Room Conversation , Bombay , 1976-12-31
Prabhupāda: [laughs] So similarly, if one is giving very important service, then even there is some faulty thing, excuse. Service is so important. So in the Western countries the woman can give very good service. Api cet sudarācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ [Bg. 9.30]. This book distribution is the most important task in our Society. Therefore I am giving so much stress and I am working so hard on this. Because this is my life and soul according to the order of my Guru Mahārāja. And by his grace it is to some extent successful. And I took it seriously.
I take it seriously still now. That is my life and soul. I never tried in India to construct big temples, or even in your country we didn't. I never tried. But I was selling personally books. That is the history. Sometimes they are criticizing, "What kind of sannyāsī? He is doing book business." [laughs] The other day that..., what is his name? Bachu Hai came. Bachu Hai Dresswalla. You know him?
Girirāja: I know one Madanlal Dresswalla.
Prabhupāda: I think this is... There are two, three Dresswalla in Bhubaneswar.
Girirāja: Yes, he's also in Bhubaneswar.
Prabhupāda: Maybe their father. In the beginning I had no place, so I was staying with..., what is that? Prem Niketan?
Girirāja: Prem Kutir.
Prabhupāda: Prem Kutir. So they received me very nicely. So I was going to sell my books. So some of them were criticizing, "What kind of sannyāsī? He's making business bookselling." Not the authorities, but some of them.
Girirāja: Junior people.
Prabhupāda: Hmm. I was writing book also there.
Girirāja: I saw the rooms.
Prabhupāda: You have seen? [Śrīla Prabhupāda chuckles] Who showed you?
Girirāja: Harekrishnadas Agarwal.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. He was very kindly. Actually, he is the organizer, main person. He showed that "Here, Swāmījī, you are cooking." [laughs] Yes. I was guest for fifteen days, that Dalmia. Not this Jaidayal, his big brother, Ramkrishna. He asked me that his family... He wanted to construct a little cottage in his house = "You can live here. I'll give you a nice cottage." I thought, "No, it is not good to be patronized by a viṣayī." This is not good. Fully dependent on a materialistic... And he's first-class materialist.
Girirāja: Yes. He's very notorious.
Prabhupāda: [laughs] Actually, I thought he's good man, but after woman.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: One of them has lot of wives.
Prabhupāda: That is Ramkrishna, he's a big brother.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: He's also dying now, Tejiyas told me. He's old now.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. He's of my age. Not less. But he's after three, four wives. His business is to go from one wife's house to another wife's house, and each wife's house, expenditure ten thousand rupees per month. [chuckles] He's a very funny businessman. He has made his wife director, and they take money. So to avoid income tax... So, huge expenditure. Each, one house. Income tax cannot say, "Why you are maintaining?" [indistinct] That is not their business. It is comparison. Just like Bhogilal, he's maintaining big, big establishment.
So I became his guest for fifteen days. He wanted to stay. I stayed for fifteen days. I first..., my requisition was that "You must give me exclusive typewriter for writing my books." So he gave me. And if I would have asked for typewriter, he would have given. But I was working with my broken typewriter. I went to our Tīrtha Mahārāja in Māyāpur, that "You give me a room [Śrīla Prabhupāda taps on table] and a typewriter, [tap] and print my books. [tap] Give me some [indistinct] [tap]. I join you."
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: He said no?
Prabhupāda: He did not say no, but the printing of books, that was difficult task for him. He had no money. He's hardly collecting for maintaining. And India, printing of books is a big job. There is no guarantee of sale.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: He must be feeling sorry for it now. Of course, he's dead. But later on he must be feeling sorry that if he would have given you..., agreed to your request...
Prabhupāda: Yes. These things I would have done from Caitanya Maṭha.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: I never knew... We never knew that you went to Tīrtha Mahārāja.
Prabhupāda: [chuckles] No... Rather, it is Guru Mahārāja's institution. I first of all gave him...
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: A chance.
Prabhupāda: He's head man. "All right. I shall join you."
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: When was this? Which year?
Prabhupāda: In 1953. Before going to America. Two years before.
Prabhupāda: '63, yes.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: '63 you were already sannyāsa.
Prabhupāda: No. '63 I was in Vṛndāvana. Before that.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Before sannyāsa.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Hari-śauri: Before coming to Vṛndāvana.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. At that time I was not sannyāsa. That means it was before '58. Somewhere in '57 or... So I tried my Godbrothers, that "If they give me facilities for this, then I shall join. Otherwise, I will work independently." So nobody was able to provide me with this.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Nobody?
Prabhupāda: Well, they had no money. It requires money, printing of books.
Hari-śauri: How did you manage to get your first Bhāgavatams printed?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: From donations.
Prabhupāda: Donation. This Dalmia, Jaidayal, he gave me about four thousand.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: H. N. Sharma always tells me, "I helped your Gurujī print the first books."
Prabhupāda: That was through Hanuman.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Everybody is now taking credit for helping. Now that you are so big everybody says, "I did this. I did that. I did that."
Prabhupāda: No, actually, these Dalmia started with four thousand rupees.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: They're nice people.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Girirāja: I met two of them. They were...
Prabhupāda: He gave me twice funds. Four thousand once, five thousand. Five thousand he gave me when I went to America for the second time.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: They gave fifteen thousand about three months ago for gurukula in Vṛndāvana.
Prabhupāda: Oh. No, they are sympathetic.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: They have promised that after they complete their building, their temple in Janmabhumi, they will give us money regularly. Now they are diverting all their funds to complete that building in Janmabhumi.
Prabhupāda: No, if we want management of that Janmabhumi they can give it.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: That Janmabhumi?
Prabhupāda: I can take it.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: No, we can't.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: So Prabhupāda, I was just finalizing today this year's festival when the devotees come. I think instead of having a festival, a paṇḍāl in Delhi like we had last year.... We had one in Ludhiana and Mathurā. In Ludhiana Caitya-guru promises that he can raise money for the whole thing. Our devotees won't have to spend a penny. In Delhi if we do a paṇḍāl it will require an investment of at least twenty thousand rupees. If we do our festival in Ludhiana, book distribution I calculated will be as good...
Prabhupāda: That's all right.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: ...and no money will be invested. And we have a festival in Mathurā in Janmabhumi. So every evening by buses devotees will go from Vṛndāvana to Mathurā. You wanted to have a big program there, you remember? When I was in Vṛndāvana. So we can invite different leaders also.
Hari-śauri: Does that mean Prabhupāda will have to travel?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Delhi to Mathurā. It's only ten minutes flight. Fifteen minutes. Vṛndāvana to Mathurā it's only fifteen minutes.
Hari-śauri: Last time it was an hour when we went. Almost three-quarters of an hour when we traveled from Vṛndāvana to go to that program.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Vṛndāvana to Mathurā is not more than fifteen minutes.
Prabhupāda: Fifteen to twenty minutes.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. It's not more than that.
Hari-śauri: We were at least... We were...
Prabhupāda: That we went round-about way.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. Usually it takes by motorcycle fifteen minutes. In a car I think we could do it in fifteen minutes. So I calculated our Hindi distribution of books would be very strong, because Mathurā we can generate big crowds.
Prabhupāda: You said that today we'll get another book?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. Probably come by tomorrow. [laughs]
Prabhupāda: What is that book?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Easy Journey to Other Planets. They finished printing it yesterday, and they're binding it together. One or two days, it always happens. When I give a date, I mean, sometimes it gets delayed. So I figured the distribution of Hindi books will be very good, Ludhiana and Mathurā, and also not much investment will be required. It's very common, devotees go every year, and they are tired of it. So this year we should concentrate on book distribution. If we have a paṇḍāl in Mathurā every evening starting at six o'clock.... If we can reach Mathurā at five for book distribution, it will be nice. Actually, I was also thinking of having a three-day paṇḍāl in Agra.
Prabhupāda: Agra is very good.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. Agra is even bigger than Mathurā, and our book distribution would be good. But I wanted... I'm going to write and see what the possibilities are.
Prabhupāda: Nearby cities we can...
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, that is what I'm thinking of. Near Vṛndāvana.
Prabhupāda: Away from Vṛndāvana.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes.
Girirāja: There's that one man, he was very enthusiastic there, Mr. Bansalji.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: From Agra?
Prabhupāda: Tire merchant?
Girirāja: I don't remember. But Haṁsadūta and I went way in the beginning, and later on he came during the Delhi paṇḍāl. He met you, and he wanted us to open a center there.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Agra is a very good place. Very nice place. There are devotees. [indistinct] goes there.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: We can attract a lot of tourists, because Agra always has a lot of tourists. I'm thinking of having a paṇḍāl there, and Ludhiana.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Delhi we had one last year.
Prabhupāda: Preaching must go on vigorously.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Especially book distribution is getting very strong with Indians.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Preaching means book distribution. Now utilize here this flag ceremony.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Flag ceremony? Oh, that Gujarati? They can have a... When is that?
Girirāja: On the tenth. Procession is on the tenth.
Prabhupāda: Do in such a way that that Sharma will feel something.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Only thing is most of our devotees may be in Allahabad. January 10th? All the devotees will be in Allahabad for that Kumbha-melā, and I don't think we have enough to...
Prabhupāda: No, no. They can go after tenth.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: After tenth. Okay.
Prabhupāda: By fourteenth or by thirteenth.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Devotees can... Oh, that's a good idea.
Prabhupāda: It takes only one night from here to Allahabad.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Twenty-six hours. We're thinking of renting a small bus for devotees, because coming back would be a problem.
Prabhupāda: I think Allahabad takes twenty-four hours.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Twenty-six hours.
Prabhupāda: Twenty-six hours by train?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes.
Prabhupāda: And Calcutta?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Calcutta it is thirty-six hours.
Prabhupāda: Another ten hours.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: About thirty-six hours.
Prabhupāda: [japa] Preach as much as possible, by saṅkīrtana, big saṅkīrtana. Big saṅkīrtana is book distribution, and small saṅkīrtana is with mṛdaṅga. Big saṅkīrtana is going on all over the world; small saṅkīrtana locally. Overflood the demons' godless civilization. Our declaration of war against this godless civilization.
Girirāja: I met a very, very nice boy yesterday. His father is a Life Member, but he's studying in Boston at MIT.
Prabhupāda: Oh, technology.
Girirāja: Very superexcellent student. But he was so submissive and inquisitive that he could really... And because he lives there...
Prabhupāda: He qualified? No.
Girirāja: He's finishing his Ph.D.
Prabhupāda: Oh. So he's very qualified.
Girirāja: Yes. And his father said that he is always the first rank in the class. Very outstanding student. And I mean the best thing is his attitude towards Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He asked for a copy of the Bhagavad-gītā, and...
Prabhupāda: Where he is now?
Girirāja: He's in Bombay, so I invited him to meet you. Actually, he was so interested that the father became scared at the end. He said... You know, at first he was encouraging me to influence the boy, but then at the end he said, "Don't make him a sādhu."
Prabhupāda: [laughs] Now he has opened his mind.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: What's his name?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Gujarati.
Girirāja: His father is associated with Bhogilal. He's a sharebroker, but he's also a director in some of Bhogilal's company.
Prabhupāda: That Jain?
Prabhupāda: Shahs are mostly Jain. Jains are useless. [laughs]
Girirāja: Oh, yes. The father is useless. Every few sentences the father would start to break in with some speculation, and the son would say, "Please be quiet. I want to hear." [end]