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Generally, people are just like animals. Out of many such persons, one becomes interested in the scriptures. And out of many such persons, if they're attracted to the scriptures, they're attracted to the ritualistic ceremony

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"Generally, people are just like animals. Out of many such persons, one becomes interested in the scriptures. And out of many such persons, if they're attracted to the scriptures, they're attracted to the ritualistic ceremony"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1969 Conversations and Morning Walks

Generally, people are just like animals. Out of many such persons, one becomes interested in the scriptures. And out of many such persons, if they're attracted to the scriptures, they're attracted to the ritualistic ceremony for improving their economic condition. You see? Just like Christians, they go to... Not Christian, everyone. They take up religion with a motive that they may improve their economic position.
Room Conversation with Allen Ginsberg -- May 12, 1969, Columbus, Ohio:

Prabhupāda: First of all you have to understand that we are trying to make people Kṛṣṇa conscious. So how he can remain twenty-four hours Kṛṣṇa conscious, that is the program.

Allen Ginsberg: Well, the orthodox Jews have a very heavy, complicated, moment by moment ritual daily existence in that, for that same purpose. It was to keep them conscious of their religious nature. And that has maintained a small group of Jews over the centuries as an integral unit, but has tended to disappear in the later generations now simply because modern life does not allow that much Kṛṣṇa consciousness or Jewish consciousness or religious consciousness and attention, act by act throughout the day. So my question is how far can total Kṛṣṇa devotion, act by act all day, spread? How many people can that encompass in a place like America? Or are you intending only to get a few devotees, like several hundred or a thousand who will be solid and permanent.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. That is my program. Because Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not possible for everyone. Because in the Bhagavad-gītā we learn, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante (BG 7.19). After many, many births one can come to this. So it is not possible that a mass of people, a large quantity of people will be able to grasp it. You see? Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19). Another place it is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu (BG 7.3). After many thousands of men, one may be interested how to liberate himself. And out of many such liberated persons, one may understand what is Kṛṣṇa. So understanding of Kṛṣṇa is not very easy thing. But Lord Caitanya is so munificent that He has given us a, I mean to say, easy process. (indistinct) Otherwise Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not easy. Because Kṛṣṇa is the last word of Absolute Truth. Generally, people are just like animals. Out of many such persons, one becomes interested in the scriptures. And out of many such persons, if they're attracted to the scriptures, they're attracted to the ritualistic ceremony for improving their economic condition. You see? Just like Christians, they go to... Not Christian, everyone. They take up religion with a motive that they may improve their economic position. Dharma, artha. Artha means money. And then why artha? Why you want money? Now, to satisfy senses. Kāma. Dharma, artha, kāma. And when one becomes frustrated in sense gratification, then liberation, to merge. These four things are going on. Dharma, artha, kāma. The Bhāgavata says that dharma is not meant for acquiring money. Money is not meant for satisfying senses. Sense gratification should be accepted simply to maintain this body. That's all. The real business is tattva-jijñāsā, to understand. The human life is meant for understanding the Absolute Truth. Jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā naś ceha yat karmabhiḥ. Kāmasya nendriya-pritir labho jīveta yāvatā (SB 1.2.10). Kāmasya, sense gratification, does not mean you have to increase the volume of sense gratification. No. Jīveta yāvatā, you have to accept sense gratification so far as you can live very nicely. The real business is jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā. Every human being should be inquisitive to know the Absolute Truth. That is the real business of human life. So to come to that business, you won't find mass of people. It is not possible. You don't expect.

Allen Ginsberg: Your plan here in America, then, is to set up centers so that those who are that concerned can pursue their studies and practice a ritual?

Prabhupāda: My... Personally, I have no, I mean to say, ideal or ambition.

Allen Ginsberg: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: But it is the mission of human life to come to that point. So at least there must be some center or institution who may give them this idea. It is not that everyone will come. Just like there are many educational department. I know in Calcutta in our boyhood age, at that time Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee was vice-president. So he opened some classes in the university. In each class there were four or five professors, and at that time the professors' salary was 1300 dollar, 1400 dollar. And the fees were collected, at most thirty-six dollar per month. You see? But still the classes were to be maintained because the ideal must be there. So our mission is the intelligent persons of the world may know that this is not, simply seeking after sense gratification is not the aim of human life. Human life is meant by... Just like Bhāgavata says, jīvasya tattva-jijnasa. Vedānta says, athāto brahma jijñāsā. The same thing. Bhāgavata is nothing but explanation of Vedānta. So Vedānta says that this human form of life is meant for inquiring about Brahman. Atha ataḥ. Now. Atha means now. Atha, hereafter. That means after passing through all animalistic way of life, when a man comes to the stage of civilized life, perfect civilized life, at that time his business is to inquire about the Absolute Truth, what is the Absolute Truth. That is the whole Vedānta philosophy, "What is that Absolute Truth?" The same thing is explained in Bhāgavata, jīvasya tattva-jijñāsa. Jīvasya means all living entities. The main business is to inquire about the Absolute Truth. So people, by education they are misled. Instead of getting them to the highest topmost stage, to the platform of inquiring about the Absolute, they are giving facilities how you can satisfy your senses nicely.