Here we conclude an exchange between His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and some of his disciples, which took place in Fiji on May 1, 1976.
Disciple: Well, Srila Prabhupada, that's society's problem. We do vaguely sense, I have a soul but we don't know, I am a soul. Nearly everything we hear from our cultural and political leaders makes us think, "I'm really just this material body, these cravings." And with our thoughts so degraded, naturally our actions become degraded. But even with all the crime and chaos, these leaders keep pushing their darkness on us as if it were enlightenment.
Srila Prabhupada: That is modern society's defect. Therefore, our Krsna consciousness movement is so essential. People are being misled into accepting ignorance as knowledge.
Take, for example, Darwin's theory: Somehow matter, which is dull and dead, has produced us, who are conscious and living. This is simply speculation based on ignorance. And yet people are accepting it as knowledge.
Or take Freud's sex philosophy: Humanity's problems will end when people learn how to enjoy sex. Even the hogs and dogs know how to enjoy sex. These ideas are the business of the hogs and dogs, and yet people are accepting them as high philosophy. Based on sex, Freud wrote his so-called philosophy.
Is all this really science and philosophy? Find this verse in Bhagavad-gita, thirteenth chapter; one of the phrases is tattva-jnanartha-darsanam.
Disciple: Here it is, Srila Prabhupada. Adhyatma-jnana-nityatvam tattva-jnanartha-darsanam/ etaj jnanam iti proktam ajnanam yad ato 'nyatha. The Lord says, "Accepting the importance of self-realization, philosophical search for the Absolute Truth this I declare to be knowledge. And besides this, whatever there may be is ignorance."
And then in your Purport you go on to say, "One should try his best to distribute real knowledge to the people, so that they may become enlightened and leave this material entanglement. … There are many research scholars and philosophers who study sex life or some other subject, but according to Bhagavad-gita, such research work and philosophical speculation have no value. … One should make research, by philosophical discretion, into the nature of the soul. One should make research to understand the self. …
"As far as self-realization is concerned, it is clearly stated here that bhakti-yoga is especially practical. … One must consider the relationship between the Supersoul and the individual soul. The individual soul and the Supersoul cannot be one. … One should be humble and know that he is subordinate to the Supreme Lord. Due to rebellion against the Supreme Lord, one becomes subordinate to material nature. One must know and be convinced of this truth."
Srila Prabhupada: Therefore, these rascal leaders are in ajnana, or ignorance dealing with sex, generally dealing with this material body as the basis for their science and their philosophy. Dealing with the body and dealing with sex are the business of the animals, and yet these rascals are passing as big scientists and philosophers. This is the situation, the whole world over. So how important this Krsna consciousness movement is. Just imagine.
Disciple: All over the world, it's obvious people haven't a clue about the goal of knowledge. They don't know what information they should really be seeking.
Srila Prabhupada: They do not know. And therefore they are animals. What will dogs understand? When there is a lady dog, a dozen male dogs will come and smell the best portion of the body. [Laughter.] This is the dogs' philosophy. So Freud did that focusing on the best portion of the body, he wrote his philosophy.
Disciple: Books and books.
Srila Prabhupada: Just see. This is Freud's position. What a low taste. Dogs' and pigs' business and he wrote philosophy about it. Still, his books are selling like anything.
Disciple: In the Purport we've just read, Srila Prabhupada, you seem to say that when someone finally understands that he's not this body but a spirit soul, then at once he can also understand that there must be a Supersoul, sustaining him and deserving his devotional service.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. That I have already told you. Therefore, it is essential to understand, first, that you are not this material body.
Disciple: So, Prabhupada, let's say someone is totally in material consciousness, thinking he's just this body. Then he can't possibly understand the Supersoul? He can't understand God? This suggests we've got to hear the analogies Krsna gives us in the Gita for seeing the difference between the soul and the body. For instance, the wearer and the garment, the tiller and the field, the operator and the machine.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes.
Disciple: All right. So if we're still thinking we're these bodies, then we can't understand God. Then, Prabhupada, what to make of all these religious organizations that have no clear understanding of the soul? Most religious groups today are, in a roundabout way, promoting the idea that "I am this body."
Srila Prabhupada: Therefore, they're not practicing religion. They're cheating. Their activity is not religion. It is cheating.
Disciple: So they're simply speaking empty words? God this and God that?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Actually, today there is no religion. In the name of religion, some farce is going on.
Disciple: That's a fact. As you've noted in the past, it's the Devil citing scripture.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. These supposedly lofty, supposedly religious persons are eating the slaughtered flesh of God's other creatures. What to speak of religion these people have no human sense, even. They haven't even the sense to understand, "I am cutting the throats of these poor animals placed under my protection. If somebody were to cut my throat, what excruciating pain I would feel. Yet I'm doing this same thing to these creatures, and then I'm claiming to be very religious, a lover of God? How can I even call myself a human being? I do not even have human compassion."
Today cats and dogs are passing as scientists, philosophers, and religionists. The followers of Darwin and Freud they're the leaders of society. But they're animals only. Cats and dogs. So how you can expect to receive any benefit from them?
Sva-vid-varahostra-kharaih samstutah purusah pasuh: The leaders are cats and dogs and pigs; still, they are very much worshiped. By whom? Sva-vid-varahostra-kharaih: By lesser dogs and pigs, as well as camels and asses. Suppose some pig is being praised by a band of lesser pigs, dogs, camels, and asses. Naturally, they will praise him by saying things like, "Oh, sir, you are the king." Does that mean he's really a king? He's an animal.
So this is going on. People are electing a big animal as their president. And then, when the big animal begins to devour them, they protest. "Oh! Now he's not a proper president! Get him down! Get him down!"
But why did you choose him in the first place?
"Because we are pigs; we have no other knowledge. Now we have to find another big pig and appoint him as our president."
Everything is explained in the Vedic literature. If you can present all this information properly, it will act very strongly. The voters are sva–vid-varahostra-kharaih pigs, dogs, camels, and asses. And the president is another animal, simply bigger. That's all. Modern society is simply a polished version of the animal kingdom. A big pig becomes the king of some lesser pigs, dogs, camels, and asses. So what sort of exalted transactions can you expect in such a society?
This is these people's real picture. One who is an actual human being he's seeing how the animals are enjoying by voting and electing their president: "We are engaged in a very great business. We are electing our president." [Chuckling.] This is going on.
Some day, when you warn these rascal pigs and dogs that their president will surely devour them, they will understand what kind of president they have elected.
But for now, this devouring by the big pig is happening even in the most advanced country, the U.S.A. And what to speak of other, less advanced animal kingdoms. So take these books and preach.