Arrival Comments in Car to Temple
July 9, 1976, New York
Ramesvara: They lease. The city builds it and they lease it from the city.
Prabhupada: What is the name of this airport?
Prabhupada: La Guardia, yes.
Prabhupada: I think these buildings are not ten years ago.
Ramesvara: This is the oldest airport.
Tamala Krsna: Kennedy, La Guardia, and there's one just across the river, Newark. It's in New Jersey, but it's considered part of the Port Authority.
Prabhupada: I hear, Mayapura Project? You have not been sending money?
Ramesvara: Not yet.
Prabhupada: They want money. Gargamuni has written.
Tamala Krsna: Yes, they've been calling for money regularly, but we have not been able to send them any.
Ramesvara: I met with Gurukrpa Swami, Srila Prabhupada, and he has just transferred from the Japanese collections 125,000 dollars. He is writing one letter.
Prabhupada: (indistinct) not all at a time. Management is not very good. So...
Prabhupada: One lakh will be sufficient.
Prabhupada: Things are going on here nice?
Tamala Krsna: We're gradually improving. Actually everything has just begun here; it's by no means complete. You'll see that all of the work is just in progress. It will take a while to make it very nice.
Prabhupada: Yes. Manage nicely. Krsna is giving us everything, there is no scarcity. If we simply sincerely work, Krsna will give us intelligence, everything. By His mercy everything is available. That is Krsna—He can give you anything. That Brooklyn Bridge, I think? That iron bridge?
Prabhupada: Sometimes I was coming there and sitting down near the bridge.
Prabhupada: Yes, that river.
Prabhupada: Because I was on that Bowery Street, it is not very far away. So I was coming, walking there, and sitting under the bridge. And thinking, "Whether I shall return to India?" (laughs)
Prabhupada: Yes. There was one sub-railway station, beginning with F?
Prabhupada: Yes, yes, yes. Sometimes I am going there. Fulton.
Ramesvara: It's in the Village.
Prabhupada: Oh. This is over New York?
Prabhupada: That Hudson Street?
Prabhupada: That subway that goes to the city office? There are so many bridges.
Tamala Krsna: So many, yes, many, many bridges. Every day about seven million people come into this island of Manhattan from the other boroughs, and they go back. From your room, our building is very close to the Empire State Building, so from your room you have a very nice view of it.
Prabhupada: Oh. So Los Angeles everything is going nice?
Ramesvara: Everything is very nice. We just had a big sankirtana marathon for this Fourth of July, and they distributed up to thirty thousand Back to Godheads in just a few days.
Prabhupada: (referring to garland) Make it smaller.
Prabhupada: You can just make smaller.
Ramesvara: We had a good success because we sent out all the householders to the parks. During that holiday everyone goes to the parks. So the householders took their children and they set up a tent, and one of them stayed there babysitting and all the others went out distributing your books. So in that way they went out on traveling sankirtana.
Hari-sauri: No, not Praghosa, he's originally from New York, big, heavy, thick-set boy. Begins with J.
Prabhupada: One chemist of (indistinct), he sold one book, Caitanya-caritamrta, then he talked with me, he's pleased.
Hari-sauri: He sold him a Caitanya-caritamrta and then he brought him over and Prabhupada spoke to him.
Prabhupada: New York climate is very nice?
Prabhupada: No, no.
Hari-sauri: Kirtana, the reaction was amazing, people were dancing and chanting and waving, Prabhupada was in ecstasy.
Prabhupada: Very nice.
Tamala Krsna: New York climate is very nice. Sometimes now it rains a little bit, then shining. So just like Bengal.
Ramesvara: I observed that these devotees at New York, they've practically given up sleeping this past week to prepare everything for your arrival.
Prabhupada: (laughs) They are so kind to me.
Ramesvara: It reminded me that time when the Press devotees stayed up all the time to get those Caitanya-caritamrta volumes. The same spirit. They just stopped eating and sleeping.
Prabhupada: That is love. These things can be done only out of love.
Ramesvara: There were some hired carpenters and painters, and their last day of working was, I think, Wednesday. So yesterday and this morning they came in voluntarily, they stayed up the whole night without sleep, and they continued working.
Tamala Krsna: Eight o'clock yesterday, and they just finished this morning. Straight through the night.
Prabhupada: They are professional?
Ramesvara: :Professional, but by the association of the devotees...
Prabhupada: They become...
Prabhupada: Why don't you stay here? No rent, you stay here. You are devotee. Stay here.
Prabhupada: Take prasadam, stay here.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Tamala Krsna: Because of this rain the atmosphere is actually very clean now. You notice that. It's not very much smog, compared to usual. This is the FDR Drive.
Prabhupada: These are cooperative buildings?
Tamala Krsna: Yes, Prabhupada. These are lower middle class cooperative buildings. This is the East Side.
Prabhupada: I selected one cooperative apartment, they wanted five thousand dollars. (laughs) I had no money. Very nice apartment, near city office.
Prabhupada: Our building is on the Fifty-fourth?
Prabhupada: Broadway is important place.
Tamala Krsna: Very important. Our building is right in the midst of the theater, restaurant and entertainment section of the city.
Prabhupada: In New York I feel little homely because first I came here, I was loitering on the street here and there. From 1965 September, to '67 July, continually I stayed in New York.
Ramesvara: Tamala Krsna Maharaja gave one class this morning. So he was explaining that we cannot understand the good fortune of this city that you have come here. We cannot begin to estimate how fortunate this city is.
Prabhupada: Yes, I, when I decided I shall go to foreign countries, I never thought of going to London, I thought of coming here. Generally they go to London, but I thought, "No, I shall go to New York."
Prabhupada: (laughs) I do not know. It is Krsna's dictation. I could have gone, London was nearer. But I thought, "No I shall go to New York." Sometimes I think I was coming this part. Aimlessly... I think the United Nations building is somewhere here?
Tamala Krsna: It's a little further down. It's on this avenue, it's on Forty-fourth Street, we are on Ninety-sixth Street. We are a little bit uptown.
Prabhupada: And Ninety... Yes. That Indian Consulate office is Sixty-fourth.
Prabhupada: I was coming there sometimes, talking with the officers. One Mr. Malotra was there, he was showing me very friendly. He arranged some meeting in consulate office. They had some organization, Tagore Organization. Second Avenue we'll come?
Prabhupada: Yes, sometimes walking on the Second Avenue.
Prabhupada: This is Ninety-sixth?
Prabhupada: There was fire in this building?
Prabhupada: It is due to the warm.
Tamala Krsna: Yes, due to the warm, and also the buildings, some of them are old and they are not built properly.
Prabhupada: Not taken care of.
Tamala Krsna: No. Our building is also an old building, it's seventy years old. But it's made of solid stone and concrete, brick.
Prabhupada: Then it will never get old.
Prabhupada: You have to simply change the plastering.
Prabhupada: Then it will continue new for hundreds of years.
Prabhupada: Ah, then it is very nice.
Prabhupada: After three years it will require little repairing, then it will keep new always.
Tamala Krsna: Right now we're in the process of simply repainting it, giving it a fresh coat of paint to make it new, because they had not painted it for about ten years.
Prabhupada: It should be painted every three years, then it will be all right.
Ramesvara: On the outside as well.
Prabhupada: Yes, everything, then the building will keep very fresh always.
Prabhupada: This is Second Avenue?
Prabhupada: This is black area?
Tamala Krsna: Puerto Rican and black. This city has as many people Puerto Ricans as Puerto Rico does. So many Puerto Rican people come here, because part of it's a possession of the United States. So the East Side is Puerto Ricans and the West Side...
Prabhupada: Generally they are worker class.
Prabhupada: They speak Spanish?
Ramesvara: Puerto Ricans speak Spanish.
Prabhupada: Why don't you sell Spanish books to them?
Ramesvara: Today Hrdayananda Maharaja is sending to the printer the last volume of the First Canto in Spanish, another volume of the Srimad-Bhagavatam in Spanish. And before you leave New York he will give you...
Ramesvara: That is coming in a few days.
Prabhupada: You have seen Chinese Bhagavad-gita?
Prabhupada: You have got it?
Prabhupada: He has done very nice. First six chapters. So in three books it will be finished.
Prabhupada: That boy is doing very nice. Yasomati?
Prabhupada: Suta, yes, very nice.
Prabhupada: Yes, Central Park. I was coming to Central Park from the other side, Seventy-second Street.
Tamala Krsna: Our temple is four blocks from Central Park. Just walking distance. The mothers and children go there.
Prabhupada: Central Park? Very nice. So you have advantage of the park.
Tamala Krsna: Oh, yes. And on Sundays we put on sankirtana in the park, and then people are invited to come to the temple for the feast. Now because of the good weather, many people leave the city on the weekend, so the numbers of people who are coming on the Love Feast days is not as much as before the summer and after the summer. Now they like to go to the beaches and resort areas, where it's cool and there's water.
Prabhupada: The zoo is here also here? (pronounces "joo")
Prabhupada: No, zoo, zoology.
Tamala Krsna: Zoo, zoology. Yes, Central Park Zoo is on about Sixty-fourth Street, Sixty-fifth Street, just off of the east.
Prabhupada: All big, big buildings.
Prabhupada: Eighteen million?
Prabhupada: It was ten million.
Prabhupada: How it has increased?
Ramesvara: Long Island, it includes Long Island.
Tamala Krsna: Just as many people are living here now, and many, many more people are living on the outskirts.
Ramesvara: And Queens.
Tamala Krsna: Queens and Brooklyn, much more people are living there than before. Queens and Long Island especially.
Tamala Krsna: Yes, he and I stay together. We get up at two-thirty in the morning, chant sixteen rounds before arati, saying Gayatri strictly on time, eating very little, and he reads a great deal of the day, two or three hours he reads, and he's also preaching, giving classes.
Prabhupada: His wife?
Tamala Krsna: She's engaged in taking care of the life members, Indian life members who come, and the guest rooms.
Prabhupada: Oh, that's nice. She is expert. She's very expert. She can do nicely. During winter here it will be so cold you cannot stand even.
Tamala Krsna: Actually after I left Hawaii, I went to see you in Hawaii, all of the work that we did in this building began from when I returned here. So it's been a great push for the last month or month and a half, I think. They did not do much improvement on the temple the first five or six months they were here. They were just adjusting, I guess.
Prabhupada: Not proper leader. What is this building?
Ramesvara: Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Prabhupada: Saw fireworks in Washington.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Ramesvara: I think one day our art paintings will also be in these museums. Because our artists are becoming as expert as anyone.
Prabhupada: Must be.
Ramesvara: Already people are coming and offering minimum one thousand dollars to buy a painting. In Los Angeles, I have sold some paintings for a thousand dollars each. Originals and some copies (laughter) also.
Prabhupada: Copy, how do you make copy?
Ramesvara: We have some artists practicing. So he makes a copy of the original, and I sell it for five hundred dollars. Half the price of the original.
Ramesvara: But that will increase. You can get ten thousand, twenty thousand dollars for one painting in the future, because they are paying that much now for inferior work.
Prabhupada: Who is painting nice? Murali?
Prabhupada: Pariksit, yes.
Tamala Krsna: Yes. He's expert. We have one boy in the temple here who has been doing murals on the walls in the temple room, and he's done it very quickly with a technique called air-brush. Instead of using a brush, you use a spray gun, and you spray the paint on. It's a modern technique. It's especially good in murals and things.
Prabhupada: First of all they draw in lines?
Tamala Krsna: Yes. And then they spray on the paint. He finishes a painting in two or three days. Big murals. (laughs) He's expert. He's known as the human camera. He can copy any picture onto a wall. His name is Visnu dasa.
Prabhupada: So why does he not go to Mayapura-candrodaya...? (laughter)
Tamala Krsna: Yes, he's meant to go, after he finishes the temple. You already told him to go last time.
Ramesvara: We knew you would say that, Srila Prabhupada.
Tamala Krsna: We were talking this morning how as soon as you see these murals, you'll say he should go to Mayapura. He paints very quickly. We could actually send him with that spray gun.
Prabhupada: Electric spray?
Tamala Krsna: Yes, I don't know if they use electricity, or do you use gas? The thing is that he can paint directly, just as fast.
Ramesvara: Yes, I had him in L.A. painting by brush.
Prabhupada: What is this building?
Tamala Krsna: I don't recognize it. Oh, the Fritt Collection, it's an art museum. This whole street is full of art museums.
Prabhupada: Our Jayananda was driving taxi and chanting Hare Krsna, and one day (laughter) he brought to me five thousand dollars.
Ramesvara: Was that the time?
Prabhupada: I think, yes.
Prabhupada: It was given for publishing Bhagavad-gita, but I think Macmillan took it. So I spent it for...
Tamala Krsna: Then you put him in charge to sell all the Teachings of Lord Caitanya, I remember. (Prabhupada laughs)
Jayananda: (indistinct) Didn't sell too many books, though.
Prabhupada: He was chanting and driving. Very good boy.
Prabhupada: Just train him, he is good boy. He has fallen down, just take care of him.
Tamala Krsna: Yes, actually the work here needs, you'll see, this building, it actually requires four or five big leaders.
Prabhupada: One may fall down, but you have to take care.
Prabhupada: Yes, he'll do, he's good worker, if you can train him, he's a good worker. He can do very nice. He has fallen in maya, just take care of him, what can be done? He's good worker, very good worker. He can do intelligent service.
Prabhupada: He knows accounting. There was no guide, he became alone...
Prabhupada: ...and became spoiled.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is the difficulty. As soon as there is lack of good association, one falls a victim. What about that boy, Rsi Kumara?
Prabhupada: He's also very good boy.
Tamala Krsna: All day long he cooks, and after he cooks, then the people take the prasadam in the restaurant, he goes out and preaches to them.
Prabhupada: He's an able worker.
Tamala Krsna: Then he goes out and leads the hari-nama party on the street. He's very enthusiastic to make this restaurant very successful.
Prabhupada: But keep watch on him.
Prabhupada: Yes. (laughs)
Tamala Krsna: He gets deluded. Well, you know what we've done with all of these people, Prabhupada, we've...
Prabhupada: If they are disturbed, let them marry.
Tamala Krsna: He doesn't want, he says he knows it's a waste of time, marriage. What we have done with Rsi Kumara and Bali-mardana is we are living with them. Like Rsi Kumara lives with Adi-kesava Swami.
Prabhupada: Somebody must be with him. Then it is all right. Not alone. Either Cyavana or him, some experienced devotee must be with him. Then they...
Prabhupada: And I think Rsi Kumara is a good cook also.
Tamala Krsna: Since he has come here the prasadam in the restaurant has at least doubled in the quality.
Prabhupada: Accha. (laughs)
Tamala Krsna: Completely different prasadam. He's learned the Gujarati style. Kacuris, samosa, every kind of special prep. When we stayed in Kailasa Shiksarya's house when we were first in Bombay, the things that those cooks were cooking, he knows how to cook. Very high class Marwari and Gujarati cooking.
Prabhupada: He's very intelligent.
Prabhupada: He's also very intelligent boy, but sometimes spoiled.
Prabhupada: Anyway, we have to take care of so many souls. (Karmi yells) What does he say?
Prabhupada: (laughs) Ask why him don't you come here? (laughter) Why you are driving taxi? Come here.
Prabhupada: Now, formerly it was thirty-five, now it is
Tamala Krsna: Yes, Prabhupada. Everything has doubled in price. This car is very ordinary, but it is because you are in it, Prabhupada, that they are looking. Ordinarily it is not such a special car.
Prabhupada: What is the make of it?
Tamala Krsna: It's the same, more or less the same car that you had when you were driving in Los Angeles.
Prabhupada: Los Angeles this was Mercedes.
Prabhupada: No, this is nice car.
Ramesvara: It's their version of Cadillac, Mercury's version of Cadillac. They cannot understand because we say we are not after material opulence for ourselves, they cannot understand that we drive in these cars.
Prabhupada: They think that we unnecessarily criticize. But we require everything. But just like a man. When he's alive his decoration, his nice dress, everything is very good. But if he's dead, then it is useless. Similarly, without spiritual consciousness we are dead. Because the body is dead. Because the spirit soul is there, therefore it is moving. The important point is the spirit soul. So if you are simply taking care of the body very nicely, that means you are decorating the dead body. What is the value of it? It is clear? The body is important because the soul is there. So long the life is there, if you decorate the body everyone will appreciate. But if you decorate the dead body, people will say "What a fool he is!" Apranasya hi dehasya mandanam loka-ranjanam. That is simply a popular applause, "Ah, the dead body is decorated," but what is the value of it? Similarly, without spiritual knowledge, this dead civilization simply on the bodily concept of life, it is ludicrous. That we have to condemn. Take Krsna consciousness, then everything is... Just like one, if there is zero, then it is ten. Another zero, hundred. But without one, simply zero; it is only useless.
Ramesvara: And Krsna's representative.
Prabhupada: One, if there is one, then zero has value. If there is no one, then simply increasing zeroes, what do we get for that? That is the position. There is no spiritual understanding, they are simply after material advancement. Therefore despite all advancement materially, they are not happy. You cannot, now they are trying to bring life by material combination. It is all impossible, childish. Our scientists, they have come, no?
Ramesvara: Ever since we published that article that they wrote in Back to Godhead, many people have been impressed that "Oh, Ph.D's they are accepting this movement." Many Indian guests in Los Angeles, they all comment that they have read this article, and now they are taking our movement...
Prabhupada: Now I have collected one Indian, four items he is Ph.D. He is Ph.D. in chemistry, Ph.D. in engineering...
Prabhupada: Yes. And Ph.D. in pathology. Four, and he's lawyer also.
Prabhupada: He's going to help our, this... [break]
Tamala Krsna: These are bookstalls, look at that. Barnes and Nobles, they are putting up bookstalls here.
Ramesvara: Another Ph.D. from India has joined our movement in Denver. He just moved into the temple, he has a Ph.D. in psychology.
Prabhupada: Yes. There are horse carriages here?
Prabhupada: Yes. This is Fifty-seventh?
Tamala Krsna: Fifty-ninth. They don't want to turn here, huh, Jayananda? Do you? Go up Fifty-ninth it would be nicer. This is where the parade begins. From here down straight. All the way down Fifth Avenue.
Tamala Krsna: Yes. From here all the way down, we go all the way down to the park. Washington Square Park. All the way down, three rathas. It's the biggest avenue.
Prabhupada: Is there any hour limit?
Prabhupada: It appears more congested than before.
Prabhupada: Population are increased.
Tamala Krsna: They had a festival to celebrate the Fourth of July in the Battery, down at Battery Park. Four million people attended. We sold prasadam there, over one thousand dollars of prasadam (laughs) was sold from our prasadam cart.
Prabhupada: They like?
Prabhupada: This Doubleday Company, they take our books?
Ramesvara: I don't know.
Ramesvara: I don't know. Generally the bookstores, they don't take our books because our distributors are distributing on the street in front of the bookstore, they say it is competition. But the college bookstores, they all take our books. We just got a report from Satsvarupa Maharaja that this past month of June in America they sold seventy-five standing orders. And that is remarkable, because all the schools are closed in June, and still they sold them books. They closed for the summer, and still they are ordering your books.
Prabhupada: In this street I think there is one library office...
Tamala Krsna: Yes, it's Fifty..., it's either Fifty-fifth or Fifty-third, and it's called, it's one of main sub-branches. Yes, it's a very well known one.
Prabhupada: Free rent?
Tamala Krsna: "Free rent. Rent a safe deposit box for one year and we'll give you an extra six months free." But first you have to pay for one year. Chemical Bank. Huge buildings now everywhere.
Prabhupada: This is Rockefeller?
Tamala Krsna: No, Prabhupada, now everything looks like the Rockefeller Plaza. All of the buildings are built in that same style. Very opulent. Now every day I look out the window of our building and I think when it will come that we will have one of these buildings. It won't be long. You can see how big these are, Prabhupada. This is Sixth Avenue.
Prabhupada: So we are between Sixth Avenue and?
Tamala Krsna: No, we're between Eighth Avenue and Ninth. Actually our building can be seen from here. Hare Krsna is on the outside of it.
Ramesvara: Straight ahead.
Tamala Krsna: We're very lucky, we rented a garage one block away which can house four buses and twenty vans. Only one block away from it, its very unusual. Otherwise...
Prabhupada: You have taken the whole garage?
Tamala Krsna: Yes, otherwise it's not possible to get parking space in New York. See the "Hare Krsna" now, Prabhupada, on the side of the building?
Prabhupada: Yes, yes.
Tamala Krsna: Jayananda, maybe you should park on the right side. We can walk across the street rather than getting out.
Ramesvara: Yes, good idea.
Tamala Krsna: Pull over if you can on the right side, then Prabhupada can see the building from across the street. [break] Yes, at least for the next five or ten years.
Prabhupada: (laughs) Then you'll have to change again.
Tamala Krsna: Then we want the Empire State Building. (laughter) We have a nice banner which flies in front of the building also. I think you should park on the right side, Jayananda, unless... All right, park on the left. See the banner?
Prabhupada: Yes. (end)
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