(The end of Western civilization)
Prabhupada: So far I am personally experienced, in our childhood there were not so many problems. Now India is faced with so many problems on account of imitating Western civilization.
Guest: Not simply because of the increased population?
Prabhupāda: There is no question of increased population. This is, I say always, this is foolishness.
Guest: That's foolish?
Prabhupāda: Yes. When you say "increase of population," it is a proposal of foolish persons.
Guest: Oh, so someone, someone who's foolish...
Prabhupāda: No. Even the... Just like the birds and beast, they are also increasing their population. Yes. If you find one hole in the room, millions of ants will come out. So who is giving their food? There are millions of elephants in the forest. Who is giving their food? There are millions and trillions... There are 8,400,000 species of life. Out of that, eight million species are other than human being, and 400,000 species human being. Out of that, civilized persons are very few. And all the problems are in the civilized, so-called civilized population.
Guest: And that's because, you would say that we have the wrong...
Prabhupāda: No, I, I... We are believer in God. You see. So we know God is the original father. He is supplying maintenance for everyone. So there is no question of increasing population. If there is increase of population, God has enough resources to feed them. It is not the question of increasing population. But what is the question of demonic civilization.
Journalist: Well, I was going to ask you about that, civilization.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. That demonic civilization is creating problems. Not the increase of population. This is not the fact. Now, so far I have studied, that in America, in Africa, in Australia, there are so much vacant places that the present population of the world, if it is increased ten times, still there is enough food...
Journalist: And you think there's enough food.
Prabhupāda: There is enough provisions. But we have made artificial divisions. "This is America." The Americans, they went from Europe, and they illegally occupied that place. Now they won't allow anyone to come there. Similarly, the Australians, they won't allow to come there. New Zealand, Africa. Why? Our philosophy: Everything belongs to God, and we are all sons of God. Everyone has got the right to live at the cost of God. This is our philosophy.
Journalist: But the values of Western civilization have made that...
Prabhupāda: Western civilization created artificial. "This is Africa, this is America, this is Europe..."
Journalist: Yes. Therefore that's made living as children of God impossible.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Because the one son of God is not allowing the other son to come in. And that he hasn't got the right to forbid. Just like your father has got ten sons. So all the tens sons have got the right to use the property of the father. That is law. Similarly, all the living entities, not only human beings. Birds, animals, birds, beasts— everyone. This is called spiritual, or transcendental, communism. According to Vedic civilization, a householder has to see that even a lizard in the room is not fasting, to see whether it has got his food. Even there is a snake in the house, the householder is to see whether the snake has got his food. A householder would stand on the street, and before taking his food, he will say loudly, "If anyone is hungry, please come. Still I have got my food." And if there is no response, then he takes prasādam.
Journalist: That's a very difficult doctrine for many people in civilization...
Prabhupāda: Because... That is civilized. That is civilization. Animal civilization is that one dog, as soon as the other dog is coming: "Yow! Yow! Yow! Why you are coming? Why you have come?" Just like here. Here, everywhere. The immigration department, "Oh, how long you will stay? Oh." So many things. Why? A human being is coming... Vedic civilization is, even one is enemy, if he comes to your home, you receive him as, so friendly that he will forget that you are his enemy. Yes. That is...
Journalist: But it must be very difficult for you to...
Prabhupāda: No. It is difficult because this civilization is demons. Just like India. India welcomed everyone. But the result was they occupied. Just like your English people. They were welcome. Lord Clive was welcome, but he intrigued to occupy India. And his statue is worshiped here. Because what is his credit? He made an intrigue, illegally entered India and made occupation. That is his credit and he is worshiped. That is Western civilization.
Journalist: That's really what I was going to ask you. You must find life difficult preaching the values of brotherhood in a society...
Prabhupāda: Natural brotherhood. Just like in a family, naturally, a father has got ten sons, they are brothers. But one son is intriguing how to take the whole property. That is going on. That is demonic. If every one of the father's sons thinks that "Father is one and father's property equally should be distributed." But no. One cunning son is simply intriguing how to occupy the whole estate for me. That is going on all over the world.
Journalist: How do you stop that?
Prabhupāda: By Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Journalist: By Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Prabhupāda: As soon as you are educated that God is one, Father is one, we are all sons, then the whole solution is made.
Journalist: Because there's no need for any one person to have any more than anybody else.
Prabhupāda: No. God has given everything. God has given everything, but if one party becoming demonically powerful, he occupies everything, the others suffer.
Journalist: Yes. But the difficulty is, and that's a very optimistic view of human nature.
Prabhupāda: That is civilization.
Journalist: But, no...
Prabhupāda: That is not optimist, that is proper civilization.
Journalist: Some people might say, who weren't perhaps as convinced as you...
Prabhupāda: Some people means the demons. We are creating demons. By our education, we are creating demons. That demons, they are being frustrated; they are now becoming hippies. Yes. That is the position. Because everyone wants to enjoy. So as soon as we cannot enjoy, there is some reaction. You see?
Journalist: He rejects.
Prabhupāda: Rejects or reaction. Yes. Protest, rejection. So before this protest and rejection and reaction, if the leaders of the society become cool-headed, that "Actually God is proprietor of everything. Everyone is son of God; so everything, property of God, must be enjoyed by everyone," this if the leaders only think, then everything will be all right. There is no question of increase of population. There is enough food. In America there is so excessive food that they throw away. They throw away. And they forbid, "Don't produce more." Why? Produce more. Distribute more. That is civilization.
Journalist: Yes. I know you define that as civilization. It's just, I was trying to suggest that some societies, and indeed, some individual personalities, are avaricious seemingly by nature. How do you... Well, graft and greed and...
Devotee: Sometimes, that is their natural position.
Prabhupāda: It is a disease. Disease. Lust and greediness. There are three qualities in the world, material world. One is called sattva-guṇa, one is called rajo-guṇa, another is called tamo-guṇa. Goodness. Rajo-guṇa is passion, and tamo-guṇa is darkness. So at the present moment these two guṇas, qualities, darkness and passion are prevalent. Goodness gone. Goodness gone. And the darkness and passion, the symptoms are greediness and lust. People are being educated to become greedy and lusty. That's all. Nobody is being educated to become good. So what is the use of these rascal universities? If they are producing greedy and lusty people, then what is the use of education? Vidyā dadāti namratā. Education means everyone should be gentleman. That is education. And if you produce lusty and greedy people there is no... This is animal education. The animals are lusty and greedy.
Journalist: What is your view of predominant Western civilization, Sir?
Prabhupāda: This predominance is dwindling. Where is your British Empire gone?
Journalist: Yes, quite. In fact, I was asking you about...
Prabhupāda: So this is artificial. There was Roman Empire, there was Mogul Empire, there was Carthagian Empire, there was Egyptian Empire and Greece and so on. They come and go. And there is a song by a Vaiṣṇava, kata caturānana, māri māri yāvatā. There are so many Brahmās come also and they died. So this kind of empirical imperial, onslaught, they will come and stay for hundred or two hundred, and create some problems. There were...Just like there was Napoleon, there was this and that. So they will come and go. They will come and go, create some disturbances and go. Nobody will stay.
Journalist: Yes, but they don't seem to be improving society. When they do come and go, society doesn't seem to improve on the way.
Prabhupāda: If you cannot... if you remain demon then there is no question of improvement. You must be prepared to become... There are two classes of men. One is called god, or demigod; another is called demon. If you continue your demonic civilization, there is no question of happiness. That Hitler will come and this will come, that will... They will fight for some time, create some disturbance and go away. Another Hitler will come, another will come, another will come. This way.
Journalist: There will always be unhappiness amongst...
Prabhupāda: Our philosophy is you cannot be happy and prosperous in this demonic civilization.
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, London, August 18, 1971)