Denville, New Jersey, 06/13 /
Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya
[Gurudeva is singing 3 times and devotees repeat]
Today we are diving ever deeper into that sweet nectarean ocean of Srimad Bhagavatam. This is the first canto chapter 5, text number 11.
yasmin prati-slokam abaddhavaty api
namany anantasya yaso nkitani yat
srnvanti gayanti grnanti sadhavah
yasmin prati-slokam abaddhavaty api
namany anantasya yaso nkitani yat
srnvanti gayanti grnanti sadhavah
tat — that; vak — vocabulary; visargah — creation; janata— the people in general; agha — sins; viplavah — revolutionary; yasmin — in which; prati-slokam — each and every stanza; abaddhavati — irregularly composed; api — in spite of; namani — transcendental names, etc.; anantasya — of the unlimited Lord; yasah — glories; ankitani — depicted; yat — what; srnvanti — do hear; gayanti — do sing; grnanti — do accept; sadhavah— the purified men who are honest.
On the other hand, that literature which is full of descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, forms, pastimes, etc., of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a different creation, full of transcendental words directed toward bringing about a revolution in the impious lives of this world's misdirected civilization. Such transcendental literatures, even though imperfectly composed, are heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest.
It is a qualification of the great thinkers to pick up the best even from the worst. It is said that the intelligent man should pick up nectar from a stock of poison, should accept gold even from a filthy place, should accept a good and qualified wife even from an obscure family and should accept a good lesson even from a man or from a teacher who comes from the untouchables. These are some of the ethical instructions for everyone in every place without exception. But a saint is far above the level of an ordinary man. He is always absorbed in glorifying the Supreme Lord because by broadcasting the holy name and fame of the Supreme Lord, the polluted atmosphere of the world will change, and as a result of propagating the transcendental literatures like Srimad-Bhagavatam, people will become sane in their transactions. While preparing this commentation on this particular stanza of Srimad Bhagavatam we have a crisis before us. Our neighboring friend China has attacked the border of India with a militaristic spirit. We have practically no business in the political field, yet we see that previously there were both China and India, and they both lived peacefully for centuries without ill feeling. The reason is that they lived those days in an atmosphere of God consciousness, and every country, over the surface of the world, was God-fearing, pure-hearted and simple, and there was no question of political diplomacy. There is no cause of quarrel between the two countries China and India over land, which is not very suitable for habitation, and certainly there is no cause for fighting on this issue. But due to the age of quarrel, Kali, which we have discussed, there is always a chance of quarrel on slight provocation. This is due not to the issue in question, but to the polluted atmosphere of this age: systematically there is propaganda by a section of people to stop glorification of the name and fame of the Supreme Lord. Therefore, there is a great need for disseminating the message of Srimad-Bhagavatam all over the world. It is the duty of every responsible Indian to broadcast the transcendental message of Srimad-Bhagavatam throughout the world to do all the supermost good as well as to bring about the desired peace in the world. Because India has failed in her duty by neglecting this responsible work, there is so much quarrel and trouble all over the world. We are confident that if the transcendental message of Srimad-Bhagavatam is received only by the leading men of the world, certainly there will be a change of heart, and naturally the people in general will follow them. The mass of people in general are tools in the hands of the modern politicians and leaders of the people. If there is a change of heart of the leaders only, certainly there will be a radical change in the atmosphere of the world. We know that our honest attempt to present this great literature conveying transcendental messages for reviving the God consciousness of the people in general and respiritualizing the world atmosphere is fraught with many difficulties. Our presenting this matter in adequate language, especially a foreign language, will certainly fail, and there will be so many literary discrepancies despite our honest attempt to present it in the proper way. But we are sure that with all our faults in this connection the seriousness of the subject matter will be taken into consideration, and the leaders of society will still accept this due to its being an honest attempt to glorify the Almighty God. When there is fire in a house, the inmates of the house go out to get help from the neighbors who may be foreigners, and yet without knowing the language the victims of the fire express themselves, and the neighbors understand the need, even though not expressed in the same language. The same spirit of cooperation is needed to broadcast this transcendental message of the Srimad Bhagavatam throughout the polluted atmosphere of the world. After all, it is a technical science of spiritual values, and thus we are concerned with the techniques and not with the language. If the techniques of this great literature are understood by the people of the world, there will be success.
When there are too many materialistic activities by the people in general all over the world, there is no wonder that a person or a nation attacks another person or nation on slight provocation.
SDA: Even amongst ourselves this is going on. Some little thing is there and we become very agitated, develop a negative attitude and deal in a negative way with another person and there is another devotee on slight provocation. A little bit if our feathers get ruffled slightly then we become very agitated. So we have to be very, very situated on the saintly platform sadhus. We are meant to be a society of sadhus. We have to develop those qualities of tolerance and forgiveness.
That is the rule of this age of Kali or quarrel. The atmosphere is already polluted with corruption of all description, and everyone knows it well. There are so many unwanted literatures full of materialistic ideas of sense gratification. In many countries there are bodies appointed by the state to detect and censor obscene literature. This means that neither the government nor the responsible leaders of the public want such literature, yet it is in the marketplace because the people want it for sense gratification. The people in general want to read (that is a natural instinct), but because their minds are polluted they want such literatures. Under the circumstances, transcendental literature like Srimad-Bhagavatam will not only diminish the activities of the corrupt mind of the people in general, but also it will supply food for their hankering after reading some interesting literature. In the beginning they may not like it because one suffering from jaundice is reluctant to take sugar candy, but we should know that sugar candy is the only remedy for jaundice. Similarly, let there be systematic propaganda for popularizing reading of the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad-Bhagavatam, which will act like sugar candy for the jaundice like condition of sense gratification. When men have a taste for this literature, the other literatures, which are catering poison to society, will then automatically cease.
We are sure, therefore, that everyone in human society will welcome Srimad-Bhagavatam, even though it is now presented with so many faults, for it is recommended by Sri Narada, who has very kindly appeared in this chapter. [End of Purport]
Just see, how positive he is, Srila prabhupada. How positive he is. “We are sure that everyone in the human society will welcome Srimad Bhagavatam.” So is Srila Prabhupada wrong? Are Prabhupada’s words proved to be untrue? The Hare Krishna movement will be some obscure minority threat somewhere or will it be as this word in the sloka ‘viplavah’ –revolutionary. What is it? What do you think? Will it revolutionize this planet or will it remain an obscure little cult? The words of Srila Prabhupada cannot be untrue because Prabhupada said that Krishna is actually writing this purport. It is actually Krishna. Prabhupada is said to be taking the dictation from Krishna within the heart. Not only the slokas are words by Krishna, the purports are also the words of Krishna actually. So someone says “I am just going to read the verses, I am not going to read the purports." It is not a very good attitude. The purports are equally as potent, sometimes even more potent than the verses themselves because now the very same Bhagavatam which was given 5,000 years ago is being given in the context of the modern society, so we can understand. Actually this struggle in India is still going on. I understand that this disputed piece of land is still going on. They still have not settled up the conflict over this piece of land between China and India even though it is uninhabitable.
VPM: Are you saying uninhabitable?
SDA: Yes, uninhabitable.
VPM: The reason they are fighting is because it is like a wall.
SDA: It is a sense of ownership even though it is like a useless land.
VPM: It is a wall that protects each country so if one penetrates the wall...
SDA: It is three feet this side and three feet that side. So what is the difference? It is a psychological thing actually. It is a false egoistic spirit that "I am the Lord." That is what is actually going on because whether the wall is three feet this way or three feet this way, what does it matter? Wall is a wall.
VPM: Yes, if one crosses the wall then you are in the other territory.
SDA: It is useless. Because we are thinking "I am the owner. This land is my land. It is not your land. You better get off or I will blow your head off." That kind of mentality. The fact is that it is all owned by God. It is the property of Krishna. So we understand that what is the quarrel? We simply have to work together. We are all brothers and sisters. We are all the children of God. We are meant to work together to please the Lord. So this is actually exciting to read that Srila Prabhupada is sure that the human society will welcome this philosophy. It is very exciting actually that the pure devotee has this vision. So, we have to think now that this is our duty as the followers of Srila Prabhupada, how to make this come true as soon as possible. And Prabhupada is especially pointing those who are born in India. I think we have two people born in India in this room here right now. Of course it applies to all of us but Prabhupada is especially pointing the finger to those who are born in India.
Devotee: The whole planet was India previously.
SDA: He is saying that it is the duty of every Indian to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world. What is he saying here? “It is the duty of every responsible Indian to broadcast the transcendental message of Srimad Bhagavatam throughout the world”. Of course you can say “I am an irresponsible Indian so I am off the hook”. No. Prabhupada wants every Indian to be responsible. That is his desire. This is the duty not only for Indians but Prabhupada wants all of his followers to do it as well. So don’t feel bad “I wish I was an Indian, so I would have the duty of spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world and be envious of my Indian prabhus in ISKCON because they have a special order from Prabhupada. No, the special order is there for each and every one of us to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world. It does not matter whether a man weather a woman, weather Indian, weather an American. We all have the same order, we are meant to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world. This order is given individually and collectively.
Actually Srila Prabhupada was in Australia and the devotee who was in Australia wrote us a letter in Dallas, this was in 1972. Prabhpada said, “I have done ten times more than my Guru Maharaja, now you must do ten times more than me”. So I discussed this with one Sannyasi. What it means collectively we should do. But I was thinking it is better if we think in terms of each one of us should feel that responsibility. Then the numbers are much more exciting. If every member of ISKCON can do ten times as much as Prabhupada did in his preaching. If Prabhupada made 10,000 disciples then you can make 100,000 followers. Everyone can make 100,000 followers in our movement. We can all bring 100,000 people into Krishna consciousness. The numbers are much more exciting than if we just do it collectively. If each individual can think that Prabhupada has done ten times more than his Guru Maharaja, "e is ordering me to do ten times more than him," then the numbers are much more exciting. And that day when the entire world will welcome the Srimad Bhagavatam will become that much faster. Therefore that is how we should take it. Each one of us has to bring at least 100,000 people into this movement. And how do we do that? How is it possible? It seems impossible. Bhakta Vinoda can bring 100,000 people into this movement. It seems impossible. But actually Prabhupada explains in the Caitanya caritamrita, as we have many times repeated, that anyone who can chant the holy name of the Lord completely purely without offense becomes Jagad Guru and under his influence the entire world will take up chanting. So, why only 100,000 why not a 100 million? If you can become a pure chanter of the holy name, you can bring 100 million people for this movement. Why only 100,000 why not a 100 million?
So this is why we have to take the rules and regulations because we are still in the level of sadhana bhakti. We have to take the rules and regulations very seriously. We have seen now in ISKCON especially in North America, we used to all be very strict. We would all be getting up at 4 ‘o clock, having mangala arati and the Bhagavatam class. We would not listen to mundane music. We were strictly following the rules and regulations of sadhana bhakti and now we see in so many places, where is the sadhana bhakti anymore? I noticed going around one festival that nobody said even Hare Krishna. It was just Haribol, Haribol, Haribol. Did Prabhupada ever say Haribol? He would say, “Hare Krishna.” So I was thinking is this the Haribol movement or still the Hare Krishna movement? Of course there is nothing wrong with Haribol. Prabhupada always said "Hare Krishna". Somehow or the other, some things are changing.
We have to keep that spirit when Prabhupada was here and keep things like that very much. We have to see what is Prabhupada’s style? What is Prabhupada’s mentality? We have to conduct our lives in such a way that we are pleasing Srila Prabhupada at every minute by everything that we are doing. By pleasing the pure devotee Srila Prabhupada with our every thought, with our every word and with our every deed then actually, just as Prabhupada was revolutionary, we know how revolutionary Prabhupada was. Everything he did was revolutionary, every gesture, every word, every thought. Absolutely everything he did at every minute was revolutionary. There is no doubt about it. Prabhupada is the greatest revolutionary in the history of the world by transforming the human society.
There is no greater revolutionary. Forget Marx. Forget George Washington. All these people are nothing compared to Prabhupada. The Beatles, so many people are credited for being great revolutionaries. It is nothing compared to Prabhupada. He is absolutely the greatest, the most potent and powerful revolutionary in the history of the world. So we can keep this spirit of doing everything the way Prabhupada would like it. In our personal habits, the time we rise in the morning, how many times we take bath... If we try to do everything in a way that pleases Srila Prabhupada, always thinking what would please Srila Prabhupada then by that revolutionary potency we can influence the people to become Krishna conscious. That is a fact. To the degree that we are strictly following the teachings of Srila Prabhupada to that extent we have potency for spreading this Krishna consciousness.
So Prabhupada told us American devotees, “If you have any feelings for your countrymen then spread this Krishna consciousness. They are dying.” He said it with such an emotion “they are dying”. What do you mean dying? I see them driving around with smiles on their faces, going for picnics on the 4th of July, watching the fireworks display. No, they are dying. If you cannot see they are dying then you are blind. The students going to the university, it’s a slaughter-house. They are dying in those classes. The teachers are killing them. They are murdering them with atheistic philosophy, sense gratification philosophy.
One of our devotees, he was a student in the University of Texas, the professor was saying “You should have a girlfriend for sex and you should also have a boyfriend for sex”. He was advocating bisexuality, in this way you can really enjoy. If you have a girlfriend then have sex with your girlfriend, or if you have a boyfriend also have sex with your boyfriend. The professor was advocating that in the classroom and he was allowed to say that in the classroom. He does not lose his position. But if he speaks about God then he can lose his position immediately. He is propagating religion in a state university. If he tells the students “they should love God” immediately he can lose his job very quickly. If he advocates bi-sex, have boyfriend, have girlfriend and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy then no problem. So these universities they are killing these students. They are murdering them.
Sometimes in our own movement we think, “Well, we want to become recognized by these universities for our Krishna conscious teachings then we can teach Bhagavad-gita accredited for university credit. We have to present our Krishna consciousness in such a way that the universities will recognize our academic authenticity. But that is wrong. It can be done for preaching. That should not be our philosophical understanding. The actual position is if those universities want to be recognized they have to be accredited by ISKCON. If Harvard wants to be recognized as a bona fide educational institution, they have to be recognized by ISKCON. Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge these universities, your art schools, if they want to be recognized as legitimate places of higher learning then they have to be recognized by ISKCON. That’s how we should actually see it. That is how ISKCON has to take a revolutionary posture on this planet. This society is actually the leading educational institution in the entire planet. So we should never just feel like that we have to just blend in and be accepted as another sectarian religion down the block. You get the Methodist, the Baptist and the Hare Krishna just line up with everybody else be accepted by the media as another one of the bona fide churches in town. No, we can use that for preaching.
Prabhupada went to some ecumenical gathering in Montreal. He did not say, “I am ok and you are ok, and rub shoulders with everyone and we are all here together." Prabhupada spoke in such a way that they became agitated. They became very angry actually. Prabhupada was not in that ecumenical “I’m ok and you’re ok, we are all here together and everything is beautiful and groovy”. Prabhupada was not in that mood and they did not like it. But he did not budge from his position. This is revolutionary. This is the leading knowledge that everyone will someday recognize and realize, so we don’t have to compromise.
Bhaktisiddhantads did not like preachers who compromised. We don’t have to compromise our philosophy. Prabhupada said, “I act like a king because nobody can defeat me." We don’t have to budge one inch. At the same time we present our philosophy in a very intelligent, thoughtful, scientific way that any thoughtful person can appreciate it. "Yes, this is very intelligent thing." It is not like we present it like some dogma that the Bhagavad-gita says so so you have to accept it. That is good if somebody can understand the authority of the scriptures, but how many people will accept the authority of the scriptures? So we have to explain with logic, with scientific reasoning and establish that there is God. Just like Prabhupada very expertly uses logic. He says that every machine has an operator. It is a very practical thing. Do you know of any machine without an operator that operates? Here is a machine, a harmonium it requires someone to pump it and press the keys. Your watch, you have to put the battery in it. Every machine, a computer, a car requires an operator. So Prabhupada says, therefore we can guess that this gigantic machine, the universal cosmic machine also requires an operator. In this way Prabhupada is giving very, very good logic to understand. Actually, we have to become very expert in logic. In Sanskrit they call it nyaya.
When Prabhupada was travelling from Bombay to Nairobi he was sitting there with Madhudvisa Maharaja at that time. He said, “So Madhudvisa Maharaja, are you ready to fight”? He was amazed “What do you mean Srila Prabhupada, 'fight'”? He said, “Yes, I will play the Vaishnava and you will play the Mayavadi and we will debate.” So he had the debate. Of course, Prabhupada completely smashed all the Mayavadi arguments, he completely wiped them out. Now he said, “Okay now you play the Vaishnava and I will play the Mayavadi.” And Madhudvisa was thinking “Oh, now I have all the arguments. I just heard them from Prabhupada so I can completely smash Mayavadi philosophy” and Prabhupada was so powerful in presenting the Mayavadi philosophy that Madhudvisa was defeated.
So Prabhupada said in this way, you have to know the art of argument so well that you can take your own argument and defeat it. You can defeat your own position. Become so expert at logic and argument that you can defeat Vaishnava philosophy with Mayavadi philosophy and then turn around and defeat those arguments with the Vaishnava philosophy and then defeat those arguments again with the Mayavadi philosophy in this way you can go on unlimitedly. This is the art of argument, logic.
In this way we have to become very expert preachers. We have to become very pure and very sincere and very genuine to allow the Supersoul to actually act through us, when we speak. We have to be conduits for the previous acaryas. We have to be so pure in our preaching that no false pride, no desire for recognition that, “I am great, just see how great I am” which is a problem. In our society many devotees who were very expert, they became elevated to big positions as GBC, sannyasis, gurus. But where are they now? 'Here today, gone tomorrow' because there was some tinge still of pride, they had some desire to be worshipped, to be recognized as being a great personality. So we have to be very, very careful.
Therefore there is a fine line between being an enthusiastic preacher and thinking “Ah, I am great”. As soon as you cross over that line then Maya will just grab you. "Here is a beautiful woman, she is worshipping you and now you can enjoy. Here is some money being offered, you can enjoy this money." It is a very fine line. So we have to be very, very, very, very pure. We have to strive for pure devotion at every second of our existence. There is never a moment when we can say “Okay, lay pure devotion on the side for now and enjoy for a while. It will be Krishna conscious because I am doing it with devotees. Let us take an afternoon off and just enjoy our senses together with devotees. It will help to build our camaraderie together. We can just enjoy together. We will do some activities with the karmis also, but we will do it as devotees and because we are devotees we can say 'Haribol' with each other, then that is transcendental.”
Actually it is not that we have to organize a softball game in a Sunday program. Did Prabhupada ever have softball? “Okay now we will have a softball or a volleyball game after we finish prasadam”. It is a tendency now happening in our movement thinking that "Now we have to have a softball game, a volleyball game." What is the need? Actually if someone thinks that playing ball is very nice, “I just enjoy playing ball very, very much we must do this as devotees, let’s play ball together and build our camaraderie,” if you think that playing ball is very nice then I have a much better ball game to give you. If you want to play ball and you enjoy playing ball then I will give you a ballgame then you can play for 24 hours a day at all times in all places. You can constantly be playing ball if you like playing ball. That ball game, I am not giving it actually. Srimad Bhagavatam is giving it right here in this verse. This is why it is one of my favorite verses. This is a ball game and what is that ball? That is called earth planet. It is a big, big ball. Just like in football, each team is seeing who can control that ball and they win. Now this gigantic ball, the earth planet, the demons are controlling this ball. This ball game means we have to get the control of the ball. As Prabhupada said in Bombay “This world is currently being managed by rogues and demons. But now you make your lives successful and you take the management”. So what can be a more exciting, a bigger and more enlivening ball game than this battle between the suras and asuras.
So if we get into this revolutionary spirit of taking this planet away from the demons who are presently controlling it and engaging it in Krishna's service, that is the most exciting ball game. As we always say “Why study history when you can make history? Why watch the news when you can be the news?” Many devotees say “Now, I have to watch my evening news”. Why not be in the news? Preach Krishna consciousness; be in this revolutionary mood of spreading Krishna consciousness. There should not be one person in this town who is not a devotee. If I am living in a town, it is my duty to make every single person in that town a devotee. If I am living on a planet, it is my duty to make each and every person on that planet a Krishna conscious devotee. Prabhupada said, “You go from city to city, village to village, town to town and make digvijaya, that, "There is God. I can prove that there is God, Who are you to say that there is no God? Come on”. Prabhupada said that is digvijaya. Prabhupada wants us to be conquering panditas. We can go anywhere and everywhere and establish this Krishna consciousness movement so that everyone will come and join, “Yes I have been searching for something, I have been missing something and now you Hare Krishna people, you have brought it. Thank you very much! We will join your movement”. This is what we want, this kind of enthusiasm for spreading Krishna consciousness that everyone will want to join. The great leaders would want to join this movement. The Supreme Court justices will wear tilaka. The President would want to come to the Potomac temple to learn from the uttama how to run the country. In this way we want that our movement should expand and flourish like anything and infiltrate every single home on this entire planet.
So, that is why this is one of my most favorite verses which talks about bringing about a revolution. This literature is meant for bringing about a revolution. It is not us. Who are we? We are incompetent dimwits. My disciple I asked him to bring one table to put my prasadam. He brings me a chair with two legs. He runs and grabs one chair with only two legs. It cannot even stand up. So we are all more or less incompetent. What can I say? Prabhupada was very tolerant and lenient. He is accepting all of us as his surrendered servants. If we just take up this mood of serving Srila Prabhupada with great sincerity, with great determination, serving our initiating spiritual master, serving the Vaishnavas bowing down at their feet, if we take up this mood with great enthusiasm there will be success. That day will come when the entire world will accept this Srimad Bhagavatam as the greatest literature if we can simply follow the wonderful words of Narottama Das Thakura. He says,
He is giving these four principles of how to purify your conscious. Ecstatically chant Hare Krishna,
Hare Krishna, Hare
Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
Then what does he say? “bhaja vrindavan”, that you should worship Vrindavan and that Vrindavan has expanded as Prabhupada’s ISKCON centers all over the world. In fact if someone becomes very advanced in Krishna consciousness then just by their presence they transform that place into a tirtha. So we should, in that way, every one of us should become so advanced in Krishna consciousness that we can transform wherever we go into a tirtha. Then every devotee creates so many worshipable tirthas all over the world just by our presence. In this way bhaja Vrindavan becomes very easy for everyone. They can connect with Vrindavan without even having to get a ticket; just by sadhu sanga itself becomes a Vrindavan. We should all strive to come to that position where we can create the Vrindavan atmosphere just by the way that we associate with the name of Krishna, the form, pastimes, the entourage, the paraphernalia.
Then what does he say? “Sri Guru, vaishnava pade majaiya man." So we worship the lotus feet of Sri Guru and also the Vaishnavas. It’s not just the worship of the spiritual masters. So there is Prabhupada, there are the initiating gurus in our movement. No, all the devotees are worshipable. Every single devotee is a valuable asset. Every single devotee, man, woman and child, is a very rare person, a great valuable asset. So we worship the lotus feet of every single member of our ISKCON society. Anyway this is revolutionary. Kindly take up this revolutionary spirit of inundating the entire world with Krishna Bhakti and even if you are not successful in doing that Prabhupada explains in the Bhagavatam purport that at least your perfection will be guaranteed. A Krishna conscious being is always thinking of how to make the entire world Krishna conscious. That is one of the definitions of someone who is Krishna conscious. A Krishna conscious being, he is always thinking of how to save this entire suffering humanity. Even if he is not successful, Prabhupada says his perfection is guaranteed. And those who follow such a person they are also guaranteed to be saved from material existence.
Maybe there are some questions.
VPM: There is no time for questions.
SDA: There is no time for questions.
Devotee: There is only one question I wanted to know about playing together with the ball.
Devotee: Some people say here that some function that would adhere the devotees together if you have some outdoor activities together chanting, playing, distribution of prasadam. So why do you see that these activities are?
SDA: What is that?
Devotee: The activity of ball playing that you were saying. So devotees practically come in temples and they go out.
SDA: Yes, it is a big thing now.
Devotee: To get together is becoming more.
SDA: Yes. This is increasing our togetherness more, so if we go out and have a book distribution marathon together. That is also bringing us even more together. Prabhupada says that the fourth principle 'no gambling', this also includes sports. No frivolous sports.
Devotee: They could go to the river for boating and swimming.
SDA: Yeah, the question is, where do you draw the line. How we spent our time with Prabhupada is the easiest way to see. What did we do when Prabhupada was here? While we were with Srila Prabhupada, how did we live? What was our recreation? That is why the pure devotee is there. We actually saw what the activities were when he was here. My contention is that we stick to the style of life that we lived when Prabhupada was here. Then we are safe. If we stick to that lifestyle, then we are safe. I don’t remember a time when Prabhupada organized a softball game, that Prabhupada sat and cheered for the homerun that came in. I don’t remember that time.
Devotees: Many gurus now have...
SDA: That makes my words revolutionary. What I am saying is revolutionary because I am saying that is not good what they are doing. It is controversial I guess. That is why what I am saying is controversial because I am speaking against what some of the leaders of our society are doing. I am protesting against it. Actually it is a fact, I am. I may get into trouble for doing that also. I may be considered the black sheep, a fanatic. But I have to speak according to my conviction because it is my duty. If I am convinced that something is wrong and I don’t say anything about it then I am guilty. That is wrong. If I am convinced that something is wrong and not pleasing to guru and Krishna and Srila Prabhupada, it is my duty to speak up. I have to speak up. Otherwise I am not a man of integrity. It is my duty to speak up.
VPM: Then you are a fault finder.
SDA: I may be labeled as a fault finder but that’s alright. This is my genuine conviction that our society is going away from the mood of how Srila Prabhupada trained us.
VPM: We are meant to see only good qualities like a honeybee taking the honey.
SDA: Ah! So, I am a fly. Well, one has to judge that according to the person’s heart because if one is actually in the mood of wanting to help, one is in the mood of loving service, not a 'holier than thou' attitude. If one is in the mood of genuinely wanting to be of service, we have to judge by the person’s qualities and characteristics. Is he a 'holier than thou' person wanting to advertise himself as better than everyone else then it is fault finding but if he is sincerely thinking of how to make this movement successful, potent and revolutionary to actually change the course of history.
VPM: Do they also think like the same way?
SDA: That is the interesting question. How do we know who is right? Because I am not the only one who is protesting against this. Danavira Maharaja is also protesting against this and he was formerly a sport star. He was a volleyball star before he joined us. So how will these be settled up? Who is right and who is wrong?
VPM: They say that one who sees all these things in another devotee they are doing it for right purpose because it helps them to preach. One who says that no then they will be a fault finder because they are also doing good.
SDA: My question is how are we to decide what is the right thing because it is very important that we understand what is the proper way to push forward this movement. What would be the method of actually understanding? My contention is this,
“tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam”
That is revealed to the individual devotee actually. It is not that it has to be some GBC resolution coming down. That is revealed to the devotee. If they become constantly engaged in serving Krishna with love then they will get a very clear understanding as to what is right and what is wrong in Krishna consciousness. That is an individual realization that everyone will have according to their degree of absorption in serving Krishna with love.
VPM: Yes, sometimes there is no need to see those things because they are also serving Krishna.
SDA: You could say that both positions are correct just like it is stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam purport that the Yajur Veda is the original Veda. But in one lecture Prabhupada says that the Atharva Veda is the original Veda. So now we see there is difference of opinion. How can both be the original Veda? I was bewildered as a young devotee when I saw that. Prabhupada in one lecture says that Atharva Veda is the original and then in the Bhagavatam purport he says Yajur Veda is the original. So I asked Vishnujana Maharaja, “How can they both be the original Veda? It does not make sense.” He said, "They are both the original Veda." He said, “It is just having complete faith in Prabhupada’s words.” They are both the original Veda and I said, “Alright. This is faith in Prabhupada.” So I said, “Yes, they are both the original Veda.” But then years later in Prabhupada’s purport as the later volumes came out of the Bhagavatam, Prabhupada is saying that according to some Vaishnava authorities, the Yajur Veda is the original Veda and according to some Vaishnava authorities the Atharva Veda is the original Veda. So there are sometimes minor points, differences of opinions between the Vaishnava acaryas. And they’re both positions considered valid and bona fide.
Devotee: They are different elements.
SDA: They are both considered valid so in minor points sometimes there are sometimes differences of opinion.
VPM: So we should not see.
SDA: When both are considered valid then the Yajur Veda people don’t start blaspheming to the Atharva Veda people or the Atharva Veda people start blaspheming the Yajur Veda people. So therefore we don’t go around blaspheming. There are the volleyball people and there are the anti-volleyball people in our movement. There are some people who say that we shouldn’t play volleyball and there are some people who say volleyball is very good. We love and respect one another. It is just one of those things where we have differences of opinion. We still worship and adore the lotus feet of all the devotees whether they are on the volleyball court or they are not on the volleyball court. That is the position.
Devotee: Many devotees they don’t really exercise properly. There is no proper exercise bodily, so they are getting very sick. Sickness in our society is quite high, particularly leaders because they are isolated all the time. They don’t even mix with general people. That is creating them very much isolated and mentally very depressed.
SDA: That is an argument on the side of the pro-volleyball group. Yes, we can say that we need the exercise. But the anti-volleyball group can say, "Why don’t you dance ecstatically in the kirtan? Why don’t you come to all the kirtans and dance in great ecstasy? You will get so much bodily exercise as much as in volleyball." We have seen in Dallas, the sannyasis don’t even come to mangala arati when they visit Dallas temple, it is the house only, the Pujari who goes to the temple for mangala arati.
VPM: Here also. Isn't Bhakti Viswambara Maharaja here?
Devotee: I think he has stepped away for a while.
SDA: Sometimes we see that the leaders don’t attend the functions. They could come to the function, and dance and jump up and down in the kirtans and get very good exercise. So that is the counter argument for that one.
VPM: Prabhupada went for walk.
SDA: There is also the walk. So if they have a health problem and they need it for their health, then there is some legitimate argument, no doubt. I have dear Godbrothers on both sides of the controversy. I love them all, and they are all very dear to me and I worship all of them on the court or off the court. I worship all the Vaishnavas. But I am just saying why I don’t go on the court. Maybe I will not live because I didn’t exercise.
VPM: Another question. Prabhupada in this purport of the Caitanya Caritamrita Krishna das Kaviraj is saying that anyone who is born in India here as you mentioned particularly in India they should make their lives successful and spread this, but Prabhupada here used Westerners.
SDA: Formerly, India was the entire planet. This whole planet is Bharat bhumi.
VPM: That I understood. But you mentioned that there are two people who are in India, you just mentioned it.
SDA: Yeah. In the modern sense, in the modern day and time Bharat means the geographical, legal, political India. So these two persons here, they are born in legal, political India. They especially they can’t wriggle out of it, but all of us are subject to the same conjunction.
VPM: I see that. Prabhupada has taken birth in India but he used westerners and with that it became the whole worldwide movement. So it is not necessary that the Indians only have to do this.
SDA: Prabhupada always said that one Indian has done. Now see the result.
VPM: Yes, one Indian did that but at the same time all the westerners also went in different places because of one Indian.
SDA: Prabhupada is very kind upon his Indian brothers. He wants them to come out of their shell of running after modern western technology and push forward Krishna consciousness all over the world. He wants every Indian to do that. There is no doubt, but not only the Indians.
VPM: But I am seeing that Prabhupada is saying rightly so now the Indians are coming out and they are just stealing Prabhupada’s disciples.
SDA: That is also there. There are many Indians who are staunchly pushing forward Prabhupada’s movement as we see here in Towaco, NJ. We see Samakrishi Prabhu. He is taking a great leadership position to push forward this movement. We see so many Indians are doing. Some Indians are abusing the order. They are trying to establish “I am great by stealing ISKCON devotees for their own so-called movements. We see that going on. They couldn’t make devotees on their own but they start picking out the devotees from ISKCON. “Just see, I am now a great world preacher. I stole so many devotees from ISKCON from all over the world so now I am a great world preacher.”
VPM: So we also see that only one devotee who came out and gave pure bhakti. The rest comes out and polluted the whole world with Mayavadi.
SDA: Mayavadi! Who is mayavadi?
VPM: The rest of the Indians.
SDA: They are mostly mayavadis. But now we have some Gaudiyas also. They are going after ISKCON’s devotees to establish that “I am a great Vaishnava, a world preacher. I have so many disciples all over the world,” but mostly they are just grabbing from ISKCON saying “Hey, the GBC is corrupt, come on” by bad-mouthing the leadership of ISKCON or “Prabhupada did not really have the right understanding. He is great but he did not have the highest understanding that I have. I have a much higher understanding than Prabhupada. He is great, he is on the external plane, but I am on the internal plane. I am much higher than Prabhupada.” They try to establish like that. "Prabhupada is very good externally but I am something that Prabhupada doesn’t have. I can give you something that Prabhupada did not give you. You join me. You don’t have to listen to the GBC and you can have sex as much as you want with your wife also little fringe benefit of joining my movement. You can enjoy sex to your full enjoyment without worrying about it. As long as you are married, it is okay. And if you don’t chant 16 rounds you can just chant 4 rounds, that is alright. And I am a great world preacher. I have so many disciples all over the world and I am bigger than Prabhupada now, better than Prabhupada.” This kind of mentality is going on. It is not at all revolutionary. The revolutionary potency is there with those who are strictly following the process of Krishna consciousness without any tinge ofsense gratification, without any tinges of sahajiyism. That is the actual revolutionary thing happening on this planet. Those devotees who have taken this spirit, they are the true revolutionaries on this planet. So we got to get ourselves in that mood of purely following the acaryas.
VPM: We also see that there are many Indians here within ISKCON who have taken birth there. If you bring them in western countries to do the service, they get their visa and they go out. How can they become revolutionaries to meet the Indians? How can you make Indians revolutionaries?
SDA: Revolutionary means you strictly follow the process of Krishna consciousness.
VPM: I am talking about those who have taken birth in India.
SDA: Those who have taken birth in India, I get many letters. You may get many letters also people from India wanting to come. I can come to your temple and do this,this,this... You may get the letter, emails all the time like I do.
So my point is this, I tell them that they are thinking they need to be happy. They have to come to America. To be happy in Krishna consciousness, they need to change their idea that they can’t be happy in Krishna conscious in India. They have to be happy in Krishna conscious in America. Actually the fact is I tell them “Just become a pure devotee of Krishna, dedicate every thought, word and deed for spreading this movement. It does not matter where you are located. You don’t need to relocate or need to move on to a different location in the western world to be nicely situated. It does not require a change of location”. I always answer them. I don’t just delete it. I take the time to answer their letters and say that, “You kindly become more nicely absorbed where you are serving now. That will fully satisfy you. You don’t need to relocate”. That is how I tell them. I answer them personally when I get these foreign letters. They send out to all the temples “Take me, I am a good pujari. I am a good kirtan singer, so I can come and get my green card and then get a job and get a house”. (Chuckles)
VPM: Then where is the question, only taking Indian birth one can do this preaching work.
SDA: You don’t have to relocate to be a revolutionary. Wherever you are, become very pure. You will automatically become revolutionary. It doesn’t require to relocate, wherever you are “yare dekha tare kaha Krishna upadesa.” Prabhupada said, "If you are in a neighborhood, you become a guru of your neighborhood." Wherever you are, you just take up that spirit of pure devotional service, revolutionary, spreading Krishna conscious to everyone. It does not require that you have to move here or move there. So anyways as usual we are going over time.
Devotee: How many devotees came here?
VPM: There were lots of them. The temple room was filled up.
SDA: They come late. Actually when the lecture began there were about 10-15 people they gradually come in. What we do in Austin is. How do we?
VPM: We have the arati first.
SDA: We have the arati first and then the lecture. So they have to come to the lecture. They are forced.
VPM: Generally they come for the arati.
SDA: Indians they come for the aarti, then prasad and socialize. So, we just put the lecture after the aarti. So, they are forced to become learned in the philosophy, whether they like it or not. You stick it in between the prasadam and the aarti so they are trapped.
So we will stop here.
Thank you very much.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Transcribed by Bhaktin Priya
Revision by Prema Bhakti dasa