(Srila Prabhupada preaching in Tompkins Square Park, New York, 1966)
KGO Radio Interview with Srila Prabhupada
(San Francisco, March 12, 1968)
Interviewer: All right. Caller, you're on the air with the Swami on KGO.
Lady Caller: Yes. Swāmījī, I'd like to know where in India was your native place.
Interviewer: Where in India did you come from originally?
Prabhupāda: Oh, I was born in Calcutta. But after my acceptance of this renounced order of life, I am inhabitant of Vṛndāvana.
Lady Caller: Of where?
Prabhupāda: Vṛndāvana. V-r-i-n-d-a-v-a-n. Vṛndāvana is a sacred place. It is about ninety miles south of New Delhi, capital of India.
Lady Caller: Yes, yes. I see. One thing I just wanted to clarify, did you..,. are you are follower of Lord Kṛṣṇa?
Lady 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.
Prabhupāda: Yes. A sannyāsī means itinerant teacher. He will wander and teach from door to door.
Interviewer: When was it that you arrived from India with $2?
Prabhupāda: It was in September, 1965.
Interviewer: Several years ago.
Prabhupāda: About three years before.
Interviewer: Now, you met a gentleman by the name of Harvey Cohen?
Interviewer: And how has he helped you?
Prabhupāda: Yes, in the beginning he helped me. Because I rented one room. That was $72 per month. So...
Interviewer: This in New York?
Prabhupāda: 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?
Prabhupāda: No, I started my temple in 1967, (1966) 1st July.
Interviewer: In New York.
Prabhupāda: New York, yes.
Interviewer: How many temples are there now?
Prabhupāda: 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 student has gone to Buffalo, he's on the professional, for starting another temple.
Interviewer: How many people belong to these six temples?
Prabhupāda: In each temple there are average about fifty people.
Interviewer: Fifty people.
Interviewer: Are they mostly young people? From the calls we've been getting and from the people here in the studio...
Prabhupāda: Yes, they are invariably all young boys and girls. Yes.
Interviewer: All right, hold for one second. We're talking with Swāmī A. C. Bhaktivedanta, head of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Workers who are intitled to at least...
(break)... Bhaktivedanta, head of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. 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 Swāmī. What is the significance of your haircut?
Subāla: Well, my head is shaved, and I have a, what's known as a śikhā on the back of my head. This śikhā is a sign that I'm a Vaiṣṇava, which is a follower of Kṛṣṇa's.
Interviewer: Do you live here?
Subāla: I'm from the Santa Fe temple. I'm just visiting here.
Interviewer: How did you end up in this Kṛṣṇa order?
Subāla: I was looking for (indistinct) who could tell me the answers to the questions that Swāmījī mentioned before, such as "What am I? What is God? What am I doing here?" And Swāmījī was the first one who could answer these questions satisfactorily.
And I could see that the process of Kṛṣṇa 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?
Interviewer: Well, what is your name?
Subāla: Subāla dāsa Adhikārī.
Interviewer: So each one accepts a new name.
Subāla: 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 Kṛṣṇa consciousness?
Subāla: My whole life is within Kṛṣṇa 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 Swāmī. Hello.
Interviewer: Go ahead, sir.
Caller: This Swāmī?
Caller: What is God?
Prabhupāda: What is God? That's your question?
Prabhupāda: 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.