Chapter 109: Taking Birth in a Brahmana Family in India

Śrīla Prabhupāda Uvāca 109
Taking Birth in a Brahmana Family in India

June 10, 1975, ISKCON Honolulu

While in New Navadwipa, Śrīla Prabhupāda made a statement about taking birth in India. My godbrothers and I became concerned, so I asked Śrīla Prabhupāda about it on a morning walk.

"Śrīla Prabhupāda," I said. "You said the other day that Govinda dāsī asked you if, in general, we would have to take birth in India before going back home and you said, 'Yes.' So, we were wondering how that's possible that we have to take birth in India because we haven't seen many strict Vaiṣṇavas there."

My godbrothers began to laugh, knowing my strong dislike for India.

"The land is there, just like this land," Śrīla Prabhupāda compassionately said. "Vaiṣṇavas are there. This land is not meant for spiritual culture, but still Vaiṣṇavas are here. Similarly, in India, no, there are many Vaiṣṇavas there. The masses of people in India are all Vaiṣṇava."

We still required clarification.

"So, by joining this movement, we come to the platform where we can take birth in India in a nice brahmana family?" Paramahāmsa asked."No, you can go directly also, if you want to finish your business," Śrīla Prabhupāda replied. "Sucinam srimatam gehe. This is a consideration, one who fails in executing. But, if you become successful, then you go directly where Kṛṣṇa is there. Kṛṣṇa is there in some universe. So those who are completely liberated, they go to that universe. Just like when Kṛṣṇa comes here. In each and every universe there is a Vṛndāvana. So, in that Vṛndāvana, one takes birth, then goes to original Vṛndāvana."

Paramahāmsa was still concerned about taking birth in India.

"Those who are not able to maintain the Kṛṣṇa consciousness principle, then they may have to go to India next lifetime?" Paramahāmsa continued.

"Yes," Śrīla Prabhupāda mercifully replied. "Srimatam, srimatam sucinam. So, srimatam. You can get here. Srimatam means rich, rich family. Here you get many families, Ford family . . . But, srimatam and sucinam. So, if you are creating so many brahmanas, so if this cult is permanent, then there will be many brahmana families here in the West also."

Śrīla Prabhupāda kindly satisfied our restless minds and the conversation quickly changed.

Śrīla Prabhupāda, lost without your guidance, I follow in your footsteps. I cringe with embarrassment recalling my offensive mentality and lack of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. How dare I not recognize Vaiṣṇavas in the land of Vaiṣṇavas? You gently corrected my disrespectful manner of thinking without chastising me. You described how it is possible to take birth in this country if "this Kṛṣṇa Conscious cult remains permanent." Your optimism in our ability to become Kṛṣṇa conscious in this life gives me hope despite my fumbling over the years. I pray that someday I will see all living entities as devotees, as you have shown by your example.