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Krsna Conscious People Are Not Hippies.

In 1968, Boston devotees were trying to get a building for a temple. At the last point the landlord refused after reading a misleading article in the newspaper. Interesting conversation shows Srila Prabhupada's concern over public's perception of the devotees as the hippies.

Prabhupada: Then that article has worked adversely?

Satsvarupa: Yeah. The real estate man said if it had only come out a week later, he said, "You'd be in."

Prabhupada: So publicity like this is not good for us, that people are thinking they are hippies.

Miss Rose: Yes. That's true, Swamiji. Yeah.

Prabhupada: So then you should not give publicity. You must even in the beginning verify that we are not hippies.

Miss Rose: I have to tell a lot of people like this myself.

Prabhupada: Hare Krsna movement is not for hippies. In many places this is a notion, that we are hippies.

Devotee: Montreal.

Prabhupada: Eh?

Devotee: Montreal, too, the same thing.

Miss Rose: Yes, but a lot of hippies have gone back to... They've went to Florida, Swamiji. Thousands of hippies went back to Florida. They left Boston. But I don't know...

Prabhupada: They are, most of them, in Hawaii also.

Miss Rose: Oh, there's some in Hawaii too?

Prabhupada: Yes.

Miss Rose: Oh.

Christian Kindler: Prabhupada, I think he was worried because... [break]

Prabhupada: ...all right. We don't hate the hippies. We have nothing against. But these people misunderstand. That is... That is another thing. We welcome everyone. We have no such distinction.

Miss Rose: Oh, yes, yes. Everyone can come.

Prabhupada: Never mind.

Miss Rose: Krsna's good.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Christian Kindler: Krsna wants a better place for us.

Miss Rose: Krsna wants a better place.

Prabhupada: And also it is a fact that many of our students have come from the hippies. [chuckling]

Hamsaduta: Almost all of them. [laughter]

Prabhupada: [laughs] So they are our best candidates. So you can advertise that "We are not hippies, but we are converting many hippies to the sane condition of life." That's a fact. They are searching after something better, but they have no leader.

Miss Rose: Yes, that's true. That's it. They haven't got the leader to understand...

Prabhupada: They have no leader. Now, if they come to us seriously, they get the right thing. But that is also their defect. When we propose, "Come and take this Krsna," they don't want. They want that marijuana. [pronounces "mariana"]

Christian Kindler: Prabhupada, my mother had the idea of going to rich parents who are very anxious about their children who've become hippies and saying that this movement...

Prabhupada: So you should write article that "We are not hippies, but we are converting hippies to the sane condition. So father, mothers who are anxious for their children, let them send their children to us. We take care." In this way you make impression in the public mind.

Christian Kindler: And also they make donations.

Prabhupada: Yes. So our New Vrindavan scheme is there. Let them help and send their children. We make just opposite number of hippies. Yes.

Miss Rose: Swamiji, but that has to be advertised in papers...

Prabhupada: So why don't you do it? This is a service. You can do it.

Miss Rose: Yes, right.

Prabhupada: You are acquainted with so many people. You are experienced.

Miss Rose: But I mean so people can read it. So they'll understand it's not hippies.

Prabhupada: Yes. You go to responsible men and see, that "This is a nice movement. Why don't you patronize it to save your country from the hippies' falling down, confusion?" We are saving. Practically this Society is giving the best service to your country.

They should appreciate, but they should not misunderstand us. How we can be hippies? We completely... That is also said. How foolish man he is, that, er... In that article, Satsvarupa, in that article, it is clearly stated that we are refusing all these things. How they conclude that we are hippies?

Satsvarupa: It wasn't a bad article.

Prabhupada: Oh! What a nonsense he is!

Christian Kindler: He is worried that hippies come to the ceremonies to see us.

Prabhupada: Oh.

Christian Kindler: I think that's why he's worried about hippies.

Prabhupada: Oh.

Christian Kindler: Because he saw photographs that audience was hippies.

Prabhupada: Oh. So that we cannot cancel, that "Hippies are not admitted." No. We admit everyone. We cannot say that "Such and such person cannot enter into our temple." We cannot say. Everyone is welcome.

Miss Rose: I understand. I understand that.

Prabhupada: Everyone is welcome. And, if they do not come, how they'll converted?

Christian Kindler: Can we just finish four more words?

Miss Rose: I think that the confusion is...

Prabhupada: We cannot say, just like, in some hotels, that "Such and such persons are not admitted." No. We cannot. We admit everyone. Our mission is to elevate persons from down state of life to the highest state of life. So everyone is in down state. Lord Jesus Christ also said that "You do not hate the sinners, but hate sin."

Is not that, Lord Jesus Christ said? So hippies may be sinners. We raise them to the pious life. But we say, "Don't do this. Don't do this sinful act. Don't take intoxication. Don't do this. Don't do this." We hate sin, not the sinners, actually. If we hate sinners, then where is the possibility of our preaching?

Miss Rose: If the hippies would come, come, come...

Prabhupada: Yes.

Miss Rose: ...then you can get them out of this hippie into Christian[?] conscience, faith. See.

Prabhupada: Yes. That is our mission.

Miss Rose: Yes. I can understand that.

Prabhupada: Hare Krsna. All right. Krsna will see. So you just give service to Krsna, impressing people that "These Krsna conscious people are not hippies."


Conversation Before Lecture – April 29, 1969, Boston





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