Kevin Layhart (Newsday Reporter): How do you choose... You are responsible for the organization.
Kevin Layhart: Are you the one who chooses who runs each center, who is responsible in each temple?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Our program is to open centers in every village, every town, to propagate Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Kevin Layhart: And you choose the leaders, or Kṛṣṇa does and tells you. How does that work?
Prabhupāda: No, I have been chosen by my spiritual master.
Kevin Layhart: Yes. And you in turn choose others?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. That is our succession.
Kevin Layhart: On what basis?
Prabhupāda: Basis, on the order of Kṛṣṇa. Originally the order is from Kṛṣṇa.
Kevin Layhart: How does that come?
Prabhupāda: Comes by disciplic succession. Just like Kṛṣṇa said this knowledge to Arjuna, and Arjuna said to others. And it is open. Everyone can take it; there is no secrecy. We have to accept only, that's all.
Kevin Layhart: I missed that, I'm sorry.
Prabhupāda: The order is already there. It is open, open secret. There is no secrecy. Anyone can take it.
Kevin Layhart: All right. But in terms of specific, say, choosing, specific things, specific details.
Prabhupāda: Yes, in all details, how to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, there is all details in this book, Bhagavad-gītā As It Is.
Devotee: So he's asking what's a man's qualification to be chosen.
Devotee(2): In other words, Prabhupāda will decide who should be leader if he's qualified, and there's a process for making him qualified and there's a process for testing to see if he is qualified. So in that way it all comes from Kṛṣṇa.
Kevin Layhart: You chose, for example, these fellows here to run the publishing house and be responsible for the East Coast.
Prabhupāda: Yes, like that. He's in charge of publication, he's in charge something else, he's charge, like that.
Kevin Layhart: On what basis, though? Can you tell me some of the things that...
Prabhupāda: Basis, just to see whether he's qualified, that's all. Just like ordinarily one manager is appointed by the superior authority on the merit, on his qualification. That's all.
Kevin Layhart: Okay. Is it a mediated choice or is it a direct communication from Kṛṣṇa? That's my question.
Devotee(2): He's asking whether we claim that God speaks to us directly.
Prabhupāda: Yes, God speaks to you when you are qualified. You cannot expect God as order supplier. When He sees that you are qualified, He will speak to you.
Devotee(3): The spiritual master is the representative of God to the disciple because he is in direct contact with God.
Prabhupāda: My spiritual master appointed me, that "You do this." Similarly, I shall appoint somebody else. This is the way.
Devotee(2): It's difficult for people to understand that God can speak to a man. They question, "How can God speak to some man?"
Prabhupāda: That is, anything, that, the radio message is coming, a foolish man cannot understand how it is coming. He'll think, "How it is that, speaking?" So any foolish man will be astonished how things are happening. That is foolishness. But God says... Find out this verse...
Devotee: Four, three? Sa evāyaṁ mayā te 'dya (BG 4.3)?
Prabhupāda: Huh? No, no. Buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi taṁ yena mām upayānti te.
Devotee(2): Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānām (BG 10.10).
Prabhupāda: Ah, teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam (BG 10.10).
Devotee: Dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ yena mām upayānti te.
Prabhupāda: Ah, yes.
Devotee: "To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give them the understanding by which they can come to Me."
Prabhupāda: God is situated in everyone's heart. As soon as He sees that "Here is a qualified person," then He gives him instruction.
Kevin Layhart: But in the same way that Kṛṣṇa says He'll provide for all your needs, you still must work to achieve whatever Kṛṣṇa is giving you.
Prabhupāda: Yes. You work for Kṛṣṇa. You have to work to get your necessities.
Kevin Layhart: In the same way I'm curious with respect to the way Kṛṣṇa communicates with you, whether it's in a similar kind of way that He gives you your necessities.
Devotee(3): In other words, when you decide that someone is to be in charge of a particular temple, does Kṛṣṇa tell you that this person should be in charge?
Kevin Layhart: Or do you, by judging him, say this person is qualified?
Prabhupāda: Yes, because a devotee always consults Kṛṣṇa, and He gives order.
Kevin Layhart: It's a more direct communication.
Prabhupāda: Yes. And He gives order.
Devotee(2): Because intelligence... Our philosophy is that intelligence comes from Kṛṣṇa. So if I have some...
Kevin Layhart: And your philosophy is that your daily necessities come from Kṛṣṇa as well.
Devotee(2): Yes, try to understand. Suppose my intelligence sees that this person is qualified, that means Kṛṣṇa has told me.
Prabhupāda: No, not necessarily. Kṛṣṇa will tell directly. A devotee always consults Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa tells him, "Do like this." Not figuratively; practically.
Kevin Layhart: Does that apply then to other kinds of decisions and other kinds of activities as well?
Prabhupāda: Everything. Because a devotee does not do anything without consulting Kṛṣṇa.
Devotee(3): But that applies to a very greatly elevated soul. That is not an ordinary person.
Prabhupāda: That is... Therefore the minor devotees, they consult the spiritual masters. That is our process. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ.
Devotee(2): I see. I was trying to explain the minor devotees.
Kevin Layhart: No, I was talking about...
Devotee(2): You're talking about the topmost level.
Kevin Layhart: Yes.
Devotee(3): He's getting right to the source. (laughter) Right to the top.
Kevin Layhart: That will do it for me. I thank you, kindly.
Devotee(2): Thank you, Prabhupāda.
Prabhupāda: Give him prasādam.
Devotee(3): We were going to take care of him.
Prabhupāda: Thank you for your coming. Take this flower.
(Srila Prabhupada Interview with Newsday Newspaper, July 14, 1976, New York)