Where Is Your Freedom?
(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada)

Devotee: I remember once when we were staying at John Lennon's estate, you said to me...

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Devotee: At John Lennon's estate, remember? In London. You said to me, the tractor, you said, this is the cause of all the trouble. That it took all the work from the young men and they went to the city and became entangled in the sense gratification in the cities. So I've noticed in the city there's much more passion, but living in the country is simpler.

Prabhupāda: Yes, passion, there must be. When you have got the facility, naturally we are lusty, and when we have got the facility, then we take to it.

Devotee: The country is more peaceful. It's easier to think of spiritual life.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Less disease. Less brain taxing. Everything is less. So balance time, utilize for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And if you have got temple, it is very happy life. Just for your food work little, and balance time engage yourself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is ideal life. Just see minute fibers on the flower. Can anyone manufacture this? So small fibers. And how brilliant it is. If you study only one flower, you become God conscious. There is a machine which we call nature. From that machine, everything is coming. But how machine is perfect? And who has discovered this machine?

Devotee: In London you said they do not know that the butterflies and flowers are painted, but Kṛṣṇa paints them with thought.

Prabhupāda: Yes. How you can expect without painting it has come so beautiful? This is foolishness, "nature"—what is this nature? Everything is being done by the machine of Kṛṣṇa. Parāsya śaktir vividaiva śrūyate. Anyway, improve this mode of life. Live in open place, produce your food grains, produce your milk, save time, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Plain living, high thinking, ideal life. Artificial necessities of life do increase your so-called comforts, but if you forget your real business, that is suicidal. We want to stop this suicidal policy. We don't want to stop the modern advancement of technology, although the so-called advancement technology is suicidal. But we don't talk of this. (laughter) Caitanya Mahāprabhu has therefore given a simple formula—chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Even in your technological factories, you can chant. What is the wrong there? You go on pulling on with your machine and chant, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa.

Devotee (2): They know that if people take up the chanting, gradually they will give up this technology.

Prabhupāda: That is, of course.

Devotee (2): You are actually putting the seeds of their destruction.

Prabhupāda: Yes. No, what is destruction? It is, rather, construction. (laughter) He'll live. He'll live forever. This is destruction. You have to change body. But our method, this tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]. You don't get anymore material body. So that is saving. And without this? Tathā dehāntara-praptir. Then you have to accept another body. So which is better? To accept another material body or no more accepting material body? Which is better? But as soon as you accept material body, you have to suffer. Material body means suffering. So that requires knowledge. If we finish our suffering up to this body, that is intelligent. And if we create another body for suffering, is that intelligent? But you have to, unless you understand Kṛṣṇa, you have to accept. There is no alternative. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. They are so dull they cannot understand the simple truth that as the child, boy is accepting another body, we have to accept another body. They cannot understand. So dull brain. It will take five hundred years to teach them this very simple fact. Huh? Their education is so advanced. (laughter) Therefore mūḍha, the word is used. So-called education keeps them as an ass. Cannot understand the simple truth. So everyone is getting milk? How much?

Devotee (2): As much as they want.

Prabhupāda: As much as they want, then jaundice. (laughter) Too much is not good. They may take minimum half pound per head.

Devotee (2): Minimum.

Prabhupāda: Minimum. And maximum one pound. Not more than that. But "Because there is enough, let us eat," no. That is not good. But children must get at least one pound, milk. If they drink more milk they become stout and strong.

Devotee (2): They get more than one pound. They get at least two pounds.

Prabhupāda: Then their life is built up strong, and nice brain to understand. Do they not see the benefit of the society, that we are not killing children, we are maintaining them with sufficient milk. Is it not better civilization? And they are, for fear of overpopulation, they are killing. The mother is killing the child. Is that civilization?

Devotee (2): But in Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa says that those in the mode of ignorance, they take irreligion to be religion and religion to be irreligion.

Prabhupāda: No, religion, there is no religion for them, but there is no morality. Here we are having so many children, we don't brag that "We cannot maintain these children. Kill them." We never say that. Never mind. Let them be trained up as Kṛṣṇa conscious, live comfortably, take milk. So which is better civilization? Running with motorcar, putputputputputputputput and killing child? Is that civilization?

Devotee (2): Most of these children are not even our own. They have been taken in from...

Prabhupāda: Just see, that means we welcome.

Devotee (2): ...mothers without fathers,

Prabhupāda: That means we welcome and they kill. So why do they not find the distinction between this civilization, that civilization?

Devotee (3): They have no arguments against this except that they want to be free. In colleges...

Prabhupāda: But they are not free. That means they are fools. They are not free, still they are thinking free. That is foolishness. If you are actually free, that is another thing, (laughs) but you are not free. You are responsible for even a minute work or misdeed, you are responsible. Where is your freedom? That freedom means ahaṅkāra vimūḍhātmā kartāham iti manyate [Bg. 3.27]. The rascal, foolish, bewildered, he's thinking that he's free. Where is your freedom? Nature is working. If you are free, then why you are dying? If you are free, then do not die. Nobody wants to die. What is the answer?

Devotee (3): They will give some nonsense answer.

Prabhupāda: What is that nonsense? In nonsense there must be some sense also.

Devotee (4): I think they would like both. Like the Christians, they would like to enjoy sinful life and at the same time live forever.

Prabhupāda: No, we don't talk of any sect, we are talking of the general principles.

Devotee (4): Their tendency is...

Prabhupāda: Now the people's tendency, general tendency is, unless he's a madman, nobody is prepared to die. But he has to die.

Devotee (4): But I accept death as part of life.

Prabhupāda: Part of life?

Devotee (3): Yes, it's natural. So I don't, I'm not afraid.

Prabhupāda: Then when there is some sign of death, why do you go away? Sit down and die. (laughter) You don't accept. You are talking foolishly. You don't want to die. That is a fact. You are talking foolishly, that "I accept it," but you don't accept it. That is the fact. But because you have no other way, then you say, "I accept it." The real fact is this, that you do not wish to die, but you find that there is no other alternative, "Then I accept it. All right." So you can talk like that, foolishly, but intelligent man, you do not want to die.

Devotee (3): One time, one boy said that. So as soon as he said it, I picked up a stick and went like that "Oh!" and said "See, you are afraid." And he said, "No, I'm not afraid." So I went—and he was showing fear.

Prabhupāda: Even dog is afraid, what to speak of man. The animals, when they are taken to be slaughtered, they cry. So animal is afraid of death, why not man? Everyone is afraid.

Devotee (5): Prabhupāda? They say why do you worry so much about death? We are living. We are enjoying life, why do you worry about death?

Prabhupāda: Because we are intelligent. I love you. Therefore you'll die and you'll become a dog, so I am taking sympathy on you that "Don't become a dog." Every human being is anxious. The example is given just like a child flying kite and is going this way, this way, on the roof. Now on the edge of the roof, so one gentleman standing, "Hey, you'll fall down." That is his duty. He says, "Why you are checking me?" (laughter) "Why you are checking me?" "Because I am human being. You are foolish boy. Therefore I am checking you." That is natural. Even a child, or the boy is not his son, but because he is a gentleman, he wants to give him some protection. It is the duty of gentleman. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu said to the Indians, that "You become perfect and go and give this knowledge to the rest of the world. They are all rascals." Bhārata-bhūmite haila manuṣya-janma yāra janma sārthaka kari' kara para-upakāra [Cc. Ādi 9.41]. It is para-upakāra, humanitarian. You may say "Why do you bother?" But as a human being, I bother. Every human being will do that. Kṛṣṇa comes, bothering Himself. Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata [Bg. 4.7]. "When these have become rascals, fools, I come, again advise them." So those who are servants of God, they are also doing the same thing, on behalf of God. Their position is therefore exalted.

(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, New Vrindaban, June 24, 1976)

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