Room Conversation
with Two Buddhist Monks
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
July 12, 1973, London

Buddhist Monk (1): …living religion…

Prabhupada: Yes.

Buddhist Monk (1): …without which we cannot go very much further.

Prabhupada: This is humanity.

Buddhist Monk (1): Yes, humanity. I was in Hrishikesh and five or six times in India. So that is why,… Wherever possible, I lived with them, not for long times. A day or two or three or a week at most. Share our spiritual food together.

Prabhupada: So far hospitality is concerned, according to Vedic culture, Indian homes were open for everyone, even for the enemies. Grhe satrum api praptam visvastam akutobhayam. If one gets an enemy at his home as guest, he should receive him in such a way that the man would forget about his enmity with him. Grhe satrum api praptam visvastam akutobhayam. So these are preliminary human behavior. Even without any understanding of spiritual values, they are expected to behave nicely.

Buddhist Monk (1): Yes. It is very easy to love someone who loves you. But real purified, selfless love is to radiate it without any discrimination, both to the person who loves and to…

Prabhupada: Yes, therefore I said…

Buddhist Monk (1): …whom does not love you. That is the beginning…

Prabhupada: Therefore I said.

Buddhist Monk (1): …of that good hospitality. That’s real hospitality.

Prabhupada: Yes, that is… That I said, Grhe satrum api praptam. Even one gets an enemy, he should be also be received.

Buddhist Monk (1): He’s come to your place and treat him with all the respect and courtesy…

Prabhupada: Yes.

Buddhist Monk (1): …and that loving kindness.

Prabhupada: From Mahabharata we can understand that when Bhima, Arjuna and Krsna went to Jarasandha to fight with him, enemy, so in the daytime they were fighting like enemies, and at night Krsna, Bhima and Arjuna were guests in the house of the same Jarasandha.

Buddhist Monk (1): Yes.

Prabhupada: Yes. At night they were guests. They were talking very friendly, and there is no enmity. But in daytime they’ll fight. (laughter)

Buddhist Monk (1): Yes. Gautama the Buddha, whom I follow, who is my teacher, a poor man came, and he found him panting, asked him, “Well, what’s the trouble?” “Oh, I’ve got news that you’re here. I want to see you.” And the Buddha found that not only had he run… He asked him, “When did you last have a meal?” He said, “That’s quite a few days ago.” He said, “We cannot preach on empty stomachs. Ananda, give this man a good meal before he could come to me.” And this fine virtue of hospitality, much as we have treasured in the past, when people leave their shores, they are inclined to forget this. I’ve been addressing various groups. I do not confine myself to Buddhist groups only. Whatever group was interested, to foster some understanding, good will and peace, I addressed. I said three things that many people forget when they leave their countries are first, their serene smile; secondly, hospitality; thirdly, they become ashamed of their own cultures because many are strangers of their own cultures.

Prabhupada: Hm.

Buddhist Monk (1): I had last time an opportunity before coming to Southampton, I addressed some people from Sri Lanka, and there were some people from Canada as well at Montreal. And I pointed this out. In this light, I find almost all the teachers that come from that part of the world and their followers are trying to live up to this noble virtue. And if people get together, live together and have meals, perhaps even that…

Prabhupada: So these devotees, they have not been separately instructed about hospitality. But because they are devotees of the Lord, this hospitality automatically they learn. Yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah. If one becomes perfectly a devotee of the Lord, all the good qualities of demigods manifest automatically. The hospitality is also a good quality. So out of many good qualities, this is one of them. So these devotees, they are automatically well-behaving to the guests, newcomers on account of their advancement in Krsna consciousness. Because a Krsna conscious person takes everyone, not only human being, but even animals, insects, trees, birds, beasts, everyone, living entities, as part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. So it is their duty to behave well with all living entities. Not only the human beings, but also even with the animals. Ahimsa. Amanitvam adambhitvam ahimsa ksantir arjavam. The ahimsa preached by Lord Buddha, that is also one of the qualifications of devotee. Amanitvam adambhitvam ahimsa. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. So we are preaching… Every religion preaches, but people do not follow. The Christian religion also preaches ahimsa: “Thou shall not kill,” but they do not follow.

Buddhist Monk (1): Yes, we, as followers of the Buddha, take it from this angle, that this mental process, which is normally subject to lobha, dosa and moha, we have to purify this mental process from these defilements and substitute liberality, including hospitality and loving kindness and wisdom. It’s not only a process of purifying. It is a parallel purpose of bidding good will.

Prabhupada: Hm.

Buddhist Monk (1): According to us, if we know how to live together, eat together in a cooperative spirit, we are not going to violate the five fundamental precepts, starting with (Sanskrit or Pali:) panatipata o ermani siksa patan samanti ami, (?) that is, not to cause any hurt to any mentally conscious living being.

Prabhupada: Hm.

Buddhist Monk (1): And ahimsa paramo dharmah, nonviolence is the highest righteousness. And from this can come so much good. If we love each other, we express that love in its purest form by sharing, and if we share, we are not going to steal anything from someone else, we’re not going to commit adultery, we’re not going to say lies, and we’ll not be under the influence of narcotics and so on. So that’s that purification process, which is very, very powerful, not only for oneself, but the society in which it is used. So this is why I emphasize this virtue, and wherever I go, I try to meet within the limitations of time and transport…

Prabhupada: Where you are staying here? London?

Buddhist Monk (1): That has become a little difficult because… It’s difficult. We didn’t know these asramas, and we came yesterday. The Guru Nanak temple people made arrangements for our transport. We were staying with them for one week, and they looked after us dearly, and they made arrangements for our transport to come here. Some people were coming on some other business. So they brought us. So it was not much time. So we met a person in the street, and we told them that we are looking after a place to stay. And that person said, “Well, it’s difficult here.” Then I asked about two or three, and we had some addresses and they were far away. Then we met a friendly gentleman who was just reversing his car. He was smiling. And we smiled. We said, “Well, could you tell us a small place to pitch a tent.” We carry a small tent. We said, “For a day or two…” He asked me how long. I said, “Just to find some breathing space at least.” So we have pitched up a small tent in a private garden. That’s somewhere in Cheswick Lane.

Prabhupada: Where it is?

Hamsaduta: Cheswick Lane.

Buddhist Monk (1): That’s by the river, uh? It’s quite far away, yes. So last night we stayed there. Is that on the western side of…?

Devotee: Yes, that’s the West Fork.

Buddhist Monk (1): West Fork. West Fork.

Prabhupada: This is northern? No, southern. I do not know. We are also (Buddhist laughs) camped for the last few days. We do not know much about…

Buddhist Monk (1): Much about it, yes.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Buddhist Monk (1): I was here in 1952, and somewhere in ’60 as well. I have been travelling eighteen years in nearly a hundred countries and trying to give a little good will. Of course, I am just one man, and within the capacity of one person, and this boy joined me in New Zealand about one and a half years ago. A few bridges have been made. Every religion that is not lived, according to us, fails the purpose of religion because religion should be a way of living. And if we live that, there’ll be less duhkha and more santi, more peace. There is an awakening in almost all these parts. I was even in the east European countries, from Sofia right up to Moscow. Even there, I carried all the books, the Bible and the Bhagavad-gita, Buddhist books. At the frontier, they opened the books. I had all these books with me. Ramayana, Vedas, something from Egypt, Kung-fu-tsu, Lao-tse. They opened. They looked. They put them back. Not one question was asked. And that very police officer who was passing my passport, I saw him in the restaurant. He called me. Because I had an old photograph which I had taken when I first started travelling. That’s twenty years I didn’t take it seriously. So he said, “This is not you.” First, you know, before I met him in the restaurant, I said, “Technically you may be right because we are changing every moment. So it’s not myself.” (sighs) But after some time he passed my passport, and then I went to the restaurant where I saw him. He said, he called me, he said, “Formerly I was an officer, and now you are my friend. What do you eat?” (Prabhupada chuckles) Well, he asked the waitress to “Come bring him a very fine meal, the best you can offer in the restaurant.” I said, “That’s very kind.” Then he said, “I’ll bring you meat and all that (indistinct).” I said, “Please keep me out of it. I am a pure vegetarian.” “What do you eat?” I said, “All vegetables. If you have rice, it’s good.” “Oh, bring him a vodka!”

Prabhupada: Vodka? What…?

Buddhist Monk (1): Vodka.

Hamsaduta: Whiskey. Liquor.

Buddhist Monk (1): He tried whiskey. He said, “Come to vodka because vodka’s whiskey here,” he says, “in this country.” I told him, “I don’t drink that either.” “What do you eat and what do you drink?!” So… He asked me, “What’s the matter with you?” “There’s nothing wrong with me. (laughter) I am quite healthy, and everything… I am a follower of the Buddha, and our first precept is nonviolence to all mentally conscious living beings. And that’s the reason why we follow this.” “Ah, you miss the steak don’t you?” I said, “I miss nothing. If one wants to have vegetables prepared, there are so many ways of preparing it, healthier, and if one wants taste, it will be even more tasteful.” “All right, all right. Bring him as many vegetables. And what do you drink? Beer?” I said, “No. Fruit drinks, if you have.” “You order.” He gave me a listing. I wanted to pay. He wouldn’t allow me to pay, and he paid it. Those people are kind there. And from the time I got, went across, I could talk to anyone without any restriction. I could discuss religion with farmers, factory workers, doctors, lawyers, whom I met in the course of my visit. And they were getting interested. Because people who have not seen materialism, they are very crazy for it. But once they have it, and it is beginning to be a surfeit, and divorces and suicides and other troubles increase, nervous cases, they think, “Oh, now there is a vacuum setting in.” So they are interested. I was in every east European country. They never tried to tamper with my books or my talks. Of course, I didn’t organize any public talks. I didn’t, made no attempt. Then Czechoslovaks, Hungarians, very warm-hearted people. There are yoga classes there. And I met quite a few Hungarians outside who referred to yoga. Then Rumanians, Yugoslavs, Bulgarians. They are friendly people. Swamiji, have you been there in eastern European countries?

Prabhupada: I have been in Moscow.

Buddhist Monk (1): Moscow? They’re friendly people. I will go back again.

Prabhupada: Yes. I know.

Buddhist Monk (1): Yes. So it is a world which is shrinking…

Prabhupada: The government is against any religious…

Buddhist Monk (1): Well, not so strict now as in past because the word “religion” has been used as a narcotic by people. The religious institution was kissing the state, and the state was kissing religion.

Prabhupada: When I was in airport, the customs clearance, as soon as they saw my book, Bhagavad-gita, they called police. (laughter)

Buddhist Monk (1): I was also getting ready…

Prabhupada: So the policeman saw and said, “Oh, you can go.”

Buddhist Monk (1): Well…

Prabhupada: They were so suspicious.

Buddhist Monk (1): Well, I was wondering whether they would ask me whether I am bringing narcotic, the religion, the heart of the heartless, soul of the soulless, the opiate of the masses. So I had read Marx before I left my country. I had thought “They will ask me,” but no such question was asked. And ultimately, when I was leaving the Soviet Union, they again opened my books, you see, and put them back. One book, an officer kept one book. I thought, “Now, what is this? All right.” He closed the suitcase, did not put this book, and he comes behind me and says, “Could I have this book?” I said, “You see, I have made many notes in the book. Why do you want that book for? So kindly return it to me, please.” He wouldn’t return it. He follows. And he said, “Please let me have it.” I asked him, “Why do you want this book really for?” He said, “I have studied Buddhism from the Northern School, and I would like to know something about the Southern School of Buddhism.” I said, “Anyhow, you can get these books, I’ll give you an address.” But he wouldn’t give it to me. He said “Please let me have it.” I said, “All right, good health and peace to you. You can have it.” Hungarians are very warm-hearted people, very warm-hearted people.

Prabhupada: It is for me?

Devotee: Yes.

Prabhupada: Leave it.

Buddhist Monk (1): And Swamiji, you generally spend more of your time here?

Prabhupada: Yes, Generally, in America, Los Angeles. And also in Europe.

Buddhist Monk (1): We went to Hare Krishna in Los Angeles, (indistinct) couple of days.

Buddhist monk (2): Did you visit there?

Buddhist Monk (1): Yes. I remember, there we took our car, and when we were coming there, they were waving to us. I think that the world is shrinking; not that any continents are going down to the sea, but people are moving about the place. I think the more we start thinking about one world rather than big barriers and get together and meet together and talk together in a spirit of loving kindness, with tolerance, radiating our love always, I think this is the only way I know of. And people are getting interested in the universities, and other, high schools. Not still by the millions, but certainly by the hundreds and thousands. And that’s good enough for a start.

Prabhupada: Some of our books were selected textbooks in many colleges, universities. You have seen our books?

Buddhist Monk (1): I have seen some of them, not all of them. Because I meet these boys and girls, and… I seen that book about…

Prabhupada: Our…, this book, Nectar of Devotion, that is a study book in the Temple University, Philadelphia. Similarly, our Krsna Book, and what other books? They are…? Especially Krsna Book and Nectar of Devotion. Bhagavad-gita also, As It Is. (pause) We consider Lord Buddha also as incarnation of God.

Buddhist Monk (1): Yes, I know that. Of course, on this there’s a difference of view between the orthodox Buddhists and that thinking. Because during the earlier days of Buddhist preaching there were certain differences of opinion. And the brahmana sections fell into various categories. Some of them were not very friendly, and others accepted quite a few of his, their teachings. And a third section, led by people like Sarikuta (?) and Munkali (?), Sanmukhala (?), they became followers as well. And, of course, so many things have been incorporated, kama, krodha, lobha, klesa, abhimana. They are very similar to the teachings of the Buddha, and they are very progressive. Because lobha, lobha, lobha, lobha is at the root of our problems. (Sanskrit or Pali:) Tanhaya jayate soko, tanhaya jayate bhayak, tanhaya vipra mukta syat, nati soko ato bhayat. “Greed is the cause of suffering, greed is the cause of fear. Remove this greed: where is the suffering? Where is the fear?” And, of course, being tolerant and understanding, man being a bundle of habits and customs, we cannot eradicate all grief overnight. But certainly we can start reducing this greed. Reduce and reduce. And then that’s the only way to purify the mind. And then ought show such a society where greed has been reduced will be relatively a peaceful society. Simple living, high thinking and high practice. That’s the cornerstone of our philosophies. Multiplication of so many (indistinct), colonational output, flying to the moon and not going into one’s mind, and producing these things and calling them (indistinct). What is…

Prabhupada: Sometimes we find that peaceful living is visible even in animal society. Just like the cows. They’re very peaceful. There are other animals, dogs and others. They fight. But hundreds and thousands of cows, they live very peacefully. Birds also… Just like the swans, they live very peacefully. So is that the highest goal of life, to live peacefully? Because that is also found in animal society. Is that the perfection of life?

Buddhist Monk (1): Yes, a man has to ask himself a simple and straightforward question. What really does he want to put his life to? Does he want suffering or peace?

Prabhupada: No, suffering, of course, nobody wants. That’s a fact.

Buddhist Monk (1): That’s it, that’s it…

Prabhupada: But in this material world, even if you become peaceful, does it mean that you are out of suffering? I don’t think.

Buddhist Monk (1): Yeah. Well, I’ve been asking in all these universities, high schools, and all those, all those audiences, “What is the purpose of this so-called modern education? What is the purpose? If so, kindly define this purpose. Have people thought on this?” I just gave a broadcast at Southampton day before yesterday. Nobody, not many people appear to have seriously considered this question. Is it to fly to the moon? Is it to be a food taster or a noise lover? Or is it to build dreams and castles in the air? Or to soak one’s self in the whirlpools of kama, sensuality? What is this meant for? What is our education for? No one appeared… Very, very few people have appeared to …

Prabhupada: No, there is no aim of the education. Their only aim is economic development.

Buddhist Monk (1): That’s right.

Prabhupada: And that means a higher standard of sense gratification.

Buddhist Monk (1): The more material doubts people can produce, that’s supposed to be the educated person.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Buddhist Monk (1): And I told them directly and indirectly, “Your systems, which have transplanted the well, type systems, especially of India, has created a catastrophe. We have made mistakes in the past. But we profited by them, and we want a successful educational system that taught the individual how to give himself peace within himself, mentally and physically. Within his family, within his relations society, nation and the world. And today that system has been overtaken by this materialistic system. One calls himself materialist directly. Another, camouflage, just under the name of religion. That’s the only difference I know of in these two systems in the West. That’s the only difference.” And I told them. I said, “We want peace. Santi, santi, santi. And we know the danger of playing with the fireball of materialism, which is throwing its tentacles into every part of society: divorces, nervous cases, mental cases, cancers, suicides, family life is breaking. And it reminds me of Gibbon’s writing about the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. And all those symptoms are there in this so-called progressive, civilized culture.” I used the word “so-called.” And this mind…

Prabhupada: But what remedy you have suggested?

Buddhist Monk (1): Reduction of greed, and substitution of liberality. There is no other remedy.

Prabhupada: Hm.

Buddhist Monk (1): Because greed causes the rat-race. Greed causes these wars. But if we reduce this, and the reduction parallelly followed by simple living, high thinking and high practice. There is no other remedy, whatever religion a man follows. If they get involved in this rat-race of materialism, war is inevitable, whether for a stretch of water or of land. But if man lives a simple life, this Mother Earth can be made to produce everything that is necessary. Soya beans are a very fine substitute for meat. And if they do not damage the crust of the earth, and if they scientifically control birth, scientifically, not by drugs and pills, which are dangerous…

Prabhupada: What is that scientifically?

Buddhist Monk (1): It’s a control of the sex, sex.

Prabhupada: That is brahmacari.

Buddhist Monk (1): Brahmacari. (Background talking, people entering.)

Prabhupada: Let them come. They want to see me. Let them come.

Buddhist Monk (1): And (Sanskrit or Pali:) tan moha veda krati dhanacari. (?)

Prabhupada: Come. (People coming in.) This greediness… That is a good suggestion, that you reduce your greediness, but unless they get a substitute, they cannot. That is the difficulty.

Buddhist Monk (1): Yes. The substitute is, according to us… We point out the difference between the sensual, fleeting pleasures, which is not quite a proper word… It’s no pleasure, in that (it) brings pain and suffering. In the renunciation of greed is priti, delight. And when a man enjoys delight, that’s incomparably better and lasting, more…

Prabhupada: According to Vedanta philosophy, every living entity is searching after delight. Anandamayo ’bhyasat. By nature, a living entity is delightful, but he has been covered by this temporary material covering, and therefore his delightness is perverted. So our philosophy, this Krsna consciousness philosophy, is that param drstva nivartate. If you give him better delight, then he can give up this inferior delight of material enjoyment. Otherwise, simply by instructing that “You give up this,” it is difficult.

Buddhist Monk (1): That’s right. You are… One has to… (Sanskrit or Pali:) Sambhuh papas cakarana, kusalasya upasampada sac citto parayodapanam etam buddham anusasana. (?) Abstain from the unwholesome, the source of all our problems and suffering, lobha, dosa, moha. Kusalasya upasampada. Practice the virtues, that is when the mind is rooted in alobha, that is nongreed, liberality, including hospitality; adosa, nonhatred, evil, all-loving kindness; amoha opanya (?) wisdom. And why? When one is on the noble, eight-fold path—right understanding, right thinking, right speech, right bodily action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration—there is that oozing joy and delight. And that is the finest substitute. Men, because of avidya, have not tasted delight. Because of his weakness, they thought moksa,… (knock on door)

Prabhupada: Yes.

Buddhist Monk (1): …that it was here in this earth when they indulge in sensualities. (More people coming in)

Prabhupada: Hare Krsna. Aiye. Jaya. (pause) You are from India? (Hindi—few sentences with guest) So we are therefore presenting Krsna, the most delightful feature. So chanting and dancing before Krsna, taking His prasadam, and practicing delightful nature, awakening the delightful consciousness, Krsna consciousness. So as this is taking practical shape, all these European, American boys, Canadian, African, they are becoming delightful, and with great delight, they are chanting, dancing and taking prasadam.

atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adhah [BRS. 1.2.234]

We cannot understand God by our present senses. So the senses are to be purified. And that purification begins: sevonmukha, by engaging the tongue, jihvadau, in the delightful activities of Krsna consciousness. So practically we are getting result. These boys, they were very morose, but now they are very delightful simply by following this method, engaging the tongue in the service of Krsna. Tongue has got two business: tasting and chanting, vibrating. So they are vibrating harer nama harer nama harer nama eva kevalam [Adi 17.21], and tasting Krsna prasadam. And we are practically seeing that they are becoming delightful, living very happily, preaching all over the world. I started this movement alone in 1966, but these boys, inexperienced boys, having no spiritual training… They were trained up in their own ways, meat-eating, illicit sex, intoxication, but they gave up all these habits and delightfully they are going any part of the world and preaching this cult, and we are meeting with success. It is not that I have gone every place. It is not possible. I am old man. So I give them direction. Just like this boy. He’s a grhastha. So husband and wife, they are organizing in Germany. We have got four, five branches in Germany. We have published this record and so many books and literatures. So this Sankirtana Movement, even though conducted by inexperienced young men, but they are creating delight to the masses.

Guest (1) (Indian man): But they are very… I am very envious of them.

Prabhupada: Eh?

Guest (1): I am very envious of them because they have got this guru’s grace on them.

Prabhupada: (Chuckling) Yes.

Guest (1): This guru’s grace is working. It is invisible, you see. This is all-powerful.

Prabhupada: No, you can get also, provided you take it. (laughter) Guru is not miser. (laughter)

Guest (1): (indistinct) is, Gurudeva you see, I want that…

Prabhupada: The one thing is they take it. Others will not take it. That is the difference. If… There is a picture; my Guru Maharaja has…, one man has fallen in a deep well, and he’s crying “Save me!” So another man dropped a rope, that “You catch it. I shall carry you.” Then he’ll not catch it. Then how he can be drawn. So… [break] …mattah parataram nanyat [Bg. 7.7] “There is nothing more superior than Me.” We are preaching the same thing, that “You are searching after God. You are, some of you are disgusted that ‘There is no God,’ but here is God. You take His name. You take His address. You take His daily activities. Everything is there.” And that is our mission. And we started this Krsna consciousness movement in 1966. So when I registered this society, somebody suggested that “Why not make it ‘God consciousness?’ ” And no, I want to give definitely what is God. God, they have got different conception. But here is God. Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. That is the Vedic injunction. “Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” And when He was present, He proved it, that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So we have not introduced any new system of religion. That is not a fact. We have simply placed, administered, the same thing which was spoken five thousand years ago. That’s all. Five thousand years ago, Krsna said that “There is nothing, no more superior authority than Me.” We are preaching the same thing. The same old thing. Krsna said, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. “You just surrender unto Me.” Krsna said that “Surrender unto Me,” and we are speaking, “Surrender unto Krsna;” same thing. Krsna said that “I am the origin of everything.” Aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate [Bg. 10.8]. We are speaking the same thing, that the original source of everything is Krsna. We are challenging the scientists also. They are of opinion that “Life has come from matter,” and we are challenging, “No, life and matter, both have come from life.” This is our challenge. So originally life, originally Krsna, life. Not matter. Matter has come subsequently. So our, this Krsna consciousness movement is not a new movement. It is the old movement. At least, historically, five thousand years old. And we have got so many books. We have… Out of sixty volumes, we have published only about twelve volumes. So it’s a great literature, Srimad-Bhagavatam. So everything is there; nothing new. We haven’t got to make a new system of religion. It is already there. Simply people may kindly understand it. That is our proposition.

Buddhist Monk (1): What happens when similar statements are made by other people that we have, they have their own god, who is, they made a unique system, and someone else says, “No, we have our own unique system.” Someone else says, “No, all those three systems we do not agree with. We have got our unique system.” What’s going to happen in that thing?

Prabhupada: That will… Phalena pariciyate. The system which is accepted more, that is successful. You can present so many system, but the test will be which system is more accepted by the people, by the mass, general people. That is successful. Phalena pariciyate. And if somebody says that “I have got my own god,” and some other says, “I have got my own god,” but this is a fact: God is one. You may call by different names. That is different thing. But God cannot be manufactured, that “You manufacture your god, I manufacture my god, he manufactures his god.” That is not God.

Buddhist Monk (1): That’s exactly what is happening.

Prabhupada: That, happening, that is another thing. We are talking of the principle. God is one. God cannot be two. Then there is no meaning of God. Now, if I present Krsna the Supreme Personality of Godhead, if you disagree, then you’ll have to present your god. Now, we have to consider who is actually God. Just like I talked with Professor Kotofsky in Moscow. So I asked him that “Where is the difference between your communist philosophy and our philosophy? The communist philosophy, they have created their own god, Lenin.” Lenin is their God. We have seen in Moscow.

Buddhist Monk (1): Yes, I’ve been…

Prabhupada: Every street, every a…

Buddhist Monk (1): Every street. I know, all over.

Prabhupada: Lenin, Lenin’s picture, Lenin’s book.

Buddhist Monk (1): Yes, yes, yes, yes. That’s right.

Prabhupada: So I told him that “You have created your own god, Lenin. And we have got our own God, Krsna. Now, the principle of accepting somebody as God is there, in your philosophy and in my philosophy. So that you cannot avoid. Your communistic philosophy cannot avoid the conception of God, the leader.” Just like in Buddha philosophy also, there is the conception of God, of Lord Buddha.

Buddhist Monk (1): No. That’s not correct. Because we do not treat the Buddha… In fact, when the Buddha preached his atheistic philosophy… That’s why he was termed a nastika, a wasala. We do not believe in a god. We say panya, wisdom, and dharmuddha, is an incompatible…

Prabhupada: At least, you follow the leadership of Buddha.

Buddhist Monk (1): Leadership, that’s correct.

Prabhupada: So that is, I am pointing out. Leadership,… God means “the leader.” According to Vedic injunction, God means “the supreme leader.” Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam. He is the chief living entity. Mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram [Bg. 9.10]. God means the Supreme Leader. So leader you have to accept. That is the conception of God. Either you select Buddha or Lenin or somebody else, you have to accept one leader and follow. That is your business. So our philosophy is that Krsna, the Supreme Lord, He’s the Supreme Leader. And we are to obey His orders. This is our philosophy. So if you do not obey the orders of Krsna, if you obey the orders of Lord Buddha, or somebody obeys the orders of Lenin, the principle is there that you have to follow the orders of somebody. Now, you select Lenin, Krsna or Buddha or Gandhi or anyone. That is a different thing. But the principle—to accept one leader and follow his leadership—is there everywhere. That nobody can change. That is not possible. So the professor could not give me any satisfactory answer, you see. The leadership you have to accept. You cannot do anything independently. You have to accept. That is our constitutional position, that we have to follow somebody. Now you select whom you shall follow. If you are following the most perfect, then you become perfect. And if you are following less perfect or imperfect, then you are imperfect. This is our philosophy. You have to follow some leader. If your leader is perfect, then you are perfect. If your leader is not perfect, then you are also not perfect.

Buddhist Monk (1): How is one to find out…?

Prabhupada: That is another thing.

Buddhist Monk (1): Yeah, that’s a very important advantage, you know.

Prabhupada: Yes, yes. So that is another thing. Our philosophy is: God is the most perfect. Otherwise He cannot be God. So you follow God; then you become perfect. So Krsna is teaching personally. We accept Krsna as God. And if we follow Krsna’s instruction, then we become perfect. Where is the difficulty? Simple thing.

Buddhist Monk (1): What we say is…

Prabhupada: If you think that Krsna’s not perfect, somebody is perfect, then you follow him.

Buddhist Monk (1): What we believe is that incomparable bliss and peace everlasting is the most perfect.

Prabhupada: That is… These are items. These are items. First of all you have to follow a perfect leader. Then whatever he says, that is perfect. So that peace, you have given a definition of peace. Krsna is giving definition of peace:

bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram suhrdam sarva-bhutanam jnatva mam santim rcchati [Bg. 5.29]

“I am the proprietor of all the lokas,” sarva-loka-mahesvaram, suhrdam sarva-bhutanam. “I am the friend of everyone.” Bhoktaram yajna-tapasam. “And I am the enjoyer of all fruitive activities.” Jnatva mam. “When one knows Me like that, he gets santi.” This is the santi formula given by Krsna. One has to accept Krsna as the Supreme Enjoyer. Because He’s the proprietor of everything; therefore He should be enjoyer. And because everything belongs to Him—we also belong to Him—so suhrdam sarva-bhutanam, He’s friend of everyone. So these three things, if you understand—Krsna, or God, is the supreme enjoyer. He is the supreme proprietor, and He is the supreme friend of everyone—then you get santi. If we understand these three things only, then there is santi. Otherwise there is no possibility of santi. Now, how it is fact, that is a subject matter of discussion. Say, Krsna says that sarva-loka-mahesvaram, “I am the proprietor of all the lokas.” And now you study this fact. Who is the proprietor? We are claiming proprietor, nation. Englishmen, they are claiming, “This land belongs to the English people.” Others claiming this land belongs to the American, Indian, like that. But are they actually the proprietor? Take for example the American land. Two hundred years ago, or, say…? How many years ago they won it?

Hamsaduta: Four hundred.

Prabhupada: Four hundred years ago the land was there. They, these Europeans, migrated there. Now they are proprietor. So four hundred years ago, who was the proprietor. In this way, trace history. The land is there, the ocean is there, everything is there. We sometimes claim that “I am the proprietor,” “We are the proprietor,” but this is lying there. Who is actually the proprietor? Actually proprietor is God, Krsna. Isavasyam idam sarvam. Everything is owned by the supreme isvara. Isvarah paramah krsnah [Bs. 5.1] So if we study scrutinizingly, then we’ll find God is the proprietor actually. He is the creator; therefore He is the proprietor. And because He is the proprietor, He is friend of all. Actually. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese ’rjuna tisthati [Bg. 18.61]. Isvara is situated in everyone’s heart as Paramatma, and He’s giving us good counsel. We are not abiding by that. We are disobeying. Therefore we are suffering. Otherwise, He’s giving us good counsel, good advice. So this formula, that bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram, suhrdam sarva-bhutanam… [Bg. 5.29]. So if we accept God, or Krsna, as the supreme friend, then whatever advice He’ll give me, if we follow, then I am happy. There is no difficulty. He says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. If we do that, we become happy. Where is the difficulty? From historical point of view… Of course, no, I mean to say, religious literature is older than Bhagavad-gita. It was spoken by the Supreme Lord personally five thousand years ago. And that old thing we are presenting as it is. Our Bhagavad-gita is therefore named Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Without any interpretation. Without any addition, alteration. No, we don’t make that. If we make addition, alteration, then where is the authority of Bhagavad-gita? We don’t do that. And that is proving effective. Those who are taking according to the instruction, they’re becoming happy. Practical. Without any consideration of time, country, people. Anyone is accepting, and he’s becoming happy. And they are not expected to undergo very severe type of austerities. Neither pranayama or yoga. They are unable. Simply I have advised them, “With these beads chant Hare Krsna sixteen rounds.” They are chanting. It is very easy. Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama… Sixteen rounds. It takes about two hours. And they’re refraining from four kinds of sinful activities: illicit sex, gambling, intoxication, meat-eating. This much they are following austerities, chanting Hare Krsna mantra, taking prasadam. They are happy. Anyone can take. It is not difficult at all. Anyone. They are grhasthas. It is not that one has to become a sannyasi. No. All my, these disciples… Here is a grhastha. Here is a sannyasi. Here is a brahmacari. So all together, they are serving the same purport. And we are getting good result. You have seen our Ratha-yatra?

Guest (1): We were with you.

Prabhupada: Eh?

Guest (1): We were with you. (indistinct) …at your feet while you were…

Prabhupada: Yes. So…

Guest (1): It was a miracle…

Prabhupada: …ten thousand participated.

Guest (1): …my wife, she was with you, Swami.

Prabhupada: Oh! I think, yes.

Guest (1): For the first time in two years, she has walked two miles.

Prabhupada: Oh.

Guest (1): It was only because of Your Grace.

Prabhupada: (laughs) Yes, it was three miles.

Guest (1): And she has never walked even three hundred yards.

Prabhupada: I also, since I became sick, I was not walking. But that, I…

Guest (1): No, it was a game for us, you know. Actually, we asked to make arrangements for us to follow you, sit in the van and then follow you.

Prabhupada: So you can distribute this prasada, little bit. [break]

Guest (1): Yes. It is grace of Krsna.

Prabhupada: Yes, after all, Krsna’s property. But it has come through George… (laughter)

Guest (1): He is lucky person.

Prabhupada: I am coming, yes. [break] …deham punar janma naiti. Such person, those who are fully absorbed in Krsna consciousness, such person, after giving up this body, does not accept any more material body. He goes back to Krsna. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti [Bg. 4.9]. “He comes to Me.” So you cannot go to Krsna unless you have your spiritual body. Because the spiritual world and Krsna, they are all spiritual. So you cannot enter into fire unless you are fire. So you have to revive your spiritual body, spiritual consciousness. Then, after giving up this body, you enter the spiritual world. So Lord Buddha did not speak anything about the spiritual world, but his philosophy said that “Dismantle this material existence.” Nirvana. Nobody has preached that “You become happy here,” either Lord Buddha or Lord Christ or Krsna or anybody, Sankara. Nobody. But modern materialistic people, they are thinking that “We can become happy by adjustment of our material condition.” That is not possible.

Buddhist Monk (1): They want to have the cake and eat it.

Prabhupada: Eh?

Buddhist Monk (1): They want to have the cake and eat it. They want to have two paradises, one here and one there also.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Buddhist Monk (1): And they want to bite.

Prabhupada: No, they have no idea any other paradise than this paradise. They have no idea.

Buddhist Monk (1): Which to us is the fools’ paradise.

Prabhupada: That… Again I am quoting that Professor Kotofsky. He said, “Swamiji, after this body there is no life.” That is their conviction. This is the primary teaching of spiritual life, that we have got next life. Tatha dehantara-praptih. Dehantaram. After giving up this body, you have to accept another body. This is the first lesson of spiritual education. But they do not understand the first lesson even. What is their spiritual understanding?

dehino ’smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati [Bg. 2.13]

So dehantara-praptih they do not understand. And it is very easy, that “I am, dehantaram, I am changing my body. I was a baby, I was a child, I was a boy, I was a young man. So I have changed so many bodies. But I remember, I was a child. I remember. I was a boy. I remember. Therefore I am existing. My body has changed.” Simple truth. Similarly, when this body will be changed, I will exist. Where is the difficulty to understand? But this plain thing they cannot understand. And they are passing as educated, philosopher, scientist. This plain truth, they cannot understand. The brain is so dull. Tatha dehantara-praptih. “As I have changed so many bodies…” I exist. I remember, I had this body. So I may forget. Suppose in my babyhood, what was the feature of my body, I do not know. But there was. My mother knows. He can, she can explain, “My dear child, you were like this, you were like this.” So forgetfulness is also not that I did not exist. I may not remember my last birth. That does not mean I did not exist. So forgetfulness is my nature. I cannot remember even what I was doing exactly this time yesterday. If somebody asks me. I can generally speak, that “I was sitting.” But actually, what I was doing, I’ll have to remember. So the forgetfulness is our nature. Because I have forgotten… Death means forgetting. Just like in dream. At night, when we get another body and dream and hover, we go somewhere and talk with somebody, we forget about this body. And again, when I come to this body, I awaken, I forget the dreaming body. So I…, every day I am forgetting. At night I am forgetting this body, and daytime I am forgetting my night body. So forgetfulness is not the basic principle of knowledge. The things as they are we have to study. That body we change, but we are, as living entities, we are existing. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20] This is confirmed by authorities. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. After destruction of this body, the soul is not destroyed. The soul continues. He accepts another body. Now, what sort of body we have to accept—that is responsibility.

yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah bhutejya yanti bhutani mad-yajino ’pi yanti mam [Bg. 9.25]

So about the next life, change of body, you can prepare yourself. Yanti deva-vrata devan. If you prepare your life to go to the higher planetary system, the Moon planet, the Venus planet, and other… There are thousands and millions of planets. You can go. Yanti deva-vrata devan… It is clearly stated. Yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah. “You can go to the Pitrloka planets.” Or bhutejya yanti bhutani. “If you want to remain here, you can remain.” Mad-yajino ’pi yanti mam. “And if you like, you can come to Me.” Everything is there. So next life there is. I’ll have to accept a body, and there are eight million… [break] …you prefer. But Krsna says that whichever body we accept, it is subjected to the four miserable conditions: birth, death, old age and disease. Even Brahma. He has got millions and millions of years duration of life, but still, he has to die. So anywhere in the material world, you have to undergo the material tribulations: birth, death, old age and disease. Here an ant’s life may be for few hours, and my life may be for few years. So it is a question of hours and years, but one has to die. Therefore Krsna says, abrahma-bhuvanal lokah punar avartino ’rjuna [Bg. 8.16] “Even if you go to the Brahmaloka, the topmost planet, there also, you’ll have to die and again accept another body.” This will go on. Mad-dhama gatva punar janma na vidyate. “But if you come to Me, then you don’t come back to accept a material body again.” So why not try for that? If I have to endeavor for my next better life, so why not accept the supermost life, eternal life? That is intelligence, and that is our Krsna consciousness movement, that you try in this life to get back your spiritual life and come back to Krsna, the eternal home, and live there peacefully, eternally, without any disturbance of birth, death, old age, disease. This is our program. (Sound of guests coming or leaving) Jaya. (Hindi ) Oh! So whenever you find time…

Guest (1): It’s only a question of time and your convenience.

Prabhupada: No, I am, I am for your service.

Guest (2) (British man): Thank you very much. Thank you very much.

Prabhupada: Come again.

Guest (2): Thank you very much.

Guest (1): This is Bhakti.

Prabhupada: Oh! Bhakti-lata, very good.

Guest (1): (Hindi)

Prabhupada: That’s nice. She is your eldest daughter?

Guest (1): No, she’s my sister.

Prabhupada: Sister. Oh, I see.

Guest (1): She’s getting married on this day. (Hindi for few sentences)

Guest (2): No, I can’t remember. About thirty-one as well.

Prabhupada: You often then really come here?

Guest (2): No.

Prabhupada: This is first time you are coming?

Guest (2): First time I’ve been here, yeah.

Prabhupada: Oh. What is this, “K.C.C. Ghee”?

Guest (1): Ghee.

Srutakirti: Ghee. I don’t know where it’s from.

Prabhupada: K.C.C?

Srutakirti: Nairobi, Kenya. It was made and packed by…

Hamsaduta: Brahmananda.

Prabhupada: That ghee, Nairobi, is very nice ghee.

Srutakirti: Yes, very good.

Prabhupada: Australia also.

Srutakirti: New Zealand.

Prabhupada: This ghee-producing animal, and they’re killing. Just see how much injustice. They have no sense even. I exact from you all the resources, and then I kill you. What is this?

Buddhist Monk (1): For no other reason but for greed again.

Prabhupada: Yes. Simply… I have seen. I was telling that these people take meat, a small slice, not very much. But because they are taking, everyone, so many slaughterhouse are maintained. If they give up little, and we can replace it by other thing, then so many lives are saved. Swamiji, if you, your most philosophical thesis is ahimsa, you can teach them and that will help us also.

Buddhist Monk (1): If they only want to use their minds. (Sanskrit or Pali:) Mano pugbanga ma dhamra mano sikta manomaya, manasarthe palitena vahasati va karoti va, thako mam sukham amreti cakra…(?)

Prabhupada: Mind.

Buddhist Monk (1): Mind, right. If you can make people use their minds.

Prabhupada: So therefore we are trying to engage the mind in Krsna. Sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayor vacamsi vaikuntha-gunanuvarnane. Mind has to be engaged on the lotus feet of Krsna, and talk, only glorifying Krsna. Then things will come out nice.

Buddhist Monk (1): But many people are acting more on emotions and feelings than on their mind. (Sanskrit or Pali:) Mano manas mano is disappearing with many people except to make some money.

Prabhupada: Every… Everything has two sides, black side and bright side. We are interested with the bright side. Black side we can point out, but anyone who is sincere, he’ll take the bright side. Sajjano gunam icchanti dosam icchanti pamarah. There are guna and dosa, fault and good qualities. So those who are sajjana, they take the good qualities, give up the bad qualities. Then there, gradually things will come out. But if we accept God, “God is all-good,” then all good qualities automatically manifest. Yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah. All good qualities manifest. If you remain with the fire, you become warm. The quality is acquired. If you remain in the sunshine, you become warm. Because sun is warm. So you acquire the quality. So if we remain always with Krsna, then we acquire the qualities of Krsna. So God is all-good. Therefore I become good, by association with God. It is very simple reasoning. Yes. God is all-good. So if you remain always with God, then you become good. The same example: if you remain with fire, you become warm, the quality of the fire. If you remain in sunshine, you become warm. And the more you remain, the more you become warmer, warmer. Then become hot. Yes. Just like you put one rod, iron rod in the fire. It becomes warm, warmer, warmer. Then it will be red-hot. When it is red-hot, it is no longer iron rod. It is fire. Touch anywhere, it will burn. (pause) So from Nairobi they import ghee here, I think.

Srutakirti: Yes. Brahmananda Maharaja was saying many fruits also get to England. He said in Africa they have many nice fruits, but you can’t buy them in Africa. They ship them off to England. Although they’re all grown there, you can’t get nice fruit in Africa.

Prabhupada: Neither the Africans like to eat.

Srutakirti: No.

Prabhupada: Yes, they don’t. Yes. God has created different foodstuff for different living entities.

Buddhist Monk (1): But they interpret that God created them also for their consumption.

Prabhupada: Eh?

Buddhist Monk (1): They interpret that they have, the God has created the cattle also for their food.

Prabhupada: Yes. But that is… The cattle food is food for the non- civilized man. If you claim to be civilized, you cannot eat.

Buddhist Monk (1): (laughs) Live and let live. That’s what I have been asking people wherever I go. They talk of culture, civilization, progress, development, living standards, education, equality, freedom, lots of things. I asked them to define this, and I asked them, “The animals are of two types: the carnivorous and the vegetarian. Of course, the carnivorous looks even fiercer. But where has one found in the forest so many thousands of animals slaughtered and lying at random? But man today, in the name of progress and civilization…”

Prabhupada: Very, very good. Yes.

Buddhist Monk (1): Yeah. So they have gone, according to me, lower than our animal brothers.

Prabhupada: Certainly, certainly. Your argument is very good.

Buddhist Monk (1): Of course, it’s very very…

Prabhupada: In the forest, there is no slaughterhouse, although they are carnivorous animals.

Buddhist Monk (1): Is the only way.

Prabhupada: So actually in India the meat-eaters were always, but there was no slaughterhouse. The meat-eaters, they were allowed that “You can sacrifice one goat before the goddess Kali and eat it.” That means once in a month, restriction. And individual person… But no slaughterhouse. What is this nonsense, slaughterhouse? Big, big slaughterhouse. Trade with slaughterhouse. This is the… Even, even in India during Mohammedan period, there was no slaughterhouse. Individual, if he liked, he can kill one animal and eat. No slaughterhouse.

Buddhist Monk (1): No mass slaughters, no mass slaughters.

Prabhupada: No. This is from the western world. This is very nice argument, that in the jungle there are carnivorous animals, but they don’t maintain slaughterhouse. Neither they attack unless they are hungry. Otherwise, in Africa, there is national…

Hamsaduta: Park.

Prabhupada: All the animals are freely rotating.

Buddhist Monk (1): Or they think their life is in danger.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Buddhist Monk (1): If one radiates love and kindness…

Prabhupada: That is another thing. Defense is allowed to everyone. You must defend. That is another thing. But ordinarily, not that because a lion has got jaws and teeth, therefore he’s simply jumping over. Not like that. Even people have experienced that when the, these ferocious animals, they are not hungry, they don’t attack. They don’t attack.

Hamsaduta: They don’t bother.

Prabhupada: No. Or if you keep a pet lion, give him sumptuously to eat, he’ll not… That is experienced. I have seen in the World Fair in, in… One man was keeping a lion and a tiger, and playing just like with dog. Just like sometimes dogs, they pounce over the master. Same thing. They were doing like that. I have seen it. They have tamed the lion and tiger like that.

Buddhist Monk (1): Even the carnivores could be trained to be vegetarians.

Prabhupada: Oh yes.

Buddhist Monk (1): They could easily be. It is only habit and custom.

Prabhupada: But their nature is to eat meat. You have to give him. That is different thing. But they can be tamed. But not very trustworthy. (laughter)

Buddhist Monk (1): If they get a little irritated and hungry, they may go to gather.

Prabhupada: No, if you give them nice food, they’ll never attack you.

Hamsaduta: In the Bible also, in the very beginning page, there’s a verse. After God created everything, the animals and the trees and everything, then He gave allotment of food to the human society. It says very plainly that “The seed-bearing plants and trees of the earth shall be your meat, or shall be your food.”

Prabhupada: Just see.

Hamsaduta: And it says nothing…

Prabhupada: Vegetables.

Hamsaduta: It says nothing about… Yes.

Buddhist Monk (1): Yes, but later it goes to add something that “Meat is meat unto you.” Yeah. There your difficulty comes in. Well, Isaiah in the Bible, one of five prophets in the Bible, he says: “Peace will come on earth when even the feroci…” [break] May you have long, healthy life.

Prabhupada: What is your age?

Buddhist Monk (1): I am fifty-nine years.

Prabhupada: Oh.

Buddhist Monk (1): (Sanskrit or Pali:) We say arogya parama labha santusti paramam dhanam, visvasa parama narthi nirvana parama sva-dharma. (?)

Prabhupada: Hare Krsna. Jaya. (Buddhists apparently leave) (end)