Room Conversation
with Alice Coltrane

July 1, 1977, Vrndavana
Prabhupada: When?
Alice Coltrane: (indistinct) I'm going to go to Delhi today, and bring... We have to go back to (indistinct).
Prabhupada: I was very glad that you stayed here for some time.
Alice Coltrane: I will live after this(?). But I have to (indistinct).
Prabhupada: So if you want to do something, take this idea and introduce. Then it will be successful.
Alice Coltrane: This idea that...?
Prabhupada: Chant Hare Krsna, and everything will be clear. Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. The more you chant, the spiritual life will be revealed. So it is very easy: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama... As much as possible, you chant. Then everything will be revealed and you'll be able to do something. I started this movement simply by chanting.
Alice Coltrane: Yes, I started chanting as soon as I got your message.
Prabhupada: Now we are... It has spread all over the world.
Alice Coltrane: Yes, it's a fact.
Prabhupada: And we are still chanting.
Alice Coltrane: (indistinct)
Prabhupada: That's right.
Alice Coltrane: I like the mental chanting better. I seem to be more and more enlightened...
Prabhupada: This is my message.
Tamala Krsna: She says that she likes the mental chanting more than chanting out...
Alice Coltrane: With the mind, you know.
Tamala Krsna: She likes to chant more with the mind.
Prabhupada: As it is convenient. But chanting with mouth is better. You can hear; others can hear. If you chant within, then you'll remember only. But you chant loudly, others can hear. Others are benefited. (japa)
Alice Coltrane: (indistinct)
Tamala Krsna: She said, how many rounds should she chant? Every day she does some meditation, so before meditating, she wants to know, how many rounds should she chant?
Prabhupada: Well, with chanting you can meditate. The Deities are there. So you can think of the Deitiesthat is meditationand chant.
Tamala Krsna: Is there a certain number of rounds you would recommend for her?
Prabhupada: That is minimum... Because these people are not accustomed, only sixteen rounds.
Tamala Krsna: Sixteen rounds.
Prabhupada: But the chanting is recommended twenty-four hours.
Tamala Krsna: Twenty-four hours.
Alice Coltrane: (laughs) (indistinct)
Prabhupada: Kirtaniyah sada harih [Cc. Adi 17.31]. Sada means twenty-four hours.
Tamala Krsna: But minimum, sixteen rounds.
Prabhupada: But one who cannot, minimum, sixteen rounds.
Alice Coltrane: That only an experience (indistinct).
Prabhupada: Otherwise Haridasa Thakura, he was chanting three hundred thousand.
Tamala Krsna: Per day.
Prabhupada: Without chanting three hundred thousand times, he won't take his food. Namacarya.
Prabhupada: So that is not possible for everyone, but there is no limit. Twenty-four hours you can chant, if you can.
Alice Coltrane: (indistinct)
Prabhupada: Otherwise, minimum sixteen.
Tamala Krsna: She asked, how does she get Krsna's instructions while chanting?
Prabhupada: Krsna's instruction are there in Bhagavad-gita. Don't you find Krsna's instruction? Is it difficult? All instruction are clearly given there. What is the difficulty?
Alice Coltrane: (indistinct)
Prabhupada: Yes, everything...
Tamala Krsna: She wants like personal day-to-day instructions, which she says she gets from meditation.
Prabhupada: That you become qualified, then He'll give you. First of all be qualified to meet Him, then He'll give you. Buddhi-yogam dadami tam. What is that verse? Find out.
Prabhupada: Hm?
Prabhupada: Ah! Tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam, dadami buddhi-yogam tam [Bg. 10.10]. That is... If you want to speak with a very big man, you must be qualified, not that he is your order-supplier: "Please come and give me instruction." No, can't do that. That is servant. You can ask your servant, "Please come here. Do it." You cannot ask God like that. You must please Him. Then He'll give.
Tamala Krsna: And the method of pleasing Him...
Prabhupada: Yes. Tesam satata-yuktanam [Bg. 10.10]. One who is twenty-four hours engaged in pleasing the Lord, He gives intelligence to him, not ordinary... You cannot expect. But you don't take God as your play doll. Then it will be futile. God is God. God is great.
Rasangi: So the proper instructions will come, how to act and what to do, just by chanting. There's no need to separately endeavor. Just by chanting, Krsna will guide you how to act properly.
Prabhupada: Everything is there in Bhagava... Bring Bhagavad-gita.
Tamala Krsna: That verse?
satatam kirtayanto mam
yatantas ca drdha-vratah
namasyantas ca mam bhaktya
nitya-yukta upasate
[Bg. 9.14]
Tamala Krsna: Says, "Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion." Purport. "The mahatma, or great soul, cannot be manufactured by rubber-stamping an ordinary man. His symptoms are described here. A mahatma is always engaged in chanting the glories of the Supreme Lord Krsna, the Personality of Godhead. He has no other business. He is always engaged in the glorification of the Lord. In other words, he is not an impersonalist. When the question of glorification is there, one has to glorify the Supreme Lord..."
Prabhupada: (indistinct)
Tamala Krsna: "...one has to glorify the Supreme Lord, praising His holy name, His eternal form, His transcendental qualities, and His uncommon pastimes. One has to glorify all these things. Therefore a mahatma is attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One who is attached to the impersonal feature of the Supreme Lord, the brahmajyoti, is not described as mahatma in the Bhagavad-gita. He is described in a different way in the next verse. The mahatma is always engaged in different activities of devotional service, as described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, hearing and chanting about Visnu, not a demigod or human being. That is devotion: sravanam kirtanam visnoh, smaranam, and remembering Him. Such a mahatma has firm determination to achieve at the ultimate end the association of the Supreme Lord in any one of the five transcendental rasas. To achieve that success, he engages all activitiesmental, bodily and vocal, everythingin the service of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna. That is called full Krsna consciousness.
In devotional service there are certain activities which are called determined, such as fasting on certain days, like the eleventh day of the moon, Ekadasi, and on the appearance day of the Lord, etc. All these rules and regulations are offered by the great acaryas for those who are actually interested in getting admission into the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the transcendental world. The mahatmas, great souls, strictly observe all these rules and regulations, and therefore they are sure to achieve the desired result.
As described in the second verse of this chapter, this devotional service is not only easy, but it can be performed in a happy mood. One does not need to undergo any severe penance and austerity. He can live this life in devotional service, guided by an expert spiritual master, and in any position, either as a householder or a sannyasi, or a brahmacari; in any position and anywhere in the world, he can perform this devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and thus become actually mahatma, a great soul.
Prabhupada: So all instructions are there. If you read it carefully, you get. But don't manufacture in your own way. That will not be successful. Yah sastra-vidhim utsrjya. Find out.
Tamala Krsna: I don't know that verse, Srila Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: Yah sastra-vidhim utsrjya. Ya, y-a.
Tamala Krsna: Yes. They only have the first and third...
Prabhupada: What is that?
Tamala Krsna: They only have the first line and third line of each...
Prabhupada: So why don't you read it?
Tamala Krsna: Well, I haven't found the verse yet.
Prabhupada: You don't find it?
Tamala Krsna: No, Srila Prabhupada. Is that the first line of the verse?
Prabhupada: Yah sastra... Yah sastra-vidhim utsrjya. It is in the Sixteenth Chapter. [break] Na siddhim na avapnoti. Na siddhim. Find out. [break] What is the first word?
Tamala Krsna: Yah sastra... Yah, y-a-h.
Prabhupada: Then why did you not find?
Tamala Krsna: I was looking y-a-s.
Prabhupada: So why did you need? That means you do not read.
Tamala Krsna: I didn't spell yah properly. I spelled it y-a.
Translation: "But he who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection nor happiness nor the supreme destination." Purport: "As described before, the sastra-vidhim, or the direction of the sastra, is given to the different castes and orders of human society. Everyone is expected to follow these rules and regulations. If one does not follow them and acts whimsically according to his lust, greed and desire, then he never will be perfect in his life. In other words, a man may theoretically know all these things, but if he does not apply them in his own life, then he is to be known as the lowest of mankind. In the human form of life, a living entity is expected to be sane and to follow the regulations given for elevating his life to the highest platform, but if he does not follow them, then he degrades himself. But even if he follows the rules and regulations and moral principles and ultimately does not come to the stage of understanding the Supreme Lord, then all his knowledge becomes spoiled. Therefore one should gradually raise himself to the platform of Krsna consciousness and devotional service; it is then and there that he can attain the highest perfectional stage, not otherwise.
The word kama-caratah is very significant. A person who knowingly violates the rules acts in lust. He knows that this is forbidden, still he acts. This is called acting whimsically. He knows that this should be done, but still he does not do it; therefore he is called whimsical. Such persons are destined to be condemned by the Supreme Lord. Such persons cannot have the perfection which is meant for the human life. The human life is especially meant for purifying one's existence, and one who does not follow the rules and regulations cannot purify himself, nor can he attain the real stage of happiness".
Prabhupada: So you do that. Read carefully and execute that. Then you'll be perfect.
Tamala Krsna: Do you have any questions?
Alice Coltrane: (indistinct)
Tamala Krsna: She's been invited to chant at Ratha-yatra because there are so many followers of hers throughout the country, so she wonders if there's anything, any special instruction you have.
Prabhupada: No, if you go. If your batches(?) chant and dance, that is all right.
Tamala Krsna: What should she chant especially?
Prabhupada: Hare Krsna maha-mantra. Why you are asking all these?
Tamala Krsna: No, I'm...
Alice Coltrane: (indistinct)
Prabhupada: There is no secrecy. Everything is open. Now you have to take advantage. That's all.
Rasangi: She was also considering sending her boys to gurukula here. Turiya has three children..., four children. Three are boys, nine through thirteen.
Prabhupada: Let them come.
Rasangi: She's considering that. She spoke to Dr. Sharma, and she's very pleased with the type of education and displeased with education in the West, in our...
Tamala Krsna: Jaya Srila Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: Jaya. [break] ...how he'll do better. Big lawyer in the court means he'll be (indistinct). "My Lord Justice..." Deception, this, that... He's a big lawyer.
Tamala Krsna: I don't know... I have a desire to do it, but I don't know if I'll have much opportunity.
Prabhupada: Well, we have no opportunity, but we'll have to find out opportunity. And that is intelligence. Even those who have opportunity, who is taking care of? Nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau **. We have to reduce these things, nidrahara. It is for this, only writing. That's all. We have written so many books only for selling?
Tamala Krsna: No, we have to read them still.
Prabhupada: No, that, you do not take care. I said three times, "yah." Now you simply saw "y-a." Why did you not see "y-a-h"?
Tamala Krsna: Yes. I didn't realize it was spelled that way. It's my lack of learning.
Prabhupada: Spelling... But yah, you do not know, "So let me see how to this 'yah.' Which yah is there."
Tamala Krsna: That I didn't know. I didn't know that. I mean, I know it's my fault. I was looking for y-a-s, and I should have seen y-a-h. I was looking for ya sastra, y-a-s, instead of y-a-h.
Prabhupada: So you know how to read phonetical.
Tamala Krsna: Phonetical.
Prabhupada: Yes. Yah. What is that mark? Diacritic.
Prabhupada: You must know thoroughly that, that how yah is spelled. This is standard. Practice. Everything practice. [break] Y-a-h... This is determined by the diacritic mark. But this, everything is there. So this was beginning... [break]
Tamala Krsna: They know...
Prabhupada: Good.
Tamala Krsna: Yeah. It's personal. They have a personal conception of God, of a person, but they don't understand that one has to become very highly qualified before he can actually talk to God. They take it as anybody who has any position in spiritual life should be able to talk to God. So that she has to learn again with real understanding.
Prabhupada: Tesam satata-yuktanam [Bg. 10.10]. One who is twenty-four hours engaged, He talks with him.
Tamala Krsna: She's quite serious. She eats very minimally, sleeps very little. This girl told me... She lives with her. She only sleeps about three hours a day, and she eats very little.
Prabhupada: Then she'll be qualified if she reads Bhagavad-gita nicely.
Tamala Krsna: And she's only reading... You know, she... All of her students, they only read your Bhagavad-gita.
Prabhupada: Very good.
Tamala Krsna: I think it's a question of time only. She says that... She's been to India three times, and she said that she's never found any place like Vrndavana. And this is to her... Now she feels this is her home, that she only wants...
Prabhupada: She may stop here whenever she likes.
Tamala Krsna: I think it was a very ba... She was in India this time for three weeks, and she never left Vrndavana. She only wanted to stay here.
Prabhupada: Oh.
Tamala Krsna: But she said she had no real desire to go other places in Vrndavana. She was very satisfied in this temple grounds.
Prabhupada: So she has got so many qualifications.
Tamala Krsna: I think so. (end)

Link to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/conversations/1977/jul/with_alice_coltrane/vrndavana/july/01/1977

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