(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada and child)
Prabhupāda: So in my childhood, when I was one and one-half year old, I suffered from typhoid, and the Dr. Kartik Chandra Bose, he said that he, "Please give him chicken juice." So my father refused: "No, no, we cannot." "No, no, he has to be given. Now he has become very weak." "No, no. I cannot allow." "It is necessary. He become... Don't mind, I shall prepare in my own house and send. You simply... " So my father thought it was essential, so it was sent from his house, and when it was given to me, immediately I began to vomit. (laughter) And my father threw it away, and when the doctor asked that this was the... "No, no, then don't bother." This story I heard. This allopathetic system of medicine introduced all these things in India. Otherwise they did not know.
Devotee: What system?
Prabhupāda: This meat-eating, chicken juice, tea—these things are unknown to Indians. No, why India? By nature, you say that you refused meat. Although you were born of a father and mother meat-eaters, still. What a horrible civilization they have made. He's human being born; making him animal by culture. Instead of making him more cultured towards the spiritual life, making him redirected again to animal life. This is the civilization, Western civilization.
Devotee: Yes, there's not much choice. Not any choice.
Prabhupāda: These children are therefore fortunate. Yesterday I was astonished how these children were receiving just like friend, laughing and something saying. You have seen it? Yes. As an old friend. Their mother pushes, they would not come, but they were very glad to see me.
Devotee: Everybody's very glad to see you. (laughs)
Prabhupāda: I was astonished, that how these children take me as friend.
Devotee: I don't think that's too difficult. You're the best friend for everyone.
Prabhupāda: No, but after all, they are children. How they can take it as it is? So they are fortunate children, and their parents and everyone should take care of them. A very difficult age.
Devotee: You always said they're our asset for the future.
Prabhupāda: If they can be trained up, they can become very good preacher, each one of them. And they can make hundreds of devotees. In this way we can expand.
Prabhupāda: Are you realizing that there is no civilization? Actually civilization we are introducing. Except Āryan civilization, Vedic civilization, there is no civilization—animal society. What do you think? Are you convinced about it?
Devotee (2): Oh, yes. Every time I walk out the door I'm convinced. And when you come back to the temple, it's like marvelous, the spiritual world. No matter what's going on, may be bad, may be good, doesn't matter. It's very relieving.
Prabhupāda: Civilization means to push the man forward for perfection. That is civilization.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Society and economic condition, everything should be so arranged that this human child should be gradually pushed for perfection of life, go back home, back to Godhead. This is civilization. And modern civilization is "Don't care for what is going to happen. So long you live, eat, drink, be merry, enjoy," that's all. Sense gratification. This is called nāstika-vāda. Very dangerous. And that is going on all over the world. How a gentleman can live in that society?
Devotee: They can't. Gradually people...
Prabhupāda: Therefore my Guru Mahārāja used to say, "This is not a place for a gentleman to live." Formerly, therefore, they used to go away from the society, go in the forest, to give up this bad association. Live alone.
Devotee: Practically speaking, that's what we've done. By your establishing these temples, it's given us someplace to go where we can get out of Kali-yuga.
Prabhupāda: Therefore our temples should be very carefully managed, it may not become again another pandemonium.
Devotee (2): Pan-demon. Pan-demon-ium.
Devotee: Says that in the dictionary.
Devotee (2): Place of demons. Pandemonium.
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa has given us many nice places. People can live very comfortably. There will be no scarcity. Cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness very seriously. That is wanted. Therefore in this old age I am struggling so much to see that things are going on nicely. But so far I have seen, it is going on nice. But maybe the management is lacking. It may be. The māyā is very strong. So be careful. All, you are all old students, and try to organize more and more solidly. The children should be taken... you can give lectures to the mothers, that children should be taken care of. They are future hope. Child is the father of man.
They say that we escape. What we are escaping? We have got all types of social society. There is gṛhastha, there is sannyāsī, there is brahmacārī. Whichever position is suitable, you accept and keep yourself sincerely, that's all. Unnatural there is nothing. Is there anything unnatural? And if they think that we're prohibiting this meat-eating, this is unnatural, that we cannot help. That is not unnatural, that is natural.
Devotee (2): I notice that these things, they are very unnatural. These four sinful things, very unnatural.
Prabhupāda: Unnatural, yes. What for smoking? What for drinking? How nicely they sit down on the ground and take prasādam. Why there is need of table, chair and these dishes and fork and knife and so on, so on? Why?
Devotee (2): It's hard to cut the meat. You need a good surface. (laughs)
Prabhupāda: Our Bon Mahārāja, once I was eating in his festival and... He's a bara-sahīb. So he has given fork and knife. (laughs) So I did not know, I do not remember even which way I took fork. So Bon Mahārāja began to criticize, "You are going to foreign country, you do not know which hand you have to take this fork and knife." So I told him, "I am not going to learn all these things. I am going to teach them something else, to forget it." (laughter)
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, New Mayapur, August 2, 1976)