(reads purport:) "Saintly persons like Vidura must be treated as well as a denizen from heaven." "As well as a denizen from heaven." Yes. If any saintly person comes at home, formerly this was the system. In our childhood we have seen. Many saintly persons used to come, and my father used to receive them very nicely, some of them. Still, the system is if you go to any Indian village and... I mean to say, those who are sannyāsīs, saintly person, they are received very well. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu, when He was touring in South India, so many brāhmaṇas were coming to invite him. That is the system. He hasn't got to bother for his food or shelter any place. That is the system.
At that time I was young man, and I did not care for very much about so-called saintly persons. Because in our house, my father used to receive so many sannyasis, but some of them were not very to the standard
"I never liked these bogus swamis and yogis. I never liked. But my father had no discrimination" |"Many saintly persons used to come, and my father used to receive them very nicely, some of them" |"Many saintly persons used to visit my father's house" |"My father, he was also attached to so many sannyasis" |"my father used to receive so many sannyasins, but I was not very much satisfied with their dealings" |"my father used to receive so many sannyasis"
Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja, my spiritual master, his advent day today. In 1922, I was at that time very much engaged in Congress activity. I was very much devout follower of Mahātmā Gandhi, and at that time, I was manager also in a very big chemical concern in Calcutta. Perhaps you may know, Dr. Bose's laboratory. One of my friends—he's still living, Śrī Narendranath Mullik—he informed me that "One saintly person has come. Let us go and see." At that time I was young man, and I did not care for very much about so-called saintly persons. Because in our house, my father used to receive so many sannyāsīs, but some of them were not very to the standard, and due to my association with college friends, younger days, I lost my faith practically, although I was born in a Vaiṣṇava family. My father was a pure Vaiṣṇava. From my childhood, he gave me Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Deity for worshiping. A ratha... I was playing with my boyfriends, Ratha-yātrā, Ḍola, like that. My father encouraged. So I was trained up in this line, but in my youthful age, when I was college student, gradually, by their bad association or something, gradually, I lost my activities. But when this friend, Mr. Mullik, took me to Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja, he immediately asked me that, "You are educated young boys. Why don't you take up Lord Caitanya's message and preach in the Western world?" In the very first sight, he told me. At that time, I argued with him that "We are dependent nation, and who is going to hear about our message?" So he defeated my argument. (aside:) There is no necessity of closing. Yes. He defeated my argument. He was learned scholar. What I was? I was still boy. So I agreed (chuckles) that I was defeated. So after finishing our visit with Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī, I got some impression that "Here is a person who has taken Lord Caitanya's message very seriously. Now it will be preached." My friend asked my opinion, that "What is your opinion?" So I gave this opinion, that "Here is a person who has taken Lord Caitanya's movement very seriously, and now it will be preached."
Arrival Addresses and Talks
If we simply learn how to worship Kṛṣṇa, how to please Him, how to dress Him nicely, how to give Him nice foodstuff, how to decorate Him with ornaments and flowers, how to offer our respectful obeisances unto Him, how to chant His name, in this way, if we simply think, without any so-called education we become the perfect person within the universe. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It doesn't require A-B-C-D education. It requires simply change of consciousness. So if these children are being taught from the very beginning of their life... We had the opportunity of being trained up by our parents like this. So some way or other, they have come to... (break) Many saintly persons used to visit my father's house. My father was Vaiṣṇava. He was Vaiṣṇava, and he wanted me to become a Vaiṣṇava. Whenever some saintly person would come, he would ask him, "Please bless my son that he can become a servant of Rādhārāṇī." That was his prayer. He never prayed for anything. And he gave me education how to play mṛdaṅga. My mother was against. There was two teachers-one for teaching me A-B-C-D, and one for teaching me mṛdaṅga. So the one teacher was waiting and the other teacher was teaching me how to play on mṛdaṅga. So my mother would be angry that "What is this nonsense? You are teaching mṛdaṅga? What he will do with this mṛdaṅga?" (chuckles) But perhaps my father wanted that I should be a great mṛdaṅga player in the future. (laughter) Therefore I am very much indebted to my father, and I have dedicated my book, Kṛṣṇa book, to him. He wanted this. He wanted me to be preacher of Bhāgavata, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and player of mṛdaṅga and to become servant of Rādhārāṇī.
So, His Divine Grace, my spiritual master, somehow or other liked me, that I should take up this responsibility. And on the first day I met him, I was at (that) time a very young man, a nationalist, and engaged in a very responsible office. So one of my friends casually took me. I did not like to go. But I am very much thankful to that friend, who is still living in Calcutta, that he forcibly took me to His Divine Grace. I was reluctant to see because in our house my father used to receive so many sannyāsīns, but I was not very much satisfied with their dealings. So I thought that Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja might be a similar man. So what business I have got to see him? But this friend took me forcibly, that "Why not see the man?"
Conversations and Morning Walks
1974 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: They came here... I have got many students. They came here for spiritual enlightenment, but they learned gañjā smoking and keeping high, big beard. You know. There is a sannyāsa-āśrama in Delhi. And people contribute them gañjā. Not only they, I know... My father, he was also attached to so many sannyāsīs. So in Kālī-ghāṭa, there was a sannyāsī...
Dr. Patel: Sannyāsīs, those nāgā-bābās, they smoke.
Prabhupāda: Not nāgā... He was a regular sannyāsī, Māyāvādī sannyāsī. So my father was giving them the saffron cloth and gañjā. People accept it that this is one of the items.
Dr. Patel: That gañjā should be given.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes, so badly impressed. So this gañjā-smoking has spread all over the world as the hippie movement.
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Hṛdayānanda: Śrīla Prabhupāda, you said that you were not so much impressed by the saintly persons that were coming.
Hṛdayānanda: Why was that?
Prabhupāda: Not all of them were real Vaiṣṇava. That was my discrimination from the beginning of my life. I never liked these bogus swamis and yogis. I never liked. But my father had no discrimination. "Never mind whatever he is. He is a saintly person. Receive him." He was giving fortnightly... There was one Māyāvādī sannyāsī in Kālīghāṭa. So first of all the father was sannyāsī. Then his son was sannyāsī. So we had very good relationship with him. I also used to... Because father was going... So he would carry gāñjā for him—in those days gāñjā was very cheap—so much gāñjā and so much butter. Whenever he would visit, he'd give some red cloth, gāñjā, and butter.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Your father would give him gāñjā?
Prabhupāda: That, to sannyāsī.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Why?
Prabhupāda: Well, he was smoking gāñjā.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: But why did he supply him?
Prabhupāda: He did not discriminate that this is bad. He smokes, and he had some regard for him. "All right, take gāñjā." (laughter)
Hṛdayānanda: So Kṛṣṇa is also like that if we...
Prabhupāda: He was offering him something, "Whatever he likes." That was his theory.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Friendly.
Prabhupāda: Yes. "It doesn't matter." He did not know the gāñjā smoking was bad for sādhu. That is impression in India. We criticize, but in India, in every sādhu samāj they smoke gāñjā.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Still?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Not high class. These bogus swamis and yogis.