Room Conversation with Dr. Copeland,
Professor of Modern Indian History

May 20, 1975, Melbourne
Prabhupada: ...Maharaja and his father, Bhaktivinoda Thakura. They wanted to preach. And Caitanya Mahaprabhu also wanted to preach. [break] ...book to many Western universities. MacGill University. He had a very strong desire to preach. Then he attempted little. Then his son, my Guru Maharaja, he was entrusted. He also attempted. He sent his disciple to London. And he wanted me also. Therefore at the last stage of my life, at the age of seventy years (chuckles) I made an attempt that... Our predecessors, they wanted, and they wanted me also to do that. So my other Godbrothers they could not do very well. So let me try.
Dr. Copeland: And what is your relationship with the Ba'hai faith?
Prabhupada: Hmm?
Dr. Copeland: The Ba'hai faith that also preach Krsna consciousness?
Prabhupada: They preach Krsna consciousness? I don't think.
Dr. Copeland: You don't know of the Ba'hais? B-'-h-a-i?
Prabhupada: I have heard the name, but they are preaching Krsna consciousness?
Dr. Copeland: (laughs) Not your kind, but they worship Krsna. Not the same kind of consciousness, but they also worship Krsna.
Prabhupada: I do not know.
Dr. Copeland: You don't know about the Ba'hai religion.
Prabhupada: (To devotees) Do you know the Ba'hai?
Madhudvisa: They have more or less... They accept all religions, and part of their worship is Krsna. They have the person of Krsna. But the difference is that we accept Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whereas the Ba'hais...
Prabhupada: That and many others, they also do that. They also worship Jesus Christ. That is... [break] We have no disrespect for anyone.
Dr. Copeland: And you've been rather successful in institutionalizing your religion, getting a large number of temples constructed or built or taken over, and a large number of followers.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Dr. Copeland: Why do you think you are so successful?
Prabhupada: I don't think I am successful, but people say.
Dr. Copeland: (laughs) Very good.
Prabhupada: I will be successful when everyone will chant Hare Krsna.
Dr. Copeland: But in Western countries, where people have to adopt to the different style of dress and a different life-style altogether, it means that you're asking for a very large commitment from people, and yet they do it. Are you saying that it's the strength of what you're preaching, or are they unhappy with what they've found otherwise?
Prabhupada: No, they look very nice with this dress. Don't you appreciate?
Dr. Copeland: Uh, that wasn't in my question, That's... (laughs). Yes, I think it's very nice, I couldn't do it. I wouldn't shave my hair, and I wouldn't dress like that.
Prabhupada: You cannot sacrifice so much. They have sacrificed.
Dr. Copeland: Ah, I sacrifice up here.
Prabhupada: They have got a spirit of sacrifice.
Dr. Copeland: But you ask a great deal of people. So why do you think they're willing to give?
Prabhupada: No, I ask only four things: no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no intoxication, no gambling. That's all. But these four things are very, very, difficult for the Western people. That I know. Just see. God consciousness cannot be achieved by any third-class man. One must be the topmost first-class man. Then he can become God conscious.
Dr. Copeland: And who decides what is first class?
Prabhupada: Yes, that is decided by Krsna. Find out this verse. Yesam tu anta-gatam papam jananam punya-karmanam. (Prabhupada is coughing) Give me water. Te dvandva-moha-nirmukta bhajante mam drdha-vratah [Bg. 7.28]. Krsna says who can become fully Krsna conscious. That definition is there.
This is from the Bhagavad-gita. Translation: "Persons who have acted piously in previous lives and in this life, whose sinful actions are completely eradicated, and who are freed from the duality of delusion, engage themselves in My service with determination."
Prabhupada: So this is not very ordinary thing. Papam, sinful life... At the present moment people are very, very much addicted to sinful life.
Dr. Copeland: Why?
Prabhupada: Because they are less intelligent; therefore they don't care for death even. Neither they have got any idea what is going to happen after death. Formerly, people were afraid of committing sin. They knew that "After death, I will have to suffer." Now, at the present moment, the rascals are so daring, they do not care what is sin, what is going to happen next life. They do not care. That means less intelligent.
Dr. Copeland: What's going to happen to you in the next life?
Prabhupada: My life? According to sastra, if we have actually developed Krsna consciousness, we are going to Krsna.
Dr. Copeland: And you are...
Prabhupada: I may not, but they will go. (laughter) And even it is a failure, then the next life he is guaranteed human life and very nice life. You find out this verse, sucinam srimatam gehe yoga-bhrastah sanjayate.
"Translation: The unsuccessful yogi, after many, many years of enjoyment on the planets of the pious living entities, is born into a family of righteous people, or into a family of rich aristocracy."
Prabhupada: Even one is failure. And one who is successful? Then? Janma karma...
"Anyone who understands the transcendental nature of My birth and activities does not again return to this material world, but comes to My supreme abode."
Prabhupada: This is for the successful, and that is for the unsuccessful.
Dr. Copeland: And, while we're on success, how many people in India are becoming like these?
Prabhupada: Many.
Dr. Copeland: As many as in the West, or more?
Prabhupada: More.
Dr. Copeland: Do you have more temples there than here?
Prabhupada: Oh, yes. We have got very... Recently we have very big temple. There are many other temples in Vrndavana.
Dr. Copeland: And what is your relationship with, say, the Ramakrishna Mission?
Prabhupada: Oh, we have no relationship. We don't accept them as any authority.
Dr. Copeland: Why not?
Prabhupada: Because they are not doing according to sastra. They are doing whimsically.
Dr. Copeland: But they are doing very good social work.
Prabhupada: That social work has nothing to do with spiritual work.
Dr. Copeland: Does this organization do social work?
Prabhupada: Yes, this is the best social work. We are giving the best education, best knowledge, best hope of next life. And what they are giving? They do not know what is next life even.
Dr. Copeland: When you do the translations...
Prabhupada: I have all translated during these ten years. I translated, began translating from 1968, or '9, I was publishing that Back to Godhead paper even from my grhastha life, from 1944.
Dr. Copeland: And when you do do the translation...
Prabhupada: Then I began translating from 1968 or '69. And I published my first book in 1962. Then next was in 1964. And then the third volume was published in 1965. And then I came to America. And then I translated all these books, whatever you see, about fifty books. This is about eleven hundred pages. Other books are not less than four hundred pages.
Dr. Copeland: Oh, yes. I have many in my shelf like these. Where and when did you learn English?
Prabhupada: In Calcutta. I was educated in a college. My professors were all Europeans.
Dr Copeland: Which college?
Prabhupada: Scottish Churches' College. You know that? In our time Dr. Watt, he was principal. And I was student of philosophy of Dr. W. S. Urquhart. He was my professor. And our English professor was Mr. Cameron,(?) Mr. Scrimgeour, Mr. Warren. And I was student of economics also. One Mr. Keith, he was also... All our professors were Scotsmen, Englishmen.
Dr. Copeland: And after you left the college, were you employed?
Prabhupada: Yes, I was appointed manager of a very big laboratory, Dr. Bose's laboratory.
Dr. Copeland: Ah, yes.
Prabhupada: You know?
Dr. Copeland: I've heard of it. From another worker. While you were in the college or afterwards, did you participate in any political movements?
Prabhupada: Yes. I joined this Gandhi's.
Dr. Copeland: You did? Had you met Gandhi?
Prabhupada: I met several times, but not as personal interview. But I liked his movement, national movement.
Dr. Copeland: Why?
Prabhupada: Young men, everyone likes politics. (Dr. Copeland laughs) Actually, later on, I did not like. When I was mature, when I met my Guru Maharaja, then I thought all these things bogus. It has nothing, no value. Social movement, political movement, they are simply wasting time. Real movement is Krsna consciousness.
Dr. Copeland: Why do you think a large number of people followed Gandhi? Why did they like him?
Prabhupada: Well, large number of people followed Lenin. They are not important. Neither Lenin is important, nor their follower is important. So I don't think Gandhi's followers are as many as Lenin's. So these things are not important.
Dr. Copeland: But don't you look upon him as a religious man? Gandhi, religious man?
Prabhupada: He was a politician. In the garb of. He consolidated the mass of Indian people, becoming a mahatma, but he was not a mahatma.
Dr. Copeland: Why not?
Prabhupada: No. According to... Just see...
Amogha: Mahatmanas mam...
Prabhupada: Mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah [Bg. 9.13]. We have to judge from this Bhagavad-gita. Our test will be Bhagavad-gita.
Madhudvisa: Read it.
mahatmanas tu mam partha
daivim prakrtim asritah
bhajanty ananya-manaso
jnatva bhutadim avyayam
[Bg. 9.13]
"Translation. O son of Prtha, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible."
Prabhupada: That—because you are student of history-Mahatma Gandhi's photograph with Gita. Did he speak anything about Gita or Krsna in the history of his life? Then how he is mahatma?
Dr. Copeland: People called him that.
Prabhupada: People call, that is another thing. That is the defect of the modern civilization, that vox populi. The people may be asses; still, their votes are accepted. The people are trained up as the fourth-class, fifth-class men, and their votes are appre... This is the defect of the modern... They are not trained up as first-class men, and still, their votes are accepted. Therefore, even a very advanced country, America, there was mistake, Nixon. They elected him president. Then they dragged him down. That is the mistake. Yes.
Dr. Copeland: Yes, yes.
Prabhupada: They did not elect a first-class man, and later on, they could understand. So everywhere it is going on. Vox populi, the people, are less intelligent. They do not know whom to vote. And besides that, votes can be purchased. They do purchase by paying according to the country. So what is the value of this vote?
Dr. Copeland: Um, when...
Prabhupada: Now, what is your opinion? A third-class, fourth-class man, if they vote, do you think it has any meaning?
Dr. Copeland: Well, I don't define the people first, second, third, and fourth class like you do, obviously.
Prabhupada: You don't find? You don't find first person...?
Dr. Copeland: Well, I'm not as willing to judge other people. I'm not willing to say whether you're first, second, or third class, just as I'm not willing to say...
Prabhupada: No. At least, you are educationist, you are professor. According to the modern society, you are one of the first-class men. Do you think your position and the lower class man, the same?
Dr. Copeland: I think everybody has the same amount of intelligence and ability. It's just that some of them get more breaks than others.
Prabhupada: That's all right. Everyone has got the potency, but unless he shows his intelligence, he has no value.
Dr. Copeland: Well, yeah, but a lot of people don't have a chance.
Prabhupada: Yes. So those who have no chance to become first-class men, their vote, what is the value?
Dr. Copeland: Accha. When you were coming to Krsna consciousness...
Prabhupada: According to our Vedic civilization, first-class men's vote required, who knows things as they are. One who does not know things as they are, what is the use of taking vote from him? Our Vedic civilization, the brahmanas, first-class men... The qualification of brahmana, find out. Samo damah satyam saucam titiksa arjavam, jnanam vijnanam astikyam brahma-karma... Read.
"Translation: Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge, and religiousness—these are the qualities by which the brahmanas work."
Prabhupada: This is first-class man.
Dr. Copeland: I'm not a first-class man.
Prabhupada: No, that I do not know, but if you have got these qualities... We have to judge by the qualities, not by birth. But since India accepted a brahmana by birth without these qualities, India's civilization fell down.
Dr. Copeland: Ah, that's why. Ah! Pretty! Are you a brahmana? By birth you're a brahmana, right?
Prabhupada: No. I am brahmana yes. Yes. But we are not... We do not recognize brahmana by birth. Brahmana by these qualities. Anyone who has got... This is the shastric injunction, that if the qualities are found somewhere else—that means one who is not born in a brahmana family but he has the qualities of the brahmana—then he should be accepted as a brahmana. That is shastric injunction. Yasya hi yal laksanam proktam varnabhivyanjakam, yad anyatrapi. Anyatra means elsewhere. Tat tenaiva vinirdiset [SB 7.11.35]. "He should be accepted as such." Similarly, if a man, born in brahmana family but he has the qualities of the sudras... Paricaryatmakam karyam sudra-karma svabhava-jam [Bg. 18.44]. Paricarya means service. To accept... [break] So therefore, according to Bhagavad-gita, nobody is brahmana. A brahmana should remain independent. He should live by his qualities. People will honor him. Just like we are training. We do not serve anyone, but we are maintaining big establishment.
This is brahmana. We do not serve anyone, any merchant, officer, any... No. We chant Hare Krsna. That's all. If Krsna wants, He will give us food, or we shall starve. We are not going to serve. This is the proof. We are spending not less than twenty lakhs of rupees for maintaining our establishment throughout the whole world, but we do not know what is our next moment's income. We do not know... We have eaten today. We do not know whether we shall have any eatable next day. This is our position. If it is available, we shall eat; otherwise we shall starve. This is our position. Still, I don't seek any employment, "Give us some service to maintain our..." No, we don't do that. We never do that. When I was alone, I was not doing that. I was living alone. I had no income, no friend, no shelter. Since I left my home, since 1954, I never cared for anyone maintaining me. And there was no resource, fixed income, nothing of the sort. I depended on Krsna. Similarly, in the whole society we are feeding daily ten thousand men.
We have got about hundred centers. And we are maintained in Eu..., just like European, American standard, not vagabond standard. But still, we have no fixed income. Depend on Krsna. If He wants, He will give us food; if He wants, we shall starve. This is brahmana, practical. And "Now I have got all degrees, and unless I get a good master, then I am street dog." (Dr. Copeland laughs) That is sudra. Without getting a master... Just like a street dog has no value unless he gets a good master. Then he can bark (Prabhupada barks), "Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! I have got my master." And if he doesn't get a master, nobody cares for it, and he is lean and thin, here going, here going, that's all. This is sudra. He has no power to live independently. That is sudra.
Dr. Copeland: And you're training them to lead?
Prabhupada: Yes, chant Hare Krsna and Krsna will supply everything. Be confident. This is brahmana. We don't depend. You see for the last ten years our institution going on. We don't depend on anyone else. If you contribute voluntarily, welcome, but we are not dependent on you. This is brahminical class of man. We don't... Find this: samo damas tapah saucam. What are they? Samah?
Amogha: Samo damas tapah saucam ksantir arjavam eva ca [Bg. 18.42]. You want me to read each word, translate?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Amogha: Samah-peacefulness; damah-self-control; tapah-austerity; saucam-purity; ksantih-tolerance; arjavam-honesty..."
Prabhupada: Simplicity, honesty. Arjavam means even an enemy enquires from me, "What is your secret?" I shall say, "Yes, it is... I have no secret. This is my position." This is called arjavam. Don't keep any secret. So arjavam, then?
Amogha: "Jnanam-wisdom."
Prabhupada: Yes, full knowledge.
Prabhupada: Vijnanam means practical application. If one believes God, Krsna, and if he believes that Krsna is giving food to everyone, even to the elephant and to the ant, then why shall I bother for my food? He must give me. If He is supplying food in the jungle, so many animals, and the elephant eats at a time forty k.g. foodstuff, and the ant within the hole of your room, he is also there. The lizard is there, the rat is there, the snake(?) is there. So Krsna is supplying food to everyone. Eko yo bahunam vidadhati kaman. That is God. He is supplying the necessities of life to everyone. So what I have done that He will not give me food? And I am engaged my life for His service. If I have no such confidence, then where is Krsna consciousness? Why shall I flatter others for my food? So this is brahmana's... "I must have full confidence in Krsna. And God is so able, so competent, that He can feed millions and trillions and unlimited number of living entities, and I have dedicated my life for Krsna's service, and I will starve?
Krsna will not look after me?" Is that faith?
Dr. Copeland: Not by your measure.
Prabhupada: What is that?
Amogha: He says not by your measure. In your terms that is not.
Prabhupada: Yes. No, actually, that is the fact. That is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Find out. Kasmad bhajanti kavayo dhana-durmadandhan [SB 2.2.5].
Madhudvisa: First volume?
Prabhupada: Yes, find out the verse from the yellow... Yes. Kasmad bhajanti kavayo dhana-durmadandhan. The verse begins: cirani kim na santi disanti.
Madhudvisa: "C."
Prabhupada: Cirani kim na pathi santi disanti bhiksam naivanghripah para-bhrtah sarito 'py asusyan, ruddha guhah kim...
Madhudvisa: Cira-vasa?
Prabhupada: No, cirani. Cirani kim na santi.
Madhudvisa: It is "C"? It begins with "Ci"?
Prabhupada: Yes, "c-h-i," or "c-i." Then it must be in the second part, Second Canto. Find out the Second Canto. If one reads Bhagavatam thoroughly...
Madhudvisa: Cirani kim pathi na santi?
Prabhupada: Ah, that's it. Vidya-bhagavatavadhih. Then his education is finalized. Vidyavadhih, vidya avadhih. The limit of education is Srimad-Bhagavatam. Find out.
cirani kim pathi na santi disanti bhiksam
naivanghripah para-bhrtah sarito 'py asusyan
ruddha guhah kim ajito 'vati nopasannan
kasmad bhajanti kavayo dhana-durmadandhan
[SB 2.2.5]
"Translation: Are there no torn clothes lying on the common road? Do the trees, which exist for maintaining others, no longer give alms in charity? Do the rivers, being dried up, no longer supply water to the thirsty? Are the caves of the mountains now closed, or, above all, does the Almighty Lord not protect the fully surrendered souls? Why then do the learned sages go to flatter those who are intoxicated by hard-earned wealth?"
Prabhupada: That... Saintly person should depend on Krsna. If Krsna is not supplying cloth, all right, find out some torn, thrown-out cloth on the street. And food? Go to the tree. Take some fruit. And for water, go to the river. There is sufficient water. And for shelter, go to the cave. So these are already arranged. And above, over and above, do you think that the Supreme Lord does not take care of the person who has fully surrendered unto Him? Then why you are going to flatter this rich class of men for your food? This is the... And that is the... Especially throughout the history in India you will find, many hundred thousands of these sadhus. They do not go anywhere. I have seen at Allahabad, Kumbha-mela. They take bath in the Ganges and sit down in their place, chanting Hare Krsna, without caring wherefrom the food will come. They sit down. And everything is coming. Still in India, if there is information, even in the remotest villages, "There is a saintly person has come in the village," they will approach.
"Baba, what can I do for you?"
Dr. Copeland: Have you done that? Have you wandered around from village to village?
Prabhupada: Not village to village, but town to town. Even in foreign countries.
Dr. Copeland: (laughs) Even in Australia too. To get back more to the origins of the movement, why do you follow the teachings of Caitanya rather than say Vallabha or Ramanuja or Ramananda?
Prabhupada: No, there is no difference. Rather, Caitanya Mahaprabhu's teaching is the summary of all Vaisnava-Ramanuja, Ramananda, Madhvacarya, and Visnu Svami, Nimbarka. There are four sampradayas. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu follows everyone. There is no difference much.
Dr. Copeland: Oh, you found. How about Kabhir?(?)
Prabhupada: Kabhir is not in the sampradaya.
Dr. Copeland: No.
Prabhupada: He is upstart. (Dr. Copeland laughs) He says malaja pare sala.(?) He is abusing a person who chants Hare Krsna. He is such a rascal. Malaja pare sala. Sala is abusive language. But he said malaja pare sala. All the Vaisnava sampradayas, they chant the beads, and he is speaking sala, abusive language. How fallen he is! That is the difficulty, that our system is accepting the previous acarya, authority. So anyone who does not follow this principle, he is upstart. He is not accepted as authority. So Kabhir is not an authority.
Dr. Copeland: Does that mean you go back to Sankaracarya?
Prabhupada: No. Sankaracarya is also not authority because he does not follow the acaryas. Of course, Mayavada philosophy was there always, but that was never taken very seriously. Vyasadeva is the authority. So Vyasadeva is not Mayavadi. He is Vaisnava. We belong to Vyasadeva's sampradaya, Brahma-sampradaya. Therefore we worship our spiritual master as Vyasadeva's representative, vyasa-puja.
Dr. Copeland: And how about in the south? Do you have many...
Prabhupada: Yes, everywhere. South is the same thing.
Dr. Copeland: Surely not as many as in the north, or as much?
Prabhupada: Well, that is the influence of the time. Otherwise, everything is there in the Bhagavad-gita, and anyone can follow. Either south or north, it doesn't matter. Or east and west. But if you don't follow, and still you say that "I belong to this sampradaya," that is another...
Dr. Copeland: And when you translate the texts that you use, they come from Caitanya?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Dr. Copeland: So you don't worry about...
Prabhupada: We have no worries. Because we have got...
Dr. Copeland: I don't have any worries either. (laughs) That's good.(?)
Prabhupada: Because we follow the standard. Just like a small child. He follows his parents, and he knows, "My parents are there." Therefore he has no worries. Is it not?
Dr. Copeland: Well, no. (laughs)
Prabhupada: So we shall remain like a child, being protected by our predecessor. Then there is no worries. And if you want to manufacture something of your concocted brain, then there is worries. Just like Gandhi. Gandhi wanted to prove nonviolence from Bhagavad-gita, which is impossible. Therefore he had worries, because he wanted to prove something which is not in the Bhagavad-gita, and still, he took Bhagavad-gita as evidence.
Dr. Copeland: But my point is there are other texts as well as Caitanya's texts.
Prabhupada: Hmm?
Dr. Copeland: There are other texts, other Gitas.
Amogha: Other versions of the Gita besides Lord Caitanya's.
Prabhupada: No, that is not authorized. Therefore we say specifically, "Bhagavad-gita As It is," no interpretation. Here Krsna says that man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. So we preach that thing. We preach that "You be Krsna conscious." Man-manah: "Always think of Me," Krsna says. And we are teaching these disciples, "Always think of Krsna." There is no difference. We don't create. And therefore it is successful. Others, they created their own concoction; it was never successful. Before me, so many swamis came to the Western countries. They were not successful. Not a single person was Krsna conscious, in the history. In the history of the last two hundred years so many swamis are coming in the Western countries. They also speak on Bhagavad-gita, but not a single person was Krsna conscious. And since we have presented Bhagavad-gita As It Is, hundreds and thousands. This is the proof, that they presented something concoction. It was, what is called, impotent.
A impotent man having sex, he cannot beget children. He can enjoy that sex, but he cannot beget child. Similarly, these so-called swamis, they are impotent. They could not produce any child of Krsna consciousness. That is the proof. (To Amogha:(?)) So you reply him. Don't be innocent like that.
Dr. Copeland: (laughs) You can't just say that they don't exist. They're there. And surely there were other people...
Prabhupada: No, that is... That was... About hundred years ago Vivekananda came, and he stayed in New York, but these people... When I came, I asked, "What is...? Do you know Vivekananda?" They said, "No, we do not know." I had to find out, search out, where is Vivekananda's center. It was not very prominent. Nobody was going. So for hundred years they worked, this Ramakrishna Mission. They could not establish even half a dozen centers in America. And I established forty centers within six years. And in each center there is devotees not less than twenty-five, up to 225. In Los Angeles we purchased one church. The church was sold because nobody was coming. And since we have taken... If you sometimes go to Los Angeles, you will see it is packed always. The same people, the same church—why it is packed now? And why it was sold without any attendance? What is the difference? I have not brought these men from India; neither I brought that church from India. The church was there, and these people were there.
Before this movement, they were not going there, and now they have packed up. So what is your judgment?
Dr. Copeland: Well, when I first came in, I asked you why were you so successful, and you said, "I don't know how you measure success," and now you're measuring success by numbers, and that's not fair. That's not logical.
Prabhupada: No, my standard of success is little different. Of course, this is success. Everyone is saying I am successful. So it is not unsuccessful. But my standard of success is little different. So even if it not fully successful, still, the results are there.
Dr. Copeland: Ah, fair enough.
Prabhupada: That is called payi-nukuta-nyaya.(?) And when I find full successful, just imagine what is that. This is partial success.
Dr. Copeland: (laughing) That's called "touche."
Prabhupada: This is the logic, that the partial success is this, and when it will be full successful, you cannot imagine that, what is.
Dr. Copeland: (Tape garbled) Accha. I don't want to ...
Prabhupada: Give him some prasada.
Madhudvisa: One of the... Just from understanding, speaking to Amogha, is one of the doctor's dilemmas is that he is reading your Bhagavad-gita, but his colleagues do not appreciate your Bhagavad-gita so much. He, sometimes he is confronted with the people who are tending more towards the impersonal school of thought, I think, and they have criticisms of your Bhagavad-gita As It Is. So he...
Dr. Copeland: That's why I was asking. To see how you would reply to that.
Prabhupada: First of all, you think that Krsna is speaking as person. What right you have got to say that He is imperson?
Dr. Copeland: I don't say.
Prabhupada: No, anyone, anyone. What Krsna is saying, He is saying as a person. Aham. You know the Sanskrit word? Aham, "I," first person. So why these foolish interpreters, they interpret "imperson"? What right they have got? They have no right. Suppose you are teaching something from your own point of view. What right I have got to say that "This is not Mr. Such and such opinion. What I say, that is opinion"? Is that very good judgment? You are saying something from your point of view, and I poke my nose that "This should be spoken like this." Is this honesty?
Dr. Copeland: It's a difference of opinion.
Prabhupada: No, why should you... I showed opinion on your book? If I have got opinion, I publish another book. Why should I interpret, why shall I poke my nose in your business?
Dr. Copeland: Yeah, but the dialogue is how you learn. Oh, yes.
Prabhupada: No, that is most dishonest. Oh, yes. You cannot interpret my book in your own way. That is not allowed. No gentleman will do that. You, if you have got a different view, you put your view in your own book. Don't drag my book. That is honesty. And because my book is popular, you take advantage of my book, and you interpret in your own way... This is most dishonest. You cannot do that.
Dr. Copeland: No, but when you have different types of things...
Prabhupada: Different types we may have, but Krsna's book, what Krsna is saying, it should be presented as Krsna says.
Dr. Copeland: Yeah, but then you think that you know what Krsna says.
Prabhupada: No, I say, "Bhagavad-gita As It Is."
Dr. Copeland: Yeah, and other people think they know, too.
Prabhupada: No, how they know? Krsna says man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah, simple thing. Find out this verse. What is the translation?
Amogha: "Always think of Me and become My..."
Prabhupada: Now, Krsna says, "Always think of Me." How you can say that "Don't think of Krsna"? Is that very honesty? No, no, Krsna may be wrong. That is another thing.
Dr. Copeland: Ah, okay. I'll buy that. (laughs)
Prabhupada: But you cannot say that "Krsna says something else." Krsna says, "Always think of Me." So we have to present that "Krsna says, you always think of Krsna." That is honesty. And if I say, "No, no, you don't think of Krsna," that is dishonesty. That is dishonesty. We are fighting against that. Why should you poke your nose in the statement of Krsna? If you have got different views, you put your own book.
Dr. Copeland: Mmm, we're not really arguing about the same thing. I'm saying that if, say, somebody says Christ in the Bible says something...
Prabhupada: You must say that "Christ says like this." That is honesty.
Dr. Copeland: Yeah, okay.
Prabhupada: If you say, "No, no, what Christ says it is wrong. What I am saying, it is right." Then it is dishonest.
Dr. Copeland: Mohammed says...
Prabhupada: Anyone. Mohammed says something. You have to say, "Mohammed says this." You cannot say, "What Mohammed says, it is not right. What I say it is right." You cannot say that. That is dishonest. You say in your own words. Why should you bring Mohammed or Krsna or Christ to say your words? Did they come to support your views?
Dr. Copeland: No, I don't do that.
Prabhupada: No, you do not do that. You do not do that. You will see Dr. Radhakrishnan says. When this, he is making comment on it, he said, "It is not to Krsna." Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mam namaskuru, and Dr. Radha..., he says "not to Krsna." How he is misleading people! He is a great scholar, and he says "It is not to Krsna, to the person." Just see. This dishonesty is going on. What right he has got to say like that? Did He, did He, Krsna, left His Bhagavad-gita to be interpreted by a rascal, "Not to Krsna"? This is rascaldom. You cannot say. You must say what Krsna says, if you take Bhagavad-gita. But if you have got a different views, then you write your own book. Present, as many others philosophers are doing. I don't agree with you. You don't agree with me. That's all right. Nasau munir yasya matam na bhinnam. You cannot become a big philosopher unless you have got a different views. That is the way. If I don't defy you, then I am not a big philosopher.
That is the way. It is going on. So nasau munir yasya... So if I take the opinion of one muni and another muni, another muni, then where is the real view? Therefore it is said mahajano yena gatah sa panthah [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. Big personalities, what they have done, we have to follow that. So our principle is that, that we are following Caitanya Mahaprabhu, mahajana, a great personality. Or the Christians are following Christ, a great personality. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah. You follow some mahajana, great personality. Don't take opinion, this man, that man, this man, this man. Then you will be bewildered. Dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhayam mahajano yena gatah sa panthah. So you have to follow one great personality, acarya. That is also recommended in the Bha... acaryopasanam, following the acarya. So we have got recognized acarya, just like you said, Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Nimbarka, Visnu Svami, Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Or Sankaracarya even. You follow one acarya, like Christians, they follow Christ, acarya.
The Mohammedans, they follow acarya, Mohammed. That is good. You must follow some acarya. But don't give your opinion. That is our process. Evam parampara-praptam. Just see, find out.
Prabhupada: Fourth Chapter. Give me water.
Madhudvisa: Fourth Chapter, 34th verse.
Amogha: "This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost."
Prabhupada: Yes. As soon as you give up the acarya-parampara system, then it is lost. Krsna says that man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah. All the acaryas will say like that, Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya. And Dr. Radhakrishnan, "No, no, it is not to Krsna." Just see the fun. He has become more than the acaryas. So we reject immediately. He thinks himself too proud that he defies the acaryas. You see? This is the defect. The whole Bhagavad-gita is spoken on the battlefield. Gandhi says it is nonviolence. Just see. (Dr. Copeland laughs) So we have to follow these people, do you mean to say?
Dr. Copeland: If you're measuring your success by the numbers of people, he had a lot of people too.
Prabhupada: No, we don't take that, by number of people. We take how many people are taking actually. But neither... Ekas candras tamo hanti: "If one man accepts, then he can become the bright moon." Na ca tarah sahasrasah: "The so-called stars has no value." One moon is sufficient. So our preaching is: Let one man understand Bhagavad-gita As It Is. We don't want disciples. I never collected disciples. I never compromised that "You can do whatever you like, and you become my disciple. "No. You have to follow this. Now also, this morning, I accepted so many... "First promise whether you are going to do this. Then I initiate." This is my policy. If I would have said, "No, you can do whatever you like, and give me some money. I shall give you mantra," then you would have seen millions. But I accept very selected disciple, not that anyone, everyone comes, and I accept disciple. No. He is first of all trained up six months. Then, when he is able to promise to follow the regulative..., then I accept. This is stricture. It is not that everyone comes, "Give me thirty-five dollars. I give you mantra, and within six months you become God." I do not do that.
Dr. Copeland: You should add humor to honesty.
Prabhupada: Hmm?
Amogha: He said as one of the qualifications, we should add good humor, to honesty. He says you have good humor.
Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. One who has got knowledge, he is humorous also.
Dr. Copeland: Ah. (laughs) Oh. Well, what do we do now?
Prabhupada: Take prasada. Prasade sarva-duhkhanam hanir asyopajayate. Take the whole plate.
Dr. Copeland: Take the whole plate?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Amogha: Don't miss out on tulasi leaf. You can take it home with you. Have it for breakfast. [break]
Dr. Copeland: Now we'll try and tell him I didn't really disagree with him or with you.
Prabhupada: What is that?
Dr. Copeland: I don't disagree that when you say the texts that you follow is the text that you believe in. All I'm saying is that there are other texts, and surely there would be some value in studying the other texts. But he's disagreeing with that, so...
Madhudvisa: I was reiterating the point that we only follow the acaryas, and there is maybe a slight different approach within the acaryas, but the conclusion is the same. The conclusion is that we must surrender to Krsna. And we don't place too much value in people who are commentating on the scriptures who don't follow the acaryas. We don't place that much...
Prabhupada: No, that is the statement in the Bhagavad-gita. Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. We have to receive the knowledge through parampara, disciplic succession. "And because the parampara is broken, therefore it is lost," Krsna says. So we cannot accept Bhagavad-gita or any Vedic literature, which is called sruti... Sruti means one hears from the acarya. That is the system.
Amogha: Usually in modern education they have the idea called "well-rounded point of view." They want to take some from here, from there, from that one and that one, that one, and then think about them all, and come up with a conclusion. So he is thinking it doesn't fit with their pattern of reasoning, how we take from one source and get the proper conclusion. They think they have to get from many sources and compare.
Prabhupada: How... I can reply that if you want to know who is your father, then you will have to take the knowledge from many sources, by votes, that who is your father?
Dr. Copeland: (laughing) It's not the same thing.
Prabhupada: Now he says, "not the same." You cannot offer reason. You have to take from one source, from the mother. That's all. You cannot take votes, "Can you say who is my father?" He will say this... He'll say, "He is your father." No, it is not the way. The way is to take the information from the right source, not take the votes of rascals and fools. That is not the way. One source. Even from scientific point of view, mathematics, "two plus two equal to four," you have to take from one source. Any mathematician will say like that. Nobody will say, "No, two plus two equal to five." "No, two plus two equal to three." Nobody will say. "Two plus two equal to four," everyone will say. This is not the way of securing knowledge, from here, there... Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not approve. And our Krsna, He said, imam rajarsayo viduh, evam parampara-praptam [Bg. 4.2]. That is the recommendation. And because that source is now missing, therefore it is lost. This process of knowledge, that we take knowledge from anyone and everyone, his opinion, what is that?
Not that everyone is in knowledge, but everyone can give his opinion. That is a different thing.
Dr. Copeland: That was my point, only that. Everybody should have an opinion.
Prabhupada: Everyone has got his opinion, that is different thing. But not that everyone has got the knowledge.
Dr. Copeland: Well, that's why we come to you, for knowledge.
Prabhupada: Yes, yes.
Dr. Copeland: But I come to you for knowledge, and then I go to other people for knowledge too.
Prabhupada: That you go, but if you want real, right knowledge, then you must approach the man who knows right, not that you find out anyone and everyone and find out
Dr. Copeland: I'm done.
Amogha: I'll give you a show around if you like.
Dr. Copeland: Okay, fine. I thank you very much for your time. And when do you come back again?
Prabhupada: When?
Dr. Copeland: When do you come back to Australia again?
Madhudvisa: January. Hopefully in January. Will session be in then?
Dr. Copeland: Oh, no, that won't work.
Madhudvisa: When is session?
Dr. Copeland: Session will end in October and start again in March. But if when you come back in January, they tell me that you're here, I'll come talk to you again if you want to talk to me again.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes. You are always welcome. Educated man like you is welcome.
Dr. Copeland: Oh, yes. (laughs) Keep up the good humor. (Devotees laugh)
Prabhupada: Jaya.
Dr. Copeland: Namaskara.
Prabhupada: Somebody else was to come?
Madhudvisa: I think one more was to come. (Devotees talk amongst themselves in background)
Srutakirti: So he "had to run."
Madhudvisa: He said at the end, "I am done." (laughs)
Prabhupada: I am done?
Madhudvisa: Yeah, he said, "I am done."
Prabhupada: What is that meaning?
Madhudvisa: It means that you have finished him. (Prabhupada laughs) They are... They have such a misunderstanding of the philosophy coming from India. When they come to see you they think that you will be very liberal-minded because they have received this liberal-mindedness from so many other bogus swamis, and when they come to see you, you are very conservative. You will not accept anyone else. So they cannot agitate their mind. They cannot do their muni thing. So many other swamis come, and they accept this, accept that, do this, and do that, and simply stress, "The follower is right."
Prabhupada: They will say to him, "Love humanity."
Madhudvisa: Yes.
Prabhupada: And this is very palatable. "Oh, Swami is for humanity." He is a rascal, he does not know. "Love humanity. Do not love Krsna. Love humanity." And then people believe him. "By loving humanity, you love Krsna or God." These things are very palatable. This is Vivekananda's philosophy. And most people say like that. "Love humanity." Oh, why humanity? Why not tiger? That they shall not. All bogus. Don't be misled by the bogus. Stick to your own principles. That's all. People may come or may not come. We don't care for them. We must speak the right truth. Why "people not coming"? People are not coming? We are getting more and more devotees. (end)

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