MAN WOMAN INTERACTION LECTURE #18 Eger, Hungary, 8th Aug 2007 Part 1
HH BVPS Maharaja: Some question?
Prabhu: So what is success in the grihastha ashrama, a family?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Becoming Krishna conscious. Means, it’s called grihastha ashrama, ashrama means shelter. So it means that it would be the place where you can therefore perform your devotional activities. But it has a form, so that by following that then we can regulate one’s activities in such a way that they are connected to the Lord. So realizing Krishna in everthing you do, then that’s what we are trying to… That is the perfection of any situation. Does it make sense? Right? So then Prabhupada mentions that husband and wife should be able to work together cooperatively and then in that peaceful environment then they can both perform their devotional service. Okay?
Prabhu: So what does that mean that women seek quality in relationships? Does that mean focus?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah. If you are not focused, then there can’t be any quality. Means, if the mind is somewhere else, then the interaction won’t be very successful. Does it make sense? Means, the success in any activity will be one’s focus, the better the focus, the better the endeavor can be, so the better possibility of result. Right? So that applies in anything. The idea of the grihastha ashrama is we must to learn it there to function at all. But the principle applies to any activity. Yeah?
Prabhu: So what does the category of “women” and “men” mean and who can be qualified, and who can be classified as members of these categories of men and women, what’s the qualification of being a man or a woman, and is there, are there other categories than these two?
HH BVPS Maharaja: See is, you are dealing with opposite elements. Means, if you have day, you have night, so they meet at twilight. Does that make sense? Like that. So everything has its two sides, two aspects. So then, basically speaking, they come from, it originates in there is God, who is masculine, and His creation, which is feminine. So then that means then their interaction is where the connection is. Right? Means, God and His creation, that interaction is where then they meet. Right? So that means, all activities in the cosmic creation are based on this principle. So that means, there is an active principle and there is a passive principle. So the activity that connects the two then… And then there is an activity that connects the two. So therefore you can, it applies in anything. So it’s not a matter of gender, it’s a matter of application. You know what I am saying? Means, you drive your car, the car is actually the passive, the driver is the active. Right? Because the driver then turns the wheel, pushes the pedals, moves the gears, so that’s the masculine dealing with the feminine. The point is is that the masculine aspect can only deal with the feminine in a way that it’s possible, or is appreciated or favorable to the feminine. Right? You can only turn the steering wheel or push the pedals or move the gears at the appropriate time. Right? If you move them at the wrong time, then things won’t work right. So it’s a principle. So the same principle then applies in its broadest manifestation between those in a masculine gender and those in a feminine gender. Means, everything in the world is working on this principle, but the broadness or variety of manifestation will be less. So what we are meaning is the conjugal manifestation between male and female will have the most complexity. Does that make sense?
Prabhu: So the question is in connection with the position of Lord Shiva and mother Parvati. What’s the relation of female identity, or identification, and male identity with their position?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Shiva is masculine, Parvati is feminine. Means, she is the full manifestation of the enjoying female principle, and then he is the masculine form of that. In other words, Shiva deals with the material energy, his energy is the material energy. Does that make sense? So he deals with the element of destruction, or false ego. In the spiritual realm you are dealing with actual ego, in the material world you are dealing with false ego. So he is the lord of the false ego, and so Parvati is his potency, so that makes him masculine and her feminine. Means, the material forms that are here, that’s coming, it’s established by them. So male and female in the material world is established from them, which is a reflection of the male-female principle of the spiritual world. Does that make sense?
Prabhu: So thinking the question a little further, if we have been hurt in our relationships or if we have problems in our relationships, meditating on their form, does it have to correct these problems, or to heal our wounds?
HH BVPS Maharaja: More important would be chanting Hare Krishna, because that will purify the heart, because the problem is not relationships, or trust, it’s where we are putting it. You know what I am saying? It’s just like if we put our affection and trust in a wild animal then there is a good chance you might get scratched or bit. So the problem is not actually affection or trust, or these things, it’s where we apply it. So as we chant, we get purified and we are more able to understand where affection and trust is supposed to be placed. So ultimately that needs to be placed in God, because we are eternal and He is eternal, so that means, the relationship there won’t go away. And because He is perfect, then any interaction, anything will also be perfect. So He is the one that you can put the full affection, full trust in and He won’t let you down. You know what I am saying? Still, material energy is material energy. So the environment we are in is not actually the best judge of affection and trust. It’s the mood that’s important. So the mood will always be right when you are dealing with God. But the material situations we find ourself in from our previous activities still may not appear to be very favorable. But if you have a good relationship with God, who cares? Does that make sense? Like that. Something else there?
Prabhu: So the question is a little bit delicate. I have a friend who is attracted to his own gender, and how can the Vedic culture help such a person, or what’s the position of Vedic culture in this aspect?
HH BVPS Maharaja: The point is is, you are trying to connect the soul with God, so the process of chanting Hare Krishna, taking prasada, rendering service, then that applies for anyone. Because we are trying to purify the heart of all material desire. Does that make sense? So it doesn’t matter what material desire is starting from, all of them have to go anyway. Does that make sense? It’s just like you take a boy, he is attracted by every girl on the planet. But in reality, it doesn’t work like that, that’s got to go. So material attraction has to be removed, so that we can establish spiritual attraction. Does that make sense? So the process is the same, but just generally… Yeah, process is the same.
Prabhu: So the person is a devotee who practices Krishna consciousness, and he would like to know how to deal with this situation from the practical point of view?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Means, you chant and render service, but you would, generally you would remain as a congregational devotee, it’s a better situation. Is that what you mean by practical, or what do you mean by practical? [Laughter]
Prabhu: Yeah, this kind-of things, so whether he should live alone or with whom should he live? And things like that.
HH BVPS Maharaja: He’ll have the best, be able to move forward the best if they are celibate, so therefore whatever situation encourages that, then that will be better. Does that make sense? In other words, that might be the situation, they deal with it, but you don’t make it into something special and make a movie out of it. You know what I am saying? So being in the material world is wrong, so no situation in the material world then they should champion and try to make it special. You know what I am saying? In other words, what they do in their spare time is their business, we don’t wanna hear about it. You know what I am saying?
Just like, wouldn’t you think it’s strange if a bunch of tough guys get together and they get out with flap cards and say, “We are into girls”? You know, and they march down the street, and they have their girls there in their bikinis, and then on all the major squares of the city then they start kissing their girls. And then they chant, “Heterosexuals rock!”
Translator: Heterosexuals rock?
HH BVPS Maharaja: [Laughter] Yeah, they are the best! You’d think it’s strange. So why wouldn’t it be strange if you did that with any other propensity? You know what I am saying? So therefore each individual deals with their own problems by connecting it to Krishna and going back to Godhead. You know what I am saying? So it’s not that it’s okay, it’s that but we deal with it. You know what I am saying? You have some guy, every girl that walks into the temple he is attracted to, it’s not right, but we deal with it. So if you take that attitude, you can be humble, then your spiritual practice will have effect.
Prabhu: So we don’t have to endeavor to get a wife for him, for such a person?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Why bother? Right? You know what I am saying? Attachment to sexual activities keeps you in the material world. The point is to give it up, not transfer it. And you are thinking about him. What about the lady? You know, maybe if they are both gay, then, hey, then… [Laughter] Then you will have the most strictly following of the regulative principles of any couple. [Laughter] Then it could work. Is that okay?
Mataji: So in connection with the same situation, that there is a gay man, who is a devotee, and so he is in-between two sitations, because if he spends lot of time with his lady friends, the matajis, they are told that they spend too much time with a prabhu, if he spends time with men or with prabhus, then they say that why should you spend time with gays? And so, what is a better situation for him, to spend more time with men in order to strengthen his male identity, or his male side, or…? What’s your suggestion?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Sounds like a very touchy… Let’s mention something, you come to your own conclusion. Now, they are saying the women are spending too much time with the man, because it’s not good if the women spend the time with the man. Right? But in the women’s mind this is not a man. Right? The women have no fear, they can be completely relaxed around the gay men, because it’s like being with another woman. But the gay, when you have a gay man with women, he always likes to play the part of being the man. But it’s really more of a drama. You know, they like to open the door for the lady, or pull out the chair when they sit down, open the door of the car, so it’s done to the extreme. So the ladies in no way are getting association of a man. And the tendency probably would be is that the gay men would listen more to what the women say, because the perspective is more similar. You know what I am saying? So it’s not going to make his feminine nature more, and it’s not going to make, it’s not going to compromise their feminine position, being with, interacting with another man. You know what I am saying? If he is celibate, then the other men don’t have to worry, but if he is not celibate, then the men are the ones that have to be a little bit more careful. He is actually in a safer environment with the women. So therefore whether they are celibate or not, it’s not gonna make any difference. And the women will be able to give nice suggestions on how to engage their aesthetic nature in Krishna’s service. You know what I am saying? The men aren’t gonna care about his new T-shirt or new shoes, while the women will. And that’s as far as we go. [Laughter]
Prabhu: How the husband should relate to a situation when his wife deals in an improper way with others, especially when the husband is also present and especially when the wife endeavors for something which is in the benefit of the husband, so for example, getting prasada for the husband, but in an improper or aggressive way, so how should the man behave in such a situation? [Laughter]
HH BVPS Maharaja: Means, she uses techniques from her days of rugby in school or something?
Prabhu: In a more subtle way.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Of course, you never see the elbows and stuff, you just notice all the brahmacharis on the floor. [Laughter] One, one appreciates… In other words, one appreciates the attachment and consideration that’s underlying the rough behavior. Does that make sense? So you are starting from that point. Starting from that point and recognizing that, then you can explain that the manifestation of it others might consider a little rough, so we are supposed to be a little bit more gentle. So she should try a different technique, instead of just pushing away in, she can turn around and go, “Wow,” and then when everyone looks then go in, you know, some other way. [Laughter] Turn on the sprinklers for the fire, or something. Or be even more clever is, go to source.
Translator: Go to source?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Go to source, means, where it’s coming from.
Translator: The husband?
HH BVPS Maharaja: The prasada. [Laughter] We are talking about prasada. [Laughter] In other words, the prasadam is there, where it’s out for the common assemblage or brahmacharis to attack, but before that it was somewhere else where it was unavailable to the brahmacharis. So then they could use that and get to it before it gets outside. Does that make sense? So in other words, women are four times more clever than the men, so if they want, the girls can always outsmart the brahmacharis. So the inappropriateness is, she is using the brahmachari technique for getting at the prasada. She should use a more clever, subtle, feminine technique to obtain her same goals, or at least smile, before you elbow the guy in the chin.
Prabhu: And does the man have to do something in such a situation, because in a way he is responsible for the wife. And so is he the one who arranges the… who remedies the situation?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, but in such a way that it doesn’t offend the wife. Yes. Because she is doing it for him, so he should try to work it out. It’s only out of attachment she is doing it. So that should be appreciated, but just the manifestation is not so great. You know what I am saying? But the point is is, you work it out with her at a time when it’s not a problem. If you are gonna work it out on the spot or, means, not in front of everybody else. Say what you want to a woman, but not in front of others, and especially not in front of other women. Means, in front of the men, it’s bad, but if it’s in front of the women, that’s inexcusable. But the problem with men is, generally they are connected to women. You know what I am saying? In other words, if it’s in front of brahmacharis, it’s not so bad, unless it’s some brahmachari that was respectable, so therefore they wouldn’t want them to feel that they are behaving badly. Does that make sense? Common brahmacharis doesn’t matter, they are kids, but still better to avoid. Senior brahmacharis, then they’ll feel shy. Grihastha men, then it’s a matter of prestige, because the men might talk to their wives. And then in front of other women, it’s just not done. In other words, something happens, you basically just finesse it, be pleasant and nice and talk later. Does that make sense?
Prabhu: I would like to have another question, if possible. So the question is a more practical one. We know that the time of the wedding has to be chosen, so that it’s an appropriate and auspicious time, but devotees have to get married twice, according to the civilian procedure and Vedic also. What’s the importance of picking, choosing the right time for both, or just for the Vedic one?
HH BVPS Maharaja: I mean, if you are doing the civil one after the Vedic, you just worry about the Vedic, because the other one is just registering it, it’s not actually a wedding. You know what I am saying? It’s a Gandharva wedding, but they’ve already done the Gandharva part of the wedding in the Vedic. Means, when the girl comes and they exchange garlands, that’s the Gandharva aspect, it shows mutual consent, so the ritual has been done. So this is just some legal thing that has to do with the national laws. So the auspicious time for that is whenever you can get an appointment. You know what I am saying?
Mataji: We have attachments, material attachments in our heart, but we would like to, we have a desire to live spiritually, to live a spiritual life. And how can we give up these attachments and how can we build attachment towards spiritual things and spiritual persons?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Means, if you follow the devotional process, means, the chanting, hearing, associating with devotees, hearing Bhagavatam, serving the Deities, doing service or association in the temple, like that, then that attraction to Krishna, that purification, that happens. And then whatever attachments we have, our specific material attachments we have, then according to regulation then that’s connected or engaged in Krishna’s service. Does that make sense? Okay?
Mataji: It was four years ago when I first heard about this question of women being less intelligent than men, and I would like to tell a little story, if you would like to hear it, for a few minutes, just a kind of a pause or for relaxing… [Laughter]
HH BVPS Maharaja: And what is the lesson to be learned from the story?
Mataji: So there was a small incident with Keshava Bharati Maharaja, from which I understood what female intelligence means, and my sense of security has increased tremendously, and the contradictions in connection with this issue have been completely dissolved. Because we hear that women are less intelligent, but the female principle is very important in Gaudiya Vaishnavism. So the contradictions that arose in connection with Keshava Bharati Maharaja’s lecture have been solved by your lectures, and therefore I am very much impressed and amazed by Your Holiness, and I am amazed by this unmotivated and crystal clear affection that you have towards women.
HH BVPS Maharaja: And the story? [Laughter]
Mataji: So this story is in connection with Keshava Bharati Maharaja, and it happened in 2003, 4 years ago un the namahatta camp. And Keshava Bharati Maharaja said that women are less intelligent than men, and I was sitting in the temple when I saw the faces of devotees, and I became very angry. And was in one of the back rows, and I jumped up two or three times, and I just went straight to Keshava Bharati Maharaja, disregarding all rules of etiquette. And I just stuck out my arm, and he asked me, and I tried to defend ladies in front of the devotees, and I just [indistinct 46:56] a presentation, a short presentation and I just listed 5 things, because I underwent [47:17] torture afterwards. And then I said to His Holiness Keshava Bharati Maharaja that “We got our gender from Krishna and the female energy always precedes the male energy, Radhe-Shyama, or Sita-Rama, so it’s always, the female energy always comes first. And the key of knowledge was given to a female, to a woman, Sarasvati, by Krishna. And then I sat down, and then havoc burst out, and I was treated like a patricide, a person who kills his own father.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Hmm.
Mataji: And then I begged forgiveness from Keshava Bharati Maharaja, and he said to me that, “Thank you very much, because without you I wouldn’t been able to develop this topic in this way, and I bless you that you have a very good heart.” And the next year on Janmasthami the whole water of abhisheka was poured on me accidentally, and I just couldn’t see anything, because the abhisheka was all over me. But just to say the [indistinct 49:21] in one sentence, so I was pacified, because I got the answer from Keshava Bharati Maharaja, but in another sense I was still disturbed a little bit, because I didn’t get the answer whether men are really more intelligent than women, and it went on for years, and now I got very a nice example and very nice answer. So women get hurt in the world and get humiliated in the world very often, but we devotees have the advantage of taking shelter, being able to take shelter of persons like you, and… Hare Krishna!
Prabhu: Haribol! [Applause]
HH BVPS Maharaja: Haribol. Any other Matt Volmirs? [Laughter] No? No more questions? Oh, okay.
Prabhu: You said that we have to place our trust in Krishna, and the question is in connection with trust, our trust in devotees, because devotees are practitioners, they are practicing the process, and how does this trust work in their case?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Means?
Prabhu: So I mean that we are taught to trust devotees, and trusting devotees means that we accept everything coming from them, like philosophical teachings or practical teachings, but we are very often facing contradictions, because devotees are practicioners, so the things they say may be contradictory, and how should we deal with it?
HH BVPS Maharaja: The point is, human life means to inquire. So it’s not that we are just… The point is is, not that we are just accepting something, it means that we understand it, that’s why we accept it. So the inquiry process should be used, but it should be used to understand, not to avoid. In other words, you want to do surrender, do the particular activity, but if there is a question, you would like that cleared, so that it’s very… You understand how to properly deal with it. But we don’t use knowledge as a way to avoid doing activities. Does that make sense? So the inquiry shouldn’t be what they call in rhetorical circles, stonewalling. You know stonewalling, you don’t have something like that? You lost this one? Stonewall means, it’s stonewall, means you can’t get through it, so they just throw up things, so that you can’t make your point.
So you should be convinced. This idea, without questioning, without anything you just surrender, but Krishna doesn’t work like that in Gita. Do we see that in Gita? Krishna says, “Listen, I’m God, just shut up, surrender, get out there and do what I say!” No. So therefore He explains that. And at the end of the Gita He says, “If you don’t understand it, I’ll explain it again.” Does that make sense? So the better you understand something, the better result you get from performing the activity. Does that make sense? So as time goes, the more we are educated in the philosophy and culture of Krishna consciousness, then the better we’ll be able to perform the various activities. Does that make sense? So that’s there. And then you use your intelligence, how much trust is there. You are dealing in the material world, so that means, people make mistakes, but the principle of trust is real, you just have to know how to apply it. If somebody due to conditioned nature does something wrong, that doesn’t mean the trust has to be lost. You simply learn, in that situation you don’t deal with that person in that way. You know what I am saying? One person doesn’t make everybody. So therefore one should not use the feminine principle of “everybody” when it’s actually only one example. You know what I am saying? It’s just that particular person in that situation, you have to be more discriminate. Does that make sense? And if you see a general pattern, then apply it in all situations, or be open for the need to apply it. Right? Yeah?
Prabhu: Yes. So does that mean that with our intelligence we measure how much trust we can place in a certain devotee, in order not to get hurt later?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, how much or in which area. Someone may be very trustworthy on one side, but on another side no. Just like, you might have, let’s say, the accountant or treasurer. You can blindly trust them with money, but it may be, you can’t trust them in the least with the Mahaprasada. Right? So just because they are trustworthy in one area, doesn’t mean it will apply in another. Do you understand?
Prabhu: We apply this principle in the reverse order, that if a person cannot be trusted in one area, then we just forget about the person in all areas.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, but you have to see if it’s a problem that they are not trustworthy at all, or if it’s just in a particular area. Means, you do find, it’s rare, but you do find persons who, they are so willing to do anything in any situation to get what they want, that you can’t really trust them anywhere. But for most people then it’s, it may be a specific area that they have a problem. And persons who don’t have that problem, then that’s better.
Prabhu: Devotees often would like to find friend who would be a partner in everything, like in leisure time or in studying, or doing service, so someone who is compatible with them in every way. And if they don’t find such a person, then they feel that they don’t have a friend, so they want to have someone who incorporates all possibilities.
HH BVPS Maharaja: I mean, that’s one solution. The other solution is, whatever are the various aspects of your personality, you can find different persons who you relate to in that way. Because it’s hard to find one person that’s compatible in everything. So you find different persons that work in these different areas. You might chant with one person, or take prasada with another, or doing kirtan with another, or living with the different one. Someone else, you reveal your mind to. And depending upon that, that might be philosophical with one person and personal with another person. So that way you take care of all your needs. And then you have so many friends, because those people are there. But if we expect that they will all be in one person, then we might be looking for a long time. I am sure, they are out there somewhere, but where, who knows? So that’s the better way to do it.
The same principle applies in shiksha. There may be different aspects of your life where you turn to senior devotees and different ones give in different areas. If you get it all at one place, great, but if not, you get it from wherever it’s found.
Prabhu: So when devotees say that, “Oh,” in connection with their Guru Maharaja that, “Oh, Guru Maharaja doesn’t understand me,” can this problem, or does this problem originate from the same source that devotees want to find everything in their Diksha Guru, instead of seeking different Siksha Gurus for their different spiritual needs?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah. And if he doesn’t understand, whose fault is that?
Translator: And if they don’t…?
HH BVPS Maharaja: And if the diksha guru doesn’t understand, whose fault is that? Because we picked the Guru, right? One is supposed to… You know, you have a “association period” where you check and see if you can relate to the nature of the Guru and them to you and you are able to, their instructions works for you. Of course, it’s a shorter period than marriage. Interesting. [Laughter] Okay.
Prabhu: So why isn’t it that this “association period” is longer than the one for those who want to get married?
HH BVPS Maharaja: I don’t know, you have a national council to ask.
Prabhu: [Laughter] Okay.
HH BVPS Maharaja: They are the authorities, so they will instruct you and enlighten you as to the proper understanding. So in other words, this is the natural process. I am not saying this is what people do, I am saying, this is what is the natural process. One comes in contact with Krishna consciousness. By time and association then one starts to develop senior devotees who by hearing from them one is inspired in one’s devotional activities. And that may be so many, there may be five, there may be ten, whatever, it doesn’t matter. I like this one’s class, that one’s kirtan, or this one’s class in this way, that one’s class in that way, whatever is the reason or situation. Right? So then that becomes your group of senior vaishnavas, that’s your siksha gurus. So the siksha gurus are actually established before the diksha guru. So whoever is the most prominent one from the siksha gurus, traditionally becomes diksha guru, because diksha is based on siksha. Does that make sense?
So that person who you are working for, means you are inspired to work to please them, or that person who you get the better understanding and you are able to apply it. You know what I am saying? So it maybe coming from either understanding or application. But application would be the prominent element. So someone is inspiring the understanding of Krishna consciousness, someone in performing Krishna consciousness, but in performing, that would be where you’d… That generally would be the person who would be diksha guru. Right? So that way then you… And when you take diksha, then the siksha relationships with all the other ones remain. Does that make sense? You don’t throw them out because, “Oh, it’s unchaste, and I should only have the diksha guru.” No. Does that make sense? So that way then everyone would automatically have their diksha guru and ex-amount of siksha gurus, and then one is fixed, so if any… So then one is able to be inspired from all different angles. But if you cut it down to the one diksha guru… One, you should have been very careful in choosing, and two, you know what is the area that that relationship is based on. Does that make sense?
Prabhu: According to the tradition, can we accept siksha gurus who belong to the opposite gender, or it’s something, it’s kind-of a new invention, modern invention?
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, siksha comes from anywhere. Like that. Wherever it works. Siksha means it’s instruction that you are able to understand and follow, you know, it works. Some positions are automatic, but they may or may not continue. Like the temple president is automatically the siksha guru for anyone under his jurisdiction, but if you go to another temple, then that relationship may not continue if it wasn’t, didn’t develop that personal element. Does that make sense? While someone who you like what they speak and this, it doesn’t matter where you are, that relationship continues. Does that make sense? Okay?
Prabhu: If the wife comes home in a completely out-of-order state because she has been upset somewhere else and she is ready to explode, and we try to pacify her, but we may use the wrong word, and so she already attacks us, she is sharp in the [indistinct 01:15:15] So what can be done in such a situation? [Laughter]
HH BVPS Maharaja: The same as in any situation. Doesn’t matter where the dissatisfaction is generated from, whether it’s generated by someone else, whether it’s generated from themselves, whether it’s generated by you. The point is is, you have to be humble. Means, if they come in, they are disturbed by somebody else, then you be humble and you deal very nicely with them, and you are supportive. Even if they are wrong in some way, figure out what aspect they are right in and just deal with that. Anything that they are wrong in you have to deal with later. But now, if in dealing you’ve done something wrong, you have to deal with that first. And from that then go into the support. Does that make sense? In other words, if the woman is upset, you never deal with what’s her right or wrong in it, in other words, the judicial aspect is never dealt with at the time she is upset. Right? And then, if you deal with it properly in that way, they’ll always understand where they are wrong. And when they do say what, that they are wrong, at that point you don’t judge them further, you just point out the good side. In other words, you are supportive. “Yeah, these things happen,” this, that, bla. “You know, we move forward.” Do you understand? So in all times you are supportive. Justice is very important for women, so if you are supportive, they’ll always, they always can figure out where they are wrong. You know what I am saying? Justice isn’t their problem, support is their problem. So they all see their own faults if you’ll still support them anyway. If by them pointing out their own faults then you are going to therefore criticize, then their security is at risk. Therefore then they won’t say they are wrong, so in this way you won’t be satisfied, as far as justice goes. But the point is is, if you can see where you are wrong, they’ll admit to where they are wrong.
Prabhu: So when there is a fight amongst women, is it proper thing not to get involved in their fight, because women fight among themselves anyway? So is it a good position not to make arrangements if our wife or our would-be wife was right? So is it good not to make arrangements, so that her right becomes established and stay aloof from the fight amongst women?
HH BVPS Maharaja: If you can do it, if you can remain aloof, great. But if you can’t then you have to support your wife. In other words, in what she is right about. If you do that, she’ll be able to see what she is wrong in. You know what I am saying? Women are very possessive, so that means, you have to be in the same camp as them. Right? Means, the “us and them” principle comes from women. Men have to deal with it. Those elements that you don’t have to get involved, that are purely the women’s thing, don’t get involved. But if they need some support, then you support your wife. In other words, find that element that you can support. It may be the principle that she is meaning is correct, but her method was wrong, so you support that part and just finesse the rest. They are looking for support. So if you support the principle then the detail they’ll understand whether it’s right or not. Yeah?
Mataji: How we should deal with male pride, specifically in fights when there is some disagreement and because of this male pride we cannot solve the problem, or we cannot settle the argument, and what’s the position if we just… And the man is unwilling to accept our position, so and we just leave it at that and wait until the bad situation just comes to an end and we don’t deal with the problem itself…
HH BVPS Maharaja: If you want something, how do you deal with the ego? You poke it? Right? You want something. You’ve decided you want some new clothes or some new facility in the house, or you wanna do something, then you go in, poke the man’s ego, is that how you get it?
Mataji: Sometimes, yes, sometimes I don’t even try.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Okay, but you do it by poking the ego? By making it flare up and making them upset?
Mataji: It’s possible that sometimes I do. [Laughter]
HH BVPS Maharaja: Then you should talk to some of the other ladies. Means, if you want the man to do something, you are not nice and pleasant and speak in a way that you don’t upset him? You don’t use that technique to get what you want?
Mataji: Yes, but very often there is a rejection at once, if I apply that technique.
HH BVPS Maharaja: You have to be more subtle, or more gross. You know what I am saying? Really overdo it. You know,”Hopefully you know how much we love you and how handsome you are and so strong!” then they know, “Okay, what’s up?” You know what I am saying? But the principle is is that you are trying to avoid the ego or deal with it in a positive way, so in a fight also, do you wanna make your point, or do you wanna just hurt the other person?
Mataji: I just want to make my point.
HH BVPS Maharaja: So then why say something that will bother the ego? Just stick to your point and say it in as pleasant a way as possible. You know what I am saying? So that means, you use your intelligence. What’s the use of being 4 times as clever, if you don’t use it? Right? Does that make sense?
Mataji: Can we apply this same principle in other relationships, like mother-daughter relationship?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Anything. Means, the woman’s ego is bigger than the man’s, it’s just a little bit less gross, so it’s the same principle. Does that make sense? And then on her other point, if something doesn’t work now, you leave it and try again later. Point is is, you wanna win the battle or you wanna win the war?
Mataji: The war.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Then use your brains. If it doesn’t work at now, then you retreat. Gather your forces and attack at another time.
Mataji: I would like to have another question about kids. Can we raise our voice our shout at the kid when it doesn’t want to do what we want to do? Because you said that it’s better to explain to the kid why it should do what it should do, but when it gets to the point that the parent loses her patience and she wants the kid to do what she wants her to do, and at this point she shouts at the kid, is it permissible?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Means, if you want to… Means, it’s more intensity that you are trying to do. It’s not necessarily shouting, it’s intensity. But the point is is, it’s used as a technique, not that you’ve lost your patience. It means, other methods you’ve tried that didn’t work so therefore now you might raise your voice. You present what is there pleasantly. That doesn’t work, then what are benefits from it. That’s first thing, “This is what’s correct.” That doesn’t work, then what are the benefits out of it? If that doesn’t work then it’s, what are the disadvantages if you do that, means, what will be the consequences? And if that doesn’t work, then you raise your voice. But that’s the normal progression. Right?
Mataji: So the situation now is that the kid only takes me seriously if I raise my voice. Does it mean that I misapplied something or I did something wrong?
HH BVPS Maharaja: It means, you weren’t using the other three effectively. It should be that that’s more rarely used, so it has meaning. Otherwise, what will happen with time is, raising your voice won’t mean anything either. You know what I am saying? So therefore if you start with explanation, then it’s the 4th stage only that’s raising the voice. You know, you explain, “You don’t wanna listen, why don’t you want to listen?” You don’t want to learn, you don’t want to do things right and get somewhere? You don’t care about that, people will think you are foolish, people won’t see you in a good light, no one likes somebody badly behaved,” that’s the third stage now. Now, then you use , catch their attention, but what you say should be in line with… It means, what effect you use should be in line with what you are saying. Means, if you have to be strong, it should be in relationship to the point, it shouldn’t be that at that time then everything that’s bothered you all day and all that then comes out. You know, it should be specific to the point. You wanna blow up, use the husband, don’t use the kid. That’s what husbands are for. The mother is always nice and caring for the kid, and always giving to the kid, because she is taking from the husband. Does that make sense? The battery runs the machine because it takes the charge from the charger. The wife is giving to the kid, the mother is giving to the kid because she is taking from, getting that support and energy from the husband.
Prabhu: So just to make things [indistinct 01:36:46] clarify this point further, if the mother cannot, is not able to deal with the child properly, that’s the husband’s fault also? [Laughter]
HH BVPS Maharaja: It can play a part in correcting it, but probably ultimately it was her parents’ fault. She wasn’t dealt with properly, therefore she doesn’t know how to deal properly. Does that make sense? I think there is a local saying, “The apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree.”
Mataji: There is another local saying. It says that, “See the mother and marry the daughter,” meaning that you have to…
HH BVPS Maharaja: You said it, I wasn’t gonna say it. [Laughter] But it’s very true. [Laughter] I take no responsibility for that statement, but it’s true. [Laughter] Yes?
Mataji: What is the situation, if the wife’s mother is already deceased, is already dead, so what’s the situation in that case, if the husband marries the daughter that doesn’t have a mother?
HH BVPS Maharaja: He has to be observing, or he can talk to others. Friends can find out things, or talk to the girl.
Mataji: And what if the future mother-in-law does that, meaning, mother of the would-be husband, that she inquires about the prospective wife?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah. But it has to be for the son’s benefit.
Mataji: And what happens if the husband was very much spoiled by his mother before?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Means, that’s a separate question or it’s connected to the previous?
Mataji: It’s connected in the sense that it’s a real fact that happened to me.
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, no, okay. No, no I was just saying… Means, that the son is spoiled by the mother, that’s not actually the problem. That’s what mothers do. The problem comes is if there is no other experience where the boy is actually turned into a man by other men. Or, if the mother, not understanding the importance of this principle, obstructs that and gets in the way. Mothers by nature spoil the sons, that’s their business, just like fathers spoil the daughters. But that’s not a complete process. The daughters must be trained by the mother in what’s correct and the boys must be turned into men by other men. Right?
Mataji: So the problem was that the father also spoiled the kid, the son?
HH BVPS Maharaja: That’s why in the Vedic system you have teachers. Mothers really spoil the kid, the son, fathers spoil the kid, teachers correct that. That’s why in the Vedic concept there is mother, father and teacher. That’s one’s authorities in life, because the teacher is in the parental rasa, but doesn’t have that biological necessity to spoil the child. They just correct the child.
Mataji: So in that situation when everyone spoiled the son and no one corrected him then the wife is in a difficult situation, because she is the one who has to raise the kid into, so that he matures into a man, because otherwise he will stay a kid until he dies, and it’s only when Krishna consciousness comes when things get clarified?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, but still the woman, she can only inspire that he’ll do it, that’s the thing. Like that. That’s what you are left to. Then you are left with “The Beauty and the Beast” program. [Laughter]
Mataji: The question relates to the vanaprastha. In Krishna consciousness, in terms of Krishna consciousness we say that my husband has left his body, so he is dead, which would make me automatically a vanaprastha. But another lady in the movement told me that in fact I didn’t yet let my husband go, and I feel that I let my husband go emotionally, but intellectually I didn’t. What’s my situation, or how should we deal with that thing? Should I consider myself a vanaprastha?
HH BVPS Maharaja: What does that mean “didn’t let the husband go”?
Mataji: I don’t really know what it means, because it’s someone else who says that I didn’t let the husband go.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah. Both, let’s say, in the… How you say? Let’s take a few scenarios. [Indistinct 01:46:41] means, let him go means, he has gone, so therefore you are going to have to deal with the reality of the present situation and do something that works. In other words, one is not expecting that he is going to do something, because he is not around to do it, and due to lamentation one is not going to not do anything, because there is nothing you can do about it anyway. So you deal with the present, move forward, like that. So that would be the proper way of understanding… What was her point?
Translator: Letting go?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, letting go. That doesn’t mean, one’s commitment to activities that one knows that pleases the husband don’t continue. So the commitment to not insulting the husband is there until you move on. Does that make sense? Because that’s the Vedic concept of… The modern concept is, “move on” means, “make yourself available for another relationship.” So you have to decide which tradition you want to follow. Does that make sense? Vanaprastha doesn’t mean you don’t follow the mood and the instructions of the husband. In other words, as a grihastha, so many things are established. So if the husband goes out on pilgrimage, or dies, there is still the same formulas or principles are followed in the house. Of course, we are talking about a Krishna conscious relationship.
Mataji: So I was told that I didn’t let my husband go because I am still speaking about him a lot. But I feel that there has to be a period…
HH BVPS Maharaja: What’s wrong with that? Other women talk about their husband, why can’t you talk about yours?
Mataji: It’s not a problem for me, but…
HH BVPS Maharaja: I know, I am just saying, I am talking about other people. You know what I am saying? Means, the standards remain. A chaste wife, until she dies, she follows the principles established by her husband. So if she talks about him, then what’s the problem? No one talks about their father who is dead or their mother who is dead, or a friend who is dead? There is still guys now, they all get together on… What is it? D-Day and talk about how, “Yes, how you stormed the beach, and we were there with our boys and we lost a lot of good men there and…” Today! And how many, it was 60 years ago, and that’s fine, so why can’t you talk about someone who was around a couple of years ago? In school they spend so much of the kids’ time reading stories and things about people that were dead and gone thousands of years ago. [Laughter] Right? You can even get a degree in it, you know, a degree in talking about people who are very dead. [Laughter] So what’s the problem? In other words, if some ladies don’t like you talking about your husband, don’t talk about him in front of them, if they are that selfish, talk about them. Unless, of course, they want you to talk about their husband. So then… Is that okay?
Mataji: But I also heard that living in the past or remembering the past is in the mode of ignorance.
HH BVPS Maharaja: That’s lamenting about something. Yesterday you went in the kitchen, you picked up a pot that was hot, you got burnt. Today, you are in the kitchen, someone else goes to pick up the hot pot, and then you say, “Don’t touch the hot pot, you might get burnt, I did that yesterday,” and then they say, “You are living in the past,” and then they pick up the pot and get burnt. [Laughter] Right?
Mataji: Yeah, that’s the way it is.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah. So therefore then those kind-of persons who don’t understand the difference between past, present and future, then don’t talk about your husband, that’s all, simple. Just talk, when you are with those kind-of persons, only talk about that other person, that’s all they are interested in. Does that make sense? Point is is, we discuss the past, but in relation to the present, on how we can work with that, deal with that, learn from that. Past remembrances applied in present situation, that’s still called present. Past situations where we project our self into that past situation, that’s not important. We project our self into that and therefore we are not able to function in the present. You know what I am saying? So if it applies to the present, then it’s present. If it doesn’t apply to the present, it only applies to the past, then that’s not worthwhile. You know what I am saying? Sitting there and going, “Oh, I used to do this, I used to pick up his socks, or I used to do this and I used to do that,” that’s useless. That’s useless. But the house was nicely kept clean, that was appreciated, so therefore today I keep the house clean, because that’s appreciated, that’s useful? Is that okay?
Mataji: What does it mean to become serious in Krishna consciousness, because I often hear that, they often tell me to grow up and to become an adult, a mature person, and what does that mean? In this connection, I’ve read in the Nectar of Devotion that one who is serious doesn’t reveal his mind to everyone, I mean that [indistinct 01:58:29] very serious…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Should be. Means, if you have a relationship with someone like a daughter, or sister, then you don’t have to.
Translator: You don’t have to reveal your mind?
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, then if you reveal, it doesn’t matter. Anyone else, you have to be careful. Does that make sense? So if you are revealing your mind and the other person is not appreciative, so therefore then you know that’s not the person to do that with, you don’t have that particular kind of relationship. Does that make sense? Like that. So just be careful who you deal with that way and who you don’t, because it’s guhyam akhyati prcchati, means, you reveal and then they deal back properly. So if you reveal, they don’t deal back properly, means that’s not the person to reveal your mind to. In the Vedic culture, when a girl is married, that’s when she is considered grown-up. In other words, they are girls, until they get married, then they become women. Same with boys. Like that. Does that make sense? That’s why the gopis, they are married, they may be 12 years old, and Krishna is 16, but they are considered mature, senior women, because they are married. So they are trusted to take care of Krishna. Does that make sense? So therefore they bathe Krishna, or feed Him or this. Even though they are younger than Him, they are considered more mature than Him, because they are married. Of course, in the Vedic sense also is, not married also included not having been around the block.
Translator: Having been around the block? In the Vedic sense…
HH BVPS Maharaja: You don’t know what means been around the block? Means…
Translator: Like making oneself available?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, like that. The specific meaning, means, erm… How you say?
Translator: Like prostitute, or…?
HH BVPS Maharaja: The modern days you don’t call them prostitutes.
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, you just call them girls. That’s what I mean, is that you might even have other unmarried girls telling you to grow up and be a woman, because they’ve been around the block more than you. Like that. What time is it?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Twelve, so then we will break now for a few minutes and then we’ll start again, we’ll start with your question.