The following is a lecture given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami, on September 14th, 1982 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The class begins with a reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, 8th Canto, Chapter 8, Verse 22 and 23.
Translation by His Divine Grace, Srila Prabhupada:
“Someone may have longevity but not have auspiciousness or good behavior. Someone may have both auspiciousness and good behavior, but the duration of his life is not fixed. Although such demigods as Lord Siva have eternal life, they have inauspicious habits like living in crematoriums. And even if others are well qualified in all respects, they are not devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”
Translation with repetition:[break]
vavre varam sarva-gunair apeksitam
rama mukundam nirapeksam ipsitam
eva… evam vimrsyavyabhicari-sad-gunair
vavre varam sarva-gunair apeksitam
rama mukundam nirapeksam ipsitam
“Sukadeva Gosvami continued: In this way, after full deliberation, the goddess of fortune accepted Mukunda as her husband because although He is independent and not in want of her, He possesses all transcendental qualities and mystic powers and is therefore the most desirable.”
Sukadeva Gosvami continued: In this way, after full deliberation,
Sukadeva Gosvami continued:
Purport by Srila Prabhupada:
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Mukunda, is self-sufficient. Since He is fully independent, He was not in want of the support or association of Laksmidevi. Nonetheless, Laksmidevi, the goddess of fortune, accepted Him as her husband.” Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purport of Text 22 and 23, Chapter 8, Canto 8, in the matter… of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, in the matter of Churning of the Milk Ocean. So in continuation of our class yesterday. Laksmidevi has gone around to all of the demigods, all of the demons and all the great personalities present and decided that the only one, who is fully independent, who is in the topmost position is Lord Vishnu, Mukunda. There was a disciple of Bhaktisiddhanta Thakura from Germany, who about 40, 50 years ago visited India. Prabhupada told this story. He was one of those rare… they had very expert German Sanskrit scholars. So he went around India and he studied the Sanskrit texts, looked at all the deities, trying to find out who was in the topmost position. So, then when he visited Bhaktisiddhanta Thakura, might have before his initiation, then uh… it must have been. And he was asked, “What was his conclusion?” So he replied that his conclusion was that, Krishna must be the highest deity. Said “Why? How you have reached that conclusion?” Well, he gave so many reasons and then in a simple way he also just expressed that, “When you see all the different deities. Just like Kali has got the big chopper, each deity… Shiva is meditating, and each deity is doing something, meditating on someone else or doing some kind of work, building a universe, whatever…”, when he saw the deity of Radha Krishna, then he saw that Krishna was simply dancing, playing on the flute. He was the only one who was enjoying. Therefore, that was the clincher that Krishna was the topmost, His only purpose is to enjoy. In India, if you go into the government offices, you see on some of the clerks’ office desks, files stacked up, three, four stacks, about three, four feet high, but when you go into the minister’s office, he has a little stack. And when you go into the higher offices then they… the people just come in. He just gives a little signature and they walk out, that’s all. So… also in big corporations. The Lord is in his original position simply enjoying with his devotees, transcendental loving relations.
For maintaining the universal governments, universal or cosmic organizations, He expands himself into the Vishnu form, Narayana. Although Narayana is also the Supreme, He is independent. He voluntarily accepts to maintain everything. That’s why even amongst the Vishnu forms, although they are all the same person, although uniquely, each of the forms has got a particular individual personality in spite of being the same person. It’s an inconceivable situation. That the Lord; in those different Vishnu forms, is maintaining the universe.
So, Prabhupadaa also explained that you can create something it’s not so difficult. And it’s even easier to destroy it, but to maintain something, that’s very difficult. Just like in America, you find that many people are getting married, doesn’t seem to be so difficult. And a lot of people are also becoming divorced. It also doesn’t seem to be very difficult. But staying together, trying to maintain a relationship on some working basis, that’s much more difficult. So, in this material world, people create things and they destroy things, but maintaining. Just like the United Nations always supposed to be maintaining peace, but they’re never able to do it. Ultimately nobody cares what they say, when it comes down to it.
So, this is the difficulty. In the universe… so therefore, Krishna Himself, He expanded into Vishnu and so Vishnu is maintaining things so things, otherwise how would things go on? But He does so through His energies, not that He personally has to do anything Himself, except to occasionally come down to bless His devotees. Sometimes He puts the demons in their place by blessing the demigods.
So, in any case, Laksmi, the Goddess of Fortune, we see that she’s decided to stay with Mukunda. Actually, Prabhupada explained that She’s always steady with Narayana, with Krishna. But, the Goddess of Fortune, everywhere else is known as canchalya, or Chanchala, she is very flickering, very whimsical. People are just hoping upon hope that the Goddess of Fortune will always be with them, so they can make a lot of money. So that they can enjoy all type of opulence. But when a person is not a devotee of the Lord, she doesn’t stay any place very long. In India they have all kinds of theories, I don’t know whether they are true or not. Some people think, well, the Goddess of Fortune, can only stay in your family for three generations. After that, even the wealthiest person will go broke. This type, they have all kind of speculations. But, uh, so when the generations are getting thin and they know it’s time to become a devotee of Narayana now because we’ll lose. Even the mayavadi tell the people; yes, you should worship Narayana if you want to keep Laksmi in your house.
When Ravana captured Sita, that was the complaint. That one of the… his family members, Vebhisana or someone, had a dream, that Laksmi had left Sri Lanka because of the offense that he did on Sitadevi. So from that time onward, everything went bad. Everything Ravana tried after that was a failure. So to keep, Goddess of Fortune with one, one simply has to always keep Narayana, Krishna present. And also not offend the pure devotees. This is the basic secret of success.
America is a powerful country; America was founded on God consciousness in the beginning. At least that was the basic… pilgrims, one of their principle reasons for leaving England… of course, for declaring independence, other economic and other reasons also had their part to play. But even today on the coins and in the money we see “in God we trust” which is a vestige of the original mood, of depending on God. So, now the Americans are still reaping the results of the pious activities of their forefathers, but it doesn’t take long for pious results to run out.
If one is performing lots of sinful activities, hedonistic activities, which is happening more and more… Actually when Prabhupada brought the Krishna conscious movement to America, and to the West, in the future people will see that that was the beginning of their greatest good fortune. Already some scholars of Indology in the thelistic… theistic rather, history this is one… the most momentous time when for the first time orthodox Indian thought and practice has penetrated the West and taken root. Unfortunately there is a cultural gap, although America is very powerful countr, the people are rather isolated from rest of the world.
It’s surprising how little they know about other cultures. They construct international hotels that are exactly the same inside. They go around the world and just stay in these hotels. It’s like going under the wa… uh, water with these glass uh, submarines. You look and see the fish, they just come out, look around see the… go and buy… to the market and buy a few souvenirs and come back. So when they see things they are not accustomed to, they have a tendency of withdrawing, of rejecting, rather than understanding that there is something more than what they know. So that way, the Vedanta Sutras advise that human beings should actually start to inquire about the cause of everything about the underlying permanent reality, and go beyond all the temporary forms. ‘Athato brahma jijnasa”. Now is the time to re… inquire about Brahma. Now is the time to inquire about the Absolute Truth in this human form of life. Actually that inquiry was practically non-existent. Thanks to Srila Prabhupada, now many souls are inquiring and they are able to get the answers.
That’s why we pray
caksusa unmilitam yena
tasmai sri-gurave namah
That the torchlight of knowledge is being carried by the spiritual master and with that torchlight the eyes shut, covered by ignorance are forced open. “Wow”. This is the situation. That this Krishna Consciousness movement is actually meant to open the eyes of the people; To bring them closer to Krishna. Ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham, Krishna says, “As one approaches Me, I will reciprocate.” So, somehow or another if people are even inquisitive even if they’re slightly interested, well Krishna reciprocates. But, if they are completely indifferent, then of course, that’s not a very positive way to get reciprocation. Then, if Krishna is indifferent one is in a hopeless state.
Even Lord Jesus said that in terms of opposition, he said, we don’t mind opposition. In fact, we prefer, if someone is against us or for us. He said I like hot water of cold water, but if it is lukewarm, I spit it out. See if people come up,” Why you guys are doing all this stuff?” Well, that’s better than someone who just looks the other way, as if you don’t exist. “ I didn’t see a Hare Krishna there.” because those people are just trying to have their blinders on. Like in the horse races, they don’t want to see and just go ahead. Put the blinder… you a blinder on the horse so it doesn’t get frightened at what it sees on the side. Like that, they are putting on themselves, blinders. They don’t want to be disturbed. They only want to go plodding along. They don’t realize, “padam padam yat vipadam natesam”. Every step is filled with danger. Every step is filled with danger in this world. No one can avoid it. Even for the devotees, there is danger at every step, but because they take shelter of the lotus feet of Krishna, He crosses them over the dangers.
samasrita ye pada-pallava-plavam
mahat-padam punya-yaso murareh
bhavambudhir vatsa-padam param padam
padam padam yad vipadam na tesam
Murari’s… Krishna’s lotus feet are compared to a boat which can carry us over the ocean of birth and death. And those who don’t accept… and those who are wise souls, they always accept that boat. Knowing that outside of that shelter, everything, every step is filled with danger. So, when we first come to Krishna Consciousness and start to serve, naturally, we are not always thinking of Krishna at every moment. Still whatever service we do brings us closer and closer to Krishna. Even if we don’t finish in this life, again in the next life we will take up where we left off. So, at the same time Srila Prabhupada, he would repeatedly warn his devotees, that they had to keep their contact with Krishna by being conscious of Krishna. By being conscious, through chanting, through remembering, through being sensitive to Krishna’s dictation in one’s heart.
See Krishna helps even a materialist. Just like when a mosquito is about to hone in, first the mosquito does a pass by the ear. This is Supersoul, giving you a chance. “Zzzzz zzz, uh-oh a mosquito’s there”. I think I have mentioned before that the tiger’s wherever they go, there is a small rodent that follows them. “tee tee tee tee te”. It’s a little guinea pig, and it makes this little noise just about when the tiger is about to strike on that deer. In this way, the deer can flee and be saved, if it’s conscious. But if we don’t listen to the Supersoul. Just like when you are flying in a plane if you turn of the radio, you’re not going to hear the news broadcast. If you’re not going to listen, you’re not going to hear anything. So devotees, actually Krishna helps from within. He helps without through his guru and He helps w… from within as, caitya guru. But if we don’t listen, if we’re not tuned then we become careless and get a chance to experience various difficulties.
Sometimes, people want to be Krishna Conscious, but just never get the determination together. They think, “Well, the Krishna Conscious movement, could do so much more if they had money. So let me do something illegal and make a lot of money give it to the Krishna Conscious movement, and keep a little for myself, and in this way this will somehow be very nice.” So, when they do that… Krishna doesn’t want, want to do illegal activities and take unnecessary risks, and even then, so many good opportunities are there to avoid difficulty, but due to lust, a person cannot hear, when the Supreme Lord is saying, “Don’t do this, don’t do that, don’t do this”. And in… anyway, he goes ahead and does it. So that’s why also guru is needed.
In spite of not hearing, we even know in our heart of hearts that, we shouldn’t do this or we shouldn’t do that. But our mind is so strong, our desires are so strong, anyway we want to go ahead and do it. So then we ask the guru, “Should we do this?” And he says, “No.” or “Yes.” or “In this way..”, or whatever. So then we take that… we know in our heart that what he is saying is correct.[Break]
…way, we shouldn’t be stubborn. We should be receptive to the advice of the spiritual master, to the advice of senior Vaisnavas. That way the people in the Western world are unprotected. They have no guide; they have no one to help them. Government hires social workers to guide people who are in problems, in trouble. Vedic culture has brahmanas, has spiritual masters. Who are actually advanced spiritually and they are the… helping the people. Yet the government or the people say that,”Well, you are parasites”. Yet they are hiring people to be government sponsored psychiatrists, sociologists, so on and so forth. And they have the highest rate, according to some recent studies, of suicide. Those people who are supposed to help the frustrated people are so frustrated themselves that they commit suicide; more, on a national average than other people. So what right, quality they have to guide others? They’re just trying to prop up the status quo. Taking that as correct and giving people different excuses why they can live with themselves, as they start to get closer and closer to realize how futile and how empty and how hollow the whole thing is. They actually get frustrated so they start to prescribe for themselves the same medicines they prescribe to the people they’re supposed to be helping.. Actually, the Vedic society is perfect. The people are supposed to help other people themselves are supposed to be peaceful. They have to be situated on the transcendental platform.
bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kami — sakali ‘asanta’
krsna-bhakta — niskama, ataeva ‘santa’
siddhanam api muktanam
kotisv apya maha-mune
The devotees… even amongst liberated and liberated souls and souls possessing mystic powers are to be considered to be most rare and most peaceful, self-satisfied of all. This is confirmed in all of the Vedas. Therefore, they are actually in a position for helping everyone.
Rupa and Sanatana Goswami, described by the song, by Srinivasa, they were so much love by even the ruffians as well as the gentle people. They would come to them both for advice. This is the nature of uh, great and uh, pure devotees. That they are equal to everyone.
Therefore, even today in India, generally the dacoits, the thieves they leave alone the sadhus. One time there was a plan to assassinate Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, not by any thieves or rogues, but because he was reforming Krishna Consciousness, or reforming the Vedic culture to establish Krishna Consciousness and he was exposing the misbehavior and cheating of other so-called spiritual leaders. So these so-called spiritual leaders were trying to find someone who would assassinate Bhaktisiddhanta. So when one day the police chief came over to see Bhaktisiddhanta and said that you should be very careful, there is an attempt being made to take your life. He says, “I was offered 25 or 10,000… either ₹10,000 or ₹25,000, which of course in those days would be about equivalent to about 250,000.
Prabhupada said that for two rupees his father would buy food for the whole year. So, this police chief said that, “Of course, as policemen we are habituated to killing people, and for a good price like that, we don’t mind, doing it. But I told them I won’t get my hands dirtied with a sadhu, I can’t take that much sin, it is not worth the money. You should be careful.” Actually in India they say that whenever the police come around, the crime increases. If there is no police station, there is usually less crime. I don’t know if it is the same way in the West.
The uh, ruffians, even he was a ruffian, even he was a notorious kind of policeman, well, he didn’t want to raise a hand against Bhaktisiddhanta, actually you could never find anyone in India, because uh, all the even ruffians or the gentle people, they all had great love and faith for the devotees. So, this is what Srila Prabhupada wanted that should happen in the West, that people would respect the Hare Krishna devotees as being very honest, being very trustworthy, straightforward in their dealings.
Of course here in New Orleans the construction crew seems to have established that type of rapport with certain people. Unfortunately, in general in different parts of the country not everyone has that idea. Of course there is a lot of misrepresentation but, that was Prabhupada’s idea that actually a devotee has no reason to cheat anyone. He has is nothing to gain. Working for Krishna, Krishna provides everything.
Devotee is sincerely interested to help everyone come closer to Krishna, to help everyone develop faith in Krishna. Adau sraddha – first one has to have faith then one can go up to the level of association with the devotees, practicing devotional service. So our first duty is to establish faith. If we can establish faith in people… rather if people can… you know, we can establish uh, or help people to get… for them to establish faith in Krishna, then it is very easy for them to make further and further progress. As we serve Krishna, then we become happier and happier.
Actually in Srivas’s house there was one maid servant whose name was Dukhi devi. Dukhi means miserable. Dukhi dasi. She was called unhappy or miserable dasi. It is an unusual name, but for various reasons she was given that name. But when Lord Caitanya started His sankirtana they used to carry… she used to carry from the Ganges earthen pots filled with water, with Ganges water and line them up. She could have just put them in the house because she was supposed to just bring water because she was a maid servant. So she was bringing water – those days they did not have the municipal utilities. You wanted to get water you walked down to the river to bring it yourself! So she was bringing water. But not only did she bring the water but she would line it up around where Lord Caitanya was going to – she had to bring 108 or something, incredible amount of water pots. But she rather than plop them off in one place spontaneously she would line them up almost like it was a greeting for Lord Caitanya’s kirtan party. Lined them up in a beautiful row. And full water pots are considered to be very auspicious. So Lord Caitanya was noticing every day how when she brought the water pots that she would place them near the sankirtan place in beautiful lines and circles just you know like, she knew… He knew that she was doing this specially thinking that this may be pleasing to Lord Caitanya. So because she was doing this humble service but in a devotional spirit, Lord Caitanya immediately recognized her. He said, ”What is this maid servant’s name?” They said “Her name is Dukhi dasi.” He said, “What?! How can she be Miss Miserable? It is not a proper name. Because she is doing all this devotional service, her attitude of service is so nice, no one with that type of devotional spirit can be called Dukhi or miserable, unhappy. From now on I want everyone to call her Sukhi dasi. They should call her, you see Miss Happiness, not Miss Miserable.” And by the blessing of Lord Caitanya Dukhi das became Sukhi dasi – unhappy became happy. So even the paid servant of the devotees of Lord Caitanya because of a little service, a little association, they got That unlimited mercy.
This is Lord Caitanya’s movement’s special characteristic – anyone who has contact gets mercy. That doesn’t mean that when someone is in the movement and when someone is coming forward, you shouldn’t take Lord Caitanya’s mercy for granted. One shouldn’t become self-conceitful that “I’m a devotee.”, to the extent that even the Supersoul in us, tells us, “be careful. Don’t do it. It’s not what your guru wants, it is not what you should do. It is not what I want.” From within, Krishna’s voice is telling us and we… that, “I am a devotee and I know best.” we are thinking it’s our mind or something. We don’t listen. We just start to think of ourselves in a false ego, “I am a devotee.” We should be thinking always that we are trying to be a devotee, we are trying to come up to that standard and thus we should always be tuned in to Krishna.
Well, in the beginning our tuning will not be very good; therefore we must have a spiritual master. But even as our daily activities we learn more and more what Krishna wants of us, how to act. Still devotional service is an unlimited field for progress. Therefore the spiritual master, all along has much advice and much assistance to offer. Even in the Siksas… excuse me the prayers to the spiritual master by Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakur, he describes that when one is liberated and goes back to Godhead in the spiritual sky, there the spiritual master comes as an older friend and introduces one into the pastimes of Krishna, so even in the liberated state. In the conditioned state we respect the guru with awe and reverence and in the liberated state then, there’s is some friendship also. Friendship is there only with reverence in the conditional life, never familiarity.
So, of course now we are a bit anxious because one of our devotees had met with an accident and naturally we are praying that Krishna, in this life we can have continued association, we need so many preachers, we could do so many works through her, that way we are of course hopeful for her. But ultimately Krishna is completely independent and if He wants to take someone away, there is nothing that we can do. We have to go sooner or later and we only can pray that a person will remain, by Krishna’s mercy… either go back to Godhead or remain somewhere in service. But of course the fact of the matter, apart from those higher considerations which are of course constantly dwelling in our mind, there’s practical considerations for us to make in our own life that, in things like this there are definitely times when we go ahead… headstrong and we just start ignoring these little reminders that Krishna is giving us.
Just in even in our daily activity, a voice tells us, don’t do it but still we do it. We know that if we are driving and if we feel sleepy, that if we don’t pull over and sleep we are going to have an accident, but we don’t listen. We know that at different times we get the warning from Krishna but we are not tuned in. Of course that way association with devotees is recommended, because even if we are not tuned in, if a devotee is a real friend, without any envy, without any anger, without any… of course anger might be there just in consideration, but without any enmity, the devotee says “Why you are wasting your time?” or, “Why you’re taking unnecessary risk?” or “Why you are doing this unauthorized thing?” They help us. They remind us of Krishna. When we are alone, we are that much more vulnerable.
Prabhupada, he came to the West alone but he admitted that I didn’t think that anyone else could have done it! But once he had devotees… one time he had to go to the bank or something, there was some mess up in the bank, he had to personally go to straighten it out. He said I want to go with a devotee, I never want to go alone anywhere again. I never want to be out of the association of devotees again, never allow me to be alone. Even though he is a full liberated soul, he didn’t want to be out of the association of devotees.
In the same way we should be very careful, we were discussing last night, not to ever allow our mind to think of an alternative where we are living outside our association of devotees. And if we are living outside of the association of devotees now, we should see that our situation is risky. It will be very hard to make advancement in Krishna consciousness. As much as possible we should stay close in the circle of devotees. That is called sat-sangha. Pious isn’t a good enough word, it’s transcendental association, association of the saints.
We need that association, devotees are real friends in the world, so we should feel very fortunate to be in the association of devotees and we should be very careful not to lose that association. Because devotees are devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead they automatically have all good qualities within them.
Just like the goddess of fortune some… well there are some people who apparently have all good qualities but because they are not devotees she rejected them. Just like Kamsa, he had all good qualities, he was very intelligent, he was very charitable, very powerful, very expert at managing and at controlling situations, but as soon as there was a voice from the heavens that said, “Kamsa, your sister Devaki’s eighth son will be the cause of your death”. He said “What!?” He grabbed his sister by the hair in front of hundreds of people: parents, relatives, and he said, “Your son will be the cause of my death, I am going to kill you now!”, just ready to cut off her head because he wasn’t a devotee. “Oh, so you are going to be the cause of my death, well, I will kill you.”. This is a demoniac idea, immediately all good qualities out of the window! All thrown out, forgotten! Because of sense gratification, self-interest was uh… was uh, run over, “Forget everything.”
Parikshit Maharaj, when he was cursed, “You are going to die in seven days”, he didn’t try to, “Oh, I will go and get that little brahmana punk!” No, it wasn’t any attitude like that. He said that “Oh, this is Krishna’s will on me. I acted irresponsibly, now I am put in difficulty, now how can I think of Krishna? He must want me to fix my mind on Him, He has some higher purpose.” After completing his purpose of course then he was free to do whatever he wanted. No one can stop the coming of time. But we try to play in the hands of Krishna’s higher purpose and become instruments for Krishna. This is our special opportunity in this Krishna conscious movement, Lord Caitanya predicted every town and village will be filled with the chanting of His holy name. Now if we act as instruments, if we allow His mercy to flow through us then we will be glorified, we will be benefited so much and that benefit will accrue to countless souls.
S0, just like the goddess of fortune, she didn’t want to be engaged in the service of any inferior persons, she only chose, “Just let me just serve Vishnu.” In the same way we should follow on her footsteps and why should we serve others when we can serve the Supreme. And by serving Him, definitely not only will we be benefited but countless others.
hare krsna hare krsna
krsna krsna hare hare/
hare rama hare rama
rama rama hare hare
Are there any questions?
Devotee: What’s the…
Jayapataka Swami: The…
Devotee: …it’s a practical matter. So, telling your inner voice from your mind or is it Krishna?
Jayapataka Swami: In the beginning the only way to be 100% sure is by asking the spiritual master. One you can check with other devotee, senior devotee, especially the spiritual master, then one can be fully sure.
Just like sometimes we would sometimes get an idea and we would ask Srila Prabhupada, and he would say that idea was inspired by the Supersoul. Sometimes, someone would give an idea and he would say that idea is inspired by maya. (devotees laughing) Of course by hearing, by reading, when we get an idea we have to learn to analyze it, that, just like we pray, guru vakya Padma, citta koriya aikya… I mean… how does it go? Citta, koriya aiyka: “May the consciousness be made one with your instructions, with your orders.” Whatever the word of the spiritual master is, our consciousness we want that to be filled with those words and to be one with, in harmony with those words. So we do something, we have an idea, we want to have it confirmed.
This is the system of parampara – whatever a person does; does it only if it’s authorized. Directly you can see that guru has said, Krishna has said in the sastra and the sastras are so vast, the Vedas that one does not have to leave anything for speculation even if one knows in his heart that this is Krishna conscious. Also you can trace out the effort immediately also, Krishna gives the example, there is this example in the Vedas or there is this devotee, or this situation. There are so many millions of uh, examples that have been given even in the Bhagavatam and the Bhagavad-gita that most of… all the situations have already been covered if one has the eyes to see. So the spiritual master has the eyes to see therefore we take his advice.
There is also a symptom that over endeavor is usually a s… a symptom of a maya idea. Just like a person gets an idea to do something for Krishna and it happens very easily or it happens… it seems to be just going on. But when we have an idea when we do this for Krishna, the number of steps of the material activities that one has to do before it finally gets around to being something which is directed at Krishna are so many and so wrought with difficulties, that uh, it is a symptom of over endeavor, an over endeavor for an unproportionate result. If one has to do something, an over endeavor, they may be attached to Krishna and think, let me do this for Krishna, I want to build a house for Krishna, whatever, something, it is very hard to say any particular thing. Maybe one wants to make an airplane. The same thing might be Krishna conscious in another situation so it is not the particular thing but in that particular situation, there were other easier ways of using time. Krishna preferred you do in a different way so that particular way, He keeps… maya keeps giving so many obstacles so that one will take the other way. But if one is so fixed on the particular idea due to some kind of preconceived idea that in spite of every uh, obstacle they go on trying, and so at every step they meet difficulty. Lot of practical examples I can think of. They always involve devotees; I don’t want to embarrass them.
There was one older devotee in our movement who was doing nice service but then he got an ide… someone turned him on… turned him… gave him some rubies they got into a whole thing that he started mining rubies, he bought a ruby mine. He started going there. He just became overwhelmed by these rubies and jewels, like kind of a gold feve. He got a ruby fever, a gem fever.
Prabhupada kept telling him that it is an over endeavor, it is unnecessary, just preach Krishna consciousness, Krishna will provide, this, that. “No, no, I want to make money for Krishna.” and even Pra… you know, even his guru told him don’t do it, he said, “No, no.” So of course whatever money he did make didn’t go to Krishna, he just reinvested it in his business again and again, what usually happens. And then finally he just became further and further an… removed from Krishna and more and more in maya. Now for the past many years he is completely out of touch. You see him sometimes. Still going to make it one day. So, it’s like over endeavors, misdirected.
So of course ultimately the guru is the custodian of one’s spiritual progress, you have to take his advice and as one advances more and more, then one can tell when one makes a wrong decision, Krishna usually smashes it. As you become more advanced in devotional service the slightest mistake will create an immediate result. You see karma might take hundred births. When you surrender to Krishna you make a mistake you get the reaction, * pshew *five seconds or five minutes or five hours.
There was a devotee riding in a taxi cab in Calcutta who started to criticize Srila Prabhupada and different devotees for God knows what reason, must have gone mad or something. And another devotee who was with him, he stopped the car and got out and said I am not going to hear any offence of pure devotees. Now that person went on and within one hour… went to the railway station, missed the train, got into a fight with one of the coolies there, one of the porters, they call them coolies in India, that is the official name, hey coolie! They don’t mind being called coolies. So then uh, there was a whole riot and about a 150 of the coolies came out of their walls with uh, bricks and sticks and they stripped the devo… the so-called devotee completely down naked and only he had on was the Brahmin thread, they beat the pulp out of him and he was running down the street naked and finally jumped into a moving bus. You know, the whole bus emptied out, they couldn’t believe it. “Ahh!” And all this happened within one or two hours after he blasphemed the devotees. He was in the hospital. He’s a blooped devotee, wasn’t… that criticizing others always. After that he came by and bowed down hundreds of times in the temple and personally went to each devotee, begging for forgiveness. So that way he was able to learn.
Sometimes we are repeatedly told to be cautious in a particular way or avoid some kind of activity we don’t listen, we don’t listen, we don’t listen and then finally Krishna says, well, “Let… let what be, happen.” and maya takes over. Krishna lifts up, He doesn’t personally do it but He just lifts up some of the shelter and lets maya move in otherwise the devotees are always under the yoga-maya shelter. But if we neglect Krishna, if we neglect the guru or we blaspheme, then that shelter is removed and then we are at the mercy of maya. See, she’s already upset that we are trying to get out of her clutches, so she puts her full load on us, you know.
Devotee: Uh, if someone blasphemes a pure devotee or a spiritual master, then even though, the Bhagavad-gita a devotee will attain birth in heavenly planets, or in a nice material birth. Is it poss… is it… this person will take birth in a pious life after blaspheming the spiritual master, or… does he also come under the Bhagavad-gita, about the person who…
Jayapataka Swami : No, the point is say a devotee tries to become Krishna conscious, and doesn’t make it, senses take him off, interested in material life again but whatever time a person spends in doing Krishna conscious activities for that they get heavenly planet or they get a very good birth in the future. They don’t lose anything you see. The sinful reaction doesn’t affect… the sinful life delays your going back to Godhead but doesn’t stop it because that… your credit is in like a fixed account.
But what happens is like when you do offences, just like you are working for someone, you build up a good credit history and then you steal from him and you get fired and that person never wants to see you again, right? But say that you know, you work for someone and somehow you go away, you quit, then whatever you do, but your relationship with him is the same. This is a gross kind of material example, it is not fully appropriate. In a higher sense our relationship with Krishna is independent of all the other activities. But an offence against Him or His devotee directly, you see even He can forgive an offence against Him but when you offend His devotee who is just helping people to come to Him that becomes intolerable for Him. He has a policy that He doesn’t forgive anyone for that. If a devotee himself forgives then He considers a pardon.
So of all the offences the blaspheming of one’s spiritual master who is a pure devotee of Krishna and… is considered to be the worst. So the Caitanya Caritamrita says that uh, it takes millions of births before one ever gets a chance to have a guru again. Why Krishna will bring you up to a guru if you are going to blaspheme and you are so envious, then you get put in an envious species of life. So that way Srila Prabhupada says that it is much better to fall down from Krishna consciousness and just fall into sinful or materialistic activities than to uh, become a blasphemer. Shouldn’t ever resent the guru. If you couldn’t make it, why resent the guru, it is not his fault, you couldn’t make it. You tried, you got as far as you could, you did not have that much determination, you lost faith, and you lost… so, why resent the guru? Guru didn’t do any harm to you. Guru was trying to help you.
You go to a doctor, you have an incurable disease or you are hooked on to some type of drug, the doctor tries to help you to break your habit but you can’t take the withdrawal pains so you just go back in and then you continue taking uh, heroin or something until you OD and die. Why blaspheme the doctor, it is not his fault that you didn’t have the determination or the patience to get out. He was going to help you through the whole thing, through your shakes and your problems and everything just to bring you up to a point when you would be a healthy person. It is like that kind of a thing. When they come they don’t want to go through the withdrawals of their mind agitating them. “I’ll have to give up my bicycle or something you know.”, different attachments. “If I become a devotee my hifi stereo… I cannot listen to all the rock and roll music I wanted to.”, whatever, maya is a very attractive person. So that is unfortunate but they should see that the guru is just helping them.
Devotee(2): Can you lose the advancement you make? Since you can’t lose it, because that…
Jayapataka Swami : If, by… You can lose it.
Devotee(2): You can lose it if you blaspheme?
Jayapataka Swami: Oh yeah. Lord Caitanya said that uh,
vaisnava-aparadha mata hati
upade va chinde, tara sukhi’ yaya pata
that the offence of blaspheming a devotee is called mad elephant offence, because one’s spiritual progress is compared to a creeper, a plant. So when you blaspheme pure devotees… a mad elephant can go into a garden and uproot the whole plants, tear them apart and just demolish a garden. So the comparison given that all the other things are like weeds, they don’t actually kill the original plant, they just compete with it. They stunt its growth by taking away the energy, just stays… just stays at whatever level it is. But it is very hard for the weeds to smother out the original plant unless it completely overcomes the thing. But the offences, those are considered like wild elephants which come and * tearing sound *, rip out the thing, put it on the ground and stomp on it.
And then even for a while it may seem that the person is spiritually situated. They pull out a plant but the leaves stay green for a few days but then they gradually dry and fall off. The relationship with the guru is never cut, when you fall down it is not cut just by material activities but if you blaspheme the guru then it is cut off, like disowning. Disciple disowns his guru by blaspheming.
Devotee: He takes us back?
Jayapataka Swami: Oh yeah. That’s no problem. If the son… if the son you know, starts to uh, beat up the mother and the other brothers, so that the father says “Get the hell out of here, you can’t come back.” But if he comes back to the father and cries and says I made a fool of myself, I was indiscrete, I will do just whatever you say, and then father will always take back the son. It is like that. But there’s other children also they consider like you know there was one kept killing his sisters or something in the newspaper. So naturally the father loves all the children, one is creating a big problem, you have to get out. If you want to come back it’s no problem. That’s the whole thing, that in this life someone has done that kind of offence, he should come back and he should make up for it. His situation is very dangerous if he doesn’t make up for it within this life, then he is finished.
Devotee: Pretty technical, but if… then when he comes back, after he blasphemed, he lost all his advancement. Does he start over again, if you lost all his advancement that he had previously made? I know devotees who… here in New Orleans that are heavily blaspheming. They could come back, but…
Jayapataka Swami : Well you know, this… Krishna’s keeping the score. Every individual has got their own score card. It is very hard to say exactly what your score is. So we have seen that devotees who blaspheme they have been reinstated themself in devotional service but they don’t start off right from where they left, it is a fact. They are a little bit at a disadvantage. But then, by their sincere working they again quickly make up ground. Big, big devotees in our movement some have come back even after very bad offences, and by Prabhupada’s mercy they uh… they had some troubles, they definitely have to take a humble position. That way Prabhupada would usually engage those kind of people who got into offences into heavy preaching work, type of risk preaching, frontier areas or some heavy situation where we have to do a lot of preaching because by preaching one can be forgiven from offences.
You are helping others, so then that way one gets quickly built up again… the devotional service. Just like Jagai and Madhai. Madhai was told to do some service to other people. In the spiritual life, that way he was reinstated.
You have any questions, there?
Female Devotee: When we chant our rounds, if we’re not properly pronouncing that, does it still have the same effect?
Jayapataka Swami : How can it have exactly the same effect? We might be chanting Krishna’s names but we are not chanting the Maha Mantra. You chant any name of Krishna, that will have effect but especially powerful is the Maha Mantra: 16 words, 32 syllables. So when you leave out a few syllables and names then you are chanting a different mantra. You are chanting a 14 word, 30 syllable or 28 syllable mantra or something else. So, that will reduce some of the effectiveness but of course because Krishna’s name is Krishna, it is very hard to put all that into equations what percent it will be reduced to and so and so forth but one should try to say the mantra as it is given, if one is inattentive while chanting, it can’t help but uh, affect.
Dave: What is the proper way to pronounce the mantra?
Jayapataka Swami : You listen to the spiritual masters, how they say it, that is the way you should try to say it. Yes? Devotee(3): I was wondering. It seems like uh, in the material world, there are so many controlling agents like, the modes of material nature, and demigods and… and the Supersoul, and all that, it’s hard when you’re right against kali, uh, any free will… to live extremely sincere as coopera… or is it just the Lord’s mercy that inspires you… you know, inspires us to take up service?
Jayapataka Swami : One devotee just yesterday was talking with me. Him or her, I forget. They brought it up in a very nice way that once… all along they were putting off… putting off, being a devotee or surrendering to Krishna, and at one point they probably decided that well, “If I don’t just one time surrender to Krishna, I will never know what I missed. Let us surrender. Just made that decision that I am going to try to surrender, I am going to be a devotee of Krishna.” As soon as that decision was made then everything, all the doors opened, that way.
If a devotee makes a decision that “I want to just enjoy material life, I don’t want anything with devotional service.”, then Krishna… then maya opens all the doors. Out of nowhere the old girlfriend comes or this one comes or whatever you know all the different arrangements, they happen. And when one makes a decision that they want to be a devotee, that’s a decision, has to be made, these are the main two decisions, after that, then the uh, demigods and the three modes, they offer you know, the various alternatives for enjoying material life and then Krishna, He offers the way for performing devotional service, through His different uh, devotees. But the basic decision that is the real decision, “Do I want to… Is my goal in life to enjoy… all out, enjoy material nature? Or is it to all out serve Krishna?” And when we are in between there, kind of, that is the time we get buffed around, we are kind of just innocent and that time sometimes we try to enjoy, sometimes we think, “Well maybe…”.
When we’re in that kind of undecided state… Of course that’s a very… that’s a very distressful state, the person that’s completely just sold out to ignorance, they’re… they’re at that point they are pretty happy until they get completely smashed again, then they again start to become undecided. But uh, a person completely just in ignorance, just decided “I just want to enjoy the senses, I don’t want to hear anything else, I don’t want to think of anything else.”, for that… for some short amount of time, even difficulties happen they will be able to uh, remain ignorant of it for some time. But uh, a devotee… rather an undecided person has to decide which way he wants to go.
So once you decide then Krishna helps you, gives you intelligence to remember Him or to forget Him. So there is no karma that “You can… you should be a devotee by this karma. You have done this activity so now you should be a devotee.” You can come right up to the water but the choice to drink or not… In other words by so many pious activities, so many good activities in previous lives and this and that, one will be brought right up to the gateway. But, at that point… at that point then if one’s, “Well, no, not yet, not now.” some excuse, then how long it will take to accrue that much pious activity to again be given that opportunity? No one can say.
So in the human form of life, we are given occasionally that opportunity, the human form of life itself, human birth itself is that opportunity. But even within human life it is not that everyone has the equal chance of really getting up to that uh, choice. Many people never come up to that choice… most of the people. But when someone actually comes to the point where that choice is an alternative that has even entered their mind that means already that person is very, very rare. Out of thousands and thousands he’s or she’s a very unique person.
But then, if they don’t take the risk, so that might not be a risk, to them it might be a risk, they don’t take the faith or the courage, there is no risk involved really, if they don’t take that decision, then they can’t go any further and they just kind of either stay there for one birth or for one period of time. If they perform a little devotional service then they may be able to maintain even for many births that level. As long as they don’t commit offences, as long as they are doing a little devotional service, then they kind of stay at that same level, until they finally either decide that “Yes, I want to surrender to Krishna.” and then from there one steps over the threshold and goes into actual spiritual life, or till one just all changes and decides that want to enter into material sense gratification or worse yet, just offends a devotee.
See other devotees are entering through the door going by, standing should I go in or not, maybe should I surrender to Krishna or not. And then as the people start going by sometimes we get envious. That envy is a dangerous thing, as we were discussing. Without the envy you can just be standing at the door for a long time thinking about it, but as soon as the offences come then one is forced down. So the thing is that when we are at that stage we should take the decision, what do we have to lose?
You’ve tried so many things. To a materialist it doesn’t seem like much different. Doesn’t seem like well, I have done so many things, but if I try sincerely for two months to do everything that a devotee is supposed to do and see what happens. And if one just makes even that decision that, “I’ll fully surrender, and if in two months I find that nothing happened from it, then I’ll, I’ll do something else.”
Once you make a decision, alright I will surrender, even on a short term basis, “If I don’t get any results within a certain time… but my mood is I am going to surrender all out. See what happens.” Just make that decision then you see how things happen * shifting sounds * Krishna just makes the arrangements. He leads one right up. One meets a spiritual master, one meets uh, devotees, step-by-step different arrangements are there for one to advance.
Was that your question? I think there was another thing; I think… I feel I’m missing one part of it.
Devotee: Yeah… Well, I was… It seems to me that maybe uh, it might be possible that that your karma can prevent you from… just subtly make you…
Jayapataka Swami : That’s… that’s a fact. One’s karma can make it difficult for one to decide. If one is very much in the modes of ignorance and passion, then it is harder for the mind to come up to the concept of pure goodness of surrendering to God. So that way karma can stand in your way to a certain extent, it makes it a little more difficult but then that’s why the spiritual master, when a person somehow or another gets close even though there may be difficulties with karma, maybe a person comes, because of karma even they come for a couple of years but uh just somehow even though they see the devotees, they see what’s going on, they like it but somehow because their desires are still so strong they are influenced so much by the modes, that really the idea that “I like to associate with them, I like to be with them but to be one of them or to you know, actually surrender…”, that resolute determination doesn’t come. So that is where the pure devotees, those who are spiritual masters who are empowered, they pray to Krishna when they see someone in that type of situation, that “Please have your mercy on this person.” or they, through different attempts they try to help the person get over that karma. That karma is not an absolute uh, obstacle. It is just like uh, a dead weight or something, it is a pull.
So therefore one needs sometimes some little extra mercy. Sometimes the person can see that just like coming for breaths of air you can see, just like you get over the clouds, you can see the clear expanse that uh, I am just being tied down by so many karmas, by so many desires, and you just get a little glimpse. At that time uh, if you just cry out, help, to the spiritual master, to Nitai Gaur, “Help, please help me. I need special help. I am entangled. I am not strong enough to surrender yet but I need your help.” When little bit of sense comes then the Lord doesn’t refuse anyone’s call like that. So that way Lord Caitanya, the special part of Their movement is that their special characteristic is that they help people who are entangled like that in karmas.
People who are very elevated, who are on top of the mountain of karma so to speak, they are in goodness situation but who are still proud, they think that well, because I am riding on the wave right now I don’t need anyone, I don’t… Krishna owes me something, those people Lord Caitanya doesn’t care for much, neglects them. But those who are wanting to get that mercy, but even though they are entangled in so many results of karma, they may not be very rich or very learned, or they just may not be fortunate. But somehow or another whatever may be the situation, fortunate or unfortunate, they just some time or another they cry out, “Please help me, please help me to surrender to you. He lifts them up. Sometimes one doesn’t even have the guts or whatever just to even cry out, please help me. Sometimes just out of their own a devotee sees that “This person could be a nice devotee of Krishna, please help him.” That way just by the mercy of the spiritual master, just by coming and doing a little service, then one gets the mercy.
Yes. Any question from anyone who didn’t have… ask any question?
Devotee(5): Once you have seen the things that a… (inaudible) master, what advice, spiritual, can you expect? Jayapataka Swami : One of the advices for how we should advance in Krishna consciousness, we are told that we should avoid niyam agraha. Niyam means rules of the scriptures. Agraha, it is a peculiar way in Sanskrit, when you combine two words then niyamagraha could mean niyam agraha or agraha. So niyamagraha means to be very enthusiastic for the rules, overly enthusiastic. And agraha means to neglect the rules. Graha means to accept and agraha means to neglect.
So someone who neglects the rules, just you know avoids you know, “I don’t care for it.”, that is one aspect. We are discussing someone who is a fanatic, that means that he is overly attached to the rule without seeing what is the underlying purpose. Sometime there are various rules and each rule has its relative importance in the different situations.
So a person may just stick to one particular set of rules and just very expertly do those rules. At the same time, they’re not at all becoming purified. They are actually not getting any closer to God; they are just fanatically doing the rules. Even it’s sometimes, even offensive to God. Because of other consideration if they are willingly… willfully just neglecting there are higher principles of mercy, of respecting great devotees of so many different principles.
Just like one time Srila Prabhupada went to a businessman’s house who had invited him to come there but then the person sent out a message that I am busy doing my puja, I can’t come and recieve you, you have to wait. So he made Prabhupada wait an hour before he finished his puja. Prabhupada said that this person is a neophyte, doesn’t know when the spiritual master comes you are supposed to receive him, especially.
Then there was another person who was doing his puja. As soon as he saw that Prabhupada had come, he dropped everything and came out. Prabhupada said “You didn’t finish your puja.”, he said “More important than worshipping Krishna is worshipping His devotees.” So that was a contrast. That person knew what was supposed to be done. The other person was just fanatically doing, he doesn’t know that he is making so many offences throughout his day that the only way he can actually advance is by the mercy of some devotees. Instead he is so proud and thinks “Let me go on with my puja.”, so those people are far removed.[End of Recording]
Transcribed by Jayaraseshwari devi dasi April 21st, 2015