Room Conversation with Reporter of The Star
16 Oct

Reporter: Your Grace, can I start by asking you what do you think of South Africa?

Prabhupada: That you can reply. Just preach this cult, Krsna consciousness. I was expected since a long time. So I could not come here due to my other engagements.

Reporter: Yes. What are your views of the country? What do you think of it?

Prabhupada: Every country is all right. I don't find any fault. But only difficulty is that all over the world the civilization is being misdirected.

Reporter: Misguided.

Prabhupada: Misdirected. They are not taking importance of the right thing. Just like we are in this body. Now, when the body is dead, we cry that "My father is gone away. My son is gone away." But if I reply that "Your father is lying on the bed. Why you're crying that your father has gone away?" what will be the reply? The father whom the son has seen since his birth, that body in the coat and pant, so that coat-pant and body is there on the bed, and why the son is crying, "My father has gone away"? What is the reply? What should be the reply?

Reporter: Well, I know what I would reply. I don't know what you would reply.

Prabhupada: No, I want what is your reply.

Reporter: My reply would be that he hasn't gone, that he's gone to God.

Prabhupada: He...? He has not seen his father. That is my reply. Now, the person whom he accepted as his father, he is lying there on the bed. And now he is crying that "My father has gone." That means he has not seen his father. So this is going on. The whole world movement is on the basic principle of that living force which makes the body so important. Either a politician or a philosopher or a scientist, so long the living force is there, the body is important. And as such, the living force is gone, then it is simply a lump of matter. So we are taking care of this lump of matter, not of the living force. This is the mistake of the whole civilization. We do not know what is that living force. There is no scientist, there is no philosopher, nothing of the sort. Simply as child we cry, "Oh, my father has gone away. My father has gone." Why did you not see who is your father or who is your son? Where is that education? Where is that enlightenment? Where is that university? Therefore I say the whole civilization is being misdirected. They do not know what is the important factor in civilization.

Reporter: If I asked you to give the people who will read my article a message...

Prabhupada: This is my message, that the whole civilization is misdirected, giving importance on the body, but the living force within the body, he does not know anything about.

Reporter: But what message would you give to people in terms of helping people, perhaps, to live better lives?

Prabhupada: Yes. But if the basic principle is wrong, then all their plans for becoming happy is also wrong. So he does not know what is the important factor. So when he comes to know that he is not this body, he is spirit soul—he studies what is the nature of the spirit soul, what is the necessity of the spirit soul—then he becomes happy. If he is under misconception... Suppose if I take you, Mr. Singer, as the coat, and I take care of the coat and not of you, person, then is that very good proposal? So that is going on. They are taking care of the shirt and coat, not the person who is putting on the shirt and coat. This is the mistake of the modern civilization. And the Krsna consciousness movement is an attempt to correct it, not theoretically, but by scientifically, by philosophically, economically, religiously, everything. Therefore we have got so many books. We are trying to distribute, enlighten people. This is our business. Then people will be happy. Unless one who knows "what I am, and what is my business, what is my aim of life," then how he can be happy? Just like a dog is jumping here and there, here and there, but he does not know what is the aim of life, so if we do not come to the spiritual platform, that we remain animal like cats and dogs, then what is the civilization of cats and dogs? If you keep the dogs as dog and if you ask some of them to come together and make a peace formula, is it possible the dogs will be able to make any peace formula? Because they are dogs, they will go on barking. That's all. So we are attempting so many peace formula, but we are keeping the consciousness on the body, exactly like the dog. And therefore there is no peace. There cannot be any peace. First of all you must come to the real platform, the living force, what is that spirit soul, what is the necessity, what is the aim. That you do not know.

Reporter: Your Grace, a great many of South Africa's church leaders from some of the big churches are fearful that South Africa is going to find itself in a situation, or find... What message would you give this country in terms of avoiding any...

Prabhupada: No, I am going to every country because everywhere the same mistake is going on, bodily concept of life. So I am trying to bring them to the real life and then make their plan. They will be happy. It is not for South Africa. For any Africa, or any country, South America or South India or anywhere. The problem is the same. Everywhere the same conception: "I am South African." "I am American." "I am Indian." "I am this." "I am that." So all these things are on the bodily concept of life. Nobody says, "No, I am not this body. I am different from body." Nobody says. We are simply preaching that "You are not this body. You are different from this..." That is our unique situation. Perhaps throughout the whole world we are trying to preach that "You are not this body. You are different from body." And we have not manufactured this idea. This is the instruction in the Bhagavad-gita. Bhagavad-gita, the first teaching is,

dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantara-praptir
dhiras tatra na muhyati
[Bg. 2.13]

This is the first instruction. Just like in the body of a child the spirit soul is there. Therefore the child is becoming a boy, and the boy is becoming a young man. Young man is becoming old man. Then what is the next? Then the old man must have next body. This is very simple logic. Now... But I am the same. I was also a baby. I was a boy. I remember. But the body is no longer existing. I am existing. I know that I had such and such body. So therefore the conclusion is that after annihilation of this body, I will exist in another body. Tatha dehantara-praptiḥ; [Bg. 2.13]. So who knows this science? And there are 8,400,000 forms of body. What kind of or what form of body I am going to get next, where is that science? So we are teaching, by Krsna consciousness movement, all these things, not only theoretically, but with scientific knowledge, philosophy, everything. You can see our... We have got fifty books of four hundred, five hundred pages each. We are teaching only about Krsna consciousness.

Reporter: Your Grace, what stops so many people from becoming Krsna devotees?

Prabhupada: Join this, our center. You come here; you'll become Krsna devotee. Just like these boys. They are not imported from India. They are European, American, and South African. You are South African?

Reporter: British.

Prabhupada: British. And who is South African?

Pusá¹­a Krsna: They're South Africans.

Prabhupada: So we welcome everyone, African, South African, North African.

Reporter: What stops so many millions of people from doing it?

Prabhupada: Well, knowledge means it is meant for few men. If you want men without any university degree, you will get many thousands. But as soon as say, "We want graduate," it will be minimized. Or as soon as you say "postgraduate," it will be still minimized. So as soon as there is question of knowledge, the number of people will be diminished. So we cannot expect mass of people. But if there are good persons, exemplified person, vivid example, that will help the whole society—"There is ideal class. They know everything."

Reporter: You're going to be delivering two addresses next week at one of our biggest universities.

Prabhupada: That he knows.

Pusá¹­a Krsna: Monday and Wednesday. It would be nice if you would mention that in your article.

Reporter: Yes, I will. But I want to know what will you tell the people.

Prabhupada: These things in different way, that "Come to your pure knowledge and make your plan. Then you will be happy. And if your basic principle is wrong, then whatever plan you make, it is useless."

Reporter: Yes. But, you see, the thing that worries me is that how do people begin to understand that their basic principle might be wrong?

Prabhupada: Just as one goes to a school and gradually he understands what is one, what is two, what is three, what is "two plus two equal to four," how to place. It is a question of learning, education.

Reporter: Yes, but this doesn't effect the ordinary man in the street, Your Grace.

Prabhupada: Huh?

Reporter: This doesn't effect the masses.

Pusá¹­a Krsna: The mass of people, he says it doesn't effect them.

Prabhupada: Mass of people will follow. Yad yad acarati sresṭha [Bg. 3.21]. Just like everywhere, in politics there is in one leader and people follow him, so we want first-class leader. Then mass will follow. If the leaders are rascals and fools, then what will be result? Andha yathandhair upaniyamanaḥ; [SB 7.5.31]. If the leader is blind, how he can help other blind men? He must be open eyes. Then he can lead thousands of blind men—"Come here." And if he is himself blind, then how he can help? That is wanted. One blind man... One open-eyes man is sufficient to lead many thousands of blind men. But if the leaders are also blind, then it is useless. He must be in perfect knowledge. That is wanted. We do not expect that mass of people will understand this philosophy. It is not possible. But at least the leaders, they must know how to lead people—the father, the teachers, the government, like that. Then people will follow.

Reporter: My last question: Will you be meeting other spiritual leaders in South Africa?

Prabhupada: I do not know who is that spiritual leader. Nobody...

Pusá¹­a Krsna: We haven't found any really prominent personalities to introduce Prabhupada to.

Prabhupada: But one spiritual leader is there, Swami Sahajananda.

Pusá¹­a Krsna: Yes, the Divine Life Society in Durban, the head of that. He wrote one letter praising Prabhupada's work, that he is rightfully representing the Vedic literatures.

Reporter: Well, thank you very much.

Prabhupada: Thank you. Hare Krsna. You have taken lunch? So, it is very important movement. Try to study, understand. And it is the duty of the pressmen, journalists, to propagate. They must know the first science of the living force within the body. That is the most important part.

Reporter: I just feel that, in a way, I have enough to write, and I have enough to... Well, I believe in giving a little message of something in those things that I write. I try not to make them negative, and at least, I can present people with what they have and what you are saying. But I feel that within myself, and this concerns myself, that I haven't spoken to you enough, that I haven't heard you enough, and that I have...

Prabhupada: No, you can ask me more, more, other question. I can reply. There is no harm.

Pusá¹­a Krsna: You have any questions?

Reporter: Well, I can't stay now, and I feel too that I am imposing because I know that His Grace wants to rest.

Pusá¹­a Krsna: Okay. What you could do is write one article introducing, and then come to the Monday and Wednesday night programs and write another article. Because...

Reporter: Yes. I'll try at least to prepare this one trip on Monday...

Pusá¹­a Krsna: Oh, yes. That would be very nice if you act as an advertisement also. Thank you very much.

Reporter: Your Grace, thank you.

Prabhupada: Thank you.

Reporter: Good-bye.

Prabhupada: [break] You have done good because you are waiting for somebody's decision. So the decision-maker can change. Otherwise so many people are working so hard day and night; he is not getting even sufficient food. And another man, without working, he is getting so much money. How it is possible? Hm? So God is not an instrument of your whims. He is fully independent. That is God. Agatan gatan patiyase.(?) By His different energy He can..., does something which is impossible to be done. Take for example myself. I went to United States, unknown country, without any friend, without any hope, simply on theory (chuckles) that "I shall go and preach there," and with this expectation also, that "As soon as I shall ask them to give up all these habits, they will ask me to go away." (laughs) So in the face of so many odds and uncertainty, I went there, simply depending on my spiritual master and Krsna, with this hope only, that "If they desire, everything can be done. But otherwise there is no hope. I am going there, hopeless, just to make an experiment. My other Godbrothers, they failed. All right, Guru Maharaja asked me. In the beginning I did not do. Let me do it in this old age." So it became surprisingly success. Business started with forty rupees, and now we have got four crores. Where is that business in the material world, that a man started business with forty rupees and he has got four crores within ten years? Not only money, but also fame, respect. What do these kings and president or minister get respect?

Harikesa: It takes them fifty years.

Pusá¹­a Krsna: Still, they get kicked on the face like Nixon.

Prabhupada: Nobody would sincerely respect them. Only for some self-interest. But here, respect opportunity, it is out of love. That is not for any bargaining. So who can get this? So this is God's... So one has to see by the result. That is stated in the... I think we have described. The, what is called, container is understood by the quantity of contents. The container is understood by the quantity of the contents. The example is given of water-water, air, and bright. When there is good flame, then we can understand that the contents is very inflammable. Just like petrol. So that is in comparison like when there is big amount of, quantity of water; that means the container is big. Similarly, the big quantity of ether, then it is to be understood, quantity according to the content. So one has to understand, as Krsna said, yad yad vibhutimat sattvam mama tejo-'msa... How much Krsna's favor is there, we have to understand from the contents. Then we can understand, we can make an estimate of the container. By the quantity of contents we can understand the, what is called...?

Pusá¹­a Krsna: Capacity.

Prabhupada: Capacity of the container. This is described in the Bhagavata and the Caitanya-caritamrta also. Krsna sakti vina nahe krsna name pracara: "Without Krsna's special power of attorney, nobody can preach His name." Caitanya-caritamrta. So these rascals, Godbrothers, they are envious that... What he has written? Bon Maharaja. Just see what kind of men they are. They are not even ordinary human being. They are envious of me, and what to speak of make a judgment by estimation? They're envious. Enviousness is immediately disqualification of Vaisnava, immediate. He is not a human being. Paramo nirmatsaranam satam [SB 1.1.2]. This Bhagavatam is meant for the person who is completely not envious. That is the beginning. Why a Vaisnava should be envious for anyone? Everyone is working according to his karma. He is trying to rectify him, that "Be out of these clutches of karma. You come to bhakti." Why he should be envious? Vañcha-kalpatarubhyas ca krpa-sindhubhya eva ca. A Vaisnava should be like ocean of mercy to reclaim the fallen souls. That is Vaisnava's qualification. So Vaisnava should be envious? Just see. So these persons, they are not even human being, what to speak of Vaisnava. Vaisnava cannot be envious. Vaisnava should be: "Oh, my Lord's name is being broadcast. He is getting, giving so much service to make Krsna known." That man has appreciated, that "All these spiritual leaders, they are deriding. You are the only man... You are... It enthuses us, give us more encouragement, that you are keeping intact, love of Krsna." This is an appreciation. Why he should be envious? He should be, rather, very much enthused that "This single man is keeping Krsna all over the world." And everyone is deriding. Even Gandhi is killing Krsna. Dr. Radhakrishnan is killing. Their only business is to kill Krsna. He is also doing that, our, this Bon Maharaja. He never speaks of Krsna. His rascal, that Institute of Indian Philosophy, nobody goes to urine(?) there. We see practically. And our temple is always filled up, five hundred men. And he is trying for the last forty years. He is simply planning: "This will be playground. This will be this ground. This will be this ground." And it is becoming jungle. Still, he is so envious, black snake. So one circular letter should be issued to all our center, that "Any Bon Maharaja or anyone, his representative, should not be received." They are envious. Yes. Quoting that. We have got several complaints like that. Satsvarupa also complained. Sometimes our order was cancelled by Bon Maharaja's propaganda.

Pusá¹­a Krsna: You mean he has been corresponding with professors in America?

Prabhupada: Yes. Because he has got that background.

Pusá¹­a Krsna: From catalog, with his literature. There must be some catalog or something that his list of books is in.

Prabhupada: His books?

Pusá¹­a Krsna: Something. Or the Oriental...

Prabhupada: He has no book.

Harikesa: Just that one book.

Prabhupada: That is also.

Pusá¹­a Krsna: Also, when I read that book, long time ago, he said in the introduction that once he took a vow for two years not to speak anything. I thought it was very strange for a Vaisnava.

Harikesa: He lived underneath the ground in one cell. You know that?

Prabhupada: Yes. Just make a show.

Pusṭa Krsna: You've said, "Yes, if someone can only speak nonsense, they shouldn't speak. But if they can speak about Krsna to glorify Krsna-kathayantas ca mam nityam—then always they can talk about Krsna."

Prabhupada: He said?

Pusá¹­a Krsna: No, you say. He said, "I have taken vow not to speak anything." I thought it was crazy.

Prabhupada: That is condemned by Prahlada Maharaja. You will find in Prahlada Maharaja that "This is for professional men to get some prestige." Prahlada Maharaja said like that.

Pusá¹­a Krsna: Can we take morning walk now, Srila Prabhupada?

Harikesa: We're having the morning walk in the room today. (end)