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.

  • Impetus for performing sacrifices without desire for results is desire to follow the instructions of the Vedas, because it pleases Krishna.
  • In the West, following ritual is dry, because the ritual is man-made. So man-made ritual naturally become boring, because it will be created for a particular time, place and circumstance, while the Vedic injunctions, coming from the Lord then are eternal, so they don't get that aspect.
    It's not a matter of, "Well, it's dry, what about the feelings?" and all that. Isn't it a feeling that you are following the Vedas, is that not a purpose? "I wanna do this to please this person, I wanna do it to please myself." What about if I am doing this to please Krishna by following the Vedas?

  • Devotion and the mode of goodness go together very well, because they are both naishkarmya.
  • Sacrifice is generic, following the scriptures and giving results to others. Austerity is doing it because we are supposed to do it, this is our duty.
  • Mode of goodness definition of sacrifice, charity and austerity is the actual definition. In other modes it has the form, but they are not actually.
  • Mode of goodness is the right activity, right motive. Mode of passion is right activity, wrong motive. And mode of ignorance, wrong activity, wrong motive.
  • Generally people are using diplomacy for the sake of honor, respect and worship, therefore it gets a bad name.
  • If one is not paying proper attention while giving in charity, the mind is not involved.
  • Even those who are inclined to the best material situation, are still bound to the material world.
  • 35:00 Austerity, charity, sacrifice etc are the means, the goal is the Lord.
  • Simplicity doesn't mean it's not sophisticated. It just means it is very direct between what you are doing and its results. Means, you are doing something, it gives a result very easily, the situation you are in, it's very natural to do that and very naturally gets that result, that is simple. Complicated is, there is all kinds of obstacles that can get in the way.
  • Nonviolence means seeing things according to the soul, according to the scriptures. Violence means it's not progressive.
  • 13:30 Diplomacy vs simplicity in management.
    Diplomacy has its proper use in Krishna's service, it should not get a bad name.
  • Truthful means in connection with the Vedas.
  • Satisfaction means, what you have you are comfortable with. Because if you are not comfortable with that, you will never be comfortable for anything, because you are always in a state of having something, right? And so, if you are always in a state of trying to get more because you are not satisfied with what you have, you will always be doing that. So the mind should be satisfied with what it has, then you properly perform your duties. If you are satisfied with what you have you can then naturally do work where you are not looking for the result.
  • Person who wants that stark reality - they should first do it with their own mind, by being completely simple and straightforward.
  • Gravity - one takes things seriously.
  • Purification of one's existence - everything that we do should be connected to the Lord and should be used for elevation
  • 40:50 Is giving money to beggars sacrifice in the mode of ignorance.
    We give a little, that is our duty. How they use it, that's their problem.
    The best is to give prasadam.
  • 48:45 If we are inattentive doing the right activity, that is an element of the mode of ignorance and it should be removed. How will Krishna interact with inattentive chanting?
    There is no pure manifestation of a particular mode, there are always mixes.
  • In one sense, it doesn't matter if there is some ignorance mixed in our service, if this is the best we can do. But if we could do better, why wouldn't we endeavor to remove that ignorance? That means, the relationship is not very deep.
  • If it's not connected to the Lord, it is useless. If it's connected to the Lord, it has use. Now, then we can look at the quality of the usefulness. Just because it's useful doesn't mean it's the best. You know, a fish or a potato. So a fish, hard to use for Krishna, right? Potato, easier to use for Krishna. But now, there is qualities of potato. This one has been sitting in the corner for a while, it has turned green and it's got all little things growing all over it. So not as nice as one that's not green and doesn't have things growing all over it. So there is always that something more, there is the category and then within the category. So this is what it's trying to bring out. Otherwise, we'll say "Oh, that's connected, it's good enough." But what about the quality of its connection, quality of what you are connecting?
  • Mother Yashoda, she is not about to anything of not good quality offer it to Krishna. The gopis, it's not gonna be anything of bad quality that they are going to offer. So good enough is not good enough, because who it's good enough for? For us. And what was defined before, it's done out of laziness, it's mode of passion. One doesn't want to do, it's a problem, it's the mode of passion. So in a society that's known for being situated in the mode of passion then there is a lot of laziness when it comes to uplifting rituals.
  • Even if it's auspicious material, if it's not connected to Krishna, it's still abominable. It's just nice abominable. The example that Prabhupada gives is that one is bound, so one is bound by iron chains, or by silver chains or gold chains. So the guys that are sitting there is a row in prison and all that, they have this chain and this ball there, but they are all in jail. And so, it's abominable. But amongst themselves the guy with the gold chain and gold ball, he'll say, "Hey, I got that, you just have the iron one," and he will feel bad, "Oh, how come I didn't get a gold one?" Does that make sense? So within the prisonhouse, then they make a distinction. But the first point is, in the prison or out of the prison. So connected to Krishna or not, that's the first thing.
  • 65:15 Is it not abominable to ask Krishna for money?
  • The problem with rationalizing something or justifying something is then you are trying to equate a lower standard of devotional endeavor to a higher standard. No, you have to make the distinction. And if due to pride then you are trying to do that, then that's mode of passion or mode of ignorance, depending on how it's applied. You want it done in that way because it will protect your position, that's passion, and if it's done just because you are proud then that's mode of ignorance. Because pride, then it means is a symptom of illusion.
  • We have to be able to distinguish the path. Otherwise, how do we know where we are and therefore how to engage? So it's not that, "Okay, well, I can engage where I am, so therefore it's all right." No, it's all right to engage that because that's where you are standing. But if you don't move forward saying, "It's all right to engage that," then you are moving back. One has to keep moving forward.
  • If Krishna's satisfaction is what you are looking for, then you would want to offer the best. So if you are able to tell the difference, then you would do that. If you can't tell the difference, don't worry about it. But if you can tell the difference and then say, "Don't worry about it," then that's a fault. The person who doesn't know, he does his best. But the person who does know better do what he knows is better.
  • Samskaras situate us in modes. The modes is not the problem, but it's our faith in them. This faith is causing problems, especially if it's in passion and ignorance, because this is faith in something other than Krishna. We must reject faith arising from the modes by analysis. We must take shelter of faith arising from the scriptures.
  • Liberals aren't fighting with someone who is balanced, or conservatives aren't fighting with someone who is balanced, they are fighting with each other, because that's where the common point lies. So they are both extreme, but at the same topic, just the opposite. But the extremity in the same topic, that's the common point. The balanced person is not extreme, so where is the connection, there is nothing to engage with.
  • Field is set in 1st chapter
    Seeds of all the topics in the 2nd
    Summary and conclusions in the 18th
  • This chapter will explain what does it really mean, how does it practically work - to do activity for the Lord.
  • Conclusion is the applied thesis. It's the same point, but shows application.
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