Interviewer: Have you any idea what the number of the people are nationally?
Prabhupāda: So far initiated members, they are about, not less than hundred. But there are many others, admirers. In each center there are at least fifty to sixty members.
Interviewer: I assume that being an initiated member means that the individual has acquainted himself sufficiently with your teaching and gone through certain disciplines? Is that?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Certainly. That is the first condition to accept one as my disciple, because there are some restriction. I don't allow illicit sex life. I don't allow intoxication. I don't allow meat-eating and gambling. So I build up their character. So naturally my followers are very restricted. (chuckles)
Interviewer: Well, now, I'd like to go over in some greater detail what the disciples may and may not do. I think that's where... I just wanted to get some of the factual background before we went into that. Now, your, the sexual abstinence does not include marriage, I gather.
Prabhupāda: No. Marriage allowed.
Interviewer: Marriage is allowed.
Prabhupāda: I say, "illicit sex." Without marriage, sex relation is forbidden.
Interviewer: I see. Would you say that there were times when, well, that there were marriages which were also illicit?
Prabhupāda: No. Of course, in civilized human society, either in India or in any other country, marriage is considered as sanctified, either in Hindu community or Christian community or Mohammedan community. But apart from that, for spiritual advancement, according to Vedic culture, sex indulgence is always restricted.
Interviewer: Always restricted. For purposes of procreation only?
Prabhupāda: No, no. Yes. Sex, sex intercourse, is recommended only for good children. That's all.
Interviewer: Only to create children.
Prabhupāda: Yes, good children.
Interviewer: Good children. Well, if the parents are good, then there is a remarkable possibility that the children may have a chance to be. Is that not true?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. That is the fact. That is the fact.
Interviewer: And you said that your followers may not drink? What about the drug picture, marijuana, LSD, and those?
Prabhupāda: No, no, we don't... There is no question, because all kinds of intoxication prohibited. We don't allow even smoking and tea-drinking, coffee-taking. You see? Any kind of intoxication we don't allow.
Interviewer: In other words, I guess it would be correct to say that this is in the Western sense of the word, a religious order.
Prabhupāda: It is not religious order. It is cultural because one cannot understand higher philosophical things if he is intoxicated.
Interviewer: No, I meant the whole, the over all picture of your group. You speak of initiates, you speak of certain disciplines. This is almost... I'm trying to translate it into Western terms. Like a religious order.
Prabhupāda: No, it is...
Interviewer: Now, you could say philosophical order, a cultural order. But the people...
Prabhupāda: Yes. Religious... If you say religious orders, there are many religious orders; they allow all these things. It is not exactly religious order. It is training of consciousness, because we are trying to put people in original, pure consciousness, which we call, technically, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Just like when rain is showered from the cloud, it is pure distilled water, but as soon as it is in touch with the earth, it is salty or so many chemicals are formed, similarly, original consciousness is pure, but when it is contaminated with matter, the consciousness is impure. So we are trying to purify the consciousness. That's all. That is our program. It is not a religious order. Consciousness is there in every living entity, and we are trying to purify his consciousness. When he comes to his original consciousness he becomes completely happy.