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750305 - Conversation - New York

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

750305R1-NEW YORK - March 05, 1975


(Conversation with Bernard Manischewitz)

Pratyatoṣa: Śrīla Prabhupāda, this is my father-in-law, Mr. Manischewitz. I think you met in Chicago.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Bernard Manischewitz: Yes, we met before.

Prabhupāda: How are you? You want chair?

Bernard Manischewitz: No, no, no. I . . . thank you very much. I'm not fully accustomed yet, but I'm getting there.

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: He comes to our Bhāgavatam classes every Sunday.

Bernard Manischewitz: Saturday.

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Saturday.

Prabhupāda: Now recently I have got one news from one German scientist. His name . . .

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Von Braun.

Prabhupāda: Von Braun. He is comparing there is God. He is scientist. He is thinking like us exactly. He is a very well known scientist, German scientist, Von Braun. Yes.

Bernard Manischewitz: I have some questions.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Bernard Manischewitz: You know I'm in the food business, so my first question deals with my food business. I'm familiar with the Kṛṣṇa cookbook—I've read the recipes—but I do not see any suggested menus or nutritional information, and I'm wondering if there's any thought that's been worked on that. Is there any background of menus or nutritional information?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Nutritional information means that we require for balance food: starch, carbohydrate, protein, fat. What else? Starch, carbohydrate, protein, fat. These are necessary nutrition, but these things are there in vegetable diet. Rice, starch; wheat, protein; ḍāl, protein; then vegetable, carbohydrate; and milk, fat. So if we take food and test it within these four, five groups . . . eat according to our conception, sattvika. Sattvika means foodstuff in goodness. There are three qualities in the material world—goodness, passion and ignorance. So they are described: these are goodness foods, these are passion, these are ignorance. So these items—rice, wheat, vegetables, ḍāl and milk is sufficient for nutrition. Above that, you take little fruit, it is very good. And in India this foodstuff is taken by the learned circle—brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas—and they keep very good health, very good life.

Bernard Manischewitz: This is on experience, on the experience that they have.

Prabhupāda: Yes. This is experience. You will find many healthy persons in India subsisting only on these foodstuffs, and they have good brain also. India is still, I think, eighty percent people are strictly vegetarian. Not to speak of the higher class, but the lower class also. The higher class, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya and vaiśya. Vaiśya is via media, between higher and lower. And the śūdras and less that the śūdras, caṇḍālas, they are lower class. So meat-eating is current among these lower class of men, śūdras and caṇḍālas. The caṇḍālas, they have no discrimination; they eat everything. And śūdras, they eat meat, but under restriction. Some of them do not—some of them do, but under restriction, and that is restricted with the goat animal. Less than the śūdras—caṇḍālas, pañcama, fifth grade—they eat everything. Especially they eat—because cow protection in India is very strict—so these caṇḍālas, fifth-grade men, they eat generally pigs. Pigs they eat. Outside the village, they have their residential quarters, and they fry live pigs. And they make . . . not daily, sometimes. But they eat pigs, and amongst them, there is a class—they are cobblers—they eat this cows' flesh when the animal is dead, not living, and we'll kill.

Bernard Manischewitz: He dies his own natural death?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Because the higher class, they keep cows, they maintain, but after all, the animal will die. So when the animal dies, they call for this cobbler class, and he takes away the dead cows. So he gets out the skin, hooves, bones and flesh, they eat, and this skin is tanned by them, and they prepare shoes. So they get their raw material without any price.

Bernard Manischewitz: I see, yes. (laughs)

Prabhupāda: They are poor class. So our program, "When he will die," so they wait for the death of the animal and get the skin, hoof, bones, they make trade. (to devotee) So what is this key? The almirah?

Devotee: No, that is a little spoon for your tilaka.

Prabhupāda: Oh. So cow is very important animal. So from religious point of view, or from economic point of view, cows are not allowed, in the Vedic civilization, to be killed. The meat-eaters, they are everywhere, all over the world, but in India meat-eating is allowed—the fifth class, fifth-grade community, they eat these cows when it is dead. And the śūdra class, they also eat meat restrictively, goats. That is only under certain restriction, means sacrifice. The goat is sacrificed in the Goddess Kali's temple, and they eat. This is very dangerous, this sacrifice. It is very dangerous. It creates all sinful men. In the Christian religion also, it is said: "Thou shall not kill," and they are killing. So what kind of Christians they are?

Bernard Manischewitz: Do they kill them in a slaughterhouse?

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Bernard Manischewitz: Do they kill them in a slaughterhouse? The goats?

Prabhupāda: No.

Bernard Manischewitz: Like a sacrifice.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Bernard Manischewitz: I see.

Prabhupāda: Sacrifice means restriction. One meaning of sacrifice is: if you believe in the śāstra, the animal is going to get next life as a human being. Because he is being sacrificed under Vedic rituals, so he is given promotion immediately, to human life. So he is not loser. His body being sacrificed before the deity, he gets the opportunity of getting a human life immediately, for which he had to wait perhaps thousands and thousands of years, because the evolution will go. Of course, after animal life the next life is human life. So anyway, he is given the concession to get a human form of body immediately after this body is destroyed, and with the right that he has the right to kill the man who has killed him. That mantra is cited, that "He was sacrificing your life, so you get immediately human form of body, and you can kill this man." So this is the Vedic rituals.

Another animal sacrifice is there just to make experiment of the Vedic mantra. An animal is sacrificed in the altar, and he is given again life, rejuvenated life. An old cow sacrificed, and he gets a youth, young. If the animal comes out alive, then it is to be considered that the Vedic mantras are being recited correctly. Not to kill and eat, no, no, that is not the purpose. Just like in laboratories, they make some experiment on the animal, similarly this is like that. The animal is sacrificed, and he is rejuvenated in young life. Old life is sacrificed, and he gets a new body. Then it is to be understood that in this ritualistic ceremony the mantras are chanted correctly. That is their power. But because in this age such learned brāhmaṇas are not available, therefore it is stopped. No more. There is a verse in the Purāṇas:

aśvamedhaṁ gavālambhaṁ
sannyāsaṁ pala-paitṛkam
devareṇa sutotpattiṁ
kalau pañca vivarjayet
(CC Adi 17.164)

In this age of Kali, five things should be avoided: one is performing sacrifice by offering cows; performing sacrifice by offering horse; and oblation offering to the forefathers with meat; and then to get child by the husband's younger brother. Maybe it was practiced formerly. According to Vedic rituals, the husband's wife . . . that is permanent relation; there is no divorce, nothing of the sort. But in case of the husband being sick or dead, the women was allowed, if she has no children, to get children by the husband's younger brother. Devareṇa. That is also now not allowed. So these five things are not allowed in this age, Kali-yuga: sacrifice offering cows, sacrifice offering horse, sannyāsa—renouncing family life—sannyāsa order, offering oblations with meat to the forefathers, and begetting children through the husband's younger . . . these five items are forbidden.

Bernard Manischewitz: You say in these times. How recent is this? How recent?

Prabhupāda: Say about five thousand years. Kali-yuga has begun since five thousand years, and it will continue for 427,000 years still.

Bernard Manischewitz: I have another question. May I ask it?

Prabhupāda: Hmm.

Bernard Manischewitz: There seems to be a determination on the part of most of the devotees to eliminate from their lives all news except that dealing with Kṛṣṇa. It seems . . . it seems to me if they are to bring Kṛṣṇa to the world that it would be an important thing for them to have news, to know . . . to be able to communicate with people. Is there some actual prohibition against . . . (indistinct) . . .?

Prabhupāda: No, we know . . . it is useless. It is useless. Because what you will find in the newspaper? The material activities within this item—eating, sleeping, sex and defense. All the politicians will speak, "Now we are arranging eating process like this, we are making this plan, we are . . . economic." Uh? (aside) Thank you. Very good. You have written? Aiye. The repetition of the same news. It has no good news. "There was a burglary, there was a theft, and this man cheated, and this man was rogue." What is the use of this news? Let everyone know that the whole world is full of such rubbish things. The politicians, they are talking in their own way, that's all . . . (indistinct) . . . even Gandhi, such an exalted man, he says that "I have no belief. I do not believe that there was any person as Kṛṣṇa ever living." Just see. All the big, big ācāryas of India who are practically controlling the destiny of the Hindu civilization or Vedic civilization, they all believe. Gandhi became more than them. Who made him, that is another thing. But he thinks like that. And because Gandhi thinks, just imagine how many millions of people have been misled. Similarly big, big scholars like Dr. Radhakrishnan, he says when Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65), he said: "This is not to the person Kṛṣṇa." Just see. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, clearly it is stated, bhagavān uvāca. (aside) Find out this verse. Please, you find out, somebody. Bhagavad-gītā here. Find out.

Devotee: Eighteenth Chapter.

Prabhupāda: Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī, Ninth Chapter.

Devotee: Ninth Chapter. Also Eighteenth.

Prabhupāda: He directly says that, that "Just become My devotee, always think of Me, offer your respectful obeisances unto Me, and I guarantee that you will come back to Me." Read it.


man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mam evaiṣyasi yuktvaivam
ātmānaṁ mat-parāyaṇaḥ
(BG 9.34)

"Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me."

Prabhupāda: Now, Radhakrishnan says: "Not to Kṛṣṇa." So there are so many wrong directions by big, big men, taking Bhagavad-gītā. This is going on. And we are poor fellows. We are neither big scholar nor politician. We simply teach our disciple the same thing in Kṛṣṇa's service. Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto; we are teaching, "You just become devotee of Kṛṣṇa." That's all. No addition, no interpretation. And people are coming. And for the last two hundred years the so-called scholars and politicians published their books, and it is widely read, and not a single devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Not a single. Just see practically. We have no magic. We don't play any magic, prepare gold or jugglery. We simply say that "You become devotee of Kṛṣṇa," and these young men have become devotee of Kṛṣṇa.

Bernard Manischewitz: I see. Well, thank you very much.

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Bernard Manischewitz: Hare Kṛṣṇa. (devotees pay obeisances)

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: This is Mr. Bosca Patel, our Life Member.

Prabhupāda: Aiye, aiye.

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: And that's Professor Chawla and his family. They've been coming very regularly for years and years.

Prabhupāda: Oh, very nice . . . (indistinct) . . . (end)