His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Srimad Bhagavatam

Canto 1 Chapter 2 Text 6

Niles, MI- 5-25-2005


Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya

[Gurudeva is singing 3 times and devotees repeat]

Srimad Bhagavatam, First Canto, Chapter No.2 – Divinity and Devotional Service, Text 6

sa vai pumsam paro dharmo

yato bhaktir adhoksaje

ahaituky apratihata

yayatma suprasidati



sah—that; vai—certainly; pumsam—for mankind; parah—sublime; dharmah—occupation; yatah—by which; bhaktih—devotional service; adhoksaje—unto the Transcendence; ahaituki—causeless; apratihata—unbroken; yaya—by which; atma—the self; suprasidati—completely satisfied.

Translation and Purport by Srila Prabhupada


The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.


In this statement, Sri Suta Gosvami answers the first question of the sages of Naimisaranya. The sages asked him to summarize the whole range of revealed scriptures and present the most essential part so that fallen people or the people in general might easily take it up. The Vedas prescribe two different types of occupation for the human being. One is called the pravrtti-marga, or the path of sense enjoyment, and the other is called the nivṛti-marga, or the path of renunciation. The path of enjoyment is inferior, and the path of sacrifice for the supreme cause is superior. The material existence of the living being is a diseased condition of actual life. Actual life is spiritual existence, or brahma-bhuta existence, where life is eternal, blissful and full of knowledge. Material existence is temporary, illusory and full of miseries. There is no happiness at all. There is just the futile attempt to get rid of the miseries, and temporary cessation of misery is falsely called happiness. Therefore, the path of progressive material enjoyment, which is temporary, miserable and illusory, is inferior. But devotional service to the Supreme Lord, which leads one to eternal, blissful and all-cognizant life, is called the superior quality of occupation. This is sometimes polluted when mixed with the inferior quality. For example, adoption of devotional service for material gain is certainly an obstruction to the progressive path of renunciation. Renunciation or abnegation for ultimate good is certainly a better occupation than enjoyment in the diseased condition of life. Such enjoyment only aggravates the symptoms of disease and increases its duration. Therefore devotional service to the Lord must be pure in quality, i.e., without the least desire for material enjoyment. One should, therefore, accept the superior quality of occupation in the form of the devotional service of the Lord without any tinge of unnecessary desire, fruitive action and philosophical speculation. This alone can lead one to perpetual solace in His service.

We have purposely denoted dharma as occupation because the root meaning of the word dharma is "that which sustains one's existence." A living being's sustenance of existence is to coordinate his activities with his eternal relation with the Supreme Lord Krishna. Krishna is the central pivot of living beings, and He is the all-attractive living entity or eternal form amongst all other living beings or eternal forms. Each and every living being has his eternal form in the spiritual existence, and Krishna is the eternal attraction for all of them. Krishna is the complete whole, and everything else is His part and parcel. The relation is one of the servant and the served. It is transcendental and is completely distinct from our experience in material existence. This relation of servant and the served is the most congenial form of intimacy. One can realize it as devotional service progresses. Everyone should engage himself in that transcendental loving service of the Lord, even in the present conditional state of material existence. That will gradually give one the clue to actual life and please him to complete satisfaction. [End of Purport]

It’s interesting how the word ‘progressive’ pops up throughout this purport. Prabhupada is saying the path of progressive material enjoyment that one really is an amazing statement, because we would normally think that this path of material enjoyment is a very regressive path, going backwards, going deeper and deeper into the lower modes of nature. We’d find that to be the actual nature - regressive.

So how Prabhupada can say progressive material enjoyment? How can we understand that statement? That’s an interesting question to ponder. When Prabhupada says there is actually no happiness at all, it’s just the futile attempt to get rid of the miseries. Futile means it’s useless; you’re trying to do it but it’s futile; it’s useless, it’s a waste of time. You try to get lesser miseries.

It’s just like sometimes they install wall to wall carpet in our house and there’s a bubble in it, the place where the carpet comes up. So you think, ‘Let me just push down’ but it comes up somewhere else. No matter what you do to get rid of those lumps unless you take the carpet out and reinstall it, take it and rip it up and cut it somewhere, find out where you mis-measured it where it didn’t fit the room; then you can get the bubble out. You just try to press down the bubble here and it comes up somewhere else.

om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah

So this is the nature of material enjoyment, or material suffering which is actually, there’s no such thing as material enjoyment, ultimately. We falsely call the temporary cessation of misery happiness, as the example is given in the medieval form of punishment where they dunking stool, where they take the criminal and they put him under the water and they leave him under the water in the dunking stool until he is practically dead, and they bring him up for a second, he gets a gasp of air; “Ah!” he thinks, “Now I’m enjoying!” and they put him back down again.

So when the misery lets up a little bit, we think, “Ah! Yes, now I’m enjoying!” But that’s not enjoyment. You’re in a miserable position where you are being brutally punished by the three-fold miseries, the four-fold misery; if that wasn’t enough then there are these seven whips also. You’re just constantly being whipped around, beaten up, smashed by these miseries and then it lets up for a second. “Ah! I’m enjoying!”

So, again, how can Prabhupada say progressive material enjoyment? Of course, they are thinking it’s progressive. There’s no doubt. Yes, we are progressing in our advancement. We know we have central air and heat, we have mobile phones, we have wireless laptops, we have so many things and soon they’ll figure out a way to put a stop to death you just have to live long enough. One scientist has predicted that he is making sure that he doesn’t die by taking his vitamins; he is driving very carefully, because he knows in a few years they’ll find a way to keep us to stop death. Some little thing they can put in your bloodstream. He’s convinced that they’ll put a stop to death, so he’s just making sure he can live long enough to become immortal. That’s his goal.

So, they certainly think it’s progressive. But Prabhupada isn’t saying so-called progressive. He is actually saying the path of progressive material enjoyment. Of course there are progressive types of material enjoyment according to the Vedic system where you can go to the heavenly planets. You can say that’s progressive in one sense. You progress, from here to Swarga loka. That can be called progressive material enjoyment.

So that remains a mystery. Why Prabhupada uses the word progressive material enjoyment. It remains mysterious.

Actual progress, Prabhupada is describing here, in the end he says one who is realized in devotional service progresses. That’s actual progression.

Why is it progressive to engage in devotional service? The materialists would not call this progress. Getting up early in the morning, having Mangal Arati; they would not say this is progress. They consider this is foolishness. “You’ve regressed. The cult leader has come and he has brain-washed you. You are regressing into this primitive practice of worshipping God primitively - aborigines.” The lightning would come and they would bow down unto the lightning! “You’ve regressed into a less-intelligent mode of existence. Some guru came and he put a spell on you and now you’ve regressed.”

On what basis can we argue that this is actually progressive? Do we have any philosophical grounds or is this some kind of blind faith? On what logical scientific basis can we argue that this is actually progressive what we are doing?

Well, the real fact of the matter is that in spite of all the progress of the modern day science, the progressive material enjoyment, it is all finished at the time of death. Even in Brahma loka,

a-brahma-bhuvanal lokah

punar avartino 'rjuna

mam upetya tu kaunteya

punar janma na vidyate


They think “I’ll be God here and now.” So that’s worse. But our philosophy is you should be Krishna conscious in the here and now, and if we actually plug in to the transcendental platform, right now, then in this mood, described here, ahaituky apratihata, without any motive and solidly fixed, no interruption, not like on-and-off sort of Krishna consciousness - on today, off tomorrow, no, solidly fixed at every minute, committed. “I’m going to stick with this process at every second. I’m not going to let my mind go away even for a second.  I’m just going to stay always rooted, solidly situated in Krishna consciousness.” If we focus our attention in that way and become determined, the result, we would become ecstatic. Anandamayo abhyasat, the nature of the living entity is that he is blissful. So that actual bliss comes by reconnecting but first of all, by understanding who we are and then being who we actually are, as we were saying this last night, “know who are and be who you are.” We simply have to reconnect with our actual identity and the result is we actually taste happiness. We experience a transcendental sweetness. We gain an understanding which is beyond anything that we can have in this material world.


Truth works. If Krishna consciousness is actually the truth, then we should be experiencing something when we chant Hare Krishna. We should be tasting some nectar which is beyond anything in this material world. Therefore actually Krishna consciousness is genuine. Then there should be a real experience there. It shouldn’t be “well, off in the future” sort of a thing. There should be something that we are tasting right now. There should be complete satisfaction. Of course, it is a gradual process. But there should be some transcendental experience to some degree, even in the beginning. Otherwise how can we go forward? How can we be progressive? How can we continue unless we are tasting something right now?

“From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place.”

In spite of all of their hype about conquering death, very soon, “Just around the corner, just give us another ten million dollars and we’ll give you immortality. Have faith in us scientists. We are your true well-wishers.” In spite of all the hype, they have not done.

If you were a Mercedes Benz dealer and I came and I said, “I would like to buy that $90,000 Mercedes and here I give you one cheque; I don’t have the funds in the bank today, but tomorrow the funds will be there; you can trust me. Here, you take my cheque. Give me the keys.” Will you give me the Mercedes? No.

 Why you are putting so much faith in the scientists when they are promising us immortality? It is simply blind faith. “Trust no future, however pleasant it is.” This is intelligence.

An intelligent person is not carried away by propaganda. He is not razzle dazzled by some pie in the sky hype. He wants something that’s concrete. He wants it now. If you have something to give me, you give it to me now.

So the Krishna consciousness process is indeed progressive, because you don’t have to wait to get the result. You can get it now. Actually, Krishna consciousness is here and now. The Mayavadis have that book, “Be Here Now”. But they don’t know what to be here and now. That’s the problem.

Of course, the real secret of how to do that is to not try to enjoy, but to try to give enjoyment. That’s the insider secret in this regard. Instead of trying to taste the bliss, try to give bliss, like the gopis.


That Krishna, he had head ache. He said, “Oh, and he told his messenger, I need the dust from the feet of my devotees to cure my head ache.” So the messenger is going to find someone who can give. He went to some Smarta brahmanas, “Krishna has a head ache. Can you give some dust from your feet to cure the head ache of Krishna?” “No! We will go to hell! If the dust from our feet goes on to the Lord’s head, we will go to hell we’ll never do such a thing.” So he went down the road a little further to the gopis. He told them the same thing and they said, “Yes, take the dust, anything for curing Krishna’s head ache.” “Aren’t you afraid? You’ll go to hell!” “Ah! That’s all right we don’t mind. Just Krishna’s head ache must be cured.”


This is the secret. Don’t try to taste the bliss. Try to give the bliss to others. Try to make whatever devotees you’re associating with, always try to make them happy and satisfied in all respects; whatever devotees you’re associated with. Actually that’s even more important than Krishna.


That’s how we please Krishna, through the medium of Guru and Vaishnavas.


Ananda bolo hari bhaja vrindaban
Sri-guru-vaishnaba-pade majaiya man

“Narattoma is saying, ecstatically chant Hare Krishna, worship Sri Vrindavan Dham and meditate on the lotus feet of Guru and Vaishnavas.” So it’s not that we only worship our spiritual master, we worship all the Vaishnavas actually, according to Narottama Das Thakur.

So, this is how we will give our love to Krishna, by giving our love to our spiritual master, by giving our love to the Vaishnavas. We always see that the devotees are happy, my spiritual master is happy, then Krishna will definitely be happy and then we will taste the bliss. If you want to taste the bliss, then you have to give the bliss. That’s the bottom line. Don’t think that you can taste and not make the devotees happy and be happy yourself. It doesn’t work. We have to make the devotees happy, that we are associated with and then we can be happy.

Even if we try to enjoy Krishna consciousness on our own, it is actually a kripana mentality, miserly mentality. Everyone knows miser. He cannot be happy, even though he has accumulated so much money. He cannot be happy. Miser, you know the other word miserable and miser is the same word! Miser means miserable! Miserable means miser! Miser means he’s only thinking of himself. He doesn’t want to give to others. In Vrindavan there are so many da’s - Yashoda, Kirtida – ‘da’ means ‘give’, one who gives kirti; one who gives yasho. One who gives fame is known as yashoda, the giver of fame.

So this is the Vrindavan mood. In the material world everyone is a taker. There are too many takers in this world and not enough givers. A Vaishnava is a giver, he always wants to give, give, give, give, give. Give wisdom and give happiness, give loving service. When this giving mood is there, he always wants to see that the devotees are happy and satisfied and peaceful in all respects at every minute, every second, that the devotees are happy. Then automatically we’ll taste that bliss.

So, we have just five minutes for questions. Let’s see if there’s any question.

Q. There are three-fold miseries, four-fold miseries and then the seven whips. I know the three and the four. What are the seven whips?

A. They’re given in Krishna book. I don’t remember them – hunger, thirst, lamentation – that’s three of them. You can see it in Krishna book, in the beginning of Krishna book. Hunger, thirst, lamentation, illusion – there’s some overlap with the four-fold and the three-fold. But they are definitely there. Somehow if you can evade the three-fold and the four-fold, the seven whips will get you. You just can’t escape, like they say in the Texas if the red necks don’t get you then the mosquitoes will. Somehow or the other they will get you. The miseries will catch up with you.

(Devotee) Is that what the devotees say?

SDA: I don’t know. That’s just something I may have made that up myself. [chuckles]

VPM: Progressive material world, does that mean that people are getting grossly engrossed in their senses?

SDA:  Yeah, it’s progressive in the sense they are becoming progressively more and more ignorant.

VPM: More and more people are getting into sex; all of them see that there is so much Aids and all that and still they are getting into.

SDA: Right, they’re going down. They are progressing in the pathway of ignorance, that’s right. And that’s becoming more gross, progressively more and more grotesque all the time their sense enjoyment.

What does the kid do for kicks now? Now he takes a gun to school and starts shooting, for example. It’s really getting grotesque.

VPM:  Just like in high school they’ve introduced that dance?

SDA:  Oh yeah! There’s a new kind of dancing in the high school, I’ve heard about this. What they do is they rub their bodies. They have their clothes on but they will rub; the boy will go up to the girl as if they are having intercourse. They just rub on each other as if they are having sex. They do that at school, and they play the music and get onto the floor and they do that as type of dancing. What do they call it?

(Devotee) Dirty dancing (Another devotee)

VPM: They have given some special name in America.

SDA: Yeah, this kind of stuff in going on.

VPM: They are saying child abuse and adult abuse. What is it called? There’s a child abuse. They are saying there should not be adult abuse, and they are allowing this in high schools; so isn’t this abuse?

SDA: School abuse. Abusing the school!

(Devotee) Prabhupada calls schools slaughter house.

SDA: Yeah, I mean, it’s just progressively becoming worse. But that’s an advantage for us, you see. Just like when the water became more and more polluted, so then the bottled water in the street came up because the water was so dirty. Otherwise they wouldn’t come up. So the more the consciousness becomes polluted, more the people would come out, not being able to handle any more. They get so bad that they will be looking for pure consciousness.

VPM:  So, do you think this is going to happen because people are in so much sense gratification?

SDA: I can absolutely guarantee. You can mark my words that as the Kali-Yuga becomes worse and worse, there will be those people, who are inclined towards goodness, will become more desperate to actually achieve self-realization. People who are not satisfied with passion and ignorance who are sattvik in nature as the passion and ignorance gets worse and worse and more all-devouring, they will demand, they will just be very, very intensely looking for genuine spiritual enlightenment. That’ll happen. You can mark my words. This will be the result, and we the Krishna consciousness movement will be there to give them that information, that guidance, that inspiration, that blessing; how to actually become a self-realized being, spiritually enlightened being who is transcendental to all the madness that is ever progressively engulfing the entire human society.

Questions more?

(Devotee) Do you have limited time, or?

SDA: I will give you some time, Mataji.

(Devotee) I heard you say sometime that wife is the protection for the husband.

SDA: The wife definitely is a protection for the husband.

(Devotee)  I understand spiritually like being a team, but so many things out there.

 VPM: like another women coming in (chuckles).

(Devotee)  She knows. So, because I’m doing marriage counselling and many couples come to me and they are like arguing with each other like why the wife has to protect husband? We will liberate them easily?

SDA: The wife is described as a fortress. A man’s nature, let’s face it – I mean, man has the tendency to enjoy many, many women. It’s a fact. He’s got his wife, but his mind is, “That woman looks pretty good”. That’s a man’s nature. He has a nature to enjoy many women. So that’s degradation for the man. So the woman has to capture him by her loving service. And she has to know that he basically in a sense like a dog on a leash. He can’t run here and he can’t run there. She’s got her husband on a leash of her love. By her loving service, she’s got him on a leash. He’s a dog with a leash. He can’t run free to go after this she-dog and that she-dog. She’s got him on a leash where he’s tied up to where he is completely absorbed in his relationship with his wife that there’s no time for him to go to anyone else. Basically she has got him completely tied up 24 hours a day in the marriage relationship. So this is a practical thing.

She cooks very nice prasadam, she is always there encouraging her husband in his devotional service, in this way. The husband also has to be very obedient and follow the Vedic principles. On his own also, he has to curb down his tendency to go after other women. He has to not associate with other women, especially not alone. The principles of brahmachari he must follow in relation with other women besides his wife. He must be a brahmachari; not like some karmi.

The principles of a brahmachari are very, very essential for the marriage to be happy and successful. That’s why it says everyone should see every other woman other than one’s wife as mother. And one should never be alone with any woman except for one’s wife. The Vedic injunction is so strong that you shouldn’t be alone even with your own daughter! One devotee said, “How is that possible!” He thought that was ridiculous. He couldn’t understand how the Vedas could say, “you shouldn’t be alone with your daughter.”  But then one devotee fell down and had illicit sex with his own daughter in our movement. He had to go through the child abuse thing, because he had sex with his own daughter.

We’ve seen so many marriages are broken because devotees weren’t strict. So, one actually has to be very strict in following the Vedic principles. They protect us. A wife is a great asset. A Krishna conscious wife is actually the greatest asset because the man’s nature to want to have a woman’s company is satisfied by having a wife. There’s a certain nature of the man, it comes from Krishna. He enjoys having women around. Men enjoy women. So that nature is there. Every man has a tendency to want to enjoy women. So if he has a Krishna conscious wife, then he can get the satisfaction of a woman’s company. At the same time, he’s protected from unrestricted association of women which will lead to degradation.

VPM: And then another question arises. So the man’s tendency is to enjoy many women. Then why would it be mentioned that the woman is considered lustier than the man?

SDA: Yeah, that is also stated. Actually there are statements that make everyone look bad in the Vedas. In these Vedic teachings women are also described as being very lusty. The tendency is there. Both men and women are very lusty. That’s a fact. So the thing works the other way too. The woman may have the tendency to flirt with other men and she has to stop that just be dedicated to her husband unless she wants to go around and talk with this man and talk with that man. A Vedic woman is actually shy about associating with other men. She only wants to associate with her husband actually.

VPM: How is the wife supposed to protect the husband when other women may be flirting around with her husband?

SDA: They both have to be Krishna conscious and they both have to protect each other. It’s a mutual thing actually. They both have to protect each other.

(Devotee) Is it ok for the wife to come to the husband and say, “You’ve to be careful with this woman around”

SDA: Ah! Yes, definitely! The woman has the tendency to be jealous if her husband is associating with other women. That’s’ good. They say the two breasts of a woman are envy and what’s the other one? What does it say in the Bhagavatam? A woman has the tendency to be envious. That actually can be used in Krishna’s service that if she is envious of her husband associating with other women then that can be utilized to check his unrestrictedly associating and becoming degraded.

I was counselling a married couple in Estonia and the husband had a tendency to want to talk with all the women and the wife is very much disturbed by that. And it was other brahmacharini in the ashram who would like to associate with her husband, and this made the wife very, very angry. And the brahmacharini when she was serving prasadam to all the ladies and the wife she was so extreme that she didn’t want this girl to serve her husband. I mean, she was really extreme but I said, “Whatever your wife says, you should go along with her and just accept it because that’s her right”. She is protecting her husband.

VPM: and she is protecting her also.

SDA: She is protecting the girl also. That’s right. The wife has the right to do that and you just have to go along with it, whether you think it is unreasonable, it doesn’t matter. You have to go along with the wife.

(Devotee) The woman, we’ve seen, like when she got married she started doing some tricks, and he didn’t understand; and she said, ‘I’m a woman. I used to do these things back sometime’.

SDA: My experience is that women do have a certain intelligence that men don’t have. So the man has to learn how to listen to his wife because she has some female psychology of certain ways of understanding that men don’t have. So man will be very smart if he can learn to listen to his wife.

(Devotee) We used to have this problem. You’re right. I accept her authority and we use to fight then I said, “May be you’re right, maybe I’m just not seeing it.” So I accepted it. And things have gone much better. Sometimes we see that some well-intentioned devotee lady who wants to serve me then I say, “No, It’s not proper. If you want to serve me, serve me through my wife. Ask her”. In the same way, I don’t provide some scripts that I need to say something to some lady and I tell my wife and ask her to tell that lady.

SDA: We have to protect ourselves. The wife is there as a protection. Because the material nature is so powerful that we can easily be carried away by lust. That’s the reality. Lust can easily carry away. It’s been the downfall of many of our sanyasis, gurus. They fell down because of lust.

(Devotee) Some other things about woman, because it’s said that each woman has to be protected, in our society, many women don’t have fathers or husbands or the sons. So because it’s the nature of women to be protected and if they are not, they are looking for protection. They are looking for like my husband, he’s very kind and men are just kind to some woman, but they think it’s wrong, they think it’s wrong.

SDA: That’s why the husband and wife have to be a preaching team to where they feel. They come to the purview. May be some woman is attracted by his preaching but you have to be seen as a team. It’s like the wife is a better half. They can still do that but not him alone, but him and her together, as a preaching team.

(Devotee) Like last year we went on a tour it was crowded, especially who hate to associate with woman and they have wives. Last time when I went, I counselled one couple and I so hated this time when I saw them; the husband understood. He tells his wife “Oh, you’re jealous. You’re crazy” such and such and such but when we talk about this discuss this and now hear, he has understood this and now they’re doing good in the relationship.

SDA: The wife has to have power. If the wife is disempowered like “You’re just a servant Just do what you are told”, then the husband is making a big mistake. The wife will naturally be in the mood of service if she is given the proper respect that’s due to her.

(Devotee) This is a joke about some man, he said, “Oh my wife! She is not Devahuti.” And so you ask the husband, “So, are you Kardama Muni?” If your wife is Devahuti, then you have to be Kardama Muni. Kardama Muni gave his wife whatever she needed. She asked for son, children. He is not just…

SDA: That’s right. The husband shouldn’t expect the wife to be something that he is not. The husband is actually the leader according to Vedic culture. He is meant to be the actual leader, he is meant to be the real source of spiritual strength for the wife. The wife can be inspired by him, etc. The husband can’t expect the wife to be more advanced than he is. It’s said that the wife actually gets the spiritual progress whatever spiritual advancement the husband has, she inherits that. So it’s the husband’s duty actually to be more spiritually advanced, more sense control than the wife. He is supposed to be the leader. Why is it said that the male form is more beneficial for self-realization? He’s supposed to be the actual leader. He should be the repository of strong, fixed-up Krishna consciousness which the wife can plug in to and get enlivened by. The husband is meant to be the leader.

(Devotee) You see many husbands, many men, they don’t have these qualities but they say, “Wife has to listen to me, because she’s my wife. she has to listen to me.”

SDA: You cannot artificially dictate submission. Prabhupada said, “You cannot demand respect, you have to command respect.” That means by your qualities, people will naturally respect you. The husband cannot demand the wife’s respect. That’ll never work. He has to command it by being such a great sadhu that the wife naturally respects him. That’s the position. Anyone who is demanding, that is materialistic.

(Devotee) I think in Krishna consciousness, I don’t know if it’s same divorces like karmis or more..?

SDA: We have more divorces in ISKCON than the karmis have, which means our movement is not the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in that sense. It’s the International Society for Divorce Consciousness.

VPM: I think it is becoming less and less now.

SDA: Becoming less now? Oh, that’s good. The way I looked at it, my parents never even raise voices against each other the whole time I was a child. I never heard them argue with each other ever, and they were just karmis. So when I joined this movement and I got married, I knew the vows, no matter what happens, if I can’t hold my marriage together that would be admitting Krishna consciousness is not what I’ve been saying it is. I have to make this marriage work no matter what, because otherwise I would be defeated by my meat-eating Christian relatives, that they have is better than what I have. I was forced to be able to manifest successful marriage just for the sake of preaching. So every devotee has to have that mood of sacrifice.

As Tamal Krishna Goswami said, “Show me a successful marriage whose middle name is not compromise.” There has to be a compromise. The husband has to be willing to compromise with the wife and the wife has to be willing to compromise with the husband. Not that my-way-or- the-high-way philosophy. “Either you take my way or get on the high way” – not like that.  Just like now, there is some compromising going on between me and Mataji. She’s given me the signal and I have to compromise. Even though you want the class to go on, I have to cut it short now because we do have a schedule and she’s reminding me, gone twenty minutes over time already.

(Devotee) I find it very nice that your wife every time checks what’s next. She’s the one who’s coordinating.

SDA: She’s my manager. I look at it like this - As the spiritual master is getting more and more disciples around the world, in one sense, its like famous, prestigious sort of a position. But I always think about the Beatles that they became very famous and very prestigious but they had a manager, George Epstein, who told them how, “you’ve to cut your hair like this, you have to wear these little suits and ties like this.” He told them what to do. He was the manager and he orders them, “Ok, you do this, you do that.” So they worked under the manager. They didn’t do just what they wanted. They did what the manager told them to do. So I see that Mataji is my manager. To me, she is the manager and I can sometimes disagree with her but usually I do go along with her because she is 99% of the time right.

(Devotee) Well, I know that in our case, I’m terrible time manager. She keeps me on time, mostly. Sometimes I’ll dodge her. My tendency is to be like thirty minutes late every time.

SDA: So, not only time but always I take Mataji’s guidance because she came from a very strict Hindu family. She was worshipping Vishnu or Krishna from her childhood. She’s a very pious, very pure background compared to mine. So I always take advantage of her advancement in Krishna consciousness because I have to be as advanced as I possibly can be to properly guide so many students all over the world. So that’s why I keep her with me. She always says, “Just let me go to Vrindavan. I won’t be botheration for you.” But I say, “No, no. that’ll be worse, it will be more than a botheration.”  I’d rather, whatever botheration there may be of having to pay for two airline tickets instead of one, and some temples they don’t have facility for a man and a wife. So I’ve to stay outside the temple in a householder couple’s home. If I was just travelling sanyasi, in many ways it would be easier but then I would lose the advantage of all of her wisdom and realization which is very powerful, which helps me a lot in what I’m doing. So I prefer to keep a wife, instead of trading my wife for a danda.

(VPM: chuckles)

(Devotee) So she’s your danda?

SDA: She is my danda, I’ve told this to sanyasis. I’ve a better danda than you do. My danda is better than your danda! And actually she is a danda, she tells me when I’m doing something wrong. So in that sense, she’s also a danda for me. She actually says, “I don’t think you should do it like this, you should do it like this” and she is usually right! So I’ve learnt to take her advice because it helps me in my service. So now she’s again given me the word! Alright, so we’ll stop here.

Grantharaj Srimad Bhagavatam ki Jai!

Srila Prabhupada ki Jai!


Transcribed by Her Grace Bhaktin Divyapriya

Index of Transcribed Lectures