Śyāmasundara: The emphasis of these existentialists is upon acting. They think that first there must come an active decision to say, be concerned one way or the other about something, and take an active role in dealing with life rather than aimlessly taking pleasure from it. But try to ethically become involved with life and make decisions, either this or that.
Prabhupāda: So these things are very nicely described in Vedānta-sūtra, and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the right commentary on Vedānta-sūtra. Just like it is also philosophy, that what is the actual aim of life, or what is the Absolute Truth. So the Vedānta-sūtra is so nicely made, the answer is also there. The Absolute Truth must be that thing which is the origin of everything. Now Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam discusses what is the nature of that origin. This requires philosophical as well as authentic proof. Now, that origin, first of all the origin is conscious or not conscious. Origin, just like these some philosophers, they are tracing life from bones, tracing life. So now one should be intelligent enough to understand whether actually life can begin from bones and stones or life begins from life, actual life. So if the origin of everything, you can say the original source of creation or the creator, if you take it as creator, that we have to take. But creation does not take automatically. There is no proof. There is no proof. From matter, automatically creation takes place, that is not very perfect philosophy, neither one can support this view in the long run. Therefore Śrīmad-Bhāgavata says that the origin of everything must be conscious. And that consciousness, also, existence, existing eternally. Not that consciousness has developed under certain conditions. In this way Bhāgavata has explained, Vedānta-sūtra has explained the origin very logically and sensibly. So these answers are there in the Bhāgavata and Vedānta-sūtra.
Śyāmasundara: They... What they're more concerned with is that they find themselves here in this world as an active living being, and they are concerned more with the activities of life, how to...
Prabhupāda: But how the activity came? Then one should be..., intelligent man should be concerned first of all wherefrom this activity came. What is the origin of activity? That is philosophy. You are simply seeing there are... Sometimes we see activity in matter, just like the cloud, cloud is coming on the sky, it is moving, there is activity. But that activity, this material activity, is interaction. That is not real activity. Real activity, just like modern science, they are concerned with the material science, seeing the activity, they are saying it is by nature it is going; rather, a fruit is coming out, a flower is coming out, this is, there is activity. So one should know what is the cause of this activity. They think that it is automatically coming, by nature, nature. They cannot explain. That is not philosophy. But we have to see wherefrom this activity comes. We get answer from Bhagavad-gītā that behind all these material activities there is a brain, there is a... That is God. Just like this machine is working, acting. It is talking. As soon as you press one button it's talking. But a child will say, "Oh, how wonderful this machine is talking." This is childish. One who has got sense, he'll know this talking is not coming automatically. Somebody has talked, and it is simply a record. That is intelligence. So wherefrom the activity is coming?
Śyāmasundara: They say that at this level of existence that we can't say where it is coming from. We simply find...
Prabhupāda: Then you can't say, then you learn. Then you are not in the perfect stage.
Śyāmasundara: No. This is only the middle stage, he calls.
Prabhupāda: So the middle stage, so then you have to learn. You are not perfect, so you do not know. So one who does not know, his speculation, what is the value? Just like a child, if he does not know how the machine is working, how, then his speculation on this machine, what is the value of it? Without perfect knowledge, simply speculation, that is going on. The modern civilization, they prefer simply speculation without any basic truth. That is the defect. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās (SB 7.5.31). And they have become leaders, philosophers, scientists. Bhāgavata condemns them: andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās. They are blind themselves and they are trying to lead other blind men. So their leading, their science, their philosophy are practically useless. They cannot give any benefit to the human society. Childish.