A Suicidal Civilization
(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada walking in crowd, New York 1966)

Devotee: About one month ago there was a very big story in the newspapers about how this student who went to all the archives in the Washington D.C. library, and from known records he compiled enough information to construct an atom bomb. Did you hear about that?

Prabhupāda: No.

Devotee: He became world famous. So they concluded that anyone who wanted to could get normal information from normal sources and theoretically construct an atom bomb. But they have to have... They don't have the equipment, but they have the knowledge now. So they're proposing in that sense that any terrorist organization within the next five years will be able to invent their own atom bomb.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that's fact.

Devotee (2): He was bribing one city in Florida that "You pay me so much money or else I'm going to blow up your city." And he sent them the plans, "Here is the bomb." So they became very frightened. And when they traced the letter, they found that it was only a sixteen-year-old boy who had done this. (break)

Prabhupāda: ...the sound of the church bell very much. It is very attractive.

Devotee (3): You want one like that for Vṛndāvana.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Devotee (4): They have an organ here, Śrīla Prabhupāda, that you play the organ and the bells chime out a melody from that tower.

Prabhupāda: Which tower?

Devotee (4): That big tower here. They have bells up on top, and they can play different melodies.

Devotee (5): As they fall off. (break)

Devotee (4): ...problem of suicide here, but in all schools all over the country.

Prabhupāda: Yes. They are publicly suiciding, and others are silently suiciding. The suiciding policy is going on. Somebody manifests; somebody does not manifest. That's all. If the human life is wasted for sense gratification, that is suicidal. Because you got the opportunity of enlightenment and you live like dogs and cats, this is suicide. (break) This, what is called, hydrogen bomb manufacturer, he is thinking that he is successful in his life by discovering this hydrogen bomb, but he does not know how to save him from death. So it is suicidal.

Devotee (6): They are simply expert at accelerating death.

Prabhupāda: Whatever he has done, so he could not save him. He cannot save him from death. So what is the use of this scientific knowledge? If the dog is also going to die and he is also going to die, so where is the difference of his scientific knowledge?

Devotee: Coincidentally, the original purpose of the hydrogen bomb was to prevent death, to end the Second World War as soon as possible.

Prabhupāda: How they can prevent? That he does not know, how to prevent. He can accelerate, that's all. (break) ...puts before us, "Here is your problem, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9). Solve it." Where is that scientist? They avoid the real problem and take some childish problem. (break) ...not any hidden problem. It is the open problem. Kṛṣṇa puts it: janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam. The real seer will see to these problems. There is no answer or solution of these problems. Where is it, solution of these problems? Where is the biochemist or the psychologist or the atom bombist?

Devotee: The theory nowadays is that by the proliferation of atomic weapons—that Russia has so many weapons, China has so many weapons, the United States has so much...

Prabhupāda: Everyone now. India has also.

Devotee: They're all afraid of using them.

Prabhupāda: They must use it. That is nature's arrangement.

Devotee: Yeah, right. History.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is nature's arrangement, that you all die. That is nature's arrangement.

Devotee (6): When someone gets some power he wants to try it out. Just like there was that demon. Lord Śiva gave him power: whoever head he touched, the head would fall off.

Prabhupāda: Just like in your country there are so many cars so that a poor man like me has car always, not an inch move on leg. So because there is so many, there are so many cars. So there are so many weapons now. That must be used. That is a natural sequence. They must use it.

Devotee (2): That is why they have wars, just so they can use up the weapons.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Devotee: The only difficulty is that if one person uses the atomic weapon, that means entire... it would be entire waste of mankind. So everyone's afraid of using the ultimate.

Prabhupāda: Well, anyway, they must be used. There is no doubt about it. Therefore we can say there will be war. It is no astrology. It is natural conclusion.

Devotee (6): Common sense.

Devotee: That'd mean total destruction.

Prabhupāda: Well, total or partial, that we shall see. But they must be used.

Devotee: Now they like to blow them up in the ground. The scientists like to play by blowing them up in the ground.

Devotee (6): Or in the sea.

Devotee: They create big disturbances.

Prabhupāda: Yes... everything can be solved by understanding these three items: God is the proprietor; He is the enjoyer; He is friend of everyone. They are acting just the opposite way: "I am the proprietor; I am the enjoyer; I am the friend, because I am God." This is their. . . Everyone is becoming friend—ultimately proves to be enemy of the country, because he is not friend. President Nixon took votes by pretending friendship, and later on, he proved enemy. This is going on. Everyone knows. Gandhi pretended to become friend, but he proved to become an enemy. Otherwise why he was shot down? Unless one thought him as enemy, why he was shot down? This is going on. Nobody can become friend except Kṛṣṇa.

Devotee (6): But a pure devotee is a friend to all.

Prabhupāda: Because he carries the message of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is friend, and he is carrying the friendly message. Therefore he is friend. If there is a nice friend and if somebody gives information of that nice friend, he is also friend. Therefore nobody can become friend except Kṛṣṇa's representative. The material world is: "I am your enemy, and you are my enemy." This is the whole construction of the material world. So how the enemy can become friend? It is pretension, cheating.

Devotee (7): When we go out to distribute books, we try and show the karmīs that the devotee is actually their friend also.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes, certainly. That is the real friendship work. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, kota nidrā jāo māyā-piśācīra kole.

    enechi auṣadhi māyā nāśibāro lāgi'
    hari-nāma mahā-mantra lao tumi māgi

This is friendship. "You are sleeping under the spell of māyā, and how long you will sleep and suffer in this material world? So I have brought this medicine. You take it and you will no more sleep."

    enechi auṣadhi māyā nāśibāro lāgi'
    hari-nāma mahā-mantra lao...

"Now take Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, this medicine." Hari-nāma mahā-mantra lao tumi māgi.

Devotee: So all relationships in this material world are....

Prabhupāda: Inimical.

Devotee: ...based on this enemy.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Devotee: Even the so-called love.

Prabhupāda: No, that is lust. That is not love. And as soon as my lusty desire is not fulfilled, then you are my enemy. (break) If we take shelter of any materialistic person, that is like to take the... capture the tail of a dog and try to swim over the Pacific Ocean. It is like that. (break)

Devotee (3): ...saying that we should not give people anything other than Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Prabhupāda: And what you have to give? First of all you consider what you have to give. What you have got to give?

Devotee (3): I was thinking that sometimes the devotees engage in business, selling so many things to help the temples, and you were saying that we should not do that?

Prabhupāda: If you are business-minded, you can do that. Do business and give the result to Kṛṣṇa. (break)

Devotee (4): ...planting a tree. And here are the animals. The tiger and the lizard, fish.

Prabhupāda: So what is the meaning?

Devotee: This is zoology. Zoology. They study all the animals.

Prabhupāda: Not himself?

Devotee: Well, they think they get an idea of man by studying the animals.

Devotee (4): Catching the tail of the dog.

Devotee: Of the crab. Then they come to conclude that since all the animals do is eat, sleep, mate and defend, man should also just do that.

Prabhupāda: Then why he has become man? Why not animal? Therefore the śāstra says, "One who is engaged in these animal activities, he is animal. He is not man." Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma idya-dhīḥ (SB 10.84.13). Actually, man is doing like that. In the jungle the similar animals, they flock together. This is nationalism is like that. It is nothing better than that. So our defending, that "We are Americans," "We are Indians," "We are Germans"—the same thing. Because they are animals, they have this United Nation. The animals will fight, so they are trying to compromise, "Let us live peacefully." That is not possible, because they are animals. All failure.

Devotee: Under the threat of nuclear warfare wouldn't Kṛṣṇa consciousness be more easy to spread?

Prabhupāda: No, threat is already there. But they are so fool that they are not afraid of the threat. Threat is already there. Everyone will die. That is the problem. So who is caring for this? They are avoiding this. They cannot take any anti-measures.

Devotee (3): So it will take a war to bring them to their senses a bit?

Prabhupāda: No, war is going on. But they are so senseless that they will not come to this, so rascal. Therefore they are described as mūḍha, all rascals.

Devotee (6): Very hard to preach to these fools, Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Devotee (6): These people are so stupid, it is very difficult to preach to them.

Prabhupāda: No, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That will be...

Devotee (7): Śrīla Prabhupāda, we are hearing from you and your books that we will die, and we must learn to face these problems as you mentioned, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9), but still, even as your disciples, we are not so convinced.

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Devotee (7): Because we've been brought up in a culture where we've been taught that we will never die. Particularly in America, we never even see death here.

Prabhupāda: You think you will not die?

Devotee (7): I know I will, but how can we realize that, come to the platform of realizing?

Prabhupāda: Everyone is dying. Your father is dying, your mother is dying, your friend is dying, and still if you cannot understand, then how it will be possible to make you understand? Every day you see so many people are dying. Ahāny ahāni lokāni gacchanti yamālayam iha. Every moment, every day, we see so many animals or men are dying. Śeṣaḥ sthitam icchanti kim āścaryam... But those who are living, he is thinking, "I will not die." Death is inevitable but still, he is thinking, "I will not die." Therefore that is the problem. Everyone is dying, and everyone is trying not to die. This is the problem. Nobody wants to die, but everyone is dying. That problem this rascal scientist cannot solve. Therefore they are like dogs, and to catch their tail is like that. Yes. And that is the real problem. Everyone is dying, and everyone is trying not to die.

Devotee (2): The Śaivites go down to the burning ghāṭas. The Śaivites, they go down to the place where the bodies are being burned in order to meditate on the fact that everyone is going to die.

Prabhupāda: What is meditation? Without meditation even, one can understand, if he is intelligent.

Devotee (2): Yes. So much trouble.

Devotee: So one must become convinced philosophically.

Prabhupāda: Why philosophically? Philosophy means, at the present moment, mental concoction. We don't say that. Philosophy means to find out the reality. That is philosophy, not that "I think like this. He thinks like this. He thinks like this." That is not philosophy; that is mental concoction, hovering over the mental plane. Philosophy is here. Kṛṣṇa says, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9): "Keep always in your front that there is death, there is birth, and try to save yourself from this." This is philosophy.

(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, San Francisco, July 18, 1975)

<< What's New
Home  |  Srila Prabhupada  |  Meditations  |  Site Map  |  What's New  |  Contact us  |  Glossary

About Srila Prabhupada
Srila Prabhupada's Books
Selected Writings
Early Writings
Your ever well-wisher
Prabhupada Meditations
Written Offerings
Artistic Offerings
Photo Album
Deity Pictures
Causeless Mercy
Editorial Notes
Site Map
What's New