243. 6 principles

I am listening to Prabhupad lectures while at work. It’s so nice to hear his voice from years gone by while I toil away at my desk. On a good day, I can listen to at least 6 lectures. Pretty good, huh?

Anyways, one of the lectures today was from October 1970 and he lists 6 important principles we should abide by for being successful in bhakti and to receive Krishna’s blessings.

They are as follows :

(1) Enthusiasm
(2) Patience
(3) Firm conviction
(4) Strict follow of regulative principles
(5) Being straightforward in all dealings without duplicity
(6) Always in the association of devotees

Every point makes complete sense.


218. Srila Prabhupad Lecture Summary 12: Krishna can do everything & anything !

A summary of my understanding of Prabhupad’s lecture today:

5.5.33, Vrindhavan
November 22, 1976

Because Lord Ṛṣabhadeva remained in that condition, the public did not disturb Him, but no bad aroma emanated from His stool and urine. Quite the contrary, His stool and urine were so aromatic that they filled eighty miles of the countryside with a pleasant fragrance.

One can practically check if one who claims to be God is truly a God or not. Ask them to pass stool and see how it smells. It’s a very simple test. Can they do it?

Krishna is God and He can do whatever He wants. A cow dung makes an impure place pure. So, if by Krishna’s grace, the stool of an animal can be so pure, what to speak of Krishna’s stool. Less intelligent people do not know that the body of the Lord and their own body is completely different. Krishna’s body is completely transcendental whereas theirs are made of material elements.

Anyone who understands Krishna is at once liberated. But understanding Him takes time. However, bhakti-yoga is so easy that by simply chanting His names and honoring prasadam, one becomes eligible to understand Krishna.

To understand Krsna, you require your tongue. Generally we understand by seeing or by hearing. Hearing is there, but here it is recommended tongue, especially. Why tongue is used? Because if you simply chant Hare Krsna by your tongue and taste Krsna prasadam, you will understand Krsna. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah. If you make it a promise that “I shall not talk anything except Krsna’s message,” and if you promise that “I shall not take anything which is not offered to Krsna,” these two things, this prasadam and chanting, will make you perfect to understand Krsna. In another place Krsna says, mayy asakta-manah partha yogam yunjan mad-asrayah. This is yoga, bhakti-yoga. How easy it is. There are so many yogas, but if you practice bhakti-yoga you become first-class yogi.

Also, be careful not to offend a Vaishnava. Even if you offend a Vaishnava, that Vaishnava because of his exalted nature will forgive you but Krishna will remember. He will immediately protect his devotees who are insulted. We can understand this from the story of Dhurvasa Muni who was chased by Sudarshan Chakra because of his insult to Ambarisa Maharaj who was a devotee of the Lord. Dhurvasa muni was a great yogi but he was defeated in front of Ambarisa Maharaj was a devotee.

So, the only way to understand Krishna is by devotional service and not by other yoga methods. If you are working, then you must give up the results of your work to Krishna. This is Karma yoga. You must give your money to Krishna. Otherwise, you will use it to make atom bombs and kill each other.

217. Srila Prabhupad Lecture Summary 11 : Misery after Misery

Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.34
Vrndavana, November 21, 1976

In this way Lord Ṛṣabhadeva followed the behavior of cows, deer and crows. Sometimes He moved or walked, and sometimes He sat down in one place. Sometimes He lay down, behaving exactly like cows, deer and crows. In that way, He ate, drank, passed stool and urine and cheated the people in this way.

Today Prabahupad once again spoke about the importance of the human form of life and how it’s purpose is not for the sole purpose of sex. Lord Rsahbadev, although he was the emperor of the world, his bodily activities in the “avadhuta” stage was just like animals thereby showing us that as long as we are connected with material activities, our bodily activities are no way different to those of animals. Narottam Das Thankur says that if a person is above the bodily concept of life, he is liberated. And the bodily concept of life can be forgotten only when one accepts spiritual life. There is one crude example of how Stalin, the Communist leader refused anesthetic for his stomach surgery because he had the determination to go though the pain. This is because he was so attached to his ideals and goals in life, that the pain of the body was not a problem.

Similarly, one should always be in the thought of how to serve Krishna. Thinking this way, one is above the bodily concept of life. Our bodily activities, our mind and our words should be used in Krishna’s service and this will eventually purify one’s senses. Unlike Mayavadis, we do not stop our activities. This is not possible. It’s a temporary solution and one is sure to fall down.  And to purify one’s senses, one has to approach a guru and ask him, “What shall I do?”. This is what Sanatan Gosvami did. Although, he was in such a big post dealing with so many important men, he gave them up.

Give up material activities and simple work for Krishna. The general people are very poor and crippled. They do not know anything except to maintain a family. If one can maintain a wife and children, he is considered successful. The “grihamedis” happiness is sexul intercourse. Once he has children and raises them to adults, he then prepares them for sex through pompous marriage. Then they have children who grow up as adults and then its their turn to have facilities for sex. This is their life. They have so much to learn.

So anyone who can maintain like this himself, his children, with wife and eating, ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam, then he is expert. And if he becomes a sannyasi, brahmacari, does not take part in these stereotyped activities, then he is useless, escaping from the world, escaping. They do not take the responsibility. But that is not the fact. If one can maintain himself as brahmacari, he is escaping all the tribulations of this material world, escaping certainly, but he is escaping all the tribulations of the material world…, so much botheration.
– SP

So, we must cease our material activities and use our body for spiritual activities only. This is real life.

216. Srila Prabhupad Lecture 10 : Mind Control

My understanding of today’s Prabhupad’s lecture :

SB 5.6.4
Vrindhavan, 26 Nov 1976

An unchaste woman is very easily carried away by paramours, and it sometimes happens that her husband is violently killed by her paramours. If the yogi gives his mind a chance and does not restrain it, his mind will give facility to enemies like lust, anger and greed, and they will doubtlessly kill the yogi.

Srimad Bhagavatam discusses many things scientifically, whether it may religious, social or political. In such books, it’s mentioned that women are like children who if you give freedom will do whatever they like and they become spoilt. Such statements might not be palatable but this is a fact and we must not hide things artificially. Women should be protected by father, husband and sons. If women become polluted, then its a very dangerious situation. You must realize that this is not a genaralization but there are women like this. Bhishma said that a woman’s asset is her shyness. If that shyness is broken, then there will be disaster.

All these instructions are given to control the mind. Mind is never satisfied with old things. As per Vedic civilization, it advices that we must not try and invent new things. But we  must be happy with what nature provides. We must use the time to develop one’s Krishna Consciousness. After millions and millions of time and millions of life forms later, we have finally received this human body.  Without Vedic culture and Varnashrama, we are in animal life. Ramananda Raya, in his series of answers mentioned to Lord Chaitanya that the objective of human life is Varnashram. This is the beginning of life.

So we should be very careful. We have got this opportunity of understanding Krsna consciousness. We should not waste a single moment without Krsna consciousness. Avyartha-kalatvam. That is advised by Rupa Gosvami. Every moment we shall count, “Whether I have wasted it or utilized it?” This is life. – Srila Prabhupad

215. Srila Prabhupad Lecture 9 : Kama to Prema

SB 5.6.5
Vrindhavan, 27 Nov 1976

The mind is the root cause of lust, anger, pride, greed, lamentation, illusion and fear. Combined, these constitute bondage to fruitive activity. What learned man would put faith in the mind?

A “BUDHA” is someone who is aware of everything. An intelligent person will not accept greediness, lust, madness, pride, lamentation, illusion, fear etc. When we are too materially absorbed, then there is fear. As long as we are interested in the bodily concept of life, these base qualities are present. But when we are spiritually placed, these things do not exist. These are the symptons of Karma bhandha.

If we devot ourselves in the service of God, the face of these problems will change. Kama (desire) will be transformed into how to serve Krishna. So, this sense gratification or fruitive activities can now be used for Krishna’s service. We wanted to build a very beautiful temple for Sri Krishna Balaram whereas someone else may want to build a skyscraper. Both the groups of people want an expensive beautiful building. The difference is that one is acting is Prema and the other in Kama.

Everyone has desires and one cannot be desireless. We do not surpress our desires by force. So, one must use their desires in Krishna’s service. This is Prema. Similiraly the affairs of Krishna with Gopis were on the level of Prema and not Kama. In the material world, no one wants to please anyone but himself. This is Kama. Prema is pleasing Krishna. This is the difference.

When desire is not fulfilled, then there is anger. So, the root cause is Karma kanda. I get a body with a varieties of desires, anger, madness etc based on my previous activities. When you get a spiritual body, the desires will be different. Right now, the desires are designated. In the spiritual world, the only desire is to satisfy Krishna. Material world means to forget Krishna and satisfy oneself. Those who have anger can also utilize this quality in Krishna’s service. Use your anger against people who attack the mission of Krishna Consciousness.

When a material person cannot see something they like they get angry. But a devotee, even though he cannot see Krishna, he still does not change his love for Krishna although he is disappointed. Renouncing means to give up the mentality of sense gratification. Whatever you do , do it for Krishna. Otherwise you will be bound up in reactions. Don’t accept this Karma bhanda. We must purify our desires. When you serve Krishna, don’t come back into the mentality of being an Indian or American etc. This is not a stage of being a devotee. Only remember that we are all eternally a servant of Krishna. This is the pure stage.

Unless you are an expert in devotional service through practical application and you are qualified then maybe someday you may be able to understand the love between Krishna and Radha. You should see how much you are free from the pollution in your mind regarding lust, anger etc. We must not manufacture our own way of satisfying Krishna. But we must follow the orders of Guru and follow the regulative principles.

“The Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa-praṇaya, loving affairs of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, this is not ordinary thing. When you worship Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, we are not fit for that…..we shall think ourself as servant of Kṛṣṇa, eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, under the guidance, ādau gurvāśrayam. So if we want to do something, we must inquire from guru, sad dharma….. We must follow.” – SP

214. Srila Prabhupad Lecture 8 : The Medical Process

A late night post of a summary of Prabhupad’s lecture I listened to :

SB 5.6.10 : 28 Dec 1976 : Mumbai

People who are lowest among men and bewildered by the illusory energy of the Supreme Lord will give up the original varṇāśrama-dharma and its rules and regulations. They will abandon bathing three times daily and worshiping the Lord. Abandoning cleanliness and neglecting the Supreme Lord, they will accept nonsensical principles. Not regularly bathing or washing their mouths regularly, they will always remain unclean, and they will pluck out their hair. Following a concocted religion, they will flourish. During this age of Kali, people are more inclined to irreligious systems. Consequently these people will naturally deride Vedic authority, the followers of Vedic authority, the brāhmaṇas, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the devotees.

Human civilization begins by following the Varnashrama dharma. As you can see in today’s world, this is absolutely non-existent. And in India, it exists by name only and not followed the way it was followed in the ancient past. We cannot exist in a classless society. It’s not possible to break this system. In a society, there must be managers and workers. In Varnashrama system, the managers are the Brahmanas and Kshatriyas whereas the workers are the Vaishyas and Sudras. Below the Sudras are Chandalas who are in the lowest category of character and such individuals were in full control of the Kshatriyas. Because the Chandalas will create chaos. And the situation in the world today is that everyone is a Chandala.

The aim of human life is to understand God. Unfortunately, 99.9% will either deny God or they have no clear idea of God or they have no general interest in God. But we have full description of the Lord through the recordings in Srimad Bhagavatam and other Vedic literatures. Lord has clearly mentioned that He and the living entities existed in the past and will exist in the future. Both the Lord and the living entities are eternal. The destruction of the material body does not destroy the soul. This knowledge cannot be understood individually but only through the Varnashram system. This is the medical process of curing people.

Our activities are in the plane of going back to Godhead whereas those of the material people are in the plane of going to the hellish condition of life. Material means to satisfy one’s senses. But we must do everything for the satisfaction of Krishna. We must be careful not be affected by Karma. We are wasting time in this modern civilization. It’s dangerous and a soul killing way of life. And people caught up in this system of life will reject God and consider Krishna Consciousness and any God related activity to be brain-washing and mind control. This is Kali-Yuga.

213. Srila Prabhupad Lecture 7 : Contaminated Life

And today’s summary of Prabhupad lecture that I understood as follows :

SB 5.5.1 : Dec 25 1976, Mumbai

Lord Rsabhadeva told His sons: My dear boys, of all the living entities who have accepted material bodies in this world, one who has been awarded this human form should not work hard day and night simply for sense gratification, which is available even for dogs and hogs that eat stool. One should engage in penance and austerity to attain the divine position of devotional service. By such activity, one’s heart is purified, and when one attains this position, he attains eternal, blissful life, which is transcendental to material happiness and which continues forever.

When we are in the lower levels of life, we are completely governed by the laws of nature. The Lord has multitude of energies but they are summarized into 3 divisions – Sattva, Raja and Tama guna. The living entities are gradually evolving from the lowest mode to the highest mode. Once you reach the highest mode, there is still chance of falling down to the lower modes. So, even though you may have reached the brahmanical stage which is sattva, there is no guarantee that you will not be overpowered by the other 2 gunas. This is the material world and one’s business is not finished just because you are in the sattva guna. But if you want to be above the material platform, then you need to take yourself to the devotional platform. At this stage, you are outside the jurisdiction of the 3 gunas.

Learned scholars do not consider the body – dead or alive as the subject matter of learning. Krishna reminds Arjun that such a talk is for fools and not suited for pundits. People who are attached to their bodies are no different from animals. When we elect a leader who have no spiritual knowledge, then their position is similar to us – stuck in the bodily concept of life. All involved are in the category of dogs, hogs, camels and asses.

Our existence is so contaminated. Actually, we are not subjected to take birth or die. We are eternal. But where do people get such knowledge nowadays? There is no educational institution that imparts such important piece of information. We are part and parcels of Krishna and this information is established by God Himself and not made up by mundane people.

Krsna says that he is the seed-giving father. Then why should we bother about birth control. Krsna is the controller. So, how you control population? Krishna is not a poor man. He knows the past, present and future. The cause for today’s problem is because of the Godless civilization. We are suffering because of our egos. It is predicted in SB that people gradually will suffer form 3 things – scarcity of rain, scarcity of grains and heavy taxes. People will be so harassed that they will be forced to leave home. In future, people will not get any food. There will be more and more sufferings yet to come.

Go to the village. This is recommended. ISKCON has such places where we are producing our own food, own milk, own clothes. And chanting Hare Krishna at the same time. This is simple life. Rectify your existence. Take the formula of devotional activity. This place is a place of absolute misery and yet we are making adjustments to solve these miseries. One needs a guru who can deliver a person from this place of misery. This is waste of time and life. Do not try to be an enjoyer and satisfy the senses but surrender and take up Krishna Consciousness.