Comments on Bhagavad-gita Play

July 12, 1976, New York
Prabhupada: ...of this human being, people do not know how they are kept in ignorance. And because we are part and parcel of Krsna, out of His causeless mercy He comes to deliver us from this ignorance. Unfortunately, they are so much engrossed by the illusory energy, they do not take advantage of the instruction of Krsna. So therefore this Krsna consciousness movement is being propagated that these dull-headed mudhathey are being described as mudha, dull-headed; they do not know actual interest of life. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum [SB 7.5.31]. These dull-headed conditioned souls, they do not know their real self-interest, being influenced by maya. Maya is also Krsna's energy, so it is her duty to punish the conditioned soul because they have decided to forget Krsna. Still, Krsna is so merciful, He comes personally, He authorizes His devotees, servants, to enlighten these conditioned souls. Now our Krsna consciousness movement is an humble attempt to raise the standard of these conditioned souls to Krsna consciousness. Those who are engaged in this business, they should personally behave as devotee, and by their example they should teach others and elevate them from this gross ignorance of materialistic life. Thank you very much. [break]
Ramesvara: Either by your books, by the dioramas and by the dancing.
Devotees: Jaya, Haribol Prabhupada! [break]
Tamala Krsna: So what is your opinion, Srila Prabhupada?
Prabhupada: Yes, nice.
Tamala Krsna: They also have a performance to show you of Satish Chandra Ghosh's play. Satish Chandra Ghosh, remember that play that we received in Mayapura, that Nitai had translated? "Lust and Envy," you gave it to Madhudvisa, myself and Sudama, and you were saying "Just think how to perform this."
Prabhupada: Satish Chandra?
Sudama: Ghosh. He's a playwriter. In Mayapura we received two scenes from the entire translated in Vrndavanain January when we were there together.
Prabhupada: Satish Chandra or Girish Chandra?
Devotees: Girish Chandra.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Tamala Krsna: Oh, Girish Chandra.
Prabhupada: Girish Chandra Ghosh.
Tamala Krsna: So they've prepared one of his dramas also. We wanted to show you on Friday. Actually, we can show you Wednesday now. We'll only be leaving Thursday, Wednesday night.
Sudama: It is incomplete. It is only the first two scenes, and the rest of the drama is four acts of caitanya-lila. So we are waiting anxiously for the rest of the drama to come. Presently it is incomplete.
Prabhupada: So how'll you show the incomplete?
Sudama: In Mayapura you were interested to see the first..., or see the scene of the enemies-anger, lust, greed, envyso we have worked on it.
Prabhupada: Hmm. Kali, Kali-yuga.
Sudama: Yes, Kali. So as the scenes come we are planning to work on them in that succession.
Prabhupada: You have already worked?
Sudama: Yes, on the first two scenes.
Tamala Krsna: They have made a very accurate portrayal of the material world. Actually, the guests who come on Sundays, they very much appreciate these performances. I've seen myself sometimes at the end of the performance, they will give a very big ovation of applause. For even one, two minutes in a row, they continue to applaud. They very much appreciate it. People are fond of seeing things enacted, theater and dance.
Prabhupada: Generally attended by Indians?
Tamala Krsna: No, all the guests come. No, actually this kind of performance will be more appreciated even, I mean the ordinary American people will very much appreciate it.
Prabhupada: Do they come?
Tamala Krsna: Oh, yes. Usually at least half or more of our attendance on Sunday is from the Americans.
Sudama: And here in New York is very much a theatrical city, entertainment, Broadway and... This theater we have here in our temple is situated in off-Broadway. Our theater downstairs is as high a standard in its interior as any other off-Broadway theater house.
Tamala Krsna: There are two classes, Broadway and off-Broadway theater. Two different classifications. Broadway is very costly, big productions, very elaborate, and off-Broadway is more simple, but also very often there are good plays there. So this particular temple is located in an off-Broadway location. And actually it's very prestigious. We can advertise, and people will attend. They will definitely attend, and they'll even pay for the performances. We don't feel that we should charge yet, until the caliber of the performance is first class and until they have some full program. Because right now, just like this play only took about..., the dance only took about twenty-five minutes.
Prabhupada: Altogether.
Tamala Krsna: Yes. Unless they have something that is at least two hours, one and half, two hours, you cannot charge for. People will definitely pay.
Prabhupada: Pay or not pay, doesn't matter. They should understand the meaning.(?)
Tamala Krsna: Did you feel that the message of the Gita came through?
Prabhupada: Hmm. Yes.
Sudama: The precedence of our work, Srila Prabhupada, should definitely be that the message of Krsna consciousness is clearly understood by all, is that correct?
Prabhupada: Along with it, if you, the same thing, more demonstrative, if you put some movies...
Bali-mardana: Slides.
Prabhupada: Slide or movie, that will be...
Sudama: Mixed media. That is also very much appealing to the public. Our future projection plan is to work on the advent of Lord Krsna for Janmastami, which is about an hour production, to an hour and a half. And then we were planning to work on the Ramayana, if it was suiting or agreeable by Your Divine Grace.
Prabhupada: The whole basic principle is this, that people should understand, as I was explaining this morning, the sat and asat. So at the present moment we are living in the way that is asat. But there is another life, sat. So this Krsna consciousness movement is an educational movement to raise a person from the asat platform to the sat. Under illusion they are, what is called, amock? They (laughs) have gone amock. So it is a humble attempt to stop their, this suicidal policy. They are practically committing suicide. They do not know what is the value of life and how they are spoiling it, this valuable life. Bahir-artha-maninah. Durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah. They are trying to adjust things by the arrangement of external energy. That is not possible. Whatever adjustment they are making, so many big, big leaders, politicians, they came. Napoleon, Hitler, Gandhi, this, that, by the waves of material nature everything is driven away. In that way there is no possibility of adjustment. It is not... Kathacaturamanam mali mali javanam(?) How many, caturanana. Caturanana means Brahma. They come and go, come and go. And there is no permanent life, it is all asat. So they should come to the sat platform, that is perfect. The more you remain strong in your spiritual life, then more it will be impressed, it will act. And if it actually is not spiritual life but theatrical performance, then it will not help.
Bali-mardana: Hmm. Very important. In your book you say that when it is acted by pure devotees, then it is powerful.
Prabhupada: So do your best, try your best. That is very good.
Sudama: Thank you, Prabhupada.
Devotees: All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Jaya.
Prabhupada: Jaya. (end)

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