Srila Prabhupada came to give culture, including dress style
Posted on August 9, 2017
When I was speaking in Berkeley University sometimes in the year 1966, one Indian student stood up, and he said, "Swamiji, what this Krsna consciousness movement will do? We require now technology."
So I replied, "Yes. You are after technology. So you are a beggar. I am not a beggar. I have come here to give something. That is the difference. I have come here to give some culture, and you have come to imitate the Western civilization by technology. That is the difference. You'll remain a beggar, I shall remain a giver. That is the difference."
So still I am maintaining that position of giving, not taking. Before me, so many svamijis went there. They did not give, but they took something and came here and advertised themselves as foreign-returned sannyasi and exploited the people. They lost even their original dress.
Everyone knows, I have never changed my dress. Rather, I have given the dress to the foreigners, and they have taken it. The Ramakrishna Mission people came to request me that I dress myself in coat, pant, hat. Because they are doing. Their so-called svami, they are dressed in coat, pant, hat. So this is a culture. This culture is meant for the human society.
Fortunately, this culture developed on this land of Bharata-varsa. Unfortunately, people are so much bewildered that they are giving up this culture. That is the most regrettable portion of..., of our movement. Anyway, my mission was that I shall go to America, and if some of the American boys and girls, younger section, would accept it, then I'll bring them here to show these rascals that how great this culture is.
From Srila Prabhupada's lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.9.48 — June 14, 1973, Mayapur