Paramahaṁsa: Śrīla Prabhupāda, I wanted to ask you that in your lectures you continually speak of the ten saṁskāras that children should have.
Prabhupāda: Well, that is not possible.
Prabhupāda: That is not possible. It is very difficult. One saṁskāra, that initiation saṁskāra, and marriage saṁskāra -two, three saṁskāras, can be done, not the ten. It is not possible. Now the circumstances will not allow. It is very difficult.
Śyāmasundara: One thing that Malcolm and I were talking about before was that, he was lamenting that our educational system nowadays in the west, material education, practically spoils the child to understand spiritual life.
Prabhupāda: Why in the West? Everywhere.
Malcolm: More in the West because the child is more constrained in his molding.
Prabhupāda: Yes. The whole defect is that we are missing the goal of life. Therefore we do not know how to conduct business with the goal of life. At the present moment, in every field, they are missing the goal of life.
Malcolm: They seem oppressed by weight of number, that there are too many.
Prabhupāda: No, goal is one.
Malcolm: No, people.
Prabhupāda: No, people do not know the goal. That is the defect of modern civilization. Not modern, that is the defect of material existence.
Malcolm: But a number of people over a certain size make a goal by the number of people.
Prabhupāda: Hm? What is that?
Pradyumna: When a number of people think in a certain way?
Malcolm: No. The number of people make the goal not of them, but of the number.
Paramahaṁsa: Mass. Mass opinion usually forms society.
Malcolm: Not... No, not mass opinion. Not the, not the involvement of the people, but the number of the people.
Prabhupāda: The millions and trillions number...
Śyāmasundara: By unanimous opinion, by unanimous pursuit of some goal, that becomes the common goal.
Paramahaṁsa: Fashion. Fashion?
Prabhupāda: No, therefore I say...
Malcolm: No, no. Number... I know, I... That when a number of people become beyond a certain size, that in order for that size to maintain, there becomes a code of written law whose existence is to preserve the number, and it becomes the goal of the people, and it is the goal of number and not of the people. And the people I see...
Prabhupāda: The people are numberless. Therefore the goal should be numberless? People are numberless. We cannot count. It is not possible. Therefore the goal should be also numberless?
Paramahaṁsa: Śrīla Prabhupāda has taught us that actually the amount of people in the world has nothing to do with the form of education. Simply the... For example, if everyone in the world was Kṛṣṇa conscious, then where would there be a question of overpopulation? Because there would be harmony throughout society because the center of the society would be Kṛṣṇa. But unfortunately, due to the overpopulation, we have so many different goals, different interests, and therefore there's continual clash. So there's nothing against overpopulation as long as people are raised in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Malcolm: Is overpopulation, then, a more important problem?
Paramahaṁsa: Well, for example, even in animal society, there is more animals, there's more insects, there's more birds than human society. But there's no question... They have no starvation. They have no nuclear warfare. Because they live as they're, as Kṛṣṇa has meant them to be, as their karma dictates. But in our situation we are meant to understand Kṛṣṇa. This, the goal of human life, is to use our developed consciousness to serve God. But unfortunately, since we misuse this for selfish motives, therefore we have descended lower than animals. Therefore we have not even the simple harmony that animal life has. Therefore we have mass warfare. Therefore we have greed, economic distress and pollution. All these things are caused simply because we have not used our human life for understanding Kṛṣṇa.
Śyāmasundara: I think what you are saying, in a sense, is that generally the people are innocent. They grow up... And the goals of life are forced upon them, sort of, and actually that is not, the real goal is still missing.
Malcolm: They would say, yes, that there is... The number is too many.
Śyāmasundara: The number of goals?
Malcolm: No, the number of people to support a system of return.
Śyāmasundara: Return to the real goal.
Malcolm: To the real goal. They feel oppressed into supporting the number system because it's...
Śyāmasundara: Due to a larger number of people, is it possible to return all these people to the real goal?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. As there is medicine for certain disease, if, in that particular disease, the prescribed medicine is given, then the disease will be cured. Is it not? Medical science, they have discovered medicine for a certain type of disease. So if the diseased man takes that medicine, particular, then he'll be cured. Similarly, if people take what is the actual goal of life by philosophy and logic, then their goal of life will be one. He must agree to take it just like the diseased man must agree to take the medicine. Then he's cured.
Malcolm: If a man reaches his maturity of years and leaves a western school, and he has the words which say "Know thyself," may he reject his family ties?
Prabhupāda: No, there is no question of rejecting or accepting to understand the goal of life. The goal of life is meant for everyone. Maybe a family man or without family. It doesn't matter. Just like eating. Eating is for everyone. It doesn't matter whether he's a family man or not family man. It is his essential. Similarly, the goal of life is also essential to know for everyone. It doesn't matter whether he's family man or not family man. It doesn't matter.
Malcolm: Is the medicine in the seeking?
Malcolm: Is the medicine in the seeking?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Some are seeking, but the medicine is there.
Śyāmasundara: Is looking for the medicine part of the medicine?
Prabhupāda: Yes. There is no necessity of looking for it. The medicine's already there, goal of life. So we have to take information from authorities, what is the goal of life. Just like this child. The child, he knows that "My father is goal of life," or "My mother is goal of life." He may walk all over the room, but he knows that "Ultimately, my father is goal." Similarly our goal of life is the Supreme Father. Now, if this child is taken away from this room, he'll cry. He'll not be able to express that he wants the goal of his life, his father and mother. He'll simply cry, missing. Similarly, our goal of life is the Supreme Father. But because we are missing, we are crying here, throughout the universe, throughout the creation. We are simply crying. This is called struggle for existence. But the real goal of life is...(Aside) There is fire. Don't allow him to go there. There is fire. (Noise of child in background) Now, he doesn't remain there; he comes to the mother, the goal of life. Similarly, we have got our goal of life, a supreme father. We are missing that. Simply one has to know that "This is our goal of life. We were searching in vain for so many other goals of life." Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31). The goal of life is the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu. Durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ. They have missed the goal of life on account of their propensity to become happy within this material world. And that is the missing point. He cannot be happy without reaching... The same example. This child cannot be happy without being in the association of the father. If this child is taken away and he's given nice food, he'll cry. He'll cry because the goal of life is missing. Similarly, we are missing the goal of life. Therefore we are not satisfied in any way in this material world. There(fore) Bhāgavata says, na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31). This struggle for existence is going on because they do not know that the goal of life is God, Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu.
Malcolm: If the child is taken from the parents, he will cry, but he will stop.
Malcolm: But he will stop when time is past.
Prabhupāda: Again cry. Again cry.
Malcolm: When a time in years pass, he will forget, and ...
Prabhupāda: Yes. That forgetfulness is forced. He's, he's not happy.
Malcolm: If he would then, when he is a grown person, recapture or re-feel the link to his reason for being, he must go back in his experience or thought to the point at which he cried to feel again the feeling of being lost. Now, the Western youth seem to have been forced to accept their position, and the position that they have accepted gives them no freedom to go back and find the point at which they felt the experience of the thing they had lost. So in their minds they would say, "There is something missing. There is no God. But there is a God. Yet I must find him with my mind." And then they know through the search that it is only going back through their own years of experience to the point at which they had lost that they will find it. But for the Westerner it clashes with his total Western heritage, the thing imposed him upon by his senses which is that he may not isolate himself from his community in order to go back. And the young people cannot move because this point holds them.
Prabhupāda: No. The young people, they are moving. They are coming to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. There is no check. Because they are western boys, there is no check. Just like they're all Europeans, Americans. So how they are coming to Kṛṣṇa consciousness? It doesn't matter whether Western, Eastern. Natural propensity is the same, either in the East or in the West. So it doesn't matter. That is not impediment. Anywhere, the science is... Just like your physical science. It is as good as in the West as in the East. For the East, there cannot be a different physical science. The same science can be taught in the East and the West.