Meeting with Italian Printer
August 5, 1976, New Mayapur (French farm)
(translations throughout; printer speaks in French.)
Bhagavan: He has worked very... He's been trying very hard to get the Krsna book out, but he left a little too early.
Prabhupada: Never mind.
Bhagavan: He told me that Prabhupada was remarking how nice the Dutch Bhagavad-gita was. He says that the next books he will print will be even nicer.
Translator: He's very happy to meet you, he says. He wasn't expecting it. He had many questions to ask you, a few questions, but he saw that you were tired today, so...
Prabhupada: No, no, I'm not tired
Translator: He says he has very much appreciation for all that we're doing here, for all of our activities, but he's wondering what is the actual freedom we're getting from all these activities, what is the actual goal, and what is the freedom we derive from doing these activities?
Prabhupada: So, explain what is the goal.
Translator: What is our definition of liberty, freedom, spiritual?
Prabhupada: Liberty means whatever you like, you can do. That is liberty. But at the present moment, you cannot do that. Just like you want to go to the moon planet, you cannot do that. But when you are spiritually liberated, you can go anywhere you like. Still, in this material world there is a planet which is called Siddhaloka. The inhabitants of that planet, they go from any planet to any planet. But still, they can not go to the spiritual world. But Narada Muni, he can travel anywhere. He travels over all the spiritual world and material world. There is no restriction.
Translator: He says this freedom to go anywhere and everywhere...
Prabhupada: This is one of the items, there are so many others.
Translator: So he's pointing out that when one acts in complete freedom, he follows a path, a definite path to attain a certain truth.
Prabhupada: You get a spiritual body, that means freedom, no condition.
Translator: But he's asking where we're finding that truth. Can we find it only in the scriptures, in following all the regulative principles we're following day after day, or can we find also that truth by following our own path, by keeping our own freedom to do whatever we like?
Prabhupada: No, you have no freedom. You have to accept some way for freedom.
Translator: He says that this very truth is contained in the scriptures. So right from the beginning, to start with, he has to accept the scriptures.
Bhagavan: He is printing the scriptures, so he must accept them.
Yogesvara: He finds it difficult to accept that the truth is something that you can put down in black and white. He seems to feel that it's more something you can realize through meditation.
Prabhupada: How you'll realize? Unless you learn ABCD, how you can realize truth?
Translator: He's saying that we believe in the spiritual truth, but does that mean that our material truth does not exist?
Prabhupada: It is conditional. Just like your body exists for a certain days only. But it is not eternal. But you, soul, you are eternal.
Translator: For the truth, since each one finds the truth in himself, does that mean that the truth is different for each person? Each person has his truth.
Prabhupada: Yes, he's truth, he's soul, but he thinks as untruth, he thinks he's body.
Translator: He says that the truth is one, but as individuals we all realize that truth at different levels.
Prabhupada: That is rascaldom. Truth is one.
Translator: He says in terms of knowledge, one has a higher knowledge of that truth and one has a lower.
Prabhupada: That is different thing, but truth is one. Just like top floor is one. And one has gone few steps, another hundred steps, one has got ten steps, that is depending. But top is one.
Bhugarbha: Can he find the truth on his level, because he hasn't arrived at your level.
Prabhupada: How he can? If the top floor is hundred steps, how you can get it at ten steps?
Bhagavan: The point is that he has to at least be aiming in the right direction.
Prabhupada: Yes, that right direction you can take everybody's going, but one who has gone ten steps and one who has gone thousand steps, they are not equal. (man says "d'accord, d'accord.") What is "d'acca?"
Translator: He's agreeing.
Prabhupada: So, truth is one. Everyone is trying to go to the truth. Somebody has gone ten steps, somebody has hundred steps, but to cover all the steps, say one thousand steps. So unless you have passed one thousand steps, you cannot reach to the truth.
Translator: He says it's always been difficult for him to keep walking or climbing up the stairs in the right direction.
Prabhupada: So we shall give him a lift, one second. You haven't got to go step by step. We shall give immediately, one minute. If you refuse to take the advantage of the lift, that's your choice. Krsna personally says sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja aham tvam sarva-papebhyah [Bg. 18.66]. Immediately, one second. But we will not accept. That is our misfortune.
Translator: He says it's difficult for him.
Prabhupada: Why difficult? Obstinacy. It is not difficult, it is obstinacy. "I'll not take," obstinacy. It is not difficult, it is obstinacy. A child can take.
Translator: He says for a child it is actually simple because he's pure and can accept everything we present to him. But he says for us who are older and already engaged in so many contaminated activities...
Prabhupada: No, there is no question. It is apratihata. It cannot be checked by old age or any material condition. He can accept.
Translator: (translating) It's not up to me, though.
Translator: He says we're always forcing him to take prasadam. This is not freedom. (laughter)
Prabhupada: Yes, this child has to be forced to do something. For his interest.
Bhagavan: Prabhupada once gave the analogy sometimes when the horse is sick, the doctor takes the pill in the hand, he puts it down the throat.
Prabhupada: No, we are prepared. Just like horse is not prepared to take the medicine. But four men force him to take the medicine. Nobody was crying for this edition of Bhagavata, but we are forcing, "You must read. You must take." We are printing and forcing everyone. French edition, Bhagavata's edition, they were not dying for this book, but this is our force.
Translator: He says thank you for this first meeting, I hope we will meet again, and when we do I will make these books even look nicer.
Prabhupada: Very good. Do that. That will be service to Krsna. The more you...
Translator: He says he's making the effort in order to know better.
Prabhupada: That is nice.
Bhagavan: Tomorrow we have the schedule of events. At nine o'clock we begin with the initiations, and we'll have the purification with water, and Prthu-putra Maharaja is going to give the lecture on the ten offenses. Then everyone will come back in at ten o'clock and we'll have the bathing beginning then. And that, Jayatirtha and I figured'd be about an hour. So we thought that perhaps towards the end of that, maybe around quarter to eleven, you'd like to come down and either participate in the bathing or give lecture at that time. And then afterwards the Deities will go back on the altar and we'll give the names outside. Is that all right?
Jayatirtha: You don't have to come outside for giving the names.
Prabhupada: That's all right.
Devotees: Jaya Srila Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: Give him this garland
Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, this is another admirer from Switzerland.