His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Vaisnava Behavior Seminar

Mayapur, 14 November 2005

 

om namo bhagavate vasudevaya . . .

The first thing is, everbody can move closer.  There are so few of us.  Everybody can move forward, right up here.  There’s no sense in being so spread out . . . wherever you need to sit is fine.  You’re welcome to come close.  It’s nicer if we’re all closer together – it’s a huge room.

So we have assembled tonight as we have been requested to speak on Vaisnava etiquette, Vaisnava behavior.  Actually this is a very important issue - how the Vaisnavas should properly behave or act.  We were speaking two or three days ago in Bangalore - we were lecturing to our devotees at the ISKCON Jagannatha Mandir there – and one of the devotees asked, “What is more important: kirtan - chanting - or association?”  Is kirtan more important or is association more important?  I pointed this devotee to the word, sankirtan, which means ‘association-chanting.’  It’s one word: sankirtan - san for sanga, association, and kirtan.  Sanga-kirtan.  The first thing mentioned is sanga, then kirtan.  First sanga, then kirtan.  So the chanting without san - without proper association - will never become successful.  One who chants without proper association remains a materialistic devotee.  That is called kanistha-adhikari – materialistic.  On the other hand, if you associate nicely with the devotees, then you will definitely chant.  Why?  Because devotees are always chanting. That’s the definition of a devotee.  A devotee is constantly chanting

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama
Rama Rama, Hare Hare 

So if you associate with a devotee, even if you’re a prostitute trying to seduce the devotee, you will chant.  We see that example.  There was once a prostitute who wanted to seduce a devotee.  But he was chanting, so she gave up her idea of seducing him and also became a chanter of Hare Krishna.  Just by hearing the devotee chanting Hare Krishna, she gave up the idea of seducing him, and decided to become a devotee also - to become saintly devotee of the Lord.  So with the power of association, everything comes.

That association can be done properly or it can be done improperly.  If we associate improperly, then the result will be - break.  In other words, Vaisnava etiquette will either make you or break you.  If it’s done properly, you will advance very quickly on the pathway back to home, back to Godhead.  If it’s done improperly, you’re wreaking havoc on your spiritual life.  So Vaisnava etiquette is in the highest self-interest of each and every one of us, if we actually want to achieve spiritual perfection.  That’s why we’re here – that’s why we’re supposed to be here.  The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is simply for the purpose of awakening the dormant, enlightened Krishna consciousness within the heart.  So if that’s the reason we’re here – and hopefully that’s the reason we’re all here – then we have to learn how to properly associate with Vaisnavas.

In July of 1971 – on July 29th of 1971, to be precise – His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was in Gainesville, Florida, and was being interviewed on television.  The interviewer asked him, “How would I recognize a true follower of the Krishna consciousness movement?  By his behavior?”  And Prabhupada said, “Yes, by his behavior.  He’s a perfect gentleman, that’s all.”  So that’s the bottom line.  If someone is actually Krishna conscious, then that person is a gentleman – a gentle person.  Gentle woman, gentle man - that person has the qualities of gentleness.  That is called dhira in the Sanskrit language.  Adhira is the opposite – ruffian.  A gentle person is called dhira and the ruffian is called adhira – he’s lacking in that quality of dhira.  So we all have to become dhiras.  That quality of dhira is essential in proper Vaisnava behavior.  We have to become gentle in our behavior.

Some people think that just be studying the Vedas you can become very learned and enlightened by way of intellectualism.  And we see that happen.  People who are very good at juggling words get into the whole field of spiritual enlightenment.  They will learn how to juggle words and give very eloquent speeches with all kinds of sophisticated presentations, in both writing and in speaking.  And thousands of people will think that such a person is a great, enlightened guru.  But they don’t really have it – theirs is mere word-jugglery, intellectualism.  It’s not really genuine spiritual enlightenment.

In the Mahabharata there’s a very nice verse which reminds us of a very important fact: 

dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhayam
mahajano yena gatah sa panthah

Dharmasya tattvam - the truth of religion - nihitam guhayam - is hidden within the hearts -of the great mahajanas.  You can’t figure it out just by becoming a logician.  For example, in this e-course that I give, I have logicians who latch on to me and want to defeat me, argument after argument.  Every time I would send out a “Thought for the Day” I would get an argument back to kind of nullify what I wrote, by exercise of intellectualism.  These persons think that they are great spiritualists, great enlightened people, by dint of their intellectualism.  But they’re just trying to taste the honey inside the jar without taking the lid off.  They’re licking the outside of the bottle but they can’t really taste the honey.  So the Mahabharata is telling us that the actual truth of the Vedic wisdom – the realization of Vedic wisdom – can’t be found just in the slokas, the verses.  It’s actually hidden – nihitam guhayam – within the hearts of the mahajanas.  That’s why it says, mahajano yena gatah sa panthah.  You have to follow the pathway advocated by the mahajanas.

So we have to follow the pathway down which those great personalities who are enlightened in spiritual wisdom are guiding us.  That’s why Guru is essential.  We can’t just approach the sastra on our own intellectualism.  We have a lot of purports of the Vedic wisdom; we just have to study the purports that Prabhupada has given.  Because with the mercy of Guru we can understand what is the actual meaning of the verses.

So this learning how to associate properly with Guru and Vaisnavas is an essential element of Vaisnava behavior.  Without them, we will never realize Krishna consciousness.  That’s why this seminar tonight is very important.  Even though our numbers are small, this is a very important topic, for everyone in the world.  This topic is very important because if we don’t know what proper Vaisnava behavior is, we’ll never realize Krishna.  Krishna says, “If you’re My devotee, forget it – you’re not My devotee.  If you’re the devotee of My devotee, then you’re My devotee.”  So we have to learn how to properly associate with Guru and Vaisnavas.  This is so important.  What did Narottama say?

anande bolo hari, bhaja vrndavana
sri-guru-vaisnava-pade majaiya mana

Ecstatically chant Hare Krishna!  Worship the holy dhama – Vrindavana, Mayapur – worship the holy dhama!  And then sri-guru-vaisnava-pade majaiya mana: in your mind you must worship the lotus feet of the spiritual master and the Vaisnavas.

When I was requested to speak on Vaisnava etiquette, this was the one point I wanted especially to bring forward here.  The proper attitude we have to have toward the Vaisnavas is that we have to worship them.  Not just the Deities on the altar; not just Srila Prabhupada; not just our diksa guru – we have to learn how to worship all the Vaisnavas.  Every Vaisnava is worshipable.  Vrndavana das Thakura says that a Vaisnava can deliver the whole universe.  That’s the meaning of a Vaisnava.  So we’re all supposed to become Vaisnavas and we have to treat each other as Vaisnavas - not as ordinary, materialistic people.

Questions?

Q1 –

[inaudible]

A1 –

Of course, there are three different levels of Vaisnava.  The question is, “Who is a Vaisnava?”  There are three different categories of Vaisnava.  There is kanistha-adhikari; then there is madhyama-adhikari, then there is uttama-adhikari.  Anyone who has an attraction to Krishna, even if they are not properly trained, we respect as a Vaisnava.  We give them that respect.  When one becomes properly trained – he or she understands what the regulative principles are; gets initiated; takes up the practices very nicely; learns that there is the Supreme Lord, there are the devotees, there are the innocent, and there are the demons; worships the Lord; takes shelter of the devotee association; preaches to the innocent and avoids the demons – that’s the madhyama-adhikari.  The uttama-adhikari is the highly advance devotee who is very expert – a very pure, very advanced devotee.  The uttama-adhikari worships everyone as a Vaisnava, even the demons.  He sees everyone as a Vaisnava except for himself, whom he considers to be the lowest.  Of course, he cannot preach that way.  He has to come down to the platform of madhyama-adhikari for the sake of preaching 

So there are Vaisnavas of different categories - in the beginning a kanistha-adhikari, and then advancing to madhyama-adhikari, and then to uttama-adhikari.  At least we must become solidly situated as madhyama-adhikaris.  At the least, we must do that - taking Vaisnava initiation from a bona fide spiritual master; following the regulative principles; chanting the prescribed number of japa mala every day.  At least we must come to that platform.  But even if someone is just casually coming along – not following all the principles, but having some attraction to Krishna – we have to honor and respect them for that.  They have some attraction to Krishna - even someone who is bowing down to Allah or chanting “Praise Jesus.”  In the West they have what’s called the Salvation Army; it’s a Christian charity.  They don’t so much anymore, but in the old days at Christmastime they used to have the Salvation Army Band out on the street singing Christmas carols.  Bhaktivinode Thakura said that the Salvation Army Band is a manifestation of Krishna, or Lord Caitanya’s sankirtan movement.  So a devotee has that respect, even if others are not very advanced in their understanding.  If they have some faith in God and they want to glorify God, then the Vaisnava respects them for that God consciousness.

Actually a Vaisnava is respectful to everyone.  Dhiradhira jana-priyau.  The six Goswamis were adored by everyone, both the devotees and the nondevotees.  Why were they adored?  Because they adored the people.  A Vaisnava loves everyone.  That’s the meaning of a Vaisnava.  He is an ocean of mercy.  He feels compassion for everyone.  That is a Vaisnava.  There is that classic example of Mrgari the hunter.  He was killing animals half dead in a very sadistic way, just to watch them suffer.  But when he became a disciple of Narada Muni, he didn’t even want to hurt a little ant.  When he was offering his dandavats to Guru Maharaja, he was so careful that he wouldn’t even hurt a tiny ant.  That is a Vaisnava.  ‘Vaisnava’ means that he doesn’t want to hurt or disturb anyone; ‘Vaisnava’ means that he wants everybody to be happy.  That’s the real meaning of ‘Vaisnava.’  He wants everyone to be happy.

So one may ask, “What’s in it for me?  Why should I become a Vaisnava?”  As described earlier, the reason we should become Vaisnavas is because that’s who we really are.  Aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate. [Bg 10.8] Everything is being emanated from Krishna.  You do not exist because your parents wanted to have a baby.  That’s not why you exist.  You exist as a spiritual being because God is emanating you from Himself at this very second.  Krishna - Bhagavan, the Supreme Lord - is emanating you from Himself at this very second; that’s why you exist as a spiritual being and that’s why your material body also exists.  The material nature is also an emanation from the Lord.  But the material nature is a prison house for those souls who are rebellious.  So this material body you have is your prison uniform.  It is the proof that you rebelled against God.  You are wearing a prison uniform; it’s called ‘material body.’  It’s your prison uniform.  So while we’re in this prison of material life (the wheel of birth and death), by coming in contact with a bona fide spiritual master, bona fide Vaisnavas, and bona fide scriptures like the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam – by hearing from the scriptures, the spiritual master and the Vaisnavas - we can get all proper understanding of who we actually are.  And if we follow that pathway chalked out by the mahajanasmahajano yena gatah sa panthah - if we follow that pathway the mahajanas are giving us, then the result will be absolute nectar.  We will taste the sweetest happiness.  We will enter into a state of consciousness totally beyond all suffering.

Let’s see a show of hands here.  How many people love to suffer?  . . .  So no one likes to suffer.  But we are suffering because we have forgotten who we actually are.  That’s the problem.  We’re thinking, “I am this body” and “I am the enjoyer of this material world;” therefore we are suffering in so many ways.  But actually learning how to behave as Vaisnavas will reawaken the original, dormant, enlightened consciousness within us, and bring us to the platform of eternity, knowledge and bliss.  Right now we are in the realm called asat-acit-nirananda.  That’s the realm we’re living in right now: temporality (asat means temporality), acit (ignorance), and nirananda (misery).  That’s where we are.  Asat-acit-nirananda.  When we come to the platform of Krishna consciousness, however, it becomes just the opposite: sat-cit-ananda – eternity, knowledge and bliss.  So this Vaisnava behavior is what will help us come to that platform.  And it’s what will keep us on that platform once we get to that platform.

So we have to understand some of the most important aspects of Vaisnava behavior.  Lord Caitanya explained in this regard, asat-sanga-tyaga, ei vaisnava-acara [Cc Madhya 22.87]. This first principle of understanding Vaisnava behavior is that one must give up the association of nondevotees.  I know in my life – and I see in many of my students and disciples that I’m counseling – that this is the most important thing.  As long as we are entangled in nondevotee association, we cannot progress in spiritual life.  I’ve seen it.  It was easy for me to take up spiritual life because I had totally cut myself off from my mundane associates.  I totally cut loose from all of them; my only association was with Hare Krishna devotees.  That was it.  I cut off from everyone else – just cut it off.  I had no more obligation to any of these people.  They never helped me to be happy.  They may have meant well, but they didn’t know anything.  They were ignorant - they couldn’t help me.  So I cut myself off from that bad association.  And that made it easy for me to progress in spiritual life.  So that’s a very important principle taught by Lord Caitanya.

Another principle of Vaisnava behavior taught by Lord Caitanya?

trnad api su-nicena taror iva sahisnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih

[Sri Sri Siksastaka 3]

One should be more tolerant than a tree; one should be more submissive than the grass – in this way, a very tolerant person.  A Vaisnava is very tolerant.  Any insults against himself he will simply tolerate.  But if another Vaisnava is insulted, or his spiritual master is insulted or Krishna is insulted, then he becomes like a lion.  He becomes angry, very angry.  He will not tolerate an offense against another Vaisnava, against his spiritual master or against Krishna.  So a Vaisnava is not a weak person; a Vaisnava is a very strong person.  But if he is insulted he takes it, because he thinks, “Actually, I am no good; I am rotten.  Anything bad that someone says about me must be true.”  He feels very humble.  He doesn’t think, “I am great.”  But he doesn’t feel that way about the process of bhakti, the bhakti path.  If someone criticizes the path of Krishna consciousness, he doesn’t take that.  He is very proud: “Yes, this pathway – mahajano yena gatah sa panthah – this is the path that will save everyone from their misery.  So it must be promoted, it must be advertised; canvassing must be done to push forward this bhakti path in the world.”  He’s not shy about that.  He’s very bold and aggressive to push forward the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world.

So, are there any more questions?

Q2 –

[inaudible] . . . sometimes when you are very tolerant and humble you become just like a victim.

So you are saying that something unjust is done.

Sometimes it’s something very strange that you don’t think of for very long – sometimes they will say something that –

Who is the ‘they?’

Authorities, or some devotees.

Temple authorities?

[Yes] . . . Is it just that I should agree to everything they are saying, or should I speak up when they are saying something wrong?

A2- 

Oh, okay.  Sometimes we are rightly corrected and sometimes we are wrongly corrected.  Sometimes we are criticized for things we are doing wrong and sometimes we’re criticized for things we’re not doing wrong.  Sometimes the one who’s doing the criticizing is the one who’s wrong, not us.  So how does a Vaisnava behave if he’s being criticized for something that he’s doing that is not really wrong?  My godbrother, Rudra Prabhu, wrote Prabhupada about this.  He said, “Prabhupada, my godbrothers always criticize me.”  Do you know what Prabhupada told him?  He said, “Mine did too.  My godbrothers criticized me, too.  You have to be callous to their criticism.”  So if you’re being criticized and you’re not doing anything wrong, you have to just become very strong and just ignore it, basically. 

So just don’t speak, and go away, or what?

It depends.  That’s the other side of it, now.  If someone is wrongly criticizing you and you’re just callous to it – one thing you have to understand, mataji, is this:  If someone is habitually criticizing you wrongly, they probably have a bad ego problem and you’re probably not going to be able to straighten them out.  That’s the reality.  If someone is habitually, wrongly criticizing you, they probably have a very bad ego problem.  You’ll never be able to correct them, so you’re going to have to tolerate it.  Now, you can always try, but you have to be detached in this situation.  You can try; but a Vaisnava is always detached from the result of his activities.  The trick is, if you want to be successful in straightening him out, to keep a cool head.  If you lose your cool, you’re not going to be very potent.  Prabhupada told us this in Austin.  There was some professor at the university who was very popular; he was a Mayavadi.  Prabhupada told us we should challenge him to an open debate and he said, “Reply with a cool head.”  So if there’s somebody who’s habitually, wrongly criticizing you and you want to try to straighten him out, the best thing is to get some help from other devotees.  Get some allies. 

But nobody can defeat him. [referring to the troublesome devotee]

No one can defeat him?  This point came up when I gave a class in Vrindavana one time.  If somebody is habitually acting as an agent of Kali within ISKCON – they’re not acting properly or they’re on an ego trip – there’s one of three things that will happen.  They won’t last, I guarantee you.  This movement is predicted by Prabhupada to go down in history for having saved the world in its darkest hour of despair.  This movement will be successful in creating Vaikuntha over the entire world.  It sometimes it happens in our movement that there are kalicelas, disciples of Kali, who come here for material power.  They do devotional service in exchange for material power.  That happens sometimes.  So, to such a person, who is more interested in power than in becoming a pure devotee, one of three things will happen: he’ll get over it and become a pure devotee (and then the problem won’t be there anymore); the material nature will attract him and he’ll leave ISKCON (and he won’t be there anymore); or he’ll die.  One of three things will happen if somebody is habitually going on and acting like a personality of Kali within our movement.  So that’s why you have to be tolerant and patient - because in the long run it will all work out.  I guarantee you, in the long run it will all work out.

Prabhupada told us this:  He said that you should always remain in the society of devotees even if it’s intolerable.  He said, “Actually, there is nothing intolerable in the association of devotees.  But even if you think it’s intolerable, still you must remain.”  Of course, if you can correct that person, that’s very good.  But I guarantee you, if you can’t correct him, then something will correct the situation; because this movement is guaranteed by sastric prediction to inundate the whole world with love of God.  So anybody who is not with the movement - as they say, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”  So anybody who’s not really in the Vaikuntha mood, who is not really acting as a mercy representative of Lord Caitanya, will either learn how to do that or get out of the way.  They won’t be here anymore.  Everybody who is with this movement has to learn how to properly represent Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya; otherwise it is just a matter of time before they’re gone, one way or the other.

[inaudible]

If someone is a kalicela, the material nature will get rid of them, one way or the other.  They’ll die or they’ll bloop.  But what we really want to do is reform them.  That’s the real thing.  Our program is to reform everyone.  Everyone should become a pure devotee.  We want to have a whole movement of uttama-adhikaris.  That’s our goal – [laughs] a big ambition.  We want to have a whole movement of uttama-adhikaris – really.  One shouldn’t think, “Well, I’m a nice devotee.”  Somebody told me one time, “Sankarshan Prabhu, you’re such a nice devotee.”  And I said, “Nice isn’t good enough – I want to be perfect.”  Just because everyone likes us and they think we’re nice devotees – that’s not good enough. Prabhupada pushed me to become a pure devotee.  He said, “Now you just qualify yourself to see Krishna face to face.”  So we have to come to that standard of pure devotion.  This movement is meant to produce pure devotees – a whole world filled with pure devotees.  That’s what we want . . . Actually Pariksit gave Kali some place of residence, didn’t he?  But we don’t give Kali any place of residence.  We want Kali to shave up and put on tilaka.  Pariksit gave him some hiding places – we are not giving Kali any hiding places.  We want to inundate every corner of the world with Krishna bhakti - no hiding place for Kali.  He has to join up.  He has to reform himself and become Bhakta Kali. 

Q3 –

 . . . I’m wondering about the link between reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and successive generations.  In other words, we are seeing even in our second generation that the devotees are not reading Prabhupada’s books.

A3 –

This point was also mentioned the other day in my class in Bangalore.  Prabhupada said that all of his disciples have to read all of his books; otherwise they’ll fall down.  So everybody who’s a granddisciple thinks, “Wow, that’s great.  Only the disciples have to read the books.  I don’t have to read the books.”  But what does Prabhupada’s instruction really mean?  It means that everybody is a disciple, actually.  Everybody is Prabhupada’s disciple; there are just different types of disciples.  There are different categories of Prabhupada’s disciples.  There’s the disciple category, the granddisciple category, the great-granddisciple, the great-great-granddisciple – these are all Prabhupada’s disciples; they’re just different categories of disciples of Prabhupada, that’s all.  So when Prabhupada says, “All of my disciples have to read all of my books or they will fall down,” that means everyone has to read Prabhupada’s books or they will fall down.  So you can take it or leave it.  All I can say is, if you want to leave it, you’re taking your chances – because you’re not going to make it. 

Q4 –

On the same subject – which is more important, reading Prabhupada’s books or devotional service?

A4 –

Prabhupada said like this: You should always be studying and you should always be doing service.  So you must always study.  There is nothing more important than reading the books – you must always be studying these books!  And there’s nothing more important than devotional service.  You must always be doing devotional service!  You have twenty-four hours; now you have to figure out how to do both, simultaneously.  You have to learn how to become a great, learned scholar who knows these books like a lawyer knows the law books, and at the same time very expert at everything – cleaning the toilets, everything.

When you take a chemistry course, there are two sections to that course.  There is the laboratory section and there is the lecture section.  The lecture section is the study and the laboratory is the practice.  Likewise, the devotional service is the practice and the books are the study.  So Krishna consciousness has the lecture and the laboratory.  You cannot be a good chemistry student if you only go to the lectures, nor can you be a good chemistry student if you only go to the laboratory.  You have to do both.  You have to excel in both.  The theory you must be excellent in and the practice you must be excellent in.  Without the theory you won’t be able to practice; you must know this philosophy inside and out, backwards and forwards, upside down and right side up.  Prabhupada said that you must be so expert that you can take your own arguments and defeat them with your opponent’s arguments.  We should know this philosophy and all the philosophies which are against Vaisnava philosophy so well that we could defeat our own philosophy with the other philosophies, and then turn around and defeat that, and then turn around and defeat that, and defeat that, ad infinitum.  It’s called ‘expertise.’

So both things are very important.  We should be doing both things concurrently, as far as possible.  While you’re doing your service you should be meditating on the philosophy.  You should see what you’re doing through the eyes of scripture.  That way, you’re always studying.  If everything you’re doing is seen through the eyes of scripture – while you’re cleaning the floor, while you’re cooking, while you’re offering an arati – if you are seeing it through the sastra, then you are studying while you are doing that service.  Every devotee in this movement – why only the spiritual master? – every devotee should become a person Bhagavatam, who is living in the Srimad Bhagavatam twenty-four hours a day.  He should be thinking Bhagavatam, he should be breathing Bhagavatam – everything, Bhagavatam, Bhagavatam; Gita, Gita, Gita.  You should be a living embodiment of the scriptures by your every thought, your every word and your every deed, in every time, place and situation.  That’s when this movement will take off like a rocket – when our members are the living embodiments of sastra, with their every thought, their every word and their every deed.  We will take over the planet in eighteen days!  So that’s the answer.  Now do it. 

Questions more?

Q5 –

 . . . There are four kinds of yoga: bhakti-yoga, jnana-yoga, karma-yoga and raja-yoga.  What is especially important for proper salvation, according to Krishna consciousness?

A5 –

Well, the key is yoga itself.

[Mataji] What is the question?

The question is: There is karma-yoga, bhakti-yoga, raja-yoga, jnana-yoga; what is the relationship between them? 

It’s just like a ladder, where you have various rungs: karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, raja-yoga, bhakti-yoga [in ascending order, going up the ladder].  If you come to the point of bhakti, you’ve already surpassed raja-yoga, jnana-yoga and karma-yoga.  If you can come to bhakti immediately, there is no need to go through the other yogas.  If you’re not able to come to bhakti, then you can do karma-yoga - you can gradually go.  But in Kali-yuga, you see, the raja-yoga takes many lifetimes to perfect.  It’s a very long, slow, tedious process.  For jnana-yoga?  Many, many, many lifetimes.  Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate [BG 7.19]: after many, many births and deaths, those jnani finally come to bhakti.  So all the other yogas lead gradually to bhakti.  If you can come to bhakti immediately, then why go through so many lifetimes of suffering?  If you can come to bhakti immediately, then all your problems are finished.  So the other yogas are progressive steps on the path to bhakti.  If you can come to bhakti immediately, take it.

Anything else?

Q6 –

[same devotee] Which is the fastest way – jnana or bhakti?

A6 –

Bhakti is.  Krishna says in the Gita, bahunam janmanam ante – after many births and deaths - jnanavan mam prapadyate vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma su-durlabhah: after many births and deaths, those who are actually wise (jnani) come to devotional service; such a great soul is very rare.  So it takes a jnani many, many births and deaths – bahunam janmanam ante.  After many bahunam janmanam, after many births, the jnani finally comes to bhaktiBhakti is the highest position.  If you can come to bhakti immediately, jnana will automatically be there.

yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
prakasante mahatmanah

[Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.23]

For those great personalities who have unflinching faith in the words of Sri Guru and Sri Krishna, all the Vedic wisdom is automatically revealed in the heart – and for no one else.  So you simply find a bona fide spiritual master, put your complete faith in him and put your complete faith in the words of Krishna given in the Bhagavad-gita, and then you will have perfect realization of all the Vedic wisdom.  You don’t need to go gradually, gradually, gradually, trying to figure it out with your brain.  You’ll never make it.  Jnana never becomes perfect until it’s overcoated with bhakti anyway.  So why not just take to bhakti and let jnana automatically follow?  Wherever bhakti goes, jnana goes.  It’s just like this: my hand is moving. Do you see my shadow moving underneath?  When the hand moves, the shadow moves.  When you have bhakti, jnana is following – just like the hand’s shadow. The jnana is automatically there when you have bhakti.  One great spiritual master in our line, Gaura Kishore das Babaji Maharaja, was illiterate!  He couldn’t even sign his own name.  Yet when he would speak he would give all Vedic reference.  Because of bhakti, the Vedic wisdom was revealed to him from within the heart.  So you don’t need to cultivate jnana separately.  Just learn how to love Krishna, especially by this chanting:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama
Rama Rama, Hare Hare 

Do you have japa mala?

Yes.

Do you chant every day on the japa mala?  I want you to come to the point of sixteen rounds daily of Hare Krishna on the japa mala.  You can create a revolution among the Buddhist monks. 

So I think we’ve gone far enough now.  One last question – that’s it.  Do you have one more?

Q7 –

[same devotee] So this Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna / Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare – this is a way of concentration?

A7 –

Yes, but also much more than that.  It is not simply an act of concentrating the mind on a single point.  you could do that with anything.  You could meditate on a candle.  It [chanting the Hare Krishna mantra] is not simply an act of concentration.  The sound vibration of the Hare Krishna mantra is Krishna Himself.  When you chant you are directly associating with God.  It’s not just an act of concentration; it is direct association with the Supreme Lord Himself.  You are developing a loving relationship with God.  It’s not mere concentration.  It’s a million times greater than concentration.  It’s worship.  It’s communing directly with the Supreme Person.  It’s personal. 

It’s a [inaudible]

[Mataji] Job.

It’s a job?

To recite something.

I’m giving you a job.  You’re now hired.

 Not ‘job’ . . .

[Mataji] Japa.

Japa.  Yes – jap.  In Hindi they say ‘jap.’  Yes, so it’s japa.  You have to chant on the japa mala, every day.

So slowly, slowly, do you create the wisdom - ?

The wisdom is already there.  But it’s covered by the clouds of illusion.  The japa is like the brilliant sun which will burn away the fog.  And then the wisdom that you actually have there within you will come out.  It will all become manifest.  You have the wisdom, but the clouds of illusion have been accumulating, getting darker and darker over millions of lifetimes in this material world.  So now the japa is like the brilliant sun that will burn the fog away. 

So we’ll stop here.  We thank you all very much.  Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!  Ananta-koti-vaisnava-vrnda ki jaya. 

__________________________________________

Transcribed by Her Grace Labangalatika devi dasi

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