Room Conversation with Dr. Inger, UNESCO Worker

Type:
Room Conversation
Date:
August 10
Year:
1973
Place:
Paris

Bhagavān: Śrīla Prabhupāda, this is Dr. Inger.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Come. Come on.

Yogeśvara: Give some prasādam before he leaves.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Take little prasādam.

Reporter: Thank you very much.

Yogeśvara: You can sit here.

Prabhupāda: Thank you very much. [reporter leaves]

Dr. Inger: I was hoping… It’s many years since I went to London to the Hare Krishna center there…

Prabhupāda: Oh, you have been in our temple?

Dr. Inger: Many times, yes. And I had followed the booklets that came. Back to Godhead I also read. I didn’t get, I didn’t have a copy of the Bhāgavatam, but I read your translations.

Prabhupāda: You are Indian?

Dr. Inger: Yes, I’m an Indian. I have been working a long time in Paris. I am a resident more or less in Paris. I work for UNESCO, and I’m a writer. And I go backwards and forwards a lot to India. But my headquarters have been here for a long time. So I’m associated…

Prabhupāda: How long you are here?

Dr. Inger: In France, I’ve been twenty-five years.

Prabhupāda: Oh, I see. And wherefrom you came?

Dr. Inger: Punjab.

Prabhupāda: Punjab.

Dr. Inger: Punjab before it was divided into two.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes, yes.

Dr. Inger: Before the…

Prabhupāda: Which district?

Dr. Inger: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Which district?

Dr. Inger: Lahore.

Prabhupāda: Lahore.

Dr. Inger: Lahore.

Prabhupāda: Lahore City proper.

Dr. Inger: Yes. I taught there. And then, of course, it was divided, and… Before that, I came here and joined.

Prabhupāda: I went to Lahore sometimes.

Dr. Inger: I see.

Prabhupāda: In 1925. There, in Lahore, there is, there were many Bengalis.

Dr. Inger: Oh, yes. Yes.

Prabhupāda: So one Bengali gentleman, he was Mr. Mitha, they were physician. So I became his guest. They were very well-to-do men. They were living there for two, three generations. Mithi family.

Dr. Inger: I see. There was also some man called Birmitha. Was he the same? Bir…

Prabhupāda: I, I…

Dr. Inger: Perhaps…

Prabhupāda: I forget the name.

Dr. Inger: Yes, there were quite a number of Bengalis there.

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, yes.

Dr. Inger: Long time ago.

Prabhupāda: Long time ago. I went there in 1925. I was going to Kashmir. On my way I stopped in Lahore, Amritsar, and some other places.

Dr. Inger: Yes, and yes, and then, you came first to Europe about six years ago?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes.

Dr. Inger: Yes, that’s right. That’s when… It was about a year after that I, or two years, that I went to London. And then saw the, saw there several times. And then, of course, been reading books. Here, too, I came across some people. When it first started, it was in Boulevard Raspail. Then it went to Fontenay Aux Roses.

Yogeśvara: He’s been following our movement here in Paris as well.

Dr. Inger: Yes, yes. I met a few. In fact the…, this young Spaniard who showed us up, I saw him when he was selling a few things in the drusgtore. Yes. You know, mālās and other stuff.

Bhagavān: So now we are much bigger.

Dr. Inger: Yes, yes. Of course. And…

Prabhupāda: You have seen all our books?

Dr. Inger: No, no. I have only seen a few in London.

Prabhupāda: Why don’t you show our books? Show him.

Dr. Inger: I haven’t seen the new ones. I have seen the…

Prabhupāda: Bring all the books.

Devotee: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam?

Dr. Inger: That is much better than the…

Prabhupāda: These books have been produced within six years.

Dr. Inger: Really!

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Dr. Inger: Fantastic. I do not how. So much work. Incredible!

Prabhupāda: I work at night, writing books. My work is going on. At night, I write. [break] In the UNESCO, to understand God or spiritual life, they do not think it a necessary?

Dr. Inger: Well, that’s a very, very important question. I think that the real trouble is that all of them are bureaucrats, sitting in offices, creating more jobs for other officers. I was one of the earliest members. I came when Dr. Radhakrishnan was the…, was our president. And… At the very early stage. In those days, there was that feeling that some importance should be given. But because it became a governmental organization… Because every religion thinks that they should have a part to play in it, what they did was, they brought out, in ten volumes, a scientific and cultural history of mankind. But it has… It’s only incidentally philosophy, only incidentally religion.

The only religious books that have come out are those that have been translated. Old books like the Sacred Books to [of] the East, for instance, Max Muller’s books. And they have been reprinted. And occasionally a few translations have been done from Tulasidas or some other philosophers, rewritten, like Śaṅkara later on. But, but all of those have been done because somebody else has commissioned them. But otherwise, there isn’t that. Except they have had some meetings in various places. But at none of these meetings do they really discuss the problem that…, of the… Well occasional people, occasional philosophers, they never really discuss that. I think because the word religion I think probably is the stumbling block.

Prabhupāda: No, apart from religion. Religion may be sentiment or some emotion. That is another thing.

Dr. Inger: Yes.

Prabhupāda: But we can ask, “What is this cosmic manifestation? What is the purpose of this? Who created? How it is created?” Are they not scientific?

Dr. Inger: Yes. Now this is another problem. Everything of a philosophical kind, they call it science—human sciences, natural sciences, moral sciences. They think that is a fault[?], to satisfy scientific spirit. I think from that point of view, they allow big conferences to be held where a particular theme is taken, different people come. So the organization encourages, stimulates activities proposed, submitted and finally passed in resolutions by different commissions and different countries. And then it’s held. And at that particular time, some people come and speak. So they have had… But they haven’t… Mostly these meetings have been held in… Very few have been held here, except when they celebrated the quintinary[?] of Aurobindo, last year. Or when they celebrated the centenary of…, another centenary of Ramakrishna. Like that. But not always.

Prabhupāda: Not Kṛṣṇa.

Dr. Inger: They haven’t. Not so far. Because from their point of view they have to prove the dates, historical dates, how many centuries, and so forth.

Prabhupāda: It is there in the śāstras.

Dr. Inger: I know. But so… If one can put it that way, then somebody has to submit that we are going to celebrate the three thousand anniversary or four thousand anniversary, and… But no such step has been taken. But such an idea can be proposed.

Prabhupāda: No. Suppose the United Nation is the organization of the whole human society, so if I ask the United Nation, as an organization, that “What is the purpose of this cosmic manifestation?” That is a fact. There is a cosmic manifestation. The scientists, they are also trying to understand. So there are so many scientists, philosophers. What is their answer? Suppose I am inquisitive to know something. So where shall I inquire?

Dr. Inger: Now if you were to inquire from… Because the only organization which deals with culture—therefore philosophy, therefore religion, therefore art, therefore music—is UNESCO Paris. Not New York. And if you did put such a question, you would get some kind of reply from one of the directors, who says, “We, we… Such a proposal has not been made. But if such a proposal is made, let us say, presented, by any member state, out of the hundred and twenty-six or twenty-seven member states, and it is submitted to the general conference where it meets in session, two years in October, and is passed through, we will be able…” Now usually what happens is one country presents it, and if the…, and what it means in terms of expense, how much, how many people are going to be invited, and what is going to be the plan. And if that is done, they would say, “Yes, I think such a study has to be made,” and it’s possible to make it.

Prabhupāda: A sectarian question.

Dr. Inger: No, no, no. It won’t be.

Prabhupāda: It is… Why it should be presented to Pārtha-sārathi? Even American representative or English representative or French representative, any representative can do…

Dr. Inger: Because being a governmental organization, the only kind of reply one would get from such a question would be a very polite and very courteous one, but it wouldn’t have… No action would be taken. Action can only be taken if it is governmentally presented. That is the only problem. There are many ideas which come forward, boundless ones, but the people need to present them officially. And…

[break]

Prabhupāda: …your position there?

Dr. Inger: Well, now I am a consultant. I used to be a regular member of the staff for a long time. Now I do certain projects for them, and I’m a visiting professor, and I’m a writer. Visiting professor at different universities. So I’m connected with, with UNESCO in a way that I cannot be now a permanent member of the staff, which I was…

[break]

Prabhupāda: …purpose is not to propose only. Because I wish that there are so many scient…, scientific men, philosophers and thoughtful men… Suppose even if I ask you what is your answer, that what is the purpose…? The cosmic manifestation is there, the universe is there, and there are innumerable planets within this universe, and they are very organizely kept. Everything is nicely going on. The sun is rising in due time. The moon is rising in due time. The seasons, seasons are changing. There is nice organization. So is it not a bona fide inquiry to “What is the purpose of this organization?”

Dr. Inger: Yes. Well, the purpose is to understand oneself in relation to the cosmos.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Dr. Inger: And therefore everything else is valueless if it has no relation to the total.

Prabhupāda: No, relation is already there, because, as the sun is part of this cosmos, I’m also one of the parts. So why the sun is made and why I am also made? What is this purpose? That is my question.

Dr. Inger: There’s a discovery of…

Prabhupāda: Yes. The relation is already there.

Dr. Inger: The discoveries…

Prabhupāda: Because I am part of this creation. Now why I am created a man, another is created an elephant, another is created Brahmā, another is created ant, another is created…? So many. Why this is?

Dr. Inger: The purpose of life?

Prabhupāda: Yes. I, I, I, I don’t think anyone has thought over this matter. [break]

Dr. Inger: It certainly needs to be…

Prabhupāda: But there is. There are so many philosophers, scientists. Why do they not try to think of it? What is this purpose?

Dr. Inger: Well, some have tried to talk about the purpose of existence, that we are little entities of no significance. Some… Because…

Prabhupāda: No. My question is why you have become a little entity, another has become big entity?

Dr. Inger: Some people would say that it is due to our past. Past connections or reincarnations.

Devotee: Karma.

Dr. Inger: Karma.

Prabhupāda: So. Yes, karma…

Dr. Inger: Exactly. What we have gone through. We are the, we are the result of our past actions.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is a fact. That is a fact, because we get all this information from Vedic literature. Karmaṇā daiva netreṇa [SB 3.31.1]. You understand Sanskrit?

Dr. Inger: Little bit.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Karmaṇā daiva netreṇa jantor deha upapattaye. A living entity is getting body by…, as a result of his karma, and supervised by higher authority. Now when we speak of karma, or result of karma, there must be somebody who will judge. Just like one has stolen something, and the magistrate is judging the karma, the criminal activity, and he’s putting him either in the prison house or getting him released: “No, he’s not culprit.”

So as soon as we speak of karma, there must be somebody else to judge. And that judgment is said, daiva netreṇa. Daiva means divine supervision. So what is that divine supervision? Next question immediately comes. As soon as you accept karma, and the resultant action, and it is supervised by the divine authority, the next question will be: What is that divine authority? In this way, we have to go forward. So that sort of education is nowhere in the world.

Dr. Inger: No. Not here, in any case.

Prabhupāda: No—here, or India, or everywhere.

Dr. Inger: Yes. Nobody is…

Prabhupāda: So that means people have become so dull in spite of so-called education.

Dr. Inger: That is true.

Prabhupāda: That’s, that’s my point.

Dr. Inger: Oh, yes. Education is merely book knowledge…

Prabhupāda: Mūḍhā.

Dr. Inger: …of substance given, read, prepared.

Prabhupāda: That’s all.

Dr. Inger: They don’t go to the basic.

Prabhupāda: Śrama eva hi kevalam. That is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as simply wasting time. That’s all.

dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhithaḥ puṁsāṁ
viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
notpādayed ratiṁ yadi
śrama eva hi kevalam
[SB 1.2.8]

Śrama eva hi kevalam. Everyone is acting. Dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhithaḥ. According to Vedic civilization, there are four divisions of men: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. And further, spiritual division: brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, sannyāsa. So everyone has got some duty according to his position. So Bhāgavata says that even a person executes his duty very perfectly, but if he does not awaken his Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then all that he has done is simply a waste of time.

So our point is that the UNESCO, United Nations, UNO, they’re simply wasting their time. From practical point of view, they’re unable to do anything. Because the original idea was to stop war. But the war is going on, fighting is going on. They could not stop it. And United Nations… But actually they are becoming disunited more and more. Pakistan was not there. You know very well. Lahore was your country. Now it is others’ country. So in this way, there cannot be any solution. There cannot be any solution. We must know the central point.

The central point is Kṛṣṇa. We get from… I’m not manufacturing these ideas. Bhagavad-gītā is recognized book. There it is stated that,

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
sarva-loka-maheśvaram
suhṛdaṁ sarva bhūtānāṁ
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati
[Bg. 5.29]

If, actually, anyone wants śānti, peace, he must know these three things. The Lord, Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is the enjoyer, bhokta. What is called? Beneficiary? Yes. Because He’s the owner. Sarva-loka-maheśvaram. And He’s friend of everyone.

Suhṛdaṁ-sarva-bhūtānām. Jñātvā. “Knowing this,” mām, “Me”, Kṛṣṇa says, śāntim ṛcchati, “there is śānti.” There is śānti. Otherwise, this, this so-called conference, and big, big office, big, big salary, big, big officer, it will never be successful.

Dr. Inger: Quite. And this basis, which is the essence of everything…

Prabhupāda: Three things only.

Dr. Inger: Yes. That is one thing they want to avoid.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is their nonsense.

Dr. Inger: In other words, everything else is a plan or an excuse to escape from yourself.

Prabhupāda: That means it is a association of cheaters and cheated. Somebody wants to cheat, and somebody’s being cheated. That’s all. That is our opinion. So how the association of cheaters and cheated can do anything good to the human society? They’re cheaters. They do not know how this peace has to be attained, and they’re trying to attain peace in their own way. Therefore they’re cheaters. You do not know a subject matter, how to do it, and you’re trying to do it, that means you are cheater. It may be very strong words, but the fact is there. Why should you try something which you do not know adequately? That is our protest.

Dr. Inger: Well, many people would say that the use of the intellect alone, which is an excuse for not going deep into oneself, is the technique that is used. What can be rationally explained, only rationally explained, is what matters.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Dr. Inger: Anything where…, something beyond reason, call it intuition…

Prabhupāda: Yes, it is quite reasonable. When…

[break] Everything… In this table, whatever is there, it is created. The table is created. The light is created. Everything is created by somebody. So how I can deny this fact, that somebody has created the whole universe? If you say, “It has comes automatically, dropped,” that is rascaldom. It must be accepted somebody has created. So who is that somebody? You have not created. The Americans have not created, the Englishmen have not created, or I have created, you have created. But we can understand that somebody has created. So who will be the proprietor? I shall be proprietor or the creator shall be proprietor? Who shall be the proprietor?

Dr. Inger: Creator. Of course.

Prabhupāda: Creator. So why you are claiming others’ property as my own? “This is my country. This is my country.” And we are so rascal, and we are making United Nation.

Dr. Inger: It doesn’t belong to anyone.

Prabhupāda: It doesn’t belong to anyone. And these rascals are claiming, “This is my. This is my. This is my flag. This is…” Therefore they are all cheaters. And they are combining and trying to cheat other, that “How much I can cheat you?” “I am American. How much I can cheat you, Russian?” Russian thinking, “Yes, I am also cheater. How much I can cheat you?” This is going on, cheaters and cheated. And they are wasting their time. Is that civilization, to become cheater and cheated and waste our time in some so-called conferences? Is that civilization, do you think?

Dr. Inger: No. Not at all, but that’s exactly as you say.

Prabhupāda: American, they cheated the Red Indians. They got the land. Now they are claiming, “It is my land.” But where you got this land? You have cheated the Red Indians, and you claim now it is your land, “Nobody should come here.” Everywhere that is there, it belongs to… Napoleon, he thought, “France is mine.” France is there. Where he has gone, the proprietor? Yes. And with this idea he fought so much. Now nobody knows what he has become, where he is living, either in France or in hell, maybe in heaven.

But there are so many places and so many forms of life. And our Bhagavad-gītā says, tathā dehāntaraṁ prāptiḥ [Bg. 2.13]. Just like I am now in this body. Child is in this body. So all of us sometimes were in this body, childish. So where is that body? That body is not existing, but I am existing; you are existing. You know that you had such a body. You were also playing like this child. I also remember. So the body is not existing; I am existing. So I have got a different body now. So where is the difficulty to understand that when this body is also finished I get another body? Where is the difficulty? And Bhagavad-gītā says, tathā dehāntaraṁ prāptiḥ. As we are changing from one body to another, another, another, even within our experience, similarly, as soon as this body is finished, I get another body.

Now I am working in this body as national, as Napoleon, as Gandhi, as you according to our own whims and ideas, and fighting in the UNESCO, everything, just like recently Pakistan representative, Indian representative… But as soon as the body is finished, just like Gandhi finished, Jinnah finished, now what kind of body he has got now? May not be Indian or Pakistani. Now in that body he is thinking according to his body. A dog is thinking according to his doggish body; a man is thinking according to the man’s body. So thinking, and everything is changed with the change of the body. Just like this child is. This child, she cannot concentrate because due to the body. Other gentlemen, ladies, they can concentrate. So she has to get a different body to have a different mentality. So in other words, with the change of the body the mentality changes. So in this body I am thinking of France, and if my next body, it is not in France or is not human, I will think otherwise.

So the whole duration of my life which I thought in one way, that is simply wasted. Simply wasted. They do not know. This knowledge is lacking. There is no such knowledge in the university, any education. Nothing. Simply they are wasting time. Simply. They have no perfect knowledge, they are wasting their time, and doing something just like childish, and going on as advanced in civilization, and so on, so on, so on. Now they should think. Simply on some utopian ideas they should not go. They should know, “What is the purpose of life? What is our connection with this cosmic manifestation? If… There must be some creator. Who is that creator? What is my relation with Him?” These… There are so many things. But they are neglecting. And still, they are passing on as scientist, as philosopher, as politicians and leaders.

Dr. Inger: Yes. That’s the worst of governments, you see, because they stand, as you said rightly, each for himself.

Prabhupāda: Whatever it is, we are discussing this point, that this illusion is going on.

Dr. Inger: Yes, I know, it is.

Prabhupāda: But human form of life, a human being can get out of this illusion. We have got sufficient sources of knowledge, especially in the Vedic knowledge. So why do we not take advantage of this knowledge and make our life successful? Yes. That is my proposal. And we are struggling with this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement with this purpose only, that these people are missing the point and wasting their time and life unnecessarily, under some illusion. To try to save them, that is our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. [break] …talked with so many Christian priest. Naturally, while discussing, I asked them that “In your Bible it is said, ‘Thou shall not kill.’ Why you are maintaining slaughterhouse?” They cannot answer properly. In this way and this way they try to avoid and support this slaughterhouse.

Dr. Inger: It’s difficult to answer it.

Prabhupāda: This is going on.

Dr. Inger: When I asked a group of priests at a meeting which was to celebrate the anniversary of a leading Catholic thinker, I. R. Shadder[?], I just asked him about the Sermon on the Mount, referring to similarities between the teachings of Sermon on the Mount and Hindu thought. He says, “You see, but the point is this, that the Sermon on the Mount is not meant for everybody. It is only meant for a very few.”

Prabhupāda: Uh?

Dr. Inger: “It was only meant for a very few. And therefore most of us, including the present company,” he said, “cannot use it in everyday life.” I said, “Do you mean it is only meant for monks?” He hesitated but said, “If you like, yes.” But I said, “I imagined that this was meant for everyone, and that anyone could follow it.” And he said, “Well, it is too dangerous a teaching to give to everyone.”

Prabhupāda: Just see. And therefore I say “cheater and cheated.” Yes. Similarly, scientist also. Recently in Los Angeles, California University, one professor, a big scientist, came. He’s a Nobel Prize owner. He described, gave lecture. He has written one book, on which he has got Nobel Prize, Evolution of Chemical. He wants to prove by chemical, combination of chemical, life has come into existence.

That is his theory, like Darwin’s theory, that life is from matter or chemical. So after hearing the lecture, there is a professor also, a student. Yes. He is also doctor of chemistry. He is my disciple. He inquired that “If I give you all these chemicals, whether you can produce life?” At that time he said, “That I cannot say.” Just see. He is proposing that “From these chemicals, life has begun,” and when he is questioned whether by supplying these chemicals he can produce a life, he says, “That I cannot say.” This is going on. Then what is the use… Then, if you cannot say, then why you are saying that from these chemicals life has come? So when they are caught up for practical purposes, they’ll deny. And they are passing on as philosopher, scientist, priest, and these things. Just see.

[someone enters] What is that?

Haṁsadūta: This is your visa. I’ve been to extend.

Guru-gaurāṅga: I just came back from the airport, and they made it good.

Haṁsadūta: It’s been extended up until the sixteenth.

Dr. Inger: Oh, this is your visa.

Bhagavān: Prabhupāda will be here until the sixteenth, so if you would like to come back, or you would like to bring some friends…

Dr. Inger: Yes, I would most certainly like to do that if I may. What is the best time?

Bhagavān: About three to four in the evening.

Prabhupāda: In the evening at four.

Dr. Inger: All right. I would like to bring Chauhan[?] and two other guys.

Bhagavān: You can bring as many as you like.

Yogeśvara: So we have a very great interest in having people with something to say, some ability to respond to the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, come and confront our movement.

Dr. Inger: Quite. Yes, I gathered from the papers that you had had Jean Danielou.

Yogeśvara: Cardinal Danielou. Yes, that meeting has already taken place. That was yesterday with the Cardinal. He read in the newspaper that it was going to take place. Where did you read that?

Dr. Inger: Yes. In Le Monde, yes, yesterday. Because Cardinal Danielou has brother called Alain.

Yogeśvara: This is the Vedic writer, the Cardinal’s brother.

Dr. Inger: Alain was… Yes, he was never [indistinct]. He was…, did a lot of translation work, studies in Madras.

Yogeśvara: [aside] Shouldn’t be playing mṛdaṅga up stairs.

Dr. Inger: So then… Would it be possible to have…

Yogeśvara: Is this the article?

Dr. Inger: Yes, this is the article. It says right here.

Haṁsadūta: Yes, it mentions…

Dr. Inger: Yes. [end]

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