False Pride in a Foolish Age
This exchange between His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and some of his disciples and guests took place during a morning walk in Hamburg in December 1969.
Srila Prabhupada: So last night at the lecture, our explanation of spiritual life was all right?
Disciple: Oh, yes, Srila Prabhupada. And there would have been even more people present but this is the week for the big world-championship football matches. So everyone tries to see those matches. Either they stay home and watch the matches on television, or they go out to the stadium. Everyone wants to see them.
Srila Prabhupada: Because they have been taught like that. What is their fault? They have not been taught the importance of human life. They have been taught “Eat, drink, be merry, and enjoy.” That’s all.
And then in your next life, become a dog. That’s all. But people do not know. They simply say, “Never mind. I shall become a dog. After all, in my next life I will forget everything.”
In the universe there are so many planets, so many different standards of life. But people know nothing. They do not know anything.
Guest: But beings on the other planets may have forms more spiritual than ours.
Srila Prabhupada: No. They have material forms. For instance, although you cannot live within the water and only the fish can live within the water, still, a fish’s body is not spiritual. It is material. Likewise, you cannot go to the sun planet, because for you that is a foreign atmosphere. But there are living entities who live on the sun planet. They have got their suitable material body.
Guest: But I think for the people all this is difficult to understand.
Srila Prabhupada: They are trained up to be fools. How will they understand? They are simply fools, eating flesh and becoming like tigers and dogs. That’s all. A tiger may be very strong, but what kind of brain has he got? No brain.
To have a brain, one must be a brahmana. Samo damas tapah shaucam: as Krishna explains in Bhagavad-gita (18.42), real intelligence means one must be peaceful, self-controlled, austere, and pure. To truly have a brain, one must be qualified spiritually. A tiger may attack me and kill me – he is very strong. But that does not mean he has got a better brain than me.
Guest: Yes, yes, I see.
Srila Prabhupada: So the modern civilization is making tigers – discovering the atomic bomb and teaching people how they can be physically strong and kill others. They are busy only in these things, the dog’s business – how to attack another dog. That’s all.
Guest: Your Divine Grace, this will be a very nice area here for your spiritual community.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, yes.
Guest: And I think you will provide a very, very good example for the people around here.
Srila Prabhupada: But the so-called advanced human beings – they come here for hunting. They come here to shoot animals.
Srila Prabhupada: The animals are living peacefully in their own atmosphere, and these people come to kill them. This killing business has become very prominent at the present moment, and therefore so many humans are being killed in the very womb of their mother. Abortion – children killed. People do not know. Nature will not excuse you. You are killing; you’ll be killed within your mother’s womb. You’ll never see the light of the sun. You will go on being killed, life after life – as many lives as the number of animals you have killed. People do not know.
And the time will come in this age when there will be no food and man will kill man and eat. That time is coming. Yes. They are now killing animals, but animals live on these grasses and grains. When there are no more grasses and no more grains, where will people get animals? They’ll kill their own sons and eat them. That time is coming.
Nature’s law is that you grow your own food. But people are not interested in growing food. They are interested in manufacturing bolts and nuts. Factories. Big, big factories.
So in time they will have to eat bolts and nuts. Where will they get food grains? They thought, “Let us eat the animals and manufacture bolts and nuts.” But then, when all the animals are gone – then what will they eat?
Disciple: Srila Prabhupada, the scientists are making artificial food. So they’re not very worried.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, yes. That is why I’m talking of bolts and nuts. That “artificial food” means bolts and nuts. Somebody told me that the scientists have manufactured artificial butter, and when people ate it they were vomiting. There is already ample butter supplied. Why are these rascals interested in manufacturing artificial butter to show off their scientific brains?
Just see what rascals they are! They think they can get unlimited quantities of butter, huh? – just as Krishna was stealing unlimited quantities of butter from His mother and throwing it to the monkeys. Butter can be produced by the Lord’s cows, so that everyone can eat sumptuously. But no. “Kill the animals, eat artificial butter, and vomit.” That’s all. Just see their intelligence. And they are proud of their advanced civilization.