In conversation with His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Prabhupada: There is an operator. A child cannot think. Motor car is running. Child will think the motor car is running automatically. But a sane man will understand that there is a driver. So persons who deny the existence of God are like that. They see the machine. Nature is the machine. But behind the machine there is an operator. These rascals cannot understand. Nābhijānāti, mām ebhyah paramam, tribhir gunamayair bhāvair. Machine is working, nature is working, that much they can see. And behind the machine there is operator. That they cannot see. What is your answer? What the atheist will say? Has the atheist any experience that any machine works without operator? Has he got any experience?
Prabhupada: Then why does he say?
Paramahamsa: But this whole universe—we cannot compare the whole universe with any machine created by man.
Prabhupada: Yes, yes. Why you bring man? This machine is created and being operated by God.
Paramahamsa: Well, we don’t have any experience of such a machine.
Prabhupada: Huh? What do you mean by machine. First of all define what is your idea of machine. Just like the other day we saw, we saw the Thompson place, being printed, being collected, and so many things are being done. It is like this. By machine the seasonal changes are going on, the sun is rising, the moon is rising, the water in the ocean, the waves are there. Everything, machine working. It is machine. Everything being systematically done. Such a big ocean, vast water, it is just on the brink, no more. It is so organized. The sun is rising exactly in time, astronomically. The astronomical watch is one ten-thousandth part of a second. It is so accurate. You’ll find everything is going on. Today is ekādaśī, eleventh day of the moon, the moon shall be like this. There one can see the moon and he can calculate. “Today is ekādaśī.” This is not machine? It is exactly, machine.
Paramahamsa: But the thing is this machine is so wonderful that it goes on without an operator.
Prabhupada: That is your dullness! You are rascal, you cannot understand how the machine is working, how big it is, that is your dullness. But it is a machine. Very big machine. You cannot understand—that is not (argument) that this is not a machine. This is not very good argument, that “I cannot understand, therefore it is not a machine.” But you see the idea machine is there already, everything is going on—machine.
Srutakirti: It is such a good machine it doesn’t require an operator.
Paramahamsa: That is the wonder of it.
Prabhupada: No. That is wrong. You cannot find out in your experience anywhere, any machine which is not being operated by a person. You cannot find it. Then why do you bring this idea that without operator it is going on. Where you get this idea? This is a false idea. Because you have no such experience. Where is the machine that “Here is a machine going on without any operator.” Find out a machine.
Paramahamsa: We’re trying. (laughter) There are some automatic machines.
Prabhupada: Automatic is at the hand of the operator.
Srutakirti: Someone must turn it on and off.
Prabhupada: Yes. There is no such automatic machine. It is impossible to prove.
Ganesa: But we can see the operator of these small machines, Srila Prabhupada, we cannot see the operator of this big machine.
Prabhupada: Have you seen the operator in the power house?
Prabhupada: Then? Do you think the powerhouse is going on?
Paramahamsa: Well we could see him. We could go, we could drive there right now and see him.
Prabhupada: Yes, you can see. You can go to Krishna and see Him. That requires qualification.
Paramahamsa: That’s not as easy.
Prabhupada: No, it is very easy. It is simply, as we are teaching our students, just become a devotee, offer namaskār, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto, always think of Him, and you will go to Him. It is not at all difficult. Bahavo jnāna-tapasā pūtā mad-bhāvam āgatāh. Bahavo, many, did come to Me. How? Jnāna-tapasā, by knowledge and tapasya, being purified, they come to Me. Krishna says. Why you are disappointed? You can go. Krishna is open. Te ‘pi yānti parām gatim. Striya śūdra tathā vaiśya, even the women, less intelligent, the śūdra, vaiśya, they can come. Where is the difficulty? Even if you are born very lowest, you can go. Krishna is open to everyone. Simply you become qualified. That’s all. And what is the qualification? Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī mām namaskuru [Bg. 18.65], just always think of Me, become My devotee, offer your respects to Me, and man-manā, worship Me. Four things. That… We are opening this temple (in Melbourne) for this purpose, that you always think of Him, you worship Him, you offer obeisances to Him, and become His devotee. And then? Mām evaisyasi asamśayah [Bg. 18.65], without a doubt you will come to Him. What is the difficulty? There is no difficulty.
Paramahamsa: If the operator of the powerhouse, he is operating and running the powerhouse, but it’s not really necessary that we go and see him. We can simply enjoy the facilities offered by the powerhouse.
Prabhupada: That’s alright, but if you are intelligent enough, if you are a rascal fool, you cannot see, but if you are intelligent, then you’ll be eager to: “Who is operating? Let me see?” That is the difference of intelligence. Dull, just like we read one story. One little boy he was beating on a drum. So, he became inquisitive, “Where from the sound is coming? Somebody must be within it.” He took a knife and cut it. This is intelligence. Wherefrom the sound is coming? He was beating – dum, dum, dum – he became inquisitive. That is intelligence. A dull student thinks sound is coming, that’s all. And intelligent, he tries to (find out), that is intelligence. Inquisitive. Intelligent boy will always enquire, “What is this, father? What is this father? Where from the sound is coming?” That is intelligence. So, if one is very dull—just like cats and dogs, they cannot enquire. What is this machine? What is this behind? It is the human form of life—these enquiries should come. Otherwise he remains a cat and dog.
[An excerpt from a morning walk conversation in Perth, Australia on 8th May, 1975]