Fad diets ,indian spices, making money and more-SP

January 16, 2021 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

July 1 1975 Denver conversations

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Śrīla Prabhupāda, around our society now there are many devotees who are following different kinds of diets. They read some book and they get some idea. They follow…

Prabhupāda: This is not good.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: And one of the things I see about the unique feature of all the diets that they have in common is that the devotees more or less stop taking the prasādam which is offered to the Deity.

Prabhupāda: This is not good. [break]

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: It seems to me that one of the important aspects of bhakti-yoga is to depend upon Kṛṣṇa for one’s maintenance.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So whatever is offered to the Deity, one should accept.

Prabhupāda: The prasādam is not suitable?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Well it is standard prasādam. Capatis, rice, dahl, subji, fruits.

Prabhupāda: So why they do not like?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Well, they are reading these books…

Prabhupāda: And becoming influenced.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: This is nonsense. This should be stopped.

Sudāmā: A lot of devotees, they take these fasting for twenty days, thirty days, fasting.

Prabhupāda: That means they are manufacturing their own way of life. That’s not good.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: One of our best devotees, Śrīla Prabhupāda, he recently left our association. And one of the… I know the biggest reason is that he was fasting completely from almost all foods for thirty days.

Prabhupāda: But fasting is good. If one can fast, that is good. That is tapasya.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. But see, they read these books in addition.

Prabhupāda: Fasting is not bad. If one can fast, that is very good.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Total fast, you mean?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Yadubara: I remember in Los Angeles…

Prabhupāda: That is great austerity.

Yadubara: Śrīla Prabhupāda, you said that we should not fast more than one day.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah, I wanted to point out to you that the results…

Prabhupāda: No, artificial… Just like Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, he was fasting, but he was not weak. That fasting. And he who will fast artificially and become weak, “I cannot work,” that is not required. That is called markaṭa-vairāgya. If you fast and at the same time you do not become weak, then that is recommended. And after fasting you cannot do a flat, fall flat, then what is the use of fasting? Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī was fasting, but he was taking thrice bathing and offering obeisances hundred times. His regular activities was not stopped. And he was taking every alternate day a little quantity of butter. That’s all.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So we cannot imitate his position.

Prabhupāda: That is not possible. We have to work.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. One of the important things about taking prasādam is that all the devotees sit together. It is actually a very spiritual activity. Just like in Caitanya-caritāmṛta, the feasts…

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. That is recommended, that we are following. But now it is not following?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Well, I have to say frankly, I have seen now that in many… I don’t want to get into mentioning any names, but some devotees are preaching this.

Prabhupāda: Preaching? Who is that nonsense, preaching.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Well, Revatīnandana Mahārāja.

Prabhupāda: He is a rascal.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He is preaching like this.

Prabhupāda: He is a rascal. He is becoming rascal, day by day. Stop him doing these things.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: And he’s influencing other people. The whole temple in Laguṇa Beach, they were doing this.

Prabhupāda: Then, what can I do? You are all GBCs.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Now that we know, we’ll take action.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Revatinandana is becoming less and less spiritually. He had good potency, but he is losing that.

Devotee (1): You said that if we fast and we can’t do our work and we become weak, than this is not so good.

Prabhupāda: This is not good, “not so” not, absolutely bad.

Devotee (1): So, our devotional service comes first?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Devotee (1): So if there is, let us say there is grain and rice being offered to the Deities, and one finds that if he eats this, his service is impaired. Like so many times I’ve seen, practically myself if I overeat grains in the summertime, I drive around doing my service and I’m falling asleep.

Prabhupāda: Then which foodstuff suits you?

Devotee (1): Fruits are more… they keep me more active.

Prabhupāda: So you take fruit. Fruit is also offered to the Deity. There are varieties of prasādam. So whichever suits, you can take. Anything artificial is bad.

Yadubara: Śrīla Prabhupāda, in Los Angeles they are charging money for the prasādam, and we find that it’s cheaper to buy our own prasādam and offer it ourself.

Prabhupāda: Hm?

Yadubara: They are charging money in Los Angeles for the prasādam each meal, so we find it is cheaper to…

Prabhupāda: Prepare your own?

Yadubara: Yes.

Prabhupāda: So you do that.

Harikeśa: Yes. They will not let a householder take unless they pay money first.

Yadubara: 75c for noon prasādam and 50c for breakfast.

Prabhupāda: So if you can prepare cheaper, you can do that.

Yadubara: All right. [break]

Brahmānanda: It’s a type of cannon. [break]

Yadubara: You mentioned before that it is better that we not do so much cooking. If everyone is separately cooking, then that is such a time-consuming thing for everyone.

Prabhupāda: But you said that “If we cook, it is cheaper.” Then? If it is cheaper, convenient, then you cook. I said that “You save time. Don’t cook.”

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The cheapest thing is to cook one thing for… cook for everyone. That is the cheapest and quickest.

Bhāvānanda: During Māyāpur festival, Śrīla Prabhupāda, nicest thing was when we all sat down together and took prasādam.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Bhāvānanda: Five hundred devotees, it was nice, spiritual activity. And everyone took what was given.

Prabhupāda: So what is the difficulty? I do not find. [break]

Bhāvānanda: …the tongue, I think, Śrīla Prabhupāda. [break]

Prabhupāda: Capati, rice is innocent food. What is the difficulty?

Bhāvānanda: It’s nice.

Prabhupāda: Over and above, there is fruit.

Harikeśa: A lot of devotees are quoting you that… they say that there is no need to eat grains, that you said grains were for the animals.

Prabhupāda: I am…

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: But Prabhupāda is eating grains. (laughter)

Harikeśa: I tell them that.

Prabhupāda: Rascal, they say, “Prabhupāda says.” And you believe that. [break]

Bhāvānanda: …I think the people are spoiled. If they go to India, they see that here they’re turning down rice; there the people are dying for lack of rice.

Prabhupāda: Where?

Bhāvānanda: In India. And here they’re saying, “Oh, I don’t want this and don’t want that. I don’t want this grain, that grain.” But in India people are dying for want of food. Here they’re so spoiled. [break]

Prabhupāda: …Kṛṣṇa’s position. If He does not supply grains, then He is accused. And He supplies grains, then He is accused. (laughter)

Bhāvānanda: Everyone is accused. [break]

Satsvarūpa: …those scientists came to you, Śrīla Prabhupāda, and even said milk was no good.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Yadubara: That is what they say in these books on health, these health books. They say that cow milk is no good.

Prabhupāda: Ācchā?

Harikeśa: But meat is all right.

Yadubara: No, some of them, most of them don’t say that. It’s very contaminating to read those and to follow.

Prabhupāda: Therefore follow taking prasādam. Let whatever may happen.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That’s the best thing. Let us die eating prasādam.

Prabhupāda: Yes. (laughter) That is devotee.

Sudāmā: Because in the beginning, Śrīla Prabhupāda, you encouraged us, all of us, to take much prasādam, to our full satisfaction.

Prabhupāda: Yes. I say still.

Sudāmā: You said that that is one of our greatest weapons against māyā, is Kṛṣṇa-prasāda. [break]

Yadubara: I’m a good example that these diets are not very good. (laughter) I can testify.

Brahmānanda: Me too.

Prabhupāda: The diets are not good or you are not good?

Yadubara: Oh. [break] …for one year to alter the diet in so many ways and it never worked. It was useless. [break]

Devotee (1): In Denver here we have many businesses going on for you. And we are out engaging karmīs in helping us retrieve lakṣmī. We are going to them for lakṣmī in so many ways. How is it that this engages them, or does it engage them in Kṛṣṇa’s service? Do they make any benefit?

Prabhupāda: What they are doing by doing business? They are gṛhasthas doing business?

Brahmānanda: They are outsiders, karmīs, they manufacture jewelry and some shirts, for which they get a salary.

Devotee (1): Yes, but the devotees are maintaining the business. And I myself go out and talk to rascals all day long, demons, mlecchas. Am I engaging them in Kṛṣṇa’s service by taking lakṣmī?

Prabhupāda: What you are doing with the money?

Devotee (1): I’m giving it to the temple president so that we can buy a farm for you.

Prabhupāda: No, if you are engaging the money for Kṛṣṇa, then it is all right.

Brahmānanda: He’s asking about is there any benefit to the karmīs that he deals with because he engages in business activity with them? Do the karmīs get benefit?

Prabhupāda: Yes. To some extent they are helping Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

Yadubara: They also have this program in Pittsburg, the same thing. They come to the temple and manufacture jewelry.

Prabhupāda: Svakarmaṇā tam abhyarcya. It is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā. You can see there. Everyone can work, but the result of the work should go to Kṛṣṇa. [break]

Devotee (1): …lakṣmī from them so we can engage them more in Kṛṣṇa’s service.

Prabhupāda: Provided you engage them for Kṛṣṇa’s service. Otherwise the lakṣmī will kill you. Just like Sītā, Sītā is Lakṣmī. When Sītā was taken by Rāvaṇa, the result was the whole family was killed because they did not use Sītā for Rāma’s service. [break] …householders can be engaged, not anyone else.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So my question is: Supposing half of those men that are in our movement are householders. Would it not be more beneficial that everyone engages in preaching work, or is that impractical?

Prabhupāda: Preaching is for the sannyāsīs, for the brahmacārī. And householder, because they are brāhmaṇas, they can be engaged in Deity worship and also earning money.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Business.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So it’s not more practical to earn money by preaching?

Prabhupāda: If preaching, by preaching we can get money, why should we go to the karmīs?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Because you wrote me in a letter that so far as you are concerned, you think that your books are enough to maintain the society.

Prabhupāda: I think so. But if they think that by doing some other business, they will get more money, then what can I say? This is very good business. Yes. We are preaching, at the same time getting money.

Devotee (2): We have found in our experience that some kinds of men do better in doing business. They feel more satisfied in collecting money in that way for Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: That’s all right. But that money should be used for Kṛṣṇa.

Devotee (2): Yes. Different kinds of men have to be engaged in different ways. Otherwise they become dissatisfied.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, svakarmaṇā. Anyone, he likes to do something, that is his karma. But by that karma, he can serve Kṛṣṇa. Svakarmaṇā tam abhyarcya saṁsiddhiṁ labhate navaḥ. Saṁsiddhi means perfection. [break]

Devotee (1): …in our preaching work we will be able to maintain our temples, and with our business activities, we will be able to expand and buy all these farms, do so many things.

Prabhupāda: Yes. If it is favorable, do it, business.(?) Therefore we have made program: 50% must come to Kṛṣṇa, at least. Jaya. Hare Kṛṣṇa. [break] (In car:)

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: …because that many people are involved.

Prabhupāda: Dieting, the best thing is to take prasādam.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Definitely. It’s clear cut. My only feeling about…

Prabhupāda: And if our… Pushed on our men… The thing is they supply more spices, and especially that mustard. This is not good. This is prohibited.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: It should be mild, prasādam.

Prabhupāda: Practically no spices. Simply little cumin. And this turmeric. Turmeric you get from India, whole turmeric. This powdered turmeric is very, very bad.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Unhealthy.

Harikeśa: They put sawdust in it.

Prabhupāda: That’s all.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: It’s very unhealthy.

Prabhupāda: It is very cheating. Any powdered spice is not good.

Harikeśa: Asafoetida also.

Prabhupāda: Everything. As soon as it is powder, they will mix with all rubbish things. And it is very easy to cheat you. You are susceptible for being cheated. So they take advantage and cheat you. So best thing is to import spices from India whole and either get it powdered or during time of cooking you make them paste. That is first class.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Crushing.

Prabhupāda: You just put the spices water, soaked in water for some time, and then in mortar and pestle you…

Dhanañjaya: Smash it.

Prabhupāda: That is very nice. And immediately you fresh prepare and put into the vegetable. It will be tasteful, and it will be beneficial. All spices are beneficial.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: And much cheaper.

Prabhupāda: Cheaper, of course, there is no question to you what is cheaper. For you everything is “damn cheap.”

Harikeśa: The Rādhā-Dāmodara party has very good prasādam program. This halavā they make every morning—everyone is fully satisfied.

Prabhupāda: They are sane men.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Every morning we have…

Prabhupāda: So why do they not follow your principle?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Ah, it’s very… And the devotees love it. Every day, Prabhupāda, we…

Prabhupāda: No, every temple give them example, invite them in your prasādam.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. That’s what I’m going to do today.

Harikeśa: I noticed the devotees would wait for prasādam with great…

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is nice. It requires good leader, that’s all. [break] …Kṛṣṇa we must prepare very first-class foodstuff, and where is the complaint if it is first class?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: It’s all a concoction. Certain devotees have concocted. They have taken advice from other masters, food masters, what to eat, what not to eat, all concoction. It’s clearly written in Bhagavad-gītā, those foods which are sattvic-juicy, fatty. Everything is mentioned there.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: What’s Viṣṇujana doing? [break] …Deity, I’ve never seen it. He gets up early in the morning, wakes Him up, cooks for Him, then we offer ārati, then bathing and dressing the Deity, sings for Him all day. He’s so devoted to Rādhā-Dāmodara.

Prabhupāda: Svarūpa-siddhi, arcana-siddhi. By simply worshiping Deity one can become perfect. Arcana-siddhi.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That’s a great advantage of our bus. Now we just traveled for two days in a row from San Francisco, but we did not miss one ārati, we had six āratis, full prasādam. We took bath on the bus in our shower room. We had regular classes, kīrtana all day. It was undisturbed.

Prabhupāda: So why not one week with them? I am prepared. (end)