Published on January 25th, 2024 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


Srila Prabhupada’s KGO Radio Interview, 1968

Now, last night we had sankirtana in the public library… Where is that? Oakland. So all people immediately joined us as soon as we began to chant Hare Krsna. Immediately there is effect and there is no rules and regulation that you have to do this or that … We had lectured in the YMCA Sunday School, little boys and children, they also joined with us. We performed this Hare Krsna chanting in the park, the children, old men, young men, everyone joined

KGO Radio Interview–March 12, 1968, San Francisco

Interviewer: Swami, will you get a little closer to that microphone, if you will. You are the head of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Interviewer: Is it a church?

Prabhupada: It is not exactly a church, but it is an institution for understanding the science of God.

Interviewer: Could you tell people how you are dressed today, what’s the significance of your clothes?

Prabhupada: About the significance of our institution?

Interviewer: No, about the way your clothes, the way you’re dressed today. Uh, the robes.

Prabhupada: Oh, the robe? Yes, I am a sannyasi. The sannyasi is the highest status of human social division. According to Vedic culture there are four divisions of human society. Brahmacari, student life; then householder, grhastha; and then vanaprastha, retired life; and then sannyasa life, means preaching transcendental knowledge to the society from door to door. So this dress… In Vedic culture, there are different dresses for different persons. So this saffron colored dress means that he is admitted without any introduction anywhere because he’s understood to be a man of transcendental knowledge. And the householders receive them and take knowledge from them. That is the system of Vedic culture.

Interviewer: You also have a garland of flowers around your neck.

Prabhupada: That is offered by the disciples as a matter of respect to the spiritual master. It is not necessary that a sannyasi have a garland like this, but if it is offered with respect he does not refuse.
Interviewer: Now, one more thing, you have some paint or color down your forehead and your nose and on all your followers who are here in the studio.

Prabhupada: Yes. These marks are a temple of Krsna. We mark these different twelve parts of the body. The idea is that we are being protected by God from all sides.

Interviewer: One other thing, I went to shake hands with everybody and I found that all your right hands were wrapped. What is the significance of that?

Prabhupada: Yes. That wrapping… It is not exactly wrapped. It is a bag for our beads. We are chanting Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. So the beads are supposed to be sacred and therefore we keep it in a bag so that it may not touch the dust or any other impurities. So it is not wrapping, it is covering of the sacred beads.

Interviewer: Now I just want to read one section here. I think you’ll be able to… “The International Society for Krishna Consciousness began when Swami Bhaktivedanta arrived from India with $2 on his person, a metal suitcase full of ancient-looking books and a cotton cloth robe, colored yellow, as a sign of the renounced order of life. In India, men of his order are completely dedicated to propagating the spiritual life of a mendicant wanderer. He had wandered across the sea upon the order issued to him by his guru who told him he should prepare to go to America to teach the principles taught in the Bhagavad-gita and to translate the sixty volumes of the Srimad-Bhagavatam into English.” Now, are you a guru?

Prabhupada: Yes, I am the spiritual master of this institution, and all the members of the society, they’re supposed to be my disciples. They follow the rules and regulations which I ask them to follow, and they are initiated by me spiritually. So therefore the spiritual master is called guru. That is Sanskrit language.

Interviewer: Guru means teacher.

Prabhupada: Guru means not exactly teacher. Guru, the word, means heavy. Heavy. H-e-a-v-y, heavy.

Interviewer: Is guru and swami the same thing?

Prabhupada: Swami means practically the same idea. Swami means the master of the senses. One who has not control over senses, he cannot become guru. The renounced order means he’s strictly away from all kinds of sense gratification, especially sex life. Therefore, he’s called swami. Swami means the master. One who has become the master of the senses, he can become the spiritual master of the society. That is the idea.

Interviewer: The swami… Now did I understand you to say the swami has no sex life?

Prabhupada: No, certainly not.

Interviewer: Certainly not. All right, now when you…

Prabhupada: Well, actually sex life is allowed only to the householders. According to Vedic culture, sex life is restricted. There are four divisions of society. The brahmacari is strictly forbidden for sex life. The vanaprastha, they are also forbidden for sex life, and the sannyasi, they are also forbidden for sex life. So out of four divisions, three divisions are strictly forbidden for sex life. Only the householders they can have restricted sex life with married wife simply for begetting children. That is the Vedic culture.

Interviewer: Only for propagating children.

Prabhupada: That’s all.

Interviewer: Then there is a similarity to Catholicism. The priest is supposed to be celibate.

Prabhupada: Certainly. Anywhere there is spiritual conception, sex life is not indulged. Anywhere, either it may be Christianity or Hinduism… Sex life is materialism. That is opposite number of spiritualism. So people are trained gradually to refrain from sex life. And in the sannyasa life he’s completely trained. Therefore he’s allowed to move in the society for preaching spiritual education.

Interviewer: The whole world has heard of the Maharishi Mahesh. Is he part of your order?

Prabhupada: No. I have heard so much in the paper.

Interviewer: He is the world’s most famous guru at the present time.

Prabhupada: He’s not guru. But he’s advertised his name like that (laughs). A guru is different thing. But people are, in your country, in the western part of the country, of the world, people are after some spiritual information. So anyone who comes professing as spiritualist, he is welcome, and if he flatters, then it is very convenient to get followers. So we don’t follow exactly in that way. We follow exactly the principles of Vedic ways of life. So in that way, sex life for a sannyasi is strictly prohibited.

Interviewer: So many of the people are going to him for meditation. Is meditation part of your philosophy?

Prabhupada: Yes. But meditation as this Maharshi or any other swami or…, are professing, that is not exactly the process of meditation. The standard meditation is described in Bhagavad-gita. That is very difficult job. You have to select a solitary place, you have to sit in a certain posture, you have to regulate your life, complete celibacy, eating, sleeping… There are so many rules and regulations that that sort of meditation is absolutely impossible for the present way of life. For the present generation, the chanting, vibration of holy name of God, is recommended in the scriptures. It is said that meditation was possible in the Satya-yuga, when people were cent percent pure. And they are… For the present, mostly, people are impure. So they cannot execute meditation as it is described in the standard scriptures.

Interviewer: Is yoga part of meditation?

Prabhupada: Yoga is a very broad term. Yoga means to connect with the Absolute Truth. That is yoga. Yoga means connecting link. So there are different varieties of yoga. Just like one staircase, it is the connecting link to the top floor. So that is, everywhere you can say staircase, but one who has crossed a few steps and one who has crossed a few floors, they are not on the same level.

Interviewer: I’d like to read one thing. This is evidently said by a man named Swami Siva Premanada of New York’s yoga center. He said, “If one has the time to put in about eight or ten hours a day for ten years, one might develop the power to see through a wall through meditation. I’ve seen people develop X-ray vision, but I’ve never seen the point of paying such a heavy price for it.”

Prabhupada: But I don’t think it is practical that one can meditate for eight to ten hours or twelve hours.

Interviewer: For ten years.

Prabhupada: But it is… Yes, for ten years. It is most impractical proposition. Therefore, as recommended, we have to follow the regulation as recommended in the scriptures. For the present age, this meditation. Now, last night we had sankirtana in the public library… Where is that? Oakland. So all people immediately joined us as soon as we began to chant Hare Krsna. Immediately there is effect and there is no rules and regulation that you have to do this or that. Simply join, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama… We had lectured in the YMCA Sunday School, little boys and children, they also joined with us. We performed this Hare Krsna chanting in the park, the children, old men, young men, everyone joined. It is…

Interviewer: Do you have a temple here, Swami, or do you meet in libraries?

Prabhupada: No, we have got a temple here. Actually it is Frederick Street, 518.

Interviewer: What does your temple look like?

Prabhupada: It is temple, just there is Deity, Radha-Krsna Deity and it’s very, a place of sanctuary. If you go there you’ll find immediately some impulse of spiritual idealism.

Interviewer: Do you have altars?

Prabhupada: Yes.

Interviewer: Do you have any of the other things you find in the inside of churches?

Prabhupada: Yes. Yes, we have altars, we have pictures. We offer fruits, flowers, incense, and immediately, by combination of these things, there is some spiritual atmosphere, and there is chanting. So people enjoy it very nicely.

Interviewer: We’re talking with Swami A.C. Bhaktivedanta, head of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. If you have questions our numbers are 478–3456, in the East Bay 832–9707, in San Jose 272–1233. [break] A.C. Bhaktivedanta, International Society for Krishna Consciousness. What does the word Krsna mean?

Prabhupada: Krsna is, means all-attractive. Krsna.

Interviewer: Would you put those earphones on, Swami? (gives phone numbers again) Hello, you’re on the air on KGO with the Swami.

Caller (Gargamuni): Hello, Swamiji?

Prabhupada: Yes.

Gargamuni: I’d like to ask a question.

Prabhupada: What is that?

Gargamuni: Why is this human form of life, why is this human life in such a diseased condition with war, pestilence, and famine?

Prabhupada: These are miserable conditions inflicted by material nature just to remind the conditioned soul that this conditioned life in the material nature is not for you. There is another place where you can live very peacefully. Just like in the prison life there is always infliction of miseries. If in the prison life one is comfortably situated, then he’ll never go out, he’ll try to live there. So these material inflictions of miseries reminds us that this place is not suitable for us. It is not our place. Our place is back to Godhead, back to home. Therefore these are the reminders that you must leave this place.

Gargamuni: Yes. Also, what is our true identity?

Prabhupada: What is that?

Gargamuni: What is our true identity?

Prabhupada: Actual identity?

Gargamuni: Yes.

Prabhupada: Actual identity is that you are spirit soul. And this material body is your covering. Just like dress. Just like when you dress, the real body is there. Similarly, we are within this material body. So we are taking more care for the dress and not for the body actually. But when a body is dead we can understand that there is something missing. That missing thing is the soul. In the modern educational field there is no department of knowledge to understand that what is that missing part. There are so many theories, but they are not practical. Therefore we have to understand the soul and its constitution from authoritative scriptures like Bhagavad-gita. Then we can understand our identity actually. And in the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said that persons who are identifying themselves with this material body, they are not actually human beings. They are counted amongst the asses and cows. So that is ignorance or illusion.

Interviewer: Thank you, caller.

Gargamuni: Oh.

Interviewer: Now, I want to ask you something. You said we live in a bad world, but through our mind, our soul, we can escape.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Interviewer: Or through Krsna consciousness. We’re not solving anything then by doing that. We’re sort of, in our own mind, we’re running away.

Prabhupada: Yes, that running away is the best sol… Suppose you are put in a prison house. The solution is to go out of it. If you want to make adjustment of the prison house, that is impossible. You may be a first-class prisoner or second-class prisoner, third-class prisoner, but you will remain a prisoner. But if you want freedom, then you must go out of the prison walls.

Interviewer: But I notice you have many, you seem to have a lot of young men who are part of your organization. These young men must face the material problems of today like the draft and Vietnam and everything.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Interviewer: Isn’t it difficult to belong to Krsna consciousness and exist in this world we must exist in?

Prabhupada: Yes, the thing is that persons who are in Krsna consciousness anywhere, even they are put into a very uncomfortable position, they are not suffering in the same way as ordinary man.

Interviewer: Oh, we have people who want to talk to you. Caller, you’re on the air with the Swami on KGO.

Caller (Gargamuni again): Thank you. Hello, Swamiji?

Prabhupada: Yes?

Gargamuni: What is the perfection of this life?

Prabhupada: The perfection of this life is to understand oneself, what I am. This is the beginning. Why I am suffering? If there is any solution of this suffering? And there are so many things. These questions should be there. Unless a man is awakened to these questions, that “What I am? Why I am suffering? Wherefrom I have come, and where I have to go?” then he’s considered on the animal level. Because animals, they have no such questions. It is in the human form of life these questions are there. And their answers are all there in the scriptures. So if we are inquisitive and follow the answers from authoritative sources, then the solution of life is there.

Interviewer: Thank you caller. So, know yourself.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Interviewer: Know yourself. I have some more questions. We’re talking with Swami A.C. Bhaktivedanta, head of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. (radio ad:) …And you can sell anything by reaching more than two million who read the Chronicle and the Examiner. [break]

Girl caller: …Gargamuni Prabhu. All glories to Gargamuni Prabhu! [break]

Interviewer: You believe that sex is only for having children. You do not believe in alcohol or the use of any stimulants.

Prabhupada: No, that is prohibited.

Interviewer: What do you believe in?

Prabhupada: We believe in Krsna consciousness. We have to purify. Just like this is also a belief, that you will be happy by drinking alcohol. That is your consciousness. I don’t believe in that.

Interviewer: Do you have certain dietary rules for which you do not eat?

Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Certainly.

Interviewer: What do you not eat?

Prabhupada: We don’t eat anything which is not offered to Krsna. We first of all prepare foodstuff as recommended in the scripture. They are mostly from vegetable, grains, fruits, milk. So we have got enough food.

Interviewer: No meat of any kind.

Prabhupada: No. No meat, no onion, no garlic, no intoxication, no liquor, we don’t smoke even, we don’t take tea, coffee. We simply take what is absolutely necessary for keeping the body fit to execute Krsna consciousness. We don’t indulge in luxury…, or for the satisfaction of the tongue.

Interviewer: All right. Caller, you’re on the air with the Swami on KGO.

Caller: Yes, Swamiji, I’d like to know where in India was your native place.

Interviewer: Where in India did you come from originally?

Prabhupada: Oh, I was born in Calcutta. But after my acceptance of this renounced order of life, I am inhabitant of Vrndavana.

Caller: Of where?

Prabhupada: Vrndavana. V-r-i-n-d-a-v-a-n. Vrndavana is a sacred place. It is about 90 miles south of New Delhi, capital of India.

Caller: Yes, yes, I see. One thing I just wanted to clarify, did you… are you are follower of Lord Krsna?

Prabhupada: Yes.

Caller: That’s all I wanted to know. Thank you.

Interviewer: The callers know more about the subject today evidently than I do. Now, your guru told you to be a wanderer.

Prabhupada: Yes. A sannyasi means itinerant teacher. He will wander and teach from door to door.

Interviewer: When was it that you arrived from India with $2?

Prabhupada: It was in September, 1965.

Interviewer: Several years ago.

Prabhupada: About three years before.

Interviewer: Now, you met a gentleman by the name of Harvey Cohen?

Prabhupada: Yes.

Interviewer: And how has he helped you?

Prabhupada: Yes, in the beginning he helped me. Because I rented one room. That was $72 per month. So…

Interviewer: Was this in New York?

Prabhupada: In New York, yes, Seventy-second Street West. So whatever there was shortage, he was supplying. I was getting some money by contributions in my lectures. But in the beginning my all expenditures were not sufficient collection. So the deficiency he was giving me.

Interviewer: Did he aid you in setting up the first center or temple?

Prabhupada: No, I started my temple in 1967, first July.

Interviewer: In New York.

Prabhupada: New York, yes.

Interviewer: How many temples are there now?

Prabhupada: Now we have got six temples. One in New York, one in San Francisco, one in Los Angeles, one in Boston, one in Montreal, and one in Santa Fe. And another one of our students has gone to Buffalo, he’s on the professional, for starting another temple.

Interviewer: How many people belong to these six temples?

Prabhupada: In each temple there are average about fifty people.

Interviewer: Fifty people.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Interviewer: Are they mostly young people? From the calls we’ve been getting and from the people here in the studio…

Prabhupada: Yes, they are invariably all young boys and girls. Yes.

Interviewer: All right, hold for one second. We’re talking with Swami A.C. Bhaktivedanta, head of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. [break] And our telephones are open to you. (gives phone numbers again). What hair cut? Oh, is there any significance of your hair cut over there? Is there a microphone over there we can get you on? Put that other one over there. Because we have several young men here in the studio with the Swami. What is the significance of your hair cut?

Subala: Well, my head is shaved and I have a, what’s known as a sikha on the back of my head. This sikha is a sign that I’m a Vaisnava, which is a follower of Krsna’s.

Interviewer: Do you live here?

Subala: I’m from the Santa Fe temple, I’m just visiting here.

Interviewer: How did you end up in this Krsna order?

Subala: I was looking for a man who could tell me the answers to the questions that Swamiji mentioned before, such as “What am I? What is God? What am I doing here?” And Swamiji was the first one who could answer these questions satisfactorily. And I could see that the process of Krsna consciousness is no phony bluff. I could see it really works because I saw people making progress in it. And I made progress myself by chanting. So I accepted him as my spiritual master, because he was the only one…

Interviewer: Do you accept a new name?

Subala: Yes.

Interviewer: Well, what is your name?

Subala: Subala dasa Adhikari.

Interviewer: So each one accepts a new name.

Subala: Yes. The initiation by the spiritual master is known as the second birth. You enter the spiritual world by taking a second birth. Your spiritual life begins.

Interviewer: Do you still live in, quote, the rest of the world, the outside world, or is your whole life within the Krsna consciousness?

Subala: My whole life is within Krsna consciousness, but yet, at the same time, I function within the world at large.

Interviewer: We have a lot of people who have some questions here, and caller, you’re on the air on KGO with the Swami. Hello.

Caller: Hello?

Interviewer: Go ahead, sir.

Caller: Is this Swami?

Prabhupada: Yes.

Caller: What is God?

Prabhupada: What is God? That’s your question?

Caller: Yes.

Prabhupada: God means the controller. Everywhere we have got some controller. So… But you will find there is another controller over the controller. So if you go on searching one after another, controller and the supercontroller, and, or the next controller, next controller, in this way, when you come to a place when the controller is absolute, there is no other controller, He is God.

Interviewer: Thank you caller. That’s… Something… I get the impression that all the calls today are people within Krsna consciousness. I would like to hear some other people with questions here. Caller, you’re on the air with the Swami on KGO.

Caller: Yes. Swami, you say you have to know yourself. Now, how does a person go about knowing when he knows himself, who he is and what he is. In other words, when does he reach the stage where he says, “Hah! I know where I am and what I am.”

Prabhupada: Yes, there are two different processes of acquiring knowledge. One process is to research oneself by his own endeavor, by his limited sense speculation. And another process is to know from the authority. Just like deductive process, we say, man is mortal. This knowledge is received from higher authorities, just like our teacher or parents, we understand that man is mortal. Another process is one can make research whether actually man is mortal.

Caller: Well, is there some kind of a spiritual signal you get within yourself that tells you this?

Prabhupada: No, your question is what I am? So this what I am, you can search yourself by your mental speculation, that is one way. Another way to understand your position, from higher authority. So we take this process. We understand what I am from higher authority, Krsna. Krsna says that He is God, and He says, “All these living entities are My part and parcels.” So we are component parts of the Supreme Lord. Therefore as the component part of machine is to cooperate with the full machine, so our duty is to cooperate with the Supreme Lord. That is our identity.

Interviewer: Thank you, caller.

Caller: Thank you.

Interviewer: To join Krsna consciousness is a total commitment, then, to your way of life.

Prabhupada: Yes, it is total commitment to the way of life as it is prescribed in the Bhagavad-gita, the science of God.

Interviewer: Must one renounce his present religion?

Prabhupada: No, not necessarily. Religion is a kind of faith. So naturally, if you go to the higher standard of life, the stereotype faith does not act there. So this understanding, Krsna consciousness, is transcendental to all religious faith. Faith you can change. But this you cannot change. Your constitutional position as part and parcel of God is never to be changed. You may accept a faith as Christianity or accept a faith, Mohammedanism. That is a mental situation. But this is your actual constitutional situation that you are part and parcel of the Supreme. That cannot be changed.

Interviewer: What happens in your temples. Do you have services like other religions?

Prabhupada: Yes, generally we chant this mahamantra, Hare Krsna, and then we deliver speeches from Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and then there are questions, we answer, and in that way the audience and the disciples they become enlightened and they advance.

Interviewer: But there’s no sermon as we would know in other churches?

Prabhupada: That is, you can call sermon, because there is prayer song and there is, I mean to say, recitation from scriptures…

Interviewer: Well, you have six chapters, so evidently you cannot be everywhere at once. Who is in charge of a temple when you’re not here?

Prabhupada: The students are being trained. The students, they also speak the same thing. There is nothing new. I also speak from the Bhagavad-gita and the students also speak from the Bhagavad-gita. The Bhagavad-gita is the same in all the centers. But it may be because I have little more experience I can explain them a little more nicely. And the students, they also explain according to their experience. But the principle is the same.

Interviewer: Caller, you’re on the air on KGO with the Swami.

Caller (woman): Ah, yeah. I’m not involved with it, but I’m curious. I’m wondering if there’s any similarity between meditation and hypnosis? In other words, the hypnotic state?

Interviewer: Or is meditation self-hypnosis? Is that what you’re asking?

Caller: Is it similar? It sounds like it might be.

Interviewer: Swami?

Prabhupada: I do not know what is self-hypnosis.

Interviewer: Hypnotizing yourself.

Prabhupada: No, it is no question of hypnotizing. Meditation means to search out what I am. Just like if you sit down quietly, if you see your body, first of all see your finger, and question whether I am hand? You’ll say, no. Whether I am this head? You’ll say no. Whether I am this leg? Because everywhere I will say, “It is my hand, it is my head, it is my leg, it is my sole.” Everything “my.” So you have to find out what is “I.”

Caller: I see.

Prabhupada: Unless you come to that point, what is “I,” there is no meaning of meditation. Then the meditation is finished. Now, the activities after meditation begins. Meditation is to search out what you are. As soon as you know your identity, then your real activity begins. So we take it from Bhagavad-gita what is my real identity and begin our service. So that is called devotional service.

Interviewer: We’re talking with Swami A.C. Bhaktivedanta, head of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. We’ll be back in a minute. [break] KGO.

Caller: Yes, I wanted to ask the Swami if he didn’t think that the teachings of Jesus Christ expressed exactly what he’s saying. I’m not speaking of orthodox Christianity as such, but the essence of what Jesus said about the Father within and “If thine eye be single, thy body shall be full of light,” and the beautiful phrase that he said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” Has he studied anything about the teachings of Jesus?

Interviewer: Swami?

Prabhupada: We don’t disagree with the teachings of Lord Jesus Christ because he’s speaking also the same thing which we are also speaking, about the science of God.

Interviewer: But she, I think she’s saying, couldn’t you just have taken the teachings of Jesus Christ as your religion?

Prabhupada: But there is already adjustment…

Caller: (breaking in) No, I’m not saying that. I’m saying that I believe that the Swami and many others who practice meditation and study the Gita are really dealing with the same premise, the first cause, that Jesus spoke of.

Prabhupada: Certainly.

Caller: Right?

Prabhupada: Yes, certainly.

Caller: Yes, that’s what I wanted to know. I think there is a comparison, not between organized religion as such, but just getting down to the bare facts of what Jesus spoke about. I think there’s a similarity.

Prabhupada: There is similarity, but one thing is, just like mathematics taught in the lower class. Two plus two equal to four is equally applicable in higher mathematics, two plus two equal to four. In higher mathematics it does not become two plus two equal to five. Similarly, the teachings of Bible or teachings of Bhagavad-gita are the same, the same “two plus two.”

Caller: Right, right…

Prabhupada: But in the Bhagavad-gita, it may be taken as higher mathematics. That’s all.

Caller: You know, may I ask you one thing, I read some parts of the Bhagavad-gita is it? And it said that knowledge is enveloped in ignorance, hence all men are deluded.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Caller: And I thought that was a profound…

Prabhupada: Real, our real knowledge is covered by delusion.

Caller: Yes.

Prabhupada: Yes, the real knowledge is that I am spirit.

Caller: Yes.

Prabhupada: But we are identifying ourself with this body. Therefore we are covered in our knowledge, actual knowledge.

Interviewer: Thank you caller, very much. Bye bye. Twelve minutes before four on KGO. And, caller, you’re on the air with the Swami on KGO.

Caller: Yes, hello Swami. I would like to know how you get your money to make all your trips to India and New York and Mexico. Who provides you with money?

Prabhupada: I was provided free passage in a shipping company.

Caller: You was what?

Prabhupada: Free passage.

Caller: Free passage. Who pays for that free passage?

Prabhupada: Oh, free passage, there was no question of payment. The shipping company carried me free.

Interviewer: Shipping company carried him free.

Caller: The shipping company carried you free. Who buys your food for you?

Prabhupada: When I came, I came with some introduction letter. So my guests, they provided me.

Caller: Your guests provide you. In other words, you’re a free-loader.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Caller: Why do you set up your church into an area like the Haight-Ashbury? Your so-called temple?

Prabhupada: Our so-called temple?

Caller: Your so-called temple. Why do you set up a place like that in the Haight-Ashbury?

Interviewer: I’ll rephrase it. I’m going to punch her out. Why is your church located in the area of the hippies?

Prabhupada: It is not for particularly selected the hippies’ quarter, but the boys they found a cheaper place in that quarter. Therefore they occupied that place.

Interviewer: Cheapest place you could find.

Prabhupada: Yes. Because we are not very rich institution. So we found it cheaper. So we selected it. It is not for the reason that because it is hippie quarter, therefore we selected it. No.

Interviewer: Actually, most hippies couldn’t join your religion because they take drugs…

Prabhupada: Yes, we are completely different from the hippies, because hippies they are addicted to sex and intoxication, and these things are completely forbidden in our temple.

Interviewer: You do perform wedding ceremonies?

Prabhupada: Yes.

Interviewer: What is your wedding ceremony like?

Prabhupada: The same chanting, Hare Krsna.

Interviewer: Is it considered a legal wedding ceremony in this country?

Prabhupada: Yes, our society is incorporated under the religious act of New York state.

Interviewer: All right, caller, you’re on the air on KGO with the Swami.

Caller: I’d like to tell your guest that the other day I received a beautiful letter from the Boston asrama from Miss Prudence Farrow, Miss Mia Farrow’s sister… Are you listening?

Interviewer: Yeah, you got a letter from Mia Farrow’s…
Caller: No, her sister, yes, Prudence, from this gentleman’s Boston asrama.

Prabhupada: No.

Interviewer: No, it’s some other group in Boston, she doesn’t belong to this Swami’s group.

Caller: Okay, okay.

Interviewer: Mia Farrow’s sister?

Devotee: He’s confusing us with Maharishi.

Interviewer: Yeah, okay. We’ll be back in a minute. [break] Could we hear the chant maybe with everybody here? Is it possible? Can we get some microphones over there? You didn’t bring what?

Devotee: We can use our hands.

Interviewer: Get everybody on the mike. Okay. (Prabhupada and devotees all chant in unison, clapping hands, for a few minutes) (Prema-dhvani by Prabhupada)

Interviewer: That is the opening of your ceremony?

Prabhupada: That is, at the end we…

Interviewer: At the end.

Prabhupada: Yes, thanks(?) to the devotees.

Interviewer: All right, thank you. Caller, you’re on the air with the Swami on KGO.

Caller (woman): Oh, hi. Is this on? I just wanted to ask to Swami where karma enters in as far as his teachings are concerned and also whether his concept of God is that of a being that is good and so reflected through healings?

Interviewer: Okay. Karma, is this a part of your religion?

Prabhupada: Yes, karma. Karma means work, fruitive work. As you work, as you sow…

Caller: I’ll take my answer on the air please, okay?

Interviewer: Go ahead, Swami. She’s just going to listen to your answer on the radio. Go ahead with your description of karma.

Prabhupada: Karma means fruitive work. Just like you are laboring for some wages. You get your wages. Similarly, this material world our work is rewarded. Good work is rewarded with good benefit and bad work is punished. This is the law of karma.

Interviewer: And the other question is “Do you feel God is good?”

Prabhupada: Yes.

Interviewer: We are out of time, we want to thank you very much for…

Prabhupada: God is good, yes, certainly. (devotees laugh)

Interviewer: …for all of you here. And your local temple is at 518 Frederick here in San Francisco. Should I give the phone number in case people want information?

Guru dasa: All right.

Interviewer: Phone number is 564–6670. Oh, you changed it? What is it now?

Guru dasa: 731–9671. (end)



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About the Author

Founded the Hare Krishna Movement in 1966 in New York. In only 11 years he spread the movement all over the world. He wrote more than 80 books including Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Sri Isopanisad. Prabhupada's books constitute a complete library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature and culture.

2 Responses to Srila Prabhupada’s KGO Radio Interview, 1968

  1. Aman says:

    All glories to Srila Prabhupada! I like how western people supported Krishna Consciousness, at least when it was going on under the leadership of Srila Prabhupada.

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