A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Here we continue an exchange between His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and some of his disciples that took place on October 18, 1975, during a morning walk in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Srila Prabhupada: In the Vedic system, sex is allowed only for begetting children. In other words, restriction. Sex is allowed, but with great restriction under religious rules and regulations.

There are so many things, such as the garbhadana, or seed-giving, ceremony. Even when sex is employed properly, for begetting a child, it is not undertaken secretly, without anyone else's knowledge. There should be a ceremonial function,garbhadana-samskara. All the brahmanas and relatives come, and everyone knows, "Some time soon, this man is going to have sex for begetting a child." So there is a dignified heralding. Not that sexual activity is simply done in the heat of the moment, like cats and dogs.

Actually, even cats and dogs do not have sex secretly. Human beings do it secretly and use contraceptives, because they do not want the botheration of having a child. Therefore, their "scientific advancement" especially means how to kill the child: how to take and distribute contraceptive pills, how to arrange for abortions, and how to allow the young people, "Yes, you go on having sex, but take these pills so that you may not be bothered."

Why not stop all the botheration of sex altogether? That they cannot do, because they are animals. Because they have created an animal civilization, they cannot escape all this botheration. Kandutivan manisijam visa-heta dhirah. Why don't they teach people to become dhirah, sober? "Let me tolerate this itching sensation [the urge for sex]. Let me remain brahmacari [celibate]remain on the spiritual platform."

Their teaching is not good: "You should have sex repeatedly" and then suffer the consequences. And in trying to avoid suffering the consequences, people incur more suffering. Bahu-duhkha bhajah: after sex illicit or licit the consequence is suffering. Even when the sex is licit, then you still have to take care of your wife, and you also have to take care of the children, and be always in anxiety about their food and clothing, their education, their upliftment, and so on and so forth. Always undergoing suffering.

And if the sex is illicit, then you have to undergo these sufferings: Because you commit the sin of killing the child by contraceptives or abortion, therefore in your next life you must be killed. And in the meantime you have to go to the doctor and pay his exorbitant fees, and so on. So where is the relief from suffering? Whether illicit or licit, sex means you have to suffer.

But trpyanti neha krpana bahu-duhkha bhajah. These rascals, once they have had sex, they cannot be done with it: "That's all right. I have already got one child to take care of." No. "I must have sex again and again." You would think that once someone had committed sinful activities such as killing the child in the womb, then he would say, "All right. Stop it now." No. "Again."

Trpyanti neha krpana: such a miserly person is never satisfied. He knows that following his sinful activity there will be suffering. Still, he'll not stop this sinfulness.

Therefore, a man should be educated to become sober: "Let me tolerate this itching. That's all. I'll save so much trouble." This is knowledge. To become a rascal and then more and more of a rascal and then suffer is that civilization? Does civilization mean simply making people rascals, so that they can suffer and commit spiritual suicide?

Just tell people that they have created this civilization of "Become a rascal and then suffer." And all their sufferings are nature's arrangement. Nature says, "You have forgotten Krsna. Now you must come under my control. You've become a rascal. Now suffer." Daivi hy esa guna mayi mama maya duratyaya. Krsna says, "My material nature is very severe, very punishing." Why is she doing that? She is teaching us, "Surrender to Krsna. Otherwise, you will go on suffering like this." This is nature's way.

But the rascal because he is a rascal does not know that prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani: "I am under the full control of prakrti, material nature, and her business is to keep me a rascal and make me suffer." And yet these rascals are thinking themselves advanced in education.

Disciple: Prabhupada, they will say that this suffering is actually pleasure.

Srila Prabhupada: That's all right. Go on with your "pleasure." Who is stopping you? Enjoy this "pleasure." But if everything in this material world is made for your unrestricted pleasure, then why are you taking up a countermeasure? Why do you make a plan to kill the child? Because everything is pleasure? Why do you take up the contraceptive method if the real arrangement here is not for punishment and spiritual correction but for your sensual pleasure?

That is the proof of what rascals they are. Mudha nabhijanati: Krsna says, "Rascals can never understand what is what." Try to understand why Krsna has said so many times, mudhah … mayayapahrta-jnana: "These people are rascals, whose so-called knowledge is stolen by illusion." Krsna, the Supreme Lord, is speaking like that, so there must be some meaning.

Human civilization means giving spiritual relief. Enlightened life, comfortable life not simply repeating the dark, sensual ordeal of the animals. That is human civilization.

Disciple: Srila Prabhupada, in everyday life we see that only the devotees are somewhat free from anxiety.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. That's a fact. We have little anxieties, simply because we have to deal with this rascal world. Otherwise, we have no anxiety. But we have taken this mission, to go and approach people and tell them the truth. Therefore, we have got a little anxiety. Otherwise, there is no question of anxiety.

Because we are mixing with these rascals and we have to do that, we who have taken up this mission therefore, we have some little anxiety. That is also not very much. But anyway, you must know, the whole world is full of rascals and fools. That is not an exaggeration. Or have you got a different opinion?

Disciple: No.

Srila Prabhupada: Hm? What do you think? Do you agree?

Disciple: They are mudhas [fools].

Srila Prabhupada [laughing]: Our verdict is final: "All rascals and fools." Therefore, when I ask these rascals, "Any question?" they are stopped. [Laughter.] "Come on any question?" What question can they ask? I challenge them, "Any question?" They know, "We have been proved rascals."

During my lecture last night I quoted Krsna's chastisement of Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita. Asocyan anvasocas tvam prajna-vadams: "Your words are very high-sounding, but do you know what you are doing? Talking like a low-class fool. Overlooking your inner soul, your real, spiritual self. Stupidly taking yourself to be this outer covering, this material body. But this material body is the very cause of all your suffering." And I said, "This is the position of everyone. Everyone is a fool, a rascal, ignoring life's actual problem."