751102 - Morning Walk - Nairobi
Prabhupāda: . . .brain.
Brahmānanda: That's an accident. That's an accident.
Prabhupāda: Accident. All accidents make symmetrically so beautiful.
Harikeśa: Well, in the beginning only it was an accident. Then it became regular, after that first accident.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So in the beginning let us kick. (laughter) Then things will be all right.
(break) . . .Bhagavad-gītā says in the beginning? Hmm? What is the beginning?
Brahmānanda: Ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā (BG 14.4).
Prabhupāda: Ah. Bījo 'haṁ sarva-bhūtānām (BG 7.10), very good. Thank you very much. All these plants begins from the seed. That seed. . . Kṛṣṇa says, "I am the seed." So how it is accident? Every plant has got a particular type of seed. You cannot change it. You take two seeds: it will grow as it is; it will grow as it is. Not that by accident it will grow like this and it will grow like this. No. Rose seed will grow rose tree, and mango seed will grow mangoes. Where is accident? The seed is there. Simply rascals.
Harikeśa: It's an accident where the seed falls.
Prabhupāda: Then you are great scientist. Let me kick on your face. (laughter)
Devotee (1): What about cross-breeding, when they change the. . .? Cross-breeding. It appears as if. . .
Prabhupāda: That is not accident, cross-breeding. You arrange for that.
Devotee (1): But they change the original seed.
Prabhupāda: Then what is that? That is not accident. You are doing that. How you say it is accident? Why do you put this rascal question? As you are doing otherwise, it is coming otherwise. How you can say it is accident? Accident means nobody interferes, it comes. That is accident.
Harikeśa: Well, it may not be an accident, but it proves how we're becoming superior to the nature. We can control it. More and more, every day we're controlling.
Prabhupāda: How you can become superior? Nature has already given you, and then you are able to act. Where is your superiority? Huh?
Devotee (2): That is a good point. (break)
Prabhupāda: . . .given by God. Mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanam (BG 15.15). You have no intelligence even, so that is given by God. (Hindi with lady) Let them become devotees. Why these old men, they are not coming? They are still after money? Amara ajñaya guru hana tara ei deśa (CC Madhya 7.128), Caitanya Mahāprabhu says. So you have come to this country. Do something good for these Africans. Let them become devotee. Where is that attempt? The white men, they also came to exploit them, and you have also come to exploit them. But Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, "No—para upakara." Upakara kara. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's. . . They are not so advanced; make them advanced. That is real cooperation. (Hindi with lady) (break) Just like every one of them is attached to remain in Africa, continuing to. . . But they are being forcefully driven away: "Go away." Attachment must be there. The Englishmen, they have got attachment, but they were forcefully driven away. Similarly, this conditioned soul, he has got attachment. And śāstra and śastra. . . These people were driven away by śastra, by weapon, knife. That is śastra. And śāstra is the same thing, but it is books. Therefore it is called śāstra. The original word is coming from śas. Śas means ruling, śas-dhātu. Śāstra, śastra, śāsana, śisya. Śisya. Śisya means voluntarily accepting ruling. That is called śisya. The word is the same, śas. From śas, śisya. From śas, śāstra. From śas, śastra. From śas, śāsana. These are. So sometimes by force, sometimes by voluntarily. . . So just like guru-śisya. The guru, he gives enlightenment, and śisya voluntarily accepts. That is guru-śisya. Similarly śastra means weapon: "If you don't follow, then I shall cut your throat." Similarly śāstra.
So śāstra says that "Now you must leave your family life." That is called vānaprastha. So that is not being carried out, although the śāstra injunction is there. Brahmacari, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, sannyāsa. So brahmacārī is the beginning of life, how to become controlled life. Then he is allowed the concession for sense gratification. This is gṛhastha. Then śāstra says, "Now you have done up to fifty years. Now get out." But nobody is following. They are not prepared to get out unless death forces to get out. That Kṛṣṇa does. Mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraś cāham (BG 10.34). He is not willing. He has got attachment. He doesn't want. Then, at last, Kṛṣṇa comes as death: "Now get out." Kick out. "Oh, I have got so many things. I have got my sons, daughters, and this, that." "Get out. No question." And whatever you have accumulated, that is forfeit. That's all. The same process, just Africa government: "Get out." And what you have attained? . . . (indistinct) . . . All taken away. The same śāstra, śis, śas-dhātu.
Indian lady (3): Śrīla Prabhupāda, I am very surprised. I'm not born in India but I born in Africa. But why this culture I had in my heart from the start even? Forty-five years, that time was my. . . Forty years. And I only see my husband also. So I will give you service in this for fifty years. As you'll need any service from me, you take from me. Only. . .
Prabhupāda: That means in your previous life you were in these activities. That comes. That dictates, "Now do it." So even though you became woman, still, that instinct was there. You had it done in your previous life. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā.
Indian lady (3): I was waiting to decide, but I thinking, "How I go to see Kṛṣṇa?"
Prabhupāda: Śucinām śrīmatāṁ gehe (BG 6.41). What is that?
Indian lady (3): So you come in my life. Before that time I was only forty-eight years.
Prabhupāda: So now the older section of the Indians, they should give up their family life and live in this temple, cultivate this spiritual life and preach. You see? There will be very nice relationship.
Indian lady (3): Everyone, every state, this is true. Sometimes I go to preaching. I not looking "Asian" or such and such. Anyone I go to also preach—African . . . (indistinct) . . ..
Prabhupāda: We are all part and parcel of God. The outward dress only makes difference that "I am African," "I am Indian," "I am this." Paṇḍitaḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18). Therefore one who is learned, he does not make that difference. That is accidental, that by. . . You can say acci. . . That is also not accidental, but some way or other, it has become so. The dress is different. But our movement is not with the dress but with the living being who has the dress. This is movement. Our, this is completely spiritual movement.
Indian man (4): Many intelligent people in Africa, they are taking it very seriously. We have one professor, Entenjania Danisanjunibristi. He's a very young boy. So he bought your Bhagavad-gītā, and Bhāgavat dāsa was there. So he took all the picture out, all the picture, and he framed. I have seen in the room. He put all the pictures in his room. Then he was writing me from a long time. He became our patron Life Member, and now he chants sixteen rounds. He has gone to London for a course. He said, "After finishing this course I will take initiation from His Divine Grace. Then I will dedicate my whole life to preach in the Dar es Salaam, in the university."
Prabhupāda: He is Indian or African?
Indian man (4): No, no, African. He's a professor. Oh, yes. (aside:) You have seen the letters, I think, to me. So when I was in Dar es Salaam, then I was in Mandena's room. He said, "No, you stay with me. Don't stay with the Asians." So I was in the . . . (indistinct) . . . university, you know. He said Asian can take this philosophy and not be so serious. Now he has gone to London. He may see you when you will be there, for a year. And he chants sixteen rounds. He has nobody, no picture else in his room. There was one picture of the president there. He took it down and he put a Kṛṣṇa picture there. So it's very serious. And he said, "I don't know. Since I have read the Bhagavad-gītā I go to my class to give a class to the students and I don't speak anything else about the scriptures."
Prabhupāda: That is the sign.
Indian man (4): And he's a very strong, Prabhupāda, also. Very strong.
Prabhupāda: That is said about Prahlāda Mahārāja when he was boy. So he has been described as kṛṣṇa-graha-praptaḥ. Just like under the influence of planet one becomes, what is called, ghostly haunted, like that. So devotee means when he becomes Kṛṣṇa haunted. That is wanted. That is Kṛṣṇa conscious. He does not think anything else except Kṛṣṇa. That is wanted. Kṛṣṇa-graha-praptaḥ.
Indian lady (3): . . . (indistinct) . . . absolutely thing. A few days before I been here for the flowers . . . (indistinct) . . . my family complained me, "Mom, you don't know. Yesterday was very big day. . . . (indistinct) . . . day. Oh, you forget." . . . (indistinct) . . . Kṛṣṇa's wedding ceremony . . . (indistinct) . . .. Myself I forget everything. They start to complain I go there, sit together, I have not anything. They start to talk with me business, this and that. So still, immediately I will give, answer immediately because I always saying . . . (indistinct) . . .. Sometimes guest there are I start to preach . . . (indistinct) . . . say something. "It's okay. Then you like talking your matter." Then I will talk . . . (indistinct) . . ..
Prabhupāda: (aside:) Don't spoil your nail.
Indian lady (3): It is automatic change.
Brahmānanda: When someone takes so spontaneously, like this African, without any preaching, but just spontaneously take. . .
Prabhupāda: Yes. They are not yet so advanced.
Brahmānanda: But it means in past life there must have been some connection if he immediately takes it so wholeheartedly, without any previous connection.
Indian man (4): The Indian peoples, when they see the Africans in the temple, singing and all that, they criticize, you know. They criticize us. They say, "Oh, you. . ." That boy, he told me. He read your Nectar of Devotion. Then he came to the conclusion. . . He read the story also of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. So he used to go to the Hindu temple to clean the floor early in the morning before going to university. He told me that he went for one week and they never said anything. When he was going daily the temple, they told him, "Don't come here. Don't clean here. We don't want the African to come." So then he told me that "What should I do? I want to follow the Prabhupāda instruction. So what should I do? Prabhupāda has said in his books that if one cannot do anything, simply he should go to the temple and clean the room." He was so serious. So then I told the pūjārī that "Why you are doing like that? He wants to serve the Lord. Why don't you let him serve? You want that to keep out the inside the temple and throw the pots and the cigarette in the temple?" So they criticize like that sometimes. . . . (indistinct) . . . They're simply imitating us.
Brahmānanda: There was a man yesterday at Dabji's house who was the brāhmaṇa who was officiating. He is a very much caste-conscious brāhmaṇa, and although he and Shah were the first ones to meet you at the Nairobi airport when you arrived in Nairobi, as soon as he heard your philosophy, he has never come. He came the first day only, when you first arrived, and since that day he has never come. And yesterday I think he must have just come because Shah has forced him. But he does not at all like our philosophy that brāhmaṇa by qualification. He is very staunch—"Brāhmaṇa by birth."
Devotee (5): They always say the Africans could never become Kṛṣṇa conscious.
Prabhupāda: How they are becoming? (laughter)
Devotee (5): They don't believe.
Prabhupāda: Believe? You do not see even?
Devotee (5): But they say that "Oh, he will do it, and then, after one year, he will stop."
Prabhupāda: Well, that is another criticism. Somebody is eating nice yogurt. Everyone will say, "Oh, it is very nice. It is very nice, very nice." Another man says, "Yes, it is nice, but after three days it will be sour." (laughter) You rascal, you consider for the present. What "after three days"? Means he's a bad critic, so he could not find out any fault. Everyone says it is good. So "After three days it will be bad." This sort of criticism. So you have already become bad. You were doing service to others. What does he do, that priest?
Brahmānanda: Well, he's a businessman.
Prabhupāda: Business. "So is that. . .? The business is the occupation of brāhmaṇa? You are already fallen." How he can criticize others?
Indian lady (3): That is all, brāhmaṇas, all brāhmaṇas, there is no big knowledge. That is Śiva. Śiva is the head.
Prabhupāda: That's all. Śiva is the head, but whether you are brāhmaṇa? That is the question.
Indian lady (3): They don't know, understand.
Prabhupāda: Brāhmaṇa's qualification is there—śama, dama, titikṣa, ārjavam and jñānam, vijñānam, āstikyam, brahma-karma. . . (BG 18.42). Everything is there, the symptoms. So you are doing business, the occupation of the vaiśyas or śūdras, and how you are claiming to become brāhmaṇa? The. . . Who is a brāhmaṇa, that symptoms is there in the śāstra. And not only the symptoms. Nārada Muni has said, "If these symptoms are found elsewhere, then he should be accepted according to the symptom." There is no question of birth.
- yasya hi yaḻ lakṣanām proktaṁ
- yad anyātrāpi dṛṣyeta
- tat tenaiva vinirdiśet
- (SB 7.11.35)
This is Nārada's version. So it is the symptom. Just like a doctor, medical man. He diagnoses according to the symptom. He finds out the cause. So symptom is required, not that a man has become diseased or healthy by birth. No. By birth he is born. Then again, when he develops certain types of symptom, so one has to take him in that way. That is śāstra. We are accepting, or giving them sacred thread, brāhmaṇa, after seeing that they are actually acting as a brāhmaṇa, not superficially. Therefore we take some time to see whether he can develop brahminical symptom. That is our process. Not that anyone comes, and we give him a sacred thread and he becomes immediately brāhmaṇa. We don't do this. First of all give him chance. Let him chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, follows the rules and regulations. Then let us see. If he is actually serious, he has developed the symptom, then. . . This is the proper way. Even one comes from the brāhmaṇa family—he wants initiation—we don't give immediately, even if he is coming from a brāhmaṇa. . . That is a good facility, that he is born in a brāhmaṇa family, but the symptom is the first necessity. Either you are born in a brāhmaṇa family or śūdra family, it doesn't matter.
African man (6): . . . (indistinct) . . .
Brahmānanda: What is that? The brāhmaṇas who come over from. . .?
Indian man (6): From ISKCON center. We have a tendency . . . (indistinct) . . .. And these are the overall effect, you know.
Brahmānanda: Yes. So what is your question?
African man (6): So don't you think that the blame should not be. . . usually be laid on the Africans but on the whole. . .?
Brahmānanda: He's saying that the brāhmaṇas who comes from our overseas temples here, it's their responsibility to see that the Africans follow properly, because the Africans will follow their example.
Prabhupāda: Yes, it is for that purpose they have come. That is the purpose, missionary purpose, here. We come here not to earn some money but to see that this culture is spread. So what is his question?
Brahmānanda: So it's the responsibility, then, of those who are coming as the missionaries to set the proper example.
Prabhupāda: Yes, certainly.
Brahmānanda: Because then the Africans will follow that proper example.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Yes, he is right.
Brahmānanda: If they set a bad example, then they will follow bad example, then the justifi. . . then the criticism of the Indians will be justified.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That's it. So those who cannot follow, they should not come here. And ask from the origin that "Those who cannot strictly follow the rules and regulation, they should not come at all. It will set a bad example." They should be forbidden to come here. That I was speaking, that instead of filling with bad cows, better keep the cowshed vacant. That I was speaking. Those who cannot strictly follow our principles, they should not come here. It is bad example. By mistake if somebody does, he should be regretful and he should rectify. That is another thing. But not willingly he should neglect. Then such person is not required at all.
Devotee (7): Prabhupāda, in the movement there is sometimes difficulty, and. . .
Prabhupāda: What is the difficulty? You chant sixteen rounds and follow the regulative. . . Where is the difficulty?
Devotee (7): If they will not accept instruction, then. . .
Cyavana: Then what is your instruction? If they won't accept your instruction, then what is your instruction? Must be bogus. Huh? If your instruction is pure, then they'll accept. If your instruction is not pure, who will accept? I will not accept.
Prabhupāda: No, "Example is better than precept." If you actually follow strictly the rules and regulations and chant sixteen rounds, why they'll not follow? They'll follow. If you are not attending class, if you are not attending maṅgala ārati, if you are not finishing sixteen rounds, then that is bad example.
Brahmānanda: This boy didn't attend maṅgala ārati.
Prabhupāda: Don't set bad example. That is detrimental.
Devotee (7): Śrīla Prabhupāda, is it right for the advanced devotees to chastise?
Prabhupāda: Nobody is advanced. Everyone is student. He must follow. There is no question of advanced.
Devotee (7): I mean, they call śūdras . . . (indistinct) . . ..
Prabhupāda: Śūdras? Śūdra, how he can be devotee? Śūdras are never devotee.
Indian man (4): No, he says sometimes the devotees, they call the other devotee that "You are śūdra."
Prabhupāda: That is jokingly. (laughter)
Indian man (4): Prabhupāda, sometimes you have said that this Gāyatrī was first spoken by the Lord, and this is a sound vibration of the Kṛṣṇa's flute, and it was heard by Brahmā. Right? And these brāhmaṇas, so-called brāhmaṇas, they are. . .
Prabhupāda: There is no question of "so-called." We want real brāhmaṇa. That's all. It was heard by the real brāhmaṇa, Brahmā. Brahmā, Brahmā.
Indian man (4): So they worship Gāyatrī. They say it like as a. . .
Prabhupāda: They. . . Whatever they say, you forget that. You do your own duty. You follow the rules and regulation and do the needful. Why you. . .?
Indian man (4): But we have to make them understand very clearly.
Prabhupāda: But they will never understand. You don't waste your time. Go on with your duty. When they will see that you are actually acting as brāhmaṇa, they will appreciate.
Indian lady (3): Time will come. They will notice.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that they will appreciate. But if you don't follow strictly, then it is useless to criticize them also. You are also victim; they are also victim.
Devotee (8): When chanting our sixteen rounds, we are not sure if these rounds are sincere. . .
Prabhupāda: You should be sure.
Devotee (8): How can we be sure?
Prabhupāda: There is beads.
Brahmānanda: No, he's saying that when we chant our rounds, how can we be sure that when we chant the round that the round is a perfect, attentive round, sincere?
Prabhupāda: Therefore it is śāstra: "You must." There is no question of understanding.
Brahmānanda: The quality of the chanting he's asking. How can we make the quality the best?
Prabhupāda: Quality, you'll understand first of all come to the quality. Without having quality, how he'll understand the quality? You follow the instruction of your spiritual master, of the śāstra. That is your duty. Quality, no quality—it is not your position to understand. When the quality comes, there is no force. You will have a taste for chanting. You will desire at that time, "Why sixteen round? Why not sixteen thousand rounds?" That is quality. That is quality. It is by force. You'll not do it; therefore at least sixteen rounds. But when you come to the quality, you will feel yourself, "Why sixteen? Why not sixteen thousand?" That is quality, automatically. Just like Haridāsa Ṭhākura was doing. He was not forced to do. Even Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He requested, "Now you are old enough. You can reduce." So he refused, "No. Up to the end of my life I shall go on." That is quality. Have you got such tendency that you will go on chanting and nothing to do? That is quality. Now you are forced to do. Where is the question of quality? That is given a chance so that one day you may come to the quality, not that you have come to the quality.
Quality is different. Athāśaktiḥ. Aśakti, attachment. Just like Rūpa Gosvāmī says that "How shall I chant with one tongue? And how shall I hear, two ears? Had it been millions of tongue and trillions of ear, then I could enjoy it." This is quality. Quality is not so cheap. Maybe after many births. For the time being you go on following the rules and regulations. It is being done by force. Where is the quality? So you wanted to understand quality. This is the quality. You'll not be forced, but automatically you'll desire. That is quality. I am writing books. I am not being forced by anyone. Everyone can do that. Why one does not do it? Why I get up at night, one o'clock, and do this job? Because I cannot do without it. How one will do it artificially? This is quality. Therefore they like my purports. That quality is shown by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Śunyayitaṁ jagat sarvaṁ govinda virahena me (Śikṣāṣṭaka 7): "Oh, I do not see Govinda. The whole world is vacant." Śunyayitaṁ jagat sarvaṁ govinda virahena me. This is quality. Just like we have got practical example: one man's beloved has died, and he is seeing the whole universe vacant. Is it vacant? So that is quality of love.
So there is no formula of quality. It is to be understood by himself. Just like if after eating something you feel refreshed and get strength, that is quality. You haven't got to take certificate: "Will you give me a certificate that I have eaten?" You'll understand whether you eaten or not. That is quality. When you'll feel so much ecstasy in chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, that is quality. Not artificially—"Chant. Chant. Otherwise get out." This is not quality. This is in expectation that someday you may come to quality. That requires time. That requires sincerity. But quality is there. Śravanādi śuddha citte karaye. . . (CC Madhya 22.107). It will be awakened. Not by force. Just like love between two person, it cannot be forced: "You must love him. You must love her." No, that is no love. That is not love. When they automatically love one another, that is quality. Dora vede (?) prema.
And therefore formerly, at least in the Indian society, the. . . At an early age they were married. There is no quality in that quality. But gradually, remaining together, the quality of love increases. Then the wife takes care of the husband, and the husband takes care. . . They become bound up, united in love. That is quality. In the beginning, what the child knows about love? No. But they are allowed to remain as husband and wife. They are thinking that "I have got my husband," "I have got my wife," and as the age increases, the dealings becomes intimate. Then they become affectionate. That is quality. Not in the beginning there is any quality. It is by the parents' arrangement. That's all. In our day, the marriage was performed when the girl is ten years, twelve years, nine years. Twelve years is very late marriage. My second sister, she became twelve years old. So my mother became so disturbed that "This girl is not being married. Shall I commit suicide?" Yes. You see? My eldest sister, she was nine years old, older than me, and she was married before my birth. And my mother-in-law was married at the age of seven years, and my father-in-law was eleven years. I was married. . . My wife was eleven years.
So in this age there is no question of love. It is not that the husband and wife lives together. No. Unless the girl is grown up, she is not going to the husband. She remains with the father and mother. Sometimes they meet, and the wife is taught, giving some sweetmeat to the husband—official. Official. The parents of the girl: "Just go up to your husband and offer this." So she comes as obedient servant. But gradually they get the connection. In this way the love develops, and when they are fifteen, sixteen years old, they are allowed to live together. Because both of them have already developed that "She is my wife," "He is my husband," psychologically. And there was no question of divorce. The love is so strong, they cannot dream even that "I have to leave my wife," "I have to leave my husband." They cannot dream it. They may fight. The husband and wife fighting, that is not unusual. Therefore Canakya Paṇḍita says, "Fight between the husband, wife, never take it seriously." Daṁpatye kalahe caiva baṁbhāraṁbhe laghu-kriya: "They'll make all arambha, but it is not very important. Don't take." Next moment they will again live peacefully. So according to Indian culture, there is no divorce. There is no question of divorce. Both the husband and wife, they cannot dream of divorce, the love was so strong. Even Gandhi's life, he fought with his wife and pushed her out of the house: "Get out. I don't want you." And Kasturabhai, she began to cry on the street, "Where shall I go? You have driven me away." Then Gandhi said, "Come on." Finished. (laughter) He has written in his life. (pause)
Devotee: I'm curious about the destination of a neophyte devotee. If a neophyte devotee is with determination endeavoring for purification but he were to meet with death as he is still influenced by the lower modes, although he is seriously trying, then does he take another birth, or does he go to Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: No, he has to take another birth. If he is not completely purified, he has to suffer another birth. Nobody is allowed to enter into the spiritual unless he is cent percent pure. No allowance. Then he has to. . . Therefore it is said, śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo sañjāyate (BG 6.41). He is given chance, another chance, to take birth in a very pure brāhmaṇa family or rich family so that he may take again the chance. Not in. . . he is allowed to enter. He is given a good chance again. That is his benefit. Even if you are failure, still, your next birth as a very first class human being is guaranteed. Not for others. It is only for the yogīs. If he is. . . Therefore it is said that "What is the loss even if he is failure?" Tyaktvā sva-dharmaṁ caraṇāmbujaṁ harer bhajann apakvo 'tha patet tato yadi yatra kva va abhadram abhūd amuṣya kim (SB 1.5.17). This verse is very important. Even by sentiment one comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and discharges the regulative duties, chants Hare Kṛṣṇa, his next life is guaranteed as a human being. Even he does it for some time—he is not perfect—still, his next life is guaranteed. But others, there is no such guarantee. Even if he discharges his so-called duties, material duties, there is no guarantee that he'll become a human being.
Harikeśa: Is that why Ajāmila had to go to Hṛṣīkeśa and perform devotional service?
Harikeśa: Ajamila, after he chanted "Nārāyaṇa," they let him stay in that body, and then he went to Hṛṣīkeśa and performed devotional service and then became perfect.
Prabhupāda: No, he was already perfect, but to increase his desire—"How shall I go Vaikuṇṭha?"—another time he had to go. He was a perfect; otherwise how he was saved from the Yamadūtas?
Harikeśa: So if a devotee dies and remembers Kṛṣṇa, although he is not perfect. . .
Prabhupāda: Unless he is perfect, he cannot remember Kṛṣṇa. That is not possible. That is not possible. That is theory only. He must be perfect. Somehow or other, he fallen, so Kṛṣṇa gives him the chance. That is a special concession for devotee. Some way or other, you become devotee. Even if you cannot finish the whole job, if you fall down, still, there is guarantee that you get your birth in a very good society. That is the prerogative.
Jñāna: What about like Mahārāja Bharata?
Prabhupāda: That was also. If Mahārāja Bharata. . . It was punishment and reward also. Mahārāja Bharata, although he became a deer, he remembered that he was such-and-such exalted position but "I became attached to the deer and I forgot my regular duties." Mahārāja Bharata, he became so much attached to the deer, he forgot his regular duties. Therefore he was punished. But he remembered that "I was in such exalted position. On account of my attachment to the deer I have fallen." Therefore he rectified himself so that in his next life he became completely silent so that "I may not fall down," Jaḍa Bharata. This association, material association, is so dangerous, so he remained just like a dull madman, that's all. He was talking with nobody; he was not mixing with anybody. Whatever one would do, he did not protest. But his knowledge was full.
Devotee (7): Is there any difference in . . . (indistinct) . . . when somebody is chanting japa under the tree and someone who is chanting japa in the temple?
Brahmānanda: I think sometimes we recommend the devotees to chant their rounds in the temple rather than to walk in other places.
Prabhupāda: Why one should walk other places? Who has said that you go out, walk other places? Never said.
Devotee (7): It may not really be necessary.
Prabhupāda: No. You should chant in the temple. Why should you go to other place?
Devotee (7): So there is no difference, someone chanting out of the temple or in the temple.
Prabhupāda: Why you should go outside? Who has allowed him to go outside? Unless he has got some important business for the temple, why one should go to outside? There is no need. That is the chance of falling down. Why you should go outside? We are arranging for the temple, for the food. Why? Because everyone should stick to the temple and the principles. Why you should go to outside? That should be stopped. You cannot go outside.
Devotee (7): May we go to the shop to buy something?
Prabhupāda: That is another thing. That is for temple's benefit or business. That is another thing. Somebody goes to sell books, somebody goes to make some Life Members, that is another thing. Otherwise one is not allowed at all. Not whimsically "I am going out." Why you are spoiling your men?
Devotee (9): Prabhupāda, sometimes I've seen devotees say that they did not like to chant in the temple room with the opposite sex.
Prabhupāda: Then that is a rascal. He is not a devotee. He is a rascal, when a devotee says. . . How you become devotee? If he does not like the temple and he thinks to be happy outside, what is he? What kind of devotee he is? He is not a devotee.
Devotee (9): What I meant to say is he does not want to chant with women in the temple room. I have seen this before. He says, "I do not want to chant in a room with women. I would rather be away from the women."
Prabhupāda: That means he has got distinction between men and women. He is not yet paṇḍit. Paṇḍitaḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18). He is a fool, that's all. He is a fool. So what is the value of his words? He is a fool.
Indian man (4): So he'll go first to make. . .
Prabhupāda: He should always consider, "There is woman, that's all. She is my mother." That's all. Matṛvāt para-dareṣu. Then what is the. . .? Suppose you sit down with your mother and chant. What is the wrong? But he is not so strong, then he should go to the forest. Why he should live in the Nairobi city? On the street there are so many women. He will walk on the street closing the eyes? (laughter) This is all rascaldom. They are rascals. They are not devotees; simply rascals.
Indian man (4): Some of our devotee goes to the other temple like Swami Nārāyaṇa, you know, and they want to see the ladies there, so then they are taking these instruction from them.
Prabhupāda: Our devotees go to Swami Nārāyaṇa?
Indian man (4): Yes, they go. Here our devotees, they went to Mombassa for . . . (indistinct) . . . of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. When I was not there, all of them went to Swami. . .
Prabhupāda: These things should be stopped. They leave their own temple and go to Swami Nārāyaṇa temple? Stop.
Indian man (4): They likes their lunch. They go for lunch. Yes, that's true. All of them went without asking me. About five, six devotees, immediately from here went to Swami Nārāyaṇa.
Prabhupāda: So this should be rectified.
Indian man (4): And their theory is that. . . I asked Pramukha Swami that "Why you have put this? Why you say to your disciple that we should not see the face of the woman?" He said that "We should avoid." But I said, "Well, okay, when you are walking on the road automatically you will see the ladies." He said, "We turn our face to one side." I said, "First you have seen the woman. Then you are turning. (laughter) You will look further. You have not seen the women. You have no sense, you know."
Prabhupāda: These are all bogus things. One should train himself that matravāt para-dareṣu: all women, "my mother." Then it will be possible to live. . . Therefore the etiquette is to address every woman, "Ma." Ma, mother. That is the etiquette.
Brahmānanda: You say like "Mother Rukmiṇī"? There's a devotee named Rukmiṇī. You say, "Mother Rukmiṇī"? How do you address a woman? Do you say "Mother," and then the name of the devotee?
Prabhupāda: No. "Mother," simply.
Brahmānanda: Just "Mother."
Prabhupāda: Yes. They should be addressed "Mother." That will train.
Indian man (4): In our Indian culture they don't call the name of the mother never, children don't.
Prabhupāda: No. "Mother," simply "mother," that's all. And if the woman treats man as son, then it is all right. It is safe.
Indian lady (3): We got a very sweet sound. Everything we use "ji." "Matāji," "pitaji," "brataji," "bahinji."
Prabhupāda: Or. . . And the woman says "beta." That's all right.
Devotee (5): The only trouble is in the West we're accustomed to not like our mothers.
Devotee (5): In the West we don't like our mothers.
Prabhupāda: So you should forget your "West" or "East." (break)
Brahmānanda: Similarly, wife should not be called "Mother."
Prabhupāda: No. Therefore it is said, "other's wife," not your wife. But Ramakrishnan, he was saying his wife "mother," and he became famous by this foolishness.
Indian man (4): Ramakrishnan, there are many like Shyāma mother. Her husband, he calls her "mother."
Prabhupāda: Just see. In the Brahma-samāj they call the wife as "sister," and the wife calls the husband "brother," address like that.
African man (6): Śrīla Prabhupāda, since there is no distinction between man and woman—these are both designations—is it possible for a woman to become a brāhmaṇa?
Brahmānanda: Is it possible for a woman to become a brāhmaṇa?
Prabhupāda: He is. . . Woman is a brāhmaṇa's wife. Then she is automatically a brāhmaṇa.
African man (6): Suppose she doesn't want to get married for the rest of her life, just wants to serve the Lord?
Prabhupāda: So in his spiritual position everyone is a brāhmaṇa.
Brahmānanda: But you give brahminical initiation to unmarried women.
Prabhupāda: Yes. But on spiritual point she is brāhmaṇa. On the spiritual platform there is no such distinction.
Devotee (7): Oh, it's not possible for a woman to become a sannyāsī.
Devotee (2): What is the position of the woman in a. . . late in life, the wife of a devotee?
Prabhupāda: What is that position?
Brahmānanda: After the husband takes sannyāsa?
Devotee (2): Yes.
Brahmānanda: What is the duties of the woman after the husband takes sannyāsa?
Prabhupāda: So remain a devotee, widow. She is not allowed to marry.
Indian man (4): I know, Prabhupāda, one of your Godsisters in Vṛndāvana. She is very old. She is staying in Tīrtha Mahārāja's maṭha. So she told me she took her initiation when she was about sixteen year old, and still she stays in the temple and she. . . (break)
Devotee (10): . . .see you're the most pious person on this planet.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Devotee (10): . . . (indistinct) . . . (end)