His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Srimad Bhagavatam 1.15.6

Sofia, Bulgaria

10/06/2005

Srimad Bhagavatam first canto, chapter fifteen—The Pandavas Retire Timely—text number six.

om namo bhagavate vasudevaya
[Gurudeva sings three times and devotees repeat]

yasya ksana-viyogena
loko hyapriya-darsanah
ukthena rahito hy esa
mrtakah procyate yatha

SYNONYMS

yasya—whose; ksana—a moment; viyogena—by separation; lokah—all the universes; hi—certainly; apriya-darsanah—everything appears unfavorable; ukthena—by life; rahitah—being devoid of; hi—certainly; esah—all these bodies; mrtakah—dead bodies; procyate—are designated; yatha—as it were.

TRANSLATION

I have just lost Him whose separation for a moment would render all the universes unfavorable and void, like bodies without life.

PURPORT

Factually for a living being there is no one dearer than the Lord. The Lord expands Himself by innumerable parts and parcels as svamsa and vibhinnamsa. Paramatma is the svamsa part of the Lord, whereas the vibhinnamsa parts are the living beings. As the living being is the important factor in the material body, for without the living being the material body has no value, similarly without Paramatma the living being has no status quo. Similarly, Brahman or Paramatma has no locus standi without the Supreme Lord Krishna. This is thoroughly explained in the Bhagavad-gita. They are all interlinked with one another, or interdependent factors; thus in the ultimate issue the Lord is the summum bonum and therefore the vital principle of everything. [End of Purport]

om ajñana-timirandhasya jñananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah

sri-caitanya-mano 'bhistam sthapitam yena bhu-tale
svayam rupah kada mahyam dadati sva-padantikam

Sankarshan Das Adhikari: So, this is a moment of great intensity for Arjuna. He is lamenting the loss of Krsna. This feeling of separation from one’s beloved is the most intense feeling of love. There is great joy when one meets one’s beloved and those feelings of love are very, very strong, but in the anguish of being separated from one’s beloved, the love becomes much, much more powerful. Therefore, the great acaryas very much favor this mood of vipralambha seva, service in separation, because in that separation the love is more powerful. Even though the separation is a condition of suffering, the devotee would rather be in a position of suffering if love can be more powerful because the goal is love, not enjoyment.

So here, we see that Arjuna is feeling great separation. So the question is: why would he feel separation from Krsna? In the Vedic culture, charioteers were ‘a dime a dozen’. You can have one charioteer or another charioteer, so why is he making such a big deal about this charioteer, named Krsna? An ordinary materialist would say, “Well, he had a good charioteer and now he’s missing him, but he can always get another charioteer. What’s the problem?” Just like you can hire one taxi driver and if that taxi driver, if he gets sick, you can hire another taxi driver. So why is Arjuna feeling such intense feelings of having been separated from his chariot driver? That is answered by Srila Prabhupada. He says, “For a living being, there is no one dear than the Lord.” In other words, Krsna is not simply a chariot driver. He is the Ultimate Origin of all that exists.

We always hear that we, the living beings, are part and parcel of Krsna. We are called vibhinnamsa, but here, it is also heard that the svamsa, they are also part and parcel of Krsna. Sva - amsaamsa means His limb and sva means His own. So the point here is that everything and everyone is a part and parcel of Krsna — even the visnu-tattvas are also part and parcel of Krsna. We, the living entities, are part and parcel of Krsna, and also the visnu-tattvas are part and parcel of Krsna. So everything is part of Krsna.

So, that means that Krsna is as dear to everyone and everything as existence itself is. Do you cherish your existence? If someone tries to artificially bring your existence to an end by putting a knife to your throat, will you protest? For the living being, non-existence is not an option! We stubbornly insist on existing and that existence we have is the will of Krsna; it is the mercy of Krsna. So we exist by dint of the fact that Krsna is mercifully manifesting us from Himself.

I was one time giving a lecture, in a school in Helsinki, and I asked the students, “Why do you exist? Who can answer? Why do you exist?” One little boy, he raised his hand and said, “Because my mother and father wanted to have a baby. That’s why I exist.” But that is bodily conception—that is gross ignorance to think that the self and the body is the same.

Why do we say that? Is it just blind faith or is there some logic behind it? Why do we say that we’re not the body? Because Prabhupada told us? Of course, that’s a very good reason, but why did Prabhupada tell us that? Why did Prabhupada say that we’re not the body? Is there any logic behind that concept? Yes, there is very solid very clear, scientific thinking behind that understanding. Your body is changing at every minute. In fact, the body that you have right now is not the same body you had ten seconds ago because every time you exhale, you’re giving off chemicals and whenever you inhale, you’re taking in chemicals. Every time you go to the toilet, you’re giving off chemicals and when you eat or drink, you’re taking in chemicals. So, there’s a constant flux of chemicals going on, clustered around the atma.

Do you have any big rivers in Bulgaria that flow into the sea?

Translator: Danyu.

SDA: Oh, the Danyu! That’s a famous river. I’ve heard of the Danyu. Does any other river feed into the Danyu?

Translator: Yes.

SDA: What is it called?

Translator: Iskur.

SDA: Iskur? So, on one day, there are certain molecules of water—they are called—if you take them, you’ll say, “This is ‘Iskur water’.” But then two days later (the same water), now you’re calling “Danyu water”. Does it flow into the Mediterranean?

Translator: No, the Black Sea.

SDA: The Black Sea. Then, two days later, you take the same water molecules and say, “This is the Black Sea.” It’s the same water molecules, but you’re calling it ‘Iskur’, ‘Danyu’, ‘Black Sea’.

So, what you call your body is the same body that was made up of one of the other brahmacaris' body the other day because you’re breathing, exhaling, exchanging bodies all the time. Just like here we’re all sitting in one room, I’m exhaling some molecules, you’re breathing them in, so we’re actually switching chemicals with each other just sitting here in the same room together. Just like ‘Iskur’, to ‘Danyu’, to ‘Black Sea’. So is it you? Is it me? Is it he? Is it she? What is it, anyway?

The chemicals are constantly changing, but there’s something that remains constant and that is the self. You are cognizant of your own existence, even though there are so many changes to the body. You are fully aware that “Yes, I exist.” So we should ask these questions:

Are my eyes seeing, or am I seeing through my eyes?
Are my ears hearing, or am I hearing through my ears?
Is my skin feeling, or am I feeling through my skin?
Is my tongue tasting, or am I tasting through my tongue?
Is my nose smelling, or am I smelling through my nose?

In this way, with careful, thoughtful analysis, one can understand the difference between the body and the self. So it is not blind faith.

Since we can understand that we have a non-material or anti-material existence, where does that anti- or non-material existence come from? To understand that, we can analyze the reality around us. Do you have any experience of something coming out of nothing? Just like, when we were in Estonia, the devotees made some popcorn one evening. So does popcorn just pop out of the air? Or does it come out of the kernels?

So everything comes from something. Nothing comes from nothing. So you can take anything... you can take this bookstand, for example—it comes from a tree and that tree comes from a seed, which comes from another tree, which comes from a seed, which comes from another tree. So in this way, you can take any object and trace back to that something from which it is coming, and then back to another something from which that something has come. In this way, you go back, back, back, back, back, until you come to a something that didn’t come from something—that is the original something. That is the source of everything.

Now, the scientists also accept that there is an origin for everything. But they say that it is just some energy and not a person. But I ask you to consider this very simple example: if every day, I came to your house and I brought you one kilo of pure gold. That would make you very happy wouldn’t it? “One kilo! Oh, I can retire now. No more working in a job. I can just retire and travel around the world—visit holy places. Great! One kilo of pure gold every day! Wow. At this rate, pretty soon, I’ll be able to buy out every politician in the world.” So in this way, I keep bringing you one kilo of pure gold every day and one day, your curiosity can’t handle it anymore and you finally say, “Sankarshana Prabhu, where are you getting this gold?!”And I tell you, “You know that mountain there? On the other side of that mountain, I have a secret gold mine.” And then you say, “Really? How much gold do you have in that mine?” And I say, “Oh, there is no gold in the mine.” And you say, “You’re lying! Every day, you’re bringing one kilo of pure gold and you say there’s no gold in the mine? So, obviously, that gold mine must be loaded with gold!” So this simple example is to illustrate this point: There are so many personalities in this room. There are so many personalities in Sofia. There are so many personalities in Bulgaria, in Europe, on this planet Earth, throughout the entire universe. There are so many personalities! So how can we think that the origin from which all of these personalities are coming has no personality?[Aside: Sri Sri Jagannatha, Baladeva, Subhadra, Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai, Sad Bhuja Radha-Damodara ki jaya!] So, if gold is coming from the mine, the mine must have gold. Similarly, if persons are coming from the origin, the origin must have a personality. So, if it has personality, why are we calling it, “It”?

Sthanu prabhu, how would you feel if, every day, I called you “it”? “How is it doing today?” How would it like it, if I called it “it”? You may tolerate it for a while, but after a while you would become disturbed. After a while, “it” would become disturbed if I kept calling it “it”. So do you think God is happy when we call Him “it”? God is a person, so just by simple logic, we can understand that there is a person and He is the origin of everything.

Of course in the modern-day debate that’s going on now, the question is: “Is God He, or She?” But in our Krsna consciousness movement, we have that one covered. Radha-Krsna. We say God is She-He — Laksmi-Narayana, Sita-Rama, She-He. Radharani is the feminine aspect of God, so we have no problem — She-He. We address the female aspect first — Hare — which addresses the feminine aspect of God. Why is that? Because men are very hard-hearted and women are more soft-hearted by nature. So Radharani is more easily approachable than Krsna. So, we approach God through His feminine aspect, Srimati Radharani, and then the masculine aspect, Krsna.

So anyway, we can understand that there is a person who is the origin of everything.

Then the next question is, “Why is He doing this anyway? Why is He emanating all of this from Himself? Is it a bad joke? What’s the reason?” Actually, Canakya Pandita has answered this question already. He says, “A home without children is a desert.” So Krsna is atmarama—He is self-enjoyer; He is all-powerful and He can do whatever He wants. If He just wants to sit out there in His abode and enjoy all by Himself, He can do that if He wants to. But not only is Krsna called atmarama, the Supreme Self-enjoyer, He’s also called the Supreme Enjoyer, which means He enjoys unlimitedly. So, to expand His enjoyment, He expands innumerable parts and parcels from Himself in the category of svamsa and vibhinamsa. And with each and every part and parcel of Himself, He has a unique relationship, just like you can analyze the snowflakes falling from the sky—you can put them under a microscope and you will see that every snowflake is completely unique. There has never been found any two snowflakes that were exactly the same. So Krsna expands from Himself innumerable parts and parcels. Each of them being totally and completely unique, so that Krsna can have a unique rasa, or relationship with each and every one of them and, thus, expand His enjoyment unlimitedly.

So now do you know why you exist? You exist to give pleasure to God, that’s why you exist. The only reason you exist is to love God—you have no other reason to exist.

So now do you know why you can’t be happy if you don’t love Krsna? The fish cannot be happy out of the water, can it? The only way that little fish can be happy is if you throw him back into the water. On the beach, he’s flapping in agony. If you throw him in the water, he is swimming very happily. So that is our present position. We are flapping in agony on this beach of birth and death. But by the mercy of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Tridandi Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada, we are being thrown back into that ocean.

But do you know what the trouble is? Even though Prabhupada is picking us up to throw us back into the ocean… Did you ever try to pick up a fish? Do you know how they wriggle their way out of your hands to get away? Even though Prabhupada is picking us up, we’re trying to wriggle out of his hands. All he wants to do is throw us back into the ocean of the spiritual world, but because we don’t have sufficient faith in Srila Prabhupada, we’re thinking “I will stay here in this material world.”

In this way, we have to hear from those who have great faith in the words of the acaryas so our faith also becomes very strong, so we do not try to escape this unlimited mercy of Srila Prabhupada, so we can take full advantage of Srila Prabhupada’s mercy and go back to home, back to Godhead.

So does anyone have some questions? Yes?

Translator: You explained very nicely about the difference between the senses and our own self, and how we feel through them. His question is: "Can you explain why we are feeling pain if it is not actually the skin which is ‘touching’."

SDA: Yes. Just like if you’re driving your car and you notice that the gasoline gauge is going all the way down to empty, and you think “Oh no! I’m on empty!” Because you are so much identified with your car, you’re thinking “I’m out of gas, I’m out of gas!” But are you out of gas? You don’t put a gas hose in your mouth and put gas in your stomach! So why are you thinking “Oh no! I’m out of gas!”? It’s your car that’s out of gas, not you! But because you’ve been driving all the way to Serbia, sitting there driving, driving, driving, you’ve been sitting in your car for so many hours and you’re thinking “I am this car.” The seat belt is buckled very nicely. The CD player is playing some nice bhajana. It’s a beautiful day and you’re enjoying the drive, and you’ve started to identify with the car so much so that you think “Oh no! I’m almost out of gas! I have to get more gas!” But it’s not you that needs the gas, do you understand? Because we’ve been so much associated with this body, ever since we’ve been in our mother’s womb, we were associated for nine months and even when we came out. Actually, in the womb we had some realization that “I’m not this body”. It was so painful and so horribly packed in our mother’s womb, we begged Krsna, “Please Krsna, get me out of here. I promise I will be Your devotee!” But then as soon as we came out of our mother’s womb, all the relatives came: “Oh isn’t he so cute??” “Goo, goo, goo, goo, goo, goo, goo, goo…” “What a darling little boy. He’s so cute!” All we have to do is cry and everyone comes running to serve us, and we forget our promise. We’re thinking “Ah, yes. Now I am king! Now I am God! Whatever I want, I just cry and they come running.” So you forgot that you were not your body and were thinking “Yes, now I can identify with my body and be God!”

So now, the only hope is that you have to hear with great faith and attention from the spiritual master, from the sadhus, from the sastra and in this way, you can come out of the false dream that is bodily consciousness. The difficulty is that we hear and we realize, but sometimes we fall asleep again. Sometimes we see in class also that devotees will be falling asleep.

Bodily identification means you’re falling asleep—you’re going into the dream of bodily identification. It is the influence of tamo-guna. It is by that influence of tamo-guna that we think “I am this body.” So by taking shelter of Krsna, we can overcome the influence of tamo-guna. What is that verse? “Even though this material nature is insurmountable, those who take shelter of Me can easily cross beyond it”.

Translator: He gives the example that Mother Yasoda is crying because Krsna is not here, but Nanda Maharaja said, “No, He’s here, can’t you see?” So he (the inquirer) is asking, “How is it possible that Krsna is simultaneously here and not here?”

SDA: “Krsna is always here. How can Krsna not be here? He is called omnipresent. He is within every atom, He is between every atom. Krsna is within everything and everything is within Krsna. Krsna cannot be not present—that is not possible—because everything that exists is His energy. He and His energy are non-different. Everything you see... Just like the sun is all-pervading throughout the universe by its sun rays, Krsna is omnipresent because everything is His energy. Everything is Krsna’s emanation!

Just as, by the influence of the sun, the water is evaporated from the ocean and forms the clouds, the clouds can cover your vision of the sun, but they are also energy of the sun because the sun has pulled them out of the ocean by its heating power. So that forgetfulness of Krsna, which makes you not aware of His presence, that is also Krsna!

So how can you ever be separated from Krsna? Even the illusion of being separated from Krishna, that illusion is also Krsna!

Translator: “You explained how the bodily identification is born from tamo-guna and he is asking, “When you’re in sattva-guna, do you completely realize that you are not the body?”

SDA: “Almost. Sattva-guna means that there is some tinge of rajo-guna and tamo-guna still there. So it is almost pure, but not quite. Only when you come to visuddha-sattva, transcendental goodness—pure goodness—that becomes perfect realization.

Translator: “Can one achieve this transcendental platform of visuddha-sattva in the material world, or the material platform?”

SDA: “In the material world, yes, but not on the material platform. As long as you remain on the material platform, you cannot realize your spiritual identity. You must come off that material platform, but you can do that within this material world, within your present material body. You simply have to see everything as Krsna’s energy and engage everything in His service, and you’ll completely come off the material platform.

Translator: “This verse tells us about the separation of Arjuna from Krsna and he is asking if you can tell us something intimate about your feelings when you were separated from Srila Prabhupada, when he left the planet?”

SDA: “Actually, Prabhupada explains in the Srimad-bhagavatam: “It is the duty of the disciple, when the spiritual master departs, to cry. That is his duty to cry.” That feeling from separation from vapu is actually very, very conducive for becoming tightly bound up with vani. It is always stated that vani is more important. So sometimes, the disciple will ask, “Well, shouldn’t I just totally disassociate from vapu and just focus on vani because if I associate with vapu, and get attached to it, then when it’s removed from me, I’ll be depressed. So maybe it’s better that I have nothing to do with vapu and associate with vani only.” But no, one should associate with vapu as much as possible when the opportunity is there because the more you feel anguish in the separation of vapu, the more you will have impetus to get relief from that anguish through vani. In other words, vapu-seva is the maidservant of vani-seva.

So my association with Prabhupada was mostly vani-seva, but I was intensely hankering for vapu-seva. In fact, when devotees would come through our temple and we’d meet those devotees who would say, “Oh I was with Prabhupada on this walk and he said this…”, or “I was in Prabhupada’s room and he looked at me, and he did this.”, it killed me! I was so envious. The envy was ripping my heart apart and I was thinking “Well, the devotees are not supposed to be envious.” So I wrote Prabhupada a letter and I said, “Prabhupada, I have this problem with envy. What to do? I’m so envious of my Godbrothers who get to serve you and be with you. What can I do to get over this envy, Srila Prabhupada?” In this way I asked him. Of course, I had no idea what the answer would be. So I was patiently waiting for when that letter would come from Prabhupada and, finally, that letter came. Prabhupada’s answer surprised me. He said, “Transcendental envy means when you see that someone is serving Krsna nicer than you, you try harder so that Krsna will notice you also.” So Prabhupada is saying, “If you’re envious of people who are getting my association, who are getting personally recognized by me, etc., etc. then you should increase your mood of devotion so you will also get the special mercy that they’re getting.” But I was still envious. Then, in the spring of 1975, we were in Atlanta, Georgia—Prabhupada was there. The ones that I was most envious of were the ones that were in Prabhupada’s entourage, who traveled with him all over the world. So, Prabhupada was sitting on his vyasasana, I was standing right at Prabhupada’s right-hand side and Srutakirti was on Prabhupada’s left side, he was Prabhupada’s personal servant and he was my object of envy. He got to be with Prabhupada 24-hours a day! He would sit with him on the airplane, traveling all over the world with Prabhupada on the airplane. He was my object of envy, Srutakirti. So I was standing on one side of Prabhupada and he was there on the other side. I looked right over to Srila Prabhupada’s lap, I looked over to Srutakirti, and he was beaming at me with this huge smile just like a sun god—this big, huge, loving smile. I realized that he was actually just like a mirror and Prabhupada was the source of all of this spiritual effulgence that was coming off of Prabhupada. It was bouncing off of Srutakirti and coming to me. And I realized: Why should I be envious of him? He’s completely sharing every ounce of mercy that he’s getting from Srila Prabhupada. He gave me such a tender, loving, compassionate smile. He was sharing every bit of the mercy he was getting. He was sharing all of Prabhupada’s mercy with me. So, my envy went away. It was all right there, two feet away from Prabhupada, standing right there by Prabhupada’s side and I was feeling through Srutakirti Prabhu even more connected to Prabhupada than if I was to approach Srila Prabhupada directly. Isn’t that our philosophy? 'dasa dasa anudasa'. So by approaching through the representative of Prabhupada, I was getting a much stronger connection than trying to approach Prabhupada directly.

So, when we had the opportunity to be with Srila Prabhupada, we took full advantage of it and, in this way, we felt very strongly connected with him, through his vani. He actually said that anyone who is 24-hours a day preaching Krsna consciousness is his personal servant. So, because I intensely desired to be in that position of Prabhupada’s personal servant, I absorbed myself in the mood of preaching 24-hours a day and in this way, when Prabhupada left the world, because I had taken very, very tight shelter of him through vani-seva, my service was not disturbed by his physical departure. If someone’s relationship with Prabhupada was mostly based on vapu-seva, they would have great difficulty when the spiritual master leaves this world. The fact is that most of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples left this movement when Prabhupada left this planet. How many are still here, actively engaged in ISKCON? Of course, many of them are keeping their practice outside, but not that many. Some are keeping their practice even though they’re not actively engaged in ISKCON—they’re still chanting their rounds and they’re still following the principles—but most of them have actually fallen down from the principles also. So the most important thing is to take very tightly that dedication to the order of the instructions. Whatever instructions were given, that is where Prabhupada is always present—in the form of his instructions.

If we study his books very scrutinizingly—page after page, book after book… Srila Prabhupada said that all of his disciples must read all of his books or they will fall down. So does that mean that the grand-disciples don’t have to read the books and only the disciples read the books? No, it means everyone is Prabhupada’s disciple. The disciples of disciples, the grand-disciples are disciples and when the grand-disciples have disciples, and when we have great grand-disciples, they will also be disciples of Prabhupada! So that means, for the next 10,000 years, at least, everyone is Prabhupada’s disciple, whether they’re grand-disciple, great grand-disciple, great great grand-disciple, great great great grand-disciple, great great great great grand-disciple, or great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grand-disciple, still they are Prabhupada’s disciples and they all have to read Prabhupada’s books. And if they don’t read Prabhupada’s books, they will fall down.

So everyone should read the books, everyone should know what Prabhupada’s instructions are and then do it. That’s all. Just do it. And to help you do that, you should find persons who are knowledgeable in Prabhupada’s teachings and you can also discuss, and hear from them, to make it easier to learn what is in the books. That’s why Prabhupada instituted a system of classes in the temple, not just that everybody studies privately. We’re meant to read on our own and then come together and hear from those who are senior devotees in the knowledge and the practice, and also to ask questions and discuss to get clear understandings.

So actually, there’s no separation. Even though I’m feeling separated from Srila Prabhupada and there’s a great sadness for me that I cannot go with him for a morning walk, or have darsana with him right now, it is a great sadness for me, but I am relieved by knowing that he is with me, that he is seeing my activities, and he is showering his mercy upon me.

Translator: How to chant properly without making offenses and what are the steps to offenseless chanting?

SDA: Srila Prabhupada said that the way to chant without offenses is that instead of chanting with offense, one should build a fence around the creeper. You build a fence to ward off offense. So, that’s why every day we recite ‘The Ten Offenses’. Actually, it was customary during initiation ceremony also, that a lecture would be given on ‘The Ten Offenses’. You should very, very carefully understand what are the ten offenses. You must properly understand what the ten offenses are, that’s the first thing.

1. You must respect all Vaisnavas who have dedicated their life for spreading this Krsna consciousness movement.
2. You must consider that the demigods and Krsna are not on the same level; that Krsna is in a different position.
3. You must not disobey the spiritual master. That means you’re supposed to have a spiritual master, otherwise how can you disobey him? You’re supposed to have a spiritual master. We all take shelter of him [Prabhupada] as our siksa-guru, but everyone is meant to have a diksa-guru also, in due course.

We can go through all of the ten offenses, but you have to know what they are. Then you have to scrutinizingly try to avoid them, and you need to take shelter of devotees who are on an equal level with yourself as well as those who are on a higher level than yourself to help you to monitor your attitude, your words and your activities, that they are in compliance with the avoidance of these offenses. For those of you that are trusted mentors, or advisors, you should let them know, “If you see that I’m acting in any way which is offensive—which is breaking these offenses—then you kindly let me know. Please help me rectify myself.”

Our present position is that we’re very offensive. There are three stages—the offensive stage, the clearing stage and the offenseless stage. We all start out at the offensive stage, but if you take the process of Krsna consciousness properly—according to Srila Prabhupada’s instructions—then you enter onto the clearing stage, where you’re clearing off those offenses.

So everyone should be determined to come to the offenseless stage. You must intensely desire to come to the position of pure chanting—suddha-nama. In fact, you must intensely desire this at every minute—with every thought, with every word and every deed. If you do desire to come to the pure state of chanting Hare Krsna and you desire it very intensely and very sincerely, do you think that Krsna will not reciprocate with you for doing so? He will reciprocate with you like anything if you do that! So do that!

Translator: When I’m listening to the disciples of Srila Prabhupada giving classes, after one or two classes, I feel that I want to surrender to these persons, but this is to all the disciples when I hear them so this is confusing me. Is this sentimental or offensive?

SDA: No, it’s very nice. You must surrender. Why are you not surrendering? You must surrender, yes!

Translator: To all of them?

SDA: Yes! Why not? Didn’t Draupadi have five husbands?

Translator: How to surrender to everybody?

SDA: Ah, well, it is described that guru is one because guru is simply bringing the teachings of Krsna. Just like the Internet is one, isn’t it? But there are many access points, so it doesn’t matter how you get on the Internet. As long as you get on the Internet, you’re online. So each guru is like an access point to the ‘Internet’, that’s all. Somehow or other, get on the ‘Internet’. Whatever it takes, you get ‘online’.

So every guru, if he’s a bona fide guru that means he is a bona fide access point to the ‘Krsna net’. It doesn’t matter how you connect to the ‘Krsna net’, as long as you’re connected, then you’re online with Krsna. It’s alright, any way is good. So each guru is another way of accessing the ‘Krsna net’. All of them are good. You can use any and all of them to get on the ‘Internet’, ‘Krsna net’. But which one will you take on as your ISP, your Internet Service Provider that is diksa-guru. Just like I’m traveling all over the world and wherever I go, I have to find another way to get on the Internet. Sometimes I use a cable connection; sometimes I use a wireless connection. Here, in Sofia, Mahendra Prabhu got me on the Internet. He gave me his access code. But still, I have an Internet service provider in my home-base. But when I’m on the road, I use so many other ways to connect to the Internet.

So everyone has their main way of connecting with Krsna and that is their diksa-guru, but they can use other means as well; when the diksa-guru is not there, they can also connect through the siksa-guru. Just like here, I’m using Mahendra’s access code to get on the Internet.

The whole point is that as long as you’re connected with Krsna, then that is very good. But the thing is, you have your diksa-guru, you maintain that relationship, he is a very special person for you and you maintain a very special relationship by being totally surrendered to your diksa-guru. I have one disciple, Radhapriya devi dasi, and she will write me and say, “Gurudeva, how can I serve you? How can I please you, Gurudeva?” Then I would tell her. She lives about two hours away from the Boston temple in the U.S. and I would tell her, “You go to the Boston temple and you serve all the devotees there, and that will be your personal service to me.” So this is how I train my disciples. If they want to personally serve me, they can serve any ISKCON devotee. They can serve that devotee and that is service to me. So in this way, actually, every ISKCON devotee is an access point to the ‘Krsna net’. Why only the gurus? All the ISKCON devotees. We can associate with any sincere follower of Prabhupada and get our connection with His Divine Grace.

Translator: Since this is your first visit to Bulgaria, if we can make it not to be the last, is that possible?

SDA: Yes, if you like. You want me to come again?

Audience: Yes

SDA: Alright, we will come again.

Audience: [cheering]

SDA: Okay, we’ll stop here.

grantha-raja Srimad-bhagavatam ki… jaya!

Srila Prabhupada ki… jaya!

Devotee: Sankarshana Prabhu ki jaya!

SDA: ananta koti vaisnava vrinda ki jaya!

ISKCON Sofia bhaktas ki jaya!

[Transcribed by Her Grace Bhaktin Diane]

Index of Transcribed Lectures