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When one thinks, "I am this body," he's a rascal. If one thinks that "I am servant of God," that is real ego. And if one thinks, "I am servant of Satan," that is not very good

Conversations and Morning Walks

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

This is real ego, that "I am spirit soul." This is not bad. But when one thinks, "I am this body," he's a rascal. If one thinks that "I am servant of God," that is real ego. And if one thinks, "I am servant of Satan," that is not very good.
Room Conversation -- June 5, 1974, Geneva:

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: He says in the beginning of the Gītā, Kṛṣṇa tells Arjuna to fight.

Prabhupāda: Why? "Because you are kṣatriya. There is fight, war, you must fight. You are meant for..." Just like my hands, kṣatriya. If there is attack it is hand's duty to protect me. The hand is being asked to give protection. That is natural. If I go to attack you, immediately you spread your hand. This is the duty of the hand. So when there is attack, the other's party, they have come to fight. You must fight because you are hand.

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: He says, "But then Kṛṣṇa says, 'Why are you afraid to fight? After all, the soul is eternal, but the body is only temporary.' So isn't that a justification..."

Prabhupāda: But Kṛṣṇa does not say, "Therefore you open slaughterhouse and go on killing animals."

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Prabhupāda: Well, if you have killed some man and you go to the court and if you say that "He is not killed," will you be saved?

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: He says, "How is this, that the only thing we've talked about since we've gotten here has been eating of meat? Is that the only...?"

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Yogeśvara: He says, "How is that that the only thing we've talked about since we came today has been eating meat? Is that the only thing that the Bhagavad-gītā teaches?"

Prabhupāda: Yes, because our proposal is that unless you become... Find out that verse, yeṣām anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām, te dvandva-moha-nirmuktāḥ. This is the beginning of theism. Theism means you must be free from all sinful activities. That is theism. If you remain sinful you cannot make any progress in theism. That is the point. (break)

Yogeśvara: Doesn't that make us rather exclusive, that we have some facility for spending all of our time meditating and purifying our lives? Doesn't that make us a rather exclusive group of people? If only those who are completely pure can engage in service, that means only people like us who have time to sit and meditate...

Prabhupāda: What meditation? The thing is that here it is stated, "Unless one is free from all sinful activities, he cannot be engaged in My service." And the pillars, according to Vedic, pillars of sinful activities... Just like four pillars. One is this meat-eating, the other is illicit sex, the other is gambling, and the other is intoxication. So unless we break these four pillars of sinful life there is no meaning of meditation or worshiping God. You cannot ignite fire, at the same time pour water on it. So sinful life means destruction of spiritual life. So once you begin spiritual life, and other way you begin sinful life, then how it will be? It is counteracted. There is no progress.

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: He says there are other sinful activities as well. For example, egoism and jealously.

Prabhupāda: But first of all begin these primary principles, and then others will be automatically stopped.

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: He does not think that they will follow naturally just by stopping these four things.

Prabhupāda: Naturally it follows, but if somebody wants to cheat, that is another thing. Naturally it follows.

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: This gentleman suggests that he prefers someone who may be committing all four of these sinful activities but who helps his fellow man.

Prabhupāda: The fellow man helping, what does he gain?

Yogeśvara: (translates) He says, "Even if someone is committing all kinds of sinful activities..."

Prabhupāda: No, no. What you gain by helping your fellow man? First of all that is the question.

Yogeśvara: He says, "The purpose of helping other people is not to gain something for yourself."

Prabhupāda: But I say that you help your fellow man. So do you know how to help him?

Swiss Man (1): Certain circumstances.

Yogeśvara: He says, "In certain circumstances."

Prabhupāda: In certain circumstances, but if you do not know how to... Suppose a man is diseased and you think... The doctor says that he should not eat anything. But if you think that "Let me give some food. The doctor is very cruel. He is not giving food," is it, that, helping or fully pushing him towards death? First of all you must know how to help. If I do not know—I help in the opposite way—that is not helping. That is degrading. These are all manufactured things. They are not... Helping means, real helping is, that a man or anyone... Everyone is suffering for want of knowledge. So if you can give knowledge, that is real help.

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: The first thing is that this gentleman doesn't agree. He doesn't think that the major problem is ignorance. But this gentleman suggests that there is a danger, there's a danger in what he calls "spiritual pride," "spiritual egoism," that is to say, thinking that we have helped someone and actually...

Prabhupāda: But that pride is there. That gentleman is proud that he's helping someone. That prideness is there. But out of these two kinds of prideness, one prideness which is real, that is welcome. If one is falsely proud, that is useless. But if one is actually proud of doing something, then he... That is good. Just like in the Vedic literature it is recommended that you should feel ahaṁ brahmāsmi: "I am Brahman." This is also ego. This is real ego, that "I am spirit soul." This is not bad. But when one thinks, "I am this body," he's a rascal. If one thinks that "I am servant of God," that is real ego. And if one thinks, "I am servant of Satan," that is not very good.

Yogeśvara: I think this gentleman still isn't feeling satisfied about his question.

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Yogeśvara: That how can we say that to give people..., that the only real problem is to give knowledge. There are people who are starving; there are people who are sick; there are people who are in so much distress.

Prabhupāda: But you cannot do. You cannot do. There are so many people starving in the hospital. What can you do?

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: He says, "Probably not very much." He said, "But maybe we can do something."

Prabhupāda: Then this is simply a false pride, that "I can do something." You cannot do anything. Rather, you can do this service, that "There is God. You are servant of God. Please become servant of God." And if you make this program, "I can give food to so many," what you can do? There are millions and millions. People are starving all over the world. What can you do? It is simply false pride. You cannot do anything. Now, just like I have heard that in your country, because they have got excess milk supply there was recommendation to kill twenty thousand cows. Is it a fact?

Guru-gaurāṅga: Yes.

Prabhupāda: So is it very good intelligence? Because there is excess of milk supply, why not supply it to others who are starving for milk?

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: You want to translate that?

Guru-gaurāṅga: "But when we go to India, on the other hand, you may see cows dying of hunger, just bare skeletons."

Prabhupāda: But there are so many human beings also dying out of hunger. Is it to be recommended that they should be killed? There are many human being also; they are also skeletons. They have no sufficient food. So if you think that the cows are skeletons for want of food, you supply them food. Why you are restricting? If... The Americans, they are throwing tons of food in the water. Why they do not send to India for feeding the skeleton cows? What the cows have done? They are also living entity. Why you are thinking of human beings, not of the cows?

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: He says for Protestants especially, there is a feeling that to think that we can become purified of our sins by following some formulary, that is a kind of false pride, that actually to become free...

Prabhupāda: Then why Christ recommend, "Thou shall not kill. Thou shall not covet. Thou shall not do this. Thou shall not..."? They are all false thing? Now let us talk of knowledge. We have talked so many outside knowledge. What is the real knowledge? The real knowledge is that everything is the property of God. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam (ISO 1). No land belongs either to the Americans or to the Swiss people or to the Indian people or to German people. No. Everything belongs to God. And all living entities are the sons of God. So everything produced out of God's land, either on the land or in the sky or anywhere, it is God's property, and all the sons, they have the right to share. So there is no scarcity in the God's kingdom. Simply due to our mismanagement we have created so much trouble. If we accept God as the center and all living entities sons of God, then we can actually live very peacefully in God consciousness. Therefore this is the recommendation, how we can live very peacefully, all of us, both men and animal and everyone. That is said here. Annād bhavanti bhūtāni. Read it.


annād bhavanti bhūtāni
parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ
yajñād bhavati parjanyo
yajñaḥ karma-samudbhavaḥ
(BG 3.14)


Prabhupāda: Sacrifice means to satisfy God. So you satisfy God. By God's mercy there will be sufficient rain. And when there is sufficient rain you produce sufficient food, food grains, and both the animals and men eat and live in God consciousness. Read the purport.

Yogeśvara: (reads purport in French)

Prabhupāda: So far I have studied... I am traveling all over the world. It is my calculation that we can produce food to give food ten times of the population if we properly utilize the whole planet according to this-produce food. Why because the milk is produced more, the cows should be slaughtered when there is a need of milk? It is so nice foodstuff. So on account of this false nationalism, "This is my land, this is my land, this is my land..." And why not take it as God's land and produce enough foodstuff. There will be no scarcity. There will be no skeleton. And distribute it. Where is that consciousness? There is so much land uncultivated all over the world, especially in America, in Australia, and in Africa, so much, huge land, no cultivation. They are keeping some cows and slaughtering them and exporting. What is this? Why don't you produce food?

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: He says all of these things, they are known. They know there's enough land and all these nonsense things are happening. He says simply to give this...

Prabhupāda: And therefore knowledge is required.

Yogeśvara: He says that knowledge isn't sufficient. You have to have enough love of mankind so that these things will be put into practice.

Prabhupāda: If you have love of mankind, then you'll kill the cows. That is not love. I love you and kill this man. That is not love. Why? Why for loving you I shall kill him? What is that love? That is not love. Love means... You see the description of love is there, paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ.

brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
(BG 5.18)

That is not love, "I love you and kill your brother." That's all.

M. Roche-dieu: Yes, but true knowledge is, we think, love.

Prabhupāda: That's all right, but you do not know what is love. You love somebody and you kill others.

M. Roche-dieu: No, no.

Prabhupāda: That is not love. If you love God, then you will love all His sons.

Yogeśvara: Here's that verse.

Prabhupāda: Here is the verse.


brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
(BG 5.18)

(reads French translation)

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: His point is that he agrees that love alone is not sufficient; there must be knowledge. But he is feeling, I think, a little bit disappointed that up until this point the knowledge that we have been giving him is very elementary. He says there must be some higher knowledge that you know that can actually liberate people. He is looking for that. He wants to know what is that.

Prabhupāda: But if you cannot understand lower knowledge, how you can understand higher knowledge?

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: He says that he agrees, he accepts this elementary knowledge, but he says you must have in your teachings some higher knowledge which will permit everyone to do away with this nationalism, to do away with this false ego, and this pride. What is that knowledge?

Prabhupāda: So that knowledge is God consciousness, that just like in my body, your body, his body, what is the important thing? The important thing is the living force. So just like you are a person, I am a person, he is also a person. But what is the important thing in you, in me, and in him? What do you think?

Yogeśvara: (translates) Is that right? Did I translate?

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: He says that... First of all he is very grateful that we are now approaching these higher spiritual questions. He says his understanding is that this living force inside all of us is the spirit of God that is in every one of us.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Yogeśvara: But he says now... But there must be something more than just these words. There must be some way of experiencing that, of realizing that.

Prabhupāda: Yes. This is experiencing, that because the spirit soul is there in you, in me, or anywhere, therefore the body is moving. Just try to understand. And as soon as the spirit soul is out of this body, then it is useless, a lump of matter. Therefore the living force, or the spirit soul, is important. That you have to accept.

Yogeśvara: (translates) Was there something else that I missed?

Guru-gaurāṅga: (French)

Yogeśvara: Yes.

Prabhupāda: That is admitted? Anything, anything. Just like the big 747 plane is flying but the important thing is there, the pilot. So the motor car, big motor car, big machine, is moving but the important thing is the operator. So if you study that the matter is simply an agency of movement... Real mover is the spirit. You have to admit.

Yogeśvara: Yes, they are willing to.

Prabhupāda: Then the whole cosmic manifestation, this material nature, there must be also the moving force. That is God. Now, just like within this body I am the person and under my command the body is going, working. I am asking the hand, "Please come here." Immediately... So I am also īśvara, means controller. So far this body is concerned, I am the controller. Similarly, the supreme controller, He is called parameśvara, "the supreme controller." That is God.

Yogeśvara: You can translate that?

Guru-gaurāṅga: (translates)

Prabhupāda: So there are two īśvaras. I am also īśvara. So far my, this body is concerned or my family is concerned, I am controlling. But the supreme controller, He is controlling everything. That is God. So those who are atheists, they must accept that there is the supreme controller, and He is God. So God is controlling everything. There are two things—material and spiritual. We have got experience. Suppose in this city of...

Swiss Man (4): Geneva.

Prabhupāda: Geneva, there are varieties of living entities and also houses and mountains. So two things, animate and inanimate. One section, animate; another section, inanimate. So we are small gods, or īśvaras. We may control the government and the management of the street and parks and everything, but we are controlled by the supreme. As supreme God, the supreme controller is not controlled by anyone. I am controlling, but I am being controlled by somebody else. That is God. So therefore we have to admit, we must admit that we are not free. We are controlled. Eh? By superior power or superior controller we are controlled. Therefore our duty is to be controlled according to His desire. So if we agree to be controlled by the Supreme, that is perfect life. And if we do not like to come to be controlled by the supreme, that is sinful life. And this is the perfect knowledge.

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Guru-gaurāṅga: He is very happy with your answer. He says, "I am content."

Prabhupāda: Thank you.

Page Title:When one thinks, "I am this body," he's a rascal. If one thinks that "I am servant of God," that is real ego. And if one thinks, "I am servant of Satan," that is not very good
Created:19 of Jun, 2012
Totals by Section:BG=0, SB=0, CC=0, OB=0, Lec=0, Con=1, Let=0
No. of Quotes:1