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Is a Vaisnava, is he willing to maintain his body for the service of Lord Krsna even if he has to break regulative principles - if it is necessary?

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"Is a Vaisnava, is he willing to maintain his body for the service of Lord Krsna even if he has to break regulative principles"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

If it is necessary.
Room Conversation -- June 5, 1974, Geneva:

Yogeśvara: There was a story in Time magazine last week. Everyone was in a big flurry about it. An airplane crashed in the Andes mountains, and they were stranded way up in the mountains for eighteen days without any food. So there were maybe fifty people on the plane and only eighteen survivors. So because there was no food they ate the bodies. They ate the dead bodies to survive. Then, eighteen days later they were saved. A plane came and picked them up and brought them back. So people are very, very much excited, "Oh, what is this amazing occurrence, that they ate human flesh?" But every day they are eating...

Prabhupāda: Cow's flesh. When it was?

Yogeśvara: This was about... Now it is almost a month ago, one month ago.

Prabhupāda: Where it was?

Yogeśvara: In the Andes mountains?

Puṣṭa-kṛṣṇa: High in the mountains.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Yogeśvara: High in the mountains there was a plane that crashed.

Nitāi: South America.

Yogeśvara: Is it South...

Nitāi: Andes, yes.

Yogeśvara: I think so. I'm not sure. I don't know for sure. But in the mountains a plane crashed and there were eighteen survivors. And to stay alive they ate the dead bodies of the passengers who died. So there were many articles. "What was it like?" Everyone wants to know, "What was it like to eat human flesh? Do you feel bad now that you have eaten human flesh?" "No."

Guru-gaurāṅga: Who's left a copy of Bhagavad-gītā here?

Puṣṭa-kṛṣṇa: Who's left this copy? That's his, this young boy.

Yogeśvara: There have already been books written about it, television reports, radio, everything.

Puṣṭa-kṛṣṇa: One thing on that report. I read that there were certain people...

Prabhupāda: There was no vegetable?

Yogeśvara: No, it was way up in the mountains.

Puṣṭa-kṛṣṇa: Icy, cold.

Yogeśvara: It was very cold. There was no plants, no nothing. They had to stay inside the plane just to stay alive, to stay warm. So they could not go and get food anywhere.

Puṣṭa-kṛṣṇa: And the bodies were already dead. And there were certain people that they knew their bodies, his fiance or his sister. They agreed that if they were going to eat the bodies they would eat them last. It's true. It was in the story. One man, he had his prospective wife. One man had his sister or sister-in-law, cousin. They said, "If we're going to eat the bodies, then we'll eat them the last." So they had a sense that this body is more important than that body, like that.

Prabhupāda: No, in last war they ate stool also.

Yogeśvara: Concentration camps.

Puṣṭa-kṛṣṇa: Really? What is the Vaiṣṇava point of view?

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Puṣṭa-kṛṣṇa: Is a Vaiṣṇava, is he willing to maintain his body for the service of Lord Kṛṣṇa even if he has to break regulative principles—if it is necessary?

Prabhupāda: If it is necessary.

Yogeśvara: What's the name of that yogi who meditated for sixty thousand years?

Nitāi: Saubhari? Viśvāmitra.

Prabhupāda: Vālmīki.

Yogeśvara: No.

Nitāi: Viśvāmitra?

Prabhupāda: Viśvāmitra.

Yogeśvara: He also had to eat dog, I think.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Yogeśvara: There's a story about that.

Prabhupāda: Yes, Viśvāmitra. How they exist in that open, and there was snow. For eating they... Eighteen days?

Yogeśvara: The plane crashed. Half the people were killed. So the other people, two of them left to go find help. They went to find out some people they could telephone or something. It took them eighteen days to find a house. So the other people, they all stayed close together inside the airplanes. They put on blankets and their coats. But there was no... They could not go outside. There was no food.

Puṣṭa-kṛṣṇa: They had... At first they had little chocolate and they rationed it out that "You get a little bit of chocolate," and little bit of liquid they had. And so they rationed it out until that was finished. Then they took a vote amongst themselves. "Well, what shall we do? Shall we eat human flesh or shall we simply starve to death?" So they voted amongst themselves that "Yes, we should do this." There were some men, one or two, that would not do it and they died. They refused to do it, and they died. Others, they did.

Yogeśvara: They made some... Afterwards they had to... There was some discussion, some philosophy. They were actually discussing. And there was one person there who was explaining to the others that "We must eat this flesh to stay alive but it's not so wrong since the soul has left the body." He said, "The spirit has left these bodies, so you shouldn't consider it to be quite so bad. We're obliged to do this."

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is not unreasonable. It was a question of selection. Otherwise, to subsist, to eat the dead bodies, flesh, that is not very abominable. That can be accepted. But it is the selection whether one will eat. That is another thing. Otherwise dead body's flesh is as good as anything else because it is matter.