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Room Conversation
with Two Lawyers and Guest

May 22, 1975, Melbourne
Madhudvisa: ...who are here, they would like to have your association, (laughter) more personal association.
Prabhupada: I also like. (laughter) Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto 'pi **. This is essential, to be anxious to be associated with the spiritual master. Guru-krsna-krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. That is the statement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. By the mercy of Krsna one comes in touch with the bona fide spiritual master, and by the mercy of spiritual master, one gets Krsna. So Krsna is in everyone's heart. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam [Bg. 18.61]. Krsna can understand what we want. So when we sincerely want Krsna, then Krsna sends His representative, guru. Guru is outside representative of Krsna. So to the sincere student, Krsna teaches from inside and outside. That is the way, so that he becomes quickly fit for going back to home, back to Godhead. So this behavior, to be attached to spiritual master, is a good qualification. Yasya prasadat, by his mercy, Krsna becomes merciful. By Krsna's mercy, one gets spiritual master, and by the spiritual master's mercy, one gets the mercy of Krsna.
So your this behavior, attachment, is very much appreciated both by Krsna and devotees. So continue this attitude and follow the instruction. Then it is guaranteed, go back to home, back to Godhead. It is not difficult. For a sincere person to go back to home, back to Godhead is not at all difficult. Especially Krsna in this age has personally appeared as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is very, very kind to the fallen souls. Papi-tapi jata chilo, hari-name uddharilo. His business was with all the papi and tapi. Papi means sinful, and tapi means suffering. Papi-tapi jata chilo... (to child:) Sit down.
Woman: I must give him tissues.
Prabhupada: Papi-tapi jata chilo. So His business was papi-tapi? No, His business was with the most exalted personalities like... Sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu nityananda, sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta. They were all very exalted personalities. But all of their mission was to deliver the papi-tapis. That we have described in our that small book, Sri Krsna Caitanya in Five Features. So papi-tapi is everyone, in this age especially. But if we take shelter of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, by His mercy we get everything. So now Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda has come to Melbourne, very nicely looking. So keep yourself always engaged in the service of the Lord. Sri-vigraharadhana-nitya-nana-srngara-tan-mandira-marjanadau **. Sri-vigraharadhana, this arcana process, beginning from mangala-aratrika up to the sayam-aratrika, everything should be done very nicely. And the temple should be made very clean. Tan-mandira-marjanadau. To dress the Deity is as much important as to cleanse the temple also, not that temple will remain dirty, simply you are dressing the Deity.
No. Everything within the temple should be kept very, very neat and clean. And the more you keep the temple neat and clean, you will be neat and clean within your heart. And then your understanding will be very easy. We cannot understand Krsna because our heart is piled up with many garbages. That we have to cleanse. Then it will be easy to understand Krsna. So I am very much pleased that we have secured this nice building. Keep it very neat and clean and go on chanting. You have got nice place for chanting and dancing. And utilize the open land for growing flower. In this way make this center unique. And it is a recognized building. If people understand that this building is now a temple and very nicely kept, people will come and see. So keep yourself always in touch with the principles and chant Hare Krsna, and those who are... All of you, I think, you are educated. Read books. Try to understand the philosophy. Then your life is successful. Thank you very much for your coming.
(devotees offer obeisances) All of them are resident?
Madhudvisa: Residents?
Prabhupada: Resident in this temple?
Madhudvisa: We would like them all to be residents. But some of them find it little difficult to be residents.
Prabhupada: Make it suitable. Hm. All right.
Madhudvisa: They don't want to go.
Prabhupada: All right. (laughter) [break]
Madhudvisa: ...one of our very dear friends, Raymond Lopez. He is a barrister and a visitor who has helped us out tremendously with some of the legal dealings that we've had here in Melbourne. And also this is Mr. Wally Strobes(?), he has also helped us out and given us good guidance. And this is Bob Bourne(?), he is a photographer who has... He has taken that nice picture of the Deities that I have brought to Mayapura festival.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Madhudvisa: Very nice. So he has taken many photographs for us. And we are particularly indebted to Wally and Raymond for giving us a lot of good guidance in our dealings with the police. And one time we had one incident about three years ago, when some of the boys were a little enthusiastic about Ratha-yatra festival, and they went out and they picked many flowers illegally. So they were caught.
Prabhupada: Illegally? Where? In the park?
Madhudvisa: No. In one flower-growing nursery.
Prabhupada: Oh.
Madhudvisa: So they were found out and caught. But Raymond was able to get them off free due to Krsna's mercy. But it taught us a good lesson.
Guest 1: Actually I think they had the wrong people.
Prabhupada: There was a great devotee in South India. He was a treasury officer. So he took money from the treasury and constructed very nice temple. (laughter) Yes. Later on, he was caught, and he was put into jail by the Nawab. At that time the Mohammedan king, Nawab, he saw in dream that two boys, very beautiful, they have come to the Nawab: "Sir, what money he has taken, you can take from me and release him." So the Nawab said, "If I get my money, I can release him." Then, when his dream broke, he saw the money on the floor, and nobody was there. Then he could understand that he is great devotee. He called him immediately, that "You are released, and you take this money also. Whatever you have already taken, that's all right. And now this money also you take. You spend as you like." So devotees sometimes do like that. Actually nothing is private property. That is our philosophy. Isavasyam idam sarvam: [Iso mantra 1] "Everything belongs to God." That's a fact. Under the influence of maya we are thinking that "This is my property."
Just like suppose this cushion. Wherefrom the wood has come? Has anybody produced wood? Who has produced? It is God's property. Rather, we have stolen God's property and claiming, "My property." Then Australia. The Englishmen came here, but is that the property of the Englishmen? It was there. America, it was there. And when everything will be finished, it will be there. In the middle we come and claim, "It is my property," and fight. Is it not? You are a barrister, you can judge better.
Guest 2: That was the argument he used.
Guest 1: No, It (indistinct). (laughter)
Prabhupada: Originally, originally, everything belongs to God. So why we are claiming, "It is my property"? Suppose you have come here. You sit down for one hour, two hours, and if you claim, "It is my property," is that very good judgement? You have come from outside, you are allowed to sit down here for two hours, and if you claim, "This is my property..." Similarly, we come here. We take birth either in America or in Australia or in India and remain for fifty, sixty or hundred years, and why shall I claim, "It is my property"?
Guest 3: You don't claim it, I suppose. If you own property, what happens, I would have thought, is more that for a time you have got possession.
Prabhupada: For a time you have got possession of the chair—that does not mean your property.
Guest 3: But I suppose if somebody came and took the chair while I've got it in my possession, I'd be terribly upset about it.
Prabhupada: No, that is a (indistinct) thing. Nobody will disturb you. You remain in your chair. (laughter) That does not mean because you have sat down on the chair for two hours, you become proprietor.
Guest 2: One gets attached.
Prabhupada: Hmm?
Guest 2: One gets attached to the chair. I like this chair. It's a nice chair.
Prabhupada: No, that's all right. You like, you sit down, and you go when it is finished. But how do you claim that it is your property?
Guest 2: Good-bye. (laughter)
Prabhupada: That is called maya. This is maya. The philosophy of maya, maya means what is not. Ma-ya. Ma means not, ya means this. So maya means the conclusion, as you have made, that is not. That is not the fact. So we are claiming, "America is our", "Australia is our", "India is our". Nothing our. Everything God's. The best conclusion is, "It is God's property. God has given us to live. Let us thank God, feel obliged to Him, and glorify Him." That is our vision. That is Krsna consciousness movement. You accept the real position, that nothing belongs to you, everything belongs to God. You also belong to God. Your body, yourself, everything belongs to God. This body is material body. That material energy, earth, water, air, fire—everything belongs to God. This sea belongs to God, water, vast water. You have not created, neither your forefather has created. So this body is made of earth, water, air, fire, five elements. So your, the body is also God's.
So far I am soul, I am also part and parcel of God. So everything belongs to God. This is Krsna consciousness. We are falsely claiming that "It is our." This is maya. Maya means what is not fact. That is the meaning of maya.
Madhudvisa: Srila Prabhupada, this concept that everything belongs to God, it can't work unless everybody believes that everything belongs to God.
Prabhupada: Then everybody may be mad. That does not change the fact. If some madman comes in this room and he fights, "I am the proprietor. You get out," so that is not the fact.
Guest 1: I understand, you know you were talking about the sea and so on. But it's for people to use.
Prabhupada: Use, you can use. Tena tyaktena bhunjithah [Iso mantra 1]. That is the Vedic injunction. What is given to you, you use it. Just like one gentleman has got five sons. He gives one son, "This is your property. This is your property. This you can use." But the sons must acknowledge that "This is father's property. He has given us." Similarly, in the Vedic sastra it is said that "Everything belongs to God, and whatever He has given to you, you can use. Don't encroach upon others."
Guest 1: But if He has given... You were saying that if He's given something to you and don't encroach upon others, but there are certain things that one person has or one group of persons have which, I think, truly can be said that...
Prabhupada: And originally we have to accept. Everything belongs to God. Just like father and sons. The son must know, "The property is father's." That is the real knowledge. Now, "Whatever father has given me, I will use it. Why shall I encroach upon others, my other brother, which he has got from the father?" This is good sense. "Why shall I fight with my other brother? My father has given him this property to him, so let him use that, and whatever he has given me, let me use it. Why shall I encroach upon his property?" This is good sense.
Guest 1: I can understand when you say, "Don't encroach on other people's property." And I believe, if I understand you correctly, what you're saying is that if you have something, if someone's given you something and someone else wants to use it, then let him. I can understand that. But don't you get into the stage and can't you get to the stage at times that for some reason or other you don't want him to use it?
Prabhupada: I don't want to use my thing?
Madhudvisa: He's saying that if someone does not want, that you don't want someone to use what you have. If someone tries to forcibly take...
Prabhupada: No, that is another thing.
Guest 1: The situation could arise when you wouldn't want somebody to use what you were using for some particular reason. You might be using it yourself at that time. That situation can arise that you don't want...
Madhudvisa: We are believing that everything belongs to God. If someone else does not believe in that concept and tries to use...
Prabhupada: That is wrong, that I say. That is his wrong conception.
Guest 2: Well, how do you reconcile or how do you work out a situation... If everything belongs to God, we have to run society, and...
Prabhupada: But you don't forget that everything belongs to God. Because you have to run society, it does not mean that you forget the real thing.
Guest 1: So I really don't object to that idea at all. But the thing is that the system we're working within has got different concepts.
Prabhupada: It should be rectified.
Guest 1: It should be...?
Prabhupada: Rectified.
Madhudvisa: The system should be rectified.
Guest 1: I suppose Wally and I are thinking on the same wavelength because we can imagine the problems that we'd have.
Prabhupada: Now you have got the United Nations. Now, if they are sane men, they should pass resolution, "The whole world belongs to God, and we are all God's sons. So let us make now United States of the World." That can be easily done. If they can make United States of America, why not United States of the whole world?
Guest 2: I think that would probably solve a lot of problems because...
Prabhupada: Yes, all problems. Now, suppose in India there is scarcity of foodstuff. In America, in Africa, in Australia, there is enough grain. Produce foodstuff, distribute. Then immediately whole nations become united. Use everything, God's gift—we are all sons—very nicely. Then the, all the problems solved. Now the difficulty is that we have made, "No, this is my property. We shall use it, nation." In the Vedic conception there is no such thing as national. There is no such conception. That is the idea, Vedic conception of society or politics. There is no question of national.
Guest 1: You're thinking more of an international world than a national world.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Guest 1: I don't think anybody would disagree with that. I certainly don't.
Prabhupada: Yes, that we want to do: one God, one state, one scripture, and one activity. That is the ultimate end of Krsna consciousness movement. Just like we are from different countries. We don't think as nationalism, that "I am American," "I am Indian." No. We all think that "We are all servant of Krsna." And they are working in that spirit. It is possible. If this idea is accepted in that United Nation, it can be done. But they will not accept. They are going go be united, but everyone is thinking, "First of all my interest." All cheating. They are outwardly, "Now we have come to the United Nation," but no one is going to be united. Everyone is thinking, "It is my first interest first. I must give veto if he's opposing." This is going on. Therefore for the last twenty years or more than that, they are trying to be united, but it is becoming disunited. The flags are increasing. In New York they have got their headquarters. When I pass through, I see that another flag has increased.
So this United Nations is a failure and it will be failure because there is no God consciousness.
Guest 3: I don't think it's necessary that it fails.
Prabhupada: Hmm?
Guest 3: I don't think it's necessary that it fails. I don't... I think things are changing definitely throughout the world. It's a matter of which course they take.
Prabhupada: No, what changing? They are preparing for war again. Where is changing? A slight provocation, there may be war.
Guest 1: Yes, but people are changing now. You're getting the young people who for the first time in years are becoming aware and are getting interested in things outside their own town, their own individual state or whatever it is they have. You have people, the young people now are getting interested in things like poverty, they're interested in Bangladesh and so on. This is good. But you nonetheless have a very large proportion of the people who have got that idea of, "I'm all right, and I'll look after mine without taking the overall picture into account." And I think that so long as you have different concepts, different beliefs, it's going to be very hard to get into what you're talking about.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is to be united first, that... First thing is that everyone should be convinced or understand clearly that everything belongs to God. But they have no conception of God even. That is the difficulty. The whole human society at the present moment, majority, they are Godless, especially the Communists. They don't acknowledge. The scientist, the philosopher, the scholars—all Godless. Scientists' special business is how to defy God. They say, "Science is everything. We can do everything by science." There is no need of God. Huh?
Guest 2: I don't think so any more. They're a lot more enlightened.
Prabhupada: Not any more?
Guest 2: Well, in some circles, yes I think.
Prabhupada: That was never any more, but if they are realizing that, that is very good.
Guest 1: But you can't say that scientists are working in a way that is opposite to God's will.
Prabhupada: Yes, they say. They say, oh yes. I have met many scientists. They say that "We shall solve everything by scientific advancement. We have done already." They say like that.
Guest 1: But just because they...
Prabhupada: Just like there is a big theory, chemical theory. One big scientist... Big or small, whatever he may be, he has got a Nobel Prize.
Guest 1: He's medium sized. (laughing)
Prabhupada: Huh?
Guest 1: He's medium sized.
Prabhupada: Yes. He is making the theory that life has come from chemicals by chemical combination, chemical evolution. Darwin's theory is also of that. This is their... Big, big scientists, they are so fool that life has come from matter. Where is the proof? He was lecturing in California University, and there was one student. He is my disciple. He challenged him that "If you get the chemicals, whether you can manufacture life?" That answer was, "That I cannot say." Why? You are putting this theory, that life has come from chemicals. So science means observation and experiment. Now experimentally prove that the chemicals have produced a life.
Guest 1: They're trying. (laughs)
Prabhupada: That is another foolishness. When you are trying to be a lawyer or barrister, that does not mean you are barrister. When you are a student of law you cannot say that "I am barrister," or "advocate," that you cannot say. You are trying to be, that is another thing. But while they are trying to be, they are taking the position of leader. That is the misleading. That is described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, andha yathandhair upaniyamanah [SB 7.5.31]. "One blind man is trying to lead many other blind men." What is the use of such leading? If the leader is blind, how he will do well to other blind men?
Guest 3: Beethoven was deaf.
Prabhupada: Hmm?
Guest 3: Beethoven was deaf.
Prabhupada: What is that?
Madhudvisa: Beethoven, the great composer, he was deaf.
Guest 3: At least, for part of his life.
Guest 1: But can't you have people doing good for the sake of goodness?
Prabhupada: But he does not know what is good.
Guest 1: But there are certain people...
Prabhupada: Therefore I say blind. He does not know what is good. real goodness is to understand God. That is real goodness.
Guest 1: But there are certain things that you don't..., that are good, that you can accept as being good just by themselves. Now if you see an old lady who gets run over by a car, you go and help her. Now there are certain things that are good by themselves, I think, and that people will react and do the good thing even though they mightn't have any concept of God.
Prabhupada: No. Unless you have got the real platform how you can do good? Just like our Madhudvisa Maharaja was obliged to you. You have done some good in legal affairs. But unless you are a lawyer, legal man, how can you do it? You have a mind to do good, but if you are not a lawyer, how could you do?
Guest 2: But there would be a lot of lawyers to do...
Prabhupada: No, that is another thing. I am talking of yourself. If one does not know what is good, then how he will do good? The first business is that he must know what is good. Then he can do something good. Otherwise what is the use of jumping like monkey? He must know. Because you are a lawyer you know how to deal with law, you can do good. But a layman who is not a lawyer, how he can do good? So therefore, anyone who is posing himself as leader to do good to the society, he must know first of all what is good.
Guest 2: Would you say that the lawyer can do good whether or not he believes in God?
Prabhupada: No, no, no. I am saying that if you are not a lawyer, if you have no study of the law, how can you do good?
Guest 2: Well, that's what I was putting. I was hoping to lead you from there to the other situation of no studying or specific training.
Madhudvisa: No. Srila Prabhupada was saying that you could help us legally because you knew the law. If you weren't a lawyer, then you couldn't have helped us legally. Right?
Guest 2: I see, I see what you mean, yes.
Madhudvisa: So therefore, now taking that same example, you can't do good for someone unless you know what good is. You can't...
Guest 2: I was misunderstanding what he was saying.
Madhudvisa: You can't help us legally unless you know the law yourself. You can't... I mean, just any Joe can't walk into the court and start speaking. The judge will say, "Go away." But because you're a lawyer you can help us.
Guest 1: But the question Raymond asked before was if somebody helped an old lady across the street and he was, say, an atheist, would it be doing a good action?
Madhudvisa: Well, it depends. It depends on what the lady was doing.
Guest 1: It depends if he pushed her in front of a car.
Madhudvisa: That lady may have been...
Guest 1: If she wanted to cross the road?
Madhudvisa: No, no. That lady may have been walking home with a cartload, with booze, to kill herself. So when she got knocked over and all her liquor fell out on the ground and you didn't help her up with it, then maybe it was good that you left her there.
Guest 1: No, I think that particular situation where he helped the lady across the road...
Prabhupada: No, particular situation is different. But generally if we do not know what is the ultimate goal, then we misguide. That is the point. So either in society or politics or economics or religion, philosophy, culture—everyone is engaged in some department. But if that leader does not know what is the ultimate goal of life, how he will lead? That is given direction in the Srimad-Bhagavatam in two verses. One verse is: idam hi pumsas tapasah srutasya va [SB 1.5.22]. Find out this verse. It is in the First Canto. Who can...? Where is? First of all find out this verse.
idam hi pumsas tapasah srutasya va
svistasya suktasya ca buddhi-dattayoh
avicyuto 'rthah kavibhir nirupito
[SB 1.5.22]
Srutakirti: What is it, idam hi...
Prabhupada: Pumsah. Yes, the direction is... Read it.
Srutakirti: Idam hi pumsas tapasah srutasya va...
Prabhupada: Come here.
idam hi pumsas tapasah srutasya va
svistasya suktasya ca buddhi-dattayoh
avicyuto 'rthah kavibhir nirupito
[SB 1.5.22]
"Learned circles have positively concluded that the infallible purpose of the advancement of knowledge, namely austerities, study of the Vedas, sacrifice, chanting of hymns and charity, culminates in the transcendental descriptions of the Lord, who is defined in choice poetry."
Prabhupada: The advancement of knowledge in any department, that is very good. But what is the aim? The aim is to glorify the Supreme Lord. Just like you are lawyer. You gave us help in some difficulty time. Why? Because you wanted to continue glorification of the Lord, that "These men are doing nice. Why they should be harassed?" So that means you helped glorification of the Lord. So that's your success as a lawyer. So anyone who helps this movement, that "They are spreading Krsna consciousness, God consciousness. They should be helped in all respect," that is the perfection. Everything is required, but it should be culminated in the matter of glorifying the Supreme. Then it is perfect. In another place... Find out this verse,
Just like you have helped this institution in a difficult position. That means you have pleased Krsna. That is your success. My devotees are in difficulty.
They wanted some legal help. You, as a lawyer, helped them, so you have pleased Krsna, God. That is the aim of life. Whether by my work in different spheres, as a lawyer, as a businessman, or as a scholar, as a philosopher, as a scientist, as an economist... There are so many demands. It doesn't matter. But you should see whether you are successful. And what is the standard of success? The standard of success is whether you have pleased God. You read this. Atah pumbhir dvija-sresthah...
Srutakirti: Atah...
Prabhupada: Pumbhir.
Srutakirti: Atah pumbhir dvija-sresthah.
Prabhupada: Hmm. Find out this verse.
"Oh best among the twice-born, it is therefore concluded that the highest perfection one can achieve by discharging his prescribed duties, dharma, according to caste divisions and order of life, is to please the Lord, Hari."
Prabhupada: That is religion. That should be developed, that "Whether by my profession, by my business, by my talent, by my capacities..." There are different categories. "Whether I have pleased God?" Then it is successful. If you have pleased God by your legal profession—you are in a different dress—it doesn't matter. You are as good as they are whole time only serving God. Because their business is also to please God. Similarly, if you have pleased God, then even by practicing your law, you are as good as the saintly person. That should be the aim, "Whether I have pleased God with my professional duty or occupational duty?" That is the standard. Let people take up this. We don't say that "You change your position. You become a sannyasi or you give up your profession and become bald-headed." No, we don't say that. (laughs) We are by nature. (laughter) So this is Krsna consciousness, that you remain in your position, but see whether by your discharge of duties you have pleased God.
Then everything will be all right.
Guest 3: I think this is the attitude to certainly my religion, where we believe that through the profession, the way you mention it, we are doing things towards God. And even in the ordinary days of the week, that you could be doing or generally making life in a way to please God. And that's my belief because my religion has the same belief as what you've just been mentioning, that even through the running of the professions and all the practice of the profession is one way of helping people. And because you are helping people you are in fact doing something that God wants.
Prabhupada: No, not general people.
Guest 3: It's the indirect way because God wants people to be happy. Now, if you can help people, if you can help people as people, surely that means that you must be pleasing God.
Prabhupada: No, first of all... Suppose you are a lawyer, and some man has committed murder, and he wants your help. And suppose by your legal tricks you save him. So that will not please God. (laughter)
Guest 3: You've got a different consideration here.
Guest 2: You've got a lot of places and names for that.
Guest 3: We've got a different consideration here, you see, because the law that we have is very different from God's law. And I think that... [break]
Prabhupada: You must accept God's law, not the people's law.
Guest 1: Well, the problem is that we're confined by the state law here just as the boys with the flowers. Now, maybe in Krsna's law they did nothing wrong, but they were still subjected to being taken away like that.
Prabhupada: Yes, but he saved them. He saved them.
Guest 3: Now wait a minute. I want to get this thing straight, if I may. One boy was charged. Now, I don't care what happened or where the flowers came from. I was told and I believe that that particular boy was not involved. Now, someone else may have been. But as far as I was concerned, I believed that the boy that they got was not involved himself. Now, I'm not saying that some other people were not involved. But I think that that particular boy, I am satisfied... Do you agree with this, Wally?
Guest 1: Yeah, but even if you had been told that that boy did it, your job would have been to...
Guest 3: If they say that boy... If I was told, "Look, that boy did it," then the case would have been done completely differently because then you can't then go around and say, "Look, he didn't do it." So it's a different approach, different approach altogether you see. But as far as... I just wanted to get that thing straight, as far as that particular boy. But according to the law in here, we have to operate within our law. Now, true it is that outside of it, you have got the question of God's law. But I'm not that kind of lawyer. I'm not involved with God's law.
Prabhupada: No, I... I know that. That is not...
Guest 3: I can only operate with the tools that I have.
Guest 1: But even if you are a church, if you are a church-goer it makes it very interesting because you're subject to that church law.
Guest 3:. Well, I'm a church-going person.
Guest 1: What happens in the situation where somebody has committed a murder?
Guest 3: Nothing. It's... Look...
Guest 1: It's a matter of church conscience.
Guest 3: It's nothing. It's got nothing to do... I'm not there to judge...
Guest 1: This was the example given.
Guest 3: I'm not there to judge. All I'm there to do is to do a job. Someone else has got the unfortunate task of having to judge people. I don't have to do that, so I don't decide.
Prabhupada: No, we can judge from the standard laws. India still, if one has very good garden and flowers, if somebody goes, "Sir, I want to take some flowers from your garden for worshiping God," "Yes, you can take." They will be very glad.
Guest 1: This man, his livelihood depended on those flowers and I don't... I think his possessions were more important to him unfortunately.
Guest 3: It's a funny story. There's a funny follow up to that one, and that is that the flowers were taken from two men that ran nurseries. And we had to go through an appeal finally to get heard. But just before the appeal came off the boys needed a glass house because of their special plants, which you've got outside here.
Srutakirti: Tulasi.
Guest 3: And they didn't know anything about glass houses. So they were driving around and one said, "Well, let's go and find out something about glass houses. Oh, there's a nice nursery." (laughter) So the car drives up, you see. The devotee comes out, and he said, "Excuse me, sir, but we're interested in glass houses." He said, "Will you please get out of my land?" The same nursery. (laughter) There were two hundred nurseries around the area. He picked that particular one.
Prabhupada: But if people would have been God conscious, they would have excused, "Oh, they have come for God's service. All right, you can take." Therefore the first business is to make people God conscious. Then everything is adjusted. Yasyasti bhaktih, there is a verse in Bhagavata,
yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana
sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah
harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna
manorathenasati dhavato bahih
[SB 5.18.12]
The meaning is that "Anyone who is God conscious, a devotee, he has got all the good qualities. What we consider as good qualities, he has got. And similarly, one who is not a devotee of God, he has no good qualities because he will hover on the mental platform. There are different platform: bodily concept of life, general, "I am this body. Therefore my business is to satisfy the senses." This is bodily concept of life. And others, they are thinking, "I am not this body. I am mind." So they are going on mental speculation like philosophers, thoughtful men.
And above that, there is intelligent class of men, practicing some yoga. And spiritual platform means above that. First bodily concept, gross, then mental, then intellectual, then spiritual. So this Krsna consciousness movement is on the spiritual platform, above body, mind and intelligence. But actually, we should come to that platform. Because we are spirit soul, we are neither this body nor this mind nor this intelligence. So one who is on the platform of spiritual consciousness, they have got everything, intelligence, proper use of mind, proper use of the body. Just like a millionaire, he has got all the lower grade possession. Ten rupees or hundred rupees or hundred pounds—he has got all, everything. Similarly, if we try to make an attempt to bring people on the platform of God consciousness, then he is possessing all other qualities: how to take care of the body, how to use the mind, how to use intelligence, everything. But it is not possible that everyone should become God conscious.
That is not possible. Because there are different grades. But at least one class of men should remain in the society as ideal, God conscious. Just like for our usual life we require lawyers, we require engineer, we require medical practitioner, we require so many, similarly, in the society there must be a class of men who are fully God conscious and ideal. That is necessary. Just like in your body you have got hands, legs, belly, but the head must be there. If your head is cut off, then, despite you have got hands, legs, and belly, it is useless. So this attempt, Krsna consciousness movement, is an attempt to keep at least one class of men, ideal devotee, ideal character. At least, people will see, "Oh, here is an ideal character." That is required. That is described in the Srimad-..., Bhagavad-gita, how to create a first-class man. Just like we have got educational institution for giving instruction on law or medical science or engineering, similarly, there must be an institution to make first-class devotee, ideal man.
That is necessary.
Guest 2: I think the problem in western society, because in western society if you're not the head, then you're inferior.
Prabhupada: Hmm?
Guest 2: If you're not the head, you're inferior. In Indian society that's not so.
Prabhupada: Who shall be the head?
Guest 2: All want to be heads, in one way or another.
Prabhupada: What is that?
Amogha: He says that we all want to be heads.
Prabhupada: No. That is a very good idea, but the leg is also required. If you simply keep the head and there is no leg, then it is incomplete. Everything is required. To keep the body fit you require head, you require arms, you require belly, you require leg. That is the system of varnasrama-dharma. In India you have heard that there is a class, brahmana. Now it is now broken. But this is the Vedic civilization, that one class of men should be the brahmanas, first class. One class of man should be ksatriya, the administrators, politicians. One class of man should be food producer, vaisya. And one class of man should be laborer, who has no brain but he can assist the other three.
Guest 2: The ideal in western societies is all people should be equal.
Prabhupada: No, that is not ideal and neither it is possible. Not that everyone is going to be lawyer. Even though everyone has got the ambition to become a first-class lawyer and earn like anything, but that is not possible. So therefore it requires selection, who will become a lawyer, who will become a scientist, who will become a medical man...
Guest 2: In our society you are taught in school that if you try hard enough, you can become prime minister.
Prabhupada: No, no, there is no harm. You become prime minister. But I say that not everyone is capable to become prime minister. That has to be. If one man is not capable and if he takes education to become, he will waste his time.
Guest 2: But once you have the idea in your head that you can be prime minister, you don't want to be a laborer.
Prabhupada: Then you become. But if he is a loafer and he wants to become prime minister, then it will create havoc. Just like in America. He was not fit for the president's post. Nixon was elected. Then again he has to be dragged down. We say the fit man should go to become a particular...
Guest 2: Our system, I think is not very good. But everyone is taught this way in our system.
Prabhupada: No, there must be... Just like first-class men. They should judge for which purpose this man is. Practical psychology there is. I think. They can decide like that. Anyway, the society must have all divisions of men, and then the society is perfect. We have already many divisions, but we are lacking one division, that, the first-class men, first-class ideal men. That is lacking.
Guest 1: I think everybody acknowledges that.
Prabhupada: Yes, that first-class man is stated here. Read that.
Translation: "Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge, and religiousness—these are the qualities by which the brahmanas work."
Prabhupada: So we have to train men like that.
Guest 1: I don't think anybody would disagree with anyone of those.
Prabhupada: Huh?
Guest 1: I don't think anybody would disagree with any one of those.
Prabhupada: Yes. So as you are training lawyer, as you are training medical man, you can train some men like that. It is possible. If you train from the childhood, it is possible. It doesn't matter from which family he is coming, but it will require, trained up. Just like you have been trained up as lawyer, it doesn't matter from which family you have... It may be lawyer's family or engineer's family. It doesn't matter. But training. So at the present moment, to make the society perfect, a class of men should be trained as it is described here. That is Krsna consciousness movement. And if the first-class men are there, people will consult them, people will follow them, the whole society will be nice.
Guest 2: What about soldiers?
Prabhupada: Huh?
Guest 2: Soldiers?
Prabhupada: Soldiers, they should be also trained up. They are being trained up. Ksatriyas. Just read the ksatriya...
Translation: "Heroism power, determination, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity, and..."
Prabhupada: Courage in battle.
Guest 2: American soldiers.
Prabhupada: No, whoever may be. Not that I sit down in my armchair and I give direction. The poor soldiers are fighting. No. He should go. Courage. He should personally give direction, "Do like this." Who is doing that? The minister of defense is very comfortably sitting on his chair, and the poor soldiers are fighting. That is not required. He must go first of all: "Do like this." Just like in Battle of Kuruksetra, Arjuna is in front; the other side, Duryodhana. The real fighters, they are face to face. Soldiers are assistant. Where is that? So they should be trained up. So unless he is by his nature very powerful, sauryam... What is that?
Amogha: Sauryam, heroism.
Prabhupada: Heroism. Therefore the ksatriyas are allowed to hunt in the forest to become hero because he has to fight. Just like in medical laboratory they first of all dissect some poor animal before touching human being. Therefore ksatriyas are allowed to hunt to become hero. Facing the tiger, "Come on." And still, say, about twenty-five years ago, there was a native prince in Jaipur. Every year he would go to the forest and face the tiger, without any weapon. So that is required.
Guest 2: That is good?
Prabhupada: That is required. Those who are politicians, those who are going to be president, they must be like that.
Guest 2: In our society that wouldn't be thought good.
Prabhupada: No, your society whatever you may be, this is the idea.
Guest 1: Well, that's almost the description of General Amin.
Prabhupada: Huh?
Guest 1: That's almost the description of General Ahin.
Prabhupada: General...?
Guest 2: Where is he?
Guest 1: Idi Amin? Uganda.
Amogha: There is a general in Africa who is very powerful, but he's demonic.
Prabhupada: No, no. They should not be demonic. Other things are there. Sauryam tejo...
Amogha: "Heroism, power, determination, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity, and leadership..."
Prabhupada: Generosity.
Guest 2: So he hasn't got generosity.
Guest 3: No, he's got another one, insanity. (laughter)
Prabhupada: Not insanity.
Guest 1: You can't substitute.
Prabhupada: Yes. Everything is there. He must be at the same time... Although he is hero, he must be generous. Just like Alexander the Great. Perhaps you know the story. He arrested one thief. So when he was arrested and he was being judged by Alexander, the thief pleaded that "What is the difference between you and me? You are a great thief. I am a small thief." (laughter) So Alexander understood it and got him released, "Yes." (laughter) This is generosity. He must agree to the principle.
Guest 1: Well, there's another one, the battle. You know the big battle where the opposition, what was his name, was on the ground, and he said, "You won't..."
Guest 3: ...won't live.
Guest 1: It's an Indian.
Madhudvisa: We brought back Wally one picture from India on the battle of Kuruksetra of Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu's head was there, and Karna was on the ground with his chariot, and Arjuna was about to kill him, and Krsna was directing him to kill. So I told Wally the story that when Abhimanyu was surrounded by the maharathis, there was no mercy then, so now Karna was objecting that...
Prabhupada: Injustice.
Madhudvisa: ...he cannot shoot a man if he gets off his chariot. And Krsna said, "There was no mercy with Abhimanyu, so therefore there will be no mercy now."
Prabhupada: Tit for tat. (laughter)
Guest 1: But where was the generosity then?
Prabhupada: That is happening, tit for tat.
Guest 1: Was that generosity, or...? Where was the generosity?
Prabhupada: No. That is war tactics. That is war tactics. Sometimes we have to use war tactics because we have to own victory. But they were generous because in the Battlefield of Kuruksetra they would fight like anything, like enemies, but at night they were friends. The one man is going. Just like sportsman. They fight during the play, but after that, they are friends, talking together, drinking together, like that.
Guest 2: Like barristers and prosecutors.
Prabhupada: (laughs) Yes. They are paid for fighting. (laughter) But when the fighting is over, they are friends.
Guest 1: Sometimes.
Madhudvisa: Srila Prabhupada, Raymond did not realize that you were going to be so merciful to grant so much time and he thought that you were only going to give about ten minutes, so he left about twenty people back at his house at one party. So he's feeling that he must return.
Raymond: It's my father-in-law's birthday.
Prabhupada: Oh.
Raymond: And it's my son's ninth birthday.
Prabhupada: Oh.
Raymond: And what we're doing is we've decided we're going to have the family.
Prabhupada: That's nice, very nice. So give some prasadam to his son and his father-in-law.
Raymond: And then my wife said, a couple of nights ago my wife said, "Well...
Prabhupada: Take some blessings from the temple.
Raymond: Well, thank you very much.
Prabhupada: For your son and father-in-law.
Raymond: So we decided to get all of my father-in-law's friends. He doesn't know yet, and I'm supposed to pick him up, you see, and I was supposed to be there over an hour ago.
Prabhupada: So you must go on. Oh, yes. It is very nice. It is very nice function. The father-in-law, the grandson. (chuckles) Give some prasadam for them also.
Madhudvisa: He invited everyone over to one, Ugrasrava's, house one night. We had a big party, and Wally came and Raymond came, and they became very much addicted to prasadam. (laughter)
Prabhupada: Make his father-in-law also interested.
Raymond: Well, he was here on Sunday. He came down on Sunday.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes? So this Krsna consciousness movement is very nice. We can make friend anyone. So you are going? Thank you very much for your coming.
Raymond: Thank you very much for your time. You've been most gracious and kind with us. I hope you have a nice trip.
Prabhupada: Thank you. Hare Krsna.
Madhudvisa: He's coming back in January too. Maybe then we can have a longer meeting.
Prabhupada: It is very nice place. I wish to stay here but I have got so many branches I have to go.
Raymond: Good night.
Prabhupada: Good night. Hare Krsna.
Guest 1: I think you must be very happy to see what's happened in Melbourne.
Prabhupada: Yes, I am very happy. This house is quite suitable for our purpose.
Guest 1: They looked very hard and for a long time.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Guest 1: And they had a lot of difficulty. This is one of the things that I imagine, you know, the story that the Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church owned this property. And it was almost by devious means that it was acquired.
Prabhupada: They did not want to give us?
Guest 1: He didn't want to sell direct, like that. Because that beautiful building across there, I think you saw photos...
Amogha: The convent. Srila Prabhupada went through the convent.
Prabhupada: Oh yes.
Guest 1: They, we found out or the suggestion was... Because there were little power groups in that church that possibly the senior people don't know about, but they objected for some reason, which is very hard to understand.
Prabhupada: In London we wanted to purchase one church that was not working. In London. But when we approached that priest, the in-charge, not directly to me but one of my disciples, he informed him that "I shall better set fire in this church. Still, I shall not give to the Krsna consciousness."
Guest 1: That's one reason that the main religion has possibly become bad in the eyes of non-religious people when they hear something like that. Because you could assume that whatever religion, if a person was religious...
Prabhupada: Religion means God. God is one.
Guest 1: ...that that should aid all religions. And the more Krsnas there are, the more other religious people might benefit. Yet they can't see it.
Prabhupada: According to Srimad-Bhagavatam, religion means the law given by God. Just like law means the act given by the state. You cannot manufacture law, I cannot manufacture law. From that purport (?) give me. So Mr. Raymond has gone?
Devotee: Yes, yes.
Prabhupada: He has taken some prasada?
Devotee: Yes, we gave him some prasada.
Prabhupada: Give him.
Guest 2: Bob's in a similar position almost to Raymond. His wife's expecting a baby any minute.
Prabhupada: Oh. That's nice. How many children he has got?
Guest 1: Four. Thank you.
Prabhupada: That's nice. Putra-hinam grham sunyam. Family without children, it is vacant. But people, now they are under this consciousness that family without children. No, that is not. Family means with children. Otherwise it is desert. Putra-hinam grham sunyam. Sunyam means zero.
Guest 1: One thing I wondered about. In our terms sometimes you can find a person that you admire or who you believe does good, but he professes to be an atheist. I'm thinking about a person like Bertrand Russell.
Prabhupada: No, our ideas are standard. We are not manufacturing any idea. Just like whatever we speak, immediately we give evidence from the sastra. That is our standard. We accept standard idea, and the standard idea means the ideas given by God. That is standard. There is no mistake. There is no cheating, There is no illusion. Any idea we form, that is prone to these four defects. One defect is that we are prone to commit mistake. We are prone to be illusioned. And our senses are imperfect. So being subjected to mistaken idea, illusioned idea, our senses being imperfect, if we want to give some law, that is cheating.
Guest 1: So the answer to every question is in there.
Prabhupada: Yes. I do not pose myself that I am perfect. These ideas I am giving, that is perfect.
Guest 1: Is that open to interpretation or is it very... Can two people read...
Prabhupada: Interpretation... When you do not understand the word, then you can give interpretation. Otherwise there is no chance of interpreting.
Guest 1: If two devotees read that, the meaning is the same, but...
Prabhupada: Two devotees. Just like you are eating this sweet. So everyone will say, "Yes, he is eating sweet." And where is the question of interpretation? Everyone knows that you are eating sweet. So if I say this gentleman is eating sweet, so who will object to this? "No, no, my interpretation is different." What is that interpretation? This is a fact.
Guest 2: Yes, but I think that's a simple example.
Prabhupada: So when you can understand directly, where is the question of interpretation? You cannot give interpretation.
Guest 1: I've read some of these, which are very difficult to understand. And I have seen the boys with writing in there which is help in their understanding of it where you could say fifteen words, but to a simple reading of them, they're very complicated.
Prabhupada: No, this is... Therefore purport is given there. The explanation is given there. And even after that, if one cannot understand, then we are here. The devotees are there. I am there. There is no difficulty.
Guest 2: But I think it's easier if you have a teacher.
Prabhupada: Of course, everything requires teacher. So we are giving the purport, that means we are teaching. Not only the verse is there, the translation is there, but we giving a purport. And even from the verse. Just like this verse, samo damah, yes.
Prabhupada: These are different words. You can understand what is the meaning of samah. Samah means controlling the mind. So damah means controlling the senses. If you first of all control the mind, then you can control the senses. Then samo damah sattvam.
Prabhupada: Tapah. Tapah, tapasya, austerity. Austerity. Then you have to consult what is the austerity? The austerity is, beginning of austerity is the sex control. That is austerity, brahmacarya. Tapasa brahmacaryena [SB 6.1.13]. And that brahmacarya you can observe by following certain rules and regulations, Just like these people are following. In this way everything is there, clear. There is no interpretation. You cannot interpret the word water. Everyone knows what is water means. Where is the question of interpreting? Therefore sometimes reference to the teacher is necessary. Otherwise every word is clear. There is no question of interpretation. Now they are irrelevantly interpreting the first verse of Bhagavad-gita. Dharma-ksetre kuru-ksetre [Bg. 1.1]. So they are interpreting Kuruksetra means this body. And where is the chance of such interpretation? Kuruksetra, the land, is still there. Just before coming here I went to Kuruksetra. So why you should interpret, "Kuruksetra means this body"?
This is wrong interpretation. The law of interpretation is there when you cannot understand directly. Then you are allowed to interpret. Otherwise there is no necessity of interpretation. But they are unnecessarily interpret for their own purpose. That has become a fashion, to interpret Bhagavad-gita in his own way. Where is the chance?
Guest 1: This, I think I remember from last year that the boys in New Zealand seemed to have a different interpretation of some of them, didn't they?
Prabhupada: Yes, that may be, but we don't agree with that. We don't agree with that. Everyone has got the right to interpret in a different way, but we have to accept parampara, the disciplic succession. Just like I have given one burfi. Everyone knows it is burfi, and if somebody interprets, "It is stone," so it will not be accepted. Everyone knows it is burfi, nice sweetmeat. Why shall I call it stone? But if somebody says, "I can interpret in this way," he can say, but it will not be accepted.
Amogha: Maybe you'd like to come to aratrika. It's just starting, aratrika ceremony.
Guest 2: I'd like to very much, but we'd better go home because...
Amogha: You've got something on? They have things that they have to do.
Guest 1: Later, at 8 o'clock, I've got a meeting, some people coming to my home. My wife's away having a holiday, and our youngest boy's come home, and I'm taking that chance to work long hours to get a lot of things done.
Prabhupada: What is holiday?
Guest 1: For the school children, yes.
Amogha: Schools are not in session all over Australia.
Prabhupada: This is winter holiday?
Guest 1: There are three terms. This is the first term holiday.
Amogha: They divide the year into three parts, and after each part they have a holiday.
Prabhupada: We have got in India two period holiday, summer holiday and Puja holiday. There is a season for worshiping different types of demigods. That is called Puja. And in India when the summer becomes too hot, that is holiday. (guests prepare to leave) Hare Krsna. Jaya.
Guest 1: I wish you a good trip and a happy trip.
Prabhupada: Thank you.
Guest 1: And also I hope that the building in Sydney eventuates.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Guest 1: That you will see or hear about tomorrow morning.
Amogha: They're working on that tonight.
Prabhupada: Hare Krsna. Off this light. (end)

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