Here we continue a conversation between His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and Professor John Mize. It took place in Los Angeles on June 23, 1975.
Srila Prabhupada: [To a disciple:] Find this verse: brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati.
Disciple: Okay, Srila Prabhupada. Let's see. That will be Bhagavad-gita, fifty-fourth verse in the Eighteenth Chapter. Should I read?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes.
Disciple: Brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati/ samah sarvesu bhutesu mad-bhaktim labhate param. "One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments or desires to have anything. He is equally disposed toward every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me."
Srila Prabhupada: That means one has to come to the platform of brahmana. Then he can enter into devotional service. Samah sarvesu bhutesu mad-bhaktim labhate param: in that brahminical state, he sees every living entity as part and parcel of God. That is samah, equality. He does not see like this: that the human being has a soul and the cow has no soul. He does not see like that. He sees the cow has a soul, the ant has a soul, the elephant has a soul, the tree has a soul, the human being has a soul. That is samah sarvesu bhutesu.
By ignorance, one thinks, "The tree has no soul, the cow has no soul, the other animals have no soul simply we have got a soul." That is ignorance, base quality. But when you come to the purity of goodness, samah sarvesu bhutesu, this qualification will arise. A devotee is not willing to kill even an ant, because he knows, "He is also a soul, part and parcel of the Supreme Soul. By his karma he has become an ant, while I have become a human being. So I have the same quality of soul as he; he has the same quality of soul as I. He has a different body from mine. He is suffering in that way. I have got a different body from his. I am also suffering but I am thinking I am enjoying." That is samah sarvesu bhutesu.
[To the disciple who read the verse:] What is the meaning samah sarvesu bhutesu?
Disciple: Samah means "equally disposed"; sarvesu means "all"; bhutesu means "living entities." "He is equally disposed to every living entity."
Srila Prabhupada: So you can see on an equal level when you become a brahmana. Brahma-bhutah, the spiritual platform, is not understood in the United Nations. There they are passing resolutions, and yet fighting is going on outside, because they have no spiritual vision samah sarvesu bhutesu. So the politicians should be guided by the brahmanas. That is the proper social structure guided by those who are first-class men in spiritual understanding. Or to put it another way, the politicians, the administrators they should take instruction from the brahmanas first and then take part in politics. Then they will be also first-class men. You won't have to drag them down after electing them.
This business of first elect and then drag them down this is a mistake. Just like you elected Nixon president, then dragged him down because you made a mistake. You do not know whom to elect, because you are not guided by brahmanas. This is the fault. The whole society is being guided by sudras and some portion vaisyas. Mostly sudras, or workers, and a certain percentage of vaisyas, mercantile men.
But at the present moment no guidance is being given by ksatriyas or brahmanas, properly trained administrators and intellectuals. Therefore, for peaceful life in human society, there must be four divisions.
[To a disciple:] Find this verse: catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah.
Disciple: That's also going to be in Bhagavad-gita, thirteenth verse in the Fourth Chapter. Catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah/ tasya kartaram api mam viddhy akartaram avyayam: "According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me. And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the nondoer, being unchangeable."
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, Krsna created hese four divisions brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra but He does not belong to any one of them. He is neither brahmana nor ksatriya nor vaisya nor sudra. He is transcendental, only looking toward human society's best interest. Similarly, our philosophy just to make the human society very peaceful and progressive, we wish to establish this system. A first-class group of men, brahmanas they will guide the ksatriyas. And the ksatriyas, the administrators they will guide the vaisyas. Vaisyas are those who engage in agriculture and cow protection and trade. And sudras are those who are neither brahmana nor ksatriya nor vaisyas. They are simply workers, assistants.
So there must be divisions like this. The brahmanas should guide the ksatriyas, the ksatriyas will administer the state, the vaisyas will produce foodstuffs, and the sudras will help. Cooperation for common benefit and the aim is spiritual realization. That is perfect society. If everyone is a sudra, without any aim of life, then there will be chaos. Just like in your country in spite of so much facility for education, the students being produced are hippies, useless for all purposes. Why is this happening? I have gone to so many universities. I have seen the stu-dents hippies. And if you say, "If you act like cats and dogs, you will become cats and dogs in your next life," they say, "What is the wrong if I become a dog?" [Laughter.]
This is the result of your so-called modern education. The student is prepared to become a dog. The student does not learn what is the distinction between a dog and a human being. As a result, he is seeking after the dog's facility that the dog can have sex on the street. The student is thinking the dog's life is advantageous. This is the situation. Therefore, Professor Judah [of Berkeley's Graduate Theological Union] has written me a letter saying, "I am simply amazed at how you have converted the drug-addicted hippies into servants of Krsna and humanity." These are his words.
Dr. Mize: May I ask you another question?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes.
Dr. Mize: The relationship of the mind to the soul how the mind comes to know that it has or that there is a soul.
Srila Prabhupada: By taking lessons from professors who have their minds clear. Why does a student go to you? Because his mind is not clear. You have to clear his mind by teaching him psychology the intricacies of thinking, feeling, willing. Therefore, the student has to go to a learned man who knows how to understand the mind, how to understand the activities of the mind, how to deal with them.
That requires education. A dog cannot take this education, but a human being can take it. Therefore, it is the duty of the human being to learn how to control the mind, not to act like cats and dogs. That is a real human being. He should be inquisitive "Why is this happening? Why is that happening?" And he should take education. That is human life. And if he does not inquire, if he does not take education, then what is the difference between him and the dog? He remains a dog. He has got this opportunity of human life. He should take advantage of understanding what is what and not keep himself in the dog status simply eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. That is the distinction between a dog and a human being. If he does not become inquisitive how to control the mind, he is not even a human being. A dog never inquires. A dog knows that "When I bark, people become disturbed." But he'll never ask, "How to control this barking habit?" Because he is a dog, he cannot do that.
A human being can ask, "People hate me when I do something wrong how to control my mind?" That is a human being. That is the difference between a human being and a dog. Therefore, the Vedic injunction is "Go and inquire. You have got this human form of life." Athato brahma-jijnasa: "Now, this is the time for inquiring about the soul." Tad vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet: "If you want to understand this science, then go to a proper guru and take lessons from him." This is the same thing as we instruct our children: "If you want to be educated to reach a higher status of life, go to school, go to college, take lessons." That is human society. The dog's father will never ask the dog, "Child, go to school." No. They are dogs.