ANNOUNCER: The following is a
Conversation with His Divine
Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupāda, recorded on the
19th of May 1975, in Melbourne,
PRABHUPĀDA: Evolution takes
place from aquatics, fish. Then, as
the water dries up, there was
vegetation, plants. Plants,
creepers, trees. Then, gradually,
the insects, moths, reptiles,
serpents, they come out. And
then, from insects, the birds,
varieties of birds, there are
3,000,000 kinds of birds, and
aquatics, 900,000. And eleven
hundred thousand, 1,100,000
species of these insects and
reptiles. And one million varieties
of birds. And then beasts,
animals, four-legged, there are
three million varieties. So all
together this is eight million. No,
total human being, 400,000
species. Altogether, 8,400,000
species of living entities. So these
are coming, evolution, by the
laws of nature. You cannot stop
it. The laws of nature, you cannot
interfere. In this way we come to
the human form of body, and
especially civilized human being.
Supposedly, the Aryans. The
Aryan family, they are the
topmost civilized group amongst
the living entities. Now, in this life
one has to enquire about himself
that what is the difference
between me and the dog? Why I
am claiming a better position
than the dog? What is the
difference? The difference is that
a human being, if he endeavors,
he can understand his real
constitutional position and he
can understand God also. God.
Therefore in the human society,
civilized human society, there is
some sort of religious system. It
does not matter whether it is
Hindu religion, Muslim religion,
Christian religion, or Buddha
religion. There is some religion.
In the civilized human society
there is some system of religion.
So that system of religion means
try to understand God. Religion
means the law given by God. So
civilized human beings, they are
trying to understand God and His
laws. That is called religion. Now
the difference between dog and
me is that I can try to understand
what is God, what is my position;
the dog cannot understand. Dog
means the animals. They cannot
understand. So that is the
difference between a human
being and a dog. If we give up
religion or the method to
understand God and our
relationship with Him, then we
will remain dog. We are not
human being. So at the present
moment the so-called human
society, civilized human society, is
giving up the conception of God,
understanding God, especially
the Communist party. They are
openly declaring that “We don’t
believe in God.” But those who
are not Communists, they, lip
sympathy, they say that “Yes, we
believe in God,” but actually they
do not believe.
Practically the entire human
society is now becoming godless.
That is very dangerous position.
And we have already come to
that dangerous position. There
are so many problems, and
recently I have heard that New
York City, the most important city
in the world, they are in a
problem, that they cannot keep
the city very nicely maintained
and clean, and they asked for
help, some millions of dollars,
and the federal government has
refused. In this way the godless
society will have to meet so many
problems of life, and if they want
solution of all these problems,
they must take to God
consciousness or Kṛṣṇa
consciousness. So that is our sum
and substance of the movement,
International Society for Kṛṣṇa
Consciousness. We are trying
to… It is very simple method.
Anyone can accept it by chanting
and dancing and eating. And if
one does not like this method—
he wants to understand the
philosophy—We have got fifty
books of four hundred pages,
you can see all these books.
books, four hundred pages each.
JOURNALIST: What about
PRABHUPĀDA: Well, we are
speaking of religion. There is no
question of “other religion,” “your
religion,” “my religion.” We are
speaking of God. God is God. Just
like gold is gold. Because it is in
the hand of a Christian, you
cannot say that “It is Christian
gold.” The gold is gold.
JOURNALIST: But do you accept
the validity of other religion?
PRABHUPĀDA: Validity… Any
religion which is seeking after
God, that is valid. If any religion
does not obey God, does not
know God, that is cheating. That
is not religion.
JOURNALIST: How would you say
this godlessness is…
PRABHUPĀDA: Godlessness is
one does not know what is God.
And just like you know me. You
have come to me. You know I am
a person, I am talking, I have
written so many books. This is
knowing me. Similarly, one must
know what is God, what is His
feature, what does He do, what
does He teach, what law He
gives. This is knowing God.
Simply to understand, “Oh, well,
that is God. Let Him remain at His
place, and let me do whatever I
like,” that is not understanding of
God. You must know God just
like you must know your father. If
you are interested with your
father’s property, then you must
know your father, who is your
JOURNALIST: How is this
godlessness showing itself in our
means foolishness because…
JOURNALIST: Is liquor… Too
much liquor and self-indulgence?
PRABHUPĀDA: There are details.
There are so many things. The
total is rascaldom and
foolishness. Godlessness means
rascaldom and foolishness.
PRABHUPĀDA: Rascal. How can I
say, “There is no God”? Is it very
reasonable? Just like you have
got a father, and your father has
got father, his father has got
father… Go on. You come to the
supreme father, the original
father. There must be one
original father. That is God. How
can I deny God? Can you deny?
JOURNALIST: No, I don't deny.
PRABHUPĀDA: Personally you
may not. But the atheists, they
say “There is no God.” The so-
called scientists, atheists, they
say, “There is no God.” So how
can it be? If you say “There is no
father,” how it is possible?
Without father, how you exist? So
God is accepted the supreme
father, the original father. So how
the atheists can deny the
existence of God? Is that very
good argument, to deny the
JOURNALIST: Yes. I would like to
know more about what do you
think our society is doing wrong?
PRABHUPĀDA: Wrong because
they do not care for the original
father. The father has given so
many facilities. We require water.
There is oceans and big, big seas
and oceans. Father has given. We
require light. The father has given
the sun. We require heat,
everything arrangement is there
so that we can live very nicely
and thank father. This is our duty.
But people are becoming more
or less rebellious: “Oh, there is no
God. We are God.” What is this
JOURNALIST: Are people using
the wrong things to live too
PRABHUPĀDA: Yes, it must be.
Because he is foolish, he will do
all nonsense…, wrong things,
which is create unhappiness. To
deny God means foolishness, and
foolish man simply will create
trouble. Just like monkey.
Monkey is always busy by simply
creating trouble, that’s all. And
they are claiming, the foolish
Darwin’s theories, they also claim
that monkey is our forefather.
JOURNALIST: Is that true? Do you
PRABHUPĀDA: No, I have told
you already, the evolution. The
monkey is not our forefather, but
in the evolutionary process we
came through monkey. That is a
fact. Because that is an animal, so
we have to pass through three
million varieties of animal’s body.
So monkey is one of them.
JOURNALIST: When did we stop
becoming a monkey and start
to become a man?
PRABHUPĀDA: Yes, that depends.
By nature’s course, you
automatically come to human
body. Now, in the human body it
is a junction, whether you want to
make further progress and if you
want to go back again to the
cycle of the birth and death and
the evolutionary process. That is
to be decided by you. If you want
to go to God, you can go. And if
you want to become again a
monkey, you can do that. That
will depend on your work.
JOURNALIST: You founded the
Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
How long ago was that?
PRABHUPĀDA: Yes, Kṛṣṇa
consciousness movement is since
five thousand years ago or before
that. You may say forty millions
of years ago as it is stated in the
Bhagavad-gītā. But taking it by
modern history, in your country,
in the Western countries, I have
started it since 1966 from New
York. This movement is very, very
old. But it is started in the
Western countries since last
seven or eight years.
JOURNALIST: Where did it
first start, which country?
PRABHUPĀDA: New York.
JOURNALIST: In New York.
JOURNALIST: What is your
background? Are you from India?
JOURNALIST: What is your age
PRABHUPĀDA: I am now just
almost complete, seventy-nine. In
September I will be eighty.
PRABHUPĀDA: No, September.
My birth date is 1896.
JOURNALIST: And when did you
go to the United States?
PRABHUPĀDA: Oh, very old age. I
went there in 1965.
JOURNALIST: Yes. To found that
JOURNALIST: And what were you
in India before that? Did you
have a religious background?
PRABHUPĀDA: No, no, from the
very childhood we are Kṛṣṇa
conscious, our family, the
Vaiṣṇava family. My father and
my forefathers, they are all
belonged to this cult, Kṛṣṇa cult.
So naturally from our childhood
we were trained up in this cult.
JOURNALIST: Do you have
PRABHUPĀDA: Oh, yes. I have
got my wife, children, everything.
But now I have no connection
with them; I am a sannyāsī.
Sannyāsī means to give up all
JOURNALIST: Yes. Is your son in
PRABHUPĀDA: Yes, everyone. But
they are not so advanced. Just
like one belongs to some cult,
religion, but one may not be very
expert to understand that
religion. So they are Kṛṣṇa
conscious, but not so expert.
JOURNALIST: In India or the
PRABHUPĀDA: India, in Calcutta,
my family is there in Calcutta.
JOURNALIST: You live in New
PRABHUPĀDA: No, no, I travel all
over the world. My, in America
headquarter, Los Angeles. And
European headquarter, London.
JOURNALIST: Is Kṛṣṇa
consciousness connected with
any other religion? Does it derive
from Hinduism or Buddhism?
PRABHUPĀDA: Yes, you can call it
Hinduism, but actually it does not
belong to any “ism.” It is a
science of understanding God.
But it appears like Hindu religion.
In that sense Buddha religion is
also Hindu religion, because Lord
Buddha was a Hindu and he
started Buddha religion.
JOURNALIST: Do you think
modern man must mend his
ways or he will… he must get
better and know God or he will
PRABHUPĀDA: Yes, he is
destroying already. The society is
not in stable stage. Just like in
America, they are also in trouble
now. They are asking money
from the federal government.
They cannot make solution. So as
soon as the monetary source will
decline, this civilization will be
JOURNALIST: As soon as the
PRABHUPĀDA: Yes. Because
there is no culture. They are not
standing on culture. They are
standing on money.
JOURNALIST: You think we pay
too much importance to money?
PRABHUPĀDA: Yes, everybody,
yes. They do not know what is
culture of life. They simply want
money, that’s all.
JOURNALIST: Do you think we
have too much for our needs?
PRABHUPĀDA: You are creating
your needs. You are not too
much in need, but you have
created so many artificial needs.
JOURNALIST: Such as what?
Suppose this boy is sitting down.
Now I am sitting in a very nice
couch. So it is not absolutely
necessary that couch is required.
But for getting this couch, we
had to spend so much energy. So
similarly, unnecessarily we have
created so many things and
going on. That I was going to say,
that we come to the human form
of life by nature’s way. Now what
is our duty? Our duty is to make
further progress. But instead of
going further progressively we
are again going to become
monkeys and dogs. This is our
JOURNALIST: What about other
artifacts of civilization like
television and motorcars…
PRABHUPĀDA: Yes, it is very
good, just like we also use
motorcar, but not for fashion.
Suppose if we go for preaching. If
we can go by car quickly, we take
advantage of the car. We have
got many cars for preaching
work. So everything is good,
provided it is used for
progressive goodness. That our
mistake is that when… Now
listen, there is the mistake in
Darwin’s theory also. He has no
information that the evolution is
taking place, of the body, by the
desire of the soul. That he does
not know. Just like sometimes
people were happy and living in
a small cottage. Now they are
making big, big skyscraper
building. So what is the
difference? The cottage and
this… The cottage is not
becoming the skyscraper
building but the man who was
living in the cottage, by his desire
the skyscraper building is
coming. Similarly the evolution
means the soul within the body
desires a certain type of body
and he gets it. Not that the
monkey body has developed into
But the soul within the monkey’s
body desired a human body, and
he has got it. This is the process
of evolution. The Darwin’s theory,
this knowledge is lacking. If he is
thinking that the cottage has
become big skyscraper building,
that is not the fact. The owner of
the cottage desired to have a
skyscraper building, therefore he,
from the cottage he transferred
to the skyscraper building. It is
due to the owner.
JOURNALIST: In that case, if we
go on developing, we stay in the
skyscraper, or the skyscraper gets
PRABHUPĀDA: Yes. The
skyscraper is not impediment. If
you remain in the skyscraper and
develop your spiritual
consciousness, you can do that.
But the unfortunate thing is that
you are too much absorbed in
constructing the skyscraper
building, forgetting our real
business. That is the defect.
JOURNALIST: What about sex
and drugs, sex and alcohol.
PRABHUPĀDA: Sex, yes, alcohol,
we condemn any kind of
intoxication, all our students are
forbidden illicit sex. We don’t say,
“No sex,” but “illicit sex,” we
forbid. Similarly we forbid meat-
eating. We don’t say that “Don’t
eat,” we simply say that “don’t
eat meat.” You can eat other
things, just like we are eating so
many nice things.
JOURNALIST: Why not meat?
PRABHUPĀDA: Because it is
sinful, you are killing all animals.
Your Christian religion says,
“Thou shalt not kill.” Why you are
JOURNALIST: How many
followers do you have
throughout the world now?
PRABHUPĀDA: No, throughout
the world, in India everyone is
Kṛṣṇa conscious. In the outside
India we have got about ten to
twelve thousand dedicated
JOURNALIST: Do you mean every,
the whole of India is Kṛṣṇa
PRABHUPĀDA: Yes. Kṛṣṇa
consciousness, they know what is
JOURNALIST: But how many of
them practice it?
PRABHUPĀDA: How many
millions? Still, if you hold any
Kṛṣṇa conscious meeting, they
will come by thousands, twenty
thousand, thirty thousand, like
that. Even village to village, if
there is any chance of Kṛṣṇa
conscious meeting, so all the
villagers will come.