Materialistic Persons Are Ghostly-Haunted
(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada, New York 1966)

Devotee: (to guest) I understood that you approach psychiatry, psychology, from the point of Eastern philosophy?

Prabhupāda: So, what can I do for you?

Psychiatrist: I have no question.

Prabhupāda: He has no question?

Devotee: No.

Prabhupāda: Then, what shall I say?

Devotee: (laughs) I don't know, Śrīla Prabhupāda. He had told me that he has read your Bhagavad-gītā. He has a copy. Do you have any questions about the Bhagavad-gītā? Has he understood it?

Psychiatrist: I just wished to meet you.

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Devotee: He says he just wished to meet you. (pause) Perhaps I should read a verse. Should I read a verse?

Prabhupāda: No. Our viewpoint is that in the material world, who has accepted this material body—anyone, but we specially take the human society—they require treatment, everyone. Everyone is mentally diseased, and therefore he is unhappy. Everyone. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahād-guṇa (SB 5.18.12). Anyone who has no sense of God consciousness, he is diseased mentally. He requires treatment. The whole human society, especially at the present moment, they have given up God consciousness. They are not interested. That is their disease. And everyone requires treatment.

So the whole Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is the mass treatment of the materialistic persons who are mentally diseased. That is our proposition. It is... in India there was a case: A man committed murder, and he pleaded in the court that... his pleader, his lawyer, pleaded that he was mad at that time. We also accept unless one becomes mad, one cannot commit murder or suicide. So the Civil Surgeon was brought to give evidence whether this man is actually mad. The Civil Surgeon said that, "So far my experience is concerned—I have treated so many persons—in my opinion, everyone is mad. So if on account of madness one should be excused from the law, then it is Your Honor's discretion. But so far I have studied, more or less, everyone is mad." Similarly, our study is that unless one is mad, he cannot remain in this material world.

So everyone is mentally diseased, and they are concocting their ideas, different ideas. And they are overlapping—my idea, your idea, overlapping. Therefore there is clash, unhappiness, violence, individually, socially, familywise, nationwise. This is going on. Therefore everyone requires a treatment, psychiatrist's treatment. And the best treatment is to induce a person to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. Then everything will be all right. Otherwise, a person who is not Kṛṣṇa conscious, or God conscious, he is basically a madman and requires treatment. (pause) Ghostly-haunted man... you have experienced ghostly-haunted man?

Devotee: In one center was a ghost. In St. Kilda the devotees used to think there was a ghost, but not a man who was called...

Prabhupāda: There is ghost. And sometimes ghost attacks a man. Because he has no material body, he wants to act through other's body. So the man who is attacked, he forgets himself, and he speaks and walks according to the dictation of the ghost. That is called ghostly-haunted man.

Devotee (2): What is the significance of... what is this?

Prabhupāda: He talks nonsense. Suppose his father comes before him, he calls him by ill names, like that. He talks nonsense. So anyone who is too much materially affected, he also talks nonsense. Anartha upāsamaṁ sākṣād bhakti-yogam adhokṣaje (SB 1.7.6). The treatment is bhakti-yoga. That we are teaching. Without any exception, we accept everyone a patient for psychiatric treatment. (pause) He has this book?

Psychiatrist: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Then all other books we can show him.

Devotee (3): Śrīla Prabhupāda, does the soul, the ghost, enter into the other man's body? The soul is occupying one body, and the ghost is another soul, does he enter that body? There's two souls in the one body?

Prabhupāda: Not exactly enters, but he catches the body. But because the ghost has no gross body—he has got his subtle body: mind, intelligence, and ego—you cannot see him, how he has attacked that body. You cannot see the body of mind, intelligence. You know I have got my mind; I know you have got your mind. But you do not see my mind; I do not see your mind. So ghost is within the subtle body: mind, intelligence and ego. So with that subtle body, he attacks the man, but you cannot see. He does not enter into him. The enter is the soul within the body. Therefore sometimes ghost is walking in the room. We cannot see him. But he takes away something. We see that the thing is going away. (laughter) Because you cannot see his gross body. And because he hasn't got gross body, he can move very swiftly. Now he is here; he can go ten miles away immediately. But there is ghost. And they attack specially woman.

Devotee: Is that because the women are weaker?

Prabhupāda: No. Woman is attractive for any man, even in ghostly life. The other day, who was telling that a big poet of India, he said that, "God's most wonderful creation is woman's body"?

Devotee (2): I think Brahmānanda Mahārāja mentioned?

Devotee (4): Acyutānanda Swami.

Devotee (2): Acyutānanda.

Prabhupāda: So everyone is attracted with the woman's body. In your country I have seen the advertisement, "bottomless," "topless..." That is the material attraction. Everyone is in this material world on account of attachment. And similarly, for woman, the man's body is beautiful. So in this way both of them are attached to one another. That is the basic principle of material life. Yan maithunādi-gṛhamedhi-sukhaṁ hi tuccham kaṇḍūyanena karayor iva duḥkha-duḥkham (SB 7.9.45). They become attached. And account of sex life, they become more attached, and therefore both of them remain almost perpetually in this material world, and to satisfy different desires they transmigrate from one body to another. And on account of accepting this material body, there is always miserable condition. Therefore everyone requires the psychiatric treatment so that the mind may be transferred from matter to spirit soul. Then you'll be cured. The disease is of the mind.

Harāv abhaktasy kuto mahād-guṇa mano-rathena. Everyone is riding on the chariot of mind, and the mind is taking him here and there. And the yoga practice is also treatment. This is also yoga, bhakti-yoga, and this ordinary haṭha-yoga, that is also treatment of the mind. Treatment of mind means controlling the senses. Yoga indriya-samyamaḥ. Mind is the leader of the senses. So if the treatment of the mind is done properly, then the senses work properly. The example is the madman. Because the madman's mind is not controlled, he is acting in a way, people say: "Here is a madman." So everyone is more or less a madman in this material world, or, in other words, you can say anyone who is in the material world, he is a madman; he requires treatment. Just like anyone who is in the prison house, it is to be accepted that he is a criminal. Without any study, without any exception, we can accept all the prisoners as criminals.

(break)... gradually appreciate. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ (CC Antya 20.12). This treatment is, in the beginning, just cleansing the mirror of the heart. That is the treatment. Just like a mirror, when it is overcast with dust, it requires cleansing. So the mental mirror is covered with material dust, so it has to be cleansed. That is the treatment. And when it is cleansed, you can see your real face in the mirror. Similarly, as soon as our heart disease, contaminated by the modes of material nature, is cleansed, you can understand what is your real position. That is the success of psychiatric treatment. One comes to know, "What I am." Ahaṁ brahmāsmi: "I am spirit soul. I am not this body." That is called brahma-bhūtaḥ stage. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā (BG 18.54). He becomes immediately happy. And happiness means na śocati na kāṅkṣati: "He does not lament, neither he desires."

Our present disease is we hanker after things which we do not possess, and when that thing is lost, we lament. So hankering and lamenting. So when one is cleansed in the heart, he has no more hankering or desire. This is the symptom. And samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu: "Then he becomes equal to everyone." "Everyone" means every living being, man and animal, trees, plants, lower or higher. Paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18). Then he enters into the sphere of devotional service. This is the symptom. Then he is perfectly in his original position. Then he is happy. Just like a diseased man, so long the disease is there, he is unhappy; and as soon as the disease is cured, he will be happy. So this material disease, as soon as it is cured, one becomes happy, because he is, by constitution, spiritual being. People have no knowledge even, his... even about his spiritual identity. Therefore they are unhappy.

(Srila Prabhupada Conversation with Psychiatrist, Perth, Australia,  May 12, 1975)

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