Conversation , Vṛndāvana , 1977-06-28

Prabhupāda: I have not done it, but I have seen it.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You learned everything by seeing. You said that you learned how to cook by watching your mother.

Prabhupāda: Sometimes I used to cook.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh, for your family?

Prabhupāda: Our family. I asked my mother, "I'll do this, that." They'll allow, "All right."

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You said that sometimes you would be walking in the footpath, and you would watch those men cook there.

Prabhupāda: Not cook. Somebody's doing some artistic work. I'll stand. I'll see how they are doing.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Artistic?

Prabhupāda: Just like knitting. So I'll learning knitting by standing before. They're making some flower of wool, so I'll learn it. And [indistinct]. That was my hobby. And similarly I learned how to worship Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: By watching. You watched your father?

Prabhupāda: Father and the Mullik's Thakurbhari. "I'll do." I'll ask my father, "Give me Deity. I shall worship." "Yes, take Deity."

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: How old were you when you got your Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Deity?

Prabhupāda: About six, seven years old.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh. Was it very elaborate worship?

Prabhupāda: Not elaborate. But I'll decorate. I'll keep it in a place. Whatever I eat, I offered. I imitate---ghee lamp, ārati.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Putting to rest.

Prabhupāda: There was engagement[?] in a small corner of the room.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: And then Ratha-yātrā. Sounds like a very pleasant childhood.

Prabhupāda: Yes. My father's friends, the Mulliks, they used to criticize my..., "Oh, you are holding Ratha-yātrā festival, and you are not inviting us."

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You didn't invite them?

Prabhupāda: It is childish play. Where is invitation? So my father, the children, [laughs] they were playing. "Oh, by the name of children you are avoiding us." It was like that. But the festival was going on. We called the professional kīrtanīyas. They performed kīrtana. There will be procession of my small children friends.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Miniature Ratha-yātrā.

Prabhupāda: Hmm. A small ratha the father gave. The height, about this, made of nice, strong wood.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: All the boys would pull it?

Prabhupāda: Everything small scale.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Small pullers also.

Prabhupāda: Eight days, eight kinds of varieties of prasādam, my mother will prepare.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: She would take part by preparing.

Prabhupāda: Yes. And now... Whether the... Make very nice bannerjee[?]. Formerly people were engaged in these things. There was another Mullik family, Rajen..., Raja-Rajendra. He was distributing jagannātha-prasāda, daily, two thousand portions.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Which Mullik?

Prabhupāda: Raja-Rajendranath Mullik. He was also holding very big Ratha-yātrā. So we had the opportunity of seeing once.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You must have been dreaming about Purī Ratha-yātrā.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Whenever I would find some time, I would consult timetable, "How to go to Purī and Vṛndāvana? What is the fare?" At that time carriage[?] was three rupees. I think it was four rupees, one anna. And Vṛndāvana was six rupees.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You had some money saved up?

Prabhupāda: Yes, with my father.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You said that your grandmother would give you one gold coin each year.

Prabhupāda: Not gold coin. This copper coin, looking like gold.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: And you'd keep it banked with your mother, and if she ever was angry with you, you threatened.

Prabhupāda: Yes. "Bring my money." [laughs] The society was so nice, and everyone was happy. Everyone.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Very loving.

Prabhupāda: These Marwaris, especially, they are very good community. They... As family people, they know how to earn, how to become happy by family. I like these Marwaris.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah, we also feel at home...

Prabhupāda: They're vegetarian.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah. Sometimes I would visit Dalmiyajī in his home. I was so amazed to see how happy his family life is. They have no...

Prabhupāda: Marwaris, they do know how to earn money, how to save money, how to become happy at home. The worship is...

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: And they always have the temple in their homes. The women are engaged.

Prabhupāda: And they make general houses in such a way that you get a room and there is everything, arrangement. There is howah[?]. You don't require to cook. You take food from the howah[?]. Very nice food. You pay just like a small hotel. They... All their business family... You see. You have seen Calcutta Birla house.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh, yeah.

Prabhupāda: They occupy only one room. Their everything is like that. Pay for. There is no botheration of cooking or purchasing.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You mean different families occupy one room only?

Prabhupāda: Well, different family, different room, but they can live very humbly. Those who have little income, they'll somehow or other take one room, live in. And in that house, everything is there. You can purchase. And you earn money.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Sometimes you see a very wealthy man living in only two, three rooms with his whole family.

Prabhupāda: That's all. And generally one room. Otherwise two rooms---one stock room, one sleeping room. They live very economically and save money.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Frugal.

Prabhupāda: Frugal, yes. And when there is enough money, they construct their own house. Then they live very luxuriously. In the beginning, no.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Right. And they'll work sixteen hours sometimes.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. As much as possible. Very hard-working.

Śatadhanya: And their sons also work with them.

Prabhupāda: And whatever money saved, they purchase ornament. They don't deposit in the bank.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh. That's one of their things.

Prabhupāda: Hmm. That is Indian style. To save money means purchase ornament.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Purchasing one ornament.

Prabhupāda: Ornament for the wife.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That could be...

Prabhupāda: Because she likes ornament, gold, and they have got molten[?] in the jewelry.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: How do you get the money back? Sell it?

Prabhupāda: Hmm? There is no question. It is saving. Suppose you want two hundred rupees. After spending, if there is three hundred rupees, invest hundred rupees in ornament.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: But how do you save enough money to get the house if you have all ornaments?

Prabhupāda: You keep it. Don't deposit in bank.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They don't trust this banking system.

Prabhupāda: No. Formerly there was no bank practically. Now they... Generally, ordinary man, whatever little saving is there, they will invest in metal utensils, in ornament, in Benarsi sārī, like that.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Benarsi sārī also considered very valuable.

Prabhupāda: It is golden, gold border. You can... When you want to..., mean an old Benarsi sārī..., you can go. There are persons, they'll take it, and they'll burn it, and the borders will take care, either silver or gold. Still in Delhi we find. Any investment, wear. Not this plastic plate and paper plate.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh. Whenever they buy something, it must have value.

Prabhupāda: Must have value. That is Indian investment.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That's the opposite of the Western.

Prabhupāda: And whatever you manufacture, you can show back. Suppose this tape recorder. If it is working, it has value. What is the use of it? Who cares for you? If it is in working order, it has value. Otherwise, [taps microphone] who cares for it? But if you have got gold, silver, metal... There was a small banker's. You require... I am poor man. I require only two rupees, but I have no money. You take one utensil and go to a small banker. He will keep this pot. "Give me two rupees." The pot is only five rupees' worth, so he'll keep it. He'll give you two rupees. So your immediate necessity is met. This way, Indian economics.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I've noticed that the people in the villages, when they come to fetch water, they have very nice pots. The ladies are wearing some bracelets. Gold, I think, it must be.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Even the village.

Prabhupāda: Yes. You'll find description in Bhāgavata. They were coming to congratulate Kṛṣṇa---so nice dress, so nice ornament, so nice foodstuff made of ghee, grains, in our...

Śatadhanya: Sometimes the rich Marwari ladies, when they come to Māyāpur, once in a while they give some ornament to the Deity. They'll give one ring or one bracelet, gold.

Prabhupāda: That was always. They would offer some ornament to the Deity.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah, there's the example...

Prabhupāda: That Sākṣī-Gopāla. The queen wanted to give her nose pearl. Very happy spiritual society.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Now you are developing that all over the world, Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: I have thought it over, over. It was very, very nice. What is this nonsense society? Tin car?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: And they're becoming worse...

Prabhupāda: And rubber tire, that's all.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The cars nowadays...

Prabhupāda: Cannister, tin cannister. In your country these have been all piled up.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The cars.

Prabhupāda: Whole cars, useless, piled up. But then they are smashed and again melted and again crushed.

Śatadhanya: They build them so that in one year, two years, they break. Then they can sell more.

Prabhupāda: Because they have no other business. Punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām [SB 7.5.30]. Chewing the chewed. Make a car, break it, and again melt it and again make another car. That's all. This is their civilization = car-making civilization. No spiritual idea, no ambition for spiritual life. But they'll do. They'll do something. So therefore they are making, breaking more. Make the car; break the car; again make the car; again break the car. Therefore you are habituated to change.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: If something is nice, it must be destroyed.

Prabhupāda: No, it has... Everything is destroyed, material. [end]