Arrival Address , New York , 1976-07-09
Prabhupāda: So first of all I must thank you all for bringing me in this new temple, because when I first came, my ambition was to start temple here in New York, and I was seeking the opportunity living in the Seventy-second Street. There was a house, very small house, one thousand feet space---25 feet by 100 feet. So they wanted $100,000. So I wrote one rich friend in India, industrialist---perhaps you know him, that Kanpurwalla, Padampat Singh, Singhania. So he agreed to pay me, but the government did not allow. The Indian government did not allow to transfer money from India to here. Then I approached the, what is that, Salvation Army, the chief man. I offered him that "You are spending money in India. So I have got a friend, he'll pay you, you pay me here." So he asked me, "What is the rate you want to pay me?" So I told him, "The present rate is five dollars..., five rupees per dollar." So he remained silent. That means he wanted more. In this way I had no place. What to speak of temple, I had no residential place even. So in that condition I was thinking of returning back to India. So the shipping company I was, practically every week, I was going.
So it is a long history that I came here with determination to start a temple in New York first, but at that time, ten years before, in 1965, it was not possible. But by the grace of Kṛṣṇa, by the grace of my Guru Mahārāja, you have got this place. So I must thank you very much for organizing this temple. Actually, in this line of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, two things are very important. Caitanya Mahāprabhu said in His teaching to Rūpa Gosvāmī,
guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja
[Cc. Madhya 19.151]
We are loitering throughout the whole universe. This is conditional stage of our materialistic life, and we are simply suffering. People are kept into ignorance without knowing the aim of life, how we are suffering in this materialistic way of life. They are so dull-brained that Kṛṣṇa says personally that here the real problem is janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam [Bg. 13.9]. You are simply busy with some petty problems. And they are not problems. Real problem is janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi. Why...? We are eternal living entities. Why we should be subjected to birth, death, old age and disease repeatedly? This is real problem. Unfortunately there is no such education all over the world to deal with the real problem. They are simply tackling some temporary problem and spoiling the human form of life to solve these petty problems, and creating a situation for the next life which may not be very good. Because this material world is matsaratā. Matsaratā means envious. I am envious of you, you are envious of me. This is material life. Therefore in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is stated that this Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not for the people who are envious. Dharmaḥ projjhita kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satāṁ vāstavam vastu vedyaṁ atra [SB 1.1.2]. Why enviousness? You are human being, I am human being. Why we should be envious of one another? This is artificial. There is no need of. But we are put into certain condition that we have to become envious by nature or somehow.
So this materialistic way of life is full of enviousness, rivalry, competition, then birth, death, old age, disease, threefold miseries---adhyātmika adhibhautika, miseries from the mind, from the body, from other living entities, natural disturbance. And we are trying to be happy here. This is called foolishness. It is not possible. Duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam [Bg. 8.15]. The creator of this world says that this place is for suffering, duḥkhālayam. And aśāśvatam. That is also temporary. You may think, "Never mind. I am American. We have got big, big buildings and big, big roads and cars. Never mind it is duḥkhālayam, I shall remain here." "No, sir, you cannot remain." Aśāśvatam: you have to leave this place. Even if you make compromise that "Never mind. I am happy now to my estimation," the answer is duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam [Bg. 8.15]. You cannot make permanent settlement. That is not possible. Then what? Bhuñjate... What is that? Puruṣaḥ prakṛti-stho bhuṅkte prakṛti-jān guṇān [Bg. 13.22]. We are placed in this material condition, and we are obliged to contact the three types of material modes of nature, and according to the infection we suffer. Actually we suffer, but sometimes there is a little so-called happiness. In this way we are loitering within this universe---sometimes in the upper planetary system, sometimes lower planetary system, sometimes as human being, sometimes as demigod, or sometime as cats, dog, trees. This is our position. And we are manufacturing our position. Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sya sad-asad-yoni janmasu [Bg. 13.22].
So we are completely under the clutches of material nature, and this is going on. And Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore said,
guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja
[Cc. Madhya 19.151]
In this way we are loitering throughout the whole universe in different planetary system, in different species of life, in different country, different..., according to our... Brahmāṇḍa bhramite. Brahmāṇḍa means within the universe. They are trying to go to the upper planetary system, and they can go. There is no difficulty. Yānti deva-vratā devān pitṝn yānti [Bg. 9.25]. But you have to properly prepare. Not that because you have got one sputnik or airplane you can go by force. That is not possible. This is all rascaldom. This is not possible. But you can go if you prepare yourself. You can go even back to home, back to Godhead. Mad-yājino 'pi yānti mām. So there is every possibility. Now this is the crucial point of human form of life. We can go in the higher planetary system, we can go in the lower planetary system, we can stay where we are, or even we like we can go back to home, back to Godhead.
So the intelligent person should know what are the different situation, different life. They do not know. The other day our Dr. Svarūpa Dāmodara was speaking that whatever scientific improvement or educational improvement they have made, two things are wanting. They do not know what are these different planets in the sky. They do not know. They're simply imagining. They are trying to go to this moon planet, Mars planet. That is also not possible. Even if you go one or two planets, there are millions of planets; what do you know about them? There is no knowledge. And another knowledge = they do not know what is the problems of life. Two things they are lacking. And we are dealing with these two things. The problem of life is that we are bereft, we are away from Kṛṣṇa consciousness; therefore we are suffering. If you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then the whole problem is solved. And so far planetary system is considered, so Kṛṣṇa is giving you opportunity, wherever you like you can go. But the intelligent person will select, mad-yājino 'pi yānti mām [Bg. 9.25] = "Those who are Kṛṣṇa conscious, they come to Me." So what is the difference between these two? Even if I go to the moon planet or Mars planet or this Brahmaloka, Kṛṣṇa says, ā-brahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino 'rjuna [Bg. 8.16]. You can go to the Brahmaloka, but kṣīṇe puṇye puṇyo martya-lokaṁ viśanti: "You'll have to come back again." And Kṛṣṇa also says, yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama [Bg. 15.6]. Mad-yājino 'pi yānti mām.
So you have got this opportunity, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Everything is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, what is what. Do not lose this opportunity. Do not be foolish, misled by so-called scientists or philosophers or politicians. Take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And that is possible only guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. By the mercy of guru and by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa you can achieve all success. This is the secret.
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
So this guru-pūjā which we are doing, it is not self-aggrandizement; it is real teaching. You sing daily... What is that? Guru-mukha-padma-vākya..., āra nā kariyā aikya. Bās, this is perfection. I tell you frankly that whatever little success is there in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, I simply believed what was spoken by my Guru Mahārāja, that's all. You also continue that, then every success will come.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda! [end]