as "the Golden Avatara" because of His beautiful golden complexion. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu emphasized the chanting of the maha-mantra--Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
22. These four holy cities of India are hundreds of miles apart.
23. Vai means "without," and kuntha means "anxiety." Thus in Vaikuntha (the kingdom of God) there is no anxiety. The Vaikuntha planets are in the spiritual realm, far beyond the material universes, and everyone there lives in eternal bliss and knowledge, rendering devotional service to Lord Visnu (Krsna).
24. Forty thousand light-years equal over 235 quadrillion miles.
25. The gopis are the cowherd girls of Vrndavana, and their absorption in Krsna consciousness and love for Krsna are unexcelled. However, one should never compare the loving affairs of Krsna and the gopis, which are completely transcendental, to mundane sexual affairs. While leading lives of celibacy and extreme austerity, Lord Caitanya and the six Gosvamis were constantly absorbed in the mood of the gopis. Chief among the gopis is Srimati Radharani.
26. Kamsa was the greatest demon of his time, and Krsna's most persistent enemy as well. In Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead (a summary study of the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam), Srila Prabhupada tells how Kamsa tried many times to kill Krsna. Finally, Krsna killed Kamsa with His bare hands in the wrestling arena of Mathura.
27. Putana was a fearsome demoness sent by Kamsa to Vrndavana to kill Krsna. She smeared deadly poison on her breast and offered it to baby Krsna to suck. Krsna well aware of her intentions, sucked out her life air and killed her.