Interview , Paris , 1972-07-20
Prabhupāda: [indistinct] ...this wrong conception should be now. We should know our real identity. Then everything will be all right. We are going on on a wrong concept of life. Therefore people are not happy. So I want to give them the message, spiritual life. If people accept it, they will be happy.
Bhūgarbha: [translating] He says in history there were many masters and many great teachers such as Jesus Christ, and many others who have come to bring a certain message. He says, "Are we seeing something today of the same level?"
Prabhupāda: Yes, certainly. Because from God's side there is always an attempt to make the people right. As soon as they're wrongly directed, some messenger comes, like Jesus Christ or Buddha or, before Him, Lord Kṛṣṇa. So what we are preaching, that is not new. It is God consciousness. And all the great messiahs, they came. But the thing is that people are changing in their different education mentality. So we have to present things in such a way so that intelligent person can accept the old teachings in the Western countries, like Lord Jesus Christ.
Either they're not being followed or they're not properly understood, because in London I saw hundreds of churches are vacant. That means it shows practical that people have no more interest in Christianity, or the Christian people could not convince them about the spiritual necessity of life. Many churches are for sale. That's not a good sign. That means people have lost interest in spiritual life. But fortunately, the younger generation, they are taking this spiritual movement.
Bhūgarbha: [translating] He asks = Lord Jesus Christ, when he came, brought a message of hope, of peace and confidence, not only in this life but also in the future life, life after death. He asks if Your Divine Grace would like to speak about what our conception this life after death is. He also asks that I translate at the same time as you are speaking. Is that all right?
Prabhupāda: So we are giving a message by which everyone can be happy in this life and next life also. Generally, all religious sects, they do not believe in the next life. Or even they believe, they have no clear idea of the next life.
Bhūgarbha: [translating] What is the present hope of the human society even beyond death?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Human society... A human life is an opportunity to stop all the problems of material life. So if he does not do so, if he does not understand or take to this business how to solve all the problems of life, then he's missing the opportunity. We are giving very nice idea what is next life, how we can elevate to the topmost spiritual planet, and how we can live eternally, peacefully, with full knowledge. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is for all these purpose.
Bhūgarbha: [translating] He's asking. In society of today, the consumer society, with so many moral and social miseries, what is the message you can bring people even in this day?
Prabhupāda: Yes. By accepting this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement they will be moralist, they will be religionist, they will be first-class socialist, first-class politician. Everything perfect by accepting Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Bhūgarbha: [translating] He's asking... He's asking simply, "We have heard from the mouth of such a great master who has by his life exemplified the highest spiritual principles," and words like 'socialism' and 'spiritual communism,' he'd like to know exactly what this means.
Prabhupāda: Spiritual communism means that these so-called Communist, they are concerned with the limited thing. Just like Communists in Russia or China, they are thinking of their countrymen only. They are not thinking of others. Or they're thinking only the human beings, not of the animals. But our spiritual comm... Communist means that we take care not only of the human being, but of the animals also. We don't think that the human being is only our own community. We think every living entity is within the community, center being God.
[aside] Is there water?
Prabhupāda: Just like our spiritual communism means... Just like I'm living in this house. I shall have to take care even for one lizard that is also living in this house. I shall have to take care of one rat, one mouse, even one snake, if he's living in one's house. That is spiritual communism. The idea is nobody should starve. I have to see whether the lizard is also given proper food. Just like people generally save foodstuff from the attack of other animals. But spiritual communism... [break]
Frenchman: [French] [break]
Prabhupāda: We ought to make them happy.
Prabhupāda: We want to see everyone is happy. That is our mission. Actually, all our students who are presently working with us, they are feeling happiness than their past life. So everyone will be happy if they take to this movement. So we want to see that everyone is happy. That is our mission. We don't want to exploit others. [break]
Bhūgarbha: He's asking specifically why, in the Christian society, the Christian society, which already has a culture of..., we are bringing in another culture.
Prabhupāda: They have lost their culture. Nobody is actually Christian.
Bhagavān: Would you like this fan, Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Devotee: There's an outlet over here you could use. Bhūgarbha?
Prabhupāda: [to devotee] Why not put here, in the table?
Devotee: The fan.
Bhūgarbha: [translating] He'd like... On his next tape, he'll speak on the subject matter... He's read your biography, and he's seen that all your life you're a person of very high standing, social standards, in a social society. He wants to know, what has led you to leave this life of high social standing and to enter the life of a...
Prabhupāda: This is our Vedic civilization, that their life should be divided into four division.
Frenchman: [long French question]
Bhūgarbha: [translating] Same question, but asked in a different way = How a man like yourself, so cultivated, in..., so highly positioned in social hierarchy, was able to leave all this in order to bring this message of God to...?
Prabhupāda: No. It's not to be... Life is divided into four parts = the brahmacārī, student; gṛhastha, means householder; vānaprastha, retired life; and sannyāsa. Everyone should follow this principle. First of all, as brahmacārī student he should learn sufficiently what is the value of life. Then, when he's a householder, he should live properly with husband, wife and children---properly.
Then, after retired life, giving the responsibility of household life to grown-up children, he should take lessons from saintly person, furthermore, and at the end he should take sannyāsa. Whatever knowledge he has gathered he must distribute by traveling from one place to another. This is Vedic civilization. Everyone should come out. Not that they should remain at home and drink and sleep for the whole life. This is Vedic civilization.
Bhūgarbha: [translating] "Do you think, in a world so much caught up in material way of things, that your message can actually be able to penetrate?"
Prabhupāda: Yes. This is penetrating. Just like here we have got branch, in your country. How these young men they are taking part unless it is penetrating?
Bhūgarbha: He says, "Thank you very, very much. I've waited for... I've been very much troubled before..., for meeting you, and now that I've met you I want to thank you very much for the humility you've accorded to us, even though you are so tired after a long journey."
Prabhupāda: Thank you very much.
Frenchman: Merci maitre.
Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa. All Glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda! [end]