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In India even the poorest man, he knows that, "There is next life. I existed in the past, and I will exist in the future." This Vedic conclusion is known even to the poorest man, illiterate man. That is, of course, the difference between East and West

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Expressions researched:
"This Vedic conclusion is known even to the poorest man, illiterate man. That is, of course, the difference between East and West"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

I talked with Professor Kotovsky in Moscow. He said, "Swamiji, after annihilation of this body, everything is finished." They have no idea that there is soul. And in India even the poorest man, he knows that, "There is next life. I existed in the past, and I will exist in the future." This Vedic conclusion is known even to the poorest man, illiterate man. That is, of course, the difference between East and West.
Lecture on BG 13.8-12 -- Bombay, October 2, 1973:

Prabhupāda: The human life should be utilized for understanding the Absolute Truth. The next paragraph, that describes how one can understand the Absolute Truth. Amānitvam adambhitvam ahiṁsā kṣāntir ārjavam. So our life should be utilized for understanding the Absolute Truth, not for economic development. Economic development, what is already destined, you cannot improve less or more. It is already settled up.

There are so many examples. Just like a pig has got a body. He likes to eat stool. If you give him halavā, that "Don't eat stool. Take this nice halavā," he's not interested because he has got a particular type of body. That is the aggregate. That is already explained. Mahā-bhūtāny ahaṅkāro buddhir avyaktam (eva) ca, icchā dveṣaḥ sukhaṁ duḥkham. Icchā dveṣaḥ. The icchā and dveṣa according to the body. He has got the desire to eat the stool. That is his icchā. And he has got a dveṣa for the halavā, while a gentlemen, advanced gentlemen, he has got the icchā for halavā, not for the stool.

Therefore our duty should be that without trying... That was Indian civilization. Everyone was happy in his position, everyone—brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. The culture was so nice that nobody was unhappy, even if he is a śūdra or even if he is a vaiśya or a brāhmaṇa or kṣatriya. It is not that because the kṣatriyas, the royal family, they were happy, and the brāhmaṇas were not happy or the śūdras were not happy. No. Everyone was happy because... Still in India you go to the village. They are happy with their destination. This is the Indian culture. Now we are injecting discontentment, injecting. Otherwise everyone was happy in his position: "God has given this position. So this is all right. Let me do my work." That is satisfaction. Everyone was satisfied.

Still it is going on, although great propaganda is going on to kill the Vedic culture. Just as some in 1971, we attended the Māghamela. In 1971? Or which year? That Allahabad Māghamela.

Devotee: '71.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So people were coming there, thousands and thousands, to take a bath in the Ganges, and they were happy. There in Calcutta there was an Indo-American society. I was invited to speak there. So they gave me the subject matter, "East and West." So... (aside:) Don't do... So far we are concerned, we have no such distinction, "East and West." We know that everyone is human being, and everyone, every living entity, not only the human being, even the birds, beasts, animals, trees, everyone, a living entity is part and parcel of God, Kṛṣṇa. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ (BG 15.7). So everyone is in ignorance. That is our concern.

Our propaganda is not for the East and the West, but our fight is with the ignorance of the people because at the present moment people are kept in ignorance, in foolishness, that he is this body, bodily identification. But still, there is difference between East and West. In the West, I have talked with big, big professors, learned scholars. They have no idea of next life.

I talked with Professor Kotovsky in Moscow. He said, "Swamiji, after annihilation of this body, everything is finished." They have no idea that there is soul. And in India even the poorest man, he knows that, "There is next life. I existed in the past, and I will exist in the future." This Vedic conclusion is known even to the poorest man, illiterate man. That is, of course, the difference between East and West.

So anyway, our position is that we should not identify this body as self. Kṛṣṇa says here that

adhyātma-jñāna-nityatvaṁ
tattva-jñānārtha-darśanam
etaj jñānam iti proktam
ajñānaṁ yad ataḥ anyathā

Adhyātmā-jñānam, to understand oneself as the spirit soul, that jñānam. Adhyātmā-jñānam, tattva-jnanārtha-darśanam. Philosophy should be utilized. Logic and philosophy should be utilized for self-realization, not for simply mental speculation.

We find nowadays, big, big philosophers write volumes of book, simply theorizing without any understanding of the spirit soul. Big, big philosopher. And Kṛṣṇa says that if one simply puts philosophical theories for some utopian ideas, "Now time is coming which will be like this, like that." No. Time is there already. You cannot manufacture time like this or like that. It will go on. It is eternal. It is eternal.

Just like Kṛṣṇa has said in the second chapter of Bhagavad-gītā that "Arjuna, you and me and all the soldiers and kings who have assembled here, it is not that we did not exist in the past. We are existing now, and we shall continue to exist in the future." So this eternity of the soul we do not know. We are simply identifying ourself with this body, and we are simply interested for the bodily comforts of life. This is the civilization, going on.