In conversation with His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Svarūpa Dāmodara: …and we finished the showing of the movies, and they were very appreciative. They expressed that there is an atmosphere of purity here, cleanliness. They highly commended our temple activities. Some of them were in the ārati (a ceremony whereby the Lord is greeted with lamps – Ed.). They also wanted to see the ārati in the morning today. So it seems to me that most of them are devotees.
Bhāgavata: This is a big success, Śrīla Prabhupāda. The scientists are all stonehearted men, but you have melted their hearts. This Krishna consciousness is so nice, and you have simply melted their hearts. This is all by your grace, Śrīla Prabhupāda, that even the scientists are now being delivered.
Prabhupāda: Try and vibrate…
Bhāgavata: These scientists never would have come to Vrindāvana (the birth place of Krishna – Ed.).
Prabhupāda: They hate to come.
Bhāgavata: (laughs) But you have made this wonderful place here in Vrindāvana.
Prabhupāda: Any respectable gentleman, they hate to come to Vrindāvana.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: But by your mercy, Śrīla Prabhupāda, now I think many will come later. The man who came yesterday is the friend of our chief guest. His name is Dr. Chowdury. He’s also a retired architect. He had a strong appreciation of the architectural design of the temple. He said the Gurukula also… They looked all over the Gurukula, and they were very appreciative. So I told him that we are planning to build another auditorium for the Institute and for the ISKCON activities. So they didn’t know these things before. This Ghattack, Professor Ghattack, he’s the head of the physics department of the Indian Institute of Technology. He told me last night that they never expected that such nice things existed in Vrindāvana. So he said there is an atmosphere of purity and cleanliness. He was thinking that maybe he could bring his child for the Gurukula.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Make it an ideal institution.
Bhāgavata: We fed them nice prasādam also yesterday, Śrīla Prabhupāda, three meals a day. They get breakfast in the morning, they get some kacauri and some hot jalebi and some ālu sabji and hot milk for breakfast, nāstā. Then in the afternoon for lunch they get two sabjis, they get rice, they get dāl, they get capātis, and two sweets, perā and bundi lāddu. And then in the evening again they get some sabji and roti, samosā, like that.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes. We had nice prasādam.
Bhāgavata: And everyone is very pleased and satisfied with the prasādam.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: Then Dr. Khurana is coming tomorrow. He’s a medical doctor. He’s bringing several of his friends. He’s also our life member.
Abhirāma: His son is a devotee. Śrīla Prabhupāda knows him, Navīna Krishna.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: Navīna Krishna. He’s in Detroit. After the conference, I’m going to have a debate in Delhi, round-table conference with Dr. D. S. Kothari and his group.
Prabhupāda: That will be very nice.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: He proposed that. That’s Indian National Science Academy. But he had some very strange ideas. I’d like to clarify some of the points. Also, these people who are coming, they want us to come and speak to all their universities.
Prabhupāda: That will be very good.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: So we’ll concentrate here, near Delhi and Punjab, this time, Aligarh and Agra. We’ll try to finish this area within this coming month or so. And after that, I’ll move to Bombay. I’ll try to organize better in Bombay. Also Bombay will be much more effective. There are so many scientists there. I’d like to make a strong show in Bombay.
Bhāgavata: They have a space center there, don’t they, in Bombay?
Svarūpa Dāmodara: They have got Trombay Atomic Research Center also. There is a place called Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
Bhāgavata: And in Bangalore they have some good institutes.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes. We’ll go all over India. In Calcutta will be very interesting because there are so many people,
Svarūpa Dāmodara: Vrindāvana is so beautiful at this time, Śrīla Prabhupāda. Everyone’s… The sky is so clear, the stars are so bright, and also the weather is so beautiful. We have a nice decoration of the hall. Last night one of the professors from Agra told me that he wants to have us organize this conference next year. He said this should be an annual feature, a science conference in Vrindāvana every year.
Prabhupāda: Let them make advance in scientific research, but still they cannot capture the real thing.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Just like I have heard it, when Socrates was condemned to death, the judges inquired that “How Mr. Socrates wants to be entombed?” When the judges inquired Socrates, “How you want to be entombed?” Socrates: “First of all capture me. Then to the question of entomb me.” What he said?
Abhirāma: That is a historical fact.
Prabhupāda: No. What is the wording?
Abhirāma: He said, “First you’ll have to catch me.”
Bhāgavata: Until you spoke about this, though, Śrīla Prabhupāda, no one really understood the deep meaning of what Socrates had said. It is by your grace that the light has been put on that, as to what is the deep meaning of what Socrates meant – that he was talking about the soul. Generally people cannot understand these things.
Abhirāma: When Alexander the Great was going to conquer India, first of all he asked Socrates, “What shall I bring you?” So Socrates, he just requested him, “You bring me the water from the holy Ganges.”
Abhirāma: “And you bring those sacred texts which are studied by the holy men in India. These are the only two things I want.”
Bhāgavata: There is no question of thinking, Śrīla Prabhupāda. It is a fact. It is reality that you have become successful, because you have converted even now the scientists. Even the scientists are becoming encouraged to take up Krishna consciousness, and their minds are being changed. It is history, and we are seeing it right before our eyes. That is another one of your great contributions in your spiritual conquests, that you have converted the scientists. As Caitanya has conquered the Māyāvādīs, you have conquered the scientists. That’s why we are very much eager that you shall remain with us more and more, to carry on these conquests, that we can somehow or other in some small way just help you. But your presence is definitely required. Actually all the devotees are just living to see you from time to time, so that they can get your darśana.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: It’s a fact that we live only by Śrīla Prabhupāda’s mercy.
Abhirāma: Actually, Śrīla Prabhupāda, even though you’re simply lying in bed, whatever instructions you give, those are being broadcast all over the world. Simply from this bed you can preach all over the world. You have established such expert system for preaching, your BBT… You have so many disciples. So now, even lying in bed in Vrindāvana, your preaching is going throughout the world. Whatever you are speaking here, the GBC’s and older devotees, they’re taking back to so many different countries and translating into so many languages-Spanish, French, German, Italian. The devotees all over the world are just waiting to hear every word that you speak.
Bhāgavata: We had one big book table set up in the conference hall yesterday with all of your books, all of your Śrīmad-Bhāgavatams, all the Caitanya-caritāmritas, and that bronze statue of yourself was there. And the books by the scientists, by Sadāpūta dāsa and by Svarūpa Dāmodara, which were explaining the scientific theories in light of Krishna consciousness, all those books were there, and the scientists were appreciating them very much.
Abhirāma: When news gets out, Śrīla Prabhupāda, that you’ve started to translate again, all the devotees are going to be ecstatic. They’ll feel like their life has come back. It will remind us of… Just like Krishnadāsa Kavirāja. He was in such a condition that he couldn’t move practically from his lying position, nor could he see. So many senses were failing. But he spoke or wrote down such an incredible book.
[This conversation was recorded on October 15, 1977 in Vrindavana, the birth place of Krishna]