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How did you find the transition, or how did it affect you, the transition from leading a life in the business world?

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"How did you find the transition, or how did it affect you, the transition from leading a life in the business world"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

No, no, business.... Business world is not bad. Why do you think that because I was a businessman, therefore I could not be...?
Room Conversation -- April 22, 1976, Melbourne:

Brian Singer: Is Kṛṣṇa cons..., the Kṛṣṇa movement, is it still growing?

Prabhupāda: Hm?

Devotee (2): Is the Kṛṣṇa movement still growing?

Prabhupāda: What do you think?

Brian Singer: In numbers. Yeah. I think yes, but I don't know.

Prabhupāda: Yes. It must grow. If it is good, there must be customer. And if it is bad—it is cheating—there may be some customer for some time, then it will be finished. That is the test of reality and false thing. You can cheat persons with false things for some time, but if your commodity is right, the customer will increase. That's a fact. The more people will appreciate, "Oh, here is nice commodity. Purchase it..."

Brian Singer: Do many people follow Kṛṣṇa consciousness by reading books in this method?

Prabhupāda: No, not only reading books. By practicing, by understanding. Then it comes right.

Brian Singer: But what proportion of those people, of all the people...

Prabhupāda: You.... You cannot expect any good thing to be taken up by mass of people. That is not possible. In university, when matriculation candidates, there are so many. Then B.A. candidates, so many. And when you come to the M.A., Ph.D., a very few number.

Doug Warvick: Why is that?

Prabhupāda: You cannot expect that everyone should be M.A., Ph.D. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness is like that. It is not meant for ordinary persons. Those who are very intelligent, they can understand it. Ordinary men, they cannot understand even that he's not this body. What he will understand about Kṛṣṇa? Therefore the beginning understanding is that "I am not this body." When you are firmly convinced about this science that you are not this body, then Kṛṣṇa consciousness beginning.

Brian Singer: And it's not necessary to live a temple life.

Prabhupāda: No, temple life is a.... Just like if you go to school.... Without school you can be educated. It is not that we..., unless you go to school you can be educated. But if you go to school you get greater facilities. And that is the way. Just like in our country Rabindranath Tagore, he never went to school. You have heard the name of Rabindranath Tagore?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Rabindranath Tagore.

Prabhupāda: Tagore.

Devotee (2): He's a famous Indian poet.

Prabhupāda: So never went to school, but Oxford University gave him Ph.D. That does not mean that "I shall also receive Ph.D. like Rabindranath Tagore. I shall not go to school." The general method is: one must go to the school. Exceptional cases, that without going to school one can become Ph.D.... But we should not imitate that, that "Rabindranath Tagore got Ph.D. without going to school. I shall sit down." But the fact is that even without going to school one can get Ph.D. That's a fact. But that is not the method. The method is that you must go to the primary school, then secondary school, then enter college, then take your degree. Then you become M.A. and Ph.D. That is the general process, step by step. And if you take the example of Rabindranath Tagore, that "He did not go to school. Then I shall not go to school," then you may be spoiled also, without going to school. That is the, generally the case.

Brian Singer: How did you find the transition, or how did it affect you, the transition from leading a life in the business world...

Prabhupāda: No, no, business.... Business world is not bad. Why do you think that because I was a businessman, therefore I could not be...?

Brian Singer: No, no. I just want to know how you found the transition.

Prabhupāda: No, this is our regulative principle, that first of all you be trained up as brahmacārī. Then you be entered into family life. Then you retire from family life. Then you become a sannyāsī. This is a general procedure, not that you shall stick to one position. So a businessman does not mean he's fallen man. He can become first-class Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Doug Warvick: And still be a businessman or...?

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Why not? Just like Arjuna. He's a military man. That is also another business. He's military man. He knew how to fight. Similarly businessman's how to make trade. So this is different grades of livelihood. And Kṛṣṇa consciousness does not depend on this life or that life. Everyone can become.