Prabhupāda: That's all right, positive.
Hari-śauri: And then this is Dr. Stillson Judah.
Hari-śauri: He's a graduate from University of Washington, majoring in oriental studies, graduate from University of California with a Ph.D in Sanskrit and Indian Languages, and he received an honorary degree from Chapman College, Southern California. And he has various posts as professor of history of religion. etc....
Prabhupāda: He has written about us, the big book.
Prabhupāda: Big book. Bring that, bring that book. After 5 years scrutinizingly studying, statistics, graphics, and he has put my picture in it.
Haṁsadūta: Looks like your book.
Hari-śauri: Dr. Stillson Judah says, "The Hare Kṛṣṇa movement and more formally the International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, ISKCON, is a western representation of an important Hindu sect, Vaisnavism."
Prabhupāda: He says, "Important Hindu sect." How they can say whether it is a genuine? Important, not only genuine but important, Vaisnavism.
Hari-śauri: Hm. (continues reading) "...whose worship of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Viṣṇu, in one of His many forms is one of the most important religions of India. The American devotees of ISKCON worship Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Being, the highest Personality of Godhead, whose worship according to the archaeological and epigraphic evidence, is pre-Christian in origin, as found in India's early sacred texts, the Ṛg Veda, Atharva Veda, etc. The detailed history of Kṛṣṇa's incarnation is found in the religious text of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, and the philosophical basis of the Hare Kṛṣṇa Movement is found in India's most sacred book the Bhagavad-gītā. These sacred texts and others have been translated and commented upon by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda and are being studied today in many major universities across the United States. The particular form of Vaisnavism of the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement dates from Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu, one of India's saints born in 1486 A.D. in Nadia, India. His immediate followers organized this philosophy in a number of Sanskrit texts, and His religious practices such as chanting and dancing are most authentically represented in America by the Hare Kṛṣṇa devotees according to this tradition. Lord Caitanya, worshiped as the last incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, initiated a disciplic succession. In the mid-19th century, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura appeared in this spiritual lineage. Soon afterwards, his son Bhaktisiddhānta, Sarasvatī became the spiritual master of India's Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, and his most prominent student was Śrīla Prabhupāda. It was at Bhaktisiddhānta's command that Śrīla Prabhupāda later came to America to bring the teachings and practices of Caitanya to the West. My study of these American devotees, which I have pursued since 1968, was published in my book, Hare Krishna and the Counter-culture, published by John Wiley and Sons in 1974, New York. The sociological data revealed through a detailed questionnaire and many hours of taped interviews, indicates that many of the devotees had been influenced by the hippie culture of the 1960's. However, after they joined the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement, their lives became completely changed from a life of drugs, illicit sex, and violence to one of dedication to a spiritual discipline and morality and to helping others in their search for happiness. In this period of rapid social and cultural change..."
Prabhupāda: This is the fact, in many cases. So many drunkards, so many violence... This is... (name witheld)?
Haṁsadūta: (name witheld).
Prabhupāda: Big drunkard.
Prabhupāda: (name witheld). Hm.
Hari-śauri: (continues reading) "In this period of rapid social and cultural change, this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement is giving many of our youths new meaning to their lives without which many would have remained alienated, disenchanted, irresponsible citizens." This is a letter that was written by one devotee, Sravanananda Das, by his mother. Sravanananda is here in India. Should I read this?
Prabhupāda: Can read it, yes.
Hari-śauri: My son Daniel, Sravananda Das, entered the Hare Kṛṣṇa Movement almost 5 years ago. The only request that he made of me and my husband was that we read about the Hare Kṛṣṇa philosophy and try to understand his new way of life. My husband and I have read everything we could find about the movement and the philosophy. We have visited the Hare Kṛṣṇa Centers in Philadelphia and New York frequently, always speaking to the devotees and having our questions answered. Evidently these youths feel a revulsion towards the sense gratification of forbidden permissive values of our society. When I see how happy the devotees are..."
Prabhupāda: Haṁsadūta, Haṁsadūta?
Prabhupāda: The Ceylon is educated and if they are receiving, why not open a branch?
Hari-śauri: (continues reading) "He recently returned home after almost 3 years in India. My husband and I could see the awareness and maturity in him gained from his experiences in working with the Indian people. He learned first-hand about a different culture and it certainly has enriched his life. In our minds we can compare our son's life to the life of a Catholic monk or a religious Jew of the Hasidic sect. Do I think that my son is brainwashed? I can best answer this by answering the question, is our whole society not being brainwashed daily by the advertisement media? Liquor, smoking, pornographic movies and literature and which is worse? And what about the children who are being educated by the violence and killing on T.V.? I prefer that my son is devoting his life to the love of God and the service of humanity, a rare endeavor in this age. Since I know that my son has voluntarily chosen the Hare Kṛṣṇa Movement to exercise these rights and that he can leave it whenever he wishes I cannot see how the term 'brainwashing' can be applicable to this movement. I sincerely believe from my contacts with many devotees that they are happy and have found fulfillment by loving and serving Lord Kṛṣṇa, God. This may not be my wish for my life but my son has chosen it for his, and I whole heartedly respect it."
Prabhupāda: Yes. (Bengali conversation) (end)