July 9, 1975 Chicago Press Conference


Prabhupada: But if we want eternal life of bliss and knowledge, then we must endeavor in this life how to go back to home, back to Godhead. And such persons who are endeavoring for this purpose, they are called first-class men. And they are called brāhmaṇas or the first-class men. So society must be divided into four classes: first-class, second-class, third-class, fourth-class. That is general. Those who are endeavoring for realizing God, they are first-class men. Those who are less intelligent—they are trying to rule over the material world—they are second-class men. And those who are engaged in producing food and cow protection, they are third-class. And those who are useless for any of these three occupational duties, they are called fourth-class. And those who are still lower than that, they are called fifth-class, sixth-class, like that. So our educational system should be so arranged that there may be first-class, second-class, third-class, fourth-class men, not less than fourth-class men. Then the social structure will be in order and everyone will be peaceful, aiming at the point, how to go back to home, back to Godhead. Unless there is such structure of the society… Just like in our body we have got four divisions, the head, the arms, the belly and the leg. All of them are required. But the position of the head and position of the leg are different. Head means giving direction, and arms means giving protection, and belly means receiving food for energy of the body, and leg means working. So the human society must be divided into four section, and they should work combinedly, cooperatively. Then there will be peaceful condition for realization of the goal of life, back to home, back to Godhead. Our Kṛṣṇaconsciousness movement is teaching this process of life, and the whole world is now in chaos on account of no brain. Just like we have got this body. If the brain is not working in good condition, then he is called a madman. So in spite of possessing other parts of the body, namely, the arm, the belly, and the leg, if the head is not in good condition, then the body is useless. At this present moment there is want of first-class men and also second-class men. The whole world is filled up with third-class, fourth-class, fifth-class men. Therefore the society is not properly adjusted. By accepting thisKṛṣṇa consciousness movement… The process is described very nicely in theBhagavad-gītā. If we follow the principles of Bhagavad-gītā, we will find answers for all the problems of life, and if we take it seriously, then the whole human society will be happy, peaceful, in this life, and next life they will go back to home, back to Godhead for eternal blissful life of knowledge. So we are giving literary information in fifty books. Some of the books are distributed here. You can see. Otherwise, the process is very simple. If we chant the holy name of the Lord, we become purified, our heart becomes cleansed, and we can understand the aim of life, the goal of life, and in this way everything can be adjusted very nicely. Thank you very much.

Reporter: You’re taking now questions?

Jagadīśa: Yes.

Reporter: This four-division society that you advocate is contrary to everything in American tradition. How can that be accepted in America?

Prabhupāda: That has to be trained up. Just like in your country there are medical, professional men, the engineering class of men, the lawyers class of men, similarly, you can train how to become a first-class man. The training process is there in theBhagavad-gītā. Where is Bhagavad-gītā? Bring it. Śamo damaḥ titikṣa satyaṁśaucam ārjavam. The… Just like you have got formula how to train medical man, how to train in the mechanical man, or different department of knowledge, similarly, you can train how to become first-class man. How to become second-class man. The direction are already there. You can take advantage of the direction and train people as first-class, second-class, third-class.

Reporter: When does this training begin? In the very youngest age or…

Prabhupāda: Training, every training should begin from childhood. Just like you send your boys and girls to school. So any educational system should be begin from childhood.

Reporter (2): What is the secret to learning to love God?

Prabhupāda: Secret of learning God?

Jagadīśa: Learning to love.

Prabhupāda: Yes. The secret—that he must be a first-class man. Otherwise he does not understand what is God, and what to speak of loving Him.

Reporter (3): What is the definition again of a first-class man?

Prabhupāda: First-class man? Where is that Bhagavad-gītā?

Brahmānanda: Bhagavad-gītā, they did not bring.

Prabhupāda: (aside:) What is the nonsense? You are all nonsense. First-class man, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, that he should first of all try to…, not try, practice how to control the mind, how to control the senses. Then he must be truthful. He must be very clean, outside and inside. He must be very simple. He must be tolerant. He must be full of knowledge. He must apply knowledge in practical life. And he must believe in God. These are the qualification of the first-class man.

Reporter (2): Once a person is trained in one of the classes, can he move to another class once he’s been trained as, say, a third-class man?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Any class man, you can train him. It requires training. Even one is in the last-class, fourth-class, fifth-class, sixth-class, if he likes he can be trained up to become a first-class man.

Reporter (3): How many followers do you have?

Prabhupāda: Well, to find out first-class man is very difficult. Therefore, our followers, you cannot count a large number. We are training them to become first-class man. Still, we have got about ten thousand followers in the western countries.

Reporter (3): In the western countries.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Reporter (3): Where do you train them in the western countries?

Prabhupāda: We have got our headquarter in Los Angeles and we have got many centers all over the world.

Reporter (4): Who is God? Who is God?

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Devotees: Who is God?

Prabhupāda: Who is God? God means, you know… You have got any definition of God?

Reporter (4): Pardon me?

Harikesa: Do you have a definition of God?

Reporter (4): That’s beside the point. I am asking the Swami who is God.

Prabhupāda: God is great. “Great” means, “who is greater than you in every respect.” We understand a rich man as very great, a wise man as very great, a strong man is very great, beautiful man is very great. In this way there are six opulences: riches, strength, wisdom, beauty, education… In this way the six opulences, when you find in somebody in full, in complete, without any competition, that is God.

Reporter (3): You listed five.

Jayatīrtha: The sixth one is renunciation.

Prabhupāda: Another, renunciation.

Reporter (3): Religious, strong, beautiful…

Prabhupāda: Religious?

Jayatīrtha: Wealthy, riches.

Reporter (3): Riches, strong, wise, beautiful, education, and renunciation.

Prabhupāda: These six opulences, when you find in the greatest quantity, nobody can excel. Here in America you have got rich man, but nobody can say that “I am the richest of all.” But God can say that He is richest of all. He is strongest of all, He is wisest of all, He is the most beautiful, in this way where nobody can compete and nobody can surpass, that is God.

Reporter (5): What do… You said there are four classes and the first-class is to rule?

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Reporter (5): The first-class should rule?

Jagadīśa: What do the first-class men do?

Jayatīrtha: Is their position to rule?

Prabhupāda: No. First-class man means… I have already explained. He is the brain. Everyone should take advice from him. That is first-class man. And he will give perfect advice. That is first-class man.

Reporter (5): What does he do?

Prabhupāda: He does give you advice. If you take his advice, then you get perfect advice.

Reporter (5): What do the other classes do?

Prabhupāda: Other classes… The second-class, they are supposed to be administrator. They are very… They are also very strong. They do not go away when there is fighting. They have got a ruling capacity, and they are charitable. They have got seven qualifications. So… But he rules according to the advice of the first-class men.

Reporter (5): Then… Well, how about the third and fourth-classes?

Prabhupāda: Third-class means they should engage themselves, how to produce food and give protection to the cow. It is said…

Reporter (5): The cow?

Prabhupāda: Cow, yes.

Reporter (2): The cow?

Prabhupāda: Yes, cow, from where you get milk, that cow. So the exact word is used in Sanskrit, kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya-karma svabhāva-jam [Bg. 18.44].Vaiśya, the third-class man, is called vaiśya. So his duty is how to produce food, food grains, for both for the animals and the man. And he gives protection to the cows. As the second-class man, the administrator, he gives protection to the human being from danger, similarly, the third-class man is entrusted to give protection to the cows. Cow is very important animal in the society because it is supplying milk, the most nutritious food. And… Find out. This is the third-class man’s duty. And the fourth-class man means general worker. He has no brain, he simply helps the other three classes: first-class, second-class, and the third-class. And below the fourth-class men, they are called fifth-class, sixth-class. So they are called lower class, less than the fourth-class. So the society should be generally divided into four classes. As I have given example, there is head, arm, belly, and leg.

Reporter (3): (a woman) Where… Do women fit into this social structure? You keep referring to man.

Prabhupāda: Woman is not equally intelligent as a man.

Reporter (3): Equal in intelligence?

Prabhupāda: Not equal intelligence. In the psychology, practical psychology, they have found that the man’s brain has been found up to sixty-four ounce, woman… Sixty-four ounce, man’s brain. And woman’s brain has been found, thirty-six ounce. So therefore woman is not equally intelligent like man.

Reporter (3): So where does she fit?

Prabhupāda: You will find in practical psychology.

Reporter: Pardon?

Prabhupāda: Practical psychology.

Brahmānanda: She’s asking where does woman fit into this structure?

Prabhupāda: Now, woman is supposed to be assistant of man. If woman is faithful wife of the first-class man, then she also becomes first-class. If she is assistant of the second-class man then he is also second-class. If she is assistant of the third-class man, then she is also third-class. Because she is assistant, so, according to her husband, or protector, she becomes first, second, third, fourth.

Reporter (3): But she doesn’t have any structure at all until marriage?

Prabhupāda: No, she has got structure—she has got brain. I have already told. But not as good as man’s brain.

Reporter (3): You means she’s not qualified as first, second, or third-class until she marries?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Woman requires to be protected—in childhood by the father, in youthhood by the husband, and in old age by the elderly sons.

Reporter (2): What is your feeling in regard to Mrs. Gandhi’s actions in India at the present time, particularly in relation to what you’re saying about women? Is what’s happening there because she has a thirty-six ounce brain and is incapable of ruling?

Prabhupāda: Well, what is scientific proof, that is equally applicable to Mrs.Gandhi or to any ordinary woman.

Reporter: Is she having problems because she is a woman, though? If a man were in her position…

Prabhupāda: (laughs) Why you are trying to put me in the emergency law? (laughter)

Reporter (2): In the what?

Devotee: In the emergency rule.

Reporter (2): Did you say emergency room or emergency law?

Brahmānanda: Emergency rule that is going on in India.

Jayatīrtha: He will be arrested if he says like that.

Reporter (2): Oh.

Prabhupāda: But one thing I can say, generally. There was a great politician, Cāṇakya Paṇḍita, under whose name in New Delhi there is a quarter called CanakyaPurī. All the foreign embassies are situated there. He said, viśvāso naiva kartavyaṁstrīṣu rāja-kuleṣu ca: “Never trust a woman and a politician.” That is his remark, of course, I do not say anything. (Devotees laugh)

Reporter (3): Are these books all… Have you written all of these books or are they by other philosophers of…

Prabhupāda: Yes, I have written all these books.

Reporter (3): Who has published them?

Prabhupāda: We have got our own publishing house, Bhaktivedanta Trust. But we are selling our books very nice.

Reporter (3): Is that part of your income, to run a…

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes, that is our only income, by selling books.

Reporter (2): You commented that, you gave the words “Never trust,” if I understood you right, “never trust an old man and a politician?”

Jayatīrtha: A woman or a politician.

Prabhupāda: That is Cāṇakya Paṇḍita’s remark.