Was Srila Prabhupada Systematically “Positioned”?
Vrindavana, 1976 Part 2
The ISKCON authorities think that what they are doing, is like perfectly normal.
However whatever I am doing; the ISKCON authorities think is just nonsense.
That is how they think about me. I never heard Prabhupada talk like that about devotees. I mean he would say “nonsense” to somebody who was not a devotee, or if somebody is running around breaking the four regulative principles, or stuff like that. I never heard him call a devotee a rascal or nonsense; if the devotee was trying to do something.
What other places were you at the same time Srila Prabhupada was there?
Boston, New York, and Montreal.
That is right. I wanted to ask you about Montreal.
It was a blissful temple, Montreal.
I was talking with you the other night; you were there in the beginning, right?
No! Exactly right at the beginning.
This Dr. Sivastoda, his name was Visnu. At that time, he was an Indian student in Montreal.
I do not remember him. Many Indians used to come. But our temple was really not much; we had nothing, absolutely nothing. Nevertheless, it was blissful. Prasadam was fantastic. Every day you woke up you would just cook whatever you had. There is something to be said for that. As opposed to always having everything; plenty of money etc.
When you have nothing there is something to be said about that. ISKCON is not in that position now, nor do they ever put themselves in that position; not even sannyasis. They make sure they have plane tickets, money, bank balance, and everything else before they start anything. You never see anybody stuck with nothing, depending just on Lord Krishna.
Visnujana Swami used to do that. We were in San Antonio with Visnujana, and we had more food than we needed; so we had to give that extra food away. Crates and crates of uncooked food. The San Antonio food market liked Visnujana. They gave him crates of cabbage, and cauliflower. Heaps of crates. We would just have to go to Fort Worth, and say “here take it.” We cooked tons of food too. For people coming, and visiting the temple.
So there is really no shortage; but devotees are always hassling and begging after money. Prabhupada never hassled after it. To me, Prabhupada was very much different than the devotees, all the other devotees. Even in as so far as the programs. It always seemed like Prabhupada was trying to do things, trying to start programs just to keep us from leaving Krishna consciousness. Not that our programs are so relevant; so necessary. He would start a program for us to keep us in the movement.
Do you have any specific examples on that?
Yeah, the incense business, Spiritual Sky. Life memberships.
We could not do anything in India. We could not do kirtana. We could not distribute Prasadam. All we did was acquire money. We had to acquire money from people. We could not even go to the holy places; we would have to do business there.
Nevertheless, Srila Prabhupada let us do this business of Life membership. When I lived in India; the only devotees that were anybody, in India, were people that did Life memberships. You were considered a nobody, if you could not make life members. To me, making life members was a waste of time. Why would I want to come to India to talk to these nuts; these big business men.
Lord Caitanya would not even talk, even one minute with these kind of people. He avoided anybody that had to do with business. Even King Prataparudra was a fantastic devotee, and Lord Caitanya avoided him like the plague; just because he was dealing with money. I do not mean that I am not on that level; but, is this why I am going to India?
I am not going there to talk to these maniac life members. So pious, over here, and then a girlfriend over there. Even if they are really pious and sometimes, they are. And if they are really fantastic, and they are devotees their whole life. Still they could not care less about Krishna consciousness. You have to beg, plead them, try to cheat them and rip them off; for money. Whatever it takes to get money from these people.
These Indian business men could not care less to spread this movement to black people, or Americans, or Germans; they could not care less. Only if it means that oh, we can make some business with the Americans, I can go visit you, and stay free at the ISKCON temples.