ISKCON Press


Room Conversation about Gṛhasthas

Type:
Room Conversation
Date:
July 17
Year:
1977
Place:
Vṛndāvana

Prabhupāda: …and slowly moved, not that like…

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No, no.

Prabhupāda: No. The whole siṁhāsana will move.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah, I’ve seen that in India. Moves slightly. Sometimes for festivals, can…?

Prabhupāda: There it can be done. Just like you have four rings, and hang it, and very slowly.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah. After They’re installed, can They still be taken for… Sometimes They have special festivals. Is that all right? Because They’ve always traveled. They’re not like a marble Deity. It’s different. [pause] Your translating work is becoming a very regular thing now in the afternoons. Everybody I write to, I tell them that you have doubled your translation work, in keeping with the doubling of book distribution. We got quite an encouraging letter just now, a full report from Dhṛṣṭadyumna Mahārāja about all the different things in…

Prabhupāda: Get this fan.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Fans? Encouraging report from Dhṛṣṭadyumna Mahārāja about all of the things that he’s in charge of. It’s very nice.

Prabhupāda: In New York. [break]

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: …he’s like… Paramānanda’s the president of the farm, and he’s the sannyāsī there. Everything [indistinct—microphone moving]. And he’s also in charge of the Rādhā-Dāmodara office. While Tripurāri Mahārāja travels in the field, he heads up the office. And the office is in a city right near the farm. So he goes half the week to the farm, half the week to the office to manage. And they… Remember I mentioned, Dhṛṣṭadyumna’s brother is an architect. So they’re planning the farm for building it. It’s called a model community. They’re going to make it New Varṣāṇā Model Community. Everything will be planned out ahead of time—where the cows will be living—but according to Vedic conception. It won’t be hodgepodge. And they feel that it will gain tremendous interest amongst the prominent persons of America who want to visit a model community. Many universities and schools will send groups of students to visit and see. That’s their idea.

Prabhupāda: Very good.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Another thing, the big thing that Tripurāri Mahārāja is working on—Dhṛṣṭadyumna is heading up the office—it’s called contract sales. They have written to you once and you said… It’s not standing order, it’s cash on delivery. But now they call it contract sales. Very impressive results.

Prabhupāda: Bookstore. No.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No. It’s selling of full sets of Bhāgavatam or Caitanya-caritāmṛta, but cash at once. Or cash fifty percent down, fifty percent in one month. Or, you know, different schemes, payment schemes. It’s called contract sales. So far, I have the figures if you’d like to hear how many they sold, the books. It looks like it may become a huge thing for book distribution. Would you like me to get the…?

Prabhupāda: Let me go this side and come back.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: All right. [break]

Prabhupāda: …gentlemen who are… It is good suggestion. It is a Communist government plan to cut down. Communists think of God as a farce. And we are stressing on God consciousness.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Surabhi Swami sent some plan of the Bhaktivedanta Institute building, sent a blueprint.

Prabhupāda: Where is?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Should I bring it? [break] They sent also… [break]

Prabhupāda: …they want people join together and protest. And what is the response from Caitanya Maṭha? And that Surendranath Das is with Caitanya Maṭha, or he’s doing something independently? A remark by such a great officer, I.D., is not to be neglected.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I’m thinking to send a copy of the letter direct to Māyāpur and another one through Calcutta, just in case there’s some…

Prabhupāda: Do the needful.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Do you want me to go to Delhi, or should I wait until Bhakti-caitanya comes with Mr. Nai on Thursday?

Prabhupāda: No, here.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Today’s Tuesday. [break]

Prabhupāda: …gṛhastha life. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura independently lived. Or I was also gṛhastha. Our aim was different. But this neophyte, if they remain aloof from temple connection without attending the function, gradually they will be lost.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That was the reason that I suggested to Abhirāma Prabhu that he should make his business in Bombay. Actually, the gṛhasthas have no desire to live independent of the temples. Just like Mādhavānanda, he’s got an apartment now just near the temple so that he can attend maṅgala-ārati and the other functions.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Unless these things are continued, the karmīs’ poison will spoil him. He can do independent business; there is no harm. But must be connected with the devotional service.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: Just like Abhirāma constructed that house. That’s all right. He is within the campus. There is no harm. And now if he goes away after so much training, advancement, if they are lost, then that’s a great loss for the Society. With such… With great difficulty we make one Vaiṣṇava. And again, if he goes like Śyāmasundara, then it is great loss. The whole idea is to give up attachment for material world and increase attachment for Kṛṣṇa. That is perfection. Now, according to one’s position, gradually. But this is the aim. Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate [Bg. 2.59]. Nivṛtti.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I don’t think Abhirāma has any intention of going away.

Prabhupāda: No, he has no intention, but he lives apart from temple connection…

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Then he will go away automatically.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So that’s not possible, then, for him to go to Bangalore, ‘cause we have no center in Bangalore.

Prabhupāda: So he wants to organize a center there?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No, he was thinking of organizing business.

Prabhupāda: Then Bombay is better place than Bangalore.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. He admits it’s a better place. No, he can be encouraged very easily to go to Bombay. I mean, generally, throughout our Society, I don’t think the trend of the gṛhasthas is to move away from temples and live independently. If they live independently from the temple, it’s in close…

Prabhupāda: No, no. There is chance, I said.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: The karmīs’ association is very contaminous. Asat-saṅgī. So for him the best thing will be to take a room in Bombay. Let him do business.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I’m sure now that… I’ll convey all…

Prabhupāda: Gṛhastha should not be dependent on Society. At the same time, he should not be independent of the Society. [laughs] This is the position. Because Society cannot take charge of a family. There will be so many number of families. How it is possible? At the same time, if they remain independently of the Society, without touch, then the karmīs’ poison will infect.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: It seems like the solution is to get apartments near the temple, get room near the temple.

Prabhupāda: Why not in the temple? Why? If he pays, what is wrong?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No, in a place like Bombay where we have so many buildings, in the temple. But sometimes… Just like in America, if there’s only one building with only…

Prabhupāda: No, America also… Just like Los Angeles we have got.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That’s different. There there are apartments.

Prabhupāda: Similarly, we have to arrange like that. They should not live completely independent. That will be future danger.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: It has to be a community of devotees.

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa conscious ideal gṛhasthas. That we want. Just like Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. There are many. I was gṛhastha. There was Deity worship, everything nice. I was publishing Back to Godhead from gṛhastha. So aim was there. But I could not leave family life for some circumstances. That is a different thing. Must be in touch with the devotional service as in the temple. If live nearby temple, it is easier, or in the temple. But aloof, that is dangerous.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: If they live in the temple, then there’s the problem of… You know.

Prabhupāda: No. Temple, he can take one room, pay for it. He wants to pay. That is also payment. And further, if he can pay, that’s all right.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: In America, supposing a householder family pays for a room in our temple building. So they can have their sex life and family life?

Prabhupāda: If they can pay for prasādam also, it is nice. Sex… Husband-wife living, there must be sex, so who can…?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So how can that be in the same building as the brahmacārī āśrama?

Prabhupāda: No, no, no, so many other gṛhastha tenants.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That’s in, like, Hare Kṛṣṇa Land in Bombay. But supposing in a…

Prabhupāda: That you cannot check. Gṛhastha means they must have sex. But they’re living independent, separately.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah, that’s in Hare Kṛṣṇa Land.

Prabhupāda: No, anywhere. If they are doing independent business, let them do that.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So in the New York…

Prabhupāda: Karmīs’ concession, sex.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: In the New York they can live families together? In that building, families can live together and have sex life?

Prabhupāda: What is wrong?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: In that building. It’s all right?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Why not? In a building there are so many different types of men. In a big building, apartment building, you cannot expect all of them of the same class.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Hmm. ‘Cause in Bombay you had said that is was better that in an immediate building of the temple they should not live together with wife. They should live separately.

Prabhupāda: No, that is, they are not doing business. They are attached to temple activities. Anyway, these things have to be adjusted. You cannot follow very rigid in case of gṛhasthas. Some way or other, you have to adjust. We cannot allow them to be lost.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No. That’s clear.

Prabhupāda: Better allow them to live together. What can be done? But we cannot lose them. After training so much, if they are lost, then that is a great loss. This I am giving hint. Now you GBC, you change them. Make process.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah. Right now in our Society throughout the world, wherever there are gṛhasthas living in our temples, they live separate from their wives. And if they want to live with their wives, then they get a room or an apartment near the temple.

Prabhupāda: So may be like that, but must be attached to the temple.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah, that’s the clear point. We should not lose anyone.

Prabhupāda: No, that’s a great loss.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Because if husband and wife live together in the temple itself, where there are so many brahmacārīs and other… [break]

Prabhupāda: …he makes love with a girl and marries and live at the cost of Society, and that is to be discouraged. If you want to marry, you work independently. Maintain yourself. And whatever you can contribute, do that. That is the… Just like Abhirāma. He’s very good. And I don’t want to be lost. He constructed that house; I never forbade. And it is in the campus. Let him remain a little separately. It doesn’t matter.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I think the main reason that he can’t live there anymore is that because of doing business he’ll not always be able to be in Māyāpur, and he doesn’t feel that that house is safe for his wife to live there alone.

Prabhupāda: Why alone? Can live with others.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Other householders there also.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Many householders can live there together.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. There’s room on the floor below for two other families to live…

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: There’s room on the floor below his apartment for two other families. I don’t know what…

Prabhupāda: That can be arranged. That is not…

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I don’t think he feels it’s safe enough.

Prabhupāda: No, no. This is incidental. This is not permanent problem.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I don’t know what’s behind it. He may… I don’t know the full reasons why he doesn’t want to stay there anymore.

Prabhupāda: If he wants to do business, how he can stay there?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah. [laughs] There’s no business in Māyāpur.

Prabhupāda: What is business there?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He wants to go where there’s a business center.

Prabhupāda: No, business means he must do business in some city.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah. Bombay.

Prabhupāda: Anywhere. Bombay is the best city. He has got facility to stay there. For business Bombay is the best city.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: In India.

Prabhupāda: In India. No, world. It is a very important city. Export, import, local. Tremendous business possibility there. Many poor men goes and becomes very rich men. Bombay is very important center. You have to get a place by giving bribe, fifty thousand, sixty thousand, to stay there.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They call that huṇḍi.

Prabhupāda: Not huṇḍi.

Bhakti-caru: Pagri[?].

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Pagri, I mean.

Prabhupāda: Pagri, yes. To get a place there… Bombay is so important that if you want to get a place you have to pay no less, fifty thousand, lakh of rupees to stand. Then do business. Very important. Anything you do, you must have land first of all to stand. Otherwise what you’ll do? To stand in Bombay you have to pay lakh of… Don’t you see—we drive away the tenants—how much we recompense. We pay compensation.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. We have to pay a lot of money…

Prabhupāda: That’s it.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: …so that they can pay for some other place.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That’s true. Nowadays it’s very difficult.

Prabhupāda: This is system in Bombay. Without paying, you cannot get even inch of land.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Trivikrama Mahārāja told me Japan it’s getting like that also, Tokyo.

Prabhupāda: Wherever there is scarcity, that is the system.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: In America that is not there.

Prabhupāda: America, enough places.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They have paying a few months’ rent, but not pagri.

Prabhupāda: There are so many houses. Why they should pay?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah. That’s true.

Prabhupāda: Multi-story building. Why people should pay? Now Bombay have got many multi-story building; therefore that demand is reduced. But still, you have to pay in important place pagri, or underhand. What is called?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Bribe.

Prabhupāda: Bribe is very bad word. “Under table.” [chuckling]

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Under the table. Unofficial.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Mean I am paying on the table hundred rupees and under table two hundred rupees.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Śrīla Prabhupāda, I think you know everything spiritual and material.

Prabhupāda: Hmm? So my fear is that after training our men so much, if he’s lost, that’s a great loss. Then future of Society becomes very hopeless.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So the principle is that if a householder has outside employment and can pay, then he can live inside our temple building.

Prabhupāda: That’s nice. What is the wrong?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: At least for five or six years now the system has been that no man and woman should live together in the same building as where the Deity is.

Prabhupāda: That is the system. Temple is meant for retired men—brahmacārī, sannyāsī, vānaprastha.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So then how we can let them live together, man and woman?

Prabhupāda: But if there is no alternative, what can be done?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Hmm. No, but there is alternative always. There are available rooms and apartments just adjoining the temples.

Prabhupāda: Then it is all right, but he must be connected with temple.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah. That’s the principle. Under no circumstance should anybody be independent.

Prabhupāda: Upendra is here?

Upendra: Yes, Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: So you have corrected that paste?

Upendra: Yes, Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: It has become soft?

Upendra: Yes, it’s very soft and moist.

Prabhupāda: That’s good.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Prabhupāda? It seems like your voice has become a little congested tonight. Are you feeling congested? Your voice seems a little…

Prabhupāda: Congested, my vice?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Voice. In the nose. Congestion.

Prabhupāda: My nose? Not very much.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh.

Prabhupāda: So you can go.

Upendra: Prabhupādajī? I have one question since you are speaking about gṛhastha. If a brahmacārī decides to get married and then enters into married life, should he be encouraged to maintain that responsibility throughout his life?

Prabhupāda: No, no. Unless he can maintain family, why should he marry?

Upendra: Well, I’m specifically questioning the fact that some… Of course, our movement is young, but so many women, their husbands leave them, and they are so young and they’re left. So these young women I’m thinking may become a disturbance in the future to the movement, because how a woman can remain unmarried for so many years? Her husband has left her after a few years of marriage. Generally we preach…

Prabhupāda: What we can do?

Upendra: I’m saying the emphasis of marriage responsibility, I don’t know if it’s preached that strongly. Generally it’s preached that one should not…

Prabhupāda: No, if he marries, why he should not take responsibility for maintaining? Why he should marry if he has no power of maintaining?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: What does that mean, “power of maintaining,” Śrīla Prabhupāda?

Prabhupāda: He must maintain his wife, children nicely. Otherwise why he should marry?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He shouldn’t expect the temple to maintain him.

Prabhupāda: That is not possible.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Of course, he might be thinking, “Well, I’m a pūjārī, so the temple should pay me money to maintain my family.”

Prabhupāda: If we have got brahmacārī pūjārī, why should we maintain a gṛhastha? He is not only one pūjārī. We have got sannyāsī, brahmacārī. Why should we maintain a gṛhastha? And where is the means? After all, these things are to be adjusted. I can give you the ideas. [indistinct background whispering] The pūjārīs were given in Vṛndāvana the temple, and they made it a source of income, just like the gosāis are doing. Their pūjā goes to hell.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Who?

Prabhupāda: Mean these gṛhastha pūjārī. Gradually their pūjā will go to hell. They’ll gradually glide down how to maintain family by showing the Deity. That is… The gosāis are doing. People have sentiment to give something to the Deity, and they will depend on that income. Bās. This is the position of these Vṛndāvana temple. What is the position of the Rādhā-Ramaṇa? Deterioration. It is not being properly done. They’ll sell the property.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. Just like that Madan Mohan is thinking…

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: …to do. He says it’s his property.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Imagine that. Phew! Boy!

Prabhupāda: He is maintaining it for his sons’, daughters’ marriage. That is…

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: After all, Tīrtha Mahārāja did that too.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He says, “My son is the next in line.” Phew.

Prabhupāda: The interest will go to the family, not to the Deity.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That’s not good.

Prabhupāda: Jīva Gosvāmī was brahmacārī. So he gave to a gṛhastha śiṣya to maintain Rādhā-Dāmodara. But what is the position now? Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī was also a brahmacārī. Everything depends on training and mentality. If the attention is diverted otherwise, then it is lost.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I think Mādhavendra Purī, he gave his Deity. Now it’s again… You know, who has Govardhana Deity. Vallabhācārya’s line now worships.

Prabhupāda: They gave to the Vallabhācārya. But somehow they are maintaining the status quo.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Hmm. Still very opulent. They do very elaborate. That Pushti Marg group, they do very elaborate Deity worship.

Prabhupāda: Very nicely.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Of course, they don’t preach very vigorously, but at least their Deity worship…

Prabhupāda: That is also preaching. Arcanam. One of the… If they maintain the Deity worship gorgeously, that is also preaching. [pause]

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So the guiding principle should be that under no circumstance should anyone become lost.

Prabhupāda: Then what is the preaching? Alexander the Great? He was conquering, and as soon he went to conquer another place, the last place lost.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: What happened?

Prabhupāda: Suppose I have conquered Bombay. Then I go to Karachi. In the meantime, Bombay is lost. That was being done, Alexander the Great. Means no proper management. Just like British Empire lost. They could not manage. So long they were managing well, it was going on.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Too much expansion with not enough good management.

Prabhupāda: No.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Similarly, we should not expand too quickly…

Prabhupāda: No.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: …unless we have the proper management.

Prabhupāda: I am stressing, therefore, book-selling.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Hmm.

Prabhupāda: Not opening temples.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh. Yes. This is the reason, one of the reasons. Hmm. I don’t think many devotees think in terms of that, but this is a very practical point, that selling books, once you make the sale, that’s it. The book will act.

Prabhupāda: Yes. It will remain permanent.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Hmm. It establishes itself as a Deity within a person’s home.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The book.

Prabhupāda: Now I have given my program. You tackle, GBC men. At least, don’t make me Alexander the Great in my lifetime. [laughs] They are saying, “You are great, great, great.” But don’t make me small while I am living.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Or after. We will never make you that way.

Prabhupāda: Eh.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: We should never do that.

Prabhupāda: That’s… That’s my request.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You’ve always said to us, at least whatever we have, maintain it.

Prabhupāda: And people are recognized I am great. Don’t make me small. I’ll not give you much trouble, but I am now invalid. What can I do?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: It seems like even though you’re invalid, it gives us more opportunity to serve you.

Prabhupāda: Thank you. What can I do? [laughs] I have to give, give you that opportunity. [laughing] I cannot do without it. [pause]

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: It seems it’s just…, it is your mercy to us.

Prabhupāda: All right, go on.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda. Thank you for all these instructions.

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: All glories to you. [end]

Previous PageBack to overviewNext Page