16th January 2015, Bhaktivedanata Academy, Sri Mayapur Dhama
Reading from Srimad Bhagavatam Study guide: “Devotional service to His lotus feet is the root cause of all perfections a person can find in heaven, in liberation and in the subterranean regions and on earth (SB 10.81.19). It is further explained by Srila Prabhupada in his purport:
“In spite of his condemning persons who approach the Lord for material advantages, Kardama Muni expressed his material inability and desire before the Lord by saying, “Although I know that nothing material should be asked from You, I nevertheless desire to marry a girl of like disposition.” The phrase “like disposition” is very significant. Formerly, boys and girls of similar dispositions were married; the similar natures of the boy and girl were united in order to make them happy.
“Kardama Muni wanted to have a wife of like disposition because a wife is necessary to assist in spiritual and material advancement. It is said that a wife yields the fulfillment of all desires in religion, economic development and sense gratification. If one has a nice wife, he is to be considered a most fortunate man. In astrology, a man is considered fortunate who has great wealth, very good sons or a very good wife. Of these three, one who has a very good wife is considered the most fortunate.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: Because if the wife is there, the nature is similar, then children and wealth will all come from that. Because if you have wealth, it doesn’t mean that the others will come. Does this make sense? So that’s the central point. So within the social environment, within the realm of material desire, then the whole point is this relationship between husband and wife, that’s the central feature. As you can see from Manu, is that part of the 2nd chapter deals with brahmacharis, and then you have basically one chapter that deals with… or half a chapter on vanaprastha, half a chapter on sannyasa. So basically, like one and a half chapters, like that, out of twelve. The rest of it, I mean, then you have creation, and then the ending of the law. So then basically, you could say, is 3 chapters have something other than grihastha ashrama, and 9 chapters on grihastha ashrama. So the details of these other 3 are not that great, but then the detail of the grihastha ashrama is very great. So the whole point is is, the whole material existence is based on this. And then, if one is trying to make an endeavor to elevate oneself to a higher position, then it also has that facility.
So the whole point is that he sees that, since he has material desire, then he wants to elevate himself beyond that to the spiritual platform. So that’s going to happen in cooperation with the wife who has a like disposition. Because if the disposition isn’t that similar, then how they’ll have common goals, common methods, common environments to function from? Does that make sense? So, the whole point is, love being the basis of it is over-rated. Because if it really were, that’s what would be going on in the world, they would be working. But there is probably, I’m not sure what, but just throwing out something, probably, you know, trillion dollar business just dealing in domestic law. I would easily… it’s probably one of the biggest things in the world. So what does that mean? It means, this concept, “just because you love, that will make everything work.” I love my toaster, does that make it work? No, you have to plug it in, it has to be working, I have to put toast in it, I mean, excuse me, bread in it, then it’s supposed to get toast. Does this make sense? So the whole point is is that if there is that natural bound, great, if not, because there is like disposition, the bound will develop. So the whole point is is, love is not what makes it happen, because if there is not a similar nature, how will you maintain that love? That’s not.. [indistinct]
HH BVPS Maharaja: Of course, but what does it take to do that? Because that’s going to happen over due course of time. Like one couple that I know of that very much works well together, there is no question of not working together. But I remember the husband telling me, after 8 years he started to get an understanding of his wife’s nature. And these are committed people who you get married, you don’t not stay married. They are from that kind of background. Does that make sense? And so, and he is saying, he is just now figuring it out. So now, what does that take? Okay, 8 years. But now, you probably have on your average a marriage lasts about 3? So, that means, now there is a shortage of 5 years here. What’s that 5 years made of? Commitment, determination, humility, sense of duty, right? So now, without training, it’s not gonna happen. So that’s the problem is is, when Prabhupada mentions these things, you know, ok, it’s nice, we read Bhagavatam… But this is the reality, the whole things is like disposition, if it’s there…
The point is is, let us say, just take for some examples, and I am talking about the ones that astrology looks at. What does the house look like? Does the house look like pristine neat and clean and tidy? Or does it look like a bomb hit it? Or sometimes like a bomb hit it, sometimes clean? There is just three standards, right? Now, if one of them has got to be neat and clean, and the other, they are comfortable when a bomb hit it, how are they gonna get along? All the love in the world is not gonna keep that together. Because every moment you are reminded. You get up, you go, and what does the toothpaste bottle look like? Where is the toothbrush? Where is all the different things? What does the toilet seat lid look like? You know what I am saying? What about that little rug on the flour, you know? Where is that? What about the towel? And that’s first thing in the morning. Then you go to the closet, then you go to the kitchen, then you look at the living room. That means, at least 40-50 times before you even got now to door to go to work, or whatever it is, you’ve been reminded that you do not have a similar nature, right? And so, how much of that can you handle? And that’s just one of the things that astrology looks at. How do you view the world, what is the values, how does your mind function? Because everything you say, “Wow, this would be great!” “What do you mean that’s great?” It’s just like the other day. You say something, “Oh, here come the monsters.” So, “Huh, how can you call them monsters? They are children. We love our children.” It’s like, “What are you talking about?” You know, what I am saying? It’s like, you know what I am saying? But this is real. I am talking most people and most parents, you tell them, yeah, your kids are monsters or the ragrats or the ankle-biters, or, you know, like that. It’s just the natural thing. And some get so offended. It’s just like, you know, kids are political correctness, not a reality of interaction and relationship. You know what I am saying? But you put 2 people like that together, they are perfect. Everything they do for the kid is politically correct, everything is wonderful. Does that make sense?
Then, how does the intelligence work? Is logic important or not? Is it just a feelings, or is it, the feeling is there, yeah, yeah, and that’s the whole thing, or there is a logic and it makes sense? The con-sensuality, how much do they like to eat good food or do things, or, in other words, engage the senses or not. So it’s like, “Hey, let’s do that!” “Oh, that’s maya.” How is this gonna work? Do you understand? So, this is real life, real time, day-to-day stuff that either makes it or breaks it in the marriage. It has nothing to do with the butterflies and sun coming in, the music swelling, panning back and getting the [indistinct]10:15, it has nothing to do with that. Because if you think, how many moments of that are there?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeaah.[Laughter][Indistinct]10:30 Yeah, now you look back and it says, “But it’s just desert.” But it looked so good. Does that make sense? So, that’s the whole thing, this like disposition, Prabhupada is bringing out of the whole shloka that this is the important element. Because if that’s there, then you have a marriage. Because marriage is about cooperating together, husband and wife cooperating together to engage the material desires and to cultivate the spiritual element. So you are dealing with both of that, and cooperating, then they can do something. So it’s about teamwork. Does that make sense? So that’s the whole thing. If that’s not understood… Like this modern scenario, “Oh, why so much restriction, why can’t everybody just interact?” They can do. You wanna hogs, dogs, camels and asses, do that! You want human beings that go back to Godhead, there has got to be like disposition. Because that’s the whole thing, is that basically, for sense gratification, you can take pretty much of, broad range of, majority of men could match with majority of women. You know what I am saying? It’s not like you need a science for a one-nights stand. It’s just the bar is boring, and somebody is willing to go out with you, you know, you wanna leave, they wanna leave, hey, it works. So it doesn’t take much. But to make something that can last a lifetime, now, that takes science, that you have to know what you are doing. That’s why the Vedas put these restrictions, because you get a better result, that’s all.
I take the rice, I take one cup of rice, I put 2 cups of water, what do I get? Properly cooked rice. What if I go, “Why am I restricted by all these rules, why can’t I put one and a half cups of rice? Why even one and a half? I want one and 7 fifths, just to do something different, express myself, be myself, why am I always controlled?” What am I gonna get? Yeah, I’m gonna get something not very good. Now, that’s the whole thing. Due to ignorance, due to attachment, due to hatred, then no one can follow anything, due to ego, that’s all. The 5 principles of illusion, try it! And Kali does well. Does that make sense? So that’s why this is so much brought out.
Because if they are of similar dispositions, then everything goes perfectly, they look at… Like I was mentioning before, is that some high grade brahmanas were explaining one day about arranged marriages. And I heard this from others also, from cultured families. You know, there is an idea that two families will get together. So first they just, what they are checking is the environment. Because if the environment is not good, it’s just like this. Let’s say you wanna have a party, right, then let’s say some program somewhere. First thing, you go and check the place. Check the place, check the catering, check everything, and then if it’s all right, then you go ahead with it. Not that you just crash in on the place and then find that it’s totally unsuitable. You always start with the place,so first they go and see the place, where they live, how they live. So everybody is there, nice and smiling, and everything like that, but they are checking everything out. Like you said, the ladies go into the kitchen, and all this, and he says, the basic point they start with is, they pick up the spoon. And you have, the back is like curved, so there is that spot where the bowl meets the handle. And right there, if you don’t know how to clean, it’s always dirty. So it’s the first thing they do, is just look at that. And if it’s not clean, that’s it. I mean, they’ll be pleasant the rest of the evening, but there is no question that they will leave and go farther. Because that’s the point is, we are at this level, standard of cleanliness, if they are not, it’s just gonna be a fight. Because the point of “I’m just being natural, why is that it always has got to be clean?” Does that make sense? And that, every day, day in, day out is gonna break the marriage.
So that’s the thing is that, there’s this idea of, just because I want it, it’s perfect. But that’s just attachment. And attachment goes in ignorance. So that’s it, because the false ego is so great, I’m so perfect, then if I am attached to something, it will be perfect, because I am perfect. So these are the discussions that nobody likes to have. You are gonna have a get-together, grihastha, no one is gonna talk this stuff, you know, it’s very rare someone is gonna talk this stuff.
So that’s the thing, if there is like disposition, then they naturally fit together, then you have all these things, the wife yields fulfillment of all desires in religion, economic development and sense gratification. Because the point is is then, she is inspired, so she wants things, and because he is inspired, he wants to get those things. So it all happens. Otherwise, if no one is inspired, nothing gets anywhere. So Kardama Muni, understanding this, doesn’t want it to go wrong, so now who is he asking? He is asking the Lord. Because no one can make a better arrangement than the Lord, right?
Prabhu: In one Purport Prabhupada talks about having equal age between a husband and wife. What is the actually…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Not equal age, equal nature, equal age he’ll never use. If it works out that way, okay. As long as the nature is equal enough, it doesn’t matter. Like I know one couple where the wife was older than the husband, because he was just by nature so much more mature for his age, so it worked. You know what I am saying? And she was one of the heaviest ladies I have ever seen, right? I once saw an argument. She wasn’t a big lady, and she took on a huge German martial artist in an argument, like that. He was in charge of something, and like that, and she didn’t like the way he did it and she just started like that, it didn’t matter. Heavy lady. But I have seen that with him, no matter how heavy she gets, he just one or two words, just bring her into control. She becomes peaceful and everything. So that’s equal matched. So but that’s not standard. So standard is, there should be more age. Because if the man is not better at things than the woman, why is she going to respect him? You know what I am saying? That’s the whole point. If she can’t respect, then… So has to be, she can try every way, shape and form from all directions to disrespect, but he can pull it into line and make it work. Then she is comfortable. Otherwise, if she can control him, then what’s the point? Ok, that part of the game is over, now what? If he can never control, completely. That doesn’t mean he is independent in the way that he is not considerate, that means he is considerate, taking care, but she doesn’t actually have that control. That’s what then creates the mystique.
So those are other details, but here, it’s talking about the mentality. The like-minded mentality. So he is a great yogi, and as we see, then it’s mentioned, she is also a great yogi in the ashtanga yoga system, doesn’t say she is good at standing on her head, or pranayama, she is good at the ashtanga yoga system, the whole thing. So that means, she also has the mystic siddhis and everything. So he has the mystic siddhis, and as we’ll see, he’ll use them, so to make her happy. So this is like-minded, like disposition. Other things don’t work.
I mean, previously in India it was very interesting. Many times you’d see, it was very common to see couples, Indian couples, and you’d think they were brothers and sisters. Because their nature was so similar, they actually looked the same. It was very interesting to see that. I mean, look the same is, means like brothers and sisters maybe like twins, that kind, they looked soo similar, just because the nature was so much same, and everything like that, they just looked the same. Does that make sense?That’s not important, I am just saying that because it was just they worked it out so well that everything was the same, so basically the karma is the same, so they would even have the same features. But that’s not the essential point, the point is the disposition is the same. So that disposition matches, then, like Mataji says, with time they will become the same, anyway. Remember, the point is on disposition.
Prabhu: How to make astrological match if often in this age we don’t know quite exact time of the birth?
HH BVPS Maharaja: How exactly are you talking about?
Prabhu: As far as I know, like even 10 minutes make a difference.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, in the moon. But not in anything else. The moon moves, the other things, they are pretty much there. Saturn takes, what was it? 27 years, 29 years to even go around once. So he is not going anywhere in 10 minutes. He used to go somewhere in 10 minutes, but then Ravana took care of that. Was it Ravana? Yeah, Ravana. Do you understand? So, don’t get into those trips, “Oh, we can’t do it, therefore we will totally throw it out! Oh, I ran out of petrol, so we’ll just leave the car at the side of the road and not take cars anymore for the rest of my life!” Are you gonna do that? “Oh, the toaster is not working, I have to bang it. Let’s throw it out!” No, you keep it. Everything else you keep as far as from your own conditioning you keep. But anything that comes from Vedic, if it doesn’t quite perfectly work, then we throw it out.
Prabhu: So even if you can’t approximate your time of the birth…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Did you realize my point, what I said it’s about disposition? I was just going through disposition. Because the whole point is is, when are you gonna check the charts? When are you gonna check the charts? After 6 months after the two think, “Wow, we will make a great couple,” and they are interested, then you check the charts? And then you find out that it’s not a match?
Prabhu: No, I though that the charts are being checked on, you know…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, it is, but who does that?
Prabhu: Well, astrologer.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Astrologer does that, but which couples do that? It’s always, “Let me check it out first, and if it’s good, then we’ll check the charts.
Prabhu: Well, it’s how things are supposed to be, so…
HH BVPS Maharaja: It is how it is supposed to be, but we are talking about how to make “supposed to be” happen. Does that make sense? So unless people value it, nobody does it. Because, “Oh, I don’t know within ten minutes, so it doesn’t mean anything, so we’ll just check, we are the real authorities on whether we match.” You know what I am saying? Basically, any boy, any girl getting together for the first time, it’s always exciting, so it doesn’t matter who they are. Unless they are REALLY not matched well. But if they are kind-of ball part, then, hey, it’s a go.
Prabhu: No, this is not my attitude, but I was asking, you know, how reliable that would be that sometimes mothers, they say like, “Oh, you were born at 12:50, 12:30, I can’t tell exactly.” And from like I attended some…
HH BVPS Maharaja: You’re from which country?
Prabhu: From Russia.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Ok, then that answers it right there. You know what I am saying? For the country that’s most amazed by mysticism, they are the most strong to throw everything out and work on absolutes here, so… You know, what I am saying? So we are talking about the Vedic culture here. We are not talking about the Russian interpretation of it. Does that make sense? The point is, this is the standard, you get as close as you can, because the only thing that’s gonna change in 10 minutes is the moon, and you are talking about a couple of degrees there. So it’s not a big deal, you can look at other things to then balance that. So if astrologers say that, I would say that those astrologers should not have been giving that seminar that you went to. Astrology is more than math, and it’s more than looking at books for a year and that, and then now you are the Acarya. And why are they giving the seminar? Because you are gonna pay money, that’s why. Not that they know or give a damn about the science and about putting together, they just want a sense of control, “I know what’s going on.” When they don’t know, really. You know what I am saying? Therefore.
Another Prabhu: But this principle of the like disposition, is it there even between student and teacher…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, everything is like that, everything… That’s why Rupa Goswami mentions like-minded. Because the point is is, all devotees are, you could say, like disposition in that they are interested in serving and pleasing Krishna, so that way then all devotees you could do service with and sadhana with and that. But in the way of personally revealing the mind and those things, dadati pratigrihnati, guhyam akhyati prcchati, bhunkte bhojayate, that you do with those who are like-minded. But as far as service goes, that’s the point, is that Krishna consciousness is the actual international society. There isn’t really anything else that’s international. But this is that for anyone from anywhere, it can function. Does that make sense? So, in the general thing, all devotees, anywhere you go, it’s your place, you go to any temple, it’s home. It doesn’t matter where it is. But as far as closeness or intimacy, that will be more based on closeness of nature. Only because you could say, reveal your mind to anybody, but they may not understand what you are saying, and so it won’t work nicely, that’s why it’s… One could say, no, but we are devotees, yes, the soul is the devotee, but the conditioning is the conditioning.
Just like we said here, this particular mentality of being overly overwhelmed by the mystical elements, and then taking them as the most important element over practicalness and devotion, then it’s very particular as a broad thing from that particular part of the world. You know, you just shift over one country, and it’s completely different out-of-balance. You know what I am saying? It’s just, you move over one country, and then it’s totally, then it’s all sentiment, you got the black [indistinct] 26:40, and all this and that. The whole thing is just mother and child, just a rasa. Then you go one country again, and it’s like machines. One country again, and it’s oho aha ulalala, you know. You know, it’s just the thing, you just move over, and it’s, it’s… So that’s the thing, each one has its uniqueness, so the only thing that really binds together is Krishna, so but the nature is there and is that. But the Vedic can accommodate all this, that’s the thing, the Vedic can accommodate, you just have to know how to apply it.
If we put our own perspectives on it, then we’ll always find a shortcoming. But if we don’t, then if we approach in a balanced way, then we can make it work. Because there is no such thing in the material world as perfection. So like-minded, like disposition, it didn’t say exact disposition. Because it’s like, you get it as close as possible, so therefore astrology mentions, if it’s 50 percent, then it’s ok, but then the lower it is, the harder the couple has to work. Does that make sense? And then, it’s a matter of figuring out what is there. It’s just like let’s say there was someone, they had 70 percent, which is not bad, it’s a pretty good average percentage of being a good match. But the area where it was dissimilar was in the mind and emotions, and the person involved was a very emotional person, and it was all based on their emotions and interactions, so therefore it just… they were advised, don’t go ahead with this, because the area that’s most important to you is the one that’s weak. The whole point is is, if it says 70, that means 30 percent is not common, so if it’s areas that you don’t care, it’s not a problem. Because the point is is, if there is a basis that it works… Like I was always, it was interesting when I was in Hungary. Then I saw somebody, and then the next year I see… I kept seeing these two people. After a couple of years then we figured out that they are married. And so then, what it is, because they both are busy at job, then they work it out, then when there is a festival, then one comes and the other one takes care of everything else, and then next time the other one does. So then, to be able to do that, they would have to have a very good relationship. Because they had a very different interest and everything, but the commonality of how they would think, feel, value, that was the same, but their interests in activities and that was very different. But they could accommodate, I do this, they do that, they are happy doing that, I am happy doing this. So that’s a much higher developed.
It’s just like you see it in the Indians, you even see it in Asians, they would go… Means, this is very… What do you call, not so much cliche, maybe cliche… Just means, you are categorizing a lot, but it’s very common, so we are just pointing out a very common element. The Western family goes to the temple, everybody has to be together, everybody has got to be doing the same thing. Then, they went to the temple, they did something together. Then, but if you see the Indians and the Asian families, they go to the temple, as soon as they basically get in front of the temple, they are all, “Haribol!”, and they all go to the different places. And they may not even see each other for the whole time, because one goes to the kitchen, one goes to the kirtan, one goes and does something else, and they all have their friends and everything, and then afterwards, when it’s time to go, they all get back together, and they are talking about what a great time they had at the temple together. Right? Do you understand? So that’s the thing, because the underlying is so strong that the individuality can be very different, while generally in the first world, if you do anything different, like 4 friends go to the restaurant, 3 order the same thing, one orders different, it’s like, “Why do you order that?” So then what’s the basis of that? Insecurity, because either he is an idiot, and what is he doing here, because he ordered that? Or, he orders something good, and the three of us are idiots. So, until they work that out, then it’s a problem, so they just order the same thing, and then everybody is happy. Because they can’t handle the differences, because the foundation is not strong.
So that’s the thing in the Vedic concept, the foundation is strong, therefore the difference in nature, they can be quite different, but their disposition is the same, so the principle is the same. Though the detail, they are unique individuals. That’s what we are talking about here, and that’s what’s not known in the modern scenario. Like-minded means they do everything together, but there is some things they do together and some things they don’t. So if they do everything together, great, but as long as the foundation is strong, then the details are similar, then also easier. But if the foundation is strong and the detail is different, it doesn’t matter. But if the detail is the same and the foundation is not, it’s still not gonna work. Means, you go to any club, they don’t fight? But they are all doing the same thing, they are all skiing or skateboarding, or playing chess. But it’s not that they don’t fight or that there is not politics, does that make sense? Yeah. Because someone else, they are playing chess just for fun, the other guy, “This is serious, why don’t you take this seriously?” “It’s just a game!” “What do you mean it’s a game?” It’s like, “It’s chess! You know, come on!” [Laughter] Does that make sense? So that’s the problem, you know.
So the detail is not enough, but that’s what’s looked for in the modern. You know, it’s just like, “What do you like to do?” “I like to go to movies.” “Oh, yes, so do I! What kind of movies you like?” You know. “I like horror movies.” “Oh, I hate horror movies.” Ok, that’s it, finished. [Laughter] “Hey, how are you?” “Yeah, great!” “Uh, he’s got a wart.” Finished. [Laughter] And that’s real. I remember hearing a bunch of the cheer leader level girls once, and somehow or other I was standing there, and they were talking about, “Hey, you know what happened? Wow, that great guy.” And this and that. “Oh..[indistinct] 33:25 “Why?? What happened?” And he had a wart, and they all go, “Ooohh.” You know, it’s kind of like, “Yeah, of course, no one would wanna keep a guy like that.” [Laughter] So, this is… It’s a reality out there.
So that’s the thing, it’s that common nature, the basis is the same, then it works, then the more common the detail is, the better. But if these principal things are in place, then that’s what astrology checks, it checks whether the principal things are in place. But the point is is, everybody is a unique individual, it’s never going to be hundred percent, because even in a chart, you get as perfect as it can get, it won’t get better than 92 percent, that’s the highest rating you can get, you cannot get above 92 percent. So, you know, Shiva, Parvati, like that, they are 92 percent. Therefore you see a little bit of, you know… There has to be something, otherwise it gets boring, you know. Like, you know, living with yourself in a mirror, “Hey, how are you, looking good today.” You know, like that, you know. Does that make sense? So there has to be something, just for flavor. Does that make sense?
And even like disposition, certain things have to be opposite. Like astrology explains, if it’s not opposite, it’s like sitting in a room with yourself. Do you talk much? Some people may talk, I mean, but as a general thing, you don’t spark up conversations. So that’s why it’s some things you look for exactly opposite. Because when somebody is inspired, the other one is not, so that will make them, and then whey they are not, this one will be, so that way there will always be interaction. The like-minded there means, that’s opposite, but other things, it has got to be the same. Does that make sense? So it’s a science. So that’s been worked out long before. In the primary creation, it has already been worked out.
So that’s the thing, then we just have to understand it and then according to our ability apply it. Like I said, they are gonna ask these little things, what do you like to do, sport, are they gonna ask how many kids you wanna have? Do you wanna have kids? How many kids? It’s that the way you are gonna… The first time the boy and girl get together, these are the questions they are gonna ask? Now, if they can ask those questions, and consistently give the answers, you got a match. But their whole thing, “No, we’ll wait,” and all this and that. Then they get attached, because anything gets attached. And they never ask these questions. And now they are attached that it will work out perfectly, then they find out, the other one didn’t want kids, or wants kids, one wants only one kid, the other one wants ten. That’s a problem, you know. So that’s why you go. The family, they got ten kids, they match their kid up with another family that has got ten kids. So, of course, he had ten kids. It might be 9, it might be 12, but then it’s … you know, what I am saying? So that’s the whole thing. Does that make sense? It’s a science.
Prabhu: Just to clarify the meaning of the words of like disposition. Is it nature?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes. But here it’s more like attitude, how they view. Because attitude is where your attraction lies. Attraction lies in attitude as Pradyumna. So that aspect is there. And that means, then there is a basis for common knowledge, common goals, common endeavors.
Prabhu: Well, you just mentioned about disposition, I wanted to previously ask, we see that opposites attract each other…
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, no. Opposites always attract. Male and female are opposite. Any quality that’s there in a male, the female will be the opposite of that. Then you move to the next one, it will reverse, it’s always opposite. You know what I am saying? But that’s why it has to be like disposition, so we are not talking about the same. Western idea is, they should be the same, Vedic idea, they should be compatible. Just like a hammer and a nail, they are compatible. They are not the same.
Prabhu: So like disposition is not being…
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, like disposition is being compatible. A bowl and a spoon. Now, if I had two bowls. You know, it’s time for soup, if I give you 2 bowls, is it gonna work? No. What about 2 spoons? [Laughter]
Prabhu: This is worse. [Laughter]
HH BVPS Maharaja : Yeah, do you understand? Does that make sense? So it has to be what’s compatible, not what’s the same. So that’s the thing, we look for what’s the same. No, we have to look for what’s compatible.
Prabhu: How do you do that? [Laughter] Let’s say if a boy and a girl in the West, they’ll look in their first meeting whether there is mutual attraction…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, but why are they first meeting like that? What’s the point? Ok, nice, if they have to arrange it themselves, because they have no one else who will arrange it for them. You know what I am saying? We are looking at it that, oh, this is restriction. So you have, let’s say you have, just let’s get out even just some Western kind-of theory here. Is you have a princess, ok? Does she have any close associates, like, you know, maidservants and others who are always with her and everything? Okay. Now, she has a message she wants to give to a boy. Does she do it herself, or send those? Like that. Who does she send to find out things about the boy? She does it herself? She gets them to find out. Then, if it all looks good, then she’ll make the contact, right? And then, if it’s prince, he is doing the same thing. You know, what I am saying? So it’s right there in your nose. That’s why the princes and princesses get together, right? Because they have these methods, they work it out.
So that’s the Vedic thing, is you have people that care for you, therefore they are involved in trying to arrange things. Not trying to control it, they are just trying to see that it works out nicely. As time goes, oh, that doesn’t work. That’s because people don’t use it properly, they try to control. Does that make sense? So should already, it looks like it’s compatible already. And that’s why other people are involved, therefore you check charts and all that, and if it looks good, then they meet. And then their first discussions other than pleasantry should be about these details. If they haven’t within 3 days till one week worked out all these details on how they are gonna live, what kind of level of Krishna consciousness, where they are gonna live, what kind of money, how they are gonna spend their money, kids, education of kids, discipline of kids, how they are gonna talk to their kids? You know what I am saying. “Nee nee, nay nay” or are they gonna talk regularly, how do they talk? How do they deal with the kids, how do they keep the house, what size of the house? These are the realities, if they don’t have that worked out in three days to a week, then it’s not gonna be a good arrangement. And if they can work that out, you got a solid arrangement. Now, it’s still gonna take, that kind of couple, a few years to really work out how to interact with each other. But because the basis is strong, they can do it. Do you understand? It’s a science here. 75% divorce rate means lack of science. Then we say, “No, no, but this Vedic doesn’t work.” The modern works worse. Before StarTV came along, basically marriages in India all worked very nicely. [Laughter] Yeah, I am not joking.
Prabhu [Indistinct]41:20 [Laughter]
HH BVPS Maharaja: It just means, when the Western television came in, then they started doing. I saw some people talking about something, and I said, “Why are you doing that?” Because they saw it in soap operas, and they thought, that’s how you are supposed to behave. You are supposed to create arguments, they just do that, so that you watch the show. But they think, this is the way you are supposed to do, you know. They thought, this is real. And so, that’s the thing, it’s that before that they just went what’s the Vedic standard, what their parents did and everything like that. Now it’s like, oh, you’ve got to be modern. The modern, they don’t get along, modern, you get divorced, modern you do all this, so we are being modern, so we are… Does that make sense? You wanted more touchy points? [Laughter]
Reading from Srimad Bhagavatam 3.21.15: If one has a nice wife, he is to be considered a most fortunate man.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Not that he has money, that he has power, prestige, no, he has a good wife. So that means, there is many people in the world who are very fortunate, but your normal society wouldn’t consider them to be. And all the people they say, these are the fortunate people, they are actually not very fortunate. Like I think, what was it? Howard Hughes. I don’t think there was a lady there. It’s one of those machines that takes out the bacteria in the air, yes, though that’s the difficulty.
Reading: Kardama Muni continued…
HH BVPS Maharaja: So, in other words, his whole process here is, how can I become fully Krishna conscious, but I have material desire, so by living together, cooperating with a wife, we can take care of these desires, and then come to the point of being fully God conscious. That’s the whole point of the grihastha ashrama. It’s not that it’s going to be fabulous and wonderful. It’s gonna have it’s moments, of course. And for the soul, happiness is always more important than distress, therefore we ignore the proportions. Because the soul is more impressed by a happy moment. One happy moment gets rid of so much distress. So therefore it works. But the point is is, in doing that, you start to see, is that for the soul there is nothing there. And nothing there means, nothing there in the material world. So if you run grihastha ashrama properly, then you understand, there is nothing in the material world. It’s not that, okay, there is nothing here with this family. No, there is nothing in the material world. Because it doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, the experience is the same. So any species of life, any place, any situation, the combination between husband and wife and trying to fulfill the desires of Dharma, Artha and Kama, is the same. Not that I have more money, my experience is better. No, you have more money, so therefore it works on that level. Do you understand? If I am talking here, this looks big. But if I move this line up to here, I have a little more money, I have a little less money, I am down here, it’s a little more money, a little less money. Does that make sense? I am powerful. I put it here, but in this thing, in the meeting I won, but then next one I lost. He is more powerful than this guy, but within the realm of power, he is still just any [indistinct]44:53. You take anything like that, you know. The person is beautiful, okay? But you put him in that category of beauty, and then someone else has the eyes a little better, and this one, the hair a little better, and this one the fingernails are better. You know, like that. So that’s the whole thing, you take any of these six opulences, then it’s going to be, so that’s the whole point is, smart person, no matter what position they are in, then from that can understand the whole nature of the whole material existence. And from that they can give it up and go back to Godhead.
So that’s why like disposition, because that will be perfect for you. You are trying to get something else, it’s not gonna work, it really won’t work. If you think, well, if I had more money, then I could be more… No, it has nothing to do with that. It’s to do with your nature, does that make sense? Your nature generates more money, then you have it. If it’s not, you won’t. That’s the way it is. That’s why it says, do your duties. If you do your duties… King Yudhisthira does his duties, he is the emperor of the world. When the independence came, and then the central government took over all the kingdoms, there was one kingdom, the size of the kingdom was 9000 acres of land, that was the total kingdom. It’s just like now, Monaco, Monte Carlo, excuse me, it’s basically a rock, that’s it, I think it’s 1.9 or 2.3 or something square kilometers, it’s really not a whole lot, like that. Of course, it’s a good rock. But it’s its own country, but it’s so.. So you have things like that. Another thing is the Isle of Man. It’s its own entity. But it’s politics and its defense is controlled by England. But it’s its own country, its own government, like that. So the point is is, someone is that small of a king, he is performing his duties, and that’s how big a king he is. And Yudhisthira is performing his same kingly duties, no different, and he is emperor of the world. And other one is doing the same kingly duties, he is king of the universe as Indra. It’s not that they get up in the morning, they take their bath, do their sadhana, go to the court, hear all the different things like that, check with their ministers, check with the spies, spend time with the family and friends, they all do the same thing. But that’s the whole point, you do your duties, then whatever you are supposed to have, you’ll have. You want more, it’s not gonna happen.
So know your duties, then have a proper, compatible relationships, make friends and closeness with those who are like minded, and everything goes well. But then, you actually have a full taste of what the material world is. Then, understanding that in connection with Krishna consciousness, then you give that up, go back to Godhead, where things are real. In the spiritual world, you can say BFF (Best Friends Forever), because there forever actually is forever. Here you can’t, you know. It’s a feeling, because that feeling of friendship you are connecting with Brahman, with the universal form, that the element of friendship in the universal from you are connecting, so that’s eternal. So as long as you connect it, you have that feeling. But as soon as you are not, it’s not. So that’s the thing, in the spiritual world it is real, it is forever. Does that make sense?
Oh, that’s we’re on one paragraph. [Laughter] [Indistinct]49:15
Prabhu: Festival, we should come to the sankhya philosophy.
HH BVPS Maharaja: And then, all we use is the terms “catur-vyuha”, [indistinct]49:25 [Laughter] Yeah, that’s what they don’t reveal, it’s actually…
Reading from Srimad Bhagavatam Study Guide: Kardama continued: O my Lord, You are the master and leader of all living entities. Under Your direction, all conditioned souls, as if bound by rope, are constantly engaged in satisfying their desires. Following them, O embodiment of religion, I also bear oblations for You, who are eternal time.
Verse 16: The substance of Kardama Muni’s attitude is in Srila Prabhupada’s Purport to text 16:
In the Kaṭha Upaniṣad it is stated that the Supreme Lord is the leader of all living entities. He is their sustainer and the awarder of all their necessities and desires. No living entity is independent; all are dependent on the mercy of the Supreme Lord. Therefore the Vedic instruction is that one should enjoy life under the direction of the supreme leader, the Personality of Godhead.
HH BVPS Maharaja: So enjoying is not he problem, means, we are talking about going back to Godhead, we are talking about the happiness that’s there is unlimited compared to liberation, which is unlimited compared to what you can get around here. So happiness is not the problem, it’s just whether that happiness is in connection with the Supreme or not. If it’s not connected to the Supreme, the soul, being ananda, is going to squeak out something, right? But the living entity in connection with the Supreme, since the Lord is unlimited, that means, the happiness gained from happiness connected to Him will be unlimited, that’s the principle.
Continue reading: Vedic literatures like Īśopaniṣad direct that since everything belongs to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one should not encroach upon another’s property, but should enjoy one’s individual allotment.
HH BVPS Maharaja: So that means, we’ll say, “Oh, stealing is bad,” but what’s the real reason? “Oh, it causes inconvenience, it’s this, it’s not nice, there is a lack of sense of work ethic,” we come up with so many nice social points. But the real point is is that it all belongs to Krishna, and since it belongs to Krishna, then you have your allotment within what belongs to Krishna. So then, taking more than your allotment, that’s what’s wrong. Does that make sense? Because you could say, “Oh, but you are taking another’s property, it’s not their property, it’s just like it’s not yours.” The real thing is… Does this make sense?
In other words, all points that people value on the platforms of Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are all valid because of their connection to the Lord. And they become illusion when they are not connected to the Lord. So all these platitudes loose out when they are not connected to the Lord. Does that make sense? Like, you should be nice with people. The main thing is, you are supposed to be nice, it’s just a cultured thing to do, and we are all here together, and then we have the great world family, you can go on and on and on and on with that. But the point is is, everybody is a servant of Krishna, everybody is part and parcel of Krishna, that’s why you are supposed to be nice to them. Do we see the difference? So the point is is, devotee has all the Godly qualities, because everything is connected to the Lord. And then, the materialist maybe good in one place, not in another, they are good this life, next life they’re not. But it’s not fixed, because these qualities don’t remain because these qualities are Krishna’s qualities. If they are connected to Krishna, you have it. Just like a machine has electricity if it’s plugged in. So that’s the whole thing. We are connected with all these qualities when we connect it to the Lord. We don’t connect, then by our karma then Krishna arranges that you get for a short time, and then they go away, that’s the whole thing.
Prabhu: So, living entity and Krishna, they are the same, they are spiritual…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, they have the same disposition. So means that at all levels the Lord and the living entity get along, because it’s just like this. He is sat-cit-ananda. We are sat-cit-ananda. You don’t get more like disposition than that. [Laughter] Just He is unlimited sat-cit-ananda, while we are very finite sat-cit-ananda. But the same quality. Quantity is different. Now, when we connect with Him, then we are experiencing that unlimited aspect. Does that make sense? You could say, well, how is that possible? Because it’s not ours, we are looking at it as mine, so it comes in to me, and I fill up, and at some point you explode like the frog. But the point is is, how much electricity is going through something? You have a wire, how much electricity is going through? Do you understand? Huge amounts of electricity. Because it’s not theirs. As soon as they wanna claim it as theirs, then how much electricity can fit in that much space? Does that make sense? Nothing flows, it’s full. If it’s not yours, it keeps going, so that’s the thing, Krishna’s unlimited qualities are there in the living entity, as long as you are connected to the Unlimited.
And so, that platform is what we are discussing, that’s what people apply and are discussing on Tapaloka. Their experiencing that is very wonderful. But here is then you are talking about that aspect connected to the Lord as a person and that personal interaction. Does that make sense? It was also, I am just thinking that their ability to see the Lord, interact with the Lord, within the mind, is only possible because they are on the liberated platform. If you are not liberated and you try to do that, then it’s not reality, it’s a concoction. Only if you are liberated, then in the mind you can actually do things. Like ourselves in the conditioned state then we remember those who are doing. So if within your mind you are thinking about how Krishna and Radharani and the other devotees are all interacting and serving. And you are appreciating that service and feeling, “I would like to do that kind of service,” that’s fine, that meditation. But if you think, “I am doing this service, I am doing that service,” that’s sahajiya. Only if you are liberated, then you can actually contemplate, because then you are actually there on the spiritual platform. Then you can actually do the services.
Mataji: Then it’s the vastu-siddhi.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, svarupa-siddhi, you are doing it through meditation, means it’s your actual spiritual form, but you are engaging it through meditation. Does that make sense? Vastu-siddhi means, there is no connection here anymore, so in other words, svarupa siddhi, then we would call that the person is on the platform of bhava. Vastu-siddhi, we would say that they are dead. Just means, they are not here anymore. So svarupa-siddhi means, they are going back and forth. Vastu-siddhi means, you go there and you don’t return. So it’s the same position, it’s just a matter of whether you have the connection here, maintain that, or not. Does that make sense? And then, someone from there, when they come here, that’s another thing, they are already on the platform of vastu-siddhi. Like Prabhupada comes here, he is already on that platform. Like Sridhara Maharaja, he is just sitting and he is talking with devotees. He’d be all quite and that, and then somebody asked a question, and he always mentioned how he has to come back to answer their question.
Mataji: Our Sridhara Maharaja?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Well, it depends how big “our” is. [Laughter] “Our” meaning Gaudiya, yes. Do you understand? So, he was on the platform of svarupa-siddhi, but not on the platform of vastu. But Prabhupada, didn’t even… They talk differently. Do you understand? It’s just like a difference between a married woman and a teenager. Married women don’t talk so much about these things, and teenagers always do. Does that make sense? So that’s how you see where somebody is situated, just by Shastra. It’s not that we have the ability to see, “Oh, he is on this level.”We are not doing it like the residents of Tapoloka. It’s just Shastra defines these things, and you can see, this is where the person is. Does that make sense?
Mataji: So can you say that this illusion is only up to the level of [indistinct]58:40
HH BVPS Maharaja: you could say it’s more prominent. In nistha, it’s like we are saying, it’s only 25 %. But before nistha, you could say that it would be 40 percent and upwards. 40 % means, you are just coming to the point of just coming into nistha… The center of nistha will be 75. Beginning it’s at 60, so that means, 40 percent still anartha. And so, then in goes on down. So that’s anartha-nivritti, that through association, by having faith, in the association of devotees, performing devotional practices, that’s what’s going to move one from being unsteady in devotional service to being steady. So it’s not that anartha-nivrtti is specifically a separate endeavor. It’s a natural consequence of sticking very firmly to that faith, association of devotees and performance of devotional activities.
Prabhu: [Indistinct] 59:55
HH BVPS Maharaja: You are aware, so that when they come up you are aware to let them go, and so you are conscious. Just like yama and niyama, very interesting, because in this section Prabhupada is translating as… Generally we hear, it’s what you should do and what you shouldn’t do. But here Prabhupada has been translating it as control of the senses, rather that what you shouldn’t do. Control of the senses, and then the practices. So that’s what we are doing, we are controlling the senses, so that means you are following the regulative principles. And you are performing the practices, so the sadhana-bhakti that’s given in the Pancaratric activities. So you are always going to have, there must be that awareness, because you both have yama and niyama. Bu the focus is more on doing the niyama, means what is the practices, as opposed to what you are supposed to avoid. In other words, to do what I should, I should avoid doing what I shouldn’t. But it’s not about avoiding, you know what I am saying?
Sometimes devotees get too absorbed in the anartha-nivritti. I remember back in the… when the sraddha to prema, when devotees were becoming very aware of it, in the 1990s, mid-1990s. I remember, in the late 1990s, then like Govinda Maharaja, Sivarama Maharaja would very much strongly make the point, it’s not about anartha-nivritti, it’s about developing prema, about developing pure devotion. Does that make sense? Because otherwise, we are so much emphasizing,you can’t do this, can’t do that, there was that whole scene about… I remember, there was a time when it was all about developing the mode of goodness, there was a book published on that, but it’s not about that, mode of goodness comes from performance of devotional service. So all these things, anartha-nivritti is just a natural consequence of performing the devotional process. But it’s not that anartha nivritti itself is its own process, it’s just a natural consequence of bhajana-kriya. So the difference is, when we say “bhajana-kriya”, this is what you are doing, but when you start it at that point, that’s called anistha bhajana-kriya, not steady. Then when it becomes nistha bhajana-kriya, we just call it nistha. Does that make sense? So anartha-nivritti means anistha bhajana-kriya. Nistha means nistha bhajana-kriya. Does that make sense? So it’s just a matter of the focus. because otherwise the tendency is, sometimes to focus on the negative, rather than on the positive. But that doesn’t mean that we are naive and focus on the positive without understanding there is a negative.
Mataji: Maharaja, you said that sahajiya also [indistinct]01:02:50 in the Deity worship…
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, if it’s standard stuff, that’s part of the Pancaratric process. Because it’s the Deity. But if you transfer that where you are in the spiritual world, skipping along with Krishna, that’s sahajiya. So Krishna has come as the Deity where you can relate, so meditating on the Deity, then that works. Does that make sense? But if in your mind the Deity say, “Hey, how are you today?” Then, that’s a problem.
Prabhu: [Indistinct]01:03:20 is jumping…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, yeah. He wants to go out with you to pick flowers. Likes when you go on swings, it’s just like Jhulan, that’s sahajiya, this stuff. Standard stuff, you know, asanam, svagatam, padyam, arghyam, acamaniyam, like this, that’s standard stuff. Then how you do it, you make nice arrangements, make it more opulent, make more flowers, whatever you like, that’s standard Pancaratra. But to be involved in the pastimes, that’s sahajiya. So when you are liberated, that will happen automatically. You are not liberated, it’s not happening automatically. Does that make sense? So it’s just very clear, there is exact stages, and so that’s why we were discussing yesterday. Know yourself, self-realization means to know who I am. So because self-realization is a new concept to people, because they have a false idea of who I am. So the body, the mind, the intelligence, is all that someone identifies with. And generally that means the body, and feelings are part of it. But they don’t actually understand the mind, the intelligence and the consciousness. So of the four levels, it’s only the first level is really understood, and there is a slight understanding of the second. Third just doesn’t come into play, and 4th, you know, forget that. Does that make sense? So self-realization means who are we? Because ultimately being the soul, but the soul is conditioned, so these first three are there because of the conditioning. But they should be in support of the 4th, which is actually the soul proper, which is consciousness. Then the whole thing works, then you can establish Varnashrama, like this. We were discussing how the proper relationship between husband and wife, with their children, with the society, all these things, because you understand what tools I have. Does that make sense? Yeah, otherwise then it becomes a problem. So it’s all part of self-realization. So realizing where we are from sraddha to prema, then that also is helpful, it’s not a big deal because the point is, everyone starts from sraddha, and everyone ends in prema. So it’s just a matter of where you are in between. Because if you say, “Well, I am on prema,” then how are you gonna get there? Because you are already there. So you won’t get there. You know, like I if am sitting here and say, “Yes, I am in New York,” you know, am I gonna get there? No. That’s the whole thing, it’s not gonna happen.
Mataji: When we hear about how the soul is located in the false ego, does it have any physical location, or…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Mind, intelligence and false ego. It’s also in the heart. Means, that’s where it is, everything is in the heart. It uses the mechanics of the brain, but it’s in the heart. It’s like the life airs. You want to pick up something, so the life air moves down the arm, and so therefore you pick it up. So the life air uses the arm to grab something. So the mind, intelligence and false ego and the consciousness is situated in the heart, and then they use whatever aspect of the body is neccessary. That’s why, Prabhupada points it out, when you have Daksha, when he lost his head, right? They put a goat head on, but he was still the same Daksha. I’m not sure if his wife appreciated the goats meh. [Laughter] And so, but he was thinking the same and everything. So Prabhupada points out, it’s not the brain. The modern thinks, it’s in the brain, no, it’s in the… You can say, no, but if something happens to the brain, then it’s doesn’t work. But that’s because, it happens to anything, you get cut off your arm, then it doesn’t work to pick things up. It’s not that the life airs aren’t there, it’s just that there is nothing for it to go through. Does that make sense?
Prabhu: Then a question. Like I was telling a person that the soul, how the actual personality resides in the heart, they asked what about heart transplanting…
HH BVPS Maharaja: But that’s the heart, not the citta. The citta means here, not the muscle. When we say “heart”, we means it’s here.
Prabhu: Oh, ok. So it’s not the physical-like heart?
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, nothing to do with that. That’s just a muscle, that’s an organ.
Mataji: It’s in the chakra?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, it’s in the chakra. You have the life airs, it’s just here, behind the breast bone.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Chakra, oh, chocolate? I said chocolate? [Laughter] It’s just a matter of which is more interesting, chocolate or chakra. Or a chakra of chocolates. Does that make sense?
So that’s why if you go by the Vedas, then it’s authority, it works. Otherwise, you… Because it’s very close, because the soul being there, the blood passing through picks up the consciousness from the soul, then it’s pumped around the body, that’s why you are conscious of your body. The consciousness moves in the blood, that’s why if you hold something for a while, you can’t feel it, because the blood doesn’t go there, so you are not conscious of it, that’s all, it’s quite simple.
Continue reading: The best program for every living entity is to take direction from the Supreme Lord and enjoy material or spiritual life.
HH BVPS Maharaja: So here it’s that you enjoy one or the other. Generally, you don’t try to do both at once. You know, it’s like trying to put your foot on two boats. So unless you are very practiced at either ballet or martial arts, it’s not gonna work out good. So the thing is is, if you are enjoying spiritual life, material life goes as good as it’s going to be. And if you enjoy material life, then all that endeavor, it’s gone with that lifetime, you have to start again next lifetime. So the same endeavor, you can perfect spiritual life, and then whatever is supposed to happen, you are getting in material life anyway. Does that make sense?
In other words, what you get now, has nothing to do with your work now. So it’s not that I work harder, I will get better. You can work harder and get in the future, but not now. That’s why we work for Krishna consciousness, and then whatever is due to us from past, we are gonna get that anyway, that’s all we are gonna get. It’s like the guy works much harder at his job and makes so many more contracts and then presses the boss, and moves up in the country, but he is still gonna be hit by the same Mac truck. Does that make sense? It’s not gonna make any difference? That wasn’t to… Does that make sense? Just suddenly everyone went, “Uh” [Laughter] Okay, does that make sense? It’s not gonna change that. In the future, but what’s coming from previous work is still gonna be the same. It’s not that, ok, he was supposed to be hit by a Mac truck, but because he moved up in the company and he has really become a high fly, now he is gonna be run over by a Maserati [Laughter]. No, it’s still gonna be a Mac truck. And if he really works at it, then it might be a Lamborghini or a Ferrari.
Mataji: We are not talking about his material situation…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Means, what you are enjoying right now is from the past, so there is nothing you can do about the present by your endeavoring now, it’s gonna be in the future. So when that fruit is going to come, you don’t know. You know, what I am saying? So that six-bedroom house, when that will come, you don’t know. [Laughter] You are making the endeavor, but it may not come. But what you have now, that’s from the past. Though, since you have to make that endeavor from the future, why not make that future Krishna conscious? So I endeavor in Krishna consciousness, and I am performing my duties, so my duties generate whatever facility I am supposed to have. Does that make sense? So it’s not because I am going out and working hard, that’s why I have my facility. Because some people work twice as hard and have less. And others work half as much and have more. Does that make sense? So it’s you perform your duties, and whatever is supposed to come, you are satisfied with that. Because it’s not that more work will get more. But that’s the point of why you have to do your duties. Because whatever is your duties, you are doing that fully. Prabhupada said, we should work at least as hard as the karmis. So that commitment and that endeavor, we perform our duties, then whatever we are supposed to get we’ll get. But we are not doing it to get the material things, we are doing it to please Krishna. In other words, mechanics are going to generate their results. Just like if I am cooking a potato sabji, at the end of the cooking I will have a potato sabji. But I am not trying to get a potato sabji, I am trying to please Krishna. So I am getting the spiritual benefit, and at the same time I am getting the potato sabji. While if I am a materialist, I am just trying to get a potato sabji, and that’s all they get. So for the same endeavor, you can go back to Godhead, or it’s good for one meal, like that. Your choice, your call, so that’s the whole thing. And there is a good chance, that if you are cooking for someone else you do a better job than if you cook for yourself. You’ll actually end up with a better potato sabji. I am still working on being able to cook, if I am the only one eating, that it’s actually edible. It’s very hard.
Mataji: It’s very simple.
HH BVPS Maharaja: It’s simple, but even just the… The simpler it is, the simpler you want it to be.
Prabhu: You go to eat at restaurant.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, that’s true. But you may not go to a fancy restaurant yourself.
Continue reading: A question may be raised: Since Kardama Muni was advanced in spiritual life, why then did he not ask the Lord for liberation? Why did he want to enjoy material life in spite of his personally seeing and experiencing the Supreme Lord? The answer is that not everyone is competent to be liberated from material bondage. It is everyone’s duty, therefore, to enjoy according to his present position, but under the direction of the Lord or the Vedas.
HH BVPS Maharaja: So in other words, this element, since that idea to enjoy is the prominent aspect, then do it in connection with the Lord. As we’ll see later it will go, it’s not about that. You know, it will start shifting more to the detachment. But that’s naturally as our, by doing devotional service, knowledge and detachment arise, then it becomes prominent. Just like if you perform karma-yoga, it will with time turn into jnana-yoga. It’s just natural. But the point is is, it’s not artificial, so for karma-yoga, you perform karma-yoga. And then when it’s at jnana, you perform jnana-yoga, because you can’t perform jnana-yoga, if you haven’t performed the karma. So if we see someone is naturally performing jnana-yoga without the karma, that means they did it previously, in previous lifetimes. There is no shortcut, the only shortcut is devotional service. So that’s the point, is that your realization is I can connect my life to Krishna, then you act on that platform. So whatever your life means, then that’s what you do. So if that life is karma, jnana or dhyana, or any combination, because it’s always a combination. But it’s just what’s the prominent. Like a jnana-yogi, still there is gonna be karma and dhyana. The karma yogi, there is still, he is gonna have that knowledge and meditation. Dhyana-yogi, there is still karma and jnana. But it’s just the prominence. Does that make sense? If I take, depending upon the prominence, I take beans and wheat, I end up with bhatura and rajma, or I end up with a burrito. It just depends on what would be the prominence. Otherwise it’s the same thing. So that’s buddhi-yoga. But that’s studied separately, so that you can understand the elements, but then these combinations is gonna be unique for every individual, that’s why self-realization means, you have to understand yourself to engage yourself. Others can help, like Prabhupada gives the example of flying the airplane. Others can help give instruction and everything, but actual flying you have to do it yourself. And the thing is is, self-realization is the natural position of the soul. It’s not that it’s artificial and, “No, but everybody can’t do it,” that’s the one thing everybody can do. Everybody can be God conscious and go back to Godhead, that’s the one thing they do have in common. Because that’s the soul. But other things that we may desire within the material world, that we may be thousands of lifetimes away from.
Prabhu: Karma-yoga and karma-mishra-bhakti…
HH BVPS Maharaja: They are the same thing. It’s just whether you are talking about the connection to Krishna, or what’s not connected to Krishna. What does yoga mean? Ok, and what does mishra mean? Yeah, so we are saying, karma yoga can be just in pure devotion, that I am just connecting my activities to Krishna. But karma yoga can also mean that I have material desire, so I am trying to connect those to Krishna, so my karma-yoga is mixed with karma, meaning the material desires, so that’s karma-mishra-bhakti. It’s just a matter of which aspect you are bringing out. You know, what I am saying? Is it a car or is it a limousine? You know, what I am saying? It’s the same thing. But if you are looking at it, let’s say the social or other thing, you call it a limousine. If you are just talking about, you have to get down the corner stone to pick up whatever it is, then it’s a car. Does that make sense, right? The guy that drives around in it, it’s a car. The guy who picks up in it, it’s a limousine. Does that make sense? So it’s just a matter of whether you are looking at the yama or niyama.
Prabhu: So he was very renounced… So [indistinct]01:18:38
HH BVPS Maharaja: It’s not so much we have to renounce, it will come naturally. If the process is followed, then it comes naturally, but without the knowledge that that’s necessary, we may not make that endeavor, so when the opportunity comes, we don’t take it. Does that make sense?
You know, It’s just like Dhritarastra and Gandhari are going to the forest. They ask Kunti if she wanna go along. She goes, so that’s the opportunity. Does that make sense? So it’s just a matter, if you are aware of it, then you take advantage when the opportunity arises. But you have to know what you are dealing with. Otherwise, you don’t know and then you think it should go on the way it does, but it changes, life changes. What are those things called? The Samskaras, in English you call them rites of passage, so that means you are going through stages in life, so it just means renunciation is also a natural stage of life. So if you know that’s there, then you take it when the opportunity comes up. Yes, yes, you have to know what’s going on.
Just like Prabhupada’s Ayurvedic doctor, they were sitting and talking once, and it somehow came up, I don’t know, about marriage and that. And he was talking about when he was married to his wife. It was one of these, marriage was arranged and everything like that, and they got married, and they just hung out as best friends, they didn’t know what husband and wife meant. It’s just that for a boy it’s fun to be around the girl, for a girl to be around the boy and nobody complains, you can be together and do everything together. And so one day his father had to call him over and tell him, you know, what it means, husband and wife, relationship, duties and this and that. So without knowledge you don’t actually move on. So he was married, but technically he wasn’t, you know. So because the mentality wasn’t there.
So if we understand the knowledge, then when those situations come up, then we can take advantage. So by devotional service knowledge and detachment naturally come. But as long as the duties are viable, then they are performed. When they are not viable, or something else is better, then we make that switch. Because even if you are performing a material activity, if you are detached, it comes out better than if you are attached. So mistake is made sometimes, they feel, if I don’t have that attachment, so I shouldn’t be involved in household life. No, that’s when it’ll get better. If you are thinking, “I am becoming detached, so therefore household life isn’t very good,” we are talking about those who are married that long, we are not talking about, they are in their 50s, 60s, we are talking about those in their 30s, 40s. Something, you know, that glitter is gone. But that’s when you can then do better at it. Because before you are only endeavoring because that glitter is there. But when that glitter goes away, then you can see it for what it is, then you can really work with it. So that’s the thing, in the Vedic is then it gets better. But in the Western, because it’s all about the glitter, then there is no substance in their mind. But in the Vedic, the glitter is inspiring, but it’s not the real substance. But then you develop much closer as individuals. Does that make sense? That’s the whole.. So that’s the reason the Vedic culture is hard for the Westerners to comprehend, because it’s opposite of what they do.
Prabhu: So if the process is followed correctly, the renunciation will naturally come.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes.
Prabhu: So, and Prabhu just mentioned that it’s important to understand different phases in one’s life, so renunciation is easy to [indistinct] 01:22:30
HH BVPS Maharaja: Means, in that form. Renunciation can be obtained at any stage. The principle of sannyasa, it’s a principle. Then there is the form of sannyasa. Does that make sense? The principle of sannyasa is that whatever you are doing, it’s not for you, it’s for the Lord. The principle of, there is no material motive, it’s for spiritual development. So that means, like Kardama Muni, he will be performing all his household duties from the position of that they are there to please the Lord. That’s actually sannyasa. So having gone through a lifetime of performing the grihastha ashrama from the mentality of actual sannyasa, therefore when it comes time to renounce, he can go, it’s not that he leaves, goes to Vrindavana, is there, and after 10 years you see him riding by in a rickshaw with a new young Russian wife. [Laughter] Does that make sense? We are being… How you say… What you call it when you are being selective to, pointing out a particular thing? I was just talking about how it… what happens. So that’s because it was a trouble. Means, the glitter is gone, now he just sees the trouble. So then now he is thinking, now it’s time to renounce. No, he is not renounced at all, because it wouldn’t be trouble. You know what I am saying? It wouldn’t be trouble, that’s just, that’s the nature, that’s how you deal.
Means, if you have a mechanic, the carburetor, something goes wrong, it’s not a trouble. He knows the science. It’s not that he is attached to that carburetor and that’s why he is dealing with it. So that’s the whole thing, because now he can clearly see the nature of the husband, nature of the wife, nature of the relationship, so now he can function very perfectly in it. And from that then the wife will naturally take on that same mood. So now they both perfectly work in that. So you won’t see a better couple. And then, if that’s favorable all the way through, then they take vanaprastha together. If something else is more favorable, then they take vanaprastha separately. So it’s just what’s favorable. Means, Dhritarastra went with his wife and got liberated. He got out of the material nature, even though his wife is there with him. So that’s not a problem, because both have that mood. Therefore also like disposition, because they were both able to renounce at the same time. So if that happens together, they can do it together, if it doesn’t, the wife would rather be with the grandchildren and all that, then she spends more time there, and he spends more time in other pursuits. And then, whatever is favorable, they work together, and when it’s favorable to work separately, they do that.
So that’s the whole thing, it’s very individual. That’s why we were saying before, this karma-yoga, because it’s so perfect, it can accommodate karma-mishra up to pure devotion. The formula is the same. It’s just a matter of whether the mix of material desire is prominent or it’s not. Does that make sense? But in any case, whatever it is, Kardama is addressing what attachments he has. And addressing those, then he is going about it in a way connected to the Lord. Therefore, he marries a like-minded girl, everything goes very smoothly. Does that make sense? So that’s the whole thing is, that it’s a science. People think, in the Vedas they don’t deal with these things, though they deal with them so much it’s uncomfortable.
Prabhu: He is aware of everything.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, he is aware of everything, therefore he deals with it. Just like if you are not aware that you are hungry, then why will you eat? Though, if you are aware that you have desire within family life, then you are going to make your best effort in family life. Otherwise, if you just think, it’s nice to be around girls, ok, but girls also like guys that are worth being around, you know, they need the time to themselves, they need so many things. So if he doesn’t accept the family life, then as these things, as it develops, then if it’s all about himself, he is looking for someone who is gonna feed him and take care of everything like his mommy did, then there is gonna be a problem, especially when there is kids, and then she does all that for the kid, and then it’s kind-of like, you know, “What happened to me?” Like that. So these are real, serious problems, because it’s not about family life, it’s about themselves. While here, it’s about, he has these desires, so he is willing to enter into family life in which he can work out his desires, while his wife is working out hers, they cooperate, that’s the teamwork. They assist each other in whatever it is that’s important for them. Does that make sense? So that’s the whole thing, it’s 50/50, that works. Most people aren’t doing 50/50, that’s why it doesn’t work. Does that make sense?
Prabhu: Not a related question…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Not a related question, so why would you want to ask? We have so many questions.
Prabhu: Well, it’s kind of related…
HH BVPS Maharaja: piece of [indistinct]01:28:15
Prabhu: It is said in the Bhagavad-gita that there is no loss or diminution to make the spiritual progress. And yet, we can all go to the festival, we kind-of have that intense… we are inspired, so that it lasts for like 3 months, for example, and then again they should go find themselves, and they go from..[Indistinct] 01:28:45 If it sounds familiar, I don’t know. But if there is no loss or diminution, then this inspired state is…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Is that what’s no loss or diminution?
Prabhu: Yeah, then..
HH BVPS Maharaja: Is that the way you define it? So that’s what you are defining it, is that what the Shastra defines it?
Prabhu: Probably not, that’s why…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, the point is is, a spiritual activity done, the benefit of that remains. Anything you do materially, the benefit is lost. You eat lunch, after a few hours you are hungry.
Prabhu: Yes, so because…
HH BVPS Maharaja: So that’s lost. But now, the spiritual benefit from taking prasada, does that remain?
Prabhu: Yes, so..
HH BVPS Maharaja: Okay, then that is your answer. Or are you expecting that devotional service is going to result in perfection in your material experience?
Prabhu: No, no. My question is…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Because you are enthusiastic, but that’s a feeling, but why are you enthusiastic?
Prabhu: Because of association with the devotees…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Ok, and then you go home and then you continue association, or now you go back into your little rat race?
Prabhu: A bit of that…
HH BVPS Maharaja: A bit of that, so..
Prabhu: A bit of both…
HH BVPS Maharaja: A bit of both, okay, so therefore that’s why you get a bit of both in results. Therefore you are not so inspired, but you are inspired enough to go to the next one.
Prabhu: So… But if this like…
HH BVPS Maharaja: [Laughter] Go ahead, go ahead.
Prabhu: I just expected that, you know, our spiritual life…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, so, basically you are expecting that religion is going to make your material experience perfect. Because that’s the whole idea, I go to the church, I do all my things nicely, and so therefore there will be heaven on earth, good will to men, everyone will be wonderful and nice, and all that kind of jazz.
Prabhu: No, no, no. I have a different…
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, no, wait, you have to understand, see, the first point is, you have to understand what your question is.
Prabhu: Yeah, yeah, I’m saying like, for example, the quality of my Japa, I can see that it improves when I go to the festival.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, but you are pointing about, so what is it in the festival that is nice? It’s the increase in absorption in the Name in the association of devotees, so now outside of that you are not making any endeavor like that. You made an endeavor to go to the, what do you call it, the Kirtana Mela, right?
HH BVPS Maharaja: You have to remember, because before it was just called sitting down and doing bhajans [Laughter] Now it’s Kirtana Mela, right? You made an endeavor, right?
HH BVPS Maharaja: If it wasn’t in your home town, you bought the ticket, you got places to stay, you got money together, you made a whole endeavor. And you’ve gotten that result, by being in the association of devotees, chanting very nicely, you got a very good result. But now, what’s your endeavor on your daily Japa? You’re just expecting to live off the endeavor from previously. It’s like the guy comes home, brings the wife a flower, she is in ecstasy. He expects that to last eternally. Now, is that real or not? Is that realistic?
Prabhu: Well, it’s material, right? We… But spiritual shouldn’t…
HH BVPS Maharaja: But what’s spiritual? You are sitting there on your butt, making no endeavor to focus your chanting and remember about Krishna and about the devotees, and then you expect, that because you made some physical effort before and got on a train, now everything is supposed to go nice.
Prabhu: Then, what’s the meaning of that verse?
HH BVPS Maharaja: We already discussed that, the spiritual benefit of that Kirtan Mela lasts, but your material inspiration to focus on the Name, rather than thinking about your job or about your kids, or about your mortgage, that’s why there is a festival, it’s called utsava, it brings you up above the daily just day-to-day grind in life. That’s what it’s for, so you see that there is more than your day-to-day life. But you are sitting there in your day-to-day life and expecting it’s gonna be the same. If you don’t make the same endeavor, why will you get the same result? Because you are just sitting and chanting, you are not making an endeavor to focus to do this, or to take advantage of the association, that there is…
Means, shocking news, there is such a thing as being absorbed in the Name and the association of devotees without a Kirtana Mela. It’s a nice thing that you get together, but there is, every day the temple does quite a few kirtans a day. People in their homes are always doing kirtan, whenever you move around the community, there is always somebody in somebody’s houses, have friends over, and they are doing a kirtan. So where is the endeavor? You are not making the endeavor, so why do you expect there is going to be the result? That’s like I cooked dinner today, so now I don’t have to cook dinner for the next three months, until the next time I cook dinner. How does that work? It’s a science. It’s not just, you know, “Oh, would be nice to…Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if everybody, you know, there were no borders and nobody owned anything, and everybody was just happy together, and, you know, one big family, and everybody shared everything, wouldn’t it be fabulous?” Great. But now, how are you gonna make it happen? So just that feeling is not enough. That feeling, yes, you are touching the Lord and His qualities, but you are making that endeavor to touch that. And then the next moment they are saying, they want a [indistinct]01:34:30 or two, and then you forget all about that. You know what I am saying?
So the point is is, on your daily japa you are not making the endeavor, therefore you are not getting the results. By what you are talking about. By what I am talking about, the benefit you got, spiritual benefit from the Kirtana Mela, it’s still with you, whether your Japa is going great or not. Do you understand? Because you are looking at it, the material world is gonna be perfect, because I practice religion. And that’s what basically anybody who has some faith in religion, what they think like, you know what I am saying? So that means, religion is for getting benefits that I want. I’m happy chanting Japa, so therefore religion should give me that happiness. But if you notice in this whole conversation, not once in Krishna and relationship with Him, His feelings, His thoughts in the matter come up. It’s all about, “I am not getting the feeling”, so something is wrong. That’s because Krishna is not getting the feeling. You make the endeavor, you are trying to be with Krishna and the devotees, therefore you are happy, because Krishna is happy. You sit at home and expect that Krishna is gonna take care of it all, because I made the endeavor before? How is that gonna work? Does that make sense?
And so the point is, Krishna reciprocates. You have that same focus and interest, then it’s there. But you are relying that the interest would come from somewhere else. You are not trying to generate it, there is methods to generate it. How does Rupa Goswami define utsaha, or enthusiasm? In Upadeshamrita, you know what I am talking about? Okay? He defines it as endeavor with intelligence. So what endeavor and what intelligence are you using when you are sitting and chanting your Japa? Now, you made an endeavor, you used your intelligence to go to the Kirtana Mela, to make sure you are sitting there, okay, it’s Kirtana Mela, I should sit and focus, I should hear. But are you doing that on a daily basis?
Prabhu: Well, doing to some extent..
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, so then you are getting results to some extent. I kind-of cooked the vegetables, so it kind-of came out good. I made an endeavor, it came out nice. Do you understand? It’s a science here, this isn’t just sentiment, you know what I am saying? So that’s the thing is, that you are from a culture that when it comes to occupation, it’s total science, and when it comes to ashrama, it’s total sentiment. Do you understand? So you have to learn. Science is there in both.
Om Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Srila Prabhupada ki Jaya!
Samaveta Bhakta Vrinda ki Jaya!
Jaya Nitai-Gaura Premanande Hari Haribol!