Here we conclude an exchange between His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and Australia's director of research for the Department of Social Welfare. It took place at the Melbourne ISKCON center on May 21, 1975.
Director: Actually, I haven't come here for "treatment."
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Otherwise, why have you come?
Director: I was invited.
Srila Prabhupada: Just to get some ideas to help your social-welfare activities, you have come to take some suggestion from us. But when we give the suggestion, you reject it.
Director: If I were to come and join your movement, then I would accept your prescription.
Srila Prabhupada: No. You may join or not join, but you have come here to consult us, to see whether we can help your activities. But when we prescribe, you do not accept.
Disciple: Srila Prabhupada, the Director is scheduled to return to his office fairly soon.
Srila Prabhupada: Then just give him a nice plate of prasada. [Returning to the Director:] So to make the whole human society happy, this God consciousness movement must spread.
Director: Well, I'll surely report back with that message. Thank you very much for seeing me.
Srila Prabhupada: Please wait for a moment.
Disciple: We want you to enjoy some prasada, some delicious vegetarian dishes that we've offered to Krsna. It's the Vedic custom. Srila Prabhupada says to give prasada to everyone.
Srila Prabhupada: It is our custom that if anyone comes, he should be offered a nice seat and given some eatables. Yes.
Director: Have you seen many people in Melbourne?
Srila Prabhupada: There are daily one or two gentlemen. Like you, they are coming, but they find our prescription very strict. [Laughter.] But we are not going to change it. We are not beholden to vox populi. Public opinion is not our concern. We have got our standard method.
Director: Yeah. Sure. I believe that you should have these standards if you want them.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. That is making us successful. We do not make any compromise. This is our method. If you like, you take it. If you don't like, you go away. We don't mind.
Director: If you can convince the society to change, then the public servants will change.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, we are working hard within the society, and we are inviting everyone, and they are coming. Gradually, they are becoming converted to this genuine spiritual culture. My hope rests on these young boys. They will do my work.
Take the whole plate. It is fruit and other sweet things. It is very nice. Patram puspam phalam toyam: in Bhagavad-gita Krsna instructs, "Just offer Me, with devotion, fruits and vegetables and flowers." This kind of foodstuffs is meant for the human being the fruits and vegetables. For instance, the tigers will not even eat the fruits. The tigers, with their huge teeth they will not like the fruits. We human beings have got a different kind of teeth, for eating fruit.
Director: It's very nice and sweet.
Srila Prabhupada: So we have got grains. We have got fruits and vegetables. We have got milk. By the combination of fruits, vegetables, milk products, and grains, we can prepare so many nice, palatable dishes, full of vitamins. Why should we kill some poor animal? Let the animal live, and take her milk and prepare nice food, full of vitamins. Milk is nothing but a transformation of the animal's blood. So why do you take the blood by killing? Take the blood in a different form milk. This is our program. Let the animal live peacefully, and if you are meat-eaters, let the animal die naturally, and then you can eat. There will be no charge for it.
To the meat-eaters we say, While taking the cows' milk, we will see that they are protected, and when they die naturally, we will call you meat-eaters and say, "Please take this." You can take the skin for free, you can take the bones for free, and then you can eat the meat. Just wait for the animals to die. They will die, after all.
That much of a concession I want. Let the animals live without any fear of being killed, so that they will supply more milk. Suppose you know that I am keeping you here for eventually being killed. Will you be very happy? Your mind will be always disturbed. We could not get good service from you. So the animals also understand, "They are going to kill us." Therefore, you don't get so much milk. But when they are assured that they will not be killed, they will give double the milk. People do not know the animals' psychology. This is going on.
Director: Thank you very much.
Srila Prabhupada: So if you want to eat meat, let the animals die naturally. That is our program. If you like, you can accept. Thank you very much. [The Director departs.]
[To disciples:] Lust. This is the modern world's disease. For instance, the leaders want to keep the poor girls free for prostitution, so that they can enjoy. This is the main point. The Director has admitted as much. Keep the young girls "free." They also have sex desire, and so let us enjoy. This is the whole basic principle here in the Western world.
Disciple: Srila Prabhupada, the Director was of a very ripe old age. Still, he was saying that . . .
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Ripe old age notwithstanding, up to the point of death one is sexually inclined. Up to the point of death. Even at the point of death, one is still looking for a young girl. That is natural. Unless one is trained up, that is natural. That is maya's entrapping machine to keep the living entity within this material world.
Disciple: Sometimes when we offer young people Krsna consciousness, they say, "When I get older, I won't be so attached to sex enjoyment, so then I can take up Krsna consciousness."
Srila Prabhupada: They generally think so, but that is not possible. In Paris very, very old men seventy-five or eighty years old they are going to nightclubs, paying fifty dollars' entrance fee, and then they spend money for wine and women. And they stay there a few hours and go home, only to come back another night. They are all old men. So breaking this sex attachment is a very difficult job, but still, by Krsna's grace you disciples are accepting this principle. That is the great mercy of Krsna. Otherwise, it is very, very difficult.
One old man, the Marquis of Zetland he proposed to one of my God-brothers, "Can you make me a brahmana?"
"Oh, yes. You give up these lusty habits."
"Oh, that is impossible. That is impossible. These things are our life."
So in the Western countries, these things are their life to have illicit sex, meat-eating, drinking, and gambling. And yet people are accepting this Krsna conscious principle young boys like you. It is Krsna's mercy on us. Otherwise, it is impossible. Breaking these lusty habits is impossible, unless we enjoy with Krsna.
No illicit sex. Sex we are not stopping. But sex is restricted to the grhasthas, the householders. We are not stopping sex. Sex is required. But under rules. If you enjoy illicit sex, then the whole society is spoiled. You make the innocent girls spoiled. And they have no other business than prostitution. That means you put the society into chaos. The young girls become cheap, and you enjoy them and become irresponsible. You stop maintaining the family structure. That is the situation. What is the reason for this welfare department? It is that the young boys enjoy the young girls, and the girls get children. So the government has to support the girls and their children.
Disciple: That's the cause of this whole problem.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. The welfare department is for that purpose only.
Disciple: And this gentleman is a big leader in the welfare department.
Srila Prabhupada: And yet he does the very same thing the same illicit sex that created the need for the welfare department in the first place. He does not know how to cure the problem.
Disciple: In so many words he said, "I could not live without illicit sex."
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. The leaders themselves have created this "bachelor daddy" madness: young men posing themselves as bachelors, uninterested in having wives and children, simply interested in having sex. You see. And these leaders are accepted as standard. And if you want to reform this situation, then it is so difficult.
The basic wrong is, the leaders have become godless animals. That's all. The only method for reform is this Krsna consciousness. There is no second method. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-gunah: you cannot raise anybody to high qualities unless he is God conscious, Krsna conscious. That is a fact. And the proof is here. Because these boys have taken to Krsna consciousness, they are ideal. All others what is their value? That welfare director is a leader and he says, "Yes, illicit sex is all right. By contraceptive methods we are enjoying it." If the leaders do something wrong, others will follow.