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Without Temple Connection Neophytes Will Be Lost



Srila Prabhupada in this conversation expresses his concerns in regards to his disciples who work in materialistic world and gives some practical suggestion on how they can be saved from fall-downs.


Prabhupada: ...grhastha life. Bhaktivinoda Thakura independently... Or I was also grhastha. Our aim was different. But this neophyte, if they remain aloof from temple connection without attending the function, gradually they will be lost.

Tamala Krsna: That was the reason that I suggested to Abhirama Prabhu that he should make his business in Bombay. Actually the grhasthas have no desire to live independent of the temples. Just like Madhavananda, he's got an apartment now just near the temple so that he can attend mangala-arati and the other functions.

Prabhupada: Yes. Unless these things are continued, the karmis' poison will spoil them. He can do independent business; there is no harm. But must be connected with the devotional service.

Tamala Krsna: Yeah.

Prabhupada: Just like Abhirama constructed that house. That's all right. He is within the campus. There is no harm. And now if he goes away after so much training, advancement, if they are lost, then that's a great loss for the Society. With such... With great difficulty we make one Vaisnava. And again, if he goes like Syamasundara, then it is great loss. The whole idea is to give up attachment for material world and increase attachment for Krsna. That is perfection. Now, according to one's position, gradually... But this is the aim. Param drstva nivartate [Bg. 9.59]. Nivrtti.

Tamala Krsna: I don't think Abhirama has any intention of going away.

Prabhupada: No, he has no intention, but he lives apart from temple connection...

Tamala Krsna: Then he will go away automatically.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Tamala Krsna: So that's not possible, then, for him to go to Bangalore, 'cause we have no center in Bangalore.

Prabhupada: So he wants to organize a center there?

Tamala Krsna: No, he was thinking of organizing business.

Prabhupada: Then Bombay is better place than Bangalore.

Tamala Krsna: Yes. He admits it's a better place. No, he can be encouraged very easily to go to Bombay. I mean, generally, throughout our Society, I don't think the trend of the grhasthas is to move away from temples and live independently. If they live independently from the temple, it's in close...

Prabhupada: No, no. There is chance, I said.

Tamala Krsna: Yes.

Prabhupada: The karmis' association is very contaminous. Asat-sangi. So for him the best thing will be to take a room in Bombay. Let him do business.

Tamala Krsna: I'm sure now that... I'll convey all...

Prabhupada: Grhastha should not be dependent on Society. At the same time, he should not be independent of the Society. (laughs) This is the position. Because Society cannot take charge of a family. There will be so many number of families. How it is possible? At the same time, if they remain independently of the Society, without touch, then the karmis' poison will infect.

Tamala Krsna: It seems like the solution is to get apartments near the temple, get room near the temple.

Prabhupada: Why not in the temple? Why? If he pays, what is wrong?

Tamala Krsna: No, in a place like Bombay where we have so many buildings, in the temple. But sometimes... Just like in America, if there's only one building with only...

Prabhupada: No, America also... Just like Los Angeles we have got.

Tamala Krsna: That's different. There there are apartments.

Prabhupada: Similarly, you have to arrange like that. They should not live completely independent. That will be future danger.

Tamala Krsna: It has to be a community of devotees.

Prabhupada: Krsna conscious ideal grhasthas. That we want. Just like Bhaktivinoda Thakura. There are many. I was grhastha. There was Deity worship, everything nice. I was publishing Back to Godhead from grhastha. So aim was there. But I could not leave family life for some circumstances. That is a different thing. Must be in touch with the devotional service as in the temple. If live nearby temple, it is easier, or in the temple. But aloof, that is dangerous.

Tamala Krsna: If they live in the temple, then there's the problem of... You know.

Prabhupada: No. Temple, he can take one room, pay for it. He wants to pay. That is also payment. And further, if he can pay, that's all right.

Tamala Krsna: In America, supposing a householder family pays for a room in our temple building. So they can have their sex life and family life?

Prabhupada: If they can pay for prasadam also, it is nice. Sex... Husband-wife living, there must be sex, so who can...?

Tamala Krsna: So how can that be in the same building as the brahmacari ashram?

Prabhupada: No, no, no, so many other grhastha tenants.

Tamala Krsna: That's in, like, Hare Krsna Land in Bombay. But supposing in a...

Prabhupada: That you cannot check. Grhastha means they must have sex. But they're living independent, separately.

Tamala Krsna: Yeah, that's in Hare Krsna Land.

Prabhupada: No, anywhere. If they are doing independent business, let them do that.

Tamala Krsna: So in the New York...

Prabhupada: Karmis' concession, sex.

Tamala Krsna: In the New York they can live families together? In that building, families can live together and have sex life?

Prabhupada: What is wrong?

Tamala Krsna: In that building. It's all right?

Prabhupada: Yes. Why not? In a building there are so many different types of men. In a big building, apartment building, you cannot expect all of them of the same class.

Tamala Krsna: Hm. 'Cause in Bombay you had said that is was better that in an immediate building of the temple they should not live together with wife. They should live separately.

Prabhupada: No, that is, they are not doing business. They are attached to temple activities. Anyway, these things have to be adjusted. You cannot follow very rigid in case of grhasthas. Some way or other, you have to adjust. We cannot allow them to be lost.

Tamala Krsna: No. That's clear.

Prabhupada: Better allow them to live together. What can be done? But we cannot lose them. After training so much, if they are lost, then that is a great loss. This I am giving hint. Now you GBC, you change them. Make process.

Tamala Krsna: Yeah. Right now in our Society throughout the world, wherever there are grhasthas living in our temples, they live separate from their wives. And if they want to live with their wives, then they get a room or an apartment near the temple.

Prabhupada: So may be like that, but must be attached to the temple.

Tamala Krsna: Yeah, that's the clear point. We should not lose anyone.

Prabhupada: No, that's a great loss.

Tamala Krsna: Because if husband and wife live together in the temple itself, where there are so many brahmacaris and... [break]

Prabhupada: ...he makes love with a girl and marries and live at the cost of Society, and that is to be discouraged. If you want to marry, you work independently. Maintain yourself. And whatever you can contribute, do that. That is the... Just like Abhirama. He's very good. And I don't want to be lost. He constructed that house, I never forbade. And it is in the campus. Let him remain a little separately. It doesn't matter.

Tamala Krsna: I think the main reason he can't live there anymore is that because of doing business he'll not always be able to be in Mayapura, and he doesn't feel that that house is safe for his wife to live there alone.

Prabhupada: Why alone? Can live with others.

Tamala Krsna: Other householders there also.

Prabhupada: Yes. Many householders can live there together.

Tamala Krsna: Yes. There's room on the floor below...

Prabhupada: Yes.

Tamala Krsna: ...his apartment for two other families. I don't know what...

Prabhupada: That can be arranged. That is not...

Tamala Krsna: I don't think he feels it's safe enough.

Prabhupada: No, no. This is incidental. This is not permanent problem.

Tamala Krsna: I don't know what's behind it. I don't know the full reason why he doesn't want to stay there anymore.

Prabhupada: If he wants to do business, how he can stay there?

Tamala Krsna: Yeah. There's no business in Mayapura.

Prabhupada: What is business there?

Tamala Krsna: He wants to go where there's a business center.

Prabhupada: No, business means he must do business in some city.

Tamala Krsna: Yeah. Bombay.

Prabhupada: Anywhere. Bombay is the best city. He has got facility to stay there. For business Bombay is the best city.

Tamala Krsna: In India.

Prabhupada: In India. No, world. It is a very important city. Export, import, local. Tremendous business possibility there. Many poor men goes and becomes very rich men. Bombay is very important center. You have to get a place by giving bribe, fifty thousand, sixty thousand, to stay there.

Tamala Krsna: They call that hundi.

Prabhupada: Not hundi.

Bhakti-caru: Pagri.(?)

Tamala Krsna: Pagri, I mean.

Prabhupada: Pagri, yes. To get a place there... Bombay is so important that if you want to get a place you have to pay no less, fifty thousand, lakh of rupees to stand. Then do business. Very important. Anything you do, you must have land first of all to stand. Otherwise what you'll do? To stand in Bombay you have to pay lakh of... Don't you see -- we drive away the tenants -- how much we recompense. We pay compensation.

Tamala Krsna: Yes. We have to pay a lot of money...

Prabhupada: That's it.

Tamala Krsna: ...so that they can pay for some other place.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Tamala Krsna: That's true. Nowadays it's very difficult.

Prabhupada: This is system in Bombay. Without paying, you cannot get even inch of land.

Tamala Krsna: Trivikrama Maharaja told me in Japan it's getting like that also, Tokyo.

Prabhupada: Wherever there is scarcity, that is the system.

Tamala Krsna: In America that is not there.

Prabhupada: America, enough places.

Tamala Krsna: They have paying a few months' rent, but not pagri.

Prabhupada: There are so many houses. Why they should pay?

Tamala Krsna: Yeah. That's true.

Prabhupada: Multi-story building. Why people should pay? Now Bombay have got many multi-story building; therefore that demand is reduced. But still, you have to pay in important place, pagri or underhand. What is called?

Tamala Krsna: Bribe.

Prabhupada: Bribe is very bad word. "Under table." (chuckling)

Tamala Krsna: Under the table. Unofficial.

Prabhupada: Yes. Mean I am paying on the table hundred rupees and under table two hundred rupees.

Tamala Krsna: Srila Prabhupada, I think you know everything spiritual and material.

Prabhupada: Hm? So my fear is that after training our men so much, if he's lost, that's a great loss. Then future of society becomes very hopeless.

Tamala Krsna: So the principle is that if a householder has outside employment and can pay, then he can live inside our temple buildings.

Prabhupada: That's nice. What is the wrong?

Tamala Krsna: At least for five or six years now the system has been that no man and woman should live together in the same building as where the Deity is.

Prabhupada: That is the system. Temple is meant for retired men. Brahmacari, sannyasi, vanaprastha.

Tamala Krsna: So then how we can let them live together, man and woman?

Prabhupada: But if there is no alternative, what can be done?

Tamala Krsna: Hm. No, but there is alternative always. There are available rooms and apartments just adjoining the temples.

Prabhupada: Then it is all right, but he must be connected with temple.

Tamala Krsna: Yeah. That's the principle. Under no circumstance should anybody be independent.

Prabhupada: Upendra is here?

Upendra: Yes, Prabhupada.

Prabhupada: So you have corrected that paste?

Upendra: Yes, Prabhupada.

Prabhupada: It has become soft?

Upendra: Yes, it's very soft and moist.

Prabhupada: That's good.

Tamala Krsna: Prabhupada? It seems like your voice has become a little congested tonight. Are you feeling congested? Your voice seems a little...

Prabhupada: Congested, my vice?

Tamala Krsna: Voice. In the nose. Congestion.

Prabhupada: My nose? Not very much.

Tamala Krsna: Oh.

Prabhupada: So you can go.

Upendra: Prabhupadaji? I have one question since you are speaking about grhastha. If a brahmacari decides to get married and then enters into married life, should he be encouraged to maintain that responsibility throughout his life?

Prabhupada: No, no, unless he can maintain family, why should he marry?

Upendra: Well, I'm specifically questioning the fact that some... Of course, our movement is young, but so many women, their husbands leave them, and they are so young and they're left. So these young women I'm thinking may become a disturbance in the future to the movement, because how a woman can remain unmarried for so many years? Her husband has left her after a few years of marriage. Generally...

Prabhupada: What we can do?

Upendra: I'm saying the emphasis of marriage responsibility, I don't know if it's preached that strongly. Generally it's preached that one should not...

Prabhupada: No, if he marries, why he should not take responsibility of maintaining? Why he should marry if he has no power of maintaining?

Tamala Krsna: What does that mean, "power of maintaining," Srila Prabhupada?

Prabhupada: He must maintain his wife, children nicely. Otherwise why he should marry?

Tamala Krsna: He shouldn't expect the temple to maintain him.

Prabhupada: That is not possible.

Tamala Krsna: Of course, he might be thinking, "Well, I'm a pujari, so the temple should pay me money to maintain my family."

Prabhupada: If we have got brahmacari pujari, why should we maintain a grhastha? He is not only one pujari. We have got sannyasi, brahmacari. Why should we maintain a grhastha? And where is the means? After all, these things are to be adjusted. I can give you the ideas. The pujaris were given in Vrndavana the temple, and they made it a source of income. Just like the gosais are doing. Their puja goes to hell.

Tamala Krsna: Who?

Prabhupada: Mean these grhastha pujari. Gradually the puja will go to hell. They'll gradually glide down how to maintain family by showing the Deity. That is... The gosais are doing. People have sentiment to give something to the Deity, and they will depend on that income. Bas. This is the position of these Vrndavana temple. What is the position of the Radha-Ramana? Deterioration. It is not being properly done. They'll sell the property.

Tamala Krsna: Yes. Just like that Madan Mohan is thinking...

Prabhupada: Yes.

Tamala Krsna: ...to do. He says it's his property.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Tamala Krsna: Imagine that. Whew! Boy!

Prabhupada: He is maintaining it for his sons', daughters' marriage. That is...

Tamala Krsna: After all, Tirtha Maharaja did that too.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Tamala Krsna: He says, "My son is the next in line." Whew.

Prabhupada: The interest will go to the family, not to the Deity.

Tamala Krsna: That's not good.

Prabhupada: Jiva Gosvami was brahmacari. So he gave to a grhastha sisya to maintain Radha-Damodara. But what is the position now? Gopala Bhatta Gosvami was also a brahmacari. Everything depends on training and mentality. If the attention is diverted otherwise, then it is lost.

Tamala Krsna: I think Madhavendra Puri, he gave his Deity. Now it's again... You know, who has Govardhana Deity. Vallabhacarya's line now worships.

Prabhupada: They gave to the Vallabhacarya. But somehow they are maintaining the status quo.

Tamala Krsna: Hm. Still very opulent. They do very elaborate. That Pushti Marg group, they do very elaborate Deity worship.

Prabhupada: Very nice.

Tamala Krsna: Of course, they don't preach very vigorously, but at least their Deity worship...

Prabhupada: That is also preaching. Arcanam. One of the... If they maintain the Deity worship gorgeously, that is also preaching.

Tamala Krsna: So the guiding principle should be that under no circumstance should anyone become lost.

Prabhupada: Then what is the preaching? Alexander the Great? He was conquering, and as soon he went to conquer another place, the last place lost.

Tamala Krsna: What happened?

Prabhupada: Suppose I have conquered Bombay. Then I go to Karachi. In the meantime, Bombay is lost. That was being done, Alexander the Great. Means no proper management. Just like British Empire lost. They could not manage. So long they were managing well, it was going on.

Tamala Krsna: Too much expansion with not enough good management.

Prabhupada: No.

Tamala Krsna: Similarly, we should not expand too quickly...

Prabhupada: No.

Tamala Krsna: ...unless we have the proper management.

Prabhupada: I am stressing, therefore, book selling.

Tamala Krsna: Hm.

Prabhupada: Not opening temples.

Tamala Krsna: Oh. Yes. This is the reason, one of the reasons. Hm. I don't think many devotees think in terms of that, but this is a very practical point, that selling books, once you make the sale, that's it. The book will act.

Prabhupada: Yes. It will remain permanent.

Tamala Krsna: Hm. It establishes itself as a Deity within a person's home.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Tamala Krsna: The book.

Prabhupada: Now I have given my program. You tackle, GBC men. At least, don't make me Alexander the Great in my lifetime. (laughs) They say, "You are great, great, great." But don't make it small while I am living.

Tamala Krsna: Or after. We will never make you that way.

Prabhupada: Eh.

Tamala Krsna: We should never do that.

Prabhupada: That's... That's my request.


Room Conversation about Grhasthas -- July 17, 1977, Vrndavana

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