We are using so many things made of skin. But as far as possible, you avoid. There are many shoes without skin, nowadays they are available. First of all try to understand the philosophy

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"we are using so many things made of skin. But as far as possible, you avoid. There are many shoes without skin, nowadays they are available. First of all try to understand the philosophy"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

We are using so many things made of skin. But as far as possible, you avoid. There are many shoes without skin, nowadays they are available. First of all try to understand the philosophy.
Room Conversation and Interview with Ian Polsen -- July 31, 1972, London:

Ian Polsen: Your Grace, you said I needn't give up my job, but may I look forward to the time when I may give up my job?

Prabhupāda: You come morning, evening, you come, as far as possible associate with us and try to give some service.

Ian Polsen: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Suppose you are getting some money. We have no money. If you try to serve, that will... Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ (Brs. 1.2.234). This line is service. The more you render service, the more you become enlightened. If you simply philosophize, theorize, you'll get no benefit. You must render service.

Ian Polsen: May I join the kīrtana in the streets over the weekend?

Prabhupāda: Huh? Yes, whenever you get opportunity, kīrtana. Yes. Very nice.

Ian Polsen: Dressed as I am?

Prabhupāda: Hm?

Ian Polsen: Dressed as I am?

Prabhupāda: Why not? Dress is not very essential.

Ian Polsen: There is another question, Your Grace. I wear leather shoes, and I know they come from animals...

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Ian Polsen: ...which have been slaughtered for this. Should I stop wearing leather shoes?

Prabhupāda: Well, that also you can continue. That is not... Just like we are using so many things made of skin. But as far as possible, you avoid. There are many shoes without skin, nowadays they are available. First of all try to understand the philosophy. It is very nice attitude that you have. What salary you are getting, government service?

Ian Polsen: I've just been promoted.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Ian Polsen: I've just been promoted to deal with Value Added Tax, and I will go up from 1,400 pounds a year to 1,700 or 1,800 pounds a year. I'm not sure of my new salary because I'm starting on Monday.

Prabhupāda: Hm. That means our 150 pounds per month?

Ian Polsen: Less the tax.

Devotee: About 4,500 a year, dollars.

Ian Polsen: Do you deal in percentages?

Prabhupāda: Anything which can be engaged in the service of the Lord should not be given up. This is our philosophy. Should not be given up. We do not say, "Oh, money is material. I do not touch. My hand becomes turned up." No. We don't say all these nonsense philosophy. (laughs) We know that money, lakṣmī, is Kṛṣṇa's property, so it should be engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service. Why money should not be touched? Money is Kṛṣṇa's. It must be touched and used for Kṛṣṇa. We don't try to (indistinct) that pseudo renouncement. What I have got that I shall renouncement? Everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa. Our renouncement means we renounce our personal sense gratification, that's all. That is renouncement. Materialism means personal sense gratification, and spiritual life means no personal sense gratification, all Kṛṣṇa's sense gratification. That's all. The same teaching by Bhagavad-gītā. Arjuna was thinking in terms of personal sense gratification: "I shall not fight. It is not good to kill my kinsmen, my brother." That was personal sense gratification. From ordinary point of view people will say, "How Kṛṣṇa is..., Arjuna is nice, that he's giving up his claim, and nonviolent." But this philosophy Kṛṣṇa immediately kicked out. Kutas tvā kaśmalam idaṁ viṣame samupasthitam. "Oh, why you are talking nonsense like this?" That was His answer. (laughs) Next He says, aśocyān anvaśocas tvam prajñā-vādāṁś ca (BG 2.11), "You are talking just like a very learned man, but this kind of lamentation is not done by any learned. That means you are fool number one." (laughter) So after understanding Bhagavad-gītā he agreed to fight. "Yes. I shall fight." That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Now people will say, "Oh, fighting, killing is Kṛṣṇa consciousness?" Yes, if Kṛṣṇa wants it. To... Therefore our business is not in the estimation of this material world to become a good man. Our estimation is how Kṛṣṇa will accept me as good man, that's all. We don't care for this world. Just like gopīs, they left their husbands, they left their father, went to Kṛṣṇa. What is this philosophy? They wanted to satisfy Kṛṣṇa, not their father, brother. Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "This is the highest worship." (Sanskrit) There is no greater, topmost example of worship than the gopīs did. Because their only purpose was to serve Kṛṣṇa, unalloyed, without being disturbed by any other consideration. That is highest perfection: How to serve Kṛṣṇa. How Kṛṣṇa will be pleased. So at the present moment the best service to render for Kṛṣṇa is that... Kṛṣṇa..., when I speak of Kṛṣṇa, means God, the Supreme Lord. The whole rascal world, they have given up God consciousness. They have become rascal. Therefore to teach them about Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the best service at the present moment. Because the whole world—the so-called politicians, so-called scientists, so-called philosophers—they're all rascals. They have forgotten God. We, we call them directly, they're all rascals, mūḍhā, duṣkṛtina mūḍhā. All sinful, all rascals, because they have no information of God, Kṛṣṇa. Ask any scientist, "Do you know anything about Kṛṣṇa?" "Oh, what is Kṛṣṇa? What is God? This is all foolish, humbug." They will say like that. And he's passing as great scientist. He's fool number one but he's passing as great scientist. (laughter) Ha! Our Śyāmasundara's daughter, little daughter, she preaches, "Do you know Kṛṣṇa?" If somebody says, "No, I do not," "The Supreme Personality of Godhead." (laughter) Actually that is nice preaching.