I was just thinking this morning. Why is a ship in the navy, in those who work in the sea and ride around on ships, why are ships called “she”? Because if you think, because sailors, if you think of sailors, sailors are very masculine and everything like that. So then why it’s “she”? Because the thing is is, you could say it’s that the masculine position, they are the men, and that’s a “she.” But then the point is is, how do they have to, how do they deal with the ship? Do they deal however they like, or how they have to? You deal with the ship how you have to deal, you don’t, you sink. In other words, you are completely, your intelligence and your expertise, your masculinity is how nicely you understand the need of the ship for the situation and deal with that. And that will get you through anything. So that’s the principle, it’s understood by the roughest quality of men. You know, you can’t say that there is people much rougher in quality than a sailor. Especially when they’ve been out there a long time. They get pretty insulting, salty and it’s a whole… [Laughter]
Once in Poland, there was this… kind-of like the city was having a little festival, it was a sea coast city, a little village thing. So they had set up a stage, and different people were coming and doing things on the stage. So we had worked in, because we were there doing Harinama, we could also come on the stage, and do kirtan and that. You know, it was kind-of like, anything went, so it was kind-of that kind of thing. So they brought us up, there was a place to sit for the next people to go on the stage. So who was on the stage before us, were actual sailors who were the singing sailor songs they sing when they are out at the sea, like that. And unfortunately, a lot of the people that we were doing kirtan with were ladies, and they are Polish, and they understand what they are saying. They were all sitting there with their ears covered and they were like bright red [Laughter]. So from that, what they were saying was really, really rough.
So the point is is, here is the roughest class of men, in actual practice and theory knows perfectly how to deal with a woman. I mean, and their life is dependent upon it. But when they go home, they don’t deal with the wife like that, and therefore their marriage has trouble. So this is what’s meant, one becomes overwhelmed with the position. You know, ‘It’s my wife, I do whatever I like. It’s my ship, I do whatever I like.’ Yeah, go ahead, sink it. So like that. So they don’t understand, they don’t make these connections, so because of that, we are trying to point out that generally if anybody is good at anything, they know the technique for dealing with anything else in the material world. But they are not applying it from one thing to another.
(From Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 4.16-24, Sastra Caksus Course, 5 November 2010, Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sri Mayapur Dhama)
Full Lecture audio here:
This passage starting 44:40
Lecture Notes HERE