By:Compiled by Dama Ghosha Dasa (Seattle, USA)
Bhagavan: Petrol they also use for heating. And electricity.
Prabhupada: No, heating. Heating we can do by wood. By nature.
[Here Srila Prabhupada tells us to heat our homes by wood stove - which is what we do here
simply because it is better quality heat and the wood grows everywhere in our area]
Dhananjaya: I remember, Srila Prabhupada, you were saying that all we require is some oxen, and the oxen can carry.
Prabhupada: Yes. The oxen will solve the problem of transport. That bullock cart. Just like Krishna, when He was transferred from Gokula to Nandagrama, so they took all the bullock carts, and within a few hours they transported them, the whole thing, their luggage, family member, everything.
Bhagavan: How far can a bullock cart travel in one day?
Prabhupada: At least ten miles, very easily, very easily. And maximum he can travel fifteen miles, twenty miles. But when we are localized, we don't require to go beyond ten miles, five miles. Because we have created a rubbish civilization, therefore one is required to go fifty miles for earning bread, hundred miles, hanging.
[again, here he tells us why the need to go so far away? If you live locally, have some sort of local community of devotees, then who wants to go visit the karmis? What can they offer us better? Their "rubbish civilization" is one reason we became devotees]
Dhananjaya: Like in Los Angeles.
Prabhupada: Why Los Angeles? Everywhere. In New York they are coming from hundred miles. From the other side of the island. First ferry steamer, then bus, then so on, so on. Three hours, four hours, they spend for transport.
Satsvarupa: Is this an ideal solution or a practical one?
Prabhupada: This is practical.
[anyone who does the daily commute knows what he is talking about here. Even driving short distances can be hellish. It’s hard on your brain, the stress, the tension of being in a car which can crash or be hit at any moment, it costs a small fortune to operate a car, insure it, fix it, feed it gas, etc. So how is this local solution not practical? Srila Prabhupada says no - THIS is practical. I remember one trip some 25 years ago for me in India, I was thinking, after going through all the crazy traffic and pollution there, that I just wanted to get home and drive my own car! Now I feel completely differently - I wish I did not have a car at all and everybody was walking, riding bikes, or taking tongas. That feeling in India was due to raja guna.]
Satsvarupa: Because sometimes we say that actually we cannot change the course of the...
Prabhupada: No, no. Our society will be ideal by practical application.
Satsvarupa: If we stopped all the transportation industry, there would be huge unemployment. It would be a great...
Prabhupada: No, no, we are not going to stop employment. We live like this. You see. If you like, you live like us.
[We are not going to change the world today or tomorrow, But we can change the way we live in it. And if we do this, then others will pick up on our example and try to do likewise - as the saying goes - if you build a better mousetrap, then the whole world will beat a path to your door]
Satsvarupa: Not that we dictate to the... Not that we are going to force everyone.
Prabhupada: No, we are not going to force anyone. "Our mode of living is like this. If you like you can adopt." Just like we chant Hare Krishna mantra. So we are not forcing anyone that "You also, you must chant." No. We live like this.
Dhananjaya: So in fact, Srila Prabhupada, we should start using bullock carts.
Prabhupada: Yes. No, first of all you start the community project, as we have already started in New Vrindaban. Make this perfect.
[This is a very important point. First of all, we become what he is telling us we should become -get the hellish cities out of our systems and all they stand for, move yourself out of the city, find some land, a job to pay for it, and from that point go forward by daily chanting Hare Krishna and inviting others to your new "ashram". It is not impossible to do this; it can be done, if one sees the utility, practicality, and wisdom of all he is telling us here. This is how social change takes place - one person at a time until critical mass is achieved and then it will snowball because others will see so many doing what Srila Prabhupada has ordered us to do - even the karmis see the wisdom of Prabhupada’s teachings and are doing this local living model]
Devotee: There was a big meeting of scientists in Stockholm, Sweden, and they talked that if humanity doesn’t begin to live in a localized way like you say, in fifty years will be no more source of production.
Prabhupada: That is rascaldom. We can produce from anywhere, foodstuff.
[the best way to get oneself acclimated to growing one’s own food is to start with container planting on one's porch/patio or backyard, if you have one. Learn again what most of modern man has forgotten - how to sustain your own existence]
Bhagavan: What about the question of using petrol for heat? Another import, there is three uses of petrol, or four. One is the transportation, one is heat, another is electricity, and a fourth is they use it to manufacture so many products. So what if someone asks...
Prabhupada: No, you go on products, with your product. You have created problem, you go on with your problem. But we live like this. If you like, you can adopt.
[we will never convince everyone to live like this - but our own Acharya Srila Prabhupada is ordering us to do it, if we want to be happy and without the tensions and anxiety of city life. If one wants to go on living in the city, that's ok too, but you must take the consequences
yourself for such action. Dependence upon so many others, subservience to others, very high costs, chemicalized foodstuffs, pollution, bad water, bad air, bad health, anxiety, stress, shall
I go on?]
Bhagavan: What is our solution to heat? Wood?
Prabhupada: Heat? Yes, wood. Sufficient.
Dhananjaya: But they are saying they used all the wood for paper, so there's no more wood.
Prabhupada: No, no. Paper you can make from grass, from cotton. So many other fibers. You don't require wood. You grow grass, sufficient quantity, and you make paper. Why should you publish so many rubbish literatures? Just like you were telling. The Times of India, the newspaper. (Sound of cars) This is the difficulty, walking on street. Therefore I wanted to go to the park. This is disturbance. So paper, if we don't produce unnecessary paper, there is no scarcity. From grass. You produce grass, huge quantity of grass, you will get paper. Cotton also. First-class paper. In India also, the rejected paper. From rejected paper you can get another paper also. But they throw it
away in your country. Collect this rejected paper and again put it into paper. And why should you publish all rubbish literature? Simply publish Bhagavata and Bhagavad-gita, that's all. What is the use of this newspaper, nonsense newspaper, huge, huge quantity? So everything will be nice provided you become ideal. Live in community. Produce your own food. Even you can produce your own paper. You don't require
printing of so many books. If there is one book, others can imitate, or copy. There is no need of printing. Formerly they used to do that.
Bhagavan: Do you want to go in the park? (a lot of noise from cars)
Bhagavan: I didn't understand that about one book.
Prabhupada: One book... Suppose we have prepared some small quantity of paper. So you can, if you want that book, you just copy another book.
Bhagavan: By hand.
Prabhupada: Yes. There is no need of printing books.
Bhagavan: Some people would be engaged in copying books.
Prabhupada: No, you engage yourself. If you want book, that book, you copy yourself. Why someone should be engaged for you? You have got enough time. You are not going to the factory or hundred miles for your earning livelihood. You are on the local space. You have got enough time. You just take, copy. That's all. Minimize your unnecessary waste of time. Save time. Chant Hare Krishna. Go back to home. This is our idea. Instead of chanting twenty-five rounds, you chant hundred rounds. That is utilization of proper time.
[another new concept - don't publish books, if you live like this, just make your own paper and then make hand copies for others to have and read. But for the time being, he still wants book dist to go on.]