Date: February 16th, 2010 Verse: Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.32.33 Speaker: HG Badrinarayan Prabhu
yathendriyaih prthag-dvarair artho bahu-gunasrayah eko naneyate tadvad bhagavan sastra-vartmabhih
TRANSLATION A single object is appreciated differently by different senses due to its having different qualities. Similarly, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is one, but according to different scriptural injunctions He appears to be different.
PURPORT: It appears that by following the path of jnana-yoga, or empiric philosophical speculation, one reaches the impersonal Brahman, whereas by executing devotional service in Krishna consciousness one enriches his faith in and devotion to the Personality of Godhead. But it is stated here that both bhakti-yoga and jnana-yoga are meant for reaching the same destination
— the Personality of Godhead. By the process of jnana-yoga the same Personality of Godhead appears to be impersonal. As the same object appears to be different when perceived by different senses, the same Supreme Lord appears to be impersonal by mental speculation. A hill appears cloudy from a distance, and one who does not know may speculate that the hill is a cloud. Actually, it is not a cloud; it is a big hill. One has to learn from authority that the sight of a cloud is not actually a cloud but a hill. If one makes a little more progress, then instead of a cloud he sees the hill and something green. When one actually approaches the hill, he will see many varieties.
Another example is in perceiving milk. When we see milk, we see that it is white; when we taste it, it appears that milk is very palatable. When we touch milk, it appears very cold; when we smell milk, it appears to have a very good flavor; and when we hear, we understand that it is called milk. Perceiving milk with different senses, we say that it is something white, something very delicious, something very aromatic, and so on.
Actually, it is milk. Similarly, those who are trying to find the Supreme Godhead by mental speculation may approach the bodily effulgence, or the impersonal Brahman, and those who are trying to find the Supreme Godhead by yoga practice may find Him as the localized Supersoul, but those who are directly trying to approach the Supreme Truth by practice of bhakti-yoga can see Him face to face as the Supreme Person.
Ultimately, the Supreme Person is the destination of all different processes. The fortunate person who, by following the principles of scriptures, becomes completely purified of all material contamination, surrenders unto the Supreme Lord as everything. Just as one can appreciate the real taste of milk with the tongue and not with the eyes, nostrils or ears, one can similarly appreciate the Absolute Truth perfectly and with all relishable pleasure only through one path, devotional service. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gita. Bhaktya mam abhijanati: [Bg. 18.55] if one wants to understand the Absolute Truth in perfection, he must take to devotional service. Of course, no one can understand the Absolute Truth in all perfection. That is not possible for the infinitesimal living entities. But the highest point of understanding by the living entity is reached by discharge of devotional service, not otherwise.
By following various scriptural paths, one may come to the impersonal effulgence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The transcendental pleasure derived from merging with or understanding the impersonal Brahman is very extensive because Brahman is ananta. Tad brahma niskalam anantam: brahmananda is unlimited. But that unlimited pleasure can also be surpassed. That is the nature of the Transcendence. The unlimited can be surpassed also, and that higher platform is Krishna. When one deals directly with Krishna, the mellow and the humor relished by reciprocation of devotional service is incomparable, even with the pleasure derived from transcendental Brahman.
Prabodhananda Sarasvati therefore says that kaivalya, the Brahman pleasure, is undoubtedly very great and is appreciated by many philosophers, but to a devotee, who has understood how to derive pleasure from exchanging devotional service with the Lord, this unlimited Brahman appears to be hellish. One should try, therefore, to transcend even the Brahman pleasure in order to approach the position of dealing with Krishna face to face. As the mind is the center of all the activities of the senses, Krishna is called the master of the senses, Hrsikesa. The process is to fix the mind on Hrsikesa, or Krishna, as Maharaja Ambarisa did (sa vai manah Krishna-padaravindayoh [SB 9.4.18]). Bhakti is the basic principle of all processes. Without bhakti, neither jnana-yoga nor astanga-yoga can be successful, and unless one approaches Krishna, the principles of self-realization have no ultimate destination. [End of Srila Prabhupada’s purport.]
His Grace Badrinarayan Prabhu: So I traveled here by plane. It is a long flight. It is eleven hours from Japan and then it is another six plus to Singapore and another four and half hours to Calcutta.
By the way – just a side note – I was in at an airport one time and Prabhupada had just arrived and Prabhupada was explaining how everything you know in this material advancement is already known and surpassed in the Vedic knowledge.
Then Prabhupada said, “Just like flying on an aeroplane. In the Vedas there are three ways you can fly. You can chant a mantra and make anything fly like carpet or flower aeroplane.” He said, “You can make anything fly. That is one way, or you can chant a mantra and one thousand birds will come and carry you. Of course I don’t know what exactly condition you would arrive in, that is another issue and then Srila Prabhupada said or you can take these demoniac airplanes, which is more like being shot around in a can!
So then the newspaper reporter asked, “So then why did you come on a plane?” Srila Prabhupada said, “Just to be one with you.” (Laughter.)
So we shot off on the tin can. It was just a hellish experience. And there was the requisite crying baby on the plane but this crying baby had a unique feature. This crying baby banged on the back of my chair the entire way.
(Laughter.) So anyone who knows me knows that I have many shortcomings and one on that long list is that I am not very patient. So finally I thought what is this kid doing! So I turned around and looked. And this kid had a kind of cube; a toy plastic cube and it had different cuts on each side. It had a circle on the one side, a star on the other side and a crescent moon. They were holes cut in there. The kid also had blocks. It had a star to put into the star hole and a square that would fit into the square hole. The principle is that the kid had to figure which shape fits in which hole. Trust me the kid was no budding Einstein! (Laughter.) He was just banging away on this thing. Nothing fit.
So the point I am trying to make is that we are reading here that Kapila is describing sankhya yoga and the previous chapter is called ‘the movements of the living entities.’ This chapter is ‘entanglement in fruitive activities.’ The way that the material nature works! It is designed by Krishna. Bhaktivinode Thakur says, “Cavil as you will” Cavil means to quibble, argue so many things! You must surrender. The point is that the material nature works in a particular way and unless we learn how it fits and how we fit into it we will continually bang our heads against the stringent laws of material nature, which is what is happening here with the fruitive activities of the living entities.
I wanted to divide this little talk into three parts of progression just like we have sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana. We have to understand what is the relationship of everything. How is it all going on – that is sambandha. Then we understand abhidheya – how does it all work, how does it all fit. How do I function, how do I relate to all of this? And then when I act on that understanding there is something called prayojana – what is fruit, the result, what is the perfection of that understanding. So we are going to walk through a little bit of this.
Sambandha – understanding this material nature. There is a wonderful section in the Bhagavatam – the eleventh Canto – Enlightenment by the natural path. Now I want to take a few examples because to have the impetus to do something else than what we are doing now we have to have the understanding of futility of what we are currently doing. And someone who is really frustratingly trying to understand this material world! “A bird flies as high in the sky as it is able to”. So this is something that I can speak of.
In that section – the enlightenment of the natural path – there is the example of the bee and the beekeeper. We all know the saying – busy as a bee. Making a beeline. The bee does not look this way and that. He sticks to his goal. What is that goal or the ultimate issue? He is trying to make some honey. But he doesn’t enjoy that honey. What happens is that he works very hard and then what happens is that the beekeeper smokes them all out and takes all the honey. So we are working very hard. Perhaps we don’t even enjoy it.
I was getting my tyres changed the other day and this one man was talking to his foolish friend and they were talking back and forth. [Before we go any forward I want to apologize to the translators. I speak quickly. Wherever you are Hare Krishna. I apologize.] So this one man was saying to the other man, “Well what are you doing?” His friend responded, “Oh, I am just killing time.”
Now that fact of the matter is that he is not killing time. Time is just flying. Time is killing him. (Laughter.) So the fact of the matter is like the bee he is working hard but he ultimately doesn’t get to enjoy. There are many examples, but we have to push on. There is the example of the cocoon of the silkworm. The silkworm works very hard and makes the cocoon. What happens? The silk guy comes and takes the cocoon and throws it in boiling water and kills the worm. So we are all working so hard to create our lives, our homes, our so many different things but ultimately time comes and takes it all away. It is finished
There is an example of – this is from Bhakti Purusottama Maharaj. A man walking in a field and he falls into a well – an abandoned well. And naturally he is flailing on the sides trying to save himself and he grabs onto two things. So as his eyes adjust to the light he sees that, “I am in this well!” And he looks down and he sees this large coiled poisonous snake saying, “Come on! Come on down.” So that option is out!
He looks up and there is a tiger saying, “Come on. Come on up.” So he can’t go up! And notices that what he is holding on to is two roots grown out of the wall and there is a black rat and it is gnawing almost through the one root. And there is a white rat gnawing almost through the other root. So understand his precarious position. But coincidently over the well is a branch of a tree and it that tree there is a beehive and there is a little bit of honey dripping and he catches it with his mouth. So here is his condition. He is getting a little bit of honey. “Hey it is not so bad!”
That poisonous snake that is coiled at the bottom is time – the kundali – the body will wear out. The tiger at the top is Durga – three modes of material nature – adhibhautic, adhidaivic and adhyatmic. We are suffering from that. We are holding on and the white rat is daytime and the black rat is night time – gnawing through time. But we get a little pleasure and we think, “Not so bad!”
There was a devotee who was underage and he became a devotee and his parents were so disturbed. Because he was underage they were able to lock him up in a mental institution. So he was there under observation. This is a true story. After a few days the doctor came to see him. So they always ask, “Are you hearing voices? Do you see things? Hallucination?” So they can get an idea of what is going on. So he asked, “Are you seeing things?” And the devotee responded, “I am not seeing what you are seeing.” The doctore wnet, “Hmmmmmmm what is this?” So the devotee explained. They were sitting in the solarium with a bar with the table and there was a flower vase. And he said, “When you look at this flower vase you see that you can take these flowers and you can give them to your girlfriend or your wife and spoil her or something. Or you can smell it and enjoy it. You have some sensuous purpose for it.” He said, “When I look at this I see that on the one hand it has no use. It is simply earth, water, fire, air and ether. It is constantly. It is temporary. It has no real value. However when I take that temporary thing and I use it in the service of transcendence, in the service of the Supreme then it has permanent spiritual value. So I do not see what you see but I see the real thing.”
The psychiatrists said, “That is profound.” He said, “You are the first sane person I have ever met in my life!” (Laughter.) It is true! And he took the devotee, they had a little chit chat. The guy got a Bhagavad-gita. He was signing the devotee out, the young bhakta. That is what he did. The father came. So the doctor said, “You know I talked to your son and we made a major breakthrough.” The father said, “Great. You can come home and work in the fender bender factory.” And the doctor said, “Your son doesn’t have any problems. He is the smartest person I have ever met and I am releasing him right now.”
The father began to hyperventilate in complete anxiety, have a panic attack and they committed the father! (Laughter.) So the point that I am trying to make Prabhupada uses this saying about the material nature, stringent laws. Stringent means very strict – to impose a strict regimen! Just like if you are speeding we all accept that if I speed and the police is there I am going to get a ticket. We all accept that if we off. People say, “Well I don’t believe in the law of karma. It doesn’t affect me.”
If you walk off a roof and don’t look down you won’t fall. What do you think? “Well I don’t believe in the law of gravity.” Well good luck my friend. So the point is, Prabhupada said whether a child puts his hand in fire or a professor puts his hand in fire both get burnt, not that one gets a necessary reaction. No, knowing or not knowing one gets burnt. So one of the elements of intelligence is to understand the nature of this world – that we will get burnt by it.
Is it Visvakarma, the demigod of the devas? Lord Brahma made a cow and Visvakarma thought, “Well anything he can do I can do better!” So he tried to imitate and he made a buffalo. If you drink cows milk it is true it enhances the brain. Buffalos have no sweat glands. That is why they stay in the water. And all the poison goes into the milk. We used to say ‘buffalo brains’ in the old days. If you try to imitate, try to make your own system like Ravana building the stairs to heaven you will not succeed.
Someone sent me an interesting article about margarine. You know there is butter and then there is margarine. You know that margarine is only one molecule away from plastic? It has no food value whatsoever. It causes breast cancer, heart disease, cancer etc. So just take the butter that Krishna made. My point is gabble as we will, bang as we will the material nature is designed in a particular way and if we learn our position, how to relate to that material nature, that is the first step of the human form of life. The first point is intelligence.
In the first canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam there is that section – first step in god realization. The very first step is developing a sense of dependence. By seeing the virat-rupa how everything is working by design. Prabhupada always said design means there is a designer and from that progresses a sense of dependence. Just like we say Mother Earth – a sense of affection, a sense of dependence, a sense of a relationship developed by studying the material nature.
Another example – there is a great section in the second canto. Prabhupada talks about how we can meditate on ourselves and understand how ultimately we are different than this body and then we can understand that even if we are different from this body we are something spiritual. We are getting instruction, direction. Prabhupada said we could get the impetus from understanding of the Supersoul. There is a whole progression so that the living entity can understand his position of dependence.
Let me say this first because some people may argue, they may say, “Oh you just see design. It is the human nature. Human beings nature to organize and systemize the process.” Because we have so much of information coming at it! It is like trying to drink water through a fire hose. So we naturally take chaos and we think that we have it filtered in the system of knowledge so we see order. Actually there is no order. They try to say like that. They also say what do you see in this world? That there are so many .that there was no order and it did not work. I had a man say to me that the very fact that we are here on this earth proves evolution because all the other worlds did not work out. He said that this is the one that all the rough edges fit, that everything fell in the right place and therefore this world exists.
They say that if you put a monkey at a typewriter eventually the monkey will write a word. This is their argument. He may even write a little book, a little – ‘Sam saw the dog!’ He may put three sentences. But the fact of the matter is which they now accept that this world is so complicated. I was with a professor from the University of California, San Diego. It is one of the top hard science universities in America – which means in the world! It is where that Miller so called created life. So that is where he comes from. They say, they admit you got the monkey banging at the typewriter, if you have enough monkeys banging and eventually he will write a book. So if you have enough – you know universes are coming and gases are moving – all their different ideas and things popping up ultimately you will get a universe and here we all are. But the sequence of that, to have all the elements in place and each evolutionary step has to serve a better purpose than the one below it, to have all of those sequences fall together in the right order to create a universe is as complicated – it is not like a monkey banging on a typewriter. It would require a monkey banging on a typewriter and writing the complete work s of Shakespeare without fail at one go. This professor actually admitted that in his class. I said, “So you are telling me that I am supposed to believe that if I get enough monkeys – unlimited monkeys typing I am eventually going to get a monkey that bangs out Shakespeare at one go without a single error.” Even his students began to laugh. Impossible!
Prabhupada’s answer when they said about evolution. Prabhupada said, “What is the evolution. They are still monkeys!” (Laughter.) We all know Prabhupada’s standard answer. They say the missing link. Srila Prabhupada said, “Their missing link is my foot in their face!” (Laughter.) So the principle is to understand this material nature sambandha.
Now lets talk a little about abhidheya. I wanted to talk about a principle I was thinking about and I have given it a name. I call it the gift of the gap. The gift of the gap and what I mean by that is the world is actually stimulus response. Krishna says that from contemplating the objects of the senses passion is developed. From the passion comes frustration. Actually it is called the rudra principle – anger after frustration. And from anger bewilderment of memory and then intelligence is lost and one falls into the material whirlpool. People are seeing a sense object and they go for it – stimulus response – I see it, I want it, I get it.
The gift of a moments separation that gap – wait a minute! I am not this body. I am not this mind. I am not this senses. Is this in my real self-interest? They call it like in a nuclear reactor they have a time delay switch. There is a gap there. If something goes wrong before the whole sequences fires you can pull a lever and snap it. If one sees the world through the Vedic lens one has that gift of a gap. And I want to give some examples about that before I say any more. But to give you the corner stone example from which these other gift of a gap flows and we will give some examples in a moment.
I was at the LA Ratha Yatra in the free food booth and I like to slip out and listen to the devotees in the question and answer booth – what the conditioned souls say and how expertly the devotees answer. It is a lot of fun. So I was listening to the devotee. It was actually Jay Advaita Swami and he was on a role. And he came to the culmination point, the basic understanding, the corner stone; the beginning of spiritual life, the essential truth of all scriptures is that we are not this body!
There were two very large ladies standing in the laneway and when he got to this point – we are not this bodies – one turned to the other and said, “Boy, that is a relief!” (Laughter.) So the point is that to have that consciousness that I am not this body is a relief. All the desires, everything, it doesn’t matter to me. And to understand how the world works because yesterday was Tamal Krishna Maharaja’s disappearance day. Tamal Krishna Maharaj told me this story himself.
He said when he became the temple commander in Los Angeles, I think there were about thirty-five devotees living in the temple. And in those days you were either in or you were out. There was no gray area. So he said to Srila Prabhupada, “I have this new position. I have become temple commander and I am afraid it is going to go to my head. I will become puffed up. What to do?” Like Lord Brahma approaching Krishna! And Prabhupada said, “You just think like this. You think that Maha Visnu, Karanadaksayi Visnu is there and so many universes are emanating from him like bubbles from His breathing and from the pores of his body. Then in every one of these bubbles he is expanding again as Garbodaksayi Visnu and He is lying down in the ocean of milk. And then from His navel comes a lotus and from that lotus Lord Brahma. And Lord Brahma is creating so many planets. And in every planet there are so many continents and in every continent there are so many countries. In every country so many states. In every state so many cities, county’s and districts, then so many cities, then so many streets. And so many buildings and in one of those buildings is Tamal Krishna Maharaj thinking, ‘I am very important'”
It breeds a certain degree of tolerance, a certain element of humility to understand our place in the universe. Prabhupada saw you are in good hands with all state insurance. It shows the hens are there and it shows the house, stable, dogs and whatever, the . family. Prabhupada said, “You think you are sitting on the ground, I am sitting on the hand of Krishna.” He said, yoga-ksemam vahamy aham. [Bg 9.22] So one who has this he becomes peaceful, he becomes humble, he becomes tolerant.[So I am just looking at the time factor here.] To give a couple examples, meditations from the eleventh canto – this gift of the gap, how if we see with Vedic knowledge it actually breed a healthy happy life even in this life. On of the examples is the ocean. And we know the same example is there in Bhagavad-gita. So many rivers are entering into the ocean. I usually have a facts friend someway here who can tell us how many gallons, how many billions of gallons of water are flowing out of the Mother Ganga into the ocean at every minute. And then you have the Amazon, the Mississippi, the Nile River, so much – billions of gallons of water are pouring into the ocean and it doesn’t move one inch. Similarly so much stimulation, so much agitation so many problems are pouring into the senses and the consciousness of a transcendentalist, a genuine spiritualist and everything is peaceful.
Another example from the eleventh canto takes that ocean example to another thing. You may see on the surface of the ocean so many waves are blowing this and that, so many whiffs and it is turbulent but if you go down deep it is very steady. So there are so many disturbances on the surface but one who is deep is very steady. He is very peaceful when one is flowing in devotional service. So there are so many examples.
The moon goes through its phases. We see that it is waxing and waning but actually we see that it stays the same, only our perception. So the body is changing, birth, death, growth, maturation, decline and death but we know that the soul stays steady within. So, so many examples are there. Just as sideline, we could go but we don’t have time – this becoming peaceful.
When Prabhupada was in Los Angeles I was a bhakta in 1970. We purchased for Srila Prabhupada – not me – but the temple purchased for Srila Prabhupada one of those self-winding wristwatches, they call them kinetic now. They have some sort of gyroscope or something inside and they wind. Prabhupada was sleeping practically nil, a few hours a day traveling all over the world and yet he was so serene, so graceful, and so spiritually economic in his motions that the watch stopped. We had to buy Prabhupada a battery watch. My parents sent me one on those. I am so hyper kinetic it pinged and the spring broke after about two months. But look at someone like Srila Prabhupada how he is fixed and peaceful.
If someone understand this world, sambandha, not like the kid banging the squares at the block one develops that gift of a gap to see how I fit in this world and act on a plane of transcendence. What are some of the results? [In London if your cell phone goes off they charge you twenty pounds. You have to give it to the Deities. If you got a cell phone shut it off when you go to Radha-Madhava.] The general understanding is that to come to the platform of spiritual ecstasy, to be roaming in Vrindavan, “Where is Radha? Where is Krishna?” And we accept that has a certain caliber or certain position but I had experience with Srila Prabhupada in Los Angeles.
In the morning Srila Prabhupada was giving Sri Isopanisad class. He was teaching us the mantras. He would come in. He would greet the Deities, take carnamrta and sit on his vyasana. And of course when Prabhhupada sat we would all offer dandavats and even before we could come up we could hear Prabhupada’s oceanic, that wonderful sublime voice of Srila Prabhupada – om purnam adah purnam idam [Iso Invocation] Prabhupada would start rolling out with the Sanskrit. So we were used to that while we were on the floor coming up we would hear that oceanic voice – the voice of the ages you hear. This particular day we didn’t hear it. Silence. So we looked and tears were pouring down Srila Prabhupada’s eyes and he was looking with laser focus at the Deities, small deities. We did not have Rukmini Dvarakdish. We just had Rukmini Dvaraka, the small deities. And tears were flowing down from Prabhupada’s eyes. And I saw personally Prabhupada take a deep breath and he just pushed all of that down. He did not want all of that to get in the way of his service to his Guru Maharaj – his training of his disciples. It was simply a disturbance. Prabhupada just pushed it out of the way, that deep ecstasy because it was getting in the way of his service to his Guru Maharaj.
Prabhupada was in Detroit and the Devasadan Mandir if you ever go there on the beams of the exterior of the temple buildings there are things carved there. One of them has a pelican pecking his chest. And the owner would give Prabhupada a tour and he would explain,,, from Scandinavia because a pelican supposedly, a pelican mother if it has no food would peck it’s own chest and feed the baby. And Prabhupada said that this is Vaisnava compassion. He gave an example when the monkey went at the bars in his room Radha Damodar, the little baby monkey went in and the mother went nearly mad how to get it out and Prabhupada handed the baby back out. Prabhupada said that a mothers love is almost spiritual – a good mother, because that principle of selflessness.
Prabhupada used to come to Advaita Bhavan over here as a householder. The pujari told us. He knew Abhay Babu, disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur. And he would see Srila Prabhupada sitting and chanting japa very, very seriously and crying. So he asked Srila Prabhupada, “Why are you crying?” He said, “My Guru Maharaj has given me an impossible mission – go to the west and give them Krishna consciousness. He has given me an impossible mission.” Just like we heard that great class by Radhanath Maharaj and he was saying how Lord Siva drank the ocean of poison similarly the ocean of Kali-yuga is pervading everywhere. That is why Avaita Acaraya meditated on Caitanya Mahaprabhu to come down and spread the sankirtan movement to dry up the ocean of Kali.
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The point I wanted to make is that this burning compassion, when Prabhupada came to America – I think Harivilasa is the one who asked this – “Some of you god brothers went to England, some of your god brothers went to Germany, why did you come to America?” Prabhupada said, “Well they failed in Germany, they failed in England, I thought if I am going to fail atleast I can fail in a new place!” (Laughter.)
Actually we know Prabhupada said, “Everyone is following America. Let’s turn America and the rest of the world will turn.” And it is a fact. Prabhupada was moved. I heard Prabhupada say, “When I got off the boat I didn’t know whether to turn left or whether to turn right.” He had forty rupees, which they would not even exchange. He couldn’t even exchange it. It was paper. Kirtananda told me that Srila Prabhupada had the same forty rupees and that is when the taxi driver dropped them off and that is when they came back. The taxi driver cheated them of that same forty rupees. He couldn’t even spend it in America.
We heard from Jananivas about Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur and the entire Panca-tattva appearing before him. He went out at night and the whole Panca-tattva and all the previous acaryas they came, six goswamis, they said, “Whatever you need we will give you. Just start your movement.” Hari Sauri confirmed this and it is also in Mula Prakrti’s book. Hari Sauri had heard that Prabhupada had gotten the darsan of Rupa Goswami and he was thinking that he wanted to ask Prabhupada to confirm this amazing thing. And he was waiting for the right opportunity because we know sometimes we would ask Prabhupada something and he would say, “That you do not require.” Prabhupada was not superficial. He was not like, “I am manifesting ecstatic symptoms” Prabhupada was a profoundly deep personality.
So Hari Sauri was waiting for the right moment. He was either at the Radha Damodar temple or Prabhupada was looking at some pictures of Radha Damodar – the moment was there. He said, “Prabhupada, I heard that you got the darsan of Rupa Goswami.” Prabhupada said, “That everyone knows.” (Laughter.) He did not want to talk about it.
Later on the story came out that one of the Goswami children playing in Radha Damodar, he used to steal from the hundhi and Prabhupada caught him. Prabhupada said, “This is not good. This is not good for you. Why are you stealing?” And the child said, “I buy sweets. I take the money and I buy some sweets.” Prabhupada said, “No, no, no. I will make you sweets.” Just see Prabhupada’s nature. He said, “I will make you sweets.” So Prabhupada made him pera or some little sweet like that and gave it to the boy. “Don’t steal. I will give you sweets.” So naturally young boy he bonded with Srila Prabhupada. And at night he used to bring Prabhupada some hot milk, some puri or some little prasadam like that. He came one night. Prabhupada had a very heavy cough and Prabhupada was all bundled up and was not externally feeling very well. “Swamiji you want some milk?” ” No, no. It is all right.” He was coughing.
You know the Radha Damodar Temple or all of those old temples. When they lock those things, they have those big wood doors and the walls; they are locked tight as a drum! They heard a deep voice speaking to Srila Prabhupada and Prabhupada answered. He did a quick inventory. Everyone every resident of the math was accounted for. This was late at night. And coming out from Prabhupada’s room under the door was this bright light. So they were thinking, “Whom is he speaking to? What is this light?”
The next day the young boy came to Prabhupada and immediately he enquired. Srila Prabhupada was sitting very sublime and always blissful, particularly blissful this time and effulgent. The cold was gone and Prabhupada was chanting very deeply. And Prabhupada said, “I had the darsan of Rupa Goswami. He told me, ‘You just write these books. You go to the west, you write these books. We will take care of everything.'”
So the point I am trying to make is that they did a survey of what makes people happy in the work place. It was in Wall Street Journal. You would think that after a certain point when people have the basic salary and the got their health taken care of, they have got their health insurance package taken care of and all that stuff. It is not really more money or a retirement package or the corner office that really motivates people. What motivates people the most is a sense that they are doing something important, something greater than themselves, something that brings good to the world. That is what motivates people more than anything else.
The gross national product but really you have to measure the gross national happiness. To understand rather than banging like the kid with the cube, banging against this material nature, to act on the platform of spiritual understanding and to come to the point of let me serve in this Krishna consciousness movement, let me serve the mission of the six Goswamis, let me spread the mercy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Whatever my condition is it will take care of itself or it won’t, either way Hare Krishna! If we have that mood it brings the greatest happiness.
They have the saying that most men live lives of acquired desperation. Prabhupada gave the example if you put your hand in a bucket of water. Picture a bucket of water and you put your hand in, the water line goes up. You have displaced it. You pull your hand out the water line goes right back as if you were never there. Should we live a life on this planet as if we were never there, eating, sleeping, mating and defending, having some itch and scratching it? Oh now I feel nice! And then drop dead and become fertilizer. Is that what life is all about?
I am making an appeal. There are so many young men, young ladies out there. Winston Churchill said, the problem with youth is that it is wasted on the young. In other words you have got all that energy but you don’t have the maturity. So I am becoming an old man. Somebody will say an old man but I will become a little offended if you say that! But I am neck and scrape by time no doubt about it. Give your youthful energy to the Krishna consciousness movement. Do good for the world. It is the best thing you can do. You have that energy, you have that intelligence give it to Krishna, give it to the sankirtan movement. They asked Prabhupada one time, “What do you do for recreation?” Prabhupada said, “What? Our whole movement is recreation.”
My father had a paper rod at eight years old. My father was materially a very good man. He worked very hard all of his life and when he retired at seventy-five, everyone was wearing tuxedos. He was having a big retirement dinner. He said, “Everyone considers me very intelligent. I am retired at sixty-five at the peak of my career.” He said, “Actually my youngest son is the most intelligent.” People said, “Why?” He said, “He retired at. and a half.” People said, “What?” He said, “He joined the Hare Krishna movement.”
I just want to say one last thing. I was sitting in Prabhupada’s room in Los Angeles. If any of you have been to Prabhupada’s rooms it is that front darsan room. There are those two big bay windows there. It was a cold day, it was cold for us and it was cloudy. Everyone was wearing chaddars. Prabhupada was sitting behind his desk. For one moment the clouds parted, a ray of golden sun coming down. Prabhupada was bathed in this. The rest of us were in darkness literally and figuratively and Prabhupada was bathed in this golden light, warm golden light. And Prabhupada saw and he could immediately understand what was going on, the sense of the devotees. And Prabhupada said, “Yes. The time will come when you will feel this light as your lovers embrace.”
One last example from ‘Light of the Bhagavat.’ One of the last examples in that sphere is what we can learn from a child. The example is that Prabhupada went to the zoo and Prabhupada saw this. He would repeat this example. The small child was holding on to the hand of his father and the lions there, the lions were roaring and the child was roaring back. He was thinking, “I have my father here.” So if we simply practice Krishna consciousness, serve the sankirtan mission, serve the Vaisnavas, spread the mission of Caitanya Mahaprabhu our whole life will be recreation. We will feel that, we will come to the point of seeing that Krishna is the pure taste of water; He is the light of the sun and the moon. We will feel that we are not sitting on the ground; we are sitting in the hand of Krishna and we will feel confident just like the child, “I have my fathers hand.” So we have the Goswamis, the previous acaryas. They are there if we do it. So thank you very much. Hare Krishna. [Applause.]