The Difference Between East and West

By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

 

Our real business is “How to attain the eternal life?” That is the real business. Other businesses are not important. Tasyaiva hetoh prayateta kovido na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhah [1.5.18]. The instruction is that we should try to know how to become immortal again. We are immortal by nature, but we are covered by another nature, the external nature (bahiranga-śakti). And because we have been entangled with this material body, we have to die. Otherwise there is no death. Na jāyate mriyate vā (Bg. 2.20): The living entity does not take birth, neither does it die. Then why are we taking birth and dying?

But this question does not arise to the fools and rascals of this materialist world. I was talking with one very big man in London, Lord Fenner-Brockway. He came to see me. So I asked him this question. He was an old man, who, I think, was older than me. He was eighty-four years old. So he said, “Yes, I’ll die peacefully.” You see? This question does not bother any man. And I talked with that Professor Kotovsky in Moscow. He also said, “Swamiji, after death, everything is finished.” You see? Big, big men in Europe, occupying very exalted positions, do not even know that there is life after death.

There is an Indo-American Cultural club in Calcutta, India, who had invited me to speak and the subject matter that they gave me for speaking was – “East and West.” So in that meeting I said that “We don’t make any distinctions such as ‘East’ and ‘West’ because everything belongs to Krishna. But there is a little difference between the East and the West. What is that difference? Here, even an ordinary man, a cultivator and uneducated villager believes in the next birth. Therefore he is afraid of committing sin, “Oh, I’ll have to suffer in my next life.” Whereas in the Western world, even big – big men like Lord Fenner-Brockway and Professor Kotovsky, do not know that there is life after death.”

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