In conversation with His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Reporter (2): Are you attempting to form a college?
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is my next attempt, that we shall educate according to classification. First-class, second-class, third-class, up to fourth-class. And then fifth-class, sixth-class, that is automatically there. So first-class men, there must be, at least in the society, an ideal class of men, and that is one who is trained up for controlling the mind, controlling the senses, very clean, truthful, tolerant, simplicity, full of knowledge, practical application of knowledge in life and full faith in God. This is first-class man.
Reporter (2): Will this college be quite different from our conventional college which has a great emphasis on athletics, I mean, football teams and…
Prabhupāda: Well, a highly educated man does not require athletics. He requires good brain. Just like high-court judge, he requires a good brain, not a big gigantic body.
Bhaktadāsa: Śrīla Prabhupāda, what is the significance of the chant which everyone, who has been around the Hare Krishna movement, has heard? What is the significance of chanting Hare Krishna?
God may be long, long away from us, but if we chant His holy name, immediately we become in contact with Him
Prabhupāda: Chanting means the holy name of the Lord. The Lord is absolute. His name is not different from Him. So if you chant properly or improperly even, then immediately you become in touch with God. And as you become in touch with God, you become purified. So as you become purified, you know, actually you can see perfectly what is the aim of your life, how the human form of life should be utilized. These things will be revealed. This is the process of chanting. Try to understand. Chanting the holy name of the Lord means the name of the Lord and the Lord, God, is not different. Just like the sun and the sunshine is not different. Wherever there is sun, or wherever… Sun may be 93,000,000 miles away from us, but by the sunshine we can appreciate sun. Similarly, God may be long, long away from us, but if we chant His holy name, immediately we become in contact with Him. This is the purpose of chanting the holy name of the Lord.
Bhaktadāsa: Śrīla Prabhupāda, one press man wanted to know what is this Rathayātrā festival? Why is it going on over here in the western world?
Prabhupāda: Well, that is the mistake. If God is the proprietor of everything, He is also proprietor of the western world. Is there any dispute? If we say, “God is the proprietor of the western world,” what is the wrong there? Is there anything wrong? Who will answer this.
Jayatīrtha: Nothing wrong.
Prabhupāda: So if the western world has forgotten God and He comes to remind him, where is the wrong?
Reporter (3): Is that the significance, then, of the festival, to remind people of God?
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. This is the significance. Jagannātha – jagat means the whole universe, and nātha means the lord or the proprietor.
Reporter (3): What is the purpose of the large carts and other things you use?
Prabhupāda: Large car means God is very great, He requires very great car. (laughter) Why should He go in a small car? (laughter)
And what is the benefit of remaining with the parents to become hippies?
Bhaktadāsa: Śrīla Prabhupāda, there was one question. They would like to know why is it that the children are separated from their parents and sent to Gurukula?
Prabhupāda: And what is the benefit of remaining with the parents to become hippies? For training. We are trying to train first-class men. So if, from the very beginning of life, one is trained… That is the Vedic civilization. Kaumāraà ācaret prajno dharmān bhāgavatān iha. “One should be trained up to become God conscious from the very beginning of life.” Kaumāra means after five years. Up to five years the children may have all freedom. Whatever he likes, he may do. But when he is five years old, he must be under training. That is the old system. Gurukula means to send the boy, especially boy, not the girl, to be trained up at the place of the spiritual master or teacher. Just like what is that public school? They also send their small children to the public school. Montesori? What is that?
Bahulāśva: Montesori school.
Prabhupāda: Yes, the small children are trained up. It is something like that.
The United Nation is there, working for the last thirty years, but there is no solution because it is all zero without God. Bring God and everything will be nice
Bhaktadāsa: I think you’ve answered this question, but he wants to know how will Krishna consciousness affect all the religions and politics of the world at this time.
Prabhupāda: The thing is that any system you take, without God consciousness it is zero. Just like hundreds and thousands of zeros, if you put together, the value is zero. But if you put one, the value increases immediately. That one is God. So either in politics or in sociology or philosophy, religion, everywhere, if there is no God sense, it is all zero. That is going on. Therefore, despite all advancement of education, economic development, people are in chaotic condition, they are not satisfied, and everything is being tried to make it very nice. The United Nation is there, working for the last thirty years, but there is no solution because it is all zero without God. Bring God and everything will be nice. Take any question, just like economic question. There is now very acute, especially in our country. Now, the God says that “Your economic problem will be solved like this.” What is that? Annād bhavanti bhūtāni: [Bg. 3.14] “You produce sufficient quantity of food grains.” Annād bhavanti bhūtāni: “Then both the animals and man will sufficiently eat, and they will be satisfied.” What is the wrong there? You must have sufficient food. Then annād bhavanti bhūtāni. And anna, producing anna (food-grains), you require cloud in the sky. And that is produced by yajna. So one after another. So people must be satisfied first of all by eating sumptuously. So instead of producing food grains, you are very much busy for producing motor tires. So motor tire will not make the hungry people satisfied. So everything is there, practical, whatever is advised in the Bhagavad-gītā.
Bhaktadāsa: Prabhupāda, one more question before we break for prasādam. That is, why do we practice bhakti-yoga instead of jnāna-yoga?
Prabhupāda: Jnāna-yoga is helping bhakti-yoga. But bhakti-yoga is not dependent on jnāna-yoga. So therefore we are giving directly bhakti-yoga.
Bhaktadāsa: Is there any last questions perhaps? Thank you very much.
[An excerpt from a Press Conference, San Francisco, July 16, 1975]