(Srila Prabhupada in Moscow, 1971)
Prabhupada: Brainwash? No, it is heart wash. (laughter) We can send this, "It is not brainwash, but it is heart wash." Of course, brain and heart practically same...
Devotee (1): This term "brainwash," it comes from the Korean war and the Vietnamese war. They would, if they would capture a prisoner, especially if he was an officer, high ranking officer, they had some methods of what they say brainwash to turn his mind so that he would accept the enemy viewpoint. And as this happened to a person it was considered to be very, very...
Devotee (2): Great victory for the enemy.
Devotee (1): Great victory for the enemy. Just like because a high ranking officer in the army was captured by the enemy, then they would brainwash him. They had this, some process...
Prabhupada: In Pakistani they kill all brain, in Bangladesh. Anyone who worked in high profession like businessman, they caught and shut down. It was worse to kill.
Devotee (1): Yeah.
Prabhupada: Because everywhere the big men, they guide the nation.
Devotee (1): Yes. People are very much afraid of this idea of being brainwashed.
Devotee (2): They think that their minds can be changed without them knowing about it, so it scares them.
Prabhupada: For me it is better to remain in Vṛndāvana or die. (laughter) Hmm. Because they may be very envious, "Here is the man who is behind all this." (laughter)
Devotee (1): Yes. In Germany, this one man, he wrote that this movement is very dangerous, because these boys and girls who have come to this movement, they completely..., they make themselves completely subservient to the dictation of one man.
Prabhupada: What is that?
Devotee (1): Whatever the man will say, they will do.
Prabhupada: Charmistic? What is called? Charmistic guru? He has said. Dr. ...
Devotee (2): Charismatic.
Prabhupada: Charismatic. (laughs) Yes, what is that charismatic?
Devotee (1): Charisma means a person who has a very strong attraction; he attracts.
Prabhupada: He has said. Actually our whole movement is going on on this. Everyone is carrying the charismatic, (laughs) all.
Devotee (2): Yeah, they know there's something different about our movement, I mean from any other. Everybody who sees the devotees for the first time, they immediately know these people are completely different from anyone else.
Prabhupada: Yasya deve parā bhaktir, yathā deve tathā gurau (ŚU 6.23), this is the Vedic principle of our movement. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau.
Devotee (1): Firm faith.
Prabhupada: To respect and love the spiritual master as God. Therefore it is brainwash.
Devotee (1): This is the strength of our movement: faith in guru and śāstra.
Prabhupada: And everyone is writing. Let them write that, so they see that "Why this one man is so respectfully accepted? It is brainwash."
Devotee (2): Hmm.
Prabhupada: They may sometimes give me trouble.
Devotee (1): Yes, generally it happens like that. If someone becomes very prominent, then they want to remove him. This is the tendency in the world.
Devotee (2): Yeah, because the demons, they think anyone who will allow themselves to become the servant of someone else, then they think he has got very weak character. Then they accuse the person who is in charge of manipulating that person.
Prabhupada: Just like there are so many men now, they are against this Sai Baba.
Devotee (1): Yes.
Prabhupada: Sai Baba is actually doing that brainwash. But they think of me also like that.
Devotee (1): Yes, because people cannot discriminate. They have no power to discriminate. They group us with all these other bogus people.
Prabhupada: But that happened when Caitanya Mahāprabhu was being praised by the Nawab. They were asking about Caitanya Mahāprabhu, "What is the position of this man that so many people are following Him?" So Sanātana Goswami, who was very bright, took it as a warning and asked Caitanya Mahāprabhu that "You leave this place as soon as possible."
Devotee (1): Hmm.
Prabhupada: So Caitanya Mahāprabhu was not afraid, but He, as usual, He left that place. But Sanātana Goswami, at that time minister...
Devotee (1): He could understand.
Prabhupada: He took advice, the Nawab was so serious about Him. A Muhammadan may do something. So he said, "It is not good to stay here. You should go away." They decided that "We shall go now with Him, but in the meantime let Him go." Because there were parts of India, Muhammadan influence, especially Bengal was Muhammadan kingdom. So this was warning. Then he told the Nawab that "He is a beggar. Why do you think of Him as serious man? He is beggar. Some people follow Him, not many." So he said, "Don't try to mislead me. I know. He's not beggar, He's God. Otherwise how so many people are following Him?" The Nawab, he said that.
Devotee (1): Huh.
Prabhupada: "He's not ordinary man. Don't say that He's beggar," he said. (laughs) Nobody follows a beggar like that, that is it. After all, he was king, he had some brain. (laughs) So he wanted to brainwash, "Don't think of Him very seriously. A beggar. Some people, sentimental." "No, don't say like that. A beggar is never followed by so many men."
Devotee (1): The same thing happened to Jesus. Because so many people would follow him, the government became very...
Prabhupada: Yes. That, what do you call it? Crucified him?
Devotee (1): Yeah.
Prabhupada: He was becoming very popular. So...
Devotee (1): And at least according to Bible, it appeared that the Jewish priests, they went to the governor or the chief man at that time, and they demanded that he has to do something about this man.
Prabhupada: They have proposed it. That Houston politician, "It is spreading like epidemic." Hmm? "It is spreading like epidemic. Something must be done. Otherwise one day they'll capture our government." That's a fact. If so many young men join this movement, they will vote. Because your country is democratic. (conchshell blows) Do this what I suggested.
Devotee (1): Yeah. You see them...
Prabhupada: (indistinct) "What is this pressure?" "Sir is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (laughter) And very bad." Some day somebody says, "No, it is good." (laughter) But Kṛṣṇa pressure.
Devotee (1): That pressure is being felt.
Prabhupada: Otherwise, who cares for whom? There are so many things. Here also, they are feeling the pressure, the so-called svāmīs, yogīs, gosvāmīs, religious groups, Māyāvādīs...
Devotee (2): Communists.
Devotee (2): Communists, too.
Prabhupada: Communists. That is our success. Everyone is now feeling the pressure and they are talking. In such a short time, so much money, so much expansion, so many devotees, what is this? That is Kṛṣṇa.
(Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, Vrindavan, October 31, 1976)