Conversation on Train to Allahabad

January 11, 1977, India

Prabhupāda:  We have come to the open field. How it is nice. And so long we were passing through that congested areas-hellish, simply hellish. And now here is open space. How it is nice.

Hariśauri: To enter into a city is so imposing on your consciousness.

Prabhupāda: Up to that point, simply rubbish, all papers thrown here and there. People are living in… Now see here, how it is open and pleasing. Organize this farm project. Farm. (background talking)

Hariśauri: He’s just saying that in the West one requires a great deal of capital. To start a farm, to get the land, you need a lot of money because land is very expensive. And also we have to use modern farming techniques because we have so few men to run the farms.

Prabhupāda: No, you show example. People will do automatically. When the people find it is very nice, they will take.

Hariśauri: Should we try to make an effort to have our householders go and live on the farms, a special effort? If it’s ready to do that?

Prabhupāda: Why householders? Everyone. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (japa)

Rāmeśvara: In America there is a very big emphasis on getting people to join us by moving into our temples. The temple presidents are very eager to get as many people to move in as possible, but in the long run most people cannot come up to the standard.

Prabhupāda: Therefore I am… Farms.

Rāmeśvara: So they have to be encouraged to have a little bit of Kṛṣṇa consciousness in their own home, make their home a temple.

Prabhupāda: No, let them go to the farm, New Vrindaban.

Rāmeśvara: Many people… Most people in the world, they are ghamedhīs, and they cannot give it up so easily.

Prabhupāda: “No, you remain… Come here with your wife, children. You remain ghamedhī.

Jagadīśa: New Vrindaban is very austere. If we build little bungalows with modern convenience…

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Jagadīśa: There has to be some modern convenience.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Then we shall do that.

Rāmeśvara: But for many people who live in the cities, they have their jobs already. They don’t want to give it up.

Prabhupāda: (train slows down) What is the nonsense? No, there is a station? No station.

Jagadīśa: Why does this train keep stopping? (train stops)

Prabhupāda: Hare KṛṣṇaHare KṛṣṇaJaya.

Jagadīśa: Why does the train keep stopping?

Prabhupāda: Who is this gentleman?

Hariśauri: Pradyumna?

Prabhupāda: Oh, Pradyumna.

Rāmeśvara: Say, in America, most people live in the cities, and they already have their job, and they are set in their ways.

Prabhupāda: But you said that there is unemployment also.

Rāmeśvara: To a certain extent. But there are still 250,000,000 people. So most of them…

Prabhupāda: So those who are unemployed, let them come to us. We shall give them employment.

Rāmeśvara: Yes. But for the mass population…

Prabhupāda: Well, gradually you will increase and…

Rāmeśvara: We have to give them something that they can do in their home.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Rāmeśvara: Because it is impractical to think that they will give up everything and move into the temple.

Prabhupāda: No, those who are unemployed, let them come. We shall give them employment.

Jagadīśa: On the farm.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Rāmeśvara: For those who are unemployed, that’s attractive.

Jagadīśa: But for those who are already employed…

Rāmeśvara: But most people have jobs.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Rāmeśvara: Many people already have their jobs and their families.

Prabhupāda: All right, let them not come, but those who are unemployed, let them come.

Rāmeśvara: But what…? For those people who already have their jobs, instead of…

Prabhupāda: That job… They will be very soon jobless. Don’t worry. (laughs) They will come. They will be obliged to come. Now they have got job, but as the days are advancing in Kaliyuga, they’ll be jobless.

Hariśauri: So we can expect that material conditions are going to become very much worse than this.

Prabhupāda: They may come or not. We don’t care for it. Let us establish an ideal society. That is the…

Jagadīśa: If someone who is well-off wants to become a devotee, shall we encourage him to give up all of his material well-being or shall we ask him to instead put a temple in his house and encourage him how to make his house into a temple and make his whole family Kṛṣṇa conscious?

Prabhupāda: And what is your material well-being? Everyone is going hundred miles for well-being. Is that well-being? Either they may go by motorcar or by train… And as soon as there is—what is called?—bottle-neck, they become very much disturbed: “How to go to the office?” Where is well-being?

Rāmeśvara: Say, the Christian religion… The Christian religion has millions of followers.

Prabhupāda: But what is the meaning of these followers? They do not understand anything. Simply by rubber-stamp they are follower.

Rāmeśvara: But if we can get a mass following, it is only possible by preaching to them little bit at a time.

Prabhupāda: Yes. By your ideal life, ideal teaching, you’ll get. This Christian or any religion, what is the use of that? It’s not at all religion. It’s simply rubber-stamp.

Rāmeśvara: No. But if we had many people, then gradually we could help them become Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Rāmeśvara: But I think they all… One thing that scares people is that we ask too much…

Prabhupāda: Oh, that is…

Rāmeśvara: …at the beginning. We are asking too much.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Rāmeśvara: So if we ask just a little bit, then gradually we increase.

Prabhupāda: No, little bit we say, that “You come, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and take prasāda.

Jagadīśa: “And read our books.”

Prabhupāda: Suppose you are illiterate, you cannot. But you can do this—”Come here, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and take prasādam.

Rāmeśvara: That is a big misunderstanding in America. People think that to be a Hare Kṛṣṇa you have to give up everything.

Prabhupāda: That… Yes, you have to give up everything which is bad. Do you think drinking is very good?

Rāmeśvara: (chuckling) No.

Prabhupāda: So if I say, “You have to give it up,” so what is the wrong there?

Rāmeśvara: But they feel that unless they give up everything all at once, they cannot become members of the Kṛṣṇa movement.

Prabhupāda: No, you’ll automatically give…

Rāmeśvara: Gradually he’ll automatically…

Prabhupāda: He’ll give up.

Hariśauri: (train starts to move again) First thing is to begin the positive process. Then the negative process will follow along.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. If he understands it is very nice to chant, dance, and take prasādam, they’ll give up.

Rāmeśvara: Many people think that if you become a Hare Kṛṣṇa you have to shave your head.

Prabhupāda: That is very good.

Rāmeśvara: But it scares them and it keeps them from joining us.

Prabhupāda: No, you save so much barbers’ expenses. (laughter)

Hariśauri: So much inconvenience for washing.

Rāmeśvara: These are misunderstandings that confuse people.

Prabhupāda: The whole life is misunderstanding, material life.

Rāmeśvara: But we want them to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That’s the main thing.

Prabhupāda: Why they are envious of us? When we live very nicely, they are envious that “These people do not do anything, and they are living so nicely.”

Rāmeśvara: They will not be so envious if they see that people who dress in Western style and keep their families and keep their jobs are also chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: We say… We say that, that we simply say, that “You change your consciousness.”

Rāmeśvara: Not change your dress, but change your consciousness.

Prabhupāda: No, we never said. If you prefer that kind of dress, costly, you prefer it, but we are simplified.

Rāmeśvara: It’s our choice.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Hariśauri: As a person becomes more purified, then he’ll simplify himself anyway. And if he really cultivates a desire to…

Prabhupāda: Now, nowadays coat-pant is very costly. If you can spend your money, costly dress, we have no objection. Then you have to earn more; you have to work more. Therefore we are simplified.

Rāmeśvara: Ultimately, it is the best thing.

Prabhupāda: If they want to come in that dress, come in. If you want, come in.

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