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Human civilization means we have got so many animal propensities, and if we can control them, that is advancement of human civilization. Just try to understand

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"Human civilization means we have got so many animal propensities, and if we can control them, that is advancement of human civilization. Just try to understand"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Human civilization means we have got so many animal propensities, and if we can control them, that is advancement of human civilization. Just try to understand. Not that, "Because I have got this tendency, let me increase it without any restriction." That is not human civilization.

In the śāstras, there is recommendation that, "You can eat meat under certain, certain condition. You can drink under certain conditions. You can marry, sex life, under certain condition." Loke vyavāyāmiṣa-madya-sevā. Vyavāya means sex; and āmiṣa means meat-eating; and madya-sevā, drinking, intoxication.

So śāstra says that, "Everyone, every living entity, has got a general tendency for these things: sex life, meat-eating and drinking." Then where is the need of śāstric injunction? That śāstric injunction is there not to encourage them, but to restrict them. In the human life, pravṛttir eṣā bhūtānāṁ nivṛttis tu mahā-phalā (Manu Smṛti 5.56). You have got a tendency for sex life, take for example. This is your tendency. But if you can check it, that is your success. Not that because you have got tendency, you have to increase it. That is not human civilization. Human civilization means we have got so many animal propensities, and if we can control them, that is advancement of human civilization. Just try to understand. Not that, "Because I have got this tendency, let me increase it without any restriction." That is not human civilization. Human civilization . . . that is the distinction between animal and human being. Tapasā brahmacaryeṇa jñānena (SB 6.1.13).

Therefore first beginning of human life . . . (child making noise) (aside) That child . . . the first beginning of human life is brahmacārī. Brahmacārī. Brahmacārī means to learn how to restrict himself from sense gratification. That is brahmacārī life—the student, student life. Nowadays, in every college, university, the students are allowed to mix, intermingle, both sex. What is called? Co-education?

Sudāmā: Co-ed. Yes.

Prabhupāda: But this is not the process of human civilization. Therefore, at the present moment, the population is so much degraded. There is no restriction. That is the difference between animal life and human life. Human life is meant for restriction. The more you restrict your material sense gratification, the more you are advanced. This is the standard. Not that, "Because I have got the tendency to act like this, let me do it unrestrictedly." That is not human civilization; that is cats' and dogs' civilization. Human civilization means tapasya, austerity. Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyet sattvam (SB 5.5.1). Sattva. We have to purify our existence. That is the aim of human life. We have to purify our existence.

What is the impurification of existence? The impurification of existence is this birth, death, old age and disease. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9). Everyone is inclined to live, but nature will not allow you to live. Nobody likes to die, but nature will force you to become dead. Nobody wants to become old man, but nature will force you to become old man. Janma . . . and nobody wants to suffer from diseases, but nature will force you to suffer from diseases. These are the problems. But the rascal civilization, they do not know what is the real problem. They're dealing with petrol problem. Just see. Petrol problem, you have created another problem. Already there is problem. You have created, by so-called civilization, petrol problem. Before these motorcars, the people were living very happily. They were transporting. But there was no such civilization that for your earning livelihood you have to go hundred miles away from your home to work there. Therefore you require vehicle. Then you require petrol. Then you require so many nice road. So many things will be. But formerly, it was village. They will take it, "This is primitive." But remaining primitive, you are more happy than becoming so-called civilized, creating so many problems. You have already problems, but people are so rascal, so blind, they do not see to the real problem. They artificially create problem and try to solve it. Instead of touching the real problem, that is set aside.