Room Conversation with Alice Coltrane , Vṛndāvana , 1977-07-01

Prabhupāda: When?

Alice Coltrane: I'm going into Delhi today, and bring... We have to go back to [indistinct].

Prabhupāda: I was very glad that you stayed here for some time.

Alice Coltrane: I will live after this[?]. But I have to [indistinct].

Prabhupāda: So if you want to do something, take this idea and introduce. Then it will be successful.

Alice Coltrane: This idea that...?

Prabhupāda: Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, and everything will be clear. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. The more you chant, the spiritual life will be revealed. So it is very easy = Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma... As much as possible, you chant. Then everything will be revealed, and you'll be able to do something. I started this movement simply by chanting.

Alice Coltrane: Yes, I started chanting as soon as I got your message.

Prabhupāda: Now we are... It has spread all over the world.

Alice Coltrane: Yes, it's a fact.

Prabhupāda: And we are still chanting.

Alice Coltrane: [indistinct]

Prabhupāda: That's right.

Alice Coltrane: I like the mental chanting better. I seem to be more and more enlightened...

Prabhupāda: This is my message.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: She says that she likes the mental chanting more than chanting out...

Alice Coltrane: With the mind, you know.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: She likes to chant more with the mind.

Prabhupāda: As it is convenient. But chanting with mouth is better. You can hear; others can hear. If you chant within, then you'll remember only. But you chant loudly, others can hear. Others are benefited. [japa]

Alice Coltrane: [indistinct]

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: She said, how many rounds should she chant? Every day she does some meditation, so before meditating, she wants to know, how many rounds should she chant?

Prabhupāda: Well, with chanting you can meditate. The Deities are there. So you can think of the Deities---that is meditation---and chant.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Is there a certain number of rounds you would recommend for her?

Prabhupāda: That is minimum... Because these people are not accustomed, only sixteen rounds.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Sixteen rounds.

Prabhupāda: But the chanting is recommended twenty-four hours.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Twenty-four hours.

Alice Coltrane: [laughs] [indistinct]

Prabhupāda: Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ [Cc. Ādi 17.31]. Sadā means twenty-four hours.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: But minimum, sixteen rounds.

Prabhupāda: But one who cannot, minimum.

Alice Coltrane: That only an experience [indistinct].

Prabhupāda: Otherwise Haridāsa Ṭhākura, he was chanting three hundred thousand.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Per day.

Prabhupāda: Without chanting three hundred thousand times, he won't take his food. Nāmācārya.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Haridāsa Ṭhākura.

Prabhupāda: So that is not possible for everyone, but there is no limit. Twenty-four hours you can chant, if you can.

Alice Coltrane: [indistinct] How do you get Kṛṣṇa's instruction?

Prabhupāda: Otherwise, minimum sixteen.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: She asked, how does she get Kṛṣṇa's instructions while chanting?

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa's instruction are there in Bhagavad-gītā. Don't you find Kṛṣṇa's instruction? Is it difficult? All instruction are clearly given there. What is the difficulty?

Alice Coltrane: I mean like day-to-day instructions. [indistinct]

Prabhupāda: Yes, everything...

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: She wants like personal day-to-day instructions, which she says she gets from meditation.

Prabhupāda: After you become qualified, then He'll give you. First of all be qualified to meet Him, then He'll give you. Buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi tam. What is that verse? Find out.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ yena mām upayānti te.

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānām...

Prabhupāda: Ah! Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam, dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ tam [Bg. 10.10]. That is... If you want to speak with a very big man, you must be qualified, not that he is your order-supplier = "Please come and give me instruction." No, can't do that. That is servant. You can ask your servant, "Please come here. Do it." You cannot ask God like that. You must please Him. Then He'll give.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: And the method of pleasing Him...

Prabhupāda: Yes. Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānām [Bg. 10.10]. One who is twenty-four hours engaged in pleasing the Lord, He gives intelligence to him, not ordinary. You cannot expect. But you don't take God as your play doll. Then it will be futile. God is God. God is great.

Rasāṅgī: So the proper instructions will come, how to act and what to do, just by chanting. There's no need to separately endeavor. Just by chanting, Kṛṣṇa will guide you how to act properly.

Prabhupāda: Everything is there in Bhagava... Bring Bhagavad-gītā.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That verse?


satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ
yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ
namasyantaś ca māṁ bhaktyā
nitya-yuktā upāsate

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Says, "Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion." Purport. "The mahātmā, or great soul, cannot be manufactured by rubber-stamping an ordinary man. His symptoms are described here. A mahātmā is always engaged in chanting the glories of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead. He has no other business. He is always engaged in the glorification of the Lord. In other words, he is not an impersonalist. When the question of glorification is there, one has to glorify the Supreme Lord..."

Prabhupāda: [indistinct]

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: "...one has to glorify the Supreme Lord, praising His holy name, His eternal form, His transcendental qualities, and His uncommon pastimes. One has to glorify all these things. Therefore a mahātmā is attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One who is attached to the impersonal feature of the Supreme Lord, the brahma-jyotir, is not described as mahātmā in the Bhagavad-gītā. He is described in a different way in the next verse. The mahātmā is always engaged in different activities of devotional service, as described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, hearing and chanting about Viṣṇu, not a demigod or human being. That is devotion = śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ, smaraṇam, and remembering Him. Such a mahātmā has firm determination to achieve at the ultimate end the association of the Supreme Lord in any one of the five transcendental rasas. To achieve that success, he engages all activities---mental, bodily and vocal, everything---in the service of the Supreme Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. That is called full Kṛṣṇa consciousness."

Prabhupāda: So all instructions are there. If you read it carefully, you get. But don't manufacture in your own way. That will not be successful. Yaḥ śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya [Bg. 16.23]. Find out.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I don't know that verse, Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: Yaḥ śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya. Ya, y-a.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. They only have the first and third...

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They only have the first line and third line of each...

Prabhupāda: So why don't you read it?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Well, I haven't found the verse yet.

Prabhupāda: You don't find it?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No, Śrīla Prabhupāda. Is that the first line of the verse?

Prabhupāda: Yaḥ śāstram... Yaḥ śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya. It is in the Sixteenth Chapter. [break] Na siddhiṁ na avāpnoti. Na siddhim. Find out. [break] What is the first word?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yaḥ śāstra... Yaḥ, y-a-ḥ.

Prabhupāda: Then why did you not find?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I was looking y-a-s.

Prabhupāda: So why did you need? That means you do not read.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I didn't spell yaḥ properly. I spelled it y-a.

yaḥ śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya
vartate kāma-kārataḥ
na sa siddhim avāpnoti
na sukhaṁ na parāṁ gatim

Translation = "But he who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection nor happiness nor the supreme destination." Purport = "As described before, the śāstra-vidhim, or the direction of the śāstra, is given to the different castes and orders of human society. Everyone is expected to follow these rules and regulations. If one does not follow them and acts whimsically according to his lust, greed and desire, then he never will be perfect in his life. In other words, a man may theoretically know all these things, but if he does not apply them in his own life, then he is to be known as the lowest of mankind. In the human form of life, a living entity is expected to be sane and to follow the regulations given for elevating his life to the highest platform, but if he does not follow them, then he degrades himself. But even if he follows the rules and regulations and moral principles and ultimately does not come to the stage of understanding the Supreme Lord, then all his knowledge becomes spoiled. Therefore one should gradually raise himself to the platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness and devotional service; it is then and there that he can attain the highest perfectional stage, not otherwise.

The word kāma-cārataḥ is very significant. A person who knowingly violates the rules acts in lust. He knows that this is forbidden; still he acts. This is called acting whimsically. He knows that this should be done, but still he does not do it; therefore he is called whimsical. Such persons are destined to be condemned by the Supreme Lord. Such persons cannot have the perfection which is meant for the human life. The human life is especially meant for purifying one's existence, and one who does not follow the rules and regulations cannot purify himself, nor can he attain the real stage of happiness."

Prabhupāda: So you do like that. Read carefully and execute that. Then you'll be perfect.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Do you have any questions?

Alice Coltrane: [indistinct]

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: She's been invited to chant at Ratha-yātrā because there are so many followers of hers throughout the country, so she wonders if there's anything..., any special instruction you have.

Prabhupāda: No, if you go. If your batches[?] chant and dance, that is all right.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: What should she chant especially?

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Why you are asking all these?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No, I'm...

Alice Coltrane: [indistinct]

Prabhupāda: There is no secrecy. Everything is open. Now you have to take advantage. That's all.

Rasāṅgī: She was also considering sending her boys to gurukula here. Turīya has three children..., four children. Three are boys, nine through thirteen.

Prabhupāda: Let them come.

Rasāṅgī: She's considering that. She spoke to Dr. Sharma, and she's very pleased with the type of education and displeased with education in the West, in our...

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: Jaya. [break] ...how he'll do better. Big lawyer in the court means he'll do [indistinct]. "My Lord Justice..." Deception, this, that... He's a big lawyer.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I don't know... I have a desire to do it, but I don't know if I'll have much opportunity.

Prabhupāda: Well, we have no opportunity, but we'll have to find out opportunity. And that is intelligence. Even those who have opportunity, who is taking care of? Nidrāhāra-vihārakādi-vijitau. We have to reduce these things, nidrāhāra. It is for this, only writing. We have written so many books only for selling?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No, we have to read them still.

Prabhupāda: No, that, you do not take care. I said three times, "yaḥ." Now you simply saw "y-a." Why did you not see "y-a-ḥ"?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. I didn't realize it was spelled that way. It's my lack of learning.

Prabhupāda: Spelling... But yaḥ, you do not know, "So let me see how to this 'yaḥ.' Which yaḥ is there."

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That I didn't know. I didn't know that. I mean, I know it's my fault. I was looking for y-a-s, and I should have seen y-a-ḥ. I was looking for ya śāstra, y-a-s, instead of y-a-ḥ.

Prabhupāda: So you know how to read phonetical.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Phonetical.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yaḥ. What is that mark? Diacritic.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: You must know thoroughly that, that how yaḥ is spelled. This is standard. Practice. Everything practice. [break] Y-a-ḥ... This is determined by the diacritic mark. But this, everything is there. So this was beginning... [break]

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They know...

Prabhupāda: Good.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah. It's personal. They have a personal conception of God, of a person, but they don't understand that one has to become very highly qualified before he can actually talk to God. They take it as anybody who has any position in spiritual life should be able to talk to God. So that she has to learn again, with real understanding.

Prabhupāda: Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānām [Bg. 10.10]. One who is twenty-four hours engaged, He talks with him.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: She's quite serious. She eats very minimally, sleeps very little. Three hours. This girl told me... She lives with her. She only sleeps about three hours a day, and she eats very little.

Prabhupāda: Then she'll be qualified if she reads Bhagavad-gītā nicely.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: And she's only reading... You know, she... All of her students, they only read your Bhagavad-gītā.

Prabhupāda: Very good.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I think it's a question of time only. She says that... She's been to India three times, and she said that she's never found any place like Vṛndāvana. And this is to her... Now she feels this is her home, that she only wants... If she comes to India she wants...

Prabhupāda: She may stop here whenever she likes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I think it was a very ba... She was in India this time for three weeks, and she never left Vṛndāvana. She only wanted to stay here.

Prabhupāda: Oh.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: But she said she had no real desire to go to other places in Vṛndāvana. She was very satisfied in this temple grounds.

Prabhupāda: So she has got so many qualifications.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I think so. [end]