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730921 - Conversation B - Bombay
(Conversation with American Banker)
Prabhupāda: All these things are, they are simply māyā. Māyā-sukhāya bharam udvahato vimūḍhān (SB 7.9.43). These rascal, they are working so hard, making gorgeous arrangement. For what? For illusory sense gratification. That sense gratification is also false. Real sense gratification is in Kṛṣṇa and kṛṣṇa-dhāma. Hlādinī, sandhinī, saṁvit, perverted in this material life. Āhlāda-tapa-kārī miśrayate tair na guṇa-varjite(?). Here āhlāda, pleasure, and tapa-kārī, pain, and mixture of āhlāda. This is the position. Tair na guṇa-varjite(?).
This kind of pleasure is not in Kṛṣṇa, guṇa-varjite, because He is free from the material contamination. So anyway, the human life is only meant for... This is our mission, to teach that "You are simply wasting your time. Take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness." That is his only business. And next business is, those who cannot directly take to, then those, they should be helping this movement. Therefore we go door to door, to connect them, to be linked up with this movement, Life Member, this member, that member... They are misunderstanding, "They have no other good business. Transcendental fraud, giving us some book and taking money and eating and sleeping. They have got..." They are thinking like that.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So we should preach strongly, and they should know that we also preach.
Prabhupāda: Yes. They should know that it is for their benefit we are making them Life Member, not for our benefit. And that should be the motive.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They should give with that motive.
Prabhupāda: Yes. We should deal with them so that they may develop their Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If you simply make it a point, somehow or other, take some money from them and let them go to hell, that is not... That is transcendental fraud. What do you think, Gargamuni?
Gargamuni: Yes. We have to preach.
Prabhupāda: Yes. If by the dress of sannyāsī you take some money and eat and sleep, then it is transcendental fraud. (laughs) (Hindi) Just like others are toiling, and we are getting money by some dress. That's all. They are getting money by laboring hard, and we are getting money... In India, mostly the sannyāsīs, they do that. The priests also, they do that. "This is our profession." Just... My Guru Mahārāja said that ṭhākura dekhiye pāya rasta karache, rastaye 'yandiya jīvika badram karam bhari(?). Instead of earning livelihood by showing the Deity in the temple, it is better to take the profession of a sweeper in the street and live honestly. He said like that.
The sweeper, he is working hard, toiling, and getting some money and living. This is honest living. But just like in Vṛndāvana, all the gosvāmīs, they have got their Deity. People are coming, contributing. Typical example, Gauracānda Goswami. Ṭhākura dekhiye paisa rasta.(?) All the sevaites, they are meant for... Our Kunja Babu also planned like that. He thought, "By cheating all the Godbrothers, I have got now Caitanya Maṭha. And people will come to see Caitanya Mahāprabhu's birthplace, and I will get good income. And it will be distributed amongst my brothers and sons and myself. That's all." That is his scheme.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Perfect material plan.
Prabhupāda: Yes. It is another way of earning money. And he was always after Guru Mahārāja only for this purpose. Guru Mahārāja took that "Oh, this man is helping me." But he had no such plan, to help Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī. He had the plan, "Keep Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī in front, earn money, and put it in my pocket." That was his very beginning. He was taking money like anything. But he was a good manager. Other Godbrothers complained, sannyāsīs. Guru Mahārāja used to say that "Why you are complaining? You cannot reform him, your Godbrother? And if I would have to keep expert manager like him, I would have to pay something. Suppose he is taking something. Why do you grudge?" (laughs) He would say like that. So nobody could say anything. But after the demise, everything burst out: "Kunja Babu must be driven out." That was the whole plan of Gauḍīya Maṭha breakdown. The grudge was against Kunja Babu.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Who is Kunja Babu?
Prabhupāda: That Tīrtha Mahārāja.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh, Tīrtha Mahārāja.
Prabhupāda: His name is Kunja Vihari Sar. So that was boiling in everyone's heart. So as soon as Guru Mahārāja passed away, so that burst out. And the whole plan was how to get out this Kunja Babu.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Not how to preach.
Prabhupāda: No. This was the cause of breakdown. This was suppressed by Guru Mahārāja under his influence, but the rebellious was there during his lifetime. And it burst into... Therefore he advised that "You make a governing body, and Kunja Babu should be allowed to remain manager." This was directly spoken. He never asked anybody to become ācārya. He asked that "You form a governing body of twelve men and go on preaching, and Kunja Babu may be allowed to remain manager during his lifetime."
He never said that Kunja Babu should be ācārya. None, none of them were advised by Guru Mahārāja to become ācārya. His idea was "Let them manage; then whoever will be actual qualified for becoming ācārya, they will elect. Why I should enforce upon them?" That was his plan. "Let them manage by strong governing body, as it is going on. Then ācārya will come by his qualification." But they wanted that... Because at heart, they were, "After demise of Guru, I shall become ācārya," "I shall become ācārya." So all the ācāryas began fight. One side, that Vāsudeva Ācārya and Sar Kunja Babu Ācārya. And Paramānanda, he thought that "Whoever will be powerful, I shall join them." (laughing) He only thought. But Guru Mahārāja never asked that these three men should be trustees. He wanted governing body.
So the rebellion broke out immediately after his passing away. And then fight in the high court. And Kunja Babu, from the... He is very intelligent man. So from the very beginning he knew that "There will be fight after the demise of Guru Mahārāja. So fight will be in the high court. So at the expense of Guru Mahārāja, let my brother and sons become attorneys and barrister so I will have not to pay for these things." It was a planned thing. And that is being done. He was a clerk; it was not in his power to make his brother and sons attorneys and barristers. They were all made at the cost of Gauḍīya Maṭha to fight with (indistinct) Mahārāja in favor of Tīrtha Mahārāja. These were the planned things. But I was a rotten gṛhastha. I did not join any one of them. (laughs) I was rotting in my household life, that's all.
But I was planning how to make, how to make this. That was my desire from the very beginning, since I heard it. But that I was never with them, either this party or that party. And Guru Mahārāja also recommended, apnader tasturi tublia thaki bhavan. Takhon (indistinct). "When there will be need, he will do himself. There is no need of living with you. It is better to live apart from you." When I was recommended by Goswami Mahārāja to live in the Maṭha, that "He is so nice (indistinct)"; he recommended, in Bombay, here in this Bombay. That house. Yes. He (Guru Mahārāja) said, "Yes, he is very expert. He can do. So it is better to live apart from you. And he will do everything when there is need." He said. I could not understand. Although I was apart from them, a gṛhastha. In this Bombay I was doing business. (people talking outside) Yes?
Gargamuni: The man is here.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, let them come.
Indian lady: (Hindi)
Prabhupāda: (Hindi with lady) (break) You are Indian?
American banker: She knows the difference. She knows the...
Prabhupāda: What is the philosophy of Muktananda?
Indian lady (Bhanu, bank clerk): No, he wasn't a philosopher, but in a way, that meditation is in the mārga.
Prabhupāda: That meditation, what is meditation?
Indian lady: I have not practiced that, but it is some dark room, and...
Prabhupāda: Dark room?
Indian lady: And he makes you concentrate on mostly that. Some people (indistinct) something...
Prabhupāda: It is all "something," nothing tangible.
Indian lady: I, at least, have practiced psychiatry of...
Banker: You go there, and you sit on cushions in a very dark room.
Prabhupāda: He does not know. She does not know.
Indian lady: No, I never practiced it.
Prabhupāda: She knows only "dark room." That's all. In darkness.
Indian lady: But we have not practiced by sitting there (indistinct)...
Banker: He has a regular schedule. He has āratis.
Prabhupāda: What Deity?
Banker: He had a book in, what is it? Sanskrit?
Indian lady: Yes, Sanskrit.
Prabhupāda: What is that book?
Indian lady: Some prayers of the Lord.
Banker: His own prayers. They are not the Gītā or anything. It is something separate. And they sing Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Rāma. That's why it's not this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, because er...,
Prabhupāda: He sings Hare Kṛṣṇa?
Indian lady: No. Some different sort of prayers. He was learning that... He had one saint of his (indistinct).
Banker: There's a statue in the temple of some saint.
Indian lady: Nityānanda Swami. He was his guru.
Prabhupāda: Oh. He is not living? That Nityānanda Swami is not living now?
Indian lady: No, no, he is dead.
Prabhupāda: When he is dead?
Indian lady: I don't know exactly, because he had (indistinct). He was his devotee and (indistinct).
Prabhupāda: So there is great difference between our... We worship Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Indian lady: Now in Juhu, many people might find it so far. Juhu, where you are having at present, it is very difficult for people to go there.
Prabhupāda: But in Juhu there are many men. Juhu, Juhu people are not coming here. Similarly, these people will not go there. But at Juhu there are many men. So in Bombay, in any part of Bombay, itself a big city; any part of Bombay. But where we are getting such big land in the city? That is 20,000 square yards. And on the Juhu Beach. For this facility, yes. And a new town is growing here. You have been in Juhu?
Banker: I used to live there. Beach house.
Gargamuni: That big white house, that six-story building, big high building right on the beach, he used to live there.
Prabhupāda: How do you like that place?
Banker: Very much. Quiet, peaceful. After a day of work in the bank it's a very nice place to retreat to.
Prabhupāda: Now, they were coming from Juhu to bank.
Banker: I took the train...
Prabhupāda: So where is the difficulty? Such responsible officer, bank manager, they are coming and going, and you sannyāsī cannot come and go? He has got responsible duties; he has to arrive in the office exactly in time.
Banker: It's thirty-three minutes by train from Churchgate to Juhu.
Gargamuni: But now he's not staying there. He's staying in town.
Banker: That's only because I'm going to New York next week. Only reason.
Prabhupāda: That is not other reason. There are many officers of your bank might be living there?
Banker: National and Grindlays bank officers are there. Several British companies have offices there. I was the only American for awhile.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So you'll be moving out there again when you come back?
Banker: No, I've been transferred to New York.
Gargamuni: He's going back.
Banker: I'm in a hotel because my things are packed. Being transferred
Prabhupāda: You are going to New York?
Banker: Next week. I brought Bhanu, so in the future if you need any help, you just see her in the bank. She's interested and aware.
Prabhupāda: She's going also with you?
Banker: She will be in Bombay. She's at our main branch.
Prabhupāda: You are working in the bank?
Indian lady (Bhanu): Yes.
Prabhupāda: What is your post? Typing? No.
Banker: She's a clerk in my department.
Prabhupāda: I see. So our philosophy is Bhagavad-gītā. You know Bhagavad-gītā?
Indian lady: Yes, very little.
Prabhupāda: That is standard. All big, big ācāryas of India.
Banker: Is this the thousand-page book that you're holding?
(devotee on phone in background throughout)
Prabhupāda: So before leaving India, you can become a member. We have got many books, twenty books like that.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So many books.
Prabhupāda: This is published by Macmillan Company of New York.
Banker: Oh, this one is. Some of them are printed in New York.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. Some of these are. This one is the most popular. It's printed by Macmillan (indistinct) publishing house. They went through already three editions just in the first year. The sales manager at Macmillan reported that while all the other editions of Bhagavad-gītā are declining in sales, ours is increasing. So there is a good interest there.
Indian lady: (indistinct)
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So many, I think. There are so many English Bhagavad...
Gargamuni: This is the boy I told you who knows also Sanskrit and Bengali.
Banker: Oh, yes. I saw the photograph of him.
Gargamuni: Yes, he is the same one. We call him Paṇḍitjī.
Prabhupāda: How he saw his photograph?
Gargamuni: I have a photograph of him with all his books. Very nice photograph.
Indian lady: Is this the same book that you have in three small editions?
Prabhupāda: Yes, we have a small book.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Kṛṣṇa. That Kṛṣṇa book is a different book. The trilogy, she is thinking about. That is still another book.
Prabhupāda: Oh. Here is no Kṛṣṇa book?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The trilogy we don't have, but the big volume of Kṛṣṇa. Do you want to see it?
Prabhupāda: What is your name? Your name?
Indian lady: Bhanu.
Indian lady: Yes.
Indian lady: Parsi.
Indian lady: Parsi.
Prabhupāda: Parsi. I see. Parsis are Gujarati also.
Indian lady: We speak Gujarati and Parsi.
Prabhupāda: Formerly the Parsis were prominent community in Bombay. They are big businessmen, important men.
Banker: Mr. Tata...
Prabhupāda: Yes. Tata, Sarpiosa Mehta.(?) Now from the Parsi community no such big men are coming. What you think? Last big man was Nariman. You do not know?
Indian lady: (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: Nariman, he was of our age. I saw him. That Nariman Point. He was a political leader.
(aside:) Come on.
So Nariman was a Parsi. I know that.
Indian lady: I know name like that, but...
Prabhupāda: He was Subhas Bose's contemporary. Yes. Of the same party. All right.
How is your son?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh, he is very well.
Prabhupāda: And father?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh, he is okay too.
Prabhupāda: Father, son, he's middle.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: I am trying to make him Kṛṣṇa conscious.
Prabhupāda: Father. And mother?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: She's a staunch Ārya-samājī. She's the chairman of the Santa Cruz Ārya-samāj.
Prabhupāda: Ācchā? Oh. What is the philosophy, Ārya-samāj?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: I don't know. But she's pleased. She likes Kṛṣṇa, she likes our movement very much, but she still believes in Ārya-samāj very strongly.
Prabhupāda: Because she is president, how she can speak against them? (laughs) Ārya-samājīs are strictly forbidden to go to the temple.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah, but she comes to see you.
Prabhupāda: Then she breaks the law.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Last week we had a concert, and she was selling tickets for our concert also. She helped little bit.
Prabhupāda: Oh. And we do not do anything in darkness. Our everything is open.
Indian lady: No, what we you doing, that is for the sake of concentration or something you must be doing (indistinct).
Prabhupāda: But concentration... Best concentration in darkness is to sleep comfortable, no disturbance. If you make the room dark and go on sleeping, snoring, nobody is going to disturb you. That is best concentration.
Indian lady: What do you suggest for meditation?
Prabhupāda: We don't find anything in the Bhagavad-gītā that "You should concentrate, meditate, in darkness." We take it as bogus. No religious system, even in Christian, Christianity, there is no such thing as darkness. Christian churches are very much illuminated. They pray. Prayer is there, the necessity. Why in darkness? That is his invention. Neither in Hinduism, neither in Buddhism there is such recommendation that "You pray in the darkness." Therefore it is bogus. Not standard. Why darkness? Naturally, if you make this room dark, you will feel sleepy. That is natural tendency.
Indian lady: (indistinct) meditation?
Prabhupāda: The meditation you can do, just like we are also doing meditation, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. But meditation as it is, to absorb the mind fully in God's vision, that is very difficult nowadays, at the present moment. People's mind is very disturbed. They cannot actually meditate. Therefore in this age, meditation, chanting the holy name of the Lord, that is recommended, congregationally. Just like we do, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma... So there is no need of dark room. Just like this boy. He is also a responsible officer in New York. He is also chanting. All these sannyāsīs. And we have got all these beads.
So there is no need of meditating in darkness. We are going on the open street. We are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma... There is no difficulty. Neither we have to select a dark place. Anywhere. Just like I am talking with you, they are chanting. Their chanting is not stopped. So why should you go to a dark room? It is open thing. And it is open for everyone, in any moment. There is no hard-and-fast rule, that "You have to do like that, do like that." Simply you have to chant, anywhere possible. Suppose if you leave this room, you go on the street, you can chant, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare... Nobody... There is no taxation. There is no loss. But the gain is very great by chanting. And this is recommended in this age, not sophistically to find out a dark room. No.
It may be suitable for a particular person. But for mass of people, where is the facility of getting a dark room while going on the street? Suppose you are going on the street or in a car to your office, can you arrange for the dark room? But you can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa without any dark room. So which is better? For concentrating your mind, for meditating, if you have to make so many facilities, arrangement, and without any arrangement if you can do, which one is better? Huh? Without any arrangement. That is Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Without any arrangement, immediately you can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Without any consideration of your age, of your religion, of your country, of your nationality, of your color, caste, anything, you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. And that is being done, and the whole world is accepting. We are not recommending that "Go to a dark room." Neither it is required. Everything must be for mass benefit. That is only this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement. What do you think?
Banker: I haven't read most of this. I have a tiny one in my hotel room. There is a Gītā Society in this country, leaves a Gītā in every hotel room. I have only read a few selections. Like the Gideons, the Bible. You go in any hotel in India now and you have one Bible placed by the Gideons and one Gītā by this Gītā (indistinct).
Prabhupāda: Gītā Press.
(aside:) Sit down. I am coming.
(break) In the US, I understand, there are 75,000 libraries.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: But lot of the libraries in US are running short of funds, because the Nixon administration has withdrawn the support of the funds that they were giving to the various libraries.
Prabhupāda: State aid?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. They have withdrawn the aid.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: So now the libraries are complaining about the shortage of money.
Prabhupāda: (to Tamāla Kṛṣṇa) Bring the other light. The second one, down. Yes. Second. Down the second one. Down. (flicking of switches) How is that? It is not in order? First one.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: First one, then. (break)
Banker: I haven't found a common yardstick yet. I prefer my own, but that's measured by my yardstick.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I think you also prefer this country's, Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Sincere. Therefore I went to your country to start this movement.
Banker: So many people in this country have argued with me and have told me that... They haven't been out of India, but they have told me that their country is better.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They say their country is better, but I don't think...
Banker: And they never left India. I don't know how they make this comparison. They say they have happiness here and we have wealth, and because of our wealth we are unhappy people.
Prabhupāda: The Americans say?
Banker: No, no, that is what they say here. Especially in my bank. Our clerks are the top five percent of the nation's income earners, five thousand rupees or more a year, near the top five percent. But they still say that they're poor and happy. But once a year they forget that when they ask us for more money. I don't understand it. Contradictory philosophy.
Prabhupāda: There are two things: one material, one spiritual. Spiritually, India is happy, those who are actually spiritualist. But materially, India is unhappy. Spiritually, even if you still go in the interior of village, poor man, living in a cottage, he is taking bath three times and doing his professional work, a cultivator, having little food and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. They are happy actually. They have got their family—husband, wife, some children. If one lives spiritual life, he is actually happy.
Materially, nobody can be happy. In your country, although there is enough facility for material enjoyment, actually they are not happy. Otherwise, why in your country the hippies are coming out? They are coming from respectable, rich parents, nation, but they have given up their home, their father's opulence, mother's opulence. That I have seen practically. Practically all my students.
Here, Brahmānanda, his father, at least he was a big industrialist; mother. But he did not like. He joined this movement. Similarly, Girirāja, his father is a big lawyer, rich man. But he did not like that. There are many, many students, their fathers are... Śyāmasundara's father is big lawyer, rich man, businessman. He is the only son. But he did not like his father. So there are many... Even though he is not our student, still, I do not know. I have seen in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills. You know?
Prabhupāda: That is a rich quarter. Very nice house. And one boy is coming, he is hippie, and riding on his car and going. Then I saw, although it is such a nice, rich quarter, there are also hippies. That I could study. Why these boys are becoming hippies? And New York you know, the hippies are lying here and there in the Fifth Avenue, on Central Park, and they are worshiping pig. (laughs) You know that?
Banker: Yes, I know.
Prabhupāda: He also knows. Why this disappointment?
Banker: We have had a long history of debate in America over wealth. We have had one group, the fundamentalist Protestants, who argue that... Most of them are poor, and they feel very guilty if they have money. And then you have another group of Protestants, the gospel of wealth Protestants, who say that if you are truly holy, then it is better that the money be entrusted to your hands than to a man who is unholy.
And then you have still another group that regards money as an end in itself, rather than a means to committing you to do other things. And this confuses people in America. Your parents will be one thing, you'll be another. In my case, my mother is a gospel of poverty person. "Blessed are the poor." She thinks you won't get into heaven unless you are poor. And I'm in the gospel of wealth category. (laughter) And you just select your own philosophy along the way. Carnegie was in that philosophy. He even wrote a book about it one hundred years ago. The steel Carnegie, Carnegie Steel.
Prabhupāda: Yes, Carnegie's name I know.
Banker: He was one of the number-one advocates of this philosophy, that if you are holy, then the money should be in your hands, because you can use it for better purposes.
Prabhupāda: That is a good philosophy.
Banker: Therefore, then he started building libraries all over the country and everything else, besides his steel company. But this has been a big fight. It still is a big fight. Today you have the people who support welfare and those who oppose it.
Prabhupāda: No. We don't oppose wealth.
Banker: Welfare. Payment to people who don't work.
Prabhupāda: No, everyone should work. Our Vedic philosophy is that everyone must work. But there must be division of work. Just like in your body there are different parts: the head department, the arms department, the belly department and the legs department. These are different parts. So all these departments must work for the total benefit of the body. That is our philosophy. Nobody should sit idle. But he must work according to his capacity. Brain must work for giving direction. Hand must work for giving protection. Belly must work for supplying food, energy. And leg must work for carrying the body.
So similarly the society must be divided: the brain of the society, the arms of the society, the belly of the society and the legs of the society. That will make perfection. The brain will give direction; that is the brāhmaṇas. The arms will give protection; that is the kṣatriya. And the belly will give energy, food; that is vaiśya. And the legs will carry the body; that is śūdra. This is... Whole society should be divided into four divisions: the brāhmaṇas, the kṣatriyas, the vaiśyas and the śūdras. And they should work cooperatively for the total benefit of the body. This is perfect life. Not that everyone should be brain. Then who will carry me? Just like in your bank, the manager is the brain. The secretaries and assistants are the hands, clerks. And ordinary worker, they are legs. Anywhere you go, you must find out these four divisions. Therefore the human society must be divided into four divisions.
But there is no such plan. Now the plan is that everyone is being educated to learn technology, how to—in your country, especially—how to make economic development. So they have no brain. Therefore there are hippies. There is no brain actually. Now the President Nixon, he is in the topmost post. He has no brain. Therefore he is being ridiculed. Neither he has honor. He is not, I mean to say, resigning the post. He has been ridiculed by the people, but still, he is sticking to his post. So this is the defect. You have got in your country only the vaiśyas, the belly and the legs. I am just giving a crude example. Not only in your country; every country nowadays. There is no brain. Brain is finished. Therefore everywhere you will find chaos and confusion. There is no brain.
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means we are creating some brain. We are not creating the technological expert, but we are creating brain to know the purpose of human life and work on it under a systematic way. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is not such bluff, that "In darkness you meditate this, that." No. It is a science. It is a science, how the human society can be happy in all respect. And everything is directed there in the Bhagavad-gītā. Just like to keep up your body fit, you require brain in order, your arms in order, your stomach in order, your legs in order. Everything must be in order. But out of all of them, if there is no brain, then everything is useless—the hand is useless, the stomach is useless, the leg is useless. So at the present moment there is no brain in the society. Lack of brain. All these things, directions, are there in the Bhagavad-gītā. What is the brain, or brāhmaṇa?
(aside:) Find out this verse, śamo damas titikṣā, in the Eighteenth Chapter. Jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam.
Śrutakīrti: Śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ?
- śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ
- kṣāntir ārjavam eva ca
- jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ
- brahma-karma svabhāva-jam
- (BG 18.42)
"Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge and religiousness—these are the qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work."
Prabhupāda: So those who will act as brain, they must possess these qualities. But who is being taught these qualities? This modern civilization is teaching people how to steal, how to cheat, how to satisfy your own sense gratification. You see? No tolerance, no complete knowledge. All fools and rascals; no knowledge. Knowledge means they must know what is the aim of life, what is God, what we are, what is this material world, why we have come here. So many things. This is called God consciousness. There is no such educational institution all over the world. Is there any institution where it is being especially taught what is God, what I am? Is there any institution?
Banker: Well, there are metaphysics departments in almost every university.
Prabhupāda: Metaphysics department is there. I was also a student of philosophy. That is theories only. Of course, they are trying, psychology, metaphysics, ethics. You were also a student of philosophy?
Banker: I took some courses. My major courses were in business. But I took some in philosophy, ethics, logic.
Prabhupāda: So apart from that metaphysical, from this worldly platform, there must be divisions. Just like in your bank, if everyone is manager, that is not possible. There must be clerks and other assistants. So that is required. The society must be divided into four classes. That is brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra.
Banker: Well my question is, how does one determine into which part he goes?
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is by tendency. Guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). By the tendency. Therefore one has to approach the spiritual master. He will give direction, that "This boy is meant for becoming a brāhmaṇa." Everyone has got some tendency. From the tendency it should be designated. Or by work.
Indian lady: But in India it wasn't like that. Suppose if you are born into brāhmaṇa, fortunately, then you become brāhmaṇa.
Prabhupāda: No, no, that is not. No, no, no.
Indian lady: (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: No, that is not śāstra. That is a... Lately, this brahminical class, they made it. Just like he is a manager in the bank. His son does not mean that he is also manager. He must be qualified to become a manager. He has got the facility. Because he is son of a bank manager, so he can get some facilities, father's training. He can quickly become a manager. Others may takes time. Similarly, a person born in brāhmaṇa family, if his father is actually brāhmaṇa, then automatically he is getting the brahminical training at home. This satya, śama, dama, titikṣā, ārjavam (BG 18.42), this qualification. Because naturally the children follow the father. So if the father is a real brāhmaṇa, then he naturally becomes. But if by chance he develops the śūdra quality, then he must be accepted as śūdra, not as a brāhmaṇa.
That is the śāstra. Yad anyatrāpi dṛśyeta tat tenaiva vinirdiśet (SB 7.11.35). If the qualities, brahminical qualities, are found somewhere else in śūdra or a vaiśya, then he should be accepted as brāhmaṇa. Similarly, if śūdra qualities are found in the son of a brāhmaṇa, he should be accepted as śūdra. It is the quality, not the birth. That is not a fact. They have made it now like that. Because without any qualification, if he can become a brāhmaṇa, why he should not take the advantage? That has fallen down the Vedic culture in India, when it came to the caste system. It is not the caste system by birth. In Bhagavad-gītā it is said, "By quality," guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ.
(aside:) Read that, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ.
Brahmānanda: Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). Guṇa means quality, karma means to work.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like he is manager. He has got the qualification of manager and he is working as manager. Then he is a manager. Even if he has got the quality, if he does not work, he is not a manager. Suppose he has got the qualities, but he does not work, he sits at home. Nobody will call him bank manager. He must have the qualities and he must work. Then he is. So here is guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ. A brāhmaṇa or a kṣatriya or vaiśya or śūdra must have the requisite quality. And at the same time he must work as such. Then he is brāhmaṇa. This is the (indistinct). But now in India they have taken: no quality, no work, still, he is brāhmaṇa.
He is pulling on ṭhelā, no brāhmaṇa quality, neither work is brāhmaṇa, but still, he is paṇḍitjī. I have seen it in Calcutta. One man was pulling on ṭhelā with great difficulty, and another man is offering respect, "Paṇḍitjī, namaskāra." And he was... (Hindi) He was pulling ṭhelā. I have seen it. I have seen it in the street. You see. He is still thinking that "I am brāhmaṇa." He is working like an ass. He has no qualification, neither he is qualified. Still, he is thinking that he is brāhmaṇa. Is it not? Yes.
That is the cause of India's falldown. You work... These things should be... I am accepting somebody as brāhmaṇa; then I must see that he has the quality of brāhmaṇa, that is there, satya, śama, dama, titikṣā, and he is working as a brāhmaṇa. When this was not examined, checked, anyone born in a brāhmaṇa family became a brāhmaṇa, the whole thing topsy-turvied. Just like my student here. He belongs to the kṣatriya family. But he is not in the fighting, military plan. So he is not kṣatriya. But he is now more than kṣatriya. He is worshiping God; therefore he is brāhmaṇa. He is neither kṣatriya nor śūdra. He is brāhmaṇa. His hereditary title is kṣatriya, kṣanna. Kṣat na, kṣat na. He cannot tolerate injury to others. That is kṣanna. Is it not?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: I think so.
Prabhupāda: (laughs) Kṣat means injury, and triya means one who delivers. Just like Parīkṣit Mahārāja immediately took his sword, "Oh, why you are injuring one cow in my kingdom?" The kṣatriya's business is to give protection to the citizen from being injured by others. That is called kṣatriya. Brāhmaṇa means whose knowledge is so perfect that he knows what is God. That is brāhmaṇa. And śūdra means one who laments. Śocati ti śūdra.(?) Śocati.
Śrutakīrti: Na śocati na kāṅkṣati.
Prabhupāda: Śocati means in everything he laments. "Hai, hai, I have lost so much things. I have not these things, I have not that thing." So at the present moment, all the people, they are so dissatisfied that they are all śūdras. Śūdra is always in want. So who is not, at the present moment, not in want? Everybody's in want. Therefore everybody is a śūdra now. Kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ. And that is his qualification, always feeling in want, śocati. And his work is to serve others, master. A brāhmaṇa will not work under anybody. A kṣatriya will not work under anybody. Nowadays the industrial development has taken place because people are śūdras. They want some service. So-called technologist and laborers and..., everything. Everyone is searching after good job. He cannot live independently. Just like a dog. A dog cannot live independently. He must have a master. Then he is happy. Is it not? Otherwise it is street dog.
So modern education is that they are creating śūdras, to become dependent on others. And therefore modern economic development is taking place because there are so many people, they are prepared to give them service. Suppose in your bank, if you withdraw from the service, the bank will stop. Industry will stop. So because there is no such division as brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra—everyone is śūdra—therefore this economic development, so-called economic development, has become possible. But in spite of all this economic development, because people are śūdras, they cannot be happy. Because śocati, they will lament, strike. Even they are getting thousands of rupees—strike. Even they get five hundred thousands of rupees, still there will be strike. Because they are śūdras.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Even the doctors are going on strike now.
Prabhupāda: Yes. They are śūdras. Therefore, because it is the society of śūdras everywhere, there is confusion. No brain. Simply śocati, "want, want, want, want, want." And in brahminical culture, you will find even he is very poor brāhmaṇa, no source of income, no fixation of foodstuff even, but he is happy. He is happy. He is happy by his knowledge. He'll satisfy himself. If he does not get his food, then he will think that "This day Kṛṣṇa desired that I should not have my food. Oh, it is Kṛṣṇa's pleasure. It is Kṛṣṇa's mercy." Therefore in Vedic culture, other section, the kṣatriyas and the vaiśyas, they would call the brāhmaṇas to take food. Brāhmaṇa-bhojana. Because they know, "The brāhmaṇas, they will starve; still they will not ask anybody to give him food." Therefore brāhmaṇa-bhojana.
And now they have discovered daridra-nārāyaṇa-bhojana. There are so many things. Vedic culture is the perfect for human society. Perfect culture. And this is not bogus humbug, go into the darkness and do something nonsense. It is everything open, in the śāstra, in the book. You have to adopt it. Then you become happy. The whole society, the whole human society becomes happy, never mind where it is. It is science, how to live just like human being, not like cats and dogs. That is Vedic culture. Everyone is happy. Still, those who are following Vedic principle, they are happy than others. These Ārya-samājī, they say the Vedic culture, but they are not happy as the strictly followers of Vedic culture.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: There's a lot of politics in it.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: I think there is a lot of politics in it. Different groups and everything.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. As soon as you go against the standard rules and regulation, there must be some motive. That is politics. That is politics. All politicians, they are with motive. They are not for... Now, all these big, big political parties, they are fighting with one another. They are simply trying to keep their post and they are fighting for that. So where is the time for them to think of the general people, how they will be happy? There is no time. It is the Kṛṣṇa conscious people who are actually thinking of others. Para-duḥkha-duḥkhī. Kṛpāmbudhir yas tam ahaṁ bhajāmi (CC Madhya 6.254). Para-duḥkha-duḥkhī. Vaiṣṇava qualification is he is unhappy by seeing others unhappy.
(break) Vaiṣṇava's qualification, para-duḥkha-duḥkhī. He is unhappy by seeing others unhappy. Because without God consciousness, without understanding, "What I am? What is God? What is my relationship?" everyone shall remain unhappy. There cannot be happiness. Without knowledge of God, nobody can be happy. Superficially they may try, so-called humanitarianism, this "ism," that "ism." Now, say for these Communists country, they have struggled for the last sixty years. They started from 1917. How many years?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Seventy.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The Russian Revolution.
Prabhupāda: Seventy. Seventy. Yes, no, we were student at that time. So what they have done? They are changing, changing, changing. And I went to Moscow, I saw the people were not happy. There are so many things that is against one's psychological understanding. So many things. Therefore now they are going to hold some peace conference. Who told me? Oh, yes, Haṁsadūta. So without God consciousness, there cannot be any peace. That's a fact. Therefore our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is there.
Tomorrow, when you are going?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Me? Tomorrow night. I'll come here tomorrow also.
Prabhupāda: Yes. I will give you some letters for Bali-mardana.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Bali-mardana? (break)
Brahmānanda: At MIT. At other colleges I was present.
Prabhupāda: So that very time so I first of all asked the students, "Where is your technological department to find out the thing when a man is dead, and you replace it?" These were my subject matter. I talked. A man is working.
(aside:) Come on.
A man is working. All of a sudden he stops to work. So a motorcar is working. All of a sudden it stops. So there are technologist who can repair the car, and it will again start. That is technology. Now the man is working, stopped. So where is that technology to make it move again. That was... I spoke on this. So they very much appreciated. After my lecture they gathered round me. You remember that? No.
Gargamuni: I wasn't there.
Prabhupāda: So actually, in this..., at the present moment, they have invented so many technology, but this technology is missing. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9). Nobody wants to die. And where is that technology, to stop death?
(to banker:) What do you think? You are financing many technological institutions, businesses. Why don't you finance an institution which is giving instruction how to stop death?
Banker: But as I understood it, you were encouraging death as a form of liberation. Isn't that my understanding? That that was the ideal?
Prabhupāda: No, no. Therefore you are not financing. Because you misunderstand. Actually, we are giving the technological knowledge by which one stops death. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
(aside:) Find out that verse.
Acyutānanda: Janma karma ca me divyam evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ? 4.9.
Prabhupāda: Yes. You can stop your death. That technology we are teaching. (break)
Brahmānanda: ...tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so 'rjuna (BG 4.9).
Prabhupāda: Yes. Read it.
Brahmānanda: Janma is birth; karma—work; ca—also; me—of mine; divyam—transcendental; evam... (break)
Prabhupāda: ...technology. If you simply try to understand Kṛṣṇa, His activities, His appearance, His disappearance, this technology, then you also become like Kṛṣṇa: no more birth, no more death, no more disease. This is science. In this life if you simply try to understand what is Kṛṣṇa, then you become immune from birth, death, old age and disease. So if you don't like... Not you; mean the people. They say, "No, we don't like Kṛṣṇa consciousness." But you, you are so much advanced in science and technology. Where is your technology?
That was my question in the Massachusetts Technological... "Where is your technology to stop this death?" Nobody wants to die. Is it not a fact? So where is that technology that human society has given, has been awarded with this profit by such-and-such great scientist that people will no more die, no more disease, no more birth, no more old age? Nobody wants to become old. Nobody wants to get an old body like me, rheumatic troubles. Nobody wants. But I am forced to accept. Where is that technology? I was also young man like you. I would like to go back again to that young life, but there is no possibility. So where is that technology? Real problems of life are not solved, because there is no knowledge. Lack of knowledge.
Banker: According to the scientific finds of Dr. Alexander Leaf of Harvard Medical School, it is impossible to lengthen life infinitely, physically, because the cell is not capable of regenerating itself more than fifty times.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that we admit. But we are not material; we are spiritual. That is...
Banker: Correct. You are not talking about the physical.
Prabhupāda: Ah. Physical is my outward dress. Just like your coat, if it becomes old enough, there is no more possibility to use it. You have to throw it away. You have to take another coat. Similarly, physically... I am spirit soul. When my physical body is old enough, useless, then I will have to give it up. I will have to accept another new body. But the question is that I am eternal; why I am forced to accept a body which will be useless after some time? That is the problem. I am eternal, as spirit soul. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). I do not die after the annihilation of this body. But why I am forced to accept another body, which will be annihilated? This technology is unknown all over the world. And still they are proud of becoming very advanced in science.
(aside:) Open this. Let them come. Keep it open. Aiye. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānu... (BG 13.9). Come forward.
(break) ...technology, although it is a problem. But we can supply this technology to solve this problem. Jarā-maraṇa-mokṣāya mām... Jarā-maraṇa-mokṣāya (BG 7.29). (break) ...modern technologist, scientist, they do not know what is the perfection of life. Now they are thinking that having a big building, possessing big building and possessing a few cars and nice bank balance, that is perfection of life. But suppose you get a very nice home, very nice big bank balance, and other amenities, but there is every possibility that as soon as you prepare all these things, you have to go away immediately—death. There is no guarantee that "After finishing this job, I shall be able to enjoy these things."
At any moment you can be asked, "Get out." So this labor, so much labor for creating nice residential quarters, bank balance and others, that is my futile labor, because I could not enjoy it. Therefore this is not perfection of life. If there is no guarantee of enjoying what you are creating, then where is the perfection? You create things for enjoyment, but you enjoy it. But there is no guarantee of enjoyment. At any moment you'll be asked, "Get out." Is that perfection? You create things, that's all right. But you enjoy it. But there is no guarantee. Just like I saw in Paris that arch. Napoleon wanted to make an arch. You know... No, you have not been in Paris?
Banker: Yes, I've been to Paris.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that arch, what is that called, arch?
Devotees: Arc de Triomphe.
Prabhupāda: Ah. So Napoleon was... But before constructing that arch, he was finished in Battle of Waterloo. So all the struggle he made to make France a great country and him to become a great leader was futile. It was not perfectly done. In one statue I saw, "France and Napoleon identical." But France is there; where is Napoleon? Therefore it is called illusion, māyā. Just like our Gandhi, in this country he struggled so hard, got independence. But just after independence he was killed, finished. He could not enjoy. He simply struggled. You cannot say that he had no desire to enjoy. Then how he was sticking to that politics? And because he was sticking to that politics, he was killed. If he would have retired from politics, he would not have been killed.
Therefore because he was sticking to that politics means he wanted to enjoy the fruit. But he could not. Therefore we do not know what is the perfection of life. Because we create so-called paraphernalia of perfection of life, but we are not allowed to enjoy it, therefore we must accept, "There is superior power. Without His sanction I may create very favorable situation, but I may not be allowed to enjoy it." Suppose you are bank manager. If the post is that "Yes, you will be appointed today, and tomorrow you will be kicked out," will you accept it?
Banker: Happens all the time. (laughs)
Prabhupāda: (laughs) So you have been accustomed to this kick out. Yes, actually, that is the position. We have been accustomed in the kicking out of māyā. Māyā rati kaya. There is a..., in Caitanya-caritāmṛta, that we are being kicked out by māyā like football. From that side it is kicked. I come this side, and from this side I am kicked; I am going that side. That's all. This is our happiness.
Gurudāsa: But the question was if one is knowingly going to be kicked out.
Prabhupāda: No, knowingly, no sane man will go. But because he is ignorant, he is making plan to be happy, and one day it comes, "Kick out! Go out!" That is ignorance. Therefore śūdra. Therefore our perfection of life should be, that is recommended in the śāstra, brahma-saukhyam anantam. You should aspire of happiness which is unlimited. You will never be kicked out from that happiness. That is the idea. Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyed sattvaṁ yasmād brahma-saukhyam anantam (SB 5.5.1). This is the instruction. You must try for a place where you get eternal life, eternal bliss, eternal knowledge. That is perfection.
Banker: In order to seek that, you have established a routine in your life so that you do not waste time thinking about the mundane.
Prabhupāda: There is education, proper... This is education, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Banker: Well, you could say the same for the lower group people who work one third of their life in business, spend one third in sleep, and spend one third in whatever else they want to do. That is also a routine.
Prabhupāda: What is that? I do not follow.
Banker: My point is that the average person lives a very similar type of routine, even if... Those who do not take business as an end in itself spend one third of their life doing that. They spend one third of their life sleeping and they spend one third doing what they want to do.
Prabhupāda: Why one third? They are sleeping more than half.
Banker: Seeking what you call happiness. Just as in your life you get up at three o'clock, you do a certain thing at that time, go around on a schedule, so you don't have to think about the mundane, and you seek the eternal happiness.
Prabhupāda: Therefore I have already explained, there must be a class of men like me. They are called brāhmaṇa. They should help others. One who cannot rise so early, they will help him by his knowledge. He, the man who cannot rise early in the morning and cannot take the brahminical principle—śūdra, kṣatriya, vaiśya—he should be helped with the knowledge acquired by the brāhmaṇa. Just like the same example: the leg. Leg is not brain. The brain will give direction to the leg, "You go this side." Then it is perfect. The leg has no brain, but the brain is there. If he takes the advice of the brain and goes... Just like... It is called the logic of blind and lame. Logic of blind and...
There is a lame man and there is a blind man. The lame man cannot walk, and the blind man cannot see. They should join. The blind man took the lame man on his shoulder, and the lame man giving direction, and the blind man is going nicely. So by the cooperation of the blind and the lame, the work is done perfectly. Andha-kañjatā-nyāya. Similarly, it is not required that everyone has to become brāhmaṇa. Neither it is possible. So if the brāhmaṇa and the śūdra combine together, work, then both their lives will be perfect. Here you cannot expect everyone as brāhmaṇa, in this material world. That is not possible. Because in the material world three qualities are working. So one may be brāhmaṇa, another may be kṣatriya, another may be vaiśya, another... So they should cooperate. Then everyone's life will be perfect. That is the program. That is cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13).
So the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means we are creating brāhmaṇas. So others, they should cooperate. Then their life will be also perfect. Just like these people are preaching that "You chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and refrain from sinful activities." So if people take advice from these men, simple thing... Chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is not difficult. Anyone can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. And no illicit sex life, no... Even one cannot follow these restriction, if he chants, he will be benefited. But if he chants and follows these restrictive rules, then he will be perfect in this life. And that is not difficulty. Suppose if I do not eat meat. We are not eating meat. We are not dying. We are eating so many nice things, prepared from vegetables, grains, milk. So that is not very important thing, that one has to eat meat and commit sinful life. So anyone can avoid it. They are not smoking, they are not drinking—they are not dying. So without smoking or without drinking, nobody will die. There are many things. No illicit sex. Why illicit sex? You are a human being. You should have taken a woman as married wife and live peacefully. Why illicit sex?
So still, if he cannot follow the four rules and regulation, if he agrees to chant only, then all other good qualities will come. And if these things are combined together—refraining from sinful activities and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra—he is sure to become perfect in this life, go back to home, back to Godhead. That's all. Because without being purified, you cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpam (BG 7.28). One who is freed from all sinful activities, he can be allowed to enter into the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God means the place for the pure, not for the impure. And impurity means sinful activities. So therefore Kṛṣṇa says, "You surrender unto Me, I give you protection from impure," because... Ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyaḥ.
Because by impure life, they have committed so many sinful activities. But not that I surrender to Kṛṣṇa and I continue my impure life. Kṛṣṇa can forgive you, whatever impurities are there, "All right, squared up. Don't do it." Āra nāre bāpa (Caitanya-bhāgavata, Madhya 13.225). Jagāi and Mādhāi. Jagāi and Mādhāi said, "No, Sir, no more this life." "Yes, I accept." Caitanya Mahāprabhu immediately accepted. Not that that confession system, go to the church, confess on Sunday, and again come back, on Monday begin again sinful activities, and again go to church on Sunday and confess and nullify it. Not like that. When you deny that "I shall not do it," don't do it again. Then your life is perfect. Āra nāre bāpa. (end)