San Fransciso - March 12, 1968 - Interview with KGO

topic posted Tue, March 18, 2008 - 6:48 AM by  Balaraman
Caller: Yes, Swamiji, I'd like to know where in India was your native place.
Interviewer: Where in India did you come from originally?
Prabhupada: Oh, I was born in Calcutta. But after my acceptance of this renounced order of life, I am inhabitant of Vrndavana.
Caller: Of where?
Prabhupada: Vrndavana. V-r-i-n-d-a-v-a-n. Vrndavana is a sacred place. It is about 90 miles south of New Delhi, capital of India.
Caller: Yes, yes, I see. One thing I just wanted to clarify, did you... are you are follower of Lord Krsna?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Caller: That's all I wanted to know. Thank you.
Interviewer: The callers know more about the subject today evidently than I do. Now, your guru told you to be a wanderer.
Prabhupada: Yes. A sannyasi means itinerant teacher. He will wander and teach from door to door.
Interviewer: When was it that you arrived from India with $2?
Prabhupada: It was in September, 1965.
Interviewer: Several years ago.
Prabhupada: About three years before.
Interviewer: Now, you met a gentleman by the name of Harvey Cohen?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Interviewer: And how has he helped you?
Prabhupada: Yes, in the beginning he helped me. Because I rented one room. That was $72 per month. So...
Interviewer: Was this in New York?
Prabhupada: In New York, yes, Seventy-second Street West. So whatever there was shortage, he was supplying. I was getting some money by contributions in my lectures. But in the beginning my all expenditures were not sufficient collection. So the deficiency he was giving me.
Interviewer: Did he aid you in setting up the first center or temple?
Prabhupada: No, I started my temple in 1967, first July.
Interviewer: In New York.
Prabhupada: New York, yes.
Interviewer: How many temples are there now?
Prabhupada: Now we have got six temples. One in New York, one in San Francisco, one in Los Angeles, one in Boston, one in Montreal, and one in Santa Fe. And another one of our students has gone to Buffalo, he's on the professional, for starting another temple.
Interviewer: How many people belong to these six temples?
Prabhupada: In each temple there are average about fifty people.
Interviewer: Fifty people.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Interviewer: Are they mostly young people? From the calls we've been getting and from the people here in the studio...
Prabhupada: Yes, they are invariably all young boys and girls. Yes.
Interviewer: All right, hold for one second. We're talking with Swami A.C. Bhaktivedanta, head of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. (break) And our telephones are open to you. (gives phone numbers again). What hair cut? Oh, is there any significance of your hair cut over there? Is there a microphone over there we can get you on? Put that other one over there. Because we have several young men here in the studio with the Swami. What is the significance of your hair cut?
Subala: Well, my head is shaved and I have a, what's known as a sikha on the back of my head. This sikha is a sign that I'm a Vaisnava, which is a follower of Krsna's.
Interviewer: Do you live here?
Subala: I'm from the Santa Fe temple, I'm just visiting here.
Interviewer: How did you end up in this Krsna order?
Subala: I was looking for a man who could tell me the answers to the questions that Swamiji mentioned before, such as "What am I? What is God? What am I doing here?" And Swamiji was the first one who could answer these questions satisfactorily. And I could see that the process of Krsna consciousness is no phony bluff. I could see it really works because I saw people making progress in it. And I made progress myself by chanting. So I accepted him as my spiritual master, because he was the only one...
Interviewer: Do you accept a new name?
Subala: Yes.
Interviewer: Well, what is your name?
Subala: Subala dasa Adhikari.
Interviewer: So each one accepts a new name.
Subala: Yes. The initiation by the spiritual master is known as the second birth. You enter the spiritual world by taking a second birth. Your spiritual life begins.
Interviewer: Do you still live in, quote, the rest of the world, the outside world, or is your whole life within the Krsna consciousness?
Subala: My whole life is within Krsna consciousness, but yet, at the same time, I function within the world at large.
Interviewer: We have a lot of people who have some questions here, and caller, you're on the air on KGO with the Swami. Hello.
Caller: Hello?
Interviewer: Go ahead, sir.
Caller: Is this Swami?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Caller: What is God?
Prabhupada: What is God? That's your question?
Caller: Yes.
Prabhupada: God means the controller. Everywhere we have got some controller. So... But you will find there is another controller over the controller. So if you go on searching one after another, controller and the supercontroller, and, or the next controller, next controller, in this way, when you come to a place when the controller is absolute, there is no other controller, He is God.
Interviewer: Thank you caller. That's... Something... I get the impression that all the calls today are people within Krsna consciousness. I would like to hear some other people with questions here. Caller, you're on the air with the Swami on KGO.
Caller: Yes. Swami, you say you have to know yourself. Now, how does a person go about knowing when he knows himself, who he is and what he is. In other words, when does he reach the stage where he says, "Hah! I know where I am and what I am."
Prabhupada: Yes, there are two different processes of acquiring knowledge. One process is to research oneself by his own endeavor, by his limited sense speculation. And another process is to know from the authority. Just like deductive process, we say, man is mortal. This knowledge is received from higher authorities, just like our teacher or parents, we understand that man is mortal. Another process is one can make research whether actually man is mortal.
Caller: Well, is there some kind of a spiritual signal you get within yourself that tells you this?
Prabhupada: No, your question is what I am? So this what I am, you can search yourself by your mental speculation, that is one way. Another way to understand your position, from higher authority. So we take this process. We understand what I am from higher authority, Krsna. Krsna says that He is God, and He says, "All these living entities are My part and parcels." So we are component parts of the Supreme Lord. Therefore as the component part of machine is to cooperate with the full machine, so our duty is to cooperate with the Supreme Lord. That is our identity.
Interviewer: Thank you, caller.
Caller: Thank you.
Interviewer: To join Krsna consciousness is a total commitment, then, to your way of life.
Prabhupada: Yes, it is total commitment to the way of life as it is prescribed in the Bhagavad-gita, the science of God.
Interviewer: Must one renounce his present religion?
Prabhupada: No, not necessarily. Religion is a kind of faith. So naturally, if you go to the higher standard of life, the stereotype faith does not act there. So this understanding, Krsna consciousness, is transcendental to all religious faith. Faith you can change. But this you cannot change. Your constitutional position as part and parcel of God is never to be changed. You may accept a faith as Christianity or accept a faith, Mohammedanism. That is a mental situation. But this is your actual constitutional situation that you are part and parcel of the Supreme. That cannot be changed.
Interviewer: What happens in your temples. Do you have services like other religions?
Prabhupada: Yes, generally we chant this mahamantra, Hare Krsna, and then we deliver speeches from Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and then there are questions, we answer, and in that way the audience and the disciples they become enlightened and they advance.
Interviewer: But there's no sermon as we would know in other churches?
Prabhupada: That is, you can call sermon, because there is prayer song and there is, I mean to say, recitation from scriptures...
Interviewer: Well, you have six chapters, so evidently you cannot be everywhere at once. Who is in charge of a temple when you're not here?
Prabhupada: The students are being trained. The students, they also speak the same thing. There is nothing new. I also speak from the Bhagavad-gita and the students also speak from the Bhagavad-gita. The Bhagavad-gita is the same in all the centers. But it may be because I have little more experience I can explain them a little more nicely. And the students, they also explain according to their experience. But the principle is the same.
Interviewer: Caller, you're on the air on KGO with the Swami.
Caller (woman): Ah, yeah. I'm not involved with it, but I'm curious. I'm wondering if there's any similarity between meditation and hypnosis? In other words, the hypnotic state?
Interviewer: Or is meditation self-hypnosis? Is that what you're asking?
Caller: Is it similar? It sounds like it might be.
Interviewer: Swami?
Prabhupada: I do not know what is self-hypnosis.
Interviewer: Hypnotizing yourself.
Prabhupada: No, it is no question of hypnotizing. Meditation means to search out what I am. Just like if you sit down quietly, if you see your body, first of all see your finger, and question whether I am hand? You'll say, no. Whether I am this head? You'll say no. Whether I am this leg? Because everywhere I will say, "It is my hand, it is my head, it is my leg, it is my sole." Everything "my." So you have to find out what is "I."
Caller: I see.
Prabhupada: Unless you come to that point, what is "I," there is no meaning of meditation. Then the meditation is finished. Now, the activities after meditation begins. Meditation is to search out what you are. As soon as you know your identity, then your real activity begins. So we take it from Bhagavad-gita what is my real identity and begin our service. So that is called devotional service.
Interviewer: We're talking with Swami A.C. Bhaktivedanta, head of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. We'll be back in a minute. (break) KGO.
Caller: Yes, I wanted to ask the Swami if he didn't think that the teachings of Jesus Christ expressed exactly what he's saying. I'm not speaking of orthodox Christianity as such, but the essence of what Jesus said about the Father within and "If thine eye be single, thy body shall be full of light," and the beautiful phrase that he said, "Before Abraham was, I am." Has he studied anything about the teachings of Jesus?
Interviewer: Swami?
Prabhupada: We don't disagree with the teachings of Lord Jesus Christ because he's speaking also the same thing which we are also speaking, about the science of God.
Interviewer: But she, I think she's saying, couldn't you just have taken the teachings of Jesus Christ as your religion?
Prabhupada: But there is already adjustment...
Caller: (breaking in) No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying that I believe that the Swami and many others who practice meditation and study the Gita are really dealing with the same premise, the first cause, that Jesus spoke of.
Prabhupada: Certainly.
Caller: Right?
Prabhupada: Yes, certainly.
Caller: Yes, that's what I wanted to know. I think there is a comparison, not between organized religion as such, but just getting down to the bare facts of what Jesus spoke about. I think there's a similarity.
Prabhupada: There is similarity, but one thing is, just like mathematics taught in the lower class. Two plus two equal to four is equally applicable in higher mathematics, two plus two equal to four. In higher mathematics it does not become two plus two equal to five. Similarly, the teachings of Bible or teachings of Bhagavad-gita are the same, the same "two plus two."
Caller: Right, right...
Prabhupada: But in the Bhagavad-gita, it may be taken as higher mathematics. That's all.
Caller: You know, may I ask you one thing, I read some parts of the Bhagavad-gita is it? And it said that knowledge is enveloped in ignorance, hence all men are deluded.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Caller: And I thought that was a profound...
Prabhupada: Real, our real knowledge is covered by delusion.
Caller: Yes.
Prabhupada: Yes, the real knowledge is that I am spirit.
Caller: Yes.
Prabhupada: But we are identifying ourself with this body. Therefore we are covered in our knowledge, actual knowledge.
Interviewer: Thank you caller, very much. Bye bye. Twelve minutes before four on KGO. And, caller, you're on the air with the Swami on KGO.

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