They have invested more time and energy on a mistake than the common man.
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© 2004 - Hansadutta das

Over-intelligent, Uncommonly Stupid

by Hansadutta das
26 October 1993, Singapore

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We are being supplied… first of all, our very life is Krishna. We are inseparable from Krishna. But we give no regard to Krishna. This body which we are so attached to and so proud of and which we endeavor to protect and nourish has also been supplied by Krishna. That body is also being maintained by Krishna. He supplies the air, the water, the sunlight, the earth and all the foodstuffs which we ingest, and so on. Everything is being provided by Him, and we want to discount Him. We want to apply our energy in the opposite direction and create advancement of industry and sciences and then give each other a Nobel Peace Prize or whatever, giving each other prizes. How is that intelligence?


SITHU: I was just reading this book… [inaudible]. He [the author] says that all people are basically stupid, so democracy would work, but—

HANSADUTTA: As long as they remain stupid.

SITHU: No, no. But give certain groups of people the vote.

HANSADUTTA: Groups of people the vote?

SITHU: Selected groups of people would have the vote to choose the government. And that is… [inaudible, due to background noise]. He said to give it just to the groups of people who are educated.

HANSADUTTA: No difference. They are actually more stupid. The more educated they are, the more stupid they are. That means they made bigger calculations on the same mistake. They have invested more time and energy on a mistake than the common man. So they are uncommon. Uncommonly stupid. Because instead of being satisfied with what comes of its own accord, they are expanding, trying to correct their mistake by making endless mistakes. But the common man is still there today in India, living in the village. He has some food, he has his shelter and wife and children, but he has no ambition. Why? Because they actually do have some religious, deep, deep religious conviction about the eternality of the soul and the consequence of karma, or the binding karmic factor. So they just accept, "This is my lot," and they, with a minimum effort, meet the necessities of life, in the simplest way. And they have some programme, still, in the villages, to hear about Krishna or Mahabharata, Ramayana, like that. They are philosophically not very astute, but they have the basic… the basic thing is there. That's why they don't endeavor. Whereas those who have become enchanted or fascinated by western values and pursue western training, education and thereby aspire for western ideals—like to be the leader of the nation—they are actually the real fools. And that person they elect is the greatest fool of all, because he sees himself as the leader, but in fact they just set him up like a bird in a cage. Actually, where is he leading them? What does the leadership consist of?

SITHU: But isn't intelligence and education needed to—

HANSADUTTA: Education begins with one thing, first of all, to know thyself. That begins with distinguishing myself from matter. First I have to ascertain what I am. Am I matter? Or am I some other thing? And if I am another thing, what is that other thing? And so on. If this fundamental question is not solved, then just assuming, accepting blindly that I am this body and on the basis of that assumption forging ahead with one's intelligence to create comforts and other amenities for the satisfaction of this body is the greatest foolishness. Because I am not the body, so I am wasting my time. That is like I keep putting money into the bank, but I keep putting it into the wrong account. Instead of putting it into my account, I am putting it into an account which belongs to some other party. I may have amassed so much, but when I go to collect, my account is empty! Why? "Well sir, you kept putting the money into Mr. X's account." Therefore Bible says, "The spirit quickeneth, but the flesh profiteth nothing." This endeavor, which certainly takes intelligence… it does take intelligence to build these skyscrapers, to make these machines—not that it doesn't take intelligence—but it is intelligence which is misdirected. Therefore it is called avidya, meaning just the opposite of intelligence, or ignorance. You have ignored the fundamental question, and on the assumption, the sentiment you have forged ahead on a mistaken premise, and you have applied your intelligence very expertly within the limits of that mistaken framework. As long as we ignore the fact that I am not matter, but actually living soul, then it's great, it's fine, it's wonderful, it's impressive. But as soon as someone asks, "What is the actual benefit from all this endeavor? What will I gain? How will I be relieved from my predicament—birth, old age, disease, death?" How will my questions be answered? "Why did I come here? From where did I come? What is this place? What have I to do here? And where do I have to go?" When these questions are raised… your endeavors and your success do not address these questions.

SITHU: Okay. Krishna consciousness says you have bhakti-yoga, devotional service, but then at the same time… this is real intelligence, raja-vidya. Okay, can intelligence and sentiment co-exist?

HANSADUTTA: Yes. First of all, the source of intelligence is Krishna, and therefore the source of sentiment is Krishna. The aim of both sentiments and intelligence should be Krishna. When my sentiment and intelligence are harmonized with the sentiment and intelligence of Krishna, then I become successful in life, by Krishna's grace. Krishna is the source of all these… not only the sentiments and the intelligence, but all the ingredients, all the paraphernalia which make up my environment have been supplied by Krishna—not by any man. You see? The cement and the bricks, the metal and all these are necessary ingredients for material advancement, but no one is giving any credit for the supplier. The worker is not very important. The supplier… without the supplier, the workers cannot produce anything. Isn't it? We are being supplied… first of all, our very life is Krishna. We are inseparable from Krishna. But we give no regard to Krishna. This body which we are so attached to and so proud of and which we endeavor to protect and nourish has also been supplied by Krishna. That body is also being maintained by Krishna. He supplies the air, the water, the sunlight, the earth and all the foodstuffs which we ingest, and so on. Everything is being provided by Him, and we want to discount Him. We want to apply our energy in the opposite direction and create advancement of industry and sciences and then give each other a Nobel Peace Prize or whatever, giving each other prizes. How is that intelligence? It's not intelligent. It's intelligence misused. It's intelligence misdirected. Try to follow this point.

When we were children, maybe 12 or 14 years old, my family—my father, mother, my sister and myself—was driving to Florida. My father's thing was always, "We're making good time." This was in 1956. And his concern was always how we were making good time. In those days, to have an automobile and to travel from New York to Florida was a big thing. "Making good time." So we would stop occasionally for gas and have a little something to eat. At one point, we were driving and driving, and my father was looking at the clock and saying, "good time," but after some time, he became bewildered. Somehow or other, something seemed wrong. It turned out that all the while, since the last rest stop and gassing up, he had gone the wrong way. [laughter] He was making good time, you see? [laughter] But he was going in the wrong direction. So material advancement and application of intelligence in order to achieve it is exactly like that. It is impressive only as long as we don't consider that this is all going in the wrong direction. We're not supposed to go this way. We are supposed to go that way. We are supposed to get out of this endless struggle and wrestling, instead of getting into it more and more. You see?

Every advantage that we create or supposedly create creates a disadvantage, which necessitates another programme to resolve or to overcome the disadvantage. But it always brings another disadvantage.

SITHU: Like one step forward—

HANSADUTTA: Yes. One step forward, two back. Every time… Prahlada Maharaja says, "The programme I embarked upon to solve my material problem has become a bigger problem than the original problem." That is material advancement.

This is the point we have to make to the intelligent man. We have to be more intelligent. He is intelligent, but a devotee has to be even more intelligent. He has to be able to present this conclusion in such a graphic, irrefutable way so that an intelligent materialist cannot avoid it. Just like Mr. Kovoor. "All right, everything comes from chemicals you say? So bring them in, make them." It sounds simplistic, but actually this is intelligent. It's the same story as the king with no clothes, and the boy said, "But the king is naked. He has no clothes on." Everyone was afraid to say. Just like at Sundar's place. They know that this whole thing is bogus. This guy is a pain in the butt, puffed up, arrogant, but they are all afraid to say it, "Hey man, you are off." Why are they afraid? Because they are all, in a smaller way, in a more mediocre way, looking for the same thing Sundar is. He's just more extreme. Instead of being satisfied with a few chapatis and a place to sleep, he wants to have name and fame. Whereas these other inmates just want a place to sleep and to have something to eat and not be bugged too much. But that is what materialism is, to be anxious about one's eating and sleeping. And spiritualism is, "Hey, I am the son of the most powerful… I am part and parcel of God. Why should I worry about my food? He'll feed me. He's feeding the animals. Why wouldn't He feed me?" And to be engaged as His servant in thankfulness and love that everything has been provided by Him, so I should do something for Him. That is the proper orientation, the proper direction of intelligence.


Hansadutta das
Rittvik Representative of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Trustee, BHAKTIVEDANTA BOOK TRUST
WORLD SANKIRTAN PARTY


Over-intelligent, Uncommonly Stupid/ WORLD SANKIRTAN PARTY
©2004-Hansadutta das
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