(Srila Prabhupada is taking prasadam during first part of the conversation)
Prabhupada: ...and we don't smoke even. We don't spend a paisa even for sense gratification.
Jagadisa: They're squandering billions of dollars.
Prabhupada: Yes. And they, you spend money for cigarette, for cinema, for restaurant, unnecessarily. We don't spend a farthing even, for all this purpose. Simply we take little rice, capati, that's all. And still, you are culprit?
Hari-sauri: They, in the papers report that, that we spend very lavishly for the Deities, but for ourselves we eat only very simply.
Prabhupada: So is it not credit? We spend for God. We are servant of God. We want to see God gorgeously situated, and for us we have no comforts, we don't care for any comfort. We simply spend minimum just to keep the body and soul together, that's all. This is our principle. We don't spend a farthing for our sense gratification. This should be noted down if some case is there, this should be presented. We don't go to restaurant, we don't go to cinema, we don't spend lavishly for dress or something else, no. Neither for furniture (laughter). Eh? If you sit down in a, a pad is that faulty?
Hari-sauri: Then when they go to any of our temples, they're amazed because we don't...
Prabhupada: We sit down, don't use any chair, any couches, unnecessarily, carpet. What expenditure? We have no expenditure for personal self. And still you are faulty? What can be done? We don't purchase any cosmetic, this clay tilaka is sufficient. We don't apply any pomade or cosmetic or ointment. Either for our girls or ourselves. We don't do that, we live very simply. After 15 days we shave, there is no use of cutting or decorating. Note down all these things. We have no doctor's bill even.
Hari-sauri: It's because of those...
Prabhupada: At least I save doctors bill, (chuckles) I am always sick, but I never go to the doctor. Give me little nim, give me little this (sounds of hand striking table), that's all. Then what less expenditure we can make? As far as possible we do not go even to the doctor.
Hari-sauri: Well, It's because of these things, that they're wondering well then, what do we do with the money?
Prabhupada: We spend for Krsna. Just like spending it, lakhs of rupees in Bombay for Krsna.
Hari-sauri: Yeah, I agree.
Prabhupada: Every month.
Hari-sauri: We just have to show them how many books we are printing and everything, too.
Hari-sauri: It's not that we're letting the money sit and accumulating.
Prabhupada: No. I am daily canvassing Gopala Krsna, "Print book! I don't want to keep the money in the bank, convert into the books and keep it in our..." I am asking.
Prabhupada: Whatever little money I've got, I don't want to keep in the bank. I want to convert it and purchase paper, print book. Then these rascals will never be able to take anything from us.
Prabhupada: That I am asking every time. Ask Gopala that, "Print books and keep it nicely, otherwise somebody may steal and sell in the market." Our books should be printed and kept very safely. This is our program. And they are speaking from the Vedic literature. We don't manufacture any magic, any jugglery, any mystic power. We have no mystic power. So, which point they will find fault? (laughs) I don't think we have got any loophole.
Hari-sauri: We simply have to...
Hari-sauri: ...present our whole program and...
Prabhupada: Our only business is how to establish Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the only business. Our quarrel with our men: Why this temple is not clean? Why there is no flower in the Deity room? This is our fight. We have no other cause of fight. And why should we show magic? But these inquiries are going on -- it is good -- these rascals will be exposed.
Hari-sauri: Hm. The people are so confused because they don't know...
Hari-sauri: What's bona fide and what is not now.
Prabhupada: Neither they want. They are becoming skeptic.
Prabhupada: Nobody's bona fide, that's all. This is their conclusion. Because they have confronted with some non-bona fide, they have concluded that everyone is non-bona fide.
Hari-sauri: It's very easy just to try to brush it all under the couch and forget about it.
Prabhupada: (Bengali) A man's household utensils was taken by the thief. He promised, "I shall not purchase anymore utensils, I shall eat on the floor. (laughs) Because the thief has stolen my plates, I'm not going to purchase anymore, I shall eat on the floor. (Bengali)
Hari-sauri: They give the example that just because someone may be passing counterfeit money, that doesn't mean that all the money you get...
Prabhupada: (laughs) Yes. They conclude that no more take any money, all counterfeit. At least in India, Bhagavad-gita is there, accepted, the God-science literature all over the world.
Prabhupada: Every country. So why they do not take the Bhagavad-gita as the standard?
Hari-sauri: Eventually they will if we push it on. (pause)
Prabhupada: My mother was very much fond of pickles. After resting in the afternoon, she would take something very sour, pickle. We used to take with her also. (laughs) We were small children, my mother died when I was only 14 years old. (long pause) (aside) What else? All right bring it. (sounds of plates sliding)
Hari-sauri: Potato pakora.
Prabhupada: Oh, hm. [break] ...just in front of our house, attached to our house. That means the house belonged to one of our relatives and her son, stepson, he sold the whole house to a Marwari without the knowledge of this, my, she was in relation grandmother. So when the house was sold in those days, about say about 100 years ago, not 100 years, about 90 years. In Mahatma Gandhi road, most important, that Mullik's house you have seen? That was one of the Mullik's house, for 12,000 rupees. One bigha of land and grand building. So it was unknown to the stepmother, the stepson sold it. Then she appealed to the high-court that, "I belong to a respectable family and this my spoiled stepson has sold the house without my knowledge, then where shall I go?" The high-court considered that, "The drunkard son has sold at a cheap price, and she's belongs to a respectable family, where she'll go?" And the high-court order was, "The half of the house shall be used by this lady. During her lifetime, you cannot take possession," the Marwari who purchased. So under that grandmother, we used to live. Therefore this half portion of the house was a Marwari school. So it is just like our temple and this. So my father first admitted me in that Marwari school. So I learned this devanagari there, for a few days I was going. I was the only Bengali student there. Because I was little, my father thought that instead of going outside the house, within the house there is a school, get him admitted. The school name was Visuddhana(?) Marwari Vijnala(?), something like that, and later on they constructed huge building Visuddhana(?). Then the house was vacated. So in the beginning I was admitted in a Marwari school and I learned a little Hindi there, that's all.
Devotee (1): (Hindi)
Prabhupada: (laughs) That was little chance also, understanding Hindi. And I was maybe 7, 6 or 7 years old, that's all. Then somebody made at Saranpur. That was of course not in the school. Then in our college there were many up-country (?) class friends, Scottish Churches College. One of them was that Grnanatha (?), he came here, (Hindi).
Devotee (1): (Hindi)
Prabhupada: He was bigger (?) in the police court M.A., B.A... Now, I repeatedly told him that "You stay here and write Hindi."
Devotee (2): He didn't stay here?
Prabhupada: He stayed for one week or 15 days. (Hindi)
Devotee (3): (Hindi)
Devotee (4): L-A-R-Y-N-X. Cavity with enclosing muscles and mucus membrane behind and communicating with nose, mouth and larynx.
Prabhupada: Hm? Here this side, this space some connection, when it is affected that is called laryngitis.
Prabhupada: I know some of the medical terms.
Devotee (1): (Hindi)
Prabhupada: Now this disease is called laryngitis.
Devotee (1): Yeah.
Prabhupada: (Hindi) Sariram vyadhi-mandiram. It is a temple of disease. The temple of di..., temple of miseries. Not only disease, there are so many other things. Huh? Matra-sparsas tu kaunteya sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah [Bg. 2.14], simply giving trouble. Sarira-bandha, asann api klesada asa dehah [SB 5.5.4]. Deha, deha means klesada, klesada troublesome. They do not know this science. And they do not know how to get out of this body, there is no science. This is the only science Krsna consciousness. They do not know this science, they do not know what is the real position, how troubles come, how we are suffering. Nothing of the sort. And our Krsna Consciousness movement is simply dealing with this, how to get out of this entanglement of the body. That is the only problem. And the materialistic person, they do not think it as a problem. Manah sasthanindriyani prakrti-sthani karsati [Bg. 15.7]. We are dealing with the real problems, and others they do not know what is the problems, what to speak of dealing with them. Completely in ignorance, how the body is changing, why there are different forms of life, wherefrom they are coming. They do not deal with these things.
Hari-sauri: Everybody thinks their body is for enjoying this. They think it's the source of pleasure.
Prabhupada: That enjoyment that God's children? They also thought it is enjoyment, you see? The hippies are thinking, enjoying. And others little polished way. They are also the same, in a polished way, by dressing nicely. Eh? Everyone is in ignorance, tribhir gunamayair bhavaih. Find out this verse.
Devotee (1): Ebhih sarvam idam jagat.
Devotee (1): Tribhir gunamayair bhavair ebhih sarvam idam jagat.
Prabhupada: Nabhijanati mam ebhyah param avyayam.
Devotee (1): This is from the 7th chapter.
Prabhupada: Seventh, yes. Daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya [Bg. 7.14].
Devotee (1): See if it's 7, fifteenth or fourteenth. (pause)
Prabhupada: About the gosvamis it is said, nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau **, sleeping, and eating, and sense enjoyment conquered. So no sleeping, no eating and no sense gratification, that is perfection. Nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau catyanta-dinau. Hm.
tribhir gunamayair bhavair
ebhih sarvam idam jagat
mam ebhyah param avyayam
"Deluded by the three modes (goodness, passion, and ignorance), the whole world does not know Me, who am above the modes and inexhaustible."
Prabhupada: Here is the disease, material disease. They are being carried away by the three modes of material nature. Hm? It is explained further that purusah prakrti-stho hi bhunkte... [Bg. 13.22]. Hm.
Devotee (2): Bhunkte prakrti-jan gunan.
Prabhupada: Ah. Gunan. Karanam guna-sango 'sya.
Devotee (3): Karanam guna-sango 'sya, sad-asad-yoni...
Prabhupada: Sad-asad-janma-yonisu. Hm? Purusah prakrti-stho hi [Bg. 13.22]. So, this is a big purport about this? How big...?
Hari-sauri: About one page. Tribhir gunamayair bhavaih?
Prabhupada: Hm. Read it.
Hari-sauri: The whole world is enchanted by three modes of material nature. Those who are bewildered by these three modes cannot understand that transcendental to this material nature is the Supreme Lord, Krsna. In this material world everyone is under the influence of these three gunas and is thus bewildered.
By nature living entities have particular types of body and particular types of psychic and biological activities accordingly. There are four classes of men functioning in the three material modes of nature. Those who are purely in the mode of goodness are called brahmanas. Those who are purely in the mode of passion are called ksatriyas. Those who are in the modes of both passion and ignorance are called vaisyas. Those who are completely in ignorance are called sudras. And those who are less than that are animals or animal life. However, these designations are not permanent. I may either be a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya or whatever -- in any case, this life is temporary. But although life is temporary and we do not know what we are going to be in the next life, still, by the spell of this illusory energy, we consider ourselves in the light of this bodily conception of life, and we thus think that we are American, Indian, Russian or brahmana, Hindu, Muslim, etc. And if we become entangled with the modes of material nature, then we forget the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is behind all these modes. So Lord Krsna says that men, deluded by these three modes of nature, do not understand that behind the material background is the Supreme Godhead.
There are many different kinds of living entities -- human beings, demigods, animals, etc. -- and each and every one of them is under the influence of material nature, and all of them have forgotten the transcendent Personality of Godhead. Those who are in the modes of passion and ignorance, and even those who are in the mode of goodness, cannot go beyond the impersonal Brahman conception of the Absolute Truth. They are bewildered before the Supreme Lord in His personal feature, which possesses all beauty, opulence, knowledge, strength, fame and renunciation. When even those who are in goodness cannot understand, what hope is there for those in passion and ignorance? Krsna consciousness is transcendental to all these three modes of material nature, and those who are truly established in Krsna consciousness are actually liberated.
Prabhupada: This is explanation of that?
Prabhupada: I don't think in any other edition such explanation is there. Dr. Radhakrishnan, other this Dada (?) Krishna. Radhakrishnan and Dada Krishna. Tribhir gunamayair bhavair ebhih sarvam. Hm. Nabhijanati mam ebhyah param avyayam. Therefore they cannot understand what is God, especially the communist countries. Completely in ignorance. (Sanskrit) They're thinking that by external adjustment, by following the Marxist theory or Lenin's theory and killing the capitalists, inventing some bogus ways of happiness... (pause) You have been in Moscow?
Hamsaduta: Hm, several times.
Prabhupada: Hm. I think they are poor. Is it not?
Hamsaduta: Very poor.
Prabhupada: Just see.
Hamsaduta: Big country, very poor.
Hamsaduta: In that city, one has to wait for years in order to get an apartment.
Hamsaduta: Yes, Anatol was telling me, that boy Ananda-santi. His whole family was living in that..., but you did not see his room. His room is very small, maybe two times the size of your kitchen and whole family was living in that. Mother, grandmother, father, him, and when Mandakini went there she was also living there.
Hamsaduta: Very small.
Hamsaduta: Pigeonhole, really pigeonhole.
Prabhupada: So why this is?
Hamsaduta: Only one room. Because there is no, economically they're...
Hamsaduta: Not making progress. The situation is very bad. And all the buildings if you noticed, they were very old.
Prabhupada: Yes I have already told...
Hamsaduta: Did you notice? They were built in the time of Stalin.
Prabhupada: Hm. Not Stalin.
Hamsaduta: Or in the years before, sorry.
Prabhupada: That is during the Czar. They could not build any.
Hamsaduta: That university, very old, that university and all the big buildings, very old. And like you say there is no taxi.
Hamsaduta: No food, the women are working like...
Hamsaduta: Sweeper, all fat...
Prabhupada: Why they're fat?
Hamsaduta: Just eating potatoes and and...
Hamsaduta: Meat, pork meat, pig's meat.
Prabhupada: Very miserable condition.
Hamsaduta: Oh yeah.
Prabhupada: And advertising, communists are so rich, so happy.
Hamsaduta: I know, everything, all their literature concerns itself with struggling. Struggling against capitalists, struggling to...
Prabhupada: And mass of people they are very morose, unhappy.
Prabhupada: In the street you see there is no happiness in their face.
Prabhupada: Hm. Means terrorism, if they do anything against, then (snaps fingers) finished.
Prabhupada: Very miserable.
Hamsaduta: All these communist countries are like that. I was in many of these countries, people are all depressed.
Prabhupada: There is no taxi. You cannot get taxi on call. And the taxi drivers, they want something more.
Hamsaduta: Yes, they...
Hamsaduta: They do that.
Prabhupada: Very bad country, the communist country.
Hamsaduta: I was asking this boy, that was here a few days ago from South India, from Kerala, he was in Russia. I asked him. "What did you eat there?" What did you, you stayed for one year?
Prabhupada: He must be eating meat.
Hamsaduta: No, he said, "I was able to get frozen vegetables from the south of Russia. They freeze it and then they sell it," he said, "but it is very expensive, very costly." He was getting frozen.
Prabhupada: That is also nasty. Frozen means nasty. I never take frozen. In the beginning I thought, "Oh, it is very nice, you can get fresh vegetable." But they are not at all fresh.
Prabhupada: All rotten, rather the same vegetable, as we have got in India practice, we dry it and keep it. That is tasteful. In season time -- suppose this season there is huge quantity of vegetable -- so here the system is they cut into pieces during the season and dry it in the sun and keep it. And during out of season it is soaked in water, it revives the old taste, then you can cook. (Hindi or Bengali)
Devotee (1): Tastes as though it is different. The fresh vegetable the taste is very good.
Prabhupada: Fresh vegetable must be, but still there is some taste. But this frozen it has no taste.
Prabhupada: (Hindi) Even they have, Indians those who are fish eaters, they keep this dry fish.
Hamsaduta: Yeah, dried fish.
Prabhupada: They-fresh fish -- they smear with turmeric and salt and keep it in the sunshine and they dry it. And of course this fish it has no, what is it taste. (laughter) But they keep it. (aside) Bring me little water. (Bengali and Hindi) This I want to introduce, let them be satisfied whatever they can produce themselves locally. What is that, little cloth, little food? Any man can produce these things. There is no difficulty at all. They must agree to this simple life. Otherwise, everywhere you can produce your own food and cloth and cottage. If possible you can construct big buildings. There is no need. And they should be satisfied, happy with Krsna. Then life is successful. This I want to introduce now, anywhere. And it is practical. It is not something bogus. It is... We have already experimented. By God's grace we can produce everything from the lands, sarva-kama-dugha mahi, sarva-kama-dugha mahi? You can get everything. If they are satisfied with this simple life, then they save time for Krsna consciousness and happy life. In India they don't require even cottage. One katiya (?) is sufficient. Keeping in one place and lay down. Eight months, at least six months, it is very nice. At night, even in daytime it is very hot, at night it is cool. So you have got very good sleep, soothing, then you become refreshed in the morning. If you have got good sleep at night, then you become refreshed, your health is regained. Hm? If I (indistinct), take morning snana and capati. During very hot season they don't take even capati. They take some fruits, guava and this... What is called that? (Hindi)
Devotee (2): That? Melon.
Prabhupada: Melon, yes. During hot season you get watermelon, this other melon.
Hari-sauri: Honeydew melon.
Prabhupada: Honeydew melon, oh very nice. In the upcountries still in the village during daytime they don't eat. During daytime they take some fruits and at night when it is cool, the cool ah, refreshing air, they make some capati. One time, is it not?
Devotee (2): (Hindi)
Prabhupada: Eh, (Hindi) In that night because in daytime it is so hot, it is embarrassing to cook and to digest also. Better take food, ah, fruit, this melon, and at night they take 3 or 4 capatis according to the... And good sleep. Very happy life it was, all over India. There was no question of poverty. People did not know what is poverty and now it is poverty. They do not get even sufficient food.
Prabhupada: Ugra-karma. I don't like industrialism.
Devotees: Hare Krsna. (end)
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Room Conversation -- November 3, 1976, Vrndavana