His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Spiritual Purity Seminar

June 5th, 2005

Montreal, Canada

Recording begins with Srila Gurudeva chanting Jaya Radha-Madhava transitioning into Hare Krishna Mantra on harmonium followed by Prema Dhvani prayers. 

nama om vishnu-padaya
krishna-preshthaya bhu-tale
shrimate bhaktivedanta-
svamin iti namine

namas te sarasvate deve

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

sthapitam yena bhu-tale
svayam rupah kada mahyam
dadati sva-padantikam


So ladies and gentlemen thank you very much for attending this seminar on pure devotional service. This is the most important topic of pure devotional service. I was thinking that we could have just gone on with the kirtan until 12:30 and in that way we could of perfectly done our seminar. Actually that would of been sufficient. Just have a kirtan until 12:30 and we can just chant Hare Krishna, and we can understand what is pure devotional service. But since I've been also requested to speak something I have to. I' m simply a servant of the Vaishnavas, so I have to obey the orders coming down from the parampara. So I will also speak something in addition to having a kirtan.  

This pure devotional service is described very nicely with six symptoms in the Nectar of Devotion. It brings ...... It’s the beginning of all auspiciousness. It brings relief from all kinds of material distress. It’s the only means of attracting Krishna. It’s.... Those who are into, who are going after pure devotional service, they deride even the conception of liberation. So these very nice descriptions are given in the Nectar of Devotion and in fact the whole Nectar of Devotion is written for that purpose.  It's to teach us pure devotional service.  

So then the question would be well.... We always take it for granted... well, I'm a member of the Hare Krishna movement, so I'm supposed to be cultivating pure devotional service. But that's called blind following.  We have to know why. We have to be...we have to always remind ourselves philosophically why should I be cultivating pure devotional service. Not because, you know, my designation as a Hare Krishna member, therefore I am supposed to be doing that. No, why are we....... why did we decide to become members of the Hare Krishna movement? That's what we are looking at first. Why, pure devotional service?  

As we were studying the other evening Krishna is saying: aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate (BG 10.8), I am the source of all material and spiritual worlds, everything emanates from Me. So Krishna in His own desire to enjoy, you see, is expanding from Himself countless numbers of living beings. Infinite, truly countless. There's no end to the number factually. Its not finite, its infinite number of living entities coming from Krishna. He is expanding them from Himself for the sake of expanding His own happiness. Just like in the family life, they'll have, the mother and father, will have one child and then they will just have another one because there's more loving relationships going on in the home, the more the children are there.        

In the old days, they used to have big families.  Like Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati they had twelve children. [Speaking to Guru Mataji] I think in your family there were seven children, isn't it? How many? Huh?  

Guru Mataji: Eleven.  

Eleven, yes, and in my father's family there was seven children. So, nowadays the tendency is to, you know, abort and murder them and keep it very small. But in former times, having a big family was... that was considered enjoyment, to have a big family. So Krishna He's the original author of big family enjoyment. He expands from Himself an unlimited number of living beings so He can just enjoy unlimited numbers of loving relationships. So that's why we exist.  

Now we do sometimes hear it's said that, "God, created." And that makes it sound like we didn't exist and then He brought us into existence. But, that's not actually the fact because Krishna says in the Gita, that there was never a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings. So that created is to help us understand what is our relationship with Krishna. That we are indeed created by Him but, it’s not that that happened at some moment in time. In other words, we are eternally His manifestations. We are eternally His emanations or we are eternally created by His desire to manifest us. We are being created by Krishna right now by His own desire for us to exist, He is creating us at every moment. It’s an ongoing process of manifestation or emanation. These are better words. Creation implies, you know, didn’t exist and now exists, although it is sometimes used.  

So anyway, we are eternal manifestations of Krishna as confirmed in the Bhagavad-Gita. And what is the purpose to our being here? That is to love Krishna. So this is why cultivating pure devotional service is very important. It really boils down to, as we mentioned the other day, its just a matter of knowing who you are and being who you are. That's all we are really doing. This is not an artificial imposition on us to take to pure devotional service. This is our natural position. Will a fish ever be satisfied on land? No. The poor fish he may be accidentally tossed by the waves onto the beach. No matter what facility you give him. My dear Mr. Fish, why are you so unhappy? I will give you a nice throne. I will give you a nice sports car to make you happy. I will give you… I will make you president of the United States. I will give you a beautiful wife. I will give you all facility on the land. Why are you flapping in agony? I will give you one million, one billion dollars, Mr. Fish. Just stop flapping in agony.  

You see no matter what you do to try to satisfy that fish, on the land, he will remain dissatisfied because his nature is to be in the water. So that is our position. We are lovers of Krishna by nature. The very purpose of our existence, the very nature of our being, is to have a completely warm, loving, totally trusting, totally surrendered, loving relationship with God. That's who we actually are. So no matter what we may try to do by making money, by trying to make it in the political realm, or the realm of art, or the realm of education , or the realm of sports, the realm of  music. No matter what realm we may try to be successful and make a name for ourselves and squeeze some pleasure, it doesn't work. As Bhagavatam says: punah punas carvita-carvananam (SB 7.5.30). It's simply chewing the chewed, because there is no actual flavor here. You can… we can squeeze this material sense gratification as hard as you want and you still can't get the juice that you are hankering for. It's not there. That juice, that flavor, that rasa, that nectar that we're hankering for, we already have it. It’s, it’s there within us. It’s our natural position. But we are looking in the wrong places for it.  

It’s actually quite a pitiable situation in this material world. Just imagine if, if some…, there is some person who is suffering in abject poverty. He can't pay his bills. He's going completely crazy.  He's so much in anxiety. He's shooting up heroin. He's just, you now, he's, he's, you know, doing all sorts of horrible things to hurt himself because he's so frustrated. And his rich uncle had died and, and there was, he was mailed a cashiers check for two million dollars, but he was so frustrated he had a big pile of mail sitting there and he never opened it. He lived his whole life in abject poverty and he had a two million dollar cashiers check, he didn't know about sitting in his mail. You see. Just imagine what a pitiable situation that would be. The poor man became an alcoholic, a drug addict, he beat his dog. So many things because he was so frustrated and miserable, and he actually had a two million dollar cashier's check, the whole time , sitting in his ,his cluttered pile of mail that he didn't open. You see. So you may think, well, that's actually us. That's us.  

You see we have that two million dollar cashier's check and we're frustratingly trying to go about being happy in this artificial material existence. And what is that happiness we are trying to get? The combination between the senses and the sense object. The eye wants to see some beautiful form. The ear wants to hear some pleasing sound. The nose wants to smell some very fragrant aroma. You see. The tongue wants to taste some, some delicious delicacy. The skin wants to touch some soft couch or the soft skin of the member of the opposite sex. You see. So in this way we are trying to squeeze pleasure where pleasure doesn't actually exist. We may be very attracted to that form of the opposite sex. You see. The man he is attracted to a beautiful woman. The woman is attracted to a beautiful man. You see. Just like back in the fifties and sixties, there was one, Marilyn Monroe. She was...everyone... All the men were simply hankering, "Oh if I could have Marilyn Monroe then I would really enjoy." But if Marilyn Monroe's body dead body is lying there, who want that dead body? You see.  

So the actually position is that these material sense objects are not actually pleasurable. What actually gives the semblance of pleasure is the existence of spirit within that matter. We are actually hankering because no man is interested in Marilyn Monroe's dead body . They're actually attracted to the atma which is a manifestation of Paramatma or Krishna. So actually what we are actually attracted to Krishna within everything. Whenever you are attracted to anything, you are actually attracted because Krishna is within that thing. But it's just because of poor fund of knowledge that we don't realize what is actually going on. We become caught up in the superficial aspects of God's energy and we don't realize it’s the energetic source which is actually the attractive principle.  

So pure devotional service is simply a matter of shifting our priorities. It's not some huge change actually. It may seem like a very drastic change, but actually it's not. It's just a matter of shifting our priorities. Right now we're absorbed in the energy of God. All we have to do is trace out the source of that energy and become attracted there. Train ourselves how to become attracted to the source of the energy rather than the energy itself. This was the big mistake that Ravana made. You see. He was attracted to the energy of Rama, Sita. It was his death actually. If he could just have.... Sita is wonderful and beautiful because actually she is the energy of Rama. She is the hladhini shakti of Rama. She is wonderful and beautiful, not on her own, but because she is the energy of Rama, that's why she's beautiful. So why not be intelligent and just go to the source from which all the beauty and the attractiveness is actually coming? That object of material sense gratification, that you are so much hankering after, is only beautiful because it's the energy of God. That's why it's attractive. So since all the atttractive shakti which is in that thing is actually coming from something else. Why not go to the source? This is intelligence.  

Actually Krishna consciousness is simply common sense. If I am attracted to the water... why not go to the spring? Then I can have unlimited water. You see. So the spring...the water coming up that is this material energy and the spring itself, that is Krishna. So if the water is so nice, just imagine how wonderful the spring is? So Krishna consciousness or pure devotional service simply means we simply get back to the spring, that source from which everything is coming. The beauty and the wonder of pure devotional service is that since Krishna is actually the energetic source of everything. Raso 'ham apsu kaunteya prabhasmi sasi-suryayoh (Bg.7.8) 

This was actually the first lecture I ever heard Prabhupada give, when I was in his physical presence. I first heard him on tape. But then I, in July of 1971, I finally got my chance to see Prabhupada face-to-face, eye-to-eye and he gave a very nice lecture. This was on Subhadra's cart in the Golden Gate Park before the parade began. He came from the airport straight to the festival site and he got up on the asana on Subhadra's cart. He gave a very, very nice lecture. He said, the very first words he said were: jagannatha swami nayana patha gami bhavatu me.  The very first words he said. So that was the first word I ever heard from Prabhupada's mouth was Jagannatha.  

So.... but, he explained very nicely, he said that, "to experience God is not very difficult". He was saying that Krishna says that, "I am the taste of water." So he says, "Every day you are drinking water." Just like I saw you drinking some water a minute ago. "Every day I am drinking water, once, twice, thrice, more than that. He says that, "every time you drink water, you remember that Krishna is the taste of the water, then immediately you become Krishna conscious." So to become Krishna conscious is not difficult, it simply requires practice. So is that a difficult thing? Everyone here drinks water. That's the first thing I do when I get up in the morning is drink water, take some water. "Hare Krishna” and then I drink some water. And if we simply remember that Krishna raso ham, Krishna is saying that I am the taste of water. Simply remember that, "oh very nice taste, this is Krishna." If we simply do that, Prabhupada said, that's how easy it is to be Krishna conscious.  

And then when the sun comes up in the morning. Krishna says, "prabhasmi sasi-suryayoh. I am the light of the sun and the moon." So any... just like now in this room, we are not directly seeing the sun, but, we are indirectly seeing the sun. I am seeing you and you are seeing me because the sunlight. Indirect sunlight is bouncing off of us, isn't it? If there was no sunlight bouncing around in this room we couldn't see each other right now. Because I can see you and you can see me, actually that illuminating power that allows us to see each other, that is Krishna. Krishna is this illuminating power that allows us to see each other right now. So even just by remembering, "Oh, I am seeing all these wonderful Vaishnavas, I am seeing all these beautiful, wonderful sadhus assembled here today, blessing me with their association." Just by seeing this assembly of sadhus and remembering that Krishna is the light, allowing me to see then that's another way to become Krishna conscious. So it's not, as Prabhupada explains, it is not an artificial imposition on the mind. It is simply the reawakening of the original, natural energy of the living being. Just like a match contains fire within it, and you strike that match and the fire comes out. So all we require is that striking process:  

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

So if you're bhakti fire goes out, if you feel that you are in maya that you're in lamentation, you're in fear, you're in confusion. All you have to do is strike the match.... 

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

.....and that fire of Krishna consciousness will become reawakened and all the illusion, all the lamentation, all the confusion, all the bewilderment, all the crud that is clouding your consciousness will be burned away by the fire of bhakti. So if we take it very seriously and we really cultivate bhakti at every minute. This is why I am doing this seminar today, and why I did one in New Vrndavan and why I am pushing pure bhakti. Because we have so many activities we're doing, we have to remember why we are doing them. We are not just trying to promote some organization. If that's all we are doing we could go to any organization and be actively doing this and that. We have to remember what is this is all about, anyway. We are trying to cultivate pure bhakti and share it with everyone. That's what we are doing. 

 Now, everyone can understand, everyone will admit that the world is in a mess right now, its a very problematic condition, the present day world. Because the consciousness of everyone has become clouded. Everyone's consciousness has become clouded. So the prime benediction is to spread this Krishna consciousness process, the purification of consciousness. This is the true welfare work in the world today. One of my e-students in Houston, she just wrote me a letter, and she told me how she was praying to see if I approved of her prayer or not. She was saying, I don't pray for myself, I just pray for the deliverance of others. But I am going to write her a reply telling her, no, you have to pray for your own deliverance also. Because if you are not yourself delivered, then what is the potency of your prayer to deliver others? You see. You may say, "Oh I want to help the sick and the diseased, I don't want to think about myself." But I'm sorry, first you have to go to medical school and do really good and make good grades for yourself to qualify yourself in medical school and then you can help the suffering and the sick. If you go out without the proper education, you may hurt them more than you help them. So our first business is we have to purify ourselves. Actually Prabhupada said that "there is nothing more important than saving the world, but, even more important is saving your self." He said, "Physician, Heal Thyself." So the first thing is we have to be diligently endeavoring, moment by moment, day by day, week by week, year by year, decade after decade, to purify our own hearts while we engage in the external activities of pushing on our movement all over the world. We cannot neglect our own position. How I can purify my consciousness? How I can become a pure devotee?  

Purification of consciousness is actually the solution for all the problems of the world. And if we are not working to purify our consciousness then we are part of the problem that the world is having right now. The world is in a problematic situation of impure consciousness. So you are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem. If you are working diligently at every minute to purify your consciousness then you are part of the solution for the world's problems. And if you are neglecting that, if you are not working on purifying your consciousness, then you are part of the problem that the world is having right now. The problem is that people of the world are not trying to purify their consciousness. So if you don't do that even though you may externally dress as a devotee, but if you are not actively purifying your consciousness, endeavoring to become a pure devotee, then in spite of your external appearance, you are actually part of the problem of the world right now. Sorry, but that is the reality we all have to face. 

 I have a great responsibility to become a pure devotee. Its no...Its not that like the Christians, what is their program? I accepted Jesus on, you know, December 14th, 1968 and now I can do whatever I want because I accepted Jesus. Now we should not fall into the same trap. Well I got initiated so I am saved I can do anything I want now I am initiated. See that is the same philosophy as Christianity. We have to diligently endeavor to become a pure devotee at every minute. Prabhupada says, "to be strict with yourself and lenient with others." So we should be very hard on ourselves, as I am telling my disciples often. In the morning you must beat your mind with shoes one hundred times and the evening you must beat with broomstick one hundred times. This is the instruction of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. Because let's face it, our minds are rascals. Lusty, angry, greedy, envious, scheming minds. You see and if we are not working hard to get rid of that crud that is polluting us, you see, then we are just cutting our own throats actually. So this pure devotional service has to be emphasized. It has to be emphasized.  

So there's very nice songs that help us to achieve this pure devotional service. One of them is on the board here, Lalasyamayi Prathana by Narrotama das Thakur. It’s a very, very nice song. Actually he is hankering for that pure devotional service. You see. These acaryas, they are doing us a great favor. Even though they are already there, they're on the platform of liberation, you know they are completely purified.  But they put themselves in our position to show us how we should pray. So if you will take advantage of this wonderful Vaishnava Songbook that ,you know ,we have in our ISKCON which gives the choicest, its like the choicest nectar of the ocean of Vaishnava songs. These songs will very much help us to understand how to become the pure devotee. So how is Narottama praying? 'Gauranga' bolite habe pulaka-sarira, you see, what is he hankering? Habe means when. You see he is hankering when by chanting the name of Gauranga, Gauranga bolite chanting Gauranga bolo. When by chanting Gauranga will I feel shivering in my body? He's hankering to actually come out of the contamination of material existence and come to the platform of devotional ecstasy where he can actually relish chanting the name of Gauranga an be ecstatic in that. And then he says: hari hari' bolite nayane ba' be nira. Again bolite you see bolite again bolo, again chanting the name of Hari. When by chanting the name of Hare, of Hari,.....  

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

.....will I have tears flowing from my eyes? You see he wants to come to that state of purity where he will feel devotional ecstasy. So that is actually a bona fide prayer otherwise Prabhupada would not have sung that for us He sang it very beautifully. In the early days it was recorded. This is a bona fide meditation for us, as we are trying to purify our hearts of all the lust, and the anger and the greed. We can hanker to come to that state of pure consciousness to where our body shivers by chanting Gauranga's name and we have tears flowing from our eyes.  That is not a material desire to want to experience devotional feelings, to hanker after having genuine feelings of devotion. That's a very good desire to have, recommended by the acaryas.  

And then he says: ara kabe nitai-cander koruna hoibe. What is that meaning? He says that we are all asking about the mercy of Lord Nityananda. Nityananda is said to be the original spiritual master. So we have to approach Gauranga, Lord Caitanya for the mercy of Lord Nityananda. What is that?  So he is hankering for that mercy of Lord Nityananda, because that mercy of Lord Nityananda.... Yes, Narrotama das Thakur says, "that the symptom of one who has actually received the causeless mercy of Lord Nityananda is that he has no more material desires.” Then he says: samsara-basana mora kabe tuccha ha'be. Tuccha means, we know from Bhagavatam, insignificant. So he is wondering when will that very opportune moment come to me when all of my material desires will just fade away into, you know, the sunset. When will they be gone once and for all? He's hankering for that. Kabe Tuccha ha'be. You see. When will all those material desires be gone? So this, this, this should be a hankering we have at every minute actually. 

That right now I am doing my service but, I am still covered with so many bad qualities. When, oh, when will I become free from these contaminated feelings in my heart? This lust, this anger, this greed, this fault finding, when will I? ... this laziness, this unwillingness to do service, this unwillingness to dive completely into the ocean of bhakti. You see we should be hankering to get out of our predicament we're in right now. It should be a very strong hankering. And isn't that a fact that Krishna fulfills desires according to Bhagavatam? Even if you have material desires, you see; akamah sarva-kamo va moksa-kama udara-dhih (SB.2.3.10). Whether you have all material desires, whether you want to merge into Brahman or whether you want to achieve bhakti, you should approach Krishna. You see, Bhagavatam is saying. So if we approach Krishna with the desire for pure bhakti, do you think He will be not interested to fulfill that desire? You think He will not be interested? After millions of lifetimes of going after sense gratification, now we decide, “I would like pure bhakti."  And we start begging Krishna for it, "My dear Lord Krishna, please give me pure devotional service." And what is that way we beg for it?  

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

And you can also compose your own prayers as well as long as they are in accordance with the prayers of the acaryas. That's why in the beginning we should first of all study the prayers of the great acaryas because if we pray in a way which is contaminated by material desires or pride, then we're you know....it's like they say practice makes perfect but you have to practice properly. If you practice the wrong way then practice doesn't make perfect. So we should study the prayers of the great acaryas given in the Nectar of Devotion, given in the Bhagavatam. Study the prayers in the song book here. These are all beautiful prayers. We should understand what is the mood of how to purely pray to Krishna and then we can actually compose our own prayers as well. Once we, if we follow the way of the acaryas then we can compose in our own words so many beautiful prayers to Lord Krishna. 

 Look at Prabhupada's arrival prayer, that's an ideal prayer. He says I am simply an insignificant beggar. He says now, he's praying to Krishna, "you make me dance, make me dance, make me dance as You like." This is our position. Not," oh Krishna I want this, Krishna I want that." See that doesn't make our mind peaceful. Krishna give me this, give me ,give me ,give me ,give me. Like a little kid you know, “I want this,"... go to the grocery store, “ I want that, give me !" You see. If we have that attitude with Krishna, Krishna might give us what we want but, we won't get Krishna. We are cheating ourselves if we approach Krishna with material desire. Krishna I need this, Krishna I need that. No. We should simply pray to Krishna, "please give me pure devotional service." We should stop bothering Krishna with our mundane requests. Krishna does fulfill, I mean but, it’s a waste of our time to do that.  

Prabhupada explains He told us in Atlanta, this is quite humorous really. He said that," the thief he is praying that he may successfully rob the house and the householder he is praying that his house may be protected." And Prabhupada said, "and Krishna has to satisfy both. God is perplexed." So we shouldn't bother God with so many material desires. It's actually foolish. The Christian technique to say, "Our Father who art in heaven, you know, please give us our daily bread." You see . So if we just pray to Krishna, "Oh my dear Krishna, please give me chapati, please give me my daily chapati." [laughter] You see. Just like that song they sing, What is that? [sings]  

"Give me a Cadillac, a brand new Cadillac replete with Michelin tires. Give my wife a new silk sari, give my kid a Harvard education, give me a house by the sea, Om jaya jagadisa hari." 

 [laughter] You see, This is not, this is not bhakti this is business. I will flatter you Lord, I will sing Your praises, and you give me this, give me, give me , give me, give me. So we are actually cheating ourselves, we may get our Harvard education for our kids, we may get a nice sari for our wife, we may get our nice Cadillac with Michelin tires and our house by the sea, but we won't get Krishna. You see, we are cheating ourselves. So we have to follow the way of the great acaryas. This is our Krishna consciousness, mahajana yena gatah sa panthah. [Cc. Madhya 17.186] We have to follow the way of the great acaryas, and that way I can guarantee you is absolutely sublime.  

When we, those of us who actually saw Prabhupada know, Akuti is here you saw Prabhupada. You didn't? You got in at the last minute. So yeah, those of us who actually saw Prabhupada, we were seeing a person who was living in Vaikuntha, who was living with Krishna at every minute, who was... Of course, everyone can see on the videos. That's the mercy of modern technology. We can all see actually. We can all watch the videos. So yeah, we can see by watching the videos and those of us who actually saw Prabhupada and got to serve him personally, there we saw a person who was just living in a total realm of sublimeness at every minute. 

Like I told the people in Istanbul, when Hayagriva, he was Howard Wheeler at the time, met Prabhupada there on Houston street in New York City , Hayagriva Prabhu very nicely describes in his book The Hare Krishna Revolution, in a very poetic way, he describes his first meeting with Prabhupada. How he... He very nicely stated how the metropolis, this was the New York City metropolis was roaring all around, on all sides, like a big roaring metropolis. But in the middle of this roaring metropolis here's a person that stepped out of another existence; existing in another time and another place actually. Even though he's right there in New York City, he's existing in another dimension of consciousness and he's fully there also at the same time.  

So this is the....a Krishna conscious devotee actually enters into a wonderful....it's not that he's not present in this world. He is present in this world, but he sees this world in a different way than we do, the pure devotee. He sees it in an entirely different way. He's actually able to experience Krishna within everything of this material world. Bhagavad-Gita says that such a person can see Krishna within everything, and everything within Krishna. Such a self-realized pure devotee of the Lord could go to his job on Monday morning at XYZ corporation and when he pulls up in the parking lot for another week at the, you know, the office, he can actually see that corporation is emanating from Krishna and that Krishna is within every square inch of that corporation. So this is, this is… a pure devotee can actually experience Krishna within everything. Within every sound he can experience Krishna, within every sight he can experience Krishna, within every taste, within every aroma, within every touch sensation. Even when the wind is blowing on his skin, he's thinking, "ah yes, Krishna says of purifiers I am the wind." So he can feel Krishna in the wind. So this is the wonderful position. Such a person even in this material world is living in the spiritual world actually. 

Even we have mundane example of this, just like devotees sometimes go to a prison for preaching work and we have to go in through all the bars. I did that years ago. I would go every Saturday to a federal prison. And I had to go through all these, you know, different gates. I would go in and they would lock that gate and go through another one. I was inside the same gates as the prisoners were, but I didn't feel like they do. You see I had a different feeling. I wasn't in there as a prisoner, I was in there as a missionary, you see.  

And we had some really good kirtans let me tell you. But that's a whole other story but ... They were not allowed to, it’s kind of an interesting side point but they... The prison didn't allow them to cook any prasadam or anything like that, it was totally against the rules. There couldn't be any food in the chapel. They weren't allowed to go to the prison kitchen and cook a love feast for their program. Nothing like that was allowed. But these men were so clever, they made friends with the inmates who worked in the kitchen and they would sneak a few potatoes here, a little sour cream there,  a little butter here, a little cream of wheat there, all week long. And then in their cells they would rig up what they called a stinger. Which is basically you take two wires plug it into the electrical socket run it through a bucket and get an electrical current running through the water and heat up the water. So they would actually cook Gauranga potatoes under their bunk. [laughter] And without the guards catching them. And they would smuggle this whole love feast. Halava and Gauranga potatoes, etc, they would smuggle it into the chapel under the nose of the Chaplain right by his office. They would smuggle it in and he wouldn't see. So we would have an ecstatic kirtan, like you know, a kirtan that couldn't be beat and a really incredible love feast. 

 So... so, anyway the point is that you can be inside a prison and if you are there for the purpose of serving Krishna you don't feel like you are in prison. In fact you're not really in prison. I was not a prisoner when I was in the prison. So in this sense a pure devotee even when he is in this world is not a prisoner of this world. He’s totally beyond it. He feels liberated even though he's in a material body.  And he's engaged you know walking around you know up and down, you call it Pie Neuf? Yeah. So he's completely aloof from this material nature, although he's acting within it in a very meaningful and effective way.  

So this is, this is what we have to cultivate this mood of complete absorption in Krishna consciousness. We simply have to become missionaries on behalf of Krishna in this material world with our every thought, our every word and our every deed. That we have no purpose except to serve the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, as most powerfully and potently manifested in the form of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness under the loving ,benevolent direction of His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramhamsa Parivrakacarya Asottara Sata Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Tridanda Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada. 

 So vishaya chadiya ka'be suddha ha'be mana. So what is that translation yes, he's hankering for that pure mind, suddha. He wants that suddha mana.  When will my mind become pure, then I will actually understand what is Vrndavan. See give up this vishaya, this sense gratification. When will I get free from sense gratification and have a suddha manah, a pure mind, then I can actually understand what is Vrndavan. Then I can actually enter into that Vrndavan.  

You see the pure devotee is actually living in Vrndavan. Wherever the pure devotee travels, that place becomes Vrindavan, as good as Vrndavan, because the pure devotee is living in Vrndavan at every minute, it’s explained in our sastras. So if we can, this is, If you find the atmosphere of Vrndavan to be very enlivening and pleasing, you don't have to save up a ticket to fly to India to go to Vrndavan, you simply have to develop pure bhakti and then you can be living in Vrndavan at every minute of your existence, wherever you may be. The temple, at your job, at you home, at school , commuting, running errands, going to the doctor's office, whatever you may be doing, going to die, when death comes. You see you will be living in Vrndavan at every minute. So this is the fringe benefit of pure devotion, you actually get to live in Vrndavan at every minute. You don't have to wait to go back to home, back to Godhead. You can go back to Godhead right now by developing pure devotional service; you can be living in Vrndavan. So we'll sing a few lines of this song, it's very beautiful.

{Sings Lalasyamayi Prathana accompanied by harmonium, please see lyrics below} 

gauranga' bolite habe pulaka-sarira
'hari hari' bolite nayane ba' be nira

ara kabe nitai-cander koruna hoibe
samsara-basana mora kabe tuccha ha'be

visaya chariya kabe suddha ha 'be mana
kabe hama herabo sri-brndabana

rupa-raghunatha-pade hoibe akuti
kabe hama bujhabo se jugala-piriti

rupa-raghunatha-pade rahu mora asa
prarthana koroye sada narottama-dasa

So one time Prabhupada was in his quarters in Los Angeles and His Holiness Vishnujana Maharaja was there with him and Prabhupada pointed to his harmonium and he said, "no gaps for maya. If I have nothing else to do I can sit and sing some bhajan." So this is the key if you want pure devotional service, it’s a very simple thing. You just have to plug up all the gaps. That's the one real insider's secret here. Plug all the gaps. If you want to write down one note, "Plug all the gaps." That's how to quickly and easily achieve pure devotional service. Don't leave any gaps for maya. At every minute you have to be plugged into Krishna.  

Every one of us has our own natures. I happen to like music because I was a singer/songwriter before I joined the movement. So for me this helps me to plug in, when I sing a song like this. So everybody has, we all have our own nature. So you, you have to know your own nature. Understand your own nature. And that's why a Guru helps too because a Guru sometimes understands our nature better than we do and can help us be engaged. But, the point is you have to engage according to your nature in Krishna's service. We do whatever our authorities ask but then we have so many.... We have our own mind that we have to be cultivating at every minute. That's our own project. You see at every minute we have our own project about how to cultivate the proper mental attitude, while we are going about our activities. So you have to be your own supervisor actually. We have to learn how to be our own supervisors. That is the meaning of Goswami, one who is the supervisor of their own senses. You see vaco vegam manasah krodha vegam. [NOI 1] We have to be the supervisor of our own senses. We have to see is my mind thinking about Krishna, are my senses engaged in Krishna consciousness, is my tongue engaged properly in Krishna's service? We have to be very introspective. 

 Prabhupada explains, "A gentlemen thinks twice before speaking anything." So we should never just blurt, you know, thoughtlessly blurt things out. That leads to so many problems in our society actually.  Devotees will just thoughtlessly blurt words out at each other. Without thinking carefully first about what they are saying. And we commit aparadha in that way. The greatest obstacle for achieving pure devotional service is vaishnava aparadha. That's why we...the first offense is to blaspheme or criticize those devotees who have dedicated their lives for propagating the holy names. So we have to really learn how to worship the devotees. Sadhu sanga Sadhu sanga sarva sastra kaya lava matra sadhu sanga sarva siddhe haya [Cc. Madhya 22.54]. Caitanya Caritamrta tells us that the sadhus, the devotees of the Lord, you see, they... it is declared in all the scriptures, sarva sastra kaya, it is declared in all the scriptures that even one lava matra, one eleventh of a second of association of a sadhu can give all perfection. So we have to realize that we are actually living and associating with a whole family of sadhus.  

We have to appreciate that even an ordinary karmi person that says "Hare Krishna" one time is not an ordinary person according to Caitanya Caritamrta. What to speak of a person who has given their whole life for Prabhupada's mission. We may not always agree with one another. I mean we are individuals. That proves that you know the Mayavadi philosophy is false that, you know, you have your way of doing things, your way of seeing things, I have my way of doing things and seeing things. But that doesn't mean that we have to have… because we have differences doesn't mean that we can't work together.  

That was an interesting point that came out of our managerial meeting in New Vrindavan, several weeks ago. The concept was this that , "consensus achieved through...what was that? Yeah, consensus achieved through argument is stronger then consensus achieved through compliance. In other words if you just kind of blindly go along, thoughtlessly going on, agreeing, agreeing, agreeing, just nodding, nodding, nodding, thoughtlessly agreeing, then that compliance is not very strong because it is actually on the mental platform. But if we actually use our...  if we actually come to the...  if we use our intelligence and if we don't agree with something then we have the right to discuss that. And then you may have a certain way of seeing something, I may have a certain way. So then we can discuss that honestly and openly in a loving mood, and we can learn from each other. You see and we can gain a... if there is some disagreement and we just try to brush it under the carpet and pretend it wasn't there and artificially go on cooperating, that won't last. But if we face up to the fact that we do have different ways of seeing things and doing things and if we want to work together. Then we come together and openly and honestly share our feelings with each other in a mood of compassion and cooperation. And then by that interaction of hearing each other's viewpoint, trying to understand the other.... you try to understand my viewpoint, I try to understand your viewpoint. You see then the compliance or the consensus that comes out of that will be very strong. So the most important aspect of becoming a pure devotee is to develop strong and honest working relationships with the devotees. How we relate with one another is how we relate with Krishna.  

Just like it's stated in our philosophy that whatever love you have for your spiritual master, that's your love for Krishna because he's the external manifestation. That doesn't only apply to the spiritual master, that applies to all the devotees actually. However, whatever love and feeling of cooperation and compassion, we have amongst the devotees, that's actually a barometer of our Krishna consciousness. If I can't get along with the devotees and I'm just finding fault with the devotees that means I'm still envious of Krishna actually. So becoming a… my point is very integral or if not most essential. Actually we can say most essential aspect to becoming a pure devotee is to have very good relationships with the Vaishnavas.  

And we have three different ways of relating with the Vaishnavas. We relate with those who are more advanced than us, those who are equally advanced and with those who are less advanced. The sastra tells us that with those who are more advanced, we should bow, we should offer them our respectful obeisances, we should serve them, and we should learn from them. You see. Those who are our superiors, we should learn from them. Those who are our equals, we should make friendship, we can share realizations with each other. Krsna-katha buddies, you see. That's our equals.  And for those who are less advanced who are newer to Krishna consciousness, who don't have the, all the realizations that we may have, to them we should be very kind and help them come up. So in this way there is loving exchange with all degrees of Vaishnavas, those who are senior to me, those who are equals, and those who are less advanced. There is an exchange of love in three different ways for the three different categories of devotees. 

So we have to develop a very strong network of loving relationships in our society. Wherever we go, when we go to festivals, we should try to build relationships, the more the better. Just like this microphone stand, it has three, you see if it was only two legs it would be pretty flimsy, it wouldn't be very solid, it would fall over within a minute. By having at least three legs it becomes very solid. Just imagine if it has four legs, five legs, six legs on this microphone stands. The more legs it has, the more solid it gets. So with the three legs. Actually to stand it has to have at least three legs. So what are the three legs? Guru, sadhu and sastra.  

But actually the more that we can... But there's not only one sadhu, we have a whole society of sadhus, ISKCON. So the more we can develop relationships within this society, with the wonderful devotees of this movement, strong, loving relationships where we give gifts, we receive gifts, we serve them prasadam, we accept prasadam from them, we reveal our minds to them, we eagerly hear them reveal their minds to us.  In this way if we engage in these loving exchanges with as many devotees as possible, wherever we go, here in Montreal, we're visiting other temples; we always try to build relationships with more and more devotees. That will make us strong. That will enhance our advancement on the pathway of bhakti. We should not be impersonalists, keeping ourselves in the closet. We have to come out of the closet of impersonalism and build strong relationships with other devotees. That's how our love for Krishna will grow. 

Narrotam das, again I love to refer to Narotam, he's so special acarya. In such a wonderful way he has given us these wonderful Vedic teachings he says: ananda bolo hari bhaja vrndavan sri guru vaishnava pade majaiya man .  So he's giving us very nice tips on how to become pure devotees. He says ecstatically...anande bolo hari.....ecstatically chant Hare Krsna mantra...ecstatically chant. And then he says bhaja vrndavan...worship that Holy Vrndavan dham. So you may so, "oh how I can worship Vrndavan dham, I'm here in Montreal?” But you do not know that Vrndavan is manifested here in Montreal. You think wherever Radha-Manohara is that is not Vrndavan? This is Vrndavan, this is a holy dham. This is Vrndavan. So you worship this wonderful ISKCON Montreal. Every square inch of this Montreal ISKCON is worshipable. You see. You ecstatically chant Hare Krishna. 

I remember when I was a young brahmacari, in Atlanta, there was one other brahmacari there, his name was Gayatri das, and he was very fired up and enthusiastic. He'd be out on the road, and then he'd come back to the temple and he used to say, yeah he used to say, "Going back to the dham." (laughs)  With great enthusiasm. Talking about the temple, you know. Going back to the temple. He'd call it, "Yeah, I'm going back to the dham." I mean he was really enlivened and enthusiastic. So this is it, this is the dham. This is the dham. We're here. This is the dham. This is the Lord's abode. This is a transcendental place. Every square inch of this property, you can offer your obeisances to this temple building. You see. Prabhupada offered his obeisances to the Ratha Yatra cart because it was carrying Lord Jagannatha. So this temple, this whole building is dedicated to worshipping Radha-Manohara. So every....so this building you can offer your obeisances to this building. It's a holy dham.  

So anande bolo hari bhaja vrndavan, sri guru vaishnava pade majaiya man. And within your heart you should always worship the lotus feet of your spiritual master and the Vaishnavas. You see this Hare Krishna movement is not a Guru cult. That we just worship Gurus. No. Every devotee in this movement is worshipable. Every single devotee is worshipable in this movement. So these tips from Narottam will help us to quickly come to the path of pure devotional service. We simply have to see how every thought, every word, every deed from the moment we wake up in the morning until we go to bed at night is pleasing to Guru, to Vaishnavas, to Srila Prabhupada, to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, etc, all the way back to Krishna. And then pure devotional service will be easily attained, it will not be difficult. So now we've been talking for a few minutes and we can...and we can see if there's any questions now. Here's the first hand I saw. 

Mataji (1): I would like to know about the four principles. Where's the roots? You know and everything in the... [inaudible] 

Srila Gurudeva: The four principles? No illicit sex, no meat eating, no intoxication.....what about them?  

Mataji (1): Yes. 

Srila Gurudeva: What about them?  

Mataji (1):  I want to know the roots of that. Where it comes from?  

Srila Gurudeva: Ah... You want some sastric references. Is that what you are saying? You want some verses to support the four principles?  

Mataji (1): Yes. 

Srila Gurudeva:  Yan maithunadi grhamedhi sukham hi tuccham [SB 7.9.45], That is the verse against illicit sex and meat eating, Krishna says: patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati,[BG 9.26] He doesn't ask for meat. We only take..... He says the devotees of the Lord they only take prasad. So, since Krishna does not ask for meat, therefore we cannot offer Him meat and we cannot take meat. And as far as the intoxication goes, I don't know the verse for that. I'm sure there are verses. But we certainly know that Prabhupada was against intoxication. 

 In other words, the spiritual master especially a great realized, the most highly realized spiritual master in the form of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Tridandi Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada. He has the perfect knowledge of how to please Krishna. So he is the personification of the Vedic wisdom. And if Prabhupada tells us that we shouldn't take intoxication, that's as good as Krishna telling us. But I am sure there are verses, you can look that up. Just like the other day someone asked me about onions and garlic. And I've never seen it in our books but, I've found it actually, there is a verse. If you look in Manu Smrti,  chapter five text number five it says that, "onions and garlic are not suitable for eating. " So if you actually do the research, there are verses for every single one of them. 

But we didn't… to be honest we didn't need it when we joined this movement. We didn't say, "But Swamji, where is the verse about illicit sex?” We didn't ask.You know why we didn't ask him that?  Because Prabhupada saved us. He saved us from hell. We were drowning in a miserable ocean of sense gratification and Prabhupada came in with so much love, with so much kindness and he said, "if you will do this, you will be happy." And we did it and we were happy. It worked. Whether the Vedas said it or not, didn't matter to us because we knew, we tasted it ourselves. We followed these principles, we chanted Hare Krishna and we entered into samadhi, twenty-four hours a day. We knew it worked. It was....truth works. Because we tasted the benefit of following these instructions we knew they were legitimate. 

When Prabhupada said that, you know, everything I'm....that everything the spiritual master speaks is backed up by the scripture, we knew in fact it was even without having to ask Prabhupada for every single verse for every single instruction he gave us. We developed faith and trust in the spiritual master understanding that he is perfectly representing the Vedic wisdom and we didn't bother him for the verses. But the verses are there. They are there and I don't know... I know some of them like the onions and garlic verse is there in the Manu Smrti.  And there's so many other verses and ... But you know those,those are for the skeptics. Those who have actually tasted the nectar of surrendering themselves to Prabhupada know that this must be bona fide Vedic knowledge that Prabhupada is giving us, otherwise it wouldn't be so effective.  

Mataji (1): Because sometimes you know, when you just come back to Krishna consciousness. And you listen to the so-called, the one that [inaudible] Prabhupada. And sometimes I feel that people say very stupid things. You know like why I ask you that is that I've been told that this is not in the Vedic this has just been invented by Prabhupada to keep his disciple. You know and sometimes... 

Srila Gurudeva: Right, We have to have very good answers for all these things. Because we want to defend Prabhupada against these, these, these very offensive attacks. That's right. Yeah, I don't have the other verses but I did find that verse in the Manu Smrti about onions and garlic. And all these verses....there's definitely going to be verses about everything. The verses are definitely there and I don't know all of them but, a good resource..... I know at BTG they have a good..... they have good resources. You can always write a letter to BTG and they may be able to give you the exact verses. They have a staff of pandits that they refer to. I know they can...I've seen them come up with very expert answers for detailed questions sometimes. So you can always try writing a letter to the editor of BTG and see if they can give you...ask for exact verses to support different points.  

Mataji (1):  My question is not coming out of faith because I, I do see the change in the progress with following as much as I can without offenses. 

Srila Gurudeva: You want to defeat the skeptics.  

Mataji (1): I, I...yeah but, I'm hurt when I hear things like this. 

Srila Gurudeva: You're what?  

Mataji (1): It hurt me when I hear things like this. 

Srila Gurudeva: Yeah, oh yeah.  

Mataji (1): You know?  

Srila Gurudeva: There's so many nonsense. It's actually quite shocking what's happening now in the, the... all spin off people from ISKCON because in the old days we didn't have that. It was...Everything was Prabhupada and Prabhupada was everything. There was no... none of this… all this garbage out there. I mean, people who can come to this movement today in spite of all the garbage, are greater... I see them as the greatest sadhus because there's so much. 

Just like last night one of my disciples was approached by somebody here in the neighborhood, who gave them this huge document, that thick to prove that Prabhupada was poisoned. It was like one hundred pages, to prove that Prabhupada was poisoned. So, I mean its just incredible stuff and it's absolutely ridiculous that Prabhupada…. I mean those persons who are putting this out, they weren't even here, they weren't in this movement. Or if they were here, they weren't there in Vrndavan. Nobody who was actually in Vrndavan, who was actually seeing what was going on would ever say such a thing.  

The people who have made up this ridiculous theory, weren't there in Vrndavan to even see Prabhupada's final pastimes. They weren't witnesses. Everybody who was a witness to those final pastimes knows how much love and affection that everyone was feeling and how their hearts were breaking to see Prabhupada's physical health deteriorating. And the proof is this, you can read it right there in, you can study it right there in the Conversation books. In the final days, Prabhupada he wanted to go on Govardhan parikrama. And the... he was being told that if you go it will be certain death. So if they actually wanted to poison Prabhupada they would have said, "yes, Prabhupada whatever you want, yes, Govardhan parikrama." But devotees went to him, with tears in their eyes, pleading with him, "Please Prabhupada don't go. It will kill you." They were pleading and begging and crying like incredible. You know. With so much emotion and feeling, they were begging Prabhupada. "Do not go Prabhupada. It will kill you. Do not go."  Now how those people could be Prabhupada's murderers? It’s absurd. And they put out, these, these stupid people. They are the poison. You see.  Who put out these big documents that Prabhupada was poisoned. They are the poison. They are the poison. Yes.  

Guru Mataji: This is not a question.  

Srila Gurudeva: Ok.  

Guru Mataji: I was just going through that song in my mind again and I was just thinking. We can... You said about , "ananda bolo hari bhaja vrndavan"  and chant the Holy names in ecstasy. We see many times we are chanting the Holy names in ecstasy but, until visaya chadiya ka'be suddha ha'be manah. How we can enter into Vrndavan dham?  

Srila Gurudeva: How will we? yes... 

Guru Mataji: How we can do that?   

Srila Gurudeva: Well, Vrndavan actually appears gradually. To the extent that your heart is pure you can experience Vrndavan to a greater or lesser extent. The more you advance, the more you will experience Vrndavan. But in the beginning you feel this a very serene, wonderful atmosphere in this temple. So you're getting a little sample of Vrndavan even in the beginning when you still have impurities in the mind. And as you advance you'll feel more serene, more sublime and more and more connected with Krishna, the form of Krishna, the names of Krishna, the pastimes of Krishna, etc. 

Guru Mataji: My question is: How we give up this visaya?  

Srila Gurudeva: Oh, how we give up sense gratification? Well, it's simple. You just follow the instructions of your spiritual master. It's a very simple thing. Just surrender to your guru's order. Prabhupada is the guru of all of us, if we follow his… what's in his books, then we will, we will automatically give up sense gratification.  

Guru Mataji: Even though we may do this externally?  

Srila Gurudeva: Huh?  

Guru Mataji: Even if we may do it externally?  

Srila Gurudeva: Even if you're doing it externally? But we have to do it with our bodies. We have to. Because we have these material bodies, we engage these external sense organs in the service of Krishna and that purifies us internally. As within so….as without so within, and as within so without. What you are doing externally that's affecting your consciousness and your consciousness is affecting also what you are doing externally. The inside and the outside are.... Your mental act… your subtle body and your gross body are integrally connected. What you are actually doing throughout your day affects your mental attitude and your mental attitude also affects what happens externally. So you can't separate. It's like a hand and glove, you can't separate them. They are different but they are integra..intergral...integra intergral...what is that? integrally... 

Chatalie: Integrally?  

Srila Gurudeva: Yeah. Integrally connected. Yes, they're integrally connected. You what...Your mental state and what you're actually doing. 

Guru Mataji: Even sometimes we are chanting our mind is somewhere else. We are externally chanting because the mind is wandering so many places. We try to bring it and it goes away. So many visayas are there, so many material desires are there.  

Srila Gurudeva: Yeah, so what's the question?  

Guru Mataji: So the question is that... 

Srila Gurudeva: How do you bring it back?  

Guru Mataji: Yeah we bring it back but, these external how you can integrally as you say so...correspond?  

Srila Gurudeva: Well if you bring your mind back then everything else will follow. As your... As the creation unfolds from subtle to gross, if your mind is properly absorbed in Krishna consciousness, which is the subtle plane, then on the gross platform everything will follow along. You see. That's how it works, from subtle to gross. So if you keep your mind...that's why we have...The morning program is a time to solidly absorb our mind in Krishna consciousness. So that we will be naturally inclined to speak and act in Krishna consciousness throughout the entire day whatever we're doing. Understand? Yes. Questions? You had... I saw you earlier.  

Mataji (2): I wanted to make a point. That sincere desire is important.  

Srila Gurudeva: Yes, that's right.  

Guru Mataji: I understand that. 

Srila Gurudeva: If one has the desire to become a pure devotee, sincerely that I want nothing else.  I know no one but Krishna as my Lord and He shall remain so even if He handles me roughly by His embrace or leaves me brokenhearted by not being present before me. He is my worshipful Lord unconditionally. We have to pray that prayer and force ourselves to think that way, because we don't right now. We're thinking my sense gratification is the all and all. But we have to say those prayers and say okay, let me put this...let me train my mind to think this way. So we take these wonderful prayers by Lord Caitanya, we say them with feeling and intensity and say okay mind this is how you have to think now. My dear mind, I want you to now think this way. Mind, train....you're going to...It's like training a , you know, training a..... a dog to do tricks. You're training the mind to think this way. Okay mind think this way.  

Mataji (2): Training the mind to develop relationships.  

Srila Gurudeva: What is it?  

Mataji (2): To develop relationships, develop Krishna.  

Srila Gurudeva: Yes, yes.  

Mataji (2): Because when you have a relationship its easier to constantly think of them.  

Srila Gurudeva: That's right that's why Lord Caitanya is speaking in the mood of a relationship. It's not something impersonal. He's talking about embrace, he's talking about not being...he's talking about a relationship between two people. So you had something?  

Chatalie:  Yeah. How do you remain in a humble position when the false ego is so easily set off by other false egos?  

Srila Gurudeva: Hmm...that's a very interesting question; "How do you remain humble when the false ego is so easily set off by other false egos? This is, I think, one of the most important questions for our society. The problem of our society is false egos. One false ego erupts then the other one erupts, then it escalates. A little bit more ego here, on this side then a little more false ego on the other side, then a little more false ego over here. And everyone's trying to see who can manifest, "my false ego is tougher then yours and I'm going to prove it to you." 

Guru Mataji: Isn't that one of the visayas?  

Srila Gurudeva: Hmm... So yes. So how does one conquer over it? That's the question. How do you subdue that false ego? Well, you can't just stomp out your false ego. The mayavadis try to do that but, by doing so they actually inflate their false ego. The false ego wants to become a big person in this material world. Well I'll tried to make it in education, I didn't do it there, I flunked out. I'll tried to make it in business, I went bankrupt. I'll tried to make it in the world of music, nobody could stand my music. I'll tried to make it in sports, I couldn't even throw the ball straight. I tried to make it in every way but, now I've finally found out how to make it, “I am God."  

You see. So, mayavadi philosophy is not the way, just to stamp out the so-called false ego. You know. The real way to get rid of false ego is you have to manifest your real ego and then you're false ego... We don't annihilate ego...no. We automatically eliminate the false ego by establishing the real ego. That's the secret of conquering false ego. Establish the real ego. And what is the real ego? Jivera svarupa hoy krsnera nitya das. [C.C Madhya 20.108] The constitutional position of the living being is that he is the eternal servant of Krishna. So therefore how do we do that? We give the disciple a new name. 

 Like yesterday I had triplets. I gave them new names. You see. [laughter] Gave them new names. So they can now....Instead of thinking they are so and so. Now they can think oh, I am so or so dasi or so and so das, You see. This is who I am. They have a spiritual name given by the bona fide Guru, that helps you to understand that I'm not the person I was before, that's not me any more. Now I am so and so. So that's why a new name is given. That's one of the reasons. It helps you to reinforce your spiritual identity. And that's why we dress as devotees also. We put on tilak, we put on dhotis and saris. We do all... we take up this Vaishnava culture of bowing down to each other, bowing down to the spiritual master, bowing down to Krishna. These activities put us into a new mindset of re-.... of asserting to ourselves and to others our actually spiritual identities. And by doing that, then the false ego automatically goes away actually. We have to solidly establish the real ego and the false ego will then just gradually fade away into the sunset. Thank God.  

Guru Mataji: Similarly there are many.... 

Srila Gurudeva: Yes ?  

Guru Mataji: Similarly there are many subtle visayas. So that is my question. 

Srila Gurudeva: Yes, there are many, many subtle visayas there's no doubt. So many subtle ones. One of the... One problem is when you try to become a pure devotee you think okay, "now I am really serious about being a pure devotee but the other devotees are not as serious as I am about being a pure devotee. So now I am the purest of the pure in this temple." That's a big, that's a major, major danger. It's called a "holier than thou" attitude. That yes I am more serious about being a pure devotee. The other devotees aren't very serious. But I am very serious about becoming a pure devotee. So now you just fall into a major, major pitfall of a "holier than thou" attitude.  

You can actually measure how much you are really advancing in Krishna consciousness, how much you are really advancing towards pure devotional service by how much you feel, genuinely feel that you are a wretched rascal. Not artificially," I feel that I am a wretched rascal, Prabhus." Like the devotee who wrote Prabhupada, "Srila Prabhupada, "I am the most fallen".  I think I said this the other day. Prabhupada said, "you're not the most of anything. You're simply insignificant." [laughter] So the....also the guru-disciple relationship is helpful for overcoming the false ego because it is the duty of the spiritual master to chastise the disciple. If the spiritual master does not chastise the disciple , then he is considered to be the disciples' worse enemy. So that's the advantage of having a spiritual master. That a ....it's his duty to chastise the disciple. To look very carefully and see what's wrong with this person. And then to cut with the knife of Vedic wisdom, the razor blade of Vedic wisdom. Go in and cut out the anarthas. That's the duty of the spiritual master. So that. 

So everyone should aspire to ,you know, aspire to become initiated because not only will you have a spiritual name but you will have a neuro-surgeon who will go in and slice away at the false ego [makes sounds of scissors cutting] Chup, chup, chup, chup. You see. So Guru is very important and all the sadhus, any advanced devotee can help us, not only the spiritual master. The temple president actually is a, the representative of the spiritual master. So he can also give us the sauce and help us wake up to our actual position of eternal spiritual souls part and parcel of Krishna. So when the temple president chastises, we see, "oh this is the spiritual master's representative and he's....so I have to humble myself or any senior devotee." You see. Even in a marriage relationship, the husband and the wife can help each other. You know. The wife can point out the faults in the husband, the husband can point out the faults in the wife. You see. If one is sincerely trying to be Krishna conscious and help others, we should be willing to take instruction from anyone. We should be willing to take instruction from anyone.  

Guru Mataji: But isn't it when we are instructed that we should be realized if it is our fault or not fault.  

Srila Gurudeva: Well we have to know the philosophy because somebody some neophyte may wrongly , may correct us when actually they were wrong and we were right. So we have to have the discrimination to know the difference. But if someone actually....if you, if you read the books carefully and you are sincerely trying to become a pure devotee, you will know the difference between right and wrong. And you will be able to know when you acted rightly and when you acted wrongly. So when someone tells us, "Prabhu, you shouldn't do that." And we... and our false ego goes, "hmmf". You know. But we know actually wait a minute. I know according to Prabhupada's books that they were right so I just have to accept it. So every disciple should carefully read all the books. Every member of ISKCON should read the books carefully and know the philosophy very, very well, so that when you're being corrected and you're being corrected rightly you will accept it with, graciously , with thankfulness in your heart. That thank you for pointing that out, you have done me a great service by pointing out that mistake. And if someone corrects you wrongly, well you can just learn how to be callous to such undue criticism. Yes?  

Mataji (2): Shouldn't a pure devotee, already knows his mistake?  

Srila Gurudeva: Humbly?  

Mataji (2): Shouldn't a pure devotee, a person who is a pure devotee, know his mistakes, his weakness?  

Srila Gurudeva: The more that we are..... the more that we are purified the more that you can recognize your own mistakes. That's a fact. The more we advance in Krishna consciousness the more we will actually be able to know. That we are carefully observing everything we are doing, that I'm acting properly, thinking properly, speaking properly. Then we...even without someone telling us, we will know. That's an advanced devotee. You see. One who can correct himself or herself without having to have someone else do it.  

Mataji (2): And also is it possible in this lifetime to become 100% pure?  

Srila Gurudeva: Yes, you can be an absolutely pure devotee and my proof is... 

Mataji (2): Some philosophy says that.... 

Srila Gurudeva: Huh?  

Mataji (2): Some philosophy says you can only become 64% pure as long as you have a material body?  

Srila Gurudeva: No. You can never become Krishna, but you can become a pure devotee. Prabhupada actually told me in one letter... Because I was formerly a song writer and I had an inclination to do that activity, writing songs. So I asked Prabhupada about, about song writing and he gave me a tip about how I could write songs that would be on the same level as Narottama's songs. This is an amazing thing.  Prabhupada said, "now you just qualify yourself to see Krishna face to face and then you can write songs like Narottam." So I was asking about something I was going to do within this lifetime, something I wanted to do while I was in this body. And Prabhupada answered me to qualify myself to see Krishna face to face. So... of course I'm still a million miles away but, the point was that Prabhupada was telling me to come to that level of pure devotion. Even while I was in this body, so that I can have Krishna's darshan. So it is possible to become so pure that Krishna will actually come and reveal Himself to you, face to face, eye to eye, even while you're in this present body.  So there has been a hand up over here that I've been neglecting for quite a while.  

Devotee (1): Sorry. Thank you for glancing over here. I've heard very often from you and you said in your Prema dhvani prayers also that uh.. "ISKCON, ISKCON flooding the world with Krishna prema ki... [someone yells jai! in background]  

Srila Gurudeva: Yes. 

Devotee (1): And....so you're very positive.  

Srila Gurudeva: Yes. 

Devotee (1): You have great faith that in this. 

Srila Gurudeva: Yes, yes I do have great faith in this movement.  

Devotee (1): That ISKCON will spread all over the world.  

Srila Gurudeva: Yes, ISKCON will inundate the entire world. I'm convinced.  

Devotee (1): So when I hear such things it gives me great eagerness to take part in ISKCON. But uh...how do you, how do you... 

Srila Gurudeva: How do I know it's true and it's not just hype? 

Devotee (1): Yeah! How do you keep this enthusiasm going and not be affected by others who loose faith?  

Mataji: [in background]  "Meta-critics?" 

Srila Gurudeva: Well, as I mentioned the other day in the class. Well actually as I didn't mention there's another quote, Prabhupada says, he says how this Krishna conscious movement will inundate the entire world. There will be a 10,000 year period when this Krishna conscious movement will inundate the entire world. That's stated in the Caitanya-Caritamrta. And there's a verse also by Lord Caitanya, how this or maybe it’s by Krishna dasa. That this movement, that everyone will become drown in this ocean of Caitanya's mercy. It's stated there in the scripture. So are we being hyped by Krishna dasa Kaviraja? Is he just trying to fire us up so we can distribute more books? [Laughter] Or is it real? Is Krishna das Kaviraja going to hype us or is he actually a realized person who has perfect vision of past, present and future? What do you think?  

Devotee (1): I think what he says is right.

Srila Gurudeva: Yeah.  So, I'm convinced that this movement is going to inundate the entire world. Prabhupada said that in 18 days we can make the whole world Krishna conscious. There's one cassette I have that I often play when I am shaving in the morning and Prabhupada says that, "the whole world now is being managed by rogues and demons, now you take the management, and make your, make your life successful and you take management of the world." So that doesn't mean political, that means brahmincal. That we should become so pure, so advanced in Krishna consciousness, that the leaders of the world will actually come to us and beg us to guide them how to manage Canada, how to manage the US, how to manage every country in the world. 

 Prabhupada, no, Bhaktisiddhanta said, "When the high court judges wear tilak, then we are successful." So I'm convinced that if we become completely pure devotees than that can happen. And you may say well that, that's your, you know, that's just your enthusiasm. But I have proof. That if even… my proof, my statement is this. I'm making this claim and its backed up by sastra, by evidence in Prabhupada's books. My claim is: if any one member of ISKCON can become an absolute pure devotee, then this movement will inundate the whole world. What to speak if two or three...because Prabhupada says in the purport of the Caitanya Caritamrta,  that when a devotee, if a devotee can purely chant the Holy names without any offense then he becomes jagat guru and under his influence the entire world will take up chanting Hare Krishna.  

So if even one of the wonderful devotees in our movement can become pure, that can happen. What to speak of two, three, four, five, six, a hundred, a thousand...what to speak of every member of ISKCON became a pure devotee. That's why I am pushing pure devotion. You must become pure devotee, you must, because that will free you of all anxiety and it will free the whole world of anxiety if you become a pure devotee. 

Devotee (1): Thanks.  

Srila Gurudeva: Questions, more? Yes?  

Mother Krta-Mala: If we have such situation like we are in a temple, we have a very nice and soft president who is not. 

Srila Gurudeva: Nice what?  

Mother Krta-Mala: Nice and soft personality 

Guru Mataji: Nice and soft president 

Srila Gurudeva: Nice, soft?  

Devotee: [in background] That's right. 

Srila Gurudeva: Nice, mellow, president 

Mother Krta-Mala: Soft hearted 

Srila Gurudeva: Soft hearted. 

Mother Krta-Mala: Who can not chastise others, feeling.. 

Srila Gurudeva:  Well, then you have to...Then you have to see. You have to learn from his example. Actually Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupadada also did not like to chastise. You know that? Prabhupada actually did not like to chastise us. If you read in the Lila-mrta there was one devotee. Prabhupada did not like his followers to have beard, beards. So there was one man in and his name was... What was his name? I think it was Ramanuja, a disciple that was with Prabhupada in the beginning in India and Prabhupada did not like him to have a beard. But he didn't know how to... Prabhupada was trying to figure out how to diplomatically tell him to shave it. And so Prabhupada found some roundabout way, there was some picture of somebody and in a very roundabout way, he didn't just directly say, "oh, that's nonsense you should shave it off." He found a very roundabout, diplomatic way to tell him. Prabhupada also, didn't really like to. He did it as a matter of duty. 

 But, a pure devotee doesn't like to chastise any one actually. A pure devotee actually feels that everyone should be chastising me. That's how he actually feels in his heart. He feels that I... The uttama adhikari, the absolute pure devotee feels that everyone in this whole existence is a pure devotee except for me and I am the most rotten, despicable demon. That's the mood of an uttama adhikari, a pure devotee.  

So, Prabhupada one time in Mexico, our Godbrother Cit-Sukh-ananda he tells this story. That they were at some late preaching program and no one got up for mangala arati and Prabhupada was very, very, he was roaring like a lion in the class. Just really like roaring, chastising everyone very, very heavily, severely chastising all the devotees. Devotees were shaking. It was very, very intense. So after the class was over they went out the door. So Cit-Sukh-Ananda he said he was, he always considered himself to be like Prabhupada's puppy dog. He would just follow Prabhupada around. So there was one little, one beautiful fragrant flower, he picked it and handed it to Prabhupada. And Prabhupada just smelled it in a very serene, peaceful state of mind. He had just been roaring like a lion and now he was like a complete mood of peacefulness. He said, " Prabhupada, just a minute ago you were just roaring like a lion with intense anger and now you are so peaceful and serene."  He says, "How is that? He said, "Actually I am never angry. I'm never angry, but I just have to do that for you. I have to do that for your benefit, I have to scold." But actually Prabhupada he was never, he said, "I am never angry with you actually."  

So the mood of a Vaishnava is to simply appreciate the devotees. But he may if he is in a position of responsibility have to sometime chastise them out of love. You see one who can chastise us out of love, that chastisement is very beneficial and Prabhupada one time said, "the student who is more chastised, he is advanced." So you, if your temple president is not chastising you, you have to, maybe you find one of your Godsisters who can chastise you. You know?  Find somebody who can point... Maybe in your ashram where you live. You know? Find another one of the devotees who can chastise you for your faults. We should all find somebody. If the temple president is so, so kind to us that he doesn't want to disturb our minds. Then find somebody, one of your friends who is willing to chastise you, tell you your a nonsense, you're stupid, you're dirty, you're lazy. Find someone who can chastise you, that's good. Find someone who can chastise you. Ask some devotee, "will you be my chastiser, and point out to me when you think I'm doing something wrong?” It's always good to have at least one chastiser. You know. If the temple president can't, is too busy to chastise you, then find someone else who can chastise you. Yes?  

Devotee (1): I know somebody that I could be with and I know that he would always chastise me. But, sometimes I feel like I don't want to be there because I, I  would start making offenses and I would be like, like my false ego would be effected and after a while I could not tolerate it anymore.  

Srila Gurudeva: While then you. Now you… now you have seen your problem. You have, you have a false ego problem, Prabhu. So you have to learn how to take the chastisement without being disturbed. If someone chastises me and I become angry then it’s not a good situation. You have to learn how to graciously appreciate being chastised. A good example is Srutakirti. Actually Prabhupada had fun with Srutakirti. He would, he would chastise him so severely and Srutakirti he would just, he would just take it. He would never.  Prabhupada said, "You're no fun." Because you never argue back. [laughs]  

But actually Srutakirti's mood of taking chastisement from Prabhupada was very nice. Prabhupada one time said, "You will not have any intelligence until your eighty years old." He said, "Oh, Prabhupada, I thought it would take much longer then that." [laughs] You see so, he knew how to stay cool when Prabhupada was just really venting his anger or apparently venting his angry. He knew how to stay really cool and Prabhupada really appreciated that. So, if you can just see, you know, Prabhupada just like blasting him.  Oh, Prabhupada, I thought it would take much longer. Prabhupada just laughed. Immediately he became pacified and just had to chuckle at that point so. So we have to learn how to take chastisement graciously, that's very good for us. Yes?  

Devotee (2): The neophyte devotees also material attachments that is different. In the spiritual life also we have attachments. That means, okay when we are studying this philosophies, and when we are in Krsna consciousness.  

Srila Gurudeva: When you are studying this philosophy,  what?  

Devotee (2): Bhagavad-Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, everything.  

Srila Gurudeva: Yes.  

Devotee (2): Our desires are coming out, I would like to distribute consciousness. That is also one kind of attachment.  

Srila Gurudeva: Yes, these spiritual attachments are very good. I'm attached to hearing the Bhagavatam. I'm attached to hearing the kirtan. Just like what is that song by Bhaktivinode. It’s a nice song, let's see where is that song. He's saying yes, "My mind always begs to hear the music of the mrdanga, my heart dances in ecstasy whenever I hear the kind of kirtan established by Lord Gauracandra. So his mind is always wanting. I want to hear that mrdanga. He is hankering to hear the mrdanga playing in the kirtan. That is very nice.  

Devotee (2):  And when we are going to give up this body. If we still have that attachment, yes I want to distribute the consciousness, I want to …  

Srila Gurudeva: You asked the devotees to come and play a nice kirtan when you are leaving. If you are attached to kirtan, you think that will keep you in the material world?  

Devotee (2):  Yes. 

Srila Gurudeva: It will? Attached to kirtan?  

Devotee (2): Attached to the kirtan, do the service for me, because I 

Srila Gurudeva: You think if you're attached to kirtan, that will keep you in the material world?  

Devotee (2): No, my question is attachment with the service and distributing Krishna consciousness. So many attachments so bad, I have to do this one. Every single devotee says that… 

Srila Gurudeva: Then you are already in the spiritual world. What's the difficulty? If you simply, totally engrossed in attachment doing spiritual activities then it doesn't matter if you take birth or go back to Godhead you are already in the spiritual world. If you have nothing but attachment for spiritual activities, that's perfection. Lord Caitanya says:  

na dhanam na janam na sundarim
kavitam va jagad-isa kamaye
mama janmani janmanisvare
bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi

[Siksastakam 4]

I don't desire liberation, I just want bhakti. If you have simply an attachment to do bhakti activities, nothing but bhakti, then it doesn't matter whether you go back to Godhead or you take birth again. That's pure devotion; to have no attachment except for serving Krishna. Now but, if  you're attached to over-eating prasadam then you will have to take birth again. [laughs] But you don't look like you're over-eating, you look thin.  

Mother Krta Mala: He's starving.


Guru Mataji: But like he says attachments, my attachments of doing the kirtan is all very good but, at the same time all this manifests in other practical. Not that things I have been liking in the material world, my attachment in the spiritual activities is the same. 

Srila Gurudeva: Well if you're thinking well you know like I previously was doing this so I have to do that for Krishna. You can’t put any conditions on your service.  To be attached to things and like to do things that's alright but, you can't put a condition. To enjoy doing a service for Krishna is not sinful. But if you think well I will not be a devotee unless I am allowed to do this particular service for Krishna, than that will keep you in the material world, that’s a fact. You have to be willing to do anything and everything to please Guru and Krishna. That is pure devotion. It’s not that if you enjoy…you enjoy the kirtan, that that’s something sinful. Or you enjoy, you like to cook or you like to do puja or you like to preach, that that’s something sinful. But if you think that, “no, I have to do this service otherwise I’m leaving the temple “ then it’s not good.  

Guru Mataji: I wasn’t thinking that way. I was just thinking, “I like this only I’m going to do only this.” 

Srila Gurudeva: That’s the same point I’m making. I like this and I’m going to do only this. That means you’re not willing to do the other thing. That’s exactly the point I’m making. Questions more? Yes.  

Vilasini Mataji: You mentioned we, we can think of Krishna just by remembering that He’s….

Srila Gurudeva: Remembering what?

Vilasini Mataji: He is the taste of water, the light of the sun and so on.

Srila Gurudeva: Yes that’s right.

Vilasini Mataji: But, but that only works with devotees. With people who are already devotees. I told the same thing to one person who wasn’t a devotee here and he said, “well that’s what the, your books say, “that Krishna is the light of the sun…

Srila Gurudeva: Yes, yes.

Vilasini Mataji: ….and the taste of water, but

Srila Gurudeva: So what’s the question? What’s the question?

Vilasini Mataji: So then how. Well this is supposed to be the way to see Krishna everywhere but, how can people who don’t believe that Krishna is the taste of water, see Krishna?

Srila Gurudeva: You have to… You must be convinced, first of all. I remember one time one Peace Corp worker, he was having darshan with Prabhupada in Mayapur. He said, “Prabhupada, how do we convince them? “  Prabhupada said, “First you be convinced.” How did Prabhupada convince us that God is a little blue cowherd boy that wears a peacock feather in His hair who runs around the bushes at night?[laughter in background] I mean that’s pretty…from a material viewpoint..that’s very bizarre.

If you went downtown Montreal with a clipboard, you know, “My dear Sir, do you believe in God? Yes or no? “ Okay, yes. Practically everybody would say yes. There’s Catholics here, right? Say yes, I believe in God. Say, “My dear Sir, now if I told you that God is a little blue cowherd boy, He runs around the bushes at night, blowing on a flute, wearing a peacock feather in His hair. What would you say? “ He would say, “I’m calling the police. [laughter] There’s a nut out here on the street.” [laughter] So how did Prabhupada convince us that God is a little blue cowherd boy that wears a peacock feather in His hair, and runs around the bushes at night in the full moon night of the sarad season. How did Prabhupada convince us of this? You see. Prabhupada was completely convinced of it himself. His conviction was absolutely solid, paka.

His conviction was there and his compassion was there. That he knew that we needed to become Krishna conscious to get out of our suffering position in the cycle of birth and death. So Prabhupada’s conviction, plus his compassion equaled convincing us. In other words, conviction plus compassion equals they become convinced. You have to be convinced. You have to be very compassionate.  You have to extend yourself as far as possible to accommodate their understanding and then it will click. If they have any desire to know the truth, it will click  and if they don’t it just means they’re not ready. They want to stay as an animal for a few more millions of lifetimes. Yes?

Guru Mataji: I remember one devotee he lives in the temple and….. This question is: is there a way you can help him? He takes more interest in chanting the japa. But it takes him the whole day, no service. It takes him a whole day to chant his sixteen rounds between eating and sleeping. So is there a way to help him? He’s a very senior devotee also.

Srila Gurudeva: Yeah, there’s one senior devotee who has, is sort of a, you could say a real sahajiya mood. He doesn’t. He gets up late. He doesn’t go to mangala arati, he comes, he gets up in time for the class. He actually chants twenty five rounds. Thinking well I’m very, very advanced devotee because I chant twenty-five rounds everyday.

Guru Mataji: No

Srila Gurudeva: Yes. And then he, he goes for …. after breakfast he goes for a stroll, a nice stroll in the park. He comes back and takes lunch. He takes a nap in the afternoon after lunch and then he goes for the evening program and then he goes to bed. And he thinks he’s a very advanced devotee. And he doesn’t do any service. He wanted me to bless him that yes, Prabhu, you are very advanced and are doing very wonderfully in serving Prabhupada. Is that the same devotee you are talking about or is there someone else?

Guru Mataji: the same but,

Srila Gurudeva: He was chanting twenty-five by the way.

Guru Mataji: He was not even able to complete sixteen some days.

Srila Gurudeva: Oh, he told me he was doing twenty five. But anyway that’s a detail, that’s beside the point. So anyway what your question is how you can help such a devotee?

Guru Mataji: Such devotees. He may not be the only one.

Srila Gurudeva: So how do you help devotees who have this laid back attitude that I will use the temple as a facility, as a free hotel for eating and sleeping and I will pay my rent by chanting some japa every day and that’s how I will pay my rent at the temple. I’m such a good tenant, I pay my rent, you know, “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna…..” Doing my radar japa, “Hare Krishna , Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna. [laughter] Or my jabber japa, “ Hare Krishna. Hare Krishna How are you doing, Prabhu? Krishna Krishna Hare Hare. What’s for prasadam today? Rama Rama Hare Hare. Or my dive bomber japa. Hare Krishna Hare Kreeeshna [imitates someone dozing off while chanting].” [laughter] You see. This is how I am paying my rent at the temple, by my dive bomber japa, my jabber japa, and my radar japa. You see.

So how do we help such a person? Well, the person has… you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. You can lead a horse to the water but you can not force him to slurp up the water. You see. It’s not possible. But you can try to inspire a person to do that by doing it yourself, by being pure yourself. And by being…the more we advance in Krishna consciousness, the more we relish the nectar, let’s just tell the truth here. To the extent that we’re not advanced in Krishna consciousness we suffer so many unnecessary anxieties. And to the extent that we are advanced in Krishna consciousness to that extent we are relishing the nectar like anything. And the more you relish the nectar if your cup gradually fills up then what happens? It starts overflowing.

So someone who becomes advanced in Krishna consciousness they have so much nectar. And actually the pure devotee as Prabhupada said in the Caitanya Caritamrta, the pure devotee has so much nectar, so much bliss, he’s relishing so much ecstasy that his nectar can flood the entire universe. So if you want to convince others to give up being a sahajiya so-called Vaishnava, to give up being a karmi, to give up being an aparadhi, to be giving up all these anarthas then you yourself become an ideal example of Krishna consciousness. And when they see you they will go, “this is amazing, how is this person so much happier than me? What is their secret? How do they relish this nectar that I’m not getting?” Just out of envy they’ll take it up. They’ll go “wow, this person is getting so much more nectar than I am, I want to get that nectar too. How can I get it?” So we have to ourselves be very fixed up in Krishna consciousness, so much so that everyone will want to get the nectar that we have and then we can train them. They will be ready to hear. Yes?

Chatalie: How can they be so ecstatic and blissful if they think they are wretched and stupid?

Srila Gurudeva: How can we?

Chatalie: How can they, a devotee be so ecstatic and blissful if they think they are wretched and stupid and foolish?

Srila Gurudeva: Ah, a very good question.

Chatalie: and vice versa.

Srila Gurudeva: If the pure devotee feels that he’s the most wretched, abominable snake that every stepped foot on the North Amercian continent. Well, snakes don’t have feet, but you know what I mean. [laughter] If he is the most abominable snake that ever existed in this world, how can he be so happy and enlivened? It seems like he would be hiding his head in shame. You know. It seems contradictory , doesn’t it?  But the fact is…Prabhupada told us that the uttama adhikari feels he’s the most fallen demon. But we saw how blissful Prabhupada was. The same time he told us that , we saw how blissful and ecstatic he actually was in Krishna consciousness.

 Have you seen that photograph where Janaki was stealing Prabhupada’s ticket? How that big smile on his face? Does he look like a miserable person? He looks like happiest person. As Sally Arghawal says, “when he laughed he took in the whole universe.” Oceanic. His laugh and his smile were oceanic. So we can understand by hearing from the scriptures, by hearing from eye witnesses that that person who is the most humble, who considers himself most wretched tastes the sweetest nectar at every minute. And we can actually experience that as we advance in Krishna consciousness. The more we feel ourselves fallen the more we actually feel ecstatic. And that’s experience…you ask any devotees who are highly advanced in Krishna consciousness if they don’t agree with this principle; that the more you feel yourself humble and lowly, that the more you become happy.

The proof is actually the Siksastakam:

Trnad api suni cena
Taror api sahisnuna
Amanina Manadena
Kirtaniyah sada harih
[Siksastakam 3]

One should chant the Holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street, being ready to offer all respect to others, without expecting even the slightest tinge of respect for oneself, in such a state of mind one can chant the Holy name of the Lord, sixteen rounds a day? No! Constantly. One can chant constantly the Holy names. If you consider yourself lower than the beer bottle out on Pie Neuf, the broken beer bottle. That is confirmed by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And if you don’t…if it sounds unbelievable, than just try it. Experiment with the science of bhakti. Try considering yourself very lowly and fallen, to be lower than the dirt. As Prabhupada, I just read this morning, he said, “lower than the stool of a hog”. Now we’re really getting down there, lower than the stool of a hog. Just put yourself in that humble state of mind and try chanting Hare Krishna and see how much nectar is available in the Holy name. And you’re heart will be flooded with transcendental bliss and you will know what I am talking about. Another question?  

Chatalie:  Well, is it because that such a humble person will feel so much gratitude towards every tiny little bit that comes in that this….. (inaudible) 

Srila Gurudeva:  Yes, that’s part of it. That is indeed part of it. He will feel how merciful is Krishna, that even though that I am such a low snake ,  I am allowed to step foot into His temple.  He will feel that Krishna is so kind to me. Prabhupada is so kind to me. The devotees are so kind to me that they allow me to be here even though I don’t deserve to be here. You see. You will feel the love.  You will feel how much love I am receiving even though I don’t deserve it and that will be the sweetest, happiest feeling and then you will want to reciprocate that love, and the more you reciprocate it then it just grows and grows and grows. So there was a question back here. 

Indian Gentleman: Hare Krishna movement under Prabhupada’s instruction following four regulative principles. 

Srila Gurudeva:  I heard Hare Krishna movement, What else did he say? 

Devotee: Four regulative principles. 

Srila Gurudeva:  Four regulative principles. Okay. 

Indian Gentleman: Hare Krishna movement under Prabhupada’s instruction following the four principles.  

Srila Gurudeva: That’s right.  

Indian Gentleman: But other um… but other sampradayas they also have Guru but may not be following the four principles… 

Srila Gurudeva:  That’s right, yes, uh’huh.

Indian Gentleman: but following Guru’s instructions. What is the position of that?

Srila Gurudeva: What’s their position? Yes.

Indian Gentleman: inaudible

Srila Gurudeva: So if someone has another Guru like a Gaudiya sannyasi guru and he says well you know, if you’re married it’s alright you can have as much sex as you want. There’s no question of when you’re married you can have, you can have as much fun as you want. You’re husband and wife. It’s okay. So there are some…. I hear there are some Gaudiya sannyasis who have that, who take that position. So, do we think therefore that Prabhupada is just some old fashioned fanatic? Or do we think that Prabhupada is right and they are wrong? It has to be one way or the other. It can’t be both.  Either Prabhupada is right or they are right. It’s one way or the other.  So if Prabhupada is right, we should follow Prabhupada and if Prabhupada is wrong, we should follow them. That’s logical. So we have to understand what is the actual, proper standard of human behavior.

It is confirmed in the Srimad Bhagavatam as we quoted earlier: Yan maithunadi grhamedhi sukham hi tuccham [SB 7.9.45]. That sexual activity, sexual intercourse is considered abominable pleasure according to Bhagavatam. So why would one who is on the path of transcendental knowledge be interested to engage in abominable activities which bring you down to the level , “I am male, you are female”  or vice versa? Why would one want to come down off the spiritual platform? I know one householder couple they wanted to have a child. You see in ISKCON you have to, not only are you limited to sex once a month for procreation, but you have to chant fifty rounds also before you try to have sex or before you have sex. So anyway, they were chanting their fifty rounds to get ready to have sex to try to have a child and then after chanting fifty rounds they were so high on the mantra they said, “next month, next month.” [laughter]

Because the actual position is, as Prabhupada said the position of the sex that how nasty it is. It’s like stool. If I told you go to the toilet room now, and put your mouth in the toilet and lick the inside of the commode. [laughter] Would you want to do that? So that is sex. Don’t you know in the Mahabharata when Vedavyasa was requested, yeah,Vedavyas…..Vyasadeva was requested to impregnate those girls on the order of his mother he did so but , he said, “no more, finished, don’t ask me to do this anymore.”  It’s not like, “oh, wow, here’s a great chance, I can enjoy.”  No. He found it to be a disgusting activity. But because there was some need, he did that. So actually sex is a disgusting activity. It’s a disgusting thing.

So if guru is encouraging for the sake of getting many followers in this Kali yuga, that yes you can have. He’s actually cheating his followers. He’s not actually liberating them from the bodily concept of life. So, therefore don’t go after these, these pseudo- Gaudiya, pseudo- Vaishnavas, who are giving these bogus principles which are against Vaishnava dharma. Do not be fooled by them. Stick with the greatest Vaishnava acarya in the history. This acarya, Srila Prabhupada. He’s the only acarya who had the potency to inundate the entire world with Krsna-bhakti. None of the Gaudiya sannyasis had the potency to do that.  All they are doing now is running after Prabhupada’s crumbs and trying to put them in their own pocket. That’s all they’re doing. [applause]

Prabhupada is the acarya who has the power to liberate the entire whole world. If you want to be part of that glorious day when Bhagavata-dharma flourishes in every town and village of this planet, then you stick tightly to Srila Prabhupada. Hare Krishna.

Devotees:  Haribol!

Srila Gurudeva: Jaya Prabhupada!

Devotee: Jai!!

Srila Gurudeva:  So, we only have twenty-five more minutes.

Guru Mataji: Can I ask a question about chanting?

Srila Gurudeva:  Yes.

Guru Mataji: What about different methods of chanting?

Srila Gurudeva:  What is it?

Guru Mataji: [inaudible] the japa-mala, would that be helpful for our Krishna consciousness?

Srila Gurudeva:  Could you speak louder please?

Guru Mataji: [inaudible] Chanting on the clickers.

Srila Gurudeva: Oh, yes, yes, yes. Yes, Mataji’s asking is chanting on the clickers bona fide? [laughter] Do we have any….Let’s see a hand of how many clicker chanters we have here in Montreal? Who chant on the clickers:  Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare , click. Hare. How many clicker chanters do we have here?

Mother Krta Mala: What’s wrong with it?

Srila Gurudeva: So, anyway. Maybe they don’t want to hold up their hands. But anyway…

Guru Mataji: She is asking what is wrong with it?

Srila Gurudeva: You’re asking what’s wrong?

Mother Krta Mala: If, if, if the senses of touch is engaged by clicking.

Srila Gurudeva: Okay. The question is the sense of touch is engaged by touching the clicker. So what’s the difficulty? Whats? The difficulty is that Prabhupada instructs us in his teachings to chant round the beads. It’s right there in his books.

Mother Krta Mala: Yes.

Srila Gurudeva: He didn’t say to chant on the clicker. He said to chant around the beads. And I just hope that someday as an initiating Guru, I won’t . When the disciples say, “Guru Maharaja, I’m getting ready for diksa, so I’m giving you my clicker so you can chant 108 clicks on it for me.” [Laughter] I’m just praying that day never comes. Um, that’s one detail. I mean. Prabhupada did not introduce clicker. So, this, I’m….I don’t want to offend any devotees who are using clicker but, I’m personally against clicker because it’s not in Prabhupada’s books. And Prabhupada states directly, “around the beads”. So therefore I’m on a little campaign called, “stamp out the clickers.”

Mataji (1): What about, I know some people they chant on the beads, but when they drive [inaudible] because

Srila Gurudeva: Chanting uh…. The thing is you don’t …. When you’re chanting you can just….. If you want to chant while you’re driving you need to….. First of all to drive safely you have to have two hands on the wheel, if some emergency happens, you need two hands on the wheel. Not that you’re chanting like this: Hare Krishna.  You could have a… you could kill yourself that way.

Guru Mataji:  Tenth offense.

Srila Gurudeva: You need two hands on the wheel while you’re driving. So if you want to chant, just chant on your lips. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama ….. That’s fine. But that’s not….You can’t chant your sixteen rounds.  Is that attentive chanting when you have to watch the traffic? [laughter] The…I mean I’ve, the …. You know I’ve taken driver training courses. You’re supposed to look on the road ahead, you supposed to look at the side view mirrors, then you’re supposed to look in the rearview.  You’re supposed to constantly see what’s happening in all four directions when you’re…to drive safely. So chanting while you’re driving is… even on the beads. You could say , “well, I can put one finger on the steering wheel.” [laughter] Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama , Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. That’s dangerous. You’re chanting is not attentive, nor is you’re driving attentive. So the best thing to do is to chant before you get in your car.

 If there’s an absolute emergency and maybe it’s the only thing you can do, then maybe there are extenuating circumstances. Even for a clicker, what can I say but….. that you know you’re, you’re in a prison or something and they confiscated your japa beads , you know, and you just happen to find a clicker laying around the cell. So, you know.  Actually when I was in jail, I one time went to jail for a very heinous crime. I was caught distributing Back to Godhead magazine by the police. So they threw me in jail and I didn’t…. My japa beads were back in the van, I guess. I didn’t take them out on the parking lot with me, so… and I was there overnight. What was I? How was I going to do my japa? I didn’t have the beads. But I, they let me keep my... We used to use … sankirtan candy as a way to... We would offer some candy.  Prabhupada said we could offer candy to the Deities and then distribute that. So I had these little, this little pieces of candy. So I was using the candy as a counter.

 I was chanting on…. Actually Vishnujana… The way we chant Gayatri….Are you second initiated? Gayatri there’s a way of counting up to ten on your fingers. So Vishnujana showed me, you can chant to ten on your fingers. You go, you know ten, twenty, thirty, fourty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety, a hundred and the last eight. So you can actually chant 108 on your fingers. If you’re ever arrested and you don’t have your beads, you can chant on your fingers. And then, but how to count the sixteen rounds? Well I had sixteen pieces of candy. So every time I’d do one round, I’d move another piece of candy to the other side of the cell bunk. In that way I counted my sixteen rounds, with the candy and then I ate it after that. [laughter] Because it was prasadam. I didn’t want to eat what they had in the prison, the jail, so I just ate the candy. But lucky by that time the temple president bailed me out and everything was okay. But the point is that you sometimes have to act according…. I couldn’t chant on the beads in that situation, so I chanted on my fingers. So you have to, there are time and place considerations, but whenever it is possible you should be chanting on your beads and not while you’re driving your car. There are emergencies.

Do you know there was one yogi who ate dog? Prabhupada mentions Visvamrta ate dog flesh. So there are emergencies. Prabhupada said that in…when he sent the devotees to Russia to preach, he told them they could eat meat if they had to, to stay in Russia for preaching.  Can you imagine being told by Prabhupada, “now you go preach in this country and if you have to eat meat?

Guru Mataji: So then that gives them….

Srila Gurudeva: But they didn’t have to. But Prabhupada authorized them if you need to eat meat and stay there and preach.

Guru Mataji: So then that gives them the license?

Srila Gurudeva: So that gives me the license now. Where’s the McDonalds? [laughter] No

Guru Mataji: Because the same thing is happening with mushrooms.

Srila Gurudeva: The same thing is happening what?

Guru Mataji: Mushrooms.

Srila Gurudeva: Mushrooms?

Guru Mataji:  In China, the devotees eat mushrooms so everybody everywhere eats mushrooms.[inaudible] Is that a concocted idea?

Srila Gurudeva: Well, there’s different statements in the Vedabase about mushrooms. Prabhupada said, actually in one place Prabhupada is saying that it should not be offered to the Deities. That’s a fine detail. Generally we avoid. There are some places where Prabhupada was saying mushrooms are okay also in his…..in the Vedabase. You can look up mushrooms in the Vedabase.

 But Prabhupada also says and this is a very important instruction. He said that, “it’s better not to take advantage of the concessions.” The spiritual master can give concessions for somebody who has some attachment. But the best thing Prabhupada says is not to take advantage of the concessions. So even though Prabhupada may have gave the concessions, that’s why we don’t, in our, as a general rule in ISKCON we don’t offer mushrooms. Because actually Prabhupada made it clear that they are from a dirty place. Some devotee who may have been attached he said,” alright, you can have, “so the devotee wouldn’t leave. You know. So there are concessions sometimes given to individuals by the spiritual master. But the intelligent person thinks, “I don’t want to take advantage of the concessions. Let me just go with what will please Srila Prabhupada the most. Let me do that.” That’s what the intelligent devotee will do because that’s how you will make quick advancement. Okay.

Mother Krta Mala: What is the position of a devotee who do service nicely, have nice relationships with the devotees, but don’t chant Hare Krishna?

Srila Gurudeva: Okay. If someone has nice relationships with the devotees, they do nice service, and they do not chant Hare Krishna, they are running the danger of losing, of losing the association of devotees and losing that nice service. There are examples of that. There was one sannyasi actually that was very powerful preacher. He organized book distribution in India when Prabhupada was here. But he didn’t want to chant his rounds. He just didn’t feel like chanting japa. Prabhupada actually gave him a GBC position and everything because he was valuable service. But you know what happen after Prabhupada left? He lost it. He just completely fell into maya. He became big, fat, ridiculously obese person.  So that’s…. formerly he was a very staunch, powerful sannyasi. But he wouldn’t chant Hare Krishna. He wouldn’t chant japa. So if you want longevity in Krishna consciousness then don’t neglect chanting your 16 rounds. If you want staying power in Krishna consciousness chant your 16 rounds. Otherwise you may be here today and gone tomorrow. Questions more?

Devotee (3) :  Sometimes devotees they’re 16 rounds aren’t  finished, there’s only one or two rounds left. How to do it?

Srila Gurudeva: What was the question?

Devotee(3):  Everyday devotee should do 16 rounds.

Srila Gurudeva: Yeah, 16 rounds.

Devotee(3):  So in case when he is busy sometimes.

Guru Mataji: In case of busyness. If he is busy.

Other Devotee:  Like service.

Srila Gurudeva: If you are very busy, you don’t have time to chant.

Devotee(3):  Missing one or two.

Guru Mataji: Chants one or two.

Srila Gurudeva: You only chant one or two rounds. Well..

Guru Mataji: He’s missing one or two.

Srila Gurudeva: Oh you missed, you skipped two rounds. You did only 14. Well, I have….there’s different ways….. If you are really serious there’s different ways you can go about it by making sure you do 16 rounds. There’s different techniques according to different individuals. But one technique is this; you just don’t eat everyday until you finish your rounds. And I guarantee you; you’ll finish your rounds. [laughter] It’s very simple. Don’t eat until you finish your 16 rounds. Even if you have to rush to the office, you just carry you’re prasadam in a brown bag and every break you have you chant one or two japa. Your lunch break you chant. You may have to wait until you come home at night. At nine o’clock at night you finish your 16 rounds and then you can take prasadam. I guarantee you that technique, if you can handle it, it’s a little tough maybe for some people but that, if you can follow that system you will definitely chant 16 rounds everyday.

Prabhupada…..Srutakirti related how Prabhupada explained when he was a householder, he would do four rounds before breakfast, four rounds before lunch, four rounds before dinner, and four rounds before taking rest. That’s a little more mellow way to do it, I guess.  But if you are really serious, Krishna wants you to become His pure devotee and He is in charge of everything that is happening in this world. If you show Krishna that you are determined to become His pure devotee, He will arrange your life for you in such a way that you can definitely finish 16 rounds everyday without fail. It’s simply a matter of your sincerity.

Devotee(3):  My question is if [continues speaking while Guru Mataji begins]

Guru Mataji: In case.. In case if he misses one or two during. In case if he misses one or two [devotee(3) still speaking]

Srila Gurudeva: Huh?

Guru Mataji: In case if he misses one or two [devotee (3) still speaking]

Srila Gurudeva: I can’t hear both of you at the same time. Let him finish first and then tell me.

Guru Mataji: That’s what I am trying to explain.

Srila Gurudeva: He has to finish speaking first before I can hear you. Are you finished? Okay say everything you wanted to say.

Devotee (3):  In case ….In case I miss one or two rounds.

Guru Mataji: That’s what I was trying to say.

Srila Gurudeva: No, you can’t speak when he is speaking. I can’t hear both of you at the same time.  Let him finish totally and then you tell me. Are you finished? Okay, what did he say?

Guru Mataji: He said, “in case he misses one day.”

Srila Gurudeva: Oh, in case you miss one day. Oh, you just chant extra the next day, that’s all. Yeah, Prabhupada says that in the Nectar of Devotion. Let’s say one day you were so busy, you know. You had an assignment at work, you only got 14 done and it’s absolutely difficult, impossible, then do 18 the next day. No problem. That’s alright.  Prabhupada authorizes that. But don’t make it a habit. Just use it under emergency conditions. Yes?

Devotee (4): Regarding the Nirjala Ekadasi, without any water. How strict one has to follow?

Srila Gurudeva: So the question is, is  Nirjala Ekadasi an absolute requirement for devotees? Actually Prabhupada explained in one lecture he gave in Dallas that actually the real meaning of ekadasi ; every ekadasi is actually nirjala. That’s the strict following of every single ekadasi. No eating, no drinking water and no sleeping also. Stay up all night and chant until it’s time for the break fast when the sun comes up, you know. That’s the strict following of every single ekadasi.

But Prabhupada understanding our natures, he made ekadasi a day in the beginning where ekadasi meant we had a feast. We used to have peanuts and… the standard ekadasi feast was, you know, carrot halava, peanuts…. I remember those were the two things that we would always have on ekadasi. We would always have a feast on ekadasi. Prabhupada, it was a feast day when we joined ISKCON in the old days. It was always a feast day. So the Nirjala Ekadasi is still an option. The one year…the one time a year. It’s very nice if you can do it. I’ve done it many times. It’s actually very ecstatic and enlivening.  It’s not required for any devotee that they have to do the Nirjala Ekadasi , but it’s very enlivening. So I recommend it for any one who would like to do it. There are mandatory fast days like Janmastami and Gaura Purnima. But the Nirjala is not a mandatory fast day given by Prabhupada. It’s an optional day.

Devotee (4): And also during Janmastami and Gaura Purnima , are we supposed to take ekadasi prasadam?  

Srila Gurudeva: This is….There is some precedence for Gaura Purnima being an ekadasi feast. Actually Prabhupada when he originally gave directions on the Gaura Purnima he did establish it as an ekadasi feast. And the… In Mayapur they do that, I know, Gaura Purnima they have an ekadasi feast. So in ISKCON I’ve seen it go both ways.  So what’s the actual standard? Is there some hard and fast rule that absolutely has to be adhered to? Is it sinful to have a non-ekadasi feast on Janmastami and Gaura Purnima? I’d have to research that one, to be able to answer it authoritatively.  You give me your e-mail address, I can…. I can… after I research it I can give you further information because I don’t….There are many temples that are having regular prasadam on, you know, Gaura Purnima and Janmastami. I’ve seen it go both ways within our society.  A good person to ask would be Hari Sauri because he traveled with Prabhupada and saw a lot and took notes.  He would be a good person to ask about that question.  But so I don’t…that would have to be researched. Questions more?

Vilasini Mataji:  What does it mean to be satisfied within the self like it says in the Bhagavad-Gita?

Srila Gurudeva: What does it mean to be self-satisfied? Atma-rama. That means you think, I am God and now I just worship myself and now I’m totally satisfied? [laughter] No. Self satisfied means….let’s see there’s….Self Contained Uttama-sloka Bhakti Apparatus. SCUBA. Anyway, that means that simply by being absorbed in devotional service, that alone will satisfy you. You don’t need anything else. You don’t need money. You don’t need, you don’t need followers. You don’t need women or in your case, you don’t need men. You see. Na dhanam, na janam na sundarim kavitam jagadisa kamaye.  You don’t even need liberation from the cycle of birth and death. All you need is devotional service. Krishna is there and you are there. And all you have to have to be totally happy and satisfied is to restablish your loving relationship with Krishna. That’s called self-satisfied. Nothing external.

Prabhupada said that all a devotee needs to be happy is some, a place to lay down at night, some prasad, little prasad, well sufficient prasad obviously and tons of service. That’s all a devotee needs to be happy. A place to lie down, enough prasadam to keep the energy level up and tons of devotional service to render. That’s all a devotee needs. That’s called self-satisfaction. Not that I have to have this position, that position, this recognition, that recognition. It’s not necessary. All I need is service. Yes?

Mother Krta Mala: What about if devotee gets into doing so much service, he has not time for chanting, for reading, sometimes for taking prasadam?  So much service to do. And he has got taste and he just really….

Srila Gurudeva: Well then he has to negotiate with his authorities because that person obviously is a very valuable devotee if they are doing so much service. So he has some bargaining power with the authorities, obviously. He has to go in and negotiate with his authorities that, you know, I really, I need some balance here. I need to be able to sit down and hear some classes. I need this and that, otherwise you know, there’s many other, there’s many temples in our movement. I don’t have to serve in this temple. I can serve at another temple, also. Every devotee that’s sincerely absorbed in working hard for Lord Caitanya has bargaining power. If there not being facilitated to chant their rounds, they certainly should do something about it. And if you don’t know how to negotiate, then talk to your spiritual master and have him negotiate on your behalf. Questions more? Yes?

Devotee (5): [inaudible]

Srila Gurudeva: The best thing is come….the echo…you come up here and then I can…..the echo factor completely….Just come right, come right up here. Then I can easily hear what you’re saying

 Devotee (5): What is the position of a devotee who takes initiation from spiritual master then it happens that the spiritual master goes away?

Srila Gurudeva: Oh the spiritual master leaves?

Devotee (5): Then the second time takes initiation, then he goes away. And then the devotee decides, “that’s enough.”

Srila Gurudeva: Yeah.

Devotee (5): I’m not going to take more initiation.

Srila Gurudeva: Well Prabhupada explains in the Srimad-Bhagavatam purport, he places himself very, very humbly. Any time anyone of us read this it’s just amazing, Prabhupada’s humility. He says, “sometimes I think that I am very crippled in many ways and I am simply thinking that if one of my disciples becomes sufficiently strong then he can carry me back to Godhead.”

So ,if a person actually preached to you  very wonderfully and enlivened you in your service to Krishna and inspired you to become a devotee and then they have fallen into maya. That they gave you diksa and then they fell down. So you can actually think, “now he helped me, now how can I save this person. “ You see. Now you become Guru of that person and try to save them. And if they’re not willing to hear from you then at least you should pray for their liberation. That this person helped me so much in my spiritual life.  They introduced me to Krishna consciousness. They inspired me to chant.  But somehow or the other they, they, they  became a fatality to maya. So now let me pray for this, that person because he was, he helped me now that he may also be saved. That’s one thing you can do. Take the mood of saving those persons who may have helped you in the past. That’s one thing.  I recommend that because it’s given right there in Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Devotee (5): [inaudible]

Srila Gurudeva: Huh?

Devotee (5): [inaudible] Is our spiritual master, is he still in connection with Prabhupada?

Srila Gurudeva: Oh, is he still connected? The spiritual master is actually. If the spiritual master is a bona fide spiritual master to begin with and you get diksa from him into our ISKCON movement and if he falls away. You see he connected you with Prabhupada, that’s a fact. He connected you with Srila Prabhupada and now he has in fact connected you with our whole parampara system by giving you initiation and now he’s fallen out but, your connection is still there. It’s not required that you have to get re-initiated. It’s not absolutely required. No one is going to pressure you that you have to get initiated because you are formally initiated into our sampradaya. That initiation is a fact even the initiator fell into difficulty your initiation is still there. If you are still following what is in Prabhupada’s books your connection with the guru-parampara system is there even though your connector went bad. Your connection is still there.

Devotee (5): But is it recommended for such a devotee…

Srila Gurudeva: Huh?

Devotee (5):  Is it recommended for such a devotee at least to take shelter of siksa guru?

Srila Gurudeva: That’s up to you. It’s up to the individual devotee. I would say that’s an individual case-by-case matter. If you are very strong in your Krishna consciousness it’s not absolutely required that you have to. As far as taking shelter…Yes,you must take shelter of senior devotees. We all do that. I take shelter of my senior Godbrothers. That’s how I have strength. If I didn’t take shelter of my senior Godbrothers, I would be nowhere. Every devotee must take shelter of senior Vaishnavas to be strong in Krishna consciousness. I have so many Godbrothers that are a shelter for me and that gives me strength. So every….Its not that you necessarily have to be reinitiated but, you have to take shelter of senior devotees. You shouldn’t feel proud thinking that I am strong on my own now. The more you become, feel yourself weak and dependent on the shelter of senior devotees, that is your strength. You must take shelter of senior devotees. We all have to do that.

Devotee (5): What about devotees who got instructions from Srila Prabhupada but they didn’t take initiation? But they still, some of them they consider like disciples of Prabhupada but, they didn’t…

Srila Gurudeva: Yes, Ritvik, ritvik. So what about the ritvik position? That….

Devotee (5): No, not the Ritvik.

Srila Gurudeva: Oh, okay. Alright. So what is the question?

Devotee (5): But they think that I got instructions from Prabhupada…

Srila Gurudeva:  Yes. Siksa you have gotten Siksa you are getting but not diksa.

Devotee(5): Now they think I am almost like Srila Prabhupada’s disciple so…

Srila Gurudeva: Almost but, not quite.

Devotee(5): They think that I….

Srila Gurudeva: They are almost but, that is mental speculation because Prabhupada says that one must take diksa. Prabhupada, it’s very clearly presented that one has to take diksa from a living spiritual master. They say well Prabhupada’s living he’s eternal.  But no, physically living spiritual master. That is the Vedic system. You have to get your diksa from a physically living spiritual master. That is the Vedic system.

tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet tasmad  [Mundaka Upanisad 1.2.12]

Tasmad gurum prapadyeta jijnasum sreya uttamam [Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3.21]

You must take. Otherwise if we take this principle well I can take whoever I am getting siksa from that will be my diksa guru. So actually we can just be the disciples of Krishna. We can be Brahma’s Godbrothers. You see. We’ll just be disciples……We’ll just be the Godbrothers of Lord Brahma. We’ll just be all disciples of Krsna. Who needs, who needs anyone? We don’t Prabhupada. We don’t need Bhaktisiddhanta. We’ll just go all the way to the top. Be on the highest level. Be Brahma’s Godbrothers.  We’ll just be all disciples of Krishna. You see. No. Evam parampara. It is understood through disciplic succession. If you can, if you can think whoever I am getting siksa from they are my diksa guru then what’s the meaning of disciplic succession? There is no meaning to disciplic succession. Isn’t it? If whoever I get siksa from is my diksa guru then there’s no meaning to the term disciplic succession.  Then I can read Krishna’s words in the Bhagavad-Gita and Krishna is my diksa guru. Isn’t it?

So then there…so the system is… Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh [ BG 4.2] Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati wrote a song glorifying the whole disciplic succession: [sings]  krsna hoite catur-mukha, hoy krsna-sevonmukha,  whole song listing the whole disciplic succession. He sang it; he wrote a beautiful song glorifying this whole line of acaryas. So what’s the need of that if you can be the diksa disciple of who ever you are getting siksa.  Just the… You know.  Krsna says sarva dharma parityajya  [ BG 18.66] He’s my diksa guru. I got His siksa now He’s my diksa guru. Then what is the meaning of disciplic sucession? There is no meaning. So we can understand because Krishna is emphasizing the importance. Therefore we can understand that we have to follow the system. You cannot reinvent the Vaishnava system and expect to become a pure devotee.  You may be a pseudo-devotee inventing a new system but, you can not actually go all the way to Krsna-prema if you invent your own system. Prabhupada very clearly gave a system of how we can advance in Krishna consciousness and if we follow that then our lives will become perfect. If we try to invent a new system we are nowhere, absolutely nowhere.

So we have now gone overtime.  So I don’t want to hold the, hold you up. Everyone has things to do but,I really much appreciate this opportunity to churn the ocean of what is pure devotional service. This has been a wonderful opportunity for me also to dive deeper into understanding and appreciating this unlimited ocean of pure devotional service. I hope that you have been inspired by this that now you are determined that at every minute that every, that you are going to carefully watch every thought, every word and every deed in all times, all places, and circumstances. That your thoughts, words and deeds are completely pleasing to Krishna and Guru.  Thank you very much. Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!

Assembled devotees:  Jaya!!


Transcribed by Her Grace Radhapriya devi dasi

Index of Transcribed Lectures