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770708 - Conversation A - Vrndavana

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

770708R1-VRNDAVAN - July 08, 1977 - 32:39 Minutes

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So there was a newspaper clipping about Māyāpur published in the Hindustan Times. This newspaper clipping . . .

Prabhupāda: Hindustan Times?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: Delhi.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Ah. The heading is "Eleven Krishna Devotees Held for Firing." "Five Indian and six foreign Vaiṣṇava devotees were arrested from Māyāpur maṭha of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, in Nabadwip last night when shots fired from inside the celebrated temple injured fifteen persons, most of them milkmen. A double-barreled gun was seized from the maṭha, it is reported. Police pickets have been posted since there is considerable tension in the nearby villages. Among those arrested is Swami Bhavānanda, an American in charge of the maṭha. Some time ago he was forced to leave the country after the expiry of his visa, but he returned later. The incident occurred at about 5 p.m. on Friday. Some boys were grazing their cattle on the fields outside the maṭha when some cows strayed into its compound. The cattle were beaten up by the inmates and driven out." It doesn't sound like our devotees. Beat up cows? "Angry milkmen from a nearby village crowded outside the maṭha. Shots were then fired from inside the maṭha, it is reported, injuring fifteen persons, two of them seriously. The police arrived on the scene within an hour. Among the six foreigners arrested are a Romanian, an Italian, and some Americans. The founder of the maṭha, Prabhupāda A. C. Bhaktivedanta, was not present." This is called slanted reporting. I mean, first of all, our devotees don't beat up the cows. We worship the cow. We don't beat cows. I can't take this as very factual account. So many statements here say: "It was reported," "It was reported." This is from a . . . it was published in Delhi, but it's datelined Calcutta, and the event happened in Māyāpur. So by the time it got to Delhi it seems to have taken a strange shape. I thought you'd want to . . .

Prabhupāda: These gosas are very aggressive.

Śatadhanya: Milkmen means gosas.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Bālāi gosas.

Prabhupāda: It is not the Muhammadans.

Śatadhanya: Not according to this.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: This is still not conclusive.

Prabhupāda: No. Police inquiry must be there.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Should I save this?

Prabhupāda: No.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Śatadhanya Mahārāja is going to be leaving to go to Māyāpur.

Śatadhanya: Myself and Prabhāsa, we're going to be leaving now for Delhi, then to Māyāpur.

Prabhupāda: So what is the actual position, that they should . . .

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Send a letter from there.

Prabhupāda: But why in the morning the cows will come?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: It says here, "At 5 p.m. on Friday."

Prabhupāda: P.M.?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, in the evening.

Prabhupāda: Evening?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Five o'clock in the evening.

Prabhupāda: But they say it was attacked at night.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah. Well, that's what Gopāla Kṛṣṇa said over the telephone. I mean it's hard to . . . we don't know if this is correct or we don't know . . . after all, Gopāla was speaking to Māyāpur over the telephone, so he only may have gotten some mistaken information.

Prabhupāda: They say it was, they attacked at night, and they say five?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Five o'clock.

Prabhupāda: There is some mistake.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh, yes, surely. I mean Bhavānanda Mahārāja doesn't fire a gun unless there's some very, very heavy provocation. It wasn't that some people were standing outside the building going like this. (gesticulates) They were attacking the building. They got into the building. They must have.

Upendra: Before the festival they came with knives, and he never used a gun even.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: We don't fire guns into crowds . . .

Devotee (1): They must have injured someone.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Something must have happened. Anyway, the police will be investigating thoroughly. I don't know if I should keep . . . if I find out any more, should I keep talking to you about it, Śrīla . . .? It seems like it's a depressing subject. Is it right to come to you with this news?

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: It's all right. Should I give you some good news?

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Book distribution news. The latest saṅkīrtana newsletter came. Would you like to hear it now?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That will counteract the bad news. (break)

Prabhupāda: Keeping alive.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: What, Śrīla Prabhupāda?

Prabhupāda: Keeping alive this movement. All our temples are always crowded. In Los Angeles, in the morning class, it is very crowded. That colony has become very nice, Los Angeles. Ṭhik.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh, yes.

Upendra: The colony.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That's what it is. Now you can walk there, and you don't even know you're in America. All you see are devotees, devotees' homes. And it's always growing. It's ever-increasing.

Prabhupāda: "Transcendental Meditation." What meditation? Fifteen minutes—finished.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They say it helps you sleep better. They claim that Transcendental Meditation helps you sleep more soundly.

Prabhupāda: Ācchā. And life is meant for sleeping?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: To the Western karmīs, sleep is a luxury, 'cause they have no peace of mind. So anything that can give them sleep, they like, 'cause they can't get to sleep. They try pills, so many things. Of course, we don't sleep much either, but that is by choice. (pause) I tried one of those balls of bread. In America we call them "cannonballs."

Prabhupāda: Which ball?

Upendra: Laktha.

Prabhupāda: Oh. How do you like?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Very tasteful. In America sometimes they put either butter or honey on them also to give it a little sweet taste.

Upendra: But they cook them in the oven, and these are cooked on cow dung. These are cooked on the cow dung, khandi, khandi.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I was wondering how you were able to chew them.

Prabhupāda: No, I could not.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They're pretty hard. These are very good on the long saṅkīrtana days. If someone has to go out for many hours, he takes some of these and puts them in his pocket. Then every hour he can eat one, and it gives him strength. Just like the villagers in India, they put in a little napkin. They put some . . . what is that? Ḍāl. Yes. Chickpeas.

Prabhupāda: The villagers, these grain soaked in water, they . . . not cooked.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Sometimes I have seen they sell on the streets some spicy ḍāl? Hard? I think that's fried.

Prabhupāda: Last year in Washington I was there.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: July Fourth. Oh, yes, you were there. They had a fireworks demonstration, and you saw a parade, I think.

Upendra: Bicentennial?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah, that was a big one, two-hundredth anniversary of the independence. The karmīs are very happy about these holidays like this July Fourth, but they are not as happy as devotees. We are even happier, because we know that all the karmīs will buy even more books on these days. One . . .

Prabhupāda: . . . sakalei bhalo bolche (everyone is appreciating . . .)

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Everything he's preparing is very nectarine. I think this year, Christmastime, if we again put on our Santa Claus suits, eventually people will only give to our Santa Clauses. At first there was a reaction, last year. And this year there may be again a reaction, but after a few years no one will want to give to the other Santa Clauses. We will completely take over the Santa Claus costume. I don't think we should give it up.

Prabhupāda: Why? It is our choice.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Right.

Prabhupāda: If I dress myself in a particular way, who can check it? They cannot check. I like this dress, that's all. That is not violation of law.

Upendra: Do they wear tilaka? Santa Claus? No.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They can't do that. They say: "Well, you're misrepresenting yourselves because . . ."

Prabhupāda: I'm not misrepresenting. I like this dress.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They say this dress indicates a Christian . . .

Prabhupāda: Whatever indication, I like this. You cannot check my liking. Just like an Indian dresses like a European, or a European dresses like Indian. Does it mean that he has become Indian or he's American? He likes it. That's all. Can you object if a girl dresses like Indian with ladies' sāri? Can you object? It is something like that. "Oh, why you have become Indian-like? Why you are imitating?"

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They say: "Well, then, you can wear your Santa Claus suit, but you'll have to wear a Hare Kṛṣṇa button."

Prabhupāda: That we can do. Never mind. But that is not under your dictation. If I like.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They actually made us in New York, the court.

Prabhupāda: No, then there is no objection. But you cannot dictate . . .

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: What dress.

Prabhupāda: Yes. I may dress myself to your liking; I may not. Rather, you like the Santa Claus dress. You are Christian. I am pleasing you by dressing myself like this. Why you are not pleased? I am trying to please you.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They say: "Well, actually you're concealing your identity."

Prabhupāda: That is my liking. You cannot dictate. I'm not pickpocketing you. What is the objection?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They say: "Well, why don't you tell people who you actually are? Why don't you say you're a Hare Kṛṣṇa?"

Prabhupāda: No, that is my desire. You cannot dictate.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Well, you're asking me for your money.

Prabhupāda: But unless you know that I'm Hare Kṛṣṇa people, how you are dictating me?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You're asking me for my money, though.

Prabhupāda: Huh? No, I am asking everyone.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: But you're going to use it for Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: But we didn't know you were Hare Kṛṣṇa. We thought you were Santa Claus.

Prabhupāda: Whatever it may be, I am asking money from everyone. It is your liking. You give or not give.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: See, for many years there were these other Santa Clauses from the Salvation Army. So now they made a complaint that now no one knows who is the real Santa Claus because we are . . . the difference is they stand next to a big . . .

Prabhupāda: But is there any law that nobody can dress like that?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No.

Prabhupāda: Then?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No. We're only . . .

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: There was a lot of publicity.

Upendra: You once gave that Bengali saying: "When you eat, you eat for yourself, but when you dress, you dress for others."

Prabhupāda: Yes. Apake khana para.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No, I'm not so much speaking from the point of view of law. I'm just wondering whether it was . . . from the point of view of publicity for our Society.

Prabhupāda: Publicity, if we find that this dress will attract more, why not? We shall do.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The Salvation Army Santa Clauses, they became very upset, because their routine is that they stand next to a big chimney, because Santa Claus is supposed to come down a chimney in the myth. So they stand next to the chimney, and they shake their bell. People put money into this chimney. But our Santa Clauses, they go down the street very, you know, moving around, dancing, and they go up to the people all over the place. They don't wait for people to come over to the chimney. So we were taking away a lot of the donations that they would have given to the chimney Santa Clauses. So they were very . . .

Prabhupāda: That is business, competition. You are doing your business; I am doing my business. That competition is there in every business. When there is business, you cannot dictate me in your favor, "Why you are doing this? My business is being hampered." Who will hear you? Hmm? If you say it is competition that, "Why you are doing like this? It is hampering my business," I'll say: "Yes, I want that. Your business may be hampered; my business may prosper." That's it.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Cut-throat.

Prabhupāda: I want that.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Everybody admits that no one can beat us in our book distribution. Other groups, they tried to duplicate what we are doing, but they failed.

Prabhupāda: No, what they have got, books?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No, that's another thing. The other Santa Claus, they don't give anything. We give books. They give nothing except they pat the guy on the head. They pat the child. That's all. What will that help the child, patting him on the head? And another thing is that all the other Salvation Army Santa Claus, they're all drunkards.

Prabhupāda: They must be drunkards.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You know the Salvation Army is very . . . they take all the drunkards. They give them Santa suits.

Prabhupāda: If you take money without any aim, you must be drunkard.

Upendra: Without any?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Aim.

Upendra: Aim.

Prabhupāda: You must be drunkard, you must be woman-hunter, and you must be intoxicated. And that is not . . . a meat-eater. That is the whole world, going on. Not only in this planet, in upper planets. I have discussed this point in Bhāgavata. The modern economics, earning money very cheaply, has forced men to become drunkard, woman-hunters and meat-eater. But what he'll do with the money? He has no higher idea. You must utilize the money which you have got so cheaply. And in the Western countries, if you have a little business plan, you can sell any damn nonsense things and get money. Is it not? Huh?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes

Upendra: They sell . . .

Prabhupāda: No, I know that, that . . . what is that? Spectacle cleaner. It is ordinary tissue paper, and they advertise in such a way, getting money. Make any soda bicarb and advertise it as very good tonic.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah, they sell everything.

Prabhupāda: And they know the art.

Upendra: Hula hoop. Hula hoop. Many years ago they sold one plastic ring like this as a toy, and it became a craze all over America. Everyone bought little ones and big ones, called hoop, hula hoop, and they played with it, one ring, plastic ring.

Prabhupāda: There are so many things I saw. You have to know how to make people fool. This art you have to know. Then you can have money. "Moon walks."

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The government is the most expert at making people fool.

Prabhupāda: Government is doing that, giving a piece of paper, "One thousand dollars." American Express Company, giving paper only and collecting millions of dollars daily.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Just for giving paper you have to pay one percent of the value of paper. When you give your money, they give you paper. You pay one percent.

Prabhupāda: But they have created such a credit, and people are confident as soon as . . . (break) . . . present it there.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That means that our goal is not to do business. It's to enlighten people. (pause) So Vrindavan Chandra got off nicely. The train was on time, and he was very glad to receive all the prasādam. And they gave him a garland. He said he would remember everyone, such a nice visit he had. He actually enjoyed himself. I gave him the Nectar of Instruction to read. He read it.

Prabhupāda: Hindi.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No. I gave him the English edition. And he said he would write as soon as he got back. He got quite a nice send-off, four or five people. Bhagatjī, Guṇārṇava, Tamāla Nārāyaṇa, the temple commander. It's a little . . . (indistinct) . . . and they sat him down in the seat and made sure everything was all right. Everyone gives him a lot of respect. They know that he is your son, so when he walks out everybody was offering their namaskāras. (pause) Śrīla Prabhupāda? I was thinking I wanted to take a little rest.

Prabhupāda: Hmm.

Is it all right? At three o'clock I go up to Bhakti-prema's to try and understand how the universe is going on. So this is a good news, I think. Los Angeles is a good news.

Prabhupāda: Very good. Jaya. (end)