This is a continuation of a conversation between His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and a guest Dr. Christian Hauser, a psychiatrist that took place in Stockholm in September 1973.
Dr. Hauser: Although these designations "I am Chinese," "I am African," "I am American" all these are false, still they sort of drive society on.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Therefore we say this society is illusioned because it is driven on by maya, illusion.
You remember how on our morning walk I showed you an example of illusion. When we look into a pool of water, we may think we are seeing the sun but in fact, we are seeing only the sun's reflection, an illusion.
"This is maya, illusion," I told you. In the pool there is no sun, but it appears like a sun. Exactly like a sun. And it even appears to be illuminating. Now, one who is less intelligent he'll look and say, "Oh, here is a sun! Another sun!" So he's a madman. One who thinks the sun's reflection in a pool is the real sun he's illusioned. He's mad.
And if one looks at all these bodies we have in this temporary world these material reflections of our spiritual bodies and if he thinks, "Oh, here is my real self!" he's a madman. He is in illusion.
So as you can see, our Krsna consciousness movement is truly a psychiatric movement.
Dr. Hauser: Oh, yes, yes. In a way. I … yes.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. We are taking people out of the illusioned, dreaming state to the awakened state of spiritual consciousness, Krsna consciousness.
Dr. Hauser: But it also seems to me that by gaining this consciousness, you can skip a lot of the hard work that it takes in ordinary analysis or in group therapy, for example.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. No hard work.
Dr. Hauser: But you surely have to work a lot with yourself to gain this spiritual insight.
Srila Prabhupada: No. It is very easy. Very easy. For instance, we recommend this chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra. Anyone can chant. Even a child can chant.
Dr. Hauser: I was saying that you seem not to need specific processes directed toward insight, although you are probably after the same kind of insight as we in the field of psychiatry.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, but the traditional Vedic method is so very easy. We ask our students to refrain from four prohibited activities, namely illicit sex, gambling, intoxication, and meat-eating. Avoid these prohibited activities and chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Chant the Lord's holy names. Then you will become sane, Krsna conscious. It is very easy.
Dr. Hauser; Yes, it sounds easy. I hope it works.
Srila Prabhupada: All around you here, you see the examples of how well it works. You see how godly and sane these students are. And what has caused this? I have not given them a bribe or anything so that they will conduct themselves in a godly way and talk favorably. [Laughter.] You can talk with them and find out the cause for their godly, sane behavior.
Dr. Hauser: Yes, I've talked to them, and that's why I'm here.
Srila Prabhupada: So you know. The process is simple and easy.
Dr. Hauser: Yes.
Srila Prabhupada: And we don't charge anything. But you charge, of course, something.
Dr. Hauser: Oh, yes. [Laughter.]
Srila Prabhupada: But we don't charge anything. It's free. In 1965 I delivered this treatment to America, and now it is becoming effective all over the world.
So I think you should adopt this means. It is such a simple method: don't charge anything; simply ask people to chant the Lord's holy names and to avoid these four prohibited activities. They'll be cured.
Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam: by following these simple spiritual means, we free ourselves from all our dreamlike, illusory designations those dirty things that now cover our heart.
And then, hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate: as soon as these illusory designations are gone and we know that our bodies temporary though they may be belong to God, not to China or Germany or England, then we can engage our bodies in the service of the Lord. That is Krsna consciousness.
Dr. Hauser: But one … one very normal problem that I meet very often in patients is insecurity. People lack the security to feel that they can believe in something. Always there is … very often there is an ambivalence. "Should I believe? Should I not believe? I have a doubt." You should understand. Swaying to and fro.
Srila Prabhupada: No, you can experience. It is not a matter of belief or disbelief. Suppose you are hungry. I give you some food. I say, "You are hungry take this food." So, when you take this food, you'll experience. "Yes, my hunger is now satisfied." It is not a matter of belief or disbelief. "I can feel it. I'm getting strength." You experience it directly.
Of course, if you don't eat the food, then how can you experience that your hunger is satisfied? You must eat. So we say, "Chant Hare Krsna." Immediately the relief begins.
(To be continued.)