His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Bhagavad Gita 10.9

Montreal, Canada- 6-3-2005 

Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya 

[Gurudeva is singing 3 times and devotees repeat] 

 

So we are continuing onward with our study of the four main verses of the Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10-8, 9, 10 and 11. Tonight it is Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10 text 9. 

mac-citta mad-gata-prana
bodhayantah parasparam
kathayantas ca mam nityam
tusyanti ca ramanti ca 

SYNONYMS 

mat-cittah — their minds fully engaged in Me; mat-gata-pranah — their lives devoted to Me; bodhayantah — preaching; parasparam — among themselves; kathayantah — talking; ca — also; mam — about Me; nityam — perpetually; tusyanti — become pleased; ca — also; ramanti — enjoy transcendental bliss; ca — also. 

TRANSLATION 

The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me. 

PURPORT 

Pure devotees, whose characteristics are mentioned here, engage themselves fully in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Their minds cannot be diverted from the lotus feet of Krishna. Their talks are solely on the transcendental subjects. The symptoms of the pure devotees are described in this verse specifically. Devotees of the Supreme Lord are twenty-four hours daily engaged in glorifying the qualities and pastimes of the Supreme Lord. Their hearts and souls are constantly submerged in Krishna, and they take pleasure in discussing Him with other devotees. 

In the preliminary stage of devotional service they relish the transcendental pleasure from the service itself, and in the mature stage they are actually situated in love of God. Once situated in that transcendental position, they can relish the highest perfection which is exhibited by the Lord in His abode. Lord Caitanya likens transcendental devotional service to the sowing of a seed in the heart of the living entity. There are innumerable living entities traveling throughout the different planets of the universe, and out of them there are a few who are fortunate enough to meet a pure devotee and get the chance to understand devotional service. This devotional service is just like a seed, and if it is sown in the heart of a living entity, and if he goes on hearing and chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, that seed fructifies, just as the seed of a tree fructifies with regular watering. The spiritual plant of devotional service gradually grows and grows until it penetrates the covering of the material universe and enters into the brahmajyoti effulgence in the spiritual sky. In the spiritual sky also that plant grows more and more until it reaches the highest planet, which is called Goloka Vrindavana, the supreme planet of Krishna. Ultimately, the plant takes shelter under the lotus feet of Krishna and rests there. Gradually, as a plant grows fruits and flowers, that plant of devotional service also produces fruits, and the watering process in the form of chanting and hearing goes on. This plant of devotional service is fully described in the Caitanya-caritamta (Madhya-lila, Chapter Nineteen). It is explained there that when the complete plant takes shelter under the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, one becomes fully absorbed in love of God; then he cannot live even for a moment without being in contact with the Supreme Lord, just as a fish cannot live without water. In such a state, the devotee actually attains the transcendental qualities in contact with the Supreme Lord. 

The Srimad-Bhagavatam is also full of such narrations about the relationship between the Supreme Lord and His devotees; therefore the Srimad-Bhagavatam is very dear to the devotees, as stated in the Bhagavatam itself (12.13.18). Srimad-bhagavatam puranam amalam yad vaisṇavanam priyam. In this narration there is nothing about material activities, economic development, sense gratification or liberation. Srimad-Bhagavatam is the only narration in which the transcendental nature of the Supreme Lord and His devotees is fully described. Thus the realized souls in Krishna consciousness take continual pleasure in hearing such transcendental literatures, just as a young boy and girl take pleasure in association. [End of Purport] 

 

om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmiltam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah
 

sri-caitanya-mano-’bhishtam sthapitam yena bhu-tale
svayam rupah kada mahyam dadati sva-padantikam
 

This is one of the most amazing purports in all of Srila Prabhupada’s books. He is saying how the realized souls, they take pleasure in Krishna consciousness continually, just like a young boy and a girl who are in love with each other. They take great pleasure in being together associating. Therefore the realized souls, they are in love with Krishna and they derive unlimitedly ever-increasing nectar in that Krishna Consciousness.  

This is what we are doing in this Krishna Conscious Movement. We are studying and taking training, how we can come to this position. So we can relish the sweetest nectar at every minute. This is the sankirtan movement, which enables us to taste that nectar for which we are always anxious. 

So, in different ways that is manifested. The first thing it is mentioned here is the thoughts of my pure devotees dwell in Me. So we can see how pure we are and how much we are lacking in purity. Each one of us can analyze and see in our own mind. You can see in your mind, am I always thinking about Krishna at every minute or I am not always thinking about Krishna. So we want to come to the point where we are always thinking about Krishna because then we can really taste the nectar at every minute. 

 Someone may say, “I think about Krishna all the time, but I don’t want to do any service, because I am just thinking about Krishna and that’s good enough.” But Krishna has put these two things together. These great personalities are doing both things. They are always thinking about Me and they are fully engaged in My service also. So the real thing is if you are always genuinely thinking of Krishna then you will be serving Him. Sometimes people will say, “Well, I am always thinking about Krishna.” But they don’t want to do any service.  

So, we understand that it is simply bluff. They are not really always thinking about Krishna. Someone who is always thinking about Krishna, they are very eager for every opportunity to serve Krishna. And then you may ask, “Why are they doing that?” Then Krishna answers, “They derive great satisfaction and bliss from this.” So Krishna Consciousness has its reward. We are paid by bliss that is our pay. You serve Krishna and you get to relish Krishna at every minute. 

The Sanskrit word for nectar is “amrit”. And, what is the entomological breakdown for the word amrit? “Mrit” means death and amrit means no death, deathless. In English we say nectar but in Sanskrit it means deathlessness literally. When you enter into deathlessness, then you are tasting the real nectar. Because, if you are not experiencing deathlessness that means you are always afraid of death, there is a fear in our mind. And we are afraid of dying. 

 If you are afraid of death then you can’t really be blissful. So you have to become deathless and that deathlessness is achieved by this instruction, always think of Krishna, always serve Krishna and always talk to the other devotees about Krishna, be engaged in Krishna katha. When we have a kirtan then we are engaged in Krishna katha. When we have the Bhagavad-gita class or the Srimad Bhagavatam class this is Krishna katha.  And doing the service also, how we can cook prasadam, how we can serve, how we can distribute books, raise money for Rathayatra, how we can put on the Rathyatra, all this is Krishna katha.  

So, if we are not feeling satisfaction, it means we are not diving deep enough; we are just skimming the surface of Krishna Consciousness. We have to go deeply into it. And this process of hearing and chanting will do that for us. Prabhupada gives the example of that devotional creeper or bhakti lata bhij planted in the heart. How does one get that seed of bhakti in the heart? That is stated: 

brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-Krishna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija
 

After wandering through the Brahmanda, up and down, through the millions of planetary systems in this universe, one living entity, kono bhagyavan jiva, who is very fortunate by the combined mercy of Sri Guru and Sri Krishna, gets the seed of bhakti planted in the heart. (Sri Caitanya caritamrta Madhya 19.151)  

If you are cultivating one garden and you have one seed then how will you nurture that seed and make it into a plant that bears fruit? How will you do that? You have to water the seed, don’t you? You also have to weed the garden, so the weeds do not choke up the plant and you also have to build one fence around your garden because some wild elephant comes through your neighborhood he may stomp on the plant.  

So, what is the watering process?  Can anyone say, what is the watering process? Hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord- 

“Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”
 

This waters the seed. What is the process of keeping the garden free off weeds? Who can say, what is that process? 

Devotee: Being in the association of the devotees.  

SDA: Yes, you are close.  

VPM: By not committing offenses. 

SDA: Yes, by not committing offenses. The association of devotees is the garden itself. By not allowing any weeds in the garden means we don’t allow any offenses, especially illicit sex, meat -eating, intoxication and gambling. And does anyone know what the elephant represents that comes and tramps down on the devotional creeper? 

VPM: Criticizing the devotees. 

SDA: Yes, criticizing the devotees-Vaishnava aparadh and Guru aparadh. So we have to regularly engage in chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord. We have to keep the garden free of weeds by avoiding illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling. We have to keep the mad elephant from coming in by building a very strong fence that is not to criticize the devotees. We have to protect ourselves from that fault of criticizing the Vaishnavas, so in that way the creeper will not be crushed.  

So, by doing this then we will be successful. That devotional creeper will actually penetrate through the coverings of the universe and go all the way to Goloka-Vrindavan where it will take shelter of the Lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna and the full blown love of Godhead will manifest.  

Therefore always stay fixed in this process at every minute. That’s how you will quickly advance on the pathway. Whatever you are doing, whether you are working a job, or working in the temple, wherever you are, always keeping Krishna in your heart, remembering Krishna, thinking about Krishna and when you have a chance talk about Krishna, hear about Krishna, serve Krishna, in this way you will quickly advance.  

Anybody have any questions? 

Devotee: How do you make sure the fence you build is strong enough? 

SDA: How strong is the elephant? 

Devotee: Very strong 

SDA: We have to have a very strong fence that no elephant can break through. That means we have to be ever vigilant not to be offensive towards devotees. This is the most dangerous pitfall in the path of bhakti, to offend Vaishnavas. Wherever we go we have to be bowing down to the devotees and just begging for forgiveness saying, “if in any way I have been offensive, please forgive me.” In that way you are covered. We can bow down to any devotee and say that if in any way if I have ever offended you, please forgive me. Always be in that mood. We don’t have to admit because maybe we were not offensive but we just say, “IF I have been offensive in anyway, please forgive me.” You are not admitting but you are just saying, “If I have been offensive, please forgive me.” In that way you are always covered. You should always be in that mood. If in any way I have offended you, please forgive me, sincerely be in that mood.  

That would be the fence that will always protect us always in the humble mood of begging forgiveness. If in any way I have been offensive to you please forgive me.  That will protect us from offense with every single devotee not to some devotees I have that mood and others I don’t.  We have to do this with every single devotee in the whole movement. Even towards non-devotees. Of course it is in the different category, but it is called “Jiva aparadh”. This is not as bad as Vaishnava aparadha.  

We have to be careful also to even ordinary materialistic persons so that we are not unnecessarily harsh with them. We have to be gentle and loving with everyone and sometimes tough also when we are preaching. For the sake of helping we have to play a tough role, sometimes like a lion in the chase and a lamb at home.  For preaching sometimes we have to be a lion sometimes. 

Devotee: Is there a time the spiritual master will bring us to the spiritual world? 

SDA: Yes, there will come a time, the spiritual master by his grace; you will enter the spiritual world. 

Devotee: Is there a time when it becomes natural to take care of the plant just like gopis. 

SDA: Absolutely. This is what Prabhupada is saying here, those who are realized do this, just like a young boy and girl in love. No one has to tell that young boy, “You should go and sit with that girl now.” He is running whenever he gets a chance to sit with his girlfriend to have some nice relationships.  

The realized souls are attracted to Krishna like two young lovers.  They are attracted to Krishna katha like two young lovers attract to each other. It is a spontaneous natural reawakening of the dormant love of God. You become absolutely addicted to the name of Krishna. You can’t live for a moment without thinking about Krishna.  

There is “ruchi” which means taste and there is “asakti” which means addiction. You are absolutely addicted to thinking of Krishna and chanting Krishna and serving Krishna. Those stages come; you simply have to follow the standard process of sadhana bhakti. You have to be guided by those devotees who are fixed in advanced Krishna Consciousness. Take their guidance and instructions of how you can progress along the pathway and your progress will happen. If you put yourself under the superior guidance of advanced Vaishnavas then you will advance very solidly on the pathway and you will be a very happy man and you will come to the point of spontaneous love. That will come.  

Devotee: How to guide someone without offending them. (Question was not audible clearly) 

SDA:  With love that’s the key.  It has to be done with love. You have to genuinely care about the person that you are guiding. We want to help but we don’t want to hurt them. Just like a doctor he may have to do something that is painful to the patient but he is doing it because he wants to cure the patient not that he wants to push the patient down. So you have to genuinely care and feel compassion. “I want to help this person to be happy by engaging in Krishna’s service.” That mood has to be there. You do with love even if you have to be sometimes strong just like one devotee who left the temple and run away. I wrote him a very heavy letter. He was my god brother.  He said “Those are strong words Prabhu, but I am taking it because I understand that you are doing it out of love.” I chastised him very heavily for going away from the temple and living alone. It was very strong but he accepted it because he understood that I was doing it out of love.  

So this is the key. If you are in a leadership position you are guiding other devotees then you have to do it with love. They have to understand with your dealings that you really love them and care about them.  You are not just the manager, you are a Vaishnava. You are an ocean of mercy. Prabhupada could push us very heavily because we knew he loved us. Everybody in the movement knew that Prabhupada loved them as an individual person and therefore we were willing to do anything for Srila Prabhupada. So if they understand your love then they will do anything you ask them. They will do all kinds of austerities to please you, if they understand that you love them.  

Devotee: How do you know what pleases Krishna if I do not have a Guru? 

SDA: If I don’t have a guru then how do I know what pleases Krishna? You should pray to Krishna then He will send you a Guru to you, and then you will know. “My dear Krishna, I am a street dog without a master, so please send me a person that I can realize, here is my Guru, so I can really feel that connection.” Krishna is already a Guru and He is in your heart. He is called Caitya Guru.  

So you just pray to Krishna “Please reveal to me who my Guru is so I can really understand when I am pleasing you and when I am not”. We do not know even though He is within our heart. We do not have access to Him because we are so covered right now. But the spiritual master with our gross senses we can see him. We can hear him. We can talk to him. We can inquire from him. So if you simply beg Krishna with every ounce of your sincerity, “Please send me my spiritual master and reveal to me who is my guru.” Krishna will be so pleased with you, because for thousands and millions of lifetimes you have been in the cycle of birth and death and He is waiting when will My child come back to Me. When He sees that you are really serious now and want to come back to Him, He will be so kind to you and He will make it clear to you who your spiritual master is. You just petition Him with all sincerity and He will make it crystal clear, there won’t be any doubt who is my spiritual master, then you just submit yourself to that person that, “I want to be your disciple. Will you please guide me; I want to give my life forever in your service to be as Krishna’s devotee.” Then you will be very solidly situated. 

Devotee: Are the inhabitants in Vaikuntha realm hoping to get promoted to Goloka Vrindavan? 

SDA: The answer is generally no. Because everyone in the spiritual world whatever their rasa is with Krishna they are in a servitor ship or neutrality perhaps but they are not in an intimate friendship, parental or conjugal rasa with Krishna. Actually every single inhabitant of the spiritual world feels that their particular rasa is the best.  

Just like the flute. He is in santa rasa. He is not doing actively any service. He is just sitting there as a flute. He is serving Krishna in the santa rasa. But the flute is thinking that he is the most fortunate devotee, because he is getting Krishna’s lips all the time and those gopis they get only every now and then. 

 So every single devotee in the Vaikuntha realm thinks that he is in the most possible position. No one is dissatisfied or lamenting that “Oh, I did not get to be a gopi”. But if somebody wants to switch from being a servant in Vaikuntha and become a gopi in Vrndavan then they have that upward mobility. Someone actually wants to do that Prabhupada in one tape I heard him say like that. They can actually change rasas if they want to. 

No one is holding you back in the spiritual world. There you have complete absolute freedom you can be whatever you want to be. But if everybody wanted to be a gopi then it will be one sided. It’s just all women, there are no men around. No cowherd boys for Krishna to play with. So it is good that some people want to be cowherd boys and some want to be gopis. Somebody has to agree to be a flute and really enjoy being a flute. Somebody has to agree to be a rock, otherwise where will Krishna sit on when He takes His picnic. Some devotee feels, “I am in the best position. I am a rock”.  

It’s funny, there used to be a song back in the sixties called, “Help, I am a rock” like some paranoid thing, “help I am a rock, save me.” But in Goloka Vrindavan the rock is thinking “I am in the most fortunate position. I am a rock, and everyday Krishna puts His lotus foot on me.”  So in the spiritual world everyone is feeling, “I am in the best possible position. No one is as fortunate as I.” Everyone feels that way.  

If you think about it, in Dwaraka lila, Krishna had 16,108 queens. So every day when He would go to the court for His daily activities, one Krishna and then coming home in the evening to the palace he would divide in to 16,108 Krishnas and He would go to each palace and each queen was thinking “Oh those poor other queens, Krishna comes to me every night.” Every queen is feeling that she is in the most fortunate position because Krishna is reciprocating with her one on one. So every single devotee in the spiritual world has a one on one relationship with God. 

Krishna has the power to reciprocate with each devotee as if they are practically speaking the only devotee in the world. He can wholly give Himself to you, no matter what your rasa is, whether you are in Vaikuntha or Goloka Vrindavana, whether you are a rock, butterfly, flower or a gopi. Whatever you may be Krishna has the power by His unlimited potency to associate with you on a very special one on one relationship which will absolutely delight you to no end.  

Devotee: I read in the Prabhupada’s book that in the Vaikuntha planet there are some living entities who cannot even breathe. 

SDA: Yes. There are living entities we cannot conceive what it is like there, it is beyond our imagination. Even the wildest stretch most outrageous imagination cannot fathom the spiritual existence. The only way to find out is that you have to go there; you have to become a pure devotee of Krishna. We have to strictly follow the path of sadhana bhakti under the guidance of the senior Vaishnavas. In your case your diksa guru has left our society. You have to latch on to a senior vaishnvavas and strictly follow the path of bhakti under their guidance and that will give you a sure pathway to that spiritual world by the end of this lifetime. If you follow that advice as soon as you leave this body you will directly go to the spiritual world.  

Devotee: How do you overcome being proud?  

SDA: This is a very important question. Because pride is what got us here to begin with and pride is what is keeping us here.  Pride is what is holding us back on the path of bhakti, so how to overcome that pride and become humble. Well, bowing down is etiquette in the Vedic culture to help us conquer pride. The more we offer obeisances it puts us in a humble position. Our mind also has to offer obeisances as well not just our body. Being humble means we become obedient to those who are superiors and we cultivate a non-envious attitude, not like “who is this person to tell me what to do”. By practical service, putting ourselves under the guidance and directions and faithfully following the instructions of those who are our seniors, we will naturally develop humility. It may seem artificial but if we just plug ourselves into mechanics of the system of bhakti yoga, it will purify our consciousness. That is a fact.  

Just like Gargamuni, in the early days, on 26nd avenue, everyone was bowing down when Prabhupads would enter the temple room but Gargamuni he wouldn’t bow down. In the question and answer session he said, “Swamiji, everyone else bows down but I do not bow down. Is that alright?” He was actually very proud that he didn’t bow down and he was proud that he didn’t bow down.  He said, “Because it doesn’t feel natural for me therefore I don’t do it.” In other words, he was thinking that “I am more natural than the other devotees because I don’t bow down.” He was proud of it that he didn’t bow down. So, Prabhupada said, “You should bow down.” Because then by doing that, the natural feeling will come.  

So, even though we may be very proud and puffed up we just go ahead and take up the activities of a humble Vaishnava, being obedient to our Guru Maharaja, being obedient to our temple authorities, doing everything very nicely to serve the Vaishnavas even if we don’t feel like doing it always, just do it and try to muster up the feelings just by making ourselves do that as Prabhupada ordered Gargamuni to bow down, then the natural humility which is already there will come out. In other words, being proud is an artificial state of mind. Our natural mood is to be actually humble Vaishnavas. And if we simply follow according to Vaishnava etiquette of bowing down and taking instructions from our seniors, by making friendship with our equals and by being kind to our juniors then the natural humility will come to the surface.  

Devotee: We know the soul does not give birth. Then does the affection we experience with our immediate family in this material world exist in the spiritual world? 

SDA: Oh, Yes, it is much stronger there. The feeling of family affection has to be there, otherwise how can the parental rasa exist? If there are gopas and gopis and parental gopas and gopis, then there has to be that family relationships in the spiritual world, just like we have it here, without all the inebrieties that we have to go through here. There has to be such things. Everything that we have here exists there in pure form. So don’t think that   “I really like family affection. I don’t want to go back to Godhead really because I won’t have family affection there.” No. You will have perfect family affection there.  In the spiritual world all desires are fulfilled. So there is no reason to think that I will miss something if I go there. Everything is there absolutely but it is all done in a mood of pleasing Krishna, that’s all. There are even husbands and wives who have affection for one another just like here but their real attraction is for Krishna. So everything is there, you don’t have to miss anything there that you are attracted to here.  

Devotee: She talks about the Lila of Krishna taking the form of cows and gopas when Brahma hid them. 

SDA: It is Brahma Vimohan Lila. In the spiritual world that can happen.  In the spiritual world every inconceivably wonderful thing is happening there in all kinds of varieties of ways. So Krishna can actually masquerade Himself as your son on this planet. He can certainly do that also in the spiritual world. It is not difficult for Him.  

Devotee: We know that devotees should have humility and tolerance. But when some non-devotee comes and harasses devotees then what should we do. Should we still be humble and tolerant? 51.46 

SDA: We have to protect the devotees.  We underwent this once in our Dallas temple. Some fanatical Christians came in, they walked into the temple room with their shoes on and they came up to me and said, “In the name of Jesus, I command you to leave this place.” So our temple president came and he commanded them to leave this place. (Laughs)

They left the place. We sprayed them with mace and they left the place. (Laughs) So sometimes we have to take a strong action. if some aggressors comes to hurt the devotees we have to take strong action. We even have to use violence to protect the devotees if someone comes to attack the devotee with a gun or knife, you may have to take a lamp and hit him on the head. We have to protect the devotees from being harassed by demons. Even at the risk of our own life, we have to try to protect a devotee if someone almost is trying to kill a devotee. That’s an extreme example. 

 But if someone blasphemes a devotee verbally then we will not tolerate that. We will defeat that rascal for speaking against a devotee and chastise that he must not speak like this against a devotee and he must apologize. Actually this happened to me one time incident. I was distributing prasad in a university campus. I had a whole basketful of simply wonderfuls and I was handing them out to people. So I approached one student, a hippy boy. He took the basket and he hit it and threw out all the prasadam on the street. He was so offensive to the prasadam. So was I meek and humble and tolerant? No way. What I did was I mustered every bit of anger I could possibly muster and I pointed him right in the face and I told him (I am not going to imitate now what I did then) like a lion “you better get out there and pick up all those sweets right now”. It was like I was threatening to kill him if he did not do what I said. I really came down heavy on him and yelled at him. He flipped out when I told him that and ran out on the street and picked up all the sweets. Actually I went out to help him because the light was getting ready to change, it was red light, it was middle of the intersection. All the sweets were there middle of an intersection. So there was one hippy and one devotee a brahmachari with a shaved head picking up sweets from the middle of the intersection. I wonder what the drivers thought. (Laughs) But we got all the sweets picked up before the light turned green. So that’s what I did when somebody was offensive to prasadam. I did not tolerate it. I became fierce like a lion and chastised him very strongly and ordered him, “Now this you must do” and he surrendered. So my controlled anger was a blessing for him. It saved him from the offense he had committed. So when a devotee is being offended we may sometimes have to show very strong but controlled not uncontrolled anger to save that person from their aparadha.  

Devotee: What about ritviks or temporary devotees come and create trouble. Should that also be our position? 

SDA: Best thing is you consult with your temple authority if there is some problem like that, because you may not be so expert to know how to deal with it. Approach the temple president, here Nitai Prabhu. Explain to him what’s going on and let him deal with it. That’s the best thing.  

What is ISKCON? Prabhupada said it is a house in which the whole world can live peacefully. So we have a responsibility to Srila Prabhupada. We have to learn how to conquer over whatever difficulties we have in getting along with each other nicely, because this movement is meant to be a place where the whole world can come. So we have to take this even if is an austerity for us sometimes we have to conquer over all these conflicts that come and learn how to live together peacefully. That’s our duty. Even if it is someone visiting, it doesn’t matter, to the entire worldwide ISKCON family. We have to have loving, trusting relationships and if we do not have that with certain devotees, then we have to think what can I do to establish loving relationship with this devotee? That is very important.  

We need each other and if sometimes we misunderstand each other just like what happened to me today. Some devotee had a misunderstanding about something that I did and he wrote me an email complaining about it. I took the trouble of finding his phone number and I called him up and he ended up apologizing to me. He had misunderstood something that I had done. Sometimes travelling Gurus have difficulties also. People misunderstand things that we do. So sometimes if there are misunderstandings then we have to rectify that. We shouldn’t have any grudge against someone else. We should have very nice loving relationships and if we don’t know how to do it ourselves then we should approach some other devotee who can help us to do that. It is so important that we have loving relationships amongst ourselves because without that our movement is dead. If we don’t know how to open our hearts to devotees and overcome whatever difficulties we had in the past with each other than our movement is dead.  

This movement is finished because we have to be the examples of how to live together as a spiritual family with complete love and trust. So don’t think, “Well, I will just ignore that devotee.” No you have to learn. Every devotee you can have loving relationship. It is very important. We have to learn how to forgive whatever offenses have been committed in the past. Because actually we have all committed offenses to one degree or the other. Every one of us is guilty of offenses. I think of the offenses I committed that were tolerated when I first came around the temple that is because of the devotee’s tolerance that I am here today. So just think of how much your nonsense was tolerated by devotees who were being kind to you. Now you have to have that same mood for all the other devotees. Don’t hold any grudge against anyone and if you do that you will find that your Krishna consciousness grows very fast. 

Devotee: What if we forgive but these people keep offending? 

SDA: Then you approach the authority because you may not have the ability to rectify the situation. So you have to approach those authorities privately and explain exactly what the problem is. There are devotees who have the power to solve those problems. So just find out who those devotees are, ask your temple president who you should talk to whether its him or someone else, that’s why we have leaders in our movement, that’s why we have senior preachers, that’s why we have temple president. Approach your temple president and explain to him, “I am having difficulty of getting along with this devotee. They appear to be repeatedly offensive so please help me to understand how to do it.” The temple president can call a meeting may be between three of you. There are so many things that can be done. We have to try to work it out. You should never just want to object some devotee just as we were accepted and not rejected.  

There is one example, one devotee, the details were he was collecting money in the name of ISKCON, doing very offensive thing, cheating and Tamal Krishna Maharaja asked Prabhupada at one point.  They were being lenient trying to help him come back but he kept on doing nonsense. Prabhupada said there is no point at which we stop being tolerant. A Vaishnava is very, very tolerant and an ocean of mercy. So even if a person has committed offense after offense after offense after offense, we are still merciful, we still want to leave the door open and allow them to come back and come off the offensive platform.  

There are so many devotees now, like the ritviks. They criticize your guru maharaja; they criticize all the gurus very badly. They make publications again and again get back to Prabhupada. They were so offensive.  But you know if they were willing to apologize, we would welcome them back with an impulse. They have to stop doing that, that’s a fact. But we are always willing to give them the opportunity to give up that offensive activity and come back to join us at ISKCON. Not that you are just a demon, just stay away, never. There is no point at which we just say forget about them, they can never come around. No.  Prabhupada’s mood was always to let this offensive person come back and become a pure devotee. We are always open. 

Devotee: If someone has depression problem, is it good to take pills? 

SDA: It depends. There are extreme cases where somebody may need medication. This is the guru should be consulted or temple authority should be consulted. There are some times persons who do need medications otherwise they become unbalanced. I have seen practically person who actually require medication and they didn’t take it they became crazy. May be they didn’t need in the beginning. Here is the one thing may be they didn’t really need it at all because doctors put him on it they developed the dependency on the medicine that’s another thing. That could be the situation or it could be that they actually need the medicine and the psychiatrist is writing them, that is a debatable point whether these medicines are actually necessary. May be Krishna consciousness is all they really need. But once people start taking the medicine they become dependent on it then they may need to keep taking it to keep some stability, and for them to go off shouldn’t be all of a sudden. If they were to go off of it they would have to gradually go off of it if there is chemical dependency. So the best thing is actually just Krishna consciousness all you really need, because so many people are depressed. We see that the antidepressant drugs do not actually free the people from the depression. They are still unhappy. There is no drug that can make you happy. They have one drug called ecstasy but is doesn’t really make you ecstatic and they give false sense of ecstasy in short time. But then you come down off the drug and you are miserable. This is why Rupa Gosvami he calls this Krishna prema, it is the ultimate drug. So if you want some drug to get over your depression then you chant Hare Krishna. This is the ultimate drug. Prabhupada told the LSD taker he used to come to 26nd avenue, he said, “do you think LSD is a very nice thing?” He said, “This Krishna consciousness is like a whole room full of LSD.” So if you want to take some drug to get over your depression then chant Hare Krishna, it is the ultimate antidepressant drug. 

VPM: [inaudible]

SDA: You say it’s time to end. Tomorrow we want everyone to come for Mangal Arati. Tomorrow is a very auspicious day and I am initiating some disciples. Thank you very much.  

 Srimad Bhagavad Gita ki Jay!    

[Aside: Friday I have a very special program to help in your sadhana bhakti. You are going to take your own roll. You know what roll is in school. Who is present and who is not. You are going to give me every weekly report. Mangala arati guru puja I will give you a list. You can tell me everyday whether you attended or not. You are going to do your own roll check. You can have your chart, mangala arati, guru puja, Bhagavatam, evening program, evening class everyday check off what you did and what you didn’t do it. That alone will help you fixed and solid in sadhana because you don’t want to give me bad report. That will help you. You will be taking attendance of yourself. It’s an honor system and you have to give weekly report I went to mangala arati many days so that will be the good thing for you. Do you think it’s a good idea?

Yes

Okay, very good.                     

---------------------------

Personal conversation of Gurudeva with a devotee who is a neuroscientist: 

Shakti: Where is Vaikuntha? Is it some other constellation? Scientifically speaking we know our solar system as part of Milky Way. Where is Vaikuntha? 

SDA: When you look at the stars in the night and there is a huge vast outer space.  Isn’t it? With a telescope you can see even further what your eyes can see of course. So according to Vedic astronomy you reach a point where you actually hit the end of it. 

Shakti: So you can’t see beyond that.

 

SDA: Yes, beyond that there is a huge shell. 

Shakti: That is the scientific limit for humans. 

SDA: Scientific there is a limit but beyond those coverings there is actually a spiritual world. This universe that we are in now requires the sun to illuminate. We have the sun that is causing the illumination. 

Shakti: Multi suns or many stars actually. 

SDA: Whatever they may be. There is illumination coming from object or objects within this universe mostly, but in the spiritual world everything is self-illuminated. It is completely effulgent. There is a higher dimension, right now we are caught up in the time space continuum but there is actually another dimension beyond time and space. Science has yet to approach it because they are caught in their own empirical world. But someday scientists will actually learn and realize that there is whole another dimension totally beyond the limits of time and space. This is also scientific.  

SDA: Are you a scientist? What is your field? 

Shakti: I am neuroscientist.  

SDA: Then this thing about anti-depressant drugs is right up your alley. So science is still very much in infantile stage. The scientists are very much in to bringing forward some theory. They do win some acceptance for their theory and then after some time that theory is then is put aside and a new one is accepted. So that means they are actually groping in the dark still especially about the matters of cosmology. It is so far beyond their ability even to approach and understand. Of course you are dealing with the brain neuroscience you can actually get in there and take a look at the brain and see how the neurons are forming and all that kind of stuff. There are sciences which are more like computer science. It is a practical thing but when you come to the level of cosmology in the universe and what’s out there is so far beyond our ability to really know what is happening millions of miles away. It is very speculative. It is guess work. And in your neuroscience lot of it is practical. You can actually do something; you can see the result that is tangible. But this cosmological science it is so far, it is so speculative. They don’t really know. 

Shakti: So spiritual world does exist? 

SDA: Absolutely! Their instruments don’t have the power to penetrate the coverings of the Universe to see it. 

Shakti: I don’t think they can travel at the speed of light. 

SDA: Even at the speed of light.

 

Shakti: So how to come to the soul? 

SDA: Even if they have gotten at the edge of the universe they won’t be able to penetrate the coverings. 

Shakti: So the soul, there is spiritual world right? Why do we have to die to reach the spiritual world? 

SDA: You don’t have to die to reach the spiritual world. Right now we are caught in the time space continuum because we are contaminated by thousands and millions of layers of lust anger and greed. It’s like a huge fog has covered our enlightened consciousness. But if you can completely free yourself from all these coverings you can actually enter into the spiritual world and actually see the spiritual world even while you are in this present body. 

Shakti: Is it just an imagination? 

SDA: It is not an imagination. It is real. When you reach that point you will actually see that this world is imaginary that we are in right now. This is an imaginary world. 

Shakti: Dream within the dream. 

SDA: It is real just like dream is real. You can dream about a woman and pass semen in your sleep so you can’t say that dream is false. It is real but it is not what it appears to be. So this world is real. This is real floor and I can feel it. It is real it’s not about imagination but it’s not what appears to be. 

Shakti: Maybe it is just a dream though. 

SDA: Even if you say it is a dream but dream also has reality because you can pass semen in your sleep. You wake up, I don’t know if you have done it but a man can do nocturnal emission. You can dream of a woman and you wake up and have semen in your underwear. 

Shakti: But that’s a dream.  

SDA: But it has reality because you passed semen. 

Shakti: Seems to me like this is floor I am talking may be this is also a dream. 

SDA: It is a dream but the dream also has reality. It has realness but it is not what it appears to be. Therefore it is called an illusion or the dream. 

Shakti: I have one more question which I have discussed with many neuroscientists, with many people. What is mind? 

SDA: Mind is a subtle element. Mind and brain are separate. Mind is the pivot point just like you have a wheel and you have all the spokes on the wheel, the mind is the hub for all of your sensory activities the mind is that central hub. The mind has a function. The mind in the Vedic psychology, you have mind, you have intelligence, and you have ahankar the three aspects. So mind is that part of the subtle body, it’s like on-off switch. It chooses yes or no. Its business is to accept reject, accept, reject. 

Shakti: The brain is an organ. 

SDA: The brain is an organ which has connection with the subtle mind. 

Shakti: So the mind is controlling the brain. 

SDA: The brain is actually.

 

Shakti: who is controlling?

 

SDA: You develop a brain according to your subtle mind. The gross brain is the manifestation of the subtle mind. It’s how you make it a monkey brain also. The sort of brain you have is actually whatever karma you have from your previous lifetimes that gives you your present brain. 

Shakti: I know mind and brain this and that but who is controlling? who am I actually? 

SDA: You are not the brain. You are not the mind. You are not the intelligence you are not the ahankar but you are actually a jiva.  You are eternal living being in quality one with God. God is eternal, full of knowledge, full of bliss; you are also eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. When you wanted to enjoy separately from the Lord you develop this materialistic separate enjoying mentality which gave you this subtle body of mind, intelligence and false ego. And according to the mental state of that mind and intelligence and false ego, you get one body after another body after another body. That subtle body, that mental body you always keep it lifetime after lifetime because it is going through constant changes moment by moment. Your mind is always changing therefore you get a different body in each lifetime.  

Shakti: Is mind equivalent to atma? 

SDA: No. Just like you have outer and under garments, your gross body here is outer garments and your mind is your under garment. It is also a covering of the atma. You are atma. 

Shakti: Where is the seat of the atma? 

SDA: The atma is seated within that gross body and within that subtle body. The mind and the body are the two coverings of the atma. Your mind is also the covering. This material mind is the covering. You have the subtle body and the gross body and they are both coverings of the atma. So you have to get the bodily conception and you have to free yourself from identifying with your body and also you have to free yourself from identifying with your mind also then you become enlightened being. You have to understand that I have an existence, it is beyond my mind. Devotee learns how to observe his mind. He doesn’t think I am this mind. He thinks I am observer of this mind that I can watch what it is doing. Just like mother training the child. Devotee becomes detached observer of what is happening in his mind. He detaches himself even from mental activities. He becomes the observer. You are the observer and you can observe thoughts coming in and going out of your mind. 

Shakti: Last question: What is prana? 

SDA: Prana means life air.  

Shakti: Is it oxygen molecules that we breathe in? 

SDA: That I don’t know. I haven’t studied that aspect. 

Shakti: Prana is a Sanskrit word, right. 

SDA: Yes I haven’t studied that aspect. This aspect of Vedas I have not studied but there are life airs working within the body. There are primary and secondary life airs and they do affect the mental state. That’s why the yogis by pranayama they are able to bring their mind under control. It does bring the mind under control with the proper regulation of the life airs within the body. 

Shakti: So basically we are only pranas? 

SDA: Prana is not you. 

Shakti: Basically we are just cells. 

SDA: No, you are not the body. All this gross matter is simply the covering of self. You are not the body. You are eternal, spiritual being in quality one with God. You are the observer of these cells. You can even look at your own cells under the microscope. You could go into your brain and take out samples of your own brain and look at them under the microscope. So you are not your brain. You could part of your brain under microscope and look at your own brain. You are observing your own brain. So you are not that brain, that’s not you. You are not the cells of the body. You are the observer of this body. 

Shakti: So I am not body, I am not mind, I am not brain. 

SDA: Yes that’s right. You are atma the eternal spiritual being. 

Shakti: Who is controlling all this? Who is making me me? 

SDA: That is under the control of Paramatma. There is one Supreme Self and that is God. He is controlling the whole thing.  

Shakti: So there is some Supreme intelligence. 

 SDA: Yes. There is a Supreme intelligence and you are a part of that Supreme intelligence.  

Shakti: That is what we call Krishna or God. 

SDA: Krishna, Allah, Rama Jehovah- the same thing.  

Shakti: We say Krishna, Muslim people say Allah. 

SDA: The same thing. There is one Supreme God. 

Shakti: Each person who is brought up in a family circumstances or environment

SDA: They call the Supreme by Allah, Jehovah, Krishna, Rama, it is the same principle. The atheistic scientists are also looking for the origin of the universe. Let us find it. They are also looking for God even though they won’t say like that. 

Shakti: That’s what Einstein when he died said that. 

SDA: Einstein was reading Gita regularly. He was a brilliant man. 

Shakti: He was on the verge of that Supreme intelligence. 

SDA: He was a God conscious man. Because of his God consciousness that made him a great scientist, so now you must become very god conscious. You must be otherwise why you are here. You must cultivate God consciousness. Are you reading Bhagavad-gita As It Is?  

Shakti: Yes. For the past twenty years. 

SDA: I can put you on my e-course if you like it is free in the email. This may find you helpful. We can add you to the e-course. [Write your email address here.]  

Shakti: It is very complex but you know scientist. 

SDA: We need persons like you who can actually be leading scientist for the world who are pursuing God consciousness and at the same time who are very expert in the field of science. 

Shakti: Scientists in this world, they need proof. How can we prove? 

SDA: The proof is there. We have every proof. {You give your phone number too if you want} We have every single proof. 

Shakti: You are from Toronto? 

SDA: My base is in Austin, Texas but I am a world preacher. I travel all over the world. My wife travels with me. We are preaching team.  

Shakti: My name is Shakti Sharma. I am in Montreal for the last 20 years. My brother is in Toronto. He is Sanjeeva Sharma. He also takes classes at the temple. My brother is in minots? also. 

SDA: Very good! I travel all over the world preaching the science of Krishna consciousness even though I came back from  the successful preaching tour to Turkey I was teaching the Muslim to chant Hare Krishna. 

Shakti: Thank very much. You have shed lot of light on very subtle yet complex things. 

SDA: I think very scientifically even though I wasn’t trained as a scientist. I have a very scientific and philosophical mind. Actually science and philosophy is really the same thing when you get down to the pure essence of it. Someone who is a true philosopher he wants to see the logic of everything and in Krishna Consciousness philosophy there is logic behind  absolutely everything-a scientific logical way of seeing and analyzing every aspect of our teaching Krishna.  I write for the general public on my e-course and they don’t accept the authority of the scripture. Many of my explanations are simply based on pure logic, scientific thinking.  

Shakti: Vedic science and all this is great spiritual science.

SDA: There is complete compatibility which is not based on speculation. I went to one time to scientific seminar at the University of Florida and the learned professor who came there was propounding the doctrine of Black holes in Outer space which may or may not be there. Everyone was really appreciating there were 3000 students there. They were eating up every word he said like he was practically God himself on earth. But I asked him, “Is this a theory or a fact?” he said I think it’s a fact. Notice the word I think. Then few more questions came in and again I raised my hand. I said, “Throughout the history of science we have seen that one theory comes to the popularity for some time and then we see after sometime another theory comes in and the first one is rejected. So how do we know if your theory will not be replaced by another one?” He said “I hope it is because then we will be making progress”. So just see the hypocrisy. He said it is a fact but he means actually, when it is proven wrong that will be very good because then science is making progress. So what they call science is actually speculation. One theory is popular and it is considered scientific truth and then it is rejected by another scientific truth but in the Vedas there is no such thing like that. 

Shakti: Vedas are far, far ahead. 

SDA: That’s right Vedas have the scientific knowledge. We just have to bring ourselves up to the level. Do you regularly chant the Mahamantra- Hare Krishna? Do you have mala? 

Shakti: I try to whenever I have time in the car. I have mala at home also. 

SDA:, I know you are probably very busy, but what you do, you get up and take your morning bath and before you put anything in your mouth you sit down and do at least one mala focused, sit in front of a picture of Krishna and with great focus. You can do it in ten minutes you can finish easily even if you chant very slowly. But with great intensity and do that every day and I guarantee you your ability as a scientist will (sound effect) (explode). 

Shakti: I am trying to connect both modern sciences with Eastern culture from India. 

SDA: We don’t have to blend. We simply have to use modern day methodology to understand how the Vedic version is actually correct. And you take the modern day methodology and use them to actually prove the authenticity of Vedic wisdom. 

Shakti: What science is actually trying to prove is already there in the Vedas, engineering wise, building wise or construction wise, space ships, it is okay they are making progress but  you know what I am saying at that level there is nothing new coming. 

SDA: The things Stephen Hawkins that famous Astronomer was saying were already there in the Vedas. Everything is already there in the Vedas. We need to somehow bring the scientist to the understanding of the authenticity of the Vedic wisdom and that will bring the revolution in science and spirituality on this planet all at the same time. 

Shakti: Can I take your email address also because we have a forum which discusses these kinds of things, what is time? What is matter? What is space?  What is body? 

SDA: I will be willing to give some input to that forum. 

Shakti: Can I invite you to that forum? 

SDA:  Yes, I will be happy to participate in the forum. Right now we see everything in terms of time and space. Psychologically we are locked in time and space. 

Shakti: We are locked in gravity also. Time, space, gravity, I think we can be free if we can get out of these constraints. 

SDA: The only way to really get out is through pure bhakti. 

Shakti: So we cannot get out of this? 

SDA: you cannot just intellectualize your way out of it. 

Shakti: So, we cannot get out of this? We are stuck in this forever now? 

SDA: No, no you can get out of it within a second if you become intense through bhakti yoga, through love of God, through Krishna consciousness. You can completely get out of this samsara. You can become a fully enlightened being. That’s why I want you to chant every day. This chanting of the mantra with focus not while you are driving, complete hundred percent focused like a laser beam. You have to make your mind like a laser to focus on Krishna’s name- Hare Krishna. Do it every day just even one mala. You have enlightened consciousness already sitting within your heart. It is only covered right now. All you have to do is remove the coverings then you will realize all the truth about everything. You will understand everything about the universe, everything about the spiritual existence, everything about your eternal identity, everything about God; you will gain knowledge about everything. Just by chanting Hare Krishna, Krishna will purify your consciousness. You will become one of the greatest scientists in History if you can become very, very fixed in chanting every morning before you begin your scientific neuroscience whatever. You are doing research? 

Shakti: Yes, we do research. 

SDA: If you do research. Let me see, both of you are doing? You are Sanjeeva? 

Shakti: My brother is in computers. 

SDA: He is in computer science. You are doing? 

Shakti: He has an engineering degree. 

SDA: Let’s see which one is which?   

Shakti: Sanjeeva is my brother and I am Shakti. 

SDA: You are Shakti? 

Shakti: It is so nice of you. Hare Krishna! 

SDA: OK Shakti I very much appreciate. 

Shakti: Thank you very much! 

SDA: Feel free to communicate any time by email. I will be very happy. I am adding you to my e-course. You will be getting regular email every day. Feel free to respond and I give personal attention to anybody who wants, just like we had a very nice dialogue here. We can continue to do this by email. 

Shakti: My brother is in computer although but he is much more advance in spirituality than me.

SDA: I am so happy to meet you. Hare Krishna!

__________________________________________

Transcribed by Her Grace Bhaktin Priya

Revision by Prema Bhakti dasa

Index of Transcribed Lectures