Conversation with the GBC , Los Angeles , 1972-05-25
Prabhupāda: So, fix up the zone.
Śyāmasundara: Well, we pretty much fixed it up, except...
Prabhupāda: So write, write. Take, take some paper. Here is paper. Here.
Śyāmasundara: I think that, with the Southeast Asia...
Prabhupāda: Take this, take this map, and first of all find out the zone, what will be the zone.
Bali-mardana: Southeast Asia.
Śyāmasundara: The Southeast Asia and Australia will join in one zone.
Śyāmasundara: Southeast Asia and Australia, if that were one zone, it would be all right.
Prabhupāda: Make it.
Śyāmasundara: It wouldn't be too difficult.
Prabhupāda: So write. Write that. What one, two, three... What is the one zone, zone number one?
Śyāmasundara: Eastern U.S.
Śyāmasundara: Oh, you mean before?
Prabhupāda: No, before and now.
Śyāmasundara: All right. Southeast Asia, Australia.
Prabhupāda: That is one?
Śyāmasundara: That is one, yeah, if everyone is agreeable. If everyone is agreeable.
Prabhupāda: They agree. Everyone will agree. It is not a question. [laughter] First of all... [chuckles] First of all make the zone. Whatever I'll say, he'll agree. That is not the problem. [chuckles] First of all make up zone.
Śyāmasundara: All right.
Bali-mardana: Hong Kong... Two will be Hong Kong, North and South Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji Islands, Samoa and Tahiti.
Prabhupāda: [indistinct] Make that one zone. Then next zone?
Bali-mardana: Japan, Korea...
Prabhupāda: First of all divide the whole world. It doesn't matter who goes where, but...
Bali-mardana: India, Pakistan, Burma, Bangladesh and Nepal. [indistinct] China. Then we have the Mediterranean zone.
Prabhupāda: China, China goes to the...
Bali-mardana: Southeast Asia?
Śyāmasundara: Far East.
Prabhupāda: Where is Japan?
Bali-mardana: It is more north.
Prabhupāda: No, what is the name?
Śyāmasundara: And Korea...
Prabhupāda: No. What we are naming? Far East?
Śyāmasundara: One zone we'll call Japan. We'll call it Far East.
Prabhupāda: So, China is nearer to Japan. Is it not?
Bali-mardana: Well, it's very big.
Bali-mardana: China is very big. It could be even more, because it touches...
Prabhupāda: China is big, but we have no center there [indistinct].
Devotee: Hong Kong.
Devotee: Hong Kong.
Prabhupāda: So Hong Kong, under which zone?
Śyāmasundara: Well, it's very close to Manila, and Manila is in Far..., Southeast Asia, Australia.
Prabhupāda: So Hong Kong is already zone...
Prabhupāda: ...according to our plan?
Devotee: Śyāmasundara? [indistinct---devotees entering and exiting room]
Bali-mardana: Previously, Hong Kong was part of Southeast Asia.
Bali-mardana: Still. We linked China with Hong Kong and put it with Southeast Asia. But Peking, Peking is very..., is much closer to Japan.
Prabhupāda: Divide the whole world into twelve parts. That is first.
Bali-mardana: [indistinct---devotees converse in background for some time about map and countries]
Prabhupāda: Africa is one.
Bali-mardana: Yes. [indistinct---more background discussion on map and countries]
Prabhupāda: Gradually, this GBC, they can take assistants to help them. Now one check, Toronto, just see [indistinct] not be necessary. Take care [indistinct---more background discussion on map and countries].
Bali-mardana: Twelve zones.
Prabhupāda: Twelve zones means?
Bali-mardana: The twelve zones [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: Whole world? Let me see. [reading:] Southeast Asia, Australia, Japan, Korea, [indistinct] India, Central Asia, Mediterranean, Germany, Africa, South America, British Isles, Eastern Europe, Central Europe, Western Europe, Canada. So there is not specifically mention "Mediterranean means this." Similarly, all these center should be specifically mentioned "this."
Bali-mardana: I was waiting till Śyāmasundara Prabhu came back.
Prabhupāda: Now, so far division made by [indistinct], we are, on the whole we are present. Haṁsaduta[?], I'll represent him, that's all. And who else?
Bali-mardana: Sudāmā Maharaja.
Prabhupāda: Eh? That also I'll represent. So...
Prabhupāda: Gaurasundara. He has been already agreed. Girirāja also. Those who are absent, I'll represent. Now, so far Hayagrīva Prabhu is concerned, he has resigned from this, and he'll concentrate on editorial work. And Kīrtanānanda Maharaj will become the president of New Vrindavan. So that question is solved. Now, how the New Vrindavan will be managed, that we shall decide.
Devotee (2): We talked about that this morning, Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: So Hayagriva Prabhu is exit from GBC. And now others? Sudāmā is there. So one exit, and one new one also = Girirāja is there. And how many of you are now existing actually?
Bali-mardana: There is seven here.
Prabhupāda: Seven, why? Eight here, including Śyāmasundara. So who are those four? One Sudāmā.
Devotee: He is here.
Prabhupāda: Ah. One Haṁsaduta.
Prabhupāda: Madhudviṣa is new. From the old.
Rūpānuga: Kṛṣṇa dāsa.
Prabhupāda: Eh? So he is out.
Devotee: Tamāla Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: Tamal Kṛṣṇa is out. Kṛṣṇa dāsa is out. Hayagrīva is out. So out of twelve, three out. So who are the nine?
Devotee: Sudāmā and...
Prabhupāda: Eight present here.
Rūpānuga: Seven present. Hayagrīva's... Including Hayagrīva, seven. So...
Bali-mardana: There's eight present, and Hayagrīva's out, so that makes seven.
Prabhupāda: You are three, and three is six, and seven. Oh, seven. So seven, Hayagrīva and present, eight, and three out. So who is the next nine?
Bali-mardana: Haṁsaduta and Sudāmā.
Prabhupāda: Oh, Sudāmā. So that is all right. They are all right. Now three out.
Prabhupāda: They are Hayagrīva Prabhu and Kṛṣṇa dāsa Prabhu. Then?
Devotee: Tamāla Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Tamāla Kṛṣṇa. So out of the three we are adding Brahmānanda, Girirāja and Madhudviṣa.
Devotee: What about Gaurasundara?
Devotee: South America. Gaurasundara.
Prabhupāda: Oh, Gaurasundara. So, Girirāja, Brahmānanda and Madhudviṣa we want to maintain. Then... [door opens and closes] Three candidates? Four, new?
Rūpānuga: Because originally Bali-mardana had a zone, but now he's with ISKCON Press, so actually he doesn't have a zone any more.
Prabhupāda: Oh. He has... So you are also out. [laughter]
Devotee: It's really a difficult problem.
Prabhupāda: Ah, no problem. GBC means now they should tour very extensive. That is the first principle, the GBC. Not sit down one place and pass resolution. No. They must be active. They must act like me. As I am old man, I am traveling all over the world, now to give me relief, the GBC members... I shall expand into twelve more, so that they can exactly work like me.
Gradually they will [be] initiators. At least first initiation. You must make advance. That is my motive. So in that way I want to divide it in twelve zones. And we have to make work, propaganda, throughout the whole world. Now if you think that the world is so big, twelve members are insufficient, then you can increase more than that and make the zones similarly divided. It is world affair, after all.
Devotee (3): Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Devotee (3): The reason why we have thirteen here is because Bali-mardana, he is actually at the Press. He doesn't actually have a zone at this time.
Bali-mardana: So Madhudviṣa is taking my zone.
Devotee (3): So we keep thirteen GBC at this point? Will Bali-mardana stay at the Press and be considered GBC?
Prabhupāda: But he is not going to travel, Bali-mardana?
Devotee (3): No.
Śyāmasundara: Unless he can find a substitute to manage the Press. If he can find someone.
Prabhupāda: First point is the GBC member must be extensively traveling.
Devotee: What about my position, Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: Now, everyone's position will be considered. This is the first thing, extensively traveling.
Devotee (3): So the positions like Bali-mardana and Karandhara, they have to remain stationary so much. We have to consider that...
Prabhupāda: No, stationary... One thing is that the Bali-mardana, especially Karandhara, he has got already extensive field locally.
Devotee (3): Yes.
Prabhupāda: He has to manage so many things. So extensively touring means for the mission expanding. That is the point. Simply touring is not required, but doing something substantial to increase the interest of the Society. That is the point. So, Karandhara has got many department supervisors[?], so he can be given to work, and sometimes go away [indistinct].
So his position is like that. And similarly, Bali-mardana's position is there. He can be also, if he has got many engagements, er, many departments managed there. So he may not tour, but our only aim is that one must take multi-responsibilities.
Śyāmasundara: Why not Bali-mardana tour sometimes to check on the foreign literatures---French, German---see how they are going on, and inspect the foreign literature field.
Bali-mardana: Also, I'm planning to take speaking engagements in the colleges.
Prabhupāda: So we shall increase. You can increase the number. So according to vacant position, how many, it may be fifteen?
Devotee (3): Thirteen.
Prabhupāda: Why not fifteen, make fifteen?
Devotee: We are thinking of Keśava...
Devotee: We are thinking of Keśava.
Prabhupāda: Or anyone, you can do. Then you have to reorganize the zones, fifteen zones.
Rūpānuga: This is much better, if we're actually expanding. Otherwise it...
Prabhupāda: Yes, we must expand. We must expand. Now the framework of expansion is done by me, but this, they should be solidified. Just like one your skyscraper building. The framework is done, then they are made nicely air-conditioned and covered by glass, like that; it makes a nice house.
Similarly, so far the framework is done. I have done, with your help. Now we have to push this movement. It is very important movement. It is not a farce. It is actually for the benefit of the human society. They are kept in darkness about God, and we are delivering God = "Here is God." So that must be pushed. What is your opinion?
Devotee (3): Jaya!
Prabhupāda: They are kept in darkness about God. Somebody is speaking, saying, "God is dead." Some are, "God is impersonal," "There is no God," "I am God," "You are God," all these nonsense. Here is God. We have to push this. What do you think, Hayagrīva Prabhu?
So, Hayagrīva Prabhu is taking charge of pushing this movement by help in editorial work. So that is most important thing, because we are distributing books. Our writing will be gospel. Our writing will be... We have to edit in such a way, present our literature in such a way that it will be gospel truth.
Prabhupāda: Authorized, that people will refer to our books. So we have to very cautiously print our literatures. It is not ordinary literature, fiction or something, stories. Just like Bhagavad-gītā and Bhāgavata, they are not ordinary literature. Without any four defects of human frailties, bhrama, pramāda, vipralipsa, also... We are following those literatures. So our writing should be so authorized that in future one may not find any fault, contradiction. We shall have to..., cautiously.
The ideas are given there now. In future, of course, it requires that we shall increase this task[?]. But this is the position. Now for the present, we have to push on this movement with positive, I mean to say, conviction, that "Here is God." God is neither dead, nor every one of you is God, nor is He imperson. God is a person, and we give you His name, address, father's name, activities, here. So, we have to push on this movement like that.
So if you have got any doubt about it, then you cannot do it. If you have got any doubt that whether Kṛṣṇa is positive God or not, [indistinct] then you cannot do it. That is the first qualification. If you are yourself not convinced, how you can convince others? This is our propaganda. This is our mission. [indistinct]. Whether you are all convinced on this point, that "Here is positive God"?
What is your opinion? So far I am concerned, I have got opinion[?] = convinced. [laughter]. And therefore I am pushing on. It is a fact. I am pushing on because I am pushing on fact, not fiction. That much I am personally convinced. Whenever there is somebody says, "You believe," "No, I don't believe; it is fact." Any press reporter... That press reporter?
Prabhupāda: It is not the question I believe and don't believe; it is a fact. God is there. You believe or not believe, but God must be there. Your believing, not believing, it doesn't matter. If I don't believe there is no president, it does not mean there will be no president. There must be president. I do not know who is president. But [indistinct]. So people are in misconception that "There is no God," "God is dead," "I am God," "You are God," "God is not person," so many God theories. But we have no theory; we have got a positive presentation = "Here is God." With that conviction we have to push on.
So you must be prepared in that way. There will be so many questions, so many opposing elements. You have to face them by your arguments, by your knowledge. This is required. At least we must have faith in that way. We have to push on. This is the fact. We are Brahmā-sampradāya, Lord Brahmā's sampradāya. So, Brahmā-sampradāya, Lord Brahmā is giving.
Just like last evening we were reading about Brahmā's thought. He is proving, "Yes, here is..., You are God." Although He was child, "He appears to be a child, but You are God." That is Brahmā's version. He is giving support on that point. So if we follow Brahmā, then there is no question here is God. And he writes in the saṁhitā,
anādir ādir govindaḥ
"Here is the God."
And Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ [Bg. 10.8]. Mattaḥ parataraṁ nasti. Kṛṣṇa's version. "There is no more superior truth than Me. I am the origin of everthing." Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate. Everything comes from Him. The Vedānta says, janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. So Absolute Truth is there, which is the original source of everything.
So, Kṛṣṇa says, "I am the original source of everything." The Vedānta says the Absolute Truth means the original source of everything. Brahmā confirms it, and you must also understand. Yes, you learn truth. So you must spread your conviction by your literature, by your argument, by your preaching, by facing opposing elements. That is process. What do you think, Kīrtanānanda Mahārāja?
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the point. Our advancement means the more we meet opposing elements, "Oh, that is all right." Therefore preacher is the best devotee, because he is a soldier. Just like government gives all importance to the fighting soldier. When there is war, all comforts for the soldier first, then the civil people. There was no butter in Germany.
There is no butter, but the soldiers were profusely supplied with butter. And sometimes when the enemy attacks, they throw it away and go away and go to another shelter, and still there is butter. That my Godbrother Sulye[?], when he first came to India I asked him that "I heard that you German people are very robust, stout and strong. Why you are so thin and weak?" So he replied me in this way, that "In our childhood, when I was eight years old, weekly I was getting butter of this size." Everything was controlled, even for children. But the soldiers, there was no control.
So that is..., my point is that those who are soldiers, fighting on behalf of Kṛṣṇa, they are brave soldiers. Na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ [Bg. 18.69]. Kṛṣṇa says, "Nobody is dearer than him who is in the process of preaching this Bhagavad-gītā." So in order to become very dear to Kṛṣṇa [indistinct]. Actually, that is the position. So we must preach in that way---by our literature, by our magazine, by our books, by our speech, by our arrangement. Of course, very peacefully. We are not going back to be, becoming violence. But by argument, by words, by our methods, by our preaching, we have to convince.
Such selected fifteen men wanted, for the present. It may increase more. Now we have got very many [indistinct], but the duty is very responsible. So as..., so far the center is concerned, the local president, these others, they will manage. The GBC can supervise that things are going on. The first management is that each and every member in the temple is chanting sixteen rounds regularly and following the regulations. Otherwise, we have no...
That is our spiritual strength. That must be executed. Haridāsa Ṭhākura, such exalted personality, such advanced, still he is numerical counting even up to the point of his death. These are... Therefore he was given the nāmācārya, he was so rigid [indistinct]. Even at the time of his death, Lord Caitanya requested, "Now you can minimize." "No, Sir, I cannot minimize." And what is the number? Three hundred thousand. These are the examples. [indistinct] Sometimes... But the regulation is that if one day you cannot finish, you have to finish on the next day. But sixteen rounds is not very large number; the lowest. The lowest in India is twenty-five. Yes, Twenty-five..., normally twenty-five.
So this the president, local president, must see that the members are chanting. So this way the institution will be managed, then it will make progress. That is our spiritual strength---to observe the regulative principle and at least chant sixteen rounds. Then you do other things. This is the biggest institution spiritual activities, so every one of us should be spiritually strong. Otherwise, superficially if we want to manage, it will not be possible.
śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā
Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-śīlanam, favorably. Otherwise, it will be [indistinct] in the category of anyābhilāṣitā, material desire---jñāna, karma, yoga, [indistinct]. And bhakti is so pure that it has nothing to do with material activities or speculative, or mystic yoga. It has nothing to do. Just like gopīs. [indistinct] they had nothing to do with all this nonsense, karma, jñāna, yoga. They are neither yogīs, nor very learned scholar, Vedāntist, nor very good businessmen, economist.
Simple boys and girls. But their devotion is exalted, because they did not know anything beyond Kṛṣṇa. That's all. Kṛṣṇa is their life. Never mind to know that Kṛṣṇa is God or not; it doesn't matter. Then they don't..., they didn't care for God also. Gopīs, when they say Nārāyaṇa, "Eh, He's Nārāyaṇa." [laughter] "He's Nārāyaṇa." They have nothing to do with Him. They are searching after Kṛṣṇa, and when Kṛṣṇa presented Himself as Nārāyaṇa, four-handed, they neglected. And before Rādhārāṇī, He could not remain as Nārāyaṇa. Automatically His handed was folded. [laughter] Hands are folded.
So our idea is Vṛndāvana. So our love for Kṛṣṇa should be so strong that we don't care for anything. But for preaching, if somebody challenges, "Yes, we are prepared to talk." That is authority. That is uttama-adhikārī. His love is Kṛṣṇa, is enormous, but not sentiment. If anyone wants to talk with him, "Yes, come on." That is uttama-adhikārī, mahā-bhāgavata.
So this is the position. Now something is in your hand---Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That was my plan, that I shall carry this baggage and give it to the Americans, and they will distribute. That was my plan. Therefore I came to America. So now you are so many boys, young boys, you have understood. So do it, and give me relief. I'll remain in the background. Let me finish my Bhāgavata Purāṇa, and those who are assisting in the writing, I'll be there for [indistinct]. At least in this institution, ISKCON, give to the world so many valuable jewels, there is no comparison. That you will have to see. Then see. Yes. [indistinct]. Already they are appreciating on account of [indistinct]. The paper, what is that paper...
Śyāmasundara: Which one?
Prabhupāda: The Sun Times?
Śyāmasundara: Los Angeles Times.
Prabhupāda: Maybe. They are not ordinary paper[?].
Śyāmasundara: Los Angeles Times.
Prabhupāda: They are serious. They have got..., they have got good discussion[?]. So our seriousness will be proved when our books and [indistinct] are properly distributed around thinking men, scholars. Similarly, we should introduce ourself in the schools, colleges, universities. This is our program. So I have got my program now, [indistinct]. So, so far Vṛndāvana question is concerned, there is, already it is solved. Now you make, utilize, and place yourself in the world. That's all [indistinct].
Devotee: There are two more GBC appointments that have been made, Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: Yes, they are already. Now extra. Now we are increasing to fifteen.
Devotee: We can... We can keep everybody.
Śyāmasundara: Practically there is not much..., to divide Europe into another zone.
Prabhupāda: No, for the time being you can do it like that. So three has already entered and three has already gone. Tamāla Kṛṣṇa has gone, Hayagrīva has gone and Kṛṣṇa dāsa has gone. And we are introducing three = Brahmānanda, Girirāja and Madhudviṣa.
Devotee: So shall we keep the number at thirteen, Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: Make it, make it [maybe?].
Śyāmasundara: Thirteen is...
Prabhupāda: Or you can make it out to fifteen, I have no objection.
Śyāmasundara: Your Guru Mahārāja wanted twelve originally?
Prabhupāda: He wanted, but he was manage Gauḍīya Maṭha. We are managing the whole world. Guru Mahārāja was [indistinct]. Less intelligent than [indistinct].
Śyāmasundara: We can divide it up into smaller and smaller parts.
Prabhupāda: What you do now. This is my manifest plan. If you... And so far New Vṛndāvana is concerned, now there are three properties, so ideally one should be his own property. Is that all right? [indistinct].
Devotee: That leased property.
Prabhupāda: Leased property. So I am not concerned. [indistinct] I want that you should live very peacefully and concentrate your mind for [indistinct]. And we are not to be disturbed with this management. Kīrtanānanda Mahārāja will be [indistinct], then that problem is solved. Now you make divided zones and work [indistinct]. I want to [indistinct]. That's all.
Devotee: Do you want us to make more zones now, Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: You make ourself. Because thirteen... You are making now thirteen. You make thirteen.
Devotee: No, actually there's twelve, and Bali-mardana is staying at the Press, and he is going to travel around. We want to increase and make more...
Prabhupāda: That's all right. That's all right. Bali-mardana will be stagnant.
Śyāmasundara: He can oversee some foreign press.
Prabhupāda: Yes, he has this book department. Book department and... They may move according to convenience, Bali-mardana and Karandhara. He has got also very responsibility---incense department, this department, that department. He has to purchase small houses. So big brain, [indistinct]. So similarly, you also think of the books. Everyone take great responsibility. Then we have to serve this mission in this way. The people are foolish; they have forgotten God. We are delivering them. Best service. And without God, it is all useless, zero, all this civilization. Zero. Whatever they are making advancement, it is all zero, all nonsense.
And actually it is. Now the priestly order supporting homosex. I was surprised. They are going to pass resolution for getting married between man to man. The human society has come down to such a degraded position. It is astonishing. When I heard from Kīrtanānanda Mahārāja there is a big conference for passing this resolution...
In India still, if there somebody hears about homosex [makes sound of breathing out], "Baaah. [indistinct]" Homosex is there, but nobody will support publicly, it is so abominable. People are coming down, and this is the subject matter for priestly order? It may be subject matter for the legislator, but priestly order, they are discussing for one week? [indistinct] just imagine.
Phalena paricīyate, one has to study by the result. Not that superficially you show that "We are very much advanced." Phalena: what is the result? Phalena paricīyate, your, that is in English word also, "End justifies the means." The end is this [indistinct], "We are going to support homosex." Getting married. There was many cases, the priestly order has actually got married. I have read it in that paper, Watch..., what is called?
Prabhupāda: Watchtower. They have [indistinct]. So we have nothing to criticize them. The world is degrading to the lowest status, even less than animal. The animal also do not support homosex. They have never sex life between male to male. Less than animal. People are becoming less than animal. This is all due to godlessness. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā [SB 5.18.12].
Godless civilization cannot have any good qualities. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā mano rathena asato dhāvato... They'll simply go to the untruth by mental speculation. [end]