Room Conversation

January 30, 1977, Bhuvanesvara
Prthu-putra: ...thing they always like, when we don't explain to them too much the meaning of the chanting, they like the music.
Prabhupada: Oh. Well then that is all right.
Prthu-putra: But when we start to explain the meaning, then they're a little bit suspicious because they don't tolerate other type of religion.
Prabhupada: No, no, why...? Let them chant and take prasada. This preaching, that's all. Later on, when they're a little advanced, then talk of philosophy. Otherwise there is no need of philosophy. If they are, some of them, educated, they can read the books voluntarily. But general process is anywhere, any part of the world, you simply give them chance of chanting and take prasada. That will be peaceful.
Devotee (1): Prabhupada? Is it possible to see the lot of films now? (?)
Prabhupada: Hm.
Prthu-putra: Because I went to some universities. They have big, big universities in Cairo and in every places in North Africa, because now they try to be educated. The white Africans, they have some intelligence to understand to a certain extent philosophy, because when I was talking about the Bhagavad-gita, when I showed the table of contents, they more or less agreed to take interest in it because they didn't see anything specific about another religion, another God. They were seeing the titles like "Confidential Knowledge," "Transcendental Knowledge," "Karma-yoga," "Jnana-yoga." They are very interested about knowing these things.
Prabhupada: That is good the first, beginning, let them come. Let them sit down, chant Hare Krsna, and take prasada. In Iran we are doing that. Gradually it is becoming interesting. You had been in our Iran, Tehran?
Prthu-putra: I went there also some time, long time ago. But Iran is a different concept. They're not so strict about following the Koran. For example, these Arabic countries like Algeria, Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia, they don't recognize Iran like being part of them. Iran and Turkey and Afghanistan they think is another Muslim world. For example, in Iran there is much more Sufis, the different... But in these Arabic countries like Egypt, they're really conservative. They're very strict.
Prabhupada: Yes. Conservative means fanatical.
Prthu-putra: Fanatical, yes, that's the word. So my idea, when I went there... Because I have an Arabic boy who is translating. So I have one Sri Isopanisad completely translated into Arabic which can be printed.
Prabhupada: So print.
Prthu-putra: But it's a very specific work. So my idea was to print something more like Topmost Yoga System for a first try, or Easy Journey to Other Planets for a first try.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Prthu-putra: To like approach. Because Sri Isopanisad is too specific.
Prabhupada: Specific and little strict.
Prthu-putra: So I have one boy in Paris who is translating for me. He is coming regularly to the temple, he chants, and he's coming every Sunday or sometimes three or four times a week.
Prabhupada: Somebody, some Arabian boy, translated?
Prthu-putra: Yes. [break]
Prabhupada: ...people do not know. So we are preaching for them, "It is fortunate that you accept God. You know God." So in this way. And actually that is the fact. Mostly, eighty percent of the population, they are atheists, all. The Muslims, they are not atheists.
Prthu-putra: No. They follow the Koran.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Prthu-putra: They follow very strictly the laws of Koran. Even their whole social structure is based on Koran.
Prabhupada: That is here in India also.
Prthu-putra: But they are also killing the animals.
Prabhupada: Their Koran, their Koran... Oh, that is... What can we do? They are habituated. In Arabia where is food?
Prthu-putra: Yes. Very desert most of the time.
Prabhupada: Yes. So therefore they're allowed. Question is, jivo jivasya jivanam: "One living entity..."
Prthu-putra: "...is the food of another."
Prabhupada: Another. So when you have got less important life, why should we kill more important? Just like Krsna says, krsi-go-raksya, protecting the cows. That is a very important animal. He doesn't say goat-raksya or lamb-raksya. Those who want to eat meat, they can eat some unimportant animal, but don't touch cow. It is very important.
Prthu-putra: They mostly eat goats, chicken.
Prabhupada: Therefore, in India, cow flesh is strictly forbidden. But it doesn't mean that they are vegetarian. They eat fish and goat, lamb, sometimes buffalo. But not to touch the cow. From economic point of view, from vitamin point of view, cow should be given... Just like from the milk of cow we can prepare so many nice things. Krsi-go-raksya-vanijyam vaisya-karma svabhava-jam [Bg. 18.44].
Satsvarupa: I spoke with Nanda-kumara Maharaja about his maybe staying here, and he likes the idea.
Prabhupada: So, there will be good community. How the Egyptian people are?
Prthu-putra: They're really a nationalistic type of persons.
Prabhupada: That is everywhere.
Prthu-putra: But I never noticed like this anywhere else. And they're really attached to family life, even more than in India.
Prabhupada: Accha?
Prthu-putra: Oh, yes.
Prabhupada: They have got nice family?
Prthu-putra: Oh, yes. They have nice family, and they have many children. And the man is working, and the woman stay home and prepare food, taking care...
Prabhupada: That is Indian culture.
Prthu-putra: Yes, it's exactly like in India. But their family attachment is so strong that it is..., it will be very difficult to have devotees out of them.
Prabhupada: No, no, why you should dissuade them from family life? That is not our...
Prthu-putra: No, I'm not doing that. I know.
Prabhupada: Let them remain, family life, but understand what is Krsna consciousness. That's all. We never condemn family life. Chant Hare Krsna anywhere. That's all.
Prthu-putra: Oh, yes. But that will be very difficult for them to become devotee. Instead, they went to the Western countries and become devotees there. But otherwise, in their own country will be very difficult for them.
Prabhupada: Let us invite them, whole family. Let them come, take prasada, chant Hare Krsna.
Prthu-putra: Yes. That I did.
Prabhupada: That's all.
Prthu-putra: I was living with one whole family. Sometimes I cooked prasada for them, and they like it very much. They like us as a person.
Prabhupada: Simply follow this. Give them prasadam and let them chant. That is preaching. And if they're educated, let them read books. Then gradually, he'll automatically come. [break]
Prthu-putra: ...sheik. And they say that when the sheik is teaching them the spiritual understanding from Koran, they can have..., he's like the link between God and themself, and they can have direct contact with God from inside. So... And they say what Muhammad said, that was no prophet after him. So they always asking from which prophet we are following. So one day I told Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And he accept it more or less because I explained to this person... He was a professor in Cairo University. He was a Sufist himself, so he was much more open than the regular Muslim. And I explained to him that Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared according to the time and circumstances to preach love of God. And he understood it, but he just didn't know Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So he said, "Then it's very nice. I can try to take knowledge of your philosophy," and he took the Gita. He has the Gita with him. So whenever I come back, he tell me, I always can go and give some discourses in the University, in his class. So I gave some discourses in universities, but sometimes I had to use some tricks. Like for example, once I gave a discourse in psychology department, explaining to them how the yoga system can bring you to different state of consciousness. And when I hint to Krsna consciousness they were a little bit wondering what it is. Because unfortunately, due to their political situation, always in war with Israel and all these things, they're little bit...
Prabhupada: Still war going on?
Prthu-putra: Yes.
Prabhupada: [break] Oh. In the dictionary it is clearly stated, "God the Supreme Being." So He's a being, but supreme. And what are the signs of supremacy? One must be very rich, very famous, very strong, very learned. In this way analyze. So God means one who is in possession of all these things, all the reputation, all the beauty. That is God. On this point discuss. Now, who is God, that is to be found. But this is the position of God. Try to convince them.
Prthu-putra: Because they are convinced already about this through the Koran. They already accept God is one, and He's possessing all fame, all beauty. But they say... The only point is that He cannot come down to the earth because the earth is a planet of sin.
Prabhupada: No, that is your not perfect conception. If He is almighty and He's all-powerful, why you restrict Him?
Prthu-putra: They say, "No, He's not restricted. But when He has to reveal Himself He reveals to the prophet. This is the reason why Muhammad received the instruction from God."
Prabhupada: That's all right. That's all right. But you cannot say that He does not come to showing mercy to a prophet. He may come if He likes. That is mission. Paritranaya sadhunam [Bg. 4.8]. One who is actually devotee, prophet, he's always anxious to see what they (indistinct). So in order to favor them, (Sanskrit). What is their proposition?
Prthu-putra: In the story of Koran they say Muhammad once asked to see God, and God's answer was, "You're not able to see Me."
Prabhupada: That's all right. At least he could hear Him. So that is possible. Not that necessarily one has to see Him, but he can hear Him. Now, you have said that Muhammad heard Him, so God can speak. So you can hear. So where is the objection?
Prthu-putra: No objection.
Prabhupada: Muhammad... If somebody can hear Him, somebody can see Him also. You cannot deny because they're all senses. To hear God means with my senses we appreciate Him. Similarly, eyes are also one of the senses. Now if somebody sees Him, where is the objection? If somebody can hear Him, where is the objection if somebody can see Him? Reasonably, there is no objection. In this way... So God is omnipotent. If some of His prophet devotees wants to hear Him, he can do that, if wants to see Him, he can do that.
Prthu-putra: But they think the prophet as an ordinary man who received the mercy from the Lord.
Prabhupada: Yes. Without being (sic:) mercied by the God, how one can become prophet? Then he's ordinary man.
Prthu-putra: But they say he was an ordinary man like us up to the time that God revealed Himself to him.
Prabhupada: Now, suppose Muhammad has heard God. He is prophet. So whatever he is speaking about his experience, you are accepting. Similarly, if somebody has seen Him, if he says that "God is like this," why you should not accept? In this way talk. God can be seen as God can be heard. You cannot say that God cannot be seen. Why?
Prthu-putra: No, what they say is that He Himself doesn't come down here. He can be seen, but He doesn't come down. That is their point.
Prabhupada: That's his... He doesn't come down. He's already there. He does not come down. Just like the sun. The sun does not come down before me, but you can see him. In this way give them enlightenment. Sun doesn't require to come down, but sun is so bright and so prominent that you can see. Similarly, God doesn't require to come down. He's already present. Simply we have to make our eyes to see Him. Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena [Bs. 5.38]. When one is competent enough by developing his love for God, he can see always. God is visible everywhere. Andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham [Bs. 5.35]. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese arjuna tisthati [Bg. 18.61]. He's everywhere. So there is no difficulty to see. But simply one has to possess such purified eyes to see Him. Otherwise He can be seen anywhere. He can be seen within the atom even. Andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham. That is God. He is present everywhere, but we must have the purified eyes to see, we must have the purified ears to hear Him. Otherwise God is everywhere.
Prthu-putra: So in order to purify their vision, chanting and prasada will be sufficient.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Prthu-putra: We should not talk about following rules and things like this.
Prabhupada: No. When there is talk, then you can talk reasonably, that "If God can be heard, God can be seen also, God can be touched also, to a different prophet."
Prthu-putra: Only to the very determined and serious person we can ask them to give up meat-eating and things like this in this kind of countries?
Prabhupada: No. No. Don't say about that directly.
Prthu-putra: Don't say.
Prabhupada: No. You can say indirectly that "God is the father of all living entities. He's the supreme father. God does not like that the weaker living entities should be killed for the satisfaction of the stomach. But when there is no alternative, then the stronger animal can take. Because even one takes vegetables, that is also eating another animal, another living being. So therefore, human being must use discretion, that 'If I can live in this way, why shall I kill one important animal?' That is human intelligence." In this way you have to preach. And besides that, according to our Bhagavad-gita, God says, "Give Me patram puspam phalam toyam [Bg. 9.26]." He never said, "Give Me meat. Give me egg." So we are devotee to Krsna. So we give Him this vegetables, milk, and so many nice things, and take prasadam. In this way don't quarrel with them in the beginning.
Prthu-putra: No. I never did, anyway.
Prabhupada: The philosophy is that jivo jivasya jivanam. That doesn't not mean I can eat my son. There is discrimination. So here is an important animal, cow, who gives us milk. We drink milk. So it's not good. But if there is no other way—you have to starve—then what can be done?
Prthu-putra: For example, for that boy who is chanting now in Egypt, he has his beads, but his chanting is effective even though he's still eating meat sometimes with his family? Or...
Prabhupada: So let him chant. Gradually he'll get...
Prthu-putra: Because I told him, "You should continue your study, your school. Otherwise your parents will be agitated. And just do whatever you were usually doing, but just chant and read." Because he has our books.
Prabhupada: That is beginning. That's all right.
Prthu-putra: Because I've found in these universities, the educated persons, they're very interested about philosophy coming from India.
Prabhupada: Gradually they'll be more interested. So handle them with little care.
Prthu-putra: Yes. Has to be handled with very much care actually. But I went in this dhoti even and they were not so...
Prabhupada: Happy.
Prthu-putra: ...surprised. No, no, they were not so surprised. They were wondering how can I wear such a dress. So, but the difficulty is they immediately associate with the idea that I was a religious man, being in such a dress.
Prabhupada: Yes. No, in Muhammadan country also, there is dress like this. They are called peet.(?)
Prthu-putra: Yes. They have these big robes. When they go to the mosque, they put on the robes. In Cairo there is ten thousand mosques. It's incredible. Ten thousand mosques.
Prabhupada: They're religious.
Prthu-putra: Yes. And they come in for the prayer five times a day. They give up immediately whatever they are doing. I saw myself in barber shop, one barber he was getting... [break]
Prabhupada: To present your case. Comparative study means impartially make comparison. There is no knowledge of God in there. They're all bogus. You cannot say that. But actually they... What do they know about God? They have simply a vague idea. So what is the use of comparison. Then you have to give your judgment—"It is all bogus." That they will not like to hear. But actually that is the position. What complain? What do they know about God? Simply they have got some idea, the Christianity, Muhammadanism, Hind..., everyone. Even Hinduism, they do not know. Therefore they worship so many demigods and ultimately they make nirakara. Nobody knows God. This is the, perhaps, first time in the history of the world that we are presenting, "Here is God." Here is God. Nobody presented, neither they know it.
Gargamuni: That's a fact.
Prabhupada: In India, the Mayavadis, they have no idea. "Nirakara." What is the nonsense, nirakara? The things are going on, imagination. "You can accept anyone as God." This is going on in India, Hindu religion. They do not know that here is... Krsna is God. Only few Vaisnavas, they know what is God. Manusyanam sahasresu [Bg. 7.3]. Otherwise nobody knows. That is the defect. They do not know God; they do not know what God wants. So where is religion? There is no religion. Bogus. Cheating. They do not know about God, and they do not know what God wants. Then where is the religion? All bogus. They have created something, mano-dharma, mental concoction. Otherwise how they can kill animals, all other religion killing animals. What do they know about God? God... They say, "Supreme father." Eh, and animal has... He's not son. So wherefrom the animal came? If God is supreme father, then He is not father of the animals?
Prthu-putra: He's father of everyone.
Prabhupada: And Krsna says, sarva-yonisu: "In all forms of life, they are My... I am the supreme father." This is God. He does not say that "Only Hindus or Indians or only human beings are My sons." No. He says, sarva-yonisu kaunteya [Bg. 14.4]. Krsna is loving the calf and also loving the gopis. That is God. We have to study intelligently. Why God should make discrimination? He's taking care of the cows. He's taking care of the trees. He's taking care of the fruits, flowers, everyone. That is God. And everyone is loving Him. The calves, the cows, even the trees, giving fruit, flower—"Oh, here is Krsna." (aside) Sit down.
Gargamuni: I have put the books back. I gave them some other books. They had some Bhagavatams. [break]
Prabhupada: Then you have to say that you have no idea what is God. Then they will be offended. Better not, that not to say. (laughs) We know it, that's all.
Prthu-putra: Just introduce it as it is. Just introduce as it is.
Prabhupada: Let us with logic, philosophy, talk. There is no conception of God throughout the whole world. Vague idea.
Prthu-putra: Yes. Because in the description of Koran, what they think about spiritual world is like heavenly planets. It's all the opposite of what they experience now. Now they are living in a desert, so they think when we are going to get liberation we'll be full of water and beautiful women giving you honey. You don't have to work. This is their... This is described in Koran.
Prabhupada: No, that is heaven.
Prthu-putra: Yes, it's heaven.
Prabhupada: But do they think that there is eternal life?
Prthu-putra: Yes.
Prabhupada: They think?
Prthu-putra: They say that eternal life is going on there.
Prabhupada: But that is not the fact.
Prthu-putra: If they perform their duty nicely here...
Prabhupada: Yes.
Prthu-putra: That means work, keep a family and do their prayers five times a day nicely, following the Koran, they will go there after.
Prabhupada: That is also. Urdhvam gacchanti sattva-sthah [Bg. 14.18]. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita.
Hari-sauri: I think you mentioned last year when we were in Mayapura that you dreamt once about a planet where pious Muhammadans go. You were telling Tamala Krsna and myself.
Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. From Bhagavata there is. (end)

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