His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(founder of the Hare Krsna movement)
His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(founder of the Hare Krsna movement)
by Purujit Dasa
Krsna begins His explanation of true freedom, when He presents logical explanation about how we are not the bodily dress, but an eternal spirit soul:
dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
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.
This is not a dogma, nor blind faith. It is something very obvious which we can observe on daily basis with our very eyes. In the past I had a tiny body of a toddler, but all the material elements of that body are already gone. I am still here though. Although at the present moment I have a grown up body, my consciousness remains. From that we can understand that my consciousness is not affected by the death of the body.
nainam chindanti sastrani
nainam dahati pavakah
na cainam kledayanty apo
na sosayati marutah
acchedyo 'yam adahyo 'yam
akledyo 'sosya eva ca
nityah sarva-gatah sthanur
acalo 'yam sanatanah
The soul can never be cut into pieces by any weapon, nor can he be burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind. This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, all-pervading, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.
The soul is eternal and not even atom bombs can destroy it. If we understand this, no one will be able to enslave us. “Us” is the soul. The purpose of materialistic education is therefore to teach people that they have no soul. In order to see this more clearly, let us start from the very definition of what intelligence actually is. The modern psychologists for define “intelligence” as “the ability to adapt to change“. According to this definition, those who are “intelligent” should not question their perception of reality. Whatever I perceive is the truth and I should adapt to it as effectively as possible like a chameleon instead of trying to figure out whether it’s true or not. But, if I am constantly adjusting my angle of vision according to things which I’m seeing, it is impossible for me to objectively observe anything for what it truly is. Quite the opposite, adapting to things I perceive is a distraction from actually perceiving them. Just like a thief who wants to distract our attention in order to steal something from our pocket will say: look, look, over here. No here, over here look here, no here, no here! look look! No here! No here!, while he pickpockets our golden watch. The development of such a school-imposed many- branched intelligence is distracting the student from self-realization and thus robs him of his own self.
The bona fide acaryas teach that perception of things around us comes from the soul. If the soul was also changing along with the objects of his observation, how could we observe? The fact, that we can observe change means that we, the spirit soul, or consciousness are not changing. If the aim of modern education is to develop “intelligence” then whatever knowledge we gather by such intelligence serves more like an intoxicant. After drinking alcohol people loose discrimination and sometimes instead of walking into a door walk into a wall. The materialistic so-called education similarly intoxicates one with the ever-changing “facts” and makes the student a slave who is constantly entering all kinds of doors of different departments of so-called knowledge so he can forget who he is in order to become who he is not.
The ludicrous concept of “adaptation to change” has its firm base in the theory of evolution. The popular theory claims that the different species of life on earth evolve one from the other through the above mentioned adaptation process. In this way, step by step starting from primitive forms such as bacteria the species develop throughout the ages into a complex human being. Those species which can adapt to change survive and develop more sophisticated body, those who can’t, die off. Although the word evolution implies two points in time, namely the non-evolved state and the evolved state, the evolutionists provide no explanation as to what exactly is the beginning of the evolutionary cycle, nor do we get to know from them what the different species are ultimately evolving towards to, which makes it incomplete.The original and perfect science of evolution as it is however, is coming from the 5000 years old Vedas.
asitim caturas caiva laksams tan jiva-jatisu
bhramadbhih purusaih prapyam manusyam janma-paryayat
tad apy abhalatam jatah tesam atmabhimaninam
varakanam anasritya govinda-carana-dvayam
"One attains the human form of life after transmigrating through 8,400,000 species of life by the process of gradual evolution. That human form of life is spoiled for those conceited fools who do not take shelter of the lotus feet of Govinda [Krsna].''1
jalaja nava-laksani sthavara laksa-vimsati
krmayo rudra-sankhyakah paksinam dasa-laksanam
trimsal-laksani pasavah catur-laksani manusah
"There are 900,000 species of aquatic life; 2,000,000 species of plants and trees; 1,100,000 species of insects; 1,000,000 species of bird life; 3,000,000 species of beasts, and 400,000 species of human life."
Besides, these references from the Puranas, the Vedic literatures give us elaborate information about the origin of the universe and how the universe will be destroyed in the distant future.
avyaktad vyaktayah sarvah
When Brahma's day is manifest, this multitude of living entities comes into being, and at the arrival of Brahma's night they are all annihilated.
The less intelligent living entities try to remain within this material world and are accordingly elevated or degraded in the various planetary systems. During the daytime of Brahma they exhibit their activities, and at the coming of Brahma's night they are annihilated. In the day they receive various bodies for material activities, and at night these bodies perish. The individual souls remain compact in the body of Visnu and are manifest again and again at the arrival of Brahma's day. When Brahma's life is finally finished, they are all annihilated and remain unmanifest for millions and millions of years. Finally, when Brahma is born again in another millennium, they are again manifest. The activities of the different species of living entities are begun from the very moment of the creation. It is not that all is evolved. The different species of life are created immediately along with the creation. Men, animals, beasts, birds-everything is simultaneously created, because whatever desires the living entities had at the last annihilation are again manifested. We are therefore changing the different forms of bodies according to how we evolve our consciousness. It is the consciousness which evolves, not the bodies.
We say that there are different types of bodies always, just like different types of apartment. But the living entity, the soul, is transferring from one apartment to another just like we change. We are in this room, we may go to another room—but that room is already ready. But I am entering a certain type of apartment according to my means. If I can pay more rent, I can get very nice apartment. If I do not pay, I cannot pay, then that is not possible. Similarly, according to our karma, nature is offering us different apartments, and these apartments are already there, fixed up, 8,400,000 species of life. So as you make yourself fit, you enter accordingly. It is not fixed up that because you are now in a very nice apartment you cannot go down or go up. If you are fit for entering into better apartment, that is also ready. And if you are unfit for entering a better, then lower class of apartment, that is also ready. So these things are already there.
Discussion on Bertrand Russell
Darwin says that the species evolve from lower to higher and by natural selection the weaker species are extinct, but we can challenge: if it is so, why are the lower species still here?
Syamasundara: Well, according to these men like Russell, the evolution of bodies, the changes from one body to another, those are simply physical.
Prabhupada: That is nonsense. That is nonsense. That we have already discussed, that if evolution of bodies, then just like this Darwin says that some monkeys, eh? So where is the direct proof that a monkey body is changing to a human body?
Discussion on Bertrand Russell
Let’s just use common sense, monkey might resemble human, but does it mean monkey is a human? A son might resemble father, but still son is son and father is father. They have separate identities. So we have to conclude that this is most certainly a lack of discriminative powers on the side of the Evolutionist. Because the theory of evolution is so widely indoctrinated, it is of no wonder that people have difficulty understanding the science of transmigration when Krsna explains it in the Bhagavad-gita (dehino smin yatha dehe). Due to the influence of this irrational concoction of bodily evolution, instead of realizing that the soul is changing different bodies from childhood, to youthhood, to old age, in general less intelligent class of men tend to think that it is the same body, which only evolves, which by itself is a complete contradiction.
With reference to your statement that you are concerned with this life alone, I could not follow what you mean by this. In this life also, you take care of educating your children. So if the child is not educated for the next stage of life, then how do you account for the child's youth-hood age. Life is a continuation. The baby grows to become a child, the child grows to become a boy, the boy grows to become a young man, the young man becomes a middle-aged man, and the middle-aged man becomes an old man. So with which stage of life are you concerned? I shall be glad to know in which stage of life you are interested.
9 May, 1976
The lack of discrimination can be seen also in the way of how the materialistic civilization evaluates knowledge. In the modern days one who can quote from as many sources as possible, or in other words has a roundabout view is considered more intelligent than someone who might quote only from the Bhagavad-gita. Because a modern word juggler can change his conclusion swiftly from one to the other, he’s recognized as an expert, no attention however is given to what actually he is saying.
Amogha: Usually in modern education they have the idea called "well-rounded point of view." They want to take some from here, from there, from that one and that one, that one, and then think about them all, and come up with a conclusion. So he is thinking it doesn't fit with their pattern of reasoning, how we take from one source and get the proper conclusion. They think they have to get from many sources and compare.
Prabhupada: How... I can reply that if you want to know who is your father, then you will have to take the knowledge from many sources, by votes, that who is your father?
Dr. Copeland: (laughing) It's not the same thing.
Prabhupada: Now he says, "not the same." You cannot offer reason. You have to take from one source, from the mother. That's all. You cannot take votes, "Can you say who is my father?" He will say this... He'll say, "He is your father." No, it is not the way. The way is to take the information from the right source, not take the votes of rascals and fools. That is not the way. One source. Even from scientific point of view, mathematics, "two plus two equal to four," you have to take from one source. Any mathematician will say like that. Nobody will say, "No, two plus two equal to five." "No, two plus two equal to three." Nobody will say. "Two plus two equal to four," everyone will say. This is not the way of securing knowledge, from here, there... Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not approve. And our Krsna, He said, imam rajarsayo viduh, evam parampara-praptam [Bg. 4.2]. That is the recommendation. And because that source is now missing, therefore it is lost. This process of knowledge, that we take knowledge from anyone and everyone, his opinion, what is that?
Not that everyone is in knowledge, but everyone can give his opinion. That is a different thing.
Dr. Copeland: That was my point, only that. Everybody should have an opinion.
Prabhupada: Everyone has got his opinion, that is different thing. But not that everyone has got the knowledge.
Dr. Copeland: Well, that's why we come to you, for knowledge.
Prabhupada: Yes, yes.
Dr. Copeland: But I come to you for knowledge, and then I go to other people for knowledge too.
Prabhupada: That you go, but if you want real, right knowledge, then you must approach the man who knows right, not that you find out anyone and everyone and find out.
Room Conversation with Dr. Copeland, Professor of Modern Indian History -- May 20, 1975, Melbourne
In fact, no one can really explain the difference between knowledge and a belief. In this way, any fool can come, present his fanatical beliefs and if he’s a little skilful and is able to use sophisticated words, his belief will be accepted as “science”.
Prabhupada: But these rascals, they are simply placing some bogus theory without any authorized statement: "All of a sudden monkey once gave birth." And where is that authority?
Prabhupada: "Monkey gave birth to man, all of a sudden, millions of years..." Now, what is the support of your statement? Then anyone can say anything and it becomes science. You have no support. You are the first man. You are saying like this, nonsense. Where is your support? You are support of your statement? Then everyone will say, "I have got some statement, and I support. I am the support."
Room Conversation -- October 14, 1975, Johannesburg
Because our perception is always limited by the laws of material nature, it is not a specialty of a certain religious group to have a belief because everyone has some kind of belief. So far he’s not omniscient, even an atheist must believe there is no God. What distinguishes intelligence from foolishness is to discriminate between those beliefs which are nonsense and those that make a little sense. There are many different beliefs, but ultimately because I am an individual I want to make a decision which belief suits me the best and which does not. This is called freedom. This is what distinguishes me from an animal.
Prabhupada: Education means to do the right thing, not the wrong thing. That is education. Education means enlightenment, to know what is right, what is wrong. That is education…..
On the street there is sign board, "Keep to the left," or "Keep to the right." This is education. This is education. One must know how to run the car which side. Education means enlightenment. If you foolishly do something, immediately you become criminal. So education means to enlighten them to know what is right, what is wrong. That is education. But people do not know that.
Morning Walk -- January 6, 1976, Nellore
So although the theory of evolution has been elaborately supported by many scientists and there are tons of researches in this connection available, we should not be blind to the conclusion of such a theory. It is not sufficient to say that because they have done lots of study on the subject matter, it makes their conclusion automatically correct. If the conclusion is nonsense, than their research is also nonsense.
Because the Darwin’s concocted version of evolution, we have been conditioned to think that ultimately we are doomed to either be an animal, follow if we want to survive and if we don’t have a suitable body we cannot do anything about it. Materialistic knowledge therefore condemns people by indoctrinating them with the idea that thinking too deep is a waste of time.
They are gadha and they are creating gadhas. That is the song of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Jada-vidya jato mayara... It is expansion of maya's illusory energy. The so-called scientific advancement is simply expanding the influence of maya's illusory energy. They're already rascals and fools, and still they are being made rascals and fools. So they're forgetting their real purpose of life and the whole human life is spoiled. This is the result of so-called scientific advancement.
Brahmananda: Bhaktivinoda Thakura also says that the modern education makes men just like an ass.
Prabhupada: That is, I am explaining. (pause) Just like this, what is called, anthropology?
Svarupa Damodara: Astrology?
Svarupa Damodara: Dar, Darwin? Oh, naturalists.
Prabhupada: No, No. There are...
Svarupa Damodara: Oh, archaeologists?
Prabhupada: No, no. Anthropology. There's a department...
Svarupa Damodara: Anthropologists study with the skulls and...
Prabhupada: Oh, oh. This is...
Svarupa Damodara: Yes.
Prabhupada: Anthropology. It is a false theory, and upon this so many universities are spending money, professors. Thousands. Rascal theory. You see. In this way, they're wasting money. Srama eva hi kevalam [SB 1.2.8]. Avisuddha-buddhayah [SB 10.2.32].
Morning Walk -- April 20, 1973, Los Angeles
Pusta Krsna: Actually our theory, even taken as a theory, that the soul is there and enters the body, and when the soul leaves, the body is finished, it's very palatable, very palatable. Very few people argue with it. It's simply that they've been miseducated. Therefore they are cheated. They accept.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is the difficulty, that, wholesale people have been miseducated. That is our protest. And this miseducated is ruling the whole world, all rascals
Room Conversation -- October 14, 1975, Johannesburg
to be continued...