Devotee (3): Swamiji, Indian literature and movies, they're... The subject is quite often romantic love. But in the literature of Indian religion, it seems to me that there's no place for romantic love. It's either divine love or it's, as you say, "cats and dogs." Do you find a place for romantic love within...?
Devotee (3): What is it?
Prabhupāda: That is in spiritual world, not in this material... In the material world there is no love. It is lust. We are making business under the name of love. In the material world there cannot be love because... Suppose a girl loves a boy or a boy loves a girl. Both of them are actuated by sense gratification. So that is not love. That is not love. When there is question of sense gratification, that is not love. Just like there is little example. Just like mother loves the child. There is no question of sense gratification. Simply for the sake of love, the mother loves the child. It is simply a little example. Similarly, love means if I love you, I don't want any return. Still, I love you. You may ill treat me. You may badly treat me. You neglect me. Still, I love you. There is no question of return from you. That is real love. That you cannot find in this material world. Because it is based on sense gratification, therefore there is love between a boy and girl, and as soon as there is little discrepancy, there is divorce. They are separated. Because the whole principle was on the basis of lust. So there is no love. Or we do not know what is meant by love. Love does not mean just a boy is attracted by a girl or a girl is attracted by a... That is not love. That is sense attraction. So in the material world there is no love. It is impossible. There is little, little example, just like I cited the example of mother and son or similar. That is also temporary. But real love is in the spiritual... That is Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. That is real love. There is no separation. There is no cheating. There is no divorce. There is no sex attraction. Simply for love's sake, loving, that is real love.
Devotee (3): But in the great literature, lust is not defined as love. It's more defined as something that has to do with spiritual affinity or communication or... In other words, there is a place for romantic love as distinct from lust because lust is rather elementary.
Prabhupāda: Romantic love is in the spiritual world, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. That is the origin of romantic love. And here we are trying to imitate, although we are on the platform of lust. It is imitation, shadow, perverted reflection. So actually, Kṛṣṇa consciousness means we are trying to reach that platform of real love, exchange of love. The example... One example can be given: just like in diseased conditioned, actually there is no enjoyment, but still, the doctor gives some diet: "You eat this." But he does not enjoy. Eating enjoyment is in healthy life, not in diseased condition.
So our present condition is diseased. Why you are dying? Because you are diseased. Why you are becoming old? Because you are diseased. That is due to this body. But actually I am spirit soul. I am neither old nor diseased, but I have fallen into the condition of material contamination. Therefore I am thinking that I am diseased. This is called māyā. Just like in the dream I am feeling that a tiger is eating me, and I am crying, "Here is a tiger eating me, eating me. Save me." But there is no tiger. This is called illusion, or māyā. But so long we'll have this body just like so long we shall dream, we shall have to suffer the effect, even it is illusion. A man is crying, "There is a tiger." Actually, there is no tiger; neither tiger is eating. But because he is in hallucination, he is feeling the pain. That is actual fact. So the whole process is to stop this illusion, bodily contamination. Then we are in real life. And then we can understand what is love, what is reciprocation of love, everything. That is real, healthy life. So this human form of life is meant for getting out of this illusion to the spiritual life. That we have been discussing. But instead of taking advantage of this human life, if we simply treat ourself just like animals and be engaged with eating, sleeping, fearing, and mating, then we are missing the chance. So long we have got this human intelligence, we should utilize it for the highest perfectional stage of life. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Haṁsadūta: What happens to the Vaiṣṇava if he is following the spiritual master and he's not successful in spiritual life? Does he also take birth on higher planets like it says in the Bhagavad-gītā?
Prabhupāda: If he is not successful, he is guaranteed to get another human form of life in rich family or a pious family.
Haṁsadūta: Like Bhagavad-gītā says.
Prabhupāda: Yes. In rich family, to take birth in rich family, means he has no economic problem, so he can engage fully in developing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And pious family means automatically he gets chance to become Kṛṣṇa conscious.
Haṁsadūta: So can it be understand that if a person, for instance, some Americans are very wealthy, that they...
Prabhupāda: Yes. They must have done pious activities in their previous life, all Americans. But they should know that this is their advantage to become Kṛṣṇa conscious: "We have no economic problem, but we are employing our facilities in sense gratification." That is a mistake.
Haṁsadūta: Suppose a person is born in a very poor family. What does that mean? Suppose someone is born in a very poor, low, very low, and he becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is open to all. Just like we are calling everyone, "Come and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa." It is open to all. There is no question of becoming poor or rich. But if he takes the advantage, that is up to him. We are not restricting here that only the rich persons or brāhmaṇas or pious family or rich family can come here, no. Everyone. Everyone is welcome. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ. Poor family or uneducated family, uncultured family, they are called pāpa-yoni, sinful family. But Kṛṣṇa says, "Never mind. Even if he is in sinful family, whatever he may be, if he comes to Me, he also can enter into the spiritual kingdom." So there is no such restriction.
- māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
- ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
- striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrās
- te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim
- (BG 9.32)
Parāṁ gatim means the highest perfectional life. And that is practical. Here, when people come here, we don't inquire whether he is poor or rich or this or that. "Come on. Sit down. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa." The opportunity is equal for everyone.
Haṁsadūta: How is it that people who have done some pious activity, they get a nice birth in this statement, but usually people who are not wealthy or not so educated, sometimes they more or less take to worshiping Kṛṣṇa or God.
Prabhupāda: That is the grace of the devotees. The devotees offer their service, and they get the opportunity. Never mind what he is. It is the grace. Therefore, when Bhāgavata says, yad-apāśrayāśrayam... Apāśrayāśrayam means a devotee is already under the protection of God, and if one takes protection of a devotee, he also becomes a devotee and becomes purified. Therefore a devotee is more merciful than God. Even in God there is consideration-pious, impious. For a devotee there is no such consideration. "Everyone come." What is the purpose of opening so many centers? Just to give people opportunity to take advantage, without any consideration of his position. But if one does not take the advantage, it is up to him. That independence has everyone. We are inviting everyone to understand Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but nobody is coming. What can we do? Those who are fortunate, they are taking advantage. That's all.