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 is disturbing to devotional service, but devotees still accept the duties of varnashrama. Varnashrama on itself is not devotional service, but it is the pious duties that are engaged.
- Pleasure of the Lord should be the prominent element in devotional service.
- Duryodhana is also following varnashrama and helping to unfold Krishna’s pastimes, but it is not devotional service.
- How our bedsheets are connected to Krishna? We have to look at our household items and see what values and qualities of Krishna are they providing, why are they important to us? Whatever is valuable to us we should connect to Krishna.
- To make a whole philosophy about dressing casuals is prayasa. The actual point is to dress properly as a gentleman, either in devotional or karmi clothes.
- Apara vidya only describes pious activities, but para vidya shows how to engage them in devotional service. So the only topic of the shastras is how to serve the Lord with body, mind and words.
- Our doubts about devotional service arise in the area of attachment, and they have to be addressed in that context.
- The connection to Krishna is more important than things that we are connecting.
- The hard labor of visiting holy places is prayasa, unless one goes to places of Krishna’s pastimes and eagerly desires to awaken one’s love for Krishna.
- If we remembered Krishna and associated with Vaishnavas, then visiting holy places becomes worthwhile.
- Observing fasts. Not drinking water and not eating are two different vows.
- Following vows of devotional service is not prayasa.
- Devotees not seeing Krishna in their endeavors becomes prayasa, useless labor.
- It is also not an over-endeavor to endeavor to associate with devotees, do temple worship, do sankirtana and similar activities.
- In preaching, endeavor should be put where there is going to be the best response, so that our endeavors are not wasted. Relationships are reciprocal.
- Whatever we know and deal with, if we understand nicely its connection to Krishna consciousness, then we can preach successfully. We can only help others if we have helped ourself with it.
- There is no need of renunciation on its own.
- Why connecting things to Krishna we are automatically renounced.
- In old temples there is arrangements for feeding all the Lord’s associates in different directions.
- Devotee is giving up many things mentioned in the Vedas to please Krishna as a person. If we are friends with high-court judge and have been spending time with him in the court, there is nothing lost if we give that up and rather spend time with him at home.
- Vegans usually don’t take care to protect any cows. Government takes taxes from sinful activities and constructs roads etc that everyone is using. So by the logic of vegans we should stop using the roads and just live out of nowhere. But most vegans are city-dwellers.
- Hippies didn’t change the world; Apple did because all the punks are using the ipads.
- New Age is fine if one is not a devotee. But devotee going back to New Age is like a professor going back to preschool.
- For technical analysts of the stocks the market is business, but for others it is gambling. Stock market has always been here for thousands of years, just they were trading commodities.