Oct 09, 2017 CANADA (SUN) Conversations wtih HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, excerpted from Dialectical Spiritualism: A Vedic View of Western Philosophy.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1934)
Syamasundara dasa: For Freud, the sexual energy, or libido, is not only manifest through sexual intercourse. It is associated with a wide variety
of pleasurable sensations relating to bodily activities and including pleasures of the mouth and the different organs.
Srila Prabhupada: We have already said that the only happiness in this material world is considered to be sexual. Yan maithunadi (Bhag.
7.9.45). The word adi means the basic principle, which, in the material
world, is sex. What is materialistic happiness? It is enjoying this life
with one's friends and family. But what kind of pleasure is this? It is
compared to a drop of water in the desert. Actually, we are seeking
unlimited pleasure. Anandamayo' bhyasat. How can this drop of water
in the desert, which is materialistic pleasure, ever satisfy us? No one is
satisfied, although people are having sex in so many different ways. And
now young girls are almost going naked, and the female population is
increasing everywhere. As soon as there is an increase in the female
population, the women say, "Where are the men?" There then must be
disaster because every woman is trying to attract a man, and men will
take advantage of this situation. When milk is available in the market,
what is the use in keeping a cow? The more men become attached to
women, the more the female population will increase.
Syamasundara dasa: How is that?
Srila Prabhupada: When you have more sex, your power to beget a male
child is diminished. When the man is less potent, a girl is born, and
when a man is more potent, a boy is born. If a man's discharge is larger,
there will be a male child. If the woman's discharge is larger, there will
be a female child. When women are easily available, men become weak,
and they beget female children because they lose their power from overindulgence. Sometimes they even become impotent. If you don't restrict
your sex life, there will be so many disasters. Yamunacarya says:
yadavadhi mama cetah krsna- padaravinde
nava-nava-rasa-dhamanudyata rantum asit
tadavadhi bata nari-sahgame smaryamane
bhavati mukha-vikarah sastu nisthwanam ca
"Since I have been engaged in the transcendental loving service of
Krsna, realizing ever-new pleasure in Him, whenever I think of sex
pleasure, I spit at the thought, and my lips curl with distaste."
Syamasundara dasa: Freud would consider this a form of repression.
Srila Prabhupada: His idea of repression is different from ours. Our
repression means rising early in the morning, attending mangala-aratik,
chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, and engaging in devotional service. In this way, we repress material propensities.
Syamasundara dasa: In other words, it's repression with awareness and
Srila Prabhupada: Actual knowledge will come later. In the beginning,
there is obedience to the spiritual master. In this way, we will not become
habituated to undesirable activity.
Syamasundara dasa: Yet by remembering some traumatic or shocking
experience, our tensions are often relieved, and personality disorders
rectified. This is a fact of psychoanalysis.
Srila Prabhupada: That may be, but when a seed has fructified and
grown into a tree, it is no longer possible to rectify the seed. The seed
is no longer there. It has changed into a tree. Freud may be able to find
out the cause, but does he know the cure? Our cure is to divert the
attention to Krsna. By understanding Krsna, we automatically forget our
problems. Krsna is the panacea for all diseases.
Syamasundara dasa: Freud also investigated projection, that is attributing one's own personality onto others. A man may regard others as a thief
because he's a thief himself.
Srila Prabhupada: We accept that. Atmana many ate jagat. Everyone
thinks others to be like himself.
Syamasundara dasa: Freud also felt that children act in different ways
to win the love and affection of their parents.
Srila Prabhupada: Children imitate. In Agra, I have seen two and three-year-old children try to imitate the sexual intercourse of their parents.
They did not know anything about sex pleasure, but they were imitating
what they had seen. Children do not know the value of things, but they
imitate their parents. There is no fixed pattern of development for the
personality of children. You can mold children in any way. They are like
soft dough, and you can make out of them what you like. All you have to do is put them into the mold. Many of the neuroses Freud talked about
are not experienced in Indian families. If you place a child in good
association, he will act properly, and if you place him in bad association,
he will act improperly. A child has no independence in that sense.
Syamasundara dasa: Freud believed that our behavior must be understood in terms of our entire life history.
Srila Prabhupada: That is so. Therefore in our Vedic system, it is forbidden for the husband and wife to speak of sex even jokingly before a small
child, because the child cannot understand. If children know of sexual
intercourse, it is because they have learned about it from their parents.
Hayagriva dasa: Although often avoiding the very subject of religion,
Freud sometimes took an agnostic stand. He writes: "Of the reality value
of most religions we cannot judge; just as they cannot be proved, neither
can they be refuted."
Srila Prabhupada: First of all, he does not know what religion is. As
we have said, religion means the orders given by God. Since he has no
conception of God, how can he know anything of God's orders? He is
acquainted only with fictitious religions, which have been described in
Srimad-Bhagavatam as kaitava — cheating religions. Real religion is
law. Just as you cannot manufacture laws in your home, you cannot
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