Canto 3 Chapter 25 Text 21
North Sutton, New Hampshire
titiksavah—tolerant; karunikah—merciful; suhrdah—friendly; sarva-dehinam—to all living entities; ajata-satravah—inimical to none; santah—peaceful; sadhavah—abiding by scriptures; sadhu-bhusanah—adorned with sublime characteristics.
The symptoms of a sadhu are that he is tolerant, merciful and friendly to all living entities. He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides by the scriptures, and all his characteristics are sublime.
om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
sri-caitanya-mano-bhistam sthapitam yena bhu-tale
So this is wonderful wisdom from the Srimad Bhagavatam to help us actually enter into the sublime realm of devotional service. At the present moment we are actually suffering in the cycle of birth and death. That’s our present position. We don’t like to admit it, but actually the fact is we are suffering right now. We’re being attacked by the various types of three-fold miseries – miseries of the body and the mind, miseries caused by other living entities and miseries caused by natural disasters - adhyatmik, adhibhautik and adhidaivik.
So that is our position. We are being bombarded by so many types of suffering conditions. So this is very important, what we are studying today, because this is giving us the key how to come out of the suffering condition. The Caitanya-caritamrta also talks about the sadhu. It says there,
'sadhu-sanga', 'sadhu-sanga' -- sarva-sastre kaya
lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya
It is declared in all the scriptures, that by one moment’s association with a sadhu,
What is the supreme perfection is devotional service? There are other perfections which are sought by persons. Those perfections are automatically included within devotional service. This is why, when you achieve devotional service, actually you’ve achieved all perfections – sarva-siddhi haya – you’ve achieved all perfections when you come to the platform of devotional service.
Just like we have various financial problems within this world – you may have a $10 problem, a $100 problem, a $1,000 problem, a $100,000 problem, $300,000 problem. But if you have one billion dollars then all your financial problems are solved. Of course, for some people that might not be enough – trillion dollars would certainly do! The US government, I think has multi-billion dollar problem. But if you had quintillions of dollars then all your financial problems would definitely be solved, even if you’re the US government.
So Krishna consciousness is like this. It’s like quintillions of dollars, because all perfections are automatically included when you come to devotional service. So this verse sounds pretty good, “How do I get from point A to point B? Right now I’m in maya, I’m in illusion. How do I come to that point of pure devotional service?”
Many people have joined our movement, but didn’t know how to capture the essence of how to do it successfully. They wanted to do it, they made some progress but they couldn’t fully develop it. So how do we get the proper understanding, so that we will not fall short of the mark, pure devotional service?
Actually we were requested in Montreal to do a three-hour seminar on pure devotional service. On Sunday we met with a large assembly of devotees and members of the temple to explain how it is that one can achieve pure devotional service, what are the means of attaining pure devotional service.
So in a nutshell, as per this verse, the actual secret and the key to attaining pure devotional service is to have the association of such persons as described here, the sadhus. Of course the spiritual master, he is a sadhu. But any senior devotee is actually a sadhu - Just like Mataji is a sadhu, for example. So that is stated very nicely by Narottama Das Thakur, he says,
anande bolo hari bhaja vrindaban
sri-guru-vaishnaba-pade majaiya man
So he is giving the hint on how to come to that platform of pure devotional service; how to get out of your present bewildered, suffering state of consciousness. And, the first step is you ecstatically chant Hare Krishna. You just dive into the bliss. Join the sankirtan party with great delight and sing in ecstasy. Just really dive in with all the enthusiasm and the joy that you can possibly muster. Just get into it and really enjoy it deeply, deeply, deeply. That’s the first thing.
And the second thing is you have to worship Sri Vrindavana Dhama. You may say, “Well, how can I do that? Here I am in North Sutton, New Hampshire and Vrindavana is so far away.” Well, then you have to make a Vrindavana here! Prabhupada carried Vrindavana wherever he went. Because Prabhupada was always absorbed in pure Krishna bhakti, he was living in Vrindavana at every second. So wherever he went, Vrindavana went with him. So you have to make your Vrindavana here. Just like you have an altar in the next room, you have to really make that a Vrindavana place; where you can go, that becomes a sanctified area for you, a tirtha, a holy place where you can go and really dive deeply.
Vrindavana means a place on this planet where you can dive deeply into the ocean of bhakti. So everyone should have a temple in their home, or they should have a temple nearby where they’re going and dive in deeply and worship that place as sacred. So that room becomes sacred because that is where Krishna is being worshipped. He is installed there on your altar. That room should always be worshipable, and it’s also a place where you connect with “Thought for the Day” and “Weekly Lesson.” That way you can be even more sanctified by connecting with these teachings on a regular daily basis.
And then, what is Narottama saying next, he says, sri-guru-vaishnaba-pade majaiya man – “May I always within my mind, worship the lotus feet of my spiritual master and the Vaishnavas.” So this confirms the point that not only is our spiritual master worshipable, but also all the devotees are worshipable. Anybody who is strictly following the process of Krishna consciousness is worshipable, actually. Anyone, they might not even be initiated yet, but if they are strictly following the process of Krishna consciousness, sincerely preparing themselves for going back to home, back to Godhead then such a person is a sadhu and is worshipable by us.
So we can study this verse and see how much of a sadhu we are and how much of we are not a sadhu. This is what each of us has to do – we have to become sadhus. We have to develop the qualities described here.
The first quality of the sadhu is he is a devotee. The first thing, we have to be devoted to Krishna. Otherwise there is no meaning of being a sadhu. Nowadays, there are so many so-called sadhus in India; they are not devotees of Krishna. But note the word ‘so-called’! Unless one is actually a devotee of Krishna, they are so-called sadhu only. They may be recognized as a great sadhu because they do some yogic meditation, and they speak very sweetly, but actually they have a motive. They want to attract followers for the sake of name and fame. So that is not actually a sadhu. Although the innocent people may think that such a person is a sadhu.
But a real sadhu has no desire for wealth, for women or followers. He simply wants to please Krishna and Guru at every minute. That’s his only desire. That’s the genuine sadhu.
The next item that’s mentioned, his concern is to enlighten people in devotional service. He travels all over the country and actually the sadhu travels all over the world as well. He wants to give everyone Krishna consciousness. A saintly person that doesn’t have that desire is not on a very high level.
There are saintly persons who may reside in one place. They are called bhajanandi, and Jiva Goswami points out that such a sadhu or saintly devotee of the Lord, who simply wants to sit in Vrindavana and chant Hare Krishna, he can make one or two disciples; that’s it. But the sadhu or the saintly devotee of the Lord who is travelling all over the world in missionary work, Jiva Goswami explains that that sadhu, that devotee, he can make as many disciples as possible, because he is doing the highest welfare work to help everyone go back to home back to Godhead. And he is not tinged by any desire for name and fame, because he is just dedicating himself to work hard to save as many people as possible. That’s why Jiva Goswami is saying that he can make as many disciples as possible. His motive is missionary, it is not for name and fame. When someone is still tinged with name and fame, maybe they can make one or two, actually they shouldn’t make any! That’s really the bottom line. But if someone is willing to do anything and everything, such a person can make as many disciples as possible to bless as many people as possible in this connection.
So then Prabhupada explains how such sadhus preach. They say straight out, “Be Krishna conscious!” In the beginning, when Prabhupada was starting this movement, one follower said, “Swamiji, you shouldn’t call it the International Society for Krishna consciousness, because some people may not like that. You should call it International Society for God consciousness. That will be more universally appealing.” Prabhupada didn’t accept that, because he wanted people to know who is God.
Why is it important to know who God is? Do you have any idea why is it important to know who God is?
Devotee: You have to have something to strive for. Anyone could have their own perception of what God is and if it’s not that specific then how can you know that you’re following the right path?
SDA: Hmm.. You’re getting close to what I was seeking.
Vishnu Priya Mataji: Once you know Who God is and everything about Him, then you can develop that love for Him.
SDA: Hmm! these are all up the same alley of what I was driving at. The point I’m making here is that, if somebody knocks on your door, some complete total stranger. Then he says, “I’m really in difficulty. My wife she’s come down with cancer. I have $50,000 hospital bill, and my car has been repossessed. Please give me $10,000.” Let’s say you do have $10,000 in your bank set aside for your personal emergencies. Now would you be inclined to give a complete stranger who knocked on your door $10,000?
SDA: No, because he could be a convict. So, if we don’t know someone, how much you can trust him really. Now if it was somebody like your mother, or your wife who you know intimately well... You know they’re not lying to you, or else with some close friend that you really know. He is not going to misguide you in any way, then you might be incline give them; you might even give him $10,000 or $5,000, something substantial to help them.
So what was the difference? The difference was, you had knowledge of who they actually were, and therefore you could trust them, “They’re not cheating me”.
In America, we’re very proud, “In God we trust” on our dollar bill. But we don’t know who God is. So if you don’t know God, how long can you go on artificially trusting God? You may for some time go on as a slogan, “Yes!” “In God we trust”, but without knowledge of God, eventually that trust will evaporate unless you actually know who God is. It is very, very important in the long run, especially. You actually need to know who God is, and then as you all were saying, the point you’re making is very valid, therefore we can actually develop our love.
Just like if I said, “Okay, I have a nice wife picked out for you.” It’s the Indian system actually. They still do that. Parents will say, “Okay son, we have your wife picked. Come home for the marriage.” They’ll be working in America. One of my disciples had an arranged marriage. It is working out great.
But if someone said, “Alright, we have your wife picked out for you and you will never know what her name is, never get to see what she looks like, ever, but you have to be totally devoted to her for your whole life. You never get to see her or know her name or know anything about what she is like or what she does, but here you have to sign the wedding papers and you’re to be betrothed to her for your whole life.” Would you like such a marriage? What’s the meaning – I don’t know what she looks like, I don’t know her name, I can’t associate with her, I don’t know what she does, I don’t know what kind of food she likes, I don’t know what kind of sport she likes, I don’t know what her hobbies are, I have no way of relating to her! If you know what she likes, at least you could write her a letter and say, “what’s your favorite Beatles song,” at least you have some way to relate if you know something about her. But if you know absolutely nothing about the person – what they like, what they don’t like, what they look like, then how could you possibly give yourself totally in love to such a person, even though you know they are a person?
So this is what the modern day theologians are trying to cram down people’s throats. They don’t have any knowledge of who is God, what He is like, what His activities are, what He likes to do in the afternoon, what He likes to do in the morning. They have no idea!
Therefore, in spite of all their religious preaching and all their big, beautiful churches like they have in Montreal, that big famous church, people are becoming godless. They are becoming atheists. And even the so-called religious people are becoming more evil. Like there was this president of the Methodist Church, he wasn’t the minister, but he was the congregational president of the church. They found out he was the killer in Kansas. He was doing all these murders for many years, secretly murdering, strangling women. They found out he was the one! And here he was, the president of the Methodist Church and he was this serial killer who had evaded the authorities and was taunting the authorities actually, with letters to the newspaper creating a real sensation, this mysterious woman-strangler in Kansas.
So without any knowledge of God, we may officially go to the church, but our hearts aren’t actually becoming purified. We don’t actually become purified. To get that purification, you actually need to have that solid connection – knowing who God is, knowing what His name is, knowing what His activities are, what He likes, what He doesn’t like. The more you can know about Him, the more your relationship is there. This is why people run after the fan magazines. They fall in love with some movie star and then they go and buy the fan magazine, they can read about what so-and-so did last week, went to the restaurant in Hollywood, whatever. You keep up with the gossip of your favorite star, because there is rasa, there is flavor. The more you know about that celebrity, the more you feel your relationship becoming stronger with them.
So we do the same thing with Krishna. We read about His pastimes. We read about His qualities, His characteristics. In this way, the more we know Him, the more we can love Him. Without knowledge of God, trust can’t really stay very long and love can’t really develop. So the knowledge of God is so very, very important. Therefore we say, “Be Krishna conscious.”
So we can tell people, ‘Krishna is a name for God’. Not only is it ‘a’ name for God, but actually it’s the most potent name for God. Why is that? Well, there is one sastric reference which says that, if you say Rama one time that is equal to saying Vishnu a thousand times. Actually there are thousand names of Vishnu. There is a book, called Vishnu Sahasranama – 'the thousand names of Lord Vishnu'. If you will say all those thousand names of Vishnu, or you will say the name Rama one time, then you get all the benefit of saying of thousand names of Vishnu by saying Rama one time, and if you say Rama three times, "Rama, Rama, Rama," you can get the same benefit as by saying Krishna one time. So the point here is that the name of Krishna actually includes every other name of God within it.
Therefore, when you say Krishna you’re really getting incredible amounts of mercy. And the more you can say it with love, the more you get the benefit. In fact, there is so much nectar. If one can absolutely, purely chant the name of Krishna, without any tinged of lust, anger or greed, in complete pure devotion, you will experience more nectar in that one utterance of Krishna than can be contained in the entire universe.
You are familiar with those sweets called gulab jamuns that ooze out the sugar water?
SDA: The holy name Krishna is the ultimate gulab jamun, because it contains more nectar, more sugar water, more juice, more sweet, nectarean juice than this entire universe can contain.
And actually we can understand because Lord Caitanya was here chanting purely, Srila Prabhupada was here chanting purely, Srila Bhaktisiddanta Saraswati was here chanting purely, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Because all these great, great, great personalities who’ve been purely chanting the Hare Krishna mantra in this universe, this very minute, the whole universe is oozing with the nectar of Krishna’s name. So, one has to tune into that nectar, that’s all. You can taste it at every minute. Just like do you have cable TV here? Is there also antenna TV being broadcast in the area?
Devotee: Not really, satellite
SDA: Satellite only? Oh okay, A satellite beam is also coming in! Okay! In that analogy it will also work too, with a satellite beam. Do you just tune into the satellite? Okay! Right now there is satellite circulating the earth, or maybe they stay in one place. They have it situated, so it rotates with the earth. So anyways, there are satellites out there in space. They are beaming all these TV shows down on us. In fact, right now, that beam is hitting us too. There’s actually a beam hitting you at this very minute. You’re being flooded right now with this beam of television programs. You may have the old reruns. I am not of your age. But we used to see the Lone Rangers and Tonto coming across the screen. The William Tell Overture will come along and the Lone Ranger will yell “Hi ho, Silver”. So actually that’s happening right now! Lone Ranger and Tonto are coming on another one of the famous episodes, or Superman, up in the sky, faster that the speeding bullet, able to leap over the tall buildings with the single bound, stronger, more powerful locomotive, it’s Superman! All those things are happening right now in this room! They’re vibrating right now, because the satellites are beaming all those movies right here into this room. They are happening right now. But you can’t see it, because your television isn’t turned on. But it’s actually here! Superman is flying off on another episode, right now, in this room, but we can’t see him.
So in the same way, the sweet, nectarean pastimes of Krishna and the qualities of Krishna, those things are actually even more available than the Lone Ranger and Tonto, more available than the Superman episodes. They’re actually happening, they are omnipresent. Prabhupada explains, there is a mystic television within the heart where you can see the pastimes of Krishna. Actually this mystic television is such that one can enter into the pastimes of Krishna.
Just as we use the television set in our satellite dish to connect with the TV programming, in the same way, one can use this satellite dish, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, to tune in to Krishna, and I guarantee you the programming is much better than what they have on those satellite networks, much better programming.
Therefore it is stated by Yamunacharya, nava-nava-rasa. In Sanskrit, nava means newer and rasa means taste, newer and newer taste. Just imagine, some food you could eat, of course normally we eat some food, when we’re hungry it tastes good, but after you get filled up, it loses its taste. It’s no longer attractive. Just imagine, you could eat something and the more you ate it the more your appetite increased and you never got filled up! You just go on eating and eating and it got more delicious and more delicious and more delicious.
That’s the spiritual world. In the spiritual world, you can do that. You can eat a gulab jamun forever, with every bite it gets sweeter and sweeter and juicier and more nectarean. That’s the spiritual world. So that unlimited happiness, brahma saukyam tvanantam - that unlimited happiness is available if we just tune into our satellite dish:
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
You have to pay some monthly fee, but this is so nice, there is no monthly fee. Even though you’re giving some donation out of love but that is not required to get the connection. That’s just the reciprocation of love. We’re giving this connection absolutely free. This is the ultimate satellite network.
The guru parampara network is giving everyone this free connection to the Krishna net! Why internet? Internet is so restricted. But here we have the Krishna net which connects you with absolutely everything throughout the entire cosmic manifestation at all times, all places and all circumstances. That’s really being connected. This is the real internet, the Krishna net. You become connected with everything. Sometimes people think, “Oh, the devotees are weird, they have some mentality, they are kind of not connected”. No. The devotees are connected. Someone who’s purely fixed in Krishna consciousness, they are absolutely, totally connected with everything and everyone - fully connected.
So that’s why if you come in contact with such a person... Here they have described as a sadhu. A sadhu means a person who is fully connected with God and with everything that relates with God, which is in fact everything, because everything is God’s energy. So when you come in contact with a sadhu, what happens? You get connected. The sadhu is connected with Krishna and when you’re in his association then you automatically become connected by the mercy of his association. So therefore one should be eagerly seeking the association of sadhu. A sadhu’s association is the greatest thing.
Now these ritvik people will say, “Well, Prabhupada is the only real sadhu. So we’ll just take shelter of him.” They are just cheating themselves. They don’t realize that Prabhupada created thousands of sadhus, who are still physically present on this earth and by taking advantage of these sadhus then they can also become sadhus. They are keeping themselves as asadhus or not-saintly persons by not realizing the great, unlimited potency of Srila Prabhupada. By saying that only Prabhupada can be the spiritual master, they are actually saying that Prabhupada is not a great, potent spiritual master. They say, “Prabhupada is such an impotent guru that he could not create one disciple who is qualified to be a spiritual master.”
VPM: Qualified to be a sadhu.
SDA: Prabhupada actually explains in the Srimad Bhagavatam, he says there that the one who is now the disciple is the next spiritual master – right there in his purport in Bhagavatam. Prabhupada wanted all his disciples to be spiritual masters. Otherwise why does he say, “The one who is now the disciple is the next spiritual master?" So these ritvik people, they foolishly think that Prabhupada did not create any spiritual masters, that he didn’t have the potency to do that. They’re thinking that he’s like one of those sadhus who just sits in Vrindavana and chants, who can’t really make disciples all over the world. They’re relegating Prabhupada to some position like an impotent bhajanandi, who just does his own bhajan, who is a nice saintly man, but not really potent for making disciples who can become spiritual masters here.
A real disciple means he also becomes the spiritual master. That’s the real meaning of being a disciple. If you’re actually disciple, then actually you become empowered as a spiritual master for yourself. Of course, that doesn’t mean you start initiating people. The etiquette is, while your spiritual master is still living on this planet and is present, you don’t initiate anyone. If anyone comes to you, feeling that you’re a great teacher for them, you’re a guru for them and you bring them to your initiating spiritual master, so he can initiate them. That’s the etiquette. That’s the protocol.
But actually it is meant that every single disciple in our Hare Krishna movement should be a spiritual master. He should be a sadhu who has that potency to bring many people to Krishna consciousness. This is what we want in our movement. It’s not just limited to the gurus, the initiating gurus and the sannyasis. Everyone is meant to be a preacher of Krishna consciousness to make their family members Krishna conscious, to make their neighbors Krishna conscious, their friends Krishna conscious, their roommates, their professors, their co-workers.
This Krishna conscious movement is a revolution. We are meant to revolutionize this planet. Right now the global consciousness level has sunk down in the muck for sense gratification. So we are meant to work together as a cooperative family of sadhus to elevate the global consciousness on this planet. How do we do that? The more we have kirtan, and the more ecstatically we dive into the kirtan, that will automatically elevate the consciousness. The more we study Prabhupada’s books and discuss Prabhupada’s books that will elevate the consciousness. The more we can do all of our individual activities like chanting our rounds, etc. with deep concentration, that will also elevate the consciousness. So the idea is that by quality devotional service, that does indeed have an impact.
Prabhupada explains in his purport in the Caitanya-caritamrita that if a devotee can chant the holy names without offense, purely chant the holy names, then he becomes jagad guru. And under his influence the entire world will take up chanting Hare Krishna. So it doesn’t matter where you are; you can be in the forest of New Hampshire, you can be in Montreal, you can be in Bombay, it doesn’t matter where you are. But if you come to the point of completely, spotlessly pure chanting, then you will be influencing the entire world to become Krishna conscious just by the purity of your chanting. This is why we very much emphasize spiritual purity now, especially in my own preaching.
In New Vrindavan also, we gave seminar on spiritual purity. They actually didn’t want me to do it. They didn’t think it was relevant. But I had to weasel my way in. They just wanted me to tell about my internet preaching. That’s high-tech. They wanted me to do something on my high-tech preaching. They thought that would be of interest. But I said, “Okay, if you let me do spiritual purity, then I will also do one on internet.” They said, “Ok.” And actually the Spiritual Purity was more popular than the Internet. When it was actually offered to the devotees, “What do you want?” There were different seminars going on at different times, there was like four seminars going on at the same time. You had to choose which ones to go to and my spiritual purity seminar was more popular than the Internet one, because actually people want pure devotional service. That’s why we joined this movement. We wanted to achieve spiritual enlightenment. We are not interested so much in the external things although they are of interest but all those external things, like how to do build the Ratha Yatra cart and how to do organic gardening for Krishna are simply there for the purpose of purifying our heart. The ultimate purpose of why we came to Krishna consciousness to begin with is we wanted spiritual enlightenment. You can learn how to play the harmonium for Krishna or you can learn how to play to attract women also. I mean, learning how to play the harmonium in itself is neither good nor bad. It’s how you utilize it.
Actually what we are really doing here is trying to develop pure devotional service. You can learn how to market on the Internet to promote pornography also. If someone comes to my Internet seminar and they learnt to promote pornography, then what’s the use? The real thing is to develop pure devotional service. Then whatever we do, whatever talents we have, whatever inclinations to act in certain ways we have, those can all be perfectly dovetailed for the pleasure of Guru and Krishna and in that way we become liberated.
So, I can open it up now if there is any question.
Devotee: So if one is pure in their heart, in their chanting, whatever they’re doing, whatever their talents, their occupations, all of these things that they do will continue to blossom as long as they’re used as devotional service. Is that..?
SDA: It’s a general view; yes. If you’re giving something, whatever opulence you have, whatever talents you have, if you use those for Krishna then Krishna will give you more. Just like the father, he will give his children an allowance and if they spend that wisely, he will increase the allowance being pleased with how they’re using it. Or if they misuse it, he will decrease their allowance.
The fact is if we prove to Krishna that whatever we have we will use it for Him then He’ll give us more and more and more. That’s how Prabhupada started off with Rs.40, just $8 at that time and ended up with millions of dollars in assets. Even from the material point of view, Prabhupada’s life story of coming and starting this movement is 'rag to riches.'
In fact Prabhupada told Tamal Krishna Maharaja, when he was a brahmachari, he said, “Krishna can give you all America within one minute. But what you will do with it?” We were telling the same point to the Sunday feast audience in Montreal . We can make this entire world Krishna conscious in 18 days! Why is itnot happening? It’s our own impurities. We are not competent to be the world leaders. We are not at the political post but this is a movement to primarily train the brahmanas, the priestly, intellectual class. We want persons who are learned in the Vedas, who practice the Vedas, who can then teach other people this Vedic wisdom, especially the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam. We are meant to be the pre-eminent educators on this planet that everyone comes to. The political leaders, the leaders in every sphere come to us to seek guidance on how they can do their jobs properly. In that way, we are meant to manage the world as brahminical advisors. So all the political leaders and commercial business leaders, all sorts of leaders should be coming to us to learn the art of how to manage their companies in a way that will liberate themselves and their employees, how to manage their countries in such a way that they become liberated and their citizens will become liberated. We are meant to be a society of persons who have that knowledge, who have that empowerment to act as spiritual masters, as teachers for the general public. We are meant to be in that position.
But if we are impure we can’t do that. If we are still battling it out and being overwhelmed with lust, being overwhelmed with anger, being overwhelmed with envy; if we’re still being subjected to these lower things, then we can’t do that properly. If you’re still lusty and all of a sudden you have fifteen beautiful women bowing down at your feet and begging you, “Please engage me in your service”, we might get carried away! “I’m your surrendered servant; just tell me whatever you want me to do”. You have to be very pure to handle that. If all of a sudden people are offering you millions and millions of dollars, are you just going to use every penny of it selflessly in Krishna’s service? Or are you going to start thinking about the Swiss bank account and getting your own leer jet, just going off and enjoying this material world? You could get carried away by all the wealth.
The point is we have to be extremely pure; completely pure, actually. We have to endeavor for complete total purity because by doing that, then Krishna can act through us, using us as His instruments to actually bring about the prediction given by Srila Prabhupada that the entire world will become Krishna conscious. It will happen sooner or later. I always say, "The sooner, the better." Let’s take it before Al Qaeda does with blackmailing us with nuclear bomb threats. Let’s bring the whole world under the influence of Krishna consciousness. Even these Muslims can take it. We’ve seen that in Istanbul. Of course they are mellow Muslims compared to the others but if they can take it then gradually others can also take it. If the little bit more modern Muslims can begin accepting Krishna consciousness then from there it can spread to the hardliners gradually, gradually. Just like Istanbul, it was the former capital of the Muslim world. The Ottoman Empire was based there, it was formerly Constantinople and they are still very proud of the old palaces that are still there in Istanbul. So a place like Istanbul where people can take it very seriously, then it can gradually infiltrate in the Muslim world as well.
So there is great potential for seeing the whole world transform even in our own very lifetime to see a transformation of the entire planet. Of course it may not happen but we should always strive for it. If nothing else, it makes life interesting and exciting. Prabhupada says a Krishna conscious being is always thinking how to deliver all of the suffering humanity back to home, back to Godhead. That should be our mood.
We should be in a revolutionary spirit. If we are actually Krishna conscious then we should be revolutionaries. We should have that revolutionary attitude of 'how can we save the whole world?' What can we do to save the whole world? What strategy can we think of to capture the whole planet and make them all devotees? We should always be thinking in that way, if we are Krishna conscious. If we’re not thinking that way then it just means we’re not Krishna conscious. If we’re not thinking how we can work together cooperatively to save the world, then we’re not Krishna conscious actually. We’re still just thinking of our own security. Prabhupada said, “Seek opportunity, don’t seek security.” If we seek the opportunity for pleasing Krishna, Srila Prabhupada, then our security will be very easy to handle. Just like a lady knows that stir-fries go on the front burner and rice goes on the back burner. Why? Because the stir-fries take more attention than the rice! You don’t need to put the rice on the front burner and the stir-fries on the back burner. It will be very awkward having to stir the back burner over the rice and all that heat coming up on your arm, it’s the practical thing, you should put the stir-fries in the front burner and rice in the back.
Krishna consciousness is stir-fries, and our material securities, our mortgage payment, our retirement, all those things should be done so expertly that it goes in the back burner. It’s still there, it’s not neglected. But we got it covered on an automatic pilot so we can put our energy into thinking about Krishna consciousness: How I can develop my own purity and how I can work together to serve Guru and Vaishnavas for making the entire planet Krishna conscious? And, even if we’re not successful, Prabhupada explains that being Krishna conscious is always thinking of how to deliver all those suffering humanity, but Prabhupada says that even if he’s not successful, still his perfection is guaranteed. And, anyone who follows him, they will also become perfect. So it’s actually a pretty good deal to always think about saving the world, it’s a wonderful deal because you’re guaranteed to be saved by always thinking how to save the world. And, anybody who gets interested in what you’re doing and is willing to take instructions from you they will also become saved. That’s the right mood to be in. We have to be in the mood of saving the world all the time and that will keep us on track and keep us fixed in Krishna consciousness. And if at the same time we go on with our ordinary activities, finishing up our Master’s degree in your case, we go on with our ordinary activities but we do with such expertise that it doesn’t have to take up all of our mental energy.
Devotee: Along the same lines, what is the best way when we’re in situations where we’re dealing with sales people like work for example I am doing that with people all day long. I have six sales people. I have other people
SDA: You’re a sales manager?
Devotee: Yes. None of them have any concept of anything. They wouldn’t even discuss anything with us about religion or spirituality. When you’re in situation where this is your livelihood, and I try to stay focused all day with my chanting, with my offering my food when I’m at work, my thoughts, but when you’re constantly being pulled by people who have no concept, what is the best suggestion?
SDA: Right now you feel that your energy is being sucked away by them. Isn’t it?
SDA: Yes. All you have to do so that you’ll not feel your energy level going down by their association is that you have to be very solidly connected with that the ultimate source of all energy. In that way you’ll never feel you are drained out.
The example that Prabhupada always gives is just urine. If someone is passing urine and in this analogy it’s outdoors and so the sun is shining on it. That sun can completely cleanse that urine of all contamination. Just by the power of sunlight, it’ll become completely antiseptic in due course of time, completely purified totally, without the sun getting contaminated. So we have to become like the sun. We have to become so fully connected with Krishna that we can be the sun.
The spiritual master has the same problem that you have. The initiating guru faces the same dilemma that you do. Because he wants to initiate as many people as possible to help them, but their karma has to go through the spiritual master, so that can be a drain on his Krishna consciousness. So, it’s the similar situation between you and the initiating spiritual master. How to take all these people’s karma without feeling so sucked into the whirlpool. If you’re strong enough to take all that energy and offer it to Krishna, that’s the key. How canyou actually take their energy and offer it to Krishna? Then you will become energized by engaging them. So, how in fact can you take their energy, instead of them taking your energy which is what’s happening now? How canyou reverse it where actually you are taking their energy and offering it to Krishna? That is the key. You have to learn the art of how to take that energy and offer it to Krishna, which is what the spiritual master does with his disciples.
So how does one actually do that? Well, that’s a very interesting question. So let us dive into that. Let us consider that point. How does one do that? Well, the first thing is, you have to meditate on the actual reality that each one of them is actually a pure devotee of Krishna right now, but is simply covered. You have to learn how to see Krishna within each and every one of them, and you have to see that they are all emanations from Krishna.
Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita,
aham sarvasya prabhavo
“I am the source of material and spiritual worlds. Everything emanates from Me”.
So all of your salesmen, they are actually emanations from Krishna. They exist because Krishna is emanating them from Himself at this very minute. Krishna is like the sun and everything else that exists is the sun rays. They are all Krishna's rays, each one of them. Each one of them is a manifestation of Sri Krishna.
You have to understand that your duty as a sadhu or an aspiring sadhu is to think of how this person can actually be connected with Krishna. That is your ultimate duty. In fact, it is stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam that one should not become any kind of leader unless you can deliver your dependents from birth and death. So within your heart you should be meditating, “How can I engage with this person in such a way that he becomes liberated from the cycle of birth and death?” You should meditate like that. Obviously, you can’t overtly say, “Okay, first program before we go out on the sales, we’ll have alot of kirtan.” That would be ideal, if it was your own company. That’s one thing. That was my idea working as a sales person for MCI so then I can apply those skills in selling Krishna consciousness. That’s one idea you could actually do in the future. Take this expertise of being a sales manager and start your own business or your company, like I had ‘Travelrama’ was my own business. You know, that’s why it was ‘Travelrama’. Rama was right there, everybody is getting the holy name even the Christians call up ‘Travelrama’ they’re all getting ‘Rama’.So you could use this expertise to start your own company. Of course, if it’s not practical then you wouldn’t have to do that but I’m saying these are different options.
There was one man who was Krishna conscious and he had his own business. This was the requirement for employees to be in his company - you can’t smoke on or off the job, you can’t drink on or off the job. Very strict! Prabhupada heard about this and said, “You are more strict than we are!” Because he’d fire them if they were caught smoking a cigarette, even off the job. They lost their job. Prabhupada said, “Actually you are more strict than we are in this movement!” Because a devotee may fall down and smoke a cigarette and then he can’t be a devotee anymore. We try to help him to give it up. But anyway, you could actually start a company where there’s a prayer meeting every morning or something and everyone has to attend a devotional thing and you could do a round robin sort of thing, “Okay, you’re Christians so today we will have a devotional centered around Jesus and I’m a follower of Krishna, so today we will all together have a devotional centered around Lord Krishna and we will all chant Hare Krishna and have kirtan.” So you could actually have a company like that because there are Christians there, you do something to pray to Jesus one day, and another day you have a kirtan, and everyone has to chant Hare Krishna and everyone has to participate in all the devotionals to keep their job.
That’s just some brainstorming how you could actually, if you had your own company, there’s all kinds of creative things that you could do. But in a situation where you don’t, then you have to basically stay undercover. That’s what we are talking about. It was easier to talk about in those terms, but now it is getting more difficult outside of how to do it. But you have to be totally undercover. You might even have to stay undercover just to keep your job also. The employer may be of such nature. Of course, at MCI, I wore tilaka. I decided one day to just take the chance and wear some tilaka, and I made so many sales that day that my manager said, “Whatever that is, you wear it every day”. So I used to wear this tilaka every day at work, because he saw how I was really energized that day when I had tilaka that day. I was really hot. They were signing MCI right and left.
My experience is that the more you are Krishna conscious, the more you’ll be good with whatever you’re doing. Prabhupada was also an example of that. Because he was a pure devotee of Krishna, at age 22, he was brought into this huge chemical factory. A 22-year old kid was put in charge of the whole chemical factory! Can you imagine? There were men who were fifty years old and they had to report to a 20-year old kid, because Prabhupada’s father had a relationship with the owner of the factory. It’s a very big Dr. Bose’s factory in Calcutta. It was a huge successful enterprise practically a major drug manufacturer in India at that time, and Prabhupada was put in charge of it, as a 20-year old boy! And he managed it so expertly. He was managing huge sums of money. Dr. Bose had complete faith in him. All his employees, he was managing. He did it completely expertly. And then after he developed that expertise, he started his own business.
In this connection, Prabhupada explains what is known as the 26 qualities of the devotees. One of the 26 qualities is that the devotee is 'expert'. This means he is expert in everything that he does. He’s an expert father, he’s an expert dealing with his automobile, expert dealing with his wife, he’s expert dealing with employees, expert dealing with his employer, expert dealing with Uncle Sam. Everything he does expertly because he sees everything as the energy of Krishna, and he thinks “Let me utilize this in the most first-class possible way for the pleasure of Krishna”
So the question is how can you possibly use the position as a sales manager in the service of Krishna? Well, the obvious reason is, you’re there to make money. Otherwise you would be retired. If you had sufficient money, you didn’t have to work then obviously who would do it? Not for the fun of it. Obviously you are doing the austerity of doing that job to make money. That money should all be spent in a Krishna conscious way, every penny of it. Whether you’re giving a donation to your Guru, whether you’re giving donation to your local temple or you’re spending it on your own family needs – that should all be spent in a Krishna conscious way. That’s the point. If you’re doing that, if all of that work and austerity you’re going through to make that money is then being purified by spending that money in a very judicious Krishna conscious way, then that will connect everything you’re doing with Krishna. If every penny is spent in Krishna conscious way, then that in itself will be sufficient to keep you connected, because all that endeavor is being offered to Krishna of managing those men or woman, dealing with the boss, dealing with so many constant anxieties.
Job means anxiety. My father taught me that when I was a kid. He would come home from work and say, “I just had to deal with one problem after another problem to another problem. That’s all I do”. Just deal with problems, problems, problems. So that’s why they pay you to take a burden of problems on your head on behalf of the company. So if we do that, then that result of taking that austerity, of taking so many problems, problems, problems is offered to Krishna, then that becomes purified.
And on another side, by yourself developing the qualities of a sadhu, that is actually blessing them. In other words, as Prabhupada told us in Vrindavana, “If you will keep yourselves as clean, neat Vaishnavas, then automatically people will offer you respect, and by offering you respect they will make spiritual advancement.” Even if you don’t preach to them about Krishna, even if you don’t mention anything about God, just by yourself being a first-class sadhu, they will appreciate you. “Jeff is really a neat guy. Jeff is a wonderful guy, I love him.” Every time they think that way they’re making advancement. And that’s true with your own family members, even if you can’t make them devotees, “Oh, I have a great dad.” “I have a wonderful husband.” “I have a wonderful son.” If they just feel that about you, unknowingly they’re making spiritual progress. You’re blessing them by doing that.
So actually there is unlimited scope. It’s not that you can only do this much and that’s it, and you can’t really grow in dovetailing everything you are doing for Krishna. No. It goes deeper and deeper and deeper. So you can dovetail your family with Krishna in this way, you can dovetail your boss in this way, your sales team. You can dovetail all of them in Krishna, and it’s just not some static thing; but it’s ecstatic because it keeps growing and growing. You can become more and more expert all the time by doing it! More and more expertly engaging with your wife, become more and more expert in dealing with your mom, more and more expert in dealing with your kids, with your sales team, with all aspects of your life. That expertise just goes on growing and growing, and it becomes deeper and deeper and you become more and more potent also as you do that. And by that increasing potency, you have a greater and greater impact on them, and a greater ability to actually purify their consciousness. The more that your consciousness becomes purified, the more you are potent in purifying their consciousness. Actually the exciting thing is the whole thing snowballs.
I remember when we were kids in the fifth grade in Kirkwood, Missouri. We had a huge schoolyard out back and we kids had a real ball in making a big huge snowball. I can never forget it! We start as a little tiny snowball then you put the snowball on the ground and you start rolling it, and finally we had the snowball that was about eight feet tall and there were like twenty kids and we kept rolling that snowball around the school yard and it just got bigger and bigger. It became this huge boulder!
So that’s how Krishna consciousness is. You start off very small. Just somehow get your foot in the door, you get your foothold in Vaikuntha or the spiritual world. Get your connection, find your spiritual master, get initiated, become fixed in your principles, and just steadily do it. It’s not that it just goes along and it does not have to become boring. If you’re seriously taking it up, it just increases and it keeps increasing and the more it increases, the faster it increases! So, finally as I have experienced in my life, you reach a point where it just takes off like a rocket! Pheaw! (sound of rocket). In the beginning, you’re just getting the launchpad ready, you’re getting everything sampled, getting all the screws tightened, that’s progress also, that’s part of the launch. But it finally reaches a point where the rocket is lifting off (rocket sound). It reaches a point within your consciousness when you will feel you’re lifting off. You are actually entering into the transcendental realm! Even while you are being in this body and you’re doing your ordinary activities. So that does happen. That will happen if you stick with the process. Steadily chant your rounds, always respect your spiritual master, always respect the devotees, keep that faith in Prabhupada’s mission. Do your duty. Whatever your spiritual master instructs, you do it faithfully. In this way, you will reach a point where you’re lifting off, and entering into the spiritual world.
You just start trying that, and you’ll actually experience results and Krishna will give you, as He says in the 10th verse of the 10th chapter of the Bhagavad-gita,
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te
“To those who are constantly devoted to worshipping Me with love,
So Krishna is actually within your heart, and even though its lot of work, Krishna will guide you how you can do your job in such a way that everything can be dovetailed to His pleasure and satisfaction. How you can deal with your employees, I mean your sales team, and everyone, other co-workers, etc.
Prabhupada gives a very nice example in this connection. He says that in South India, there are these dancers. They do all kinds of intricate dance steps. But while they’re doing that, the interesting thing about this group of dancers is, they keep clay pots balanced on their head the entire time and they never fall off. So how do they do that? They just put it on the first day? No. They took training, it took practice. Actually in India, all the ladies, religious women put clay pots on their head. They’re just standing around chatting, gossiping with clay pots balanced on their heads. It’s amazing to see it. But these ladies go even further. They do all this dancing, twisting and jumping, very intricate dance steps with the clay pots on their head. So that’s by training, by practice.
So, your activities at work that is your dancing and your Krishna consciousness that is your clay pot. So, with practice, with training, with sincere, intense sadhana in the morning, reading and chanting with great absorption of consciousness every morning, as your own chanting and reading becomes more intense at your own Vrindanvana here then you’ll find that it carries over and you feel connected at work. In other words, the more intensely you chant here, the more you’ll feel connected at work, because what you’re doing here is you’re charging your battery. Just like right now I’m charging my batteries here for my laptop. I even got two sets so I can take those on the long flights to Europe and keep doing my correspondence the whole way, all night on the airplane. If the battery is charged, even if it’s drained, that’s all right! Draining is just part of the cycle. You drain the battery, you recharge i,t you drain it, the whole point is to keep on doing your work. That’s all. So even if there’s some physical or psychological drain on you, that’s alright, because you are going to be recharged again. The only problem is you didn’t charge it enough before you went to work. If it wasn’t sufficiently charged then your battery goes dead and your Krishna consciousness just turns off, then you’re in trouble. Just like that was my problem, previously when I would fly to Europe, by the time I went half way over the Atlantic, I was finished. I couldn’t do any more correspondence. So I just spent $250 for two more batteries, so I have 4 batteries actually two at a time so I can go all the way to Europe and just be cooking the whole time writing those letters.
If you’re feeling that you’re becoming spiritually dead, you just have to increase your charge, that’s all. It could mean spending more time doing your sadhana, or it could just mean doing it with more intensity also. Instead of being focused on your japa, become laser-focused on your japa, laser can burn through steel. So if you become laser-focused on your japa, you can burn through the whole material universe. Just burn right through it, all the coverings of the material universe, and then Goloka Vrindavana! We just have to really, really laser-focus our consciousness. Whatever time we do have, we just have to do it intensely absorbed, not be a 'space case'. In this way, our batteries won’t go dead on us; we will keep our charge. Just imagine if you can actually get to the point where you can be charged while you’re doing those activities, too. There is a potential for doing awesome!
Anyway, that’s a few words to answer that question. We could speak a few more. May be there’s another question. Anything else? Question?
Since we are here only for two days I want to give you as much time to ask questions as you like.
Devotee: You answered most of it there. It’s just the process of getting so that I feel that I can be expert in other things as well. I sent you a letter and talked to you about the feeling of detachment the more I chant my rounds, the more I feel like I’m detached. But you had explained to me that I was actually becoming more not detached but more attached more seeing things as they really were.
SDA: Yeah, you simply have to attach everything with Krishna. Our process is not actually a process of detachment, in one sense. Our process of Krishna consciousness is a process of attachment. We attach everything with Krishna. I attach myself with Krishna, I attach my house with Krishna, I attach my children with Krishna, my wife, my mother, my job, my cat, whatever, the boulder out there, everything becomes attached with Krishna. That is detachment. That is perfect detachment. Artificial detachment isn’t very successful. That is called phalgu vairagya, artificial renunciation. It’s interesting that the Sanskrit word for phalgu also means 'underground river'. So it appears that there’s no river there but actually there is. A person who is artificially renounced appears to be free from all material desires, but still the underground river – lust, anger, greed is going on within, although they’ve hidden it. That’s called artificial renunciation. So many people say, “Yes, I want to be detached” but within their heart they want to advertise, “Just see me, I’m detached”, and they have motives. They want to use you for their sense gratification; so they advertise themselves as detached. In India, that goes on a lot. Bogus gurus advertise themselves as very detached but actually it’s just a trick.
The real detachment is to see everything as the property of Krishna. You drive up to XYZ Corporation on Monday morning; you see this building has emanated from Krishna. This entire building should be engaged in Krishna’s service. You meditate like that as you walk in the door on Monday morning, “This building is the energy of Krishna and is meant to be used for His service. Krishna, please bless me that I can engage this entire company in Your service today.” This is detachment, attaching everything with Krishna.
The spiritual master, he’s praying, “Krishna, this whole world is Your emanation. Please bless me so I can engage this entire world in Your service. That’s how the spiritual master is thinking. On Monday morning, his Monday morning, getting up and going to work is, “How can I engage the whole world in Your service?” That’s his Monday morning meditation; actually the Sunday love feast! “Ok, right now, Krishna, please bless me how can I engage the whole world in Your service today”. That’s his thinking.
Alright, thank you very much for your kind attention. We hope these words will penetrate through the dull coverings of the brain so you can actually wake up from the slumber of sense gratification.
Hare Krishna! Thank you. Hare Krishna!
Srila Prabhupada ki Jai!
Transcribed by Bhaktin Divyapriya