Room Conversation With Baradrāj , Vṛndāvana , 1977-10-16
Baradrāj: I have an outline with me. An outline.
Prabhupāda: You have?
Baradrāj: Yes, I have it here. Of the ideas. Perhaps I could read some portion to you?
Baradrāj: This is a simple outline here. Theme. The theme of this exhibit is "What is life and what is the purpose of life?" So it is in four sections. The first section deals with... It's an introduction, and it deals with the basic topics = "What I am and who I am." And then we go to explain what is the embodied soul. First we show the process of creation, how the world is created.
Baradrāj: I'm just giving a very simple outline now. There's more notes on this. Then we show how the spirit soul enters the creation by Mahā-Viṣṇu. And then we show how the soul evolves up to human form of life through all the different species. Then, in the second..., in the third portion, rather, we deal with the human form of life. And there's five different points = first, the place of the human form in the evolutionary cycle; and number two, human form of life as a turning point; then three, human life is meant for self-realization, not sense gratification; and four, not executing the mission of human life is the source of all problems; and five, establishment and maintenance of dharma by the avatāras and the disciplic succession. And the last movement is entitled "The Perfection of Life."
Baradrāj: The last portion of the exhibition is called "The Perfection of Life," and it is comprised of two portions, two parts. The first part describes the process of self-realization, and the second part is called the transcendence into the spiritual world, with emphasis on the reality of transcendental variegatedness and personality. That means we're actually going to try to give the viewer an experience of becoming purified. His senses are gradually becoming purified through the process of self-realization, and then we take him through the different spiritual realizations. And then the last part is Vṛndāvana-līlā of Kṛṣṇa, to show that the Lord is a perfect person and that everyone has a place in His personal service in the spiritual world. So this is the... That's the simple outline, and I have another portion here which deals a little more elaborately. I'll just read some of the things to you.
So we call the introduction to the exhibition, we call it "The Overture." In this introduction there are several points. The first point is that we are not made up of... We're showing what is the body. So we're showing that the body is made up of different elements. And there's a film that shows how the man is made up of different component parts. We are showing that different organs are just like different machines and mechanical systems, and that life is consciousness and that consciousness is different from and did not come from matter. So we're showing that the heart is like a pump, and lungs are like bellows, and the eyes are like cameras, and the ears are like tape recorders, and the brain is like a computer, and so on. But behind all of these machines there is the witness, there is the seer, or the soul. So he is different from all these different machines. Then we show... We take everything down to smaller and smaller particles, and we bring everything down to atomic structure, and then we show that there does not seem to be any purpose to this. So where is life? Are we just...? My life is full of purpose, so where is the life here? Can we be just molecules? Where does life begin? And then we show all the different... On this portion of the exhibit we are working with Svarūpa Dāmodara and the Bhaktivedanta Institute to make a scientific presentation. This will involve films and dolls and other special effects to show the..., how ridiculous is the idea of material evolution, so-called evolution of matter into consciousness. So Svarūpa Dāmodara has his own presentation that we're going to use here. We've seen some of it during the conference.
Then the second exhibit will perhaps be a whole group of scientists, and these scientists are sitting in one room, but they're all from different ages. And each one of them in turn expresses that they're having so many doubts. This we will take directly from their own quotations from different biographies, and we will show that the scientists are very confused about the origin of life, that they cannot actually explain anything, and they are saying this in their own words. Many scientists have said things like this---Darwin, Einstein. We have a list of eight here, and we can use their quotes. And they express bafflement, ignorance and failure to understand life or explain the universe.
Then we show how... We put man back together out of chemicals, so-called. We're going back to the original man, which... We have analyzed one man, and now we're going back from the molecular level again back to the man. And then we show how the fetus is developing. We're showing that the life and consciousness is there from the very beginning. And then this film..., there is a film that shows this, and then that shifts to that display of the changing body.
Prabhupāda: Life begins from water.
Baradrāj: Life begins from water? How is that?
Prabhupāda: Just like the sea. Sea, and from within the sea an exhibition of life begins in the form of sea animals or fish or similar. Then life develops, evolves. Life... Sea does not generate life, but in this material world, life begins from water.
Baradrāj: So we will show this.
Prabhupāda: Kṣīṇe puṇye punar martya-lokaṁ viśanti [Bg. 9.21], that from higher planets, they fall down with water, and then again, like bubbles, begins from water, life. As the water dries up, then vegetables, and then... Jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi sthāvarā lakṣa... [Padma Purāṇa]. Then moving animals and ants, reptiles. In this way, birds, beast, then four-legged animals, then uncivilized man, then civilized man with Vedic knowledge, then God realization. This is the process.
Baradrāj: Very wonderful, Śrīla Prabhupāda. We have this evolution in our second exhibit. We want to show that in the beginning the Lord was there, and that by His energy the universe is created and all the different elements are evolved by His glance.
Prabhupāda: Yes, everything is generated from His energy. He is original cause of two energies---material and spiritual. Therefore He is the original cause.
Baradrāj: In the second part we're also showing that the Lord, out of His infinite kindness and mercy, has created the material world so that the living entities can be corrected.
Prabhupāda: Yes. It is a chance to come to understanding.
Baradrāj: We also have a diorama here of Isaac Newton showing the model of the universe to his friend, and his friend says, "Oh, such a brilliant thing, such a wonderful model. Who has made this?" And he says, "Nobody. It just appeared here." And he makes his point that if such a small thing has taken so much intelligence and skill, then what to speak of the great universe that we see before us? How could it have come from nothing?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Ideas are there. If it is properly exhibited, it will be wonderful thing.
Baradrāj: Then we have... We are showing that human and animal, they have the same activity basically. So what is the difference between man and animal? So we show in this diorama. And we also show that actually sometimes animals are superior to man because they sometimes have better senses. The dog can smell better, the elephant can eat more, and the pigeon can have more sex, etcetera. So, again, why is man considered superior if animals have better senses? So then the third point, we are showing that human life means responsibility.
Prabhupāda: No, vulture, from miles afar, can find out where is a dead carcass.
Baradrāj: Vulture. Very strong eyes. Right. So...
Prabhupāda: Strong eye, but looking third class. [Baradrāj laughs]
Baradrāj: We're also showing that human life means responsibility. Even on an ordinary level we are showing that a man may break a law and he's punished, but a dog, he's not punished for breaking man's law. He may cross the street in the wrong place; he is not punished by the law, but the man is. Animals are walking without clothes, but if a man goes out in the street without clothes, he's arrested. So we are making the point here that man is held responsible for his actions, whereas animal is not. And then we show... The conclusion of this is "Therefore human life has responsibility to engage in the pursuit of knowledge and advancing, not degrading himself." Then we want to show that misuse of this human form of life, or giving up that responsibility, has created a chaos in the world, that the world has become full of madness and fear and pain, and the whole civilization is misguided. We want to show on film, side by side, U.N. politicians barking in U.N. and cats and dogs barking in the street.
Prabhupāda: That is explained by Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. Māyār bośe, jāccho bese.
Prabhupāda: Khāccho hābuḍubu bhāi. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura's song. Those who have eyes to see, they will see all of them being washed away by the waves of māyā, hābuḍubu.
Baradrāj: Then we want to make another point, that in spite of so much chaos, there is solution, and that solution is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And we show a scene from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. On the bank of Yamunā, Parīkṣit Mahārāja is there, and so many sages, and he's inquiring from Śukadeva Gosvāmī.
Prabhupāda: Very good.
Baradrāj: And Śukadeva Gosvāmī begins to instruct him. And he explains the whole process of how the living entity has come under the control of māyā and how he can become extricated. This is a theatrical piece. There will be some animation.
Prabhupāda: The second chapter. Find out the verses.
Bhakti-caru: Second chapter? Bhagavad-gītā.
Prabhupāda: Yaṁ pravrajantam.
Baradrāj: Girirāja has gone to get the book. Then there will be some dioramas of different avatāras---Kṛṣṇa, Buddha and Caitanya Mahāprabhu---showing how they have come to protect the dharma, to reestablish the dharma. Kṛṣṇa is speaking to Arjuna on the battlefield.
Prabhupāda: Girirāja come back.
Baradrāj: He's here.
Baradrāj: On this side, Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: The verse yaṁ pravrajantam... Second Chapter. When Vyāsadeva is following Śukadeva Gosvāmī.
Baradrāj: Yes. Yaṁ pravrajantam anupetam [SB 1.2.2].
Prabhupāda: Read it.
yaṁ pravrajantam anupetam apeta-kṛtyaṁ
dvaipāyano viraha-kātara ājuhāva
putreti tan-mayatayā taravo 'bhinedus
taṁ sarva-bhūta-hṛdayaṁ munim ānato 'smi
Prabhupāda: Hmm. Next part.
Upendra: Read the translation.
Girirāja: Translation. "Śrīla Sūta Gosvāmī said = Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto that great sage, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who can enter the hearts of all. When he went away to take up the renounced order of life, sannyāsa, leaving home without undergoing the sacred thread ceremony, his father, Vyāsadeva, cried out to him, 'O my son!' Indeed, only the trees echoed in response to the begrieved father."
Prabhupāda: Next verse.
adhyātma-dīpam atititīrṣatāṁ tamo 'ndham
saṁsāriṇāṁ karuṇayāha purāṇa-guhyam...
Prabhupāda: Hmm. This is... Saṁsāriṇāṁ karuṇayā.
Girirāja: Saṁsāriṇāṁ karuṇayāha purāṇa-guhyaṁ taṁ vyāsa-sūnum upayāmi guruṁ munīnām: "Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto him, Śuka, the spiritual master of all sages, the son of Vyāsadeva, who, out of his great compassion for those gross materialists who struggle to cross over the darkest regions of material existence, spoke this Purāṇa, supplement to the Vedas, the cream of Vedic knowledge, after having personally assimilated it by experience."
Prabhupāda: Hmm. Read the next verse.
naraṁ caiva narottamam
devīṁ sarasvatīṁ vyāsaṁ
tato jayam udīrayet
"Before reciting this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which is our very means of conquest, I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa; unto Nara-nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi, the supermost human being; unto mother Sarasvatī, the goddess of learning; and unto Śrīla Vyāsadeva, the author."
"O sages, I have been justly questioned by you."
Prabhupāda: These things can be exhibited. That's all right.
Baradrāj: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: So you have made the outline first class. Now, if it is carefully done, at least in the Western country, it will be a very, very wonderful thing.
Baradrāj: We're just trying to fulfill your desires, Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: Do it. Kṛṣṇa will fulfill.
Baradrāj: Śrīla Prabhupāda? Long time ago, you wanted an exhibit in London. It seemed very important to you.
Prabhupāda: Yes, London there is good place. Many visitors come.
Baradrāj: We have been considering where is the best place for this next big exhibit.
Prabhupāda: London, it is...
Baradrāj: That would be better than Washington?
Prabhupāda: No, Washington, it is also... London, there are many hundreds of tourists daily come.
Jayatīrtha: Right now there's a place available, a lot one block from Madame Tussauds in London. We thought that to be in the same area might be a good thing, because so many people are coming to that place.
Prabhupāda: Yes, in the center of the city.
Jayatīrtha: There's a big lot available just one block away. I think you lived on that corner at one time, just across from Madame Tussauds.
Prabhupāda: I lived there?
Jayatīrtha: When you first went to London, didn't you stay for some time there? Just in that area?
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.
Jayatīrtha: So just around the corner from there there's one place available.
Prabhupāda: No, that is occupied.
Jayatīrtha: No, it's vacant, completely vacant. There's no longer a building on this place.
Prabhupāda: Hmm. That's a nice place. [pause]
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Śrīla Prabhupāda? Do you want to have kīrtana?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Give me covering and go on, kīrtana. [end]