Mike Robinson: Can we, can you say a bit more of that, just for the tape? You were saying that religion is obeying the supreme controller.
Prabhupāda: Yes! Religion means to understand the supreme controller and obey. That's all. Just like good citizen means he understands the government and obeys the laws of government. That's all. Good citizens. What is the difference between bad citizen and good citizen? The bad citizen means he doesn't care for the government—"Ah, I don't care for"—that is bad citizen. That is irreligious. If you are bad citizen, then you are irreligious. If you are good citizen, then you are religious.
Mike Robinson: Would you..., in your opinion, is it impossible for somebody to be a scientist and not to believe in God?
Prabhupāda: Unless he's a rascal, he cannot say that. Scientifically, you have to accept God. You cannot deny God. Just like the example I have given sometimes, just like you see there are so many living entities, beginning from grass, or anything. There are so many living entities coming out of the material elements. Some of them are coming from water, some of them coming from land, some of them coming from air.... (break) There is life in fire also. So the material nature is giving birth to so many living entities. So if the material nature is the mother and all these living entities are children, then where is the father?
Mike Robinson: I don't know. The father is God.
Prabhupāda: There. You must know there must be father. I may know, not know him, but without father the children cannot be brought into existence. This is science. First of all, try to understand this. The mother is there, the children are there. So there must be father. This is scientific. So who is that rascal scientist who can say "No, there is no father"? Then he's not a scientist, he's a rascal. How you can deny the existence of father? You may not see him or may see Him, it doesn't matter. There must be father. This simple understanding.
Mike Robinson: So you completely write off anybody who says that there should be a step of faith. And would you, in other words...
Prabhupāda: No faith! It is fact!
Mike Robinson: So you would say that science can prove that God exists?
Prabhupāda: Yes, here is proof. Here is the proof, that there is children. Children are children; there is mother; so there must be father. This is proof. It doesn't require much proof.
Mike Robinson: I see. Can you tell me what you believe to be the meaning of life, why do we exist in the first place?
Prabhupāda: Meaning of life means to enjoy, but we are in a different platform of life. Therefore we are suffering instead of enjoying. But if you come to the real platform, then you enjoy. Because here we see struggle for existence, everyone is struggling, but what is the aim? For enjoyment of life. Therefore life means enjoyment. But at the present moment our life is not enjoyment.
Mike Robinson: At the present moment, our life is not...?
Prabhupāda: Our life is not enjoyment-suffering.
Mike Robinson: Suffering, hmm.
Prabhupāda: Yes, do you admit or not?
Mike Robinson: You are saying at the present moment we are all suffering?
Mike Robinson: Yes, I would agree with that.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Then the question should be, "I want to enjoy. Why I am suffering?" Then you will have to mold your real life.... Then you'll enjoy. And that is spiritual knowledge.
Mike Robinson: I see. Can you explain to me, then, perhaps finally, just some of the stages you go through in this spiritual life. Sort of, from somebody being a new devotee to Hare Kṛṣṇa, what are the mental or the spiritual stages you go through?
Prabhupāda: As they follow the principles, they realize that "Yes, I am advancing," Otherwise, why they should stick? They are also educated, they are young men, and they are coming from respectable family. They are not dull-headed dogs. So why they are sticking to this principle unless they feel, "Yes, I am making progress"? Just like you are hungry, and if you are given some foodstuff, you eat the.... With every morsel of food you feel, "Yes, my hunger is satisfied. I am feeling strength, I must go on till I am fully satisfied." It is like that. It doesn't require certificate from others. He'll feel himself, "Yes."
Mike Robinson: Yes, what I'm asking you, saying, maybe if you could explain to me how you personally, the different feelings...
Prabhupāda: We simply suggest that you follow this method and you'll advance. And if anyone follows, he advances, that's all. Our, I am teacher, my business is to give them direction. So if they follow the direction, their business is successful.
Mike Robinson: Yes, but perhaps you could explain to me the different feelings that you've gone through in your life. Is that possible?
Prabhupāda: Everyone—why I, you?—everyone. So long one is in ignorance, there are different feelings. When one is in knowledge, that is permanently. Suppose a man was in ignorance, he was committing a theft and he suffered. And now when he has come to knowledge, that "This business is not good," he does not any more steal and does not suffer. That's all.
Mike Robinson: But there must be different stages that you go through, is that not correct?
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, different stages.
Mike Robinson: Can you tell me from your own experience some of these different stages you've been through.
Prabhupāda: Yes, first stage is that you are inquisitively trying to understand. This is the first stage. This is called śraddha, that you have got some faith, "What is this movement? Let me study." This is the beginning. Then, if you are serious, then those who are cultivating this knowledge, you mix with them, try to understand how they are feeling. Then you'll feel, "Why not become one of them?" Then when you become one of them, then all your misgivings go away. And then you become more faithful and you, then you get a taste. Why these boys are not going to see the cinema? They can go-other boys are going. They never ask me. Neither they would like to see even. They hate. Their taste is different. Why they do not eat meat, go to the restaurant? Their taste has changed. In this way you make progress. Firm faith, taste is changed, then God-realization, then love of Godhead, the perfection. That is wanted, love of Godhead. That is first-class religion. Not that ritualistic ceremony, "I believe," "This belief." That is not religion; that is cheating. Really when you develop your love for God, that is perfection of religion.
Mike Robinson: Perhaps finally, then, I could ask you, do you ever have any doubts?
Prabhupāda: If I have doubts, how I am preaching? That means I am cheating. And how I am writing so many books? Do you think a man with doubt can produce, in doubtful condition, he can produce so many books? (devotees quietly laughing) Do you think like that?
Mike Robinson: Well, I don't know, I just...
Prabhupāda: Well, you should know. (laughter)
Mike Robinson: So you never doubt any of this, anything at all.
Prabhupāda: We are sure.
Mike Robinson: That you have found the truth.
Prabhupāda: Utsāhān dhairyāt niścayād. Find out this verse.
- utsāhān niścayād dhairyāt
- saṅga-tyagāt sato vṛtteḥ
- ṣaḍbhir bhaktiḥ prasidhyati
- (Upadeśāmṛta 3)
"There are six principles favorable to the execution of pure devotional service: (1) being enthusiastic, (2) endeavoring with confidence, (3) being patient, (4) acting according to regulative principles (such as śravanaṁ kīrtanam viṣṇoḥ smaranam (SB 7.5.23)—hearing, chanting and remembering Kṛṣṇa), (5) abandoning the association of nondevotees, and (6) following in the footsteps of the previous acaryas. These six principles undoubtedly assure the complete success of pure devotional service."
Prabhupāda: Yes. Everything is there.
Mike Robinson: And you are sure this is the truth.
Mike Robinson: Thank you very much for talking to me. It's been a pleasure talking to you.
Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. Give him prasādam.
Hari-śauri: This is a, just a...
Prabhupāda: Take prasādam.
Mike Robinson: It's lovely. Do I eat it with a spoon? (laughs) How's the normal way to eat it?
Hari-śauri: You can eat it with a spoon, it's all right.
Mike Robinson: Yes, there is.... Thank you very much.