Talk with Svarupa Damodara

April 18, 1977, Bombay
Prabhupada: Hare Krsna. Hm. Thank you. (Bengali)
Svarupa Damodara: I came yesterday from Manipur, er, from Calcutta, came day before yesterday. I stayed one night in Calcutta. The temple is nice. They have a smaller number of devotees in Calcutta now, but it's very conducive, very cooperative, so the atmosphere was very nice. I gave a lecture.
Prabhupada: That is all right. Small number is all right.
Tamala Krsna: Satadhanya Maharaja is the in-charge there.
Prabhupada: Simply congestion is no good. So you are going to Karttikeya's house?
Prabhupada: Karttikeya's house?
Svarupa Damodara: Yes, today. They came yesterday. He's very learned, and he had a number of degrees.
Tamala Krsna: How many degrees did he have?
Svarupa Damodara: He said he had, honorary, about some fourteen, fifteen Ph.D. degrees.
Prabhupada: Ph.D. Genuine?
Svarupa Damodara: Some are honorary, but he is from Oxford and Cambridge, very renowned scholar.
Madhava: He's a chemist.
Prabhupada: He's a chemist.
Svarupa Damodara: Yes. So he's very old. He's about seventy-three years old. And he had a genuine desire to be engaged in Krsna consciousness. So he'll be a devotee. So he invited us to come and speak to him today on... I'm going to speak on science and Krsna consciousness today.
Prabhupada: A good opportunity.
Svarupa Damodara: Yes. And he expressed very frankly and very honestly... In fact, Giriraja was talking to (indistinct) yesterday, Giriraja and myself, and every moment, every word, every mood that he expressed was a genuine example of how this material world, we are suffering so much. He said that he had everything in life that he wanted to, in material possession. He has all the qualifications, and he represented national and international levels, the different planning commissions, the chairman of so many organizations, but he said...
Prabhupada: What is his age?
Svarupa Damodara: He's seventy-three years old. He's very old, but still, he's very active, in good health. And he expressed that he's missing something. So we told that it is ripe time for to be in Krsna consciousness. And he comes to a point that he wanted to come and stay in the temple for a week just to learn more and try to get away from all the...
Prabhupada: So this is very nice. Bring him and give him a nice accommodation.
Tamala Krsna: Yeah, he came here yesterday.
Tamala Krsna: But the lift wasn't working, so he couldn't come upstairs. That's why Karttikeya left early, because he was waiting downstairs.
Prabhupada: Oh.
Svarupa Damodara: Karttikeya brought him actually. They live in the same house, apartment complex, downstairs, this man. And at one point he expressed that he had a great attachment for his wife, and his wife died about three years ago because of cancer. So since that time he said that he find no peace, and he's looking...
Prabhupada: He has no children? He has no children?
Svarupa Damodara: We didn't talk about children...
Prabhupada: No, no...
Svarupa Damodara: ...but I should say he's alone. He said he lives alone.
Prabhupada: Let him come here. Organize all other scientists.
Svarupa Damodara: I'm going to request him to become a member of Bhaktivedanta Institute and put his name and degrees...
Prabhupada: Yes.
Svarupa Damodara: That will be little impressive.
Prabhupada: Yes. So he agreed or not?
Svarupa Damodara: I'm going to request him today. I made a little preaching in Manipur. I took a Fairchild, our movies, all the Hare Krsna movies, from Calcutta. I borrowed for a week.
Tamala Krsna: He took that little Fairchild projector.
Svarupa Damodara: Took the projector. And it has been raining so much, from Calcutta, Assam, and Manipur, it's almost flooded for the last three weeks, almost continuous rain.
Prabhupada: Accha?
Svarupa Damodara: Looks like the rainy season has come, but very untimely, a little too early. But it has been almost flooded.
Prabhupada: It is cool now.
Svarupa Damodara: Yes. But now the rain has subsided now. It's very cool. Calcutta was very pleasant. It's very comfortable. (laughs) And Manipur is especially nice because...
Prabhupada: It is good that so much rain has fallen.
Svarupa Damodara: Yes, because there was some scarcity of water just a few weeks ago, but now it is...
Prabhupada: This is due to Hare Krsna movement.
Svarupa Damodara: Yes. I remember Prabhupada saying that if we chant Hare Krsna, rain will fall.
Prabhupada: Yajnad bhavati parjanyah [Bg. 3.14].
Svarupa Damodara: And I also made about five devotees in Manipur. I was thinking of bringing in Bombay to get trained up so that I can take in south of Manipur.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Svarupa Damodara: But I decided not to take them at this time because I am coming back in September. About that time I am going. Before I gave them what to do and...
Prabhupada: They are coming or not?
Svarupa Damodara: In Bombay? Yeah, they will come.
Tamala Krsna: When will they come?
Svarupa Damodara: In September.
Prabhupada: No, no, why not earlier?
Svarupa Damodara: I didn't want to bring them earlier because...
Prabhupada: All right. That is all right.
Svarupa Damodara: ...I thought they needed some time to adjust. And these children, they all have graduates. They're all B.A.'s, and their parents approached me to take care of them at some time. Their members from their families were there, about four brothers. So they say they can spare one from their family. So I'm going to make an attempt when I come back and go all the villages in Manipurit is small place, so I can go with themand I can take one, one from each family, and...
Prabhupada: Train him...
Prabhupada: ...to become leader there.
Tamala Krsna: This was your program, to ask each family to give one of their sons.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Svarupa Damodara: And Manipur is especially... Once I go to the family, and the family and the son, they agree, then I have, we have some authority on them to say that the boy is happening to properly..., and it is better that way, to have the agreement from the parents also, so that where they are fully engaged for lifelong, not just coming for some time and...
Prabhupada: No. No.
Svarupa Damodara: ...go away. I don't want to produce like that.
Tamala Krsna: This is the opposite of the deprogramming problem in America. In America we have to take them forcibly from their...
Prabhupada: Not forcibly.
Tamala Krsna: Well, they are coming voluntarily, but, I mean, the parents are resisting. But here the parents are agreeing.
Svarupa Damodara: I found very interesting in the villages. I thought... I was planning to make programs very extensively in the week, but because of rain, it was...
Prabhupada: In Manipur also there is rain.
Svarupa Damodara: Oh, rained so much. But anyway, the rain stopped in the last few days, so I made a few shows in the village. So they didn't even have electricity, so they hired this generator, and then I showed the white screen, and all the villages, nineteen villages, they came in no time. So I had about nine hundred, nine hundred in two shows. And they wanted to see more, the movies. And then they very appreciated. They wanted to join.
Prabhupada: So let them join.
Svarupa Damodara: And the Chief Minister, the Chief Minister, they heard that I have brought this machine from... So they came personally and wanted to see. Especially his wife. His wife came. The Chief Minister's wife came, and she heard that I have brought this machine, so they wanted to see the Hare Krsna movie. So I had to make two shows that night, one in the village, one in the Chief Minister's house. And a life member, he took special interest in showing these things. So I told him, "When I come back I bring one Fairchild from Manipur and all the movies, so that you can go..."
Prabhupada: Your Manipur is being intimately connected with our movement.
Svarupa Damodara: Oh, yes.
Prabhupada: That's nice.
Svarupa Damodara: They liked it very much, especially... Everybody wants to see the devotees coming to Manipur, but the Home Ministry is giving us little difficulty in getting the permit. All the Manipuris, including the Chief Minister, they all want to have especially American devotees in Manipur. They want to see. But...
Prabhupada: If the Home Minister is changed now...
Svarupa Damodara: Yes. I was told that this Karan Singh is very favorable.
Tamala Krsna: Yeah, he just gave us his house in Kashmir for using.
Svarupa Damodara: So then it will be a very good time for...
Prabhupada: He is not Home Minister.
Tamala Krsna: He's not the Home Minister.
Svarupa Damodara: Oh, he's the Home Mi...? Oh. So we can...
Prabhupada: But we can influence him.
Svarupa Damodara: So in any case, I made a first application for September, and I'm going to request our life member in Manipur along with the Chief Minister and the Members of Parliament to try their best so that we get a permit.
Tamala Krsna: How many people did you apply for?
Svarupa Damodara: Fifteen.
Tamala Krsna: Fifteen. For September. What part of the month?
Svarupa Damodara: Second week, around second week.
Prabhupada: Due to this rain, they'll have good food... [break]
Svarupa Damodara: ...very comfortable for traveling. It's very good for the crops. And I also have two offers of land in Manipur to build a temple, Hare Krsna temple, from two places. One is right in the middle of the town, and one is little away, about seventeen miles. And I'll show you the map, the place. It's..., lot of it is sort of competitor. They wanted a temple built in one of these lands that they offered, so the two groups are...
Prabhupada: If people cooperate, we can have two temples. Kamam vavarsa parjanyah [SB 1.10.4].
Svarupa Damodara: Actually the land, the second land, it is on the hillside. From there you can see the whole of Manipur, because it is... The land is like this...
Prabhupada: Scenery.
Svarupa Damodara: Scenery's just beautiful. It's all on the foothills, and it's very charming, with the banyan trees and the monkeys, four classes of monkeys.
Prabhupada: They are receptive.
Svarupa Damodara: Oh, yes. Very friendly. They're not like monkeys in... (laughs)
Svarupa Damodara: These monkeys are very friendly. They wait until they are given. They don't just steal.
Tamala Krsna: In Vrndavana they're a problem now.
Svarupa Damodara: They were so enthusiastic that they even gave me a blueprint of the map of Manipur to show Srila Prabhupada. This is the... Here is the capital, here, in the middle, Imphal. And the one is little smaller, in Imphal, in the capital. And it is also very close to the Govinda Temple that I was describing. And there is a murti of Hanuman that the people worship there in this... It's just like little forest. In the middle of this forest there is a small, little temple. There they worship Hanuman.
Prabhupada: Govindaji Temple?
Svarupa Damodara: Govindaji's temple is just in front.
Tamala Krsna: And it is right in the middle of the center, this place, this forest?
Svarupa Damodara: No, it's not in the middle. It's on the side, one of the sides of the... And there's a river, this Imphal River. It almost surrounds this little forest. And this forest is full of monkeys and so many birds, and they are very natural. It is about seven acres. It's not very big. Seven acres of land.
Prabhupada: Seven acres.
Tamala Krsna: Seven acres is a big plot.
Svarupa Damodara: Yeah. And other one is here. lt's called Vishnupur. Vishnupur is... There was a Visnu temple. It was constructed in fourteen hundred and..., about 502 years ago, a temple. The temple is still there. It was built by a king called Kyambha in Manipur about that time. And he worshiped this Visnu, and that place is called Vishnupur, that Visnu. And this is... Actually this is a nicer place. That is ten acres. But this is a little away from the town, but the congregation is very good here. Comes from all places, from Burma...
Prabhupada: How many miles?
Svarupa Damodara: How many miles from Imphal? Seventeen. One-seven.
Prabhupada: Not many miles.
Svarupa Damodara: Yeah, it's not too far. And this land they are donating to us.
Prabhupada: They have done already?
Svarupa Damodara: They want to donate this to ISKCON to build a temple, ISKCON Hare Krsna temple.
Prabhupada: So if you can pick up one person from family, then we can do immediately.
Svarupa Damodara: Actually they have a committee, and this land actually is meant for... It is already called, already reserved for temple purposes from the government of Manipur.
Prabhupada: Oh.
Svarupa Damodara: So they can actually... The members of the committee told me that this was within their power, so whatever they do is final. So that's...
Prabhupada: Maybe, but for management if we have to send foreigners, there are so many difficulties. But if the local people are trained up to our philosophy and mode of life, then there is no difficulty.
Svarupa Damodara: Yes. And this place actually is the place where Govinda (indistinct)... At the time of this Govinda temple it was started from here initially, from this place. And the Govinda temple moved to Imphal later on. But the king started here. This is the beginning of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission to Manipur, started from here, this Vishnupur, and later on moved by the king to the capital. So it is some sort of a historical place...
Prabhupada: Oh.
Svarupa Damodara: ...where Caitanya Mahaprabhu's...
Prabhupada: Just... So we are ready.
Svarupa Damodara: And here is also...
Prabhupada: When we go, we shall struggle all these place...
Prabhupada: ...and see what can be done.
Svarupa Damodara: So I also suggested that, that Srila Prabhupada, if he becomes healthy...
Tamala Krsna: Who's in control of the other place?
Svarupa Damodara: The other place is a committee.
Tamala Krsna: They also want to give us the land?
Svarupa Damodara: We could take both pieces.
Prabhupada: Hm?
Tamala Krsna: Seems like there's so many devotees there that it wouldn't be difficult to...
Prabhupada: No.
Tamala Krsna: ...train up the local men as managers.
Svarupa Damodara: We have a big lake in Manipur. It is very big. And this is the biggest lake in Assam, in Manipur, and since it is surrounded by all hills, so when there is a lake it looks like a bowl, and you can see this lake just from this place. It is very near.
Prabhupada: Very nice water?
Svarupa Damodara: Very beautiful, and there are many plants, the water plants, flowers, lilies and... And there are, surrounding area, a lot of sprouts and many... We have these tamala trees on the hillside. It is hillside. And these big jackfruits trees, jackfruits, and pippalas, and...
Prabhupada: Jackfruit is very nice, both unripe and ripened. The...
Svarupa Damodara: It is full of jackfruits, this Vishnupur.
Prabhupada: ...jackfruit is very nutritious, very palatable, both ripe and unripe.
Tamala Krsna: Pineapple is also very nice.
Prabhupada: Pineapple also.
Svarupa Damodara: And we also have some sandon(?) trees.
Prabhupada: You can simply live on jackfruit. It is so nice. And mango must be there.
Svarupa Damodara: Oh, yes, there are many mangoes.
Prabhupada: Very nice.
Tamala Krsna: Paradise.
Prabhupada: Season time, this mango and jackfruit is sufficient food. And little milk.
Svarupa Damodara: They also told me that there are also some sandon(?) trees, like sandalwood and some other sandal on the hillside.
Prabhupada: Sandalwood, no?
Svarupa Damodara: Here. But I didn't see it, that it actually grows there. And it is all these nice hills, beautiful scenery.
Tamala Krsna: How did you leave there?
Svarupa Damodara: (laughs) Very beautiful, natural scenery. And the climate is very mild.
Tamala Krsna: We have to wait until September. He's giving so many attractive points.
Prabhupada: No, heat we can accept very well(?). What is that? He can accept in behalf. So if they are eager to give, so make a committee, Gopala Krsna, yourself, and some other Indian. You can take immediately.
Prabhupada: Make a subcommittee, taking sensible... Three, four men, subcommittee. We can have it.
Tamala Krsna: Your idea is to have them give it over before we go there?
Prabhupada: Why not? (Bengali) If somebody is giving, take it. Then you develop.
Tamala Krsna: Can we write them like that?
Svarupa Damodara: Yeah. I can write to these men. And they have told me that they'll convey this message, and just see what...
Prabhupada: Immediately we can form three-, four-man committee, my name, your name, Gopala, and some other people. In this way develop.
Tamala Krsna: Svarupa Damodara's name.
Prabhupada: Svarupa Damodara, myself, Gopala...
Tamala Krsna: Three, that's all.
Prabhupada: So find out some... When something is offered, take it. Then we shall see how to utilize it. (Bengali) It is property, but it is being offered. Let us take it. You can pick up these boys from family.
Prabhupada: Train them, and they will manage under our direction.
Svarupa Damodara: So next time, when I come back, I have a plan to go to all the villages with the slide show, or with the movies...
Prabhupada: Yes.
Svarupa Damodara: ...and I'm going to request...
Prabhupada: Each family...
Svarupa Damodara: ...to give one family, one member.
Prabhupada: That's it. Very nice.
Svarupa Damodara: Actually they are very attracted to Krsna consciousness.
Prabhupada: Yes. So let them be trained up and then go there and follow our instruction and develop. In the meantime you can take it. The Lord Clyde, a crewman in the ship, he developed a British empire in India, organization. He's an insignificant person. He established British empire.
Tamala Krsna: Lord Clyde.
Svarupa Damodara: From there we can also go to Burma.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Svarupa Damodara: 'Cause that's the neighbor, it's only about ten miles from Manipur. It's close to Mandalay. Used to be... The kings of Manipur used to invade this Burma, especially Mandalay, to fight. So we can go to Burma from there.
Tamala Krsna: Hm. Dr. Sharma must have this Hare Krishna Land as the address.
Svarupa Damodara: Is someone here? (?)
Prabhupada: Come on. Give him one seat there.
Dr. Sharma: No, this is comfortable here.
Prabhupada: That's nice. He is Dr. Svarupa Damodara.
Dr. Sharma: I have met him.
Prabhupada: He has sacrificed everything for developing this institution.
The birth of human life should be engaged in Krsna's service by life, by money, by intelligence, by words. Four, three, at least one.
So did you read that book?
Dr. Sharma: Yes, I did. The commentations of Professor Trieste(?) is very interesting. But I liked one particular aspect of it. But the West has been almost ridiculing the evils of praising (indistinct) animal cult(?). For example it is ordinary or else it is extraordinary. There is a lot of difference in the (indistinct).
Prabhupada: They do not know the value of the animals.
Dr. Sharma: Yes. They do not know. The real principle behind the praying to a tree or praying to stones or praying to idol worship, it signifies how grateful we are to the nature that is going around in praise of the Lord. Even to go (indistinct) the tree, the tree which happens to give the leaf, the shelter, the fruits, the roots, the bark of the treeit has got so bulk of the nature created by God. And we are grateful to these things, and it shows how grateful we are to things, it shows a lot of gratitude we have. But that aspect of it is not being appreciated.
Prabhupada: They have not been educated. Therefore, actually speaking, there is no real knowledge outside India. Mudha.
Dr. Sharma: Even the smallpox vaccination that was discovered by Edgar Jenner in 1796, it was really from the cow pox serum they discovered. The first vaccination he used on his own son. (indistinct) People who were living with the cows, they were not affected by smallpox, though the people did not have a cow in the house, they were affected the most. So it protects from cow pox, small pox.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Cow protection protects us from so many infectious disease.
Dr. Sharma: Even the cows, they have habit to take the leaves along the banks of the river. The iodine content of the grass is so high. It has got iodine in that. So if you smear cow dung on the floor... It is said it is an obnoxious thing. There is tincture of iodine sold in the shops (indistinct). It is most unfortunate that we do not appreciate, the nature itself is giving us aids.
Prabhupada: We take it seriously because Krsna says. Krsna is our authority. He says, krsi-go-raksya. Go-raksya: "You must give protection to the cows." This is authority.
Dr. Sharma: And the proper facility appears in the rights and democratic (indistinct). But we have a right to live on this planet. Why should we (indistinct) the right of another man?
Prabhupada: They are... They are... They are described in the Bhagavata, papinah. Those who are killing other animals for maintaining his own body, they are very, very sinful. Very, very sinful. Therefore untouchable. According to Vedic civilization, the animal-killers, mlecchas, they are untouchable. They are so sinful.
Dr. Sharma: They talk about killing of animals for wants of survival. Darwin's case has been brought in, put in, survival, struggle for existence. I mean to have a talk with Dr. Svarupa. Even the key of the evolution theory by Darwin, he is not feeling itself. It has lots of...
Prabhupada: He has described in his book, Darwinism. What? What you have described?
Svarupa Damodara: It is knowledges based on some simple speculation.
Prabhupada: Speculation. It is not sound knowledge.
Dr. Sharma: He says that the giraffe has got a very lengthy neck because there was no grass on the floor. He had to reach the branches and bows of a tree for the leaves. So he got a lengthy neck.
Prabhupada: So who made this arrangement?
Dr. Sharma: It was written by Darwin.
Prabhupada: No, that's all right, but next question will be, "Who made his neck so long? Why not your neck?"
Dr. Sharma: Then Darwin forgot there are millions of other herbivores living on the planet.
Prabhupada: He's a nonsense.
Dr. Sharma: They did not develop a big neck. Only giraffe developed, because Darwin wanted.
Prabhupada: (laughs) Therefore he's a nonsense. He has...
Dr. Sharma: (indistinct) that we all learn by our fault, we are being obsessed by our own thing. We don't seem to observe the creed of life.
Prabhupada: Less intelligent. Therefore it is our duty to educate them, out of sympathy. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission. Pascimera loka saba mudha anacara: "The Western peoples, they are mudhas and anacaras." So this mission is paropakara, to give them knowledge and how to become civilized. This is the mission.
Svarupa Damodara: And men like Dr. Sharma can help us a lot.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Svarupa Damodara: He is medical doctor, medical field. He can write some articles on especially these problems in biochemistry and the medicinal aspects. One can do a lot.
Prabhupada: You have seen his small booklet?
Dr. Sharma: I read it.
Prabhupada: Scientific Basis of...
Dr. Sharma: Yes. It's very interesting. I liked it.
Prabhupada: So if you translate some of these small books, we can publish.
Dr. Sharma: Knowledgewise, I am a big man. I am myself that mudha still. But still I've made up my mind. I'll do my most.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is very good qualification, to remain humble and try to do something.
Dr. Sharma: And I've made this statement because knowing the word modesty. I do not know what it is.
Prabhupada: Trnad api sunicena... Caitanya Mahaprabhu has given this slogan, trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna, amanina manadena. One should not claim honor for himself, but he should give honor to everyone. Amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih [Cc. Adi 17.31]. So that book, small book, Easy Journey to..., is it interesting?
Dr. Sharma: It is interesting. It has been very well received.
Prabhupada: Accha.
Dr. Sharma: It's a very well written book.
Prabhupada: Then that translation you have to...
Dr. Sharma: (indistinct)
Prabhupada: So encourage him to translate more books. (background conversation with Dr. Sharma) In Russia, if they allow us to speak, then we can convert many. There is no doubt about it. But they have restriction for outsider. Now, here is a scientific man. They'll not hear?
Dr. Sharma: Because this Vaisnava is controversial to them.
Prabhupada: Controversial for them, not for the scientists.
Dr. Sharma: No, not but for them in the sense that (indistinct). Naturally even the subjects (indistinct) So we are waiting for the day when (indistinct) will really come.
Svarupa Damodara: One of the greatest men in this "Life coming from matter" is in Russia. His name is Ino Voparin(?), A.I. Voparin(?). He's in the Moscow Academy.
Dr. Sharma: He's a biologist.
Svarupa Damodara: Yeah, he's a biologist. He was one of the leading men who proposed this theory. He's getting old, but still, he's active. We wanted to send him all the things that we have written when it's finished.
Dr. Sharma: They may work on life and the gerontology. And they have published many papers on that. (indistinct) (pause) You have got anybody coming this evening?
Prabhupada: I don't think so. (end)

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