(18 week fetus)
Devotee: In the Jewish tradition, they yearn for a life of living on farms and villages, small communities, with cows and agriculture
Devotee: Is this also expressed in the Vedas?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
David Lawrence: You feel that strongly.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. That is real life. Real life means you have to minimize your bodily activities so that you can save time and devote for spiritual understanding. That is real life. And the present civilization based on bodily concept of life is animal life. It is not civilized life. Civilized life means athāto brahma jijñāsā—when one is advanced so much so that he inquires about the spirit soul. But there is no such inquiry. Like the cats and dogs, they cannot inquire what is spirit soul. So Vedic life means to become free as much as possible from the bodily disturbances. Therefore, the first education is to become brahmacārī, celibacy. You see? Now, at the present moment, they are trying to make the abortion as law. But these rascal cannot check their sex life. You see? Their philosophy is that you shall go on with sex life unrestrictedly, and when there is pregnancy, kill the child.
David Lawrence: Yes.
Prabhupāda: This is their rascals' philosophy. They have no idea that by training one can forget sex life. So if you forget sex life, where is the question of abortion? Where is the question of abortion? But they cannot do that. Therefore, it is said, adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisram (SB 7.5.30). By nonrestricted sense enjoyment they are gradually going to the animal, lower grade of life. They cannot explain why there are so many varieties of life. They cannot explain. So this killer of baby within the womb, so the result will be that this man who is, I mean to say, indulging in abortion, he'll be put into the womb, and somebody will kill him. And as many wombs or baby he has killed, he'll have to take so many lives and being killed.
David Lawrence: His karma.
Prabhupāda: So much so that it will be rather impossible for him for hundreds of years not to see the light. He'll remain in the womb, and being killed. Does not know the nature's law. One cannot violate the nature's law. You can violate the state law. Suppose you kill somebody, you can escape by trick. But you cannot escape nature's law. As many times you have killed, so many times you have to be killed within the womb. This is nature's law.
David Lawrence: I was very interested to talk to a nurse in one of the main London hospitals only last week, in fact, and she was saying that they're having an almost impossible time trying to man these abortion wards now, because all the nurses and doctors just don't want to do the work. In some cases, she was saying, that they take a baby from its mother's womb and, you know, it's sort of put onto a tray and thrown into a litter bin, and you can see it moving.
David Lawrence: And they've had one or two cases at their hospital where they've gone out afterwards and they've seen babies moving. Terrible.
Prabhupāda: It has been seen in Calcutta also, in dustbin found out some child, dustbin.
David Lawrence: Terrible. You know, some are in such an advanced state of pregnancy that clearly life is a strong possibility.
Prabhupāda: Not advanced stage; life begins from the very beginning of sex. The sex... the living entity is very small. By nature's law, according to his karma, he's sent to the father's semina and that is injected, and immediately the two secretion emulsify, the man's and the woman's, and it forms a body just like a pea. That is the formation of body. Now that pea-like form develops gradually. Then first manifestation is the nine holes. Everything is there in the Vedic literature. So nine holes, we have got nine holes. (pointing)
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. In this way, gradually the senses develop, and by the time seven months, everything is complete and the living entity's consciousness comes back. Prior to the formation of the body, the living entity remains unconscious just like in chloroform, anaesthetic. Then he dreams, and then gradually consciousness... at that time he becomes very much upset to come out, come out. Then nature gives him kat! He comes out. That's all. This is the process of birth.
David Lawrence: Miracle.
Prabhupāda: What do they know? They do not know anything.
David Lawrence: No, no. I was absolutely amazed to read an article, I think it was...
Prabhupāda: This is Vedic knowledge. So you'll get everything perfect. Therefore, how there can be any history? That is the difficulty. We are speaking everything of the spiritual. Therefore, it is sometimes very difficult for the gross materialist. They are so dull-headed, they cannot understand.
David Lawrence: The British Association, which is... many people regard an irrelevant bunch of scientists, who meet once a year, one of the good speeches was in fact given on the question of the value of human life. And one of the points was made there by somebody who has had to talk to these girls who come in to have abortions, some cases their third and fourth abortion, and they're not married, of course. And was saying that many of the girls regard an abortion in the same way as they regard a shampoo for their hair.
David Lawrence: "Oh, well, you know, hair's got to be washed. We wash hair. Womb's got to be cleaned out. We clean the womb out." Just like that.
Prabhupāda: And where is movement in the shampoo? That means there human being are simply being put into ignorance, animal kingdom. This is modern civilization.
David Lawrence: Yes, yes.
Prabhupāda: To keep people in ignorance, in darkness, is ajānata. Ajānata. The Sanskrit word is ajānata. Lokasya ajānata. Ajānata means to keep in darkness. They do not know anything about the importance of life. Ajānata. Yayā sammohito jīva ātmānaṁ tri-guṇātmakam (SB 1.7.5). By this ajānata principle a man considers that this, "I am this matter." They are all doing all these things because they have no spiritual understanding.
David Lawrence: That's right.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Taking the body as lump of matter. That's all. To break a stone and to kill the body of a child is the same thing. They think like that.
David Lawrence: And yet the incredible thing is the obsession with making life longer. I mean, what is the point of making a life longer that is a worthless life anyway? Because they're so materialistic.
David Lawrence: Take a man, somebody could say he's given a great deal of enjoyment, a man like Walt Disney, you know. He's had his body put into...
Prabhupāda: Well, longer life, you can see this tree, you'll find at least five hundred years old. So this kind of longer life, what is the value? What is the value? There are many trees... I have seen one trees in San Francisco, seven thousand years old.
David Lawrence: Oh, the redwood...
David Lawrence: The redwoods, yes. Makes Walt Disney look a bit...
Prabhupāda: So this kind of longer life, what is the value?
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, London, August 30, 1973)