730723 - Conversation B - London
(Conversation with Mr. & Mrs. James Williams)
Mr. Williams: We were there last year, and I was there before, also.
Mr. Williams: It is an interesting place, isn't it? But there are . . .
Prabhupāda: There are big, big professors, but they said that there is no life after death.
Mr. Williams: Yes. They have no religion. On the whole they have no religion.
Prabhupāda: No, apart from religion, this is science. When you speak that there is soul and the soul transmigrates from one body to another, it has nothing to do with religion. It is a fact; it is a science. But people do not know it.
Mr. Williams: Yes, that is so true. Last year when we were in Russia we went to many monasteries, and the monasteries are attended by a large number of people.
Mr. Williams: And I was there before, in 1956. There were . . . one church, thirteen people went into the church on a Sunday.
Mr. Williams: But now the churches are full—not all of them, many are closed—but they have opened some of the churches again.
Mr. Williams: And in the monasteries, both outside Moscow, Zagorsk, and outside Leningrad, there were monasteries of an enormous size. There is in the monastery ground a vast estate. There are . . . there is a cathedral, Nevsky Prospekt, and Alexander Nevsky monastery at the end of the Nevsky Prospekt, and there you have a very large cathedral and twelve churches . . .
Mr. Williams: . . . in the grounds, and four places where people, famous people and unfamous people—people who are not all that famous, musicians and philosophers and so on—they have been buried there in the time of the czars.
Mr. Williams: And it is very interesting to see that. And we went into the monasteries and we find in the monasteries mostly old people, of course, and they say . . . do their chanting of their prayers . . .
Mr. Williams: . . . unlike the chanting that you hear in England from the old priests . . .
Mr. Williams: . . . who have louder voices, very melodious and everything else, but their voices are loud. But in . . . both in outside Moscow in Zagorsk, which is forty miles outside Moscow, and in the other monasteries we visited, their voices are very soft and gentle.
Mr. Williams: And they are speaking with so much feeling as they sing this song, with a voice that you can hardly hear. But you know that they are speaking these things, they are saying their prayers, and you notice that there are tears around their cheeks.
Mr. Williams: Bring back the memory of the past, and how times have changed, and what their fathers have taught them, and their mothers have taught them, and they have grown up and they've got old themselves. Because since the Revolution it is fifty-something—fifty-four, fifty-five years. Fifty-six years.
Prabhupāda: Nineteen . . . 1917.
Mr. Williams: Hmm?
Prabhupāda: Nineteen hundred and seventeen.
Mr. Williams: Nineteen hundred and seventeen would be what they call the October Revolution . . .
Mr. Williams: . . . which was in November, actually, because the dates were different in those days, thirteen days out. And it is fifty-six years. And we were very deeply moved, you know. When we heard these people, after Zagorsk especially, there were tears coming in our eyes as we watched them and saying their prayers, because they had their faith.
Mr. Williams: They had their feelings and they had their faith. They believe in religion. They believe in God.
Prabhupāda: Hmm. Ah, yes. They are being suppressed by the government.
Mr. Williams: Er, well at the moment, this time . . . 'cause when I was there before, I got the feeling that they did not like religion. The authorities would not allow people to go to churches, except the very old ones. They said they can go there. But now many churches have been opened.
Mr. Williams: We have been to some churches inside Leningrad.
Prabhupāda: When you went there?
Mr. Williams: Last year.
Prabhupāda: Last year, oh. So they have changed their policy.
Mr. Williams: Yes, it seems it's changed, because the previous time I went to Russia . . . I was invited to go to China . . .
Mr. Williams: . . . and I had to speak about . . . at the centenary of George Bernard Shaw's birth.
Mr. Williams: I knew George Bernard Shaw. And I went to Peking, and I traveled in various parts of China, and then I broke the journey in Siberia and went to Moscow.
Mr. Williams: And I found that in Russia there was a difference from the feeling in China.
Mr. Williams: The Chinese authorities have a very great interest in and affection for and desire to help the peasants. But you don't have that in Russia.
Mr. Williams: The peasants do their work, and they are detached from the authorities. But in China they are not. They are much closer to the authorities.
Mr. Williams: And then I also found in Russia at that time, in 1956, there were people who were living in . . . six families in one room, at that time.
Prabhupāda: Six families?
Mr. Williams: Some cases, yes. Six others, with three families in one room. But now, last year when we were there, we found that they have built a lot of new buildings.
Prabhupāda: In Russia?
Mr. Williams: In Russia, yes. In Moscow, and in Leningrad, in all the big cities—very, very fine buildings. And if there is a family of father and mother and a daughter or a son, they would have one room. And if the daughter is married, they would have two rooms. And they would have a little kitchen, and they are given . . . I said to them, "Now, what do you pay for this room? What is the rent?"
Mr. Williams: They worked it out in rubles. It works out at seven and sixpence per week. And I said, "Well, what about the rates?" They said: "What are rates?" I said: "Don't you pay rates?" They said no. "What about heating?" They don't pay for the heating. It is there; it is given, is supplied. But we were noticing that . . .
Mrs. Williams: And also telephone.
Mr. Williams: And telephone, they have telephone supplied free.
Mr. Williams: And any telephone call inside the town is not chargeable. Outside the town you have got to pay.
Prabhupāda: Hmm. Good facilities.
Mr. Williams: Hmm.
Mrs. Williams: But in Russia today, the people are beginning now to want a religion. After the Revolution . . .
Mrs. Williams: . . . the only religion was to establish the new regime, and not to think about anything spiritual.
Mrs. Williams: But now that the regime is, um, a created thing, and they have their plans for their economic . . .
Mrs. Williams: . . . and domestic development, the younger people are again turning to things that are more spiritual.
Mrs. Williams: They are very interested, of course, in the arts, and perhaps they have their outlet for something beyond what the regime gives them, by participating in these arts and enjoying them. But there is a general returning, or a gradual returning, to more spiritual things.
Prabhupāda: Hmm. That must. This is natural, because we are spiritual identity. We are spiritual being. So without spiritual food, we cannot live. That is not possible.
Mr. Williams: True. But you see, they are doing other things there. It is interesting to see . . . to go, as I have been to Russia last year, we noticed changes have been taking place.
Mr. Williams: We went to an opera, a ballet, and at the ballet, it was a modern ballet, and there were some girls, two American . . . two Russian girls sitting alongside a South American woman. She was there by chance, and she heard us talking English, and so she addressed my wife and said, "These two girls hear me talk English and would like to talk to you." They were Russian girls, aged fourteen, two girls in school . . .
Mr. Williams: . . . together. And they spoke English extremely well, with hardly any accent. (to wife) Would you agree?
Mrs. Williams: Yes, very well.
Mr. Williams: Very, very well indeed.
Mr. Williams: So my wife said: "Where did you learn English?" They said: "We are taught English in all our schools now."
Mrs. Williams: They have to learn English.
Mr. Williams: They have to learn English.
Mr. Williams: You see that's why Brezhnev goes to America, because he now relies on the West.
Mr. Williams: Especially one of the big countries of the West, like America.
Mrs. Williams: They can no longer support themselves. They cannot support themselves with agriculture and the commodities that the Western world and even Russia now comes to expect. They just . . . they cannot supply these things.
Mrs. Williams: And so now they find that they must depend on the Western world and to work with the Western world. Otherwise, they are not going to have the standard of living which they wish to obtain.
Prabhupāda: May . . .
Mrs. Williams: So now there must be some kind of integration.
Mr. Williams: You see, they have a very big future; it will take time.
Mr. Williams: They have a big future because the land is an expanse of 7,000 miles. If you take the measure from here to New York, it is 3,000 miles across water.
Mr. Williams: Across Russia . . . across America is 3,000 miles to Los Angeles. That makes 6,000 miles from here. And you double 6,000 miles, you still . . .
Prabhupāda: Atlantic, Atlantic only 3,000 miles? Atlantic?
Mr. Williams: Three thousand miles, from here to America, to New York. From here to New York, from London to New York, is 3,000 miles.
Mr. Williams: And from New York to Los Angeles . . .
Prabhupāda: Another three . . .
Mr. Williams: . . . three thousand miles. That is 6,000 miles. But you measure those 6,000 miles, 3,000 which doesn't belong to anybody, is the Atlantic . . .
Mr. Williams: . . . you still have a thousand miles of Russian land. Seven thousand miles of land, Russia has got.
Mr. Williams: But they haven't developed a lot of it, yet.
Mrs. Williams: Because the climate doesn't allow.
Mrs. Williams: For many, many months the whole of the country is under ice, and the change is very dramatic and very swift. Because they can go from winter, the depths of winter, to . . . within a matter of days, into the very heat of summer.
Mrs. Williams: And therefore their crops haven't the opportunity to germinate.
Mrs. Williams: And when they eventually get some growth, the heat becomes so intense that the sun burns them, and so they must go through other . . .
Prabhupāda: Then what is the use of such land? If you cannot grow anything . . .
Mr. Williams: Well they do; they do to some extent.
Mr. Williams: But they have droughts. That is why they lost a lot of corn.
Prabhupāda: That means chance. It is chance.
Mrs. Williams: It is chance, yes. It cannot be a planned agricultural policy.
Prabhupāda: No. Then what is the use of such land?
Mr. Williams: But they will develop, because they are trying all sorts of things, you see, in Tashkent and Samarkand and places like that.
Mr. Williams: There are earthquakes, and the houses fall down and people get killed. But now I see that they have arranged a seometrical thing, one of these measurement things . . .
Mrs. Williams: Measurement thing? Oh—seismograph.
Mr. Williams: Seismograph.
Mrs. Williams: Yes.
Mr. Williams: They are building these things under the houses, so that the signal will come a few hours before the earthquake comes. And then they're ready for people to leave these houses.
Prabhupāda: After all, they have to struggle against nature's onslaught.
Mr. Williams: All the time. All the time.
- daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī
- mama māyā duratyayā
- (BG 7.14)
So that is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā . . .
Mr. Williams: Hmm.
Prabhupāda: . . . that nature's onslaught is very, very strong, and we have to struggle against those onslaughts.
Mr. Williams: Quite.
Prabhupāda: This is the position of material life.
Mr. Williams: Hmm.
- daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī
- mama māyā duratyayā
It is a very, very difficult. So:
- mām eva ye prapadyante
- māyām etāṁ taranti te
- (BG 7.14)
This can be counteracted only by developing God consciousness. Otherwise it is not possible.
Mr. Williams: Hmm.
Prabhupāda: The chance can be changed, if God desires.
Mr. Williams: Quite.
Prabhupāda: Yes. If God desires, the desert can become a fertile land; a fertile land can become a desert. That is happening by nature's own way. Ah. So people have no knowledge now about God consciousness. They have forgotten. They have got little sentiment, but there is science, it is a science: yad vijñāna-samanvitam.
(to devotee) Find out that verse. Jñānaṁ te sa-vijñānaṁ pravakṣyāmy anasūyave (BG 7.2). Find out this verse, jñānaṁ te sa-vijñānaṁ pravakṣyāmy anasūyave.
Mr. Williams: I've got a copy of your book, sent me.
Prabhupāda: Bhagavad-gītā As It Is?
Mr. Williams: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Ah. (to devotee) You can come here, sit down here. Yes. Find out this verse: jñānaṁ te sa-vijñānaṁ pravakṣyāmy anasūyave. Pradyumna:
- jñānaṁ te 'haṁ sa-vijñānam
- idaṁ vakṣyāmy aśeṣataḥ
- yaj jñātvā neha bhūyo 'nyaj
- jñātavyam avaśiṣyate
- (BG 7.2)
"I shall now declare unto you in full this knowledge, both phenomenal and noumenal, by knowing which there shall remain nothing further to be known."
Prabhupāda: Hmm. What is the purport?
Pradyumna: "Complete knowledge includes knowledge of the phenomenal world and the spirit behind it. The source of both of them is transcendental knowledge. The Lord wants to explain the above-mentioned system of knowledge because Arjuna is Kṛṣṇa's confidential devotee and friend. In the beginning of the Fourth Chapter this explanation was given by the Lord, and it is again confirmed here: complete knowledge can be achieved only by a devotee of the Lord directly from the Lord in disciplic succession."
"Therefore one should be intelligent enough to know the source of all knowledge, who is the cause of all causes and the only object for meditation in all types of yoga practices. When the cause of all causes becomes known, then everything knowable becomes known, and nothing remains unknown. The Vedas say, yasmin vijñāte sarvam eva vijñatam bhavanti."
Prabhupāda: Hmm. Yasmin vijñāte sarvam eva vijñatam bhavanti (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3): simply by knowing the Supreme, everything is known. Everything becomes known. Yasmin vijñāte sarvam eva vijñatam bhavanti. What is the next verse?
- manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu
- kaścid yatati siddhaye
- yatatām api siddhānāṁ
- kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ
- (BG 7.3)
"Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth."
Prabhupāda: Hmm. So . . .
Mr. Williams: You've done a wonderful work through the translation of these things, to the extent that you have done it, a thousand pages of it.
Mr. Williams: And I have been reading this in the last few days.
Mr. Williams: But I got the book on Monday, so I have not had time to read as much as I wanted to, but I shall. I'll read the whole thing.
Mr. Williams: And you have got the translations there.
Mr. Williams: The word-for-word translation.
Prabhupāda: Transliteration also. So you can chant the verse also by roman transliteration. So our proposition is the sufferings of the people, four kinds of sufferings . . . there are three kinds of sufferings, material miseries: ādhyātmika, ādhibhautika, ādhidaivika. Ādhyātmika means concerning the body and the mind there are sufferings—everyone has experienced. Concerning the body and mind there are sufferings, and there are sufferings imposed by other living entity. This is called ādibhautika.
And suffering imposed by the natural phenomena—just like you say earthquake; the covering by snow—so people have no hand in checking these things. There are three kinds of miserable condition, and we are spirit soul, we are struggling how to be happy without these sufferings. This is struggle for existence. What do you think? Is that all right?
Mr. Williams: It sounds very good to me. I think it is so.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So these sufferings . . . you can adjust some sufferings by material adjustment, but the . . . it is not possible to get out of the sufferings completely in material existence. That is not possible. Therein Bhagavad-gītā says, at least this janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9), you can adjust by so-called education, so-called scientific method, adjust these three kinds of miserable condition. But ultimately you have to submit to the four principles of sufferings, namely birth, death, old age and disease.
That we have to submit. So the modern scientists, modern philosophers, what is called, altruist, philanthropist, politicians, writers, thinkers, they are all trying to mitigate the sufferings. But they have set aside the four principal sufferings: birth, death, old age and disease. Nobody has proposed that, "We can give you relief from birth, death, old age and disease." Is there any such thing? That, we can get out of all these sufferings by spiritual emancipation. That is possible.
So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to give relief to the people from these sufferings. Now how it is done, how it is possible to do, that is a detailed matter, but our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant for this purpose: to give relief from all sufferings. And that is possible to get, utilizing this human form of life. In other form of life—cats and dogs, animal—there is no possibility. So the human form of life is especially meant for getting out of all these sufferings, provided he takes education, acts accordingly. Then, after giving up this body, he does not accept any more material body, which is subjected to all these sufferings. He remains in a spiritual body and enters into the spiritual world and lives eternally, blissfully. This is our proposal. Hmm? What do you think?
Mr. Williams: I think it is very comforting the way you placed it. I think it is.
Prabhupāda: This is possible. Every enlightened gentleman, thoughtful man, they should take, they should study this philosophy and science scrutinizingly, understanding it. Just like you are an author: you can contribute to the people such knowledge, and it will be tremendous benefit for them. Otherwise, if we produce some fiction, it may be for some moment some so-called pleasure, but actually literature should be presented in which people can get relief from the sufferings of this material existence. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:
- tad-vāg-visargo janatāgha-viplavo
- yasmin prati-ślokam abaddhavaty api
- nāmāny anantasya yaśo 'ṅkitāni yat
- gṛṇanti śṛṇvanti gāyanti sādhavaḥ
- (SB 1.5.11)
Transcendental literature giving spiritual light, even it is not very correctly written from literary point of view, still, such literature is adored by sādhavaḥ, sādhu, saintly person, God conscious person. They hear such literature, śṛṇvanti; gāyanti, they chant; and they accept. It has nothing to do with the literary beauty. It may be written in broken language—it doesn't matter. And just contrary to this there is another verse . . . what is that? Hmm,
- na yad vacaś citra-padaṁ harer yaśo
- pragṛṇīta karhicit
- tad vāyasaṁ tīrtham uśanti mānasā
- (SB 1.5.10)
Hmm? Tad vāyasaṁ tīrtham uśanti man . . .
(aside) You can find out this verse.
Na yad vacaś citra-padaṁ harer yaśo. You can . . . here, you can get here. It is in the First Canto, Third Chapter, I think. Na yad vacaś citra-padaṁ harer yaśo.
Mrs. Williams: But there are still many millions of people who have no homes, no food, and they are visited by sickness and hunger, and they have no hope. They feel they have no hope to live out their lives in any kind of human comfort. And how are these people to spiritually think themselves out of their physical misery?
Prabhupāda: So let them come to us. We shall give them food, shelter, everything.
Mrs. Williams: But people in . . . the poor Indian people in South America . . .
Prabhupāda: Hmm? Call them. All those, you are referring some class of men, let all of them come to us; we shall provide them.
Mrs. Williams: With their spiritual security.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Both material and spiritual. We shall supply them material food, clothing, shelter, everything, and give them spiritual enlightenment. Call them.
Mrs. Williams: So you must spread yourself across the world.
Prabhupāda: Yes, we are spreading.
Mr. Williams: You are doing it?
Prabhupāda: We are doing that. We are calling, "Come, everyone." We have no such problem. Just take this house. George Harrison has given us such a big house. We are living comfortably, we are also eating, we are also sleeping—we have no concern; we have no problem. It is practical, you can see. You can stay with us and see that we have no such problem.
Mrs. Williams: But it is for a minority, not for a majority.
Prabhupāda: Well, let the majority come to us. Why do they not come?
Mr. Williams: It will take time. (laughter)
Prabhupāda: When we invite them, "Come here," no, they will not come.
Mrs. Williams: But you haven't loaves and fishes. You cannot at this time . . .
Prabhupāda: But we cannot supply fishes; that is not possible.
Mrs. Williams: So you can teach them and you can help them to be . . . to have spiritual comfort, when their stomachs are empty.
Prabhupāda: Well, stomach I shall give food. It is not this . . .
Mrs. Williams: You will give food.
Mr. Williams: That is part of the . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes. We are giving food. Do you think that rice, dāl and then loaves, then sweetmeats, sweet rice, fruits—so many things we are supplying—they are not food? We have to go by their dictation, that I must supply them meat, fish, eggs and wine? No. That we cannot do.
Mrs. Williams: No, no, no, no, no. But the basic necessities and the goodness of food you can offer them.
Prabhupāda: Yes, we can supply nice food, healthy food. You see they are eating, these boys. They have given up. They don't smoke, they don't take tea, they don't take coffee even. Simple food, or vegetable, grains, milk, fruits—they are keeping their health very nicely.
Mrs. Williams: And do they divorce themselves from all physical labor?
Mrs. Williams: Do they take themselves away from all physical labor? Because if they had the opportunity to make and to cultivate for themselves . . .
Prabhupāda: We do that.
Mrs. Williams: You do that? Ah.
Prabhupāda: We do that. Yes. We cultivate our own food, yes. We have got . . .
(someone enters the room)
(aside) Hare Kṛṣṇa.
We have got a place (indistinct aside) . . . We have got a place in New Virginia. (West Virginia)
Mrs. Williams: In . . .? New Virginia?
Prabhupāda: Yes, we producing our food. Actually, we have created this uncomfortable situation. Human being, anywhere, any part of the world, if they have got land and the animal, cows, all economic question can be solved. Now here, there is much land vacant. They are not utilized for producing food; they are keeping cows for slaughter. This is their business: they are utilizing land for keeping some cows for being slaughtered. So if you go on committing sinful life, how you can be happy? Huh? Now in the Christian Bible it is clearly said: "Thou shall not kill." Why they are killing? Why they are killing?
Mr. Williams: Hmm.
Prabhupāda: Who is Christian? It is very difficult to find out a Christian. So people have become godless, faithless—they must suffer. This is nature's way. Daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī, mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). Even you want to help him, he cannot be happy. Suppose a diseased man, he is suffering from dysentery, so if you think, "Oh, let me supply him food," so he cannot digest food. So one who is condemned to suffer, you cannot give him any relief. You cannot give him any relief; this is futile attempt.
And nature's way is as soon as people will become demonic, godless, they should be put in different kinds of misera . . . already there is miserable condition, and when they become more and more sinful, they are put into more and more miserable condition. How you can help them? Now here we are asking everybody that, "Come here: take your shelter, take your food, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and be happy." But who is coming? Eh? Many men come here; after one day, two days they go away, because they cannot get tea, they cannot get cigarette, they cannot get meat. Fly away, immediately.
Mrs. Williams: Some people are born physically, but they are not born spiritually ever.
Prabhupāda: Then let them learn how to live spiritually. Therefore this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is there. Why we are opening so many centers? We are inviting, "Come on, live with us, learn what is spiritual life." So how we can help them? We can give shelter immediately in this house at least two hundred men. Let them come, live with us. But they will not come. As soon as they will hear there is no tea, there is no coffee, there is no cigarette, there is no meat—huh?—there is no illicit sex: hah, immediately go away. That's all. Otherwise we can invite, "Come on." Huh? We are depending; we are not anxious. We are depending on Kṛṣṇa. Huh? We are living here, at least fifty men. We do not know what we will eat next day—we do not know; we have no such provision—but we are not dying out of starvation. We are eating, we are sleeping, we are having our kīrtana, our worship, eh, study of this literature—everything. So we have to believe. Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ (BG 10.10) . . . what is that?
- teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ
- yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham
- (BG 9.22)
(aside) Find out . . .teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ . . .
(to Indian guest) You are coming from?
Indian man: Calcutta.
Prabhupāda: Calcutta. Bengali?
Indian man: No.
Indian man: (indistinct Hindi)
Prabhupāda: Oh, you are Mota's son?
Indian man: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Ohhh, very good. You . . . where you have come? When you have come here?
Indian man: Three days back.
Prabhupāda: Where you are staying?
Indian man: In a hotel.
Prabhupāda: In a hotel. You can come here. Your father told me.
Indian man: Yes, it is too far from activity site.
Prabhupāda: Ah, your father came to me, so I told him that, "We have got sufficient place. Both your son and daughter-in-law may come and live with us." So I am very glad to see you. Hmm. (to devotee) Read that.
- ananyāś cintayanto māṁ
- ye janāḥ paryupāsate
- teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ
- yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham
- (BG 9.22)
"But those who worship Me with devotion, meditating on My transcendental form, to them I carry what they lack and preserve what they have."
Prabhupāda: Yes. He takes responsibility. He takes responsibility. He says. And this is practical. We are simply concerned with Kṛṣṇa consciousness, so we have no anxiety what to get food or how to live. Kṛṣṇa gives us. Just like He has given us this place. We never attempted, neither have we money to purchase such a big property. Huh? But Kṛṣṇa has given us. Similarly everywhere—hundreds, two hundred, five hundred men living in our center, and we have no concern.
Mrs. Williams: You are pouring your faith . . .
Mrs. Williams: . . . into Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: That's it.
Mrs. Williams: And Kṛṣṇa is giving you . . .
Mrs. Williams: . . . what you have to have to sustain . . .
Prabhupāda: Actually He is giving everyone, even one has no faith. Just like government: anyone, a citizen who has no faith in the government, has committed criminal activities, he is also supplied food by the government. Is it not? In the prison house. So Kṛṣṇa, God, is supplying food to everyone. That is already arranged. He is supplying food to the elephant, he is supplying food to the ant. The elephant requires so much food at a time. But there are thousands and millions of elephants in African jungle. Who is supplying food them? They are not dying of starvation. Huh? Have you seen any bird and beast has died out of starvation?
Mr. Williams: No.
Prabhupāda: Huh? So there are 8,000,400 species of different forms of life. Huh? Human life, human form of life, is very, very small quantity, only 400,000's. Huh? So there are 8,400,000 different forms of life. If God can supply 8,000,000 forms of life with their food, He cannot supply food to the 400,000? Why you are so much anxious about your food? This is wrong conception.
Mrs. Williams: I asked, not because I am anxious, but I asked to hear what you have to say.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that I have to say, that we have got full faith in God, and He supplies everything. He supplies to the nondevotees, why not to the devotees, who has dedicated their life for God? That is the Vedic information.
- nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām
- eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān
- (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13)
This is description.
Mrs. Williams: (aside her husband) Do you understand?
Prabhupāda: This is Sanskrit.
Mr. Williams: No, I don't understand.
Prabhupāda: The Sanskrit, yes. So I will explain: that God means He is also a person, like you and me. So He is one person and we are many living entities, nityo nityānāṁ. He is the chief, He is the chief person, Supreme Person. We are all persons, and He is the chief person. Now what is the difference between this Supreme Person and this many person? The difference is that eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān: that one is supplying all the necessities of this plural number. So they are being maintained, and He is maintainer. That is the difference.
Mrs. Williams: He is the divine creator of everything.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like father: father might have ten children, so he is giving food to all the children. So he is the supreme father; we are all children. Why He shall not give?
Mr. Williams: Hmm.
Prabhupāda: Even good son or bad son, the father is equal. But if we become good—that means if we become obedient to the father—that is success of life. So our endeavor should be how to become faithful to God. We haven't got to ask Him for our food. He is supplying, and He will supply. Our business is how to become faithful to God. That is our business. Because being not being faithful, we are put into this material world. As soon as we become faithful, we get relief from this material existence: tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma mām eti kaunteya (BG 4.9).
(aside) Find out this, janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ. Everything is explained there.
Mrs. Williams: If you value something that is gold, and you want it, and you don't have it, then you are unhappy. But if the gold is of no value to you, you don't want it and you are happy without it.
Prabhupāda: No, God is good. We do not know what is good. God is good. We . . .
Mr. Williams: Gold.
Mrs. Williams: Gold, gold, gold. No, I think . . .
Prabhupāda: Oh, gold.
Mrs. Williams: Gold
Mrs. Williams: Someone says: "I will not be happy unless I have this thing."
Mrs. Williams: And this thing is not attainable, so they are not happy without it. But if they can teach themselves that the material thing is valueless . . .
Prabhupāda: Ah. That we are teaching . . .
Mrs. Williams: . . . then they are happy without it.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That we are teaching, that you do not know what is that gold that will make you happy. That we are presenting. That verse was, that . . . yasmin vijñāte sarvam evaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3). If you make your goal God, and then you will be happy. That is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇu (SB 7.5.31). They do not know what is the goal of life. The goal of life is to obtain favor of Viṣṇu. Durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ: they are trying to be happy by material adjustment, and people are being misled. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānā. And misleaders, so-called politicians, philosophers, and their . . . they are misleading, that "You do this, you will be happy. You do this . . ."
They do not know, even the so-called teachers and philosophers, they do not know what is the goal of life, and they are giving misdirection to these people. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānā. Just like a blind man, he is trying to lead other blind men. How he can help? He does not know himself what is the goal of life. There is a defect. Some blind men, they are trying to lead other blind men. Therefore you find in Russia sometimes revolution; again they are coming to their original position. (chuckles) This is going on. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānā. A blind man, "Come on this side, come on this side," and when they come, it is altered: "No, no, no, it is not. Come this side, come this side." (laughter) This is going on. But they do not know what is the goal of life. And this is goal of life.
Mr. Williams: The goal of life directs the mind to the spiritual and to God.
Mr. Williams: And the goal of life emerges of . . . there is branches emerge from that faith in God, and from the spiritual attitude of mind and feeling.
Mr. Williams: You then have to expand along the ways that God would wish—namely to think about others, to be kind to others, to help others and so on. Isn't that true?
Prabhupāda: No, God does not say that you be kind to others. God is sufficient Himself, He does not require your help.
Mr. Williams: He doesn't.
Mr. Williams: No, we have to try and . . .
Prabhupāda: You are created. You have created this conception that, "If I don't help him, then he will die." If you could help him . . . you can help him with God consciousness, awakening his God consciousness. That is real help. If you think that, "I shall making happy by material supply," it is not possible. It is not possible.
Mr. Williams: Hmm.
Prabhupāda: It will be failure. It is failure everywhere.
Mr. Williams: Hmm.
Prabhupāda: Just like your . . . not your; American people. I was talking in 1965, one sannyāsī, Ramakrishna Mission. So the gentleman told me frankly that, "You are taking so much money from America for daridra-nārāyaṇa-sevā, for feeding the poor. But when we go to India we see all poor man lying on the street and footpath. What you have done?" So this Ramakrishna Mission who the same: to feed the poor, to make them happy. They are working for one hundred years, but what they have done? What they have done? And who has done? Everyone speaks like that, big, big words that, "I shall help the poor. I shall make the unhappy happy." But who has done it? Nobody can do it. If nature has put him into trouble, you have no power to amend it. Just like a person who is condemned to death by the state law: you cannot help. You cannot help; it is not possible. Can you? Similarly, if one is condemned, how you can help, if he is condemned by God? Tvad tanu-bhṛtāṁ upekṣitānām (SB 7.9.19).
So this is a science one has to learn. You don't waste your time by so-called philanthropic work. You cannot help; this is not possible. If you want to help any people, just be yourself Kṛṣṇa conscious, and try to help others to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. That is real help. Otherwise, you cannot help; it is not possible. This is the best help to the human society: to awaken their Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is the best help. Para-upakāra, this is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission. He asked every Indian:
- bhārata-bhūmite manuṣya janma haila yāra
- janma sārthaka kari' kara para-upakāra
- (CC Adi 9.41)
This is the Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission, that anyone who has taken birth in India, he should make his life successful first, and then distribute the knowledge all over the world. That is His mission. Because this Kṛṣṇa consciousness understanding, still India is so fallen, still there is. (break)
Mr. Williams: . . . returned to England for my studies, and then after that I went back again to India. After, after . . .
Prabhupāda: (indistinct aside)
Mr. Williams: After my being educated in London, in History, I went back to India, and I joined a newspaper there called The Englishman.
Prabhupāda: The Englishman, yes.
Mr. Williams: And when I got there, I found that I was appointed assistant editor of The Englishman.
Mr. Williams: I was one of four assistant editors.
Prabhupāda: What is your age now?
Mr. Williams: Huh?
Prabhupāda: What is your age now?
Mr. Williams: What is my age now?
Mr. Williams: I am seventy-seven.
Prabhupāda: Oh. (laughter)
Mrs. Williams: You are a junior. (laughs)
Prabhupāda: No, I am also seventy-seven.
Mr. Williams: You are two months older than me.
Prabhupāda: My birth date is 1896.
Mr. Williams: 1896? Well, I was born in 1895, so I am older than you. (laughter) And I then went to Calcutta, and I joined this newspaper.
Mr. Williams: I was made assistant editor, and I disagreed with the policy of that paper, because that paper was, as The Englishman, it was for showing how the English should rule the Indians.
Mr. Williams: And I was against that. I said, "This is the country of the Indians. It is not for us to . . . (indistinct)"
Prabhupāda: Therefore there is . . .
Mr. Williams: "It is for us to restore the country to them."
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is very nice.
Mr. Williams: And the editor did not agree with me, and I refused to write any articles . . .
Prabhupāda: Therefore British Empire failed.
Mr. Williams: Hmm?
Prabhupāda: British Empire failed on this shortsighted policy. They wanted to rule all over the world . . .
Mr. Williams: That's right.
Prabhupāda: . . . for the British people, not for the people. Therefore it failed.
Mr. Williams: I said to the editor, "I'm sorry, I can't write articles that are attacking Indians. It is their country, and I am on their side." So I then found that I wanted to go and do some reporting, and he would not allow it.
Mr. Williams: He says: "The Indians must do their own reporting." I said: "I am born in India. What are you talking about?"
Indian man: (laughs)
Mr. Williams: And anyhow, I then set out on my own.
Mr. Williams: And the paper, The Englishman, was attacking a paper called the Amrita Bazar Patrika.
Mr. Williams: Motilal . . .
Mr. Williams: . . . Gosh was the editor . . . (laughter)
Prabhupāda: His nephew came yesterday.
Mr. Williams: Really?
Revatīnandana: Two days ago, his grandson was here.
Mr. Williams: So I wandered around. He was living somewhere . . . His office was somewhere in the Harrison Road, near . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: No, their office was in Bagh Bazar.
Mr. Williams: Hmm.
Prabhupāda: Bagh Bazar.
Indian man: Bagh Bazar.
Mr. Williams: What do you call it?
Prabhupāda: Bagh Bazar.
Mrs. Williams: Bagh Bazar.
Indian man: Near Shyam Bazar.
Mr. Williams: Near Shyam Bazar. Yes.
Mr. Williams: And I went there, and I went up . . .
Prabhupāda: I think he lived in Shyam Bazar, not Harrison Road.
Mr. Williams: No?
Prabhupāda: There was a stable of the Tramways company.
Mr. Williams: Well, I went there when he was sitting there on the floor.
Prabhupāda: No, you said . . .
Mrs. Williams: When you were born.
Prabhupāda: . . . when you were born, you said underneath there were horses. So in Shyam Bazar depot, we, in our childhood we saw there was the tramcar was drawn by horses. So they had different stables. In the Shyam Bazar there was a stable, I remember.
Mr. Williams: Yes, I see. So I went down into this place, it is from Harrison Road . . . was it off Harrison Road? It is such a long time ago.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Harrison Road is very long, from Howrah Bridge.
Indian man: From Howrah Station to Sealdah Road, that is Harrison Road.
Mr. Williams: That is Harrison Road. Yes, yes, that I know. I know that. And I went to the place, and I went up the stairs, and Motilal Gosh was sitting on the floor . . .
Mr. Williams: . . . as one would. And I sent my name in, because I wasn't allowed in, and I gave my name and I had a card, as a man who was attached to a newspaper. And it was handed to Motilal Gosh, and Motilal Gosh sent the card back and said he wanted to do nothing with me.
Indian man: (laughs)
Mr. Williams: So I went to the door and I greeted him like this. And I said: "I have come to talk to you," and he just looked at me. And I sat on the floor with him, and we talked a great deal about all sorts of things, and he could see from the way I was interested in India and the people of India and the future of India. Then the next morning he wrote a big article on the front page, saying that I had been to him and we talked, and my editor was furious. Well, the editor didn't do anything to me.
Mrs. Williams: But you were very young at the time.
Mr. Williams: I was very young—what twenty, nineteen years old?
Mr. Williams: And then I developed by taking charge of various things. But I refused to write anything against India.
Mr. Williams: And the editor then had made me his chief assistant.
Mr. Williams: And he came to England when I was in charge, and two or three days after he left for England—no airlines . . .
Prabhupāda: Which paper? That Englishman?
Mr. Williams: The Englishman.
Mr. Williams: I then, when he had turned his back, and he went away to England, Motilal Nehru . . .
Prabhupāda: Motilal Nehru, yes.
Mr. Williams: The father of Nehru . . .
Prabhupāda: The father, yes.
Mr. Williams: . . . had just come out of jail.
Mr. Williams: And I wrote to him, and I said: "We have said a lot of things . . ."
Prabhupāda: He had a paper also, in Allahabad.
Mr. Williams: He had, but then I wanted him to write . . .
Prabhupāda: Independence, or something like that.
Mr. Williams: Yes, and I wanted him to write for me.
Mr. Williams: So I wrote and said that, "I am now in charge of The Englishman for a few months, and we have written the English viewpoint—the paper has—but I would like for you to express the Indian viewpoint."
Mr. Williams: And he wrote to me. He was living in Ballygunge.
Prabhupāda: Ah. Motilal Nehru.
Mr. Williams: If not Ballygunge, somewhere near there. I think it was Ballygunge.
Prabhupāda: Maybe, yes.
Mr. Williams: Hmm?
Indian man: I don't know.
Mr. Williams: You don't know. And he wrote . . .
Prabhupāda: Ballygunge, there is a place.
Indian man: There is in Ballygunge a place, yes.
Prabhupāda: There is a place. Yes.
Mr. Williams: Yes. He was living there, I think, and he wrote to me . . . (indistinct) . . . I think it was at Ballygunge, and he wrote to me to say will I come and see him. So I went to see him, and we talked quite a bit. And he wrote . . . he agreed to write for me six articles from the Indian point of view in The Englishman paper, which is an Englishman's paper and anti-Indian. And the article appeared.
There was no air service in those days, and when the paper arrived in England, the editor was furious. He sent a telegram, and he caught the next ship and came back to India. And he told me that I had no business to do this. I said: "I was editor in your absence, and that's the way I look at things."
Mr. Williams: And I realized that I would be sacked at any time.
Mr. Williams: But he didn't sack me. All he said was that, "I am stopping this series."
Mr. Williams: I said: "How are you going to stop it?" I said: "I gave him a contract to write six, and he has only written two so far." (laughter) "He has got to do the other four." And they carried it; they had to carry it.
Mr. Williams: And that was that. But you know this episode of mine, I forgot completely through the years, but I have met Nehru's sister, who was the . . .
Prabhupāda: Vijaya Lakshmi.
Mr. Williams: Hmm. Mrs . . . what is her name again?
Indian man: Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit.
Mr. Williams: Yes, that's right. And I only met her the once. And she was . . . she had a high position here on behalf of Nehru. What was she?
Prabhupāda: She was Ambassador.
Indian man: High Commissioner.
Mr. Williams: High Commissioner, that's right. And when I was at a lunch party and I was introduced to her with other people there, she came and sat next to me at the lunch table.
Mr. Williams: And she said: "I wanted to meet you." She said: "I have read some of the things that you have written," and she says: "and I am editing my father's book of letters," and she says: "There are references to you in the book." I couldn't understand it. I said: "Why should your father write about me?" So she said, "It's because you used articles from him." And then it came back to me all these years later. Well, that's it.
Mr. Williams: So I always campaigned for the freedom for India.
Mr. Williams: I have the same attitude towards countries that belong to other people. It belongs to them, and it should be theirs.
Prabhupāda: You are very liberal minded.
Mr. Williams: Well, that is only fair, isn't it, when you realize it's only natural . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes.
Mr. Williams: Why should we take a country over from other people?
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is Vedic injunction: mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam, tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā (ISO 1). You should be satisfied what is given to you by God. You should not encroach upon others' property. That is Vedic way of life. It is very perfect life. Why should I encroach upon others' thing? I should be satisfied with my own things, what God has given to me. This is Vedic way of life. Actually, everything belongs to God, so just like everything belongs to father and father gives something to his son, he should be satisfied what is given by the father. He should not encroach upon other brothers' property. This is the way of life.
Mrs. Williams: You know you say that this house was given to you by George Harrison, and this is quite interesting, because the Beatles were born in very humble circumstances.
Mrs. Williams: And they had a talent, and they used their talent. But God would make their talent earn for them, and they, with that talent, and with what they earn, can give back into the pool, so that it can go on . . .
Prabhupāda: This is the way of life.
Mrs. Williams: Ah.
Prabhupāda: That is the way of life. That is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. How one's life can be perfect, that is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:
- ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā
- svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya
- saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam
- (SB 1.2.13)
According to Vedic way of life, there are four divisions of the society. The four, four, not . . . eight: the brāhmaṇa, the kṣatriya, the vaiśya, you know, the śūdra, and the brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, sannyāsa. This is the regulative life of human society, varṇāśrama. If we want to satisfy the Supreme—if we want to reach the ultimate goal of life—we must go through this process, varṇāśrama-dharma. Therefore according to Vedic principle, unless one accepts this Vedic varṇāśrama-dharma, he is not considered as human being. Because this is the way to reach to the ultimate goal. So this is one side.
So the discussion was going on in Naimiṣāraṇya, and Sūta Gosvāmī was the president. So he explained that human life, it doesn't matter in which section he belongs, because any man, he must be within any one of these divisions: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, sannyāsa. It doesn't matter in which category he belongs to, but his aim should be how to satisfy the Supreme. Then his life is successful. Either he is a brāhmaṇa, or a śūdra, or a brahmacārī or sannyāsī, it doesn't matter.
But if his aim is how to satisfy the Supreme . . . similarly, as you have explained, these boys, the Beatle, especially this George, he's trying to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. He has got a talent. By his talent he has earned enormous money. Now he is thinking that, "These people are trying to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness; they are servant of Kṛṣṇa. So if I can help them, Kṛṣṇa will be pleased." And that is success.
Mrs. Williams: And of these Beatles, he is perhaps the most spiritually satisfied.
Prabhupāda: He is very good. He came yesterday. He was with me for three hours. He is very interested. He wants to hear. First of all he gave me $19,000 for publishing my Kṛṣṇa Book.
Indian man: Which book is that?
Prabhupāda: That book. When he first came to see me, so I asked him that, "You are nice boy," and . . .
(background discussion as guests are shown book)
That one part cost me $19,000.
Mr. Williams: Really.
Devotee: The Preface. This first volume we have. This first volume we have.
Mr. Williams: A very fine book.
Revatīnandana: If you look at the introduction, it is written by George. The introduction is written by George.
Pradyumna: The introduction, in the front of the volume. The Preface.
Revatīnandana: The Preface, that's right.
Mr. Williams: Oh, I see. Oh, yes.
Prabhupāda: So we are inviting everyone to come and take some nice prasādam and live here.
Jaya-hari: Mr. Williams, he speaks Hindi also.
Prabhupāda: He knows Hindi?
Jaya-hari: Yes, he speaks Hindi also.
Prabhupāda: Oh, you can speak in Hindi also?
Mr. Williams: Ah, Hindustani.
Jaya-hari: Hindustani, yes.
Prabhupāda: Yes, he is born in India.
Indian man: (laughs)
Mr. Williams: And although I left India . . .
Prabhupāda: Now formerly, all Europeans, they had to learn the local language, those who are officers. I was student in Scottish Churches College. So they were mostly Scotsmen, all professors, but they used to learn Bengali. I had one of my professors, Professor Scrimgeour, he was English professor. So when he was teaching us English, he is quoting parallel passage from Bankim Babu's book. You know Bankim Babu, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, a famous novelist?
Mr. Williams: Say that again, would you, please?
Prabhupāda: Bankim Chandra Chatterjee.
Mr. Williams: Oh, yes, yes, yes. I know his work.
Prabhupāda: He was considered a Scott of Bengal. Sir Walter Scott.
Mr. Williams: I know Hindustani because I was born in Calcutta, and we had people who talked Hindustani And I knew Hindustani better than my father, because I was a child.
Prabhupāda: (laughs) That is natural.
Mr. Williams: And I, again when I went back to India after being in England for my studies, I found that the Hindustani was very easy to come to, come by, again. But about three years ago somebody was going to do some film work in Pakistan, and he asked me if I would go and help him in there. So I said: "I am not able to come," and I said: "I won't have time to take part in all this work with you." And he said, "Well," he said: "you know the place, you know the language, you know this." And I said: "Well, I don't know everything. I do know bits of Pakistan, and I will not be able to come." So what he did was he bought a ticket to fly me out to India with him.
Mr. Williams: And I said: "Well, you can't buy a ticket for me and take me." I said: "I just can't come." I said: "If you wait, I will come with you for a fortnight just before Christmas, and I must be back for Christmas." So he booked the ticket, and I went out. And his purpose was to do a film on Pakistan from the outset of its freedom . . .
Mr. Williams: . . . up to that time I was there, which was in 1968, December. And I said I would just help him with some research, and that's all. But when we arrived he got flu, and he was in bed for five days. And he knew I was going to stay there for a fortnight, so the next day, instead of his being able to do it, I had to go out with a camera and everything else, and I took the pictures, for five days.
And when he was better he said: "Well, now we'll go on to so-and-so," and I said: "Well, I will go on up to the north, and I will go and see all the parts this side, but I can't go to East Pakistan because I haven't got the time. I must get back to the work I am doing." So I spent a fortnight there. But what I was leading up to say was this, that it was years after I left India—that was it—and I was in a cab, in a car, and a man in front was told to drive us somewhere, and this man doesn't speak any English at all; he could only speak Hindustani.
Mr. Williams: And he was given instructions in Hindustani, and then I found I understood every word. And this man said he wasn't going to do something or other, and I then suddenly came out with words that I had forgotten I remembered. I said, ap bunder bust ki he. Bunder bust is this contract. And he looked at me with so surprise he said ji. (laughter) But then you see I have always taken the view that when I was in India, even as a child and since then, I always called the man not tum, but ap, because he is equal to us; he is no different from us.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is the gentleman's address, ap, tum is not good.
Mr. Williams: Tum is inferior.
Prabhupāda: Inferior, yes.
Mr. Williams: Well, you see, I have a great affection for India.
Prabhupāda: Because you are born. Janani janma-bhumiś ca svargād api gariyasi. Yes. Anyone who is born in a land is automatically becomes a very favorite. Mother and the birthplace, they are very favorite to everyone. Janani janma-bhumiś ca svargād api gariyasi. Better than heaven, yes.
Mr. Williams: (to devotee) Have you been in India?
Mr. Williams: You have. You too?
Mr. Williams: You have learned Sanskrit there, I suppose?
Pradyumna: Ah, some. Mostly from my Guru Mahārāja.
Mr. Williams: . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: So, kindly take prasādam, Kṛṣṇa prasādam. Yes.
Mr. Williams: (to wife) You don't want any?
Prabhupāda: You take?
Mrs. Williams: I'm sorry.
Prabhupāda: Take. You also take. (Hindi) (laughs) Is that correct?
Mr. Williams: Correct.
Prabhupāda: (laughs) (eating)
Mr. Williams: What a fine variety it is, isn't it, sabjī. Not at all.
Prabhupāda: Purī halavā.
Mr. Williams: Hmm.
Prabhupāda: Purī halavā.
Mr. Williams: Halavā, hmm?
Indian man: Yes, yes.
Mr. Williams: This is halavā.
Prabhupāda: Purī, halavā and fruits.
Mr. Williams: Hmm.
Mrs. Williams: Mmm.
Mr. Williams: Very good.
Mrs. Williams: (eating) We call this semolina.
Mr. Williams: Hmm. Is halavā made out of semolina, isn't it?
Mrs. Williams: Hmm.
Revatīnandana: In Hindi it would be sooji.
Mrs. Williams: Hmm. Sooji.
Indian man: It's a wheat product.
Mrs. Williams: Hmm?
Indian man: It's a wheat product. Sooji is a wheat product.
Mrs. Williams: A wheat product.
Mr. Williams: (to other guest) Is this your first visit to England?
Indian man: Yes.
Mr. Williams: First visit. You came recently?
Indian man: Yes.
Mrs. Williams: Do you find it noisy? Busy?
Indian man: Yes. It is very busy.
Mrs. Williams: And, erm, how many days have you been here?
Indian man: Three days.
Mrs. Williams: So everything is very new to you. Where are you staying in London?
Indian man: . . . (indistinct)
Mrs. Williams: . . . (indistinct) . . . Yes.
Guest (3): . . . (indistinct)
Mr. Williams: In Oxford Street.
Indian man: Yes.
Prabhupāda: You have seen our temple in London?
Indian man: Paris we have seen; London we have not seen yet. In previous . . .
Prabhupāda: London city also we have—7 Bury Place. So how did you get this address?
Indian man: From India I have got this.
Prabhupāda: Oh, your father . . .
Indian man: Yes. I wrote letters of Paris, too, from India.
Indian man: And asked them that whether you . . .
Prabhupāda: Amsterdam also we have got. You have seen?
Indian man: We are going to Amsterdam and Geneva.
Prabhupāda: Oh. Hmm. Geneva also we have got?
Revatīnandana: No. I've been there, but we have no temple.
Revatīnandana: Actually, we haven't had one there for a while. They closed it. Now they may have reopened it, but I don't think so.
Mr. Williams: (referring to prasādam) It's very good, isn't it?
Mrs. Williams: Mmm. What led your . . . what was it? The young man who brought us here. What was he . . . he said?
Mr. Williams: Brahmacārī, brahmacārī.
Mrs. Williams: What led him to my husband? How did he know to get in touch with my husband?
Revatīnandana: It was . . . she wants to know how Jaya-hari . . .
Revatīnandana: . . . found out, found out about them to approach them. We don't know. (laughs) You have to ask him. Basically we would say that Kṛṣṇa arranged it. (laughs)
Mr. Williams: He must have. There must be a reason for that.
Revatīnandana: So many coincidences.
Mrs. Williams: Malcolm Muggeridge is coming here, you see. Did you meet him?
Mrs. Williams: Malcolm Muggeridge?
Prabhupāda: Oh, I have heard.
Devotee: . . . (indistinct) . . . When Malcolm Muggeridge comes back . . .
Mrs. Williams: Hmm.
Devotee: . . . he wants to do a television program with us.
Mrs. Williams: My husband knows him.
Mr. Williams: What kind of . . . (indistinct)?
Mrs. Williams: And he lives not very far away from us, in the country.
Mr. Williams: (to wife) You met him, too.
Mrs. Williams: Of course. (to other guests) Are you going to stay long here, or are you just on a visit?
Indian man: No . . . (indistinct)
Indian lady: Just on visit.
Mrs. Williams: Then you will go back to Calcutta?
Indian lady: No, we will go to Amsterdam, Copenhagen . . .
Mrs. Williams: Hmm.
Indian lady: . . . and then visiting three, four countries, then we go to India.
Mrs. Williams: What have you seen so far?
Mr. Williams: Paris?
Mrs. Williams: You been to Paris?
Indian lady: Yes. Austria, then Paris, Zurich . . .
Mrs. Williams: Your first visits to these countries?
Indian lady: Yes.
Mrs. Williams: What do you think of the different ways that people live? They're very different, aren't they?
Indian lady: Very different from India.
Mrs. Williams: Hmm. They're very different from each other.
Indian lady: Yes
Mr. Williams: To some extent.
Mrs. Williams: Don't you think?
Indian lady: Yes.
Mr. Williams: Do you go to America, too?
Indian lady: No.
Mr. Williams: You won't go there.
Mrs. Williams: Do you think that, erm, the politicians of the world don't have a sufficiently spiritual approach to life?
Revatīnandana: We think that.
Mrs. Williams: You think that the politicians don't have a spiritual . . .
Prabhupāda: I have not very good opinion about the politicians. It may be a very strong word. Politicians . . . Actually, this is the business of the kṣatriyas.
Mrs. Williams: They are in it for personal gain, mostly.
Prabhupāda: They simply go to politics for personal gain, that's all.
Mrs. Williams: Because if they all wanted good—if they all wanted the same kind of good, for the same . . . for all their people—they would not fight in different camps. They would be one people.
Prabhupāda: Hmm. Right. They want personal benefit, not the benefit of the people. They say people's government. No. It is their government.
Mr. Williams: True.
Mrs. Williams: And they must . . . and the people must take and accept what they decree they shall have.
Prabhupāda: That's all.
Mrs. Williams: And if they want the rich people to have more money, they say to the rich people, "You don't have to pay so much taxes." But to the poor people they say: "You must pay more taxes."
Prabhupāda: In the Bhāgavata it is mentioned, the people will be so much embarrassed. One side there will be no rain, another side there will be scarcity of foodstuff. Other side, the government will simply levy taxes. So people will become mad. They will give up their hearth and home and go to the jungle. This time will come, very soon.
Revatīnandana: Well, I think sometimes in the hippie community we see that they are going out in almost into the jungle now.
Mrs. Williams: But you . . .
Revatīnandana: You know these rock 'n' roll festivals—it is practically like living in the jungle. (laughs) They are already doing it.
Mrs. Williams: But you know in Russia the people, the younger people, are now going back to having more spiritual thoughts and a desire to have a more spiritual life. But at the same time it is not separate from the fact that when they see people from the Western world and from beyond the Iron Curtain coming into Russia with various worldly goods—expensive cameras, expensive clothing—they want this. So eventually, and in the not-too-distant future, Russia will also become capitalist state.
Revatīnandana: In many respects it already is. In many respects it already is that way.
Mrs. Williams: Well, mentally it is. The only thing that prevents them from being a capitalist state is that the commodities are not sufficient.
Revatīnandana: But the basic thing is that the Communist Party in Russia is becoming a capitalist class.
Mrs. Williams: It is. It is. And it has been for some considerable time. Even in Stalin's time, he lived as a capitalist.
Revatīnandana: The only difference is that the complaining is not permitted. Because whenever there is a chance there is some complaint, it is immediately stifled. They want to complain.
Mrs. Williams: Ah, but of course. But of course. This is why they were worried, very worried about Brezhnev going to, to, er . . .
Mr. Williams: America.
Mrs. Williams: . . . America while the Watergate scandal was going on. But why they should have been embarrassed about it was Brezhnev one wouldn't know, because Brezhnev would say: "Why did you give them money? In our country we would shoot them." You see? They would say, "We wouldn't have bribed them not to vote for us. If they didn't vote for us, we would send them to labor camps." So they wouldn't be embarrassed.
Mr. Williams: You see, when America was peopled by people from this country who went and settled there, and was under English rule, and they . . . a group of people there who belonged to the Puritan class—they were not Roman Catholics and they weren't Church of England, but they were Puritans—and they were interfered with by George the . . . by Charles the First. And they got together eleven ships and went across to Massachusetts, which didn't belong to England at all. And they set up their own community there in Massachusetts.
Prabhupāda: At New England.
Mr. Williams: Hmm?
Prabhupāda: New England.
Mr. Williams: New England, that's right. And then while they were setting up their homes there, many other people came from England. The eleven ships didn't all get there. I think about six got there; the others were lost. And they set up their homes there, and they had a very strong control of the people. They did not allow the people to get away from any laws that the governor at the top made.
A man appointed himself governor of the country, a man called Winthrop; he was an Englishman who went from Cambridge. And the others just had to obey the laws. And for more than a hundred years, if people have disobeyed the laws they were put in prison or they were executed.
Mr. Williams: And they can say . . . and the Americans who have been to Russia . . . one of them is Arthur Miller; he has been to Russia two or three times, and I was waiting to see if he noticed any of the mistakes that Russia is making, and the harshness that Russia is visiting on the people. And he referred to these harshnesses, and then he brought in this point that I have just mentioned. He said in Massachusetts the people had to obey the laws or they were punished.
Revatīnandana: It was a very strict form of government. It was very strict.
Mr. Williams: And he said that . . .
Revatīnandana: The government in the old days before Independence was very strictly enforced.
Mr. Williams: That's right, quite right. And so they enforced things, and they enforced it for over a hundred years. He says, in Russia, he says they have for fifty-six years, he says, they are enforcing it, because a hundred years haven't been reached yet. That's one way of covering it up. But nevertheless, in this age you can go a little more rapidly and accept something. You see one . . . although I can see many faults in Russia, I can see what really has happened.
When they broke away they had little chance of survival because we had English troops—which I think was wrong—in Archangel, in the Dardanelles and in Siberia to stop them, and they just had to keep getting together somehow to get some weapons to try and have some survival. The Russians had to do that.
Mr. Williams: And their one aim in life was to try and survive, and that is the trouble, and that is the material thing that has dominated their attitude to life.
Mrs. Williams: Well, it was not quite so material. They didn't want to achieve wealth; they wanted to achieve a standard of living. They wanted it to be possible that they shouldn't freeze in winter and die of starvation in summer, and that they had homes. And what we today, when we go to Russia, and we think, "Oh, they haven't this and they haven't that, and if they saw what they have in the Western world their eyes would open very wide," but on the other hand, when you think that it is only fifty-seven years since they had anything at all, then you have a different approach to what their sense of achievement is. And also they have a . . . their sense of values is not the sense of values that we, who have been spoiled and ruined in the Western world with possessions . . . they have felt if they have a roof over their heads, if they have a certain amount of health services and enough food, then they have achieved quite a lot.
Revatīnandana: Well, at the same time I just read in a newspaper a little while back that the government itself in Russia admits that every year thirteen million people are arrested for being drunken and disorderly.
Mrs. Williams: Oh, but this is true. At nine o'clock in the morning you can see men walking through the streets . . .
Mr. Williams: Drunk, rolling drunk.
Mrs. Williams: . . . terribly drunk, and they have kiosks in the streets where they sell beer.
Revatīnandana: And that means suffering.
Mr. Williams: Hmm?
Revatīnandana: That means they are also suffering.
Mrs. Williams: Sure, because they are drowning their sorrows.
Revatīnandana: That's right.
Prabhupāda: They have got on the streets some drink?
Mrs. Williams: Hmm?
Prabhupāda: On the street they have got . . .
Mrs. Williams: On the streets they have little kiosks.
Prabhupāda: Hah. What is the drink?
Mrs. Williams: And they buy big jugs of beer. And one will be a long avenue, so they start drinking their beer at this end, and at the other end of the avenue there is another kiosk with drink.
Mrs. Williams: And even the sailors are sitting there in their uniforms, falling off the seats with drink. (Prabhupāda laughs)
Mr. Williams: This is in Russia today, Russia today.
Prabhupāda: (chuckles) Yes.
Mr. Williams: I was very surprised, because I didn't see it the previous time I was in Russia. On one morning, on the Sunday morning, we were near the church, but that church was shut, and another further along, and then I saw, and my wife did too, three men who were working men on the Sunday morning—because Sundays don't mean anything to the Russians—and they were very drunk. They were singing, and they were rolling about waving their hands around and everything else—nobody interfered with them; nobody arrested them, as far as I know.
Mrs. Williams: But they have the . . . but they have . . . sometimes you will see . . . for the most part you will see people almost uniformly dressed.
Mrs. Williams: Badly cut suits, badly dressed. But occasionally you will see people very, very smart, in very good clothes and very expensive clothes, and you know that these are not a home product. And then you discover later that there are certain secret shops where the hierarchy go and shop by themselves, and they can buy the things.
But when I talked to somebody and I said: "You are wearing a very expensive dress, a very smart dress. This wasn't made in Russia," and she said: "Oh . . ." And I said: "And you don't see them in the Russian shops," and she said: "Oh, yes, but you see, we only have a few in the country, and when they go to the shops everyone rushes for them." But this isn't so. Everything is there—everything. Most expensive things you can buy in Russia if you are of that class, of the hierarchy, to go.
Mr. Williams: You know what we found in Russia is this, that they have . . . they want to get foreign money.
Mr. Williams: They are trying to get.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. They want to get dollars.
Mrs. Williams: Dollars, yes.
Mr. Williams: And English money.
Prabhupāda: Hmm. Pound.
Mr. Williams: They . . . four types of money they want. They want German money, they want French money, they want English money and they want American money.
Prabhupāda: Foreign money.
Mr. Williams: Foreign money. And they have these places where they sell you goods cheap, and you must then pay them in your own coin; you can't pay them in Russian money.
Mr. Williams: And so that's what we found there. We bought a number of things, a few things.
Mrs. Williams: Toys mostly, for children.
Mr. Williams: Toys and food and things like that. But they also have a lot of supermarkets, big markets, all over the country. And they are . . .
Prabhupāda: Controlled by government.
Mr. Williams: Hmm?
Prabhupāda: Controlled by government?
Mr. Williams: No, they are . . . I thought they were controlled by government, but whatever control the government has there, the markets are supplied by an Italian and an American firm in joint supply.
Mr. Williams: Something "Detroit." I can't think of the name.
Mrs. Williams: They do have . . . they do have a very high appreciation of art, of the arts. Very high appreciation.
Mr. Williams: The galleries, the ballet, the theater, it's all very, very good. Those are the good things there.
Mrs. Williams: But when you see them tilling their soil and their ground still with very primitive implements . . .
Prabhupāda: . . . (indistinct) . . . Yes.
Mrs. Williams: . . . and you realize that they haven't got the things that the Western world have, and this is why Brezhnev must go to America and bury his pride and ask for grain and ask for machinery. Because their machinery . . . they have outer-space capsules, but they haven't machinery to till the ground.
Revatīnandana: See, the point that I am seeing is that previously there was a hard struggle for physical survival.
Mrs. Williams: Yes.
Revatīnandana: And as they managed to satisfy that to some extent, and adopt more and more material prosperity, then we see that the people are becoming again depressed, and they are drinking and so many things.
Mrs. Williams: But they always drank. The Russians always drank.
Revatīnandana: Yes, but just like you were saying, you noticed more than before.
Mrs. Williams: Yes, yes.
Revatīnandana: More than before. That means that they are not solving their problem of not being satisfied, of becoming unhappy. They trade one kind of difficulty for another kind of difficulty, and they don't find a solution to the fact that they are not happy in life. And they are missing the entire point because, as you said, it is like that big scientist was saying: "There is no life after death." This Russian scientist was saying: "There's no life after death, and there is no spirit in the body." The gross materialists, no matter how they arrange it, they'll never become happy because they are always missing the point that they really are spirits.
Mr. Williams: I think that bit by bit they will come to the spiritual side. They are bound to, because the spirit has to survive.
Revatīnandana: They'll come if they are presented with it very nicely. If you don't present spiritual knowledge, actually nobody will suspect it. They will simply accept the body as the self and try to work hard until they die. But if they are presented with it nicely . . . just like we can present them with a nice philosophy and a nice way of experiencing the philosophy, then this way, as they are exposed to it, then they'll be inclined to take it.
Mrs. Williams: But don't you feel that there is a certain spiritual striving through their music and through their art form? I think they express themselves spiritually in that way quite a lot.
Revatīnandana: Well, the question becomes a definition of what is spiritual. And from our point of view the service of God, that is actually spiritual life—the glorification of God, the service of God. And the glorification and service of other goals or ends, these are on different platforms of material consciousness. Until they link you with God, the Supreme Lord, with . . . we say with Kṛṣṇa, right, then you get spiritual experience. But amongst the activities of material experience which are not done in the service of God . . .
There are of course a tremendous variety, a variety, from getting drunk on beer to performing opera to glorify the Russian Revolution. You see? They make a very nice opera for glorifying the Russian Revolution, and it is a subtle form of material enjoyment. Again, that will not fulfill them. But it is more subtle. It has more attraction to an intelligent person than drinking liquor—but not spiritual bliss. And this we find that . . .
Mr. Williams: I think you are right there, that there is no spiritual feeling at the moment, because you see they do worship in a sort of way, a political way, Lenin. You have been to Russia?
Revatīnandana: I . . . no, I haven't.
Mr. Williams: You haven't. There are . . . have banners six or seven stories high of Lenin.
Mr. Williams: You have seen those . . .
Revatīnandana: Like they are beginning to worship Mao in the same way in China—a huge statue of Mao.
Mr. Williams: That's right.
Revatīnandana: They are worshiping an ordinary man, and they will never get any spiritual satisfaction. They'll get different kind of mental stimulation, but it will always leave them wanting inside, because the real Supreme Person, they are not linked with.
Prabhupāda: This question I asked Mr. Kotovsky that, "Where is the difference between your philosophy and my philosophy? You have Lenin for your worship, and we have Kṛṣṇa for our worship. So where is the difference in the principle?"
Mr. Williams: But the Russians have Lenin; I haven't got Lenin.
Prabhupāda: No, I am asking the . . .
Revatīnandana: This was a discussion with Mr. Kotovsky.
Mrs. Williams: Yes.
Prabhupāda: So he could not reply it. (chuckles)
Mr. Williams: Well, you see, the Russians have some sort of feeling that Lenin is a sort of savior, but a savior . . . a material savior.
Prabhupāda: Everyone thinks. Everyone thinks. Everyone thinks of his . . . just like we Indian, we think of Gandhi, that he is the savior.
Mr. Williams: Yes, but . . .
Prabhupāda: But the same Gandhi is disrespected in Pakistan. The Pakistanis, they thinks Jinnah is the savior. So this is natural. Either we accept Lenin or Jinnah, Gandhi or Churchill, this is sentiment. This is sentiment.
Mr. Williams: But you know the thing that puzzled me the first time, and puzzled me again . . . The first time when I was in Russia in '56–Lenin had died in '53, 1953.
Revatīnandana: Stalin. Stalin.
Mr. Williams: Stalin, I beg your pardon. Lenin was much earlier. Stalin, I mean. Stalin had died in '53. Khrushchev had exposed him a year or two later at this meeting, and later that came out and it was handed to everybody all over the world. Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that he had been denounced, in 1956 there was a gigantic statue of Stalin in one of the air terminals in Moscow. They have a numerous series of air terminals around Moscow; I think there are eight or nine of them, and each one is different. And that thing was there for a long time. When I came back from China into Moscow I found that in the National Hotel where I stayed . . .
Prabhupāda: I stayed also there.
Mr. Williams: You stayed there?
Prabhupāda: In the corner.
Mrs. Williams: Yes. By the . . .
Prabhupāda: Red Square.
Mrs. Williams: Yes.
Mr. Williams: And I noticed that there was, when I got into that hotel, that there was a large painting of Stalin downstairs. And then I saw Roosevelt's granddaughter was there, Theodore . . . not Theodore; Franklin Roosevelt's granddaughter was there. She had flown in from America, aged nineteen, with the first batch of American people visiting Russia for the first time since the Revolution, and I had come from China. And there a man stopped me in the lift and said to me, he said: "I've come to save these people."
And I said, "How are you going to save them? In what way?" He says: "Teach them Christianity." I said: "You won't succeed." He said: "Well, I'll tell you how I will do it," and I said: "I've just arrived. I'm very tired and I'm going upstairs, and I'm going to have a bath if I can manage it." And I couldn't have a bath because I turned the hot tap and the hot tap fell, you know the thing you turn, the tap, and it fell off, and cold water came out of it. And I tried the cold tap and hot water came out of it, and that tap fell off too, so I couldn't have a bath. (laughter)
The next morning I went to the Kremlin, and the Kremlin was open to the public then about the first time. Because John Gordon, who writes in the Sunday Express, when I came back he asked me to lunch with him—I knew him well—and he said that, "Oh, you didn't see the Kremlin?" And I said: "I did." He said, "Well, I was there two years ago, and they wouldn't show the Kremlin to me." And I said: "I went in there, and they showed me around." Nevertheless, when I was there in . . . went to the Kremlin with a party from the hotel, the National Hotel, where you were . . . we stayed there this time because I especially asked for it. I like the hotel. And . . .
Prabhupāda: It is a big hotel, National Hotel.
Mrs. Williams: But now there is one that holds seven thousand people, one hotel.
Mr. Williams: This is a Russian hotel in Moscow on the left of the Basil Cathedral.
Mr. Williams: So I went there with my camera, and there was a girl whom I didn't know—I later learned she was Roosevelt's daughter, granddaughter—she came up to me and she said: "Snap." And I looked and she had the same camera as I had. I'd bought mine in Japan, and she bought hers somewhere else in America. And we took a few pictures together, and then she drifted away and I drifted away. And then I got to the hotel and there she was, and she came from the inner room and . . . the room where the Intourist—every hotel has an Intourist department, as you know—and she came up to me and she said, "Are you living here?" and I said: "Yes." So she said: "May I come and lunch with you?" and I said, "Do, please." And I said: "My name is so-and-so," and she said: "My name is Kate Roosevelt." She is the granddaughter of Roosevelt, and she was nineteen, as I say, and she sat with me and we lunched together. And there behind my back the man who was the Canterbury . . . Dean of Canterbury, communist. You know who I mean?
Jaya-hari: The Red Dean?
Mrs. Williams: Red Dean, that's right.
Mr. Williams: Ah, what is his name now? I don't know. He has two names in one. And she said to me, "Do you know him?" and I said: "No." She said: "Talk to him," and I said: "Well, we are having lunch now, and I can't get up and tell him why I want to know you." But it happened that night that I went to an opera without Kate.
Mrs. Williams: Hewlett Johnson.
Mr. Williams: Hewlett Johnson. And I went to the opera, and you're not allowed in . . . if you haven't reached your seat before the curtain went up, you've got to stand at the back, which is what I had to do. And when I finally, during the interval, went forward and sat there, I had my seat, there were five people there. There was the man who was the guide at the corner on the third row, there was Mrs. Hewlett Johnson, there was their two daughters, and then the Dean, the Red Dean.
And I sat next to them. That was the seat I had booked. And he turned to me and he said: "You have just arrived from England?" and I said: "No, I've just arrived from China, yesterday." And he said, "Oh," he said: "it's the greatest country in the world."
Jaya-hari: The Red Dean said that?
Mr. Williams: He indeed said that. And we talked quite a lot, and we went back, and he said: "My two girls like having ice cream. Would you like to join us for ice cream at the hotel?" So we went back and I had ice cream with the girls. And I asked his wife, I said: "You live in Canterbury?" I said: "You were busy." She said, "Well, I only have one thing to do," she said. "I'm a magistrate, and I never know when my husband will be brought up before me in the magistrate's court."
Anyhow, he was a man who had a sense of fun. He believed in the Christian teaching, of the appeal to the public, Sermon on the Mount, which to some extent governs the attitude, the religious attitude—I wouldn't say religious; the idealistic attitude of the Communists. But the Communists have enforced a police force and harshness over that, so that the thing doesn't operate in the way that . . .
Jaya-hari: There's no religious feeling in Russia.
Mr. Williams: Yes. They clash. So on the next morning I went alone to queue up and see the Lenin tomb, and I found that Stalin was in the tomb still. They hadn't moved him out. And Hewlett Johnson came up to me when I came out of there. He said: "He's still there, Stalin, isn't he?" And I said: "Yes," and he roared with laughter. He said: "They are going to throw him out, you know." And here's a man who was a Communist, because he believed in the Christian Bible. And he allowed for margins which did not operate so far as he should have known, but he didn't know.
He was a kindly man who believed in these things, and he believed in kindness and gentleness, and he believed in God. So that is the position there. When I was there before, they had the two in there. But when we went again a very, very big crowd of people were there, there for hours, three times a week. And you go in, and the soldiers there, and they will look at you and see where you are holding your hand—you may have a gun in your hands.
Mrs. Williams: No, no. You must not have your hands in your pockets; you must have your hands at your sides, so that they can see you. And one person went past, and it was a very cold day, and he had his hand in his pocket. And he took a thing and he banged his hand, took his hand out.
Jaya-hari: It seems that Communism and religious feeling doesn't go together in Russia; it is completely different.
Prabhupāda: There was no religious feeling.
Mr. Williams: What?
Prabhupāda: In seeing the tomb of Lenin, there was no religious feeling.
Mr. Williams: You didn't go, did you?
Prabhupāda: No. Why shall I go?
Mr. Williams: I went to see it because my wife hadn't seen it, and they have changed it a good deal. You see, the body is not shown to the full. The body is shown up to that, and the rest of it doesn't exist. I don't know where the legs are; there is no sign of the legs there at all.
Mrs. Williams: But it's not important.
Mr. Williams: No. But I am saying this is part of a wax-works show, and the face has to be touched up and painted and everything all the time. It isn't the face that he had. I think a lot of it is nothing. It's a dummy.
Jaya-hari: Yes. It's become a legend almost.
Mr. Williams: Hmm?
Jaya-hari: It's become a legend.
Mrs. Williams: But you know, when one talks about religion and people say: "I am a Catholic" or "I am a Jew" or "I am a Muslim" or "I am something," these are just labels. Provided that one really believes and practices that full religion—whether it is Christian, whether it's anything else—they are fully satisfying their God . . . it is, after all, there is after all one creator alone, and no matter what you feel you are, you go to that God.
You may think it is one God; somebody may think it is another God. But it is one God, because there can only be one God. So why there are these wars over religion is something I can't understand.
Mr. Williams: The Protestants fighting the Catholics in Ireland now.
Mrs. Williams: Killing, killing, killing. And the most vicious, the most appalling wars are because of religion.
Mrs. Williams: And if there was one universal religion, there can be no more fighting because this one is something and that one is something.
Revatīnandana: That's our program.
Mrs. Williams: That's your program? Is it as simple as that?
Revatīnandana: There is one God, and we are eternally His servants. And the way that you can find out the science of how to satisfy God, that is the perfection of religion.
Mrs. Williams: But how can you satisfy God? Can you satisfy God by shedding your . . . all your worldly possessions, by becoming just one member of a community? Is that serving God?
Mrs. Williams: What is serving God?
Prabhupāda: You can see. Stay here for one or two days. You can see how we are serving God. You can learn. You are welcome; we shall give you room, you can stay, and from morning to night you will see how we are serving God.
Mrs. Williams: But there isn't one phrase that tells you what it is?
Mrs. Williams: There isn't one phrase which sums up your . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes. There is phrase in Bhāgavatam: kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28). Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam: "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is Kṛṣṇa." Īśvara parama kṛṣṇa. Īśvara means controller. So controller everyone can become. You are also controller; I am also controller. But parama īśvara, the Supreme Controller. We are controller, but we are at the same time controlled by somebody else. But Kṛṣṇa, He is controller, but He is not controlled. Therefore the śāstra says:
- īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
- ādir ādir govindaḥ
- (Bs. 5.1)
So here is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa also says, in the Bhagavad-gītā, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ . . . (BG 18.66). As you . . . there are so many faiths, but Kṛṣṇa says that, "Real religion is to surrender unto Me; therefore you give up all these pseudo-religion." Sarva-dharmān parityajya, giving up; mām ekaṁśaraṇaṁ vraja: "Just surrender unto Me, I shall give you protection from all sinful reaction."
So here is God, and He is accepted by great ācāryas. In India there were great ācāryas, religious leaders, just like Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī, Nimbārka, latest Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and many others, they accept Kṛṣṇa the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So there is God, His name, His address, His activities—everything is there if we accept. Then you benefit.
Mrs. Williams: Do you think that the poor Indians who are suffering because of this terrible drought in India . . . is it in India?
Mrs. Williams: Is their relief never going to be in this world? Is it only going to be when they die?
Prabhupāda: Well, nobody is dying.
Mrs. Williams: Dying is passing . . . is the spirit passing from the physical body into the . . .
Prabhupāda: No. Everyone everywhere is dying. Do you think in your country nobody dies? Is there any guarantee that nobody will die?
Mrs. Williams: No, but everyone dies, because this is the pattern and this is the cycle. You are born, you live your life, you die. Some people die young, some . . .
Prabhupāda: No. India, India at the present moment, they have lost their culture. In India five thousand years ago, when Mahārāja Parīkṣit was there, one black man was trying to kill a cow. He immediately took his sword, the King: "Who are you? You are killing cow in my kingdom?" The same India, the government is sanctioning ten thousand cows to be killed daily. So India is not the same India. India has lost its culture, you see? Therefore they are suffering.
Mrs. Williams: But everything is changing. Not only India is changing; every country is changing.
Prabhupāda: So every country is suffering. Russia is suffering in one way.
Revatīnandana: California is suffering another way.
Prabhupāda: Suffering another way. Nobody is free from suffering. I have already explained, there are three kinds of sufferings. So who is free from these sufferings? You may not be suffering from any bodily disease, but you may be suffering from mental agony. You may not be suffering from mental agony, but you may suffer suffering imposed by others, what . . . there are so many sufferings. This place is suffering.
It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 8.15), duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam: "This place is for suffering." Duḥkhālayam. Duḥka means suffering; ālayam means place. Aśāśvatam, and still you cannot make adjustment. If you say: "All right, let there be little suffering. Let me stay here," that also will not be allowed. You will be kicked out, "Get out!" Then you have to accept another body—you do not know what kind of body. So these things are there. Don't think that little happy life for ten years or twenty years is the solution of your problem. That is not solution. Real solution is different. That is described in the Bhagavad-gītā:
- mām upetya kaunteya
- duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam
- nāpnuvanti mahātmānaḥ
- saṁsiddhiṁ paramāṁ gatāḥ
- (BG 8.15)
(aside) Find out this verse, mām upetya tu kaunteya duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam. (to guests) You are reading Bhagavad-gītā. Kindly read very carefully, you will get all answers.
Mr. Williams: I am going to read it. I have the book at home.
- ā-brahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ
- punar āvartino 'rjuna
- mām upetya tu kaunteya
- punar janma na vidyate
- (BG 8.16)
"From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kuntī, never takes birth again."
Prabhupāda: This is subject. That people are going to the higher planetary systems, that is already known—not this process. But there is another process how we can be elevated. So ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ: and even if you go to the highest planetary system, Brahmaloka, where people live for millions and millions of years . . . Brahma's one day, his twelve hours, you cannot calculate, it is so big number of years. So Kṛṣṇa says that if you go to the Brahmaloka, still you have to suffer. Simply your suffering will be stopped, mām upetya tu kaunteya dukhalayam . . . what is that?
- mām upetya tu kaunteya
- punar janma na vidyate
Prabhupāda: Then? Mām upetya kaunteya duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam . . . where is that?
- mām upetya punar janma
- duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam
- nāpnuvanti mahātmānaḥ
- saṁsiddhiṁ paramāṁ gatāḥ
- (BG 8.15)
Prabhupāda: Hmm. What is the meaning?
Pradyumna: "After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogīs in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection."
Prabhupāda: This is the highest perfection. You have to go to Kṛṣṇa.
Mrs. Williams: So when you have had your suffering in various forms and through various lives, you then reach that . . .
Prabhupāda: No, not that.
Mrs. Williams: Not that. Not that.
Prabhupāda: Not that. You have to prepare yourself to go there. Not that because you have suffered so much, automatically you'll go there. No, no. Not like that. Unless you endeavor for going to Kṛṣṇa, there is no possibility. That is there in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (SB 1.5.18):
- tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido
- na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ
Human life is meant for trying for that thing which he has not achieved by wandering up and down. So a living entity is wandering up and down, sometimes in the higher planetary systems or lower planetary systems, sometimes rich, sometimes poor, sometimes this, sometimes cat, sometimes dog, sometimes demigod. In this way he is suffering. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, ei rūpe brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva (CC Madhya 19.151). You understand Bengali?
Mr. Williams: (devotee) You understand the Sanskrit? You do?
Prabhupāda: In this way a living entity is wandering, but by fortune if he gets in touch guru-kṛṣṇa, a bona fide representative of Kṛṣṇa, guru, by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa—because Kṛṣṇa is in everyone's heart—then he gets the seed of devotional service. And if he cultivates that devotional service, then he goes back. This is the path. Not that because one has suffered so much, therefore automatically. No, not like that.
Mr. Williams: Swāmījī, my wife is tired, I think. She has had a long day today. Could I have your permission to take . . .
Mr. Williams: . . . her home?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Mr. Williams: Thank you very much. It has been a great joy for me and for my wife to be with you.
Prabhupāda: Give them this flower, one. Yes. Give another. Your full name?
Jaya-hari: Your full name.
Mrs. Williams: Your full name. Ruby, James Williams.
Mr. Williams: And you have my name, full name.
Mrs. Williams: How did you find his name?
Jaya-hari: I was recommended, in fact.
Mrs. Williams: By whom?
Jaya-hari: Oh, the person asked me not to say.
Mrs. Williams: Oh, I see.
Mr. Williams: Who?
Mrs. Williams: The person asked not to say.
Mr. Williams: Ah. Thank you.
Jaya-hari: Take these also.
Mrs. Williams: These also?
Mr. Williams: For me?
Jaya-hari: Yes. And if you want also.
Mr. Williams: Thank you. Thank you very much. We will read this with great joy at home. Thank you, Swāmījī.
Prabhupāda: All right. Thank you for your coming. Hare Kṛṣṇa. Jaya.
Mr. Williams: Thank you. Glad to meet you both.
Prabhupāda: So . . . (indistinct) (break) (end)