Go to Vaniquotes | Go to Vanipedia | Go to Vanimedia

Vanisource - the complete essence of Vedic knowledge

760617 - Conversation A - Toronto

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

760617R1-TORONTO - June 17, 1976 - 59:30 Minutes

Prabhupāda: . . . except London. Haṁsadūta, when he was GBC . . . he's still GBC?

Jagadīśa: Haṁsadūta?

Prabhupāda: That part? No.

Jagadīśa: No, Jayatīrtha is.

Prabhupāda: So there was some complaint against him.

Jagadīśa: Against Mādhavānanda?

Prabhupāda: Hmm. The complaint is that he spent money on his own account lavishly.

Jagadīśa: Hmm. I don't know about that.

Prabhupāda: Some of the Life Members complained. I received several complaints. The other day I asked: "You collected some money for constructing temple, so where is that money?" So he gave explanation. So thirty . . . fifteen thousand pounds were collected by him.

Jagadīśa: From Ambarīṣa?

Hari-śauri: No, this was in England.

Jagadīśa: Oh, in England. Oh.

Prabhupāda: But there is only balance two thousand five hundred.

Hari-śauri: Yes, just two or three thousand that's left.

Prabhupāda: All the money, he said, spent. Now they are asking for loan for purchasing one house. This money was collected for temple construction. We were awaiting opportunity. In the meantime, money spent.

Jagadīśa: Have there been any complaints from Detroit? Have there been any similar complaints from Detroit?

Prabhupāda: In Detroit I have received complaint that . . . many . . . Govardhana was popular president.

Jagadīśa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Popular. Everyone liked him.

Jagadīśa: Yes, very gentle soul.

Prabhupāda: Ah. So this is complaint I received.

Jagadīśa: They don't like Mādhavānanda?

Prabhupāda: Some of them say.

Hari-śauri: He's forceful. He's quite a forceful person.

Prabhupāda: What is this forceful?

Hari-śauri: Well, if someone is very active, then it's only natural that some people will not be very keen on him, because he likes to get things done. Those that are a little slow, sometimes they complain. Maybe just that he's only been there a month or so. He's only been there not too long, so it's natural that it will take some time for the devotees to adapt to doing the things according to his direction rather than the way that they've been used to doing it. There's always some transition.

Prabhupāda: You can know more about him from Haṁsadūta. As well Bhagavān.

Jagadīśa: Bhagavān recommended him. He had been in Paris before coming to America. But his complaint was that he didn't speak French, so he didn't like to stay in France. Then he came to America, and he was distributing books with Tripurāri Mahārāja.

Prabhupāda: Oh, he is very intelligent, there is no doubt, intelligent. And for preaching work he is good. But for becoming the manager in London, there were . . . what is that boy in Bombay?

Hari-śauri: Oh, Prabhaviṣṇu?

Prabhupāda: Prabhaviṣṇu. So, who would become president, there was war. (laughter) Haṁsadūta wanted Prabhaviṣṇu, and Mādhavānanda wanted that he would become president. In this way there was great faction. So the management was being done nicely. He was attracting Indians, faithful—they were following. But there were several complaints that he spent very lavishly on his personal account. Purchasing sārī . . .

Jagadīśa: What do you think we should do, Śrīla Prabhupāda?

Prabhupāda: Hmm? No, I do not wish to interfere. You manage now. I want to see that you are managing without my interference. Now practically I want to concentrate more, or absolutely I want to do that. But sometimes this mismanagement gives me too much anxiety. I do not wish to see that somehow or other we have built up a nice institution, on account of lack of management it may be hampered. That is my only anxiety. Now what is the position of the gurukula in Texas? Our gurukula, I have repeatedly said that we want simply to know English nicely—English is international language—and Sanskrit just to read and understand our literature. But we don't find any progress in that way.

Jagadīśa: Śrīla Prabhupāda, when you say that we don't find any progress, do you mean just on account of Pradyumna's testimony? Or do you see beyond that, also, that there's no progress.

Prabhupāda: No. Pradyumna, of course, personally saw. But when I was in Dallas I could not find any good progress.

Jagadīśa: How do you judge that progress?

Prabhupāda: The chanting of the Sanskrit verses. Not all of them could do it very nicely. It is only practice, and . . . apart from Pradyumna. So his complaint is that he cannot write even 1, 2, 3, 4, up to ten.

Jagadīśa: I know we have some good people.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Jagadīśa: We have some good, qualified people, and I'm organizing . . .

Prabhupāda: I saw some machine purchased, some, for publishing, some . . .

Jagadīśa: Printing machine.

Prabhupāda: Printing. Why this is going on?

Jagadīśa: Those were purchased before I got involved.

Prabhupāda: Just see. That means money was spent unnecessarily, without any tangible result. So Dayānanda left. He was there . . . without any consultation, he left. So what to do with all these things?

Jagadīśa: I think I have it under control. I have plans . . .

Prabhupāda: You see these two things especially, that they . . . English is their mother tongue, mother language. They can easily become English scholar very easily. And Sanskrit language is no difficulty. Read and write, read and write, then he will learn. Our education in Sanskrit was in college. Of course, I was the best student in my class of Sanskrit. I was standing first. But we are not like the so-called Sanskrit scholars. But for our purpose we can read and write, that's all. Similarly, we don't want any very learned scholars, Sanskrit grammarian, to manufacture jugglery of words, meanings. No, we don't want that. Simply we can conduct our business, that's all. Just like Marwaris, they, their education is up to their business understanding, that's all. They don't want to be scholars or technologists. You won't find in big, big Marwari families they have become a doctor, engineer or technologist. No. But in business dealings they are first class. (laughs) That they train. I had one Marwari friend in Calcutta. He was a very rich businessman and has got several mills. So sometimes I went to his house. I saw that he had engaged a Sanskrit paṇḍita and an English teacher, that's all. So I asked him, "You don't send your children to school?" "No, no, no, no. I . . . if we require some technologist, we can purchase. You pay some money, so many technologists you will get, M.A., Ph.D., D.H.C., C.H.C. 'All right, take payment and do business.' " They employ very, very, very large salary. But on the head, management, their own sons, grandsons.

Jagadīśa: You've explained this to me a number of times, and I think I'm beginning to understand.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Knowledge is spiritual knowledge. Tattva-jñānārtha-darśanam. Now, of course, social condition have changed. There are so many factories, and they require technical knowledge. But we are not going to the factories. That is sure and certain. Neither we are going to start any factory. That is not our business. Our factory at most, cut-cut, hut-hut, that's all. We don't want to start . . . (indistinct) . . . factory or Ford factory and make a hell out of life, the hell.

Hari-śauri: I used to work in a steelworks. It's worse than hell.

Prabhupāda: It is more than hell. There is no life. I have been in Tata steel, iron factory. Oh, I saw it is a hell. One melting pot just like a skyscraper building. You have seen?

Hari-śauri: I used to work on them, same thing. I was working where they pour the metal into ingots, into casings, and then when it solidifies they take a chunk of iron out, it's still white hot, and then they put it in ovens. And then after a while, when they need them, they take them out with big cranes and they put them on a series of rollers, and then it goes through a mill, what they call a mill. It's like a big mangling machine, and it crushes the steel ingot into plates, big plates. Then it goes along and it's cut and sent out. It cools down on big banks and it's sent out. So my job was . . . I was doing maintenance fitting on all those machines—on the rollers and on the cranes and on the big mills, like that. It was terrible. We used to work from two o'clock in the afternoon until ten o'clock at night, one shift, then from ten until six, and then from six until two.

Prabhupāda: Eight hours. Without any recreation?

Hari-śauri: Well, one break, one break, for lunch. It was just indescribable. There's so much heat and fumes, and always covered in oil and grease, crawling around on your hands and knees to fix some machine, or . . .

Jagadīśa: All for the advantage of some wealthy man.

Prabhupāda: And after this hard labor, his only recreation is wine. Did you drink?

Hari-śauri: (laughs) Yes, we used to go straight from the steelworks to the pub, public house.

Jagadīśa: I also worked in a factory for a while. Same thing. And people were always getting hurt.

Prabhupāda: You are not meant for that. (laughs)

Hari-śauri: No.

Prabhupāda: I thought you joined from college?

Jagadīśa: Yes, but during the summer I had a job in a factory.

Prabhupāda: Oh, to get some money.

Jagadīśa: Yes.


Prabhupāda: This girl Elizabeth paid so much money, it is due to Govardhana.

Jagadīśa: Due to . . .?

Prabhupāda: Govardhana.

Jagadīśa: Yes, Ambarīṣa also. Ambarīṣa also has given money due to Govardhana. He's a very gentle soul.

Prabhupāda: His behavior is well enough. His background is good service. Therefore I'm asking why he should be changed.

Hari-śauri: But if he's not very fixed up, then . . .

Prabhupāda: That can be . . .

Jagadīśa: One thing, if I had not been tied up in Dallas with gurukula, I could have spent more time in Detroit, and I think that would have helped the situation. Because he was alone, working alone . . .

Prabhupāda: Now one thing is that he has given service for the benefit of the Society. Very tangible service. He can be in charge of book distribution.

Jagadīśa: Mādhavānanda.

Hari-śauri: Yes, that would be good, if they were co-managers or something like that.

Jagadīśa: Govardhana president?

Prabhupāda: Yes, why not? You should recognize his service.

Hari-śauri: Otherwise he may be dis . . .

Prabhupāda: He induced persons to do some . . . that you cannot neglect. (break) Paper men coming?

Hari-śauri: Yes, Jayādvaita's going to talk to them a little first, give them prasāda, just explain the basics of the movement so that they, you know, they may be a little favorable.

Prabhupāda: . . . they'll understand

Hari-śauri: Otherwise, if they just come and go . . .

Prabhupāda: It is very difficult to understand that our movement is spiritual movement, and they do not understand what is spiritual, the whole world. That is the defect. But still we are going on. That is Kṛṣṇa's grace. Otherwise, (chuckling) nobody understands what is the aim or what is the platform. (children outside yell "Hare Kṛṣṇa") (laughter)

Hari-śauri: It's amazing when you think how we're expanding all the time. It's really amazing.

Prabhupāda: It is Kṛṣṇa's grace. Therefore they take us as one of these Gurujī and Bābājī, like this, like that. But when they read our books, higher class, they understand the seriousness of it. They admit that this is India's original, traditional knowledge. Higher, higher circle, they don't want any imitation.

Hari-śauri: No. Someone with a little intelligence, he's not befooled by . . .

Prabhupāda: No. During British period, high British officers, big, big managers, they liked Indians with original culture. They did not like any Indian with European imitation—pants, coats. They did not like these imitations. My Godbrother, that German, Sadānanda . . . you have heard his name or you have seen him?

Jagadīśa: No.

Prabhupāda: When he came to India, he was my intimate friend. So he was telling me that, "In our country, when some Indian student comes, especially while returning home after their education, they stop for some time in Germany. We used to inquire from him how much he is aware of his Indian original culture." Because they have got very good respect. All over the world they have got. Even Russia, they have got good respect for Indian culture. They have liked our books only on account of the . . . because the Sanskrit verses are there. They took it, "Oh, it is original." Scholarly people like our book on that account, that we explain original Sanskrit verse. That they have got very good regard, that there is knowledge. They're impressed. And Britishers made propaganda only that India had no culture, almost uncivilized: they push women forcibly in the fire after the death of her husband, and in the temple, the priests, they make all nonsense with women, and so on. This was their . . . just to prove that, "India was uncivilized, and we are making them civilized. By our compassion for the uncivilized persons, we are occupying."

Hari-śauri: (laughs) They used to call that the "White man's burden."

Prabhupāda: Ah, yes. So these English people, they were very expert in making propaganda. They killed Hitler by propaganda. I don't think Hitler was so bad man. What do you think? (laughs) You are Englishman. (laughter)

Hari-śauri: I can . . . (laughs) Just from hearing you speak in the last few months I can understand that the whole history that I was ever presented in school is completely warped around to the way that the English saw it, especially the last two centuries, when the British Empire was on the move. It's completely . . .

Prabhupāda: But actually, the war was between Germany and England. Others joined, some interest or something. Actually, the war was to be fought between England and Germany.

Jagadīśa: There's one devotee who joined in Toronto, Frenchman, and he was in France at the time of the war. He's an older man. And he told me also . . . his father was French, but he was sympathetic to the Nazis, and that it was actually Maxmillian or one of the Frenchmen who sided with the British, but the majority of the French people didn't mind the German occupation. It was due to one of the political factions siding with the British that there was a French underground and . . .

Prabhupāda: France, they are always enemy of Englishmen. There is is old history—Hundred Years War, Seven Years War. Napoleon also wanted to cut down the Britishers. France is dead enemy of England, and there is always competition.

Hari-śauri: Even just with de Gaulle also.

Prabhupāda: France is not friendly to India, uh, England.

Hari-śauri: England has always been inimical with the rest of Europe—with Germany, France, Spain, everyone.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Because they thought, "This is a third-class nation, a small island, fishermen, and they have . . . (indistinct) . . .?" That is natural. (laughs) Whole world. In our childhood, we used to see map, almost whole world red—red means British. (laughter) They said that there was no sunset in the British Empire.

Jagadīśa: This Frenchman also says that he . . .

Prabhupāda: German people still hate England. They do not like to speak in English; that I have seen. In the bank they know English, but they won't speak it. (laughs) English everyone knows. That Kaiser was against. They said that Kaiser is the grandson of Queen Victoria, from daughter's side. And King George from the son's side—Edward's seventh's son. They were cousin-brothers. So this Kaiser, when he was young boy, went to paternal uncle's house, when he was a young boy. So there was some playing, cut with a knife. So royal family, so many doctors came. So the boy was saying: "Why you are trying to cure it? Let the English blood go away." (laughs) So from the childhood he was so inimical that, "I have got some English blood in my body—my mother is English, father German—so let the English blood go away." I do not know if that is fact; I heard it. (laughs) Maybe. It is joking also and serious.

In our childhood, in the school, a book was there, England's Work in India. One Mr. M. Ghosh, he wrote this book just to flatter the Englishmen. This, that "White man's burden." And it was the impression in those days: just to become like Englishmen, that is civilization. The Parsis in Bombay, they were the first-class flatterer, imitation, how to become like English lords, barons. This Tata factory was started by such ambition. They wanted to be English baron, lord, industrialist. In Calcutta also. Where our temple is, that is called sāhīb quarter. In our childhood we used to say sāhīb quarter. Sāhīb quarter means European neighborhood. They say our temple is sāhīb mandira in Māyāpur. And in Vṛndāvana, aṇgrejī mandira. The same impression. To become sāhīb, that was great prestigious. Yes. (laughs)

Hari-śauri: They actually had no resources whatsoever, the British. They had no resources whatsoever.

Prabhupāda: That was the mission of Hitler that, "These people are shopkeepers' nation, fisherman's nation. How they have become so big? This must be finished." Because their business was being hampered by the Britishers. In India we have seen. German and Japan, very cheap and first-class goods they will supply. The Britishers would not allow.

Hari-śauri: Yes, at that time, anything that was made in England automatically was considered first class.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes, any rascal thing. They made a good market. And British Empire means to sell their goods. And they, for that purpose, they became rich. Money was drawn from all parts, especially from India. Everything. Later on, gradually we came to understand. In Lucknow, because I was in medical business, so I saw one Japanese salesman was selling one medicine, one or two items, potassiodide. Do you know? No. Potassium iodide. And another, iodine. He was selling at four rupees, eight annas a pound. But we were accustomed to purchase English potassiodide and iodine, thirteen rupees a pound. That Howard's. Very famous, Howard's Chemicals, like that. They were selling. So I doubted that "How so much cheap this Japanese firm can supply?" And they used to advertise that all these Japanese goods are third class.

Hari-śauri: There was big propaganda.

Prabhupāda: Yes, "German goods are second class. Our goods, first class." So I inquired from the salesman, "How is it that you are supplying so cheap?" "They're supplying . . . the price is the real price." "Now, why they charge more?" "They purchase from us and pack and sell." There are many big chemical concerns in Germany. Germans are very good manufacturers, especially of chemicals, iron, machine. Still you find, all this Uher and, what is called, Gundsag?

Hari-śauri: Grundig.

Prabhupāda: They're all German. All first-class machine you'll find. This Mercedes motorcar, they're all German. They don't manufacture third-class thing. Everything they manufacture first class. Still, the Germans suffered so much, but when I was in Germany I saw they are very prosperous.


Hari-śauri: Now we have to get them interested in your books.

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Hari-śauri: Germans.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Hari-śauri: I don't think we have any reviews from any big German scholars yet.

Prabhupāda: But if they have ordered for their textbook, that order will be . . .

Hari-śauri: East Germany, yes.

Prabhupāda: Their order itself will be a testimony, if they order in their own form, "Supply this." Max Mueller was German. So long we are in this material world, this competition, animosity . . . even in the higher planetary system, there is no peaceful condition.


Jagadīśa: You're feeling headache?

(Prabhupāda has very bad toothache)

Prabhupāda: No, there is some pain. My teeth are now useless. So it is all rotten now. Sometimes it becomes acute. There is no strength in the teeth. Some of them, fifty percent, have already fallen, therefore I cannot eat.

Jagadīśa: I think that a very nutritious diet can be made just from liquids.

Prabhupāda: Liquids, yes. Milk is the best food. Children, when there is no teeth, milk is the food. In Western country also, I think old men, they take milk and puffed rice. Is it?

Hari-śauri: Yes. Soft foods, anyway.

Prabhupāda: In India, especially in Bengal, there is a preparation, it is softer than the puffed rice—khai, fused rice. That is very good. Light, at the same time soft purgative. That milk mixed with is a very good food for old men.

Hari-śauri: In that newspaper article in the Butler Eagle, that very first article when you just arrived that we saw? They showed that copy in Los Angeles. It mentioned, the reporter there, he quoted you as saying that—you were telling him about milk, how good it was—and he quoted you as saying that milk is the miracle food for babies and old men.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That's a fact. No, it may be there are so many other food, but cent percent of the human society, everyone has some way or other taken milk. So morally, cow is our mother. How these mothers are being killed? That is the question. Where is morality? Where is . . .? And they are drawing last drop of the milk. And there is necessity of milk. "After taking whatever money you have got . . . take, and I shall kill you." What is this? Horrible society. If I take from you whatever you have got in your pocket and then I kill you, what is this society?

Jagadīśa: The only thing that stops them from killing each other is that there are certain laws. Otherwise, I'm sure that the human beings are so barbaric that they would kill each other.

Hari-śauri: Actually, they are making adjustments to the law so that they can do that.

Prabhupāda: Yes, in India, in Vṛndāvana, they are killing now for a little money. They are so poverty-stricken. They have got a clique. Because in Vṛndāvana there are many retired men; they get some money from bank or some saving bank in post office. And they have got clique with this post office man and the bank clerk who has taken money. Bon Mahārāja was attacked. He brought some one lakh rupees, one and a half lakh rupees for some . . . he was recognized by the . . . so as soon, at night—he was living in the Institute—attacked, in the presence of police. Police was guarding that others may not come to help.

Hari-śauri: The police were helping the thieves?

Prabhupāda: Yes. I think the magistrate even was complicated. And when it was complained, the magistrate said: "Better not to take it seriously; it will be your . . . I'll give you some guard." That's all.

Hari-śauri: They'll do anything for money.

Prabhupāda: Now, in the Kali-yuga, things will degrade so low that if I see I have no money and if you have got some few cents with you, I shall kill you and take it. That day will come. Very dangerous condition is coming forward. Yes, if things go on like this . . . just like we saw in Detroit, the whole city is dangerously situated. Therefore nobody purchased that house.

Jagadīśa: Eighty percent of the people in the city are black.

Prabhupāda: And the white men, they are very much afraid of these black men. They have to be afraid.

Jagadīśa: They've taken over the city.

Prabhupāda: Without them, the factories cannot go on. That's all. The white men cannot work so hard. How they . . .? No gentleman can do that. This kind of work is meant for the fourth-class, fifth-class men. Therefore they cannot say anything. They require. And they know that their money will be taken away again by supplying them wine. They'll pay, and next moment, the wine merchant will take away. And the government will get huge profit without doing anything. And excise tax. Excise tax, government hasn't got to invest or do anything—simply take the tax.

Hari-śauri: Every time they put a tax increase, it's always on beer and cigarettes. Always, every time. And motorcars. Because they know the people are so much addicted that even if they squeeze and squeeze and squeeze, they will still get more, and the people will still pay.

Prabhupāda: And addicted people, they, they're after the . . . get money some way or other, beg, borrow or steal. So these black men especially, they are expert. They are not expert in begging, but borrowing and stealing.

Jagadīśa: Is it possible, Śrīla Prabhupāda, that the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement will, in the future, turn the tide and gain predominating influence? Change . . .

Prabhupāda: Thing is that if the leaders of the society, they come to their consciousness, that this way the society cannot be peaceful, the way they are now conducting . . . if they have brain . . . just like the other day, the Christian priest, he was speaking of disabled men. You were present? "I challenge you, what do you mean by disabled man? If one man has lost his arm, can you supply it?" Then he stopped.

Hari-śauri: He was finished when you told him it was all imaginary.

Prabhupāda: Yes, actually. What you can do?

Jagadīśa: Other than yourself, Śrīla Prabhupāda, no one in the world has a vision how to save the world.

Prabhupāda: Because I honestly think of it. Maybe others are also honest, but they do not know the right way. How they can be honest? Just like this Communist movement, now they are favoring the labor class and rejecting the capitalist class altogether. They cannot make any adjustment.

Jagadīśa: I've understood that communism is presented by the administrative class when there is a condition of scarcity. When there is opulence, then there is room for personal, individual enterprise, but when there is scarcity, that cannot be encouraged, and the common people have to be subjugated. So capitalism and communism are both simply philosophies how to keep the common man satisfied. So it's simply another means of exploitation.

Prabhupāda: Yes, it is exploitation, and actually they have done it.

Hari-śauri: There is still one class of men living at the expense of another, whether it's Communist or capitalist . . . (end)