710201 - Lecture - Allahabad
Prabhupāda: I went there in 1965, September, for one year. There was always some casual invitation from many parts of the country, and in 1966 I registered this Association under New York Religious Act. And the beginning was I was chanting in a park, Tompkinson's Square, and these boys and girls gradually gathered.
And first of all there was one center in the Second Avenue, New York, then gradually another was established in San Francisco, then Montreal. In this way, by this time we have got about forty-eight branches all over the world, including America, Europe, Australia and Japan, Fiji. In this way, all over the world we have got branches.
The idea is that we are representing Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who predicted that in every village and every town this saṅkīrtana movement will be heard. Actually it is happening. Especially in America, the boys and girls, those who are practically very much confused and frustrated with this materialistic way of life, they are very much eager, as you have seen.
All these boys and girls who were dancing and chanting, they have taken the movement very seriously. We have got, as I told you, forty-eight branches. And in each branch, there are not less than twenty-five devotees, and sometimes there are hundred devotees. They are following strictly the Vaiṣṇava principles.
You know, in European, Western countries, practically marriage is practically stopped. But I do not allow them to live as girlfriend or boyfriend. All the devotees that you are seeing here, you will find they are gṛhasthas, married couples, also brahmacārī, also sannyāsī; but all of them are engaged in preaching this auspicious movement, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
They are strictly following the four principles of avoiding sinful life. According to Vedic scripture, illicit connection with woman or illicit sex life, intoxication of any type, and animal killing of any type, and gambling, these are the four pillars of sinful life. These boys and girls have voluntarily given up. They do not drink tea, they do not drink coffee, they do not smoke even.
So this movement is gradually increasing, and all over the world, and they are preaching. We have . . . Lord Caitanya advised that any human being who has taken birth in India, Bhārata-varṣa, it is his duty to assimilate the Vedic literature and do welfare activities all over the world. That is the duty of every Indian.
Unfortunately, we are deviating from our duty. Because we have deviated from our own culture, therefore we are known in the foreign countries as beggars. Anywhere I go, they recognize India as very much poverty-stricken. That is advertisement of our country. And they know that Indian officers, Indian big men come here to beg.
Actually our ministers and others go there, "Give me rice," "Give me wheat," "Give me money," "Give me weapon." So this "give me, give me" propaganda is going on. This is the first time, this International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, instead of begging from them, we are giving something. And they are very much obliged to us.
So it is my appeal to all the Indians present here that you have got this valuable asset, the valuable treasure of spiritual consciousness. You be, please, prepared to distribute this spiritual knowledge all over the world, and they will be very much happy to receive you. They will be very much obliged to you. Don't forget your own culture. Don't be misled by so-called material civilization. These Europeans and Americans, they are now fed up. I have traveled all over the world. The repercussions of material civilization, they are feeling very much.
So this is the only remedy for getting out of these material clutches: harer nāma harer nāma (CC Adi 17.21). This is very easy. Any one of you can chant at home without any expenditure, without any loss. And there is no secret. It is not a bogus propaganda, that we distribute, we give you some mantra and take some money from you. No. There is no question of. It is freely distributed.
Our only request is that you take this Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra very seriously. At any time, without any, I mean to say, prohibition; at any time, in any state you can chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra:
- Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare
- Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare
These are sixteen words only. So if you chant, there is no loss. And the gain is very great. That you should always remember.
So our request is that we have come to you. You may take this mantra very seriously, and at your leisure, at your convenience . . . there is no question of convenience, either. If you are walking on the street, you can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare. Nobody is prohibiting it. Even you are at work. You work with your hand, but you can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu says:
- nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis
- tatrārpitā niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ
- etādṛśī tava kṛpā bhagavan mamāpi
- durdaivam īdṛśam ihājani nānurāgaḥ
- (CC Antya 20.16, Śikṣāṣṭaka 2)
Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that this name of God . . . there are thousands names of God, but Kṛṣṇa is the original name. Now if you don't like Kṛṣṇa's name, you can select your own name, or if you have got information also—not your manufacturing God's name, but you have to accept it from authorized scriptures.
If you chant any one of the God's name, it is to be understood, God, being Absolute Truth, there is no difference between God and His name. So by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, you directly connect yourself with Kṛṣṇa, and then you become purified. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇaṁ (CC Antya 20.12, Śikṣāṣṭaka 1).
Of course, it is a long proposition to explain everything about this mahā-mantra, but I request you that you take it from us that these boys and girls, simply by chanting, how they are becoming so purified, how they are dancing in transcendental ecstasy, that you can see, and try to experiment in your life—you'll be happy.
Thank you very much. (applause) (end)