Date: Nov. 1, 1977
Brahmānanda: [discussing the Gītā Pratiṣṭhāna conference being held there]…they offered him respects. This Bajaj, he was speaking something to him, offering him some respect. He was sitting in the front. This morning they just had their organizational meeting, and they’ve asked one of our representatives to come and speak about our activities. So Akṣayānanda Swami will speak, and he will speak in Hindi. One of the things they mentioned… ‘Cause I was saying this morning that we’re having difficulty also getting the younger people to join, so they thought that one reason was that our men are not able to speak the Indian languages. These people are also very attached to Indian language. They’re pro–Indian language. So if he speaks in Hindi, that will be interesting to see [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: He is Māyāvādī, Akhanda? What is? Akhandananda?
Prabhupāda: You met him?
Brahmānanda: I didn’t see… You remember you went to that Kurukṣetra meeting?
Brahmānanda: About two years ago? Mainly the same people are here also that were there at that meeting. Then this Swami Chinmayananda [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: He has not come.
Brahmānanda: No. They were just talking about him.
Prabhupāda: Don’t bother to come here, then.
Brahmānanda: No. But they treated you with much respect, though. They said that they had wanted Your Divine Grace to come, because you are also a member of their steering committee. [indistinct] representative. They also had a proposal to produce a series of different books, small books, pamphlets, forty, fifty pages, comprising selections from the Bhagavad-gītā. And these would be for specific types of persons. The books would be Bhagavad-gītā for students, Bhagavad-gītā for businessmen, Bhagavad-gītā for scientists, like that. So they want us to produce the book for the scientists, taking various quotes from Bhagavad-gītā with a short explanation of the verse. So I said one problem is that all these different groups who are assembled here will all have different interpretations of the verses. What about this? And they said, “No, no, we shouldn’t interpret.” You know, they recognized… I said, “Well, one reason that the young people are not taking up this Bhagavad-gītā is because they see that everyone is giving a different interpretation. Nobody is presenting it as it is, so they’re confused.” I was in Kashmir, I was speaking with some young boys. They were telling me that they’re confused by religion. They don’t respect the paṇḍitas in the temples—they’re all simply after money. They have no respect for religion, Hindu religion. So I mentioned this to all of them. They are all Māyāvādīs. And they were arguing with me. I presented arguments. They would not accept it.
Prabhupāda: They want to avoid criticism.
Brahmānanda: I argued right back with them. I said, “You…” They were saying that we shouldn’t interpret Bhagavad-gītā. I said, “Then why are you saying that Kṛṣṇa means ‘divine consciousness’? Where does Kṛṣṇa say ‘divine consciousness’? He says, mām, aham. He doesn’t say ‘divine consciousness.’ He says ‘to Me.’ “
Prabhupāda: And all the ācāryas say. We have to follow the ācāryas. [indistinct] Very good. They do not answer. And they [indistinct]. Is it not?
Brahmānanda: But they don’t listen to you. We tell them the truth, but they don’t want to hear it. They just want to come and become important by their attending this meeting, become puffed up and speak their own ideas and think that they’re accomplishing something.
Prabhupāda: That may be [indistinct].
Brahmānanda: One of the delegates, he is sitting there, and he was spinning thread on a hand spinner. Then afterwards he stopped, and even he fell asleep during the meeting. So we were arguing about personalism and impersonalism, and Mr. Bajaj, he interrupted that “No, you shouldn’t… The purpose of this meeting is not to discuss Bhagavad-gītā but just to discuss how to promote Bhagavad-gītā.”
Prabhupāda: No idea of… He has no authorized.
Brahmānanda: One thing they recognize is that the young people of India, they want to see the experience of Bhagavad-gītā. Just like Arjuna in the beginning was bewildered and in the end he agreed. So that experience… I said, “Yes, and we have had the same experience, because as Westerners, in the beginning we didn’t even know the name Kṛṣṇa, and now we are serving Kṛṣṇa twenty-four hours a day. So obviously there was some great experience. So that has been given to us by Śrīla Prabhupāda.” And then he recognized this, “Yes.” I said, “So we are… We can actually give our experience.” So then he suggested that some publication be made actually dealing with the experiences.
Prabhupāda: That we are giving. This Bhāgavata discourse…
Brahmānanda: I think now that our books are coming out in the Indian languages and are being distributed, I think this will cause young Indians…
Prabhupāda: Young Indians are not… They have already published these things. [indistinct] scientific investigation of matter.
Brahmānanda: Yes, they appreciated that we are preaching to the scientists. They liked that, that we’re the only ones who are doing this. Because the scientists are amongst the biggest atheists.
Prabhupāda: This Gītā Pratiṣṭhāna is a good proposal, transport[?] Bhagavad-gītā As It Is all over the world.
Brahmānanda: All over the world.
Brahmānanda: When I was in Jammu, we went to visit a big army base there, Indian Army. Huge.
Brahmānanda: Yes. And we went to visit one colonel, full colonel, in charge of supply. He’s a very pious men. He tells his soldiers not to drink, not to eat meat, and he teaches them Bhagavad-gītā. So we were recommended to go speak with him, and he was very impressed. He himself admitted that he was taking eggs and drinking tea. So I requested him to stop this, and “Then you’ll be on the platform, purely.” And he could understand that. He agreed. He said, “From now on, from this day, I will stop.” And we showed him the film, “Hare Kṛṣṇa People,” and he was very impressed. He called his other officers in, and they called their wives to come to the base, and we showed it a second time. And then he wanted some of our books. I gave him Bhagavad-gītā and Hindi Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and then told him about our gurukula here in Vṛndāvana.
Prabhupāda: How much he paid?[?]
Brahmānanda: Well, he was wanting to pay, but Nava-yogendra Mahārāja said it’s all right… We asked him to become a member. He didn’t want to pay so much money. So we gave him… Because he was an important officer, we gave him. Then he offered… He has some land 25 miles from Delhi, and he said, “We would like to give it for a Hindu temple.”
Prabhupāda: [indistinct] [pause] Who was there, this meeting?
Brahmānanda: This meeting? Well, the meeting was led by the three men who came to see you this morning. The center was the man from Auroville, and then Mr. Narayan, Shriman Narayan, and Mr. Bajaj.
Prabhupāda: So that three.
Brahmānanda: Yes. Of the three, Mr. Narayan is very favorable to us. Tamāla Kṛṣṇa Goswami was noticing it. He preached to him about two or three years ago. At that time he was chief minister for Gujarat, governor.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Śrīla Prabhupāda? I want to suggest that you should not talk too much, because the doctor said [indistinct] should rest, you should conserve yourself. [indistinct] Because tomorrow we’re going to be leaving at about two o’clock, two or two-thirty, so you won’t get a full night’s rest.
Prabhupāda: [indistinct] leave in the morning?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You are the most important [indistinct]. And when you’re there you can do all of these things.
Prabhupāda: You are the most important [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: Bon Mahārāja you did not see?
Brahmānanda: He didn’t see me. I was in the back, and he was in the front. Mr. Jaluka came. I spoke with him, and he asked about you.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: [indistinct] The reason I don’t want you to talk so much now, because I suspect they’re all going to want to come and see you, and then you’ll definitely talk too much. [indistinct] If they’re all here, they’re all going to want to see you. [indistinct] big men.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Big men are here. It’s very prestigious that it’s being held in our temple, Kṛṣṇa-Balarāma Mandir. In such a short time this temple has become a [indistinct] venue for very important meetings.
Brahmānanda: Bon Mahārāja, he had this idea for making this center in Vṛndāvana, and now, after so many years, it’s practically, I mean, it’s closed. Everything’s shut down.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Cemetary.
Brahmānanda: Ghost town. Just in two-three, three years our temple is now the most popular.
Prabhupāda: [indistinct] Jaya Kṛṣṇa-Balarāma.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Now we will pay them our [indistinct], but we will go on watching. That we want. As long as you’re watching them, we will [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: They haven’t got any [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: [Bengali] [indistinct]
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No, no. He’s definitely impersonalist. But he’s not very serious, still caught in family life. He associates with these people. I mean his philosophy is Caitanya Mahāprabhu…
Brahmānanda: They want to see our films tonight. They want to see the film on New Vrindavan, “Spiritual Frontier.” They’ll show it tonight at 8:30. And they want kīrtana. Mr. Narayan, he’s very much wanting us to have kīrtana. He said, “That is the thing.”
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Prabhupāda, you should rest, really. [indistinct] Probably all the men will come to see you, so you can talk directly with them. [long pause] [break]
[indistinct background comments]
Brahmānanda: They were arguing with me. They would not accept. They were so strong Māyāvāda.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Actually, this is one way that we ought to be able to… First of all, it would be prestigious on our part to stick to our principles, and secondly, actually people will finally become convinced when they’ll see, “You are Māyāvādī, we have no bus… You are not [indistinct].” At first they may feel offended, that why shouldn’t we let everybody speak. [indistinct] They have to understand, “No.”
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Prabhupāda says, in future, henceforward, these people should not be allowed to hold any lectures here. Strictly Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s teaching forbids. Māyāvādī haya kṛṣṇe aparādhī. You tell them in future, you tell them, “You’re Māyāvādī. So this is a Kṛṣṇa conscious temple. If you’re speaking on Kṛṣṇa consciousness, Vaiṣṇavism [indistinct].” We don’t need their money, neither do we need them to become more prestigious. Rather, they need us. They came here only because of the fact that they’re so insignificant that they wanted to be associated with Prabhupāda. Without you they have no substance, Śrīla Prabhupāda. Without your presence the meeting has no substance.
Prabhupāda: [chuckles] Why?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Because you are the only substantial personality amongst all of them. Therefore they know that. We have concluded that they know.
Akṣayānanda: I just spoke. I just told them Śrīla Prabhupāda was one Indian who has done this, so if everyone in India does this a little, then the whole world would become Vaikuṇṭha. And I said, “He has one secret, one śloka from the Bṛhad Nāradīya Purāṇa = harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam, kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva [Cc. Ādi 17.21].” They liked it very much. They all applauded. I told them in Hindi.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You spoke in Hindi?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: But they won’t change.
Akṣayānanda: I also said that many, many svāmīs and yogīs and sannyāsīs have tried to bring the teachings all over the world. And they have given different versions, just like dhyāna, jñāna, karma, etc. But then I quoted two ślokas = bhaktyā mām abhijānāti [Bg. 18.55], and the other one, bhaktyā tv ananyayā śakya [Bg. 11.54]. I said, “In this way our spiritual master has taught us. Even though we are foreigners, he has successfully made us come to the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa.” So I said, “You are all Indians, and you know Lord Kṛṣṇa better than me, so come and stay with us. All over the world my Guru Mahārāja has established our temples. Please stay with us anywhere in the world and help us, join us at the lotus feet of the Lord.” So they were very happy with this.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That’s good that you tell this to Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: [indistinct] Bombay also.
Brahmānanda = [indistinct]
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Especially Bombay. Everybody’s going to be after us for that air-conditioned hall. It’s really good that you’re telling us.
Prabhupāda: Be very careful.
Akṣayānanda = [indistinct]
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Actually, Śrīla Prabhupāda, Your Divine Grace and this movement is the only substantial movement left in India now—in the whole world.
Prabhupāda: Yes. You can have signboard = “No Māyāvādīs visit[?] here.” [laughter]
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Wow. Just like “No dogs allowed.” [laughter] Are you serious about that, Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: Hmm. [indistinct]
Brahmānanda: If they come and they want to hold meetings, we show them the signboard that “We don’t allow Māyāvādīs here.”
Prabhupāda: Yes. [indistinct]
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. On the signboard we’ll quote the verse from Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
[indistinct comments by devotees—sound of something being moved]
Prabhupāda: Why they do not hold meetings in Bon Mahārāja’s…?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Well, there’s a number of reasons. One is that you are not in Bon Mahārāja’s place, and they wanted your presence, because they are inconsequential without you. And another thing is that Bon Mahārāja’s place is a little bit archaic, dilapidated. [indistinct]
Brahmānanda: I remember you went there I think two years ago, and [indistinct] Bon Mahārāja there within one room. And he came to turn the light on in the room, and there was no light bulb in the socket. They had to go and get a light bulb and put it in. I mean he doesn’t even use that room.
Prabhupāda: It is closed now.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Soon he will rent a room here in the guesthouse.
Akṣayānanda: He was there at the [indistinct]. This morning.
Prabhupāda: In the guesthouse they can remain. But they cannot hold meeting.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Hold the meetings.
Brahmānanda: They were asking me that we should cooperate with them, but they are envious of us. This one woman, the way she was speaking to me, it was quite… She was attacking me, she was so envious. She was quoting Bhagavad-gītā that Kṛṣṇa recommends the impersonal.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So why is she talking? Why talk? Everything is illusion, then why talk?
Brahmānanda: She said there are two paths. I said, “Yes, but your path is most difficult. So why are you promoting the most difficult path to follow?” [indistinct] following Bhagavad-gītā.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: But who cares for her path?
Akṣayānanda: [indistinct] a different path.
Prabhupāda: Anyway, you remain strong. Don’t be intimidated by this [indistinct]. That is my request.
Akṣayānanda: Jaya Prabhupāda.
Brahmānanda: Are any of the Gosvāmīs coming?
Akṣayānanda: No, not that I know of. They said no, Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Śrīla Prabhupāda? I think we should go to [indistinct]. We will do just exactly as you said. [break] [end]
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