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Room Conversation
with Officer Harry Edwards,
the Village Policeman

August 30, 1973, Bhaktivedanta Manor, London
Prabhupada: Generally the gypsies are Egyptian, but are they Egyptian or English?
Harry: No, no.
Guest: No, these are really tinkers. They're just...
Syamasundara: (talking in background:) In a sense. In a sense.
Harry: They are, they are wanderers actually. But there are various kinds of gypsies. Now, you've got gypsies...
Prabhupada: In India, we have got gypsies.
Harry: Yeah, types of gypsies.
Revatinandana: Baul? Bauls?
Prabhupada: Hmm?
Revatinandana: Bauls, or...? What are they called? Bauls? Bauls in Bengal?
Prabhupada: Baul, Baul.
Revatinandana: Yeah.
Prabhupada: No, Baul is different.
Harry: In this country... It's rather interesting.
Prabhupada: Gypsies are all over the world.
Syamasundara: Rajasthan, they come, many gypsies.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Harry: Romeos, Romanic gypsies.
Prabhupada: Nomadic.
Harry: Romanic? No, Romanies. They're the ones that, they're... Well, they have nothing white.
Syamasundara: Nothing white?
Harry: No, nothing white.
Guest: Everything's brightly colored...
Harry: They will have white, but not pure white. They will have white, but there will be colors. Now they are real gypsies. Then you've got your show gypsies, show-business gypsies, you know, from the fairs, the World Circus.
Revatinandana: They're called carnies in the states, carnies.
Harry: Yeah. They won't mix. This other, of the top class, they won't mix with those, the showmen. Then you've got what we call Ditticoys(?), and what they term "men of the woods", crawlers, hedge crawlers, Ditticoy hedge crawlers. They are the lowest of the lowest, and they will not associate, nobody will associate with them at all. The ones around here...
Syamasundara: The ones that have automobiles and...
Guest: They're the Ditticoys.
Harry: Right. They're our Ditticoys. But if you get any trouble with them, let me know.
Syamasundara: Yeah. Well, two came around here once when we first moved in saying that Mrs. Ruffles had promised them that they could paint the place. And we thought it was a little suspicious the way they were talking. And we watched them. They were looking mostly at the lead, I think, in the glass. Finally, we told them to get off and not come back. But, a little suspicious of...
Harry: Umm. Yeah. This, if you do get them, let me know. 'Cause I'll soon warn them off.
Syamasundara: (laughs) Yeah.
Harry: I'll soon push them off. Unless, of course they want to come here as a visitor.
Revatinandana: They do steal sometimes, eh?
Harry: Steal?
Revatinandana: Yeah.
Harry: Oh yeah, they will do, oh yeah. They will do. Yeah.
Prabhupada: Their profession is stealing.
Harry: Ah, but what'd you say then? Would you come and tell me they've stolen? You wouldn't, would you? Would you?
Syamasundara: No.
Harry: Would you tell then, would you come up and tell me that they've stolen?
Syamasundara: Sure, if we saw them do it or something. Of course.
Harry: You wouldn't charge them, though, would you? Or would you?
Syamasundara: Eh?
Revatinandana: If necessary, we would.
Syamasundara: Oh yeah.
Harry: Well, that would be Krsna's will, mercy.
Guest (English Man): No, it depends, you know, if it's just some minor thing, you know.
Syamasundara: (talking over) ...maliciously try to take our property or something valuable, we have to defend.
Harry: Yeah. And how would you defend by? Yeah. (laughs) Yes, that's it, how would they defend?
Revatinandana: That's where you come in. (laughter)
Harry: 'Cause that's right, you were the one who said that we could move in with a gun and shoot them, didn't you?
Revatinandana: No, I didn't say that. I'm the one who hit him with a big piece of wood. Yeah.
Harry: Oh, you are? Well, they said they'd, "Why... Shoot them?" I said, "This is England, not America." (laughter) That was the cows, you know. Remember the cows?
Syamasundara: Well, in America, we're used to shooting rustlers, you know.
Harry: Yeah, but, uh...
Syamasundara: String him off the nearest tree.
Revatinandana: Lynchings.
Harry: But what are you going to do about your security? Can I talk to this about this, you know?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Harry: I'd like to get an idea.
Syamasundara: In the temple room?
Harry: In the temples.
Syamasundara: Yeah, well, gradually we'll be having a lot of jewelry and things.
Harry: Yes, I know this. This is what's worrying me.
Syamasundara: We have our ruby business here, as well.
Harry: Yes, this is another thing that worries me. Yeah.
Syamasundara: We have a nice safe down there, though, where they're all locked at night. Have you seen that safe, big huge safe, we built into the wall down stairs?
Prabhupada: Iron, iron safe?
Syamasundara: Yes, Iron safe. Yes.
Prabhupada: Iron safe?
Syamasundara: Oh yes. Heavy, thick doors, like this, all surrounded with cement around. It's very...
Prabhupada: We have kept two firearms in Mayapura.
Syamasundara: Yeah.
Prabhupada: Because nowadays there are dacoits.
Syamasundara: Bandits.
Prabhupada: Hmm.
Revatinandana: This is in Bengal.
Prabhupada: So if we require, we can keep firearms.
Harry: Hmm, hmm. Well, yeah.
Guest: Prabhupada says; "If you require it."
Revatinandana: (In background) ...necessary.
Guest: We can keep firearms if we, you require it.
Harry: (everybody talking at once) It wouldn't be, no, it wouldn't be...
Syamasundara: ...really need it.
Harry: No, no, no. Not if, unless it's absolutely necessary, but I doubt that... I would have to say that you want a firearm to kill vermin.
Prabhupada: We (laughs) are not interested in killing.
Harry: No, Do you understand? Like rabbits or anything like that.
Prabhupada: No, no, no.
Revatinandana: No, what he's saying is that if we wanted to keep a firearm, it would have to go down in the book that it is for killing animals; that is legitimate business here.
Syamasundara: In order to get our license.
Revatinandana: Otherwise, we wouldn't be able to get a license for using it for defending the property.
Syamasundara: Except that...
Revatinandana: We could put an alarm system in if we put jewels in the Deity room.
Harry: Oh yes, yes, put an alarm in, yes.
Syamasundara: This is England, after all, a civilized country.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Revatinandana: Even in London, we haven't had need of..., haven't had much trouble.
Harry: Well, no, but you see...
Prabhupada: In America also, I have seen...
Harry: ...there are some people who...
Prabhupada: ...in counties , they keep open door. I was in Butler.
Syamasundara: (everyone talking at once) Yes, especially in places like Pennsylvania.
Revatinandana: Motorcycle gangs, and...
Harry: Yeah, well, you get some down here.
Syamasundara: ...violence...
Harry: Yeah. You do get burglars, you know, people who'll break in, housebreaking.
Revatinandana: Oh, you get housebreakers, eh?
Harry: Oh, we get housebreakers. Oh yes.
Syamasundara: Out here?
Harry: Oh yes, out here. Oh yes. And when they do go, when they do go in, they, it is quite a lot of stuff they take. So...
Syamasundara: There's nothing here for them to take.
Harry: No, no, I know... You keep it like that. But the point is...
Syamasundara: Except for the Deities. Around there, we'll have to have some alarm system perhaps.
Harry: Uhh. Yes. And have this or a beam, a beam.
Syamasundara: Photoelectric...?
Harry: Yeah, photo... That's it, photoelectric. Now photoelectric cells. This is a very good thing because any movement and they are so timed that it won't operate with a fly.
Syamasundara: Only with a big...
Harry: A beam. So only with a human being. Which is quite of a good thing.
Syamasundara: This is a type of alarm system which shines a light across the openings in the house so that if any person passes across the light, it will break the circuit and an alarm will go off.
Harry: Ah, very nice.
Syamasundara: So it's a very simple, but...
Revatinandana: That would have to be just in the Deities' room. 'Cause otherwise, we'd be tripping it all night long.
Harry: Oh, no, these are...
Revatinandana: Open the windows at three in the morning like we did last night?
Syamasundara: Yeah.
Revatinandana: We'd get in trouble all the time.
Harry: But that's the only thing... But if there's anything else that you, if you got...? I think, as I say, given time, a bit of experience. But I do feel that a lot of little things which you do in the temple, and I appreciate this, but I think that they, to try 'em outside until people accept.
Revatinandana: Yes.
Harry: But, at the same time, I don't believe that you're going to change all your principles, are you, just to suit people outside?
Revatinandana: When we go outside, we can act accordingly. There's no...
Harry: No, you do, don't you? There's only these little things, you know. To me, I mean, you come past me, my house, and if I'm out there, it makes no difference to me at all. And I don't suppose it makes any difference to a certain other people, but there's just that little bit of nuclear that, you know, will sort of catch on to it, as a, as a means to their own ends or to justify their rumors, I suppose. This is what I think. Well, anyway, we can sort out that as we go along.
Syamasundara: Yeah. Time heals all wounds.
Harry: Ah yes, time... yeah. I dare say, I mean, possibly about next year, there may be something, someone else may have bought another house. So, so there'd be rumors about that.
Prabhupada: In America, we are recognized by the police: We are well-behaved, peaceful persons.
Harry: Yes.
Guest: In America, we are recognized by the police as peaceful persons.
Harry: That's right. Yes.
Syamasundara: Every Sunday, we want to have the neighbors come if they will. We will have every Sunday a feast here for everyone in the village.
Harry: Yes.
Syamasundara: Many people will come from the public on Sunday, but in particular, the neighbors are going to come.
Harry: Well, Father Bernard... We had this... You had a meeting, hadn't you? With the Trust.
Guest: Yes.
Harry: This, now this trust, the Village Trust, the Village Trust, right? This is a good idea. Because you got a couple of dissenters are on the board there. You see. And so when they got the chairman, it's discussed properly, they will spread out...
Syamasundara: Yeah.
Harry: They will all say, "What you've said is a load of old hooey." You see. And this will be that.
Syamasundara: The policy will be decided by them, more or less, won't it? Like how everyone should regard us, or...?
Harry: Well, no...
Guest: What he's saying...
Harry: No, no, no. You're getting the wrong idea. You're getting the wrong idea. No, you're getting the wrong idea. No you're getting, you're gonna get the wrong idea. First of all, you've got your principles, you've got your independence. Same as I've got mine. Right? It is your place. This is your home. If I don't like the way you live, that's... I don't have to... I can either shut my eyes to it, but I don't have to turn away from you. Same as you may not like the way I live.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Harry: Right?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Harry: So you'll have to accept my misgivings as or I'll have to accept your misgivings. But I'm not going to create a good impression... I'm not going to think, "Well, I mustn't do that because I'm going to upset Mrs. Smith. I'm mustn't do that because I'm going to upset Mr. Jones. And if I do that, I shall upset somebody else." I mean, if you're going to do that, then life is going to be a misery.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Harry: But the point is this, that if you just act as you are, and, if you don't mind me saying... These little things which come back to me, and thinking a bit logically, from a common sense point of view, I don't think it's necessary. But you can tell me to mind my own business. I'm not here to dictate to you. Now you must remember this. And the only time I should dictate to you is if you commit any offense outside the road where my jurisdiction starts, or there is a serious incident in the temple which I would have to come out and sort out. Now can you follow me?
Syamasundara: Yes.
Revatinandana: Actually, we would appreciate if you would tell us these things, that the village people are thinking this, thinking that. If they're feeling unhappy about something, if it's something that we can change, let us know.
Harry: Well, this is it. Look... But you can't do this... Rome wasn't built in a day.
Prabhupada: No, you cannot satisfy...
Harry: You cannot satisfy everyone.
Revatinandana: No, but about our external behavior...
Prabhupada: That's not. We cannot change our policy.
Harry: No.
Revatinandana: No. About our external behavior, things that they are finding bothersome... Like we are chanting loudly on the street or in the doctor's office.
Prabhupada: Well, that is...
Revatinandana: These kind of things, we want to know. See.
Harry: Do you agree with that, Prabhupada? Isn't it? Prabhupada, Prabhupada? Do you agree with that, though, that it was not necessary to, say chant continually out in a doctor's surgery or...?
Prabhupada: No.
Harry: No. I don't think so. I mean I wouldn't go around in the road holding up my book which tells me about the law. You know what I mean. I would read my law inside my office if I'm not certain of it. Okay. These are the thing... But there again, if you want to, well, you do it...
Revatinandana: No. What he means is that if, whenever he hears of some incident, like the doctor's surgery, should he tell us or not? And I'm saying he should tell us so we'll know. And if it's nothing important, we can correct it easily.
Prabhupada: No, we should generally know that we may take pleasure chanting Hare Krsna loudly. Others may not.
Revatinandana: Right.
Prabhupada: That is generally. So when you go others' place, we may not chant loudly, simply chant in such a way you can hear. That's all.
Harry: Yeah, this'll do it. I mean, if you want to chant...
Prabhupada: You don't stop chanting.
Harry: No!
Prabhupada: But that: (softly:) Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama... I am hearing. That's all.
Revatinandana: Yes.
Prabhupada: Not that you have to advertise yourself, you are chanting, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Hare Krsna...
Harry: Because, you see, this is the thing. People say, "Oh, you know..." Because you know that they call me. You know what they say, don't you? Hare Krsna on this side, and Harry Edwards on the other side.
Revatinandana: Oh, Harry on this side and Hare Krsna on the other.
Harry: Hare Krsna on this side, and Harry Edwards on the other side, that's me. (laughter)
Syamasundara: He lives across the road, you see.
Harry: I live across the road.
Syamasundara: So it's Hare Krsna on this side and Harry Edwards on that side.
Prabhupada: Oh.
Syamasundara: His name is Harry Edwards.
Prabhupada: Oh, I see.
Harry: My name is Harry Edwards.
Syamasundara: So the people who are...
Prabhupada: A good name.
Harry: Yes.
Prabhupada: By chanting your name... (laughter)
Harry: Oh, there you are, there you are, yes. This is it. They are chanting my name, you know. Yeah. 'Cause when I ring up the station.
Prabhupada: So when somebody's disturbed, he can say, "I'm calling Mr. Harry."(laughter).
Harry: You see, when I ring up the station in the morning, you see, say, "Ah, Hare Krsna." I say: "Hare Krsna to you." (laughter) So I mean some way or other, you're doing what you're asking to do, aren't you? Psychologically.
Syamasundara: Everyone's being forced to chant Hare Krsna.
Harry: Yeah... But I think these, you know, and I know, of course, you know, I've...
Prabhupada: The people chant Hare Krsna by seeing us. Yes. All over the world.
Harry: Yes. They say to me, Harry Edwards, you see, or Hare...
Syamasundara: Yes.
Harry: So therefore, really and truly, if you look at it psychologically, you've achieved your object without them knowing.
Prabhupada: (chuckles) Yes. Yes.
Harry: Is that right?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Revatinandana: Yes, this is why we dress this way. Every time we go on the street, everybody on the street says, "There's one of the Hare Krsna people." He says "Hare Krsna" one time.
Harry: That's. Really. Yeah, yeah. But do you think...? I suppose... Well, it's like everything else. I suppose they would get used to it. Oh, I don't know. They say, if there's a problem... As far as we are concerned, as far as the police are concerned, we can find nothing wrong. You have done nothing wrong, nothing wrong. I mean, I don't know what you got, supposed to do, I don't know what you're supposed to do wrong anyway, but... But that's it, as far as we are concerned...
Prabhupada: Yes.
Harry: We do have this liaison. You know, I must keep in liaison with you. So if I come over here, gentlemen, you must realize I am not here, I am not here for the purpose of, say, spying, if you may think this. I don't suppose you do?
Syamasundara: You're welcome at any time.
Harry: But this is the purpose, anyway... I don't know if I've got to, stay overstayed my welcome...
Syamasundara: We feel very good when we see you here. We feel very pleased to see you on the grounds.
Harry: Yes, oh, yes, yes. But don't forget, gentlemen, as I say, I, you must realize that I still have a job to do and if there was something in which you think I should report upon...
Prabhupada: Mr. Ha... (opening letter), you can read this letter, that so many people, they offered their place for our temple. Just now we have received this letter. One body is offering his...
Syamasundara: Yeah. I brought that letter from London. It's from Guyana.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: He wants to write you into his will or something, give some money.
Prabhupada: In India, also, there is that Bengali gentleman, he was offering two lands, one Agartala, and Agra. The people are still willing to cooperate with religious movement.
Revatinandana: Yeah, this place is also donated.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Syamasundara: George is going to Portugal next month for reading and chanting. He's...
Prabhupada: Oh, Portugal?
Syamasundara: Portugal is a country in Europe near Spain.
Revatinandana: Outside of Spain, Portugal?
Prabhupada: Portugal, yes.
Syamasundara: It's quiet and sunny there. So he wants to go and chant and read. He's beginning to read Krsna Book now. He said, "I've had it here so many years. I even wrote the foreword, but I've never read it. So now I began to read it." And he reads every day. He's into the Fourth Chapter now.
Prabhupada: Oh.
Syamasundara: Yeah, and he says he's completely amazed by it, how wonderful it is, Krsna Book.
Harry: Very nice, yeah.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Harry: Really.
Prabhupada: In Athens, we stopped for forty-five minutes. The... I was going to Nairobi. So some young men by seeing us began to chant, "Hare Krsna."
Harry: Yes.
Prabhupada: So everywhere we go, as soon as people see us, they say, "Hare Krsna." In Montreal, when I was going on road, the children will chant, "Hare Krsna." So it is now popular. Yes.
Revatinandana: Just last summer we were walking in... Was it St. James' park?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Revatinandana: Around that pond. And one old bum was there on the park bench. He went by and stood up: "Hare Krsna." (laughter)
Harry: Yes, yes, well, you know. I think in some ways that you, to a certain extent, you must stuck to, in a common sense way, and also probably to the..., slightly to the Western ideas. You know? But these things, I have a lot of things... I think that the festival week has done a lot of good. There has been a lot of bad feeling, though they didn't know anything about it on Tuesday, did they? You had nearly a thousand people here on Tuesday.
Revatinandana: Yes, that's right.
Harry: Nearly a thousand people.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Harry: But they didn't take any notice of that. On the Wednesday, was your birthday. You had the youth, or young, selected...
Revatinandana: No, that was on Friday, the young people's day was on Friday.
Harry: No, no, no. On Wednesday.
Guest: On Wednesday...
Revatinandana: There were young people here, but that was a...
Harry: A special invitation...
Revatinandana: Yes, a special invitation party, yes.
Harry: That's right, yes. I think that's when it was because the, the, the sound or the echo was going that way. But I didn't hear anything. And Inspector Turner, my instructor, came up. You saw me with an instructor who was in uniform like this, not in uniform, and we were quite satisfied. But, as I say, you can please some people, and others, you can never please. So with those people, I say, you'll just have to get on with it. That's all there is to it. Well, I think, I declare, I've taken up His Divine Grace's time enough.
Prabhupada: No.
Harry: No?
Prabhupada: ...you are welcome.
Harry: Well, that's all right, as long as you say so. But I have got to go soon. I've got some writing to do.
Prabhupada: All right.
Harry: But if there's anything that you feel that you want to ask me or...?
Prabhupada: Certainly, when we are in difficulty, we must take shelter of you. What can we...?
Harry: Beg your pardon...? (end)

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