(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada instructing his disciples)
Guest: Would you like to give your views on psychiatry?
Devotee: Would you like to give your views on psychiatry? Psychiatry. Psychiatrist.
Prabhupāda: What is that? (laughter)
Devotee: Well, when someone is having some kind of mental problem, the psychiatrist analyzes it from the medical viewpoint, sometimes from the psychological viewpoint.
Prabhupāda: Hmm. Psychiatrist.
Devotee: Yes. (laughter)
Prabhupāda: This is an expansion of the energy known as mind. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā: khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca (BG 7.4). These are subtle matter. So different division. God's creation is so wonderful that even if you take the atom, there are so many things. That is... Scientists are... So what to speak of mind, thinking, feeling, willing, and there are so many divisions. So what is your question about the psychiatrist? It is a material thing and very subtle, and there are so many divisions. So what is your question about it?
Guest: I just wanted your views on... Is, is your concept of...
Prabhupāda: Yes, it is, everything is resting on God. This is also resting on God.
Guest: Is it necessary to have a therapeutic system, some...?
Prabhupāda: No, everything... First of all we have to understand that everything is expansion of God's energy. So if you understand God, then the energies are automatically understood. Yasmin vijñāte sarvam idaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.1.3). This is the Vedic injunction. If you try to understand God, then His energies also will be understood by you. If you know the root, if you water on the root of the tree, then the tree, whole tree, becomes luxuriantly flourished. So our proposition is: you take the root, Kṛṣṇa, and you will understand everything properly from the root. If you want to understand the tree, whole tree, you try to understand it from the root, not from the top. So disease, any disease, if you understand the root cause of the disease you can give proper medicine and he's cured.
So psychiatrists, generally their patients are crazy fellows. (laughter) Generally they treat crazy fellows. It is not? No sane man goes to a psychiatrist. (laughter) Is it not a fact? (laughter) So all these crazy men sometimes makes the psychiatrist a crazy also. So more or less, everyone is crazy. That is the... It is not my layman's opinion; it is the opinion of a big medical surgeon. There was a case in the court, murder case. The murderer pleaded that "I became crazy, mad, at that time." That is generally. So the medical man was called to examine. He was great civil surgeon in Calcutta. So he gave his opinion in the court that "So far I have treated many patients, so my opinion is that everyone is more or less a madman. More or less. It is a question of degree." So our opinion is like that, that anyone who is not under the direct connection with God, he's a crazy man. He's a madman. Now you can treat.
So we are also psychiatrists. We are pushing this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So because anyone who is in this material world— more or less crazy, madman. Because he doesn't care for God, therefore he's crazy. He is completely under the control of God, but still, he has the audacity to say, "No, I don't believe in God." Crazy man. So anyone who does not believe in God, he's a crazy fellow. You can treat him. Everyone is patient.
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate
This crazy fellow is fully under the control of material nature, and he's still thinking that he is independent. That is craziness. Everyone is thinking like that, so everyone is a patient of psychiatrist. How we can declare independence? There is no independence. We are completely dependent on the laws of material nature. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ (BG 3.27). Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9). This is knowledge.
Nobody wants to die, but nature says, "You must die." Where is your independence? Nobody wants to take birth, enter into the mother's womb, but you must enter. Nobody wants to become old man. Nature says, "You must become old man." Nobody wants disease. The nature says, "You must have disease." So where is your independence? But the crazy fellow says, "I am independent. I think like this." What is the value of your thinking? You may think in your favor, but the nature will not allow you. So everyone is crazy who is declaring independence. He's a crazy.
Then? Any question? Yes, this question is very nice. Anyone who does not believe in God, does not surrender to God, he's a crazy fellow, that's all.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Melbourne, April 23, 1976)