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Religious leaders


SB Canto 2

SB 2.3.14, Purport:

Some less intelligent men say that Bhagavad-gītā is not meant for householders, but such foolish men forget that Bhagavad-gītā was explained to Arjuna, a gṛhastha (family man), and spoken by the Lord in His role as a gṛhastha. So Bhagavad-gītā, although containing the high philosophy of the Vedic wisdom, is for the beginners in the transcendental science, and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is for graduates and postgraduates in the transcendental science. Therefore literatures like Mahābhārata, the, purāṇas and similar other literatures which are full of the pastimes of the Lord, are all transcendental literatures, and they should be discussed with full confidence in the society of great devotees.

The difficulty is that such literatures, when discussed by professional men, appear to be mundane literature like histories or epics because there are so many historical facts and figures. It is said here, therefore, that such literatures should be discussed in the assembly of devotees. Unless they are discussed by devotees, such literatures cannot be relished by the higher class of men. So the conclusion is that the Lord is not impersonal in the ultimate issue. He is the Supreme Person, and He has His different activities. He is the leader of all living entities, and He descends at His will and by His personal energy to reclaim the fallen souls. Thus He plays exactly like the social, political or religious leaders. Because such roles ultimately culminate in the discussion of topics of the Lord, all such preliminary topics are also transcendental. That is the way of spiritualizing the civic activities of human society. Men have inclinations for studying history and many other mundane literatures—stories, fiction, dramas, magazines, newspapers, etc.—so let them be dovetailed with the transcendental service of the Lord, and all of them will turn to the topics relished by all devotees. The propaganda that the Lord is impersonal, that He has no activity and that He is a dumb stone without any name and form has encouraged people to become godless, faithless demons, and the more they deviate from the transcendental activities of the Lord, the more they become accustomed to mundane activities that only clear their path to hell instead of return them home, back to Godhead.

SB 2.4.19, Purport:

Those who are after fruitive results for their pious activities, those who desire salvation and identity with the Supreme, and those who desire material perfections of mystic power are all restless because they want something for themselves, but the devotee is completely peaceful because he has no demand for himself and is always ready to serve the desire of the Lord. The conclusion is, therefore, that the Lord is for everyone because no one can achieve the result of his respective desires without His sanction, but as stated by the Lord in Bhagavad-gītā (8.9), all such results are awarded by Him only, for the Lord is adhīśvara (the original controller) of everyone, namely the Vedāntists, the great karma-kāṇḍīyas, the great religious leaders, the great performers of austerity and all who are striving for spiritual advancement. But ultimately He is realized by the pretensionless devotees only. Therefore special stress is given to the devotional service of the Lord by Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī.

SB Canto 3

SB 3.9.10, Purport:

The principles of religion are not open to any ordinary living entity. They are just to bring the human being onto the platform of morality. Nonviolence, etc., are necessary for misguided persons because unless one is moral and nonviolent one cannot understand the principles of religion. To understand what is actually religion is very difficult even if one is situated in the principles of morality and nonviolence. It is very confidential because as soon as one is conversant with the real principles of religion, he is at once liberated to the eternal life of bliss and knowledge. Therefore, one who is not situated in the principles of devotional service to the Lord should not pose himself as a religious leader of the innocent public. The Īśopaniṣad emphatically forbids this nonsense in the following mantra:

andhaṁ tamaḥ praviśanti
ye 'sambhūtim upāsate
tato bhūya iva te tamo
ya u sambhūtyāṁ ratāḥ
(Īśopaniṣad 12)

A person in ignorance of the principles of religion who therefore does nothing in the matter of religion is far better than a person who misguides others in the name of religion without reference to the factual religious principles of devotional service. Such so-called leaders of religion are sure to be condemned by Brahmā and other great authorities.

SB Canto 8

SB 8.23.16, Purport:

I have seen that many religious leaders are addicted to performing yajñas and spending hundreds and thousands of rupees for imperfect sacrificial performances. This is a lesson for those who unnecessarily execute such imperfect sacrifices. We should take the advice of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu (yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi sumedhasaḥ). Although Śukrācārya was a strict brāhmaṇa addicted to ritualistic activities, he also admitted, niśchidram anusaṅkīrtanaṁ tava: "My Lord, constant chanting of the holy name of Your Lordship makes everything perfect." In Kali-yuga the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies cannot be performed as perfectly as before. Therefore Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has recommended that although one should take care to follow all the principles in every kind of spiritual activity, especially in worship of the Deity, there is still a chance of discrepancies, and one should compensate for this by chanting the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we therefore give special stress to the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra in all activities.


Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Lecture on BG 2.46-47 -- New York, March 28, 1966:

The whole material nature is working under the superintendence of the Supreme Lord. Now, whenever there is any discrepancy, just to rectify, sometimes punishment is given or sometimes the Lord comes Himself, or sometimes He sends His representative, or sometimes He leaves some books of knowledge. In this way the whole process from God's side is to put ourself always on the right path. That is the process going on. Now, just like in your Christian religion. Lord Jesus Christ, he claimed himself that he is coming from God as son of God to reclaim to back to Godhead, back to home. That is the mission. Every, every reformer or every great religious leader or God Himself, He comes on this earth to reclaim these conditioned soul to back to Godhead, back to the kingdom of Godhead. That is the whole idea of incarnation. Now, at the present moment... Not at the present moment. Practically always, the people, by material contact they forget their relation, their relationship with the Supreme Lord, their constitutional position. Now, this, whatever we earn, if not the whole thing, but if at least some portion of our income we engage in the service of the Lord for propagating the teaching of God consciousness, that is engaging our fruitive activities, the result of our fruitive activities, in the service of the Lord. And another thing, if we want to prosecute our spiritual life, then there are certain formulas. Certain formulas mean that we should not take more than what we need. We should not take more than what we need. We should not neglect also that, the portion which we actually need, but at the same time we should not accumulate more than what we need.

Lecture on BG 3.27 -- Melbourne, June 27, 1974:

Anyone who has preached... The religious leaders all over the world... Take Lord Jesus Christ or Kṛṣṇa or Mohammed or Lord Buddha. Nobody has said that "You will be happy in this material world." Nobody has said. "You continue this manufacturing of factories, and you will be happy." Has anybody said? No. "Back to home, back to Godhead. Then you will be happy." This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, back to home, back to Godhead.

Lecture on BG 4.11-12 -- New York, July 28, 1966:

Now, everyone... Therefore everyone is following the leadership or the representative of the leadership. Now you will find in the Bhagavad-gītā. When there is some specific qualification of a person, just like political leader or some spiritual leader... Leader there must be. So suppose a political leader or religious leader is there, and thousands of people are following him. So that is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, that they are invested with certain power of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Yad yad vibhūtimat sattvaṁ mama tejo 'ṁśa-sambhavam. So everyone is following directly or indirectly the supreme leadership of Kṛṣṇa. And the perfectional stage of accepting that leadership is when we accept Śrī Kṛṣṇa as our direct leader.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Lecture on SB 2.3.14-15 -- Los Angeles, May 31, 1972:

Pradyumna: The difficulty is that such literatures, when discussed by professional men, appear to be mundane literature like histories or epics because there are so many historical facts and figures. It is said here, therefore, that such literatures should be discussed in the assembly of devotees. Unless they are discussed by devotees, such literatures cannot be relished by the higher class of men. So the conclusion is that the Lord is not impersonal in the ultimate issue. He is the Supreme Person, and He has His different activities. He is the leader of all living entities, and He descends at His will and by His personal energy to reclaim the fallen souls. Thus He plays exactly like the social, political or religious leaders. Because such roles ultimately culminate in the discussion of topics of the Lord, all such preliminary topics are also transcendental. That is the way of spiritualizing the civic activities of human society. Men have inclinations for studying history and many other mundane literatures—stories, fiction, dramas, magazines, newspapers, etc.—so let them be dovetailed with the transcendental service of the Lord, and all of them will turn to the topics relished by all devotees. The propaganda that the Lord is impersonal, that He has no activity and that He is a dumb stone without any name and form has encouraged people to become godless, faithless demons, and the more they deviate from the transcendental activities of the Lord, the more they become accustomed to mundane activities that only clear their path to hell instead of return them home, back to Godhead.* Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam begins from the history of the Pāṇḍavas (with necessary politics and social activities), and yet Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is said to be the Pāramahaṁsa-saṁhitā, or the Vedic literature meant for the topmost transcendentalist, and it describes paraṁ jñānam, the highest transcendental knowledge. Pure devotees of the Lord are all paramahaṁsas, and they are like the swans, who know the art of sucking milk out of a mixture of milk and water.

Prabhupāda: Yes. In our childhood, we saw every village, every town, the transcendental knowledge. Any common man could speak about Rāmāyaṇa, Mahābhārata, Lord Kṛṣṇa. And system was—still there are, but practically closed now—that in the evening, in the village, everyone should assemble in a place to hear messages from Mahābhārata, Rāmāyaṇa, especially, because these two books can be understood by common man. Not... Vedānta philosophy was discussed. So my maternal uncles was in the suburb of Calcutta, about ten miles from our house. So sometimes when we used to go there, so in the evening after taking their meals, by eight o'clock, they would go to a place, assemble, and hear about Rāmāyaṇa, Mahābhārata, Bhāgavata. And they should discuss while coming home, and they should go, they would go to bed thinking that memory. So they'll sleep also Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata. Yes, and dream also Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata. You see? This was the system. Sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ (BG 8.6).

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures

Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.97-99 -- New York, November 22, 1966:

So Sanātana Gosvāmī has no such knowledge. At least, he is pretending like that. So he says that grāmya-vyavahāre kahaye paṇḍita: "By social etiquette I am addressed as 'paṇḍita,' but..." Tāi satya māni: "And I also accept that I am paṇḍita." If somebody falsely calls me that "Your Majesty," so it is an insult. It is not honoring him. I am an ordinary man. If somebody calls me, Your Majesty," so a man who has no qualification, if he is eulogized in that way, that is an insult. But we are so much fool that if somebody calls me "Your Majesty," I shall feel, "Oh, I am Majesty. Yes. I am His Majesty." That is our nature. If some false qualifications is awarded to me, I shall be very glad to accept it. I shall think, "Yes." So Sanātana Gosvāmī said that "Actually, I am not paṇḍita because I do not know what is my benefit, what is beneficial to me. I do not know the goal of my life. I simply wasted my time in sense gratification. I do not know. And still, people say, 'You are paṇḍita,' and I accept it. Just see my position." This is blank slate, admitting that "I am fool number one, but people say I am learned, and I accept it." This is our nature. This is called illusion. He will never think that "I am fool number one." He will always think, "Oh, who can be greater than me? I can think myself. Why? What is the necessity of a spiritual master? I can become a religious leader, I can become such and such, or..." This is our mentality.

Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.367-84 -- New York, December 31, 1966:

Now, so far our experience is concerned, Lord Caitanya says there are innumerable. So how we can accept a avatāra, a śaktyāveśa avatāra, whose names are not mentioned herein? Then we have to... As in the beginning, Lord Caitanya says that by the symptoms we can understand that He is śaktyāveśa. By the symptoms and activities and influence. So what is that symptom? Symptom is that eternal and temporary. So avatāra, incarnation, comes to glorify the eternal existence of the Supreme Lord. So any avatāra, any incarnation, he comes to glorify that "There is spiritual kingdom, there is God, and I have come to reclaim you to back to Godhead, back to home." This is the symptom. So therefore, by that symptom, we accept Lord Jesus Christ as śaktyāveśa avatāra, or Hazrat Muhammad, he's also. Because these two religious leaders of the world, they preached about the glorification of the Supreme Lord. And they sacrificed everything for preaching the glories of the Lord. Therefore... And their influence and their followers, there are... These are the symptoms by which we can understand that Jesus Christ and Hazrat Muhammad was, were śaktyāveśa avatāras.

Arrival Addresses and Talks

Arrival Lecture -- San Francisco, July 15, 1975:

If you learn these three things, that God is the proprietor, God is the enjoyer, and He is the real friend... Actually, He is the real friend. And our godlessness means we are claiming that we are proprietor: "This is my land. I am American. American is mine," or "India is mine." Or anything, say. Actually, the proprietor is God, but we are falsely claiming that "It is my property" or "our property." Therefore there is no śānti. Try to understand. Actually, God is proprietor, but we, out of our foolishness, we are claiming "our property" or "my property." Therefore there is no śānti. Similarly, God is the supreme enjoyer of everything. Yajña-tapasām. By performing yajña, by executing tapasya, one is elevated, gets some profit, material body, material profit. If you perform yajña, then you can go to the heavenly planet. Similarly, if you perform austerity, then you can be promoted to spiritual life. So... But what you will do by spiritual life? "By spiritual life" means if you become servant of God, then you will live and you will have peace. But if you want to become yourself God or master, then you will feel inconvenience, because that is not the fact. Bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheś..., suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām (BG 5.29). And God is the friend of everyone. Why not? He claims that "Everyone, every living entity—never mind in which form he is existing—he is My son." So is not the father the best friend of the son? But no. We are claiming, "I shall become your friend. I shall become your leader. I shall lead you to prosperity." No. That is false. The political leaders or the so-called religious leaders or other many leaders there are. They are taking the position of God, that "I shall become your friend. I shall lead you so that you will become happy." That is wrong. You cannot become friend. To how many people or how many men you can become friend? One, two, three, four, five, thousand, ten thousand, million? But there are unlimited, asāṅkhyā. Jīva bhāva sa..., asāṅkhyā. You cannot count how many. Suppose you can become friend of your children at home or your friend's wife, sons and others. But how you can become friends the elephant in the African jungle? You cannot become. But you will see. There are hundreds and thousands of elephants in the jungle of Africa. They are eating, sleeping, very nicely. Who is supplying their necessities? God is supplying. You will find in your room in a hole that thousands of ants are coming out. Are you giving them food? Who is supplying food?

Initiation Lectures

Initiation of Satyabhama Dasi and Gayatri Initiation of Devotees Going to London -- Montreal, July 26, 1968:

Satyabhāmā: Kate.

Prabhupāda: Kate. So your name should be... Is there any name Satyabhāmā? Satyabhāmā? No. So her name, Satyabhāmā dāsī. S-a-t-y-a-b-h-a-m-a. Satyabhāmā dāsī. So this is the process, you know, from, beginning from here, each bead, Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare. And there are ten kinds of offenses. While chanting, you should avoid ten kinds of offenses. So you will get the list. And summarily I can explain that satāṁ nindā. A Kṛṣṇa conscious person will never blaspheme any person, any religious leader, who is trying to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness or God consciousness. In any country, in any religion, anyone who has tried to spread God consciousness to the people, they are all respectable persons. Those who are atheist, those who do not believe in God or those who personally declare that "I am God," we have nothing to do with such persons. But anyone in any country who accepts God as the Supreme, Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme, kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28), such persons are respectable persons and we should offer our always respect to them. We have... Unnecessarily we do not want to criticize anyone. But when there is necessity, because we are preacher, it may be sometimes you'll be faced with opposite elements, so we have to criticize in that respect. Generally we don't praise or eulogize somebody or criticize somebody. That is not our business. Our business is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, God consciousness, always thinking that we are eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa.

Philosophy Discussions

Philosophy Discussion on B. F. Skinner and Henry David Thoreau:

Prabhupāda: Then who will control? Society controlled without any controller? What is the meaning?

Rāmeśvara: It's a type of communism, where the people work together in a communal way.

Prabhupāda: How they will work together? They require Lenin, Stalin, or something like that, to force them to work. Still, in Communist country there are manager class. Not only worker class, the manager class. So this is all utopian theory. It has no practical value.

Hayagrīva: In the United States all of the successful utopian communities have had a strong religious leader.

Prabhupāda: Leader must be there, religious or not religious. Everyone has leader. The Communist has got leader, and the spiritualists, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we have also leader. So without leader nothing can be done. They may defy leadership, they may defy authority, but one who defies authority, he wants to become authority. So this is natural. Without leader nothing can be done.

Hayagrīva: That's the end of B. F. Skinner. (end)

Conversations and Morning Walks

1968 Conversations and Morning Walks

Press Interview -- December 30, 1968, Los Angeles:

Journalist: Yeah, I would feel that you had not attained that level of being out of it yet that you wouldn't know that. I really think I've asked most of the questions that I want to ask. I really sort of knew the answers. The ultimate of the answer, that is. I can't really think of much else to say or to ask. Have you anything that you'd like to say that may be of some kind of revelation to me or to our readers or something that... You know, what you're really saying, there's no easy way out. (laughs) If man is to attain any goal in his quest for fulfillment, he's got to work at it is really what it amounts to. So your message is really no different from that of Moses or Christ or any of the other great religious leaders. If people will follow the ethic of Ten Commandments, and follow it, that's where it is.

Prabhupāda: We ask people... We don't say that "You give up your, this religion. You come to us." But at least you follow your own principles. And... Just like a student. Sometimes in India it happens that although they have passed M.A. examination in Indian university, they come to foreign university to study more. So why does he come? To get more enlightenment. Similarly any religious scripture you may follow, but if you get more enlightenment here in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, why should you not accept it if you are serious about God? Why should you say, "Oh, I am Christian. I am Jew. I cannot attend your meeting." Why should you say, "Oh, I cannot allow you to speak in my church." If I am speaking about God, what objection you have got?

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation with John Griesser (later initiated as Yadubara Dasa) -- March 10, 1972, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: What is the difficulty to understand? But if in all these changing circumstances, if you become Kṛṣṇa conscious, then your position becomes transcendental. You are no more subjected to all this changing process. So that opportunity is in the human life. It doesn't matter whether he is in the Kali-yuga or Satya-yuga. Because he has got this human form of life, he must be Kṛṣṇa conscious. Then his problem is solved. So you have to preach like this, that we are giving the best human welfare activities to utilize this human form of life.

hari hari biphale janama goṅāinu, manuṣya-janama pāiyā,

rādhā-kṛṣṇa nā bhajiyā, jāniyā śuniyā biṣa khāinu

If we do not make our..., revive our lost relationship with Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, then the human form of life means knowingly you are drinking poison. This Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura's songs, they are Vedic songs written in plain Bengali language.

hari hari biphale janama goṅāinu, manuṣya-janama pāiyā,

rādhā-kṛṣṇa nā bhajiyā, jāniyā śuniyā biṣa khāinu

People are already mad, and the so-called rascal leaders making them more and more mad. That's all. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās (SB 7.5.31). So-called scientists, so-called religious leaders, all rascals. If we say that all rascals, we are only intelligent, (laughter) they will not be very happy. But that will be fact, try to understand it.

Room Conversation with Kenneth Keating, U.S. Ambassador to India -- October 14, 1972, New Delhi:

Ambassador: Uh, Your Divine Grace, I'm sorry, but I have an Ambassador waiting, and I have to move from the sublime to the mundane. I'd like to continue this, but he has this appointment and I have to... But I appreciate very much your coming in and...

Prabhupāda: Now, I am also coming to the mundane point of view. The next time I want, when I go and come back to USA, I wish to see the President, if you can help me?

Ambassador: Well I, I can write a letter, but uh, I've had, let me, don't let me discourage you, but let me tell you that I've had at least a dozen religious leaders from India request the same thing, and none of them have gotten to see the President.

Prabhupāda: But one thing is...

Ambassador: But I'll be glad to try to help.

Prabhupāda: So, the things are, such an important philosophy, important movement is going unnoticed. You are busy to help the whole world so that peace will come, people may be happy, but instead of being happy, your country are becoming hippie.

Mrs. Keating: (laughing) Happy to hippie.

Ambassador: That's right.

Prabhupāda: So there is some defect, and here is a chance to rectify that defect. Here is a chance. I can argue with any scientist, any philosopher, that this is the only remedy to save people from frustration. This is the only remedy. Why it should go unnoticed by your country, such a great, who are willing to help others, willing to help. You started the United Nations in your country for that. Let us do something tangible, scientific, that people will be happy.

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation with Krishna Tiwari -- May 22, 1973, New York:

Krishna Tiwari: But the question is, on the left hand... Of course, in my opinion, and I think in the opinion of many scientists, there is no difference between a scientist or a common man or a religious man. Both..., all these people are trying to find out about their environment. So are the religious men. They want to find out more about themselves, about the nature they live in. They want to know more about it. They want to find out why they're here, how are they to live in this world, and so I do not think there is any difference between the two.

Prabhupāda: No, there cannot be difference.

Krishna Tiwari: Yes. And the only difference is that where the scientist deals with the phenomena of nature and wants to show it to others. In a strict sense he can tell how he (indistinct) better; others can go and say it. Sometimes it is very hard, I think, for all these reasons, for the religious leaders to do that.

Prabhupāda: So as so far the differences, there is no difference, because just like this body: the body has got different parts—the fingers, the hands, the eyes, the legs, so many different—but the whole purpose is to serve the body. Either with the finger or eyes or hands or legs, the whole purpose is centered on the soul of the complete whole body. Similarly, Bhāgavata says that whatever you may—you may be scientist, you may be philosopher, you may be an engineer, you may be a poet, you may be sociologist, politician, whatever you may be-their purpose should be avicyutaḥ arthaḥ. Avicyutaḥ means infallible purpose. Avicyutaḥ arthaḥ kavibhih nirūpitaḥ. "It has been decided by great learned scholar," says "all of them should be engaged in glorifying the Supreme." Avicyuto 'rthaḥ kavibhir nirūpito yad-uttamaśloka-guṇānuvarṇanam. The scientists, from their angle of vision, should describe the glory of the Lord: how this biology is working by the manipulation of the Supreme Lord. Similarly chemists, physicists, engineers, politicians, there are different departments, but all of them should join together, congregation, and from their different scientific point, angle of vision, they should glorify the Supreme Lord.

Room Conversation -- London, August 24, 1973 :

Prabhupāda: ...there are so many paths, that Kṛṣṇa says that "Real religion is to surrender unto Me. Therefore you give up all this pseudo-religion," sarva dharman parityajya, give it up, mam ekam saranam, "just surrender unto Me, I shall give you protection from all sinful reaction." So here is God, and He is accepted by great ācāryas. In India there were great ācāryas, religious leaders. Just like Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Viṣṇu Svāmī, Nimbarka, later Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and many others. They accept Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So there is God, His name, His address, His activities, everything is there. If you accept, then you will benefit.

Woman: Do you think that the, the poor Indians who are suffering because of this terrible drought in India..., is it in India?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Woman: Yes. Umm, is their relief never going to be in this world? Is it only going to be when they die?

Prabhupāda: Well, nobody is dying.

Woman: Dying is parting, is the soul parting from the physical body (indistinct)....

Prabhupāda: So every, everyone everywhere is dying. Do you think in your country nobody dies? Is there any guarantee, that any, that nobody will die?

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation with Russian Orthodox Church Representative -- June 13, 1974, Paris:

Paramahaṁsa: In the world today it seems as if, just like men take advantage of women and make them topless and bottomless, also they try and encourage people like this to be leaders of religion. That way the mass of people don't take any real interest. They do this in Russia too. They kill the sincere religious leaders, and they put their own men as religious leader, and it just sort of undermines the whole purity and the importance in the instruction, and then no one repeats it.

Karandhara: In the West also, in the past ten years there's been a resurgence of what's called fundamentalism. For so long the Christian liturgy, the Christian doctrine, got so hodge-podge and so wishy-washy that people were leaving because there was simply nothing there solid for them to grasp onto. Now fundamentalism, or the very basic principles that God is the Almighty and that we are sinners and if we don't repent, God's going to strike us down with wrath and anger, that basic principle of fear of God, that is receiving new support. Many people are coming back to that because even though it's a very vague thing, still it's something definite. "God is there, and if I do something wrong, He's going to cut me down," rather than, "Well, nothing's wrong, nothing's right," it's all hodge-podge, wish wash. People can't grasp onto that. There's nothing for them to...

Prabhupāda: That is Māyāvāda, "nothing wrong, nothing right. Everything is all right," Vivekananda's philosophy.

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk -- July 21, 1975, San Francisco:

Bahulāśva: How does that happen, when he becomes over-intelligent?

Prabhupāda: Over-intelligent, it is sarcastically said. More than intelligent.

Bahulāśva: Oh. Speculative.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Devotee (4): What I meant to say is that the directors of these religions like the Pope and so many things, they themselves have committed so many abominable activities that people have said, "Well, why should we stay with religion? These religious leaders themselves are eating meat, they have prostitution, they are cheating the people, taking their money, living very nicely..."

Prabhupāda: But that is not religion. Why you accept the Pope as religious?

Devotee (4): No, we don't accept...

Prabhupāda: You reject. You reject. Come to us. Why do you accept these rascals as religious? That is your fault. Why should you stick to them? They cannot teach what is real religion, so let us give you.

Morning Walk -- July 21, 1975, San Francisco:

Paramahaṁsa: In Germany they say that's throwing the baby out with the dirty bath water.

Prabhupāda: Throwing? (laughter)

Paramahaṁsa: They wash the baby, and the water's dirty. So they throw the water out with the baby.

Prabhupāda: Throwing out the baby?

Devotee (4): With the bath water.

Paramahaṁsa: Well, they're assuming because there's some irreligion amongst the so-called religious leaders, therefore they reject all religion.

Prabhupāda: No.

Paramahaṁsa: Scientists, I mean.

Prabhupāda: No, why? Because you have received some counterfeit coin, therefore you should reject all coins?

Paramahaṁsa: That's the logic.

Prabhupāda: That is not logic; that is foolishness.

Paramahaṁsa: Right.

Prabhupāda: That is foolishness. You must be experienced, that "There are counterfeit coins. I shall be very clever, intelligent, to see before accepting any genuine coin." That should be your conclusion. Not that I have met one or two counterfeit coins, therefore I conclude there is no genuine coin.

Morning Walk -- September 27, 1975, Ahmedabad:

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is the nature. That is... They want to be a faithful wife, but there is no husband. Where to become faithful?

Harikeśa: So then they want to become liberated.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Being hopeless repeatedly, now they want liberation. Hare Kṛṣṇa. Jaya. (break) Jaya. (break) ...samājīs?

Kartikeya: There are many. They fight with us. Over in office, when they come, they speak such ill words about many of our religious leaders and God. They are so much brainwashed, completely brainwashed. They call themselves Hindus, but they do not want to follow any God, only brahma-tattva or Brahman. They believe in the Vedas...

Madhudviṣa: Actually they are atheists.

Prabhupāda: Nāstika.

Madhudviṣa: Like Vivekananda.

Kartikeya: That man said they have muscular body and they have muscular mind. That man was very much correct, absolutely.

Prabhupāda: (break) Jaya. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Morning Walk -- October 4, 1975, Mauritius:

Prabhupāda: "You have violated from the very beginning the orders of Christ, 'Thou shall not kill,' and you are killing, only killing. So what you have not done?"

Devotee 1: They say that man has to dominate over the animals. They should...

Prabhupāda: Therefore you should kill and eat them. Very good reasoning. "The father should dominate over children; therefore the children should be killed and eaten up." So rascals, and they are professing religious leaders.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Prabhupāda, if every moment we are killing in breathing and walking and doing so many things, and then it says, "Thou shalt not kill," so then hasn't God given us an instruction which is impossible?

Prabhupāda: No. Conscientiously you should not. But unconsciously, if you do, that is excused. (break) ...na punar baddhyate(?). Āhlādinī-śakti, it is pleasure potency. So pleasure potency is not painful to Kṛṣṇa. But it is painful. It is painful to us, conditioned souls. This Golden Moon (name of a bar?), everyone comes there for pleasure, but he is becoming implicated in sinful activities. Therefore it is not pleasure. It will give him pain, so many aftereffects. Sex life, even it is not illicit, still, it is painful, aftereffects. You'll have to take care of the children. You have to bear children. That is painful. You have to pay to the hospital for delivery, then education, then doctor's bill—so many painful. So this pleasure, sex pleasure, is followed by so many painful things. Tāpa-karī. The same pleasure potency is there in the living being in little quantity, and as soon as they utilize it, it becomes painful. And the same pleasure potency in the spiritual world, Kṛṣṇa's dancing with gopīs, that is not painful. That is pleasing. (break) ...man, if he takes nice foodstuff it is painful. If a diseased man, if he takes...

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk -- April 15, 1976, Bombay:

Dr. Patel: It is abstract materialism, sir.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Dr. Patel: Because the very theory of dialectical materialism is against the tenets of religious teachings of sanātana-dharma.

Prabhupāda: No, that...

Dr. Patel: The spirit is more important than material.

Prabhupāda: No, their teaching is to become some strong atheist, because religion has been exploited by the so-called religious leaders. That is the difficulty. So they have become atheist.

Dr. Patel: Unless they change their very principle on which they are working. That is why I say we must spread the spiritual communism, sir, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the only way. The other day I talked about the dialectical materialism. That is the crux of the whole communism.

Prabhupāda: The communism will be immediately perfect as soon as it is connected with Kṛṣṇa.

Dr. Patel: But that is, sir... I mean, our sanātana-dharma is spiritual communism. That is what we actually try to preach them.

Prabhupāda: But you have lost it. You have lost it.

Conversation in Airport and Car -- June 21, 1976, Toronto:

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. (break) People are being kept in such an ignorant way that they do not care about sinful activities. They can do anything for sense gratification. Nūnaṁ pramattaḥ kurute vikarma (SB 5.5.4). Actually, there is no advancement of civilization. They are thinking, they are running on four-wheel motorcar, and the dog is running on four legs. What is the quality change? This is going on in the name of civilization, and people are kept in ignorance. Where is the advancement? Running by motorcar is advancement? They have no knowledge that there is next life, and "Today I am running on Ford car, tomorrow I may have to run like dog on four legs."

Kīrtanānanda: They do not think like that.

Prabhupāda: So this is ignorance, this is ignorance. And they are kept, the whole world—the state, the father, the guardian, everyone, the priest. Everyone is ignorant. Dull-headed ignorant. And they are passing on as philosopher, scientist, religious leader. (break) ...hard to bring them to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Taking these few years, fifty years or sixty years living here, and dance like dog and finish. There is no life. You die peacefully or (indistinct). And not dying peacefully, they cry. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Kīrtanānanda: How to save them is very difficult.

Prabhupāda: Simply chant. This is the only. Give them chance to come and chant with us, take prasāda. Then after few days or few months, let them understand Bhagavad-gītā.

Devotee: We have all got this experience.

Prabhupāda: You have all got this experience. This is the only way. I started this movement on this determination, that they have nothing to give, simply by propaganda they are exacting so many people and befooling them. And I'll give them prasāda, nice chanting, and they will not come? They must come. This was my determination. And I began with this. So this is the only way. Give them chance "No talk, please come. Chant and dance with us and take kṛṣṇa-prasāda and go home."

Answers to a Questionnaire from Bhavan's Journal -- June 28, 1976, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: Beginning, from the beginning. You can add something.

Hari-śauri: Read out what it is and everything as well.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: This is a questionnaire which was sent to us by one journal, a cultural and religious journal in Bombay. It's called Bhavan's Journal. And they are questioning different religious leaders, especially in India, trying to get the answers to some of these important questions which are perplexing especially the Indian public today. So there's a list of about 21 questions, and we can go through them one by one for Śrīla Prabhupāda to answer. The first question, "Is the influence of religion over the masses on the wane?" Is the influence of religion over the masses decreasing?

Prabhupāda: Yes, this is predicted in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Tataḥ anudinam. Bring that black book, Bhāgavata. Tatas cānudinaṁ dharmaḥ satyam. This is Kali-Yuga, the age of waning of these things. Religiosity, truthfulness, memory, bodily strength, duration of life, mercifulness.

Hari-śauri: Pradyumna's just going to come with it.

Prabhupāda: These are, will be declining. These are the, I mean to say, human assets which makes a human being distinct from the animals. But these things will decline. There will be no mercifulness, there will be no truthfulness, the memory will be shortened, duration life shortened. Similarly religion will vanish. So that means gradually they will come to the platform of animals. And especially when there is no religion, it is simply animals.

Morning Walk -- July 17, 1976, New York:

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: ...pure devotee will also come here and therefore he's (indistinct) bringing for you.

Prabhupāda: Yes, Caitanya Mahāprabhu goes with His associates, He does not go alone. Sa-pārṣadam. Sāṅgopāṅgāstra-pārṣadam.

kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇaṁ
yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair
yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ
(SB 11.5.32)

There is saṅkīrtana-yajña, everything will improve very gradually. (break) Now the government has not given any opposition. That is very good. In India, our own government is giving little opposition.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The Constitution of the United States gives great deal of protection for civil rights, religious freedom.

Prabhupāda: Therefore they are so advanced.

Kīrtanānanda: But there's a lot of talk now that they aren't, so far as income tax is concerned.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Kīrtanānanda: So far as our collecting money, they are going to maybe change some laws. There's a lot of talk about that now.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: They've done that in India.

Hṛdayānanda: The religious leaders have become such cheaters that the governments are thinking "Why shouldn't they pay taxes? They're just ordinary people."

Prabhupāda: Best thing is collect and spend, that's all.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Don't bank a lot of money.

Prabhupāda: No. Best buildings are on this Fifth Avenue, huh?

Press Conference -- December 16, 1976, Hyderabad:

Dr. Ramachandra: I am eye specialist practicing in Hyderabad.

Prabhupāda: You are very qualified.

Dr. Ramachandra: With your grace. So I have been thinking of meeting you for a long time, and when I was told you are leaving tomorrow, then I said I would come and pay my respects to you.

Prabhupāda: Very good. Very good. Thank you.

Dr. Ramachandra: It's our luck that I could meet you. You are a great leader of, religious leader, you see, international. And you belong to order of the Caitanya Maṭha.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Dr. Ramachandra: It's a great bhakti movement. So any services I am prepared to give for the āśrama, with your...

Prabhupāda: (aside:) So keep this card. The Dr. Ramachandra is ready.

Dr. Ramachandra: I am on telephone also.

Prabhupāda: So any help you want, we'll give. It is very nice. (Hindi)

Morning Walk -- December 25, 1976, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: Religion is to surrender to Kṛṣṇa. But he does not recommend to surrender to Kṛṣṇa. What does he know about Kṛṣṇa? That is the difficulty. He does not know what is Kṛṣṇa, what is religion, and he is preaching religion?

Guest (1): He's supposed to be one of the biggest propagator of Gītā. He had Gītāra jñāna yajña in Bombay. There were thousands of people there.

Prabhupāda: False, everything false. Misled. He does not recognize Kṛṣṇa, he does not recognize religion, and he is religious.

Guest (1): One of the best religious leaders. That's what people think.

Prabhupāda: No, no, that may be, falsely representation, but where he is recommending that "You surrender to Kṛṣṇa and worship Him"? Has he done that? That means misleading. He can become a very good orator, and he can get claps, but what is the benefit? He's a good orator, there is no doubt about it. But Kṛṣṇa does not say that "You become a orator and cheat others." He does not say. He says, "Surrender unto Me." So if actually one is preaching, he should teach the audience that "Surrender to Kṛṣṇa." And that is reading of Bhagavad-gītā. If I take Bhagavad-gītā and speak something of my opinion, that means I am cheating. I am taking advantage of Bhagavad-gītā, and I am impressing people with my nonsense ideas.

1977 Conversations and Morning Walks

Evening Darsana -- January 7, 1977, Bombay:

Jagadīśa: (reading letter) "Enclosed please find a clipping showing a press interview with California Governor Jerry Brown, who is a potential presidential candidate in the next election, asking the Hare Kṛṣṇa followers to help humanize conditions in the state mental institutes. He recognized that what is needed is for religious leaders to come in and to give these patients new life. And he recognized us as religious leaders. This is a great credit for us, and we immediately called the five biggest state institutes and got permission to visit their patients. We sent fifty devotees with gift-wrapped 'Krishnas' presents of prasāda, Bhagavad-gītās and Kṛṣṇa books, calendars, records, and so on. And all of the doctors were so appreciative that they invited us back to show movies, put on plays, and continue helping their patients."

Prabhupāda: (Hindi) Aiye.

Guest (1) (Indian man): Humanity is hungry for love of father Śrī Kṛṣṇa, devotion, yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the only...

Guest (1): That is only medicine. That is only remedy.

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Morning Conversation -- April 11, 1977, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: Now so many charges are coming against her. (pause) Hm? She and her son are the destiny of India? A woman and a debauch? They can do whatever they like. It's a farce condition. That so-called democracy is nonsense demoncracy. And by this demoncracy, it can be done. A demon may be, if he can simply secure votes. What is the position? Without any training Formerly the destiny was by rājarṣi. Royal power, but ṛṣi, saintly person. See the character of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, Parīkṣit, Ambarīṣa. (aside:) At least, you cover some way or other with some cloth. Find out some cloth or towel, and cover it. Yes. All rogues, they are political leaders. Political leader means rogue. Nowadays, these... Here is so-called religious leader, Sai Baba, another rogue. This is Kali-yuga. (Hindi) There is no good man politician. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyāḥ (SB 1.1.10). Sumanda-matayaḥ. They have got a conception which is very, very bad, conception of religion, social, political. All condemned.

Bhakti-caru: (reading:) "In the affairs, the leader's duty, why was she silent?"

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I read that to you, this morning.

Prabhupāda: Oh, read it again.


1947 to 1965 Correspondence

Letter to Tirtha Maharaja -- New York 23 November, 1965:

The consul and other officers of the New India House are impressed with my book and practically the 2nd officer (consul) is arranging the meeting inviting all distinguished gentlemen both Indian and American with Tea Party. The copy of the invitation letter is also subjoined herewith. "The Tagore Society of New York Inc. Cordially Invites You to a lecture "GOD CONSCIOUSNESS" by A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI Date: Sunday, November 28,1965. Time: Lecture, 3:30 P.M. Tea, 4:30 P.M. Place: New India House, 3, East 64th Street.

A widely respected Scholar and religious leader in India Swami Bhaktivedanta is briefly visiting New York. He has been engaged in the monumental endeavour of translating the sixty volume "Srimad-Bhagavatam" from Sanskrit into English. etc. So my lecturing or appointing one selling agent here for my books is already finished and if I remain such many lectures can be arranged in different parts of the country.

1970 Correspondence

Letter to Jagadisa -- Bombay 4 November, 1970:

The news clippings which you enclose are encouraging to me. This publicity is very important in the advancement of our preaching work. Only the standard should be that our philosophy be presented factually. I can see that you have developed first-class relations with the press and this is a sign of your sincerity. Please continue and expand this propaganda work to all parts of Canada. Even religious leaders of Christian faith like Rev. J. G. McDonald, Toronto, are appreciating our sincere presentation, and I think that you may invite him to our Toronto temple for kirtana and prasadam.

Page Title:Religious leaders
Compiler:Visnu Murti
Created:28 of Feb, 2012
Totals by Section:BG=0, SB=4, CC=0, OB=0, Lec=9, Con=18, Let=2
No. of Quotes:33