"Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name." So He has name. You find out what is His name and chant it. And if you do not know, then take it from us. 
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Continued from p. 6

Zen, Christian Teachings and Krishna Consciousness

Conversation with Professor Dürckheim, German Spiritual Writer, June 19, 1974, Schloss Rettershof, Germany

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acharya of the world-wide Hare Krishna Movement, Brahma Sampradaya Acharya

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Professor Pater Porsch: There are thousands and millions of...

Prabhupada: That's all right. Here is one name. Why don't you take it?

Professor Pater Porsch: No. I say millions of names. I'm looking for the name and...

Prabhupada: Yes. But if I've given you the name why don't you take it?

Professor Pater Porsch: Because I'm not convinced that is the right name.

Prabhupada: That is your misfortune. [everyone laughs] That is your misfortune. Yes.

Professor Pater Porsch: God does not have a name for me, but Jesus gave me the nature.

Prabhupada: How can I help? You do not know the name, if somebody is informing you, "Here is the name," he still will not take. That is your misfortune. What can be done? A misfortunate man cannot be helped. That's right. So here is the authority. Satatam kirtayanto mam.


satatam kirtayanto mam
yatantash cha dridha-vratah
namasyantash cha mam bhaktya
nitya-yukta upasate
[Bhagavad-gita 9.14]

"Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship me with devotion."


Professor Pater Porsch: ...and when I was in Africa I saw the people are looking for the name and chanting like you chant. But they have a complete different idea of thought. My question is how can I know what is the right thing? From where do you know this?

Prabhupada: But, as a human being you can study what you have seen in Africa and where you are seeing here. There's much difference.

Professor Pater Porsch: I mean, my question only I saw the people singing...

Prabhupada: No, just like these boys and girls, they are coming from Jewish group or Christian group. They have not come from India. Now how they're chanting and enjoying—you can see.

Professor Pater Porsch: No, I mean the intention was the same. They're looking for [indistinct]

Prabhupada: [indistinct] ...you have to see the resultant study.

Dr. P. J. Saher: I was quite surprised.

Prabhupada: Yes. And ask them to induce to chant any other name. They'll not do that. Phalena parichiyate, you have to study by the result of the activity, not theoretical.

Dr. P. J. Saher: Yes. That would be the criterion for me.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Dr. P. J. Saher: Yes, that's the same what the Christian criterion when St. Paul speaks. They had the same...

Prabhupada: No. We say that you follow Christian principle, you become perfect. But the difficulty is nobody follows anything. He follows his own opinion. That's all. "In my opinion." What you are, your opinion? That is the difficulty. Yes you can take.

Vedavyasa: Srila Prabhupada, in the Bible there are a lot of statements regarding chanting, instructions that people should chant the holy name of God. Like in the Old Testament it says from the morning to evening you should chant the holy name of God.

Prabhupada: Yes. That is the business in this age. Chant the holy name of God.

Professor Dürckheim: Whatever you do, do in the name of Jesus Christ, the Bible...

Prabhupada: That's all right. You take this in the name of Jesus Christ.

Hansadutta: Prabhupada, would you like to take your prasadam now?

Prabhupada: Not now. Later. The simplest method: chant the holy name of the Lord. That's all.

Dr. P.J. Saher: Should this chanting be loud? Or can it also be half loud, whisper or silently, mentally? Does it play any difference? Does it make any difference?

Prabhupada: If you chant loudly then others can hear. They also take benefit.

Vedavyasa: Should we translate?

Prabhupada: Hm?

Vedavyasa: Should we translate?

Prabhupada: Yes. Even the birds and beasts they will hear and be benefited. Therefore loud chanting is recommended. So that even the birds, beasts, trees, plants, they can hear.

Dr. P.J. Saher: I seldom saw so many happy faces as today, this evening, below.

Prabhupada: Yes. That is the case. In America also the ladies and gentlemen ask them, "Are you Americans?" Because they do not see Americans with such nice face. One Christian priest—I was going from Los Angeles to Hawaii—so he came to talk with me. He inquired "Swamiji, how is that your disciples look so bright?" He inquired. Yes.

Dr. P.J. Saher: Without drugs.

Prabhupada: Yes. And one Christian priest he showed one pamphlet that these boys, they're our boys but before this they're not coming to the church. They do not want to ask anything about God. Now they're mad after God. How is it? He admitted, "They're our men." And I give you another example. In our Los Angeles temple—this was a church, big church—but it was not going on. It was being closed. And it was sold to us. And now you go and see there is daily thousands of... the same men, the same place. The crowd is so... Why? I have not brought all these men from India. Judge. Unless it is something sublime, how they're accepting it? And they're all young boys. Not that they have become old, therefore they're seeking after God. [everyone laughs] And young men have got so many aspirations, they go to the restaurant to smoke, to enjoy girlfriend, boyfriend, these... They have given up everything.

Professor Dürckheim: And they are working in the society, they are working...

Prabhupada: We are working, we are writing these books and selling them. That's all. This is our work.

Professor Dürckheim: I see.

Prabhupada: We have no other... Even in the Indian Parliament, the question was raised that "How is that this international society is spending lavishly? What is their income?" There is a rumor that Americans are sending these CIA, what is this? [everyone laughs] Rascal people, they think the CIA has come to dance and chant Hare Krishna. [everyone laughs] So, of course the reply was given that we have no information that these people are CIA but we know that they are maintaining themselves by selling their literature and public contribution. That's all. And we have got 102 centers like this. This is not very... If you go to our Los Angeles center, New York center and other, Vrindavana center and Navadvipa center, not less than 200 men are there always. And we are providing with their food, shelter. We give education to their children. We are getting them married. We don't allow these boys to live as friends. No. "You get yourself married." Yes. [German] Here is a girl, Kausalya. I picked her from Hawaii. Now you can ask what she was and what she is now. Now she's married. She's happy. She has everything here. Life is there. [pause] Hare Krishna. So I think you are all learned gentlemen, you should give us support and cooperate with this movement. It is very nice movement. That is my request to you.

Satsvarupa: May we take your leave, Srila Prabhupada?

Prabhupada: No. You sit down. I do not... I can talk all night. [devotees laugh] Because it is Krishna's talk that is your [indistinct] already. Satatam kirtayanto mam [Bhagavad-gita 9.14]. Why do you stop? Satatam. Go on. Continuous. What is that? Satatam means?

Satsvarupa: Always?

Prabhupada: Satatam kirtayanto mam yatantash cha dridha-vratah, namasyantash cha mam... [Bhagavad-gita 9.14].

Dr. P.J. Saher: In what way can we support, or cooperate with your movement? In what way can we offer optimal benefit to your movement?

Prabhupada: That is a simple thing. You chant Hare Krishna. That's all.

Dr. P.J. Saher: No. I mean in a further, in an extended way. For example...

Hansadutta: Yes. We have got a life membership program which can be [indistinct] can participate in that way.

Prabhupada: You can become a life member and read all these books and chant Hare Krishna. There is no loss. Suppose you chant Hare Krishna, there is no material loss on your part, but if there is any gain, why don't you take it?

Dr. P.J. Saher: No, my question was perhaps a little, not quite clear. Many of us here, myself felt, represent not only our personal selves but are here on behalf of certain institutions and we are active in some form or other of public service, these gentlemen probably also. And in what way, for example, would we serve your movement by giving a clear explanation about the aims of your activity, for example, removing prejudices and supporting Sanskrit studies and the better distribution of the Bhagavad-gita in this form, in such ways, perhaps?

Prabhupada: Yes. We are writing these books for distribution.

Dr. P.J. Saher: Yes. Yes. Yes, I've already suggested that one.

Prabhupada: Yes. And they are not manufactured knowledge. They are standard knowledge, Vedic knowledge, I am explaining for understanding of the people in general. Each word is being explained. Here is my dictaphone. I am sitting here. So as soon as I stop talking, I shall write immediately. At night also, I get up at two o'clock, one o'clock, and write these books.

Hansadutta: Prabhupada came to United States in 1965, and this movement was started in 1966, '67, and since that time, he has published about twenty books like this, including Bhagavad-gita, Chaitanya-charitamrita.

Prabhupada: And what is the number of books sold last year?

Satsvarupa: Four million.

Prabhupada: Four million copies.

Dr. P.J. Saher: May I please put a question before I forget. I heard from our, or I read in the invitation that this center is not only a center as such but something more. It should also be an ashrama and also a forest university in the tradition of the ancient times.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Dr. P.J. Saher: A kind of a university also.

Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Yes.

Dr. P.J. Saher: Like Indian and allied sciences, Vedic sciences.

Prabhupada: My idea is that all our centers should be self-supported. We do not like that idea that for your support you have to go 100 miles to get your bread. That is a very dangerous drawback. You produce your food locally and then support yourself. The main problem is what to eat, where to sleep. So we get some place and support ourself by producing our own food. We have already begun in New Vrindaban, New..., West Virginia, Virginia, and similarly in other centers, we are producing our food, grains, vegetables, fruits and milk. That is sufficient. But we don't kill any animals. That we don't do.

Dr. P.J. Saher: But will this center also be a place of learning for Sanskrit studies and allied topics?

Prabhupada: Oh, yes. We are educating our children in Dallas. We have got very good institution, Sanskrit and English, and they are reading these books. That is sufficient. If they read these books, all different department of knowledge will be acquired. Kasmin tu bhagavo vijnate sarvam idam vijnatam bhavati. Yes. You can play a little record. Last night...

Hansadutta: This morning's recording?

Prabhupada: Yes.

Dr. P.J. Saher: May I please ask, are there is also room for physical yoga exercises while chanting of the God's names?

Prabhupada: Yes, but we are exercising by dancing.

Dr. P.J. Saher: Yes, of course. [tape of Prabhupada singing is played]

Prabhupada: Make little louder. [tape plays for about five minutes of Prabhupada singing prayers to the six Gosvamis] What are these pictures?

Hansadutta: These are pictures of our society's activities in the temples.

Dr. P.J. Saher: Very constructive and very... So much success in a relative very short time, if you began in 1966.

Prabhupada: '67.

Dr. P.J. Saher: And during the Bangladesh crisis you also...

Prabhupada: Yes, anyone came; we feed. That much... There were many refugees, so we fed them.

Dr. P.J. Saher: But that automatically answers the question of this gentlemen also, the body in the service of other people, you see...

Prabhupada: No, we give food. Anyone come and take food. Here also. There is no question of Bangladesh. Let anyone come and take food. In our Mayapura center we especially give food distribution on Saturday and Sunday. At least five thousand people come. So all humanitarian work is included.

Lady: Thank you very much.

Prabhupada: Hare Krishna. Thank you. [some guests leave] So now we have come to Germany. You cooperate and make it a great success for the general benefit of the whole humanity. We have got arts, music, literature, culture, food, everything.

Dr. P.J. Saher: I think it will also help to quite a considerable extent for the removing of prejudices and for a better understanding of...

Prabhupada: No, this is the only platform where all people, all religion, all culture, can unite. This is the only place, Krishna consciousness. We practically see how they are becoming successful. In Africa also, within the villages they are responding. [break] ...distinction.

Devotee: [showing Srila Prabhupada's books] This is Spanish, Chinese.

Dr. P.J. Saher: [indistinct] Chinese.

Prabhupada: Japanese also. And Hindi.

Devotee: Italian, French. Hindi also we have. Bengali, Gujarati.

Dr. P.J. Saher: But I also noticed on the faces of the devotees downstairs that many or several faces were, we would say in the West, sublimated, that the facial features showed that a certain form of sublimation had taken place.

Prabhupada: Even children are learning how to dance, how to offer obeisances, how to chant, how to clap. They are also learning, small children.

Dr. P.J. Saher: And I think that it comes at the right time so that people may not be misled into juvenile delinquency, all of those "easy riders" and motorcycles and adolescent criminality. They find creative outlets for their energies also as a by-product.

Prabhupada: No. We are teaching... Of course, we do not defy this modern advance of material civil... We don't say that. But this is our main business, that is, jivasya tattva-jijnasa, to inquire about the Absolute Truth.

Dr. P.J. Saher: So can you not say that this knowledge is an atma-vidya, that we are trying to come to the knowledge of the atman.

Prabhupada: Atmine?

Dr. P.J. Saher: Atma, self.

Prabhupada: Oh, atma, yes. Tattva-jijnasa means atma-jijnasa.

Dr. P.J. Saher: That is why it is also correct to translate the term krishna-arjuna-samvara [?] as a kind of metaphysical knowledge, philosophical knowledge.

Prabhupada: No, whole knowledge. Metaphysical, physical, everything is there.

Dr. P.J. Saher: In the Gita it also, a verse, that "Four kinds of persons seek Me..."

Prabhupada: Ah, yes. Chatur-vidha bhajante mam.

Dr. P.J. Saher: "The man who seeks knowledge."

Prabhupada: Yes, yes, chatur-vidha. And similarly, there are four kinds of rascals. Chatur-vidha. No. Na mäà dushkritino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah [Bhagavad-gita 7.15]. Everything is there.

Dr. P.J. Saher: But, perhaps, that could be also a question, that Graf Dürckheim has in mind, I think, perhaps, when he asked the question about belief, etc. Perhaps he also thinks that we are living in a period of, where, because of the technological construction of society, rational knowledge is appreciated and, for example, ten years ago non-rational knowledge in Germany, actually, or in Europe was highly suspected. We had lived through a period of positivism, and people in our universities even wanted to abolish the word consciousness. They even wanted to abolish the word psychology on the basis, on the presumption that there is no such thing as a...

Professor Dürckheim: But this time is over.

Dr. P.J. Saher: Yes.

Professor Dürckheim: The modern times are not modern anymore.

Dr. P.J. Saher: I agree with you but just think how the world was only a few years ago.

Professor Dürckheim: Yes. And especially if you talk about the rational, the really German tradition is the irrational. So now this is coming back now, rediscovering their own past slowly.

Prabhupada: So long they do not come to the standard platform, they will accept this sometimes and that sometimes. This will go on, changing.

Dr. P.J. Saher: No, but I meant it differently. Can it not be that average man in the street... I don't mean... Yes, it was, of course, in Germany. Man in the street now is infected from the...

Professor Dürckheim: Absolutely, yes.

Dr. P.J. Saher: And he thinks that in order to give a rational presentment ... [break]

Professor Dürckheim: ...I realize that the closer members engaged, really, in this work of distributing books and chanting, wearing the white robes and shaving the heads, they are the closer participants I suppose. And then have you also members of your movement which are simply in their work, in the community, in the world? Or is...

Prabhupada: No, we invite everyone.

Professor Dürckheim: You invite. But as far as members are concerned, to become a member of your movement...

Hansadutta: Yes, we have people in all walks of life. For example, we have the [German]. He is a life member. And all people...

Professor Dürckheim: He's simply a member?

Hansadutta: Yes. He is a member, he supports the movement, he follows the principles himself, he appreciates the philosophy, but he has his responsibility in the society. He acts as a member of the society and he is a member. But his lifestyle is Krishna consciousness. [end]           Previous Page

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