Prabhupada: one has to pass examination, severe test of examination. All the big, big devotees we see. Narada Muni, before becoming Narada Muni, he had to pass through severe examination, test. 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.
samena ca damena ca
yamena niyamena va
These things are required, tapasa brahmacaryena.
Atreya Rsi: To pass the examination, one must follow a strict, austere life.
Prabhupada: Yes. Tapasa brahmacaryena, beginning tapasya, austerity. Brahmacarya, celibacy. Tapasa brahmacaryena samena damena [SB 6.1.13], controlling the senses, controlling the mind. Tyagena, by renunciation. Satya-saucabhyam, by following truthfulness and cleanliness. Yamena niyamena va, by practicing yoga, yama-niyama. These are the different items of being qualified. But all these things can be done by one stroke, kevalaya bhaktya, by engaging oneself in devotion, vasudeva-parayanah.
kecit kevalaya bhaktya
agham dhunvanti kartsnyena
niharam iva bhaskarah
One becomes qualified by one stroke of bhakti to Vasudeva. Just like the sunrise immediately dissipates the fog. Agham dhunvanti kartsnyena niharam iva bhaskarah. In the Kali-yuga, this one item of bhakti can make one perfectly fit candidate to pass the examination. Agham dhunvanti kartsnyena niharam iva bhaskarah. What is this nonsense life? There is no tapasya, no spiritual culture, simply like cats and dogs. Last night I was reading. Vamanadeva created a planet, Sutala, in which Visvakarma 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…?
Atreya Rsi: In Koran it is described that there is a very dangerous bridge that one has to pass.
Prabhupada: This is described in the Vedas, Vaitarani, cross from the material to the spiritual world.
Atreya Rsi: 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. Krsna makes them pass.
Prabhupada: Similar description is there, bhavambudhir vatsa-padam param padam padam padam yad vipadam na tesam [SB 10.14.58]. Bhavambudhih, the great ocean of material nescience, it becomes vatsa-padam, just like the water contained in the hoof impression of a calf. Bhavambudhir vatsa-padam 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, “Swamiji, 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?
Atreya Rsi: Where, in Koran?
Prabhupada: No, I mean to say the modern scientists.
Atreya Rsi: Modern scientists. One theory is the evolutionary process.
Prabhupada: So wherefrom evolution begins?
Atreya Rsi: They don’t know how it began. Some say it came from water. How does life begin? Nobody really knows.
Hari-sauri: They say there has to be certain combination of gases, ammonia, water, some hydrogen.
Prabhupada: They cannot make this gas and combine?
Hari-sauri: This is the way they are testing for life on Mars. This is one of the tests.
Prabhupada: No, why Mars? In their laboratory they can make gas and mix.
Hari-sauri: Well they say that they’ve made amino acids.
Prabhupada: They cannot make?
Hari-sauri: They’ve made that, they say.
Prabhupada: But they cannot produce life.
Hari-sauri: They haven’t succeeded in having it develop any further than that.
Prabhupada: They have not succeeded in a thing which they proposed as the origin of life. This is going on.
Hari-sauri: I remember they showed the 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.
Prabhupada: And there was life? No.
Hari-sauri: And they made these amino acids. So they said “We’ve created life. Now, it won’t be long before we can develop…”
Prabhupada: And you have to wait one million years. (japa)
Atreya Rsi: Is it true, Srila Prabhupada, that Krsna is testing us every day? We’re having tests, opportunities…
Prabhupada: 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?
Atreya Rsi: No, for devotees.
Prabhupada: Ah, for devotees, there is test. For devotees there is test. We see from the devotee’s life, Prahlada Maharaja, how much severe test he had to pass through. Bali Maharaja, Narada Muni.
Atreya Rsi: And the most advanced the devotee is, the more severe the test is, the more chance.
Prabhupada: No, after you pass the examination, there is no more test. But before coming to the post of recognized devotee, Krsna tests very severely. That one has to pass.
Hari-sauri: I read once in the Bhagavatam in one of your purports, you said that maya is there to test the sincerity of the candidate.
Prabhupada: Yes, we see from the life of Bali Maharaja, 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”?
Prabhupada: For ascertaining real gold, the acid test one has to pass to become real gold.
Nava-yauvana: [break] …this test depends on one’s faith in Krsna?
Prabhupada: Faith in Krsna? What do you mean by faith?
Hari-sauri: If you want to pass the test, he says, does that depend on one’s faith?
Prabhupada: What does that faith mean?
Atreya Rsi: Conviction.
Prabhupada: What is that conviction? Describe it.
Atreya Rsi: That Krsna is the controller.
Prabhupada: Krsna is controller. You may have faith or no faith, that doesn’t matter.
Hari-sauri: If one is convinced that Krsna will always protect him.
Nava-yauvana: When he’s convinced to abide by the instructions of…
Prabhupada: Faith means that you are meant for giving some service to Krsna. 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 Krsna 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.
Prabhupada: 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?
Atreya Rsi: Modern sculpture.
Prabhupada: They are dancing on snake or what?
Hari-sauri: Just dancing.
Prabhupada: For collecting few dry leaves, three, four servants are engaged.
Hari-sauri: More than that. They have about, they must have about twenty men around here sweeping the path.
Hari-sauri: 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.
Prabhupada: So there are many servants. What is their general payment?
Atreya Rsi: About eight hundred rupees per month.
Prabhupada: Hundred dollars. What is the average expenditure here?
Atreya Rsi: Depends on how one lives; it is quite expensive. Eight thousand, ten thousand rupees per month.
Prabhupada: For rent?
Atreya Rsi: No. Just for food, it is per head, simple devotee food, per person, about five hundred rupees per month.
Prabhupada: Oh. In India… India, two hundred rupees per month. And it has increased very recently. 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.
Prabhupada: Yes. In the hotel also they were charging six rupees. Means third-class hotel, not first class for cooking dal, vegetables. Rice was, first-class rice, six rupees per month. Dal, twelve annas for 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.
Atreya Rsi: Iran at that time was even cheaper, much cheaper. Because you had the British in India, you were…
Prabhupada: 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…
Atreya Rsi: Printed money?
Prabhupada: No, artificially increased the price. So they were obliged to join.
Hari-sauri: He’d increase the price and then advertise free food in the army.
Prabhupada: Yes. (passerby makes comment)
Hari-sauri: What does he say?
Atreya Rsi: He first said “Please pray for me.” But then he’s joking. He’s saying also that he should take good care of us, we are guests here.
Atreya Rsi: That man should take good care of us, bring us tea.
Prabhupada: Accha. They drink too much tea here?
Nava-yauvana: Yes. Every place you go they offer you tea.
Atreya Rsi: Srila Prabhupada, there’s our Pranava dasa, in Vrndavana. He, as you remember, he had some difficulties there.
Prabhupada: He creates the difficulty.(?) He came to Vrndavana as retired life, but instead of that he wanted to make some personal profit. That is his difficulty.
Atreya Rsi: So, is he, does he have any sincerity?
Prabhupada: No, I don’t think.
Atreya Rsi: He has no sincerity. We should not encourage him to come here.
Prabhupada: No, no. He’s after sense gratification. He requested you?
Atreya Rsi: Yes.
Prabhupada: What he’ll do?
Atreya Rsi: 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…
Prabhupada: He’s trying to get such opportunities. He’s requesting so many, “Take me here, take me there.”
Atreya Rsi: So I should not do it because we will have problem. We would be in anxiety here.
Prabhupada: He came to Vrndavana for the purpose of devotion, but he had some other motive.
Atreya Rsi: Not give up, would not give up.
Prabhupada: To take advantage for sense gratification. Why he wants to come here? He requested similarly Bhagavan.
Hari-sauri: He wanted to go to Detroit.
Prabhupada: Detroit, everyone is trying to take some advantage.
Atreya Rsi: Everybody thinks America is everything. A heavenly planet.
Prabhupada: Yes, for India it is heavenly planet, certainly.
Atreya Rsi: I’m sure there is always a lot of people who gather around American devotees.
Prabhupada: To exploit.
Atreya Rsi: They want money, they want this, they want benefit, some sort of, this I can see.
Prabhupada: What is the price of this bread?
Atreya Rsi: Five rials, it’s about half a rupee.
Atreya Rsi: It’s big, it’s good. It is good bread.
Nava-yauvana: It is subsidized by the government.
Prabhupada: Still half a rupee.
Atreya Rsi: Government pays half on the price, more than half the price. That is why if Iranian poor people, with very little salary, they can survive. They can eat this bread.
Nava-yauvana: We had asked Pranava to help arrange for a cook to come here. We’d asked help to arrange for a cook, so we could open a small prasada restaurant. And he’s written back that “I have made arrangements for a cook, and also I would like to come.”
Atreya Rsi: We can get someone else. [break] …strong but dangerous.
Prabhupada: Not dangerous if the both of them become devotee.
Atreya Rsi: If they understand the purpose of life.
Prabhupada: Yes, otherwise it is dangerous
Atreya Rsi: They can fool each other.
Prabhupada: That is generally done. Wife increases the responsibility. Stri-vistara. But still one has to maintain wife. A brahmacari has no responsibility. His only responsibility is to serve Krsna. But a grhastha has many responsibilities. “There is the children, I have to give them education, see that they’re well situated.”
Atreya Rsi: A brahmacari life. A devotee who has not had experience with the responsibility…
Prabhupada: No, no, responsible… He has no, this material responsibility.
Atreya Rsi: But he has responsibility towards Krsna.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Atreya Rsi: So he should know about responsibility, he should have experience.
Prabhupada: Real business of human life is to take responsibility of spiritual advancement. So if one remain brahmacari, he has no disturbance in that responsibility. But if he becomes a grhastha, that disturbance is there. You cannot take wholeheartedly the spiritual responsibility. (end)