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770405 - Interview - Bombay
(Interview with Mr. Koshi - Asst. Editor of The Current Weekly)
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Śrīla Prabhupāda, this is Mr. B. T. Koshi. He is the assistant editor of The Current, which is a weekly news magazine.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: "Current."
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You want to set this tape recorder up? (break)
Prabhupāda: He can sit.
Mr. Koshi: I have come from the material world. It is totally different from what the situation is outside. You have been in the news at the festival which was held at Bombay. I decided to try and see you. There's been a lot of curiosity as to what the movement is about. Not only here, but abroad. A lot of controversy. I would like to know how this movement started, what gave you the idea. What is the background? And why it was called the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement? Is it a return to something very fundamental?
Prabhupāda: This movement is started to give something to the whole human society about the real culture. And that is India's prerogative. India can give it. The whole world is in darkness of ignorance. So India was expected after independence to give the real knowledge. But instead of giving that real knowledge, they became victimized by their glimmer of material civilization. So I wanted that such a magnificent gift from the side of India, it shall remain uncontributed to the world, let me try. This is the intention(?). This culture is based on Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa. Therefore it is named Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In India practically every home, every person, every leader, they read Bhagavad-gītā. But unfortunately they do not understand the human life. Because in the beginning of the Bhagavad-gītā we find Kṛṣṇa says,
- dehino 'smin yathā dehe
- kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
- tathā dehāntara-prāptir
- dhīras tatra na muhyati
- (BG 2.13)
- aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ
- prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase
- gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca
- nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ
- (BG 2.11)
This is beginning. When Kṛṣṇa began to instruct, began instructing Arjuna about Bhagavad-gītā, the first chastisement was given to Arjuna that "You are talking like a paṇḍita, but you are a rascal."
Mr. Koshi: But you are a...?
Prabhupāda: "But you are a rascal. Because you are giving stress on the body." Aśocyān anvaśocas tvam (BG 2.11). The body is a lump of matter. It is not the subject matter for discussing or lamenting. It is a lump of matter. Now this (tapping), what is called...?
Mr. Koshi: Machine. Tape recorder.
Prabhupāda: This machine, so long it is working, it is valuable. If it does not work, what is the value? Throw it out. Similarly, the machine is not important, but so long it is working, it is important. So we must know what is that working principle. That is knowledge. So generally, people, they are embarrassed with the machine, this body. But they do not know what the power in the machine. Am I right or wrong?
Mr. Koshi: Hmm.
Prabhupāda: This is a wrong type of civilization, a civilization of ignorance. Animal civilization. Just like animals: a cat, a dog, the cow, he does not know what is the working principle in the body. So he is jumping and running as a dog, as a cat, and he appears to be very busy. Similarly, the modern civilization, they are jumping and running like cats and dogs, but does not know what is the principle which is helping him to jump and run. That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā. Asmin dehe dehinaḥ. The active principle is there within this body. So who knows it? Ask big, big leaders, big, big scholars of Bhagavad-gītā. They are concerned with this body. Nobody is interested with the active principle within the body. So what do they know about Bhagavad-gītā? The basic principle is wrong. Kṛṣṇa is speaking on the subject matter within the body, the active principle. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13). The difference. Asmin dehe. The dehī, the owner of the body, is there. Who knows it? Tell me. This is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā lesson. But one does not know that what is the important thing in this body: not this machine, but the power that is driving the machine. So what is this? And still, they are proud of becoming scholar on Bhagavad-gītā, knower of Bhagavad-gītā and so on, so on. This is going on. This misconception. They are themselves in ignorance, and they are keeping their followers in ignorance. Therefore no benefit has been derived from this culture of Bhagavad-gītā. We wanted to give it to the world. This is the purpose.
Mr. Koshi: This is what you have tried to do. Why is it necessary to concentrate on this name "Kṛṣṇa"?
Prabhupāda: First of all, you understand what is the importance of this movement. Then you will understand Kṛṣṇa. First of all, you have to know what is the important things are there. One thing is this bodily machine and the other thing is the power within the machine.
Mr. Koshi: The driving force.
Prabhupāda: But you do not know what is the power. You are simply embarrassed with the machine. So just try to understand your position in ignorance. As soon as the power within machine is gone, it is useless. Everything is thrown away, a lump of matter. So who is culturing higher?
Mr. Koshi: (Hindi) Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhaktivedanta Prabhupāda. (introduces Indian man to Śrīla Prabhupāda)
Prabhupāda: Betiye, sit down.
Indian (1): No, he has come to pay respect to you, sir.
Prabhupāda: That's all right. But wait. Let him come in. The point is that if you keep yourself in ignorance, then what is the use of advancing further? If your basic principle is calculated wrong, then whatever you construct from that wrong background, everything is wrong. One mistake done in the beginning, then plus minus, plus minus, ultimately it is wrong. So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness means that unless you take seriously what Kṛṣṇa says, you are simply jumping like animals. That's all. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. First of all you understand your position, what Kṛṣṇa says. Then go ahead. You do not understand the basic principle what Kṛṣṇa says, and you are declaring yourself, "I am reading Bhagavad-gītā and Bhagavad-gītā is my life," and so on, and so on.
Mr. Koshi: Would you say that this is a return to this Bhagavad-gītā?
Prabhupāda: Yes. This culture is purely Bhagavad-gītā. Therefore we have given the name "Kṛṣṇa consciousness." What Kṛṣṇa said, take it.
Mr. Koshi: Is it somewhat similar to the... (break)
Prabhupāda: We are preaching what Kṛṣṇa says. We do not mind what other says. There may be similarities, there may not be similarities. It doesn't matter. But we are concerned with the instruction that Kṛṣṇa says. I haven't got to tally what Kṛṣṇa says and what you say. I have no business to do that. We are simply concerned what Kṛṣṇa says. Now if you like, you can take it. If you don't like, you take your own way. But we are speaking only on Kṛṣṇa. So our lamentable subject matter..., subject is that India has got so great, exalted knowledge of Bhagavad-gītā, and the government has got cultural department, and all leaders, at least they are supposed to give support to Bhagavad-gītā. Why they are not taking seriously and give it to the...? And they are taking it seriously. My single attempt to preach the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā as it is, they are accepting it all over the world. Why not give it an organized way? All the Indian leaders, they are simply imitating, jumping like the Western people.
Mr. Koshi: But there will be the accusation that being a secular state...
Prabhupāda: Secular, pecular, this is... Knowledge is knowledge.
Mr. Koshi: Whether it is religious or secular.
Prabhupāda: We cannot compromise. Knowledge is knowledge. It cannot be changed because there is secular, pecular and (indistinct). It cannot be changed. Knowledge is knowledge. Just like this asmin dehe dehino 'smin. What is secular knowledge? It is knowledge for everyone. Within this body the active principle is there. And the secular knowledge says, "No, no, the active principle is outside." We have to accept it? Knowledge is knowledge. Two plus two is equal to everyone, everywhere. It is four.
Mr. Koshi: But those who do not subscribe to this process...
Prabhupāda: Who do not subscribe, if they say "five," shall we have to take it?
Mr. Koshi: No, I agree. I agree.
Prabhupāda: Then why...? What is this? This is nonsense. Two plus two equal to four. It will be accepted by everyone. Every scientist, every mathematician. And if by vote, secular state, "It is five" or "It is six," shall we have to accept it? We have to accept knowledge as it is. Why you say secular or not secular?
Mr. Koshi: No, I think it is a question of accepting a concept of...
Prabhupāda: No concept. It is science. It is not... Try to understand this. "Two plus two" is science. It is not concept.
Mr. Koshi: I know that. But let us look at it this way. You are saying that Kṛṣṇa is important, but somebody else says that somebody else is important, so that is...
Prabhupāda: If Kṛṣṇa is important, why shall He not be taken? If somebody says...
Mr. Koshi: If somebody else says that Jack is important...
Prabhupāda: Somebody. What is that somebody? Is he a scientist? Is he a philosopher? Is he advanced? Any loafer-class man can say anything.
Mr. Koshi: There are scholars from other religions also.
Prabhupāda: Then you do not understand the standpoint. We have to understand the active principle of life. So why other scholars will disagree? Then he is not a scholar. Let us come to the scientific point of view. We have to understand what is the active principle within this machine. It is equally important to all scholars. That we have to preach. They may say that "Your Kṛṣṇa; our this." No. That knowledge Kṛṣṇa is giving for everyone. And it is accepted by everyone. They are Christians. How they are accepting? I am not bribing them.
Mr. Koshi: They are all nationalities?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Everyone. Any scientific man, any advanced in education...
Mr. Koshi: Have you put any conditions?
Prabhupāda: No conditions. You try to understand. Within this body the active principle is there. Where is condition? You try to understand if you have knowledge.
Mr. Koshi: But a renunciation of something?
Prabhupāda: Again, why you are coming to renunciation? First of all come to the knowledge. First of all accept that within this body there is the active principle. Then whether it is required renunciation, no renunciation, that we shall discuss later on. First of all, we have to understand, as Kṛṣṇa says in the very beginning, that asmin dehe dehī. "Within this body, there is the owner of the body." First of all try to understand. He is speaking on that subject matter, dehī, not on the deha. People should understand first of all this science. Then talk of other things. When we say "Two plus two equal to four," no scholar will deny it. "Yes, it is four." Nobody, no rascal will say, "No, it is five" or "three." Nobody will disagree, if it is science, if it is mathematics. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa says within this body, the owner of the body. Who will deny it? Let them accept it. Then we shall discuss what is that owner, what is the nature of that owner. First of all let them accept it. They are accepting the machine as everything. Do you agree or not?
Mr. Koshi: Yeah, but who is the owner of the body?
Prabhupāda: Ah. Yes. Machine, if you take the importance of the machine and not the machine driver, then what is your knowledge? If a dog is thinking, "I am a bulldog, gow gow gow," and if a man is thinking "I am Indian, gow gow," what is the difference? He is embarrassed with the machine body, and he is also embarrassed with the machine body. The dog is jumping, monkey is jumping with a machine body, and if we also imitate jumping like the dog and the monkey, so what is the difference? The human being is to understand that "I am not this body." That is the first knowledge. That is the first principle.
- brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
- na śocati na kāṅkṣati
- samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
- mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
- (BG 18.54)
That is brahma-jñāna. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. So these things are here in India. Instead of distributing, understanding these things, we are jumping like cats and dogs, like the Western civilization. Anthill and four-wheel dog race. These big, big buildings, they are like anthill. You know anthill? The ant also can make a big stack of earth. Does it mean it is civilization to compete with the ant? Or run with the dog? Sometimes your car is driving, and dog is running, it is a competition and the dog running. Is that civilization? Without understanding, the whole thing is going on, running on like that. Why India should imitate? India has got so much great, exalted knowledge given by Kṛṣṇa. India should learn it and teach it to the whole world. That is India's business. Paropakāra. And that is being done in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Very important movement, very scientific movement. So do not neglect it. Come and join, learn it and give it to the whole world. This is the perfect knowledge, paropakāra. Not to imitate there and jump like monkey and cats and dogs. This is not good.
Mr. Koshi: All sorts of messages are going out.
Prabhupāda: All sorts may go, but you must know the real message, that within this machine—the owner of the machine, the driver of the machine. All sorts of... There are three thousand parts in a motorcar. You have all sorts of knowledge about the parts of the car, and you do not know who is driving, then what is this knowledge? Every paper, every learned man, every..., every should take it seriously and implement it. It is not meant for everyone. Still, there must be an institution to teach this, I mean, the highest standard of knowledge to the human being. Why they should simply jump like cats and dogs? This is our mission. So don't try to imitate cats and dogs, but be human being. Understand what is your position and cultivate that knowledge. That is nature's way. The evolutionary process, after 8,400,000 species of life, it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā that if you don't understand this opportunity, then nivartante mṛtyu-saṁsāra-vartmani (BG 9.3). (aside:) Find out this verse. Aprāpya mām. Aśraddadhānāḥ puruṣā dharmasyāsya parantapa. "Those who are not interested in the teachings of the Bhagavad-gītā, the result will be he will not understand Me, God, and he will again return to the cycle of birth and death." That's all.
Mr. Koshi: But how many people have the capability? As you say, they are jumping up and down.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So it is not for... You see, when we talk of diamond, it does not mean that everyone will be able to purchase it. But there must be the diamond. Because there is no customer, very many customer, diamond should be abolished?
Mr. Koshi: No.
Prabhupāda: That is not possible. Similarly, how many men will understand or not understand, that is not the consideration. But we have got in India such exalted knowledge. We must cultivate and distribute as far as possible. It is our duty. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission. Bhārata-bhūmite manuṣya-janma haila yāra (CC Adi 9.41). You understand Bengali?
Mr. Koshi: No.
Prabhupāda: "Anyone who has taken birth as human being in India," janma sārthaka kari' kara para-upakāra, "first of all make your life successful by understanding what is life, and then distribute." This is Caitanya Mahāprabhu. You have got this asset. You are rejecting.
Mr. Koshi: You started this ten years ago. But why is it that when you were recognized, you were recognized by others and not in this country?
Prabhupāda: Huh? Because they are so poor that they cannot purchase diamond. But diamond must be there. They are so poor-hearted, their education has been so poorly given that they cannot understand.
Mr. Koshi: Poorly given.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That "You are this body. Jump like cats and dogs," that's all. What is nationalism? This is, that "You are this body. Jump like cats and dogs." A group, as a group of crows gather together, craw-craw-craw-craw. That has been taught. Make group and crow.
Mr. Koshi: Something is wrong.
Prabhupāda: Yes. You don't find this word "nationalism" in the Bhagavad-gītā. You don't find it. Can you find out this word? These are all borrowed words.
Mr. Koshi: And what is your alternative?
Prabhupāda: Huh? What is that? We are preaching internationalism: everyone welcome. Come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is being done. Real United Nation. Here is Christian, here is Jew, here is African, here is Muhammadan—everything. Worldwide. That is real United Nation. They have no conception. If they would thought that "I am American," then why he is after a poor Indian like me? Indians are known outside India as poverty-stricken, and that's a fact.
Mr. Koshi: As...?
Mr. Koshi: Poverty-stricken.
Prabhupāda: Yes. And that's a fact. So why he should come to a person who is born of poverty-stricken nation? But actually we are not poverty-stricken. If we cultivate our own standard of knowledge, Bhagavad-gītā, then we are the richest, and we can give to the whole world the gift. That should be wanted. And they will welcome. India will be glorified if they accept. Prestige. This is our mission. I am trying for that.
Mr. Koshi: How are you trying?
Prabhupāda: India is not poverty-stricken. India can give him something which will glorify your life. That is my answer. I do not say India is poverty-stricken. I say India is the richest. Believe it; take it. So we have no such concern as "India" or "America." No. We are concerned with the living entities. We have no such stagnant idea. Stagnation. We have no such thing. Caitanya Mahāprabhu: bhārata-bhūmite haila manuṣya-janma. That bhārata-bhūmite manuṣya, manuṣya means man. He is different from others. Therefore he should know what is his position, make his life successful and distribute the knowledge. But they are ignorant. This should be India's position—teacher of the whole world. Not beggar.
Mr. Koshi: This support that you wanted... People have not taken sufficient interest in this distribution.
Prabhupāda: Because they have been taught like that.
Mr. Koshi: Taught to receive, not to give.
Prabhupāda: Yes. They have been taught to become group of dogs and crows. That's all. These political party.
Mr. Koshi: You are against politicians.
Prabhupāda: No, we are not against, neither for. But these things will go on. This is going on since the creation, but that will not help.
Mr. Koshi: But they are in charge of this...
Prabhupāda: There have been. In other countries there has been Napoleon, there has been Hitler, there has been Mussolini, there has been Churchill. In India also we had many leaders like Gandhi and others. So what contribution they made? People are suffering.
Mr. Koshi: But you yourself were involved in some of the movements.
Prabhupāda: Yes. It is not movement; it is knowledge. It is not artificial movement. It is knowledge, real knowledge, that you are not this body, you are not this machine. It is knowledge. It is meant for everyone. But you take an artificial movement. It is not. It is knowledge. And it is your duty to give knowledge to the people. If you have got any knowledge... All scientists do like that. It is not movement. When a scientist goes all over the world, gives about his discovery, it is not movement. It is scientific knowledge. Movement is you create something and make your followers. That is movement. It is not like that. It is scientific knowledge that you are not this body. Dehino 'smin yathā. That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā. Those who are fortunate, they will accept it. Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye, yatatām api siddhānām (BG 7.3). (aside:) Find out this verse. Everything is there in the Bhagavad-gītā, but we are neglecting. Although we are getting photograph with Bhagavad-gītā. This is going on. Actually understand Bhagavad-gītā and distribute the knowledge, that is our business.
Mr. Koshi: But are there anything... Isn't there something more fundamental than that?
Prabhupāda: There are many things, and they are all subordinate. First of all you understand the body and the owner of the body. In the body there are so many things. Similarly, the owner of deha, greater number of things to know. First of all try to understand the beginning, that you are not this body. That is the fundamental understanding. Then you understand what is the composition of the body and what is the composition of the... The first knowledge is lacking, mistaken, that "I am this body." Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke (SB 10.84.13). They are accepting this body as ātmā. Apaśyatām ātma-tattvam (SB 2.1.2). We have written so many books, eighty-four books. And they are reading. In the Western world they are taking it.
Mr. Koshi: Yes, I was told.
Prabhupāda: Russia also they are taking it. So gradually they will take. They are intelligent. And we are neglecting. This is our misfortune. And misled we are.
Mr. Koshi: By who?
Prabhupāda: We are neglecting. By the leaders. They do not know what is Bhagavad-gītā, and they are professing as "I am scholar in the Bhagavad-gītā." They do not know what is distinction between the body and the owner of the body. The first lesson of Bhagavad-gītā they do not know. Then what they will understand Bhagavad-gītā? This is the first lesson.
Mr. Koshi: What is the solution?
Prabhupāda: Solution? You learn it!
Mr. Koshi: But if they don't want to do it?
Prabhupāda: They don't want to... Then let them, they will go to hell. What can be done? If you want to cut your own throat, you can do it. Who can save you? But our duty is "Don't make suicide." We must be all sane and (indistinct). But if you commit suicide, that is your business. What can I do? We shall go on. This is suicidal condition, to live like cats and dogs and jump like monkeys. Losing the opportunity of human being, where you can understand? Athāto brahma jijñāsā. This is Vedānta-sūtra. They are neglecting it. They are neglecting it. You will go to hell. Kṛṣṇa says mām aprāpya. Everything is there.
- aśraddadhānāḥ puruṣā
- dharmasyāsya parantapa
- aprāpya māṁ nivartante
- (BG 9.3)
They do not know what is the risk of mṛtyu-saṁsāra-vartmani. After all, you have to die. After death, if you become a tree in front of my house, who can check it? It is law of nature. You cannot check it. Then what will be your position? Stand up for thousands of years in one place. So risky. They do not understand. They do not discuss these things in the Bhagavad-gītā, and still they are scholars of Bhagavad-gītā. They write comment on the Bhagavad-gītā, whimsically. This is going on. There are so many things to be learned from Bhagavad-gītā. They do not understand. And they are writing comment on Bhagavad-gītā, misleading others. It is clear. Dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre samavetā (BG 1.1), it is clear. They will comment; they will make some bogus meaning.
Mr. Koshi: Interpretation.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Spoil their own life and spoil others'. This is going on. The meaning is clear, but these rascals are thinking that "Meaning is not clear. Kṛṣṇa left for me to clear the meaning." (laughter) That's all. Such a rascals, they are touching Bhagavad-gītā. As if Kṛṣṇa left for him to clear the meaning. These rubbish things we want to stop. Of course, it is not possible. Many others are. But we are trying little, that's all. But we cannot make any compromise. Therefore Kṛṣṇa consciousness. What Kṛṣṇa says, we have to accept. That is a fact. They are completely under the grip of material nature. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi (BG 3.27). You are declaring independence. Ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā kartāham iti manyate (BG 3.27). These things are going on. False, ahaṅkāra, egotism. Nature in one slap—crack! Indira Gandhi is so powerful—one slap, "Get out." What can you do? One slap is sufficient. (claps hands sharply) They do not understand. Jumping, that's all. They do not know they are completely under the control of prakṛti, and prakṛti is under the control of Kṛṣṇa. Mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram (BG 9.10). These things are going on. They do not discuss this. Still, they are scholar in Bhagavad-gītā. Simply picking up some words, they become scholar. Is that scholarship? They do not read even the whole Bhagavad-gītā, neither they understand. This is going on.
Mr. Koshi: Is interpretation necessary or not?
Prabhupāda: Why interpretation?
Mr. Koshi: Some passages, they might not be able to understand it.
Prabhupāda: Interpretation... Everyone knows this is a tape recorder. What is interpretation?
Mr. Koshi: No, for...
Prabhupāda: Everyone knows that this is a tape recorder. So what is the interpretation? Interpretation required when you do not understand.
Mr. Koshi: Is it that simple and clear for everybody?
Prabhupāda: No, that is the way of interpretation. Amongst the learned circle, interpretation required when the things are not clear. If the things are clear, why nonsense interpretation? There is no need of interpretation. Dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre (BG 1.1). Kurukṣetra is still there, and people go there for pilgrimage. And in the Vedas it is stated kuru-kṣetre dharmān ācaret: "Go to Kurukṣetra and perform ritualistic ceremonies." Where is the difficulty? Why should I interpret, "Kurukṣetra means this; dharma-kṣetre means this, that"? Why? To mislead others and mislead himself. This is not required. But they are doing it. That is misleading. If you can interpret Bhagavad-gītā by your own interpretation, then what is the authority of Bhagavad-gītā? Everyone can do like that. Everyone can say, "It is my interpretation." Then where is the authority of Bhagavad-gītā? These things should be stopped. Real Bhagavad-gītā should be studied. People should make life Bhagavad-gītā and preach all over the world. This is our movement.
Mr. Koshi: Can I change the subject now?
Mr. Koshi: I mean something different, about the...
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Mr. Koshi: You all have list, some conditions in this...
Prabhupāda: No condition. Study Bhagavad-gītā. Make your life...
Mr. Koshi: No, for example, the saffron robe, the beads...
Prabhupāda: That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā.
Mr. Koshi: And the shaving of the head with the little...
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Varṇāśrama. Varṇāśrama. This is āśrama. He is sannyāsī, he must take to it.
Mr. Koshi: And the avoidance of...
Prabhupāda: Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). So just like if you take..., become a police officer, you must take the dress.
Mr. Koshi: Uniform.
Mr. Koshi: No, but say the avoidance of tea and coffee and all that.
Mr. Koshi: Is something wrong with tea?
Prabhupāda: Yes. It is sinful, pāna.
Mr. Koshi: By itself it is not bad.
Prabhupāda: Itself is bad, sinful.
Mr. Koshi: It's a neutral thing, you see.
Prabhupāda: You say. But śāstra says striya, sūnā, pāna, dyūta (SB 1.17.38), four kinds of sinful activities. Illicit sex; pāna, intoxication. Chai—pāna, pāniya, so it is intoxication. Therefore it is sinful.
Mr. Koshi: And what is the fourth?
Prabhupāda: Striya, sūnā and jīva-hiṁsā, unnecessarily killing animals.
Mr. Koshi: And therefore vegetarianism. Is that why vegetarianism is...?
Prabhupāda: First of all, you try to understand the principles. These are the four principles of sinful life. So you should avoid. Unless... Yeṣām anta gataṁ pāpam. That is the... Unless you are free from sinful activities, you cannot understand Kṛṣṇa. Yeṣām anta gataṁ pāpaṁ janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām, te dvandva-moha-nirmuktā (BG 7.28).
Mr. Koshi: What is the meaning of that?
Prabhupāda: Anyone who is completely free from sinful activities, he can understand Kṛṣṇa. If you are engaged in sinful activities, how you will understand Kṛṣṇa? Therefore these things are forbidden: "Don't do this," to understand Kṛṣṇa.
- manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu
- kaścid yatati siddhaye
- yatatām api siddhānāṁ
- kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ
- (BG 7.3)
Mr. Koshi: (laughing) I don't understand.
Prabhupāda: You don't understand; therefore I say you become a student. Understand it. That is our institution. If you don't want to understand, that is another thing.
Mr. Koshi: No. I try to understand, but I drink coffee and tea. I cannot...
Prabhupāda: Because you have not been taught by proper teacher.
Mr. Koshi: That I accept.
Prabhupāda: That is not your fault. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). This is Vedic injunction. So therefore our brahmacārī system. First of all one becomes brahmacārī. Brahmacārī guru-kule vasan dānto guror hitam (SB 7.12.1). These things are there. Everything is there, and we don't take advantage of this knowledge. We are after becoming dogs, that's all.
Mr. Koshi: But there are several millions like me.
Prabhupāda: That does not mean... Several zeros does not mean one. Millions of zeros does not mean one. Zero is zero. If several millions of zeros, adding, you cannot make one. That is not possible. One is required. And if you want after zero, you go on. But if you are after one, mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja, then you are perfect. Sarva-dharmān parityajya (BG 18.66). Don't after these zeros. Mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. This is the... If you are after zeros, that is your business. Kṛṣṇa says, "Come after one." Then you are advanced.
Mr. Koshi: So you say one, you mean the...
Prabhupāda: "One" means Kṛṣṇa.
Mr. Koshi: Yes, I know. But what about the rest in the pantheon? There are hundreds in the...
Prabhupāda: Why you are concerned? If you become perfect by one, why you're after so many? Ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ (BG 18.66). So we have taken that one, that's all—Kṛṣṇa. We are not after zeros. Ask these boys to come after zeros and bribe them millions of dollars. They will refuse: "No, we're after one, Kṛṣṇa." They have been trained up. Yasmin vijñāte sarvam idaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.1.3). We have written these big, big books, eighty-four books, only on Kṛṣṇa. Now it is recognized Hare Kṛṣṇa movement is genuine, in New York high court.
Mr. Koshi: Yes, I saw the review in the Times of India also. But there was a lot of controversy there. It was called brainwashing and all that.
Prabhupāda: There are so many accusations. Now the court has acknowledged, "It is genuine."
Mr. Koshi: But you don't require the recognition of any court, do you?
Prabhupāda: You require. (laughter) I don't require. You require.
Mr. Koshi: Until then, there is a doubt.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Because you are after the court, after the judges. We are not after anyone. We are after one: Kṛṣṇa. That's all. For you, it is confirmed. We know what our duty is. For the last twelve years there were so many impediments. It did not stop us. There was so much harassment.
Mr. Koshi: Where? Here, in this country?
Prabhupāda: Not here, there.
Mr. Koshi: In the United States.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. They were kidnapped, they were taken by force, and so on, so on. So many times.
Mr. Koshi: No, I think the opposition comes because of...
Prabhupāda: Opposition comes means there was some strength of this movement. Therefore there was opposition.
Mr. Koshi: No, I think the complaint was of families and things like that...
Prabhupāda: Whatever it may be, they felt the strength. In Bengali it is called capale babale.(?)
Mr. Koshi: What is the meaning of that?
Prabhupāda: Meaning means when there is some weight, is a (indistinct). So now they are feeling the weight of this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement.
Mr. Koshi: They were afraid of something.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Mr. Koshi: Why?
Prabhupāda: Because the young men are taking it.
Mr. Koshi: But how does it...
Prabhupāda: It is not such called yoga system, (imitates snoring) meditation. It is not like that. Young men, they are taking it. They are preaching; they have sacrificed their life. So they are intelligent persons. They can understand that we should not die. It is not old man's recreation.
Mr. Koshi: No, but you are responsible for it.
Prabhupāda: I am not... Kṛṣṇa is responsible. I am just distributing. My duty is to distribute. That's all.
Mr. Koshi: Would you call yourself a guru?
Prabhupāda: Yes, I am guru.
Mr. Koshi: Because there are others who call themselves Bhagavān.
Prabhupāda: Let them call.
Mr. Koshi: Are you a Bhagavān?
Prabhupāda: Guru is not Bhagavān. Guru is the servant of Bhagavān.
Mr. Koshi: Servant of Bhagavān. Are you happy with the way the movement has really spread? The...
Prabhupāda: Why not? Because I am giving the standard movement. I am not manufacturing anything. I am giving what is said by Kṛṣṇa. I am just distributing that. Why shall I not be happy? I am not manufacturing anything. That is not my business.
Mr. Koshi: How are others doing?
Prabhupāda: Yes, they are manufacturing. They have to do artificially. My things are ready; I have simply distributed. So why shall I not be happy? If you do something artificially, you have to manufacture. I am not doing that. My things are ready.
Mr. Koshi: How is your health now?
Prabhupāda: Not good. Health or no health, it is the outward machine. That doesn't matter. But if it is a good machine then it helps, that's all. Otherwise, machine good or bad, it doesn't matter to machine driver.
Mr. Koshi: What happens when the machine stops?
Prabhupāda: It changes. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG 2.13).
Mr. Koshi: What is the meaning of that?
Prabhupāda: If your machine is stopped, you take another machine. That's all. You go on hearing. Not that your work will stop. You give up this machine. Take another machine. Actually you do that. Why shall I be overwhelmed, "Oh, machine is gone, machine is gone"? Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, aśocyān anvaśocas tvam (BG 2.11): "You are lamenting for the machine, nonsense. This is not paṇḍita's business." Nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ. Machine is gone, take another one, that's all. Go on.
Mr. Koshi: What is your day like, typical day? In the morning, what time do you get up? Your day, how do you spend the day?
Prabhupāda: How can I say? I have got so many engagements.
Mr. Koshi: But do you receive visitors most of the time, or do you do lot of reading?
Prabhupāda: No, no. I remain busy. Sometimes receiving important visitors. Just like you are editor. If you understand, you can, if you like, there will be so many gains, beneficial. Therefore... Otherwise...
Mr. Koshi: Do you take interest in the political happenings?
Prabhupāda: That will go on.
Mr. Koshi: No, but do you take interest?
Prabhupāda: Indira Gandhi goes, another Gandhi comes, another Gandhi goes, another comes. That is the history, whole history of the world. There is nothing new. Punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām (SB 7.5.30), chewing the chewed. Politics means chewing the chewed, that's all.
Mr. Koshi: Chewing the...?
Prabhupāda: Chewing the something, just like sugar cane. You have chewed it, taken all the juice, you have thrown it away. Another man is chewing it. (laughter) It is like that. Indira Gandhi also promised so many things, and she is now out, and somebody is speaking something.
Mr. Koshi: Morarji now.
Prabhupāda: Anyone. And in some day he will not be there, somebody will come. That is the history of the whole world. But that will not benefit the human society, politics. It is useless. This knowledge will help make the solution. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13). We are suffering in this material condition, and He is delivering from this. That is real upakāra. That's the reputation of history, politics.
Mr. Koshi: But it has been going on for quite some time.
Prabhupāda: It is going on, but time immemorial. But that is not the solution.
Mr. Koshi: They have seen to have more control over people than others. When a person is empowered, his actions can affect so many people.
Prabhupāda: So what kind of people?
Mr. Koshi: (laughs) Cats and dogs.
Prabhupāda: That's all. Śva-viḍ-varāha. They have been described in the Bhāgavata as dogs, camels, asses and hogs. Śva-viḍ-varāha-uṣṭra-kharaiḥ saṁstutaḥ puruṣaḥ paśuḥ (SB 2.3.19). (break) The leader of hogs, dogs, camels and asses. Our civilization is brahminical, brāhmaṇa. That is wanted.
Mr. Koshi: Is that good or bad?
Prabhupāda: That is good. Unless you become brāhmaṇa, real brāhmaṇa, śama, dama, titikṣā, how you will understand? We are not for the hogs, dogs, cats. Therefore it is sometimes said that without becoming brāhmaṇa, nobody should try to understand Vedas. What he will understand? Paraṁ satyaṁ dhīmahi. Dhīmahi. This word is used because it is meant for the brāhmaṇas. Oṁ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ..., dhīmahi. Dhīmahi is gāyatrī-mantra. It is chanted by the brāhmaṇas. That word is used in Bhāgavatam.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Śrīla Prabhupāda, I wanted to suggest that if he has some further questions, we could try to answer them, and then if there is still some remaining questions...
Prabhupāda: No. He has no answer on this spiritual matter. He'll ask me some political... We have no function with politics.
Mr. Koshi: No, there was a few other questions regarding the Society.
Prabhupāda: The fundamental principle is that we are teaching about the owner of the body.
Mr. Koshi: Yeah, but what we are in the outside world... I am not in the Society. What I see outside is totally... You see, when I see a group of young people like these boys here dancing on the street, it is something jarring to my eyes. I am not used to it. What is the necessity for the chant and the...
Prabhupāda: That is going on. One man's food, another man's poison.
Mr. Koshi: No, no, there is a purpose behind it.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Purpose... That is the way. That is the way.
Mr. Koshi: To?
Prabhupāda: To spiritual understanding in this age. Ecstasy. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ (SB 7.5.23). You have to follow the Vedic injunctions. Kṛṣṇotkīrtana-gāna-nartana-parau. Utkīrtana-gāna-nartana-parau.
Mr. Koshi: So by looking at him you are trying to rouse the interests of the people, or curiosity?
Prabhupāda: You can take interest in so many ways. If you are not interested in that way, read books. Are you not interested in reading books? Read. We have got many ways. That is for mass of people. The class of people who wants to understand this movement through science, philosophy, come on, read these books.
Mr. Koshi: One of the conditions is illicit sex.
Prabhupāda: That is sinful. Don't you see, illicit sex, what havoc it has done?
Mr. Koshi: What exactly do you mean?
Prabhupāda: Illicit sex, do you think it is...?
Mr. Koshi: Outside marriage, you mean?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Not only outside marriage. Even in marriage, you cannot have sex as you like. You must have sex according to the regulative principle or religious principle.
Mr. Koshi: Could you explain?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like only for begetting nice children.
Mr. Koshi: For begetting...?
Prabhupāda: Nice children.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Good children.
Mr. Koshi: What is the meaning of good children?
Prabhupāda: Good children means not these rogues and thieves, but one who can understand God. That is good children.
Mr. Koshi: It is the parents' responsibility.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Garbhādhāna-saṁskāra. These are stated. It is not secret matter. When the father goes to beget child, he has to perform ritualistic ceremonies in the presence of relative, brāhmaṇas. They will understand that "He is going now to beget a child." It is not a secret thing. It is garbhādhāna. And if in a brāhmaṇa family the garbhādhāna-saṁskāra is not observed, then immediately he becomes a śūdra.
Mr. Koshi: What is not a secret thing?
Prabhupāda: Secret... Just like when we go and have sex with wife secretly. It is not secret.
Mr. Koshi: There is a ceremony.
Prabhupāda: Yes. This is ceremony.
Mr. Koshi: No, but do you think... Don't you think that the children should be given freedom to choose voluntarily?
Prabhupāda: Do you want to give freedom to your children?
Mr. Koshi: I am asking you.
Prabhupāda: No, no. What is the use of giving freedom to a child with a razor? He will cut his throat, that's all.
Mr. Koshi: But at a later age, perhaps when he is better...
Prabhupāda: Later age, yes. That is enjoined. When child is sixteen years old he can do as he likes. Not before that.
- lālayet pañca varṣāṇi
- daśa varṣāṇi tāḍayet
- prāpte tu ṣoḍaśe varṣe
- putraṁ mitravad ācaret
- (Nīti Śāstra)
This is the moral instruction of Cāṇakya Paṇḍita. Up to five years, don't chastise, don't take any action. Let him be free. Whatever he likes, let him do. Then after fifth year, for ten years you must be very strict. Then five years and ten years, fifteen. And when he is sixteen years, treat him like a friend. Prāpte tu ṣoḍaśe varṣe putraṁ mitravad ācaret. At that time, no stricture that he will break. "My dear boy, if you do like this, do like that..." This is necessary. And from fifth year to fifteenth year you should chastise the sons and disciples just like tiger. After five years.
Mr. Koshi: Using the stick.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That's how you trained us, Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Mr. Koshi: Did you get?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, by Prabhupāda. Even though we were not five years old, he treats us just like as if we were five. Because spiritually we are still like that. So he is very strict with us.
Prabhupāda: All these boys I chastise regularly. Even a little mistake.
Mr. Koshi: You...?
Prabhupāda: They tolerate. They know.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: We are afraid.
Mr. Koshi: What is your message to the world?
Prabhupāda: Again you have asked me. (laughter)
Mr. Koshi: Yes, I wanted to know.
Mr. Koshi: Yes, I know, but...
Prabhupāda: After reading Rāmāyaṇa you are asking whose father is Sītā. (laughter) I have explained already.
Indian man: You have seen our films?
Mr. Koshi: What films?
Indian man: We invite you to come to see the films. The whole thing (indistinct). You can come today with me. I will take you. You can come with me at about 8.30.
Mr. Koshi: Night? No, no. I have to return to...
Indian man: No, we can make your..., you can make your choice. If you want to know about the Society, we can show you the whole film, how the whole thing started and everything is given. From eight p.m. we are showing every day. (Hindi)
(indistinct background discussion about other guests)
Mr. Koshi: Shall we...
Prabhupāda: Write nice article.
Mr. Koshi: Don't worry about that. It is my job.
Prabhupāda: It is very important.
Mr. Koshi: I think he will read out the article when it appears. Could you do that?
Devotee: We will bring the article to you. It is coming this next week.
Mr. Koshi: Yes, within the next two, three weeks, depending on the availability of space.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So print some of this philosophy that Prabhupāda has been explaining to you.
Mr. Koshi: Yeah, but I have to put it so simply, because our readers may not be able to understand. And I don't know Sanskrit either. I mean I have been desperately listening.
Prabhupāda: I am explaining. You have recorded.
Mr. Koshi: I have accidentally stumbled into the...
Indian man: That's okay. You are most welcome. You can see the film, because there is no time today, so today they have program, and they are doing every day practically. You can select your time and let us know. I am there for the last... (indistinct—telling him to come and he will show him around the temple, etc.) Contact him and make an arrangement. You can make arrangement with him also. I am going to arrange a month at my place also. And then next time, you can invite.
Mr. Koshi: Right. Very useful. Okay.
Prabhupāda: Give him some prasādam.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Mr. Koshi: Thank you very much.
Prabhupāda: All right. (guests leave) (end)