LCFL 9: The Ninth Morning Walk: May 13, 1973

Recorded on May 13, 1973,
In Cheviot Hills Park, Los Angeles id1

Śrīla Prabhupāda is accompanied by Dr. Singh, Karandhara dāsa adhikārī and other students. id2

Evolution from Human to Dog

Śrīla Prabhupāda: The so-called scientists are putting their faith in a fraudulent theory. Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ: “I am the origin of everything.” (Bg. 10.8) Kṛṣṇa is life; Kṛṣṇa is not a dead stone. id3

Dr. Singh: So matter is caused by life? id4

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes, and matter grows upon life; my body grows upon me, the spirit soul. For example, I have put on this overcoat, which is made according to the size of my body. But i would be foolish if I thought, “I am this overcoat.” id5

Student: Śrīla Prabhupāda, mineralogists have proven that mountains are growing by sedimentary activity. Is this growth due to the presence of the spirit soul? id6

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam describes mountains as the bones of God, and the grass as the hair on His body. So, in this sense, God has the biggest body. id7

Dr. Singh: Śrīla Prabhupāda, what is the difference between the transmigration of souls in animal bodies and the transmigration of human souls? id8

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Animals transmigrate in only one direction—upward—but human beings can transmigrate to either a higher or a lower form of life. The body is awarded according to the living entity’s desire. The lower animals have one kind of desire, but the human being has thousands and millions of desires—animal desires as well as human desires. By nature’s law, the lower species are coming up from animal forms to the higher, human forms. But once you come to the human form, if you don’t cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness you may return to the body of a cat or dog. id9


Dr. Singh: The scientists have no information that there is evolution up or down from the human platform. id10

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Therefore I say they are rascals. They have no knowledge, yet they still claim to be scientists. Real science is in the Bhagavad-gītā, where Kṛṣṇa says, yānti deva-vratā devān pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ (Bg. 9.25). This means that whatever one worships in this life will determine the type of body he gets in his next life. But if one worships Kṛṣṇa, he ends the process of transmigration entirely. Yaṁ prāpya na nivartante tad dhāma: “When one goes to that supreme abode of Mine, he never returns [to this material world of birth and death].” (Bg. 8.21) Promotion to the spiritual world (saṁsiddhiṁ paramām) is the ultimate perfection of human life. Read Bhagavad-gītā; everything is there. But the scientists have no idea of this perfection; they do not even believe in the existence of the living entity apart from the gross body. id11

Dr. Singh: They do not speak of the living entity; they speak only of bodies. id12

Student: Their conception is something akin to Buddhism. The Buddhists say that the body is like a house. Just as a house is put together with wood, the body is put together with chemicals. And when the body dies, it is just like a house that falls apart. Just as the house becomes simply pieces of wood and then there is no more house, so the body becomes simply chemicals, and there is no more body and no more life. id13

Śrīla Prabhupāda: That state is called nirvāṇa. And then, with the ingredients, you can build another house or another body. That is Buddhism. The Buddhists do not have any information regarding the soul. id14

Destiny and Karma

Student: Some scientists argue that there are several souls within each body. They use the earthworm as an example. If you cut it in half, both parts will live. They say this proves that two souls occupied the original worm’s body. id15

Śrīla Prabhupāda: No. It is simply that a new soul has come to occupy the other half of the worm’s body. id16

Dr. Singh: Must the spirit soul necessarily have a body—either spiritual or material? id17

Śrīla Prabhupāda: The soul already has a spiritual body, which the material body covers. My material body grows upon me—my spiritual body—but my material body is unnatural. The real body is spiritual. I am accepting various bodies that are unnatural to my constitution. My real, constitutional position is to be the servant of Kṛṣṇa. As long as I do not come to that position, I remain a servant of matter and get many material bodies according to the laws of material energy. i get one body and then give it up. I desire something else and again get another body. This process is going on under the strict laws of material nature. People think they completely control their destinies, but they are always under nature’s law of karma: id18

prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate

“The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities that are In actuality carried out by nature.” (Bg. 3.27) The source of this bewilderment is that the living entity thinks, “I am this body.” id19

īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
hṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣṭhati
bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni
yantrārūḍhāni māyayā
[Bg. 18.61]

In this verse the word yantra, or “machine,” means that in any species of life, we are traveling in bodies that are like machines provided by material nature. Sometimes we are moving to higher species, sometimes to lower species. But if, by the mercy of the spiritual master and Kṛṣṇa, one gets the seed of devotional service and cultivates it, he can become free from the cycle of birth and death. Then his life is successful. Otherwise, he has to travel up and down the different species of life, becoming sometimes a blade of grass, sometimes a lion, and so forth. id20

Advertising Ignorance as knowledge

Student: So it is our desire to enjoy that causes us to take on these material bodies, and our desire to achieve Kṛṣṇa that brings us to our natural position? id21

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. id22

Dr. Singh: But there seems to be a constant struggle with our lower nature. We are constantly fighting our desires for sense gratification, even though we want to serve Kṛṣṇa. Does this continue? id23

Student: The body is almost like a dictator from within. id24

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. That means you are strongly under the control of material energy, or māyā. id25

Dr. Singh: Even though we also desire to serve Kṛṣṇa? id26

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. A thief may know that if he steals he will be arrested and put into jail—he may have even seen others being arrested—yet he still steals. Even though he is aware that he is under the authority of the state, he still acts according to his desires. This is called tamas, or ignorance. Therefore, knowledge is the beginning of spiritual life. In Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa gives Arjuna knowledge. He teaches, “You are not this body.” This is the beginning of knowledge. But where is the university that teaches this knowledge? Dr. Singh, can you tell me where that university is that teaches this knowledge? id27

Dr. Singh: There is none. id28

Śrīla Prabhupāda: That is the position of education: there is no knowledge. They simply advertise ignorance as knowledge. id29

Dr. Singh: But if the scientists knew that they were not their bodies, their whole outlook would change. id30

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes, we want that. id31

Student: But they don’t want to admit their failure. id32

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Then that is further foolishness. If you are a fool and you pose yourself as intelligent, that is further foolishness. Then you cannot make progress. And if you remain in ignorance and advertise yourself as a man of knowledge, you are a great cheater. You are cheating yourself and cheating others. People are so mad after the material advancement of civilization that they have become exactly like cats and dogs. For instance, they have set up an immigration department, and as soon as you enter a country these dogs go “Woof, woof, woof! Why have you come? What is your business?” This is a watchdog’s activity. A first-class gentleman is being searched for a revolver. People cannot be trusted, and now there are so many educated rogues and thieves. So what is the meaning of advancement? Can we say that education means advancement? Is this civilization? id33

Fighting Ignorance With Arguments and Knowledge

Student: Some people say that one reason for the Vietnam war was that the Communists were atheists. It was a dispute between the theists and the atheists. At least that is one excuse given for the war. id34

Śrīla Prabhupāda: We are also prepared to kill the atheists. But that killing is by preaching. If I kill your ignorance, it can also be called killing. Killing doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone has to take the sword. id35

Dr. Singh: A new method of warfare? id36

Śrīla Prabhupāda: No, fighting ignorance with arguments and knowledge has always existed. The bodily conception of life is animal life. The animal does not know about matter and spirit. And one who is under the bodily conception of life is no better than an animal. When an animal “talks,” the intelligent man laughs. Such “talk” is nonsense. The animal is not talking knowledge. id37

Student: At least the animals live by certain codes. They do not kill unnecessarily, and they only eat when necessary, whereas humans kill unnecessarily and eat unnecessarily. So in one sense humans are lower than animals. id38

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Therefore we must suffer more than animals. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not a bogus, sentimental religious movement. It is a scientific movement designed to alleviate human suffering. id39

Dr. Singh: Scientists and other people say that everything in the universe is happening by chance. id40

Śrīla Prabhupāda: So, are they also writing books on the subject by chance? id41

Karandhara: The books are also written by chance, they say. id42

Śrīla Prabhupāda: So, what is their credit? By chance, anything can be written. id43

Dr. Singh: The French scientist Dr. J. Monod got the Nobel Prize in 1965. He says that everything started by chance—that by chance certain chemicals combined and formed the basic molecules. id44

Śrīla Prabhupāda: But where did the chemicals come from? id45

Dr. Singh: According to him, they were created simply by chance, and when the necessity arose, molecules of the chemicals reoriented themselves. id46

Śrīla Prabhupāda: If everything was happening by chance, how can there be necessity? How can he speak of chance and necessity in the same breath? It is nonsense. If everything is directed by chance, why do people send their children to school? Why not let them grow up by chance? Suppose I break a law. If I say, “Well, it just happened by chance,” will I be excused? id47

Dr. Singh: So, is crime caused by ignorance? id48

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the cause: my ignorance. id49

Student: It would certainly be stupid to say that a beautiful instrument like a violin was made by chance. id50

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. It is most regrettable that such a rascal can get recognition. He is talking foolishness and getting recognition. id51

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