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Detroit (Conversations)

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Conversations and Morning Walks

1969 Conversations and Morning Walks

Discussion with BTG Staff -- December 24, 1969, Boston:

Prabhupāda: Yes. Some assistant always must be there, training of assistant. So far your editorial is concerned, you can train. Now Puruṣottama, he can also assist you. Similarly, Gaurasundara can assist you.

Satsvarūpa: Jayadvaita is already...

Prabhupāda: Ah, Jayadvaita. So in this way you should create assistant editors also.

Hayagrīva: Then the process thus far we have, someone types off the dictaphone. Now, thus far you've been doing this?

Satsvarūpa: Yes.

Hayagrīva: Thus far Satsvarūpa...

Prabhupāda: That dictaphone can be done in Detroit. That boy Bhagavān dāsa is here. He has offered service.

Satsvarūpa: There's one thing... It seems to be easy, but it's very difficult to hear your voice.

Prabhupāda: That will require practice. He may commit some mistake in the beginning, but when he is practiced, he will do the right thing. So that you cannot avoid. You cannot change my voice.

Satsvarūpa: No. But I can hear it. I can understand it.

Kīrtanānanda: Yes, but you can't go on forever, doing typing.

Brahmānanda: We've learned, so someone else can.

Satsvarūpa: So just now you've sent a Kṛṣṇa tape. Should I, rather than do that, give it to Bhagavān?

Prabhupāda: No. First of all test him, who will do that. Test him here, whether he can understand.

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation -- July 5, 1972, London:

Sumati Morarjee: I'll take, send you back your results. Did he give you (indistinct).

Prabhupāda: So he'll give you some paper, you'll wrap it.

Devotee: Here's a bag...

Sumati Morarjee: So, now what, what is your problem? Ah, this is better.

Prabhupāda: (Hindi) This boy, he's president of, of my Detroit.

Sumati Morarjee: So what does he want?

Prabhupāda: He wants to give me some car. (Hindi exchanges)

Sumati Morarjee: So ask, you write to me a letter in Bombay, India address. There's such and such car, so when is the ship due in Detroit. And then I will let you know, finding out the whole (indistinct), because UK office doesn't know the movement of the American ships.

Prabhupāda: Ah.

Sumati Morarjee: It's only Bombay who, which knows. So you write me in a letter to Bombay.

Prabhupāda: When everything is settled up.

Sumati Morarjee: When you are settled, when is the ship due, and we want to send. So, there won't be any trouble in port?

Prabhupāda: That he'll clear up.

Sumati Morarjee: You better clear first.

Devotee: Yeah...

Sumati Morarjee: Otherwise what happens.

Devotee: Kṣīrodakaśāyī knows.

Sumati Morarjee: Government of India doesn't allow any import of car in India, otherwise (indistinct).

Prabhupāda: His, his admission is that I am the guru of the Americans. I have no car. (laughter)

Introduction Speech By Dr. Kapoor and Conversation -- October 15, 1972, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: Dallas. Dallas we have got very nice temple. Detroit. I thought that our temple, Los Angeles temple, is the best. But this year I went to Dallas. Oh, it is better than Los Angeles. (laughter) It is so nice. Now we are trying to purchase the Berkshire palace in England. Yes. That was being occupied by the Duke of Windsor. I don't think whether I have got, received one letter from. No. So the price is 500,000 dollars.

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

Garden Conversation with Professors -- June 24, 1975, Los Angeles:

We want happiness. And Kṛṣṇa presents that "Here is your distress, that you have to die. What you have done for this? Here is your real distress. You might have taken your birth in rich American nationality or might have very good skyscraper building and very, very, nice motor cars. But you will be kicked out at any moment, sir. What you have done for this, that you will be insured for all this enjoyment. Where is that insurance? You are so busy in these affairs, but where is your insurance that you will be allowed to enjoy this?" This is intelligence. You will be kicked out at any moment. Then all your labor is spoiled. And therefore Kṛṣṇa presents this problem first, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam. We are looking after happiness, but we must find out where is permanent happiness. That is intelligence, not that I create a circumstance where I am happy for some years and then kicked out. Why don't you touch this problem first? Then you are scientist, then you are philosopher.

Bahulāśva: Śrīla Prabhupāda, this is Dr. Stillson Judah.

Prabhupāda: I think I saw you sometimes in Detroit.

Dr. Judah: Yes, we've met before. I interviewed you several years ago. Yes.

Car Conversation -- August 3, 1975, Detroit:

Ambarīṣa: There is a city over there called Windsor.

Prabhupāda: This is a...? This is a...?

Brahmānanda: This is Detroit there. We are now on an island, and Canada is there.

Prabhupāda: Real Detroit there.

Brahmānanda: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Everything belongs to God, Kṛṣṇa. And we are sons of Kṛṣṇa. (break) I came this side last time when I came. You were there?

Jagadīśa: In Detroit? Yes.

Prabhupāda: This river side, did I not come?

Jagadīśa: We came to this park last time, yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes. I remember. The river is navigable. Big, big ship can go.

Ambarīṣa: Yes. (break)

Car Conversation -- August 3, 1975, Detroit:

Prabhupāda: ...those who were killing tigers and not that, by making arrangement from behind, no.

Brahmānanda: Ah, they would come face to face.

Prabhupāda: Yes, face to face. Yes. Where there is tiger, a kṣatriya, would meet him with a sword. That's all. "Come on. You attack and be killed." Even twenty years before, the king of Jaipur, every year he should go in the forest and kill one tiger personally. And the dead tiger will be brought in procession. He'd be given... Just like a prince or king dies—his body is taken in procession-tiger would be brought that way. Both of them, kṣatriyas... So the tiger should be given the honor of a prince. (break) ...means enemy is going out of fear of life and showing his backside, then he will not be killed. (break) ...into Canada?

Brahmānanda: No, that's Detroit.

Prabhupāda: Oh, that is Detroit.

Brahmānanda: This part is Canada, there.

Morning Walk -- September 15, 1975, Vrndavana:

Dhṛṣṭaketu: So, your instructions in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam can stop their lust? It can stop... By hearing from Vedic authorities, their lust can be dissolved? Or do they have to just simply be frustrated in their attempts to enjoy sense gratification?

Prabhupāda: They are being frustrated. Who is successful in the material world? Have you got any instance that he is successful? (pause) Then?

Vāsughoṣa: In every field someone is miserable. Just in America there was one lady, very famous etiquette expert, Amy Vanderbilt. So she jumped out of her window. She was sixty-nine years old.

Prabhupāda: There are many. I saw in Detroit, I think. The bridge is covered?

Brahmānanda: San Francisco. The Golden Gate Bridge they have put...

Prabhupāda: Not Golden Gate. That San Diego, I think. We crossed one bridge to go to the...

Brahmānanda: Oh, yes, San Diego also. They have these fences so when people jump off they are caught by the fences. (laughter)

Morning Walk -- September 27, 1975, Ahmedabad:

Prabhupāda: (break) ...sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā, amānin mānadena kīrtanīya sad hariḥ. This is the process to become very humble.

Indian man (5): (Hindi)

Prabhupāda: Ācchā. (Hindi)

tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror api sahiṣṇunā
amāninā mānadena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(CC Adi 17.31)

(Hindi) To become humble, this is a qualification. (Hindi) This humbleness is a good qualification. (Hindi conversation) Detroit, I saw that bridge. There is barrier?

Brahmānanda: Oh, yes.

Prabhupāda: San Diego.

Brahmānanda: San Diego.

Prabhupāda: San Diego. (Hindi) Or I saw I the Berkeley also, that tower?

Brahmānanda: Glass is there.

Prabhupāda: Glass there. So (Hindi) suicide... (Hindi conversation) You want immediately to become like America. (Hindi)

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk -- February 3, 1976, Mayapura:

Prabhupāda: And Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, kibā vipra kibā śūdra nyāsī kene naya, yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā sei guru haya (CC Madhya 8.128). It doesn't matter whether one is gṛhastha or a sannyāsī. (Bengali) (break)...all big, big men, he was present. (break)

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Śrīla Prabhupāda, another twenty thousand dollars was transferred. (break)

Prabhupāda: He cannot complain. There is money; there is men; now you have to complete. You cannot say, "For this purpose, it..." No. (break) ...Mādhava Mahārāja, you can say that "Have you seen ever twenty thousand at a time?" And I am bringing daily twenty thousand. Twenty thousand dollars. Not money..., rupees, but dollars. "Have you seen twenty thousand dollars at a time?" (break) Detroit temple, you know? Jagadīśa? Are you going to negotiate.

Jagadīśa: Where is this?

Prabhupāda: Detroit, the temple.

Jagadīśa: Oh, yes, Detroit temple, yes.

Prabhupāda: And he was asking 350,000. So I told, "All right, you take cash, 300,000," and he immediately accepted, though I had not three paisa even in the bank. So immediately... The girl has paid?

Jagadīśa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: She agreed to pay half and our Ambarīṣa agreed to pay half. It was purchased immediately.

Morning Walk -- June 13, 1976, Detroit:

Devotee (2): A devotee is sometimes subject to hankering or lamentation. That is material though, isn't it?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Devotee (2): In other words, if, at that moment, if he desires something other than Kṛṣṇa, that's a material desire.

Prabhupāda: Then he has to learn it. So long one is not competent in that position, he's subjected, he may fall down. What is that temple light?

Devotee (2): That's a fountain.

Prabhupāda: It is just like Jagannātha temple.

Hari-śauri: That, right in the distance there with the light on the top. Yeah, same design. (break)

Devotee (2): ...after us anymore because they don't have the money.

Prabhupāda: Detroit has got no money? Such a big industrial city. Neglected. They have got money.

Hari-śauri: They're not keeping this park up very well.

Prabhupāda: No. Because nobody comes here.

Hari-śauri: Too dangerous.

Prabhupāda: Ācchā?

Hari-śauri: Many of the big parks in the big cities, they are full of thieves and all kinds of other people.

Prabhupāda: That means they cannot improve the condition of the people. Just like at the airport, everyone is checked. There is no gentlemen. Why everyone is checked? That means the whole mass of people, they're all rogues and thieves. Therefore it is necessary to keep an ideal, an ideal class of men brāhmaṇas. Then people will follow.

Conversation with Clergymen -- June 15, 1976, Detroit:

Prabhupāda: So food problem can be solved simply by accepting.... That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Find out. Annād bhavanti bhūtāni (BG 3.14). How everyone can.... Find out.

Dhṛṣṭadyumna: "All living bodies subsist on food grains which are produced from rains. Rains are produced by the performance of sacrifice, and sacrifice is born of prescribed duties."

Prabhupāda: So if you produce enough food grains, both the man and the animal will live very peacefully. Food grains. And I've seen in your country, in America, in Africa, in Australia, so much vacant land without producing food grains. So men are not engaged to produce food grains, but they are brought in Detroit to manufacture of wheels of motorcar.

Kern: For ambulances to bring the sick to the doctor.

Prabhupāda: So we have to correct this.

Room Conversation -- June 17, 1976, Toronto:

Prabhupāda: Some of the life members complained. I received several complaints. The other day I asked, "You collected some money for constructing temple, so where is that money?" So he gave explanation. So thirty, fifty thousand pounds were collected by him.

Jagadīśa: From Ambarīṣa?

Hari-śauri: No, this was in England.

Jagadīśa: Oh, in England, oh.

Prabhupāda: But there is only balance two thousand five hundred.

Hari-śauri: Yes, just two or three thousand.

Prabhupāda: All the money, he said, spent. Now they are asking for loan for purchasing one house. This money was collected for temple construction.... We were awaiting opportunity. In the meantime, money spent.

Jagadīśa: Have there been any complaints from Detroit? Have there been any similar complaints from Detroit?

Prabhupāda: In Detroit I have received complaint, that.... Many.... Govardhana was popular president.

Jagadīśa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Popular. Everyone liked him.

Jagadīśa: Yes, very gentle soul.

Prabhupāda: Ah. So this is complaint I received.

Jagadīśa: They don't like Mādhavānanda?

Prabhupāda: Some of them say.

Room Conversation -- June 17, 1976, Toronto:

Prabhupāda: Now, in the Kali-yuga, things will degrade so low that if I see I have no money and if you have got some few cents with you, I shall kill you and take it. That day will come. Very dangerous condition is coming forward. Yes, if things go on like this. Just like we saw in Detroit, the whole city is dangerously situated. Therefore nobody purchased that house.

Interview with Professors O'Connell, Motilal and Shivaram -- June 18, 1976, Toronto:

Prabhupāda: Thank you very much for your coming. Now my request is that you take up this movement. It is actually a great contribution to the human society. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭha (BG 3.21). Those who are leaders of the society, if they take it, it is easily understood and easily distributed. So there is no question of sectarian thought. It is the necessity of the human society to understand God. The other day in Detroit, two father priests came to see me. I also requested that we require a set of first-class men that is not there at the present moment. There is no head. They are thinking simply arms wanted, defense, and fight amongst themselves. That's all. Everyone is thinking simply arms wanted. And what they will do with the arms? Fight between themselves, that's all. So one asura was given one thousand hands by Lord Śiva. But he could not find any enemy. So he was fighting with hills and mountains and making him smashed. So he came to Lord Śiva: "Sir, you have given me one thousand hands, but there is no enemy for me. I cannot fight." So Śiva said, "Yes, you just wait for the day when your enemy will come who will smash you into pieces." (laughs) So we are simply equipping with arms and finding out to whom we'll fight. That is going on. So everyone is manufacturing the atomic weapons. So there must be some fight, so that all the nations will be ruined. (end)

Prabhupada Visits Palace and Garden -- June 22, 1976, New Vrindaban:

Prabhupāda: Who has done this painting?

Kīrtanānanda: That is, I think, from India.

Prabhupāda: Oh.

Kīrtanānanda: These pictures are rose quartz. This is rose quartz and twenty-four-carat gold.

Prabhupāda: Gold? (laughter)

Kulādri: Twenty-four karat.

Prabhupāda: In that Detroit house, so much gold. That is also like this. What are these?

Kīrtanānanda: This is a sample of the handles.

Prabhupāda: Plumbing?

Kīrtanānanda: Like those on the doors. But we are just śūdras; we don't know how to do anything else.

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Room Conversation -- June 24, 1976, New Vrindaban:

Prabhupāda: That is not the right way. Kṛṣṇa never said to Arjuna that "You haven't got to fight. You sit down, I shall do everything." He never said that. "You have to fight." Nimitta-mātraṁ bhava savyaśacin. "And the result is already created by Me, but you have to make a manifestation of fighting." Just like our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Within eight or ten years we have developed so much. Is it humanly possible? It is Kṛṣṇa's plan. But Kṛṣṇa says that "You go and preach. Take the credit." Yes. It is His plan. Actually everything is done by Kṛṣṇa. He gives the credit to His devotee, that's all. You know the history of the Detroit temple (laughs)?

Kīrtanānanda: A little bit, not too much.

Prabhupāda: Detroit temple, it was, that building was constructed at a cost of two million dollars, say some fifty years, sixty years ago. And we purchased it at three hundred thousand dollars. So when they said that there is a nice house, so I told "Let me go immediately." So I went there and talked with the proprietor, so I liked it very much. It is a wonderful palace. So he asked $350,000. So I talked with him and asked some concession. Then I last bid again, "I'll give you cash, three hundred thousand." So he said "Yes, I accept." There was no money. (laughter) So the Bombay purchase, you know, it was simply speculation. So Kṛṣṇa is giving us. For a karmī, it is not possible, but Kṛṣṇa gives us all facilities. You have been in that palace, Detroit? Very, very nice. Perhaps the best in our society, huh?

Hari-śauri: Without a doubt.

Room Conversation -- June 26, 1976, New Vrindaban:

Prabhupāda: So in Detroit they do not go on the street?

Hari-śauri: No, not in the local neighborhood.

Prabhupāda: So far, there was no disturbance.

Hari-śauri: No, not while we were there.

Prabhupāda: No, before that.

Hari-śauri: No, they haven't reported any disturbance.

Prabhupāda: And the black men, they come also?

Hari-śauri: Yes, I think they are...

Prabhupāda: Sympathetic.

Hari-śauri: Yes, because the devotees are not prejudiced in any way. We have white devotees and we have black devotees also. And if the neighbors want to come and see the place, then they are allowed in and shown around. We are about the only ones who could possibly live there.

Interview with Mike Darby -- June 30, 1976, Wheeling, W. Virginia:

Prabhupāda: Yes. We are coming from Detroit? There are so many factories for four-wheel vehicles, and there is no factory to educate man to the right path. Perhaps... This is our little attempt, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, how to educate to the right path. We are not getting any help, either from the authority... In our own way, as far as possible, we are doing. When people will be educated they will be able to understand who is guru, who is not guru. We can say, but who is going to accept? We say always that they are all rascals, but who will accept our statement? And the state, (if) there had been a department to see what is the qualification of guru, then immediately they would have taken steps. Just like in Kṛṣṇa's time one man falsely presented himself as God. Immediately his head was cut off. Pauṇḍraka. So the state must be very strong to punish the miscreant. But there is no such state.

Arrival Room Conversation -- July 2, 1976, Washington, D.C.:

Vipina: That was one reason that we were very much attracted to the property. The property itself was not very beautiful when we came, but the gym was built, and we saw it as an immediate temple where we could hold kīrtana and preach. So we then made a contract and the fish bit.

Prabhupāda: Nobody was taking.

Vipina: No one was taking it.

Prabhupāda: (laughs) Our Detroit property is like that.

Rūpānuga: White elephant.

Prabhupāda: Nobody was taking, but it was quite suitable for us. And that is the finest property. You have seen it?

Rūpānuga: I have not been there. I have seen photographs.

Vṛṣākapi: I have seen it.

Prabhupāda: Is it not?

Vṛṣākapi: It is the finest, the finest.

Prabhupāda: And we have got very cheap. One room will cost three hundred thousand, it is so costly. They said they spend about two millions dollars fifty years ago.

Vipina: Fifty years ago. That's ten, twenty million now.

Prabhupāda: But nobody was taking.

Evening Darsana -- July 13, 1976, New York:

Prabhupāda: Such an important country. So nasty everywhere, park, street, what is there? This is not good sign. In other cities, you see so neat and clean. Washington, even that parkway, so neat and clean. Why this city is neglected? Los Angeles also, neat and clean. Which other cities we went?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Detroit.

Prabhupāda: Detroit is... Detroit is also.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: That park was a little dirty also.

Prabhupāda: Hm.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Beer cans and...

Prabhupāda: This is national degradation. Every state full of garbage, litters. Not only now, I was living here (indistinct); the last 10 years. At least I have seen.

Conversation with George Harrison -- July 26, 1976, London:

Prabhupāda: That is Kṛṣṇa's desire. I don't want, personally, but if Kṛṣṇa wants, that is everything. We have got more hundred and two centers, different parts of the world.

George Harrison: Still six more to go.

Prabhupāda: Yes. (laughter) We have got a very nice house in Detroit. If you sometimes go there...

George Harrison: Whereabouts?

Prabhupāda: Detroit.

George Harrison: Ah, Detroit. They need one there. Crazy place.

Jayatīrtha: Heavy place.

Room Conversation -- August 3, 1976, New Mayapur (French farm):

Hari-śauri: Well, we have one or two places that are just developing, like Miami.

Prabhupāda: Oh.

Hari-śauri: That's fifteen, fifteen acres? Something like that. No, more.

Prabhupāda: Miami climate is like this.

Hari-śauri: Oh, very nice. They have a mango orchard.

Prabhupāda: Oh, also coconut.

Hari-śauri: Oh, yes, very good dobs there. Detroit was also very nice.

Prabhupāda: Yes, Detroit. (break) ...Mālatī?

Bhagavān: Mālatī? She was there.

Hari-śauri: All those boys are coming tomorrow or the day after from Germany. Harikeśa was in touch with them.

Bhagavān: We have a nice program on saṅkīrtana where at least twice a week they go to a house and give a class at someone's home.

Morning Walk -- August 11, 1976, Tehran:

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Śrīla Prabhupāda, there's our Praṇava dāsa, in Vṛndāvana. He, as you remember, he had some difficulties there.

Prabhupāda: He creates the difficulty.(?) He came to Vṛndāvana as retired life, but instead of that he wanted to make some personal profit. That is his difficulty.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: So, is he, does he have any sincerity?

Prabhupāda: No, I don't think.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: He has no sincerity. We should not encourage him to come here.

Prabhupāda: No, no. He's after sense gratification. He requested you?

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes.

Prabhupāda: What he'll do?

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Well, I thought that he's a devotee and I should engage him, we should engage him here. But of course, if he's not sincere...

Prabhupāda: He's trying to get such opportunities. He's requesting so many, "Take me here, take me there."

Ātreya Ṛṣi: So I should not do it because we will have problem. We would be in anxiety here.

Prabhupāda: He came to Vṛndāvana for the purpose of devotion, but he had some other motive.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Not give up, would not give up.

Prabhupāda: To take advantage for sense gratification. Why he wants to come here? He requested similarly Bhagavān.

Hari-śauri: He wanted to go to Detroit.

Prabhupāda: Detroit, everyone is trying to take some advantage.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Everybody thinks America is everything. A heavenly planet.

Prabhupāda: Yes, for India it is heavenly planet, certainly.

Evening Darsana -- September 1, 1976, Delhi:

Prabhupāda: He, her son he is the father and mother, he's an Indian, in Detroit, very good boy, getting very nice. He, living in the temple, husband wife, child we have. Bacā, ek bacā? He's getting very happy, very nice boy. (Hindi) Just like their son, he's educated very nicely. Educated boys are joining, from foreign countries and not from here. (Hindi) Here is Gopāla Kṛṣṇa, he was sales manager in Coca-cola. (Hindi) ...dollar, he has given.

Press Interview -- October 16, 1976, Chandigarh:

Interviewer: Can you give us the number how many temples are there in foreign countries?

Prabhupāda: I have established 102 temples. Small and big. Out of them, very big temples are in Los Angeles, in London, in Hawaii, Honolulu, in Detroit... And...

Haṁsadūta: New York, Chicago.

Prabhupāda: New York, Chicago.

Hari-śauri: Toronto.

Prabhupāda: Toronto, Montreal, Paris, so many. So many temples. Very, very big temples. The cost is sometimes fifty lakhs, fifty-five lakhs each temple.

Room Conversation with Dr. Theodore Kneupper -- November 6, 1976, Vrndavana:

There is no first-class men, there is no second-class men, not even third-class men. Who is caring for agriculture? They are preparing Goodyear tire. Now eat tires. You rascal, eat tires. How long you'll eat tires? If there is no customer for tire, that means... So that is coming. And I went to Detroit about six months ago. There're factories. They have manufactured the wheels, huge stock. That means they are not selling. And the Goodyear Tire, they advertising, "So many millions tires we are manufacturing." You have been in Detroit? Yes. They're proud that "We have manufactured so many tires, so many wheels." The time will come when there will be no purchaser for tires and wheels, and they'll starve. That is coming. What they will do? If they become hungry there is no food grain. For some time they will eat, killing the cows, and then there will be no food, and what these tire and wheels will do? But there is no first-class brain that "We are wasting time by manufacturing tires and wheels. Without wheels we could live, but how we shall live without food grain?" There is no brain, no first-class men, no second-class men, no third-class men.

Room Conversation -- November 15, 1976, Vrndavana:

Devotee: According to the escrow we say that we want to build like some sort of a church and the zoning laws for that particular area... Now if you want to rezone, the only thing that's allowed to rezone for is for churches and temples, they have it written.

Prabhupāda: You can take help from Detroit. He knows very well. That was rezoned. You did it.

Jagadīśa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes. He knows everything. That was a residential quarter. Now we have made it a temple.

Devotee: So we...

Prabhupāda: What is the process?

Jagadīśa: Well we had, because we were dealing with a Ford, the grandson of Henry Ford, because he was wealthy, he had a lawyer friend who had a connection in the zoning board so...

Prabhupāda: Influence.

Jagadīśa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: But what was the law point? You cannot influence by...

Jagadīśa: No, we... The point was that that particular property was secluded. By making it a multi-residential dwelling with a public worship facility there was no inconvenience to the neighbors. That was the main thing. We went around to all the neighbors in the neighborhood. We got them to sign a petition saying they had no objection to our holding meetings there and having multi-residential and that was our strongest, besides our connection with this lawyer, having the neighborhood support was our strongest weapon. And the neighbors all were very warm.

1977 Conversations and Morning Walks

Conversation on Roof -- February 14, 1977, Mayapura:

Prabhupāda: Yes. Our Tīrtha Mahārāja accusing me that I have got two crores of rupees from American government to start this movement. (laughs) Even my Godbrother says, what to speak of others. Nobody is living such nice house, all of my Godbrothers. (laughs)

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: None of them have done that.

Prabhupāda: They were unable. Neither they have got idea of aristocratically, how to live aristocratically. You won't find in any one of my Godbrothers a place like this. This is aristocratic. This is Indian aristocracy. Table-chair is not aristocratic. This is more comfortable. And cheap also.

Hari-śauri: If they saw somewhere like Detroit they'd be... If they saw the Detroit place then they'd really...

Prabhupāda: Detroit?

Hari-śauri: For aristocratic living.

Brahmānanda: Our temple in Detroit is very opulent.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is aristocratic house. You have seen it?

Brahmānanda: Yes. Before purchasing we went to see.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is aristocratic house. They... Formerly, either Indian or American, Europe, aristocratic was the same—big, big rooms, very decorated, woman's quarter different, men's quarter different. No man can enter into woman's... Lavatory house, different; cooking house, different. This was Calcutta aristocracy. Those houses are now gone. No attached bathroom. The... Because it was service, how it can be attached bathroom? So they... A separate house, big house, only for passing stool. And if possible, a lake within the house. Aristocratic family, they would have lake within the house for using water.

Room Conversation with Scientists, Svarupa Damodara, and Dr. Sharma -- March 31, 1977, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: London, Bhaktivedanta Manor, they are nicer buildings. But if you cannot open these doors of the building, oh, immediately collapse...

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That's true.

Prabhupāda: You have to remain packed up.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah, it spoils it. You can't really enjoy it.

Prabhupāda: Detroit and London. Oh, you cannot open.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Detroit also.

Prabhupāda: Not so much. When I was there it was very clear.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: You picked a good time of the year. London and Paris at the right time is very good. Say June, May, June, July. But nine months or eight months of the year, it becomes difficult.

Morning Conversation -- May 29, 1977, Vrndavana:

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: We have men we can put there. Right, Ādi-keśava?

Prabhupāda: Simply the drunken negroes, call them, "Take prasādam and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa."

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: We can put Bhaktijana there 'cause he's always very fond of preaching. You know, Bhaktijana. He's always wanted to go to Harlem. So...

Prabhupāda: Yes, then we can deliver them. They are, after all, simple. These negroes, they are, after all, simple. We have to claim them. You have got now experience in Detroit. They are very good-behaving negroes. They come to our temple. Nobody could drive there. Therefore we could acquire that house so cheap.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: This one on 26 Second Avenue must also be very cheap.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Our Ambarīṣa, he was very much eager. "Oh, don't mind. Take it. We shall arrange."

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Cash.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Fifty years ago the cost was six million dollars, and we have purchased, only 300,000.

Room Conversation with Vrindavan De -- July 6, 1977, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: Who can live in such house? Royal. Royal palace. We have 102 royal palaces. More than that. So even from economic point of view nobody is happier than us. Nobody is happier.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That New York building cost over one million dollars.

Prabhupāda: Yes. If you go I shall give you chance to see how my devotees are living happy in big, big houses. Big, big house. Do you think to possess a twelve-story house in New York is joke?

Vrindavan De: Even I cannot think of.

Prabhupāda: Is joke? We have got. In Detroit we have got a house which was constructed at the cost of six million dollars, fifty years ago. What is the price six million dollars?

Vrindavan De: Sixty lakhs.

Indian: Five lakhs forty thousand.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No, no, no. Six million means five crores.

Indian: Five crores for...

Vrindavan De: No. One million is ten lakhs.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Six crores.

Prabhupāda: So that house we are possessing.

... more about "Detroit (Conversations)"
December 29, 0011 JL +
January 30, 0012 JL +
BG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 0 +, Conv: 31 +  and Let: 0 +