August 14, 1971, London
Revatīnandana: So their residence place is not very far away, and she was curious. She came over a few days ago to find out more about Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Guest (1) English lady: I've seen a few about the street.
Guest (1): We live down there, you see, and we've seen them several times in the street singing, and asked them what you're doing, really.
Prabhupāda: You can keep it here. It may fall down. No. So do you know something about our movement?
Guest (1): I've been told something about it, the other day.
Prabhupāda: We are preaching God consciousness. God is God. God is neither Christian, nor Hindu, nor Muslim. God is God. So everyone should be God conscious. That is our movement. We are preaching love of Godhead. So it doesn't matter what type of religion one is following. We simply want to see that he has love for God. Our bhāgavata-dharma defines: that is first-class religion following which one becomes a lover of God. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje [SB 1.2.6]. That is first-class religion if by following that one becomes a lover of God. It doesn't matter what religion he is following, but the test will be whether he has become a lover of God. That is our...
Guest (1): So you don't try to convert people from other religions.
Guest (1): One can be Christian and...
Prabhupāda: Anyway. We are teaching how to love God. That's all.
Guest (1): Yes. So we're doing the same thing.
Prabhupāda: Yes. But the test is there, whether he has become a lover of God or lover of dog. That is the test. If you find that he has become a lover of dog, then his religion is useless.
Guest (1): How does he know?
Prabhupāda: You can see whether he's loving God or dog. That's all. That you can see. Everyone can see, whether he has got good love for dog or good love for God. That you can see. Anyone can see. The test is there. Crucial test is there.
Revatīnandana: Jesus used the expression loving God or loving mammon.
Prabhupāda: That says, or... Everyone says different way. Mammon or dog is expression in the faith. That is the test. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says:
Yugāyitaṁ, "Every moment is just like twelve years." Cakṣuṣā pravṛṣāyitam, "crying like torrents of rain." Cakṣuṣā pravṛṣāyitam, śūnyāyitaṁ jagat sarvaṁ. "Oh, I find everything is vacant." Govinda viraheṇa me, "without God, without..." This is an ideal picture. So another test is, bhaktiḥ pareśānubhava-viraktir anyatra syāt. If one has become lover of God, naturally he will be detached to material enjoyment. Love of God and love of material world cannot go together. Either this or that. Just like Lord Jesus Christ. He never advised to, for economic development, for industrial development, or this and that. So many things. He sacrificed everything for God. That is one test, that "Here is a lover of God." He was punished that "You, you stop this preaching," but he did not. So that is love of God. He sacrificed everything. That is love of God. So the ideal is Lord Jesus Christ, and the follower must be, at least to some extent, to that point. That is test. So we say that you follow any religious path. That doesn't matter. We want to see whether you are lover of God. That is our propaganda. And if one is serious about loving God, it doesn't matter in which way he'll develop that dormant love. It doesn't matter. Just like one, a person wants to be a very nice student of mathematics. It doesn't matter from which university he takes the degree. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. He can go. Just like students are coming from one country to another, one country to another. Because his aim is education. So if one is serious about loving God, then it doesn't matter in which way he learns that art. It doesn't matter. He won't discriminate, "Oh, I must learn this art from this university." No. Any university. It doesn't matter. So our principle is that we are teaching love of God. So actually, those who are after God, they are coming. It doesn't matter whether he is in America, in Russia, in Africa, or Canada. It doesn't matter. They are coming. And method is simple. Chant the holy name of God. If you have got any name, you chant. We preach this. We don't say that you chant Kṛṣṇa. If you have got any name, God's name, then chant that.
Guest (1): We say Jesus Christ.
Prabhupāda: But Jesus Christ never said that He is God. He said "Son of God." We have no objection to chant the name, holy name of Jesus Christ. We have no objection. But we are preaching that "Chant the holy name of God." If you haven't got any name of God, then you chant our conception of name of God, Kṛṣṇa. We don't say Kṛṣṇa.
nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis
tatrārpitā niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ
etādṛśī tava kṛpā bhagavān mamāpi
durdaivam īdṛśam ihājani nānurāgaḥ
Lord Caitanya says, in each and every name of God... There are many names of God. But in each and every name of God, the full potency of God is there. So... And there is no hard and fast rule for chanting the holy name of God. Anywhere, at anytime, anyone, in any circumstances, he can chant. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu says "My Lord, You are so merciful that in this age..." Why...? Not in this age. Every age. "You are always in full potency in Your name. And I can associate with You simply by chanting Your holy name. But I am so unfortunate, I have no attraction for that." A simple thing, to chant the name. God has become so kind, "You simply chant My name." But I am so unfortunate, I have no attraction for that. Now, these people are being taught... They have got this bead bag. I have also got. Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare, Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare. Now where is the loss? If I chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, where is the loss? And where is the want of time? They are walking on the street, Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare, Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare. I am sitting here, and now I'm talking with you. As soon as I finish talking, I shall chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. So where is the difficulty? But ask people to chant the holy name of God, he won't accept. Unfortunate. And such simple thing. He hasn't got to go to church, to temple, or to go to hell or heaven. In whatever condition he is, he can chant holy name of God. But they're so unfortunate, they won't accept this theory. Etādṛśī tava kṛpā. "So God is so merciful, but I am so unfortunate that I cannot chant His holy name." There is no charges, there is no fee, there is no loss. If there is some gain, why not try for it? And the gain is there. That you practically see. Because these boys from Europe, America, and other places, they were... I do not wish to discuss. (laughter) But just see the process now. Not the process one has... Other has to calculate. Then calculate, then serve. Yes. There is so much profit.
Guest (1): We see that.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So what you want more? Therefore let us cooperate. Don't think that it is against Christianism or it is sectarian. Let us cooperate fully. Jointly, let us preach all over the world, "Chant the holy name of God." Let us join together. That should be the real purpose of devotees of God. Here is... They are preaching love of God. Why should we be envious about them? It doesn't matter. We don't say that you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. If you have got name of God, you chant it. That's all. But we are preaching this cult, that chant the holy name of God. That's all. So what objection there may be from other sects? But they are envious. Because the younger generation are taking to it, so they are envious. Why they are envious? We wanted to purchase one church, and the priest in charge said that "I shall better burn this church. I shall not give them." Just see. Why? What we have done wrong? This is the very statement. "Better I shall burn this church, but I won't give them." Then? What we have done?
Guest (1): Don't worry about that.
Prabhupāda: No, I don't worry. That is another thing. But there are so many vacant churches. They are for sale. But as soon as we go, they refuse. "No."
Guest (1): When you chant, do you have to think what you're saying? How can you do other things?
Prabhupāda: Other things?
Guest (1): Well, many things require your concentration.
Prabhupāda: Well, let us first of all chant the holy name. Then we shall think of concentration.
Guest (1): You see, two, two things... You can't...
Prabhupāda: No. Concentrate, concentration automatically. If I chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and I hear, that is concentration. That is concentration. Immediately.
Guest (1): But you can't read or talk to someone.
Prabhupāda: There is no question of reading. We are simply asking to chant. Reading will come later on. Just like a small child, he's taught... In our educational system they chant... What is that? That...? (Hindi) Pahara pahara.(?)
Indian man: Pahara. Alphabet. A.I.E.
Prabhupāda: They chant. By chanting, by hearing they learn. "A,B,C," like that. "2 plus 2 equal to 4." We did it in our childhood. One boy will chant like that. "2 plus 2 equal to 4." And we shall repeat. "2 plus 2 equal to 4." So repeating three times, I understand 2 plus 2 equal to 4.
Guest (1): Do you find that the chant goes on in your heart?
Revatīnandana: Do you find that the chant goes on in your heart?
Prabhupāda: Why not? Why not?
Guest (1): It goes deeper and deeper?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Everything we hear, it goes to the heart. If I call you by name, it does not go to my heart? "You rascal. You stupid." You hear. Does it not go to my heart? Why I become angry unless it goes to my heart. If "rascal," "stupid," and all these bad names go to my heart, why God's name will not go to my heart? If by calling you by ill names you become angry, that means it goes to your heart. Why not good name? It goes. It enters through the ear and goes to the heart.
Guest (1): I'm doing that, saying sometimes a little prayer...
Prabhupāda: So if you repeatedly chant, it will remain. It will always remain in your heart.
Guest (1): Always going on.
Prabhupāda: Yes. There is no chance of escape. Chant constantly, Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare, Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare. It remains in the heart. Not only my heart. Others' heart, they also joke, "Hare Kṛṣṇa!" If it can remain in others' heart, why not my heart? Those who are joking me, imitating me. We... Last time, when I was going in Africa, I stopped for few minutes in Athens. Some of the younger residents chant, "Hare Kṛṣṇa!" You see? As soon as they saw us, they began to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. They could understand, "These are Hare Kṛṣṇa people." Yes. So by their dress, by their tilaka, they oblige others to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, either for imitating or for joking. So they gain. But if Hare Kṛṣṇa chanting has got any effect, even by joking like that, he'll get gain. If it is actually spiritual, by simply joking he will get gain.
Revatīnandana: In Manchester across the street from the temple there's a big park. Sometimes I would go over there to walk and chant rounds, and there's many little children in the park. They'd follow me, "Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa!" All day. Hundred times.
Prabhupāda: Everywhere. Everywhere. In Bombay, everywhere we go, "Hare Kṛṣṇa." In Montreal. They joke, they'll clap, but they'll chant. And that is wanted. I want to see that everyone is chanting. And if chanting has effect, then either he's chanting jokingly or seriously it will have the effect. Fire, if you touch either jokingly or seriously or cautiously, it will act. So our request is that you also preach this cult. Let us cooperate. The whole world is suffering for want of God consciousness. So it is the duty of all religious sects to teach this simple art of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa or any other name which you have got. That's all.
Revatīnandana: They have got this prayer, "Lord Jesus have mercy on me, a miserable sinner." And she was showing me they have a, almost like japa beads. Show him.
Guest (1): You see, here.
Guest (1): We do it in some, together, in the orthodox church. And we take turns doing two hundred.
Prabhupāda: That's nice.
Guest (1): And... These are for counting.
Guest (1): "Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on us."
Prabhupāda: Oh, what is the wording?
Guest (1): "Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on us."
Prabhupāda: "Lord Jesus Christ, son of God..."
Revatīnandana: "Have mercy on us."
Guest (1): It's a little prayer.
Prabhupāda: That's nice.
Guest (1): And they also pray to the mother of God.
Prabhupāda: Sinful? "We are sinful?" You say, "sinful" something? "Forgive some sins" or something like?
Haṁsadūta: "Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on us." That is the prayer.
Guest (1): And you say it in your own language.
Prabhupāda: That's all right. "Lord Jesus Christ, the son of God, have mercy on us." That's nice. Very good.
Guest (1): (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: That is nice. Now, the, by praying, it is expected that one should have mercy of God. So what is the test that he has got the mercy of God?
Guest (1): The mercy of God is the love of God, isn't it?
Prabhupāda: That's it. Mercy of... So... That is the test, that he has learned how to love God. Kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te [Cc. Madhya 19.53]. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is also worshiped, that "You can give love of God." Kṛṣṇa prema-pradāya te. Namo mahā-vadānyāya. "You are the most munificent of all incarnations because You are distributing love of God." Kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te [Cc. Madhya 19.53]. Kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmne. "You are Kṛṣṇa in the form of devotee of Kṛṣṇa. So I offer my respects." This is Rūpa Gosvāmī's prayer.
Guest (1): Do you find that you chant, it clarifies you?
Prabhupāda: Yes, certainly. God and God's name, and God or God's son, they are nondifferent. So either I be in touch with God's son or God's name, I am in touch with God. But they are nondifferent.
Guest (1): What happens to your mind? What do you do with your mind when you chant?
Prabhupāda: Whatever it may be in my mind, it doesn't matter. My mind may be different.
Guest (1): Where does it have to be? It has to be fixed?
Revatīnandana: What will the mind be doing?
Haṁsadūta: While chanting.
Revatīnandana: What should the mind be doing?
Prabhupāda: My mind should be absorbed in God consciousness. That is, that is the effect. He can think of God only, nothing else. That is the effect.
Guest (1): It's very difficult to think of God.
Prabhupāda: No. It is not difficult. It is difficult for the sinners. Those who are not sinners, it is not difficult. Because in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said:
yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ
bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ
One can chant the holy name of the Lord if one is free from all sinful activities. A person who is engaged in sinful activities, he cannot concentrate. Therefore we ask our students, first discipline is that he must not have illicit sex life, he must not eat meat, he must not take any kind of intoxication, he must not indulge in gambling. Because these are sinful activities. So if one is engaged in these sinful activities, he cannot concentrate. It is impossible. One who is sinner, he cannot concentrate his mind on God. So voluntarily we should give up these sinful activities. Then it will be possible.
Guest (1): There's a lot more ...sins than just those four things.
Prabhupāda: Yes. These are the four principles of sinful activities.
Guest (1): If you're irritated with somebody.
Revatīnandana: She says if you're irritated with somebody, this is also a sin.
Prabhupāda: No, that is...
Guest (1): Your mind can be filled with this kind of sin.
Prabhupāda: Irritated... If your mind is in peace... If you are not indulging in intoxication, gambling, illicit sex, then your mind will not be irritated. How a gambler can be in peaceful mind? That is not possible. How a drunkard can be in peaceful mind? Agitation is for them who are simply engaged in sinful life. Those who are not engaged in sinful life, naturally they are peaceful. Their mind is not agitated. Vegetarians are naturally peaceful. Just see between a dog and a cow. (laughter). Dog unnecessarily will talk: "Gow! Gow! Gow! Gow!" (makes barking sound) without any fault. "Why you are here? Why you are here? Why you are here?" That is dog's qualification. A cow, so useful animal, it will never agitate. The dog has no use, but still he's the best friend. (laughter) And cow, actually giving us milk, sending to the slaughterhouse. Just see. This is human civilization. A dog is worshiped, and a cow is slaughtered. Do you think it is civilization? Do you think? Can you support this?
Guest (1): Well, I had a friend who was a vegetarian...
Prabhupāda: No, apart from this, these two animals. One is dog, and another is cow. So dog is worshiped and cow is sent to the slaughterhouse. What kind of civilization it is? Huh?
Prabhupāda: Less than! Cow is supporting the whole society with milk. Every morning, without milk, we cannot live. The child, without milk, cannot live. She should be treated as mother. And they are being sent to the slaughterhouse. And still, they are thinking of becoming free from sinful life. Can anyone kill his own mother? "Oh, mother is old and useless. Let her be killed. Burden." Is that very gratitude for the mother by the son?
Revatīnandana: They do that. As soon as the cow is too old to give milk, immediately slaughterhouse. I was talking to one man, he was a cowherdsman here in England. He said he couldn't stand it. He said a nice cow, she would get old, she couldn't give milk anymore, immediately slaughterhouse. Just like that. The most disgusting thing.
Prabhupāda: (people coming in) Oh. You come forward. Give him seat. Śivānanda, you come... You can sit there. Yes. So the God consciousness can be awakened if you stop sinful activities. Otherwise, it is impossible. You go on preaching for millions of years; there will be no God consciousness. There will be no God consciousness. That is the... in Bhagavad-gītā. (people sitting down) Why? You can come here, this side.
Haṁsadūta: You can sit here.
Prabhupāda: Yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ [Bg. 7.28]. One who has finished sinful activities, he can be engaged in God consciousness. One who is engaged in sinful activities, he cannot. Devil citing scripture. A devīl cannot cite scripture. Angel can cite scripture. And according to our ācāryas, Sanātana Gosvāmī, he says that "Don't hear scriptures from the devīl." Avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇaṁ pūtaṁ hari-kathāmṛtaṁ śravaṇaṁ naiva kartavyam." If a devīl's preaching about God, don't hear." If you say, "God is pure, so let me hear about God. It doesn't matter whether he is devīl or angel. It doesn't matter." No. The argument is sarpocchiṣṭaṁ payo yathā. Just like milk is very nourishing food, but if it is touched by the lips, by the tongue of a serpent, it becomes poison. Sarpocchiṣṭaṁ payo yathā. You cannot bring the milk which is touched by the serpent's tongue. So we should receive knowledge of God, message of God, from a person who is not a devīl. Then it will be effective. Otherwise, it will act as poison. Caitanya Mahāprabhu's principle is āpani ācari prabhu jīveri śikṣāya. He first of all behaves himself, and then he preaches. So if the preacher is sinful, how he can deliver other sinful men by his so-called preaching. That is not possible. He must be pure, he must be sinless. Then his preaching will be effective. But in all conditions, if we, with faith and love we chant the holy name of God, we shall become gradually purified. There is no, I mean to say, cause of anxiety. Anyone who will chant this holy name, he'll be purified.
Revatīnandana: That line, jaya sakal vipod bhaktivinod bolen jakhon o nām gāy.
Prabhupāda: O nām gāy, yes.
Revatīnandana: All obstacles will go away if you chant the holy name.
Prabhupāda: According to Bhagavad-gītā, there are four classes of men who deride at God and four classes of men who approaches God.
Atheist class of men, who are always engaged in sinful activities, and therefore fools... They don't believe in the next life. Therefore they are fools. There is next life. They say, "Oh, we don't care for next life. Let us do whatever we like." That is a foolish proposition. Because there is next life. Just like a man he becomes irresponsible. He says, "I don't care for government or law. I can do whatever I like." That means he's risking his life. As soon as he'll be arrested, he'll be punished. Therefore he's mūḍha, rascal. Anyone who is defying the kingdom of God, he's a rascal. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ [Bg. 7.15]. Narādhamāḥ, is lowest of the mankind. God consciousness is meant for human beings, and if a person defies God, then he's the lowest of the mankind. māyayāpahṛta-jñānā. His knowledge has been plundered by the illusory energy. He may be academically a very big title holder, but if he's not God conscious, then his knowledge has been taken away. Real knowledge has been taken away. Asuriṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ. These are the symptoms of the atheist class of men. So on the whole, at the present moment, God consciousness must be spread if actually they want peace and prosperity. And those who are in charge of religion, religion means God consciousness. Everyone should combine to spread God consciousness. That is the immediate necessity at the present moment.
Guest (1): People find it very difficult today...
Prabhupāda: It is not difficult. It is just like this, I gave you this example. Three years or two years before it was difficult. And it is not difficult. It has to be trained.
Guest (1): For people outside.
Revatīnandana: People outside, she says, they find it difficult even to believe in God now.
Prabhupāda: No, therefore propaganda is required. They are rascal fools, but we are not rascal and fools. We must preach.
Guest (1): Well, you can't preach until you are purified.
Prabhupāda: Eh? No, purification will go on. Suppose you are... Just like we are holding, what I... I began this propaganda in the Western countries. I was sitting in a park, Thompkinson's? What is that?
Revatīnandana: Thompkins Square.
Prabhupāda: Thompkins Square in New York. I was simply chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, and they used to gather. And gradually, they became my disciples, students. So I began in this way, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare... For three hours, from two to five. That's all. And they are still doing that. They are going on the street. This Hare Kṛṣṇa, the same thing, is going on. They are being arrested sometimes. They are being harassed. But still, they don't give up. They chant. This boy in Germany, I sent in Germany. He sat down on the footpath and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. This boy. Practically, he started my European movement, he started first.
Guest (2) Gentlemen: Have you been harassed in London at all?
Prabhupāda: I don't think, but they are Londoners. They know better than me.
Devotee: Yes, we have been harassed many times. We have been arrested and left from the prison about twelve o'clock, one o'clock in the night, and then we were far from that place to here.
Devotee: When was that?
Revatīnandana: The last time was a week ago. (laughs)
Guest (2): Would you say that the Americans are generally less tolerant than Londoners to you or more tolerant?
Revatīnandana: America or here?
Guest (2): Yes. Which is the worse and which is the better?
Prabhupāda: America is more tolerant, I think.
Devotee: More tolerant. (laughs) America is more tolerant. But they're not arresting now, you see, and wherever they go, they chant freely, but here almost every week we are arrested on the streets and harassed.
Guest (2): Is it because possibly because you are less well known over here than in America?
Revatīnandana: No. Because a very conservative legal system and obsolete laws, like that.
Guest (1): What law can arrest you?
Devotee: Well, we fought this out in the court here and the magistrate allowed that we can chant. There is no law who can stop chanting. But the police, authorities, they say, well, "You are obstructing the traffic." And under that we are arrested.
Prabhupāda: They can find out anything.
Devotee: An excuse. It's an excuse.
Revatīnandana: "Blocking the traffic, disturbing the peace..."
Haṁsadūta: Anyway, the original purpose of America was to have religious freedom. Therefore they left England.
Revatīnandana: There is constitutional guarantee...
Haṁsadūta: So they still have some respect for people who are trying to glorify God.
Prabhupāda: In American in every court case, we win. (laughter)
Revatīnandana: Well, we lost here several times.
Devotee: Last, year, when we went to the police authorities for our procession here, and we wanted to make three rathas and the police officer, he was so envious, he said, "No. There is no law, we can put three rathas on the street." We said, "What is the harm? Won't you give us protection?" "So many people will be dying and killed under the ratha. If the ratha is so big and all that. People will be killed." I said, "They are big all over the world. This is for God consciousness."
Prabhupāda: So many people are dying by motor accidents, but do they stop motor car?
English guest: Do you think the situation will get better in London.
Guest (2): You do?
Guest (2): Say, if the average London policeman, if he could be convinced to chant.
Revatīnandana: Convinced? No. Some of them are less hostile, some of them more hostile, naturally. We can chant on one side of Oxford St., but we cannot chant on the other side of the street because there's two different police departments. It's like that. There is no hard and fast way to figure it out. You just have to try it and see.
Devotee: One night at Picadilly Circus we were eight and four were arrested, and four other people, no, they let them go. So I said, "No, I was arrested." (laughter) When they went to the court, Prabhupāda, they got one pound five each... They were altogether eight, and four were arrested. They also doing the same offense. It is same offense. So he said, "All right, let them go."
Guest (2): Can I ask about your rate... about growth? How, can ask how the movement is growing? Can you give me any figures at all? I was speaking to one of your colleagues earlier who mentioned 150, but seventy-five approximately which were in London. Are the figures growing week by week?
Prabhupāda: Yes. I started this movement alone, and now there are eight thousand.
Guest (2): I'm talking about in Britain.
Revatīnandana: Same thing. Yes, every few days somebody joins.
Guest (2): Can you tell me how many of those actually stay?
Haṁsadūta: Oh, 99% stay.
Guest (2): And what is the figure likely to be? Five a week, ten a week?
Prabhupāda: We don't keep any statistics, but actually the fact is that I started alone; now we are eight thousand.
Guest (2): I'm sorry, I didn't quite get that...
Haṁsadūta: Five years ago, Prabhupāda, he came to New York with these kartāls, and he began alone by sitting in a park underneath a tree chanting this very same Hare Kṛṣṇa, which you see the boys on Oxford St. chanting. And now there are eight thousand students all over the world, and approximately a hundred centers. At that time, Śrīla Prabhupāda didn't even have a place for himself. But now he has a place in every major city.
Guest (2): You used the word "student" here. You're referring to this as...
Haṁsadūta: Yes, because it's an education. This is a spiritual education.
Guest (2): This doesn't tie up with the figure that I've been given, though, 150. There must be more than that.
Haṁsadūta: No, we're talking about around the world.
Guest (2): But you would accept there's 150?
Haṁsadūta: Yes, in England.
Guest (2): No, five years ago.
Prabhupāda: In 1966.
Haṁsadūta: In 1966.
Prabhupāda: No, England we started in 1968.
Devotee: That 150 is those who have fully dedicated their life, but there are thousands who are followers and admirers who have not joined here.
Prabhupāda: They are admirers.
Devotee: They are admirers and they are... there are thousands of...
Guest (1): Encouraging people to chant the name of God in their own religion.
Guest (1): You don't have to change your religion. Like we are Christians. In the orthodox church, they say that (indistinct)
Guest (2): To be a member you don't have to change your religion? Is this a fact?
Guest (1): To be a member, here a member here, you do, don't you? Or do you?
Revatīnandana: To live in this temple you have to take up fully our principles and take up our activities of preaching work and like that. But to practice these things outside, even in one's own religion, without changing the basis of his belief, he can simply devote himself to God in these ways. And if one is young and not so attached, he can take it up fully. He can take it up in part, or he can take it up... And religious system, there are names of God. You simply chant it.
Guest (2): (indistinct) an associate member if you like.
Guest (1): I've only just (indistinct) asking about it.
Revatīnandana: Everyone is a member...
Guest (2): If you're a member, you have to practice the whole thing obviously. [break]
Revatīnandana: Everyone is a member of this movement. But some people have forgotten. Our movement is to remind them. Every living being is by nature a servant of God. Now people are forgetting. We want them to remember. We don't care for some difference of technique in worship. We want people to take up the business of chanting the names of God.
Prabhupāda: Just as in the same family some of the sons have forgotten father and some of them remember, but both of them member of the same family. Because he has forgotten his father does not mean that he is not son. He still remains. So actually, everyone is a member of God's family. That is our vision. Not only human being, but animals also. We therefore consider animals also brothers. We don't support animal killing.
Guest (1): (indistinct) in your four principles.
Revatīnandana: We follow strictly these four principles. Just like this: no animal killing, no eating of animal foodstuff including meat, fish and eggs; don't take any kind of intoxicant, even tea, coffee.
Guest (2): You're still on number one?
Revatīnandana: No, that's number two.
Guest (2): Let me get number one first. No animal killing, yes?
Revatīnandana: And no animal slaughter, no taking of animal foodstuffs including meat, fish, or eggs.
Guest (2): No animal foodstuff.
Guest (1): Not milk.
Revatīnandana: Milk we have, surely. We don't have to kill the animal to take the milk. Meat, fish and eggs we don't take. No intoxications of any kind.
Guest (2): You're on number two now.
Revatīnandana: Number two. No intoxication. That includes even tea, coffee, cigarettes, very strictly. No gambling.
Guest (2): You're on three now.
Revatīnandana: Number three, no gambling. And number four, no illicit sex life. That means no sex life whatsoever outside of marriage. And in marriage, sex life is to beget children and raise them to love God. So we follow these four principles very strictly. In this way we purify our lives and then we can develop spiritual emotion of love of God.
Guest (2): Uh, let's look at the... I quite see these four principles. I wonder if one could look at it slightly from a positive side. You said no animal killing, slaughter and no intoxicants.
Revatīnandana: These are four "nos."
Guest (2): Yes. Fine. Fine. Let's look at the "yes's." What exactly can you eat?
Revatīnandana: We can eat anything: fruit, vegetables, milk products, grains, sugar, nuts, all kinds of vegetable foodstuffs.
Guest (2): Broadly speaking, anything that comes out of the earth.
Revatīnandana: Yes. And we can eat it after it's been offered to the Lord with love and devotion. This we call prasādam or Kṛṣṇa's mercy.
Prabhupāda: Actually, any foodstuff is Kṛṣṇa's mercy. Any foodstuff is Kṛṣṇa's, God's mercy. Just like grain. You cannot manufacture grain. It is by God's mercy you get it.
Guest (2): Have you any view on food that's been (indistinct) insects are killed, insecticide? Sort of thing?
Haṁsadūta: No, our point is to get the nicest foodstuff available and prepare it nicely for Kṛṣṇa, offer it to Kṛṣṇa, and then distribute it. That is the point.
Guest (2): I quite appreciate with respect the clause on alcohol. I'm puzzled, though, why anything on cigarettes. I'm puzzled about tea and coffee frankly.
Revatīnandana: Stimulants and depressants of all kinds, mild or strong, doesn't make any difference. You're taking a stimulant or a depressant, or a cigarette or a drink of coffee. It will agitate your mind with a chemical.
Guest (2): So what can you drink?
Revatīnandana: Milk, water, fruit juices, so many things.
Haṁsadūta: If you don't get cigarettes, you won't die. If you don't get cigarettes...
Guest (2): Oh no, no, I wouldn't question that.
Haṁsadūta: That's the point. They are unnecessary, artificial.
Guest (1): We're so used to tea and coffee.
Guest (2): Gambling I understand. The attitude to sex and so on is really fundamental to the Catholic attitude, isn't it?
Guest (1): But does the Catholic church allow tea?
Guest (2): I was talking about basic, those who are involved in...
Revatīnandana: It's fundamentally a God conscious attitude, that this body, this human body is meant for spiritual realization. The fact that the body has got sexual desire, therefore we make a concession for that. We use it for begetting good children. If one wants to marry, he can marry and have good children, and raise them to love God. But the real purpose of human life is not just to enjoy sex life like the cats and dogs. Human life has got a higher purpose. So therefore we believe that our human energy should be utilized in that way, for reducing the eating, the sleeping, the sex life. Reducing these things to the minimum, as much as necessary, rather than as much as possible. And having as much as necessary, that leaves most of our time and energy for cultivating our God consciousness. See what I mean? Therefore the idea is that sex life is the highest happiness for man, we don't subscribe to that. It's the biggest happiness in this material world. But spiritual life means unending happiness. A human being can experience this. The dog or cat can't. So for them there is eating, sleeping, sex life, defending themselves. But a human being can experience higher pleasure in God consciousness. So we think that... Therefore we use our energy in that direction.
Guest (1): So it isn't a negation of pleasure, but it's a higher pleasure.
Guest (2): Can I ask...
Prabhupāda: This is very important point, that we are not negating pleasure, but we are trying to bring them to the highest pleasure.
Revatīnandana: She made this observation, that this is not to stop our enjoying, but this is higher enjoyment.
Guest (2): When you come into this movement, you come in from on the outside, in the material world and so on. Do you, as some monks do in monasteries, do you give all your wealth, all your possessions, everything, as it were, to the movement?
Prabhupāda: Not necessarily. Why?
Revatīnandana: Not necessarily. But generally yes. Because we're coming here to serve Kṛṣṇa and we understand that everything is Kṛṣṇa's. So whatever we come with is automatically Kṛṣṇa's, so we use it in His service.
Prabhupāda: Actually, we don't possess anything. Everything is Kṛṣṇa's. What we possess, so-called possession, that is illegal. Because I cannot possess your property. I can possess your property by stealing. Not by fair dealings.
Guest (2): So it's a voluntary thing, really?
Guest (1): I can possess it if you give it to me.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is nice. So that is our philosophy. Tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā [Īśo mantra 1]. Whatever God has given you, you possess. Don't try to possess other's property. Mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam. Everything belongs to God, so whatever God gives me, you enjoy it. I take it. I don't encroach upon other's property.
Guest (1): You use your own, responsibly.
Prabhupāda: Yes. I should feel grateful. "Oh, God has given me this thing, so whatever utility is there, first of all I must offer to God." God has given me this grain to eat, so I must cook and first of all offer to God, and then I shall eat." This is feeling gratitude, grateful.
Guest (1): Would you use, say, cars if it were given you?
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Haṁsadūta: If someone gives us an automobile would we use it?
Revatīnandana: Things like that.
Prabhupāda: Yes, why not?
Revatīnandana: Just like this tape recorder.
Prabhupāda: Because originally, everything is possession of God.
Guest (1): If you had a big house, a rich house. You would use that?
Prabhupāda: Yes. We shall turn into temple.
Prabhupāda: Immediately. (laughter) We are searching after. If you can give, it will be very much...
Guest (1): To put beautiful things in it?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Wherever we shall go, we cannot go without God. So if we get a palatial house, immediately make a very gorgeous, nice temple, and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and dance. That's all. We can utilize anything. Because everything is belonging to God. So as soon as we get something, we utilize it for God. That is our philosophy.
Guest (1): Who controls, if one of the members becomes grasping, wants things for himself...?
Prabhupāda: No, what... We are therefore teaching. We are therefore teaching. Members are gradually learning how to sacrifice for God. So when he is completely trained up, he knows that nothing belongs to Him. Everything belongs to God. Therefore, whatever he possesses, it must be utilized for God's purposes. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness. We take it for granted, and that is a fact. Everything belongs to God. God, whatever God has given me for my use, so I must use it, first of all expressing my gratitude to God, "O God, You are so kind that You have given me this. So first of all you taste it. Then I'll eat." This is our philosophy.
Guest (1): What about pleasures like listening to music?
Prabhupāda: Yes, we chant the glories of God.
Guest (1): Could you listen to other peoples' music?
Prabhupāda: Huh? No. If he's chanting the glories of God, we are very eager to hear him. That is our process. Or somebody's chanting, somebody's hearing. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇu. Chanting and hearing about God, that is music.
Guest (1): Well, a Beethoven symphony, for example, could you listen to that?
Prabhupāda: Which one?
Revatīnandana: Beethoven's symphony. He means classical Western music. They make some music.
Prabhupāda: But if it is glorification of God, we can hear. There is no objection.
Revatīnandana: But there may be no reference to God in it.
Prabhupāda: No, then we don't hear. We reject.
Guest (1): Inspired by God, given by God.
Prabhupāda: Given by God is everything. That is another thing. Just like everything is government property. But do you like to go to the prisonhouse? We say everything belongs to government. We are not so liberal, that "Because everything belongs to government, therefore I shall go to the prisonhouse."
Guest (2): I'm sorry, I didn't get that.
Guest (1): I take everything is good because it belongs to God, but you do choose, in fact, or you wouldn't choose to waste your time when you should be doing something else.
Prabhupāda: But for God's cause we can go. Just like these boys are sometimes arrested and put into jail. That is God's cause. But they are not prepared to go to the jail by pickpocketing. That is not their mission. They are executing God's business and if somebody puts him into jail, "All right. It is God's desire. That's all."
Revatīnandana: The point is that there must be direct connection with God. If God's name is there, if God's service is there, if God's form is there, then we are interested.
Guest (1): Well, if you're relaxing, if you need to relax, and you sit and listen to some music, it doesn't say praise God all the time, but in fact is, because it's beautiful.
Prabhupāda: No, we don't accept anything beautiful without God. Without God, everything is ugly to us. Everything ugly.
Guest (1): So you have to bless it by offering it to God first.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is another thing.
Revatīnandana: Just like we have so many beautiful songs and melodies and everything. They're very nice. And we sing these songs. They are glorifying the Lord. And we enjoy like that. Music is there, everything is there, but because it is directly in the devotional service of God, therefore there is this bhakti, there is this devotion there. Devotion to God. Without that, everything becomes void. Tasteless.
Guest (2): Can I get one point straight? Is the Beethoven symphony all right provided it is blessed as an object and a work of art. Is it then all right? Or is it not all right because it doesn't use religious themes?
Haṁsadūta: Originally, music and art were employed only to glorify the Lord in the scripture and...
Haṁsadūta: Gradually, if you study our history, music history, God was left out. Just like you will see landscapes, and there's nothing in there about God. It was left out. But originally the landscape, there was some depiction of the activities of God or His representative.
Guest (2): So a Beethoven symphony is not all right.
Haṁsadūta: It's not a matter of Beethoven symphony. Art means to glorify God. If God is in the... Just like this picture. There is a mountain, there is sky, but what is the point there? The point is Kṛṣṇa. There's a book, but the point is the spiritual master. Here's a landscape, but the point is Kṛṣṇa.
Guest (2): The original point I'm trying to get at...
Haṁsadūta: If there is some music, you must hear something about God's activity.
Guest (2): But suppose that was a beautiful landscape on its own, just the landscape, then it's worthless?
Revatīnandana: Limited and temporary enjoyment only. Limited and temporary enjoyment.
Guest (2): But you accept that the temporary enjoyment is there, would you?
Prabhupāda: Now, even there was no God's picture, one who is God conscious, he can see in the natural scenery presentation, he can see, "Oh, how God is artistic. How he has manufactured this flower, how he has painted, how He has made this tree." So that is higher intelligence. That is higher intelligence. Because without God, there can be nothing existing. So one has to learn how to see God in everything. That is another thing. That is higher status. Yes. But in the lower status of God consciousness one is advised that you should not see anything without God. But in the higher status, there is nothing in the world which is without God. But we should not imitate the higher status of life in the lower status of our position. Otherwise, one who has learned about God, he can see God in this flower. Actually, how God's hand has worked out this nice flower. Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā God says, raso 'ham apsu kaunteya [Bg. 7.8]. Just like I am drinking water. In the taste of the water I'll see God. God says, Kṛṣṇa says, "I am the taste of the water." And actually, that taste cannot be created by man. The taste in the water, that is God's gift. So as soon as I taste the water, immediately I should remember, "Oh, here is God."
Guest (1): So we believe that the holy spirit empowers artists and composers. And therefore we would say that a symphony was a creation of God.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Creation... In everything there is hand of God. Therefore one who has learned to see everything in connection with God, he sees God everywhere, every moment. (knock) Yes? Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti. Premāñjana cchurita [Bs. 5.38]. When one has developed love of God, he sees God everywhere, always. Because everything is creation of God; so he can find out, "Here is my Lord. Here is my Lord. Here is my Lord." That is the highest state of loving God. He cannot see anything without connection of God.
Guest (1): It's a matter of attitude who created this (indistinct)
Guest (1): It's a matter of your attitude.
Prabhupāda: Not attitude. Development of my God consciousness. Attitude may be artificial. But it is actual development of God consciousness. God consciousness is there in everybody. It requires simply to be developed. Just like a child. A child has got love within her, within his heart. But when he is young, it develops. It develops. And the girl, boy, automatically becomes attached because that propensity has developed. It is not an artificial thing. It was already there. It has to be developed. So God consciousness is there in everyone's heart. Otherwise, how these boys are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa? Unless Kṛṣṇa was there within. Artificially you cannot force them, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa twenty-four hours.
Guest (1): Do you believe you (indistinct) people, if they hear it? If they hear this?
Prabhupāda: Yes. As they hear, they became purified, and that dormant consciousness becomes awakened. Yes. Awakened. That chance we are giving. We are chanting and others are hearing. By this process, chanting and hearing, both of us will be benefited, awakening our original God consciousness.
Revatīnandana: At the stage of awakening, when you're waking up, when you're becoming cured of the diseased condition, you sometimes have to restrict your diet. Later on, when you are healthy, you can take all kinds of foodstuffs in the proper way. But while you're getting over a disease you have to restrict your diet. Therefore we hear things that are directly concerned with Kṛṣṇa's name, form, activities. Later on, then we'll be able to see God in a flower, God in everywhere. Otherwise we'll see the flower however we enjoy a flower because we're not at that healthy stage. So therefore there are regulations that we follow for curing the disease. That means for a little while we restrict the diet. Then when we're healthy...
Prabhupāda: Just like these flowers. These flowers the devotees are bringing to their spiritual master, to God. They are not enjoying. Ordinary man, if he gets a flower, he'll put it in the pocket. How... You see? That is the difference of God consciousness. The flower is the same, but use is different.
Guest (2): What's your view, if I may ask, on, for emotion in, of, an ideal, a Christian ideal and so on through the media. Will you use television and radio to condemn things like racial intolerance and the Vietnam War? Do you believe that you should become involved in these things? Could you issue a statement and say that the movement condemns so and so? Do you believe getting into anything in the world spectrum to comment on things?
Revatīnandana: Do you follow the question, Śrīla Prabhupāda? His question is do we concern ourselves with particular problems in the world, there's the war in Vietnam, there's racial discrimination? Do we make statements to condemn this war or to condemn that discrimination?
Prabhupāda: No. Thing is that there are so many problems. Our proposition is, when you become God conscious, then all problems automatically solved. We don't take the problems. We take the... Just like disease. There are many symptoms. A man is suffering from a particular disease. He has a headache, he has this pain, this pain, that pain.
Guest (1): You go down to the heart of the matter.
Devotee: To the root cause.
Guest (1): They're only symptoms.
Prabhupāda: These are all different symptoms of the society's being materially diseased.
Guest (1): Society isn't saved in a month by individuals, (indistinct) the reality in each person. It's more than an example.
Devotee: Pour the water to the root cause and in every leaf it goes.
Guest (2): So the answer is you do not comment on it?
Prabhupāda: Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahād guṇā [SB 5.18.12]. If one is Godless, he cannot have any good qualities.
Revatīnandana: Supposing somebody has got smallpox. Smallpox means sores appear on the body and very high fever also. So one doctor who's less intelligent says, "He's got a fever because he has sores." So he puts medicine on the sores. Sores go away and the man dies. Another doctor says, "He's got sores and a fever. This means he has got smallpox." So he gives him some medicine to cure the disease, and then the sores automatically go away. The root cause of all... There are so many troubles in the world. The root cause is Godlessness. People are not God conscious. If that is there, it will automatically put everything in the right perspective and everybody will be able to live harmoniously and peacefully because they will be satisfied and happy in themselves. Then they can live together peacefully and happily. Otherwise, it's all artificial attempts, and the patient will die when you just treat the symptoms. That's happening. For hundreds of years there's been wars and things. There have also been peace movements. Have the peace movements stopped the wars? It hasn't happened. Because they... With one side they're trying to stop the sickness, on the other side they're fanning the sickness, they're stimulating, like in materialistic activities. There's got to be a basic change of heart. Then things can change in detail.
Guest (2): But you will not comment on the details themselves.
Revatīnandana: Sometimes, if it has relevance for preaching work.
Guest (1): Do you think it would not be helpful to say that there's no comment. To say that the whole of mankind is one and we're treating the disease in the human heart (indistinct) You can't do it by an overall (indistinct)
Revatīnandana: Yes, I agree. (indistinct)
Guest (1): We condemn wars but we fight each other. We are covetous on all different coarse levels. Until we've cured that in our own heart, we can't have the faith to say, "God, stop this war."
Revatīnandana: There's a saying, "charity begins at home." (end)
Link to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/conversations/1971/aug/london/august/14/1971
Previous: Room Conversation -- London, August 10, 1971 Next: Room Conversation -- August 15, 1971, London