Prabhupāda: Just like this word, Kṛṣṇa. It is universally known: "all-attractive." The exact English translation is "all-attractive." So there cannot be any proper nomenclature for God than this "all-attractive." Unless God is all-attractive, how He can be God? This is the perfect nomenclature. Similarly, anything Sanskritically named, that is all perfect.
Collaborate with us to invoke and fully manifest Śrīla Prabhupāda's presence
Translating my books (Conversations, 1968 - 1973)
Conversations and Morning Walks
1968 Conversations and Morning Walks
Interviewer: Now I just want to read one section here. I think you'll be able to... "The International Society for Krishna Consciousness began when Swami Bhaktivedanta arrived from India with $2 on his person, a metal suitcase full of ancient-looking books and a cotton cloth robe, colored yellow, as a sign of the renounced order of life. In India, men of his order are completely dedicated to propagating the spiritual life of a mendicant wanderer. He had wandered across the sea upon the order issued to him by his guru who told him he should prepare to go to America to teach the principles taught in the Bhagavad-gītā and to translate the sixty volumes of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam into English." Now, are you a guru?
Prabhupāda: Yes, I am the spiritual master of this institution, and all the members of the society, they're supposed to be my disciples.
Prabhupāda: This information we get from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, this book. I have rendered into English.
Reporter: Which book is this?
Reporter: Was this a book which you wrote or translated or...
Prabhupāda: Translated and commented.
Reporter: Translations and comments.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Similarly, I have translated this book also. This is being published by Macmillan company, one of the biggest publisher of your country. Yes. I have published this book...
1969 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: So the verses of Bhagavad-gītā are so simple that there is no question of interpretation. Unfortunately I have seen that in Bhagavad-gītā, commented by a great scholar like Dr. Radhakrishnan, the verse is translated very nicely and that is done by an Englishman, but he interprets in a different way. So when we can understand the thing very nicely, there is no question of interpretation.
Prabhupāda: Pure love means there is no reason. "Why I am loving Kṛṣṇa? Oh, there is no reason. I love Kṛṣṇa. I want Kṛṣṇa." This is love. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu says... You have got this translation in my first book, that, that Advaita has quoted that śloka in his sermon.(?) "Whatever you do, You are my Lord. I don't mind whether You put me into distress or You put me into happiness. Or if You don't help me in realizing You. It doesn't matter. Still, I love You. Whether I am going to hell or heaven, it doesn't matter. But I love You."
Prabhupāda: Next book is coming, Nectar of Devotion.
Allen Ginsberg: What will that be, your own writings?
Prabhupāda: No, it is the authorized translation of Rūpa Gosvāmī's book, Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu.
Allen Ginsberg: Whose...?
Prabhupāda: Rūpa Gosvāmī, Lord Caitanya's principal disciple.
Allen Ginsberg: Uhuh.
Prabhupāda: Rūpa Gosvāmī. There are six Gosvāmīs, direct disciples of Lord Caitanya. Er, not, six Gosvāmīs and three other confidential.
Allen Ginsberg: Has the detailed analysis of what goes on within the Kali-yuga?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Oh, yes, yes. I'll read you sometimes.
Allen Ginsberg: There are translations of that. There are some translations of that.
Prabhupāda: Yes. In the Twelfth Canto, the Kali-yuga descriptions are there.
Allen Ginsberg: Twelfth Canto.
Prabhupāda: Viṣṇu-saha...(?) From Hitopadeśa, they say, Aesop's Fables was translated. Aesop's Fables. There are stories like that. One dog is speaking to another monkey, monkey is... Like that. Hitopadeśa.
Prabhupāda: Perhaps you know. In every country there are thousands of Bhagavad-gītā translation, in every language, in English, in French, in German, all languages. And even Mohammedans... Of course, scholarly Mohammedans, they also read very nicely Bhagavad-gītā. I know one Mohammedan professor in India. He was a great devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. He did not disclose that he was a devotee, but he was observing Janmāṣṭamī fasting day and he was writing one article on Kṛṣṇa every Janmāṣṭamī day.
John Lennon: I've read bits of the Bhagavad-gītā. I don't know which version it was. There's so many different translations.
Prabhupāda: There are different translations. Therefore I have given this edition, Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. There are interpretations. In many translations they have got interpretations.
Prabhupāda: So if you study Vedic literature very scrutinizingly, then you come to this conclusion, that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme. Therefore Kṛṣṇa consciousness will include all other knowledge. Just like if you have got million dollar, ten dollar is included, five hundred dollar is included, thousand dollar is included. But one who has got ten dollar or five hundred dollar, he cannot claim that he has got million dollar. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa science means full spiritual knowledge. That is accepted by the ācāryas. And even you are speaking of Maharsi. He has written some book on Bhagavad-gītā?
John Lennon: Yes. That's the one we've read.
Prabhupāda: So why he's taking Kṛṣṇa's book as authority? Bhagavad-gītā is Kṛṣṇa's book. Everyone knows. Why he's taking Kṛṣṇa's book?
George Harrison: Well, he didn't. He just translated it into English.
Prabhupāda: Why? Unless he has got some respect for that book?
John Lennon: But I've also read another, part of another translation by Yogananda, Paramahamsa Yogananda.
Prabhupāda: Everyone will have to take Kṛṣṇa's book first to prove their authority.
Yoko Ono: But, er... What...
Prabhupāda: Vivekananda has taken, Aurobindo has taken, Dr. Radhakrishnan has taken, Mahatma Gandhi... There are thousands and thousands. So why do they take Bhagavad-gītā?
Prabhupāda: No, we have made English.
George Harrison: Yes, but they all make it English.
John Lennon: But that must be also a translation, mustn't it? Whoever puts it into English. I mean...
Prabhupāda: So you also read any Bhagavad-gītā translation only. You don't read the original.
George Harrison: Well, which is the original? It's the same as the Bible.
Prabhupāda: Original is there. Origin is Sanskrit.
Yoko Ono: It's in Sanskrit, but we don't read Sanskrit.
John Lennon: Yes, but it's pointless, me reading Sanskrit, because I don't understand Sanskrit.
Prabhupāda: Therefore you have to take translation.
George Harrison: So then there's all, a hundred translations.
John Lennon: And interpretations.
George Harrison: Which is again like all the roses and all the different flowers. It's a matter of taste as to which one. Because everybody claims their version is the best. All the versions I've read, they all say... And sometimes I get something from one which I don't get from something else.
Devotee: Did you ever read any without any commentary at all? Just straight?
George Harrison: Just straight translation?
Devotee: Without any commentary.
George Harrison: Just the Sanskrit, you mean?
Devotee: No. Just the translation.
George Harrison: Well, that's really what they are, you know. They all have a translation. Some of them have a commentary as well, on top of that. But just again the translations, you know, it depends on who's translating as to what the translation is.
Devotee: That's all right. So you have to go through an authority. Someone who's...
John Lennon: But how do you know one authority from the other?
George Harrison: The world is full of authorities, really, you know. (Prabhupāda chuckling)
Yoko Ono: There's five hundred authorities, you know, who...
John Lennon: I found that the best thing for myself is to take a little bit from here and a little bit from there and a little bit from there. (Prabhupāda chuckles)
Yoko Ono: I mean, we're not just saying that. We want to ask your advice on that. In other words, what is your answer to that. Your saying there's five hundred versions.
Prabhupāda: Bhagavad-gītā is seven hundred verses.
Yoko Ono: All right, so seven hundred. I don't know. But what I mean is you use the word authority, saying why would he translate that into English without authority? Now, what is the authority and who has the authority?
Prabhupāda: Authority is the original text.
Yoko Ono: Yes, but everybody's translating from the original text, I'm sure you know.
Yoko Ono: So what's the difference between one and the other?
Prabhupāda: Therefore we say that sampradāya-vihīnā ye mantrās te viphala mataḥ. If we then don't take from the disciplic succession of the authority... Just like Kṛṣṇa. Now, take for example. We have explained this in our introduction, that nobody is authority. Don't care. Kṛṣṇa is authority because Bhagavad-gītā is spoken by Kṛṣṇa. That you cannot deny. Can you deny that?
Yoko Ono: Is Kṛṣṇa translated...
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is authority. Kṛṣṇa is authority.
Yoko Ono: Yes, all right. Did He translate it into English?
Prabhupāda: Just hear me.
Yoko Ono: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is authority, you accept?
Yoko Ono: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Is that all right?
John Lennon: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Then you see what Kṛṣṇa says. That is authority. Why should you hear anyone else? Now, what Kṛṣṇa has said, to understand that, that you have to search out if you are serious student.
John Lennon: How do we know if somebody else, Yogananda, Maharsi, and all these different people that have translated it, how are we to tell that their version isn't Kṛṣṇa's word from your version?
Prabhupāda: Therefore I say if you are serious student, then you study Sanskrit, original.
Śyāmasundara: You were saying earlier today that we can also supplement our Kṛṣṇa consciousness while we're working, hammering the nails.
Śyāmasundara: So chanting along with devotional service, performing our duties while concentrating on Kṛṣṇa, is also part of the process, isn't it?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Anything, any way. The whole idea is manāḥ kṛṣṇe niveṣayet. Mind should be fixed up in Kṛṣṇa. That is the process. Either you go through philosophy or through arguments or through chanting. Any way. That is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā. Yoginām api sarveṣāṁ (BG 6.47). Of all kinds of yogis. In the... You might have read it. Yoginām api sarveṣāṁ. I think Maharsi has translated this Bhagavad-gītā, and in the sixth chapter...? You have read it?
George Harrison: Oh, his translation of Gītā?
Śyāmasundara: One thing that Prabhupāda was explaining, I think, that didn't quite get cleared up was how do we discern which translation of the Gītā is most authoritative. Well, he answered when he said that Kṛṣṇa is the authority. So we have to take it in a channel from Kṛṣṇa, and there are only four lines of disciplic succession that come from Kṛṣṇa. And of these, only one is existing now, or is it two?
Yoko Ono: What do you mean by "channel"? Is it through hereditary or what?
Śyāmasundara: Lines of disciplic succession. Yes, it's hereditary. Swamiji's spiritual master...
Prabhupāda: Just like channel you'll understand very easily. You send some money order to your friend. So from which channel he'll receive? He'll receive through the post office, not through any other channel. So if the postal peon delivers it, you are confident, "Yes, the money has come." So why you give the importance to the postal peon? Because he's representative of the post office. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa is the original authority. So the Kṛṣṇa's representative is the authority. And who is Kṛṣṇa's representative? Who is a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. So therefore the devotee of Kṛṣṇa is authority, at least of Bhagavad-gītā. So you have to receive through the devotee of Kṛṣṇa about Bhagavad-gītā. One who does not know anything about Kṛṣṇa, how he can preach Bhagavad-gītā? This is common sense.
Yoko Ono: But about the knowledge, I'm a bit worried about it, if you have to, you know, learn Sanskrit and all that, and that's the only way to get enlightenment... I mean, what do you do about people who are not sort of skillful in learning languages and things like that? Would that not at all... I mean, I thought that it...
John Lennon: It's translated, anyway.
Prabhupāda: Translation is there.
John Lennon: So you've got to take a risk.
Yoko Ono: But he said, then why don't you go and...
John Lennon: So then you've got to take the risk of reading a translated one.
Gurudāsa: So you see many devotees of the authority, and then you decide which is the most sincere devotee. And just like in the ninth chapter He says, "You will come to Me." Now, if I asked you for a glass of water and you poured it on the wall, I'd think you were silly. But if you brought it to me, then I knew you were in knowledge, we were having a reciprocal relationship. Therefore, if the devotee is saying, "Worship Kṛṣṇa," and not putting so much of his own ideas in, but just saying, "Worship Kṛṣṇa," all throughout, as Swamiji does, then you can know he's a sincere devotee.
Prabhupāda: No, no. One thing you try to understand. Why these people, if Kṛṣṇa is not the supreme authority, why they are taking Kṛṣṇa's book and translating? Why don't you try to understand?
George Harrison: I'm not saying Kṛṣṇa isn't the Supreme. I believe that.
Prabhupāda: No, no. I mean to say, even there are other sects, as you say, Maharsi. They accept also indirectly Kṛṣṇa as the supreme authority. Because if we say Maharsi belongs to Śaṅkara sampradāya...
George Harrison: Yeah, but we had a misunderstanding before about the translation of the Sanskrit Gītā into English, and I was saying that there's many versions, and I think we thought you were trying to say that your version, your translation, was the only authority and that the other translations... But we didn't really have understanding as to the identity of Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: That's all right. If you believe Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord, if that is your version, then you have to see who are much addicted to Kṛṣṇa directly. For argument's sake. That these people are twenty-four hours chanting Kṛṣṇa, and another person who has no, not a single word Kṛṣṇa, how he can become devotee of Kṛṣṇa? How he can become representative of Kṛṣṇa, who does not utter even the name of Kṛṣṇa? If Kṛṣṇa is authority accepted, therefore who are directly addicted to Kṛṣṇa, they are authorities. (Kīrtanas follow, George Harrison leading) (end)
Satsvarūpa: Oh. Then I have one question to ask you. What about quoting even Vaiṣṇava literature that you haven't translated, like the Caitanya-caritāmṛta or cantos that you haven't translated? That doesn't seem right.
Satsvarūpa: Other translations than your own. What if we want to quote them in some article?
Prabhupāda: Other translations means?
Satsvarūpa: Well, sometimes I see Caitanya-caritāmṛta. Śilavatī even wrote a book about Deity worship, and there's a long quote from Caitanya-caritāmṛta. I don't know if that's bona fide. I know that the literature is bona fide, but I don't know of any translation that's bona...
Prabhupāda: Caitanya-caritāmṛta? He has written a book? I have not seen it.
Satsvarūpa: No. I just mean that devotees, sometimes they write an article and they say, "As it says in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta," and they quote a book that they read by some scholar, very good Vaiṣṇava literature, but translated by somebody that may not be good.
Prabhupāda: No. Somebody... So far Caitanya-caritāmṛta, that Navina-candra Rāya... You, mean to say that...
Brahmānanda: That six volume set? That is all right?
Prabhupāda: That is all right. That is translation. That is all right.
Brahmānanda: That is the one which is in use, I believe. It's not anything, you know...
Prabhupāda: That is simply translation. But Caitanya-caritāmṛta is now presented in our TLC. Actually that is our conclusion. And Navina Rāya's translation, there are sometimes little defects, but not very dangerous, not very dangerous.
Prabhupāda: One thing may appear to be very simple and to other, terse, but you do your own duty. Another thing: where is the Bhagavad-gītā with my full translation and synonyms? Where is that manuscript?
Hayagrīva: I have... There are several existing manuscripts. I have... The manuscript I went over is in Columbus.
Hayagrīva: The total manuscript is there.
Prabhupāda: So we have to prepare for next publication, revised and enlarged, giving in the same process: original verse, transliteration, synonyms, and translation, and purport.
Hayagrīva: English synonyms. Pradyumna was preparing...
Pradyumna: I've already started that, the first chapter.
Prabhupāda: Our first printing will be this, what is name? Nectar of Devotion. And then, if possible, Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, revised and enlarged.
Jayadvaita: There's another manuscript of Bhagavad-gītā also in New York, the original.
Prabhupāda: Oh. You have got?
Jayadvaita: Yes. It's in New York except for the first two chapters. Everything else is there.
Prabhupāda: So first two chapters might be with Janārdana. But you have got the whole thing, Hayagrīva.
Hayagrīva: Yes. That has been... I have gone over that, the one I have. The one that is in New York, no one has gone over that.
Jayadvaita: Some of it has been edited by Rāyarāma, but you can see around it and go to the original behind it.
Prabhupāda: So whatever is lacking, you ask me. I will supply you.
Hayagrīva: Well, I have nothing lacking. But I would like to see that version.
Jayadvaita: That's with a dictaphone. So it's...
Hayagrīva: I would like to see that in going over mine. I'll have to go over it chapter by chapter. But I will compare the version I have with that version, and... I know the translations themselves, they were somewhat changed in Bhagavad-gītā As It Is as it came out in Macmillan. Did you like those translations?
Prabhupāda: Whichever is better, you think. That's all. You can follow this Macmillan.
Hayagrīva: That was the second... They're good. I think they're very good.
Prabhupāda: Yes. You can follow that translation. Simply synonyms he can add, transliterations.
Hayagrīva: And we have all the purports. We can include everything. Nothing will be deleted. Everything will be in there.
Prabhupāda: That's all right.
1971 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: I am simply teaching the teachings of Kṛṣṇa. That is my point. I may be sama-darśi, I may be not sama-darśi.
Guest (4): Not be, but you teach that we should worship the sama-darśi.
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa says. I don't say.
Guest (4): Ah! You say, Kṛṣṇa says that...
Prabhupāda: But that does not mean that one has become sama-darśinaḥ. That is... That is his...
Guest (4): Then he is not following the guru.
Prabhupāda: No. My position is simply repeating. That's all. My position is.
Guest (2): So we want understanding more than mere tape recorder.
Prabhupāda: Yes, you may be tape... But that is my position because I have been authorized in that way, that "Anyone who preaches this confidential subject matter, he is My dear." So I have nothing to learn, what is sama-darśi. I have my position...
Guest (4): No, blind following and open-eyed following, I say it is all right. We can read the book. We can read the verses, translation, Hindi translation. But that is not understanding.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is not understanding, I understand. But I am understanding from my teacher, just like I told you, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī, Lord Caitanya. There are so many stalwart teachers, practically whole Hindu community.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes, you know, what is interesting... As it is here in our country, with our great interest in the history of old, old god, from this point of view our institute translated into Russian and published many, I may say, literary monuments of great Indian culture. I will have a pleasure to present you a copy of a booklet which was written here by me and my colleagues. It's account of Soviet studies of India. And here there is chapter, chapter second, "Studies of Ancient Indian Texts in the U.S.S.R..." You'll be interested to discover, we published not all but some, some in exceptions, Purāṇas. We published most of them, then some parts of Rāmāyaṇa, eight volumes in Russian, Mahābhārata... We have also second edition of Mahābhārata, translated by different people. Kabukare Artha-śāstra(?) also was translated in full and published. Manu-smṛti also translated in full and published with Sanskrit commentaries. And such a great interest... I think that all these publications was sold in a week. Now quite completely out of stock, this... It was impossible to get them in book market after month, such a great interest among reading people here in Moscow and the U.S.S.R. towards ancient Indian culture. And from this point of view we published, I must say, a lot of things, a lot of things.
Prabhupāda: Now, amongst these Purāṇas, the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is called the Mahā-purāṇa.
Prof. Kotovsky: Mahā-purāṇa.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So we have translated in English the full, with the original Sanskrit text, its transliteration, an English equivalent for each word, then translation, and then purport, explanation of the verse. In this way there are 18,000's of verses in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And the ācāryas, the great saintly sages who are the preachers of this Bhāgavatam throughout India, their opinion is that it is the ripened fruit of the Vedic desire tree. Nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalaṁ idam (SB 1.1.3). And it is accepted by all, I mean, Indian scholars, and especially Lord Caitanya, He preached this Bhāgavata. So we have got that, complete in English translation. If you want to see some of them, we can show you.
Prabhupāda: You have not brought any books? Bhāgavata?
Prof. Kotovsky: Editions is there. Especially in Leningrad, you know, in Leningrad we have...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...about, Leningrad branch, Leningrad branch of our institute—because institute was in Petorussia(?), founded in Leningrad—so in Leningrad now we have now a branch of our institute dealing mainly...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...with the history of Asiatic culture. We have a million...(Aside:) Thank you very much. Here is a sample account of our book. You will find here some account of what has been translated and what else is being done in the history of Indian philosophy, and now with this Indian philosophy, history of Indian religion, and now with this Indian..., what is Hinduism now, just now in India also. It is very simple account of...
Prabhupāda: Hinduism is a very complex term. (laughs)
Prof. Kotovsky: Oh, yes, Hinduism. It is not all... It is really... To my understanding it is not religion from European point of view. It is a really a way of life...
Prof. Kotovsky: ...religion, Indian, a way of philosophy, a way of life, a religion, everything...
Prabhupāda: No, this Hinduism, Hindu, this word, is not a Sanskrit word. It is given by the Mohammedans. You know there is a river, Indus, which is..., Sanskrit name is Sindhu. Sindhu.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes. Oh, yes, yes, yes.
Prabhupāda: These Mohammedans, they pronounce "S" as "H." "Hindus," "Hindus." Instead of "Sindus," they made it "Hindus." So Hindu is a term which is not found in the Sanskrit dictionary.
Prof. Kotovsky: Yes.
Prabhupāda: But it has come into use. Real, I mean to say, cultural institution is called varṇāśrama, four varṇas and four āśramas: brāhmaṇa, kṣatri, vaiśya, śūdra—these four varṇas—and brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, and sannyāsa. So according to Vedic concept of life, unless people take to this system or institution, institute of varṇa and āśrama, four varṇas and four āśramas, actually he does not become a civilized human being. This... One has to take this process, four divisions of varṇas and four..., four divisions of social order and four divisions of spiritual order. That is called varṇāśrama. So India's culture is based on these four, eight system, varṇa and āśrama.
Prof. Kotovsky: Varnāśrama.
Prabhupāda: Varṇa, varṇāśrama. And in the Bhagavad-gītā—perhaps you have read Bhagavad-gītā—there is also the statement, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ (BG 4.13). It is... This system is created originally by Viṣṇu. So as everything is creation of the Supreme, they cannot be changed. That is a prevalent everywhere, that a... Sun. Sun is creation of the Supreme. So sunshine is here in America, in Russia, in India—everywhere. Similarly, this varṇāśrama system is prevalent everywhere in some form or other. Just like the brāhmaṇas. The brāhmaṇas means the most intelligent class of men, brain, brain of the society. Then the kṣatriyas, the administrator class. Then the vaiśyas, the productive class, and the śūdras, the worker class. These four classes of men are everywhere present in different names. And because it is creation by the original creator, so it is prevalent everywhere, varṇāśrama-dharma. (break) So have you seen this little, how we are translating this? You can see little. Original śloka, its transliteration, then its English equivalent, then translation, then purport, each and every verse is being done like that, whole Bhāgavatam Purāṇa.
Prabhupāda: Yes, Russia is the same people. They are anxious to receive this movement. Very much anxious.
Mohsin Hassan: And are you intent to (indistinct) over there?
Mohsin Hassan: I see.
Prabhupāda: But their government is very strict. Government is very strict. So unless we get permission from the government... Because they have no culture in literature. They're simply reading this Lenin book. So one professor, a Dr. Kotovsky, he told me that Indian Rāmāyaṇa, Tulsi dasa's Rāmāyaṇa—that's not very good philosophy—still, it was translated into Russian language, and within a week, all the books are sold. Just see. So they are hankering after this cultural book. Approximately... We have no means now; otherwise there is immense, good field for Kṛṣṇa consciousness in Russia.
Mohsin Hassan: You are the founder of this movement. You are the founder.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Pratyatoṣa. Do you know what is the pratyatoṣa? Prati, pratyatoṣa.
Pratyatoṣa: What is the translation, Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: He can satisfy everyone.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Only Kṛṣṇa consciousness person satisfies everyone, can claim this (indistinct).
Prabhupāda: Electric guitar, if it is, they chant Hare Kṛṣṇa only, nothing else, then it is all right. But as far as possible, simply mṛdaṅga and kartāl. But if GBC thinks that it attracts more people so they give contribution, that is a different thing. Otherwise there is no need.
Parivrājakācārya: I think nothing can attract like mṛdaṅgas and karatālas.
Prabhupāda: That is practical, we have seen.
Parivrājakācārya: When we put guitars, it waters it down. It doesn't have the same effect.
Prabhupāda: All GBC members should organize like that. Then everything will be all right. And sell books. Now you... What is the name? Maṇḍalībhadra, he is slow. So you translate.
Haṁsadūta: Okay. Because there are others, they are competent. I have others, they are competent.
Prabhupāda: That's all right. Simply you check that they are not writing nonsense.
Haṁsadūta: Oh yes. That I can do.
Prabhupāda: That's all. And print it and distribute. And another thing. If you can print yourself, it is all right, But if you want printing cost from the general book fund, then whatever you sell you deposit there. You deposit and take, deposit and take, deposit and take. Then when, even if you have no money you'll get money. And then you deposit. But if you spend it, then you cannot expect from the general book fund.
Haṁsadūta: No, no. I'm already doing that with them.
Haṁsadūta: Whatever they print for me, or whatever Bali prints for me, I pay him and I pay 100% mark-up so that there can be some money.
Prabhupāda: So in this way organize and distribute literature, and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa saṅkīrtana yajña. Then our mission will be successful. Accha, here, they are coming, so we shall make a committee, London building fund committee. In that committee, Mr. Arnold and his wife... (break)
Prabhupāda: Class must be. Without hearing, everything will be tainted. (knock on door) Yes?
Haṁsadūta: Prabhupāda, what do you think about the German translation work? I mean...
Prabhupāda: It must go on.
Haṁsadūta: I know it must go on. But isn't there some way to increase it, to make it go more quickly?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Everything should be done quickly. Because we do not know when we shall die. So everything, Kṛṣṇa consciousness business, should be done as quickly as possible.
Haṁsadūta: I mean in that respect... see, everything must go through Maṇḍalībhadra's hands. Before it can be printed, everything has to go through his hands because he is the chief translator. But at the present moment it's going so slowly that... We haven't even been able to produce the magazine.
Prabhupāda: So find out somebody else.
Haṁsadūta: Well, that's my proposal. Or make a different arrangement. But one arrangement I proposed was to pay him some money.
Prabhupāda: If he requires some money, give him. What can be done? That is not unusual. A gṛhastha, he requires some money.
Haṁsadūta: Yes, I understand. I just wanted to know if it was acceptable.
Prabhupāda: No, no. Why not acceptable? No. Yes. Yes. That's all right. Let him take. We are paying Hayagrīva also. What can be done?
Haṁsadūta: And another thing I wanted to ask you about, Prabhupāda, is that Maṇḍalībhadra, he wants to make your literature perfect, which is natural because we want to make the nicest presentation. But the devotees are saying that the translation... For instance, this Easy Journey to Other Planets, has been in the process so long, it has so many times been reworked, that it's no longer palatable to them. They don't even read it. They'd rather have the English version. So I know that Your Divine Grace has said you have full faith in his ability to do the work...
Prabhupāda: No, no. If you... you find out somebody else. He can also do.
Haṁsadūta: Because my opinion is that he's becoming overworked, it's becoming strained, so much so that we're not even able to bring it to the printer because he insists on making every time more and more corrections.
Prabhupāda: (chuckles) It never comes to perfection.
Haṁsadūta: It never comes to perfection. It can, you know. For instance, this little booklet, Easy Journey to Other Planets, one of the things that has been holding it up is because the diacritic marks, to get the diacritic marks in there perfectly... We took it to a professional composer. Of course, they're not experienced, so they didn't, at first they didn't want to do it and then... At any rate, my opinion was first let us print it without the diacritic marks, and then the second edition make it with diacritic marks. Improve it by editions rather than wait until it's completely perfect before we put it on the market because...
Prabhupāda: But if once it is made perfect, then it will be easier to print more and more.
Haṁsadūta: That's true, but see, what has happened is the entire sum has been lost...
Prabhupāda: He could not finish any one?
Haṁsadūta: No, not even the magazine was finished. The magazine before this recent one, I put it together myself from old magazines.
Prabhupāda: There are so many German students. They cannot do?
Haṁsadūta: They can do, but the thing is that you have said that he is the chief and unless it goes through him, it can't be printed.
Prabhupāda: No. No, no. No, no. No, no.
Haṁsadūta: Everything is bottle-necked around him.
Prabhupāda: Now, the important subject, he may do slowly, but...
Haṁsadūta: Like Bhagavad-gītā or Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Others may be done by others. You print it. Even there is some mistake, that doesn't matter.
Haṁsadūta: Yes. And another thing I wanted to ask Your Divine Grace is this. This Bhagavad-gītā, I would like to print it as it becomes finished chapter by chapter. Otherwise it will be a long time before we have a book.
Prabhupāda: No, no, you can publish, chapter by chapter.
Haṁsadūta: This is all right?
Prabhupāda: Oh yes.
Haṁsadūta: Because these German people, they have to have books.
Prabhupāda: No, no. You give them chapter by chapter. That's all. We should use our intelligence. You give something, full. So chapter by..., introduction, chapter by chapter, like that. And others may also translate, which is not very intelligent. Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa... So do like that.
1972 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: What is mellow?
Devotees: Taste, pleasure.
Bob: Oh, O.K.
Prabhupāda: Yes, pleasure. Pleasing taste. So Vedas say, raso vai saḥ. The exact Sanskrit translation of mellow is rasa. What is that?
Devotee child (2): Can you see Kṛṣṇa?
Devotee child (2): How does He look like? (pause) Is that how you translate?
Devotee child (1): Is that how you translate books?
Prabhupāda: Oh, he's taking (indistinct)?
1973 Conversations and Morning Walks
Devotee: "Translation: Engage your mind always in thinking of Me. Offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you'll come to Me."
Prabhupāda: So this is the process. Says, "Always think of Me." (speaks Hindi to guest for some minutes) This is the translation. Read the purport. Purport.
Guest (2) Indian man: Of course we do not have good translation in Sindi language as your translation.
Guest (1): He's nice devotee. (Hindi) nice dedication (indistinct).
Devotee: Actually, they have arranged by giving a letter, that we can stay in the country. They simply say, "We do not object," and then the immigration gives us a good visa. They especially like your books.
Prabhupāda: Oh, thank you. You have read some of my books?
Guest (2): Yes.
Prabhupāda: They are not my books. I am simply translating. They are written by Vyāsadeva, the original Vedic scholar.
Guest 2: Excuse me, my English is very poor. I would like Mr. Kunti to translate, Indonesian. (Indonesian)
Devotee: He would like to have him translate English to Indonesian.
Guest (2): He is the director of the (indistinct) of Hindu and Buddhist religion, from Department of Religious Affairs. His duty is to maintain and look after the development of (indistinct) expecting that all people of Indonesia that has to follow any kind of religions (indistinct) Christians, because we have also in charge for the Christianity, we have also in charge for the Muslim, or Islam, and we have also in charge for the Catholic and we have also in charge for other...
Prabhupāda: Very good idea. This is very nice.
Guest (2): So because we have so many in the prosecuting of their religions, there might be, the people between many religions (indistinct). So the government have to lead the people how (indistinct), to supply also, in the (indistinct) of their materials for readings, and facilities for their, prosecuting their religions. This is the actual (indistinct) department.
Prabhupāda: So this is the idea which I was explaining that...
Guest (2): (Indonesian) As a matter of fact, also that we are looking from the Hindu and Buddhist religions' point of view, how to get (indistinct) this department, especially because we are feeling of lacking of materials because no of our books actually here, written in ancient Indonesian language, which are translated from Sanskrit (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: Ancient English...?
Guest (2): Ancient Indonesian language.
Guest (2): And now actually, most of the Sanskrit texts also, are not available anymore. Of course we have some few can be available from (indistinct) and that is why actually, to develop this new religions, as well as the Buddhist religion, which have a lack of material for reading. Now the government also tried to rewrite into Indonesian bhāṣā, and as one of the aspects, for example, that Bhagavad-gītā has been translated into Indonesian.
Prabhupāda: Bhagavad-gītā is spoken in the battlefield, and how he can prove nonviolence from Bhagavad-gītā? Then he has to drag some interpretation out of his own way. But because he's a big leader the people are misled. Similarly, all... at present moment in India the Bhagavad-gītā has becoming a plaything that anyone can interpret in his own way and do all nonsense. But I'll request you, because you are so much interested, and you have already approved Bhagavad-gītā, you have translated. Amongst the leading personalities, you try to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is and spread it, it will have immediate effect. That is already experimented. Just like in western countries, before me, hundreds and thousands, swamis and yogis went there. But not a single person could understand what is Bhagavad-gītā, and what is Kṛṣṇa. Now hundreds and thousands of these boys in Europe, America, Canada, Africa, everywhere, Australia, everywhere, they are now become devotees... So they're intelligent persons, they're coming from rich family. Why they have taken seriously? Because they have understood Bhagavad-gītā nicely.
Prabhupāda: So Mr. Director he has read Bhagavad-gītā?
Guest (2): Yes. He has read it.
Prabhupāda: Very good.
Guest (2): And I think many Indonesian people, actually have read this Bhagavad-gītā because we have translated that Bhagavad-gītā in 1966.
Prabhupāda: I see. Very nice. So have you read our, this Bhagavad-gītā As It Is?
Guest (2): Yes.
Prabhupāda: Ahaṁ brahmāsmi is the Vedic version, that is all right. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi means, "I am spirit. I am not this body." So 'ham means, "I am the same quality as God." But they are misinterpretation: So 'ham means, "I am God." This is nonsense. This is going on.
Guest (2): That's misleading.
Prabhupāda: Misleading. People have become nonsense. (conversation between the two Indonesian guests) You have published Bhagavad-gītā with commentary or simple translation?
Guest (2): With commentaries.
Prabhupāda: So whose commentary you have followed?
Guest (2): We try to take from various books and we try, at first we have to understand clearly their positions, then we put them in a simple way that everybody can understand it clearly. Only the part that's very difficult to (indistinct).
Prabhupāda: Now here, Bhagavad-gītā, in the Fourth Chapter it is said, imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam (BG 4.1). You can open to the Fourth Chapter.
Prabhupāda: Oh yes. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is practically preaching the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā as it is. And it is coming fruitful. It is coming very fruitful.
(conversation in Indonesian between guests)
Prabhupāda: Please translate.
Guest (2): He said, as a matter of fact, this Hindu religion in Indonesia, actually, most of them practicing Bhagavad-gītā. So Bhagavad-gītā has been a part of their life, but as a matter of fact, because in practicing this Bhagavad-gītā, not all (indistinct) has been practiced but only part by part which is very necessary for the adjustment with the condition in Indonesia. Some of them, of course, they can memorizing the verses for their benefit in their practices. (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: So we are always prepared to help you, anytime you require our help. (indistinct) ...try, we shall very much try to explain Bhagavad-gītā as it is.
Devotee: Chapter Sixteen, verse twenty-three. Yaḥ śāstra vidhim utsṛjya vartate kāma-kārataḥ, na sa siddhim avāpnoti na sukhaṁ na parāṁ gatim (BG 16.23).
Prabhupāda: Translation. Translation, read.
Devotee: "He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims, attains neither perfection nor happiness nor the supreme destination."
Prabhupāda: In the same Sixteenth Chapter, you will find, this verse, tasmād. (indistinct)
Devotee: It says t-a-s-m-ā-c, tasmāc...
Prabhupāda: It is really tasmād, it has become c, and by sandhi. Tasmāc-chāstra.
Devotee: Word-by-word it is tasmād.
Devotee: But together (indistinct).
Prabhupāda: (indistinct) ...the real word is tasmād. (indistinct) translation?
Devotee: "Translation: One should understand what is duty and what is not duty by the regulations of the scriptures. Knowing such rules and regulations one should act so that he may gradually be elevated."
Devotee: This Bhagavad-gītā translated into Indonesian. (pause)
Prabhupāda: So will you explain me in English some of the Fourth, Fourth Chapter.
Scholar: This what you got in it? What you got? Fourth Chapter.
Prabhupāda: What is the subject matter?
Scholar: About yoga has been taught by Vivasvān, and Vivasvān taught to Manu, and Manu taught to Ikṣvāku.
Prabhupāda: So only the translation is there?
Scholar: Yes. Translation and some explanations.
Prabhupāda: What is that explanation?
Scholar: He said that Vivasvān is the personification of Sūrya, the sun-god. He was the first man created by Brahmā and he learns yoga from (indistinct) himself. And then we..., Vivasvān taught yoga to Manu, who is the creator of the law, and of institutions. Just explaining only the, who is Ikṣvāku, who is Vivasvān, and so on. There's no philosophical explanation. Just word by word explanations. Because of course if you compare...
Prabhupāda: But er... He said that indirectly, in the Bhagavad-gītā, the original verse can you read? Original verse?
Scholar: Śrī Bhagavān uvāca: imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam (BG 4.1).
Prabhupāda: Yes. This Bhagavān uvāca.
Prabhupāda: The Personality of Godhead said.
Prabhupāda: Now, "I spoke this." He says, imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham. So Kṛṣṇa says, Bhagavān says that "I spoke". But the translation is that the Brahmā spoke.
Scholar: No. Śrī Bhagavān spoke... Śrī Bhagavān spoke that...
Prabhupāda: Śrī Bhagavān spoke. But you told me Brahmā.
Scholar: No. Śrī Bhagavān spoke, telling people, telling Arjuna that yoga has been taught by God to Vivasvān.
Prabhupāda: God, God, "By Me." He said that "I taught."
Prabhupāda: But where the translation that God said Brahmā... Bhagavān said that this was spoken by Brahmā.
Scholar: By him, no, explanations...
Prabhupāda: No, not explanations. First in the translations.
Scholar: In the translations. Mentions "I", "I," mentioned.
Prabhupāda: That is all right.
Scholar: Yes. It's mentioned there.
Prabhupāda: Bhagavān, that Bhagavān said that "I spoke." Is that?
Scholar: Bhagavān said that yoga has been taught by Me to Vivasvān.
Prabhupāda: That's nice.
Scholar: Yes. And then Vivasvān taught it to Manu and so on.
Prabhupāda: That's all right.
Prabhupāda: This is nice translation.
Scholar: ...that Vivasvān is the personification of Sūrya and he is the first man...
Prabhupāda: What do you mean by personification?
Scholar: As the embodiment of Sūrya. So Sūrya is supposed to be...
Prabhupāda: No. He says that "I spoke to Sūrya, Vivasvān." Vivasvān.
Scholar: Vivasvān. Yes.
Prabhupāda: So Vivasvān is a person.
Prabhupāda: Vivasvān is a person, not the personification. What is the translation, explanation given?
Scholar: Vivasvān, in Indonesian is, Vivasvān (Indonesian) is supposed to be...
Prabhupāda: Now what he has translated.
Devotee: "The Blessed Lord said, 'I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun god, Vivasvān. Vivasvān instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu, in turn, instructed it to Ikṣvāku.' "
Devotee: Sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ (BG 8.17).
Prabhupāda: Now what is the translation?
Devotee: "By human calculations..."
Prabhupāda: No, no, I want to know this (indistinct).
Scholar: He who knows that the day of Brahmā is thousand yuga and that the night of Brahmā is also 5,000 yugas is he who knows the truth of day and night.
Prabhupāda: Now, what is the explanation?
Scholar: The explanation is that, according to the traditions that Brahmā, the day or the night of Brahmā's is one thousand yuga.
Prabhupāda: What is that yuga?
Scholar: Dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tattva na muhyati (BG 2.13).
Scholar: "After using this body, from childhood to youth and to old age and afterwards changes into another body. He who is wise, will not be, will not be disturbed."
Prabhupāda: Now, here is the indication that after death we have to accept another body. Is it not?
(Prabhupāda plays harmonium, no singing)
Prabhupāda: ...for propagating our mission because the state is inclined to take the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā. They have found that this is the wisest (indistinct). Take advantage of this opportunity and (indistinct) in schools, colleges, for teaching (indistinct). They have already translated Bhagavad-gītā, they have got very good results...
Devotee (1): In this language there are three translations.
Devotee (1): Translations. Three editions by different authors in Indonesian language. The most recent, I will try to contact the author today, the man who translated it, I'll try to find him.
Prabhupāda: But unless one is realized soul how he can...
Devotee (1): No. It is impersonal interpretations.
Devotee (2): So we must encourage them to translate Prabhupāda's Bhagavad-gītā, because they're inclined. They like... They want subject matters. So why not translate Prabhupāda's books and let the government distribute them and introduce them.
Devotee (1): Only they several times suggest to me that we donate the books because they don't have money to print their own books.
Devotee (1): They have not facilities, money, to actually print and publish and distribute. That is why they are so attracted to us because we have the books and they know we have the power to print and distribute. But they have no money, no power to do it.
Prabhupāda: No. If they want, we can do that.
Devotee (2): Tell them to translate and we can publish it.
Prabhupāda: (indistinct) If the government sponsor, then we can invest money and (indistinct).
Devotee (1): Yes.
Prabhupāda: We can print.
Devotee (2): Dai Nippon, we have credit also.
Prabhupāda: We can do anywhere. That is the difference. As far as the government must encourage it as soon as we translate and distribute, they should give us full facility.
Prabhupāda: (indistinct) Why he's not married man?
Devotee (1): Another wife, second. He says it was a grave mistake because if we had come sooner (indistinct) So we're trying to engage him. Also this girl which you're going to initiate, she can speak a fair amount of Indonesian already, and she can help translation work (indistinct). That girl has a sister who also chants sixteen rounds and follows the rules. Though sometimes in her past she failed and stopped and she is not as steady. So I didn't recommend. I don't know...
Devotee (1): (indistinct) The translation we have done so far, some, it seems to me, not right. Although I can't read it, I've tried so many times to print it, but I can never get it printed. And it seems that if it was a good translation...
Prabhupāda: Why not? (indistinct).
Paramahaṁsa: Generally there are now something like 451 different translations. Just like the Gītā. They interpret in so many ways.
Prabhupāda: No Gītā, or... Many translations, but the original Gītā is perfect.
Prabhupāda: Have you translated or not?
Svarūpa Dāmodara: Inconceivable?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Inconceivable or mystic.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: Mystic power.
Devotee: Do you translate now?
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Devotee: You will translate now?
Prabhupāda: Translation? Yes. Everything is ready. Who has taken that Caitanya-caritāmṛta?
Śrutakīrti: Must have been Pradyumna.
Prabhupāda: He has not come back? Why he hasn't?
Śrutakīrti: Yes, he's returned with his suitcase. And yours is at the airport. They would not give it to him because it was in my name. So they gave a form. I have to fill out the form and then anyone can pick it up.
Guest (3): So so many stories he had memorized, and he started writing and asking many questions, Prabhupāda, so I'm not... But he has got the talent that if he'll get the right guidance and all this, he can easily translate Mahābhārata, many stories in the book shape, in different articles, which can very much help in our movement.
Guest (3): And for six weeks, seven weeks, his holidays he can remain.
Prabhupāda: Yes, you remain here.
Prabhupāda: He is first-class yogi who is always concentrating his mind on Kṛṣṇa.
Student (1): Why Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Only on Kṛṣṇa. That is... Yogīnām api sarveśām (BG 6.47). You read the translation.
Pradyumna: "And of all yogis, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all."
Prabhupāda: He is first-class yogi who is always concentrating his mind on Kṛṣṇa.
Student (1): Why Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Only on Kṛṣṇa. That is... Yogīnām api sarveśām (BG 6.47). You read the translation.
Pradyumna: "And of all yogis, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all."
- paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo
- 'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ
- yaḥ sa sarveṣu bhūteṣu
- naśyatsu na vinaśyati
- (BG 8.20)
Śrutakīrti: "Yet there is another nature which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all in this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is."
- na jāyate mriyate vā kadācin
- nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
- ajo nityaḥ śāśvato 'yaṁ purāṇo
- na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre
- (BG 2.20)
Prabhupāda: Yes. Now read the meaning, translation.
Pradyumna: "For the soul there is never birth nor death..."
Prabhupāda: This, this is the nature of the soul.
Pradyumna: It says,
- kāmaṁ vavarṣa parjanyaḥ
- sarva-kāma-dughā mahī
- siṣicuḥ sma vrajān gāvaḥ
- payasodhasvatīr mudā
- (SB 1.10.4)
Pradyumna: "Translation. During the reign of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, the clouds showered all the water that people needed, and the earth produced all the necessities of man in profusion. Due to its fatty milk bag and cheerful attitude, the cow used to moisten the grazing ground with milk."
Devotee: This is First Canto, Part One of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Śyāmasundara: With commentaries, Sanskrit...
Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes, this is the original text and the translation. Yes.
Śyāmasundara: Yes. This is Śrīla...
Dr. Arnold Toynbee: I have some small editions up here.
Prabhupāda: But this is elaborate. (pause)
Prabhupāda: Now, dharma means occupation. Dharma is not translated as religion.
Reporter: No, no.
Prabhupāda: This is wrong translation. Dharma means occupation.
Prabhupāda: Activity, occupation.
Prabhupāda: Because your son has come here, you may not be happier. But he happier.
Mother: Oh, you're saying this. I'm not saying this. I'm very disappointed that he is not continuing with education. I'm not sorry that... I'm happy for his happiness, wherever he is.
Prabhupāda: But what is the... What is the purpose of education?
Mother: You are a cultured man. You're educated.
Mother: Did you not learn...? Who gave you the talent to translate your Vedic scriptures?
Mother: Who gave you the talent, father?
Prabhupāda: No, I'm asking that what is the best part of education? So far my school, college education is concerned, that is not being used here.
Prabhupāda: My point is that this simple, this education for eating, sleeping, mating and defending, this sort of education will not satisfy.
Mother: Well, you're educated, you see.
Prabhupāda: No, I am educated.
Mother: Yes, but how many of these are?
Prabhupāda: But I am not educated only on this platform, eating, sleeping and sex life and defense. I am educated in a different platform.
Mother: But you, aren't you translating your books still?
Prabhupāda: Yes, that's all right.
Mother: Isn't that a great joy, a great joy to you?
Prabhupāda: That's... For translating of books it does not require... Of course, it requires when the purport of the translation is given. Otherwise,... Real thing is culture. That education is culture. Simply money-making education for maintaining this body, that education will not satisfy any more. Just like I told you, that despite all arrangements of education, why the young men are turning to be hippies? That is my question.
Mother: Oh, but not your followers. Your followers are not being hippies, people who follow you. Therefore you've got the people who you could help to become cultured like you.
Mother: Father, I understand that you have translated ten books.
Prabhupāda: Now again. Again the same question.
Mother: Is it not...?
Prabhupāda: I say that there must be divisions. We are working on certain division.
Mother: Well, tell me about the books you have translated. Are there some more to translate?
Mother: Well, one day you will die. Now who will translate them then? Continue the translating?
Prabhupāda: There are many. There are many. They are being trained up. There are many.
Mother: Ah, yes. So people are being trained. Ah. This is what I'm asking you.
Prabhupāda: We are teaching Sanskrit, we are teaching English. Especially. Especially we are giving training to our boys to learn simply English and Sanskrit. Then they will be help. By learning Sanskrit, they will be able to read...
Mother: Latin? And...? What...?
Prabhupāda: There is no need of... One language sufficient. English language, practical...
Mother: Ah, but then that is one-sided then, isn't it?
Revatīnandana: Most of us don't even study Sanskrit very much.
Prabhupāda: No. Just like English book. We are translating in German, translating in France, in Spanish...
Mother: But there's a lot of Latin that needs translating too. I mean, you must, you must, you must have a full understanding of everything if you're going to translate.
Prabhupāda: Yes. It will be better. If you also join, then we'll have full understanding. (mother laughs)
Prabhupāda: We are giving every word, meaning. The book... Have you got any book? Bring it. You can see. Each and every word of Sanskrit we are giving meaning. Our mode of presentation is first of all we put the original Sanskrit language in devanāgarī character. Then we give English, Roman transliteration, pronouncing the same word by diacritic mark. Then each word is translated into English. Then we give translation, the whole. And then we give the purport. This is our way. So we are giving meaning of each and every word means we have got considerable knowledge of that word. Otherwise how we can give? Yes.
Jesuit Priest: I was just thinking how difficult it is. I read Latin pretty well. And Greek. And I can see the meaning in the original, in the Greek when it was translated from the Aramaic. Now in your translating you can get a phrase, and if you know the language, you know exactly what it conveys.
Jesuit Priest: Put it into English and somehow, some of the meaning has come...
Prabhupāda: Then that exact...
Jesuit Priest: It's like the French. How do you say in..., how do you translate "au revoir"?
Revatīnandana: He's asking you how to translate a French word, "au revoir."
Jesuit Priest: How do you translate into English?
Prabhupāda: No, no. I'm not translating. The person who knows French language, he translates from our English.
Jesuit Priest: Yes. No, well, I'm only trying to... A very simple question. It's not a question of trying to try anybody. I happened to say or give an example of what I mean. How'd you say in English, "au revoir."
Prabhupāda: Just... Just the... You have seen the... Just show him how it is done. Yes, you can do it.
Revatīnandana: That's all right. Mahādeva, you do it.
Prabhupāda: You see the original Sanskrit.
Mahādeva: Here's the text, here's the original Sanskrit. And we have a Roman transliteration, and then individually, the word meanings.
Jesuit Priest: Oh, I see. I've got it, yes.
Mahādeva: And then a full translation.
Jesuit Priest: Translation. Yes. They're marvelous. Yes. Yes.
Revatīnandana: Actually, most of the Sanskrit, much of that work is done by one of Prabhupāda's disciples now. He handles much of the Sanskrit.
Prabhupāda: Yes, they are being trained.
Revatīnandana: It's a mechanical process, after all. But the translation, that requires not only knowledge of the language, it requires spiritual realization.
Revatīnandana: And the spiritual translation is done by Prabhupāda. Not just from knowledge of Sanskrit, but from spiritually realized knowledge. That is the qualification to put the meaning into any language. You have to have realized the message.
Jesuit Priest: Oh, I agree. Certainly our, the great, in the western church, all the translations of the Gospels and the Old and New Testament is done by, for the most part, by men who were saints, and, in other words, it wasn't merely their knowledge of the language, but their incredible closeness to God, in everyone of them, Garems(?) and Augustine and all the great men...
Revatīnandana: The most recent translation accepted by the Church of England, in England, was done by Oxford scholars. Saintly men? I know some of them. I don't think they're actually saintly men.
Jesuit Priest: Well, I wouldn't know anything about that.
Revatīnandana: Well, it's the modern... It's accepted by the Church of England and most other Protestant churches in England. It's the new English Bible.
Jesuit Priest: Yes.
Revatīnandana: And it's recommended by all these churches for their followers to read. And it's translated by scholars, Oxford scholars.
Jesuit Priest: Yes. I see. I take your point, that you can have a translation which is purely academic and a translation which is not merely academic, but has a, sort of a spiritual experience behind it.
Jesuit Priest: In fact, I can say, by... I'm a Catholic priest, and by and large, I think our men, who are to, doing the translations are pretty, like, good chaps anyhow.
Revatīnandana: Hmh. So if, if the translators and the knowledge are adequate, then why is it, as Mrs. Christie just pointed out that so many young people are interested instead in false religious experience of LSD?
Jesuit Priest: Well, I wouldn't know. Because, I would say, because there's some kind of inadequacy in their lives. There's something missing, and that, the thing which is missing, is what we in the Catholic Church call the life of grace, the supernatural. Somehow, something's gone wrong somewhere. And so, they, lots of the young people today...
Prabhupāda: That, that I was trying to explain, that nobody can understand God and God's conception, being sinful.
Mother: You've helped them tremendously, and I can see this, but I am so sad that you can't help them to further their education. That's all my, my problem is...
Mahādeva: Prabhupāda was making the point that the purpose of education is to know God.
Mother: Yes, I know. I know. Yes, he has, and I've seen that point.
Prabhupāda: Don't you think this is education?
Prabhupāda: This translator work?
Prabhupāda: If we are teaching our boys...
Mother: But you know what I me...
Prabhupāda: ...Sanskrit and English to translate the original Vedic lit..., is it not education?
Mother: Yes, I agree with you. That is education. But I mean a fuller education.
Prabhupāda: You are trying to induce our students to become technologists, medical men. You want that.
Prabhupāda: Oh, you have been in our temple?
Dr. Inger: Many times, yes. And I had followed the booklets that came, Back to Godhead, also read. I didn't get, I didn't have a copy of the Bhāgavatam, but I read your translations...
Prabhupāda: You are Indian?
Prabhupāda: The Paramātmā... Kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi. He's also kṣetrajña. He's also in the body. So here He does His work. Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ. Yes. Read the translation.
Haṁsadūta: "Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramātmā, Supersoul, in everyone's heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who relishes His messages which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted."
Yogeśvara: He says we can show you our books. These are some of the publications of our society.
Prabhupāda: Set all the books. Let him read the Sanskrit portion.
Guru-gaurāṅga: This is Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā.
Professor: That's the translation of...
Prabhupāda: Yes. Each word. Just see how we have translated. You are Sanskrit scholar.
Professor: This is the first volume. Are you preparing more of them?
Prabhupāda: Yes, we are preparing sixty.
Professor: Oh, I see.
Prabhupāda: Sixty volumes.
Professor: Oh, that's wonderful.
Prabhupāda: Sixty volumes.
Professor: That's a good thing. You know that the first translation of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in any European language was in French in the beginning of the Nineteenth Century by a French scholar called Brenelouf. Yes, it was wonderful translation. But just a plain translation, without commentary. I am sure that your book is more valuable...
Prabhupāda: So you can see my mode of translation.
Professor: Yes, because...
Prabhupāda: You can see. You open anywhere. Yes.
Professor: Yes, and you have also a commentary.
Prabhupāda: Commentary, yes.
Professor: ...of your own, which is most formidable.
Prabhupāda: Not my own,...
Prabhupāda: ...but through the disciplic succession. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). In that way.
Professor: From Caitanya.
Prabhupāda: From Śrī Kṛṣṇa. You can open the Fourth, Fourth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā.
Prabhupāda: So just see how we have translated. You are Sanskrit scholar.
Professor: You know the Kali-santaraṇa Upaniṣad?
Prabhupāda: Kali-santaraṇa Upaniṣad. Yes.
Professor: Yes, I have made a translation of it into French. It's under print now at the present.
Prabhupāda: Kali-santaraṇa Upaniṣad? That is Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.
Professor: Yeah, that the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. That's the...
Yogeśvara: You mentioned that to Professor Stahl in your correspondences.
Yogeśvara: You mentioned that in the Kali-santaraṇa Upaniṣad the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is specifically recommended to counteract the contamination.
Prabhupāda: Now it is translated by you.
Yogeśvara: In French?
Professor: In French, yes. I'll send you a copy when, when it's out of the press. It is not a fact at present. Well, I thank you very much for being kind enough...
Yogeśvara: If you have questions, you shouldn't feel shy. You can ask whatever you want.
Prabhupāda: Some of our students are trying to learn Sanskrit. You can help them.
Professor: Well, he knows very well Sanskrit. He pronounce it very well.
Prabhupāda: Yes. He has learned out of his own accord, without taking help from anybody.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Whatever little help I give, that's all.
Professor: He knows how to chant the Sanskrit...
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Prabhupāda: Ah, yes.
Professor: So probably this comes from you.
Yogeśvara: But here in Paris we are also translating these books now into French.
Professor: Into French?
Professor: Many people are able to read it in English.
Yogeśvara: Oh, but for those who cannot read the English, there's necessity in French.
Professor: Quite. Oh, yes.
Yogeśvara: For example, Bhagavad-gītā, we're preparing now in French.
Professor: Oh? Yes.
Prabhupāda: Give him some prasādam.
Yogeśvara: In France, I believe, the only version of Bhagavad-gītā that people know is Aurobindo's translation.
Professor: No, there are many others.
Professor: There are many others.
Professor: No, no. In French.
Prabhupāda: In French.
Professor: Bhagavad-gītā? Yes. I think translated I think something like ten or twelve times.
Yogeśvara: Ten or twelve times in French?
Professor: Oh, yes.
Yogeśvara: He says there are ten or twelve different French translations of the Gītā.
Prabhupāda: In English also there are...
Professor: Oh, English, more than that.
Prabhupāda: And in America, our people go to saṅkīrtana. Many gentlemen comes down, gets down from the car, inquires, "You have got Bhaktivedanta's Bhagavad-gītā As It Is?" They purchase like that. Yes. At least, they have become inquisitive on account of the word "As It Is."
Prabhupāda: "As It Is."
Professor: Oh, As It Is, yes.
Yogeśvara: Because of the fact that our title is "Bhagavad-gītā As It Is."
Professor: "As It Is."
Yogeśvara: "As It Is." Yes.
Prabhupāda: Because they have read different interpretations. Now they want to read as it is.
Professor: That's fine. That is fine.
Prabhupāda: What, what is your opinion about interpretation?
Professor: Well, it's much better to have a commentary separated, not an interpretation given mixed with the translation. It is not to be...
Prabhupāda: It is not good. No. Yes. We cite them...
Professor: It has to be different.
Prabhupāda: No, if you have got your own opinion, you can write your own book. But you cannot interpret on the Bhagavad-gītā.
Prabhupāda: Show all the books. Bring. Bring him. Yes.
Yogeśvara: These are nice paintings as well, you'll find in here. Yes, all done by the devotees. Some prasādam. This Kṛṣṇa Book is a summary study of the Tenth Canto, Bhāgavatam, the intimate pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Professor: And it is just two volumes or...?
Yogeśvara: Yes, two volumes.
Prabhupāda: Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The other book is Nectar of Devotion. It is translation from Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu of Rūpa Gosvāmī.
Professor: This is also a translation of it or...?
Professor: It's about that, or is it a translation.
Prabhupāda: It is summary study.
Professor: Summary study, yeah. Well, the books are well-printed and very well... I like books like this.
Prabhupāda: This is summary study of Caitanya-caritāmṛta.
Prabhupāda: He is married. So we have got so many married couples.
Professor: Your wife is here?
Professor: In the same society?
Professor: And in the same...
Prabhupāda: She also translates.
Yogeśvara: My wife translates, and I design the book.
Professor: So do you think it is possible, for instance, to have the husband being involved in this movement and not his wife?
Prabhupāda: No, wife also involved. Everyone is involved. The child is also involved.
David Lawrence: One day it's in, and the next day it's out. And while it's in, everybody claps and applauds. One or two other points, perhaps I can raise one or two of them. Some of them are longer in fact. An interesting thing that came out of my study of the Christian, or certainly the Jewish tradition, and I wondered, really, on your views on this, whether it relates at all to the Indian one. It seems when you get to the really high spot of Jewish religion, which many people consider the prophets of Judah...,
Prabhupāda: What is their high spot?
David Lawrence: Well, exactly,(laughs) that is, in inverted commas.
Prabhupāda: They are rotting in the lowest spot, still. What is their high spot?
David Lawrence: Let's think, somebody like, perhaps Isaiaḥ or somebody like this who was a universalist and uh...
Prabhupāda: Somebody, somebody says so many things...
David Lawrence: Yes, that's right. Oh yes, I mean if you take them, they all differ in their views. But one of the things, one of the themes that comes through is the idea that...
Prabhupāda: Therefore the gentleman the other day was asking, "How is that you say electricity?" Oh you were not present that time? Because we have translated there is no need of sun, there is no need of moon, there is no need of electricity in the spiritual world. So when he heard the word electricity, he became astonished.
Prabhupāda: The, the Bhāgavatam, there is nothing... well, there are some figurative use. Just like we speak the story of Aesop's fables. That is for instruction. Just like jackal is talking with a lion. You see? So, there are stories like that.
David Lawrence: Yes, there are figurative stories.
David Lawrence: I mean, one or two of the stories there's a reference to Kṛṣṇa and the unmarried gopīs, saying that He treated them like dolls yet they were well pleased with Him. Now, would it be right to say that the main point of that story, rather than...
David Lawrence: Yes, it says He treated them rather like dolls. It's your own translation on that one. But they were well pleased with Him. Is the point of the story...
Prabhupāda: Dolls, dolls means just like doll-player, they make the dolls dance. It is like that.
David Lawrence: Yes, as He wishes.
Prabhupāda: Puppets, yes, puppets.
David Lawrence: Yes. I mean is that to be taken again literally or is there, as you say, a figurative meaning there in terms of faith?
Prabhupāda: No, that is literally. Because gopīs were just dancing according to Kṛṣṇa's desire. They are so devotees that whatever Kṛṣṇa desires, they are prepared to do.
Prabhupāda: Yes. We are... This is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. There are sixty volumes, books like this.
Professor: Sixty volumes like this?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Sixty volumes. And you can see how we are doing Sanskrit.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Transliteration and word meaning, then translation, then purport.
Professor: Yes, I've studied the text myself.
Professor: I've studied the text myself.
Prabhupāda: I see. You have studied? How do you like it?
Professor: Yes, I like it very much.
Prabhupāda: Thank you.
Professor: You belong to the Caitanya...?
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. We have translated Caitanya-caritāmṛta.
Prabhupāda: Yes. This is one chapter, only, sample.
Professor: In the Bengali script. That's good.
Prabhupāda: Yes, in... Caitanya-caritāmṛta is in Bengali.
Professor: I've read also, I've read parts of that also.
Prabhupāda: Caitanya... Original Bengali?
Prabhupāda: So you know Bengali?
Prabhupāda: Oh, thank you.
Prabhupāda: Yes. You see how we have translated. I have given transliteration and word to word meaning. You are scholar, you can understand. So we want to introduce this literature in the Universities.
Professor: Hm, Hm, yes...
Prabhupāda: Everything, you can see.
Professor: Have you translated also the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu?
Prabhupāda: Oh yes.
Professor: All of it...? Or...
Prabhupāda: Yes, all of it. Nectar of Devotion.
Professor: ...is translating this Ṣaṭ-sandarbha. It is very voluminous.
Prabhupāda: Not yet.
Professor: No, no sense in this...
Prabhupāda: Yes. Jīva Gosvāmī.
Professor: Yes, also his books are very long.
Prabhupāda: I, I, I am doing alone.
Professor: Also Gopāla-campū.
Prabhupāda: Gopāla-campū, yes, not yet done.
Professor: No. That's what I have.
Professor: I've read part of that.
Prabhupāda: Oh. I see.
Professor: Also in Tamil. I'm partic... I'm doing also comparative studies between those in the Sanskrit and Tamil. Do you know Tamil?
Professor: No. They also have a big collection.
Prabhupāda: I don't know anything. (laughter)
Professor: What? What? (pause) Do you have this, the Tenth Canto of the Bhāgavatam?
Prabhupāda: Oh yes.
Professor: Which? Here. Or...?
Pradyumna: That's Kṛṣṇa Book.
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa Book. (break)
Professor: ...take you to translate?
Prabhupāda: I am doing in my dictaphone daily one tape. One tape, about how many pages?
Pradyumna: Ten to twelve pages.
Prabhupāda: And he's editing. After typing, he edits, and then it is gone to the press. In this way, our work is going on.
Professor: Do you have the original here of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa?
Prabhupāda: Oh yes.
Professor: Could I see it? Is it any...?
Prabhupāda: Yes. This is only Fifth Canto. We have got... You can bring that book, black bound.
Pradyumna: Here's others.
Pradyumna: Third Canto also.
Prabhupāda: (break) No. (On) purpose we have not translated because they are not meant for ordinary reading. They are meant for Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Because there is dealings of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, people will misunderstand.
Professor: Yes, but it's very great poems. It's very beautiful, musical.
Prabhupāda: And we, we have translated pralaya-payodhi-jale **. That is Daśāvatāra-stotra of Jayadeva Gosvāmī. We have translated Upadeśāmṛta of Rūpa Gosvāmī which is useful for general public. (break)
- tāṅra doṣa nāhi, teṅho ājñā-kārī dāsa
- āra yei śune tāra haya sarva-nāśa
Prabhupāda: ...haya sarva-nāśa. Read the English translation.
Pradyumna: "Śaṅkarācārya, who is an incarnation of Lord Śiva, is faultless because he is servant carrying out the orders of the Lord, but those who follow his Māyāvādī philosophy are doomed. They will lose all their advancement in spiritual knowledge."
- ajo 'pi sann avyayātmā
- bhūtānām īśvaro 'pi san
- prakṛtiṁ svām adhiṣṭhāya
- sambhavāmy ātma-māyayā
- (BG 4.6)
Prabhupāda: That's all. So this Bhagavad-gītā, at least, should be introduced in all colleges. And Professor Dimock has recommended. Just...
Professor: Well, it is quite widely read, the Bhagavad-gītā.
Professor: The Bhagavad-gītā is quite widely read.
Pradyumna: This is an introduction by Professor Dimock.
Professor: Yes, I've seen it. I read it. But it is quite widely read, you know. I mean the translations...
Prabhupāda: But one thing is that other Bhagavad-gītās, they have interpreted in their own (indistinct) not as it is. That is the difference. Just like you, you must have read Bhagavad-gītā by Radhakrishnan.
Professor: No, but I don't think Radhakrishnan's commentaries are...
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, yes. Just see. It is there.
Professor: They are very incorrect often, and uh...
Prabhupāda: He has done this. You can see from...
Professor: Yes, but there's a translation by Franklin Edgarton (?) of the Bhagavad-gītā.
Prabhupāda: Translation is all right, but his commentation is wrong. Translation is all right. I know. That's very nice. It is done by some Englishman. Eh?
Professor: Well, that's one. Yes. And also there is Edgarton (?). He was an American Sanskrit scholar.
Prabhupāda: No, translation, there is, there is good translation. But he comments like that. Just like Sarvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya. When Caitanya Mahāprabhu was asked that "You are hearing; You do not speak anything," He said, "Yes, I am understanding the original verse of the Vedānta very clearly, but you are trying to cover the meaning. Therefore I am puzzled." This is the business of the Māyāvādīs. They'll simply puzzle. That's all.
Prabhupāda: And still, if I am correct, in Madras, they, there, there is not many Mohammedans. The Mohammedan culture could not enter...
Ambassador: That's very true.
Prabhupāda: ...into Madras, Southern India. And you'll find also in our Caitanya Caritāmṛta... Now I am translating. When Caitanya Mahāprabhu went to Southern India, practically whole Southern India became Vaiṣṇava by His preaching.
Ambassador: I've seen them in Moscow. One gentleman had a complete set. So I have glanced through them. Especially the Bhagavad...
Prabhupāda: Bhagavad-gītā As It Is?
Ambassador: ...translation, yes. And also the Bhāgavatam, also.
Prabhupāda: Bhagavad-gītā As It Is.
Ambassador: Yes, this one, yes.
Ambassador: Beautiful. Very, very elegant English also. (Reads Sanskrit verse:) Brahmaṇe darśayan rūpam avyalīka-vratādṛtaḥ. And then you, you make it easy. Actually, it's...
Prabhupāda: Transliteration also.
Ambassador: ...It's for students also.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Transliteration.
Ambassador: Yes. Transliteration and then (Sanskrit) and then...
Ambassador: Viccheda. How long will Your Divine Grace be here?
Prabhupāda: Four days?
Nalinīkaṇṭha: I was reading in one of the books you translated that you said that as more people become Kṛṣṇa conscious, the mentality of all of the people in that area, they lose their desires for material enjoyment.
Prabhupāda: No. Material enjoyment, you enjoy, but not like cats and dogs. You enjoy material life like human being. That is our proposal. Not like cats and dogs. Is it not enjoyment when you sit down in the Deity room and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and read philosophy? It is not enjoyment?
Nalinīkaṇṭha: Yes, it is very nice.
Prabhupāda: So this is human enjoyment. And to go to the brothel and drink and fight and talk all nonsense, is that enjoyment?
Prabhupāda: That is cats' and dogs' enjoyment.