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760606 - Conversation - Los Angeles

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

760606R1-LOS_ANGELES - June 06, 1976 - 34:10 Minutes

Prabhupāda: . . . just like you are also following the instructions, spiritual instructions. So we see those disciples who observe these four regulative principles, they become . . . (indistinct) . . . according to the advice from the brāhmaṇas. It is very good, yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas (BG 3.21).

If the leaders of the society accept something, then the followers, they also accept. So that brainwork must be there. Just like in the whole body, the brain is the most important part. If one of your arms is cut off, you do not die; but if the head is cut off, you will die. So the brāhmaṇa community of the society must be maintained, otherwise who will guide? Without brain, who will guide the arms and the legs and the head?

So at the present moment that is lacking. The brain society is practically nil, and they are not eager to establish or to educate a section of people to become perfect brāhmin. There is no such arrangement. There is engineering college, medical college—so many different departments are there, educational institutions—but there is no institution throughout the whole world how to train a class of men to become perfect brāhmaṇas, or intelligent class. That is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. We are just trying to set up a section of the people to become very, very intelligent. And who is very, very intelligent? One who knows God. He is intelligent. That is the end of knowledge. As any educational program it has got an end, so we are getting knowledge in so many ways, but end of knowledge is to know God. That is called Vedānta. Vedā means "knowledge"; anta means "end." Yasmin vijñāte sarvam idaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3).

That is the end of knowledge. Simply by knowing God, you know everything.

So that knowledge is lacking and being covered. So we are trying to give this knowledge to human society. Anyone helps this movement, he also becomes recognized by God. (indistinct aside to devotee about light) Therefore they have got Vedic process. Brain must be maintained. Just like if somebody is coming to attack you, you first of all try to protect your brain, head. Is it not? And his hands, not his legs. So the brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya. Brāhmaṇa is the brain, and the hands are the kṣatriyas. The brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, and everyone is maintained by food, digestion—that is belly. Unless you digest nicely, then the brain will not act, and legs . . . hands will not act.

Devotee: And then the legs, śūdras?

Prabhupāda: All of them required. They have got different functions. That is scientific division of human society. Somebody must work as brain, somebody works as hand, somebody works as belly, and somebody must work as legs. That is complete body. So other things are taken care of, but the government, the . . . (indistinct) . . . they are neglectful about this brain, brāhmaṇa. That is the defect of modern civilization. Therefore the human society is in more or less chaotic condition. There are so many educated leaders, so many universities, but still the society is not working. They are trying to adjust things in the United Nations. That is also not doing, because there is no brain, no brāhmaṇa. That is a fact. They do not know how to act. Everybody is whimsically saying something: "I think," "I believe." "You believe," "I believe," "He believes." Everyone believes. Who we should accept? What is the standard? From the present civilization everyone is coming forward: "I believe." You believe; I also believe. You don't accept my belief; I don't accept your belief. Finished. Whole adjustment is wrong. So there must be standard belief. If everyone puts forward his own belief, then which one will be the standard? So we are taking the Kṛṣṇa's instructions as standard. And that is the fact. There must be something standard. In the society, in such condition that "I believe," "You believe," "He believes," what is the standard?

Devotee: Chaos.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the present condition. They are manufacturing their own ideas. They cannot accept the standard idea. If the whole human society in the United Nations passes a resolution that "The standard ideas advocated by the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we shall accept," immediately all problems solved. That is a fact.

Devotee: Prabhupāda, we have very strict standards. There is no second chance. We have a no smoking, no drinking, no drugs or anything. Just one offence, they are released for a lifetime—they can never return. So it's a very strict standard. We are the only corporate structure in North America. We have a very intelligent lawyer to put it into corporate rules, because sometimes people say that it is taking away their freedom of choice. After working hours you can have it legally on your papers that they cannot drink while working, but we have it even while on off-hours. Our people work pretty hard.

One question I wanted to ask you—I talked to Guru dāsa about it quite a bit—was as far as chanting rounds were concerned. Our people do work often sixteen, seventeen, eighteen hours a day, because we want to make this thing work. And sometimes we find that sixteen rounds, they don't do any, because in the end, it is not possible; they just don't have time, because of the work. Is there some kind of standard that we could set that would be . . .

Prabhupāda: General regulation is, suppose today you could not complete sixteen rounds—say you have completed twelve rounds—so the next day you complete four rounds. That means twenty rounds. Next day regular sixteen rounds, plus yesterday's. That is the rule. Anyway, something is better than nothing. (laughter) But the rule, regulation is, just like the Gosvāmīs, they, if they missed chanting rounds, they would not sleep, completely. That is vow, dṛḍha-vrata. In Sanskrit it is called dṛḍha-vrata. That makes very strong spiritual strength.

Devotee: Part of the problem from our point is that we hide our bead bags, because people think we'd be very ridiculous to be carrying a bead bag around.

Prabhupāda: That is . . . (indistinct) . . . convince them. They can carry, what is called? Trans . . ., transistor.

Devotee: Transistor radio.

Prabhupāda: Like a log. (laughter) And if you cannot carry it always . . . so it is very big social problem.

Devotee: So we have to be careful of our position, because some people they have told me that, "I would be walking down the street sometime, and we passed the devotees . . ."

Prabhupāda: No. You can say that, "I have got some defect in my hand. I have got some defect for chanting. Therefore I have covered it." (laughter)

Hari Śauri: Sometime I have had people ask me why my hand is bandaged up.

Devotee (2): This idea of teaching tennis is actually a good platform for preaching, because the people in America are so eager to learn how to play tennis. If they can tell all their customers, "Now if you want to play tennis very good—you have to follow these four rules, that will help you play tennis."

Prabhupāda: No, this tennis—not exactly like this—but this ball-throwing, you see in the Bhāgavata, the queens of Kṛṣṇa on the roof, they are playing ball, throwing ball. That was a form of exercise—of course for the high-class kings and queens. Ordinary man, he is working all the day; he hasn't got time to take to sporting. But queens, they have nothing to work. So on the roof of the palace they are playing this ball, this kind of tennis. I think that tennis is also meant for very high-class society, eh?

Devotee (2): Formerly it was just very exclusive. But now it is becoming the most popular sport in America.

Devotee: Thirty-seven million people out of two hundred and twenty million people are now playing tennis. So it is the most popular sport. It is just a catalyst for media.

Prabhupāda: I have seen in that park.

Devotee: Yes, Rancho Park.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Devotee: Rancho Park.

Prabhupāda: What it's called?

Devotee: Yes, where they . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: Early in the morning they are playing tennis.

Devotee: Right. We went for a walk one time, when I went out on a walk with you, and we were passing by the tennis courts, and all my friends were coaching friends, so I kind of hid in the middle of the group, because they would think I was a little bit crazy to be a devotee. And so I've had a lot of disguise. We are just using tennis as a medium. If the company fails tomorrow, then we know that we will always go straight to the temple. But right now it is a tremendous opportunity for us, because they become attracted to us, because we don't have shaved heads, because we aren't carrying bead bags externally. So they like us, and they become our friends.

Prabhupāda: In the . . . (indistinct) . . . yena tena prakāreṇa mana kṛṣṇe niveśayet: somehow or other draw the attention to Kṛṣṇa. So if the tennis player somehow or other comes to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, he gets . . . (indistinct) . . . not that one has to live in the temple. Somehow or the other, if he chants Kṛṣṇa's name, he's a devotee. Yena tena prakāreṇa mana kṛṣṇe niveśayet. There is a verse. Somehow or other if somebody comes to the light, he takes, he sees sense—like that. So this is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Somehow or the other be conscious of Kṛṣṇa. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto (BG 18.65).

Man-manā means "think of Me." In another place:

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
(BG 6.47)

"Of all , one who is thinking particularly of Me . . . (indistinct) . . . is considered the best." So somehow or the other if people are educated to think of Kṛṣṇa, that will be a great benefit in his life. Simply thinking. Other things you may do or may not do, but thinking of Kṛṣṇa is very, very important. That is education, first-class education. Somehow or other.

So thinking of Kṛṣṇa means he is becoming purified. Material life is impure. Due to our impurity, we are attached to this material body. So the more you purify, then you come to your spiritual body. And when you are completely purified, no more restriction. No more . . . (indistinct) . . . the example given is the iron rod. You put it in the fire so it becomes warmer, gradually it becomes red-hot. When it is red-hot it is no more iron rod; it is fire. Is it not? So if you always think of Kṛṣṇa, then you become gradually spiritualized, and then perfected in your spiritual life. You don't have any more material body in this life, and next life there is no restraint, simply . . . (indistinct)

Material body is the source of all tribulation. We have got suffering and so-called enjoyment of life. This is due to this body. So as soon as we accept this material body, the material sufferings must be there. The chief material suffering is death. You have no . . . (indistinct) . . . birth, death, old age, disease—these are the highest, topmost material sufferings. Nobody wants to die, but death is come upon you. Nobody wants to take birth, but there is . . . (indistinct) . . . nobody wants old age, but there is . . . (indistinct) . . . nobody wants disease, but there is suffering. So either you live in America or in India or in heaven or hell, these material sufferings accompany you. But you do not want them. You are all sportsmen, young men, but you cannot expect that there will be no old age . . . (indistinct) . . . sportsman . . . (indistinct) . . . you cannot be . . . (indistinct) . . . there are so many young men, they are running in the morning, but if I run like that a few steps . . . (laughter) (laughs) So even I want it, I cannot do it, because I am old man. But this is compulsory. Because nobody wants to become old man and suffer. The science continues. They are defying God. So-called scientists say there is no need of God; you can solve all problems by science. Is it possible? But you cannot solve these four unwanted things—birth, death, old age and disease. It is impossible to check it. The devas, they are . . . (indistinct) . . . they control. That is the proof of existence. They deny the existence of God: "God is dead," "There is no God," "There is no need of God." But God is there. Simply worship. You are small. God will come at death, and everything will be taken away.

That is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā: mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraś cāham (BG 10.34)

"I come as death to take away all his assets, his health, his money, his assets, his education—everything." Sarva-haraś. Sarva-haraś means "taking away." Therefore His name is Hari. Hari means "who can take away everything." So He takes away of the atheists all his possessions, and He takes away all discomforts of the devotees. Therefore His name is Hari; He takes away. He takes away of the nondevotees all his so-called possessions, of which he is very, very proud; and He takes away all the troubles of the devotee. This is going on. The devotee becomes very, very happy when all his material conditions are taken away by Kṛṣṇa: . . . (indistinct) . . . no more birth, death, old age and disease. He takes away all the disadvantages. And for the materialistic person, he is thinking, "All these my possessions: my wife, children, my house, my nation, my position, my bank balance and so on, so on, so on." He takes away. Forcefully it is taken away.

ātma-sainyeṣv asatsv api
teṣāṁ pramatto nidhanaṁ
paśyann api na paśyati
(SB 2.1.4)

We are thinking, "My strong body,"deha, "my good children—very qualified, educated, well placed,"dehāpatya; kalatra, "my good wife, faithful wife—very pleasing, enchanting."Dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣu. This is a struggle for existence, and we take these things as our soldiers. Just like a king fights with his soldiers, similarly, we fight, struggle for existence, that we have got a very comfortable home. We think that we are secured, but we are not secure. All these soldiers will be finished.

teṣāṁ pramatto nidhanaṁ
paśyann api na paśyati
(SB 2.1.4)

He is a madman. He is thinking that his things will be safe. They will be finished with you—everyone. Then another chapter begins. From your good work in this life you can remain as a statue in the park. (laughter) You have to accept another body . . . (indistinct) . . . again.

(pause) So in your job, do you read our books sometimes?

Devotee: Oh, more than sometimes. When we travel, I tell them . . . because we have to deal with the so-called karmi world on our . . . I tell all of our professionals to do as much as they can, like they should always sleep with the bead bag in our hand, so that if you wake up at night we can chant ourselves back to sleep. And always read a book on Kṛṣṇa before you got to sleep, because our mind becomes agitated occasionally because of the dealings with the karmi world. So we have to do as much as we can to checkpoint any problems that may exist, so . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes, the whole science of reading from the book, the situation is that you can dream of it. That is very good.

Devotee: A couple of us are like life members. And every . . . most of the sincere . . . only the very intimate people within our organization really know about Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They . . . we talk about karma, and whenever anyone falls down on the court and gets hurt, I tell them, "Don't worry, because you are not your body." And gradually, gradually it's starting to . . . you can see how they react, and if they react positively, then we introduce Kṛṣṇa consciousness to them. But if they are not, then we just, we don't . . . we leave them.

Prabhupāda: By these activities you become recognized very nicely by Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says:

na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu
kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ
(BG 18.69)

Anyone who does like this, he becomes very, very dear to Kṛṣṇa. That is our business, how to become dear to Kṛṣṇa. If Kṛṣṇa says only, "Yes, you are all right," then your life is a success. Recognization by Kṛṣṇa! That is the success for us. This whole movement is how to be recognized by Kṛṣṇa. Only Kṛṣṇa has to confirm, "Yes, you're doing . . . (indistinct) . . ." That is our aim; that is our ambition—how Kṛṣṇa will recognize our service. And once recognized, then your life becomes successful. But He recognizes even slight service to Him. He is so kind. There are so many histories where He recognizes even slight service, insignificant. That is stated in Bhagavad-gītā:

sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya
trāyate mahato bhayāt
(BG 2.40)

Even slight service can save him from the greatest danger.

So try to do some service for Kṛṣṇa, and you can say you are recognized. My Guru Mahārāja used to say that we should not be very much anxious to see Kṛṣṇa, but we should work in such a way that Kṛṣṇa will see us. We should not try to see Kṛṣṇa. Many people are very anxious to see God. They say: "Can you show me God?" That is not the question of devotees. Devotees will say: "I may see or not see God, but if I can give Him service, then He will see me." Why shall I call God to see me, unnecessarily giving Him trouble? He is busy in so many ways, so why shall I divert His attention to see me? No. That is not what we do. Kṛṣṇa is giving me chance to serve Him, so let me serve Him sincerely, so that He will see me. He has His eyes everywhere, His hands, legs, everywhere. So if we do some service for Kṛṣṇa, He will see you, personally . . . (indistinct) . . . dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ (BG 10.10).

He will give intelligence how to come to Him. He is all-pervading; everywhere He is present. And you can see Him also everywhere, if you develop such love for Him.

santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti
(Bs 5.38)

So, give them some prasādam.

Devotee: Thank you very much. (break)

Devotee (3): In all of our decisions, when we have a meeting, if we don't know what to decide, we always say: "What would Prabhupāda think," or "What would Kṛṣṇa think?" And that's sometimes a . . . (indistinct) . . . (break) (end)