Interview , Pittsburgh , 1972-09-09

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. [break] We have got experience of the sky. Some parts of the world the sky is cloudy just like London and northern parts of Europe they are always cloudy. Similarly in the tropical zone the sky is clear. The sky is the same generally the part of the creation where God consciousness is very meagre that is called material world. And the part of the creation where God consciousness is very prominent that is called Vaikuṇṭha or spiritual world.

So accorded to Vedic instruction this part of the creation where God consciousness is not very distinct that is called darkness and the other part of the sky where God consciousness is very clear and that is called light. So the Vedic injunction is, tamasi mā jyotir gamaḥ [Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad 1.3.28], don’t remain in darkness come to the light.

So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is giving the information of the world of light. There are different religious faiths just like we said, Christian faith, Jewish faith, Hindu faith but our formula is that the faith which gives clear idea of God and teaches the followers how to love God that is first-class.

It doesn’t matter of whether it is Christian religion or Hindu religion or Muslim religion the formula is, sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje [SB 1.2.6]. That religion is first-class which teaches the follower how to love the Supreme Absolute Truth which is beyond our sense perception, adhokṣaje. Adhokṣaje means beyond the sense perception.

We cannot see with our this eyes, we cannot see God we cannot understand God’s holy name, we cannot understand God’s qualities but when these senses are purified then we can see God, we can hear God, we can understand the quality of God, form of God. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is the process of cleansing the heart so that one can see God. This is the sum and substance.

Interviewer: And this cleansing and the ultimate seeing and understanding is that in this life or is that in...

Prabhupāda: In this life.

Interviewer: Is there an afterlife in your...

Prabhupāda: In this life, just like. One who has got eyes to see to understand in the morning although he is within the room he can understand there is sunrise. Any intelligent man by moving the curtain he can understand now there is sunrise although he doesn’t see the sun actually face-to-face.

Similarly when our heart is cleansed we can understand what is God, how he is working, where is his place, what is his name, what is his fame, everything. There are... Just like in your country there are many men or foolish men they do not know who is the president, or what is his name, where is his address but any intelligent man knows who is president, what is his name, where is his address, what does he do, everything. It is a question of intelligence and not intelligence.

Interviewer: A question of intelligence and not...

Prabhupāda: None, no intelligence.

Interviewer: Do you, do you try to strive for happiness now or.

Prabhupāda: Yes, happiness as soon as you know God you become happy, yenātmā suprasīdati [SB 1.1.11]. As soon as your. Your relationship with God is there because you are part and parcel of God but now you have forgotten, everyone is thinking in terms of this body. "I am American body, I am Indian body, I am German body, I am black body, I’m white body," but within the body the soul is there, just like your coat is there, the shirt is there and then your body is there.

Similarly you have got this gross body, material and then there is subtle body. Mind, intelligence and ego and then there is soul. So when one comes to the platform of soul he can see God. And when one is covered by the gross and subtle body and identifies himself with this body, he cannot understand God. Generally people are in the bodily concept of life. "I am American, I am Indian, I’m Hindu, I’m Muslim, I’m Christian," these are all bodily designations. So one has to go deep, first of all body, then mind, then soul.

Interviewer: Then once you reach that platform.

Prabhupāda: Then we can understand God, your relationship with God. The more you advance on that platform, that is knowledge and the more you advance on bodily platform that is ignorance. The modern civilisation is teaching only bodily concept of life. They do not know even what is spirit soul.

Interviewer: Is there faith or must all this be a part...

Prabhupāda: It is a science, it is not a faith, faith you can change but science cannot be changed. Now suppose what is the distinction between a dead man and a living man? When there is a dead man if you simply believe, "No, no he is not dead, he is living," will that work?

Or when the man is living if you think that there is no soul only this body is that good knowledge? Then what is the distinction between dead man and living man? So long the soul is within this body it is moving, just like so long you are putting on this coat yourself the coat is moving but when you give up this coat you are not there this coat will stand, stand still.

But I have no knowledge about this, so how this body is moving? Neither they care to know about it, this is the ignorance, this is animal life because the animals do not know. The human life is a chance to know this but there is no education about the soul. He is kept as animal, the animal is working hard day and night for maintaining this body and the man is educated to take work day and night for maintaining this body. Then where is the difference between animal and man?

How do you distinguish? Animal, birds, bees, insects, flies, bees, all living entities they are trying their best to maintain this body, to protect this body and if the human being also trying like that, then where is the distinction? Distinction is when a human being is eager to know God, that is the distinction. Athāto brahma-jijñāsā the Vedānta-sūtra says that this is, this form of life is meant for enquiring about the Absolute Truth. If you do not enquire then we are animals.

So without Kṛṣṇa consciousness, God consciousness then human civilisation is polished animalism, that’s all. Dharmeṇa hīna paśubhiḥ samānāḥ [Hitopadeśa 25], without this enquiry he is equal to animal. But in animal societies you cannot expect any peace and prosperity that is not possible. As soon as there will be assembly of dogs there will be simply sound, goow, goow, goow, goow, goow because they are animals.

Interviewer: So the... It must come the consciousness must come with inquiry.

Prabhupāda: Consciousness is there, consciousness is there but modern education and atmosphere is covering that consciousness. God consciousness is there even amongst the uncivilised human beings when there is some thunderbolt, oh they offer namaskāra, "Oh something big." When they see the big ocean, oh they offer namaskāra, even uncivilised. So civilisation means that God consciousness should be increased up to the point of understanding God and seeing God face-to-face....

Interviewer: Could we... Could the consciousness then is within all of us be, be equated with what Christians consider faith?

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is also consciousness. I don’t say Christian or this or Hindus the consciousness is just like this child has consciousness. The same child when he will become young it’s the same consciousness will be also developed. This child may talk so many nonsense things but this child when he will develop his consciousness in his youth he will talk very conscientiously, that is the difference development of consciousness. Your consciousness is clear idea of God, clear idea of this world, clear idea of oneself that is clear consciousness. And without clear consciousness nobody can be at ease and satisfied.

Interviewer: Can you convert the world?

Prabhupāda: Yes provided you listen to me. I say that you love God, if you think that I shall love dog then how can I convert you? You may ask what is the difference between loving God and dog the difference is if you love God then you can learn to love everyone but if you love dog you simply love dog nobody else. That is the difference.

Interviewer: The... Your movement in the United States has been very successful in a few years.

Prabhupāda: I think so.

Interviewer: In terms of, not in numbers perhaps at least in the seriousness and dedication of your followers.

Prabhupāda: Yes that is wanted and in the New York Times, the representative came to see me that is published on the 6th, New York Times.

Interviewer: Yes I saw that.

Prabhupāda: So they have given the statement, "A Diamond is Diamond," we are placing before the human society pure consciousness, it is genuine, it’s a fact. Now anything pure has not many customers. When you put something simply glittering like gold it is sold very easily and when you place pure gold you’ll find less customers. You place in the market something imitation diamond, it has got many customers when it is real diamond there is less customers.

So we should not judge by the customers we should judge by the quality of this [indistinct]. Now so far our students are concerned we have got restriction, we don’t accept everyone as our student. There is no illicit sex, there is no meat eating, meat, eggs, fish. There is no intoxication up to the point of drinking tea, coffee and smoking. There is no gambling, so under these restrictions if somebody comes and becomes our student then it must be taken that he is very serious.

At the present moment to give up these habits is a little difficult. Even a great personality like Lord Zetland, Marquess of Zetland, in India, or here in London. He was very fond of Indian culture so some of my God brothers went and he asked him, "Gosvāmīji can you make me a brāhmaṇa?" He told, "Yes, I can make you a brāhmaṇa, you have to give up these four bad habits." He said, "Oh it is impossible."

So in the Western countries to give up these habits is a little difficult but when these young boys and girls they are coming forward giving up all these, then it must be taken they are very serious. So we want only one student serious, not many. Ekaś candras tamo hanti na ca tārāḥ-sahasraśaḥ. [Cāṇakya Paṇḍita] If there is one moon in the sky, that is welcome but if there are millions of stars, it has no use.

Interviewer: In the final analysis, when the world is converted or whether it is not convertible everyone follow you if follow the idea of Kṛṣṇa consciousness? Will everybody be one of you?

Prabhupāda: Not of me but of Kṛṣṇa.

Interviewer: Of Kṛṣṇa, I’m sorry.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Interviewer: So it is not, not necessarily have to follow this specific form it’s the awareness of God and the love of God...

Prabhupāda: No, God is pure without being pure you cannot approach God. Without being fire you cannot enter into fire. The temperature must be the same that is a scientific fact. I have seen in glass factory when a bottle is manufactured it is not immediately taken out from the fire then it will crack because the temperature in the oven and the temperature outside is different.

So gradually it is taken to the normal temperature. Without being fire if anyone enters into fire he’ll burn in a flash. Just like we have got information there is germs in fire also or there are residents in the sun planet but they have got fiery bodies. Just like fishes they live in the water their body is like that they can live in the water.

Similarly those who are living in the sun planet they have a body like that they can live in sun planet. You cannot say no because you practically see there is life in the air, there is life in the water, there is life on the land, there is life within the land, within the earth there are many germs and worms within this earth. So why not in the fire?

Because fire is also one of the elements, five elements, earth water fire air ether so if there is life on the earth and water and air why not in the fire? But you have no knowledge but we get information from Vedic literature.

The sun planet there is also president just like you have got a president, similarly his name is there in the Bhagavad-gītā, Vivasvān, imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1]. Kṛṣṇa says, "Long long ago I described this yoga system to the sun god his name is Vivasvān." So in every planet everywhere there are living entities but they have got different types of body.

In India we can stay without any coat and shirt generally we don’t require coat and shirt but in your country it is required. And because the climate is different but because the climate is different it does not mean that there is no living entities.

Similarly in different planets there are different types of living entities. So far we get information from Vedic literature, if we ponder over this matter we can understand, why not life?

Interviewer: But one must study.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Interviewer: But one must study if he really...

Prabhupāda: Yes. It requires, everything requires education.

Interviewer: Well I thank you, I know you’re schedule today is a very busy one. I thank you for giving us your time.

Prabhupāda: Thank you for your coming, so it is very important movement my only request is that especially to the newspaper authorities. They may kindly understand this movement scientifically without any prejudice and spread the knowledge to the human society. It is very good. We deny that God consciousness is down, it requires. People without God consciousness are not improving. They are not happy. Do you think?

Interviewer: They. The world is not happy.

Prabhupāda: That’s it, why they are not happy there is enough education so full education, enough economic development especially in your America. There is enough land, enough food, enough resources why the younger generation are becoming confused and hopeless and becoming hippies?

They are taking shelter of drugs instead of taking shelter of civilised life like their father and grandfather. Why they are taking to drugs? This means that you cannot make human society happy simply by material advancement. That is not possible. Side-by-side there must be spiritual understanding, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. I came to your country for this purpose that if you understand this Kṛṣṇa consciousness then your nation will be first-class. You’re materially first-class when you add spiritual knowledge then you become perfect. So take this movement seriously and cooperate, you will be happy... And as all other countries are imitating you when you take Kṛṣṇa consciousness the others will imitate you. [Laughs] like a spy and a prophet.

Interviewer: With those words I will leave you, thank you very much.

Prabhupāda: Thank you, Hare Kṛṣṇa... Jaya, take this garland.

[break] [indistinct] ordered not to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Caitanya Mahāprabhu went to his house with hundreds and thousands of men to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotee: We saw that house in Māyāpura, the Kazi’s house.

Prabhupāda: Hm? Yes...... So now what is the time?

Devotee: It is now 11.35... Take massage Śrīla Prabhupāda?

Prabhupāda: Yes. [end].