Room Conversation , Vṛndāvana , 1976-04-05
Śyāmasundara: ...the money is spent and everything is going nicely. Disorganized.
Prabhupāda: Yes, management, management means everything is in order.
Śyāmasundara: If there is no manager...
Prabhupāda: Otherwise, what is the use of assembling together?
Śyāmasundara: There should be some sannyāsī to step forward.
Pañcadraviḍa: Sometimes, though, it is hard to maintain this routine. You yourself told the devotees not to go out and purchase excessive amounts of sweets, but that didn't check them. They are still in the sweet shops continually. This morning, I woke a... I went to wake a devotee up. I woke him up at a quarter to four. I said, "Prabhu, you want to get up now? It’s about four o'clock, time to wake." So he didn't wake, but I went ahead and bathed, because I want to do that. And then I come back, and it was almost time for ārati. So I said, "If you're not going to bathe, at least get out of bed and come to ārati." But he wouldn't do even that much. So what can you do under these conditions? When you tell somebody, you can't physically...
Śyāmasundara: Well, the whole idea is if you create a spiritual atmosphere that is so enlivening that everyone will want to participate in it. That is the solution. You can't individually treat each person. You have to get the whole thing generated by..., by pouring water on the root.
Prabhupāda: If they sit down for chanting, they should automatically..., they come. If one is late, then you can say, "Well, why did you not come?" But if there is no chanting, no sitting, simply "Wake up, wake up, wake up!" "All right, I am waking up," that is show. But one may wake up or not, you begin your work immediately.
Devotee (2): With regard to the ārati...
Devotee (2): We go to the, up into the temple for the ārati, so he stays in bed and sleeps, and we go to the ārati.
Prabhupāda: No, that if he stays on the bed, then he should be asked to leave. Yes.
Devotee (3): Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: Not that fighting.
Devotee (3): Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Devotee (3): I just want to say one thing, but this..., and then I will leave, because this is a meeting of the management bureau. But I saw the boy after he was beaten, and as far as I was...
Prabhupāda: That I have seen later...
Devotee (3): That was very cruel, erm... It looked very cruel to me. It looked like he was beaten with boards. Criminal. So, erm, I don't think... If it happened to me, I would sue, if that happened to me. The boy’s eye could be put out. That is not good, under any circumstances.
Prabhupāda: That we are discussing. That already [indistinct].
Śyāmasundara: The whole thing is that we are sure about a crisis in India in terms of our presence here. Our prestige has hit an all-time low simply because of our conduct, that's all. Not because of our teaching or our, our..., because we're white or anything like that. It is just because of our conduct---it is so bad, abominable. We don't [indistinct] right compared with the Indian sannyāsīs in our conduct. So can we expect to..., to honor Śrīla Prabhupāda if we conduct ourselves like that? So it is our, our, our responsibility as the leaders not to avoid it, not to avoid the other devotees, but to train them now, begin training.
Prabhupāda: Yes, this is Vaiṣṇava training. Now we should have our routine work. Just like here = punctual. As soon as I see seven, I ask where this is happening, kīrtana vidhi. As soon it as it is five, I immediately ask. So there may be a small assembly, but the routine work must be followed. If somebody is sleeping and the kīrtana is going on, or the morning program is going on, so he may be said that "If you sleep like that, then you cannot be here."
Devotee (2): I said that to that boy previously. I told him not to do that.
Prabhupāda: That's all right, but why you, [indistinct] something, pour water on his body?
Devotee (2): Simply to waken him.
Prabhupāda: You should not do anything which may provoke some reaction. [background whispering] So best thing was to say that he is not in good shape. Say to me that he is incorrigible, and I could have asked him, "Don't..." Now he's finished. He may leave one day. Once, twice, if he does not follow, then we shall ask him just to "Please leave this place." That's all. That should be our manifesto. And we should also. The police said that, when I told him that our regulation is that everyone should get up at four, so he immediately replied, "I don't see anyone rising at four. Nobody." What can I answer?
Devotee (2): How can he say that, Śrīla Prabhupāda? How can he see if anyone is rising at four or not?
Prabhupāda: No, here he can. Because we have a space like that, can be seen. Open spaces, morning, he can identify here. Just by your sight.
Devotee (2): But he is rising.
Devotee: I am rising.
Prabhupāda: He is rising, but others.
Devotee (2): Some others are rising. None..., not all, but some of them are rising.
Devotee (1): The whole point is that the sannyāsīs must see that that standard is kept to the highest. That is their job. That is why you take sannyāsa.
Prabhupāda: But that should be observed, and peacefully it should be settled. If it is not peacefully settled, the man who is continually disobeying, he should be simply asked, "Please go." You cannot beat him. That will...
Devotee (4): Who has the authority to say to somebody "Please go" or not?
Devotee (4): Who has the authority to tell a person "Please go"? We don't know..., I don't know who has that authority.
Prabhupāda: The president will say. So long I am here, I shall say. [indistinct]
Devotee (1): This, this daṇḍa gives authority to the...
Prabhupāda: That gives authority. That gives authority.
Devotee (5): Not in ISKCON. Not in ISKCON.
Devotee (1): Yes it does, in the US.
Devotee (4): No, they do not respect sannyāsīs.
Devotee (1): Yes they do.
Devotee (4): No, they don't.
Devotee (1): Because you may not deserve it, then.
Devotee (4): Now I am getting so... The thing is, they may say like, that but behind my back they talk so many things...
Prabhupāda: If they do not obey the orders of the sannyāsīs, then naturally... But that thing should be brought to the notice at hand, some official president. The case should be taken that if you cannot follow the rules and regulations, you must leave. There is [indistinct]. There is no question of fighting. First thing is that the sannyāsīs, leaders, they should behave themselves according to the rules and regulations and then ask others to follow. The others, they do not follow = once, twice excuse; three times, "Please go away."
Devotee (1): If you follow strictly the principles then you will be automatically respected.
Acyutanānda: Now if I wanted to ask someone to leave, but how does he leave? Do we have to buy him his ticket or something? There was a boy, one Indian, Indra..., Indrarāja...
Prabhupāda: Leave means he can go to another center.
Acyutanānda: I wanted to ask him to leave, but where would he go? Who will pay for his way out? What do you mean?
Prabhupāda: One thing is, that is ultimate. We are canvassing, we are preaching to bring men...
Devotee (5): Here.
Prabhupāda: To get them out is not our business.
Devotee (5): Hmm.
Prabhupāda: That is not our business, that's all. But if he is incorrigible, it is not... Then he must leave. That is... If you're making so much preaching, why? To bring men, not to ask them to go. If for some paltry reason you ask, that is not... When he is incorrigible, first of all you have to try to encourage him. That is preaching. Our preaching means that people are misled. We have to train them in such a way they may take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is our mandate. But if he is completely incorrigible, then he will be asked. Not... Otherwise it is not our business that as soon as we see something we should think wrong. He must be trained by our example, by our teaching, by our word. Eh? Santa... Santa chindanti, uktibhiḥ [SB 11.26.26], by word, by example, he should be corrected. If I cannot correct him by my words and example, that is also my intimidation[?]. Because they have... You cannot expect that everyone has come here, sādhu. That's not. You collect from ordinary men, but we have to make him sādhu. That is preaching. That is preaching. That you have to do tactfully. Not that because one is... Incorrigible men, after trying all our ways, if he is still incorrigible, then you can ask. Not that for fancy reasons, he should not be..., "Get out." That "Get out," if you made, then everything has to be "Get out." That is not the policy. The policy is first of to correct him. That is preaching. As far as possible by example, by teaching, by everything.
Devotee (5): Hmm, engaging.
Prabhupāda: By engaging. That is our school. It is a school. If at the school and does not learn nicely, you cannot say, "Get out." As far as possible. But when it is absolutely impossible to correct him, then we have to ask. And if there is money required, you have to manage your money. What can be done? But I don't think, if we try our best to correct him, this ultimate punishment will be practiced. He is after all human being, and our business is to teach and become ideal ourselves. Āpane ācare prabhu jīva ṛṣi. We have to teach by our personal behavior. If you rise early in the morning, if you take your bath, if you sit down regularly, come to [indistinct], how you can deny? How one can deny? It is not possible. But if I smoke, I ask others not to smoke, that will never be possible. Āpane ācare prabhu jīva. First of all you have to behave. If one is not cleansing, you should take [indistinct]. Just like I have to sometimes = "Not this way but this way." We have to do like that. Not that I command, "You do this," "I cannot do it," "Ah, get out!" Not that. We show him. After all, our life is sacrificed for teaching, and that teaching means one should behave himself nicely. He cannot say that "You do not do this." Just like one day in London there was some talks with Nanda-kumāra. You... He was accusing you; you were accusing him. I heard from God. [laughter] So you should do in such a way that he cannot accuse you. If you ask him to rise early in the morning and take your bath, and if you do not take... Eh? But in some special case... I was taking early bath; now I do not take, because due to my health. That is different. Otherwise regularly I was taking, not even hot water. This hot water bath I have begun in your country; otherwise I have never took, even in the severest cold. Here also I am trying to avoid; I'm keeping this tub of water. Sunshine, whatever little warm it becomes, that's all. So for special health reasons one cannot rise, he is sick. Not generally. Otherwise everyone should rise early in the morning and take bath and be ready for performing in our centers by six o'clock, by five o'clock. And the kīrtana party, you should have everyone go. It may be small distance, but all our men should go. That will be real welfare, seeing the early in the morning so many parties come.
Devotee (5): From 3.30.
Prabhupāda: Three-thirty. So you behave yourself and others will follow. What is that? Cleanliness and following the routine work. That is our method. You must be very clean, neat and clean, rise early in the morning, and we have got our duties.
Devotee: Just like yesterday. Yesterday Dvija-hari came over and said he couldn't get anyone to clean the temple. No one would clean, over at Keśī-ghāṭa. I said, "But there are so many sannyāsīs there; ask them to organize the cleansing party." He said, "Oh, no one would clean. They will not do it." So it doesn't...
Prabhupāda: Why not? Some people should be engaged, you have to get them cleaning.
Devotee (4): They won't, then you have to show them how. You do it also.
Acyutanānda: Because so many people have come and gone. We had a cleaning group and they left for other parties.
Devotee (4): No, but I'm just saying there are many men there who could have cleaned, but they refused to do it, because they are following your examples.
Acyutanānda: I am cleaning my room, I am cleaning outside also. You just haven't seen it.
Prabhupāda: Anyway, whatever is done is done. This should be followed like that
Devotee (4): No, I'm not criticizing...
Prabhupāda: That, āpane ācare prabhu jīva ṛṣi, this should be the principle. One should teach others by behaving himself correctly, then it will be all right. Everyone should remain clean, everyone should rise early in the morning, study, do some work, routine work. So then you can ask, "Why you're not trying? Why you're not doing?" Then he will be ashamed [indistinct]. So this principle should be followed, āpane ācare prabhu jīva ṛṣi. Is it not?
Acyutanānda: Yes, well, for myself in particular I don't think that many people take my words very heavily. There is so much bad talking about me. First they say the songs are māyā, then the tunes are māyā. Behind my back I hear all kinds of things they say. So nobody takes my word seriously. Even though I may quote from many scriptures, they don't respect me.
Prabhupāda: What is this māyā?
Prabhupāda: The songs are māyā? Hare Kṛṣṇa?
Acyutanānda: As soon as I left Calcutta, all the bhajanas, they were all, "Oh, that's, that's Gauḍīya Maṭha poison." Then "Okay, the songs are all right but the tunes are poison."
Devotee (4): I...
Acyutanānda: Now how can I overcome this?
Devotee (4): I heard something in reference to that. You wrote one of the devotees in Calcutta, you wrote... He came to Bombay, Bhavānanda, and he said that he had signed a letter, something like, "I pray that I may be engaged in the service of my Guru Mahārāja," and you wrote back, "We are personalists to the letter, so that when we say ‘Guru Mahārāja,’ we always say the name, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda or Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī. We don't just leave it in as vague ‘Guru Mahārāja.’ " So we were singing Jaya Prabhupāda, or Jaya gurudeva, and he was saying, "Well, that is impersonalist."
Acyutanānda: Also he says nitāi-gaura haribol, that is also..., that is māyā. What is that?
Devotee (4): So he was saying that all these bhajanas, they're..., they are not bona fide because they are....
Prabhupāda: Nitāi-gaura haribol is not bona fide? Who said that, not bona fide?
Devotee (4): Well not that. He was saying that jaya gurudeva, jaya Prabhupāda, that was not good.
Devotee (4): He was saying that is not good, "jaya gurudeva," because it does not say who. It just says gurudeva; it could be any gurudeva. So he was criticizing that.
Prabhupāda: Who was?
Devotee (4): Bhavānanda, because of the letter you wrote to him saying that we are personalists to the letter.
Acyutanānda: So it means that I am a Māyāvādī. That is what it means.
Devotee: Well, it's a matter of overall conduct, not just individual specific things.
Acyutanānda: That overall I am a Māyāvādī.
Devotee (6): I find that overall the bad atmosphere in India, the resentment against many of the devotees, party politics and different things like that are going on, which is not limited; it is going on all over...
Devotee (4): That's very heavy...
Devotee (6): Just like with..., just like with Tamāla Kṛṣṇa. He has..., has the respect of everyone now because he's doing such a good job of managing. He's just doing, he is performing nicely his devotional work, and he is getting some results. That's respect. Then you will get respect. Bali-mardana Mahārāja, he has built up ISKCON Press, 'til it is just like that (snaps fingers), and everyone touches his feet when they see him. You don't find anyone disrespecting him, because he is performing his duties. You automatically get respect if you perform something nicely. Not just say, "Oh, the atmosphere is bad..."
Prabhupāda: Well, we have got many faults we can find out, but generally if I behave nicely others will follow. That is the principle. I may have some faults, you may some. We are not liberated paramahaṁsas; we are all trying. So generally we should behave very nicely according to rules and regulations = chanting sixteen rounds, rising early in the morning. Particularly maybe there is some discrepancies here and there. So... Generally it is our general rules and (indistinct). First of all rising early in the morning, if he cleans, and if they read for a (indistinct)... If these things are followed, chant sixteen rounds, then everything is there.
Devotee (4): In your lectures you emphasize two aspects that must be there = jñāna and renunciation. So some knowledge is there, but the part of the difficulty is that with most of the devotees in every temple in India is that they have not renounced these dirty things completely. They still are attached to sense gratification even on gross levels. So whether a sannyāsī or anybody interferes with their sense gratification, they tend to not oblige, because they are attached to doing things the way they want, and they think because they are in a foreign country, here a long way from America, where the standards are very rigid, that they can do any manner of nonsense and nobody would check them. And if you try to correct them, then they will only do it behind your back. We have seen this with the sweet shops, with rising early, anything that interferes with them doing exactly as they please. They don't want to oblige. And this is in Calcutta, this is in Bombay, and it is happening here in Vṛndāvana. It is not something that is isolated here to the Palace, but the devotees all over, they are just behaving on a level of sense gratification, and that is why there is so much rajas-guṇa in the temples. So much rajas-guṇa.
Prabhupāda: This is a fact. But how to correct it if you do not correct yourself? How it can happen?
Devotee (4): Well we..., many of us have tried to correct our self, and as a result we have been accused of being separatists simply because we don't want to go along with the nonsense that everybody else is doing, but we want to maintain some standard for our self, of reading and chanting, because we don't want to sit down and talk nonsense or do nonsense. And if you try to stop them, they will not stop. So why should we fall down to that level? So we behave as separatists. We go into our room and we will read, or we will go into our room and chant, or we will try to keep ourselves clean or try and do these things, and that is separatism because it is not falling into the level of māyā that is going on everywhere else in the temple---engaging in party politics and all these other things. That is..., that is what I feel about it. Most of the devotees, they seem out of place...
Prabhupāda: Now what is done is done. Now you try to correct others by behaving yourselves. Otherwise there is no need of keeping so many men. We have attempted this in Vṛndāvana. A few men may remain here, that's all. Otherwise it would be not very nice to attract. People are attracted by seeing your behavior. They are seeing that all Europeans and Americans, they have adopted such nice Vaiṣṇava culture. There are attracted from that point. But if we are not to the standard point, they immediately appeal, "Oh they are useless". So that should be corrected. The same principle = āpane ācare prabhu... They should behave also nicely and teach others; then it will be...
Devotee (6): What co...
Prabhupāda: And another, this is general principle. Now we have discussed, now you try to follow. And another thing that, that Keśī-ghāṭa, shall we make further progress? We have acquired that property obviously dropped[?]. What is your opinion? From the circumstances, and that is now, because any temple it must be nicely, very nicely managed; otherwise we cannot maintain. Our Los Angeles temple, you know we attract people, you know it is so nicely managed, very nicely managed. You have seen? So unless... And that means there must be sufficient men to manage. Such a big temple...
Devotee (6): I don't...
Devotee (6): I don't think that, that there is enough people to clean up and manage and keep clean Keśī-ghāṭa. Maybe in the future sometime, but...
Prabhupāda: At the present it is not.
Devotee (6): It is so big, so big.
Devotee: Also, the quality of people that are there, the mass people of a higher quality and a smaller place would do much more good. Like I was in the Philippines by myself, all alone, but still, the work could go on much quicker because I could avoid all of this. I could avoid all of this with what we are having right now. I could avoid it completely because there was nobody there to cause it. All new people. So...
Devotee (6): Everybody here knows everything. [laughter] As, like...
Devotee: It goes up very quickly, because the people are automatically attracted, and then you teach them, you train them. So last[?], Americans, and just one or two people that want to manage, and then start with the people here, the Indian people. And as they develop and become strong, then develop a center. It may take a long time, but it will be solid, be more solid then. Just bring a bunch of Americans here, and then the whole thing falls to pieces, and it will ruin our reputation in that particular area where we want to open a temple.
Prabhupāda: What is your suggestion?
Devotee: That we start a small center and then develop it gradually with less, ah, with less inexperienced people...
Devotee (6): We had a small center here...
Devotee (6): We have had a small center here for nearly a year, eight months.
Devotee (4): Well, well we are not saying..., he's not saying that that's going to succeed, but at least it may not be as much of a travesty. Whether or not we are going to succeed at all in India in getting Indians to listen to what we were saying, that is another whole point. But...
Devotee: At least we won't be killing ourselves. At least we won't be making it so that in the future we will have to leave India---we will be asked to leave, our visas will be taken away and we will be asked to leave. These things could happen very easily. It is not..., it is not a..., it is not a impossible thing. There are places in the world where we can't go already, Singapore; these things have happened. So I feel we should be very, very careful and selective about who we let in...
Prabhupāda: In Singapore our men cannot enter.
Devotee (4): Yeah...
Devotee: This has happened.
Devotee (4): Yeah. There is many places that, although legally we can enter, still, people don't like us, you know.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Singapore, legally also we cannot enter.
Devotee (6): They wouldn't even let you in.
Devotee (4): I think that his point, I think I..., we spoke about this in Manila. It was that anywhere in the world, as a general policy, from what I've experienced, is that if one or two people are sent to an area or are in an area and they are given full authority to try to get that population to engage in bhakti-yoga, engage in this process, that that gradual development with the local people, that has more effect than, than if we bring in a big party and try to do a big thing. And then, then the person has to get strong who is doing it. If I have to go somewhere, then I have to..., I have to get strong for myself; I have to, you know, start from scratch.
Devotee (5): Yeah I know, I know the difficulty they are having, sannyāsīs have here, because many of these devotees think it is more like a tour, vacation, to come to India. They don't have to follow the rules and regulations.
Devotee (4): Right.
Devotee (5): They are only temporarily or they are just passing through. But it is very difficult, I know. But still we have to try to train somehow.
Prabhupāda: Therefore we cannot establish very big establishment, because they come as a tourist.
Devotee (5): Yeah.
Devotee: And if the temple is constructed, they would have to be more rigidly controlled. They would have to be managed by people that, by their preaching and by their Kṛṣṇa consciousness, can make it so that the people who come and stay in that temple will want to practice bhakti. Can’t be a negative aspect thing, a negative motivation. You're not going to keep...
Prabhupāda: No, such camps, because you're not established. So what are your suggestions? What is to be done?
Devotee (5): Well...
Prabhupāda: Shall we reduce, devotees?
Devotee (5): Yes, we have our base in Calcutta...
Devotee (5): We have our base in Bombay, those two places.
Devotee (5): Those are important cities in the world.
Prabhupāda: And Vṛndāvana, as long as our temple is not constructed, we should minimize?
Devotee (5): Yes.
Prabhupāda: So then automatically there is no question of devotees sleeping.
Devotee: Because not everyone is going to, ah, want to be, ah, you know. If the temple is not there, where the devotees can just come and fall into the schedule and program and activities...
Devotee: ...then they will not want to maintain any standard themselves. They will just fall back immediately into their old habits naturally.
Devotee (5): Of course, if we could, we could enter the negotiation and save it for a future date, because it won't be available...
Devotee (4): I don't think we need to worry about that. [laughs]
Devotee (4): I think that if we, if we don't worry about the material thing at all, that if we do these..., we start and we have a spiritual base, that it will grow naturally and Kṛṣṇa will provide us with any material facilities we need. We don't need to try to get things for the future.
Devotee (5): Yeah.
Devotee (4): If we have devotees, then...
Devotee (5): That's why I was thinking Kṛṣṇa doesn't want us to have it, really.
Devotee: What is the use of having a giant temple if we are all... [laughs] We see that all over India. They have giant temples, but no...
Devotee: No management.
Devotee (4): As far as the men, since I think a lot of them are even... Some cases they are sending problem cases to India, people they can't manage in the States. [laughter] I think that maybe if you divide, if you actually... Since in the States you divided the States into territories, and certain men have certain territories, if you maybe appoint certain people in charge of territories of India and ask them which men they want, then they will tell you who they want, and the rest they can send away or send somewhere else. Then you will have solid centers, because the men will actually be desired.
Prabhupāda: That's... So we make that. Needed.
Devotee (5): Isn't that... Didn’t Śaṅkarācārya do that? Divide it four parts?
Devotee (4): Yes.
Prabhupāda: We have... Śaṅkarācārya was concerned in India.
Devotee (5): Yeah.
Prabhupāda: But we are preaching all over the world. Therefore we have divided four, eh, twelve, twelve zones.
Devotee (4): Hmm.
Prabhupāda: Our..., my idea is like that, Śaṅkarācārya.
Devotee (5): But India itself could be divided even, a few parts for preaching...
Prabhupāda: That is already divided = Calcutta, Bombay, Māyāpur, Vṛndāvana.
Devotee (5): So the men in charge, they could say which men they wanted to keep, and the rest they could sent somewhere else, and that way you would have men who were willing to work on the project. And they who are not willing to work, they could also be sent somewhere else.
Prabhupāda: So make something like that, because I cannot tax my brain with the administration.
Devotee (5): Yeah. Well Tamāla Kṛṣṇa will be in Hyderabad.
Prabhupāda: We, eh, physically I am weak. I have decided if I have to see to the administration then I cannot think of writing books...
Devotee (5): Hmm.
Prabhupāda: ...how to present our philosophy to be understandable by the people. Therefore the administration is divided. Now you do it. Little intelligence. You have got still respect. Keep our standard; people will like us. People will also give us service. Just like this big sannyāsī, already the biggest sannyāsī, congressman, he is attracted, but he is a man of immense resource, men and money, eh. Immense resources.
Devotee (5): We have to be careful not to...
Devotee (5): Not to, erm...
Devotee (4): Offend them.
Devotee (5): ...offend these people...
Devotee (5): ...and make spiritual...
Prabhupāda: So, not offend. There is no question of offending. We should behave ourselves very nicely. Offending or pleasing, that is not relevant.
Devotee (5): No.
Prabhupāda: You cannot offend everyone, neither you can please everyone. That is not possible. You keep to your standard.
Devotee (5): Hmm. Not...
Prabhupāda: You keep to your own standard, then everything, everyone will see, "Oh, it is nice". Offending... You cannot please everyone; that is not possible, even if you behave very nicely. Caitanya Mahāprabhu could not please everyone. He had to start civil disobedience. Even Gandhi was killed. That is not possible. You cannot please everyone, but you must stick to your own principle and behave like that, just see. All right. [end]
[Devotees talking amongst themselves]
Devotee: [indistinct] someone said that, Prabhupāda said respect it [indistinct, loud background noise]
Devotee (2): You can make offerings to it. Prabhupāda..., Prabhupāda said offer whatever you get to it.
Devotee (3): Offer it products.
Devotee: And food.
Devotee (2): Whatever you get.
Devotee: Can you do this transfer?
Devotee: Now this is... [break] [end]