Room Conversation , Vṛndāvana , 1976-09-04
Prabhupāda: This is sādhu. Not the dress. Now, what is the...
Harikeśa: "The symptoms of a sādhu are that he is tolerant, merciful, and friendly to all living entities. He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides by the scriptures and all his characteristics are sublime."
Prabhupāda: This is sādhu. The first qualification is titikṣava, very tolerant. And Cāṇakya Paṇḍita has said, kṣamā-rūpaṁ tapasvinām. Those who are tapasvīs, their first duty is how much he is forgiving, how much he has learned to forgive. Kṣamā-rūpaṁ tapasvinām. Tapasā brahmacaryeṇa śamena damena [SB 6.1.13]. So what is the explanation?
Harikeśa: Purport? "A sādhu, as described above, is a devotee of the Lord. His concern, therefore, is to enlighten people in devotional service to the Lord. That is his mercy. He knows that without devotional service to the Lord, human life is spoiled. A devotee travels all over the country, from door to door, preaching, 'Be Kṛṣṇa conscious. Be a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Don't spoil your life in simply fulfilling your animal propensities. Human life is meant for self-realization, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness.' These are the preachings of a sādhu. He is not satisfied with his own liberation. He always thinks about others. He is the most compassionate personality towards all the fallen souls. One of his qualifications, therefore, is kāruṇika, great mercy to the fallen souls. While engaged in preaching work, he has to meet with so many opposing elements, and therefore the sādhu, or devotee of the Lord, has to be very tolerant. Someone may ill-treat him, because the conditioned souls are not prepared to receive the transcendental knowledge of devotional service. They don't like it; that is their disease. The sādhu has the thankless task of imposing upon them the importance of devotional service. Sometimes devotees are personally attacked with violence. Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, Haridāsa Ṭhākura was caned in twenty-two marketplaces, and Lord Caitanya's principal assistant, Nityānanda, was violently attacked by Jagāi and Mādhāi. But still they were tolerant because their mission was to deliver the fallen souls. One of the qualifications of a sādhu is that he is very tolerant and is merciful to all fallen souls. He is merciful because he is the well-wisher of all living entities. He is not only a well-wisher of human society, but a well-wisher of animal society as well. It is said here, sarva-dehinām, which indicates all living entities who have accepted a material body. Not only does the human being have a material body, but other living entities, such as cats and dogs, also have material bodies. The devotee of the Lord is merciful to everyone---the cats, dogs, trees, etc. He treats all living entities in such a way that they can ultimately get salvation from this material entanglement. Śivānanda Sena, one of the disciples of Lord Caitanya, gave liberation to a dog by treating the dog transcendentally. There are many instances where a dog got salvation by association with a sādhu, because a sādhu engages in the highest philanthropic activities for the benediction of all living entities. Yet although a sādhu is not inimical towards anyone, the world is so ungrateful that even a sādhu has many enemies.
"What is the difference between an enemy and a friend? It is a difference in behavior. A sādhu behaves with all conditioned souls for their ultimate relief from the material entanglement. Therefore, no one can be more friendly than a sādhu in relieving a conditioned soul. A sādhu is calm, and he quietly and peacefully follows the principles of scripture. A sādhu means one who follows the principles of scripture and at the same time is a devotee of the Lord. One who actually follows the principles of scripture must be a devotee of God because all the śāstras instruct us to obey the orders of the Personality of Godhead. Sādhu, therefore, means a follower of the scriptural injunctions and a devotee of the Lord. All these characteristics are prominent in a devotee. A devotee develops all the good qualities of the demigods, whereas a nondevotee, even though academically qualified, has no actual good qualifications or good characteristics..."
Prabhupāda: Where is this going on? [asking about banging sound]
Hari-śauri: That's just the old reception room.
Prabhupāda: What is it?
Hari-śauri: They are making alterations.
Prabhupāda: Alteration? What is that alteration?
Hari-śauri: I don't know exactly what they're doing.
Harikeśa: No, what they're doing is that room, everybody goes there, the guests all go there. So in the past it's just been a big empty, wasted room. So now what they're doing is making it a big preaching room with photos all around and book tables set up in such a way that someone can just walk in that room and there's a whole exhibit for him to see. And even if...
Prabhupāda: Who has gotten this idea?
Harikeśa: I think Gopāla Kṛṣṇa. It's an exhibition room.
Prabhupāda: Then they are breaking wall, or what?
Harikeśa: No, no, they're not breaking. They made a big door so that you can walk straight in from the outside. You saw that door yesterday. Now what they're doing is they're building shelves and bookcases.
Prabhupāda: Hmm. That sound is disturbing.
Harikeśa: Would you like them to stop it until you left?
Prabhupāda: If stop, then how their work will go on? They manufacture ideas and spend money. This is the difficulty. Everyone manufactures some idea. And break it, do it, dig it. Money is coming, and they are spending it. They cannot adjust whatever is there. Big, big ideas. Big, big belly. And money we have to bring from America. "Give me one lakh, give me one lakh, 15,000. I make idea, you pay." So many rooms you can make showroom. Why breaking this door, breaking that door? Too many cooks spoils the broth. And repairing and, what is called, addition, alteration, will never stop. I do not know how to stop it. Now, the other, yesterday, that Viśvambhara said... You were here, no? Bisancandra said, suggesting there should be rack[?] three feet high, seven feet high, this high... Everyone will suggest. And spend money. Any friend, you bring him, he'll suggest so that you may spend it. And wherefrom money will come? "Oh, that is your look after. I am your friend, I am giving you good suggestion. Break it. Do it. I am your friend. You break your head." [laughs] There was a Muhammadan king, Raja Uddin or some... Nizamuddin. Nizamuddin there is a tomb in Delhi. He was poet. So if some friends come he would read some writing, and he will suggest, the friend will suggest, "Why don't you make like this?" "Oh, it is good. All right." He'll do it, whatever he says. And when he goes away, then again makes his own. So the secretary said, "Why you are changing?" "What can I do? Those associate... That is my friend. And that is nonsense; therefore I am again doing what I wrote." So we have to do that. As soon as you call anybody, he'll give you some suggestion, "Make this alteration, make this alteration." Hmm.
Prabhupāda: So description of the sādhu is there. It is very nice. Where they will find this description all over the world? Hmm?
Harikeśa: I think there's only one person who's following that description.
Prabhupāda: No, I say about Bhāgavata's description. How perfect it is in any subject matter. I have tried to explain what is there in the Bhāgavatam, expand it. That is not my explanation; that is Kṛṣṇa's explanation. I cannot explain now. That moment I could explain. That means Kṛṣṇa's... I can understand that, that the description is very nicely given. Although it is my writing, but I know it is not my writing. It is Kṛṣṇa's writing. So we should read Bhāgavatam always. Nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā [SB 1.2.18]. We should not waste our time. So we have to check that closet. You can...
Harikeśa: "They say there is no..." [break]
Prabhupāda: How they can say there is no God? Then you are only intelligent. All are fools. That means you are fool number one. If you think like that...
Harikeśa: Yes, but in India...
Prabhupāda: No, now you cannot say Indians. [laughs] Now we cannot say only Indians worship Kṛṣṇa. Whole world. That is God. They are not fools and rascals. They are educated, they are civilized. Why they accept Kṛṣṇa as God? Yesterday I was telling who? I think Caraṇam...?
Prabhupāda: Caraṇāravindam, that the Englishmen were ruling over us. Now here is English boy, he's giving me massage and fanning me. What is the reason? Unless he feels something obligation, that "He has given us Kṛṣṇa," what business he has got? Not for him, for all of you, to give so valuable free service, unless there is this sense. What do you think? You have no obligation. You are European, American. I am Indian. It is through this via media, Kṛṣṇa. This is practical. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is God. Yaṁ labdhvā cāparaṁ lābhaṁ manyate nādhikaṁ tataḥ [Bg. 6.22]. Because they have got sense that "We have got God," therefore they are feeling so much obliged. Kṛṣṇa is God, there is no doubt about it. It is not yet ready?
Hari-śauri: They're making a plate now.
Prabhupāda: Viśvambhara is there?
Prabhupāda: So we shall follow strictly. "Here is God. Take." Because if you are serious after God, "Here is God. Take Kṛṣṇa." This is our philosophy. Hmm? What is the answer? If he's serious about God. I think this paper wrote that, that Village? "We thought God is dead."
Hari-śauri: Greenwich Village.
Prabhupāda: East Village? That paper?
Hari-śauri: It's that paper in New York.
Prabhupāda: Long ago.
Harikeśa: Village Voice.
Prabhupāda: Hah. Village...
Harikeśa: The Village Voice.
Prabhupāda: Ah, yes. They told first, that "We thought God is dead." And actually they were dancing in the name of God, Acyutānanda and Brahmānanda. You have seen the picture showing?
Hari-śauri: In this French Back To Godhead. [showing picture]
Harikeśa: Oh, that's Acyutānanda too! Oh!
Prabhupāda: They were the first candidates to dance with my kīrtana.
Harikeśa: I didn't know that was Acyutānanda. I recognize Hayagrīva but...
Hari-śauri: That's not Hayagrīva, it's Brahmānanda.
Harikeśa: That's not Hayagrīva?
Prabhupāda: No. Hayagrīva...
Hari-śauri: It's a picture of Brahmānanda and Acyutānanda dancing, and Prabhupāda's playing on tabla, and there's Kīrtanānanda sat down on the corner.
Harikeśa: Boy, was he skinny in those days! This is Brahmānanda? And this is Kīrtanānanda Swami sitting down?
Prabhupāda: Just Brahmānanda, Kīrtanānanda standing together.
Prabhupāda: Oh, Acyutānanda.
Harikeśa: Acyutānanda. And Kīrtanānanda's sitting down.
Prabhupāda: Kīrtanānanda's sitting there?
Hari-śauri: Yes. He sat next to you. He's shaved up.
Harikeśa: They're so skinny.
Prabhupāda: This was published in New York Times.
Harikeśa: New York Times?
Prabhupāda: With picture. The other picture was published in Voice, Village Voice, yes. Yes. Big picture. One page. They felt something; otherwise, why they should publish? Appealed to them, that "Here is God."
Harikeśa: This is really a historic picture.
Prabhupāda: Underneath a tree I was sitting and speaking. That's all. And when I would come back from the park to my apartment, at least two dozen people will come with me.
Hari-śauri: Like a Pied Piper.
Hari-śauri: There's a story in the West about a man called the Pied Piper. He went to one place and played the flute, and all the children followed him away from the village. You're like the Pied Piper who went to the West, took all the children.
Prabhupāda: If you know French language you can read it.
Harikeśa: He knows French.
Prabhupāda: Ah, you know. What is written there?
Hari-śauri: The article is by Hayagrīva, and the heading, it says, "Are you from India?" That was when he met you on the street.
Prabhupāda: Yes, he first of all met me on the street and asked me this question. And I brought him, "Yes, I have taken one apartment here. You come here with me." Then I came back to show him the apartment. And from the next day they began to come, Kīrtanānanda and Hayagrīva.
Hari-śauri: Second Avenue apartment?
Prabhupāda: Yes. And this Umāpati. Then Satsvarūpa. They began to come regularly.
Harikeśa: Mukunda, you were already...
Prabhupāda: Yes, Mukunda was before that.
Hari-śauri: When was this, then, when Acyutānanda and Brahmānanda came? That was after...
Prabhupāda: This was in the park, Tompkinson.
Hari-śauri: That was after Hayagrīva and...
Prabhupāda: No, simultaneous.
Harikeśa: This was the fall of 1966. October, maybe.
Prabhupāda: Yes. I was going in the park on Sunday and began from three = Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, that dundubhi. What is that, in the hand?
Harikeśa: A tom-tom.
Hari-śauri: Tom-tom drum.
Prabhupāda: Tom-tom. Yes.
Saurabha: He's explaining why you came to America, and that in three years you spread the mantra all over the Western world.
Harikeśa: Yogeśvara has many pictures of this. I saw all of them once.
Prabhupāda: He is good collector. [break] What is that reason? What is that reason?
Indian man: To perceive things, and after that we can arrive at long-term solutions.
Prabhupāda: First of all, what is the problem and what is the solution? What is the problem that you require solution?
Indian man: Any problem which comes.
Prabhupāda: No, what is that? That I want to know.
Indian man: Problem is of being happy in the world.
Prabhupāda: These are vague terms. You must distinctly say that "This is happiness" and "This is problem." What is your..., what is the idea of happiness and what is the problem? That I want to know.
Indian man: That I'm not very much clear at this stage of life.
Prabhupāda: Happiness... Suppose if you can get a nice, palatable dish for eating, you'll be happy. But the dog also, if he can get some good eating, he'll be happy. So where is the difference between dog's happiness and your happiness?
Indian man: Happiness should be combined with mental peace.
Prabhupāda: What is that mental peace?
Indian man: To rest in yourself only. Don't run after worldly things.
Prabhupāda: Yes. But that is not possible for the animal. Therefore to remain happy within yourself, that is a prerogative of the human being. But we are not trying for that purpose. We are trying to be happy by eating, by sleeping, by sex or by defense. This is our platform of happiness. A dog cannot go to the restaurant, but a human being, if he goes to a restaurant and he can eat palatable dishes, he thinks he's happy. But what is that eating? In your standard you feel happiness, whereas on the street you'll find a pig, he's happy by eating stool. One man's food another man's poison. So eating happiness is there, but the standard different. Therefore this eating is common affair, and happiness derived from eating is as good by the dog as by the pig and human being.
Indian man: Your idea is clear.
Prabhupāda: So we should know... Happiness is described in the Bhagavad-gītā = sukham ātyantikaṁ yat tad atīndriyaṁ grāhyam [Bg. 6.21]. What is happiness, that is beyond the senses. The sense happiness is there by the pig and the man. But his standard of sense happiness is different from the man's. Standard may be different, but the happiness derived from the subject matter is the same. There is no difference.
Indian man: So happiness lies above the senses, above our indriyas.
Prabhupāda: Hah. Happiness means spiritual happiness. That they do not know. Therefore I began my words that so long one is after material happiness he remains as an animal.
Indian man: [indistinct].
Because the animal cannot derive spiritual happiness. They do not know. The man can know. Just like this boy, he's coming from very high family in America, but he's now happy in this way, by taking sannyāsa, giving up everything, living very plainly. He has got money, he has got beautiful wife, he has got beautiful home, everything. But he has given up. Not his example... In our country there were many many big, big kings, rājarṣis. Just like Bharata Mahārāja. He was emperor of the whole world. He gave up everything at the age of twenty-four years---young wife, young children. There are many examples. So actually, we have lost our Vedic culture, the objective, and therefore we are suffering. Simply by holding meetings and... Of course, these things will go on. Government has no other remedy by tax. Whether people are happy or they are unhappy, it doesn't matter. They have got the power, tax.
Indian man: Right, sir. [Hindi]
Indian man: Your ideas are superb.
Prabhupāda: You remain in Mathurā?
Indian man: Yes, I am.
Prabhupāda: Here is prasādam. Give. Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end]