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Is it true that if I follow the regulative principles, the four, that I will be able to chant without offense?

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"Is it true that if I follow the regulative principles, the four, that I will be able to chant without offense"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

You are married, no?... No family man? No. So best thing would have been to live with us and work. Give contribution as much as possible for running on this missionary work. But the thing is, we have no place to...
Room Conversation and Interview with Ian Polsen -- July 31, 1972, London:

Ian Polsen: Thank you, Your Grace. Before I go, Your Grace, I am employed in government service. Is it your wish that I resign?

Prabhupāda: No, no. We don't say like that. The thing is that you serve Kṛṣṇa. Our predecessor ācāryas, they are also government servants, but they resigned when they decided to preach this cult. If you have desire to preach this cult, then that is different. Otherwise, as a gentleman you can remain in your position, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, and follow the rules and regulations.

Ian Polsen: Your Grace, how many times do you recommend that I chant on my beads? How many rounds?

Prabhupāda: We recommend minimum sixteen rounds.

Ian Polsen: Minimum sixteen rounds, every day.

Prabhupāda: Otherwise, you can chant twenty-four hours. Minimum sixteen rounds.

Ian Polsen: Is it true that if I follow the regulative principles, the four, that I will be able to chant without offense?

Prabhupāda: Yes. But ah... You are married, no?

Ian Polsen: No.

Prabhupāda: No family man? No. So best thing would have been to live with us and work. Give contribution as much as possible for running on this missionary work. But the thing is, we have no place to...

Devotee: We don't have a very nice place.

Prabhupāda: Otherwise I would have asked you to live with us and work.

Devotee: We're trying to get another place with bigger facilities. Now they're sleeping in the hallways practically.

Prabhupāda: You have got your own apartment?

Ian Polsen: I've just transferred down from Edinburgh on Friday for the first time. So I have not found a place yet. I'm staying in a hotel for the time being.

Prabhupāda: Oh.

Devotee (2) (Kulaśekhara?): Śrīla Prabhupāda, he used to be a shepherd in France.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Devotee (2) (Kulaśekhara?): He used to be a shepherd three years ago. He used to be a shepherd for some years. And, ah, he was with a Muslim man who was telling him about sac-cid-ānanda, explaining to him about the philosophy of sac-cid-ānanda, about the soul and the spirit. So in Spain—that's where I first met him—he said, "I may appear to you to be a businessman, but also I've been known as a shepherd."

Prabhupāda: So you can read our Teachings of Lord Caitanya. You have got?

Ian Polsen: Yes, I have got Caitanya's teachings. I have...

Prabhupāda: Nectar of Devotion, Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Bhagavad-gītā As It Is.

Ian Polsen: I have Bhagavad-gītā.

Prabhupāda: In this way, study seriously these books.

Ian Polsen: May I speak, Your Grace?

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Ian Polsen: There is a magazine called Studies in Comparative Religion which is published in this country, which I feel...

Prabhupāda: That will not help you.

Ian Polsen: No, but the reason why I mention it is that I think it is a magazine that Your Grace might contribute to, to propagate Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Because it's based on three principles: principles of traditional religion, the principles of spiritual guidance from a spiritual master, and the invocation of the name of God. There is great similarity there, and I think that the few people who read that magazine could be reached through the magazine.

Prabhupāda: What is the name?

Ian Polsen: It is called Studies in Comparative Religion. And I can leave the... I have no interest in this magazine except that I subscribe to it.

Prabhupāda: Hm. Comparative religion, from our point of view, that there cannot be many religions, cannot be many religions. Religion means... We define religion as the law given by God. So we understand from Bhagavad-gītā that God says, Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ, mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru: "Always think of Me, become My devotee, offer your obeisances unto Me." So any religion that has no conception of God, how he can think of God? If I think of something, that something must be known to me; otherwise how can I think of it? If I imagine something, that is not wanted. My imagination of God... God is not a thing to be imagined by me. He is a concrete thing. Therefore according to our philosophy, any so-called religion which has no conception of God, that is not religion. That is simply mental speculation. We accept that religion means the law given by God. But if you do not know what is God, what is His law, then where is religion? Therefore in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said that all types of pseudo religion is rejected. You can ask any religious man, "What is your conception of God?" he cannot give any clear conception. So far we are concerned, we can immediately give conception of God—His name, His address, everything. That is the difference. Strictly speaking, we do not accept any system of religion as bona fide. They are all rejected. That is not religion. They do not know what is God. What is that religion? Strictly speaking, that is not religion. But if we speak publicly, they will be angry. So this comparative study of religion, we don't believe in it, because there is no religion. Where is the scope of comparative study?