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Room Conversation

July 17, 1976, New York
Indian man: I came to offer my obeisances to you. I became a life member as a result of Gopala Krsna's talking to me.
Prabhupada: In Bombay?
Indian man: No, sir, here. I came to offer you obeisances in Brooklyn temple, and I asked you a special permission as my Gurudeva, which you gladly gave me, to teach Gita in Poughkeepsie, where I am. Since then I have been trying to do your work sincerely in Poughkeepsie.
Prabhupada: Poughkeepsie. Where it is?
Indian man: It is hundred miles north of New York. I work there. I am an engineer, and I have been trying to spread Krsna conscious movement of yours, trying to teach from your Gita to the Indian community, and I have been slowly trying to get American people also involved. And, as I see, more and more American people are now coming in. And in fact, those people who are very steadfast, who come to attend my class, are the American people. I am very glad to see that they are taking very great interest. And...
Prabhupada: Indians are not taking so much.
Indian man: No, sir, I'm...
Prabhupada: Indians are bada saheb(?) (laughs)
Indian man: Ah. You see they have been going to...
Prabhupada: Ready?
Tamala Krsna: Yes, Srila Prabhupada. I wanted to just finalize when you would join the festival tomorrow. I wanted to fix that up, so I could, you know, just do that. We're leaving Fifty-ninth Street at two o'clock, and we're reaching downtown, the park, at four o'clock. In other words, it takes two hours, the route. At four o'clock we're going to have a Winnebago. Winnebago is like a small bus which has a, it has a lavatory in it.
Hari-sauri: Like Satsvarupa Maharaja's traveling bus.
Tamala Krsna: Right. It has a bathroom in it. That's going to accompany the parade in case at any time you require it, that will be right there. So it can go alongside the cart. At four o'clock we'll arrive, and at about four-thirty Kirtanananda Maharaja will give a short introduction for you, and at four forty-five you'll speak. So at four forty-five you're expected to give the lecture. It begins at two o'clock at Fifty-ninth Street for two hours. Then by five or five-fifteen the whole thing will be over. So I wanted to know what time you would like to join the parade.
Prabhupada: So you suggest.
Tamala Krsna: Well, it depends on a number of things. One thing is your rest. After taking massage you take prasadam, and then your resting period. Another thing is how long you want to ride along on the cart. It depends on... I think it should depend on... I can't... No one can make that decision. We're agreeable to anything that you suggest. Devotees are enlivened simply that you're here in New York with us.
Prabhupada: So at two o'clock you start?
Tamala Krsna: Right.
Prabhupada: You want me at the starting point?
Tamala Krsna: We want you to do simply what you feel would be best.
Prabhupada: No, no. What is the best? Starting point, my presence required?
Tamala Krsna: Well, it's not a question of required. I mean that's a very exciting time, you know, but I wouldn't say it's required. We're going to start. One way or the other, we have to start the parade. It's exciting at that time, but you could also join midway. Suppose you could also join at Thirty-fourth Street instead of Fifty-ninth Street. Halfway is about Thirty-fourth Street. So you could join there.
Prabhupada: That will be better.
Hari-sauri: That would be about three o'clock.
Tamala Krsna: That would be at about three o'clock. It depends upon your resting period also.
Prabhupada: No, that I will adjust. That is not the thing. I want to know when my joining will be very good. That I want to know. At the beginning or the middle, in the last, that you have to decide. Then I shall adjust. In London, I think... Of course, the whole route I was present, but that was little troublesome because sometimes I am called by nature. But you say there will be a car. So under the circumstances, which time will be good? That you say. Then I shall adjust. That you consult, which time.
Tamala Krsna: Yes, if I can have about five minutes, I'll ask a few people.
Prabhupada: Yes. Then I'll adjust.
Tamala Krsna: So you're agreeable at any time as long as that convenience... That's a good convenience, I think, that we'll have that vehicle.
Prabhupada: That's all.
Tamala Krsna: So I'll just inquire. This is a general idea of what's going on the whole day tomorrow. I'll leave it with Hari-sauri.
Prabhupada: The preaching is going on. Nobody has become our student?
Indian man: Among the Indian people...
Prabhupada: Indian or European or American, it doesn't matter. Since you are preaching there, has anybody joined this movement?
Indian man: No, sir. I have been begging. I've been begging people. Now I know that two American people will become steadfast, and I will make sure that they join the movement, but among the Indian people...
Prabhupada: Whether you have joined?
Indian man: I have joined. I'm a life member. I come to the temple. I study your books all the time. I have your photo. I do your arati every day without fail. Without fail. Nayanabhirama came to my house two weeks ago, and I showed him everything, Krsna and your photo next to it, and I every day do puja. Complete vegetarian and we are doing arati every day, first obeisances to you, my father-mother, and Krsna.
Prabhupada: Your father-mother here?
Indian man: No. They are dead now. They have expired. But I still offer my obeisances to them. First obeisances to you, then to Krsna, then to my father-mother, and then I start my puja.
Prabhupada: That's...
Indian man: And I do complete arati and everything because I want your blessings. I wish that I have a guru like you every birth after birth. But one of the problem, Prabhupada, personally, I have found among the Indian people is that because we are used to so many demigods, they still don't accept Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are so many arguments I get that like...
Prabhupada: There is no question of argument. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, but if they do not accept Bhagavad-gita as the authority, then they are fools.
Indian man: Yes, they are.
Prabhupada: So fools cannot be enlightened. That is the difficulty. If they do not accept the authority, then they are fools.
Indian man: Yes. After I teach Gita and I try to tell them to please sing...
Prabhupada: That is not their fault. Even the big, big leaders of India, even Gandhi, they do not know actually. Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gita as it is. The Bhagavad-gita has been misinterpreted, misused by the leaders, by the politicians, by the so-called philosophers. Everyone has misused.
Indian man: I'll tell you one thing, that Swami Chinmayananda...
Prabhupada: He's a great...
Indian man: He's great, but I'll tell you what happened.
Prabhupada: "Great" means great fool.
Indian man: Yes. In Third Chapter where Krsna is saying, "Renounce your everything to Me." Okay? And the word matam is used, matam. Now Swami Chinmayananda is saying, "That's my opinion," that's what Krsna is telling, and they will be freed of all the work. And you have written matam means scriptural injunctions. And I tried to show the students who come to the class that "This is the difference. Look at this, very big difference," because if Krsna is only giving His opinion, then He's talking like a diplomat, not talking like God. But if He says, "This is the law..." And I explained to them that like Bible has got ten commandments...
Prabhupada: And another thing, even Krsna says, giving His opinionthat's taking it as it isKrsna says, mattah parataram nanyat [Bg. 7.7]. So He's the supreme authority. So supreme authority's matam is a high-court judgment. There is no argument anymore. The judgment is given by the high-court. Final decision. So if Krsna is the Supreme, then who can give him better opinion than Him? For argument's sake, even if He says... Any gentleman will say like that, that... Just like Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] "You do it." He is Supreme Lord, He can force you, but He does not do that. So although His matam is the Supreme, but as a gentle preacher, He says, "That is My matam." But if you are sane, if you know that Krsna is the supreme authority, then His matam is final.
Indian man: And that's why I try to show the difference to people, that "Please follow Prabhupada's Gita. And please make sure that when you read, you read Gita As It Is." This is why I'm trying to show the differences to people. Personally there is only one question I have, and that is, throughout all the Srimad-Bhagavatams that you have translated so far, I see all the time any, like Kardama Muni or other, all other great sages, whenever they do tapasya, every time Maha-Visnu comes down. Now I know that throughout other, even Back to Godhead, you have considered Maha-Visnu as an expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, yet Maha-Visnu is coming every time as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So what is the subtle position here?
Prabhupada: There is no difference between... Just like... It has been explained in the Brahma-samhita. Just like one candle, then you kindle another candle, then you kindle another, another, another, another. So you say, "This is first, this is second, this is third, this is fourth..." But so far candle power is concerned, they are all the same. Either you take first or the second or the third, so far the candle power is concerned, that is all the same. Still, you have to say, "This is first, this is second, that is third, this is fourth..."
Indian man: I was trying to... I was trying...
Prabhupada: So God and His different expansions, they are of same power. Ramadi-murtisu kala-niyamena tisthan nanavataram akarod bhuvanesu kintu, krsnah svayam samabhavat paramah puman yo... [Bs. 5.39].
Prabhupada: So He is existing with all the incarnations, ramadi-murtisu. So Rama is not less than Krsna, but He is incarnation. This is the conclusion.
Indian man: Because I was trying to refer to Govindastakam, Where it says, (sings) sri krsna radha ara gokulesa gopala govardhana-natha visnu, jiveti amrtamedhadevo govindam damodaram ada vetti(?). He's saying, sri krsna radha ara gokulesa gopala govardhana-natha visnu. That is what I was trying to see that is really... I know that say Krsna's expansion is Maha-Visnu, but still, why do they say govardhana-natha visnu? That I was trying to understand. Please don't misunderstand me.
Prabhupada: No, no, Govardhana... Every one is visnu-tattva. Visnu-tattva, jiva-tattva, sakti-tattva, like that. So all of them on the Visnu category. That's all. Visnu-taya vibhati. Visnu-taya vibhati. Diparcir eva hi dasantaram abhyupetya dipayate visnu-taya vibhati [Bs. 5.46]. These things are there. So Godhead is visnu-tattva. So sometimes Visnu, sometimes Narayana, sometimes Govinda, sometimes Krsna, like that.
Indian man: That's very nice, because one can understand very well. Because I always took Maha-Visnu as the expansion of Krsna, but still, when I went to Govindastakam and then also like Brahma-samhita says, yasyaika-nisvasita-kalam athavalambya jivanti loma-vilaja... [Bs. 5.48].
Prabhupada: Loma-vilaja jagad-anda-nathah.
Indian man: ...jagad-anda-nathah, visnur mahan sa iha yasya (Prabhupada quotes same verse simultaneously) kala-viseso govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami. So he says Maha-Visnu is even one expansion of Krsna, yet in Govindastakam they say, govardhana, gopala govardhana-natha visnu, sri krsna radha gokulesa, gopala govardhana-natha visnu.
Prabhupada: They're all visnu-tattva. Visnu-sahasra-nama-stotra.
Indian man: Because many people... At least among the Indians I get very big argument about it, that it is Maha-Visnu who is Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Krsna is only one avatara of His. And I try to...
Prabhupada: That argument is discussed in the Caitanya-caritamrta.
Hari-sauri: First volume?
Prabhupada: Yes, first volume you see. You see. See the contents. You can't find it? When he is discussing somebody, says Visnu is the origin? So children, how many?
Indian man: No children.
Prabhupada: No children.
Indian man: No children
Prabhupada: That is good than another. (laughs) No responsibility.
Indian man: I have decided that in about five, ten years, I'll work that much only. Afterwards I'm going to go to work for you.
Prabhupada: Thank you.
Indian man: Because I don't find any more pleasures, you know, in anything. As I go on chanting and chanting and chanting, sometime, Prabhupada... Oh, my first dream that came when I joined your movement... First dream that I came... And I told my wife about it in the morning. I said, first I saw a moon, and then I saw another large planet coming up, and then on the top of it I saw the lotus feet of the Lord. And when I saw the lotus feet of the Lord, I saw you coming on a swan and doing His puja. And I kept on shouting to my wife that "Please see Prabhupada is here. Please see. He is doing puja of lotus feet of the Lord." And that was my first dream that came. Sometimes after chanting all the time I feel as if He is walking next to me. I can feel as if His bluish body is right next to me, and all the time I have a feeling that somebody is next to me, you know. I don't know whether I'm going crazy or I'm...
Prabhupada: Krsna is already there. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati [Bg. 18.61]. So?
Tamala Krsna: So I asked, I took a poll, census poll of about six or seven GBC men, including Kirtanananda, Ramesvara, Bali-mardana, so many men who know New York, and they all thought that if you join the parade at Twenty-third Street...
Prabhupada: Twenty-third. At what time?
Tamala Krsna: Ah, it'll be... It should be at about 3:15, like that.
Prabhupada: That's all right.
Tamala Krsna: Then it will be nice. Because the whole parade is about fifty-four blocks, and you'll be riding for about nineteen blocks. It means your ride will take about forty-five minutes.
Prabhupada: So what time I'll going to start?
Tamala Krsna: From here?
Prabhupada: Somebody will come?
Tamala Krsna: Yes, I think I will probably come. Kirtanananda will also...
Prabhupada: At what time?
Tamala Krsna: I think, say, it's going to be either 2:45 or 3:00. Tomorrow morning I'll let you know.
Prabhupada: So at 3:00 I shall be ready. You can come and take me. That's all.
Tamala Krsna: Well, I think at 3:00... But then by the time we get in the car... I think it will work, 3:00 o'clock.
Prabhupada: That's all right. 3:00 o'clock, I'll be ready. You come and take. In the meantime, I shall finish my...
Tamala Krsna: Yes, that will leave a little time for resting. The whole program should be over by about...
Prabhupada: So tomorrow I shall take lunch at 1:00. That's all. Then, by 3:00 o'clock, I shall be ready. (to Indian man:) (Hindi?) Krsna is preparing you to join this movement wholeheartedly. It is very nice. Now you have got it?
Jayadvaita: Yes. Krsnadasa Kaviraja quotes, ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam [SB 1.3.28]. "All these incarnations of Godhead are either plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions of the purusa-avataras, but Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself." Then he says, "The Bhagavatam describes the symptoms and deeds of the incarnations in general and counts Sri Krsna among them. This made Suta Gosvami greatly apprehensive. Therefore he distinguished each incarnation by its specific symptoms. All the incarnations of Godhead are plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions of the purusa-avataras, but the primeval Lord is Sri Krsna. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the fountainhead of all incarnations. An opponent may say, 'This is your interpretation, but actually the Supreme Lord is Narayana, who is in the transcendental realm. He, Narayana, incarnates as Lord Krsna. This is the meaning of the verse as I see it. There is no need for further consideration.' To such a misguided interpreter we may reply, 'Why should you suggest such fallacious logic? An interpretation is never accepted as evidence if it opposes the principles of scripture. One should not state a predicate before its subject, for it cannot thus stand without proper support.' If I do not state a subject, I do not state a predicate. First I speak the former and then the latter. The predicate of a sentence is what is unknown to the reader, whereas the subject is what is known to him. For example, we may say, 'This vipra is a greatly learned man.' In this sentence, the vipra is the subject, and the predicate is his erudition. The man's being a vipra is known, but his erudition is unknown. Therefore the person is identified first and his erudition later. In the same way all these incarnations were known, but whose incarnations they are was unknown. First the word ete, 'these,' establishes the subject, the incarnation. Then 'plenary portions of the purusa-avataras' follows as the predicate. In the same way, when Krsna was first counted among the incarnations, specific knowledge about Him was still unknown. Therefore the word Krsna appears as the subject followed by the predicate, describing Him as the original Personality of Godhead. This establishes that Sri Krsna is the original Personality of Godhead. The original Personality of Godhead is therefore necessarily Krsna. Had Krsna been the plenary portion and Narayana the primeval Lord, the statement of Suta Gosvami would have been reversed. Thus he would have said, 'Narayana, the source of all incarnations, is the original Personality of Godhead. He has appeared as Sri Krsna.' "
Prabhupada: So everything is given with logic and argument. Ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam [SB 1.3.28]. First of all He's grouped among the incarnations, but Krsna is not incarnation. He's bhagavan svayam.
Indian man: He comes original.
Prabhupada: Yes. So if you argue against the authority of Bhagavatam, then that argument has no value.
Indian man: That's where the problem in India is. Everyone is saying God is Maha-Visnu, and Krsna and Rama are only avataras, and that's where the big argument came in. In fact, I talked to so many...
Prabhupada: Otherwise why Suta Gosvami, krsnas tu bhagavan svayam [SB 1.3.28]? And Krsna says, mattah parataram nanyat [Bg. 7.7]. So how one can say like that? That means less intelligent. If Krsna... If one accepts the authority of Bhagavad-gita, Krsna says, mattah parataram nanyat [Bg. 7.7]. Aham adir hi devanam [Bg 10.2]. Then how they falsely say? Aham adir hi devanam. Find out this verse.
Prabhupada: Sarvasah. (Hindi)
Indian man: No. Never. He has no reason to cheat us. He has no reason to lie.
Hari-sauri: Shall I read the...?
Prabhupada: Umhm.
Hari-sauri: "Neither the hosts of demigods nor the great sages know My origin, for, in every respect, I am the source of the demigods and the sages." Purport?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Hari-sauri: "As stated in Brahma-samhita, Lord Krsna is the Supreme Lord. No one is greater than Him; He is the cause of all causes. Here it is also stated by the Lord personally that He is the cause of all the demigods and the sages. Even the demigods and great sages cannot understand Krsna. They can neither understand His name nor His personality, so what is the position of the so-called scholars of this tiny planet? No one can understand why the Supreme God comes to earth as an ordinary human being and executes such commonplace and yet wonderful activities. One should know, then, that scholarship is not the qualification necessary to understand Krsna. Even the demigods and the great sages have tried to understand Krsna by their mental speculation, and they have failed to do so. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam also it is stated clearly that even the great demigods are not able to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They can speculate to the limits of their imperfect senses and can reach the opposite conclusion of impersonalism, of something not manifested by the three qualities of material nature. Or they can imagine something by mental speculation. But it is not possible to understand Krsna by such foolish speculation. Here the Lord indirectly says that if anyone wants to know the Absolute Truth, 'Here I am, present as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I am the Supreme.' One should know this. Although one cannot understand the inconceivable Lord who is personally present, He nonetheless exists. We can actually understand Krsna who is eternal, full of bliss and knowledge, simply by studying His words in Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. The impersonal Brahman can be conceived by persons who are already in the inferior energy of the Lord, but the Personality of Godhead cannot be conceived unless one is in the transcendental position. Because most men cannot understand Krsna in His actual situation, out of His causeless mercy He descends to show favor to such speculators. Yet despite the Supreme Lord's uncommon activities, these speculators, due to contamination in the material energy, still think that the impersonal Brahman is the Supreme. Only the devotees who are fully surrendered unto the Supreme Lord can understand, by the grace of the Lord, that He is Krsna. The devotees of the Lord do not bother about the impersonal Brahman conception of God. Their faith and devotion bring them to surrender immediately unto the Supreme Lord, and out of the causeless mercy of Krsna, they can understand Krsna. No one else can understand Him. So even great sages agree, 'What is atma? What is the Supreme? It is He whom we have to worship.' "
Indian man: In my class I run into lot of arguments, especially from our Indian people, and this is one of the biggest arguments people pose. They say, "Why are you calling yourselves Vaisnavas and not Krsnayas?"
Prabhupada: Hm?
Indian man: If I call Krsna, I accept Krsna as Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then the question comes to me, "Why are you calling yourself Vaisnavas? Why not Krsnayas?"
Prabhupada: That already is explained, that Krsna or Rama, Visnu, Narayana, They are all visnu-tattva. Therefore Visnu is the common word for everyone. Just like candle. Everyone is candle, but still, this is first candle, this is second candle, this is third candle, like that. So Godhead means all visnu-tattva. They are not jiva-tattva. So therefore those who are devotee of God, they are called Vaisnava.
Hari-sauri: This specific Vaisnava, that refers to Visnu? Worshipers of Visnu?
Prabhupada: Yes. Visnu asyra devatah iti vaisnavah.(?)
Indian man: Throughout Vedas also, Visnu is the yajnesvara.
Prabhupada: The supreme, yes.
Indian man: Yajno vai visnuh.
Prabhupada: Visnur aradhyate. Visnur aradhyate, nanyat tat-tosa-karanam. Varnasramacaravata purusena parah puman visnur aradhyate [Cc. Madhya 8.58]. Visnor aradhanam. Aradhananam sarvesam visnor aradhanam param **. These are the sastric..., that visnor aradhana. Krsna-aradhana is also visnu-aradhana.
Indian man: In fact, even Brahma-samhita, Brahmaji says,
"So Visnu is creating all the planetary systems. He's in His yoga-nidra, He is the original Govinda, and I worship Him." So that is why both names are used so synonymously. And that is why people are questioning me, and I have difficulty to answer them. Although I accept Krsna as original Personality of Godhead, but how to explain to them?
Prabhupada: No, these are the references.
Jayadvaita: In here also. Should I read the verse? "All other incarnations are potentially situated in the original body of the primeval Lord. Thus, according to one's opinion, one may address Him as any one of the incarnations." Purport: "It is not contradictory for a devotee to call the Supreme Lord by any one of the various names of His plenary expansions, because the original Personality of Godhead includes all such categories. Since the plenary expansions exist within the original person, one may call Him by any of these names. In Sri Caitanya-bhagavata Lord Caitanya says, 'I was lying asleep in the ocean of milk, but I was wakened by the call of Nada, Sri Advaita Prabhu.' Here the Lord refers to His form as Ksirodakasayi Visnu." Translation: "Some say that Sri Krsna is directly Nara-Narayana, others say that He is directly Vamana. Some say that Krsna is the incarnation of Ksirodakasayi Visnu. None of these statements is impossible. Each of them is as correct as the others." Purport: "Laghu-bhagavatamrta states,
ataeva puranadau kecin nara-sakhatmatam
mahendranujatam kecit kecit ksirabdhi-sayitam
sahasra-sirsatam kecit kecid vaikuntha-nathatam
bruyuh krsnasya munayas tat-tad-vrtty-anugaminah
'According to the intimate relationships between Sri Krsna, the primeval Lord, and His devotees, the Puranas describe Him by various names. Sometimes He is called Narayana; sometimes Upendra (Vamana), the younger brother of Indra, King of heaven; and sometimes Ksirodakasayi Visnu...' "
Prabhupada: They are all visnu-tattva.
Indian man: In fact, I remember very vividly that in Srimad-Bhagavatam you wrote that it was Ksirodakasayi Visnu who came down to bless Dhruva Maharaja when the planetary system started trembling due to his tapasya here. Ksirodakasayi Visnu. This is why people are questioning me continuously that "How can you call Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and not Visnu?" And I say "All are visnu-tattva." But it is very difficult to explain to them the actual position of Krsna, because only through chanting...
Prabhupada: That is decided by Bhagavatam, ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam [SB 1.3.28], that tu, the name Krsna, in the incarnation of God, Krsna is also included, but this Krsna is the origin.
Indian man:
Prabhupada: So we have to take the direction. So that is also explained. Even if you say, "Krsna is Vamana," there is nothing wrong. If you believe that Krsna is incarnation of Visnu, there is nothing wrong.
Indian man: I don't believe that.
Prabhupada: No, no, others. Others...
Indian man: I believe Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Prabhupada: Others. We simply accept, "Yes it is all right." That's all. So that's a fact, because when Krsna comes, He comes through Ksirodakasayi Visnu.
Indian man: I ask them then that "Explain the three Visnus-Maha Visnu, Garbhodakasayi Visnu and Ksirodakasayi Visnu. Even Visnu Himself has expanded, what to talk of Krsna." And then I ask them that "Krsna came from which Visnu? You tell me. If you can tell me that, then I will accept that Krsna came from Visnu. But if not, you have to accept my statement that Krsna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. And you will not know Him unless you chant. Unless you chant."
Prabhupada: Sometimes Maha-Visnu wanted to see Krsna. That is mentioned in the Bhagavata, and He took Arjuna with Him.
Indian man: That's right. That's right. My father, mother, did their entire lifetime puja of Srinathaji, Srinathaji.
Prabhupada: Srinathaji is Gopala.
Indian man: Srinathaji, we consider Him as Krsna.
Prabhupada: Yes, He is Krsna. He's our Gaudiya Vaisnava. It is decided by the court. Srinathaji, there are... Madhavendra Puri's worshipable Gopala... He discovered Gopala in Govardhana. That Gopala was delivered to... Who is the acarya? Vallabhacarya. And it is decided by the court that Srinathaji originally belongs to Gaudiya Vaisnava, by the court. This Madhavendra Puri is the spiritual master of Isvara Puri. And Isvara Puri is the spiritual master of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So from Madhavendra Puri is Gaudiya Vaisnava. So his Deity is Gopala. That Gopala is Srinathaji.
Indian man: When I was a young boy, eight years old, I went to Srinathaji with my father, mother, and there I had to take the brahma-samana,(?) which is the oath, taking of the oath in front of the Maharaja and the priest of the Srinathaji temple. And is that equal to initiation, or is that just a ceremony by itself?
Prabhupada: No, initiation is another ceremony.
Indian man: What are the qualifications required for a person in working life like me, household like me, like myself, to get initiated?
Prabhupada: No, you can be initiated. There is no... Because you are following the rules and regulations. That's it. We initiate a person who follows the rules and regulations.
Indian man: I am following all your rules and regulations.
Prabhupada: Then you can be initiated.
Indian man: Yes. I think we have taken enough of your time, Prabhupada. I would love to stay with you, and I would like to invite you to...
Prabhupada: Why don't you stay here in our temple?
Indian man: Probably I might. (laughs)
Prabhupada: Yes. We have got ladies' department and gentleman's department. You can stay.
Indian man: I would like to invite you to Poughkeepsie and stay with us if it is possible.
Prabhupada: Yes. How long it is?
Indian man: Hundred miles north from here.
Prabhupada: So by car?
Indian man: Yes, by car.
Prabhupada: It will take about four, five hours.
Indian man: No, two and a half hours. Two and a half hours.
Prabhupada: Traveling is little difficult for me. So there are many Indians?
Indian man: There are about hundred and fifty Indian people. Thirty percent of them are Arya-samajis. They don't believe in anyone except doing (indistinct).
Prabhupada: Second edition of Muhammadans.
Indian man: Yes.
Prabhupada: Arya-samaji means another edition of the Muhammadans.
Indian man: Some are Siva followers, Saivaites.
Prabhupada: The Arya-samajis, they do not believe in God, so how they are Siva followers? Hodgepodge. No samajis but hodgepodge.
Indian man: Yes, it is. They don't know what is Personality of Godhead.
Prabhupada: Opportunity followers.
Indian man: Hodgepodge, that's right.
Prabhupada: Opportunists. Useless. They have no value.
Indian man: Thirty percent of the Indian families, they are Arya-samajis, and twenty percent are South Indian Saivaites. I get a lot of argument that "Ramacandraji did the puja of Sivaji at Ramesvaram, so Siva is greater than Rama." I said, "Consider this, that Rama was so humble to do the puja of Sivaji, but in Ramastotrani it says rama rameti rameti ramerama manorane, shastranama tat tulyam sri-rama-nama ramarame.(?) That is what Sivaji is telling Parvati. Sivaji is telling Parvati in Srimad-Bhagavatam, om namo bhagavate vasudevaya, vasudevah sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19]." I say, "Why does Sivaji say that? Why is Sivaji sitting in samadhi? Why not Krsna sitting in samadhi? Why not Rama sitting in samadhi? Why not Maha-Visnu sitting in samadhi? Because Sivaji's position is to serve Krsna. But Krsna as Rama is so humble that He came and even did His devotee's puja."
Prabhupada: Just like Krsna is afraid of mother Yasoda's rope. But that does not mean He is no longer the Supreme Lord.
Indian man: Exactly, exactly, exactly.
Prabhupada: He's afraid of "Mother, don't bind Me." So everyone is afraid of Krsna, and He is afraid of His mother's rope. So does it mean Krsna has become no more the Supreme?
Indian man: :In fact, you might have heard of Satya Sai Baba in India.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Indian man: Now there are some people in our community there at Poughkeepsie, they are all followers of Satya Sai Baba, and they were telling me that "Anyone you pray, Krsna, Rama, Visnu, it comes to Satya Sai Baba." I said, "Don't tell me that nonsense," I said. (laughter) "Satya Sai Baba is not Krsna, and don't tell me that." In fact for Guru Purnima they invited me to Satya Sai Baba's bhajana. I said, "No, I have my guru. I'm very happy. Don't disturb me. I have Krsna, I have my guru, and I have my path. I don't have to go to anybody's gurus, and I don't have to take anyone's teachings." I say, "My Gita is here, written by Prabhupada. I follow it, and that's it. I don't have to have extraordinary brains to follow everyone's Gita or everything else. Here is my path."
Prabhupada: In South America there was a great criticism?
Hari-sauri: South Africa.
Prabhupada: South Africa.
Indian man: Yes.
Prabhupada: Of Satya Sai.
Hari-sauri: One man, he challenged that he could prove that Sai Baba is a fake. So he's written so many letters to Sai Baba to challenge him, but he's never received a reply. So that paper gave this article criticizing Sai Baba like that and other gurus, and then in the same paper there was a very nice article concerning our Jagannatha Cart Festival. So practically they were appreciating that Krsna consciousness movement is bona fide and these other people are nonsense.
Indian man: Right. In fact, several people, even in our community in Poughkeepsie, received letters from Satya Sai Baba's followers that "Here is a letter. Make ten copies and send the ten copies to ten different people. If you don't, Satya Sai Baba's thunderbolt will come and strike your family, and they'll be destroyed." Now no guru ever puts a thunderbolt on his devotee, and I said, "If that is a guru, I'll stay ten thousand miles away from him, because my guru is very kind and he'll bless me." I said, "No guru should ever put a thunderbolt on his devotee."
Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. You can turn towards this.
Indian man: At Monticello in Catskill... I don't know if you know it. Monticello in Catskill Mountains here? Just about fifty-sixty miles north, there is Muktananda.
Hari-sauri: Muktananda.
Indian man: Muktananda. And he has got his retreat, and some of our people go there, and I heard from them that he is teaching... He is quoting Gita, but if you go to his room, om namah sivaya. I said, "This is contradiction." I said, "If he is a Siva follower, he should teach Siva Purana and not Gita." I said...
Prabhupada: But they are actually impersonalists. They neither follow Siva nor Krsna. They are impersonalists. Their idea is the Absolute Truth is imperson. You can worship Him either as Siva or as Krsna, as you like. That is their philosophy. Yes.
Indian man: Yes. But this is the height of hypocrisy, to teach Gita and to chant om namah sivaya.
Prabhupada: No, because they say, "Either way, you become impersonal at the end. You Brahma-linga;(?) you become one with Brahma. But before you become Brahma-linga, you can imagine some form, either Krsna or Visnu or Siva or Durga, the same thing." That is their...
Indian man: In fact some of the arguments that I received were... "If you go to heaven, let's say, Vaikuntha, then you become... You join the impersonal Brahman. Then you have nothing else to do." He says, "In material world we have family. We have something to do." I said, "If you believe in impersonalism, you have nothing to do. If you believe in personalism, you will serve the Lord there."
Prabhupada: Impersonal means if you have nothing to do, then you'll become mad.
Indian man: Exactly.
Prabhupada: And again you come back to this material world.
Indian man: Now, Prabhupada, I have taken too much of your time. I want to thank you very much. I humbly offer my obeisances.
Prabhupada: Thank you very much.
Indian man: I wish that I can continue your work.
Prabhupada: Please do. You'll be happy. Krsna will make you happy. Na ca tasman manusyesu [Bg. 18.69]. (end)

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