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What about, for instance, people who are practicing sense gratification, and they find it very practical to gratify their senses. Does this mean that it is meaningful or real?

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"What about, for instance, people who are practicing sense gratification, and they find it very practical to gratify their senses. Does this mean that it is meaningful or real"

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Philosophy Discussions

Yes. It is real. But by sense gratification we will gradually glide down to the hellish condition of life. Therefore sense gratification should not be allowed unrestricted. That is practical. If you eat more, you suffer from indigestion. If you have more sex life, then you get tuberculosis. This is practical. If you indulge in intoxication, then gradually you become a nonsense, crazy. Therefore when we say that "Don't do this," this is practical.
Philosophy Discussion on William James:

Śyāmasundara: He says that there is a question, "What difference would it make, practically, to anyone, if this notion rather than that notion were true?" He says that the criterion for deciding that question is the practicality of something. If there are two questions, two notions, then the standard of judgment should be which notion is applicable in practice.

Prabhupāda: Which notion should be...?

Śyāmasundara: Which notion will have the better result in practice.

Prabhupāda: Which is factual, not theoretical—that will have good effect in practice. What is his example?

Śyāmasundara: There is no example given, but for instance, if there are two different theories involving a subject, then that theory which is more easily practiced is more true. It has become part of our experience; that is true. He says that anything that is meaningful or real must have some influence on practice on our experience, and vice verse. Anything that is practiced must be meaningful or real.

Prabhupāda: So that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We have invited our students, and when they actually practice Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the result is immediately there. Just like you all European and American boys, you were eating meat, and other things were practiced, but since you have taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you have left it. So by practicing, we see the practical result; therefore this is most practical.

Śyāmasundara: What about, for instance, people who are practicing sense gratification, and they find it very practical to gratify their senses. Does this mean that it is meaningful or real?

Prabhupāda: Yes. It is real. But by sense gratification we will gradually glide down to the hellish condition of life. Therefore sense gratification should not be allowed unrestricted. That is practical. If you eat more, you suffer from indigestion. If you have more sex life, then you get tuberculosis. This is practical. If you indulge in intoxication, then gradually you become a nonsense, crazy. Therefore when we say that "Don't do this," this is practical.

Śyāmasundara: So it is a matter of degree which is more practical than something else. Sense gratification or communism or any other "ism," it's practiced (indistinct) effect, but that effect...

Prabhupāda: But if it has bad effect then what is the use of it? It must have good effect. Effect must be there, but if it is bad, that is not practical. The effect must be good and continuous.

Viśāla: But that good result is relative, depending upon who is deciding whether it is good. In other words, Lenin or Mao, they feel that the practical result of their philosophy is good.

Prabhupāda: That's all right, but now Mao disagrees with the practical utility of Russian philosophy. So where is the stability? And similarly, the Russians don't agree with the Chinese, so what is practical for China is not practical for the Russians. So which one we shall take?

Viśāla: That which is practical for both.

Prabhupāda: That means both of them are not practical. It will be proved in due course of time.