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720420 - Conversation - Hong Kong

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

720420R1-HONG KONG - April 20, 1972 - 40:55 Minutes

Prabhupāda: (indistinct) . . . Bangladesh. That is His vision.

rādhā-kṛṣṇa bol bol bolo re sobāi,
ei śikhā diyā, sab nadīyā,
phirche nece gaura-nitāi

Gaura-Nitāi, these two brothers, Gaura and Nitāi. There are Pañca-tattva: Śrī Caitanya, Nityānanda, Śrī Advaita, Gadādhara, Śrīvāsa, five tattvas. So rādhā kṛṣṇa bol bol, bolo re sobāi, ei śikhā diyā: "This is the teaching of Lord Caitanya." And he says, jay sakal bipod.

Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, the composer of this song, he says that "You get out of all kinds of dangers," jay sakal bipod, gāi bhaktivinod, jakhon o nām gāi, "if you simply take to chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra." And at last he says, rādhā kṛṣṇa bolo sañge calo: " 'Please cooperate with Me,' " Lord Caitanya says, " 'and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.' "Ei mātra bhikhā: "I am asking all this. I am begging."

So our mission is like that. The same thing. We are asking people, without any argument or political purpose or social or . . . no. Simply we are asking that, "You chant Hare Kṛṣṇa." That's all. Wherever we are opening our branches, it is our only business that we are requesting people to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa or Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. We don't want anything. We don't want to do any business, but we are simply spreading this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra because people are being washed away.

Māyār bośe, jāccho bhese. They are being washed away, khāccho hābu, always in trouble. Khāccho hābuḍubu bhāi. Jīv kṛṣṇa dās e biśwās korle to'ār duḥkho nāi: "But if you try to understand that your position is eternal servitude to Kṛṣṇa, then your all troubles are over." This is our mission. So wherever we are preaching this instruction of Lord Caitanya, people are accepting. I saw one nice article published in some paper here?

Bhūrijana: Bharatratna. The name of the paper is Bharatratna.

Prabhupāda: Not the Bharatratna. Another daily paper.

Bhūrijana: South China Morning Paper.

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. So the article is nice.

So one thing is that we are simply interested for a temporary object, but we are eternal. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). We do not die; we simply change bodies. Just like these children, they are changing bodies from babyhood to childhood, from childhood to youthhood, the changing bodies. The final change is called death. That means, final change means giving up this body, we accept again another babyhood body, again begin. This is going on. And this is called māyār bośe, jāccho bhese.

Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ (BG 3.27). We are being washed away by the waves of māyā. We are forced to accept a certain type of body, again give it up, again forced to, under 8,400,000 species of life. We do not know next life what kind of body we are going to get. People should be careful about this. But they are simply interested with this short duration of life, say fifty years or hundred years. But they do not . . . there is no education, there is no university that, "Everyone is eternal. He should not be engaged only the changing phases of life. One should be interested in the eternal interest of life." This is our mission, Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

So I'll request you all, ladies and gentlemen present here. Sindhis are generally opulent and religious also, I know. Formerly, when some of our Godbrothers were going to preach in Karachi, they received very well. Now it is Pakistan. Otherwise all Sindhis, they have a special reception for saintly person. The religious person. So you are all here. I think you should open a very nice center for preaching this gospel.

And we have no discrimination. We accept anyone, because we do not see the outward body. Just a gentleman is not interested with the outward dress, he is interested with the person with talks. Similarly, we are interested to see every person as spirit soul, paṇḍitaḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18). Paṇḍita means learned. Sama-darśinaḥ.

brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
(BG 5.18)

"One who is actually learned, he sees everyone equally, either he is a very learned scholar or he is a dog or he is a caṇḍāla or he is an elephant." So how the learned scholar and dog can be seen on the equal level? Not that the dog and the learned scholar is equal, but seeing them equally means to see the spirit soul within the body. That vision. Outwardly, by the body, one is learned scholar and one is a dog. That is outwardly. But inwardly, everyone is spirit soul, Brahman. That is called brahma-darśana.

So if people are taught about this philosophy, then all these distinctions and creation of different kinds of problems—the Chinese or Communists, the Americans or capitalists, and so many differences we have created, and for that purpose there is fight, there is competition, there is enmity, enviousness—so this is due to ignorance. Or, in one word, it is due to lack of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore we have taken this path of our social improvement in the human society. Let us cooperate.

So this is nice place. You have decorated nice. Everything is nice so far the little place is concerned. How many rooms you have got?

Bhūrijana: This is it. (laughter)

Prabhupāda: Only one room.

Bhūrijana: And this little room in the back.

Prabhupāda: That's very natural. It is costly here. But these children and their parents also, very much interested. So I think you should have a nice institution here to train the children in this country. And after their education, they may take to any line of livelihood; that doesn't matter. But the foundation . . .

Just like in our Vedic system, first of all brahmacārī. That brahmacārī system is very nice. Even Kṛṣṇa, God Himself, He has nothing to learn. He is abhijñā. In the Vedas He is described as abhijñā: He knows everything. But just to teach us, He also became a brahmacārī in the Gurukula. Lord Rāmacandra, He also accepted a guru, Vasiṣṭha.

So that is our Vedic system. Anybody may be anything, but the process is tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12): in order to learn the value of life, spiritual value of life, one must go to a guru. Tad vijñānārtham. In order to understand the spiritual value of life one must go to a guru. Gurum evābhigacchet. What is that guru? Śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham: "He is well learned in Vedic literature," and brahma-niṣṭham, "and firm faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

These are the two qualification of guru. He must know all the Vedic conclusion, śrotriyam; not that he has to read, but he must hear from the authoritative sources. Just like Arjuna is hearing from Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is the most authoritative personality. So similarly, everyone has to hear either from Kṛṣṇa or from His bona fide representative. That is śrotriyam. And the result will be that after becoming student of such bona fide guru, one will be firmly fixed up in God consciousness. That is the result, firmly fixed up.

Now, these boys from foreign countries . . . according to our geographical arrangement, they are foreigners. But we don't see anything foreign. We see every land belongs to Kṛṣṇa and everyone is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. So we have no such distinction. But still, from materialistic point of view, these boys and girls, they, three or four years ago they did not know what is this word Kṛṣṇa.

But now they are so perfectly devotee of Kṛṣṇa, and nobody can deviate them. If somebody says that, "You give up this Kṛṣṇa consciousness and take . . ." Now here is Śyāmasundara. His father is very, very rich man, young man. He is always canvassing him that—he is only son—that "You come, do business. You take millions of dollars, whatever you like." He is not going. There are many like that. They cannot give up this Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

And you know our Jagattāriṇī, wife of Bhūrijana, she was a theatrical girl and earning millions of dollars, but she has given up everything. You have seen his wife, you all, Bhūrijana's wife? She is a nice girl, educated, qualified. But she is satisfied. I asked her to go and marry Bhūrijana. She never saw her (him). She never saw her (him), what kind of husband she is going to accept. But simply on my word, she came, and she came from Los Angeles to Japan and got married.

Similarly, I am asking one girl—she is a French girl, Mandākinī—so I am asking her to go to Russia and marry one boy. She has never seen. So they obey in such a way. The Western boys and girls, they want to see and behave before marrying. But they are so obedient that without any consideration . . .

Because marriage or no marriage, that is not their consideration. The only consideration is how to please Kṛṣṇa and his representative. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya-pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151). Bhakti-latā-bīja. Bhakti is just like a creeper, and the seed of that creeper can be obtained by the mercy of guru and Kṛṣṇa. That is Vedic injunction.

yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
prakāśante mahātmanaḥ
(ŚU 6.23)

The Vedic, the knowledge, Vedic knowledge, becomes revealed to a person who has got unflinching faith in Kṛṣṇa and guru. This is the system.

So, what you have next?

Bhūrijana: Kīrtana.

Prabhupāda: All right.

Bhūrijana: So we are leaving today.

Prabhupāda: All right. (break) . . . many are Indian.

Guest: Chinese.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. They are tolerant?

Guest: Yes. They come from China. The kīrtana is something they know . . . (indistinct) . . . they like it because it's very bright.

Prabhupāda: Who has made the picture, this painting?

Devotee (2): It's Australian. Your servants in Australia.

Prabhupāda: Oh. Very nice picture. Who has done? What is his name?

Śyāmasundara: Vaibhavī?

Prabhupāda: Vaibhavī? Oh . . . (indistinct) . . . this is very fine.

Bhūrijana: When you were in Sydney last time, not this time, these were the pictures that they used, these two over here. And then they sent them to us.

Devotee: Guru Mahārāja is very attractive.

Prabhupāda: So have kīrtana. Yes. (break)

Śyāmasundara: We have one hour extra, because they've moved up . . . (break)

Prabhupāda: From?

Guest (2): Bombay.

Prabhupāda: Bombay.

Guest (2): The Hare Kṛṣṇa movement has started in the United States. Why did it start in the United States, rather than India?

Prabhupāda: Because the United States, they are our best customer. A businessman goes to a place . . . just like you have come here. Why you have come here? Wherever there is best possibility of doing your business, there you must go. I went to United States because I know these people are not poverty-stricken. And our Indian people, they are now, they have been trained to think like that:—they are poverty-stricken.

Actually, they are not poverty-stricken, but the leaders have educated them that, "You are all poverty-stricken." This is India's position. So far I knew that it would not be successful in India. The government will not help. The public is educated in a different way. They are after technology.

So . . . and "Familiarity breeds contempt." They say: "What is this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement? It is known to us since a long time. What effect it will have?" Many Indian students in foreign countries, they say: "Swāmījī, what will this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement will benefit us? We want technology." So that is the mentality of the Indians at the present moment. They have lost everything, and therefore they are beggars. They have lost their own culture, and therefore they are beggars. So I thought it wise that I shall go to a country where there is no poverty. They will learn. They have enough. For material enjoyment, they have got enough.

The material enjoyment means money and woman. That is, in America, it is lying on the street. As much as you like, you can take it. But they are disgusted with this material enjoyment. Therefore they are coming as hippies. They are coming from very rich family. Their fathers, their grandfathers, are very rich. At least,they belong to the richest nation. But they are not satisfied. They are not satisfied. That is the natural sequence. The Vedānta-sūtra says, athāto brahma jijñāsā. When one has satisfied his senses sufficiently, he is no longer interested in sense gratification.

Perhaps you know C. R. Das, the name of C. R. Das in Calcutta. In those days, fifty years ago, he was earning fifty thousand rupees per month, but he was not satisfied. And one day he and his wife were sitting together, and the wife questioned, "Why do you look so morose? You have got everything at your command. Everyone respects you. You have got money. Everything you have got—education, popularity. Still, why you are unhappy?" So he simply, by chance he saw one mendicant was passing on the street, a sādhu, beggar. So he said: "I want to become like him." He said, "I want to be a mendicant like him."

So there are many instances in our history. Just like Bhārata Mahārāja. He was young man, twenty-four years old, and emperor of the whole planet, young wife, king, everything. He left everything. Bhārata Mahārāja passed long, long ago. Buddha, Lord Buddha, he was also prince and very young, and he was surrounded with dancing girls. But as soon as he came out on the street, he saw one old man: "What is this?" "This is old man. Everyone has to become old like this." So he became immediately converted to a saintly person. "I must go and meditate and realize myself. Why shall I become old?" (break)

I accepted a new opportunities to preach it from everyone. That is my philosophy. And it has become successful. If I had taken this position from India . . . I was trying. In India also, I tried. I wrote Mahatma Gandhi that, "You are very respectable man, and people like you. You preach Bhagavad-gītā. You stand with your photograph; there is Bhagavad-gītā. Why don't you preach Bhagavad-gītā? Now politics is finished. You have got independence."

But this politics is so, I mean, sweet to these politicians, that until he was killed, he could not give up politics. Until he was killed. He was advocating nonviolence, but he was forced to die by violence. He wanted Hindu-Muslim unity. He was forced to accept partition of India. He was so much baffled, but still, he would not give up politics until he was killed. On the day of his death, in the morning, because he had so many letters, so many secretaries, so he said: "I am very much useless. I want to die." He said like this. And actually, in the evening he was killed. He was thinking that, "My next solace is only death." Because he could understand, "I have created simply problems. No problem I have solved. I have simply created problem." He is a sane man. He could understand it.

So similarly, everyone is creating simply problems, without solving . . . this United Nation, what they are doing for the last twenty years? Simply creating problem. So without Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there is no question of solving problem. That's a fact. Any sane man, any philosopher, any scientist may come, I shall convince him.

Guest (2): How many disciples do you now have, sir, in the U.S.?

Prabhupāda: You cannot expect many disciples, but still, there are two thousand. Because I have got so many conditions, and the fact is so difficult to understand, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They have forgotten Kṛṣṇa, they have forgotten God, and I am trying to make them Kṛṣṇa conscious. It is a very difficult job. I have to shed my blood three tons before I make one convinced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is my experience.I have to talk with him, especially these Europeans and Americans. They do not accept anything so blindly. They try to . . . I am always being questioned, even in my . . . (indistinct) . . . question, question, question. That's nice. Inquisitive, they want to know. So I give them answers. I have got four secretaries always with me. They are giving answers.

So to become Kṛṣṇa . . . especially in Europe and America, when I make this condition that, "You cannot have illicit sex, you cannot have intoxication, you cannot meat eat, er, you cannot eat meat, you cannot have gambling . . ." This is their daily affair. This is their life. Even Lord Zetland refused, "Oh, we cannot give up these things." So I am controlling them in this way. Still, they are coming. This is very difficult job. Still, there are many thousands, and they are so sincere that if I ask them that . . . this boy is going to Red China. I am sending him. You see? So I have asked them, "You go there. You go there." They go, even at the risk of life. Yes.

It is the duty of the Indians to spread this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, but they are sleeping very nicely. I am training these foreigners. They are doing this duty. It is the duty of the Indians. It is their culture. But they are satisfied only . . . if one young man gets a nice wife and a little bit money, oh, he says: "My life is successful." Therefore I . . . (indistinct) . . . I approached many gentlemen: "Please, you have got four sons. Give me one son. I shall make him a real Brāhmin. "Swāmījī, ye aj kal ye sab ho kar ke kya hoga?" ("Swāmījī, what will happen by doing all this in today's world?") He does not know the value. Therefore I left India, hopeless. And Kṛṣṇa has given me chance, very good chance. Now they are appreciating. When I go to India they become surprised, "Swāmījī, how you have done this thing?" This is the reason.

Guest (2): Your now based is in Los Angeles.

Prabhupāda: Yes. My headquarter is in Los Angeles. Now we have made very big headquarter in Bombay, Juhu, twenty thousand square yards. We are constructing a very nice temple there. And similarly, we have got another headquarter at . . . by pīṭha, in Lord Caitanya's birth site, Navadvīpa. There also we are constructing very big temple. It is eleven bighās. What is a bighā? About four acres.

Guest (2): What about England? London? How is your movement doing?

Prabhupāda: Yes, London is very . . . there is also. We have got very nice temple near British Museum, 7 Bury Place. And all Europeans, they come to see our temple—from Germany, from France. Because we have been advertised in cooperation with the Beatles. The Beatles, Beatles, the George Harrison. You do not know his name? He is very famous man. Yes. So we have produced some records in cooperation with George Harrison's organization. So because the records are produced through George Harrison, we have got a very, very big sale. You see? And that has advertised Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Temple, London.

So people come to see what is this Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Temple, out of interest. Because London, every day, thousands of visitors come in London. They have got visitors' buses also, charge nominal. So London is still important. From all parts of the world people come. So anyone who comes, they come to see our temple.

Guest (2): When you say, sir, you were advertised with the Beatles, do you have any connection with the Maharishi?

Prabhupāda: No.

Guest (2): No. What do you think of the Maharishi?

Prabhupāda: Why shall I speak of others? Then people will be angry. (laughter) Better not to touch this point. (break) At least, my position in foreign countries is far better than any svāmī's up to date. Vivekananda went there in America about eighty years ago, 1893. So Ramakrishna Mission has got about four or five centers, say within ten, in America. But I have got my centers in America and Europe, forty centers, and so many students. In Ramakrishna Mission you won't find so many American boys as followers, but we have got thousands of followers, all young men, young girls. So that is my hope, that even if I die—I am seventy-six now—these boys will conduct this movement. I am sure.

Guest (2): Where were you born?

Prabhupāda: I was born in Calcutta, 1896.

Guest (2): And what did you do?

Prabhupāda: Yes. I was ordinary man. That's all.

Guest (2): Did you work?

Prabhupāda: Yes. I worked as a manager of a chemical concern in my family life. I have got my family also, my wife and children, my grandchildren, in Calcutta. But I have nothing to do with them.

Guest (2): And when did you start on your . . .?

Prabhupāda: Yes. In 1950 practically, I left home.

Guest (2): You left Calcutta?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Say, for last twenty-two years.

Guest (2): And where did you go when you left Calcutta?

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Guest (2): When you left Calcutta, where did you go?

Prabhupāda: Yes. I retired in Vṛndāvana. Vṛndāvana you know?

Guest (2): Oh, yes.

Prabhupāda: So there I began to write books, and then when three books were finished I started for America. And there also I wrote many books, dozens of books. You have seen our books. Our Kṛṣṇa book is selling like anything in Europe and America. We are practically maintaining ourself by selling books. We have got our book sale all over the world, about twenty to twenty-five thousand rupees daily and we have to spend seven to eight lakhs of rupees monthly. In Los Angeles alone we spend $20,000 per month. In New York we spend $10,000 per month.

Guest (2): Doing what? How do you spend it?

Prabhupāda: We have to maintain our establishment, the temple, the Deity, so many devotees. In each center we have got at least twenty-five devotees, and at the most two hundred devotees. So their living costs, everything, by some way or other, Kṛṣṇa is giving us. But we have no fixed income, neither we have any bank balance.

Guest (2): In the minds of some people . . .

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Guest (2): In the minds of people, the sudden attraction of Western youth to Eastern religions . . .

Prabhupāda: No. It is not Eastern. That is a wrong conception. God is for everybody. Eastern people, when I speak of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they say: "What is this Kṛṣṇa? We know Kṛṣṇa. What we have to learn from Swāmījī?" "Familiarity breeds contempt." But in the Western countries, when you speak of Kṛṣṇa, they see the philosophy, they see the science, and become attracted. We, in the very beginning, we neglect: "Oh, what is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness?" Otherwise, there is no question of Western or Eastern.

Kṛṣṇa is for everyone. Kṛṣṇa is neither Western, neither Eastern. But Eastern, our, especially Indians, they have learned to reject. That is their education, immediately reject it. This is their new culture, to reject everything. At least Jawaharlal Nehru began like that, "Anything Indian is bad. Everything London-made is good." That was his philosophy. And if one European would go to see him, immediately admission. And if an Indian goes to see him, three days he has to wait.

So Jawaharlal made this impression that, "Everything Indian is bad, and anything made in London . . ." Because he was made in London. He was educated in London. So everything nice. Although in my household life I was doing some business in connection . . . I had to see Jawaharlal Nehru. So when he was common man, I went to his house, I saw it is completely Europeanized, although he is in khādi.

So his father, he hated Indian medicine. You see? Motilal Nehru. A doctor, his family physician, he told me. I was doing medicine business. So I introduced one preparation . . . (indistinct) . . . that was in a clay pot . . . (indistinct) . . . so doctor said personally, "If I prescribe your . . . (indistinct) . . . but Motilal Nehru says, 'Doctor, in case of medicine, please do not prescribe Indian.' " You see?

So this is our mentality. We have got all foreign mentality, but still, we are claiming that we have become independent. Not indepen . . . we are culturally conquered by the materialistic advancement of foreign countries. We have lost our own culture. This is our position.

Guest (2): Thank you so much. I'm sure the other gentleman . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: So many Indian svāmīs, they requested me to dress myself with coat-pants. I never agreed. You see all my pictures. They are all foreign pictures. So I never indulge this dress also. Why shall I take to coat-pant? What is use? Now my students, they are giving up coat-pant. And girls, they are taking to sārīs. There is now good demand for sārīs in Europe and America.

Bhūrijana: They were even telling me that here, that I should wear like a diplomat's clothes instead of dhotīs. They don't . . . they are ashamed.

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. So we can go now?

Śyāmasundara: It's seven-thirty. (end)