770524 - Conversation C - Vrndavana
Jayapatākā: Yes, Śrīla Prabhupāda, everything is all right. Except that your health is not all right. But preaching is going on. Very receptive field in Bangladesh.
Jayapatākā: There has been no sādhus there for many years, and the people there are very eager to hear about Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Wherever I went, thousands of people gathered. One time ten thousand people gathered. It was the biggest function held in the history of the town, either Hindu or Muhammadan. The Muhammadans are also very interested. They don't know anything about Lord Caitanya. Many have asked, "Do you have any book on the life of Lord Caitanya?" They like to read. And the person who arranged . . .
Prabhupāda: So give the book, Teachings of Lord Caitanya.
Jayapatākā: Yes, we can give the book Teachings of Lord Caitanya, although the books in Bengali will be more suitable. But some English books will be . . . we are distributing about ten to fifteen big books a week and several thousand Bengali books. Everywhere we go, they are offering us a temple, but we are waiting to see what happens with the Gauḍīya Maṭha. The local secretary-president of the Gauḍīya Maṭha, they are going to see Govinda Mahārāja June 4th and tell him that they want to give the temple to us, because for forty years they haven't done anything. And then he said that if they refuse, then they'll go back and make a resolution that they should give it to us anyway.
Prabhupāda: Yes, they can give. It is Bangladesh law. It has nothing to do . . .
Jayapatākā: Also, Tīrtha Mahārāja has given him a power of attorney from before. He said Tīrtha Mahārāja had tried to sell the temple several times to other people.
Prabhupāda: That I checked.
Jayapatākā: But he had stopped it. So the potential looks very good. Some devotees I sent there for visa extension to come back to India, and they have requested to stay there and preach because it was such, such receptive. Many young men are coming and asking very intelligent questions. They ask questions about Deity worship, about guru, about hari-nāma—very intelligent questions. There's no CIA rumor. There's no any type of bad talk about us there, no envy at all. Very open-minded. And because they are a little bit oppressed, so they're always being challenged about believing in Kṛṣṇa, so that's why they're eager to understand.
Prabhupāda: What about the Muhammadans?
Jayapatākā: The Muhammadans . . . at one place the Muhammadan who heard my lecture in Dacca, he came and approached me and said that, "What you are preaching," he said, "this is very applicable for the modern day and . . ." He lives in Mymensingh. He said, "In Mymensingh there is nearly a majority of Hindu, and they have their sādhus come and preach there, but it's very, very old-fashioned, and we find it very unacceptable. But what you are saying we find very enthusing." So he arranged the program for me at Mymensingh, the Muhammadan. And every Muhammadan I met, discussed with, ultimately they became interested, just because it was represented in a way acceptable to them. They say: "You are Hindu?" I said, "No, we are Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava means we believe in only one Supreme God, and He has got no equal and no second." "So you . . .? We believe in the same."
Prabhupāda: There is a . . . asamaurdhva. There cannot be anyone equal to God or greater than God. Then He is God.
Jayapatākā: Many young men, both Hindu and Muhammadan, will join, I'm quite sure. Right now we're getting the society registered and getting our place. Before we actually . . .
Prabhupāda: So did you not get? Finish that. Get the place and society registered.
Jayapatākā: Well, I was there with Prabhaviṣṇu, and he joined me after ten days, and I instructed him what to do, everything. Then I was called back to Māyāpur. But there'll be no difficulty. I can go any time there within a week. The Bengal government is giving me re-entry visa, so I can go and come back without difficulty.
Prabhupāda: Do this seriously.
Jayapatākā: Because the secretary and the president of Gauḍīya Maṭha, Dacca, are coming June 4th to Calcutta, so it's better that I'm here to meet them to make sure that the . . . because that's the best place that we've seen in whole Bangladesh. We've been offered places in Comilla, Chittagong, in Barisal. Everywhere we've been offered places, but that seems to be the best place. That's also Bhaktisiddhānta's place.
Prabhupāda: So why don't you see the donor of that place? I gave the address.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: To Prabhaviṣṇu.
Jayapatākā: I don't think he's seen him. Now the main manager has been handed authority. We've seen him. He's also favorable. But the people who are holding the main power, they are also favorable, so they've given us. Good facility for boat program. I went to a village by boat one day, and the villagers, they were very receptive also. They held a whole festival. Everyone, five hundred people, stopped their work, and they all came and chanted Hare Kṛṣṇa, and we cooked a big pot of khicuṛi. I said: "Everyone has provided ḍāl and rice. We don't eat at home today." And he cooked up khicuṛi and we gave everyone prasāda. And they said: "Please, if you could come every two weeks or every month, we could have a festival."
Prabhupāda: Naturally so much good reception. So organize. These people will not give.
Prabhupāda: These rascals, Gauḍīya Maṭha.
Jayapatākā: No. But they don't have any . . . they don't have any sādhu to go there.
Prabhupāda: They have nothing. Still, they have got . . . that is called in Bengali, bisnai kulavane cakra. There is no poison, but the hood is: "Arrhh." (laughs) That is their . . . even this bite, there is no poison. But they are showing kulavana cakra. Still, it is bhayaṅkara. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says, maṇinā bhūṣitaḥ sarpaḥ kim asau na bhayaṅkaraḥ: "A snake . . ." Sometimes snake has got some jewel on the hood. So he can go in the darkness by the light of the jewel. If somebody thinks, "Oh, here is a snake with jewel. Let me embrace him," no, no, no, it is very ferocious. Even it is jewel there, it is ferocious. Similarly, these people are envious. Although they have become so-called Vaiṣṇava, they are ferocious. They have not acquired the qualification of Vaiṣṇava. Simply vesopidin, by dress. So what is there? They could not do for the last fifty, sixty years. Still . . . they wanted to exchange. I stopped it, the Mohini Babu. Mohini . . . Bali hatti zamindar. So if we do not get that place, we can get other place?
Jayapatākā: Oh, yeah, there is no difficulty.
Prabhupāda: Hmm, just start something. Start something.
Jayapatākā: They said that by the middle of June, that definitely we'll find out.
Jayapatākā: So . . . but we've been offered in Narayanganj and many places nearby. Even Dacca we can get some place. People are . . .
Prabhupāda: One gentleman, he has now become my disciple.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Mr. Sindh. That jeweler from Calcutta?
Jayapatākā: He's given . . . (indistinct) . . . me.
Prabhupāda: They are very rich man, that Sindh jeweler. They can give. He is very nice man, very nice man, very well-to-do. You have seen them?
Jayapatākā: Yes, before I went I saw him, and he gave me three, four names of very wealthy people in Bangladesh to see, and those people are also . . . one person already became a member, and they'll give us much support.
Prabhupāda: No, you'll get.
Jayapatākā: There are so many. They're scattered about. I couldn't see all the different people in a short period. It's a big place.
Prabhupāda: And whole Bangladesh is a picture.
Jayapatākā: It's just so green, all rivers. And everywhere I saw rice field and jackfruit and mango. Everywhere filled with fruits. Very luscious.
Prabhupāda: And cow's milk.
Jayapatākā: Oh, oh, no buffalo—only cow's milk. And pure ghee there is six rupees per ser. It's becoming . . .
Prabhupāda: Those who are fish-eaters, they can eat sumptuously fish. There is no scarcity.
Jayapatākā: Most of all, they're liking your books, Śrīla Prabhupāda. They like the books. Everyone is very eager for books. When we bring out this Gītā, that will also be very, very popular. Whatever books we bring there, as soon as we're there, they are immediately sold. I had no books. We had sold out all the books, so I only kept one copy to show, and I said: "We can't give you the book. You buy it by subscription, and we'll send it to you later." Ninety people took subscription, without getting any book, just on the basis of seeing one book. They're so eager.
Prabhupāda: Which one? Bhagavad-gītā?
Jayapatākā: That was for the magazine, yearly subscription for the magazine. When I showed the cinema, then many of the people, they had . . . in the villages especially they're very isolated, and so they're always being told by the Muhammadans that "Your religion is just very . . . only situated within India. It has no broad scope. Over the whole world Islam has spread. Why you are worshiping Deity? Why . . .? This . . ." They are always giving them so many challenges. So when they saw how Kṛṣṇa consciousness has spread over the world, when they saw us chanting, it was as if new life had been given to them. They said: "Now we see that sanātana-dharma has spread throughout the whole world. We are just . . ."
Prabhupāda: And Deity worship.
Jayapatākā: Yes, and Deity worship everywhere. They are very much eager. Actually if we don't preach there now, in a few years, gradually, time, time, Kṛṣṇa consciousness will fade there because of the Muhammadans' presence. But once they see us, never they'll switch. Never they'll lose their faith, just to see how foreigners have taken. That I have seen.
Prabhupāda: This is our thesis.
Jayapatākā: And educated young people, they're very . . . they're very susceptible to being devotees. When we traveled in one city, two people joined with us and traveled with us and said they'll be shaved and everything. Very easily they give up. Even when I returned in Māyāpur, about five or six new young men had joined. In the twenty days I was gone Bhavānanda Mahārāja had enlisted about five or six men and about fifteen gurukula students and two families. And they were all very enthusiastic. They want to go and preach also. Things are improving.
Prabhupāda: So building work is finished?
Jayapatākā: They're just finishing the top waterproofing, jalchad. They're building that now. That'll be finished in fifteen days.
Prabhupāda: Others things are going on.
Jayapatākā: Other things are going on.
Bhavānanda: Painting. Painting, finishing painting work is going on, first floor.
Jayapatākā: Painting is going on. Now we just have to furnish the rooms. Then guests can stay. The rooms are still unfurnished. This weekend it was packed, filled with guests, our big guesthouse. One Tara minibus came and filled, garden building. People only come to Māyāpur to see our temple. They don't go to see any other temple.
Prabhupāda: What they'll see there? (laughter) How Saman Mahārāja is managing?
Jayapatākā: He somehow is trying to maintain. I don't see any improvement.
Prabhupāda: No, he cannot make any improvement, but if he can maintain, that is our question.
Jayapatākā: I didn't go there, so I can't exactly say. I don't go there. (pause) Shall we start kirtan Prabhu . . . (break) (end)