Room Conversation
with Sanskrit Professor,
Dr. Suneson

September 5, 1973, Stockholm
Prabhupada: What else?
Srutakirti: The vegetable.
Prabhupada: What type vegetable?
Srutakirti: Cauliflower and peas and everything.
Prabhupada: Oh, they have got cauliflower?
Srutakirti: Yes, they have cauliflower and tomatoes.
Prabhupada: So you can give also two paratas to me.
Srutakirti: Now, you mean.
Prabhupada: Yes. And milk, you have got?
Srutakirti: Yes. They have got. I think there's one other guest coming, isn't there.
Pradyumna: Is the professor coming?
Devotee: He was supposed to come a half an hour ago.
Srutakirti: There was a guest who was supposed to be here one half hour ago.
Pradyumna: He's a little late.
Srutakirti: So I'll bring it down. [break]
Prabhupada: These are our books. You have seen?
Professor: Yes, sir, I've seen... Some of them, I've seen. This one in particular I have seen.
Prabhupada: Yes. We are... This is Srimad-Bhagavatam. There are sixty volumes, books like this.
Professor: Sixty volumes like this?
Prabhupada: Yes. Sixty volumes. And you can see how we are doing Sanskrit.
Professor: Transliteration.
Prabhupada: Yes. Transliteration and word meaning, then translation, then purport.
Professor: Yes, I've studied the text myself.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Professor: I've studied the text myself.
Prabhupada: I see. You have studied? How do you like it?
Professor: Yes, I like it very much.
Prabhupada: Thank you.
Professor: I'm very interested in the bhakti.
Prabhupada: Which one you have studied?
Professor: Oh, well, I haven't read all of the Bhagavata Purana, but of course, this Tenth Chapter I read.
Prabhupada: Tenth Canto?
Professor: Yes, the Tenth Canto I read. And other parts, other parts also.
Prabhupada: Oh. We have begun from the First Canto, janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1]. You show him the verse, janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1]. This is First.
Pradyumna: First Volume.
Professor: Yes.
Pradyumna: After introduction.
Professor: Yes, yes, it's...
Prabhupada: Janmady asya yato 'nvayad itaratas carthesv abhijnah svarat tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye... [SB 1.1.1]. Like that.
Professor: You belong to the Caitanya...?
Prabhupada: Yes, yes. We have translated Caitanya-caritamrta.
Professor: Oh?
Prabhupada: Yes. This is one chapter, only, sample.
Professor: In the Bengali script. That's good.
Prabhupada: Yes, in... Caitanya-caritamrta is in Bengali.
Professor: I've read also, I've read parts of that also.
Prabhupada: Caitanya... Original Bengali?
Professor: Yes.
Prabhupada: So you know Bengali?
Professor: Yes.
Prabhupada: Oh, thank you.
Professor: Yes. Sanskrit and Hindi and Bengali and Tamil.
Prabhupada: Oh, oh, that's nice.
Professor: So I read lot of the Tamil bhakti scriptures.
Prabhupada: Oh, I see.
Professor: The Alwars and the Nayanas.
Prabhupada: I see. Just a..., immediately he came, Damodara, the Ambassador. He came just now.
Professor: Yes. Oh, he came just now?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Professor: He has left now?
Paramahamsa: Yes, Ambassador Damodara. He was... Just prior to your coming, he was also meeting with Srila Prabhupada, yes.
Professor: Yes.
Prabhupada: Just a half and hour before, he was here.
Professor: I see, I see. I know him well.
Prabhupada: He's coming from Malayalam.
Professor: Yes.
Prabhupada: So we can see, you can see how we have done.
Professor: Do you recite this also, Caitanya-caritamrta?
Prabhupada: Yes. Yes.
Professor: Do you think you could do a little?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Professor: I would be very interested.
Pradyumna: Glasses.
Prabhupada: Yes. Shall I read? You want?
Professor: Yes.
Prabhupada: All right. (pause) This is...
Professor: If you could read some of the Bengali part. Of course, in the beginning there are some Sanskrit.
Prabhupada: Only one verse.
Professor: Some Sanskrit.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Professor: But the pure Bengali.
Prabhupada: Yes.
jaya jaya mahaprabhu sri-krsna-caitanya
tanhara caranasrita, sei bada dhanya
[Cc. Adi 7.2]
You understand Bengali?
Professor: Yes.
Prabhupada: Or shall I explain?
Professor: Oh, well, I understand.
Prabhupada: All right.
Professor: Yes.
Prabhupada: (Chants many verses from Adi 1.7 in Bengali) ...kasira mayavadi. You know kasira mayavadi?
Professor: Yes. Yes, a little.
Prabhupada: Vrndavana yaite prabhu... (continues chanting) ...vasila sei sthane. You want to hear more?
Professor: No, thank you.
Prabhupada: So, in this way, we have given Sanskrit, here, the transliteration. Just like
Here is the transliteration. Ara, dine, gela, prabhu, se, vipra, bhavane, dekhilena, vasiyachena, sannyasira, gane.
Professor: Hm. How many volumes is this one, when it's complete?
Prabhupada: This is only one chapter.
Professor: Yes.
Prabhupada: And you know how many chapters there are. How many chapters?
Pradyumna: Seventeen in the first part, about twenty something in the second part...
Professor: Second part.
Pradyumna: Thirty something in Third Part.
Professor: Yes, about sixty altogether. A little more than sixty.
Prabhupada: So how many, all...? Sixty.
Professor: Sixty, sixty-five...
Prabhupada: So, at least, fifty volumes like this.
Professor: Hmm.
Prabhupada: So why don't you introduce in your university?
Professor: Yes.
Prabhupada: You see.
Professor: Yes, yes. I like myself also to acquire this one.
Prabhupada: Yes. You see how we have translated. I have given transliteration and word to word meaning. You are scholar, you can understand. So we want to introduce this literature in the Universities.
Professor: Hm, Hm, yes...
Prabhupada: Everything, you can see.
Professor: Have you translated also the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu?
Prabhupada: Oh yes.
Professor: All of it...? Or...
Prabhupada: Yes, all of it. Nectar of Devotion.
Paramahamsa: Do you have, Nectar of Devotion?
Professor: And also this Ujjvala-nilamani.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Professor: Ujjvala-nilamani?
Prabhupada: Ujjvala-nilamani. No, Ujjvala-nilamani is not for general study.
Professor: No, it's...
Prabhupada: It is, it is for high, advanced devotee. You have seen our Bhagavad-gita?
Professor: Yes.
Prabhupada: Just down. You can see.
Paramahamsa: Dr. Suneson is also a friend of Dr. Bernhart and Dr. Stahl, Prof. Stahl in Berkeley.
Prabhupada: Oh.
Professor: Bernhardt, I know, I know...
Paramahamsa: He knows them. And both of these gentlemen have Srila Prabhupada's literature in their universities, in their libraries.
Professor: Hm, hm.
Prabhupada: This book is recommended in the Temple University as textbook.
Professor: Hm, hm. This one.
Prabhupada: Nectar of Devotion. This is Caitanya-carita..., I mean to say, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. Yes. "The summary study of Srila Rupa Gosvami's Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu."
Professor: Hm, hm? So it's the complete text?
Prabhupada: Yes. Complete. You can read from any portion; you'll find so nice description. Anywhere from, you can read. Yes.
Professor: But original text is not given.
Prabhupada: Then it will be very big volume. Therefore we have given summary study. But if time we get, we shall give the original text also. [break]
Professor: ...is translating this Sat-sandarbha. It is very voluminous.
Prabhupada: Sat-sandarbha.
Professor: Yah.
Prabhupada: Not yet.
Professor: No, no sense in this...
Prabhupada: Yes. Jiva Gosvami.
Professor: Yes, also his books are very long.
Prabhupada: I, I, I am doing alone.
Professor: Also Gopala-campu.
Prabhupada: Gopala-campu, yes, not yet done.
Professor: No. That's what I have.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Professor: I've read part of that.
Prabhupada: Oh. I see.
Professor: Gopala-campu.
Prabhupada: Then you have read many of our Vaisnava literatures.
Professor: Yes.
Prabhupada: Yes, that's nice.
Professor: Also in Tamil. I'm partic... I'm doing also comparative studies between those in the Sanskrit and Tamil. Do you know Tamil?
Prabhupada: No.
Professor: No. They also have a big collection.
Prabhupada: I don't know anything. (laughter)
Professor: What? What? (pause) Do you have this, the Tenth Canto of the Bhagavatam?
Prabhupada: Oh yes.
Professor: Which? Here. Or...?
Pradyumna: That's Krsna Book.
Prabhupada: Krsna Book. [break]
Professor: ...take you to translate?
Prabhupada: I am doing in my dictaphone daily one tape. One tape, about how many pages?
Pradyumna: Ten to twelve pages.
Prabhupada: And he's editing. After typing, he edits, and then it is gone to the press. In this way, our work is going on.
Professor: Do you have the original here of the Bhagavata Purana?
Prabhupada: Oh yes.
Professor: Could I see it? Is it any...?
Prabhupada: Yes. This is only Fifth Canto. We have got... You can bring that book, black bound.
Pradyumna: Here's others.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Pradyumna: Third Canto also.
Prabhupada: Oh, here is. [break] ...eight commentaries by different acaryas. So I read all the commentaries and give my own. In this way, we are doing. Yes.
Professor: Where do you have these eight commentaries? Are they found in this edition or...?
Prabhupada: Yes. Viraraghava Acarya, Jiva Gosvami, Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. Here is the original text, type. It is in Bengali type. [break]
Professor: ...does this one have?
Prabhupada: Eh?
Professor: How many commentaries does this one...?
Prabhupada: Oh, here. Only Sridhara Svami's. One commentary.
Professor: That's the one I have read, Sridhara's.
Prabhupada: Sridhara's?
Professor: Yes, only Sridhara's. Because it's difficult to get the other commentaries.
Prabhupada: No, they are available.
Professor: Yes, I'm trying, but...
Prabhupada: [break] No. (On) purpose we have not translated because they are not meant for ordinary reading. They are meant for Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Because there is dealings of Radha and Krsna, people will misunderstand.
Professor: Yes, but it's very great poems. It's very beautiful, musical.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Professor: But...
Prabhupada: And we, we have translated pralaya-payodhi-jale **. That is Dasavatara-stotra of Jayadeva Gosvami. We have translated Upadesamrta of Rupa Gosvami which is useful for general public. [break]
Professor: ...Yes. And, I think, he was ill also. He was quite weak.
Paramahamsa: When he died, he... Every year he was going to these trips to visit these Buddhist monasteries.
Prabhupada: He was a little attached to Buddhism?
Paramahamsa: Yes, like Sankaracarya, remember, he was...
Prabhupada: Impersonalist.
Paramahamsa: Yes. He was mentioning to you that he thought Sankara's teachings were much more simpler, much more understandable, he said. Than, attractive, he said, than Caitanya Mahaprabhu's. This was his...
Prabhupada: What is your... [break]
Professor: I do not find Sankara... Well, it's too abstract and it's...
Prabhupada: Yes, right you are. It is round.
Professor: It's a question of...
Prabhupada: ...about way.
Professor: Yes, of course, it's difficult to practice, of course, for people in general also. But, of course, he has also written hymns.
Prabhupada: Yes. About Krsna.
Professor: And they are... Yes. And they are, of course, a bit different. So he, Sankara himself, seemed to...
Prabhupada: That is explained in this Caitanya-caritamrta, why Sankara prepared, presented his Mayavada philosophy. It is explained there.
Srutakirti: I remember where it was.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Srutakirti: I remember where it was...
Prabhupada: Yes, yes, yes. [break]
Professor: Do you have classes on Caitanya-caritamrta?
Prabhupada: Oh yes. Read it.
Prabhupada: ...haya sarva-nasa. Read the English translation.
Pradyumna: "Sankaracarya, who is an incarnation of Lord Siva, is faultless because he is servant carrying out the orders of the Lord, but those who follow his Mayavadi philosophy are doomed. They will lose all their advancement in spiritual knowledge."
Prabhupada: This is the opinion of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Anyone who hears Sankara's comment on Vedanta philosophy, he is doomed.
Professor: That's about it.
Prabhupada: What is the purport?
Pradyumna: "Mayavadi philosophers are very proud of exhibiting their Vedanta knowledge through grammatical jugglery, but Lord Sri Krsna in Bhagavad-gita certifies that they are mayayapahrta-jnanah [Bg. 7.15], bereft of real knowledge due to maya. Maya has two potencies with which to execute her two functions: praksepatmika..."
Prabhupada: Praksepatmika.
Pradyumna: "...sakti, the power to throw the living entity in the ocean of material existence, and avaranatmika-sakti, the power to cover the knowledge of the living entity. The function of the avaranatmika-sakti is explained the Bhagavad-gita by the word: mayayapahrta-jnana. Why the daivi-maya, or illusory energy of Krsna takes away the knowledge of the Mayavadi philosophers is also explained in Bhagavad-gita by the use of the words asuram bhavam asritah, which refer to a person who does not agree to the existence of the Lord. The Mayavadis, who are not in agreement with the existence of the Lord, can be classed in two groups, exemplified by the impersonalists Sankarites of Varanasi and the Buddhists of Saranatha. Both of them are Mayavadis, and Krsna takes away their knowledge due to their atheistic philosophies. Neither of them agree to accept the existence of a personal God. The Buddhist philosophers clearly deny, clearly deny both the soul and God, and although the Sankarites do not openly deny God, they say that the Absolute is nirakara, or formless. Thus both of them are avisuddha-buddhayah [SB 10.2.32], or imperfect and unclean in their knowledge and intelligence."
Prabhupada: What do you think?
Professor: That's... Of course, in the introduction to Sankara's commentary to Bhagavad-gita, he does, it seems, if it is for him, which is that...
Prabhupada: He accepts Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Professor: Yes, Krsna, yes.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Professor: So Sankara is a bit difficult because his followers, even he's Mayavadi, the followers, even the followers, they clearly believe in it. But whether, what Sankara himself meant by it...
Prabhupada: No, that is explained. Sankara is the incarnation of Lord Siva. He has no fault. He has simply executed the order of the Supreme Lord. But the way in which he has presented the commentary, one should not hear it. That is his warning. Here is the Tenth Canto of Bhagavatam, two volumes.
Professor: That's also "Not for sale in India". Why?
Prabhupada: Because...
Professor: Well, I'm not in India.
Prabhupada: India, we make members. We get more price. Because we are, our scheme, life member, they pay eleven hundred rupees, and whatever books we can supply, we supply. That's all. That is not even to the amount they pay. So we give our presentation and they contribute. This is the program.
Professor: Do you use any grammar, Sanskrit grammar, when you study Sanskrit?
Prabhupada: Sanskrit grammar?
Professor: Yes, how do they learn when they learn Sanskrit?
Prabhupada: We have given some hints.
Professor: Or do they learn from a text or...?
Prabhupada: We have given some hints. In the last... You can show him, in the Bhagavad-gita. Or Isopanisad. The mode, how to read.
Professor: No, Sanskrit is quite difficult...
Prabhupada: Yes, there...
Professor: Many forms and so forth.
Prabhupada: Now, these boys, they did not know Sanskrit. By, by following the direction, they read very nicely these diacritic marks.
Professor: Yes. Oh, this is good.
Pradyumna: (indistinct)
Professor: But they don't learn how to inflect forms and so on...
Prabhupada: Simply they have to learn the alphabet.
Professor: Alphabet, but not, I mean...
Prabhupada: They they write the mark...
Professor: Devah, devam, devena, devaya, and so on.
Prabhupada: He has given the direction. This is made by him, how to pronounce. And then, by practice, it comes.
Professor: Are you going to have any kirtana also tonight?
Prabhupada: Oh yes, why not? You want to hear?
Professor: Yes, very much.
Prabhupada: Well, all right. Begin.
Pradyumna: With the mrdanga?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Paramahamsa: Karatalas.
Prabhupada: So you are a bhakta? You are a devotee.
Professor: Well... I'm sorry.
Prabhupada: Now you have appeared. Very good.
Professor: Well... But...
Prabhupada: So we have got a...
Professor: ...well I'm studying it and I'm attracted by many things.
Prabhupada: No, studying, there are many scholars, they are studying, but you are factually bhakta. How you wanted to hear kirtana? That is the sign of bhakta. Yes. Sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam [SB 7.5.23]. Tan manye 'dhitam uttamam. Uttamam. He has, he has studied really.
Professor: In India, where is your center? Do you have any headquarters or something like that...?
Prabhupada: Yes, I have got center in Vrndavana.
Professor: Oh?
Prabhupada: Yes, in Navadvipa. I was, after my retirement from family, I was staying at Vrndavana. From 1956. Then in 1965 I came to America. So... Where is Hamsaduta?
Paramahamsa: He's leading kirtana downstairs, Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: Accha. Then...? You can, you can lead. Or anyone can lead. [break] So you like this kirtana?
Professor: Yes.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Professor: It's very unusual in Sweden.
Prabhupada: So you are, you are a devotee. Kindly cooperate with us, and overflood Krsna consciousness. You are educated. Your word will be accepted more than ours.
Professor: Yeah. How does one order these books?
Hamsaduta: We have them here or...
Prabhupada: Yes.
Paramahamsa: We just received shipment from Germany.
Professor: You stock them here?
Prabhupada: Yes, all the books are there.
Professor: (indistinct) You have spoken to him.
Paramahamsa: I have spoken to him on the phone. He's on a trip, I think.
Professor: Yes, to New York, I think.
Prabhupada: So what is your full name?
Professor: Carl Suneson. It's quite difficult.
Prabhupada: Carl Simhasan.
Professor: S, U, N, E, S, O, N.
Prabhupada: You are this...?
Paramahamsa: Swedish.
Professor: Swedish, yes.
Prabhupada: So he can attend our meeting. He can introduce. That will be nice.
Professor: Yes.
Paramahamsa: Yes. We're having a meeting, as you know, tomorrow night, at the Stockholm University.
Professor: Yes, I'll probably be coming, yes.
Paramahamsa: If you would, would you be kind enough, perhaps, to give an introductory lecture or, you know, to...
Professor: Well...
Paramahamsa: ...say, praise, or your appreciation of our movement or Srila Prabhupada's teachings in front of the audience.
Professor: I, I, I don't know exactly... I hope I can come, but I can't say for sure.
Paramahamsa: I understand. I understand. Well, you're kindly invited. That goes without saying.
Professor: Yes, yes, I'll try to come. That will be at the University.
Paramahamsa: Yes, tomorrow evening at seven-thirty.
Professor: No, I'll try to come. Do you think, this one, do you think I could...?
Prabhupada: Yes, this is also available.
Professor: ...for myself, or...?
Paramahamsa: Unfortunately, I think we have to order these.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Srutakirti: I don't think they have it here yet in your...
Prabhupada: We are getting the consignment. Now we have only one copy.
Professor: This is the only copy you have?
Prabhupada: Yes. But if you want to read overnight, then you can take. You can return tomorrow.
Professor: Of course, if I don't take...
Paramahamsa: Hm? No, I can return. I can.
Professor: That's all right. I can wait. But then I get a copy of... That will be all right.
Prabhupada: So give him some prasadam.
Srutakirti: Someone went out to get it. [break]
Professor: ...kirtanas?
Prabhupada: Eh? Bengali?
Professor: Yes. Yes. Do you sing any hymns, kirtanas in Bengali also?
Hamsaduta: Do we sing in Bengali?
Prabhupada: Oh yes.
Professor: Or mostly, mostly in Sanskrit?
Prabhupada: No, in Bengali some.
You have got harmonium here?
Hamsaduta: Yes.
Srutakirti: Haribol.
Professor: I'm not...
Prabhupada: Give me water. (Prabhupada sings Hari hari bifale,) You can replay this. [break]
Professor: Who has written this?
Prabhupada: Narottama dasa Thakura.
narottama-dasa koy, na theliho ranga pay,
toma bine ke ache amara
Narottama dasa Thakura's singing, hari hari bifale janama gonainu: "My dear Lord, I have simply wasted my time. Bifale, without any profit. Because I got this human form of life, but I missed the opportunity for worshiping Radha-Krsna." Manusya-janama paiya, radha-krsna na bhajiya." And by doing this, I have taken poison knowingly." Janiya suniya bisa khainu. Then golokera prema-dhana, hari-nama-sankirtana." This nama-sankirtana is not any material thing. It is the ecstatic love of Krsna in the Goloka Vrndavana."
golokera prema-dhana, hari-nama-sankirtana,
rati na janmilo kene tay
"But I have no attachment for this hari-kirtana." Samsara-bisanale, diba-nisi hiya jwale: "My heart is always burning in material existence." Judaite na koinu upay: "But I did not make any means by which I can get out of it." Brajendra-nandana jei, saci-suta hoilo sei: "Formerly the same Personality of Godhead, Krsna, who was, who appeared as the son of Nanda Maharaja, He has again appeared as the son of Sacidevi." And balarama hoilo nitai: "And Balarama has appeared as Nityananda Prabhu." So their business is: dina-hina jata chilo, hari-name uddharilo, all sorts of sinful men, and materially suffering men, all of them have been delivered by these two brothers, Gaura-Nitai, by preaching the sankirtana movement. Tara saksi jagai madhai: "They have delivered all kinds of sinful men. The evidence is Jagai and Madhai." Ha ha prabhu nanda-suta, vrsabhanu-suta-juta: "My Lord Krsna, the son of Nanda Maharaja, you are now standing with Radharani, the daughter of King Vrsabhanu. So it is my appeal." Koruna karoho ei-baro: "Kindly be kind upon me." Narottama-dasa koy: "Narottama dasa Thakura says, 'Don't kick me out. I have no other shelter. Please take me.' " This is the...
narottama-dasa koy, na theliho ranga pay,
toma bine ke ache amara
"I have no other shelter. Don't kick me away." There are many very appealing songs in Vaisnava literature.
Professor: How old is this one?
Prabhupada: Eh? It is about two hundred fifty years ago it was written. There are many songs of Narottama Thakura.
gauranga bolite habe pulaka-sarira
hari hari bolite nayane ba'be nira
ara kabe nitai-cander koruna hoibe
samsara-basana mora kabe tuccha ha'be
visaya chadiya kabe suddha ha'be mana
kabe hama herabo sri-brndabana
rupa-raghunatha-pade hoibe akuti
kabe hama bujhabo se jugala-piriti
There are so many songs.
Many songs. Bhaktivinoda Thakura's songs. Then Narottama dasa Thakura's songs. Locana dasa, Locana dasa's songs.
bhajo bhajo bhai, caitanya nitai,
sudrdha biswasa kori'
bisaya chadiya, se rase majiya,
mukhe bolo hari hari
In this way, there are so many songs. Very simple Bengali. Especially Narottama dasa Thakura's songs, they have been approved by Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura as Vedic evidences. Although it is written in Bengali, they are full of Vedic authority.
What is that? Eh? Oh, Saranagati.
Pradyumna: All. the Mahajana-giti by Narottama dasa.
Prabhupada: Oh. There are so many songs. So you have devotional tendency. Develop it. Make your life successful. That is my humble suggestion. Manusya-janama paiya, radha-krsna na bhajiya, janiya suniya bi... Anyone who has got this human form of life, he does not engage himself in developing Krsna consciousness, then he's drinking poison knowingly. Janiya suniya bisa khainu. Bisa means poison. A great opportunity, this human life. That is our mission, that this modern civilization, they have created such entanglement that people are rotting and they are losing the opportunity of this human form of life. Only on the basis of this bodily concept of life.
yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke
sva-dhih kalatradisu bhauma-ijya-dhih
yat-tirtha-buddhih salile na karhicij
janesv abhijnesu sa eva go-kharah
[SB 10.84.13]
So by order of our superiors, we are trying to introduce. But we are very unhappy, seeing these people. They are spoiling their life in the bodily concept of life. He does not know what is going to happen next life. But there is a next life. That's a fact. As we had past life as child, as boy, as young man, similarly, we have past life also. This simple truth, they cannot understand. Or there is no attempt in the educational field.
Professor: Are you working all...? In what countries in Europe?
Prabhupada: Eh?
Professor: In what countries in Europe are you working in? Besides Scandinavia?
Hamsaduta: In Germany, France and England, Holland, everywhere, in all countries.
Prabhupada: Yes. Of course, this...
Professor: But East, Eastern Europe's impossible, eh?
Hamsaduta: Yes, as a matter of fact, we, we have a devotee in East Berlin. But, of course, it's very difficult because the government doesn't allow it. But we just... He keeps a shaved head, and he's chanting. He's reading our books.
Professor: But nobody has interfered with him?
Hamsaduta: Well, nobody knows.
Prabhupada: Hm?
Hamsaduta: I was just telling him about this devotee we have in East Berlin. We have a devotee in East Berlin who's chanting, and keeps a shaven head.
Prabhupada: Oh.
Paramahamsa: Do you know Professor Kotofsky?
Professor: Kotofsky? No.
Paramahamsa: In Moscow. He's a Sanskrit... Head of the oriental studies.
Professor: Kotofsky?
Paramahamsa: Yes. He's uh... Srila Prabhupada, also met him one time in Moscow.
Hamsaduta: But he's not a devotee.
Professor: No, but that's...
Prabhupada: Now, I, when we were talking, I asked him one question, that "Professor Kotofsky, you are communist, I am Krsnite. So where is the difference of philosophy? Because you have to accept one authority, leader. So you have accepted Lenin as leader; we have accepted Krsna as leader. So where is the difference on the principle?" So he could not answer. But he very much appreciated this, that "Where is the difference between these two principles." But now we have to consider whether the leadership of Lenin is good, or the leadership of Krsna is good. That is another thing. But you have to accept one leader. You cannot do without leader. That is not possible.
Professor: Well, well, to some extent it's possible.
Prabhupada: No, every extent. Anyone, anyone calling... So many philosophy or ism, he has got leader. That you cannot avoid. The Buddhists, they are following Lord Buddha. Christians, they are following Lord Jesus Christ. Mohammedans, they are following Mohammed. Similarly the communists, they are following Lenin, or Max. What is?
Devotees: Marx.
Paramahamsa: Karl Marx.
Prabhupada: Karl Marx.
Professor: But, of course, in Sweden, most people, they don't, they don't follow anybody. So it's... I mean...
Prabhupada: No, they follow. At least, one follows himself. Is it not? "Don't follow anyone" means he follows himself. He has got a particular philosophy, and he's the leader.
Professor: Well, naturally, everybody has some kind of ideas, I mean, how to lead his life.
Prabhupada: But that will not help us.
Professor: But, uh...
Prabhupada: Unless we accept the real leader, a perfect personality who can give us perfect knowledge, there is no success. That is our philosophy.
tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet,
samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistham
[MU 1.2.12]
We have to approach a person who has seen the truth in reality. Then our life is success. That is the Vedic injunction. And that is fact. Unless we are... Just like you are teacher, a professor. So therefore people are coming to you to learn. How can you say that he can follow his own philosophy? He's coming to school, college. He's taking lesson from the teacher. One has to follow. The selection may be right or wrong; that is another thing. But one has to select.
Professor: Well, one has to acquire knowledge.
Prabhupada: Eh. Yeah. Therefore, if we have to acquire knowledge, we must go to a person who does not commit mistake, who is not illusioned. There are four defects in the conditioned soul: to commit mistake, to become illusioned, to cheat others, and imperfectness of senses. One may declare himself that he's perfect in knowledge, but his senses are imperfect. So how he can call himself that he has got the perfect knowledge by speculative method?
Professor: Hm.
Prabhupada: The instrument which he is using for speculation, that instrument itself is imperfect.
Professor: Well, normally our knowledge will be imperfect in some way or...
Prabhupada: Eh?
Professor: Normally our knowledge is imperfect in one way or another.
Prabhupada: How it is perfect?
Professor: Im...
Hamsaduta: Imperfect.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Hamsaduta: Imperfect.
Professor: That is...
Prabhupada: So imperfect knowledge, one who has got imperfect knowledge, how he can give lesson perfect?
Professor: No, but you can still give something, even if you...
Prabhupada: Oh, that's all right, you get something, but that is not perfect.
Professor: No, but of course, there are different kinds of knowledge and...
Prabhupada: No, our principle is to get perfect knowledge from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He's above these defects. Vedaham samatitani vartamanani ca... [Bg. 7.26]. Find out this verse.
Pradyumna: Bhagavad-gita.
Prabhupada: First of all, you find out that verse: bahuni me janmani vyatitani tava carjuna.
"The Blessed Lord said, 'Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!' "
Prabhupada: Purport.
Pradyumna: "In the Brahma-samhita we have information of many, many incarnations of the Lord. It is stated there:
'I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead Govinda, or Krsna, who is the original person, absolute, infallible, without beginning...' "
Prabhupada: Infallible. Infallible. This word is used. Acyuta. Hm.
Pradyumna: "...without beginning, although expanded into unlimited forms, still, the same original, the oldest and the person always appearing as a fresh youth... (Pradyumna goes on reading the purport until:) ...in the following verse." Then the next verse.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Pradyumna: Then the next verse.
Prabhupada: What is that?
ajo 'pi sann avyayatma
bhutanam isvaro 'pi san
prakrtim svam adhisthaya
sambhavamy atma-mayaya
[Bg. 4.6]
Prabhupada: That's all. So this Bhagavad-gita, at least, should be introduced in all colleges. And Professor Dimock has recommended. Just...
Professor: Well, it is quite widely read, the Bhagavad-gita.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Professor: The Bhagavad-gita is quite widely read.
Pradyumna: This is an introduction by Professor Dimock.
Professor: Yes, I've seen it. I read it. But it is quite widely read, you know. I mean the translations...
Prabhupada: But one thing is that other Bhagavad-gitas, they have interpreted in their own (indistinct) not as it is. That is the difference. Just like you, you must have read Bhagavad-gita by Radhakrishnan.
Professor: Yah.
Prabhupada: When the verse, the verse, where it is? In Ninth Chapter: Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. Krsna says, "Just think of Me, become My devotee, and worship Me, offer Me respect, obeisances." Radhakrishnan comments, "It is not to Krsna." Just see. Have you seen it?
Professor: Yes, sir. Radhakrishnan's, yes.
Prabhupada: Now he says, he misinterprets that "This is not to the person Krsna." Just see.
Professor: No, but Radhakrishnan, his... He has wide knowledge also, but his interpretations...
Prabhupada: This is his knowledge.
Professor: But his interpretations are...
Prabhupada: Krsna says. Why he should interpret in that way? Krsna personally says that "You become My devotee." And he says "It is not to Krsna, the person." Why? He has no right to say like that. This way, these people mislead. If he is commenting on Bhagavad-gita, he must present Bhagavad-gita as it is. Why he gives his own opinion? If I say, "Give me a glass of water," how you cay say, "No, it is not to him?" How you can say? Is that very good thing? That Radhakrishnan has done. Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah. He says, "It is not to Krsna, person." Just see. Do you think he has got the right to do so?
Professor: No, but I don't think Radhakrishnan's commentaries are...
Prabhupada: Yes, yes, yes. Just see. It is there.
Professor: They are very incorrect often, and uh...
Prabhupada: He has done this. You can see from...
Professor: Yes, but there's a translation by Franklin Edgarton (?) of the Bhagavad-gita.
Prabhupada: Translation is all right, but his commentation is wrong. Translation is all right. I know. That's very nice. It is done by some Englishman. Eh?
Professor: Well, that's one. Yes. And also there is Edgarton (?). He was an American Sanskrit scholar.
Prabhupada: No, translation, there is, there is good translation. But he comments like that. Just like Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu was asked that "You are hearing; You do not speak anything," He said, "Yes, I am understanding the original verse of the Vedanta very clearly, but you are trying to cover the meaning. Therefore I am puzzled." This is the business of the Mayavadis. They'll simply puzzle. That's all.
Professor: Who? The Maya...?
Prabhupada: Mayavadi.
Professor: Mayavadi, hm.
Prabhupada: Yes. You also told me that it is very difficult to understand the jugglery way of presentation.
Professor: Well, I think it's time for me to leave.
Prabhupada: All right, thank you.
Professor: I have a long way home.
Prabhupada: Give him this garland. Hm. Jaya. (end)

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