His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 4.15

January 1st 2012
 Melbourne, Australia

 

So we are indeed most fortunate to have gotten the mercy of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.  Were it not have been for his sublime teachings we would have been simply drowning in the ocean of birth and death.  Because of Srila Prabhupada unbounded mercy, because of his infinite kindness, we have got this opportunity to be rescued from this most precarious situation in the material ocean.   

Today we are going to study from Bhagavad-gita As It Is.  Why this edition is important?  There are so many Bhagavad-gitas.  Hundreds of them in English especially. Why this edition? Why not just use another edition? Why Prabhupada wrote this edition? Because in most cases they tamper with the meaning. The commentators will change the meaning. They will not take the exact words of Krishna and simply present them. They will put their own idea and spoil the whole thing. So Bhagavad-gita is potent for delivering us but only if it is understood as it is.  Do you understand? A Bhagavad-gita which is twisting the exact teachings of Krishna, that will not liberate you. You understand?  You have to hear what Krishna actually told Arjuna, not somebody giving their own opinion putting in the words of Krishna. 

So today we will read from chapter 4, text 15. Repeat after me. 

om namo bhagavate vasudevaya 

evam jnatva krtam karma
purvair api mumuksubhih
kuru karmaiva tasmat tvam
purvaih purvataram krtam

Translation and purport from Srila Prabhupada : 

ďAll the liberated souls in ancient times acted with this understanding of My transcendental nature. Therefore you should perform your duty, following in their footsteps.Ē 

"There are two classes of men. Some of them are full of polluted material things within their hearts, and some of them are materially free. Krishna consciousness is equally beneficial for both of these persons. Those who are full of dirty things can take to the line of Krishna consciousness for a gradual cleansing process, following the regulative principles of devotional service. Those who are already cleansed of the impurities may continue to act in the same Krishna consciousness so that others may follow their exemplary activities and thereby be benefited. Foolish persons or neophytes in Krishna consciousness often want to retire from activities without having knowledge of Krishna consciousness. Arjunaís desire to retire from activities on the battlefield was not approved by the Lord. One need only know how to act. To retire from the activities of Krishna consciousness and to sit aloof making a show of Krishna consciousness is less important than actually engaging in the field of activities for the sake of Krishna. Arjuna is here advised to act in Krishna consciousness, following in the footsteps of the Lord's previous disciples, such as the sun-god Vivasvan, as mentioned hereinbefore. The Supreme Lord knows all His past activities, as well as those of persons who acted in Krishna consciousness in the past. Therefore He recommends the acts of the sun-god, who learned this art from the Lord some millions of years before. All such students of Lord Krishna are mentioned here as past liberated persons, engaged in the discharge of duties allotted by Krishna." [End of Purport] 

vande 'ham sri-guroh sri-yuta-pada-kamalam sri-gurun vaisnavams ca
sri-rupam sagrajatam saha-gana-raghunathanvitam tam sa-jivam
sadvaitam savadhutam parijana-sahitam krsna-caitanya-devam
sri-radha-krsna-padan saha-gana-lalita-sri-visakhanvitams ca

 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari: So Arjuna just wanted to retire, take early retirement and Krishna did not approve with him.  Srila Rupa Goswami very nicely described in the Bhakti rasamrta sindhu (1.2.258)
 

prapancikataya buddhya
hari sambandhi vastunah
mumuksubhih parityago
vairagyam phalgu kathyate

ďA person who is not attached to anything but at the same time accepts everything in relation to Krishna, is properly situated in Krishna consciousness.  On the other hand a person who renounces everything not seeing its connection to Krishna is called phalgu vairagi. He is imperfect and incomplete in his renunciation.Ē    

Have you heard about the river in India, the Phalgu River? Has anyone heard about the Phalgu River? There is a river called Phalgu River and if you go to see the Phalgu River you say ďWhere is the river?Ē You just see some sandy area there. Why do they call it a river? I donít see a river. Actually itís an underground river. It is not on the surface. So named after this river, it is called phalgu vairagya. Itís artificial renunciation. You make a show of being renounced but within secretly so much nonsense is going on. So to make a show of being renounced and the same time maintaining all material desires is a useless waste of time, simply waste of time.  

The mayavadis, they say I want to stop acting because I want to get free from Karma therefore I will not act. Instead of acting I will go into inaction. This is their program. I will become inactive because I donít want any karma. What does Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita? He describes one who is properly situated in transcendental understanding sees action in inaction. So what does that mean? The mayavadi says, "I am not going to act. I will simply give up all activities. Just I will sit and meditate." But whatís he doing? Is he sitting and meditating? What he is doing? He is breathing. And by his breathing he is killing so many microbial germs.  

So is he inactive karmically? No. Therefore a transcendentalist can see in his inaction there is actually action. Within his state of non-activity he is still breathing karma. So Krishna says, "One who sees action in inaction..." and then He says the opposite, "One who sees inaction in action..." thatís the opposite, thatís the devotee. He is very active. Arjuna is there on the battlefield shooting his arrows. He is very active killing the enemies, very, very active but yet it is inaction. Why?  Because there is no karma, because he is acting on behalf of Krishna. He is not acting for his personal sense gratification. Therefore Arjuna is perfectly situated in state of inaction. So you donít get free from karma by stopping to act. You get free from karma by acting for Krishna. This is the point.  

ďAll the liberated souls in ancient times...Ē Thatís an interesting statement because this statement was made during what we call now antiquity, 5000 years from now, certainly in ancient times. But even then Krishna is talking about much more ancient times. He instructed the sun god.  

Actually 5000 years ago compared to the millions and millions of years ago that Krishna instructed Vivasvan the sun god, 5000 years is just like yesterday. Itís like yesterday morning compared to being speaking to millions of years ago. What 5000 years compared to millions of years?  . Another nice point is that what Krishna says is following in their footsteps. This is our system. We see the activities of the great acaryas. Therefore it is said: 

mahajano yena gatah sa pantah 

ďOne should follow in the footsteps of the great acaryas
(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 17.186)
 

We should see what these great sadhus have done. It is called sadhu marganu-gamanam, to follow in the footsteps of the great saintly teachers. In other words, we are trapped in the wilderness of material existence.  You donít have to blaze your own trail out of this place, you donít have to. The trail has already been blazed by the great acaryas. You simply have to follow that pathway, thatís all. Thatís the beauty of the Bhagavad-gita. The pathway is already there. You donít have to figure out how to get out of the cycle of birth and death. The exact technique, the exact methods are already here. All you have to do is plug in and practice it, thatís all.

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaishyasi yuktvaivam
atmanam mat-parayanah
 

Krishna says,

ďengage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, worship Me, offer your obeisances to Me and this way becoming completely absorbed in Me, certainly you will come to Me.Ē 

So itís not difficult. You want to be successful, want to be happy, want to be peaceful? Itís all here. Everything you desire is right here in the Bhagavad-gita. You donít have to go anywhere else. Everything you need to be happy totally fulfilled for all of the eternity is right here in the Bhagavad-gita. So why are our minds dancing like monkeys here, there and everywhere, looking for satisfaction here in this material world?  

You will never find any satisfaction in this material world, forget it. It doesnít exist. This is mrtyu loka, it is place of death. If you were sentenced to be executed, you were in the prison. In U.S. it is called a Death Row. I donít know what they call it here. They are special cells where all those prisoners are waiting for their turn to be electrocuted. It is called Death Row. People who have a life sentence are in a different part of the prison. But those who are in the queue of being electrocuted thatís called Death Row. So guess what? We are on the Death Row right now in this material world. We are on Death Row. Each one of us is lined up to be exterminated by the laws of nature. mrtyuh sarva-haras caham. 

Every one of us is in the queue, waiting for our turn to be exterminated. Thatís a fact. Does not sound very pleasant, does it? No, itís not very pleasant. But, if you will awaken your actual self, that spiritual self, the eternal spiritual being who is qualitatively one with the Supreme Lord, death canít touch you.  

If you are on Death Row and it came your turn to be electrocuted and they say,

"Well, you get a special dispensation. All we will do is take your shirt and trash it and give you a new shirt. The Governor gave you a special pardon, but we are going to give you a token punishment. We take up your shirt and rip it up and give you a new one. We are not going to kill you but we just going to tear up your shirt."

"Oh thatís ok, thank you. I am happy. You are not going to electrocute me, great!  You are just going to tear up my shirt and give me a new one."

For a devotee, he still going to lose his material body but itís just a shirt. I mean whatís the big deal? We have so many shirts. If somebody rips up your shirt, spills some ink on it, ruins it. You can come out. Do you go into a panic because your shirt gets some ink on it, you canít come out? No. You just get over it, get another shirt. Itís not big deal. So for a devotee death is nothing, itís an insignificant thing. Itís just like my shirt getting ruined, thatís all. So I will get another one, go on with my activities.  

The devotee engages in the activity of the soul even while in this world, even while earning his livelihood. Have you heard of the great devotee Bhaktivinoda Thakura? He is a predecessor guru in our line. Prabhupada is there, his spiritual master Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, his spiritual master Gaura Kisora Dasa Babaji and his spiritual master Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Even though he was guru he was not sannyasi.  

He was working for the British government actually, and he said, ďI am working to earn money for Krishnaís household.Ē So how many of you are working for the money? Yes, itís pretty common thing, people working for money. So just meditate on the mood of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Embrace that mood. Take that mood in your own heart and you become liberated from the fear of death.  

As long as you think you are working for your household you cannot be fully happy. You can have a deep sea of anxiety of knowing, ďthis can be ripped away from me any minuteĒ. Give up the false sense of proprietorship. Stop thinking itís yours. Your body, your bank account, your wife, your husband, your kids, your apartment, your cars. Give up the false sense of proprietorship. That is the root cause of all anxiety, the false sense of proprietorship. Simply understand, this is Krishnaís property. I have this apartment, now we will make it ashram, a place for spiritual cultivation. Just like the temple is place for spiritual cultivation, your residence should also be a place for spiritual cultivation. If you take it in that way, then your work now becomes akarma, without karmic reaction. 

So this is the amazing process of Krsna consciousness, bhakti-yoga given by Krishna. Prabhupada has coined it to term Krishna consciousness from the Sanskrit bhakti-rasa-bhavita matih. But this is a very wonderful way of explaining what is this science: to be fully conscious of Krishna. In everything you do, in every thought, every word and every deed, you connect that with Krishna. And the result is that because Krishna is the reservoir of unlimited pleasure, when you connect with Krishna you become happy just by his association.  

If you associate with someone who is happy, you become happy just by their association. So in the same way if you will associate with Krishna, you will see the beauty of Krishna as He is everywhere. Vasudeva means one who lives everywhere. Krishna is everywhere. Wherever you go, Krishna is present: at home, at work, in the commute, wherever you go anywhere in all the three worlds. Even if you go to Patala Loka, the lower planetary system, Krishna is everywhere. There isnít anywhere where Krishna is not present. If you just learn how to connect, how to go online with Krishna, how to connect with Krishna ďHare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.Now you have just entered into the spiritual dimension.  

You can live in that spiritual dimension and at the same time act very successfully in this world. This is what Arjuna does. Our jobs are sometimes like the battlefield of Kuruksetra. What you have to put up with in your jobs, the politics, the pressure, is sometimes like the battlefield of Kuruksetra.  Just as Arjuna was completely successful on the battle by being detached from the sense of ownership, thatís all we have to do.  All he had to do was detach himself of the sense of ownership. Then he became empowered to perform his duty with full success.  

Krishna consciousness is not the place for people who just could not make it in the material world, trying to get some cheap living, staying in an asrama, getting some chapattis. They have that image of a Vaisnava: they are some beggars, people who could not make it in the material world, they become Vaisnava beggars. They get some cheap easy living, and getting fat on chapattis, rice and dhal.  That is a misconception people have about Vaisnavism, but that is not Vaisnavism. What are the two great literatures of India?  The famous literatures are Ramayana and Mahabharata.  Who were the heroes?  Hanuman and Arjuna. They were fighters: very, very active, intensively active, Hanuman and Arjuna. So Prabhupada says, "I do not want Ďsit-down Vaisnavasí. I want fighting Vaisnavas." 

That means to become very active for Krishna; not to become inactive, as Arjuna wanted to become inactive. No. We become very, very active for Krishna. And that way we will become completely transcendental to the laws of karma and we become qualified. I just read an amazing purport yesterday from Prabhupada: there was a great king, a Vedic king: Prthu Maharaja. Now king means he is so much entangled in so many worldly activities. A king, he has to administer the whole kingdom but yet he was practicing karma yoga: working and offering the results to Krishna. The same thing as bhakti yoga, the same principle. Prabhupada says, "Actually he became a liberated soul. Even in the present body he was liberated", Prabhupada says in his purport.  

Generally we think that liberation is after you leave this body, I become liberated at death. Remember Krishna and get liberated at the time of death. But Prabhupada says if you follow the footsteps of Prthu Maharaja you can be liberated even when in the present duration of life. You can become a completely liberated soul just like Bhaktivinoda Thakura was a liberated soul although he was working as a employee for the British government. You can be a liberated soul. Thatís a pretty amazing purport of Prabhupada in the Bhagavatam. So there is no limit to what you can conceive.  

We just had a seminar on all the steps of bhakti, ĎSraddha to Prem. You can go all the way to prema if you are determined. Prema, on that level you can actually see Krishna directly. You keep constant reciprocation with Krishna, personal reciprocation, even when in your present body you can actually see Krishna, if you anoint your eyes with the salve of love of God through this bhakti yoga process.  

If we will take this system very seriously, cultivate it with all honesty, with all determination, with all enthusiasm and patience alsoÖ It does not come immediately, it does not come immediately. I have been doing this for 40 years now and it definitely works but it takes time, takes time. When you plant a seed, do you expect mangoes the next day? You plant a mango seed in your backyard. Do you get mangoes the next day? No, itís not possible. The little seedling has to come up and gradually become tree. It becomes big and gradually the fruits are there. So you should patiently, faithfully execute the process of bhakti yoga under the guidance of the Vaisnavas and the spiritual master and Prabhupada books. Faithfully execute this process and then you will get the results in due course. You will get prema, you will get love of God. The fruit of love of God will be your personal property in due course.   

So I can ask now if there are any questions. 

Question 1: Does chanting really help in spiritual gain. Please share your experience. 

Answer: Yes, every time you chant Hare Krishna you make spiritual progress. This is just like if you have a pot which is really very, very dirty. It has not been cleaned for years. The bottom of that pot is completely black. Does that scrubbing help to get rid of the clot? Of course it does. Is it immediately clean? No. You have to faithfully scrub and scrub and scrub and scrub and scrub and you can know for sure it will become a clean pot eventually. So our hearts are like dirty pots. They have been accumulating crust for millions and millions of lifetimes. So you got a lot of scrubbing to do, a lot of scrubbing to do. But if you scrub every day ďHare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare HareĒ, you will get the result and if I look at where I was 40 years ago and where I am now, itís just absolutely amazes me to see, to think back where I was and where I am now. I know I am the same person but yet I am not the same person. A complete amazing psychological transformation I have experienced by chanting Hare Krishna, and you can too.  

Question 2: How to control the anger? 

Answer: See everything that happens to you as the mercy of Krishna to help you come closer and closer to Him. Thatís the way to control anger.  

Question 3: Is worshiping Krishna at home the same as worshiping Krishna at temple?

Answer: No. When you worship Krishna at home, you get to keep what you offer to Him. When you worship at the temple, you donít get to keep what you offer to him. So in that sense temple is a better place. It helps us to understand we are not the proprietors.  

You should worship at home and take the prasada of Krishna at home. Thatís very beneficial; one should do that. But you should know, the temple has extra potency. Not that you can simply worship at home and neglect the temple. Because the temple helps you break free from the false conception that you are the proprietor. When you worship at home you get to keep whatever you offer. You can make a nice offering to Krishna; there is dhal prasada for your family after the offering. But here at the temple you may not see anything that you offer. You may bring so many nice things, you may not see any of them being distributed here and there, you may not get any of them. So the temple is very good because it helps to break free from the false sense of proprietorship.  

Question 4: Why it is important to go to temple regularly? 

Answer: Because the temple has extra potency. It is called sadhu-sanga. You get association not only with the Deities; more important is the association of devotees. Thatís even more important than the Deities.  

ísadhu-sangaí, Ďsadhu-sažgaíósarva-sastre kaya
lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya

 

This is described in the Caitanya Caritamrta. Even one momentís association with the sadhu and what is that moment? Lava-matra is 1/11th of a second.  Even 1/11th of a second association with sadhu can give all perfection. All scriptures confirm this verse. So this is so powerful. If you can have association with advanced devotees for even one minute, that one minute or one second can completely liberate you from millions and millions of lifetimes of repetition of birth and death. And it will give you that inspiration, that seed of bhakti planted in the heart. As confirmed also in the Caitanya Caritamrta:

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

That living entity who is most fortunate, after wandering through millions and millions of lifetimes of cycle of birth and death in this material world comes in contact with a sadhu. By the mercy of that sadhu, and by the mercy of Krishna, he gets the seed of bhakti planted within his heart, bhakti-lata-bija. Bija means seed, lata means creeper. So he gets the seed of the bhakti creeper planted in his heart.  

For example, the older devotees who are practicing for many years Krishna consciousness they have bhakti-sakti. So by getting their association, you get a jumpstart on your pathway back to Godhead.  

Question 5: What does Mayavadi mean? 

Answer: Literally a vadi means one who holds to a principle. So we are krsnavadis, or you can say we are prasadavadis, or kirtanavadis.  A mayavadi is one who holds that the form of the Lord is maya, itís an illusion.  They donít call themselves mayavadis, we call them mayavadis. They say the form of God is an illusion. That Krishna has no personality. The Absolute truth is nirakara, without form.  

They take verses in the Vedas out of context where the Lord is described as formless, but the verse just next to it will talk about the transcendental personality. So they take these verses completely out of context. This is called half-hen logic. This is very dangerous. Ardha kukkuti nyaya.  There was one farmer.  He had one hen and that hen laid very, very nice eggs. And he got a very nice price in the market for those eggs and he was very happy. But he said, ďI have only one complaint about this hen. This hen has voracious appetite.  I am spending so much money on chicken feed.Ē And then the farmer said, ďI have a very good idea, I will get rid of the part of the hen that costs me money and just keep the end of the hen that makes money.Ē So he cut off the head of the hen.  And the stupid rascal did not understand that by doing that, he is not getting any eggs.  This is called half-hen logic. So the mayavadis are ardha kukkuti nyayis, they are half-hen logicians.  They take half of the teachings, but donít take the other half. When itís said that Krishna is formless, it means He has no material form.  . But they say, has no form, period, which is not correct. So thatís the mayavadis.  

Their philosophy appeals because they say there is only one reality and that is God. Nothing else exists except for God, the oneness is God, the impersonal formless oneness is God and thatís all that exists. There is God and nothing but God and thatís it. So actually therefore you are God. They teach you that you are God. And you just have to realize it. Right now you are foolishly thinking that you are Mr. Such and such or Mrs. Such and such.   But you have to come out of the illusion and realize that actually you are God. So, people are attracted by this. "I am God. Wow ! Cool ! Great!  Iím in. I am joining your organization, I can be God." So this is mayavada and itís completely bogus because Krishna is God and nobody else. Even the demigods are not God. So how can we be God?

Question 6: Is Earth the only mrtyu-loka? 

Answer: No. This whole material universe, even Brahmaloka is mrtyu-loka. Everywhere in this material world is place of death. Thatís confirmed in Bhagavad-gita 8.16 

a-brahma-bhuvanal lokah
punar avartino arjuna
mam upetya tu kaunteya
punar janma na vidyate
 

ďFrom the highest planet of this material world down to lowest every place is simply a miserable place. But, O son of Kunti, one who attains to my abode, punar janam na vidyate, he never takes birth again.Ē So everywhere is mrtyu-loka.  

Question 7: How to progress continuously in Krishna consciousness? Please share your experience. 

Answer: You have to make pure devotion your goal. "My goal is to become pure devotee of Krishna." You have to shoot for the highest success. Donít shoot for some middle ground.  Shoot for pure bhakti. Be inspired by the prospect of becoming a pure devotee. Prabhupada personally encouraged me like this. So I am speaking from my experience now. He told me in one letter, he said, ďNow you just qualify to see Krishna face to face.Ē So thatís it. Wow ! Thatís something I really look forward to.  

I know, by Prabhupadaís mercy, that day will come when I can see Krishna face to face, when I can personally see Him just like the great sages saw Krishna. I know itís coming for me. So that encourages me, because Prabhupada gave me that order and thatís the whole life of enthusiasm. Plus, he also gave me an order to always be enthusiastic. Thatís another way Prabhupada ordered me. For me itís been the instruction, the personal instruction I have from Prabhupada actually, to be honest. To me the personal instruction, many personal instructions that Prabhupada gave me that have been my great source of enthusiasm.  

When I first joined, I got initiated when Prabhupada was not there. So I could not just give him my daksina, I had to mail him my daksina, so that was a great opportunity I got to write Prabhupada a letter along with the daksina. So I told Prabhupada I wanted to spread Krishna consciousness movement and he was very pleased that I told him that. He wrote me back. He said, ďI can see that you are a very sincere enthusiastic boy. Now continue enthusiastically as you are doing and surely Krishna will bless you.Ē So that instruction carries with it unlimited potency. When the spiritual master gives you an instruction, that instruction carries unlimited potency and if you completely dedicate yourself, your whole existence, fulfilling that instruction then you will never lose your enthusiasm. You will make steady progress on your path back to Godhead. Take the order of the spiritual master, embrace it as your very life and soul. And you will never waver, you will never fall down and you will make continuous progress. 

Question 8: I hardly enjoy chanting and have no attraction for it. How should I continue? 

Answer: The jaundice patient has no attraction for sugar candy because when you have jaundice, it tastes very, very bitter. But he takes the sugar candy on the order of his physician because that cures his jaundice. So right now you donít like the chanting, you are not attracted to it.  It might even be bitter. But you chant because your spiritual master ordered you to chant.    

By chanting one becomes purified. The chanting has unlimited nectar in it but right now you are not experiencing because you are covered by the material modes of nature. But if you will chant on the order of Guru Maharaja then that contamination will go away and the pure unadulterated nectar of the name will manifest on your tongue. It will become the most delicious thing you ever tasted, even more tasty than a gulabjamun. 

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

 

Question 9: Sometimes I feel that I have a nice job settled down in Melbourne nicely and living happy life, then why should I worship Krishna? 

Answer: Well, you will have your feathers ruffled soon, my dear bird, by the laws of nature. So if you want a permanent nice nest, better become Krishna conscious.  

Question 10: How can we understand Krishna is the cause of all causes and doesnít have a source. 

Answer: People say, "Well, where does Krishna comes from?But, the whole point is that person who is the source of everything does not have a source. If He did, the source would be the source, not Him. You understand? 

Of course you could say He does have a source and what is that source? Himself. Krishna manifests Himself.  Krishna is His own source.  Thatís the difference between you and Krishna. Your source is Krishna. Actually in that sense we have a similarity with Krishna also. Krishna source is Krishna and our source is also Krishna. Krishna says (BG 10.8)

aham sarvasya prabhavo

mattah sarvam pravartate 

ďI am the source of all material & spiritual worlds,
everything emanates from Me.Ē 
 

That means you emanate from Krishna. You donít come from your mother and father. Your body may have come, thatís not you. And even that originally comes from Krishna; all this material energy is all coming out from Him. So Krishna is the source. We know that from scripture, we know that from great sadhus. And you say well I am still skeptical whether the sadhu is making it up?  

What if the scriptures are concocted by some poet, some expert poet? How do I really know that Krishna is the source? Well I can guarantee you this. If you will qualify yourself to meet Krishna, then you will personally see how Krishna is the source. So if you want to quality yourself, then you have to chant Hare Krishna, give up sinful activities and that day will come when you will personally see how Krishna is the source of everything. Just as Arjuna could see, you will also be able to see. 

Question 11: While trying to practice Krishna consciousness and keeping Krishna at the center of our family life, we are still attached to our family. Is that attachment right or wrong? Should we be detached from the family? 

Answer: It depends. It can go either way. And here is how to understand. Actually Prabhupada explains in the Krishna book that Krishna is the only object of love.  That means all our love should be given to Krsna and nobody else. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita, 9.22 :

 

ananyas cintayanto mam

ye janah paryupasate

tesam nityabhiyuktanam

yoga-ksemam vahamy aham 

ďFor those who worship Me with exclusive devotionÖĒ What does exclusive devotion mean?  If I am exclusively devoted to you, what does that mean, Prabhu?  That means I am devoted to you, and nobody else. I exclude everything else and I am simply devoted to you.  Thatís called exclusive devotion. So Krishna talks about exclusive devotion. ĎOnly devoted to Meí. We may say what happens about my wife, what about my kids, what about my husband, what about my father and mother? Is Krishna being cruel to me, ripping me away?  

No, Krishna is connecting you. Where do you exclusively give your food when you eat? You exclusively give all your food to the belly. Doesnít every part of your body require nutrition? Doesnít your earlobe need nutrition also? So do you rub some prasadam in your ear?   Every part of your body requires nutrition. Even nutrition makes your fingernails grow.  So, where do you put your food?  In the belly. By feeding the belly you serve everyone one of your bodily parts. By exclusively giving all the food to your belly, you will be feeding all the parts of your body. By exclusively giving all your love to Krishna, you will be giving perfect love to every living entity throughout the entire existence.  

So if you are really attached to your family, you will give all your love to Krishna. If you give them some love which is not related with Krishna that simply is your own greed. Itís not love. I will scratch your back if you will scratch my back. If you are truly attached to your family, you will give all your love to Krishna so that you can truly love your wife, you can truly love your husband, truly love your kids. Thatís the understanding. 

Our philosophy is not detachment. Our philosophy is attachment. The mayavadis are into detachment; we are not into detachment. Our philosophy is to engage the entire world in Krishnaís service. If I love my wife, I will see that she has full facility to be Krishna conscious 24 hours a day. If I love my husband, truly love him, I will see that he has full facility to be Krishna conscious 24 hours a day. The same with kids, parents, everyone. That is love. So you should not be detached, you should be totally attached by connecting everyone with Krishna. That is the perfection of attachment. And if you have a love which is not centered on Krishna, thatís maya. Your love has all to be centered on Krishna otherwise it's lust disguising as love. Itís not genuine love.  

Question 12: Scriptures says that cows are most dear to Krishna, then why cows are suffering, brazenly tortured and slaughtered and Krishna is not doing anything. 

Answer: He is doing something. He has appeared as the Krishna conscious movement to save the cows. So itís now up to us to take this movement that Krishna has given us and expand its influence to save these poor cows.  

Question 13: Why is Krishna not doing anything while His temples were attacked, demolished by Muslims.  

Answer: Why do you think Krishna did not do anything? There is an inner purpose, an inner meaning in everything. First of all you have to understand that Krishna gives everyone free will, to serve Him directly or serve Him indirectly by serving His material energy. So Krishna gives the living entities a free choice. He never interferes with their free choice. If they misuse it, then they get the reaction. So it happens that sometimes devotees look at Jesus Christ. He was crucified, tortured and killed. Of course thatís superficial, the soul wasnít killed. So why does God allow these things to go on? Everything has a purpose and a meaning. We cannot always understand it. But everything has a purpose and a meaning in the greater scheme of things for helping us come closer and closer to Krishna.  

Visnupriya Devi Dasi Gurumata: to make the devotees more glorious. 

SDA: Yes. If the temples are attacked, then thatís an opportunity for us to step forward and do something. Just like how much do the Indian politicians promote Vedic dharma? Practically nothing, maybe a false show. But recently when the Russian court wanted to ban the Bhagavad-gita throughout the entire country of Russia as an extremist literature, Prabhupadaís Bhagavad-gita specifically, the Russian court wanted to ban it. There was a huge up-cry in the Indian Parliament. They had to shut down the Parliament.  

That brought out the bhakti, which is very deep into the heart of these politicians. Their bhakti was actually coming out, they were angry and they were creating a huge uproar in the lower house of the Parliament and they had to close down the Parliament that morning because of such a uproar on this issue of this ban of Bhagavad-gita in Russia. So why does Krishna do that? Actually we won the case. The Bhagavad-gita is clear but that threat against the Bhagavad-gita was a fantastic thing to help raise the bhakti in the hearts of these Indian politicians. So sometimes we do face reverses but those things are to increase our devotion. Everything a devotee sees in a positive way.  

Question 14: How did Krishna leave His body?  

Answer: He didnít leave His body. He took His self-same body to the spiritual world. All He left behind here was His virata"-rupa, His material manifestation. Krishna went back to Godhead in His original body. And He was not actually the hunter shot an arrow at His foot but, as described by one of the great acaryas that arrow did not even pierce the skin. How can anybody be killed by an arrow bouncing off the foot, which did not even break the skin? Krishna was not killed by being shot in the foot by a hunterís arrow.  He simply took it that this is My cue for going back to Godhead. Thatís all. "This is the sign that itís now time for Me to go back." He was not killed. Do not think that Krishna was killed, Krishna can never be killed. 

Gurumata: Even an ordinary person cannot be killed by an arrow being shot on the foot.  How can Krishna? 

SDA: Yes, even for an ordinary man, an arrow on the foot not going to kill unless itís a poisonous arrow. It wasnít described as poisonous arrow. Just an ordinary arrow on the foot, itís not going to kill anybody.  

Question 15: Why Krishna did not do anything while His own ksatriyas, the Yadavas were drinking intoxications? 

Answer: Because it is a whole pastime for them, they are all going to leave. It was an exit pastime.  Itís time for all of them to go back to where they were before. It is just a grand exit. In this way Krishna has no seminal descendents who can claim false divinity, being the physical descendents of Krishna. All His descendents were wiped out.  

There are no physical descendants of Krishna on this planet who can artificially claim divinity and do all kinds of nonsense that we are from the family of Krishna. Thatís another reason all His family members left with Him. So there is no dynasty, Krishna dynasty, continuing for people can claim "I am great because I am the descendent of Krishna".  

Question 16: Maharaja, I could feel a slowdown in my devotional service because of uncontrolled mind. I really like this process and I want to make a small comeback. What should I do? 

Answer: Why do you want to make a small comeback? Why small only? You should make a big comeback. You should think big. Donít think small; think big. Thatís the first point. Thatís why you have a slowdown. Youíre thinking small instead of thinking big.  

Think big. Become enthusiastic to become perfect in Krishna consciousness to achieve unlimited bliss, unlimited happiness, unlimited love, unlimited peace. You should be very enthusiastic to become perfect in Krishna consciousness. If you will think big, you will keep your enthusiasm keep going. If you think small then you can have slowdowns but donít think small anymore, think big.  

Question 17: There is so much suffering. Still people do not eagerly take up the knowledge of Bhagavad-gita. Why is that? 

Answer: Because they think they are enjoying. They foolishly think they can enjoy this material world. "I got some money, I got my apartment, I got a stereo, I have my girlfriend, I can enjoy." Itís called maya-sukhaya, illusory happiness.  

Question 18: What does eating only prasadam do? How does it change the consciousness? 

Answer: It transforms your consciousness from material consciousness to spiritual consciousness. Prabhupada one time was attending one of these multi guru things in India where all the gurus come.  Prabhupada generally does not go to these things. They were all mayavadis except for Prabhupada. They were all presenting their dry mayavadi philosophies. Prabhupada had his 'dancing white elephants' come there and do the kirtana and completely captivated the whole audience. Then Prabhupada was contemplating, "they would go on speculating for millions of years but we will make spiritual advancement".  We will go back to Godhead simply by taking prasadam.  

Question 19: Initially when I started Krishna consciousness I was very excited but not much now. How to maintain enthusiasm?  

Answer: What makes us more excited all the time? Prabhu, your initial attempt to become Krishna conscious was rajasika, it wasnít sattvika.  Thatís why you lost your enthusiasm. So you have to become sattvika.  So it happens in the mode of passion, it is nectar in the beginning and poison in the end.  

Something that is new, something different, something exotic, thatís exciting in the mode of passion.  So Krishna consciousness is new, different and exciting. There are so many things which are new, you can be a surfer also.  Thatís new, different and exciting also when you first start doing it. So you have to see this process through the eyes of the scriptures and then you develop a sattvika vision, a sattvika consciousness, by reading the books carefully. And understanding the science, you will never lose your enthusiasm. You are just doing it without proper knowledge, thatís why you lost your enthusiasm. You were in the doing mode, you were not in the meditative mode.   

The meditative mode is the mode of goodness but doing mode is in the mode of passion, the sleeping mode is in the mode of ignorance.  Your bhakti was in the doing mode, it wasnít in the meditative mode and therefore you lost your taste. So you have to learn the meditative mode along with the doing mode at the same time. We donít say give up your passion but you have to do the doing mode and the meditative mode simultaneously. Good quality japa, good sadhana, rising early in the morning before the sunrise chanting the holy names. In this way you must cultivate sattva-guna. In this way when you connect at that level you will never lose enthusiasm.  

Question 20: Why people get attracted to material things rather than spiritual life. 

Answer: Because they are not well educated, thatís all. They take the cheap imitation jewel as more valuable than the real diamond. With poor education, there is no proper training in the schools, the parents do not train their children, no one is training anyone properly. Everybody is trainedÖ Whatís the first thing they say when you come out of the womb? ĎOh look itís a boy! Itís a girl!í  Thatís the first thing you hear when you come out. ĎItís a boy, itís a girl.í You think, ďOh! I am a boy, I am a girl.Ē Thatís illusion right there. You are not the body. We are trained to identify with the body. The very minute we come out from the womb we are programmed to think ĎI am this body.í Therefore people are attracted to the glitter of so called sense gratification.  

Question 21: How to distinguish whether an activity you do is related to Krishna and does not end in sense gratification? 

Answer:  You have to see whatís in Prabhupada books. Thatís why a Guru is very important, senior devotees are very important.  They say, ďPrabhu itís maya, what you are doing. Thatís sense gratification."  Itís important to have advanced association. Vaisnavas, guru and Prabhupadaís books. These are very, very important so that we can know the difference.  

Question 22: How to cultivate the reading of Prabhupada books regularly? 

Answer: Just do it and you will get the taste. Do it every day, even if it is only 15 minutes a day. You must read Prabhupadaís books, every single day.  

Question 23: What is the destination of a Paramatma realized soul and a Brahman realized soul? 

Answer: The Paramatma realized person can go either further to bhakti or he can go to the Brahman, it depends. And the Brahman realized person he merges into the Brahmajyoti, stays for sometime and he falls down again into material existence.  

Question 24: What is the importance of Guru? 

Answer: Without Guru you cannot go back to Godhead.  Prabhupada says that without initiation you cannot go back to Godhead. So Guru is absolutely essential to save you from the material existence. 

Question 25: How to balance our life between family, work and Krishna consciousness? 

Answer: Do everything for Krishna. Your family life, your work life and everything should be offered to Krishna and then your life is perfectly balanced.  

Question 26: What do you like the most about Prabhupada? 

Answer: His mercy.  

Question 27: Being from a western country, how did you come in contact with Krishna consciousness. 

Answer: All that was a kind of mystical experience for me. I realized the material world is no good and I was on my way to India and just renounce the world, become a sadhu in India and give up my whole life as a wandering mendicant in India. I was going to do that. But on the way, something said, ďYou should go to San Francisco insteadĒ. A voice inside said, ďGo to San Francisco, go to San Francisco.Ē So, I went the opposite way to San Francisco and I met the devotees and gradually they convinced me to join.  

Question 28: For a beginner in Krishna consciousness what is the most important progress. 

Answer: You have to learn how to hear. You have to learn how to deeply focus and hear and take deep in your heart what you are hearing. Thatís the most important thing, hearing.  

Question 29: How to read and relish Prabhupada books ideally?  

Answer: Take it deep into your heart. That every word goes deep into your heart.  

Question 30:How can we believe that Bhagavad-gita is spoken by Krishna and not the philosophy of someone? 

Answer: On the authority of the great sages, thatís one way. On the authority of the great sages and the other way is to become purely self-realized and you will see how Krishna is speaking Bhagavad-gita personally. You will be able to see it by your own realization how Krishna is speaker of Bhagavad-gita.  

Question 31: Is gambling against spiritual progress and why the Pandavas, being pure devotees, got involved in the gambling match? 

Answer: Part of the dharma of ksatriyas is gambling but that is not for us. We are covered by the brahminical consciousness.  

Question 32: When do we know itís time to become a family person? 

Answer: Why do you think you should ever become a family person? Tapasa brahmacaryena. The best thing is to remain single, but most men want to get married, so ladies donít worry.  But some men want to remain single, and that is very good.  When do we know itís time to become a family person? If your mind is so disturbed, thinking ďShould I get married or should I not get married?Ē If you are constantly disturbed, it is good to get married so you donít have to think about it anymore.  If you are fixed in determination that I have nothing to do with married life, then stay single.  But if you think ďShould I or should I not?Ē every day, better go ahead and do it because you will never be fixed.  If you can fix your mind, thatís great!  If you canít, then itís better to be married, then your mind will be fixed. 

Question 33: Even if spiritual world knowledge is perfect then how I can misuse my little independence? 

Answer: Independence means it may be misused, otherwise there is no meaning to independence.  

Question 34: If Krishna is all loving why did he create the material world which is full of miseries? 

Answer: Why does the government create the prison house? To reform the prisoner to make them law abiding citizens.  

Question 35: Can a person suffering physical pains also progress in Krishna consciousness? 

Answer: Who is not suffering physical pain in this material world? Can you name me one person who does not suffer physical pain here? Everybody suffers pain adhyatmika, adhibhautika, adhidaivika, we are all suffering pain. 

Question 36: Is it true that whatever happens is preplanned by Krishna or is it our own karma? 

Answer: There are two plans going on. There is the two channels on the TV set of reality, Channel A and Channel B. You have the power to flip the switch.  It has a program on either channel, coming from Krishna.  

Directly the spiritual energy is Krishna, indirectly He has His empowered representative Maya Devi programmed on the other channel. So, you have a choice which program you want to tune into. Thatís your choice and you always have the free will to flip the switch.  

If you choose Mayaís program, you are like on a conveyor belt in a factory.  Youíre completely pulled liked a puppet becoming just like a dancing dog in the hands of Maya Devi. Thatís all you are.  

If you choose the spiritual channel you become a liberated soul with full freedom. So you want the life of freedom or life of slavery? Karma does not dictate which way you flip the switch. That is beyond the laws of karma, itís up to you. How do you get the intelligence to flip to the spiritual channel?  By the association of the sadhus.

If you want to catch more, we are giving the Sunday feast lecture at the temple five oíclock. You want to catch more you can come. You can bring your questions also written down, it will be very handy. If you have more questions please come tonight, and if you have even more questions go to www.backtohome.com sign up for my free e-course ďThe Ultimate Self-Realization CourseĒ and every day you get some krsna-katha in your mailbox and you can ask me questions as much as you want on the Internet.  And I will really answer them.

So thatís again www.backtohome.com. Thatís how you get signed into The Ultimate Self-Realization Course.  

I thank you very much.  

Srila Prabhupada Ki Jaya! 

Devotees : His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari Maharaja Ki Jaya! 

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Transcribed by Bhakta Harish

Index of Transcribed Lectures