Room Conversation

June 17, 1976, Toronto
Hari-śauri: The thing that came up when we were into doing the political thing a little bit, they were asking..., one of the major issues always in political battles is how would you control inflation, how would you solve the inflation problem?
Prabhupāda: Inflation problem, I suggested, make gold coins as medium of exchange.
Hari-śauri: That means that there'll be the same..., it'll have the same value all over the world.
Prabhupāda: No question of value. Money has to be paid by real money-gold, silver. No paper.
Hari-śauri: But whether it's gold or paper, isn't it all just representative of...
Prabhupāda: No, medium of exchange.
Hari-śauri: Yes.
Prabhupāda: If I have to pay you, if you don't accept paper, then I'll have to give you gold or silver, and international exchange is going on. Then there is no inflation, because you'll not accept paper, so what is the use of printing notes? They are printing notes without any gold reserve.
Hari-śauri: Nothing. It's just imaginary wealth.
Prabhupāda: That's it. Bank will give you loan, they are eager to give you loan, and you haven't got to pay anything in gold and silver. One check, that's all. And with that check you can purchase lots of commodities and hoard it, and price will be increased. If I have to pay gold for (indistinct), then I have limited source. The price will not increase. This is the only way. Introduce gold only, gold and silver. In the British period in our childhood there was practically no notes. Silver. If I have to take payment from you, one thousand rupees, you will give me so much silver. For counting, counting, I have to see whether it is.... There were some imitation, counterfeit. So each coin you have to see, they were saying like that, that, "For thousand rupees I have to occupy so much space."
Hari-śauri: And weighed so much.
Prabhupāda: Yes, and weight was so much. (pause) The time was not so bad. If you take some cash, thousand, two thousand rupees with you, you can safely walk on the street. Now if somebody knows that he has got thousand rupees cash with him, maybe he will be killed. The bank, they are so much afraid, they keep police in bank, police guard, always.
Hari-śauri: They have so much security systems and TV cameras. [break]
Prabhupāda: ...not working?
Hari-śauri: Is there any kind of a pain killer or anything?
Prabhupāda: No.
Hari-śauri: Nothing we can get from India or anything like that?
Prabhupāda: No, don't worry. It will be.... [break]
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: They had no reason to object to something, but they just do it out of their nasty nature. Anyway, so I had the forms filled out, everything. Then we went to a lawyer, we got it notarized, everything in order. And the man this morning said he would give us the passport the same day. Then this other man, higher up, bigger dog, I went to see him, and he said, "No, no, it will take four days." So I said "Why not do it in three days? We can get it Monday." We were very nice, myself and Mr. Battra, Subhavilas went. He's also Punjabi. They were speaking Punjabi. He was, Mr. Battra was even begging him, unnecessary things. And then finally he said "Come back Monday morning," after sitting there for two hours, for no reason.
Jagadīśa: With no yes or no?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: But no today.
Prabhupāda: Hmm?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Prabhupāda needs a new passport with all the pages filled out. I wanted to get it in Fiji, but the embassy was on the other side of the island. So we'll try again Monday morning. I told him though that we've given our lives to preach the dharma of Bhārata-varṣa, and sometimes we become—I told him in a nice way, not in an angry way—sometimes we become very disenchanted and disenheartened when we see that Indians like yourself, they present unnecessary obstacles to our preaching mission.
Prabhupāda: That is sufficient insult. (laughter) That enraged him. You said Indian-givers. That offended him.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: No, that was after he said no. Then he changed his mind a little bit, but I don't know. He said come back Monday morning then. I was thinking maybe he wanted to be bribed or something. Maybe Mr. Battra knows.
Prabhupāda: Indian government is nasty, there is no doubt.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Unnecessarily. He said "I have to fill out four pages." Four pages of the passport, that takes four days?
Prabhupāda: Everyone in government service, at least it is to be supposed they are all nasty men. Here also, why not? The other day the custom officer, unnecessary. Unnecessarily. He is opening the snuff box, this box, that box. Unnecessarily. Not a gentleman. It is stated there, "snuff," and he is bringing knife to open.
Jagadīśa: Harassment.
Prabhupāda: Everywhere. Rājanyaiḥ, dasyu-dharma. Simply wanting some bribe. They are in power. And that will increase. It will be impossible to deal with. Now it is already. In India, any work you want to be done by government, unless you bribe.... In Africa also. The situation is becoming very dangerous. That Mullik's Thakur, where he...?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: In Calcutta, yes.
Prabhupāda: The state is in the management of official trustee. And this trustee in charge of the trust board men, they give us so much trouble and exploit the position for his personal profit. I have seen. Horrible. For instance, I can give you, if in some property there is some repair, it will cost you, say, one hundred rupees. And they'll give it to a contractor, and the contractor will present a bill, twelve hundred rupees. And he'll pass. And the contractor will be given, say, two hundred rupees, and balance he'll take. I have seen.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Stealing from the trust.
Prabhupāda: In this way he's.... The money's in his hand. If you want money for expenditure, so if I press you, you have need of money, so you do everything, give some back, get the money. You are in urgent need. Everywhere. All, whole world they have become dishonest. Even the high-court judges, magistrate, they are getting bribe.
Hari-śauri: It's an extremely difficult situation
Prabhupāda: Extremely. They've lost their religious sentiment, religious consciousness. They're just like rude, crude. There was one chief minister in Punjab, he got a big business, big man, "Mr. such and such, I'm sending such and such man. Give him ten thousand rupees without waiting for his reply." "So what for?" "Why you are asking? Give him ten thousand rupees." And the man goes, and he has to pay; otherwise he knows that "This minister will harass me in so many ways later on."
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: They are called public servants, the so-called government officials.
Prabhupāda: Even your country, there are so many bogus institutes. There was one Mr. Bogart. I used to call him Bogus. Bogart is a title?
Prabhupāda: His business is he has got some institute in the United Nations building, and he has got some office also. That means some poor country, poor, "Give me, give me charity," propaganda. And he will officially present some application to the Ford Foundation, and the trustees will give him money. There is no poverty-stricken application, but through this institution.... And there is clique, between the.... They are always.... That trustee came, that Desai?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: In South Africa?
Prabhupāda: In Durban? Yes. They were taking money. Somebody told me.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: His grandfather left two hundred thousand dollars to be given to charity in his last will and testament, and they're scheming how to keep the money.
Prabhupāda: Everywhere.
Jagadīśa: Is it because they are killing the cows that this is happening, Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: So many things. In India there is no.... At least gentlemen, they do not eat meat. But the thing is that when there is fire, so everyone will suffer. If there is fire in this building, either you are sinful or not sinful, the effects will be shared by you.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: (showing Prabhupāda newspaper) There was one newspaper at the Indian Embassy printed in Canada, it's called The Indian Calling. On the back page they have one supplement they took from Back to Godhead magazine.
Prabhupāda: It is ours?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes. This is printed by the Indian community, one man, Anand Singh, and he included part of an article from the Back to Godhead magazine. There's one article in here also, the front page is a whole.... There's a racket they had going, these people, this man. He went to India and he found one widow, and he said, "I am a personal friend of the Prime Minister of Canada. Give me money, I'll take you to Canada. You can come. I'll make sure you get immigration status." So she came with him to Canada, and then he started blackmailing her, "Give me this much money every day, otherwise I'll reveal that you're an illegal immigrant, and you'll be in trouble with the government." And eventually it became such a burden that he simply killed her, cut her into three pieces and killed her. Then they found parts of different bodies like this, and they finally found the man.
Prabhupāda: The woman was killed?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes, this happened in Toronto. Wretched world. (long pause) [break] He writes what appears to be a nice editorial, "Weak Western Educational System"—it's on the second page—in which he brings out how the Indians have taken the worst from the West, namely it's educational system.
Prabhupāda: It is my version?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: No, but I think he has gotten this from you, the idea of Vedic education. You're the only person preaching this in the world, practically. He's certainly read some of your books, Prabhupāda. [break]
Viśvakarmā: He said, "We heard that your spiritual master's coming to town. We'd like to put part of one of the articles from BTG in our paper." Did he put in any advertisement? Oh, I'm surprised. He said, "I'd also like to put an advertisement in the paper." Then he asked, he said he wanted to charge us money for the advertisement. So I told him, I said, "You're from India. You should want to do this for free." He wouldn't do it.
Hari-śauri: They use part of your article to advertise Indian culture. This "Could Plato have gotten his ideas from ancient Indian Vedas?" And at the same time they won't even give a free advertisement when you, the speaker of the article, is here in person.
Prabhupāda: Anyway, you have refused to pay.
Viśvakarmā: Yes, I refused.
Prabhupāda: That's all right.
Viśvakarmā: I said "If you want to do it for free, then we'll be happy to put it in." I said, "We are spending two hundred dollars every Sunday to give prasādam to these people. Why do you want to charge us so that we can advertise for them to come?"
Prabhupāda: So this newspaper wants to see me?
Viśvakarmā: He's..., they are coming Śrīla Prabhupāda, at six-thirty.
Prabhupāda: This newspaper?
Viśvakarmā: Oh, not this one, no. The Toronto Star. It's the main paper in Canada, and they'll be here at six-thirty.
Hari-śauri: There's a big, big advertisement here for Swami Vishnu Devananda.
Jagadīśa: He's a...
Hari-śauri: From the Shivananda Yoga Vedanta Center. (laughs) He's going to lecture on the five basic aspects of yoga. Admission three dollars. [break]
Viśvakarmā: We're getting quite a few calls. Within the last two months four Indian people have come to me requesting that they can get married in the temple. I told them not...
Prabhupāda: No, we are not marriage company. We get married our students if there is necessity, but we don't.... Marriage means they will arrange their marriage in our temple.
Viśvakarmā: They arrange the marriage on their own; they have the ceremony here. And they pay some fee.
Jagadīśa: They don't even know..., they don't even know that the Deity is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Similar proposal was there in Montreal. Then it will become a business. They are not devotees. They have no good place to perform the marriage, they come here.
Jagadīśa: The rest of the year they don't come.
Prabhupāda: You have got a separate place for allowing them?
Viśvakarmā: Yes, we have this other room adjacent to the temple room, which is very large.
Prabhupāda: So that can be used by them. Not the big hall.
Viśvakarmā: Not the temple room, but use this other one. The idea being that they will start to relate to the temple.
Prabhupāda: Huh?
Viśvakarmā: Most of the time they're reluctant to come, but if they think there is some facility, then they'll come anyway, for that. Then they can see the Deities. And they will pay for catering. We will serve them prasāda, and they will give the money for the prasāda. In that way they can get prasāda from the Deity.
Prabhupāda: Oh, prasāda we shall arrange. And they will pay for that.
Viśvakarmā: Yes, just like the Christians. They have that kind of thing when they have a banquet.
Prabhupāda: That can be accepted.
Viśvakarmā: The type of ceremonies, they want some sort of...
Jagadīśa: Havana.
Viśvakarmā: What's that?
Jagadīśa: Havana, fire.
Viśvakarmā: Yes, they want fire sacrifice. Can we give them some other ceremony to satisfy them?
Prabhupāda: Other ceremony? Why?
Viśvakarmā: Well, sometimes the Indians come with their children, and they want us to bless the children, so we give them caraṇāmṛta and...
Prabhupāda: That's nice.
Viśvakarmā: ...and hold the child and then they give some dakṣiṇā, five dollars or ten dollars.
Prabhupāda: No, that we can do. That is first-class.(?) Give caraṇāmṛta and they have given some donation, that's nice.
Viśvakarmā: We can give them a lecture on householder life? Have them sit and give them a lecture and then give them caraṇāmṛta?
Prabhupāda: Who will hear your lecture?
Viśvakarmā: The, all the people that come for this ceremony.
Prabhupāda: They can hold kīrtana. That will be nice, if they chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Jagadīśa: They want the fire. They want the fire. They want to have a priest to build, to make a fire ceremony for their wedding. Many Indians ask this.
Prabhupāda: So on the whole, what they are going to pay?
Viśvakarmā: About five hundred dollars.
Jagadīśa: Five hundred dollars!
Viśvakarmā: Oh, yes. I mean, I had some Indian men that gave three hundred dollars worth of bhoga just for your coming. Four men came with seventy pounds of butter, fifty pounds of sugar, so many preparation, ah, bhoga for offering. So I think they'll pay five hundred dollars. That's for catering. We give the prasāda, we give the hall for the evening. They can come, and the devotees will be there. We distribute prasāda to them, have kīrtana.
Prabhupāda: If kīrtana, prasāda distribution is there, you can allow. That is our main program.
Viśvakarmā: But they won't pay that much. They have to pay at least a thousand.
Prabhupāda: That's nice. Then give them prasāda, and if they chant, then it is all right.
Hari-śauri: They'll pay that easily for a wedding. It's a big thing for Indians. Even in the West people....
Prabhupāda: Whatever they do, but prasāda will be distributed by us, and they must chant for half an hour. (laughter) Then we accept. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Viśvakarmā: How should I satisfy them for the desire for a fire, as Jagadīśa was saying?
Prabhupāda: They can have their own fire. What is that? They'll chant some Vedic mantra, that's all right. But they must chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.
Jagadīśa: We can allow them to have a fire here?
Prabhupāda: Where is the wrong? If it is Vedic mantra, then there is no...
Viśvakarmā: Yes, then they will feel that the temple is like a place where they can come, even though if it's only for once a year. They will still give the lakṣmī, a donation.
Prabhupāda: Yes. They will consider it is their own interest.
Viśvakarmā: 'Cause all the Christians have their churches, and we are the only church for them. The other...
Prabhupāda: No, no. Then you can (can't(?)) allow it.
Viśvakarmā: There are four temples in Toronto of other Indian groups. But they are political and social. The people really don't like them. And they don't have Deities like we have.
Prabhupāda: That is a farce. That is not temple. In London also there are Hindu Center, this, that. All nonsense. Now they are installing Deity. But it is not taken care of properly.
Viśvakarmā: They invited me, Śrīla Prabhupāda, to visit one of their Sunday services, and I went, and they had a fire, an installation of the Deities. They had one brāhmaṇa, and they had a small Deity of Viṣṇu, and he had the fire sacrifice in four minutes, and then they installed the Deity on the altar. That was it.
Prabhupāda: They, what do they know?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: The press reporter's here, Śrīla Prabhupāda. (end)

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