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Do the animals have no consciousness of God?

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Expressions researched:
"Do the animals have no consciousness of God"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

They have no God consciousness. They do not know what is God.
Room Conversation -- June 14, 1972, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: So you understand our philosophy?

John Fahey: I don't know if I understand it, but I'm reading it.

Prabhupāda: Hm. What is your philosophy?

John Fahey: I don't know.

Prabhupāda: No philosophy of life? Why you are living?

John Fahey: I don't know. I was just born.

Prabhupāda: Born—everyone is born. Cats and dogs are also born. They also live, they also die. So if we live like that—"I was born. Let me live somewhere, and die"—then what is the difference?

John Fahey: None.

Prabhupāda: No. There is difference. That one should understand. There is difference. A man should not live like cats and dogs, because he has got a mission.

John Fahey: Mission?

Prabhupāda: Mission. That mission is God realization. Cats and dogs cannot do it; human beings can do it. Therefore in any civilized human society, there is a type of religion. May be Christian religion or Mohammedan religion or Hindu religion or Buddhist—there is religion. But you cannot find this religious system in the animal kingdom of life. That is the difference. If we give up this religious consciousness or God consciousness, then we are as good as cats and dogs. That is the only difference. You go anywhere, any part of the world, and civilized human beings, they have got a system, which you may call religion or philosophy, to understand God. That prerogative is especially for the human beings. But if you do not care for that special prerogative, then you are as good as animal. What is the difference between animal and human being unless he has got some method of understanding God? The animal eats and we also eat. The animals sleep; we also sleep. The animals have sexual intercourse; we have got also. They are also afraid of something; we are also afraid of something. Then what is the difference?

John Fahey: They cannot understand God(?).

Prabhupāda: That is the difference. A human being can understand what is God, what is my relationship with God, what is my duty in that relationship, what is my aim of life, where I shall go after death, wherefrom I have come. These questions must be there in human form of life; otherwise we are still in the animal kingdom.

Marilyn: Do the animals have no consciousness of God?

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Marilyn: Do the animals have no consciousness of God?

Prabhupāda: They have no God consciousness. They do not know what is God.

Marilyn: Somehow I always thought that...

Prabhupāda: Just like children, they do not know what is government. They are satisfied with their eating, sleeping, playing, that's all. They have no other concern. But when one is grown up, he knows what is government. He has to abide by the state laws. Now you are grown up, if you violate the law "Keep to the right," you'll be criminal. But a child, if he violates the law, animal violates the law, he has no... But if a adult person violates the law, he'll be criminal. You cannot say, "I'm free." No. Law will not excuse. But if a children commits something... Suppose you, if you take something from my table, it is for you criminal. But if a child takes something from my table, it is not criminal. In your country especially, if you enter my house or room without permission, that is criminal. Is it not? Trespass.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes.

Prabhupāda: But a child or dog enters, that is not trespassing. A child or dog or cat, they enter without any permission. Therefore this animal kingdom and the human being, there is difference. By the evolutionary process we come to the human form of life. When we were animals... We were animals also. We are passing through 8,400,000 forms of life—from aquatic to plants, trees, then insect, then flies, then birds, then beasts, then uncivilized human beings, jungle, then come to this Aryan form, civilized form of human being. So it is obtained after many, many transmigrations. And if we do not understand the responsibility... Just like in an establishment one man is promoted. His first charge is doorkeeper, then he is gradually he is given promotion; he may come to the post of the manager. Just like in bank, it so happens. They must go through all the different stages of service. So when he becomes manager, if he does not know the responsibility, again he comes to the lowest position. Again he has to strive for the top. So if we forget our responsibility and become like cats and dogs, then we are going back again to take the forms of cats and dogs. This is a great science. Nobody is very serious to understand this science, but the science is there. We are, our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to educate people about this science. They're neglecting this science. That means they are violating the prerogative of the chance, the facility of human being. After all, you have to die; you cannot check it. But if you die like the cats and dogs, then our life is spoiled, and if you die like a human being, then our life is perfect. Everyone will die, but one who dies like a human being for understanding what is God, what is my relationship with Him, and acting in relationship with God, then our life is perfect. So you like this philosophy or not?

Marilyn: Somehow I always thought that people should be more like animals, because animals only, ah, only take what they need...

Prabhupāda: Why don't you become like animal?

Marilyn: Hm?

Prabhupāda: Why you are dressing yourself? Why don't you wander like animal, naked?

Marilyn: No. But animals still have their own communities, and they only take what they need to eat, and they only eat when they need to eat.

Prabhupāda: Now the philosophy is how to become animals? This is the philosophy nowadays?

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Today's people sometimes, Prabhupāda, she's thinking, are worse than animal.

Prabhupāda: Yes. If their philosophy is to become animal then they must be worse than animal, because actually they are not animal.

Marilyn: (laughs) That's what I mean.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: That's right.

Prabhupāda: If the ultimate goal is to become animal, so that is artificial. So a human being desiring to become animal must be worse than animal, because animal has got some...

Marilyn: Has got some...

Prabhupāda: ...routine work.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Because ah...

Prabhupāda: Just like cats and dogs. They have sexual desire in certain period of the year. But a man, although he is trying to be animal, but he has no restriction. He has sexual desire anytime. Therefore he is worse than animal.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Man eats and kills everything.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: The animals kill just their own quota.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So therefore, if a man wants to become animal, he becomes worse than animal. A tiger, a tiger eats meat and he has got equipments in his body, what is called, nails, teeth, immediately pounce upon any animal and kills and eats. But a man cannot do that, but his teeth is different, he has no nails; therefore he has to kill animal in different way, by slaughterhouse. So he is worse than animal. You kill one animal for your eating purpose, that is one thing, but if you keep slaughterhouse for business, then you are more (indistinct). Therefore for a human being to try to become animal is worse than the animals, because... Just like you are now grown up. If you imitate that "I want to become child, so I enter anyone's house," the law will not allow you. And if you say that "My philosophy is to become a child; therefore I enter this man's house," the law will say, "All right, first of all you'll be punished." (laughter) You cannot say that. Because you are grown up you cannot act as a child. Similarly, because you are human being, if you act as an animal you'll be responsible for your acts. And you'll be punished if you do something wrong. You cannot say, "No, I have made my philosophy to become a child." That may be your personal philosophy, but law will not allow you. Ignorance is no excuse. (long pause) It has become a philosophy now to become like animals.

Devotee (1): They say "Back to nature."

Prabhupāda: "Back to nature" means first of all your nature is different from other's nature. An animal can lie down anywhere on the street. Can you do that? So how can man go back to nature like that? A dog lying down on the street... Here, of course, every dog has got a master. In India there are many dogs, they haven't got master, so they are eating anywhere or lying. But you cannot do so. If you lie down on the street at night, perhaps you'll be arrested. Is it not?

Devotee (1): Yes.

Prabhupāda: Neither you can do so. You must have an apartment. Maybe less costly apartment, but because you are a human being you must have an apartment. So how you can go to the nature? Even the ṛṣis used to live in the jungle, they had a cottage, not like animals. They had hermitage cottage to live. Just like Rūpa Goswāmī's picture. You have seen?

Devotee (1): Yes.

Prabhupāda: So they left their luxuriant residence as ministers. But when they went to Vṛndāvana, they had a cottage.

Marc +  and Rishab +
July 26, 0011 JL +
May 23, 0012 JL +
BG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 0 +, Conv: 1 +  and Let: 0 +