Room Conversation with Allen Ginsberg

Room Conversation
May 12


Allen Ginsberg: It becomes more and more widespread and is more and more acceptable to people… 

Prabhupāda: A Bengali woman is here, that Lekha? She can come and you can give. 

Devotee: Prabhupāda, may I ask you one question? I know that [indistinct] here is an astrologer. I can do astrological charts. Do you consider that māyā? [break] 

Allen Ginsberg: I don’t know how… It’s difficult for me to conceive everybody in America… 

Prabhupāda: Nothing is accepted by everybody. 

Allen Ginsberg: Or even a vast, vast, vast number of people living a Hindu-language-based, Hindu-food-based, monastic life in America. Yes. And many of us, like, do you remember Gary Snyder, who is the Buddhist boy, I think we met in New York? 

Kīrtanānanda: San Francisco. 

Allen Ginsberg: In San Francisco, was it? Yes. …have all been thinking what form of religious practice, what form of simple meditation exercises could be set forth in America that could be adopted by a great, great, great, great many people on a large scale. We haven’t solved the problem. One thing I’ve noticed is that the Kṛṣṇa temples have spread and are firmly rooted and solidly based. There are a number of them now. So that really is a very solid root. So I think that will continue. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. 

Allen Ginsberg: But I’m wondering what future is there? What’s the future of a religious observance so technical as this? So complicated as this? Requires so much sophistication in terms of diet, daily ritual, ārati, ekādaśī, all, the whole thing that you’ve been teaching, how far can that spread by it’s very complexness… 

Prabhupāda: Yes. All are complex. The whole idea is to keep the devotees always engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the program. Gradually, we shall introduce more and more so that he has no scope to go outside Kṛṣṇa consciousness. 

Allen Ginsberg: Well then the question is… 

Prabhupāda: First of all you have to understand that we are trying to make people Kṛṣṇa conscious. So how he can remain twenty-four hours Kṛṣṇa conscious, that is the program. 

Allen Ginsberg: Well, the orthodox Jews have a very heavy, complicated, moment by moment ritual daily existence in that, for that same purpose. It was to keep them conscious of their religious nature. And that has maintained a small group of Jews over the centuries as an integral unit, but has tended to disappear in the later generations now simply because modern life does not allow that much Kṛṣṇa consciousness or Jewish consciousness or religious consciousness and attention, act by act throughout the day. So my question is how far can total Kṛṣṇa devotion, act by act all day, spread? How many people can that encompass in a place like America? Or are you intending only to get a few devotees, like several hundred or a thousand who will be solid and permanent. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. That is my program. Because Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not possible for everyone. Because in the Bhagavad-gītā we learn, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante [Bg. 7.19]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 7.19

After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.
. After many, many births one can come to this. So it is not possible that a mass of people, a large quantity of people will be able to grasp it. You see? Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 7.19

After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.
. Another place it is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu [Bg. 7.3]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 7.3

Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.
. After many thousands of men, one may be interested how to liberate himself. And out of many such liberated persons, one may understand what is Kṛṣṇa. So understanding of Kṛṣṇa is not very easy thing. But Lord Caitanya is so munificent that He has given us a, I mean to say, easy process. [indistinct] Otherwise Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not easy. Because Kṛṣṇa is the last word of Absolute Truth. Generally, people are just like animals. Out of many such persons, one becomes interested in the scriptures. And out of many such persons, if they’re attracted to the scriptures, they’re attracted to the ritualistic ceremony for improving their economic condition. You see? Just like Christians, they go to… Not Christian, everyone. They take up religion with a motive that they may improve their economic position. Dharma, artha. Artha means money. And then why artha? Why you want money? Now, to satisfy senses. Kāma. Dharma, artha, kāma. And when one becomes frustrated in sense gratification, then liberation, to merge. These four things are going on. Dharma, artha, kāma. The Bhāgavata says that dharma is not meant for acquiring money. Money is not meant for satisfying senses. Sense gratification should be accepted simply to maintain this body. That’s all. The real business is tattva-jijñāsā, to understand. The human life is meant for understanding the Absolute Truth. Jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā naś ceha yat karmabhiḥ. Kāmasya nendriya-pritir labho jīveta yāvatā [SB 1.2.10]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.2.10

Life's desires should never be directed toward sense gratification. One should desire only a healthy life, or self-preservation, since a human being is meant for inquiry about the Absolute Truth. Nothing else should be the goal of one's works.
. Kāmasya, sense gratification, does not mean you have to increase the volume of sense gratification. No. Jīveta yāvatā, you have to accept sense gratification so far as you can live very nicely. The real business is jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā. Every human being should be inquisitive to know the Absolute Truth. That is the real business of human life. So to come to that business, you won’t find mass of people. It is not possible. You don’t expect. 

Allen Ginsberg: Your plan here in America, then, is to set up centers so that those who are that concerned can pursue their studies and practice a ritual? 

Prabhupāda: My… Personally, I have no, I mean to say, ideal or ambition. 

Allen Ginsberg: Yeah. 

Prabhupāda: But it is the mission of human life to come to that point. So at least there must be some center or institution who may give them this idea. It is not that everyone will come. Just like there are many educational department. I know in Calcutta in our boyhood age, at that time Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee was vice-president. So he opened some classes in the university. In each class there were four or five professors, and at that time the professors’ salary was 1300 dollar, 1400 dollar. And the fees were collected, at most thirty-six dollar per month. You see? But still the classes were to be maintained because the ideal must be there. So our mission is the intelligent persons of the world may know that this is not, simply seeking after sense gratification is not the aim of human life. Human life is meant by… Just like Bhāgavata says, jīvasya tattva-jijnasa. Vedānta says, athāto brahma jijñāsā. The same thing. Bhāgavata is nothing but explanation of Vedānta. So Vedānta says that this human form of life is meant for inquiring about Brahman. Atha ataḥ. Now. Atha means now. Atha, hereafter. That means after passing through all animalistic way of life, when a man comes to the stage of civilized life, perfect civilized life, at that time his business is to inquire about the Absolute Truth, what is the Absolute Truth. That is the whole Vedānta philosophy, “What is that Absolute Truth?” The same thing is explained in Bhāgavata, jīvasya tattva-jijñāsa. Jīvasya means all living entities. The main business is to inquire about the Absolute Truth. So people, by education they are misled. Instead of getting them to the highest topmost stage, to the platform of inquiring about the Absolute, they are giving facilities how you can satisfy your senses nicely. 

Allen Ginsberg: O.K., but now in America there is a bankruptcy of sense satisfaction. Everybody agrees. 

Prabhupāda: Must be there. Must be there. 

Allen Ginsberg: Everybody agrees that our civilization has come to the end of its possibilities materially. So everybody understands that. It’s in New York Times editorials as well as in the editorials of ISKCON journals. Both. And there is a population explosion as you’ve noted and as the middle class has noted. So everybody then is looking for an alternative to material extension. 

Prabhupāda: They should inquire about the Absolute Truth. 

Allen Ginsberg: Okay. So my original question was: is the complicated ritual and the Sanskrit language… 

Prabhupāda: No, no. Now we are placing so many things in English language. Our all books are being published in English. Our magazine is in English. 

Allen Ginsberg: But the question is, is the mode of life that you are proposing adaptable to many, many, many people? 

Prabhupāda: That I say that is not for many, many people. 

Allen Ginsberg: Yeah. But there are, there is a thirst by many, many people for an alternative answer. For a better alternative system. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. So if they are actually thirsty, if they are actually thirsty, then they can adopt this. What is the difficulty there? There is no difficulty. So many American boys they have already adopted. They are not feeling any difficulty. They are feeling relief. What is difficulty? In what point it is difficult? Hare Kṛṣṇa chanting you are chanting. 

Allen Ginsberg: Yes. 

Prabhupāda: It is all in Sanskrit. What difficulty you are feeling? 

Allen Ginsberg: I don’t feel too much difficulty, except aesthetically I do feel a difficulty. Yes, there is. The difficulty I feel is that there should be some flower of the American language to communicate in rather than… 

Prabhupāda: Therefore we are seeking your help. 

Allen Ginsberg: Yeah. Well I haven’t found a way, I still just stay chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. 

Prabhupāda: Therefore why I have come to you? That is also my view. I have come to America with this view, that America is on the summit of material civilization. They are not poverty-stricken. You see? And they are seeking after something. Therefore I have come, that “You take this, you’ll be happy.” That is my mission. And if the Americans take, then all other countries will take because America is leading at the present moment. So persons, exalted persons like you, you try to understand. What is the difficulty? There is no difficulty. Chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, anyone can chant. Even the child is trying. There is no difficulty. And so far what is our modes of living? 

Allen Ginsberg: Mere chanting without the practice of a philosophy and a daily ritual… 

Prabhupāda: Philosophy is there. We are teaching Bhagavad-gītā. We are talking on Bhāgavata philosophy, we are talking on Caitanya’s philosophy. 

Allen Ginsberg: And you have a daily ritual. 

Prabhupāda: We are distributing papers. And… Everything is there. 

Allen Ginsberg: Okay. So my question then, as it was originally when you first asked me, what do I think… 

Prabhupāda: Yes. 

Allen Ginsberg: Is the Caitanya-Kṛṣṇa ritual, as you have it here in this house and in the other āśramas, is that something that a large mass of people can enter into? 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Why not? 

Allen Ginsberg: In America? 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Because we have seen. All my students are Americans. So it has to be… And it is spreading. 

Allen Ginsberg: Yes, but what it requires is an adaptation of Indian dress and an adaptation… 

Prabhupāda: That is not very important. 

Allen Ginsberg: And an adaptation to Indian food. 

Prabhupāda: No, no. Indian food… It is not Indian food. Are you not eating fruits? 

Allen Ginsberg: Yes, yes. 

Prabhupāda: Then that is Indian food? Do you mean to say it is Indian food? 

Allen Ginsberg: Well, the curries. 

Prabhupāda: Curries you may boil only. That doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that you have to take our taste. No. That is not the program, that to become Kṛṣṇa conscious you have to change your taste. No. We say from the Bhagavad-gītā… Kṛṣṇa says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati [Bg. 9.26]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 9.26

If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.
. “Anyone who is offering Me with devotion these vegetables, fruits, flowers, milk, I accept that.” But we are going to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. Therefore we are selecting foodstuff from this group. That you are all already accepting. Don’t you take vegetables? Don’t you take fruits? Don’t you take grains? So where is the new item? Now, so far cooking, you can cook in your own taste. But the group must be this. Not meat. Because Kṛṣṇa does not say. That is our program. So you are already taking grains, you are eating fruits, you are drinking milk. So where is the difference? I don’t find any difference. 

Allen Ginsberg: Well, I suppose not. You could say there is no difference because the food is basically the same materially. It’s just a question of the style. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Now you take… Style may be different. That’s all right. Besides that, to maintain your body and soul together, you require eating, you require sleeping, you require mating, you require defense. We don’t say that you don’t do this. Kṛṣṇa was… Arjuna was defending. Rather, he wanted to be nonviolent. “Oh, what is the use of fighting?” Kṛṣṇa said, “No. It is required. You should.” So where is the difference? There is no difference. Simply we are adjusting things so that you may become happy. Any intelligent man will take it. We are not prohibiting, but we are adjusting. So there is no difficulty. Simply intelligent persons like you should try to understand and take it and administer because your country is wanting this. 

Allen Ginsberg: But there is a limit to how much the pronunciation of Kṛṣṇa will spread I think. There’s a limit. 

Prabhupāda: Hm? No limit. You can pronounce in any way Kṛṣṇa. K-r-i-s-h-n-a. That’s all. Any way. Niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ. 

Allen Ginsberg: The limit is people’s prejudice… 

Prabhupāda: So we don’t say that why you are chanting Kṛṣṇa like this? We never say that. We simply say, please try to chant Kṛṣṇa. 

Allen Ginsberg: Or let us say there would be a limit until the word Kṛṣṇa became as common in English as any other English word. 

Prabhupāda: It is already in the dictionary. It is already in the dictionary. All dictionaries you will find Kṛṣṇa. What do you want more? 

Allen Ginsberg: Something that will not disturb truckdrivers. 

Lady [Indian]: They can say Christ, they can say Kṛṣṇa. It is same. 

Allen Ginsberg: That is true… True. But they don’t say Christ. [laughs] 

Prabhupāda: Now Krist… I have read one book, Aquarian… 

Kīrtanānanda: Aquarian Gospel? 

Prabhupāda: Gospel, yes. In there it is explained that Krist means love. Christ means love. And Kṛṣṇa also means love. So there from Kṛṣṇa this word Krist has come. And in India somebody says Kristha. Instead of Kṛṣṇa, they say Kristha. 

Allen Ginsberg: Where? 

Prabhupāda: And in apa-bhraṁśa, has come Kestha. Generally they talk, instead of pronouncing very nicely Kṛṣṇa… Somebody’s name is Kṛṣṇachandra. “Hey, Kesthara.” 

Allen Ginsberg: Where is this? 

Prabhupāda: In India everywhere. Kestha. So Kestha, Kristha or Kṛṣṇa, they’re on the same group, aiming the same group. It is not difficult. 

Allen Ginsberg: Of course, Catholicism in the West operated in Latin. 

Prabhupāda: Huh? 

Allen Ginsberg: Catholicism in the West operated in Latin for centuries. 

Prabhupāda: Latin is from Sanskrit. Yes. Latin is from Sanskrit. Professor Rowe and Webb of Presidency College in Calcutta, they have got a grammar. They have said the Sanskrit language is mother of all languages. They were big English scholar, professor, Mr. Rowe and Webb. We had to read their grammar in our childhood. They have said that Sanskrit language is the mother of all languages. And in the dictionary you’ll find Indo-European language practically all from Sanskrit. The original word mātṛ-śabda—the “mater,” no? 

Allen Ginsberg: But the question I’m posing still is this. You accept the possibility of a series of Kṛṣṇa consciousness centers in the United States. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Provided a man is not adversely inclined. Otherwise it is very simple. 

Allen Ginsberg: But what I’m wondering is how far beyond exclusive centers, how far beyond that can it go in the United States? How far beyond a special study cult centers can a Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement or any religious movement grow? ‘Cause the need is for a large single unifying religious movement in America. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. So here is Kṛṣṇa. All-attractive. You now find out… You can say, “Why I shall accept Kṛṣṇa?” You can say like that. Your first question is the unifying agent. I say here is Kṛṣṇa. Now we can analyze, “Why you shall accept Kṛṣṇa?” Then I shall reply, “Why you shall not?” What do you want, expect from the Supreme or the unifying, what do you expect? Everything is there in Kṛṣṇa. Opulence-Kṛṣṇa. Beauty-Kṛṣṇa. Wisdom-Kṛṣṇa. Renunciation-Kṛṣṇa. Strength-Kṛṣṇa. Everything in Kṛṣṇa. Whatever you want you’ll find in Kṛṣṇa. That is the unifying center. That I will convince you. He is the unifying center actually. And Bhagavad-gītā it is said, mama vartmānuvartante manuṣyāḥ partha sarvaśaḥ. “Everyone is trying to come to Me. Everyone is trying to come to Me.” Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante [Bg. 4.11]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 4.11

All of them—as they surrender unto Me—I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pṛthā.
. “But he’s realizing Me in My different phases. But everyone is trying.” So so far unifying religion is concerned there are three groups: impersonalists, personalists, and localized. Some are trying to understand the Absolute Truth in impersonal way. Some are… The yogis, the mental speculators, they are trying to understand the Absolute in impersonal, without any personal form. And the yogis, they are trying to find out Kṛṣṇa within their heart, meditation. And some are trying to find out the Absolute Truth in person by reciprocating love. So all these things are in Kṛṣṇa. And Bhāgavata says after explanation of that verse that it is the only business of human being to find out the Absolute Truth. Now, the next verse, the Absolute Truth is explained, analyzed, vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam [SB 1.2.11]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.2.11

Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān.
. Now, Absolute Truth is always one. There is no… Absolute Truth cannot be two. Then it is relative truth. Absolute Truth means one. So the knowledge of the Absolute Truth is one. Vadanti tat tattva-vidas [SB 1.2.11]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.2.11

Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān.
. Tattva-vidas means those who are in knowledge of the Absolute Truth, they say that Absolute Truth is one. But He’s realized in three phases. Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate. Brahman means impersonal, and Paramātmā is localized, and Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So these are different stages. Just like the sun. The first experience of sun is this impersonal effulgence all over the sky. But that is not very important than the sun globe. Because it is from the sun globe the effulgence is coming. So anyone will understand that this sunshine is not so important as the sun globe. And if you approach the sun globe and if you penetrate into the sun, if you have got strength to go into the… Just like you are trying go to the moon planet. If you have got really scientific strength to go within the sun planet, then you’ll find there is sun-god. That information we get from Bhagavad-gītā. Imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 4.1

The Blessed Lord said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvān, and Vivasvān instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Ikṣvāku.
. “I told the sun-god Vivasvān first.” So therefore there is a person. And why not a person? Your imagination is not ultimate truth. We get information from Kṛṣṇa, there is a person, Vivasvān. So there is a person, he’s sitting there. Person, globe, sun, sunshine. Which is important? Which is important? 

Allen Ginsberg: The person, the globe or the sunshine? 

Prabhupāda: Yes. 

Allen Ginsberg: [laughs] I don’t know. 

Prabhupāda: Why you don’t know? You cannot say them? Which of them? These three things are presenting. The sunshine, the sun globe, and within the sun globe, the sun-god. Who is important? 

Allen Ginsberg: If we could apprehend it in terms of person, the person. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. 

Allen Ginsberg: But if we could apprehend it only in terms of the globe, then the globe. 

Prabhupāda: So that means your approach may be up to globe, but that is not finished. 

Allen Ginsberg: Yes. 

Prabhupāda: That is not finished. You have to go… That is… Upaniṣad says that, he’s praying that “Please wind up Your effulgence so that I can see Your true face.” The Upaniṣad says. You see in the Upaniṣad. And he’s praying that “Please wind up Your this glaring effulgence so that I can see Your real face.” So real face is there. And Bhagavad-gītā says, brahmaṇo ‘ham pratiṣṭhā. “This impersonal Brahman is standing on My existence.” And Brahma-saṁhitā says that 

yasyā prabha prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi-
koṭiṣv aśeṣa-vasudhādi vibhūti-bhinnam
tad brahma niṣkalam anantam aśeṣa-bhūtaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[Bs. 5.40]

This Brahman effulgence is nothing but His bodily effulgence. You see whenever we put Kṛṣṇa, there’s a bodily effulgence. Within that bodily effulgence every creation is there. Just like this effulgence of sun. Within the sunshine all these planets are moving, all this vegetation, everything growing, coming. The whole thing is existing on the sunshine. Similarly, sarvaṁ khalv idaṁ brahma. Everything existing on brahma-jyotir. And in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said māyā tatam idaṁ sarvaṁ jagad avyakta-mūrtinā. “This impersonal exhibition of this whole manifestation, it is I.” Mat-sthāni sarva-bhūtāni [Bg. 9.4]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 9.4

By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them.
. “Everything existing in Me.” Nahaṁ teṣu avasthitaḥ. “But I am not there.” So we have to study everything intelligently. I want some intelligent persons from America. Then it will be done. It is not bluff. It is real science. Authority. One has to understand simply. That’s all. Therefore in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said, kṛṣṇa yei bhaje sei baḍa catura. Unless one is very, very intelligent he cannot come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He must be very intelligent. So if we find one or two intelligent persons, ekaś candras tamo hanti na ca tārā…, then one moon is sufficient to eradicate all darkness. There is no need of millions of stars. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so beautiful. You call any intelligent person, we are prepared to convince him. Any intelligent. He must be little intelligent. That’s all. We don’t want… 

Allen Ginsberg: Yes, but I’m not even convinced. 

Prabhupāda: No. 

Allen Ginsberg: I mean, everything you say is beautiful, but… 

Prabhupāda: No. You are very intelligent boy. Why not you are intelligent? You are recognized poet, you are popular poet. Why you… I take you are intelligent. You are first-class intelligent. You are chanting. 

Allen Ginsberg: But that’s almost a physical body movement, the chanting rather than a… 

Prabhupāda: Maybe, but your intelligence is sufficient. That is… If that standard of intelligent men I get, that is my fortune. You see. Now, at least I request you, you try to understand this Kṛṣṇa consciousness philosophy. It is not sentiment. It is not bluffing. It is not a money-making business that I give you some… 

Allen Ginsberg: No. Obviously not. 

Prabhupāda: You see? You know from the very beginning. I came here single-handed. I chanted. That’s all. I never asked anybody money. 

Allen Ginsberg: That was never in question. 

Prabhupāda: So I never said that “I’ll give you Kṛṣṇa consciousness or this…” No, I mean to say… So it is not bluff. It is purely scientific, transcendental science. So I want some American gentlemen to understand this. 

Allen Ginsberg: Well, Howard does. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. So we want many Howards. [laughs] Your country is so big. 

Allen Ginsberg: Actually, what I got into, you were saying so everything stands on “My,” Kṛṣṇa’s personality. And then there was a twist there: “But I am empty.” Is that what you said before? Do you remember? Just about eight minutes ago you concluded the description of the sun and the… 

Prabhupāda: Sun globe, sun, and the sunshine. 

Kīrtanānanda: Kṛṣṇa says that “Everything is depending on Me and still I am not in them.” 

Allen Ginsberg: Oh, oh. I guess that’s where I… “Everything is depending on Me, yet I am not in them.” 

Prabhupāda: “Everything is resting on Me. But I am not there.” Just like this is Kṛṣṇa. Without Kṛṣṇa it has no existence. But it is not Kṛṣṇa. The pantheist will say “I… Everything is Kṛṣṇa, then I worship this.” 

Allen Ginsberg: So who is Kṛṣṇa? 

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is Kṛṣṇa. 

Allen Ginsberg: If He’s not apprehensible by senses… 

Prabhupāda: No. Why not senses? This is Kṛṣṇa. This is Kṛṣṇa. But at the same time… This is the philosophy of Lord Caitanya. Acintya-bhedābheda, simultaneously one and different. That is very easy… Suppose this is gold. But this gold is not the gold mine. There is a difference. It is gold. Similarly, everything is Kṛṣṇa, but still is different from Kṛṣṇa. That is explained in Viṣṇu Purāṇa. Parasya brahmaṇaḥ śaktiḥ sarvedam akhilaṁ jagat. Eka-sthānī sthitasyajñer jyotsnā vistāriṇī yathā, parasya brahmaṇaḥ śaktiḥ sarvedam akhilaṁ jagat. The same example, that the sun. The sun is, sun-god is situated one place, but it is fiery. Blazing fire. Its heat and light is expanded. You see practically, the heat and light. So whatever this material existence is the sunlight, sunshine. Everything existing on sunshine. It is scientific. Your electricity, your this, that, whatever you take it is all sunshine. All these planets are moving, rotating on the sunshine. Heat. If heat is taken away immediately whole thing spoiled. Therefore everything is resting on the energy of the sunshine, but if you say that “Then let me find out the sun-god in the sunshine,” that you will have to go there. 

Hayagrīva: The Christians, I think they say, God is more than His creation. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Certainly. This creation is only a part of manifestation of His energy. Insignificant. That is explained in Bhagavad-gītā. 

atha vā bahunaitena
kiṁ jñātena tavārjuna
viṣṭabhyāham idaṁ kṛtsnam
ekāṁśena sthito jagat
[Bg. 10.42]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 10.42

But what need is there, Arjuna, for all this detailed knowledge? With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe.

“The whole material existence is simply a partial manifestation of My energy.” Ekāṁśena. Viṣṭabhyāham. Aham. “I have entered into this whole material creation and that is My partial manifestation of energy.” Just like what is your, this body? The body is the, a manifestation of your energy. The seed, living entity, is put into the mother’s womb and he expands. This body is expanding. But because you are limited, so much. That’s all. Three feet or six feet. That’s all. No more. You cannot expand more than that. This is crude example. But He’s unlimited. He’s expanding. Bṛhatvad bṛṁhaṇatvad iti brahma. Brahman means nothing is greater than Him and nothing can expand like Him. Bṛhatvad bṛṁhaṇatvad iti brahma. So everything is there scientific. Simply we have to administer. We have got authoritative scripture, description, answers, everything is there. It is not blind following. It is not religious fanaticism. It is actually solid ground. Simply one has to understand nicely. That’s all. And there is no difficulty. So simple. Now, this… Our recommendation is simply, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. So far the Sanskrit word is, that is not a problem. Everyone is chanting. So what is the difficulty? Bring any religious principle. You cannot find so easy. We don’t recommend the ritualistic. That is… That is not very important thing. We are giving, say, simply chant. Ritualistic performance a little more helping. That’s all. It is helping. It is not required. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that all the strength and all the beauty, all the wisdom, everything is there in the name. Simply by chanting we get all, everything. But just to help it. It does not… If somebody does not want our ritualistic, that is not an important thing. We don’t say. We simply recommend that “You please chant.” That’s all. I requested you to chant. Not that I requested that you adopt our means. So that we are requesting. Let them chant. Make an experiment. It is not very difficult thing. 

Allen Ginsberg: Well, the chanting is easy. The chanting is easy. That’s true. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Let them do that. Don’t come to the ritualistic performances. Let them chant as far as possible and see the result. This is the easiest method of transcendental realization. But if you recommend, oh, that will be accepted by many. And if we… 

Allen Ginsberg: No. You see, I recommend it quite a bit but it isn’t accepted by very many. 

Prabhupāda: [laughs] No, no. Then I say, you are American. You are popular leader. You have got some voice. I am a foreigner. I have come new, and who cares for me? That is a different thing. 

Allen Ginsberg: Well, that’s why I’m asking you very specifically cause I’ve been chanting for five years, six years. Since 1963, ‘64. Since the fall of 1963, I’ve been chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa on this continent, beginning in Vancouver in July, 1963. And I am finding there is a limitation to how many people will join that chant. Or I have found a limitation. Part of the limitation is the fact that it is strange and new to people here. 

Prabhupāda: But there is no loss. 

Allen Ginsberg: As it becomes familiar, it might spread a little. Part of the limitation is just a natural resentment or resistance, people wanting a prayer in their own tongue, in their own language. I don’t know… So that is, for the same reason an American Indian chant would not take hold or even a Latin chant would not take universal hold. 

Prabhupāda: Mantra, mantra means… 

Allen Ginsberg: So that many of us will say, “Is it possible to find an American mantra?” 

Prabhupāda: Mantra means the transcendental sound. You see. Just like oṁkāra. 

Allen Ginsberg: So you think the very nature of the sound… Okay, but now, oṁ is an absolutely natural sound from the throat to the mouth. And yet even oṁ, natural as it is, sounds foreign. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Therefore it is a praṇāma. It is accepted. 

Allen Ginsberg: That also sounds foreign here. It’s hard to get people to say auṁ even. ‘Cause I tried in Chicago with auṁ and with Hare Kṛṣṇa. 

Prabhupāda: But there is no other alternative. 

Allen Ginsberg: Well, we haven’t been able to think of one yet, I’ll tell you that. 

Prabhupāda: That is his misfortune if they… 

Lady: [Bengali] 

Allen Ginsberg: Many people here have said, “What about ‘God, God, God, God, God.’ ” But that doesn’t have the right… 

Hayagrīva: No, that doesn’t make it. 

Kīrtanānanda: You couldn’t do it[?] that for five minutes. 

Allen Ginsberg: Well, you could almost do, “Amen, Amen.” 

Hayagrīva: That’s not English. 

Allen Ginsberg: Yes, that’s not English. [laughter] But it’s known in English. And maybe Kṛṣṇa could become as well known as God and Amen, or something like that. 

Prabhupāda: No, Kṛṣṇa is in English dictionary. 

Allen Ginsberg: Yes. Now in the dictionary? 

Prabhupāda: Yes. 

Allen Ginsberg: He infiltrated the dictionary. 

Hayagrīva: Although as an incarnation of Viṣṇu. 

Prabhupāda: English dictionary. 

Allen Ginsberg: Let’s see what it says in the English dictionary. 

Hayagrīva: “Eighth incarnation of Viṣṇu.” 

Lady: [Bengali] 

Prabhupāda: Just see. Here is an intelligent statement. Yes. You can explain in English. 

Lady: I was saying that when the question of knowledge came and Western education was high tops, still it is, thousands of people from other countries like Africa, and India, and all the people, they deliberately learned from the beginning, from childhood, to speak. They started saying Mama and Papa and they’re still coming to the higher education in these universities. And when the question comes of ultimate knowledge and the Western civilization doesn’t want to take, only the word, just the word, so that is their limitation. They don’t want to know. 

Allen Ginsberg: Okay. Partly the fear of that, is that the study of Kṛṣṇa consciousness will become as bureaucratized in America as the examination system has made the study of higher Western knowledge in India. 

Lady: Yes. But the only difference is that that Kṛṣṇa consciousness is unlimited. It glorifies the Lord and it makes unlimited. But this education is just limited. See? Limited education other people can come and learn and take their language of their own mother tongue. 

Prabhupāda: Takes so much trouble. Simply for uttering one Kṛṣṇa they are not prepared to take little trouble? 

Lady: Liberation. The whole life, whole human life liberation. They don’t take, they don’t like to take because it is started in Indian language. Or it is not Indian language. Kṛṣṇa is not Indian language. Oṁ isn’t Indian language. It’s the ultimate God’s name. 

Prabhupāda: Neither Kṛṣṇa says that He is Indian. 

Lady: He didn’t say, “I am Indian.” It’s universal. It’s not Indian. Oṁ is not Indian. Anybody who wants to know oṁ, how to say oṁ. See? 

Prabhupāda: So you have to accept little trouble to utter Kṛṣṇa. That’s all. 

Allen Ginsberg: I’m willing. 

Prabhupāda: We have taken so much trouble for understanding English language. And simply for our transcendental understanding… 

Allen Ginsberg: It’s next to Santa Claus in the dictionary. 

Lady: Yes, Kṛṣṇa is Santa Claus. He is everything. He gives everything. 

Prabhupāda: Very good. 

Allen Ginsberg: Have you seen that? Kṛṣṇa’s next to Kris Kringle. 

Prabhupāda: What is the, what is the Kṛṣṇa? What does he say? 

Kīrtanānanda: “Eighth avatar of Viṣṇu. From Sanskrit Kṛṣṇa. The widespread form of Hindu worship.” 

Hayagrīva: That’s the usual. That’s in all the dictionaries. 

Lady: Only the Indian people are lucky that still they are holding it tight. That’s all. Now other people have forgotten. But it’s all universal. 

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa said in the Bhagavad-gītā that “I am the father of everyone.” Sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya [Bg. 14.4]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 14.4

It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kuntī, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.
. Not only human being. All animals, trees, plants. So Kṛṣṇa is universal. 

Allen Ginsberg: Now, for instance, in America many of the black people are tending toward Allah and toward Muhammadanism. 

Prabhupāda: That is another thing. Somebody is inclined to some thing, somebody is inclined to some thing. That is going on, and it will go on till the end of the creation. [laughing] 

Allen Ginsberg: Yuga. 

Prabhupāda: But our process is that, you are searching after the center, here is the center. That is our proposal. 

Allen Ginsberg: But what do you do when different religious groups claim to be the center? What do you do when different religious groups… 

Prabhupāda: No, we welcome every religion. We don’t decry any religion. Our point is the love of Godhead. Or Kṛṣṇa is love, all-attractive. So we want to be attracted by Kṛṣṇa. Just like a magnetic force and iron. Unless iron is rusty, it is automatically attracted by the magnetic force. Similarly, we are contaminated by material coverings. So we are trying to make it rustless so that immediately we shall be attracted. This is the program. Kṛṣṇa is all-attractive. That is a fact. And we are attracted. But being covered with this rust, we are, instead of being attracted by Kṛṣṇa, we are being attracted by māyā. This is our whole program. So our central program is how to love Kṛṣṇa, or how to love God. So we want to see… That is the Bhāgavata definition, that how much you have enhanced your love of God. You call Kṛṣṇa or something else, that doesn’t matter. Phalena paricīyate. The result. Your religious principle, what is the result? Are you enhancing your love for God or dog? That we want to see. If you are enhancing your love for God, it is all right. We don’t say anything. But if… People should learn how to love. That is the perfection of life. That we are teaching. 

Allen Ginsberg: If you’re identifying love, however, with the sabda Kṛṣṇa, what of those people who identify love with the sabda Allah? 

Prabhupāda: If that śabda, of course, identifies with God, we have no objection. That Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis. God has many names. God is attractive, His name is also attractive, because He’s not different from His name. If you have got exactly the same attractive name, we have no objection. We simply say, “You chant God’s name, holy name.” Then you become purified. That is our program. We don’t say that you change your Christianity. No. We don’t say. If you have got a nice name, all-attractive name, in your scripture-don’t manufacture but authorized—then you chant that. We simply request, “You chant.” 

Allen Ginsberg: Well, then how would you adapt the Kṛṣṇa chanting to Christianity? By seeing Kṛṣṇa as Christ or Christ as Kṛṣṇa and sounding Christ’s image in Kṛṣṇa’s name? 

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa, Christ… Of course, this question was several times put to me. Christ says that “I am son of God.” And Kṛṣṇa says “I am God.” So there is no difference. Son of God and God, we respect everyone. If I respect your father, I respect you also. Do you mean to say if I disrespect your father, you’ll be pleased upon me? No. That is our philosophy. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that I am servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of Kṛṣṇa [Cc. Madhya 13.80]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 13.80

" 'I am not a brāhmaṇa, I am not a kṣatriya, I am not a vaiśya or a śūdra. Nor am I a brahmacārī, a householder, a vānaprastha or a sannyāsī. I identify Myself only as the servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the maintainer of the gopīs. He is like an ocean of nectar, and He is the cause of universal transcendental bliss. He is always existing with brilliance.' "
. So if anyone loves Kṛṣṇa, he must love Lord Jesus Christ also. And if one perfectly loves Jesus Christ he must love Kṛṣṇa. If he says, “Why shall I love Kṛṣṇa? I shall love Jesus Christ,” then he has no knowledge. And if one says, “Why shall I love Jesus Christ? I shall love…”, then he has also no knowledge. If one understands Kṛṣṇa, then he will understand Jesus Christ. If one understands Jesus Christ, you’ll understand Kṛṣṇa. 

Allen Ginsberg: Well, then do you think that the Hare Kṛṣṇa chant could serve as an intermediary to link the religious tendencies of, both of Christianity and Muslim religions? 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. Any religion. Any religion. If he’s serious about religion. If he takes the religion as a scapegoat, that is different thing. If he wants to understand religion and if he takes seriously to religion, then he will understand. We want serious persons. Now, according to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, religion means creation of the laws of God. Dharmaṁ tu sakṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 6.3.19

Real religious principles are enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although fully situated in the mode of goodness, even the great ṛṣis who occupy the topmost planets cannot ascertain the real religious principles, nor can the demigods or the leaders of Siddhaloka, to say nothing of the asuras, ordinary human beings, Vidyādharas and Cāraṇas.
. Laws of God. Who will deny it? Who will deny it? Any religion, Christian, Muhammadan or any. Who can deny that religion is the laws of God? Simple explanation. If you ask what is meant by religion, religion is laws of God. That’s all. And if you want to know what is God, that is also replied. “The original source of everything.” So one should try to understand in this way. But if one wants to remain in his compact ideas and does not want to go further, then it is very difficult. He should be open-minded and appreciating. Then everything is all right. We say, Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, it is not that you are necessarily to chant Kṛṣṇa, but if you have no suitable name, then chant Kṛṣṇa. Why do you make differentiate. Every name is the same. 

Allen Ginsberg: So if you have no other suitable name, chant Kṛṣṇa. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Chant Kṛṣṇa. 

Allen Ginsberg: That’s Caitanya’s…? 

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. 

Allen Ginsberg: Did He feel there were other suitable names? Did He feel or did He think that… 

Prabhupāda: Yes. He said many thousand millions names there are. But if you are serious about God, then… You may have many names by your friends, but any name will do. 

Allen Ginsberg: Okay. So the problem I was posing before is, which I leave open, I don’t know. What is the most attractive and suitable name here in this material country? 

Prabhupāda: Now, take for example the Muhammadan name Allah. Allah means the greatest. So God is greatest. So that greatest conception is this Brahman conception. And so far Christian, I don’t think they have got any particular name. They say God. 

Allen Ginsberg: Yes. Lord, God. That is the basic one. 

Prabhupāda: Controller. God means controller. Is it not? 

Allen Ginsberg: What is the etymology of God? Do you know? 

Hayagrīva: I don’t know. 

Prabhupāda: God is the equivalent of īśvara. Īśvara means controller. 

Allen Ginsberg: Then the Jews, which were my background, had a prohibition… 

Prabhupāda: Jehovah. 

Allen Ginsberg: They had Jehovah, but they had a prohibition of pronouncing the highest names. ‘Cause they felt that God was imageless, and therefore should not be pronounced or painted. My background is I guess what would be impersonalist. 

Hayagrīva: The Jews are personalist. 

Allen Ginsberg: Well, what are they? Impersonalists or personalists? 

Lady: Impersonalists. They believe in just the Absolute. That’s all. 

Prabhupāda: That was the difference in Jesus Christ. He was a personalist. 

Devotee: Hasidics are personal. 

Allen Ginsberg: Yes. They put their devotion into the rabbi or the guru. The ancient Hebrew… I guess you must know about that. The ancient Hebrew teaching was that the name of God should never be pronounced. 

Prabhupāda: Now we come to know… 

Allen Ginsberg: J-H-V-H. 

Prabhupāda: Anyway why God’s name… 

Allen Ginsberg: Pictures should not be made. Pictures should not be made. Because it would limit God to human conception. 

Prabhupāda: That is another thing. That is in Muhammadan. That means God is not material. That is the idea. Because here the idea is when I make something image or picture, that is material. So there is a prohibition of accepting God as material. But if you go to a higher stage, then you’ll understand that if God is everything then there is no material. That is Vaiṣṇava philosophy. If God is everything, then where is material? He is spiritual. Material means when you cannot understand God. That is material. Everything is sky. When it is covered by cloud we call it is cloudy. Similarly, cloud has no existence. It comes only to cover sometimes, but the sky is eternal. Similarly, God is eternal. When you are covered by some māyā, you cannot see, you cannot understand God, that is material. So any philosophy which does not help understanding God, that is material. That is material. Otherwise, there is no material. Where is material if God is everything? Sarvam khalv idam brahma. You see? 

Hayagrīva: All spirits. 

Prabhupāda: All spirit. All the sky. Everywhere is sky, but when it’s covered it is called cloud. Similarly when God is covered by some nonsense ideas, then it is material. Otherwise, there is no material. Therefore those who are too much absorbed in materialistic way, there is a restriction but don’t attempt. Because he will be to think that God’s name is just like my son’s name my daughter’s name. Therefore that restriction. 

Ranadhir: I think when they worship, they’re allowed to say God’s name, it’s just when they’re not, when they’re talking about Him outside the temple that they have to use different name. 

Hayagrīva: We’ve got to tune some harmoniums. 

Allen Ginsberg: Yes, we have to work on the music boxes. We have to start material preparations for the evening. 

Prabhupāda: That is not material. [laughter] We have no,… 

Allen Ginsberg: A śabda preparation. 

Prabhupāda: Yes, śabda is originally spi…, śabda-brahman. 

Allen Ginsberg: We have to find out if all the… 

Prabhupāda: Simply you have to understand that there is nothing material, everything is spiritual. That is required. So long you do not understand that everything is spiritual only, that is our defect. 

Allen Ginsberg: Well, then even sexuality is spiritual? 

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is said in the Bhagavad-gītā: if you use sexuality for giving birth to nice child, not cats and dogs, that is spiritual. But people are using sexuality for other purposes. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, śāstra-viruddho[?], according to religious ritualistic way, if one, when one uses sex life that is [indistinct]. That is, therefore in the, according to Vedic system, therefore, having sex life with wife, there is a great ceremony which is called garbhādhāna ceremony, and all the higher caste, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriyas, śūdra, er vaiśyas especially, they are to observe ten kinds of reformative process. The first process is while giving birth to a child there is a great ceremony, garbhādhāna. So it is not a secret. To beget nice child, then there will be nice population, then there will be peace and prosperity. If you beget cats and dogs, how can you expect peace and prosperity? Living in the same dog society, cat society then there will be peace? No. 

Allen Ginsberg: I would rather dogs and cats being Kṛṣṇa’s though. 

Prabhupāda: Hum? 

Allen Ginsberg: But if all matter is Kṛṣṇa? 

Prabhupāda: That’s all right, but when Kṛṣṇa is covered, when Kṛṣṇa is covered, nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yoga-māyā-samāvṛtaḥ [Bg. 7.25]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 7.25

I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am covered by My eternal creative potency [yoga-māyā]; and so the deluded world knows Me not, who am unborn and infallible.
. The same example: cloud is sunshine, but it covers. What is the cloud? This is creation of the sunshine as these trees and everything is creation of sunshine. Cloud is also. Mind is also Kṛṣṇa’s. In that sense Mind is also Kṛṣṇa, but it has a covering spirit. 

Lady: The element, its quality. 

Hayagrīva: It’s a whole spirit but in certain circumstances we tend to forget this… 

Prabhupāda: Material energy that’s said by Kṛṣṇa aparā, inferior energy. Bhūmir āpo, bhūmir āpo analo, prakṛtir me bhinnā aṣṭadhā. Apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakṛtiṁ parā [Bg. 7.5]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 7.5

Besides this inferior nature, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is a superior energy of Mine, which are all living entities who are struggling with material nature and are sustaining the universe.
. So material energy is the covering energy, is also Kṛṣṇa. Just like police department is also government, but it is not very convenient because putting under police department. [laughter] That is also government department. For government the university department and the police are equally important. They are spending equally, are taking care of both the, but for us, “Oh, police department horrible.” This man is under police department, police custody, and that man is in education. 

Lady: That’s much better. 

Prabhupāda: But when you go to the government state, they are equally important. They are distributing the finance everywhere. So similarly either you take material energy or spiritual energy or marginal energy, all energy of God’s, Kṛṣṇa’s, but they are acting differently. So, so far I am marginal energy, if I am under the control of the material energy, that is my misfortune. But if I am controlled by the spiritual energy, that is my fortune. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ [Bg. 9.13]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 9.13

O son of Pṛthā, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible.
. They take shelter of the spiritual energy. They are mahātmā, and what is their symptom: bhajanty ananya manaso, simply engaged in devotional service. That, that is required. 

Devotees: Haribol! 

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end]