conversation with His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Prajāpati: Kṛṣṇa has given us free will to choose or reject the godly life. Should the government take away that free will of whether they choose to...
Prabhupāda: No, that free will is not to be given. It is already there. Rather, Kṛṣṇa says He has given free will, but His personal advice is: "I am now talking to you the most confidential words." Sarva-guhyatamam. "You stop your so-called free will. Just surrender to Me." This is the most confidential. "If you surrender to Me, that is good for you. But if you go on keeping your free will you'll not be happy." There is also free will. When you come to the Kṛṣṇa platform you serve Kṛṣṇa with free will, not that you become a stone. There is free will. Just like our devotees they are dressing Kṛṣṇa nicely, is there no free will? They are cooking for Kṛṣṇa. Is there no free will? The free will is there. The Māyāvādī philosopher says, the Buddha philosopher says, that "Stop this free will, and then you become happy." But our proposition is not to stop free will but purify free will. Purify. Not stop these eyes. Just if it is suffering from cataract, cure that cataract. Keep the eyes. And their proposition, "Get out these eyes and throw it. Then there will be no more seeing what is right and wrong." That is their proposition. Nirviśeṣa-vādī. Nirviśeṣa means no speciality, no varieties. That is nirviśeṣa. And śūnya, zero. When it is zero, then there is no question of right and wrong. So our philosophy is not that. There is no zero, and there is no varieties. We don't say. There is, but it's purified varieties. Tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Nirmalam means purified. So our process is to purify everything. We don't want to stop. That is not our proposition. They cannot find out any solution. Therefore they want to make stop: "Stop this business." Suppose a business is not going very nicely. It is going at loss. Somebody says, "Close it." But one experienced man comes: "Why should you close? All right, I shall do it properly. You'll get profit." So who is better? One, by disappointment, he says, "Close this business. There is no profit." And another man says, "No, don't close it. We shall make you profit. We shall show you profit. Just manage it properly." This is our proposition. We don't say that "Stop all these material activities." No. Just do it properly so that you get real profit and real benefit. That is our program. We don't want to make it zero, no. Why shall I make it zero?
[break] ...can be taken just like there is business, but the workers, the assistants, they have no idea who is the proprietor. So everyone is doing something, taking pocket, something this, take pocket, his pocket, so how the business will go on nicely? That is being done. Everyone, these rascals, they have no idea who is the proprietor of this world. So they are doing in their nonsensical way. Therefore there is confusion. The business is not profitable. But if they accept, "No, the real proprietor is such and such gentleman, so he wants to do us like this," then the business will be profitable. Everyone is thinking that he is proprietor, so how this business will profit? This is the position. Everyone is thinking that he is the proprietor. He forgets that he is worker. He is not proprietor. That is the mistake. Therefore the business is mismanaged, and there is no profit, simply chaos. That is the position. [break] ...says in the Bhagavad-gītā,
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati
"If you want to stop this chaotic condition, then accept Me that I am the enjoyer and proprietor of this whole world, and I am your real friend. Let the business be done on My account, you take your right salaries, you be happy, and there will be no chaotic condition." But here the position is that everyone is thinking proprietor, and as far as possible, he is taking all the money, and other is starving. He is not getting his salary even. So he also, because he is weak, he cannot steal. The stronger, he is stealing. There is fight. Just like this chaotic condition of the petrol. The Arabians thinking that "I am the proprietor. Why shall I give to the Americans?" Thing is there, but it is chaotic only because they do not accept the proprietor is God. That is the defect. How you can give freedom for stealing? Stealing freedom means punishment awaiting you. If I give you freedom—"Yes, whatever you like, you can go on stealing"—that means next stage is your punishment. That is going on.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: They will say that proprietor stage is relative.
Prabhupāda: Yes, it is relative. Relative means you are servant. You must satisfy by your service to the proprietor and get your nice salary and be happy. Tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā. Whatever He gives, you accept and be happy. That is Īśopaniṣad. You don't try to encroach upon others. You receive from the proprietor your emolution (emolument?) or your reward and be happy. That is Īśopaniṣad. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam [Īśo mantra 1]. Everything is God's property. You take your share. You have got right. Just like a father and the son. There are ten sons. Everyone has got the right to share the property of the father, but as the father gives, not that I take away the whole property and others, brothers, may starve. That is not allowed. That is criminal. Here in the material world everyone has come to get the best profit, without considering profit for others. Others may go to hell. "Others, let them go to the slaughterhouse. I must satisfy my tongue." That is material world. "No, why you are slaughtering other living entities?" "I don't care. I want to eat. That's all." So you have to pay for that. You cannot put others into difficulty because God is equally merciful to everyone. But you don't care for God. Therefore you do whimsically whatever you like. So you are putting yourself in difficulty. This is the position. [break] ...mahad-guṇāḥ. Therefore without God consciousness, nobody is qualified. Nobody is qualified. Everyone is damned, condemned. [break] ...asato dhāvato bahiḥ. By mental speculation he will simply prolong his material existence, that's all. And that is troublesome. Material existence means just this. The dog is material existence. It is a standard of suffering. But he does not know. Under illusion he is thinking that "I am very happy." So everyone is thinking that "I am very happy," but he's in condemned condition. The pig. He is eating stool, living in a filthy place, but he is getting fat because he is thinking he is very happy. This is called illusion. You are thinking, "Oh, what a nasty condition. This animal is eating stool and living in a filthy place." But he is thinking that he is very happy. Unless he thinks like that, he cannot live in that condition. That is called illusion. He does not know what is the actual high standard of happiness.
Prajāpati: Highest standard of happiness, Śrīla Prabhupāda, is simply to be in your association.
Prabhupāda: Back to home, back to Godhead, that's all. This is highest standard of happiness. We are trying to take everyone to that place. Yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama [Bg. 15.6].
Devotees: Thank you. Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda. All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda.
December 13, 1973, Los Angeles