710805 - Press Conference - London
Prabhupāda: . . . Kṛṣṇa's message to awaken man's original consciousness. At the present moment we have got designated consciousness. I am thinking, "I am Indian," you are thinking Englishman, another is thinking American. But actually we are neither American nor Indian nor any that sort of designation. We are part and parcel of God. That is our real identification. If we come to that consciousness, then all the problems of the world will be solved.
Now, due to our designated consciousness, we are thinking, "You are different from me, I am different from you," but if we come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then we shall know that we are one, the same spirit soul, maybe in different dress. That is the explanation given in Bhagavad-gītā. Just like we are all human being, gentlemen, ladies. Maybe in different dress, but our aims and objects are the one and the same.
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is purificatory process. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam (CC Madhya 19.170). To make people free from all designation. Tat-paratvena nirmalam: and in Kṛṣṇa consciousness they become purified. And when they're purified, their activities in . . . by purified senses make them perfect. That is the ideal perfection of human life.
And the . . . our process is also very simple. There is no need of becoming a great philosopher, scientist or thoughtful man. Simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord we can immediately contact with the Lord, because the Lord and the person and His name and His quality are all absolute. So this is a great science. Unfortunately, there is no department of education for this science in any one of the so many universities.
So we invite, therefore, all kinds of serious men for the welfare of the human society to understand this great movement, and if possible take part in it and cooperate with us. That will solve all the problems of the world. So that is the verdict of Bhagavad-gītā, very authoritative book of knowledge. Most of you may know the name Bhagavad-gītā.
So our movement is based on this Bhagavad-gītā, the authorized book of knowledge, and approved by big ācāryas in India—Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Lord Caitanya. So you are all responsible representative of papers. Try to understand this movement and ventilate it, as far as possible, for the good of the whole human society. That's all.
Woman Interviewer: Yes. Your Grace, it seems to many people that there is probably more . . . there are probably more people in the world now who are seeking some kind of spiritual new life than probably ever before, or at least, there's more evidence of it. And I wonder if you agreed with that, and if so, can you tell me why it is?
Prabhupāda: Yes, That should be the natural hankering . . . (indistinct) . . . because we are spirit soul, we cannot be happy in material atmosphere. Just like you take out the fish from the water, it cannot be happy on the land. Similarly, if we are without spiritual consciousness, we can never be happy. So people after advancement of scientific knowledge and economic development, they are not happy. They are becoming hippies. So the cause is that they're in search of spiritual life, and this is the proper delivery, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness.
Woman Interviewer: Thank you. So presumably you would encourage this movement of more people to find a spiritual life. You . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes, unless you take to this movement, you cannot be happy. That's a fact. Therefore we invite everyone to study, to understand this great movement.
Woman Interviewer: What worries me slightly is that since the arrival in Britain some while ago of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a lot of . . . he was the first guru that most people ever heard of, and since then there have been a lot of people and a lot of gurus have suddenly appeared out of nowhere. And one gets the feeling that sometimes they're not all as genuine as they ought to be. And I wondered whether you feel that it's right that you could perhaps issue a warning to people who are seeking some new spiritual life that they should take care to make sure they have a genuine guru to teach them.
Woman Interviewer: Do you feel there's a danger?
Prabhupāda: Of course, to search out guru is very nice. But if you want a cheap guru or if you want to be cheated, then there will be many cheater guru. But if you are sincere, then you'll have sincere guru. People want to be cheated because they want everything very cheap. But just like we are asking people no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no gambling, no intoxication, so people think it is very difficult; it is botheration. And if somebody says: "No, you do. Whatever nonsense you like, do. You simply take my mantra," they will like it.
So the thing is that they want to be cheated; therefore cheaters come. They don't want to undergo some austerity. Human life is meant for austerity. But they are not prepared to undergo austerity. Suppose some cheaters come. They say: "Oh, no austerity. Whatever you like, you do. You simply pay me and I'll give you some particular mantra, and you become God within six months." (laughter) And that is going on. So you want to be . . . if people want to be cheated like that, the cheaters will come.
Woman Interviewer: So do you think people should beware?
Prabhupāda: They should be serious.
Woman Interviewer: I mean if someone in all seriousness wishes to find the spiritual life and happens to finish up with the wrong guru, I mean, should they beware?
Prabhupāda: Yes. But . . . when ordinary education . . . to take ordinary education one has to devote so much time, labor and understand, and if one is going to take spiritual life, they must be serious. And how is that, they think that simply by some wonderful mantra within six months they become God? Why they want like that? That is . . . that means they want to be cheated.
Woman Interviewer: And how would one tell that one had a genuine guru? Because one would be told to give up certain parts of . . .?
Prabhupāda: That, of course, depends on the person who is really anxious for guru. Just like when you go to the market to purchase some thing, you test it whether it is genuine or not. Similarly, you have to test who is genuine.
Woman Interviewer: How can you tell, if you don't . . .?
Prabhupāda: That requires little education, a little knowledge. Therefore we are opening so many centers, giving people opportunity to know what is genuine, what is not genuine.
Woman Interviewer: How many followers have you got now throughout the world, or can you not count . . .?
Prabhupāda: Well, for any genuine thing the followers may be very little, and any rubbish thing, the followers may be many.
Woman Interviewer: How many . . . I meant for the initiated followers, people who have . . .
Prabhupāda: About three thousand we have got.
Woman Interviewer: And is it growing all the time?
Prabhupāda: Yes, it is growing very slowly. Because we have got so many restriction. People do not like any restriction.
Woman Interviewer: Yes. Where is the following the greatest? It is in America?
Prabhupāda: In America, in Europe and Canada, in Japan, Australia. And India there is millions, there is millions of this cult. Apart from India, in other countries they are small quantity. But in India there are millions and millions.
Male Interviewer: Do you think your movement is the only way to come to know God?
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Śyāmasundara: Do you think this movement is the only way to know God?
Male Interviewer: So how do you have that assurance?
Prabhupāda: From the authorities; from God, Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66).
Male Interviewer: But if somebody else was to say that God had told him something else, would you equally believe him?
Śyāmasundara: It's not that we don't accept other religious processes.
Prabhupāda: No, we believe other process. Just like there are steps. If you want to go to the topmost storey, so you go by steps. So some of them have gone fifty steps, some of them gone hundred steps, but to complete the required . . . (indistinct) . . . is one thousand steps.
Male Interviewer: And you've gone up the thousand, have you?
Woman Interviewer: If any of us here this morning wish to become followers, er . . . what would we have to give or give up?
Prabhupāda: First of all one has to give up illicit sex life.
Woman Interviewer: Does that include all sex life, or . . .?
Woman Interviewer: What is illicit?
Prabhupāda: Illicit sex—without marriage, without any relation, sex life, that is illicit sex life.
Woman Interviewer: So sex is allowed in marriage, but not outside.
Prabhupāda: That is animal sex life. Just as animals, they have no relationship and have sex life. But human society there is restriction. In every country, in every religion, there is a system of marriage. So without marriage, sex life is illicit sex life.
Woman Interviewer: But sex is allowed within marriage.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is . . .
Woman Interviewer: And what else would one have to give up for . . .
Prabhupāda: One has to give up all kinds of intoxicants.
Woman Interviewer: Is that drugs and spirits?
Prabhupāda: Any kind of drug that intoxicates.
Śyāmasundara: Even tea and . . .
Prabhupāda: Even tea, cigarette. They are also intoxicants.
Woman Interviewer: So that includes alcohol, marijuana, tea. Anything else?
Prabhupāda: Yes. One has to give up animal food, all kinds of animal food—meat, eggs, fish, like that. And one has to give up gambling.
Woman Interviewer: Does one have to leave one's family? I think everybody lives in the temple, don't they?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Unless one gives up all these sinful activities, one cannot be initiated.
Woman Interviewer: So one should give up one's family as well?
Woman Interviewer: To be a for . . . yes.
Prabhupāda: Of course, family, we are not concerned with the family, we are concerned with the individual person. If one wants to be initiated in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, he has to give up all these sinful activities.
Woman Interviewer: So you give up family as well. But what about . . .
Śyāmasundara: No, no, you don't have to give up one's family.
Woman Interviewer: But I mean supposing I wished to become an initiate. Wouldn't I have to come and live here?
Prabhupāda: Not necessarily.
Woman Interviewer: Oh, I could stay at home?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Woman Interviewer: What about work, though? Does one have to give up one's job?
Prabhupāda: You have to give up these bad habits and chant these beads, Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. That's all.
Woman Interviewer: Would I have to give any financial support?
Prabhupāda: No, that's . . . that's your voluntary wish. If you give us, that's all right. Otherwise, don't mind.
Woman Interviewer: Sorry, I didn't understand.
Prabhupāda: We do not want . . . depend on anyone's financial contribution. We depend on God, or Kṛṣṇa.
Woman Interviewer: So I wouldn't have to give any money at all.
Woman Interviewer: Is this one of the main things that distinguishes a genuine guru from a fake guru?
Prabhupāda: Yes. A genuine guru is not a businessman.
Our . . . (break) (end)