"I want that all the hippies should come to me and I shall solve their problems. Actually all these hippies should join us. I am seeing that in this Delhi city many hippies from your country are coming, but they are simply hungry and dirty and being cheated. During our pandal program some of them came to me and became my disciples. So we must look out for them and take interest that they should be delivered from this miserable condition. They are our best customers. If we give them place to sleep comfortably and nice prasadam, and if they agree to follow the four rules and attend our aratiks and classes, why not invite the hippies to live with us? Gradually they will become devotees. The American Ambassador to India, Mr. Kenneth Keating, is very much in favor of our Movement, especially on this point of giving you people the right advice and saving them from intoxication and being hippies. If your government would give us some help I can save all of them. That would be a great blessing for your country. Otherwise this hippie class will simply spoil everything they have worked so hard for."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 25, 1971)
"Actually, the hippies are our best customers. Almost all of our important disciples are recruited from that group, and you are also from that group. So actually we should try to serve the hippy group more than others because there is great potency of recruiting Krishna Consciousness devotees from them."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, July 13, 1969)
"Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wanted that in every town and village this cult would be spread and the hippies are already spread all over the world and they are our best customer. These hippies are simply frustrated and want something sublime. So we are delivering this sublime movement all over the world and if we do it cautiously and carefully surely we will be successful."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, August 7, 1971)
"So try to preach this Krishna Consciousness Movement amongst the hippies there, and simply induce them to chant Hare Krishna. If they kindly join in chanting Hare Krishna, that will make our movement successful. Then gradually make them more and more advanced by participating in Love Feasts and ceremonies, like Janmastami and Rathayatra. Then everything will go smoothly. The only thing wanted is that we should work very sincerely, with full faith in Krishna and the Spiritual Master. Then all help will come automatically."
(Srila Prabhupada letter, August 17, 1969)
Prabhupada: So these hippies, they are also giving up all work, that is sannyāsa, but there is no guide. There is no guide. And because they have no guide, therefore their intelligence is not being purified. Simply there is a propensity for renunciation, tyāga. But tyāga... After renunciation, what is the next stage, they do not know. That we are giving: "Yes, come here. Stand here." (laughs) Is it not?
Devotee: Yes. Exactly.
Prabhupada: They are very successful. They are standing: "We don't want this." But they must stand. So they could not give the standing. But here is... Oh, here is standing. Therefore this movement is successful. They want some standing. And where is the standing? So unless you get a solid ground you cannot stand. You'll fall down.
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Surat, December 17, 1970)
"Because we are spirit soul, we cannot be happy in material atmosphere. Just like you take out the fish from the water, it cannot be happy on the land. Similarly, if we are without spiritual consciousness, we can never be happy. So people after advancement of scientific knowledge and economic development, they are not happy. They are becoming hippies. So the cause is that they're in search of spiritual life, and this is the proper delivery, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness."
(Srila Prabhupada Interview, London, August 5, 1971)
Devotee: Plus here in India we see that the sādhus, they are taking gañjā.
Prabhupada: Gañjā, yes. Not sādhus; rogues. Sādhu's description is there—bhajate mām ananya-bhāk. Fully surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, he is sādhu. Sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ (BG 9.30). He is sādhu. Api cet sudurācāro. Even one is found that his habits are not to the standard, but if he has unflinching faith in Kṛṣṇa and engaged in His service, then he is sādhu.
These sādhus with long hairs and gañjā smoking, they have no idea what is the ultimate goal. And those who come from Western countries, naturally they find out these are the sādhus, and they imitate. Hippies, they do like that, imitation. They do not know what is the philosophy, what is religion, what is sādhu.
Devotee (2): The American hippies actually are following these sādhus. Certain persons, like Allen Ginsberg, have brought back impression that this is what the sādhus...
Prabhupada: But they do not know that they are not sādhus, they are rogues.
Devotee (2): Yeah.
Prabhupada: Sādhu means devotee of Kṛṣṇa. That is sādhu.
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, Delhi, December 12, 1971)
Reporter: Do you foresee that the devotees will grow in numbers in this country?
Prabhupada: There is possibility. Otherwise, why these young men are coming? That I can say: there is good possibility. But we have no facility. Just like government is spending to stop the LSD intoxication millions of dollars.
But our students, as soon as they come, they become my students, I simply order them, "No intoxication." So what to speak of LSD, they do not take tea, they do not take coffee, they do not smoke. But government will not help us. That is the difficulty.
Reporter: Do you seek government help?
Prabhupada: Yes. If I get government help, I can give protection to these confused, frustrated youth. I have no proper house to accommodate them, to feed them. With great difficulty I am pushing on this movement. So if the government comes forward—this means a little facility—I can turn the face of your country, immediately. There will be no problem.
Reporter: What can you cure? What can you make better?
Prabhupada: This is the cure: I am making good character. Don't you see their face? Some of them were hippies, frustrated, wretched condition. Now they are known as bright-faced, serious character. They don't have any illicit sex. They don't eat meat. They don't have any intoxication. They don't indulge in gambling. These are the four pillars of sinful life. If you allow people to indulge in sinful life, how you can expect good citizen? That is not possible. Their character must reform. So we have taken from the root. We are making men of character, knowledge, sincerity, God conscious. Don't you appreciate it?
Reporter: Will they be able to function in a society as working individuals?
Prabhupada: Yes. There is nothing prohibited. Simply you have to change your consciousness, that's all. We are also eating; we are also sleeping. Many of our students are householders; they have sex. So there is..., nothing is prohibited, but regulated for higher achievement. That is our program.
Reporter: Have you asked the government for money? President Nixon?
Prabhupada: No. What is the use of asking? Who will give me? Why shall I be refused? If you think this..., this movement is serious, good, then you come forward. I cannot approach the government and the government says no. I don't think it is good for the government.
Reporter: Do you see yourself, then, as the savior of American youth?
Prabhupada: Yes. Certainly. It is saved already. Why? It is not future; it is present, practical.
Reporter: Thank you very much Your Holiness. Good luck. Thank you.
(Srila Prabhupada Interview, New York, July 5, 1972)
"Luxury leads to poverty. American luxury or European luxury leading to these hippies' poverty. Voluntarily they are accepting poverty. Opposite. Sometimes this side, sometimes that side. Pendulum."
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Rome, May 24, 1974)
Prabhupada: These poor fellows, they have been not informed that there is better engagement. They do not know. This is their civilization. And here, Kṛṣṇa conscious young men, they are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. That is the difference. They appreciate the Kṛṣṇa conscious boys. "Bright faces," they say. The priests and the common gentlemen, they say, and they inquire, "Are you Americans?" They see it. Come and see in our Los Angeles temple, in every temple, how these younger boys and girls are sitting so peacefully, look so nice. Is it not? A year ago, all hellish. Hellish. The same boys, the same girls. That's a fact. Just the counterpart of our Society is the hippies—frustrated, all disappointed, mad. They should come forward now to cooperate with this movement. The other day the one somebody came to solve the problems of the hippies?
Devotee: Oh, in Rome? Desmond O'Grady?
Prabhupada: Yes. As soon as we suggested "Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa," he left.
Devotee: The social worker.
Devotee: With the long hair.
Prabhupada: Ah-hah. So, he did not like the idea?
Devotee: He didn't think it was very practical.
Devotee (2): He thinks it works, but not all the time. He thinks it works for some people, but not for all people.
Prabhupada: And all people... Any good thing, it is meant for some people, not for all people. But if there is an ideal class of men, the others will follow. Jewel. Jewel is always costly. Still everyone aspires, "If I get a jewel." That is wanted. Not that everybody can possess jewel, but still, everybody will appreciate jewel.
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Geneva, June 2, 1974)
"Yes, you must now be careful so that people may not misunderstand us to be a second edition of the hippy movement. What is done in the past to advertise us is already done. Now we should work solidly to attention of important men, and try to make them understand that this movement is the most authorized scientific agitation to invoke man's dormant Krishna Consciousness."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 3, 1967)
"So far the Road Show and this Yoga Village are concerned, these things should be stopped. Simply perform our kirtan. If we divert our attention in this way, the whole thing will gradually deteriorate. He is going far away. All these things are nonsense inventions. Such inventing spirit will ruin our this movement. People may come to see, some will become devotees, but such devotees will not stay because they are attracted by some show and not by the real thing or spiritual life according to the standard of Lord Chaitanya. Our standard is to have kirtan, start temples. What is this 'Road Show' and 'Yoga Village?' It will be another hippie edition. Gradually the Krishna Consciousness idea will evaporate: another change, another change, every day another change. Stop all this. Simply have kirtana, nothing else. Don't manufacture ideas."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 5, 1972)
Prabhupada: He is a big professor, and his books are being sold in higher circles. Professor Judah. And he has studied this movement for five years. And... You have got that book?
Prabhupada: Show him. So they are appreciating. Appreciation has begun. Formerly they thought it is another edition of hippie movement, but now they are realizing it is not. A cultural. He has given the name of the book, Hare Krishna and Counterculture. He is selling at the cost of twelve dollars; still, all high class, educated class, are purchasing.
Interviewer: Have you any program for the common people?
Prabhupada: Yes. Common people have joined. Everyone. We are opening centers so that any common man from any caste, any creed, any nation, they can come and join.
Interviewer (2): My friend, perhaps you would like to do is... I know you are doing some social work for...
Prabhupada: This is the best social work. We are making animal into man. Already I have begun this, that because they are not educated how to become human being, so they remain animal. So this is the best social work, that we are bringing animal, two-legged animals, to real human being. If a human being is not properly educated, he remains an animal. So this is the proper education. Therefore we are bringing animals to human being.
(Srila Prabhupada Press Conference, Mauritius, October 2, 1975)