Rules and regulations aren’t the problem. It’s not understanding them, that’s the problem. Because if you understand them, they are fine. Like devotees, when we say “samskaras”, “Why do we have to do samskaras? What’s the big deal?” Like that. But if you think about it, okayy, the parents like their kid, they want to see them healthy, okay? So, the different ones [samskaras] is… one of them, parting the hair, that has to do with the consciousness of the child and the health of the mother. So, you don’t want your wife to be healthy when she is pregnant, right?
So then, there is a samskara just before the birth of the child so that the birth will actually go unimpeded, without much problem. So, of course, you want your wife to yell and scream and ride in pain as much as possible, because of, you know, all those days that she has given you trouble, and since she has gotten pregnant, you can’t even touch her, so you really want her to suffer, right, so you wouldn’t want to do the samskara.
When the birth of the child, then that is called jata-karma, it’s also called medha-yajna because it actually gives them intelligence. By performing that, the kid gets intelligence, brains, you know, like that. They can actually remember things, understand, see, their intelligence work. So no parent wants their kid to be too smart, because then they ask too many questions, and then they have to be bothered answering all the questions, so we wouldn’t want to do it, right?
Nama-karana then is to do with the planets, so because the planets actually control everything, then if your obligatory pleasing of the planets to do with this then makes everything go smoothly for the child. But you wouldn’t want that, because then later on you wouldn’t be able to sit around and go to 20 million astrologers and have them give you ideas what’s there and then you could lament and all that, but if everything went smoothly for you, wouldn’t even be interested.
Paushti-karma is then for the nourishment and health of the child and all that, and that you definitely wouldn’t want.
Anna-prasana is for good digestion. If the digestion is good, then health is good. Your whole health is based on your digestion, the better the digestion, the better your health, but, you know, you wouldn’t want that for your kid, because then if he is sickly, then you can take care of him more. If he is healthy then he is running around, going out of the house, out with friends, so mum has nothing to do, right? ‘
Does that make sense? Like that. So, that’s the whole idea. People know what it is, they’d be interested. But they don’t know what it is and therefore they, “Oh, it’s ritual, write it off! Oh, we don’t get into rituals.” Even though we didn’t even know what samskaras were, right? It’s like you go out here, the gutter out there, it’s not that they know a whole lot about all this stuff, like that. And then when Prabhupada comes and picks you up out of the gutter and then tells you about these things, and then we say, “Oh, this is ritualistic.” No, what it means is, for my culture of living in the gutter, which I like, it doesn’t fit in, because I am so much in ignorance, I wouldn’t want to actually get involved in these things, because they would take endeavor, they would take… You know, it means, I am satisfied doing nothing. The couch is nicely warmed, like that, I have my picture on the wall as the head couch potato in the house and I am happy that way. My wife doen’t like it, she is talking about divorce, but, hey, that’s her problem, she is being trippy.
So that’s the whole point is, rules and regulations aren’t the problem. It’s lack of understanding them is the problem. So we don’t understand them, we throw them out, we don’t understand them, we over-emphasize them.
(From Deity Worship Seminar, Boston, 9 August 2008)
From 8:45 to 12:40
Photo by Mayapur.com (Janmashtami 2014)