ISKCON Press


Room Conversation

Type:
Room Conversation
Date:
August 12
Year:
1976
Place:
Tehran

[back at temple]

Prabhupāda: …very good action? I told you, no, what is good action?

Peter: Good action by doing something for somebody else.

Prabhupāda: Everyone is doing.

Peter: Pardon?

Prabhupāda: What is speciality? Everyone is doing?

Peter: No, I’m just… It’s… The question is about karma.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Peter: Whether it is possible for me to dedicate it to somebody else, and they can experience…

Prabhupāda: Yes. That dedication should be to Kṛṣṇa. Just like water is to be poured to the root of the tree, not to the leaves. So they are trying to water the leaves, the twigs, the branches, the [indistinct]. It is uselessly wasted. That is not the system. Just like foodstuff. Foodstuff is to be given to the stomach. If you get a rasagullā and push it in the eyes, it is useless. The eyes will be blinded. So that is going on. They do not know where to give service. They do not know. That we are teaching. That is Kṛṣṇa teaching: sarva-dharmān parityaja mām ekaṁśaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 7.19]. The people are not ready to serve God. They want to serve here, there, here, there. That is worthless. It will never be successful. It is simply wasted, because you have to pour water in the root. If you serve Kṛṣṇa, then everyone will be served. And if you don’t pour water in the root and pour in the twigs, what will be…, what the benefit will be? That is going on. They do not know where to render service. They are misled; therefore they are baffled. So one must know what is good. If you manufacture good, that is not good. God is all-good. So your answer is there, or not?

Peter: It’s not very clear for me, no.

Prabhupāda: Why not clear? Why don’t you understand this example? If you have to supply food, where you supply?

Peter: The mouth.

Prabhupāda: Eh? When you eat, why you supply this hole? Not this hole, not this hole, not this hole, not this hole, not this hole—so many holes there are. Why you are supplying to this hole? There are nine holes in the body, but why you supply particular to this hole? Why? That is the way. If you think any hole will be… There are many rascals, they say, “We have to supply in the hole of the body, so any hole is all right.” That is rascaldom. Only hole: mām ekaṁ. That is wanted. These rascals, they do not understand; they are supplying hole, any hole. Therefore they will not… You have to go through the proper channel; then it will be successful. Otherwise it will be bad. There are so many examples. [Sanskrit]… It is said in the sastras, [Sanskrit]. That’s a fact. Why Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityaja mām ekaṁśaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 7.19]? Why? Is He needy? Why He says mām ekaṁ? Is He beggar? Why He says like that? For your benefit, because you are misguided. It is for your interest. You’re spoiling. Why Kṛṣṇa says mām ekaṁ? What is the purpose? Is He hungry? Is He needy, that He says, “Give it to Me only”? It is your interest, because you are spoiling. And He gives assurance: ahaṅkāraḥ. If you think that “Simply if I supply You, eka, and if I give up all, everything, that I may be criminal, I may be sinful,” Kṛṣṇa assures, “No.” Ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣa… [Bg. 18.66]: “If you think so,” māśucaḥ, “there is no need of being worried.” Ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo. “If you think that there will be sin—‘If I give up everything I shall be sinful’—something like that, then I will deliver you.” But we do not understand. Therefore, you are baffled. This is going on. We will not take Kṛṣṇa’s advice. We shall manufacture. That is going on. The whole world will be immediately happy if they take it. Immediately. But they will not agree. This is going on. They will manufacture: “Why shall I serve Kṛṣṇa only?” Somebody says, “It is too much. He is asking too much, mām ekaṁ.

Mrs. Sahani: It’s the easiest thing He has asked.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Mrs. Sahani: It’s the easiest thing He has asked. He has not asked us to break a stone. He has not asked us to build a building. He has just asked us to come to His lotus feet, and that’s the easiest thing He has asked.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Easiest. That is the easiest. God is the supreme father, and He advises, if you accept the supreme father’s instructions, you will become happy. When you manufacture nonsense, rascal things, then you will suffer. Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is. Don’t become a rascal to change it. That will not be successful. People do not understand. They say, “Why? I can interpret in my own way. Why shall you interpret it to me?” If you do not agree with Kṛṣṇa’s proposal, you [indistinct], why you present Bhagavad-gītā in the name of Kṛṣṇa and cheat Him and cheat yourself? That we want to stop. You are taking Bhagavad-gītā as very learned scholar, very good man, and then going against Kṛṣṇa. This is going on all over. [indistinct] There are so many scholars, so many politicians, so many, they are simply going against Kṛṣṇa, and they presenting themselves as very good scholar of Bhagavad-gītā. Therefore I have become enemy of everyone, because we are sticking to this point. That is the reason.

Mrs. Sahani: But what you say is amazing thing, that… It’s a perfect thing.

Prabhupāda: Yes. I am speaking Bhagavad-gītā. I am not…

Mrs. Sahani: What you have said has to be…

Prabhupāda: “If you like, you take; otherwise go on.” Go on, if you don’t like. But I must present the real thing. If you want unadulterated thing, then come here. But if you want mixed hodge-podge, go and do that. We cannot make any compromise with hodge-podge thing.

Mrs. Sahani: There can be no compromise of basic things and traditions.

Prabhupāda: No, there cannot.

Mrs. Sahani: That is sometimes, it happens with me also. They ask me what is the tradition. I said whatever… I know Vaiṣṇava tradition. We’ve just been told…

Prabhupāda: No, no. Tradition he does not know. Kṛṣṇa says…

Mrs. Sahani: Yes.

Prabhupāda: …mām ekaṁ. This is tradition. What is to understand it? Why you are so fool, rascal? Here Kṛṣṇa says. I am not making the tradition; the tradition is here, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. This is tradition. Imaṁ vivasvate yogam [Bg. 4.1]. Everything is there. Tradition is there.

Mrs. Sahani: That is what I have been telling to so many people, that there can be no compromise. You cannot compromise with tradition and what has been ordered.

Prabhupāda: No. Compromise, you can make material things. In spiritual affairs, there is no compromise.

Mrs. Sahani: There is no compromise.

Prabhupāda: If you make compromise, it is spoiled. The Indian culture is lost because they wanted to make compromises.

Mrs. Sahani: Compromises.

Prabhupāda: That’s all. Lost. Now this Vivekananda and company, they are preaching yata mat, tata patha. You know that? “You manufacture your way, and that is also all right.” Just see? Kṛṣṇa says mām ekaṁ, and he has manufactured, “Whatever you manufacture is all right.” Yata mat, tata patha. And spoil the whole country.

Mrs. Sahani: Whole country.

Prabhupāda: And people, they are not… “I have got my own opinion. I don’t need Krsna. I have got.” Yata mat. So if you actually want to save the world, you only want what Kṛṣṇa says, mām ekaṁ.

bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ
[Bg. 7.19]

One who has taken up this philosophy what Vāsudeva says, that’s all right. Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahatma. That mahātmā. Su-durlabhaḥ, very rare. Su-durlabhaḥ. Durlabhaḥ means “rare,” and su-durlabhaḥ.

vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ
[Bg. 7.19]

And this stage called bahūnāṁ janmanām ante, not so easy to accept this philosophy, mām ekaṁśaraṇaṁ vraja. It is not for ordinary person. Sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ. But it is very easy if you accept it. You become immediately sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ. If you have got intelligence that “Kṛṣṇa says like this. Why shall I manufacture otherwise?” then you will [indistinct] immediately. Takes a second’s time simply to agree. That’s all.

But that we are so unfortunate, we will not agree; we shall persist in our own mold of life. This is misfortune. What you can serve others? What means you have got? You are proposing to serve others. What you can do? It is simply imagination. You are yourself starving. What you can do for others? “Physician, heal thyself.” You have got so many needs you cannot fulfill, and you want to do to others? What you can do? You cannot do. If you can do any good to anyone, just inform him, “Surrender to Kṛṣṇa.” That is the only good you can do. You can do nothing else. What power you have got, you want to do some good to others? It is all useless, concoction. That’s a fact. These are very sweet[?], do good to others. You rascal, what you have got? What can you do? If a man is dying, typhoid fever, can you do anything? “Oh, I shall bring good physician, good…” Is that guarantee that he will survive? Then what you can do? If he is going to die, what you can do? What help you can do? Is it possible?

Peter: Pray.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Peter: Pray for him.

Prabhupāda: Pray, that is… Why not pray for yourself? You are so anxious to pray for others. Pray to God, “You please save me from this concoction.” You cannot do anything; you are helpless. If we can do any service to the humanity, we can simply request him, “Please be Kṛṣṇa conscious. Please surrender to Kṛṣṇa.” It is very easy, and that is the only service. Nothing else. You are so tightly bound up by the laws of nature, you cannot do anything. So many politicians, so many philosophers, they wanted to do, but what they have done? Many Hitlers came, many Napoleons came, many Gandhi came—what they have done? The world is rotting in the same way. But they thought throughout the whole life to do something good to others. And this in our country. Now, what is the result of svarāj, that here is a lady, she is hesitating to enter her own country. This is the position. If she wants to be happy, she should be banished from there. This is going on. Everyone is afraid to enter into your own country. This independence you have. When a person is hesitating to enter his own home, then what is dangerous position? Everyone likes home sweet home—he cannot enter sweet home. [break] …with great force they come and fall in the fire. You have seen it?

Peter: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Phutt, phutt, phutt, phutt, and…

Peter: Yes.

Prabhupāda: The modern civilization is like that. Blazing fire of māyā’s beauty, and people are coming like insect, phutt, phutt. This whole city, they are going on the street, it is like that, phutt. After death, they do not know. And they have made a philosophy, “After death, everything is finished.” So if everything is to be finished, then before birth everything was finished. So before birth there was nothing, and after death there will be nothing. So why during this period, manifested period, so much struggle? Hmm? Before it was nothing, and after it will be nothing. So suppose… It is not a fact from nothing has come so much activities. It is not the fact. But they are saying like that, that it was a zero, then all of a sudden by accident the body is received, and it will become zero. So between two zeros, the little duration of time, why so much struggle? Let him become zero. Why so much plan, struggle? Why?

Ātreya Ṛṣi: It’s foolish.

Prabhupāda: In that case they become foolish. Before zero and after zero, why in the middle for a few years so much struggle and plan?

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Planning like eternal life.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Then they say that “We are doing it for our grandsons.” If the grandson is zero—he is going to be zero—who is grandson and who is grandfather? For zeros you are so…, making so much struggle. From logical point of view, how much foolish they are. So much competition, so much plans, so many politics, so many intrigues, so many fight, war, and so on, so on, so on. Why? What for improvement, if it is going to be zero at last?

Nava-yauvana: They each have a different false idea. One man is saying for the family, one man is saying for my country.

Prabhupāda: So what is the country? It is zero. You are going to be zero, so what is the country?

Nava-yauvana: They have such small minds. They are thinking that if the country has an existence of one thousand years, two thousand years, then it is eternal.

Prabhupāda: Ācchā? That is eternal?

Nava-yauvana: They are thinking like that.

Prabhupāda: They are changing the meaning of words.

Nava-yauvana: Yes, they do that.

Prabhupāda: Well?

Nava-yauvana: Because they are not interested in discovering what is the truth. They’re interested only in profit, what they understand as profit.

Prabhupāda: Śūnyavādī. Mūḍhā, the ass. You have seen the ass loaded?

Peter: No. I don’t think so.

Prabhupāda: He does not know why so much loads are coming. Therefore it is ass, mūḍhā. He has no profit. He is thinking that “Get a morsel of grass and work all day.” This is ass intelligence. Before you loaded, it was zero; unloaded it has zero; in the middle he is carrying unnecessarily a load and eat a little grass. This is ass. Mūḍho nābhijānāti mām ebhyaḥ param avyayam [Bg. 7.25]. Tribhir guṇa-mayair bhāvair [Bg. 7.13]. No education, no inquiry, exactly like the ass. Ass cannot inquire, “Why I am loaded?”

Nava-yauvana: All of their intelligence is directed towards reaching this zero.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Whole theory is zero, śūnyavādī. Everyone, big, big men, they are calculating, “After death everything is finished.” Therefore, enjoy whatever is possible during life. Never mind the so-called sinful, pious; all bogus, enjoy life. Enjoy, also, that is also a fictitious. Whole day working like an ass, and they are thinking it is enjoyment.

Nava-yauvana: In the evening…

Prabhupāda: Is that life? They are congested in street, and there is every moment danger of accident. Is that life? But they are thinking it is improvement, they are improved. Everyone is [indistinct]. And when he eats: two cāpāṭi, a little tea, one piece of biscuit, a little meat, that’s all. And he has no time even to speak, even to eat—he is eating on the business table. He cannot go home, cannot go, so busy. And brain is being taxed, how to solve this, how to solve this, this problem, that problem, this account, that account. And if you chant peacefully, they will come and attack you, “You are doing nothing.” When I see the big cities, these things, I think of that comparison, the small insect falling in the fire—phutt-phutt.

Nava-yauvana: The moth.

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Nava-yauvana: The moth.

Prabhupāda: Moth.

Nava-yauvana: Insect. He has wings, and he goes to the fire.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: So, Śrīla Prabhupāda, why should devotees live like that too? That is…

Prabhupāda: Devotees should not live like that, but the atmosphere is such that without doing that, you cannot live.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: I am conditioned to live like that, and my service is like that.

Prabhupāda: Not everyone.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: I don’t see my family; I don’t have time to eat prasādam. If I was a karmī, I would be doing the same thing.

Prabhupāda: No, you are doing for Kṛṣṇa. Because if you do not do that, then you don’t get your bread also. That is not advised. You have to work for your bread. So Kṛṣṇa has given you that. You do it, and do it for Kṛṣṇa, that’s all. We are speaking of the general situation.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes, that’s true. Absolutely it’s true.

Prabhupāda: Yes. General situation is that everyone is put into this condition. Just like we are traveling. We are traveling on plane. It is dangerous, everyone knows, but we have to take it.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: It is dangerous…

Prabhupāda: When I was in Vṛndāvana alone… You have seen my room in the Rādhā-Dāmodara?

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes.

Prabhupāda: That’s all. I was writing books. But since I have taken this preaching work all over the world, I have to use everything. That I have to do, because I am preaching. Arjuna is recognized devotee. Kṛṣṇa says bhakto ’si. He could sit down underneath a tree and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Why he is fighting? It is very good? So devotee’s activities, although it appears to be like the ordinary karmī, it is not; it is bhakti. Arjuna, when he is fighting, he is bhakta; he is doing for Kṛṣṇa.

Nava-yauvana: I always have a question about how does one understand what is one’s duty for Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: That is from…, you have to understand from your spiritual master.

Nava-yauvana: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo [Śrī Śrī Gurv-aṣṭaka 8]. You are not directly in touch with Kṛṣṇa; you are directly in touch with Kṛṣṇa’s representative. So whatever he says, try to please him. That’s all.

Nava-yauvana: Yes. That can be experienced also. We each have our own idea, but when… I know for myself, when there is some little insignificant sacrifice made to please Your Divine Grace, then there is the result.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Our business is this: that people are suffering for want of knowledge in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So as far as possible, try to enlighten them. This is Vedic system.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: So the principle of our business is based on Lord Caitanya’s mercy.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Compassion. It’s the distribution of compassion.

Prabhupāda: Yes. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra’ ei deśa [Cc. Madhya 7.128]: “Wherever you are, you deliver them. You become guru.” How? Yāre dekha, tāre kaha ‘kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa: simply try to convince him about Kṛṣṇa’s instructions, that’s all. For that purpose, whatever arrangement you have to make, you have to make. The purpose is only how to convince him about Kṛṣṇa’s instruction.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: And whatever our activity as devotees, if we forget that point, we are missing the point.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That you should not miss.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: That is the main point.

Prabhupāda: That is the main point.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Distribution of Kṛṣṇa’s and your mercy.

Prabhupāda: You look better.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes, he looks like a beautiful child now.

Prabhupāda: Feeling all right?

Devotee: Sure, I’m all right.

Prabhupāda: That’s nice.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: When he says all right, he’s all right.

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Ātreya Ṛṣi: When he says all right, he’s all right.

Prabhupāda: Yes, the devotee says “All right.” Para ruci kana, para ruci parana[?] Do you understand Hindi?

Devotee: No.

Prabhupāda: Apa ruci khana, para ruci parana. I think it is [indistinct] good. Apa ruci khana: when we shall eat, it must be to my taste. Apa ruci khana. Khana, I think you understand. And this is rule. Eatables should be to my taste, and dress should be to other taste. Khana, parana. Two things—eating and dressing. So eating should be to my taste, and dressing should be to others’ taste. Just like the hippies were not liked by the public because they were not dressing to the other taste; they are dressing to their own taste. So they are not liked. So when you have to dress, you have to dress to others’ taste, how the public likes. And when you have to eat, you have to eat it to your taste. Do you like?

Devotee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: If I give you something eatable and you don’t like it, if I say, “I like it,” so that does not mean because I like it, you will also like it. But if you dress to my liking, when you come to me, “Yes, come in. Where from? Come here. You are welcome.” And if you dress like hippie, I don’t like you, then you will not be welcome.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: So, Śrīla Prabhupāda, you can also tell us a little bit about the philosophy of being clean-shaven and dressed like devotee?

Prabhupāda: Yes. We Vaiṣṇava like it.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Vaiṣṇavas like it.

Prabhupāda: Vaiṣṇava community…

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Kṛṣṇa likes it.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Devotee: Kṛṣṇa likes it.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Pradyumna: One should eat for oneself and dress for others?

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Pradyumna: You said that one should dress for others and eat for oneself?

Prabhupāda: Dress to the taste of others, and eat to the taste of yourself. I cannot eat if someone gives me eggs, meat to eat, and I refuse it. He may say, “Oh, it is so nice preparation. I like it. Why don’t you take it?” So I am not obliged to take things to your taste. I may take sandeśa, rasagullā, like that. [Hindi] When you eat, you should not be shy, that if you do not like this, “Why shall I eat?” No. You’ll eat to your taste. Don’t be shy.

[pause]

Prabhupāda: Little watermelon and other melon.

Pradyumna: Green watermelon? Green melon or watermelon? Both? Anything else?

Prabhupāda: Little, that’s all. [end]

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