MAN WOMAN INTERACTION LECTURE #3 Eger, Hungary, 1st Aug 2007 Part 2
Can you express love…? If somebody is dealing, you are with someone right now, how do you express your love to them in the future or in the past? Can you do that? You are with them now, you have to express it now, so how would you express that, if you are serving prasada? [Silence] Brain working? Ears moving? Sparks?
Prabhu: This activity itself in the proper mood expresses the love in the moment.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Okay, proper mood, so what is the proper mood?
Prabhu: Showing respect towards the person to express our love.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Okay. And then how do you show that respect?
Prabhu: That was my question. [Laughter]
HH BVPS Maharaja: So you take the bucket and grabbing the handle you shake it out? I mean, the pigs love you for that. [Laughter] Does that make some sense? So the point is is, because your question was on the balance, not how to serve prasada properly, right? Yeah. So then that means that you are performing your duties because those are to be done. Sentiment is when I feel like it, I do it, if I don’t feel like it I don’t do it, right? And so in the Vedic culture ignorance or lack of activity is not appreciated. Because lack of activity means lack of relationship. So relationship is the basis of the Vedic culture. So that means, there must be interaction. So that means, duties are the medium through which you express the relationship. Otherwise, only when you feel like it you’ll do something. So how does another person can feel secure in a relationship, if it’s simply based on your whim? You know what I am saying? But the duty is performed. To give example, the wife is upset with the husband, but when it’s time to eat, food is there. The food is served properly, but there may be no conversation, other than “You want this?” or “You want that?” Therefore the husband knows he has done something wrong, but the duties still go on. Okay? Now, considering that, the wife is doing the duties, but at the same time is upset. What would be the natural tendency of the husband? To get angry or to feel he was wrong and try to correct it?
Prabhu: The second.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Try to correct it, right? Okay, let’s take the modern. God plus modern, right? The wife is upset with the husband, she doesn’t cook. He comes home, wonders if there is something to eat. She says, “Get it yourself.” Now, what’s going to be the natural reaction of the husband? To get angry or to feel, “Oh, yes, I am so wrong, I shouldn’t deal with her like this.”
Prabhu: He will get angry.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, so therefore of the two, which actually is better for cultivating and developing and maintaining the relationship?
Prabhu: The first one.
HH BVPS Maharaja: That’s why in the Vedic culture the relationships, all relationships are based on duty. So if you don’t know who you are and you don’t know who other people are, how can you know what your duty is? And if you don’t follow your duty, how do you express a relationship, other than just sentiment? So the Vedic is the perfect balance between knowledge and emotion, while the modern being simply based on sentiment, maybe great, may not exist at all. And how can you ever be confident in such a relationship that you know is simply based on the whim of the other person? Therefore the modern culture is going neurotic, because no one is secure, because there is no actual basis of the relationship that you can count on. The Vedic, you know you will be fed, but because they are doing that, then you really feel you should behave yourself, so that they don’t get upset. Does that make sense? Like that. So that’s the proper balance, in other words, what your duty is.
Like let’s take here, let’s take another example, we’ll use a popular example. So for last two questions are [indistinct 8:58] Only his was on nature. So, let us say, okay, now we are taking this and the loving exchange between devotees and we are serving prasada. So in serving the line of the prasada, and the brahmachari is serving the prasada, and one end is the men, but the other end is the ladies. So now, how does he express the loving exchange between devotees if he is planning to maintain his brahmacharya? In other words, his duty is to as nicely as possible and as needed get things on everybody’s plate. So it doesn’t matter if it’s man, woman or child. But interaction other than that will be limited with the ladies. So as far as duty goes, the serving of prasada, you won’t see any difference in the brahmachari how he serves the men or he serves the women. But with the men he may, there may be more joking or this or that, with the women there is not. Does that make sense? Just to make sure that nothing weird happens. In other words, it’s duty. Then also, because duty is being performed, then you won’t get the problem of just because the person is behaving not like an animal, therefore he must love me. [Laughter] Because I’ve had many brahmacharis say, “If I actually behave nicely with the women and behave in a respectful way, then that nanosecond, then you know…” he has got 10 offers for marriage, so therefore they just, they act more roughly. That’s why the Vedic culture is based on duty, whoever is serving prasada, they follow the rules of serving prasada, and it doesn’t matter who it is. Subhadra served prasada to Arjuna for 4 months and it was properly done, even though she was an unmarried girl and he was a sannyasi. But it was only at the end when Krishna was talking to her that, “You know, that’s Arjuna and he is only going to marry you if he knows you are interested,” then along with the proper serving of prasada, then she would smile and all the feminine graces. Do you understand? So that means, you can serve prasada, you can be nice without establishing a relationship that’s going to end in marriage. Does that make sense? Any other mashes? Yes?
Prabhu: We would accept this Vedic culture, we would like to spread this Vedic culture, and when we are in Sankirtan, therefore is it best to dress in dhoti and kurta and with tilak to impress people with Vedic culture, or is it better to just dress nicely to attract them anyway or to dress as perfect gentlemen and to attract them that way?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Erm… How you say? A zip-up cotton… How you say? I don’t even know what you call’em… The thing with the jig that you are wearing, that’s dressed-up? The zip-up cotton jumper, is that dressed up?
Prabhu: No. [Laughter]
HH BVPS Maharaja: So why do you use the word “dress up”? That’s called “dressed down.” [Laughter] Dressed up, you would be wearing something more formal. A gentleman can go up to anybody on the street. But a punk is limited in their access to the cultured society. And if you really look at it with an objective view, who’s got the money? The punks or the other people?
Prabhu: The gentlemen.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, so therefore if you dress like one, they would not think it’s strange. They would not go, “Hey, this book distributor is coming up to me not dressed like a punk. I don’t know if I wanna talk to this guy.” You know what I am saying? Have you ever seen pictures of Prabhupada where he was wearing like karmi coats and hats? There is pictures. Or Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura? So, do they look punk, or do they look cultured?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Okay, let us say you are out on the street, you bump into a JW (Jehovah’s Witness), how are they dressed?
Prabhu: Like gentleman.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Do you know that they are the fastest growing thing going on? So much for the punk presentation. So you do what works. My point is is, priests walk down the street wearing this funny, baggy, black outfit, and nobody goes… You know, the punks don’t start rolling on the ground. You know what I am saying? So if you are out doing Harinama, it’s something that’s known that the devotees are doing, or you are doing a Padayatra, you distribute books dressed the way we are dressed. I was in London, I was in the airport, and I had one middle-age gentleman going by with his family, and when he saw me, then he went like this. No, not two hands, one hand. Who respects like this? Buddhists. That means, when we dress up how we are dressed up, at best people think we are Buddhists. Internationally. Because no one takes the robes and connects it with Hare Krishna anymore. Orange robes means Buddhist. So much for our world domination, our practical, you know, doing the necessary and all that, we doing the necessary have plunged our movement into oblivion, where no one even knows we exist or what we are. Previously, everyone knew who we were, nowadays no one knows who we are. Maybe around here, but I am just saying, you go outside of here, no one knows. We are so busy fitting in that no one even notices them. You know what I am saying? Okay?
So the point is is if the situation is such that book distribution goes better not dressed in a dhoti… But then dress in a proper way. In other words, like this. If we told you, “Okay, you have to put on some karmi clothes you are gonna go out, go down to the market and pick up something, down to the shop.” Or you are gonna go across town to visit a friend. If you think about it, if you went out on Sankirtana, you would wear exactly the same clothes. But it should be, if you are representing the Society, you would dress in a more cultured way. Does that make sense? So that’s the point, time, place, circumstance. What works, we do, but it’s got to work. Does that make sense? Something else?
Prabhu: So you mentioned time, place and circumstance and also the mood, and does this proper mood mean being personal…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Time, place, circumstance includes mood. Circumstance is mood. You go to a situation and then you couldn’t do the activity, you come back, and then they ask, “So what happened?” “Oh, the mood was wrong,” that means, the circumstance was wrong. Do you understand? So time is time, place is place, circumstance is the mood. You know what I am saying? Like that. Now go ahead with your question.
Prabhu: Does the mood, being in a proper mood means being personal, and if it means being personal, does this have a relationship with Krishna too?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Being personal means, personal means dealing with the actual nature of the other person. What is your relationship with the other person? What is expected of you in that relationship? That’s personal. So personal may mean not being nice and chummy, it may be being very firm. Do you understand? So, personal means you are dealing with the other people in who they are and how they are relating in that situation. The girl walks out of the shop and there is a bunch of young wild punks outside. So therefore then she keeps her head down, makes no eye contact and just walks by. That’s dealing with the persons. She has no relationship in a close way, her relationship is in a distant way. Relationship is “keep away from these guys.” Therefore she deals appropriately. She comes out of the shop and there is a whole bunch of her close friends just happen to be walking by. Therefore she makes eye contact, smiles, talks, may give them a hug and like this. Does that make sense? Personal means knowing who you are, who the other person is and what is your relationship and then doing that. Does that make sense?
Prabhu: Because I’ve heard that our major, the major thing that is lacking in us for our relationship with Krishna is being personal. And so how this being personal with [indistinct 29:03] relationship with Krishna?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Because Krishna establishes the rules on how to deal in the environment. In other words, the rule, okay, the girl is a cultured girl, so therefore when she comes out and the punks are there, she ignores them. That’s Krishna’s rule. But let’s say, the girl is a professional, so when she comes out of the station and sees the punks, they’re possible customers, so because then their relationship is different, so therefore she shows some charm. Do you understand? So it’s God’s rules. Does that make sense?
So the point is is, if we follow God’s rules, then the most important of God’s rules is to always remember Krishna and never forget. Therefore we are always trying to relate to Krishna, to Krishna’s devotees, Krishna’s creation. Does that make sense? So the principle is that personal interaction, you just have to know how to apply it. Does that make sense? So the problem is not relationship. The problem is misapplied relationship. Do you understand? Where Krishna is not part of the equation. Does that make sense? So it’s not a matter of giving up relationships. It’s a matter of connecting to Krishna. To do that, maybe one has to adjust relationships that actually get in the way of our remembering Krishna. Does that make sense? But the point is not to get rid of relationships, the point is to establish them. Someone is eating food, but they are eating the wrong food and they are getting sick. So is the problem eating food? No, it’s eating the wrong food that’s a problem, if they eat the right food, they’ll get healthy. Do you understand? So relationships aren’t the problem, wrong relationships are the problem, because the right relationship is everything in connection to Krishna. Yeah?
Prabhu: We see that there are many karmis who are very expert in relationships, some of them know the rules that lie behind the relationships, so if these people turn towards Krishna, is it better for them to establish their relationship with Krishna?
HH BVPS Maharaja: It maybe easier for them to understand the concept, but anybody can understand, it’s just they have the practice, while others will just have to start with their intelligence. But it’s not necessarily they know the principles behind it. They may know some elements of it. But the ultimate element is, why do you have to be nice to the other? Why? They are nice to people. But who said you have to be nice? You know what I am saying? They’ve decided themselves, “I should be nice to people,” but who said you should be nice? Right? You know what I am saying? When you went to karmi school, what class did they say, “You should be nice, you should give in charity, you should help other people, you should be tolerant and humble,” what class? Hungarian? Math? No class, so therefore where does the concept ever even come up? Why should we be nice? Who said? So that’s their own personal conviction, but what does it got to do with reality? Do you understand? The point is is, God says you should be nice, that’s why we are nice. Otherwise, how do you know what you should do or not do? And what’s the definition of “nice”? You know what I am saying? How do you define “nice”? Taking care of the senses? Or taking morality and justice? One’s duties? The nature of the soul? Or one’s relationship with God? How do you define what’s being nice? Does that make sense? Doctor is being nice, he is taking a knife and cutting you from stem to stern. Why is that nice?
Prabhu: Because it’s for our benefit.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, okay, so then that’s on one level, okay. That’s for our physical benefit, so then that’s one way of being nice. Then you could take it, now you can do that, but now, does he do a nice job, or just an okay job? Which should he do?
Prabhu: Nice job.
HH BVPS Maharaja: That’s because it’s his duty as a doctor, right? Okay, but then what about the soul? Is it nice when you remind people about Krishna consciousness? Yeah, but some people don’t think so. [Laughter] You know what I am saying? So the point is is, nice has its definitions. We can’t make them up, but if somebody is nice but they are only nice in one area, that’s okay, they can learn to expand that niceness. If someone is nice, meaning they take care of people’s senses. I mean, it’s good that they consider others, they know others need something, and so they try to help to fulfill that. But what if you are in a situation that’s beyond that? It’s a fast day, the child is hungry, the child does have a mentality they could fast, but they are a little lazy. So they find somebody who is sentimental enough, they will give them food. So was it nice to give them food, or was it nice to explain to them why they shouldn’t be so clever, and just continue fasting?
Prabhu: The second one.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, so therefore definition of “nice” is given by God, otherwise how would you know what’s nice? Does that make sense? So the whole idea is that you can be an advantage if you can progress. But now, what if they choose the option of dealing with the kid that’s clever and has gone to them and has gotten some food, and then somebody else comes along and said, “You didn’t have to do that, because the kid does fast, but just he played on your sentiment and got something to eat.” So if they are attached to niceness, then they can understand, “Okay, here is a higher form of niceness by explaining to the child.” Or they could remain attached to their particular form of niceness and then say, “No, no, how can you be so cruel, the child is hungry,” and then that person may go away from Krishna consciousness. Does that make sense? So it could be an advantage if they understand the principle behind it and move forward with it, use it as a medium to advance. But if they remain attached to it, then it won’t help them to progress, it will be good in the beginning, their sadhu-sanga will be good, but their bhajana-kriya will have problem. While the person who isn’t so good at relationships, bhajana-kriya will be fine, but his sadhu-sanga won’t be very good. So therefore ultimately there will be a problem, because spiritual life means, you are always going to be associating with devotees. You know what I am saying?
Prabhu: So can we say that serving Krishna and remembering Krishna through being personal is as important as serving Him and remembering Him through anything else?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Say that again?
Translator: That serving Krishna through being personal is one way of serving Him and remembering Him, which is as important as other ways…
HH BVPS Maharaja: But what are you remembering? A thing or a person? Krishna expanded the creation for personal interaction. So relationship is what’s going on. Does that make sense?
Prabhu: Are you saying that through our relationships with people in our environment we can remember, is it a way of remembering Krishna’s being a person?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Mhm. Otherwise, how are they people? Do you understand? The universal form, Virat Rupa, He sees, therefore we see. He smells, He touches, He tastes, therefore we do. Everything around us is dead matter, but Krishna empowers it. You know what I am saying? You have dead matter, that tree there is no different than the road over there, but this form has been empowered with giving shade and coolness and pleasantness, while the road has been empowered with support. You can walk on it or drive on it with confidence. You know what I am saying? So it’s Krishna’s potencies that make everything work, so your relationship is with Krishna through the devotees. You know what I am saying? Krishna is unlimited, so if you want to relate, you have to relate on a particular thing. Krishna is rasa, that means He is everything, but you have to pick one of them to relate. You know what I am saying?
You bump into a gentleman on the road, he happens to be a high-court judge, he is also head of the international council for saving the blue whale. He also does so many things for the government in approaching other government agencies of other countries to work out things. He is also a family man. He also plays cello at the local philharmony. And he is very expert in fly-fishing. And he is also very good in ancient Hungarian literature. And he does time down at the local… How you say? Disabled center for disabled children, going and spending time and reading with them and doing things. How do you relate to that? So you pick one of them. Or some group that matches and then you relate to that. You can’t relate to it all at once. And people like that exist, right? So God is like that multiplied unlimitedly, you know what I am saying? So when we say “personal”, means, you deal… Personal dealing means is how you deal with the creation, because it’s come from Him, it is Him, so being personal actually means recognizing God and yourself and God’s creation. Is that okay? All there is is personal. Even impersonal is actually just a personal reaction to bad personal relationships. Relationships didn’t go good, therefore I am going to function in an environment without relationships, but it’s still based on relationship. I personally have been hurt, therefore I personally don’t get involved. Does that make sense? So there is no such thing technically as impersonal. Impersonalism is just personalism that’s gone bad. Because even then, it’s all about the person, but just only about one. While standard personal means, you acknowledge that there is other people that you interact with.
Okay, so now we will take a few minute break and then…