Prabhupāda: …I.A.S. civil service examination before one man is posted in some responsible office. Similarly, to be recognized by Kṛṣṇa, as He says, na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu [Bg. 18.69], one has to pass examination, severe test of examination. All the big, big devotees we see. Nārada Muni, before becoming Nārada Muni, he had to pass through severe examination, test. So that chance is there in the human form of life, to pass the examination, test. But they are passing this human life with ordinary animal propensities. They are not trained up to pass the examination and be recognized by God. That civilization is lost, Vedic civilization, to prepare the human beings for passing the test, examination for being recognized by God. 

tapasā brahmacaryeṇa
śamena ca damena vā
tyāgena satya-śaucābhyāṁ
yamena niyamena vā
[SB 6.1.13]

Where he has gone? 

Hari-śauri: He’s at the top of the… 

Prabhupāda: These things are required, tapasā brahmacaryeṇa. 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: To pass the examination, one must follow a strict, austere life. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Tapasā brahmacaryeṇa, beginning tapasya, austerity. Brahmacarya, celibacy. Tapasā brahmacaryeṇa śamena damena [SB 6.1.13], controlling the senses, controlling the mind. Tyāgena, by renunciation. Satya-śaucābhyām, by following truthfulness and cleanliness. Yamena niyamena vā, by practicing yoga, yama, niyama. These are the different items of being qualified. But all these things can be done by one stroke, kevalayā bhaktyā, by engaging oneself in devotion, vāsudeva-parāyaṇāḥ. 

kecit kevalayā bhaktyā
aghaṁ dhunvanti kārtsnyena
nīhāram iva bhāskaraḥ
[SB 6.1.15]

One becomes qualified by one stroke of bhakti to Vāsudeva. Just like the sunrise immediately dissipates the fog. Aghaṁ dhunvanti kārtsnyena nīhāram iva bhāskaraḥ. In the Kali-yuga, this one item of bhakti can make one perfectly fit candidate to pass the examination. Aghaṁ dhunvanti kārtsnyena nīhāram iva bhāskaraḥ. What is this nonsense life? There is no tapasya, no spiritual culture; simply like cats and dogs. Last night I was reading, Vāmanadeva created a planet, Sutala, in which Viśvakarmā was ordered to construct big, big houses, palaces, better than in the heavenly planet. And these rascals are going and seeing simply rocks and sand. And what about these palaces and…? 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: In Koran it is described that there is a very dangerous bridge that one has to pass. 

Prabhupāda: Which is described in the Vedas, Vaitaraṇī, cross from the material to the spiritual world. 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes. And it is fire in both sides, and it is like a razor edge, it could be very thin. And the saintly persons close their eyes and pass it. Kṛṣṇa makes them pass. 

Prabhupāda: Similar description is there, bhavāmbudhir vatsa-padaṁ paraṁ padaṁ padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām [SB 10.14.58]. Bhavāmbudhiḥ, the great ocean of material nescience, it becomes vatsa-padam, just like the water containing in the hoof impression of a calf. Bhavāmbudhir vatsa-padaṁ param. Exactly animal civilization. Animal does not know what is future, what is past, what is going to happen—nothing. The human civilization has become like that. Professor Kotovsky said, “Swāmījī, after finishing this body, everything is finished.” He’s a big professor in Moscow. This is their civilization. What do they explain about the lower animals? Wherefrom they come, the birds, beasts, trees, insects? 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Where, in Koran? 

Prabhupāda: No, I mean to say the modern scientists. 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Modern scientists. One theory is the evolutionary process. 

Prabhupāda: So wherefrom evolution begins? 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: They don’t know how it began. Some say it came from water. Just… How does life begin? Nobody really knows. 

Hari-śauri: They say there has to be certain combination of gases—ammonia, and there has to be water, some hydrogen. 

Prabhupāda: They cannot make this gas and combine? 

Hari-śauri: This is the way they are testing for life on Mars. This is one of the tests. 

Prabhupāda: No, why Mars? In their laboratory they can make gas and mix. 

Hari-śauri: Well, they say that they’ve made amino acids. 

Prabhupāda: They cannot make? 

Hari-śauri: They’ve made that, they say. 

Prabhupāda: But they cannot produce life. 

Hari-śauri: They haven’t succeeded in having it develop any further than that. 

Prabhupāda: They have not succeeded in a thing which they proposed as the origin of life. This is going on. 

Hari-śauri: I remember they showed that experiment on TV on a science program, and they said, “Now we’ve discovered how to make life.” And they showed this chamber, and they put these gases in and an electrical spark. 

Prabhupāda: And there was life? No. 

Hari-śauri: And they made these amino acids. So they said, “We’ve created life. Now it won’t be long before we can develop…” 

Prabhupāda: And you have to wait one million years. 

[japa] [break] 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: …Śrīla Prabhupāda, that Kṛṣṇa is testing us every day? We’re having tests, opportunities… 

Prabhupāda: No, just like if you want responsible post, then there is question of test. If you want to become a vagabond, remain vagabond. Where is question of test? 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: No, for devotees. 

Prabhupāda: Ah, devotees there is test. For devotees there is test. We see from the devotee’s life, Prahlāda Mahārāja, how much severe test he had to pass through. Bali Mahārāja, Nārada Muni. 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: And the most advanced the devotee is, the more severe the test is, the more chance. 

Prabhupāda: No, after you pass the examination, there is no more test. But before coming to the post of recognized devotee, Kṛṣṇa tests very severely. That one has to pass. 

Hari-śauri: I read once in the Bhāgavatam in one of your purports, you said that māyā is there to test the sincerity of the candidate. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. We see from the life of Bali Mahārāja, how he was put into difficulty. Even his spiritual master cursed him. [break] …put into test and still he remains in his determination, then he’s passed. That is very natural. And there is a word, “acid test”? 

Hari-śauri: Yes. 

Prabhupāda: For ascertaining real gold, the acid test one has to pass to become real gold. [japa] [break] 

Nava-yauvana: …this test depends on one’s faith in Kṛṣṇa? 

Prabhupāda: Faith in Kṛṣṇa? What do you mean by faith? 

Hari-śauri: If you want to pass the test, he says, does that depend on one’s faith? 

Prabhupāda: What does that faith mean, you mean? 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Conviction. 

Prabhupāda: What is that conviction? Describe it. 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: That Kṛṣṇa is the controller. 

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is controller. You may have faith or no faith, that doesn’t matter. 

Hari-śauri: If one is convinced that Kṛṣṇa will always protect him. 

Nava-yauvana: When he’s convinced to abide by the instructions of Kṛṣṇa. 

Prabhupāda: Faith means that you are meant for giving some service to Kṛṣṇa. You should stick to that service, that path, in spite of all impediments. That is the passing of test. Generally… Just like we are meant for preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So there may be severe test, but still we shall remain determined. That is wanted. There may be so many impediments, punishment; still you should do that. That is wanted. That is test. Not that as soon as there is some difficulty I give it up. There may be severe test, but still we shall not give it up. We must go on. That is determination. 

Nava-yauvana: Passing the test means executing the order of the spiritual master. 

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is spiritual life. One has to take order from the spiritual master and execute it, despite all impediments. That is determination. What are these pictures? Dancing? 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: No, they are sculpture. 

Prabhupāda: They are dancing on snake or what? 

Hari-śauri: Just dancing. 

Prabhupāda: For collecting few dry leaves, three, four servants are engaged. 

Hari-śauri: More than that. They have about…, they must have about twenty men around here sweeping the path. 

Prabhupāda: Twenty? 

Hari-śauri: When we were here the other morning at least a dozen or so walked past, and there were others working elsewhere, and they were all sweeping. 

Prabhupāda: So there are many servants. [break] In 1930, we were paying servant twelve to fourteen rupees per month, and they were satisfied. With food, six rupees. And without food, twelve rupees, fourteen. 

Nava-yauvana: That means it cost only six rupees per month for food. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. In the hotel also they were charging six rupees. Means third-class hotel, not first class, for fooding—dāl, [indistinct] vegetables. Rice was, first-class rice, six rupees per maund. Dāl, twelve annas per kg, flour, five annas for two and a half kgs. And from 1942, all of a sudden the price increased, artificially. Milk, two annas per kg. Now three rupees, four rupees. Ghee, first-class ghee, one rupee per kg. First-class ghee. [break] …paying for the clerks thirty rupees per month. And head clerk, sixty rupees. Officers, hundred to two hundred rupees. High-court judges, four thousand rupees. High-court judges were highly paid. 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Iran at that time was even cheaper, much cheaper. Because you had the British in India, you were… 

Prabhupāda: Yes, when India was native state, they were cheaper. In India, this inflation was caused by Mr. Churchill. During the war he wanted men to join the fighting. So people were not coming, so artificially… 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: He printed money? 

Prabhupāda: No, artificially increased the price. So they were obliged to join. 

Hari-śauri: He’d increase the price and then advertise free food in the army. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. [passerby makes comment] 

Hari-śauri: What does he say? 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: He first said, “Please pray for me.” 

Prabhupāda: Oh. 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: But then he’s joking. He’s saying also that he should take good care of us, we are guests here. 

Prabhupāda: Huh? 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: That man should take good care of us, bring us tea. 

Prabhupāda: Ācchā. They drink too much tea here? 

Nava-yauvana: Yes. Every place you go they offer you tea. 


Ātreya Ṛṣi: Śrīla Prabhupāda, there’s our Praṇava dāsa, in Vṛndāvana. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: He, as you remember, he had some difficulties there. 

[no audio] 

Prabhupāda: He creates the difficulty. He came to Vṛndāvana as retired life, but instead of that, he wanted to make some personal profit. That is his difficulty. 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: So, is he…, does he have any sincerity? 

Prabhupāda: No, I don’t think. 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: He has no sincerity. We should not encourage him to come here. 

Prabhupāda: No, no. He’s after sense gratification. 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes. 

Prabhupāda: What he’ll do? 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Well, I thought that he’s a devotee and I should engage him, we should engage him here. But of course, if he’s not sincere… 

Prabhupāda: He’s trying to get such opportunities. He’s requesting so many, “Take me here, take me there.” 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: So I should not do it because we will have problem. We would be in anxiety here. 

Prabhupāda: He came to Vṛndāvana for the purpose of devotion, but he had some other motive. 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Not give up. Would not give up. 

Prabhupāda: To take advantage for sense gratification. Why he wants to come here? He requested similarly Bhagavān. 

Hari-śauri: He wanted to go to Detroit. 

Prabhupāda: Detroit, everyone is trying to take some advantage. 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Everybody thinks America is everything. A heavenly planet. 

Prabhupāda: Yes, for India it is heavenly planet, certainly. 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: I’m sure there is always a lot of people who gather around American devotees. 

Prabhupāda: To exploit. 

[audio resumes] 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: They want money, they want this, they want benefit, some sort of… This I can see. 

Prabhupāda: What is the price of this bread? 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Five rials. It’s about half a rupee. 

Prabhupāda: Ācchā. 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: It’s big, it’s good. It is good bread. 

Nava-yauvana: It is subsidized by the government. 

Prabhupāda: Still half a rupee. 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Government pays half of the price, more than half. That is why if Iranian poor people, with very little salary, they can survive. They can eat this bread. 

Prabhupāda: Not dangerous if the both of them become devotee. 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: If they understand the purpose of life. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Otherwise it is dangerous 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: They can fool each other. 

Prabhupāda: That is generally done. Wife increases the responsibility. Strī-vistāra. But still one has to maintain wife. A brahmacārī has no responsibility. His only responsibility is to serve Kṛṣṇa. But a gṛhastha has many responsibilities, so “There is the children. I have to give them education, see that they’re well situated.” 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: A brahmacārī life… A devotee who has not had experience with the responsibility… 

Prabhupāda: No, no, responsible… He has no this material responsibility. 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: But he has responsibility towards Kṛṣṇa. 

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. 

Ātreya Ṛṣi: So he should know about responsibility. He should have experience of responsibility. 

Prabhupāda: Real business of human life is to take responsibility of spiritual advancement. So if one remain brahmacārī, he has no disturbance in that responsibility. But if he becomes a gṛhastha, that disturbance is there. You cannot take wholeheartedly the spiritual responsibility. [end] 

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