730813 - Conversation A - Paris

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Go-previous.pngConversations by Date, 1973
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



730813R1-PARIS - August 13, 1973 - 53:06 Minutes



(Conversation with Sanskrit Professor)

Yogeśvara: ...(Sanskrit) at the University of, at the Sorbonne University here in Paris.

Professor: No, in fact, in the University of Marseilles.

Yogeśvara: Marseilles?

Professor: In the southern part of France. Yes.

Prabhupāda: So you can show our books, how Sanskrit we have written.

Professor: What?

Yogeśvara: He says we can show you our books. These are some of the publications of our Society.

Prabhupāda: Set all the books. Let him read the Sanskrit portion.

Guru-gaurāṅga: This is Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā.

Professor: That's the translation of...

Prabhupāda: Yes. Each word. Just see how we have translated. You are Sanskrit scholar.

Professor: This is the first volume? Are you preparing more of them?

Prabhupāda: Yes, we are preparing sixty.

Professor: Oh, I see.

Prabhupāda: Sixty volumes.

Professor: Oh, that's wonderful.

Prabhupāda: Sixty volumes.

Professor: That's a good thing. You know that the first translation of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in any European language was in French, in the beginning of the nineteenth century, by a French scholar called Burnouf. Yes, it was wonderful translation into French. But just a plain translation, without commentary. I am sure that your book is more valuable...

Prabhupāda: So you can see my mode of translation.

Professor: Yes, because...

Prabhupāda: You can see. You open anywhere. Yes.

Professor: Yes, and you have also a commentary...

Prabhupāda: Commentary, yes.

Professor: ...of your own, which is most (indistinct).

Prabhupāda: Not my own,...

Professor: No?

Prabhupāda: ...but through the disciplic succession. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). In that way.

Professor: From Caitanya.

Prabhupāda: From Śrī Kṛṣṇa. You can open the Fourth, Fourth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā.

Professor: Yes.

Yogeśvara: This is our Bhagavad-gītā, published by Macmillan Company.

Prabhupāda: You open the Fourth Chapter.

Professor: Do you think that your mission is successful?

Prabhupāda: That is to be judged by you.

Professor: Oh! (looks at book) That's interesting.

Yogeśvara: This is the verse here?

Professor: Yeah. Yes, this is the verse. People told me that you have some two or three thousand disciples in the Western world?

Prabhupāda: Two...?

Yogeśvara: Two or three thousand disciples.

Prabhupāda: More than that.

Professor: More than that?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Professor: And what about France? Is it...

Prabhupāda: That I do not know. They know.

Professor: They know, yes, better than you.

Prabhupāda: They bring the disciples. I simply initiate. That's all.

Professor: (laughs) Have you been many times in France or not?

Prabhupāda: This is the third time.

Professor: The third time?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Formerly I was going there... What is that place name?

Guru-gaurāṅga: Fontenay aux Roses.

Professor: Fontenay aux Roses. I see.

Prabhupāda: Yes. In a sewer. So I had got very poor idea of Paris.

Professor: Really? Why?

Prabhupāda: Because in the sewer, I could not see such nice things.

Professor: Here, it's a wonderful location.

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. Here it is wonderful. Now I can make an idea, what is Paris. Yes.

Professor: Surely.

Prabhupāda: I was under impression in Paris there is no nice park. Now this time I see, yes, Paris excels the whole world, having such a nice park. Yes. I saw Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. That is also very nice. But this park is nicer than Golden Gate Park.

Professor: You think so. The Bois de Boulogne is much better than the Golden Gate?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Professor: Well, it depends. I like the Golden Gate, too, because there is the sea not far. Here, in Paris, you have no ocean, nothing.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Professor: Only a small river. That is not the...

Prabhupāda: And on the whole, Paris city is very nice. Very nice. Opulent city.

Professor: And they told me also that this morning you had some brahminical initiation to the...

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, yes.

Professor: ...Gāyatrī.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Professor: How many people?

Prabhupāda: About fifteen.

Professor: That's good. That's good.

Prabhupāda: No, they...

Haṁsadūta: Seven brāhmaṇas and ten first initiations.

Prabhupāda: On the whole, fifteen.

Haṁsadūta: Fifteen, seventeen.

Prabhupāda: Seventeen?

Haṁsadūta: Seventeen.

Prabhupāda: Seventeen.

Professor: How many levels of initiation do you have?

Prabhupāda: Two.

Professor: Two. The first...

Prabhupāda: First initiation, experimental.

Professor: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. And then, as he practices, becomes more purified, then second initiation, Gāyatrī. Gāyatrī-mantra. But the first initiation, according to Jīva Gosvāmī, that is sufficient. Chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, that is sufficient. But still, to purify them more, the second initiation, Gāyatrī, is given. So we are creating brāhmaṇas in the Western countries. Yes.

Professor: I see. Don't you think it's against the dharma-śāstra?

Prabhupāda: No.

Professor: No. Tell me why.

Prabhupāda: Because in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). There is nothing such thing as janma.

Professor: Oh. Very nice.

Prabhupāda: And another place, Bhāgavatam, there is statement of Nārada, advising Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira that yasya hi lakṣaṇaṁ sa varṇābhivyañjakam. There are symptoms, brāhmaṇa system, satya śamo dama titikṣa ārjava (BG 18.42). It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Yasya hi yal lakṣaṇaṁ sa varṇābhivyañjakam, abhivyañjakaṁ varṇa. Yad hi lakṣaṇaṁ sa, tad yadi anyatrāpi dṛśyeta tat tenaiva vinirdiśet (SB 7.11.35). This is the injunction of Nārada: "The symptoms, brahminical symptoms, if it is found in the person who is born in a śūdra family, he should be accepted as brāhmaṇa.

And if the śūdra symptoms are visible in a person born in a brāhmaṇa family, he should be accepted as śūdra." And in the Jābāla Upaniṣad, the Satyakāma Jābāla... So Satyakāma was born of a maidservant, but he wanted to become brāhmaṇa. So he went to Gautama Muni: "Sir, make me your disciple." In those days, Vaidic brahminical culture, without becoming brāhmaṇa, he cannot be initiated. Initiation means to make one brāhmaṇa.

So, according to our Gosvāmī process, Sanātana Gosvāmī, he has given us the book Hari-bhakti-vilāsa. In that book he has written,

yathā kāñcanatāṁ yāti
kāṁsyaṁ rasa-vidhānataḥ
tathā dvijatvaṁ jāyate...
tathā dīkṣā-vidhānena
dvijatvaṁ jāyate nṛṇām
(Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 2.12)

Nṛṇām: "Of all human beings, by initiation, he becomes a dvija." So we follow that principle. And besides that, Caitanya Mahāprabhu ordered that bhārata-bhūmite... You understand little Bengali?

Professor: No, Bengali, no, I don't. But it doesn't matter.

Prabhupāda: Bhārata-bhūmite manuṣya-janma haila yāra (CC Adi 9.41). It is almost Sanskrit. "Anyone who has taken birth as human being in the land of Bhārata-varṣa," janma sārthaka kari, "making his life successful," kara para-upakāra. Para-upakāra. Para-upakāra means everyone is in slumber and considering himself that he is body, like cats and dogs. Therefore, they should be raised to the spiritual consciousness, that "You are not cats and dogs.

You are Brahman. Just realize ahaṁ brahmāsmi." This is para-upakāra. So we are doing that. We are awakening everyone. Uttiṣṭha jāgrata prāpta-varaṁ nibodhata (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.3.14): "You have got now human being form of life. Now get up and make your life successful by spiritual realization." This is our message. Sarve sukhino bhavantu. By spiritual realization everyone will become happy. Without spiritual realization, nobody can become happy. This is our mission.

Professor: Thank you.

Prabhupāda: So Indian caste brāhmaṇas, they are against me. Against me. They come to fight with me that I am spoiling Hindu religion.

Professor: (laughs) Well, you are a brāhmaṇa yourself.

Prabhupāda: Yes. I am now sannyāsī.

Haṁsadūta: This is a statement of account from the Central Bank of India. It just arrived from London.

Prabhupāda: Oh.

(pause, opens letter)

Any other letter? No.

Haṁsadūta: That's all. No.

Prabhupāda: So just see how we have translated. You are Sanskrit scholar.

Professor: You know the Kali-santaraṇa Upaniṣad, naturally.

Prabhupāda: Kali-santaraṇa Upaniṣad. Yes.

Professor: Yes, I have made a translation of it into French. It's under print now at the present.

Prabhupāda: Kali-santaraṇa Upaniṣad? That is Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.

Professor: Yeah, that the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. That's the...

Yogeśvara: You mentioned that to Professor Stahl in your correspondences.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Yogeśvara: You mentioned that in the Kali-santaraṇa Upaniṣad the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is specifically recommended to counteract the contamination.

Prabhupāda: Now it is translated by you.

Professor: Yeah.

Yogeśvara: In French?

Professor: In French, yes. I'll send you a copy when it's out of the press. It is not a fact at present. Well, I thank you very much for being kind enough...

Yogeśvara: If you have questions, you shouldn't feel shy. You can ask whatever you want.

Professor: No, why not?

Prabhupāda: No. He has already questioned one, that I am making brāhmaṇa—whether it is according to śāstra?

Professor: That's the usual question. That's not the first time this question has been asked to you. (laughs)

Prabhupāda: No, it is... We do not do anything which is not in śāstra. So this Jābāla Upaniṣad, this Satyakāma Jābāla, he went to Gautama Muni for initiation. So Gautama Muni asked him, "Who is your father?" He replied that he did not know. "So ask your mother." The mother was asked also. She said, "No, I do not know." He came to Gautama Muni and said that "My father's name is neither known to my mother nor to me."

Professor: Yes, yes. I know this story.

Prabhupāda: Then he accepted that "You are a brāhmaṇa," because he is talking truth.

Professor: The truth, satyam.

Prabhupāda: That is the sign.

Professor: The sign. It's a well-known story.

Prabhupāda: Therefore, by birth a brāhmaṇa is not made. By character.

Professor: Yes, I agree with that. And what about girls? Do you initiate girls? Or not?

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Professor: Do you initiate girls?

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. So many girls. Striyo śūdrās tathā vaiśyās te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim.

Professor: That's...

Prabhupāda: (aside:) Find out this verse, māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya. Give him, Paṇḍita Mahāśaya.

māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrās
te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim
(BG 9.32)

Professor: Just like Gārgī and... Yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Gārgī. Etad viditvā yaḥ prayāti sa brāhmaṇaḥ (Gargopaniṣad).

Yogeśvara: It's rather remarkable if one takes into account the fact that most of us come from backgrounds which had nothing whatsoever to do with the standards of brahminical culture.

Professor: That's right. Yes, but...

Yogeśvara: We were..., we were steeped in all kinds of bad habits.

Prabhupāda: No, according to Vedic injunction, the Westerners are mlecchas, yavanas. You know better than me.

Professor: (laughs) Yes.

Prabhupāda: So pāpa-yoni. And therefore, Kṛṣṇa says... What does He say?

Pradyumna:

māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrās
te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim
(BG 9.32)

"O son of Pṛthā, those who take shelter in Me, although they be of lower birth—women, vaiśyas, merchants, as well as śūdras, or workers—can approach the supreme destination."

Professor: Yes.

Prabhupāda: In another place, in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, I think Second..., Second Canto... Find out this verse: kirāta-hūṇāndhra-pulinda-pulkaśā ābhīra-śumbhā yavanāḥ khasādayaḥ ye 'nye ca pāpā yad-apāśrayāśrayāḥ (SB 2.4.18).

Devotee: Second volume.

Professor: This one?

Devotee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Kirāta-hūṇāndhra-pulinda-pulkaśā...

Pradyumna: We publish these with nice indices.

Professor: Oh, yes, yes. It is so strange to have an index. Yes.

Prabhupāda: Index, there is.

Professor: Śloka-sūcī. Yes, there is index. Yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Pradyumna: Kirāta-hūṇāndhra-pulinda-pulkaśā ābhīra-śumbhā yavanāḥ khasādayaḥ ye 'nye ca pāpā...

Prabhupāda: The name yavana, is there.

Pradyumna: ...yad-apāśrayāśrayāḥ śudhyanti tasmai prabhaviṣṇave namaḥ (SB 2.4.18). Translation: "Kirāta, Hūṇa, Āndhra, Pulinda, Pulkaśa, Ābhīra, Śumbha, Yavana, and the Khasa races, and even others who are addicted to sinful acts, can be purified by taking shelter of the devotees of the Lord due to His being the Supreme Power. I beg to offer my respectful obeisances unto Him."

Prabhupāda: What is the purport?

Pradyumna: Uh. "Kirāta: A province of old Bhārata-varṣa mentioned in the Bhīṣma-parva of the Mahābhārata. Generally the Kirātas are known as the aboriginal tribes of India. And in modern days the Santal Parganas in Bihar and Chota Nagpur might comprise the old province named Kirāta."

Prabhupāda: They're black.

Pradyumna: In "Hūṇa: The area of East Germany and part of Russia is known as the province of the Hūṇas. Accordingly, sometimes a kind of hill tribe is known as the Hūṇas, the Huns."

Prabhupāda: Hoons.

Pradyumna: "Andhra: A province in Southern India mentioned in the Bhīṣma-parva of Mahābhārata. It is still extant under the same name.

"Pulinda: It is mentioned in Mahābhārata that is the inhabitants of the province of the name Pulinda. This country was conquered by Bhīmasena and Sahadeva. The Greeks are known as Pulindas, and it is mentioned in the Vana-parva of Mahābhārata that the non-Vedic race of this part of the world would rule over the world. This Pulinda province was also one of the provinces of Bhārata, and the inhabitants were classified amongst the kṣatriya kings. But later on, due to their giving up the brahminical culture, they were mentioned as mlecchas, just as those who are not followers of the Islamic culture are called kafirs, and those who are not followers of the Christian culture are called heathens.

"Ābhīra: This name also appears in Mahābhārata, both in the Sabhā-parva and the Bhīṣma-parva. It is mentioned that this province was situated on the river Sarasvatī in Sind. The modern Sind province formerly extended on the other side of the Arabian Sea. All the inhabitants of that province were known as the Ābhīras. They were under the domination of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira and, according to the statements of Mārkaṇḍeya, the mlecchas of this part of the world would also rule over Bhārata. Later on, this proved to be true, as it was proved in the case of the Pulindas.

On behalf of the Pulindas, Alexander the Great conquered India, and on behalf of the Ābhīras, Muhammad Ghori conquered India. These Ābhīras were also formerly kṣatriyas within the brahminical culture, but they gave up the connection. But the kṣatriyas who were afraid of Paraśurāma and had hidden themselves in the Caucasian hilly regions later on became known as the Ābhīras, and the place they inhabited was known as Ābhīradeśa.

"Śumbha, or the..." (break)

Prabhupāda: One Yavana fought with him, Kālayavana.

Professor: Because usually the Yavanas is considered as being Greeks.

Prabhupāda: Greeks.

Professor: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Professor: Not Turks.

Prabhupāda: Turks and Greeks...

Professor: Yes.

Prabhupāda: What is the mention there?

Pradyumna: Turkey.

Prabhupāda: Hmm. Then?

Pradyumna: Then... "Another..."

Prabhupāda: As far as I have searched out from Mahābhārata... Yes.

Pradyumna: "The western Yavana joined with Duryodhana in the Battle of Kurukṣetra under the pressure of Karṇa. It is also foretold that these Yavanas..., that these Yavanas also would conquer India, and it proved to be true.

"Khasadaya..." (break)

Professor: Now I understand exactly what the purpose of your movement is. I just wonder if you think the Western world is ready for this message?

Prabhupāda: Yes, why not ready? So many young men are coming.

Professor: So many, okay, yes, but consideration of so many other people outside this temple...

Prabhupāda: No, any sane man will accept. This cult will not be accepted by the insane. One who is in quite order of the brain, he'll accept it. Only mūḍhas. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ (BG 7.15).

Professor: And in India, where is your āśrama or something like that?

Prabhupāda: My main āśrama is in Vṛndāvana.

Professor: Where?

Prabhupāda: Vṛndāvana.

Professor: Oh, in Vṛndāvana itself.

Prabhupāda: Yes. And Māyāpur. Lord Caitanya. And we have got branch in Calcutta, Bombay, Hyderabad, Māyāpur and Vṛndāvana. Five...

(break) I, I brought with me forty rupees and few books. That's all.

Professor: Forty rupees! That was not enough to live in Boston or in New York.

Prabhupāda: Yes. And now we are spending about eighty thousand dollars per month.

Professor: Per month.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Throughout the whole world. But we are selling our books very nicely, about...

(aside:) How many, how much dollars?

Yogeśvara: How many, how many lakhs of rupees of books per month, Pradyumna?

Prabhupāda: No, no, daily...

Professor: Lakhs of...

Prabhupāda: Daily we are collecting about thirty..., eight hundred... In, in, in Los Angeles we collect about eight hundred dollars daily.

Yogeśvara: More than that.

Prabhupāda: More than that. Eh?

Haṁsadūta: I think it must be about two thousand, about twenty thousand dollars a day, through the Society.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Professor: Just by selling books or...?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Yogeśvara: Just by selling books.

Professor: You must receive gifts as well.

Prabhupāda: No gifts. By selling books.

Professor: Why not?

Prabhupāda: There are sometimes gifts.

Professor: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Just like George Harrison has given us a house in London, Letchmore Heath. It is worth £220,000.

Haṁsadūta: Over a half million dollars.

Professor: Ācchā. That's good.

Prabhupāda: So you can come sometimes. No, you can stay there. It is very nice place. We have seventeen acres of land, open, with a lake. It is a royal palace.

Professor: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes. We are installing our Deity next 21st. So if you have time, I invite you. It is not far, London.

Professor: London is not far for me. Yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Professor: The 21st of September?

Prabhupāda: Twenty-first of August.

Professor: August. Oh, I see.

Yogeśvara: In a few days.

Professor: It's a big feast.

Prabhupāda: So you are Sanskrit scholar. You can join with this movement and help us.

Professor: Thank you.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Because it is worldwide movement.

Professor: I cannot help you. That's, that's...

Prabhupāda: No, you can help us.

Professor: That's very strange.

Prabhupāda: Some of our students are trying to learn Sanskrit. You can help them.

Professor: Well, he knows very well Sanskrit. He pronounce it very well.

Prabhupāda: Yes. He has learned out of his own accord, without taking help from anybody.

Professor: Really?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Whatever little help I give, that's all.

Professor: He knows how to chant the Sanskrit...

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Professor: ...verse.

Prabhupāda: Ah, yes.

Professor: So probably this comes from you.

Yogeśvara: But here in Paris we are also translating these books now into French.

Professor: Into French?

Yogeśvara: Yes.

Professor: Many people are able to read it in English.

Yogeśvara: Oh, but for those who cannot read the English, there's necessity in French.

Professor: Quite. Oh, yes.

Yogeśvara: For example, Bhagavad-gītā we're preparing now in French.

Professor: Oh? Yes.

Prabhupāda: Give him some prasādam.

Yogeśvara: In France, I believe, the only version of Bhagavad-gītā that people know is Aurobindo's translation.

Professor: No, there are many others.

Yogeśvara: Many?

Professor: There are many others.

Prabhupāda: English?

Professor: No, no. In French.

Prabhupāda: In French.

Professor: Bhagavad-gītā? Yes. I think translated I think something like ten or twelve times.

Yogeśvara: Ten or twelve times in French?

Professor: Oh, yes.

Yogeśvara: He says there are ten or twelve different French translations of the Gītā.

Professor: Yes.

Prabhupāda: In English also there are...

Professor: Oh, English, more than that.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Professor: English, more than that.

Yogeśvara: So now we wish to present the Bhagavad-gītā as it is.

Professor: As it is.

Prabhupāda: Without interpretation. And, according to the trades manager of Macmillan Company, our book is topmost selling.

Professor: I see.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Than all other editions. Their report is. They, they print at a time fifty thousand copies. So three or four times they have already printed.

Professor: Really?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Since last August, within one year.

Professor: Wow. That's a great success.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes.

Professor: That's good.

Prabhupāda: Now they are out of stock.

Professor: Out of stock? (laughs)

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Professor: So they will print it again, no?

Prabhupāda: They will print it. They will supply in August or July, they said. They'll supply. So it has come out very successful.

Professor: That's good.

Prabhupāda: Just imagine, 200,000 copies distributed within one year.

Professor: In one year. That's very good.

Prabhupāda: And in America, our people go to saṅkīrtana, many gentlemen comes down, gets down from the car, inquires, "You have got Bhaktivedanta's Bhagavad-gītā As It Is?" They purchase like that. Yes. At least, they have become inquisitive on account of the word "As It Is."

Professor: What?

Prabhupāda: "As It Is."

Professor: Oh, As It Is, yes.

Yogeśvara: Because of the fact that our title is Bhagavad-gītā As It Is.

Professor: "As It Is."

Yogeśvara: "As It Is." Yes.

Professor: Yes. The French and to many other countries.

Prabhupāda: Because they have read different interpretations. Now they want to read as it is.

Professor: That's fine. That is fine.

Prabhupāda: What, what is your opinion about interpretation?

Professor: Well, it's much better to have a commentary separated, not an interpretation given mixed with the translation. It is not to be...

Prabhupāda: It is not good. No. Yes. We cite them...

Professor: It has to be different.

Prabhupāda: No, if you have got your own opinion, you can write your own book. But you cannot interpret on the Bhagavad-gītā.

Professor: Yes, that's right. No. You are right.

Prabhupāda: Then the authority of Bhagavad-gītā is gone. But everyone is doing like that, even Dr. Radhakrishnan and others.

Professor: Yes. I already know...

Prabhupāda: Yes. Even Gandhi has done.

Professor: Gandhi also?

Prabhupāda: Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi. He has also interpreted. He has interpreted, "This body... Kurukṣetra means this body."

Professor: But he didn't write it...

Prabhupāda: Well, it is not widely read, but this has become a fashion, to give his own interpretation. Yes.

Professor: Yeah, that's right, the fashion. That's the word. That's right.

Prabhupāda: But Kṛṣṇa was not a so, I mean to say, ignorant that He left something to be interpreted later on by another rascal. No. That was not Kṛṣṇa's intention. What Kṛṣṇa says, that is final. So we accept in that way. Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65). So we appeal to the people that "You think of Kṛṣṇa. You become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa."

All these disciples, they have been taught like that. "You offer obeisances to Kṛṣṇa." Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī. "You worship Kṛṣṇa." That's all. And by doing that, they are advancing. Advancing. And before me, for hundreds of years, or more than that, the Bhagavad-gītā was known to the European and American countries—as you say, there are so many trans...

Professor: Yes.

Prabhupāda: But not a single soul became a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. There is no history. Yes. So far we know, that by reading Bhagavad-gītā, it is meant for making a person devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). But before my coming here, so many svāmīs came, and they preached on Bhagavad-gītā, so many scholars came, but not a single soul became a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa.

Professor: Yes, because other... So, for instance, you have the Ramakrishna Mission...

Prabhupāda: What the Ramakrishna Mission has done?

Professor: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Ramakrishna Mission has done this: that they have learned to drink wine and eat meat, that's all, from the Western countries. That's all.

Professor: Yes. This is so.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is their contribution. And they have spoiled the Hindu culture.

Professor: Oh. Really?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. Because Vivekananda said, "Oh, what is the harm there, in eating? You can eat whatever you like. It doesn't matter in religion." It was the first. And he himself was eating anything. So all the Ramakrishna mission sannyāsīs still, they are eating meat, egg and everything, especially in America. Yes. Fish is no consideration. That is daily affair. And the turkey... Yes. Instead of preaching here, they have taken the Western method. And Vivekananda's preaching is like Western missionaries—open hospitals, school...

Professor: You are right, yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes. He had no spiritual knowledge. So therefore it has not been successful. They are preaching in the Western country... As far I know, in America they have got ten or twelve branches. I am working for the last six years only. I have got already fifty branches. And each branch, there are devotees like them, not less than twenty-five, up to two hundred, three hundred, all dedicated souls.

Professor: And what about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi?

Prabhupāda: I don't take account of these, because they are not standard.

Professor: Oh, I see.

Prabhupāda: They are not standard. We are following Bhagavad-gītā as it is, standard, and they have got their own manufactured way. So we don't recognize them. Our process is, evaṁ paramparā prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). Paramparā. What Kṛṣṇa said, the disciplic succession will say the same thing. But they are speaking differently. So therefore we don't take them as bona fide. They are not bona fide.

And from external point of view, we have got so many literatures, so many branches, so many devotees, within six years. But they haven't got such thing. Even Ramakrishna Mission. They are working for the last eighty years, and I have worked only for six years. And my result is eighty times more than them. They also acknowledge.

Yogeśvara: Phalena paricīyate.

Professor: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Phalena paricīyate. Yes. And we shall... Our manuscript is ready for sixty volumes, but we are gradually publishing. Already we have got about twenty volumes, different kinds of literature. Yes. Show all the books. You have seen our books? No.

Professor: No, not very well.

Prabhupāda: Show all the books. Bring. Bring him. Yes.

Yogeśvara: These are nice paintings as well, you'll find in here. Yes. All done by the devotees. Some prasādam. This Kṛṣṇa book is a summary study of the Tenth Canto Bhāgavatam, the intimate pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Professor: And it is just two volumes or...?

Yogeśvara: Yes, two volumes.

Professor: Just two volumes.

Prabhupāda: Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The other book is Nectar of Devotion. It is translation from Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu of Rūpa Gosvāmī.

Professor: This is also a translation of it, or...?

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Professor: It's about that, or is it a translation.

Prabhupāda: It is summary study.

Yogeśvara: Summary study.

Professor: Summary study, yeah. Well, the books are well printed and very well... I like books like this.

Prabhupāda: This is summary study of Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

Yogeśvara: We also have now the complete Caitanya-caritāmṛta being printed by our own presses in New York City, with the original Bengali, and...

Prabhupāda: We have got the manuscript printed? Not yet. No...

Professor: Such wonderful books...

Prabhupāda: No, our books are selling nicely.

Professor: (laughs) Well, I believe that. One... It's nice to see that all these books around.

Prabhupāda: Two thousand, three thousand dollars daily.

Yogeśvara: More than that.

Prabhupāda: More than that.

Yogeśvara: Much more than that.

Guru-gaurāṅga: Haṁsadūta said twenty-thousand.

Prabhupāda: Twenty-thousand? Oh.

Haṁsadūta: Yeah, we also have so many small books.

Guru-gaurāṅga: These books are all by Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: Later on they will write.

Professor: Eh?

Prabhupāda: Later on, they'll write. Yes. For the time being, I am writing.

Haṁsadūta: Each disciple writes one book.

Professor: No.

Prabhupāda: And we are printing 100,000 of these small books at a time.

Professor: One hundred thousand? Each of them, or...?

Prabhupāda: Yes, each of them. And as soon as they brought books in saṅkīrtana, people take it immediately—"Give me one, give me one, give me one..." That's... These books, we charge fifty cents. They pay easily.

Professor: I saw that in the streets of New York.

Yogeśvara: Oh, yes, you've seen the saṅkīrtana party?

Professor: No, I have not seen the temple, but I've seen..., last time I was in New York, I saw, just in front of the library, you know the library, on the Fifth Avenue...

Yogeśvara: He has seen our saṅkīrtana.

Haṁsadūta: He saw us on the Forty-second Street.

Professor: Not on Forty-second Street.

Haṁsadūta: By the library.

Professor: Yes.

Guru-gaurāṅga: Forty-second and Fifth Avenue.

Prabhupāda: Forty-second Street...

Professor: Yes.

Prabhupāda: ...there is public library.

Professor: That was about Christmas time.

Yogeśvara: Christmas time.

Professor: Oh, yes.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Professor: It was very cold, standing around this...

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Yogeśvara: Then they have to take us seriously. We're there in the summer, and they think it is some kind of a festival, and then they see us...

Professor: It is festival.

Yogeśvara: ...in the middle of winter, and they know we're serious.

Professor: It's also a kind of festival at the same time, no?

Guru-gaurāṅga: Yātrā.

Professor: That's festival.

Guru-gaurāṅga: Yes.

Professor: You had a yātrā, I guess, in San Francisco, didn't you?

Prabhupāda: Yes, Ratha-yātrā. Yes.

Professor: That was for the first time in '68, I guess.

Prabhupāda: This time I was present in the Ratha-yātrā. Yesterday, they were showing me the film. It was very successful. Ten thousand people participated.

Professor: In San Francisco, eh?

Prabhupāda: No, in London.

Professor: In London? When?

Prabhupāda: This July 8th.

Professor: This year?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Śrutakīrti: Also Melbourne.

Prabhupāda: Melbourne. You have got those pictures, Melbourne?

Haṁsadūta: Yes.

Professor: You are not organizing a yātrā in Paris?

Prabhupāda: Yes, they'll do.

Professor: Next year?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Guru-gaurāṅga: We had a very little one in the Bois de Boulogne.

Professor: That...

Guru-gaurāṅga: Small Ratha-yātrā. Next year at the Arch of Triumph.

Professor: Well. Wow, it must be something, a kind of happening.

Prabhupāda: And Ratha-yātrā, when we hold Ratha-yātrā, many thousands join. Without becoming our disciple, they chant and dance.

Professor: But did you, did you build a mahā-ratha?

Prabhupāda: Yes. I'll show the pictures.

Professor: Oh, I see.

Prabhupāda: It was published in, what is that, Observer paper?

Śrutakīrti: Oh, yes.

Yogeśvara: Yeah, the Observer, in London, the London Observer.

Prabhupāda: "Rival of Nelson."

Yogeśvara: It said, "A rival to Nelson's Column." They showed a picture of the ratha next to the column of Nelson.

Professor: Oh, really?

Yogeśvara: Yeah. Our car was bigger than...

Prabhupāda: And they published it, "Rival of Nelson. The great rival of Nelson." They appreciated. Yes.

Professor: Sure, I know it.

Prabhupāda: Everyone, everyone appreciated. After Ratha-yātrā, wherever our men went, they were received very well.

Professor: And what was the attitude of the Indian colony in London?

Prabhupāda: I do not know what is Indian colony.

Professor: There are many.

Prabhupāda: Yes, there are many.

Śrutakīrti: Many come to the temple.

Prabhupāda: These are some of the pictures in Melbourne.

Haṁsadūta: Three carts like this.

Professor: The big wheel. That's nice.

Haṁsadūta: You can see. There it's taking prasādam, serving prasādam. Everyone, so many devotees.

Prabhupāda: Were there color pictures, small?

Haṁsadūta: Yeah, there's a small...

Śrutakīrti: This one here.

Prabhupāda: No, the small...

Śrutakīrti: No, oh, the small pictures.

Haṁsadūta: (indistinct) three carts.

Professor: Oh, you got three different carts.

Haṁsadūta: Yeah, three carts.

Prabhupāda: Here is the gigantic ratha behind the crowd. The police cooperate.

Professor: I see.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Everyone likes. Yes. Even Christian priests, they also like. (professor laughs) No, any sane man will like, because... Somebody sends me money: "Sir, you are doing so nice work, spreading God consciousness. Here is my little contribution."

Professor: I see.

Prabhupāda: Yes. From your, these Western countries. Just week before, I got hundred dollars from one gentleman. Simply appreciated that I am spreading God consciousness. So actually we have no program of proselytizing or making Hindu from Christian, Christian... We have no such program. We simply want to see that everyone is God conscious. Never mind through which venue he becomes a God conscious. It doesn't matter. That is the verdict of Bhāgavata:

sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā
yenātmā samprasīdati
(SB 1.2.6)

(aside:) Find out this verse. First, first... Yes.

sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā
yenātmā samprasīdati
(SB 1.2.6)

You read.

Guru-gaurāṅga: Translation: "The Supreme occupation, dharma, for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted in order to completely satisfy the self."

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is self-satisfaction. Yayātmā suprasīdati. Ahaituky apratihatā. So the bhakti cult is open for everyone. Ahaituky apratihatā.

Professor: Yeah, but people following you, could, could they stay in normal life, I mean have a business, etcetera?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Why not? There are so many...

Professor: (to Yogeśvara) You, for instance, do you do that?

Prabhupāda: He's a householder. Yes.

Professor: You are still working?

Yogeśvara: I design books and magazines.

Professor: Where? I mean, in connection with this Society?

Yogeśvara: I do work for the Society.

Professor: But is it possible to work outside?

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. We have many professors. They're being outside. But one thing is that after being interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they cannot remain outside.

Professor: (laughs) That's it. That's the point, yes.

Prabhupāda: Because they don't find any suitable place.

Professor: No.

Prabhupāda: That is the difficulty.

Professor: Yes. But this gentleman told me that he is married, for instance.

Prabhupāda: He is married. So we have got so many married couples.

Professor: Your wife is here?

Yogeśvara: Yes.

Professor: In the same Society?

Yogeśvara: Yes.

Professor: And in the same...

Prabhupāda: She also translates.

Yogeśvara: My wife translates, and I design the book.

Professor: So do you think it is possible, for instance, to have the husband being involved in this movement and not his wife?

Prabhupāda: No, wife also involved. Everyone is involved. The child is also involved. You'll find in our class a small child dancing to the tune. Yes. We have opened our new school for children in Dallas. All the gṛhastha-bhaktas, those who have got children, we send there.

(aside:) Have you got pictures of Dallas?

So there we have got very nice building, and, about, for the present, about near about hundred students. They're simply taught Sanskrit and English.

Professor: Nothing else.

Prabhupāda: Nothing else. Later on, little geometry, geography, mathematics. They're not meant for outside work. They're meant for as soon as they learn Sanskrit and English, they'll read these books.

Professor: I see. But to get the initiation, you have to be how many years old?

Prabhupāda: At least ten years.

Professor: Ten years.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Ten to twelve years. That is the Vedic system. Twelve years old, he can be initiated.

Professor: Yes, yes. It is the same as the upanayana.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Upa means "near," and nayanam, "to bring." Upanayana-saṁskāra. And the sacred thread means that he has been accepted by the spiritual master by bringing him near to spiritual consciousness.

Professor: So at the time of initiation, you not only give the Gāyatrī-mantra, but also the sacred thread.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Professor: Oh, I see.

Prabhupāda: Just we have given Gāyatrī-mantra... You have got that paper? Yes. Show him. Give him.

Professor: Can I take it with me?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Professor: I'd like to read it. Well, I have been very pleased to be with you.

Prabhupāda: Take prasādam.

Professor: Thank you. (laughs) I may take just one, thank you.

Prabhupāda: No, take.

Professor: More, I cannot take. It's not possible. Thank you very much. (break)

Prabhupāda: ...Kṛṣṇa, in His childhood. You have seen the picture, Lugdu Gopāla.

Professor: Yes, yes.

Yogeśvara: Lugdu Gopāla.

Prabhupāda: We are therefore going to Kṛṣṇa—to taste lugdu with Him. Lugdu, kachorī... From that Kṛṣṇa book... You can find out that picture.

Yogeśvara: Find the picture.

Prabhupāda: How Kṛṣṇa is enjoying lugdu with His friends.

Professor: Yes.

Yogeśvara: He's taking lunch.

Prabhupāda: Yes. They're taking lunch, and Brahmā is playing trick.

Yogeśvara: You know the story?

Professor: Of what?

Yogeśvara: Lord Brahmā stole away all of Kṛṣṇa's cows and...

Professor: Yes, yes, oh yeah, oh yeah, (indistinct).

Prabhupāda: And Kṛṣṇa again expanded Himself into so many cows, calves, friends. Then Brahmā thought that he is defeated.

ānanda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhāvitābhis-
tābhir ya eva nija-rūpatayā kalābhiḥ
goloka eva nivasaty akhilātma-bhūto
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
(Bs. 5.37)

Professor: Yes, it's time...

Prabhupāda: All right. Thank you.

Professor: Thank you very much. (end)