Arrival Interview

Type:
Lecture
Date:
June 29
Year:
1972
Place:
San Diego

Interviewer: My daughter is a member of the Los Angeles temple. 

Prabhupāda: Oh. [laughs] What is the name of your daughter? 

Interviewer: I don’t know what her Kṛṣṇa name is. 

Prabhupāda: [laughs] Oh, very good. So we have got so many girls very nice, reforming their character. 

Interviewer: [aside:] Ah, can you get a head-on shot there? 

Photographer: Yeah. 

Interviewer: Bring it level. 1, 2, 3, testing, 1, 2, 3… 

Assistant: Go any time. 

Interviewer: Your Divine Grace, I’m going to ask my first question taken right out of the brochure of the Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Society. Why would a nice-looking bunch of young people shave their heads, put on long skirts and stand around street corners singing strange songs? 

Prabhupāda: Yes. So first thing is that we want to live very simply, without any artificial gorgeous…, and singing on the street means this transcendental vibration will benefit the people. Whoever will hear, he will get spiritual benefit. 

Interviewer: The main activity is chanting, is that right? 

Prabhupāda: Yes. By chanting, by this transcendental vibration, by hearing, gradually the dirty things in the heart will be cleansed, and then he will be able to understand his position. At the present moment generally, people, there are under the bodily concept of life. 

Everyone thinks that he is this body. But actually he is not this body; he is spirit soul. So this realization is essential to human form of life, but unfortunately there is no educational system to understand that one is not this body but is spirit soul. 

Interviewer: The main activity is chanting. How does this benefit the person himself, and how does it benefit humanity? 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like you, me, we are actually brothers; we are all sons of God. But on account of our different dress we are fighting. This means this body is also dress. You have got this American body; that is an American dress. I’ve got an Indian body; that is Indian dress. 

So suppose you are dressed in different way, I am dressed in different way, therefore we shall fight, is that very good intelligence? [laughter] So things are going on like that. Yes. It is the animal concept of life. The animal thinks like that: “I am this body.” But a human being, if he thinks also like that, that he is no better than animal. 

That education is being imparted, that “ I am not this body; I am spirit soul.” My function is different from the bodily activities, and this chance is given by nature in this human form of life to realize what he is. 

Interviewer: How do you explain the acceptance by so many young people in this country today of Oriental religions? 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Young people, this is a reaction, because your country is materialistic, and actually materialistic happiness… There is no happiness in materialistic way of life, but by illusion we think there is happiness. 

So the younger generation is better realizing because they are receptive; they are intelligent. The older generation, their fathers and grandfathers, they are old fools. [laughter] 

Interviewer: The Oriental religions do not stress materialism, like that. 

Prabhupāda: No. Materialism means… Actually in the higher sense there is no materialism. Forgetful of spiritual life means materialism. Otherwise there is no materialism. This is a science. It is to be understood by cool brain. 

Unfortunately, there is no such education throughout the whole world, although we have got immense literature on this subject matter… 

Interviewer: Hmm. 

Prabhupāda: …and the preliminary book is Bhagavad-gītā. We are publishing it, as it is Bhagavad-gītā, and it is being published by Macmillan Company. So everything is there completely. If you…, if any gentleman, any intelligent man reads this book, he gets all the knowledge about our… 

Interviewer: Hmm. Thank you very much Your Divine Grace. 

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. 

Devotee: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. 

Lady reporter: Can one still be a member of a Christian church or a Jewish synagogue and be a Hare Kṛṣṇa? 

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Everyone is welcome. It is not meant for any sect or any caste, any creed. 

Lady reporter: But… 

Prabhupāda: It is a science. Just like science is open for everyone; science is not sectarian. So it is also a science, the science of God, science of soul. So everyone is welcome to understand it. 

Lady reporter: But do they have to give up their Christianity? 

Prabhupāda: Not necessarily. Not necessarily. 

Guest (2): Your Grace, how would you explain the relationship between Kṛṣṇa and Christ, they’re both heaven[?] 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Christ says that he is son of God, and we say Kṛṣṇa is God. So there is no contradiction. [background talking] Just like you are son, and there is your father. That is scientific. So if Christ is son of God, there must be God. So that Kṛṣṇa is God. So Kṛṣṇa is father of Christ. That’s it. 

Guest (2): What is… I, I heard that [indistinct] what you have said but would it not perhaps be easier to say they are brothers? Or would it be the same? 

Prabhupāda: Ah? What is that? 

Devotee: He wants to know if Kṛṣṇa and Christ can be considered as brothers. 

Prabhupāda: Well… Ah, when Kṛṣṇa… Christ says that he is son of God, so how do you imagine that son and the father becomes brother? [audience laughter] This is not very logical. 

Guest (2): Jesus, when he spoke, said… He did say his father was in him. [indistinct] 

Prabhupāda: Eh? Yes, just like materially you are born out of the body of your father, so in that sense, so that bodily relation is concerned, you and your father is the same. But in our relationship you cannot say that father and the son the same. Therefore our philosophy is “simultaneously one and different.” 

Guest (2): Simultaneously one and…? 

Prabhupāda: One and different. 

Guest (2): Is that… 

Prabhupāda: The son is one with father, at the same time different. 

Guest (2): Is that perhaps also similar to how we came to be divided up into many body[?], one and different? 

Prabhupāda: Yes, just like father begets children; similarly, we are all children of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Father. In your Bible also you go to church and ask the Supreme Father. So that is our philosophy. God is the Supreme Father, he is the Supreme Maintainer, and we are many; we are being maintained by Him. 

That is our position. Just like in a family the father is the maintainer and the son and the family members, they are maintained. That is the Vedic injunction, 

nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām
eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān
[Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]

These are the Vedic statements. He is the supreme eternal of all eternals. He is the supreme living entity of all living entities. That one living entity, God, is maintaining so many living entities. This is the Vedic injunction. The father is one; the sons are innumerable. So, asaṅkhyeyā. Asaṅkhyeyā means innumerable. Yes. 

Interviewer: When was Kṛṣṇa alive, and what…, what century? 

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is alive always, not when. 

[audience laughter] 

Interviewer: But when was He first known… 

Prabhupāda: He appeared, just like… 

Interviewer: …when He first appeared? 

Prabhupāda: Just like Kṛṣṇa appeared about five thousand years ago. 

Interviewer: Five thousand…? 

Prabhupāda: Yes. 

Interviewer: Years ago. 

Prabhupāda: Prehistoric. Because the world has no history more than three thousand years ago. 

Interviewer: And you say that He appeared as the son of God? 

Prabhupāda: No. He appeared as son of Vasudeva. Because God has no father, but when He accepts somebody as father, that is His devotee. 

God has no birth, no death, no father, no mother, but when He appears, then He accepts. Just like Jesus Christ, he also, when he appeared, he accepted a mother, a devotee. 

Interviewer: In India He appeared. Is that correct? 

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. 

Interviewer: But you brought this to the United States about six years ago. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. 

Interviewer: Is that correct? It was not active in the United States until about six years ago. 

Prabhupāda: No. Six years ago nobody knew, practically, what is Kṛṣṇa. 

Interviewer: But there was a very active movement in India? 

Prabhupāda: Oh, India, everyone… 

Interviewer: From five thousand years ago? 

Prabhupāda: Yes, there are hundreds and thousands of Kṛṣṇa temples in India. 

Lady reporter: Why hadn’t Hare Kṛṣṇa has been brought here before? 

Prabhupāda: Because you were not prepared. Now you are prepared; you’re hankering after something. 

Devotees: Jaya. Glories to Prabhupāda. 

Interviewer: How many temples do you have now? I understand about eighty temples all over the world? 

Prabhupāda: No. More than eighty temples. We have now about hundred and five temples… 

Interviewer: Hundred and five temples. 

Prabhupāda: …all over the world. 

Interviewer: All over the world. And how many devotees do you have in the United States? 

Prabhupāda: United States, at least five thousand. 

Interviewer: Five thousand? 

Prabhupāda: Yes. 

Interviewer: Growing fast. 

Prabhupāda: Yes, daily. 

Devotees: Jaya! 

[audience laughter] 

Prabhupāda: In six years we have produced five thousand children in America. 

[audience laughter] 

Without any wife. 

[audience laughter] 

This is the easiest, spiritual. You can beget unlimited children without wife…, 

[audience laughter] 

…without botheration of wife. 

Interviewer: Thank you very much for your time. 

Prabhupāda: Thank you. Hare Kṛṣṇa. So? 

Guest lady: What is the ultimate devotion of…, in Hare Kṛṣṇa, what is the ultimate of..? 

Prabhupāda: The ultimate goal means that you are spirit soul. 

Lady reporter: Is what? 

Prabhupāda: You are spirit soul. You are in a foreign atmosphere of this material world. So we reclaim you, and we take you back to home, back to Godhead. This is the program. Here we are changing dress after few years. Bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate [Bg. 8.19]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 8.19

Again and again the day comes, and this host of beings is active; and again the night falls, O Pārtha, and they are helplessly dissolved.

We accept sometimes American dress, sometimes Indian dress, sometimes dog’s dress, sometimes cat’s dress. This is going on. So if you want to stop this botheration, repetition of birth and death. Then you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is the science. 

Lady reporter: Thank you. 

Prabhupāda: [aside:] So we can go now? 

Śyāmasundara: We go? [end]