Room Conversation

Type:
Room Conversation
Date:
August 10
Year:
1971
Place:
London

Śyāmasundara: There’s already a big church on it. 

Dhanañjaya: That may be better, because there’s more space there. 

Śyāmasundara: We haven’t seen it yet. We haven’t gone inside yet. 

Mr. Arnold: I’ll try and make arrangements to go and have a look at that. 

Śyāmasundara: And also that other one around the corner. 

Mr. Arnold: The [indistinct] chapel? That’s a very large building. But you can’t go outwards[?]. You can’t go up. And there’s no other facility. 

Śyāmasundara: [indistinct] 

Mr. Arnold: Near Oxford. A very large building, but it’s, it’s in a bad state of repair. 

Śyāmasundara: We’ll concentrate on the other ones. 

Dhanañjaya: [indistinct] best as far as the land’s concerned. It’s situated in the biggest area of space. 

Śyāmasundara: I have to try to find out when George is coming back. 

Prabhupāda: George can give his…, what is called? 

Śyāmasundara: Endorsement. 

Prabhupāda: Huh? 

Śyāmasundara: Endorsement? 

Prabhupāda: No. What is called? Reaction, or… 

Dhanañjaya: His qualities? 

Prabhupāda: No. The show, what is called? 

Śyāmasundara: Concert. 

Prabhupāda: Concert show. 

Śyāmasundara: Yes. 

Prabhupāda: Better he can raise funds from New York, but… 

Śyāmasundara: Well, most of the money that they get from these concerts is not on the concert itself but on the record album and the movie that comes from it, the film. 

Dhanañjaya: And the royalties. 

Śyāmasundara: Royalties from making a record of music and the film of the show. 

Prabhupāda: Uh-huh. 

Śyāmasundara: Just like Bangladesh. They raised about a million dollars from the concert and nineteen million from the record album and film. So those two don’t require any special place. They could be anywhere. 

Dhanañjaya: Better here though, because George has never made any public appearances… 

Śyāmasundara: Actually I think it would be just as big here. 

Dhanañjaya: Yes. If the result, if people knew, if it was… 

Śyāmasundara: He’s never made a public appearance. Only one in America. 

Dhanañjaya: Everyone from all over Europe will be coming to see him, without a doubt… In Europe there’s about 350 million people, almost 400 million. 

Śyāmasundara: Actually he made two statements that, well, they practically promised to do this. He said in Los Angeles when he saw the Deities: “Oh, we must have a place like this in London.” And then in New York, because I said, “Well, we don’t want to be on your show here. We volunteer. You promised…,” I said, “You promised us to be on the show in New York, and he said, “I know I promised, and I must fulfill my word, I gave you my word, but I’m just asking you if you will not be on this show, and later I’ll have another special concert for Hare Kṛṣṇa.” 

Prabhupāda: So remind him. 

Śyāmasundara: Yeah. 

Prabhupāda: What about these Hindu communities? 

Śyāmasundara: Well, that we can do during this time you’re here. We can organize it. We can at least inspire them to help us. 

Prabhupāda: Are they willing to cooperate with us or not? Because they have already opened some Hindu temple. 

Śyāmasundara: Yeah. 

Dhanañjaya: There’s not so much cooperation from them. 

Prabhupāda: Huh? 

Śyāmasundara: They want their own local temple. 

Dhanañjaya: They come here and they stay for ārotik, they take a little prasāda, they give some money, then go. 

Śyāmasundara: They, the Indians know how to organize those things better that we do. They know how to collect money from individual Indians in their neighborhood, one, two pounds at a time. They can do that. 

Mr. Arnold: We went out to an Indian concert one night at Southall. 

Prabhupāda: Huh? 

Mr. Arnold: This was…, we were very welcome, made very welcome indeed. And they had like a very small television, and they had pictures of the Deities there, and Hare Kṛṣṇa, [indistinct] about the chanting, and they loved it. I should mention there must have been about five hundred people in that hall. 

Śyāmasundara: There’s no Hindu temples on the West End, West End. 

Mr. Arnold: There’s one in [indistinct]. 

Śyāmasundara: Oh, there is? 

Mr. Arnold: Sikh. 

Śyāmasundara: Sikh, yeah. But I mean Hindu temple. 

Dhanañjaya: I don’t think the leaders, the leaders of these communities, they’re not so willing to raise funds on our behalf. 

Prabhupāda: Huh? 

Dhanañjaya: I don’t think the leaders of the Hindu communities, they’re not so willing to raise money on our behalf. They’ll do it for their own functions, and their own temple requirements, but not on our behalf. And it’s a weak… 

Prabhupāda: Huh? 

Śyāmasundara: I’m thinking of the way Sadha Jivat Lal[?] raised so many lakhs of rupees, by selling, organizing, highly organized… 

Prabhupāda: No, no. If they will, they can. 

Śyāmasundara: Yeah. 

Prabhupāda: But he says they’re not willing. That is the difference. 

Mr. Arnold: I don’t think they’re willing at this stage, my lord, because there’s been so little done for them, and I feel, and I… 

Śyāmasundara: Well, we’re having Jagannātha parade, Prabhupāda is speaking… 

Mr. Arnold: Yes, but in their own communities, we, I suggested a long time ago that in fact there should be an appeal, start off with an appeal in the local papers. 

Prabhupāda: The priestly class, they will make propaganda against us: “Oh, they are mlecchas, they are Europeans, they are Americans. What they can do? It is not good.” Because India, the caste system is very strong. So I am giving the Europeans and Americans the opportunities to become brāhmaṇa, they are not satisfied. 

Dhanañjaya: Also they say that here in our temple they don’t let anyone else speak, so why should we…, they, why should we let them speak? This is what they say. Because we don’t allow them to come, you know, and talk on Hinduism, so they say, “Why should we ask, let them do it here, in our community?” 

Śyāmasundara: Still, they’re asking us to supply them pūjārīs. 

Prabhupāda: Huh? 

Śyāmasundara: They’re asking us to supply them pūjārīs. Out of all their community, not one man will volunteer to be the pūjārī. 

Prabhupāda: They’re asking us for pūjārī? 

Śyāmasundara: Yeah. 

Prabhupāda: So why not take charge? 

Śyāmasundara: At the Hindu center, didn’t they ask, a couple, “Come and live there, be pūjārī,” and…? I was hearing that. 

Prabhupāda: But we cannot become pūjārī… 

Śyāmasundara: Under their, under their direction. That’s the trouble. 

Dhanañjaya: So they have, they have already installed a Deity. They have a Deity of Vasudeva in the Hindu Center, but He’s not dressed. He’s standing with cakra, but He’s not, He’s not clothed very nicely, and the room is not decorated very nicely at all. He’s just standing there. And they asked for a pūjārī to come and look after. But they…, you see what they’re thinking, they’re thinking, “Oh, we’re pious. We’re pious for acquiring Deity.” You see? “Deity is only for the lower class people, so they can see, or they will be reminded that God is here. But we already know that God is here.” So they turn and sit with their back to the Deity and they talk like this, and the Deity is here. 

Prabhupāda: No. They, as Dhanañjaya said, that are not willing to cooperate with us. 

Śyāmasundara: Well, I’m not so sure. They used to be when I was here, and I think if you have a Bhāgavata-saptāha, if the weather stays, and the weather’s any good… I don’t know. 

Prabhupāda: But the Bhāgavata-saptāha, if they are willing to cooperate with our Bhāgavata-saptāha. 

Śyāmasundara: Yeah, that’s what I mean. 

Prabhupāda: Some, some priest come from India, and they cooperate with me. But if they have a feeling of noncooperation with us, then what is the use of paṇḍitas and Bhāgavata-saptāha? 

Śyāmasundara: Saturday night you’ll be speaking in the Hindu Center? 

Dhanañjaya: On the fifteenth. 

Śyāmasundara: Saturday, next Saturday night. So that will be a good indication. We’ll know after then, if they cooperated, if they’ll come. I think there’ll be a big crowd. 

Dhanañjaya: Actually, you see, it’s the younger Indian families also. They’re English. They’re not Indian. They’re more English than Indian. Their children, they don’t speak Hindi, and they’re playing just like Western children. So they’re, when they see us, when we, when devotees go there, to the communities, they’re so eager to take the books ‘cause they can read them and they can relate with, with Kṛṣṇa consciousness somehow. Because they go every Sunday to their meetings there, and they hear the priest, and it’s all boring. It’s for the older, for the old. It’s sentimental. That’s all. So the older people, they’re coming, and they’re listening to the readings of the Rāmāyaṇa and so many other things. And the young people, they know, “Oh, these, these European people and American people, they must be doing something genuine. Otherwise why are they sacrificing so much?” 

Prabhupāda: So how to attract the Indian younger people? 

Dhanañjaya: But then again, they’re influenced… 

Śyāmasundara: They’ve asked us in that Hindu Center to teach classes. 

Prabhupāda: Hm? 

Śyāmasundara: They’ve asked us to teach classes also in that center. 

Prabhupāda: So why don’t you do that? 

Śyāmasundara: Not many people come, though. But we could attract them to come. Advertise and attract. 

Dhanañjaya: See, that…, their main function is on a Sunday, and the last time Your Divine Grace came there, last year, that’s where they hold their meetings, in that hall. But it’s full of so much nonsense. They have pictures of Vivekananda… 

Prabhupāda: Why don’t you call that Dr. Shah? 

Śyāmasundara: Dr. Shah. 

Prabhupāda: He cannot help us? 

Śyāmasundara: I don’t know. We’re still not sure about him. 

Prabhupāda: And that one Mr. Ahujya came? 

Śyāmasundara: Uh-huh. There are many men here who respect us, who would help us… 

Prabhupāda: He wanted me to go to his house. 

Śyāmasundara: Ahh. 

Prabhupāda: From that Auckland. 

Śyāmasundara: Oh, he’s from Auckland. 

Prabhupāda: So he visited there… 

Śyāmasundara: Oh, that’s right, I know him. I have his card, yeah. 

Prabhupāda: You have got his card? 

Śyāmasundara: Yeah. 

Prabhupāda: Why don’t you call him just now? 

Śyāmasundara: Yeah, I have his… I think I have his phone number and everything too. 

Prabhupāda: So call him so he can come here just now. He was talking seriously about “You please come immediately.” 

Śyāmasundara: I have his Delhi address too. 

Prabhupāda: Now suppose the estimate is 250,000 pounds. So how much the bank may advance? 

Mr. Arnold: I don’t think the bank, in this state of, of, umm, the one at King Street, Hammersmith… 

Prabhupāda: Huh? 

Mr. Arnold: The one at Kings Street, Hammersmith. I don’t really think the bank will advance you anything. Umm, you see you’ve got nothing to mortgage. 

Prabhupāda: Oh. 

Mr. Arnold: This is the first thing. You see, when we’re talking of Kingsway Hall, you know, the big one, before, well here you had a bank on the site, and they were rather anxious to keep their premises, and consequently they would have loaned us money to retain their site. Any of these four that we’re dealing with at the moment, the