Morning Walk at Villa Borghese , Rome , 1974-05-26
Bhagavān: ISKCON has a camera.
Yogeśvara: Should we take a picture right here? [break]
Prabhupāda: ...philosophy and the so many bogus svāmīs' philosophies, they are different. They offer some material benefit by their philosophy = "If you take this mantra, then your material life will be easier." People are captivated for material benefit. Spiritual benefit, they do not understand, and neither our philosophy provides any facility for material benefit. Although spiritual benefit includes material benefit, but people do not understand this.
Bhagavān: It appears that by taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one becomes less materially benefitted.
Prabhupāda: That is the benefit they do not understand. [chuckles] Here, the philosophy is to make nil material benefit. And that is sometimes havoc for others. Niṣkiñcanasya. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says...
[aside:] Don't bring near. Niṣkiñcanasya. Niṣkiñcana means... Kiñcana means something, and niṣkiñcana means even no something. Kiñcana means something, to possess something, and niṣkiñcana means to possess nothing. Niṣkiñcanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya. Bhagavad-bhajana... So go back to home, back to Godhead, is meant for such persons who has nothing to possess here. That is very difficult. Niṣkiñcanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya pāraṁ paraṁ jigamiṣor bhava-sāgarasya [Cc. Madhya 11.8]. The real aim, real benefit, is how to be transferred to the other nature, spiritual nature. Pāraṁ param. They do not know that beyond the sky there is spiritual sky, there is another nature. They have no information. Even they do not know what are there in higher planetary systems. They think, "Here everything is..." This is an insignificant planet in the whole creation, but their fund of knowledge so poor, they think this is the position. They are trying to maintain what was achieved.
Dhanañjaya: We can go down. We can go around.
Bhagavān: The stones seem very rough. Maybe we go back this way.
Prabhupāda: I have no objection.
Yogeśvara: There are stones on the ground, too.
Bhagavān: A little material benefit, that increase, they take to be spiritual.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Gymnastic. Just like a man, by bodily exercise, he becomes a little strong. His digestive function becomes very easy; he can eat more, he can enjoy more sex life. These benefits they want. And if you promise all these benefits, they become attracted. And they cannot understand, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. After giving up this body, we do not accept anymore material body, but go to back to home, back to... These things they cannot understand.
Yogeśvara: Can we take a picture right here, Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: It is beyond their understanding.
Bhagavān: We are the only ones who are preaching like that.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Spiritual benefits, they do not understand. What is this building? This is also old construction?
Bhagavān: It's a church. [asking another devotee:] Is that from the Roman empire? [break]
Prabhupāda: ...in right position. All wonderful buildings, there is no doubt. Such huge building in any other parts of the world is not visible. Just the thickness of the building.
Bhagavān: They kept many slaves, the Romans. They had many slaves.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Slaves? This word is used in Vedic language also, slave. The Africans, they were meant for becoming slaves.
Yogeśvara: Śrīla Prabhupāda, can we take a picture here, please?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Kirāta-hūṇāndhra-pulinda-pulkaśā ābhīra-śumbhā yavanāḥ khasādayaḥ [SB 2.4.18]. So the Kirātas, they were always slaves of the Āryans. The Āryan people used to keep slaves, but they were treating slaves very nicely. Later on it degraded. Otherwise, slaves were kept just like family members.
Bhagavān: No resentment. They had no resentment.
Prabhupāda: No, they were very happy. Just like you keep a dog = it is slave, but it is very happy under the protection of good master.
Bhagavān: Actually, they like to work hard.
Prabhupāda: Yes, they like to work hard and they want good protection. That is their happiness. Even still in Africa, the servants, domestic servants, Africans, I have seen in Indian family, they are very happy. They are very happy, and the master also takes care of them. They want to eat sumptuously, and that's all. They have no other ambition. They don't want any motorcar or like this. No. And they work very nicely, domestic work, very clean. But sometimes they steal. That is their habit. My father used to say, "If you do not allow the servants to steal, so don't keep." Don't keep servants. "A servant who does not steal, he is not a gentleman. He must steal."
Bhagavān: He must steal.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is their satisfaction. So you must allow them. [chuckles] In old zamindar family, they will pay the manager five rupees per month, salary, and allow them to steal. That was simply a token salary, that "You are servant." And the manager was so clever, he would steal, but he would not spoil the property of his master. He will manage very nicely that he will extra, make extra income and steal. Yes. The master will not be touched. Master will be happy. Master knows that "I am paying him five rupees. That is nothing." And he is constructing big building, getting his sons and daughters married very luxuriantly. Master is... Even fifty years before, there was a zamindar, Raja Manindra Chandra Nandi. He was very magnanimous man, making various charities. So if somebody will complain, "Sir, your this servant is stealing like this," he would be very angry. The man who complains, he will be angry upon him = "Why do you come and complain?" He will not accept any complaint. Rather, he will be angry with the man who complains.
Yogeśvara: May we have one more picture, Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Hare Kṛṣṇa. What are the history of these buildings?
Bhagavān: These were temples here.
Bhagavān: Demigod temples.
Prabhupāda: This style of building, arch, is seen in New Delhi also, constructed by the Moguls. This was also a temple?
Bhagavān: No. This was an arena where they used to watch wrestling, fighting. [break]
Prabhupāda: Devotees, they do not want any opulence of this material world. They are, what is called, pessimistic. They do not give any value to the opulence of this material world. And it is very good philosophy. But fools and rascals, they are attracted. Now, these buildings were constructed, very highly intellectual men undoubtedly, but they enjoyed, say, for hundred years, that's all. Then their bodies changed, and nobody knows what kind of body he has got. This is materialism. Suppose if you are offered some very nice, comfortable life, and if you know that "Next life I am going to become a dog," would you be happy? But they have no information that what next body... Body, he has to take another body. He cannot enjoy. Whatever he has created, he cannot enjoy for good. That is not possible. He has to leave it. Just like these Romans. They have left. They constructed so big, big building just to enjoy, but they had to leave it by nature's force and accept another body. That they do not know. They are satisfied, "Never mind I accept the next life a dog's body. Now let me enjoy this, say, twenty-five years or fifty years. That's all." This is their philosophy. No future. "Trust no future, however pleasant."
In India, those who are interested in spiritual life, they take sannyāsa. Everybody, sannyāsa, bābājī. Rūpa Gosvāmī gave up his service, everything, and became no possession voluntarily. Big, big kings, Bharata Mahārāja..., to practice that "I have no more interest in anything material." [break] ...the introduction of my Guru Mahārāja that sannyāsīs and preachers may use big, big buildings, motorcars and..., just to give the information to the Western world. Because they, if you ask them, that "You become a mendicant, possessionless," still, they are not very much interested. Because they see our dress, our living condition is not very equal to their standard, they do not like. Is it not? Yes. So just to give these Westerners facilities to at least to understand this philosophy, this method was accepted by Guru Mahārāja, to live in nice building, to have cars, to use everything for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Otherwise, nobody would take.
Bhagavān: It was revolutionary.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Tyāga-bhūmikā, renouncement, the platform of renouncement. So how this was broken? By war fight or what? Huh? Last war?
Devotee: Yes. The bombs?
Bhagavān: These are all holes.
Prabhupāda: Just see, inhumanity. The historical buildings, what is there? They destroy them. This building, I think it was constructed later.
Bhagavān: Yeah, this is new building. [break]
Devotee: ...couldn't understand how they put the buildings together, how they stayed so long, what they used to make it stay together.
Yogeśvara: Yesterday Dhanañjaya said the Colloseum was made of marble.
Devotee: It is the same earth, but they make it...
Bhagavān: Plaster it?
Devotee: Yeah. To be stronger.
Bhagavān: Special earth.
Devotee: [indistinct about building materials] [break]
Bhagavān: ...spiritual culture, they cannot even enjoy materially very nicely.
Prabhupāda: No. [break]
Devotee: This, this house was [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: Yes. There are so many buildings we see the front... [end]