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681230 - Interview - Los Angeles
Journalist: ...and I spoke to him, and then he said we could have an interview, and...
(break) ...Cosmos. It was formerly The New Cosmic Star...
Prabhupāda: I see.
Journalist: ...and we just changed the name for January, the first issue. The first issue just, well, it's out, coming off the printer today.
Prabhupāda: It is published every monthly?
Journalist: Monthly, that's correct. That's correct. And we cover Eastern religions. We did a feature article this month on Bishop James Pike, UFOs, astrology. We have... You know Dr. Bode, Framroze Bode from the theol... He's with Manly Hall. Are you familiar with Manly Hall?
Journalist: You don't know Framroze Bode?
Journalist: He's from India. Parsee.
Journalist: Yes. He does an article for us next month.
(break) But I spoke to Dan, and I told him that one of the things I would like to ask you, and I think that an awful lot of our readers, and an awful lot of people in the United States, are terribly confused with the many people who claim to be avatāras and who come from India to this country, one after the other, after the other, and they say...
Prabhupāda: I can declare, they are all nonsense.
Journalist: That's what... I wanted to... If you could elaborate on that a little more.
Prabhupāda: And I can say furthermore, they're all rascals.
Journalist: The Maharishi, for example.
Prabhupāda: He was rascal number one. I say publicly.
Journalist: Could you explain that, give me a little background on that and why, because our readers are...
Prabhupāda: I do not know, but from his behavior I can understand he's rascal number one. I do not like to know about him, but what he did... But the wonderful thing is that people in Western countries, they're supposed to be so advanced. How they are befooled by these rascals?
Journalist: Well, I think that people believe what they want to believe. They're looking for something, and he comes along...
Prabhupāda: Yes. But they want something very cheap. That is their fault.
Prabhupāda: Now for our disciples, we don't give anything cheap. Our first condition is character, moral character. You see? So unless one is accepting moral character, we don't initiate, don't allow him in this institution. And this Maharishi was, "Oh, you do whatever you like. You simply pay me thirty-five dollars and I'll give you some mantra."
You see? So people wanted to be cheated, and so many cheaters come. They do not wish to undergo some disciplinary action. You see? Anything. They have got money. They think that "I shall pay," and immediately he'll get the money.
Journalist: Instant heaven.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is their position. Just like people are trying to go to the moon planet. I have given my opinion. You have seen in the Los Angeles Times? This chance is very remote.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Why not? Suppose in your country you have got some quota for immigration. Within this planet, if somebody comes, without your Immigration Department's order, nobody can enter. How do you expect in that planet where the people are more advanced—they are called demigods, they are living for ten thousand years—how you expect that you go and you are immediately enter into the moon planet? And they are selling tickets, reservation. Everything, they make a fun of it. You see?
Journalist: Let me understand this if I may. Are you saying that there are people on the moon?
Journalist: There are. And they are demigods?
Journalist: They are demigods. How do you know that?
Prabhupāda: From our scripture, from Vedic literature.
Journalist: From what literature?
Prabhupāda: Vedic literature.
Journalist: How do you spell that?
Journalist: Oh, Vedic. I beg your pardon.
Journalist: You'll forgive me if I...
Prabhupāda: That's all right, that doesn't...
Journalist: I don't mean to offend you.
Prabhupāda: Sometimes I do not follow your accent. That is difference of country. That doesn't matter. Yes.
Journalist: And from that literature, Vedic literature, it is stated in that, that there are people on the moon.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Journalist: But they're demigods.
Prabhupāda: The demigods means they are highly advanced than these human beings. They are also living entities like us, but their duration of life, their standard of life, their civilization, spiritual knowledge, so advanced that they are called demigods. Almost God. They are so advanced. Demigods means almost God. They have got all godly qualities, and they are controller of the atmospheric affairs. Some of them are controlling rainy season; some of them controlling heat; some...
As you have got controller here, some departmental director of this department, director of that department, similarly, why don't you think that this cosmic manifestation, there is a great brain behind it and there are different directors and there is management? People do not accept it. "Nature." What do you mean by nature? Such nice things, such wonderful things are going on automatically, without any control? You see?
Journalist: Well, I know that's a question that, of course, one asks oneself all the time, I guess. It's part of man's quest to find himself and...
Prabhupāda: But they should have common sense, that you are trying to float one sputnik, so many scientific brains are working, and millions of wonderful sputniks which are called planets, they are floating in the air—there is no brain behind it. What is this? Is that very good reasoning?
Journalist: Well I don't know. I must ponder that.
Prabhupāda: We should know it. How it can be? There must be a very big brain behind this. They are working.
Journalist: Now, do you say that the moon is, so to speak—what should I say—headquarters, where these demigods live?
Prabhupāda: No, there are many planets on the same level. There are many planets. Moon is one of them. Yes.
Journalist: Have any of these demigod creatures visited the earth or...
Prabhupāda: Formerly they used to, because at that time people were worth to see them. You see?
Journalist: When you say formerly, you mean thousands of years ago or...
Prabhupāda: No. At least five thousand years ago.
Journalist: At least five thousand years ago, the last time that any, that we would... Are they in human form?
Prabhupāda: Yes. So far we get information, sometimes great sacrifices were performed, and demigods from other planets, they were invited, and they used to come.
Journalist: Where...? Where...? And this is... Your authority for this statement is based in the Vedic literature?
Journalist: I see. I see.
Prabhupāda: It is not manufactured by me.
Journalist: Oh, I know! No! I'm not implying that. No, no. But I just want to know where the...
Prabhupāda: My authority is Vedic literature. Yes. You'll find Bhagavad-gītā... You have seen our book Bhagavad-gītā?
Journalist: Yes. We have it at the office. I've seen it.
Prabhupāda: There are descriptions. There are description of these things. There is description of another nature, which is called spiritual nature. This is material nature. The sky, as far as you can see, this is one universe. Similarly, there are millions of universes. And all these together, that is material sky. Beyond that, there is spiritual sky, which is far, far greater than this. And there are spiritual planets.
So this information we have got from Bhagavad-gītā, what to speak of other Vedic literature. Bhagavad-gītā, it is daily read by practically all over the world, but they do not understand it. Simply they become student of Bhagavad-gītā, or simply just to think falsely that "I am God." That's all. They don't take any particular information. There is a verse in the Eighth Chapter, paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ (BG 8.20): There is another nature, beyond this material nature, which is eternal. This nature is coming into existence, again dissolution, dissolution. But that nature is eternal. These things are there.
Similarly, there, planets are also eternal. There, living entities, they are also eternal. That is called sanātana. Sanātana means eternal: without any end, without any beginning. But this nature, as we have..., this body has got a beginning and it has end, similarly anything, this cosmic nature, has a beginning and it has an end. So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is how to transfer ourself to that nature, eternal nature.
Journalist: That's man's quest.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the quest. Everyone is trying to be happy because that is every living entity's prerogative. He is by nature to become happy, but he does not know where to become happy. He's trying to become happy where four things are, miserable conditions are there, namely birth, death, disease and old age. So many scientist, they are trying to become happy, to make people happy, but which scientist has tried to stop death, to stop old age, to stop disease? Has any scientist tried?
Journalist: I don't know.
Prabhupāda: Then what is this? Why do they not take consideration that "We are making so much improvement. What improvement we have done about these four things?" They have no... And still they're very much proud, advanced in education, science. But the four primary miserable conditions, they remain as they are. You see? There may be advancement in medical science, but there is no medicine which can claim, "No more disease, come on." Is there any medicine? So what is that advancement? Rather, disease are increasing in different forms.
They have invented nuclear weapon. What is that? To kill. But have you invented something so that no more men will die? That is credit. Man is dying every moment, so you have invented something to accelerate that death. That's all. Is that very, very good credit? So there is no solution of death. There is no... They are trying to stop the, I mean to say, overpopulation. But where is the solution? Every minute, there are three persons increasing. That is the statistics.
So there is no solution for birth, there is no solution for death, there is no solution for disease and there is no solution for old age. There was a great scientist, Professor Einstein, he also died in old age. Why did he not stop to check old age? Everyone is trying to remain youthful. Where is that process? So they do not care how to solve this, because this is beyond their means. They are giving something bluff, that's all. They do not care what is the real problem, how to solve it. They do not care for it.
But here is a movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. There is the real solution of all problems, if people take it seriously. Yes. And the whole thing is described in the Bhagavad-gītā. Let them try to understand it. At least, make an experiment. Why they are so much callous and going in their own way?
Journalist: Let me ask you... I have my opinion, but I want to ask you. Why do you feel that the younger people today are turning more and more toward the Eastern-oriented religions?
Prabhupāda: Because you have failed to give them satisfaction.
Journalist: You what?
Prabhupāda: You have failed to give them satisfaction. Your this materialistic way of life will no more satisfy them. There is a stage, in the beginning, when one is poverty-stricken, he may think that "Money and woman and good apartment, good car, can give me satisfaction." They are after this. But after enjoyment, they see, "Oh, there is no satisfaction." Because matter cannot satisfy you.
So your stage is, in America especially, you have got enough for enjoyment. You have got enough food, you have got enough woman, you have got enough wine, you have got enough house. Everything enough. This shows that material advancement cannot give one satisfaction. The confusion and dissatisfaction is more in your country than in India, which is said to be poverty-stricken.
You see? But you'll find in India still, although they are poverty-stricken, because they are continuing that old culture, they are not disturbed. Yes. They are dying inch by inch, but still they are satisfied: "All right." You see? Why? Because they have got little tinge of spiritual platform.
So it is necessary now that people should take spiritual life. That will make them happy. There is no hope. All these people, they're in darkness. They do not know where they are going. They have no aim. But when you are spiritually situated, you know what you are doing, where you are going, what is your future. Everything is clear. You see?
Journalist: So I'll just follow up on this very briefly. In other words, you feel that the Western-oriented church, whether it be the synagogue or a church, has failed to present... Would you say that its message is not relevant, or that they have failed to present their message properly?
Prabhupāda: No. The thing is, these Western churches, just like Christianity, these gospels were spoken long, long ago to the primitive men. You see? Jerusalem. These people were living in desert, and they were not so much advanced. So at that time... Of course, in Bible or in the Old Testament, the idea of God is there. That is all nice. But they... Just like the statement, "God created this world."
That is a fact. Now those people who are not advanced in those... Now, at the present moment, people are advanced scientifically. They want to know how the creation has taken place. You see? That explanation is not there, neither the church can give them. You see. Therefore they are not satisfied. Simply officially going to the church and offering prayer, that does not appeal to them.
Besides that, practically, they do not follow religious principles. Just like in the Old Testament there is, I mean to say, Ten Commandments, and there is commandment that "Thou shall not kill." But killing affair is very prominent in the Christian world. They are maintaining slaughterhouse very regularly, and they have manufactured a theory that animals have no soul, they do not feel—because they have to kill.
"Give the dog a bad name and hang it." Why animal cannot feel? Why you are committing these sinful activities? So the priestly class, they will not also say, they will not discuss; everyone is silent. That means deliberately, I mean to say, disobeying Ten Commandments.
So where is religious principle? If you don't obey the commandments of your scripture, does it mean that you are following religion nicely? How you can kill which you cannot create? And it is plainly stated that, "Thou shall not kill." What is the answer? Why they are killing? What is the answer? How do you answer it?
Journalist: Are you asking me?
Journalist: Well, its, obviously, "Thou shalt not kill" is an ethic, and it's timeless and it's valid. But man is not really interested in...
Prabhupāda: They are not interested in religion. It is simply a make-show, show bottle. Then how they can be happy? If you do not follow the regulative principles, then where is your religion?
Journalist: I'm not arguing with you. I couldn't agree with you more. I'm in total agreement. It doesn't make any sense. "Thou shalt not kill," "Thou shalt worship no other Gods before Me," "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's ass," "Thy shall honor thy father and thy mother," those are beautiful ethics, but they're not obeyed.
Prabhupāda: "Thou shall not kidnap your neighbor's wife."
Journalist: Wife, covet.
Prabhupāda: So who is following this?
Journalist: No one. Very few.
Prabhupāda: You see? So how you can expect they're religious. And without religion, human society is animal society.
Journalist: All right, but let me ask you this: Along this line... Now I'm not asking you...
Prabhupāda: Take it. Take it.
Journalist: Thank you. I'm not asking you any of these questions facetiously. Please understand. What does your interpretation..., or how does it differ in principle from the basic Jewish-Christian ethic of the Ten Commandments? How does it differ?
Prabhupāda: There is no difference.
Journalist: All right. Then if that's the case, what have you to offer... When I say "you," I mean it impersonally.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.
Journalist: Basically, what have you to offer that is different than the Christian ethos or the Jewish ethos?
Prabhupāda: Because, as I told you, that none of them are strictly following God's commandment. I simply come that "You follow God's commandment." That is my message.
Journalist: In other words, "You obey those principles."
Prabhupāda: I don't say that "You Christian, you become Hindu" or "You come to me." I simply say, "You obey this commandment." That is my order. I make you better Christian. That is my mission. I don't say that "God is not there; God is here," but I simply say that "You obey God."
That is my mission. I don't say that you have to come to this platform and accept Kṛṣṇa as God and no other. No. I don't say. I say, "Please obey God. Please try to love God." That is my mission. And I give the way how to love God very easily. How to love, provided you agree.
Journalist: Well, see, again we get back to this...
Prabhupāda: So practically you follow that I have no difference.
Journalist: Yes, I understand. I appreciate.
Prabhupāda: Yes. You believe in God, I believe in God. I simply say, "You try to love God."
Journalist: Well, I... I'm still... It's not that I'm confused. I understand what you're saying...
Prabhupāda: You are confused still?
Journalist: No. No. I understand what you are saying. What confuses me, or makes it... When I say "me," and so many of our readers, is why is it...? Let me ask the question again. Let me ask it maybe to become clear in my mind. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but let me say it this way.
Are you saying that if your mission and the mission of the Jewish, Christian, Western ethic is the same, again let me ask the same question: why is it that the younger people, or people in general, are disenchanted, are trying to go toward the Eastern-oriented religions if their aim or premise is the same as the Western. Why are they going toward the Eastern if the premise is the same?
Prabhupāda: Because these Christian people, they are not teaching them practically. I am teaching them practically.
Journalist: In other words, you're teaching them what you feel is a practical, everyday, daily method of obtaining this fulfillment of man's spirit.
Prabhupāda: Yes. How to... The love of Godhead is being taught by Bible or Old Testament and Gītā, that is all right. But you are not teaching them how to love God. I am teaching them how to love God. That is the difference. Therefore young people are attracted.
Journalist: All right. So the end is the same. It's the method of getting there.
Prabhupāda: Not method. You are not at all following, even the method is there. Just as I say, the method is there, "Don't kill," and you are killing.
Journalist: I see, but your... The end is the same. Your end...
Prabhupāda: End is the same.
Journalist: ...is the same, but it's the way...
Prabhupāda: Method is also same, but they are not teaching people to follow the method. I am teaching them practically how to follow and how to do it.
Journalist: Let me ask you something that we've run into a great deal just recently. We've just started a youth supplement for kids. And one of the most... What should I say? That particular thing which provides perhaps the biggest schism between man's, or at least American man's and woman's, love of God or the following of the Ten Commandments is the problem, how shall I put it, well, the sexual problem.
We here in this country are taught, and we have the Puritan background, that sex is a bad thing. And hopefully, we're coming out of it. But when young people, a person reaches the age of puberty—here in this country; I don't know from other countries—he begins to have a terrible..., obviously a terrible problem. Now I'm stating something that's obvious. We've all gone through this.
But it seems that is has been impossible for the Western churches to give to the young people something to hold on to so that they can understand, number one, that what they're feeling is a normal, beautiful thing, and number two, how to cope with it. And there is nothing in Western culture that teaches or helps a young person to cope with this thing that is a very, very difficult problem. And I went through it. We all have. Now, do you, in your message, give the young people something to hold...
Journalist: ...to hang onto, and if so, what?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes, I give.
Prabhupāda: I ask all my disciples to get married. I don't allow these boys living with boyfriend, girlfriend. No. You must get yourself married, live like gentlemen, treat your wife as assistant, treat your husband as your provider. In this way, I am teaching them.
This boy was married just four days before. He is professor. So I have got so many of my disciples married, and they are living very happily. This girl is married. Formerly, they were living with girlfriend, boyfriend. I don't allow that. I don't allow that.
Journalist: Well, let's... Let me get a little more basic. How about when someone is fourteen, fifteen, sixteen years old?
Prabhupāda: The same thing. Of course, another thing is that we teach our boys to become brahmacārī. Brahmacārī. Brahmacārī means how to live the life of celibacy.
Prabhupāda: Just Howard explain brahmacārī life.
Journalist: Yes, I understand.
Hayagrīva: Well, it's control of the senses, and he teaches us how to control the senses. Generally, marriage doesn't take place until a boy is about twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-five.
Journalist: You mean in his culture.
Prabhupāda: Yes. We select girl, say, about sixteen, seventeen years old, and boys not more than twenty-four years old. I get them married. You see? And because their attention is diverted to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they have very little interest simply for sex life. You see? They have got better engagement. Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate (BG 2.59). You see? We give substitute. We simply don't say that "You don't do it," but we give something better. You see? Then automatically the "don't" automatically comes. You see?
Journalist: At the right time.
Prabhupāda: Immediately. We give something better engagement.
Journalist: What is this?
Prabhupāda: Just like our boys and girls, they are all engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness business—in temple work, in painting, in typing, in recording, so many things. And they are happy. They are not going to cinema, they are not going to club, they are not drinking, they are not smoking.
So practically I am training them how to control. And there is possibility, because these boys and girls, they are all Americans. They are not imported from India. Why they have taken to this? The system is so nice that they have liked it. So if you spread this system, everything will be solved.
Journalist: So, well, then it...
Prabhupāda: We don't prohibit that you don't mix with woman or you stop sex life. We don't say that. But we make everything regulated under Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Their aim is higher. These are all secondary platform. So in this way, everything is nice.
Journalist: Is this what Gandhi did?
Prabhupāda: Huh? What Gandhi knew? He was a politician. He did not know anything about this culture.
Journalist: Well, I read that when he was thirty-six years old he became a celibate, and that was it.
Prabhupāda: That is... Of course, he had some Hindu cultural ideas. That is nice. He began celibacy. That's all right. But Gandhi had no very advanced spiritual ideas. You see? He was more or less politician, statesman. Yes. That's all.
Journalist: Yes. A very courageous man. Well, the answer seems very pat, so to speak, and if it's that...
Prabhupāda: Now, if you cooperate, then I can change the whole thing in your country. They will be very happy. Their everything will be very nice. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is so nice—provided you cooperate. Nobody is cooperating.
Simply these boys, they have kindly come to me and cooperating. So my movement is progressing, but very slowly. But if the leaders of the American people, they come and they try to understand and they try to introduce this system, oh, your country will be the nicest country in the world.
Journalist: (to Hayagrīva:) You... How long have you been involved with this?
Hayagrīva: Two and a half years.
Journalist: Two and a half years? How old are you, if I may ask?
Hayagrīva: I'm twenty-eight.
Journalist: You're twenty-eight. Now, has this sort of turned you around?
Hayagrīva: Ah, considerably. (laughs)
Journalist: From a practical standpoint, how is this sexual thing that the Svāmī was talking about, how has this affected you? Have you found that there is efficacy in that which has been..., we were just talking about? 'Cause to me it's a very paramount problem in terms of young people.
Hayagrīva: Well, there are desires, and we have so many desires. And the sexual desire is perhaps one of our strongest desires. So...
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.
Hayagrīva: So these desires are channeled, so to speak. They are redirected, and they are directed toward Kṛṣṇa.
Journalist: Well, I understand that, but I'm saying is it efficacious? Does it work?
Hayagrīva: Yes, it works. It works. But you have to stick with it. It can be very difficult, especially at first, but it works. You have to resolve to make it work. You have to want it to work.
Journalist: I want to understand this thoroughly. In other words, it's nothing that you feel that you're giving up.
Hayagrīva: No. It's that when you see something better...
Journalist: That's what I'm... That's what I mean. That's...
Prabhupāda: Yes. You are accepting something better.
Journalist: Better. That's, yes. Not by just biting your tongue or your lip, saying, "I won't touch it, I won't touch it." There is a substitute.
Hayagrīva: It's not... You're not... You have a capacity for enjoyment, and you're not going to give up something... It's very human not to give up something unless you have something better. So the case is that you have to get something better than what you want to give up.
Journalist: How long have you been here, sir?
Prabhupāda: I came here in September 1965. And then I was little indisposed in May 1967, I think. Then I went back to India. Then again I came back in December 1967, just one year past.
Journalist: Yes, I see. Why did you come here?
Prabhupāda: Because I want to give this culture to the world, and my idea is that America is advanced country; if they accept it, then it will be possible to broadcast the idea throughout the whole world. That is my idea. But I am hopeful now, because these educated young Americans, they are taking serious interest to this movement. And we are publishing papers, books, and they are writing very nicely.
So I am old man—I may die—but I have implanted the idea. It will go on. It will go on, and they will be accepted. That experiment is done. If it is nicely propagated, then it will be accepted without any fail. And these boys who have come to me, they have taken seriously. So I am hopeful.
Journalist: I saw your magazine. It's a beautiful magazine.
Prabhupāda: Back to Godhead?
Journalist: Oh, yes. A beautiful magazine.
Prabhupāda: Thank you very much. Thank you.
Journalist: Beautiful thing. Where is that done?
Prabhupāda: It is published in New York.
Journalist: In New York. I saw the latest issue. Beautiful. Ah, how many people are in the movement, if I may ask? Approximately?
Prabhupāda: I have got about a little more than one hundred disciples who are strictly following my regulative principles.
Journalist: One hundred.
Prabhupāda: Yes. In different branches. I have got about thirteen branches. Some of the disciples are working in London.
Journalist: In London.
Prabhupāda: Yes. They are doing very nice. They are all married couples. I got them married. Yes. I got them married. They're young boys, all within thirty. My oldest disciple, he is twenty-eight. Otherwise, twenty-five, twenty-four. Utmost thirty.
And similarly, girls; you have seen this girl. You see. So I get them, make them happy in married life. Their mentality is... They are not after so-called puffed-up life. They can live very simply, with the least demand of bodily necessities, but thinking very high of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So I am very hopeful that even I die... Because I am old man, seventy-three years old. I may die at any moment. But I am now assured my movement will go on. These boys will carry it. That, my mission, is in that way successful. I came here with this idea, that this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement should be started from America.
Because anything accepted by America, people follow, because America is considered to be the... Actually, America is not a poverty-stricken country. So they can very easily understand; they can take it. And there are many confused youths. So with all these consideration, I came here, and I think I'm successful. Yes.
Journalist: Doesn't seem like very many converts in that amount of time. How many followers other... (sneezes) Pardon me, please.
Prabhupāda: That's all right.
Journalist: How many followers are there, then, within...? Just a hundred?
Prabhupāda: Little more than hundred.
Hayagrīva: These are initiates, who are strictly following. Of course, there are more and more people come to the temples. More people join us.
Journalist: How many temples are there?
Prabhupāda: We have got thirteen temples.
Journalist: How many?
Prabhupāda: Thirteen. One in this Los Angeles, one San Francisco, one New York, one Santa Fe, one Buffalo, one Boston, one Montreal, one Vancouver, and...
Prabhupāda: ...Columbus, and then London, Hamburg. In this way there are... Hawaii.
Journalist: Well, there's got to be more than a hundred people in thirteen temples. More than a hundred?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes, more than a hundred. Yes. About a...
Hayagrīva: I don't know.
Prabhupāda: Yes, I have got list. There are more than hundred.
Hayagrīva: Must be at least, because that would only be an average of ten per temple.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Here we have got about twenty heads in this temple.
Journalist: About twenty here. Where does the money come from to print Godhead?
Prabhupāda: God sends. (laughs)
Journalist: Well, yes, I was pretty sure of that, but God doesn't write checks and stuff like that. I'm just sort of curious. And I must say that one of...
Prabhupāda: God dictates you, and you pay. That's all.
Journalist: I must say that that answer to that question is a very ambivalent answer.
Prabhupāda: (chuckling) Yes. I came here... You will be surprised. I came here with seven dollars only, and the whole establishment expenditure is not less than, I think, five thousand dollars monthly. At least.
Journalist: That's sixty thousand a year. What I mean, is it donated?
Prabhupāda: Five thousand is very minimal. I think it is more than that.
Hayagrīva: I have no idea.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Because we are paying... This temple, we are paying four hundred, simply rent. Similarly, each and every place we are paying three hundred, four hundred, rent.
Journalist: Well, do people come to the services who are not disciples and devotees?
Prabhupāda: Yes. No, we allow everyone, "Come on, chant. Take prasādam." We offer this prasādam. "Chant, dance, hear Bhagavad-gītā and take prasādam, and go home."
Journalist: In other words, if they want to donate something, they donate.
Prabhupāda: Yes. We ask donation, that "We are simply depending on donation. If you like, you can pay." People pay. Yes.
Journalist: Yes. Is that how the magazine is published?
Prabhupāda: Magazine also, we take to the market and put it for sale. People purchase. So actually we have no steady fund.
Journalist: Oh, you don't.
Prabhupāda: No. We simply depending on Kṛṣṇa. But by the grace of Kṛṣṇa, our movement is increasing. It is not decreasing.
Journalist: That's good. That's fine. I am just, you know, I am curious about this, because it's a beautiful magazine.
Prabhupāda: So try to help us.
Prabhupāda: Try to help this movement. Your America, there are so many rich men. If somebody comes and helps this movement, one or two, we can make very steady progress. We have no money. We are struggling very hard. You see? This boy is a professor in the Ohio University. So whatever he's earning, he's spending for this.
Similarly, all the boys, whatever they earn, they spend. But that is not sufficient, you see? We require to make propaganda. We cannot sufficiently publish this magazine. We want to publish it at least fifty thousand per month, but there is no money. You see? We are publishing utmost five thousand. (conchshell blowing)
Journalist: Who's blowing the shofar?
Journalist: I thought it was a shofar.
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Prabhupāda: Chauffeur? No?
Journalist: The Jewish ram's horn.
Prabhupāda: This conchshell sounding is considered auspicious. Yes. Actually it is conchshell sounding. Yes. So after offering prayer to the Lord, we bugle this conchshell.
Journalist: I guess I've really asked the main question. Not the main question, but the thing I want to know was, again, was why this..., and about people like the Maharishi, which turned me off and so many people. My daughter was very involved in that kind of thing for awhile, and she's terribly disillusioned.
Prabhupāda: Yes. The psychology is that your people, all the Western people, especially youngsters, they are hankering after something. You see? But the difficulty is... Just like me. If somebody comes, "Swāmījī, initiate me," I immediately say that "You have to follow these four principles," oh, he goes away. And this Maharishi, he did not put any restriction. You see? Just like a physician, if he says that "You can do whatever you like. You simply take my medicine, you'll be cured," that physician will be very much liked. You see?
Journalist: Yes. He'll kill a lot of people, but he's very liked.
Prabhupāda: Yes. (laughs) And a physician which says, "Oh, you cannot do this, you cannot do this, you cannot eat this," it is a botheration. So they want something. That is a fact. But at the same time, they want it very cheap. Therefore the cheaters come and cheat them. They take the opportunity: "These people want to be cheated. Oh, let us take the advantage." You see?
Otherwise, they are advising that "You are God. Everyone is God. You just realize yourself. You have forgotten. You take this mantra, and you become God, and you become powerful. Whatever you like, you can control." And there is no control of senses: "You can drink, you can have unrestricted sex life and whatever you like."
People like this. "Oh, simply by fifteen minutes' meditation, I shall become God, and I have to pay only thirty-five dollars." So, many millions of people will be ready, "Oh, let me." I need, thirty-five dollars in your country is not... But that much, thirty-five multiplied by million, it becomes thirty-five million dollars. (laughs)
And we are crying here, because we cannot bluff. We say that if you actually want, you have to follow these restriction. We cannot allow you that the commandment is "You shall not kill," and I shall say, "Yes, you can kill. The animal has no feeling. The animal has no soul." We cannot bluff in this way. You see?
Journalist: Well that's just about it, that I wanted to know. It's a shame that this kind of thing, as I say, has turned off an awful lot of kids, a lot of very disenchanted young people, because...
Prabhupāda: So please try to help us. This movement is very nice. It will help the humanity. It will help your country, the whole human society. It is a genuine movement. There is nothing bluff, nothing cheating. It is authorized. So I'll request you, because...
Journalist: Authorized by whom?
Prabhupāda: Authorized from Kṛṣṇa.
Journalist: Is there in India a licensing body by the state for people to preach or to... How in the heck would you say it here?
Prabhupāda: It was not there, because in India there are so many churches, and they're supposed to be very saintly person. So simply to become a disciple of a saintly person is sufficient certificate. Just like in your country, marriage requires certificate.
In India, still, there is no certificate. The boys and girls, they are seated, and before the relatives and priest and elderly person, they are offered. I am doing that. There is no certificate. But still their connection is lifelong. What certificate will do?
That ceremony is so nice, the wife takes "My husband for life" and the husband takes wife, "She is my companion for life." They cannot separate. There is no history in India that there was a certificate issued. No. But still, their connection is so nice, that lifelong. N
ow, they are being Westernized, especially I am very sorry to say that lately our so-called Westernized leaders, they are introducing this Hindu code bill, this marriage certificate, this and that. But formerly they weren't existing.
Journalist: Is there much divorce in India?
Prabhupāda: Yes. The modern, so-called advanced boys and girls, they are now after divorce.
Journalist: But before that...
Prabhupāda: But before that, even there was misunderstanding between husband and wife, quarrel, there was no question of divorce. Take for my life, practical. I was a householder. Now I have given up. So practically I did not agree with my wife, but there was no dream of divorcing. You see? Neither she dreamt, neither I dreamt. This was unknown. Now they are being introduced.
Journalist: Yeah. Western culture.
Prabhupāda: Ah, yes.
Journalist: Do you have much of a following in India itself?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Not my personal, but my other Godbrothers, this cult is very good.
Journalist: How many..., how many...
Prabhupāda: Oh, millions. We have got, this Vaiṣṇava philosophy, the Kṛṣṇa consciousness, millions and millions. Almost all. Eighty percent. You ask any Indian, and he'll talk so many things about Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He may not be my disciple, but there are many saintly person like me, they are doing this business.
Journalist: Did you get formal training with a...
Prabhupāda: Yes, I was initiated by my Guru Mahārāja. His..., here is that, my spiritual master's photo.
Journalist: Oh, I see.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So when your country wanted a certificate for making me permanent resident, so I got a certificate from my Godbrothers that I am initiated. That's all. But otherwise, in our country, there is no necessity of certificate.
Journalist: In other words, there's nothing like going to a seminary in India, where you go to a seminary or a monastery and take a course for four years...
Prabhupāda: No, this is monastery. Yes, there is a monastery. We have got institution, Gauḍīya Math Institution. They have got hundreds of branches. Yes.
Journalist: You go for a prescribed course of study?
Prabhupāda: Yes, prescribed course of study, these two, three books, that's all. Anyone can read—Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Caitanya-caritāmṛta. You'll learn everything. You haven't got to learn so many huge volumes of books.
Because Bhagavad-gītā is such nice book, if you can understand one line, you advance hundred years. You see? So, I mean to say, meaningful and so solid. Therefore we have published this Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. Let your people read it, let them question, and try to understand what is this movement.
Journalist: Macmillan is publishing this one.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Macmillan is publishing.
Journalist: Now, when you... Do you go to this institute for a certain period of time?
Prabhupāda: There is no fixed period. No. But, say, for me, I was trained... My father was of this line...
Journalist: Oh, your father...
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. My father trained me from childhood. Yes. And then I met my spiritual master in 1922, and I was initiated in 19... On the whole there was a background, because as I told you, eighty, ninety percent people are Kṛṣṇa conscious by family-wise. You see?
So we were trained up from the beginning of our life. Officially, of course, I accepted my spiritual master in 1933. Since then, I had some background, and since I met, I developed this idea. Yes.
Journalist: I see, I see. So you have been, in a sense, spreading this word since 1933 on your own.
Prabhupāda: No. I'm spreading as missionary since nineteen hundred..., practically since '59.
Journalist: Fifty-nine. I see. What did you do from the time...
Prabhupāda: I was a householder. I was doing business in medicine. Formerly, I was manager in a big chemical firm. But I was cultivating this knowledge although I was householder. I was publishing this Back to Godhead...
Journalist: So you were publishing that...
Prabhupāda: In India.
Journalist: Oh, I see.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. I started in 1947, under the order of my spiritual master. So whatever I was earning, I was spending. Yes. I was not getting any return, but I was distributing. So I was doing this business since a long time. But actually, after giving up all connection with my family, I'm doing this work since 1959.
Journalist: Do you have children?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. I have got grown-up boys.
Journalist: You just left them?
Prabhupāda: Yes. I have got my wife, my grandchildren, everyone, but I have no connection with them. They are doing their own way. My wife is entrusted to the elderly boys. Yes.
Journalist: Well, is that a...? I mean, I find that sort of difficult to assimilate, to give up your family and just sort of say, "See you later."
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes, that is the Vedic regulation. Everyone should give up family connection at a certain age, after the age of fifty. One should not remain in family life. That is Vedic culture. Not that up to death one is in family-wise. No. That is not good.
Journalist: Can you explain that?
Prabhupāda: First of all, a boy is trained as brahmacārī, spiritual life. Then he is advised not to enter family life. But if he is unable to control his sex life, he is allowed, "All right. You get yourself married." Then he remains in family life. So he marries at the age of twenty-four or twenty-five. Twenty-five years, let him enjoy sex life. In the meantime, he gets some elderly children.
So at the age of fifty, the husband and wife goes away from the home and they travel in all places of pilgrimage, just to detach them from family affection. In this way, when the man is little more advanced, he asks his wife that "You go and take care of the family, and your sons, grown-up, they'll take care of you. Let me take sannyāsa." So he becomes alone and preaches the knowledge which he has acquired.
This is Vedic civilization. Not that a man should remain in family life from birth to death. No. In Buddhism also there is compulsory regulative principle that a Buddhist must become a sannyāsī at least for ten years.
Journalist: Hmm. I didn't know that.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Because the whole idea is how to attain spiritual perfection. So if one remains in his family life, encumbered, he cannot make any spiritual advancement. But if the family also, whole family, is Kṛṣṇa conscious, then it is helpful. But that is very rare. Because the husband may be Kṛṣṇa conscious, the wife may not be. But the culture was so nice that everyone remained Kṛṣṇa conscious.
Journalist: Do you think that, really, from a very practical standpoint, do you think that your movement has a chance to make it here in America?
Prabhupāda: So far I've seen it has great chance. What do you think?
Journalist: (to Hayagrīva:) From a very pragmatic standpoint, what do you think? Really?
Hayagrīva: Yes, it has possibilities. I don't know about on a wide scale, but it definitely has possibilities. Especially in, I think in these areas, in the cities.
Journalist: Cosmopolitan areas.
Hayagrīva: Of course, we're also starting a community in West Virginia.
Journalist: You are? Why West Virginia?
Hayagrīva: Well, this is where we're starting. I've just started it with others' help.
Journalist: You're starting it?
Prabhupāda: He has secured a land, about 138 acres.
Journalist: May I ask you why you picked West Virginia? (break)
Hayagrīva: Well, it's mountainous and it's very economical living there.
Journalist: Yes, it is mountainous. Well, I mean there's mountains here, too. I'm not being facetious. Again, I'm just curious.
Hayagrīva: No, it's very economical living there, and it's also nicely located because we have temples in New York and in other areas in the east. So it's sort of, like, between the east and the west, so it's sort of centrally...
Prabhupāda: And one thing is that main supporter is he. He is working in Ohio University. He's nearer.
Journalist: Where are you?
Hayagrīva: In the Ohio..., Ohio State University.
Journalist: That's where you teach? How come you're not teaching now?
Hayagrīva: Well, I'm... This is Christmas vacation.
Journalist: Oh, you're on vacation. You have tickets to the ball game?
Journalist: Oh. What the heck. I come all the way down here, and you can't get me a ticket to the ball game.
Hayagrīva: Ohio State. Yes, they're playing the game here.
Journalist: Do you think?
Hayagrīva: I know. That Rose Bowl game.
Journalist: Yeah, I would feel that you had not attained that level of being out of it yet that you wouldn't know that. I really think I've asked most of the questions that I want to ask. I really sort of knew the answers—the ultimate of the answer, that is. I can't really think of much else to say or to ask.
Have you anything that you'd like to say that may be of some kind of revelation to me or to our readers, or something that... You know, what you're really saying, there's no easy way out. (laughs) If man is to attain any goal in his quest for fulfillment, he's got to work at it, is really what it amounts to. So your message is really no different from that of Moses or Christ or any of the other great religious leaders. If people will follow the ethic of the Ten Commandments, and follow it, that's where it is.
Prabhupāda: We ask people... That. We don't say that "You give up your this religion. You come to us." But at least you follow your own principles. And... Just like a student. Sometimes in India it happens that they, although they have passed M.A. examination in Indian university, they come to foreign university to study more. So why does he come? To get more enlightenment.
Similarly, any religious scripture you may follow, but if you get more enlightenment here in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, why should you not accept it if you are serious about God? Why should you say, "Oh, I am Christian," "I am Jew. I cannot attend your meeting"? Why should you say, "Oh, I cannot allow you to speak in my church"? If I am speaking about God, what objection you have got?
Journalist: Well, I couldn't agree with you more. I'm sure you know, and I'm certainly aware, that it's only recently that, for example, a Catholic couldn't even come in here because of some other church. That's changed.
Prabhupāda: Now I have written one letter to Pope. You have seen that? (aside) Where is that paper?
Hayagrīva: It's in here.
Journalist: Oh, a letter to the Pope. Did he answer it?
Prabhupāda: I have not received any answer. (aside) Is it in this paper? No, not in this paper. Where is the latest? Who is there? Ask to bring one latest. Bring one latest.
Devotee: One's coming.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So we just (sent) that letter, but unfortunately, I have received no reply. How is that?
Journalist: I guess he doesn't figure that you're of sufficient importance for him to deign a reply, I guess. That's about the way I figure it. They don't..., are inclined not to give credence to too much that isn't of his own doing or making or something.
Prabhupāda: Do you think that is very nice? Just... Will you read or..., read this. Read it. (pause)
Journalist: What is the "renounced order"?
Prabhupāda: Renounced, this is renounced. I have no family connection.
Journalist: Oh, oh. (pause as journalist reads letter)
Prabhupāda: I used to cooperate with everyone, but they are declining. What can I do? I am prepared to talk with any God conscious man. Let us chalk out a program so that people may be benefited. But they want to go in their own stereotyped way. The Pope himself is harassed by the contraceptive proposal. People want sanction from him to use unrestricted contraceptive method.
(break) If we see that following a particular type of religious principle one is developing his love of Godhead, that is first-class religion. But if one is developing his love for demon or mammon, then where is the religion?
Journalist: True. Eh, no.
Prabhupāda: (laughs) You see. That is our test. If you have developed... We don't say that you follow Christianism or Muhammadanism or Jewism or Hinduism—we don't say. Whether you are developing your love of Godhead. But they deny, "Oh, I am God. Who is God? I am God." You see? Everyone is taught nowadays that everyone is God. Just see how fun. Everyone is God. Do you think like that?
Journalist: You know from Meher Baba?
Prabhupāda: He is also another rascal. He is preaching this, that everyone is God.
Journalist: He says he's God.
Prabhupāda: He's God. Just see. This is going on.
Journalist: Do you know him? Have you ever seen him?
Prabhupāda: I have heard his name. I don't care to know these people. He's making some propaganda he's God.
Journalist: He says he hasn't spoken in forty years, forty-five years.
Prabhupāda: That means people do not know what is God. Suppose if I come to you, if I say I am President Johnson, will you accept me?
Journalist: No, (laughing) I don't think I would.
Prabhupāda: But these people, rascals, will accept him as God because they do not know what is God. That is the defect. We know what is God; therefore we cannot accept any rascal declaring that he's God. That is the difference.
Journalist: Well it's just absolutely absurd that somebody comes out and tells you he's God.
Prabhupāda: But how much rascal he is who accepts him as God. He's rascal number one. He is a cheater, and the man who is cheated, he is also another rascal. He does not know what is God. Anybody comes as God, as God has become so cheap it can be available in the market, everywhere.
Journalist: Well, of course, the Western concept that man is created in the image of God, consequently God must look like man, kind of thing, therefore any man can be God or...
Prabhupāda: That's all right. You have got so many scientists. Just find out what is the image of God, whether his form is not... Where is that department? You have no such department. You have got so many department, technology department, this department. Where is that department what is God to know? Is there any department of knowledge?
Journalist: I don't know if... There's no God department working tonight, I'll tell you that right now.
Prabhupāda: That is the difficulty. And here is. Here is. The Kṛṣṇa conscious movement is the department of knowledge how to know God. Then he will not accept any rascal as God; he will accept only God as God.
Journalist: I dont suppose it comes under the Department of Defence.
Prabhupāda: I am simply surprised that how people accept any man, who comes and proposes that I am God you are God. They have know conception. In this paper also there is interview with that boy. What is that boy? He said everyone is God. If everyone is God then what is the meaning of God?
Journalist: Well as I say I couldn't agree with you more, but ah, sure its amazing to me—see that's why I come to ask you. You know what, what is all this thing about. We get... In our paper, we must have. I couldn't tell you how many letters. If we have a disciples of—of guys you never—you know every week there is another guy that's coming down the pike you know. Here comes God he's got this to say and this ones got this to say and this ones got this to say. Meher Baba so they are running out your ears. You know they are all over the place.
Prabhupāda: Meher Baba is here?
Journalist: No, no he's not here. But, I mean I'm talking about we have readers who are constantly making us aware of this Avatar and that Avatar, Avatar, Avatar, Avatar you know you get tired of it after awhile. Oh my God!
Prabhupāda: So at least this is a place where you want get such ideas. We don't say like that.
Journalist: It's terrible and its an indication to me... Of course, that doesn't make me any genius and dunce can figure this out. But, its an indication of a terrible situation in terms of confusion. People are searching very, very much and they don't want to record our office in a state of panic.
Prabhupāda: So what do you think of us? What do you think of us? What is your...
Journalist: What is my opinion?
Journalist: Well I think you have got. You know what you are saying is nice and it's meaningful. But I don't think its any more than what perhaps the Code of Hammurabi or what Moses got from God on Sinai or what Jesus Christ said, its...
Prabhupāda: Yes, every God conscious person will say the same thing. Every God conscious person will say that God is worshipable. He does not pose himself as God, you see. Actually one is—one who is actually God conscious he will never say that I am God. He will say just love God or worship God, that is the difference.
Journalist: Yeah, well that's you know. My particular religious beliefs are. I've always been considered a black sheep anyway. I'm sort of considered an odd duck, I don't care everybody's can have his own thing thats his own bag. Fine, of course, it's difficult for me make any kind of a judgment about your particular kind of a thing. It would hardly be worthy of me to sit here and make a judgment. But, based on what you told me your message is love. That's all you are preaching is love is that right.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That's all, love of God. Yes.
Journalist: Love of God. And through God in the manifestation the purest thing that man can be. This what God is and I'm all for that. I think that's great. It beats the hell out of Vietnam I'll tell you that right now. I like it, its great.
Prabhupāda: So please try to help us, this movement.
Journalist: Well I certainly shall. I'll certainly put this in the paper and if it helps through that particular medium why I, I you know that would please me. You have certainly been very kind and I appreciate talking to you and I'd be most anxious to see what becomes of the movement say in six months Do you intend to stay here in Los Angeles or are you traveling?
Prabhupāda: I am traveling but I am still here. At least for one or two months.
Journalist: I see. But, you will go from Temple to Temple?
Prabhupāda: Yes I am preparing to go to Hawaii, then I may come back again here and from here I may go to New Vrindavan and then there, from there I may go to London because I have got so many branches. So I have to travel.
Journalist: I see. Now when you... so who is heading up the various, the other twelve.
Prabhupāda: All my students just like yes. I train my and give in charge and he conducts.
Journalist: I see. Is there a formalized service?
Prabhupāda: Oh yes.
Journalist: Conducted daily or...
Prabhupāda: Daily twice.
Journalist: Oh twice a day.
Prabhupāda: Not twice rather four, five times, yes.
Journalist: I see. I see. Very interesting.
Prabhupāda: We are living in God. Simply not...
Journalist: You are doing a daily thing.
Prabhupāda: Yes. We are eating Gods prasādam. We are talking of God, singing of God.
Hayagrīva: I will say this. It's a little different. The scriptures are somewhat different. Scriptures are more complete and I think more intellectually satisfying to modern man than say the other scriptures which tend to be somewhat historical.
Journalist: You mean you are talking about the Testaments. This is apposed to the Western Testaments you mean.
Hayagrīva: There more scientific than the ones...
Journalist: You talking about a la the Adam and Eve story kind of thing you mean.
Hayagrīva: Yes as opposed to that kind of a story. These are more timeless in one sense. In other words, it's as timely now.
Journalist: It's as meaningful right now.
Hayagrīva: You don't have to have any historical background at all. So in that sense, it's more complete it tells you more about what your relationship is within the universes. What God's relationship is to the universe, in this way.
Journalist: Does it assume is it all premised upon a belief in God?
Hayagrīva: Oh yes. All this is belief but its actual—actually tells you going to experience this.
Journalist: In others words, if one does not believe in God and he picked this up he could, he could experience this to prove then for himself that there was one.
Hayagrīva: Whether he believes it or not it tells him how in other words whether he believes its New York City or not it tells him how to get there by following this such and such... there are so many ways about four or five ways in Bhagavad-gītā how you can get to Kṛṣṇa.
And there are different ways for people with differant types of human nature. So if one way doesn't work for one man another way will work for another. A way of action and there is a way of meditation. And there is way of wordings(?) so many ways to approach Kṛṣṇa.
Journalist: And how long have you been involved in this thing?
Hayagrīva: Almost two, two and a half years.
Prabhupāda: Since I've craft(?). He is my first student.
Journalist: Oh really!
Prabhupāda: Yes (laughing). Yes.
Journalist: That's terrific. And have you—you have demonstrated for yourself then that this has efficacy and meaning.
Hayagrīva: Oh yes. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. The further you travel the road the closer you get. There is no doubt to that.
Journalist: That's marvelous that really is.
Hayagrīva: But there is know easy, there is know easy way and I know that a lot of the young people now are taking LSD to get there easy. A five dollar trip they can get to God. This hasn't proved itself to be really the case. So a lot of it is just a five dollar trip to insane asylum for many.
Journalist: Yeah I know. I did a motion picture on the hippies I was very close to... I thought that the acid thing was sort of past though.
Hayagrīva: There is know easy way out. There is know easy way out. You have to travel the road.
Prabhupāda: But you take it seriously it is very easy, yes. It is easier the same time.
Hayagrīva: Yeah. It's just joyful, just joyful. It maybe like Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā says its like poison in the beginning. Maybe like poison in the beginning but nectar at the end. Because to other forms of happiness are like nectar in the beginning but their poison at the end.
So LSD is like nectar, in the beginning, poison at the end, you know. This is like maybe like poison at the beginning and nectar at the end. Poison at the beginning because we have to withdraw from so many sense objects.
Journalist: Right, so many what?
Hayagrīva: All sense gratification. You know, activities we are...
Journalist: Yes, yes, yes. Well I, ok I... (break) (end)