Room Conversation , Tehran , 1976-08-07
Prabhupāda: These are all local fruits? Or imported?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Mostly local fruit. Now we have a lot of local fruits.
Prabhupāda: You grow banana also?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: No, the banana is imported.
Parivrājakācārya: From South America, they bring bananas. [indistinct]
Prabhupāda: Grapes? Grapes you have got.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Grapes, apple. Where is your eldest child?
Nandarāṇī: This is Candramukhī.
Prabhupāda: Oh. Oh, I saw you in Los Angeles?
Prabhupāda: You have got two or three girls?
Nandarāṇī: Just two.
Prabhupāda: Two. Is there arrangement for preparing khicuṛi with green peas?
Nandarāṇī: Mung. With mung?
Hari-śauri = No, green peas.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: With green peas.
Nandarāṇī: With green peas. Yes.
Prabhupāda: Oh. So make little khicuṛi and curry and okra vegetable.
Nandarāṇī: All right. We have chaturi and paratha. Do you want that also?
Prabhupāda: Oh, you have already made?
Nandarāṇī: But I can make khicuṛi, that's all right.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes, we can make some khicuṛi.
Hari-śauri: Make some khicuṛi, and then whenever you can.
Prabhupāda: Oh. I'll take also little paratha. Where is bathroom?
Dayānanda: There's another room, for resting.
Prabhupāda: For resting.
Dayānanda: And you can go out this door, this here, and bathroom is on the other side of this resting room.
Prabhupāda: That is all right.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Let me show you, Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Hari-śauri: This is the key to this cabinet, Śrīla Prabhupāda. I put the bag in it. [break] ...very expensive.
Prabhupāda: This is a rented house?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes, Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: What is the rent?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: The rent now it is twelve hundred dollars. But of course everything is now much more expensive. So I was negotiating in New York for better arrangements, because in Iran price is going up and up and up. And I told my company that they should buy one house.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes. And they have agreed. So there is going to be that house. We will buy something like this for Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: This is very nice.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: And also we have saved some money, we'll buy a temple also in addition to that.
Prabhupāda: No, this is very nice. Dayānanda, do you like it?
Prabhupāda: It is very nice place, private. Everything is so nice. In winter, what is the temperature?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Very cold.
Prabhupāda: Very cold.
Parivrājakācārya: Yes, it snows.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Like Vṛndāvana. Isn't it like?
Parivrājakācārya: It's colder than Vṛndāvana.
Hari-śauri: It doesn't snow in Vṛndāvana.
Prabhupāda: Vṛndāvana, I don't think less than fifty.
Hari-śauri: It sometimes gets colder, I think. Nowadays anyway.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Here it gets ten, fifteen.
Prabhupāda: But there is no snow in Vṛndāvana.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: We have plenty of snow here.
Parivrājakācārya: We're very high. We're six thousand feet above sea level.
Pradyumna: We've got everything.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Has it come in?
Prabhupāda: Who has come?
Pradyumna: Just Harikeśa and myself.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. So everything is clear?
Hari-śauri: The luggage and everything is here. I'll go now and see to it.
Prabhupāda: So I am also very happy. Dayānanda, you are here, and you can have more facilities. You family men, you require some money also. So your present situation is very nice?
Prabhupāda: What they are paying you?
Dayānanda: They are paying... I bring home about one thousand dollars per month.
Prabhupāda: After deducting.
Dayānanda: After deducting taxes.
Prabhupāda: It is better than USA. You were getting six hundred there?
Prabhupāda: So you are getting more? Why Gargamuni advised you to give up? I chastised him, "Why you have given him such advice? He's a gṛhastha, he must have some money. He has to take care of the children." Anyway, you have got better job now and better service also. Kṛṣṇa has rewarded you for your service. Stick to it. Don't... If you like to serve here, you can be permanently settled. No, what is their rules?
Dayānanda: It is quite easy, because they need...
Dayānanda: ...foreigners to come and work here.
Prabhupāda: So that is very good.
Dayānanda: So they give visas very easily for working.
Prabhupāda: Oh. Especially to Americans?
Prabhupāda: That's very good opportunity. Bring more Americans and start this movement nicely. Not necessarily that we have to establish a temple. We want to preach our philosophy. That is most important. Bhāgavata-mārga. There are two ways = bhāgavata-mārga and pāñcarātriki. The bhāgavata-mārga is more important than pāñcarātriki. Pāñcarātriki is Deity worship. So do you meet many intelligent men here? No. Not very.
Dayānanda: Some intelligent. People are working very hard for money, and they're very materialistic.
Prabhupāda: That is everywhere in the eastern part of the world. They are after money.
Dayānanda: And the foreigners who come here also, they are materialistic also.
Prabhupāda: Everywhere materialistic. Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye [Bg. 7.3]. Spiritualistic means siddhi, perfection. Who cares for perfection? Bring money and enjoy. That's all. Who cares for perfection? They do not know what is perfection. They think that you get money, you live comfortably as far as possible, and after death, everything's finished. Is it not?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes, Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: This is the philosophy. Who cares to know that there is life after death and better life, better planet, better world? This is not at all good; it is full of miseries. They are driving all day, car, but they do not think it is tiresome. They think it is pleasure. To have a car and drive whole day, they do not feel that it is tiresome. They think, "I have got a car. I'm driving, people are seeing. It is pleasure."
Parivrājakācārya: It is madness, how they can enjoy a city like that.
Prabhupāda: But we do not deprecate. We simply say that do whatever you like, but do not forget your real business, self-realization, ātma-tattvam. Self-realization, that is required. And if we live like cats and dogs and again become cats and dogs and pigs, that is not success. But there is chance if one does not know ātma-tattva. Nature's law will work. Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sya sad-asad-yoni-janmasu [Bg. 13.22]. [background discussion about moving furniture] Hare Kṛṣṇa. So, your son is sleeping?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: No, this is not my son.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: This is salt, Śrīla Prabhupāda. This is watermelon. This is a different kind of melon. You prefer it here?
Prabhupāda: This is local product?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: Take some?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes, please, please, Śrīla Prabhupāda. If you like little salt on it?
Harikeśa: Can I have the key? To lock up the passports and...
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: This is a drink, Śrīla Prabhupāda, made of some melon, different melon.
Prabhupāda: This is also local?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes, that is very local. Is that sweet, Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: No, it is nice.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: It can become very sweet. Sometimes it is very, very sweet.
Prabhupāda: Very nice.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: [aside, calling Nandarāṇī's daughters:] Candramukhī? Vilāsinī?
Prabhupāda: So, very nice. Like bael. In India, like bael. So nice fruits.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Can I serve the devotees, Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. It is so nice. You can distribute this also. All the devotees. Do they eat meat very much?
Parivrājakācārya: Yes, they are learning. Before ten years ago, they were..., everyone was very good Muslim, and they would eat a little bit of sheep. But today they are learning the...
Parivrājakācārya: Beef. Because they think the more they are like Americans, the better they are. But they have so many fruits and vegetables here, the land gives them so many wonderful things, but they think that they must eat meat.
Dayānanda: There is an old poem, an old epic poem that we were told about that states that many thousands of years ago the Iranians were all vegetarian.
Prabhupāda: It is Āryan culture. Iranian means Āryan. It is a apabhraṁśa of Ārya, Irāya. And they are called Parsis. Parsis still, those who fled away from this place, they are just like Hindus. They have got sacred thread. In India.
Parivrājakācārya: They keep a sacred fire.
Prabhupāda: Still there are, here?
Parivrājakācārya: A few, a few temples here.
Prabhupāda: They are fire worshipers, Sūrya. [indistinct] out of them. Their marriage ceremony is just like Hindus. [to guests entering] Namaskāra, Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Parivrājakācārya: The language is very...
Prabhupāda: You have taken prasādam?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: You have food? Prasādam?
Parivrājakācārya: The whole language here is very similar to Sanskrit, Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: You can read this also. This is in Sanskrit. [to Iranian student, Mustafa:] You understand English?
Prabhupāda: Very good. Your country is very nice. So nice food, fruits.
Mustafa: Yes. Nice to meet you.
Prabhupāda: Formerly, from Kashmir to central Asia, it was known as Bhū-svarga, especially Kashmir. Bhū-svarga.
Dayānanda: Heaven on earth.
Prabhupāda: Yes, heaven on the earthly planet.
Parivrājakācārya: We noticed that in one of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatams you mentioned that Kardama Muni had his āśrama..., Kaśyapa Muni I mean, on the shore of the Caspian Sea, which is just an hour from here by plane---it's ninety kilometers.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, Caspian Sea. [drinking juice] This is made from a kind of fruit.
Nava-yauvana: Yes, a kind of melon.
Prabhupāda: They are saying that the moon is full of dust. And dust is so brilliant? We have to believe this? The rascals, they are making this proposal. Huh? What do you think?
Dayānanda: I don't think they know actually what they are talking about, Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: Yes, actually that is fact. It is similar planet like the sun, but it is surrounded by cold atmosphere, therefore it is so pleasing. And because it is far away from the sun---the distance between moon and earth is more than the distance between the sun and the earth---therefore sun looks bigger and it looks smaller. We are contemplating having a planetarium with electric arrangement. You'll have to work. The whole planetary system is moving from east to west, and the sun, moon and the seven [indistinct], they are up and down. [to child:] Come on. Hare Kṛṣṇa. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. He can speak?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: No, just a few words.
Prabhupāda: Two years?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Almost.
Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. You have got any fruit tree in the garden?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Some pear trees, some apple.
Prabhupāda: Peach? No.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: No. We used to have a cherry tree, but it died. We also have a pomegranate tree.
Prabhupāda: Good pomegranate?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Not very good.
Prabhupāda: These boys, do they inquire about something? [coughing heavily]
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes. Hussein Prabhu has been coming here for...
Prabhupāda: Bring some spittoon. You can keep it here. They understand English?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: They understand English, yes, some English. Hussein Prabhu has been coming here for a few months. He's chanting. He's a very, very pious boy. Before he came here, he was chanting names of God and following the four regulations.
Prabhupāda: Very good.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Very nice. And he is coming recently. He's also interested. He is a vegetarian, does not eat meat, and he's following the four regulations, and he's starting to chant now.
Prabhupāda: And he...
Ātreya Ṛṣi: He's been coming for two, three months. He's chanting sixteen rounds, and as I said, before he came here, he was chanting various names of God as they are prescribed in Koran. And when he saw that we were chanting names of God, he immediately became attracted. He said, "This is right." Because he knows also that from Koran he should chant the names of God.
Prabhupāda: Oh. In the Koran chanting is recommended?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes, definitely.
Prabhupāda: The more you chant God's name, your heart becomes cleansed. [Ātreya Ṛṣi translates as Prabhupāda speaks] Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. So God has many names. Caitanya Mahāprabhu has recommended God's name must be... It doesn't matter the language is different. Nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktiḥ [Cc. Antya 20.16]. In each name the full power of God is there.
Hussein: [speaks in Arabic]
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Hussein Prabhu says that his goal in life is to translate your Bhagavad-gītā.
Prabhupāda: Oh, very good.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes, this is Hussein. He's a very, very sincere boy.
Prabhupāda: So do it immediately. Somebody, some Arabian student made some translation?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes, there was some translations of Īśopaniṣad.
Prabhupāda: Where he is, that boy?
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Into Arabic. He's in Europe. He is Palestinian boy. He is asking how should this translation be done? What is your recommendation, if you have any suggestion?
Prabhupāda: Of course, I am not well versed in your language, but you simply, if you understand that English and translate it into Parsi, that will do. As it is, you translate. Don't make any change. Then it will be all right. [Ātreya Ṛṣi translates] And when there is difficulty, you can ask Ātreya Ṛṣi. Harikeśa.
Prabhupāda: Where is Harikeśa? Harikeśa? [Ātreya Ṛṣi leaves to find him] Where he is?
Nava-yauvana: Mustafa asked a question = How to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness in this country? It seems difficult to him, because the people's reaction... It's very foreign. The outward appearance of devotees is very strange to them. He wants to know how this philosophy can be spread here.
Prabhupāda: The first thing is that what do you mean by Kṛṣṇa. That is to be understood. "Kṛṣṇa" means God. So if you have no objection to chant the name of God, then there is no difference of opinion. Now first of all I may ask you, "What do you mean by God?" You are chanting the holy name of God, and people may ask you, "What do you mean by God?" Because especially nowadays... [aside:] No, there is matches? Give this. [devotees lighting incense] Come near. So first question will be, "What do you mean by God?" If I, I or anybody, asks you, "What do you mean by God?"
Mustafa: I cannot explain, because now...
Prabhupāda: But that you must explain. If you are chanting the name of God, then you must know what do you mean by God.
Mustafa: Mean, when I feel, I will get spiritual, my feeling
Prabhupāda: The spiritual, what do you mean by spiritual?
Mustafa: Means I put everything that is bad and dirty inside, and I feel it's dirty really, and I make it out, all of them.
Prabhupāda: What is inside and what is outside?
Mustafa: Outside? I don't know what is inside.
Prabhupāda: Then you do not know. You do not know outside, inside?
Mustafa: When I do wrong, for example. When I do lie, when I do something, when I see wrong.
Prabhupāda: Wrong..., one thing is wrong in my country, and that is right in your country. Just like animal slaughter is wrong according to our Vedic civilization. Unnecessary animal slaughter is forbidden. But in your country or in other Western countries, they kill so many animals. So what is wrong, what is right? Who will decide?
Mustafa: That's the reason I don't kill animals and I don't eat meat, for three years now.
Prabhupāda: That's very good, very good idea. [Ātreya Ṛṣi explains what Prabhupāda is asking to Mustafa in Persian] When we want God, to understand, we must try to understand what is God, what do you mean by God. The God definition is given in the dictionary..., what is that? "Supreme being."
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Supreme controller?
Prabhupāda: "Supreme controller." So how do you understand that supreme controller? What do you mean by supreme controller? In this way we should try to understand what is the idea carried by the word "God." We have got..., in our Vedic language, we have got definition of God, that,
vīryasya yaśasaḥ śriyaḥ
ṣaṇṇāṁ bhaga itīṅganā
[Viṣṇu Purāṇa 6.5.47]
"God" means He must possess all the wealth. Just like in Persia you have got so many wealthy persons, but nobody can claim, even the Shah cannot claim, that he possesses all the wealth. That is not possible, Persia. Do you follow what I say? [Ātreya Ṛṣi translates throughout] So this is one of the items, that God is the richest, or He possesses all the wealth. Similarly, He possesses all the strength, He possesses all the beauty, He possesses all knowledge, and He is the renouncer also, the most exalted renouncer. Although He possesses so many things, He is renounced. Just like this universe is the property of God, but He has given to you, all the living entities = "Now you wanted to enjoy, enjoy it to your best capacity." He doesn't interfere. "All right, you go on." And we are trying to enjoy this material world to our best capacity. Just like in Iran, you are trying to enjoy by exploiting the oil. Similarly, somebody is exploiting. It is all God's property. He doesn't interfere. "All right, enjoy." This is renouncement. His property, He does not come to interfere. God knows how this universe is made. So many big, big scientists, they are trying to understand what is the constitution, how this universe is made, how it is created. Nobody knows, but He knows. Just like you have got this body, I have got this body, but we do not know everything of this body. I do not know how many hairs are there. Is it not? So, so many things. I am eating, and it is transformed into blood, and it is directed towards brain, towards other parts of the body, and we are working very strong. But we do not know how things are happening, although I am claiming I am this body, "I am my body." But God knows every particular, any... Anvayād itarataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. How the stone is made, He knows. How this flower is colored, He knows. That is called wise, wisdom. Vedāhaṁ sarvam..., saramam etam. He knows. That is God. He is the possessor of all wealth, all knowledge, all beauty, all strength, all influence. In this way you have to understand God.
Hari-śauri: They've brought the prasādam up now?
Prabhupāda: You can bring here. Who is there in the bathroom?
Hari-śauri: They're just cleaning it out. They're giving you the big bathroom because it has a Western toilet and a nice shower and separate everything. It's very nice. And we'll use the small one. They're just cleaning it now. If you want, you can use.
Prabhupāda: Close this door; otherwise if you come there, it will be disturbance.
Harikeśa: Nandarāṇī's making khicuṛi with the peas and okra.
Prabhupāda: Okra could be done separately. Let her do independently.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: She's doing both. She first mixed it, now she's also making separate.
Prabhupāda: Oh. Anyway, let her do it. She was cooking for me in Māyāpur.
Harikeśa: I heard you like it very much.
Prabhupāda: Yes. The more you become eager to know God, God will reveal Himself. [Ātreya Ṛṣi translates as Prabhupāda speaks] From our side, we should not be stereotyped. People in different sects of religion, they say, "We believe." But they do not want to go further than they believe. That is very difficult. You must be dynamic and progressive, then you will have. I have talked with many sects, especially Christian priests. They will say, "We believe"---no more further than that.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: That's right.
Prabhupāda: So knowledge is not like that. Knowledge must be progressive. "We believe there is no soul of the animal"---bās, fixed up. You believe like a rascal, so I shall remain rascal. What is this? We should be progressive. That is wanted. Of course, in the lower stage one may have a type of belief, but if you want more clearly, you must be progressive. [Ātreya Ṛṣi translates] According to Vedānta system, the life, human life, is only for inquiring about Brahman = athāto brahma jijñāsā. We shall talk again.
Ātreya Ṛṣi: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end]