MAN WOMAN INTERACTION LECTURE #17 Eger, Hungary, 7th Aug 2007 Part 3
HH BVPS Maharaja: So where were we? Who was asking the question? Oh, you were.
Prabhu: I would like understand nature according to work. How could I understand…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Nature according to work?
Prabhu: Yes, like in regards to work, because I had an idea what’s my nature 20 years ago, but it changed and ten years ago again another idea, and 5 years ago another idea, and one 1 year ago another idea, so I don’t understand what is actually my nature.
HH BVPS Maharaja: So what was it 20 years ago? So what was the nature 20 years ago?
Prabhu: Probably the same, but I had an idea of what my nature was, and that changed.
HH BVPS Maharaja: What’s that idea?
Prabhu: I don’t remember.
HH BVPS Maharaja: So how do you even know that your question is relevant?
Prabhu: I remember that it kept changing.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Do you remember 10 years ago?
HH BVPS Maharaja: So what was it 10 years ago?
Prabhu: I wanted to become a teacher of literature.
HH BVPS Maharaja: A teacher of…?
Translator: A teacher of the literature.
HH BVPS Maharaka: Of The Literature? The Literature meaning “the Vedic literature”?
Prabhu: No, I was not a devotee at that time.
HH BVPS Maharaja: I see. And then 5 years ago?
Prabhu: I wanted to become a musician.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Anything in-between?
Prabhu: Not really.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Okay, and then after the musician?
Prabhu: Then I became a devotee.
HH BVPS Maharaja: And after being a devotee?
Prabhu: I wanted to be a cook.
HH BVPS Maharaja: A cook or a kook? [Laughter] A cook, okay, and then?
Prabhu: And now I am carving wood.
HH BVPS Maharaja: And now he is carving wood. Okay, what’s your reason for teaching the literature?
Prabhu: I liked it so much and I found that I had talents to pass it to the others, to teach it to others.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Okay. So was it an area you felt you had some ability in?
HH BVPS Maharaja: So what was the important thing, the passing it on or the subject itself?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Both. And of the literature, it meant appreciating the literature or writing the literature, or analyzing gramatically the literature, or…?
Prabhu: Not grammatically, but to analyze literature for the sake of the literature itself.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Literature for literature. But what are you going to appreciate in literature, grammar, spelling, the vocabulary, the technique, the content?
Prabhu: Especially the contents, and I had to analyze forms.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Okay, and then after that what was it? Fireman? Oh, music. And then… [Laughter] Wasn’t there fireman in there [indistinct 05:18]? So when you were 10 years old, you didn’t want to be a fireman?
Prabhu: At that age I wanted to become a dragon… [Laughter]
HH BVPS Maharaja: You can talk to him. [Laughter]
Prabhu: I already [indistinct 05:46]
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, I’m saying, you get friends. [Laughter] And then the dragon was the flying part, or was it the fire [indistinct 06:11]? [Laughter] Or the getting shut down with big arrows by the guys on the ground?
Prabhu: I don’t remember, I was three or four.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Oh, okay, okay. So, and then, musician, what was the purpose of music?
Prabhu: I like to play music very much and I thought to myself that I was doing it well.
HH BVPS Maharaja: But there was no idea to teach it to others?
HH BVPS Maharaja: So okay, it was more on… So the reason, it would just be appreciation?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Okay, means, of yourself or of others?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Okay. But if you played alone and no one was there to listen, you wouldn’t be unhappy?
Prabhu: [indistinct 07:22] somebody.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Okay, and then, wood carving, what’s…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Oh, cooking in-between, that’s okay. And then what was the idea in cooking?
Prabhu: I wanted to cook well and I got feedback that I am doing it pretty well, so I liked to do that.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Feedback, feedback [indistinct 07:58] [Laughter] It’s fun to go between languages, it’s so funny. Okay, you got feedback, so why… So the feedback then was… Okay, and then what was the point of the, what did you want to do with the cooking?
Prabhu: I preferred to please others with it, I wanted to cook for others, not for myself.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Okay, but it was… You were into recipes, or you were into the whole science of cooking, or…?
Prabhu: The whole thing.
HH BVPS Maharaja: The half. [Laughter] And then, wood carving.
Prabhu: I started to do that beside the cooking.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Beside the cooking. So you… Means, he was taking the potatoes and carving in all the… So everyone started thinking it was too weird, all the shapes and their… And you wanted immortalize the potato carving into something more [indistinct 09:47]. Okay, so then the wood carving, what is it, why wood carving?
Prabhu: I have been doing these kind-of things from my childhood, and I thought that I have talents in it and now I could use it for something.
HH BVPS Maharaja: And what is this “something”?
Translator: He will do things.
HH BVPS Maharaja: He will do things, do things means…?
Prabhu: Yesterday you gave a few tips, a few hints what I could do.
HH BVPS Maharaja: I see. And do you expect to make money out of it? Did you expect make money out of… Did you expect to maintain yourself or make money out of the cooking?
Prabhu: I am not a temple devotee, I am living outside, so I have to have my maintenance.
HH BVPS Maharaja: And music?
Prabhu: I think I didn’t want to make money from that.
HH BVPS Maharaja: You didn’t have any… enough threads.
Translator: Enough threads?
HH BVPS Maharaja: [Laughter] And then, and the literature?
Prabhu: I wanted to live from that.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Depends on if your hair is matted, [indistinct 11:43] long. He didn’t have enough dreds to make money out of music. [Laughter] Okay. What does your mother do?
Prabhu: Helps my father.
HH BVPS Maharaja: And what does your father do?
Prabhu: Natural healing.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Natural healing?
Translator: Yes, and also there is a garden at home and he is dealing in agriculture.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Okay, and what does your father’s father do, besides push up daisies? But before he was doing that as a full-time occupation? [Laughter] Does that make sense?
Prabhu: I don’t remember.
HH BVPS Maharaja: You don’t remember. Or mother’s father?
Prabhu: I don’t even know him.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Just because you don’t know doesn’t mean you don’t…
Prabhu: I never asked.
HH BVPS Maharaja: And why did you give up literature?
Prabhu: Due to financial reasons I wasn’t able to continue the studies.
HH BVPS Maharaja: And musician?
Prabhu: For the same reason, I understood that maybe it wasn’t [indistinct 14:05]
HH BVPS Maharaja: Means, a string broke on a guitar and you couldn’t replace it? Two strings broke? [Laughter] The guitar itself broke?
Prabhu: That happened, but that wasn’t the reason.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Oh, okay. And then, cooking?
Prabhu: I was serving devotees who cook much better than me.
HH BVPS Maharaja: So now, if you have the money, which one would you do?
Prabhu: The woodcarving.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah? So if you had money that you could finish the school for the literature, or buy your guitar strings or…
Prabhu: As a devotee I don’t think that these things have a purpose or meaning.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Okay, if they did? You could be a teacher of bhakti?
HH BVPS Maharaja: So which of those two would be more important?
Prabhu: From which two?
HH BVPS Maharaja: It means, we were saying, the woodcarving or the teaching?
Prabhu: The woodcarving.
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, but I am just saying, is the teaching, if it was within the devotional service?
Prabhu: Probably both would be working for me.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Okay. So what do you get from the woodcarving?
[indistinct 16:25] back!
Prabhu: [indistinct 16:28] taken care of
HH BVPS Maharaja: But you went to Budapest and came back?
Prabhu: Yeah. [indistinct 16:38]
HH BVPS Maharaja: Did he get the ticket?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Okay. And you were going so fast that the police guard didn’t even register?
Prabhu: Hundred miles an hour.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Hundred miles an hour, means 160 km. [Laughter] Impressive.
Means, it’s gonna probably take more time. Does everybody else understand what was going on here? The same thing applies in your own life. You try to find out what it is that you are interested in and why you are doing it, because “why”much of the time means, why, it means, will actually establish what actually is the nature. Like the example, you have a small king, he has a few villages, or you have a big landlord, and he has so many villages. So both of them protect these villages, they have their own army, and both of them take tax to maintain themselves. So then what varna are they? Do you understand? What? Anyone has an idea?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Kshatriya, both?
Prabhu: The landlord is vaishya.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Say again?
Prabhu: The landlord is vaishya.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Why?
Prabhu: Because he is taking the tax not to protect the people but to be a [indistinct 18:57]
HH BVPS Maharaja: Okay, yeah, yeah. And why is the kshatriya taking the tax?
Prabhu: To protect the people and he just… He is not lending the place, he gives protection to the people.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah. Yeah.
Prabhu: He protects to take tax?
HH BVPS Maharaja: In other words, one protects to take the tax, the other takes tax to protect the people, so that’s how you tell the difference. Like Dronacharya was excellent in martial arts, but he taught, he didn’t do. Right? You know what I am saying? He wanted to get Drupada, but he didn’t do it himself. He taught people who then caught him. So that’s a brahmana. Do you understand? So you have to see what’s the underlying cause.
Now, why the woodcarving? You know what I am saying? Why, what attracts you about the woodcarving and makes it different from something else? Does that make sense? Why?
Prabhu: To create.
HH BVPS Maharaja: To create. Okay, to create what?
Prabhu: Anything that’s compatible with Krishna.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Okay, but I am saying, is it that you are trying to create, means you created something that’s useful? Or create means, you express your artistic ideas?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Which one, any one is more prominent than the other?
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, so if you just would have, all you did was, were given designs that you just copied and then just made, and it was made something nice, you’d be comfortable? Or you would want to create the designs yourself?
Prabhu: I would also be happy if it’s given.
HH BVPS Maharaja: So therefore, yeah, okay. Okay. And when you say, your mother helps the father, what does she do? What does that mean?
Prabhu: She is putting things together, making medicines and things like that.
HH BVPS Maharaja: And with treatment?
Prabhu: She doesn’t do any treatment.
HH BVPS Maharaja: See, in one sense, you could look at it that there is a good chance that the cooking and music are hobbies. You know what I am saying? They are not occupation. Then, you are looking at it that possibly the teaching and the woodcarving, those could be occupations, right? So, because in here you see is that the literature, the teaching is given up, because it’s not looked to be practical, while the woodcarving is. You know what I am saying? So therefore the practical element is most important. But at the same time is, through all of them then art is the common platform. You know what I am saying? So then you basically get… How you say?
Okay, now in doing this woodcarving, it’s something you would wanna do yourself or you wouldn’t mind working for someone else who let’s say had a woodcarving company?
Prabhu: I prefer to do it on my own.
HH BVPS Maharaja: And why?
Prabhu: I find it more practical.
HH BVPS Maharaja: More practical means…?
Prabhu: If there are more people in that thing, they may have different ideas and…
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, no, no, it can be separate, means, they do one project, you do your own project, you are on your own, you do your project, you can work on your own, you can have your own workplace, but someone has a business where they do woodcarving and you are one of the people that they work with and give you things to do and everything.
Prabhu: I don’t find this very attractive.
HH BVPS Maharaja: So you wanna work on your own? Okay. And then when you are working is… Okay, now you pick wood, it’s just something you are comfortable with that you feel that you can then take that, do something with that, means, you know how to work with the wood and get something from the wood? Right? Or it’s… Or you have the element that the wood is a way you can express, you can express the creative impulse with?
Prabhu: I think it’s both.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Because basically what you are getting in here between these is, you are getting brahminical flavors, but down in the art area, you are getting kshatriya in the way of practicalness, but you are also getting artistic. But no vaishya. [Laughter]
Translator: Brahminical, but artistic?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Brahminical, but in the artistic, means, the area is within arts, because then you see that from the father. You know what I am saying? But unless you know kind-of what the mother’s side was, then it’s hard to understand if we are getting more of a kshatriya or a shudra. You know what I am saying? Because in all this the concept of money hasn’t really come up, but also nowadays the idea of education hasn’t really come up. You wanted to do that, to know it, do it and educate, then there would be a common pattern. Does that make sense? At the same time, the art element is very strong. So art is the common thing, but it’s just a matter of how the art is approached, as hobby, or as occupation? You know what I am saying? So that’s, means, that’s as far as we can get in this amount of time. You know, you can always try to find out what it is farther back in the family they do.
Prabhu: This was very difficult, it was very hard… I want to ask if these principles also apply to others, because I have seen other devotees who are also kind-of unsure…
HH BVPS Maharaja: It’s the same process, see, also the independence is important, so technically that independence kind-of cuts out the shudra aspect. Shudras are comfortable to work under someone else, because that means regular pay. If you are gonna do it on your own, then you may get as in the words of… Who was it? One of the congregational devotees who runs a business, he says, “Business is like a dog’s dinner. Sometimes it’s really good, sometimes it’s just a few scraps.” So there is that willingness to take that risk, so then that takes that element out. Does that make sense? But how to nail it down, that you have to take it farther back. Means, you would have to analyze yourself, what are actually the reasons because… You know, what’s prominent? Then you can start to see which direction it gets. Is that okay? Any more squash things?
Prabhu: I would like to ask about my own nature, I like very much to analyze things, and once I’ve understood things I like to teach it to others, and also to get to know people is very important for me.
HH BVPS Maharaja: That I mean, you have to do more, that means, up to that, I cannot go through everybody here. [Laughter] We were taking one so that you have an understanding how to look at it what’s there. So you have to see is that what is the purpose. You know what I am saying? So then if the educational aspect is the more important, then you decide. Okay?
Prabhu: Would there be importance to educate devotees so that they understand their natures?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah.
Prabhu: Related to this, you can always identify certain pure nature, or it’s always mixed?
HH BVPS Maharaja: It depends, can be mixed, can be pure. Generally in these kind-of environments it’s more mixed, so you take what’s prominent and work with that and add in the other elements that support. You know what I am saying? Like he is doing the wood-carving, but at the same time is, he might wanna as a service do some cooking, or in his house do cooking and maintain these kind-of things, read the Vedic literature. You know what I am saying? In other words, these things are important to him. Like that.
Prabhu: You can mix [indistinct 34:19] shudra can have brahminical qualities and…?
HH BVPS Maharaja: It’s not so much shudra with brahminical qualities, it’s a matter of just seeing that all the elements of the conditioned nature are somehow or other engaged. But you have to see which is the perspective by which they view these activities. You know what I am saying? Because then that will determine where the prominence is or how they are mixed, because… You know what I am saying? Like that. Yes? No? Anything else or…? We’ll probably end. Okay, so we’ll end here today.
Srila Prabhupada ki jaya! Samaveta-bhakta-vrinda ki jaya! Jaya Nitai-Gaura-premanande Hari Haribol!
Prabhu: Srila Bhaktividya Purna Maharaja ki jaya!