[recording begins in progress]
SDA:...If you are God then why are you suffering in the material world? If you're the Supreme controller, then why are we suffering in this material world? Does that make sense? That we'd be suffering in the material world if we were God? So this is a ridiculous idea that they teach in these bogus Bhagavad-Gitas. That "We're all God, we just have to realize it." It's a silly idea. No, we're servants of God. That is our actual identity. That's why we have to study the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is. Because in the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is we get the proper information, who we actually are. That we're meant to surrender ourselves to Lord Krishna, engage in His devotional service, and in this way become... what? Become happy. You see?
Is there anybody here who likes to be miserable? If I offered you a miserable night, would you take it? That "I will give you something that will make you miserable." Would you like it? If I offered you something that would make you horribly unhappy, would you like it? No. (Aside: Do you speak English? Okay.) So we all want to be happy; That is our nature. Therefore, this Bhagavad-Gita is the most important thing. Because, right now, even though we want to be happy, we don't want to be unhappy, we hate to admit it, but you know, we're miserable. Actually we're unhappy. That's our position. Isn't it? Aren't we un.. aren't we suffering? Yes we are suffering. This is why Bhagavad-Gita is very important. Therefore we are studying tonight Chapter number nine, text number two.
om namo bhagavate vasudevaya
om namo bhagavate vasudevaya
This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.
So, this is incredible knowledge here. Amazing knowledge. You see? When you go to school, they teach you things. One plus one equals two, right? They teach you, you know "Two times two equals four." They teach you some geography, you know: "Out there's Australia, and over there is New Zealand." You know: "And out there's Taveuni." And you know: "Over there's Hawaii... Toga Toga." You know.. a little geography. But where is this given? In what school are they teaching Bhagavad-Gita As It Is? You see? Where are they giving this information? You see, this is available in ISKCON. It's the only place that Bhagavad-Gita As It Is is being taught systematically. ISKCON: International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Here, we are giving this knowledge. And this knowledge, if understood properly, and if applied intelligently, and that's... and uh conscientiously, you see? What will be the result? Su-sukham. You will achieve unlimited happiness. You see? Unlimited happiness. There is ordinary sukham in this material world. Happiness... Sukha-dukha, you see Bhagavad-Gita talks about sukha-dukha. Sometimes happy, sometimes unhappy. But this is something different. This is su-sukham. This is a happiness which is beyond this material existence. So by understanding and applying the teachings of Lord Krishna as given here in the Bhagavad-Gita, then we taste an incredible pleasure. Awesome pleasure...we experience. Therefore, persons who are actually intelligent, you see, persons who are philosophically inclined, you see, they do not endeavor for that which is temporary. Rather, they endeavor for that which is eternal. That which is everlasting. That which is ever increasing. That which is absolutely wonderful. That is something known as Krishna consciousness.
Krishna consciousness is the ultimate perfection of existence. Actually every living being is Krishna conscious. You may think that I've gone mad to make such a statement. Because everywhere around we see that nobody's chanting Hare Krishna. You see. Only a few are chanting Hare Krishna. So how I can say that everyone's Krishna conscious? They are but they don't know it. They have it within them. Just like within this flashlight, there's light. You see? But it's in a dormant state right now. But if you push the button, then boom there it comes. You see, the light becomes manifest. So, the Guru, he presses the button. Spiritual master turns on the button. To enlighten you. Because you have Krishna consciousness within you, you just don't know where the button is that's all. So Guru Maharaja, spiritual master, he knows how to reach inside your heart and push the button that turns on the light of Krishna-bhakti within you, you see. Therefore, Guru is essential. When you're in some room, in some dark room in a strange hotel and you don't know where the light switch is, you... you're just groping around the wall: "Where is that switch anyway, is it here is it there? Where is that switch?" You see? But Guru means the one who knows where the switch is. He just immediately goes shoop... So Guru is very essential. We have Guru. He knows how to turn on the light. We just have to agree to have our light turned on, that's all. If we fight against Guru, then we will never get our light turned on; We will remain in the dark. See, the Vedic injunction is. tamasi ma jyotir gamah: Come out of the darkness; come into the light. You see?
But if you want to stay in the darkness, no one can force you into the light. Someone may be pretending to be asleep, you come in and try to wake them up, and they just pretend, keep pretending (imitates loud snoring). You see? They don't want to wake up. They don't want to get out of bed. So they... when you come to wake them up, they just pretend like they're asleep. So unless you want to be awakened, unless you actually want to come out of your suffering in the cycle of birth and death, Guru will not help you. He cannot help you. You have to desire to get out of your suffering condition, sincerely want to get out of it. And then, if you come in contact with a bona fide Guru, then you have no problem. You take his mercy and you wake up. Get out of your sleeping condition in birth, death, old age, and disease. Right? That's right. And the Sanskrit is? janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi. Are you learning these sanskrit words? Good. You are? janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi: birth, death, old age, and disease? You're learning these Sanskrit words? Yeah. We have to come out of this sleeping condition, this material existence. Otherwise, what are we doing with our lives? Do you think that this life is simply meant for eating sleeping mating and defending? No way. The animals do that. But what is it said, what is the saying? Man is a rational animal. You see? So, what does rationality mean? That is given in the Vedanta-sutra: atatho brahma-jijnasa. Now you have a human form, you must utilize it for self-realization. If you do not do so, that means you're not being rational, and rational animal minus rational equals... (audience says "animal") animal. You see? So, if you do not use your rationality... You see, what do... why do we have classes? We're trying to teach you how to be rational. How to use your human intelligence, to understand "Who am I? Where have I come from? What is my purpose for existence?". You see, we're trying to help you learn how to think analytically about your existence. If you donít learn how to do that, you're just going to be like an animal. (in a dullard's voice) "Where can I eat? Where can I sleep?" You see? "Where can I mate?" And if someone tries to mess with my eating my sleeping my mating (growls) fight. You see? That's simply animal. The animal does the same, the same thing. If that's all you do is eat, sleep mate and defend. "Well, gotta go to school so I can make some money so I can eat and sleep 'n mate... And defend my eating sleeping and mating. In grand style." You see? "In Sigatoka." You see? Then you're nothing but animal. Two-legged animal. And when you get old... see two-legged... In sanskrit, two-legged animal: dvi-pada pashu, dvi-pada pashu: Two-legged animal. And when you get old you become tri-pada because you use the cane, and you have three legs, when you get old. Three-legged animal.
So we are traveling all over the world. This is actually the fourth month of Vishnupriya and I have been traveling now. We started on September 1st. Going to Germany, and then to Finland and many many different European countries on our lecture tour, and then gradually to the Middle East and India and Malaysia, Australia. Now this is the second to the last stop before we go to Los Angeles, and then back to our home base in Texas. But we are simply wanting to remind people of who you actually are; You are not your body! You're eternal spiritual beings. Therefore, you are meant to awaken the dormant love of God within your heart. You're not meant to eat, sleep, mate, and defend beyond what is necessary to keep body and soul together. We don't say "Stop eating. Stop sleeping. Stop mating. Stop defending." We don't say that. You do your eating, sleeping, mating, defending as much as is necessary to keep body and soul together, that's all. But don't devote your whole life to it. You don't need to spend all your energy for eating, sleeping mating, and defending. Eat simply, sleep simply, mate simply and defend simply. Plain living and (audience member says "high thinking") high thinking. Yes. For the modern-day society, it's just the opposite: High living and no thinking. You see? They want to live, they call it "High on the hog" you know? That's what they call it: "High on the hog." It... That tells you a lot about the modern-day society. They call it "Living high on the hog.". They live like hogs. You see. They have coined that term "Living high on the hog." Which means living like a hog. And do you know what kind of body you will get in your next life if you live like a hog in this lifetime; Can you tell me? Do you have any idea? Can you use your intelligence? I'll give you a hint: If you live like a hog now, you are thinking like a hog now, you are speaking like, you know you're grunting like a hog. You're acting like a hog, so what will you be in your next life? (Audience: "A hog.") A hog! Of course. Because you're... you're simply "Hog Hog Hog Hog Hog" You know. "I want the money. I want food. I want sex. I want this. I want that." You see? "Give me as much as I can get, and I'll... and I'll steal it if I have to." You know. "Iíll break into your house and I'll steal it." You see. It's a hog mentality. It's "Hog as much as I can get." So they become hog in their next life. That's all. Someone who's too greedy for material sense gratification, they become hog... in their next birth. That's all. So, do you want to be a hog in your next lifetime; would you like to be a pig? No. Dirty animal. Even the Muslims don't like hogs. So, instead of living like hogs, going after sense enjoyment you should live like a devotee. You chant the holy names of God. You bow down before the beautiful forms of the Lord: Radha-Krishna. You serve the devotees with love. You take shelter of the lotus feet of the bona fide Guru. In this way, you absorb yourself in Krishna-bhakti. And then what will be your next birth? punar janma na vidyate: You won't take birth again in this material world. You understand? You will go where? Back to Godhead. Isn't it? Back to Godhead. That's right. You won't take birth here again. If you give this life to Krishna, you won't take birth here again. You won't have to suffer anymore birth, death, old age and disease. janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi will be finished. Over, finished. You can simply enjoy an eternal life of bliss and knowledge. So this is what we're... in our Krishna consciousness movement, this is what we are offering to our members, and to the society in general.
If you are serious, and if you are intelligent, you will take it up. You will take it up. You will get japa-mala you will chant regularly on ja... How many people here chant japa-mala every day? Let's see a show of hands. Ninety percent: So, there's ten percent of you who arenít chanting every day. My request to you is this: Don't become a hog in your next birth. Utilize this human birth to chant the names of the Lord. If you do so you will taste a pleasure that is very very very sublime. Very sublime. Instead of doing something like watching television, you see? You can peacefully chant the names of God, and get so much benefit. You see. Don't waste time with frivolous activities. Spend the... Get up early in the morning and the first thing you do, before you start your day, you take your bath, get your bead bag, and chant. As many rounds as possible in the morning. And then, if you're a student you can do your homework, or if you're a housewife, you can cook for your family. Or if you're a business man you can go to your office. First thing is: Get up, and chant your japa as much as... if you can do sixteen rounds in the morning, that's the ideal thing. Before sunrise, that's the super-ideal thing. Get up early by 4:00; Finish your rounds before the sun comes up... or soon thereafter when it's very calm and very peaceful, and those names will be so sweet, those names will just be oozing with nectar. Literally oozing with nectar, just like a gulab jamun. You know all that juice dripping out. Yes. If you chant the names in the early morning at... you know, that... those names will be just oozing with nectar. It'll be so sweet "Mmmm, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna" It'll just be like a sweet taste in the mouth actually. You just relish it like, like the most incredible, you know, love feast: The holy name. That's the... So many people write me, they say you know "How can I... I try... I chant, but it's mechanical. I'm not getting any taste. What can I do to get taste from chanting?" And I always tell them, "Get up early. Get up early in the morning and chant your rounds before the sun comes up, and you will taste so much nectar, you'll go "Wow. I... I knew that Hare Krishna was okay, but I didnít realize that it was like this. Wow... This is amazing... How fortunate I am, that I'm a... a devotee of Krishna. I'm able to chant His names every day. I didnít realize there was this much nectar, in the holy names." You see... you'll fall in love aga... for the sec... We all fell in love with Krishna to join the movement, but then we kind of take Krishna for granted you see. But if you can start getting up early, and really focus on chanting quality rounds, you'll fall all... you'll fall in love with Krishna again. All that magic and that wonder and that amazement and that... when we first started Krishna consciousness, you can get it back again ten times more powerful than you originally experienced it. Ten times. Hundred times, thousand times. Million times. See there's no limit. There's no limit to the... to the su-sukham described in this verse of the Bhagavad-Gita.
There is no limit to how much nectar we can taste in Krishna's name. But you know what? There's one thing that's holding it ba... holding us back. You know what it is? It's our damn minds. Our damn minds. That's why Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati said that one should be very strict, and bring the mind under control. Thatís why Govinda dasa, he sings a very nice song. He says "bhajahu re mana sri-nanda-nandana abhaya-caranaravinda re" You see. He's saying "My dear mind, you just now engage yourself in the devotional service of the divine son of Nanda." so we have to train our mind just like a mother will train the child, you see. We have to train our little child of the mind. You see, just like your mommy is training you , huh? How to be a good boy, isn't it? Yes. So, the mind is like a little child, and we are like the mother, so we have to train the little child of our mind, not to run around and be naughty, but to become fixed in Krishna consciousness. We have to diligently train the mind. Just like the mother, a good... good mother will always keep an eye on the child, so he doesn't get in trouble, he doesn't hurt himself, he doesn't develop bad habits, he doesnít fall into the wrong company. You see, that he can become a very good devotee. That... the good mother always keeps an eye on the child, always makes sure that he's nicely engaged, you see. So in this way, we have to train our minds, how to be fully engaged. We have to be diligent. We have to see that "Is my mind being properly engaged?" Very important thing. Very important. Otherwise, there's one saying. The idle mind is... (Audience replies: the devil's workshop.) the devil's workshop. If we do not fix our minds, nicely in Krishna consciousness, then we will get into trouble. The mind will be attracted to this material thing, to that material thing, and we will run the risk of taking birth again in this material world, and suffering, prolonged suffering in material existence. Therefore, we should carefully control the mind, by chanting the holy names of the Lord every day, in the early morning hours, as much as possible. Train the mind, how to relish the nectar of the holy name, and qualify ourselves to get out of this cycle of birth and death. This is the sum and substance of that most glorious movement, known as the Krishna consciousness movement, of which we are members. By the mercy of Prabhupada, the mercy of Tamal Krishna Goswami Maharaja Gurudeva, the mercy of other great stalwart preachers, we have this opportunity to be a member of the Krishna consciousness movement. So now let us take full advantage of it, and make our lives simply wonderful.
So, are there any questions? Or does anybody have any objections to what I said? Or corrections you.. somebody would like to correct me, I spoke something against shastras? Somebody has a realization they'd like to share? Yes.
[Female audience member] Question.
[SDA] Question. Okay.
[Questioner 1] Not an objection. I know some people who... they keep on chanting their whole day sometimes, they chant so many rounds. Their not devoted, but they keep doing all sorts of nonsense like meat-eating and other things...
[SDA] They do what?
[Vishnupriya mataji] Meat-eating.
[SDA] Oh, they keep meat-eating, uh-huh.
[Questioner 1] Many other ...other nonsense. They take so much time and effort to chant, they chant... they chant like all day sometimes... why...
[SDA] How... They chant all day?
[Vishnupriya mataji] Yes, they chant all day
[SDA] On beads (background talking) On beads?
[Questioner 1] Yes. During the day they chant, morning they chant (SDA: yes.) So why doesn't it... why can't they stop doing all those nonsense, what makes them keep on doing?
[SDA] Yes. Yes, um, this is a problem. It is called nama aparadha. It depends on the individual circumstance. It could be that they... because they haven't taken a spiritual master. They think that they're own Guru. It could be their false pride.
[Questioner 1] mmm hmm.
[SDA] Are they initiated by a Guru?
[Questioner 1] No.
[SDA} Yeah... Well there's the problem. Because, as Srila Prabhupada points out in the Nectar of Devotion, without initiation, the connection with Krishna is never made. So their, their not actually connecting with Krishna when they chant His name. If you want to actually connect with Krishna by chanting Hare Krishna mantra, you have to have a spiritual master. Otherwise you're not even connecting with Krishna. That's one problem; They don't have a Guru. They're not initiated. They're not getting ready for initiation. Then how they're... then they're not... they can't give up the sinful activities because they're not actually tasting the nectar of the name. You may wonder: "Well, what's... what are they getting out of chanting?" Well there's some benefit in the name, even for a sinful person, doing all nonsense, but um, unless they give up their sinful activities they won't be able to continue chanting. Their chanting will stop.
[Questioner 1] But I thought like, chanting will make them stop their nonsense...
[SDA] Not necessarily. If you continue to chant offensively, you can go on chanting for millions of lifetimes offensively, and still remain in the material world. One has to chant, at the same time give up the ten offences. Why do you think Prabhupada, whenever there was an initiation ceremony, wanted the ten offenses to be explained, at the initiation ceremony. Just like now, whenever I initiate disciples, I always talk about the ten offences. Whenever I initiate a new disciple, I always give a lecture about initiation and then the ten offenses, because simply chanting sixteen rounds and following the four regulative principles is not enough to get liberated. One has to chant without offense also. Actually, it's not even... just to chant and follow the principles will not even allow one to continue doing so, because if the offenses are not being gradually, you know, put out to pasture as it were, retired from one's habits, then one will not get the taste. The taste comes from purification of consciousness. So we have to consciously cultivate pure consciousness by avoiding the ten offenses. Then the... we'll get sweeter... we'll get nava-nava-rasa: newer and newer taste by chanting Krishna's name. It will be ever-increasing taste. It will become an ever-increasing thrill at every moment to chant the name of Krishna. I guarantee you, anybody who's stubbornly eating meat, and chanting Hare Krishna, they may think: "Well, I can neutralize my sin of eating meat by chanting Hare Krishna." But Krishna will never accept such cheating mentality. He will never accept it. It's called sinning on the strength of chanting, and there's nothing more offensive than doing that. So, one who's chanting Hare Krishna, they must also give up their sinful life. Otherwise their chanting will stop very soon; they won't be able to continue chanting. Does that answer your question? Thank you for asking a question.
Who else would like to ask a question?
[Questioner 2] Just a little addition on that. There has also been incidents whereby, they were meat-eaters and through chanting they have stopped doing like that. So...
[SDA] But now they're doing it again?
[Questioner 2] No.
[SDA] Oh, they gave it up. [Questioner 2: Yeah.] She said they were still chanting.
[Vishnupriya mataji and Questioner 2 saying "this is different"]
[SDA] This is a different example.
[Questioner 2] This is different context. That... I mean chanting does make your [SDA: Oh yeah, well some people... Oh yes...] consciousness pure.
[SDA] Oh yes. If someone is... if someone desires to be purified, and perfect the chanting they, they may start chanting while they're a meat-eater, but they'll give it up. It's a matter of their own desire. I mean, look at all the boys and girls that Prabhupada preached to in America they were doing all nonsense, but he got them attached to chanting Hare Krishna and they said "This is so wonderful. I will give up meat-eating, I will give up illicit sex. I'll give up intoxication." You see. They were doing all sinful activities. If one has the desire to purify their consciousness, they will gladly give up those activities, as soon as possible. They'll realize: "I want to get rid of this stuff.." But if someone is thinking: "No. I will keep eating meat and chant Hare Krishna." Stubbornly holding on to it, they won't be able to keep chanting. Unless they're willing to give up the meat. It's one or the other, eventually. You can't go on committing sin on the strength of chanting and have any taste for chanting. You know, continually.
Questions, more? So...Yes.
[Questioner 3] My question is kind of related to mataji's question. Can you... Could you come across a society, a group of people like, who are chanting but a, they still continue with these sinful kind of activities and stuff?
[SDA] They're chanting but?
[Questioner 3] They're chanting but they're still into sinful activities.
[SDA] Yes. Because that's their philosophy. [Questioner 3: I guess so...] Right. Now there's many people out there nowadays... actually Prabhupada very much popularized Krishna consciousness. So, now we find in the Western world, in America, there's many people who are into Krishna consciousness outside of ISKCON, they have their own new versions of Krishna consciousness where they're allowed to continue engaging in sinful activities and they think they're advanced devotees. Well, Krishna doesn't accept it. They're being misguided by bogus gurus. And they're being taught that Prabhupada is a bad person. You know. "He's..." They're being taught. These bogus gurus are bad-mouthing Srila Prabhupada. Teaching people Krishn... you know so-called Krishna consciousness and you know saying that you can also, you know have sinful activities at the same time. So this cheating is going on. Now that Krishna con... bhakti movement... Prabhupada has popularized bhakti. But now the sahajiyas have come out saying "Yeah, you can do bhakti, and you don't have to follow any rules and regulations. You don't have to chant japa. You don't have to get up early. You know you can eat whatever you want and you can do bhakti.Ē Its a growing phenomena now in this planet. Uh so you'll find groups out there, all kinds of groups who will do kirtan, and they still engage in sinful activity. So, we have to attract them to the... to our kirtana program: save them. Nobody can compete with prasadam. And nobody can compete with kirtana also; when devotees chant with feeling, uh no one can... no music will be that attractive to the soul. So you should invite them to your program, and give them the real taste of the holy names, the real taste of Krishna prasadam, you see? So they will give up their sinful activities and become pure devotees.
[Questioner 3] Thank you for answering the question which I didn't... I didn't really complete.
[SDA] (Aside to Vishnupriya mataji) What is it?
[Vishnupriya mataji] He didn't complete his question. [Questioner 3] (laughing) But it's answered now. Thank you so much.
[Audience member] He didn't complete the question, but you answered his question.
[SDA] Oh... (audience laughing) that was the Supersoul. Supersoul. That was Supersoul.
[Questioner 4] What are some of the activities or things that are included in the first offense?
[Questioner 4] Oh, first. Oh the first offense: to blaspheme or criticize those devotees who have dedicated their lives for propagating the holy names of the Lord all over the world. That is absolutely the most dangerous, most destructive offense you can ever commit. To have a negative attitude towards Vaishnavas, especially towards Guru who is the topmost of all Vaishnavas, you see. If we have an offensive attitude towards the Vaishnavas, even if we don't say anything but just... even if we harbor in our minds "Oh... This devotee, that devotee is a real rascal." You see? If we can't see the good quality in the... that devotee, all we can see: "Yeah, he's no good. He's just no good." You see. Then we're committing Vaishnava aparadha in the mind and that's polluting our consciousness, making it difficult for us to perfect our chanting. Now, a senior devotee does have a responsibility to train up the younger devotees, so he does have a duty to see what this devotee is doing wrong. But he also has... but he can never be effective in training that devotee, unless he can see what that devotee is doing right, also. He has to be able to see the good in that devotee. So you can encourage the good to be more powerful to gradually move out the bad. The advanced devotee can see the spark of bhakti in the heart of a neophyte and he can fan that spark into a blazing fire. There's an example from Tamal Krishna Maharaja. Very nice example he gave about Prabhupada, back in 1977. So, even a bad attitude about a particular devotee isÖ counts as an aparadha, an offensive mentality. Aparadhi mentality, you see. And if you actually say it out loud, it's even worse and if you do something physical, you know like hit him, then awe, it's really bad. That happens sometimes: A devotee will hit another devotee, he gets so, becomes so offensive in his atti... he actually hit another devotee. That's the most sinful thing you can ever do: To hit a devotee, whew, very bad. So we have to be very tolerant of the offenses of others, at the same time we have to set the perfect example of being very pure in all of our thoughts our words and our deeds so that other people will be inspired, to see how much nectar you can taste when you avoid the first offense. People think that they can be happy by you know, being one-up on someone else by criticizing them, but they don't realize they're just shooting themself in the foot. The more we can appreciate the devotees, the more we'll taste the nectar actually. The more I can love all the devotees, the good of all the devotees, the more I will be happy. The more I find fault with the devotees, the more I will be miserable. So this is...
[Audience member] Like the example you gave in Suva, that the bottle is half empty or half full.
[SDA] Yes. That's right. I gave the example, this bottle, you see? This bottle has this much water you see? So is this bottle three-fourths full, or one-forth empty? How will you describe it? Is it one-fourth empty, or three-fourths full? What would be... If I asked you to describe the fullness/emptiness status of this bottle what would you say? Would you say "We'll it's one-fourth empty." or would you say it's three-fourths full?
[Audience member] Three-fourths full.
[SDA] Yes. That's the positive way of doing it. You see? That's how we have to look at the devotee. Even if he has so many bad qualities, we see: "Well, but this quality he has is very good!" You see. "He likes prasadam!" (laughs)
[Audience member] Let him cook! (laughter)
[SDA] Eh? (laughter continues) Let him cook?
[Audience member] Uh, like you said. Yes.
[SDA] You know, when I joined this movement, and I was getting ready... thinking of joining ISKCON, um we had... we learned this prayer, that, you know: yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado: That by the mercy of the spiritual master, you'll make advancement and without the grace of the spir... you know, we were taught "You have to please the Guru. That's how you make advancement." And I was thinking "Well, you know Prabhupada is out in California, or in India or somewhere. Here I am in Texas. How am I going to please Prabhupada, and make advancement." I didn't, you know I couldn't...didn't figure out how I was going to please him. "How's it possible, I can please him?" I mean, I'm such a rascal. How can I possibly please Prabhupada?" It seemed hopeless. You know? But then I heard this verse: catur-vidha-sri-bhagavat-prasada, that if you simply take prasadam, the spiritual master is pleased. I said: "Oh yes. I can handle this movement." (laughter) You see? That I can take prasadam: Guru maharaja, Srila Prabhupada will be pleased with me, and then I will make advancement by his mercy. See? So, (Vishnupriya mataji: It's easy.) even if somebody's just addicted to prasadam, that's a good quality. That pleases Srila Prabhupada, pleases the bona fide spiritual master. So, if they have nothing else but an addiction to prasadam, that's... we can love that wonderful quality they have. (laughs) You see? So, in this way, always try to find at least one thing in every devotee, that you can admire and worship them for. In this way, you always... then it'll be very easy not to... to have a, you know a negative attitude towards them. If you just try to avoid a negative attitude, it's hard. But if you actually are pro-active, which means you cultivate, actively cultivate a positive attitude about that devotee, then you know, it becomes easier to not find fault unnecessarily. Now that doesn't mean that for a senior devotee, you have to not see their faults, but you just have to see their faults compassionately, that's all. With a view to serving them, to helping them get over those faults. That is not considered fault-finding, or criticism. It's the mood of compassion that's the import... that's the, you know the deciding factor. If you hate someone, you have negative feelings towards them, that's the first offense. We have to have positive feelings towards all the Vaishnavas. Prabhupada, one time in Mexico City... there had been some late night program, and so anyway, at mangala-arati, nobody showed up. All devotees were asleep, and when it came time for class, the devotees had got up in time for class. Prabhupada was giving the class, and Prabhupada chastised them like anything. He was just so angry that they didn't come to mangala-arati. Did any of you ever miss mangala-arati? Any of you ever miss mangala-arati?
[Audience member] Very rarely.
[SDA] Prabhupada... Very rare that you miss it? Oh, that's good. Prabhupada was so angry that they had missed mangala-arati, and he just... the whole class they were just, like shaking, you know? Prabhupada was so heavily chastising them. For so many minutes he just went on: chastising, chastising, chastising. Was just like a lion, just angry like anything. And then after the lecture Citsuk... my god brother Citsukananda prabhu who was the temple president, he walked out of the door with Prabhupada and... Mexico, is kind of like Figi, you know the flowers... so many varieties of flowers are growing there. So there was one nice little flower, he just picked it and offered it to Prabhupada. And Prabhupada took that flower and he just (smells deeply) in complete, peaceful state of mind, and he was... Citsukananda said: "Srila Prabhupada, just a minute ago you were so angry, and now you're so serene and peaceful. How is that?" Prabhupada said: "Actually, I am never angry. I just make a show of anger to teach my disciples. Just to rectify the mistakes of my disciples. I am never angry at you." Prabhupada was just like " Graaaaaw!" just chastising like anything, showing so much anger. But, then Prabhupada said: "Actually, I wasn't really angry. I was doing that to rectify your faults." So this is the magnanimity of the advanced devotee, they never have negative feelings for, you know towards anyone. They have nothing but pure compassion for everyone and they just want to help everyone. They may sometimes show anger: Strong words like a thunderbolt (imitates thunder crack) "You rascal, why are you doing that?" You see? They may sometimes show anger: "Wake up!" You see. "Why are you sleeping?" The spiritual master, and senior devotees, you see, may sometimes do... give strong words, but that is to help the student to come out of the stupor of tamo-guna, rajo-guna, that's it. Everybody understand that point? We love you, even if we sometimes speak harshly to you, to help you out of your sleep of ignorance. We love you very much, but we sometimes speak in a harsh way to wake you up. (snaps fingers)
One more question, if someone has one. Yes.
[Questioner 5 with very soft voice] (indistinct) About changing our chanting, we do (indistinct) and did not find anything, only one year, this year I found everything. So we, not uh, taking rules clearly, eh? In one year I find everything, my children, my husband and my family is very happy.
[SDA] Huh. So what is she saying?
[Another audience member] She's saying that she's chanting for so long, she didn't find any happiness (SDA: Yeah.) at least a year, now she's doing everything very strictly, following all the rules chanting daily (SDA: Yeah) she's saying that herself and all of her family are very happy.
[SDA] Jaya! Very good. Yeah that's a fact that if we just follow the process, we will taste the nectar, that's a fact, and the whole... everything our... everything around us will just become transformed as if a... in fact, do you know that Prabhupada says that if you... if a devotee chants the holy names without offense, that devotee becomes the spiritual master of the whole universe, and under his influence, the whole world will take up the chanting of Hare Krishna. That's how powerful it is. If one devotee will purely chant the holy names. That means that each and every one of you can become jagat-guru. You see, you don't have to be a man, or a sannyasi to be a Guru. If you want to be a Guru, just become a pure chanter and you'll become the Guru of the whole universe. You can influence the whole universe to take krishna-bhakti if you become a pure chanter of the names. So everyone can become Guru, just become a pure chanter and you'll be the Guru of the whole spirit... the whole universe. Prabhupada has said so. By his mercy, even though it's inconceivable (laughing) how we could do that. But by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, it is possible. He is actually that jagat-guru but he will transfer his... he will act through you also. If you become a pure chanter, Prabhupada will manifest his pure potency through you, and empower you to also act in that way. It actually... all the power comes from Krishna originally. He's the source of all the spiritual energy, and those who fully surrender to Krishna, they become empowered like that, to distribute krishna-bhakti to everyone. So, we can all become empowered to the... like that if we become, all pure chanters of the names. All right. We'll stop here, and we thank you all very much, for your wonderful participation in this Krishna consciousness movement. If anybody would like to meet with me personally I am... I have a little bit of time, a little... few minutes, I could do that, since I'm only here for one night.
[Audience member] Just one... (SDA: Huh?) Just one question.
[SDA] Alright. Alright.
[Questioner 6] How can one decide who is a bona fide Guru?
[SDA] This is a very important question, because in the modern-day society there's so many bogus spiritual masters. The bona fide spiritual master is... if we study carefully the Bhagavad-Gita, then we will understand who is a bona fide spiritual master. Krishna says "evam parampara-praptam, imam rajarshayo viduh" this knowledge is understood through disciplic succession. So, bona fide spiritual master has to be a bona fide disciple of a Guru who is in a bona fide line of succession from Lord Krishna. That's the first point. If some... you think : "This person may be a Guru." Then find out who his Guru is. And who is his Guru? Is there a line, unbroken line of pure devotees going back to Krishna? Then this person you may... you think: "Well, this person could possibly be a bona fide spiritual master, because his Guru is a bona fide spiritual master." And then, you have to study that person to see: "Is he strictly following his own Guru?" That's the next thing you have to see. "Is he a disciple of a bona fide spiritual master?" That's the first thing. Second of all: "Is he actually following his bon... his spiritual master strictly?" And that's easy. Read Prabhupada's books. See: "Does this person think, speak and act in all times in all places in all situations in perfect harmony with Prabhupada's books?" And if he does so then he's a bona fide spiritual master.
[Questioner 6] Not in just ISKCON context... There are other... in the society, there's so many other sadhus, and so-called sadhus (SDA: Yes.) that come from India, they may tell them "Leave this festival." or "Leave this something that you don't like, and I'm gonna give you diksha." And they carry this along with them and say that they are Guru. So they want to separate...
[SDA] The thing is that we really have to... even though we really respect anyone who is, you know, spreading love of God, the fact is that anyone who... the preeminent acharya of theÖ actually, is His Divine Grace, Srila Prabhupada. Of all the acharyas in the history of the universe, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Tridandi Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada is the preeminent... He is the leading acharya in the history of the universe. No acharya ever did what he did. So, you... an intelligent person...Prabhupada has the best realization, the most sha... krishna-shakti of anyone. So, anyone who want... understanding how difficult it is to get out of this material world will want to take shelter of Prabhupada or, someone who is a bona fide representative of Srila Prabhupada. We find that outside of ISKCON there may be other Gaudiya sannyasis or this or that but what we see... you actually... I know, my god brother has had experience. They will actually un... they will glorify Prabhupada publicly to get people to come and hear from them, and then once they get you in the intimate setting they will actually criticize Prabhupada; They will minimize him. So, if we go to such so-called gurus, who are actually offending Srila Prabhupada, then we are hurting our own relationship with Srila Prabhupada. That's why er other so-called gurus coming around... don't go. Because you'll be contaminated. Actually you'll be contaminated by their association. You will be contaminated. Um, because they... we see they have ulterior motive. Anyone who undermines Prabhupada... There's one popular one who comes to Fiji; I don't want to mention his name. But he actually undermines Prabhupada. He says that Prabhupada didn't start ISKCON and actually he is the real ISKCON. He's simply trying to take ISKCON... steal ISKCON away from Prabhupada, and from Prabhupada's disciples, and make it his own personal property, for profit, adoration, distinction. That's all. It's a very gross thing that he's doing. It's just like breaking into someone's house and robbing someone's house. He's breaking into the ISKCON house and trying to rob it. He said he will re-initiate all the ISKCON devotees as his own devotees; He made a pledge. He's just like someone who breaks into your house to steal from your house, when you're gone. Now that Prabhupada is gone you think: "Yes, I will break into the ISKCON house, and I will steal all the disciples, and all the temples and all the property and take it all as my own." So, no. Such persons we must avoid, very strictly. We must train our members not to go to hear them. They are not qualified. Bona.. They are not bona fide Gurus, to take us out of this material world. Anyone who has this sort of an attitude towards Prabhupada and his movement is not a bona fide spiritual master. Even though people will say: "Oh, he's a pure devotee." and this and that. He's not a pure devotee. He's definitely not a pure devotee. So that's pretty well answered that one. Okay. So, let's go ahead and stop here. Unless there's some burning question that has... that needs to be answered. I can stay up all night if you, you know there's burning questions, but you can't stay up all night. (chuckles) So, we'll stop here. Bhagavad-Gita As It Is ki, jaya. Srila Prabhupada ki, jaya.
[Audience member] His Grace Sankarshan Prabhu ki, jaya.
[SDA] ISKCON Sigatoka devotees ki, jaya.
[end of recording]