Śyāmasundara: We have come to the same question we were discussing with Marx: whether changing external environment is prerequisite to improvement or changing the consciousness is prerequisite. And you answered before, in Marx's case, that if we change the consciousness, then the environment becomes changed...
Śyāmasundara: ...rather than vice versa. Also, to a certain extent the other way. If we change the environment, the consciousness changes.
Prabhupāda: It is the cause and effect. One is the cause of the other; other is the cause of the other. But actually it is the consciousness that requires to be changed—either by hearing from authority or by circumstances. There are two processes to achieve knowledge. This, in Bengali it is said, dekhe sekhara, teke sekhara. When one is actually in an awkward circumstances, that's a fact. So "This kind of way of life is not good. I have to change it." This is called tekhe sekhara. When he is actually in danger, he takes precautions of danger. But one who is intelligent, he understands by hearing that "If you do like that, then you will fall in danger." So that man is intelligent who learns by hearing from the authorities. And one who actually experienced the awkward position, and then he changes his consciousness... That is also one of the processes, but this is better. Therefore our process is to approach the bona fide teacher and learn from him everything. That is brahmacārī life. Not by practical experience. That is Vedic knowledge. The experience is already there. You simply hear and take it. Then it becomes easier. But if you expect that "First of all let me fall down into the ditch, then I shall cry..." Better man is, he takes advice, "Don't go there. You'll fall down in the ditch." Just like Kālidāsa. Kālidāsa was in the beginning he was a great fool. So he was cutting a tree, sitting on the branch. So some intelligent men was going around, "What you are doing, nonsense? You shall fall down." He didn't care, but cutting, he actually fell down. Then, "Oh, you are very intelligent! How did you say? How did you foretold?" Then they saw that he was a first-class fool. So "This boy should be taken to the king's daughter to become her husband." The girl was so intelligent that the challenge was that "Any man who will defeat me in argument, I shall marry." But she was so intelligent that nobody could defeat. So all the learned scholars, the father was asking, "Bring me an intelligent boy to marry her." So they did not find any intelligent boy. Whoever comes, he is defeated. So they decided "Now, because she is so determined to have a very nice husband, we shall make this boy her husband, this fool number one." So they took him there and instructed that "That girl..." and he will show his finger like this. "You'll show this." So he was a fool, so "All right, I'll do that." So when he was brought to the girl, the girl held up one finger and he showed two fingers, and then the all the paṇḍitas, "Oh, the answer is given him. Your girl says eka brahma, 'Brahman is one.' " And he immediately answered (indistinct), "There is no two Brahma. Brahman is one." The girl also thought, "Yes, this boy is a genius." So in this way this foolish man was made her husband, and at night, when she came to understand that he was fool number one, she kicked him and asked him, "Get out of my room." So he became very insulted: "My wife has kicked me. I am so fool. So I shall make suicide by drowning in the water." He was crying and remembering the goddess of learning, that "I am so foolish, my dear mother Sarasvatī. You did not favor me, so I shall kill myself." With great lamentation he was going to die. At that time, Sarasvatī became very kind and she appeared, "Kālidāsa, why you are drowning this way?" "My mother, this is my position. I have been insulted by my wife because I am a fool." "All right, from henceforward you shall be very learned." "Oh, but I do not know..." "No, whatever you say, it will be all right." He got this benediction from mother Sarasvatī. He came back, then he was knocking the door. The wife said, "Who are you?" He replied, hastigrati vada viśeṣaṇa (?), "Somebody who can speak very learnedly." Then whatever he was replying, he became, by the grace of Sarasvatī, he became highly learned scholarly speaking. So Kālidāsa, with these four words he wrote four books that is very famous: the Kumāra-sambhava. He began with this word hasti, and the word raghu-vaṁśa kaścid. In this way he was (indistinct), and he became very famous by this. Hasti uttarasyandeśa himalayanarna naradi rajan uddhva paro toyanidhi balaja stita pratijñān eva mana danda (?). This is the beginning of Kumāra-sambhava. Kumāra-sambhava means Lord Śiva's marriage with the daughter of Himalaya. He begins describing Himalaya: hasti uttarasyandesi himalayanamadira uttare syan deśe (?) (indistinct), in the northern side there is a king of mountains known as Himalaya. Somebody interprets it that is Arctic region. Urdhva pare yato nidhi upa rājan (?). North and east, there are two oceans—I think this is Atlantic and Pacific-abagajan-touching-sthita pratijñāna eva mana gandha (?)—as the whole (indistinct). In this way he became... He became famous poet by the grace of Sarasvatī. In the beginning he was cutting the same branch on the tree on which he was sitting.
Śyāmasundara: So maybe there is some hope for these philosophers.
Śyāmasundara: Maybe there is some hope for these...
Prabhupāda: Yes. By the grace of the superior, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo **, we sing every day. If there is blessings of higher authority, everything can be achieved. There is no doubt.