Room Conversation , Berkeley , 1972-10-06
Prabhupāda: [indistinct] then why you are so much proud of seeing? Therefore Vedānta-sūtra says, śāstra-cakṣuṣā we have to see through perfect book of knowledge. Not this eyes... So our proposition is that Kṛṣṇa the Supreme Personality of Godhead the knowledge He has given us is perfect and if we follow this perfect knowledge then everything will be perfect. That is our position.
Guest: Svāmī I have a question. You said that quoting the scriptures that in this world all governments are evil.
Guest: You said quoting the scriptures that in this world all men being like śūdras all governments are evil. Are some governments worse than others? Is the communism.
Prabhupāda: No all governments even communism. What is that? It’s says the same.
Guest: What about.
Prabhupāda: Voting, voting, so some fools are voting, so what is the value? The process is voting but who is voting? All rascals and fools. That’s all.
Guest: But some parties like the Jana Sangh.
Guest: They say they are more religious.
Prabhupāda: They may say, everyone will say, "my party is very perfect," but we don’t accept. Everyone can say, everyone will say that, "I am perfect." But we have got a test because at the present age the politicians are selected by votes. The public is fool and rascals so what they will select?
So therefore either communism or this capitalism, or this ism or that ism it simply requires the names of... the same thing that’s all. Vedic culture plan is a King, the executive head should be the representative of God. He must be so perfect that he should be. Therefore a King is offered the same respect as to God. Therefore in Sanskrit language it is called naradeva---God in the human form of life, he should be so perfect. And everything is described in our, these literatures. Bhāgavata, how perfect King is working. Just like in India they say, "Ram-raj."
Because Lord Rāmacandra was a perfect King... So in English language also you say, "kingdom of God," but we want kingdom of God without God. So God is perfect and anyone who follows perfect God, he also becomes perfect. So therefore if there is God consciousness in the people in general, then they can select a person nice... Then there will be good government.
Guest (2): Svāmī, if all men are like śūdras then we are all śūdras.
Prabhupāda: Yes because there is no education, training.
Guest: Then how can there be Svāmīs?
Prabhupāda: Well he is not śūdra, he is master. Svāmī means master and śūdra means servant. Svāmī, actually Svāmī means who is master and śūdra means servant you should understand what is Svāmī and master means master of the senses. Just like we are teaching our students to become Svāmī.
How? No illicit sex, no intoxication, no meat eating, no gambling. So they are being trained to become master because everyone is servant of these principles. So Svāmī does not mean śūdra, a śūdra cannot become Svāmī because śūdra is a servant. Servant means servant of the senses. Now these boys are being trained to become master they do not even smoke they do not drink tea, they do not drink coffee. At least they have become masters of these things and gradually they will become master more and more. If you can control your tongue then you can control your belly and then you control your genitals a straight line.
If you cannot control your tongue how you can become master of the senses. Therefore in the śāstra it is said, sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ [Brs. 1.2.234]. "God realisation is possible when one engages his senses, especially the tongue." Now it will be surprising when you hear that by controlling the tongue we can realise God. But that is a fact.
Therefore we are teaching controlling the tongue, sevonmukhe hi jihvādau. The controlling business begins from the tongue. Therefore these things are prohibited. Don’t do this, don’t do this, don’t do this. And although one who is already conversant with this controlling he is not a śūdra he is a Svāmī.
Guest (3): We are at the present time in a real reality in regard, spirit souls we are fragments of the Godhead of Kṛṣṇa God. Our goal in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness is to encourage eventually to this Godhead and at the present time we are recognisably in a state of māyā here and are being governed by the three states, three states of matter.
What was the reason according to you why man has lost this perfection in the beginning? In other words it would seem to me that if in this pristine stage when we would be as it were with Kṛṣṇa why would we ever want to depart at all.
Prabhupāda: It means.
Guest (3): Departing and getting involved.
Guest (3): In this māyā the illusory matter.
Prabhupāda: It is not very difficult just like one falls victim of some disease and again by treatment he can recover from the disease and these Europeans and American boys they are becoming recovered, by the disease, illicit sex, meat eating, gambling, intoxication.
So they fell victim to these similarly we have got little independence we can fall down and we can raise ourselves up, become elevated. So it is to be understood that as by desiring to be elevated we become free from all these unwanted things, similarly by desiring we fell down. And by desiring I can elevate similarly, so it is to be understood that by desiring I fell down.
So desire is there, so I can fall down, I can raise myself and that requires association. So your question is how we fell down? Because you desired it. Now when I desired, how I desired? Then you have to trace out the whole history but you are eternal when it has begun it is very difficult to find but it is a fact because you desired to Lord it over the material nature we have fallen down. Here everyone is trying to Lord it over that is the tendency, this is material life.
I’m trying to Lord it over, you’re trying also to Lord it over then there is competition, then fight. There is no submission. Therefore Kṛṣṇa’s instruction He says, "you nonsense first of all submit,"sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁśaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. That is the beginning because everyone is puffed up he has no submission. So that is the difficulty. We become puffed up we want to imitate God. Now one so and so is denying God we are thinking that by inventing something we are saying, "what is the use of God?" What the scientists say?
Svarūpa Dāmodara: [indistinct]
Prabhupāda: He’s a scientist.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: They said God didn’t create the universe. Scientists discovered the physical rules governing these laws of motion of the planetary motions and therefore they say God is not necessary to ah. To investigate for the wellbeing of the human being so therefore God is not necessary.
Prabhupāda: Is that a very scientific proposal? God created now we are trying to know the laws therefore there is no necessity of God. Is that very sound proposal? What do you think?
Guest (3): [indistinct]
Guest (3): [indistinct]
Prabhupāda: Yes thank you. It is called demoniac love... Yes?
Guest (4): Is it possible for a member of the śūdra class... caste to become a brāhmaṇa?
Prabhupāda: Oh yes. Just like any ordinary man can be educated and he can become a doctor or a scientist or a Doctor of philosophy.
Guest (4): So there is a kind of democratisation.
Prabhupāda: Therefore it is said, guṇa-karma, karma means by action. Just like you are educated nicely as a chemist when you act as a chemist then you are well educated. If you simply know chemistry and do not act then you are not a chemist.
So one should be trained up and at the same time will act then we will accept. That is clearly stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, your question, māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ [Bg. 9.32]. Pāpa-yonayaḥ born in sinful life, pāpa-yonayaḥ lower class, low born pāpa-yonayaḥ, striyo śūdrās tathāvaiśyās te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim. Even women, śūdras, vaiśyas if he takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he goes.
So there is no bar, there is no hindrance everyone can take it up it is open to everyone. So everyone should be given the chance to become a perfect brāhmaṇa---that is brahminical culture---that is Vedic culture. Because the human life is a chance to understand God in the lower animal life there is no such chance. A dog cannot be educated to understand God but a man can be. So if this human life is misused in the matter of animal propensities then it is a great loss. His propensities for understanding God should be aroused that is real education, āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca sāmānyam etat paśubhir narāṇām.
Eating sleeping sexual life and defence this is common to the animals and the human beings. This special significance of human life that he can understand God, the animal cannot. So if a human being is not given chance to understand God then he remains animal. So there is no such chance in the University education and there is no department of knowledge to understand God. You know so.
Guest (5): Śrīla Prabhupāda can you explain how we can become more Kṛṣṇa conscious? Without wearing a dhoti and shaving our heads?
Prabhupāda: Well, dhoti’s these are not very important things.
Guest (5): [indistinct]
Prabhupāda: They are taking it I never said that you take dhoti. You can remain in your coat and pants that... what is that? But naturally they have simplified the methodology they can lie down on the floor they don’t require any furniture they don’t require any costly dress.
Any dress will satisfy them any simple food will satisfy them. The process is we should decrease our artificial material necessities of life and save time to understand God that is the value of life. By gorgeously dressing you do not become a big man by knowledge you become a big man.
Guest (6): Svāmī, in the International Society for Kṛṣṇa consciousness there is a governing board committee and you have as the Svāmī are directing this board and presidents of temples. Do you think this is a good organisation for a country?
Prabhupāda: What bad you think? What is the bad in it?
Guest (6): [laughs]
Prabhupāda: If it is not bad then it is good.
Guest (6): So there should be a Svāmī rather than a president as head of the Centre?
Prabhupāda: Well, I explained Svāmī means the master of the senses. If one becomes president and remains a servant of the senses what is the value? What is the value? He may become president to the fools but he is a servant of the senses that’s all. So my request is that you are all leading personalities of the society kindly try to understand the value of our movement and cooperate that is the. It is a very good scientific movement authorised and very simple also...
And even a child can take part in it. Actually when we chant and dance in our temple many small children about three or four years, they also do it. They also offer obeisances, offer flowers and that is not going in vain. There from the very beginning of their life they are getting the association of good father, mother, devotees they are not eating anything which is prohibited. So it is acceptable even by a child. There is no need of having advanced education anyone can, striyo śūdrās tathā vaiśyās. Anyone.
Kirāta, Hūṇa, Āndhra, Pulinda, Pulkaśa, Ābhīra, Śumbha, these are uncivilised. Kirāta, Hūṇa, Āndhra, Pulinda, Pulkaśa, Ābhīra, Śumbha, kiṁ punar brāhmaṇāḥ puṇyā [Bg. 9.33] and what to speak of brāhmaṇas those whose background is pious life. Kiṁ punar brāhmaṇāḥ puṇyā bhaktā rājarṣayas tathā, anyone can take up, there is no difficulty.
Guest (7): Svāmī, I understand that in the Śrīmad-Bhāgwat that there is a part of it called the Uddhava-gītā which is supposed to be the essence of it. Can you tell us a little bit about that thing?
Prabhupāda: Brahmā was talking with Kṛṣṇa as Arjuna was talking with Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa was replying. Similarly Uddhava was asking and Kṛṣṇa was replying. Therefore that portion of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is called Uddhava-gītā and this portion of Mahābhārata is called Arjuna-gītā. Gītā means song so the song sung by the Supreme Lord. So the Supreme Lord was teaching Uddhava how to execute devotional service.
That is pure, here in the Arjuna-gītā Kṛṣṇa is teachings so many things, karma, jñāna, yoga and at last bhakti also but in Uddhava-gītā there is simply instruction of devotion. There is no other affair, karma, jñāna, yoga. Karma means fruitive activities as we are ordinarily engaged, we work and get some remuneration that is called karma. Jñāna means when one understand that what I’m getting by this process and working and getting so many benefits.
What is the actual ultimate goal of my life? That is jñāna. Karma jñāna and yoga---is a little higher, the find out the absolute truth and bhakti means to know the absolute truth and our relationship with Him and actually be engaged in His service that is called bhakti... Yes?
Guest (8): Svāmī... the 14-year-old boy Guru Mahārāji.
Prabhupāda: Well I do not [indistinct]. He can understand I do not.
Guest (8): Can I ask you a question.
Prabhupāda: So far that I have heard he says that there is no need of books. So you are all educationists without books what is his knowledge? He does not recognise books, what does he say?
Devotee: He says, "you can do away with books."
Prabhupāda: Yes, you can do away with books. So you can understand his value. There is no use of arguing. If somebody of you says that, "I have never attended school or college, I am now a scientist." So would it be appropriate?
Śāstra-cakṣusā, knowledge has to be received through books but the books must be perfect but you cannot say that, "without books I have become perfect." That is not possible.
Guest (8): He claims to be an avatāra.
Prabhupāda: We you can also refute that, that is. But who is accepting it. What is the meaning of avatāra, do you know?
Guest (8): I’m asking you a question.
Prabhupāda: If you are asking then he is a fool. That’s my...
Guest (9): Do you consider yourself an interpreter of scriptures rather than a source of new revelations?
Prabhupāda: No I’m not an interpreter of God given revelations I’m speaking as it is said that’s all.
Guest (9): How?
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa says that he is God.
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
"I am the origin of everything." Then the Vedānta-sūtra says that, "the absolute truth means the origin of everything." So... And Kṛṣṇa is accepted as the origin of everything by great stalwarts. Brahmā in the Brahma-saṁhitā he says,
anādir ādir govindaḥ
"The cause of all causes." So we have to follow these authoritative statements in the śāstra [indistinct].
Guest (10): So [indistinct] have been a Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement without Lord Caitanya?
Prabhupāda: Yes Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement was there since the 5,000 years when Kṛṣṇa appeared. In the battlefield of Kurukṣetra where he instructed Bhagavad-gītā. Caitanya Mahāprabhu revived it very nicely. Just like we have introduced this movement in your country it does not mean that it did not exist before. It was existing... So is there any other question? Yes?
Guest (11): Do you see the Kṛṣṇa movement coming out in any different form in Western culture? As it was in India [indistinct]
Prabhupāda: No it is not different form. The form is the same Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁśaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. "You give up all other engagements and just surrender unto Me." These people are taking that principle, they are giving up all other engagements and surrendering to Kṛṣṇa, this is not nothing new it is the same old story.
Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. "You always think of me,"man-manā, "you become my devotee,"mad-bhakto, mad-yājī, "you worship me," and you offer your obeisances unto me. So we are teaching this point the same thing. We always think of Kṛṣṇa,
Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare
They are doing that. And they are worshipping Kṛṣṇa in the temple. You have seen our temple in San Francisco? We have got a temple. So many temples, in Los Angeles. Everywhere we will be very much pleased to see our temple activities. So they are becoming devotees, they are worshipping, they are offering obeisances so where is the new thing?
It is ordered by Kṛṣṇa, there is nothing. We are doing that and we are preaching that, there is no difference between our preaching and this, āpani ācari prabhu jīvere ṛṣi. We have to do first of all then we can preach otherwise what is the meaning of preaching?
Guest (12): Śrīla Prabhupāda, how big is your movement and how fast is it growing?
Prabhupāda: That you can calculate. I came here in nineteen hundred and sixty-five then I started this movement. In one year I could not do anything, I had no place. I started this movement in nineteen hundred and sixty-six in July. Then I came ill then I returned back in 1967 June. Then again I came back in 1968.
So we are trying to push on this movement we have got over 100 branches all over the world and many thousands of disciples like these dedicated. We have published about 20 books like this and we are selling books, on the sales proceeds we are living. We have no other income.
All our expenditure throughout the whole society---at least $70,000 per month. And these are the samples of the students you can talk with them, you can see. There is no hide and seek, so you can judge...
Host: Thank you very much. Thank you.
Prabhupāda: Hare Krishna.
[Sound of rearranging the furniture]
Prabhupāda: Eh? Oh yes, chant. [indistinct] chanting. [laughs] Chant Hare Krishna. You have no karatālas? There please chant with the clapping.
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine
śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda
Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare
Prabhupāda: [prema-dhvanī] Thank you very much.
Devotees: All glories to Śrī Śrī Guru and Gaurāṅga. Śrīla Prabhupāda! [Offering of obeisances]
Chandanācārya: His Divine Grace is going to be speaking again tomorrow night in San Francisco at the ‘Hall of Flowers’ at 8 pm. Golden gate park, 9th Avenue [indistinct]. Sunday night here in Berkeley at the Martin Luther King Auditorium 7.30 pm. [indistinct] you’re all welcome. And Saturday and Sunday morning at our temple in San Francisco at 7 am there will be Bhāgavata class. Teachings from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam...
Hare Krishna. [end]