Here we continue 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: Your Divine Grace, how do you feel about Mao Tse-tung? In China he's the ideal man, although, of course, he's a communist.
Srila Prabhupada: His ideal is all right. His ideal the communist idea that everyone should be happy that is a good idea. But the communists do not know how to make everyone happy. For instance, they are taking care of the human beings as citizens of the state, but they are sending the poor animals to the slaughterhouse.
Because the communists are godless, they do not know that not only is the human a living being so, also, is the animal. They think that for the satisfaction of the tongue of the human being, the animal's throat should be cut. That is modern society's defect.
Panditah sama-darsinah: one who is learned is equal toward everyone. That is the meaning of being learned. "I take care of my brother and I kill you" that is not right. But that is going on, everywhere. Consider this so-called nationalism. "National" should apply to anyone who has taken birth in a particular nation or land. But the poor animals because they cannot make any protest, send them to the slaughterhouse.
If the world had ideal men, they would have protested. "Oh, why are you doing this? Let the animals live, also. You should live in peace, as well. Just produce food grains. The animals can eat them, and you can also eat them. Why should you eat the animals?" That way of living is recommended in the Bhagavad-gita.
Director: But where the winters are long, people have to kill animals to have something to eat over the winter.
Srila Prabhupada: Well, but you should have a better system. And I am not speaking simply about India, where the winters are short as contrasted with those of Europe. I am speaking about the whole of human society. Just try to understand.
Director: People started eating meat because in winter they had nothing else to eat.
Srila Prabhupada: No, you can eat meat, but only after the animal has died naturally. You cannot eat meat by killing the cow and the bull, your mother and father. This is human sense. You are taking milk from the cow she is your mother. For instance, in Australia the cows produce so much milk, butter, and everything. But after the Australians have taken all these milk products, then they cut the cow's throat and make business, selling her carcass to other countries. What is this nonsense? Is this humanity, do you think?
Director: Well, say two hundred years ago, people to survive the winter had to kill the
Srila Prabhupada: No, no. You take your mother's milk and when your mother cannot supply milk, you kill her. What is this? Is this humanity?
And nature is so strong that for this injustice, for this sinfulness, you must suffer. You must be prepared to suffer. So there will be war, and people will be killed wholesale. Nature will not tolerate this.
People do not know all these things how nature is working, how God is managing. They do not know God. This is the defect of modern society. They do not care what is the real nature of God. "We are scientists. We can do anything."
What can you do? Can you stop death? Nature says, "You must die. You may be Professor Einstein. That's all right. You must die."
Why have Einstein and other scientists not been able to discover the right medicine or process to stop death? They have never been able to declare, "No, no we shall not die." They have no such power. So this is the defect of modern society: they are completely under the control of nature, and yet they are declaring "independence." Ignorance. Ignorance. So we want to reform this.
Director: Well, I certainly wish you luck.
Srila Prabhupada: Hmm. Thank you.
Director: As a public servant, I reform society as my life's work. To carry on as the instrument of …
Srila Prabhupada: So kindly cooperate with us. Try to learn this philosophy, and you will be surprised how nice a philosophy it is.
Director: I'm quite sure.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. So we don't care what percentage become reformed. Let one person become an ideal man. Consider the same example as before: what is the percentage if we calculate one moon per many millions of stars? The percentage is practically nothing. But still, because we are talking about the moon, this one planet is more po-tent than all these stars. So produce a moon.
Director: Yes, but the moon in the sky is big and bright, and therefore, you can recognize it. But another man, to use your analogy, would probably appear like just another star.
Srila Prabhupada: No, that's all right. Strictly speaking, you cannot make men as luminous as the moon, but it is possible if you make them ideal men.
Director: I know what you're saying, but a person would tell you, "You're just a man like me." You know. "You're not a moon. You're just a star. Whatever you say is just your opinion."
Srila Prabhupada: No. If you approve this method, you can cooperate and illuminate the society in so many ways. First of all, you have to see what this nonsectarian method, this Krsna consciousness movement, really is. About this method we are prepared to convince you the first-class nature of this movement. Now, once you are convinced, try to cooperate. And induce other leaders. You are also one of the leaders. Yad yad acarati sresthas tat tad evetaro janah: if the leaders of the society become compassionate toward this movement, others will automatically follow. "Oh, our leaders, our minister they are supporting this."
Director: Our minister considers himself a servant of the people, who can be kicked out by the people.
Srila Prabhupada: That is the defect of modern society. The people are rascals and they have elected another rascal. [Laughter.] That is the defect.
Director: But that's how it is.
Srila Prabhupada: So what can be done? Then it is hopeless. But we are going on without depending on these rascals. We are going on. We are publishing our books; we are establishing our movement. We are honestly trying. That's all. That we are doing, all over the world.
Director: All we in government can do is allow you to convince the population that they should think and behave differently.
Srila Prabhupada: We are doing that. Now, suppose we instruct the population, "Please do not have illicit sex have sex only for procreation." Have you got any objection?
Director: Yes, I have. I like sex, and my wife likes sex. We just enjoy. We couldn't live without it. Our marriage is happier because we have sex.
Srila Prabhupada: Just see. [Chuckles.] This is the situation.
Director: This is the situation.
Srila Prabhupada: So how have my disciples here accepted this principle of no illicit sex?
Director: I don't know. I don't know. But I couldn't. Our life is enjoying sex, and our marriage is happier with sex.
Srila Prabhupada: No, we don't prohibit sex. We simply prohibit illicit sex.
Director: Well, we use the pill. Various contraceptives. We use all kinds of things.
Srila Prabhupada: Why do you use contraceptives?
Director: Because we don't want any more children.
Srila Prabhupada: Then why don't you stop sex?
Director: Because we like sex.
Srila Prabhupada: Just see. That is tantamount to your going to a physician and saying, "I want treatment, but still, I want to do whatever I like." That is the situation.
Director: I didn't come here for treatment. [Laughter.]
Srila Prabhupada: [Chuckles.] No, no. You have come here for treatment, because with all your government activities, you have failed to control the society. Therefore, you have come here for treatment. But when I prescribe the proper medicine, you don't accept.