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Interview with Professors
O'Connell, Motilal and Shivaram

June 18, 1976, Toronto
Visvakarma: ...Professor O'Connell came over to the temple when this, some man came, Ted Patrick, he came to Toronto last year—I think we told you about it—and he took one of our devotees and deprogrammed her. There was big publicity in the paper for an entire week. So Professor O'Connell came forward and spoke on behalf of our movement, saying that he felt that it was a bona fide system of Vaisnavism. He came to the temple and assisted us.
Prabhupada: O'Connell knows me from a such long time. Yes. We first met in Harvard University. Next he saw me in London, Bhaktivedanta Manor. I think Boston also.
Prabhupada: Yes. He's interested in Vaisnava philosophy.
Visvakarma: Yes, he wrote his thesis on Caitanya Vaisnavism.
Prabhupada: So he has got his doctorate?
Visvakarma: Yes. He's bringing one other professor with him. I can't remember his name. He's rather important. He just got a post at Oxford University, has been granted, er, uh, and from Oxford they've asked him to come from Toronto to there. So he'll also be with Professor O'Connell.
Satsvarupa: This is Professor Shivaram from McMaster University.
Prabhupada: I think I saw you quite before this. Thank you. But I.... (devotee or Indian introduces several people, including Mr. and Mrs. Mukherjee) Mrs. Mukherjee, you're also teacher here?
Indian lady: No, I am a student.
Prabhupada: Student.
Indian man: They're all from Bengal.
Prabhupada: Oh. (converses with woman in Bengali, mentions Gaudiya Matha) So what I was talking just now about this motorcar race?
Pusta Krsna: Yes. This breakneck civilization. Just like dog, they're very, very busy. If you watch a dog, sometimes you'll see he's running here, running there, running here, running there. But no credit. Similarly, the modern scientists, they're running, running, running, very busy, but simply patchwork. They have no conclusion.
Prabhupada: I was talking of these cars. The dog is running on legs, and they are running on cars. So, (laughs) actually what is the difference? This is advancement of civilization, that the dog is running for nothing, here and there on legs, and human being is running on nice car. Does it mean there is advance in civilization? If we keep the human being like cats and dogs, without any advancement of knowledge, the cats and dogs, they cannot accept any advanced knowledge. That is not possible. Similarly, if human society is kept in darkness without any advanced knowledge, without any knowledge of the aim of life and without any knowledge what is the meaning of human life, they'll remain as cats and dogs. So as cats and dogs, if they are practiced to run here and there, either on legs or on cars, is that advancement of civilization?
Indian man: Swami, there was a news item in the paper last year, some research scholars at Jesuit University performed some experiments, and then they said that Krsna consciousness people lose initiative for doing things. They don't fight the battle of life. It takes away the initiative from them. It was published in papers.
Prabhupada: No, that's not the fact. It is misunderstanding. We are actually struggling for achievement of the highest goal of life. Otherwise, why we are writing so many books? It is for the human beings. And they are being accepted. It is not for the cats and dog. This Bhagavatam is not meant for the cats and dogs. So, vidya bhagavatavadhi. In the beginning it is said, dharmah projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsaranam satam vedyam vastavam atra [SB 1.1.2]. Atra srimad-bhagavatam vastava-vastu-vedyam, what is actual life. So we are struggling to give people what is actual life. Krsna comes down to teach us what is actual life. Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata [Bg. 4.7]. When people become cats and dogs, dharmasya glanih. Dharmasya glanih means cats and dogs, because in the cats and dog society there is no question of dharma. They simply jump over and enjoy life. Eat, drink, be merry, enjoy eating, sleeping, sex and defense. That's all. So if human life is also trained up in a polished way, the same principles, then where is the difference between cats and dogs? Dog is thinking, "I am this body, hound, greyhound," and barking, "gow, gow." Similarly, if we remain like that, in the bodily concept of life, that "I am this body," "I am Indian," "I am American," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," then where is the difference between dog and ourself? The human life is meant for understanding that I am neither Hindu nor Muslim nor American nor Indian. Aham brahmasmi. That is beginning of life. Athato brahma jijnasa. And what is Brahman? Then life begins. The cats and dogs, they cannot think that "I am not this body; I am spirit soul." That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gita. When Arjuna was thinking in the bodily concept of life, "My family, my brother," and so on, so on, so he declined to fight. So...
Visvakarma: Srila Prabhupada, Professor O'Connell and his wife are here to see you.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes, come on. Hare Krsna, take this. I saw you last in London, I think.
Prof. O'Connell: We did, at your suburban place.
Prabhupada: Bhaktivedanta Manor, yes.
Prof. O'Connell: We were out for a morning walk. But you got out ahead of us, so Pradyumna and I did not quite catch you, but we followed your trail.
Prabhupada: Pradyumna was there?
Prof. O'Connell: My wife was with me—you probably remember Kathleen O'Connell—and Professor and Mrs. Fendrick. Mr. Fendrick teaches at Riason University in Toronto. Mary Jane Fendrick.
Prabhupada: So, if we keep the human society in darkness about the aim of life, that is not civilization. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum [SB 7.5.31]. I think you understand Sanskrit. Svartha-gatim, the real self-interest, is to go back to home, back to Godhead. For that purpose, the human life is given by nature as an opportunity in the cycle of birth and death. So if we don't take advantage of this human form of life, when we can realize God and go back to home, back to Godhead, then it is misused. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah [SB 7.5.31]. They're enamored by the external energy of God, this material energy, and they are thinking that utilizing the material energy, the dog is running on his legs, and if he can run on motorcar, that is advancement. But the business is the running, without any purpose.
Indian man: Is it not better to run than to stand still and sleep?
Prabhupada: No, running is not stopped, but running must be with some purpose, aim of life. That they do not know. They are missing the aim of life.
Indian man: I meant, Swamiji, rajas is a better manifestation than tamas.
Prabhupada: No, you have to go above rajas-tamah. Rajas-tamah means greediness and lust.
tada rajas-tamo-bhavah
kama-lobhadayas ca ye
ceta etair anaviddham
sthitam sattve prasidati
[SB 1.2.19]
If you want peace and happiness, then you have to transcend the platform of rajas-tamah and come to the platform of goodness. Then you have to transcend the goodness platform and come to the vasudeva platform, Krsna consciousness platform. This is progress. Tada rajas-tamo-bhavah kama-lobha. Rajas tamas means kama and lobha, endless greediness and endless lusty desires. That will keep us within the category of material existence. Mudha janmani janmani aprapya mam [Bg. 16.20]. Then we remain mudha, life after life. That is not the aim of human life. Bhutva bhutva praliyate [Bg. 8.19]. We take once type of body and struggle and again die, and again accept another, another type of body. There are 8,400,000 different types of body. This is going on. Tatha dehantara-praptih. Find out this verse.
dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantara-praptir
dhiras tatra na muhyati
[Bg. 2.13]
This is the beginning of spiritual education. One has to learn it, that "I'm not this body; I'm within this body, and I'm transmigrating from one body to another." That means repetition of birth, death, old age and disease. This is the main problem of life. So human life means to make a solution of these problems, not to be entangled with these problems again and again.
Indian man: The question is, one must be able to see if there's a problem. People don't see it as a problem.
Prabhupada: Therefore Krsna says, "Here is your problem: janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarsanam [Bg. 13.9]." Find out this verse.
Jayadvaita: Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi.
Prabhupada: Yes, find out. This is knowledge. Advancement of knowledge means one must be able to see that what are the actual problems. Just like the scientists, the philosophers, they're trying to solve so many problems. But first of all, fix up what is the problem. Temporary problem, to make a solution, that is going on. But actual problem is this: na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. The soul is not destroyed, na jayate na mriyate va kadacit, at any time. One should be very prudent to see that "If I have no birth and no death, then what is this nonsense, birth and death?" That is knowledge. Why I am dying? Why there is birth problem? Why there is death problem? And as soon as there is birth problem, there is disease problem, there is old age problem. Therefore Krsna says.... What is the janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi?
Jayadvaita: It's in the list of items of knowledge, "The perception of the evil of birth, death, old age and disease."
Prabhupada: Yes. And the cure, medicine, is also given: tyaktva deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]. If you become Krsna conscious, then.... Everyone has to give up this body, but a person who is in thorough knowledge of Krsna, then he, after giving up this body, he does not accept any more material body. Tyaktva deham punar janma [Bg. 4.9]. Find out his verse.
Jayadvaita: "One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna."
Prabhupada: Yes. This is the solution. Therefore our only business should be to understand Krsna. That is perfection of life. That makes the solution-tyaktva deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]. Our propaganda is how to understand Krsna. And this yoga, Krsna consciousness yoga, simply thinking of Krsna, and try to understand Krsna. That is explained.
Without any doubt. And if you, asamsayam samagram mam, if you understand Krsna, then tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti [Bg. 4.9]. We are therefore requesting everyone, study Bhagavad-gita as it is. Don't interpret. Don't screw out your concocted meaning. Then your life is successful. Every politician, every scholar, everyone is trying to screw out some meaning. That is the disease. But we say, we are begging people, that "You read Bhagavad-gita As It Is and try to understand it." Very simple thing. We haven't got to become very learned scholars. Our business is to go to you and request you, "Please read Bhagavad-gita as it is. Don't try to interpret it." That is our preaching. Very simple. Because Bhagavad-gita, the instruction is there, and we haven't got to manufacture anything. So as a peon, we carry only: "You please read it as it is." Or you try to explain as it is. And where is the explanation? Everything is clear. The beginning is,
Sanjaya is asking, Dhrtarastra is asking Sanjaya, that "My sons and my brother's sons, both of them assembled together for fighting, then what did they do?" And they assembled in the dharma-ksetre, Kuruksetra. That place is still there, Kuruksetra. You have been in India. And the Kuruksetra station is there, and people are still going by thousands to Kuruksetra as a dharma-ksetra. So where is the difficulty to understand the meaning of these two words, dharma-ksetre, kuru-ksetre [Bg. 1.1]? Why you should interpret "Kuru-ksetre means this, dharma-ksetre means this"? Why? Mislead others and mislead himself.
Indian man: It must be understood literally, you say.
Prabhupada: Yes, why not? Suppose you have got some philosophy. So you can explain your philosophy differently. Why should you take Bhagavad-gita and explain your philosophy? Is it honesty?
Indian man: All the acaryas have been doing it.
Prabhupada: No acaryas are doing it. All lower-class men. No acaryas do it. Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Nimbarka, these are acaryas. Sankaracarya, Caitanya, they never did it. Outsiders, who did not care for the authority of the acarya, they did it. Otherwise, we are the acarya sampradaya. They'll never do that. Acaryavan puruso veda. Acaryopasanam. That is bona fide process of knowledge. Acaryopasanam. Amanitvam adambhitvam. Acaryopasanam. This is the process of knowledge. Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. This is the acarya. Acarya will never interpret things like that. You see Ramanujacarya's comments on Bhagavad-gita. Nothing changed. But in every sloka he has given evidence from the Vedas, from the Upanisads. Acarya will never change.
Jayadvaita: In the list of items of knowledge, "approaching a bona fide spiritual master." Acaryopasanam.
Prabhupada: This is acarya.
Indian man (2): Swamiji, you think bhakti is the solution to the problem of the world today?
Prabhupada: Oh, yes, yes. That is your natural position. You are protected, and God is protector. That's a fact. You cannot live even for a moment without protection of God. That is your position. That is explained by Caitanya Mahaprabhu: jivera svarupa haya nitya-krsna-dasa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. Perhaps you have read it in Caitanya-caritamrta. You have read Caitanya-caritamrta? Yes. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, He immediately gives the definition and position of the living entity: jivera svarupa haya nitya-krsna-dasa. Sanatana Gosvami asked Him, "People glorify me that I am very learned scholar." Gramya-vyavahare kahe pandita satya kari' mani. You understand Bengali? Gramya-vyavahare kahe pandita. "My these neighbors, they call me pandita. And I accept, 'Yes, I am pandita.' But I am such a pandita," apanara hitahita kichui na jani, "I do not know what is my aim of life and what is good for me. I'm such a pandita." Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu answered, 'ke ami,' 'kene amaya jare tapa-traya' iha nahi jani kemane hita haya. So mistake is, Caitanya Mahaprabhu immediately pointed out, that "You are learned, of course, there is no doubt, but you are submitting yourself as others..." Now He said that "You have questioned that ke ami, 'Who I am?' " So He said that "You are servant of God. That is your real identification." Then He begins teaching. So our position is servant of God. Eko yo bahunam vidadhati kaman. Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam (Katha Upanisad 2.2.13). One singular number and plural number, ceta, eternal. The singular number cetana is the maintainer, and the plural number cetana is the maintained. So our position is maintained. Just like father maintains the children. That is natural. And children's duty is to remain obedient to the father. That's all. That is bhakti. Then the family is all right. Family means father, mother and children. They're missing.... The children they are seeing, the mother they are seeing, and they are saying there is no father. This is modern civilization. How is that? The children are there, the mother is there. How is that there is no father? What is this conclusion? A sane man's conclusion is if the children are there, the mother is there, there must be father. Without father, how mother can beget children? Is there any experience that without father, mother has given birth to children? The modern civilization is: mother is material nature and we are all sons, born in the womb of the material nature. So who is the father? That inquiry is lacking. But there is father, undoubtedly. And the answer is given in the Bhagavad-gita: sarva-yonisu kaunteya [Bg. 14.4]. Find out this verse. Sambhavanti murtayah tasam mahad yonir brahma, aham bija-pradah pita. Bijo 'ham sarva-bhutanam [Bg 7.10].
Jayadvaita: "It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father."
Prabhupada: That's it. And that is the root cause of all problems, that they are missing the father. He is the maintainer. Godless. Is it possible that the mother gives birth to a child without father? Is there any experience in the history of the world, the mother has given birth to a child without connection with the father? They say, "We have not seen father." That does not mean there is no father. A child may not have seen his father. There are many children, but that does not mean that he has no father. There must be father. And so if there is father, no father, how you know it? Suppose you have not seen. You ask the mother, "Mother, am I born without father?" Mother says, "No, you have got your father." Or she can show, "Here is your father." So you cannot understand the father by your research work. You have to take the knowledge from the mother, authority. There is no other way. You cannot make any experiment or research knowledge who is father. That is not possible. You'll never understand who is father. You have to take the authority of the Vedas to understand what is God, or what is the supreme father. And here in the Bhagavad-gita the supreme father personally is coming and teaching you, "I am the father." So what is the objection to accepting Him? All the acaryas have accepted, as you spoke of the acaryas. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has accepted. So what is my objection? That means I am defying all the acaryas. All the Vedas says krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. Ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam [SB 1.3.28]. Isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah [Bs. 5.1]. And this is supported by the acaryas.
Prof. O'Connell: Swamiji, could you speak a bit about the proper attitude of the child towards the father? Is it one of fear, respect, love?
Prabhupada: Love. Basic relation love. Father loves the child, naturally. The child also naturally loves the father. This is natural relationship. Father works whole day and night for maintaining the children, family, and if the child out of love takes his lozenges and offers to the father, "Father, it is very nice, you take," father will be very glad. "Oh, yes, yes, I'll take." Father does not require the lozenges, but out of love the small child offering a little lozenges, father is very glad: "Oh, this child loves me." So Krsna says patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati tad aham asnami [Bg. 9.26]. This is relationship. Even the poorest man, he can offer to Krsna a little flower, little fruit, and Krsna says, "Yes, if it is offered with love, I accept it." That is the relation. What Krsna has got to do with little flower and little fruits? But He accepts, tad aham asnami. He said. Bhakty-upahrtam. "Because he has brought it with love and devotion, I accept it." If the supreme father accepts from you something, then your life is successful.
Prof. O'Connell: The human children often play with their fathers. Is playfulness the proper attitude for...
Prabhupada: No, no. That is not play, that is real love. Just like father sometimes becomes a horse, and the child rides over, and father enjoys. There is a story about Prime Minister Gladstone. He was prime minister, so many people come to him. So one man came and the doorman said, "He is now busy. Wait." So he was waiting for one hour. Then he became impatient; he wanted to see what this gentleman is doing. So he saw that he has become a horse, and his grandchild is driving him. So why the prime minister had become a horse to take back his grandchild on the back and enjoy? Is it a horse? This is out of love, enjoying. He was not wasting time. The other visitors were waiting. This is love. So to revive that natural life is the opportunity in human life. We have distributed our love in so many material things. Therefore Krsna comes and directly speaks that "You withdraw all these nonsense activities." Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam [Bg. 18.66]. "Try to love Me. Then your life is successful." This is aslisya. Personally requested that "Why you are rotting in this material world of birth and death and manufacturing so many ways of life? You give up all this nonsense. Just surrender to Me, you'll be happy." This is natural.
sa vai pumsam paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhoksaje
ahaituky apratihata
yayatma suprasidati
[SB 1.2.6]
This is first-class system of religion which teaches the followers how to love God. Yato bhaktir adhoksaje. What kind of love? Ahaituky apratihata. Without any motive and without any impediment. Then he'll be pleased. Yayatma suprasidati. Then he'll be happy. So we are after happiness, peacefulness. This is the only way.
So the teachings are there, the process is there, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu is practical demonstration of the teachings. That is detected by Rupa Gosvami. Namo maha-vadanyaya krsna-prema-pradaya te [Cc. Madhya 19.53]. So we require krsna-prema, love of God. So "You are so munificent that You are giving Krsna-prema. Krsnaya, You are Krsna, we understand that You are Krsna. You are personally giving krsna-prema."
Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya also said like that.
So Krsna comes Himself to teach what is God and what is the relationship with God. And people still mistake. Therefore He comes as devotee, how to teach people how to approach Krsna. These things are there. That is Krsna consciousness movement, to understand Krsna through Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Otherwise, it is very difficult. Manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye [Bg. 7.3]. And Caitanya Mahaprabhu especially appeared to give Krsna. Therefore if we go through Caitanya Mahaprabhu, we understand Krsna very quickly. And as soon as we understand Krsna, we become liberated. Tyaktva deham punar janma [Bg. 4.9], the whole solution of all problems.
Prof. O'Connell: Swamiji, do you know Professor Bimal Motilal came in during your discourse?
Prabhupada: Oh, (laughs) Hare Krsna. Motilal. (converses in Hindi) That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission, bharata-bhumite manusya-janma haila yara janma sarthaka kari' kara para-upakara [Cc. Adi 9.41]. These things are unknown in the Western countries. So anyone who has taken birth in India, Bharata-varsa, they should make his..., one should make his life perfect by assimilating all these sastras and preach the resultant action to the outsiders. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission-prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama. So you Indians, you are here, you assimilate the teachings of Gita, Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, and Caitanya-caritamrta, and help these people. That is India's business.
Woman: Swamiji, would you say something about the place of women in your movement?
Prabhupada: There is no distinction between man and woman. That is clearly said in the Bhagavad-gita. Mam hi partha vyapasritya ye 'pi syuh papa-yonayah striyo sudras tatha vaisyah [Bg. 9.32]. The first is mentioned, striya. Striyah sudras tatha vaisyah. These classes are understood to be less intelligent-woman, sudra, and the vaisyas. But Krsna says, "No, even for them it is open." Because in the spiritual platform there is no such distinction, man, woman, or black, white, or big or small. No. Everyone is spirit soul. Panditah sama-darsinah [Bg. 5.18]. Vidya-vinaya-sampanne brahmane gavi hastini suni caiva sva-pake ca panditah [Bg. 5.18], one who is actually learned, he is sama-darsinah. He does not make any distinction. But so far our material body is concerned, there must be some distinction for keeping the society in order.
Woman: The women could become panditas, then.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Te 'pi yanti param gatim. Not only come, she can also attain perfection. There is no such restriction. Krsna said.
Woman: Do you have any panditas in the Western movement?
Prabhupada: There are so many Western woman, girls, in our society. They are chanting, dancing, taking to Krsna consciousness. Of course, because superficially, bodily, there is some distinction, so we keep women separately from men, that's all. Otherwise, the rights are the same.
Prof. O'Connell: Is it possible, Swamiji, for a woman to be a guru in the line of disciplic succession?
Prabhupada: Yes. Jahnava devi was-Nityananda's wife. She became. If she is able to go to the highest perfection of life, why it is not possible to become guru? But, not so many. Actually one who has attained the perfection, she can become guru. But man or woman, unless one has attained the perfection.... Yei krsna-tattva-vetta sei guru haya [Cc. Madhya 8.128]. The qualification of guru is that he must be fully cognizant of the science of Krsna. Then he or she can become guru. Yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei guru haya. [break] In our material world, is it any prohibition that woman cannot become professor? If she is qualified, she can become professor. What is the wrong there? She must be qualified. That is the position. So similarly, if the woman understands Krsna consciousness perfectly, she can become guru.
Indian man: Well, to understand Krsna consciousness, do you not require adhikari?
Prabhupada: Adhikari means he must agree to understand. That is adhikari. But we do not agree. That is our fault.
Indian man: Is this agreement due to learning or out of...?
Prabhupada: No, Krsna says sarva-dharman parityajya mam [Bg. 18.66], you surrender, you become qualified. You agree, "Yes, I surrender, Krsna says." Then immediately you become qualified. But that you do not do. Krsna is personally canvassing, but we are not agreeing. What can be done? If I say, with a bag of million dollars, "Take this bag," if you don't agree, then you remain poor man. But you agree, "Yes, without any labor I'm getting the million dollars. Well, all right." Krsna says, bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]. To come to that Krsna consciousness rightly and surrender to Krsna, it takes many millions of births. But if one is intelligent, if this is the ultimate goal, that one has to come to this point, to surrender to Vasudeva, why not do it immediately? That is intelligence. That is intelligence. Krsna is canvassing. One has to take millions of births to come to this point, and Krsna is personally promising, aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami [Bg. 18.66]. Why not take advantage? That means you do not agree. If you agree, the result is immediate. Avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam [Bg. 9.11]. They are thinking, "Ah, Krsna is also human being like me. Why shall I surrender to Him?" They are mudha. Avajananti mam mudhah. Then remain a rascal. What can be done? We have got little independence, because we are part and parcel of Krsna. Krsna is fully independent. But because we are part and parcel of Krsna, we have got little independence, so we can refuse. Although Krsna canvassing, sarva-dharman parityajya [Bg. 18.66], we can refuse: "Why shall I surrender to You?" That is our misfortune. But if you agree, you get immediate result. Therefore this Hare Krsna mantra. To agree, ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. Because we have got so many nasty, dirty things within our heart, we cannot agree. But if you chant Hare Krsna, then we become cleansed in heart, and then agree. Those who are not agreeing, for them it is recommended, kirtaniyah sada harih [Cc. Adi 17.31]. Harer nama harer nama harer nama eva kevalam kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir... [Cc. Adi 17.21]. You chant Hare Krsna. Because Krsna and Krsna's name is not different, by association of Krsna you become purified. Then you understand, vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma [Bg. 7.19]. You become the greatest mahatma: "Oh, Krsna is everything." Then you surrender. You have to surrender-today or tomorrow or many millions of births after. You have to do that. Otherwise, you'll be troubled by the laws of material nature.
So we have to come to that point, how to surrender to Krsna. That is nature's way, pulling by the ear: "Come here, do this." Prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah [Bg. 3.27]. This will go on as long as you are not agreeing to surrender to Krsna. And as soon as you surrender to Krsna, there is no infringement by maya. [break] (Bengali) You understand Bengali? So the process is going on by the laws of nature to give us different types of trouble. The main trouble is janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi [Bg. 13.9]. It will go on unless we surrender to Krsna. Better surrender in this life and be perfect; then things are all right. And what is the benefit of our so-called independence? If we declare that we are independent of the laws of nature, is it possible? Is it possible? Then where is your independence? Why you are declaring falsely independence? If you declare yourself independent of God, then you become dependent on maya. Just like the criminals. They don't care for the laws of the government. They become under the laws of the prison house, that's all. There is no question of independence. Either you remain free or in the prison house, you are under the laws of government. So why falsely declaring independent and don't care for the government? Outlaws. That is called maya-false prestige which is not possible.
Guest (1): Swamiji, you came to New York, I believe, in 1965. Can you remember some of your first impressions of North American society when you came here? Did you feel it was ripe for Krsna consciousness at that time?
Prabhupada: No. I was not very much hopeful. That I wrote one poetry, that "Krsna, why You have brought me in this country? What can I do? How I shall convince them how they will understand the philosophy? So, but because You have brought me here, must be there is some purpose. So all right. You make me dance as You like." That poetry, I (wrote) in Boston, Commonwealth Pier, on the sea. I came by ship. So I wrote that poetry, that I do not know what for I have come here, why Krsna has brought me here. As soon as I shall say that there is no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no drinking, and no gambling, they'll say, "You go home. Don't talk." I knew this. Still I attempted. But these boys kindly accepted. I never made any compromise. I said, "These are the first conditions to become Krsna conscious: no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no intoxication, no gambling. Are you agreed?" They say yes, then come. If I would have made compromise, "Yes, whatever you like you can do." No, I never did. Ask them. I never did. Some of them left, that "It is too difficult. The primary necessities of life are denied here." (chuckles) But these boys, they have accepted, and therefore it is improving. They are young men, they have got all the desires for material enjoyment, but they have sacrificed everything. That is tapasya. Tapo divyam putraka yena suddhyed sattvam [SB 5.5.1]. If you want to purify your existence, then you must practice tapasya. Tapasa brahmacaryena yamena niyamena [SB 6.1.13]. That is tapasya. First beginning is brahmacarya. Therefore according to Vedic system, brahmacari first—to teach how to become brahmacari. Brahmacari guru-grhe vasan danto guror hitam. The children should be trained up in such a way that they will be able to control the senses and act only for the benefit of guru. That is brahmacari. They have no personal interest. So they are collecting daily not less than one lakh of rupees, up to five lakh, these boys. But their expenditure at my direction. Not a single paisa they can spend in their own discretion. They are laboring hard to get this collection, but the money is mine. This is the arrangement. Now in Hyderabad they immediately require two lakhs. The money is there, they can take it, but they are asking by telegram my permission. I'll give them, but this is the arrangement. Guror hitam, brahmacari. Vasan danto guror hitam. So the prescription is there, the formula is there, the literature is there. If we take this culture, then the whole human society will be happy. That is our mission.
Prof. O'Connell: Do you find, Swamiji, that the mood of the young people in North America is the same now as it was in '65, or has it changed?
Prabhupada: That you can see.
Prof. O'Connell: Are they still willing to join in the same way?
Prabhupada: Yes, many young boys are joining daily.
Visvakarma: Since we got the new building here, we have twelve new brahmacaris that are being initiated this evening.
Prabhupada: But to accept this creed requires some big qualification. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says in the Caitanya-ei rupe brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. Some selected, fortunate persons can accept. Kona bhagyavan. Not everybody.
It is not very easy thing to accept Krsna as everything and surrender there. It is not so easy. But it is possible if one is fortunate. Kona bhagyavan. But anyone can accept it. What is the difficulty? But they'll not do it. Therefore unfortunate. What is the difficulty, Krsna consciousness? Does Krsna say anything extraordinary that we cannot perform? Nothing. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. Four things: "You just think of Me always-man-mana. You just become My devotee, worship Me and offer your obeisances unto Me." Four things. Where is the difficulty? Anyone can think of Krsna. Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama. Where is the loss? Is there any loss? Is there any tax if you chant Hare Krsna? Just make an experiment and see the result. There is no loss, there is no tax, there is no botheration. Why don't you do it? Not at all difficult. If you compare with other system, this is the easiest. Chant Hare Krsna. The Gosvamis did. Krsnotkirtana-gana-nartana-parau. They taught us how to do it. Krsnotkirtana-gana-nartana-parau. They did this, chanting Hare Krsna and dancing. And the love was coming. Premamrtambho-nidhi dhiradhira-jana-priyau priya-karau nirmatsarau pujitau sri-caitanya-krpa-bharau bhuvi bhuvo bharavahantarakau vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau. In the morning we have.... Always we have got kirtana, in morning especially. You can see how these boys dancing and chanting only Hare Krsna, how they are ecstatic. What is the difficulty? There is no difficulty. Chant, dance and take prasada. Bas. Su-sukham kartum avyayam. In the Ninth Chapter: Raja-vidya raja-guhyam. Su-sukham kartum avyayam [Bg. 9.2]. To execute this Krsna consciousness business is very, very palatable and happy. And whatever you do, avyayam, that is your permanent asset. Read it.
Jayadvaita: "This knowledge is the king of education."
Prabhupada: No, Sanskrit.
Jayadvaita: Oh. Raja-vidya raja-guhyam.
Prabhupada: Pavitram idam uttamam.
Jayadvaita: Pavitram idam uttamam pratyaksavagamam dharmyam su-sukham kartum avyayam.
Prabhupada: Uttamam. Pratyaksavagamam dharmyam. You can directly understand whether you are going forward. These boys, they are educated, they are coming from rich family—at least, in rich nation. They are not fools and rascals. Unless they feel pratyaksa avagamam, how they can stick? Just like you are hungry, you are eating. Unless you feel that you are eating, "Yes, I am getting strength, satisfying my appetite," then you can go on eating. It is like that. Pratyaksavagamam dharmyam. You don't require to get certificate from others, that "I am eating. Whether I am satisfied?" You will feel. You don't require to take certificate from others. If you are actually eating, the result you will feel. That is pratyaksa avagamam dharmyam. Other process, you do not know whether you are actually making progress or not. You are simply going to the ritualistic ceremonies, but whether you are actually going forward, that you cannot understand. But you take to Krsna consciousness, you will understand directly, "Yes, I'm making progress. What I was and what I am now?" Everyone will tell their life history. Pratyaksam means directly. Pratyaksa avagamam dharmyam. Asamsayam samagram mam yatha jnasyasi tac chrnu [Bg. 7.1]. These things are there. Asamsayam. There will be no doubt. Other process, you have doubt. This man says that he's God: Whether he's God? But when real God says, then there will be no doubt. Asamsayam. So, give them prasada. Take little prasadam. Thank you very much. So we are trying our best. So if you kindly cooperate with us, we'll get more encouragement. People will be more benefited.
Prof. O'Connell: Don't you have a gurukula in Texas?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Prof. O'Connell: Is there any chance of having a gurukula in Canada?
Prabhupada: Why not? We can...
Prof. O'Connell: Nice city.
Prabhupada: Yes. Gurukula means to teach them a way of life, that's all. Brahmacari guru-grhe vasan danta, how to control senses, the first business. Danta. Santa danta, peaceful and controlling senses.
Prof. O'Connell: Swamiji, if somebody is in the movement for several years and feels that he's not making progress and leaves, is he looked upon as a sinner or enemy? How do the devotees feel about persons like that?
Prabhupada: Not like.... Just like in college, school, some student making rapid progress, some of them are a little slow. That does not mean that he should he rejected. He should be given chance. But if he follows the regulative principles, there is no chance of falling down. The regulative principle is that you refrain from these activities: illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling, and chant Hare Krsna. That's all. That will make him perfect. Very easy. We don't say no sex; we say illicit sex. So if you want sex, you become a gentleman, marry and live like a gentleman. Why illicit sex? There are many grhastha devotee. Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu's direct associate, Nityananda, He was a grhastha. Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself was a grhastha. He married twice. First wife died, he married second wife. So grhastha is not rejected. Simply it is not that simply sannyasis will go back to home. No. Everyone can go. Striyah sudras tatha vaisyah. They can go also. But one must be Krsna conscious. Caitanya Mahaprabhu's recommendation is that you remain your place-don't try to change it artificially—but be Krsna conscious. That is required. And that is also very easy, how to become Krsna conscious. Read Bhagavad-gita As It Is, you become Krsna conscious. At home or out of home, it doesn't matter. Sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhih. You remain in your situation, place, and sruti-gatam tanu-vak, and hear, just lend your aural reception of the words of Krsna. So that day will come, Krsna, who is ajita, you can conquer Him. Ajito 'pi jito 'py asi. Nobody can conquer Krsna, but by this method, one can conquer Krsna.
Guest (1): Swamiji, would you know whether people who joined the movement in their older years are more likely to stay on than those who join when they are younger?
Prabhupada: Not necessarily. Younger, older, there is no restriction.
Guest (1): It doesn't appeal more to the young ones than to the older people?
Prabhupada: No, any education, if you take young, youthtime, that is easily. For old man it is difficult, but he has to take so many years to forget what he has learned. (laughter) That is the difficulty. Young man, they are easily receptive. Old man thinks, "Why shall I give up my present understanding?" That is the difficulty. But if he gives up and takes to, sarva-dharman parityajya [Bg. 18.66], if he takes to it, then immediately, in a moment. So this is, this plate is for me?
Guest (1): Yes.
Prabhupada: No, no, keep it and I shall.... At least I shall see. It is for you, take it.
Guest (1): No, it's for you.
Prabhupada: No, no. He'll save this for me.
Devotee (1): It's for you, Srila Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: Nice. And no tea, no liquor. Yad yad acarati sresthah. If the professors chant Hare Krsna, naturally the students will do that. Yad yad acarati sresthas tad tad eva itaro janah [Bg. 3.21]. Less important person also follow. If the professor's chanting, the student will immediately follow. You can do better service. If I go, I request them, they'll not do it. But as soon as they: "My professor is doing. All right. Immediately."
Prof. O'Connell: (to other professor) Do you have such devotion among your students in McMaster? You don't see much.
Indian man: (indistinct)
Prof. O'Connell: We had a graduation ceremony today down at the University. I've just come up from it. Are you going to send any of your students to the University to get their doctoral studies so that they can teach at other universities? We'd be delighted if some would come this way.
Visvakarma: One boy, Garuda dasa, is going to study at the University of Chicago for his Ph.D. in Sanskrit.
Prof. O'Connell: Good.
Prabhupada: The real education is life. Gurukula means it is a way of life training. It is said that brahmacari gurukule vasan danta. This is the way of life: how to learn controlling the senses. Nowadays we have got school, colleges, universities, but this method is not there, how to become danta. The method is different, that "You can do whatever you like; you simply attend class." That is not the way of life. This is tapasya.
This is tapasya. This can be done.
All these things, tapasya can be executed simply by learning devotional service. Then everything is there. Kecit kevalaya bhaktya. So we are describing these things in our books. If these books are made textbook.... I think in some of the colleges they are making textbooks, our books, in Germany, in Hamburg University. There is university of the name Hamburg?
Pusta Krsna: East Berlin.
Prabhupada: They have taken some of our books for textbook.
Prof. O'Connell: There is a German gentleman, Walter Eidlitz, who wrote in German a life of Sri Caitanya some years ago. Did he ever meet you, by any chance, Walter Eidlitz?
Prabhupada: Eh?
Prof. O'Connell: He spent some time in Vrndavana during the Second War, became a Vaisnava, devotee, I believe, and then wrote this lengthy German life of Caitanya. I don't think it's translated yet.
Prabhupada: There is one, my Godbrothers also, you perhaps know, Sadananda. He came to India in 1935, Gaudiya Matha. And my Guru Maharaja first initiated him with hari-nama. Two gentlemen came: one Ernst Schulze, another Von something. But later on they left. This Schulze was my intimate friend.
Prof. O'Connell: One of your Godbrothers was in Toronto about this time last year, Swami Bhakti-hrdaya Bon Maharaja was passing through Toronto. Your devotees came over to the house and were very courteous to him and invited him back to the temple, and he was very pleased.
Prabhupada: Yes, I wrote him care of your address.
Prof. O'Connell: That's right.
Prabhupada: I invited him to Hawaii, but by that time he left.
Prof. O'Connell: His plans were...
Guest (1): Swami, do you attach any significance to the fact that this temple is in a form of a Christian church?
Prabhupada: There are many Christian church we have converted temple. They sell for want of customer. And we purchase, we increase customers. But customer of the same place. That is the beauty. These customers, they are not brought from India. But formerly they were not coming here, now they are coming in crowd. In Los Angeles we purchased.... You have been in Los Angeles? Now we have got a regular colony. About one dozen big, big houses. So that was a church. Nobody was coming, they sold it to us. Now it is always crowded. This church, they were not going to sell us. But (laughs) under circumstances it came to us. We wanted to purchase it, but the proprietor would not sell to us. They were charging very big price. So we are prepared. Still he'll not agree. Now we have purchased less price. (to devotee:) What is the history?
Devotee: Well, the previous owner didn't want to sell it to the Krsna consciousness movement. They said they'd prefer to burn it down. (Prabhupada laughs) One Indian gentleman who is a prominent businessman in Toronto purchased it in trust, saying that he was representing some Indian social group. So he purchased it in trust. Then the chairman of the committee of trustees who were in charge of selling the church noticed some tilaka on Visvakarma's face. He had a hat on so his sikha wouldn't show. When he saw it was Hare Krsna, he became very disturbed.
Visvakarma: He said, "Oh, no, the Hare Krsnas."
Prabhupada: So they are not very favorable to the Hare Krsna movement. (laughs)
Indian man: How long did it take for Swamiji to write the seventeen volumes, translation of Caitanya-caritamrta?
Prabhupada: It can be finished, but I have to look after this management, that is the difficulty.
Pusta Krsna: He's asking about the Caitanya-caritamrtas.
Prabhupada: Accha, it is finished.
Hari-sauri: How long did it take?
Prabhupada: Oh. It took one year and six months.
Guest (1): When do you usually write?
Prabhupada: I write in the night. I get up at half past twelve. I go to bed at half past ten, and I get up at half past twelve. Then I finish my chanting, if there is any balance, and then I begin dictating. And the morning they take it and type it. So this dictaphone is always with me, wherever I go, so my writing book is not stopped. Maybe few pages, but something is there daily. Little drops of water wears the stone. So in that way we have translated so many books. About fifty-four books are already published, besides the small booklets. And, how many we have published, Bhagavatam? About twenty-two?
Hari-sauri: Twenty volumes, and two more in print now.
Prabhupada: Therefore twenty-two. I am expecting sixty volumes. Sixty volumes of four hundred pages. The biggest canto is the Tenth Canto. I've already published the Tenth Canto, summarized: Krsna. But in detail, it will take at least twenty volumes.
Indian man: It's almost as big as the rest of the book.
Prabhupada: Huh?
Indian man: Tenth is almost as big as the rest of the book.
Prabhupada: Yes. There are ninety chapters. Ninety chapters. All other cantos, at most thirty chapters. But Tenth Canto is ninety chapters. That is Krsna's face, Krsna's beautiful face. Everyone is attracted by the smiling face of Krsna.
Indian man: Is there any other bhasya other than Baladeva-bhasya?
Prabhupada: No, many others.
Indian man: Gaudiya, Sankara...
Prabhupada: No, other acaryas. Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya and Vallabhacarya. Then our Gaudiya-bhasya, this Jiva Gosvami, Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. And Radharamana Gosvami, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami's descendant.
Indian man: Is there any plan to translate into English? Is there any plan to translate Jiva Gosvami's Jiva-bhasya?
Prabhupada: No, no. I am taking help from all these Gosvamis and giving a summary. Where is that book? That green book? (probably referring to Prabhupada's green Bhagavatam with eight commentaries) [break] First comment I find, Visvanatha Cakravarti and Vira-raghavacarya, the Ramanujacarya sampradaya. Vira-raghavacarya.
Indian man: Adhunika bhasya.
Prabhupada: It is not adhunika. It was written at least two hundred, three hundred years ago. Adhunika, who is care? Who cares for Bhagavatam? Technology, hammer..., cuta-cut-cuta. Nobody is now interested in philosophy or English literature. The professors say. I have got.... So read the names of the commentator, any chapter. Who are.... Sridhara Svami.
Pradyumna: (reading Sanskrit names) Sridhara Svami, and Vamsidhara-krta-bhavartha-dipika-prakasa-bhasya, Sri-Ganga-sahaya-pranitanvika-prakasas ca. And Srimad-vira-raghavacarya bhagavata-candrika, Srimad-vijaya-dhvaja-tirtha-racita-pada-ratnavali, Srimaj-jiva-gosvami, Krama-Sandarbha, Visvanatha-cakravarti-krta-sarartha-darsini, Srimad-sukadeva-krta-siddhanta pathi, Gosvami-sri-giri-hari-lala-gupta gosala-prabodhini.
Prabhupada: That is Vallabhacarya.
Pradyumna: Uh.... Sri-bhagavat-prasadacarya-pranita-bhakti-mano-ranjani.
Prabhupada: All the acaryas, in their disciplic succession, they have written their comments. Only Sankaracarya has not written. (laughs) He's impersonalist. He could not. Although the present generation of Sankaracarya, they are living by reciting Bhagavatam and making kadarthana. This is going on.
Indian man: They advocate the advaita-tattva in Bhagavatam.
Prabhupada: There is one Akandananda Swami in Vrndavana.
Indian man: (indistinct)
Prabhupada: There is.... "Krsna, kr means this, sna means this," like that.
Indian man: Even Ramanujacarya sampradaya, Bhagavata is not cited, quoted. Bhagavata quotes. (indistinct) Ramanuja does not quote from Bhagavata in Sri-bhasya.
Prabhupada: Ramanuja, here is Raman, Vira-raghavacarya is Ramanuja.
Indian man: That is later. I am talking about the great Ramanujacarya, Sri-bhasya.
Prabhupada: No, Bhagavata is accepted. Yad vaisnavanam priya. Any Vaisnava, Bhagavata is, they write comment or not comment. Formerly.... Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not write any.... That does not mean He was not accepting Bhagavata. That does not mean. But His disciples wrote, disciplic succession. [break] ...not comment. That does not matter. It is dearmost. Just like in our Gaudiya Vaisnava there was no comment on the Vedanta-sutra. Because Caitanya Mahaprabhu recommended.... And in the Bhagavata also, every chapter, Brahma-sutra-bhasya. Is that, any chapter? At the end of chapter.
Pradyumna: Here it doesn't have. The Gaudiya edition. End of chapter: sri-srimad-bhagavata-mahapurane paramahamsa-samhitayam.
Prabhupada: Paramahamsa-samhitayam. Brahma-sutra-bhasya is not there?
Pradyumna: No, only Gaudiya.
Prabhupada: So, it is actually bhasyayam brahma-sutranam. It is stated. This is the real commentary on Brahma-sutra by Vyasadeva himself, author. Vyasadeva is the author of Brahma-sutra, and he has written personally, under the instruction of his guru, Narada Muni, this Brahma-sutra-bhasya. And it begins with the Brahma-sutra aphorism: janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1]. The Brahma-sutra begins with these words: janmadya, athato brahma jijnasa. Janmady asya yatah. So these things are explained elaborately. Therefore Brahma-sutra-bhasya, bhasyayam brahma-sutra. Vedartha paribrmhita. So therefore in our Gaudiya, Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not write any bhasya of the Brahma-sutra, neither the gosvamis, because they took it that Srimad-Bhagavatam is the real bhasya of Brahma-sutra. But when.... Sometimes the Gaudiya Vaisnavas are challenged that "You cannot be accepted as bona fide community, spiritual community, because you have no bhasya on Brahma-sutra." Then Baladeva Vidyabhusana wrote govinda-bhasya. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not like or ask His disciples to write, because He thought, "This is the Gaudiya, Brahma-sutra-bhasya." Not Gaudiya—for every Vaisnava. Bhasyayam brahma-sutranam. So we have got now Gaudiya Vedanta-bhasya. Ramanuja Vedanta-bhasya is there. Madhvacarya Vedanta-bhasya is there, all. And Gaudiya had not. But since this challenge was made in Jaipur, then Baladeva Vidyabhusana, he took: "Yes," and he finished, Gaudiya bhasya, and it is called Govinda-bhasya. Actually, in India, unless one follows the acaryas and has given commentary on the Brahma-sutra, he's not a bona fide. Nyaya-prasthana. Brahma-sutra is called nyaya-prasthana. Sruti-prasthana, smrti-prasthana, nyaya-prasthana. So any bona fide acarya must give his understanding about these three prasthanas.
Prof. O'Connell: Swamiji, it may be time for us to take your leave. It was a great pleasure and honor to...
Prabhupada: Thank you very much for your coming. Now my request is that you take up this movement. It is actually a great contribution to the human society. Yad yad acarati srestha [Bg. 3.21]. Those who are leaders of the society, if they take it, it is easily understood and easily distributed. So there is no question of sectarian thought. It is the necessity of the human society to understand God. The other day in Detroit, two father priests came to see me. I also requested that we require a set of first-class men that is not there at the present moment. There is no head. They are thinking simply arms wanted, defense, and fight amongst themselves. That's all. Everyone is thinking simply arms wanted. And what they will do with the arms? Fight between themselves, that's all. So one asura was given one thousand hands by Lord Siva. But he could not find any enemy. So he was fighting with hills and mountains and making him smashed. So he came to Lord Siva: "Sir, you have given me one thousand hands, but there is no enemy for me. I cannot fight." So Siva said, "Yes, you just wait for the day when your enemy will come who will smash you into pieces." (laughs) So we are simply equipping with arms and finding out to whom we'll fight. That is going on. So everyone is manufacturing the atomic weapons. So there must be some fight, so that all the nations will be ruined. (end)

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