Why He gives up? He has made for His enjoyment. Why should He give up?
When I set up Srila Prabhupada's bed, I noted a lot of mosquitoes. I asked Atreya Rishi if he had a net, but instead he handed me a small electrical gadget, a metal heating element encased in plastic. It plugs in the wall socket and a cardboard tablet soaked in some kind of repellent is placed on the element. As it heats up, it gives off fumes to drive away the insects. It seemed simple and neat and Atreya Rishi said it was very effective, so I decided to try it.
August 9th, 1976
In the morning Srila Prabhupada walked in the park again. The park is basically a carefully sculptured hillside, attractively terraced and well maintained by what seems to be an overabundance of attendants. After being driven to the top of the hill Prabhupada entered the deserted enclosure and gradually made his way down the winding pathways to the bottom where the car was waiting.
About halfway down Prabhupada sat for a while on a bench in a small arbor of shrubs and latticework, while we, his small following of disciples, sat around him on the ground. A few groundsmen looked on, somewhat bemused at the curious gathering of shaven-headed foreigners clad in dhotis, their attention centered reverentially on an old Indian gentleman.
Though not physically strong, Prabhupada's vigor for speaking krishna-katha has not diminished. He kept up a running discourse, observing that men in general, because of godlessness, have become dishonest. "He's dishonest to himself even. Doesn't take care of the body properly. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna. Therefore you cannot expect good qualities of the human society without injecting God consciousness."
He asked Atreya Rishi if there was much fighting between the Iranian people.
"Not so much," Atreya Rishi told him. "They are not as peaceful as Indians; they are not as pious as Indians."
Accepting his judgement, Prabhupada said, "They cannot be. In India still you'll find hundreds and thousands of men are going to take bath in the Ganges in the morning. They might have only one cloth and one napkin. Still, they will take twice bath with the napkin, they change the cloth and wash it and spread it on the ground. By the time he finishes his bathing, the cloth is dry, that is India's advantage. And he puts some fresh cloth, and the napkin is also dry. And he'll become refreshed. And in his lota he'll take some water of the Ganges and he'll go home. In Vrindavana you'll find many thousands in the morning, with lota they go out, evacuate somewhere, and then wash hands, mouth, with cloth, taking bathing in the Ganges, Yamuna."
Thinking of a recent newspaper article that criticized the mentality of pilgrims who go to bathe in the Yamuna even though the government has declared its waters polluted, he added, "Now they are polluting the Yamuna water, the government. In Vrindavana, government is opening oil refinery, and people are being encouraged, 'These are new temples.' Everywhere people are being degraded. They have no tendency to become purified, God conscious, honest. Because they do not believe in the next birth."
As we sat and talked in one of the alcoves a steady procession of cleaners came by, curious about their early morning visitors. Prabhupada innocently asked if they wanted to clean where we were sitting.
"No, they're just looking," I explained. "Probably the amount of cleaners that's been past, this should be the cleanest spot in the whole park by now."
Prabhupada observed that men were creating bad situations by falsely claiming proprietorship over natural resources, although these things were made by God.
Navayauvana said that the Shah had just recently stated that all the forests and natural resources were made by God and that no man could make these things. "But his conclusion was not correct," he added. "He said therefore these things are owned by the government which represents the people. He didn't understand."
Srila Prabhupada has always supported the idea of a just monarchy as the best means of rule, and he approved the Shah saying such a thing, but with a strong proviso. "It belongs to God, this is accepted. And everyone is God's son; therefore as the son can enjoy the father's property. But they cannot claim proprietorship. As directed by the father, one can enjoy the father's property, but he cannot claim that it is his property. This is the correct position. And the king is supposed to be representative of God to see that things are rightly going on, that's all. Nobody's unnecessarily claiming proprietorship. He should remind that, 'It is God's property. Whatever you need you take, but you cannot take more.' Like the birds and beasts, they are living. They do not make stock. They need to eat something, they'll eat some fruit, then they go away. When they are hungry, they will go another tree. They never claim that, 'This is my tree, this is my fruit.' This is natural. If you put a bag of rice here, the birds will come, they will eat some grains and go away. But a man, he'll go and try to stock something, and he will take more."
"But they say that that's intelligence," I said. "To make preparation for the future."
"Yes, to steal God's property is certainly intelligence,"
Srila Prabhupada replied sardonically. "Very good intelligence. They must suffer. For this intelligence they must be punished."
Srila Prabhupada's statement that the son has the right to enjoy the father's property made me think about an argument my mother had once used in an exchange of letters with me. Her outlook was that of a typical karmi: "Their idea is that God may have made everything, but now it's for us to divide up and enjoy between us. He has no connection with it now."
"Why? He has made and He has no connection?" Prabhupada asked. "What is this rascal theory? He has made everything and He has no connection."
"No, He gives up the connection," I said.
"Why He gives up? He has made for His enjoyment. Why should He give up?"
"They say that He's made for our enjoyment and it's for us to divide and enjoy."
"No," Prabhupada said emphatically. "Therefore you are rascal. Everything is done by somebody. Suppose if you organize one business, that is for your enjoyment. God has created anything, that is for His enjoyment. But you are sons of God, you can enjoy the property of the father as far as you require. Not more than, you cannot take more than that, then other sons will claim and there will be fight. You live at the expense of God. God has sufficient supply; but don't try to take more and stock, that is folly. You eat, you live very nicely? there is no prohibition. But you cannot take more than what you require. This is Bhagavata communism. If you take more, you'll be punished."
Once again he glorified the Indian heritage. "This is our philosophy, Krishna consciousness: tena tyaktena bhunjitha. The Indians are trained up like that. He is happy in whatever condition of life he is placed; he doesn't protest. Any Indian villager, he'll say 'God has given me this position, that's all right.' Therefore the modern man is complaining that in India this God consciousness has made them lethargic, they believe on the destiny. Actually they do. Therefore from the very beginning you'll find so nice philosophy, literature, but you won't find the modernized economic development. Big, big house, big, big road, no. There was no such attempt."
"They're not interested in increasing the unnecessary items," I said.
Prabhupada nodded. "That's it. Why? If there is already sufficient supply of my necessities of life, why shall I waste my time? They knew how to utilize time."
Navayauvana joined in, extending my argument. "They say that God has no need to enjoy."
Prabhupada's reaction was as humorous as it was emphatic: "Beat him with shoes on his face! Because He has created and He has no need to enjoy. Why He has created? He's your father's servant, that He's created for you? He has created for His enjoyment. That is the tendency everywhere. How can you say that God has simply created for your enjoyment? What is his claim? Is there any practical example in the world, that somebody creates something for others? Why do you claim in this way, which is unusual? What is the ground of your this rascal philosophy? Wherefrom you get this idea that I create something for somebody else? A father creates family for his own enjoyment. Wife, children, he wants enjoyment? society, family. Therefore he takes the risk of maintaining so many people. The principle is if you create something, it is created for your personal enjoyment, but I can allow my sons, my wife, my family members to enjoy with me. But the basic principle is for my enjoyment. This is natural. Where do you get this philosophy that God cannot enjoy?"
"Yes, He doesn't need to enjoy,"
Navayauvana replied. "They say because He's not like human beings."
Again Prabhupada gave an example from practical experience. "There are so many animals, they are not like human beings. Why they enjoy sex? Can you forbid him that, 'You are not like human being, you cannot enjoy'? This is all nonsense philosophy. Because they do not know what is God, what He is, what is His position, relationship, therefore these nonsense things are said."
Srila Prabhupada put the dearth of knowledge of God down to misleadership in every major field of human endeavor philosophy, science, politics, sociology. People were being led by rascals and fools who had no idea of the real welfare of society. As an example he pointed out that although there is a police department, all kinds of sinful activities are allowed to go on because no one knows what is sinful anymore.
Dayananda said that they judged everything on the basis of what they thought was good for humanity, and in essence that was whatever gives pleasure to the greatest number of people.
Prabhupada replied that was the mentality of a child. "It is the duty of the parent to train him to the right point of view. The child takes pleasure playing the whole day, but the father does not allow him. If you leave, let the child seek his own pleasure, then you are spoiling him. Then there is no need of becoming your father, guardian; let him be spoiled by his whimsical pleasure. In my childhood I was not willing to go to the schools. My mother forced, by force she used to ... My father was lenient and my mother kept a special man, that, 'Your duty is to take him by force to the school.' Yes. My father, my mother would complain that 'Your boy did not go to school.'
"'Oh, he did not go to school?' And I was sure he was very affectionate. 'Why?'
"'No, I shall go tomorrow.'
"Then father, 'All right, he will go tomorrow, that's all right.' But that tomorrow will never come. This is my practical [experience]. My mother forced me. So I thought, 'It is pleasure. Why shall I go to school? Let me play whole day.' But it is the duty of the guardian to see that this is not pleasure, this is spoiling. Otherwise why the guardians are required? Why government is needed, why king is needed, why father is needed, why guru is needed? Just to guide. Therefore whatever you think whimsically it is pleasure, the guru, the father, the king, the government, they should guide: 'No, it is not pleasure, it is ruining. You should take like this.' If the guru and father and the government, they are themselves rascals and fools, how they will guide? And that is the position. General public, they require guidance, but the guides themselves are rascals and fools, cheaters, bluffers. Therefore the social condition is very bad."
Prabhupada told us that the leaders were victims of bad upbringing. "They have become thieves because their guardians did not care for them. This is going on, parampara. The parampara is that God's instructions should be distributed. But there are no followers of God's instruction. Therefore the fool's, rascal's parampara is there. The father is a rogue and the son is rogue, the grandson is a rogue. What is wrong? The parampara is rogue. And if they follow God's parampara, then everything is all right.
"The difficulty is they are not following the words of God. And religion means the words of God. It doesn't matter what kind of religion it is. If they actually follow the words of God, they become good. Just like in the Ten Commandments, the good instructions are there. So what is the wrong there? You follow, you become a good man. Similarly, in Koran also, there are good instruction. You follow, you become a good man. After all, religion means to try to understand God. So if you sincerely want to understand God and follow His instruction, any religion, it doesn't matter, you become a good man. Comparatively, according to the time, circumstances may be ... just like, who told me? You told me that they cut throat of the lamb. So suppose that the blood goes to the Mecca side, still there is sense of God, a sense of God. Similarly, if they follow strictly the words of God, so everything is all right."
Prabhupada's willingness to thoroughly discuss the issues, and his enjoyment of the park, made him tarry a while longer than was his normal habit. It was getting on for 8:00 a.m. by the time we returned to the temple, so he didn't give a class.