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Would you say that it should be done in an area of affluence or an area of poverty to begin with?

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"Would you say that it should be done in an area of affluence or an area of poverty to begin with"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

No, we have no distinction, such, but a place which is easily available for all kinds of men, that is very nice. There is no such condition that the only poor man will take benefit and the rich man, they do not require. Everyone requires. Do you think that the criminality is only in the poorer section?
Room Conversation with Lt. Mozee, Policeman -- July 5, 1975, Chicago:

Lt. Mozee: I recognize, sir, that your time is very valuable and I won't delay you much longer. If I could return to my original purpose for coming in the..., what words you may have that would assist us, my superintendent and my department, in the reduction of crime, other than, I recognize, that the first and the foremost way would be a return to God as you said, that there is no doubt about that. But is there something else that you may know or that you may feel that you may be able to say that would assist us in a reduction less than the ideal?

Prabhupāda: Yes. That I have already in the beginning said, that give us facilities, the authorities, to chant the holy name of God and distribute prasādam. Prasādam means...

Lt. Mozee: Yes, I understand.

Prabhupāda: ...some refreshment as remnants of foodstuff of God. Then it will make tremendous change. I came from India alone; now I have got so many followers. So what did I do? I did the same thing. I asked them to sit down, and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, and distribute them little prasādam. This should be done in a mass scale, and then things will become very peaceful. It is fact. So I want little cooperation of the authorities to give me the facility, how I can call many men together, chant together Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, and I supply them little refreshment, that's all.

Lt. Mozee: I will definitely convey your message to my superiors.

Prabhupāda: So you give us this facility.

Lt. Mozee: Where would you...? Do you have any ideas where you would want...?

Prabhupāda: Yes, yesterday the mayor of this place came. Here is a house vacant. So if we get this house, then we can begin in a mass scale. The America is not poor. So at least on experimental stage the government or the municipality can give us this house and arrange for some prasādam. Simple prasāda we give, not costly. We don't use meat or anything.

Lt. Mozee: Yes, sir.

Prabhupāda: Vegetable, grains, that's all. But something must be given. This is our program. So I saw yesterday the mayor. He came also very kindly. And you have come. So you consult yourself. This place or any place, give us some facility and see the result.

Lt. Mozee: Would you say that it should be done in an area of affluence or an area of poverty to begin with?

Prabhupāda: No, we have no distinction, such, but a place which is easily available for all kinds of men, that is very nice. There is no such condition that the only poor man will take benefit and the rich man, they do not require. Everyone requires. Do you think that the criminality is only in the poorer section?

Lt. Mozee: Oh, no.

Prabhupāda: Then? Everyone is a criminal, either he is a poor man or rich man. So we should not make such distinction, that only it is meant for the poor man.

Lt. Mozee: No, the distinction I was attempting to draw was would there be more benefit, would there be more of an influence, or would there be more of a strengthening if it were in an area of affluence rather than an area of poverty or vice versa?

Prabhupāda: No, no, no, that's... Our treatment is for the diseased person. So diseased person does not make any distinction of poor man and rich man. Rich man is also diseased, and poor man is also diseased, and everyone should be admitted in the hospital. So hospital should be in such a place where the poor man and rich man, both of them can come because all of them are diseased. So when one comes to the hospital there is no such thing as a poor man's hospital or rich man's. Hospital is hospital. And everyone being diseased, everyone should take advantage. But the difficulty is, as we are quoting the passage, that rich man, he thinks that he is not diseased. Although he is diseased number one, but he thinks that he is not diseased. That is the difficulty of the rich man. But we are thinking everyone is diseased. And you know better than me being police. There are criminality amongst rich men and poor men alike.

Lt. Mozee: Oh, yes.

Prabhupāda: So our process is to cleanse the heart, not the opulence or poverty. No, that is not our... To cleanse the heart. If the poor man is cleansed in his heart he will not touch anybody's property. I heard that King, Emperor Edward VII, his habit was to steal.

Lt. Mozee: Yes, he was a kleptomaniac. (laughter)

Prabhupāda: And I have known many instances. In Calcutta one very rich man's son in the evening he would take his bath and dress nicely, and he would go to the Howrah station and beg, cheat men: "I have lost my purse. Will you kindly help me?" And any gentleman: "He has lost..." And he will go to the restaurant and eat and go home. That was his habit. He was a very rich man, but his habit was this. So we have to change the habit by changing the heart. You know very well. Many thieves, they have committed many times theft and put into the jail. So he knows that "If I commit theft, I will go to the jail." He has practically seen it, and he knows it. Still, he steals. Why? Because heart is unclean. So this process will cleanse the heart. Unless he cleans the heart, you cannot stop criminality simply by laws. Laws are already known. The professional thief, he knows the law. The professional murderer, he knows the law. But still, he commits because heart is unclean. And our process, to cleanse the heart. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12), it is Sanskrit, "Cleansing the heart." Bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam, "Then all the troubles of this material world will be solved."

Lt. Mozee: A very difficult task, sir.

Prabhupāda: It is not difficult, very simple task. To ask them "Please come here, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, dance, and take sumptuously prasādam, go home"—where is the difficulty? And they are coming; we are doing that. But we are doing—because we have no money—we are doing on a small scale. But if the government gives us facility we can expand this scale. That's all. We are collecting money... Of course we are doing our business by selling these books. We have got many books. And we are inviting men; they are coming, and gradually increasing. There is no dearth of men or devotees. But the government is faced with these difficulties, "Crime, why and what to do?" So we are suggesting this: because they are unclean in their heart, therefore there is crime and take this process, it will be successful. This is our... They are faced with the problem, "Why crime and what to do?" And we are giving the answer. So you take advantage of it. Why? We are saying, "Because they are godless." And what to do? Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and take prasādam. Now, if you like, you can take. Otherwise, we are doing our own business. Just like a poor medical man. He is also giving medicine. But if he is given facility, he can open a big hospital. So that is our proposition. We are already doing that business. But if we get facility from the authorities then we can open a big place, a big hospital. And the problem is already big. Otherwise, why they are saying, "What to do?"

Lt. Mozee: Well, there are...

Prabhupāda: No civil state wants this criminality. That's a fact. But they do not know how to stop it. That we can suggest. We are good advisor. Now, the government is the executor. So if they take our advice and execute it, then things will be done nicely.

Lt. Mozee: There are countless numbers in the United States of large facilities of the Christian faith, and, like you, they give the refreshment of the holy communion. Why does this not work? Why is this not cleansing the heart?

Prabhupāda: The answer is... Then we come to the details. So you say, "Christian," and I find to find out a Christian. I find difficulty to find out one Christian. I must frankly say, because the so-called Christians, they do not abide by the Bible's order that in the Christian's Bible it is said, "Thou shall not kill." and where is a Christian who does not kill? So this can be effective only persons who are practicing religion. So these persons, they are trained to practice. So their chanting of the holy name of God and others' are different. (break) It is not simply a rubber stamp position. It must be practiced, realized. This chanting of holy name by our men who are trained up and the same chanting by others will be different. Of course, if you... (break) ...your Hindu principle. That is secular state, not to remain callous: "Whatever you like you can do. We have no concern to see." That is not government's duty.