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Prabhupada's Life Comes from Life. Highlights
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Highlights from Prabhupada's Life Comes from Life


These condensed and often rendered capsules of thought stem from A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's (1896-1977) taped morning-walk conversations in or near Los Angeles in 1973. In the capsules, "Prabhupada" is left out if the extracts are from him only. In extracted dialogues "Prabhupada" is kept for the sake of clarity.Here and there there are verbatim quotes too.

The talks were published in book form in 1978.

Prabhupada draws considerably on two classics he translated into English: the Bhagavad Gita, and the Srimad Bhagavatam, which is an extensive Hindu work called a Purana.

In Vaishnavism, Krishna is an avatar (divinity descended into flesh), a manifestation of the Upholder Vishnu. Besides, degenerate humans are compared to animals, as in the Srimad Bhagavatam [2.3.19].

The frank morning dialogues are often related to science, among other reasons because one of those who used to stroll with the outspoken swami, was the chemist Dr. Thoudam Damodara Singh. Another was Dr. W. H. Wolf-Rottkay.

Some abridgements may leave mirth. You may in any case look up in the original to make sure how the non-condensed statements are, and find what has been left out.

Buddha says in the Kalama Sutta that it may not be not clever enough merely to believe. He goes on to tell what is wholesome and leads to well-being, happiness, and prosperity, and should be practiced.


First Morning Walk: April 18

Cheviot Hills Park, Los Angeles.

Life on Other Planets

Prabhupada. Even on the sun and moon there are living entities. What is the opinion of the scientists?

Singh. They say there is no life there. They say that there is no life on the moon because they did not find any there.

Prabhupada. Every atmosphere is suitable for life – any atmosphere.

Singh. Because the scientists haven't detected any water on the surface of the moon, they've concluded that no life could survive there.

Prabhupada. They haven't seen the whole surface of the moon. Even if, as on the sun, there is apparently no water, still there are living entities there.

The Universe in the Atom

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. [Environmental necessities must be counted in for successful outcomes.. - T. K.]

Second Morning Walk, April 19

Cheviot Hills Park

Darwinism Extinct

Karandhara. Darwin said there must be a natural selection. But selection means choice. So who is choosing?

Prabhupada. That must be a person.

In the Future

They must demonstrate now how life can be created from chemicals. Otherwise what is the meaning of their advancement?

The scientists cannot produce even a single blade of grass in their laboratories, yet they are claiming that life is produced from chemicals. What is this nonsense? What kind of scientists are they?

Where is the ant coming from now – from the dirt?

The Missing Link

Singh. in fact, there are several theories explaining how life originated from matter, how living matter came from the nonliving.

Prabhupada. What is this nonsense? If they cannot prove that life arises from matter in the present, how do they know life arose this way in the past?

Singh. They are assuming . . .

Prabhupada. Everyone can assume, but this is not science. Everyone can assume something.

Nobel Prize for an Ass

Prabhupada. That is stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam: sva-vid-varahostra-kharaih samstutah purusah pasuh. This verse indicates that those who praise men who are like animals are no better than dogs, hogs, camels and asses. We don't accept them as human beings. One animal is praised by another animal.

Brahmananda Swami. Nobel is the person who invented dynamite.

Prabhupada. He has created great misfortune, and he has left his money for creating further misfortune. [Laughter.]

Brahmananda Swami. The Gita says that demoniac people perform acts meant to destroy the world.

Prabhupada. Yes. (Bg. 16.9). They perform acts meant for inauspiciousness and the destruction of the world.

The Difference Between the Living and the Nonliving

Prabhupada. The scientific method includes observation, hypothesis and then demonstration. Then it is perfect.

Consciousness is the primary indication that life is present. Only because of consciousness can a living being move and reproduce.

And the original consciousness is described in the Vedas: (Chandogya Upanisad 6.2.3). This means that God, the original conscious being, said, "I shall become many."

The Individual Living Force

Prabhupada. The living force is individual.

Student. If I eat krishna-prasada [food offered to Krishna], are the living entities in my body also eating prasada?

Prabhupada. Yes. You are very benevolent. [Laughs.] . . . But there are so many things within you for them to eat that you do not need to make a separate endeavor to feed them.

Minimum Words, Maximum Solution

Krishna makes the presence of life within the body so easy to understand. He says: "As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change." (Bg. 2.13)

[Prabhupada imitates the sound of a croaking frog, and the others laugh. He goes on:] Frogs are thinking, "Oh, we are talking very nicely," but the result is that the snake finds them and says, "Oh, here is a nice frog!" [Prabhupada imitates the sound of a snake eating a frog.] Bup! Finished.

Third Morning Walk: April 28

Cheviot Hills Park, Los Angeles

Scientists as Thieves

"From nature" means from a person. They have taken from nature, but they are thieves.

We should think, "Krishna, You have given us many, many things for our maintenance."

The Origin of Nature

Where does nature come from?

Nature is not working automatically; it is under the control of Krishna.

As soon as you speak of energy, there must be a source.

The Mirage of the Material World

Krishna states in Bhagavad-gita (8.4): "Physical nature is known to be endlessly mutable."

The entire material cosmic manifestation is subject to different types of change. Even our bodies are changing.

We must ask . . ., "How have the varieties come about?"

We are trying to manufacture many things to satisfy our thirst for enjoyment, but we are being baffled at every turn.

Real intelligence means to inquire, "Where is the reality? Where is the eternal substance behind [the manifested]?" If we can find that out, we can experience real enjoyment.

Fourth Morning Walk: April, 29

On the shores of the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles

The Progress of the Asses

The living entity is taking birth in this world, being forced to work simply for the senses.

Word Jugglery and World Crisis

Scientists juggle words like plutonium, photons, hydrogen and oxygen, but what good will people get from this?

The Billion-Dollar Dustheap

They are going to the moon, the dusty planet, to make it fertile. Why don't they irrigate this planet? There's plenty of seawater, so why don't they irrigate the Sahara or the Arabian or Rajasthani Desert?

This moon project is childish. Those who aspire to go to the moon are like crying children.

People work very hard while the rascal government takes taxes and spends money unnecessarily.

The Remote Cause and the Immediate Cause

"If one knows the original cause, the subordinate causes are automatically known."

Fifth Morning Walk: May 3

On the shores of the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles

Setting the Real Problems Aside

If scientists say that matter is the cause and origin of life, then let us ask them to bring back to life just one dead man, one great man like Professor Einstein.

But what help can the scientists offer? They cannot do anything about it. They have set aside the major problems.

President Jackal

Prabhupada. Many jackals have been arrested and have resigned from your government.

Brahmananda Swami. The Watergate affair.

Prabhupada. Unless one is a rogue, a dishonest person, one cannot maintain his governmental position.

Singh. Politicians are the greatest cheaters.

Prabhupada. Yes, they are scoundrels.

Sixth Morning Walk: May 7

On the shores of the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles

Chemicals From Mystic Power

Prabhupada. In God there is great mystic potency (acintya-sakti).

Brahmananda Swami. Some scientists don't accept God or acintya- sakti.

Prabhupada. That is their rascaldom.

The bird can fly because of its acintya-sakti,

As a man you cannot eat food and produce milk, although a woman can.

The Origin of Mystic Power

Prabhupada. There are eight basic types of mystic powers. Some of them are laghima (by which one can become lighter than a feather), mahima (by which one can become bigger than a mountain), prapti (which enables one to capture anything he likes) and isitva (by which one can completely subdue and control another being).

They are simply beating around the bush.

Singh. The average man does not think he is dying.

Prabhupada. That is due to foolishness. Every moment he is dying . . . Actually, death begins from the very moment of birth.

Seventh Morning Walk: May 8

On the shores of the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles

The Cheaters and the Cheated

Scientists actually cannot explain biological growth. They simply juggle words . . . but they cannot actually explain the phenomena.

The scientists are ignorant of God because they are missing the method of knowing Him.


The law is cheating, medical science is cheating, and the government is cheating.

The business of a Vaisnava is to instruct people that God exists.

Beyond the Cage

Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, in his later life, almost completely abstained from eating and sleeping. He would drink only a little buttermilk every three or four days, and he worked twenty-two hours a day, sleeping two or three. And some days he did not sleep at all. So you may ask, "How could he survive?" Actually, he lived for one hundred years.

Krishna is described in the Brahma-samhita as advaitam acyutam anadim ananta rupam adyam purana-purusam nava-yauvanam ca. This means that He is the oldest person, the first person, but that He has no old age. He always appears just like a young man of twenty because He is fully spiritual.

Eighth Morning Walk: May 11

On the shores of the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles

The Evolution of Consciousness

As you get more money you can move to a better apartment.

Bodies for Eternal Desires

Prabhupada. God is described as sarva-jna, He who knows everything. Thus He knows that some living entities will become criminal and rebel against His service. The Supreme Lord expands Himself as the Paramatma, or Supersoul, in everyone's heart.

Singh. The chemists and the scientists think that certain elements enable the spirit soul to remain in the material world.

The Definition of "Life"

"Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors; and those who worship Me will live with Me." (Bg. 9.25)

Darwin Condemned

If he is advanced in consciousness, he is not going to get the body of a dog or cat; he will get another human body.

Darwin is a rascal.

Why hasn't the ass form evolved upward and disappeared?

Bhagavad-gita clearly says that all the species exist simultaneously.

Ninth Morning Walk: May 13

In Cheviot Hills Park, Los Angeles

Evolution From Human to Dog

Krishna says, aham sarvasya prabhavah: "I am the origin of everything." (Bg. 10.8) Krishna is life.

Srimad-Bhagavatam describes mountains as the bones of God, and the grass as the hair on His body

The lower species are coming up from animal forms to the higher, human forms.


Student. The Buddhists say that the body is like a house.

Destiny and Karma

The real body is spiritual.

Advertising Ignorance as knowledge

A thief may know that if he steals he will be arrested and put into jail – he may have even seen others being arrested . . . Singh, can you tell me where that university is that teaches this knowledge?

The position of education: there is no knowledge. They simply advertise ignorance as knowledge.

Fighting Ignorance With Arguments and Knowledge

Student. At least the animals live by certain codes. They do not kill unnecessarily,

Student. It would certainly be stupid to say that a beautiful instrument like a violin was made by chance.

Tenth Morning Walk: May 14

In Cheviot Hills Park, Los Angeles

The Scientists' Mistake

What you think is bad is good for God.

"Everything Is One" . . .

Prabhupada. Whenever it may be, why do you take this step of covering your body?

Singh. To avoid discomfort.

Prabhupada. Yes.

If one goes from darkness to light, he thinks that darkness is the beginning. Actually, darkness occurs when light becomes dim.

We Are Not These Bodies

Prabhupada. That is your nature: you forget.

Singh. Some things.

Prabhupada. And somebody forgets more than others. But we all forget. Do you admit it or not?

Changing Bodies

Prabhupada. Krishna is eternal; therefore all His energies are eternal.

Singh. Is that why the living entity is also eternal?

Prabhupada. Yes. If the sun is eternal, its energies – heat and light – are also eternal.

Everything Is Spiritual

Singh. So the entire world is actually spiritual?

Prabhupada. Yes.

Simultaneously One and Different

Singh. Krishna conscious persons perceive Krishna in a plain stone as much as in the Deity carved from stone?

Prabhupada. Yes.

Singh. Just as much?

Prabhupada. Yes. Why not?

Singh. You say that one can see Krishna in ordinary stone?

Prabhupada. Yes, why not? – And we do not like to see anything wasted or misused.

Eleventh Morning Walk: May 15

In Cheviot Hills Park, Los Angeles

Detecting the Spirit Soul

First of all let us understand the soul. The soul is a sample God.

Modern Science: Help or Harm?

Prabhupada. Scientists have helped to minimize the duration of life!

Singh. But now we have airplanes and –

Prabhupada. The scientists cannot stop death, they cannot stop birth, they cannot stop disease, and they cannot stop old age . . . We are going to challenge all the rascal scientists who say that life has grown out of matter. The fact is that matter has grown from life.

The Illusion of Progress

Ignorance is passing for science, and irreligion is passing for religion. But this cheating cannot go on for long,

If Mr. Nixon loves his countrymen, why does he not love his country's cows? They are also born in the same land, and they have the same right to live.

Krishna embraces both the cows and Radha (a mistress) . . . That is perfection. Krishna even talks with the birds. One day on the bank of the Yamuna River, He was talking with a bird, because He speaks even in the languages of the birds. An old lady saw this and was struck with wonder: "Oh, He is talking with a bird!"

One of Krishna's qualities described in the Vedas is that He can speak any language.

As Srimad-Bhagavatam explains, the materialists are thinking they are becoming victorious, but they are actually being defeated.

Twelfth Morning Walk: May 17

A misty morning in Cheviot Hills Park, Los Angeles

Yogic Weapons

You have no power to drive away this mist. If you really know how it is formed, then you should be able to counteract it.

Formerly, in Vedic warfare, the atomic brahmastra was used. And to counteract it, the opposing army would have to use a weapon that would transform it into water.

By nature's way, as soon as the sun rises, the mist is vanquished.

Symptoms of God

Stories or myths . . . but these literatures were composed by Valmiki, Vyasadeva and other acaryas, who are all great and vastly learned sages. Why would these great sages simply waste their time writing mythology?

Because we are tiny samples of God, or Krishna,

Scientific Knowledge Comes From Krishna

Prabhupada. But who is working, the machine or the man? Similarly, the human brain is also a machine, and it is working under the direction of Paramatma, an expansion of God within everyone's heart.

If you are against Krishna and you want credit without Krishna, you will fail.

Singh. Is the human form of life spoiled for those who do not try to understand Krishna consciousness?

Prabhupada. Yes.

Atma means the self, or the individual soul.

Dog stool is very impure – germs thrive in it. But people are such rascals that they do not consider this; instead, they distribute dog stool everywhere.

It is illegal to drop a paper on the grass, but your dog is allowed to pass stool. This stool is full of infectious germs.

The Space Program: A Childish Waste of Time and Money

Krishnakanti. They sent up a space vehicle to orbit the earth and act as sort of a space outpost, but it failed. It cost two billion dollars.

Prabhupada. Why are they wasting time and money in that way?

Krishnakanti. They were criticized in the newspapers.

Prabhupada. They are simply childish fools . . . They are simply childish. To give another example, the scientists act like foolish ducks.

Thirteenth Morning Walk: December 2

On the shores of the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles

The Difference Between Matter and Spirit

Singh. Scientists say that trees also have consciousness.

Prabhupada. Yes, that is true, but a tree's consciousness and my consciousness are different. My consciousness is more developed.

Soul Transplants?

Singh. Nowadays doctors can replace an old heart with a new one. What happens to the spirit soul in each heart? Does the person who receives a new heart also get a new personality?

Prabhupada. No. The Vedas describe the heart as a sitting place for the soul. So when they transplant hearts, they simply change the soul's seat. The same soul remains

Singh. So a heart transplant is a kind of artificial transmigration of the soul from an old heart to a new one?

Prabhupada. Yes, it is something like that.

The heart is not the real source of life.

The soul has already left the dead heart. There is no question of bringing in another soul.

Both. So the heart is just the sitting place of the soul.

A Mustard Seed in a Bag of Mustard Seeds

Prabhupada. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "Suppose I were to take this entire universe and all the living entities with it. This is only one of innumerable universes. It is just like a mustard seed in a huge bag of mustard seeds. If you removed one seed from the bag, what would be the difference

Singh. You have said that this material world is like a correction house to teach one to get out of material entanglement and the cycle of repeated birth and death.

Prabhupada. Yes. Therefore you must practice Krishna consciousness.

Fourteenth Morning Walk: December 3

On the shores of the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles

The Origin of the Interplanetary Gases

In Bhagavad-gita (7.4) Krishna explains that vayu (gas) came from Him. And finer than vayu is kham (ether), finer than ether is mind, finer than mind is intelligence, finer than intelligence is false ego, and finer than false ego is the soul.

A lemon produces citric acid, and our bodies produce many chemicals in urine, blood, and bodily secretions.

Krishna (Bg 14.4): "It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father."

Giving Credit to the Primal Creator

A foolish person might say that all of a sudden a light appeared in the sea, and that's how the airplane was created. The scientists' explanations are similar. They say, "This existed, and then all of a sudden, by chance, that occurred." This is not science.

Gerontology: Prolonging the Suffering

Materialistic men have created a standard of false happiness. They have created a gorgeous arrangement for a comfortable civilization, but . . . they cannot create a situation in which they will be able to enjoy it.

Bhagavad-gita (15.7): "The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind."

The Real Origin of Species

Singh. Scientists say that if there were no mutations, then there would be only one kind of living entity in the whole universe.

Prabhupada. No.

Singh. Maybe it is a mistake.

Singh. But science seems to have evidence that different species of life do arise by mistakes.

Prabhupada. Krishna says: "This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, and producing all moving and nonmoving beings." (Bg. 9.10)

God does not have imperfect senses; His senses are perfect.

Satisfied Animals

The ass is satisfied to carry the load of the washerman. Everyone is satisfied, even the worm in the stool. That is nature's law.

Fifteenth Morning Walk: December 7

On the shores of the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles

Getting the Eyes to See God

Student. Scientists say that their common ground of objectivity is what they can perceive with their senses.

Prabhupada. Yes, they can perceive things with their senses, but very imperfectly.

Everything is supramundane.

Where your senses cannot act, you must approach an authority to learn the facts.

The Frustration of the Atheists

Prabhupada. The atheists are rascals. Let us teach the others – those who are reasonable.

If you are blind, but you do not want to go to the physician, how will you be cured of your blindness and see? That step requires not blind faith – practical faith.

Student. If you are not completely sincere, you will get a cheater for a teacher?

Prabhupada. Yes.

Also: (15.15): "I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness."

"Those who are bewildered are attracted by demoniac and atheistic views. In that deluded condition, their hopes for liberation, their fruitive activities and their culture of knowledge are all defeated." (Bg. 9.12)

Scientists Bravely Going to Hell

A rascal will never take a good lesson. There is a story of a great poet named Kalidasa, who was a great rascal also. Once, Kalidasa was sitting on the branch of a tree and at the same time cutting it. A gentleman asked him, "Why are you cutting this tree limb? You will fall down."

Kalidasa replied, "No, no, I will not fall down." So he kept cutting the limb, and he fell down.

He would not take good advice.

Rascals repeatedly make a plan, see it frustrated, and again make another plan. This plan is also frustrated, so they make another plan. Yet when we try to explain to them that all their materialistic plans will be unsuccessful and useless, they refuse to listen. That is rascaldom.

Though scientists are not expert in science, they are expert in bluffing others and juggling words.

Mystic Television

In Vedic times people ate on silver and golden plates, but now the scientists have improved things with plastic plates. [Laughter.]

Sixteenth Morning Walk: December 10

On the shores of the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles

The Meaning of "Supreme"

Prabhupada. Why do you accept President Nixon as the supreme person within your state?

Singh. To conceive of anyone so fortunate is beyond our thinking capacity.

Prabhupada. Yes.

The Mysteries of Yogic Power

One yogi friend used to visit my father in Calcutta. The yogi told him that when he (the yogi) would simply sit down and touch his guru, he would travel from Calcutta to Dvaraka in two minutes. That is yogic power.

Vedic Cosmology

Singh. They can make a model of the universe. They can make a model of the planets and the moon.

Prabhupada. Why can't they create an artificial sun so that the people of Iceland and Greenland can be saved from so much cold?

God Is Never Zero

We must have a clear idea of God.

God is everywhere by His all-pervasive features, and He is also localized; yet He is still one.

Accepting Knowledge From a Learned Person

One who is not Krishna conscious – God conscious – is a madman – he talks only nonsense.

Bhagavad-gita (4.34): "Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth."


Srila Prabhupada's Life Comes from Life, Literature  

Bhaktivedanta, A. C. Life Comes from Life: Morning Walks with A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and Swarupa Damodara Singh. Los Angeles, CA: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1979.

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