751010 - Conversation - Durban

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Go-previous.pngConversations by Date, 1975
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



751010R1-DURBAN - October 10, 1975 - 101:19 Minutes


(with Professor Olivier, Rector, University of Durban, Westville)



Prof. Olivier: Well, we didn't get the... We didn't get time to discuss some of the...

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: ...the points that you raised, and I came in in the middle of a discourse.

Prabhupāda: I do not know who were those gentlemen. They are your teaching staff, that Mr. Chadda and others? They were introduced as Ārya-samājīs. They belong to the teaching staff, no?

Prof. Olivier: No. The Ārya-paṭha-nīti-sabhā, which is an organization which was started about a hundred years ago by Swami Dayananda in India, with a motto of bhavantu viśvam āryam: "Let us make all men noble through search after truth," and that started in South Africa about fifty years ago. And one of the leading gentlemen in the organization today was the one sitting on the extreme left-hand side, Mr. Chautari. They are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary here in South Africa with a week's program, and they invited these two ācāryas over from India. One is from Delhi. I don't know where the other one is from. They invited them over to grace their celebrations. So they have been having a week of celebrations starting in the City Hall last Sunday.

Prabhupāda: This Sunday?

Prof. Olivier: The Sunday that's just passed, yes. They started then.

Prabhupāda: Oh.

Prof. Olivier: I have a program in the car. Perhaps I could give you the program and you could have a look. All kinds of interesting topics.

Prabhupāda: For interesting topic, the gentleman, he was introducing himself, "I am God." So what topics we can have with them? (chuckles)

Prof. Olivier: Yes.

Prabhupāda: He said that "I am God." I do not know what kind of topics they are...

Prof. Olivier: Well, the one was the regeneration of the Hindu spirit. I don't know what is meant by that.

Prabhupāda: They do not belong to the Hindu. They are described in the Bhagavad-gītā. (aside:) Find out, veda-vāda-ratā pārtha nānyad astīti vādinaḥ.

Prof. Olivier: I have read through the Gītā, of course, but you see... And I have thereafter referred to certain paragraphs. But it is a book of profound depth, and unless you spend a lot of time going into details, much of it gets lost.

Prabhupāda: You have got this? Veda-vāda-ratāḥ? Huh?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes. I had it. Oh, here it is.

yām imāṁ puṣpitāṁ vācaṁ
pravadanty avipaścitaḥ
veda-vāda-ratāḥ pārtha
nānyad astīti vādinaḥ
kamātmānaḥ svarga-parā
janma-karma-phala-pradām
kriyā-viśeṣa bahulāṁ
bhogaiśvarya-gatiṁ prati
(BG 2.42-43)

"Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power and so forth. Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, they say that there is nothing more than this."

Prabhupāda: Purport.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Purport: "People in general are not very intelligent, and due to their ignorance they are most attached to the fruitive activities recommended in the karma-kāṇḍa portion of the Vedas. They do not want anything more than sense gratificatory proposals for enjoying life in heaven, where wine and women are available and material opulence is very common. In the Vedas many sacrifices are recommended for elevation to the heavenly planets, especially the jyotiṣṭoma sacrifices. In fact, it is stated that anyone desiring elevation to heavenly planets must perform these sacrifices, and men with a poor fund of knowledge think that this is the whole purpose of Vedic wisdom.

"It is very difficult for such inexperienced persons to be situated in the determined action of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. As fools are attached to the flowers of poisonous trees without knowing the results of such attractions, similarly unenlightened men are attracted by such heavenly opulence and the sense enjoyment thereof. In the karma-kāṇḍa section of the Vedas it is said that those who perform the four-monthly penances become eligible to drink the soma-rasa beverages to become immortal and happy forever. Even on this earth some are very eager to have soma-rasa to become strong and fit to enjoy sense gratifications. Such persons have no faith in liberation from material bondage, and they are very much attached to the pompous ceremonies of Vedic sacrifices. They are generally sensual, and they do not want anything other than the heavenly pleasures of life. It is understood that there are gardens called Nandana-kānana, in which there is good opportunity for association with angelic, beautiful women and having a profuse supply of soma-rasa wine. Such bodily happiness is certainly sensual. Therefore there are those who are purely attached to material temporary happiness as lords of the material world."

Prof. Olivier: Well, so we are left in this twentieth century, this last part of the century, with a new global search for..., or the truth of the spirit. We, of course, in the Western world are not familiar with the Gītā and so on.

Prabhupāda: No.

Prof. Olivier: But our problem is basically, I think, the one that you raised, was how do we make... How do we make a reality, a scientific reality? And I think you were quite right. I think people, very few people, get the point that you were trying to make there.

Prabhupāda: That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā, scientific reality. Therefore I raised that question. But nobody could reply properly. They thought it a kind of Hindu conception. No. That is not Hindu conception. That is the basic principle of living condition. We are changing body, and there are so many varieties of body. We may enter in any one of them after death. That is the real problem. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ (BG 3.27). Nature's work is going on. This body is a machine. This machine, just like a car, has been offered to us by material nature, by the order of God, Kṛṣṇa. And we are moving, transmigration. So the real purpose of life is to stop this migration, transmigration, perpetually from one body to another, one body to another, and revive our original, spiritual position so that we can live eternally, blissful life of knowledge. That is the aim of life. The whole Vedic conception is based on this principle.

Prof. Olivier: Now how do you...? This..., your concept of reincarnation, how do you reconcile reincarnation with this attempt to...

Prabhupāda: So long you'll have desire for material...

Prof. Olivier: This is what is normally in the Hindu religion, you know, which it is not so, of course, in the Christian religion.

Prabhupāda: It is not the question of religion. This is the, I mean to say, our position, real position. Religion develops. Religion is a kind of faith. That develops according to time, circumstances, people. But reality is this, that we are spirit soul. We are now conditioned by the laws of material nature, and we are carried away by the laws of material nature and transmigrating from one body to another—sometimes happy, sometimes distressed, or sometimes heavenly planet, sometimes lower planet. This is going on. And human life is meant for stopping this process of transmigration and revive our original consciousness, and go back to home, back to Godhead, and live eternally, blissful life of knowledge. This is the whole scheme of Vedic literature. And Bhagavad-gītā is the synopsis how to attain this life.

Therefore, the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā begins to understand the constitutional position of the soul. Then other things. First of all we have to understand what we are—whether I am this body or something else. This is the first understanding. So I was trying to explain this, but that Mr. Chadda, he would bring that "You want to introduce Hindu conception." It is not Hindu conception; it is the scientific conception. I am a child for some time. Then I become a boy for some time. Then I become a young man, some time. Then I become old man. In this way I am changing body. This is not Hindu conception or Vedic conception. This is the fact. But he would not hear that. He would simply say, "You are trying to push Hindu conception of..." And what is this Hindu conception? It is equally applicable to everyone.

Prof. Olivier: Hmm, true.

Prabhupāda: Scientific basis. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā.

dehino 'smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntara-prāptir
dhīras tatra...

(aside:) Find out this.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa:

dehino 'smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntara-prāptir
dhīras tatra na muhyati
(BG 2.13)

"As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change."

Prabhupāda: Purport.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Purport: "Since every living entity is an individual soul, each is changing his body every moment, manifesting sometimes as a child, sometimes as a youth, and sometimes as an old man. Yet the same spirit soul is there and does not undergo any change. This individual soul finally changes the body at death and transmigrates to another body; and since it is sure to have another body in the next birth—either material or spiritual—there was no cause for lamentation by Arjuna on account of death, neither for Bhīṣma nor for Droṇa, for whom he was so much concerned. Rather, he should rejoice for their changing bodies from old to new ones, thereby rejuvenating their energy. Such changes of body account for varieties of enjoyment or suffering, according to one's work in life. So Bhīṣma and Droṇa, being noble souls, were surely going to have either spiritual bodies in the next life, or at least life in heavenly bodies for superior enjoyment of material existence. So in either case, there was no cause of lamentation.

"Any man who has perfect knowledge of the constitution of the individual soul, the Supersoul and nature—both material and spiritual—is called a dhīra, or a most sober man. Such a man is never deluded by the change of bodies. The Māyāvādī theory of oneness of the spirit soul cannot be entertained, on the ground that spirit soul cannot be cut into pieces as a fragmental portion. Such cutting into different individual souls would make the Supreme cleavable or changeable, against the principle of the Supreme Soul being unchangeable. As confirmed in the Gītā, the fragmental portions of the Supreme exist eternally, sanātana, and are called kṣara; that is, they have a tendency to fall down into material nature. These fragmental portions are eternally so, and even after liberation, the individual soul remains the same—fragmental. But once liberated, he lives an eternal life in bliss and knowledge with the Personality of Godhead.

"The theory of reflection can be applied to the Supersoul, who is present in each and every individual body and is known as the Paramātmā, who is different from the individual living entity. When the sky is reflected in water, the reflections represent both the sun and moon and the stars also. The stars can be compared to the living entities and the sun or the moon to the Supreme Lord. The individual fragmental spirit soul is represented by Arjuna, and the Supreme Soul is the Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. They are not on the same level, as it will be apparent in the beginning of the Fourth Chapter. If Arjuna is on the same level with Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa is not superior to Arjuna, then their relationship of instructor and instructed becomes meaningless. If both of them are deluded by the illusory energy, māyā, then there is no need of one being the instructor and the other being the instructed. Such instruction would be useless because, in the clutches of māyā, no one can be an authoritative instructor. Under the circumstances, it is admitted that Lord Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord, superior in position to the living entity, Arjuna, who is a forgotten soul deluded by māyā."

Prabhupāda: So in the Bhagavad-gītā, everything is explained very scientifically, not, I mean to say, a sentimental explanation. No. Logically, scientifically.

Prof. Olivier: The problem as I see it, of course, is how to get modern man to make this study in depth that is contained, or outlined, in this book. Especially when you are caught up in an educational system that denies a place to this very concept or even the philosophy of it, it's...

Prabhupāda: The modern education, they do not accept soul?

Prof. Olivier: Part of it in theory, perhaps, you know, and at the junior stage. But as they..., as we advance, there is either a complete neutrality or a..., just a simple rejection of these truths.

Prabhupāda: They do not accept soul.

Prof. Olivier: They accept the soul, I think so, but they do not care to analyze what it means.

Prabhupāda: Oh. And it is... Without analyzing this, what is the education? First of all this should be analyzed, what is the distinction between a dead body and a living body. That must be analyzed. Otherwise, what is the education? We are dealing with this body. The body is always dead. Just like a motorcar with driver and without driver. The car is always a lump of matter. Similarly, this body, with the soul and without the soul, is a lump of matter. Therefore the...

Prof. Olivier: Not worth very much.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Prof. Olivier: Not worth very much.

Prabhupāda: No.

Prof. Olivier: I think about..., around one rand fifty-six cents or something. Somebody worked it out the other day.

Prabhupāda: Yes. But if one cannot distinguish between the car and the driver of the car, then he remains just like a child. A child may think that the car is running automatically, but that is foolishness. There is a driver. The child may not know, but when the child is grown-up, educated, still he does not know, then what is the meaning of his education?

Prof. Olivier: But now this is the whole range of education in, well, as far as I am aware, in the whole of the Western world, and it covers primary and secondary and tertiary education. There is no place for an in-depth study of..., well, of the soul and of the...

Prabhupāda: I talked with one big professor in Moscow. Perhaps you may know him. His name is Professor Kotovsky. He is the leader of Indology in Moscow. So I had a talk with him for about an hour. That talk was published in some paper. He says, "Swāmījī, after this body is annihilated, everything is finished." So I was surprised. And he is holding a very responsible post, Indology, and known to be very good scholar. He was good scholar, but he also does not know.

Prof. Olivier: Well, we have started a course, or we have a course here at our own university in Indology.

Prabhupāda: Here?

Prof. Olivier: Yeah. It is a scholar from Vienna that we have got to teach this course for us. But what he teaches and what kind of basic philosophy, I wouldn't know. There are about thirty or forty students. So in essence, they ought to start by making at least a detailed study, as I see it, of the Bhagavad-gītā as a basis for their whole philosophy.

Prabhupāda: So why not appoint somebody to teach Bhagavad-gītā As It Is? That is essential. And we have got step by step, so many books, fifty books, simply to understand God.

Prof. Olivier: Uh-huh. You mean from the beginning right through the...

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. You can make them pass the entrance examination, the graduate examination, the postgraduate examination by studying these books. Yes.

Prof. Olivier: Well, this is apparently what one needs. This is perhaps what one needs, you know.

Prabhupāda: And our books are being appreciated, Europe, America, by big, big professors, universities. They are giving us standing order, even in Oxford University. What is that, Oxford University?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes. I was just in London a while back.

Prabhupāda: No, that letter is there?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: I don't know if I have the one from Oxford. This is from Harvard. We just received this telegram from Los Angeles, Prabhupāda. "Amazing success from your library party—one hundred and fifty-two standing orders sold in just seventeen days of September in New England. Thirteen standing orders at Harvard, with no limit in sight." These books are very much being appreciated in America.

Prof. Olivier: These are for the sets.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes, a standing order of books even which haven't been published yet. Prabhupāda is translating on his Dictaphone each night, throughout the hours of the night. And now about fifty books so far; many more to come.

Prabhupāda: The total number of books will be about eighty. Out of that, we have published about fifty. So the balance they are giving standing order, "As soon as published, you give."

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: In the United States... These are many letters we have, just some of them, from different professors who are actually using Prabhupāda's books, professors from respectable universities such as Harvard, Yale, Duke. Professor Dimmock, who is the leading scholar of southeastern languages at the University of Chicago, he very much appreciates Prabhupāda's books.

Prabhupāda: He has written one foreword.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: So these books are being accepted as the authority, at least in America and England, so far as studies of Indian culture are concerned, philosophy, sociology. And you can see the beautiful presentation. Each Sanskrit is there, transliteration so that anyone can chant, word-for-word Sanskrit to English translation, translation in English, and then the purport, a commentary.

Prof. Olivier: That's right. This is a good edition. Good edition.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Professor Dimmock, he says that there are many, many translations of Bhagavad-gītā, and he says that "By bringing us a new and living interpretation of a text already known to many, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda has increased our understanding manyfold." So although it's been prevalent in America... I know that when I was studying Humanities in college in the University of Florida, Bhagavad-gītā was required. And we read one edition, but it was very much limited. Until we come in contact with Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, the understanding is very much limited and stunted. But it's not a sectarian approach. It's purely scientific and realistic. There are many such reviews.

Prof. Olivier: (looking at review) Well, this is a good letter.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: All of our different books, just offhand. These are some of the colleges as of several months ago who placed standing orders for our books. Now the professors, as we go from college to college in America, in the universities they are using our books as textbooks, standard textbooks. They are seeing that the cost of the book is not the real criterion. The criterion is the quality of the teaching. Someone may be attracted by the cover of the books... (break) ...transliteration is pronounced, different words, glossary for words which may not be so well understood by the neophyte, references. And for the different pictures, plate numbers and explanation. It's a complete edition. Nothing has ever been seen like this in the Western world. So there's great authority behind it.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah. This... I mean, our university has almost an obligation to make a study in depth of all of these points.

Prabhupāda: And after studying Bhagavad-gītā thoroughly, then begins further, higher study—Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the same principles. Show.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: The same format is used. There is color illustrations, introduction, and Sanskrit transliteration, word for word.

Prof. Olivier: Now, would this be... Would this be a... Where would this come in, a book like this, in the study course?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: This is the postgraduate study of Bhagavad-gītā, yes. The Bhagavad-gītā teaches the general...

Prabhupāda: No, Bhagavad-gītā is entrance, and then this is graduate. And Caitanya-caritāmṛta postgraduate.

Prof. Olivier: Our great problem is at the undergraduate level.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes. Well, there is the Nectar of Devotion and the Teachings of Lord Caitanya.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Nectar of Devotion and the Śrī Īśopaniṣad. These books are actually being used in undergraduate courses. These are some of the recommendations, see, offered as an undergraduate course. Mostly... This book is very, very interesting, this, "the complete science of bhakti-yoga." This explains scientifically the science of devotional service to God. That devotional service which is not practiced with reference to the Vedic literatures is simply a disturbance, just as if some chemist walked into an English laboratory or some foreign language laboratory and tried to do something, and he has no knowledge. So the same way, we should try to understand the science of devotional service from the authorities, so that it's not just..., it doesn't become simply a disturbance in society. People lose faith in God that way. Śrī Īśopaniṣad also has the same format once again—the Sanskrit, transliteration, word for word. This is a very nice entrance book into Vedic understanding. This is the most important of the Upaniṣads. Many other books we have like this, paperbacks and hardbound. This is being used in many universities in America.

Prabhupāda: Temple University, it is a study book.

Prof. Olivier: Temple University?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes. In Philadelphia.

Prof. Olivier: Yes, I have been there. There is an Islamic professor there, Professor of Islamics, Farooki. He was also here at the university lecturing in Islam.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: See, this is University of Minnesota. This is a book review of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. He says, "I know of no better introduction to the vast literature of kṛṣṇa-bhakti than Swami Bhaktivedanta's paraphrase of Canto Ten of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Purāṇa. Translators inevitably have to commute between felicity and fidelity. In this edition, Bhaktivedanta resolves the dilemma by presenting a purport of each chapter which is both readable and substantial." No one can argue with the authority of these literatures, it's a fact, because Śrīla Prabhupāda has not manufactured anything from his own mind. It's simply being presented, the Vedic literatures, as they are, in such a way that we in the Western countries, we can understand very clearly, without any hesitation, what is being said in each verse and each chapter. In other words, Prabhupāda is not presenting in order to confuse or to juggle words, but to actually give people understanding. This is why it's been accepted so readily. We have many such (indistinct).

Prof. Olivier: Yes, it's... That other letter you showed me, the first one, is a...

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: It's from Utah State University.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah, Sociology. It's a good letter. It would be a good letter to have a copy.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes. I can make copies of some of these letters and bring them by. Will you be in your office on Monday?

Prof. Olivier: I have a meeting in the morning, but my secretary...

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: I can leave it there. And all of these books are readily available here in stock.

Prof. Olivier: Are they?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes. We have thousands and thousands of books here in South Africa.

Prof. Olivier: In South Africa?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Oh, yes. Very, very reasonable prices.

Prabhupāda: Your Sanskrit professor, he has seen?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes. The Sanskrit professor has noted that he would like to take the whole set of books.

Prof. Olivier: What's his name, this professor? Zanenberg?(?)

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: One of the devotees spoke to him, but he wanted that I should go back and see him.

Prabhupāda: Where he is? Call him, that devotee who saw him.

Prof. Olivier: Was this an Indian gentleman or...

Bhārgava: Yes, it was an Indian gentleman. I saw him, but I didn't speak to him.

Prof. Olivier: Which professor?

Bhargava: I don't know his name.

Prof. Olivier: Probably Mishra?

Bhārgava: I don't know his name. I saw he was an Indian gentleman.

Prof. Olivier: Yes. We want to... I mean, I can do very little at the university. My attempts have been to try and stress that the only..., the only permanent element in education is the spiritual, and how to effect this.

Prabhupāda: These are the books. That is a fact. So you saw the Sanskrit professor there?

Devotee: Yes, Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: What is his name?

Devotee: He's not a professor; he's a lecturer.

Prof. Olivier: Mr. Mishra?

Devotee: Yes, of the (indistinct).

Prof. Olivier: Mishra.

Devotee: Mishra. He's a lecturer. He has these special classes.

Prof. Olivier: That's right, yes. He does Sanskrit for us. He's from Mauritius.

Devotee: And he was interested in getting a whole standing order of books. And I said I could supply the books, but it will be a while before we got every single one from America, including the Bengali books, etc. We have to order them specially, because South Africa doesn't have a good communication with America as far as transporting large quantities...

Prabhupāda: No, we shall supply from here. You haven't got to bother.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes. We have good stock now. We have in stock over a thousand of all these books.

Devotee: We've sold so many that we have to reorder. It won't be much problem getting by air freight. We just put them on the plane and we get them here quickly.

Prabhupāda: We shall take responsibility for supplying the books from here, in this center.

Prof. Olivier: But now, what must you..., what can you do if your..., one of the professor who is in charge of Indology, like the one in Moscow, he teaches Indology but he does not believe the basis of what...

Prabhupāda: (laughs) Yes.

Prof. Olivier: What must you do then?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Therefore in America many of our students, they are teaching courses at the university. I, for one, I have a B.Sc. in chemistry. I'm actually a graduate in chemistry. I had a four-year scholarship to medical school, and some of the other devotees are also graduates, and they are actually teaching in the universities.

Prabhupāda: If you want some of our student to teach, he can do that.

Prof. Olivier: I think one must make a start somewhere, either by getting specialist lectures or lecturers at least to start.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: We could always assist in some way in an objective presentation, so that the students don't feel that they're being biased in any way. This is the idea of science. Let them draw their own conclusions. Just simply present the facts and let them come to their own conclusion. The main idea, though, is the authenticity. There's no use in studying something if it's simply mental speculation, which, of course, the Vedic scriptures mean that. They've been passed down for so many thousands of years intact, and the most important thing is to get a chance to read the originals in our own language, English, or Afrikaans, whatever it may be. We're also translating into Afrikaans the Bhagavad-gītā As It Is.

Prof. Olivier: Is that so?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes. Some of the girls are very, very proficient, and they're doing this now, and we hope that within a year or so's time we'll have a polished copy to print. We're working in this direction.

Prof. Olivier: I see.

Prabhupāda: If this line of activity is taken seriously, sometimes I may come and teach them. Yes.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: It is a very nice opportunity, because you have all Indian students and they are eager, eager to know. They want to know. And they want to...

Prabhupāda: And they should be helped to...

Prof. Olivier: They should be helped, yes. They should be helped.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the purpose of education.

Prof. Olivier: Apart from anything else, our Indian, our Hindu community here in South Africa seems to be very loose from any fixed idea of what constitutes Hinduism.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: And especially the young people, they are therefore living in a complete vacuum. For various reasons they do not want to accept... And I come back to the word religion again, because this is what they have about, or see around them. They cannot identify themselves with the Christian religion. They cannot identify themselves with the Islamic religion. They are largely ignorant.

Prabhupāda: So they should be shown the right path.

Prof. Olivier: They should be.

Prabhupāda: This is the right path—original, authentic.

Prof. Olivier: There were not very many great scholars in South Africa amongst our Indian community, you know. They came out by and large as workers on the sugar plantations. A few were Christian missionaries, a few were jewelers and tailors and so on. And then for the last hundred years they were occupied in resisting...

Prabhupāda: Political struggle.

Prof. Olivier: Political struggles or resisting this transportation back to India. And they were fighting to make a living, you know, finding their own place in the country. And it's only, as I see that in the future as I've been telling them that we are privileged to have them here in this country with this background, and that they mustn't cut themselves away from it and drift in a vacuum. They must give meaning to the essence of their own beliefs and faith. But they do not know to whom to turn.

Prabhupāda: So this is the opportunity.

Prof. Olivier: You see, now, they turn..., the senior ones turn perhaps to the ācāryas that you saw there.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: The youth are not attracted...

Prof. Olivier: They’re not...

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: ...because they don’t have the answers. The youth want to know exactly. In other words, if a youth asks a question and you can’t answer it, he doesn’t want to hear from you anymore. But we can answer all questions on the basis of these literatures without any tinge of mental speculation. Scientific, that's a fact.

Prof. Olivier: And then basically they and myself and others want to know how do we get this spirit into our own hearts, and how does this then issue out into everyday living.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is all explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, how to live peacefully in this world and go back to home, back to Godhead. This is the whole thing is explained very nicely.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: It's not that everyone will become a monk.

Prabhupāda: No, no.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Not everyone will become a jeweler or a teacher. But all different occupations must be there in society. Simply they have to somehow or another become God-centered.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah. Well, this is the point, you see. Man only lives because God allows him to live. God has given him breath to live, and he's got to breathe God and speak God and live God. Now...

Prabhupāda: That is wanted.

Prof. Olivier: How to get him to voluntarily make this experiment, because this is what you were saying. Any scientific development rests on experimentation. The challenge to experiment...

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: ...is there. I mean, God does not deny anybody the privilege of experimenting.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: And especially the youth at university, as I have always indicated and I tell them every year, that they’ve got to experiment with the spirit to the same extent that they experiment in their laboratories with pieces of animal tissues or grass or what it is that they’ve got to analyze. But the real tragedy is that we have wandered away so far from the spirit and from the spiritual laboratory...

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: ...that we don’t know where to start. I was telling them the other day that when the Americans sent their first man to the moon, they had a laboratory of about four thousand men at the controls. The one was doing this and the other one was doing that, but this was a huge human laboratory. That is only while they experiment, and then by that stage it was more than an experiment. They worked all this scientific..., the scientific data for years, very clever men—not only one, but probably hundreds of them. And then they were sending this man to the moon and they worked as a team. No man could afford to... I said to my students that "Here you've got a..., had an ordinary scientific laboratory where 4000 people had to cooperate, and we can't get half a dozen real, honest believers prepared to sit down and try to find out what the mind..., or how much God wants to give of His mind to our minds."

Prabhupāda: God is giving His mind. We require to take it. That requires little advancement. Otherwise everything is there.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah. But it needs a little bit of instruction.

Prabhupāda: Just like…

Devotee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: …this verse, that the soul is eternal and the body is changing. In a very simple example, God says,

dehino 'smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
(BG 2.13)

The soul is there, permanent, and the body is changing. Just like a boy is becoming a young man, a young man is becoming old man. So there is no denying this fact. I can understand, you can understand that I was a boy. So I was a boy. I know that I had a body of a boy. So the boy's body is no longer existing, but I am existing.

Prof. Olivier: That's right.

Prabhupāda: And this is the fact: that I am eternal, and the body is not eternal. Very simple. There is no difficulty to understand it. I remember, I was a boy and was jumping. And now I cannot do that, because I have got a different body. So I am conscious that I possessed a body like that. Now I do not possess. So the body is changing, but I am, the person, eternal. Very simple example. One requires little brain only, that I, the owner of the body, is eternal. The body is changing.

Prof. Olivier: Hmm. Yeah, but now having accepted that, a further problem then arises: what are the implications?

Prabhupāda: Yes, that, if we understand that I am not body. So at the present moment I am engaged only to keep my body in comfort. But I am not taking any care of myself. Just like I am cleansing the shirt and coat, thrice daily, uh, but I am hungry. No food for me, only washing material for my shirt and coat. And this basic civilization is wrong. If I take care of your coat and shirt and I don’t give you to eat anything, then how long you'll be satisfied? And that is going on. This is the basic mistake. Everywhere, the material civilization means taking over-care of the body and bodily comforts. But the owner of the body, the spirit soul, no care.

Prof. Olivier: No care.

Prabhupāda: No care.

Prof. Olivier: No care.

Prabhupāda: Therefore everyone is restless.

Prof. Olivier: Hmm?

Prabhupāda: Restless.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: And they are changing -ism, from capitalism to Communism, this -ism. But they do not know what is their mistake.

Prof. Olivier: Hmm. Yeah. There is very little difference there. They are both material.

Prabhupāda: No, they are material. The Communists are thinking that if we take the control in government in our hand, everything will be adjusted. But the mistake is there—either the Communists or the capitalists, they are taking care of the external body…

Prof. Olivier: Right.

Prabhupāda: …not the internal identity, the soul. The soul must be peaceful. Then everything will be peaceful. Śānti. That is stated:

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁsarva-loka-maheśvaram
suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁjñātvā māṁśāntim ṛcchati
(BG 5.29)

This is the formula of peacefulness. (to Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa) Just try to read it.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa:

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁsarva-loka-maheśvaram
suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁjñātvā māṁśāntim ṛcchati
(BG 5.29)

"The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from the pangs of material miseries."

Prabhupāda: That means one must know what is God. Because you are part and parcel of God, you have got very intimate relationship with God, our business with God. So at the present moment there is no information or attempt, the business, what is our relationship with God and what is our, ah, I mean to say, action in dealing with God. God is neglected. They do not know what is God, no complete idea. Every religion they are, of course, trying to understand God, but they have no clear… That is also…, has taken for bodily comforts. Either in Christianity or Hinduism or Buddhism, the so-called priest and the religious leaders, they are also after the bodily comforts. They have no clear knowledge. This is the difficulty. Ask any priest or any leader, "What do you mean by "God"?" Hardly he will be able to explain. I have studied all of them. I went to Rome. I talked with one of the secretaries of Pope. No clear idea. One of the Cardinals. You see? In France I talked with one important, main Cardinal. So, so many scandals was published against…

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes…

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: He died recently.

Prabhupāda: Ah.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: He was found dead in a prostitute's house. It was on the front pages of the French newspapers.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: I was there (in Paris) when it happened.

Prabhupāda: So people are losing faith in this way, you see. Even the leaders of religion, they have no stability.

Prof. Olivier: Well, I believe that with…, with…, well, with all the modern scientific developments that we see around us… Well, if the satellite in the sky can reveal, you know, what happens…

Prabhupāda: But that is material.

Prof. Olivier: But what I mean, if the satellite in the sky, it can reveal what happens in one pole, can reveal you to the other pole, then surely God can reveal His spirit and His mind to…

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: …anyone who wants to obey, wants to know…

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: …who sincerely wants to follow.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. So here the Bhagavad-gītā means God is explaining Himself. Now we have to take, take it by our logic and reason. Then it will be pure understanding of God.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah, but how to get this across? I mean, you know…

Prabhupāda: That requires… The teaching is there. We have to understand it by discussion, authoritative discussion.

Prof. Olivier: Well, I think so. I think this is probably where…

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: …one has to start, that you, you've got to sit down and discuss this very much as, you know, some professors would discuss in a scientific experiment, and, ah…

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: The only difference is that the answers are there before the questions.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah, but you still have to...

Prabhupāda: Now, the processes is dis…, prescribed there, how to understand:

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ
(BG 4.34)

(aside) Find out this verse.

Prof. Olivier: You see, the water is there...

Prabhupāda: Hah.

Prof. Olivier: …but I've still got to drink the water if I want to get the benefit of the water.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is it.

Prof. Olivier: You see, and, and I mean, the answers are there, that's, er…

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: That's the difference: that they are looking for the answers.

Prof. Olivier: …that I can conceive. Unless we can give… But how do you bring a person to drink?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: How do you get him to start putting into practice?

Devotee: This is the verse Prabhupāda has requested:

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ
(BG 4.34)

"Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth."

Prabhupāda: Purport?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Purport. "The path of spiritual realization is undoubtedly difficult. The Lord therefore advises us to approach a bona fide spiritual master in the line of disciplic succession from the Lord Himself. No one can be a bona fide spiritual master without following this principle of disciplic succession. The Lord is the original spiritual master, and a person in the disciplic succession can convey the message of the Lord as it is to his disciple. No one can be spiritually realized by manufacturing his own process…"

Prof. Olivier: Good, good.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: "...as is the fashion of the foolish pretenders. The Bhāgavatam says, dharmaṁ hi sākṣād-bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19): the path of religion is directly enunciated by the Lord. Therefore mental speculation or dry arguments cannot help one progress in spiritual life. One has to accept a bona fide spiritual master to receive the knowledge. Such a spiritual master should be accepted in full surrender, and one should serve the spiritual master like a menial servant, without false prestige. Satisfaction of the self-realized spiritual master is the secret of advancement in spiritual life. Inquiries and submission constitute the proper combination for spiritual understanding..."

Prabhupāda: Just…, the practical example. These European, American boys, they are coming from well-to-do families. The Americans are all well-to-do family. There is no poor man. Now why they are serving me? I'm Indian, coming from a poor country. (chuckles) I cannot pay them. Eh? And when I came here I had no money. I brought only forty rupees. And that was only one hour's expenditure in America. (laughter) So their life and soul is engaged to carry out my instruction, and therefore they're making progress. Praṇipātena, paripraśnena. They are asking question; I am trying to reply them. And they have got full faith. They are serving like menial servant.

But this is the process. If the spiritual master is bona fide and the disciple is very sincere, then the knowledge is immediately there. This is the secret: yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23). This is the secret of success. Therefore formerly, the students were sent to gurukula. It doesn't matter whether he's a king's son or… Of course, the brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, they were coming from very respectable… Even Kṛṣṇa, He had to go to gurukula. There is story, one day Kṛṣṇa went to collect dry wood from the forest. And there was all of a sudden rain, and they could not get out from the forest. The whole night they remained in the forest with great difficulty, torrents of rain. The next morning, the guru, teacher, with other students, they came in the forest and searched them out. This story was being reminded to His one friend, Sudāmā Vipra: "My dear friend, do you remember that night, how we had to suffer?" So even Kṛṣṇa, whom we accept the Supreme Lord, He had to go to the gurukula—this is example—and serve the guru as a menial servant, to go to the forest. There was no fuel at that time, gas stove. (laughs) Then to collect this…, what, the dry wood had fallen. That's all.

So all of the students had to do like that. How a brahmacārī would live, the description is there: brahmacārī guru-kule vasan dānto guror hitau (SB 7.12.1). A brahmacārī should live at gurukula, very submissively. Dānto means submissive, and only for the benefit of guru. No personal benefit. In this way brahmacārī should take lesson from the guru. That is tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34). They were trained up from the very beginning how to become the first-class submissive student. Then guru, out of affection, would teach him open-hearted: "These boys are doing so much for me. Let me teach them as far as I know." This is the process. There was no question of monetary transaction. On the basis of love and education. So we have already one gurukula, in Texas. We are teaching on that basis. And another gurukula just going to open in Vṛndāvana.

Prof. Olivier: In?

Prabhupāda: In Vṛndāvana, in India.

Prof. Olivier: Oh, yeah.

Prabhupāda: So we have got this scheme, but we haven't got sufficient money that we can immediately start all these things. With great difficulty we are writing these books and selling. And whatever little money we are getting, we are gradually developing. Yes.

Prof. Olivier: Because printing, stationery, paper…

Prabhupāda: How?

Prof. Olivier: …it's all very expensive today.

Prabhupāda: Very expensive. We have got expenditure to the extent of twenty lakhs per month.

Prof. Olivier: Twenty…?

Prabhupāda: Lakhs. Twenty hundred thousand rupees.

Devotee: It's about…

Prabhupāda: Two million.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: It's about two million rands, I think.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Last year, these books were distributed almost seven million…, over six million books, hardbound books.

Prof. Olivier: Is that so?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: And now there's reports that upwards to 75,000 books per month, in addition to our other literatures, are being distributed—the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam...

Prof. Olivier: Hmm.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Very much for you to see.

Prabhupāda: We're getting encouragement gradually.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Increasing, increasing more and more.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah. Yeah. You…, you…, ah… Are you producing these books at a nominal profit for yourself, or...?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Oh, yes. Small.

Prof. Olivier: Small. (indistinct)

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: It works out that a book like this, normally in America, you'd find a book like this sells for something like, ah, fourteen or fifteen dollars. And we're selling these books for about six dollars in America. Very reasonable.

Prof. Olivier: Hmm. Yeah.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Our price…

Prabhupāda: But we're getting encouragement from different sections. We are getting good encouragement.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Our retail price here in South Africa is 5.95 for this book. Of course, there is discount for the universities, for textbooks and for libraries. And it covers the cost of printing. That is our main concern. We have different programs for maintaining. We don’t require the book sales for maintaining ourselves. We have membership programs and whatnot to maintain our temples and this and that. As such, it is not a commercial endeavor. We are registered as a company not (indistinct) in South Africa.

Prof. Olivier: Hmm. And how long are you still staying here?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: About two more weeks. Prabhupāda will be going to Johannesburg Tuesday morning, for programs there.

Prof. Olivier: I see. But will there be somebody around here?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Oh, yes. We are opening a center here in Durban. But we have our center in Johannesburg, and we're going to open another center, here in Durban. So we would like to somehow or another follow this up, and we could present a syllabus if you're interested in a course in Vedic teaching, Vedic culture. We can present the syllabus to you, week by week, day by day, whatever...

Prabhupāda: You have got our catalog?

Prof. Olivier: Yeah, I have. That's very interesting.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: I have taught one class in the University of Florida, in America. This is the catalog of our Book Trust, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. It is printing all of these literatures.

Prof. Olivier: Oh, yeah.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: It's a great service. You know, if these classes are available to students, then the restlessness which students have—you have the understanding, that is sometimes there—that will diminish markedly. They must have answers to their questions, authoritative answers.

Prof. Olivier: Hmm. Yeah. Well you see, we have this course of Indology, of Oriental Studies, of Indian philosophy. As I say, what they teach there, I do not know, but it would appear that... One ought to sit down and, and, and..., see that your, what you say, your syllabus is incorporated or becomes part of the existing courses.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: Now, where would one get such a syllabus?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Well, we… I have syllabuses from America from some of our courses.

Prof. Olivier: You have?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: But if you told me the format and how many times a week you meet, and how long, how many weeks your classes last, and how your examinations are standardized, this way and that way, then it can be worked out very easily. We can type it out and present this to you…

Prof. Olivier: Yeah.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: …what our course would be, what books would be utilized and how much reading material there would be necessary for the various time periods; how many students could be accommodated. Everything. And what books would be used in higher-level courses.

Prabhupāda: We have got many Ph.D.'s also, students.

Prof. Olivier: Hmm.

Prabhupāda: They can help. They can come. Yes. Of American University Ph.D.'s.

Prof. Olivier: Well, one would have to grade books to see, which is one of the difficulties we…, we... At the moment we have one man in…, in Indology, but he is not enough. I mean, he can't cope with this work.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Well, he has to be qualified.

Prof. Olivier: This is not Mr. Mishrama(?).

Prabhupāda: It requires special training.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: Well, now, this is the point, you see. He, the man that we have at the moment, ah, well, theoretically he would…

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: …he would, ah, agree, or I wouldn't say he would agree, but he would say, "Well, this is the Gītā," and he would explain what is in the Gītā. But whether he believes himself or whether he..

Prabhupāda: Acts.

Prof. Olivier: …accesses…

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: …this is a different story altogether.

Prabhupāda: Yes, you are right.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Even it would be difficult for him to explain if he's not following.

Prabhupāda: Practicing.

Prof. Olivier: I mean, this is..

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: That's the difficulty.

Prof. Olivier: You see, those of us who have in our hearts…

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: There is no incentive for him to go into it in the first place, unless he has some desires for understanding.

Prabhupāda: Ācārya, ācārya means one who practices, and by practical experience he explains. He is ācārya. Ācārya, this very word ācirati(?), he knows the principles of scriptures, and he practices himself. And then he becomes ācārya. Otherwise not.

Prof. Olivier: Hmm. You see, I might have some difficulty in accepting parts of the…, of what you have indicated here, simply because I do not know. But basically I accept, for myself…

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Prof. Olivier: …you know, that God lives in us and He moves us, and when we leave things to Him, He knows how to direct these things.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Well, the main point is that we shouldn't leave these ideas to be discussed simply from the basis of mental speculation.

Prof. Olivier: Correct.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Because then everyone will have a different opinion.

Prof. Olivier: Well, this is the point. This is…

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: There has to be a standard. The Vedic literatures actually set the standard that we can refer to. Just like sometimes this example is given that if there is two lawyers arguing in court. They have some argument, and then the ultimate authority is the law book, which the judge, he refers to.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: In the same way the śāstras, the scriptures, are the law book, and are very clearly and philosophically presented. Anyone can understand.

Prof. Olivier: How do the Christians that you have come across… Do you belong to the Christian religion?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Actually I'm raised a Jew. But I used to go…, I used to attend Mass…

Prof. Olivier: Yeah.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: …regularly, because my friends were Christian.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah. How do they look at this? How do they accept this?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Very nicely, because, ah, generally the Hindu conception, the Hindu conception is one of monism, whereas the Vedic conception is one of, ah, God being a person, monotheism.

Prabhupāda: Hinduism is not monism. They have made it now. Hinduism, that is Bhagavad-gītā.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes, the…, at least the modern-day practice of it. In other words, they’ve given so many interpretations to the Vedic literatures. I'll just give you one example. In the Bhagavad-gītā, for example, there is a statement here that the spirit soul, jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ (BG 15.7), that the living entity remains eternally individual, fragmental. You see? Jīva-bhūtaḥ means tiny spirit soul. He never loses his identity. Now, the modern-day Hindu conception is that the soul, after liberation, merges into God—I'm sure you have heard this idea before—and then becomes one with God and has no separate identity. But this is not confirmed in the Vedic literatures anywhere. The individual soul remains individual eternally. And therefore there is the possibility of a loving relationship with God. Because lover and the beloved, there has to be two souls. You see?

Prof. Olivier: Hmm.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Pure Vedic teaching is very wonderful, and it is very much appreciated by Christians in particular, because the Christian conception is that God is a spiritual person. And also the Vedic conception is that God is puruṣa, a spiritual person.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah. I'm, ah…

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: This is the wonderful thing about the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, is that there is so many points of view in common with the Bible. That Westerners very much appreciate it. Even though they may not embrace the conception of Kṛṣṇa as God, they can appreciate the conception of God as a person…

Prof. Olivier: Of course.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: …you see, because it is right in line with their upbringing.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: And therefore in our movement, practically speaking…

Prabhupāda: I have read one book… What is that? Aquarian Gospel?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Aquarian Gospel.

Prabhupāda: In that book, it appears that the Christianity has come from the word Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa-anity. The word Kristo, it appears in Greek dictionary, Kristo. And this word is… What is called? Apabhraṁśa word? What is called, a word misspelled or mispronounced? What is called? In India…

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Oh, a similar sound?

Prabhupāda: Ah, in India still, Kṛṣṇa is sometimes called Kristo.

Prof. Olivier: Hmm. Hmm.

Prabhupāda: My younger brother, his name was Kṛṣṇa, also we were calling him Kristo.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah. Yeah.

Prabhupāda: And this Kristo word has come from Kṛṣṇa. And Kristo means "love," "anointed," like that.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: The redeemer.

Prabhupāda: Ah?

Prof. Olivier: The redeemer.

Prabhupāda: Ah.

Prof. Olivier: The savior, if one could call it that, of..., of…, of…, of...

Prabhupāda: And from this Kristo, Christ. This is explained in that book.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: So I think this Christianity has got a link with Kṛṣṇa.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: Well…

Prabhupāda: Christianity and Kṛṣṇa-anity.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Just like God created the body and then He created the life. Same idea: dehino 'smin..

Prof. Olivier: Yeah. You see, even one trillionth of one percent of the mind of God is so big…

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. (laughs)

Prof. Olivier: …that there is no human being that can even conceive of that, you know. And, er...

Prabhupāda: Aṇor aṇīyān mahato mahīyān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.2.20). Greater than the greatest and smaller than the smallest.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: That is our conception of Brahman.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Because He is so great, it behooves us to repeat His instructions…

Prof. Olivier: Sure

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: …without great interpretations to distort the meaning.

Prof. Olivier: Well, this is the…

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: That is a wonder of these books, that they are as they are, without interpretation and… Records always cross-reference back to other Vedic literatures, you see. Here you will find in the...

Prabhupāda: So actually, all our these books, explaining Kṛṣṇa.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: Whatever books we have presented…

Prof. Olivier: Now your, your, your concept of Kṛṣṇa is a..

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: You see this is a reference to the Upaniṣads. In other words, the harmonious oneness of idea within the Vedic literatures is presented in the purports. No mental speculation. Practically every sentence that Prabhupāda speaks is quoting some verse from the Vedic literature, because he is representing the authority of the Vedic literatures. This is guru.

Prof. Olivier: But then we have, as I said, we have two little cross-references from…, well, from the Christianity that I know and that I accept. And I accept Christ as redeemer. I do not even argue about it. I accept that God is, that I live, that I have my being in Him. Er, but the challenge of living the life so that…

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: …He…, well He can never be really satisfied, but then, you know, that I live the life. And at least He has disciplined the word that you have used there, as a discipleship. This is where the difficulty comes in, in that you need an inspiration.

Prabhupāda: Therefore we have got this Society, they live in God. These boys are trained up how to live in God. Yes. That is required. Without practical life in God consciousness…

Prof. Olivier: Right.

Prabhupāda: …simply theoretical knowledge may help, but it takes long time.

Prof. Olivier: Well, I'm sure it helps, you know. You must… But you can only…, this can only become a reality in one's own life…

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: …if you practice it, and you practice it with others, you..

Prabhupāda: Now these boys are being trained up in practical life, now they are established. Yes. (aside:) No prasādam? Bring.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah. Well, I mustn't keep you longer…

Prabhupāda: Ah.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Just a few moments.

Prof. Olivier: I want to thank you very much, and I pray that God will bless your visit to our country, and to our people here.

Prabhupāda: No, I am in this old age, I am eighty years old now, and still I am traveling all over the world, once, at least twice in a year. Now it is a little straining of course, but still I have established so many centers. I want to see that they are going nicely, and on my presence they take encouragement.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: And for this reason I am traveling.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah. Well, here at this university we certainly can can create a very live center.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: You know, the material is here, and the opportunities are here, the courses are here and the...

Prabhupāda: I was speaking this morning about your government. I was appreciating that people are happy here. I was comparing that Gandhi tried to take some political power here, and he was not able. But he went to India, and he somehow or other he got independence. But practically I see here the Indians are more happy than in India. I was talking.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Here's some nice sweets.

Prof. Olivier: Thank you very much.

Prabhupāda: No, you can take all.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Take the whole plate. You can take a few…

Prof. Olivier: (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: No, no, carry it.

Prof. Olivier: Thank you very much. Oh, thank you very much. Well...

Prabhupāda: What you have prepared?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: We have simply wonderfuls and another sweet that we made.

Prabhupāda: No, you take. You take and eat.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: It is very nice.

Prof. Olivier: All right, thank you.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: If you like, I can put this in a bag to take with you also, take some home.

Prof. Olivier: Thank you. You see, Gandhi was here for almost twenty years.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: South Africa made Gandhi into the man that he became.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That I know. (laughs)

Prof. Olivier: That he…

Prabhupāda: I was telling him that Gandhi in India, before coming to South Africa, was a bibless(?) barrister.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yeah. (laughs)

Prabhupāda: He had no practice, so he got some case here...

Prof. Olivier: That's right.

Prabhupāda: …and he came here and joined some political movement and became famous, and with that background he went to India and became leader.

Prof. Olivier: Twenty years of political struggle in South Africa really made Gandhi the leader.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: Enabled him to become the leader. But, you know, he tried to get for the Indians in South Africa what was his right, of course, for the Indians in India. But the situation in South Africa, where there were not only Indians—there were Zulus, and there were English, and there were Afrikaans and…

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: I've been here now almost three years in South Africa.

Prof. Olivier: Is that so?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: Uh-huh.

Prabhupāda: So I gave my honest opinion, that India, after getting independence in India, they are not so happy as I see here the Indians are happy, although they are not independent. So the government is good government, I…

Prof. Olivier: Well, you know, the devil is very busy everywhere.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is natural. That is natural.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: But there is peace here. That's a fact.

Prof. Olivier: Well, we must keep it, at all costs.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: That's the most important.

Prof. Olivier: This man wants this, and that group wants this, but there are so… You've got to keep the balance in a very delicate situation.

Prabhupāda: That is wanted. That is wanted.

Prof. Olivier: Very delicate situation.

Prabhupāda: Your keeping this black community and Indian community and the white community all in peace, that is good government. Government's first duty is to keep peace.

Prof. Olivier: It must have order.

Prabhupāda: That's all.

Prof. Olivier: Otherwise chaos.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Everything stops.

Prof. Olivier: You know, once you've got chaos, you've got the law of the jungle.

Prabhupāda: So I was giving this credit to your government.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: It is not… But I must (indistinct) very popular.

Prof. Olivier: Well, we have problems.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Oh, yeah.

Prabhupāda: Problem there must be. The whole world is in problem, that is another thing. But you, on the whole, we have to see how the government is keeping order. That is wanted. Yes.

Prof. Olivier: You see now, it makes it easier, again, if we accept that God has a plan and a purpose…

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: …for my life…

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: …for your life.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Prof. Olivier: But He also has a plan for the country.

Prabhupāda: Ah.

Prof. Olivier: Eh. If He did not want the Indian people here, He wouldn't have brought them here. If He didn't want me here or the black people, He wouldn't have brought them here. Now either you must accept the totality of the plan of God…

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: …or reject it..

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: As soon as they come under the shelter of a government, it is the duty of the government to give them protection.

Prof. Olivier: Sure, sure.

Prabhupāda: That is the duty.

Prof. Olivier: You can't pick out a part of the plan of God that suits you.

Prabhupāda: No.

Prof. Olivier: "This one I accept. This is God's plan for me, which is there for God working, and the other part I reject." You see, now too many of us want to live this…

Prabhupāda: East Africa, they are following the policy of driving away. That is not good policy.

Prof. Olivier: No, no, no.

Prabhupāda: That is not good policy. When they have come to your shelter, it doesn't matter who is he, I must give him shelter. That's all.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: That is good government.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah. But then you've got to…, you've got to have a centrifugal point…

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Cast iron.

Prof. Olivier: …which is God. Once you have that… And I believe our present Prime Minister and our previous prime ministers, they've accepted that. Maybe, you know of course, the māyā of God is so great they have not always been able to interpret it…

Prabhupāda: Ah. Imperfectness there may be. On the whole, when the order is kept very nicely, that is good government.

Prof. Olivier: I think so. This is primarily what is required, you know, and it takes a lot of wisdom in this country to do it.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Unless people are finding spiritual satisfaction…

Prabhupāda: That is another chapter. But on the whole, the material life… Of course, the God's plan is that people may live peacefully and be enlightened in spiritual consciousness. That is God's plan. But if we miss that point, then there will be trouble.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: But if the government is vigilant that all the citizens, they must advance in spiritual understanding…

Prof. Olivier: Well, I think this is the great tragedy.

Prabhupāda: Yeah.

Prof. Olivier: They must give guidance.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: You see, they must…

Prabhupāda: No, it is the duty of the government.

Prof. Olivier: Sure, sure, it's their first duty…

Prabhupāda: It is the duty…

Prof. Olivier: …because God is a God of order.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: And He, He Himself keeps order

Prabhupāda: And the king or the government is the representative of God…

Prof. Olivier: That's right.

Prabhupāda: …to enlighten them in God consciousness. That is wanted. That was the plan in the beginning, that Church was guiding the government. In India also, the brāhmaṇas were guiding the kings. That was the order in the previous. Now everything is topsy-turvy. But now we should take seriously. If we want real peace, we must take to that peace formula I have given, or Kṛṣṇa has given:

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
sarva-loka-maheśvaram
suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ…
(BG 5.29)

He is the well-wisher friend of everyone. So we should take His advice. So Bhagavad-gītā is directly the instruction by God. If we take any line of action—social, political, religious, cultural, philosophical—everything requires it. That is explained in Bhagavad-gītā. So if a gentleman like you or somebody comes forward and impartially studies this Bhagavad-gītā with our logic, reason… It is actually the, what is called, boon to the human society. If they act accordingly, everything, all problems will be solved. That is a fact. Anything, you take any science, it is explained there. It is explained, "Do like this. Do like this."

Prof. Olivier: Well, we must…, we must…

Prabhupāda: So I shall request you to study this book very thoroughly and minutely, and as soon as there is any doubt, I am at your service. You can ask. Yes.

Prof. Olivier: Thank you very much.

Prabhupāda: So you can take little leadership. You are already in a position. If you take a little importance of this idea, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the whole people of the world will be happy. Irrespective of these nations, everyone will be happy. Because after all, that is stated that every living being is part and parcel of God. So intimately they are connected with God. Just like this my finger is part and parcel of my body; it is intimately related with this body. But if you cut this finger and drop it from the body, it has no value. This finger cut from my body, lying on the street, nobody will take care. But this finger, so long it is attached with the body, if there is little trouble, I spend thousands of dollars.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: Because it is important.

Prof. Olivier: Correct.

Prabhupāda: And the same finger, you cut it from the body and throw it in the street, nobody will take care.

Prof. Olivier: That's right.

Prabhupāda: So we are now thrown out of connection of God...

Prof. Olivier: Correct.

Prabhupāda: …therefore we have no value.

Prof. Olivier: No. I want to conclude by saying that we want to start a new course…

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: …called for, you know, for lack of another word, Hinduism, or Hindu religion.

Prabhupāda: No. This is the best word, "Kṛṣṇa consciousness." Kṛṣṇa is Hindu word.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: So if you take "Hinduism," there are so many hodgepodge ideas. But if you take "Kṛṣṇa-ism," no Indian will deny it.

Prof. Olivier: Will the Hindus not object?

Prabhupāda: No. That is not a single Hindu will object to Kṛṣṇa's…

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: They all follow Bhagavad-gītā, which is spoken by Kṛṣṇa.

Prof. Olivier: So if you call it Krish…?

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa.

Prof. Olivier: Kṛṣṇa-ism? Kṛṣṇa-ism.

Prabhupāda: Yes, we have named already, "Kṛṣṇa consciousness."

Prof. Olivier: Oh, well, perhaps Kṛṣṇa-ism, in order to… Islam…, Islam we call the other, and, er, Christian theology…

Prabhupāda: If you say "Hinduism," it is already distinct from others, but if you take "Kṛṣṇa-ism," it will include all others, and the Hindus will not object.

Prof. Olivier: This is very important, you see, because I must now find a teacher. Er..

Prabhupāda: Teacher we can supply.

Prof. Olivier: And he must be an erudite scholar…

Prabhupāda: Ah.

Prof. Olivier: …with good (indistinct).

Prabhupāda: We can give you some Ph.D. Ph.D. we can give.

Prof. Olivier: Can you?

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. He'll teach.

Prof. Olivier: Well, that's a…

Prabhupāda: As soon as you want, we can supply immediately.

Prof. Olivier: Well, we have created a Chair.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: A professorship.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Prof. Olivier: It's now vacant.

Prabhupāda: Ah, so you give, and immediately…

Prof. Olivier: We can, if we can find a…

Prabhupāda: (aside) Have you got that book of Svarūpa Dāmodara, Dr. Svarūpa Dāmodara's book, Scientific Basis of Kṛṣṇa Consciousness?

Devotee: In Johannesburg we have it.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: In Johannesburg we have it.

Prabhupāda: You have?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: In Johannesburg, at the temple. We have one copy there. Not here.

Prabhupāda: Oh. Not here?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: He's a Ph.D. A chemistry Ph.D.

Prabhupāda: He's Ph.D. and my student.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: He knows the philosophy and can teach.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah. But will he be accepted as an…, well, now we use the word ācārya. Will he be accepted by the Hindu community as a religious leader?

Prabhupāda: He's Hindu. He's practicing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Why he will not be accepted? He can speak on authority about Kṛṣṇa.

Prof. Olivier: Yes, but how will the local Indian community react to a man if he has not...

Prabhupāda: He is trained up. He is my student. He practices like him.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah, but now would he have what is normally in the Western world called a theological degree?

Prabhupāda: He has... Theological degree, he has studied all these books. This is theological. But there is no such thing at the present moment.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah. I can see your problem. But now our problem on this side is, of course, that you...

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Just as in America, I remember at the university...

Prabhupāda: No, you can give an experiment. We don’t charge anything. You see how he teaches. Then, if you like, you can appoint.

Prof. Olivier: He would have to be acceptable to the Hindu community, because it would be for them only, not for the Christians or for the Muslims.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Well, the Hindu community accepts our movement. Every program we have, we have at least... We’ve seen at City Hall we had full house, last night; at Mobeni Heights, full house, and they very much appreciate our movement in particular. They come to us when they have questions. So any representative of our movement is pure in his activities, and his understanding of the philosophy is comprehensive. Certainly they'll have no objection. But they see practically that the big men in the Hindu community here, in Johannesburg and Durban...

Prabhupāda: You can ask the Hindu community.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: They will testify to our character. They accept. They accept.

Prof. Olivier: You see, the... South Africa has had to import its priests, its Hindu priests.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Even the young girls who join our movement, they cover their heads. And the Hindu ladies are so impressed that they practice such chastity, even to the extent always covering their head as a sign of chastity. You see? They very much appreciate.

Prof. Olivier: Perhaps I can give you one or a couple of application forms that you could post to one or two people if they’re interested to apply. But this would be, as I say...

Prabhupāda: The Hindu community, I think they will accept us. I don’t think they will deny.

Prof. Olivier: Well this would be a wonderful opportunity to bring the essence of Hinduism, because from what I gather here from what you have said, this is not only the essence of religion from here, but it is also the essence of Hinduism.

Prabhupāda: Yes. The essence of Hinduism is Bhagavad-gītā As It Is.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah. Therefore one would like to see that the foundation of any course which is given here in Hinduism is a pure foundation, unadulterated and, therefore, based on the Gītā and the Upaniṣads and the Veda, all the Vedic literature, because that's all that's available. But the trouble is, you see, as it is, whether it is Christianity or whether it is... I don’t want to speak about Islam, because I don’t know enough about them, but there is always the danger that you will get intellectual expositions...

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Well, this is the idea of presenting...

Prof. Olivier: ...without the faith.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: ...presenting as it is. In other words, let them draw their own conclusion. In other words, it's not simply that you’re trying to flatter some people that they know so much if they don’t know. You’re trying to educate, which means uplift. So simply we present the principles that are here and let the people become elevated, educated.

Prof. Olivier: Well, are your book lists in here?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes. Books are here.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Prof. Olivier: And you’ve got another copy of this?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Oh, you can keep this.

Prabhupāda: You can take.

Prof. Olivier: Are the prices in here?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: No, the prices...

Prabhupāda: No, price is there.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: I can give you...

Prabhupāda: No, no, price is there.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: The American prices.

Prabhupāda: That doesn’t matter. Price is there.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Some of them are here.

Prof. Olivier: In case we want to order them for our library.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: So you can order here. You can get it.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes, here it is, here it is.

Prabhupāda: You can get it.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: All of these books we have available at this point.

Prof. Olivier: These are introductory?

Prabhupāda: Yes. I think in the beginning Bhagavad-gītā As It Is.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: No shortage.

Prof. Olivier: Well, thank you very much, sir...

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prof. Olivier: ...for sacrificing the afternoon for me like this, and God bless.

Prabhupāda: Thank you, Hare Kṛṣṇa. Thank you, yes, for your... (chuckles) Thank you.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: So shall I come by your office Monday with some copies,

Prof. Olivier: Please.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: and then little by little we'll be able to... I myself, I have to go with Śrīla Prabhupāda to Johannesburg on Tuesday morning, and right after the programs are finished I’ll come back to Durban and pursue this further with you.

Prof. Olivier: Yeah, let's see what we can... We can discuss. Thank you very much.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Thank you very kindly. Thank you for your coming.

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prof. Olivier: (to Bhārgava) Now, you mustn’t take so many photos that it will make one egoistic. (chuckles) Right.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: He's taking for... You know, we have our Back to Godhead magazine published, over one million copies per month.

Prof. Olivier: What do you call it?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Back to Godhead.

Prof. Olivier: I see.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Back to Godhead. (voices fade as they walk away down hallway discussing magazine)

Devotee: He was a nice man.

Prabhupāda: Very nice man. Therefore I called. (end)