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760714 - Interview B - New York

From Vanisource

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

760714I2-NEW YORK - July 14, 1976 - 54:44 Minutes

(Interview with Newsday Newspaper)

Prabhupāda: Give him chair. They . . . give . . .

Rāmeśvara: Śrīla Prabhupāda? These gentlemen are a reporter and a photographer from a very large newspaper in Long Island called Newsday. This is Mr. Kevin Layhart, he's the reporter . . .

Prabhupāda: So they require chair?

Rāmeśvara: He's asking if you'd like a chair.

Kevin Layhart: No, this is all right.

Rāmeśvara: This is Mr. Bill Semm. He's a photographer from their newspaper.

Prabhupāda: Thank you. Sit down. You have seen our books?

Kevin Layhart: Yes, I have. You translated all of those.

(pause) (break)

Kevin Layhart: . . . I wonder if you could tell me how you came to founding the movement here in the United States.

Prabhupāda: I was ordered by my spiritual master to do this work, so on his order I came in 1965. That is the beginning of this movement. I came alone with no help, no money. Somehow or other (laughs) I started.

Kevin Layhart: How did you attract people? You landed in New York, you had no money . . .

Prabhupāda: My attraction is this chanting. That's all.

Kevin Layhart: Did you stand on street corners and chant?

Prabhupāda: Yes, I had no magic. Just like others, they say some . . . show some magic. I never showed any magic.

Kevin Layhart: No, I understand that.

Bali-mardana: Thompkins Park.

Prabhupāda: By Tompkins Park I was chanting, and these boys gradually came. First picture was published by the New York Times. Then we started branches in San Francisco, in Montreal, Boston, and then Los Angeles. In this way . . .

Kevin Layhart: So you just chanted in Tompkins Park, and people came?

Prabhupāda: Yes, I was underneath a tree. I think that picture was published by that Voice, very big article, published.

Kevin Layhart: What did you have to offer, then? When you were chanting in the park and I came up to you and said: "What are you doing? Why are you chanting? What's your thing here?"

Bali-mardana: He said what did you have to offer.

Rāmeśvara: He said: "If someone had come up to you while you were chanting and said: 'Why are you doing this? What are you offering?' how would you have replied?"

Prabhupāda: They . . . naturally they came and joined me and began to dance, that's all. That is the beginning.

Rāmeśvara: But what if they asked you, "What is this all about?"

Prabhupāda: No, this is for spiritual realization. If you chant, then gradually you realize yourself that you are a spiritual being—you are not this body. Then his spiritual life begins. Actually, human life is meant for spiritual realization, and if one does not spiritually realize his identity, then he remains an animal. That is the difference between animal and man. Man is supposed to be spiritually realized.

Kevin Layhart: How is that spiritual dimension realized?

Prabhupāda: One has to realize that he's not this body, he's spirit soul, and the spirit soul is within the body. And after annihilation of this body, the spirit soul is transferred to another body. So there are 8,400,000 different forms of life, and we have to transmigrate to any one of these form. So today I am in American body or Indian body, very comfortably situated, but at the time of death my particular mentality will transfer me to a particular type of body, exactly like if a man infects some contagious disease he has to develop that disease. It is very subtle, material laws. So similarly, we are composed of gross body and subtle body. The gross body is made of this earth, water, air, fire, ether, like this. And the subtle body is made of mind, intelligence and ego. And the spirit soul is within that outward gross and subtle body. When the gross body is annihilated, the subtle body—mind—carries the soul to a similar body as he was thinking at the time of death. It is, example is given—just like the flavor of a rose garden is carried by the air or the bad odor of a filthy place he also carried by the air, similarly, mind, intelligence, carries me to a particular type of body as I was absorbed in thought at the time of death.

Kevin Layhart: What is the ultimate?

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Kevin Layhart: What is the ultimate?

Prabhupāda: Ultimate is that you are spirit soul, you are being materially engrossed. You are creating different situation, and you are being transferred to different bodies. That is different situations.

Kevin Layhart: But for what purpose and to what end? What's the final end?

Prabhupāda: Yes, so final . . . that unless you are spiritually realized, you do not know what is the final end. The final end is that we are part and parcel of God. Somehow or other we are in contact with this material atmosphere. So our final aim is to go back to home, back to Godhead. Unless we know this and we practice how to return back again to Godhead, then we have to remain within this material world, transmigrating from one body to another. Therefore the human intelligence is meant for understanding the spiritual identity and the goal of life and act accordingly. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. It is an educational movement to enlighten the people from gross ignorance to the highest enlightenment of spiritual understanding.

Kevin Layhart: Is it an internal educational process or external?

Prabhupāda: It is internal, but externally . . . just like externally, behavior makes internal inclination. If you associate with some bad company, the internally also you develop bad propensities. And if you associate with good company, then internally you develop good propensities. So internally, externally, they are interrelated. By external behavior we influence our internal energy. And by internal atmosphere we get the external body.

Kevin Layhart: I'm trying to find out whether the consciousness lies within us, brought out . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes, consciousness . . . consciousness will be . . . because . . . just like sunshine and the sun. Similarly, the soul means consciousness. It is just like sunshine. The soul is very small particle, but it is shining as consciousness.

Kevin Layhart: So we can allow it to fulfill itself or not.

Bali-mardana: He wants to know, is this consciousness within us?

Prabhupāda: Yes. So long the soul is there, the consciousness is there.

Bali-mardana: Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Prabhupāda: Not Kṛṣṇa cons . . . immediately Kṛṣṇa conscious. Consciousness is there. Just like so long the soul is there, you pinch any part of your body, you'll feel pain. That is consciousness. And when the soul is gone out of the body, if you cut the hand, there will be no consciousness.

Rāmeśvara: Did you mean to ask whether the ultimate state of consciousness is within us that has to be brought out?

Interviewer: Yes.

Prabhupāda: No, consciousness is already there.

Rāmeśvara: He meant the dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Is that . . .

Prabhupāda: That is original consciousness.

Rāmeśvara: So that is within us.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Rāmeśvara: And it needs to be brought out.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Kevin Layhart: And how is that brought out?

Prabhupāda: That is brought out by this process.

Kevin Layhart: Ok.

Prabhupāda: You have to go under some process.

Kevin Layhart: Alright.

Prabhupāda: Just like a man can be made unconscious and again conscious under some process. If you . . . what is called?

Rāmeśvara: Anaesthesia?

Prabhupāda: Anaesthetic, he becomes unconscious. Then, another process, we can bring him to conscious.

Kevin Layhart: All right, let me ask a rather long question. If a person is . . . let's assume that all human beings have an innate ability to speak, and depending upon the circumstances they find themselves in when they are very small, they will learn Sanskrit, they will learn English, they will learn French, they will learn Chinese. What . . . now, if I were Chinese, I would say: "Well Chinese is the best language." I would have a, you know . . . I could take a different mode on what's the best way to communicate.

Prabhupāda: No, Chinese . . .

Kevin Layhart: Now, in terms of your movement, you're bringing out consciousness, which I would analogize . . .

Prabhupāda: No, I say . . .

Kevin Layhart: . . . to the ability to speak. Now, how is your path or your way different from . . . better than others?

Prabhupāda: No, but there is no question of "better than others." It is the only thing.

Kevin Layhart: It is the only way?

Prabhupāda: Only thing. It is not the question of better or superior. But Kṛṣṇa consciousness means God consciousness. So either you are Chinese or English or American, there is consciousness.

Kevin Layhart: Yes.

Prabhupāda: When that consciousness is purified, that is God consciousness.

Kevin Layhart: Yes. But is your way the only way?

Prabhupāda: No, that is only way. Because God is one and God consciousness is one, so when you are Chinese consciousness, that is foreign. Or either American consciousness, it is foreign.

Kevin Layhart: Okay, I was speaking in an analogical way. There are different way to express oneself or different languages one can learn. Similarly, I would think there would be different ways to get to consciousness.

Prabhupāda: Different ways may be, but if you actually come to that consciousness, that different way is approved. Otherwise it is bogus.

Kevin Layhart: Other way?

Prabhupāda: It is bogus.

Rāmeśvara: You judge by the results.

Prabhupāda: If you come to God consciousness, either through the Christian process or Chinese process or Indian process, it doesn't matter. But if you do not come to God consciousness, then it is all bogus.

Kevin Layhart: But you can come to God consciousness through a variety of paths.

Bali-mardana: He's saying that. He's saying "if."

Rāmeśvara: He says, "But you can come to God consciousness by different processes."

Prabhupāda: No, different processes . . . our . . .

Bali-mardana: Can do.

Prabhupāda: No, it is not that. The aim is to come to the God consciousness. And the means may be different.

Kevin Layhart: Ok.

Prabhupāda: So that means is justified by the end.

Kevin Layhart: All right.

Prabhupāda: If at the end you do not come to God consciousness, then whatever process you have, that is bogus. That is not bona fide.

Lady guest: You say it works?

Rāmeśvara: That's another thing.

Prabhupāda: If it works, it is bona fide. If it does not work, then it is bogus.

Kevin Layhart: And to your mind, is it possible to come to God consciousness through other means than yours?

Prabhupāda: I say if it is possible, then it is all right.

Kevin Layhart: Is it possible?

Prabhupāda: Yes, if it is possible.

Kevin Layhart: Is it, though? (laughter)

Rāmeśvara: That you have to see.

Prabhupāda: No, thing is that . . .

Hari-śauri: That you have to see. You have to judge whether you are going to get that result.

Prabhupāda: Yes. People . . . whether he is coming to God consciousness or dog consciousness, the two things are there. Consciousness means when he understands that "I am part and parcel of God. I am servant of God." Then it is all right. But if he is thinking that "I am servant of dog," then it is not proper way.

Kevin Layhart: Your movement has been criticized.

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Kevin Layhart: Your movement has been criticized.

Prabhupāda: Well, how it is criticized? How it is criticized?

Kevin Layhart: People who have said that it works against the family, it works against Western society, that you . . .

Prabhupāda: No, here is a family man.

Kevin Layhart: Hmm?

Prabhupāda: Here is a family man.

Kevin Layhart: I'm sorry?

Hari-śauri: Here is a family man. He has a family.

Prabhupāda: Here is a family man. How you say it is against family? There are so many families here, children. You have seen our class in the morning?

Kevin Layhart: No, I have not.

Prabhupāda: All family members, children, husband, wife, they are present there. How do you say it is against family? Wrong criticism. This is . . .

Kevin Layhart: Are your followers encouraged to visit with their . . .

Prabhupāda: No, first of all you take your answer one by one. You say "against the family." It is a wrong. It is a wrong propaganda. Oh, there are so many families in our Society. It is a Society. There are family members. There are brahmacārīs. There are sannyāsī and vānaprastha. Whatever situation is suitable for you, you can accept, and in any situation, you can become God conscious. That's a wrong propaganda, that we are against family. Here is a wife of a boy. They have family. There are so many families. Why do you say like that, "We are against family"? It's a wrong. You should note it especially that this type of criticism is envious. It is not proper. We invite all families—children, husband, wife, "Come on. Take Kṛṣṇa consciousness."

Kevin Layhart: I've been accosted at airports, on streets, places like that, by devotees, and I've been told that you operate drug centers and a number of other things.

Prabhupāda: Drug centers?

Rāmeśvara: He means we're curing people.


Rāmeśvara: Places where people will become cured from the bad habit of taking drugs. That's a drug center.

Prabhupāda: Yes. But our people are all free from all that drug disease.

Rāmeśvara: He is saying that he has simply met devotees at airports and other places where they approach him to maybe ask for some contribution, to see if he's interested, and they say that they are representing some drug center, something like that. So what's the question?

Kevin Layhart: Well, and they think how to sell literature and . . . is that the way to God consciousness, by selling and soliciting? Is that . . .?

Prabhupāda: No, no, if you are . . .

Kevin Layhart: How does that fit in?

Prabhupāda: If you are God conscious, naturally you give up all intoxication habit.

Kevin Layhart: Yeah, but just going out and selling and accosting people on the street . . .

Hari-śauri: He's asking how does our saṅkīrtana activities relate to God consciousness, the selling of books and collecting of donations.

Prabhupāda: So if I sell a book to you, you read because you have paid for. Then you'll get benefit.

Kevin Layhart: How does it benefit the seller?

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Kevin Layhart: How does it benefit the person who works on the selling . . .

Prabhupāda: Unless you purchase, how you'll get reading?

Bali-mardana: How does it benefit the person who is selling the book, the devotee.

Prabhupāda: Oh, devotee.

Rāmeśvara: How is he benefited by selling books to others?

Prabhupāda: But he . . . he is giving service to Kṛṣṇa. He's not charging anything. If we appoint some bookseller, you have to pay, but we haven't got to pay. Out of his love for Kṛṣṇa he's doing that.

Rāmeśvara: See, our men who distribute these books, they do not receive salary.

Bali-mardana: It's like welfare work.

Prabhupāda: That is the sign of love. That is in material field also. There are so many philosophers, scientists and artists, they have done out of love for their subject matter, not for payment. That is love.

Bali-mardana: But aren't they also purified spiritually by doing this?

Prabhupāda: Yes. This spiritual realization means the more you give service to God, you become spiritually advanced, in any way.


Kevin Layhart: What are some of the other . . . aside from . . .? I mean, I see people selling things. What other practices are involved?

Prabhupāda: Then you stay one day, whole day and night, you'll see practically, from morning four o'clock to night ten o'clock, how we are engaged in different practices.

Kevin Layhart: You rise at four?

Hari-śauri: Three-thirty.

Rāmeśvara: In this temple three, three-thirty.

Kevin Layhart: And chant.

Rāmeśvara: Chant, study.

Prabhupāda: You go any room of this house, you'll find simply Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Rāmeśvara: Preparing for the morning services.

Prabhupāda: That you can describe, the whole day's program.

Kevin Layhart: What's the purpose of that regime? What's the purpose of that, the rising at 4:30, the chanting and study?

Prabhupāda: It is to be accustomed in spiritual life. Just like in military there is training: you must have to do at this time this thing, this time, this thing . . . so any training means regulated life.

Kevin Layhart: What is the most important part of it?

Prabhupāda: The most important part is how to become Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Kevin Layhart: Yes, what's the most important practice?

Prabhupāda: Practice, yes. This is practice.

Kevin Layhart: Yes, but which is the most important practice?

Bali-mardana: Which devotional practice . . .?

Rāmeśvara: He is asking whether one technique is more important than another.

Prabhupāda: Everything is important. Everything is important. You cannot say: "This is most important, this is less important." Everything is important.

Rāmeśvara: But suppose someone cannot live in our temple, then we may recommend to him at least chant Hare Kṛṣṇa in your home . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Rāmeśvara: . . . and take Kṛṣṇa prasādam and read the books.

Prabhupāda: And follow the regulative principles.

Rāmeśvara: And follow as far as possible . . .

Prabhupāda: Refrain from sinful life. What are the sinful life, you can . . .

Bali-mardana: No illicit sex, no gambling, no meat-eating and no intoxication.

Rāmeśvara: We find that these activities disturb the body and the mind. They are not compatible or conducive for spiritual practices.

Prabhupāda: Just like a diseased man. If he wants to be cured, there are something, prohibition: "Don't do this. Don't eat this." So it is also curing the diseased mind and to bring him in the spiritual platform. So there are something "do's," something "do not." That's all. That is everywhere.

Kevin Layhart: You came here ten years ago, or eleven years ago. You were almost seventy at the time . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes, actually I came here at the age of seventy years.

Kevin Layhart: What had you been doing previously?

Prabhupāda: Previously? I was family man. I retired in 1954. My Guru Mahārāja asked me to take this task seriously when I was twenty-five years old.

Kevin Layhart: Who asked you?

Prabhupāda: Twenty-five years old.

Rāmeśvara: His spiritual master.

Prabhupāda: So I was at that time family man, so I thought, "Let me adjust my family affairs. Then I shall take it." So by doing the adjustment it took me long years. So I retired at the age of fifty-eight. Then I took up seriously. And when I was seventy years old, then I came here.

Kevin Layhart: Were you a businessman, or . . .?

Prabhupāda: Yes, I was connected with some chemical industry. I was manager in a big chemical industry. Then I started my own business. In this way I was family man.

Rāmeśvara: But at the same time, Śrīla Prabhupāda was always Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Bali-mardana: And He was writing.

Rāmeśvara: And also he was writing transcendental, or spiritual, books even at that time.

Bali-mardana: 1944.

Rāmeśvara: It's not that he has adopted a new occupation now.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Rāmeśvara: He has always been Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Prabhupāda: This Back to Godhead was started in 1944, when I was still a family man.

Kevin Layhart: You started that in India.

Prabhupāda: India yes. The first copy is here, some copy?

Hari-śauri: The first copy is in the Library of Congress in Washington.

Kevin Layhart: Your family, your blood family, are they Kṛṣṇa conscious as well?

Prabhupāda: Not very much. Therefore I had to leave them and create another family. (laughter)

Kevin Layhart: How many children do you have.

Prabhupāda: I have got two daughters and two sons. My wife is also still living.

Kevin Layhart: Is she Kṛṣṇa conscious?

Prabhupāda: Not very much. Naturally women are after worldly opulence.

Kevin Layhart: Was it difficult for you to give up what you had been doing in order to devote full time?

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Kevin Layhart: Was it difficult for you to give up what you had been doing and devote full time?

Prabhupāda: No, it is the Vedic system that at a certain age they should give up family connection and completely devote for God consciousness. In the beginning, twenty-five years, he should learn from guru about Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then, if he is able, he does not become a family man, but if he is unable or circumstantially, he may become a family man. So he can remain a family man up to fiftieth year, and then he retires from family life. He travels in holy places with his wife, and sometimes he comes home and sometimes he goes home. In this way, when he's practiced to give up family attachment, then the wife goes back home to the care of her elderly children, and the man takes sannyāsa, and he remains alone simply for spreading Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is Vedic system.

Rāmeśvara: Vedic system means very traditional, from ancient India.

Kevin Layhart: Yes. Now, you are not practicing the Vedic system, then, here, are you? Or are you?

Rāmeśvara: We are following.

Prabhupāda: No, it is all Vedic system. It is Vedic system.

Kevin Layhart: Ok. Is it better to do it the way you did it, or to start from a very early age in the, er . . .?

Rāmeśvara: In other words, some of our members are sannyāsa at an earlier age.

Prabhupāda: No, if . . . the purpose is to train a person in brahmacārī, not to enter into the entanglement of this material life. That is Vedic system. Basic principle is that don't be entangled with this material energy. So at the early age, up to twenty-five, he's trained up. If he can, he can continue as brahmacārī. He directly can take sannyāsa. But if he's unable, so let him go by step by step. Let him become a family, householder life, then retired life, then . . . but sannyāsa at the end, that is compulsory, not that unless he is shot down by somebody, he's not going to give up family life. That is not Vedic system.

Kevin Layhart: But young men don't tend to be wise, do they?

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Kevin Layhart: Young men do not generally possess a great deal of wisdom.

Prabhupāda: No, if he's trained up. Just like here we have got so many young men.

Kevin Layhart: Yes.

Prabhupāda: They are trained up. So there is no prohibition that a young man cannot become a sannyāsī. If he's able, he can take sannyāsa from the very beginning. But if he's not able, let him enter into household life and then remain as householder up to fiftieth year, then retire, then take sannyāsa. It is not an enforcement. A gradual process. But the ultimate end is to become free from all material attachment and completely devote life for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the ultimate end. Because human life is meant for that purpose, self-realization or spiritual realization. That opportunity must be given to all human beings. Unfortunately, at the present moment the civilization has no scope for spiritual realization. They live like other animals, eating, sleeping, mating and defending. That's all. They do not know there is another life, spiritual life, and neither there is any education or institution to educate them. Now we are trying for that purpose.

Kevin Layhart: How important is it to look after physical life?

Prabhupāda: Physical life, so you must keep yourself fit to execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is not our desire that you become sick and you cannot chant. But our purpose is to chant, and we require the physical necessities just to keep ourselves fit, not more than that. Eating is necessary. Without eating, I will die. So we take Kṛṣṇa prasādam, not in the restaurant or hotel anything, no. We take nice vegetables, nice food grains, rice, wheat, sugar, milk, all vitaminous, full of vitamins. So there is no deficiency of food. Even from food value it is very nice. We do not unnecessarily kill animals.

Kevin Layhart: You run farms as well, do you not?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes.

Kevin Layhart: What do they . . .

Prabhupāda: So you try to . . .

Kevin Layhart: Are they working farms, producing farms?

Prabhupāda: Yes, there are many farms in your country. Just now I am coming from New Vrindavan, so, in West Virginia. They are living . . . if you go sometime, you can see how independently they are living. And there are other farms, New Orleans, and just now we are going tomorrow . . .

Rāmeśvara: Pennsylvania.

Prabhupāda: Pennsylvania. So we get enough milk, enough food grains, enough fruits. So there is no economic problem. Our purpose is to save time from unnecessary necessities of life, from unnecessary necessities of life, to save time and utilize the time for developing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And so far the body is concerned, as much as it is required take and maintain the body. That's all.

Kevin Layhart: Your devotees' health is looked after, then.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Kevin Layhart: By who?

Prabhupāda: They are instructed in that way, plain living, high thinking.

Kevin Layhart: Do you have arrangements with hospitals in case somebody gets sick, and do you watch diet carefully and . . .?

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Why not? Why not? Take care of the body. But we keep our habits in such a way that we don't fall sick very often.

Kevin Layhart: You said before that, with respect to achieving Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that the end was most important, that becoming God conscious . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Kevin Layhart: . . . was the most important thing. Would that ever allow you to . . . or any one of the devotees, to engage in practices that would be considered unjust or criminal in a broader society?

Prabhupāda: That is his interest.

Kevin Layhart: In terms of, you know, "This is for Kṛṣṇa. This is for developing God consciousness . . ."

Prabhupāda: No, if you are interested in Kṛṣṇa, you are interested for everyone.

Kevin Layhart: Yes.

Prabhupāda: And if you are interested for a particular person, society, then you are not interested in Kṛṣṇa. The example I can give you. Just like if you supply food to your stomach, then you supply food to your eyes, ears, hands, legs, everything. But if you supply food to your eyes, then you become blind.

Bali-mardana: He wants to know that would you be justified in doing something that society would consider criminal, like, say . . .

Rāmeśvara: Like stealing for Kṛṣṇa or killing for Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Killing?

Rāmeśvara: If it is . . . something that is judged by, say, the U.S. government as criminal, would we still do it if it was for Kṛṣṇa, if we could justify it?

Prabhupāda: No, we do not do anything which is harmful to the society.

Rāmeśvara: We don't break the laws.

Prabhupāda: We do not do anything. Not only to the human society—to the animal society, to the tree society, to the aquatic society, we do not do anything. We do not support the slaughterhouse, killing the animals. (break) Kṛṣṇa consciousness means to see every living entity on the same level. Paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18). We are not cruel to anyone, either he's a man or animal or tree or bird.

Kevin Layhart: Does that take on a positive aspect as well, so that by not only do I not kill animals and I don't kill men, do I . . . am I obliged under your system, am I obliged to actively help . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes, suppose if you are coming to kill me, then I must take advantage of killing you first.

Kevin Layhart: I understand that, and . . . but am I obliged to go beyond.

Bali-mardana: Are you also obliged to help animals, to help other human beings?

Prabhupāda: Yes, we are maintaining animals, giving them food, giving them security of life. In all our farms the animals are very free.

Rāmeśvara: We're obliged because they are all part and parcel of God.

Kevin Layhart: And what about with people?

Prabhupāda: Every people. You come to stay with us, we give you all help. Anyone who comes to our Society we give shelter, we give food, we give instruction, we give dress, everything, without any condition. You please come and live with us. For such a nice building we have taken. Our farms are so nice, you can go and see how they are doing. We have got one hundred and two centers all over the world. You'll find they are living very comfortably.

Kevin Layhart: How many centers in the United States?

Prabhupāda: About forty.

Rāmeśvara: Forty or fifty.

Hari-śauri: Fifty with the farms.

Kevin Layhart: How are those supported? Do they support themselves?

Prabhupāda: That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Kevin Layhart: I beg your pardon?

Prabhupāda: That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Kevin Layhart: The way they support themselves?

Prabhupāda: Yes, Kṛṣṇa supports.

Kevin Layhart: Kṛṣṇa supports?

Prabhupāda: Yes. We do not know what we shall eat tomorrow, but we have no insufficiency. Rather, neighbors, they are grudging that, "These people do not do anything and they live so comfortably." Sometimes they ask . . .

Kevin Layhart: How does Kṛṣṇa support them?

Prabhupāda: That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Kevin Layhart: He mediates through physical things, does He?

Prabhupāda: Everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa.

Kevin Layhart: Yes.

Prabhupāda: So Kṛṣṇa is within you. So if Kṛṣṇa dictates, "Give him three thousand dollars," you'll give me. That's all. That . . . actually it is fact. Yesterday Mr. Kallman came? He gave me a check for three thousand. I never asked him.

Bali-mardana: Who? Mr. Kallman?

Kevin Layhart: Kallman.

Prabhupāda: So we are immediately depositing for our Vṛndāvana and Māyāpur scheme. So Kṛṣṇa sends money. We do not bother what will happen tomorrow. But we are very nicely maintained by Kṛṣṇa's grace. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And Kṛṣṇa says, teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham. Find out this verse.

ananyāś cintayanto māṁ
ye janāḥ paryupāsate
teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ
yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham
(BG 9.22)

Kevin Layhart: A question—you are now the leader and the spiritual master. Who will take your place?

Prabhupāda: That Kṛṣṇa will dictate who will take my place.

Kevin Layhart: Kṛṣṇa will tell you that?

Hari-śauri: You want that verse, Śrīla Prabhupāda?

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.

Hari-śauri: This is the translation of what the Sanskrit . . .

Prabhupāda: No, you can read the Sanskrit also.


ananyāś cintayanto māṁ
ye janāḥ paryupāsate
teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ
yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham
(BG 9.22)

"But those who worship Me with devotion, meditating on My transcendental form, to them I carry what they lack and preserve what they have."

Kevin Layhart: They still have to go out and ask occasionally?

Prabhupāda: Hm?

Kevin Layhart: They still have to go out and ask occasionally?

Bali-mardana: It's not that we sit back and wait for Kṛṣṇa to send it to us.

Rāmeśvara: No, we're very industrious.

Prabhupāda: We don't sit down idly.

Bali-mardana: God helps those who help themselves.

Prabhupāda: We are not idle preachers, we are working. All, very hard, more than the karmīs.

Rāmeśvara: These men, they go out to engage people in taking our books maybe twelve hours a day sometimes, ten hours a day, without any salary.

Prabhupāda: I am now eighty years old. I am working twenty-four hours. I think I work more than my young disciples. (laughter)

Bali-mardana: Oh, yes, definitely.

Prabhupāda: I work at night.

Rāmeśvara: It is hard to keep up with Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Hari-śauri: Very difficult.

Prabhupāda: We are not idle creatures.

Rāmeśvara: We are publishing his books, and sometimes he is ahead of us by seventeen volumes.

Kevin Layhart: How do you spend your days? You do an awful lot of traveling, I understand.

Prabhupāda: Traveling is going on throughout the whole world, and wherever I go, I at night I write books.

Bali-mardana: Translates.

Prabhupāda: Translate. And daytime I meet devotees.

Bali-mardana: Manage.

Prabhupāda: Manage.

Kevin Layhart: You arrange the marriages?

Bali-mardana: Manage.

Prabhupāda: They have to ask me. Final decision is taken from me. From all over the world, from all over the world letters are coming some problem, some problem, some problem. Although I have got about twenty secretaries, still they have to consult—I have to give them advice.

Hari-śauri: In the evening Śrīla Prabhupāda goes to bed at ten o'clock and gets up at eleven-thirty to begin translating.

Kevin Layhart: You just sleep a couple of hours, then?

Prabhupāda: No, one and a half hour.

Kevin Layhart: That's it?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Of course, in daytime I take rest two hours. So in this way altogether about three to four hours. Our philosophy is not that you sit idly and God will send everything. No, not like that. We know God will send everything; still we work. Without God's sanction nothing can come. But we must be qualified to receive the favor of God. That is our philosophy.

Kevin Layhart: Are you surprised at the way this organization has prospered?

Prabhupāda: What do you mean?

Hari-śauri: Are we surprised at the way the movement has expanded and prospered in just a few short years.

Prabhupāda: No, it is not surprising, it is natural. If you do . . . just like if you do business in proper way there will be profit. Similarly, as it is enjoined in this book of knowledge, if you do like that it will expand, it will prosper. Two plus two equal to four. Mathematical calculation. If you make two plus two, it will become four. It will neither become three nor five. So here it is said, you have read the . . . that, "One who is engaged twenty-four hours in My service, so I," yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham, "I supply whatever he requires, and I protect whatever he has got." So if you actually serve Kṛṣṇa, then everything you want, it will come.

Rāmeśvara: Do you have any questions about our festival coming up this Sunday? You know we're marching down Fifth Avenue.

Kevin Layhart: Are you going to march?

Rāmeśvara: He asks if you are going to participate in the Ratha-yātrā parade.

Hari-śauri: This is the parade that it's based on.

Rāmeśvara: This is a photograph of what takes place in India every year. It's a traditional festival in India, we are bringing it to New York. We've got our permits and everything.

Prabhupāda: We have already got in San Francisco, in Chicago . . .

Rāmeśvara: Philadelphia.

Prabhupāda: In Philadelphia.

Rāmeśvara: In London.

Prabhupāda: London.

Sudāmā: Melbourne.

Prabhupāda: Melbourne.

Hari-śauri: Paris we're beginning it also.

Prabhupāda: This year?

Hari-śauri: Yes.

Rāmeśvara: First year, Paris.

Hari-śauri: This is our festivals that we've begun in the West based on the one on the front there.

Prabhupāda: You can take that book.

Kevin Layhart: You are participating in it, are you not?

Prabhupāda: Somewhere when I have opportunity I participate; otherwise they do it.

Rāmeśvara: In other words, Prabhupāda doesn't attend every festival all over the world.

Kevin Layhart: Will you attend the one here in New York?

Prabhupāda: Yes, I go.

Kevin Layhart: How do you choose . . . you are responsible for the organization.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Kevin Layhart: Are you the one who chooses who runs each center, who is responsible in each temple?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Our program is to open centers in every village, every town, to propagate Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Kevin Layhart: And you choose the leaders, or Kṛṣṇa does and tells you. How does that work?

Prabhupāda: No, I have been chosen by my spiritual master.

Kevin Layhart: Yes. And you in turn choose others?

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. That is our succession.

Kevin Layhart: On what basis?

Prabhupāda: Basis, on the order of Kṛṣṇa. Originally the order is from Kṛṣṇa.

Kevin Layhart: How does that come?

Prabhupāda: Comes by disciplic succession. Just like Kṛṣṇa said this knowledge to Arjuna, and Arjuna said to others. And it is open. Everyone can take it; there is no secrecy. We have to accept only, that's all.

Kevin Layhart: I missed that, I'm sorry.

Prabhupāda: The order is already there. It is open, open secret. There is no secrecy. Anyone can take it.

Kevin Layhart: All right. But in terms of specific, say, choosing, specific things, specific details.

Prabhupāda: Yes, in all details, how to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, there is all details in this book, Bhagavad-gītā As It Is.

Hari-śauri: So he's asking what's a man's qualification to be chosen.

Rāmeśvara: In other words, Prabhupāda will decide who should be leader if he's qualified, and there's a process for making him qualified and there's a process for testing to see if he is qualified. So in that way it all comes from Kṛṣṇa.

Kevin Layhart: You chose, for example, these fellows here to run the publishing house and be responsible for the East Coast.

Prabhupāda: Yes, like that. He's in charge of publication, he's in charge something else, he's charge, like that.

Kevin Layhart: On what basis, though? Can you tell me some of the things that . . .

Prabhupāda: Basis, just to see whether he's qualified, that's all. Just like ordinarily one manager is appointed by the superior authority on the merit, on his qualification. That's all.

Kevin Layhart: Okay. Is it a mediated choice or is it a direct communication from Kṛṣṇa? That's my question.

Prabhupāda: No.

Rāmeśvara: He's asking whether we claim that God speaks to us directly.

Prabhupāda: Yes, God speaks to you when you are qualified. You cannot expect God as order supplier. When He sees that you are qualified, He will speak to you.

Bali-mardana: The spiritual master is the representative of God to the disciple because he is in direct contact with God.

Prabhupāda: My spiritual master appointed me that, "You do this." Similarly, I shall appoint somebody else. This is the way.

Rāmeśvara: It's difficult for people to understand that God can speak to a man. They question, "How can God speak to some man?"

Prabhupāda: That is, anything, that, the radio message is coming, a foolish man cannot understand how it is coming. He'll think, "How it is that, speaking?" So any foolish man will be astonished how things are happening. That is foolishness. But God says . . . find out this verse . . .

Hari-śauri: Four, three? Sa evāyaṁ mayā te 'dya (BG 4.3)?

Prabhupāda: Huh? No, no. Buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi taṁ yena mām upayānti te.

Rāmeśvara: Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānām (BG 10.10).

Prabhupāda: Ah, teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam (BG 10.10).

Hari-śauri: Dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ yena mām upayānti te.

Prabhupāda: Ah, yes.

Hari-śauri: "To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give them the understanding by which they can come to Me."

Prabhupāda: God is situated in everyone's heart. As soon as He sees that, "Here is a qualified person," then He gives him instruction.

Kevin Layhart: But in the same way that Kṛṣṇa says He'll provide for all your needs, you still must work to achieve whatever Kṛṣṇa is giving you.

Prabhupāda: Yes. You work for Kṛṣṇa. You have to work to get your necessities.

Kevin Layhart: In the same way I'm curious with respect to the way Kṛṣṇa communicates with you, whether it's in a similar kind of way that He gives you your necessities.

Bali-mardana: In other words, when you decide that someone is to be in charge of a particular temple, does Kṛṣṇa tell you that this person should be in charge?

Kevin Layhart: Or do you, by judging him, say this person is qualified?

Prabhupāda: Yes, because a devotee always consults Kṛṣṇa, and He gives order.

Kevin Layhart: It's a more direct communication.

Prabhupāda: Yes. And He gives order.

Rāmeśvara: Because intelligence . . . our philosophy is that intelligence comes from Kṛṣṇa. So if I have some . . .

Kevin Layhart: And your philosophy is that your daily necessities come from Kṛṣṇa as well.

Rāmeśvara: Yes, try to understand. Suppose my intelligence sees that this person is qualified, that means Kṛṣṇa has told me.

Prabhupāda: No, not necessarily. Kṛṣṇa will tell directly. A devotee always consults Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa tells him, "Do like this." Not figuratively; practically.

Kevin Layhart: Does that apply then to other kinds of decisions and other kinds of activities as well?

Prabhupāda: Everything, everything, because a devotee does not do anything without consulting Kṛṣṇa.

Bali-mardana: But that applies to a very greatly elevated soul. That is not an ordinary person.

Prabhupāda: That is . . . therefore the minor devotees, they consult the spiritual masters. That is our process. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ.

Rāmeśvara: I see. I was trying to explain the minor devotees.

Kevin Layhart: No, I was talking about . . .

Rāmeśvara: You're talking about the topmost level.

Kevin Layhart: Yes.

Bali-mardana: He's getting right to the source. (laughter) Right to the top.

Kevin Layhart: That will do it for me. I thank you, kindly.

Bali-mardana: Jaya.

Rāmeśvara: Thank you, Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: Give him prasādam.

Bali-mardana: We were going to take care of him.

Hari-śauri: . . . prasādam.

Prabhupāda: Thank you for your coming. Take this flower. (end)