(From Transcendental Diary by Hari-sauri Prabhu)
Several days ago Prabhupada was preaching to me about the defects of modern science. He spoke about the bluff of modern space travel, referring me to Easy Journey. “I have written there that the attempts to go to the moon are simply childish. You have read?” he asked. I could not recall it specifically and I excused myself by saying I had not read the book since I had first seen it in 1972. Prabhupada looked thoughtfully at me for a second and then asked me to get him a copy. I did so, and he has read the whole book through himself in the last few days. He discovered that his statement was actually edited out.
So when Prabhupada questioned him now, Hayagriva admitted having omitted it.
He tried to defend himself, “Well, that was written before they went there, and afterwards I left it out.”
Prabhupada was very, very upset. He spent most of his morning walk criticizing Hayagriva for thinking the spiritual master an ordinary man subject to mistakes, and for accepting the words of the scientists above the word of the guru. “This means I cannot trust you,” he told him.
Later, back at the temple during breakfast I went into Hayagriva’s room.
“What’s he so angry at?” he asked me sullenly, referring to Srila Prabhupada. He was petulant, like a child, his ego stung by the chastisement of his father. I didn’t like it, and I told him so. We began to argue, me angrily berating him for his overly familiar attitude, and he sulkily defending his actions, declaring that no one would believe the statement that you can’t go to the moon. I condemned him for not relying on his spiritual master and for watering down the philosophy to suit the mentality of the nondevotee masses.
“The masses won’t accept a book that declares it impossible to journey to the moon,” he pouted testily. “They simply won’t accept Prabhupada’s statements. They’re only going to believe the scientists.”
“We don’t care what people believe,” I snapped back. “People believe one thing now and in twenty years time they’ll believe exactly the opposite. We don’t care what they accept. We accept what Prabhupada says, and our only business is to present Prabhupada’s exact words without altering them or imposing our own concocted ideas about what is or is not acceptable. It is not our business to pander to the whims of the masses.”
I left him to eat his breakfast and returned to my room next to Srila Prabhupada’s. A few minutes later Hayagriva went past in the corridor, entered Prabhupada’s room, and with tears welling in his eyes apologized to His Divine Grace. Prabhupada was pleased and accepted his penitent regrets.
Still, the book needs to be changed. Prabhupada gave instructions to inform the BBT that Easy Journey has to be re-edited to include the missing passage.