Room Conversation with John Griesser [later initiated as Yadubara Dāsa] and Devotees at the Sea Palace Hotel in Collaba , Bombay , 1971-01-05
Prabhupāda: Because India, the caste system is very strong. So a brāhmaṇa will never accept a girl born in one śūdra family, although in śāstra it says that you can accept. [Sanskrit] family not very respectful. Here family consideration is very... During marriage ceremony, the family consideration is very strong. Now that is dwindling. Formerly, family tradition, then horoscope.
The so-called love was not given any importance, the so-called love. As in other countries the boys select wife or girls selection... No. There is no importance on this. The father, mother will see the horoscope, whether this boy and girl will agree according to the horoscope. Rāja-yoga[?] There are some calculations, astronomical calculations, from his birth, from her birth, and the expert astrologer select, "Yes, this boy and this girl will be happy." Then they are married. If there is any discrepancy, they will deny, "No." These were the considerations.
Then family tradition. What is the tradition of the boy's father's family, mother's family, so many things they calculate, then the marriage settlement, "Yes." And the boy might not have seen the girl. There is no necessity of the boy seeing the girl or the girl seeing the boy. There is no necessity. After marriage, when the marriage ceremony is performed, then the boy and girl can see one another: "Oh, she is my wife." [laughter] "He is my husband." That.
[aside:] So. You can begin.
Oh, this is another magazine, Earth.
Yadubara: It's a new magazine, and this is the second issue out in America. It promised to be a very good magazine, and it hasn't turned out to be so. It's just another slick magazine.
Prabhupāda: Well, unless magazines are reduced to such position, it will not be sold.
Prabhupāda: They want to make business... All these pictures are yours? No.
Yadubara: No, just the ones on Kṛṣṇa consciousness...
Prabhupāda: Oh, thank you.
Yadubara: ...I'm happy to say.
Prabhupāda: You begin... [break] So who will go to Hong Kong?
[long silence, then two indistinct replies]
Śyāmasundara: Shall we decide now, or shall we wait until tomorrow?
Devotee: I met one man from Hong Kong yesterday, Dr. Bali, so Body[?] and he said he'd give us financial help in Hong Kong. I will go to see him this morning. I already told him about getting here.
Śyāmasundara: To Singapore also?
Śyāmasundara: To Singapore also, the same men? The same two men will go to Singapore and Hong Kong. [devotees chant japa for several minutes] Do you think Revatīnandana could go? You said Revatīnandana should go?
Prabhupāda: Yes, he can go. [japa continues] Are you getting some interest with our association?
Yadubara: Yes, I am. I feel the effects of chanting very much.
Prabhupāda: That's nice.
Yadubara: It's very pleasant.
Prabhupāda: And if you have got any doubts, any questions, you can inquire. That is required.
Yadubara: I have been asking questions of devotees. It's hard for me to comprehend some of the things in the scriptures. I just don't understand.
Prabhupāda: No, apart from scripture, from your personal understanding you can place questions. People, generally, they have no idea of God. We are placing the factual God. That is very difficult to understand. Generally they think it is an idea, fiction. But we don't think like that. We have got clear conception of God. That is the difference between our Society and all any other religious groups. They have no clear idea of God. They simply say that there is God, God is great, but no clearer.
Yadubara: I think a lot of other societies make compromises.
Yadubara: Many other societies make compromises. Many other religious groups make compromises in their doctrine.
Prabhupāda: Yes, because they have no clear idea. They cannot push forward their concept. Just like the other... day before yesterday or yesterday the lady, she asked if Kṛṣṇa was a naughty boy. Yes, because He is God He must be naughty boy. Otherwise, wherefrom this idea of naughty boy comes if that quality is not in God? God is the origin of everything, creator of everything. So if He hasn't got this naughtiness in His person, then how this thing comes? That is the Vedānta version, janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1].
The Supreme Absolute Truth is that from which or from whom everything emanates. So wherefrom this naughtiness comes if it is not in the person of God? Wherefrom this stealing propensity comes if it is not in God? But because He is absolute, His stealing is also as good as his blessing. Mākhan-cora. Kṛṣṇa was stealing butter, that is worshiped, mākhana, by the very name. Is just like in another temple, Kṣīra-cora-gopīnātha. Gopīnātha is known as condensed milk thief, Kṣīra-cora. He is famous by the name cora, thief.
But that cora and this cora, you cannot compare. He is famous as cora, or thief, but thousands of people go every day to worship that cora, that thief. And in the material, if one is known as thief, then thousands of people will beat him with shoes. [laughter] That is the difference. If you say, "Oh, Kṛṣṇa was a thief, then I can become a thief," then your will be beating of shoes on your head, and Kṛṣṇa will be eternally worshiped because He is thief. That is the difference. That is Absolute. He will be worshiped as thief, and He will be worshiped as very honest. That is Absolute. [aside:] No, no, this [indistinct] is not good. Will take little fruit.
Kṛṣṇa is a woman-hunter. That is the highest pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, rāsa-līlā. But here if a man becomes woman-hunter, he will be most abominable person. That is the mistake of the people: they consider Kṛṣṇa as ordinary man. Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā [Bg. 9.11]. They are rascals, fools, mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam.
This sense has to be learned-Kṛṣṇa, how He is Absolute in all circumstance. Kṛṣṇa is teaching, "Just go and tell little lie to Droṇācārya." Now people will be surprised, how God is teaching somebody that "You go and tell this lie"? So they become bewildered. So one has to understand actually what is Kṛṣṇa's position in all circumstances. That requires intelligence.
[aside:] What is this?
Śyāmasundara: It's salt and pepper.
Prabhupāda: No, no. One has to learn how Kṛṣṇa is always God in any circumstance. And if he can understand this philosophy, then Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā he becomes immediately liberated. Janma karma me divyaṁ ye jānāti tattvataḥ. "My activities, My birth, they are all transcendental. One who understands in truth," tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9], "after leaving this body, he no more comes to this material."
That means we can be liberated simply by understanding His activities. All the qualities are described in the Nectar of Devotion. He has got sixty-four qualities. Unlimited quality, but for our understanding, Rūpa Gosvāmī only discussed sixty-four. Just see, that lady was speaking that she speaks to thousands and thousands of people. How ignorant she is about God. She was inquiring, "Kṛṣṇa is not..." That means she cannot understand Kṛṣṇa. And she is leader, thousands of people she is speaking.
What is the use of her speaking if she has no clear idea? This is going on. Useless speaking. In India also, so many fools, they are accepted as very perfect. Just like Gandhi, take Gandhi. What was Gandhi? In spiritual consciousness, he is nothing. Nothing, no value. But if we say in the public, they will be angry, "Oh!" But actually there is no value, no spiritual value. He is known all over the world as a great spiritualist. He was a moralist, that's all. That is not a qualification for understanding God.
Gurudas: It says, "Any activities sanctioned in the revealed scriptures and aiming at the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are accepted by saintly teachers as the regulative principles of devotional service. If somebody regularly executes such service unto the Personality of Godhead under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master, then gradually he rises to the platform of serving in pure love of God." [pause]
Prabhupāda: That nonviolence. Kṛṣṇa is number one violent. [chuckles] Number one. There is no limit of His violence. Just see.
Yadubara: Don't you have... In the material world, sometimes you have to stand up for what you think is right and sometimes use violence?
Prabhupāda: Only satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa is right. All wrong. If Kṛṣṇa is satisfied, that is right. Otherwise everything wrong.
Yadubara: A man in Surat brought up the question of the British in India.
Yadubara: A man in Surat brought up the question of the British in India, and he felt they should be thrown out.
Devotee: In Surat.
Prabhupāda: Surat, what happened? One man questioned?
Devotee: A man in Surat brought up the question of whether the British should be removed from India.
Prabhupāda: British? I do not understand. What is his real question?
Śyāmasundara: Should the British have been violently thrown out of India?
Yadubara: But if somebody is stepping on you, then you should take action to remove those people.
Prabhupāda: Yes, our position is how to satisfy Kṛṣṇa, not for personal self. Ordinary world activities. Serving Kṛṣṇa and the result of such service is the same. In the material world, doing something and result of the doing is different. Our means and aim is the same. Just like Kṛṣṇa advises Yudhiṣṭhira to speak lie to Droṇācārya. It is a means.
The means is also Kṛṣṇa, and the end is also Kṛṣṇa. That is Absolute. Absolute... We must have clear conception of what is the Absolute. In any circumstances, the quality of the Absolute remains the same. What was the question in Surat?
Devotee: Whether the British should have been forcibly removed from India.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is ordinary duty. If you encroach upon my freedom, I have the right to kill you. That is recommended. Then... clearly said in the śāstras. If anyone sets fire in another's house, if anyone kidnaps his wife, if anyone takes his money—so many list—he is to be killed. There is no question. He can be killed immediately. That action-reaction is going on in the material world, that is a different thing. That is karma-bandha.
But in devotion, there is no karma-bandha. As Kṛṣṇa is free from all reaction, similarly Kṛṣṇa's devotee who wants to satisfy Kṛṣṇa only, he is also free from all reaction. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyān nāvamanyeta karhicit [SB 11.17.27]. "The ācārya is as good as I am," Kṛṣṇa says. Nāvamanyeta karhicit, "Never neglect him." Na martya-buddhyāsūyeta, "Never be envious of the ācārya, thinking him as anything of this material world." Ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyān. Therefore, ācārya's position is as good as Kṛṣṇa. Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair **.
Ācārya is always cautious that he may not be subject to criticism. But who criticizes ācārya, he becomes immediately offender. Because he is playing the part of ācārya, he plays as far as possible. But sometimes for preaching work, he might have to do something which is not consistent. But if he is criticized, then that man who criticizes, he becomes... Of course, he must be ācārya, not a bogus. Ordinary man cannot transgress the laws, but Kṛṣṇa and His representative, ācārya, might be sometimes seen that he has transgressed. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyān [SB 11.17.27].
Vaiṣṇavera kriyā, mudrā vijñeha nā bujhaya. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Vaiṣṇava ācārya, his activities is not understood even by the wisest man. Vaiṣṇavera kriyā, mudrā vijñeha nā bujhaya. Brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam. Ācārya, guru, he is completely surrendered to Kṛṣṇa. He has taken the shelter of Kṛṣṇa, being completely freed from all material affection. Brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam. Everything... Everyone has got some material desire to fulfill, but a guru or ācārya has no such business. That is the symptom of ācārya. He has no more any material business.
Brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam. He has finished all business of material satisfaction. That is the symptom of ācārya. And śābde pare ca niṣṇātam. And he has taken full bath in the ocean of transcendental [indistinct]. Śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta [SB 11.3.21], one should surrender to such spiritual master. Jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam, when he is actually serious about inquiring the transcendental subject matter.
Otherwise there is no need of accepting guru or ācārya. He has no business. If one is not interested in the transcendental subject matter... Just as so many people come, they have no interest. Unnecessarily they talk and waste time. As soon as I asked that man that "If I say something, whether you will accept?" He said, "If I like it, then I shall accept." Then why come to waste my time to inquire from me?
Therefore Bhagavad-gītā says, tad viddhi praṇipātena [Bg. 4.34]. When you go to inquire something from a person, you must fully surrender there, or you must find out a person where you can fully surrender. Otherwise, don't put any questions. Your waste of time, his waste of time. Because he will not accept. Suppose if you go to a physician, you are diseased, and the physician says, "All right, I shall give you medicine." And if you say, "Yes, I shall accept the medicine if I like it," then why do you go to that physician? What is the meaning?
The physician, one physician doctor friend, long..., forty years ago, he prescribed one of my patent medicines. And the patient little protested because it is Indian-made. He was Eurasian. So as soon as he questioned, "What is this medicine, Indian-made?" "Yes, it is Indian-made. If you have no such faith, don't come to me." He flatly said, "Don't come to me." That should be the position of the physician or ācārya. If you go there, you should accept whatever he says.
If you are in doubt, then don't go there. That is the position. It is freedom. It is not that you have to accept some ācārya particular by canvassing. No, you should be inspired that "Yes, here I can surrender, here I can gain something." Then surrender. In the spiritual science, there is no bluffing. Everything must be very clear-cut. Otherwise it will be not very satisfactory. [break] Hear this sound, ca-caw caw. [laughter] Because nobody keeps this rooster.
Yamunā: Oh, that's chicken? Oh.
Prabhupāda: No, what is...
Prabhupāda: Peacock, yes. Yak, yak, like that. That sound he makes.
Guru dāsa: And kīrtana.
Guru dāsa: We can hear kīrtana.
Prabhupāda: Kīrtana and bell in the temple, dong, dong, dong, dong, dong, dong. This sound we will hear early in... [sound of rooster crowing in background]
Prabhupāda: In Hawaii, this disturbance is there. Always, ca-caw, caw. [laughter]
Devotee: There's not so much at Advaita Bhavan.
Devotee: There's not chickens at Advaita Bhavan.
Prabhupāda: No, in neighborhood. In Hawaii, they are very much fond of. Some of them eat dogs also.
Devotee: Yes, the Filipinos eat dogs.
Yadubara: Chinese also sometimes.
Yadubara: Sometimes monkeys also.
Yadubara: Um hm. Monkey brain. It's very rare, but it's done.
Prabhupāda: Chinese, they eat everything. [laughter] They eat rats also. Rats, snakes. They are caṇḍālas.
Yadubara: They say Chinese are very practical and that they will make use of anything.
Prabhupāda: They eat man also. Yes. There was a case in Calcutta, they were eating man. They will call a hawker, "Come in, I shall purchase." And as soon as he enters, he never comes back. There were two hawkers. So one entered the house and other was waiting. But when he saw that he is not coming, he went to the police, that "My friend, he went but he is not coming." The police inquired and made a search, whole house, there were so many human bones, they're eating. Man-eater. Man-eater, in Africa there are many.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They're called cannibals.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They're called cannibals.
Prabhupāda: That is also. And they eat white man very... They like white.
Yadubara: In pot.
Prabhupāda: They will mislead some white man and... In India also there is this class. In Assam side. They eat man. Man mean, they regularly sacrifice before the Goddess Durgā and eat. Ahiravan[?], Rāvaṇa's brother. The Red Indians, they also eat in America. Do they not?
Yamunā: They used to. There are no left anymore.
Prabhupāda: "Used to" means who knows what they are doing now.
Yamunā: The white men came and killed them.
Prabhupāda: That is another thing, but they kill for eating. That is..., fighting or for taking possession, killing, that is everywhere. That is not extraordinary. But killing for eating a man, that is extraordinary. [chuckles]
Devotee: That's only in Kali-yuga, yes, Prabhupāda?
Devotee: Only in...
Prabhupāda: No, no, all the yugas. More or less.
[aside:] So when we shall have to go?
Śyāmasundara: I'll just see if the car is here. [break]
Prabhupāda: ... have to take away Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. The Japanese, they also eat everything? No.
Devotee: Not now.
Prabhupāda: Some of them?
Devotee: In times of war, I think all people...
Prabhupāda: That is another thing, but generally.
Devotee: No, they don't. In China, the island of Taiwan, the original inhabitants, they were known as man-eaters.
Prabhupāda: So this Calcutta story is not a story, it is fact. Hm?
Guru dāsa: I was asking Yamunā about the tape.
Guru dāsa: About this tape recording.
Prabhupāda: Yes. It is not the question of "the Chinese are eating, I am not eating." It is a question that how many number of different types of body I got. It is not that I am talking of Chinaman eating man or dog. I may be in that form, next life. So, therefore, the problem is how to stop this transmigration of the soul. That is the problem. Not that because the Chinese man eats something else other than I eat, that does not mean that I am very much...
[break] Therefore, we have to prepare ourself what kind of body we are going to have next. That is human civilization. But they do not believe in the transmigration of the soul. They do not believe in God. They do not believe in anything. Simply just like animals. This life—eating, sleeping, mating—do it to your best capacity. That is Kali-yuga. They have no knowledge, neither they are interested to know. Mandāḥ. And even they become little interested of spiritual..., a hodgepodge, no clear idea. Mandāḥ sumanda matayo [SB 1.1.10]. And unfortunate, harassed in every field of life.
And hy upadrutāḥ. And over and above everything, they are always disturbed by external enemies. This is the position of Kali-yuga. And this life shortened, duration of life. So how they can advance by following the regular Vedic process? It is not possible. Harer nāma harer nāma harer nāma [Cc Ādi 17.21]. No car?
Śyāmasundara: Not yet come.
Śyāmasundara: He will ring as soon as it comes. He telephoned it is on its way. It should be here any moment. [pause]
Prabhupāda: They are so slow. They do not understand the spiritual value of life, and simply they are satisfied with something hodgepodge, that's all. The entire population of the present-day world. [break] Just like the hippies. There are so many hippies. They want something spiritual, but no clear... Something hodgepodge, that's all.
Yadubara: Has this happened before, the material wealth that we have now? Has it happened in past ages?
Yadubara: Technological advancement, scientific?
Prabhupāda: All scientific. As this is winter season, so there will be a summer season. Anyone can say that after two months there will be summer season. Similarly, these ages are also, what is called, changing. So now it is Kali-yuga. After this Kali-yuga, there will be Satya-yuga. Cycle. So everything is happening. When there is winter season, everyone feels cold. So there is no question of asking.
The particular type of age and its reaction of the quality of the nature, it will be there. So as there are many Kali-yugas, so it is to be understood that many times these things happened, and many times again will happen. Seasonal flowers, fruits. In the past, there were many times all those flowers and fruits, and in the future also they will appear. What is the difficulty to understand? But if—all these changing circumstances, if you become Kṛṣṇa conscious, then your position becomes transcendental.
You are no more subjected to all this changing process. So that opportunity is in the human life. It doesn't matter whether he is in the Kali-yuga or Satya-yuga. Because he has got this human form of life, he must be Kṛṣṇa conscious. Then his problem is solved. So you have to preach like this, that we are giving the best human welfare activities to utilize this human form of life.
hari hari biphale janama goṅāinu, manuṣya-janama pāiyā,
rādhā-kṛṣṇa nā bhajiyā, jāniyā śuniyā biṣa khāinu
If we do not make our..., revive our lost relationship with Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, then this human form of life means knowingly you are drinking poison. This Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura's songs, they are Vedic songs written in plain Bengali language.
hari hari biphale janama goṅāinu, manuṣya-janama pāiyā,
rādhā-kṛṣṇa nā bhajiyā, jāniyā śuniyā biṣa khāinu
People are already mad, and the so-called rascal leaders making them more and more mad. That's all. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās [SB 7.5.31]. So-called scientists, so-called religious leaders, all rascals. If we say that all rascals, we are only intelligent, [laughter] they will not be very happy. But that will be fact, try to understand it.
Yadubara: They get very upset.
Yadubara: They get very upset.
Yadubara: They have no conception of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They just don't understand.
Prabhupāda: Only intelligent person can understand. If you can understand, then you are intelligent. Are you understanding or not?
Yadubara: No. [laughter]
Prabhupāda: Then why you are not understanding yet? We have given free scope. What is your reason of not understanding?
Yadubara: I think I understand a little bit, gradually.
Prabhupāda: That's all right. Even if you understand little bit, that will give you great benefit. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato [Bg. 2.40]. If you understand little, that means your door is open. Just like sometimes there is boil. If little mouth is open, that means that is the beginning of oozing out all the pus. It will gradually open, and that is the natural venue. Open and it will be cured. So little understanding is also very good. Then you will understand further. What you have understood now?
Yadubara: What have I understood? I understand that the chant has potency, has some meaning for me. And I understand on the basis of what I've done before, on the basis of my experience, what I've seen around me, I've seen that conditions are not good. And I've seen the conditions in Kṛṣṇa consciousness are much better and the feeling is much better.
Prabhupāda: That is very good sign. Yes.
Yadubara: So I think it must have some worth. There must be something here.
Prabhupāda: Yes. You can discuss with these boys and girls. Try to understand. Here there is nothing dogmatic. Even something appears to be dogmatic, it is not dogmatic.
Yamunā: Even if we have dog's obstinacy, Prabhupāda...
Yamunā: Even if we have dog's obstinacy, if we just associate long enough, then it will act upon you.
Prabhupāda: Yes, if we open our heart, then open-heartedly, then it will be nice. No reservation. And that open-heartedness means free from designation. That is open-heartedness. If I think, "Oh, I am American. Why shall I take this Indian philosophy?" Or if I think, "I am Christian. Why shall I take the philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā?" then it will not work. One has to be free from these designations. Then it will be easy. I am... God is God, and I am also part and parcel of God, my relationship with God.
So let me understand what is that relationship, what is God, what I am. That freedom, that open-heartedness will make it. But if I try to understand as Christian, as Englishman, as Japanese, as Indian, then it will be difficult. Many of our students joined, even initiated, but they could not make them free from these stereotyped ideas. Sarvopādhi vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. One must be free from the... Aiye aiye. So let us go. Take the box. [break]
Devotee: I'll try and please you, but I don't think I can do such a nice job.
Prabhupāda: I have seen the Sai's photo. From his photograph, it appears he has a guru. From his appearance, I can understand. [break]
Devotee: I feel that it is my duty to see that the devotees who are staying at the other temples are respectful and are following your wishes.
Devotee: Some things that Sai mentioned in that letter that I should answer, he asked about photographs, spiritual photographs.
Prabhupāda: My photograph?
Devotee: Yes, he said something about photographs, that the devotees had photographs of him and he didn't want them to have them if you didn't want them to.
Prabhupāda: Oh, that is not harmful. He can... [break] [end]