July 18, 1976, New York
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?
Prabhupada: What is that?
Prabhupada: (laughs) That is good.
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?
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.
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.
Prabhupada: You gave them prasadam?
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: 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: 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.
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.
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.
Prabhupada: No, this is better, to give a card. Many Indians were standing when I came.
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.
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.
Prabhupada: Yes. (laughs) The breeze was there. We did not feel any...
Prabhupada: Yes. They will stay in the temple?
Prabhupada: That's nice.
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.
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.
Tamala Krsna: That if you have a good place, many people can be attracted, as many as moving around to many places.
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.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
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.
Prabhupada: Everyone wants.
Prabhupada: That is natural.
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.
Prabhupada: No, on simhasana, carried by hand.
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: 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.
Prabhupada: And Jayananda should be congratulated. Yes. Give one letter, written. I...
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.
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.
Prabhupada: Same thing happened in London also.
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.
Prabhupada: Be careful that termite may not attack.
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.
Tamala Krsna: There were devotees from Miami, Gainesville, Atlanta, Washington, Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, Toronto, Montreal, Los Angeles, Vancouver, South America—all 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: I'll come.
Prabhupada: I'll come.
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.
Prabhupada: Yes. That you do.
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.
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...
Prabhupada: Just to keep Jagannatha.
Prabhupada: That is too small.
Prabhupada: And then you can utilize it for other purposes during the whole year.
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.
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...
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...
Prabhupada: That I shall consider.
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.
Prabhupada: Which month?
Tamala Krsna: But I know now, June, even July, August, September now in India is not so good. October is very good in India.
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?
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.
Prabhupada: Bottle or... Bottle or can.
Tamala Krsna: What about Ninth Avenue? There's all those shops. (whispering in background about 7-UP)
Prabhupada: If the government is going against our movement, then I'll have to stay. There is no alternative.
Prabhupada: Because in that case I'll be hampered in India.
Bali-mardana: Yes, now the government has a policy that anyone they do not like, they put him in jail.
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.
Prabhupada: More important.
Prabhupada: I know that.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
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.
Prabhupada: Yes, this is fact. Let me see what Krsna desires. The roof is very nice.
Prabhupada: For open air.
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.
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.
Prabhupada: Very good.
Prabhupada: They are selling milk also.
Prabhupada: So if there is more milk, you can sell more, get money.
Hari-sauri: (7-Up has been brought) Is there ice? He was supposed to get some ice from the kitchen downstairs.
Prabhupada: Who will open? You open it.
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.
Prabhupada: From my childhood I liked this lemonade. I think it was cost, in our childhood, three paisa.
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.
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)
Link to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/conversations/1976/jul/new_york/july/18/1976