This course is part of Sastra-Caksus, Year 3 and consists of 25 lectures, available on:
Given in Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur, February-April 2013
The following are lecture notes briefly delineating its contents.
- The most important element is carrying out the instruction of the spiritual master. Some apasampradayas worship the spiritual master, but actually do not give any importance to the instructions.
- Apasampradayas have faith in the material.
- One who commits offenses towards the Holy Name cannot properly represent the sampradaya, even though one is initiated. Their progress is very slow. But in an apasampradaya one does not progress at all.
- Mode of goodness are the recommended forms, but still it does not come to pure goodness until it is meant to please Vishnu.
- Of all practices, chanting Hare Krishna is the most important, but even more important than practice is the attitude. If one is chanting offenselessly one is considered a pure Vaishnava.
- First one has to tell the difference between material and spiritual, then start distinguishing within the spiritual. Once we serve Krishna, skills and techniques can always be improved.
- In the spiritual world we will be taught all of the 64 arts. It’s always expanding and getting better at every moment.
- All the mechanics of this world come from the spiritual world, they are reflected here.
- Using mechanics as in the spiritual world is called piety, and then it gets a good result. Here we apply the mechanics of the spiritual world using lower quality ingredients.
- Someone may be able to pronounce Sanskrit perfectly, but if the intent is wrong, it is still wrong. If one is not able to pronounce properly, but the intent is pure, it’s still pure devotional service. However, if one is sincere one will still endeavor to develop the skill in the Lord’s service.
- The neophyte may be a pure, unalloyed Vaishnava, but still need some serious training – the motive may be perfectly pure and innocent, but there may be practically no skills.
- Devotee from a pious background upon joining will have much better sadhana etc than others, for whom it might take years to develop it.
- “…he may apparently be a neophyte” – here it means one does not have much knowledge of the scriptures.
- Kashi Mishra, one of the associates of Lord Caitanya, is a pure unalloyed Vaishnava, but he doesn’t spend his time studying scriptures and is not interested in argument, and from that point he is counted as a neophyte.
- One not only has to be in a proper line with a proper knowledge and technique, but also with proper attitude to get to prema. Otherwise, lack of proper attitude will slow one down much more than lack of knowledge or technique.
- In the spiritual world we catch the right attitude because we are associating with the right people.
- If the gopis hang out too much with their family, they do not develop prema, but if they take the association of the nitya-siddha gopis, then they develop the proper attitude.
- In the material world we are concerned about getting opulence, but in the spiritual world everyone is already the personifications of success and opulence; all they endeavor for is to please Krishna. Acaryas give those activities that will please Krishna. But we are concerned about other things. Therefore acaryas establish institutions to engage our conditioned nature in Krishna’s service.
- Householder cannot give up talking about others completely, since one is engaging in maintaining protecting etc family members, but one should only talk about others as much as necessary.
- Grihasthas mainly need the social structure, not so much the brahmacharis, but it’s only in support to hearing and chanting.
- Management in the spiritual world is only there to support interaction.
- One may be committing offenses, but it is not so much of a problem, if one is trying to give them up. Problem comes if we are attached to our offenses and think they are okay.
- There is no such thing as really good material things.
- Modern, materialistic ideas are always exactly the same thing.