This course is part of Sastra-Caksus, Year 2 and consists of 25 lectures, available on:

Given in Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur November-December 2011

The following are lecture notes briefly delineating its contents.

  • Prayasa - Useless Endeavor
  • Devotional service is the inherent occupation of the soul, so only a small amount of prayasa should be accepted for the continuation of devotional service.

  • There is jnana-prayasa and karma-prayasa
  • Krishna only reveals Himself to a devotee, He is not obtainable by study. The Lord is telling us how to please Him, and if we follow that He will reveal Himself.
  • The endeavor for knowledge separate from Krishna is useless, since it brings great pride. Overendeavor for karma will also bring pride, but jnana gives greater pride.
  • Learning is not a problem, learning separate from the Lord is.
  • One has to live an honest life - one has to know what one's nature is and do one's duties accordingly.
  • A person who can identify their nature, would also know what things they are not good at, and one would do such things only in an emergency.
  • One's advancement is not dependent upon others, it depends upon one's own consciousness.
  • Prahlada Maharaja, being with his demoniac friends, still sees them as the Lord's associates.
  • We advance in mishra-bhakti if we give importance to bhakti; if we give importance to mishra we do not advance.
  • Studying Bhagavatam outside of Parampara is also karma. It is just the letters, not the actual Bhagavatam.
  • Nobody can prevent us from advancing in devotional service.
  • Jnanis don't understand the actual workings of the world and rasa.
  • Vaisheshika Prabhu has been distributing books for the last 30 years without any support from anyone. Caru Prabhu and his wife on their own have opened a huge temple in Utah, out in the middle of nowhere. So nobody can prevent us from being inspired and doing service. Then we will also inspire everyone else and will be surrounded by inspired people.
  • Being above Varnashrama does not mean that it is not used in the devotional service.
  • The difference between a madhyama and a neophyte is the ability to discriminate.
  • We are doing things for Krishna anyway, so actually for the person themselves it does not matter if they are 'exploited' or not because they get the benefit of devotional service. Service is not the thing itself, it is the mood of service. People lose faith because they are neophyte and don't know the philosophy.
  • Madhyamas know how to properly fit into the social system, neophytes don't.
  • Nobody has more exploitative father and teachers than Prahlada Maharaja, but still he was Krishna conscious.
  • Without Krishna consciousness there is no such thing as non-exploitative.
  • Doubts and misgivings. Anartha-nivrtiti removes both of them.
  • Artha and kama actually do not function well without dharma.
  • Cultivation of living entities true identity is devoid of prayasa.
  • Good activities only have value if they are connected to the Lord, otherwise it is just useless labor.
  • The Lord is pleased by proper dealings with His energy, the way He likes His energy to be dealt with.
  • Lifestyle and mentality is more important than academic skills. The Vedic education teaches that from the very beginning, but modern academy only at postgraduate program.
  • The varnas and ashramas are there in any society all over the world. Following God's laws gives success, not anything else.
  • The levels of motivation for any activity - main thing is because it pleases Krishna, but usually we need other reasons also.
  • For devotees, dharma, artha, kama and moksha are achieved automatically; one does not have to separately endeavor.
  • We should not be too strict on ourself, otherwise we either become very hard-hearted, or the desire eventually overwhelms us.



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