Interview with Reporters , London , 1973-08-06
Reporter: You’re just over here for a visit, are you? Or are you staying here? Do you intend to stay here?
Prabhupāda: If you allow me.
Reporter: Well, is there any problem about that, then?
Prabhupāda: Yes, because your immigration department is very strict nowadays.
Reporter: So they only allow you a visitor's permit, then.
Prabhupāda: Yes, I am a visitor. Although I am proprietor of so many temples...
Prabhupāda: ...still I am a visitor in my temple.
Reporter: So you're just a visitor, but you want to stay here?
Reporter: You want to stay here?
Prabhupāda: Can you help me?
Reporter: Oh, I don't know. I'm just a newspaperman.
Prabhupāda: Then why are you asking me?
Reporter: Well, because I'm interested. I wanted to know whether you would be here...
Reporter: ...just for a visit...
Reporter: ...or whether you were here...
Prabhupāda: England, especially London, is the most important city in the world, so there are many nice people here. I very much like to talk with them. So if I am allowed to stay here, I can stay and make friendship with nice people here. That's all.
Reporter: Yes. When did you arrive? When did you arrive in England?
Prabhupāda: [to Haṁsadūta] You can reply.
Haṁsadūta: Umm, about couple of weeks ago. Just before Ratha-yātrā. Seventh of July?
Haṁsadūta: Seventh of July.
Reporter: Seventh of July. From India. From India.
Haṁsadūta: From Calcutta.
Reporter: And you've had this, uh, this house since May. Is that right?
Haṁsadūta: Since May. Yes
Reporter: And George Harrison of the Beatles bought this house for you.
Reporter: How did you get to know George Harrison?
Prabhupāda: Well, I am a mendicant. I travel all over the world.
Reporter: You're a what?
Reporter: Yeah. Yeah.
Prabhupāda: So people come to me. That is my profession.
Reporter: Well, where did you meet Harrison, then?
Prabhupāda: In here. I first met him here.
Reporter: In London?
Prabhupāda: Here in London, 1968.
Reporter: 'Cause he had another juru [sic] didn't he? He had, um, what was his name? The Maharishi. The, the old gentleman with the beard.
Prabhupāda: Yes, he is a good boy. He is searching after some spiritual enlightenment. That's very good idea.
Reporter: Yeah, but he used to...
Prabhupāda: And he found Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement as genuine.
Reporter: [to devotees] So, uh, I'm sorry. When did he say he met George Harrison? In 196..?
Devotees: '68. In London.
Reporter: 1968. But..., but George Harrison went to India, and he was, uh, he met there the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Prabhupāda: I do not know that. But I have heard it.
Reporter: You've heard it, yeah. He's the gentleman with the big beard.
Reporter: Yeah. How is it that he got... I mean, if he had one Maharishi juru [sic], guru, whatever you call yourselves, if he had one, why does he need two?
Prabhupāda: Well, guru we can make many, for learning many things.
Reporter: Yeah, yeah.
Prabhupāda: But he can stick to one.
Prabhupāda: Just like in the Western countries, the girls, they meet many boys. At last she selects one. [chuckling]
Reporter: Yeah. Did he give this house to you?
Reporter: Do you pay anything for it at all?
Reporter: Do you pay him anything for it at all?
Prabhupāda: Well, where is money I shall pay?
Prabhupāda: Where is money I shall pay?
Reporter: When you get it, you'll pay for it, will you?
Prabhupāda: No, no.
Bhajahari: Where is the money? He says he hasn't any.
Prabhupāda: You asked me...
Prabhupāda: ...whether I paid anything.
Prabhupāda: But where is my money?
Reporter: Haven't you got any?
Śrutikīrti: Doesn't have any money.
Prabhupāda: I am a mendicant.
Reporter: So you live here. This is a..., is it right, fifty-five rooms in this place? Fifty-five?
Reporter: And what are you going to do with them all?
Prabhupāda: Oh, you are welcome. Come and live with us.
Reporter: How many people live here now?
Prabhupāda: About fifty people. Not less than.
Reporter: Fifty people living here.
Haṁsadūta: At least.
Reporter: That's ladies and, uh...
Haṁsadūta: Ladies, yes.
Prabhupāda: Ladies separately. Gentlemen separately.
Reporter: And what do they do all day?
Prabhupāda: Yes, they..., they are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.
Reporter: Chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa...?
Prabhupāda: Yes, and eating prasādam, foodstuff offered to Kṛṣṇa.
Reporter: And eating what?
Prabhupāda and Devotee: Prasādam.
Haṁsadūta: Prasādam. P-r-a-s-a...
Haṁsadūta: Prasādam. It is spiritual food, or food offered to Kṛṣṇa.
Reporter: Well what's spirit... What, what's, what is it, spiritual food?
Haṁsadūta: It is all vegetarian foodstuffs prepared and then offered to Kṛṣṇa. It becomes spiritual. It is called prasādam.
Prabhupāda: You can say that we don't eat meat.
Haṁsadūta: Yes. We don't... We follow four principles very strictly. We, all our students, they do not eat any meat, fish or eggs. That means we don't kill animals---no meat, fish or eggs; no intoxicants---they take not even tea or cigarettes or coffee.
Reporter: Not even tea, cigarettes or coffee.
Haṁsadūta: No tea, coffee, cigarettes. Nothing. No intoxication. And they are..., no illicit sex life.
Haṁsadūta: And they don't gamble. No gambling. These are our four restrictions.
Reporter: Now you are, your..., some of your younger men are getting the hall ready for a temple. Is that right? I just saw them.
Haṁsadūta: They are preparing the hall downstairs for a temple.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that will be used for temple.
Reporter: Yeah, yeah.
Prabhupāda: Wherever we stay, that is a temple.
Reporter: Yes. Yeah.
Prabhupāda: We have got so many temples. This is the picture of our Los Angeles temple.
Haṁsadūta: In Los Angeles.
Haṁsadūta: On the..., on the twenty-first of this month, twenty-first and twenty-second, there will be a big ceremony, an installation, a Deity installation ceremony. I think it mentions in, in your...
Reporter: Yeah, yeah. But apart from eating and chanting, what else do you do here? You sleep in the afternoons, do you?
Prabhupāda: No. We have got so many books. There is class. We have got... Show him the books.
Reporter: But you sleep in the afternoon, do you? You've just..., I'm told you've just woken up. Is that right?
Prabhupāda: Yes. I don't sleep at night. I sleep some time in daytime.
Reporter: What do you do at night, then?
Prabhupāda: I write books.
Haṁsadūta: He writes these books. Prabhupada has written more than fifteen big books like this. You can look at them.
Prabhupāda: He can note down my books. They are selling [indistinct].
Haṁsadūta: Like to have a look at them.
Reporter: Yeah. And do your people go up to the West End chanting and collecting money? Do they? Do they go from here? Are they the people one sees in the West End?
Prabhupāda: Collecting money by selling books.
Reporter: Yeah, but these are the people that one sees in Oxford Street.
Haṁsadūta: Oh, yes.
Reporter: They come from here.
Bhajahari: We also have a center there, in the West End.
Reporter: Yeah. But what I, you know, you've got fifty people here. How many... What sort of..., are they...
Prabhupāda: They go with books outside, and they chant, and anyone likes, he can purchase our books. Our main source of income is by selling books. All over the world we are selling books, about $300 per day.
Haṁsadūta: In our center here.
Prabhupāda: All center.
Reporter: How much do you need to keep this place going? I mean, how do you live here? How much money do you need a week to keep this...?
Prabhupāda: That I don't keep account. He knows. What..., what must..., how much we want.
Bhajahari: At least a hundred pounds each week.
Prabhupāda: Hundred pounds each week.
Reporter: You can get a hundred pounds each week?
Reporter: Where from?
Bhajahari: We have..., just like our spiritual master was saying about selling books.
Reporter: You get a hundred pounds a week selling books, do you?
Bhajahari: Well, some people make donations also.
Bhajahari: We have programs. Raise money.
Prabhupāda: We have no fixed source of income. We have no fixed source of income, but we depend on Kṛṣṇa.
Reporter: You're not as rich as the Divine Light Church, or the little guru, the little...?
Bhajahari: Guru Maharaj-ji.
Haṁsadūta: [to Prabhupāda] He wants to know if we are as rich as Guru Maharaj-ji.
Prabhupāda: I do not know about..., much about Guru Maharaj-ji. [laughing]
Bhajahari: We don't...
Prabhupāda: Do you know anything about him?
Reporter: Well, I know he has a very expensive motorcar, and uh... Do you have a very expensive motorcar?
Prabhupāda: No. Just see our expenditure is sit down on the floor, just lie down on this floor. [laughter] You are experiencing how we are luxuriously living. We cannot offer even a chair. This is our position.
Reporter: But that's because you don't want chairs, though, isn't it?
Reporter: That's because you don't want to have chairs, not because you can't afford chairs.
Prabhupāda: No. If you offer me chair, I can sit down.
Reporter: Yes, but you don't really..., be happier sitting there, not in a chair.
Haṁsadūta: Here's a chair.
Prabhupāda: There is a chair. [laughter]
Reporter: Why, uh, why do you need a fifty-five-room mansion to carry out your work?
Prabhupāda: Because George has given.
Prabhupāda: Otherwise we can lie down on the street. We don't deny. If you offer me another house, I can accept also.
Reporter: How often do you see George?
Haṁsadūta: How often do you see George? How often he comes here?
Prabhupāda: Since I have come here, he has come here twice, thrice.
Reporter: Just twice?
Reporter: He arrived... You arrived here July, didn't he?
Reporter: July the seventh, did we say?
Prabhupāda: He comes along with his friends.
Reporter: What is he do?
Prabhupāda: He sings.
Reporter: He what?
Prabhupāda: He is a musician; he sings, that's all. He glorifies Kṛṣṇa. His recent record, he has glorified Kṛṣṇa, by Kṛṣṇa's grace.
Reporter: What do you think of him as a sitar player?
Prabhupāda: We are not very much concerned with sitar players.
Reporter: Yeah. No, no.
Prabhupāda: We are concerned with the devotees.
Reporter: I didn't mean that frivolously. I meant what do you think of him as a sitar player? I understand he does play the sitar.
Haṁsadūta: He does play the sitar. He wants to...
Prabhupāda: He has not played anything before me, but I know that he is a good musician, that's all.
Reporter: Yeah, yeah.
Prabhupāda: But he has not played anything before me. When he comes, he talks with me, that's all.
Reporter: What about?
Prabhupāda: About this Kṛṣṇa.
Reporter: Yeah. You say you don't smoke cigarettes. Do you smoke anything else?
Haṁsadūta: Nothing. No.
Reporter: No, no. No pot or anything?
Haṁsadūta: We don't even drink Pepsi-Cola.
Bhajahari: No intoxication.
Reporter: Why is that?
Haṁsadūta: Because we don't take anything which is not necessary for maintaining the body and soul together. We simply take what's required.
Prabhupāda: We want to live very plain and simple life.
Reporter: You don't take anything that what? That doesn't require what?
Bhajahari: That isn't required to keep body and soul together.
Haṁsadūta: We want to live very simple. Plain living, high thinking.
Prabhupāda: Well I..., I, I am surprised. So why you don't ask anything about our philosophy? You are asking ordinary things.
Reporter: Well I'm coming to that, I'm coming to that.
Reporter: I'm coming to that, you see.
Prabhupāda: That is most important thing.
Reporter: It's just that, take..., take..., we want to take things as we get to them, you know.
Prabhupāda: These are ordinary things. Either you sit on a chair or on the floor, it doesn't matter.
Reporter: Umm. It can be uncomfortable sitting on the floor, if you're not used to sitting on the floor.
Prabhupāda: No, we are very comfortable. Just see.
Reporter: Oh, I can go into, in London, into a Japanese restaurant. They say, "Please would you sit on the floor?" and I'll say, "No, I'm..., don't want to sit on the floor. I'm very uncomfortable having my meal and sitting here for two hours." So I go to a...
Prabhupāda: Those who are uncomfortable, we offer him chair. Yes.
Reporter: I go to a part of the restaurant where they have chairs, and I'm comfortable, you see.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. You must sit comfortably.
Prabhupāda: So we ask gentleman who comes here, "If you want chair?" If he says, "Yes, that will be nice," we give him chair.
Prabhupāda: So if you want chair, I can give you.
Reporter: Oh, no. I'm moving around all the time, you see.
Reporter: It said... It says on this little thing---I don't know who wrote it, uh, what's his, uh..?
Reporter: Śyāmasundara. It says here that George comes twice a week. Is that right? Or twice. Has he only been here twice? Twice a week, or does he come twice?
Prabhupāda: He has come twice. Sometimes twice a...
Śrutikīrti: He sees Śyāmasundara many times a week.
Prabhupāda: Oh, he sees Śyāmasundara many times, here.
Śrutikīrti: Śyāmasundara saw him last few days. Saw him today, yesterday.
Reporter: What about...
Prabhupāda: Actually Śyāmasundara, that Śyāmasundara has induced George to take some interest in our Society. He is friend. So he... George may come and see him twice in a week.
Reporter: But... So you could live... You talk about wanting to live simply. You could live simply in an ordinary house, not..., you don't necessarily need a fifty-five-bedroom house?
Prabhupāda: No. If you offer, why shall I deny it?
Reporter: Why should you...?
Prabhupāda: If you, you, just like George has...
Devotee: Deny it.
Prabhupāda: ...given us this house...
Prabhupāda: ...similarly, if you give us a house, 155 rooms, we shall accept. Immediately.
Prabhupāda: And we shall utilize it properly.
Prabhupāda: Not that we are neglecting. We are keeping. Just see, we are keeping this room very nicely, neat and clean. People come and sit down.
Reporter: Were you surprised when he bought it for you?
Reporter: Had he met you...?
Prabhupāda: He has paid £200,000 for this house.
Reporter: He has paid £220,000?
Prabhupāda: [aside to devotee:] [indistinct]?
Devotees: That's right, yeah.
Reporter: When did you know that he'd bought it? Did he write to you in India and tell you, or how did you know?
Prabhupāda: No, Śyāmasundara talked with him.
Śrutikīrti: Śyāmasundara is George's close friend, so that was arranged between Śyāmasundara and George.
Reporter: Yeah, and then, and then they told the, uh....
Śrutikīrti: Then they told Śrīla Prabhupāda they'd done it.
Reporter: Yeah, and then this is why he came over to..., to England, because he had this center?
Prabhupāda: You have seen our London center?
Reporter: No, I haven't. No.
Prabhupāda: That is very, very small house, although it is five-story. That was not suitable.
Reporter: Where was that?
Prabhupāda: 7 Bury Place.
Śrutikīrti: 7 Bury Place.
Prabhupāda: 7 Bury Place.
Haṁsadūta: Right behind the British Museum.
Reporter: Why... That, that..., that only had how many rooms?
Prabhupāda: How many rooms?
Bhajahari: Maybe had fifteen.
Prabhupāda: Fifteen? No. Not so many.
Śrutikīrti: Two rooms a floor.
Prabhupāda: Not more than ten rooms.
Haṁsadūta: Ten rooms, but very small rooms.
Reporter: So that wasn't very suitable?
Prabhupāda: Not suitable. We were about more than fifty devotees.
Śrutikīrti: Sixty-seven devotees.
Prabhupāda: Sixty-seven devotees. So we wanted a bigger place. So Śyāmasundara told George that if he can give us a..., give us some money, we can purchase. So he has purchased without taking any of our money.
Reporter: Without taking any...?
Prabhupāda: Our money.
Śrutikīrti: Of our money.
Reporter: Yeah, yeah.
Prabhupāda: We have no money.
Reporter: How many people belong to your sect in..., in Britain? I mean, not just the fifty here. Are there others?
Prabhupāda: Yes, we have got other centers---in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Birmingham, Dublin and... What other places?
Bhajahari: Notting Hill Gate in London north.
Reporter: So how many followers do you have?
Prabhupāda: Many followers. At least fifty men, not less than twenty-five, in each center.
Reporter: Well that could be... My arithmetic is not very good. How many..., how many centers have you got?
Prabhupāda: About half a dozen.
Reporter: So six centers of fifty men in each.
Bhajahari: No. Not less than twenty-five.
Reporter: Not less than twenty-five. So six fives are thirty, two sixes are twelve. That's 150.
Reporter: About 150 members of your sect...
Reporter: ...in Britain, so far.
Prabhupāda: No. We have got... Just like George does not live with us, but he is also our..., one of the members.
Reporter: Oh, I see. Yeah. These are the people that live with you...
Reporter: There are...
Prabhupāda: But there are many others who are living outside.
Prabhupāda: You can take photograph of our temple. Down.
Reporter: Oh, that's not the temple I've... You are preparing, you mean. Downstairs?
Prabhupāda: From the twenty-second August it will be regular temple room.
Reporter: Have you applied to the Home Office to stay here?
Reporter: Have you applied for permission to stay?
Prabhupāda: No. I am going day after tomorrow to Paris.
Prabhupāda: Then I will come back again, during the ceremony.
Prabhupāda: In this way I am coming, going. I have got so many centers. I have to visit and see how things are going on.
Reporter: But you're going st... This'll be your headquarters, will it?
Prabhupāda: Yes. In Europe it will be my headquarters. Just like in America I have got my headquarter, Los Angeles.
Reporter: In Los Angeles?
Prabhupāda: In India I have got my headquarters, Māyāpur.
Reporter: Yeah. This, uh, letter, we had talks about people like Peter Sellers, Donovan, Allen Ginsberg, "aging seeker..."
Prabhupāda: Allen Ginsberg came here. He comes to see me.
Reporter: What about Peter Sellers?
Prabhupāda: He sees...
Bhajahari: He's coming tomorrow.
Prabhupāda: He's coming tomorrow. He sees Śyāmasundara.
Śrutikīrti: He's seeing Śyāmasundara. He was staying with some of our devotees in Mexico for the last two weeks.
Prabhupāda: Lord Brockway came to see me the other day. Lord Fenner Brockway. Sir Alisty...
Bhajahari: Alistair Hardy.
Prabhupāda: ...Hardy, he likes our movement.
Reporter: Who? Lord Brockway came to see you?
Prabhupāda: And what is this? That Professor, Sir Alistair...
Haṁsadūta: Sir Alistair Hardy from Oxford University.
Prabhupāda: He also came. And that editor. Many gentlemen come.
Bhajahari: John Papworth.
Bhajahari: John Papworth, from Resurgence.
Reporter: Then, well, what about people like Graham Hill?
Bhajahari: Yes. He was here about ten days ago.
Reporter: Well what do these people do?
Prabhupāda: They talk about our philosophy. Therefore I was asking why don't you talk about philosophy.
Reporter: Graham Hill came, uh... So all these---Sir Alistair Hardy, the Bishops of Kingston and Southwark. Have you seen them?
Bhajahari: They're to come in the future.
Reporter: Oh, they're coming in the future?
Bhajahari: After. After Śrīla Prabhupāda returns from Paris.
Reporter: But Dr. Ramsey, the Archbishop, is he coming?
Bhajahari: After Paris.
Reporter: Dr. Arnold...
Haṁsadūta: [to Prabhupāda] In Paris, in Paris they have a..., the Assistant Mayor will give you an official reception to the city in City Hall when you come there on the tenth..., on the ninth, rather.
Reporter: What about Dr. Arnold Toynbee? Has he been here?
Prabhupāda: Yes. No, I saw him.
Bhajahari: Mr. Toynbee is very... He can't move around very much, so Prabhupada went to visit him.
Reporter: Yeah. How did they get to know about your movement? How do these people---Graham Hill and Peter Sellers and---how do they, how do you think they get to know about you?
Prabhupāda: [to devotee] How do you want to...
Bhajahari: We are propagating. All the devotees here are propagating...
Prabhupāda: You see, any movement, if it is approved by the leading men of the society, it gets the standard. Our movement is very scientific. Therefore we want the leading men. Just like you are a journalist, we wish that you also try to understand how important this movement is. And if you think that it is actually it is important, you should help us in propagation. That is our motive.
Reporter: Yeah. So the Bishops of Southwark have gotta come; they, they're coming. Dr. Ramsey's coming. Have you, have you had any... Do you write to Dr. Ramsey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, or...?
Prabhupāda: No. I don't write. My assistant, they arrange meetings.
Prabhupāda: I am...
Reporter: He's gonna come to see you?
Bhajahari: He's coming, yeah.
Reporter: How do you know that?
Bhajahari: Well, one boy is arranging all these meetings.
Reporter: Oh, he's, yeah. I see. Now apart from eating and chanting, you must meditate, too. Do you here? Do you spend your time meditating?
Prabhupāda: Meditate... Do you know what is meditation?
Reporter: Well, it's deep thought, isn't it?
Prabhupāda: So we are always in meditation...
Reporter: You're always in meditation.
Prabhupāda: ...because we are thinking of Kṛṣṇa.
Reporter: Yeah, yeah.
Prabhupāda: Not that we meditate for five minutes and do nonsense twenty-four hours. Not like that.
Prabhupāda: We meditate twenty-four hours.
Reporter: Yeah. All the time, yeah.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is our business. We don't make, "This is..., this time are for meditation and this time is for slaughtering animals." We have no such thought. We meditate twenty-four hours. That is our philosophy. Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ [Cc. Ādi 17.31].
Reporter: What about prayer? How much time do you spend in prayer?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Prayer is also meditation.
Reporter: Yeah, but how much time do you spend, then?
Prabhupāda: Our meditation is twenty-four hours, in varieties of occupation. We are meditating chanting; we are meditating dancing; we are meditating eating; we are meditating preaching; we are meditating writing; we are meditating reading; we are meditating singing. So these so-called meditators, they close their eyes and sleep for some time---not like that. We have got our occupation, varieties, but each occupation is meditation.
Reporter: Yeah, but you get up at four-thirty, apparently. This all starts at four-thirty, doesn't it?
Prabhupāda: Yes, maṅgala-ārātrika. Offering ārātrika, reception to the Lord.
Reporter: At four-thirty.
Reporter: And all fifty of you are up at that time, are you?
Haṁsadūta: Well, before that time, actually. Three-thirty, four. Ceremony is at four-thirty.
Reporter: What time do you go to bed, to sleep?
Haṁsadūta: Nine-thirty, ten.
Prabhupāda: Six hours' sleeping.
Reporter: You say you have a sort of lifestyle comparison with monks in monastery? Early rising and busy day and early to bed.
Haṁsadūta: Rising early is very important.
Reporter: Now what about your philosophy, then? What is your philosophy? Let's talk about philosophy.
Prabhupāda: Our philosophy is this is God's creation. Everything what you see, that is God's creation. And He has created this cosmic manifestation with a purpose. As every..., everyone creates something with a purpose, not whimsically. So we living entities, we are also one of the creation of God. So our business is to understand what is God, what is our relationship with Him, and act accordingly. That is..., that is our constitutional position.
Reporter: Well what does that in fact mean in practice? How do you act accordingly in practice?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like we are acting. We are rising early in the morning, we are offering reception to God, and we are chanting His glories, we are reading about His activities. So this is our understanding what is God. And then we are trying... People have forgotten God. They have become animals. They are interested simply eating, sleeping, sex life and defense. This is animal life. Animal has no other business than these four types of activities---how to eat, animal...
Haṁsadūta: Eating, sleeping, defending and mating.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Animals eats, animal sleeps, animals have sex life, and animal also defend from enemies. So human being, at the present moment, they are also engaged in eating, how to eat; economic condition, developing how to sleep, big, big skyscraper building; and how to have sex life, freedom of boys and girls, just like hippies, to manage sex life without any restriction, like cats and dogs. So... And defending also. You might have discovered atomic bomb and other scientific method for defense---that is defense only. But these business are there in animals also. So what is the special business of human being? Can you tell me?
Reporter: So what...?
Prabhupāda: These four businesses---eating, sleeping, enjoy sex life and make defense, force---so these four things are done by the animals. So you also do in a different way, in a scientific way, but the business is the same.
Reporter: So what do you do? You, you eat and sleep. So what else do you do?
Prabhupāda: We... You, you have not yet marked? Our only eating, sleeping, everything is for God.
Reporter: Yeah, but what else do...
Prabhupāda: That is the difference.
Reporter: Yeah, but, but that would, I mean...
Prabhupāda: No, no. What else we are doing else? Nothing else. What you are doing, work, we also doing that. You are sleeping, we are sleeping; we are eating, I, we are eating.
Reporter: Yeah, that's...
Prabhupāda: So our business special is = whatever we do, that is to understand God. That is the difference.
Reporter: But do you... You don't ban sex here, do you? I mean, do you ban sex here?
Prabhupāda: Why? We have got; he is gṛhasta. This, this boy, he is writing note, he has got his wife.
Reporter: His wife is here?
Prabhupāda: Yes. We have got separate department for gṛhastas, householders.
Reporter: Yeah, so, so sex isn't banned?
Prabhupāda: Sex is allowed...
Reporter: So sex is...
Prabhupāda: ...in married life, not outside.
Reporter: So the only thing then that you're not doing that man is doing is defending.
Prabhupāda: No, we are defense also. Suppose if you come to attack, I shall kill you, immediately.
Reporter: Well, then, I don't see that, uh...
Prabhupāda: No, no. Why you are surprised? Suppose you come to kill me, or set fire in my house = I shall immediately kill you. That is defense. If you want to... We, we take a man aggressor when he comes to take my property, when he comes to set fire in my house, and he comes to kidnap my wife. Then I must defend.
Reporter: Yeah, well you... You haven't explained or you haven't understood what I'm asking. If you are eating, sleeping, you allow sex within a marriage...
Reporter: ...uh, and you'll defend yourself if I come to kill you...
Reporter: ...what are you doing different than what everybody, you know...?
Prabhupāda: So that you have not still marked, you are so dull-headed. We are doing everything for God, but you are doing everything for dog. That is difference.
Reporter: How, how... Explain why people are doing it for dog.
Prabhupāda: We can see. So many people, they have become servant of dog. Takes the dog in the street = the dogs pass urine, he stands, waits. You see? You have not seen this? The same care we are taking for God. That is the difference. What care you are taking for the dog, the same care we are taking for God. That is the difference.
Reporter: If I..., if I wanted to join your, your group, do I have to give up everything?
Prabhupāda: No. Why? The eating, sleeping...
Reporter: No, no. Do I have to give up material things, like my job?
Prabhupāda: So what material things we have given up? We are using this tape recorder.
Reporter: So what about my job? Would I have to give up my job?
Prabhupāda: Yes. That you can give up. We can provide you. You can give up your this job and join with us, and we shall give you shelter, food and everything. That much we can guarantee.
Reporter: Do they have to give up? Do you, I mean, do your followers have to give up...
Prabhupāda: No. You do not give up. Suppose you are journalist. You report God's activities, then you are a devotee.
Prabhupāda: Then you are devotee.
Prabhupāda: You are giving ordinary reports, but if you give daily a report what God's activities are, then you are devotee. The same business. This is our movement = that you have to do everything as you are doing, but do it for God. That's all. If you want to report God's activities, we can give you daily big, big columns of activities.
Reporter: The, uh, the arrival of fifty saffron-robed, shaven-headed people in this little village must have excited the people who live here. Did you..., had any contact with the villagers here?
Prabhupāda: Well, anything new, it becomes little agitating.
Reporter: Yeah. Have you had any trouble with the villagers here?
Reporter: No complaints about your banging cymbals or...?
Prabhupāda: So how they can complain? They haven't got... They have a teeny house somewhere in the corner. We are chanting, dancing, in a big house, so they cannot hear it...
Reporter: They can't hear you?
Prabhupāda: ...so how they complain? They have no opportunity.
Prabhupāda: Because they are in the corner of the village, and we are living in the seventy acre of land, so how these...
Reporter: Seventy acres? Seventeen acres.
Prabhupāda: Seventeen acres. Yes. So how these poor people can be..., hear about us?
Reporter: Where do you, uh, where do you, are you... Where are you normally based in India? Calcutta?
Prabhupāda: Again you are coming to the common question. I... You have begun philosophy, and I must be living somewhere, Calcutta or hell, that doesn't matter. You are concerned what I am doing now.
Prabhupāda: What you will know, what you will gain, if I lived in Calcutta or in heaven or hell? You, you should know what I am doing, that's all. You should know our philosophy.
Reporter: How do you recruit your members, then?
Prabhupāda: Yes. If you come here, you will be member.
Reporter: Yeah, but not everybody's gonna come out to, to...
Prabhupāda: Just like George has become member.
Reporter: Yes, but he went to India, didn't he?
Prabhupāda: So if you come also, you will become member.
Reporter: But, uh, I mean, how do people get to know about, apart from seeing your, your people in Oxford Street?
Prabhupāda: My people go there. If you don't come, my people go. Just like he has written you a letter.
Reporter: But do you knock on doors and that sort of thing, or do you just parade round the streets, your members?
Prabhupāda: No. If I am called, I can go anywhere. I go to deliver lectures in meetings, if I am invited. Otherwise, my students do this business.
Reporter: You're going to France to lecture, aren't you, next week?
Reporter: Or tomorrow, is it?
Reporter: But who are you going to lecture to there?
Prabhupāda: That they have arranged. I will go and see what.
Bhajahari: They have arranged in Paris. When he goes, he'll know.
Reporter: Oh, you don't know at the moment who you are going to lecture to.
Reporter: No. Do you speak French?
Reporter: I see.
Prabhupāda: So you try to understand our philosophy and write in papers. That will be a great service for you.
Prabhupāda: Give him a chair.
Devotee: Have a chair.
Reporter: No, no, no. No, no, it's all right. Thank you. These people who have come to see you, like Graham Hill and, and uh, Sir Alistair Hardy, have they..., have they joined your movement, or is it, was it just a philosophical discussion that you had with them?
Prabhupāda: Well, they like it, they just... [break] ...that you are a reporter, you report about God's activities, then you giving service to God. That's all.
Reporter: But, but what, but, how the..., how are you initiated?
Prabhupāda: That is official function, rituals.
Reporter: It's like a baptism, is it?
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. Like that.
Reporter: And that takes place in your temple?
Reporter: So George has not been initiated, in fact. He's just a... He's just a follower but not a, not a member?
Prabhupāda: He is good follower.
Prabhupāda: Practical. Simply by shaving hair, that is not very important thing. But if he does actually some help, that is more than a devotee.
Reporter: What's the purpose of shaving your head?
Prabhupāda: Purpose is to lead very simple life, that's all. Clean. If you shave your hair, you remain clean. You don't require shampoo and soap and so many other things to keep the hairs in order. That is also economic profit. You save so much money. We are seeing...
Prabhupāda: ...in the Western countries, in the bathroom, there are so many bottles. Even in airplane. We don't require all these bottles. We save the money. We simply wash with water, that's all. At most little oil, that's all. Finish.
Reporter: Is there a symbol, the fact you don't completely shave but you have a small piece...?
Prabhupāda: Yes, by shaving you keep your brain cooler.
Reporter: By shaving you...
Prabhupāda: [aside:] Yes, what is it?
Śrutikīrti: A letter from Sir Alistair Hardy.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Here is the questions and answers. He is a research worker in religious experience, therefore we had many talks with him.
[break] ...very important man of the society to understand this, science of this philosophy. Our main business is we are also thinking deeply how the human being, human society, will be happy. That's all. As all the politicians or philosophers, scientists, they are thinking for the major benefit of the human society, we are also thinking, but we are thinking in terms of God consciousness. That is the difference.
Reporter: But this, uh...
Prabhupāda: [reading] He says, "I too hope that we may meet again and have a further discussion of these vital issues."
Reporter: These are questions that you put to him personally...
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.
Reporter: ...what a, at a, at a meeting with him?
Reporter: Did he... Did you go to Oxford, or did he come here?
Prabhupāda: He came here.
Reporter: I see, yeah.
Prabhupāda: You have not read this portion?
Reporter: Yes, I've read that.
Prabhupāda: "I too hope we may meet again and have a further discussion on these vital..." So he has taken this movement seriously, that there is something to learn.
Reporter: Yeah. And so you wish to influence the thinking, the...
Prabhupāda: Not thinking---practical. Just like these four principles = no illicit sex...
Prabhupāda: ...no intoxication.
Prabhupāda: No intoxication.
Prabhupāda: No gambling, and no meat-eating or fish-eating. So we want to introduce these four principles in the society, because at the present moment the society is maintaining for killing poor animals big, big slaughterhouse. We can do it without. I have seen, yes, Western gentlemen, they eat meat, a little, small slice. But if they can give up that small slice, then we can save so many poor animals' life. But they will not do that. Although Christian says, "Thou shall not kill," but they are very expert in killing.
Reporter: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Prabhupāda: Why? Why the, unnecessarily, poor animals should be killed? And you are responsible for the sinful activities. We are now killing innocent animals small scale, and if there is world war, then the human being will be killed in the mass scale. The..., this is the reaction. But they do not think of these things. They think, "We are free to kill the animals." But he does not know the nature will take revenge.
Reporter: This, uh, talking about animals, this, this letter here says that you've got cows, and they're even at home in the hallways. It says, "at home in the rose beds and in the hallways." Do you have cows inside the house?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Not for killing.
Reporter: No, but you allow your cows to come through the house, do you?
Prabhupāda: No, we take milk.
Reporter: Yeah. But do they come inside the house, downstairs?
Prabhupāda: Downstairs? I don't think any cow comes here.
Reporter: Then what does that mean then, you know, "at home in the rose beds and in the hallways"?
Haṁsadūta: Well, we have another house for the cow, [laughter] separate. We have a place for the cows.
Reporter: Yeah. That's a cowshed?
Haṁsadūta: Oh, I guess...
Śrutikīrti: They've only come in once or twice, I mean. But that doesn't mean...
Haṁsadūta: Sometimes they may walk in, but, because we are very friendly with the animals, we don't, uh...
Reporter: So you wouldn't mind if a cow suddenly walked in?
Haṁsadūta: Well, we keep them in their place, but sometimes...
Prabhupāda: And on the whole...
Reporter: I'm just understanding this...
Prabhupāda: ...we don't keep them for killing. That is not wanted.
Haṁsadūta: The point is that we don't keep any animal for eating. A cow is here for milk.
Reporter: And you work in the fields and gardens? You're growing food, are you?
Haṁsadūta: Oh, yes.
Reporter: In the, in the seventeen acres, you're growing food. And tropical greenhouses also.
Reporter: You, you use those for growing...?
Prabhupāda: Produce our vegetables.
Reporter: [banging noises] What's that I hear?
Prabhupāda: Fruits, flowers, vegetables.
Reporter: What's that I hear?
Devotee: They're working on the temple room.
Reporter: Oh, it's a hammer.
Reporter: I thought... It's a hammer. I thought it was...
Haṁsadūta: I think we should get him a chair.
Prabhupāda: No, he doesn't need. We have offered.
Reporter: Why do we have to see you---if we want to interview you---why do we have to see you in the morning or after four? What happens between times?
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Haṁsadūta: Wants to know why interview time is set for four o'clock, after four. Because...
Prabhupāda: You want interview should go on twenty-four hours?
Reporter: Yeah, I see. You need a rest, do you?
Prabhupāda: So we have got our scheduled time. We generally take our meals by two o'clock.
Reporter: Do you take them communally? Do you all sit down together and eat?
Reporter: No? Not like a monastery, then, where you all...
Prabhupāda: No, not like that.
Reporter: Your, your married people live here in another part of the house, do they?
Reporter: With their children? Do you have children here?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Reporter: What do they get...?
Prabhupāda: We are going to open a children's school. We have got already one children's school in Dallas, America.
Reporter: Yeah, but what, what happens... Have you got children here of school age? You know, ten, eleven, twelve?
Bhajahari: No. Just one boy. He's five.
Reporter: Oh, he's five. Well what, where is he going to go to school, if you don't have your school here?
Bhajahari: Well we..., we have one we're starting.
Reporter: Oh, you're going to open a school here?
Reporter: I see.
Prabhupāda: We have our teachers.
Reporter: Yeah. Will they come from India, or will they be people you've trained here?
Prabhupāda: No. Local men. Why Indians? We have no such distinction.
Reporter: Have you been in England during the winter at all, ever?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Reporter: And does that...
Prabhupāda: Very bad experience.
Reporter: Yes, but, uh, what...
Prabhupāda: Everything becomes solidified. [laughter]
Prabhupāda: So I went to Regents Park, and with my stick in the fountain, tung-tung.
Reporter: So how, you know, you..., and yet you're gonna live here. I mean you're, you're an old man to be coming to a cold climate like this, aren't you?
Prabhupāda: No. We have no objection. But because we come from India, this winter is little troublesome for us.
Prabhupāda: Otherwise I have, in winter, I have gone to Germany also. Russia it was not winter; it was June. So we are prepared to go anywhere. It doesn't matter. In Boston, I was there in a regular snowfall. Regular snowfall, storm snowfall. Still I was going on morning walk, on the snow.
Reporter: How do you... If you travel all over the world like that, who pays for your traveling? How do you find the money for that?
Prabhupāda: There are many person. These, my disciples, they pay.
Reporter: I see that you are registered as a charity, it says here. Charity number 259649.
Prabhupāda: Yes, we accept charity.
Prabhupāda: We are allowed. The other day... Where is that letter, that one gentleman sent hundred dollars?
Haṁsadūta: He said, "Thank you very much..."
Prabhupāda: Yes, "That you are preaching God consciousness."
Haṁsadūta: "...you're..., you have given us knowledge of God. Please accept my donation."
Prabhupāda: In this way we are getting charity. There are many nice men in the world. They appreciate very much that in this godless society, we are the only person, our only business is to preach God consciousness. We are simply..., we are practically the only society who is insisting, "Don't take intoxication. Don't have illicit sex. Don't eat meat. Don't take part in gambling." Perhaps we are the only society.
Reporter: You're the only religious society to do that, even religious society?
Prabhupāda: No, apart from religious or political, we are advocating these four principles...
Prabhupāda: ...to accept. Perhaps we are the only society who is doing that.
Reporter: Yeah. This...
Prabhupāda: We consider these are the four pillars of sinful life.
Reporter: Yeah, yeah.
Prabhupāda: So if you remain sinful, you cannot become happy. That is nature's way. Why should we kill animals if we have got sufficient food otherwise? We can prepare many thousands of nice preparation from milk. After all, meat-eating means eating the flesh and blood of cow. But if you take the milk, and if you can prepare from milk, you'll get the same benefit, material benefit, from casein, from milk preparation, from condensed milk---so many things---from ghee.
This is more sensible. Milk is also blood, another transformation, so why you should slaughter and take blood directly? Why not take indirectly, by nature's way? You'll take the same benefit, and the poor animal is not killed. And I am surprised. I have not any satisfactory answer, whenever I ask any gentleman that if the Christian principle is first, "Thou shall not kill..."
Reporter: Do you... Do you regard yourself as human?
Prabhupāda: What do you think?
Reporter: Well, your followers seem to regard you as being superhuman.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Superhuman means I am not acting as ordinary human being.
Reporter: That's right. Do you regard yourself...
Prabhupāda: I, yes, you can regard also, because we are engaged simply on God's business.
Reporter: Yeah, but you personally, you...
Reporter: ...do, do you regard...
Prabhupāda: We are personally, personally engaged. What is my business? My business is that "You stop your sinful life. Try to understand God." If you take it as superhuman, it is superhuman. But my business is nothing to show you anything miracle. I talk only that "You do not indulge in these four principles of sinful life, and try to understand God." You can do also. Is it very difficult task?
Reporter: But, but your followers seem to regard you as being, uh, some sort of holy..., holy man.
Prabhupāda: Because I am holy.
Prabhupāda: Because I am not committing any sinful life, and I am preaching of God. That is I am holy. So everyone, my disciples, they are also holy. They are following me. They are doing the same thing. And if you do that, you will become holy.
Reporter: Are you married?
Reporter: Yes. Have you got children?
Reporter: Where are they? Are they in India?
Prabhupāda: In India. Calcutta.
Reporter: You've got just one wife, have you?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Reporter: Only one wife. How many children have you got?
Prabhupāda: I have..., I have got two sons and two daughters.
Reporter: Are they members of your sect?
Reporter: Are they, have they been initiated into your...?
Prabhupāda: Yes. But because I am a sannyāsi, I cannot live with them.
Reporter: Because you're a...?
Prabhupāda: Sannyāsi. Sannyāsi means renounced family connection.
Reporter: You've renounced family connections.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is sannyāsa. We have got four division = brahmacārī, gṛhasta, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. First of all a man is trained how to become brahmacārī, celibate life. Then he is allowed to marry. Then after some days he gives up the connection of family and travels in holy pilgrimages.
Reporter: In holy...?
Prabhupāda: Holy places. And then he takes sannyāsa, renounce. This is our Vedic principle. So at the end of life... Suppose you live for a hundred years---nobody is living for a hundred years---anyway, the injunction is when one is fifty years old he should give up family connection and simply live for God's sake, for God's business. This is Vedic civilization.
Reporter: How long have you been a member of the Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness then?
Prabhupāda: Just... It is started by me.
Reporter: Started by you?
Reporter: How long ago?
Prabhupāda: In 1966.
Reporter: '66. But how long have you been, uhhh...?
Haṁsadūta: Devotee of Kṛṣṇa.
Reporter: Kṛṣṇa, yes, the devotee of Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: That is lifelong, from my birth.
Reporter: From your birth. Yeah.
Prabhupāda: Because my father was also devotee. He trained me.
Reporter: Yeah. Started in 1966.
Prabhupāda: Our whole family was devotee of Kṛṣṇa. [reporter getting details from Haṁsadūta in background] But this movement was started by me, in New York in 1966.
Reporter: Apart from George Harrison, have you ever met any of the other three Beatles? Uh, Paul, John...
Prabhupāda: Yes, I... I do not, but Śyāmasundara meets. That Ringa, Ringa?
Prabhupāda: Yes. I was guest in John's house. Yes. I was guest. John also, met me. He made me, made me guest in his house in 1968.
Haṁsadūta: '68, yes.
Prabhupāda: What is that, Tittenhurst?
Prabhupāda: Tittenhurst Park.
Reporter: And what about Ringo?
Prabhupāda: I remained there for one month.
Reporter: Ringo and Paul?
Haṁsadūta: Śyāmasundara, he...
Haṁsadūta: Śyāmasundara, he, he had..., he is always associating with these people.
Reporter: Well who is Śyāmasundara? Who is he?
Prabhupāda: He is my secretary.
Haṁsadūta: He is a secretary. Prabhupāda's secretary.
Reporter: He's not here today?
Prabhupāda: He is..., he is in London. He is come at seven.
Reporter: Have you talked to other members of the British press at all this, this week?
Prabhupāda: I do not know. They arrange.
Reporter: This week?
Prabhupāda: They arrange.
Haṁsadūta: No. This week, not yet.
Reporter: Not yet. We're the first, are we? Somebody said they've sent out a...
Haṁsadūta: Yes, we've sent to everyone.
Reporter: Yeah. Somebody said something arrived here this afternoon from some, from another paper. Is that right?
Haṁsadūta: I think they..., probably talking...
Bhajahari: Yes. No, not this time. Another paper.
Haṁsadūta: Another paper.
Reporter: What paper was that?
Bhajahari: The Daily Mail.
Reporter: The Daily Mail. When are they coming back?
Bhajahari: This evening, they said.
Reporter: Oh, I see.
Prabhupāda: After four, people come here, up to nine.
Reporter: Four people coming tonight?
Devotee: No. After four o'clock they come all day.
Prabhupāda: People, guests, they come to see me...
Reporter: Oh, I see.
Prabhupāda: ...from four to nine o'clock.
Reporter: Do you play that?
Prabhupāda: What's that?
Reporter: Do you play? Do you play that?
Prabhupāda: Sometimes, yes.
Reporter: What is it?
Prabhupāda: This is harmonium.
Reporter: Harmonium is it? Oh. Yeah. Do you just travel with..., just lightly, do you? You just travel as you stand up, do you, when you go, when you travel abroad?
Reporter: You don't take anything with you, apart from books or something?
Prabhupāda: Books are there in every center.
Reporter: Oh, they're there already. So you just go like that, do you?
Reporter: Yeah, yeah.
Prabhupāda: Have you seen all our books?
Reporter: Well, I've seen some of the books, but I'd like to see some of the house. This looks like the only part of the house that's, uh, furnished.
Prabhupāda: Oh, we have got some other rooms also.
Reporter: Is it?
Haṁsadūta: [to other devotee] Do you want to take him around? You want to see... You'll have a complete..., go around the grounds and see everything.
Reporter: Yeah. Okay. Thank you very much.
Prabhupāda: Give him prasāda.
Reporter: They're too rich. I've had it before.
Reporter: What is it? It's like marzipan is it?
Devotee: Yes, something good like that.
Reporter: Little rich, I find.
Haṁsadūta: Take a little. Take a little.
Reporter: No, I'll pass on that.
Prabhupāda: So give him something poor. [laughter]
Reporter: I have traveled to India and such places, and so...
Prabhupāda: Oh. Give him little fruit. That is poor. [laughter]
Reporter: Yeah, it is rich, isn't it? Hmm. Well, we're going to see around the house.
Reporter: Yes. Is it, um... I want to take a picture of the house, actually, from outside.
Haṁsadūta: Yes, we could do that.
Reporter: That is presumably at the end of the garden.
Haṁsadūta: Yes, this is the best place to take pictures. Also very sunny.
Reporter: Thank you.
Prabhupāda: [indistinct] our philosophy [indistinct]. It is good for human being.
Reporter: It's not possible to get..., go out into the garden, is it, at all?
Haṁsadūta: Oh, yes.
Reporter: Is that possible, so I could have him in the sunshine?
Haṁsadūta: Oh. Prabhupāda... Oh, well, Pra... [break] [end]