Conversation with Yogi Amrit Desai of Kripalu Ashram, Pennsylvania, USA , Bombay , 1977-01-02
Prabhupāda: I know everything, but I did not say anything.
Yogi Amrit Desai: You knew him before?
Prabhupāda: No. When I went to America one gentleman here, Paramananda Mehra...
Yogi Amrit Desai = He introduced.
Prabhupāda: ...he gave me an introductory letter. Yes. So he received me well. In the beginning I was staying in his care. But I did not say anything, but I knew everything.
Yogi Amrit Desai: I'm sure you did.
Yogi Amrit Desai: I'm sure you did.
Prabhupāda: I was his guest. He was receiving nightly. Of course, I was indirectly saying him that "You are not doing nice," but what more I could do?
Yogi Amrit Desai: Yes. I just... I have so much love for you, and I said I must come for a darśana.
Prabhupāda: Thank you.
Yogi Amrit Desai: I was telling to the devotees. I said you are...
Prabhupāda: You are with Dr. Mishra?
Yogi Amrit Desai: No, I'm not. I was telling all the devotees here, I said Śrī Prabhupāda is the first man who brought bhakti in the West, where it is needed most. Because there they are so much in the head---thinking, thinking, thinking. This path of love is so profound.
Prabhupāda: You see = present a real, genuine thing...
Yogi Amrit Desai: It's very genuine.
Prabhupāda: ...it will act.
Yogi Amrit Desai: That is why it is growing so beautifully, because it is genuine.
Prabhupāda: And it is the duty of the Indians to give them genuine thing. That is para-upakāra. Before me, all these svāmīs and yogīs were there to cheat them.
Yogi Amrit Desai: No, they were afraid to give the truth, because they were afraid they will not be accepted.
Prabhupāda: They did not know what is truth, [laughter] not afraid. Why? If one is on the platform of truth, why he should be afraid?
Yogi Amrit Desai: Sure.
Prabhupāda: They did not know what is truth---beginning from Vivekananda.
Yogi Amrit Desai: All the way, right. See, after you came... I was there in 1960. I started teaching yoga. But after you came I became fearless to teach bhakti and chant mantra. So now we have lots of bhakti in āśrama, lots of bhakti. And I paid that respect to you because I was afraid to give them. Because I thought they are Christians, that they will not like so much devotion; they will misunderstand. But you have performed a miracle. God has..., Kṛṣṇa has performed miracle through you. It's just very amazing, greatest miracle on earth. Just, I just feel so strongly about it.
Prabhupāda: It is very kind of you that you give so [indistinct]. If we give genuine thing, it will act.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Right. This is what I'm doing too. Everyone... We have about 180 people who live permanently in the āśrama, and they all practice celibacy. Everyone wakes up at four o'clock, and they sleep by nine o'clock. And they don't touch even each other. They sleep separately... They sleep different quarters. They sit even separately in sat-saṅga. And everything strict. No drugs, no alcohol, no meat, no tea, no coffee, no garlic, no onion.
Prabhupāda: Very good. Yes. We are following this. But you have got any Deity?
Yogi Amrit Desai: Yes. Lord Kṛṣṇa and Rādhā is our Deities. My guru is Swami Kripalvanandji. He is in... Near Baroda he has an āśrama. He practiced his sādhana for twenty-seven years, and twelve years was complete silence. The last few years he is speaking once or twice a year because many people request.
Prabhupāda: He's not chanting?
Yogi Amrit Desai: He chants. During his silence, his chanting is allowed. Because when he says... When you say the name of the Lord, that is not called breaking the silence. So he chants.
Prabhupāda: Silence means we shall not talk nonsense.
Yogi Amrit Desai: That's it.
Prabhupāda: We shall chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That is silence. Instead of wasting time talking on this material thing, better chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That is positive. And the silence is negative. Stop nonsense; speak sense.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Right! That is right.
Prabhupāda: Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate [Bg. 2.59]. Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate. If one ceases his nonsense, then paraṁ, the Supreme... Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate. When you have got better things, then you give up naturally the rubbish. So anything material, that is rubbish. Karma, jñāna, yoga, they're all material. Karma, jñāna, yoga. Even up to so-called yogas, they're all material.
Yogi Amrit Desai: You consider that as a material. Only bhakti-yoga is more... That's true.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Karma... What is the difference between the karmīs and yogīs? Yogīs want some siddhis, and karmīs want some material profit. Both of them are in want. They are not free from want. Is it not?
Yogi Amrit Desai: No, it depends on the yogī. My guru is a yogī, but he never demonstrated any power ever.
Prabhupāda: No, no... Yogī, he wants siddhi. Yogīs... Of course, nowadays yogīs, they have no siddhis.
Yogi Amrit Desai: [laughs] That's right. Even they don't have that.
Prabhupāda: They simply say "yogī." But the real yogī means they have got siddhis, aṣṭa-siddhi = aṇimā, laghimā, mahimā, prāpti, īśitā, vaśitā. These are siddhis. Yogīs, if they are real yogī, then I can put you into the room, lock it, and you can come out. That is yogī. Not by simply showing some posture.
Yogi Amrit Desai: That's right. The real siddhis.
Prabhupāda: That is another thing to control the senses. But real yogīs mean the first siddhi is aṇimā. Yogī...
Yogi Amrit Desai: They can become smaller than the smallest.
Prabhupāda: Smaller than the smallest. If there is little hole in the room, he'll come out. Yes. Who is that yogī? That is yogī.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Not today.
Prabhupāda: Therefore it is cheating. They have no siddhi.
Yogi Amrit Desai: My gurudeva, he reached nirvikalpa-samādhi seven years ago. Now he is going into divine body. The inner changes are happening, he says. And in pure body... The Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He said every five hundred years one yogī achieves that pure body. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Santa Jñānesvara[?]. They are two lines who reach that spot.
Prabhupāda: Caitanya Mahāprabhu never said.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Divine body? [break] ...again. This is what he says. This is recog...
Prabhupāda: So if someone becomes [indistinct], do you mean to say that he will not die?
Yogi Amrit Desai: Yes, because then the body will dissolve, like... His guru...
Prabhupāda: The body... But you... You may get young body. Does it mean that it is guaranteed that you'll not die?
Yogi Amrit Desai: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Is it?
Yogi Amrit Desai: Yes.
Yogi Amrit Desai: He can reappear anytime, reconstruct his body, physically or...
Prabhupāda: Reappear any... Soul is reappeared = bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate [Bg. 8.19]. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ [Bg. 2.13]. So reappearing, that is natural. That is not wonderful thing. Everyone is reappearing. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ. Suppose you are in this dress, and after one hour you come in another dress. So you are there; the dress is changed. That is happening by nature's way. It doesn't require any yoga practice. It doesn't require. Bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate. Tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati [Bg. 2.13]. These things are there in the Bhagavad-gītā.
Trivikrama: And the spiritual body? Spiritual body means...
Prabhupāda: Soul. Spiritual body is now covered with the material body. So anything material, that will not exist. So body is finished; then he has to find new body. Just like the dress is old; it is finished---you take another dress. And when you haven't got to take dress, or this material body, and you remain in your spiritual body, that is called mukti. So that can be achieved only in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti [Bg. 4.9]. Mad-yājino 'pi yānti mām [Bg. 9.25]. If you practice Kṛṣṇa consciousness then it is possible; otherwise not. Tyaktvā deham. Everyone has to give up, because this body will be old, and one has to give it up. But tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma: he doesn't accept any more material body. Then? What does he...? He's finished? No, he's not finished. Mām eti. He becomes eligible to go back home, back to Godhead, and there he dances with Kṛṣṇa. That is real mukti. Muktir hitvā anyathā rūpaṁ sva-rūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ [SB 2.10.6]. Anyathā rūpam. Now this rūpa is not spiritual, it is material. And mukti means when he gives up this material body and no more accepts any material body, he is transferred to the spiritual world to play with Kṛṣṇa, to dance with Kṛṣṇa, to talk with Kṛṣṇa. That is real... Paramaṁ siddhi. Mām upetya kaunteya duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam [Bg. 8.15]. [break] And so long one is the material things, he... The lowest stage is the karmī, the little higher stage, jñānī, and little higher stage, yogī. And the highest stage? Bhakti-yogī.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Bhakti. No matter what path you follow, without bhakti it is incomplete.
Prabhupāda: So you cannot go to God...
Yogi Amrit Desai: No, without bhakti, no.
Prabhupāda: No. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti. Kṛṣṇa never says, "By karma, jñāna, yoga one can achieve Me." Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ [Bg. 18.55]. So unless you take to bhakti, a little advancement it may be, but that is material.
Yogi Amrit Desai: It's not of the highest nature.
Prabhupāda: So you can take... You have taken to bhakti-yoga, but take it seriously, pure bhakti-yoga. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam [Brs. 1.1.11]. [break] ...favorably, according to bhakti-yoga, then he is successful.
Trivikrama: Śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā [Cc. Madhya 19.167].
Trivikrama: Śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Pure bhakti. [Hindi]
Yogi Amrit Desai: [Hindi]
Prabhupāda: [Hindi] Kevala-bodha-labdhaye, kliśyanti. Just to know things, if he's simply troubling, his gain is that troubling only. Śreyaḥ-sṛtiṁ bhaktim udasya kliśyanti ye kevala-bodha-labdhaye [SB 10.14.4]. So jñāna... This jñāna is to understand. Just like the scientists, they are getting some knowledge, studying some features, and what do they gain more?
Yogi Amrit Desai: Just information and a memory.
Prabhupāda: They cannot give any real position. They are studying so many molecules, so many atoms, so many this, so many... They are mixing; they are... That is already going on. How it is going on, who has set up the machine going on---that they do not know.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Right. They don't know the key part of it.
Prabhupāda: Neither they can set up similar arrangement. They're simply studying.
Yogi Amrit Desai: They can study what is, but they do not know how it came about.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So where is jñāna? Ajñāna.
Yogi Amrit Desai: And it can at the most increase the convenience on the material plane.
Prabhupāda: Jñāna, real jñāna, is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Find out. Etaj jñānam, tad ajñānaṁ yad anyathā [Bg. 13.12]. What is jñāna, that is stated. But where is jñāna? Everyone is ajñāna. General people, they're karmīs and, little more, jñānīs. But jñānī..., jñāna is not complete unless he knows the Supreme Lord.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Unless he has realized.
Prabhupāda: Not realized, no. Just like we are talking personally. This is...
Jagadīśa: Amānitvam adambhitvam ahiṁsā kṣāntir ārjavam, ācāryopāsanaṁ śaucam... [Bg. 13.8].
Prabhupāda: Yes. So this is ācāryopāsanam. That is required. But these yogīs, jñānīs, karmīs, they have no ācārya. They are self-made. Just like Dr. Russell[?]. He's self-made. So what he will do? Now he's caught up. He's in the trap.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Yes. He is.
Prabhupāda: He's not a scientific man, but he presented himself as very scientific, so now he's caught up.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Right. [to devotee] You found it right away.
Jagadīśa: There's an index.
Prabhupāda: Hmm. Go on.
Jagadīśa: Sthairyam ātma-vinigrahaḥ, indriyārtheṣu vairāgyam anahaṅkāra eva ca... [Bg. 13.8-9]
Prabhupāda: Indriyārtheṣu vairāgyam: not to indulge in sense gratification. Not to dress himself as a sādhu, as a svāmī.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Not external.
Prabhupāda: He's servant of his senses, and he has become a svāmī. Just see---how cheating.
Yogi Amrit Desai: That's the real meaning.
Prabhupāda: Svāmī means who is the controller of the senses.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Master of the senses.
Prabhupāda: Senses. So instead of svāmī he is servant of his senses, and he is preaching as svāmī. These svāmīs go to the foreign countries. Indriyārtheṣu vairāgyam.
Yogi Amrit Desai: They have vairāgya to his senses, of the senses.
Prabhupāda: A vairāgya... Vairāgya... Sannyāsī means he has ceased all material desire. There is no material desire. And the concentrated material enjoyment is sex. So if one could not control his sex life, then how he is svāmī? He's cheater.
Yogi Amrit Desai: That is the most potent of all the external attachments.
Prabhupāda: That is the essence. Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes. Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgī-saṅgam [SB 5.5.2]. Tamo-dvāram. Viśatāṁ tamisram adānta-gobhiḥ. Adānta-gobhiḥ, by uncontrolled senses, one is going down and down to the darkest region of material existence. Adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisram [SB 7.5.30]. So those who are sensuous... One should not be sensuous. That is also. And if he mixes with sensuous persons, then he also going to the hell.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Right. One who attaches himself to that.
Prabhupāda: He's also going to the hell. Adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām [SB 7.5.30]. So without ācāryopāsanam, without being under the control of ācārya, these are all bogus.
Yogi Amrit Desai: That's exactly what I believe. That's so true.
Jagadīśa: Anahaṅkāra eva ca, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam [Bg. 13.9].
Prabhupāda: They are showing some magic. Just like this child was being treated. So he could not check the process of death. Neither it is possible to stop the process of death. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha... Our real unhappiness is this---janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi. So otherwise why there is knowledge? He does not know what is the miserable condition of life. Everyone knows that he is going to die. He has taken birth; he has become old; he has suffered diseases. Then where is the solution? In America this yoga practice is very popular, and they want some solution of the miseries. But here it is said, "Where is the solution?" Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi is there. Where is your solution? You cannot stop death. Then where is the solution? This is cheating, that "I shall make solution of your suffering." But a intelligent man will say, "Can you make a solution of my death, of my old age, of my disease, of my birth?" That is knowledge. But they are poor fellows. They have no knowledge, and they cheat. That's all. Where is solution? Solution is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9], it is said. Otherwise cheating.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Other is settling for the lesser, and it doesn't take you to the highest.
Prabhupāda: That means they do not know what is solution, what is the process of solution.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Right. Just taking care of the body doesn't take you anywhere. That's the lowest.
Prabhupāda: You may take care as carefully as possible, but it will not exist.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Right. No matter how much you take care of it.
Prabhupāda: That is another foolishness. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam [Bg. 13.9]. Then?
Jagadīśa: Asaktir anabhiṣvaṅgaḥ... [Bg. 13.10].
Prabhupāda: Asaktir anabhiṣvaṅgaḥ putra-dāra-gṛhādiṣu: completely detached from family life. Anabhiṣvaṅgaḥ: not to associate with so-called society, family, community.
Yogi Amrit Desai: All detachment from everyone.
Prabhupāda: This is all material. Asaktir anabhiṣvaṅgaḥ putra-dāra-gṛhādiṣu. Then?
Jagadīśa: Nityaṁ ca sama-cittatvam iṣṭāniṣṭopapattiṣu.
Prabhupāda: Nityam. One must know that "I am eternal," na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20], "so I must act accordingly." And so far material distress and happiness is concerned, sama-cittatvam.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Sama-cittatvam---under both success and failure.
Prabhupāda: That is immaterial thing. They are superficial.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Right. It's so beautiful to hear that. And I know you mean it.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Then?
Jagadīśa: Mayi cānanya-yogena bhaktir avyabhicāriṇī... [Bg. 13.11].
Prabhupāda: This is possible when it is added with bhakti.
Yogi Amrit Desai: With bhakti. Then only.
Prabhupāda: Mayi ca. Ca means "also." Simply practicing these things will not help. Unless there is bhakti, they'll not agree[?].
Yogi Amrit Desai: It's not complete.
Prabhupāda: No, no. It will not agree[?]. One may be artificially tyāgī, but if there is no bhakti he'll fall down. Just like Viśvāmitra was a great yogī, but because there was no bhakti he fell down. He had relationship with Menakā and gave birth to Śakuntalā---such a big yogī. So he fell down, must fall down in māyā, because there is no bhakti. So they have so many cases we see, fall down.
Yogi Amrit Desai: That's true.
Prabhupāda: Then if you fall down, then where is your bhakti, jñāna? Nothing. But bhakti does not fall down. If he's really on the bhakti stage, he does not fall down. Others must fall down. Must. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adho 'nādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ [SB 10.2.32]. Then?
Prabhupāda: Tattva-jñānārtha-darśanam. Then?
Jagadīśa: Etaj jñānam iti proktam...
Prabhupāda: Etaj jñānam. Etaj jñānam. Ajñānaṁ yad ataḥ anyathā. Anything else, that is all ajñāna. Anything else.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Anything else is ajñāna.
Prabhupāda: Ajñāna. All them.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Prema-bhakti is sac-cid-ānanda.
Prabhupāda: No, tattva-jñānārtha-darśanam. Tattva. Tattva, what is tattva?
tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
"One who has understood these three features of the Absolute---Bhagavat---Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān, he knows tattva." That is tattva. Yo jānāti tattvataḥ. So where is that tattva-jñāna? Tattva-jñānārtha-darśanam. That is philosophy, when he is trying to understand the tattva. And Bhagavān says, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ [Bg. 18.55]. That is tattva. So everything is there, Bhagavad-gītā. And they are distorting the meaning of Bhagavad-gītā, explaining in their own way and cheating people. We are presenting, therefore, Bhagavad-gītā as it is. Then it is acting. So he is now in the West Coast?
Yogi Amrit Desai: Who? Yes.
Prabhupāda: What you are doing there? [break] Actually, brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā. Asat mithyā. [break] ...asat, but we are now situated in this asat situation, life after life. That is called mṛtyu-saṁsāra-vartmani [Bg. 9.3]. Accepting one body after another, another, another, another, it is going on. Therefore, asat-saṅga-tyāga ei vaiṣṇava-ācāra [Cc. Madhya 22.87]. Then what is that asat? That Caitanya Mahāprabhu..., asat eka strī-saṅgī, kṛṣṇābhakta āra. There are two asats. Two asats.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Two asats.
Prabhupāda: Asat-saṅga-tyāga. And to give up asat association... Then the next question is = "How you will know who is asat, who is sat?" So He said, asat eka strī-saṅgī: anyone who has association with woman, he is asat.
Yogi Amrit Desai: That is the strongest bond between the..., to the body and the soul.
Prabhupāda: He is asat. He doesn't... We say that strī-saṅgī, to associate with woman without marriage, we say, "Don't do this." But Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, either illicit or legal, it is asat.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Either married or unmarried, it is not.
Prabhupāda: It is asat. Therefore, when He was twenty-four years' age, He gave up His young..., home, wife. He became a sannyāsī, practically. And He was very, very strict to talk with woman. No woman could come before Him to offer respect. Little from far off. But His one of the personal associates, he simply desired---immediately he was rejected. Choṭa Haridāsa.
Yogi Amrit Desai: I didn't understand. His personal associate...
Prabhupāda: He had His personal associate. His name was Choṭa Haridāsa. He looked upon one woman with lusty desires.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Oh, I see. He looked upon a woman with a lusty desire, and He allowed it...
Prabhupāda: He immediately rejected him from His association.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Really?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. And He was so strict... This man, being hopeless that he'll not be able to associate with Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he committed suicide.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Really?
Prabhupāda: And when He learned that he has committed suicide, He did not regret. "Yes, this is the just punishment." You see how much strictly.
Yogi Amrit Desai: How much importance... [break]
Prabhupāda: And He said, asat saṅga. Yoṣitāṁ saṅgī-saṅgaḥ. He said like that.
pāraṁ paraṁ jigamiṣor bhava-sāgarasya
viṣayiṇām sandarśanaṁ atha yoṣitāṁ ca
hā hanta hā hanta viṣa-bhakṣaṇato 'py asādhu
[Cc. Madhya 11.8]
He was very strict. So this is Vaiṣṇava behavior. Asat-saṅga-tyāga ei vaiṣṇava-ācāra. Asat eka strī-saṅgī kṛṣṇābhakta āra... [Cc. Madhya 22.87]. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu's sampradāya is very rigid.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Yes, very rigid.
Prabhupāda: Very, very. But if one is able to follow Caitanya Mahāprabhu and receives a little mercy... He is very merciful. He is prepared to be merciful to anyone, any fallen soul. But if we take it, His mercy, if we simply follow His instructions, then our life is successful. Life is successful. Yat-kāruṇya-kaṭākṣa-vaibhavavatāṁ taṁ gauram eva stumaḥ [Caitanya-candrāmṛta 5], Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī. Even if we are not able to take His whole mercy, a little part of His mercy, then our life...
Yogi Amrit Desai: Before I leave, can they just stand here and have darśana and then we go? Can they come in?
Yogi Amrit Desai: My sister and my brother-in-law. Those...
Prabhupāda: They are here?
Yogi Amrit Desai: Yes.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Just darśana. So they won't take too much energy.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Yogi Amrit Desai: I'll call them.
Prabhupāda: So Govinda dāsī, you are feeling all right? Like this atmosphere? So Caitya-guru, your program, that you are going to construct temple there? [break] Aiye. [break] You must accept the standard way, then you'll get siddhi, you'll get sukha and parāṁ gati. Unless you follow the standard way, na sukhaṁ na parāṁ gatim [Bg. 16.23]. So if you have interest in bhakti-yoga, then you practice bhakti-yoga properly. That will make you successful. Otherwise, teṣām asau kleśala eva śiṣyate [SB 10.14.4] = simply whatever labor you are doing, that is your profit and no other profit. Kleśala eva. Nānyad yathā sthūla-tuṣāvaghātinām. The example is tuṣa. Tuṣa you know? The skin of rice?
Yogi Amrit Desai: Yes, yes. Husk.
Prabhupāda: Husk. Yes. So if there is paddy, if you beat it, you'll get rice. But if you beat on the husk, then...
Yogi Amrit Desai: You won't get anything.
Prabhupāda: But your gain is only that labor.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Only gain the labor.
Prabhupāda: So similarly, if you don't know what is the substance, you go on laboring, that laboring is your only achievement and nothing else.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Such a beautiful example. If you keep on beating the husk...
Prabhupāda: What you'll get?
Yogi Amrit Desai: The labor you get.
Prabhupāda: Śrama eva hi kevalam.
notpādayed ratiṁ yadi
śrama eva hi kevalam
Śrama eva hi kevalam. What is the profit? [Hindi] Suar.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Suar.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Pigs.
Prabhupāda: These are the natural examples. [Hindi] Tapasya. Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyed sattvam [SB 5.5.1]. Just purify your existence---that tapasya. Then you'll get yasmād brahma-saukhyam anantam. Ramante yoginaḥ anante [Cc. Madhya 9.29]. That is real yogic perfection. Satyānande cid-ātmani. [Hindi] So if you have taken the bhakti-yoga system, do it nicely. You'll get success very quickly. Otherwise, śrama eva hi kevalam. So why should we waste our time, simply satisfied with the labor?
Trivikrama: Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Jaya. [guests leave] Jaya. This is Japanese?
Trivikrama: I'm in China now.
Prabhupāda: In China proper?
Trivikrama: No, no. But that is from China proper.
Prabhupāda: So what is the news?
Trivikrama: We have distributed about 2,500 now of Chinese Bhagavad-gītā.
Prabhupāda: Out of five thousand.
Trivikrama: Yes. But also now, coming, I found out the Hong Kong temple has been closed.
Trivikrama: The Hong Kong temple has been closed.
Prabhupāda: Closed? Maybe. What...?
Trivikrama: Because we are thinking of shifting to Hong Kong because our program mainly is in offices, you know. We go in office, and we dress with a suit and tie. So they're thinking that we're businessmen coming to buy something from them. So they treat us very nicely, "Oh, sit down. How do you do, Mr. Brown," offer some tea or something. Then we immediately open up briefcase and present one of your Bhagavad-gītās. Then we preach a little bit. We tell them that "We've come here. This is the first time in Chinese language, a very wonderful book. So many men have recommended." And then they appreciate a little bit. Then we say, "If you could help some little donation," and they give us. But these are mostly high-class men in offices, you know. So now we're kind of depleted, because ordinary men don't speak English. So we're going to Hong Kong, but there's no temple there. We'll have to live in hotels.
Prabhupāda: And where is that boy gone that was in Hong Kong?
Trivikrama: He went to New York.
Prabhupāda: He is a Chinese man.
Trivikrama: He went also. Well, the president was Sevānanda, an American boy. His wife... It's a difficult part of the world, Prabhupāda. No one likes it.
Prabhupāda: Hong Kong.
Trivikrama: People don't take. Even in Taiwan... Now we are Republic of China, but we had a nice center, but people just aren't interested very much.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: You got a copy, eh? Easy Journey to Other Planets?
Prabhupāda: It is very attractive.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: You like it? We only did ten thousand each, but I think we'll sell it out in Kumbha-melā. And if we have these two paṇḍāls in Ludhiana and Mathurā...
Prabhupāda: So why don't you order more?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Right now I don't have much money, so I'm going slow. But when we sell these, we'll get the money back, print more.
Prabhupāda: No, I can give you some loan.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. We will do that. We may need a small loan, because... Also the printer came to see me. I told him to bring down the Bengali Gītār Gān price, and I'll think we'll print only one lakh here, because his quality is much better than a small letter press in Calcutta.
Prabhupāda: So if you regularly do businesslike, I can give you loan.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. We may need a small loan, Śrīla Prabhupāda. But I'm not asking till it becomes...
Prabhupāda: No. For printing books I'll give you loan.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. Actually the BBT's turnover now is around four lakhs. A year ago we opened this BBT account with only two thousand rupees in the bank. Now it's gone to four lakhs.
Prabhupāda: Books which are sellable, you can print in quantity. That will be cheaper. These books I think will be...
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. We're going to sell this for one rupee, fifty paisa.
Indian devotee: Yes. Prabhupāda, I am taking two books.
[mixed Hindi and English]
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Well, we purposely did not have a spine here. We wanted to keep the cost low. You know, you cannot get everything. If you want to keep the cost low, then you have to make some small sacrifice.
Prabhupāda: We want first quality.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: But for Hindi books, Śrīla Prabhupāda, we find pricing is also very important. Because in Hindi and Bengali books, they cannot sell for more than a rupee or rupee, fifty. For English books it's all...
Prabhupāda: So at what price you are selling?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: This is costing us seventy-eight paisa. So BBT will sell it to the temples for eighty-eight paisa, and the temples are free to sell it for one, one-fifty.
Indian devotee: [indistinct]
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: So, you know, we're charging reasonable price so we can go after quantity.
Prabhupāda: No, if it can be sold at two rupees, you spend little more. Yes.
Indian devotee: That's what I said. [indistinct]
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: I selected the most popular pictures for covers, because people buy in India on the basis of covers.
Prabhupāda: Yes. It is very nicely selected. Both pictures are very nice.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: All the three books, I think, the pictures have come out quite nice.
Prabhupāda: There are others also?
Indian devotee: I went to the printing press, and I asked of him, "Why don't you print like the other books you have, Easy Journey to Other Planets? Same pages as he said. It will come very nicely from [indistinct]." So he said that "We have done little mistake, and the next printing it will be better."
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: It's not a mistake. It's... We perfectly agreed. You told me so, that [Hindi].
Prabhupāda: What will be price for one lakh?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Of this? I think it will go around a velo[?], because the real book cost seventy-eight paisa; paper is about forty paisa. So paper, whether you buy one or one lakh, it's the same. So printing is about thirty-eight paisa. So... And out of thirty-eight paisa, plate-making and all will come to about ten paisa.
Prabhupāda: Plate is already made.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, that's what I'm saying. No, I'm just saying by increased run how much can you save? So I imagine you save about three paisa, four paisa more per book. It's not enough to warrant extra investment. I have analyzed the difference between doing large print runs in India and America. In America and Europe labor is very expensive. So to them, to stop the machine in between and start again, it's very expensive, so it makes a lot of difference. But in India labor is cheap. So for them to stop the machine in between and then start again, it's not so expensive. So the difference..., the ceiling is not as great as the extra investment you have to put in. Therefore I'm not doing large run except where it's absolutely necessary.
Prabhupāda: No. Items which are selling, that we can do, because...
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. Like Bhagavad-gītā we did one lakh.
Prabhupāda: ...to wait means that waste of time.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. But Bhagavad-gītā, we're doing one lakh copies now, and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is our first experiment with the paper manufacturer here. He's making paper for us exactly like American---especially for us. So I've given Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, First Canto, Part Two. We are printing ten thousand. Four thousand we'll print on this government paper, softbound, for cheap distribution, and six thousand on expensive American paper, hardbound, for export. Because we will be able to export it for a dollar forty, which is two dollars below what Los Angeles charges. Yes. Substantial... So as an experiment, I only wanted to... I've ordered paper for six thousand expensive hardbound. Let's see how the paper is. If it's good, then we'll use the same paper for one lakh. But before taking a risk on one lakh, I wanted to experiment on a smaller run.
Trivikrama: So I'm also thinking about printing again. Now we have just enough...
Prabhupāda: We can print here.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: We have very good arrangement.
Prabhupāda: At what price you are printing?
Trivikrama: Pretty cheap.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Hong Kong is very expensive.
Prabhupāda: No, no, let him say.
Trivikrama: Well, you know the book we have, six chapters...
Trivikrama: It costs seventy-five cents, US...
Prabhupāda: Seventy-five cents. So multiply it by six.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: By six. It comes to about six rupees.
Prabhupāda: It's costly. I think here it must be cheaper.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: There're very few... How many color illustrations in it?
Prabhupāda: Just take quotation. If you can, you print here.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: And if it is for export, it will be even cheaper.
Prabhupāda: We can take quotation?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. How many color plates do you have? Hmm, 298, 300. Well, we can take a quotation and see.
Prabhupāda: Here it must be cheaper.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Have you seen the Gītās we printed in India? Here are our samples. They're very good. Actually, I mean I'm not trying to be rude... Because I was negotiating the prices for the Chinese Gītā when... You know that time. Sevānanda was telling me all the prices of the work in Hong Kong for that time. It was above a dollar.
Trivikrama: Yeah, I know, but that was in Hong Kong. We got it printed in Taiwan for cheaper.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh. Because he sent me for dollar forty, a dollar thirty. I have the prices with me.
Trivikrama: And this was... That was also for the corrections. No, the price is about seventy-five cents.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. Only thing I've told England..., Jayatīrtha and Bali-mardana prabhus to do is to open a letter of credit now, because we are going to be exporting these Gītās at export price. And the bank is giving our printer a loan of ten lakhs. So he has to show the bank a letter of credit, so I hope they send it, and then this will start it rolling. End of February is our first shipment. We're going to ship ten thousand Gītās.
Prabhupāda: Letter of credit you can get.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, I hope they give it.
Prabhupāda: Bank of America will give.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: What, Śrīla Prabhupāda? [break]
Prabhupāda: [referring to Kumbha-melā?] When I was in midst of the crowd, the crowd was so big that I was afraid = "If there is any rush, this child will be finished." Because if there is little rush, you cannot go back; you cannot go forward.
Hari-śauri: Yes, if you go in a crowd.
Prabhupāda: It is very dangerous. And if there is some force, you become suffocated. So still, people were going slowly. By grace of Kṛṣṇa nothing happened. But same thing happened later years when Jawaharlal Nehru was present. So many people crushed and fallen in the River Yamunā and died.
Hari-śauri: Drowned in the river.
Prabhupāda: The rush came, and there was no protection.
Hari-śauri: We'll have to be very careful if we go to bathe in the river.
Prabhupāda: No, now they make arrangement, section by bamboo, so the rush may not be very pressurable. Section by section. So through section they go. Now the arrangement is better. But formerly the arrangement was not... It was open, and people come. As soon as there is little rush, pushing, there is great danger.
Hari-śauri: [laughs] Sounds like an auspicious place to die, though.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So I remember that day. I was thinking that "Such a big rush, forty million."
Hari-śauri: Forty million?
Prabhupāda: Er, four million.
Hari-śauri: Four million.
Prabhupāda: And "If there is little push, then this poor child will be finished." We were going very slow, and we did not know. I like... I remember that, that "I have come in a very dangerous position." Perhaps 1928 or... About fifty years ago.
Hari-śauri: The reason for the Melā is because there was some drops of nectar from the...?
Prabhupāda: It is actually a religious conference. All the different groups, they gather in that holy place, and they propagate their philosophy, discussion, like that. India is country of religion. They know how spiritual life more important than this material life. That is India. Now they are diverting their attention to the material; otherwise whole India, they are for spiritual life. They don't care for material... This material life is brought from Western countries = these railways, these..., so many things, bridges and so on, so on.
Prabhupāda: Factories and industry and export and import, and then slaughterhouse, drinking, prostitute---these are all British contribution. In India, before that, they did not know, although there was Muhammadan kingdom. Muhammadans were happy as ruler. They did not... They thought that "Let them execute their own religion, and let us our religion." That was the relation. And Hindus, they took it that "Somebody must be government..." [break] ...that "If the Indians remain as Indian, it will be impossible to govern. Give them education and condemn everything Indian." And they engaged their own men, they engaged our men, and gradually they developed the industry. Naturally people became very much astonished = "Oh, they are making such a nice bridge. We have now laid down the railway. We have got facilities, so on, so on..." They got, developing these enterprises, a little knowledge in English, A-B-C-D; they would get good job. In this way they established. Money and export, import... This business enterprise and industry, these..., all these things were introduced. There was not a single factory before British days. Industry idea is completely Western.
Prabhupāda: And tea garden.
Girirāja: I know Mr. Bajoria in Calcutta, he told me that in the beginning the Indians would not purchase tea because they considered it was sinful, and the British had to make a big propaganda.
Prabhupāda: Yes, tea sets committee. All the tea gardeners, all, they were mostly Britishers. They paid money for maintaining a department, tea sets committee, and their only business was to make propaganda village to village how tea becomes popular. Similarly, drinking, meat-eating... And it became a fashion among the richer class to keep prostitutes, go to the garden weekend with prostitutes and wine, freely use them, intoxicated. It was a prestigious position to keep a prostitute. A rich man having a garden and one prostitute---famous. Anything in demand... I have seen it. Now I think, "How things are going on, that...?" You have seen that Mullik's house?
Prabhupāda: Thakur Mullik, Rādhārāṇī. So in their festival some dancing girl would come, vaibi[?]. That was aristocratic, to call a prostitute and dance. So at that time we were children, five, six, seven years old. So persons who were of our father's age, they would sit down round the prostitute exactly like the street dog surrounds one female dog. Exactly. They had no shame even. This was aristocratic. And talking all nonsense, and if the prostitute smiles, they become very much obliged = [laughing] "She is smiling." [laughter] And amongst our mother's friends, they were talking, "My husband has kept that prostitute." And another lady... We were at that time boys, three, four years, but I remember all these things. Another lady, "My husband has kept that..."
Girirāja: They were proud.
Prabhupāda: In our childhood I saw. To go weekend to the garden and... Generally they go with family, and others, they go with prostitute. With prostitute they have got freedom to handle. The highest... And not only that, during marriage ceremony, high-circle marriage ceremony, they would participate in drinking, even men and women. Otherwise, in India, woman drinking or taking meat is a horrible crime. And what to speak of smoking? That is most shameless. That was aristocratic---drinking and eating meat. The Bengali, they were the richest section, because others, they were foreigners. They came to Calcutta and earned money. And the Bengalis, they had their aristocratic families, zamindary, everything in their occupation. So Bengalis were richest section in Calcutta, four, five big, big families. And now they are finished on account of this aristocracy. So one gentleman, he was Harendranatha Singh, very rich man, one of the richest men of Calcutta. He lost all his estate simply by this extravagance. Every evening his house is full with guest, every evening, for... What is called? That table?
Prabhupāda: Billiard. Billiard-playing or some exhibition of singing, and hundreds of men will gather. And they were feasting, first-class food. In this way spending, spending, spending. And then prostitute, aristocracy. In this way one property and one property lost, everything. And at last I saw him going by rickshaw. One day it was raining, and I saw that he was sitting in a rickshaw, and no friend asked him that "Haren Babu, why you are...? You come to my car." So many. And he was friendly to so many zamindars, kings, and very intimately. But they lost of everything, and nobody cares. His sons, they are of our age. I do not know whether living or not; but most probably they are not living. They became professional singers, coming of such aristocratic father. His father, that Mr. R. N. Singh, was a very good singer. That also was another aristocratic, that aristocrat family---art, some art = painter, singer, poets. Just like Rabindranath Tagore, they became famous as artist. Abanindranath Thakur, he became famous as artist, and Rabindranath Tagore became... They also followed the aristocratic family, Calcutta. Similarly, this R. N. Singh became a singer. Because they are rich men; they have nothing to do, so... And nobody instructed them how to become saintly person. Simply debauchery and... [break] On the whole, the whole human civilization is; and all the directors, they are not giving chance to know the value of life and how to conduct life. It is the first time, that we are giving the real idea of life. Otherwise whole world is in darkness. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatim [SB 7.5.31]. They do not know what is the end of life. Adānta... Matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [7.5.30], Vyāsadeva's real contribution... Ajānataḥ, lokasyājānato vidvāṁś cakre sātvata-saṁhitām [SB 1.7.6]. He has given the right direction. And they are not taking advantage of it. If they come to sense some day, they'll read all these books, and they will come to know how to live life. That is our contribution, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The whole world plunged into darkness. They do not know what is life and what is the aim of life. That's a fact. Periodically they manufacture some ideas, and people will follow, and then it is failure, and again another revolution. They are..., the Russian philosophy, that periodically revolution required. That is also to some extent. But why revolution? Take the standard. They do not know what is the standard.
Hari-śauri: That means they're always imperfect.
Prabhupāda: Imperfect, surely. Let us do something about it.
Hari-śauri: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda. [end]