Room Conversation with Dr. Copeland, Professor of Modern Indian History , Melbourne , 1975-05-20
Prabhupāda: ...Mahārāja and his father, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. They wanted to preach. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu also wanted to preach. [break] ...book to many Western universities. McGill University.
Dr. Copeland: Hmm. In Canada.
Prabhupāda: He had a very strong desire to preach. Then he attempted little. Then his son, my Guru Mahārāja, he was entrusted. He also attempted. He sent his disciple to London. And he wanted me also. Therefore at the last stage of my life, at the age of seventy years, [chuckles] I made an attempt that "Our predecessors, they wanted, and they wanted me also to do that. So my other Godbrothers, they could not do very well. So let me try."
Dr. Copeland: And what is your relationship with the Baha'i faith?
Dr. Copeland: The Baha'i faith that also preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness?
Prabhupāda: They preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness? I don't think.
Dr. Copeland: You don't know of the Baha'is? B-a-h-a-i?
Prabhupāda: I have heard the name, but they are preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness?
Dr. Copeland: [laughs] Not your kind, but they worship Kṛṣṇa. Not the same kind of consciousness, but they also worship Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: I do not know.
Dr. Copeland: You don't know about the Baha'i sect.
Prabhupāda: [to devotees] Do you know the Baha'i?
Madhudviṣa: They have more or less... They accept all religions, and part of their worship is Kṛṣṇa. They have the person of Kṛṣṇa. But the difference is that we accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whereas the Baha'is...
Prabhupāda: That and many others, they also do, that... They also worship Jesus Christ. That is... [break] We have no disrespect for anyone.
Dr. Copeland: And you've been rather successful in institutionalizing your religion, getting a large number of temples constructed or built or taken over, and a large number of followers.
Prabhupāda: Yes. In the West.
Dr. Copeland: Why do you think you are so successful?
Prabhupāda: I don't think successful, but people say.
Dr. Copeland: [laughs] Very good.
Prabhupāda: I will be successful when everyone will chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Dr. Copeland: But in Western countries, where people have to adopt a different style of dress and a different life-style altogether, it means that you're asking for a very large commitment from people, and yet they do it. Are you saying that it's the strength of what you're preaching, or are they unhappy with what they've found otherwise?
Prabhupāda: No, they look very nice with this dress. Don't you appreciate?
Dr. Copeland: Uh, that wasn't in my question, That's... [laughs]. Yes, I think it's very nice. I couldn't do it. I wouldn't shave my hair, and I wouldn't dress like that.
Prabhupāda: You cannot sacrifice so much. They have sacrificed.
Dr. Copeland: Aḥ, I sacrifice up here. I sacrifice up here.
Prabhupāda: They have got a spirit of sacrifice.
Dr. Copeland: Hmm. But you ask a great deal of people. Why do you think they're willing to give?
Prabhupāda: No, I ask only four things = no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no intoxication, no gambling. That's all. But these four things are very, very difficult for the Western people. That I know. Just see. God consciousness cannot be achieved by any third-class man. One must be the topmost first-class man. Then he can become God conscious.
Dr. Copeland: And who decides what is first class?
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is decided by Kṛṣṇa. [aside:] Find out this verse = yeṣāṁ tu anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām. [coughs] Bring water. Te dvandva-moha-nirmuktā bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ [Bg. 7.28]. Kṛṣṇa says who can become fully Kṛṣṇa conscious. That definition is there.
bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ
This is from the Bhagavad-gītā. Translation = "Persons who have acted piously in previous lives and in this life, whose sinful actions are completely eradicated, and who are freed from the duality of delusion, engage themselves in My service with determination."
Prabhupāda: So this is not very ordinary thing. Pāpam, sinful life... At the present moment people are very, very much addicted to sinful life.
Dr. Copeland: Why?
Prabhupāda: Because they are less intelligent. Therefore they don't care for death even, neither they have got any idea what is going to happen after death. Formerly, people were afraid of committing sin. They knew that "After death, I will have to suffer." Now, at the present moment, the rascals are so daring, they do not care what is sin, what is going to happen next life. They do not care. That means less intelligent.
Dr. Copeland: What's going to happen to you in the next life?
Dr. Copeland: What happens to you in the next life?
Prabhupāda: My life? According to śāstra, if we have actually developed Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we are going to Kṛṣṇa.
Dr. Copeland: And you are.
Prabhupāda: I may not, [laughs] but they will go. [laughter] And even it is a failure, then the next life he is guaranteed human life and very nice life. [aside:] You find out this verse, śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭaḥ sañjāyate.
uṣitvā śāśvatīḥ samāḥ
śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe
Translation = "The unsuccessful yogī, after many, many years of enjoyment on the planets of the pious living entities, is born into a family of righteous people or into a family of rich aristocracy."
Prabhupāda: Even one is failure. And one who is successful? Then? Janma karma...
evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti so 'rjuna
"Anyone who understands the...., My birth, the transcendental nature of My birth and activities does not again return to this material world, but comes to My supreme abode."
Prabhupāda: This is for the successful, and that is for the unsuccessful.
Dr. Copeland: And, while we're on success, how many people in India are becoming like these?
Dr. Copeland: As many as in the West, or more?
Dr. Copeland: Do you have more temples there than here?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. We have got very... Recently we have very big temple. There are many other temples in Vṛndāvana.
Dr. Copeland: And what is your relationship with, say, the Ramakrishna Mission?
Prabhupāda: Oh, we have no relation. We don't accept them as any authority.
Dr. Copeland: Why not?
Prabhupāda: Because they are not doing according to śāstra. They are doing whimsically.
Dr. Copeland: But they are doing very good social work.
Prabhupāda: That social work has nothing to do with spiritual work.
Dr. Copeland: Does this organization do social work?
Prabhupāda: Yes. This is the best social work. We are giving the best education, best knowledge, best hope of next life. And what they are giving? They do not know what is next life even.
Dr. Copeland: When you do the translations...
Prabhupāda: I have all translated during these ten years. I translated, began translating from 1968, or '9, I was publishing that Back to Godhead paper even from my gṛhastha life, from 1944.
Dr. Copeland: And when you do do the translation...
Prabhupāda: Then I began translating from 1968 or '69. And I published my first book in 1962. Then next was in 1964. And then the third volume was published in 1965. And then I came to America. And then I translated all these books, whatever you see, about fifty books. This is about eleven hundred pages. Other books are not less than four hundred pages.
Dr. Copeland: Oh, yes. I have many in my shelf like these. Where and when did you learn English?
Prabhupāda: In Calcutta. I was educated in a college. My professors were all Europeans.
Dr Copeland: Which college?
Prabhupāda: Scottish Churches' College. You know that? In our time Dr. Watt, he was principal. And I was student of philosophy of Dr. W. S. Urquhart. He was my professor. And our English professor was Mr. Cameron, Mr. Scrimgeour, Mr. Warren. And I was student of economics also. One Mr. Kidd, he was also... All our professors were Scotsmen, Englishmen.
Dr. Copeland: And after you left the college, were you employed?
Prabhupāda: Yes. I was appointed manager of a very big laboratory, Dr. Bose's laboratory.
Dr. Copeland: Ah, yes.
Prabhupāda: You know?
Dr. Copeland: I've heard of it. [indistinct] While you were in the college or afterwards, did you participate in any political movements?
Prabhupāda: Yes. I joined this Gandhi's.
Dr. Copeland: You did? Had you met Gandhi?
Prabhupāda: I met several times, but not as personal interview. But I liked his movement, national movement.
Dr. Copeland: Why?
Prabhupāda: Young men, everyone likes politics.
Dr. Copeland: [laughs] Ācchā.
Prabhupāda: Actually, later on, I did not like. When I was mature, when I met my Guru Mahārāja, then I thought all these things bogus. It has nothing, no value. This social movement, political movement, they are simply wasting time. Real movement is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Dr. Copeland: Why do you think a large number of people followed Gandhi? Why did they like him?
Prabhupāda: Well, large number of people followed Lenin. They are not important. Neither Lenin is important, nor their follower is important. So I don't think Gandhi's followers are as many as later on Lenin's. So these things are not important.
Dr. Copeland: But don't you look upon him as a religious man? Gandhi, religious man?
Prabhupāda: He was a politician. In the garb of. He consolidated the mass of Indian people, becoming a mahātmā, but he was not a mahātmā.
Dr. Copeland: Why not?
Prabhupāda: No. According to... Just see...
Madhudviṣa: Mahātmānas mām...
Madhudviṣa: Read it.
daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ
jñātvā bhūtādim avyayam
Translation = "O son of Pṛthā, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible."
Prabhupāda: That---because you are student of history---Mahatma Gandhi's photograph with Gītā. Did he speak anything about Gītā or Kṛṣṇa in the history of his life? Then how he is mahātmā?
Dr. Copeland: People called him that.
Prabhupāda: People call, that is the another thing. That is the defect of the modern civilization, that vox populi. The people may be asses; still, their votes are accepted. The people are trained up as the fourth-class, fifth-class men, and their votes are appre... This is the defect of the modern... They are not trained up as first-class men, and still, their votes are accepted. Therefore, even a very advanced country, in America, there was mistake = Nixon. They elected him president. Then they dragged him down. That is the mistake. Yes.
Dr. Copeland: Yes, yes. [laughs]
Prabhupāda: They did not elect a first-class man, and later on, they could understand. So everywhere it is going on. Vox populi, the people are less intelligent. They do not know whom to vote. And besides that, votes can be purchased. They purchase, do purchase, by paying according to the country. So what is the value of this vote?
Dr. Copeland: Um, when...
Prabhupāda: Now, what is your opinion? A third-class, fourth-class man, if they vote, do you think it has any meaning?
Dr. Copeland: Well, I don't define people first, second, third and fourth class like you do, obviously.
Prabhupāda: You don't find? You don't find first-class in...?
Dr. Copeland: Well, I'm not as willing to judge other people. I'm not willing to say whether you're first, second or third class, just as I'm not willing to say...
Prabhupāda: No. At least, you are educationist, you are professor. According to the modern society, you are one of the first-class men. Do you think your position and the loafer-class man, the same?
Dr. Copeland: I think everybody has the same amount of intelligence and ability. It's just that some of them get more breaks than others.
Prabhupāda: That's all right. Everyone has got the potency, but unless he shows his intelligence, he has no value.
Dr. Copeland: Well, yeah, but a lot of people don't have a chance.
Prabhupāda: Hmm? Yes. So those who have no chance to become first-class men, their vote, what is the value?
Dr. Copeland: Ācchā. When you were coming to Kṛṣṇa consciousness...
Prabhupāda: According to our Vedic civilization, first-class men's vote required, who knows things as they are. One who does not know things are there, what is the use of taking vote from him? Our Vedic civilization, the brāhmaṇas, first-class men... [aside:] The qualification of brāhmaṇa, find out. Śamo damaḥ satyaṁ śaucaṁ titikṣā ārjavam, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma... Read.
kṣāntir ārjavam eva ca
jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ
Translation = "Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge and religiousness---these are the qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work."
Prabhupāda: This is first-class man.
Dr. Copeland: I'm not a first-class man. [laughs]
Prabhupāda: No, that I do not know, but if you have got these qualities... We have to judge by the qualities, not by birth. But since India accepted a brāhmaṇa by birth without these qualities, India's civilization fell down.
Dr. Copeland: Ah, that's why. Ah, very good! Are you a brāhmaṇa? By birth you're a brāhmaṇa, right?
Prabhupāda: No. I am brāhmaṇa, yes. Yes. But we are not... We do not recognize brāhmaṇa by birth. Brāhmaṇa by these qualities. Anyone who has got... This is the śāstric injunction, that if the qualities are found somewhere else---that means one who is not born in a brāhmaṇa family but he has the qualities of the brāhmaṇa---then he should be accepted as a brāhmaṇa. That is śāstric injunction. Yasya hi yal lakṣaṇaṁ proktaṁ varṇābhivyañjakam, yad anyatrāpi---anyatra means elsewhere---tat tenaiva vinirdiśet [SB 7.11.35]. "He should be accepted as such." Similarly, if a man born in brāhmaṇa family, but he has the qualities of the śūdras... Paricaryātmakaṁ kāryaṁ śūdra-karma svabhāva-jam [Bg. 18.44]. Paricarya means service. To accept the subordinate... [break] So therefore, according to Bhagavad-gītā, nobody is brāhmaṇa. A brāhmaṇa should remain independent. He should live by his qualities. People will honor him. Just like we are training. We do not serve anyone, but we are maintaining big establishment. This is brāhmaṇa. We do not serve anyone, any merchant, officer, any... No. We chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That's all. If Kṛṣṇa wants, He will give us food, or we shall starve. We are not going to serve.
This is the proof. We are spending not less than twenty lakhs of rupees for maintaining our establishment throughout the whole world, but we do not know what is our next moment's income. We do not know... We have eaten today. We do not know whether we shall have any eatable next day. This is our position. If it is available, we shall eat; otherwise we shall starve. This is our position. Still, I don't seek any employment, "Give us some service to maintain our..." No, we don't do that. We never do that. When I was alone, I was not doing that. I was living alone. I had no income, no friend, no shelter. Since I left my home, since 1954, I never cared for anyone maintaining me. And there was no resource, fixed income, nothing of the sort. I depended on Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, in the whole Society we are feeding daily ten thousand men. We have got about one hundred centers. And we are maintained in Eu..., just like European, American standard, not vagabond standard. But still, we have no fixed income. Depend on Kṛṣṇa. If He wants, He will give us food; if He wants, we shall starve. This is brāhmaṇa, practical. And "Now I have got all degrees, and unless I get a good master, then I am street dog." [Dr. Copeland laughs] That is śūdra. Without getting a master... Just like a street dog has no value unless he gets a good master. Then he can bark [Prabhupāda barks], "Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! I have got my master." And if he doesn't get a master, nobody cares for it, and he is lean and thin, here going, here going, that's all. This is śūdra. He has no power to live independently. That is śūdra.
Dr. Copeland: And you're training them to lead?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa will supply everything. Be confident. This is brāhmaṇa. We don't depend. You see for the last ten years our institution going on. We don't depend on anyone else. If you contribute voluntarily, welcome. But we are not dependent on you. This is brahminical class. You don't... [aside:] Find this = śamo damas tapaḥ śaucam. What are they? Śamaḥ?
Amogha: Śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ kṣāntir ārjavam eva ca [Bg. 18.42]. You want me to read each word, translate?
Amogha: "Śamaḥ---peacefulness; damaḥ---self-control; tapaḥ---austerity; śaucam---purity; kṣāntiḥ---tolerance; ārjavam---honesty..."
Prabhupāda: Simplicity, honesty. Ārjavam means even an enemy enquires from me, "What is your secret?" I shall say, "Yes, it is..." I have no secret. This is my position. This is called ārjavam. Don't keep any secret. So ārjavam, then?
Prabhupāda: Yes, full knowledge.
Prabhupāda: Vijñānam means practical application. If one believes God, Kṛṣṇa, and if he believes that Kṛṣṇa is giving food to everyone, even to the elephant and to the ant, then why shall I bother for my food? He must give me. If He is supplying food in the jungle, so many animals, and the elephant eats at a time forty kg. foodstuff, and the ant within the hole of your room, he is also there. The lizard is there, the rat is there, the cat is there. So Kṛṣṇa is supplying food to everyone. Eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]. That is God. He is supplying the necessities of life to everyone. So what I have done that He will not give me food? And I am engaged my life for His service. If I have no such confidence, then where is Kṛṣṇa consciousness? Why shall I flatter others for my food? So this is brāhmaṇa's... "I must have full confidence in Kṛṣṇa. And God is so able, so competent, that He can feed millions and trillions and unlimited number of living entities, and I have dedicated my life for Kṛṣṇa's service, and I will starve? Kṛṣṇa will not look after me?" Is that faith?
Dr. Copeland: Not by your measure.
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Amogha: He says not by your measure. In your terms that is not.
Madhudviṣa: First volume?
Prabhupāda: Yes, find out the verse from the yellow... Yes. Kasmād bhajanti kavayo dhana-durmadāndhān. The verse begins = cirāṇi kiṁ na santi diśanti.
Prabhupāda: Cirāṇi kiṁ na pathi santi diśanti bhikṣāṁ naivāṅghripāḥ para-bhṛtaḥ sarito 'py aśuṣyan, ruddhā guhāḥ kim...
Prabhupāda: No, cirāṇi.
Prabhupāda: Cirāṇi kiṁ na santi.
Madhudviṣa: It is "c"? It begins with "c"?
Prabhupāda: Yes, "c-h-i," or "c-i."
Madhudviṣa: C-i. Doesn't have it here. Cirāṇi... Cīra-vāsā...
Prabhupāda: Then it must be in the second part, Second Canto. Find out the Second Canto. If one reads Bhāgavatam thoroughly...
Madhudviṣa: Cirāṇi kiṁ pathi na santi?
Prabhupāda: Ah, that's it. Vidyā-bhāgavatāvadhiḥ: then his education is finalized. Vidyāvadhiḥ, vidyā avadhiḥ. The limit of education is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Find out.
naivāṅghripāḥ para-bhṛtaḥ sarito 'py aśuṣyan
ruddhā guhāḥ kim ajito 'vati nopasannān
kasmād bhajanti kavayo dhana-durmadāndhān
Translation = "Are there no torn clothes lying on the common road? Do the trees, which exist for maintaining others, no longer give alms in charity? Do the rivers, being dried up, no longer supply water to the thirsty? Are the caves of the mountains now closed, or, above all, does the Almighty Lord not protect the fully surrendered souls? Why then do the learned sages go to flatter those who are intoxicated by hard-earned wealth?"
Prabhupāda: That... Saintly person should depend on Kṛṣṇa. If Kṛṣṇa is not supplying cloth, all right, find out some torn, thrown-out cloth on the street. And food? Go to the tree. Take some fruit. And for water, go to the river. There is sufficient water. And for shelter, go to the cave. So these are already arranged. And above, over and above, do you think that the Supreme Lord does not take care of the person who has fully surrendered unto Him? Then why you are going to flatter this rich class of men for your food? This is the... And that is the... Especially throughout in the history in India you will find many hundred thousands of these sādhus. They do not go anywhere. I have seen at Allahabad, Kumbha-melā. They take bath in the Ganges and sit down in their place, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, without caring wherefrom the food will come. They sit down. And everything is coming. Still in India, if there is information, even in the remotest villages, "There is a saintly person has come in this village," they will approach = "Bābā, what can I do for you?"
Dr. Copeland: Have you done that? Have you wandered around from village to village?
Prabhupāda: Not village to village, but town to town. Even in foreign countries.
Dr. Copeland: [laughs] Even in Australia, too. To get back more to the origins of the movement, why do you follow the teachings of Caitanya rather than, say, Vallabha or Rāmānuja or Rāmānanda?
Prabhupāda: No, there is no difference. Rather, Caitanya Mahāprabhu's teaching is the summary of all Vaiṣṇava---Rāmānuja, Rāmānanda, Madhvācārya and Viṣṇu Svāmī, Nimbārka. There are four sampradāyas. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu follows everyone. There is no difference much.
Dr. Copeland: Oh, you found. How about Kabir?
Prabhupāda: Kabir is not in the sampradāya.
Dr. Copeland: No.
Prabhupāda: He is upstart. [Dr. Copeland laughs] He says mālāja pare śālā. He is abusing a person who chants Hare Kṛṣṇa. He is such a rascal. Mālāja pare śālā. Śālā is abusive language. But he said mālāja pare śālā. All the Vaiṣṇava sampradāyas, they chant with beads, and he is speaking śālā, abusive language. How fallen he is. That is the difficulty, that our system is accepting the previous ācārya, authority. So anyone who does not follow this principle, he is outstart. He is not accepted as authority. So Kabir is not an authority.
Dr. Copeland: Does that mean you go back to Śaṅkarācārya?
Prabhupāda: No. Śaṅkarācārya is also not authority, because he does not follow the ācāryas. Of course, Māyāvāda philosophy was there always, but that was never taken very seriously. Vyāsadeva is the authority. So Vyāsadeva is not Māyāvādī. He is Vaiṣṇava. We belong to Vyāsadeva's sampradāya, Brahma-sampradāya. Therefore we worship our spiritual master as Vyāsadeva's representative, vyāsa-pūjā.
Dr. Copeland: And how about in the south? Do you have many...
Prabhupāda: Yes, everywhere. South is the same thing.
Dr. Copeland: Surely not as many as in the north, or as much?
Prabhupāda: Well, that is the influence of the time. Otherwise, everything is there in the Bhagavad-gītā, and anyone can follow. Either south or north, it doesn't matter. Or east and west. But if you don't follow, and still you say that "I belong to this sampradāya," that is another...
Dr. Copeland: And do you... When you translate the texts that you use, they come from Caitanya?
Dr. Copeland: So you don't worry about...
Prabhupāda: We have no worries. Because we have got...
Dr. Copeland: I don't have any worries either. [laughs] That's good.[?]
Prabhupāda: Because we follow the standard. Just like a small child. He follows his parents, and he knows, "My parents are there." Therefore he has no worries. Is it not?
Dr. Copeland: Well, no. [laughs]
Prabhupāda: So we shall remain like a child, being protected by our predecessor. Then there is no worries. And if you want to manufacture something of your concocted brain, then there is worries. Just like Gandhi. Gandhi wanted to prove nonviolence from Bhagavad-gītā, which is impossible. Therefore he had worries, because he wanted to prove something which is not in the Bhagavad-gītā, and still, he took Bhagavad-gītā as evidence.
Dr. Copeland: But my point is there are other texts as well as Caitanya's texts.
Dr. Copeland: There are other texts, other Gītās.
Amogha: Other versions of the Gītā besides Lord Caitanya's.
Prabhupāda: No, that is not authorized. Therefore we say specifically, "Bhagavad-gītā As It Is," no interpretation. Here Kṛṣṇa says that man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. So we preach that thing. We preach that "You be Kṛṣṇa conscious." Man-manāḥ: "Always think of Me," Kṛṣṇa says. And we are teaching these disciples, "Always think of Kṛṣṇa." There is no difference. We don't create. And therefore it is successful. Others, they created their own concoction; it was never successful. Before me, so many svāmīs came to the Western countries. They were not successful. Not a single person was Kṛṣṇa conscious, in the history. In the history of the last two hundred years so many svāmīs are coming in the Western countries. They also speak on Bhagavad-gītā, but not a single person was Kṛṣṇa conscious. And since we have presented Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, hundreds and thousands. This is the proof that they presented something concoction. It was, what is called, impotent. A impotent man having sex, he cannot beget children. He can enjoy that sex, but he cannot beget child. Similarly, these so-called svāmīs, they are impotent. They could not produce any child of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the proof. So your reply is. Don't be innocent like this.
Dr. Copeland: [laughs] You can't just say that they don't exist. They're there. And surely there are other people...... who think theirs are just as important.
Prabhupāda: No, that is... That was... About hundred years ago Vivekananda came, and he stayed in New York. But these people... When I came, I asked, "What is...? Do you know Vivekananda?" They said, "No, we do not know." I had to find out, search out, where is Vivekananda's center. It was not very prominent. Nobody was going. So for hundred years they worked, this Ramakrishna Mission. They could not establish even half a dozen centers in America. And I established forty centers within six years. And in each center there is devotees not less than twenty-five, up to 225. In Los Angeles we purchased one church. The church was sold because nobody was coming. And since we have taken... If you sometime go to Los Angeles, you will see it is packed always. The same people, the same church---why it is packed now? And why it was sold without any attendance? What is the difference? I have not brought these men from India, neither I brought that church from India. The church was there, and these people were there. Before this movement, they were not going there, and now they have packed. So what is your judgment?
Dr. Copeland: Well, when I first came in, I asked you why were you so successful, and you said, "I don't know how you measure success," and now you're measuring success by numbers, and that's not fair. That's not logical.
Prabhupāda: No, my standard of success is little different. Of course, this is success. Everyone is saying I am successful. So it is not unsuccessful. But my standard of success is little different. So even it is not fully successful, still, the results are there.
Dr. Copeland: Ah, fair enough.
Prabhupāda: That is called payi-nukuta-nyāya.[?] And when I find full successful, just imagine what is that. This is partial success.
Dr. Copeland: [laughing] That's called "touche."
Prabhupāda: This is the logic, that the partial success is this, and when it will be full successful, you cannot imagine that, what it is.
Dr. Copeland: Ācchā. I don't want to tire him out or... I am easy. I want on and on. Whichever you want.
Prabhupāda: Give him some prasāda.
Madhudviṣa: One of the... Just from understanding, speaking to Amogha, is one of the doctor's dilemmas is that he is reading your Bhagavad-gītā, but his colleagues do not appreciate your Bhagavad-gītā so much. He..., sometimes he is confronted with the people who are tending more towards the impersonal school of thought, I think, and they have little..., they have criticisms of your Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. So he...
Dr. Copeland: That's why I was asking. To see how you would reply to that.
Prabhupāda: First of all, you think that Kṛṣṇa is speaking as person. What right you have got to say that He is imperson?
Dr. Copeland: I don't say.
Prabhupāda: No, anyone, anyone. What Kṛṣṇa is saying, He is saying as a person. Aham. You know the Sanskrit word aham, "I," first person? So why these foolish interpreters, they interpret "imperson"? What right they have got? They have no right. Suppose you are teaching something from your own point of view. What right I have got to say that "This is not Mr. Such-and-such opinion. What I say, that is opinion"? Is that very good judgment? You are saying something from your point of view, and I poke my nose that "This should be spoken like this." Is this honesty?
Dr. Copeland: It's a difference of opinion.
Prabhupāda: No, why should you..., I showed opinion on your book? If I have got opinion, I publish another book. Why should I interpret? Why shall I poke my nose in your business?
Dr. Copeland: Yeah, but the dialogue is how you learn. Oh, yes.
Prabhupāda: No, that is most dishonest. Oh, yes. You cannot interpret my book in your own way. That is not allowed. No gentleman will do that. You, if you have got a different view, you put your views in your own book. Don't drag my book. That is honesty. And because my book is popular, you take advantage of my book, and you interpret in your own way, this is most dishonest. You cannot do that.
Dr. Copeland: No, but when you have different types of things...
Prabhupāda: Different types we may have, but Kṛṣṇa's book, what Kṛṣṇa is saying, it should be presented as Kṛṣṇa says.
Dr. Copeland: Yeah, but then you think that you know what Kṛṣṇa says.
Prabhupāda: No, I say, "Bhagavad-gītā As It Is."
Dr. Copeland: Yeah, and other people think they know, too.
Prabhupāda: No, how they know? Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ, simple thing. [aside:] Find out this verse. What is the translation?
Amogha: "Always think of Me and become My..."
Prabhupāda: Now, Kṛṣṇa says, "Always think of Me." How you can say that "Don't think of Kṛṣṇa"? Is that very honesty? No, no, if Kṛṣṇa may be wrong, that is another thing.
Dr. Copeland: Ah, okay. I'll buy that. [laughs]
Prabhupāda: But you cannot say that "Kṛṣṇa says something else." Kṛṣṇa says, "Always think of Me." So we have to present that "Kṛṣṇa says you always think of Kṛṣṇa." That is honesty. And if I say, "No, no, you don't think of Kṛṣṇa," that is dishonesty. That is dishonesty. We are fighting against that. Why should you poke your nose in the statement of Kṛṣṇa? If you have got different views, you put your own book.
Dr. Copeland: Mmm, we're not really arguing about the same thing. I'm saying that if, say, somebody says Christ in the Bible says something...
Prabhupāda: You must say that "Christ says like this." That is honesty.
Dr. Copeland: Yeah, okay.
Prabhupāda: If you say, "No, no, what Christ says, it is wrong. What I am saying, it is right," then it is dishonest.
Dr. Copeland: Muhammad says...
Prabhupāda: Anyone. Muhammad says something, you have to say, "Muhammad says this." You cannot say, "What Muhammad says, it is not right. What I say, it is right." You cannot say that. That is dishonest. You say in your own words. Why should you bring Muhammad or Kṛṣṇa or Christ to say your word? Did they come to support your views?
Dr. Copeland: No, I don't do that.
Prabhupāda: No, you do not do that. You do not do that. You will see Dr. Radhakrishnan says. When this, he is making comment on it, he said, "It is not to Kṛṣṇa." Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto māṁ namaskuru, and Dr. Radha..., "It is not to Kṛṣṇa." How he is misleading people! He is a great scholar, and he says, "It is not to Kṛṣṇa, to the person." Just see. This dishonesty is going on. What right he has got to say like that? Did He..., did He, Kṛṣṇa, left His Bhagavad-gītā to be interpreted by a rascal, "Not to Kṛṣṇa"? This is rascaldom. You cannot say. You must say what Kṛṣṇa says, if you take Bhagavad-gītā. But if you have got a different views, then you write your own book. Present, as many others philosophers are doing. I don't agree you; you don't agree with me. That's all right. Nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. You cannot become a big philosopher unless you have got a different views. That is the way. If I don't defy you, then I am not a big philosopher. That is the way. It is going on.
So nāsau munir yasya... So if I take the opinion of one muni and another muni, another muni, then where is the real view? Therefore it is said, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. Big personalities, what they have done, we have to follow that. So our principle is that, that we are following Caitanya Mahāprabhu, mahājana, a great personality. Or the Christians are following Christ, a great personality. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. You follow some mahājana, great personality. Don't take opinion this man, that man, this man, this man. Then you will be bewildered. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. So you have to follow one great personality, ācārya. That is also recommended in the Bhā..., ācāryopāsanam [Bg. 13.8], following the ācārya. So we have got recognized ācārya, just like you said, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Nimbārka, Viṣṇu Svāmī, Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Or Śaṅkarācārya even. You follow one ācārya, like Christians, they follow Christ, ācārya. The Muhammadans, they follow ācārya, Muhammad. That is good. You must follow some ācārya. But don't give your opinion. That is our process. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam. Just see, [aside:] find out.
imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
sa kāleneha mahatā
yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa
Prabhupāda: Fourth Chapter. Give me water.
Madhudviṣa: Fourth Chapter, 34th verse. [indistinct]
Amogha: "This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost."
Prabhupāda: Yes. As soon as you give up the ācārya-paramparā system, then it is lost. Kṛṣṇa says that man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ. All the ācāryas will say like that, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya. And Dr. Radhakrishnan, "No, no, it is not to Kṛṣṇa." Just see the fun. He has become more than the ācāryas. So we reject immediately. He thinks himself too proud, that he defies the ācāryas. You see? This is the defect. The whole Bhagavad-gītā is spoken on the battlefield. Gandhi says it is nonviolence. Just see. [Dr. Copeland laughs] So we have to follow these people, do you mean to say?
Dr. Copeland: But if you're measuring your success by the numbers of people, he had a lot of people too.
Prabhupāda: No, we don't take that, by number of people. We take how many people are taking actually. But neither... Ekaś candras tamo hanti [Cāṇakya Paṇḍita] = "If one man accepts, then he can become the bright moon." Na ca tārāḥ sahasraśaḥ: "The so-called stars has no value." One moon is sufficient. So our preaching is = let one man understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is. We don't want disciples. I never collected disciples. I never compromised, that "You can do whatever you like, and you become my disciple. No. "You have to follow this." Now also, this morning, I accepted so many... "First promise whether you are going to do this." Then I initiate. This is my policy. If I would have said, "No, you can do whatever you like, and give me some money, I shall give you mantra," then you would have seen millions. But I accept very selected disciple, not that anyone, everyone comes, and I accept disciple. No. He is first of all trained up six months. Then, when he is able to promise to follow the regulative..., then I accept. This is stricture. It is not that everyone comes, "Give me thirty-five dollars. I give you mantra, and within six months you become God." I do not do that.
Dr. Copeland: You should add humor to honesty.
Amogha: He said as one of the qualifications, we should add good humor to honesty. He says you have good humor.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. One who has got knowledge, he is humorous also.
Dr. Copeland: Ah. [laughs] Oh. Well, what do we do now?
Prabhupāda: Take prasāda. Prasāde sarva-duḥkhānāṁ hānir asyopajāyate [Bg. 2.65]. Take the whole plate.
Dr. Copeland: Take the whole plate?
Amogha: Don't miss out on tulasī leaf. You can take it home with you. Have it for breakfast. [break]
Dr. Copeland: Now we'll try and tell him I didn't really disagree with him or with you.
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Dr. Copeland: I don't disagree that when you say the texts that you follow is the text that you believe in. All I'm saying is that there are other texts, and surely there would be some value in studying the other texts. But he's disagreeing with that, so...
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Madhudviṣa: I was reiterating the point that we only follow the ācāryas, and there is maybe a slight different approach within the ācāryas, but the conclusion is the same. The conclusion is that we must surrender to Kṛṣṇa. And we don't place too much value in people who are commentating on the scriptures who don't follow the ācāryas. We don't place that much...
Prabhupāda: No, that is the statement in the Bhagavad-gītā. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. We have to receive the knowledge through paramparā, disciplic succession. "And because the paramparā is broken, therefore it is lost," Kṛṣṇa says. So we cannot accept Bhagavad-gītā or any Vedic literature, which is called śruti... Śruti means one hears from the ācārya. That is the system.
Amogha: Usually in modern education they have the idea called "well-rounded point of view." They want to take some from here, from there, from that one and that one, that one, and then think about them all, and come up with a conclusion. So he is thinking it doesn't fit with their pattern of reasoning, how we take from one source and get the proper conclusion. They think they have to get from many sources and compare.
Prabhupāda: How... I can reply that if you want to know who is your father, then you will have to take the knowledge from many sources, by vote, that who is your father? Hmm?
Dr. Copeland: [laughing] It's not the same thing.
Prabhupāda: Now he says "not the same." You cannot offer reason. You have to take from one source, from the mother. That's all. You cannot take votes, "Can you say who is my father?" He will say this... He'll say, "He is your father." No, it is not the way. The way is to take the information from the right source, not take the votes of rascals and fools. That is not the way. One source. Even from scientific point of view, mathematics, "Two plus two equal to four," you have to take from one source. Any mathematician will say like that. Nobody will say, "No, two plus two equal to five," "No, two plus two equal to three." Nobody will say. "Two plus two equal to four," everyone will say. This is not the way of securing knowledge, from here, there... Caitanya Mahāprabhu did not approve. And our Kṛṣṇa, He said, imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam [Bg. 4.2]. That is the recommendation. And because that source is now missing, therefore it is lost. This process of knowledge, that we take knowledge from anyone and everyone, his opinion, what is that? Not that everyone is in knowledge, but everyone can give his opinion. That is a different thing.
Dr. Copeland: That was my point. Only that. Everybody should have an opinion.
Prabhupāda: Everyone has got his opinion, that is different thing. But not that everyone has got the knowledge.
Dr. Copeland: Well, that's why we come to you, for knowledge.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.
Dr. Copeland: But I come to you for knowledge, and then I go to other people for knowledge too.
Prabhupāda: That you go, but if you want real, right knowledge, then you must approach the man who knows it, not that you find out anyone and everyone and find out.
Dr. Copeland: I know. I'm done.
Amogha: I'll give you a show around if you like.
Dr. Copeland: Okay, fine. I thank you very much for your time. And when do you come back again?
Dr. Copeland: When do you come back to Australia again?
Madhudviṣa: January. Hopefully in January. Will session be in then?
Dr. Copeland: Oh, no, that won't work then. It was a good try.
Madhudviṣa: When is session?
Dr. Copeland: Session will end in October and start again in March. But if when you come back in January, they tell me that you're here, I'll come talk to you again if you want to talk to me again.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. You are always welcome. Educated man like you, we welcome.
Dr. Copeland: Oh, yes. [laughs] Keep up the good humor. [devotees laugh]
Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. Jaya.
Dr. Copeland: Namaskāra.
Prabhupāda: Somebody else was to come?
Madhudviṣa: I think one more was to come. [devotees talk amongst themselves in background]
Śrutakīrti: So he had to run.
Madhudviṣa: He said at the end, "I am done." [laughs]
Prabhupāda: I am done?
Madhudviṣa: Yeah, he said, "I am done."
Prabhupāda: What is that meaning?
Madhudviṣa: It means that you have finished him. [Prabhupāda laughs] They are... They have such a misunderstanding of the philosophy coming from India. When they come to see you, they think that you will be very liberal-minded, because they have received this liberal-mindedness from so many other bogus svāmīs, and when they come to see you, you are very conservative. You are very conservative. You will not accept anyone else. So they cannot agitate their mind. They cannot do their muni thing. So many other svāmīs come, and they accept this, accept that, do this and do that, and simply stress, "The follower is right."
Prabhupāda: They will say to him, "Love humanity."
Prabhupāda: And this is very palatable. "Oh, Swami is for humanity." He is a rascal, he does not know. "Love humanity. Do not love Kṛṣṇa, love humanity." And then people believe him. "By loving humanity, you love Kṛṣṇa, or God." These things are very palatable. This is Vivekananda's philosophy. And most people say like that. "Love humanity." Oh, why humanity? Why not tigers? That they can not. All bogus. Don't be misled by the bogus. Stick to your own principles. That's all. People may come or may not come. We don't care for them. We must speak the right truth, that's all. Why "People not coming"? People are coming? We are getting more and more devotees. [end]