Guest (4): Recently I was reading article in a science magazine and a space scientist, he has calculated that after 67,000 million years the universe contracts. And then I started calculating in terms of the yugas and the division which is mentioned. With the help of an astronomer I reached the conclusion that both figures coincide. So do you mean to say that when it was mentioned that after four yugas they will collide. Then it was a kind of vision, or might have been calculated by this...
Prabhupāda: Means calculation. It is going on, regulated way. Just like everyone knows that this month is February. In the month of June the summer will begin. Everyone knows. It is not conclusion; it is experience. There is no need of calculating. So one who has got better experience, he can say like that. Calculation and experience. Just like if somebody says, "Two plus two plus two plus two," somebody says immediately, "Six." And another calculates, "Two plus two plus..., six." So experience and calculation. Lacks experience, he calculates. One who has better experience, he doesn't calculate. One who knows past, present, and future, he doesn't require to make calculation. He knows everything. So God knows past, present, and future, and others who are favored by God, he also knows by the grace of God. Because he hears from God. God knows past, present, and future. Then he simply reproduces God's words, that's all. He doesn't require to calculate. Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ (BG 8.17). The Kṛṣṇa says. Now, we can say what is the age of Brahmā by Kṛṣṇa's words. I don't require to be a very expert astrologer or astronomer. I hear from Kṛṣṇa, and I reproduce. Just like child. Father said, "This is this;" I say, "This is this." That's all. The child is not perfect, but when he says, "Father said this is this," that is perfect. Therefore our process of gathering knowledge from the father—we don't calculate or don't concoct or put theories, no. We don't do that. This is called śruti, śruti-pramāṇa, evidence from śruti.
Guest (4): Lord Kṛṣṇa says in Gītā that, to Arjuna, that when Sūrya is uttarāyana, people who die, they'll go to Candraloka, and come back.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So you quote that. Then it is perfect. You don't require to make research. Your research is no good because your senses are imperfect. I have no proper vision. If the light is stopped, I cannot see. This is the position of my eyes. So what is the use of my seeing? It is conditional. So one who is conditional, how he can give perfect knowledge? One who is not conditional, he can give perfect knowledge. Therefore we have to approach somebody who is not conditioned. Then we get perfect knowledge.
Guest (5): I have great difficulty with the meaning of the term "perfect knowledge." Could you...
Prabhupāda: Perfect knowledge means what you say, it is correct. There is no mistake.
Guest (5): Under any and all circumstances.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is perfect knowledge, not like the scientists. They changes: "Yes, it was this. Now it is now changed." This is not perfect knowledge. They simply change. Therefore we say, mūḍhās. Perfect knowledge is that what you say, that is correct forever. That is perfect. Just like man dies. If somebody says, "Man dies," it is perfect knowledge. It is correct forever.
Guest (5): Suppose he is reincarnated?
Prabhupāda: No, no, "dies" means the body dies. The soul does not die. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). When the body annihilates... Body becomes old. Just like this cloth. I am using it, but when it will be old, no more useful, then I throw it away. I get another dress. This body is like that. Soul is eternal. Na jāyate na mriyate vā kadācit. It does not die, it does not take birth, but because he is in material condition, therefore he has to change the material body because no material thing is permanent. Therefore the aim of life should be how to avoid this material body. That is real business. Jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā. That is called athāto brahma jijñāsā. This is only business, how to stop acceptance of this material body. And that is very clearly and simply stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, janma karma me divyaṁ yo janāti tattvataḥ, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti (BG 4.9). We can do that. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, that you try to understand Kṛṣṇa, then you are not going to accept any more material body. That means there is no more birth, no more death, no more disease, no more, and what is called, old age.
Guest (4): But is it possible to lead the life of a gṛhastha and at the same time think of that?
Prabhupāda: Well, Arjuna was gṛhastha and a king and a politician. If he could learn within half an hour the aim of life, then where is the difficulty for a gṛhastha? Arjuna was not a sannyāsī. So it was spoken to him only, and Kṛṣṇa selected that "You are the right person." So there is no question of gṛhastha, sannyāsī. The person must be right to understand.
Guest (4): Is it possible to develop some such kind of psyche?
Prabhupāda: Yes, why not? Arjuna was not willing to fight. Then he developed; "Yes, I must fight for Kṛṣṇa." That is development.
Guest (4): So there is no conflict between the...
Prabhupāda: Gṛhastha is also āśrama. It is as good as sannyāsa āśrama. You can accept any āśrama suitable for you, but āśrama means cultivation of spiritual knowledge. That is the difference between āśrama and ordinary house. Now, this building is called temple, and the next building is called house. Why? The building is the same. But it is meant for cultivating spiritual knowledge. Therefore it is called temple, to understand God. The other house is meant for eating, sleeping, mating and defending. Therefore they are house. So you can change your house into temple provided you try to understand God. Then it is āśrama. Otherwise it is house.
Guest (4): But is it possible to jump from brahmacārī to directly sannyāsa?
Prabhupāda: It is not jumping. It is regular process.
Guest (4): One should go through all the...
Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like student. Then he becomes a family man when he's grown up. Then he becomes again a sannyāsī. So it is a process. It is not jumping. One after another.
Guest (4): Yes, but would you allow one of the devotees to, if he wants to, observe celibacy and then...
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is brahmacārī.
Guest (4): And after that...
Prabhupāda: After that, he should continue the life of celibacy. But if he is unable, then he's allowed to marry.
Guest (4): Because (Sanskrit). You cannot suppress your karma.
Prabhupāda: There is no question of supressing. Regulating.
Guest (5): Do the same rules apply to women as to men?
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, that in the society women, working class, and the mercantile class, they are, according to Vedic scripture, they are less intelligent, women, working class and mercantile men. Just like mercant..., they are after money, that's all. And śūdra, they want, after job. And women means they are after fulfilling their material desires. They have no other idea, that there is Brahmān, one should know Brahmān... They do not care to know. Therefore they are called śūdras, stri, śūdra, vaiśya. Yes. Vaiśya. So Kṛṣṇa says,
- māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
- ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
- striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrās
- te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim
- (BG 9.32)
So it is not blocked for anyone. Anyone can get Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Anyone can go back to home, back to Godhead, provided you follow the regulative principle. Then it is possible for everyone. It doesn't matter whether he's woman, whether he's working class, whether he's a śūdra or a brāhmaṇa. It doesn't matter. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, that "Even they can go. And what to speak of the brāhmaṇas?" Kiṁ punar brāhmaṇāḥ puṇyā bhaktā rājarṣayaḥ... (BG 9.33). If the brāhmaṇas, they cultivate spiritual knowledge, it becomes very easy for them. Even they can go, śūdras, stri, vaiśya. These are all the statement.
Guest (5): Can a woman become sannyāsī?
Prabhupāda: Why sannyāsī? Kṛṣṇa says, māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya (BG 9.32). He does not say to become sannyāsī. He said, "One who takes shelter of Me very firmly..." We have to take shelter of Kṛṣṇa. You become sannyāsī or not sannyāsī—it doesn't matter. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa says, mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. He never says that "You become sannyāsī." He never said. The qualification is how to become firmly fixed up at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. That is qualification. But sannyāsī is a process. Brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha—that is a process. But one who takes directly shelter of Kṛṣṇa is above all these processes.
- māṁ ca yo 'vyabhicāreṇa
- bhakti-yogena sevate
- sa guṇān samatītyaitān
- brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
- (BG 14.26)
Those who are pure devotees—avyabhicāreṇi, anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam (Brs. 1.1.11)—such persons are above this material infection. So therefore he doesn't require to accept sannyāsa or brahmacārī. He doesn't... These are gradual processes, to come to the varṇāśrama system, then accept the varṇa and āśramas, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha. This is called varṇāśrama system. But this is the beginning of human life. One who does not take to this system, he's animal because animal, there is no such system. And because in this age the varṇāśrama is not observed, therefore men are like animals. Dharmeṇa hīnā paṣubhiḥ samānāḥ. Dharma means this varṇāśrama-dharma. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). So if the human society does not accept dharma, then he's as good as animal.
Guest (4): That which Śrīla Gandhi was working against?
Prabhupāda: If I say the truth you'll be angry. (chuckling)
Guest (4): No, no one will be angry, but you have mentioned...
Prabhupāda: Gandhi was a politician. What does he know about dharma? He was a politician. He thought it wise that British government is very strong... Before him so many political parties tried to become violent, and they were all curbed down. This Aurobindo also was a leader of anarchist party, and when he was condemned to death, then his senses came: "This is all useless. Let me engage in performing yoga." So Gandhi thought that before him all these violent movement was cast down by the British. So he took it as a method, nonviolence, noncooperation, and to capture the public of India-India is generally inclined religiously—he became a mahātmā. But mahātmā is different. A mahātmā is not interested in politics. Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ-prakṛtim āśritāḥ, bhajanty ananya-manaso (BG 9.13). That is mahātmā. Mahātmā has nothing to do with politics.
Guest (5): The term mahātmā was first used to describe Gandhi by Annie Besant.
Prabhupāda: Yes, one can use any term without any sense.
Guest (4): No, I think it was by Rabindranath.
Prabhupāda: They... Anyone can. Rabindra Bābu was also like that. (laughter) He was a bābu, but he became guru. This is going on.
Guest (4): That means that about this varṇa-saṅkara etc—Lord Kṛṣṇa mentions in Gītā—that this present day society is varṇa-saṅkara.
Prabhupāda: Varṇa-saṅkara. There is no varṇāśrama; therefore all the children, they are varṇa-saṅkara. And as soon as there is varṇa-saṅkara population, the world becomes hell. Therefore we are trying to check—"No illicit sex"—to stop this varṇa-saṅkara. Now the varṇa-saṅkara has come to such an extent that they are killing child, and that is legal. They have come down to such a extreme position.
Guest (4): But surely there is a practical point of view also. There is nothing to eat. What will happen?
Prabhupāda: Who says nothing to eat? That is also their manufacture.
Guest (4): I mean the figures which are published that half of humanity will starve.
Prabhupāda: It's... Especially, we are Indian. It is advertised that we are poverty-stricken. All over the world this is advertised. Wherever I go, they say, "Oh, you are coming from India?" (laughter) Because they are simply begging, the government. But who is dying? There is... Dying is going on, but that death is going on in other countries also. They are dying, committing suicide. And maybe some persons are dying out of starvation. You cannot stop death. Suppose you have got enough food. That means that everything is solved? In America there is enough food. Why they are coming hippies? There is no shortage of food. Nothing... Everything is abundant, but why they are becoming hippies? They are lying down on the street, on the park and I have seen in London, the St. James Park. They are sleeping, and the police is kicking: "Hey! Get up! Get up!" So why? The English nation is not poor nation. The American nation is not poor nation.
Guest (4): Poverty is also a comparative term.
Prabhupāda: No, I saw in Amsterdam—simply full of hippies, lying down on the street, lying down in the park, no food, no shelter. It is going on.
Guest (2): The hippies are not lying in the park because they lack food.
Prabhupāda: They must be wanting something. They are in need of something.
Guest (2): But not necessarily food.
Prabhupāda: One body is in need of food; another body is in need of something else. They're needy, everyone, needy. That you have to accept. I have seen in Los Angeles. I was walking in the Beverly Hills quarter. One hippie boy is coming from a very nice house. Beverly Hills, that quarter, is resided by all rich class. And he has got very nice car, but he's hippie. Why? His father is very rich man. He has got nice car. He might be very educated. Then why he is hippie? What is the answer?
Hanumān: He's frustrated.
Prabhupāda: That means in need. So that is the question, that you may be in need of food, I may be in need of some woman, he may be in need of some money... In this way everyone is needy. Therefore ultimately one should search after God, when every need will be fulfilled. Just like Dhruva Mahārāja, he went... He was in need of an empire like his father. For that reason he went to the forest and performed all kinds of austerities, and when he saw God he said, svāmin kṛthārto 'smi varaṁ na yāce: "I have no more need. Everything is fulfilled. I don't want anything." He... God said, "Now whatever benediction you want, you take from Me." He said, "No, I don't want anything. Now everything is fulfilled." So that is the real need. The child is crying, and he is not stopping crying. So many others coming. But as soon as his mother comes, he will stop. He understands immediately, "Now I have got the thing, my mother." So the real need is Kṛṣṇa. That is missing. Therefore this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. All these Western students, they were in need. Now they have got Kṛṣṇa. This young man, twenty-four years old, he has got all the desires for enjoyment, but he's no more after enjoyment. He's a sannyāsī. He's chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. Why? (break) ...playing jugglery? He becomes God. So even the so-called yogis, they are in need. The so-called jñānīs, they are in need. The so-called karmīs, they are also in need. Only the bhakta... That Dhruva Mahārāja, he said, "No, I am not in need." Svāmin kṛtārtho 'smi varaṁ na yāce (CC Madhya 22.42). So therefore this is the only platform to bring man to feel completely fulfilled. So it is very important movement. So I request you all to study this movement and help and join this movement. It is very scientific, authentic, and real. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ (BG 18.66). If you want to be happy, you have to take Kṛṣṇa. Then you'll be happy. Otherwise not.
Guest (4): So dharma there means to the religious faith or duty?
Prabhupāda: No, dharma is duty, varṇāśrama-dharma. That is also given up. That means the only duty becomes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He said, sarva-dharmān parityajya. In the beginning He said that dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya. Yes. Yuge yuge sambhavāmi. Now, He said that "I appear to reestablish the principle of religion." So at the last stage He said, sarva-dharmān parityajya. That means the so-called dharmas, or religion, which is going on in the world, they are not real. And the Bhāgavata therefore says, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra (SB 1.1.2), that "All kinds of pretending religion is rejected here." Pretending religion, what is that? Pretending... Just like gold. Gold is gold. If the gold is in the hand of some Hindu, then will it be called Hindu gold? Similarly, religion means obedience to God. So where is Hindu religion? Where is Christian religion? Where is Muslim religion? God is everywhere, and we are just meant for obeying God. That is one religion, obedience to God. Why they have manufactured this Hindu religion, Muslim religion, Christian religion, this religion, that...? Therefore they are all pretending religion. Real religion is obedient... Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Just like law. Law is made by the state. The law cannot be Hindu law, Muslim law, Christian law, this law, that law. Law is meant for everyone. Obedience to the state. That is law. Similarly, religion means obedience to God. Then one who has no conception of God, no idea of God, where is religion? That is pretending religion. Therefore in the Bhāgavata you'll find, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra: (SB 1.1.2) "All pretending type of religion is rejected." And Kṛṣṇa also said the same thing, sarva-dharmān parityajya: (BG 18.66) "You give up all this pretending religion. You simply surrender unto Me. That is real religion." What is the use of speculating on pretending religion. That is not religion at all. Just like pretending law. Law cannot be pretending. Law is law, given by the state. Similarly, religion means the order given by God. That is religion. If you follow, then you are religious. If you don't follow, then you are demon. Make things very simplified. Then it will be appealing to everyone. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant for making things very simplified. Accept God, accept your position as God's servant and serve God. That's all, three words. You have no question? These boys?