Conversation with News Reporters
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
March 25, 1976, Delhi
Prabhupada: They make modernized meaning of Bhagavad-gita. That is insanity. Do you agree or…
Reporter (1): What would you regard to be the essence of Bhagavad-gita?
Prabhupada: Bhagavad-gita means that there is God, and we are part and parcel of God. God is great, and we are very tiny, small, fragmental portion of God. In quality we and God are the same, just like a drop of ocean water is qualitatively the same as the big ocean.
Reporter (1): Beg your pardon?
Prabhupada: Qualitatively is the same. The drop of ocean water is salty, and the whole ocean is also salty. The salt taste is there, but the drop is never equal to the ocean. This is the difference. Nityo nityanam cetanas… This is the Vedic…, that He is also living entity as we are. So we many, plural number…. “We” means living entities. We are many, and He is one. But He is also living entity. Now what is the difference? The difference is that He maintains the plural number living entities.
Reporter (1): He maintains the?
Prabhupada: Plural, plural number. Plural.
Pusta Krsna: Plural.
Prabhupada: Living entities. And the plural number living entities are maintained by Him.
Reporter (2): In the past…. I should start this way…. This is the first press conference you are holding in Delhi, isn’t it?
Prabhupada: You can come forward.
Reporter (1): …if we can finish this answer if you don’t mind. If the plural number entities are being maintained by Him…
Prabhupada: No, no. Yes. Just like father and he has got many children. So both of them are living entities, but the father maintains the children, and the children are maintained by God. One is maintaining, and others are being maintained. That means dependent. We are dependent on God, or Krsna.
Reporter (1): But aren’t we impure and He is pure?
Prabhupada: No, both of them are. The father…
Reporter (1): But then how do we…. Then why do we commit sins? God doesn’t.
Prabhupada: Yes. Just like we are at the present moment in impure condition. That is material. Therefore the human form of life is a chance to be free from the impurity.
Reporter (1): But, sir, if we are drop of the same ocean, why should we be impure at all?
Prabhupada: No, no. We are pure constitutionally.
Reporter (1): Then from where does this impurity come?
Prabhupada: Yes. That is…. Just like your are healthy, but wherefrom the disease comes? You are not diseased now, but sometimes disease comes. Wherefrom it comes? So at the present moment we are in diseased condition. This has to be cured. Otherwise we are pure, as pure as God.
Reporter (1): Then what is the way to purity?
Prabhupada: Yes, that is Bhagavad-gita.
Reporter (1): You mean the mere recital of Bhagavad-gita…
Prabhupada: Not recite, to understand and to act.
Atreya Rsi: Prescription.
Atreya Rsi: That is the prescription.
Prabhupada: The whole thing is described in the Bhagavad-gita.
Reporter (1): Which particular teachings do you find so uplifting and ennobling for a man?
Prabhupada: You have read Bhagavad-gita?
Reporter (1): Yes, I have…, I mean, not so thoroughly, but I have in parts.
Prabhupada: So what is that question? Which part?
Reporter (1): Which particular teachings you think can purify a man? Because you said the salvation lies in practical teachings of Gita.
Prabhupada: Yes. You have to revive your consciousness that you are part and parcel of God. And the part and parcel of God means to serve God. Just like this finger is part and parcel of my body, but it is meant for serving my body. I ask the finger, “Come here”; it is serving me. “Come here”; it is scratching. “Pick up the food. Give it to me”; he is giving it. This is business of the finger. If the finger cannot carry out my order, then it is diseased. And if he immediately carries out order, then it is healthy. Similarly, we being part and parcel of God, we must be ready to give service immediately. Then it is healthy condition. And if we do not, then it is maya. We are serving. You are serving. Everyone is serving, because our constitution is to serve. Big, big leaders, they are also serving. Anyone you can see. The sun, he is serving. Exactly in the time it is rising by the order of God. Exactly in time it is setting. So everyone is serving. Ekale isvara krsna ara saba bhrtya: “Only master is God, and everyone is His servant.” But the diseased condition is that when we do not serve God, we serve something else, maya, and that is diseased condition.
Reporter (1): That is?
Prabhupada: Diseased condition. Impure condition. At the present moment we have discovered so many services—national service, communal service, and this service, that service—but nobody is recommending service of God. This is the diseased condition. Therefore we are suffering.
Reporter (1): So what do you really mean by arousing the Krsna consciousness? What does it entail?
Prabhupada: That means we have to serve Krsna. We are serving now non-Krsna. Nothing is non-Krsna. Something maya. Just like dreaming. Dreaming, it is also activity. That is false activity.
Reporter (2): Excuse me, may I ask one question if I can, please. You said maya or disease. Maya is disease or maya or many other ailments? By which…
Prabhupada: Maya is a diseased condition.
Reporter (2): Maya is a diseased condition or many other ailments under who the human beings are affected.
Reporter (2): Are these bad conditions or ailments not part and parcel of God?
Prabhupada: Yes. But you are suffering. You should admit. Just like a prison department is part and parcel of the government. But who is in the prison, he is suffering.
Reporter (2): That’s a very good answer. That’s a wonderful answer.
Reporter (3): Your Divine Grace, would your message be exactly the same for, say, a starving man in India and a Westerner who’s got everything that a person needs?
Prabhupada: We say that not only in India, everyone, you’ll starve, because you are rebellious to God consciousness. You must starve. That is the punishment. Just like anyone who is a criminal, he must be punished. That is the law of nature.
Reporter (3): So by that, I suppose one would presume that people in India have been most rebellious to God.
Prabhupada: Why India? Everywhere. Why you speak India?
Reporter (3): Because…
Prabhupada: When you speak of God, don’t take India, or America or Europe. Everywhere.
Reporter (3): No. Because the number of starving men here is much larger.
Prabhupada: You are starving on account of your economic condition being bad or…. I cannot say anything. But they are also starving. You are poor by force, and they sometimes accept poverty voluntarily, just like the hippies. They have enough money. They are coming from very rich father and grandfather, but they lie down on the street, and the police comes and kick them, “Hey, get up! Get up!” Why? Why they have accepted this? So this kind of varieties we find everywhere—rich man, middle class man, and poverty-stricken man. Don’t think that it is in India. I am traveling all over the world.
Reporter (1): Swamiji, what do you suggest to your disciples to arouse what you call Hare Krsna consciousness or God consciousness?
Prabhupada: Yes. Hare Krsna consciousness is the purificatory process. If you chant Hare Krsna…. God is so kind. In this age…. It is meant for every age. Especially this age when we are so much fallen and so much suffering, and neither we are able to act very piously, therefore this Hare Krsna mantra, if you chant, you gradually become purified. Then you come to your own consciousness.
Reporter (1): So how would you define sin? What is impurities or to sin?
Prabhupada: You cannot understand impurities?
Reporter (1): I mean, give any clear-cut definition.
Prabhupada: Just like when you are diseased and the doctor gives you some vaccine and injection to cure you, to make you purified. Is it not?
Reporter (1): No, but could there be any clear-cut criterion, for example, to say that I have committed sin or I have not committed sin? What is sin?
Prabhupada: Clear-cut criterion is that we living entity, being part and parcel, we are as good as God. But when we are under the control of the material nature, that is our diseased condition. Same example. Just like you, as a good citizen, you are as good as Indira Gandhi. You are Indian; you have got all the rights. But if you become criminal, you put into the prison. So we are in the…. Conditioned state means no freedom. It is not clear?
Reporter (1): No, sir, I just wanted you to tell me some yardstick from which one could…
Prabhupada: But because you are suffering, that is the sign of impurity.
Reporter (1): Beg your pardon?
Prabhupada: Because you are suffering…. Do you admit that you are suffering? Do you know this?
Reporter (1): Suffering means that there is some impurity.
Prabhupada: No, are you not suffering?
Reporter (1): Yes, everybody is.
Prabhupada: That is diseased condition. Just like diseased…. When you have got fever—you are suffering—that is diseased condition. So long you are suffering, you must be aware of the fact that you are in diseased condition. Because you are part and parcel, there is no question of suffering. Sac-cid-ananda…
Reporter (1): But suffering may not necessarily be because of sin. It might be because of something else, you know?
Prabhupada: “Might be something,” that is your sinful activities. That “something” is some sinful activity.
Reporter (1): Now a poor man suffers of hunger. This is not sin if he doesn’t get proper food or anything.
Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. But how you can help? You cannot help. Just like a prisoner in the, suffering in the prison house, you cannot help him.
Reporter (1): I may suffer because I have cancer…
Prabhupada: No, first of all you try to understand.
Reporter (1): But cancer is not a sin, you know.
Prabhupada: Yes. Everything is sin. Disease means sin. Unless you commit sinful life, there is no question of suffering.
Reporter (1): I thought…. But sin has some relation with…
Reporter (3): Sometimes the suffering is self brought and sometimes a suffering is brought without self, by nature.
Prabhupada: Eh? No, no, that is wrong. Every suffering is brought by you, yourself. Just like if you are punished by the high court judge to be hanged, you don’t make the high court judge is the cause of your hanging. You made a situation; the high court judge has given you the judgment that you must be hanged.
Reporter (2): Would you tell us something about the Vedic city which is being constructed in Mayapura?
Pusta Krsna: He wants to know something about the Vedic city which is being constructed in Mayapura.
Prabhupada: Yes, not Vedic city. Vedic planetarium. How you got this information?
Gopala Krsna: He had come to our temple earlier. He’s already published one article in yesterday’s paper.
Reporter (1): Which paper?
Gopala Krsna: This morning I have got.
Prabhupada: You must try to understand that we are suffering on account of our sinful activities.
Reporter (1): Sir, I am asking what is sinful activity.
Prabhupada: You do not know?
Reporter (1): I don’t know. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish.
Prabhupada: If you go on the street and it is, there is, “Keep to the left,” as soon as you go to the right, you suffer. Is it not? Immediately you go to the court. Is it not suffering? No, no, just try to understand.
Reporter (1): No, sir, I just wanted to ask you…
Prabhupada: No, no, why wonder? You just try to understand this common sense, that as soon as you go to the street, if the indication is that you must keep your car on the left side and as soon as you go to the right side, you become a criminal immediately. You can say, “What is the wrong? The right side or wrong side, I am driving my car,” but it is criminal. You know or not know. Ignorance of law is no excuse. So just similarly there is law of God. So as soon as you violate, you must suffer. You see?
Reporter (1): What is that law court?
Prabhupada: That means you are so ignorant. You are so ignorant. The law of God, law is…. God is personally speaking, “This is the law.” Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. This is the law. God is speaking personally, and you do not know? And you are advertising very expert in reading Bhagavad-gita, and you do not know the law? This is going on. Big, big scholars, big, big monkey, they are reading Bhagavad-gita three hundred times daily, but do not know what is law. This is going on. In Bengali there is a saying, “Big, big monkey, big, big belly, Ceylon jumping, melancholy.” You know the monkey, big monkey, Hanumanji. He jumped over. So ask any other monkey, “Can you jump?”—melancholy. (laughter) Similarly, big, big scholars of Bhagavad-gita and do not know what is the law of God. This is going on. Big, big commentary, big, big book, but the law he does not know.
Reporter (2): Your Divine Grace, this is actually not very relevant to the press conference, but have you ever met people like the Sai Baba or Bala Yogeshwara or…
Prabhupada: Why shall I meet these nonsense? Why shall I meet? What is the business? Fools and rascals may meet them. Why shall I meet? What can I get from them? What is their special value? Tell me, why shall I meet? What is the business I have got to meet him? You are suggesting?
Reporter (2): No, I mean…
Prabhupada: No, no, why shall I meet? Why you expect like that, I shall meet?
Reporter (3): He just wanted to know if you have ever met them. They are also…
Prabhupada: No, no. Why he is…? Why he is asking this? What business I have got to meet with them? What shall I get from them?
Reporter (2): Just to discuss metaphysics.
Prabhupada: Yes. If I am taking lesson from Krsna, why shall I take lesson from such bogus things?
Reporter (3): No, they have also been recognized…
Prabhupada: Who recognized? Who recognized?
Reporter (3): As exponent of Hindu thought and…
Prabhupada: :No, no, who recognized? First of all, who recognized?
Reporter (3): No, they too have a following in the West.
Prabhupada: That is the defect. That is the defect of the modern civilization. They vote. Just like in big democratic country like America they voted Nixon to become president, and when they found that “This man is a bogus,” they again dragged him down. So this is going on. We vote somebody to the topmost position, and we see that he’s a rascal. So therefore we do not advise. We say just take lesson from Krsna, who is recognized by everyone. That is our Krsna consciousness movement. We don’t say, “Go to a bogus man and take instruction.” We don’t say.
Indian Devotee: May I interrupt? What Swami has described in all the books—as it exists, no further contribution, no amendment, no interpretation. He has described all what has been written in Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, in its truest form. So no imitation, no representation, no interpretation. Swamiji has described exactly as it happened.
Prabhupada: And that is being appreciated all over the world.
Devotee: All over the world that is being appreciated.
Reporter (1): Swamiji, could you please throw light on your four- point regulation which you suggest to your disciples?
Prabhupada: Yes. That is pious life. No illicit sex, no meat-eating, no intoxication, and no gambling.
Reporter (1): No?
Prabhupada: Gambling. These are the four pillars of sinful life. So if we want to know God, we must be free from sinful life. This is stated in the Bhagavad-gita.
yesam tv anta-gatam papam jananam punya-karmanam te dvanda-moha-nirmukta bhajante mam drdha-vratah
If you want to be God conscious, then you must be free from all sinful activities. God is pure. If you want to approach God, then you must be pure. If you remain impure, you cannot understand.
Reporter (2): Swamiji, do you think that there are some people in this country in thousands or maybe tens of thousands who are getting spiritual solace from, say, people like Sai Baba or any of these other people who have interpreted the Vedas or who have followers all over the country? Do you think these followers are getting some amount of spiritual solace?
Prabhupada: No, no. First of all, do you know what Sai Baba is preaching? Do you know?
Reporter (2): No.
Prabhupada: Then how you are asking on behalf of Sai Baba?
Reporter (2): No, just like that. Just like…. I am just going…. I am very far removed from these…
Prabhupada: No, no, why you are interested…. Twice, thrice you have said Sai Baba.
Reporter (2): No, anybody. Because he is among the better-known people. I, I am, I have nothing to do with.
Prabhupada: So, but better known…
Reporter (2): It could be someone like, say, the Bala Yogeshwara, who also got some kind of following there.
Prabhupada: That is…. That has spoiled our India’s Vedic culture. Everyone has invented some ways, and they have misled the general people, people, followers. That is the misfortune of modern India. Yes. The standard instruction is there in the Bhagavad-gita. They do not care to know it. They want to know about the greatness of Bala Yogi, Sai Baba, this baba, that baba. That is their misfortune. They give up the real instruction, Bhagavad-gita, which is accepted by the great acaryas—Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Sankaracarya, Caitanya Mahaprabhu—and all over the world, they are not interested to know Bhagavad-gita; they are interested to know about Sai Baba. Just see misfortune.
Reporter (5): But what would you attribute this to?
Pusta Krsna: What would you attribute this to? What is the cause of this?
Prabhupada: Cause of this? One simple cause is they have become unfortunate. They give up the real thing, and they accept the imitation. So that is their misfortune. If there are two shops, everyone knows “Here is real gold, and here is imitation gold.” If you go to purchase imitation gold, that is his misfortune.
Reporter (5): What is it in your movement which has appealed to the Western world? I believe you have a sizable following in…
Prabhupada: Yes, because we are supplying real gold. We are giving real gold. We are not supplying imitation gold. That is the credit. If you supply imitation thing, it may go for some time, but it will not endure. So many swamis and yogis go there, but just these…. Ask these American boys. They don’t care for them.
Reporter (5): But even Mahesh Yogi has a considerable following in America and a lot of Western countries.
Prabhupada: No solidified.
Pusta Krsna: Amongst housewives.
Hrdayananda: No. Now it is going down, and the followers, they have…, they will not follow any regulative principles. They will not surrender. Simply…. They have no actual disciples who are following principles.
Devotee: Are we going to compare because of the larger following? Do you compare the relative and the unrelative? This is the…
Reporter (5): I didn’t meant to compare Swamiji’s teachings with that of Mahesh Yogi’s, but I…
Prabhupada: No, how many Mahesh Yogi has brought, disciples like this? Practical, come, come, practical point. Have you seen in India Mahesh Yogi’s disciples like…?
Reporter (5): Well, whenever he comes to Delhi he brings two, three jumbo jets full of disciples.
Prabhupada: This is my answer. Thousands of them are working here on my behalf. Just see their character and behavior.
Reporter (4): Swamiji, may I say something? A magician can create many charismas. But God also create charismas. Who will you compare? The magician charismas or the God’s charisma? This is the difference. A magician can also sometimes impress upon people that he has godly powers, but are they the real godly powers as against real godly powers? This is the difference. I have been at least thirty times to America, talked to lot of people. They say if you want to go really for attainment of your soul, you go to ISKCON.
Prabhupada: Even Mahesh Yogi says. Yes.
Reporter (4): And if you want to attain your bodily strength…
Prabhupada: Yes, actually. One of his secretaries came to us. One of his secretaries, he asked that “I want real knowledge of God.” He said, “Then you go to ISKCON.”
Pusta Krsna: That’s true.
Reporter (4): And if you want blissful, pleasureful things, go to other, either Mahesh or to Bala Hathayogi. This is what has been…. This is what has been impressed upon by knowledgeable people in America. And at least I can say with authority that I have talked with lot of people in America.
Pusta Krsna: They say that you can chant some mantra and go on with your sinful life. But the practical result is that people’s lives remain the same. They may simply divert themselves from their suffering temporarily. But in reality their condition of life is the same. They’re still in a miserable condition of life, whereas Prabhupada is actually lifting us out of the well of misery to the atmosphere of blissfulness.
Prabhupada: That Mahesh Yogi advertises in the paper, “TM: You don’t require any religion, don’t require to follow any principles,” and so on, so on. But I have got so many strictures; still, they do not go to him. They come to me. He has no stricture, but I have got so many stricture. And it is the report of the draft department that “Why the young men come to Krsna consciousness movement? What is the facility?” So they studied. So they reported, “There is no facility, simply rigidity. Still they go there.”
Reporter (5): Do you have any plans of propagating your movement in India? Because you have been for too long working in the West, and I believe India is not getting the benefit of your teaching and your guidance.
Prabhupada: India is so misguided that it will take some time to come. Because what I…. Even if you speak to India, what I shall speak? I’ll speak Bhagavad-gita. The Bhagavad-gita was already there, still already there. But India’s misfortune is they are so neglectful, they don’t take care of Bhagavad-gita. They’ll bring, “Why not Sai Baba? Why not this baba? Why not that baba?” That is the difficulty.
Reporter (5): No, I wanted to ask…
Prabhupada: They have become overintelligent. Not simple intelligent but overintelligent. That is…. They are not overintelligent. That is the facility for them. We are preaching Krsna is the Supreme Lord. That is in the sastra and the Vedas, in everywhere. But you won’t believe it. You’ll say, “Why Krsna Supreme God? Another…. Here is God. Here is God.” Hundreds and thousands of Gods you’ll bring. That is the difficulty.
Reporter (5): No, do you plan to propagate your message in India?
Prabhupada: Yes, certainly I plan, but the difficulty is that who is going to accept? The philosophy is already there. Bhagavad-gita is already, but who is caring to take it? Even if I speak, I shall speak, “Read Bhagavad-gita,” but who will take it? That is the difficulty. They will bring another competition.
Devotee: What probably he’s asking is do we have any positive plans…
Reporter (5): For spreading the movement in India.
Prabhupada: We have got. We have already planned.
Devotee: That has been seen in Mayapura. That has been…In Bombay there’s a very big temple, we are building, with a center. In (indistinct), Vrndavana,…
Prabhupada: My point is that what I am speaking, it is not unknown to India, but they are so misfortunate that they don’t take it. That is the difficulty. So so unfortunate they have become that they don’t take it. What shall I speak in India? The same thing.
Reporter (2): So that is all the more reason why your work is needed.
Prabhupada: No, we are doing. As far as possible, we have got center. The people are so overintelligent, don’t take it. “Ah, what Hare Krsna? We have heard it. Ah, we have seen Bhagavad-gita.” That is…. If you become neglectful, that is the greatest offense. So India is offender. It is India’s philosophy, what I am preaching others. India doesn’t require to be known to be aware. It is…. They already know it, but they won’t take it. They have become so unfortunate. That is the difficulty. If you don’t take it, then how you’ll become rich? Suppose if I give you—“Take this one thousand dollars”—but if you don’t take it, then what benefit will be there? India’s position is like that.
Reporter (6): Will you be opening certain schools in India on gurukula pattern?
Prabhupada: Yes, we are trying, but the difficulty, India, is that they are very, very neglectful.
Reporter (6): Is the government discouraging…
Prabhupada: There is no question of government or…. The government is people’s men. So if you are, we are ourselves fools and rascals, the government will also be a set of fools and rascals. And if you are intelligent, the government will be intelligent, because now it is democracy. You select some man. So don’t blame government. You are government. If you are fools the government are fools. If you are intelligent the government is intelligent. It is up to you to change; then everything will be all right.
Reporter (1): Swamiji, excuse me, is there any special significance of keeping this bead hidden from the public?
Prabhupada: Yes, just to follow Bhagavad-gita. Bhagavad-gita says, man-mana bhava mad bhaktah: “Always think of Me.” So we are thinking, “Krsna, Krsna, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna.”
Reporter (1): No, I mean, you are keeping it wrapped in a piece of cloth.
Prabhupada: That bead.
Reporter (1): Why?
Prabhupada: The bead is pure, so just to keep it aloof from the dust…. Just like we keep this drinking water covered. Why? This is common sense.
Reporter (1): Just to keep it pure.
Prabhupada: Yes. Pure it is, but still, it is our duty not to treat ordinarily.
Reporter (1): Are your disciples supposed to chant the mantra all the time?
Prabhupada: Yes. All my disciple is chanting.
Reporter (1): Are they supposed to chant the mantra throughout the day?
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Reporter (1): All the time?
Prabhupada: Just like I am talking with you, and as soon as talking stops, I am…. My hand is going: “Hare Krsna.” Kirtaniyah sada.
Reporter (1): Is it possible to talk and also to chant the mantra at the same time?
Prabhupada: Yes. That requires practice. That requires practice. Just like woman is cooking and (s)he is also talking. It does not mean the cooking is going bad. It is practice.
Reporter (1): Swamiji, does this chanting of mantra brings purity or following of your four instructions or regulations which you have told, or both?
Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Yes. Yes. It purifies the heart, yes, the core of the heart. Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. This is the effect of chanting, because everything we are doing on account of dirty heart, so everything is dirty. So if you purify your heart, then everything becomes clear.
Reporter (1): How long does it take to purify ourself?
Prabhupada: It takes…. Just like if the dirty things are very fixed up, it takes little more time. Otherwise it takes little time.
Reporter (2): Swamiji, I believe you’ll be having certain industries for export also in Mayapura. May I know if they will be manned by disciples, and if so, do you think that they would be in a much better position to look after these big gosalas and other things than, say, other, people would be?
Prabhupada: If you follow Bhagavad-gita, then everything will be followed very nicely. Just like in the Bhagavad-gita it is said, krsi-go-raksya-vanijyam [Bg. 18.44]. And go-raksya, this is recommended in the Bhagavad-gita. So if you follow Bhagavad-gita, then naturally go-raksya will be there. And if you read Bhagavad-gita for some political reason, then slaughterhouse go on. That’s all. Instead of go-raksya, go-killing. This is going on. Every politician is reading Bhagavad-gita, but go-raksya… Instead of go-raksya, go-hatya. This is going on, no go-raksya but go-hatya. This is going on. Who cares for Krsna? This is the misfortune of India. Krsna spoke in India, in Kuruksetra. Krsna appeared in India, but Indian people are neglecting. Therefore I say it is a misfortune. It is your own thing. You are neglecting it.
Reporter (2): So you want to encourage that.
Prabhupada: Yes. I want that…. Bhagavad-gita was spoken in India. Every Indian should take Bhagavad-gita very seriously. Then India’s fortune will change. But they have rejected Bhagavad-gita, and they are making their own imagination as the goal of life. So how they will be happy? If you have your father’s property, you squander it and then you beg from others, “Give me some money,” then how much unfortunate you are, just see. Your father’s property, you squandered it. Then you become a beggar and beg from others, “Give me some money, sir.” So how much unfortunate you are, just imagine.
Reporter (2): When you visited the Soviet Union, Swamiji, did you find the atmosphere worse than it is in Western countries, say? Are the people…
Prabhupada: Everywhere the people are very good, but the leaders are bad.
Reporter (2): Did you meet any of them? No.
Prabhupada: Yes. I talked with one of the best leaders, Professor Kotovsky. He is the professor of Indology. I talked with him. I have studied. The people are generally very good.
Reporter (2): But did you hold any meetings or anything?
Reporter (2): Were they receptive to what you…
Prabhupada: Yes. I was invited by Professor Kotovsky to talk. On my way to Europe I stayed there. So I have studied the people. They are very good, as our Indian people, innocent masses, they are also like that. But they are being sophisticated by their new philosophy, communism, artificial thing. But they are not happy. They are being forced to accept a philosophy. People are…. I have seen from their face. They look unhappy. Everything dependent on government. You have to accept. You cannot select your food even. Whatever nonsense things the government will supply, you have to accept, even you don’t like it. And for us it was a great difficulty. We could not get rice, could not get flour, neither fruit. Only milk is available and flesh, as much as you like. So on the whole, it was artificial and people are not happy.
Reporter (1): Swamiji, why do you prohibit this tea or coffee also?
Prabhupada: Because it is sinful.
Reporter (1): It is sinful?
Prabhupada: Yes. Why should you eat meat?
Reporter (6): What about onions…?
Prabhupada: Yes, onions is also very agitating.
Reporter (1): Sir, why are they sinful? Why are they sinful?
Prabhupada: What sinful?
Reporter (1): Why is it sinful to take tea or coffee?
Prabhupada: Because you get intoxication. If you are habituated to take tea, as soon as in your time you don’t take, you’ll become mad.
Reporter (1): You mean this dependency is bad…
Prabhupada: Yes, why should we…?
Reporter (1): …or this tea itself is bad?
Prabhupada: If your mind is agitated for something, then you become dependent on that thing. That is the position. Those who are taking tea, they have become so much dependent on tea.
Reporter (1): But if I start talking milk I will be equally dependent on milk, sir.
Prabhupada: No, no. No, milk will not. Milk, you take little milk once; that will satisfy.
Reporter (5): What he says that if he starts taking milk regularly, he’ll become dependent. He’ll become…
Prabhupada: So that you are dependent, must eat something. But you must eat something which is favorable for you. Eatable, everything is eatable. The stool is also eatable. That does not mean you, human being, you go to eat stool. That is meant for the pigs, hogs. You are not hogs and pigs. But if you become, if you try to become pigs and hogs, then you can become. No discrimination of food means pigs and hogs. And God will give chance to become a hog next life.
Reporter (1): Sir, most of your disciples have their heads shaven.
Prabhupada: But if you admit this, that after this life you have to accept another body…. Do you accept this? Eh?
Reporter (1): I do, sir.
Prabhupada: Then that body offered to you, is it in your hand? Suppose the next life you are offered a pig’s body. Can you say, “No, no, I don’t want it”? That is the statement of Bhagavad-gita. Tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati [Bg. 2.13].
Reporter (1): But how to give up, sir?
Reporter (1): How to give up.
Prabhupada: What is give up?
Reporter (1): How to give up this tea and coffee to which we are so much habituated?
Prabhupada: That they have given up.
Devotee (2): Join the Hare Krsna movement.
Prabhupada: Just see the example, how they are…. ask them.
Pusta Krsna: If you chant Hare Krsna, then you lose your hankering for everything else.
Reporter (1): Really?
Pusta Krsna: Yes. The higher taste.
Prabhupada: That is the taste of Hare Krsna movement. Bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir anyatra ca [SB 11.2.42]. As soon as you advance in devotion, you become detestful to the all material enjoyment.
Reporter (2): Swamiji, may I inquire from which class of society people generally come to you in the States.
Pusta Krsna: From which class of society in the United Sates do most of your disciples come?
Prabhupada: You can ask them. I do not know.
Pusta Krsna: All classes. Many educated people as well as people from all different classes, all racial backgrounds.
Prabhupada: No, no, in America who is uneducated?
Hrdayananda: Yes, all coming from very nice families, the majority, education. Many, many of them coming from very wealthy families.
Prabhupada: Now, if you should take good family means wealthy family, then America, there is no poor family. There is no question of poverty. So how do you distinguish that he’s coming from good family, he’s coming from bad family? Poverty is unknown to them. Nobody is uneducated. Then how you distinguish who is bad and who is good? Everyone is good—unless he voluntarily becomes bad, hippie. Otherwise everyone is coming from very good family, rich family, educated family.
Reporter (2): Do you have a large number of American negroes in your movement, Swamiji?
Prabhupada: Not large number, but there are.
Reporter (2): Is there any reason why that is so?
Prabhupada: That is…. There is reason. They are not very much cultured.
Reporter (5): Do you have women followers also in this movement?
Prabhupada: Yes. America, men and women have got equal rights.
Reporter (1): Sir, whom do you find more responsive to your movement, women or men?
Prabhupada: Everyone. Everyone. They are very fortunate. And I am very much indebted to them because they have helped me. Yes.
Reporter (5): Helped in what sense?
Prabhupada: Helped in cooperation. Without their cooperation…. Now, these books I am writing surely, but they are pushing on, even facing great danger. They are helping me in my translating work, in typing, in composing, in printing. Have you got that film, how they are doing?
Pusta Krsna: No.
Hari-sauri: Have you got that film? That book film?
Yadubara: I don’t have the projector here, Prabhupada. That suitcase is not here.
Prabhupada: So if we invite them to see it, that how they are helping efficiently with latest machine…. Therefore it has been possible. Otherwise while in India with great hardship I could publish three books only.
Reporter (1): They are very beautifully printed.
Reporter (5): Where did the money come from to print such lavish editions of your books?
Prabhupada: The money comes…. We are selling books daily.
Reporter (5): No, but initially you do require a…
Reporter (5): Initially it requires some money to print such a lavish book.
Prabhupada: Initially I took some books from here. They are not so nicely printed, but still, I sold them. Then gradually increased. They paid the money and then…. They made contributions. One of my student, he first, Jayananda…. He…. No, first paid me…. He, he has first paid me five thousand dollars. Then Brahmananda paid me five thousand dollars. In this way gradually money came.
Reporter (1): Swamiji, you write originally in English or these books are being translated from some other language into English…
Prabhupada: No, translated, but I give my purport. That is…. They like very much. Present the purport in such a way they can understand it. The original verse is there, but they are explained by me.
Reporter (1): Give some critical comments and explanations.
Prabhupada: Yes. That they like.
Reporter (2): Does that mean, Swamiji, that yours is a cultural and educational movement rather than a personal cult.
Hrdayananda: A cultural and educational movement rather than a personal cult.
Prabhupada: Yes, it is cultural movement, educational movement. It is not so-called religious movement. Religious movement is sentiment. Generally religion is taken as a kind of faith, but it is not a kind of faith. In…. I think, in South America that Indian man was asking that “It is the Hindu faith?”
Pusta Krsna: Oh, in South Africa. He was asking, “Is this Hindu faith?” “This cult or that cult.”
Prabhupada: So just see. He was Hindu gentleman, belonging to the Arya-samaj. So three times he said, “Is it Hindu faith?” And what do you mean by Hindu faith? When Krsna said, dehino ’smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara, tatha dehantara-praptih [Bg. 2.13], is it meant for the Hindus that a child becomes…, a baby becomes a child, a child becomes a boy, a boy becomes a young man, a young man becomes an old man, and the old man dies, changes this body? Is it meant for the Hindus? The Mohammedans do not become old men or young men?
Pusta Krsna: The Christians don’t become old men?
Prabhupada: So such fools there are that Bhagavad-gita is speaking, tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati [Bg. 2.13]—“It is meant for the Hindus.” Just see. Such fools there are. And Krsna said, annad bhavanti bhutani: “If you have got enough food grains, then all the living entities are satisfied.” Is it meant for the Hindus? So this is going on. “This is Hindu scripture.” What do you mean by Hindu scripture? So they are interpreting in their own way. So Krsna is not for the Hindus or the Musselmans or Christians. He is God. He is everyone. He is for everyone. And it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, sarva-yonisu kaunteya murtayah sambhavanti yah: [Bg. 14.4] “In all species of life, as many forms of life are there, aham bija-pradah, I am the seed-giving father of all of them.” So where is the question of Hindus? This is going on.
Reporter (6): Does it ever happen, Swamiji, that some disciples of yours may disagree with you in spiritual matters?
Pusta Krsna: No.
Prabhupada: Unless he is a fool. (laughter) Unless he’s damn fool, they do not. (laughter) If he’s sane and sober, open-hearted, then he will agree. Not only Hindus. We have got so many Mohammedans also. So unless one is open-minded, sane, intelligent, they cannot understand. Therefore I say the Indians are becoming insane. By the influence of so many rascals they are becoming insane. So that has to be rectified. But insanity is prevailing all over the world, but not so much insanity as in India, that they are rejecting their own things. This is the greatest insanity. Why they are rejecting Bhagavad-gita? What is the reason? Tell me, you.
Reporter (2): Because of Hindus suffer from basic economic instability.
Hrdayananda: Economic instability.
Prabhupada: Economic? Then why don’t you accept the economic program given by Bhagavad-gita? Why don’t you accept?
Reporter (2): If you would elaborate on that, I would be very much interested.
Prabhupada: Well, that is…. It is…. It is known to everyone. Krsna says, annad bhavanti bhutani. Anna. Anna means food grains, eatables. You must produce sufficient food grains. Why you are producing tire tube instead of food grains? And just entering your Delhi from Vrndavana, a big Goodyear factory, very big factory. You are producing tire tube, then iron, Goodyear and this and that. Where is food grain? And both sides, the field is vacant. Nobody is going to grow food grain. Then why you’ll not starve? It is your fault. You are producing tire tube and iron instrument. You are neglecting agriculture. Then why you shall not suffer for want of food grain? And you are pleading, “Indians are starving.” Well, why shall not starve if they do not follow Bhagavad-gita? They are thinking, “By increasing industry in America…” They have got industry, at the same time food grains also. But you are taking to industry without taking care of growing food grains.
Reporter (8): Swamiji, I would like to know, that I feel that your society, the Hare Krsna consciousness society, has a very, very stable economy and that it is self-sufficient in itself. Is that so?
Hrdayananda: Speak a little louder.
Pusta Krsna: Is the Hare Krsna society self-sufficient, does it have a…. He understands that our society has a very stable economy. Is it self-sufficient, our own Hare Krsna society?
Prabhupada: So don’t you think that we are self-sufficient? We are feeding at least ten thousand devotees daily, but we have no fixed income.
Reporter (8): They don’t have any fixed income.
Prabhupada: No. None of us have any fixed income, but we are traveling all over the world, New York, London, Calcutta. It is just like going from this quarter to that quarter. Our men are moving like that. Immediately coming, one dozen men from Germany, one dozen from London, and immediately going. We are paying so much money to the airplanes, and we have got so many centers. So how it is going on? On Krsna’s grace. We depend on Krsna. Our income, daily collection, is not less than one lakh of rupees, and we are spending everything.
Reporter (8): One lakh daily.
Prabhupada: That is minimum. Sometimes we collect five lakhs daily.
Reporter (5): What is the way you go about collecting money?
Prabhupada: That book-selling.
Reporter (8): Only, books are the only source of your…
Prabhupada: That’s it. This question was raised in the Parliament, that “Hare Krsna people, they are fabulously rich. Where they get their money?” And the Parliament answer was “They get their money by selling literature.”
Reporter (8): That means the devotees do not contribute to the…
Prabhupada: No, no, no. Not the devotees purchase. They publish. Those who are intelligent public, they purchase.
Reporter (8): But do the devotees contribute in any way?
Prabhupada: Yes. They are contributing their life. We don’t get any such life-sacrificing Indians. These educated boys, rich men’s son, they have sacrificed everything for me. And where is Indian?
Reporter (8): Swamiji, do you have certain farms also in America, gosala?
Prabhupada: Yes. Not only one, many.
Reporter (8): What else do you have over there besides gurukula schools and things?
Prabhupada: We produce our own milk. In New Vrindaban we are producing…. You are Nava Bharata Times? You are, any of you, Nava Bharata Times? Is there any representative, Nava…? No. Your representative went to New Vrindaban, and he published in the November 1974, I think.
Gopala Krsna: Yes, ’74.
Prabhupada: Yes, they published one big article, Nava Bharata Time, and the heading was, (Hindi). This was the heading. Actually they gave the photograph of our Deity and activities, everything. You can find out November issue of Nava Bharata in 1974.
Reporter (2): But you’ve virtually given up India as a dead loss, Swamiji.
Reporter (2): You’ve given up India as a dead loss, isn’t it, in the sense…
Prabhupada: Dead loss? Dead loss…. But the leaders are dead loss. Misleaders. They have given up their own culture, and they are trying to imitate others.
Reporter (8): Swamiji, when there was discussion in Parliament about the fabulous money that the movement has, society has, then who provided the answers?
Prabhupada: The Home Member.
Reporter (8): The Minister.
Gopala Krsna: We have a copy of this in Bombay, the question number and…. It was about two, three years ago.
Reporter (8): They must have done intensive research
Prabhupada: The other member, they raised the question. They brought the charges that the Americans are CIA. What is that, CIA or not? What is?
Hrdayananda: Yes. CIA.
Prabhupada: The CIA have become Vaisnava and given up meat- eating and dancing with me, and they have no other means. (laughter) Just see how foolish question it is. The CIA men have come to me for inquiry. This question, rascal questions, are put. Such unfortunate insanity is prevailing in India. (laughter) The American CIA, they have come to me. Just see.
Reporter (8): Swamiji, would you print that it is legitimate for the government to say that certain undesirable…
Prabhupada: Don’t bring in government now. It is emergency. (laughter) Put ordinary question. Don’t bring in government.
Reporter (8): Have you been troubled by any undesirable elements?
Prabhupada: No, no. We are clean. Why shall we be…? But if you want to put us in trouble, you can do. We are preaching. Our signboard is Krsna consciousness. Why do you misunderstand? And we are preaching Bhagavad-gita as it is. You have got our book. Still if you misunderstand, that is our misfortune. What can I do?
Reporter (5): Thank you very much indeed, Swamiji.
Prabhupada: Hare Krsna.
Gopala Krsna: Would you like to have a look at some of our books?
Hari-sauri: We have some refreshments also if you want. (end)