Interview with Newsweek — July 14, 1976, New York
Interviewer: Could you go over each of the three functions you’ve been mentioning-eating, sleeping and sex—and tell me what specifically, what rules or hints that you would give people who are seeking spiritual enlightenment to aid in their lives in these ways.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes, that is our books. It is our books. We have got enough matter to understand. It is not a thing that you’ll understand in a minute.
Interviewer: I understand you sleep very little. You sleep three to four hours a night. Do you feel that this is what any person who is spiritually actualized will also realize?
Prabhupāda: Yes, we see from the behavior of the Gosvāmīs. They practically had no material necessities. This eating, sleeping, mating and defending, practically they had no such thing. They are simply engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s business.
Interviewer: Engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s…?
Rāmeśvara: Kṛṣṇa’s business or God’s service.
Bali-mardana: He’s setting the example of the previous spiritual masters.
Interviewer: Well, what I was interested in is why… Has he found that three to four hours is the necessary time period to sleep?
Bali-mardana: She’s asking why is three to four hours the amount that you sleep. How have you reached that standard?
Prabhupāda: That is not artificially. The more you are engaged in spiritual activities, the more you become free from material activities. That is the test.
Interviewer: And so you’ve arrived at that…
Prabhupāda: No, I don’t speak about myself, but that is the test. Bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir anyatra syāt (SB 11.2.42). If you advance in bhakti, in spiritual life, then you become disinterested in material life.
Interviewer: Do you think there’s a difference between the various peoples of the world? In other words, do you think that Indians as opposed to Europeans have more of a tendency or are more likely to adhere to the Kṛṣṇa consciousness?
Prabhupāda: No, any intelligent man can become Kṛṣṇa conscious. That I have already explained, that unless one is very intelligent, he cannot take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So it is open for everyone. But there are different grades of intelligence. In Europe, America, they are intelligent, but their intelligence is utilized for material purposes. And in India their intelligence is utilized for spiritual purpose. Therefore you find so many highly spiritual standard of life, books, literature. Just like Vyāsadeva. Vyāsadeva was also in householder life, but he was living in the forest, and see his contribution of literature. Nobody can dream even. So by literary contribution, one’s intelligence is tested. All big, big men of the material world, scientists, philosophers, even technicians, they are recognized by their writings, by their contribution, not by their gigantic body.
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