This course is part of Sastra-Caksus, Year 1 and consists of 91 lectures, available on:

Given in Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur, September 2010-April 2011

The following are lecture notes briefly delineating its contents.

  • Studying the Vedas academically is not divine. Divine means studying the Vedas with faith in the scriptures.
  • Devotees have read the Vedas, but in their own life they apply things generated from popular usage, their faith is generated from popular usage. They think they are special and unique, but this is what Arjuna is talking about.

  • As long as one keeps proper focus, such popular usage may not be much of a problem. Problem arises when one thinks that one's faith in popular usage is good, and becomes proud of it and thinks everyone should do it. This is demoniac.
  • "Krishna is ready to fully commit, or He is fully committed, but He wants to interact on a fully committed platform. So if we are not fully committed, how we'll interact? What will be the basis of the relationship? Nobody appreciates a relationship where you are more committed than the other person."
  • 26:00 to 51:00 "So many rules in Hari-bhakti-vilasa
  • Devotees are so caught up in the rules that they either reject them or think rules are everything
  • 38:00 Devotional service is offering the best we can with the greatest amount of devotion
  • We should know the best forms, offer them if available, or, if not available, offer the next best thing. We should not act on "all or nothing" principle, i.e. fall back on our lowest so-called culture if the ideal thing is not available.
  • Low self-esteem, what's the actual point? Lack of faith. Do you understand? So if you have faith you act, you don't have faith, you don't act. So, here, everyone has a particular type of faith. Or, you have faith that I am  useless, so even if you could do something, you won't because, "I can't."
  • 59:00 The consciousness is attached to being a controller and enjoyer. The mind becomes then attached to whatever detail one is dealing with.
  • The mode we are in is a manifestation of our faith.
  • Faith in the modes of nature is artificial. Faith in pure goodness is constitutional.
  • We do not want to let go of mystique, lack of conclusion, because we are attached to it, then we can break down the rules and still say it's good.
  • To pull us out of the gutter we only need someone standing on the sidewalk, we do not necessarily need a guru dropped out of the spiritual world.
  • Whimsicalness means, it's not based on scriptures, it's based on the stock of impressions in our mind.
  • Acting according to shastras is divine, but not connected to devotional service, it's a lower level of divine. Devotional service is a higher level of divine.
  • "We either function on scriptures, or on our samskaras. So that's why for kids, samskaras are important, because they are just gonna function on their samskaras. They don't know shastra, they don't have like that, they typically function on their experience. You give them that pure experience, it will improve the quality of what they do. So we say, "We just chant Hare Krishna, we don't care for the rules." Great, that's you as an initiated adult. What about your 3-year-old kid? Or your baby, or your baby in the womb? Or your child in the form of the twinkle in your eye? What about that? So that's what it's for."
  • "Just because the form is there, doesn't mean you have actually obtained the Vedic principle. And at the same time it doesn't mean because you are not using the traditional form you haven't obtained the Vedic principle. But the argument over this happens not on that point of the principle, it happens on the detail. So one is arguing, "Unless you follow this detail, it's not Vedic." And the other is, "We can't do all these Vedic things, we are in the modern world, we are contemporary, so therefore we don't have to follow it." But neither of them are talking about the principle which you are trying to obtain by either following this form or that form. So that's why they've both missed the point, it's a neophyte understanding, because it's based on ignorance, there is no knowledge."
  • Finding demoniac qualities doesn't mean the person is a demon, but those particular qualities or inclination are demoniac. All weeds around the devotional creeper are based on demoniac principles.
  • Big attachment will not be a problem if one does not cultivate it. Even small attachment will be problematic if cultivated.
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