White elephant

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Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead

Lord Balarāma's complexion is white, and when He was properly dressed He looked exactly like the white elephant of King Indra in the heavenly planets.
Krsna Book 65:

Upon displaying this submissive attitude, the Yamunā was forgiven, and when she came nearby, Lord Balarāma enjoyed the pleasure of swimming in her waters along with the gopīs in the same way that an elephant enjoys himself along with his many she-elephants. After a long time, when Lord Balarāma had enjoyed to His full satisfaction, He came out of the water, and immediately a goddess of fortune offered Him a nice blue garment and a valuable necklace made of gold. After bathing in the Yamunā, Lord Balarāma, dressed in blue garments and decorated with golden ornaments, looked very attractive to everyone. Lord Balarāma's complexion is white, and when He was properly dressed He looked exactly like the white elephant of King Indra in the heavenly planets. The river Yamunā still has many small branches due to being scratched by the plowshare of Lord Balarāma. And all these branches of the river Yamunā still glorify the omnipotence of Lord Balarāma.

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

A high-court judge was taking a bribe on account of maintaining a white elephant.
Lecture on SB 1.10.4 -- London, November 25, 1973:

In India sometimes, when, a hundred years ago, some students would come in England, especially London, and make a European, English wife... In old days they are doing that. So people would say that "This man is maintaining one white elephant." Because a European wife means very much expenditure. So one Mr. P. R. Das, he was high-court judge. So he was taking bribe on account of maintaining white elephant. He married one European wife. The expenditure very high. In those days for Indian it was a fashion to get a European wife. So this man married one European wife, and his expenditures was very, very heavy. So high-court judge, he was getting only four thousand rupees, and his expenditure was ten thousand rupees, and therefore he was taking bribe. He admitted. So when he was detected by the chief justice, he was dismissed from the post. But this is the position. You should not expend more than your income.

They used to say, "Oh, to maintain European wife, it is like maintaining white elephant".
Lecture on SB 6.1.26 -- Honolulu, May 26, 1976:

So ato gṛha. First of all apartment, then kṣetra. Kṣetra means agricultural land. Then some capital. Ato gṛha-kṣetra. Then as soon as they're married they, at least woman, wants some child, children. Ato gṛha-kṣetra-suta-āpta. After, if he has got very nice apartment and good condition of living, then he'll invite some friends, "Please come and see our happily living." (laughter) And one after another—bondage. One after another. Because if you're opulent, you have to show your friends. Otherwise what is your opulence? If your friends do not come and say, "Oh, you're so wonderful. (laughter) Yes. You have got such a nice wife, nice apartment. Wonderful!" Because in the Kali-yuga this is wonderful. Everything is mentioned in śāstra. Dakṣyaṁ kuṭumba-bharaṇam. If one can maintain one wife and some children, ah, he's most expert. (laughs) Forget Kṛṣṇa. Here is expert. (laughter) Daksa means expert. "Oh, he's expert. How he's maintaining." When I first came, I met one elderly lady. She had a son. So, as Indian I asked, "Oh, why don't you get your son married?" She replied, "Oh, I have no objection. If he can maintain a wife I have no objection." That means to maintain a wife is a very big job in your country. I've seen it. (laughter) Of course, when we talk we must talk freely. (laughter) That is a fact. (laughter) But formerly, in our father's age, they used to come to foreign countries and they thought it, it is a great laugh to possess one white wife. Yes, they are thinking like that. So all the students who used to come to England for higher studies, naturally he'd carry one white elephant. (laughter) They used to say—it is not my coined words—they used to say, "Oh, to maintain European wife, it is like maintaining white elephant." So anyway, you have got so many white elephants. (laughter)

Conversations and Morning Walks

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

Bring some white elephant.
Room Conversation -- October 5, 1975, Mauritius:

Prabhupāda: Hindi. (Hindi) You read it thoroughly and you explain it either in English or Hindi, as you think befitting to your friends. So we have got so many literatures in French language. We are also asking some men from Europe. That will create some impression. Yes. White elephant. (laughter) Dancing. Everyone will purchase ticket. Yes. (Hindi) Bring some white elephant. So literature is there. But one thing is that you must be placed in sadācāra, well behaved. So you have to sacrifice, especially your long hair.

Correspondence

1971 Correspondence

Letter to Karandhara -- Calcutta 17 May, 1971:

So I shall require the GBC members to inform me what is the actual benefit by such removal and keeping the press in a different building. The policy of maintaining a white elephant is not good.

Letter to Karandhara -- Bombay 8 June, 1971:

So far I know, the press is not competent to take outside work, as I know it by their past dealings. 10% per printing costs for maintenance needs, that was the arrangement, but if the maintenance costs have to be taken up by the book fund, that will be a white elephant problem.

Facts about "White elephant"
Compiled byLabangalatika + and Sahadeva +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryNovember 20, 0009 JL +
Date of last entryNovember 30, 0009 JL +
Total quotes6 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 1 +, Lec: 2 +, Conv: 1 + and Let: 2 +