(Srila Prabhupada in his Bowery loft, June, 1966)
Prabhupāda: A brāhmaṇa should remain independent. He should live by his qualities. People will honor him. Just like we are training. We do not serve anyone, but we are maintaining big establishment. This is brāhmaṇa. We do not serve anyone, any merchant, officer, any... No. We chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That's all. If Kṛṣṇa wants, He will give us food, or we shall starve. We are not going to starve. This is the proof. We are spending not less than twenty lakhs of rupees for maintaining our establishment throughout the whole world, but we do not know what is our next moment's income. We do not know... We have eaten today. We do not know whether we shall have any eatable next day. This is our position. If it is available, we shall eat; otherwise we shall starve. This is our position. Still, I don't seek any employment, "Give us some service to maintain our..." No, we don't do that. We never do that. When I was alone, I was not doing that.
I was living alone. I had no income, no friend, no shelter. Since I left my home, since 1954, I never cared for anyone maintaining me. And there was no resource, fixed income, nothing of the sort. I depended on Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, in the whole Society we are feeding daily ten thousand men. We have got about one hundred centers. And we are maintained..., just like European, American standard, not vagabond standard. But still, we have no fixed income. Depend on Kṛṣṇa. If He wants, He will give us food; if He wants, we shall starve. This is brāhmaṇa, practical. And "Now I have got all degrees, and unless I get a good master, then I am street dog." (Dr. Copeland laughs) That is śūdra. Without getting a master... Just like a street dog has no value unless he gets a good master. Then he can bark, "Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! I have got my master." And if he doesn't get a master, nobody cares for it, and he is lean and thin, here going, here going, that's all. This is śūdra. He has no power to live independently. That is śūdra.
Dr. Copeland: And you're training them to lead?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa will supply everything. Be confident. This is brāhmaṇa. We don't depend. You see for the last ten years our institution going on. We don't depend on anyone else. If you contribute voluntarily, welcome. But we are not dependent on you. This is brahminical class. You don't... (aside:) Find this: śamo damas tapaḥ śaucam. What are they? Śamaḥ?
Devotee: Śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ kṣāntir ārjavam eva ca (BG 18.42). You want me to read each word, translate?
Devotee: "Śamaḥ—peacefulness; damaḥ—self-control; tapaḥ— austerity; śaucam—purity; kṣāntiḥ—tolerance; ārjavam—honesty..."
Prabhupāda: Simplicity, honesty. Ārjavam means even an enemy enquires from me, "What is your secret?" I shall say, "Yes, it is..." I have no secret. This is my position. This is called ārjavam. Don't keep any secret. So ārjavam, then?
Prabhupāda: Yes, full knowledge.
Prabhupāda: Vijñānam means practical application. If one believes God, Kṛṣṇa, and if he believes that Kṛṣṇa is giving food to everyone, even to the elephant and to the ant, then why shall I bother for my food? He must give me. If He is supplying food in the jungle, so many animals, and the elephant eats at a time forty kg. foodstuff, and the ant within the hole of your room, he is also there. The lizard is there, the rat is there, the cat is there. So Kṛṣṇa is supplying food to everyone. Eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). That is God. He is supplying the necessities of life to everyone. So what I have done that He will not give me food? And I am engaged my life for His service. If I have no such confidence, then where is Kṛṣṇa consciousness? Why shall I flatter others for my food? So this is brāhmaṇa's... "I must have full confidence in Kṛṣṇa. And God is so able, so competent, that He can feed millions and trillions and unlimited number of living entities, and I have dedicated my life for Kṛṣṇa's service, and I will starve? Kṛṣṇa will not look after me?" Is that faith?
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation with Dr. Copeland, Professor of Modern Indian History, Melbourne, May 20, 1975)