Live From Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HG Urmila Mataji
Date: February 28th, 2011
Topic: Dhruva Maharaja Goes Back To Godhead
SB: 4. 12. 23
Speaker: HG Urmila Mataji
sunanda-nandav ucatuh bho bho rajan subhadram te vacam no ‘vahitah srnu yah panca-varsas tapasa bhavan devam atitrpat
TRANSLATION: Nanda and Sunanda, the two confidential associates of Lord Visnu, said: Dear King, let there be all good fortune unto you. Please attentively hear what we shall say. When you were only five years old, you underwent severe austerities, and you thereby greatly satisfied the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
PURPORT: What was possible for Dhruva Maharaja is possible for anyone. Any five-year-old child can be trained, and within a very short time his life will become successful by realization of Krishna consciousness. Unfortunately, this training is lacking all over the world. It is necessary for the leaders of the Krishna consciousness movement to start educational institutions in different parts of the world to train children, starting at the age of five years. Thus such children will not become hippies or spoiled children of society; rather, they can all become devotees of the Lord. The face of the world will then change automatically. [End of Srila Prabhupada’s purport to SB 4.12.24]
HG Urmila Mataji: This is the airplane coming to see Dhruva Maharaj. When I looked in advance at the verse and purport that Krishna somehow arranged for me to speak on I was very astonished. I will read Srila Prabhupada’s translation and purport. [Reads] I promise you I did not choose this purport [Laughter] It is just in order. I was thinking how the leaders of the Krishna Consciousness Movement who are all meeting now in Mayapur, of course most of them are now in meetings. We will read the verse again. [Reads]
Prabhupada says here that if we start institutions all over the world, in different places in the world to train children, the face of the world will then change automatically. So what kind of face would we like to have on the world? Imagine if anywhere you could go in the world there was a prasadam restaurant; if all the milk people drank in the world was from protected cows; if all the music was glorifying the Lord; if all the drama was glorifying the Lord; if all of the fruits, vegetables, the water, the air, the land was pure and sanctified; if the governments were full of raja-rsis; if it was easy to maintain yourself in such a way that you naturally think of Krishna!
Prabhupada in his purport to, yat karosi yad asnasi, yaj juhosi dadasi yat yat tapasyasi kaunteya, tat kurusva mad-arpanam [Bg 9.27]
He said everyone has to maintain their body but you should mould your life in such a way that you cannot help but remember Krishna at every moment. To do that in the present world is very difficult. Very difficult to get an education, to have a livelihood in such a way you can remember Krishna. If the face of the world were changed then everywhere you would be able to remember Krishna.
Well, you may say, “Okay, Urmila, but the leaders of the Hare Krishna movement, the leaders of the Krishna consciousness movement are not are not going to start these educational institutions in different parts of the world tomorrow, and even if they did – it would take at least twenty or thirty years before the face of the world would change, and by that time I might be in another body.” Well, from that consideration also we want to have educational institutions.
Twenty verses later Srila Prabhupada quoting Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati makes the point that if one is, how does he say? As serious and sincere as Dhruva Maharaja, one can go back to Godhead in one life. Are we as serious and sincere as Dhruva Maharaja? Anybody feels, “I am as sincere and serious as Dhruva Maharaja?” Five year old boy went into the forest with wild beasts and did such tapasya. After a while he was only breathing every few days.
We are working on a drama, ‘The Three Lives of Bharat Maharaja’. Bharat was the son of – who is his father? Rsabdeva – incarnation of God was his father. He attained the stage of bhava and he became a deer. And then again he took birth in a family of brahmanas. It took him at least three lives.
bahunam janmanam ante, jnanavan mam prapadyate vasudevah sarvam iti, sa mahatma su-durlabhah [Bg 7.19] My god brother Sridhara Swami once asked a meeting of the leaders, “How many of you are hundred percent certain that at the end of this life you will go to Goloka Vrindavan?” So then where will we go if there are no institutions in different parts of the world to train children? We might be one of the children and then we might have to go to a school where just being a vegetarian is a reason for the other children to tease you, “Oh, what’s that funny food you are eating? You don’t go to restaurants? You don’t know what the latest movie is? What’s wrong with you?
And if you talk, as I have, to many members of our second generation, how much they suffer in such schools where either they had to give up their Krishna consciousness in order to be socially accepted or if they wanted to keep their Krishna consciousness they were social outcasts. Where will we go? Will we have to be in such schools where it’s such a struggle even to eat vegetarian food, what to speak of anything else?
So it is our duty, all of us, to try to have such educational institutions. But you might say, “Well why is that so important? Why are we focusing on this?’ Sometimes we focus on other things. We have to establish varnasrama. Of course this is part of varnasrama, it’s the brahmacari part. But we have to always do harinam sankirtan. Of course this is also part of that. But if we want to ask, “Why schools? Why training for children?”
First I am going to look at a mundane reason. There’s a couple of researchers, Roger Finke, who is a professor of sociology and religious studies at Pennsylvania State University and he did research over a decade as to what were the factors in common for a religious organization to continue to exist. He says most religious institutions last less than a hundred years. Out of thousands and thousands and thousands of religious movements that start hardly any last for a hundred years and get at least a hundred thousand followers. Of course that is not our primary interest. Our primary interest is in purity, in bhakti, in a change of heart, not in numbers and years, but I think all of us, would we all like the International Society for Krishna Consciousness to still be functioning in thousands of years? Would we like more and more people to join our society?
So he lists ten factors which are found in common, and two of them have to do with children that are found in common for religious institutions that remain and grow. One of them is having lots of children. I am sure you all know that the fastest growing religion in the world is Islam. Do you know why? They have a lot of children.
Somehow in our Hare Krishna Movement we have adopted the materialistic view of children. The materialistic view is that life is for sense gratification. If life is for sense gratification children are a major impediment. It is very hard to go out to parties all day long and make a lot of money if you have ten children. You have to be responsible. And somehow we brought, in the name of renunciation, we brought this mentality into our Hare Krishna Movement. That is not a Vedic mentality. Bhaktivinode Thakur had twelve children. Srila Prabhupada had five children that lived. He had more children than that.
Srila Prabhupada writes in Caitanya-caritamrta that every woman desires at least half a dozen children. So modern society is get married late. If you get married late then naturally you will not have very many children. Prabhupada taught us to get married early. He said, if you are going to marry do it before thirty. Not that you get married at forty five and then you have to try to renounce when you are eighty. Hare Krishna. We do it backwards, you know. So get married early and have wonderful children. Prabhupada said if you can have Krishna conscious children have one hundred children.
There is no religious system in the history of the world that has gone on past one or two generations if no one has children. The religious systems where everyone is celibate – they don’t get enough converts to keep going. And if we look at what is one of the main sources of people coming into our Krishna consciousness movement, it’s the children of the Hindus. Of course now the Indian Hindus are also buying into the modern secular demoniac philosophy. When I was recently in South India everywhere I saw a sign, ‘One is best.’ Then it will become like China, one child policy. No one has a brother, sister, aunt, uncle or cousins anymore. So that’s one thing – that there should be a lot of children. And not just a lot of children like a pig litter.
Roger Finke also found the other thing related to children is that the children be, what he called properly socialized and that’s what Srila Prabhupada is speaking about here. Because he says there are two problems with children born into a religion. The first is that if they are not properly trained they are likely to leave because they did not consciously choose that path in this life. (Of course he doesn’t say ‘in this life.’)
And the other is that the children born into a religion are more likely to lower the strictness. They have a tendency to want lesser degrees of strictness – again because they haven’t made that fervent, we have to say, fanatic conversion experience that people not born in that system went through. Therefore he says without proper socialization the children will not add to the society. So that is one reason we want schools, a sociological reason.
Then Srila Prabhupada is giving a transcendent reason – that the children will become devotees of the Lord. The children will become devotees of the Lord. So a devotee has all good qualities. And this wonderful thing here in this verse about the devotees of the Lord – I am not anywhere close to a Sanskrit scholar but one Sanskrit scholar, Dwijamani Prabhu, disciple of Ravindra Svarupa, he was noting in this verse that this word na vacam no which is vacam na is the plural of our.
In Sanskrit grammar there is singular, dual and plural. And you notice it is just Nanda and Sunanda talking – just two. But yet the ‘we’ is in the plural form. And he said, following one commentator in the line of Vallabacarya – Girdhari Vallabh, he comments that the reason the plural is used here is that these devotees of the Lord are so glorious that you just don’t think of them as two.
There is also an interesting word – atitrpat. Atitrpat is an unusual verb form. He said it was the luṅ (aorist) of a ṇic (causative) verb. I don’t understand that, but if you are a scholar you may take note. He says this very unusual verb form which is hardly ever seen, it means to cause to become, that Dhruva caused the Lord to become happy: isvarah paramah krsnah, sarva-karana-karanam [Bs 5.1] – The Lord is the cause of all causes.
There is that wonderful purport in the thirteenth chapter of the tenth canto, when all of the cowherd boys and calves turn into Visnu forms, and the Lord is looking at the devotees, it says with passion. And Srila Prabhupada says, as do all the acaryas, that the original form of this passion is affection, and this affection of the Lord – it develops desires in the devotees, who are otherwise desireless. It causes them to be happy. But here we see that Dhruva is causing the Lord to be happy.
The Lord is unlimitedly happy. He is caused to be happy by His devotee. Therefore schools that produce devotees bring happiness to everyone.
mam ca yo ‘vyabhicarena, bhakti-yogena sevate sa gunan samatityaitan, brahma-bhuyaya kalpate [Bg 14.26]
As soon as one becomes a devotee he is above the modes of nature. It is the modes of nature that cause us to be selfish, cheating, or we could say it’s our desire to be in the modes of nature. All the bad qualities! As soon as one is above the modes of nature ones original good qualities, because we are all part of Krishna, that means we have most of the qualities of Krishna to a small extent, and when one becomes a devotee that is awakened.
So a school that would create devotees would change – as Prabhupada says here, the face of the world. You can say, “Well, all the schools of the world teach values: honesty, responsibility, morality.” But if you are not a devotee you are ultimately selfish. And if you are ultimately selfish, how can you have any good qualities? You have good qualities up to a point. There will be a tipping point.
We are all honest people, right? Everyone here is an honest person? We are all honest? Are we honest? Can anyone here say they are absolutely honest? And if you think, “When do we give up our honesty?” it is when we become afraid that if I am honest in this situation I will suffer. If you have no fear – the first quality of the divine listed in the sixteenth chapter of Bhagavad-gita is fearlessness. How can you become fearless, unless you are a devotee? Abhay Caranaravinda. You’re at Krishna’s lotus feet. Like Prabhupada says, the child holding on to the hand of their father, older brother – you are fearless. Let the bullies come. It doesn’t matter. I have my father here to protect me. I am the soul, na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg 2.20] I cannot be harmed. And when one is fearless, then, only then, can one actually manifest all good qualities.
No system of values training, however much developed by the most intelligent educators and psychologists, will ever bring people to a real state of morality and ethics. And another reason why schools are so important to change the face of the world is that Prabhupada said that children are like soft dough. He was speaking with Syamasundara. He said: “You can mold them in any way like soft dough. However you put them in the mold they will come out – like bharats, chapatis or katchories. Therefore if you give children good association they will develop nicely, if you put them in bad association they will develop poorly. They have no independent psychology.”
karanam guna-sango ’sya, sad-asad-yoni-janmasu [Bg 13.22]
Whatever modes we associate with, that will determine our character. Have you ever wondered why there is death? Why didn’t Krishna make a material world without death? One reason is that not all of our desires can be fulfilled in one body, and you have to forget one body before you can really get into the next one. But another reason, especially for the human being, is to allow us fresh slate were we don’t have so obliviously all these samskaras, all the impressions of our previous lives.
One devotee talked about how he was bathing in Ganga here. He started to drown and he started to think of a chewing gum commercial. When you have a fresh start you can be molded to be a devotee of Krishna.
What will we do in these schools? First when I saw this purport I was very excited. I thought somehow or other Krishna has engaged me for the last thirty years or so in trying to establish schools for children in different parts of the world. And then when I meditated on it further I thought: this is kind of a political topic, because people will say that the school has to be like this or it has to be like this, you have to have it this way or it is not bona fide. And I am sorry to say but even among those few – and there are very few, we only have as far as I know about fifteen schools all over the world, the majority of them are in India. In North America right now we have four – two of them in the same place. In Europe we have three – two of them in the same place. Most of our children in schools related to Srila Prabhupada are in India. Prabhupada says ‘in different parts of the world.’ And even amongst those few there is often not cohesion. “Our school is better than your school. We are the only bona fide school.” And of them the leaders, I am not just talking of leaders with a title – but often the leaders instead of encouraging the creation of more schools fight about what is the standard for schools. We only have so much energy and if we spend our energy fighting with each other – what will be the point?
So I thought we could look at some of the principles. Those of you involved in education you know, the first thing you have to decide is what are your principles. To determine this I went through a series of lectures Srila Prabhupada gave in Mumbai in 1976. He lectured on the verses on the Bhagavatam seventh canto, chapter twelve, texts one to six:
brahmacari guru-kule, vasan danto guror hitam [SB 7.12.1]
That series of verses about gurukula. Srila Prabhupada wanted to establish a school in Mumbai. If you are really interested in the subject of children’s education I strongly recommend that you read and listen to those lectures. What is particularly interesting is that Srila Prabhupada would go back and forth between talking about the brahmacari asrama for adults and the gurukula school for children. Sometimes He talked just about one or just about the other, and He would mix them. I always thought that our temple asramas were kind of gurukulas for adults. But he talked about devotee training in general.
So I went through those lectures and picked up the principles that Srila Prabhupada gave as well as looking at some other sources when Srila Prabhupada talked about gurukula. Of course the first is, as said in this purport, that the children become devotees. That is the point. And sometimes Prabhupada would say things like: we don’t need so much grammar. Just become a devotee. Of course Prabhupada wanted the children to know grammar. He did not want them to speak improperly. But the point is to become a devotee and Prabhupada would especially quote,
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto, mad-yaji mam namaskuru mam evaisyasi yuktvaivam, atmanam mat-parayanah [Bg 9.34] Teach the children to do these four things – to think about Krishna, to absorb their consciousness in Krishna. My dear friends, Krishna consciousness is not just a series of external behaviors. It is a change in consciousness. The beginning devotee thinks, “Krishna consciousness means: I move my fingers over the beads so many times, I show up at this time in the morning, I do this job.” And a little higher one understands it is a mood, it is a mentality, and higher than that one enters into eternal service.
Prabhupada’s also talking about gurukula in relationship to Prahlad Maharaja, saying from the very beginning: emphasize that the purpose is to come under the shelter of the internal energy –
mahatmanas tu mam partha, daivim prakrtim asritah [Bg 9.13]
Who is this daivim prakrtim? Srimati Radharani. That the goal of the educational institution is to take us away from being pierced by the trident of Durga who is digging her claws in on her tiger, and come to the sweet, sweet, sweet smile and tenderness of the loving care of Srimati Radharani. So that is the essence of an institution to train children. If that isn’t there then you cannot say it’s an institution to train children in Krishna consciousness.
Then Prabhupada talks about the love between the guru and disciple. I thought I would read this. This is from his lecture on verse one. “Therefore brahmacari means living under direction of guru, guror hitam. And guror hitam…how he can be simply thinking of benefiting the spiritual master? Unless that position comes, nobody can serve guru. It is not an artificial thing. The brahmacari, the disciple, must have genuine love for guru. Then he can be under his control. Otherwise, why should one be under the control of another person?” So the first thing is this genuine love between the teachers and the students, not just something official, not something with a title, “Okay you have to obey.” But the whole foundation is love.
Prabhupada also talks a lot about control of the senses, especially the sex desire. This is trained from a young age, that there is not just free mixing between men and women. One cannot live like an animal.
Worshiping the Lord and the guru every day, several times a day, rising early and attending mangal arati. I would say that I haven’t made a detailed scientific study, but that this instruction of Srila Prabhupada in relationship to children schools is probably the most, if not one of the most, often repeated. The children should be taught to rise early and attend mangal arati.
No nonsense talk. Especially, Prabhupada says, politics. And if our gurukula teachers are talking politics – how will the children give up politics? Politics doesn’t just mean who is the present president of America, what war is going on. Actually, a little bit of that you have to know, or you will be thought of as a fool. Prabhupada always knew who was the president of America or what war was going on in the world. But politics, (imitation of people gossiping) gramya-katha prajalpa – did you hear about this person’s fall down, this person lie, this person that, this person the other? No politics, no nonsense. When Rupa Goswami defines the uttama bhakta, what does he say? Someone who has undeviating devotional service and is devoid of the propensity to criticize others – not just devoid of criticism, devoid of the propensity.
Studying the Vedas, especially the Bhagavatam. I recently visited a school in Chennai where they are trying to teach Vedic studies along with modern education. They claim to be the only such school in the world. They take boys and girls but they said the boys study the Vedas – they are Sri Vaisnavas, and the girls study the Puranas. So I mentioned that to one of our Iskcon sannyasis. He said, “Lucky girls.” Of course we are interested in studying especially the Amala Purana.
pibanti ye bhagavata atmanah satam kathamrtam sravana-putesu sambhrtam punanti te visaya-vidusitasayam vrajanti tac-carana-saroruhantikam [SB 2.2.37]
Jiva Goswami says this verse, although it is in the second canto, is actually the concluding verse of Bhagavatam. Pibanti – you know what is pibanti? To drink. To drink this Bhagavatam. Saroruhantikam. Vrajanti tac-carana-saroruhantikam, this will bring you to the lotus of Krishna’s feet.
So we must say that in this regard our devotee Aruddha is the ‘exemplar par excellence’ in the world. She has educated her two sons almost exclusively on Bhagavatam. Mathematics course – Bhagavatam. And she is now developing a system where dozens, or maybe by now hundreds of devotees are educating their children just based on Bhagavatam. You say, “How is that possible?” Prabhupada talks about so much geography, history, science in the purports of the Bhagavatam. Everything is there. And if you met those children – have you met those children that she educated? She has two sons and if we had a thousand children like that the face of the world would change automatically. Perfect Vaisnavas and gentlemen, scholars.
To offer obeisances. Sastras say that the student should offer obeisances when seeing the guru and when walking away from the guru. In one lecture Prabhupada said, “My students, even if they see me one hundred times, they will offer obeisances at the beginning and at the end.”
Simplicity: Simple dress, simple food, simple furniture. Please remember that this applies to the brahmacari adults in the asrama also, according to Srila Prabhupada. I don’t know, something seems to have happened in Iskcon. We are more into furniture now. When I was in the grhastha asrama we never had a bed in our house. Now that I am in the vanaprastha asrama I am always being given beds. We used to have nothing – practically no chairs, no bed. Very simple! Just what you need.
Begging and giving to the guru. Prabhupada said at one point: in this institute of gurukula the children should go out twice a day for begging. This shows the ideal way that gurukula is financed.
We were speaking in the GBC meeting about finance and education. Gopal Bhatta Prabhu was saying how twelve to seventeen percent of every country’s finances are put into education. And in Vedic times this was done in two ways: the government, from taxation, gave money to the brahmanas, and also the students went in the village, “Biksham dehi, biksham dehi.” Everyone understood that maintaining education was the responsibility of everyone.
Years ago I asked many devotees, “Whose responsibility is it to maintain the education of the children?” and most people said, “The grhasthas.” You ask the grhasthas and they will say, “The grhasthas with children.” You ask the grhasthas with children and they would say, “The grhasthas with children who are currently in the school.” But there is no society that is marinating the schools just like that. It is for the whole society, therefore the whole society contributes.
Prabhupada says of the leaders, for the leaders, “it is necessary…it is necessary for the leaders of the Krishna consciousness movement to start educational institutions in different parts of the world,” not only India. And I assume Prabhupada did not want them only started. I assume he wanted them also maintained and nourished and flourishing.
Then, eating only when called. So the prasadam is ready but if your guru forgets. “Krishna das come eat, Ram das come eat, Jiva das come eat”, you fast. Of course Madhavendra Puri followed a vow like this. He didn’t even beg. Caitanya Mahaprabhu, when he travelled in South India, He begged. Madhavendra Puri didn’t even beg. Only if somebody came and said, “Here there is something to eat.” So then Krishna came and He said, “In My village no one fasts”, and gave him some milk.
But there are even devotees in our Krishna consciousness movement today who follow principles like this, and unless someone personally invites them for prasadam they don’t eat, even if it is prasadam time and the prasadam is in front of them. Srila Prabhupada says that this should be voluntary tapasya. Not that we take the children in the schools, “Okay, you have got to do this tapasya.” No. Voluntary! “Be careful not to kill the spirit of enthusiastic service which is individual, spontaneous and voluntary.”
And what is the main principle Prabhupada said for the gurukula? To chant the Hare Krishna mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. That is the yajna for this age. Other yajnas they can learn, without doubt, but the main yajna is to be chanting japa, kirtana, sankirtana, going out on the street.
Next principle Prabhupada talks about is very interesting. In the verse that Srila Prabhupada is commenting on – 7.12.6 – it has the word daksa – that a student should become daksa. What does daksa mean? Expert! So this is Srila Prabhupada speaking in relationship to the training of children in our schools and in relationship of training of the brahmacaris in our asramas. That is the context. Here is what Srila Prabhupada says. “Not that because he has become Krishna conscious, and Vaisnava, he is unable to do anything of this material world, no. One who is Krishna conscious, he is conscious of everything and knows how to deal with them. That is called daksa. Not that “Because I have become Krishna conscious I have no knowledge in other things.” No. Every … you must have, if not complete, to know something of everything. That is intelligence, to know something of everything and to know everything of something. That is wanted. That is wanted. You may be expert, a devotee. You know everything of devotional service, but you should not be callous. You know something of everything. That is called daksa.”
Next principle Prabhupada talks about, the last one I am going to look at here, is practical training for a livelihood. This Srila Prabhupada talks about in his purport in Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.7.6. He says: “The brahmacari, or a boy from the age of five years, especially from the higher castes, namely from the scholarly parents (the brahmanas), the administrative parents (the ksatriyas), or the mercantile or productive parents (the vaisyas), is trained until twenty-five years of age under the care of a bona fide guru or teacher, and under strict observance of discipline he comes to understand the values of life along with taking specific training for a livelihood.”
Now that we’ve looked at the principles we might ask, “Is there only one type of institution that can teach these principles?” If we look at the school where Krishna and Balarama attended, it was an asrama school, they were away from the village…do you remember what they learned in their asrama school? Sixty four arts! Anybody can name some of them? The art of playing on an x-shaped drum, like Lord Siva’s drum! The art of knowing what is in your hand if you can’t see. [Member of audience, HH Prahladananda Swami responded with these two] Somebody else? What else did the learn? I know you have the whole Krishna book memorized. [Reference to HH Prahladananda Swami.]
We were once in Russia. At our preaching program we were all taking prasadam. Prahladananda Swami said, “Would you like to hear Krishna book?” I thought he was going to pull out a book, and he started reciting the whole chapter.
Anyone else? What did Krishna and Balarama learn? [Member of audience responds.] They learned how to put wires or strings on musical instruments. Somebody else? [Member of audience responds.] All kinds of languages, even (that of) the birds, and the dogs, and the cats. [Member of audience responds.] They learned how to use pots filled with water as musical instruments. [Member of audience responds.] How to make flower airplanes. Could you imagine, if we had a school here, and one of the curriculum items was manufacturing flower airplanes!
So then, Caitanya Maha prabhu also went to a school and He was a teacher in a school. He both attended the school of Ganga dasa Pandita which is not an asrama school. It was a day school. And Caitanya Mahaprabhu at the age of fourteen also started a day school, and there – what kind of things was he teaching? We don’t hear about flower airplanes in Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s school. He was teaching logic, rhetoric, grammar, also debate. In one place Prabhupada says Caitanya Mahaprabhu could defeat Keshava Kashmiri because all the children were trained in debate from a young age. So in debate, in logic, in rhetoric – how to think…how to think, how to understand the world.
So my point is that there are different schools. The Pandavas, they went to the school of Dronacarya and I don’t think that they learned flower airplanes; maybe, but they especially learned how to fight, they learned the military arts.
So different teachers would have their specialty, their ways of teaching, even in Vedic times, even in Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s time. Prabhupada talked about unity in diversity. Prabhupada even talks about in his class on SB 7.12.4, he says: “In those days the gurukula was not palatial buildings but now if you haven’t got palatial building nobody will come.” So if we said, ok, especially in the West but even in India, if we said ok, our temple asramas, our gurkulas, everybody draws water from the well and sleeps right on the floor on a mat who will come? Prabhupada said therefore he wants some hot running water. Why are we building this whole complex? Why don’t we just go sit down under a tree? Because as soon as we build this, people come. Why are we building the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium? So same principle in our schools, in our asramas. We have to put them in such a way that people will come.
And then you might say, “Well what can I do about all this anyway? What does this class have to do with me?” Many, many years ago, it must be thirty two years ago, I heard one sannyasi say: whenever we go to Bhagavatam class we should think, “How can I apply this to myself?” Someday maybe I will tell you a funny story in relation to that. “But what does this have to do with me?”
First of all we can encourage children. And we were having, especially our oldest child in the Hare Krishna Movement, we’d bring him to the temple and the devotees would say, “Eeew! Get that ‘stoolbag’ out of here!” Everywhere we went, people: “Get him out, get him out, get this kid out, get this kid out.” And if the child hears that for eighteen years someday they may say, “Okay. I am leaving.” Children are disturbing. That is their dharma to be disturbing. They are noisy, they are dirty, they don’t have so much control over their senses. It’s their nature. They’re children. Make them feel welcome. Everyone can make the children feel welcome. You see the children come into the temple, you smile at them. Give them a flower, give them some facility.
You don’t know, twenty years from now, fifty years from now they may be us…that may be me there, maybe you. Treat them the way we want to be treated if we are a child in the Hare Krishna Movement.
Encourage people to have children. Encourage people who have a lot of children. If someone says, “Oh, I have four children, I have six children.”
“You have six children!”
One of my children is expecting their eight child. So whenever I tell people that the reaction I usually get is, “Eight children?!” Encourage! “Yes, have wonderful children.”
Encourage the schools. That means visiting the schools, knowing what is happening in the schools, caring about the schools. Not to find fault. Not visiting the schools, “Let me see what faults I can find.” But you encourage them. Look at what curriculum they are teaching. If you can – get involved. Help to find solutions to create Krishna conscious education, become part of some educational initiative somewhere.
Prabhupada wrote a letter in 1973, he said, “Gurukula is our most important project.” And so very similar to this purport, “If the children are given a Krishna conscious education from early childhood then there is great hope for the future of the world.” And for all of us we can follow what Prabhupada says in his purport to Bhagavad-gita 3.41. There Arjuna asked what causes a person to deviate from the right path and Krishna says it is lust and lust only. “Therefore from the very beginning curb this great symbol of sin, lust, by regulation of the senses.”
Prabhupada says in that purport, this means “from the very beginning of life”, but then he says from the very beginning of life or from the time one first understands its importance. So no one here in this room is at the very beginning of life anymore, and probably most of us didn’t have the benefit of a proper education. Our molding, when we were in the soft dough stage, most of us were molded wrongly, and then we were baked. Now if you want to change us you have to break us. You can mold the bread, then you put it in the oven, and then afterwards to change is very difficult.
So most of us in this room are past the moldable stage, I only see a few of us, a few moldable ones left, haven’t been baked yet. But still we can understand this importance of these principles – be a devotee, come under the shelter of the internal energy, love with the guru, sense control, worshipping the Lord and the guru, rising early, attending mangal arati, no politics – no politics…study the Vedas, especially the Bhagavatam, offer obeisances to guru, simplicity, giving everything to the guru, some tapasya in eating, chanting, becoming expert. Even if we are a little old we can still apply, and then at least the face of our world would change. At least we will be in Goloka Vrindavan. And as we have these educational institutions, the face of the world will then change automatically.
I want to thank you very much. I also just…I was requested to say something by one of the members of the community so I’d just like to say I am very happy that I was invited to speak. There is one letter where Prabhupada is very much, many but one particular where he is very much encouraging the women to be preachers. And he says in regard to women preaching prove it by practical example that there is no bar to preaching Krishna consciousness. So I hope that in all of our centers our preachers of Krishna consciousness will be young like Dhruva or old, black, white, purple, green, Indian, American, Australian, Russian, Brazilian, Portuguese and both men and women, not just that there’s one woman guest that comes once a year that they ask.
But that there are so many women in each community who have studied Bhakti Sastri and Bhakti Vaibhava. Mother Narayani is visiting here. She is one of only two people in the world who is teaching Bhagavatam at the level of Bhaktivedanta. Somehow by the grace of Prabhupada, he said, show by practical example that there is no bar in the preaching of Krishna consciousness and this is part of our International Society for Krishna Consciousness. So I think I have gone too late for questions. Thank you all very much. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! [Applause]