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Room Conversation

September 4, 1976, Vrndavana
Prabhupada: This is sadhu. Not the dress. Now what is the...
Harikesa: "The symptoms of a sadhu are that he is tolerant, merciful, and friendly to all living entities. He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides by the scriptures, and all his characteristics are sublime."
Prabhupada: This is sadhu. The first qualification is titiksava. very tolerant. And Canakya Pandita has said ksama-rupam tapasvinam. Those who are tapasvis, their first duty is how much he is forgiving. How much he has learned to forgive. Ksama-rupam tapasvinam. Tapasa brahmacaryena samena damena [SB 6.1.13]. So what is the explanation?
Harikesa: Purport? A sadhu, as described above, is a devotee of the Lord. His concern, therefore, is to enlighten people in devotional service to the Lord. That is his mercy. He knows that without devotional service to the Lord, human life is spoiled. A devotee travels all over the country, from door to door, preaching, "Be Krsna conscious. Be a devotee of Lord Krsna. Don't spoil your life in simply fulfilling your animal propensities. Human life is meant for self-realization, or Krsna consciousness." These are the preachings of a sadhu. He is not satisfied with his own liberation. He always thinks about others. He is the most compassionate personality towards all the fallen souls. One of his qualifications, therefore, is karunika, great mercy to the fallen souls. While engaged in preaching work, he has to meet with so many opposing elements, and therefore the sadhu, or devotee of the Lord, has to be very tolerant. Someone may ill-treat him because the conditioned souls are not prepared to receive the transcendental knowledge of devotional service. They do not like it; that is their disease. The sadhu has the thankless task of impressing upon them the importance of devotional service. Sometimes devotees are personally attacked with violence. Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, Haridasa Thakura was caned in twenty-two marketplaces, and Lord Caitanya's principal assistant, Nityananda, was violently attacked by Jagai and Madhai. But still they were tolerant because their mission was to deliver the fallen souls. One of the qualifications of a sadhu is that he is very tolerant and is merciful to all fallen souls. He is merciful because he is the well-wisher of all living entities. He is not only a well-wisher of human society, but a well-wisher of animal society as well. It is said here, sarva-dehinam, which indicates all living entities who have accepted material bodies. Not only does the human being have a material body, but other living entities, such as cats and dogs, also have material bodies. The devotee of the Lord is merciful to everyonethe cats, dogs, trees, etc. He treats all living entities in such a way that they can ultimately get salvation from this material entanglement. Sivananda Sena, one of the disciples of Lord Caitanya, gave liberation to a dog by treating the dog transcendentally. There are many instances where a dog got salvation by association with a sadhu, because a sadhu engages in the highest philanthropic activities for the benediction of all living entities. Yet although a sadhu is not inimical towards anyone, the world is so ungrateful that even a sadhu has many enemies.
What is the difference between an enemy and a friend? It is a difference in behavior. A sadhu behaves with all conditioned souls for their ultimate relief from material entanglement. Therefore, no one can be more friendly than a sadhu in relieving a conditioned soul. A sadhu is calm, and he quietly and peacefully follows the principles of scripture. A sadhu means one who follows the principles of scripture and at the same time is a devotee of the Lord. One who actually follows the principles of scripture must be a devotee of God because all the sastras instruct us to obey the orders of the Personality of Godhead. Sadhu, therefore, means a follower of the scriptural injunctions and a devotee of the Lord. All these characteristics are prominent in a devotee. A devotee develops all the good qualities of the demigods, whereas a nondevotee, even though academically qualified, has no actual good qualifications or good characteristics according to the standard of transcendental realization.
Prabhupada: Where is this going on? (asking about banging sound)
Hari-sauri: That's just the old reception room.
Prabhupada: What is it?
Hari-sauri: They are making alterations.
Prabhupada: Alteration? What is that alteration?
Hari-sauri: I don't know exactly what they're doing.
Harikesa: No, what they're doing is that room, everybody goes there, the guests all go there. So in the past it's just been a big empty wasted room. So now what they're doing is making it a big preaching room with photos all around and book tables set up in such a way that someone can just walk in that room and there's a whole exhibit for him to see...
Prabhupada: Who has gotten this idea?
Harikesa: I think Gopala Krsna. It's an exhibition room.
Prabhupada: Then they are breaking wall or what?
Harikesa: No, no, they're not breaking. They made a big door so that you can walk straight in from the outside. You saw that door yesterday. Now what they're doing is building shelves and bookcases.
Prabhupada: Hmm. That sound is disturbing.
Harikesa: Would you like them to stop it until you left?
Prabhupada: If stop then how their work will go on? They manufacture ideas and spend money. This is the difficulty. Everyone manufactures some idea. And break it, do it, dig it. Money is coming and they are spending it. They cannot adjust whatever is there. Big big ideas. Big big belly. And money we have to bring from America. "Give me one lakh, give me one lakh, 15,000. I make idea, you pay." So many rooms you can make showroom. Why breaking this door, breaking that door? Too many cooks spoils the broth. And repairing and, what is called, addition, alteration, will never stop. I do not know how to stop it. Now, the other, Yesterday that Visvambhara said, you were here, no? Visvambhara said, suggesting there should be raft (?) three feet high, seven feet high, this high... Everyone will suggest. And spend money. Any friend, you bring him, he'll suggest so that you may spend it. And wherefrom money will come? Oh, that is your look after. I am your friend, I am giving you good suggestion. Break it. Do it. I am your friend. You break your head. (laughs) There was a Mohammedan king, Raj Uddin or some... Nizamuddin. Nizamuddin there is a tomb in Delhi. He was poet. So if some friends come he would read some writing, and he will suggest, the friend will suggest, "Why don't you make like this." "Oh, it is good. All right." He'll do it. Whatever he says. And when he goes away, then again makes his own. So the secretary said, "Why you are changing?" "What can I do? Those... That is my friend. And that is nonsense; therefore I am again doing what I wrote." So we have to do that. As soon as you call anybody, he'll give you some suggestion. "Make this alteration, make this alteration." So description of the sadhu is there. It is very nice. Where they will find this description all over the world? Hm?
Harikesa: I think there's only one person who's following that description.
Prabhupada: No, I say about Bhagavata's description. How perfect it is in any subject matter. I have tried to explain what is there in the Bhagavatam, expand it. That is not my explanation, that is Krsna's explanation. I cannot explain now. That moment I could explain. That means Krsna's... I can understand that. That the description is very nicely given. Although it is my writing, but I know it is not my writing. It is Krsna's writing. So we should read Bhagavatam always. Nityam bhagavata-sevaya [SB 1.2.18]. We should not waste our time. So we have to check that closet. You can... [break] How they can say there is no God? Then you are only intelligent. All are fools. That means you are fool number one. If you think like that...
Harikesa: Yes, but in India...
Prabhupada: No, now you cannot say Indians. (laughs) Now we cannot say only Indians worship Krsna. Whole world. That is God. They are not fools and rascals. They are educated, they are civilized. Why they accept Krsna as God? Yesterday I was telling who? I think Caranam?
Hari-sauri: Caranaravindam.
Prabhupada: Caranaravindam. That the Englishmen were ruling over us. Now here is English boy, he's giving me massage and fanning me. What is the reason? Unless he feels something obligation, that "He has given us Krsna," what business he has got? Not for him, for all of you, to give so valuable free service, unless there is this sense. What do you think? You have no obligation. You are European, American. I am Indian. It is through this via media Krsna. This is practical. Therefore Krsna is God. Yam labdhva caparam labham manyate nadhikam tatah. Because they have got sense that "We have got God," therefore they are feeling so much obliged. Krsna is God, there is no doubt about it. It is not yet ready?
Hari-sauri: They're making a plate now.
Prabhupada: Visvambhara is there?
Hari-sauri: Yes.
Prabhupada: So we shall follow strictly. Here is God. Take. Because if you are serious after God, here is God, take Krsna. This is our philosophy. Hm? What is the answer? If he's serious about God. I think this paper wrote that, that Village? "We thought God is dead."
Hari-sauri: Greenwich Village.
Prabhupada: East Village? That paper? Long ago.
Harikesa: Village Voice. The Village Voice.
Prabhupada: Aha, yes. They told first, that "We thought God is dead." And actually they were dancing in the name of God. Acyutananda and Brahmananda. You have seen the picture showing?
Hari-sauri: In this French Back To Godhead.
Harikesa: Oh, that's Acyutananda too! Oh!
Prabhupada: They were the first candidates to dance with my kirtana.
Harikesa: I didn't know that was Acyutananda. I recognize Hayagriva but...
Hari-sauri: That's not Hayagriva, it's Brahmananda.
Harikesa: That's not Hayagriva?
Prabhupada: No. Hayagriva...
Hari-sauri: It's a picture of Brahmananda and Acyutananda dancing, and Prabhupada's playing on tabla, and Kirtanananda sat down on the corner.
Harikesa: Boy, was he skinny in those days! This is Brahmananda? And this is Kirtanananda Swami sitting down?
Prabhupada: Just Brahmananda, Kirtanananda standing together.
Prabhupada: Oh, Acyutananda.
Harikesa: Acyutananda. And Kirtanananda's sitting down.
Prabhupada: Kirtanananda's sitting there?
Hari-sauri: Yes. He sat next to you. He's shaved up.
Harikesa: They're so skinny.
Prabhupada: This was published in New York Times.
Harikesa: New York Times?
Prabhupada: With picture. The other picture was published in Voice, Village Voice, yes. Yes. Big picture. One page. They felt something; otherwise, why they should publish? Appealed to them, that here is God.
Harikesa: This is really a historic picture.
Prabhupada: Underneath a tree I was sitting and speaking. That's all. And when I would come back from the park to my apartment, at least two dozen people will come with me.
Hari-sauri: Like a Pied Piper.
Prabhupada: Huh?
Hari-sauri: There's a story in the West about a man called the Pied Piper. He went to one place and played the flute and all the children followed him away from the village. You're like the Pied Piper who went to the West, took all the children.
Prabhupada: If you know French language you can read it.
Harikesa: He knows French.
Prabhupada: Ah, you know. What is written there?
Hari-sauri: The article is by Hayagriva, and the heading, it says, "Are you from India?" That was when he met you on the street.
Prabhupada: Yes, he first of all met me on the street and asked me this question. And I brought him, "Yes, I have taken one apartment here. You come here with me." Then I came back to show him the apartment. And from the next day they began to come, Kirtanananda and Hayagriva.
Hari-sauri: Second Avenue apartment?
Prabhupada: Yes. And this Umapati. Then Satsvarupa. They began to come regularly.
Harikesa: Mukunda, you were already...
Prabhupada: Yes, Mukunda was before that.
Hari-sauri: When was this, then, when Acyutananda and Brahmananda came. That was after...
Prabhupada: This was in the park, Thompkins Square.
Hari-sauri: That was after Hayagriva and...
Prabhupada: No, simultaneous.
Harikesa: This was the fall of 1966. October maybe.
Prabhupada: Yes. I was going in the park on Sunday and began from three. Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, that dundubhi. What is that, in the hand?
Harikesa: A tom-tom.
Prabhupada: Tom-tom. Yes.
Saurabha: He's explaining why you came to America and that in three years you spread the mantra all over the Western world.
Harikesa: Yogesvara has many pictures of this. I saw all of them once.
Prabhupada: He is good collector. [break] What is that reason? What is that reason?
Indian man: To perceive things and after that we can arrive at long-term solutions.
Prabhupada: First of all, what is the problem and what is the solution? What is the problem that you require solution?
Indian man: Any problem which comes.
Prabhupada: No, what is that? That I want to know.
Indian man: Problem is of being happy in the world.
Prabhupada: These are vague terms. You must distinctly say that this is happiness and this is problem. What is your, what is the idea of happiness and what is the problem? That I want to know.
Indian man: That I'm not very much clear at this stage of life.
Prabhupada: Happiness, suppose if you can get a nice palatable dish for eating, you'll be happy. But the dog also, if he can get some good eating, he'll be happy. So where is the difference between dog's happiness and your happiness?
Indian man: Happiness should be combined with mental peace.
Prabhupada: What is that mental peace?
Indian man: To rest in yourself only. Don't run after worldly things.
Prabhupada: Yes. But that is not possible for the animal. Therefore to remain happy within yourself, that is a prerogative of the human being. But we are not trying for that purpose. We are trying to be happy by eating, by sleeping, by sex or by defense. This is our platform of happiness. A dog cannot go to the restaurant, but a human being, if he goes to a restaurant and he can eat palatable dishes, he thinks he's happy. But what is that eating? In your standard you feel happiness, whereas on the street you'll find a pig, he's happy by eating stool. One man's food another man's poison. So eating happiness is there but the standard different. Therefore this eating is common affair, and happiness derived from eating is as good by the dog as by the pig and human being.
Indian man: Your idea is clear.
Prabhupada: So we should know... Happiness is described in the Bhagavad-gita: sukham atyantikam yat tad atindriyam grahyam [Bg. 6.21]. What is happiness, that is beyond the senses. The sense happiness is there by the pig and the man. But his standard of sense happiness is different from the man's. Standard may be different, but the happiness derived from the subject matter is the same. There is no difference.
Indian man: So happiness lies above the senses. Above our indriyas.
Prabhupada: Ha. Happiness means spiritual happiness. That they do not know. Therefore I began my words that so long one is after material happiness he remains as an animal. Because the animal cannot derive spiritual happiness. They do not know. The man can know. Just like this boy, he's coming from very high family in America but he's now happy in this way, by taking sannyasa, giving up everything, living very plain. He has got money he had got beautiful wife, he had got beautiful home, everything. But he has given up. Not his example. In our country there were many many big, big kings, rajarsis. Just like Bharata Maharaja. He was emperor of the whole world. He gave up everything at the age of 24 years, young wife, young children. There are many examples. So actually, we have lost our Vedic culture, the objective, and therefore we are suffering. Simply by holding meetings and... Of course, these things will go on. Government has no other remedy by tax. Whether people are happy or they are happy, it doesn't matter. They have got the power, tax.
Indian man: Right.
Prabhupada: Prasada.
Indian man: Your ideas are superb.
Prabhupada: You remain in Mathura?
Indian man: Yes.
Prabhupada: Here is prasada. Give. Hare Krsna. (end)

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