If one does not understand what is God, his education is useless. It has no meaning. What is that education? Will that education save him from death?
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[Posted October 24, 2006]

Educated Asses

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Founder-Acharya of the world-wide Hare Krishna Movement, Brahma Sampradaya Acharya

Srila Prabhupada

Excerpt from Conversation with disciples, May 23, 1975, Melbourne
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Over-intelligent, Uncommonly Stupid by HANSADUTTA DAS

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. more

Prabhupada: Na mam dushkritino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah [Bhagavad-gita 7.15]. This class of men, they do not recognize God. Who? Those who are sinful, rascals, lowest of the mankind. Such people do not recognize God. Mudhas [literally, "asses"]. [Even though they may be] educated. No, that education means false education. Real education is taken away by maya. Real education means to understand God. Vedaish cha sarvair aham eva vedyah [Bg. 15.15]. If one does not understand what is God, his education is useless. It has no meaning. What is that education? Will that education save him from death? Then what is the value of his education? Your real problem is birth, death, old age, and disease. Can this material education stop it? Is the scientist able to stop one's old age? And does anyone, man, any man, wants to become old? No, nobody wants. Everyone wants to keep himself youthful. But can the science stop this, that he will not become old? He must become old.

Then where is the education value? You cannot solve your problem, so what is the meaning of education? Education, knowledge, means you have solved your problems. They are trying to do that, temporary problem. But ultimate problem they cannot solve. Therefore the value of this education is useless. Shrama eva hi kevalam [Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.8]. It is simply laboring after something, that's all.

Australian devotee 2: They say that the value of their education is that very soon they will be able to overcome birth, death, disease, and old age, that they almost have the solution. They are freezing people's bodies...

Prabhupada: Therefore younger generation, they are not interested in education. They see that, after all, the life is vacant even after education.

Hari-sauri: The leaders appear to have adopted a stopgap policy so that they can keep the people in ignorance and fool them that they are doing some good when actually they are not, so that they can maintain their position as leader.

Prabhupada: They are thinking by material adjustment they will be happy. That is not possible. But they are so fools, they do not think over it, that "Where is the solution? You have given me the chance to live in a skyscraper building, but is that solution of the problems?" They have no brain to ask this. Is it...? Does it mean that if you live in a skyscraper building there will be no death, no disease, no old age? Then where is the solution? But real problem is going on. Everyone is trying to save himself from disease, from old age, from death. Why do they go to the physician as soon as there is some disease? "That I may not die." The attempt is to save from the death, but ultimately they are dying. They have no brain to think of it. Why do they go to the physician as soon as one is diseased? Why do they go?

Amogha: They want to be well.

Prabhupada: Yes, then "well" means they want to save themself from death. That means they want not to die. But death is there. Then where is the solution of problem? But they have no brain to think that "What these rascals will do? My problem is there. It is not solved." And still they accept. Therefore in the Bhagavata it is said, shva-vid-varahoshtra-kharaih samstutah purushah pashuh [SB 2.3.19]. They are eulogized, they are praised, glorified, by another animal. He is an animal, big animal, and a small animal says, "Oh, you are our leader." The big animal is praised by the small animal. Both of them are animals. None of them are human being. So this is going on. A big animal bluffs him that "I have done so much for you. You give me vote." That's all. And the small animal thinks, "Yes, he has done so much. Give him vote." This is going on. Andha yathandhaih. Everything is discussed in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, that one blind man is leading other blind men. What is the use?

Hm? If I am blind man, if I say, "Come behind me. I shall take to St. Kilda," and as soon as I go in the road, you are killed, I am killed, that's all. That is going on.

Australian devotee 6: They say at death, there is death then finish.

Prabhupada: But if you will be finished, then why you are attempting so much? Sit down now. Why you are making advancement of civilization?

Australian devotee 6: For their children, they say.

Prabhupada: If you advance in civilization or do not advance in civilization, you will die. That is sure. Then why do you labor so much? Huh? The animals, they do not labor so much. They live peacefully on the condition of the nature. Why do you labor so much? If the result is the same—the animal will die and you will die—then why you are laboring so much for nothing? That means they have no common sense even. Therefore they are rascals. That is discussed in Bhagavad-gita. Krishna said to Arjuna, "If you think there was no life before this body and if you think that there will be no life after this body, then why you are anxious for the body of your brothers and sisters?" So all these philosophies have been discussed in Bhagavad-gita. After all, the conclusion is that they are all rascals. That's all. We have to take them as such rascals. After death everything is finished—that a child knows—but why you are making so permanent building? Piling, (imitates pile driver sound) "Donkhs! Donkhs!" very strong building. You are not strong enough to live there, so why you are making strong building? The building will stay, and you will die. So what is the use of making a strong building? Let the building also go with you. Why do you labor so much? Is it not? You are making strong building but you are not strong enough to live there. And why you are laboring so much? What is the answer?

Hari-sauri: Their excuse is that they are leaving something for the next generation, for their children.

Prabhupada: But they will also not live.

Australian devotee 1: They think they will be recognized by their good works.

Prabhupada: That means asses. The asses think that "I will be recognized by my work." He takes so much labor, load, although nothing, not a grain of the load belongs to him. But he takes the load unnecessarily. So this is their business. He will not live, his son will not live, his grandson will not live, but he is making permanent business.

Amogha: But when we're living we can enjoy.

Prabhupada: Yes, that enjoy. Pramattah. They are called madmen. Pramattah pashyann api na pashyati. They know it certainly, "Every one of us will die," but seeing also, they do not see. And that is madman. Pramattah pashyann api na pashyati. That the animal, he is seeing that "One animal is being killed. Next time is mine," but still eating grass. He has no anxiety. This is called pramattah pashyann api na pashyati. This is animal life, that even though fact is there, they will close their eyes. That's all. This is animal life.

Australian devotee 1: Srila Prabhupada, even if there is a life after death, I don't know what it's going to be like, so why should I worry about it now?

Prabhupada: Yes, if you are a man, you should be worried. Because you are not human being, next life you are going to be cat, you should be worried.

Australian devotee 1: But the cats and the dogs, they are also happy.

Prabhupada: And if you want to become cats and dogs and happy, you be. Don't worry. That's all. But we are worried: "Why shall I become cat and dog? We shall go back to home, live with Krishna." That is our ambition. Your ambition is to become cat and dog. You become.

Australian devotee 6: They are happy with that.

Prabhupada: That's all right. You become happy. But we are not happy. [break] ...Human being who knows things that I explained this thing that by nature's process I have come to this human body. Now what is next progress? That is human being. And even still I remain cats and dog but they have no inquiry, then what is the use of getting this human body?

Australian devotee 4: Why, then, Srila Prabhupada, is a person given a human body then, if they...

Prabhupada: Yes, that means better conscience. He can consider so many things. "Why I am dying? I do not want to die. Why there are so many miserable condition?" We are covering because there is miserable condition of this winter. I don't want to suffer from cold. Therefore I am covered. So this is struggle for existence. The human being can understand that why there is struggle? Why not I am happy naturally? This question must be there. Otherwise he is cat and dog. The dogs do not inquire all these things. Then if you have no such power to inquire and understand, then you are no better than dog. And if you are happy to remain cats and dogs, that is your business. But a real human being, he will never be happy. That is human being. Everyone is trying to improve his material condition. Therefore the motor car is going here and there, here and there. Why they are trying? Let them remain satisfied in any condition. The modern economic law is that create new necessities of life.

That is the way of western civilization. They are creating motor cars every year, and the bank is prepared to give you loan so that you may work day and night. Take loan from the bank and purchase a motor car and repay him by working so their machine will go on. This is the policy, economic policy. Is it not? Yes. Keep them working, busy. But what is the purpose of this working? Now, when death is there, everything is finished. And everything will be finished, for that working? Just see their knowledge. Everything will be finished and for this purpose I have to work so hard?

Australian devotee 6: They think that you might as well enjoy while you can.

Prabhupada: Yes, if working hard like ass is enjoyment, let them enjoy. Let these rascals enjoy like that.

Australian devotee 2: Why do so many humans, Srila Prabhupada, they do not use their propensity to ask the questions? They simply live like animals.

Prabhupada: Because they are animal. They are educated like animal.

Australian devotee 2: So it is the fault of the education.

Prabhupada: Yes. It is the responsibility of the government, guardians, father. They do not give them proper education. Therefore Bhagavata says, "If you cannot give proper education to your children, then don't marry. Don't become father." That is contraceptive. If you are unable to give... What is that? Pita na sa syaj janani na sa syat, na mocayed yah samupeta-mrityum. Samupeta-mrityum: this body means you have accepted death. This body means, material body. So one should not become a father if he cannot stop the death of his son. That is the Vedic injunction. "Don't become a father, don't become a mother, if you cannot train your children so that he may be saved from this impending death." That is the instruction. And who is doing that? Their philosophy is: "After death everything is finished. I will be finished. My child will be finished. That's all."

©2004 - Hansadutta das
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