The morning walk was spiced with lively questions and answers. Hari-sauri cited a recent newspaper article advertising a new book on the evolution of man. The book claimed that there were approximately two million varieties of life on the planet. Prabhupada did not agree. "Two millions? No. Eight million, four hundred thousand."
Amogha wondered whether the 400,000 species of human beings mentioned in the Padma Purana were calculated according to national division. Prabhupada described this as a "foolish, crippled idea". "The sastra," he said, "scripture, is talking of planets, not countries. There is no such thing as 'national'. These ideas 'state,' 'national' have come later on."
A devotee inquired about the connection between rainfall and sinful life.
"The more you become sinful," Prabhupada explained, "the more the rains will decrease; irregularity of weather is nature's punishment. There is a common saying in Bengal: 'dine jal ratri e tar, sei janme sukha dhar -- If it rains heavily during daytime and at night I see the stars, then you should know that there will be a scarcity of rain, and then scarcity of food grains.' Best thing is at night there must be heavy rain and during daytime there should be sunshine. Then the field will be very fertile."
"So if we increase the Krsna consciousness movement.. " asked Hari-sauri.
"Then it will be regular."
Prabhupada's party approached the northern end of the Nymphaea Lily Lake. The early morning light emphasised the carpet-like appearance of the lawn, where coots and sooty black moorhens grazed. Spotted turtle doves, blinking nervously, uttered their persistent "coo-coo-kook" sound. Prabhupada paused, his face surrounded by the brown, woolly border of his warm pink coat. He asked, to no-one in particular, "Why are there so many varieties of life?"
Amogha attempted an answer. "The scientists say that originally there was just a cell, and by adaptation in some circumstances, one kind would live and another would die. So all these varieties adapted to different conditions."
Prabhupada looked at Amogha quizzically. "Who adapted this? Who managed?"
"Well, they just say 'accidentally.' "
Prabhupada made a sour face. "Ah, that is nonsense. Nothing happens accidentally. There must be some arrangement. What is happening accidentally? If you believe in accident, then you should not endeavour for anything. If accidentally you can become rich, why are you struggling so hard to become so? Why your motor cars are flying the whole day and night, here and there? Why are you trying? Let accidentally money come, and sit down! Why go to the college? Let accidentally you become M.A., Ph.D. This is all rascaldom."
Hari-sauri presented the argument of karma mimamsa. "Then couldn't one argue that by man's endeavour alone things are happening?"
Prabhupada answered by clarifying his point. "Two things must be there -- activity plus sanction of God." Even if a so-called accident occurred, Prabhupada explained, that is happening by God's will. "Their argument is," Hari-sauri continued, "that if God is there and He is actually the ultimate controller, and He is motivating everything to happen, then I can just sit back and do nothing and things will happen.
Prabhupada shook his head. "No, you should work for the result. But do not think that because you are working very nicely that the result will come. The result is not in your hands. Therefore Krsna says: karmany evadhikaras te ma phalesu kadacana. 'Your duty is to go on working, but don't expect the results as you desire. It will never happen unless it is sanctioned.'"
Prabhupada gave a practical example. "Just like a man is suffering. Your duty is to appoint a nice physician and medicine. But is there any guarantee that he will live? Why does he die? You can say, 'I have given the best medicine, and the best medical treatment'. Still he dies. Therefore, you may try your best, with full energy and all means, but without the supreme will of God, the result will not come."
Prabhupada described how this idea could be imbibed by a preacher. "We shall try to do our duty to our spiritual master. And even if we are not successful, it does not matter. Krsna will recognise that we are labouring hard for Him. Then it will be noted down by Him. Whether one man is converted or not converted, that is not our business. Rather, our business is to be recognised by Krsna. You have to do your duty. Go and preach. Just like when I came to your country, I never expected any success because I knew as soon as I will say 'no illicit sex, no meat eating', they will reject me immediately."
The devotees huddled close as Prabhupada's voice took on a soft, humble tone. "So I was not hopeful at all. But it was your kindness that you accepted me. But I never expected that 'these people will accept'. I never expected. My spiritual master was publishing one paper, Nadiya Prakash. It was worth one or two paisa. And if a brahmacari sold even a few copies he was very glad. The collection was not even four annas, still he was so glad and he would appreciate, 'Oh, you have distributed so much'. Still, our business is to carry out the order, not to look for success."
- From "The Great Transcendental Adventure" by HG Kurma Prabhu