His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday Feast Lecture

given at Riga, Latvia

on April 17th, 2005 

Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya,

[Gurudeva is singing 3 times and devotees repeat], 

So today we are diving ever deeper in to that sweet nectarean ocean of Krishna prema.

 Chapter number 5 of Bhagavad Gita, text number 23:

saknotihaiva yah sodhum
prak sarira-vimoksanat
kama-krodhodbhavam vegam
sa yuktasa sukhi narah


Before giving up this present body, if one is able to tolerate the urges of the material senses and check the force of desire and anger, he is well situated and is happy in this world.

by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada:

If one wants to make steady progress on the path of self-realization, he must try to control the forces of the material senses. There are the forces of talk, forces of anger, forces of mind, forces of the stomach, forces of the genitals, and forces of the tongue. One who is able to control the forces of all these different senses, and the mind, is called gosvāmī, or svāmī. Such gosvāmīs live strictly controlled lives, and forgo altogether the forces of the senses. Material desires, when unsatiated, generate anger, and thus the mind, eyes and chest become agitated. Therefore, one must practice to control them before one gives up this material body. One who can do this is understood to be self-realized and is thus happy in the state of self- realization. It is the duty of the transcendentalist to try strenuously to control desire and anger.[End of purport]

So, Mataji and I are very happy to be back with you all here in Riga. We feel like we are back home, being with all of you. And I will discuss this wonderful verse and purport of Krishna and Srila Prabhupada.

Krishna is emphasizing the importance of sense control. Specifically He is referring to desire and anger. Desire and anger are connected with each other. If you have a desire and your desire is not fulfilled, than you get angry. If you don’t have a desire, than there is nothing to get angry about. But you may say: “Well how can I stop desiring, I mean – desire is my nature”. The answer is that we have to desire for Krishna. If you have the desire to satisfy Krishna, that is called desirelessness.

The Buddhist philosophy is that you should become desire-less. And they take all types of strenuous means to kill that rascal demon called desire. But they have one problem - they desire to kill desire, and that is a desire. So they are caught in a trap.

But the devotees of Krishna easily become desire-less, by taking all their desires and offering them to Krishna. If you desire to sing - than you sing for Krishna, if you desire to play the flute - you play the flute for Krishna, if you desire to eat, does anyone here desire to eat? Then you eat Krishna-Prasadam.

If you desire sex - you get married and you raise Krishna Conscious children.
Whatever desire you have if you offer that to Krishna, then you become desire-less because those desires are not for any type of material sense enjoyment.

So in such a mood of desirelessness, of offering everything to Krishna’s service, you will never get angry. Your mind will always be peaceful. So this is the requirement for those who want to become happy in this world. Of course if you prefer to be miserable, then you don’t have to take note of what we are explaining today. But if you desire actual happiness, then we would advise you to listen very, very carefully. Hear the instructions, understand the instructions and then apply the instructions.

We want to make you all into disciples of this Krishna Consciousness Movement because that will give you unlimited happiness. That will give you complete peace of mind. That will make you completely satisfied. A disciple means someone who disciplines their activities in the service of Krishna. All of their desires are connected with Krishna. They don’t have any separate desires.

How to do that? One may ask: “Well how do I do that?” Is anybody here interested to know how they can become a disciple of this Krishna Consciousness Movement and give up all forms of misery and anger? Anyone who would like to do this? Let’s see any hands? Anyone who would like to do this?

There’s one two three four, five.  Oh very good! Six.  Yes, we guess the rest of you are just here for eating then, I guess.

But that’s nice - five or six are interested to actually make spiritual progress. I’m sure you are all here for spiritual progress but you are just shy to raise your hand. Because you can eat at so many places, but here you eat Krishna-Prasadam.

Because you were all chanting Hare Krishna with such enthusiasm, I can understand that actually you are all interested in spiritual advancement. You are just shy, that’s all, to raise your hand.

So how do we actually make spiritual advancement? That is a very, very important thing to understand. Rupa Goswami explains that it begins with a tongue. You have to take Krishna-prasadam and you have to chant. And what do you chant?

You have to chant the holy names of God. Of course there are thousands and millions of names for God. You can chant any of these names. We do not say that you have to chant Hare Krishna, because there are millions of names for God. But of all the millions of names given for God, this is specially recommended in the Kali Santarana Upanishad, that these specific names have great power and potency.

What are those names? :

hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

These particular names of God, although not the only names, of all the names these are the most powerful and the most potent for someone who wants to actually conquer over desire and anger.

We see in this Krishna Consciousness movement that there are thousands and thousands of boys and girls, and men and women throughout the world, who have become very advanced in spiritual life by chanting Hare Krishna. They are very peaceful, they are very sense-controlled, they are very happy, they are very knowledgeable. They are full of compassion for others.

These men and women have all saintly qualities. And it is simply because Srila Prabhupada has given us this wonderful mantra. In India there are many types of yogis who have different sorts of mystic powers. Just like when Prabhupada was a young man, he came in contact with one yogi who was able to use one power called prapti-siddhi. This prapti-siddhi is called the power of acquisition. One who has prapti-siddhi he can reach anywhere and bring something to where he is from even a far distant place.

So this yogi actually demonstrated the power. While situated in one place in Kolkata, he was able to reach all the way to Kashmir, which is in North-Western India. He was able to bring one mango to Kolkata. So this is the power called prapti-siddhi.

So, someone asked Prabhupada, they said: “Swamiji, what is your magic?”

And Prabhupada pointed out, his magic was: He has made all of these boys and girls in to pure devotees of God.

So this is actually the greatest thing. By the power of this mantra:

hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

one can achieve all perfection, all happiness, and all knowledge.

So kindly take up this chanting of Krishna’s name with great seriousness. Once you have heard this Hare Krishna Mantra from the lips of the devotees, the pure devotees of the Lord, then the seed of bhakti is actually planted in your heart.

And what you do with that seed will make you or break you spiritually. You may plant a seed in your garden. If you neglect that seed what will happen? Sorry, it will die. But if you take very good care of that seed – you water it, you nicely weed the garden, and you build a strong fence so no elephants can get in, then what will happen? That little seedling will become a nice little devotional creeper and then will become a very big plant.

So now you have all heard from the lips of the devotees, who are purely following Srila Prabhupada. You have received… the seed of bhakti is then planted in your heart, entering through the ears.

Now how will you water that seed? That is described by Bhakta Prahlad –Prahlad Maharaj –shravanam kirtanam vishnu. By hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord that seed becomes watered. And one also has to take very good care that no weeds are growing in the garden. So what are those weeds? Illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication and gambling. And one has to build a very, very strong fence around that little garden to keep that hatimata, that mad elephant from coming in. And what is that mad elephant? Vaishnava aparadha. We had to be very, very careful to always love and respect all the devotees of the Lord, because if we disrespect the Lord’s devotees, that mad elephant or hatimata will come and he will destroy our devotional creeper.

Therefore we always pray to lotus feet of the vaishnavas:

vancha-kalpatarubhyas ca
krpa-sindhubhya eva ca
patitanam pavanebhyo
vaisnavebhyo namo namah

That will protect us if we are always praying, we always bow down at the lotus feet of the devotees and we are praying to them, taking shelter of their feet. Than we will never… our devotional creeper will become very, very strong, very, very strong and powerful.

So if we take this very, very simple system given by our merciful Founder Acharya His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, then you can all become great yogis, great devotees, who become desireless, desiring only Krishna’s pleasure, completely free from all desires for material sense gratification and in this way become completely peaceful.  You’ll have nothing to get angry about because all your desires will be fulfilled.

If you desire only to satisfy Krishna than you can easily have all of your desires fulfilled. But if you desire sense gratification you will be lucky to get 0.00001 % of your desires fulfilled. Therefore only a fool will desire material sense gratification.

There is an old saying: “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread “. So please do not be a fool. You be an angel.


Q: If you try to control the senses it becomes more and more difficult to continue doing so, why is that, what to do?

A: If you are acting under proper guidance it becomes easier and easier. If it becomes more and more difficult for you, you are doing something wrong. You need to find a teacher who can train you how to practice bhakti yoga properly.

There are many advanced teachers here in the Riga temple. If you will find and talk to one of those teachers here, just like here we have one of our brahmacharis, senior man and Indranuja is also, see we have many… If you take guidance from one of these teachers here, then it will become very easy for you to control your senses. Simply it requires a proper teacher and if you follow the instructions then there is no problem.

Questions more?

Q: If you explain that to become disciple means to become completely happy, why then are there many disciples who are not completely happy?

A: Translate into Russian. …So she is saying: “Well there are some disciples who are not happy. “, but I say this: because Prabhupada one time said that: “Somebody who does not follow me is not actually my disciple. “ So I say this: disciple means happy. Someone who is not happy they are not really a disciple they are just merely dressed like one, but they are not really a disciple. Prabhupada personally wrote me one letter and he said: “Disciple means discipline. “ So if someone is not happy it means that they are not disciplining their senses in the service of Guru and Krishna.

Therefore I say: “Disciple means happy. “ Miserable means miser, miserable means he is not really a disciple. So if you find that you are feeling miserable then you should know that you are a miser and you are not a disciple.

So stop punishing yourself. You become a real disciple. And then you will taste unlimited nectar at every minute. Just like a gulabjamun with unlimited juice. You can squeeze it and squeeze it and squeeze it and unlimited oceans of juice will come out. That is Krishna Consciousness. That is disciple. Not one of these rascal morose sense-enjoyers.

Questions more?

Q: If someone sincerely tries to follow the instructions of his spiritual master, but he is not perfect yet, to some extent, does that mean that he is not a true disciple?

A: Krishna Consciousness is a process of gradual perfection. If I am feeling miserable that means that to that extent I am not fully Krishna conscious. However if I am sincerely trying to progress myself along the path, I will feel on a steady basis how that misery is gradually going away. And that is very enlivening. Just like when you are sick you feel really bad. But when you start to get well, even though you are still sick and you still don’t feel good, the fact that you are feeling better is very enlivening. Because you know: “I am improving.” So even if you feeling…you don’t have to be perfect yet, but as long as you are improving and you are moving towards perfection, than you can be very happy.

Questions more?

Q: If I see that my working colleagues are more happy and peaceful than devotees, does it mean I have no hope?

A: Well the question is: if he sees that his colleagues at work are more happy and peaceful than devotees, does he have no hope? Maybe they are undercover devotees - you just do not know it. Maybe your coworkers are devotees who are just undercover and you don’t even know they are devotees. But I will warn you. I will give you this warning: there are two types of happiness.

There is sukha - happiness. And there is maya-sukha - an illusory happiness. So it is very easy to be misguided into thinking that maya-sukha is actual sukha. Your coworkers may be enjoying the results of past pious activities. And feel very happy and enlivened in enjoying all that sense gratification. And the devotees understand the temporary flickering nature of maya-sukha, and voluntarily accept all sorts of penances and austerities to purify their consciousness.

So when you see those who are performing penances and austerities on the one hand, and you compare them with the people who are enjoying the results of their past pious activities on the other hand, it may appear, if you don’t have deep spiritual realization, that the maya-sukha people are getting more nectar than the devotees. But what I would suggest is this: find some devotees who are highly advanced in Krishna Consciousness and try to understand how much bliss they are tasting. Compare those persons with your colleagues. And see whose bliss you think is better.

Next question? His hand went up first.

Q: In order to properly practice Krishna Consciousness we should find aspiritual master. By what characteristic can I understand that this person is actually my spiritual master?

A: How you can recognize who your spiritual master is? I would suggest that you humbly submit yourself at the lotus… we all know that Prabhupada is our guru, because he is our shiksha-guru. And we know that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda, they are also our gurus. So I would advise that you submit yourself, every day you come and you bow down in the feet of Shri Shri Gaura-Nitai and the lotus feet of Shrila Prabhupada, and you beg Them to bless you with the proper understanding as to how you should advance yourself in Krishna Consciousness.

Finding your spiritual master is a very important step. In fact Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita: Adau gurvashraya. Adau means in the beginning-first step.

So, we already know we have these three gurus- Prabhupada and Gaura-Nitai. This three gurus they can bless you with an actual living guru who can be your initiating spiritual master. They can do that. Prabhupada can reveal to you, Gaura-Nitai can reveal to you. In our society for Krishna consciousness we have many, many gurus. I think we have about eighty so it is like going to … how each one will be a guru. It is very difficult to decide. But you know that Prabhupada is guru and Gaura-Nitai are guru for you. They are guru for all of us. So you fully submit yourself at their lotus feet and beg them to reveal to you who is your actual guru, your initiating guru.

Next question?

Q: Your Grace, You have described about desire and anger, often times we can see that materialists try to satisfy their desires and they become greedy, and try to improve and develop all material opulence but their greed is not satisfied. But on other side the devotees try to control their desires, like Your Grace, and they become angry, often times, like Durvasa muni and other devotees. So how to go about it?

A: So by controlling desire one may… by not gratifying the desire that one has, understanding that this is a material desire and should not be gratified, this may make one frustrated and angry. So how to overcome that? Param drishtva nivartate. It is a matter of getting a higher taste. Just like our famous acharya Yamunacharya says that:

yad-avadhi mama cetah krnsa-padaravinde
nava-nava-rasa-dhamany udyatam rantum asit
tad-avadhi bata nari-sangame smaryamane
bhavati mukha-vikarah susthu nisthivanam ca

“Ever since I’ve been engaged in the transcendental loving service of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, deriving navanava rasa - ever newer and newer taste in that seva, that service, whenever I think of satisfying my material desires, I have my lips curl in distaste and I just spit at the thought.

You may be frustrated in the beginning, but if you actually develop ruchi or taste, navanava rasa, not just a little taste, but oceans of taste- navanava rasa. If you can come to that point of ever increasing nectar when you chant Hare Krishna, ever increasing nectar when you see the devotees, ever increasing nectar when you see Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, ever increasing nectar just when you touch Prabhupad’s books. Ever increasing nectar. Then you can easily walk away from all material desires, as Yamunacharya did.

He was formerly a king, he had so much sex enjoyment but he walked away from it. Not artificially. See artificial repression will not help. That’s what you are talking about – artificial repression. But a devotee, he gets pleasure which is millions and billions of times greater. Take all the pleasure of this material world, take all the pleasure that people have having sex, all the pleasure that people have being rich, all the pleasure that people have being famous, every single material pleasure that anyone, even the demigods, experience throughout the whole history of the universe through the last  hundred and fifty five trillion years, and you put that on one side of the scale. On the other side you put one pure utterance of Hare Krishna. Boom![sound imitating a scale that hits the ground on the Hare Krishna side]. So you simply have to chant with purity and you can laugh in the face of maya, you see.

When Mayadevi came, that prostitute actually, came to Haridasa Thakura, he was thinking: “Let me be kind to this poor woman. I will trick her in to becoming a pure devotee.’’ You see. So in this way he remained very staunch brahmachari –sannyasi.

You see. He didn’t think: ’’If she actually surrenders-well I’ll have a nice Krishna conscious wife now”. No. He gave her the hut and he left. He made her devotee. He was very keen to make this woman a devotee. He made her into a pure devotee and he renounced the hut and went off, chanting Harinama all over India.

So, in this way, you see, if you simply engage everything in Krishna’s service, just like Prabhupada said: “One can satisfy one’s desire for women, to enjoy women, by engaging them in Krishna’s service. The man naturally has a desire to enjoy a beautiful woman. It is built, you know, it’s wired into a male body - to enjoy women. But if you engage women in Krishna’s service, then you are satisfied. Just like Haridasa. He engaged her in Krishna’s service - he is completely happy, so totally enlivened by making her into a devotee, without being entangled in any way.

So this is the mood. If we engage everyone - every rich man, every beautiful woman, give them books, give them the Holy Name, teach them how to be devotees and just remain renounced, offering everything in Krishna’s service, then we’ll get so much mercy from guru, we’ll get so much mercy from Srila Prabhupada, we’ll get so much mercy from Caitanya Mahaprabhu that we’ll just be swimming in nectar at every minute. Absolute ocean of nectar, just diving, like surfing on the waves of Lord Caitanya’s mercy, at every minute.

So there is no question of frustration. You’ve just got to practice the science properly and then you will be so full of nectar, you can turn the whole world on to Krishna.

Questions more? One back there Madhavilata devi dasi. That’s you?

Q: If we feel that we are making some improvement, and we can feel happy, what is the guarantee that we’ll achieve perfection when we leave our present body?

A: What is the guarantee you’ll achieve perfection? Well, you may not. There is no automatic guarantee. That if you put on…you know, you say: “Well I’m a devotee of Krishna, I put some tilaka on, so now, I may become a spiritually enlightened being.” Krishna says:

ye yatha mam prapadyante
tams tathaiva bajami aham

“In as much as they surrender to Me, I reward them accordingly.”

So if you want that reward, if you want perfection, then you have to surrender! There is no other way to get it. If you do not surrender, then you don’t get it - that’s all. The only guarantee is that Krishna will reward you according to your degree of surrender. Whether you are surrendered or not-that is up to you. It’s not an automatic process. It requires your surrender.

Q: How to develop a skill to see our own imperfections and perfections.

A: How to develop a skill to see the imperfection in others? No -in your own heart? Yes, this is very important skill. One has to learn how to see the imperfections within one’s own heart. That is not an easy skill. But the easy thing is this: You find a qualified teacher, who can point out the defects in your heart. And you learn from him. That’s the easy way to do it.

It is very difficult to be objective about our own faults. because we are infected with the disease known as false pride. So the easiest way is to find a qualified teacher and submit ourselves to him for rectification. “My dear Prabhu, my dear Maharaja, I submit myself to you. Kindly rectify me from all of my faults. Point out all of my faults, and teach me how to get over them.” Then it becomes very easy - you just do what he says. You find a teacher and do what he tells you to do. Then you will become faultless. And in that surrendering mood you will develop the ability to see your own faults also.

But as long as you think that you can do it on your own, you will remain blind. You have to have a teacher. That’s the system given by Krishna.

tad viddhi pranipatena
pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam
jnaninas tattva-darsinah

“Just try to learn the truth by approaching teacher, bona fide guru.” Krishna’s order.

Questions more?

Q: You have told that there are 80 gurus in ISKCON and we can choose any of them, but it can be that we are just choosing someone by trying to satisfy our senses. One may sing nicely, one may know something or some ability of this guru just to choose him in order to satisfy our senses?

A: Hmm… Well, the guru wouldn’t let you do that. If you try to do that he will chop up your sense desire…. Yes?

Q: How to be aloof from some bad association, some bad qualities we have may come to us, due to our bad karma? How to be aloof not to touch bad association, which we are getting due to our bad karma?

A: Bad association is bad association however you get it. And Lord Chaitanya’s first instruction is that you recognize a devotee as someone who gives up asatsanga tyaga. Asat means materialistic, sanga means association and tyaga means you give it up. Asatsanga tyaga. That is the first principle for someone who wants to advance in Krishna consciousness.

You must give up all bad association and take shelter of the society of the devotees. If by social obligation or by work obligation you still have to associate with them, within your heart you must be aloof, although externally you may appear not aloof, in order to keep that relationship going in a suitable way. But within your heart you must be aloof.

Q: The question was a little different, I will say it another way; Only the Lord is perfect, and in our association, no matter whom with, because our heart is not pure, this impurity may come in resonance with the imperfections of the other person. How do we learn to not be attracted to the other person’s imperfections, and also learn to not identify the person with his imperfections? How to remain aloof from other person’s imperfections?

A: First see your own imperfections. That’s the first thing you have to do. Don’t think first about others, you first think about yourself. You find out your own faults and get rid of them. That’s the first thing. “Physician, heal thyself.” If you can conquer your own imperfections by taking proper guidance of the Vaishnavas, then you will be able to help others do the same thing. But if you are simply thinking: “Well, I’m seeing so many imperfections.” –What about yours?

We’ll stop here. Thank you very much. Hare Krishna! Shrila Prabhupada ki, Jaya!

Devotees: Jaya!


Transcribed by His Grace Iksvaku dasa

Index of Transcribed Lectures