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Can't people be spiritual without dressing in this fashion and dancing in the street?

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Expressions researched:
"Can't people be spiritual without dressing in this fashion and dancing in the street"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

Oh, yes, oh, yes, you can become spiritual in your this dress. Simply you have to learn what it is from the books. The dress... dress is not very important thing, but still, in the material field, this girl is dressed in a different way, you are dressed in a different way.
Interview -- March 5, 1975, New York:

Prabhupāda: What is the question? Any question? Or shall we speak?

Reporter: Swamiji, can you please? Yes, please. Can you tell us what your purpose is in coming to New York at this time?

Prabhupāda: To New York, I am coming here since 1965. I have got my temple. So I am going to London. So it is for the time being, transit stoppage. Otherwise I have got my temple here.

Female Reporter: What special message would you have for people who don't know anything about your movement and would like to know something about it?

Prabhupāda: About the movement?

Śrutakīrti: Yes, what special message for the people who don't know about us?

Prabhupāda: It is a little difficult to understand this movement, because it is spiritual movement. People practically have no information what is spirit and what is spiritual movement, but they can simply understand that the body is there. Body is the machine. And the driver of the machine is the spirit soul. So we are beginning our movement from that platform, the driver of the machine. People are very much engrossed with the machine only, but they have no information who is driving the machine. That is the difficulty.

Reporter: Swamiji, your movement has received a great deal of attention for, at least one reason, because many of your followers dress in what for the West is an odd fashion and relate to the world in what for the West is an odd fashion. Can you respond to that? Why have you asked your followers to dress in this fashion and to play drums on the streets?

Prabhupāda: This is our preaching method, some way or other to draw their attention. (laughter)

Devotees: Jaya! Haribol!

Reporter: I'm sure that you're aware that to many people in the West, in America, in New York City specifically, that your disciples seem strange because of the way they act on the streets. What about that?

Prabhupāda: Yes, they must be strange because they are spiritual. You are all material. (laughter) So, for the material persons, we are surely strange people.

Reporter: Is this manifestation the only way to be spiritual, dressing in this fashion?

Prabhupāda: No, no, you cannot compete with us. Because we don't have any illicit sex, we don't have meat-eating, we have no intoxication, we have no gambling. There's so many no's which you are unable to perform.

Reporter: Swami, that wasn't my question. My question was, is this manifestation, dressing in this fashion, playing drums and dancing in the streets, the only way to be spiritual?

Prabhupāda: No, we have got about sixty books. If you want to learn this movement through science and philosophy, we have got our books. You have not seen our books? (laughter)

Reporter: Swami, that isn't the thrust of my question. Yes, I have. The thrust of my question very simply is this: Can't people be spiritual without dressing in this fashion and dancing in the street?

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes, oh, yes, you can become spiritual in your this dress. Simply you have to learn what it is from the books. The dress... dress is not very important thing, but still, in the material field, this girl is dressed in a different way, you are dressed in a different way.

Reporter: The way we dress lets us move in all circles.

Prabhupāda;: No, the thing is, dress is not very important.

Reporter: But you have your disciples dress in this way...

Prabhupāda: But just to draw a particular... Just like the policeman, he is differently dressed. One can understand that he is policeman. Similarly, we are also differently dressed so that people may understand we are Hare Kṛṣṇa people.

Devotees: Jaya! Haribol!

MadhuGopaldas +  and Rishab +
July 14, 0011 JL +
May 22, 0012 JL +
BG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 0 +, Conv: 1 +  and Let: 0 +