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710622 - Conversation - Moscow
Prabhupāda: Modern sociology is targeting the state or the people as the owner of a certain state, but our Vedic conception is īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvaṁ (ISO 1): "Everything is owned by Īśa, the Supreme Controller." Tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā: "What is given by Him, allotted to you, you enjoy that." Mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam: "Do not encroach upon others' property." This is Īśopaniṣad, Vedas. And the same idea is explained in different Purāṇas.
So the Vedas can give you... The other day I was reading in the..., that paper, Moscow News, there was a Congress, Communist Congress, and the president declared that "We are ready to get others' experience to improve." So I think the Vedic concept of socialism or communism will much improve the idea of Communism.
Just like we are thinking in terms of human beings, the commu..., socialistic state, that "Nobody should starve. Everyone must have his food." And in the Vedic conception of gṛhastha, householder, it is recommended there that a householder shall see that even a lizard living in the room or even a snake living in that house should not starve.
They should be also given food. And what to speak of others? The gṛhastha, before taking his lunch, he is recommended to stand on the road and declare that "If anybody is still hungry, please come. Food is ready." Then, if there is no response, then the proprietor of the household life, he takes his lunch.
In this way there are so many good concept about this socialistic idea of communism. So I thought that these ideas might have been distributed to some of your thoughtful men. Therefore I was anxious to speak with you.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, you know what is interesting... As it is here in our country, with our great interest in the history of old, old god, from this point of view our institute translated into Russian and published many, I must say, literary monuments of great Indian culture. I will have a pleasure to present you a copy of a booklet which was written here by me and my colleagues. It's account of Soviet studies of India. And here there is chapter, chapter second, "Studies of Ancient Indian Texts in the USSR..."
You'll be interested to discover we published not all, but some, some in exceptions, Purāṇas, we published (indistinct) of them; then some parts of Rāmāyaṇa, eight volumes in Russian, Mahābhārata. We have also second edition of Mahābhārata, translated by different people. Kabukare Artha-śāstra(?) also was translated in full and published.
Manu-smṛti also translated in full and published with Sanskrit commentaries. And such is a great interest, I think that all these publication was sold in a week. Now quite completely out of stock, this. It was impossible to get them in book market after month, such a great interest among reading people here in Moscow and the USSR towards ancient Indian culture. And from this point of view we published, I must say, a lot of things, a lot of things.
Prabhupāda: Now, amongst these Purāṇas, the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is called the Mahā-purāṇa.
Prof. Kotovsky: Mahā-purāṇa.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So we have translated in English the full, with the original Sanskrit text, its transliteration, an English equivalent for each word, then translation, and then purport, explanation of the verse. In this way there are 18,000s of verses in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
And the ācāryas, the great saintly sages who are the preachers of this Bhāgavatam throughout India, their opinion is that it is the ripened fruit of the Vedic desire tree. Nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalaṁ idam (SB 1.1.3). And it is accepted by all, I mean, Indian scholars, and especially Lord Caitanya, He preached this Bhāgavata. So we have got that, complete, in English translation. If you want to see some of them, we can show you.
Prof. Kotovsky: It seems to me that in the Moscow and Leningrad libraries we have nearly all of major texts of ancient Indian culture, beginning from Vedas, original text in Sanskrit. For instance, we have in Lenin Library nearly six or eight editions of...
Prabhupāda: (aside:) You have not brought any books? Eh?
Prof. Kotovsky: ...Manu-smṛti.
Prabhupāda: You have not brought any books? Bhāgavata?
Prof. Kotovsky: Editions is there. Especially in Leningrad, you know, in Leningrad we have...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...about, Leningrad branch, Leningrad branch of our Institute—because Institute was, Imperial Russia, founded in Leningrad—so in Leningrad now we have now a branch of our Institute dealing mainly...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...with the history of Asiatic culture. We have a million... (aside:) Thank you very much. Here is a sample account of our book. You will find here some account of what has been translated and what else is being done in the history of Indian philosophy, and now with this Indian philosophy, history of Indian religion, and now with this Indian..., what is Hinduism now, just now in India also. It is very simple account of...
Prabhupāda: Hinduism is a very complex term. (laughs)
Prof. Kotovsky: Oh, yes, Hinduism. It is not all... It is really... To my understanding it is not religion from European point of view. It is a really a way of life...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...religion, Indian, a way of philosophy, a way of life, a religion, everything...
Prabhupāda: No, this Hinduism, Hindu, this word, is not a Sanskrit word. It is given by the Muhammadans. You know there is a river, Indus, which is..., Sanskrit name is Sindhu. Sindhu.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes. Oh, yes, yes, yes.
Prabhupāda: These Muhammadans, they pronounce "s" as "h." "Hindus," "Hindus." Instead of "Sindhus," they made it "Hindus." So Hindu is a term which is not found in the Sanskrit dictionary.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes.
Prabhupāda: But it has come into use. Real, I mean to say, cultural institution is called varṇāśrama, four varṇas and four āśramas: brāhmaṇa, kṣatri, vaiśya, śūdra—these four varṇas—and brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. So according to Vedic concept of life, unless people take to this system or institution, institute of varṇa and āśrama, four varṇas and four āśramas, actually he does not become a civilized human being.
This... One has to take this process, four divisions of varṇas and four..., four division of social order and four divisions of spiritual order. That is called varṇāśrama. So India's culture is based on these four..., eight system, varṇa and āśrama.
Prof. Kotovsky: Varnāśrama.
Prabhupāda: Varṇa, varṇāśrama. And in the Bhagavad-gītā—perhaps you have read Bhagavad-gītā—there is also the statement, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ (BG 4.13). It is... This system is created originally by Viṣṇu.
(break) So as everything is creation of the Supreme, they cannot be changed. That is prevalent everywhere, that a... Sun. Sun is creation of the Supreme. So sunshine is here in America, in Russia, in India—everywhere. Similarly, this varṇāśrama system is prevalent everywhere, in some form or other.
Just like the brāhmaṇas. The brāhmaṇas means the most intelligent class of men, brain, brain of the society. Then the kṣatriyas, the administrator class. Then the vaiśyas, the productive class, and the śūdras, the worker class. These four classes of men are everywhere present in different names. And because it is creation by the original creator, so it is prevalent everywhere, varṇāśrama-dharma. (break)
So have you seen this little..., how we are translating this? You can see little. Original śloka, its transliteration, then its English equivalent, then translation, then purport. Each and every verse is being done like that, whole Bhāgavatam Purāṇa.
Prof. Kotovsky: But you know what is interesting to... It is the opinion of some European and old, old Russian scholars, this varṇāśrama system...
Prof. Kotovsky:...is a bit late creation. If you would trace the old sūtras, texts, of Vedic literature, you would find much more simple and egalitarian society. And there is an opinion that this varṇāśrama system was introduced into Indian society on the late stage of Vedic era, but not from the beginning, about... If you would analyze scientifically the old texts, you'll find that... (break)...human estimations. (laughs) As many brains, as many estimations...
Prabhupāda: (laughs) That's it.
Prof. Kotovsky: ...about the duration of this period. Because unfortunately the old classic India we have not so much information.
Prabhupāda: But so far... So far we are concerned, this Bhagavad-gītā... It is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭam (BG 4.13). Now, this Bhagavad-gītā was spoken five thousand years ago, and Bhagavad-gītā it is said that "This system of Bhagavad-gītā was first spoken by Me to the sun-god." So if you take estimation of that period, it comes forty millions of years. So whether the European scholar can trace out the history of at least for five thousand years together, not to speak of forty millions?
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes.
Prabhupāda: So we have got evidences that this varṇāśrama system is current at least for the five thousand years, varṇāśrama. And this varṇāśrama system is mentioned in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa also: varnāśramācaravata puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān (CC Madhya 8.58). Varnāśrama acaravata. So that is stated in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa.
And so varṇāśrama-dharma is not a..., within any historical period calculated in the modern age. It is natural. And in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam the comparison is given, just like in your body, in my body, there are four divisions: the face, facial, or the brain division, and the arms division, the belly division and the leg division. Similarly, by nature's way these four divisions are existing in the social body. You may take history wherever you begin, but this is existing. A class of men, they are considered to be brain. A class of men, they are considered to be the arms, administrators. And a class of men, they are called productive class. So there is no need of tracing the history. It is naturally existing from the day of creation.
Prof. Kotovsky: According to so many... You have told that in any society there are four divisions, but the case is not so easy to distinguish. For instance, one can group..., one can group, group together, different social class and professional groups into four divisions in any society. There's no difficulty. Only difficulty, for instance, in socialist society of our country and other socialist society, how can you distinguish productive group and workers?
Prabhupāda: Just like you belong to the intelligent class of men.
Prof. Kotovsky: Intelligent, yes, so...
Prabhupāda: So this is a division.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, intelligent class, for instance, brāhmaṇas, if you can put together also with intelligentsia under the brāhmaṇas.
Prof. Kotovsky: Then administrative staff...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...everywhere.
Prof. Kotovsky: From top to... From top to collective farm, for instance, is kṣatriyas. But who would be here vaiśya and who śūdra? That is the difficulty, because all others will workers, workers, anywhere—factory workers, collective farm workers and so on. So from this point of view...
Prabhupāda: From this point of view...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...there is a great distinction, in my opinion, between socialist society and all societies preceding socialist. Because in a modern Western society you can group all social professions, classes, (indistinct) conditionally, you know, at least you can, the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, kṣatriyas... Excuse me... Then this vaiśya, this productive class, is owners...
Prabhupāda: That is...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...of the means of production...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...these factory owners, for instance.
Prof. Kotovsky: And the śūdras are workers, menial workers. But here you have no vaiśyas from this point of view, because you have administrative staff... In fact, there is administrative staff. You can call them kṣatriyas. And then śūdras, that's workers themselves. But not this intermediate class.
Prabhupāda: That is stated, kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ: "In this age, practically all men will be śūdras." That is... That is predicted. But if there are simply śūdras, then the social order will be disturbed. You... Just like in spite of your state of śūdras, a brāhmaṇa is found here. And that is necessity. So if you do not divide the social order in such a way, then there will be chaos.
That is the scientific estimation of the Vedas. You may... You may belong for the time being to the śūdra class, but to maintain the social order you have to train some of the śūdras to become brāhmaṇa, some of the śūdras to become kṣatriyas. It cannot depend on the śūdras. Then there will be chaos. Neither you can depend only on brāhmaṇa.
Just like to fulfill the necessities of your body there must be a portion called the brain, there must be a portion called the arms, there must be a portion called the stomach, or the belly, and there must be a portion which is called the leg. The leg is also required, the brain is also required, the arm is also required—for cooperation, to fulfill the mission of the whole body. So any, any society you conceive, unless there are these four divisions, there will be chaos. It will be..., not be properly, I mean to say, going on, smoothly going on. There will be some disturbance. Brain must be there.
So at the present moment there is scarcity of brain. I am not talking of your state or my state. I am taking the world as it is. The brain... Formerly the Indian administration was going on in monarchy. Just like this picture. This picture is a kṣatriya king. Before his death he renounced his, I mean to say, royal order, and he came to the forest to hear about self-realization.
So if you want to maintain the peace and prosperity of the whole worldly social order, you must create a class of men very intelligent, a class of men very expert in administration, a class of men very expert in production and a class of men to work. That is required. You cannot avoid it. That is the Vedic conception. Mukha-bāhūru-padebhyaḥ. They say, mukha... Mukha means this face. Bahu means the arm. Uru means this, this, on our waist. And pada.
So anywhere, either you take this state or that state—doesn't matter—unless there is a smooth, systematic establishment of these four orders of life, the state or the society will not go very smoothly.
Prof. Kotovsky: Generally it seems to me that this old varṇāśrama system to some extent practiced the nature of division of labor in ancient society. So now division of labor among people in any society is much more complicated and sophisticated. So it would be very...
Prabhupāda: Not complicated.
Prof. Kotovsky: ...conditionally(?) to group them in four classes, because...
Prabhupāda: The, the confusion, confusion has come into existence because in India, in later days, the son of a brāhmaṇa, without having the brahminical qualification, claimed to be brāhmaṇa, and others, out of superstition or traditional way, they were accepted as brāhmaṇa. Therefore the Indian social order has disrupted. But our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we are picking up from everywhere brāhmaṇas—everywhere—because the world needs the brain of a brāhmaṇa.
Just like Mahārāja Parīkṣit, although he was a monarch, he had a body of learned sages and brāhmaṇas to consult—advisory body. It is not that the monarchs were independent. In the history it is found that some of the monarchs were not in order. They were dethroned by the brahminical advisory committee. Although the brāhmaṇas, they did not take part in politics, but they would give advice to the monarch how to, I mean to say, execute the royal function. Just like not..., not very old, very, say, about... What is the age of, I mean to say, Ashoka? Say about thousands of years ago.
Prof. Kotovsky: As we call from our... In our terminology we call in ancient and medieval India...
Prof. Kotovsky: Ancient and medieval India, and old and feudal India, you are right, this was very often. And from brāhmaṇa, brāhmaṇas, from brāhmaṇas the major part of height is religious stuff, in religious departments. Even Mogul emperors, there were brāhmaṇas who advised (indistinct) Mogul emperors...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...in administration...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...and such like.
Prabhupāda: Our predecessor ācārya, Rūpa Gosvāmī, he was finance minister in the Muhammadan government. He was... When he resigned, the Nawab was not very satisfied, that "I cannot relieve you because you are my right-hand man. If you resign all of a sudden in this way, then I shall arrest you." There is a long history. So that's a fact. The brāhmaṇas were kept.
So the advisory committee of the king... Now, as I was going to speak, Chandragupta, Chandragupta, just the latest Hindu king, Chandragupta... Chandragupta is the age of Alexander the Great, because at that time, during Chandragupta's..., little before Chandragupta, Alexander the Great from Greece, they went India and conquered some portion. So this Chandragupta, when he became emperor, he had his prime minister, Canakya. Perhaps you heard this name, Canak... Ca-na-kya.
Prof. Kotovsky: Canakya. Oh, yes.
Prabhupāda: Yes. He was a great politician, brāhmaṇa, and under whose name in New Delhi all the foreign embassies, they are flocked together. Yes. It is called Canakya Purī.
Prof. Kotovsky: Hm-hm. Canakya Purī, yes, I know.
Prabhupāda: So this Canakya Paṇḍita was a great politician and brāhmaṇa. And as brāhmaṇa, he was vastly learned. He has got some moral instruction; they're very valuable, still going on. In India schoolchildren are taught. So this Canakya Paṇḍita, although he was prime minister, he maintained his brahminical spirit. He was not accepting any salary, yes, because for brāhmaṇas to accept salary, it is understood that he becomes a dog. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavata. He can advise, but he cannot accept. So he was living in a cottage, but he was prime minister.
So this brahminical culture, the brahminical brain, is the standard of Vedic civilization. Just like Manu-smṛti. Manu-smṛti... You do not know; you cannot trace out the history, when Manu-smṛti was written. But Manu-smṛti is considered so perfect that it is the Hindu law. The Hindus are governed by Manu-smṛti. There was no need of passing daily a new law by the legislative to adjust this social order. You see? The law given by Manu was so perfect that it can be applicable for all the time. This is perfect. Tri-kāla-jñāḥ. The word is there, tri-kāla-jñāḥ: past, present, future.
Prof. Kotovsky: But... I am sorry to interrupt you, but originally, to my knowledge, original Indian society, when, in the second half of Indian society, when in Calcutta by order of British administration was codified, so-called, you know, remember, "Jantu Law," they called, a big digest of Hindu law, there was a lot of change...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...called in.
Prabhupāda: Yes, they manufactured another...
Prof. Kotovsky: And this, the actual Hindu law which was used by Hindus, they're quite different from original Manu-smṛti.
Prabhupāda: No, they have now made changes. Just like our late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, he made some Hindu code. He introduced in that Hindu code the right of divorcing, husband and wife. But these were not in Manu-saṁhitā. And, of course, they are changing. If you like, you can change. But the social order also not exactly the same as it was before.
Prof. Kotovsky: Oh, yes.
Prabhupāda: And so many things. So they're changing. But before this modern age, the whole Hindu society was being governed by the Manu-smṛti. Manu-smṛti, yes.
Prof. Kotovsky: In all periods in India...
Prabhupāda: Manu-smṛti. Now they are changing so many. They... Strictly speaking, the modern Hindus, they are not strictly according to the Hindu scripture.
Prof. Kotovsky: Oh, yes.
Prabhupāda: No. They are not... So our point is, we are not going to bring back the old type of Hindu society. It is not that. Our...
Prof. Kotovsky: It is impossible.
Prabhupāda: It is impossible. Our idea is that best ideas from the original idea. Just like in the Bhāgavata there is a description of communistic idea, and it is being described to Mahārāja Yudhisthira. So if there is something good, good experience, why it should not be adopted? That is our point of view.
And besides that, in the modern civilization they are missing one point: the aim of human life, scientifically. The aim of human life is self-realization, ātmā-tattvam. It is said, parābhavas tāvad abodha-jātaḥ yāvan na jijñāsa ātmā-tattvam (SB 5.5.5). Unless the human society comes to the point of self-realization, whatever they are doing, they are being defeated, parābhava. I think you know this word, parābhava. Parābhava. Parābhavas tāvad abodha-jātaḥ.
Actually it is happening so. The modern society, human society, there is advancement, economic advancement, so many things, advancement. Still, in the matter of keeping peace and tranquillity there is fight—individually, socially, politically, nationally. So if we think very cool-headed, then in spite of so much improvement in so many branches of knowledge, we are keeping the same mentality of quarreling. That is also visible in lower animal society.
So our conclusion, according to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that this body, human body, it is not meant for working very hard for sense gratification. In the modern civilization the ultimate goal, aim, is sense gratification. That's all. Beyond that, they do not know anything more. They do not know what is next life. There is no department of knowledge or science, scientific department, to study what is there after life, after finishing this body. That is a great, I mean to say, department of knowledge.
In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13). Dehe. Deha means this body. So there is a dehinaḥ who owns the body, dehi. So dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā. The dehi, the owner of the body, is within, and the body's changing from one form to another. The body of a child, baby, a certain type of form, it changes into another type of form when he's child, another type when boy, another type when he's young, another type, he's old. This is going on. But the owner of the body existing. Similarly, when this body will be completely changed, another body he will accept.
So people do not understand this. As we are accepting different body even in this present life, from babyhood to childhood, from childhood to boyhood, from boyhood to youthhood... That's a fact. Everyone knows it. I was a child, but that childhood body is no more. I have got a different body. Similarly, what is the difficulty to understand: when this body will be no more, I'll have to accept another body? It is great science.
Prof. Kotovsky: As you know, there is two ultimate, two quite, I mean to say, opposite approaches to this problem. One approach is slightly different by different religions, but in the same time, any religion recognizes in such-or-such form the change...
Prabhupāda: Takes place.
Prof. Kotovsky: Change of place of a spirit.
Prof. Kotovsky: Called transmigration of spirit, etcetera. As in Christian religion and in Buddhism and Hindu religion...
Prabhupāda: No, I'm not talking of religion, beliefs.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes. Yes.
Prabhupāda: I'm talking of science and philosophy.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, yes.
Prabhupāda: That is...
Prof. Kotovsky: If we can... So science and philosophy. But another...
Prabhupāda: One religion may accept; one may... That is not our purpose. We are talking on the point of that if the owner of the body is permanent in spite of different change of the body, then what is the difficulty to understand that when this body will be changed, the owner of the body will have another body?
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, another approach is that there is no separate own..., there is no separate..., no two phenomena, owner of the body and body.
Prof. Kotovsky: This body and owner of the body is the same.
Prof. Kotovsky: When body dies, this owner also dies.
Prof. Kotovsky: There is no separate...
Prabhupāda: That... Why? Why there is no department of knowledge in the university to study this fact scientifically? That is my proposition.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes.
Prabhupāda: So that means they are lacking. It may be as you say, or it may be as I say, but there must be a department of knowledge, what is the... Now, recently one cardiologist, a doctor, he has accepted that there is soul—in Montreal and Toronto. I had some correspondence with him. And he is strongly in belief that there is soul. So that is another point of view.
But we accept knowledge from authority. Authority. Just like this statement is given by Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is accepted as the authority by all the ācāryas, in the Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā is studied amongst the scholarly circle and philosophical circle still, all over the world. And this statement is given by Kṛṣṇa:
- dehino 'smin yathā dehe
- kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
- tathā dehāntara-prāptir
- dhīras tatra na muhyati
- (BG 2.13)
So dehāntaram prāpti... Just like the childhood, now, giving up the childhood body, the soul is coming to the boyhood body; from boyhood, youth..., similarly, the soul, giving up this body, he accepts another body. This statement is given by Kṛṣṇa, the greatest authority according to our tradition of knowledge.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, I know.
Prabhupāda: So suppose we accept such statement without any argument. That is the way of Vedic understanding. Vedic understanding means you have to accept whatever is stated in the Vedas without any argument.
Prof. Kotovsky: So forget about Vedas. Our approach is we don't believe in anything without argument. We can believe only on anything based on argument.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that...
Prof. Kotovsky: Here is the basic...
Prabhupāda: No, no, that is allowed.
Prof. Kotovsky: ...projecting(?).
Prabhupāda: That is allowed. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena, paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34). Paripraṣna, argument, is allowed, but not with a challenging spirit. With a spirit to rightly understand. Praṇipātena paripraśnena. That... Argument is not denied. But so far Vedic statements are there, they are infallible, infallible, and the followers of the Vedas, they accept in that way. For example, just like cow dung.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes.
Prabhupāda: It is the stool of an animal. Now, in the Vedic statement there is: As soon as you touch the stool of any animal, you are impure. You have to purify yourself by taking bath. Even in your own stool... According to Hindu system, if you go to evacuate, after coming you have to take bath.
Prof. Kotovsky: This is quite intact with modern medicine knowledge...
Guest (Indian man): ...that you must clean yourself.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, that's right.
Prabhupāda: ...this is... But another place it is stated that "Cow dung, although it is the stool of an animal, it is pure." Even if you apply in an impure place, it becomes purified. Now, this is superficially contradictory. In one place it is said that "The stool of an animal is impure. As soon as you touch, you have to be purified," and another place it is said that "Cow dung is pure." So according to our knowledge, this is contradictory.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes.
Prabhupāda: But those who are followers of the Vedas, they are accepting. Is it not, cow dung, pure? Cow dung pure, is it not accepted by the followers of Vedas?
Guest: That is.
Prabhupāda: And if you analyze chemically, you'll find the cow dung contains all antiseptic properties.
Prof. Kotovsky: This I don't know.
Prabhupāda: You do not know, but there is a...
Prof. Kotovsky: I have to test. This I do not know, but...
Guest: Yes, one must try to realize it...
Prabhupāda: Yes, that... That... One Dr. Ghosh, professor of medical college, Lal Mohan Ghosh, he... I was medically connected in my previous life. So that Lal Mohan Ghosh analyzed it, and it is his statement, it is full of, I mean to say, antiseptic properties. So Vedic statements, even sometimes you find it is contradictory, but if you analyze scrutinizingly, you'll find it is correct.
Prof. Kotovsky: But maybe...
Prabhupāda: There may be some exceptions, but, I mean to say, just like the cow dung is stool—this is an exception—but why this exception is accepted: that if you scientifically examine, analyze, you'll find it is correct?
Prof. Kotovsky: That is due to analyze. That's right. That's from common sense point of view.
Prabhupāda: Similarly, another, another instance is there, just like conchshell. Conchshell is the bone of an animal. So according to Vedic instruction, if you touch the bone of an animal, you become impure. You have to take bath. You become impure. But this conchshell is kept in the deity room because it's accepted as pure by the Vedas.
So my point is that we accept Vedic laws in such a way, without argument, accept because it is stated in the Veda, and that is the principle followed by scholars. If you can substantiate your statement by quoting from the Vedas, then it is accepted. You do not require to substantiate in other ways if you prove by Vedic quotation. Śruti-pramāṇa. It is called śruti-pramāṇa.
There are different kinds of pramāṇa, evidences. Just like in the legal court if you can give quotation from the law books, your statements is accepted, similarly, all statements which you give, if they are supported by śruti-pramāṇa... I think you know, the Vedas are known as Śrutis.
Prof. Kotovsky: Hm-hm.
Prabhupāda: Śruti-smṛti-purāṇadi-pāñcarātriki-vidhiṁ vina (Brs. 1.2.101). Any system we accept, it must be supported by the evidences of śruti-smṛti-purāṇadi-pāñcarātriki. Aikāntikī harer bhaktir utpātāyai... Anything which is not supported by śruti-smṛti... Just like Manu-smṛti. This is smṛti. And Vedas are śruti. Śruti-smṛti-purāṇadi pāñcarātriki-vi..., aikāntikī harer bhaktir utpātāyaiva kalpate. Which is not evidence, which is not true by these pramāṇas, then it is disturbance. That is...
Guest: But I mean to say one thing is, like in Vedas, whatever is written could have been proved like in a scientific way, today... Suppose there is a lab which is scientific. Whatever is said by that lab, that "This is truth," accepted without going to argue to the propriety of it... Suppose you have a scientific knowledge shop or a place, and if this workshop or this scientific institution states, "This is not good. This is not good," a general body accepts, take it for granted, "Yes, scientific body has said so. It is understood. It's..."
Prof. Kotovsky: Hmm. Yes.
Prabhupāda: Personally he hasn't got to examine, himself. He takes the statement of an authority and believes him.
Guest: Common person, a common (indistinct).
Prabhupāda: So Vedic authorities, authoritative statement, are accepted by the ācāryas. Just like India is governed by the ācāryas, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya and Śaṅkarācārya. They accept in that, and the followers accept them. The benefit is that whether cow dung is pure or impure, I do not waste my time, but because it is stated in the Vedas, I take it, so I save my time. Śruti-pramāṇa. In that way there are different statements in the Vedas for sociology and politics and anything, because Vedas means knowledge. Vedas means knowledge. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam (BG 15.15). Vetti veda vido jñāne. Vid-dhātu, when it is used for knowledge, it is called Veda.
Guest: But today, I think, the scientific knowledge, people will not accept all this, what you are saying only. They would perhaps like to try it once more, and perhaps, after going through the process of examination of theirs, they accept it if it is true.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, well, right. As I have already said, our approach, the approach of people today, new era of knowledge everywhere in the world...
Guest: Try once more.
Prof. Kotovsky: Try once more. You are right. And also nobody would believe in anything without argument.
Prabhupāda: No, arguments are allowed.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, arguments. Nobody would believe because it was written in this or other script. Evidence, evidence and evidence has to be given to believe. And may I put one question to you? Have you many branches of your Society everywhere?
Prof. Kotovsky: Where is your main center, and where are the branches?
Prabhupāda: Main center...
Prof. Kotovsky: Of Kṛṣṇa consciousness Society.
Prabhupāda: Of course, I have got about fifty-five branches.
Prof. Kotovsky: Fifty-five.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So I have made my main center in Los Angeles.
Prof. Kotovsky: Los Angeles?
Prabhupāda: Los Angeles.
Prof. Kotovsky: Because I brought a letter from western Germany, so I had an idea that is probably...
Prabhupāda: No, that is a... That is a branch. There is a branch
Prof. Kotovsky: A branch.
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇadāsa. There is a branch. But my headquarter is in Los Angeles. And now, since I came to India, I am trying to make my headquarter in Māyāpur. That's the place, the birthsite, of Lord Caitanya. We have purchased land there.
Prof. Kotovsky: In Māyāpur?
Prabhupāda: Māyāpur. You have heard the name?
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, yes. Māyāpur is there.
Prabhupāda: You have been in India?
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, six or seven times.
Prabhupāda: Oh. (laughs)
Prof. Kotovsky: I very well to like it.
Prabhupāda: So you have been in Māyāpur, Lord Caitanya's birth site?
Prof. Kotovsky: No, Māyāpur... It's also called Māyāpuram.
Prabhupāda: Māyāpuram, it is... That is in Madras side.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, yes.
Prof. Kotovsky: There's a Mylapuram, yes.
Prabhupāda: Mylapuram. That is Madras city.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, yes, yes.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So where generally you stayed in India?
Prof. Kotovsky: Myself?
Prof. Kotovsky: Ah, I was run away in many places, I was..., in Delhi, in Delhi, in Rajasthan, in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bengal, Bihar...
Prabhupāda: In Bengal where you stayed ?
Prof. Kotovsky: In Bengal?
Prof. Kotovsky: I was in Calcutta, Shantiniketan...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...Shantiniketan and in some town in 24 Parganas, in different small townships and villages also.
Prabhupāda: Yes. I see.
Prof. Kotovsky: Bengal. And by origin you are from...?
Prof. Kotovsky: From Calcutta. Ah, from Calcutta.
Prabhupāda: Yes. My birthplace is in Calcutta, yes.
Prof. Kotovsky: I understand. Yes, unfortunately I haven't been to North Bengal. You have just visited Calcutta.
Prabhupāda: Yes, Calcutta, Bombay and several places. Gorakhpur. Gorakhpur.
Prof. Kotovsky: Oh. It's a very difficult situation in...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...Bengal and Calcutta...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...because of influx of refugees from Bangladesh.
Prabhupāda: Yes. But we had our saṅkīrtana festival for ten days, and people participated very wonderfully. We... Our gathering was not less than thirty thousand people daily, and they are so much interested in hearing about our... Lecture things, we are lecturing from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā. We are...
Our preaching method is on the basis of Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So people are responding from every part of the world, especially these American boys. They are especially interested. And England also, and Germany, and France. From here I shall go to Paris. There we have got center.
(aside:) What is the name of that place? Paris? Recently they have taken.
Prabhupāda: Recently they have changed the...?
Śyāmasundara: Oh. In some suburb, Fontenay Rose, Fontenay aux Roses.
Prof. Kotovsky: Ah, near Paris?
Prof. Kotovsky: In Fontainebleau?
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. They have taken a whole house, nice house. So our process is very simple. We ask our students to refrain from four prohibitive principles: no illi...
Prof. Kotovsky: From? I'm sorry. From? Four?
Prabhupāda: Prohibitive. No illicit sex life, no meat-eating—meat or fish or eggs, no—and no gambling, and no intoxication, including cigarette, tea, coffee. These also we take as intoxicants. So these four principle one has to obey, and let him chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. And by this process only, you'll find how these boys and girls are improving quickly. Process is very simple.
Besides that, we have got books, volumes of books, just like Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā. I have given them. Throughout all these years I have written so many books. And they have got ample stock for reading the whole life. We have got four hundred pages, big, big books, about one dozen books: Kṛṣṇa in two parts, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in six parts, Teachings of Lord Caitanya, one part, Nectar of Devotion, one part.
In this way I am... And these are... We are publishing every month one chapter, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, with this detailed information, giving a heading like this, "The First Step in God-Realization." Here is also. The heading is: "Puruṣa-śukta Continued." Puruṣa-śukta is a Vedic stotram.
So we are trying to push this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Just like in your country there is Lenin consciousness, similarly, it is also a different type of consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa is also historical personality as much as Lenin is also historical personality. So His philosophy... Just like you are trying to understand his philosophy, you are trying to understand Kṛṣṇa's philosophy. In this way this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is going on.
Prof. Kotovsky: And have you many participants...
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Prof. Kotovsky: ...in these fifty-five branches?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes, more than three thousand, three thousand initiated. And outside admirers, there are many. Many. And this means these three thousand who have accepted the principles, just like these boys. So there are fifty-five branches. In each branch we are maintaining twenty-five to hundred students. So just imagine.
Prof. Kotovsky: But does that mean the students, they abstain for normal West European universities their own..., all their... How to explain it? Their... For instance, can a normal student from, for instance, from one of the Paris universities, who is attending lectures in normal way, etc., also be initiated and admitted to your community?
Prabhupāda: No, both ways. Both ways. If you want to be initiated, you are welcome. If not, you come, try to understand our philosophy, read our books. There are so many books, magazines. And question, answer. Try to understand the philosophy. It is not that all of a sudden a student comes and becomes our disciple. No. They first of all come, associate, try to understand. Then... We do not canvass. When he voluntarily says that "I want to be your..."
Prof. Kotovsky: No, yes.
Prabhupāda: Yes. There is no canvassing.
Prof. Kotovsky: No, yes. That's what (indistinct). But what I am most interested in... For instance, not a student but a young worker or a young son of a farmer, he would abstain from his old life and he would be initiated and join your community into a given center. How he would entertain himself...
Prabhupāda: The thing is... I have alre...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...in the sorts of day-to-day life...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...material life?
Prabhupāda: Now, material life, it is...
Prof. Kotovsky: Would he be paid to stay in that center?
Prabhupāda: Yes, I am answering. As I told you that this propaganda is meant for creating some brāhmaṇas all over the world, because the brāhmaṇa element is lacking. So one who seriously comes to us, he has to become a brāhmaṇa. So he has to adopt the occupation of a brāhmaṇa, and he has to give up the occupation of a kṣatriya or a śūdra. But if one wants to keep his profession, at the same time wants to understand also, that is allowed.
Just like we have many professors. There is Howard Wheeler, professor of Ohio University. He's my disciple. So he is continuing his professorship. But whatever money he's getting, almost he's spending for our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. For gṛhasthas, those who are householders living outside, they are expected to contribute fifty percent of the income for the Society, twenty-five percent for the family, and twenty-five percent for his personal emergency. After all, in this world, if we live...
So far we are concerned, we are sannyāsī, but you are a professor. If there is some emergency, you cannot go to beg. But I am a sannyāsī. I can tell you that I am in difficulty. That is the system. So we have got four orders. Just like he's brahmacārī and he's gṛhastha. He has got his wife, children. So he's a gṛhastha. He's a brahmacārī. Similarly, there is sannyāsī. So that is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's teaching. It doesn't matter whether one is a gṛhastha, householder, or renounced order or a brahmacārī or a brāhmaṇa or śūdra. It doesn't matter. If anyone understands the science of Kṛṣṇa, he becomes the spiritual master. The exact word is, in Bengali, kiba vipra kiba śūdra nyāsi kene nāya... (CC Madhya 8.128). Do you understand little Bengali?
Prof. Kotovsky: No, but...
Prabhupāda: As a vibration...
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Yei kṛṣṇa tattva vettha sei guru hāya. Anyone who understands the science of Kṛṣṇa, he can become...
Prof. Kotovsky: Guru.
Prabhupāda: ...the spiritual master.
Prof. Kotovsky: I understand. But in generally, by creating brāhmaṇas from different social classes of society, really you deny the old prescription of Hindu script...
Prabhupāda: No, I establish old, old scrip... I establish.
Prof. Kotovsky: Because according to old script, to Purāṇas, etcetera, every member of one of the four classes, these varṇas...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...is to be born inside it...
Prabhupāda: No, no, no.
Prof. Kotovsky: ...but not appointed.
Prabhupāda: No, no, no, no. No, no, no.
Prof. Kotovsky: This is the major...
Prabhupāda: No, no, that... I am sorry...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...foundation of all the varṇas.
Prabhupāda: You are not speaking correctly. I beg... We beg... With great respect I beg to submit, you are..., that you are not speaking correctly. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated, cātur-varṇyaṁ māyā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13): "These four orders of brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra is created by Me according to quality and work." There is no mention of birth. There is no mention of birth.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, I agree with you that this was addition of late brāhmaṇas, who tried to...
Prabhupāda: No, that..., that has killed the Indian culture. You see? Otherwise there was no necessity of division of this Pakistan. Not only that. From history, perhaps you know, this whole planet was Bhārata-varṣa, and it was controlled by one flag up to Mahārāja Parīkṣit. Gradually they separated. Separated. This is the history. And late..., lately they have separated Pakistan. So Bhārata-varṣa is now crippled into a small piece of land. Otherwise this whole... According to our scripture, Vedic scripture, this, this whole planet is called Bhārata-varṣa. Formerly it was named Ilāvṛta-varṣa, but since the Emperor Bharata ruled over this planet, it is called Bhārata-varṣa, from Mahārāja Bharata.
So this culture, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, Vedic culture, were existing... Now any religion you take, Christian religion, Muhammadan religion or Buddhist religion, they are, utmost, two thousand, three thousand old, years old. But this Vedic scripture, you cannot trace out where is the beginning, where is the beginning. It is therefore called sanātana, eternal. And this culture is for the whole human society. It is not a departmental religious faith. Religious faith you can change, but real dharma you cannot change.
Just like... You try to understand. Kṛṣṇa, Bhagavad-gītā, He says:
- yadā yadā hi dharmasya
- glanīr bhavati bhārata
- abhyutthānam adharmasya
- tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham
- (BG 4.7)
- paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ
- vināśāya ca duṣkṛtaṁ... duṣkṛtaṁ
- yuge yuge sambhavāmi
- (BG 4.8)
Now, Kṛṣṇa came to establish the religious principles, and in the last stage of speaking He says, sarva-dharmān parityajya māmekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). And that is real dharma, mām ek..., to surrender to the Supreme. That is real dharma. We are surrendering. Anyone, just like you or me, anyone, we are surrendering to somebody. That's a fact. Our, our life is by surrender. Is it not? Do you disagree with this point?
Prof. Kotovsky: To some extent you surrender.
Prabhupāda: Yes, to, to the full extent. Just like you...
Prof. Kotovsky: You are required to surrender to the society, for instance, to the whole people.
Prabhupāda: Yes, just... Whole people or the state or the king or the government, whatever you say—this surrender must be there. It may be different.
Prof. Kotovsky: I'm sorry. Only there's a difficulty. We can't agree that you have surrender to government or surrender to a king. There's a principal difference of surrender to a king, to a person, or surrender to a society.
Prabhupāda: No, that is... That is a change of color only. But the surrender is there. The principle of surrender is there. Either you surrender to monarchy, either you surrender to democracy or aristocracy or, what is called, dictatorship, you have to surrender. That's a fact. That's a fact. Without surrendering, our life is... There is no life. That is not possible.
So we are educating persons to surrender to the Supreme, wherefrom you get all protection. Just like Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mam ekam śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66), aham tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi. So surrender is there. Nobody can say, "Now I am not surrendering to anyone." There is not a single person. Difference is where he is surrendering. Where he is surrendering.
The ultimate surrendering objective is Kṛṣṇa. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19): "After surrendering to so many things, birth after birth, when he's actually wise he surrenders unto Me." Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ (BG 7.19): "Such kind of mahātmā is very rare."
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes. But at the same time, it seems to me that surrender, surrender is to be accompanied with revolt. The history of mankind has proved but by only revolt against some kind of surrender...
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.
Prof. Kotovsky: ...mankind has been developed from medieval age... Like French Revolution, it was revolt against surrender. But this revolt also was surrender itself to the rank and file of the people. Here I agree.
Prof. Kotovsky: But so it is not enough to put a full stop on surrender.
Prof. Kotovsky: Surrender is to be accompanied with revolt against surrender of other kinds.
Prabhupāda: Yes, therefore the surrender will be full stop when the surrender is to Kṛṣṇa.
Guest: Ah, ha, ha, yes.
Prabhupāda: That is full stop: no more surrendering.
Guest: Final surrendering.
Prabhupāda: Other surrender you have to change by revolution, but when you come to Kṛṣṇa, then it is sufficient. You are satisfied. Just like... I'll give you one example, that a child is crying, and people changing laps: "Oh, you are crying." It is not stopping. But as soon as the small baby comes to the lap of his mother, he stops: "Yes, full satisfied."
Guest: Final satisfaction of...
Prabhupāda: So these changes, this surrendering, will go on in different categories. Actually all the surrenders, sum total is surrender to māyā. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, daivī hy eṣā guṇamayi mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). So this surrender is going on, going on. It is the māyā's, māyāra vaibhava, paraphernalia of māyā, either you surrender to this or to that. But final surrender: mām eva ye prapadyante, māyām etāṁ taranti te—the final surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Then he is happy. Surrender will stay. His process of surrender is there, but this surrender keeps him quite satisfied, transcendental.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes. And haven't you come across some hostile attitude to your teaching from orthodox Hindu, from orthodox brāhmaṇas in India itself?
Prabhupāda: But rather, we have subdued them.
Prof. Kotovsky: Ah, yes.
Prabhupāda: Because we are... Any orthodox Hindu may come, but we have got our weapons, Vedic evidences. So nobody has come. But even Christian priest... Even Christian priests in America, they love me. They say that "These boys, our boys... They are Americans. They are Christians. They are Jews. And these boys are so much after God, and we could not deliver them?" They're admitting. Their fathers, their parents, come to me. They also flatly offer their obeisances and say, "Swāmījī, it is our great fortune that you have come. You are teaching God consciousness."
So on the contrary; I have got reception from other countries. And India also, as you inquired of India, all other sects, they're admitting that before me, many hundreds of svāmīs went there, but they could not convert to Kṛṣṇa consciousness a single person. They are admiring that.
And so far I am concerned, I don't take any credit, but I am confident that because I am presenting the Vedic knowledge as it is, without any adulteration, it is being effective. That is my contribution. Just like if you have got a right medicine and if you administer to a patient, you must be sure that he'll be cured.
Prof. Kotovsky: And how many disciples you have in India itself? From three thousand, how many members of your community you have in India itself?
Prabhupāda: In India?
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes.
Prabhupāda: And India, there are many Kṛṣṇa conscious persons, hundred thousands, millions. India, there is no question. There is not a single Hindu who is not Kṛṣṇa conscious.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, I understand, but this, especially, specifically...
Prabhupāda: Vaiṣṇava. This is called Vaiṣṇava cult. The Vaiṣṇavas, as far as you know—you have been in India—there are many millions of Vaiṣṇavas.
Prof. Kotovsky: Oh, yes. Quite right.
Prabhupāda: Many millions of Vaiṣṇavas and... Just like this gentleman, he is a commander of the Air, India Air Lines. So he's not my disciple, but he's a Vaiṣṇava, Kṛṣṇa conscious. Similarly, in India millions and trillions there are, Kṛṣṇa conscious persons. And practically there is not a single... Even there are Muhammadan Kṛṣṇa conscious. In Allahabad University there is a Muhammadan professor, he's a great devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
So this is natural. It is said in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta that Kṛṣṇa consciousness is everywhere, in everyone's heart. It has to be awakened only by this process. That's all. It is there in your heart also. It is not that it is foreign to you. It is not that. Everyone's heart, there is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. By this process we have to awaken that. Śravaṇādi śuddha citte karaye udaya (CC Madhya 22.107). Udaya. You know this word udaya. Just like sun rises. It is not that sun all of a sudden comes from somewhere. It is there, but it rises in the morning. Similarly, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness is everywhere, but some way or other, it is now covered. By this process it is awakened and aroused, by association.
Prof. Kotovsky: You came yesterday to Moscow?
Prof. Kotovsky: Have you seen something here in Moscow?
Prof. Kotovsky: No? Not much?
Prabhupāda: I am not very much interested for sightseeing.
Prof. Kotovsky: But in any case, if you have come, you ought to go somewhere and to see something.
Prabhupāda: I'm not...
Prof. Kotovsky: 'Cause to stay in a hotel, old-style hotel like National, is not interesting. Not many people to see. And you are leaving day after tomorrow?
Prabhupāda: That is my program. Day after tomorrow.
Prof. Kotovsky: From here you are going to...?
Prabhupāda: Day after tomorrow or...?
Devotee: Today is 22nd. We leave 25th, morning.
Prof. Kotovsky: And you are leaving for United States or for Europe?
Prabhupāda: Yes, for Europe.
Prof. Kotovsky: For Europe.
Prof. Kotovsky: Ah, for Paris.
Prabhupāda: Paris. And we have got our two ceremonies, very big ceremonies, in London and San Francisco, Ratha-yātrā, car festival. And, it is estimated, fifty thousand people are going to participate in the ceremony, both in London and San Francisco. We are making arrangement, car festival. This car festival is observed in Jagannātha Purī. You have been in Jagannātha Purī?
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, yes.
Prof. Kotovsky: From immemorial time, this festival...
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes.
Prof. Kotovsky: Very, very old...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...Hindu tradition of this car festival.
Prof. Kotovsky: Huge car.
Prabhupāda: Huge car.
Prof. Kotovsky: Very well cars...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...that car, very interesting piece of car.
Prabhupāda: That has been introduced in the Western countries, in London and San Francisco. And gradually, maybe, we will introduce in other countries also.
Prof. Kotovsky: In London, among Indian community...
Prabhupāda: No, no.
Prof. Kotovsky: ...and also, these people are (indistinct).
Prabhupāda: This is organized by the Englishmen and the Americans. Indian communities in London and San Francisco, they are trying to become sahab. You know the word sahab?
Prof. Kotovsky: (laughs) Westernized.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Westernized.
Prof. Kotovsky: Modern process of Westernization is going on in the world. But Professor Srinivas...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...with the very grace(?) of some anthropologists of the University...
Prof. Kotovsky: I agree with him that a very interesting... Two processes: the process of Westernization among brāhmaṇa mainly and upper castes, and so-called Sanskritization he calls the process of adopting some brāhmaṇa rituals, etcetera., by so-called low caste, even untouchables. Very interesting processes in India just now.
Prabhupāda: Now one thing... The other day I was speaking to some... Where I was? In Bombay, I think. I was speaking some respectable gentlemen that "Kṛṣṇa says:
- māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
- ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
- striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrās
- te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim
- (BG 9.32)
Kṛṣṇa says, 'Even those who are low-born, pāpa-yoni—the striya, vaiśya and śūdra, they are also included—but by accepting Me, accepting my shelter, they are also elevated to the transcendental position.' Now, why the higher class of Hindu society, they neglected this injunction of Bhagavad-gītā? Suppose one is pāpa-yoni. Kṛṣṇa says that 'They can be elevated to the transcendental position if they accept Me.'
Why this propaganda was not done by the higher class people, so that the so-called pāpa-yoni could be elevated? Why you rejected? The result was that the Muhammadans... Instead of accepting them, you rejected them, and they have partitioned, and they have gone away, and they have become eternal enemy of India." You see?
So this is the first time that we are trying to elevate to the highest position of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, even one is in the pāpa-yoni. It doesn't matter. Because soul is pure. Asaṅgo 'yaṁ puruṣaḥ. The Vedas says, "The soul is untouched by any material contamination." Simply, temporarily, he is covered. This covering should be opened. Then he becomes pure. That is the mission of human life, to uncover ourselves from this material envelopment and come to the spiritual understanding, surrender to Kṛṣṇa—life is perfect. (break)
Prof. Kotovsky: Thank you for taking interest in so many... Unfortunately I am leaving early tomorrow morning, quite early, to the south, seven days, and I won't be able to help you. But probably through your embassy you can meet some people from our...
Prabhupāda: No, I am not interested. I came to see you especially...
Prof. Kotovsky: Some people from Christian Orthodox Church may be interested to have some discussion.
Prabhupāda: So if there is some discussion, I am prepared. It is, after all, for the whole human society, and it is being practically appreciated. So if there is possibility, I am..., for two days I can meet some gentlemen. I can meet.
Prof. Kotovsky: Well, if you can ask Mr. Natarajan from embassy to perform...
Prabhupāda: No, not, not in that way. If some of your assistant does it, then it is all right, because, to tell you frankly, so far our Indian government is concerned, they are not very much interested with this movement. Yes. Their program is different.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, of course, Indian government program is more and more secular in general ideology, Westernized.
Prabhupāda: But of course, people are not very happy there. One gentleman, he's in government service. I am speaking, in 19..., sometimes, 1950. He was in statistics department, Mr. Dal, Kashmiri gentleman. He was coming to me in Allahabad. He told me that "I went... I go to the villages, and the villagers say, 'Bābuji, angrej ko bahut (indistinct)?' " That was his statement.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yeah, because every..., there are some kind of people in some administrative departments who...
Prabhupāda: No, the difficulty is...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...are both masters(?) and ex-British officers.
Prabhupāda: ... the difficulty, that India is nowhere. They are trying to imitate, Westernize, but they are hundred years back. From materialistic point of view, technological point of view, they are hundred years back.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, that's right. But what to do for India?
Prabhupāda: No. That not...
Prof. Kotovsky: To improve the condition of life, to be Westernized, is the major problem.
Prabhupāda: That... But there is one thing that I am experiencing. India's the spiritual asset, if that is distributed, that will increase India's honor. That is my view... Because everywhere I go, still people adore India's spiritual culture. They are after India. And if they are properly distributed, this treasure house of Indian spiritual knowledge, then at least people outside India, they'll think that "We are getting something from India."
Prof. Kotovsky: Oh, you are right in this sense to my mind, that the Indian culture of heritage is to be made known everywhere. That's right. But from the..., in the same time, in what way this would benefit Indian training masters(?) themselves? Because they are sitting in India...
Prabhupāda: No, India...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...and they have nothing from spreading of Indian cultural heritage and etcetera over the world. Indian villagers have to have fertilizers, tractors, etcetera.
Prabhupāda: We do not object to that. There is no objection.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, I don't think that you object.
Prof. Kotovsky: But at the same time, something has to be done in India itself. In what lines, if you... One may call it Westernization from this introduction of technical revolution in all spheres of Indian life, in agriculture, industry, etcetera...
Prabhupāda: Now, this picture... This is Viṣvarūpa. It was shown to Arjuna. Now, Arjuna, before understanding Bhagavad-gītā, was a fighter, warrior. And after understanding Bhagavad-gītā, he remained a fighter. So we don't want to change the position. Just like you are a respectable professor, teacher. We don't say that you change your position. We have come to convince you about our philosophy. That's all.
So just like the same example: Arjuna, he was denying to fight: "Kṛṣṇa, I do not like to kill my relatives. I don't want this kingdom." But he was taught Bhagavad-gītā. And at the end, when Kṛṣṇa inquired, "What is your decision now?" he said, kariṣye vacanaṁ tava (BG 18.73): "Yes, I shall act accordingly, as You say." That means his consciousness was changed. He remained a fighter. He was a fighter, he remained a fighter, but he changed his consciousness.
We want that. We don't want to disturb the present condition of the society. No. But we try to make them understand that "There is a great necessity of you to understand this consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness." That is our goal.
Prof. Kotovsky: But at the same time, the final goal of any consciousness is to change society...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...to make a better society. That...
Prabhupāda: That is automatically...
Prof. Kotovsky: I am not very so happy to hear that your ultimate goal is not to disturb society as such, because in modern society there are many things to be changed...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...through some consciousness.
Prabhupāda: That preliminary changes... Just like we prohibit, "Don't take intoxicants."
Guest: To change... Not to change culture. Intoxication is not (indistinct).
Prabhupāda: So if he becomes..., if he takes to these processes, then automatically...
Guest: Transformation will take place automatically.
Prabhupāda: ...his whole life is changed. Yes. Because these four things—illicit sex life, intoxication, meat-eating and gambling—they are very great impediments for social improvement.
Guest: And that will automatically make his life simpler, because a person who is not indulging in illicit sex life or intoxication and other things has to live a comparatively simpler life.
Prof. Kotovsky: That's right. One will live much simpler life, agreed. But at the same time, would it change some complex things...?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Oh, yes.
Guest: No, no, it won't change the complex for simple reason that a person who's not indulging in this one and he's conscious, he'll be also conscious to work hard competitively when he is quite sure that he cannot rob somebody if he wants his food, and he can't rob it.
Prof. Kotovsky: But if you would..., will have many, even many followers, how far this adaption of Kṛṣṇa consciousness by many Americans boy would affect the politics of their attitude, for instance, to such a bearing problem of America as Vietnam War?
Guest: Correct. They'll never be the one who will ever advocate any war, because they know this war itself is a wrong thing.
Prabhupāda: No, no. We don't say "Avoid war." But unnecessary war is avoided. Just like Kṛṣṇa induced Arjuna to fight. It was necessary. It was necessary.
Guest: To get rid of extra evil.
Prabhupāda: It was necessary. So nothing is avoided, but everything is utilized for proper purpose. Nothing is rejected. Nirbandhe kṛṣṇa-sambandhe (Brs. 1.2.255). This is fact, that Kṛṣṇa never advocated that "Let there be stop of war." No. When there is necessity, absolute necessity, there may be war, but for their good purpose, not by the whims of the politicians. No.
Prof. Kotovsky: Hm-hm. That's right. So...
Prabhupāda: So if you can arrange for some program, it is all right. There are... It is all right.
Śyāmasundara: Is there any possibility Swāmījī could lecture at the Institute itself in the next day or two?
Prof. Kotovsky: I don't think, because, you know, now it is vacation time. (break)
Prabhupāda: "...Vedic Concept of Communism," "Knowledge by Authorized Tradition," and what was the other?
Śyāmasundara: "Scientific Values of..."
Prabhupāda: "Scientific Classless Society." This subject matter I wanted...
Prof. Kotovsky: Have you put into writing these three subjects somewhere?
Prabhupāda: I asked... Because I could not contact him, therefore I asked the Ambassador. But unfortunately they say that "We did not receive any letter like that." So you can note down if you like.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, it is interesting to read also your text of your lectures. But it is not here? It is...? Kṛṣṇa Consciousness...
Prabhupāda: No, it is Easy Journey to Other Planets. No? No, what is this? Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, the Topmost Yoga System.
Śyāmasundara: See, the Swāmījī is only going to be here two more days, so if there's any possibility, people can take advantage to have him speak in public or in groups. Do you think it's possible?
Prof. Kotovsky: It's... It's... I can't help, because I am leaving tomorrow very early for the south, and I shall be here only on the first of July. Yes. So from this point it will be difficult, yes. Probably... My advice would be through an ambassador you can come in contact with this, our religious organization.
That would be very interesting to have some lecture in group, lecture in group, and some discussion of all this. That would be... That would be good possible, a little. So he can come back if... I would stay tomorrow, but I can't manage it myself, but..., as I am leaving at six, leaving, plane is leaving at 8:15 tomorrow morning.
Prabhupāda: You mean to say that some ambassador's men should see?
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes. It seems to me that your Ambassador's men can come in contact with special..., our religious organizations and can organize for you both meetings and conferences, etcetera. There's no difficulty for some men. That summit could be interesting.
Prabhupāda: So you can say. We shall arrange.
Prof. Kotovsky: Hm-hm. That you can. That you can... (break) (end)