Ratha-yatra Arrival Lecture and Press Conference

San Francisco, July 4, 1970
(ecstatic kirtana, prema-dhvani)
Prabhupada: Hare Krsna.
Madhudvisa: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta will now deliver a brief message in regarding the Ratha-yatra festival, following which the members of the press will present their questions to His Divine Grace.
Prabhupada: My dear boys and girls, I thank you very much for your kindly receiving me to serve you. This Ratha-yatra festival is part of our Krsna consciousness movement. This Krsna consciousness movement was started by Lord Krsna five thousand years ago in the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. Perhaps all of you know the famous book of knowledge, Bhagavad-gita. In that Bhagavad-gita, Ninth Chapter, last verse, it is said there, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65], mam evaisyasi kaunteya. In that verse it was assured by (the) Lord that "You always think of Me." Man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah. "Become My devotee." Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji. "Just worship Me. In this way you will come to Me." Mam evaisyasi.
So this Krsna consciousness movement means to utilize to the best possible means this human form of life. We are coming to this human form of life in the evolutionary process from aquatics to reptiles, to plants and trees, then birds and beasts, then human form of life. Out of that human form of life, there are many uncivilized form of life, just above the monkeys. But those who are civilized... Civilized means those who are following the instruction of the Vedas, varnasrama-dharma. The human society (is) divided into four varnas and four asramas. The four varnas are social division, namely the student life, the householder life, the retired life, and renounced life. These four divisions of social life and four divisions of spiritual lifebrahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha..., brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudrain this way there are eight divisions. These eight divisions of human society are very scientifically adopted. It is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita, catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. This civilized division of human society is so perfect that one can gradually, from the aquatic life, can go back to home, back to Godhead.
Devotees: Jaya! Haribol!
Prabhupada: So this Krsna consciousness movement is the greatest boon to the human form of life. When Lord Krsna was present, He advised this Krsna conscious movement in the shape of Bhagavad-gita. Unfortunately, there are many scholars, academic scholars of Bhagavad-gita, but because they do not come in the disciplic succession from Krsna, they misinterpret the real sense of Bhagavad-gita and mislead the whole human society to the darkest region of ignorance.
So when Krsna was present, once upon a time there was a lunar..., solar eclipse. At that time Krsna, with His elder brother and sister... His elder brother's name was Balarama and His younger sister's name was Subhadra. This Subhadra was also wife of Arjuna. So these three brothers and sisters in a chariot came from Dvaraka to Kuruksetra. At that time the inhabitants of Vrndavana... Vrndavana... Krsna's childhood was spent at Vrndavana under the care of His foster father Nanda Maharaja. So when Krsna went to His real father, Vasudeva, at Dvaraka, and came back to Kuruksetra on this occasion of solar eclipse, the inhabitants of Vrndavana, who were suffering too much out of separation from Krsna, they came to see Him. And at that time His beloved Radharani was too much afflicted. She said, "Krsna, You are the same Krsna, I am the same Radharani. But the place is different, Kuruksetra. It is not Vrndavana. Therefore I wish that You come with Me to Vrndavana and let Us enjoy Our previous life." This is the ecstasy of the residents of Vrndavana.
Lord Caitanya, when He appeared, He took sannyasa at the age of twenty-four years, and by His mother's request He was living at Jagannatha Puri. So every year He was taking part in this car festival of Jagannatha. This Jagannatha Deity was established by one King Indradyumna about more than three thousand years ago. This temple is very old. Even in some literatures of your Christian religion I find that Lord Jesus Christ also went to this Jagannatha temple and lived there for sometimes. Of course, how far it is true, that is to be judged by you, but I have read this information in a Christian book, Aquarian Gospel. So if we take this incidence that Lord Jesus Christ also went to Jagannatha temple, then from historical point of view it is two thousand years old. But it is, according to our calculation, it is more than three thousand years old. So this Indradyumna king, he asked Visvakarma to carve the deity of Krsna, Balarama and Subhadra. And there was a time limit. Visvakarma made an agreement that "Unless I finish the deity's carving very nicely, you cannot see me." So door was closed, and the king was very much anxious to see the temple is established very soon. So he forcibly opened the door, and he saw that the deities were half finished. The Deity Jagannatha as you see, it appears half finished. The king decided, "Never mind it is half finished. I shall install these deities in the temple." Since then, the three deities Jagannatha, Balarama and Subhadra are being worshiped in India, Jagannatha Puri. Perhaps you know. And the car festival takes place every year, and millions of people go there to participate in that cart, car festival.
So because we have started this Krsna consciousness movement in your country, this car festival and Lord Caitanya's taking part in this is one of the paraphernalia of our Krsna consciousness movement. And because it revives our consciousness about Krsna, it is an easy process for reviving mass Krsna consciousness. Therefore if you participate in these car festivals, as it is stated in the scriptures, rathe ca vamanam drstva punar janma na vidyate... If you kindly see these Jagannatha deities riding on these cars and in procession, and as Caitanya Mahaprabhu chanted the Hare Krsna mantra in front of this car, then according to our Vedic scripture, if you participate in this festival, in your next life you'll go to back, back to home, back to Godhead.
Devotees: (roar) Jaya! All glories to Prabhupada!
Prabhupada: So at least I'll request you to come and see this car festival. There is no expenditure, but it is simply joyful. You haven't got to pay anything. You simply come, chant Hare Krsna mantra, dance with us, and when you are tired we shall give you nice prasadam. So on behalf of Krsna conscious society I invite you, all boys, girls, ladies, and gentlemen, to take part in this car festival, and I thank you very much.
Madhudvisa: Now His Divine Grace will answer questions from the members of the press.
Pressman: Prabhupada, hi. Why do you think...
Prabhupada: You can sit down.
Pressman: Why do you think a growing number of young Americans are attracted to the Krsna consciousness movement?
Prabhupada: It is very interesting question. Our, this body is combination of matter and spirit. So we have got some temporary necessities of this body. That is called material necessities. So far your country is concerned, your country is opulent. They have got all supplies of the necessities of the body. Now after this, there is another urge, which is described in the Vedanta-sutra as brahma-jijnasa, inquiring about the Supreme Absolute Truth. When one is above material poverty or material necessities of life, the next question isthat is naturalabout spiritual. Because we are combination of matter and spirit, so that spiritual inquiry is there. Therefore generally, these boys and girls, they looked to some Indian swami to give them some enlightenment. Unfortunately, perhaps before me all the swamis who came here, they did not give them the right information. Perhaps they did not know it. So I am giving, delivering, the right message of spiritual life, Bhagavad-gita. It is not manufactured by me or concocted by me. It is the old story, five thousand years. Why five thousands years? If we accept the statement of Bhagavad-gita, this book of knowledge was first discussed with the sun-god some millions of years ago, so it is not a new thing. But in due course of time, sometimes it becomes covered. So Lord Caitanya, five hundred years ago, He wanted to give the spiritual knowledge of Krsna consciousness throughout the whole world, and He has ordered to every Indian that anyone who has taken birth as a human being in India should preach this transcendental knowledge throughout the whole world. So perhaps previously..., means somebody have preached this Krsna consciousness knowledge, but since 1965 or '66, since I started this movement from New York, generally all the boys and girls, younger section, they are very much kind upon me, and they are coming to me. And I am very glad to have them. I am just training them to the right spiritual standard of life and I am happy they are abiding by them.
Devotees: All glories to Prabhupada!
Pressman: Prabhupada, do you have any advice for ordinary Americans?
Prabhupada: This is open for everyone, not ordinary or extraordinary. Anyone can come and chant with us and take advantage of this Krsna consciousness movement. Unfortunately, the elderly people, they do not think that it is necessary. That is the difficulty. Rather, we invite not only these boys and girlstheir fathers, their grandfathers. Let all of them come and scrutinizingly study this philosophy. We have got hundreds of books. It is the, Krsna consciousness movement, it is understandable even by the child and even by the greatest philosopher of the day. Recently I had some talks with Dr. Stahl on this high level understanding of Krsna consciousness. So if philosophers, scientists, thinkers, they come to me, we can convince them how this Krsna consciousness movement is important for the whole human society. Yes.
Madhudvisa: Any other questions?
Pressman: Do you know...
Prabhupada: Call, call that gentleman. (pause)
Devotees: Haribol! Prabhupada! Mercy! Mercy, Prabhupada!
Pressman: Do you know how many followers there are in the United States now?
Prabhupada: Unlimited. (devotees roar) Some of them admit and some of them do not admit. That's all. (laughter) Everyone is eternally servant of God, but some of them admit and some of them do not admit. That is the difficulty. But anyone who does not admit, he is servant of somebody. That is a fact. He cannot be master. Everyone is servant. But one who knows that "I am servant of Krsna," his life is perfect. That's all. Please try to understand this point that everyone is servant. Even your president is servant of the nation. So nobody can say that "I am no one's servant." He is servant, but he does not know that actually he is the servant of the Supreme Lord. That is his ignorance. We are just eradicating this ignorance, that "You are servant, but you admit that you are servant of God. That will make your life successful." That's all. Therefore I say that there are unlimited followers. Some of them admit and some of them do not admit. That is the difficulty. But if anyone comes to me, I shall make him to admit.
Yes. (devotees roar) Hare Krsna. That's all, anyone? Finish?
Madhudvisa: Yes.
Prabhupada: Have sankirtana. Or let us go?
Madhudvisa: We can have a more... All right. Begin kirtana. (end)

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