Conversation with Governor
Vrndavana
20 Apr

Prabhupada: ...that everyone is doing his own duty. Never mind if you are Christian or if you are a Muslim or Hindu, that, what is your duty, what is said in your scripture, you must do it. Not that "Because it is secular, I can do whatever I like."

Governor: Secular means I respect you, not only I am Hindu or do what I do...

Prabhupada: Secular means impartial.(?)

Governor: But also not come in the way of a Muslim.

Prabhupada: No, there is no need. Secular means government's duty is that "You call yourself a Hindu. Whether you are acting as Hindu? You call yourself as Muslim. Whether you are acting as Muslim?" This is government's duty. Government does not say or prefer that "You are Christian. It is not good. You become Hindu." No, that is not government's... You remain your Christian, but government's duty is that whether he is acting as Christian. This is government's duty. Not that you are acting like a something else, and you are calling yourself Christian. You are acting like a sudra, and you are advertising yourself as a brahmana. So just like a, what is called, quack. If he writes, "Dr. something," that is punishable. But you are quack. That's all right. You can take a certificate that you have got some experience. The registered medical practitioner, I think that is... But what is this, that you are proclaiming yourself as a... (chuckles) So character means a class of men there must be, maybe very few, but they are actually men of character. Just like I am teaching them no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no gambling, no intoxication. This is basic principle. Otherwise, where is his character? You are doing all nonsense, and still, you are proclaiming yourself as brahmana. This should be stopped. And a training college should be there how to make a real brahmana. I have given the example...

Governor: Vanaprastha college.

Prabhupada: Vanaprastha college, yes. That is the very essential thing at the present moment, that a class of men... Just like the same example: If one wants to become an engineer he must be properly trained up. If he wants to become a medical man he must be properly trained up. Similarly, if one wants to become a brahmana, then he must be properly trained up, or even if one does not want, the state should maintain a college where a real brahmana is trained up. Just like Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee, when he opened some higher studies of academic qualification, so there was one or two students, and there were three professors drawing at least twelve hundred rupees per month. So twelve hundred rupees per month, that means thirty-six hundred, expenditure, and the income is thirty-six rupees. It is not the question of money, but it is the question of culture. So even though at the present moment people are not inclined to become a brahmana, I tried it. I tried it before starting this movement. I tried to some friends that "You have got four sons. Give me one son. I shall train him how to become a perfect brahmana." Nobody agreed. They said, "Swamiji, (Hindi)," But if there is not a ideal class of brahmana, then how you can say that you become moralist? If there is no example of moralist, how you can ask people, "Become moralist"?

Governor: The thing is a very intensive and completely dedicated course on making an individual a brahmana. (indistinct)... Then the second thing is not that intensively, but in a village (indistinct) all people.

Prabhupada: All people.

Governor: No, all people... One or two could be taken out of many.

Prabhupada: No, that I asked him. Actually the idea is in the society as it is recommended in the Bhagavad-gita, catur-varnyam maya srsṭam guna-karma-vibhagasaḥ; [Bg. 4.13]. The gunas are there. Just like naturally one is taking education just to become a politician, one is taking education how to become a high character saintly person. That natural inclination is already there, but that is not being properly harnessed. Therefore a regular educational institution should be there where proper training of brahmana, proper training of ksatriya, vaisya, must be given. These four divisions must remain there. And the, so far the brahminical culture, that must be there. Otherwise you cannot say that you become moralist. Where is the example of moralist? A section of person must be there, fully moralist. That ideal section is now lacking. Therefore, what I have written, that?

Brahmananda: "As there are different sections of educational institutions, there must be one institution how to train up perfect brahmanas with ideal characters as above mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita. If there is a section of people of ideal character, say 5 percent, the other 95 percent, by seeing their example, will follow. In other words, a section of the society must be of ideal character. That is essential."

Prabhupada: So therefore this varnasrama college is very essential.

Governor: Both intensive and extensive training.

Prabhupada: Yes. Proper training. It may be extensive and intensive... Doesn't matter.

Governor: You said 5 percent and 95 percent.

Prabhupada: Ninety-five percent may remain non-brahmana. But this 5 percent, if they are strongly brahminical, then others will follow. Ekas candras tamo hanti na ca taraḥ;-sahasrasaḥ;. You have got millions of stars. Nobody cares for them. But people are looking after "When the moon will rise? When the moon will rise?" That one moon is sufficient than millions of stars. So this is the suggestion. Then?

Brahmananda: "The propagation of manava-dharma. Regarding propagation of manava-dharma, manava-dharma means the activities of the human beings. So the distinction between manava-dharma and pasu-dharma is that in the animal society there is no idea of God consciousness. God consciousness can only be propagated in human society. In the animal society they may be physically stronger than the humans like the tiger and the elephant or many such animals, but they cannot be educated spiritually."

Prabhupada: They may be very strong, our tiger and elephant, but they have no capacity to accept any education. Then?

Brahmananda: "But in human society, even though one may be a low-grade member of the society, he can be trained up to be purified as a first-class brahmana. It only requires training. Therefore, manava-dharma means to impregnate a human being with spiritual knowledge. A human being must be educated spiritually. That means he must know that he is not this body. Krsna teaches this idea in the beginning of the Bhagavad-gita,

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

This is the beginning of spiritual education, that every one of us is not this body. Unfortunately the whole world is in darkness, and therefore every human is identifying with this body and thinking wrongly, 'I am Indian,' 'I am American,' 'I am brahmana,' 'I am this,' 'I am that.' To drive away this misconception of life is actually manava-dharma. We must know that we are not this body but spirit soul, and as such, we are part and parcel of God and therefore qualitatively one with God, exactly like a small particle of gold is also gold as is the gold from the big gold mine. But quantitatively the particle of gold is not equal to the gold in the mine. This is very elaborately described in the Bhagavad-gita, and if we accept these principles of Bhagavad-gita as manava-dharma, then the whole world will appreciate. And this is being done by our Krsna consciousness movement. Point Five: Elements in our tradition relating to dharma and samsrti which are useful and wholesome but which are being discarded in practice, and those which may be considered to be unsuitable in the present times. Number Five: Regarding elements in our tradition relating to dharma and samsrti..."

Prabhupada: This kind of understanding at the present time, at the present time... (Hindi) So we give reference, that "Present time, everyone is fallen." But truth is always the same, not at present time. So the real truth is that ideal man of character there must be. Because at the present moment there is no character, there is no moral education, therefore we have to adapt according to them, no. The pukka moralist, he must be moralist. It doesn't matter that "People at the present time, they do all immoral activities; therefore we have to adjust." No. Strictly one should be moralist. There is no question of present time or past time. That should be real point of view. Then?

Brahmananda: "Regarding the elements in our tradition relating to dharma and samsrti, we must adopt the whole varna and asramas as they are recommended in all the sastras. If you give up these directions of the sastras, that is neither dharma nor samsrti, at least in the Indian tradition, as it is directed in the Bhagavad-gita that the four divisions of social and the four divisions of religious systems like brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasi must be adopted. Otherwise there is no tradition of bharatiya sanskriti."

Prabhupada: If you give up this varnasrama-dharma, then where is your bharatiya sanskriti? But they are trying to give it up, abolish this. Then where is bharatiya sanskriti? Then?

Brahmananda: "Six: Injunctions of sastras regarding charity and how it should be practiced in the present conditions. So the mutual relationship of dharma and politics in the light of our history and tradition can only be revived when we observe the system of varnasrama. It is actually like this: the brahmana is like the head, and the ksatriya is like the arms, the vaisya is the stomach or the abdomen, and the sudra is like the legs. Similarly, spiritually, the brahmacari is the trained-up disciple, the grhastha is the trained-up householder, the vanaprastha is experienced as a retired gentleman, and the sannyasi is completely in the renounced order of life for spiritual advancement. There is no question of the head being in an exalted position without the cooperation of the leg. When there is a pin-prick in some part of the leg, the head immediately takes it very seriously and takes out the thorn in some part of the leg. Similarly, whenever there is some outside attack, the arms or the hands spread to protect the whole body. In the same way, within the abdomen there is the machinery of digesting foodstuffs, and after digestion the secretion turns into blood and it is infused throughout the whole anatomical structure of the body. Similarly, the cooperation between the head, arms, stomach and legs is the perfect situation of the human society."

Governor: Coordination.

Prabhupada: Coordination. As head is also trying to maintain the body nicely, this arm is also. Now this has been nationally centralized. So that is the idea. Not that "Because I am head, brahmana, oh, here is a sudra. Oh, don't see his face." Why? Sudra is also required. Leg is also required. Head is also required.

Governor: It is an harmonious coordination.

Prabhupada: Yes, harmonious coordination. But the sudras were hated like anything, and they became Mohammedans. And there was no reacceptance. Formerly, from Caitanya literature we understand, that if the Musselman will take little water from the badna (?) and sprinkle like this, then you become Mohammedan. In this way all these Indians, they became Mohammedan. And the result is now the Pakistan, and you go on fighting forever. Why these innocent persons who were by sprinkling water became Mohammedan, why they do not claim? Krsna and the sastra, it does not say that if one has fallen, you cannot reclaim him. No, why not reclaim him? Mam hi partha vyapasritya ye 'pi syuḥ; papa... [Bg. 9.32]. This is by birth. And of course, in our country everything was taken by birth. Now it is going on. But even by birth one is low-grade...

Governor: No, birth also was built up by a tradition. They were brought up in that atmosphere.

Prabhupada: Yes. It doesn't matter. But if he wants to be elevated, he should be given chance. That is the verdict of all sastras. Now we are feeling, India, this difficulty. Because they are Europeans, Americans, the so-called big societies, they are not agreeable to accept them. You see? Although sastra does not say so. Sastra says, mam hi partha vyapasritya ye 'pi syuḥ; papa-yonayaḥ;. "If one takes shelter of Me, even he is born in papa-yoni"... Striyaḥ; vaisyas tatha..., te 'pi yanti param gatim, "they can also be elevated to the highest exalted position." And in the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is, many places it is said that a low-born person can be elevated. Canḍalo 'pi dvija sresṭho hari-bhakti-parayanaḥ;.

Governor: We have right example of Valmiki.

Prabhupada: Ah, Valmiki. There were many. There were, are many. Narada. Narada was a son of a maidservant, sudra. He had no father. So dasi-putra. And he became Narada. So where is the restriction? Similarly, in the Jabalopanisad, Satyakama Jabala, he was also a prostitute's son. And he approached Gautama Muni, "You kindly make me your disciple." Gautama Muni said, "What you are?" "I am my mother's son, that's all." "Then who is your father?" "That I do not know." "Ask your mother." So mother replied, "My dear son, I do not know who is your father." And he came and said to Gautama Muni, "Sir, my mother also does not know who is my father." Then Gautama Muni said, "Yes, you are brahmana. Come on. I shall..." Because speaking truth. So unless you are a son of a brahmana, you cannot speak such secret truth. Nobody will say that "I do not know who is my father." It is social scandal even up to date. But he plainly said that "My mother does not know who is my father." So immediately Gautama Muni accepted him as brahmana: "You are telling the truth." Satya samaḥ; damaḥ;. Because it is first qualification. So such a high cultural life. Now we should take standard sastra and follow and establish educational institution to train them. Otherwise, simply by crying in the wilderness, what will be the result? Now some result is there because I am practically training them. And before me, all the swamis went there. They lectured, that's all. So what is the meaning of lectures unless you train them? That "Our Hindu religion is very great, very nice, and whatever you like, you can do. It doesn't matter." Then where is the training? Now little effect is there because I am training them. As soon as one comes to me for becoming disciple, I place before him that "You have to give up all these habits." When he agrees, then I accept him. And therefore I have got some selected, trained-up men. So there must be this training college, institution, and proper training according to the sastra. Then there is possibility of changing the whole situation. Then what is next?

Brahmananda: "The injunctions of sastras regarding charity and how it should be practiced in the present conditions. The injunction of the sastra about charity is that charity should be given to qualified brahmana or sannyasi because they will spend it for the benefit of the whole human society. This is called charity in goodness. In the sastras there..."

Prabhupada: Just like we are getting charity, crores of rupees, but we are spending for this Krsna consciousness movement, not for drinking. And if charity is given to a drunkard, what he will do? He will drink only. Therefore charity is recommended to be given to the brahmana and the sannyasi, no other else. Then?

Governor: The apatra-dana.

Prabhupada: Ah? Apatra-dana, that is third-class. Go on.

Brahmananda: "This is called charity in goodness. In the sastras there is no recommendation for giving charity to the unqualified men. In this connection I am enclosing a copy of one chart reproduced in our Back to Godhead, 'Charity in ignorance.' "

Prabhupada: She has written one article in our Back to Godhead. I am quoting from that.

Brahmananda: "...in ignorance performed at an improper time and place to an unworthy person like a gambler or a drunkard, or contemptuously, without respect. Charity in passion, performed to get something in return with a desire for fruitive results or in a grudging mood. Charity in goodness, performed as a duty and at the proper time and place to a worthy person and with no expectation of material returns. And charity in pure goodness, performed only to satisfy the Supreme Lord. In the sastras charity in passion and ignorance is completely rejected, although people do it unconsciously. Charity in goodness only is recommended. Point Eight: Proper and beneficial use of the income and property of the institutions and how far the policies of the government and the exercise of its authority in its behalf are just and proper. Srila Rupa Gosvami was the chief minister of the government of Nawab Hussein Shah. He gave us a good example how to divide the property in the society. Fifty percent of the income must be spent for Krsna, twenty-five percent of the income should be spent for family, and twenty-five percent should be kept in reserve for emergency expenditure. Spending fifty percent of the income for Krsna means for the whole society by encouraging the Krsna consciousness movement. Point Nine: The role of manava-dharma parisat. I think that if the manava-dharma parisat takes these suggestions of mine very seriously, certainly it will be of great benefit to the Indians and the whole world. The Krsna consciousness movement is going on on this principle, and if the parisat inaugurated by you cooperates with us, certainly we can render a very great service to the human society. So far manava-dharma is concerned, it should not be restricted within the Indian borders, because human beings are in all parts of the world. Point Ten: The manava-dharma mission, its constitution and program. Therefore the constitution of manava-dharma or the institution of varnasrama must be interesting for the whole world, and it should be exemplified by practical demonstration. The immediate program should be village organization as Mahatma Gandhi contemplated. In India the majority of the population is in the villages. The difficulty is that there is no sufficient supply of water to produce food grains. Mother nature, or mother Durga, punishes the godless demons by restricting the supply of food grains. The godless demons are very enthusiastic to produce motorcars, skyscrapers, brothels, and cinemas, and many unnecessary demands of the body, but they are not interested in producing food grains. This is the defect of the modern society. If food grains are produced in an organized way, human society can produce ten times what they are presently producing. In the Bhagavad-gita it is confirmed,

annad-bhavanti bhutani
parjanyad anna-sambhavaḥ;
yajñad bhavati parjanyo
yajñaḥ; karma-samudbhavaḥ;
[Bg. 3.14]

I hope you will give your serious consideration to my suggestions, and I am prepared to cooperate with you to my best capacity if you think my suggestions are right."

Prabhupada: This suggestion is to you also. (chuckles) And if you can do these things organizedly, certainly it will be beneficial to the whole human society.

Governor: Any elaboration of what you refer to as vanaprastha college?

Prabhupada: No, varnasrama. Vanaprastha, just like we have got this building. Now, if somebody retires and engages himself in Krsna consciousness movement, they are welcome. They can take prasadam and stay here. It is not possible at the present moment that gentleman will live in the forest. That is not possible. Then here is a place, Vrndavana, holy place. We have constructed this building, and people should take vanaprastha, or retirement, and may come here and live peacefully and cultivate spiritual knowledge.

Brahmananda: I think the governor was asking about the varnasrama college.

Prabhupada: Ah. Varnasrama college, that training factual brahmana. And the government should be, as I explained to you, that if one is proclaiming himself as a brahmana, he must act as a brahmana. If one is proclaiming as a ksatriya, he must act as a ksatriya. Otherwise, there will be no restriction, and a sudra will claim to be brahmana. That will create a disturbing situation. In Prthu Maharaja's time it was strictly prohibited that... That is stated in Bhagavad-gita, sva-dharme nidhanam sreyaḥ; para-dharmo bhayavahaḥ;. So if one is claiming to be brahmana he must be brahmana. That is another way of reforming the society. And nowadays everyone is a sudra, and somebody is claiming, "I am brahmana," "I am ksatriya," "I am this," "I am that." Formerly the brahmanas (were) strictly following. They would not accept... In the sastras it is said that the brahmana in bad time may become a ksatriya. Just like Dronacarya. He was brahmana, but he became a ksatriya for certain reason, and acting like ksatriya, although he was respected as brahmana, but he was acting as a ksatriya. So it is advised that brahmana may take the profession of a ksatriya and up to the vaisya. But if he takes the profession of a sudra, then he is fallen. Then he is fallen. So this cultural institution should now be introduced. And the other countries, they are still respectful to the Indian culture. That's a fact. I have studied. So if we keep ourself in our, what he has mentioned, samsriti?

Brahmananda: Bharatiya samskriti.

Prabhupada: Bharatiya samskriti. It will be very respectfully accepted. Why should we imitate them? That is... Western civilization is not brahminical culture. There is no brahminical culture. And brahminical culture is needed. That is the head. That is the brain. And a little bit of this brahminical culture, because I am distributing and they are accepting it so nicely... So in our India, in a place like Vrndavana, Naimisaranya, like that, many people will come, if varnasrama college is established. Of course, we, in India, so far I know, nobody will come to be trained up as a brahmana. They will prefer to be trained up as an electrician and not as a brahmana. Our Bon Maharaja, he also tried for a Vaisnava University. He was unsuccessful.

Governor: No, we take this electrician or engineer or an...

Prabhupada: No, that is already being taken. There are institution where electricians are trained up and motorist, they are... They have enough.

Governor: No, what is... What is the... An electrician we get him. He is an electrician and also becoming a brahmana. An engineer...

Prabhupada: No, no, that cannot be.

Governor: You want completely a brahmana.

Prabhupada: Yes, then there will be ideal character. That is going on. One man is claiming as brahmana, but he is doing the work of electrician. That is already going on.

Governor: No, but while doing his profession, if he has good influence of the varnasrama-dharma, of the brahmana, and then he will do the work with the dedication to God and to the society.

Prabhupada: No. Why you are suggesting that although he is a brahmana, he become a electrician. Why?

Governor: I will put it this way. He is an engineer, but I would also...

Prabhupada: Engineer?

Governor: A mechanical engineer.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Governor: And he also be influenced by the good points of varnasrama-dharma.

Prabhupada: Yes, that is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, sva-karmana tam abhyarcya samsiddhiḥ; labhate naraḥ; [Bg. 18.46]. That is another way, that "I have no other means of earning livelihood." But if he becomes Krsna conscious, then even though he is acting as an electrician, he is in touch with Krsna. That is recommended in the Bhagavad-gita, sva-karmana tam abhyarcya. That I explained in the varnasrama-dharma, that even though leg is leg, it is not as important as the head. But the leg is also required to keep the body in healthy condition. So that electrician who has connection with Krsna, he is no more electrician; he is Vaisnava because he has got his relationship with Krsna. So that is explained in the Bhagavad-gita. Find out Bhagavad-gita. Sva-karmana tam abhyarcya samsiddhiḥ; labhate naraḥ;. You can get perfection.

Brahmananda: Sva-karmana...

Prabhupada: Tam abhyarcya. S-v-a, sva.

Brahmananda: Sva-karmana tam abhyarcya siddhim vindati manavaḥ; [Bg. 18.46]. "By worship of the Lord, who is the source of all beings and who is all-pervading, man can, in the performance of his own duty, attain perfection."

Prabhupada: What is there? What is the purport?

Brahmananda: "As stated in the Fifteenth Chapter, all living beings are fragmental parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord. As such, the Supreme Lord is the beginning of all living entities. It is confirmed in the Vedanta-sutra-janmady asya yataḥ; [SB 1.1.1]. The Supreme Lord is therefore the beginning of life of every living entity. And the Supreme Lord, by His two energies, His external energy and internal energy, is all-pervading. Therefore one should worship the Supreme Lord with His energies. Generally the Vaisnava devotees worship the Supreme Lord with His internal energy. His external energy is a perverted reflection of the internal energy. The external energy is a background, but the Supreme Lord, by the expansion of His plenary portion as Paramatma, is situated everywhere. He is the Supersoul of demigods, all human beings, all animals, everywhere. One should therefore know that as part and parcel of the Supreme Lord it is his duty to render service unto the Supreme. Everyone should be engaged in devotional service to the Lord in full Krsna consciousness. That is recommended in this verse. Everyone should think that he is engaged in a particular type of occupation by Hrsikesa, the master of the senses. And, by the result of the work in which he is engaged, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, should be worshiped."

Prabhupada: Now, he is electrician. If whatever he earns he engages in worship Krsna, then he is transcendental. He is not electrician; he is a Vaisnava. This is clearly said. Then?

Brahmananda: "If one thinks always in this way in full Krsna consciousness, then, by the grace of the Lord, he becomes fully aware of everything. That is the perfection of life. The Lord says in Bhagavad-gita, tesam aham samuddharta. [Bg. 12.7] The Supreme Lord Himself takes charge of delivering such devotees. That is the highest perfection of life. In whatever occupation one may be engaged, if he serves the Supreme Lord, he will achieve the highest perfection."

Prabhupada: So, some of the big men, past politician like Nandaji, they are also thinking very nicely. Now it is the time to coordinate all these thinkers on the basis of Bhagavad-gita as we are pushing on this Krsna consciousness movement. That should be seriously taken. And another difficulty is that without any reference to the sastra there are so many spiritual propagandist. That is not very good. That is not very good, not good at all. No question of very good. They are more or less atheist. They will not take, accept the instruction of the Bhagavad-gita. They'll manufacture their own way. That will not help us. You must take the standard things. Then it will be successful. In my, this propaganda, this Krsna consciousness, I am very much satisfied that I did not adulterate any instruction of the sastra. And it is becoming very effective. And in the Bhagavad-gita also it is stated, yaḥ; sastra-vidhim utsrjya vartate kama-karataḥ; [Bg. 16.23]. Find out this verse. Yaḥ; sastra-vidhim utsrjya.

Brahmananda: Is that y-a?

Prabhupada: Y-a-h. Yaḥ; sastra.

Brahmananda: Yaḥ; sastra-vidhim.

Prabhupada: Ah, that verse. This index has been done by them. Yes.

Brahmananda:

yaḥ; sastra-vidhim utsrjya
vartate kama-karataḥ;
na sa siddhim avapnoti
na sukham na param gatim
[Bg. 16.23]

"But he who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination." "As described before, the sastra-vidhim, or the direction of the sastra, is given to the different castes and orders of human society. Everyone is expected to follow these rules and regulations. If one does not follow them and acts whimsically according to his lust, greed, and desire, then he never will be perfect in his life. In other words, a man may theoretically know all these things, but if he does not apply them in his own life, then he is to be known as the lowest of mankind. In the human form of life, a living entity is expected to be sane and to follow the regulations given for elevating his life to the highest platform, but if he does not follow them, then he degrades himself. But even if he follows the rules and regulations and moral principles and ultimately does not come to the stage of understanding the Supreme Lord, then all his knowledge becomes spoiled. Therefore one should gradually raise himself to the platform of Krsna consciousness and devotional service; it is then and there that he can attain the highest perfectional stage, not otherwise. The word kama-karataḥ; is very significant. A person who knowingly violates the rules acts in lust. He knows that this is forbidden, still he acts. This is called acting whimsically. He knows that this should be done, but still he does not do it; therefore he is called whimsical. Such persons are destined to be condemned by the Supreme Lord. Such persons cannot have the perfection which is meant for the human life. The human life is especially meant for purifying one's existence, and one who does not follow the rules and regulations cannot purify himself, nor can he attain to the real stage of happiness."

Prabhupada: So, arrangement is...? Just see.

Brahmananda: Yes.

Prabhupada: We can go? (end)