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760719 - Conversation A - New York

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

760719R1-NEW YORK - July 19, 1976 - 10:37 Minutes

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: We haven't gotten all of the newspapers yet, but we did get some of them. This is the very popular Daily News. What is the circulation of the Daily News? Few million, isn't it?

Bali-mardana: Millions.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: It's in the millions. It's the largest in New York.

Bali-mardana: Largest circulation.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So they gave us the center section.

Bali-mardana: That's the big . . . the most popular section. This side.

Prabhupāda: Oh. "Fifth Avenue, Where East Meets West." Very good idea. Very good idea. Very nice. The . . . (indistinct) . . . selected.

Bali-mardana: The other pictures, I think some are from the Olympics.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Very prominent. The center section is . . . next to the front page, the center section is very . . . the most popular page in the paper, because it has interesting pictures.

Prabhupāda: You can send one, this cutting, to Mr. Bhajaj, "Fifth Avenue, Where East Meets West." Very good.

Hari-śauri: Send one to Māyāpur as well?

Prabhupāda: Huh? You can send to many place, but this title is very nice. This is the point. This is the point. East, as I say always, the lame man meets the blind man. Together they'll do wonderful. And different they cannot do anything. He is blind; he is lame. But they join together, Indian culture and American money, they will save the whole world. Here is the . . . money required. (laughter)

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You want to hear what they wrote? Should I read to you what they said?

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Very nicely written. "With everybody pulling together and everybody puffing together, a huge float is tugged down Fifth Avenue yesterday during the first Ratha-yātrā Parade of International Society for Krishna Consciousness. The parade moved south from Central Park to Washington Square Park, where a free feast, music, art, dance and theater festival was held. According to a spokesperson, 'Ratha-yātrā is a time when people come to dance, sing and feast amidst a sublime atmosphere of bright flags, festoons, banners, garlands, flowers and incense, simply to feel the poetry and blissful nature of life.' "

Prabhupāda: Very good. This is blissful nature.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, you can see the devotees pulling the float.

Bali-mardana: Read the caption in the middle.

Prabhupāda: And they have created a civilization: wine, woman, gambling and meat.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Here's what it said: "The multicolored floats contrast with Fifth Avenue's concrete canyon as parade passes Thirty-fourth Street yesterday." Here it says: "An idyllic mood in saffron robes."

Prabhupāda: Everything is approved.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh, yes, highly approved. Then there's another, New York Times.

Prabhupāda: Oh, that is one very important.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Beautiful photograph.

Bali-mardana: "East Meets West in Hare Kṛṣṇa . . ."

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: "Feat."

Bali-mardana: ". . . feat."

Hari-śauri: Fete.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Fete.

Prabhupāda: You must purchase some copies. We shall send to India.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Look at that picture, it's very clear. Should I read you this article?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: This one is not . . . it's not bad, but it's not so accurate. "In size it was dwarfed by 'Operation Sale.' In popular concern it was outweighed by the Democratic National Convention. But for hundreds of Hare Kṛṣṇa followers, including many Indian immigrants to New York, yesterday's Ratha-yātrā festival was by far the most important event in an eventful month. Pulling three brightly-colored chariots down Fifth Avenue from Central Park to Washington Square, the religious group's adherents were celebrating one of the oldest holy days of the Indian calendar, the feast of Jagannātha, the Lord of the Universe, according to Kṛṣṇa doctrine. Most of the participants in the parade were young Westerners, followers from as far away as Caracas and Montreal. But the crowd included hundreds of Indians, who brought the basic Kṛṣṇa faith with them from Bombay and Calcutta."

Prabhupāda: That's nice.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, that's nice. "Like many other immigrant groups who preserved their forms of worship once they came to America, the Indians who watched or participated in the parade were pleased to see that they could keep the faith even in New York City." (laughter)

Prabhupāda: These rascals, let them come, they become bara sāhīb.

Bali-mardana: Become what?

Prabhupāda: Bara sāhīb.

Hari-śauri: Bara sāhīb, big Westerner.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: "While Hare Kṛṣṇa propounds doctrines of world renunciation common to other varieties of the Hindu faith, the sect, officially known as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, was founded in 1965 by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, whose fame as a guru came only after he arrived in the United States in the same year. For most of the Indians watching the parade, however, Hare Kṛṣṇa was close enough to their brand of Hinduism to make them feel at home."

Gurudāsa: That's good. It means that we're not a light cult. It means we have a great tradition.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, it's actually good.

Gurudāsa: They're recognizing that.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: " 'It's surprising that you find this right in New York City. It's our way of life,' said Nagan Patel, a civil engineer from Jersey City, who emmigrated from Bombay. 'We love New York City and America. It's the most beautiful place in the world. No other country will give such freedom for our own ceremony.' "

Prabhupāda: That's a fact. That I say always.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: "But the Kṛṣṇa people were not entirely free of harassment. Along the parade route three men, including one who said he was an Evangelical Christian minister, jeered at the parade and called on parade watchers to become Christians. 'Idol worship. This is absolutely ridiculous. Read the Bible,' cried one man, who would identify himself only as a normal Christian. There was a brief scuffle when an Indian immigrant tried to tear a large placard out of the hands of another heckler. The placard read 'Turn or Burn.' The police broke things up but made no arrests. 'They are insulting us,' said the Kṛṣṇa follower who declined to identify himself. 'I'm a devotee of Kṛṣṇa and Christ. These people who are doing this in the name of Christ are criminals.' " Very strong statement. "Except for the hecklers, however, the parade was generally very well received by passersby, who enjoyed the three multi-hued floats, the sun, and the chanting and dancing of the young Kṛṣṇa marchers. 'I think it's great,' said Tyrone Adams of Philadelphia, who was paying a visit to his home town of Englewood, New Jersey. 'I'm not religious, but they're all happy and dancing, and that is what life is all about.' " Even a nonreligious person said that. "In Washington Square a crowd of about three thousand, many of whom were there as part of the normal Sunday afternoon activities, heard Swami Prabhupāda deliver a lecture. Later, the crowd was served a free vegetarian feast. Along the side, Kṛṣṇa followers sold Indian sweets, Kṛṣṇa scriptures, and what one speaker described as 'transcendental paraphernalia.' "

Prabhupāda: Very good.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, it's a good article. For the Times especially it's good, because they are very conservative.

Prabhupāda: The Times first published about my activities from Tompkinson Square. They first published.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Now over the television last night there was gigantic coverage. CBS, which is the most important station, gave two and a half minutes' coverage.

Bali-mardana: Wow.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They have very big program, and the reporters—Dhṛṣṭadyumna was watching—he said that the reporters through the whole news, they were very grim, and then they, because they read what they're saying, and suddenly their faces lit up, and they said: "And Hare Kṛṣṇa had a parade today!" And then they described the whole parade. And they loved it. They said it was very well received. CBS reported, ABC reported, NBC reported, Channel Five gave big coverage—all the television networks gave a big coverage. It was very well publicized, with a lot of coverage and photos. They were showing movies of the parade, of you lecturing, of the crowds that were gathered taking prasādam.

Prabhupāda: Somebody should send this clippings, not our men, to . . .

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: To your Godbrothers.

Prabhupāda: To Indira Gandhi.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Some Indian people.

Prabhupāda: She is little anxious to cooperate with Americans, because the most criticism for his (her) present act . . . and everyone will criticize. The Americans have criticized like anything. And they are thinking that the American people are capturing that . . . actually, the nation is under danger. (break) (end)