750616 - Conversation D - Honolulu

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



750616R4-HONOLULU - June 16, 1975 - 30:06 Minutes



(Conversation about modern society - kīrtana in background throughout)

Prabhupāda: ...all these (indistinct), the workers. What for he's moved far away from his town, where he has come? (break) ...this is the material plan. But those who are karmīs, acting materially, they have got some attraction for material ways. So Māyāvādīs, they give it up. Buddha philosophy is also like that—finish it, this material attachment.

Siddha-svarūpa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Buddha philosophy is simply negation. His philosophy is that this is a combination of matter: you dismantle the matter by combination. Just like a skyscraper, how it has come into being by combination of these material things: earth, water, air? So if the earth goes to the earth, water goes to the water, fire goes to the fire—then there is no combination. So the botheration is finished. That is (indistinct—kīrtana very loud) philosophy and (indistinct) philosophy is not only finishes this material construction, but he merges in the spiritual world.

Bali-mardana: Merges.

Prabhupāda: (indistinct) Now we are not interested matter, and our philosophy is no merging in the spirit. Buddha is impersonalist because he has no information of the spirit and (indistinct) and he gives stress (indistinct) Brahma-saṁhitā, and this matter is personal. Whereas these Māyāvādīs, coming to the spiritual platform, but they do not take the spiritual attraction; therefore there must have some attraction. Attraction… Unless one has got spiritual attraction, he will be attracted by the material. And the material attraction means a white women (indistinct) is very good. That they are pushing that in the villages. But they must have attraction. Instead of brothels, theater and cinema, if they are become attracted to temple, Deity worship, chanting, then prasādam, holding festivals—same thing is there—then that will change the consciousness. Then they will stay.

Bali-mardana: Hmm. Yes.

Prabhupāda: Otherwise, no.

Bali-mardana: Their Communist doctrines will not give true satisfaction.

Prabhupāda: No. That I have said many times. It is defective, because Communists, socialists, they are giving importance to the state. The state is the proprietor of everything. So they have to go further: not the state, but God is the proprietor. Then they will be perfect. But they have no information of God. They are atheists, so therefore they will again fall down.

Siddha-svarūpa: This... Today you were asking me earlier about the difference between Chinese and Russians, and the difference between is that the Chinese are saying that...

Prabhupāda: So why don't you correspond with the Chinese Communist leaders? This is required.

Siddha-svarūpa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: You write letter that this is the process, those who are pushing the men in the villages, the leaders. Why don't you write letter?

Siddha-svarūpa: (laughing) I wouldn’t know how to begin to write.

Prabhupāda: Then you have to learn. That is preacher.

Siddha-svarūpa: No, I could write, I just wouldn't know how to get it...

Prabhupāda: You or anybody of you, write letters; induce them. Just like I am—with correspondence—I am planning out this Kurukṣetra.

Siddha-svarūpa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: So you should be pushing.

Siddha-svarūpa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: If you simply remain in sentiment, then that is another thing.

Bali-mardana: Try to catch up the Communists.

Prabhupāda: Yes. You have to catch up the opportunity to put your philosophy, make them understand it. That is activity. And others have nonsense philosophy and sit down, that's all. (indistinct)

Bali-mardana: Hmm. This is good preaching for the Western countries, because they now all have Communist parties except for U.S.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Make them enlightened. Give them enlightenment. But unless one has got the enlightenment, how he will give it? That is the difficulty. This should be pointed out: that you are trying to unite for good for the people, but here is the defect.

Bali-mardana: Yes.

Prabhupāda: What is the central attraction? They have been accustomed—this is very reasonable; they will understand—they have been accustomed to material things, of which intoxication and women is the chief. So if you don't give them some attraction, they will keep the same attractions in the village: the same intoxication, wine, meat-eating, gambling. So they will not be happy. They will import the same thing, because they have no other attraction. So if you give us chance, we can give them spiritual attraction. If you allow us that some of us can go and give them spiritual attraction. And practically the hippies, drug-addicted, they have attracted, they have got attraction now for Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and they have given up their other bad habits, eating meat and drinking and illicit sex, gambling. If this is introduced again in the village, they must have some attraction. Because living entity is ānanda, sac-cid-ānanda, part and parcel of God. They want eternal, blissful life of knowledge. That is their hankering. So if you keep faith with them, give them knowledge, eternal knowledge, and more or less, just like Dhruva Maharaja accepted blissful life of eternal knowledge. He said, svāmin kṛtārtho'smi varaṁ na yāce (CC Madhya 22.42). Eternal. That's…, that is the way. Why the village people are attracted by the cities? When they come to the city they see, "Oh, it is heaven. So nice roads are there, they are very nicely riding on motorcars and buses, so nice sights, (indistinct) cinema (indistinct). Get money here if you want, in the factory. Get women, money, wealth."

Bali-mardana: Hmm.

Prabhupāda: Yes. The farmers in your country, their sons, they are leaving. They find it is heaven in comparison to village life. Just after evening it is dark, and everyone has to go to their rooms, and what they will do there?

Bali-mardana: Scratch mosquitoes.

Prabhupāda: Apart from mosquitoes. If they are alone—men and women—they will have sex, and drinking. That is the statistics: that the light failed, during that time so many women became pregnant.

Bali-mardana: Yes. It's true.

Prabhupāda: Do you know that?

Bali-mardana: Yes. When they cut off the electricity in Britain, they had a power shortage—the coal strike.

Prabhupāda: During the… In New York City, four, five hours it remained dark. During that four, five hours some millions became pregnant. No business.

Siddha-svarūpa: Nothing else to do.

Prabhupāda: So here the real attraction is the sex. The other statistics I was seeing is that all these hitchhike statistics is rape. Most dreadful.

Bali-mardana: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: The lusty desire is so prominent that whenever they will get some opportunity. That's all. Therefore it is ordered that you should not remain alone even with your sister, with your daughter, with your mother—and what to speak of others. Śāstra says, mātrā svasrā duhitrā vā nāviviktāsano bhavet (SB 9.19.17): "Don't keep yourself alone even with your mother or sister or daughter," what to speak of others. This is prohibited. And those who have taken this brāhmaṇa, religious, for them to see even one women and appreciate, "Oh, she is very nice," that is also subtle sex. Eight kinds of subtle sex. Therefore according to Vedic civilization, woman is allowed to dress herself very nicely only before the husband. On the street, they will not go out. They will not go out. Even they go out—covered. That is observed strictly by the Muhammadans.

Bali-mardana: Covered.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Nobody can see the bodily structure.

Siddha-svarūpa: The Chinese, they are also like that. Conservative.

Prabhupāda: Hindus, they did not do. Even my mother; my wife also. Now, from our daughter's time they are going to. Going to next-door neighbor, so my mother used to go there in car—next door. Not walking; by car, carriage, because next door simply one step. So there was no horse. The coachman, by hand he… But still the carriage must be. Otherwise... And there was palanquin (pronounces "planquin") going from this house to that house. A palanquin man, four men, carried. Four carriers.

Siddha-svarūpa: Oh, palanquin.

Prabhupāda: And they would charge maybe five paisa.

Bali-mardana: Five paisa?

Prabhupāda: Four men carrying the palanquin from here to there—five paisa.

Bali-mardana: Ah.

Prabhupāda: It was very comfortable.

Bali-mardana: (laughs) Soft ride.

Prabhupāda: That was the situation, even our mother's time. My mother, my wife also was taken in. My wife never gone in bus, tram. No. They would travel…

Bali-mardana: During your…, the time you have been living, you have seen such vast changes.

Prabhupāda: Hah?

Bali-mardana: You have seen such vast changes.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. I ….

Bali-mardana: We have grown up in this degraded culture.

Prabhupāda: Nobody would see the face of woman. Veil. Who is going, nobody knows: "Some women is there." That is Oriental culture. I have seen in Iran, even nowadays...

Bali-mardana: Iran.

Siddha-svarūpa: Yes. Yes I've seen, Iran.

Prabhupāda: So nobody can see.

Siddha-svarūpa: Didn't the Japanese have something like that too, where they require them to be covered?

Bali-mardana: They had just palanquins, too, but covered palanquins. The Chinese, too.

Prabhupāda: The Japanese, say about forty years ago... One of my friends, he had a Japanese tenant in Calcutta. Not tenant… He was working with the distribution at a big office, so he was assistant cashier. So during Christmas he gave some presentation, and went to his boss's house. So the servant came to receive the presentation, and when he asked about the lady, his wife, the servant replied that "In the absence of her husband, she does not see anybody." That I have seen. Not that she came to received, "Oh, Mister, you have come to Mr. Such-and-such's house. All right." No. It was done by the servant. And when he asked about the Mrs., the servant said that "In the absence of the master she does not see anyone."

Bali-mardana: They had to paint their teeth black.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Bali-mardana: When the husband was away, the Japanese women, they painted their teeth black—there was some dye—to make them look ugly.

Prabhupāda: This is Vedic civilization. This is called proṣita bhartṛkā. By dress one would understand what she is: whether she is married, whether she is not married, whether her husband was out of home, whether she is widow, whether she is prostitute—everything, by dress. One hasn't got to ask what she is; by her different dress people will understand. This, it is called sita. What do you call this?

Govinda dāsī: Part? The part?

Bali-mardana: Vermilion? Kum kum?

Prabhupāda: No, no. What is this?

Govinda dāsī: He's talking about the part.

Bali-mardana: Oh, the part…

Govinda dāsī: The part, if it's in the center...

Prabhupāda: So the prostitute would keep their part...

Bali-mardana: Right side.

Prabhupāda: ...like that, not in the middle.

Bali-mardana: On the side.

Prabhupāda: Then everyone will understand, "She is prostitute."

Bali-mardana: Ācchā.

Prabhupāda: And married means the red. It is called vermilion?

Bali-mardana: Vermilion, yes.

Prabhupāda: And unmarried means no vermilion. Widow means white, and proṣita bhārtṛkā, when husband is not at home she will not dress at all—not comb the hair, not dress, no ornaments. In this way, simply be seeing woman what is her dress, one can understand. Just like with the Japanese.

Bali-mardana: Ah.

Prabhupāda: This is Oriental culture.

Bali-mardana: I found out that up until a hundred years ago, Japanese were not allowed to kill animals. But when the Westerners...

Prabhupāda: I asked a Japanese, the Dai-Nippon president, that "You are Buddhist, so animal killing is allowed?" So he didn't… "We eat animals." He admitted.

Bali-mardana: When the Americans came, the American Consul, he was the first one to instruct them to kill animals for the Americans.

Prabhupāda: Yes. In India also there was no slaughterhouse. The Britishers started it for their military men. The Britishers, they peacefully killed the Vedic culture. The Muhammadans, they were sometimes fighting, by force pushing meat to the mouth, and they became Muhammadans, and sprinkle on him. They did not know how to peacefully turn the whole culture. The Britishers, they knew.

Bali-mardana: They knew the trick.

Prabhupāda: Hah. How to convert them peacefully. And they did it. They would not take any forceful action. Muhammadans, they used to take some forceful actions, that's all. Britishers avoided that, but peacefully they injected...

Siddha-svarūpa: Poison.

Prabhupāda: …poison. The school, college, society. Now big, big officers, the Government House. In the Government House when there was some function, they created a rich man class: zamindars, landlords, (indistinct). So if some invitation would come to somebody from the Government House, he would think himself that he has become demigod. In the Government House, the drinking and talking with others' wives—naturally they studied this, and they adopted it. This is civilization.

Bali-mardana: Civilization.

Prabhupāda: They introduced. The drinking was introduced among the richer classes, then gradually it came down. Even in our childhood days, practically there was no… Wine is out of question; even they were not drinking tea. Gradually all these things. They, they did not know how to grow tea. These Britishers, the British planters, they went to Assam side and acquired land, and by forced labor they began tea growing, and now they must sell it, market. The market they found America and India. India was not accustomed, but they organized one, by the government. The government was taking excise tax, and part of which they engaged propaganda, in the cities especially. They were preparing very first class, with milk and tea.

Bali-mardana: Chai.

Prabhupāda: Chai. Yes. Chai. And distributed it free.

Siddha-svarūpa: It actually is addicting.

Prabhupāda: Hah?

Siddha-svarūpa: Tea is addicting. Tea is addictive.

Prabhupāda: Now you find even a sweeper early in the morning sitting before a teashop.

Siddha-svarūpa: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: They like it.

Bali-mardana: They all drink tea.

Siddha-svarūpa: In Vṛndāvana, all the bicycle wallas, the rickshaw boys, they all sit and drink. They all hang around the tea place and drink tea, and then if there is somebody calling for rickshaw then they drive, then they go back to the tea place. They run on tea.

Prabhupāda: Where you have seen?

Siddha-svarūpa: In Vṛndāvana.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Māyāpura also.

Siddha-svarūpa: Whenever you want to find a rickshaw walla you just go to the tea corner. I was reading that when the Vietnamese Communists, who were mostly villagers and everything, came into Saigon, which is the capital of South Vietnam, which has been Americanized for the last ten years, when they came in, all their soldiers were very concerned, and they didn't know what all these things were. And prostitutes were calling them, and you know, asking them if they want their business, and they didn't even know what they were talking about, and they were like awed by the whole thing. But they were holding…, the boys were holding each others' hands, like this. They didn't know what it was all about, and they saw cameras and watches and all these things, and they had no real protection, because they are all very simple village people actually. And they had no protection. They weren't used to girls coming up to them and asking them and these things. So they were... There was actually a lot of... They were actually very dominated by the Saigonese, the city people. The soldiers were afraid. They were very much afraid. They were so backwards according to the civilized...

Bali-mardana: Sophisticated.

Siddha-svarūpa: They weren't sophisticated. They were very...

Bali-mardana: Simple.

Siddha-svarūpa: Yes. But the… So it seems like Asia, in that sense, because they are... Really they haven't been that much degraded in their culture. There's actually...

Bali-mardana: It's still based on the village.

Siddha-svarūpa: It didn’t seem like it would be too hard.

Bali-mardana: (to another devotee) You were supposed to give class.

Siddha-svarūpa: (to Prabhupāda) Thank you. (end)