Why Are We Selling Books?

 Room Conversation -- April 20, 1976, Melbourne 


Carol Jarvis: Many people find it very difficult to reconcile the spiritual way of life in the Kṛṣṇa movement with the great financial resources the movement also has. Why do you need any great financial...?

Prabhupāda: It doesn't.... The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement does not depend on any material condition, any material condition.

Carol Jarvis: But you make a lot of money out of the sales of your books, etc.; there is begging in the street each day.

Prabhupāda: Yes. But there are many beggars. They do not get money. We get money. We are not beggars. We are giving books, knowledge. Do you think we are beggars?

Carol Jarvis: If I could use the example, perhaps, of your temple, which has a lot of very rich material things in it. I wonder what significance that plays in your spiritual life.

Prabhupāda: So what do you mean by spiritual and material? Do you know the distinction? Then I'll show you spiritual. And do you know?

Carol Jarvis: Well, the material...

Prabhupāda: I say that in the temple there is nothing material, all spiritual, but you have no eyes to see to it.


Carol Jarvis: I wonder if you could lead an equal sort of life without the richness of the temple.

Prabhupāda: Yes, you can do. You can live at your home like us. We are giving the example. You can live also like that. That is spiritual life. If you follow the same rules and regulation and live like that, that is spiritual life.

Carol Jarvis: You told me earlier that you make thousands of dollars a day...

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Carol Jarvis: ...out of the sales of your books.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Carol Jarvis: If you want your thoughts to be passed on to other people, why do you sell the books and make money out of them?

Prabhupāda: Otherwise you'll not read it. If I give you free, then you'll think, "Ah, this is something nonsense. They are giving free."

Carol Jarvis: Not necessarily give them free, but perhaps sell them for a price that pays for the cost of producing them.

Prabhupāda: So when they pay for it.... When they pay for it, they will try to see "What these books are saying? Let me see." And if you get free, then you may keep it in your rack for hundreds of years. So that is not the.... But after all, we have to print these books, so who will pay for that? We have no money.

Carol Jarvis: Well, what happens to the rest of the money, though, that is collected in the streets?

Prabhupāda: We are increasing our movement. We are opening centers. We are printing more books. This is my books. I have made a Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. That is my will, and I have given my will that fifty percent of the collection should be spent for reprinting the books and fifty percent should be spent for spreading the movement. So there is no question of material profit.

Carol Jarvis: I wonder if I could ask you just finally, then, if you have a message.

Prabhupāda: Yes, this is the message, that people are under the impression that one is this body, but that is not the fact. The soul, or the man, he is within the body. Just like you are not your, this shirt and coat. You are within the shirt and coat. Similarly, the living entity, the living being, is within this body, the gross body and the subtle body. The subtle body is composed of mind, intelligence and ego, and the gross body is a composition of these material things, earth, water, air, fire, like that, five elements. Altogether, eight elements. This is inferior energy. And the superior energy is within these eight elements, five gross and three subtle. So we have to study about that thing. Just like I asked that boy that "You can manufacture a huge machine, flying in the sky, 747, but why don't you manufacture the pilot?"

Carol Jarvis: Thank you. (background conversation about filming, recording)

Prabhupāda: So that is intelligence, that if in spite of your manufacturing such a huge machine, without the help of a pilot you cannot fly it.

Carol Jarvis: Yes, I know.

Prabhupāda: So why don't you manufacture pilot?

Carol Jarvis: Probably someday they may.

Prabhupāda: That is nonsense. That is nonsense.

Carol Jarvis: At the moment we're just taking some photographs.

Prabhupāda: No, at the.... You talk at the moment, sir. You don't give me post-dated check that "In future I shall be millionaire. Now you take a check of million or..." Shall I accept it?

Carol Jarvis: No, at the moment we're just taking some photographs. We can't let you talk at the moment. You're supposedly listening to my questions.

Prabhupāda: All right.

Carol Jarvis: So for the moment I'll pretend to be asking you some questions for the purposes of cutting the interview.

Prabhupāda: No, you note down that we are asking that you are so expert in manufacturing big, big machine. Why not manufacture a pilot? That is my question.

Carol Jarvis: As I just said, they probably will some day.

Prabhupāda: That "probably" again. That is not possible.

Carol Jarvis: Oh, I don't know. I don't know.

Prabhupāda: You do not know. That is I say. Therefore I say you cannot do it. You do not know it. You cannot manufacture even a small germ, what to speak of pilot. That is the problem. The modern education is they do not know it. "Perhaps," "maybe," this is not scientific proposal.

Guru-kṛpā: Perhaps they can keep you young.

Carol Jarvis: That's just what I was going to say. Perhaps they can build something without giving him...

Prabhupāda: Who is.... Who is...

Carol Jarvis: him command, a free mind.

Prabhupāda: So suppose if you say, "Perhaps I'll be able to keep my young age continually," is it possible?

Carol Jarvis: I don't know.

Prabhupāda: Then? You don't know. Then learn it. It is not possible. You must become an old lady. (laughter)

Carol Jarvis: How do you know?

Prabhupāda: Yes, I know. You know also. You are denying only. You know that you shall become...

Carol Jarvis: No, but I don't know anything. I'm prepared to not know anything. I'm prepared to wait and see...

Prabhupāda: Then you can know from the experience that every.... Your grandmother was young lady some years ago. Now she's old man, old woman.

Carol Jarvis: Yes.

Prabhupāda: How do you know?

Carol Jarvis: But, you know, you could use that argument and say, "Yes, but I also know that they weren't able to cure a single disease."

Prabhupāda: Now, if you say that "My grandmother has become old lady. I'll not become," that is lunacy.

Carol Jarvis: No, no, no. I'm not suggesting that I'm not going to become old. I'm simply saying that I don't know...

Prabhupāda: So therefore, therefore you cannot stop the nature's process. You are dependent. You should first of all understand that you are dependent on nature's process. That is intelligence. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi... [Bg. 3.27]. If you extravagantly say that "I shall stop this nature's process," that is lunacy, craziness. It is not possible. You have to accept that you are under the stringent laws of nature.

Carol Jarvis: Oh, I couldn't.... I agree with everything that you're saying about the laws of nature.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So but therefore how you can make a plan of happiness? Nature is baffling your plan. That you have to understand, "Why nature is baffling me?" That is real knowledge.

Carol Jarvis: So your answer...

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Carol Jarvis: to work with nature.

Prabhupāda: We can do that. We can do that, that...

daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī

mama māyā duratyayā

mām eva ye prapadyante

māyām etāṁ taranti te

 [Bg. 7.14]

You cannot combat with the nature's law, but Kṛṣṇa says that if you become Kṛṣṇa conscious, you can do that. You can stop nature's law acting upon you. And that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Carol Jarvis: Why.... Why would you want to stop nature's law acting in its natural way?

Prabhupāda: Because I don't want to be old man, but I am being forced. Therefore I want to stop this force of the nature. That is my natural inclination.

Carol Jarvis: Isn't it also your natural.... Isn't it natural to...

Prabhupāda: It is struggle. Struggle means.... Struggle for existence means there is something against my will, and I want to stop it. This is called struggle for existence. And that is.... The whole world is going on, that.... They have started that United Nation. Why United Nation? You remain.... But they are trying to stop war. "Let us struggle unitedly." So that is going on. You don't want war, but the war is inevitable. Even the United Nation is there, still war is going on. That is struggle. So, but they are not coming to the point of understanding that "We are trying so much, so hard, to become happy, but nature is not allowing me." This is real intelligence. And that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. If we remain dull—"Let the nature's law act upon me as it likes"—and we go on struggling to stop it, it will never stop, because nature's law is so powerful. You can never stop it.

Carol Jarvis: But why do you want to fight nature at all?

Prabhupāda: Then you want happiness. Again I am repeatedly saying that you don't want to stop your old age. You want to remain young.

Carol Jarvis: No, no, no...

Prabhupāda: Everyone...

Carol Jarvis: I'm saying I think I can be happy by working within nature's laws rather than trying to fight them.

Prabhupāda: That you are not working. That is.... That is your.... That is...

Carol Jarvis: But I'm not unhappy.

Prabhupāda: That's all.... You are not happy.

Carol Jarvis: No, I'm not unhappy. I'm perfectly happy.

Prabhupāda: No, that is your ignorance. Nobody is happy. That is.... Then it is the happiness of the dog. He is also thinking happy. The hog is also thinking happy. That is another illusion. The dog may be a very big dog, and he can bark very nicely, but he is not happy because he has got a master. As soon as the master, "Come here," "Yes." Chain.

Carol Jarvis: But all of these people have a mouth, and you do the same to them. You call them, and they jump.

Prabhupāda: No.

Carol Jarvis: That's the same as a dog coming to its master.

Prabhupāda: Yes. But to have a real master and to have a false master.... Just like a physician. He is asking that "Come here. Lie down." He is knife.... He knows that he'll make surgical.... He agrees. But if somebody, rogue, says that "I shall cut your throat," he'll not agree. That is intelligence. A physician is also with the knife, and the rogue is also with the knife. When the physician says, "You lie down. I shall have some surgical operation," he agrees to ply on his body the knife. But he'll never agree if he knows that "He is a rogue. He'll simply cut my throat." That is the difference. But superficially you see, "Both of them are with knife," but one for real happiness, one for false thing.

Carol Jarvis: I find it hard to see the difference...

Prabhupāda: Yes, you find out how to go to a physician, agree to his proposal. Then you'll be cured. Otherwise you'll have to suffer with that boil, always burning, burning, burning, burning.

Carol Jarvis: Thank you for your time.

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. Give them some prasāda.


 Room Conversation -- April 20, 1976, Melbourne




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