Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

January 1, 2005: Hawaii


Interviewer: May I ask you some questions?

Srila Gurudeva: Yes.

Interviewer: I understand that people call you an ambassador of peace. Can you tell me why?

Srila Gurudeva: Oh, yes. I am an ambassador of peace because wherever I go in the world I teach everyone that God is everywhere. We are all part and parcel of God. This body is nothing but a bag of stool, urine, blood, and other such things; so we should not quarrel in relation to this body. We see that God pervades everywhere, so we should have love and affection for all. This is the best service of God.

By telling this wherever I go, people throughout the world are attracted to me. And wherever I go, I tell everyone to read our [translation and commentary on] Bhagavad-gita, which was originally spoken by Krsna Himself. He has given this message. Understand?

Interviewer: I do.

Did someone give you the title “Ambassador of peace?”

Srila Gurudeva: Yes. In America, the Mayor of Houston gave it to me. Leafy Brown by name.

Interviewer: And how long ago was that?

Srila Gurudeva: Two years ago.

Interviewer: Panchali told me that you are credited with keeping thousands of children away from drugs.

Srila Gurudeva: Yes.

Interviewer: How did you do that?

Srila Gurudeva: Oh, it was a miracle, by the mercy of Krsna. Also, it is because I myself follow, and then teach the same thing to others. Thus, by my teachings, people become very much inspired, and everywhere in the world, including India, they follow me. The children are especially very attracted to my instructions.

If anyone wants to instruct another person, he himself should first follow – and then teach that to others. I follow all the rules and regulations, and then I give that instruction to others.

Interviewer: What kind of instructions do you give to children?

Srila Gurudeva: I tell them, “Your life will be ruined if you take drugs and all related things. You should not take drugs, smoke, drink alcohol, take marijuana, and other such things; otherwise your life will be spoiled and come to nothing.

“You should be careful, from childhood, and you should chant the holy name of God. By such chanting, a strong belief will come in you, and then you will be able to give up all these things.” Thousands of children from America and other places follow me. We have schools. The children are very, very good there. They are following all of these instructions.

Interviewer: Do you have success talking to American children about this?

Srila Gurudeva: We have a school in the hills of California, in Badger, and in other places we also have schools where we are giving these teachings.

Interviewer: How many children are in that school?

Srila Gurudeva: More than thirty, or forty.

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Fifty.

Interviewer: Is it an orphanage?

Srila Gurudeva: No.

Interviewer: The children go home to their families?

Srila Gurudeva: Yes, they come from families, and they live in the houses of devotees.

Interviewer: So it’s like a boarding school of sorts?

Srila Gurudeva: Yes.

Interviewer: Okay, I understand.

Srila Gurudeva: Thank you.

Interviewer: How can we lay people, holding down jobs, do something like that for our children?

Srila Gurudeva: By following these teachings. If people do not follow the teachings of ancient scriptures like the Vedas, Gita, Bible, and other such literature, they cannot be of good character. They should follow the teachings therein, and we should also inspire them to do so.

Interviewer: What is bringing you to Hawaii?

Srila Gurudeva: I am coming only to teach everyone the message of God; “We are all in one family. We should not quarrel amongst ourselves. We should see God in each and every one, and we should try to help others improve their lives and remember God. Thus, they will be happy in this life and in other lives also.

Interviewer: Sounds like very good advice.

Srila Gurudeva: Thank you.

Interviewer: And you travel throughout the whole United States?

Srila Gurudeva: Yes.

Interviewer: Hawaii is a far distance from California. What caused you to come here?

Srila Gurudeva: This place is very favorable for me. The air coming from the ocean gives me so much energy that I am able to read and write (translate and write commentaries to the ancient Vedic scriptures), and my health improves. I also do bhajan (devotional chanting and meditation) here.
After I preach here, I will go to other Hawaiian islands, and from Hawaii I will go to Houston and other places in America.

The main point is that in this world, a minister, a king, a president, or any other person, despite being in a good material position, is not happy. They are all unhappy.

One day old age is bound to come and embrace you all, and after some time you will have to go. Whatever money you are earning, you cannot take a farthing of that with you. So why are you doing so much labor – like donkeys? You should try to realize this. If you cannot take anything from this world, so why are you doing all these useless things? We must remember God, and by His mercy we will be happy. This is our message.

Interviewer: Do you find that all the different religions of the world carry the same message?

Srila Gurudeva: No, no, no; it is not that all the religions carry all these truths. If it was so, then how is it that Muslims are quarreling among themselves and others?

Interviewer: I was going to ask you.

Srila Gurudeva: And others are also quarrelling. They don't follow [their religious principles].

Why are they slaughtering cows? The cow gives milk to all, without seeing any difference.

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Gurudeva means to say that she doesn’t distinguish between caste and creed. She is like a mother to everyone.

Interviewer: How can we cause other religions to unite and stop quarrelling?

Srila Gurudeva: We can stop all this nonsense only if the message of God is spread everywhere, as we are doing. Then we can give love and affection to all.

Interviewer: Okay, I think there is just one more question, or maybe two.

What do you recommend we do to help those people who are victims of the terrible tsunami, the tidal wave, in India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia?

Srila Gurudeva: We are helping them with money, and also by praying to God. God has not done this; their past activities have caused all these things.

Interviewer: I'm sorry, say that again? How did it happen? I missed that part.

Brajanatha dasa: Due to their past activities, these things are happening by the law of karma [the law of “as you sew, so shall you reap”].

Interviewer: Oh, okay, okay. So God did not cause this?

Srila Gurudeva: He is causelessly merciful, so we are praying to Him to give calmness and peace in the hearts of those who have died – because the soul is not dead. The soul never dies. Wherever the souls are now situated, we want that they will be happy. Their body is gone. We should not lament for the body. We should lament for the soul, which is now covered with maya {Krsna’s potency that deludes those who have forgotten Him into identifying with dull matter]. We are praying that Krsna will be merciful, and that where their atmas, souls, are now, He should give peace and calm to them. The soul never dies. He simply leaves the body, at which time this bag (body) becomes soul-less, and thus rotten and useless.

Interviewer: Where does the soul go?

Srila Gurudeva: Oh, you will have to come to me, and I will help you.

Interviewer: (laughing) Okay.

Srila Gurudeva: Not only come to me, but follow me. You will have to be my darling daughter.

Interviewer: (laughter) Oh, you’re funny. Well, I look forward to meeting you tomorrow evening at Panchali's house.

Srila Gurudeva: Yes, I will also...

Interviewer: I will also be taking a couple of photographs, so I will introduce myself when I come in.

Srila Gurudeva: Yes. Thank you.