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740614 - Conversation - Paris
(Conversation with Professor Oliver La Combe, Director of the Sorbonne University)
Bhagavān: This book is being published in twelve volumes.
Professor Lacombe: Yes. It's (indistinct).
Bhagavān: Yale University. I think you are familiar with Yale University in the United States. They have already placed advanced order for all these volumes.
Professor Lacombe: (French with Jyotirmayī)
Prabhupāda: We are translating the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and other Vedic literature. You have seen the sample, original verse, word-to-word meaning, then translation, then giving a purport.
Professor Lacombe: You wrote the commentary.
Professor Lacombe: What is the paramparā from Caitanya?
Prabhupāda: From Caitanya Mahāprabhu? Yes. The six Gosvāmīs: Rūpa, Sanātana, Bhaṭṭa Raghunātha, Śrī Jīva, Gopāla Bhaṭṭa, Dāsa Raghunātha. The six Gosvāmīs. Then from the Gosvāmīs there is Śrīnivāsācārya.
Professor Lacombe: Śrīnivāsa.
Prabhupāda: Śrīnivāsācārya. Then from him, I think, this Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, and then Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura. Then Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, then Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī, then Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, then Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, then my Guru Mahārāja. Next we are. I am the tenth or eleventh, eleventh from Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Professor Lacombe: And you have come to a round visit to the West now?
Prabhupāda: I have come several times.
Professor Lacombe: Yes, but this time.
Prabhupāda: This time, yes, just to see my centers. I have got many...
Professor Lacombe: This is your Paris establishment?
Prabhupāda: Yes, Paris establishment, yes.
Professor Lacombe: Formerly you were in the south of..., in the banlieu (suburbs).
Jyotirmayī: Yes, before.
French devotee: At Fontenay-aux-Roses.
Jyotirmayī: One year ago we came here in Paris.
Professor Lacombe: It's of course more noisy and..., but its more easy and more convenient. When was this Paris center started?
Jyotirmayī: It started four years ago.
Professor Lacombe: Four years ago. And this is your first visit to this center?
Prabhupāda: No, this is the fourth visit.
Professor Lacombe: Fourth visit, every year.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Last year also I came. I installed the Deity.
Professor Lacombe: You now come right from Vṛndāvana or...?
Prabhupāda: Yes, I am coming from Vṛndāvana, of course, via Delhi. Then Rome, then Geneva, then Paris. Then I shall go to Frankfurt. And from there I shall go to Sydney, Australia.
Professor Lacombe: Oh, this is not the direct way. (laughs)
Bhagavān: We have a Ratha-yātrā festival. You have heard of this festival, from Jagannātha Purī?
Professor Lacombe: Yes, of course. I have been there.
Bhagavān: We have this festival in very big, in the same scale, in Australia, London, San Francisco, Chicago.
Prabhupāda: Where is that poster? Australia? Yes.
Bhagavān: And in all these cities we are joined... In San Francisco there are ten thousand people who come at least every year to help pull the carts and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: In Chicago also, Philadelphia, there will be Ratha-yātrā. This is the...
Satsvarūpa: (showing poster) This is for Melbourne, Australia, Ratha-yātrā parade, picture of the parade last year.
Professor Lacombe: Last year.
Prabhupāda: No, this year they are advertising.
Professor Lacombe: Which is to come.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.
Satsvarūpa: This is a poster that Haṁsadūta sent for Frankfurt for next week.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. This is German language.
Professor Lacombe: And all is in the vicinity of Frankfurt.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu predicted. You understand little Bengali? Do you understand...
Professor Lacombe: Bengali not. Sanskrit, but not...
Prabhupāda: The Bengali words,
- pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi grāma
- sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma
- (CB Antya-khaṇḍa 4.126)
Pṛthivīte—this is Sanskrit—"all over the world;" āche, "there are"; yata, "as many"; nagarādi grāma, nagara, "towns...,"
Professor Lacombe: Cities and villages.
Prabhupāda: Cities, yes, villages; sarvatra...,
Professor Lacombe: Everywhere.
Prabhupāda: ..."everywhere"; pracāra, "propaganda" or "publicity," pracāra; haibe, "there will be"; mora nāma, Caitanya Mahāprabhu's name. So now it is being so. All over the world we have got branches, and they know Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Hare Kṛṣṇa. Hare Kṛṣṇa movement means Caitanya Mahāprabhu's. So that is being now propagated.
- pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi grāma
- sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma
- (CB Antya-khaṇḍa 4.126)
Professor Lacombe: I understand.
Prabhupāda: So He predicted, and by His great will it is being propagated.
Professor Lacombe: How many (indistinct)?
Prabhupāda: We have got about hundred branches, and each branch, there are not less than twenty-five up to 250. So average, if you take one hundred, then it is ten thousand. Yes. Ten thousand. And all of them are young, within thirty, within thirty. So... And they are trying to understand the philosophy very nicely, even these girls. She knows. In India, even the big, big learned scholars, they are—Indian scholar, I mean—they were surprised when some of my the students, young students, girls and boys, were speaking in Navadvīpa.
Professor Lacombe: You have all been to India?
Bhagavān: Not all. Some of us.
Professor Lacombe: Not all. Some of you.
Bhagavān: We have a very big center in Māyāpur.
Prabhupāda: Navadvīpa, the birthplace of Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Professor Lacombe: I have been in Navadvīpa.
Prabhupāda: I see.
Professor Lacombe: Long ago, in 1936.
Prabhupāda: 1936. Did you see my Guru Mahārāja?
Professor Lacombe: No.
Prabhupāda: No. He passed away in 1936 in December. In December.
Professor Lacombe: No, I have not seen him. Probably he was already ill or... He was ill.
Prabhupāda: Bhaktisiddhānta Saras... That is the photograph of my guru. His Guru Mahārāja and his Guru Mahārāja...
Professor Lacombe: And so on.
Prabhupāda: Yes. This is paramparā.
- evaṁ paramparā-prāptam
- imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
- (BG 4.2)
Bhagavad-gītā. (aside:) Find out this.
Professor Lacombe: And how do you...? It was one of your pupils who spoke about Rāmānuja.
Prabhupāda: Yes, Rāmānuja. He belongs to the Śrī-sampradāya.
Professor Lacombe: Yes. But there is a connection.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. All the Vaiṣṇava ācāryas, they are connected. Yes. Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī, Nimbārka. So we belong to Madhvācārya.
Professor Lacombe: To?
Prabhupāda: Madhvācārya. Caitanya Mahāprabhu belonged to Madhvācārya. Madhvācārya was direct disciple of Vyāsadeva, and by paramparā, Mādhavendra Purī. Then from Mādhavendra Purī, Īśvara Purī. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu accepted Īśvara Purī as His spiritual master. So we belong to this Madhvācārya-sampradāya. Madhvācārya-sampradāya or Brahma-sampradāya. The sampradāya, the disciplic succession, is coming from Lord Brahmā. Brahmā's disciple is Nārada. Nārada's disciple is Vyāsadeva. And Vyāsadeva's disciple is Madhvācārya. And from Madhvācārya, Mādhavendra Purī, Īśvara Purī. Then Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Then we are, Caitan..., like that.
Professor Lacombe: One of you mentioned, because I had made a translation of first..., the beginning of the Śrī-bhāṣya, Rāmānuja.
Prabhupāda: Ācchā. Śrī-bhāṣya, Bhagavad-gītā?
Professor Lacombe: No. The Śrī-bhāṣya, the Brahma-sūtra bhāṣya. Unfortunately, it is out of print.
Prabhupāda: I see.
Professor Lacombe: So one of you, I think...
Devotee: I mentioned about Rāmānujācārya.
Professor Lacombe: Yes. You can read it in the library, but unfortunately, it is out of print. Yes. It is a complete translation of the first part, you see, 850 pages, with the text and notes.
Prabhupāda: Oh, I see. Just like we do text and transliteration?
Professor Lacombe: The text is in nāgarī.
Bhagavān: There are synonyms in your translation? Do you give the synonym for the word?
Satsvarūpa: This style here. Prabhupāda gives the Bengali...
Professor Lacombe: Transliteration?
Satsvarūpa: Translation, for pronunciation.
Professor Lacombe: No, no, there is no transliteration.
Satsvarūpa: Translation, purport or notes.
Professor Lacombe: No, there is only translation and notes. But some of the synonyms are in the notes. And the purport also comes in in the notes when necessary.
Bhagavān: You are teaching a course now?
Professor Lacombe: I finished. The year is finished.
Bhagavān: Yes. You were teaching a course?
Professor Lacombe: Not on this...
Bhagavān: What was the name of that course?
Jyotirmayī: He was teaching the Tenth Canto.
Professor Lacombe: Comparative philosophy, the Indian branch.
Jyotirmayī: But this year you were teaching the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Professor Lacombe: Yes. That was one of them, actually, with other courses. But I am retiring, finished, you see. I retire to come...
Prabhupāda: So comparative philosophy, Māyāvāda, that Advaita-vāda, Dvaita-vāda, Viśiṣṭādvaita. Which of them you like? Or you remain simply student? You remain neutral, or you like some philosophy?
Professor Lacombe: I try to be objective, but not neutral. (laughs) I have more personal affinity with Śaṅkara, er, with Rāmānuja than with Śaṅkara.
Prabhupāda: That, Rāmānuja...
Professor Lacombe: Personal...
Bhagavān: Personal attraction.
Professor Lacombe: Yes. Although, of course, I try... I have written another book on Śaṅkara and Rāmānuja compared, you see.
Prabhupāda: I see.
Professor Lacombe: The notions of Brahman and ātman both in Śaṅkara and Rāmānuja. That one is not out of print. It is called in French L'Absolute selons les Vedānta.
Prabhupāda: But Śaṅkarācārya has accepted Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sa bhagavān svayaṁ kṛṣṇaḥ devakī-putraḥ. He has written like that in his comment on Bhagavad-gītā.
Professor Lacombe: Bhagavad-gītā, yes.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So... And all the ācāryas, Vaiṣṇava ācāryas, they accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So practically, amongst the authorities, Indian ācāryas, everyone accepts Kṛṣṇa the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Rāmānujācārya has written his bhāṣya on Bhagavad-gītā.
Professor Lacombe: I read it. Yes. And Śaṅkara's also. Both.
Prabhupāda: Rāmānujācārya has not written. Śaṅkara has written. Śarīraka-bhāṣya, Vedānta-sūtra. He has written comment on Bhagavad-gītā.
Professor Lacombe: Yes, and Rāmānuja.
Prabhupāda: Rāmānujācārya also. Also Śrīdhara Svāmī. Śrīdhara Svāmī, he has written. He belongs to Viṣṇu Svāmī–sampradāya. And our Gauḍīya-Vaiṣṇava, Viśvanātha Cakravartī, he has written comments. And Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura.
Professor Lacombe: Oh, yes, there is long list of commentaries on the Gītā.
Prabhupāda: Yes. There are ten ṭīkās.
Professor Lacombe: This is published...?
Professor Lacombe: Where is it printed?
Bhagavān: It is printed in Japan. And we have our publishing house in New York.
Professor Lacombe: In New York. Yes. This is the second volume of the first..., Ādi-līlā.
Prabhupāda: Yes. This is second. Ādi-līlā, yes.
Bhagavān: You are familiar with Caitanya Mahāprabhu's philosophy?
Professor Lacombe: Yes. You see, I started Sanskrit and Indian studies in 1929, when we were abroad.
Prabhupāda: You have been in India several times.
Professor Lacombe: Many times, yes.
Prabhupāda: Where did you stay generally?
Professor Lacombe: In several places, but mainly in Calcutta.
Professor Lacombe: Mainly in Calcutta. But in many other places too.
Prabhupāda: Calcutta where?
Professor Lacombe: Park Mansions, Park Street, near Asiatic Society.
Prabhupāda: Park Street. Asiatic Society.
Professor Lacombe: Not far from.
Prabhupāda: Yes, I know that. It is just on the junction of Park Street and Chowringee. Calcutta is my birthplace.
Professor Lacombe: You were born in Calcutta.
Prabhupāda: Yes. All our former relatives, they are in Calcutta.
Professor Lacombe: Even now.
Professor Lacombe: I think the situation is better now in Calcutta. Improving.
Prabhupāda: Yes, little better.
Professor Lacombe: Because my last visit there was in 1970, and it was the worst moment. But I hear that it is improving.
Prabhupāda: Improving, yes. Just near that Asiatic Society we held our Hare Kṛṣṇa Festival in front of, I think, the museum.
Professor Lacombe: Yes, on Chowringee.
Prabhupāda: Yes, and it was very successful. Daily, thirty thousand people were assembling.
Professor Lacombe: This year?
Prabhupāda: (break) ...God conscious. So the leaders suppressing. This is the present position. The leaders are more or less Communists, and they are suppressing their natural outflow, and that is the position now.
Professor Lacombe: But I think that nowadays the situation in Calcutta is... At least in Calcutta is better. You would not have the same kind of difficulties this year, I suppose.
Prabhupāda: No, it is easier now. In 1970, '69, there was no security. When you go out, there is no security whether you'll come back. Yes. (to devotee) You were at that time there? No.
Devotee: No, I arrived there just after. I arrived in Bombay when that was happening. The Naxalites...
Prabhupāda: Any man walking on the street can be killed. It was the situation.
Devotee: Especially any rich man or politician.
Professor Lacombe: The Vice Chancellor of Jadavpur University was killed the day before I arrived in Calcutta.
Prabhupāda: Old gentleman?
Professor Lacombe: Yes. And he was retiring. He was still in activity, but he was soon retiring, and he was walking from the University campus to his home, not far, a short walk. And he was killed by one of these...
Professor Lacombe: Naxalites or somebody of the same kind. I don't know exactly. And he was not a politician at all. He had no political activities.
Devotee: Still, nowadays, they are having strikes every day, big marches, processions.
Professor Lacombe: Oh, strikes, perhaps, yes, but no killing.
Devotee: And just before I left there they had a big strike where some of the younger Communist kids, they got out in the street and they stopped all the buses, traffic, and told the drivers to leave their cars. They burned a couple of cars and buses. But it is not as bad as it used to be.
Professor Lacombe: Now it is better.
Prabhupāda: Actually, there was no government.
Professor Lacombe: At that time, yes.
Professor Lacombe: They lacked authority. In Vṛndāvana there has never been such kind of trouble.
Prabhupāda: Yes. And the airport, these international flights, they are not going. They stop only to take petrol, and no passengers going. That has hampered very much India's tourist department. Because no respectable..., respectable or nonrespect..., no airlines, just like BOAC and other big, big, they are not going. The minister of tourist department, he has several times requested that "You also come." There are no tourists coming in India.
Professor Lacombe: Where is your maṭha in Vṛndāvana? In Vṛndāvana proper?
Prabhupāda: Yes. You have been in Vṛndāvana?
Professor Lacombe: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Where did you stay?
Professor Lacombe: I did not stay. I just visit, went around.
Prabhupāda: I see.
Professor Lacombe: And it was long ago.
Prabhupāda: There is a place, Ramaṇa-reti. Did you see that Oriental Philosophical Institution?
Professor Lacombe: It was not yet started at that time.
Prabhupāda: No, it was there, 1970. No, when you went to Vṛndāvana?
Professor Lacombe: Thirty-six or '7.
Prabhupāda: Thirty-six? Oh, yes. It was not started. Yes. Ramaṇa-reti, there is a road from Vṛndāvana to..., connecting with the road from Delhi to Agra. That road is called Chattikara, Chattikara Road. So on that road we have got our temple. It is locally known as Ramaṇa-reti.
Professor Lacombe: After Mathurā.
Prabhupāda: After Mathurā. It is Vṛndāvana, Vṛndāvana. There is a shortcut. Formerly... The road is very old road, from Delhi to Vṛndāvana, taking a turn at the place known as Chattikara. So on that road we are constructing our temple.
Professor Lacombe: Constructing now?
Prabhupāda: No, it is finished.
Professor Lacombe: It is ancient? But you are...
Bhagavān: (to devotee) Do you have the photographs?
Yogeśvara: Don't think so. Some slides somewhere.
Professor Lacombe: But that is an old shrine. It is not a new establishment.
Prabhupāda: Yes. No, formerly I was staying. I have got my place there also, one of the oldest temple, Rādhā-Dāmodara temple. Rādhā-Dāmodara. It was... This temple was established by Jīva Gosvāmī. There are seven important temples: Govindajī's temple, Madana-Mohana, Rādhā-Dāmodara, Rādhā-Ramaṇa and...
Prabhupāda: Not Giridhārī. That is later.
Prabhupāda: Gopīnātha, yes. So Gopīnātha temple, Madana-Mohana temple, Rādhā-Dāmodara temple, Śyāmasundara and Gokulānanda, Gokulānanda. These are old seven temples. Later on, other big, big temples, Raṅganātha temple and Gaekwar temple, like that, Jaipur temple, they came into existence. But there are five thousand temples in Vṛndāvana's city, municipal area. Practically each house is a temple. In every house there is Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Deity and being worshiped by some devotees. The Ārya-samājī movement... You know something about Ārya-samāja?
Professor Lacombe: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Dayananda Sarasvati, he made vigorous propaganda against temple worship. Nobody cared. (laughs) Nobody...
Professor Lacombe: Even now, nowadays, now they are...
Prabhupāda: No, their influence is gone, Ārya-samāja.
Professor Lacombe: No, I mean the Ārya-samāja is no more very active now.
Prabhupāda: They cannot active, because whatever activity they had, they finished. The stock and energy is gone.
Professor Lacombe: How long will you stay in Paris?
Prabhupāda: I am going on Sunday morning.
Professor Lacombe: To Frankfurt.
Professor Lacombe: And then you stay a little longer.
Prabhupāda: I will stay there one week, and then, on the 23rd...
Prabhupāda: No, 23rd.
Satsvarūpa: June 23rd we fly to Sydney. We stop in Bombay one day.
Professor Lacombe: It will be very hot now in Bombay.
Prabhupāda: Now it is..., might be raining.
Professor Lacombe: Yes, it might be raining.
Prabhupāda: Because from 10th June monsoon begins. Bombay is not too hot as Vṛndāvana, as Vṛndāvana.
Professor Lacombe: On account of the seashore.
Prabhupāda: Ah. Vṛndāvana is very hot. Vṛndāvana is very hot.
Bhagavān: If you go back to India, you can..., you are welcome to stay in our temples.
Professor Lacombe: In Vṛndāvana.
Bhagavān: In Vṛndāvana. We have Māyāpur, near Navadvīpa. And we also purchased some very nice land outside of Bombay, Juhu.
Professor Lacombe: Yes, I know.
Devotee: Hyderabad and Calcutta. In Delhi also, we have a nice center there.
Professor Lacombe: What part is it in?
Devotee: It's in West End. It is very close to the airport.
Professor Lacombe: And in Calcutta?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Near Park Street, Camac Street.
Professor Lacombe: Camac Street I know.
Devotee: By Hindi High School. Very nice, old... It was called the Rai Castle. It used to be occupied by some governors. (devotee gives the professor some prasādam)
Professor Lacombe: Thank you very much. Just a little.
Devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda, during that time of the Naxalites you had mentioned that after that program, you said due to the effects of our program, it stopped all that Naxalite movement. Because very shortly after we had that pandal in the Maidan, the whole Naxalite movement was finished. You said due to that, because we purified the atmosphere...
Prabhupāda: That's a fact.
Devotee: ...with chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. The government could do nothing. The police were helpless.
Professor Lacombe: And the festival in Sydney will take a long time?
Yogeśvara: Sydney festival is for how many days?
Devotee: I think it's just for one day.
Prabhupāda: On the 29th.
Yogeśvara: One day, 29th of June. Ratha-yātrā festival, like in Jagannātha Purī.
Professor Lacombe: Today it is better here, little warmer. These days were unusually cool for this time of year.
Yogeśvara: How are you feeling? When we went to visit you in your office, it wasn't sure whether you could come, because you were not feeling very well.
Professor Lacombe: I am not very well, no.
Prabhupāda: What is your age?
Professor Lacombe: I got cold.
Prabhupāda: No, age.
Professor Lacombe: Oh, I shall be seventy after three weeks.
Prabhupāda: Oh. I am also seventy-eight. But your health is better than me. You have got your natural teeth?
Professor Lacombe: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Oh, then very good. (laughter)
Professor Lacombe: This is a nice...
Prabhupāda: Yes, this place is nice.
Professor Lacombe: Nice view. Not too noisy. I wonder how? Because you are on the small street.
Bhagavān: Tonight Śrīla Prabhupāda is giving conference at Salle Pleyel.
Professor Lacombe: Yes, I know. Tonight. I have seen. This?
Prabhupāda: This is a picture. I do not know wherefrom they have collected. (laughter)
Bhagavān: It is from Yogeśvara.
Prabhupāda: It is supposed that the gopīs are looking to the picture of Kṛṣṇa, is it not?
Professor Lacombe: Yes. Very likely.
Prabhupāda: But this picture also appears to be searching out Aniruddha.
Prabhupāda: Uṣā, yes.
Yogeśvara: Yes, that's right. She showed her a picture. Because she had never seen Aniruddha.
Prabhupāda: She saw only in dream. So her friend Citralekhā showed. She showed that "Find out whom you dreamed." Then she pointed out.
Professor Lacombe: I remember that. In the...
Prabhupāda: Yes, in the Bhāgavata.
Professor Lacombe: I could not recognize from this...
Prabhupāda: So immediately she brought from Dvārakā-dhāma palace direct to the palace of Uṣā. Vyom... What is called, the asura? What is his name?
Prabhupāda: Bhaumāsura. Bāṇāsura, Bāṇāsura. The picture, where is that picture, find out. Bāṇāsura. Bāṇāsura was appreciating, "Oh, very nice couple." But he had to challenge, "Why you have entered my palace and talking with my unmarried girl?"
Bhagavān: Yes. This is the Kṛṣṇa book that Śrīla Prabhupāda has written. It is a summary of the Tenth Canto. And all these paintings, these are done by our artists in New York. (pause)
Professor Lacombe: I'm afraid I should go now.
Jyotirmayī: Yes. Monsieur Lacombe has a course.
Professor Lacombe: Not a course but a meeting. And as the traffic is rather thick now, it is better to not to take a chance. I should not be late.
Prabhupāda: All right. Thank you very much.
Professor Lacombe: Thank you very much.
Prabhupāda: Jaya. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (break)
Yogeśvara: ...on a book. It is accepted as being authentic. All the universities use his texts. And he has a big office in the Sorbonne. The Sorbonne is the most famous French university.
Prabhupāda: He is a big man.
Bhagavān: Actually, it's not famous; it's infamous.
Bhagavān: No? Actually, they're not famous; they're infamous
Prabhupāda: No, why infamous? They are famous. Why do you say infamous?
Bhagavān: Well, I thought fame only referred to devotee.
Bhagavān: I thought fame was to be referred to..., for devotee.
Prabhupāda: That is your sentiment. But practical world, he is a scholar, he is a head man of a department, a university. He must be famous.
Devotee: I just saw that... Maybe you knew the latest headlines in the newspapers today were "President Nixon is found innocent."
Prabhupāda: Oh, ācchā?
Devotee: They said he was found innocent.
Prabhupāda: Who is?
Devotee: President Nixon
Prabhupāda: In the court?
Devotee: Yes. Because... You knew about the Watergate case. He was caught...
Yogeśvara: Prabhupāda knows about the story. He knows the incident. He was found innocent by who? By a court?
Devotee: Yes, by the whole government. He had done some cheating and campaign, making secret tape recordings against the other party.
Prabhupāda: He did?
Prabhupāda: And still he is innocent?
Devotee: Yes. He paid so many millions, thousands and thousands of dollars. His party, the Republican party, they put microphones and everything in the convention of the Democrats, and had spies and everything, in order that he could find out their tricks. He had paid all these men, and they were all fired.
Prabhupāda: So that is not bad, because in politics you have to do that. (laughter) Everyone does so. What is Nixon's fault?
Devotee: But only he got caught. And all of his men quit.
Prabhupāda: No, no. Suppose you are my rival. So I wanted to know your secrecies, so I make some mechanical arrangement. That is not fault. That is not... Everyone does so. Why do you expect that he will not do that? He must do that. If you are my rival or enemy, to know your secrecy I must endeavor to do everything. As you are doing, so I am.
Devotee: They were bribing men. They had paid them money and everything to do these things.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So bribing men, everywhere it is going on.
Devotee: According to the American government it is illegal to... Each person has his own plans, and it is illegal to find out the other's. But now they said he is innocent.
Prabhupāda: Court says.
Devotee: The United States government. They had a big trial and everything. So they found tapes and everything, but there was some missing tapes. They could not directly pin him for the whole thing. He said, "I didn't know anything about it." He says, "My men were just doing it. I never told them to do it. They did it on their own, for me. They liked me so much, they were just doing it. I never paid them."
Yogeśvara: Isn't the kṣatriya qualities that he is to be trustworthy?
Prabhupāda: No. When there is political game, everyone does everything to gain his victory.
Yogeśvara: Just like during any war they always...
Prabhupāda: Politics, these things are allowed. Just like killing, fighting, kṣatriya's fighting. That killing is allowed. But killing is not allowed generally. Kṛṣṇa has killed so many. If you take from moral point of view, He's sometimes immoral. He has killed His maternal uncle, Kaṁsa, and Śiśupāla, Śiśupāla, his cousin-brother. And Balarāma killed Rukma. Once He saved him, and another time, that Aniruddha's marriage, or something like that..., Balarāma killed Rukma, the brother of Rukmiṇī. They were family relatives. But there was some misunderstanding in chess playing, that other party, Rukma, he was cheating by tricks. The Balarāma became so angry, they killed him. So in politics amongst the kṣatriyas, these things are not uncommon.
Devotee: But isn't that not good, because the, like, politicians nowadays, when they are running their campaign, they say so many lies and everything to the public, that "When I am elected, I will do this and I will do that," and they do so many... They pay off so many people in order that they can become elected. So always the good persons are... I guess they also have to cheat in order to get in position, but usually the...
Prabhupāda: Therefore we have stopped our political activities. It is not good. It will be hampering to our spiritual understanding.
Devotee: Hmm. Because we will also have to do that.
Prabhupāda: If you want to dance, you cannot be shy. There is a Bengali proverb, nate vase guṇṭhana tana(?). You understand Bengali? No. That "When you are going to dance... A girl, or a lady, is supposed to dance in the platform, in the stage, and when she came, she saw thousands of people. Then she drew her veil, what is called, guṇṭhana, became little ashamed. So "You are going to dance. What is the use of veiling yourself?" So similarly, when one takes part in politics, if you don't take all the tactics of politics, then you cannot gain ground.
Devotee: But more and more the people, especially in America, they are seeing how these politicians are cheating. Because every year, in every campaign, the same politician is saying, "I will do this, I will do that," and when he gets into office, he never does anything. But maybe now this time, when our Kṛṣṇa conscious devotees are running and they are showing the people what rascals... Just like Balavanta on TV, he was saying, "How can these peoples be leader, when they are themselves permitting slaughter, drinking, smoking, having illicit sex life?"
Prabhupāda: That is a fact. That is a fact. But why the leader? The public also drinks. They also encourage slaughterhouse. So if you say to the public that "They cannot be leader," then there is no leader. They cannot find out any leader. The public will understand that "I also eat meat, I also drink, do the same thing. Why the leader should be something saintly person? After all, he is our leader. So we are of the same character. So why the leader should be something different?" They cannot understand it.
Devotee: Therefore we must cheat.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Suppose I am thief and somebody accuses you that "He is a thief." So I don't take it seriously, because I know, "I am also thief." (chuckles) So, but this appeal, that does not appeal, because "It is folly to be wise where ignorance is bliss." If everyone is thief, if you point out somebody that "He is thief. He cannot be trusted," then he knows that "I am also thief. It is not a big problem. I am also thief." Unless the whole public is sinless, he cannot appreciate a sinless leader. Chore chore mastuto bhāi(?). This is natural. If I am thief, so what is the use of accusing you by other, "He is also thief." You'll take that "We all are thieves, all cousin-brothers; so why this man should be only accused?"
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Is it not a vicious circle, though. Without a pure leader, they cannot be pure themselves.
Prabhupāda: But they cannot understand. The vicious circle, they will not be able to understand, because he is also vicious.
Devotee: Therefore just like Kṛṣṇa, during the battle of Kurukṣetra, he told Arjuna to do so many things. He told Yudhiṣṭhira to lie. When he said, "Aśvatthāmā has been killed," he said Aśvatthāmā the elephant, he said the elephant...
Prabhupāda: Yes, that was a tactics. So...
Devotee: And also when Karṇa... Arjuna killed Karṇa when he was off his chariot.
Prabhupāda: The difficulty is, "It is folly to be wise where ignorance is bliss." Better you keep yourself ideal character, that people can see that "Here is a ideal group of men." Otherwise, in politics... They are feeling the necessity of an honest leader, but they are themself dishonest, the people. So when you point out that "This leader is dishonest," they do not very much appreciate. There is a story in this connection I will tell you, that one man was drunkard. So his friend said, "You are drinking. You will go to hell." "Oh, my father also drinks." "Oh, he will also go to hell." "My mother also drinks." "Oh, she will also go to hell." In this way, all the family member, they scrutinizingly studying that all of them were drunkards. You see? Then the man who was accused of drinking, he said, "If everyone is going to hell, then hell is heaven. (laughter) Because my father is going there, mother is going there, my brother is going there, I shall go there. It is heaven. Where is hell?"
Devotee: Heaven is where all my friends are.
Prabhupāda: So this is the position. As soon as you point out, "This man is dishonest," and you scrutinize, everyone is dishonest, then where is dishonesty? It is all honesty. Because if the whole business is dishonesty, so there is no question of honesty. Let it go on. That is the public opinion. Why one should be unnecessarily honest? If the whole world is dishonest, and the dishonest world is going on, then where is the harm? What is the use of becoming... The same thing: "It is folly to be wise where ignorance is bliss."
Jyotirmayī: That is exactly what people are saying now. They say, "What's the use of being organized and good and sane? Everybody is dishonest, they have too."
Bhagavān: We have to give them a place to go where they can come if they want.
Prabhupāda: Just like Parīkṣit Mahārāja gave Kali four places; he could not find out. First of all he gave him four places, that "These four places you can go." But he could not find out such place. So he was embarrassed. So now there is no question of finding out. Everywhere you go, the same four principles. Formerly, it was very difficult to find out a place where these things are going on. Now everywhere you go, these four things are main principles of life. So therefore they cannot very much appreciate these prohibitory principles, that "What is wrong there?"
Devotee: It is just the opposite now. Now there is no place where Mahārāja Parīkṣit can go to find a spiritual atmosphere.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Some of our men, at least one, left our association. He thought that "This is denying the primary necessities of life." Rāyarāma. Rāyarāma. He left for this reason, that we do not allow the bare necessities of life: illicit sex, intoxication... He was first-class criminal on this account, but he could not give it up. Therefore he left.
Devotee: Yes, I spoke with him in San Francisco, and he said, "Swāmījī will not be successful, because he does not allow free love in his movement."
Prabhupāda: That's it.
Devotee: He says, "That is why I had to leave, because there was no place for me and my boyfriend." Even he was not attracted to having a girl, but he had a boy. That boy used to be also your typist. He was from Harvard University.
Prabhupāda: That Neil.
Devotee: Yeah, Neil.
Devotee: And he told me that "Swāmījī will not be successful in his movement, because he will not allow free love." I just saw him in San Francisco before I went to India two and a half years ago. We were trying to get him to come back to the temple.
Prabhupāda: No, he cannot give up these bad habits.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: You said in Geneva that no one has died from giving up cigarettes or illicit sex.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: You said that at the meeting, the conference in Geneva, that no one has died from giving up smoking or illicit sex. So it is not so hard to do.
Prabhupāda: No, it is not hard. Now the Christian church is giving liberty, man-to-man marriage. Most unnatural.
Devotee: Previously they didn't allow divorce. The first principle was there is no question of divorce. Then so many people began leaving the Catholic Church, so then they allowed divorce. And then they did not allow abortion. So again so many people left the religion. Now they allow abortion. And now they are allowing man-to-man marriage.
Prabhupāda: Just see.
Devotee: They compromise just to keep their followers.
Bhagavān: It's a matter of money.
Prabhupāda: And that is freedom. So Rāya Rāmānanda left because such freedom is not allowed here. So we have to allow this freedom like the Church? (laughs)
Bhārgava: There was one survey done by a college, a university, Michigan State, and Rūpānuga Mahārāja researched it and said 94% of the people in America, they believe there is a God, but only 35% will go to church. They are not very much interested in the churches anymore. They don't trust them. But 94% believe there is God.
Prabhupāda: Because the Church could not help them in understanding God. The Christian Church has no idea what is God. Therefore there is no name of God. Actually, they have no idea about God. Is there?
Bhārgava: I was raised up a very strict Catholic, going through Catholic school till I was fifteen years old, but I could not... They were trying to teach love of God, but I could not see that they were also loving God. Even the head priest, he was found having illicit sex relationships with one of the young nuns, and she became pregnant by that and he had to leave. They quietly sent him away without anybody knowing, but later on it came out.
Prabhupāda: That is going on everywhere.
Bhārgava: And I saw, "What is the point? They are not even loving God." They were teaching loving God, but I could not see it.
Prabhupāda: He said that Vivekananda was doing that. You said? Just tell him.
Nitāi: That once I met a little old lady on the streets of Denver when I was distributing books.
Prabhupāda: Old lady.
Nitāi: Very old. She was walking down the street. She was all bent over. And she asked me what I was doing, and I showed her our magazine and explained that we were teaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and she said, "Oh, is this yoga? I remember way back when Vivekananda came here. Have you ever heard of him?" So we began talking about Vivekananda. She said that she was there when he made his tour. She was in Denver when he made his tour of the United States, and that he stopped there for one meeting and lectured. And she went there to see that meeting, but she said that all in all she was disgusted with him because he was so much attracted to the women. She said that he was victimized by the women. They were all trying to get him, and she said so when he went back to India he was a broken man.
Prabhupāda: Yes, she (he) took with him three women. One of them was Sister Nivedita.
Devotee: Also you told us in India about Aurobindo and Ramakrishna. Aurobindo went also. Aurobindo, when that French woman came, he also fell to her, but just to cover it up he has called her "Mother," because in India, when you call someone "Mother..."
Prabhupāda: No, everyone knows he (she) is mother and he is father.
Devotee: Yeah, right. And they don't think... There is no question of sex. When they think of mother and father, they don't think of these things. Also with Ramakrishna. He also had his divine mother. You told us a story in Calcutta that he was very debauched. In a village he used to chase the young women. And his brother actually made him famous.
Prabhupāda: It is very difficult to..., not to be victimized by woman. It is very difficult.
Yogeśvara: Unless you are victimized by Kṛṣṇa first.
Prabhupāda: Yes. One who is, I mean, what is called, captivated by the beauty of Kṛṣṇa, then he is not victimized.
- yad-avadhi mama cetaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravinde
- nava-nava-dhāma rantum āsīt
- tad-avadhi bata nārī-saṅgame smaryamāne
- bhavati mukha-vikāraḥ niṣṭhīvanaṁ ca
Madana-mohana. Madana-dāhana and Madana-mohana. Unless one is captivated by the beauty of Kṛṣṇa, he will be troubled by the arrows of the Cupid. Madana-dāhana. The Cupid is known, he has got arrow. If he pierces, then he becomes victim.
Yogeśvara: You didn't find it necessary to enter into any kind of discussion with this French professor just now. There was no real discussion of philosophy. I was wondering why that didn't happen.
Prabhupāda: He did not raise any question. And he is simply translator. He has no philosophy. I asked him, "Which philosophy you are...?" So "I make comparative study." I think he did not like to enter into philosophical... Is it not?
Devotee: Hmm. Most of these gentlemen who come here, when they see you and begin talking with you, like you said, they show their ignorance when they begin to speak. So they prefer not to speak. They always make some excuse that they have an appointment, because they know that if they speak, they will be in real trouble.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Tāvac ca śobhate mūrkhaḥ yāvat kiñcin na bhāṣate: "A foolish man is very nice as long as he does not speak. As soon as he will speak, his foolishness will be captured." So therefore, sometimes they do not like to talk. Remain as a nice man, (laughs) without being discovered.
Devotee: I think maybe the first gentleman who was here, who said... He was talking about experiencing God. He says, "Actually I experienced God, but actually God is beyond my experience." You gave him such a hard time that I think he must have made phone calls to all these other men, "Be careful of Bhaktivedanta Swami. He is very dangerous." (laughter)
Prabhupāda: I told him that "You have no experience."
Devotee: He turned so red when you said, "But how were you saying you are having experience, and you just said God is beyond your experience?" And then he says, "I never said that. You put those words into my mouth." I whispered in his ear, "We have it on tape. We will play it back for you." (laughter)
Prabhupāda: Oh-ho. We have got Kṛṣṇa. We are not afraid in challenging anyone. I believe on that formula. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ (BG 7.15). I believe that verse very strongly, that anyone who has not surrendered to Kṛṣṇa or is not Kṛṣṇa conscious, he must be within this list: duṣkṛtina, mūḍha, narādhama, māyayāpahṛta-jñāna, āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritaḥ. That's all. I have explained that verse little elaborately. Read it. It is very interesting. Where is Satsvarūpa?
Bhagavān: He is in the other room. Would you like him to come in?
- na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ
- prapadyante narādhamāḥ
- āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ
- (BG 7.15)
"Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons do not surrender unto Me."
"It is said in the Bhagavad-gītā that simply by surrendering oneself unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality, Kṛṣṇa, one can surmount the stringent laws of material nature. At this point a question arises. How is it that educated philosophers, scientists, businessmen, administrators and all the leaders of ordinary men do not surrender unto the lotus... (break) ...Manu, Vyāsa, Devala, Asita, Janaka, Prahlāda, Bali, and later on, Madhvācārya, Rāmānujācārya, Śrī Caitanya and many others who are faithful philosophers, politicians, educators and scientists, etc., surrendered unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Person, the all-powerful authority. Those who are not actually philosophers, scientists, educators, administrators, etc., but who pose themselves as such for material gain, do not accept the plan or path of the Supreme Lord. They have no idea of God. They simply manufacture their own worldly plans and consequently complicate the problems of material..."
Prabhupāda: Everyone comes, they say, "Why people are suffering?" They are concerned with the people suffering. Actually not. That is a plea only, as if he has taken the task of minimizing the suffering of humanity. He poses himself as very philanthropist. Actually, he cannot do anything.
Nitāi: "Because material energy, nature, is so powerful, it can resist the unauthorized plans of the atheists and baffle the knowledge of the planning commissions. The atheistic plan-makers are described herein by the word duṣkṛtina, or miscreant. Kṛtina means one who has performed meritorious work. The atheistic plan-maker is sometimes very intelligent and meritorious also, because any gigantic plan, good or bad, must take intelligence to execute. But because the atheist brain is improperly utilized in opposing the plan of the Supreme Lord, the atheistic plan-maker is called duṣkṛtina, which indicates that his intelligence and efforts are misdirected. In the Gītā it is clearly mentioned that material energy works fully under the direction..."
Prabhupāda: Just like in Paris, these nice buildings, nice parks, nice everything—they require brain. There is no doubt about it. But they have been used for woman and wine. That's all. That is their... They have come. People come to see Paris just for that... What is that theater?
Bhagavān: Folies Bergere.
Prabhupāda: Yes. And we have heard from our childhood that Paris is a place where people can go and enjoy prostitution. When we were children. I told you last night. So this city is undoubtedly constructed with good merit, but it is used for sinful act... Nobody goes to... Beautiful church, nobody goes there. But beautiful that theater, because there is naked dance, everyone goes. And therefore duṣkṛtina. Church is vacant. Only the tourists come to see the churches. Not that such a important city, always glorification of Lord is going on, just like we are trying to do: take prasādam, worship the Deity, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That would have been the activities of these beautiful churches. But there is no such activity, because people are duṣkṛtina. They have got merit to construct very nice, wonderful buildings, but it is meant for sinful activities: illicit sex, intoxication, gambling and so on. And poor women, they are victimized by these rascals. That's all. Then?
Nitāi: (reading) "In the Gītā it is clearly mentioned that material energy works fully under the direction of the Supreme Lord. It has no independent authority. It works as the shadow moves in accordance with the movements of the object. But still, material energy is very powerful, and the atheist, due to his godless temperament, cannot know how it works, nor can he know the plan of the Supreme Lord. Under illusion and the modes of passion and ignorance, all his plans are baffled, as in the case of Hiraṇyakaśipu and Rāvaṇa, whose plans were smashed to dust although they were both materially learned as scientists, philosophers, administrators and educators. These duṣkṛtinas, or miscreants, are of four different patterns as outlined below.
1. The mūḍhas: those who are grossly foolish like hard-working beasts of burden. They want to enjoy the fruits of their labor by themselves and do not want to part with them for the Supreme. The typical example of the beast of burden is the ass. This humble beast is made to work very hard by his master. The ass does not really know for whom he works so hard day and night. He remains satisfied by filling his stomach with a bundle of grass, sleeping for a while under fear of being beaten by the master, and satisfying his sex appetite at the risk of being repeatedly kicked by the opposite party. The ass sings poetry and philosophy sometimes, but this braying only disturbs others. This is the position of the foolish fruitive worker who does not know for whom he should work. He does not know that karma, action, is meant for yajña, sacrifice. Most often, those who work very hard day and night to clear the burden of self-created duties say that they have no time to hear of the immortality of the living being. To such mūḍhas, material gains, which are destructible, are life's all in all, despite the fact that the mūḍhas enjoy only a very small fraction of the fruit of labor. Sometimes they spend sleepless days and nights for fruitive gain, and although they may have ulcers or indigestion, they are satisfied with practically no food. They are simply absorbed in working hard day and night for the benefit of illusory masters. Ignorant of their real master, the foolish workers waste their valuable time serving Mammon. Unfortunately, they never surrender to the supreme master of all masters, nor do they take time to hear of Him from the proper sources."
Prabhupāda: Generally, we see now, especially in the Western countries, they are working so hard. The master is wine and woman. That's all. Is it not? They have made their master wine and women. In Paris we see everywhere. On the street they are drinking and talking. In Germany also, I have seen. You have been in Germany?
Devotee: Amsterdam is the same way.
Prabhupāda: Amsterdam is a place simply for prostitutes.
Devotee: It is the center.
Prabhupāda: This is very prominent in the Western country, which we are asking that no meat-eating, no intoxication, no illicit sex. These things are only thing enjoyable.
Satsvarūpa: They think if you eliminate those, there is nothing left to live for.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is Rāyarāma's statement. Yes. I am denying the bare necessities of life. Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye (BG 7.3). Who will try for becoming perfect in this way? Very disappointing. But still, Kṛṣṇa is so kind that helping so many. They are doing actually. (aside:) All right, keep it.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Lord Caitanya's program is so attractive that even they can...
Prabhupāda: That is the astonishment. In India, they give me credit this, that "How it has become possible that these European boys, American boys and girls, they have taken to this path?" That they are surprised.
Yogeśvara: We don't have a very good reputation in India?
Prabhupāda: Very good reputation that you have become perfectly Vaiṣṇava.
Devotee: No, he means the Western people themselves.
Prabhupāda: "They must be cynic, crazy, another edition of hippies." Like that, they say like that.
Devotee: They think that... They won't allow even a Westerner to marry their daughter, because the Westerners have a reputation of marrying for a week and then flying away. So they think like that of the people. Even our own men, sometimes the Indian girls wanted to marry with the brahmacārīs, the American brahmacārīs, but the parents would not allow because they said, "After you are married a week, he will just run away back to his country and leave you here." So they are thinking like that about the Westerners, that they..., the life is so fast.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Another brahmacārī saved. (laughs)
Prabhupāda: One of our man has done so. You know that Rāmānuja? The Mexican boy?
Devotee: There's that boy in Bombay, he married one Indian girl.
Prabhupāda: He is staying.
Prabhupāda: He has not left as yet. But he can leave any moment. (laughs) No. He is not American; he is devotee. Therefore he is reliable. Hmm. (pause) Hmm.
Bhagavān: We have to arrange a few things.
Prabhupāda: What is the next program? Is there any program?
Yogeśvara: A big hall meeting.
Prabhupāda: What time?
Bhagavān: Eight o'clock. You will be speaking around 8:30.
Prabhupāda: All right. (end)