(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada)
Devotee: (reading) "I am the strength of the strong, devoid of passion and desire. I am sex life which is not contrary to religious principles."
Prabhupāda: There is good sex life and bad sex life. One who does not know what is good sex life, what is bad sex life, he's a rascal. Here you have to indulge in sex life which is not against the religious principles. But you must know what is religious and what is irreligious. If you do not know, you are rascal. There are two kinds of sex life. Otherwise, why Kṛṣṇa says, "Sex life which is not against the religious principles, that I am." So God is good. So sex life which is not against the religious principles, that is good sex life. Otherwise, it is bad.
Indian man: Where Kṛṣṇa comments...
Prabhupāda: First of all let us understand this, that Kṛṣṇa says, "Sex life which is not against the religious principles, that is I am." The sex life which is against the religious principles, that is bad.
Indian man: Can you explain to me what is good sex life and bad sex life?
Prabhupāda: Good sex life: when sex life is accepted for begetting good children. Just like in another place it is said, pitā na sa syāj. Pitā na sa syāj jananī na sā syāt (SB 5.5.18): one should not become a father, one should not become mother, unless he or she can save his child from death. This is religious sex life. Suppose you are married. There is sex life. And both you and your wife decide that "Unless I am expert to save my child from death, we shall not have sex life." This is good sex life.
Indian man: It is negation of sex.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Otherwise sex life is there in the cats and dogs. If you are going to be a dog? You must act as a human being. This is to act as human being, that "I shall not become a father, my dear wife, you should not become a mother, if both of us are not expert how to save the death of our child." This is good sex life. If you are not expert to execute this scientific method, then it is bad sex life. It is the dog's sex life.
Indian man: Has anybody practiced this type of sex?
Prabhupāda: Yes, there are so many. That is the Vedic civilization.
Indian man: They have shielded a child from death?
Prabhupāda: Yes, many, many.
Indian man: An example.
Prabhupāda: An example, that first of all you know how you can save the death.
Indian man: I do not know.
Prabhupāda: Ah, if you do not know that problem... (laughing)
Indian man: That is the biggest problem. (laughing)
Prabhupāda: That is.
Indian man: The body comes, then the soul. But that part is, I don't...
Prabhupāda: First of all, you have understood that unless you are capable of training your child not to die, you should not become a father. First of all, you have to accept this principle. Then how to save the child from death, that is next question. Let us go step by step. Your question was, "What is the good sex life?" The answer is given here.
Indian man: Answer is very complicated, sir.
Prabhupāda: Not complicated. The answer is... But how to become expert to save the child from death, that is another science that you should know. If you want to stop yourself ... (break) ... no need of a child to whom you have to give your care to make him, to raise him in such a way, if there is no such need, then there is no need of sex life. If you enjoy sex life for sense enjoyment, that is atrocity. That is atrocity. That is Vedic civilization. Because before sex life we have got saṁskāras, garbhādhāna-saṁskāra. The purpose is there, that "I shall train my child how to stop death. And the child must be so good that he will take my instruction." And therefore garbhādhāna-saṁskāra. So without garbhādhāna-saṁskāra, one who enjoys sex life, he is the most sinful. Not that "Whenever and wherever I like, and with whomever I like, I shall have sex life." It is all sinful activity. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, dharma aviruddhaḥ kāmo 'smi: "Sex life which is not against religious principles, that I am." So if we try to understand this one verse, we become self-realized. Similarly, each verse of Bhagavad-gītā is like that.
Indian man: Such a supreme knowledge is there from our superior authorities. This knowledge is... we are not even able to follow.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That's a fact. Therefore people are coming out like cats and dogs. But here is Bhagavad-gītā. If you are guided by Bhagavad-gītā, then it is all right. But this question, next question you'll say, that "How I can save?" That is answered in Bhagavad-gītā. How you can save? Now you say. You tell me what is that verse, how you can save your child from death.
Indian man: By realizing, by giving an education.
Prabhupāda: No, you try to quote the verse, what is the way.
Indian man: (laughing) I am a small fly before yourself. You are the ocean. I am a drop.
Prabhupāda: No. You are not fly, you are experienced. Therefore I am trying to explain. (aside:) Find out this verse: tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti (BG 4.9). Punar janma naiti. That is continuation of life. Tyaktvā... Everyone has to give up this body. And one who gives up this body but does not accept another material body, he has no more birth and death. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti (BG 4.9). You have to find out this. (aside:) Read it.
janma karma ca me divyam
evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti so 'rjuna
"One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving this body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna."
Prabhupāda: Very simple thing, that you are part and parcel of God. God is eternal. So if you understand God, then you become eternal. Just like your father is very rich man, but you have left your father; you are loitering in the street. But as soon as you understand your father, "Oh, I am the son of such and such person. He is so rich! Oh, I haven't got any necessity." Then you become rich. Go back home, back to Godhead. Mām eti: "He comes to Me." Someone is there. You must know your father, and you must go back to father. Then there is no question of suffering. Very simple thing. Now what is the purport?
Devotee: Purport: "The Lord's descent from His transcendental abode is already explained in the sixth verse. One who can understand the truth of the appearance of the Personality of Godhead is already liberated from material bondage."
Prabhupāda: Yes. He is already liberated, when one understands Kṛṣṇa properly. Then?
Devotee: "And therefore he returns to the kingdom of God immediately after quitting this present material body."
Prabhupāda: That return to God is eternal. Suppose I am your guest here, so you may provide me for some days, but I cannot expect that you can provide me for all the days. That is my mistake. But if you go to your father's house, there is no question of. He takes.
Indian man: Always.
Prabhupāda: That is required. Go to your father. Mām eti. Therefore this is the way of eternity, that you understand who is your father and you go back to Him. Then his life is successful. And who is the father?
Indian man: (laughing) Not the body.
Prabhupāda: (laughing) Not body. It is in the Bhagavad-gītā. Find out this verse:
tāsāṁ mahad yonir brahma
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā
He is the father.
mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ
tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā
"It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kuntī, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father."
Prabhupāda: This is all very easy to understand. Mother means from whom the child is coming, is it not? That is mother. Everyone knows. So you see this whole world, wherefrom everything is coming, you see, practically, gross knowledge. I see a plant is coming from the earth, a tree is coming from the earth. And according to evolutionary theory... Not theory; fact. The dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG 2.13). When his plant life is finished, he takes another body, insect life. So the mother is the earth. That's a fact. I am eating the things which are... Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam (SB 1.13.47). I am a life. I am taking either grain or I am taking flesh, the material is supplied from the earth. The animal also, he is also eating the grass. That is coming from the earth. The earth is the mother. That is a fact. Now we should be intelligent, that simply mother cannot beget a child. There must be father. So who is that father? The answer is here: ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā (BG 14.4). So where is the ignorance?
Indian man: This is Brahman.
Prabhupāda: And again. Kṛṣṇa says aham, why do you interpret in different way?
Indian man: Now this indication is...
Prabhupāda: That means you make purposefully complicated. The father is saying, "I am father." Then why you are bringing this meaning, aham means...
Indian man: No, it's that "aham" is indicated to who? The physical posture of Kṛṣṇa which we know, or the...?
Prabhupāda: Why do we say like that? Why? Why you are bringing physical concept? He is a person, He is saying. Why do you say physical, material, and this and that way? He is father.
Indian man: Because He is saying, we should accept it?
Prabhupāda: Yes, you accept. Accept, Kṛṣṇa is in your front. And why should physical, metaphysical and chemical? Kṛṣṇa is a person. A person says...
Indian man: Earth is mother...
Prabhupāda: Yes. And He says that "Earth is mother; I am the father." You have to understand it, that yes, earth is mother, because everything is coming from earth. But who has given the seed in the mother? That Kṛṣṇa says, "I am giving." Sa asṛjata sa īkṣata (Aitareya Upaniṣad 1.1.1-2). This is Vedic version. And He says personally.
Indian man: As you say earth, mind accepts immediately. But...
Prabhupāda: But if your mind cannot accept, your mind cannot accept, that does not mean the things will change. You should know that you are a fool. You do not know.
Indian man: I accept.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Then as Kṛṣṇa says you accept it. How the father has given seed to this earth? That is not your business. You try to understand...
Indian man: ... (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: Because you are trying to understand in your own way.
Indian man: Trying to understand in my own way?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like you beget a child, you give seed. The seed of the child in the womb of your wife in a method, you know that. Therefore you are thinking, "How it is possible?" You do not know that God is almighty. He can beget children in His own way. But you are thinking in your own way, that "I give birth to a child in this way. How is that He is seed-giving father and earth is producing?" Because you are thinking in your own way.
Indian man: I have to think in my own way.
Prabhupāda: Yes, but that is not God. God is almighty.
Indian man: And now you are explaining that.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Therefore you have to go to the right master.
Indian man: They say in their own way. How you search out the right master?
Prabhupāda: Yes. So I am speaking on the basis of the Bhagavad-gītā. I am not manufacturing.
Indian man: True.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is master. Master means he will not manufacture. Lawyer means who will speak in the court with reference to the lawbook. Not that "My Lordship, I have manufactured this way. You accept it." "Get out. Get out, rascal. You are not a lawyer." So this is going on. The rascals are going to be lawyer, without understanding.
Indian man: No, sir. The way you explain mother earth, similarly father's explain to me.
Prabhupāda: Father... He says. Because you have no advanced knowledge, how you can understand? The father says, "I am father."
Indian man: So beautiful you explain mother. Similarly, just let me understand father also.
Prabhupāda: No, no, beautifully, yes, everything is beautiful. We first know that without father, mother, there cannot be birth. So everything, whatever you... sarva-bhūtāni, sarva-bhūtāni, whatever is coming out, they are coming out as child of the earth. And you do not know who is the father. The father says, ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā (BG 14.4). You understand the father. How you do not understand? The father says, "I am the father." You are searching after the father, and father says, and mother certifies, "Yes, he is your father." You don't require any other knowledge.
Indian man: This is fact. I am not understanding.
Prabhupāda: It is a simple truth. The father says, "I am the father." Therefore what can be done? He says, the father says, "I am the father." Mother certifies, "Yes, he is your father." Still if you do not understand, what can be done?
Indian man: You indicated very beautifully mother. I accept that.
Prabhupāda: Yes, this is also beautifully indicated. The father says personally, but you are so dull-headed you cannot understand.
Indian man: You say Lord Kṛṣṇa, but I must know what Kṛṣṇa is.
Prabhupāda: Then it is very difficult to make you understand. Everyone knows what is Kṛṣṇa.
Indian man: I don't know.
Prabhupāda: Then you should learn it, what is Kṛṣṇa. Therefore it is said, anyone who knows Kṛṣṇa, he is liberated. Because you do not know, you are not liberated. Otherwise, as soon as you understand Kṛṣṇa you become liberated.
Indian man: It is plain fact: I don't know.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So try to understand Kṛṣṇa from the right source. Otherwise, you will remain a rascal. That's all. That is your first business, to understand Kṛṣṇa. And Kṛṣṇa is explained in so many śāstras. If I am so rascal that still I cannot understand, that is my misfortune.
Indian man: Simply misfortune.
Prabhupāda: If I want to come to point of misfortune, that is my disease. Otherwise, we can understand little, Kṛṣṇa is explaining. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says,
janma karma ca me divyaṁ
yo jānāti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti...
Simply to understand Kṛṣṇa is liberation. And that is also explained. What is that tattva, how one can understand tattvataḥ, that is explained by Kṛṣṇa. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ (BG 18.55). That tattva is bhakti, not karma, jñāna, yoga. Everything is there. And still if we want to be misled, that is our misfortune.
Indian man: I am a seeker; I want to know.
Prabhupāda: Therefore I am taking this trouble. Otherwise, I have no business.
Indian man: I want to know Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is wanted. If you want to know, then there is way. And as soon as you understand Kṛṣṇa, you are liberated.
Indian man: This is the first step to know Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Yes. And that Kṛṣṇa is explaining. Where is the difficulty? Kṛṣṇa is explaining Himself. There is no difficulty to understand Kṛṣṇa. Suppose you have no knowledge about me, what is Swāmījī. You may speculate, "Swāmījī may be such and such, such and such." But if I explain myself, that "I am like this," then where is the difficulty? You haven't got to speculate, because I am explaining it. So you take that, you understand Kṛṣṇa. Why speculation?
Indian man: ... (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: Yes, there is no need of speculation. Kṛṣṇa is explaining Himself. You take the advantage of Kṛṣṇa's explanation, you understand Kṛṣṇa. What is the difficulty? There is no difficulty. I am explaining my position. You have to understand as I am explaining. You cannot explain me. That is not possible. There are so many secrets I do not dis... if I do not disclose, how you can explain it?
Indian man: Very simple, the way you related mother's. My mind could immediately accept it. But at the point of father's, it stopped.
Prabhupāda: Because you are thinking to become father in a particular way. You do not accept...
Indian man: Mother also in particular way.
Prabhupāda: That means you are thinking in your own particular way. But Kṛṣṇa is not subjected to your thinking. You have to give up this bad habit first of all, that Kṛṣṇa will be subordinate to your thinking. That is not God.
Indian man: How to give up this bad habit?
Prabhupāda: That means you have to become a bhakta. So long... You are thinking as jñānī. Therefore... Jñānī cannot understand Kṛṣṇa. Only the bhakta can understand.
Indian man: Because he thinks in other ways.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Therefore he cannot understand. Athāpi te deva padāmbuja-dvaya-prasāda-leśānugṛhīta eva hi, jānāti tattvam (SB 10.14.29). One who is fully surrendered—not fully; even little surrendered—he can understand. Otherwise, ciraṁ vicinvan. He can speculate for long, long years. For long, long years. Still he cannot. Athāpi te deva padāmbuja-dvaya-prasāda-leśānugṛhīta eva hi, jānāti tattvam. He can understand. Na ca anya eko 'pi ciraṁ vicinvan. Others, even one of them, simply by speculating they cannot understand.
Indian man: To find śraddhā, or faith, to surrender. To surrender, one must have something to surrender to. What is that?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is explaining about Himself, so many pages. At last He says, "Surrender to Me." He is not asking him to surrender all of a sudden. He is explaining all the ways. "You think over," He has explained. Then He says, "The most confidential knowledge, Arjuna, I am giving to you, because you are My very dear friend, that you simply surrender. That's all."
Indian man: Simply surrender.
Prabhupāda: That's all.
(Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, Poona, December 22, 1976)