Prabhupada said, “We have no objection if one marries more than one wife. That I have stated. But law does not allow it. So do the needful.” – Room conversation with GBC members, 2–3 March 1977, Mayapur
Satsvarupa: More resolutions about book distribution. The temple presidents, in order to control the techniques of book distribution, whether they are going against our resolution not to use illegal techniques, the presidents should go out on a monthly basis and observe their own book distributors, how they distribute books in the field. And also the GBC man should go out in each of his temples in his zone at least once during the year to see how the men are distributing books. And if a temple continues some illegal technique for book distribution, the BBT trustees are responsible to do the needful to rectify it.
Prabhupada: What is that?
Satsvarupa: We have made one resolution that certain techniques should not be done. They are too dangerous for arrest. So if a temple persists in doing those illegal techniques, then the BBT will…
Satsvarupa: Yes. Also for book distribution techniques, the use of the Santa Claus uniform and other theatrical costumes is banned, not to be done.
Prabhupada: Is there any legal objection?
Prabhupada: Then why?
Kirtanananda: They’re legal.
Hrdayananda: There was a great deal of negative publicity.
Kirtanananda: They are legal…
Prabhupada: So if it is legal, why shall they be…?
Ramesvara: The reason it was decided is that even though it is legal in America, in foreign countries there is bad reaction. The Americans do not mind as much as the foreign countries. So we are concerned for the international image of our movement.
Jayatirtha: It was published in practically every newspaper in the world, a picture of Santa Claus being arrested by a policeman in America. We got a lot of questions. Also the President of the United States questioned one boy in a Santa Claus outfit.
Ramesvara: We felt that it would not seriously decrease the book distribution if we stopped this.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Then it is all right.
Ramesvara: That’s the real thing. That’s the key factor.
Prabhupada: All right.
Satsvarupa: A legal committee of Balavanta, Adi-kesava, and Ramesvara will investigate whether certain techniques are legal or illegal according to the laws. Then one of the popular means to distribute books is by women’s party. A party of women will travel under the care of a man devotee. But in taking care of the women, we have noted that some of these parties have been preaching a false philosophy of the relationship of the man who’s taking care of the women, and that philosophy is that the sankirtana leader is the eternal husband and protector of the women in the party. We want that this philosophy should be rejected. If a man is taking care of a number of women in a sankirtana party, he should be regarded as the son as well as a representative of the spiritual master, of Srila Prabhupada, and not the husband of these women.
Prabhupada: Husband, but why he does not marry them? (laughter)
Satsvarupa: Well, sometimes there may be as many as twenty women in a party.
Kirtanananda: They would like to.
Prabhupada: We have no objection if one marries more than one wife. That I have stated. But law does not allow it. So do the needful.