Srila Prabhupada Visits New Vrindaban – June 28th, 1976

Srila Prabhupada in New Vrindaban.

Srila Prabhupada in New Vrindaban.

Srila Prabhupada Visits New Vrindaban – June 28th, 1976.

Excerpt from Hari Sauri’s Trancendental Diary.

This morning Kirtanananda Maharaja arrived in his pickup to drive Srila Prabhupada up to the original New Vrindaban farm where the community first started. Srila Prabhupada sat in the cab while devotees scrambled up into the back or ran up the trail after it. It was a long and bumpy drive up the dirt road, and afterward Srila Prabhupada complained about heart strain.

He had Kirtanananda stop some distance from the house and walked the rest of the way, accompanied by twenty or thirty devotees. The sun was just rising over the distant hills, its rays gently diffusing through the light morning mist. Prabhupada walked steadily up the track, preceeded by one of New Vrindaban’s four-legged residents, a large black cow.

Srila Prabhupada meets Kaliya on the path to the New Vrindaban farmhouse.

Srila Prabhupada meets Kaliya on the path to the New Vrindaban farmhouse.

At the house the rest of the devotees, including the gurukula children, lined up along the pathway to greet him. Prabhupada looked obviously content to return to the original house in which he had stayed in 1969 when he first came to New Vrindaban. Now it serves as the brahmacari asrama and the residence of the beautiful brass forms of Sri Sri Radha-Vrndavananatha. After his darsana of the Deities, Prabhupada gave class there at the house on Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.6.14.

Srila Prabhupada takes darshan of Sri Radha Vrindabannatha at the original New Vrindaban farmhouse, 1976.

Srila Prabhupada takes darshan of Sri Radha Vrindabannatha at the original New Vrindaban farmhouse, 1976.

His talk lasted only about fifteen minutes. The verse described how a man who is too attached to family life cannot understand that by such activities he is wasting his time. Indeed, he does not develop a distaste for material existence even though he undergoes three kinds of suffering.

Srila Prabhupada explained there are two classes of men, the bhogi, who is always trying to enjoy his mind and senses, and the yogi, who tries to give up his entanglement. Among the yogis, that person who engages in devotional service to Krsna is the best. He said that by yoga, one achieves siddhi, perfection.

As an example of yogic siddhi he cited something he had heard in his school days. “In my childhood there was my teacher. He said that he had his guru, a yogi. So he told me that his spiritual master, yogi, he inquired from his disciple, ‘What do you want to eat?’ So he said that ‘We want to eat some pomegranate from Kabul.’ So he said, ‘Yes, you can get it. Go into the room and you’ll find.’ So they found a bunch of pomegranate just fresh taken from the tree. This is called prapti-siddhi.” Of course, he told us, this kind of siddhi is material. It is not for the devotee, who alone can attain perfect satisfaction by surrender to Krsna.

At the conclusion of class Srila Prabhupada returned in the truck to the house for breakfast and a short rest.

* * *

Radhaballabha dasa arrived in the afternoon after a visit to the printers in New York. Srila Prabhupada was happily surprised to see Rsi-kumara dasa with him, complete with shaven head. About a week after he had visited Prabhupada in Los Angeles, Rsi-kumara moved into the Laguna Beach temple, and now he has come to visit His Divine Grace again. So Prabhupada’s serious words did have some effect.

Prabhupada was very pleased to see him. “I was surprised that ‘How Rsi-kumara can fall down like this? I had so confidence of this boy from the very beginning. He was so nice, so pure. And maya is so strong. But could not do very well, maya, very long. Thank Krsna and stay with us. Kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati [‘Declare it boldly that My devotee will never perish.’] This is Krsna’s mercy, special mercy. So always be calm and chant and pray to Krsna. Don’t spoil this life. It is so valuable. The sense gratification can be available in every life, cats and dogs also. Why should we sacrifice the greatest boon of human life? Hare Krsna.”

Rsi-kumara told Prabhupada that although he had tried everything, he could not find any satisfaction equal to chanting. He had become bored with material life.

Prabhupada told him the best thing would be to preach for some time with the sankirtana party. He used his traveling companion as an example. “Radhaballabha, just see, young boy, how he’s working hard. You were doing also. You were doing so many things at a time. In Bombay you were doing herculean task, everywhere. He knows how to cook, how to give massage, how to keep accounts, yes. Qualified. How to cook. Everything. So, may Krsna save you. What can I say more?”

Prabhupada gave him positive encouragement but when Rsi-kumara asked if he could take up his sannyasa again Srila Prabhupada, while not discouraging him, advised him to wait for some time and he would see.

Radhaballabha and he were scheduled to return together to Los Angeles, but Srila Prabhupada suggested New York. Rsi-kumara decided to accept that and he will remain and go on the bus with Dhrstadyumna Swami to New York after tomorrow’s initiation ceremony.

With the return of one of his former personal assistants, Srila Prabhupada’s mind immediately dwelt on another. “I am thinking of that boy also, Paramahamsa. He was a nice boy.”

Paramahamsa was another sannyasi secretary of His Divine Grace who left less than a year ago. Prabhupada asked Radhaballabha if his whereabouts was known.

Radhaballabha did know. “He’s in Denver, Colorado. He’s not doing so good.”

“Is it not possible to see him?” Prabhupada asked.

“Trivikrama Maharaja went to see him, but he was too much in illusion.”

Prabhupada wasn’t concerned about his present temporary state. “No, that’s all right. Still, I want to see.”

Prabhupada repeated twice more that “he is a very nice boy,” and they decided to contact him and invite him to come to New York for the Ratha-yatra and to see Srila Prabhupada.

Radhaballabha prabhu has just delivered Srimad-Bhagavatam, Seventh Canto, Part Three, to the printer. Now the BBT is working on the first part of the Eight Canto. Radhaballabha had several sketches from the artists for Srila Prabhupada to comment on. He asked Prabhupada if he would like to see them. Prabhupada tipped his head. “Yes, that is the only life, to think of publication and distribution. Even in this weak [condition] … I am very weak nowadays. Still, I am working.”

“Nicely,” Pusta Krsna added. He knows because he spends most of the day transcribing Srila Prabhupada’s output.

“I think I shall not be able to go for walks. This morning my heart was beating too much,” Prabhupada told us.

Pusta Krsna suggested he wait until we get to Washington and see how he feels then. The roads here are rough he said, and we are at a higher altitude also.

Prabhupada accepted his idea. “Yes. That we will do.”

After offering his input on the sketches Prabhupada referred back to the other night when we went through all the predictions contained in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. “Who knew five thousand years ago that people will keep long hairs and think of themselves as very beautiful? It is mentioned in the Bhagavata. How is it possible unless they can actually see what is going to happen? That is foretelling. … It is not difficult. Just like tomorrow for my daily routine, what I shall do from morning to evening, I can say. Is it very difficult for me? So it is a question of Brahma’s one day. So it can be said by them, not by us.”

* * *

The devotees bring the large vyasasana out each day for Srila Prabhupada’s darsana in the garden, and take it away again at the end of the evening’s meeting. When everything was set up tonight Srila Prabhupada came out. The devotees were already assembled on the lawn and he held court for about an hour, discussing points of philosophy, based on readings from Bhagavad-gita.

Pusta Krsna Maharaja took up where we left off yesterday, at 16.17, describing the demonic nature. “Self-complacent and always impudent, deluded by wealth and false prestige, they sometimes perform sacrifices in name only, without following any rules or regulations.”

Prabhupada didn’t wait until the purport to make a comment. The description perfectly fit the pseudo-spiritualists of today. “Modern yogic society. ‘Transcendental Meditation.’ Whatever nonsense they like, they do. In the Bhagavad-gita it is stated that yogis should sit down in a secluded, sacred place — and they find out yogic class in America’s big, big cities, hotels. This is their program. The prescription is that one should sit down in a solitary, sacred place, alone — and these rascals are holding class. All smokers, drunkard, woman-hunters — they are yogis. Hmm? What do you think? Is it all right? This is going on. And they are accepted, ‘Yogi this,’ ‘Yogi that.’ In India they cannot find out because people are not so fool as yet that in big, big cities, in a big, big hotel, ‘yoga practice.’ India, although so fallen, they will not accept. They will at once detect, ‘Here is a rascal.’ But here, their dambha-mana, their qualification … They have got money. So whatever they accept, that is all right, because they have got money. No other qualification required. They can pay. That’s all.”

There were other cheaters also. Prabhupada exposed the fraud of paper currency. In his childhood, he said, if you went to the bank, the teller would ask if you wanted silver coins, gold coins or paper. There was a choice. Now, even though it says on the notes, “I promise to pay the bearer … ” if you actually ask for gold the paper represents, you won’t be allowed to have it. Prabhupada said the cheating therefore begins with the government.

Of course, the scientists also came under Prabhupada’s critical scrutiny. Now the latest thing is the Mars probe. Since the moon is no longer interesting, after so much expenditure for no result, Srila Prabhupada asked why such scientific exploration at the expense of these taxpayers was allowed to go on.
Radhaballabha suggested it was because they consider it “a very noble cause to increase knowledge.”

By use of a short fable Prabhupada illustrated the plight of the taxpayers. “Some frogs were there, and children were throwing stones. Then the frogs appealed, ‘Sir, why you are throwing stone upon us?’ ‘No, we are playing.’ ‘So what is play for you, it is death to us.’ So these rascals are playing, and we have to pay heavy tax for that. This is going on. We are playing, making some scientific research, and who will pay for that? You. You work hard in the factory and pay tax. This is civilization. ‘You pay tax, and we spend it as we like.’ Frivolity. This is going on. This is the government of Kali-yuga. What can you do?

“‘What is play to you is death to us.’ And ‘Never mind. You die. We play.’ They have already spent so much money, moon exploration. And that has stopped now, no benefit. They brought some sand and some rock-satisfied. Again the same thing with Mars. But we can say from our poor knowledge that as they have failed in the moon planet, they will fail also in the Mars. Take it down. Note now. Do you know this is all bluff?”

Radhaballabha told him that after the interviews in Los Angeles the newspapers quoted him as saying that they did not go to the moon. They also printed his Sunday-Moon-day logic.

Srila Prabhupada was happy to hear it. He issued his challenge afresh. “Nobody can answer that. The common sense. Can any one of you answer why Sunday first and Monday next? Even Svarupa Damodara has not answered. Any scientist here who can answer why Sunday first and Monday second?”

Janahlada dasa hazarded a guess. “I’m not a scientist, but I always thought that the ancients thought that the sun was first because without telescopes or light-measuring instruments it was bigger and it looked closer.”

“That’s a fact.” Prabhupada’s affirmative response told him that it wasn’t just because it looked that way. “Sunday is first, and Monday-moon is beyond sun. If they accept that nobody can approach sun, then how they can approach moon? In calculation, eighteen thousand miles per hour, and if the moon is situated ninety five million miles, then how they can go in four days? These are my questions. They have not been answered. It takes at least seven months. And they went in four days, and the man’s mother … His photograph was there. She said, ‘At last my son has gone there.’ You have seen that photograph? I have seen it. Mother was satisfied. This is going on.”

Pusta Krsna Maharaja read on. When he got to text nineteen Srila Prabhupada had a few more things to say about the materialistic scientists. The verse described the fate of the demons. “Those who are envious and mischievous, who are the lowest among men, are cast by Me into the ocean of material existence, into various demoniac species of life.”

Prabhupada explained that even if one doesn’t accept there is a God, he is still subject to a superior force. “This body is a machine. The machine is given by material nature. Today you may be a very big man, and by your activities, asuric activities, you are so condemned that you have to accept a lower-grade life, a fox, sly fox. ‘You are very sly to spend others’ money in moon excursion. Now you become a fox.’ So who can check it? Here it is stated, tan aham dvisatah kruran. So you cannot check it. You are not so great scientist. You cannot check God’s law, so how you can say that there is no God?

“Nobody endeavors for mishappenings, but you know there is some superior force who’ll enforce mishappening. And they are unable to counteract. Just like a scientist knows that he’ll die, but he’s so expert scientist that he cannot counteract. He knows that he’ll die. He’s talking all nonsense while living, but he does not make any arrangement that he’ll not die. That he is unable. They are making arrangement, going to the Mars planet at the expense of taxpayer, so if we request the rascal scientists that ‘You discover something so that we will not die. Take any amount of money,’ will they be able?”

Radhaballabha said, “They’ll die while they are trying to find out.”

“Then? What is the use of this scientist?” Prabhupada asked. “That ‘Take any amount. Here is my beloved son. My scientist, physician, you take any amount. Just give life to my son.’ Is it able? These are practical. False, bogus bluffing — that is another thing.”

“They get angry if we tell them that,” Radhaballabha said.

To Prabhupada, that was another confirmation of their position. “Yes, that means they are rascal. When there is argument between you and me, if one becomes angry, that means he’s a rascal. That is the proof. He cannot reply anymore. He has become angry. That is his defeat. Upadeso hi murkhanam prakopaya na santaye. Murkha, if a rascal is given good instruction, he’ll be angry. So that is the proof that he’s rascal.

“The example is given, just like if you give milk, very nourishing food, to a human being, he’ll get strength, but if you give to a snake, it will increase poison. So that is the proof that ‘here is a snake.’ One day he’ll: ‘Ohnn!’ He’ll ready to bite you. You have given milk, it has increased poison, and it will show his fangs, hood. That is asura. So therefore they become snakes, scorpion, so low-grade life. Snake life is so degraded that at once you see a snake, immediately every one of us will be ready to kill it. Everyone, without any mercy. Nobody will say, ‘No, no, let this go.’ So he is put into that life that he cannot come in the light. As soon as he comes in the vision of somebody, everyone is ready to kill. And nobody is sorry. Prahlada Maharaja said that: Even one is saintly person, he’ll be satisfied if a snake is killed. Saintly person doesn’t want that anyone should be killed, but if a snake is killed, he’s happy: ‘Oh, you have done right.’ So Prahlada Maharaja said [to Lord Nrsimhadeva] ‘My father is killed; nobody is unhappy. But he was just like a snake and scorpion. Now You be satisfied. There is no cause of becoming angry. Everyone is satisfied.'”

Prabhupada asked the devotees to look up the verse. Pusta Krsna and Radhaballabha both searched but failed to find it even though Prabhupada gave the Sanskrit. Finally Prabhupada took the book himself. As he asked for his spectacles he opened it — right at the very verse. It was almost magical. He laughed himself and everyone else did too.

After Pusta Krsna read out the translation and purport Prabhupada added, “Snake or scorpion … Of course, sometimes snakes, they eat their own children. He has tried to kill his own child. Modeta sadhur api vrscika-sarpa-hatya. Very good example. The saintly persons, they also want the killing of living entities like the snake.”

Pusta Krsna read out the next couple of verses which gave descriptions of Lord Nrsimhadeva in His mood of ferocity which were delightful to the ear. Srila Prabhupada smiled and repeated a line from the prayer that we sing to the Lord each arati. “Nail is sufficient to kill an enemy like Hiranyakasipu. No other weapon required. Simply tava kara-kamala-vare nakham adbhuta-srngam. Wonderful nails. Dalita-hiranyakasipu-tanu-bhrngam. Just like we sometimes press some insects; immediately dies. So this Hiranyakasipu, simply by nails pressed and finished.”

* * *

Prabhupada had requested a repeat showing of Yadubara’s film on New Vrindaban, Spiritual Frontier, and he ended the darsana earlier than usual so that he could see it. He enjoyed it all over again. On our way here to New Vrindaban he had told Kirtanananda Maharaja he felt they should have included more information about New Vrindaban’s milk preparations in the film, but on second viewing he decided that it was all right.

When it was over he told Kirtanananda, “In nutshell everything is there. Our agriculture, our temple, and food growing, and everything is there. Radha-Krsna worship. The sum and substance, everything … And you are living practically for the last … Eight years? Here? You have no difficulty. You are happy more and more. Immense land. You can come, hundreds. We can provide. There is food. There is shelter.”

Kirtanananda Maharaja said that ordinary people think that by protecting the cow it will not be economic, that they would lose. “But actually we have proof,” he told Srila Prabhupada, “the more we protect cows, the more we gain in opulence.”

Srila Prabhupada heartily agreed. “Yes. If you have got grain, then you are rich. And if you have got cows, then you are rich. This is the standard of Vedic richness. Dhanyena dhanavan gavyena dhanavan. They don’t say, ‘Keep some papers and you become rich.’ All rascal, one thousand dollar I promise to pay, a piece of paper. Practical — we have got enough food grains. We have got enough milk. That is richness. What is use of paper? Even gold you have got, you have to exchange.

“If you have grain, immediate food. Just boil with milk, and it is nectarean, paramanna, immediately. Take some wood collected from the woods and have fire, put the milk and the grains — oh, you’ll get so nice food, nutritious, full of vitamin, and so easily made. It is practical. So tasteful. … If you simply boil little milk and little grain, whole day, so much sweet rice, you take — bas. You don’t require any more. And if you add little apples and fruits, oh, it is heavenly! Your whole day free from any food anxiety, and you can work. You can chant Hare Krsna. Make this ideal life here. America has got good potency. We have got so much land here. We can have hundreds of New Vrindabans or farms like that. And people will be happy. And invite all the world, ‘Please come and live with us. Why you are suffering congestion, overpopulation? Welcome here. Chant Hare Krsna.’ Make that.

“Indian culture and American strength make the whole world happy. That logic I have given? India could not improve on account of poverty, lame. And America? Blind for want of culture. So let the blind man carry the lame man on the head, and the lame man give direction that ‘Go this way,’ and he walks. So both men’s work is done. There is no hampering because one is blind and one is lame. Combined together, they get the benefit. Andha-pangor nyaya. Do it very sincerely. Don’t spoil life. Be very sober and do this work. Whole world will be happy. After all, they are seeking after happiness. So there is happiness here.”

He said Rsi-kumara was a very intelligent boy with great capability. As far as his recent past goes, “Whatever is done is done,” he said. “Sometimes maya is strong. She bewilders even Lord Siva.” Prabhupada has recently been working on the section of the Eighth Canto describing how Lord Siva was bewildered by the vivacious form of Mohini-murti. “But Siva immediately came to his senses,’What I am doing?’

“So things are going on nice. Continue this program. People will be happy. And I think America is the only place who can spread this Krsna consciousness movement happily for the benefit of the whole world. You have got everything sufficient. Now get the Krsna intelligence.”

When we were in Toronto he had told ‚ubhavilasa that a cold place is a symptom of sinful life. He made a practical observation about the weather in West Virginia. “Now here, in this quarter, sun also rising very nicely. Formerly it was not so bright. Due to this Hare Krsna chanting, sun is giving light. Is it not?”

Kirtanananda Maharaja confirmed it. “It is a fact.”
“The more people will be sinful, the place will be dark with cloudy. Nature will always disturb. They will not be happy. It is not possible. This is the only way to become happy. So, so far as possible, I have given you some framework. Now you fill up. Make it a nice building.”

Even when I mentioned to Srila Prabhupada a little dubiously that the New Vrindaban devotees still buy their vegetable bhoga from the local markets and it did not seem that they very self-sufficient, Prabhupada maintained his positive mood. He said it was all right — they have the intention, and that is what is required. He repeated what he said in Los Angeles, that Kirtanananda is putting into practice all the ideas he has given.

We began discussing the scientists and their bluffing again and Prabhupada told us a funny story about Gopala Ban, a court jester in West Bengal during the reign of Raja Krsnacandra. By it, Prabhupada cleverly illustrated how scientists obtained their grants. “The Mohammedan Governor of the day had asked him, ‘Now, Gopala Ban, I have heard you are very expert. Can you write a similar book as the Mahabharata about my kingdom?’
“‘Oh yes, why not? That is not difficult.’
“So he took with him some hundreds of thousands of rupees and again came. ‘Give me another ten thousand,’ and another ten … in this way.

“‘When will the book be finished? You have taken so much money.’

“‘It is just on the verge of being finished.’

Then when he saw that no more money can be taken, ‘I have taken so much money … ‘ he said, ‘Now sir, one information is very essential. Give me and Mahabharata will be finished. Everything is there.’

“‘What is that information?’

“‘Now, your wife, how many husbands she has got?’

“‘This is nonsense!’

“‘Eh? Well, that is the main subject matter of Mahabharata. Draupadi had five husbands [the Pandavas], and you are such a great person your wife must have at least one dozen. Otherwise, how Mahabharata will be written?’

“‘It is the subject matter of… ?’

“‘Yes, that is the only subject matter — that Draupadi had five husbands. So you are such a big Nawab, your wife must at least have one dozen. So give me their names.’

“So he became very angry. ‘Don’t talk this nonsense!’

“‘Then I cannot finish your Mahabharata. I have already invested!’

“So he took another ten thousand rupees and [the Nawab] he said, ‘Stop all this nonsense. That’s all right.'”

Srila Prabhupada was laughing all the way through his telling of it, making comical gestures as he relayed the foolishness of the Nawab and the sharp wit of Gopala Ban in taking advantage of his combined ignorance and pride.

“So these rascals,” Prabhupada said, meaning the scientists, “they are writing Gopala Ban’s Mahabharata, and the rascal government is paying them. They will never be able to produce anything. Challenge them. As soon as you say, ‘Make an egg’ — ‘That we cannot say!’ And they’ll chant ‘Chemical evolution, chemical evolution’ and get Nobel Prize. Rascals. But how the people are so foolish that they believe in this?

Prabhupada repeated his challenge to the scientists to make an egg and produce life. It is something he has said many times. “This is very simple. You see everything, white and yellow. Produce. Chemicals are white. Some chemicals are yellow also. Just like hydroform … It is yellow. And soda bicarb, white, or potash cyanide is white. So you have got so many chemicals, combine and pack it in a cell, and put underneath the incubator. Why rascal do not do this?”

He emphasized the great fraud they are engaged in. “Beat them with shoes. ‘Rascal, you are cheating in this way.’ Beat them with shoes. That’s all. That is the only punishment. Hundreds of men demand them, that ‘Do it, otherwise don’t talk nonsense. If you talk nonsense, then we will beat you with all our shoes.’ Then they’ll stop all this nonsense talk. There is no punishment for their cheating and taking money.”

Although his rhetoric was very strong, his tone was devoid of any envy or hatred. In one sense, as a self-realized soul, he is a neutral observer. But in another sense, as Krsna’s representative, out of compassion for the suffering conditioned souls, he cannot refrain from condemning the perpetration of illusion which keeps them firmly bound to the material world.

A little later Prabhupada and I talked about the moon landing. I made the point that they will always try to claim some success or benefit because they have to get grants.

Srila Prabhupada was very clear about it despite the propaganda in the newspapers. “From our estimation it is failure. They have not gone there.”
I said, “They have to say it’s a success. Just like this Mars thing. If they can land a spaceship that takes a few photographs, supposedly of Mars, then that’s considered a success.”

“Photograph you can take anywhere,” Prabhupada said dismissively.

I agreed “Yes.” But still I was puzzled, and so I asked him what he thought was really going on. “Could they, or are they actually sending these spaceships to another planet, or … ?”

“That they know,” Prabhupada told me, not wanting to speculate. “According to our calculations, they have not gone. Therefore false propaganda. They cannot go.”

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