Live From Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami
Date: March 6th, 2011
Topic: Dhruva Maharaja Goes Back to Godhead
Verse: 4:12: 29
Speaker: HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami
parityabhyarcya dhisnyagryam parsadav abhivandya ca iyesa tad adhisthatum bibhrad rupam hiranmayam
TRANSLATION: Before getting aboard, Dhruva Maharaja worshiped the airplane, circumambulated it, and also offered obeisances to the associates of Visnu. In the meantime he became as brilliant and illuminating as molten gold. He was thus completely prepared to board the transcendental plane.
PURPORT: In the absolute world, the plane, the associates of Lord Visnu and Lord Visnu Himself are all spiritual. There is no material contamination. In quality, everything there is one. As Lord Visnu is worshipable, so also are His associates, His paraphernalia, His airplane and His abode, for everything of Visnu’s is as good as Lord Visnu. Dhruva Maharaja knew all this very well, as a pure Vaisnava, and he offered his respects to the associates and to the plane before riding in it. But in the meantime, his body changed into spiritual existence, and therefore it was illuminating like molten gold. In this way he also became one with the other paraphernalia of Visnuloka.
Mayavadi philosophers cannot imagine how this oneness can be achieved even in different varieties. Their idea of oneness is that there is no variety. Therefore they have become impersonalists. As Sisumara, Visnuloka or Dhruvaloka are completely different from this material world, so a Visnu temple within this world is also completely different from this material world. As soon as we are in a temple we should know very well that we are situated differently from the material world. In the temple, Lord Visnu, His throne, His room and all other things associated with the temple are transcendental. The three modes, sattva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna, have no entrance into the temple. It is said, therefore, that to live in the forest is in the mode of goodness, to live in the city is in the mode of passion, and to live in a brothel, liquor shop or slaughterhouse is in the mode of ignorance. But to live in the temple means to live in Vaikunthaloka. Everything in the temple is as worshipable as Lord Visnu, or Krishna. [End of Srila Prabhupada’s purport to SB 4.12.29]
HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami: We see there is culture. The philosophy is being connected together with the culture. Very important! Unfortunately much of the time we don’t see the two are connected. We think that the philosophy is one thing and it is theoretical of course and the culture itself is something .and it doesn’t apply to the modern situation.
In this way then the fine points of the philosophy, the culture and definitely the connection will elude us because anything we don’t have faith in we will not gain. The Lord cannot be understood by mundane intelligence no matter how intelligent we are. Lord Brahma, the most intelligent was unable to understand Krishna until Krishna revealed Himself.
So the point being that everything being Krishna there is no separate existence. There is only an illusion that separate existence exists. Actually it doesn’t. The soul is always perfect. Always has been and always will be but the soul being a person has a choice to act within that perfect platform or not. So acting in that then we will call that the perfected souls and if not we will call them the souls who’s perfection is covered by illusion, but the soul is never other than perfect. That means everything is perfect. The lack of being able to see its connection with the Lord. That is where the imperfection comes in.
Dhruva Maharaja is not influence by this modern way of thinking, that philosophy and the social culture at large is separate. The concept of secular doesn’t actually exist because God’s law still applies. God is still in control. Things still work the way God says they will. So the concept of secular is not actually attainable. Secular means that we see it from the universal platform, the platform of Vedanta, that the philosophy itself is actually giving the real truth.
Our conditioning – that is what we can consider elements that change according to the time, place and circumstance because our conditioning is under the modes and the modes are changing. So yes, that aspect is there but the philosophy, the culture never changes. So Dhruva Maharaja being such a person who understands this and is therefore qualified does not see a difference between the Lord, the Lord’s associates and the chariot that has been sent to take him to Vaikuntha. So he is respecting the associates. He is respecting the chariot and because of this he is situated transcendentally.
If one sees that everything is connected to the Lord one is not within the material world. This material world is actually an illusion. There is inferior energy. There is a material manifestation but its action depends on how we deal with it. We view it as the Lord’s creation it acts upon us and deals with us spiritually. We see it materially or separate from the Lord then it acts upon us materially So the fine point is that if one appreciates this then one is able to act upon this platform. Then one is situated in the spiritual world and like Dhruva Maharaja the body will function in a spiritual way and here then he takes on the spiritual qualities. He comes to the transcendental platform.
This element is very important because if we are saying that this is a spiritual movement and people within it are therefore being devotees are spiritual then we have to perceive them in that way also. So when we see something that is not ideal that is simply the modes of nature. The modes of nature will do what they will do. The soul is not actually involved. So the consideration in dealings is one based on between devotees who are servants of the Lord. What is the best situation in which a particular living entity conditioned in a particular way will be engaged in the best way in Krishna’s service.
Other things don’t actually have any meaning. We are so used to giving them meaning. The illusion has been so meaningful for so long that we by habit forget that it doesn’t really have any meaning. A dream does not have any meaning. It doesn’t have any value. So many dreams are there. If there is a dream about Krishna or the spiritual master we consider that yes that dream has some value. Why? Because it is connected to the Lord. Other dreams are not so important. Being chased around blocks; flying in the air – all these are not very important but people feel they are very important so their considerations will be other than this connection to the Lord but that will be a mistake because then we are missing out on actually being situated in Krishna consciousness, actually being associated with the Lord, associated with the devotees on the transcendental platform.
If we see the modes and we act on the modes, we are associating with the modes. Very simple! But if we are seeing with spiritual vision then we are unaffected by these modes. Then we can go beyond these modes and so it is very accessible. And this is not high philosophy. This is Bhagavad-gita. This is what Krishna is recommending, that we act beyond the modes by always seeing the soul, the Supersoul and the material energy. If we see these three then we will not be affected by the modes. Therefore not being affected by the modes we will not be involved in the material entanglement.
The banyan tree of material existence is nourished by the modes of nature. So it is a very simple thing here. So situating oneself in the temple means ideally of course physically to situate yourself in the temple, situate yourself in the dhama, that is always ideal because then whether we are god conscious or not we are situated properly but if by ones consciousness one situates oneself in Krishna then wherever you are then that is a temple.
Wherever Lord Caitanya went that was Vrindavan. Why? Because He was always absorbed in seeing Krishna, seeing everything in relationship to Krishna. So it is something very practical and very straightforward. Of course the only obstacle is our lack of practice. Since time immemorial we practice that the illusion is important so now the soul and the Supersoul is not actually an important element. Now we are learning that the Supersoul is important and the material world is as important as its ability to be engaged in the Lord’s service.
So it is just practice. If we have that faith and we take it up then we can get something done but if the faith is not there we will not accomplish anything. One can only accomplish something and be successful were one has faith. It is very simple! The materialists know this also. If you have faith you are successful if don’t you will never be successful. If we have faith in these words given by Srila Prabhupada, given by Sukadev Goswami then we will be able to apply this. Then we can make that endeavor and if we make that endeavor Krishna will reciprocate. If we don’t have the faith, if we don’t make the endeavor it won’t happen. And the faith also Krishna gives. So if we desire that faith Krishna will give it. He is giving everyone else their faith, their material faith. Why won’t He give spiritual faith?
This element is very fine because the element of transcendence means not being in the material sphere appears very similar to what they impersonalists discuss but the difference is the personal aspect. The Mayavadis can’t believe there is variety in transcendence. That is where their faith falls short. They can’t understand that because to them all variety has been a problem. One is trying to enjoy, one is trying to be happy and it hasn’t worked. So the idea that variety could give happiness and there can be transcendental variety it just does not come into their perspective. Getting out of the material world, following the proper performance of duties performed without attachment, this is the common ground.
Devotional service is performed beyond the material conditioning. Beyond the material conditioning one is liberated from that conditioning. So that point is common. So we have to be very careful that these fine points are rejected by ourselves. They are thinking that this is impersonal. It is not impersonal. What is impersonal is that thinking transcendence doesn’t have variety and that in transcendence there is ever a situation where it does not exists because even the material energy is Brahman. It is inferior Brahman, unconscious Brahman but Brahman none the less.
So material needs are illusion – that is not something connected to the Lord that is the actual definition. Actually the soul is always transcendental but due to its consciousness it evolves itself in the material sphere. So we can appreciate the greatness of the Lord , the specialness of the Lord and that means the specialness of everyone connected because if He is everything that means everything is within the Lord. That means that all living entities and all manifestations are connected to the Lord.
So everything is special. If we see that connection with the Lord we are able to deal nicely. There is no question of improper dealings. If we don’t see the connection with the Lord then we are up to our own material qualifications of the modes of nature. If there is more goodness we will behave better. If there is not so much goodness we will behave not so nicely. Any questions or comments?
Hare Krishna: Maharaj you are saying that we should meditate on the soul, the Supersoul and the material energy to always be free from this, so it seems to be pretty easy to meditate on the soul if we are out in the world doing some business or something. How to meditate on the Supersoul?
HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami: The platform of the soul, this means the transcendental situation, it means that the soul is transcendental to the body but the workings of the material world, is functioning by the modes. That is how it works. But is a reflection of the spiritual energy. The spiritual energy is then comprised mechanically of samvit, sandhini and hladini. Those reflected into the material world that is your goodness, passion and ignorance. So the point is if you see the connection with the Lord then you are working according to samvit, sandhini and hladini. If you don’t see the connection you are based on goodness, passion and ignorance. So that is the importance of seeing the difference.
Being a reflection as far as form goes and obtainment of results, the material energy, or the external energy will do that through the modes of nature. The internal potency will do that through samvit, sandhini and hladini. But as a reflection it works the same way. It’s the same function so what is important is our not seeing ourselves connected with the Lord. It is not the modes themselves are incredibly bad. The modes are just how the material world works.
Our being under the influence of the modes, that is the problem but the things are going to function by the modes of nature. Something is being created because of the mode of passion, something is being destroyed because of the mode of ignorance and something is being maintained because of the mode of goodness. If you want to create a new project, build a rath cart the material energy uses the mode of passion for creating. If we think we are the doer we are under that mode. If we think, “I am the servant.” Then we are not under that mode. So we are working under the samvit potency, because it is reflection.
Do you think you are the face in the mirror or you know you are the face and that is a reflection? This is what we are being asked to do. You look in the mirror and you will say that is me. No, you look in the mirror and you say that is my reflection. Me is on this side. Being able to see that means that you can situate yourself and understand how things work. Does that make sense?
What’s happening in there is that the Lord and His god qualities are the Brahman. The Brahman is the effulgence of Krishna’s qualities so that means Brahman is the Lords qualities. So then the difficulty comes that the quality is generic, connected with person we see that the meeting has some value in relationship with the Lord but it is a generic quality. But Krishna being everything that is not a problem.
So if we see something connected to the Lord then we are seeing Krishna’s power. If we don’t see it in connection with the Lord we are not seeing the power coming from Krishna. We are seeing the power on its own and give it its own value. This is the illusion. So the Brahman platform is you understand Krishna’s quality and the spiritual energy that is taking the forms and the activities in which that equality can be appreciated.
Krishna is great so therefore there is the manifestation or His opulence or some variety of way that we would appreciate God is great. That manifestation is the internal potency. That reflects into the material world. So then instead of the forms and activities being governed by the internal potency it is being managed by the external potency. And if you see yourself as servant on the spiritual platform you see God is there, the internal potency is serving God. We assist the internal potency. Then it is in its natural state.
If you see the material energy as the reflection, as Krishna’s potency that is serving Krishna then we become servant in the same process. So then that external potency will act as internal but if we think we are the Lord then we are working under the modes. So that is the Brahman understanding. In that way no matter where one is situated or whatever one is doing one can be transcendentally situated. Does that makes sense? That is why it is in a state. Devotees will say well the form is not important but if they throw out the form that is actually Mayavadi philosophy.
So when devotees say, “All this doesn’t matter. We will just do whatever we want that is actually the mode of ignorance. Krishna says doing activity whimsically is in the mode of ignorance. It is not based on sastra. And so thinking that way doesn’t have a spiritual content therefore it is not necessary. That means that is also ignorance but that is the ignorance of the Mayavadis. What is the ignorance of the karmi? What is the ignorance of the impersonalists, the jnani? So they are both mundane.
Spiritual means that it is connected to the Lord. So the activity and why I am doing the activity is because I am looking for that quality of the Lord, if I am in knowledge I am looking for the quality and connection to the Lord, if I am in illusion I look for that quality separate from the Lord. For instance someone looking for power. Power then has its manifestations. You have to have proper administration, proper management. You have to have opulence which you can then manipulate to get the work done.
So you see that this is all Krishna’s power and therefore what will the internal potency do with that particular power that you have and how that will be used in the Lord’s service? If you assist that you are doing devotional service but if you don’t do that, you think, “I am powerful and by my manipulation of the material energy I am therefore manifesting the power. It is me manifesting the power.” That means you are thinking that you are the Lord so you are under the modes.
That means it doesn’t matter what you are doing if you understand that its function you are not affected by the modes but it is as we said the Brahman platform but the devotee knows the quality comes from Krishna and that is the manipulated or engaged by the Lord’s energy. So there is no impersonal element because there is a variety. Impersonal means when there is no variety. Though it is Brahman platform it is not impersonal. Therefore we call it Para-Brahman or the brahma-bhuta platform.
The Paramatma element means you are seeing that and you are seeing that workings. That is the Brahman platform but your involvement in it and actually being involved in the activity that is where Paramatma comes in because He sanctions or not – the activity. So you understand he is the controller. You are qualified. You perform the activity in the proper way. In other words the activity has been given by Laksmi. Then it works nicely. If you want to do it your own way it won’t work so nicely.
So you do it according to the original aspect of the reflection. It is called pious. You pervert that, it is called impious. But now Krishna being everything, has entered everything, is in control of everything, that is the Brahman and Paramatma levels. Bhagavan means what is beyond that. He has a person. So Brahman is the omnipotent and omniscient. That is the Brahman platform. The Supreme controller, that is the Paramatma platform. The Supreme Personality or the supreme enjoyer, that is the Bhagavan platform.
All these function at the same time but for Krishna the only thing that is important is the interaction with the devotees. He is God. He just thinks, it happens. So it is not something special but the interaction with the devotees that is what is special.
Here we see Dhruva Maharaja appreciating that therefore he is respecting the plane and the devotees that are coming for that particular activity. So if one respects all this one can get somewhere. If one doesn’t respect one won’t get anyway. So the more one can respect at least minimum the devotees and ideally then even all living entities then one will be able to appreciate God consciousness everywhere.
So one should be able to make this distinction between Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. Bhagavan is what we are trying to get to because that is actually the place or what gives Krishna most pleasure. But if one is making that endeavor and separating oneself from material energy, understanding what is not the body, what is Brahman, you are doing that to please Krishna. That is part of the devotional process. If you are simply doing it because the material world is not very nice and you want to get out of it. You are not actually worried if you get out in connection with Krishna or not then that is not very impressive to Krishna. Then you are on your own. You had a qualification then you will make some advancement. If you don’t have the qualification you won’t get anywhere.
Prabhu: Thank you very much Maharaj. In the purport Srila Prabhupada mentions how Dhruva Maharaja entered into . actually entered into oneness and he advised how the oneness is different from the oneness in Mayavadi. And in your explanation also you explained how this material world is illusion. Furthermore how this dreaming experience is negative. So in the conception of the Mayavadi for the purpose of the Mayavadis the oneness is denying this material world as a real world. This is a finer point. I would like you to elaborate on this principle of which is a dream. Eventually it will become a dream within a dream because in this material world Srila Prabhupada explains in one purport that the dreams in this material world are a combination of the imaginary things the mind collects during the day and it may not be something logical. Let’s say the by-product of reality and the philosophy of Vaisnavism establishes that the material world is real. So could you please elaborate on this principle of how to see this dream?
HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami: So how to define the difference between what we say the material world is unreal and the Mayavadis say that that the material world is unreal. The difference is that we will say that the manifestation exists but seeing it not connected to the Lord, that is what is unreal. That is the illusion.
The Mayavadis will say it is just not there. It is our imagination that is there. So they will say that the matter that matter that we are able to perceive with or senses actually isn’t there. That’s like a dream. We will say, “No. That is real. The dream is what you think about that, how you perceive that.”
So this micro phone exists. It is just how you perceive it. You see it in connection with the Lord then it is on the transcendental platform. Then in that way it is real. But if you don’t see it in connection with the Lord, though the microphone itself is real you use of it is unreal because it is a dream. Because something that’s not being connected to the Lord is an illusion. There is no such thing. It is only your perception that we will think something is connected or not.
Prabhu: This is perhaps why Srila Prabhupada states also that material and spiritual relationship is spiritual.
HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami: A spiritual relationship is spiritual.
Prabhu: Yes. If somebody takes the relationship with the spiritual master is spiritual.
HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami: Yes. The relationship with the devotee of the Lord is. It means any paraphernalia connected with the Lord is real. If it is made from the spirit the transcendental element of that will remain. What may be caused by the material manifestation that may change, in other words the situation will change but those concepts don’t change because they are a reflection of the original. Like in the mirror you have a nose. That is because there is a real nose.
So the idea that there are families and children and villages and houses and land and cows and money and eating lunch and throwing out the garbage, all that remains because it is there from the spiritual platform. What changes is our situation in it. In the spiritual world one is situated because of one’s particular attachment to Krishna. Then you have a particular rasa. In the material world we are situated due to our attachment to the material manifestation. So that situation may change.
Prabhu: What will be the state, we are given so many references in the Bhagavatam of the state of consciousness in the spiritual world, what would you consider that to dream in the spiritual world?
HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami: What is a dream in the spiritual world? Dreaming about Krishna. What you have done with Krishna, what you will do.
Prabhu: So that is different from the dreams in the material world?
HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami: Yes. In other words the concept of dreams is real. The problem is that the dreams here aren’t made of any this that is substance. Therefore dream here means it is unreal but if it is about Krishna then it is real. So then it is just a particular state of existence. One is in a dreaming state. So it will be mentally transitive but physically intransitive. So that is what makes the difference. The activity when they wake up. Then they are both physically and mentally engaged in activity.
Prabhu: So it means that having a spiritual body you can only dream of spiritual things?
HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami: In the spiritual world yes you only dream of spiritual things. That is all you see because that is all that is there and that is all that you are interested in. So anything that is not you are not interested in. In Goloka there is no problem with that because all that is there is completely transcendental but in Gokula all that is there is spiritual and at the same time there is the material manifestation running parallel. So you can see either one, whichever one you want. You can see the real and you can see the reflective.
So if you are interested in the real, you will stay there. If you are interested in the reflection, you will come here. Both look the same.
Prabhu: So although the same existence in Gokula and Goloka.
HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami: Did you just trick me? [Laughter] You got me on this topic.
Prabhu: it is a .topic. When you were talking about .
HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami: No it connects. It is just a matter of being specific.
Prabhu: Thank you Maharaj for such a nice class. The basic thesis that you so nicely took from the text and purport is the Vaisnava oneness experienced by Dhruva Maharaja is another confirmation that culture and philosophy shouldn’t be seen as two distinct things. And you mentioned the problem if we do fail to see the Vaisnava oneness between the philosophy and the culture between science and religion, how we want to express it. But someone can say that in our Iskcon Society we have those things covered almost automatically due to the practice of yukta vairagya, using everything in Krishna’s service. So how would you respond?
HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami: The natural response will be how do they define yukta and how do they define vairagya because otherwise lip service is really cheap. It is one of the cheapest things. We chant Hare Krishna, we don’t care and yukta vairagya. These are probably two of the cheapest statements that the devotees use because if you ask them to define it you won’t get a scientific answer, you will get an emotional explosion, especially the longer they have been using it the more explosive is the response.
The point is yes it is true but the point here is as we were saying that it’s the mechanics that is there. If there is a science that means there is mechanics. So yukta means it is connected to the Lord. You see its connection to the Lord. You see it exists. You don’t see it – it is not working. Especially on the Brahman platform Krishna manifests there when you see Him there, if not it is just His energies that are taking care.
Prahlad Maharaja sees Nrsimhadev in the pillar. Therefore He is there. If somebody does not see Nrsimhadev in the pillar, just His energy is called the pillar, holds the roof up. But it is actually Krishna in the form of strength that holds the roof up. So that quality comes from that person. So you can see only one level or you can see it all the way back to the person. The basic transcendentalists are at least seeing that they are seeing back to the quality. If that is there then that is yukta. Then that is connected.
Vairagya means you are not attached to the results. You don’t think that you are the doer. That part is generally left out. Why that particular yukta vairagya? Generally if you study it’s because of the conditioned nature of the individual who is engaging it. That is basically what is happening, which is not a problem if it is yukta. And one is not attached to the results. If one is attached to the results then it is sakama karma yoga. If one is not attached to the results then it becomes niskama. So that becomes quite beneficial.
Pure devotional service means you are starting with Krishna and then engaging your nature rather than starting with your nature and then connecting it with Krishna. Most of the time when devotees say yukta vairagya they mean what I want to do I connect that to Krishna which is perfectly bona fide but they will say it as if it is synonymous with pure devotional service. Pure devotional service means you start with Krishna and then you engage your nature. There is a difference.
If I serve you food first then I eat or if I serve myself food first and then you eat, there is a difference in culture. If I serve you first I will be called a good host. If I serve myself first then they will say, “What’s with this guy?” Because with Krishna if anything that we connect to Him, then He considers that wonderful. So He overlooks the lower element. But pure unalloyed devotional service has a definition in that it doesn’t have any of these other elements mixed with it. So we have to be very careful that yukta vairagya means that we connect.
The other thing is that in yukta vairagya we are saying that we don’t care for the external and what are we doing? An external! So we are very dismissive of one external and very strong on the point that this external is okay to use. So the view is still external.
The actual point of yukta vairagya means you see what is the principle at work because in any activity in any form there is a principle behind it. As we said Krishna’s quality is the first point then Laksmi manifests forms and activities that serve that calling. So that means form follows the quality. That means if you understand the principle, the quality that particular sastric form is using then if that form doesn’t apply in that particular situation then you are able to use the principle that is there to apply in some other form that we may consider more modern because all the forms are simply reflections of the spirit. But if we can’t see the principle of which we are trying to apply there is every chance we are actually not engaged in yukta vairagya.
Unless some authorities told us to do it then there is a good chance. If we on our own are just making it up there is a good chance we haven’t because then we are saying one form won’t but one form will. Both forms only work if it is based on the principle. If we don’t see the principle it still doesn’t work.
The very last sense means all forms whether it is the original or the reflection are working on the same quality, the formal course or the spiritual energy in serving Krishna’s quality. And the material energy which is the reflection of that in serving that same quality. They are doing the same thing. It is a matter of which one we want to work under. If we identify with the material energy and we work under her we are in illusion. We don’t identify with the material energy, we identify with the soul, servant of Krishna, then we serve the internal potency.
So that means we have to see the quality that is being used. Just like for example we say the traditional clothes won’t work in a particular situation. Okay, fine! But that is still a form. What is the reason it won’t work? What is the reason we say the modern world. Basically it comes down to I am uncomfortable in this, I will be uncomfortable in this if they are uncomfortable in this. Rather than what is the particular element, what is the quality that you are trying to deal with.
The point is that the Vedic dress is there. This is how a gentleman dresses. If you understand that principle then you can’t use traditional dress, you can use some modern dress that obtains the quality of culture, of gentleman. Why would you do that, dress like a gentleman? So that it pleases Krishna. Then it is yukta vairagya. But if that mechanics is not there then there is every chance that you are dressing in modern clothes because you are more comfortable that way.
Actually you would dress that way whether it has anything to do with Krishna consciousness or not. It becomes very, very loosely connected as yukta vairagya. It is not a powerful position. So the devotees have the knowledge by which they can make it very powerful. That is what we are discussing – how to make any situation connected. But that is the lower levels of Brahman and Paramatma. Then there is connecting it to Krishna as a person. So actually would he be pleased with this particular way that we are connecting. So here is variety within Brahman.
So I can have some sort of crazy street dress or something that will be seen as more gentlemanly. So you could see the connection with either of them but there is going to be a difference in the quality that it manifests. So there is still variety within Brahman. If we can see that then we are actually seeing with a spiritual . If not then we tend to work same as the Mayavadis do. They can’t see the variety. Because one of the first symptom is that the spiritual won’t work, the traditional won’t work. Only the modern will work because then we are only seeing form as so we are not actually seeing spiritual variety, we are not seeing why anything works. We are just seeing, “Oh people won’t like it.” Why do people like and not like? Who has given that concept that people like and not like? In every culture of the world there is an acceptable dress. Even amidst the aboriginal there is an acceptable dress and there is not. Where did that come from? It came from God. It did not come from modern man. The proper way to interact came from God not from modern man.
Prabhu: So you seem to be saying that 2.46 in Bhagavad-gita that one who knows the purpose behind the Vedas all the purposes of the Vedas are fulfilled. That seems to be implying that although there is an ultimate goal but that word purpose can also mean purposes. Like you mentioned dress in terms of gentlemen.
HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami: That is application. The point is what is the situation? It means that you are dressed this way or that way, that is the situation. Situation is not where you define something is good or bad. It is what you do with the situation.
I have a fabulous kitchen – five-star kitchen! One would say, “This is great.” But it is only great if you are going to cook. What happens if the kids come in and they bring their cricket bat and ball and start a game? Is that good? No. A situation does not define good or bad. It is what you do with the situation that defines. So that you are wearing devotional clothes or karmi clothes, that is not the problem. What is the mentality behind it? That is what defines it.
Devotees look at situations. Why do they do that? They are conditioned to that. Why? Because that is the material consciousness. If I have this situation I have my opportunities for sense gratification. And in the consumer society the whole focus is exclusively on situation. They don’t tell you what to do with it. They just say if you have this car, if you have this phone, if you have this watch then you are going to be great. No. It is what you do with them that makes you great. That is the problem. We become conditioned and due to our conditioning we make the same mistakes. To do something you have to know what the goal is. To know the goal you have to know what the actual quality of Krishna you are trying to take and what aspect of Krishna are you serving.
If a devotee says, “Oh we don’t follow the rules.” How do you not follow the rules? Not following a rule is a rule. “We don’t follow the rules.” That is there rule. So you are not going to get away from rules. You are not going to get away from the apparent nature of something. That is our philosophy. If you think you can. That is illusion. But the point is to have the intelligence to be able to see the difference that the Mayavadis can’t see. Remember in the verse it is nirvisesa-sunyavadi-pascatya-desa-tarine. It doesn’t say that all the . discussing sense gratification that the westerners are into. That is not the actual problem. The problem is the hard core impersonalism and voidism. That is the problem because they can’t see variety and spiritual – only material. So as soon as it becomes spiritual, variety is gone. So if you want to be practical you have to work with a variety therefore it is all spiritual. Very dangerous! It is 9 o’clock. We should end. Srila Prabhupada Ki! Jai! [Applause] [To receive Mayapurlive lectures by email, write to firstname.lastname@example.org]