Room Conversation with Tripurāri , Atlanta , 1975-03-02
Prabhupāda: You are well now for distributing books? [break]
Tripurāri: ...these are prabhus from different temples. Some work under the direction of the temple presidents and some work under my direction. But all these devotees distribute at the airports. Mostly big books.
Prabhupāda: So you are all feeling all right? Eh? Is there any difficulty?
Tripurāri: [to devotees] Feel satisfaction?
Devotee: No, Śrīla Prabhupāda. Increasingly blissful.
Prabhupāda: That's fine. That is wanted. You are expert mṛdaṅga player? I have seen. He is very, very nice.
Tripurāri: Sometimes when we go to the temples they ask us to give class, saṅkīrtana class on book distribution techniques. We tell them that before you can take any techniques, first you must follow the principles and study the books.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is real technique. Our only technique is to be very devout followers of the rules and regulation.
Tripurāri: Sometimes the devotees, in their preaching, they will defeat someone.
Tripurāri: Sometimes we defeat someone by our preaching, and we show them they should take the book, but still they don't take. But if we call them a fool and point out to them how they are foolish, they become offended. So rather that we just very humbly say...
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. Our... We know that he is a fool, but we have to present in a different way. We shall say that "There is nobody as learned as you are." In this way just make him puffed up, and then you say humbly, "My only humble request is that whatever you have learned, please forget. Now you try to understand Caitanya Mahāprabhu. That's all." This is the different way of calling him, that "Whatever you have learned, this is all rubbish." We simply say, "Kindly forget them. Now you turn your attention to Caitanya Mahāprabhu." This is the way Prabodānanda Sarasvatī taught us. You flatter him, "Sir, I have got one request." Flatter him like anything, falling down on his leg and becoming humble and... "Sir, I have got one request." "What is that?" "You are very learned scholar. But kindly forget them, and you try to turn your attention to Caitanya Mahāprabhu." He will not be angry. Then, if he turns his attention to Caitanya Mahāprabhu, then naturally he will forget all rubbish things.
Devotee (1): We've been trying more and more, Śrīla Prabhupāda, to make our techniques of distribution more honest and straightforward, not to cheat so much as some of these methods in the past.
Prabhupāda: No, the thing is that Kṛṣṇa's service is so sublime that even if we cheat, you are not culprit. But because we have to deal with the worldly man, we have to go according to their rules and regulation on cheating. Otherwise, a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, he never cheats. He never cheats. Whatever he does... Just like a mother says to his child, "My dear child, if you take this medicine, I will give you this lugloo." The child is diseased; he will not be able to digest lugloo, but the mother sometimes cheats him. And when he takes the medicine the lugloo is not delivered. Similarly, we... sometimes we have to say so many things very pleasing to him, but our business is that let him take this medicine. That is tactics. But that is not cheating. If the mother helps the child in drinking medicine and then afterwards she does not supply the lugloo, that is not cheating. Some way or other... That is the instruction of Rūpa Gosvāmī, yena tena prakāreṇa manaḥ kṛṣṇe niveṣayet [Brs. 1.2.4] = "Somehow or other, let everyone be Kṛṣṇa conscious." There is no question of vidhi-niṣedhā. Sarve vidhi-niṣedhā syur etayor eva kiṅkarāḥ. The other rules and regulation will act as servant, but the main business is to bring one to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the main business. We are not meant for cheating anyone. We have no business. But to lead one to Kṛṣṇa consciousness we may say something sometimes. So that is not cheating.
Devotee (2): Śrīla Prabhupāda, when we open up these new airports, because the authorities, they are not familiar with us, they become very demoniac towards us. And some of them, actually, they're thinking about Kṛṣṇa all day...
Devotee (2): They see us distributing, and they don't like what we're doing, they get very angry, but still, they're thinking of Kṛṣṇa all day. We often wondered how they are benefiting even though they maintain this very envious...
Devotee (1): Just like the Muhammadans were benefited.
Prabhupāda: They say, "Here is the Kṛṣṇa man." Eh? So he utters the name of Kṛṣṇa. That is good for him.
Devotee (2): And then after a while, when they become our friends, then they may stop and listen to us.
Prabhupāda: Yes, because he has chanted Kṛṣṇa, "Here is the Kṛṣṇa man. Here is the rascal Kṛṣṇa man." [laughter]
Tripurāri: We found one policeman at the Atlanta airport was always harassing the devotees, trying to stop them. And one time I came down the stairs and I saw him in the corner reading Īśopaniṣad and trying to understand. They know that we have some knowledge; they are just envious of our success. They want to find out, "What is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness about?" They don't want to admit that they want to know. Actually, everyone wants to know about Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Yes, they must.
Tripurāri: You said that everyone is hankering for these books.
Prabhupāda: So he read that Īśopaniṣad?
Tripurāri: Yes. He tried to understand.
Tripurāri: Now he does not harass us so much now.
Prabhupāda: [chuckles] So we have to do like that. Here everyone is demon---everyone. Demon means they are busy for sense gratification. That is demon. And devotee means he has no sense gratification. He is only busy how to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. That is the demons. Anyway, if you serve Kṛṣṇa sincerely, Kṛṣṇa is with you. You will never fall in danger.
Tripurāri: Sometimes the devotees question, "What is the best book to distribute = Caitanya-caritāmṛta or Bhagavad-gītā?" We're thinking that all of them are absolute. It does not matter.
Prabhupāda: Yes. It is just like sugar doll. Anywhere touch, it is sweet. That's all. When I read books, I open anywhere. Any book I take, and anywhere I open, and I read.
Devotee (3): Sometimes we feel like... I know myself personally, if I'm distributing, like, second volume of Caitanya-caritāmṛtas I have this doubt, this feeling that it's sometimes hard for me to understand Caitanya-caritāmṛta, and I feel like the karmī, he will open the book, and he will look into it, and he will become offended because he won't be able to understand hardly a word of it.
Prabhupāda: No, Caitanya-caritāmṛta is not meant for ordinary person. Bhagavad-gītā, Īśopaniṣad and other thing...
Tripurāri: Kṛṣṇa book?
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa. They will read as story book. The Kṛṣṇa trilogy is selling very nice?
Tripurāri: Yes. Nectar of Devotion also.
Prabhupāda: Nectar of Devotion is very nice.
Devotee (4): And Śrīmad-Bhāgavatams. They are very attracted to the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Tripurāri: Many of the karmīs appreciate the Fourth Canto, Part Four, the story of King Purañjana. They understand that.
Devotee (2): There's many psychologists at the airport. I would attract them by giving them that particular volume and saying how this deals with the psychology of the conditioned self. And they were attracted in that way.
Prabhupāda: Yes, it is very nice, Purañjana. His city, his gates, very [indistinct].
Devotee (4): Sometimes we are very encouraged because we find people, they come back to us. They say, "I have gotten this volume, and I'd like to have the first part," or "I'd like to have the Second Canto." I found that in the army base among the soldiers... I went to distribute in an army base with the soldiers. And one man saw me, and he came up, and he says, "Can I have the Second Canto? I liked the first one so much." It's enlivening for us.
Prabhupāda: Sometimes they come and demand.
Tripurāri: More books, yes.
Prabhupāda: That is good.
Devotee (1): Sometimes they want three or four or five at a time. [Prabhupāda chuckles] One boy... Cārudeṣṇa Prabhu and I were distributing to him. First he distributed one to him. Then I saw he was coming and I approached him again, the same, five minutes later. I said, "Didn't you get the story book, Kṛṣṇa book? You got the philosophy book, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Now take the story book, Kṛṣṇa." And he took Kṛṣṇa book, and then Cārudeṣṇa came up and distributed two more books to him.
Prabhupāda: So when they take Kṛṣṇa trilogy they take set, three?
Tripurāri: Usually one, just one.
Prabhupāda: [aside] It is closed, this? Drafty.
Śrutakīrti: Yes, it's closed but it's drafty. [break]
Tripurāri: So when we give them big books, we also give them one Back to Godhead magazine to help them understand. We say, "Read the magazine first. Come to one of our centers when you have questions." So that way we are distributing many big books and many Back to Godhead magazines also at the same time.
Devotee (3): Sometimes we also, I know myself, ask them... We open the page, the front cover, and show 'em the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and say, "If you simply chant this mantra, you will be able to understand these books in a much higher way." Actually, it's helped.
Prabhupāda: That is fact. His heart becomes cleansed to take up.
Devotee (5): Śrīla Prabhupāda, sometimes we turn the book over, like the Kṛṣṇa book, and we show them your picture, and we say, "This is our teacher." And they say, "Oh, boy, you've got a very..." They like your picture.
Devotee (1): They even say, "I've seen him before."
Prabhupāda: Where they have seen me? Somewhere. [chuckles]
Devotee (6): All the employees in the Atlanta airport, now they all know you. They've all seen your books, and they've seen your picture. And when we go through the check points they say, "Oh, we saw him. We saw him come through. We saw your spiritual master come through the airport."
Devotee (7): There was one lady when you were here the last time at the airport, she would ask, when we saw the woman at the airport, practically every day, "When is that nice gentleman going to come back to Atlanta?" And she's always, you know, thinking about you. [break]
Devotee (6): They know that they're unhappy.
Prabhupāda: Recently that Kenneth Keat?
Śrutakīrti: Kenneth Keating.
Prabhupāda: Bring that letter. He wrote to Gurudāsa?
Prabhupāda: Kenneth Keat was ambassador in India. So Gurudāsa met him. Now he is ambassador in Israel. So he has written that "You are all doing very nice work." People appreciate, any intelligent man.
Devotee (1): For one period of two or three days we were going to the airport and simply... This was during the whole controversy about the cheating and the honesty and..., that controversy. So we just went and we just started preaching. And we actually didn't find that much of a diminution in the sales of the literatures. In fact one time a couple of us went out in dhotīs even to the airport, without wigs or anything, for a weekend. And we still did nicely. It was a little more difficult. They weren't so... Some of them weren't as warm. But we find that the businessmen, they can be convinced by just preaching.
Prabhupāda: Read it.
Śrutakīrti: "Dear Gurudāsa, Thank you for your letter of January 2nd and for your continued prayers for me in my work. As you perhaps do not know, I am now ambassador to Israel. I have been in the United States for a couple of weeks but have not been able to arrange for any free time in which I could meet with you and have not been on the West Coast or at any point except Washington and New York. I hope it may be possible at some future time for us to get together, since, as you know, I have great respect for you and your associates who serve the Lord according to your faith and perform many good deeds in these hectic days. Warm personal regards. Sincerely, Kenneth Keating."
Devotee: That's nice.
Prabhupāda: So any sane man will appreciate our activities. We are doing simply to turn people's attention towards God, that's all. That will make him happy.
Sudāsa[?]: Śrīla Prabhupāda, there's been several places in the First Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam you say how we have to get the class of men, how if simply if the leaders take to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness then...
Prabhupāda: Others will follow.
Sudāsa[?]: The mass will follow. Some other times I've heard you say, like the other day, that the masses of people... When Balavanta Prabhu was running for office you were saying that it'd be very difficult to get our present-day leaders to take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. I'd just like to try to understand further whether it is the masses or the leaders. If you...
Prabhupāda: No, we are dealing generally with the masses. But if we can convert one leader, then it is equal to turning many people in the mass. That is the idea. Some way or other, we are doing Kṛṣṇa's service. Either you serve the mass or the leader, it doesn't matter. Your service is recognized.
Tripurāri: Sometimes the devotees question, if they were pure, then they could get everyone to take a big book. It's simply our fault that we're not pure enough that we can't get everyone to take a big book. Or is it just that we can't engage everyone, we can't get everyone to surrender completely?
Prabhupāda: Well, that is also a devotional attitude. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that "I do not love Kṛṣṇa." So that's... And "If I would have loved, then I would have died without His presence. But I am living now. Therefore I have no love for Kṛṣṇa." This is another thing. One who is too much addicted to the service of Kṛṣṇa, that is very good sign. [pause] So your headquarter is now Pittsburg?
Tripurāri: No, now Philadelphia.
Prabhupāda: Philadelphia, oh.
Tripurāri: It's in Rūpānuga's zone.
Prabhupāda: In the Philadelphia University, I think, there was one Mr. Norman Brown.
Rūpānuga: Temple. The Temple University.
Prabhupāda: Not Temple, Philadelphia.
Rūpānuga: Temple's in Philadelphia.
Devotee (5): There's one called University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, too.
Rūpānuga: The one who took your Nectar of Devotion?
Prabhupāda: No, that is Temple University. There is another university, I think Pittsburg University.
Devotee (5): The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Prabhupāda: Ah, yes.
Devotee (4): They call it Penn.
Prabhupāda: In that university, there is one professor, Norman Brown. I met him. He was a very nice gentleman. He carried my bags to the bus station. [laughter] He was very kind. His father was a clergyman in India, so he was born in India. So he has got good respect for Indian culture.
Rūpānuga: Is that when you went to speak in Philadelphia?
Rūpānuga: Then that was when Nikhilananda was there. Didn't you speak in his class?
Prabhupāda: Nikhilananda was in New York.
Rūpānuga: At that time.
Prabhupāda: He is now dead?
Rūpānuga: Yes, I think so.
Prabhupāda: Nikhilananda was working with Dr. Bose, Bose's laboratory, and before my joining, it was disclosed that I was also... Dr. Bose had one department. He was in charge. [pause]
Tripurāri: Śrīla Prabhupāda, you first began to distribute Back to Godhead magazine by yourself, right, in India? You would go to the shops?
Prabhupāda: That was second stage. The first stage I used to publish and distribute as gṛhastha. I did not mind whether one page or not; I was distributing. So I was spending about four hundred, five hundred rupees. I did not care if one page or not, but I'll distribute. Then, when I retired, left home, I was publishing and distributing myself to get subscription. The subscription was very cheap---two rupees, four annas, I think, for the year. Two copies per month. Just like you published The Harmonist? Like that. Then I published Bhāgavatam. So I was going to libraries, school, colleges, and everyone was purchasing. My Bhāgavata was being purchased by your Congress Library. In Delhi they have got office. So there was standing order, eighteen copies of my book as soon as they are published. The head librarian in India, New Delhi, he gave me standing order. [pause] Dallas is very cold? No. Like this.
Tripurāri: Dallas is warm.
Prabhupāda: Warm, oh.
Tripurāri: Probably warmer than here.
Prabhupāda: New York is cold.
Tripurāri: Yes. Now in New York they're distributing 100,000 Back to Godheads every month, New York temple. And you saw the lugloo from New York?
Prabhupāda: [chuckles] Yes. Which lugloo?
Tripurāri: They are making in New York lugloos and packaging them, distributing them on the streets with Back to Godhead magazine. Many people come back for more. They like the taste.
Prabhupāda: And for each lugloo there is magazine? No.
Prabhupāda: If anyone wants lugloo, then he'll have to take one magazine? No. [laughter] One lugloo presentation for one magazine.
Devotee (4): We were thinking about how everyone knows about Kṛṣṇa now. See they all know... In the United States they didn't know before, but when they see this little picture on the book, they all know, "That is Kṛṣṇa." We hand them the book, and we say, "We're passing these out." They say, "Oh, that is Kṛṣṇa." So it's so successful that everyone has learned about Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Oh, as soon as they see the picture, they understand it is Kṛṣṇa.
Tripurāri: They see the picture of Kṛṣṇa or the name, and they think of the devotees chanting.
Prabhupāda: Oh, by seeing you.
Tripurāri: No, when they see the book they think, "Oh, the Hare Kṛṣṇa devotees. I saw them on the street." When they see the picture of Kṛṣṇa on the book, they think of the devotees chanting.
Devotee (1): Sometimes, Śrīla Prabhupāda, people travel from one airport to another, and they'll get a book in Chicago and then they'll come to Atlanta and we'll approach them to give them another book, and they've already gotten one book in Chicago. And they ask, "How many of there are you around the world?" Because everywhere they go, in every airport they are getting books. So they think that there must be millions. They think that there must be millions of Hare Kṛṣṇa devotees, because everywhere they go they're being approached to take a book.
Rūpānuga: I once asked a boy in Washington temple how many devotees he thought we had, and he said, "Oh, I cannot guess." And I said, "Make an educated guess." And he said, "Well, I've seen you here, and I think maybe two million." [laughter] And I said, "Three thousand." I said, "Now just see the potency of Hare Kṛṣṇa. You're thinking we're two million, and we're simply a handful." He became a little convinced. So our books make us millions. People think we are millions because of the books.
Prabhupāda: Push on this. Then our movement is successful. All Americans should have at least one set of book. That is not very difficult for them, to purchase one set book. But it will be a good asset for them if they keep and see sometimes. Any line he reads, he will get transcendental knowledge.
Devotee (1): There is one very wealthy man in Atlanta who... We went and did a nice presentation at his home. And then afterwards we distributed prasādam and had a nice bhajana, kīrtanas. Then afterwards he bought the whole set of literatures and gave a hundred dollar donation for all of the literatures, and he has them now.
Prabhupāda: Yes. For an American gentleman one hundred dollar is nothing.
Devotee (3): One nice boy in the airport, he was a soldier boy. He had, like, read a Kṛṣṇa trilogy, and he was coming through the airport, and I approached him. And he immediately saw the books, and he immediately wanted one. And I didn't even have to ask him for the donation. Automatically he gave $20. And then I was walking down the hall, and I saw him again, and he came running up to me again, and he said, "Here, you're doing such a wonderful thing. Let me give you another $20." And somebody walked by as I was giving him another book, and they said, "Don't take that book. It's a rip-off. These people are trying to rip you off." And he said, "They don't know what they're talking about. They don't understand. They don't understand." And then, after that, he walked up to Cārudeṣṇa Prabhu and gave him another $40. Actually he gave something like $70, $65 or $70 in the airport just because he had read one trilogy.
Devotee (5): Just like in the book the tril... The Kṛṣṇa book it says anyone who reads this, he will become a devotee.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that's a fact. Anyone who reads that book, he will become Kṛṣṇa...
Devotee (5): And a year ago in a mall in Pittsburg, because I stay at the Pittsburg temple, I gave a big Kṛṣṇa book to a...
Prabhupāda: George has become?
Prabhupāda: George, George Harrison.
Tripurāri: George Harrison?
Prabhupāda: Hmm. He has become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa.
Tripurāri: He has?
Devotee (1): He's living in the temple?
Prabhupāda: No. He, not temple, but he chants always. He is keeping one Jagannātha within the bead. He showed me that "I have put..." He saw me in Vṛndāvana.
Devotee (8): We use his name quite a bit to distribute books. A lot of people take books because of his name. We often wonder what he was actually doing as far as the movement was concerned.
Prabhupāda: He has got his Foreword in the Kṛṣṇa book.
Devotee (1): Now each one, the Foreword is there, in every volume. So we always show them that, and they're very impressed, especially hippies and students, college students.
Devotee (5): Just like Kṛṣṇa says = what the big men do, the common men follow.
Prabhupāda: He gave me first money for publishing Kṛṣṇa book, $19,000. He is a good boy. He is a good boy, and he has got good regard for me.
Devotee (3): He just recently went on a concert tour around the country, and he was having the young people chant Kṛṣṇa's names in the concert. And because of the concert tour, many, many, many books were distributed. Unlimited.
Prabhupāda: Oh, his song, "Kṛṣṇa..." I have forgotten that. That record?
Tripurāri: Yes. And he went on a tour of the United States, playing at different cities, concerts, and he would ask people in the audience to chant "Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa."
Prabhupāda: He was asking?
Devotee (1): And wherever he would go the devotees would be there with prasāda and literatures, distributing profusely. Very successful. Sometimes it seems that Kṛṣṇa is arranging these concerts simply so young people can come together so we can be there to reach many, many thousands at one time.
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is all-attractive.
Tripurāri: But we have no attraction for Kṛṣṇa. You are attracting us to Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: [laughing] Actually, Kṛṣṇa is attracting. One, what is called, touchstone, no? Magnetic stone?
Tripurāri: Yes, magnet.
Prabhupāda: So background, magnetic stone, one iron, and then another iron, another iron. It is all attracted.
Devotee (5): We are becoming happy by distributing your books.
Prabhupāda: Thank you. It is Kṛṣṇa's book. [pause; someone enters] You have got that cake?
Prabhupāda: Give them.
Devotee (5): I was going to say, Śrīla Prabhupāda, I was talking, and I gave a family a big..., a husband and a wife, a big Kṛṣṇa book. The husband took the Kṛṣṇa book. The wife was indifferent. A year later the wife read the Kṛṣṇa book and left her husband and joined the temple, just from reading the one book. And I was very enlivened by this. When you can see the results like that, you become enlivened.
Tripurāri: Just by distributing your books we can become self-realized.
Prabhupāda: You are already self-realized. Otherwise how you can push on the books? You love Kṛṣṇa. Therefore you are taking so much labor for pushing on. And that is self-realization. If anyone tries to establish that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord, that is self-realization.
Tripurāri: Sometimes the devotees ask if they can take birth again distributing books for you.
Prabhupāda: Very good. Very good. That is real devotion. A devotee does not want to go to Vaikuṇṭha or any liberation. They are satisfied with the service. That is pure devotion. And distributing books for the benefit of going to Kṛṣṇa, that is selfishness. But "I want to simply distribute the books without any remuneration, without any my personal...," that is pure devotee. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja says that "I do not wish to go to Vaikuṇṭha unless I take all of these rascals with me." That is pure devotee. Pure devotion does not mean to... He is always under the protection of Kṛṣṇa. What is the use of going Vaikuṇṭha or...? Wherever he stays, that is Vaikuṇṭha. That is pure devotional service. Mama janmani janmanīśvare bhavatād bhaktir ahaitukī [Cc. Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4] = "Life after life I may go on with this business. I don't want anything." That is pure devotion. [aside:] [indistinct].
Devotee (5): When this new book. When a new book comes we're very happy. We read it, and then, when we read it, we become enlivened to distribute it. And sometimes we read one like the Bhagavad-gītā or one new Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and then we'll concentrate on that book because it has made us so happy.
Prabhupāda: You have read Caitanya-caritāmṛta?
Tripurāri: Yes. We study Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in the morning and Bhagavad-gītā in the evening. Then in the day we read Nectar of Devotion, Caitanya-caritāmṛta, and Kṛṣṇa book at night. All the devotees are reading...
Prabhupāda: It never becomes old.
Prabhupāda: [chuckles] Yes.
Devotee (9): Sometimes, Śrīla Prabhupāda, when we give someone a book we tell them that there's eighty volumes, and they... They just... They're amazed that there's so many books.
Devotee (5): Sometimes they'll say, "I already have a book." Then you show them another book. "I've got that one." Then you show them another book. "Well, I've got that one too." Then you say, "Oh, come over here. Let me show you the new one. This just came out." [laughter]
Śrutakīrti: This is this boy's son.
Prabhupāda: Oh, your son?
Devotee (10): Yes, Prabhupāda. He's going to go to gurukula this summer.
Prabhupāda: Very good. How old he is?
Prabhupāda: Hmm? How many?
Devotee (10): Ten years old.
Prabhupāda: Ten years. And how old you are?
Devotee (10): Twenty-seven. [laughter]
Prabhupāda: [chuckles] Sometimes young father and children, we say jokingly, bap beta dui bhāi: "Father and son, two brothers." Bap beta dui bhāi. In India there are many fathers, the father and son age difference sixteen years, seventeen years. And mother and son, twelve years, thirteen years. There are many mothers. You have got one son?
Devotee (10): I have a daughter also.
Prabhupāda: Oh. Younger than him?
Devotee (10): Yes.
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Balavanta: These are some things that some guests wanted me to give to you. One made a hat for you.
Prabhupāda: What is this? Cap?
Balavanta: This is a hat that one of the guests made for you. A temple guest. And they painted this picture. [aside:] Where shall I put this?
Prabhupāda: Pencil? This is pencil?
Balavanta: Yeah, a pencil or watercolors. I think it's watercolors. [pause]
Prabhupāda: So you want to take again election? [chuckles] No.
Balavanta: Not if you don't want to, Prabhupāda. I was just thinking it was an opportunity to preach if you want it. But if you're not very enthusiastic about it, I don't want to do it.
Prabhupāda: No, I am enthusiastic, provided you don't want money. [chuckling]
Balavanta: I think we can get our own... I can get the money. It doesn't have to cost very much. The only thing we would need is maybe two men to help. And we can... It won't cost... Only for two or three months out of the year.
Prabhupāda: Then you can do it. It makes you well known in the city. And you get the opportunity of criticizing the demons. [laughter] That is...
Satsvarūpa: This boy is Bhakta Doug, and he was a personal secretary of Maharishi for two years.
Satsvarūpa: He traveled all over with him. And one day... He was a very good student, and one day Maharishi said, "If you really want to know the highest truth, it's Kṛṣṇa consciousness." And then he left and he came and joined our tem... [laughter]
Prabhupāda: Maharishi said like that?
Doug: Yes, he did say that. It took me a while to make the transition, but with Kṛṣṇa's mercy, I saw the way through to come to Kṛṣṇa.
Devotee (5): Maharishi must have read one of your books, Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: He has read my books?
Devotee (5): He must have, if he said that Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the highest truth. How else could he know but reading your books?
Devotee (3): One time we were in Orlando, Florida, at the Kundalini Yoga festival, and they had Yogi Bhajan there. And he came out and we had a chant, and we had prasādam, and we had BTG's, and we distributed some BTG's. And he took a BTG and gave a dollar donation, and he patted us on the head and said, "You boys keep chanting the holy names of God."
Balavanta: That Guru Maharaj-ji, that little fat boy? So he told his disciples that "If you want to learn, you should go to the Hare Kṛṣṇa temple and learn pūjā." He said, "They know how to worship." But then they go and worship him. But he told them that only your disciples know how to worship.
Tripurāri: They are just imitating the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
Tripurāri: No other group distributes literatures, though.
Tripurāri: No other group, no other societies of philosophy distributes literatures. Guru Maharaj-ji, they published one magazine for some time, but his devotees, they went out and distributed short time. But they had no taste for continuing the distribution, so it has stopped now.
Prabhupāda: So he is still making propaganda? No.
Balavanta: Who, Guru Maharaj-ji? Not so much. You don't hear about them. There's not much activity. Just big...
Devotee (5): Decreasing. We are increasing, and they are decreasing.
Tripurāri: Sometimes the Christians are distributing papers still at the airports. We invite them to come and take prasāda with us every day.
Prabhupāda: They come?
Tripurāri: They are reluctant. Some, one or two, come.
Devotee (2): Every once in awhile someone we meet when we're distributing books comes and joins us for prasādam, one time a businessman and one time a soldier. Various people sometimes join us. We take a 12 o'clock, 12:30 lunch break. Sometimes we'll be joined by one of these people we distribute books to.
Prabhupāda: When you were with Maharishi? Come here.
Doug: When? I joined the Maharishi in 1969, and at that time I was living in Washington, D.C. And his national director came, gave a lecture, and I started..., they said that they needed some help because they didn't have a center there. So I organized the movement out of my parents' house. I had the center, and I established lectures at all the colleges and started the movement there. And then, they sent some full-time teachers, and they established a center there. And then I started to go be with Maharishi and his different courses and doing extensive meditations for long periods of time. And then eventually he formed this committee. This was in 1970..., 1971-72. He started to form a college called M.I.U., Maharishi International University. And he started to invite educators, and he wanted to... And he also had this...[indistinct]
Prabhupāda: "M.I.U." means Maharishi...?
Doug: Maharishi International University. And so he started to formulate a curriculum. He was trying to present Vedic studies in Western terms. And so he formed this council of the executive, called his executive council. It was called The 108, and he had... It didn't have 108 people, but this was what he called us.
Prabhupāda: One hundred...?
Doug: The 108. He called it The 108, but the official term was the executive council. And that's when I was with him and had his association...
Prabhupāda: How many students are there?
Doug: How many students do his meditation?
Prabhupāda: No, the university?
Doug: In the university? I haven't been with them in a year and a half, but they recently bought a college, and they have part of a college in Santa Barbara, the University of California there. So they're pretty well established educationally. But it's losing its potency actually. I think it's actually reached its peak and left, because when I was with Maharishi also I noticed that it seemed that a lot of his potency seemed to diminish, his charisma, over the years. Seemed to me he'd get more and more depressed if people weren't actually reaching the states that he was talking of. It didn't seem like he was satisfied with the advancement people were making. And certainly he wasn't answering the questions, because all that time I was asking him, "What is the highest truth?" And when he talked to God I would say, "Who is God?" And we'd ask him, "Who is Kṛṣṇa?" and "What about this Kṛṣṇa conscious movement?" And it was word jugglery. He'd kind of evade our questions and satisfy our intellect, but really not... Those questions kept coming up. Somehow he kept us from going into too much detail about it. But eventually he, he... I didn't see him for a few days. This was when I was in the mountains with him, some other people. And we were making up these curriculums for this college program. And he was doing some transcriptions on the Brahma-sūtras, and he came out, and he was in a very solemn mood, and he said... We asked him what he had realized, what truths he had realized from the Brahma-sutras. And he said, "Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the highest state of consciousness." So I left shortly after that, [indistinct]. I feel that I could have been chanting all those years, making some progress. [laughs]
Prabhupāda: What is his age?
Doug: What is my age?
Prabhupāda: No, his age.
Doug: His age? He's sixty-eight.
Prabhupāda: Old man.
Doug: He's old man.
Tripurāri: He translated Bhagavad-gītā, but only six chapters.
Doug: Actually, it's interesting about that, because he finished the whole Bhagavad-gītā, and he put out these first six chapters in a really, you know, a boggling word way, the first six chapters, saying that... Presenting in a way that people could still enjoy material sense enjoyment and still do his technique in meditation. But I had a chance to hear the rest of the Bhagavad-gītā that he had translated. And we asked him... We heard that he had it. We asked him why he didn't put it out, and he said that the people of the Western world weren't ready to hear what he had to present. But actually what he had to say was... It's very authentic. What I read was very close with what you have to say, Śrīla Prabhupāda, that Kṛṣṇa says surrender all your senses unto Him. And I have hopes that maybe someday... Balavanta suggested the idea that I should write him a letter and ask him to have a meeting with you. And maybe some conciliation could be made, and maybe he could come to his senses or something that he could propagate this Kṛṣṇa consciousness also, because he has so many followers. And I think that there must be some sincerity in him, else I wouldn't have spent so long with him. He must have some sincerity. And I think that he obviously feels that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord, and I noticed that on his pūjā table he always had a picture of Kṛṣṇa protecting the cows.
Prabhupāda: Instead of asking him to preach, you preach. He has already enunciated a type of formula, and it is very difficult for him to change it. He does not say that he is Bhagavān?
Doug: No, he does not say he is God.
Prabhupāda: That is good.
Doug: He always talked in terms of higher states of consciousness, terms of the first cosmic consciousness, which I understand to be Brahman realization. Then he talked in terms of..., after about the sixth state of consciousness was then God consciousness. And then Paramātmā. Then he talked of the highest state of consciousness, and he said it's Bhagavān realization. But he completely steers away from putting any type of limitation on people's sense control at all, and this is what I have a hard time understanding. Even though the more I was with him he suggested to his close associates to follow the principles of brahmacārī, and he made me one of his brahmacārīs, and he told us to read the scriptures every day, and we had a lot of association, not seeing movies, not going out... [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: What is his personal character?
Doug: Pardon me?
Prabhupāda: He is observing celibacy or...
Doug: As far as I'm concerned, you know, he's been celibate for an awful long time. And he had, his master... He comes from the Śaṅkarācārya tradition. His master was the Balai[?] Śaṅkarācārya. And supposedly his master is a life-long celibate. So as far as I know, he always practiced that. Some other rumors have come up somewhere. I heard that the rumors originally originated with the Beatles when they were in India, that there was something going on like that. But as far as I know and anybody else who had been involved with him knew that he was very strict about that. And he encouraged me to meet...
Doug: What was that?
Prabhupāda: Celibacy. Does he observe?
Doug: Yes, as far as I know.
Rūpānuga: Svarūpa Dāmodara Prabhu told me that he has a doctorate degree in some science.
Rūpānuga: Physics, a doctorate in physics.
Balavanta: He has a degree, a Ph.D. in physics.
Doug: I don't think it's a Ph.D. I think it's just a master's degree.
Doug: A masters degree.
Prabhupāda: In physics.
Doug: His master told him to finish school before he could join up with him.
Prabhupāda: He talks science about? No.
Doug: He does talk science, yeah. He tries to present Vedic ideas, Vedic ideas in scientific terms, so that the people of the West will understand. So originally he came out talking about God consciousness and so forth, but eventually he got more and more into this course he calls the science of creative intelligence, SCI, which is what... [break] [end]