July 11, 1975 Philadelphia Arrival Lecture


Prabhupāda: So thank you very much for your kind reception. The press reporters, they were asking me that we make distinction between man, woman, and black, white. We make distinction not in that way. We say that so long you are on the material platform, artificially, however you may try to keep everyone on the equal level, it will be failure. Just like the United Nation is trying to be united nationally, internationally for the last more than thirty years, but they have not been able to do so. In theBhagavad-gītā there is one verse,

brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
[Bg. 5.18]

Paṇḍita means spiritually advanced. A person who is spiritually advanced, he sees on equal level a very learned man, vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇa, brāhmaṇa, the first-class man; vidyā-vinaya-sampanne gavi, an animal like cow; hasti, animal like elephant; vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇe gavi hastini, śuni, means dog; śva-pāka, means the dog-eater; caṇḍāla—all of them, they see equal. So what is that seeing? If I invite one learned scholar, and if I ask him, “Please sit down with the dog,” will he be pleased? He will feel insulted. But I see that within the dog, there is spirit soul, and within the learned scholar, there is spirit soul. Paṇḍitāḥ sama… Sama-darśinaḥ means from different platform. On the material platform, if I say, “Oh, you may be a learned scholar, and you may think the dog is dog, but I see you are all equal,” so it will be insult. So the fact is that we cannot disturb the equality, er, different position materially; at the same time, we have to understand what is the position, spiritual. That is wanted. If we make distinction between man and woman, black and white, then how in our temple we are enjoying together? Because we… Actually, we are equal on the spiritual platform. We do not say that “You are woman. You cannot become my disciple,” or “You are black; therefore you cannot become my disciple” No. We welcome everyone. So they may not misunderstand. Just you can issue one statement that “We say that if you want to see everyone equally, treat everyone equally, then you have to come to the spiritual platform, Kṛṣṇaconsciousness. Materially, it is not possible.”

So in the Bhagavad-gītā you will find different statement by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In one place He says that vidyā-vindaya-sampannebrāhmaṇe gavi hastini. In another place Kṛṣṇa says, strīṣu duṣṭāsu vārṣṇeya, varṇa-saṅkaraḥ abhibhavāte. No, strīṣu dustasu: “When woman becomes polluted, then there is unwanted population.” So if in one place it is stated that paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ [Bg. 5.18], man and woman is equal, or paṇḍita, or learned, dog andbrāhmaṇa, in another place He says, strīṣu duṣṭāsu vārṣṇeya, so the fact is that, in order to make progress towards the end of spiritual realization, that we must make distinction, but the aim should be one. If you artificially do not make distinction, that will not stay. Just like in your country the black and white, they have got equal rights, but why they fight sometimes, racial fight? Because it is on the material platform. So our point is that you come to the spiritual platform, then this equality will be possible. If you keep yourself on the material platform, then artificially you may say, “We are equal,” but at last we shall fight. This is our proposition. Therefore we request everyone that you come to the spiritual platform. Then everything will be very nice. There will be no distinction, because brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā. When one is spiritually realized, then he becomes happy. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocatina kāṅkṣati [Bg. 18.54]. There is no more lamentation. There is no more hankering. Just like one man is trying to become another man’s position. That is hankering. So in spiritual platform there is no hankering, because he understands that spiritually we are one. So how that spiritually oneness can be made possible, that is Kṛṣṇaconsciousness movement. We are trying to solve all problems by this one stroke,Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Practically, you can see. Here, while you are chanting, dancing, the boy is dancing, the father is dancing, the black is dancing, the white is dancing, the young is dancing, the old is dancing. You can see practically. The woman is dancing. A man is dancing. So dancing everyone. They are not artificially dancing like dog, but by spiritual ecstasy. That is the dancing platform. They are not dancing here for some monetary purpose. No. It is automatic, automatic, realizing God, in relationship with God. Even it is not realized… It is realized, but even if you say that they are not realized, but they are feeling ecstasy, that “We are all servant of Kṛṣṇa.” That is wanted.

So despite artificial distinction… Just like a man’s body and a female’s body, woman’s body, the bodily structure is different. How you can say they are equal? No. When you see the external structure of the body of man and woman, there is difference. But despite this difference, when the man and woman think in connection with Kṛṣṇa, they are equal. That is wanted. Our proposition is that artificially you do not try to make equality. That will be failure. It is already failure. Now how you can…? Just like I have seen in London, woman police. So woman police, so I was joking with her, “If I capture your hand and snatch you, what you will do? You are policeman. (laughter) You will cry simply. So what is the use of your becoming policeman?” Policeman requires bodily strength. If there is some hooligan, you can give him one slap or catch him, but what the woman will do? So we say that be practical. Artificial equality will not endure. We are equal, undoubtedly, because we are all spirit souls.Na jāyate na mriyate vā kadācit. Dehino ‘smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁjarā, tathā dehāntara-prā… [Bg. 2.13]. Asmin dehe, within this body, there is the spirit soul. That we have to understand first of all. And then, if we cultivate on that platform of spirit soul, then we shall feel equal and there will be no disturbance. Everyone will be peaceful. That is wanted. We are stressing that point, that artificially, if you say that “We are all equal,” it will not act. But spiritually, when you understand equality, that will continue, and that will bring peace and happiness all over the human society.

Thank you very much. [break] If you have any question?

[break] …distinction is already there. That I explained today. But we are trying to go above the distinction. But when I say that distinction is already there, they misunderstand that I am making distinction. I am not making distinction. That already there. Why a woman is differently dressed and a man is differently dressed? Why the structure of the body, woman, is different from the man? Why there is no equal right—I was yesterday talking—that woman also become pregnant and man also become pregnant? (chuckles) That distinction is there by nature. But if you come to the spiritual platform, then you will understand that “I am not this body. These distinction are on the bodily platform. I am spirit soul. My function is how to serve God.” Then it is equality. It is clear thing. But because they do not understand that there is distinction between spirit and matter—they amalgamate or they have no brain that spirit is different from matter-therefore they think that I am making distinction. No. So we should understand the real position, and then automatically there will be equality, there will be no misunderstanding. Yes?