Room Conversation
during lunchtime

July 8, 1977, Vrndavana
Tamala Krsna: So there was a newspaper clipping about Mayapura published in the Hindustan Times. This newspaper clipping...
Prabhupada: Hindustan Times?
Tamala Krsna: Yes, Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: Delhi.
Tamala Krsna: Ah. The heading is "Eleven Krishna Devotees Held for Firing." "Five Indian and six foreign Vaisnava devotees were arrested from Mayapura matha of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, in Nabadwip last night when shots fired from inside the celebrated temple injured fifteen persons, most of them milkmen. A double-barreled gun was seized from the matha, it is reported. Police pickets have been posted since there is considerable tension in the nearby villages. Among those arrested is Swami Bhavananda, an American in charge of the matha. Some time ago he was forced to leave the country after the expiry of his visa, but he returned later. The incident occurred at about 5 p.m. on Friday. Some boys were grazing their cattle on the fields outside the matha when some cows strayed into its compound. The cattle were beaten up by the inmates and driven out." It doesn't sound like our devotees. Beat up cows? "Angry milkmen from a nearby village crowded outside the matha. Shots were then fired from inside the matha, it is reported, injuring fifteen persons, two of them seriously. The police arrived on the scene within an hour. Among the six foreigners arrested are a Romanian, an Italian, and some Americans. The founder of the matha, Prabhupada A.C. Bhaktivedanta, was not present." This is called slanted reporting. I mean, first of all, our devotees don't beat up the cows. We worship the cow. We don't beat cows. I can't take this as very factual account. So many statements here say, "It was reported," "It was reported." This is from a... It was published in Delhi, but it's datelined Calcutta, and the event happened in Mayapura. So by the time it got to Delhi it seems to have taken a strange shape. I thought you'd want to...
Prabhupada: These goyalas are very aggressive.
Satadhanya: Milkmen means goyalas.
Tamala Krsna: Balai goyalas.
Prabhupada: It is not the Muhammadans.
Satadhanya: Not according to this.
Tamala Krsna: This is still not conclusive.
Prabhupada: No. Police inquiry must be there.
Tamala Krsna: Should I save this?
Prabhupada: No.
Tamala Krsna: Satadhanya Maharaja is going to be leaving to go to Mayapura.
Satadhanya: Myself and Prabhasa, we're going to be leaving now for Delhi, then to Mayapura.
Prabhupada: So what is the actual position, that they should...
Tamala Krsna: Send a letter from there.
Prabhupada: But why in the morning the cows will come?
Tamala Krsna: It says here, "At 5 p.m. on Friday."
Prabhupada: P.M.
Tamala Krsna: Yes, in the evening.
Prabhupada: Evening?
Tamala Krsna: Five o'clock in the evening.
Prabhupada: But they say it was attacked at night.
Tamala Krsna: Yeah. Well, that's what Gopala Krsna said over the telephone. I mean it's hard to... We don't know if this is correct or we don't know... After all, Gopala was speaking to Mayapura over the telephone, so he only may have gotten some mistaken information.
Prabhupada: They say it was, they attacked at night, and they say five?
Tamala Krsna: Five o'clock.
Prabhupada: There is some mist...
Tamala Krsna: Oh, yes, surely. I mean Bhavananda Maharaja doesn't fire a gun unless there's some very, very heavy provocation. It wasn't that some people were standing outside the building going like this. (gesticulates) They were attacking the building. They got into the building. They must have.
Upendra: Before the festival they came with knives, and he never used a gun.
Tamala Krsna: We don't fire guns into crowds...
Devotee (1): They must have injured someone.
Tamala Krsna: Something must have happened. Anyway, the police will be investigating thoroughly. I don't know if I should keep... If I find out any more, should I keep talking to you about it, Srila...? It seems like it's a depressing subject. Is it right to come to you with this news?
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Tamala Krsna: It's all right. Should I give you some good news?
Prabhupada: What is that?
Tamala Krsna: Book distribution news. The latest sankirtana newsletter came. Would you like to hear it now?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Tamala Krsna: That will counteract the bad news. [break]
Prabhupada: Keeping alive.
Tamala Krsna: What, Srila Prabhupada?
Prabhupada: Keeping alive this movement. All our temples are always crowded. In Los Angeles, in the morning class, it is very crowded. That colony has become very nice, Los Angeles. Thik.
Tamala Krsna: Oh, yes.
Upendra: The colony.
Tamala Krsna: That's what it is. Now you can walk there, and you don't even know you're in America. All you see are devotees, devotees' homes. And it's always growing. It's ever-increasing.
Prabhupada: "Transcendental meditation." What meditation? Fifteen minutesfinished.
Tamala Krsna: They say it helps you sleep better. They claim that Transcendental Meditation helps you sleep more soundly.
Prabhupada: Accha. And life is meant for sleeping?
Tamala Krsna: To the Western karmis, sleep is a luxury, 'cause they have no peace of mind. So anything that can give them sleep, they like 'cause they can't get to sleep. They try pills, so many things. Of course, we don't sleep much either, but that is by choice. I tried one of those balls of bread. In America we call them "cannonballs."
Prabhupada: Which ball?
Upendra: Lakta.
Prabhupada: Oh. How do you like?
Tamala Krsna: Very tasteful. In America sometimes they put either butter or honey on them also to give it a little sweet taste.
Upendra: But they cook them in the oven, and these are cooked on cow dung. These are cooked on the cow dung, khandi, khandi.(?)
Tamala Krsna: :I was wondering how you were able to chew them.
Prabhupada: No, I could not.
Tamala Krsna: They're pretty hard. These are very good on the long sankirtana days. If someone has to go out for many hours, he takes some of these and puts them in his pocket. Then every hour he can eat one, and it gives him strength. Just like the villagers in India, they put in a little napkin. They put some... What is that? Dal. Chickpeas.
Prabhupada: The villagers, these grain soaked in water, they... Not cooked.
Tamala Krsna: Sometimes I have seen they sell on the streets some spicy dal? Hard? I think that's fried.
Prabhupada: Last year in Washington I was there.
Tamala Krsna: July Fourth. Oh, yes, you were there. They had a fireworks demonstration, and you saw a parade, I think.
Upendra: Bicentennial?
Tamala Krsna: Yeah, that was a big one, two-hundredth anniversary of the independence. The karmis are very happy about these holidays like this July Fourth, but they are not as happy as devotees. We are even happier, because we know that all the karmis will buy even more books on these days.
Prabhupada: (Bengali)
Tamala Krsna: Everything he's preparing is very nectarine. I think this year, Christmastime, if we again put on our Santa Claus suits, eventually people will only give to our Santa Clauses. At first there was a reaction, last year. And this year there may be again a reaction, but after a few years no one will want to give to the other Santa Clauses. We will completely take over the Santa Claus costume. I don't think we should give it up.
Prabhupada: Why? It is our choice.
Tamala Krsna: Right.
Prabhupada: If I dress myself in a particular way, who can check it? They cannot check. I like this dress. That's all. That is not violation of law.
Upendra: Do they wear tilaka? Santa Claus? No.
Tamala Krsna: They can't do that. They say, "You're misrepresenting yourselves because..."
Prabhupada: I'm not misrepresenting. I like this dress.
Tamala Krsna: They say this dress indicates a Christian...
Prabhupada: Whatever indication, I like this. You cannot check my liking. Just like an Indian dresses like a European, or a European dresses like Indian. Does it mean that he has become Indian or he's American? He likes it. That's all. Can you object if a girl dresses like Indian with ladies' sari? Can you object? It is something like that. "Oh, why you have become Indian-like? Why you are imitating?"
Tamala Krsna: They say, "Well, no, you can wear your Santa Claus suit, but you'll have to wear a Hare Krsna button."
Prabhupada: That we can do. Never mind. But that is not under your dictation. If I like.
Tamala Krsna: They actually made us in New York, the court.
Prabhupada: No, then there is no objection. But you cannot dictate...
Tamala Krsna: What dress.
Prabhupada: Yes. I may dress myself to your liking; I may not. Rather, you like the Santa Claus dress. You are Christian. I am pleasing you by dressing myself like this. Why you are not pleased? I am trying to please you.
Tamala Krsna: They say, "Well, actually you're concealing your identity."
Prabhupada: That is my liking. You cannot dictate. I'm not pickpocketing you. What is the objection?
Tamala Krsna: They say, "Well, why don't you tell people who you actually are? Why don't you say you're a Hare Krsna?"
Prabhupada: No, that is my desire. You cannot dictate.
Tamala Krsna: Well, you're asking me for your money.
Prabhupada: But unless you know that I'm Hare Krsna people, how you are dictating me?
Tamala Krsna: You're asking me for my money, though.
Prabhupada: Huh? No, I am asking everyone.
Tamala Krsna: But you're going to use it for Hare Krsna.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Tamala Krsna: But we didn't know you were Hare Krsna. We thought you were Santa Claus.
Prabhupada: Whatever it may be, I am asking money from everyone. It is your liking. You give or not give.
Tamala Krsna: See, for many years there were these other Santa Clauses from the Salvation Army. So now they made a complaint that now no one knows who is a real Santa Claus because we are... The difference is they stand next to a big...
Prabhupada: But is there any law that nobody can dress like that?
Tamala Krsna: No. We're only...
Prabhupada: Then?
Tamala Krsna: There was a lot of publicity.
Upendra: You once gave that Bengali saying, "When you eat, you eat for yourself, but when you dress, you dress for others."
Prabhupada: Yes. Apake khana para...(?)
Tamala Krsna: No, I'm not so much speaking from the point of view of law. I'm just wondering whether it was... From the point of view of publicity for our society.
Prabhupada: Publicity, if we find that this dress will attract more, why not? We shall do.
Tamala Krsna: The Salvation Army Santa Clauses, they became very upset, because their routine is that they stand next to a big chimney, because Santa Claus is supposed to come down a chimney in the myth. So they stand next to the chimney, and they shake their bell. People put money into this chimney. But our Santa Clauses, they go down the street very, you know, moving around, dancing, and they go up to the people all over the place. They don't wait for people to come over to the chimney. So we were taking away a lot of the donations that they would have given to the chimney Santa Clauses. So they were very...
Prabhupada: That is business, competition. You are doing your business; I am doing my business. That competition is there in every business. When there is business, you cannot dictate me in your favor: "While you are doing this, my business is being hampered." Who will hear you? Hm? If you say it is competition, that "Why you are doing like this? It is hampering my business," I'll say, "Yes, I want that your business may be hampered; my business may prosper." That's it.
Tamala Krsna: Cut-throat.
Prabhupada: We want that.
Tamala Krsna: Everybody admits that no one can beat us in our book distribution. Other groups, they tried to duplicate what we are doing, but they failed.
Prabhupada: No, what they have got, books?
Tamala Krsna: No, that's another thing. The other Santa Claus, they don't give anything. We give books. They give nothing except they pat the guy on the head. They pat the child. That's all. What will that help the child, patting him on the head? And another thing is that all the other Salvation Army Santa Claus, they're all drunkards.
Prabhupada: They must be drunkards.
Tamala Krsna: You know the Salvation Army is very... They take all the drunkards. They give them Santa suits.
Prabhupada: If you take money without any aim, you must be drunkard.
Upendra: Without any?
Upendra: Aim.
Prabhupada: You must be drunkard, you must be woman-hunter, and you must be intoxicated. And that is not... A meat-eater. That is the whole world, going on. Not only in this planet, in upper planets. I have discussed this point in Bhagavata. The modern economics, earning money very cheaply, has forced men to become drunkard, woman-hunters and meat-eater. But what he'll do with the money? He has no higher idea. You must utilize the money which you have got so cheaply. And in the Western countries, if you have a little business plan, you can sell any damn nonsense things and get money. Is it not? Huh?
Upendra: They sell...
Prabhupada: No, I know that, that... What is that? Spectacle cleaner. It is ordinary tissue paper, and they advertise in such a way, getting money. Make any soda bicarb and advertise it as very good tonic.
Tamala Krsna: Yeah, they sell everything.
Prabhupada: And they know the art.
Upendra: Many years ago they sold one plastic ring like this as a toy, and it became a craze all over America. Everyone bought little ones and big ones, called hoop, Hula-hoop, and they played with it, one ring, plastic ring.
Prabhupada: There are so many things. I saw. You have to know how to make people fool. This art you have to know. Then you can have money. "Moon walk."
Tamala Krsna: The government is the most expert at making people fool.
Prabhupada: Government is doing that, giving a piece of paper, "one thousand dollars." American Express Company, giving paper only and collecting millions of dollars daily.
Tamala Krsna: Just for giving paper you have to pay one percent of the value of paper. When you give your money, they give you paper. You pay one percent.
Prabhupada: But they have created such a credit, and people are confident as soon as present it... [break]
Tamala Krsna: That means that our goal is not to do business. It's to enlighten people. (pause) So Vrindavan Chandra got off nicely. The train was on time, and he was very glad to receive all the prasadam. And they gave him a garland. He said he would remember everyone, such a nice visit he had. He actually enjoyed himself. I gave him the Nectar of Instruction to read. He read it.
Prabhupada: Hindi.
Tamala Krsna: No. I gave him the English edition. And he said he would write as soon as he got back. He got quite a nice send-off, four or five people. Bhagatji, Gunarnava, Tamala Narayana, the temple commander. It's a little (indistinct). And they sat him down in the seat and made sure everything was all right. Everyone gives him a lot of respect. They know that he is your son, so when he walks out everybody was offering their namaskaras. (pause) Srila Prabhupada? I was thinking I wanted to take a little rest. Is it all right? At three o'clock I go up to Bhakti-prema's to try and understand how the universe is going on. So this is a good news, I think. Los Angeles is a good news.
Prabhupada: Very good. Jaya. (end)

Link to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/conversations/1977/jul/during_lunchtime/vrndavana/july/08/1977

If you Love Me Distribute My Books -- Srila Prabhupada