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Room Conversation
About Gurukula

November 5, 1976, Vrndavana
Prabhupada: The modern education means... Just see what is the disastrous condition. For 531 posts, three lakhs people have applied. How the unemployment... This application means they are all educated. Uneducated, they do not apply for any post. That means educated unemployed. This is India's so-called education. Without light it is... You can open door. [break]
Jagadisa: First thing, I wanted to go over the daily schedule. According to the schedule, the boys get up between 3:30 and quarter to four.
Prabhupada: Why so early?
Jagadisa: Why 3:30 and quarter to four? That's what time we all get up.
Prabhupada: We are holding mangala-arati at five. So why 3:30?
Jagadisa: Well, they do japa before mangala-arati.
Prabhupada: No, no. It will be too early for them. They first of all...
Jagadisa: They're accustomed to getting up at...
Prabhupada: Eh?
Jagadisa: They've been getting up at that time for years.
Prabhupada: If they are accustomed, that is all right. But otherwise it is not needed, so early. When they go to sleep?
Jagadisa: At 8:15.
Prabhupada: Oh, then it is all right. That is all right. At least they must have rest, six hours, complete.
Jagadisa: Oh, they get more than that.
Prabhupada: Then it is...
Jagadisa: Then they get ready, bathed and dressed, by about 4:10. So they chant japa from 4:10 until five o'clock under the supervision of their teacher. Then arati, tulasi worship. And after tulasi worship they again have japa up until guru-puja, greeting the Deities.
Prabhupada: Hm?
Jagadisa: From the time tulasi worship is over until the time of greeting the Deities.
Prabhupada: How long it is?
Jagadisa: That's an hour and fifteen minutes. Altogether they have japa time amounting to...
Prabhupada: And who... They will... The small boys, they can devote so much time?
Jagadisa: Well these are not small boys. These are...
Prabhupada: Oh, teachers.
Jagadisa: At least ten years, nine, ten years old.
Prabhupada: Still...
Devotee: Nine years old to fourteen years old.
Prabhupada: They should be engaged in chanting, not sit down and japa. That will not be possible for them.
Jagadisa: The problem is that some of the boys are fourteen, fifteen, or thirteen. They should chant japa because they are required to chant sixteen rounds a day. Many of them are initia...
Prabhupada: Sixteen rounds, it requires, utmost two hours, two and a half hours.
Jagadisa: Well, two hours is on the schedule, two hours and ten minutes.
Prabhupada: Chela bangiya (laughter). How are you? That's nice.
Jagadisa: So they have two hours and five minutes of japa.
Dhanurdhara: Some boys that are younger, they make a vow to do less and then they can study.
Jagadisa: Some of the younger boys chant six or eight rounds instead of sixteen. They chant that much during that time and then they study. Then they attend the temple program, guru-puja and Bhagavatam class. And then after that, they go upstairs, wash their clothes and clean the asrama. That takes them about an hour, to wash their clothes and sweep and cleanse the floor, cleanse the shower room, wash their clothes...
Prabhupada: Now, when they chant the mantras?
Prabhupada: Or any...
Jagadisa: Any mantras. At... Right now they're chanting from nine until 9:30 in the morning with Yasodanandana Maharaja.
Prabhupada: Not in the, early in the morning?
Yasodanandana: In the early morning I take some of the boys in the Deity room between 5:30 and six the boys and the Deities.
Prabhupada: Deity means temple.
Jagadisa: Yes.
Prabhupada: Deity? What do you mean, "the Deity room"?
Yasodanandana: Within the Deity room, when they are bathing the Deities, we are offering the prayers to the Deities, the Brahma-samhita and Isopanisad.
Prabhupada: Why? Why? Deity room? Within the Deity room there is no need of chanting. Who told you this? There is no need. Eh? Within the Deity room? You told?
Prabhupada: Then?
Pradyumna: Sometimes you... I thought you said, for installation or at other times when the Deity is being bathed, to chant Brahma-samhita prayers.
Prabhupada: No. Within the Deity room there is no business. No business.
Jagadisa: When we hear the chanting, that's where it's coming from in the morning.
Prabhupada: Oh. They can chant outside, yes. The Deity bathing or whatever, dressing, may go on. You can chant not within the Deity room. That you can do outside. Then when their reading, writing begins?
Jagadisa: That begins at 10:15, after prasadam. They take prasadam at 9:30, and then at 10:15 their English class begins.
Prabhupada: Just after taking prasadam?
Jagadisa: Yes. Fifteen minutes after.
Prabhupada: Hm. What begins?
Jagadisa: English class, that goes for one and a half hours. Then there's math class which goes for forty-five minutes.
Prabhupada: Not continually. They should be given a recess ten minutes. Then again come to the class. And a class should not be more than forty-five minutes. One class should not be continued more than forty-five minutes, then ten minutes recess, then begin another class.
Jagadisa: For the English program it is required, in order for them to have enough time to read and write, then they would require an hour and half, so they would have two classes.
Prabhupada: In the meantime, one and a half? You give ten minutes recess.
Jagadisa: And during the recess what should they do?
Prabhupada: Nothing. They'll be free. Nothing to do. Recess means nothing to do. That is brain, I mean to say, rest. All continually you cannot do that. That is not good. Utmost, forty minutes or forty-five minutes. Then give them ten minutes' freedom. Then begin another. Not more than forty to forty-five minutes at a time, reading, writing.
Jagadisa: After class, then, by 12:30 they bathe again, second time.
Prabhupada: They take prasadam first and then bathe?
Jagadisa: They bathe... They take prasadam at 9:00 in the morning, 9:30. Then they have class. Then after class is finished, then they bathe.
Prabhupada: After class they bathe?
Jagadisa: Around 12:30.
Prabhupada: Not needed. After prasadam they should not take bathing at least for four hours.
Pradyumna: They have a schedule where they have dal, rice, and sabji, and capati at 9:30 in the morning. Is that what they have in the afternoon?
Prabhupada: Eh? So, when they first take bathing?
Jagadisa: Uh, when they rise, at around four o'clock.
Prabhupada: Oh, that's nice. Then they take the prasadam at what time?
Jagadisa: 9:30.
Prabhupada: 9:30. So...
Jagadisa: We can take prasadam earlier.
Prabhupada: No, no, why earlier? Earlier, any breakfast?
Prabhupada: So why not? They are children. They must have some breakfast.
Jagadisa: They have three meals. One at... This is the way the temple program is scheduled. The temple eats at 9:30 in the morning, so the boys also get prasadam at that time because everyone eats the same...
Prabhupada: But early in the morning they should have some, at least munch of sweetmeat, something like that.
Bhagatji: Like chewra.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Bhagatji: Like chewra and curds, they can take. After taking bath at one o'clock they should take little prasadam.
Prabhupada: Yes. Early in the morning, just after mangala-arati, they can take something. They must take something. They are taking bathing at what time?
Jagadisa: In the morning?
Prabhupada: Eh?
Jagadisa: Ten to four.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Jagadisa: Four o'clock.
Prabhupada: Four o'clock. So after mangala-arati, the mangala-arati prasadam should be given them, a little sweet.
Yasodanandana: We hadn't agreed on that (indistinct).
Jagadisa: Yes, the mangala-arati sweets.
Prabhupada: Mangala-arati sweets, they should be distributed amongst the children, little sweets. Then they can take 9:30 prasadam.
Prabhupada: Yes. Then? Again they are taking bathing at what time?
Jagadisa: The scheduled next bathing is 12:30.
Prabhupada: Then what is the... 12:30, then?
Jagadisa: After bathing they take a little prasadam.
Prabhupada: Yes, that's nice. Then it is all right.
Jagadisa: Then at 1:30 they take some rest.
Prabhupada: Yes, that's nice. How long?
Jagadisa: One hour.
Prabhupada: That's nice.
Jagadisa: Then they have Sanskrit class from 2:30 until four.
Prabhupada: Hm. 2:30, four, that's all right.
Jagadisa: One and a half hours. So there should be a recess in between.
Prabhupada: Hm?
Jagadisa: That's one and a half hours, so there should be recess in between.
Prabhupada: Ten minutes at least.
Jagadisa: Then at four o'clock the chanting party leaves for the Yamuna procession.
Prabhupada: In process... That's nice.
Jagadisa: And they return by six for darsana in the temple room.
Prabhupada: No, let them return by 5:30.
Jagadisa: 5:30.
Devotee 2: Can we have the class while we're there? 'Cause it takes us...
Jagadisa: Well, we can adjust this. Because darsana begins at 5:30, they should be there by...
Prabhupada: No, darsana begins at five...
Jagadisa: 5:30.
Prabhupada: 5:30. Why?
Devotee 2: It was at six o'clock in the evening. Originally it was at six o'clock.
Prabhupada: No, no. The darsana opens at five.
Jagadisa: No, when you come into the temple room, Srila Prabhupada. Your darsana.
Prabhupada: No, no, my darsana is different. Public darsana. When the Deity room is open?
Bhagatji: At five o'clock in the evening.
Prabhupada: That's it. Why do you say six?
Jagadisa: Uh, I meant that when the darsana period for yourself was at six.
Prabhupada: No, it should be 5:30.
Jagadisa: 5:30.
Prabhupada: General darsana is open at five. That's nice.
Jagadisa: So then the boys would return at 5:30...
Prabhupada: I think it may be little earlier, no, half an hour.
Bhagatji: Half an hour, it would be because the arati is going at 6:30...
Prabhupada: Yes.
Bhagatji: So the afternoon darsana would be at 4:30.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Bhagatji: That we had, many, last year.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Jagadisa: Then the boys would come for the chanting and recitation of Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Prabhupada: What time?
Jagadisa: 5:30 to 6:30.
Prabhupada: No, 5:30 we begin class. In that class they can chant.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Jagadisa: Yes.
Prabhupada: That's nice.
Jagadisa: And then, at 6:30, there will be arati and they'll stay for arati. Then, after arati, they take a little prasadam and then take rest.
Prabhupada: That's nice. That's all right.
Jagadisa: And as far as everyone's duties are concerned, Rupa-vilasa is the English teacher. He teaches English, and math, and, of course, Pradyumna teaches the Sanskrit program. And Dhanurdhara Prabhu has been. He works in the asrama, overseeing the boys...
Prabhupada: Taking care.
Jagadisa: Yes. And Yasodanandana Maharaja will...
Prabhupada: Recitation.
Jagadisa: Recitation.
Yasodanandana: And I also help with getting the boys through japa and kirtana and getting them more enthusiastic.
Prabhupada: That's nice.
Jagadisa: It's nice to have a sannyasi involved.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Jagadisa: He can be a good example.
Prabhupada: Very good.
Jagadisa: And Bhagatji.
Prabhupada: For feeding. Feeding. Give them sumptuous food so that they may become healthy, nice food. (laughter) Yes. That is also wanted. Children, they must eat sufficiently. Not overeat. Even overeat, that is not wrong for children. And that will be exercise, by going to Yamuna and coming? That will be bodily exercise. This is nice. Do that. Strictly follow. There is no scarcity of space there, yes. Vrndavana is holy place. And there is no government interference, so increase it. Bring more student from all over the world. Then it will be unique. And you also make scheme to get Indian children from aristocratic family. Sucinam srimatam gehe yoga-bhrasto 'bhijayate [Bg. 6.41]. Those who are born in high-class, rich family or brahmana family, they are not ordinary. But there is no brahmana family now. So at least the richer section, they can be induced to send their boys to learn Sanskrit and English and Bhagavad-bhakti. They can do business, and whatever they like, they can do later on. But these things, they should be... Father-mother should be careful. (Hindi conversation) ...just attract all good family children. (Hindi) ...working, they will have to live. They cannot. They cannot become pandita or spiritually advanced men. They have to work. But if the richer section, they get their sons, good character, good devotee. Canakya Pandita says, ko 'tha putrena jatena yo na vidya na bhaktiman: (?)"What is the use of such son who is neither devotee nor learned?" Kanena caksusa kim caksuh pidaiva kevalam.(?) What is the use of blind eyes? It is simply troublesome. So if the aristocratic family, they do not give education in spiritual line, they'll become all hippies, loafer, and drinking, and wasting father's money. They should be informed. (Hindi) [break] I think there must be three, four classes.
Bhagatji: Three four classes afterwards, but at present?
Prabhupada: Ah.
Bhagatji: If students are in great number, then we shall introduce, otherwise...
Prabhupada: Classes to be arranged according to the number of student increases. That's all. That shall be...
Jagadisa: Now there are two classes.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Jagadisa: There are two classes according to age.
Prabhupada: Kata (?) according to time and circumstance.
Bhagatji: In my opinion, Prabhupada, there should be one period for Hindi classes.
Prabhupada: That's very nice.
Bhagatji: Forty minutes, forty-five minutes
Prabhupada: Oh, yes, very good. That is essential. If the Indian students come they will require some vernacular like that.
Bhagatji: Hindi class there should be. In Vrndavana they will...
Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Do that, Hindi.
Bhagatji: In Mayapura there should be Bengali class. And Hindi and Bengali, two language are very close.
Prabhupada: Yes. Not any other language. Hindi is essential, must be compulsory, Hindi. That is state language.
Jagadisa: For the Western children also?
Prabhupada: Oh, yes, everyone.
Bhagatji: You should find some time, entrust some time for Hindi.
Prabhupada: Hindi, Sanskrit, English compulsory.
Bhagatji: That's all. Then, afterwards we can make other, just elemental mathematics, arithmetic or just that, afterwards, when the regular studies go in the (indistinct). Now (indistinct), these three things. By learning Hindi they will (indistinct).
Prabhupada: And the government also will like that, that foreign students...
Bhagatji: If they can understand the language and they...
Prabhupada: Oh, yes, Hindi is essential. It is not difficult. The same principle as Sanskrit. Reading and writing, that's all.
Jagadisa: So far as the financial situation, I've discussed with Bhagatji and it seems that the best idea is to open a separate gurukula maintenance account with co-signers Bhagatji and Rupa-vilasa, so that... Because there's so much...
Prabhupada: So then some of them, they are getting money.
Jagadisa: Yes, the parents are sending money.
Prabhupada: That's all right.
Jagadisa: Because with the temple there has been confusion.
Prabhupada: Now the temple, you can make separate account.
Jagadisa: We have one question about one of the boys. His name is (name withheld), and he's a... He's more or less a bad boy. He's had a bad background. His mother's a devotee and she's a nice devotee, but he's very... He terrorizes the other boys.
Prabhupada: Accha?
Jagadisa: He misleads them. He lies.
Prabhupada: How old he is?
Jagadisa: He's thirteen.
Prabhupada: So he cannot be... He must go back. We cannot spoil other children.
Rupa-vilasa: They are being spoiled by him.
Jagadisa: I was thinking, to make an example of him, either we should beat him or send him back.
Prabhupada: Best thing will be send him back. He's incorrigible.
Yasodanandana: Personally I had that boy with me for two months when I went to South India, preaching, and I thought it would be an asset to have a young boy, but he was so misbehaved that it was too much problem. And the same things that he was doing, in the beginning with me, telling lies and misbehaving, he is still doing now and he does not correct himself never. He has no effort to better his behavior or his conduct. He does not chant his rounds. He rarely comes to the kirtana, or else when he comes to the kirtana, he does not chant. He simply plays and makes fun. And it's very... He has a very bad influence on the other boys.
Prabhupada: No, then he should be sent back. Or he can be sent to Bombay to work ordinarily. Or Hyderabad farm. Like that. Let him work on the ground.
Yasodanandana: He speaks Bengali. That boy was in Bengal before and he picked up Bengali.
Prabhupada: So he can go.
Pradyumna: He's very intelligent, but he's just had a bad...
Prabhupada: So he was in Mayapura?
Yasodanandana: Yes, he was in Mayapura before. He knows Bengali. He can speak Bengali.
Prabhupada: So he can go with the Mayapura preaching party as well.
Yasodanandana: We could send him with Bhavananda Maharaja.
Prabhupada: Yes, that will be nice. He knows Bengali. Let him go to Bengal and keep him under Bhavananda.
Jagadisa: I think that he'll be a problem wherever he goes.
Prabhupada: No, Bhavananda will correct his problem.
Jagadisa: I think Bhavananda won't want to take him because he knows he's a problem.
Rupa-vilasa: Bhavananda told me he did not want to see that boy again.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Rupa-vilasa: Bhavananda told me he did not want to see that boy again.
Pradyumna: In Mayapura he had some girl...
Jagadisa: In my opinion, the best thing is to make an example and beat him.
Prabhupada: Yes, send him to farm, work in the field. If he does not work, beat him. Murkhasya laktausadhih. (?)(Hindi conversation)
Yasodanandana: He was just in Hyderabad for that ceremony there, and he caused such disruption in the whole temple that I don't think they'd want him there.
Jagadisa: The thing is, if we beat him here and keep him here, then all the boys will straighten up because they will see that if they go bad, then this will be their punishment.
Prabhupada: As you think, you can do. But I wanted to engage in farm work, in digging.
Yasodanandana: Yes, that is his propensity. Actually it's a fact when he was with me I would try to teach him Isopanisad and your purports, which are so clear and simple, but after three or four times explaining the same thing, he would become angry to receive the instruction.
Prabhupada: No, no. He is meant for sudra's work.
Yasodanandana: And when that boy would be told to watch himself...
Prabhupada: You cannot expect that everyone is brahmana. No. He has got sudra mentality, so let him till the ground for Krsna. Svakarmana tam abhyarcya. He is fit for tilling so let him till and produce grain for Krsna.
Jagadisa: Hyderabad?
Prabhupada: Yes. Hard work. He should be given hard work. This gurukula is for high, high class brahmana, ksatriyas, not for the vaisyas and sudras. (man laughs in background) No, everyone is required for Krsna's service, but there... That I was describing today. There must be division. Don't put horse before a cart.
Pradyumna: Race horse before the cart.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Pradyumna: Race horse before the...
Prabhupada: Yes, that will not be nice.
Bhagatji: (Hindi)
Prabhupada: Vaisya is meant for krsi.
Indian man: If you don't teach vaisyas for this gurukula then how do they do the accounts?
Prabhupada: No, we are not taking vaisyas by birth.
Jagadisa: Accounts is just a skill. Anyone can learn to do account.
Indian man: No, vaisya is special work.
Jagadisa: Yes.
Prabhupada: Yes. No, accounts are meant for kayasthas, sudras. (Indian man laughs) Vaisyas are meant for producing grain and protecting cows. Yes. According... One Englishman used to say, "This clerical job means educated laborer, educated sudra." (laughs) Sudra... Actually the kayasthas are counted amongst the sudras. You know that?
Bhagatji: In Bengal kayasthas is the...
Prabhupada: No, no, Bengal. Mean in U.P.
Bhagatji: In U.P. kayasthas are sudras.
Prabhupada: And originally they are sudras. The history of Bengali kayasthas... They went with the brahmanas as servant. That is the history. And in Bengal the system is... (Bengali saying and Hindi explanation) Actually it is... If some low class man, he becomes rich, then he's taken into the kayastha community. Anyone who cannot stick to the principle of caste system, he becomes a kayastha.
Bhagatji: Varna-sankara.
Prabhupada: Yes. (Hindi) Some of them are ksatriyas and some of them... Like that. But that is not essential. That is all gone. Now, if one cannot take education, he can be used in farm work, a little hard work.
Jagadisa: (name withheld) is another problem.
Prabhupada: Hm?
Jagadisa: (name withheld), (name withheld)'s boy. He is only eight, but he is becoming like a street boy.
Prabhupada: So let him go to farm working. Farm working is for suitable...
Bhagatji: He likes that. He'll play with cows. He likes dung.
Prabhupada: What is that?
Jagadisa: He likes dung.
Prabhupada: That's nice. Let him take care. He should take care. Therefore we must have all these engagement. He'll be encouraged to take care of the cows.
Bhagatji: But he's not in Gurukula. How can you send him? He is with (father's name withheld). (father name withheld) left him for five days. (father name withheld) is keeping him.
Prabhupada: If the father takes care, that's all right. Otherwise he can go to Hyderabad. Hyderabad should be for grhasthas, for plowing, for growing, and flowers, like that. No education required.
Bhagatji: He is not interested in education, not at all.
Prabhupada: No, no education... That is waste of... For such boys who are not interested, why they should be enforced, education? They are not meant for that. Education is for higher brain, sober brain. And not that everyone has to become literate. It is not required. He can do other work. Yes.
Bhagatji: Prabhupada means that according to the nature, you engage them.
Prabhupada: Yes. Guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. Guna-karma-vibhagasah. "You can do this? All right, do it. Why you should be forced to learn Sanskrit? Not necessary. Not necessary."
Dhanurdhara: What of a boy who does the chanting nicely and the kirtana nicely but doesn't do the school work nicely?
Prabhupada: Hm?
Dhanurdhara: What of a boy who does the japa very nicely and...
Prabhupada: Well, japa... Whether his father is doing japa nicely, that is also doubtful. What to speak of children? Japa, children cannot... That should not be taken very seriously. Whatever he can do, that's all right. We should enforce, we should... But not that if he does not immediately, he should be rejected. No.
Jagadisa: You've often said the first-class intelligent men are the brahmanas, second-class intelligent men are the ksatriyas...
Prabhupada: So we have to train like that, guna-karma-vibhagasah, not that everyone should be Sanskrit scholar. Why? It is not necessary. There are so many other things.
Jagadisa: The inclination depends on guna-karma.
Prabhupada: (Bengali) Although by nature we should not enforce something. We should see for which work he is suitable. You should engage him. And we must have all departments of work—the weaving department, the plowing department, the cow-keeping department, the Sanskrit department, the English department, the trading department. We should have all the departments. Guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13].
Jagadisa: Head, arms, belly, and legs.
Prabhupada: Yes. Whichever suitable, that... One must be suitable for any of these. It is the guide's intelligence: for which purpose he is suitable engage him, like that. That is required, not that everyone has to become a big scholar in Sanskrit. That is not required. Let him come to gurukula, but if he is not suitable... Gurukula, this... So far character is con..., that is for everyone. Just like early rise in the morning, chanting, and going to the... What is the objection? Anyone can do it. That is practice. And for working, if he is not suitable for higher education, let him go to the farm, take care of the cows and grow food, flowers, fruits, eat, and dance and chant. Chanting, dancing, everyone will take part. There is no doubt.
Bhagatji: How to mend him from lies? He speaks lies.
Prabhupada: Eh?
Bhagatji: How to mend from lies?
Prabhupada: That is by your good association. What lies he tells? Don't believe him at all. That's all. Take him that he speaks only lies. Then don't believe. Whatever he says, you force him to do. Take him that he speaks only lies. Why should you consult him? He's a liar. But see that he's working, that's all. Now we are getting so much land. We can develop. We can utilize everyone's service. That requires brain. Not that "He cannot do this. Therefore reject him"—no, engage him in some other...
Jagadisa: One other point I want to make, and that is that until the construction is completed I think we should wait...
Prabhupada: There is ample place now where can live.
Jagadisa: But I mean to bring more boys we should wait until the construction...
Prabhupada: Why? Let them come. It is already there. It is not that the guesthouse is all filled up. Let them come.
Jagadisa: As many as possible?
Prabhupada: Why not?
Jagadisa: Okay.
Prabhupada: Let them come. And arrangement should be made when it is... If Vrndavana is too hot, at that time we can send them to Mahabalesvara, or if we get that Madras place, that is very cooling, Nilgiri hills. That will be good recreation for them. They should be kept quite comfortably and built up, their character, education. That is wanted. There is need of some good first-class men, ideal men. The world is full of rogues and thieves and bad character. (Hindi)
Bhagatji: I just told you that building, that Sisu-vidyalaya(?), Sarasvati Sisu-vidyalaya, you saw it with Gunarnava?
Jagadisa: Yes.
Bhagatji: Prabhupada asks about that.
Jagadisa: Oh. But they said no.
Bhagatji: Who said?
Jagadisa: Gunarnava went to see them, Mr. what's his name.
Prabhupada: You cannot send Gunarnava. He is not fit for this purpose. You should go yourself. (Hindi)
Jagadisa: That's our report, Srila Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: That's all right. Do that.
Yasodanandana: Jaya, Prabhupada. (end)

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