(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada, New York 1966)
Devotee: This has become a very popular subject, psychology. About 80% of the students take a class in this. And they took a survey, and the reason most students take this class is to find out more about who they are themself. So it is the closest thing in the West to self-realization.
Devotee (2): They've found out that "I am no better than the animal"? That's the conclusion?
Devotee (3): One school. Then there's another school. They say, "How can you base a theory of human nature on animals?" They do not like this. They are revolting against making man an animal.
Devotee: Bhagavad-gītā gives the best psychology.
Devotee: How to control the mind to uplift the self.
Prabhupāda: So why the dogs cannot construct such building? (break) ...psychology? Why they haven't got the same psychology?
Devotee (3): Well, the scientists would say that "We have the same psychology. We have a material psychology, the dog has a material psychology, but we're just a little more advanced, that's all."
Prabhupāda: So similarly, there may be others who are still advanced. Therefore the most advanced is God. This should be the psychology. As we see there is difference between dogs and hogs and man, so go on. Search out. So when you find out the most intelligent person, then he is God. (break) ...parataraṁ nānyat. That is statement of Bhagavad-gītā: "No more intelligent. Here, ultimate. I am God." So from psychological point of view, how they can deny God?
Devotee (4): No one is teaching that in this big university. Therefore the students are very discouraged, depressed.
Prabhupāda: Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (Bs. 5.1). Paramaḥ. Paramaḥ means the Supreme. Our definition of God is that supreme in every respect. What man can do, the dog cannot do. What the dog can do, the cat cannot do. What the cat can do, the rat cannot do. So we see so many differences. Therefore there must be others who are more intelligent than man. That is demigod. And there must be others most intelligent than the demigod. In this way, when you come to the final, that is Kṛṣṇa. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (Bs. 5.1). Go on finding out more, more, more. When you come to the final, that is God, or Kṛṣṇa. So we take instruction from Him. Therefore we are better than the so-called university professors.
Devotee: In this tower they had to put glass so the students wouldn't jump out. (laughter)
Prabhupāda: Ohh! Just see.
Devotee (4): In 1963 they had... I think they put these things up, but so many people were committing suicide by jumping.
Prabhupāda: Why they were committing suicide?
Devotee (4): Because everyone was very depressed. This is supposed to be enlightenment, a place of knowledge. But everyone was very depressed.
Devotee (3): Being taught that they are the body.
Devotee (5): Existentialists, huh?
Devotee (3): I went to a Catholic university, and they taught me in psychology, and it was a priest. And they were teaching this, that I am a bodily process. And he never challenged the textbook. So when one thinks he's the body, and if he's intelligent, a very depressing thought. Even in the Catholic universities they use these textbooks that teach this materialism.
Prabhupāda: Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ (SB 7.5.31): "Blind man is leading other blind men."
Devotee (3): Śrīla Prabhupāda, when the jīva soul desires to enter the material world, is that an illusory desire?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Desire means he wants to enjoy, but he is not enjoyer. When he comes to enjoy, he becomes servant. That is illusion.
Devotee (3): So when the jīva soul descends into the material world, it is like a hallucination?
Prabhupāda: Yes. We get experience daily. In the daytime we have forgotten the night dream, and night dream we forget in this daytime existence. So which is correct? Therefore it is hallucination. (break)
Devotee (3): ...one psychologist who believes man is his body but he talks very much about transcendence. Even the materialists now, they realize that the present condition is very miserable and this false ego is the cause of all problems, so they are seeking some form of transcendence. And many psychologists are talking about transcendence nowadays as the solution to life's problems.
Prabhupāda: What do they define about transcendence?
Devotee (3): Well, actually they give all the characteristics of transcendence that are found in the Bhagavad-gītā, but without saying that man is a spirit soul and without talking about Kṛṣṇa. They believe man should overcome duality, should be beyond attachment, should work for a higher goal in life, things like this, all the characteristics that Kṛṣṇa gives, but without Kṛṣṇa.
Devotee: It appears that they have taken these things from Bhagavad-gītā.
Prabhupāda: Yes, they must. What is this department? (break) ...special science.
Devotee: How to live in peace. How to live, peaceful society.
Prabhupāda: And fall down from the tower? (laughter)
Devotee (3): That is part of the study, Śrīla Prabhupāda. It's called alienation, why people are alienated.
Prabhupāda: Now it is very peaceful, fall down and finish. That's all. Suicide.
Devotee (3): The reason they say that people are committing suicide is there is not enough meaning in life, and there's not enough meaning in life because the capitalists are exploiting all the people and making people work very, very hard.
Prabhupāda: But they have meaning, life. You have no meaning, but they have meaning. Some section have meaning. They are accusing capitalist. So they have meaning. Why you say there is no meaning? You have no meaning. You have no money—you have no meaning. (laughter)
Devotee (3): That is their feeling, that if everyone had equal...
Prabhupāda: That, therefore you cannot say life has no meaning. You have no meaning, but others may have. You cannot say, generalization, that life has no meaning.
Devotee: We can say your life has no meaning.
Prabhupāda: Yes. You are unfortunate. You have no meaning. We have meaning. We are going back to home, back to Godhead.
Devotee (3): Jaya. Another reason they feel very depressed is that they feel powerless, that they have no power to control their destiny, that all the big social forces, all the big social powers, they're controlling their lives, and...
Prabhupāda: Then why you are so much proud of having all the knowledge? Then you admit that you are a rascal. You have no... You are dependent, and you are trying to be independent. That is not being possible; therefore you are rascal. Your education has no meaning, because you are dependent and you are trying to be independent.
Devotee (3): Most professors nowadays, they will admit that they have no absolute knowledge, that everything they know is relative and that there might be something much better than what they are teaching.
Prabhupāda: Yes. There might... There is. But you rascal, you do not take it. That is your fault. There is, not "there might be." Here is Bhagavad-gītā. (break) ...Bhagavad-gītā it is said, etat jñānam: "This is knowledge, and all other things, they are not knowledge." Etat jñānam.
Devotee: Anything other than this is ignorance?
Devotee (4): Your teachings, the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā as it is, had not come here before. So these people are misled. So just recently you have presented. So in a sense it is not their fault, because they have had not the chance to hear Bhagavad-gītā as it is. They have got many Bhagavad-gītā, but they were not able to understand. But now, by your grace, maybe we'll see the reaction in a few years. Maybe all this will change.
Prabhupāda: Do they say like that, or you are saying? (laughter)
Devotee (4): Well, some people have said. Not widely yet. The work must go on. There's much to go. (break)
Devotee (3): Bacteriology, study of germs. So Śrīla Prabhupāda, the reason one person gets a disease from a germ and another person doesn't get a disease, it is karma?
Prabhupāda: No, that is infection. If you are weak, you are infected. That is the science. One who is not weak, he does not become infected. Just like in your country there are so many liquor shop, but you are not interested. So it is like that.
Devotee (3): We have a little strength through your divine grace.
Prabhupāda: Yes. There are so many slaughterhouses, but we are not infected. So it is the strength that saves one man from infection. (break) ...learned scholars, they are astonished that I have hypnotized. Otherwise how it is possible? What that Judah's, "charis..."?
Devotee (5): Charismatic.
Devotee: They say that we're becoming brainwashed.
Prabhupāda: That's all right. "Why you cannot do?" It is brainwash, yes, all dirty things you are...
Devotee: Are being cleansed.
Devotee (6): Brainwashed and also heartwashed.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Ceto-darpaṇa-mār... That is our process, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12), cleansing the mirror of heart. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam (CC Madhya 19.170). This is our process, cleansing. Tato rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ kāma-lobhādayas (SB 1.2.19).
Devotee (3): In modern psychology, Śrīla Prabhupāda, only until very recently they did not even want to talk about consciousness. There was no mention of consciousness, because it was not a scientific thing that they could observe.
Prabhupāda: Scientific... It is the most crude thing. Everyone knows. Even the animal, even the ant, they have got consciousness.
Devotee (3): Well, it embarrassed them that they know everyone has consciousness but there was no way they could measure it or, according to gross science, get some factual information about it. So it embarrassed them so much, they tried to avoid the subject, hush it up, not speak about it.
Prabhupāda: That is their disease. When they cannot make any solution, they avoid it. (break) ...touch the real point, that why there is death. Nobody will touch because they cannot make any solution. Why do they not have a department?
Devotee (3): Nowadays they're actually realizing their error and they're studying death more, trying to prepare people for death more. But the only thing they can tell them is, "Accept it." The only thing they can do is say, "You are going to die. So just accept it with a cheerful attitude."
Prabhupāda: But I do not wish to die. Why shall I be cheerful? (laughter) You rascal, you say, "Become cheerful." (laughter) "Cheerfully, you become hanged." (laughter) The lawyer will say, "Never mind. You have lost the case. Now you cheerfully be hanged." (laughter)
Devotee (3): That is actually... The whole goal of modern psychology is to make people adjust to the fact that they must stay in this material world, and that if you have some desire to leave the material world, they will tell you you are crazy. "No, no. Now you must adjust more again to the material condition."
Devotee: They teach you to accept the frustrations of life.
Devotee: They teach you that you should accept all the frustrations of life.
Prabhupāda: Why frustration? You are big, big scientist. You cannot solve?
Devotee (3): They cannot solve because they have the same problems.
Prabhupāda: The same logic, "Cheerfully be hanged." That's all. As soon as there is some difficult subject, they give up. And they speculate on some nonsense thing. That's all. This is their education. Education means atyantika-duḥkha-nivṛtti, the ultimate solution of all unhappiness. That is education. Not that after coming to some extent, "No, you can die happily." And what is duhkha, unhappiness? That is presented by Kṛṣṇa: janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi duḥkha-doṣānu... (BG 13.9). These are your unhappiness. Try to solve it. And that they are carefully avoiding. They cannot stop death, neither birth, nor old age, nor disease. And during the short period of life, birth and death, they are making big, big buildings, and next time he is becoming one rat within the buildings. (laughter) Nature. You cannot avoid the nature's law. As you cannot avoid death, similarly, nature will give you another body. Become a tree in this university. Stand up for five thousand years. You wanted to be naked. Now nobody will object. You stand here naked.
Devotee: They do that also. They have a fad now. It's called streakers.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So therefore their punishment is to become tree, to cat, dog, like that. That they cannot explain, why there is cat life, dog life, human life, rich life. That they cannot do. All big questions, they have avoided. And they remain perpetually a rascal. That is their education. Mūḍha. Kṛṣṇa says, mūḍha, narādhama: "Lowest of the mankind." Human life was meant for real education. They remain the same rascal and dies very happily. Mūḍhas. (break)
Devotee (3): In the pictures of the ācāryas, sometimes yourself and Bhaktisiddhānta has their left hand touching the ground. Is there any meaning to that?
Devotee (3): Yes. There's a picture, and your hand is like this.
Prabhupāda: No. (break)
Devotee: Many students are here during the day. They come and set up the Deities and then do kīrtana and give out prasādam.
Prabhupāda: Do that. Continue that. They will be infected.
Prabhupāda: Infect them.
Devotee: Their brains will be washed. We will have big success with this new temple here, Śrīla Prabhupāda. Many of these students will come and visit us. People like us very much here, at least the students.
Prabhupāda: That is very good. Students are the future hope, young students.
Devotee (3): Śrīla Prabhupāda, we should teach them to live very simply, to give up all of this complexity that is causing them so much agitation and depression, and just live very simply, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is greatest common factor. Whatever he may be, if he is induced to chant, that is very good, and take prasādam.
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, San Francisco, July 16, 1975)