Here we continue a conversation between His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and the mother of one of his students, along with a Jesuit priest. It took place in the garden at Bhaktivedanta Manor, near London, England, on July 25, 1973.
Mother: Well, I'm a nurse, and so that is why I would like to see some of your people trained as medical men.
Srila Prabhupada: But there must be division of labor. When there is the necessity of brainwork, you take help from the brain. And when there is the need of walking, you take help from the leg. It is cooperation. Not that everyone has to learn everything.
Mother: I myself did training. I became a nurse.
Srila Prabhupada: You are asking us, "Why are you not taking medical education?" Why should we take it?
Mother: Because if everybody
Srila Prabhupada: No. There is no necessity. If I can pay and get the help of a medical man, why should I waste my time in that way? Let me
Mother: Ah, but you should be self-supporting. You should be
Srila Prabhupada: Let me engage my time for understanding God.
Mother: You should be self-supporting in that way.
Srila Prabhupada: "Self-supporting." We are self-supporting. Just like, I have given the example of your body or the social body. There are four divisions: the head division, the arm division, the belly division, and the leg division. So the belly is doing the work of the belly or stomach. The leg is walking. The hand is defending, and the head or the brain is giving instruction to everyone. This is cooperation. So that is the Vedic system of civilization: brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas, sudras teachers and advisors, administrators and protectors, merchants and farmers, laborers and craftsmen. There must be divisions of work. Not that everyone has to learn everything.
Mother: No. I don't mean that. You're misunderstanding me.
Srila Prabhupada: That's all right. Then your question is answered. When I need the help of a medical man, I go to the medical man.
Srila Prabhupada: So what is the wrong there?
Mother: Well, what I'm saying to you is that . . .
Srila Prabhupada: No. What is the wrong? Find something.
Mother: . . . you can love God and be near God and train to be a medical man. Why don't you let some of your boys be trained to be medical men? Why do you say no?
Srila Prabhupada: But again you are putting the same question. We are training them for acting as society's brain, and you are asking me, "Why don't you train them for acting as the leg?" That is your question.
Mother: But they can still love God. They can still work for God at the same time.
Srila Prabhupada: No, no. Why are you asking this brain to learn how to walk? Why are you asking this odd question?
Mother: Well, my brain works. And I also if there was a war tomorrow I could go and be a nurse and look after the sick . . .
Srila Prabhupada: That's all right. That's all right.
Mother: . . . and still be with God.
Srila Prabhupada: That question I have already explained. In the social body there are four divisions. So each division can take the help of the other divisions. That is another thing. But you are asking, "You are simply interested in the brain. Why not in the leg?" But we are interested. Simply not in that way that we train ourselves for becoming the leg. When we can see that we can pay the medical man and we can get the help, then why shall we waste our time by becoming a medical man?
Mother: I think it's so sad to see a lot of very good . . .
Srila Prabhupada: No, no. Just try to understand this point.
Mother: . . . young men becoming cabbages.
Srila Prabhupada (looking to his disciples): They're misunderstanding. [Returning to his disciple's mother and the Jesuit priest:] Yes. Just like here is Father. He's trained up in how to preach. He's not a medical man and he doesn't require to learn the medical science.
Mother: No, but I didn't ask you to be a doctor. I said some of your boys.
Srila Prabhupada: Why? Why are you asking? My boys are the same.
Disciple: Which ones? Which ones of us should become doctors here?
Mother: Well, all . . . all . . . all . . .
Disciple: Supposing they all want to be spiritual teachers. Do you go to your Catholic seminaries and take some boys from the various classes to become doctors?
Mother: Yes well, if you had an epidemic of smallpox . . .
Disciple: No, no, no.
Mother: . . . or typhoid . . . you . . . you know what smallpox is like in India.
Srila Prabhupada: You are presupposing. There must be social divisions.
Disciple: Again, do you go to your Catholic seminary and take boys out to become doctors?
Mother: It'd be no good at all being a priest if you had smallpox would it?
Disciple: So, therefore, you should just go to your Catholic seminary and take some boys to become doctors. By force. "Now, you all come and be doctors." Even though they all want to be spiritual teachers.
Mother: You've got to have balance. Balance, somehow. Yes.
Srila Prabhupada: "Balance." This is balance. You may take some students and train them as medical men. But I am training these students to become spiritual teachers. Why are you interfering with my business? You do your own business.
Mother: Well, my son is my business.
Srila Prabhupada: Your son is not dependent on you. He's independent.
Mother: Yes, but he was . . .
Srila Prabhupada: You want him to have independence. He's already independent of you.
Mother: He was snatched out of the university by your people going 'round the universities. He was in the university.
Srila Prabhupada: That's all right if some of our students go to the university. There are many students there who are interested in this Vedic spiritual science.
Disciple (to the mother): Now, wait a minute. We didn't snatch Michael.
Srila Prabhupada: We don't object to their inquiring from us.
Disciple: Michael came to our center in London, sat down, and didn't want to go away.
Mother: He'd been taking LSD, and he was very sick. And somebody took him in.
Srila Prabhupada: So, when he was taking LSD, what did you do for him?
Disciple: And why was he taking LSD? He had such a wonderful education, such a happy home, and so many other things.
Mother: Well, he was experimenting. Now, this is it.
Disciple: But LSD is known to be a dangerous thing to experiment with.
Srila Prabhupada: Did you like that? Did you like that?
Mother: Well, he had a false . . . this was not . . .
Srila Prabhupada: When he was taking LSD, did you like that?
Mother: I didn't know, did I?
Srila Prabhupada: Then?
Mother: Until afterwards, and we found him.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes.
Mother: And this is it.
Srila Prabhupada: So we must train these various divisions for the upkeep of the society. That is missing. At the present moment, there are no divisions being systematically trained.
Mother: But he had a false religious experience, due to the LSD.
Srila Prabhupada: No, I am talking generally, not of him that there must be these divisions. Just like naturally in our body we have got divisions. The whole object is to keep the body fit, but there are divisions: the head division, the arm division, the stomach division, and the leg division. So similarly, there must be four classes of men in society: the intelligent class of men, the administrator class of men, the productive class of men, and the laborer class of men. Everything is required, but not that the intelligent class of men have to learn the business of the laborer class of men. That is not required. Just try to understand. The laborer class of men they are required. But one who is intelligent class he cannot be trained up as an ordinary laborer in the factory. That is a mistake. The intelligent person must work according to his capacity. If he's intelligent, he must be trained to be a spiritual teacher. He must be God conscious. He can then educate people that "This eating-sleeping is not all. There is God. You should understand you have got a relationship with Him. If you want to have a better life next time, then you must become God conscious. You must be sinless." These things are required in society.