Purports To Controversial Purports
Bhasya on Narayana Upanishad, Sara Welch, Wikimedia Commons

Prabhu: Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja, please accept my humble obeisances. Yeah, I have a question which is, of course, conected to what you were speaking lately. It is about our responsibility as leaders and ISKCON to protect the siddhānta. We see that especially in Kali-yuga then you got... The tendency is, spiritual traditions, religious traditions tend to go off track, become compromised. It also happened in the Gaudīya tradition. And one of the reasons is, compromise is made because of opportunities to become more expanded or popular and like that. And so, for example, there are discussions about Prabhupāda's books, should we write footnotes because there are certain things which are provoking to current issues in society and people might not respect those because, you know, you have to make some explanations, and then... So... Then there is, of course, the  statement of Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā, the austerity of speech is, you speak truth, but it should be, not be disturbing and it should be beneficial and so on, and... Could you say something about this balance about these things. I mean, what I understand, Prabhupāda, in terms of reaching out, he was very, very liberal. Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura also. But they were extremely strict about siddhānta and deviations, like that. So what is our responsibility also there, because... as leaders. Okay. Thank you.

His Holiness Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Svāmī Mahārāja: Yes, yes, very nice. The point is, the siddhānta is what it is, it's not a matter of whim or what you like or not. It's not just taking what you like, or going and just taking the panīr out of the sabjī and leaving everything else, you know. It is a matter of this is what it is, it's just facts. And so, you try to present it as nicely as you can, as pleasantly as you can, as specific to the audience as you can. But if they get disturbed - that you can't, you can't do anything about. You know, this whole idea is, if someone gets disturbed we are wrong - no. If they get disturbed, that is because they have an atheistic attitude. We try our best to present it in a way so that they can appreciate it. But then getting disturbed is another thing. So how many people are reading the books and finding those points? One is, how many people are reading the books that much that they might come across something like that? And two, how many of the people that are complaining that 'these things in the books, if they are there no one will join,' but they joined anyway themselves. Right? In other words, a point will bother you because it bothers you. And then other people like you, in your circle, you are worried they will be bothered. For many others these are very normal points. And, as you say, in the contemporary environment, how long until that changes?

But the point is, Prabhupāda said, they will write purports to my purports. So then write a purport! That's fine. But you write it in such a way that the purport has a longer shelf life than just today. You have to write it based on the eternal principles and how that's trying to be brought out, what Prabhupāda is trying to say, what is the point that Prabhupāda is trying to make here, right? And so then that has some value. But simply to dismiss what Prabhupāda says as, 'Oh, you can't say...' what is it? I mean, you look at the Western culture. No meat eating, no illicit sex, no gambling, no intoxication - how does that go down with anybody? So now we are going to remove that? Because where does it stop? As you see, if the left gets inspired, they don't stop - everything is bad. Police, in America police going out on the street and telling people, 'Don't do this because this is wrong,' that's now called racist, right? If a guy goes into a shop... They made law in California that if a guy goes into a shop and steals less than 900 dollars worth of goods, you can't prosecute him. Nine hundred! That's a lot, you know, I mean you could get some guys go into shops with garbage bags this big, just haul things off the shelf and walk out, and the security can do nothing. So, and if you tell them, 'Oh, you can't do that,' 'Oh, then you are a racist!' So anything can be turned.

So that's the thing, is if you're going, 'Oh, no, but someone will become disturbed by that, someone will that... Oh, but Prabhupāda's language and all that... He is not using this language or that...' Point is is like are people becoming offended by Mark Twain? Are they becoming offended by Shakespeare? Are they becoming offended by the Iliad and Odyssey, you know, or Beowulf? Right? Beowulf is some of your neck of the woods, right? So, people are getting offended because, you know, it doesn't say 'the door of the house,' it says 'the mansion's mouth'? So, 'What is this?' you know, like that, 'I don't want to be used,' so, you know. So that is the thing, is this idea that we have to pander to the modes of nature that people are going through today, no. And then... No, we don't. We present the Absolute Truth. You try to present it nicely so they can appreciate it. But you can't change it, you can't cut it out. So, yeah. And then that point is, 'Oh, no, but then, you know, people go and then they criticize us,' so, preach! It's the whole thing is, I want to walk down the street and everyone just goes, 'Wow!' You want to be a fabulous guy. But even you walk down the street in karmī clothes, who is going to say you are fabulous? Right? Who is even going to say you are dressed nicely? Right? Basically, no one. So the whole thing is is, this idea is that, you know, 'I wanted to... I don't want any trouble, and so we should change Prabhupāda's books, so I don't get any trouble.' The whole point is is, good or bad - it's all publicity. The karmīs know that, they know they put out things as fabulous and it turns to good. Things that, let's say, a few years ago were conspiracy theories and bad, today they talked about is that they are just perfectly normal things. So karmīs know, and we claim that, 'Oh, no, we are working on professional levels,' and this and that, you know, 'We are up to date.' No, we are not. The point is is, it doesn't matter. If it is publicity, people are listening.

It was said that at the day, the week after 9/11 in America the maximum amount of books on Islam were bought that ever had been recorded before. People wanted to know who are these people. And you didn't see any anti-Muslim riots at that time. And even after that then Europe let in millions of Muslims. So that's the whole thing, this whole idea, 'Oh, bad publicity, no one will join,' it's kind-of like, who is this 'no one'? Would they join anyway? Would this academic that you are worried about? 'No, so many intelligent people...' Who are these intelligent people? Real intelligence is understanding your relationship with Kṛṣṇa.

So that's the whole point. People living... I just found out something, I don't know if I mentioned this here. I was actually shocked because I grew up in in an environment that would be tend to be more left, more liberal, like that. And this whole thing is, you know, there's always this push that the Democrats in America, they are always for blacks, and this and all that, everybody like that. While the Republicans, the conservatives, they are anti these things. So I saw this clip where there is an elderly African-American gentleman. He may be a professor or something like that. And he has written a book called 'Misplaced Loyalties,' that people are loyal to one political group. But if you look back in the history, I don't know if you have heard of it, there is this group called the Ku Klux Klan, totally anti-black, they just, any opportunity they could to get them and kill them, they would. But the party was started by Democrats. And even recently then the sitting president, when one of the most senior men of the Ku Klux Klan died, he was making a eulogy. That was just recently. So all these things that they say, it's 'Oh, the Conservatives are all... They won't give you any... ' all of those, every last one of those in the political field were all pushed by Democrats because it got them the votes. And now when they see it doesn't get the votes, all they do is reverse it and now say it is the Republicans fault, right? So that is politics. So this whole thing is, 'Oh, no, no, intelligent...' It's just a matter of politics, it's how you play it.

So if they are worried, then write an intelligent, Kṛṣṇa conscious purport. But if you are just going to make some political note, who needs that? It's just something that the future generations will have to remove because we were so un-Kṛṣṇa conscious, right? So the point is, write a nice... Like somebody writes, Śrīdhara Svāmī writes a commentary on Bhāgavatam, and then other ācāryas, Sanātana Gosvāmī, writes. But what he does is either bringing out other points there to support that, or some other angles. Then Viśvanātha is writing, others are writing, they are all writing, but they don't contradict each other. So if they think Prabhupāda is wrong, then they shouldn't even be part of the conversation. Prabhupāda is speaking the Absolute Truth, it is correct what he is saying. And if you say it's not, means you don't know material nature.

So the thing is is, if those wordings then get a connotation of something else, you show what the wordings are meaning, what they are actually meaning that you keep the principle of it and give, show that you bring out that real purport. You don't get distracted by modern uses of language because, especially in English, it is constantly changing. A word that is good today, tomorrow is bad. So it is just like that, you have to to see, is that we have to be very, very careful that what Prabhupāda has spoken we try to speak it. You try to get the audience to understand what is the point Prabhupāda is making, what is the purport - that is the responsibility. So it is the responsibility of every devotee to the best of their ability to do that. But it is specifically, 100 percent, the responsibility of the GBC and of our project leaders and the sannyāsīs, the traveling preachers - that is their business. So the preachers and the GBC - that is their business, that is all they do, right? While, let's say, a temple president, then he is doing that and he is trying to manage. So as much as he can he does that whenever it comes up. But for the GBC - that's all they have to do. Sannyāsīs - that's all they have to do.

So that's the point, because if one is not Kṛṣṇa conscious and one is not moving forward in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then what's the point? All this endeavor and that, and if no one moves forward, what's the point? And we become politically correct, yes, today it's nice and tomorrow it turns on you. I mean, look  at... Just let's go back and just give a good point in history: we go back to France, right? Okay, the King is there, things aren't going well, the guy, the King is a bit of a bozo, right? And so then, you know, 'Liberty, Equity, Fraternity,' good stuff, right? You know, equity - be equal. Fraternity - everybody should be friends and have that sense of community. Liberty - everyone should be free to be able to do what they like. Good stuff, right? So the man who headed all that, Robespierre, then it's going along great - they cut off Louis's head, they cut off so many other people's heads. But give it a little time - the people cut off his head. Because ultimately they just want, you know, 'How come I am not getting rich? You say I am poor because the King is keeping all the money, but now we have killed the king and Marie-Antoinette because she would spend all the money on parties. And then we killed all the business people that were hoarding all the money, and now there is no money because no one is there to make the money or manage the money.' And so, then they cut his head off. So that's the whole thing, is if you are going to take the political route, then you heard the saying, 'Live by the sword, die by the sword,' right? You have a saying similar like that? Means, if you live by fighting, you will die by fighting. So, in other words, your position, your only position is that because of your political ability you will also be destroyed by that political government. So the only thing safe in this world is the Holy Name, is kīrtana, it is the association of vaiṣṇavas, that's it. Nothing else is safe.

So that is the point, is that one has to know, is that that's kept in place. [Indistinct] Devotees who wanted to re-edit Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura's Brahma Saṁhitā, Prabhupāda said, 'You don't change one syllable.' So the point is, you don't change one syllable of Prabhupāda's books, but you can write purports. Right? This is different from when... That means, technically it is not necessary, but at the same time is that it's done when Jayādvaita Mahārāja went back to the original tapes that Prabhupāda dictated and then put the words in that are in the tape. Because sometimes the devotees didn't know the word because of the accent, or they didn't know the Sanskrit. Like there is one, you see sometimes in that discussion on Prabhupāda's on the Jaladūta, and Prabhupāda in his diary is saying that today... I think he is saying, you know, it's a nice day and all this and that, and the water's smooth and that, and 'Today I cooked bati-chachari.' But they didn't know what it is, so they put in brackets 'kichari.' They thought it was, maybe it was kichari. But bati-chachari is a particular kind of Bengali preparation. Prabhupāda really liked that. So, in other words, the sea was calm, it is time for a festival, right? Instead of always being like this. And he cooked bati-chachari. When he taught Bhakti Cāru Mahārāja, when Bhakti Cāru Mahārāja was his servant and cook, he taught him to cook bati-chachari, and when he showed him he had him cook it for two weeks every day. One, is that he likes it, two, to get it to it's perfect and three, Prabhupāda really liked it, it's a really nice preparation. So things like that, then Jayādvaita Mahārāja would adjust. So that's not changing the thing. He went back to what Prabhupāda said and that. It wasn't that he was taking something else.

But this thing, idea is, 'No, no, you know, Prabhupāda says... How do you say? "Women appreciate if they are raped by an expert man."' And so, all that anybody ever sees is 'rape.' No one notices the word 'expert.' Right? So here, what technically it means, rape means, someone is not into it, right? So then... So if a man is expert, he knows how to, basically, how he speaks, deals and everything, it seduces women. Like Casanova, you can guarantee that those nuns down at the nunnery were not interested in having sex, but because he is just so nice and so smooth and that, they ended up having sex. That's what Prabhupāda is talking about. He doesn't mean gross guys that come in and rape and pillage and all that and move on. Because he used the word 'expert.' He didn't say 'women like to be raped' - that's how it is presented. So we are dealing with those who don't know culture, and then they are making a comment on a point that Prabhupāda is making that's dealing with the nature and culture. So we are not saying it is good. We are just saying, you have to watch out for that. Men and women have to watch out for that. Because the guy is so smooth that women get attracted, and so they have to be careful. That's why they don't just hang out anywhere with anybody. Because some guy is smooth, you know, I mean, James Bond walks into the room, there is going to be ladies in bed with him that night, right? Every movie, right? Any movie it doesn't happen?

So that's the point. So, therefore, there in the Vedic culture we are careful about that. And in the modern culture it is eulogized. You know, James Bond is, they think him to be... He is a cool dude. So that's the point, is that you, that's why then you are careful. Because if somebody is expert, things happen. Sparks fly. So that's why then we are very careful about these things. And Prabhupāda was commenting on something that women had said after World War II, after the Germans left. It probably... It could have easily have come out of Belgium. Because the Germans moved in, and so many of the Belgian women slept with the German officers. And they just said... They didn't like it, but they were attracted because just how they dealt. They were so manly and so.... and dealt with them so nicely, 'Frāulein,' and everything like this, and trying to make the women feel important, and they... You know, things happen. Women commented on that, and Prabhupāda simply gave that as an example. And then they're saying, 'Oh, Prabhupāda is saying these things, that's not...' That, it's just a fact in time. How many times do you have is that the girl is there in school, and the guy is there in school, they are there. And he throws his... That thing that, you know, when you write with a pencil, you have that little rubbery thing that you rub it out with? And he throws that at the girl, every time she walks by he bumps into her, and this and that. Fast forward a few years, and they are married. Because the point is is, Vatsyāyana says, women appreciate it when they are made the center of attention. So that is the meaning of expert: he knows how to make a woman a center of attention. One, is just the culture that that is how you are supposed to deal. But that's why then it is restricted: because if it's just everybody, you are moving with everybody, everybody has to deal with that, then the problem is is, now things can get distracted. That's why there is limitations: brahmacārīs don't deal like that, others don't deal like that. Because otherwise then it gets to be a distraction.

Does that make sense? So Prabhupāda is making a very valid point, based on testimony of women who went through that. And then, 'Oh, now it's politically not correct,' and 'How can you say that?' and 'This is not true,' this is all bogus. Anybody who doesn't understand that this is not true, one, is uneducated, doesn't know the nature of women. You can say, 'No, but they are a woman themselves,' that doesn't mean they know who they are. They don't know their own nature. And so the whole thing is is, it's true. Now, if you want to write a purport where you explain all this, having explained this who wouldn't appreciate? Which honest person wouldn't accept that? But someone who has an issue, 'No, no, no, you can't say this and...' Who is trying to politicize Prabhupāda's books - they'll never understand. So why should we change the books for politicians, those who have material motives? But if it is thought that there's some point... But that's why Prabhupāda said that there will be purports written to his purports. Because with time language change with the things that you have to explain it. You don't have compendiums for reading Shakespeare? Right? Shakespeare is there, and then there are people who write things that go by either verse or a speech and then explain what's happening, what's bringing out, what is the context. When Hamlet says something is rotten in Denmark, then you, 'Well what's the context? Why Denmark? Why it's rotting in Denmark? Why not somewhere else?' So there is a context what he is saying. And so they bring all those out there. I think they call them compendiums and stuff like that. They go and you read along. So in school when you study those things, you study along with those things, at least on the higher levels. So it is a very standard way of doing things. So you want to do, you... Fine! Then let's have a purport that actually is in line with the philosophy and the culture, in other words, someone who is, their claim to fame is that they are an academic and they don't appreciate Prabhupāda's writings in his books, they are the last person qualified to write anything. You have to have someone who appreciates and understands the culture - they can write. But this point won't get traction because it is a political position and people are working on it from a political stance. They want to be able to walk down the street or ride on a bus or a train or on a plane and not have someone go, 'Oh, you are the guys that believe that women want to be raped!' And then they say, 'Oh, no, what am I gonna do?' you know. Then - then preach, idiot!

So that's the point. I have had it so many times. Not now, I haven't had for years. But I remember back in the 1980s, 1990s that people, 'Oh you are... Varṇāśrama, you are into the caste system!' And then you have to explain what it is and how it's been... People made it by birth when it's by guṇa and karma. The very thing that they want, equality, Varṇāśrama is about equality: anybody who has the ability to do that, they can do that. I mean, yeah. Gautama Muni, right, you know him, he is a big, big ṛṣi, he is the one who wrote the nyāya-sūtras and all that, so he is the authority in logic. So one day this child, eight-year-old kid comes to him and said, 'Can you be my spiritual master?' He says, 'Okay, what is your background? What is your gotra? Just so I know something about you.' And the kid said, 'I don't know, I will go ask my mother.' So he goes off, asks his mother. He asks his mother, he says, 'I was to Gautama Ṛṣi and asked him, I want to be his disciple. He said he needs to know my gotra.' And so the mother said, 'Well, actually I see so many men every night, I actually don't know who your father would be, so I have no idea what the gotra is.' Right? So then this this kid goes back to Gautama and he then says, 'So, did you ask?' He says, 'Yes, but my mother says she doesn't know. She sees so many men, she wouldn't know which one is my father. But she thinks it might have been a brāhmana, but she doesn't know.' And so, Gautama said, 'I'll accept you as my disciple.' Why? Because only a brāhmana would be that honest. Kṣatriya, vaiśya wouldn't do that, or śūdra, because they would think, 'Oh, if I told them that, I am basically saying my mother is a prostitute, you know, and I have no father, that they would reject me.' But Gautama said, 'Only a brāhmana would say that,' so, therefore he accepted. So in history he is known as Satyakāma-jābāla. Because I think, his mother was... Her name is something like Jābālā so then, you know, like 'Kaunteya'. Kuntī, son of Kuntī, Kaunteya, like that. So he is known as Jabāla, and Satyakāma means he speaks truth. And so, he is known as one of the major self-realized sages in the Vedic literature, Satyakāma-jābāla. That - Varṇāśrama is the only one that gives real equality. All these other systems, they feign equality and then it's not. The junior guys are oppressed, and as soon as then they get... You know, you stop oppressing them and they get in power, they oppress. Like that. Why? Because they are materialists. So only vaiṣṇavas can not do that. And so, the social system that works is the Varṇāśrama. It is the only thing that is equal. So why aren't we preaching that? Smart people would go, 'Okay,' you know 'This is there.' We have explained this to very... Persons who are working on the... You saw, you could say, an international level. And explaining to them how Varṇāśrama works and what is the real considerations, and why it is there, then their comment afterwards, 'This makes sense.' And these are guys that actually had influence on how international politics works. So to say, 'Oh, no, no one will accept this,' that means that you are foolish, then you are not understanding it, not presenting it properly.

And for us, unfortunately that is just human life, that is just our basis. We see in Rāmānanda, the teachings to Rāmānanda Rāya, then the first thing he does is, 'Performance of your Varṇāśrama duties to please the Lord.' And so, Lord Caitanya said, 'That is external.' He didn't reject it. He said, 'It is not the ultimate goal, that's external, go farther,' right? But we see is right in Bhāgavatam, in the first Canto, I think it is in the second chapter, you know, that sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje, it is very much said, you perform your duties to please the Lord. But that is just there, it is not 10th Canto. And so, devotees use that to, 'Oh, see, Lord Caitanya rejected Varṇāśrama! So we don't have to have anything to do with it.' It's kind of like, why don't you read our philosophy? Why don't you understand our philosophy? Lord Caitanya didn't say that. Prabhupāda in a lecture, I think was in Hawaii, then he is saying that that that is where it starts. So human life begins there, then you develop from that. So we are not here to establish Varṇāśrama, it is just something we do. It is just like, we are cooking for Kṛṣṇa, okay? Let's say, in the temple, you want to cook for Kṛṣṇa, but there is no pots or pans, there is no vegetables. So we go out and buy them, and we make a nice kitchen. But it is not that we are going out and preaching how people should make nice kitchens. No, we are preaching how people should cook for Kṛṣṇa. So that is the same way, is that Varṇāśrama is just the structure that we use. We are not preaching Varṇāśrama. Some make it into a thing, to preach Varṇāśrama, and then that is a problem also. You know, you can either take things too far right or too far left. That's why it is said razor's edge is in the middle, and it is that wide, a razor's edge. That's why your point on keeping it very strict. Because it is only the width of a razor's edge. And yes, you have unlimited out in the way of the smārtas, unlimited out in the way of sahajiyās. But razor's edge because that takes you directly... Because otherwise you start here and if I go off that way then where do I end up? Right? So that's the whole point, even you want to fly from, let's say, Copenhagen to Australia, to Sydney, okay. Now if you fly that exact line you'll get to Sydney. What happens if we move it over one degree? Right? You may end up in Antarctica. So between here and Goloka it's got to be a razor's edge. So, unless that's understood... But Prabhupāda says, you have to be conscious. Otherwise you can also get cut with that razor's edge, you know. It is as sharp as a razor, and if you are not careful you get cut.

So the whole point is is, that is why the association of vaiṣṇavas, that's why this all-important thing, the senior vaiṣṇavas and preachers, they are making sure everybody understands this. Then you don't get all these other distractions because these distractions simply create dissension. Kṛṣṇa is the center, everything is reconciled in Kṛṣṇa because everything comes from Kṛṣṇa. There isn't anything in the Cosmos that doesn't reconcile itself in Kṛṣṇa. That's because He has the acintya-śakti, so acintya-bhedābheda-tattva. But the material world doesn't have acintya-śakti. Right? It doesn't have acintya-śakti. So because it doesn't have it, it can't reconcile these differences in details. And so, all these things, all they do is put an emphasis on the dissension, on the differences, and you can't reconcile them. And so in the name of trying to make a better place and trying to make it more broad and more universal, they are simply creating more dissension. This is not real. This is not of value. This is not service. It is just distraction due to one's own particular attachments, that's all. And, as we said before in the previous question we were talking about, is that 'I want to be... I want to not follow all the rules and regulations, but I don't want to accept that that's a lower position. I want to be able to hold my head up high and I can be proud that I am as good as the guy who is very strict about following all these rules and regulations.'

And so, it is due to pride. So that means, they don't actually value to that depth Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So that is not firm faith. That is pliable faith that has been applied to often another direction. So that is the business of the senior devotees, that is the business of the preachers and the GBC, is to see that we are not going off course. And then details of management - that's up to the managers. Now if they are managing in such a way it's not Kṛṣṇa conscious, then that has to be pointed out. So they are supposed to manage in a way that is Kṛṣṇa conscious. But the details of management - that is not as important. If it is getting done and it is Kṛṣṇa conscious, then it works. Is that okay?

Prabhu: Yeah. I have follow-ups question to this, that the tendency to... I have observed that sometimes academic devotees, even Prabhupāda's disciples, who have been... They are very appreciated by quite a few people. But coming up with this procedure to try to explain provocative things, that could be provocative in the modern society, statements in the books, by relativizing and explaining this is a product of, you know, the social culture at that time when Prabhupāda was operating and... In other words, this tendency to relativize.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah.

Prabhu: And it seems to be very dangerous.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Oh, it is very dangerous because it is purely mundane, that's why it is dangerous. Because it's, they are looking at, 'Oh, it is that in the past and this and that,' and all that. But then they have to know is that their political correctness stand now, give it another some years and it will be completely useless. People will go... I remember.... See, when I was a kid then it was actually thought, you know, being a hippie was kind-of in one sense glorious because you were looking for spiritual, you were looking for something more subtle, and you were a searcher, you were a looker for truth and all this and that. And so, you had a real like an idealistic concept about it, and so those... And then you see devotees also kind-of had that thing about, 'Yes, hippies!' That's why 'When the hippies were there... But when the hippies are gone it is harder to make devotees' and everything like that. Then I remember once I was at one farm project and they had a Gurukula there, they asked me to speak to the teenagers. And so, you know, we went out on the lawn and that, it was like maybe like... How much? 15 or 20 like teenagers at, and sat down there, so, you know, it was just a general conversation or not. And then one kid raised their hand and said... His question was, 'Were you a hippie before you joined?' And when he said 'hippie' he actually started laughing, and the other kids laughed because the kids there, they thought the hippies were the weirdest, most lame social thing possible. And when I was a kid I thought it was something glorious and something, you know, some highly elevated kind-of position, and here these kids are saying, 'Hippies, like they are such wastrels and that.'

So that is the whole thing, is that we can get into this whole leftist kind-of liberal thing. But give it a few years and it will swing the other way, it is the modes of nature. And then having taken that position, then they will be rejected by the people who actually run the planet. So wouldn't it be better to be those who actually run things than the ones who talk like they run things? So they have to be very, very careful because saying, 'Oh, it's for another time and this is not...' That's not the point. Prabhupāda is making a principle about feminine nature. And so, you have to get down and describe and explain that nature. Because they want to say there is no difference between men and women, and it's just a social construct. Then why is it in every culture, everywhere on the planet and every species of life you see this construct? Then you have to take it, 'No, it is real.' That's science. Science means, every culture on the planet, unless told otherwise, they always make this difference between men and women. So that means everybody. Just like every culture, they all believe in God in some level or another. You have to be trained to be an atheist. There is no cultures that are inherently atheist. They are all God conscious to some degree. That means, that is the nature of the soul. And it is also, you can see this matter of, that is the nature of male and female. But that they are... It is not about science, it is not about logic, it is about their particular sentiment, about their false egos. So, if they use a cultural presentation, that is just wrong. Because then you relativize everything. So, about being Kṛṣṇa conscious, about getting up in the morning and taking bath, where does it end? The point is is, who made women? Kṛṣṇa made women. And how do the women behave in the spiritual world? Right? So you have to see that nature. And to say is that there isn't, that this is just a construct that men... Men are so good that they can establish that? Are you kidding? You know.

So the whole point is is that, no, you have to speak on the principle and make the principle presented in a way that someone can appreciate it. That's what you do. If you simply go after that social thing and just say, 'Oh, it is time and all that,' then you can relativize everything, and relative means material. Absolute means it is real today, it was real before, it would be real in the future. Prabhupāda left the movement in 1970 because of this. He went to Japan and said, 'I am not going back, I am not coming back. You guys, I have taught you everything, society is yours, I am leaving.' Because of the relative thing that somebody, some Godbrother from India was writing to his devotee... I mean, through a devotee was trying to tell him, 'Oh, Prabhupāda saying this, but then, you know, there is other things, he is not giving all the...' So he relativized Prabhupāda, so that he could himself get a position. And Prabhupāda just said, 'Okay, I will go.'

So this whole thing of relativizing things that they don't see things in the nature of the Absolute, their vision is mundane. No ifs, no ands and no buts. And people don't come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness for another mundane perspective. Because whatever it is, our perspective will not be left enough, will not be right enough, and will not be in the middle enough. It's just some blasé thing that you kind-of... You know, it's just like we are talking about being professionals, right? Looking professional, dressing professional. And then they are wearing Crocs, right? Not that there is a problem with Crocs. But don't talk 'professional' and 'Crocs' in the same sentence. You know, 'Oh, we can't wear all this stuff, you know, it doesn't look good, we have to be more presentable.' Crocs are not presentable if you are talking about being professional and keeping up with guys in suits and this and that. Just for the devotees wearing, going around and... It matches. But to say, 'Oh, we have to be professional...' But that doesn't... That's not professional.

So that is the difficulty that comes, is that we have all these problems with these things, and so, no. You have to know what is what and know how to use the things properly. Then it has a meaning. But if you are not based on the principle... We are a descending process. That means, principle first, then detail. That is why people think Prabhupāda is speaking just basic stuff. You know, various persons, and this and that, inside and outside the movement, then they have the foolishness to think that what Prabhupāda is speaking is just basic, basic stuff and that if you want more advanced, you have to go to other people and other societies, and, you know, other books of the ācāryas, and all that. But the point is is, no, Prabhupāda is speaking the fundamental principles, which are so simple that even a child can understand them. Then details comes out from there. But we are used to the inductive, where inductive means you give the basic to the kid, and then you get more and more detail as you go up, and so the finer the detail, that's the higher the philosophy. But then they don't know the principle. Like that example of where Prabhupāda was sitting there, and there was a professor there. He said, 'Who is God?' and the man said, 'Oh, that's a very difficult one, you know, there is so many things like that,' and he starts fluffing on like that. Prabhupāda turns to an eight-year-old Gurukula kid and goes, 'Who is God?' He says, 'Kṛṣṇa, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.' Then Prabhupāda turns back, because it was an Indian gentleman, and he turns to the Indian gentleman, he says, 'Was that so difficult?' So that is the whole point, is that unless you are trained nicely in the.... That's why you put so much emphasis here. You are going to have leadership, if you don't know this philosophy in principle in this way, you will have problems. And you see, those who know the philosophy like this, their zones don't have problems, they are flourishing. And the ones that don't see like this, that see with these modern, leftist kind-of things - they have problems. Because for us it is not about right and left. We have our path, we just stick to our path. If I say leftist, it is because it's off the path to the left.

Prabhu: Actually it is relative, I think, that it is actually śūnyvāda, and... Which Prabhupāda came to fight.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Because then you relativize them also. But if you do that, they will become very, very angry, 'You are non-cooperative and you are insulting and you are uncultured, and...' you know, all this and that. But they can do it to Prabhupāda and it is fine. You know, that paper you were talking about, that is the opening statement, the first point of the nine points is that the GBC, their purpose is to carry out the will of the Founder-Ācārya, that's their only business. All the other stuff that is mentioned - that's all tactical and technical details, and even some of those things I think he may have changed because he is talking there about voting for the GBC. But then later I remember always hearing that Prabhupāda said GBC is for life. Because he mentioned that, but that was just the start of it, but it didn't seem to get any traction, so it didn't happen. But that point there is, that doesn't change. That doesn't change then and it doesn't change today. The detail can change: you vote for them, you don't vote for them - that is a detail. But the principle, that is always there, the principle is eternal, it is always applicable. And the detail is then secondary, it is supportive. That's why we say, primary - these things don't change. Secondary - that's constantly changing. Even in the temple, today, what you are doing this week, you may find next week or after a few months you have to do something different. It is summertime - you are going to run the restaurant one way, it becomes winter, you are going to run it differently. Details change.

Excerpt from Vedic Leadership and Management Summer Seminar Part 3, given as Zoom Conference with ISKCON leaders

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