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Room Conversation
with writer, Sandy Nixon

July 13, 1975, Philadelphia
Jayatirtha: ...they're both doing extensive articles for different magazines on Krsna consciousness. And they've already done a lot of preliminary study from what I understand. So they have a few questions to ask. I think they'll write very respectful articles. So this is the girl that interviewed you at the airport.
Ravindra-svarupa: Mrs. Anne Jones(?), she's with the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Jayatirtha: And this girl's name is...
Ravindra-svarupa: Sandy Nixon.
Jayatirtha: Sandy Nixon.
Prabhupada: She is a devotee, she was chanting.
Jayatirtha: So, who would like to go first? Sandy, would you like to start?
Sandy Nixon: I have questions which... I am going to be putting together a book on spiritual masters that have influenced, or that are influencing Americans today. Also in a mini-article, I'd like to put the same thing together with just those very few that are the most important for New York Times Magazine. And also I'm doing an article for a Philadelphia magazine named Seers of Higher Consciousness. So particularly with our book in mind, these questions are to let people know what Krsna consciousness is about. So sometimes I'm going to be asking you questions, and most of the time I might be able to answer them myself, or it might be a question which I know the answer to, but I'm going to have to ask you it as if... It might sound as if I'm stupid, but it's what I'm going to do. The first question could be a very long... I've got fifteen questions. If I could get them all answered, I'll feel just great. The first one is very basic: what is Krsna consciousness?
Prabhupada: Krsna means God, and we are all connected with Krsna, God. God is the original father. Therefore we have got intimate connection with Krsna. So we have forgotten it, what is Krsna, what is my connection with Him, what is the aim of life. All these questions there are. And when one becomes interested with such questions, he is called Krsna conscious.
Sandy Nixon: How did Krsna consciousness develop?
Prabhupada: Krsna consciousness is already there in everyone's core of heart, but due to one's material conditional life, he has forgotten it. So this process of chanting Hare Krsna maha-mantra means to revive that consciousness. It is already there. Just like a few days ago these American, European boys and girls, they did not know who is Krsna. But now you have seen yesterday how their whole, that procession, throughout the whole procession, how they were chanting and dancing in ecstasy. So do you think that is artificial? No. Artificially nobody can chant and dance for hours together. That means the awakening of Krsna consciousness. It was there; by the bona fide process, it is now awakened. That is explained,
The Krsna consciousness is dormant in everyone's heart. So when he comes in contact with devotees, that is awakened. Just like to be attracted by a young girl or young boy, it is there in the child. That small child, it is there. And when he will be young, then it will be awakened. It is not that artificial something. So in association it is awakened. The potency is there already, but in good association, by hearing about Krsna one is awakened to the status of Krsna consciousness.
Sandy Nixon: What is the difference between Krsna consciousness and Christ consciousness?
Prabhupada: Christ consciousness is also Krsna consciousness, but people do not follow the rules and regulations of Christianity. Therefore they are not awakened. The commandments of Christ, they do not follow. Therefore they do not come to the standard of consciousness.
Sandy Nixon: What is unique about Krsna consciousness that separates it from other religions? If it's a religion.
Prabhupada: Religion means primarily to know God and love Him. That is religion. And nobody knows God, and what to speak of loving Him? Nobody is trained up how to know God and how to love Him. They are satisfied by going to the church: "O God, give us our daily bread." That also not everyone goes. So the Communist says that "You don't go to the church. Bread we shall supply." So poor innocent persons, they get bread elsewhere, so they do not go to church. But nobody is serious to understand what is God and how to love Him. Nobody is serious. Therefore in Bhagavatam, it is said, it is cheating religion. I profess some religion, but I do not know what is God and how to love Him. That's all. So that type of religion is cheating religion. Religion means to know God and love Him. But generally, a man does not know what is God and what to speak of loving Him? So therefore that is cheating religion. That is not religion. But so far Christian religion is concerned, there is ample chance of understanding God. But they do not care for it. Take for example, the commandment is "Thou shall not kill." But in the Christian world, best slaughterhouses are maintained. So how they can become God conscious? They disobey the commandments, do not care for Lord Jesus Christ's order. So this is not only in Christian religion. Every religion, it is going on. It is simply rubber stamp. "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am Christian." And none of them do know what is God and how to love Him.
Sandy Nixon: How does one know a bona fide spiritual master, then, that can lead them?
Prabhupada: Who teaches these things—how to know God and how to love Him—he is spiritual master. Otherwise bogus, rascal bogus. Sometimes they mislead that "I am God." Poor people, they do not know what is God, and a rascal proposes, "I am God," and they accept it. Just like in your country they elected Nixon president and again drag him. That means they did not know who is really bona fide president, elected somebody, and again they had to business of dragging out. Similarly, people are foolish. Any rascal comes. He says, "I am God." They accept. And again they accept another. This is going on. So one must be serious student to understand what is God and how to love Him. That is religion. Otherwise, it is simply waste of time. That we are teaching. That is the difference between others and our... We are presenting Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the science, how to know Him. The Bhagavad-gita is there, Bhagavata is there. Not bogus. Authorized. Therefore this is the only institution which can teach how to know God and how to love Him. Two business. There is no third business. It is not our business to ask God to give us our necessities. We know God gives necessities to everyone, even one who has no religion. Just like cats and dogs. They have no religion. They do not know what is religion. But still, the cats and dogs are supplied with necessities of life. So why we should bother Krsna, asking Him, "Give us our daily bread"? He is supplying already. Our business is how to love Him. That is religion. Dharmah projjhita-kaitavah atra paramo nirmatsaranam satam vastavam vastu vedyam atra [SB 1.1.2]. Sa vai pumsam paro dharmah yato bhaktir adhoksaje: "That is first-class religion which teaches how to love God." And that love—not for any material motive: "God, You give me this. Then I will love." No. Ahaituki. Love means without any personal profit. If I love God for some profit that is business. That is not love. Ahaituky apratihata. And such love of God cannot be checked by any material cause. In any condition, one can learn how to love God. It is not conditional, that "I am poor man. How shall I love God? I have got so many things to do." No, it is not like that. Poor, rich or young or old, black or white, there is no impediment. If one wants to love God, he can love God.
Sandy Nixon: Are there different paths that one can learn to love God?
Prabhupada: No. There is no different.
Sandy Nixon: I mean, are there other spiritual paths... Do all spiritual paths lead to the same end?
Prabhupada: Spiritual paths are divided into four. Not spiritual. Real spiritual, mixed spiritual. Just like this, "God, give us our daily bread." It is mixed spiritual. One has approached God, God is spiritual, but one is asking for material profit. So this is mixture, matter and spirit. So there are four classes generally known as karmi, fruitive actors, they work for getting some material profit. They are called karmi. Just like all men, you will see, they are working so hard day and night, driving their cars, (makes noise of cars) this way and that way. The purpose is how to get some money. This is called karmi. And then jnani. Jnani means he knows that "I am working so hard. Why? The birds, beasts, the elephants, big, big..., eight million different types of..., they are not. They have no business. They have no profession. How they are eating? So why unnecessarily I work so much? Let me know what is the problem of life." So they understand the problem of life is birth, death, old age and disease. And they want to solve it, how to become immortal. So they have conclusion that "If I merge into God's existence, then I become immortal or immune from birth, death, old age and disease." This is called jnani. And some of them are yogis. They try to acquire some spiritual power to make a show how he can play wonder. A yogi can become very small. If you put him in a room, he will come out. You lock it. He will come out. If there is little space, he will come out. That is called anima. He can fly in the sky, float in the sky. That is called laghima. In this way, if somebody can show this magic, then immediately he is accepted as very wonderful man. So yogis, they... The modern yogis, they simply show some gymnastic, but they have no power. So I am not speaking of these third-class yogis. Real yogi means he has got some power. That is material power. So yogis also want this power. And jnanis also want salvation from the unnecessary working like ass, the karmi. And karmis want material profit. So they want, everyone. But the bhaktas, devotees, they don't want anything. They want to serve God out of love. Just like a mother loves her child. There is no question of profit. Out of affection, she loves. So when you come to that stage, to love God, that is perfection. So these different processes, karmi, jnani, yogi and bhakta, out of these four processes, if you want to know God, then you have to accept this bhakti. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, bhaktya mam abhijanati [Bg. 18.55]. "Simply through the process of bhakti, one can understand Me, God." He never says by other processes, no. Only through bhakti. So if you are interested to know God and love Him, then you have to accept this devotional process. No other process will help you.
Sandy Nixon: What are the methods used in attaining Krsna consciousness? How does one get to...
Prabhupada: Yes, by Krsna consciousness you achieve the goal of life. In the present condition we are accepting one body, and we are dying after a few days. Then accept another body. And that body is according to your activity. There are 8,400,000 different types of body. You can get any one of them. You'll have to accept one body. That is called transmigration of the soul. So if one is under this consciousness that "I am eternal. Why I am changing body? How to solve it?" that is intelligence. And not to work like cats and dogs and die, that is not intelligence. One who makes solution of this problem, he is intelligent. So therefore this Krsna consciousness movement is the ultimate solution of all problems of life.
Sandy Nixon: What transformations does one undergo on the path of Krsna consciousness?
Prabhupada: No transformation. The consciousness is there. It is now filled with all rubbish things. You have to cleanse this, and then Krsna consciousness... Just like water. Water is, by nature, clear, transparent. But when it is filled up with rubbish things, it is muddy. You cannot see very clearly. But if you filter it, all muddy things, dirty things, then again comes to the original position, clear, transparent water.
Sandy Nixon: Does one function better in society as a result of affiliation with Krsna consciousness?
Prabhupada: What is the meaning?
Ravindra-svarupa: Is he a better citizen?
Sandy Nixon: And also sociologically or cultu... Can he work better in the community?
Prabhupada: That you can see practically. They are not drunkards, they are not meat-eaters. From physiological point of view, they are very clean. They will never be attacked with so many diseases. Then they do not eat meat, means that is the most sinful, to kill others for the satisfaction of the tongue. God has given to the human society so many things to eat: nice fruits, nice flowers, nice grains, first-class milk. And from milk, you can prepare hundreds of nutritious foods. But they do not know the art. They are maintaining big, big slaughterhouse and eating meat. No discrimination. That means they are not even civilized. When man is not civilized, he kills one animal and eats because he does not know how to grow food. Just like we have got one farm land, in New Vrindaban. So we are preparing so first-class preparation from milk, the neighbours they come, they are astonished that from milk such nice preparation can be done, hundreds. So that means they are not even civilized, how to prepare nutritious food from milk. Milk-accepting that cow flesh and blood is very nutritious, that we also admit—but a civilized man utilizes the blood and meat in a different way. The milk is nothing but blood. But it is transformed into milk. And again, from milk you make so many things. You make yogurt, you make curd, you make ghee, so many things. And combination of these milk products with grains, with fruits and vegetables, you make similar hundreds of preparation. So this is civilized life, not that directly kill one animal and eat. That is uncivilized life. You take the-accepting that cow's flesh and blood is very nutritious—you take it in a civilized way. Why you should kill? It is innocent animal. Is simply eating grass given by God and supplying milk. And from milk you can live. And the gratefulness is that cut his throat? Is that civilization? What do you say?
Jayatirtha: Is that civilization?
Sandy Nixon: No, I agree a hundred percent. I want you to say these things, though, instead of me. I'm asking you questions so that hopefully that not by me describing anything...
Prabhupada: So these things are uncivilized way of life, and what they will understand God? That is not possible.
Sandy Nixon: I'm asking these questions for others, of course, a field(?) that is not understanding Krsna consciousness.
Prabhupada: To understand God means one must be first-class civilized man. Just like university is meant for first-class student, similarly, God consciousness means meant for the first-class human being.
Sandy Nixon: O.K. This question's a hard one for me to ask because it shows ignorance on my part. But I'm not asking it in ignorance. I want your answer on tape, O.K.? Does all desire ultimately have to go, including the desire to attain Krsna consciousness?
Prabhupada: Without Krsna consciousness, you will have simply rubbish desires. And when you are Krsna conscious, then you desire rightly.
Sandy Nixon: The aim of many spiritual paths is to find the guru within.
Prabhupada: Within?
Sandy Nixon: The guru within. Is this different...?
Prabhupada: Who says that, to find guru within?
Sandy Nixon: Um...
Jayatirtha: Kirpal Singh, he's one person who says that.
Guru dasa: Krishnamurti says that also.
Prabhupada: So why does he come to teach? (laughter) This rascal, why does he come to teach? This is the answer. These things are spoken by rascals. He has come to teach, and he says, "Find out guru within." Then why you have come to teach? Because people are not intelligent, they cannot catch him. He talks all nonsense, and they hear, that's all.
Guru dasa: He also has written a book about "No books are needed." (laughter)
Prabhupada: So you can find out how rascal he is. Is it not? Do you admit or not? He writes book, and he says, "There is no need of books." He has come to teach, and he says, "There is no need of teacher. Teacher is within." Is he not a rascal?
Sandy Nixon: Well, they say... Those people...
Prabhupada: No, first of all you answer my question. If he says contradictory things, is he not a rascal?
Sandy Nixon: Well, he's contradicting himself.
Prabhupada: Therefore he is a rascal. He does not know how to defend him.
Sandy Nixon: Can the Vedas be taken symbolically as well as literally?
Prabhupada: As it is. We are presenting Bhagavad-gita As It Is, not symbolically.
Sandy Nixon: Are you attempting to revive... I feel like asking this question two different ways. First I'll ask it one way which is, in a sense, incorrect. Maybe I'll just ask it this way and just get your answer. Are you attempting to revive in the West the awareness... Are you attempting to revive the ancient Indian caste system in the West?
Prabhupada: Where do you find we are reviving caste system? Where do you find? First of all let me know. Why you are asking this question? If you have seen that we are trying to introduce the Indian caste system, then you say. But if there is no such attempt, why you are asking this question?
Sandy Nixon: Well, because a lot of people are interested, and...
Prabhupada: No, no, lot of people, you are also one of them. So where do you find that we are trying to introduce caste system? First of all find out where is the attempt. Then you ask question. Otherwise it is irrelevant question.
Sandy Nixon: The Gita mentions the caste system.
Prabhupada: Gita, what mentions, do you know?
Sandy Nixon: The four castes and an untouchable caste.
Prabhupada: What is that? On the basis of what?
Sandy Nixon: I can't locate it directly. But the Brahma...
Prabhupada: Brahmananda. Who has said that this is caste system? This is not caste system. Catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. According to quality and according to work, there are four divisions of men. Just like you can understand there are engineers and there are medical practitioners. So do you take them as caste? "Oh, he is engineer caste. He is medical caste." Do you say like that?
Sandy Nixon: I don't want to say what I feel because I'm recording you. (laughs)
Prabhupada: I'm asking you, I'm asking you...
Sandy Nixon: Well, I think there's always been castes. It's just that we don't recognize the fact that they're there.
Prabhupada: No, recognize means if a man is qualified medical man we accept him as medical man. And if a man is qualified engineer, we accept him as engineer. Similarly, Bhagavad-gita suggests—not suggest, it is there—there are four classes of men, the most intelligent class of men, the administrator class of men, the productive class of men and ordinary worker. That is already there. Bhagavad-gita says how they should be classified, that "He belongs to this class, he belongs to that class." That is described in the Bhagavad-gita, not that by birth, hereditarily, one becomes a caste. You don't try to misunderstand. The classification is already there: one class of men, very intelligent. Is he not there in the human society? Do you think all men are equally intelligent? Do you think? There must be one class, very highly intelligent class. So what are the symptoms of the intelligent class? That is described in the Bhagavad-gita. The first-class intelligent man... [break] ...you find all these qualities, he is first-class man. So we are trying to introduce that, that without first-class man, the society is useless. So there are first-class men. You train up. Just like a boy is intelligent; still, he requires training in the school, college. Then he maintains his first-class brain, first-class position. So there is first-class man. Now we have to train them properly how to become controller of the mind, how to become controller of the senses, how to become truthful, how to become cleansed internally, externally, how to become full of knowledge, how to try to apply the knowledge in practical life, how to become God conscious. This training is... A first-class man can take up, just like they are taking, all these boys. They had their first-class brain, and now they are being trained up. That is required, trained up first-class men. That training is required. So we are not introducing caste system, that any rascal born in a brahmana family, he becomes a brahmana. We don't accept that. A man who is first-class trained up to become a brahmana, we accept him. It doesn't matter whether he is India or Europe or America. It doesn't matter. We are trying to introduce this system. That is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita. Caste system means a man is born in a brahmana family, and if by habit he is fifth-class man, and he is accepted first-class man on account of birth. Similarly, a person, very intelligent, he can be adaptable to all first-class habit, but because he is born in a sudra family, he is sudra. We want to stop this nonsense. We are picking up first-class brain and training up how to become first-class men. This is our business, not that introducing this rubbish thing. No, we are not introducing. Otherwise how I am offering them sacred thread? Now just see. Anyone from India, he will understand he is a first-class brahmana. We are training like that.
Sandy Nixon: Here's another one kind of on that line. How do you feel about women's lib?
Jayatirtha: She wants to know about the women's liberation. What is our feeling about women's liberation.
Prabhupada: That I don't want to discuss because... (laughs) (laughter) They... As you have asked, I may explain that how foolish women are being cheated by the intelligent man. You see.
Woman Devotee: Srila Prabhupada is liberating everybody who chants Hare Krsna.
Prabhupada: They have given. In your country, they have given you liberty. Liberty means equal rights, is it not? Man and woman has got equal rights.
Sandy Nixon: They're trying in this country.
Prabhupada: All right, trying. But you women, you cannot see that this so-called equal right means cheating the woman. Now I say more clearly that a woman and man meets. Now they become lover. Then they have sex, and the woman becomes pregnant, and the man goes away. The simple woman, she has to take charge of the child and beg from government alms, "Please give me money." This is your independence. Do you admit this is independence, that the man makes the woman pregnant and he goes away without any responsibility, and the woman cannot give up the child, she maintains, begging from the government or she tries to kill the child? Do you think it is very good independence? What is your answer?
Woman: To... Whether or not it is good to kill a child? Is that the question?
Prabhupada: Yes, they are killing now, abortion.
Ravindra-svarupa: He wants to know that kind of independence.
Woman: For the child?
Ravindra-svarupa: For the woman.
Prabhupada: For the woman.
Ravindra-svarupa: This is liberation. She has an affair with a man, and she gets pregnant. The man leaves. Then she has to beg alms from the government to support the child...
Prabhupada: Or kill.
Ravindra-svarupa: Or she kills the child. So is that good or bad?
Woman: Well, she has made the choice to have...
Prabhupada: That means, that is 34 ounce. You have made your choice to kill your own child. Is that very good choice?
Sandy Nixon: It's the worst crime you could commit.
Jayatirtha: Her brain is getting larger. (laughter)
Prabhupada: Do you think it is very good business?
Woman: I think this is a very complicated question.
Prabhupada: Therefore I say they are cheating you in the name of independence. That you do not understand. Therefore 34 ounce. They are cheating you, and you are thinking you are independent.
Sandy Nixon: They forget the responsibility that comes with freedom.
Prabhupada: Yes, they do not take the responsibility. They go away. They enjoy and go away. And the woman has to take the responsibility, either kill the child or maintainer, begging. Do you think begging is very good? In India, although they are poverty-stricken, still, they do not remain independent. They remain under the husband, and the husband takes all responsibility. So she has neither to kill the child nor go to beg for maintaining the child. So which is independence? to remain under husband is independence or to become free to be enjoyed by everyone?
Sandy Nixon: That's not where the freedom is anyway.
Prabhupada: So there is no freedom; still, they think that they have freedom. That means under some plea, the men are cheating the women, that's all. So in the name of independence, they have agreed to be cheated by another class. This is the situation.
Sandy Nixon: In spite of that, can women know Krsna as...
Prabhupada: We have no such distinction.
Sandy Nixon: No distinction...
Prabhupada: We give Krsna consciousness both to the woman and man equally. We do not make any such distinction. But to protect them from this exploitation by man, we teach something, that "You do like this. You do like that. You be married. Be settled up. Don't wander independently." We teach them like that. But so far Krsna consciousness is concerned, we equally distribute. There is no such thing that "Oh, you are woman, less intelligent or more intelligent. Therefore you cannot come." We don't say that. We welcome women, men, poor, rich, everyone, because in that platform equality.
We do not refuse anyone. That is equality.
Sandy Nixon: How do you deal with negativity? In the outside world do... The devotees encounter negativity every day, people that are not interested. How, not just on the outside world, but how does one deal with that within, how does one relieve oneself of that negativism?
Prabhupada: Negativity means... Just like we say, "No illicit sex." We say, we teach our students, "No illicit sex." Do you think it is negative? What does she mean by...?
Jayatirtha: The situation is that other people think that it's negative, and therefore they feel negatively towards us. So how should we react to that?
Sandy Nixon: Well, how to do, you deal with it within yourself?
Ravindra-svarupa: What do you mean negativity within yourself?
Sandy Nixon: No, no, not just criticism but if you get a lot of people that are working against you all the time... Here you're surrounded by people that are positive and that are reinforcing. But when you get yourself in the outside world in a position where there are people that are draining you and taking your energy, how do you replenish that energy?
Ravindra-svarupa: How do we stay fixed when there are so many people against us?
Prabhupada: So nobody is against you? Do you think nobody is against you? I am asking you.
Sandy Nixon: Do I think nobody is against me? Oh, sure, there's people for me, against me, that don't care about me.
Prabhupada: So there are against and for. Why do you bother about the against? As there are some people against us, there are many people for us. So that is the position in every field of activity. So if somebody is against us, why should we bother about it. We are selling books daily, a huge amount. So there is no question of against us. Anyone who is even against us, he is persuaded to purchase one book. So how he is against us? He is purchasing our book. What is the daily amount of sales, our books?
Jayatirtha: We sell about twenty-five thousand books and magazines a day.
Prabhupada: What is the price?
Jayatirtha: The collection would probably be around 35 to forty thousand dollars a day.
Prabhupada: We are collecting forty thousand dollars a day by selling books. How I can say they are against us?
Sandy Nixon: You're very positive. I like that.
Prabhupada: Where is the any other institution who can sell forty thousand dollars a day? So how do you say that they are against us?
Sandy Nixon: My last question. Could you tell me about the Hare Krsna mantra because it's so important to Krsna consciousness. And I'd like to have...
Prabhupada: It is very simple. Hare means "O the energy of Lord," and Krsna means "O Lord. Both of You kindly engage me in Your service." That's all. "Both of You, Krsna and His energy..." Just like here we have got conception of male and female, similarly, originally, God and His energy, God is male and energy female, prakrti and purusa. This idea of male and female, wherefrom it comes? God is manufacturing so many male and female. So the male and female idea, wherefrom it comes? It comes from God. He is the origin of everything. So the female, or prakrti, or energy of God, and God Himself... He is called purusa. So we are appealing both God and His energy, combined together, engage us in Their service. This is Hare Krsna. O Hare means "O the energy of God," O Krsna, "O Lord, both of You take care of me and engage me in Your service." That's all. This is meaning.
Sandy Nixon: O.K., thank you. And I lost some on the way, I guess. When I moved into the house, there were these... just came out of the earth and it was so beautiful to see them.
Prabhupada: So your questions also is answered?
Anne Jackson: May I ask you a few questions? Could you please tell me a little bit about your life and how you knew that you were the spiritual master for the Krsna consciousness movement?
Prabhupada: My life is simple. I was householder. I have still my wife, my children, my grandsons. So my Guru Maharaja ordered me that "Go and preach this cult in the western countries." So I left everything on the order of my Guru Maharaja, and I am trying to execute the order. That's all.
Woman: And is this picture here the man...?
Prabhupada: Yes, he is my Guru Maharaja.
Woman: And he is no longer living.
Prabhupada: No.
Woman: He spoke to you spiritually?
Prabhupada: So this is my (indistinct). That's all.
Woman: At what point was it that he told you to do this? It was very late in your life that you...?
Prabhupada: Yes. When I was twenty-five years old I met him first. On the first meeting he ordered me to this. So at that time I was married man. I had two children. So I thought, "I shall do it later on." But I was trying to get out of family life. It took some time. But I was trying my best to carry out his order. In 1944 I started magazine, Back to Godhead, when I was grhastha. Then I started writing books in 1958 or '59. In this way in 1965 I came to your country.
Woman: You have said that you are very small and that you are not God, and yet it appears to me as an outsider that the devotees treat you as if you were God.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is devotee's duty. Just like a government officer. Personally he is not very important, but so long he executes government order, he should be respected as government. That is the way. Even a ordinary policeman comes, you have to respect him because he is government man. But that does not mean he is government. He is respected. Saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih **. If that man thinks that "I have become government. People are respecting me," then he is foolish. So... But it is the etiquette. If the government man comes, you should respect him as government.
Woman: Along the same idea, I wonder also about the many beautiful material things that the devotees bring to you, and, for instance, when you left the airport, you left in a beautiful, big, fancy car, and I wonder about this because...
Prabhupada: That is teaching them how to respect. If you respect government man as government, then you must treat him like that.
Woman: But...
Prabhupada: If you respect spiritual master as God, then you must offer him the facilities of God. Otherwise how you treat him as God? Simply in mind? In action also.
Woman: I'm sorry. What was the last you said?
Prabhupada: If the spiritual master is treated as God, so he must show, practically show, that he is treating as God. So God travels by golden car. So if the spiritual master is offered ordinary motor car, so still it is not sufficient, because he has to be treated like God. What is this motor car for God? (laughter) They are still deficient. If God comes to your home, will you bring Him in ordinary motor car or you would arrange for a golden car? If you treat him as God? So your point is that they offer me nice motor car, but I say that is not sufficient. That is still lacking to treat him as God. Be practical.
Woman: Yesterday I met a devotee from New York who said that there were many people present at the festival from other planets and that you could see them. Is that true?
Prabhupada: Yes, yes. Everyone can see. If you have eyes, you can see also. But if you have no eyes, therefore you are envious because they have offered a nice motor car. So you have to make your eyes to see. A blind man cannot see. The eyes are to be treated how to see.
Woman: Is this true also with your other senses?
Prabhupada: Every senses. If you want to see something, you must be trained up how to see. Like a scientist is seeing something through the microscope, and you want to see with naked eyes. How it is possible to see? You must adopt the process to see. Then you can see everything.
Woman: I have just one more question, and that is also from an outsider's point of view. It appears to me that one of the most difficult aspects of Krsna consciousness for someone to accept who's been brought up outside of that point of view is the Deities and the idea that they represent Krsna. Could you talk a little bit about that?
Prabhupada: Yes. At the present moment, because you are not trained up to see Krsna, so Krsna kindly appears before you as you can see. You can see wood, stone. You cannot see what is spirit. Even you don't see yourself. You are thinking, "I am this body." But you are spirit soul. You are seeing your father and mother daily, and when the father or mother dies, you cry. Why you are crying? "Now my father has gone." Where is your father gone? He is lying here. Why do you say he is gone? What is that thing which is gone? Why you say, "My father is gone," although lying on the bed? You have seen daily your father. Now you say, "My father is gone." So... But he is lying on the bed. So who has gone? What is your answer?
Woman: Where is God?
Jayatirtha: Who has gone? If you see your dead father and you say that he is passed away, what has passed away?
Prabhupada: Who is that father?
Woman: Only this material body is gone.
Prabhupada: Material body is there, lying on the bed.
Ravindra-svarupa: His body is there. And you say, "My father is gone." So what is gone?
Woman: Well, his spirit is still...
Prabhupada: But have you seen that spirit?
Woman: No.
Prabhupada: Therefore you cannot see the spirit, and God is Supreme Spirit. Therefore, to show kindness upon you, He has appeared just like wood and stone so that you can see.
Woman: Oh, I see.
Prabhupada: He is everything. He is spirit and matter, everything. But you cannot see Him as spiritual identity. Therefore He has appeared in material form so that you can see. This is Deity. He is God, but you cannot see Him in His original spiritual form at the present moment. Therefore, out of His unbounded mercy, He has appeared before you just like made of wood and stone so that you can see.
Woman: Thank you very much.
Prabhupada: Hare Krsna. So you are coming daily in our meeting?
Sandy Nixon: Not daily, but I'll come.
Prabhupada: That's nice. This gentleman...?
Devotee: This is my father.
Father: Your Grace...
Prabhupada: Oh. Thank you very much. (chuckles)
Devotee: And my mother.
Mother: Hare Krsna.
Prabhupada: Oh. So you are all fortunate. You have got such a nice son.
Father: Thank you.
Prabhupada: Yes. And he is giving you the best service by becoming Krsna conscious. Don't think that he is out of home, he is lost, no. He is giving you the best service.
Father: Well, we're very pleased with him and we always have been. Thank you for helping him find happiness. It's something which he was able to find through your order. (indistinct)
Prabhupada: Thank you. They are very good boys.
Father: What's amazing to me is where you get the strength to keep the pace that you have. Can you tell me how you do that? (laughter) I am some years your junior, and I have difficult pace, keeping up.
Prabhupada: The process is genuine, the process which I recommend and they follow. Then it is sure.
Devotee: Yes. He's saying that our lifestyle will enable you to have that strength also, by worshiping God.
Prabhupada: Just like the physician. He gives you medicine, and he give you the process, the dose, how to take the medicine, how to take diet. If the patient follow, then he is cured. [break] ...the opportunity, human life. This process of God realization can be accepted by human being. It doesn't matter where he is born. Either in India or outside India, it doesn't matter. Any human being can take it up. That is the difference between the animal life and human life. The animal, the dog, he knows how to bark only, that's all. He cannot be taught about this process. But a human being can be. He has got that intelligence, every human being. So in this human form of life, if we do not take this process, how to become Krsna conscious, then we will remain dogs. Because we are abusing the opportunity.
Father: What is it that Krsna consciousness has that offers people so much more than other religions do?
Prabhupada: This is religion. I have already explained that religion means to become lover of God. That is religion. When there is no love of God, that is not religion. Religion means—I have already explained—to know God and to love Him. So if you do not know what is God, where is the question of loving Him? So that is not religion. It is going on in the name of religion. But religion means to know God and to love Him. Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. Can you find out this verse? Give him. You don't find?
Nitai: Yes, 3.19.
Prabhupada: Third Chapter, nineteen verse.
dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam
na vai vidur rsayo napi devah
na siddha-mukhya asura manusyah
kuto nu vidyadhara-caranadayah
[SB 6.3.19]
Prabhupada: Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam: "The principles of religion is given by God." Just like the law. Law means the process of activities which is given by the government. You cannot make law at home. Is it clear?
Father: No, I'm having a language problem, I'm afraid.
Jayatirtha: He says that law means that which is given by the government. You can't make your own law at home. So similarly, religion means that which is enunciated by the Lord. You can't make up your own process.
Father: Well, I guess I'm missing the point. My question was what does the Hare Krsna consciousness have to offer that other religions don't have to offer as far as...
Prabhupada: This is offering that you want to be religious, so you try to understand religious principles from God. Because if one is lawyer, if one wants to become a lawyer, he must learn laws which is given by the government. He cannot become a lawyer at home. Similarly, if you want to become religious, you must learn what is religion from God. You don't manufacture your own religion. That is not religion. This is the first principle. But if I do not know what is God, what is the order given by God, then what is religion? That is going on. Everyone is manufacturing his own religion. This is the modern method, that religion is private. Anyone can accept any type of religion. That is liberalism, is it not?
Jayatirtha: Yes.
Prabhupada: Just convince him.
Jayatirtha: So do you understand? The idea is that this Hare Krsna movement is based on authority of the Vedas. And the Vedic literatures are coming directly from Krsna. So we only accept it as truth what Krsna says and we don't accept anybody's mental concoctions or speculations as being truth. And this is the problem with so many other religious movements today, that they depend on the interpretation or the...
Prabhupada: Concoction.
Jayatirtha: ...philosophy of some ordinary man. So this is the primary differential.
Prabhupada: We don't say anything which is not spoken by God in the Bhagavad-gita. Therefore it is appealing everywhere. Although it is in Sanskrit language, still, it is appealing. Just like if you go on the street and the signboard is, "Keep to the right," this is law. I cannot say, "What is the wrong if I keep to the left?" Then I am criminal. You cannot dictate. The government has said, "Keep to the right." You have to do that, that is law. If you violate, then you are criminal. Pay fine. But ordinarily, one may think, "What is the wrong there, instead of keeping right, if I keep to the left?" He may think like that, but he doesn't know that is criminal.
Father: Yes. In the Bhagavad-gita, I'm told that there are some two hundred versions of that. Is that the case?
Prabhupada: Two hundred verses?
Jayatirtha: Two hundred versions, different interpretations, commentaries, translations...
Father: But my question is that if that is the case...
Prabhupada: But how can you interpret...? That I have already explained. How can you interpret the government's order, "Keep to the left," and "Keep to the right"? You have no right to interpret. If you interpret, then you become a foolish man because that interpretation will not be accepted. If you say, "What is the wrong there? Both ways there are roads. So if I keep to the left, what is wrong there?" You can interpret like that. But as soon as you interpret like that, you become a criminal. So all these interpretation are unauthorized, criminal. That they do not know because they are foolish men. You cannot interpret.
Jayatirtha: That's why our Bhagavad-gita is called Bhagavad-gita As It Is.
Prabhupada: Ah. No interpretation.
Jayatirtha: Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, "Become My devotee." And He tells Arjuna that "I am speaking this to you because you are My devotee and because you are My friend. Therefore you can understand." So the point is that if Krsna says that you have to be a devotee and a friend of Krsna to understand what He's saying, then that's the case. So because Srila Prabhupada is the devotee of Krsna and a friend of Krsna, therefore he can give it to us as it is, whereas most other interpretations are written by scholars, by politicians, by poets...
Father: I wasn't aware of that difference.
Jayatirtha: ...so many other persons who are not devotees of Krsna and who are not friends of Krsna, and therefore, what do they know about Bhagavad-gita? Just like the court can only define what is actual accordance to the law and what isn't, so similarly, there has to be an authorized person.
Prabhupada: Suppose you have written some letter to somebody, and he cannot understand. So if he consults somebody, that "What he has written?" Then that man must be your confidential person, who can understand your language. Even if I cannot understand what you have written, then I have to consult a person who understands you. But I cannot give my independent interpretation. That is not good. That is foolishness. But that is going on. They are thinking, "I am a big scholar. I can give my own interpretation." That is wrong.
Father: That's the reason for a lot of confusion.
Jayatirtha: Yes.
Prabhupada: They must create confusion because he is a foolish man. He is interpreting on the words of God. He is not a devotee. He has got other purposes as a politician or something else. So he wants to push on his views through Bhagavad-gita. That is a cheating process. If he wants to speak something, he can write separate book. Why he should go through Bhagavad-gita? That is cheating. But he knows, "Bhagavad-gita is very popular book. If I push my philosophy through Bhagavad-gita, it will be very easily accepted." That is going on. That is cheating. Why should you interpret? Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. And the scholar says, "No, no, it is not to Krsna." Just see. Krsna says that "You become My devotee." And the scholar says, "No, no, it is not necessary to become devotee of Krsna person." This is going on, big scholar.
Father: Thank you very much, Your Grace. If I ask these questions, I'll take all your time.
Sandy Nixon: If you... May I ask one question more? I would like you to tell us that I can put in our article here if you have one sentence, one paragraph, that you would like to say to the world, (laughter) what would you say?
Jayatirtha: She wants to put a message to the world.
Sandy Nixon: In capsule.
Prabhupada: So? What I have to do? (laughter)
Jayatirtha: I think she wants you to say, "Please chant Hare Krsna, and your life will become sublime."
Prabhupada: Yes. That I am saying always. Without any price. I don't charge, "You give me so many dollars. Then I shall give you."
Jayatirtha: So do any of the other guests have any questions?
Guest: I would like to ask, Swami, would you pray for me?
Jayatirtha: He wants you to pray for him.
Prabhupada: I am praying for everyone. That is my business. Otherwise why I have come here?
Jayatirtha: Are there any other questions from anybody, guest or devotee?
Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, how does one become humble and remain humble?
Jayatirtha: How to become humble and remain humble. Same question one devotee asked you in Chicago.
Prabhupada: So you explain.
Jayatirtha: He said you can become humble by becoming aggressive for Krsna. (laughter) One girl was asking that "When we are doing sankirtana, I must be very aggressive, but when I come to the temple, then I'm supposed to be very humble." Prabhupada's answer was...
Prabhupada: "A lamb at home, a lion in the chase." (laughter) When you are chasing, you must be a lion. (laughter) But when you come home, you do not try to chase the devotees. (laughter)
Guest: Swami, what about those who practice one of the other religions in...?
Prabhupada: There is no other religion. I have repeatedly said. Religion is to abide by the orders of God. Nobody knows what is God, and nobody knows what is the order of God. Or even if one knows, he does not carry it. So how there can be religion? If you abide by the state laws, then you are lawful, but if you do not abide by the state laws, how you can become lawful? If you violate the laws, how you can become lawful? If you follow religion, then you must follow strictly the religious principles. And if you have no business to follow the religious principles, how you can become religious? Is it possible?
Guest: I understand what you're saying. You're saying you cannot do practices and commit sin, right?
Prabhupada: Yes. There are, in every religion, there are principles. If you don't follow them, then how you become religious? Therefore this is my question. So nobody is following religious principles at the present moment. Therefore practically there is no religion. Everything is finished. We are trying to revive. If you follow religious principle, then it doesn't matter whether you are Christian or Mohammedan or Hindu or Buddha. Then you are religious. But if you do not follow any religious principle, then how you become religious?
Father: Does that mean to say that you can't live a happy life without being religious?
Prabhupada: Yes, certainly.
Father: I am eons away from this whole thing because I don't believe any religion. My son knows this.
Prabhupada: You do not follow any religion?
Father: None at all. I will give philosophical discussions...
Prabhupada: And still you are happy?
Father: Yes, I'm very happy. I have my moments when I'm not, of course. Basically I'm happy with my family, with my work...
Prabhupada: Do you think your father is happy?
Devotee: No. (laughter)
Father: I don't feel very happy. (laughter) But...
Devotee: Prabhupada, earlier today you were speaking in Bhagavatam class about Ajamila and how by circumstances he fell down, and that because it wasn't intentional, Krsna forgave him. So, but still, at one point or another, he agreed to the desires of the prostitute. So isn't that free will?
Prabhupada: That is free will, but under the point of revolver. So maya is very strong. maya is very strong. So when you are under the maya's clutches, she dictates and you have to do. This is called maya, daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya dura... [Bg. 7.14], very, very strong. So mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taran... If one is staunchly Krsna conscious, he can avoid. Otherwise not possible.
Ravindra-svarupa: But if someone purposefully sins, also that is maya.
Prabhupada: That may not be maya. That is my discretion. But that is also maya in another way, indirect way. So one must be strong in Krsna consciousness. Then he is not a victim of maya.
Devotee: Prabhupada, on the news it's talking about the hook-up of the Soviets and Americans, in their (?) capsules. And a large hook-up of these space ships in outer space for planning their moon project. And we were wondering what your feelings are and your views are on all of this.
Prabhupada: What is he wondering? You are making plans to go to back to home, back to Godhead, and if they go to the moon planet, so your plan is bigger or his plan is bigger? (laughter) Whose plan is bigger?
Devotee: Our plan is much bigger.
Prabhupada: This is...
Woman: As a mother, I do wish to thank you. My daughter found Krsna consciousness.
Prabhupada: Oh, who is your son?
Ravindra-svarupa: Daughter.
Prabhupada: Where is?
Ravindra-svarupa: She is being recommended for initiation tomorrow. She's not in the room. Is Adelle here? She's busy.
Woman: She is busy. I'm very happy.
Prabhupada: So we recommend everyone, every American, being initiated. That is our recommendation. The sooner you accept this proposal, it is good for you. To know God and to love Him, is there any difficulty? Do you think nobody is interested in this? If one is not interested to know God, then he is a dog. The dog is not interested. That is the difference between human being and dog. The dog cannot be interested. But a human being has... I am a foreigner. I came alone. But these boys became interested. Why not others? Where is the difference? Your son is interested. Why the father is not interested? Why? What is the reason?
Mother: He says Paul is interested and you're not. What is the reason? (laughter)
Prabhupada: He has already explained. What is that? Your father admitted just now? He said?
Devotee: That he is not happy?
Prabhupada: No, another thing.
Devotee: He said he was a person... (laughter)
Father: According to the rules, I gotta be interested.
Sandy Nixon: As least you're laughing at yourself, right?
Father: Yeah, right.
Prabhupada: (laughing) But your mother is very good. Yes, son inherits the quality of mother. And the daughter inherits the quality of father. Yes. So if the mother is good, naturally the son is good. That is Vedic calculation.
Woman: I'm sorry you said that.
Prabhupada: (laughs) This is all physiological. And we have seen, studied, that any big man of the world, behind that big man is either a strong mother or a strong wife. That is the general statistics. And Canakya Pandita says, mata yasya grhe nasti bharya capriya-vadini. If there is no mother at home and the wife is not very suitable, does not speak very nicely with husband, disrespectful, then he is recommended to leave home and go to the forest. Aranyam tena gantavyam yatharanyam tatha grham. Such person should immediately leave home and live in the forest because for him the forest and home is the same. Mata yasya grhe nasti bharya capriya-vadini. So women should be trained up to be very faithful and chaste. Then the life will be very happy. That is the only education for woman. And man should be educated how to become first-class man, a brahmana. Then the whole atmosphere will be very happy. The man, first-class man, brahmana, samo damah titiksa, and woman, very faithful to such husband and chaste. Then the home is happy. And Canakya Pandita says another place, dampatyoh kalaho nasti tatra srih svayam agatah. "If there is no fight and disagreement between husband and wife, in that home the goddess of fortune automatically comes." They haven't got to search out where is goddess of fortune. She will come automatically. So that is now lacking. In most cases the husband and wife does not agree. And the other day I was reading in a paper that one woman in two weeks or three weeks...?
Jayatirtha: In two weeks.
Prabhupada: She has divorced two husbands. And when the press reporters asked her, she replied, "Yes, it was a mistake." And still, they want to be equal with man. She commits mistake twice in two week, and still she claims to be equal with man. So we have got our school, Dallas, we are teaching the small children to make the boys first-class men, as it is enunciated in the Bhagavad-gita, and woman to become very faithful and chaste. That's all. This is our education. Then it will be very happy home and people will live very peacefully, and then other things can be executed. If the home is not peaceful, always disturbed in mind, and one has to adopt twice in a week divorce, then how there can be peace? This is not freedom, this is disturbance. Freedom does not mean disturbance of peace. Freedom means that maintenance of peace.
Sandy Nixon: I've got a good question. How can we get a God conscious leader in this country?
Prabhupada: You come and live with us. You'll get God. Just like so many boys...
Sandy Nixon: As a president in this country.
Prabhupada: President?
Jayatirtha: How to get a God conscious leader?
Sandy Nixon: God conscious president.
Prabhupada: Yes, if you train people to become God conscious, then naturally president will come, God conscious. If you train people like hogs and dogs, then the president will be hogs and dogs because it is democracy. (laughter) Therefore we have taken the task to train people how to become godly. Then naturally the president will come godly. If people decide that "We shall not cast our vote to any man who is not Krsna conscious," then the Krsna conscious man will come. But people are not trained up. They are fools, so they elect another fool, big fool. That's all. How you can be happy? Just like in the forest the small animals like cats and dogs and asses, they are very much afraid of the lion, tiger. And they accept lion as the king of forest. But he may be lion or tiger and elected by asses and cats and dogs, but he is nothing but animal. Will any human being accept the lion as human being? No. He knows that he is an animal. Maybe he is voted by the small animals. So that is the position. At the present moment the mass of people are kept in their animal consciousness. And therefore they elect another big animal to become president. Their idea is to have animal strength, jaws and nails and very powerful—"Oh, he is God," or "He is president." They cannot select anyone else. But formerly, in the Vedic civilization, a king was elected by the first-class men of the society, the saintly persons, the brahmanas. They did not take part in politics, but they recommended that "This man should..." Just like Krsna. He wanted Yudhisthira must be the king. Because king is supposed to be God's representative, how to rule over, not that these cats and dogs will find out a lion and vote him to the chair. That is not the process. Your modern process is that the electors, they are not trained up, and they elect another big animal to become the president. Therefore it is failure. All over the world this is going on. This so-called democracy... Unless people are very much trained up, the election by the mass is not very good. Rather, a first-class men, they should nominate that "This man should be president." That will be nice. Your question was "How to find out president, good"? So this is the process. So there is no intelligent class of man. That is the difficulty. Who is trying to control his mind, control his senses? This is the first condition to become a first-class man. As soon as a man sees a beautiful woman, immediately his mind is agitated. Where is the control? And as soon as the mind is agitated, the senses are agitated. And this is the first condition of the first-class man, that he should not be agitated in his mind, and agitated by senses. This is the first condition. So where is that school who is training to, how to control the mind, how to control the senses, how to become truthful, how to become cleansed, internally, externally. These are the signs of first-class men. So we are trying our little bit to make some men as first class. This is our teeny effort. We are not patronized by any interested person, neither by the government. By our own effort we are trying. So far big, big man, leaders, they are thinking, "This is all useless." And because they have taken these things are useless, now they are facing problems, "Crime. Why? What to do?" And it is said there... Find out this verse. Strisu dustasu varsneya. Not... Bhagavad-gita, you do not know where is this. He has got it. Strisu dustasu. These are very serious question. If you want to study them seriously, everything, direction, is there.
Prabhupada: Varsneya varna-sankarah abhibhavatah.
Nitai: First Chapter.
"When irreligion is prominent in the family, O Krsna, the women of the family become corrupt, and from the degradation of womanhood, O descendant of Vrsni, comes unwanted progeny."
Prabhupada: And then? Next verse?
sankaro narakayaiva
kula-ghnanam kulasya ca
patanti pitaro hy esam
[Bg. 1.41]
"When there is an increase of unwanted population, a hellish situation is created both for the family and for those who destroy the family tradition. In such corrupt families, there is no offering of oblations of food and water to the ancestors."
Prabhupada: So this instruction is strisu dustasu: "When women become polluted, there is unwanted population." That is coming all over the world, the hippies. Therefore the first thing is how to train up women not to become polluted. This is the way of... In the modern society they have given women freedom. That I have already explained. In the name of freedom of woman, they are being exploited. Everything is there: social, religious, political, cultural, educational. We have to accept that course. Then everything will be all right. If you don't accept, then you have to suffer problems. It is not meant for a particular class of men or particular country, it is meant for the whole human society. Therefore, this purification of the society at the present, fallen condition is very, very difficult to revive. Because people are so fallen, it is almost impossible. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu has recommended that "You all together chant Hare Krsna, and everything will be done nicely."
harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva (gatir anyatha)
[Cc. Adi 17.21]
In Kali-yuga it is very difficult to reform the whole human society to become perfect by this process, Vedic process. It is not possible. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu's, that "You chant congregationally this Hare Krsna mantra. Never mind. Whatever impurities have entered, it will be all cleansed." That you have seen yesterday in the procession. So everyone was chanting in ecstasy Hare Krsna. You have seen? Yes. So this is the process which we are trying to introduce, not anything, caste system or this system, no. Then everything will come automatically. Easiest process.
Devotee: We're teaching in Krsna consciousness how everything can become solved by developing love and devotion for God, Krsna. So I...
Prabhupada: That is the ultimate goal. If you can learn how to love God, then you become perfect, and all other things automatically come.
Devotee: Prabhupada, because people are not being taught that, in this country there is a great disease of alcoholism.
Prabhupada: Not in this country, in every country. Why do you say this country or that country?
Devotee: Well, I was saying about alcoholism in particular.
Prabhupada: No, that is also in India. That is not uncommon. At least, they are learning, by your grace. (laughter) By imitating the western countries, they are learning everything.
Devotee: I was reading. There's a group called A.A., Alcoholic Anonymous, and they have a treatment for curing this disease. And it's the only one that's been successful. And one of the initial steps in achieving success in this method of theirs is that one agrees to the possibility of an ultimate reality or God. And because of that, they've had success in curing alcoholism.
Prabhupada: What is that process?
Devotee: Well, it's a self-analysis. It doesn't go very far, but at least they accept that God exists and...
Prabhupada: Self-analysis, that requires intelligence. But our process is, "Chant Hare Krsna." There is no difficulty. So it is better than A.A.
Devotee: Yes, much better. (laughter)
Prabhupada: So why should you bother about that process? You chant Hare Krsna. That's all. Is that all right?
Devotee: That's fine. (end)

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