July 11, 1975 Philadelphia Reporters

Audio

Woman Reporter: …The point is that the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has been what some people would consider sexist or racist because certain propensities for women and for blacks have been defined, either by the devotees or by the Vedic scriptures, I’m not sure which. And I wondered if you would comment on that.

Brahmānanda: It has been alleged that our movement is against women and against Negroes because we do not give them… What is it?

Woman Reporter: Well, not necessarily against them, but defining inferior roles for them by their natural traits.

Brahmānanda: Give inferior roles to women and to Negroes.

Prabhupāda: We give equal roles spiritually. Materially, one man is servant; one man is master. How you can avoid this? Do you think everyone will be master, nobody will be servant, materially? Materially, one is father, one is son, one is master, one is servant, one is man, one is woman. How can you stop this? But spiritually, they are all equal.

Woman Reporter: So then what is happening materially is unimportant?

Prabhupāda: Materially, there is distinction, but when you come to the spiritual platform, then, when you discern the spirit soul within everyone, that is equal. That is… Just like you are differently dressed in red shirt; I am differently… This dress, this difference, must be there. There are so many men and women. They are differently dressed. You cannot say they are all equal by the dress. But within the dress, the living entities, they are all the same. We make this distinction: material, not spiritual.

Male Reporter (2): I’d like to ask one question. The question would be: What is it that he has offered that has turned out such an emotional response today?

Brahmānanda: He wants to know what you have offered that has resulted in such a wonderful emotional response from all the people here.

Prabhupāda: Because they are being spiritually educated. We are above material platform; therefore we have no distinction that one is American, one is Indian, one is black, one is white. We have no such distinction. Everyone is servant of God. Is that all right?

Woman Reporter: I know you are very much aware of all the other gurus, especially that have been coming to the United States in the recent years, and I wondered if you could explain why it is that you believe that you have the truth rather than someone else.

Prabhupāda: Explain?

Brahmānanda: She wants to know that there are many other gurus, and why do you feel that you have the truth?

Prabhupāda: Because we speak the truth. We don’t give bluff that “I am God. I am this. I am that.” We don’t give. We are… Actual position: God is great, and we are all servants. This is our actual position. How can I say, “I am God”? So we do not give bluff. We say the real truth; therefore it appeals. And if I say something humbug, it will not appeal. It may act for some time, but it will not endure.

Brahmānanda: Is there any other question?

Reporter (2): Your celebration is tomorrow: Of what will that celebration consist?

Prabhupāda: Celebration? It is remembering Kṛṣṇa, or Lord. He, with His brother and sister, visited Kurukṣetra, a place in India. So in memory of that visit we observe this Ratha-yātrā. [break] (in car:) …is nice there.

Kīrtanānanda: Very nice. You’re looking beautiful. [break]

Prabhupāda: …delphia, and I think I came while going to New Vrindaban? No.

Kīrtanānanda: I don’t think so.

Ravindra-svarūpa: That was Pittsburgh.

Prabhupāda: Pittsburgh, yes. I came Philadelphia in the beginning…

Ravindra-svarūpa: You were here in 1967, before there was a temple, ’67 or ’68.

Prabhupāda: No.

Ravindra-svarūpa: You spoke at Temple University. You came from New York.

Prabhupāda: Temple University, yes.

Driver: If you want any more air in the back, there’s a control over there.

Prabhupāda: Where it is, Temple University?

Kīrtanānanda: It is here in Philadelphia.

Prabhupāda: And there is…? What is that?

Brahmānanda: You want more air?

Prabhupāda: Little more. That’s it. Again it is closed.

Brahmānanda: You want it open?

Ravindra-svarūpa: You can turn on the air conditioner.

Prabhupāda: Oh, all right, air conditioner. Sky condition is better.

Kīrtanānanda: Too many gadgets.

Prabhupāda: So again the same question was raised. So reply was all right?

Brahmānanda: Yes. She was very nice.

Kīrtanānanda: What was the question?

Prabhupāda: That we have distinction between man and woman, black and white. Materially, there is distinction. You are differently dressed; I am differently dressed. But spiritually, there is no distinction. [break]

…sampanne
brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
[Bg. 5.18]

So a very learned scholar, brāhmaṇa, and a dog. So materially, how they can be equal? If I say, “The President Ford and a dog is on the same level,” then it will be very nice? Spiritually, we are one. That is real observation. Artificially, to make man and woman equal, that may be artificially your sentiment, but actually it is not the fact. [break] …other university in Philadelphia?

Kīrtanānanda: Yes. The University of Pennsylvania.

Prabhupāda: Oh.

Brahmānanda: Oh, yes. That… You also visited there in 1965.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Nineteen sixty-five I came to see one professor, Dr. Norman Brown (?).

Ravindra-svarūpa: When I was at Temple, they told me that you had come. This was before I had ever heard of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But they told me that you had come the year before I was there. I went there, and then the year before, you had been there. And so I took a course with this Swami Nikilananda. And you had spoken in his class, and they told me that you asked, “So you are studying Vedānta. So what isVedānta?” And no one knew. No one knew what Vedānta meant. And you said that “Veda means knowledge, and anta means end. So Vedānta means the end of knowledge, and that is Kṛṣṇa.” They had never heard that before, even though they’d had so many hours of courses in Vedānta.

Prabhupāda: That is the difficulty, that those who are foolish people, they are taking leading part. That is the defect of modern civilization. One who has no knowledge, he is taking the part of a teacher. So a hodgepodge, must be. He is speaking something hodgepodge. Just like this, one does not know what is Vedānta, and he is reading Vedānta. It is very simple truth. Veda means knowledge, and antameans end. There must be something, ultimate, goal. But the modern process is that we go on unlimitedly, but never we come to the end. Is it not like that? What do you think?

Kīrtanānanda: Yes. It’s a fact, no conclusion.

Prabhupāda: Freight(?) motorcar.

Brahmānanda: It is a graveyard, automobile graveyard.

Ravindra-svarūpa: This is the end of their knowledge. A pile of junk.

Kīrtanānanda: Building and breaking.

Prabhupāda: Yes. [break] …spent up in breaking and building. That’s all.

Ravindra-svarūpa: That means that there’s passion and there’s ignorance, but there’s no goodness.

Prabhupāda: Yes. They do not enquire why breaking and building? Why not permanent? That question does not arise, and they cannot solve it. They think this breaking and building is the nature. But we are giving information of another nature, which there is no breaking, no building-permanent. They cannot believe it, that there is such thing. What is that? [break] …carvita-carvaṇānām. That is chewing the chewed. They never question, “Why breaking and building? Why not permanent?” We are doing the same thing with our body. We are breaking. As soon as the body is old, we are breaking and accepting another body, again building. Again old, again breaking, again entering another… This is going on. But the question does not arise, “Why? I don’t like this breaking and building, but why I am put into this condition?” That is intelligence. Who wants to die? No. Even a very old man—he is suffering from so many things—still, if somebody comes, “Oh, I will kill you,” he says, “Oh, no, no, no! Don’t kill me. I don’t want to die.” Why? If somebody says that “You are old man. There is no use…” Now this is coming. The Communists, they are coming to that point, “This is an old man, simply eating. He is not doing anything. So finish him.” What is called? Mercy…?

Brahmānanda: Mercy killing.

Prabhupāda: Mercy killing. It will be merciful if one is killed. So this is coming. But the point is that if you have come to show me the mercy of killing, but I am not prepared to be killed. Why? You have come to show me mercy, but I am not prepared to take your mercy. Why? What is the psychology?

Kīrtanānanda: No one wants to die.

Prabhupāda: That is. So that means he is eternal. This death is artificial. Nahanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. He does not die. He is not killed. There is one verse that “If one thinks that ‘I am killer,’ and one thinks, ‘I am killed,’ both of them do not know what is life.” In the Bhagavad-gītā there is a verse. So I am eternal. That’s a fact. Therefore I do not wish to be killed. But I do not know how to keep myself. That I do not know. We are giving that information, how you can keep yourself eternal. This is the greatest gift to the human society. He wants to live eternally, but he does not know how to live eternally. His energy is being spoiled by this skyscraper building construction. But he is not very serious to construct his body eternal. He will not be able to live in the skyscraper building. Maybe he will be allowed to live, to live there as a rat. There are rats, so many rats. Actually, this is the fact. The person who has got very attachment for that place but he is not to live there, but on account of attachment, thinking of that place at the time of death—but he is so sinful he cannot be given the human body—then he is given the cat’s or the rat’s body: “Live here.” Or a tree or a plant. So where is the science discussing all this? Wherefrom the tree has come? They are satisfied only that “I have now a skyscraper building,” but do not know that whether he will be allowed to live here. Vairāgya-vidyā. These things are being discussed in meeting, in our meeting anywhere. But they have no brain to understand.

Kīrtanānanda: And they don’t want to hear.

Prabhupāda: No. Caraṇe sarve varṇe kaye (?). A thief, if you speak to him, “My dear Mr. Thief, it is not very good work. You will be arrested. You will be punished. Why you are taking this risk?” so will he give up stealing? He knows himself, “Yes, I will be arrested and punished, but still I shall do.” This is ignorance.

Kīrtanānanda: How was the Chicago festival?

Prabhupāda: Yes, Chicago is nice city. It is river?

Ravindra-svarūpa: This is called the Schuylkill River, Schuylkill.

Prabhupāda: It is a river?

Ravindra-svarūpa: Yes. [break]

Prabhupāda: …nice, constructed very nice cities.

Ravindra-svarūpa: This part of the city is a very large park. There’s almost eight hundred acres of land that has been set aside. They are not allowed to construct there. It’s the only place.

Prabhupāda: Just like in Hawaii. [break] …New Vrindaban, how far it is?

Kīrtanānanda: From here? About three hundred miles.

Prabhupāda: Three hundred. Not much. [break] …the husband and wife, they cannot live long together.

Kīrtanānanda: But we are developing very nice householder couples at New Vrindaban, very good families.

Prabhupāda: That is essential. Peaceful life of householders, that is required.