According to Sanskrit conception, service is offered to the superior. And to the inferior, mercy

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"according to Sanskrit conception, service is offered to the superior. And to the inferior, mercy"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

According to Sanskrit conception, service is offered to the superior. And to the inferior, mercy. There are two words. Sevā, the Sanskrit word, sevā, and dayā. So service is offered to the superior. And to the inferior or subordinate, we offer our compassion. So similarly, as we are eager to give service, similarly, we should be eager to be compassionate.
Room Conversation with Catholic Cardinal and Secretary to the Pope -- May 24, 1974, Rome:

Monsignor Verrozano: In our Christian faith the love of God is joined with the love for man. Are you also interested with this love for man, for our rivals?

Prabhupāda: No, love for man... Let me say it. Love for man is imperfect conception because God is for everyone. God is not monopolized by simply the human society. The animal society, the bird society, the tree society, they are all living entities, soul. According to our karma, they are differently dressed. That is the most important philosophy, that soul is part and parcel of God. Somehow or other, the soul is now separated from the service of the Lord, and according to his desire of enjoying this material world, he has been offered different types of body. So either human being or animal or trees or aquatics, birds, beasts, everyone, all living entities, they are all part and parcel of God. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya sambhavanti mūrtayaḥ. Can you find out this?

sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
sambhavanti (yaḥ) murtayaḥ
tāsāṁ mahad-yonir brahma
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā
(BG 14.4)

There are different species of life, sarva-yoni. Yoni means species of life. And there are forms, different forms. But within that form... Yes, read it.

Nitāi:

sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
murtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ
tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā
(BG 14.4)

"It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kuntī, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father."

Prabhupāda: That's it. So from God's standpoint of view, we cannot take simply that simply to serve the human being is to serve God. Another point is that living entities, the service, according to Sanskrit conception, service is offered to the superior. And to the inferior, mercy. There are two words. Sevā, the Sanskrit word, sevā, and dayā. You know something of Sanskrit?

Monsignor Verrozano: Somewhat, yes.

Prabhupāda: Seva means service. So service is offered to the superior. And to the inferior or subordinate, we offer our compassion. So similarly, as we are eager to give service, similarly, we should be eager to be compassionate. So it is not very good idea. Just like in India they say, daridra-nārāyaṇa. Some nation, that to give service to the human being, and cut the throat of the animals. This philosophy is not good.

Monsignor Verrozano: Yes. I have something in the Bhagavad-gītā. If I am not wrong, in the Chapter Eighteen of Bhagavad-gītā, verse sixty-four, there is the affirmation that God loves man, "You are beloved for Me." And in some cases, we consider this affirmation as the very core of Indian religiosity, and we appreciate very much this affirmation of love of God for man.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Monsignor Verrozano: What do you think about this...

Prabhupāda: No. Man is supposed to be elevated position, how to love God. Animals cannot make (break) ...any distinction between a human being and animal. That is really the symptom of God, that sarva-yoniṣu... Just like if I am obedient son of my father, how can I neglect one son who is very stupid? Rather, if I say to my father, "Father, this son is stupid. He does not bring any service. So please allow me to cut his head," the father will never agree. The father, either a stupid son or very intelligent son, he is kind to everyone, because they are sons. So similarly, if a man is real lover of God, he cannot cut throat of the animals. I think, therefore, Jesus Christ said, "Thou shalt not kill." That is not... If actually one is lover of God, how he can give trouble, pains, to others? That is not possible.