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You are poor by force, and they sometimes accept poverty voluntarily, just like the hippies. They have enough money. They are coming from very rich father and grandfather, but they lie down on the street, and the police comes and kick them

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"You are poor by force, and they sometimes accept poverty voluntarily, just like the hippies. They have enough money. They are coming from very rich father and grandfather, but they lie down on the street, and the police comes and kick them"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

You are starving on account of your economic condition being bad or.... I cannot say anything. But they are also starving. You are poor by force, and they sometimes accept poverty voluntarily, just like the hippies. They have enough money. They are coming from very rich father and grandfather, but they lie down on the street, and the police comes and kick them, "Hey, get up! Get up!" Why? Why they have accepted this? So this kind of varieties we find everywhere-rich man, middle class man, and poverty-stricken man. Don't think that it is in India. I am traveling all over the world.
Conversation with News Reporters -- March 25, 1976, Delhi:

Prabhupāda: We say that not only in India, everyone, you'll starve, because you are rebellious to God consciousness. You must starve. That is the punishment. Just like anyone who is a criminal, he must be punished. That is the law of nature.

Reporter (3): So by that, I suppose one would presume that people in India have been most rebellious to God.

Prabhupāda: Why India? Everywhere. Why you speak India?

Reporter (3): Because...

Prabhupāda: When you speak of God, don't take India, or America or Europe. Everywhere.

Reporter (3): No. Because the number of starving men here is much larger.

Prabhupāda: You are starving on account of your economic condition being bad or.... I cannot say anything. But they are also starving. You are poor by force, and they sometimes accept poverty voluntarily, just like the hippies. They have enough money. They are coming from very rich father and grandfather, but they lie down on the street, and the police comes and kick them, "Hey, get up! Get up!" Why? Why they have accepted this? So this kind of varieties we find everywhere-rich man, middle class man, and poverty-stricken man. Don't think that it is in India. I am traveling all over the world.

Reporter (1): Swamiji, what do you suggest to your disciples to arouse what you call Hare Kṛṣṇa consciousness or God consciousness?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Hare Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the purificatory process. If you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.... God is so kind. In this age.... It is meant for every age. Especially this age when we are so much fallen and so much suffering, and neither we are able to act very piously, therefore this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, if you chant, you gradually become purified. Then you come to your own consciousness.

Reporter (1): So how would you define sin? What is impurities or to sin?

Prabhupāda: You cannot understand impurities?

Reporter (1): I mean, give any clear-cut definition.

Prabhupāda: Just like when you are diseased and the doctor gives you some vaccine and injection to cure you, to make you purified. Is it not?

Reporter (1): No, but could there be any clear-cut criterion, for example, to say that I have committed sin or I have not committed sin? What is sin?

Prabhupāda: Clear-cut criterion is that we living entity, being part and parcel, we are as good as God. But when we are under the control of the material nature, that is our diseased condition. Same example. Just like you, as a good citizen, you are as good as Indira Gandhi. You are Indian; you have got all the rights. But if you become criminal, you put into the prison. So we are in the.... Conditioned state means no freedom. It is not clear?

Reporter (1): No, sir, I just wanted you to tell me some yardstick from which one could...

Prabhupāda: But because you are suffering, that is the sign of impurity.

Reporter (1): Beg your pardon?

Prabhupāda: Because you are suffering.... Do you admit that you are suffering? Do you know this?

Reporter (1): Suffering means that there is some impurity.

Prabhupāda: No, are you not suffering?

Reporter (1): Yes, everybody is.

Prabhupāda: That is diseased condition. Just like diseased.... When you have got fever—you are suffering—that is diseased condition. So long you are suffering, you must be aware of the fact that you are in diseased condition. Because you are part and parcel, there is no question of suffering. Sac-cid-ānanda...

Reporter (1): But suffering may not necessarily be because of sin. It might be because of something else, you know?

Prabhupāda: "Might be something," that is your sinful activities. That "something" is some sinful activity.

Reporter (1): Now a poor man suffers of hunger. This is not sin if he doesn't get proper food or anything.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. But how you can help? You cannot help. Just like a prisoner in the, suffering in the prison house, you cannot help him.

Reporter (1): I may suffer because I have cancer...

Prabhupāda: No, first of all you try to understand.

Reporter (1): But cancer is not a sin, you know.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Everything is sin. Disease means sin. Unless you commit sinful life, there is no question of suffering.

Reporter (1): I thought.... But sin has some relation with...

Reporter (3): Sometimes the suffering is self brought and sometimes a suffering is brought without self, by nature.

Prabhupāda: Eh? No, no, that is wrong. Every suffering is brought by you, yourself. Just like if you are punished by the high-court judge to be hanged, you don't make the high-court judge is the cause of your hanging. You made a situation; the high-court judge has given you the judgment that you must be hanged.