The First Morning Walk
The First Morning Walk
Relativity and Knowledge
SRILA PRABHUPADA: All living entities possess the required intelligence to execute four principles: eating, sleeping, sexual intercourse and defence. These four principles exist even in the atom. The only difference in the human being is that he has extra intelligence with which to understand God. This is the difference. Ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca samanam etat pasubhir naranam. Eating, sleeping, sex life and defense are to be found everywhere. You have seen trees growing. Wherever there is a knot, the bark does not go this way; it goes that way. [Srila Prabhupada gestures to show that a tree’s bark grows not over a knot, but around it.] The tree has intelligence: “If I go this way, I will be blocked, so I will go that way.” But where are its eyes? How can it see? It has intelligence. That intelligence may not be as good as yours, but it is intelligence. Similarly, a child also has intelligence, though not as developed as his father’s. In due course of time, when the child gets a body like that of his father, the child’s intelligence will be fully developed and exhibited.
DR. SINGH: Then intelligence is relative.
SRILA PRABHUPADA: Yes. Everything is relative. You have your body, your duration of life, and your intelligence, and the ant has his. Both we and the ant live for one hundred years, but the length of our hundred-year life-span is relative to our bodies. Even Brahma, the longest-living entity in this universe, lives for one hundred years. To us the ant’s life-span may seem only a few days. In the same way, on the other planets with atmospheres different from the earth’s , there are life-forms suited to those conditions. But the scientists try to view everything according to the relative conditions of planet earth. This is nonsense. Why are they doing that? If the whole cosmic manifestation follows the law of relativity, how can the scientist say that the conditions of this planet must apply to life on the other planets?
The Vedas instruct us that knowledge must always be considered in terms of desa-kala-patra. Desa means “circumstances,” kala means “time,” and patra means “the object.” We must understand everything by taking these three elements into consideration. For example, a fish is living very comfortably in the water, and we are shivering on the shore of the sea. This is because my desa-kala-patra and the fish’s desa-kala-patra are different. But if we conclude that the sea gulls will also shiver in the water, that is nonsense; their desa-kala-patra is again different. There are 8,400,000 different species of life in the material cosmic manifestation, and each species must adjust to circumstances differently. Even on this planet, you cannot go live comfortably in Alaska, although it is America. Similarly, the living entities enjoying life in Alaska do not come here.
KARANDHARA: Relatively, then, is based upon our individual situation.
SRILA PRABHUPADA: Yes. Therefore it is said that what is food for one is poison for another.
BRAHMANANDA SVAMI: Because scientists cannot survive on the moon, they think no one else can.
As the dream of most parents I had acquired a degree in Software Engineer and joined a company based in USA, the land of braves and opportunity. When I arrived in the USA, it was as if a dream had come true. Here at last I was in the place where I want to be. I decided I would be staying in this country for about Five years in which time I would have earned enough money to settle down in India.
My father was a government employee and after his retirement, the only asset he could acquire was a decent one bedroom flat. I wanted to do something more than him. I started feeling homesick and lonely as the time passed. I used to call home and speak to my parents every week using cheap international phone cards. Two years passed, two years of Burgers at McDonald’s and pizzas and discos and 2 years watching the foreign exchange rate getting happy whenever the Rupee value went down.
Finally I decided to get married. Told my parents that I have only 10 days of holidays and everything must be done within these 10 days. I got my ticket booked in the cheapest flight. Was jubilant and was actually enjoying hopping for gifts for all my friends back home. If I miss anyone then there will be talks. After reaching home I spent home one week going through all the photographs of girls and as the time was getting shorter I was forced to select one candidate.
In-laws told me, to my surprise, that I would have to get married in 2-3 days, as I will not get anymore holidays. After the marriage, it was time to return to USA, after giving some money to my parents and telling the neighbours to look after them, we returned to USA.
My wife enjoyed this country for about two months and then she started feeling lonely. The frequency of calling India increased to twice in a week sometimes 3 times a week. Our savings started diminishing. After two more years we started to have kids. Two lovely kids, a boy and a girl, were gifted to us by the almighty. Every time I spoke to my parents, they asked me to come to India so that they can see their grand-children. Every year I decide to go to India. But part work part monetary conditions prevented it. Years went by and visiting India was a distant dream. Then suddenly one day I got a message that my parents were seriously sick. I tried but I couldn’t get any holidays and thus could not go to India. The next message I got was my parents had passed away and as there was no one to do the last rights the society members had done whatever they could. I was depressed. My parents had passed away without seeing their grand children.
After couple more years passed away, much to my children’s dislike and my wife’s joy we returned to India to settle down. I started to look for a suitable property, but to my dismay my savings were short and the property prices had gone up during all these years. I had to return to the USA.
My wife refused to come back with me and my children refused to stay in India. My 2 children and returned to USA after promising my wife .I would be back for good after two years. Time passed by, my daughter decided to get married to an American and my son was happy living in USA. I decided that had enough and wound-up everything and returned to India. I had just enough money to buy a decent 02 bedroom flat in a well-developed locality.
Now I am 60 years old and the only time I go out of the flat is for the routine visit to the nearby temple. My faithful wife has also left me and gone to the holy abode. Sometimes I wondered was it worth all this? My father, even after staying in India, had a house to his name and I too have the same nothing more.
I lost my parents and children for just ONE EXTRA BEDROOM. Looking out from the window I see a lot of children dancing. This damned cable TV has spoiled our new generation and these children are losing their values and culture because of it. I get occasional cards from my children asking I am alright. Well at least they remember me.
Now perhaps after I die it will be the neighbours again who will be performing my last rights, God Bless them. But the question still remains ‘was all this worth it?’
The First Morning Walk
The Universe in the Atom
SRILA PRABHUPADA: All matter is a combination of five gross elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether) and three subtle elements (mind, intelligence and false ego).
KARANDHARA: According to the Vedic science, material energy begins with the false ego and then develops into the intelligence, then the mind and then the gross elements – ether, air, fire and so on. So the same basic ingredients are present in all matter. Is this right?
SRILA PRABHUPADA: Yes. The creation of the material universe is like the growth of a great banyan tree from a tiny seed. No one can see the tree within the seed, but all the necessary ingredients for the tree are there, including the required intelligence. Actually, everyone’s body is simply a sample universe. Your body and my body are different universes, small universes. Therefore, all eight material elements are present within our bodies, just as they are within the whole universe. Similarly, an insect’s body is another universe.
KARANDHARA: How about the atom?
SRILA PRABHUPADA: The same formula applies: all these constituents are within the atom. Anor aniyan mahato mahiyan [Katha Upanisad 1.2.20]. This means that whether something is extremely large or infinitesimal, it is still made of same basic elements. This is true everywhere in the material world. Just as a woman’s small watch has all the requisite machinery for its smooth functioning, so an ant has all the necessary brain substance to manage its affairs nicely. How is this possible? To answer this properly, you must minutely examine the brain tissues in the ant. But this you cannot do. Moreover, there innumerable insects smaller than the ant. So there must be a mechanical arrangement for all this detailed activity, but scientists cannot discover it.