Here is the full transcript of life coach Gaur Gopal Das on Life’s Amazing Secrets: 10 Golden Keys at ISKCON Youth Services.
Gaur Gopal Das – Life coach
Once Sir Winston Churchill was invited to give a talk, and when he came in the stage, the person who was meant to introduce him, introduced him. And after the introduction, then Winston Churchill said after hearing that introduction, even I’m interested in what I have to say. After all of that, now I think I have to look at what I have to say.
Thank you all very much for being here.
So it’s my great privilege, pleasure, and honor to be here, this evening, with the youth Mumbai for this monthly Prerana festival, for which I would like to first of all place on record my sincerest gratitude to the IYS admin — ISKCON Youth Services admin for having given me this opportunity to discuss something with all of you this evening. My sincerest gratitude to all our guests who are here this evening. I sincerely welcome all dignitaries, VIP guests, for the Prerana festival. And, of course, I would like to welcome each and every single one of you, the energetic, restless youth of Mumbai. I believe there is youngsters come from Pune, Nigris, Sangamner, Nasik, some of the devotees are here. So I would like to welcome all of you for this evening’s Prerana festival.
Recently, just about four weeks back, I was in Madrid, Spain for a retreat. And while speaking there, I was talking about Indians. And I was talking about this country called India. And I was talking about the youth of India. And I was saying how Indians are very smart people. All over the world, if there’s someone who is really minting money, that’s Indians. If you go to Silicon Valley, all the software engineers practically are Indians – doctors, engineers, lawyers, everyone, flooded all over. You travel, it’s quite amazing to see all the Indian people. And I must tell you smart men and ladies, you know –
I usually say, once Albert Einstein was on a flight and right next to Albert Einstein was sitting an Indian. So it was a long-haul flight and Albert Einstein was extremely bored. So he turned towards the Indian and said, “Shall we play a game?” He said, “What’s the game all about.”
So Albert Einstein said, “Look, I’ll ask you a question. And if you cannot answer the question — you should pay me 50 rupees, if you cannot answer the question. And then you ask me a question and I as a renowned scientist from Great Britain, if I cannot answer the question I’ll pay you 5000 rupees — in pounds, he said, I’m converting. 5000 rupees.” So he said OK. The Indian man said, ‘Your turn first, sir’.
So Albert Einstein said, “What is the distance between the Sun and planet Earth?” Very coolly, the Indian man pulled out 50 rupees, said ‘I don’t know’ and take it. What difference would it make anyways, you know?
So Albert Einstein said, ‘Now your turn sir’. So the Indian man asked Albert Einstein: “What is that animal which walks up a mountain with three legs and comes down with four?” So the scientist was totally taken aback by a shock: What do you mean? You know, he pulled his laptop out, so he called for the steward, ‘give me internet access, asked for a pay phone on the flight, called up to all of the scientists and no answer; frustrated. He pulled out 5000 rupees, slammed it in the hands of the Indian man and said, ‘I don’t know.’ The Indian man coolly put the money in his pocket, went back to sleep.
So Albert Einstein was so annoyed, he woke him up, said ‘Idiot, I gave you 5000 rupees. Now tell me what is that goes up a mountain with three legs and comes down with four?’ The Indian man pulled out 50 rupees, said ‘I don’t know’.
I must tell you when it comes to the smartness of you guys, including myself, not you guys – when it comes to making money, gosh, people are so smart in this country to make money. I don’t think Indians are just smart, they are very sparing as well.
I met a guy in Great Britain, I was in London walking on the streets. And this man, British man comes up to me and says, “Hey, are you a monk? I said, “Yes, of course”.
He said, “Would you like to know the secret to be rich?”
He said, “The secret to be rich is not about earning money.”
I said, “Really?”
He said, “The secret to the rich is not about earning money; it’s about not spending money”.
I said, “I am an Indian; you don’t have to tell me about that”.
And therefore, as usually tell people, if you want to know what an Indian is like, who is an Indian, then Indian person is a person who after the shampoo is over puts water on it and still finishes it, you know. An Indian person is a person who when the toothpaste is over will use the bail-in to squeeze the last drop out and then throw it in the bin. You know, an Indian guy is a guy who will go to a shopping mall and buy broccoli which is 300 rupees a kilo, will buy Turkish cherries which are 1423 rupees a kilo, and will come to the counter while paying the money, he’ll say, “Will you give a little bit of dhania patta for free?” So you know, an Indian! He goes to eat the pani puri, and even the richest man waits for the shookha puri.
An Indian person — how do you know an Indian? When the T-shirt is torn and has holes in it, then an Indian will use it in the night. When it’s now not even usable in the night, then he’ll use it for holy. And when it’s not even usable for holy, then he will use it for his poor child. I must tell you — I must tell you we are sparing. We’re sparing. We are smart, but not just smart, we’re sparing. Therefore people earn a lot of money, they make a lot of saving. Others, most people squander all they have, you know — smart to earn and very prudent and intelligent to save. But I don’t think that’s just all.
Indians are just so patient. God, just so patient; they don’t have a choice. If you’re living in a city like Mumbai, you don’t have a choice. If you’re driving on the road, a place where you would probably reach in about 20 minutes, you would take about an hour and a half.
And standing in a queue! God, it seems like eternal life, it’s like eternity standing in a queue. One of our American friends came, American body, and we took him on a second class three-tier to Kolkata to go to Mayapur, some of us. And the fan wasn’t working – Indian railways – and as the fan wasn’t working, this guy was getting restless – it’s hot! I said ‘Welcome to Indian Railways’. ‘It’s hot; it’s hot’, he’s shouting.
So then the fan wasn’t starting. So one guy, he’s like a regular man, he asks me, “Do you have a comb with you?” I said, how do I have a comb? India is what it is, how do I have a comb? So then this guy he turns — like a normal man, then when he asked for a comb, got the comb, stood up on the seat, and started pushing the fan, you know. And the fan started! This American man was amused. He said, “How did it start?” I said, “Electrostatic energy”. People in this country can be so patient to solve problems; isn’t it? Don’t you think so?
If something gets spoiled, do you throw it? Jab tak screwdriver pura hoke pura gone case hogaya na, mein toh nahin fekunga. I wouldn’t throw; therefore it’s not surprising that all software engineers, successful ones are Indians, because problem-solving requires a lot of patience – requires a lot of patience. When you deal with everything in this country, don’t think it’s useless, even if it’s forced upon us, gives us a very powerful virtue called patience. And to problems, not just software issues, even life issues and life problem needs a lot of patience. Therefore marriages do not easily break; nowadays they are. But they didn’t easily break here because there was a lot of patience to deal with it, keep solving it. Kuch toh hoga, kush toh nikalega, sudaregi, sudarega, keeps going, you know. Keep trying, keep trying to solve the problem. And if it doesn’t work, abhi kya hain, ji lenge abhi. And then we’ll just pull along and that’s this —