Room Conversation [with French translator] , Paris , 1975-08-12
[questions and answers translated by Yogeśvara]
Prabhupāda: [chanting japa]
Bhagavān: He said for forty-five years now he has not eaten any meat, he has been vegetarian.
Prabhupāda: Oh, you are forty-five percent advanced. Yes. Let them come forward. Oh, they are chanting. Very good.
Bhagavān: Many young people. [aside:] I need you to translate; I'm not that good. [French] You speak Italian. You speak French? English? Habla español?
Prabhupāda: Which language they speak?
Devotee (1): Italian.
Prabhupāda: Italian. Ah.
Bhagavān: The Hare Kṛṣṇa, that is universal language. Everyone understands. You are from Rome?
Bhagavān: We have a temple there.
Guest: Yes, I know. Very good.
Prabhupāda: Come on.
Bhagavān: Umāpati is nicely editing these books also.
Bhagavān: He is editing the philosophy, making sure everything is exact.
Prabhupāda: You are doing good service. Now you have got good engagement.
Umāpati: Everything is very nice here.
Prabhupāda: Stay here. Where is your wife?
Umāpati: She went to the farm, so I guess she just hasn't come back yet.
Prabhupāda: Oh, she went to the farm?
Bhagavān: And she is translating Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Bhagavān: She is helping to translate the Bhāgavatam.
Prabhupāda: And Jyotirmayī?
Bhagavān: She is doing the distribution of Bhagavad-gītās in stores, and she is meeting important people, getting... Whatever articles are written about us, she is answering the articles in the paper. Nice service. This Europe is a very good field for making devotees.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Bhagavān: You are Italian also?
Bhagavān: From where?
Woman: I'm from California.
Woman (2): I am Narmadā's sister.
Bhagavān: Oh, Narmadā's sister. It is Haihaya's wife's sister.
Prabhupāda: Oh. So she is French? No.
Bhagavān: No, American.
Prabhupāda: And this boy?
Devotee (1): [French] He's from Morocco.
Bhagavān: They speak French?
Devotee (1): Yeah, they all speak French. [break]
Bhagavān: ...that all over the world there are actually devotees of Kṛṣṇa and that they are just waiting for the saṅkīrtana parties to pick them up.
Prabhupāda: Yes. [laughs] Nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-bhakti. Kṛṣṇa-bhakti is there in everywhere.
Bhagavān: You have some questions?
French devotee: Are you coming back in September?
Bhagavān: The devotees want to know if you're coming back.
Bhagavān: Many people are still talking about that engagement you had in that big hall last year. They're still talking about that engagement. It was very successful.
Umāpati: Many devotees joined afterward.
French devotee: In the street we still see pictures of this.
Bhagavān: [to guest] You have read any books of ours?
Woman: Parts of some.
Devotee (2): Many people are very anxious for the French Bhagavad-gītā. We've already received many letters in the mail asking for copies of it.
Umāpati: One advanced order for Bhagavad-gītā, eighty copies from a bookshop.
Umāpati: In Africa.
Prabhupāda: You can advertise in paper here. You will get good orders.
Bhagavān: They have said that this Aurobindo copy, this is almost out of print now.
Umāpati: There is no edition of Bhagavad-gītā like your edition ever in France. This is the first time.
Prabhupāda: Aurobindo is hodgepodge. It is simply vocabulary. No concrete contribution. Simply words. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. In order to learn the science, one must go to the bona fide guru. Otherwise it is not possible. In the Bhagavad-gītā, find this verse:
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
French devotee: Chapter Four?
Devotee (1): You should read the French. [French devotee reads Sanskrit and French translation]
Prabhupāda: Purport. [devotee reads purport in French] [to devotee] You come here. Sit facing them. So if they have got any question about this?
Yogeśvara: [translating comment from guest] He said he would be happy if the spiritual master was speaking French, because Kṛṣṇa is only speaking French now.
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa speaks in all languages, and He speaks so perfectly that everyone thinks that He speaks only in his language. He could speak with the birds even. There is a Sanskrit word, babhudak. This means one who can speak all languages. So it is stated there in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, Nectar of Devotion, that on the bank of Yamunā He was one day talking with a bird. Every living being has got a different language.
Yogeśvara: [translating from French guest] He says but they are a little bit jealous of the Americans who speak English, which is the language that you speak.
Prabhupāda: The America is my fatherland. My motherland is in India, and America is my fatherland.
Bhagavān: We are trying to make one country.
Devotee (3): Śrīla Prabhupāda, when scientists and astrologers are looking into the heavens, sometimes they see what they say to be flying saucers, different flying objects, lights in the sky. Do we have any explanation for this?
Prabhupāda: Everything is flying. All these planets, they are flying.
Devotee (3): Sometimes they are zigzagging very fast across the sky [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: Maybe there is. Why not?
Yogeśvara: [to guests] This is a wonderful opportunity also if you'd like to ask any questions of Śrīla Prabhupāda. It's a rare opportunity that he's here, you can speak with him. [translates]
French devotee: [French]
Prabhupāda: You can read this verse, kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi kṣetra-kṣetrajñayor jñānam.
Yogeśvara: Thirteenth chapter? Kṣetra...
Prabhupāda: [japa] Go ahead, jñānam.
Yogeśvara: Kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi?
yat taj jñānaṁ mataṁ mama
[reads translation and purport in French]
Prabhupāda: Finished? Go on reading.
Yogeśvara: [continues reading purport in French]
Yogeśvara: I go on more? [finishes reading purport in French]
Prabhupāda: So God is situated with me. I am also within this body, God is also within this body. Find out this verse = īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati.
hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati
[reads translation in French]
Yogeśvara: [reads purport in French]
Prabhupāda: So the God, He is also with me always as friend. So one... It is said in the Upaniṣad, there are two birds in one tree. The two birds means I, individual soul, and God, the Supreme Soul. The individual soul is limited within this body, and God is everywhere = in every body, in every atomic particle, everywhere. Because I am individual soul, I can understand my bodily pains and pleasure. But I cannot understand your bodily pains and pleasure. But God, being all-pervading, He can understand my pains and pleasure, He can understand your pains and pleasure, He can understand cats' and dogs' pains and..., everyone. This is the difference between me and God. Sometimes they mistake. Because God is also within this body, I am also within this body, therefore they think that there is no other individual soul than God; therefore I am God. So if I am God, then you are also God. And if there is more than one God, there is not God. God is one. There cannot be two. So if I think I am God, then everyone is also God; so God becomes plural, so there is not God. God is one. Therefore God is great, we are small. In quality we are one. Just like the president and the citizen, as man they are one, but in power, the citizen and the president, they are different. So these things can be understood if one is sober and very great thinker = they can understand that "God is situated with me. He can help me also." That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:
buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi taṁ
yena mām upayānti te
dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ
yena mām upayānti te
[reads French translation]
Yogeśvara: [reads purport in French. Prabhupāda asks people outside room to stop talking twice during reading]
Prabhupāda: So if we accept this process and advance in devotional service, then God will talk with us. He is with us, every one of us, and He is guiding us, but He gives directly guiding to the devotee. This is practical solution. If you become devotee, God will talk with you and give you direct instruction. [pause] Any question?
Yogeśvara: [translating] This lady asks when one is too old and with too many responsibilities, what can one do?
Prabhupāda: There is no responsibilities---all false, māyā. Everyone is maintained by God. It is our false conception that I am giving protection to anybody. That is false. Just like a man is diseased and we are giving help, medical help, first-class physician, first-class medicine---still he dies. So if God desires that this man must die now, your medical help or physician help will not act. And if God desires that this man must live, then even without your medical help and physician, he will live. Then where is your responsibility?
American lady: Are you against medical help? I mean, you want just to let Kṛṣṇa do His way and not let the doctors help at all? I mean, don't go a doctor, just rely on Kṛṣṇa to help you?
Prabhupāda: Yes, Kṛṣṇa will help you. It is Kṛṣṇa's help that will be counted, not your help or my help. Therefore, it is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati
[reads French translation] So here in this verse that Śrīla Prabhupāda quotes, Kṛṣṇa says, "Knowing Me to be the ultimate goal of all sacrifices and all austerities, the Lord of all planets and of all demigods, the friend and well-wisher of all living beings, the sage finds relief from all material miseries."
Prabhupāda: So long I think that I am the friend or father of my children, I will have to give..., help them, so I am thinking falsely responsible. Actually I cannot do anything. Therefore, the so-called responsibility is māyā. My real responsibility is how to realize God. That is my real. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says openly, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇam. [aside:] Find out.
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
[reads French translation] So here in this verse, sixty-sixth verse, Eighteenth Chapter, Kṛṣṇa says, "Give up all other forms of religion and simply surrender unto Me. I will protect you from all sinful reaction. Therefore you have nothing to fear."
Prabhupāda: So we have no responsibility. It is false, māyā. Our only responsibility is how to become obedient servant of Kṛṣṇa. So that is only responsibility, one responsibility. Just like the political parties, they are advertising, different political party, "I am your friend. Give me vote." How he can be friend? Just like in America, the Nixon took vote, he was advertising, "America requires Nixon." I have seen that advertised when he was being elected. But after some time, the people found that he is not required at all = "Get out." So nobody can become, because everyone is imperfect. How one can become friend or responsible for another person? Just like in your country, in Europe and America, so many hippies are there. Their parents are responsible---rich men, able men---but why they have become hippies? Is it not a fact? The father does not want that his son should become a hippie, but still he is becoming hippie. Where is his responsibility? You cannot give protection to your son. In spite of your desire, you are disappointed. So where is your responsibility? Hmm? Who can answer this? Where is your responsibility? You don't really like that your son should become a hippie, but you cannot protect it.
Yogeśvara: [translating question from French man] He says because we have no Kṛṣṇa consciousness, no God consciousness, therefore we are responsible for not having been able to save them.
Prabhupāda: That is false. That I am saying. This is false responsibility. Actually you cannot become responsible. You have no power. Everyone is under the laws of nature. Just like some birds flying in the sky---the father, mother and children. But nobody is responsible for anyone. When there is danger in the sky, you cannot give protection. Suppose one bird is hit, he is falling. The father, mother and others, they cannot give any protection. He has to become responsible for himself. Just like the aeroplane. When the one plane is in danger, no other plane come and help it. Even if you see that the other plane is flying just a few yards, and if it is in fire, you cannot help. There is one nice story that one hunter was hunting birds, and he spread his network. So when the children of the parent birds, they become victimized by the network, so when the parents came, they saw, "Oh, my children have been caught up by the net of the hunter." So mother became very overwhelmed. She went to rescue them and she also become victimized. Then the father was intelligent, he saw that "My children, my wife, they all have been victimized, and if I foolishly go to save them, then I will be also victimized. Let me go this way. Take sannyāsa and go." No responsibility. It is not possible when everyone is captured by the laws of nature. How you can help, and what is your responsibility?
So this is called māyā. The children are thinking that "My father and mother will give me protection," and the father and mother is thinking that "There is my responsibility." This is called māyā. With this false responsibility, they are packed up in a home. But when death comes, nobody can help. Nobody. This is happening every day, every moment, and still we are falsely thinking, "I am responsible." So what is the value of your responsibility? If you cannot give protection, then what is the value of your responsibility? There is no responsibility. The only responsibility is that I have got this human form of life. Even in this life I do not realize God, then I remain cats and dogs, that's all. This is the only responsibility. If you miss this opportunity, then I do not know what I am going to become in my next life. So gaining or losing this opportunity, that is my responsibility. If I am not responsible...
[break] ...but if the head---king or president---excuses him, he can save. So nobody in this material world can transcend or overcome the laws of material nature. But if one is devotee, by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, he can. This is the sum and substance. Therefore we have no responsibility. If we have touched fire, then it must burn. So whatever we may be, very big man, we cannot violate the laws of nature. Tit for tat we accept. So those who are violating laws of material nature, they suffer continuously. But when he takes to Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet shelter, sincerely surrendering, then he can be saved. Otherwise not. So everyone should become Kṛṣṇa conscious, and he should try to save his relatives, friends, husband, wife, children from these clutches of laws of material nature by educating him to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. That is the only responsibility. That is intelligence. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, na ca tasmāt manuṣyeṣu kaścit me priya-kṛttamaḥ. Ya idaṁ paramaṁ guhyaṁ mad-bhakteṣu abhidhāsyati [Bg. 18.68]. Na ca tasmāt manuṣyeṣu, find out.
Yogeśvara: Na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu...
Prabhupāda: Find out.
kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ
bhavitā na ca me tasmād
anyaḥ priyataro bhuvi
[reads French translation]
Prabhupāda: So anyone who is trying to preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is very, very dear to Kṛṣṇa. Because that is the real welfare work. All bogus. That is a fact. Everyone is under the laws of material nature. How you can do benefit to him? It is very powerful. The same example = a man is condemned by law to be hanged, you cannot save him, however rich man you may be. It is not possible. But the state executive head can excuse. Similarly, you cannot do anything without Kṛṣṇa's order. So if you want to help your relatives, your friends, your..., then you must become Kṛṣṇa conscious and make him Kṛṣṇa conscious. That is the only way. This is the only responsibility. There is no other responsibility. And to serve this responsibility you can do everything. To make a person Kṛṣṇa conscious, you can give him help, you can give him education, you can give him money, you can..., to make him Kṛṣṇa conscious. Not for sense gratification. Then it will be useless. He is going hell, you are going hell, that's all.
[pause] That's all. All other bogus. [end]