Tree you cut, there is no personality, it does not protest, "Why you are cutting?" It does not scream. But a man or animal, when you attempt to injure, it screams, it protests. That means consciousness is developed

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"does not scream. But a man or animal, when you attempt to injure, it screams, it protests. That means consciousness is developed"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

When consciousness is not developed, the personality is not developed. Just like tree you cut, there is no personality, it does not protest, "Why you are cutting?" It does not scream. But a man or animal, when you attempt to injure, it screams, it protests. That means consciousness is developed.
'Life Comes From Life' Slideshow Discussions -- July 3, 1976, Washington, D.C.:

Vṛṣākapi: It's been said sometimes, Prabhupāda, that you have said that some rocks have life. Some rocks, some stones, are actually souls in them?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like in the tree there is spirit soul. Everywhere there is spirit soul, but development of consciousness makes difference. The difference between the tree and man is that man is developed consciousness. Consciousness is developed. Tree is not developed. That is difference, but life is there both in the tree and in man.

Rūpānuga: What about the crystal? The crystal grows, but we don't say that the crystal has life in the usual sense of the term. Is the crystal also...

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Like diamond.

Rūpānuga: Like diamond, crystal.

Prabhupāda: Anywhere, wherever there is growth, there is life.

Rūpānuga: So there the consciousness is simply not manifest.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Rūpānuga: In crystal form. Like the stone does not show consciousness.

Prabhupāda: Yes. There are two kinds of life. Sthāvara-jaṅgama. Sthāvara means stationary. The stone is also stationary. It never moves. Big mountain, even though it has got life, it is stationary. And a small ant, it is not stationary. It is moving. So there are two kinds of life, stationed and moving. Sthāvara-jaṅgama.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: But Śrīla Prabhupāda, in order to present this to scientists in general, we are saying specifically that there is no life in stone.

Prabhupāda: No, that one stone may be dead. Just like a tree is standing. But when it is dead, the symptoms are different—there is no more green leaf. But the tree as it is, it is standing. But there is no more green leaf.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes, but there is a basic difference.

Prabhupāda: So similarly we may not understand that life, so long life is there, there is development. There is a stone in Benares, Śilā-bandheśvara. Everyone knows that stone is increasing. Still, it is there. So people go to see it. One who has seen that stone ten years ago, you will see it is developed now. So life, symptom of life is growth.

Rūpānuga: So Śrīla Prabhupāda, sometimes only a single symptom of life may be demonstrated. Like in crystal there is some growth only, with no other manifestation. Then the crystal may stop growing. Just like a tree...

Prabhupāda: Stops growing means dead.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Even if the stone is growing, there is no metabolism.

Prabhupāda: That is different thing. Machine..., we have said that the body is the machine. Then all mechanical arrangement may not be the same in many machines. But it is a machine.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: One question I have about this personality. We know from...

Prabhupāda: Just add consciousness. When consciousness is not developed, the personality is not developed. Just like tree you cut, there is no personality, it does not protest, "Why you are cutting?" It does not scream. But a man or animal, when you attempt to injure, it screams, it protests. That means consciousness is developed.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: How can we prove that the personality...

Prabhupāda: This is the proof. Consciousness developed and the symptoms are there. Just like we are studying this. Our consciousness is developed. This discussion is not possible by the animals, although it has got the all life symptom. Therefore because our consciousness is developed, we can inquire. Therefore in the human form of life it is the only business to inquire about the Absolute. Now, athāto brahma jijñāsā. The animals, they can inquire where is some food, where is some stool. That much. They have no other power. But when one becomes..., gets this machine of human form of body... The Vedānta axiom is "Now it is the time for inquiring about the Absolute Truth." Athāto brahma jijñāsā. That is real human life, when he inquires about the Absolute Truth. Otherwise, it is animal life. And there are so many department of education means inquiries. In the human society, there are departmental education. Physics department, chemist department, mathematics department, this department, that... Why? Because there are different inquiries. So Vedānta-sūtra says that the prime inquiry is to inquire about the Absolute Truth. That is human life. If there is no inquiry about the Absolute truth, then still he is animal. So those who are simply satisfied with the physics and chemistry, they are still animals. They are not human beings. This is the challenge. Still they have not developed the consciousness. And that inquiry, when it is for Kṛṣṇa, that is the final development. And when he understands Kṛṣṇa, his life is perfect. Then he goes back again to the spiritual world. He's quite fit to live there. Otherwise, he's unfit, he must be here in this material world. And if he understands Kṛṣṇa, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti (BG 4.9). This is perfection.