The following is a guest appearance by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami at America's WTIX radio show on May 27, 1984.
…New Orleans Louisiana. We’ll go to NBC News in just a moment, and then we’ll be back on this Memorial Day to talk it over with you. We have people from Hare Krishna. They’ll do some chanting.
… in New Orleans, Louisiana. We will try to continue and in a moment will be back to talk with the members from Hare Krishna, because they haven't been on the program for a long, long time. Weather-wise, partly clou…
…690 AM in New Orleans, and you’re listening to Let’s Talk it Over, where your telephone is a microphone. Now, in his twentieth year of moderating, here’s Joe Culotta.
Thank you. It's 12 minutes after the hour of 9 o'clock and my old friend Ron Ranganatha is back with us this Sunday morning. He called me up a couple of… ‘bout three or four weeks ago and he said he had Jayapataka Swami, did I get that right? Is that right?
Ranganatha dasa: That’s right.
Joe: Alright, and I’m just… of Sri Mayapur, West Bengal, India.
Jayapataka Swami: Correct.
Joe: It’s a pleasure to have you with us this morning. We are gonna find out what the title means and what this is all about, but I want to ask you first of all. I know your chant is like a prayer, and I would like the Hare Krishna people to… to do just a bit of chanting as kind of an opening prayer on Let’s Talk it Over. Whenever we have uh, Rabbis or Priests or Ministers whomever, we ask them to open with a prayer. So is it appropriate to op… to ask you to open with a… with a bit of chanting as a prayer this morning.
Jayapataka Swami: that would be an honor for us to be able to chant.
Joe: Good, and if you can do it as well as that chorus did Glory, Glory, Halleluiah in the background, you’ll really wake us up. (laughs) Go ahead please.
Jayapataka Swami: Well, there’s only a couple of us here.
Joe: Yeah. (Kirtana of Panca-tattva Mantra and Hare Krishna begins.)
Our guests this morning are the Hare Krishna's and last time I had them on the program, I gotta couple of letters and someone said “Why have those foreigners on the program, praying you know, to some other God than you might believe in or I might believe in?”
Every man has the… his own belief and that what Let’s Talk it Over is all about, to have everyone talk and pray in their particular manner, even if it's on a Memorial Day 1984, and as far as them being foreigner to us, I want to know how we would be in India. If we went there, we say an Our Father and a Hail Mary and Kaddish.
Ok, am gonna ask you all to talk it over with me now and stop chanting for just a couple of minutes. It's a pleasure to have you with us, Jayapataka Swami of Sri Mayapur in West Bengal India, and Mr. Ron Ranganatha, who has been our guest in Let’s Talk it Over, on a couple of times in the past from Hare Krishna. I asked a question, uh… uh, why you are chanting and I hope you weren't so wrapped up in the chanting… I’m glad you were wrapped up in your chanting… and in your prayer, but that you didn’t hear, and if you didn’t, I’ll ask you again.
In response to the letters I got last time when Ron and a couple of the other people from Hare Krishna were on Let’s Talk it Over. People who said “Why have those foreigners on an American radio station, chanting and praying and what have ya?” We must seem foreigners with Kaddish, and Our Father and Hail Mary if we go to your country in India also, right?
Jayapataka Swami: Well, when people from the West go to India, at that time, of course they’re a big object of attraction…
Joe: I’m gonna ask you to come in closer to the microphone, if you would, yeah.
Jayapataka Swami: They attract lot of attention, it's not uncommon to see hundreds of people staring and watching at, because there’s not so many people come from America to India. But they are very hospitable and they are very friendly and they just find it something interesting.
Joe: How about in the West? Now both of you are originally from the United States. You live in India at this particular time, but you are a… of North American nationality, right?
Jayapataka Swami: I was born in United States, I was a veteran, I was going to the university and then after finishing my education then I met the founder Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, of the… who came from India, brought this movement and he sent me to India after being a member here in America.
Joe: You said you were a veteran, Swami Jayapataka. Which war?
Jayapataka Swami: I mean, not of a war…
Joe: But of a military.
Jayapataka Swami: I was in the service, I was in the navy.
Joe: Mhm. During which period was that?
Jayapataka Swami: That was in 1966 to 1968.
Joe: so technically you are a Vietnam veteran, even though you may not have served in Vietnam.
Jayapataka Swami: I guess you could say that.
Joe: what was your religion before, may I ask you?
Jayapataka Swami: Well, when you say religion before, the thing is that, we say that Krishna consciousness is not a religion in the ordinary sense that uh, you change from… say I was born in a Christian family, that doesn't mean that now I don't feel that am not following Christ, we see this more of a post graduate religion where the purpose of religion which is to come into the deepest relationship with God and to also have self-realisation or God-realisation, that is achieved and that is the purpose of Christianity also, so I don't feel that am alienated or that…
Joe: You don't feel that you are not Christian anymore, is that what you are saying? You still feel Christian.
Jayapataka Swami: Right.
Joe: How does the Hare Krishna religion look at Jesus Christ?
Jayapataka Swami: As a guru, as a spiritual master.
Joe: As the son of God?
Jayapataka Swami: As a son of God.
Joe: As the son of God, the only one, the only begotten son?
Jayapataka Swami: Well, he was the good son.
Joe: (laughs) I’m the bad son.
Jayapataka Swami: We are all sons, but some of us are good, some are good, he was a good one. Joe: But he wasn't the only son? As far as Hare Krishnas’ belief goes.
Jayapataka Swami: Well, everybody… everybody’s the son of God, but some are the real sons… are the sons who follow the father, and those who don't follow, well, they’re sons, but they are prodigal sons, or bad sons. Joe: Who is Krishna?
Jayapataka Swami: Krishna is a name for God. It’s a name which means the all attractive, which means the supreme reservoir of all happiness and joy, it's a Sanskrit name for God and even many language experts say that Christ, the word Christ is coming originally from the word Krishna. In Bengal, they say Krishna sometime Krista and in Latin they say Kristas and from English we get Christ.
Joe: Christ, so Krishna would have been, in… in your belief, it would have been a personage of Christ.
Jayapataka Swami: Well, originally we find that in Hebrew we heard that it's Jesus of the Christ or Jesus of Krishna. Jesus is the son of Krishna or God. But there might be some…
Joe: Let me ask you about your title as Swami Jayapataka, uh… Maybe I should hear Ron Ranganatha, tell us something about the title of the gentleman who he’s brought down with him and we appreciate his presence on the program. Ron?
Ranganatha dasa: Yes. Srila Acaryapada is a spiritual master in the Hare Krishna movement and he is travelling all over the world preaching, he spent twelve years in India building a spiritual city which eventually will have fifty thousand people and he is the chairman of the Governing Body of our worldwide movement, so he is a very very important devotee in the Hare Krishna movement and he is also appearing this evening in our weekly Sunday feast which is at 4:30 at the temple on Esplanade: 2936 Esplanade avenue.
Joe: Which Ron sends me uh, notices from time to time about, and we announce on the air. Did you ever get anybody come down to the feast on Sunday evening and say that “I have heard about it on Let’s Talk it Over.”?
Ranganatha dasa: Yeah.
Joe: (laughing) Okay let me ask you something about, when you said this is something I’ve gleaned over the years in having and meeting with people from the Hare Krishna movement. You said uh, Swami Jayapataka is a very important man, a very important person in here. Do you… I kind of thought about, you folks are trying to lose yourself in nirvana and killing off the ego and here I hear my old friend Ron Ranganatha say, “Next to me, a member of our group, a very important man…” is that quite fair?
Jayapataka Swami: Well. Of course you hit it on the nail head that we are trying to lose our false ego or feeling important due to some sort of material personality or…
Joe: Or how about a title 'Swami'. You know, it that a contradiction? Does that pull you away from nirvana by having a title and having one of the members of your group say, “He is an important man.”?
Jayapataka Swami: You see, in the process of yoga, or in the process of Vedic spiritual development, there’s two different categories, one is the search for nirvana, which means also negation of one's personality, and the other is called brahma nirvana or search for complete spiritual realization in relationship with the Absolute Truth or with God and there we don't want to negate our personality but we want to purify it and to offer it completely up to the service of God, without any false conceptions.
Jayapataka Swami: So swami means that we have to control our senses and we have certain responsibility. So in spiritual life if you get a title it's more a responsibility, a service that we have to do, rather than something to become proud about or something to become obsessed with.
Joe: So you look at it as added responsibility and you would look at the term important as meaning you have more to do, but not that you are better than your colleague next to you, Ron Ranganatha.
Jayapataka Swami: I have more headaches. (Joe laughs) I have to consider the welfare of more people for everything that I do, but that doesn't mean that I am better than someone else, rather I would probably consider myself to be even more insignificant as uh, as an individual.
Joe: the thing, I see and I have studied in some of the Eastern religion, the moment we look at ourselves as I, and you use it a couple of times and I use it all the time, we use the personal pronoun I or we attribute something to ourselves, even it is more responsibility, rather than losing oneself in the group of the whole which is humanity and I know is… and the Godhead which is your goal, I know a little something about the group and that's one of the reason for the chanting, uh, do you pull yourself away when you have to come on a program and say 'I' have this responsibility and lose yourself from the group, is this a loss of part of your goal to ultimately get off the wheel. The wheel of…
Jayapataka Swami: Karma.
Joe: … eternity. Karma. I remember a story, and the reason I… let me give you the good side of karma, if there is a good side of karma, because I know it's something you are trying to transcend. But there was a monk, a Capuchin monk, who had completely detached himself according to lore and he was completely immersed with the Godhead, with the one and at the last moment of his death, he recollected a vision of a doe running through the forest that he has seen several years before. You’ve have heard this story?
Jayapataka Swami: Yes. Very famous.
Joe: And he attached himself to that doe, he took pleasure in that thought, and once again he was on the wheel and he came back reincarnated or transmigrated, if you will, into this doe and he had to start all over again, because of his attachment. In the spirit of that story, Swami, I ask you why not one day just say, “I am not I, am part of it.” you see what am saying, “I, There is no I. There is no Swami. There is only it and I shall forget about the headaches.”?
Jayapataka Swami: Well for us the headaches are the burden of love, the point is that, that is… one of the stages of achieving perfection in yoga is to be able to completely lose ones material and mental intellectual identity and to merge into the spiritual effulgence of the Godhead, but that's considered to be a… really a lower level, it's considered more elevated to go beyond that and that there is a spiritual world where there are spiritual planets where Godhead resides and where His devotees reside in a... spiritual forms and there they don't have headaches, there is no difficulties, there is no anxiety, there is always uh... every speech is a song you could say, practically every walk is a dance, everything is completely transcendental or spiritually filled with bliss, with love.
Joe: Are you saying then in effect that if you play the game, “the game” of being Swami, you are doing the dance?
Jayapataka Swami: Well Swami, again that's also a humility to take the title Swami, because Swami, as I said is a material... it's a responsibility, but as you picked it up very correctly that spiritually to be beyond all these type of designations is a higher level. So somebody could assume that “Well, I am on the higher level, I don't have any designation.” but then to do that, also is another type of ego that one can assume, say that one isn’t really on that position and he artificially takes it, so we rather takes the next stage lower but try to reach the higher stage of dedicating our ego to the service of Godhead.
Joe: Someone has to make the rice cakes and someone has to boil them in and that's part of your responsibility.
Jayapataka Swami: Right
Joe: And I know you said before, something you have to… ultimately escape but somebody’s gotta pay the light bill, too.
Jayapataka Swami: One thing is you should finish the story about the monk who became a deer, that when he became a deer…
Joe: Go ahead, please Swami.
Jayapataka Swami: When he became a deer, because in the previous life he had been practicing yoga on a sacred river and probably good to mention sacred river and since the World’s Fair here is dealing with rivers.
Joe: Yes it is. (laughing)
Jayapataka Swami: That when he became a doe in this next birth, that he didn't forget his previous birth as a yoga… as a yogi, as a monk and so the whole time he was lamenting that I... just for a little attachment that when I left instead of thinking of the Godhead, instead of thinking of transcendental thoughts, I was thinking of my pet deer and now I've become a deer. So then that next birth after that, he actually became a perfected soul and actually achieved perfection in his life.
Joe: Have you seen the World’s Fair yet Swami? Have you gone?
Jayapataka Swami: I went yesterday and saw some of the exhibits.
Joe: I don't know if they are giving really tickets to the religious groups, you guys had to pay your way in, right? Like everyone else.
Jayapataka Swami: Yeah.
Joe: Yeah, okay. Uh… wou… Did they allow you to chant on the grounds and…
Jayapataka Swami: We’d like to have the opportunity of chanting on the grounds and providing that kind of cultural exhibition for the people, little festive.
Joe: Does… has… I don't know if India has a… I don't believe they do.
Jayapataka Swami: I didn't see a major exposition from India, a few minor things I was able to see.
Joe: Mhm. Mhm… we are gonna talk about India in a couple of minute, the spiritual city you plan in India and it is a pleasure to have you both with us this Sunday morning and excuse my penetrating questions but I'm very much interested in your movement. I don't know if I necessarily believe in it, but I wanna hear about it, and if you wanna hear about it, you can call by your way at WTIX multiphones at 561-0001
We have the good folks from Hare Krishna with us, they come down once every year or so, and with us Ron Ranganatha who has been with us before and he has brought us a very special guest with him, close your ears, because I’m taking about your ego, when I say special guest, Swami Jayapataka of Sri Mayapur, West Bengal India. That's their names, but you don't need to give your name on air.
561-0001 give us a call, Let’s Talk it Over and just to prove that Joe Culotta is very very far from nirvana, let me pay the light bills.
Radio Announcer: ...live it up.
Joe: …Hare Krishna. Hello
Deidre: Hello. can I speak to Mr. Culotta.?
Joe: This is he speaking.
Deidre: Oh, that’s good. I didn’t recognize your voice. My name is Deidre. Am I too late in speaking about something of the war since it's Memorial Day?
Joe: Uh, yes, why don't you hold that up until 10 o'clock.
Deidre: Well, I have to leave.
Joe: Okay, well then hold it up to another day, because I don't wanna infringe upon this group’s segment.
Deidre: (inaudible) by the war…
Joe: Why don’t you call me back, either at 10, or at another time? Because we are talking with the folks from Hare Krishna. We want to give them their time on the air. Okay, let's go to the T line here. Good morning, you are on the air.
Joe: Yes sir.
Caller: I have a question with Swamiji. I want to know that other than the spiritual side of human life there are some other problems in the society, living day to day and other things of that kind. What Hare Krishna doing to alleviate those problems like hunger, unemployment, disease and things of that nature?
Joe: You mean in India?
Caller: Over here, India…
Joe: All over the world. You sound, of course your accent is... is evident; are you from India?
Caller: Yes sir.
Joe: Okay, all right. That's a really good question. Because… and I think it's a fair question, especially since we started off with the Swami with my question about transcending and using the title Swami and then someone has to pay the light bills and make the rice cakes and get the money for the rice cakes. What about the chanting, about some of the, about not living in the real world. Of course you said you are living on one level in the real world but in response to the caller, sir?
Jayapataka Swami: Well, in the Krishna conscious way of life, we uh… we see that the material world is also the energy of God, the energy of the Lord and everything should be employed, not that we reject things or try to escape from them, but we try to use them for the maximum spiritual upliftment of the people. So one of our programs is called Food for Life which is performed both here and... in United States and in most of the countries around the world including India.
In India we feed from our center in Sri Mayapur about so far we've fed over 4 million plates out in the past 10 years to the uh, hungry people as well as during the flood time we also give food, but this is not ordinary food, this is food which we offer as a holy communion and then we distribute it. Similarly in uh… in New Orleans we are also distributing free meals to the needy of this type of sacrifi... sanctified food, similarly we are helping the youth from their psychological and social problems. We have in Australia for instance a drop in center called Mukunda’s which has received government recognition for helping the youth from their drug problem and helping people from alcoholism. We have about a 99% success record with people who take our method of uh, relief from this type of addiction.
So basically we are trying to, first we want the people's consciousness should be free from the anxieties that their body should be free from the grossest types of malnutrition, so they can concentrate on spiritual matters and all over the world we have programs for this, including educational programs, we uh, also teach about vegetarian cooking, so that people can eat a more natural diet and lead a more natural life without both the danger of karmas, from killing unnecessarily the animals who also have a right to live, as well as for getting a truly nutritious diet which will make the mind very peaceful and happy for self-realization.
Joe: are you still on with us?
Caller: Yes sir.
Joe: Okay, did that answer your question?
Caller: Yes. By the way, Joe, I think, his name should be pronounced as Jayapataka Swami.
Joe: Alright, you know, I just don't do a good job of that, of pronouncing the names. So please excuse me, it's not intentional.
Caller: Thank you very much.
Joe: Thank you for calling. I was gonna ask you that question, very serious note. I know you believe that animals have a right to live and we all live in the universe together. I know you are vegetarian, strict vegetarians. But with so many people dying and we see pictures in India of the cows running around and the people starving. How does that conflict with your faith... how does my faith conflict with your faith that people are more important than… and I don't mean to be rude but a cows behind, and worshiping a cow? I think it's more important to feed people than it is in… in just worshiping the cows.
Jayapataka Swami: Well if you actually... it's an economic question that you are talking about, and if you have studied the situation of the cows in India, you find that the milk that they contribute, in a lifetime of a cow, the protein it would contribute from milk and from its manure, the amount of grains which would be produced in the soil, far exceed the meager amount you get by killing it.
Also according to the Vedic philosophy, the... there is a transmigration or evolution of the soul coming up from the animal, uh… from the animal species and the last lives that animals take before the soul transmigration starts taking birth in the womb of the mother, is the cow’s birth, for the man who are going to take birth as a very good man or tigers or lions as very passionate men, and monkeys or gorillas as very ignorant men, but… so also the cow we don't want to, if it leads it's natural life and dies, that means it's next birth is going to be a… it’s going to be a human.
For instance in the Declaration of Independence, it's said that all men are in doubt by God with certain natural rights that can't be taken away from them. These are the rights of life, liberty and so on, but from our point of view, America, the citizens don't only include the men but also the animals are like the younger brothers, so if there’s no need to kill your younger brother and who would wanna kill their younger brother even if there was a need? So we see the animals as younger brothers, why kill them, unless... if you are going to starve then when the cow dies then eat the meat, why kill it untimely, it doesn't want to die, if you give it a choice it will run.
Joe: Okay, and listen, I respect your belief on that. Okay, It just on head and head with the way we believe and am sure when you were in the U.S. Navy, the way you believed, at… back at that particular time, was there a time before you embraced the religion of Krishna, that you were not a vegetarian?
Jayapataka Swami: Well, we consider that once we take initiation into this... into Krishna Consciousness from the spiritual master, that's like a second birth. So, that’s our previous life.
Joe: So that was another life, that was a previous life for you. Okay, but you do understand the problem, the religion runs into and the questions are gonna come up like that.
Jayapataka Swami: Of course, but, uh, there are many even from the social as well as from the health considerations, it's been proven recently in a scientific study of forty nations, that the 21 nations which are mainly meat eaters had a very high incidence of cancer, well the nineteen that were mainly vegetarian all of them had a low incidence of cancer. So meat eating itself is not necessarily the solution to the world’s problems. That may be one of the causes of the present problems we have today.
Joe: It's 18 and a half minutes till 10 o'clock and on the W line you are on with Swami Jayapataka and… of Sri Mayapur, West Bengal, India and Mr. Ron Ranganatha also the Krishna consciousness movement. Good morning.
Caller: Hey, good morning. I’d like to ask the guru from India, I heard that Christ visited India one time and he visited a Krishna temple there, and uh, with his name where… what his name was in India and stuff like that.
Joe: Okay, that's a good...
Joe: I thought that was very interesting.
Caller: It was.
Joe: That Christ in the uh… in the hidden years, from his first years until his 30th year had traveled India and that they knew of him in India. Are you familiar with this in your travels?
Jayapataka Swami: Oh yes. It's very well accepted and known in India that on two occasions Jesus had visited India. There is in fact a shrine which contains his footprints in Bombay and there is a record in the temple of Krishna in Orissa, in Jagannath Puri, which says that 1984 years ago or so whatever, there was a person by the name of Jesha, they have recorded it. So there is a slight difference, but they say well that's the same Jesus and that he was there and he stayed and studied under the different people within India, during that period.
Joe: Answer your question?
Caller: Yeah, sure.
Joe: Okay, you have a good Memorial Day weekend.
Caller: Yeah, Hare Krishna.
Joe: Thank you.
Jayapataka Swami: Hare Krishna
Announcer: 690 AM, WTIX New Orleans. You’re in tune with Let’s Talk it Over, with your moderator, Joe Culotta, now in his 20th year of talking it over with you.
Joe: Okay, thank you Jana. It is now 14 minutes until the hour of 10 o'clock and we have two folks from Hare Krishna with us. Swami Jayapataka of Sri Mayapur, West Bengal, India and uh, Ron Ranganatha of the local Hare Krishna organization. We have a couple of religion, I should say and Krishna consciousness. We have couple of callers on the line. But before we go back to the line, one of the things that I know you wanna talk about is the spiritual community and city that they are planning to build in India. So why don't we talk about that for a couple of minutes.
Where, when and how?
Jayapataka Swami: Well, this year is the 498th year, since the appearance of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Caitanya as He is known, He was the incarnation of Krishna, who especially made this chanting very popular, previously chanting of Hare Krishna was known and practiced by many.
Joe: When you say the incarnation of Krishna, you mean also the incarnation of Jesus Christ? Or an incarnation of Jesus Christ?
Jayapataka Swami: Well, the son is within the father. So whenever the father comes then the son is also there. The point was that in India you may know that previously there was lot of caste consciousness. Even today that's a problem and
Joe: C, A, S, T, E, caste consciousness, yeah.
Jayapataka Swami: C, A, S, T, E, caste...
Joe: Not class. Okay, okay.
Jayapataka Swami: Right, and there's, it was restricted among the priestly class, or caste rather, that they could chant the Hare Krishna mantra, the names of God, in many religions the names of God are kept a secret and it was also secret in the Vedas about chanting, a lot of these mantras or sacred names, but Lord Caitanya, He opened it up to everyone, He said no matter what caste whether you are a priest or businessman or whether you are a shoe repairman or anyone.
Joe: How about an untouchable?
Jayapataka Swami: Even an untouchable.
Jayapataka Swami: So it was a type of a spiritual revolution, in fact He met initially with a lot of opposition and He was the first one to do even civil disobedience in India, when put hey tried to stop His chanting on the street, by breaking His drums and saying that, no this can only be chanted by the priestly caste, then He had two hundred thousand people who will come and protest. So His 500th anniversary is only two years away, and we want to have a big worldwide celebration of that and at His birth place which is Sri Mayapur, in Navadvipa, West Bengal, India, there we have already established, our founder Acarya Bhaktivedanta Swami, he established the world headquarters of the Hare Krishna movement, and that is where we want to build a spiritual city, because that is for us, both spiritually and historically the origin of this chanting of Hare Krishna in a public way from Lord Caitanya, so…
Joe: Will there be, in your opinion any worlds salvation or world repercussion, or will there simply be a kind of get together for members of Krishna consciousness or do you see that some part of prophesy too?
Jayapataka Swami: Well Lord Caitanya has predicted. in Bengali,
prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama
sarvatra pracara haibe more nama
Which means that in every town and village, throughout the entire world my message is going to be sung and practiced, and even hundred years ago, one great spiritual master called Bhaktivinoda Thakura, he had predicted that there will be a day in the near future when people will be chanting with the drums and the cymbals, the names of Hare Krishna in France, and England in America.
Joe: Well they are doing that now, but they are not doing that en mass.
Jayapataka Swami: Right, well then he said that the devotees from those different places would come to Mayapur and they gather together. So now of course this movement is only been in the west since 1965. So but there is a fulfilment of the prediction, in Mayapur we want to uh, build both like a Caitanya World which would have a World of Karma, a World of… spiritual history of the entire world, we see that the original culture of the world actually is coming from India not from the Mesopotamian valley, because the original language in the world is Sanskrit. Everyone accepts that Sanskrit is the mother language, even Latin or Hebrew and Sanskrit is even still spoken in some places in India, and that actually to go into the real roots of a human kind, into the modern civilisation we have to go deep into the history of ancient India, and so we want to represent that at Mayapur also, but the idea is to not only to make it as an exhibition in a purely educational way but to make it a practical living solution for the social problems that we have of uh, cooperation where people are practicing in their… in their houses and the cities and each of them are contributing their mite to show in an active spiritual consciousness there can be perfect harmony and a perfect cooperation.
Joe: Do you predict that there will be perfect harmony in the world before it turns into a cinder block. Jayapataka Swami: Well, that's our goal try to bring in this harmony, we see that it can only happen if people give up bigotism, if they actually take abroad understanding of what is the real purpose of life, that actually we are the servants of God and we should develop our spiritual purpose in life and then we can have a common platform. Materially there's always going to be a conflict of interest, but spiritually if we are all trying to serve the purpose of the Supreme Lord then there is not going to be conflict.
Joe: Swami, is the movement slipping in popularity and recruiting? Now it seems as though to me that the Krishna consciousness movement, the Hare Krishna's were more in evidence during the mid and late 60's in this country than they are today.
Jayapataka Swami: According to our statistics, in 19… since 1977 to now our membership has increased about 10 times, see the difference is that initially there was a big drive for getting people to be the Hare Krishna's that you see with the shaved heads and wearing the robes, but since uh, the past 10 years or maybe 7 years there’s been a basic shift, in that people, they thought that, “Well we can't chant Hare Krishna unless we have the shaved head and wear the robes and the sari and the other trappings.” in that actually the whole purpose of Lord Caitanya's movement was that we don't have to be dependent upon organised religion that we can practice spiritual life in our home, we can achieve.
Joe: With a full head of hair… (laughs)
Jayapataka Swami: With a full head of hair.
Joe: …and a tweed suit. One other question, we have two callers, I really wanna get to them. But we have two callers in just a moment, a lot of people are meditating and I think movement still continue to go. You have mentioned the term bigotted before. And I have laughed at the movie Airplane and Airplane 2 with Hare Krishna, I have laughed at the joke, you know at the airport what have you. But has there been somewhat of a bigotted movement against you, people in Krishna consciousness, because of the clothes you are wearing, because of the fact that you do ask for money from time to time? Do you consider that any less demeaning, than the inequities that Jews and Christians and Muslims have experienced in the past, because you are different?
Jayapataka Swami: In India… when you come from India… because in India when the people see us, just as may be in the west if they see someone wearing the white collar and being a priest, they’ll immediately offer some kind of recognition or respect. In India the shaved hair and the robes, that is the traditional
Joe: Yeah, and the collar’s the exception, sure, but you… have you...
Jayapataka Swami: Here in the West definitely when people see, they seem to have some kind of fear or some kind of uh, agitation just from seeing sometimes. You find someone who is surprised and they say, “Why you are dressed up like that?” but uh…
Joe: That is unfortunate, I think your religion should be respected just as all are. On the T line. Good morning! You are on the air with Swami Jayapataka and Mr. Ron Ranganatha.
Caller: Is that me, Joe?
Joe: Yes sir.
Caller: Still having trouble with it, you know your feed to this telephone was cutting off. A lot of that depends on the radio.
Joe: I am sorry about that.
Caller: I would like to ask some quick questions and then move on. Do you walk around in the big northern industrial cities in the wintertime without snow boots?
Joe: Great question!
Caller: Do you have any program for stoping the lion from eating the antelope in Africa or the trout from eating the minnows, here in the Bayou? These people… these younger brothers you call them, eat each other up and am not supposed to eat them. I’m not supposed to be part of that food chain from which they derive their life. I don't think that your system could exist, your present activities could not exist lest they be borne on the back and supported by Westerners… Western civilization that has long since quit staring at its navel, and got out and got busy to do the things that the intellect will allow us to do.
I’m gonna listen on the radio. Go ahead.
Joe: Thank you. I think he’s answered the last part throughout the morning as they talked about transcending, but what about snow boots up in the north. How do you dress? (Laughing)
Jayapataka Swami: One of our principles is that utility is the principle. Obviously if it's freezing cold, you are gonna wear snow boots. If uh… if you’re starving and there was no other food and then you ca… and you are about to die and you came across a dead animal, well then you would have had the excuse to eat meat.
Joe: But you couldn’t kill him?
Jayapataka Swami: Well, if it was the question of life or death in emergency, then there might be some excuse. Joe: Then you could kill a little broth… (laughing)
Jayapataka Swami: But normally we’d… well we’d wait for it to die. The point is that to equate us with a lion or a trout. On one hand in the spiritual evolution a lion is just going to follow its instincts, and a trout is really low down on the thing…
Joe: You can't say though Swami that is not instinctual for man to not be carnivorous. Just… We have to go back to the W the line. One other caller. Good morning! You are on the air. Hello. On the W line
Caller: Yes, I was just wondering about women there, in this Krishna conscious movement if women have the same, you know chance of perfection as men do.
Joe: Okay, good question and we are gonna ask you to listen on the air. Okay? Thank you for calling. Women and men.
Jayapataka Swami: So spiritually there is no difference between a woman or man, the whole point is that the spirit soul or spirit living force that's in the human body is also in the animal body but the human species per se, is the species that can achieve spiritual emancipation so woman has equal chance to achieve complete spiritual perfection as a man if they apply themselves.
Joe: Swami Jayapataka, of Sri Mayapur, West Bengal, India. Thank you so much for coming down. Don't necessarily agree with you, but I think you have the right to speak and we appreciate giving you that right on Let’s Talk it Over. My good friend Mr. Ron Ranganatha, again tell them where the Swami, when he is appearing. Ranganatha dasa: Tonight at 4:30 at the Hare Krishna temple, 2936 Esplanade Avenue. It's a weekly feast we have and everyone is invited to come and see Srila Jayapataka Swami Acaryapada.
Joe: 2936 Esplanade Avenue, and believe me they are good people. They don't throw rocks at people and whether you agree with them or not they are beautiful people and thank you for being with us Swami and I hope people go down to see you tonight.
Jayapataka Swami: Thank you very much for having us today.
Transcribed by Bhaktin Nivetha
Revised by Jagannatha dasa Brahmacari