Room Conversation

July 18, 1976, New York
Hari-sauri: 7-UP? We'll have to send someone out for it.
Prabhupada: So, so far I was there, it was successful. What was the next?
Tamala Krsna: We were selling prasadam. I think we must have made somewhere between five and ten thousand dollars so far from prasadam sales. That's in addition to the free feast. We served a free feast to five thousand people when I left.
Prabhupada: Oh, you did not stay there?
Tamala Krsna: Well, still, it's so big. I estimated that through three to four hours there were thirty to forty thousand people that went in and out of that park.
Prabhupada: Still they are eating?
Tamala Krsna: They're still eating. Every piece of burfi we sold cost one dollar.
Prabhupada: What is that?
Tamala Krsna: Just a piece of burfi...
Prabhupada: Burfi?
Tamala Krsna: Yeah, they were charging one dollar for one square.
Prabhupada: (laughs) That is good.
Tamala Krsna: And they were paying. Watermelon, for one slice, half a dollar.
Prabhupada: Fifty cents. (laughs)
Tamala Krsna: Fifty cents. The whole watermelon only cost one dollar. We got about thirty slices out of it. And books...
Prabhupada: People, they are simple here. They are not, about money matters, so much attracted. They have got enough money. They don't care. They want it is good taste, that's all. And why they did not give prasadam to that boy who was crazy?
Tamala Krsna: He got. I'm sure he must have gotten. Everybody was given free feast. Feast was very good. I tasted it, nicely prepared.
Prabhupada: How many preparations were there?
Bali-mardana: Very hard to estimate.
Tamala Krsna: How many preparations in the feast? There was halava, sabji, very good sabji by Rsi Kumara, rice, sweet, lemonade, popper-six preps. And puri, seven preps.
Prabhupada: Very nice. Very good preps, sumptuous.
Bali-mardana: Oh, yes. Besides that, we had booths with watermelon, lassi and burfi.
Tamala Krsna: Lassi was selling very big. We could not supply it fast enough.
Bali-mardana: We could not... All the time, those booths, there was a line.
Tamala Krsna: Because this was our first year, we were not expecting such a big turnout, so we did not have sufficient stands to meet everybody's needs.
Prabhupada: And the police officer has approved.
Tamala Krsna: Yes, the policemen sat down at the end of the park later on.
Prabhupada: You gave them prasadam?
Tamala Krsna: I don't know.
Prabhupada: Why?
Tamala Krsna: I'm not sure. I didn't deal with them. They were dealt with by Tosana Krsna. We'll bring them some present tomorrow. But they made the statement that "If every parade was so beautiful and so nicely orderly, we would be very happy."
Prabhupada: Yes.
Tamala Krsna: They said it was very orderly.
Prabhupada: And that cannot be expected from any other group, only in this group. Such a huge crowd, and there was not a single instance of violence.
Tamala Krsna: Except that one tie. One boy was punched out.
Hari-sauri: (referring to 7-UP) I sent someone out.
Tamala Krsna: The procession was very well attended.
Prabhupada: Television.
Bali-mardana: Oh, yes, ABC, CBS, and Channel Five.
Tamala Krsna: All of the GBC men said it was the biggest single festival ever held in ISKCON's history. They all admitted that there was no festival ever held anywhere, even in India, no single festival in India. There was not any one day at any pandal where there was that many people who took prasadam and who attended such a long procession for two hours.
Prabhupada: I think in the beginning... (microphone rattling) You were there.
Tamala Krsna: I was there. Yeah, that was pretty big. In 1969, that was gigantic.
Prabhupada: That was also very big. And there was also a crazy man.
Tamala Krsna: Yes, that's right. We didn't give any invitation cards to our temple here, but we were making announcements. But I think people will come, anyway. They'll find out where our Hare Krsna center is.
Bali-mardana: They were distributing books, magazines.
Tamala Krsna: Books and magazines were given, but we didn't give any free cards. Usually we give free cards, but there was so much...
Prabhupada: What is that? They'll come and take. That's all.
Tamala Krsna: They'll come here, anyway. We didn't give any address card. Do you think people will come anyway?
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Tamala Krsna: Even without getting a card.
Prabhupada: No, this is better, to give a card. Many Indians were standing when I came.
Bali-mardana: Did you see the Indians?
Tamala Krsna: I think at least three thousand Indians attended, minimum. A huge crowd of Indians, but the big thing was not the Indians, it was the American people.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Tamala Krsna: That's a good location for the festival, very important place, Washington Square Park. It's the center.
Prabhupada: Best thing would have been to keep the Deities for a week there.
Tamala Krsna: That would not have been permitted. They only permitted us legally two hours for everything. That's why we were rushing everything. We only had two hours legally for the whole program.
Prabhupada: Yes, then there is no need.
Tamala Krsna: I heard people say "We've never seen such a festival, never seen such a parade." I heard these comments. One man said... Someone said, "What's going on?" and he said, "Oh, they have so many things going on here." They were very appreciative. And actually we could not put our full energy into it this year because we were so busy preparing the building simultaneously.
Prabhupada: And above all, the atmosphere, the weather, was very nice.
Bali-mardana: Oh, yes, Krsna has blessed us.
Prabhupada: Yes. (laughs) The breeze was there. We did not feel any...
Tamala Krsna: No discomfort.
Prabhupada: ...fatigue.
Tamala Krsna: And there was nearly four hundred to five hundred devotees there.
Prabhupada: Yes. They will stay in the temple?
Tamala Krsna: Yes, they've been staying here.
Prabhupada: That's nice.
Tamala Krsna: There's no difficulty to accommodate them.
Prabhupada: Yes, Narayana told me.
Tamala Krsna: You know, Prabhupada, I really feel like I should concentrate lot of my preaching here in New York.
Prabhupada: Do that.
Tamala Krsna: What do you think?
Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Preaching is required, here or there.
Tamala Krsna: You once said, "A good businessman, if he knows how to do it, he can make more money sitting in one place..."
Prabhupada: No, no, no. Money is not our aim. Our aim is how people will understand Krsna.
Bali-mardana: He is just using that as an analogy for preaching.
Tamala Krsna: That if you have a good place, many people can be attracted, as many as moving around to many places.
Prabhupada: My Guru Maharaja was in favor of preaching in the city because you can get many men.
Tamala Krsna: But do you think I should travel a lot, or what is the best thing?
Prabhupada: Both things should be done.
Tamala Krsna: Both. So if you... We were hoping that you could give us another chance by coming back next year.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes, I'll come.
Tamala Krsna: But you do say that to a lot of different temples, but we will try to make this doubly big.
Prabhupada: Always, so long I live, I must come.
Tamala Krsna: Really?
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Tamala Krsna: If we get on Fifth Avenue, you'll come again?
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Tamala Krsna: But we will double the amount of people, promise.
Bali-mardana: And double the prasadam.
Tamala Krsna: We will double everything if you are here, Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: That's all right. I can stay here also. I like especially New York, because I started the movement here. And because there are so many branches, if I go they become enlivened.
Tamala Krsna: Yes, right, just like we are enlivened.
Prabhupada: Everyone wants.
Tamala Krsna: Everyone wants you to come.
Prabhupada: That is natural.
Tamala Krsna: Question of love.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Bali-mardana: New York was your second home after India.
Prabhupada: Yes, I say fatherland. India, motherland; this is fatherland.
Bali-mardana: It is so nice that now in New York they are receiving you so nicely, this parade. Everyone is turning out to greet you. You are like the local boy who made good. So now they are receiving you very grandly.
Prabhupada: Yes, continue this program. People will be attracted.
Tamala Krsna: I was thinking that we could make a point to have many big festivals here each year, not just this one, but many.
Prabhupada: Yes, at least three, four you can do. On Janmastami, one; Gaura Purnima; for Sri Rama-navami; and one, Ratha-yatra.
Bali-mardana: We can do New York for the spring, summer and fall.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Bali-mardana: Because the weather is nice.
Tamala Krsna: That coincides. Rama-navami is spring, Ratha-yatra is summer, and Janmastami is fall.
Hari-sauri: Gaura Purnima would be a bit difficult, though. Everybody is in India.
Tamala Krsna: That's not possible.
Bali-mardana: We could do that inside.
Tamala Krsna: But those three...
Prabhupada: Janmastami, take Radha-Krsna procession.
Tamala Krsna: On carts?
Prabhupada: No, on simhasana, carried by hand.
Bali-mardana: Palanquin.
Prabhupada: Palanquin; no, the simhasana as it is. Just like this is simhasana, two big poles down, and tie it with..., cut it with legs and carry, four men or eight men change. Change the soldiers.
Tamala Krsna: But not on carts, not on big chariots.
Prabhupada: No. Chariot, only Ratha-yatra.
Tamala Krsna: We'll make a big advertisement. We'll call it "Fall Festival." This festival, we called it "Summer Festival." People respond to that. If you say Ratha-yatra, they can't even pronounce the word. So we call it "Summer Festival," and they came.
Hari-sauri: "Summer Festival" sounds very attractive.
Tamala Krsna: Everyone was saying, "Oh, that means for me, Summer Festival."
Hari-sauri: "Ecstasy Outdoors."
Prabhupada: And Jayananda should be congratulated. Yes. Give one letter, written. I...
Bali-mardana: The carts looked magnificent.
Tamala Krsna: Two people worked the hardest Prabhupada, Jayananda and all of his assistants, and Tosana Krsna. He did all of the publicity and advertisement.
Prabhupada: They should be congratulated.
Tamala Krsna: These two men, they worked the hardest.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Tamala Krsna: They worked for two months in a row, solid. The carts were very good, I think.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes, very nice, very strong.
Tamala Krsna: Because you gave him that warning. When he heard that, oh, he became very... "I must do it right." We told him, "Now you will have to be replaced. Prabhupada has said that 'Jayananda's wheels will never hold up.' So we have to find a replacement for you." So he took no chances.
Prabhupada: San Francisco it also happened.
Tamala Krsna: Seems to me that he must be a great devotee of Lord Jagannatha.
Prabhupada: Same thing happened in London also.
Tamala Krsna: Really? The legs, wheels.
Hari-sauri: That's why they gave difficulty, the authorities, because the wheels broke?
Prabhupada: No, that is wrong idea.
Tamala Krsna: Yes, that happened, though. I remember hearing about it. This Jayananda, it seems, must be a very faithful devotee of Lord Jagannatha.
Prabhupada: Now, where these things will be kept?
Tamala Krsna: In our garage. No problem. That's one of the advantages of our garage. It's one block away and it has ten thousand square foot of area, so we can store all the carts easily.
Hari-sauri: Good storage is very important.
Tamala Krsna: And one block away in Manhattan is very unusual.
Prabhupada: Be careful that termite may not attack.
Tamala Krsna: Hm. I'll make a note.
Bali-mardana: There are not many termites in New York. We are fortunate. In Hawaii there are many termites. But here you don't usually have to protect wood against termites. Here the wintertime kills them. It gets so cold.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes, very cold.
Hari-sauri: That kills them.
Tamala Krsna: There were devotees from Miami, Gainesville, Atlanta, Washington, Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, Toronto, Montreal, Los Angeles, Vancouver, South Americaall over South America, I think. A gigantic turnout of devotees. Very international group.
Bali-mardana: This could be like Lord Caitanya used to invite all His devotees to come and see Him at Ratha-yatra...
Prabhupada: Yes.
Bali-mardana: Similarly, if you come here, we can invite...
Prabhupada: I'll come.
Bali-mardana: ...from all the temples.
Prabhupada: I'll come.
Bali-mardana: Then you do not have to travel so much.
Tamala Krsna: And we will make all arrangements. This year is nothing. Next year we will make ten times more arrangements if you come, Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: From anywhere, I'll come.
Tamala Krsna: We will make all arrangements for you.
Prabhupada: Yes. That you do.
Tamala Krsna: This was only a trial.
Bali-mardana: We have to perfect it now. We have learned that many..., certain things did not go as perfectly as they could have, so now we are going to repair and make it perfect.
Prabhupada: Now, by this, Hare Krsna movement is advertised. Apart from all over the world, at least in New York it is, that "There is some movement."
Tamala Krsna: Prominent movement. Fifth Avenue. We were in charge of Fifth Avenue for one day. Practically we were controlling the Fifth Avenue today.
Hari-sauri: Lord Jagannatha was.
Prabhupada: If that side we get some small house, so that after going, eight days Jagannatha can remain there and festival going on, and then in the next week return...
Tamala Krsna: How small a house?
Prabhupada: Just to keep Jagannatha.
Tamala Krsna: Well, there's your old storefront.
Prabhupada: What?
Tamala Krsna: What about your old storefront, 26 Second Avenue?
Prabhupada: That is too small.
Tamala Krsna: Too small. I'll immediately get a house.
Prabhupada: And then you can utilize it for other purposes during the whole year.
Tamala Krsna: No, we can keep a downtown center.
Bali-mardana: West Village.
Tamala Krsna: That's a first-class place for a center, the West Village. We can make many devotees there. We'll keep a small preaching center, maybe a restaurant, prasadam distribution.
Bali-mardana: We'll call it the Gundica center.
Tamala Krsna: Gundica. We will call it Gundica.
Prabhupada: Yes, Gundica.
Tamala Krsna: I think we should have a restaurant there, because a restaurant brings in a lot of people. No Deities. We won't install any Deities, just a preaching center, book distribution...
Prabhupada: Yes, book distribution, restaurant, pictures...
Tamala Krsna: Yes, lectures three times a week.
Prabhupada: Records, pictures, yes, like that.
Tamala Krsna: Whew! I wish that you could stay here all the time, Prabhupada, because you could give us so many ideas, and we would simply act on them. If somehow we could convince you to stay here... I wish there was a way. There is no way to keep you here.
Prabhupada: No, I have no objection, but the others... (laughter)
Bali-mardana: Just like the Marwaris say, "Oh, I have no objection, but my brother, he may have objection."
Prabhupada: They... Nobody has objection. Simply I am thinking that if I stay in one place and do not see the others...
Tamala Krsna: But this is a very central location.
Prabhupada: That I shall consider.
Bali-mardana: They may come here. We will make... We have guest rooms.
Tamala Krsna: We can make an airline office by which they'll get a reduced rate, and they can travel here, travel agency, and they can come here very inexpensively to visit you, and we can give full accommodations. If somehow we can keep you here, we will do anything required.
Bali-mardana: At least for a few months. That is all.
Prabhupada: Which month?
Bali-mardana: During the summertime.
Prabhupada: July?
Bali-mardana: July, August.
Tamala Krsna: Because now it is the rainy season in India.
Bali-mardana: Because we do not want to inconvenience you as far as the weather goes.
Tamala Krsna: But I know now, June, even July, August, September now in India is not so good. October is very good in India.
Bali-mardana: September is very pleasant in New York. I think you remember.
Tamala Krsna: These months are very nice. Somehow, if there was some way... I mean, we would preach so hard. At least sixteen hours a day we could work to serve you. I know I would not want to rest even. There must be some way that we can convince you to stay here.
Bali-mardana: Because actually when you come here, you are preaching to millions. These reporters that have come, through them you have been preaching to millions.
Prabhupada: What about the reporters? They have published something?
Tamala Krsna: Now it'll come.
Bali-mardana: The transcripts have been sent to them, so within the next week they should be coming.
Hari-sauri: I think one or two were waiting until after Ratha-yatra to give a report on the festival as well.
Tamala Krsna: There were a lot of reporters, and they said that next year... They told us next year they're going to have full television cameras. We're going to have to erect a news, er... What is that called? Press, not a table, but a platform where they're going to put their cameras, and their reporters will sit above the whole crowd. They want to cover it, full. They were very amazed to see such a gigantic festival in New York itself. They never imagined such a thing in New York.
Prabhupada: The Christians cannot organize. (laughter)
Tamala Krsna: You saw them. The only thing they were carrying was one sign like this. The sign said "Turn or Burn." It means turn to Jesus or burn. Turn or burn, burn in hell. That's their conception of God. Either God or burn in hell. We could give you a good rest here, also, Prabhupada, because it's very easy to not... If the devotees could see you on Sunday, just like in the old days in Los Angeles... I mean everything could be nicely done, and you could still visit the European centers when you finally return to India. I mean they are not making such a big thing that you couldn't come later on. Oh, boy.
Prabhupada: (laughing) Good determination.
Bali-mardana: They say that Tamala Krsna is very convincing. When he wants to persuade someone, the person must do it.
Tamala Krsna: No, just it would give... There are so many good... Of course, everywhere there are good devotees, but here there are so many strong preachers that if you stay here on the basis that they had to increase their preaching, we would double and triple our preaching. There's no question. We would throw out all considerations of inconvenience to ourselves and simply preach day and night.
Bali-mardana: Especially New York, the people are ready for it. Like today, they have taken part very nicely. Even the policemen.
Tamala Krsna: Oh, they're so favorable. Ramesvara was commenting. He said he never saw... The climate of the people of New York is unique in America. They are very favorable.
Prabhupada: So where is that man? Where he has gone? 7-UP can be had anywhere.
Hari-sauri: Well, it's Sunday evening. It's a bit difficult. He has to drive around in a car till he finds somewhere.
Bali-mardana: 7-UP? You want 7-UP? I can get it.
Hari-sauri: I sent Sravanananda out to get it.
Tamala Krsna: At the Bloopie's they can get it. Radhavallabha got it.
Bali-mardana: Not a can, though, just in a cup.
Tamala Krsna: But how do they get it into the cup? Buy the whole bottle.
Prabhupada: Bottle or... Bottle or can.
Bali-mardana: This store has it... They have the machine.
Tamala Krsna: What about Ninth Avenue? There's all those shops. (whispering in background about 7-UP)
Bali-mardana: He already went to get it?
Prabhupada: If the government is going against our movement, then I'll have to stay. There is no alternative.
Tamala Krsna: In India.
Prabhupada: Because in that case I'll be hampered in India.
Bali-mardana: He'll be what?
Tamala Krsna: Hampered.
Bali-mardana: Yes, now the government has a policy that anyone they do not like, they put him in jail.
Tamala Krsna: In India.
Bali-mardana: In India. Even that elderly gentleman, Narayana, put him in jail. He's so old.
Prabhupada: The result is that the Congress Party and Indira Gandhi will never be elected anymore. That is sure. Therefore he's postponing election. Now they have lost all their credit. They will never be elected. Congress Party and Indira Gandhi finished.
Bali-mardana: They have lost all respectability.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Tamala Krsna: I think that your preaching here in New York... The thing is the preaching...
Prabhupada: More important.
Tamala Krsna: It's more important.
Prabhupada: I know that.
Bali-mardana: In India they pay more attention to the building than to the person.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Bali-mardana: Our building can go on.
Tamala Krsna: You know, Prabhupada, we have never... I mean, you started this movement here in New York, but this is the first time that we have a proper facility.
Prabhupada: Yes, in the last ten years there was no facility.
Tamala Krsna: No, Prabhupada. That's why if you concentrated here, just by your presence, even if you only spoke to a few important gentlemen... We have so many senior men here. We could do wonderful things. Within two or three months we could expand our movement so broadly here in New York, I think the whole country would take note. I really feel that there is a great potential.
Prabhupada: That is right.
Tamala Krsna: That's why I'm not very eager to...
Prabhupada: Yes, this is fact. Let me see what Krsna desires. The roof is very nice.
Prabhupada: For open air.
Hari-sauri: It's very good for massage.
Prabhupada: And the view of the river is very healthy. If you can see the river from your house, it is to be understood that quarter is very nice. If you can see sky from your room, then it is understood the room is very nice.
Tamala Krsna: Well, all these things are here.
Prabhupada: We can see from the room the river.
Prabhupada: Otherwise from the roof. So it is very nice.
Tamala Krsna: I think also that right now there's a lot of devotees here, so it's a little taxing, but once the festival's over, they will all be returning to their respective centers. It will be much calmer. [break] In the night?
Prabhupada: I do not take anything at night.
Tamala Krsna: Morning, you are drinking milk? Is it...?
Prabhupada: Very good.
Tamala Krsna: Those cows are unique, that a cow can give her own weight in milk in eleven days.
Prabhupada: They are selling milk also.
Tamala Krsna: In our farm?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Tamala Krsna: Yes, we make fifteen hundred to two thousand dollars a month.
Prabhupada: So if there is more milk, you can sell more, get money.
Tamala Krsna: Yes, we're getting nearly two thousand dollars a month.
Hari-sauri: (7-Up has been brought) Is there ice? He was supposed to get some ice from the kitchen downstairs.
Bali-mardana: It's cold.
Prabhupada: Who will open? You open it.
Bali-mardana: I have just opened it. Is it cold enough?
Prabhupada: We call it in India, lemonade.
Hari-sauri: That was the original name, lemonade. Then all these new things, they changed all the names.
Bali-mardana: It's good for bringing up gas.
Prabhupada: From my childhood I liked this lemonade. I think it was cost, in our childhood, three paisa.
Bali-mardana: Now I think in India it costs one rupee.
Tamala Krsna: One rupee, twenty paisa. Of course, you get forty paisa back for the bottle, but it's between sixty-five and eighty paisa after you get your money back. When we were travelling in Bhopal, we traveled there in the months of May and June. It was very hot. We were drinking seven bottle a day, every hour. Every hour.
Prabhupada: (laughs) Lemonade.
Tamala Krsna: Gargamuni and I, we had to stop. We'd call it Limka. In India it is called Limka.
Bali-mardana: When Westerners go to India, it is so hot the water just comes out, you know, sweat, all the time. Become dehydrated.
Hari-sauri: Apart from that, you can't drink the water in India, so you have to drink Limka or something. It's safer to drink the lemonade than it is to drink the water.
Prabhupada: Yes. (end)

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