It's better to bark than to bite. One day after barking they will come to a conclusion.
This afternoon Srila Prabhupada received a visit from an Indian doctor who works with the United Nations at the International Court in the Hague, Holland. He was an intelligent and respectful man, well versed in Sanskrit and has been reading Srila Prabhupada's books. He had a number of questions about the chanting of mantras, especially om, which he had been told was only to be uttered by sannyasis. Prabhupada corrected this misunderstanding and explained that chanting om is the same as chanting the name of Krishna. If it is chanted with that understanding, he said it is as beneficial as chanting the maha-mantra, although generally, people think of something impersonal when they chant om so it was therefore better to chant Hare Krishna.
Prabhupada presented some questions of his own to the doctor. "Do you think United Nations is making any tangible progress?" Since Prabhupada had expressed some skepticism about the U.N. earlier, the doctor was politely defensive. "Sir, it at least brings people together under one umbrella to discuss. If you did not have that, you'll fight. Because if we don't meet at all, then they will have the struggle."
But Prabhupada's didn't agree. "No. If you have no idea how to come to the conclusion, ciram vicinvan. You can forever go on discussing, you'll never come ... You do not know what is the aim. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi vishnum durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah."
"Maybe so," the doctor said, "but if two people instead of coming to blows come together to talk, it is a step in the right direction."
Prabhupada shook his head. "No right direction, because he does not know what is the aim."
The doctor tried to maintain a hopeful outlook. "They both want to have peace so they at least try to ..."
"Everyone wants that," Prabhupada cut in, "but if he does not know how to attain peace, then go on discussing forever. That is going on."
"But it is still a step in the right direction," the doctor asserted, "otherwise what is the aim?"
"Otherwise, there is," Prabhupada told him, "but you don't take. How it can be done? In the Bhagavad-gita it is stated: bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram/ suhridam sarva-bhutanam jnatva mam santim ricchati. This is the process. But if you don't take it ..."
It was obvious that the doctor did not want to say that he thought the words of the Gita wrong, but he clearly did not have the same faith in them as Prabhupada. He politely hedged, "But if that realization does not dawn ... 'Till that realization ..."
"Then you go on barking," Prabhupada told him candidly. "That is another thing."
The doctor laughed. "It's better to bark than to bite. One day after barking they will come to a conclusion."
Prabhupada didn't share his optimism. "No. Let it be known, fact, that that will never come. If you do not know what is the aim. That is stated, durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah. This is, means, a bad hope, that by this external exhibition of manipulation of energy, they will come to peace. It is not possible. Andha yathandhair upaniyamanah. This kind of leading is made by the blind leaders. If the leaders are blind and the followers are blind, what result will be there?"
"That is true, sir," the doctor conceded, "but that stage has not come. One day it will come. But 'till that stage and that realization of ..."
"No, stage is there. But if the obstinate persons, they do not take it ... Here it is clearly said. Just like Krishna says, sarva-loka-mahesvaram: 'I am the proprietor of all the lands, all the planets.' So how can you say no? There must be someone proprietor."
At Prabhupada's use of the world obstinate, the doctor question whether it was really their fault. "God is the creator. He's also the creator of the ego of man."
"He has created ego," Prabhupada said, "that is a fact. But you are utilizing the ego in a different way. He is giving the intelligence but you are not accepting."
"Maybe so," the doctor agreed.
"Yes," Prabhupada maintained. "That is the difficulty. He has come to give you instruction, yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati. When you forget, there is glanir, discrepancies in the discharge of your duties. He comes to give you instruction, but you don't accept. Now what can be done? The teacher is giving you instruction, but you don't accept. Then how you'll be educated? This is going on. Mudho 'yam nabhijanati loko mam ajam avyayam. They do not accept. They will write comments on Bhagavad-gita in their own way. You see? Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Yes, 'as it is.' Don't comment in your own way; you'll not get any profit. Take for example any law, government law?can I comment in my own way?"
"No," the doctor agreed.
"Then why you comment on Bhagavad-gita?"
The doctor saw Srila Prabhupada's point, and accepted that Krishna's statements cannot be tampered with. "The law is meant for obedience."
"That's all," Prabhupada told him. "Similarly, if you accept Krishna as the Supreme Lord then whatever He has said ... Just like Arjuna says, sarvam etad ritam manye yan mam vadasi kesava: 'Whatever you are saying Kesava, I accept them in toto.' That is acceptance."
It was a pleasant meeting, and at 6:00 p.m. Prabhupada brought it to a close. After applying tilaka to his forehead, he put on his utariya, the traditional sannyasi top-piece, slipped on his shoes at the door and went out to attend the program in the temple courtyard for the next hour.