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We've talked for some time concerning spiritual matters and the philosophy of Hare Krsna. How does it affect the way people live?

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"Now we've talked for some time concerning spiritual matters and the philosophy of Hare Krsna. How does it affect the way people live"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Yes, because he's suffering for want of this knowledge. He's misunderstanding himself that he is the body. Suppose if you misunderstand that you are coat and shirt, and so you sew and wash the coat and shirt. Will you be happy? Will you be happy?
Radio Interview -- July 27, 1976, London:

Mike Robinson: So what are you doing now? You've come to England for a brief stay. I gather you travel a lot.

Prabhupāda: Just to guide my disciples and to see how they are doing things, that's all.

Mike Robinson: And do you do that, or travel around the world, don't you.

Prabhupāda: Yes, but now I am getting old. So it is little difficult for me. Still I have to do and come and see.

Mike Robinson: And that is your mission in life, is it, to...

Prabhupāda: Yes, I have established it, I want to see that it is not spoiled.

Mike Robinson: I see. Can you tell me how you feel led, you know, how you are guided to do what you do?

Prabhupāda: Well, there are the books, just like I also told you, the literature.

Mike Robinson: So it's from your scriptures that you've learned that you've got to do this.

Prabhupāda: Yes, we have got so many literatures. We are explaining in English. Guide is.... It is not manufactured. The guide is from the beginning. Simply one has to take that guidance, then everything's all right. And if we manufacture guidance, then it is spoiled. Just like in the literature of this microphone you say that this should be like this, this should be like this, number two should be by the side of number four. You cannot make any change. Then it is spoiled.

Mike Robinson: Now we've talked for some time concerning spiritual matters and the philosophy of Hare Kṛṣṇa. How does it affect the way people live?

Prabhupāda: Yes, because he's suffering for want of this knowledge. He's misunderstanding himself that he is the body. Suppose if you misunderstand that you are coat and shirt, and so you sew and wash the coat and shirt. Will you be happy? Will you be happy?

Mike Robinson: No, I won't.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So similarly all these rascals, they are simply washing the coat and shirt. They have no information that what is there within the coat and shirt. They have no information. Ask anybody. All rascals will say, "Yes, I am Englishman, I am this coat," that's all. "I am thinking like an Englishman." That is shirt. And what you are, he cannot say. You are thinking, that is your mind. You are having this body, that is your body, but what you are? Who is thinking over this? Nobody.

Mike Robinson: So by understanding...

Prabhupāda: Misunderstanding. The whole civilization, the modern civilization, is going on misunderstanding. Dehātma-buddhiḥ —just like cats and dogs. Suppose if you become very proud, "I am Englishman. Why you have come here?" As the dogs bark, "Row! Row! Why you have come?" So where is the difference? What is the difference? He's thinking "I am dog," you are thinking "Englishman," I am thinking "Indian." There is no difference. So if we keep people in darkness of dog's mentality, and declare we are advanced in civilization, most misguiding.

Mike Robinson: I see. And so when people are taught, they will then understand. But what I'd also like to know, how would it affect the way they live? In sort of purely..., the way they go about their life.

Prabhupāda: You see they are living, these boys are living. It is not very difficult. They are not dying, they are living.

Mike Robinson: Yes, I accept that completely, but I want to know what differences, if you could tell me basically, what difference it makes to their life.

Prabhupāda: Difference is that if you accept this mode of life, it is very simplified, and no botheration, and you make your spiritual progress very easily. If you take otherwise, then it is difficult.

Mike Robinson: But are you asking people, if they accept your teachings, to retreat from the world, like for instance, the people who are surrounding us now?

Prabhupāda: No, they are not retreated. What do you mean by retreat? I am using this microphone. Where is retreatment?

Mike Robinson: Sorry, maybe retreat was the wrong word. But are you asking them, for instance, if I was to become a member of the movement...

Prabhupāda: No, we are asking that use this microphone for spreading Kṛṣṇa consciousness, not for sense gratification.

Mike Robinson: Not for?

Prabhupāda: Sense gratification.

Devotees: Sense gratification, pleasing the senses.

Mike Robinson: Oh, thank you.

Prabhupāda: That is the.... The microphone is the same. And the politician can speak all nonsense, and the so-called scientist may speak all nonsense of going to the Mars planet, but we don't talk all nonsense.

Mike Robinson: If we could just put one more tape on it. No, if I can explain to you, the question I am trying to ask, which I'm finding difficulty to explain. Obviously, the members of the movement who are here have made a definite sort of decision that you've decided, they've decided, for instance, to dress differently, and they're dressing now in what would appear to be an Indian style. Is it necessary to do that, or could I carry on being a member of a radio station and still be a member of the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement?

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Harikeśa: That would be very nice.

Mike Robinson: Perhaps if I phrase it a bit differently. I gather that the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement also has some concern for areas of the world where there is suffering, physical suffering.

Prabhupāda: We have got the only concern. Others, they are simply avoiding. They have no responsibility. They are talking all nonsense. We have got real responsibility. These people are being misguided, they are kept in darkness. Let us try to give them some enlightenment.

Mike Robinson: Yes, but apart from giving spiritual enlightenment, do you also..., are you also concerned for people's physical well-being?

Prabhupāda: That is automatically done.

Mike Robinson: And how would you go about doing that? Would you help the sick people?

Prabhupāda: Just like if you have got a car to drive on. So naturally you take care of the car also. But not that you identify yourself, "I am this car." That is nonsense. They are doing that. They are taking too much care of the car, thinking that the car is one. He forgets that he is different from the car, he has got different business. He cannot eat the petrol and be satisfied. He has got different eating. But these rascals, they are thinking that "Petrol is also my eating." And they are drinking petrol and dying, that's all. Petrol is meant for the car, and for you there are so many fruits, flowers, milk. But if a man thinks that "I am the car, I must drink this petrol," then he is doomed.