Published on June 12th, 2022 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada | Full size image6
Room Conversation with Member of the Mensa Society
Mind is an instrument. The mind’s position is accepting and rejecting. Intellect helps the mind what to reject and what to accept. And that intelligence is of the soul. That ground of intelligence is the soul. First of all bodily concept is gross life, ordinary, like animals, they do not know except the body. Higher than bodily concept of life, the exercise of the mind, mental speculation. That mental speculation is
Prabhupada: Now the soul is in this body. Next time the soul is in another body. So according to the body we are having designations. As soon as we get American body, I think myself American. Next life, if I get a body of a dog, then I think myself dog, designate. According to the body I create my designations. But one has to become free from all designations. That is called liberated stage. This is own constitutional position. That position is eternal servant of God. That is the real position of every living entity. But because at the present moment the living entity is in contact with matter, so according to the material modes of the body, he’s identifying himself with this body. That is called material designation. “I am American.” “I am Englishman.” “I am Hindu.” “I am Muslim.” “I am this.” “I am that.” These are all designations. So real perfection of life is without designations. And that is the real constitutional position. Jivera svarupa haya nitya-krsna-dasa. Actually, position of the living entity (indistinct) So that is the perfection of life. And human life is especially meant for, to come to that transcendental position, without any designations. Our Krsna consciousness movement is for that purpose. One should be always thinking of Krsna or God. That position is perfect (indistinct). And if one keeps himself in that designation-less position, always thinking of (indistinct) spiritual, as part and parcel of God, then next life he goes back home, back to Godhead. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti. After quitting this body he does not come back again to take another material body. He takes spiritual body, or develops a spiritual body and goes back to home, back to Godhead, which means eternal, blissful life of knowledge. This Krsna consciousness movement is for that purpose. We are trying to bring all men…, beforehand I mentioned different divisions, to come to this position, always thinking that I am part and parcel of God. My real position is to serve God. Just like this finger is part and parcel of my body. The business of the finger is to serve the body. So long it is in normal condition, the finger is meant for serving the body. When the finger is painful or in abnormal condition it cannot serve the body. Similarly, the living entity, being part and parcel of God, when we cannot serve God that is his abnormal condition. And when he serves God that is his normal condition. That is designation-less position. That is our (indistinct).
Mensa member: That’s very interesting. To my mind the nearest approach in the Christian religion is the Unitarian position, which I don’t know if you (indistinct).
Prabhupada: Christian religion is practically, from the name it appears–Christian and “Krsnian”. Original word of this “Christ” comes from the Greek word “Christo”.
Mensa member: Anointed.
Prabhupada: Yes. This “Christa” is Krsna.
Mensa member: From the Sanskrit?
Prabhupada: Yes. Krsta is the popular word for Krsna. And Krsna is always anointed with tilaka. We follow this tilaka, Krsna has anointed, with this sandal pulp. So, so far I see, there is some very nearest relationship with this Christian and “Krsnia”. Krsta means love, love of Godhead or love. We are teaching also the same philosophy. Try to… Not try. The love of Krsna is there in everyone’s heart, but it is covered. And being covered, it is misplaced. We are loving our society, loving this body, loving our family, loving our kinsmen, or loving internationally human society. But this love is actually perverted reflection of real love of God. Because the love is not placed in the real place. Therefore we are being frustrated in love. Just like in our country Mahatma Gandhi, he loved his country very much. But at the last moment the countrymen shot him down. He was shot down by his own countrymen. The love was paid by shooting him and he lost his life. There are many instances.
Mensa member: Socrates, Christ, plenty.
Prabhupada: Yes. So here the love propensity is being misplaced in this material world. That should be placed in God. Then the love will be perfection. Just like if you pour water on the leaves of the tree or branches of the tree it is simply waste of time. If you pour water on the root then the effect of pouring water is distributed. Similarly, foodstuff, if you place the foodstuff on your nose, on your eyes or your ears, it is simply wasted. But if you put foodstuff to the mouth in the stomach immediately the energy derived from the foodstuff is distributed throughout the whole body. Similarly, if you love God then your, automatically your love is distributed to everyone. But if you don’t love, if you simply love your country… Just like an Englishman, you love your country; German, he loves his country, but there is fight between the English and the Germans because the love is misplaced. But if the Germans or the Englishmen or the Indians they put their love in God there will be no more fighting. Therefore our philosophy is to educate people how to love God. That is real religion. Sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje. That is first-class religion which teaches the follower how to love God. And as soon he becomes a lover of God… Just like I am Indian, but I have come to western countries to teach love of God. It is not that I am satisfied only in myself that I love God, that’s all right. But due to my love to God I love others also, because I am trying to teach them to love God, the same philosophy. So if people take seriously this movement, how to love God, then human society will be first-class.
Mensa member: May I suggest you’ve already made one contribution from India which is almost the antithesis, and corroborate your suggestion about pouring water on the root. We do get leaves from India, we pour water on them and we make that delicious drink, tea, which is one of those drinks which are used for inculcating the brotherhood of man.
Prabhupada: That’s all right but do you think it is natural to pour water on the leaves?
Mensa member: Well, why not then, that for leaves, water’s natural.
Prabhupada: No. If you pour water on the leaves, but you don’t water on the root, it will dry up. If you put food on your nose, on your eyes, the eyes will be blind and the nostril will be suffocated, but if you put in the proper place, in the stomach, the energy will be distributed.
Mensa member: You know that’s just an analogy.
Prabhupada: Yes. This is natural. Similarly, if God is the root of everything, as we understand from Vedanta-sutra. God means the original root of everything. Janmady asya yatah. The description of Absolute Truth, of God is there in the Vedanta-sutra. The first aphorism is, “What is God?” Athato brahma-jijnasa, inquiry about God. The next aphorism is “God is that which is the root of everything, from which everything emanates.” That is the perfect definition of God, the origin of everything. So the same example as God, that the root is the origin of the whole tree.
Mensa member: The seed is the origin of the whole tree, if I may say.
Prabhupada: How you can be origin because you are the effect?
Devotee: The seed.
Syamasundara: The seed.
Prabhupada: The seed. Yes. The seed is described in the Bhagavad-gita: bijo ‘ham sarva-bhutanam. Everything that is living, the root or the seed is nonsense. The seed is God. Bijo ‘ham sarva-bhutanam. Just like the rose tree, it has got the seed, but wherefrom this seed comes? (guests entering room) Come on. Hare Krsna. Give him another… Seed, original seed is God. Your theory of seed is very nice but the original seed of everything is God, the cause of all causes. In the Brahma-samhita it is said,
isvarah paramah krsnah
anadir adir govindah
Karanam. Karana means cause, cause of all causes, seed of all seeds. There are different seeds.
Mensa member: Causa causam. (Latin)
Prabhupada: Ah, cause of all causes.
Devotee: Is that Latin?
Mensa member: Yes.
Devotee: It’s similar.
Prabhupada: What is that?
Mensa member: A Latin legal phrase: causa causam, the cause of the cause.
Prabhupada: So God is cause of all causes. And in the Bhagavad-gita it is explicitly said,
aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate
iti matva bhajante mam
“I am the original source of everything. Everything is emanating from Me.” Iti matva, understanding like this, budha. Budha means those who are conversant, thoroughly in knowledge. Iti matva bhajante mam budha bhava samanvitah, in ecstasy, “Oh, here is the original cause of all causes.” So in this way those who are advanced in knowledge, budha, they engage themselves in the service of the original cause of all causes. He’s the cause of all causes, but He has no cause. That is God. Anadir adir govindam. He has no cause, but He’s the cause of all life. That is God. Just like I am the effect, my father is the cause. Similarly, my grandfather is the cause of my father. My grandfather is the effect of the cause of great-grandfather. You go on searching out, searching out. So when you find out the original cause, that is God. That is the definition of God.
Guest: (indistinct) …prime mover (indistinct). What is the necessity for a first cause? Would you agree with that?
Mensa member: Well, I think it’s inherent in your definition of something that’s omnipotent, that it’s very like saying it’s necessary to have no beginning in order to have no end. It’s really a concept. Whether it exists or not it doesn’t matter.
Guest: Yes. Then even negatives imply imitation. If something has only positive attributes, it’s limited in, to exclude negative attributes. Or is that just a…
Mensa member: Well no, if something has all attributes, the only cause or call them to be caused, positive or negative because we have a tendency to want to think in terms of dichotomies, good and bad, whereas, really if you’re a scientist you say this exists. It’s only when morals come in, you say some things are good and some things are bad, and you start making antinomies. Really your Godhead would contain all those things, and to Him there’s no such thing as good or evil, but to Him they are all of value. It’s man who saw the good and evil.
Guest: I wasn’t particularly thinking of the good and evil. I was simply thinking of negative attributes.
Mensa member: Well, I’m sorry, I don’t know quite what you mean, unless you define the negative attribute, I’m not quite sure what it is.
Guest: Not beginning.
Mensa member: Well that, with good respect, I think, doesn’t really follow because there’re some things that don’t have opposites or negatives although (in) nature. This is what I say that there are certain categories of things to which if somebody said, “Now what’s the opposite of that?” You’d have to say, “There isn’t an opposite,” because it isn’t the sort of thing to have an opposite.
Guest: So you would accept the problem is variety?
Mensa member: Well, it’s not an argument, it’s a postulate. I don’t accept it. I mean, you have to accept it if you’re going to… You know the (indistinct), so to speak. You can’t have it half way.
Prabhupada: This word positive and negative. Just like the sun-the backside is the negative and the front side is the positive, light and darkness.
Mensa member: Well the sun doesn’t have a backside of darkness. It’s light all round.
Prabhupada: I mean to say, in relationship with the sun, the planet, the planet, in the front side there is light. In the backside there is darkness. The darkness is the effect of the light. Where the light is absent there is darkness.
Mensa member: Only to an observer. If there’s no observer there, there’s no difference between light and dark.
Prabhupada: No, this is the actual position. Just like this is sun, but this side is light, this side is darkness. So light and darkness, two opposite elements. But it is due to the same cause. Absence of light is darkness. And presence of light is light.
Mensa member: Or I say there are some things that have those dichotomies and others don’t.
Prabhupada: So actually the cause is one. But in different position, one side is light, one side is darkness. Therefore the cause cannot be different. The cause is one. But under different position it appears, “This is light.” “This is darkness.” So bad, which you consider bad, that is also caused by the Supreme Cause. In the Supreme there is no good or bad. Everything is absolute. Just like the sun is always light, but, in relationship with sun, the planet, one side is dark, one side is light. So black means that is also caused by the light, absence of light, that is black, dark.
Mensa member: With respect, it’s not caused by the light. It’s the absence of light.
Prabhupada: Absence, that I’m saying. It is also indirectly, the cause is the light.
Mensa member: No, because your illustration you gave of the light of the sun falling on one side and making that light, on the other side dark. But you can also have a body which is in the complete absence of any light anyway so there won’t be any differentiation.
Prabhupada: No. There is light. The light is now visible. Light is there. Just like we say that our relationship with God is there. One is conscious. Another is unconscious. Otherwise God consciousness is there. Therefore any process that awakens that consciousness, that is perfect process. The consciousness is there. That is stated in Caitanya-caritamrta, an authorized book. Nitya siddha krsna bhakti…. This God consciousness is not something artificial. The God consciousness is there. Just like these European boys and girls, they’re now devotees of Krsna. Not that artificially we have imposed this Krsna consciousness. The Krsna consciousness was there, but under certain process of treatment that has been awakened.
Mensa member: That’s why I think it’s better to accept that as it is rather than make analogies which are dangerous.
Prabhupada: I may make analogy or not analogy but the thing is that Krsna consciousness is there but it is covered. As soon as its covering is taken away, it is uncovered, the original position comes out.
Syamasundara: I believe he made one observation which is rather in the British tradition, I believe, where he said that if there was no observer then there would be no such thing as light and darkness.
Mensa member: Yes, light and dark are subjective reactions. Really, the scientists would say there are wave lengths of a certain type in one part of the universe and in the other they’re absent. But, until you have an observer you can’t notice that.
Mensa member: (indistinct) Samuel Johnson quite rightly refuting that by taking (indistinct)
Prabhupada: Actually there is no darkness. Take it sunlight, it is whole. There is no darkness and everything is in sunshine, all the planets, they are rotating in sunshine. So under certain conditions one part is becoming dark, another part is light. But actually the whole universe is full with sunshine. Sarvam khalv idam brahma. That is the exact definition given in Sanskrit. Everything is light, brahma.
Guest: That’s another postulate.
Mensa member: You can build any theory according to the number of postulates you’re willing to accept which cannot be analyzed, including the basis of science, the atom, as originally thought of by Theocritus and others is the thing that you cannot go beyond and count down farther in playing with your philosophy or your theology that you go down until you can find nothing, except that you say that causa causam and then you build back again from that. But that’s what I was saying earlier on, the Krsna is very close to the Unitarian position in Christianity.
Mensa member: Far more acceptable to every type of Christian than any of the specific creeds or sects, you know, the Church of England, Anglicans, Roman Catholics, every other form of prophecy. And you have that greater universality. (indistinct) And you’ve got Tibetans (who) will accept your places in the same way as a westerner could.
Prabhupada: What is that?
Mensa member: A Tibetan could accept your position.
Prabhupada: Tiberian? Tibetians? What is their philosophy?
Mensa member: You’ve heard of the Dalai Lama?
Prabhupada: Yes. What does he say?
Mensa member: Well, his position would be the same as yours. Wouldn’t it? In religion?
Guest: You mean the Tibetan Buddhist attitude about the Godhead is the same as the Krsnas?
Mensa member: Yes. They have that same basis.
Prabhupada: But so far we know that Buddhists they do not believe in God, existence of God.
Mensa member: No. They believe in this existence of a “Godness” if you like.
Guest: It’s very subjective, the Buddhist point of view in general seems to be very much (indistinct) with nineteenth century English rationalist, the agnostic in its visual sense.
Mensa member: That’s why I say the Unitarian comes closest to it.
Guest: The fact that I got here is impossible to comprehend. (indistinct) in these very brief terms.
Mensa member: But if you accept its existence then it’s present in everybody. Exactly what you’re saying. Whether they utilize it, whether, as you call it, uncovered, or to the degree to which they are conscious of it, is a different thing.
Prabhupada: Yes. It is a question of consciousness, development of consciousness.
Mensa member: That’s where you and I think it’s so very good in saying that the real evolution of man’s mind has been the ability to use more and more the functions of whatever the mind may be. But the mind is just as indivisible as God. We know what the brain is, but we don’t know what the mind is. Get more and more of it under conscious control instead of being irrationally eruptive(?).
Prabhupada: But there is the summum bonum of that realization. That is explained in Bhagavad-gita: bahunam janmanam ante, jnanavan mam prapadyate. After many, many births of this mental evolutionary process, when actually he becomes wise he becomes God conscious and surrenders to God. That is real evolution(?). That evolution will go on. But when it comes to the summit, that is God realization. Vasudevah sarvam iti. God is cause of all causes. That is final realization. Unless one comes to that point he has not come to the perfection of evolutionary process of the mind and intelligence.
Syamasundara: How does our philosophy define mind and intelligence?
Prabhupada: Mind is (indistinct) instrument. The mind’s position is accepting and rejecting. Intellect helps the mind what to reject and what to accept. And that intelligence is of the soul. That ground of intelligence is the soul. First of all bodily concept is gross life, ordinary, like animals, they do not know except the body. Higher than bodily concept of life, the exercise of the mind, mental speculation. That mental speculation is adjusted by intelligence and that intelligence belongs to the soul. Therefore soul is the ultimate and soul is the part and parcel of God. Therefore God is the supreme. So the mental speculation or the evolution of mental exercise when it comes to the summit, that is God realization. Vasudevah sarvam iti, sa mahatma sudurlabhah. When one realizes “God is everything,” that mahatma, that great soul is very rare. That is the statement in Bhagavad-gita. Mahatma means whose mind is great. The mind is great. He’s not thinking ordinary things. He’s thinking of greater subject matter. They are called mahatma, broader minded, broad-minded.
Mensa member: Do you differentiate, as you would do, it’s only a matter of attempting to comprehend the differences (indistinct) of things, the difference between thinking and feeling as rational functions?
Prabhupada: That is the function of the mind, thinking, feeling and willing. Psychological activity.
Mensa member: Do you differentiate them separately?
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Mensa member: And intuition as well?
Prabhupada: Sankalpa, vikalpa. This is, in Sanskrit it is called sankalpa, vikalpa or accepting and rejecting. That is mind’s function. I think something and again I reject it.
Mensa member: Well, you also react too.
Prabhupada: You can say what you like but the function of the mind is flickering. Just like when Arjuna was advised by Krsna to train the mind by meditation, by yoga system. He said that “Krsna, it is very difficult for me.” Cancalam hi manah krsna pramathi balavad drdham. My mind is very, I mean to say, agitated. I think to control the mind is as impossible as controlling the wind. Cancalam hi manah krsna pramathi ba…, vayor iva suduskaram. And it is very difficult to (indistinct) high wind and if you want to control it, as it is impossible. Similarly I think the activities of the mind, thinking, feeling and willing, to control them is very difficult for me. So actually that is the position. So long we shall be on the mental platform there will be no fixity of conclusion. That is not possible. We have to accept something for the time being, then again reject it. Therefore all mental speculators differ. Nasau munir yasya matam na… A philosopher is not philosopher until he differs from others. Nasau munir yasya matam na… Unless you place a different thesis he will not be accepted as a good philosopher.
Mensa member: There it differs from science. Because if science is actually correct it can only be one.
Prabhupada: But philosophy is taken as the science of sciences.
Mensa member: Theology used to be that. Yes.
Mensa member: It shows a misconception of the word science.
Prabhupada: So far I remember, I was also a student of philosophy, Dr. Urquhart, he said the philosophy is science of sciences. The science, there, I mean theory, begins from philosophy. Philosophy is the science of sciences. But according to Vedic verses, a philosopher is not a philosopher if he has not a different opinion from another, nasau munir yasya matam na… Therefore, through the philosopher you cannot come to the right conclusion. Tarkena apraptas ca. If you simply go on arguing that will also not help you. If you simply read scriptures that will also not help you. Because there are different scriptures. Bible is different from Vedas and Vedas is different from Koran. So tarka… by argument you cannot come to the conclusion, by simply reading scriptures you cannot come to the conclusion. By following the philosophers you cannot come to the conclusion. Therefore the truth is very confidential. Dharmasyartha… guhyam. It is kept very confidential. Then how to have it? Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah. You have to follow the great personalities who have actually realized God. That is the conclusion.
Mensa member: The problem is that you only have the opportunity of hearing or reading what somebody else has said what they have said. So you’re back again on the trouble of diversity of observation and opinion.
Prabhupada: No. So far we are concerned we are receiving knowledge directly from God. Just like Bhagavad-gita. It is accepted, spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore if you take conclusion from the speeches delivered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead that is fact. That is very easy authority. Just like the other day I was explaining. (indistinct) You are searching after who is your father but if you simply ask your mother, “Who is my father?” The truth is immediately disclosed. Immediately.
Mensa member: Being a lawyer, I would say that that doesn’t necessarily follow.
Mensa member: Well, it’s a wise woman sometimes who knows who’s the father…
Prabhupada: That is your misfortune if your mother cheats you. That’s a different thing. That’s different. We are expecting mother will not cheat us.
Mensa member: Some of them don’t know!
Prabhupada: That is a different thing. Suppose you are a lawyer. I put my faith in you but if you cheat me I lose the case. That is another thing.
Mensa member: Sometimes it’s just honest ignorance.
Prabhupada: No. Generally mother is honest. If one is unfortunate he has got a mother like that, cheat you. Generally expected, a mother is honest. Mother loves his child, he gives the good information. That is mother’s position. But if someone has got a different mother, that’s…, the same thing can be applicable to you also. You are lawyer. Everyone depends on you, but if you conduct a case in a different way just to make profit to other party, you can do that. That is my misfortune. I have to depend on you for conducting the case. I have no other means.
Mensa member: And the poor lawyer has to depend upon the other person in telling him what is supposed to be the true facts.
Prabhupada: But my position is, as soon as I appoint my lawyer, I’ll have to depend fully on you. I cannot do anything else. Whatever you advise me I have to do that.
Mensa member: Yes, but whatever you told me depends upon what advice I give to you.
Prabhupada: That’s all right. But, as you say, the mother gives misinformation. Similarly, if you misguide me, that is not good. But I will have to depend on you.
Mensa member: But not deliberately. A lot of people don’t know that that information is wrong.
Prabhupada: No. Sometimes it is done deliberately. Sometimes it is done deliberately because everyone in this material world is imperfect. Therefore there is tendency of cheating. That is one of the qualifications of the conditioned soul. He becomes mistaken. He becomes illusioned. He cheats and his senses are imperfect.
Mensa member: Well, I’m sorry but I think you’re using the word cheat in a much broader sense. We would use cheat as conscious mistake as opposed to a person who doesn’t realize that what he says doesn’t happen to be true.
Prabhupada: No, no, conscious… Suppose you think it is right but it is wrong. That is also cheating. Without knowing the thing perfectly well, if you deliver your knowledge to somebody that’s cheating.
Mensa member: Well, I think that’s being a bit hard when a person is not… If he’s tried his best to do something and he doesn’t intend to mislead, to call that cheating is a bit hard.
Prabhupada: No, even if not intend, but if you misguide some way or other without sufficient knowledge, that is also cheating.
Mensa member: Well, we would say, using the English language properly, that’s a misuse of the word.
Prabhupada: But, generally, if I’m not in perfect knowledge, if I guide you, that is, according to Vedic culture, cheating. You must be confident of the knowledge perfectly. Then if you deliver the knowledge that is right. Just like our position is that we say what Krsna says. Krsna is God. So we say what Krsna says. We don’t say anything which does not Krsna… Krsna does not say. Therefore you are confident that we are delivering the right message. We don’t manufacture our own philosophy or words. We simply say, “Krsna says, ‘sarva dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja.‘ ” Krsna, God, says that you simply surrender unto Me, I take charge of you. We are preaching the same philosophy. That you surrender to God and you’ll become happy because God takes charge of you. We don’t manufacture our word. That is not cheating.
Mensa member: Yes. But this comes back to what you were saying earlier on. You were saying it isn’t necessary or sufficient to read the scriptures. Well if, as you just told me, you say what Krsna has said, well then if I could find…
Prabhupada: What Krsna has said, that is not scripture.
Mensa member: No, but I mean, if it’s written somewhere I can read that, I don’t need anybody else to tell me.
Prabhupada: That’s all right. But if it is accepted by the great acaryas that He’s God then there is no doubt. If Krsna is accepted God, by all the acaryas, bona fide acaryas, authorities.
Syamasundara: Well, I think what Prabhupada is saying is that a spiritual master is requisite in order to transmit knowledge even though it may be revealed to the student, according to the time and place. Just like someone may be able to read in a book about how to perform a brain operation, but unless there’s a master there to transmit that knowledge into reality, it’s useless. It can’t be performed.
Mensa member: That merely means, you might say, if you’re going to be very thorough and precise, that the, it could be explained in greater detail, but it’s easier to do it with a master. But you can go to a foreign language by reading a book, although it’s much easier if you’re…
Prabhupada: Yes. Just like here is the medicine, diabetic. So I have accepted this medicine through a bona fide doctor. Although it is meant for diabetes, I have not accepted this medicine, neither it is advised that this medicine should be accepted by a bona fide physician. So I cannot see properly whether it is good for me. But when the physician, qualified physician, says, “Yes, it is bona fide. You can use it in this way.” That is right.
Guest: Coming back to your previous point, if he made a mistake and it’s the wrong medicine, would you say he cheated you? Isn’t that the point you were getting at?
Mensa member: This is what worried me.
Syamasundara: Yes, because if he purports to be a physician…
Guest: I think he is a physician, and he makes a mistake, a healthy, genuine mistake.
Prabhupada: Therefore we say that we have to receive knowledge from a person who does not commit any mistakes. That is our proposition.
Mensa member: Well, that would be going like God if you define it that way, you’re (indistinct).
Guest: That does seem a bit…
Prabhupada: Therefore I said…
Syamasundara: This can be proven. This can be tested, if someone’s cheating or not cheating can be tested on a factual basis. Similarly, this science can be tested…
Prabhupada: Observation and experiment.
Syamasundara: Whether it has a good effect or it has a bad effect.
Prabhupada: Yes. So similarly, just like this Krsna consciousness movement is coming down from Krsna through the chain of disciplic succession. So if it is actually given in the exact definition, that process, it is effective. And it is actually being experienced that it is effective.
Syamasundara: Just like this medicine…
Guest: Which may not, unfortunately…
Mensa member: This is the danger of analogy. This medicine may work in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred and the hundredth one could kill the poor chap. Now you can’t say that the physician was cheating in prescribing for the hundredth chap because he just didn’t know.
Guest: (indistinct) on the other hand the other medicine might have worked.
Mensa member: Hmmm.
Guest: It is very dangerous. Analogy’s awfully dangerous.
Mensa member: But then some people have to have a concrete example or they haven’t any (indistinct) It’s when you analyze the analogy that you can see it’s difficult…
Prabhupada: No, analogy, of course, is not always the perfect method. Analogy means the greatest number of similar points. That is analogy. Perfection of analogy is there when there is the greatest number of similar points. But we give sometimes the analogy as we understand it, but so far this Krsna consciousness movement, there is no need of analogy. It is accepted as truth and Krsna is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and whatever He says is truth. There is no mistake and if we carry that message there is no mistake.
Mensa member: In other words, Krsna is the voice of your God then.
Prabhupada: Krsna is God, (indistinct). That is accepted. We accept Krsna, isvarah paramah krsnah. Isvara. Isvara means the controller. Just like here there are controllers. But here any controller is controlled by another controller. But param isvara, God means Who has no other controller. He’s the supreme controller. That is described in the Brahma-samhita: isvarah paramah krsnah. He’s the supreme controller. Here any controller, he’s controlling, just like this physician. He has learned his medical science from another physician, another physician, another physician. So we are not the supreme physician or supreme controller.
Mensa member: May I give an example of the fallacy there; is that Sir Alexander Flemming didn’t learn his curative, antibiotics, from any other person, he discovered them by natural scientific methods of observation and (indistinct) and experiment.
Prabhupada: But experimental knowledge of scientific handling must he have learned from somebody else.
Mensa member: That’s a different thing.
Prabhupada: Therefore he has a teacher. You cannot say that, or he has taken the techniques of other scientists and he has experimented. In the laboratory appliances he cannot say that he has, he invented the laboratory appliances.
Mensa member: No, but his power of observation was important.
Prabhupada: That is all right. That is all right.
Mensa member: That’s in him and nobody else.
Prabhupada: But he, he has taken help from other scientists’ method.
Syamasundara: In other words, everyone operates under a certain set of restrictions, controls that are not of their own choosing. Everyone is in that category. They may think, “I am the controller of my own destiny.” But actually they are being pulled on every side.
Mensa member: That’s so. But it’s only when they break out from that control by, let’s say making an observation or having an intuition that isn’t inherent in the system of control in which they’ve been brought up, that they make an advance of any sort. You see, people with… I always give this example of Sir Alexander Fleming and Freud and others. People have been trained that dirty pet traditions should be thrown away, because they’re moded and they will interfere with the experiment. This happens time again whereas a man suddenly thinks, “I will have a look at this. I’ll ignore that.” He breaks away from this control.
Guest: It wasn’t anything new, simply a rearrangement of the (indistinct).
Mensa member: Nobody’d ever… They were controlled to reject it. This is what so often happens. Perry Mason is a wonderful example of that. A person who always picks out something that’s been rejected in his, his celebrated works.
Guest: I don’t know if Perry Mason is…
Mensa member: Oh, Perry Mason is a very popular court room or trial lawyer, as they call it in America. A person called Erle Stanley Gardner has written a large number of books…
Syamasundara: A person’s knowledge in the material world will always be imperfect no matter how much he may advance in scientific knowledge, he’ll never be able to solve the problems of birth, death, disease and old age.
Yes. But I mean the American (indistinct) they would say, “Of course, but so what? You can live without a country.” If you start worrying about whether you’ll ever be able to conquer (indistinct), you will really not get through the day.
Syamasundara: But the goal of life, being to become satisfied with my life, is not meant in that way.
Mensa member: Oh, I agree that to be satisfied with life is to cut down your desire for omniscience to be satisfied that you can only hope to do quite not, not, not all of the things you’d like to do, to comprehend quite not, not all of the things that are possible. If you are content with that you may be content with life. Otherwise you’ll be one of these dreadful people that become paranoics. Because the world only pressures you (indistinct).
Prabhupada: Contentment… The death is there. If I, somehow or other, make a compromise, that is different thing. But I don’t like to die. There is old age. I don’t want to be old, but if I make a compromise that is a different thing. But my desire is not to become old, not to become attacked by disease, not to die. These are my desires. So I can make some compromise if unable to solve the problem. That is a different thing. But these are the problems.
Mensa member: It was once rather well put by some woman who said to Mr. Carlyle, who’s was in a way of being a philosopher. “You know, Mr. Carlyle, I accept the universe.” He said, “Madam, you better.” This is the beginning of, you might say, reason.
Prabhupada: There are sentiments, like Cowper said, “England, I love you with all thy fault.” That is another thing. That is a compromise.
Mensa member: The difficulty is in any form of discussion like this is it’s very fascinating, but it does show the limitations of transmission of feelings and ideas and all those complicated things by a simple verbal process, which is the real problem.
Guest: I agree entirely, (indistinct) where the problem’s recognized, immediately acted on and it’s admitted that there’s a deep possibility of transmission…
Mensa member: This is where you can’t get a feeling across by writing a textbook on it. I think…
Prabhupada: No. One thing is that somebody’s concluding that to solve this problem, birth, death, old age, disease, is impossibility. That is one school. Another school (indistinct) that there is possibility of control over the birth, death, old age and disease. So why not this school, who does not say that is impossible. No, there is control. Just like we follow Krsna consciousness. Krsna says that tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaun… that “Anyone who understands Me, follows Me, he, after quitting this body, no more accept this material body but comes to Me.” Now, so long I accept this material body these problems are there, birth, death, old age and disease. Then if I don’t accept this material body then these problems are solved immediately.
Mensa member: This is what they call “Solution by Denial”.
Prabhupada: It is not called solution. It is a fact because it is followed… Then you have come to the original position, to follow the mahajanas. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah. Our (indistinct) is guided by that, mahajana. We accept the mahajanas, the great personalities who have achieved success. We follow.
Mensa member: Let us now praise famous men and our fathers who beget us as they oddly enough seem always to be (indistinct) but I’ve never been able to understand why.
Syamasundara: But the whole idea is that these personalities have to be in a living form, not just in the past. But they live in the form of the spiritual master who’s there to guide us personally. Not just praise someone in the past. Unless this process is transmitted in a human form personally, it’s not…
Prabhupada: That is the process in the material world also. You are lawyer because you have studied law under some big lawyer. So the process is coming.
Mensa member: I assure you, Swami, that the reverse was true. I went to Oxford. I sat at the feet, as we would put it, of one of the most tiresome men I ever met in my life. He gave me an extraordinary distaste for law. Any law I’ve learnt has had to be learned the hard way by, you know, looking up statutes, looking up cases. So I regret to say, that I have my own personal experiences…
Prabhupada: That is, that is… Of course later on, in the beginning you are a student of a lawyer.
Guest: That’s use of analogy because some people have gone on (indistinct) no matter who they are.
Mensa member: Ya, Ya. Well this is the only thing, “Seek and ye shall find, or be still and ye shall know.” I think this is the essential feature that you’ve been saying is that, really, grace comes to anybody if they’re only willing to expect it. It’s inherently there.
Guest: With respect, miners(?), among many other people prove that it’s absolutely impossible to establish a rational, umm, a rational grounding for religion. In other words, trying to logically prove axioms is logically impossible.
Mensa member: Think so?
Syamasundara: But by verbalizing this philosophy of the Absolute, it trains the student in accepting the inexperience, that which is only experienced, by leading them to that point. But certainly we have to have some verbal confirmation of this journey(?).
Mensa member: Some people, oddly enough, don’t need it. Some very simple people can have a very truly spiritual life without ever needing to verbalize it usually because they had, this is where I think it’s perfectly correct, they have followed some father figure or mother figure and you know, absorbed…
Syamasundara: Just like my child.
Mensa member: Yes.
Syamasundara: She’s to that point without having any rational knowledge.
Guest: There’s some (indistinct) simple people also (indistinct) people like Blake, for example, or (indistinct) simple person. It’s not this sort of faith, only child-like faith (indistinct) simple people.
Mensa member: It certainly is easier for them though. It’s easier for the simple person because he doesn’t have all these mental, complicated doubts and, you know, arguments with himself.
Syamasundara: It’s said that as one progresses more in spiritual life he becomes simpler and more innocent, but in the beginning he may have had to comprehend it on some verbal level in order to (indistinct)
Mensa member: I often used say to my students that I’ve got to remember that if anything in life to realize the difference between simple and complicated, which is objective, and easy and difficult, which is subjective. In other words sometimes a simple thing may be terribly difficult for a person to get hold of. Whereas complicated things he may find quite easy.
Prabhupada: So your student has to follow your instruction. That means accepts authority.
Mensa member: But even so, even if he’s working something out for himself, it has that same…, to some people it comes terribly easily.
Prabhupada: No. No. To accept authority does not mean one should be blind. But the real source of knowledge comes from authority.
Mensa member: You then reject the idea of a fear of God.
Prabhupada: No, I don’t reject. The thing is that perfect knowledge is received from the authority who is beyond the material defects.
Mensa member: No, what I mean is, fear is not necessary for learning from an authoritarian source.
Prabhupada: No, authority must be perfect. Then otherwise the knowledge is not perfect.
Syamasundara: He’s saying that you don’t need to necessarily have to fear the authority before you accept him.
Prabhupada: There’s no question of fearing. There’s no question of fearing.
Mensa member: That’s what I thought. You don’t acce… That doesn’t come in at all.
Prabhupada: No. No. It is out of love, out of affection, the reciprocation.
Mensa member: Well, that’s what I think very often, that it is fear that prevents people from accepting.
Prabhupada: No. No.
Syamasundara: He said that sometimes someone may fear authority, that prevents them.
Prabhupada: Of course, when you accept the… That is not fear. That is obedience, respect. Respect. That’s not fear. Just like my students–they are not fearful of me. Because I came from India so what business they have got to be afraid of me. Neither I’m very…, a greater man, but they receive the philosophy, they understand the philosophy, therefore they have got respect for me. The teacher should be offered due respect. That is not fear. That is not out of fear. It’s out of love.
Mensa member: I was saying that fear prevents it.
Prabhupada: No. There’s no prevention. There’s no fear because they are quite at liberty to ask me question and they’re asking and the answer is there. I receive so many letters daily. So they have no… They are not afraid of me. But, out of affection, they offer respect.
Mensa member: May I make one strange statement that I think it is rather true of present world. People are always afraid of fear (indistinct) It’s almost as though it’s something sissy or, you know, to get so mixed up with sentimentality.
Guest: I don’t know if it is rather than fear.
Mensa member: Well I mean… If you don’t know. If I were afraid of you because of absolute knowledge or…
Mensa member: …terrified of the unknown.
Guest: That’s very true. That’s why (indistinct) children (indistinct) and such like and things like the Krsna consciousness movement who not only (indistinct) philosophy.
Prabhupada: Just like the child is afraid of the father. There is affection. My father is displeased that I do… Father has says, “Don’t touch this.” So I don’t touch. My father has… So that fear and affection, both is there. It is not simply that he is afraid of his father but the affection is there. So to become obedient to the authority, there is a tinge of fear also but that is based on affection. That is not actually…
Syamasundara: They were saying also that in this age, particularly now, there is a great fear of loving someone or something on the part of the large population. They think that by…
Prabhupada: There is no real love. There is expectation of being frustrated in love.
Mensa member: Rebuffed.
Prabhupada: Yes. Rebuffed. So therefore they’re…
Mensa member: Terrified, actually.
Prabhupada: So because everything in this material world is the perverted reflection therefore we sometimes love somebody and we become frustrated. So therefore others see that this man has loved that girl and he’s now frustrated, “Oh, why shall I love?” That is due to frustration. But there is a perfectional stage. There is a perfectional stage, therefore we say it is perverted reflection. Just like our Radha-Krsna–that is the perfectional stage of love. Radharani is a young girl and Krsna is a young boy. There is love. So originally this love between young boy and girl is there but that is in perfect stage. Here in this material world, the same thing is pervertedly reflected. Therefore it is imperfect. So we have come to the perfectional stage, not be afraid and give it up–frustration. But, love is there. But there is a perfectional stage of love, we have to learn that.
Mensa member: It’s the great (indistinct) as opposed to the old (indistinct) Eros.
Syamasundara: Yes. Lust and…, Eros, lust. Agape? is pure love, transcendental love.
Prabhupada: Yes. There is… This Krsna consciousness movement means to bring everything to the perfectional stage. The others, they’re, out of frustration, they want to stop all activity. That is voidism–to stop all this activity. Buddha philosophy is more or less based on this voidism, to make everything null and void. No more activities. No more love. We don’t say. Just like you cannot see properly because our eyes are diseased. So cure the disease and then you see properly. And other says, “All right, pluck it out. The disease in the eyes, take away.” That is not very good proposition. We say that make treatment to make the eyes to see properly. (indistinct) Our proposition is: Sarvopadhi vinirmuktam tat-paratvena… We simply cleanse the process. The seeing process we cleanse. We don’t pluck out the eyes out of frustration. Don’t make everything void. No. We don’t say that because there is no void. It is simply frustration. There is variety, nice variety, spiritual variety. We are bringing people to that position.
Mensa member: I must say that’s very interesting.
Guest: Can I ask one last question? The Bhagavad-gita–do you accept that as historical fact?
Prabhupada: (indistinct) historical fact is.
Syamasundara: Bhagavad-gita–did it take place? There was a battlefield of Kuruksetra.
Prabhupada: Yes. It is historical. Mahabharata. Mahabharata means the history of Greater India. Mahabharata.
Mensa member: Mahabharata.
Prabhupada: This Mahabharata means, maha means greater. Formerly 5,000 years ago, the whole planet was called Bharata, India. India it is now called. Actually the name is Bharata. Bharata is the name given after the reign of Maharaja, one King Bharata. He was the ruler, emperor, of the whole world. After his reign this planet is called Bharata, this whole planet, Mahabharata. Mahabharata is Greater India or Greater Bharata. The headquarter was in India but it was greater, according to Mahabharata history and this Bhagavad-gita is given there in the Mahabharata. Therefore it is history. And actually it is historical because the battlefield is still existing…
Mensa member: In the mind…
Syamasundara: No, it’s there, Kuruksetra.
Prabhupada: Kuruksetra, battlefield.
Mensa member: Oh, I’m sorry, that’s the place (indistinct) battle was still on.
Prabhupada: No. Battlefield, where the battle was fought, took place, that is still there. There is a railway station, Kuruksetra. And that Kuruksetra is still dharmaksetra, a religious place. People go on pilgrimage, and in the Vedas also it is stated that Kuruksetra is (Sanskrit), you perform religious rituals in Kuruksetra. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gita it is said dharma-ksetre kuru-ksetre. It is fact, historical fact. It is not imagination. But many commentators have taken as imagination. Therefore they are misled. It is historical.
Guest: Well, can you take the central (indistinct), Dr. Weir?
Mensa member: I would not need a (indistinct).
Syamasundara: You may ask more questions.
Mensa member: Well I’m sure there are other people who (indistinct) wanted to have the opportunity (indistinct)
Guest: Next time the Swami’s in England perhaps we can, members (indistinct) in comparative religion could be…
Mensa member: Indeed, I think that would be very… and also it would be very interesting if you would care to take our test.
Mensa member: Yes. The entrance qualification.
Syamasundara: (laughs) What kind of questions? Is it scientific?
Mensa member: No. Just simple intelligence, that’s all.
Guest: (indistinct) an I.Q. test.
Mensa member: …that’s all. Call it test, but it’s something, we’ve got nothing better at the moment.
Prabhupada: We think our activities above intelligence. Spiritual. Spiritual.
Mensa member: That’s quite different.
Because above the mind, above the body there is mind; above the mind there is intelligence; and above the intelligence there is soul; and above the soul there is God. So we are talking of relationship between God and the soul. It is above body, mind and intelligence.
Mensa member: That’s what interests me. One has this hierarchical or superior attitude even in the statement you’ve just made, that things, you know, (indistinct) which is what I feel is easier.
Prabhupada: Because we take from God there is no mistake. There’s no mistake. Otherwise He cannot be God.
Mensa member: I mean this is just unnecessary. It is just tautological. This is in your definition of God. You don’t have to go any farther.
Prabhupada: But God means He’s above mistake,
Mensa member: Yes.
Prabhupada: …above the illusion, above cheating, above imperfection. This is God.
Syamasundara: There’s essential premise that everything is simultaneously one and different. Just like flowers–there are many flowers, roses, but within (indistinct) flowers there is variety.
Guest: But still it raises the danger of another (indistinct), it really does. This is a very (indistinct) you’re trying to make but it’s impossible to talk about physics in the language of chemistry. It’s impossible, so when…
Syamasundara: So when he says there’s a gradation, that we see gradation, that the soul is higher than the body, this is also (indistinct)
Prabhupada: Soul is higher than the body, mind and intelligence.
Mensa member: Yes. But that is only because we’ve learned, I think, when we were small to look up to higher people…
Guest: (indistinct) on each side of them and in the middle, on the other side, before and after…
Mensa member: This is the…, you see, unconsciously you grow up with all these sort of prejudices, which are necessary. You’ve got to have some sort of time scale, you’ve got to have some sort of measuring scale and therefore you tend to look up and therefore you think highly of more important (indistinct), you talk about high position, you don’t think of chaps sitting on the fence…
Syamasundara: Inherently you’ll find the rose is fairer than the daisy.
Mensa member: No. Some people might prefer the daisy.
Syamasundara: But the qualities are there, inherent in the rose, which are preferable to those of the daisy.
Mensa member: Why? Tell me why. I mean, you haven’t given me any reason for saying it is better.
Prabhupada: What is that?
Syamasundara: The rose has nice scent. It appears…
Guest: (indistinct) be subjective (indistinct)
Mensa member: And you see, a lot of people would like a red rose because that has a symbolism to it. Why have a yellow rose? It must have a sort of subjective reaction. It has nothing to do with the fact that it’s got a chromatic wave length.
Prabhupada: So there is a cause. That means there is a cause. We have to accept the cause. So that cause, we go further till we find out the cause of all causes.
Mensa member: You see, what worries me, Swami, is that there is two ways of making sure (indistinct), each containing this necessity of eating. Now, some people eat (indistinct). They digest it, they live perfectly healthily. They know nothing about carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They know nothing about saliva. They know nothing about enzymes or digestion. Well they live quite satisfactory lives. Other people start worrying about whether they’ve got the right amount of calories, the right amount of vitamins, whether they’re taking enough water at the meal or not. One wonders that if you’re starting to, worrying about that, it means somehow you’re less perfect than the person who’s able to digest quite happily without the knowledge.
Prabhupada: Well, if you say like that, the majority of living entities, they are eating without this knowledge of enzyme and other things. So if you take (indistinct) the (indistinct) are greater. Just like human being, a few human beings are interested in analyzing this enzyme. But the human beings are very small quantity. There are 8,400,000 species of life. They’re eating with a natural way and they’re quite healthy.
Guest: Knowledge of the process is comparatively important. If you want to enjoy it more you don’t have to know about enzymes and proteins, you have to know about the right sort of wine so that…
Syamasundara: Enjoyment is the standard.
Mensa member: And there, what worries me, I was going a stage further, you do tend to find the people who want to understand about digestion are those whose stomachs are not very good.
Prabhupada: Another thing is. Just like grass, straw. The cows are eating straw and giving the most vitaminous food, milk, full of vitamins A and D. But if you scientifically say that there is, I mean to say, vitamins in the grass and straw, then you eat straw. (indistinct) Vitamins is there. Why it is (indistinct). Your analysis of enzyme and vitamin. How you can say milk does not… (break) …then you’ll die. Why this law is there? The cow is producing most vitaminous food, milk, by simply eating dry grass and straw.
Mensa member: No, with respect, Swami, no, by simply imbibing at the same time bacteria which flourish in its intestines and are necessary for it to be able to metabolize this straw. We couldn’t metabolize straw…
Prabhupada: But you’re lacking that bacteria. You’re lacking that bacteria. The bacteria which the cows have, you haven’t got.
Mensa member: We’ve got them but we’ve killed them.
Guest: …another analogy.
Mensa member: Exactly. This is the trouble. It’s unwise… If you can accept the concept as a whole there’s no need to try and give an analogy.
Guest: I don’t accept your um… The point you were making when you began that analogy, I think, was that people that do go for spiritual knowledge, in quotes, um, it would appear there was something wrong with them.
Mensa member: No, no, not always. I say there are some people who obviously… If they have to look for it, they haven’t got it. The people who’ve got it, don’t need to look for it.
Guest: Yeah. Resorting to the accursed thing again, some people go to the doctor (indistinct) some people (indistinct) hypochondriacs.
Syamasundara: It’s just like if someone points out to you, for instance, this material world is based upon sense gratification and everyone is striving to gratify the impulse of their senses. That’s a verbalization of a truth which is not apparent in any other way, or it’s very difficult to find out in any other way. So suddenly that knowledge awakens one to a higher desire, to attain something higher. So that is the point of verbalization of these things. If we are silent how will someone be awakened to that truth, that simply by saying this material world spins upon this principle of material sense gratification. That’s a truth that you can easily verbalize.
Mensa member: Well, I think there’s a double difference always with these things between the subject and the object. If in other words, it’s objectively necessary to gratify the senses, if you like. In other words, you’ve got to have diets and things like that, and you’ve got to breathe, but you can also get a subjective pleasure out of doing that which is different from just doing it automatically. Sometimes we know when we’re busy, we just shovel our food down. We don’t really have any gratification out of it. We just ha…
Syamasundara: Yes. There are four basic principles that Prabhupada mentioned, eating, sleeping, mating and defending, which are natural for the animals or to the humans. But man is using his propensity, his conscious propensity, to simply enjoy material nature on a more advanced level: to eat better, to sleep more, to have better sex life and so on. It still boils down to that. Everyone is seeking sense pleasure.
Prabhupada: Such propensities are there in animals. Then what makes the difference between animals and man?
Mensa member: Animals, as far as I know, don’t conduct scientific research.
Syamasundara: What is the point of scientific research?
Mensa member: Because of this feeling of wanting to know.
Guest: I wonder what (indistinct)
Mensa member: No, no, they’ve made the observation. I don’t think they have the power to…
Syamasundara: Why do scientists make their analysis and what are the advancements of science used for? What can man use them for?
Mensa member: Largely, a Freudian would say, to compensate their feeling of inadequacy, of their being not sufficiently treated with empathy and love when they were young.
Syamasundara: Objectively, seeing is just to gratify the senses.
Mensa member: Well, Freud said, of course, he’s the great chap on gratification, and that’s where you’ve sensibly said, “Ah, that’s not sufficient. You’ve got to have the spiritual side of life as well.” (indistinct) comprises. You’ve got the advantage of being, you might say, a higher stage to use the words of the Swami because he’s able to contain the lower things like…
Prabhupada: The conclusion comes in this way, that to remain animals, scientific animals, that’s all. The propensities are the same, sense gratification, but the man is trying to make it scientific. That means to remain animal but become scientific, that’s all, scientific animal.
Mensa member: But at the same time he’s a spiritual animal. It’s interesting to find that in this twentieth century, science is rather replacing the spirituality. You know people in the past gave religion an enormous importance and science was practically unknown. Now they’re going the other way around.
Prabhupada: That scientific spirituality, that is advancement more than the animals. Otherwise if you simply remain on the (indistinct) eating, sleeping, mating and defending scientifically, you remain animal. But when that scientific research goes to the spiritual thing that is special philosophy of devotion.
Syamasundara: This replacement by science of religion has proven inadequate also in the twentieth century because how can it satisfy ultimately the questions?
Mensa member: In the same way, how can you satisfy a person’s lack of emotional content in his job by giving him more money? Half of the trouble starts with the jobs, is they have no emotive content now because there’s no rapport between them and their boss. They have practically no intellectual interest because they’ve a routine job in a factory. And you know they are really deprived in a bad way.
Guest: Then what worries lots of people about lots of religions is the (indistinct) for example of pointing a finger at the (indistinct) choosing the finger with the (indistinct)
Mensa member: One of the difficulties, and I think this is true when I was saying simple people, using that in a broader sense, some people cannot get anything at all unless they have a little picture. You know, it helps them; not like the dear old lady who found…
Prabhupada: That we give, the picture. Here is God.
Syamasundara: Just like Christ. He came to speak with a very ignorant class of men. He was forced to speak in parables and stories.
Mensa member: Ah, yes. Now parable is better than analogy. An analogy is an intellectual thing whereas a parable is a human thing. It’s a warmth thing. It’s in three dimensions, not a cross-section. And He was, of course, awfully clever at choosing them.
I don’t think your friend, Christmas Humphries will agree with either of those statements.
Knowing him very well, I don’t… One would be surprised (indistinct) perfectly happy to feel that I was disagreeing with him. I think he (indistinct) himself to Krsna at times.
Guest: Well, is that absolutely (indistinct)
Syamasundara: The Buddhist thinks that everyone is God.
Prabhupada: In Buddhist theory there is no acceptance of God. There is simply to diminish, or to nullify the sense of pains and pleasures. That is called nirvana.
Mensa member: The atheist is the person who worries most about God. I mean, he really… God must exist but he tries to deny it all. Rather like, I had a lecturer at Oxford who wasn’t interested in women. He was a misogynist. He talked, you know (indistinct) and he spent all his time telling you he wasn’t interested in women. He thought about nothing but women and the fact that he wasn’t interested in them. His lectures were full of it. It was pathetic.
Syamasundara: Just like Kamsa!
Prabhupada: Hiranyakasipu. Gold and women.
Syamasundara: Kamsa hated Krsna and he wanted to kill him but all he could think about was Krsna. So somehow or other it boils down that one somehow has to become Krsna conscious under some process.
Mensa member: (indistinct) even not using that name.
Syamasundara: (indistinct) It’s God consciousness.
Mensa member: That’s what I say (indistinct) apparently by having so much of this in their (indistinct) in quite a different way from a different philosophy. And, of course, you begin to feel that they must be very (indistinct) because they were so persecuted. If a person is no real menace to you, you don’t have to persecute him. I think Socrates and Christ are perfect examples of that.
Mensa member: I think that’s been most fascinating, Swami, very kind of you, indeed.
Prabhupada: Thank you.
Mensa member: And we would welcome you if you would just comply with our simple requirements. We don’t have as one of our requirements the acceptance of anything other than the task of spending about, at the maximum an hour and a half doing some simple problems. It’s an open invitation.
Syamasundara: To one of your meetings.
Mensa member: Oh no, to the test for the qualification.
Syamasundara: Oh, a test. They have a test for entry into their society and they want to know if you can take this test.
Prabhupada: Why not you come to our society and we test you.
Mensa member: We test something different, you see.
Prabhupada: We also test (indistinct).
Mensa member: That’s right, yes, quite right.
Prabhupada: We have process of test, we have also process of test.
Mensa member: And ours is just as universal.
Prabhupada: Our process of test is, how far he is advanced in God consciousness. That is our test. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-gunah. It is said yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana. If one has developed God consciousness all good qualities must develop in them. All good qualities. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-gunah. And one who has not developed Krsna consciousness or God consciousness, he cannot have any good qualities because his business is mental speculation, mano-rathenasati dhavato… By simply mental speculation, he’ll be fixed up in this material world.
Mensa member: Mental speculation alone is sterile.
Prabhupada: Mental speculation, mano-rathena. Ratha means chariot, one who is driving on the chariot of mind, mano-rathena. The chariot of mind will take him, will fix him only on material conditions. So long one remains in the material conditions of life, he cannot have good qualifications. One has to transcend this material platform and come to the spiritual platform. Then his natural good qualities will come out automatically.
Mensa member: This, of course, is the basis to, of real …
Prabhupada: For example, for example, our boys, Europeans, American boys, they were addicted with illicit sex life. They were addicted to meat-eating. They were addicted drinking. They were addicted to gambling. Now they’ve given up everything. There is no illicit sex in our society. There is no gambling. There is no meat-eating. There is not even smoking, or taking, drinking tea. How it is possible? They were addicted to all these things from beginning of their life. Now they have given up. If you take this as good qualities, then they have already developed, besides others. Why? Because due to Krsna consciousness. Sometimes in America the authorities they are surprised. They want to consult us on that: “How you developed, given up this (indistinct).” They are spending so much money to stop this bad habit. How it is that your members used to (indistinct) Not only LSD, all kinds of intoxications. So if you take it as a good quality, that good quality is developing due to Krsna consciousness. Therefore this is a fact: one who has no Krsna consciousness, or God consciousness, he may go on speculating but he’ll never come to the platform of goodness. That is our test.
Mensa member: That is most impressive. That giving up those things which are really… If they were inessentials it would be good to give them up but since they are harmful, it’s even more beneficial. How that can be achieved in the modern world is quite a remarkable feat.
Guest: Would you say that you agree with the Swami that some of the bases(?) of religion are essential, are therapeutically useful, valid?
Mensa member: I think again, (indistinct) I should say to lots of people they are essential or you might even go farther, as Hume would say, that to everybody they are essential but they mean something different to … from the very (indistinct) if you like it, (indistinct) and the long hair to the very abstract. But the people who lack it do seem to lack. It’s rather like they lack a gyroscope. They’ve got no stability. They just sort of wobble all over the place.
Guest: No, they don’t. One (indistinct) scientific truth is this works.
Mensa member: (indistinct) put my own view, is that I believe very much in the Christian ethics, and I could believe in Krsna ethics, or, if I might say. But I could also believe in that without the need to believe in Krsna or God. Now whether that’s a delusion on my part, and I really do believe deep down inside me, and I don’t know…
Syamasundara: The idea is how to transform that belief into practical action. That’s the art.
Mensa member: But some people (indistinct) the bridge of the Godhead to achieve it, other people do it (indistinct).
Syamasundara: Today we went to a service, a Christian service, the first one I’ve been to in years, and in the back of the church we walked in there were eleven old ladies sitting in the pews. And outside I could hear the roar of traffic and people. I began to think how much the Christian church has lost track or lost pull(?) of this ability to be able to guide people, the practical application of moral and spiritual principles, so much so that no one was interested to come in…
Prabhupada: One priest in Boston, he issued leaflet regretting that these boys, he saw our students. He appreciated that these boys are so much after God and they’re our boys. We could not give them. Actually the same boy was, one year or two years ago, he was not going to church, was not interested in God consciousness, but now this same boy is mad after God. And he’s twenty-four hours in God consciousness. They’re chanting Hare Krsna mantra twenty-four hours. How they have become so…
Guest: (indistinct) the other day that some of the American churches are packed. There’s a great swing towards religion in America and they’re getting a lot of humbug, you know, which is, just one of those… I think I disagree with you that today theology has lost its status with (indistinct) science but there seems to be a swing, in my little world, towards spiritual things.
Mensa member: Oh, I’m glad to hear that because, as I say, one’s been watching the swing the other way. Coming back to your point, the other vital thing, we said that earlier on, that we still don’t know, in other words, in order to get spiritual qualities you’ve got to have silence. Correspondingly, in the modern world we have this neurotic disease, the desire for noise. These people can’t even do a job without having a transistor set on. There’s something psychopathic about this.
Guest: It can be used though, can’t it? Krsna people use it, the concept of (indistinct) knowing Krsna (indistinct) the ears, the most subtle of the senses…
Mensa member: Yes, but this “boop-a-doop” noise they have, the language stops you from doing your work properly.
Syamasundara: …material noise.
Mensa member: Noise, background noise, wireless…
Syamasundara: But if a person is at our temple and he can hear noise coming… It’s always there, twenty-four hours a day because that propensity is there in this age. We should (indistinct) advantage of it.
Mensa member: (indistinct) they might say you’re not taking advantage of it now, you’re merely going back to what has always been the cream of any form of sensation, and that’s music. Beethoven(?) time, the old idea of the music of the spheres. Music is the food of love. I mean it’s, to my mind it’s the most wonderful sound.
Syamasundara: In Revelations, I don’t remember the exact verse, “Strike the (indistinct).”
Guest: The only spiritual sensation for many people, it’s from music.
Syamasundara: Silence is defined in Bhagavad-gita as speaking about Krsna, or hearing Krsna’s name, that is silence.
Mensa member: Well, if you’re silent you can hear things, but if you’re making noise, you know, the message doesn’t come through, and if somebody else is making a noise you’ve got an excuse for not getting the message. I think a lot of people again are afraid of getting the message. So with the noise they can say, “Of course I didn’t hear it so you mustn’t blame me.” Now that sort of cheating, I think, is a very bad one. That’s not what I call positive cheating. That cheating yourself which is even more dangerous than, if you cheat the other chap, if he’s clever enough he can avoid the effect of it, but if you cheat yourself, you know you might (indistinct) yourself up by your own bootstraps. (indistinct) you can’t get out of it.
Syamasundara: …spread this philosophy as much as possible in this age because it’s been lost by so much noise (indistinct) our message is getting through though.
Mensa member: The fact that it can be heard sometime even above the noise…
Prabhupada: One noise makes liberation. One noise makes bondage. Noise must be there.
Mensa member: But we do have in this modern world a neurotic desire for noise and novelty. The two things together…
Syamasundara: There again, novelty and noise, they’re sense gratification (indistinct) gratify the senses.
Mensa member: Well, don’t you think it’s also possible to, mind you, that you only have to have novelty because you are not being satisfied.
Mensa member: In other words, what’s happening is, you’re not satisfied so you have to have something to do.
Syamasundara: Yes. The senses can never be gratified but always the drive is there to gratify them.
Mensa member: If you go to a good play or see a good film or hear some good music you feel satisfied and you don’t have to flash back next night because you’ve seen it before. You have a feeling that, you know…
Syamasundara: Even that, a good play or a good music is not very long lasting. When you come out of the theater you’re hungry. When your hunger is satisfied then you want some sex life. Then you want to drive home fast. There’s always something there to agitate the material senses.
Mensa member: The trouble is, aren’t you going to lead yourself into this difficulty: if you are spiritually satisfied you would sit down and do nothing and if everybody were doing that we should be rather back to where we started rather than have enough food or music or transport.
Prabhupada: That is for the voidist, not for the spiritualist. The spiritual life there is enough activity for even scientists. That they do not know. They mean spiritual life is void. That is negation of the present activities only, negative idea. But actually when you stop material activities your real activity begins. That is spiritual life. The spirit, spirit soul is active. You cannot stop it. You cannot stop it. Now it is acting through the coverings of material, matter, therefore it is imperfect activities. But if the activity is uncovered by material things that is real activity.
Guest: But aren’t desires biological in cause?
Mensa member: They’re necessary.
Guest: Yes, but they’re biologically necessary rather than spiritually necessary.
Mensa member: Well, may I say, let’s go farther, that when you say biologically necessary, is it necessary for you to be alive? What scientific…
Syamasundara: Prabhupada has told us that even in the spiritual world there is desire to have the senses enjoy. Isn’t that so?
Mensa member: But I think you need, I agree, I would say you need both. I want spiritual life, material life.
Guest: (indistinct) spiritual thing, I mean, isn’t it (indistinct) we’re talking about China or New York (indistinct) about it, in fact it might even be a little (indistinct)
Mensa member: Well, I think to each person his picture is different too.
Syamasundara: The idea there is that in spiritual activity everything is seen in relationship to God and if you serve God with your every activity…
Prabhupada: Yes. The same example, just like this finger is part and parcel of body. So long it is attached with the body there’s not activities. You cut it from my body, there’s no activity.
Mensa member: Yes, but you’ve still got a body.
Mensa member: You’ve still got a body and you’ve still got some other fingers left.
Prabhupada: No you can call it a finger, but it will not act as finger, it will act (indistinct)
Mensa member: No, but the others will. I don’t see the need for your analogy.
Syamasundara: The God is there and we are His servants.
Prabhupada: If you are part and parcel of God then we must be active in serving God. That is my analogy.
Mensa member: But I don’t see the need for analogy. That statement is sufficient.
Prabhupada: Why not? Why not? There must be a need. If you think, if you know that you’re part and parcel of God then you must act for God.
Mensa member: You see, I would go the other way round and say that as long as I know that God is part and parcel…
Prabhupada: You cannot (indistinct). God is the spirit and you are spirit. Therefore you have to take lessons from God. In the Bhagavad-gita it is stated there mamaivamso jiva-loke, that these living entities they are My part and parcels. So, because part and parcel of God, therefore the part and parcel must be active on account of God. That is real life. Why stop activity? That is real life.
Mensa member: I fear Swami, if I may say so, without disrespect, that in some ways you’re preaching to the converted and you only make it more muddled to me by giving analogies, don’t you feel that at times?
Guest: Yeah, I think the Swami’s used to, probably used to talking to people that need this…
Prabhupada: When there is a truth spoken by God that living entities are My part and parcel, mamaiva. Why shall I not give the analogy? How do part and parcel acts? I must give analogy. Otherwise how they can understand?
Mensa member: It’s like some people…
Prabhupada: For understanding analogy must be there. Analogy is created for understanding.
Mensa member: But not in the (indistinct) example. A lot of people try and give an analogy to explain entropy. Now, of course….
Prabhupada: Now I do not know what other people give analogy, but my business is that we take it from Bhagavad-gita that living entities are part and parcel of God. Therefore, just like this part and parcel of my body is active in relationship with this body but if it is cut off from the body, it is no more active. Similarly, those who are not active in rendering service to God, they’re as dead as this finger cut off from the body. So they have to be awakened to that consciousness. Just like a tree, you cut it, it has no consciousness to protest. But, even an ant, a small ant, because it has developed consciousness, you try to kill it, it’ll protest. Therefore the more consciousness you develop, you become active. That is nature’s law. That is nature’s law. Developed consciousness does not mean to become dead.
Mensa member: This is what I’ve said earlier on that the whole of the…
Prabhupada: Yes. So therefore if one comes to God consciousness, he becomes more active.
Mensa member: The whole evolution, I think I may have said it before you came in, the whole evolution is (indistinct), is to become more and more in conscious control.
Prabhupada: So mind, mind, activities of mind, activities of intelligence and activities of spirit, the spiritual activities more greater than the mind’s mental activities.
Syamasundara: The other day we were discussing Socrates. And Socrates’ method was to bring the self under control by inspecting oneself, “Know thyself,” and thereby be able, lead a moral life with self-respect and self-control. But Prabhupada was saying that this is not an ordinary thing. Not many men can achieve this rational control. So by simply cultivating spirit, nourishing spiritual life, any man can control his senses.
Prabhupada: Just like, somebody, a child, a child is active, but his frivolous activities, or mischievous, have to stop when he’s active in taking education. You see. The same child, his energy for becoming active is transferred for taking education. He’s no more acting mischievously breaking this, doing this, doing that. The activity is there. Now that is purified. Similarly, spiritual life means the spiritual activity, that is purified activity. These boys, they have given up drinking, meat-eating. That does not mean they stop eating. They’re eating better things. Therefore they have given up the nonsense eating. So that is spiritual life. Spiritual life means activity purified.
Syamasundara: Rationally, I was thought to be intelligent. I went to college, got so many degrees, but I could not in the least control my senses and control my mind, even though I tried. I studied philosophy so hard. But, by simply chanting Hare Krsna and coming to the platform of service for God, all my activities became dovetailed in one direction so that the other things were automatically brought under control as a result.
Prabhupada: Param drstva nivartate. The exact word is there that if one gets good engagement, he can gives up bad engagement. But he cannot make it inactive. That is not possible because soul is active. It is living. How he can make it inactive? That is not possible. Nirvana means stop nonsense, but take to spiritual life. That is next athato brahma-jijnasa. Nirvana does not mean to stop activities; to stop nonsense activities. Come to the real activity.
Mensa member: Well animan, the word many people use for the soul, also means of course, life. (indistinct) being animate. The two are synonymous.
Syamasundara: Just like you were saying a while ago that if you were in God consciousness, you need not wear a robe. That’s also our philosophy. It’s very practical. But your consciousness would be always serving Krsna, always serving God in whatever status of life. It isn’t necessary to put on a robe first and then do like that.
Mensa member: But it helps some people.
Guest: The soul is a very interesting concept, the soul as well, the fact that the soul is quantifiable, that it exists in a smaller part in the larger animals, and a higher part in a higher animals.
Syamasundara: No. It’s the same size in all entities.
Guest: Oh, it is, is it? But when we reach a point when we don’t know whether there are living things or not, you know, the amino acids, and things like that or…
Mensa member: Well, I would take up that straight away, fundamentally, that it’s perfectly correct to say it’s the same size in every (indistinct) has no size.
Prabhupada: No. It has size. We cannot measure it.
Mensa member: That’s what I mean. Therefore the word size is a misconception.
Prabhupada: But that is not a scientific statement. Because you have no measuring instrument you cannot say it has no size.
Mensa member: Now what you say it has not got three dimension, but when we talk about size…
Prabhupada: Yes, three dimension. It is said, it is estimated that ten… one ten-thousandth part of the tip of the hair.
Mensa member: (laughs) We could do better than that with a microbe.
Prabhupada: Then find out the soul, if you’ve got instrument.
Guest: How many angels on the end of a pin?
Mensa member: In fact this is coming back to that, the analogy again.
Guest:But the whole thing (indistinct) about this (indistinct) Krsna instead of Christ.
Mensa member: But the whole business, if you try to explain…
Prabhupada: In Geometry they say the point has no length nor breadth. But that is not fact. The point has length and breadth but you cannot measure it.
Mensa member: Ah, but the mathematician would say that that isn’t (break) the definition of a point is something that has no breadth or depth, but his purpose is working out his philosophy.
Guest: (indistinct) he’d say something entirely different… absolute (indistinct) point.
Prabhupada: But if you magnify the point you’ll find there is…
Mensa member: But, coming back to…
Prabhupada: It is a question of vision. With your present imperfect vision you do not see. When you take a magnifying glass you see, “Oh, there is length and breadth.”
Mensa member: Ah, but that brings you, Swami, straight away into the problem of the infinite regress. It (indistinct) get smaller and smaller. But you know you might just as well stop at the beginning…
…I am the smallest of the small.
That is stated in the Veda. (Sanskrit verse) God is greater than the greatest and smaller than the smallest.
Mensa member: You’re using materialist words, Swami. You’re using materialist words, greater and smaller.
Prabhupada: What you meant spiritual?
Mensa member: No, but I say you are using materialist words to describe them.
Prabhupada: What do you mean by spiritual? No speaking?
Mensa member: What I say is… (laughter)
Prabhupada: If I say greater and smaller in this way and you say this is material. Then what is a spiritual expression of this? Can you give me? That means stop talking?
Mensa member: I think the object…
Prabhupada: …you have to. This is not material. When you speak in spiritual connection this is spiritual.
Mensa member: You’d have to invent a new language really.
Prabhupada: No. Why… the same language, the same language.
Mensa member: Well you won’t get very far in any form of philosophy…
Syamasundara: But the consciousness in which something is done denotes it. For instance, I could be sweeping the street. Someone would think, “Ah, I’m just a material street sweeper.” But if I’m doing it for Krsna it’s a transcendental activity, it’s a spiritual activity, not a material activity.
Mensa member: Ah, yes, but I mean, then you have a, if somebody else who’s sweeping faster and better, you say that he’s (indistinct) it spiritually even if he’s doing it…
Prabhupada: No, the purpose must be spiritual, the purpose must be for Krsna.
Syamasundara: So if we’re speaking about Krsna then our words become spiritual.
Mensa member: Yes, but I think if you’re talking about spiritual things you mustn’t try and quantify it.
Prabhupada: Spiritual means it has no material qualification. Nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe yuktam vairagyam ucyate.
Mensa member: You can’t measure the beauty of a rose with a ruler.
Syamasundara: But you can it’s like this, it’s like that. You have to be able to describe it somehow.
Prabhupada: Actually in higher sense there is nothing material because everything is emanating from God, therefore everything is spiritual.
Mensa member: Well, that’s true but the electron, as far as you can say, may be spiritual.
Prabhupada: There is no distinction in higher status because we say that everything that we see that is manifestation of God’s energy.
Mensa member: Exactly.
Prabhupada: Energy. So in that sense, if it is God’s energy there is nothing material. It is material when we forget God. That is material.
Mensa member: Well I would have said… You’re rather going back to the analogy of the light. If there’s no light there you can’t see whether there’s anything there or not. Directly you have the light it enables you to see it. But the things exist independent of whether the light was there all along.
Prabhupada: Light is in relationship with the fire. So light is not different from the fire. Unless there is fire there is no light. There is no heat. So as soon as you feel heat or see light the fire is there. In higher sense those who can realize immediately realize that there is fire. Just like here there’s light. Immediately you can understand there is fire. There is electricity. So it is a question of realization. In the higher realization there is nothing matter. Everything is spiritual. Simply when you forget God that is material. That is material.
Syamasundara: By using this analogy he’s proving that there’s a contingency. There’s a… that wherever there’s heat and wherever there’s light there must be fire.
Mensa member: With respect, no, because you can have an infra-red (indistinct) which is not fire.
Syamasundara: The original source is fire.
Mensa member: Or ultra-violet, no.
Prabhupada: How can you explain light without fire?
Mensa member: Ultraviolet light doesn’t have a fire.
Prabhupada: There is sun, ultraviolet rays of the sun.
Syamasundara: How can you produce ultraviolet light except with electrical apparatus, electricity?
Prabhupada: Light and heat, you cannot think of without fire.
Guest: Fluorescence… certain chemicals.
Syamasundara: The origin is…
Mensa member: You’re making…
Prabhupada: There is no light, no heat without fire. That’s a fact.
Guest: Everybody (indistinct) I think.
Mensa member: Yeah, you see, that’s the trouble. You can say really that there’s no light or heat without an electrical (indistinct) that’s as far as you need. You needn’t go any farther.
Guest: No, the point you were making is that the absolute source of everything is the sun. Was that…?
Prabhupada: That is heat. That is fire.
Guest: Even if it’s not there now, it was there a thousand years ago.
Syamasundara: It’s gone through about the different transformations.
Mensa member: Well, this is a form of scientific atavism. It’s rather outmoded with the usual concepts of long ago. But one’s rather got beyond that now.
Syamasundara: No, it then takes…
Prabhupada: So we have to go down there now…
Guest: (indistinct) great argument.
Prabhupada: Yes. We shall talk more…
Mensa member: Well, I’ve enjoyed it very much. It was very kind of you. Where are you going on Wednesday? Where are you going?
Prabhupada: I’m going to Mombassa.
Mensa member: Yes. That should be interesting. One of my greatest pleasures was to be able to entertain the Dalai Llama’s secretary in the luncheon hall in the (indistinct) just near here.
Syamasundara: We went walking there one morning, Lincoln’s Inn.
Mensa member: Yes. I’ve always wanted to go there. We’ve got four Tibetans over studying (indistinct) part of the college estate of Hampstead. And I’ve always liked, the idea of their going up into those wonderful mountains and… Although you may say, you know, one mustn’t overvalue material things, as far as their diet is concerned, they must be very much like you followers. You know, they have… because they have to learn (indistinct) perfect (indistinct) They have nothing wrong with their gums or their teeth. It must be about the only place in the world…
Syamasundara: Prabhupada has all his teeth too (indistinct) eighty.
Prabhupada: Yes. I’ve got my natural teeth.
Syamasundara: Perfect diet.
Guest: Thank you for sparing this time and…
Mensa member: Such short notice I didn’t realize… It was such a pleasure and I was so glad that you were able to fit it in before you go.
Syamasundara: He’s going to speak now down in the temple (indistinct) stay, listen more.
Mensa member: Well, I don’t know. I should imagine the crowd is so great.
Syamasundara: Well, you can sit in front.
Mensa member: We will see when we go down there… (end)
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada