Conversation with Yogi Amrit Desai of Kripalu Ashram (PA USA) — January 2, 1977, Bombay
Yogi Amrit Desai: I have so much love for you, and I said I must come for a darśana.
Prabhupāda: Thank you.
Yogi Amrit Desai: I was telling to the devotees. I said that you are…
Prabhupāda: You are with Dr. Mishra?
Yogi Amrit Desai: No, I’m not. I was telling all the devotees here. I said Śrī Prabhupāda is the first man who brought bhakti in the West, where it is needed most. Because there they are so much in the head, thinking, thinking, thinking. This path of love is so profound.
Prabhupāda: Just see. If you present a real genuine thing, it will be effective.
Yogi Amrit Desai: That is why it is growing so beautifully, because it is genuine.
Prabhupāda: And it is the duty of the Indians to give them genuine thing. That is para-upakāra. Before me, all these swamis and yogis went there to cheat them.
Yogi Amrit Desai: No, they were afraid to give the truth because they were afraid they will not be accepted.
Prabhupāda: They did not know what is truth. (laughter) Not afraid. Why? If one is on the platform of truth, why he should be afraid?
Yogi Amrit Desai: Sure.
Prabhupāda: They did not know what is truth, beginning from Vivekananda.
Yogi Amrit Desai: All the way, right. See, after you came… I was there in 1960. I started teaching yoga. But after you came I became fearless to teach bhakti and chant mantras. So now we have lots of bhakti in āśrama, lots of bhakti. And I paid that respect to you because I was afraid to give them because I thought, “They are Christians. They will not like so much devotion. They will misunderstand.” But you have performed a miracle. God, Kṛṣṇa, has performed miracle through you. It’s just very amazing, greatest miracle on earth. I just feel so strongly about it.
Prabhupāda: It is very kind of you that you give this statement. If we give genuine thing, it will act.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Right. This is what I’m doing too. Everyone… We have about 180 people who live permanently in the āśrama, and they all practice celibacy. Everyone wakes up at 4:00, and they sleep by 9:00. And they don’t touch even each other. They sleep different quarters. They sit even separately in sat-saṅga. Everything strict. No drugs, no alcohol, no meat, no tea, no coffee, no garlic, no onion.
Prabhupāda: Very good. Yes. We are following this. But you have got any Deity?
Yogi Amrit Desai: Yes. Lord Kṛṣṇa and Rādhā is our Deities. My guru is Swami Kripalu-anandi. He is in… Near Baroda he has an āśrama. He practiced his sādhana for twenty-seven years, and twelve years was complete silence. The last few years he is speaking once or twice a year because many people request.
Prabhupāda: He’s not chanting?
Yogi Amrit Desai: He chants. During his silence, his chanting is allowed. Because when he says… When you say the name of the Lord, that is not called breaking the silence. So he chants.
Prabhupāda: Silence means we shall not talk nonsense. We shall chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That is silence. Instead of wasting time, talking on this material thing, let us chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That is positive. And the silence is negative. Stop nonsense; speak sense.
Yogi Amrit Desai: Right! That is right.
Prabhupāda: Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate (BG 2.59). Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate. If one ceases his nonsense, then param, the Supreme… Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate. When you have got better things, then you give up naturally the rubbish. So anything material, that is rubbish. Karma, jñāna, yoga, they’re all material. Karma, jñāna, yoga. Even up to so-called yogas, they’re all material.
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