In Mayapura, Bhavananda Maharaja told me that Prabhupada said to him that sudras do not have to chant japa at all. Not even one round. Nothing. At that time Bhavananda Maharaja was throwing out these Indian sudras, for not chanting their japa. Prabhupada got so angry. This is first hand, not from Prabhupada, but from Bhavananda Maharaja. Then he said that all they have to do is to pay obeisances to the Deity, chant kirtana, and work; that is all.
So I said to Bhakti Tirtha and to Bhavananda Maharaja,
“So we are really making a mistake with these black people in America? Because if black people in America see yo u falling asleep during japa, like you, they would not believe in japa. They are being treated like they are white; they are not white people.”
They may be all mixed bloods and everything else; then it gets more complicated. But a regular black person is usually not very attracted to chanting japa. As far as I am concerned, if they want to chant japa, fine. You have to understand that there are always exceptions. There are no absolute rules in chanting japa. People can always transcend, and be different then what their body says. But, do we treat women any different.
The mentality in the USA is: we are so Krishna consciousness, oh he is black, he can do anything a white person can. But for woman; can she do anything a man can? According to ISKCON authorities; not on your life.
She may be a genius, but the ISKCON authorities would not even put her in charge of the kitchen. They would not put her in charge of the coat room because she is a dumb woman.
The non-devotees, they have got women running banks and corporations; and we do not put them in charge of anything. Not even a women’s program. They will always be a woman, with a man there to make sure she does not freak out; just because she is just a woman. And yet with black people, they make them treasurer. It says in scriptures that black people steal, yet the ISKCON authorities make them the treasurer. It is so funny.
And they always run off with the treasury. I mean they put this person in charge of the treasury, and then they ran off with all the money. In the past, they may have left, and then they steal a car, and came back. And still they put him in charge of the treasury again.
And then there is the devotee who always, who has the finest silks and finest this and that, gold tulasi mala with the black beads. And I say,
“Where does this person get his money?”’
He was the treasurer, and he was black. This man is stealing from everybody blind, and no one said anything. Of course in Kali Yuga everyone’s a thief. But white people like to steal and black people get a kick out of it too.
They love it. I mean, when I was living up in Harlem, if somebody saw somebody steal something; it was like a great achievement. People start smiling, they acted happy that he got away with it.