Prabhupāda: We are preaching. Who is taking? Mass of people, they are not taking it. But still, we are doing that. That is our duty. People may take or not take, but a God's servant must speak the truth. Just like Jesus Christ. He was crucified. Nobody took his words. But he did it. If people would have accepted his philosophy, then why he was crucified by the judges? It was done by the judges, Roman judges. So this is the position of the world. Socrates was killed because he said that there is soul. This is the defect of Western civilization. They want vox populi. What is that vox populi? Huh?
Prabhupāda: Vox populi. You know this word?
Devotee (2): Yeah, Latin.
Devotee (3): Vox populi.
Prabhupāda: Latin, yes. People's vote. The people may be asses, but still, their votes will be taken, the vox populi. The fourth-class, fifth-class men, and they are giving vote. And the mistake is detected. Just like this Nixon was voted, and the mistake was detected. But still, they follow the same process, vox populi. What is the value of the votes of the fourth-class, fifth-class men? Better one intelligent man, if he knows things, if he is liberated, if he says, "This is right," that should be taken. That is Vedic civilization. We are accepting Kṛṣṇa. We are not accepting the vox populi. One person, the Supreme, that's all. This is our process. We don't accept vox populi. All these Vedic literature are accepted not on the people's vote, but who is presenting? Vyāsadeva is presenting, Kṛṣṇa is presenting, Parāśara Muni is presenting. Therefore they are accepted. You cannot expect the mass of people very intelligent. That is not possible. So what is the value of their votes if they are not intelligent?
But in the Western countries this is the disease, vox populi. Socrates said there is soul, and he was killed because vox populi was against. Christ was killed because vox populi was against. This is the defect of the Western civilization. During the lifetime of Christ, nobody accepted. When he was killed, or crucified, then the other saintly persons, they gave their experience, what they learned from Jesus Christ. Christ could not give any words. Some sporadic words were there, and the Bible was made on that basis. Actually, the Bible is not the word, directly words, of Christ.
Devotee (3): That must be why it says... It says, "The Gospel According to John," "The Gospel According to Mark."
Prabhupāda: Ah, yes.
Devotee: Even his disciples denounced him when they were going to crucify him. They said, "Oh, I do not know Jesus." (break)
Prabhupāda: ...they are after zeros. Caitanya Mahāprabhu sa..., śūnyāyitaṁ jagat sarvaṁ govinda-viraheṇa me (Śikṣāṣṭaka 7). Śūnyāyitam means zero. Advancement of civilization is zero. If you add many thousands of zero, does the value increases?
Devotee (3): No.
Prabhupāda: It remains zero.
Devotee (3): Big zero.
Prabhupāda: There must be one. Then it will increase the value. That one, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, will make this material civilization hundred times important. And without Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they are all zeros. (break) ...next life, supposing hypothetically I am going to be a dog, then what is this civilization? But that you cannot say, "No, I am not going to be dog," because you do not know. You are under the..., completely under the grip of material nature. And there are cats and dogs. How you can guarantee that you are not going to be a dog? Kṛṣṇa says dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG 2.13). You will get another body. So how you can say that "No, I am not going to be a dog"? You cannot say; you are not independent. You cannot make your choice. Karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa (SB 3.31.1). By your work, it will be decided by higher authorities. Then how you can say, "No, no, I am not... There is no life, there is no..." It is all nonsense. Therefore without this knowledge, all this material opulence, it is all zero. It may be some fact for fifty or sixty years, but the world is not for fifty or sixty years—for millions and millions of years.
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, May 16, 1975, Perth)