Press Conference , Mauritius , 1975-10-02
Prabhupāda: So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means we are trying to eradicate this conception of life, bodily conception of life. The animals... An animal, he is also thinking, "I am dog," "I am cat," "I am cow," "I am ass," on account of this bodily concept of life. And if we human being, we also remain in that bodily concept of life, then we are no better than the animals. So if we remain animals, there cannot be any peace. You bring a dozens of dogs, and if you keep them, they cannot be improved. They will remain as animal. They have no capacity. And if you ask them to live peacefully, it is not possible, because they are animals. Similarly, if we human being, although we are not animals, but we are not being educated as human being, and therefore we remain as animal, so how there can be any peace? The animal eats; we eat. The animal sleeps; we sleep. The animal have sex life; we have got sex life. The animal defends; we also defend. So if we remain engaged only on the principles of four demands of body, then we remain animal. Our extra education requires that "I am not this body; I am spirit soul." And there is necessity of the soul. If we don't come to this platform, then we remain animal. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means we are trying to bring human being to the platform of spiritual consciousness, or real human being.
Interviewer (1) [Indian man]: Are you striving for peace in the world? Is it one of your goals?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Everyone is trying for peace in the world. I have already referred to the United Nation organization. They are also trying peace of the world. But one must know the right way how to bring peace in the world. So our proposition is that if you keep the human being as good as animal, then how there can be peace? There cannot be any peace among animal society. [aside:] Aiye. Let him... Jaya. This is our proposal. So we are bringing these European, Americans, Africans, Canadians, Australians to this platform of understanding, that "We are human being; we are not animals." The... First I have already explained = so long we shall remain in the bodily concept of life, then we remain animal.
Interviewer (2) [Indian man]: What was the necessity of creating this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement?
Prabhupāda: Necessity is that the human form of life is meant for advanced education. Unfortunately, they are being educated to live like animals. That is the mistake. So we want to correct this mistake.
Interviewer (2): But the spiritual organizations in India, all the spiritual teachings in India, have always put great emphasis on the fact that we are spiritual beings. So what was the necessity of creating another movement to say the same things?
Prabhupāda: No. We are... You have brought in the question of India. We are talking of the human society, so why you are bringing India? We are not talking about India only. Human being does not mean only Indian. You see? Human being---all, outside India, inside India, everywhere. Wherever there is human being, they require this education. And it is the India's duty. Because India has got the opportunity to be spiritually advanced by the grace of learned, saintly persons, so they should first of all make their life perfect by taking education and distribute the knowledge throughout the whole world. That is India's mission. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission, that... The exact word is,
janma sārthaka kari' kara para-upakāra
[Cc. Ādi 9.41]
Anyone who has taken birth in India as human being, he should first of all make his life perfect and distribute the knowledge to others for welfare activities.
Interviewer (2): Swāmījī, as I know, this movement has a great faith in Bhagavad-gītā, and Gītā is the [indistinct] of the war. How do we explain it?
Prabhupāda: The war is also necessary. When there are demons, they should be punished. But we must know who is demon and who is not demon. Just like any good State, just like our India State, accepting that we attempt our independence by Mahatma Gandhi's nonviolence movement. But do you think that India is keeping nonviolent? Why there is soldier? Why there is police? That is also necessary.
Interviewer (2): Where do you [indistinct]?
Prabhupāda: This movement is already there since Kṛṣṇa appeared upon this earth about five thousand years ago. And before that also, the movement was there. But in the modern history the movement is since five thousand years.
Interviewer (2): In our country? In India?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Again "country." It is no a question of country. It is in the world. We are... That is our bodily concept is so strong that whatever we think, we think of our country, of our sect, of our community. This is our disease. One's life, perfect and successful.
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Interviewer: The movement of [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: I do not know anyone's movement. We are pushing on our movement on the basis of Bhagavad-gītā---Kṛṣṇa's movement. Therefore we have named "Kṛṣṇa consciousness." So if you know about... [break]
Brahmānanda: ...children of our householders, the children are sent there at the age of five, and they are taught in association with other children these principles of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They are trained. They are trained in English and Sanskrit. [indistinct] ...brāhmaṇa class, we don't mean those who are born brāhmaṇas [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: ...no customer is coming, we go to sell our books. Yes.
Interviewer (2): Have you had a significant impact on the American society?
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Brahmānanda: What is that?
Interviewer (2): Have you had a significant impact on the American society? The values you preach, have they influenced Americans to a certain degree?
Brahmānanda: Oh, yes. You can go in America, any country, any city, and everyone will know Hare Kṛṣṇa. We're getting...
Interviewer (2): That's not what I mean. What I mean is have Americans started to be less violent, for instance, or have they started to be less egoistical, or have they started to be less...
Brahmānanda: Well, not unless they follow our movement. But those who have followed our movement... Recently there was one study that was published by a very eminent sociologist in America from the University of California, the [sic:] Union Theological Center, and he stated in that book that the members of this movement, formerly they were drug-addicted hippies, and now they have become servants of Kṛṣṇa and humanity, loving servants. So he has given proof through intensive interviews that one who follows and joins this movement, dramatically his life becomes changed.
Prabhupāda: Perfect. He is a big professor, and his books are being sold in higher circles. Professor Judah. And he has studied this movement for five years. And... [aside:] You have got that book?
Prabhupāda: Show him. So they are appreciating. Appreciation has begun. Formerly they thought it is another edition of hippie movement, but now they are realizing it is not. A cultural. He has given the name of the book, Hare Krishna and Counterculture. He is selling at the cost of twelve dollars; still, all high class, educated class, are purchasing.
Interviewer (3) [Indian man]: Have you any program for the common people?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Common people have joined. Everyone. We are opening centers so that any common man from any caste, any creed, any nation, they can come and join.
Interviewer (2): My friend, perhaps you would like to do is... I know you are doing some social work for...
Prabhupāda: This is the best social work. We are making animal into man. Already I have begun this, that because they are not educated how to become human being, so they remain animal. So this is the best social work, that we are bringing animal, two-legged animals, to real human being. If a human being is not properly educated, he remains an animal. So this is the proper education. Therefore we are bringing animals to human being.
Interviewer (3): Has your movement arranged once any political event which is a movement in a particular country?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. When we are many in number, then we shall take politics also. Yes. First of all let there be perfect men. If there is no perfect men, the government will be imperfect. If there is perfect men, the government will be perfect.
Interviewer (4) [Indian man]: Do you think, Swāmījī, that man can become perfect?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. That is the chance of a human being. Therefore in the human society there is school, college, education, culture, not in the animal society, because they can be made into perfect, not the animals. So if they are denied proper education, that is the greatest harm. They got the opportunity, and the authorities are not giving them their opportunity.
Interviewer (4): No, but do you mean the perfectness is to become the God or to become the man? Then I want...
Prabhupāda: You never become God.
Interviewer (4): What does perfectness mean?
Prabhupāda: Perfect means to become godly.
Interviewer (1): Can you be interested directly in politics?
Prabhupāda: Why not? Kṛṣṇa... Kṛṣṇa was in politics. So He instructed Arjuna to fight. This is politic---for a good cause. When Arjuna denied that "Kṛṣṇa, I am not willing to kill my..., the other side, my brothers and my uncles," He chastised him that kutas tvā kaśmalam idaṁ viṣame samupasthitam: "How you are talking like non-Āryan? What is this nonsense?" He... Kutas tvā. First of all... [aside:] Find out.
Anārya. Anārya. He has said anārya. Āryan means advanced. Anārya means less advanced. [aside:] Find out.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Chapter Two, Bhagavad-gītā, text two:
kutas tvā kaśmalam idaṁ
"The Supreme Person, Bhagavān, said = My dear Arjuna, how have these impurities come upon you? They are not at all befitting a man who knows the progressive values of life. They do not lead to higher planets, but to infamy."
Prabhupāda: And purport?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Purport = "Kṛṣṇa and the Supreme Personality of Godhead are identical. Therefore Lord Kṛṣṇa is referred to as Bhagavān throughout the Gītā. Bhagavān is the ultimate in the Absolute Truth. Absolute Truth is realized in three phases of understanding, namely Brahman, or the impersonal, all-pervasive spirit; Paramātmā, or the localized aspect of the Supreme within the heart of all living entities; and Bhagavān, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Kṛṣṇa. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, this conception of the Absolute Truth is explained thus:
tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
bhagavān iti śabdyate
'The Absolute Truth is realized in three phases of understanding by the knower of the Absolute Truth, and all of them are identical. Such phases of the Absolute Truth are expressed as Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān.' [Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, First Canto, Second Chapter, eleventh verse.] These three divine aspects can be explained by the example of the sun, which also has three different aspects, namely the sunshine, the sun's surface and the sun planet itself. One who understands the sunshine only is the preliminary student. One who understands the sun's surface is further advanced. And one who can enter into the sun planet is the highest.
"Ordinary students who are satisfied by simply understanding the sunshine, its universal pervasiveness and the glaring effulgence of its impersonal nature may be compared to those who can realize only the Brahman feature of the Absolute Truth. The student who has advanced still further can know the sun disc, which is compared to knowledge of the Paramātmā feature of the Absolute Truth. And the student who can enter into the heart of the sun planet is compared to those who realize the personal features of the Supreme Absolute Truth. Therefore the bhaktas, or the transcendentalists who have realized the Bhagavān feature of the Absolute Truth, are the topmost transcendentalists, although all students who are engaged in the study of the Absolute Truth are engaged in the same subject matter. The sunshine, the sun disc and the inner affairs of the sun planet cannot be separated from one another, and yet the students of the three different phases are not in the same category.
"The Sanskrit word bhagavān is explained by the great authority Parāśara Muni, the father of Vyāsadeva. The Supreme Personality who possesses all riches, all strength, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation is called Bhagavān. There are many persons who are very rich, very powerful, very beautiful, very famous, very learned and very much detached, but no one can claim that he possesses all riches, all strength, etc., entirely. Only Kṛṣṇa can claim this, because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No living entity, including Brahmā, Lord Śiva or Nārāyaṇa, can possess opulences as fully as Kṛṣṇa. Therefore it is concluded in the Brahma-saṁhitā by Lord Brahmā himself that Lord Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No one is equal to or above Him. He is the primeval Lord, or Bhagavān, known as Govinda, and He is the supreme cause of all causes.
anādir ādir govindaḥ
'There are many personalities possessing the qualities of Bhagavān, but Kṛṣṇa is the supreme because none can excel Him. He is the Supreme Person, and His body is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss. He is the primeval Lord Govinda and the cause of all causes.' [Brahma-saṁhitā, Fifth Chapter, first verse.]
"In the Bhāgavatam also there is a list of many incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but Kṛṣṇa is described as the original Personality of Godhead, from whom many, many incarnations and personalities of Godhead expand:
kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam
mṛḍayanti yuge yuge
'All the lists of the incarnations of Godhead submitted herewith are either plenary expansions or parts of the plenary expansions of the Supreme Godhead, but Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.' [Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, First Canto, Third Chapter, twenty-eighth verse] Therefore Kṛṣṇa is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, the source of both the Supersoul and the impersonal Brahman.
"In the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Arjuna's lamentation for his kinsmen is certainly unbecoming, and therefore Kṛṣṇa expressed His surprise with the word kutas, 'wherefrom.' Such unmanly sentiments were never expected from a person belonging to the civilized class of men known as Āryans. The word Āryan is applicable to persons who know the value of life and have a civilization based on spiritual realization. Persons who are led by the material conception of life do not know that the aim of life is realization of the Absolute Truth, Viṣṇu or Bhagavān, and they are captivated by the external features of the material world, and therefore they do not know what liberation is. Persons who have no knowledge of liberation from material bondage are called non-Āryans. Although Arjuna was a kṣatriya, he was deviating from his prescribed duties by declining to fight. This act of cowardice is described as befitting the non-Āryans.
"Such deviation from duty does not help one in the progress of spiritual life, nor does it even give one the opportunity to become famous in this world. Lord Kṛṣṇa did not approve of the so-called compassion of Arjuna for his kinsmen."
Prabhupāda: So this movement is to make the people Āryan.
Interviewer (2): Telling... [indistinct---microphone moving] Let's say, people who fight for their rights---the blacks in the United States or... [break]
Prabhupāda: ...for the kṣatriya? Kṣatriya means one who gives protection from being hurt, kṣat. Kṣat means hurting. So suppose if I unnecessarily hurt you, then it is the duty of the government to give you protection. So unless I am also punished by violence, I cannot..., he cannot give you protection. So this is also necessary. Therefore in the society there must be kṣatriya. The brāhmaṇas should be learned; they should give instruction, advice. The kṣatriyas should give protection; the vaiśyas should produce, economic development; and rest, they should assist---śūdras. That's all. This is the program of Āryan society.
Interviewer (5) [Indian man]: How long do you expect to stay in Mauritius?
Brahmānanda: Prabhupāda is leaving Sunday for Durban and Johannesburg.
Interviewer (5): And the others?
Brahmānanda: They will stay here. We're making a center here.
Interviewer (1): Have you any program of Swāmījī for the common mass? Any pravacana?
Brahmānanda: Here in the evenings.
Prabhupāda: Actually, I want to speak only to the intelligent... [break] ...the common mass, they will not understand. But we can perform kīrtana for the common men, so that they may be purified.
Interviewer (1): Excuse me. I mean in your presence there must be some program like kīrtana or...
Prabhupāda: Anyway, this idea of society, of your culture, general mass of people, especially nowadays, it is very difficult. So if the leaders understand---yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ [Bg. 3.21]---then the common mass will follow.
Interviewer (3): Yes, but here in Mauritius, most of the people are of Indian origin. It is easy for them to understand Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Therefore I say the Indian, these leading Indians here, if they make a program, the common will follow. And everything is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, how society should be conducted.
Interviewer (3): But I think, Swāmījī, common men follow only svāmīs, not the leaders or the priests.
Prabhupāda: The idea is = the common men, they expect something, especially from India, that India has got some spiritual culture. So every human being is seeking after spiritual culture, but unfortunately, at the present moment they are doing something which is not very desirable, the so-called svāmīs and yogīs. I do not wish to describe them to you.
Interviewer (2): Does your haircut have any particular significance?
Brahmānanda: The shaving of the head is a sign of surrender to the spiritual master, and we leave the śikhā...
Prabhupāda: And keep the head light instead of unnecessarily burdened. In the Kali-yuga there is a symptom. It is stated in the... Lāvaṇyaṁ keśa-dhāraṇam [SB 12.2.6] = "In the Kali-yuga people will think by keeping long hairs he has become beautiful." This is the mentality of this age. Lāvaṇyaṁ keśa-dhāraṇam. You can write this. Lāvaṇyam means luster, and keśa-dhāraṇam means keeping hair.
Interviewer (3): By preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness, would you condemn other people's beliefs?
Prabhupāda: We must condemn anyone who is not Kṛṣṇa conscious. We say... I don't condemn; Kṛṣṇa condemns.
āsuri bhāvam āśritāḥ
Duṣkṛtinaḥ means sinful; and mūḍhāḥ means rascals, asses; and narādhamāḥ means lowest of the mankind; and māyayāpahṛta-jñānāḥ means their knowledge has been taken by māyā; and āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ means atheist class. So this class of men will never surrender to Kṛṣṇa. So if one is not surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, we immediately take them either of these = duṣkṛtina, mūḍha, narādhama, māyayā... This is our stand.
Interviewer (3): No, suppose someone follower of... [indistinct---loud static] and all of these [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: But he does not know who is the Supreme God.
Interviewer (3): But Swāmījī, Indian culture, although is [Hindi]. Then why you are telling a...
Prabhupāda: Indian culture is given [Hindi], that to allow them to worship the demigods means at least to accept the authority, and then they gradually come to the supreme authority. Just like for the common man, to give respect to the police constable means giving respect to the government. But the police constable is not the president of the government. So one should know who is the president. That is advancement. If you remain simply offering respect to the constable, that is not advancement.
Interviewer (4): Indian philosophy has always taught that light comes from many lamps. But you are preaching that...
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Brahmānanda: He says Indian culture has always taught that light comes from many lamps.
Interviewer (4): But you are preaching... [indistinct---loud static]
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the supreme light. There are degrees of light. There is sunlight, and there is this light. You cannot compare this light with sun. [laughter] Light are so many, but that does not mean the sunlight and this light is the same.
Interviewer (4): No, what I...
Prabhupāda: First of all you understand this. You have questioned about the light. First of all you understand there are degrees of light. You cannot say this light and the sunlight is the same.
Interviewer (4): By this, you mean that those who adopt the light by the teachings coming from the Koran or from the Bible is lesser light than from the Gītā?
Prabhupāda: That is your business. That is your business. But we give you the idea that light comes from everywhere. There is one glowworm. That light also light, and the sunlight is also light. You cannot think that the glowworm's light and the sunlight is the same. Now it is your business to see which is glowworm light and which is sunlight. That is your business.
Interviewer (6) [Indian man]: It has been [indistinct] argued, particularly in Third World countries, that your movement is under the wing of a certain imperialist countries. Do you...?
Brahmānanda: He said that there is some allegation that our movement is connected with certain imperialistic countries.
Prabhupāda: Let them say all nonsense. What can I do? Every nonsense will speak something nonsense. How can I check it? There are so many nonsenses; therefore we are trying to make all these nonsense into human beings. That is our program. So long he is a nonsense, he will go on speaking nonsense. What can I do?
Interviewer (4): Swāmījī, one thing I want to know. This śloka, from where you have got it, this śloka, lāvaṇyaṁ keśa-dhāraṇam? This śloka, lāvaṇyaṁ keśa-dhāraṇam.
Prabhupāda: Yes. It is in the third chapter of Twelfth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. [aside:] Have you got our Bhāgavata, Twelfth Canto?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: We don't have it with us.
Prabhupāda: So you can note down. There are many things, that, that dāmpatye ratim eva hi: "A family life means sex life." And lāvaṇyaṁ keśa-dhāraṇam. All these symptoms which are now going on, that is foretold five thousand years ago in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Svīkāra eva hi udvāhe [SB 12.2.5] = "Marriage will be by agreement." These things are there. That I have...
Indian man: [indistinct---loud static]
Prabhupāda: No, but just like you know in the rainy season there will be heavy rainfall, but you can protect yourself. You can get raincoat, you can get umbrella. Then you will not... [break] So you cannot stop the rainy season, but you can protect yourself. [break] ...so many Africans. We have many Africans, devotees.
Interviewer (3): Yes. Americans.
Prabhupāda: Yes. [aside:] Have you got any picture?
Brahmānanda: We have photographs of our temples in Kenya.
Cyavana: We have about thirty disciples in Nairobi, Africans.
Brahmānanda: You should see the film.
Brahmānanda: If you come this evening, we have a nice film about our movement all over the world.
Prabhupāda: Yes. We go interior to the African village.
Guest (4): Swāmījī, can I ask a question? How old are you, or, maybe I should say, how young are you?
Prabhupāda: I am eighty years old. Eighty.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Here is one black American, a sannyāsī in the renounced order of life. [break]
Prabhupāda: ...the bodily concept of life, he is no more African, no more American. He is spirit soul. [break]
Interviewer (2): ...Swāmījī, a very personal question. How would you react when people give you a godly reception?
Brahmānanda: He asks, "When you get a godly reception when you come to a place, how does your..., receive it?"
Prabhupāda: Because I am representative of God, therefore they must give me godly reception. It is reception to God. Just like if you receive one ambassador from a country, then that means giving honor to that country. It is not my personal reception; it is acknowledging the glories of the Lord. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ. It is said, "If you please God's representative, then God is pleased."
Interviewer (2): Thank you, Swāmījī.
Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Interviewers: Hare Kṛṣṇa. Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end]