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He says, "Does this Krsna consciousness message apply as well to the outcastes?"

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"Does this Krsna consciousness message apply as well to the outcastes"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Outcaste? There are four castes only... Outcaste means those who are less than the śūdras. They are called pañcamas. These are four divisions: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. Śūdra means laborer class but they are also obedient to the other three classes. And less than that, they have been described as caṇḍālas, pañcamas, or untouchable as you say. But for us, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, there is no such distinction
Room Conversation -- June 5, 1974, Geneva:

(With M. Douant the president of the Protestant Center of Geneva, Mlle. Peritier a member of the Protestant Center of Geneva, M. Morrel the Dean of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Geneva, M. Roche-dieu former honorary professor of history of religion of the University of Geneva, and a theology student.)

Yogeśvara: Mademoiselle Peritier who is a member of the Protestant Center in Geneva.

Prabhupāda: One gentleman came the other day, Protestant Center?

Yogeśvara: Yes. Pastor Babel. Yes. They are familiar with him. Monsieur Douant.

Swiss Man (1): The President.

Prabhupāda: Why don't you give him a chair.

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Yogeśvara: Little rheumatism.

Prabhupāda: Give him chair.

Yogeśvara: Yes, he's... Satsvarūpa Mahārāja. Monsieur Douant is the president of the Protestant Center of Geneva. Monsieur Roche-dieu who is the...

M. Roche-dieu: Former, former Honorary Professor of History of Religions on the faculty of theology, Protestant theology.

Yogeśvara: Mr. Roche-dieu is a specialist in Hindu religion.

Prabhupāda: Ah. (French)

Yogeśvara: Mr. Morrel, who is the Dean of the Theology University in Geneva and who directs all of the religious activities for the university.

Swiss Man (2): (French)

Yogeśvara: Theology student. Our spiritual master, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: So you have shown our books?

Yogeśvara: (French)

Prabhupāda: Sixty volumes of these books.

Yogeśvara: (French-Yogeśvara showing books)

Prabhupāda: And Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

M. Roche-dieu: Whose are those pictures?

Yogeśvara: Our students. We have our painting workshop in New York City. All of these books have color illustrations.

M. Roche-dieu: Indian students?

Yogeśvara: No. He asks if our students are Indian. He likes the paintings. He was wondering whether they were done by Indian students.

Prabhupāda: No. American students under my direction.

Yogeśvara: (French)

Prabhupāda: You can inform about our reception in the higher circles. Professors, they have ordered all the sixty volumes of...

Satsvarūpa: The letter, in English.

Yogeśvara: (French)

M. Roche-dieu: Are you in touch with Professor M. Eliade who is in Chicago, department, religious department?

Yogeśvara: What is his name?

M. Roche-dieu: Mssr. Eliade, Eliade.

Yogeśvara: Professor Eliage?

M. Roche-dieu: E-l-i-a-d-e. He's a woman.

Yogeśvara: Eliage, Professor Eliage...

M. Roche-dieu: Eliade. Eliade.

Yogeśvara: Eliade. Chicago University?

Prabhupāda: No, I have never gone to Chicago.

Yogeśvara: Is not Professor Dimmock from Chicago?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Yogeśvara: Professor Dimmock, perhaps you are familiar with Professor Dimmock. He's head of which department?

Satsvarūpa: East Asian.

Yogeśvara: The East Asian Studies Department of Chicago University has written the preface to this Bhagavad-gītā.

M. Roche-dieu: I have seen it, yes. Chicago University Department

Swiss Man (1): (French)

Swiss Man (2): (French)

Yogeśvara: He says he hopes we excuse if he has some basic questions that he wanted to ask. And his first question was regarding tilaka. What is the symbolism, significance?

Prabhupāda: It is just like your cross, amongst Christian. It is temple of Viṣṇu. Not only here, we have got twelve place: here, here, here, here, here. Twelve place. The idea is being protected by Viṣṇu from all sides.

Swiss Man (2): (French)

Yogeśvara: The shaved head, he's asking.

Prabhupāda: This is cleanliness. Instead of keeping unnecessary hair, we keep very clean.

Swiss Man (2): (French)

Yogeśvara: These traditions have existed for a long time, he's asking.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Especially the brāhmaṇas, they keep the shaven head. Brāhmaṇas are the topmost class. What is the symptoms of brāhmaṇa, find out.

Yogeśvara: (French)

Nitāi:

śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ
kṣāntir ārjavam eva ca
jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ
brahma-karma svabhāva-jam
(BG 18.42)

"Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge, and religiousness, these are the qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work."

Prabhupāda: So the Vedic conception is that the human society should be divided into four divisions, namely the brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, and śūdra, natural division. One section of the human society should work as the brain. Another section should work just like the arms, another section, like the belly, another section, like the leg. These four divisions are essential. That is also mentioned, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). Find out this verse.

Yogeśvara: (French)

Prabhupāda: Page?

Nitāi: 235.

Yogeśvara: You have it?

Nitāi: You want to read it?

Yogeśvara:

cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ
guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ
tasya kartāram api māṁ
viddhy akartāram avyayam
(BG 4.13)

"According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me." (translates)

Prabhupāda: Just like by nature there are four division in the body—the brain, the arm, the belly, and..., all of them required... You cannot reject any one of them. Then it is not fullness. But the brain should be the, I mean to say, prime director, managing director. So the qualification of brāhmaṇas are stated. Śamo damas titikṣā? Eh? So at the present moment the society has no brain because there is no person, no person who is qualified like that, samo damas titikṣā.

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Prabhupāda: So their qualification, brāhmaṇa qualification, find out. Page?

Nitāi: It's eight twelve.

Yogeśvara: Eight twelve?

Prabhupāda: 812.

Yogeśvara: (reads verse 18.42 in French)

Swiss Man (2): (French)

Yogeśvara: He says, "Does this Kṛṣṇa consciousness message apply as well to the outcastes?"

Prabhupāda: Outcaste? There are four castes only.

Swiss Man (1): But there are the outcastes...

Yogeśvara: Do you mean the untouchables?

Prabhupāda: Outcaste means those who are less than the śūdras. They are called pañcamas. These are four divisions: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. Śūdra means laborer class but they are also obedient to the other three classes. And less than that, they have been described as caṇḍālas, pañcamas, or untouchable as you say. But for us, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, there is no such distinction. Anyone can become Kṛṣṇa conscious. The pañcamas, the fifth class men are called caṇḍālas. Caṇḍāla means untouchable. So they are also many: kirāta-hūṇāndhra-pulinda-pulkaśā ābhīra-śumbhā yavanāḥ khasādayaḥ (SB 2.4.18). So Kṛṣṇa says, māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ (BG 9.32). There is... Māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya.

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Prabhupāda: Read it.

Nitāi:

māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrās
te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim
(BG 9.32)

"O son of Pṛthā, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth—women, vaiśyas (merchants), as well as śūdras (workers)—can approach the supreme destination."

Prabhupāda: So in Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement there is no such distinction because we are interested with the soul. The soul is the same everywhere and these designations are different. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is above designation. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam (CC Madhya 19.170). One is freed from all designation. Actually, on the spiritual level, the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, anyone who is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is above all these divisions. Sa guṇān samatītya. Find out. Māṁ ca avyabhicāreṇa bhakti-yogena yaḥ sevate, sa guṇān...

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Nitāi:

māṁ ca yo 'vyabhicāreṇa
bhakti-yogena sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
(BG 14.26)

"One who engages in full devotional service, who does not fall down in any circumstance, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman."

Prabhupāda: The designations are on the material platform according to the quality. But in the spiritual platform it is transcendental to material qualities. So when one becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious there is no more distinction.

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Swiss Man (2): (French)

Yogeśvara: He says this seems to be somewhat different from the traditional Hindu practice, since in the Manu-saṁhitā, for example, śūdras are not to be instructed.

Prabhupāda: Yes, but we do not keep him śūdra. A devotee is no longer śūdra. We are creating brāhmaṇas. Just like these Europeans and Americans. They, according to Manu-saṁhitā, they are mlecchas, yavanas. But we are not keeping them mlecchas and yavanas. Just like these European and American boys. They are accepting the Vedic regulatives principles: no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no intoxication, no gambling. So they are no more śūdras or caṇḍālas. They are brāhmaṇas.

MadhuGopaldas +  and Rishab +
June 25, 0011 JL +
May 31, 0012 JL +
BG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 0 +, Conv: 1 +  and Let: 0 +