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He says, "How is this, that the only thing we've talked about since we've gotten here has been eating of meat? Is that the only thing that the Bhagavad-gita teaches?"

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"How is this, that the only thing we've talked about since we've gotten here has been eating of meat" |"Is that the only thing that the Bhagavad-gītā teaches"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Yes, because our proposal is that unless you become... Find out that verse, yeṣām anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām, te dvandva-moha-nirmuktāḥ. This is the beginning of theism. Theism means you must be free from all sinful activities.
Room Conversation -- June 5, 1974, Geneva:

Frenchman: (French)

Yogeśvara: (translates) There's a story. Someone asked Lord Jesus to describe how we should love all people. Describe... Just like a man who has one hundred sheep and there is one of them who has gone astray, he is lost, so the man leaves aside all of his other hundred sheep to go looking for that one sheep. So in the same way, he says, we must take care of the people who are suffering. The minority, those who are suffering, they must receive food, they must be given help and fed.

Prabhupāda: That's all right. But why you should kill animal?

Young Swiss Man (3): At the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā...

Prabhupāda: And Christ says, "Thou shall not kill." Why you are killing? From the very beginning disobedience. How you can become Christian?

Young Swiss Man (3): Isn't it at the beginning Arjuna hesitates to kill his family and doesn't want to go to fight, and what he is taught, through Bhagavad-gītā in some way is that he should not restrain and that...

Prabhupāda: But first of all you take your Bible. You are ordered not to kill. Why you are killing? Then go to Bhagavad-gītā. When there is aggression you have the right to kill but not unnecessarily you can kill. Suppose a tiger attacks you; you can kill. But you cannot go in the forest and kill the tiger. That is sinful.

Young Swiss Man (3): Why does the distinction stop with animals and not with plants?

Yogeśvara: Why do we make the distinction between not killing animals and plants? Why do we kill plants?

Prabhupāda: We do not kill plants also. We take... Of course, by nature's way some living entity is the food for another living entity. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. That is the nature's way. But if you give that argument, then I can say, "Why you are killing cows? Why don't you kill your own children?" If that is the way, that "Because I have to eat some animal," so why go outside? Just inside the family there are so many animals. You can kill them and eat. there must be discretion. Apart from this point of view, we Kṛṣṇa conscious people, we do not kill even a plant because, Kṛṣṇa says-find out this-patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26).

Yogeśvara: (translating) ...jīvo jīvasya jīvanam (French)...

Prabhupāda: There is no jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. Here Kṛṣṇa says, "Give Me these things, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam." There is no question of jīvasya jīvanam.

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Prabhupāda: Just hear. Kṛṣṇa is ordering, "Give Me this food."

Yogeśvara: (translates) Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati. (translates)

Prabhupāda: So we take Kṛṣṇa prasādam. We don't directly do anything. Kṛṣṇa says, "Give Me this foodstuff containing of vegetables, fruits, flowers, grains." So we offer them and then you take. If there is any sinful activity there, it is Kṛṣṇa's, not mine.

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Frenchman: (French)

Prabhupāda: (aside) Why don't you open this?

Yogeśvara: He says, "That may be so, but in the Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa orders Arjuna that 'You must kill.' "

Prabhupāda: You must kill always. Where is that...? Where is that quotation?

Yogeśvara: (French)

Prabhupāda: Are... You know... Where is the quotation in the Bhagavad-gītā?

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: He says in the beginning of the Gītā, Kṛṣṇa tells Arjuna to fight.

Prabhupāda: Why? "Because you are kṣatriya. There is fight, war, you must fight. You are meant for..." Just like my hands, kṣatriya. If there is attack it is hand's duty to protect me. The hand is being asked to give protection. That is natural. If I go to attack you, immediately you spread your hand. This is the duty of the hand. So when there is attack, the other's party, they have come to fight. You must fight because you are hand.

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: He says, "But then Kṛṣṇa says, 'Why are you afraid to fight? After all, the soul is eternal, but the body is only temporary.' So isn't that a justification..."

Prabhupāda: But Kṛṣṇa does not say, "Therefore you open slaughterhouse and go on killing animals."

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Prabhupāda: Well, if you have killed some man and you go to the court and if you say that "He is not killed," will you be saved?

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: He says, "How is this, that the only thing we've talked about since we've gotten here has been eating of meat? Is that the only...?"

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Yogeśvara: He says, "How is that that the only thing we've talked about since we came today has been eating meat? Is that the only thing that the Bhagavad-gītā teaches?"

Prabhupāda: Yes, because our proposal is that unless you become... Find out that verse, yeṣām anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām, te dvandva-moha-nirmuktāḥ. This is the beginning of theism. Theism means you must be free from all sinful activities. That is theism. If you remain sinful you cannot make any progress in theism. That is the point. (break)

Yogeśvara: Doesn't that make us rather exclusive, that we have some facility for spending all of our time meditating and purifying our lives? Doesn't that make us a rather exclusive group of people? If only those who are completely pure can engage in service, that means only people like us who have time to sit and meditate...

Prabhupāda: What meditation? The thing is that here it is stated, "Unless one is free from all sinful activities, he cannot be engaged in My service." And the pillars, according to Vedic, pillars of sinful activities... Just like four pillars. One is this meat-eating, the other is illicit sex, the other is gambling, and the other is intoxication. So unless we break these four pillars of sinful life there is no meaning of meditation or worshiping God. You cannot ignite fire, at the same time pour water on it. So sinful life means destruction of spiritual life. So once you begin spiritual life, and other way you begin sinful life, then how it will be? It is counteracted. There is no progress.

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: He says there are other sinful activities as well. For example, egoism and jealously.

Prabhupāda: But first of all begin these primary principles, and then others will be automatically stopped.

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: He does not think that they will follow naturally just by stopping these four things.

Prabhupāda: Naturally it follows, but if somebody wants to cheat, that is another thing. Naturally it follows.

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: This gentleman suggests that he prefers someone who may be committing all four of these sinful activities but who helps his fellow man.

Prabhupāda: The fellow man helping, what does he gain?

Yogeśvara: (translates) He says, "Even if someone is committing all kinds of sinful activities..."

Prabhupāda: No, no. What you gain by helping your fellow man? First of all that is the question.

Yogeśvara: He says, "The purpose of helping other people is not to gain something for yourself."

Prabhupāda: But I say that you help your fellow man. So do you know how to help him?

Swiss Man (1): Certain circumstances.

Yogeśvara: He says, "In certain circumstances."

Prabhupāda: In certain circumstances, but if you do not know how to... Suppose a man is diseased and you think... The doctor says that he should not eat anything. But if you think that "Let me give some food. The doctor is very cruel. He is not giving food," is it, that, helping or fully pushing him towards death? First of all you must know how to help. If I do not know—I help in the opposite way—that is not helping. That is degrading. These are all manufactured things. They are not... Helping means, real helping is, that a man or anyone... Everyone is suffering for want of knowledge. So if you can give knowledge, that is real help.