They are envious of the Hare Krishnas’ Palaces

In conversation with His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda

Prabhupāda: So in the school, college classes, there is sometimes argument?

Satsvarūpa: All the time. (laughter) We always save half the time for questions, and immediately, “How do you know that that is true?” All challenging. “Why should I believe?” “How could God present the scriptures?” All faithless.

Jayādvaita: In this part of the country, I think the students, generally they admit there is God. They’re a little pious in this central portion. There are so many farms and they’re not so deteriorated.

Prabhupāda: Polluted.

Jayādvaita: But then they don’t accept that Krishna consciousness is the only process for understanding God. They want to maintain Christian religion, or…. not Christian religion, but sense gratification and, at the same time, God consciousness.

Prabhupāda: Well we are not denying sense gratification. We want to regulate. That’s all.

Mādhavānanda: Actually, we have the best sense gratification.

Prabhupāda: Hmm? Yes.

Prabhupada's Palace of Gold at New Vrindavana, West Virginia, USA

Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold at New Vrindavana, West Virginia, USA

Mādhavānanda: On the radio program, one lady, she was asking questions. She was very envious. “And you are living in such a palace.”

Prabhupāda: Why shall I not? Government servants, they live in the best place. We are Krishna’s servants, the supreme government. We must have the best car, best house, the best food, (laughter) everything. You are unfortunate, you are wretched, you cannot possess this. We are government’s servants. Why the governor is living in the best house of the city?

Mādhavānanda: We said, “You can live here with us.” She said, “Thank you.”

Prabhupāda: Without any charges. Did you not say? But as soon as you shall say there is no tea, he’ll go away. “Oh, horrible.” (laughter) Just see. And you have to rise early in the morning. “Oh, it’s still horrible.” And chant Hare Krishna. “Ah, still.”

Hari-śauri: There are so many apparent contradictions in our life-style, the karmīs are just baffled. They see us living in a big nice house and enjoying such nice grounds and everything, and then we tell them we get up at three-thirty and take a cold bath and do so many…, and we don’t drink or smoke or anything. They can’t understand.

Satsvarūpa: The Sunday newspaper here a month ago did a very big story, the whole front cover. And it was called “Krishna Consciousness: Salvation or Slavery.”

Hari-śauri: That was that article that you saw in Honolulu.

Mādhavānanda: These are our two biggest book distributors of the women-Lekhaśravantī and mother Jagadhātrī.

Prabhupāda: Hmm.

Mādhavānanda: They claim that when we chant, we hypnotize ourselves.

Prabhupāda: And still we save expenditure. You hypnotize by drinking. (laughter) We haven’t got to pay for that, whiskey bottle. That is also hypnotizing. You want to forget all day’s labor by drinking. That is also hypnotizing. Or by gambling. So we also hypnotize. Better hypnotizing method.

Detroit Temple established by Srila Prabhupada in the 1970s

Detroit Temple established by Srila Prabhupada in the 1970s

Jayādvaita: In New York, you argued that it may be hypnotizing, but by this hypnosis we get people to give up gambling, intoxication, meat-eating and illicit sex. So it should be adopted.

Śrutakīrti😦 break) …some very interesting statistics this morning about drinkers in this country.

Dhrstadyumna: My father, he’s the president of this liquor company, and they study the charts to see who is drinking the most. And they have discovered that the biggest drinkers in the world are the politicians in Washington, D.C., that they drink more liquor than anyone.

Prabhupāda: Yes. They have got so many anxieties. So many anxieties.

Dhrstadyumna: And how can they manage nicely when they are always intoxicated?

Hari-śauri: When we were running our political format in Melbourne—one of the boys was going for some positioning in the state—he was quoted in the newspapers. They picked it out as the quote of the week, because they asked him, they said, “What would be the first thing, if you are elected, you will do?” So he said, “I would abolish the bar in the House of Parliament.” So they said, “Oh, why would you do that?” He said “How can you rule a country when you’re intoxicated all the time?” So they picked it out and put it in the newspapers as the quote of the week.

Prabhupāda: Who said?

Hari-śauri: In Melbourne, in one of the papers.

Prabhupāda: Our man said?

Hari-śauri: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Very good argument, that these drunkards, rascals, how you can rule over the country? You are always intoxicated.

[Room Conversation, Detroit, June 14, 1976]

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