video credit: Nehru Nagar Slums Streetworker (Mumbai, India)
Giriraja, April 16, 1977, Bombay: [...] So this is Mr. Ram Jethmalani. He is the Member of Parliament representing this constituency. So he recently came from Detroit. He was teaching at the university there while this emergency was going on, and now he came back. So he mentioned his idea of helping the slum dwellers.
So I have showed him that article, “One Hundred Million Harijanas Looking for a New Messiah” and gave him a copy of the letter which Goswami Maharaja wrote. In the meantime he was just busy with other functions. He didn’t get a chance to go through it. He is very interested.
Prabhupada: So we can uplift the position of the harijanas very easily, by this process of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. There is a song, Bengali song, vrajendra-nandana yei. You understand Bengali?
Ram Jethmalani: No.
Prabhupada: Vrajendra-nandana yei, saci-suta haila sei, meaning that “Who was formerly Vrajendra-nandana, Krishna, Nanda Maharaja’s son, the same person has now come as Caitanya Mahaprabhu.” Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mother’s name was Sacidevi.
Therefore He is introduced, “The same person who was formerly the son of Nanda Maharaja has come again as the son of Sacidevi.” Balarama haila nitai. “And Balarama has come as Nitai.” These two brothers, Gaura-Nitai, They have now started this Hare Krishna movement. So what is the purpose of this Hare Krishna movement?
So papi-tapi yata chila, hari-nama uddharila. In the Kali-yuga, ninety-nine percent, they are sinful and suffering. Papi-tapi. Papi means sinful, and tapi means suffering. All of them, papi-tapi yata chila, they are all delivered simply by this process of Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Papi-tapi yata chila, hari-nama uddharila. Then where is the evidence? Tara saksi jagai madhai. You are a lawyer, you want witness, evidence.
Ram Jethmalani: (laughing) You don’t blame me.
Prabhupada: (laughs) No, it is not blaming, it is fact. It is the real understanding. Without evidence, without proof, how law can be established? That’s a good method. So he is speaking like lawyer, that “You want evidence, you want witness: see here.” Tara saksi jagai madhai. So that is five hundred years ago. Now in our Hare Krishna movement you see practically. Drunkards, illicit sex-hunters, and so on, so on, they have become saintly persons.
This is the effect of it. So… And Krishna also says, mam hi partha vyapasritya ye ’pi syuh papa-yonayah. It doesn’t matter. Papa-yoni. According to our Vedic system, low-class, those who are born in low-grade family, they are called papa-yoni. Brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, lower than that—sudradhah. Kirata-hunandhra-pulinda-pulkasa abhira-sumbha yavanah khasadayah.
They are called papa-yoni, untouchables. Of course, nowadays these things cannot go on. But these are there. So Krishna says, ye ’pi syuh papa-yonayah. Anyone born in anywhere, te ’pi yanti param gatim. Mam eva vyapasritya. Krishna consciousness is so nice, everyone can be elevated. So what is this harijana? We can do.
Ram Jethmalani: Well, some of these slum-dwellers are not harijanas and some of them are Muslims, some of them are…
Prabhupada: Anyone, anyone. You see. My all disciples, they are coming. Christian, Jewish, Muslim, every kind. Mostly they are my disciples.
Ram Jethmalani: Have Muslims taken to this movement?
Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Many. One professor, Dr. Amja,(?) he is my disciple, I gave him name Rama-ranjana. They are Muslim. It is philosophy, science. It is not meant for a particular caste or creed or nation. No. Rather, to accept this creed or accept this process, one is required first to give up this designation. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. That is nirmala.
So long we are covered by this material body, we are not nirmala; we are polluted. So one has to give up this designation, bodily concept of life. Tanu-manina. These words are given. Tanu-manina. So long one is continuing in the bodily concept of life, it is sinful life, in comparison. This we have to give up, in order to come to the transcendental position. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam. Nirmala [Cc. Madhya 19.170].
Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate. When we become nirmala, in our original, pure spiritual life, then bhakti begins. And in Bhagavad-gita also it is stated,
brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati samah sarvesu bhutesu mad-bhaktim labhate param [Bg. 18.54]
Such person, brahma-bhuta, aham brahmasmi, that is the preliminary qualification to become bhakta. So these disciples, these devotees, they are not thinking that “I am American,” “I am Indian,” “I am brahmana,” “I am…” No.
Ram Jethmalani: No, that is true, that’s the…
Prabhupada: That is sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]
Ram Jethmalani: That is the only way to have a world movement. Must do. Cut across these…
Prabhupada: Yes. So harijanas, Muslims, these are… And camara-bhangi. These are designations. Or brahmana, bodily concept of life. So according to our sastra, so long one continues this bodily concept of life, he is animal.
Either you call I am bhangi, or you call I am brahmana, you are animal. This is the verdict of the sastra. What is the difference? The conception is the same. “I am dog.” “I am brahmana,” “I am Indian,” “I am American.” That “I am” with the bodily identification is there.
yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke sva-dhih kalatradisu bhauma ijya-dhih yat tirtha-buddhih salile na karhicij janesv abhijnesu sa eva go-kharah [SB 10.84.13]
Go means cow, khara means ass. So so long we shall continue this bodily concept of life—“I am Hindu,” “I am Muslim,” “I am Indian,” “I am American,” “I am Pakistani,” “I am…,” so on, so on, that is animal concept of life. So one has to raise himself from this impure designated position to the transcendental position.
Then he can realize. And that is our Krishna consciousness movement. And Bhagavad-gita teaches from the very beginning, “Don’t identify with this body.” Asocyan anvasocas tvam prajna-vadams ca bhasase [Bg. 2.11] “You are talking like a very learned man, but you are identifying with this body.” Gatasun agatasums ca nanusocanti panditah. “This body is a lump of matter, and you are considering upon this and talking like a pandita.”
This is the beginning. So who understands Bhagavad-gita? Where Bhagavad-gita begins? Tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati [Bg. 2.13]. They do not understand even the first line of Bhagavad-gita, what to speak of this statement.
Bhagavad-gita is purely meant for the dehi, the owner of the body, not of the body. That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gita teaching. Who understands it? Nobody understands it. And they are scholars, and they are so on, so on. Full Conversation