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Why, instead of going, suppose, to South Africa where the majority, the great majority, are believers, you don't go to Japan?

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"Why, instead of going, suppose, to South Africa where the majority, the great majority, are believers, you don't go to Japan"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Yes, we go.
Room Conversation with Catholic Cardinal and Secretary to the Pope -- May 24, 1974, Rome:

Prabhupāda: And it is being effective. It is being effective. In our group we find Africans, Americans, Indians, Europeans, Canadians, Japanese, Chinese, everyone.

Monsignor Verrozano: And what concern the Buddhist countries where God is not so, at least, the prayers or the name of God is not so well known. I am just coming from Bangkok where we had a meeting with Buddhist monks of the (indistinct), and have you also some movement, some kind of action to spread love of God to (indistinct)?

Prabhupāda: Well, Buddhists, they do not believe in God.

Cardinal and Monsignor Verrozano: Yes.

Prabhupāda: So according to our Vedic conception, Buddhist philosophy is atheistic philosophy.

Cardinal Pignedoli: Theoretically yes, but practically, do you think they are atheistic, practically? Because...

Prabhupāda: No, no. Our... Yes. Theoretically atheistic, but because they believe in Lord Buddha, they are theistic. Because we accept Lord Buddha as incarnation of God, Kṛṣṇa.

Cardinal Pignedoli: Also some of them, they believe in... They think Buddha is a god, and they are believers.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Buddha is God. That is stated. You will find?

Cardinal Pignedoli: Excuse me if I go back for a moment to this question which is not that I ask if you are, excuse it, if you go only to some, you go to all the people. I agree this is not (indistinct). But because we are few... I give an example. Why, instead of going, suppose, to South Africa where the majority, the great majority, are believers, you don't go to Japan?

Prabhupāda: Yes, we go.

Cardinal Pignedoli: This is more important because you have not so many. If you go to South Africa, and although... I mean because also we. We have not so many. It's a question of possibility, of chances. Why don't you choose...? This is my question. These areas where Japan for instance is an area very atheistic and where yesterday I had this sect with me of the not perfectly... It's called... No. It's a different one. Mr. Kalyana is the president. He came yesterday. He came yesterday. Mr. Kalyana. Well, they don't believe, as you say. This is philosophy. Welfare, is happiness, but not in your meaning, in my meaning. Well, this is only to ask, then you go to Japan?

Dhanañjaya: Yes, we have a center in Tokyo.

Prabhupāda: Yes. We have got center in Japan, in Hong Kong.

Cardinal Pignedoli: Are you welcome in Japan? People are interested, eh?

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Recently some of our preachers, they have collected fifty-thousand dollars from the Japanese people. They wanted to contribute me for my Vṛndāvana temple, but the Japanese government will not allow to let the money go out. He wrote me. And I have seen personally, when I went... I went to Japan three, four times. These Japanese boys and girls, they are as good as these American, Europeans boys. And that is my practical... Or they, they are my students. They offer me respect so much. The Japanese boys, without being my students, they offer the same respect. So I thought that Japan is very good. Everywhere. That I told you already, that the love of Godhead is dormant in everyone. It doesn't matter what he is. It is the process to awaken that love of Godhead: That is first-class religion. The matter is already there. Simply we have to awaken. And now, that process which awakens very quickly, that is first-class religion. That is the first... And besides that, really understanding of God is very rarely found. Find out this verse,

manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścid vetti māṁ tattvataḥ
(BG 7.3)

"Out of many millions of persons," manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu, "somebody is trying to make his life perfect." Others, they are simply trying to enjoy life like animals. So manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye, and yatatām api siddhānām: (BG 7.3) "And out of many millions of such persons who are trying to make his life perfect, hardly one can understand what is God." This is the statement. Read it.

Nitāi:

manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ
(BG 7.3)

"Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavour for perfection. And of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth."

Prabhupāda: Read the purport.