Ever seen some orange and white clad, head-shaven, belling playing boys and girls chanting down the streets and wandered: "What convinced them to start doing that?" If such curiosity has arisen in you, you find the following conversation between Srila Prabhupada and John Fahey very interesting and get a basic introduction to Krishna consciousness.
Prabhupada: So you understand our philosophy?
John Fahey: I don't know if I understand it, I'm reading it.
Prabhupada: Hmm. What is your philosophy?
John Fahey: I don't know.
Prabhupada: No philosophy of life? Why you are living?
John Fahey: I don't know. I was just born.
Prabhupada: Born—everyone is born. Cats and dogs are also born. They also live, they also die. So if we live like that—"I was born. Let me live somewhere, and die"—then what is the difference?
John Fahey: None.
Prabhupada: No. There is difference. That one should understand. There is difference. A man should not live like cats and dogs, because he has got a mission.
John Fahey: Mission?
Prabhupada: Mission. That mission is God realization. Cats and dogs cannot do it; human being can do it. Therefore in any civilized human society, there is a type of religion. May be Christianism or Muhammadanism or Hinduism or Buddhism—there is. But you cannot find this religious system in the animals life. That is the difference. If you give up this religious consciousness, or God consciousness, then we are as good as cats and dogs. That is the only difference.
You go anywhere, any part of the world, civilized human being, they have got a system, which you may call religion or philosophy, to understand God. That prerogative is specially for the human being. But if you do not care for that special prerogative, then you are as good as animal.
What is the difference between animal and human being unless he has got some method of understanding God? The animal eats, and we also eat. The animals sleep, we also sleep. The animal have sex intercourse; we have got also. They are also afraid of something; we are also afraid of something. Then where is the difference?
John Fahey: About God, you know.
Prabhupada: But that is the difference. A human being can understand what is God, what is my relationship with God, what is my duty in that relationship, what is my aim of life, where I shall go after death, wherefrom I have come. These questions must be there in human form of life; otherwise we are still in the animal kingdom.
John Aloysius Fahey (February 28, 1939 – February 22, 2001) was an American fingerstyle guitarist and composer who played the steel-string acoustic guitar as a solo instrument. His style has been enormously influential and has been described as the foundation of the genre of American primitive guitar