(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada and disciples on a morning walk)
Devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda, we experience almost daily that we suffer so much. So we see almost daily that people are dying, get killed in the car accident...
Devotee: ...burned in houses...
Devotee: ...so many things. We experience almost daily.
Devotee: Still, people tend to not think about...
Prabhupāda: In Bhagavad-gītā it is said duḥkhālayam. This is a place for suffering only. This material world is a place for suffering. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, duḥkhālayam... and that suffering, that also you, you cannot make any, what is called, compromise. "All right, it is suffering. I shall remain here." But that also you cannot. Some day nature will kick you out: "Get out." Duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam (BG 8.15).
Even if you accept this place of misery to be your permanent residence, that also you cannot have. You have to go out. Today or tomorrow or fifty years after, you have to go. That is the mistake. I am thinking, "Now I have got this American body," or this body, that body. "I am very happy." But how long you'll remain in this condition? Any moment you will be kicked out. This is laws of nature. Therefore my intelligence will, will be shown when you are trying for the real, eternal life. That is wanted.
Devotee: So these sufferings, also due to the desire of the individual soul.
Prabhupāda: That... the... suffering is there. Suppose you are in the ocean. It is suffering, but if you have got a good ship, you may think that, "I'm very well situated." That good ship also can sink at any moment. Suffering is always there. You cannot avoid the suffering, because you are in the ocean. Suppose you are in the air in a very nice plane. Does it mean you are secure? Any moment it can be...
There is dangers everywhere. Therefore this place is always dangerous. Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadām (SB 10.14.58), always dangerous. So real intelligence means you have to find out where there is no danger. That is real... where there is real happiness. In the material world we cannot have happiness.
Devotee: So without the proper guidance...
Devotee: Without the proper guidance...?
Prabhupāda: Yes, everything requires guidance. You are working in the laboratory under guidance. Similarly, everything requires guidance. Just like these small birds. First of all, they learn with the mother. The mother goes, and they go. The mother come back, they come back. So guidance. Nature's way: guidance. And when they become little habituated, then without mother they can do their business. That guidance is there everywhere. (japa) (pause)
(break) ....kaunteya duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam, nāpnuvanti (BG 8.15): "Anyone who reaches Me, he does not come back to this material world full of miseries and temporary life." That means anyone who goes back to home, back to Godhead, there is no misery, there is no temporary life. It must be the opposite. Mām upetya punar janma duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam, nāpnuvanti. Saṁsiddhiṁ paramām. That is highest perfection. Paramām. Saṁsiddhiṁ paramām. Every... all this scientific research is going on for perfection.
They say the world is imperfect. That's... that is a fact. Imperfect. Imperfect means here you cannot get happiness and cannot live permanently. This is imperfection. That they do not know. That question they set aside. These problem... if you say to the scientist, "What you have done for the human society to live eternally in perfect happiness," what is their answer?
Devotee (2): They do just the opposite. They accelerate the death and they create more problems.
Prabhupāda: That's it. That's it.
Devotee: They will say that they are trying.
Prabhupāda: That is nonsense. (break)
Devotee: They have now some theories how to prolong life, how to live longer.
Prabhupāda: What is that? Even if you live longer, does it meant that eternal life? That is already there. I'll live for eighty years. Another lives for, say, sixty years. Another lives for hundred years. That is already there. The trees live for thousands of years. Does it mean it is life? A tree lives for... in your San Francisco there is a tree which is said seven thousand years. Does it mean it is life, to live for so long duration of life? Then the tree is better than you. It is also living. Śaṅkarācārya lived for thirty-two years. Lord Caitanya lived for forty-eight years. So what is the use of living for hundred years? Who is more famous than Śaṅkarācārya and Caitanya Mahāprabhu? So you live for a moment. But live worth. Then it is life. And living for seven thousand years standing like the tree, is that life?
Devotee: Like the English proverb says: "One crowded hour of glorious life is worth a day without a name."
Prabhupāda: Yes. That's a fact. Kalpānta-sthāyino guṇāḥ. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says that if you have got qualities, then you live for millions of years. Millions of years. If you have got quality. And if you have no quality, then living for thousands of years like the tree, what is the use? Is that very glorious life, to stand up in a place like a tree for thousands of years? Actually they do not know what is the value of life. (break)... how people are busy here. And we see how people are wasting time. This is the vision.
Devotee (2): They say progress.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Progress towards death. That's all. That the animal has got also. They're also progressing. The frog, ka-kara-kanh, ka-kara-kanh, progress. The progress is that the snake is coming nearer, kāla-sarpa. (pause)
Not a single instance of these birds being overpowered by the waves. They're so expert: not touching the water, although walking with big, big waves. Wherefrom he got this knowledge? You can study. You stand. Not a single instance you'll find that it is overpowered by the waves. Immediately comes. Spontaneous.
Devotee: Kṛṣṇa within is directing.
Prabhupāda: Yes. He's directing you also. But these... how this direction takes place? According to your desire. If you want to be cheated, Kṛṣṇa will direct you how you become cheated.
Devotee (2): From Him comes forgetfulness, as also remembrance.
Prabhupāda: Yes. You don't want to understand Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa will give you such direction you'll never understand Kṛṣṇa, life after life. So Kṛṣṇa has got two kinds of direction, according to my desire: positive and negative. (pause)
Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham (BG 4.11). As... as you want direction, Kṛṣṇa will give you direction.
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Los Angeles, April 25, 1973)