Conversation with Surendra Kumar
and O.B.L. Kapoor

June 26, 1977, Vrndavana
Surendra Kumar: ...that you must make an application of forty to fifty people who Prabhupada wants that they should be given permanent nationality.
Prabhupada: So keeping...
Surendra Kumar: Also that we will consider.
Prabhupada: ...Surendraji here, you make this application draft. Gopala Krsna: Yes.
Surendra Kumar: And I and Gopala Krsna, we can meet any number of times.
Prabhupada: So you go with him.
Gopala Krsna: Yes, I think in about two weeks we will go.
Surendra Kumar: Again, after he has been to Bombay, etcetera, we will meet him again.
Prabhupada: So the application prepare in consultation, taking help and guidance. He is real devotee.
Gopala Krsna: Yes, we'll do it.
Prabhupada: Don't do alone. Don't do alone.
Gopala Krsna: No, no, no.
Surendra Kumar: I told him, first thing, that I am here because I am a life member and I am a devotee of Prabhupada. That's why I'm here.
Gopala Krsna: Surendra Kumarji praises your efforts very much.
Surendra Kumar: No, there is no question of my praising. The world knows about in fact. His wonders may be...
Gopala Krsna: This is Prabhupada's Isopanisad in Arabic. The Middle East countries are buying it.
Surendra Kumar: These people from Tehran... And my friend is a Muslim. He is very... He is just like my sister and my wife's very intimate friend.
Prabhupada: We have no such question, Hindu, Muslim...
Surendra Kumar: She said, "I'm going to become a devotee. I'm going to become a life member."
Gopala Krsna: Oh, very good. She's from Delhi?
Surendra Kumar: No, from Aligarh. So yesterday my wife said that "I am going to see Prabhupada," she said, "I am coming with you."
Mrs. Kumar(?): (Hindi)
Surendra Kumar: She was there when you were there in Aligarh, in my house.
Prabhupada: I have many Muslims.
Surendra Kumar: Yes.
Prabhupada: Ramajana. Here he became... What is that? Rama-ranjana. Rama-ranjana.
Surendra Kumar: Rama-ranjana, his name has been changed... (laughter)
Prabhupada: Our Attar Mia(?) has become Atreya Rsi.
Surendra Kumar: Attar Mia has become Atreya Rsi.
Mrs. Kumar: So she is my friend.
Surendra Kumar: She is inseparable to my wife, very great friend. And religion has never bothered us. She has been to (indistinct). Yes. "After all, you are a good Muslim."
Prabhupada: You understand English?
Mrs. Kumar: Yes.
Surendra Kumar: Yes, yes, she is a graduate.
Prabhupada: Oh. The Srimad-Bhagavatam says, sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje [SB 1.2.6]. There are two kinds of religion. One is param, and one is aparam. Para means real religion. Yes. Or spiritual. And apara means material. Generally people are engaged in apara religion. They go to temple, they go to church...
Surendra Kumar: And mosques.
Prabhupada: ...and mosques for some material benefit. Just like these Christians, "O God, give us our daily bread." We also go to temple. So that is apara. And para means when there will be no demand.
Surendra Kumar: No demand from God.
Prabhupada: Simply to love Him. Yato bhaktir adhoksaje. That is para. Our, this line is little difficult, because we are teaching paro dharma.
Surendra Kumar: That's what I was telling her all the time.
Prabhupada: And the human form of life, this is the only business. This is the only business. But they do not know. They are after... They go to dharma for some material benefit. Dharmasya apavargasya.
Surendra Kumar: My sister says that "Unless and until God so wishes..."
Mrs. Kumar: How to leave this world?
Surendra Kumar: "...how to leave this material world?"
Prabhupada: She'll leave in material... Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam, aham tvam sarva-papebhyo: [Bg. 18.66] "I shall deliver you." God gives you that. God is protecting actually. And without God's protection, you cannot live. But still more if you absolutely depend on Him. This is our organization. Here also duty, depending on Krsna. At least ten to fifteen thousand men we are feeding daily. So how it is being done throughout the whole world? And everywhere opulence like this. We are not poverty-stricken. (Hindi) So simply depending... (Hindi)
Surendra Kumar: (Hindi) Unless we don't want to stay in the...
Prabhupada: No, no, this is not same. This is apara, para. (laughter) This is para. Yato bhaktir adhoksaje. Ahaituky apratihata yayatma suprasidati. If you want real peace and happiness, then you have to come to this platform, paro dharma. Material means it has no limit. "I have got so much opulence. I want more. I want more. I want more. I want more." And paro dharma? Svamin krtartho 'smi varam na yace [Cc. Madhya 22.42]. "All right, I don't want anything." This is the... (Hindi conversation)
Surendra Kumar: That I have been not following Prabhupada when so many people have. We must do our duty to do. Because of our slavery, this righteousness and earnestness has gone out of our life. We are not earnest.
Prabhupada: Anyway... (Hindi) So this is the first time an attempt to distribute. (Hindi) It is special prerogative for the Indians, to distribute this knowledge. That will glorify India's position.
Surendra Kumar: This is what he was... Vajpayee was hinting at this very thing, that we want to use this organization for spreading our spiritual heritage all over the world. And he said that "I want to utilize your organization for this purpose."
Prabhupada: So if the opportunity...
Dr. Kapoor: (Hindi)
Surendra Kumar: For the first time you have a government which has thinking of this. Otherwise what do you mean by secularism? Secular does not mean...
Prabhupada: (Hindi conversation)
Surendra Kumar: Your Divine Grace, it is our good fortune that we have such a administration...
Prabhupada: Yes.
Surendra Kumar: ...in which some of the people are... Advani, for example, and Vajpayeeji. These two people are...
Prabhupada: What is the Advani? He is other...
Surendra Kumar: They write the...
Gopala Krsna: Jan Sakirna.(?)
Surendra Kumar: Very nice. They have nothing about..., nothing of Jana-sangha. They have nothing of R.S.S... They have risen very high. They're now saying that this great country must get the rightful place in the world. Why, with all this spiritual heritage...
Prabhupada: And that should be done.
Surendra Kumar: ...with all this intellectual power, we should not be with a begging bowl.
Prabhupada: And that is my mission.
Surendra Kumar: Yes, sir. That's what I'm saying, for the first time. Otherwise nobody would have appreciated in the last government. Who was the person to talk...
Prabhupada: In the Berkeley University I was speaking. One Indian student got up, and he said, "Swamiji, what this Hare Krsna will do? Now we require technology," like that. And "Yes, you have come here to beg technology. You remain beggar. I have come to give something."
Surendra Kumar: Correct, sir.
Prabhupada: "I am not a beggar. I have come here to give something." I replied.
Surendra Kumar: Your Divine Grace was right. He wants the best of people.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is....
Surendra Kumar: Whom you want to call...
Prabhupada: So you make everything complete today. You busy man...
Surendra Kumar: No, it is not necessary to make today. Let him have your full instructions, who are the people...
Prabhupada: (Hindi)
Gopala Krsna: Yes, we'll prepare a draft and read it to you.
Prabhupada: Take every step, this inquiry. He's experienced.
Surendra Kumar: And, sir, it is very necessary to mention. I will write what Prabhupada wants that "These people should be given..."
Prabhupada: The simple thing is that they are...
Surendra Kumar: "...to get Indian citizenship because they are doing this work. They will be doing this work. And their long-time stay, permanent stay in India, will be beneficial for the great work that you have started."
Prabhupada: And actually, because they are helping me, I have been able...
Surendra Kumar: They have been giving you help.
Prabhupada: No, I mean to say, these Europeans...
Surendra Kumar: Yes, yes, I know, disciples, they are...
Prabhupada: Otherwise how could I do?
Surendra Kumar: Sir, Your Divine Grace, to be very honest, I told him in his presence that "You know that we Indians are not honest and earnest about anything. If these people have given up their life there and they are devoting and dedicated their life, let us utilize them so that..."
Prabhupada: Where is Tamala? That boy? That black boy? What is his name?
Tamala Krsna: Oh, Ghanasyama.
Prabhupada: Ghanasyama. About his activities?
Tamala Krsna: You want me to read it?
Prabhupada: Yes, yes, it is very interesting, how they are fighting against odds to introduce our movement. There is a written description.
Gopala Krsna: There's one Negro devotee of Prabhupada. They're distributing books in communist countries. So he has written a report how they are fighting against odds.
Surendra Kumar: Oh, yes, I... Quite right.
Dr. Kumar: Ghanasyama came here last year.
Gopala Krsna: Yes. That Negro boy.
Surendra Kumar: I told him that "These people will form the hard core, and that, our organization will be organized and then..." He also said that so many temples are dying out.
Prabhupada: It will develop. (Hindi conversation) Thakur has become a source of income.
Surendra Kumar: I told him, "We are ready to take over the temples and run away from..." But, as Prabhupada rightly said, everybody now has made it an institution for...
Prabhupada: For earning money.
Surendra Kumar: ...for material advancement.
Prabhupada: As we have got...
Dr. Kumar: No, I tell you, there are people... You see, if you tell them that "Come on, we shall spend a lakh or two lakhs of rupees on this temple. Are you agreeable?" they will say, "No." I have that experience. Why? Because if a temple is not in good condition, they go out, meet people and say, "Look here, this is the condition of the temple. Could you not donate something?"
Prabhupada: No, I tried. Radha-Damodara Temple, I have tried.
Dr. Kumar: It's a regular source of business for them. And if the temple is renovated, that source will stop. It is in their interest that the temple may never, is never renovated so that...
Surendra Kumar: They can continuously beg over.
Dr. Kumar: Continuously beg.
Tamala Krsna: You want me to read this, Srila Prabhupada?
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Tamala Krsna: "Dear Srila Prabhupada..." This is a black devotee. "Please forgive me for my countless offenses against you and the entire Vaisnava community. In desperation I beg that you accept my apology for being such an artificial devotee. My humble obeisances I quickly offer to you. I am simply praying every day for you to force me to become a true disciple. Otherwise I will be doomed."
Prabhupada: How humble he is!
Tamala Krsna: "Spiritual life means to please the Gurudeva..."
Prabhupada: He was a principal somewhere?
Tamala Krsna: This boy was the top of his class in Yale University. He's the president of the class, top man in the entire graduating class. (continues reading letter describing preaching activities and book distribution in Communist Yugoslavia) Sometimes my life is being threatened or sought after by the authorities. Still..."
Prabhupada: It is very dangerous work.
Tamala Krsna: "Still Lord Caitanya always gives me protection..." (continues reading letter)
Surendra Kumar: Wonderful.
Prabhupada: What is the news?
Surendra Kumar: Is he permanently staying there?
Gopala Krsna: No, traveling around.
Surendra Kumar: Because I know two very powerful Indians who have settled there.
Prabhupada: The sales report, book report.
Tamala Krsna: Book sales report?
Prabhupada: Hm. (background conversation about Ghanasyama and preaching in Communist countries)
Surendra Kumar: Actually, what you are doing nobody else has been doing in the past.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Surendra Kumar: Everybody is aware of our great heritage except ourselves. That is the most unfortunate thing.
Prabhupada: The sales report, what is?
Tamala Krsna: This is sales report we just received. It's as of March 6, 1977. It reports the book sales in each language up to date. (reads book distribution figures)
Surendra Kumar: Can I have a copy of this?
Tamala Krsna: Yeah.
Surendra Kumar: Your Divine Grace, when I will write the personal letter to...
Prabhupada: Give him whatever he wants.
Surendra Kumar: He has stayed with me for one night and one day. I want to have a personal talk with him. (tells about important people who have stayed at his home)
Prabhupada: Whatever you want, you take.
Surendra Kumar: What I want to (indistinct) "You have been giving the (indistinct) to this man because so many books are being... Here is a man, Indian, whose 550 lakhs of books have been sold. Not a single Indian born up to, from..."
Prabhupada: Yes.
Surendra Kumar: "...who has written and whose so many copies have been sold over... What are you doing if you can't help this organization?" Because there must be facts...
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Surendra Kumar: And the facts must be so brought out, and that will make a new impact on his mind. That must be done. I told him, "You are a worthy man whose two lakhs of books were sold, three lakhs of books. Here is a person, crores of books have been sold. And we should cultivate him as a friend."
Prabhupada: So whatever materials he wants, give him.
Gopala Krsna: Oh, yes, definitely.
Prabhupada: He went to show into foreign language, foreign religion, Caitanya-caritamrta. Just see. (laughs) Standing order they give. (Hindi) This Indian culture, push on. Don't keep it lock up.
Surendra Kumar: Under your guidance...
Prabhupada: Don't keep it lock up. Sarasvati jnana-khale yada sati. These words are there in the Srimad-Bhagavata. (Hindi)
Surendra Kumar: Prabhupada, this man, this literature he understands. He himself composes poetry in Urdu as well as in Hindi. And he likes that our Indian culture and our heritage must be spread all over.
Prabhupada: So here is the opportunity. Come and join together.
Surendra Kumar: He is fond of these things.
Prabhupada: And we have got standard. We haven't got to manufacture.
Surendra Kumar: No, there is nothing to manufacture.
Prabhupada: No, not... Everything is there. Everything is there.
Surendra Kumar: So only these things have to be brought to his knowledge.
Prabhupada: That's all.
Surendra Kumar: I am a person. I am a devotee. I did not get all this information because the book, that journal that you publish, that also did you not get such data.
Prabhupada: And the Supreme Person is delivering Himself as Krsna and Vedavyasa. Vedavyasa is incarnation of Krsna. So Krsna is..., mattah parataram nanyat [Bg. 7.7], the supreme man, Supreme Being. He is giving the knowledge, and we have to, have to... Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission is, just distribute what the Supreme Person has given to you. Yare dekha tare kaha 'krsna'-upadesa [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. So you haven't got to manufacture. You haven't got to become a scholar.
Surendra Kumar: Yes, I know, you have always been telling that is not what you're saying. What Krsna said, you tell them...
Prabhupada: That's all right. This is very easy. So I am not a scholar. I am simply... Whatever is said there, I am trying to distribute in a palatable way. That's all. It is not my manufacture. And that is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's... Amara ajnaya guru hana tara ei desa [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. You all become guru. "How can I become guru? I have no education. I have no knowledge." No, you haven't got to acquire all these things. That is already... Yare dekha tare kaha. Finished. So I never tried to become a scholar. But I tried, whatever is spoken by Krsna, deliver. That's all. And that is guru. If some...
Dr. Kumar: Srila Prabhupada, you should rest now.
Prabhupada: Eh? No...
Surendra Kumar: Talking too much with Your Divine Grace, we have put you through lot of strain.
Prabhupada: (Hindi)
Gopala Krsna: He has here nice room. He's had prasadam. He had lunch with us.
Surendra Kumar: Everything is your mercy, Divine Grace.
Prabhupada: (Hindi conversation) How long we have left Bombay?
Tamala Krsna: We left Bombay about a month and a half ago.
Prabhupada: (Hindi) ...recommended that... What is that?
Tamala Krsna: Hrishikesh.
Prabhupada: (Hindi) (Hindi conversation)
Dr. Kumar: Going and coming, you see, that gives him a lot of strain.
Tamala Krsna: Oh, yes. Prabhupada feels at home here in Vrndavana.
Dr. Kumar: Mentally as well as physically.
Prabhupada: Yes. I am feeling... (Hindi)
Dr. Kumar: You have fulfilled the mission of your life. You, if at all you pass away, you'll pass with that satisfaction which...
Prabhupada: (Hindi) Gurukula building... (Hindi conversation) Very, very... Very exalted building.
Dr. Kumar: (Hindi) You got it here or at Bombay?
Prabhupada: Where we got that, that...?
Dr. Kumar: My book?
Tamala Krsna: We got it here in Vrndavana.
Dr. Kumar: (Hindi) Philosophical background of the Hare Krsna movement, so that people may know that this is not a new religion. It's well founded. I've traced the history, the development of Vaisnavism, earliest Vedic period to the present. (Hindi)
Prabhupada: (Hindi) "The Hare Krsna movement is genuine, bona fide." (Hindi) So you are ready? (Hindi) Hare Krsna. [break] (Hindi conversation) [break]
Tamala Krsna: The only explanation can be that Krsna is in everyone's heart.
Prabhupada: Yes. Buddhi-yogam dadami tam: "I give him intelligence."
Tamala Krsna: In the Krsna book there's the part where Lord Brahma steals away all the calves and children, so then Krsna gives Himself instead. So...
Prabhupada: Not gives. He exands Him...
Tamala Krsna: Expands Himself. So Balarama is wondering, "How is it possible that everyone is so attracted?" Then the explanation is, "He's Krsna." So these books are there. People are automatically attracted. I don't think they're so attracted to any other books.
Prabhupada: No, what other books? Rubbish. I say, rubbish. There is no book. Mental speculation is not book. Garbage.
Tamala Krsna: Food for crows.
Prabhupada: (laughs) Yes. It is garbage. Tad-vaga-visarga-janata..., pragrnita, tad vayasa-tirtham: "Garbage for the crows." Yes. No swan will come there. That is already explained. Krsna has at least saved us from reading this garbage. We are not interested with any book or newspaper or anything. We kicked out. At least I am not interested in reading any other except Bhagavata. That is there. Punah punas carvi... Sex literature, nonsense. "Phu!" Mukha-vikarah bhava... Tad-avadhi bata nari-sangame smaryamane bhavati mukha-vikarah susthu nisthivanam. This is the real... Hm. Let us go to the...
Yasodanandana: Jaya Srila Prabhupada. [break]
Prabhupada: You open the door and close. And keep open. Why it is... [break] They will close the closet, and I'll open the door. Close it and go on, open and go on, throne, this... (Hindi) Very well. [break] There is a agent preparing the stolen papers.(?) That now...
Tamala Krsna: Every time I go to the marketplace... [break]
Prabhupada: And well done, to the next fair(?). What I have got? In the Deity room silver stand, silver lamp, silver plate. I do not find this. [break] ...is known there.
Tamala Krsna: Yeah. Seems like more varieties of living entities take birth in Bharatavarsa than anywhere else. I don't find... So many different kinds of bugs are there. Here every day a new bug comes out, new type of bug.
Prabhupada: Not new. You see new. They are all existing.
Tamala Krsna: They hatch. (end)

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