Lecture, Bhagavad-gita 10:10
#3 of series on four key verses of Bhagavad-gita
Denver, Colorado USA - 14 January 2005
SDA: Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya. (devotees repeating). Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya. Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya.
Tonight we are reading from the Tenth Chapter of Bhagavad-Gita. Text number ten, and it is not aham sarvasya. It is tesam satata.
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te
tesam—unto them; satata-yuktanam—always engaged; bhajatam—in rendering devotional service; priti-purvakam—in loving ecstasy; dadami—I give; buddhi-yogam—real intelligence; tam—that; yena—by which; mam—unto Me; upayanti—come; te—they.
Translation and purport by His Divine Grace, Srila Prabhupada.
"To those who are constantly devoted to
serving Me with love,
In this verse the word buddhi-yogam is very significant. We may remember that in the Second Chapter the Lord, instructing Arjuna, said that He had spoken to him of many things and that He would instruct him in the way of buddhi-yoga. Now buddhi-yoga is explained. Buddhi-yoga itself is action in Krishna consciousness; that is the highest intelligence. Buddhi means intelligence, and yoga means mystic activities or mystic elevation. When one tries to go back home, back to Godhead, and takes fully to Krishna consciousness in devotional service, his action is called buddhi yoga. In other words, buddhi-yoga is the process by which one gets out of the entanglement of this material world. The ultimate goal of progress is Krishna. People do not know this; therefore the association of devotees and a bona fide spiritual master are important. One should know that the goal is Krishna, and when the goal is assigned, then the path is slowly but progressively traversed, and the ultimate goal is achieved.When a person knows the goal of life but is addicted to the fruits of activities, he is acting in karma-yoga. When he knows that the goal is Krishna but he takes pleasure in mental speculations to understand Krishna, he is acting in jnana-yoga. And when he knows the goal and seeks Krishna completely in Krishna consciousness and devotional service, he is acting in bhakti-yoga, or buddhi-yoga, which is the complete yoga. This complete yoga is the highest perfectional stage of life.
A person may have a bona fide spiritual master and may be attached to a spiritual organization, but if he is still not intelligent enough to make progress, then Krishna from within gives him instructions so that he may ultimately come to Him without difficulty. The qualification is that a person always engage himself in Krishna consciousness and with love and devotion render all kinds of services. He should perform some sort of work for Krishna, and that work should be with love. If a devotee is not intelligent enough to make progress on the path of self-realization but is sincere and devoted to the activities of devotional service, the Lord gives him a chance to make progress and ultimately attain to Him.
[End of Purport]
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah
Last night we were asked some question about practical tips. This is the verse. This is the most practical tip verse in all of the Vedas. Don't we have to make decisions at every minute? At every minute we have to decide, should I do this, should I do that? So, how do we properly decide? Aren't we sometimes bewildered about should I do this, or should I do that? Just like the brahmacaris, should I stay brahmacari, or should I get married? One of those questions that perplexes the brahmacari, until he makes up his mind, naistika brahmacari. There's always the question, should I get married? But here is the simple solution. How to deal with every single mental dilemma that we face in life. Its a very simple thing.
"To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me."
We have to remember that the purpose of everything that we're doing is to come to Krishna. Everything that we're doing should be for that purpose, and if its not, we're doing the wrong thing, or we're doing the right thing, but with the wrong attitude. You may be chanting japa, you may be attending a class on the Bhagavad-Gita, you may be doing devotional service, but if you're doing it begrudgingly, ungh, they asked me to do this, but I don't really want to. You're not doing it with love, and you're not getting the result then. You're not getting the result that Krishna will fully manifest in your heart and guide you.
When I was a young brahmacari, I used to write Prabhupada one letter after another. I was encouraged to do that. One time I approached my authority, Visnujana Maharaja, to ask him some questions, and he didn't really know how to answer. He said, why don't you write Prabhupada? So, I became addicted. It was so nice getting letters from Prabhupada, that I just became addicted to it for a while. Prabhupada said, I'm always happy to hear from you, but at the same time, he told me, if you simply engage in devotional service with full sincerity of attitude, then Krishna will personally come and answer all of your questions. What a blessing, from Prabhupada. He blessed me how I can attract Krishna. He'd personally come to talk to me. I'm still waiting for that day, but I know that day is coming, because Prabhupada told me how to do it. That day will come sooner or later. I'm getting there, by Prabhupada's mercy, little by little. That is the process of Krishna consciousness. It works. Through this process of Krishna consciousness, you will actually have the direct darshan of Krishna some day, face to face.
We simply have to stick with the process. It will be worth every bit of it. The really neat thing about it, is when you finally get to Goloka Vrindavana, you're there with Krishna and you'll be able to remember everything you did to get there. Those days you spent at the Denver temple cutting vegetables, you can look back. You'll be there in Goloka and you can actually remember back to the day you were out in the airport, distributing books to this person, that person. The day you were singing and dancing in the kirtana. You can remember all the relationships you have with all the devotees. I was in Vrindavana just recently and I was there in Prabhupada's room, and every day they put a letter on Prabhupada's desk. I just happened to glance at the letter and Prabhupada is answering one of our lady devotees that when you go back to Godhead, you'll be able to remember everything in the material world. So, its not just blotted out. Every devotional activity we perform right now, today in January 2005, these are little pearls going into our treasure chest of transcendental memories. Every day that you spend getting up, going to mangala-arati hearing the class, chanting your rounds, doing your service, you're accumulating all these wonderful pearls of transcendental assets. They'll be your eternal assets.
This is a fantastic verse! It gives such relief to know that we can know exactly what we're supposed to do in all times, all places and circumstances, if we can just take whatever service we've been given, to perform by our spiritual master, by our authorities, whatever service we've been given, just do it with love. That's the key. You have to do it with love. Krishna is so kind. He's given me this service. Even though I don't deserve the opportunity to set foot in this temple. Krishna has so kindly given me this opportunity, this service, now let me show Him how much I appreciate what He's done for me. By doing it with feeling, and with love for Krishna. As Vishnujana maharaja used to say: Give your love to Krishna. (laughter)
We have a tendency to love, so we have to repose that in Krishna, and in Krishna's devotees also. Not that, oh, the devotees are scum, and I love Krishna. No, it doesn't work. You love Krishna through loving His devotees, and through loving the living entities in general. By preaching to them. That's how you show your love for Krishna, by dealing with the devotees in a loving spirit. And with all living entities in a loving spirit. Even a little worm. My godsister, Govinda dasi, there was a slug crawling there, and Prabhupada said chant to the poor creature. Prabhupada was compassionate on an ugly little slug, slouching along. Prabhupada was feeling compassion. He told his disciple to chant Hare Krishna, to bless the slug with the holy names. That is the compassion of a pure devotee like Prabhupada. Even for an ugly slug, he's feeling genuine compassion in his heart for the jiva which is trapped in the body of a slug. So, we have to understand what it means to be engaged in devotional service with love. The payoff is, then Krishna directly instructs you from within the heart.
Some other interesting points came to mind while reading the purport. Prabhupada's talking about karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, bhakti-yoga. One time Prabhupada was giving me some pointers on how to become a spiritual master. There's some split-off group, called the ritviks, they say that only Prabhupada can be the spiritual master. If that's true, then why was Prabhupada giving me tips on how to become a spiritual master? Why would he do that, if he didn't want his disciples to become spiritual masters? In one letter, he wrote me, he told me no karma, no jnana, no yoga, just bhakti. You have to come to the position where all material desires are completely null. Zero. We are reading here tonight about karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, bhakti-yoga. Karma-yoga means you're doing devotional service, but you're still attached to the fruits of your activities. Jnana-yoga means you're doing devotional service, but you still take pleasure in speculating, so Prabhupada said no no. You can't be attached to the fruits of your action, you can't enjoy just speculating. You can't try to develop yoga-siddhis. You simply have to come to the point of pure bhakti to become a spiritual master. That's how he was telling me.
This buddhi-yoga is very nice. Prabhupada has answered the question. It would be bewildering, because we all know that buddhi means intelligence, so why does buddhi-yoga mean action in Krishna consciousness? It may be a little bewildering. How could it mean action in Krishna consciousness? But Prabhupada has answered the question very nicely here. To act in Krishna consciousness is the highest intelligence. So, this is a very good point. If I simply want to be a sit-down vaisnava, then I'm not on the level of buddhi-yoga. Sit-down vaisnava means jnana-yoga. That's a contaminated position.
We have to become active in Krishna consciousness. In warfare, or in military training, there's two things you learn how to do. You either stay very low, or if you're moving, you move fast. If you're up, you're moving, because its much harder to hit a moving target, than a stationary target. If you have to be up, then you better be moving. And if your not moving you better be down. In military training, that is the principle. The same thing applies in Krishna consciousness. We have to have a very very low profile. Keep ourselves very humble, not that, oh yes, I am a great devotee. Don't you know how great I am? I did this, I did that. Then, we're sitting ducks for maya. On the one hand, on the other hand, we should always be active. Hitting a moving target is very difficult. If we become inactive, and lazy, not enthusiastically engaged in devotional service, then we're a sitting duck for maya to grab us. Come on. Have some liquor. Have a cigarette. Have a beautiful woman. Maya will just grab you, come on. So, we have to always be busily engaged in Krishna's service.
Reading chanting, serving, preaching, cleaning, whatever is necessary for pushing on this movement, and for cultivating our own internal development. You should not neglect your own internal development, and you should not neglect the temple activities. Both things are very important. For internal development, we like to sit and read the books. This is very important, and also the activities of the temple that is also very important. So one may wonder, well what should I do. Should I just do a lot of studying so I become very learned, and become a better preacher, or should I be very active, cleaning, preaching, collecting, etc. What should I do? What should I be? How should I mold my life? Well Prabhupada answered that. He said always engage yourself in studying, and always engage yourself in service. (laughter) I was wondering well, how is it possible that you can do both things at the same time? We're not Krishna. Krishna can do 16,108 things at the same time. We're not Krishna. How can we possibly do two things at once? Actually, its not difficult to understand. Just like a chemistry student. Aren't there two sections of the course, the lab section, and the lecture section? So, don't they work together, harmoniously? When he's in the lab he's reflecting back on what he heard in the lecture. And when he's in the lecture, he's thinking of what he's going to do in the lab. Actually, they are connected to eachother. In the same way, you study the books, and think of how you can apply this wonderful knowledge that you are studying. You read something on how you can make the temple better, by following this instruction of Prabhupada. That instruction on how I can make my preaching better. How I can be better at distributing books, or convincing someone to be a devotee by seeing this. Then you actually apply it, and while you're applying it, your mind is meditating on what you had read. So actually they work together, so we can be 24 hours a day engaged in studying Prabhupada's books and engaging in service. We can do both things simultaneously. That it true buddhi-yoga.
Are there any questions? Yes.
Devotee: In the purport, Prabhupada is saying that Krishna will give him instructions from within, so that he may ultimately come to Him, without difficulty, but I find that coming to Krishna is always a difficulty.
SDA: The key is you have to develop the loving spirit, then it will become easy. That means, if you're having difficulty, the love is still in a dormant state. Its not activated yet. I'll just be honest with you prabhu. That's the fact for all of us. We're having difficulty to the extent that the loving feeling hasn't come out. We have it there, but we've engaged in so much sense gratification, especially nowadays, its so gross. Those of us who have come out of the American culture especially. Those from India, in a way, have a head start. Of course, now, all the Indian youth are following the American youth, and becoming totally polluted. But coming out of the American culture we were engaged in so much gross sinful activity. The more we engaged in gross sinful activities, the more it covered the ability to actually manifest loving dealings. So that's the difficulty. The love has yet to come out. We have to just try extra hard, especially those of us from America, to develop a loving feeling. Do it in a loving way. All of our dealings.
One of the most unforgettable examples from my life of someone who did something in a loving way was Giriraja Maharaja. Many years ago, I was visiting the Bombay temple. It was, I believe 1982. I was sitting there in the prasadam room, and who was serving out, but His Holiness, Giriraja Maharaja. I'm just sitting there taking prasadam, just some rank-and-file brahmacari, visiting from Texas. He walked up to me with a big smile on his face, and said, is there something more I can bring for you? In such a sweet loving voice. I couldn't believe it. It totally blew my mind. It enlivened me, like anything. Here's this big sanyassi. He was glorified so much by Prabhupada. Prabhupada said Giriraja is Bombay, and Bombay is Giriraja. That's how much he was glorified by Prabhupada. He had a very big status in our society. And here was this big name person that Prabhupada glorified in such a big way, coming very humbly: Is there anything more I can bring for you? I was absolutely astounded by how much love he put into that. That's the key. That's how bhakti becomes easy. When we can approach anyone, even some rank-and-file person. When there's a big name, everyone wants to go and make a good impression, but I wasn't a big name. Just some unheardof rank-and-file brahmacari from Texas, but he was treating me with so much love, in such an affectionate way. Of course, he is my godbrother, but it was so much warmth, just like we were intimate godbrothers from a long time ago, and we were meeting again, after many many years. He was just putting all of this love and affection in the way he was offering to bring me whatever I wanted to eat. That's just an example. Love is the key. Try to do everything with love. Krishna's will will become solidly manifest in your heart. You'll know what you're supposed to do. It won't become bewildering anymore. You'll know exa ctly what you can do to please Krishna.
Questions more? Yes.
Devotee 2: Prabhu, how much should we consider our health in reference to what service we do?
SDA: One could take a short-run attitude, that who cares about the body? I'm just going to do a lot of service. But, that's not a very intelligent thing to do. Just like a track runner. If somebody's just doing a 50 yard dash, they can put everything into that. They can put there full energy for the full 50 yards. But if you're running a 26 mile marathon, you better not put your full energy for the first 50 yards. You have to pace yourself. Do a whole lifetime of devotional service. The short-run idea of getting as much as you can possibly get done in the next hour has to be balanced with the fact that you may have another 50 years. You're using this body for Krishna. You have to intelligently balance those two things. I want to come as much as I can today, but I have tomorrow to think about as well. There's so many times that I'm so enlivened by what I'm doing that I don't really want to take rest. I do a lot of writing to correspond with my e-students all over the world. Sometimes I get way behind, and I get in a groove. I'm answering one letter after another catching up, but its time to take rest. I don't really want to, but I know that I have to. Otherwise tomorrow will be completely wasted. Sometimes we have to take care of our bodily needs so that tomorrow will be another nice day of devotional service. If we neglect the bodily needs, tomorrow may be a total wreck.
Because you want to give Krishna the best possible service you can, therefore you take the rest you need so that you can serve Him again tomorrow nicely, and the day after that, and the day after that. That's right.
(further question along the same lines.)
Both concepts are valid, they're both there. Just like in the example I gave; Its 11 o' clock, I'm still answering emails. There's mangala-arati,I have to wake the Deities in the morning. I could say well I'm not the body. Sleep is really sense gratification. I'll just stay up all night. I wish I could. I wish I could go to bed at 10 and get up at midnight like Prabhupada did. One night I tried it. I was able to do it one time, and after that I couldn't do it. It just wasn't possible. So your idea theoretically is a very good idea. But one has to be realistic and deal with the fact that I need a certain amount of rest so that I can do service nicely the next day and the next day.
If you say, well I'm going to start sleeping 10 hours a day, then obviously you're going overboard. That's why Prabhupada gave us 6 or 7 hours. The instructions of the spiritual master are there so we can understand what's the acceptable norms. Someone may say that you shouldn't eat sweets because you may become lusty. I remember one brahmacari came up to me in a Ratha Yatra festival in New Orleans. Here I was a young brahmacari at a festival, I had a simply wonderful in hand I was ready for a nice simply wonderful. Some brahmacari walks up to me and says That's a dhoti whitener. (laughter) In other words if you eat that sweet, you're going to get lusty, get married. You'll have to get some whitener, and whiten all of your saffron dhoties and its all because of that simply wonderful, so you better not eat it prabhu. This is getting fanatical. Prabhupada said a sweet every now and then. So we can have some sweets, but everything has to be in moderation. So, we take care of the bodily needs in a moderate way. Not that I sleep 10 or 12 hours a day thinking, well I don't want to be drowsy tomorrow, so I better take 10 hours. Of course if you're driving all the way from here. Your going to get up at midnight, and drive all the way to Toronto nonstop, then maybe you should take 10 hours under circumstances like that. We have the order of the spiritual master so we understand. Prabhupada said that Raghunath das Gosvami just took a little buttermilk every other day. But he told us don't try to artificially imitate Raghunatha das Gosvami. He told us don't try to do that. So that brahmacari, he got married shortly after that, and I was a brahmacari for 14 years. I ate the simply wonderful, and he didn't. (laughter)
So, the point is don't be a fanatic. Be well balanced in your devotional service. Just be a well balanced devotee, you'll do things in a nice way and you'll be happy. Don't go to the extremes. Just be a well balanced devotee. Whether you're a brahmacari or a householder, you've got to be a well balanced and then you'll be happy. Any asrama doesn't matter as long as you're well balanced, and you do things in a reasonable way according to Prabhupada's example, and his instructions that he's given us, then you'll be in good shape. If you're sincere you'll understand how much sleep you need, and how much is exceeding it. One of my aspiring disciples in Latvia, she wrote me that I want to reduce my eating, I want to reduce my sleeping. She has a little tendency to go to the extremes. So, I told her that is not the principle of Krishna consciousness. The principle is you sleep as much and you eat the amount that is going to energize you for devotional service. What gives you the most energy for serving Krishna, that's how much sleep you should take, and that's how much you should eat. So, that's the real purpose. We want to serve Krishna enthusiastically. You want to serve Krishna will love and enthusiasm. We decide how much or how little we should eat and sleep, on that basis.
Devotee 3: (says that she notices that she's so ecstatic to go to mangala arati that she can't sleep, and then the next day she can't wake up on time.)
SDA: Oh, you become so enlivened that you can't take rest? (laughter) Maybe you're not working hard enough. You should work harder, so you're exhausted. That's one thing; try to work harder during the day so at night there's just no question of staying up. You're exhausted. Try to work harder. Push yourself harder, so you can have a good sleep.
Any questions on this side? Yes.
Devotee 4: ISKCON has its share of controversies from the past. Will a new devotee be benefited from hearing from these, so they won't make the same mistakes as others?
SDA: My personal opinion in this matter is that Prabhupada, in the beginning of this movement, he immediately introduced controversies. He talked about controversies in the very beginning, in 26 2nd Ave. He started talking about the mayavadis. A controversy: Mayavadi, or Vaisnava. Prabhupada knew that devotees had been exposed to mayavada philosophy, and that they had every chance of being exposed to it again, and again, and again. In south India its a big controversy: Advaitavada, or dvaitavada, which are you? In fact, Prabhupada was one time interviewed by the press, and they said, are you dvaita or advaita? That's what the reporters wanted to know. Prabhupada said don't ask what is dvaita, or advaita. Ask how we can get rain. That is what you should ask. Then he quoted that Bhagavad-Gita verse which says that by performing yajna, rain comes. There was a drought at that time. He said, why are you bringing dvaita or advaita? We need rain. That is the first business. The fact is, there are controversies.
My personal opinion is that these controversies should be presented in a balanced way in our curriculum of training. Just like the ritvik controversy, for example. People should know what that is. Just like Prabhupada told us what mayavada is, everyone should know what the ritvik controversy is. Some persons are claiming that Prabhupada is the last guru in the disciplic succession, even though this disciplic succession has been going on since the beginning of the universe. Krishna says That's how this knowledge is understood. Now they're saying that Now its ended with Prabhupada. Now its finished. Even though Prabhupada says right there in the Bhagavatam purport, One who is now the disciple, he is the next spiritual master, they say no. They say, because Prabhupada signed a letter written by Tamal Krishna Maharaja on July 9th, 1977, that that nullifies what's in his books. But if Prabhupada wanted it to nullify what was in his books, he would have told the devotees to go back and change my purports to match this July 9th letter. If Prabhupada had meant it like they are saying, that this is the end of the disciplic succession, then he would have had to gone back and corrected that purport that the one who is now the disciple is the next spiritual master. That is the age old principle of disciplic succession. One who is now the disciple becomes the next spiritual master.
So, if somebody ever hands you a magazine called Back to Prabhupada, their magazine which they use to present this philosophy which is not at all Prabhupada's teaching, in the name of Prabhupada they are presenting something totally against his instruction, then you should think twice about taking it very seriously. Its interesting in this connection, I have one new disciple, who's a former Catholic priest in California: Hrsikesa dasa. Hrsikesa prabhu had known nothing about these controversies at all. All he knew was that he was reading Prabhupada's books, he was reading my e-course. That's how he found out about it. He didn't know anything about any controversies. He went down to the Los Angeles temple for the Prabhupada festival, and he was singing and dancing in the kirtana, in great ecstasy. He went back to his sachel, grabbed it and took it home. When he got back home, he pulled out a Back to Prabhupada magazine. Somebody was sneaking around the temple room, sneaking Back to Prabhupada magazines in to people's purses to sneak it in. He got home. He opened it up and read it, and he said This is poison! He burned it. He said I'm never going back to that temple again, because there's something wrong at that temple. I'll be polluted by that temple. I'm just going to read the books. But I told him, that wasn't us, that was somebody else. That's alright.
There are these controversies, there are people who are actively campaigning to dismantle what Prabhupada had established with great endeavor. Prabhupada's life-blood established this society of Krishna consciousness on the principle of disciplic succession, on the principle of a GBC, Governing Body Commission, Prabhupada labored with great endeavor to establish it. Now these people want to dismantle that. In the name of Back to Prabhupada, they want to dismantle the whole system of a cohesive worldwide preaching mission under the GBC that was established by Prabhupada, and the principle of disciplic succession. They want to kill those two concepts. Kill the loyalty to the Governing Body Commission, and kill the principle of disciplic succession. That is a big controversy that's raging in the world. They'll go to our festivals and sneak around passing out their Back to Prabhupada magazine. They simply criticize the devotee who are loyalty serving Prabhupada's mission. They criticize us as being no good. As being demons. They say all bad names about us. Actually our position is that we respect them, because at least they're chanting Hare Krishna.
Our position is to respect anyone who's chanting Hare Krishna, and trying to spread Krishna consciousness. They're trying to spread Krishna consciousness, but they're doing it the wrong way. So, we respect them. At least they're trying to spread Krishna consciousness, even though that's the wrong way, but they don't respect us. They just completely slander and criticize the leadership of ISKCON, saying all kinds of bad names, horrible blasphemous statements against the ISKCON leadership. One page after another page after another page. Compare that with Back to Godhead magazine, which is just page after page of nectar. Its obvious who is properly situated in Krishna consciousness, and who needs to be trained up.
We don't reject them, we just say they need some more training. We don't just say they're demons, we just say they're misguided devotees who need some training, some special something, so they can come to a higher understanding that we have to become humble so we can advance in Krishna consciousness. Not that you become advanced by criticizing the senior devotees who have dedicated their lives for the last 30 years for spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world. These people weren't even in this movement when Prabhupada was here. They were not directly trained by Prabhupada, and they have the audacity to come along and criticize those devotees who were directly trained and instructed by Prabhupada how to be Krishna conscious, and how to spread Krishna consciousness. These are new kids on the block who want to rewrite the rules of the game. Prabhupada wrote the rules of the game: how this movement is to be conducted, how the disciplic succession is to continue. They come after Prabhupada has departed, and want to rewrite it to suit what they want. They think that we have to listen to them, and accept them as the leaders of our movement now. But, sorry, Prabhupada's my leader, not Krishnakant Desai, their head pundit. He's not my guru; Prabhupada's my guru. Sorry. If he wants to become guru, he should just become a disciple first. That's his problem, he wants to be guru without being a disciple.
Devotee 5: (asks if new people should be told about these things.)
SDA: In a proper way. In proper context. At a certain point, they should know about it. Yes. They must, because if they don't hear about it from us, they'll hear about it from them, sooner or later.
Devotee 5: Right, but I'm just thinking, suppose that in the face of so much falling of gurus and leaders, one could entertain the possibility that these people could be right.
SDA: That's like saying that so many marriages ended in divorce, so we really should just abolish the institution of marriage. If I told you that marriage should be abolished, because I can show that so many marriages end in divorce. I can show so many marriages where there was a murder scene. I can show you thousands of examples of marriages that were absolute disasters. So, would you accept my contention that we should seriously consider abolishing marriage altogether?
Devotee 5: I'm not talking about that.
SDA: Try to understand the example. Would you or would you not accept the principle that we should seriously consider abolishing marriage? Would you seriously take that as a consideration or not, in the light of so many failed marriages?
Devotee 5: (Indistinct)
SDA: No, first answer my question. I'm asking you this for answering your question. I'm answering your question. Try to follow what I'm asking you. I'm answering your question by asking you this question, so try to seriously hear what I am saying and give me an honest answer.
Because so many marriages have failed, is this not something that we should very seriously consider, to abolish marriage completely? No more marriages. Would you think it would be a reasonable consideration since so many marriages have failed? Yes or no?
Devotee 5: I don't know.
SDA: You don't know. Ok. Since you don't know, I will say that because marriage is a sacred institution given in the scriptures for elevating the consciousness of people beyond simply the bestial platform, therefore even though so many marriages have failed or didn't work out properly, don't end the institution, mend it. Don't end it, mend it. So, in the same way, the guru disciple institution is given by Krishna, isn't it so, or is it something that the GBC concocted? Let me ask you that question. Did the GBC concoct the idea of guru/disciple or is that an age-old tradition coming from the Vedas? You tell me.
Devotee 5: (indistinct)
SDA: Tell me straight. Did the GBC concoct it or is it coming from the Vedas? Tell me straight. The guru disciple institution: Tell me, straight. Tell me straight, did the GBC concoct it, or is it something coming from the Vedas? Tell me straight. What's the answer?
Devotee 5: evam parampara praptam
SDA: Jaya. Therefore, since its coming from the Vedas, if there's some problem with the institution, we should mend it. We should not end it. Just like marriage should not be ended; It should be mended. If there's any problem with the guru disciple relationship, it should be mended, not ended. That is the answer.
Devotee 5: So, I was asking if people should be told about these things because then, they might think that it could be true, especially when they see the problems.
VPM: Its a similar experience, I can say that we had a problem in (indistinct), remember, that a couple things raised that controversy, and everybody became more curious about it. So, if we put the poor kid in this controversy, (coughing in background). Am I correct?
Devotee 5: Especially when they see leaders falling or having difficulties. They're feeling that they might entertain the possibility that maybe this is true what these people are saying.
SDA: I see. They may think that the ritviks are right because so many mistakes have been done. Yes, that's a natural thing. They're using that to their advantage. Therefore, those who are acting as spiritual masters have to be very pure and very perfect. That's the real solution. Those who are actually accepting disciples in our society, they have to be absolutely pure and perfect. Just like I have disciples in various parts of the world. I understand that my duty and responsibility, if I don't do anything else is to simply remain pure in my practice of Krishna consciousness, that's all. That's my number 1 duty, not to fall down. Even if I don't do anything else, if I can just remain pure in my practice, that's the best thing I can do.
VPM: One thing is also, if you don't tell them, people can find out the other way also. That's problematic because they'll say, 'Oh, you didn't tell me!'
SDA: Its a matter of intelligent educational system, that's all. You have to equip everyone, just like Prabhupada equipped us against the mayavadis. He didn't just preach against the mayavadis. He taught us, chant Hare Krishna. Krishna's the Supreme Person. But he did teach us also about the mayavadis and how to not be misled by mayavadi philosophy. That was part of the training that Prabhupada gave us. Just like Prabhupada gave us very strong training against the scientists also, he had a very vigorous reputation. You've read that book Life Comes From Life? How strongly Prabhupada is speaking out against the material scientists! He said that the more we kick Darwin in the face the more we make spiritual advancement. That's pretty heavy. They edited out in the book actually. If you listen to the actual transcript, what Prabhupada actually said on the beach was the more you kick Darwin in the face, the more you make advancement. So, Prabhupada did teach us how to deal with philosophies and dogmas which are detrimental for our spiritual life. He did teach us to deal with those in a very strong way, and defeat them. That's a fact. So, just as Prabhupada equipped us to deal with the scientists, with the mayavadis, we have to equip our members to deal with other deviant philosophies which are being propagated in the world right now. Its our responsibility so the people will not become bewildered.
I've seen. We had a very nice boy in Austin, he's come across their propaganda, and his mind is bewildered. He's just totally bewildered. Its our duty to keep this institution alive, not to let it it become destroyed. This counter-propaganda they're making will completely destroy this movement. If you break the faith in the GBC, which is what they're trying to do, they're trying to break everyone's faith in the GBC, if we buy their line of logic, then this movement will be absolutely destroyed. It will be finished. Prabhupada himself states in the purport that one who knows the science of Krishna can be siksa and diksa guru, unless we accept this principle, this Krishna consciousness movement cannot spread all over the world. Its stated right there in the Caitanya-Caritamrta. So that's exactly what they are trying to do. They are trying to establish the principle that no one can become diksa guru. Even though Prabhupada is showing right there in his purport that anyone who knows the science of Krishna, can become diksa and siksa guru both. According to Prabhupada's purport, such a philosophy will destroy this movement. Just like mayavadi philosophy has to be vigorously defeated, the scientists have to be vigorously defeated, the ritvik philosophy has to be very vigorously defeated. It has to be stamped out vigorously. Because its very dangerous; it will destroy our movement. There won't be an ISKCON anymore. It will be finished.
VPM: I have a question. In the purport it is saying that if one has a spiritual master but is not intelligent enough, if they are sincere Krishna will guide them from within...
SDA: (quoting the purport) "A person may have a bona fide spiritual master and may be attached to a spiritual organization, but if he is still not intelligent enough to make progress, then Krishna from within gives him instructions so that he may ultimately come to Him without difficulty. The qualification is that a person always engage himself in Krishna consciousness and with love and devotion render all kinds of services."
What is your question?
SDA: Alright. This can certainly apply to many of us. We have a spiritual master, we're attached to ISKCON, but were having difficulty to make progress. I think that could apply to many of us in this movement. Then what will happen? Krishna will help. That's the point that Prabhupada is making. Krishna's our friend, su hrdam sarva bhutanam. He's in the heart. So, even though we have guru, we have ISKCON, still we're having difficulty to progress, then Krishna is also there. He's caitya-guru within the heart.
VPM: So these doubts can be removed, and we can make progress?
SDA: Yes, our doubts have to be removed. Arjuna was begging Krishna, remove these doubts. These doubts are demons. By addressing Krishna as Madhusudana, the killer of the Madhu demon, he's actually saying that these doubts in my heart are demons, and please my dear Lord, You kill these demons in my heart. If we are full of doubts, then we have to find some way to have these doubts removed from our mind, because these doubts will impede our progress in Krishna consciousness. Its not that you artificially repress your doubts. That is also not good. If someone has some doubts, they should bring it forward, in a humble way to someone who has a higher understanding and can help you to get free from doubt. Not that we should just pretend that they're not there, and brush them under the carpet. If we have doubts, then we should reveal those doubts to devotees who we can trust. We know they have a good realization of Krishna consciousness. Either publicly, in a private meeting, or in correspondence, we should reveal our doubts, and ask them to please help me to understand. Right now I'm confused. Just like Arjuna; he was confused. If I'm confused, it just means I'm in the same position as Arjuna. And how to get free of that confusion? You have to approach Krishna, or the representative of Krishna who can clear away that confusion, and can clear away those doubts. We have to find that person, or those persons who can do that for us. That's very important that we do that. Any more questions? Yes.
Devotee 4: A lot of this purport is discussing getting intelligence from Krishna. So, to what extent should one get instructions from Krishna, and use his intelligence, compared to inquiring from the spiritual master.
SDA: Actually getting it from the spiritual master is getting it from Krishna also. That is called the mystery of disciplic succession. Guru is via medium. We approach Krishna through the medium of guru. The guru principle, you cannot remove that from the formula, like the ritviks want to do. You connect with Krishna through guru. By the mercy of guru, you get Krishna, and by the mercy of Krishna, you get guru. We do directly approach Krishna. That's a fact, through the mercy of guru. Its simultaneously direct and indirect. Prabhupada explains this in a purport. It is simultaneously direct, and indirect. Aren't we directly approaching Krishna, when we go Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare? We are directly approaching Krishna. But how are we doing that? It's through the mercy of guru. Through the medium of guru we are able to directly approach Krishna.
Devotee 4: So how much to bother the guru, if for example, there's a change of service that you're reporting that I was doing this service, now this service. We can't ask the guru about every little detail in the life.
SDA: You know what Prabhupada told me? I was just a rank and file brahmacari, I wasn't one of the temple presidents or sannyasis that had open access to Prabhupada, but Prabhupada told me that its better that you approach the authorities, temple president, GBC, but, if there's any difficulty, I'm always happy to hear from my beloved disciples. You should understand that the guru is always there for you. If there is urgent need, the guru is always there for the disciple. You're his beloved child. Try to work it out with your local authorities. Be nicely engaged in service; but, that is the actual training, and example I saw in Prabhupada. (Curtains closing) Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai ki, jaya. Sri Sri Radha Govinda ki, jaya. Sri Jagannatha Baladeva, Subhadra ki, jaya. I think we'll end here. Srila Prabhupada ki, jaya. Srimad Bhagavad-Gita ki, jaya!
Transcribed by His Grace Jagannatha Dasa