Room Conversation — November 25, 1976, Vṛndāvana

Prabhupāda: At least once in a month you must be shaven-headed. 

Akṣayānanda: Actually, we usually shave more. 

Prabhupāda: Hmm? 

Akṣayānanda: We usually shave more than once a month. Two weeks. ‘Cause after even two weeks it looks a little dirty. 

Hari-śauri: We can get very good wigs. 

Prabhupāda: No, no, there is no need. It is simply… That is also mental concoction. Nowadays, if you go with coat-pant, shaven headed, nobody will criticize you. It has become a practi… Russians, they used… That Krushchev I have seen. Bald head. 

Hari-śauri: Yes, bald head. 

Prabhupāda: And so many. 

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: They don’t have a śikhā, that’s all. 

Prabhupāda: Oh? It is practice only. 

Akṣayānanda: No, it’s nice. We shouldn’t be afraid to do that. Then it will become more and more accepted. 

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: That’s so timely. Once we start diverting, like on these records… I was thinking after you told me not to do it. We started, now there’s so many. Everyone’s into records. Everyone wants to diversify into so many other areas. There’s no end to it. 

Jagadīśa: Śrīla Prabhupāda, when you were in Los Angeles you heard that new record by Kṛṣṇa-kānti. 

Hari-śauri: This pop music? This tape that you just got of that Western-style music. 

Jagadīśa: Apparently in a new BBT newsletter which just came yesterday afternoon there’s a statement by Rāmeśvara that you were asked whether this record should be played in the temples, and you said, “Why not in the temples?” Hari-śauri thought that you said “Not in the temples”; Rāmeśvara said… 

Prabhupāda: No, no. Not in the temple. I… I want… If the wordings are all right, so there is no… If there is no mistake in the set-up of the wording, the change of musical tune, that is not harmful. 

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: This one tape that Alex has made, he gave me a copy in Bombay to listen. I just played it… 

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa, this vibration, you can make in different tune. We are already doing that. 

Hari-śauri: But we’re talking about these songs that they are writing. 

Jagadīśa: Philosophy songs. 

Hari-śauri: Like this, er… 

Prabhupāda: And therefore we have to see the words. 

Hari-śauri: Like this “Caterpillar had a change of heart.” 

Jagadīśa: If the words are all right, then they can be played in the temple? 

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Because no one can hear the words. It’s the pop music that people hear. 

Akṣayānanda: Actually the words are just like modern pop songs. You can’t tell really what it means. I suggested to those people…. I said, “Why don’t you put to music to Prabhupāda’s books? Take the words straight from your…” 

Hari-śauri: No, Prabhupāda’s approved this method for attracting karmīs. 

Akṣayānanda: Yes, not for devotees. 

Hari-śauri: But the thing is, once you become a devotee, we don’t need… 

Prabhupāda: Yes. 

Akṣayānanda: That kind of music also reminds us of past bad activities, sinful activities. 

Hari-śauri: The question is whether should it be played in the temple or not? 

Prabhupāda: Temple may not be played. What is use of playing in the temple? 

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: I know from practical experience, Śrīla Prabhupāda, that… I just played this Alex’s record. It’s all current pop music with English philosophy wording. [indistinct comments between devotees] And all the brahmacārīs were so agitated, they came to my room to listen and they were, you know, really making fun of it like it was a pop… 

Akṣayānanda: Because that style of music, it reminds us of the nightclubs or whatever it might be. 

Prabhupāda: Therefore I said it is better not to make these records. 

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Just your records and paramparā records should be played, I think. There are so many tapes of your records. 

Hari-śauri: Yeah, well this style that they are doing now, they explain that they wanted that because then that way, they’ll be able get them played on the radio. Otherwise they won’t play bhajanas or anything on the radio. But there’s a distinction between that kind of music and pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness music. Even though the words indicate Kṛṣṇa consciousness, most of the songs are written in such a way that it’s like it’s indirect. It’s not directly Kṛṣṇa. It’s indirect. 

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: But you can’t hear the words. 

Prabhupāda: Yes, indirect. 

Hari-śauri: They give this thing, “The caterpillar changed his mind,” like that. It’s like it provokes some speculation. 

Prabhupāda: No, indirect for gross outsiders, not for us. Therefore they should not be played in the temple. Gross outsider only. 

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: So, Prabhupāda, the New York temple has just produced a ballet on Rāmāyaṇa, and one boy, Vijayadeva, just came back and he brought a slideshow on that ballet. 

Prabhupāda: Ballet? 

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: They did a ballet, the New York theater, Sudāmā Swami and his group. But that ballet is accompanied by a classical Western record in background. It’s a twenty med… They have just played the whole record as background music. And I know, we showed it in Bombay, and none of the devotees liked it. They told me to stop that show because they said it’s all māyā. Everyone saw it, Girirāja and… 

Prabhupāda: So they should be restricted. 

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: I mean, their playing… Serious devotees don’t like it. Like Girirāja walked out of the show, and he told me to stop it. 

Prabhupāda: So why it was played, this? 

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: They just brought it from New York, so we didn’t know what it contained. But they are doing this in other centers. [end] 

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