23rd January 2015, Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sri Mayapur Dhama
Reading from Srimad Bhagavatam Study Guide: 23. The Supreme Lord continued: “The Emperor Svāyambhuva Manu, the son of Lord Brahmā, who is well known for his righteous acts, has his seat in Brahmāvarta and rules over the earth with its seven oceans. The day after tomorrow, O brāhmaṇa, that celebrated emperor, who is expert in religious activities, will come here with his queen, Śatarūpā, wishing to see you. He has a grown-up daughter whose eyes are black. She is ready for marriage, and she has good character and all good qualities. She is also searching for a good husband. My dear sir, her parents will come to see you, who are exactly suitable for her, just to deliver their daughter as your wife.” (SB 3.21.25-27) Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport to verse 27: “The selection of a good husband for a good girl was always entrusted to the parents. Here it is clearly stated that Manu and his wife were coming to see Kardama Muni to offer their daughter because the daughter was well qualified and the parents were searching out a similarly qualified man. This is the duty of parents. Girls are never thrown into the public street to search out their husband, for when girls are grown up and are searching after a boy, they forget to consider whether the boy they select is actually suitable for them. Out of the urge of sex desire, a girl may accept anyone, but if the husband is chosen by the parents, they can consider who is to be selected and who is not. According to the Vedic system, therefore, the girl is given over to a suitable boy by the parents; she is never allowed to select her own husband independently.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: So, we have 2 things here, one is the proper selection, so that means then the parents themselves must be trained. That’s always the other side of these points that are made. You know, like it will say, “The wife talks sweetly.” That’s because the husband deals sweetly, right? Does that make sense? Reciprocation means, it always happens what is… the response is always what is offered. Does that make sense? If the husband is supportive, the wife will be supportive, if he is nasty, she’ll be nasty. So, what you are saying, the wife should be sweet-speached, nice, have a service attitude, what does that mean? He is always dealing nicely and he always has a service attitude, right? Because if the idea is that the woman follows the man, that means, what the man wants her to do, he has to be doing. Does that make sense? It’s just logic. Because we are dealing in an area where… Now, one might say, why isn’t it more direct, why isn’t it more obvious? But the whole thing is is, the whole arrangement is based on not being obvious. Does that make sense? That’s like dealing with water and then complaining that you get wet. The feminine nature means, contrary, elusive and shy. So that means, the system is also presented in that mood, that framework. So if someone doesn’t like it, then the Vedic system has a perfect solution. It’s called brahmachari. Does that make sense?
Mataji: Does it mean that the lady is always…
HH BVPS Maharaja: She may do the first one, just to start something. But it won’t be continued.
Mataji: But in established relationships?
HH BVPS Maharaja: But what is it based on? If it is established, then what’s it based on? Is it based on what you know you can do. Do you understand? So, in other words, the woman is taking a very leading role, that’s because she has the confidence that she can. So how does she have the confidence, unless there is that support? Does that make sense? So, he has that support, means he is confident in the relationship, therefore she is confident.
So, the whole thing is is, it takes on so many flavors, because this is where variety is happening. Like we read about Tapoloka. Was there any variety there? There were basically two: sitting together, talking philosophy, or disappearing, going back to their ashramas and meditating. There didn’t seem to be a third option. It’s not that they had a pleasant walk from where they talked and back to their ashrama, they just disappeared, because they are yogis.
Prabhu: So there are no cafes in Tapoloka.
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, there’s nothing there. And therefore we notice that there is no women. [Laughter] Because it doesn’t have… there is no variety, there is a purely masculine environment, because it’s just situated, basically, in sat. So only when there is cit and ananda, then add that in, then you have the feminine nature.
So the whole thing is based on this, and that’s what’s to be understood. It’s not a ritual. Now, the parents have to pick, but the parents have to know what they are doing, right? It was all there to select good husband, good girl. How is she a good girl? The parents are ratbags, then how is she going to be a great girl? Yeah, just because you want her to be. Do you understand? So these are the underlying things that have to be understood. It says, good, suitable, similarly qualified, these are the terms that are used. So that means then that there is knowledge. But the problem is is, in the modern scenario, it’s just if I feel like, it will happen. You know, we are taking on this satya-sankalpa aspect, you know, because I want it, it will happen. But unfortunately, it doesn’t, then we get grumpy.
Prabhu: Maharaja, can we say that, as a principle, feminine always reflects the masculine?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Always, always. Means, if there is something that the feminine is interested in, she may throw it out, just to spark something, and then, once it’s sparked, she’ll sit back. You know, what I am saying? It’s just like that one, did you ever see that, used to show it before, I’m not sure, there was a documentary called “Itarshapan” (?) Itarshapan,07:40 it’s some place in Africa, where you had this huge like valley, flat as anything, and it’s dry, totally, but sometimes it rains, and really heavy. So it turns into this lush paradise, it’s just teaming with animals and everything. And then, at some point, I guess, the summer comes along, it dries up and goes back to just kind-of like, almost like desert again. So, in that it had, because of all the water and all the animals, you naturally have all the lions and their popular places. You know, like anybody, they sit down next to a watery hall, you know, you hang out with a water cooler [Laughter], in a place like that, so they hang out at the watery hall. So there were these two male lions, I mean, really male lions, huge, big males, just sitting there, doing the, how you say?…
Prabhu: Chilling out.
HH BVPS Maharaja: The mud potato thing [Laughter]. You know, just sitting there. And then this really… I don’t know what word, but really like slinky female lion went by, you know, doing all the moves, not holding anything tight, everything is loose, so they move and like this. She walked by, the guys were just sitting there, staring like this, not at her, just at the water, because there is nothing to do, right, I guess, like that. She walks right by them, all the way by. And then, having walked all the way by and giving full opportunity for them to notice, then she turns around, walks back, like straight up to the biggest of the two, and just when she is right there, then he turns and looks. Then she whacks him right in the face. [Laughter] He is like “Whoa,” like this, and then she walks off again. So now she has given him the opportunity, now you can look, even if you didn’t notice before. [Laughter] So that’s the thing, is that the feminine aggressive element is there just for flavor to show what is of interest or to spark where there is no interest. In other words, if interest is there, but not variety, then there’ll be that aspect to add in other elements. Or, there is no… there is too much couch potatoness, so then something to stunt it.
Like Surabhi Maharaja was explaining in Vrindavana, when they built the temple, doing the foundation, so you have to dig the mud out, so like here they put it on people’s head, they carry it out, there they put it on those donkeys. But in the middle of winter it’s so cold, the donkeys won’t move, you can come, you can push them, you can yell, you can hit him with a stick, they won’t move, the only way you’ll get them to move is you build a fire around it. [Laughter] Literally, you start a fire, and then it’s kind-of like, “Oh, ok, it’s time to move,” then they’ll go. [Laughter] Like that. So therefore, when the masculine element takes on that quality, then, you know, there is words, there is sticks, there is fire. The masculine think, “Oh, they don’t like,” but otherwise, the point is, if they don’t like, why would they waste their time? Woman is not stupid, she doesn’t waste, she won’t even give a look of dissatisfaction to a guy who is not worth giving a look to. You know, they are not stupid. Means, it’s part of the conspiracy, you present you are stupid, just so that the man will feel inspired enough. [Laughter]
So it’s a whole science, it’s not rules here. Devotees will say, “Oh, no, why is the girl doing this and that?” Because it says, “on her own.” “She is never allowed to select her own husband independently.” So what would that imply? Means, she can select her husband, but not independently of the parents. And even if she selects, it’s the parents that should do the run-around. It means, who wants to go up to somebody and be insulted? Right? So, you send the parents there, let them get insulted. [Laughter] You know, what I am saying? Because that’s a superior system, it’s so properly geared to the feminine mentality, but you have to know that that’s what you are dealing with. While nowadays it’s that these things are applied, but from the masculine mentality, so it’s just like a machine. This tool goes in this box and this thing hangs on the wall here, and that nail, and… So it’s not by the mentality, so the mentality then it makes it work. As we see, it goes through here, parents are arranging, but there are so many details that are there. Does that make sense?
So, that the girl is interested in the boy, that’s what you want. But she doesn’t have to go up to the boy to ask. If that’s there, that means, there is no parents to take care. You know, they may be parents, but doesn’t mean that they are really parents. Otherwise, it doesn’t give a good result, so that means, they are not well trained. You know, unless, of course, that’s the way the community works, I mean, I heard of one place up in the Himalayas. The girl, she goes up to the house of the boy, she knocks on the door, she knocks on the door, and then, you know, the boy comes or someone else, and then they send the boy to the door. And then she says something, whatever she says, and then she runs. And if he can catch her before she gets back to her house, then they get married. And if not, he wasn’t qualified. [Laughter]
Prabhu: Or probably not interested…
HH BVPS Maharaja: He is running. If he is not interested, he would turn around and go back inside. [Laughter] But the point is is, if he is running, can’t catch her, then what’s the point? What’s the use? So you may have some interesting elements, but it’s all within the context of, that’s how it works in that society. So there is control, there is this and that. Does that make some sense? Because everybody knows everybody in that village, it’s not like, “What are you doing here?” So, in other words, she has probably already arranged with her parents that that’s ok, you know. It has been worked out, but now it’s between the two of them. It would be tough if she was the next door neighbor, right? [Laughter] If it was on the other side of the town…. I guess, maybe that’s why the Shastra doesn’t recommend marrying a neighbor. [Laughter]
Prabhu: Maharaja, from what I have heard I wanna notice probably also that when the parents fail to make the arrangement, then it becomes the duty of the girl to…
HH BVPS Maharaja: It’s not the duty of the girl. Means, if when she comes to marriageable age and three years is passed, and the parent’s haven’t made any arrangement, then she can make her own. It still doesn’t mean she goes out on the street, she does it through her friends. Instead of telling the parents, they manage it, now she tells the friends or whoever else is confidential and manages it. But she still never goes out on the street.
Prabhu: But she still has to find reliable authorities that are going to help…
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, no, it just means, it’s just a matter of now she just does it herself. You know what I am saying? In other words, she comes to a marriageable age and the marriage hasn’t been arranged, then the parents forfeit the right to actually arrange the marriage. They can’t complain about who does she choose. She is still discussing with them and that, that’s nice, so it’s good. But the point is is, it’s her arrangement now, so it’s not just, how you say… accent stone, that’s just the natural thing, if the parents are doing their natural duty, and in a normal society they have already started working things out when they were small. You know, they have friends, they see the other families, they appreciate how they do, and so you know, you have ideas already. And then, as the time goes, then it gets more and more deep, more and more details are arranged.
Prabhu: But let’s say in our modern context, in ISKCON, especially people from the West…
HH BVPS Maharaja: But why do you use “modern” and “in ISKCON”? Because “modern” means non-Vedic, ISKCON means Vedic.
Prabhu: Or, let’s say, how the modern has entered ISKCON, we are going from the West, so we may be in ISKCON, but…
HH BVPS Maharaja: What does that mean, “West”? According to like Vedic, Burma is West, extreme West. [Laughter] So as far as they are concerned, you are pretty far east. So you would be a Western Oriental gentleman. [Laughter] According to them… [Laughter]
Prabhu: That’s a new perspective
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah [Laughter]
Prabhu: We are from a Western like of culture, so we join ISKCON, we may be trying to be Vedic, but our parents are definitely not…
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, but it doesn’t matter. Then you do the best you can. What’s the principle?
Prabhu: Well, the principle is that it should be done by intelligence and the mind.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, so that means that it has to work out. Means, you have to know… Whoever is arranging, they should know what they are doing. So the parents should be the ones who know what they are doing. If they don’t, then the girl and her friends have to know. Does that make sense? You know, whoever is taking that responsibility, has to know what they are doing, that’s the principle.
Prabhu: The next best thing besides the parents is just anyone she knows well, who is qualified?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, yeah. Means, in other words, if they are first generation, and parents aren’t exactly involved in these things, then it has to be that. But if you have parents who are, they are devotees, and then they have kids, then they should do.
Prabhu: What’s marriageable age?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Marriageable age, depends on your perspective [Laughter] Now, that’s a funny thing, in the West girls aren’t marriageable age until they’re like, you know, 16-18. Though, they are buying condoms when they are 12. You know what I am saying? Because she knows, the boy is too spaced out to buy them. So it’s a pretty weird society.
Prabhu: Having marriage is [indistinct]18:20, but having sex in school is good
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, like that. I’s just so, everything is weird. So it just means, whenever, you know, how you say… Ideally, before implosion. [Laughter] But anything, just even in the modern context, 16 and above, it just depends on the girl. Those who generally tend to be more emotional, then they wanna marry early, those who will be a little more intellectual, they’ll marry later. Like that, so it’s very individual. But most places in the world, from 16 you can legally get married, some places even 15. I forgot, like I think, in Texas or something, it can be earlier. You know, and then, of course, there is Mexico. [Laughter]
Prabhu: [indistinct] 19:15 on the border.
HH BVPS Maharaja: But the point is is, from 12 that the interest is there. That’s why in the Vedic system, it’s arranged from there, because then the intensity within it is very mild. The boy is not that well mature, but at the same time the girl is not that strong, you know, in the way of being, how you say?… We’ll leave it at that, okay? So any mistakes he makes at her, it works out quite easily, and by the time they get to the age where they tend to be a little heavier, the boy has been trained. But otherwise, they wait till later, the girl is heavier, but the boy is still not trained. So now you have a girl who expects more from a boy, and a boy that actually may be less sensitive than he would have been earlier. So it’s a mess, but whatever.
So there is a science, you know the science, then it works. But at the same time, you see in the Vedic, boys will get married later, but their training was such that it’s always about menial service and lack of ownership and that, then you are just going from that into this other thing. You are performing the duties in the ashrama, and you are performing the duties at home. And you know,someone else is controlling the ashrama, so someone else controls the home, it works. You know what I am saying? And when they grow up as bachelors, then it’s a problem, you know. They don’t mind the empty pizza boxes on the coffee table. Somehow or another, strangely enough, girls do. And to him it’s, “Well, this is the way I am.” But you adjust anything. You get something, you adjust it the way you like it. And then, somebody gets upset that they are being adjusted. So that’s the whole thing. If the training is there, then these things of ages and that aren’t a problem. It can work earlier, later, at any time, it will work. So it’s not about the earlier will make it work better, the later will make it work better. It’s with training, that will make it work better. Without training then it will be very difficult. Unless the individuals are very dutiful, but that means training. So ultimately it doesn’t really matter. It’s just that you start earlier, you finish earlier. [Laughter] Does that make sense? You know, you have the enthusiasm to… You know, older adult would really like to sleep at night. But a teenager doesn’t really mind staying up all night for a good movie or some gossip, or, in this case, a baby. You know what I am saying? It’s not a problem for them, and so they adjust with it. So that’s the whole thing is that…
So unless training is there, then the problem is is, anybody who is interested may be accepted, but because the drive is the sex urge, then that means, who we attracted has the same principle. And so, the girl expects more, the boys not. So it won’t work. Does that make sense? So that’s why the street option is never considered good. Devotees like to use it, but if you check, what’s the success rate, how well is it working for them? Probably not any better than it is for the karmis. You know, what I am saying? If I have a car with a flat tire, and I drive it, I am karmi, I drive it, it’s a problem. But now, there is this idea, if I am a devotee, there will be no problem. [Laughter] It’s still a flat tire, it still has a problem. Does that make sense? So, it’s not working out any better, there is a method, you use it, it works. You don’t understand it, say that, don’t say it doesn’t work.
Prabhu: It seems, according to the Bhagavatam, that it is better, if it is girl’s side to select the husband.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, because then the girl is interested in the boy. Because it’s generally the girl who breaks the arrangement. I think something like 90 % of divorces are filed by the women, like that. So, if she has selected, that means she is most into it, then you have the best opportunity for it to last. Means, the boy goes after the girl, it’s interesting to the girl, just for interest state, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a commitment. It can work that way, because it is one of the four authorized marriages, so the Arsha means that the boy’s family has approached the girl’s family. So it works, if there is that respect, mutual respect between the families, it can work. But best is when the girl’s side of the family makes the arrangement or even if not the parents are making the arrangement, the girl makes the arrangement. So those three are considered better than if the boy. But all those are better than the modern, the Gandharva, just, “Oh, they like,” and that kind of jazz. Does that make sense?
So the whole point is is, if one is trained, one can follow duties. Because that’s what will hold it together. Now, if on top of that you have love, that mutual attraction, that it makes it even easier. But if you don’t, then by properly performing the duties and cooperating together, that affection and attachment will develop. If you work with something you really like, you get attached to it, you know, your favorite pot or your favorite shoes, like that. It’s not because when you saw it, it was just love at first sight with the pot, it’s just that this pot is good. Does that make sense? So that’s the whole point, so if the relationship… Works with that example? [Laughter] I thought of shoes, it was something else… purse?
So, in other words, the best is that both are trained and both have natural attraction. If not, then both are trained and then by working together that attraction will develop.
Prabhu: And then…?
HH BVPS Maharaja: You wanna know “and then”? Means, all of them are based on having the natural qualities. Means, they have training. The third one is, you think of someone that you would rather be married to and superimpose that unto who you are married to. [Laughter] But, you are still dutiful and you follow everything. Does that make sense?
Prabhu: I know some people [indistinct] 26:10
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, but it works, the point is is that works. Means, in other words, somebody, ideals, the qualities you have, and you can see some of those aspects within the person that you are married to. So therefore it will work, the point is is to appreciate the qualities and to cooperate together. But even from the third it can move to the second, that’s generally what will happen, if it’s functioning, because if you are starting from the… In other words, you are starting from positive, you are starting from neutral, or you are starting from, you know, there is not something there, but it would be… It’s a good arrangement, though basically there may not be as much of the emotional element. But with association it develops. Because the idea is that if there is that cooperation then things will go peacefully in the home, then the quality of the children will be good. So the point is is, good parents produce good children.
Prabhu: You mentioned earlier that if the parents are spoiled, the children are spoiled. But there are lots of children who are devotees of parents who are not devotees, and they are becoming…
HH BVPS Maharaja: That’s another thing, the parents aren’t devotees, then you don’t really worry about it, because we don’t necessarily spend much time with them. Does that make sense? Because, by the Western path, you don’t have to. Once you turn legal age, you can move out, and they can’t say, “Boo”, because that’s their society. You know what I am saying?
Prabhu: But still, the first 16 or 18 years…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, yeah, but what can you do? That’s what you have. But here, we are talking about more for those within the society, and their children. Or, for those who are from first generation, so then those who are in a position to arrange marriages, then they should know what they are doing. Does that make sense? Because it’s about the individuals, it’s not a management consideration. Does that make sense? It’s about the individuals, how that will work, because if that’s there, the social fabric will be strong. Does that make sense?
Means, you have girls in your temple, they get married, they go to another temple. But you have boys, and someone else has girls, they’ll come to your temple. So you don’t loose. You know, if the idea is, keep the girls at our temple, but there is no one qualified, then the problem is is, then you are gonna get more trouble from a bad marriage than you will from loosing the girl.
Once I was in Calcutta, the president there, somebody came there, and this and that, because he was very strict about who was in the temple. Because they had very… it was very small, so they wouldn’t allow many people in there. And they had very high standards, super clean, super fabulous Deity worship, everything, fabulous prasadam, everything, so he didn’t want anything to not run nicely. So if someone came there, he asked them what they are doing. And if he could understand from the conversation that they ended up there and they don’t have money, he would give them money to go wherever they are going. Like I saw once, he gave money, they went to Mayapur. Then after some months they came back to Calcutta, he gave them money to go to Vrindavan or Bombay. So I asked him, “Why are you giving money?” He said, “I am giving them a hundred rupees to go to Bombay,” he says, “I only loose a hundred rupees. If they guy stays, then so much difficulty he’ll create, because there is no place for him, there is no this and that, so it’s actually cheaper than pay.” [Laughter] It was a purely business consideration, but he had a fabulous temple. Does that make sense? Yeah, so…
So that’s the thing is, bad arrangements are more expensive, both economically, socially, emotionally, devotionally, all these things. Do you understand? So, people will… The reason that the modern system is used is because there is a lack of qualification, lack of knowledge and lack of understanding what to do. So it’s easier to just let it happen. So it’s not that the West is a system, it’s just, they let it happen. And it doesn’t necessarily work out, so they are not in control. So because they don’t accept authority, they can’t be authority. Does that make sense?
Prabhu: Maharaja, I have seen that in a devotee family parents, they are trained and girl is trained, and somehow she likes the boy, but parents, they say no, and then just, you know, follow them, or…
HH BVPS Maharaja: There should be a discussion, why? Because it can’t just be, “We said so,” that’s a bit…, that’s on the…. it doesn’t have the intellectual application that the Vedic culture provides. You know what I am saying? We have so much knowledge, it’s based so much on knowledge, so if they can’t explain, why, means, if they actually have a reason why, and it’s explained, the girl will understand, and everything is fine. If they don’t have a reason why, then they should actually consider, why is it? In other words, if you just don’t like the guy, but why not? What don’t you like? “Oh, he didn’t respect me when he first came.” He didn’t know you were prospective father-in-law. You know, you just bumped into him, and he wasn’t like bowing down and rolling on the ground, so… [Laughter] You know, what I am saying?
So these kind of things, then the parents have to actually consider themselves. So the whole point is, everybody develops. As we said, to be authority, you have to be surrendered to authority. The reason this can’t work is because many don’t actually… they have authority issues. So they can’t surrender to authority, and therefore they can’t actually be authorities, so their juniors, though they may follow, don’t actually appreciate. And therefore then the whole thing breaks down. So that’s why the Parampara element is there. If you don’t accept authority, you in no way, shape or form are actually in the position to be an authority. But it’s popular, that’s along with what you were saying here, about the modern marriage methods, it’s because of this principle of authority issues. If there is the element of acceptance of authority, then generally this system works very easy. Because you can say, Western world, we don’t do that, this is archaic. It is archaic amongst the common person. But amongst the more higher in the social strata, they use this, they’ve always used it. They never not used it and never thought that it shouldn’t be used. But, of course, it’s done a lot in a discussion with the girl and this and that. But it’s always been used.
Prabhu: So, let’s say, arguments are there, and it’s a good argument that she shouldn’t marry, but still she is in love, her heart is broken and this and that…
HH BVPS Maharaja: The element is is, there should be a close enough… Means, in other words, there should be a discussion about these things at an earlier age. How did the parents let it go to the point where she has already fallen for somebody and it wasn’t discussed? Because the point is is… And, if the parents, ok, good argument, but is it based on the charts aren’t good or some other things like that? So if it’s based on that, why wasn’t that done before? Why weren’t the parents active and looking at these things? Because the point is is, you are standing in the temple room, you can understand who your daughter is interested in, you know. [Laughter] And if you are standing there, “Oh, my little girl,” and all this and that, you know, I mean, hey, 30 is not a little girl anymore. [Laughter] So, the point is is, are you looking? So they are thinking, “Oh, she is too young.” Who said? Who said? So things should be starting to be arranged, so, they have to be sensitive, they can’t be: “Oh, we are surprised, how did this happen?” Yeah, that’s the point, how did it happen, how are you so unqualified, your girl is falling in love with somebody and you don’t know about it? That means, what kind of parents are you? “Oh, what do you expect, why… We don’t know…” Yes, so, then? So now accept, you don’t know, now try to work with it. She wants to get married, now be dynamic, okay, this hasn’t worked, check the charts, if it’s not good, okay, find somebody who the chart is good. And then present, this is better. But just to sit back again and just let it happen again, now she has got to unlove this guy and fall in love with someone else that they approve, that’s not parenting. That’s just sitting by and watching, you know, wanting to step in to be authority, but not take any responsibility.
So, these things aren’t pleasant at all, but we are dealing with people’s lives here. We are not talking about, you know, daddy’s relationship with his little girl, or mommy’s control over the girl, because she can’t control anything else. We are talking about people’s lives here. So that’s the whole thing, is there is this whole idea that “My life can spill over on everybody else’s, and that’s my right,” it’s not actually there. Others accommodate it and that, that’s their good qualities. But no one can say that they have the right, these kind of things.
So that’s the thing, generally in the Western it’s all about the parents, the kids actually don’t have a say in it. The parents are fighting over custody of the kid, what about the kid? Who would they rather be with, how would they like it to work out? That’s not even a question. “Oh, they don’t know.” As if the parents know. If the parents are fighting over the kid, means they don’t know what parent is. The kid should never see fighting, that’s just the way it works. So that’s the whole problem is is, that the Western because of the… you know, whatever situations may be there, you put in a few great wars and other things like that, you loose a lot of the menfolk, and women kind of got to step in and do things. But at the same time is that the men, being untrained, cannot create the environment in which the women can prosper. And because of that, then these things aren’t in place. So it’s just a matter of, if there is training, then these things will be there. But generally in these things, we will just catch the rule itself, we won’t actually catch the feminine-masculine principles. That’s what’s at work, you understand that, this is the ideal formula. But if you don’t have the ideal, then you use whatever next best, and you’ll get the principles to function. But nowadays is that, “Okay, these are the fanatic rules, and then we have the practical.” No, neither of those, they’ve both missed the point. The niyamaagraha is the same principle. So, whether you are smarter or liberal, you’ve both missed the point, both have missed. So, then it’s a matter of, they understand this, what is actually at work?
It’s like arguing over the pot. It’s a matter of, what works? That’s the thing. And if that’s accepted, then, yes, people don’t necessarily know what they are doing, but at least there is a humble environment in which you can develop. Because you can’t say it’s a glorious thing that in 40 years or 50 years no one has figured out how to make this work. No one can say, this is glorious. Does that make sense? It’s not an excuse. “Oh, we don’t know.” How long have we not known? Prabhupada has been talking about it since devotee joined. But we don’t catch it, because of lack of culture, you know. It’s just like, someone who is trained in art can tell what a good painting is, like that. So it’s the same way, if we are from a background that has some culture, then condition-wise we would appreciate it. If not, then over the generations and because of the practice of Krishna consciousness then that culture will come. And better late than never, you know. So, in other words, even though it’s been so many years, it’s not too late. You just start, and then you do the best you can. And then, if it wasn’t an ideal arrangement, then you give support, so that it works as best as it can. So that means then, there is commitment, there is responsibility, means, you actually emotionally have to get involved in people’s lives, which means, we have to give up our impersonalism and voidism. Though really, the tough part is that: we are attached to impersonalism and voidism, and that’s why underlying there is a culture that’s like that. So the western culture is based on voidism and impersonalism. Though they claim to be monotheistic, but actually the basis is, they are impersonal and voids, so they don’t have. But you find individuals or communities where this is much stronger, they have a stronger relationship, they are stronger, and it’s still functioning like that today. But ultimately then you have to make it work.
Because love, it has that aspect of attachment. But still, even though you are attached, you have to know what you are doing. Just like, I wanna eat, I am attached to eating, but if I don’t know cooking, it doesn’t work out very good. [Laughter] Therefore the noodles in the cup, right? [Laughter] So I can be attached and it works, as long as I don’t burn my fingers boiling the water and pouring it into the cup. [Laughter] It’s still, it’s dangerous. [Laughter]
Mataji: Maharaja, [indistinct]…40:25
HH BVPS Maharaja: Expectations, what does that mean, expectations?
Mataji: [indistinct] 40:30
HH BVPS Maharaja: Expectations of the couple, and what does expectation mean? What do they mean by expectation?
Mataji: It means, what they want from…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Okay, let’s say this, I wanna deep-fry something. What pot do I use?
Prabhu: Frying pan.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Ok. Let’s say, I want to saute’ something, what pot do I use?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Let’s say I wanna boil something, what pot do I use?
Prabhu: Deep pot.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Do you understand? Now, that’s the principle, the main point. Then the secondary is, how well you deal with it, because there is the art to the frying and the sauteing and the boiling. So what you are talking about is the boiling, the sauteing and the frying. But try to boil your pasta in a frying pan. You know what I am saying? So you have expectations, right? You want to boil pasta. But what are you working with? So that’s what the charts tell you. The charts, you see, the problem is, they say, if the chart is good, then everything is fine. No, the chart just tells you what you have and then the training, right, it’s mentioned there, good character, what was the other one? Prabhupada mentioned two, which generally we would take as one, good character and good qualities.
Mataji: What’s the difference?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Well, the qualities is what you are working with, and character is how you use it. Let’s say, a good quality, she is rich. But character is, she knows how to properly manage the money. Do you understand? So there is finer. Does that make sense? So the charts are there, so that you know there is a basic compatibility between the conditioning. Now, what they expect from their conditioning, and how they wanna go about it, and which aspects are more important, that’s the next thing you check. Does that make sense?
But now, let’s say, what was the term you used? It’s about expectations. How are they going to, how is these expectations going to be shared? How is he going to know what she wants and she knows what he wants?
Mataji: It should be discussed.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Okay, so that means, if they don’t have a open communication, natural communication between them, then it won’t work, so then again that goes back to the chart. So we’re saying, it’s about the expectations, but unless the other person knows what you expect and accepts that… Okay, the guy knows what she is expecting, she tells him, he knows, but he doesn’t care. And now? Do you understand? So that’s why the charts are important.
Prabhu: Equal nature would mean, compatible expectations…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah. Because compatible means, it works together, doesn’t mean it’s the same. Does that make sense? You have a frying pan and you have a spatula, they are not the same, they are compatible. Or fire and a pot, they are compatible. Or a stove and fire, they are compatible, does that make sense? So that’s what you are looking for.
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, but that’s why you have the standard stuff that you are looking at. So have them explain it. Because all it is is, to them what’s more important, or this or that. You know what I am saying? So the thing is is, you are supposed to be the intelligent one. Right, and then know what they are saying, and know what the other person is saying, and then put it all together. They are not contradictory, because they are dealing with the same thing, it’s just values.
Like I saw, one astrologer looked at some brahmachari’s palm, he looked, and he says, “Hmm, you are not gonna get married, means, even if you got married, it wouldn’t last very long, maybe a month. So because… for the family line, get married, have a child, and then the marriage will break up, and the family line will go on.” That was his advice, but that’s not an astrologer’s advice, that’s not his position, that’s his opinion. Does that make sense? Because for him, family line going on was most important. But if we considered, no, children being raised in proper culture and that, then it’s not a good arrangement. So you have to distinguish what’s their opinion and what are facts. So it’s not a problem. Digesting lunch is a problem. But every day you happily take on that problem. [Laughter] Do you understand? So that’s the thing, these are part of family life, they are not problems. If they are a problem, then you don’t make the effort. No, this is what has to be done. You know, what I am saying? You are in a bad neighborhood, is it a problem to lock your door? Yeah, so that’s the whole thing. You know how the things work, then it is not a problem. We only see it as a problem like, “Oh, why doesn’t it just happen?” Do you understand?
We have to remember, “The Beast” was a nobleman. He did have a palace, he had grounds, he had money, he was fabulously powerful and wealthy, but by a curse he ended up as something strange, right? So they didn’t start with something bad. Or the blacksmith, okay, he is there, and the girl falls in love with the blacksmith, but we do see that he actually was the son of some nobleman, who somehow or another due the politics got pushed to the side to get rid of, or hidden. And therefore that’s why when the time comes along for the Crusades, he goes out there and wins the whole thing. Right? Does that make sense? So the point is is, if the character is not there, it doesn’t happen. You know, what I am saying? Hollywood, it happens. You know what I am saying? It’s interesting, you have these, the show that the guy makes a phone call, within 30 seconds they know exactly where he is and this and that, and then guys drop out of the ceiling, and the place is milked. [Laughter] But in another one, the whole movie goes by, days go by, and they can’t figure out where the person is, though they are right in the same city, and they know they are in the city. How is that? Do you understand? So therefore, whatever will sell, is what they do. And what sells is what we want to believe. I am unqualified, but simply because I feel like it, everything works out perfectly. You know, you have that. Just some guy, you know, office guy, and then he takes on the aliens and saves the world. He can’t even get his pencils sharp enough without breaking them, but he takes on the aliens. Do you understand? So that’s the difficulty is that the “Western” society, read “Hollywood”, then knows what sells, and then that’s how they write things and people wanna believe it, therefore they spend their money. And then it just confirms that, “Oh, yes, everything…” Do you understand?
Now, inherently that comes because the soul identifies as eternal and happy, so if there is any feeling of happiness, there is the idea, it will last eternally. It does, in the spiritual world, because what you are dealing with is eternal. Bu when you are dealing in the material world, with material bodies that are temporary, and the mind that’s temporary, then all these things are lost. So the underlying principle that they want it to work is based on the nature of the soul, but we don’t recognize that, that’s called illusion. So the Western culture, though it’s driven by the need of the soul, they are in total illusion, because they don’t connect that their needs are connected to the soul. Does that make sense? Yeah, so, and the fun part is is that the modes of nature then it doesn’t matter if one is a devotee or not. They still act. Mode of ignorance still acts and creates illusion whether you are devotee or not a devotee. So if we accept what the Guru, Sadhu and Shastra says, we make that endeavor, then Krishna, being pleased, that illusion moves back, but if we doubt, then the illusion will remain. So they are saying, “Oh, it doesn’t work,” that’s because we don’t want it to work. Does that make sense? Yes, so then that’s the whole thing, our conditioning gets in the way of our spiritual development. So spiritual we will let go a little bit more, the social, that we are really attached to, because that is our conditioning, the spiritual is the soul, the conditioning is therefore a false identity, so we like it to go on in that way.
Prabhu: So it will be the 4th offense?
HH BVPS Maharaja: That’s there, but I am saying is that we are not talking about seriously. Means, you have individuals who it is seriously. Like somebody once said… Somebody said, “No, but Prabhupada said this about how you live in your house.” And he went, “I am the Founder-Acharya in my house.” [Laughter] Okay, great, stripe that guy off your list. You know, his whole point, “I am the king of my castle, I do whatever I want. When I come to the temple, okay, then I follow the rules.” Yeah, and so, he’ll get benefit from his chanting and temple programs, but he will get zero benefit in his house. And so, if he is not careful… If he puts a lot of effort into his sadhana, he will get purified and the other one will follow. But if he is not, then the other one will be victorious, and therefore one will take birth in a nice family, not devotional, but just a nice family. So that would mean that there will be a good preaching field like in.. [50:45] [Laughter]
Prabhu: I would just like to come back to the knowledge of boiling the pasta in a frying pan.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Boiling pasta in a frying pan, yes?
Prabhu: So if you have two couples, one has a good chart, one has a bad chart, and they are both gonna boil pasta, but one will have a deep pan, and the other one has a frying pan, but it can still be successful, just for one couple it will be easier…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, it will be easier, that’s the whole point, so then what does that come down to? It comes down to the commitment. Therefore the character and the qualities. So the chart only points out the compatibility that’s there. But if the character and qualities aren’t there, then the effort won’t be made. So it’s not about the expectations. The expectations are, means, what are the standards? So if you have standards, you marry someone with standards, you don’t have standards, you marry someone without standards. Or, if you are smart, you marry someone with standards and try to develop those. Does that make sense?
Prabhu: So you have good qualities and good character, if their compatibility is good, you match in that sense…
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, you say it’s the pot. Then it’s a matter if the cooking…. You can burn the pasta in a deep pot, you know. Get yourself a 5-liter pot, you know, fill it up with four liters of water, and put half a kilo of pasta inside, now, that’s like Italian heaven, you know, each individual one floating around perfectly. But it doesn’t mean you can’t burn it. Do you understand? Or burn yourself, because it’s four liters of water in a big pot, you know. You know, what I am saying? So, all of these combined. It’s not that, “Oh, it’s all about the charts.””It’s all about the character.” “It’s all about the communication, ” and all that. No, it’s a package, it all goes together. It’s just like this. Is it all about the bangles, just buy good bangles, don’t worry about anything else?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Bangles. Why are you asking these questions?
Prabhu: I don’t know what bangle is.
Prabhu: The bracelet that you give to woman when you marry, you give her bangles…
HH BVPS Maharaja: I think it’s time for a break. [Laughter] We’ll come back. Hopefully, when we come back, you do know what a saree is. [Laughter]
HH BVPS Maharaja: So now you informed yourself what bangles are?
Prabhu: I knew, I just used another word
HH BVPS Maharaja: How do you buy them? [Laughter] “I’ll take that one.”
So is that…? Just focus on that, that’s it, you don’t have to worry about anything else in the marriage life? You don’t worry about the sarees and the money, the food, the…
Prabhu: Depends on the woman.
HH BVPS Maharaja: So you are starting with the, “Take the little finger and then get the whole hand.”
Prabhu: Good bangles.
Mataji: Gold bangles.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Only gold. [indistinct] 56:45 All other bangles are leaving. [Laughter]
Do you understand? In other words, it’s all the aspects, it can’t be just one aspect. So that’s the whole thing, is that in this you have to see all of them, that the charts are there, then the attitudes, the character, the qualities, the ability to interact, all these different things, all that together makes it work. Does that make sense?
So, in this, we shouldn’t use the exception to try to get rid of the rule, the exception proves the rule. You know what I am saying? You may have a couple that have bad charts, but the marriage works, but that’s an exception, because everybody else who has a bad chart, it doesn’t work. So what does that mean? If they have bad charts and it works, that means the character and training is so high that whoever they marry they are committed to.
Like Subhadra. Whoever she would marry, she’d be a good wife. Now, one brother was trying to marry her to Duryodhana, the other brother to Arjuna. But in either case, she will be a perfect wife. So that’s why in these things, the kshatriyas in previous ages didn’t have to use the first marriages, they could use Gandharva, Rakshasa, like that, because the character was such, they would make it work. But it doesn’t mean that if it’s not a good match then it is not a little bit rough. Does that make sense? But in this age, even the kshatriyas shouldn’t use it. Does that make sense?
Prabhu: Maharaja I heard you mentioned before that it’s recommended that between the bride and groom there should be 6 to 10 year age gap, because the girl matures faster, and therefore there is a gap of maturity. So once, after the point of maturity, when they are both beyond whatever age, doesn’t that cease to become a consideration, since they are both on an equal, equivalent level of maturity?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Not necessarily, because you have the aspect that when… It’s like this. When do the girl start thinking about how she would like her house?
Prabhu: Like three.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Three, five. Twelve, now she is serious. [Laughter] At what age is the boy up to the girl’s 12-year old mentality? You know, that serious and everything like that?
Prabhu: Maybe 25.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Do you understand? That’s why the age difference, so the point is is, ok, let’s say that they are 40 years old. But still, she has been at this for 15-20 years longer than he was aware of it, because basically the boy only upon getting attached to the girl starts to think about these things. Does that make sense? So, there is always going to be the difference. It’s just one more thing of respect, that the girl can respect the boy that he is in some way superior to her. You know what I am saying? In other words, the boy has to be superior to the girl, even though she spends the whole time trying to break down that superiority, but if she can, then that’s not good, she becomes dissatisfied. If she can’t, and he can handle that, then it’s a good arrangement. Does that make sense? Like that. So in other words, whatever the limits are, those limits are always there. And if they adjust, then there is a reason for it. It’s not due to weakness. Does that make sense? Because if you are dealing with something that’s more powerful, it needs to have some… to be accommodated. So it has to be sure that it’s going to accommodate. So minimum 3, then better… then between 3 and 10. That just depends upon the individuals, that what age works for them. You may have a more mature boy, you may have a more mature girl, so like that, so depending on that then you may have the age difference.
Prabhu: After 10, why is that problematic?
HH BVPS Maharaja: There might be too much of a generational, but it can work, but it’s within 10 you kind-of relate better. You know, it’s just like when you are 16, you relate to anybody up to 29 as basically being the same social group. They hit 30, now that’s another thing, then they are a whole another category, and below 16, they are kids. So it’s ideally there should be not too much difference. So if the relationship is established nicely during youth, it goes a lot easier. Because the tendency is, in youth you have a little more energy and you are a little more flexible.
Prabhu: I was thinking like 50 year old marrying like a 25 year old.
HH BVPS Maharaja: 50 marrying a 25-year old? Means, there has got to be some serious character and qualities there to… But not as serious as if she is 25, and he is 75. Then that generally requires a lot of money. [Laughter]
Prabhu: He has to have a heart problem.
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, no, heart problem, that’s standard, you have to have the heart problem with money, then she’ll marry. Who wants to stay with a 75-year old for a very long? Okay, it’s like this: if I put in a couple of years investment of time and I get back millions, then it’s worth it, you know. If the guy is gonna live till 120, then, you know, that’s a problem. [Laughter]
Prabhu: We always read, Srila Prabhupada mentions, that women are never independent, we see from the scriptures, they are never independent. But now, in the modern time, we see many ladies, they are successful, quite young, but they are not married, and they have no desire to marry.
HH BVPS Maharaja: As long as they can work like that, then fine.
Prabhu: So it’s not a problem?
HH BVPS Maharaja: It’s not a problem, but as they get older, they might find that there’s a problem. You know, what I am saying? When the drive is there, that’s there. But when one gets older, then one kind-of wants a little more of… If it can work, yeah, but that’s more of the exception, it’s not a standard rule. You know, what I am saying, how many ladies are like that? It’s just like how many ladies we know of, were like the renounced order of life? I think that there is 3 of them, and that’s for the last 155 trillion years. [Laughter] So, it can happen, if they have the character, so it works, so if it works, fine. But you can’t use that and say, no, but here, it’s working for this one. Yes, it’s working for this one, if it works for you, then why are you talking about it, just do it. You know what I am saying? But if we are talking about that everybody has to accept that you can do that, that’s dependent. If I have to be able to move in society, and everybody is going to respect my social position as I am leading and doing this and that, then that means, they are dependent. Does that make sense?
The man, if they accept his authority as a temple president, it just makes management more easier. But the woman, she expects that respect and everything, that’s social, that’s not managerial, that’s personal. So the point is is, dependency is still there. So if you have a girl who can function… You know what I am saying? So you’ll see the symptoms. And if that’s enough, great. But if it’s like she doesn’t need any of that at all, that would be more rare. You know what I am saying? The girl is walking down the street, how you say, flouncing down the street. But the point is, if no one looks at her, she will probably have a nervous breakdown. But as everybody on the street is looking and checking out, she goes by, they look, and like that, that’s where she is getting her energies from. So she is dependent, but she is just dependent on the public, instead of dependent on specific individuals. So, you have a girl that she is independent and doesn’t require any of that, then that will be rare. You know what I am saying? And so, the respectable girls will respect her, and the really ones out on the left field will respect her. All the ones in-between, they will have a problem. “Oh, she is too this, she is too that. Who does she think she is?”
So, yes, the point is is, the Vedic can accomodate as long as you do. It’s guna and karma, it’s not a matter of… See, nowadays the problem is, because it’s rights. But what does that mean? ? It’s guna and karma, it’s not rights, it’s guna and karma. You have the guna and karma, do it! You don’t have the guna and karma, then what’s the whole point of talking about it and saying it’s all right? What does that mean? It’s like it’s equal rights. Anybody could go and win the olympic clean and jerk, right? It’s open to anybody, but who can do it? Who is qualified, so it’s not about rights, it’s about having the ability. If you have the ability, no one says anything, does that make sense?
Reading from the Study Guide: “That princess, O holy sage, will be just the type you have been thinking of in your heart for all these long years. She will soon be yours and will serve you to your heart’s content.” (SB 3.21.28) Srila Prabhupada elaborates: “The Lord awards all benedictions according to the heart’s desire of a devotee, so the Lord informed Kardama Muni, “The girl who is coming to be married with you is a princess, the daughter of Emperor Svāyambhuva, and so just suitable for your purpose.” Only by God’s grace can one get a nice wife just as he desires. Similarly, it is only by God’s grace that a girl gets a husband suitable to her heart. Thus it is said that if we pray to the Supreme Lord in every transaction of our material existence, everything will be done very nicely and just suitable to our heart’s desire. In other words, in all circumstances we must take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and depend completely on His decision.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: So that’s the main principle, that’s the main principle. Now, that one is asking God for material desires, Kardama Muni himself has said, that’s not intelligent, but he has classified himself with the common person, so therefore I am in that category. So it’s not a question that, because it’s not the ideal, that it’s not done. Does that make sense? Like, you might have an ideal for lunch and then there is what you actually end up with. [Laughter] You have got to eat. So, the principle is is, you have to surrender to Krishna. Now, whether it’s done in a more ideal environment or less, but the point is is, if it’s connected to the Lord, everything is perfect. In other words, if you are gonna do it, connect it to the Lord, if you think it’s not ideal to do, then you don’t connect it to the Lord, because you are not doing it. But if you are gonna do it anyway, connect it to the Lord, that’s the principle. So that it’s always connected, that’s the whole point. And if one does that at all stages, then Krishna makes it perfect.
Continue reading: “Man proposes, God disposes. The fulfillment of desires, therefore, should be entrusted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; that is the nicest solution.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, one may say, “Well, I’m trusting Krishna, but it’s not happening,” but the point is if you didn’t leave it to Krishna, then it still wouldn’t happen. Because you have a better shot dealing with the person who makes it happen than not dealing with the person who makes it happen. Because in any case, you know, it’s going to be sanctioned by the Lord. Does that make sense? In other words, the ultimate decision is not made by beaver or the demigods. So it has to be sanctioned by Krishna
Prabhu: In God we trust. [Laughter]
HH BVPS Maharaja: In God we trust, yes, in God we trust.
Continue reading: “Kardama Muni desired only a wife, but because he was a devotee of the Lord, the Lord selected a wife for him who was the Emperor’s daughter, a princess. Thus Kardama Muni got a wife beyond his expectation.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: Because if you follow the Vedic system, generally it works out that way. I remember hearing about one marriage, because it was one of these traditional families, and they had never seen each other. So when the boy actually took the veil off the girl’s head, he was stunned for about 5 or 10 minutes. He couldn’t believe that he would be marrying a girl like this. Yeah, so they had to wait. [Laughter] Or you hear about, also once, when the girl puts on the garland, and putting the garland takes 10 minutes. There is so much emotion, so much everything, that the movement and everything, it takes 10 minutes, as opposed to, hey, here. [Laughter] Then, what else, what do we do? [Laughter]
Prabhu: I mean, it’s also a general principle that Krishna then usually, when we have the humility, have the faith to leave up to Him, then the arrangement He ends up making is always much better than what we were thinking…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, that’s what is here, that’s why Prabhupada says, he only desired a wife, right? But he ends up with the emperor’s daughter, you know, who is beyond what he expected, because Krishna arranged it, because he is turning to Krishna. That doesn’t mean that you go back to your room and say, “What’s going on, Krishna? Where is the emperor’s daughter?” [Laughter] Then Krishna will say, “I gave her to Kardama.” [Laughter]
Mataji: He was first in the list.
HH BVPS Maharaja: He was first in the list. Hey, you have to wait a round till…
Prabhu: He asked first.
HH BVPS Maharaja: …till the next creation.
Continue reading: “If we depend on the choice of the Supreme Lord, we will receive benedictions in greater opulence than we desire.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: Because Krishna is the source of opulence, so opulence isn’t the problem. Attachment is not the problem. It’s that the opulence and attachment must be connected to Krishna, right? So Kardama wants to connect his family life to Krishna, and so then facilities work out very nice. Because he is the one that’s dealing here. We are not seeing on the other side. It’s like you are getting the son of Brahma as a husband, not bad, right?
Continue reading: “The Lord continued: “She will bring forth nine daughters from the seed sown in her by you, and through the daughters you beget, the sages will duly beget children. With your heart cleansed by properly carrying out My command, resigning to Me the fruits of all your acts, you will finally attain to Me.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: So that naishkarmya is then how one will give up the material and attain Krishna. So he is performing the duties, but the results are to please Krishna. So, in other words, naishkarmya means, you have the desire to be involved in particular activities of karma, but the results are for Krishna. When certain actvities and certain results, that’s sakama, but if it’s connected to Krishna, it still works. But with time it will come to that naishkarmya platform naturally. Because you are connecting it to Krishna, you get purified, it’s devotional service, naishkarmya starts to become more easy.
Continue reading: “Showing compassion to all living entities, you will attain self-realization. Giving assurance of safety to all, you will perceive your own self as well as all the universes in Me, and Myself in you.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: So this is the element, so we remember from Manu, these are the elements of sannyasa, where you are giving assurance of safety to all. And you are showing compassion to all creatures. So you are careful about how you deal, that you don’t disturb anybody and everything like that. Does that make sense? So that shows that he will come to that platform.
Continue reading: Srila Prabhupada elaborates: The simple process of self-realization for every living entity is described here. The first principle to be understood is that this world is a product of the supreme will. There is an identity of this world with the Supreme Lord. This identity is accepted in a misconceived way by the impersonalists; they say that the Supreme Absolute Truth, transforming Himself into the universe, loses His separate existence. Thus they accept the world and everything in it to be the Lord. That is pantheism.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: So, here the understanding, it’s all the Lord, but His existence as separate, as Brahman, doesn’t exist anymore. Does that make sense? Now, they become the material energy. So, now, God is everything, so that’s different from when we say, “Krishna is everything, because we mean Krishna is everything through His energies. They are saying that Brahman has transformed into what we see, so Brahman is no longer in the position of Brahman anymore, so this is illusion. While the brahmavadis, then they accept that Brahman is everything. But Brahman doesn’t change. It may have a variety within Brahman, but the principle of spirit never changes. So they’re actually on a transcendental platform, the other ones they’re actually just in illusion. They talk, but they are not actually. Do you understand?
Continue reading: “That is pantheism, wherein everything is considered to be the Lord. This is the view of the impersonalist. But those who are personal devotees of the Lord take everything to be the property of the Supreme Lord. Everything, whatever we see, is the manifestation of the Supreme Lord; therefore, everything should be engaged in the service of the Lord. This is oneness.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: Right? So this is the, when we are talking about oneness, like Ramanuja and Vishnuswami, then they are talking about these aspects of oneness, so this is actually the Vaishnava understanding. So you can see the Lord in everything, or their relationship with the Lord in everything.
Continue reading: “The difference between the impersonalist and the personalist is that the impersonalist does not accept the separate existence of the Lord, but the personalist accepts the Lord; he understands that although He distributes Himself in so many ways, He has His separate personal existence. ”
HH BVPS Maharaja: So the catuh-shloki is that He has expanded in everything, it is Him, but He as a person is separate, that’s what makes the difference. Do you understand? So that’s how you tell ultimately, if someone is impersonal or not. Does the Lord have a separate existence as a person or not? Does that make sense?
Continue reading: This is described in Bhagavad-gītā: “I am spread all over the universe in My impersonal form. Everything is resting on Me, but I am not present.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: So that means, it’s His energies, it’s all resting on Him.
Continue reading: “There is a nice example regarding the sun and the sunshine. The sun, by its sunshine, is spread all over the universe, and all the planets rest on the sunshine. But all the planets are different from the sunshine; one cannot say that because the planets are resting on the sunshine, these planets are also the sun. ”
HH BVPS Maharaja: So here it’s resting, because the sunshine is there, therefore everything functions, if there is no sunshine, there is no function. So it’s a standard thing, you know, I think, what is that, I forgot. 3 days or something, sun goes out, then it’s about three days, something like that. But we see, it’s also in that pastime of Manduka Muni, then he had the same principle, because the husband was cursed that he will die at sunrise, so the wife said, the sun is not raising, and then because of that then Brahma had to come, because everybody would die. So it’s a pretty standard accepted principle. [Laughter]
Continue reading: “Similarly, the impersonal or pantheistic view that everything is God is not a very intelligent proposal. The real position, as explained by the Lord Himself, is that although nothing can exist without Him, it is not a fact that everything is Him.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: Right, everything is resting on Him, but still He is separate as a person. See, He expands, as Paramatma, as Brahman, as His energies, and so everything is resting on Him.
Continue reading: “So here also the Lord says: “You will see everything in the world to be non-different from Me.” This means that everything should be considered a product of the Lord’s energy, and therefore everything should be employed in the service of the Lord.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: Because as sannyasi, you don’t see anything separate from the Lord, that’s the actual position. Means, there is the ashrama and the rituals that go along with it, but the actual mentality of sannyasa is, you see everything connected to the Lord. So that’s a mentality of the devotee, so someone who is situated nicely in devotional service, that’s how they see, regardless of ashrama. Does that make sense? But the idea is that socially at least, everybody at the end of the life should try for seeing like that. Therefore there is the ritual of renunciation, right? But actually, from the devotional viewpoint one should see like that always.
Continue reading: “One’s energy should be utilized for one’s self-interest. That is the perfection of the energy.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: So if it’s connected to Krishna, then the actual interest is to connect it to Krishna. Connect yourself, connect everything else.
Continue reading: “This energy can be utilized for self-interest if one is compassionate. A person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, a devotee of the Lord, is always compassionate. He is not satisfied that only he himself is a devotee, but he tries to distribute the knowledge of devotional service to everyone. There are many devotees of the Lord who faced many risks in distributing the devotional service of the Lord to people in general. That should be done.
It is also said that a person who goes to the temple of the Lord and worships with great devotion, but who does not show sympathy to people in general or show respect to other devotees, is considered to be a third-class devotee.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: That’s just automatic, because, we’ll see that when it comes up, Kapila Muni will describe Deity worship, and then, having described the whole thing, he makes this point. If you worship Him in the temple, but don’t respect the devotees, then actually your worship isn’t of a very… is not that developed.
Continue reading: “The second-class devotee is he who is merciful and compassionate to the fallen soul. The second-class devotee is always cognizant of his position as an eternal servant of the Lord; he therefore makes friendships with devotees of the Lord, acts compassionately towards the general public in teaching them devotional service, and refuses to cooperate or associate with non-devotees. As long as one is not compassionate to people in general in his devotional service to the Lord, he is a third-class devotee. ”
HH BVPS Maharaja: So that’s the whole thing is, you are compassionate to everybody. So it’s not that a particular group, because someone might say, is that he refuses to cooperate or associate with non-devotees, “No, but we wanna be with everybody.” But the point is is, those who say that, generally only prefer to be with karmis, they don’t actually take up association with the devotees. Does that make sense? Now, if someone is nice with the devotees, is nice with the karmis, nice to everybody, then that’s what we are talking about. Because we are saying, “No, but you have to deal like this with the karmis,” but the problem is is, because of that element of hatred, then it comes around to false ego, it’s based on false ego, and that false ego means, they have categories, so those people that you are trying to integrate with, they have their categories. So we are looking at it, “Everybody is all equal,” but they don’t look at it that way. They have their groups, you fit in, nice, you don’t fit in, it’s not about “we have to fit in with them.” No, it’s a matter of, they have their groups, you know, so it’s not a matter of “we try to fit in” or not, you don’t fit in. Does that make sense? You only fit in, if they let you fit in, but then, to do that, then you have to associate intimately, means, you have to take up their moods and everything like that. Does that make sense?
Continue reading: “As long as one is not compassionate to people in general in his devotional service to the Lord, he is a third-class devotee. The first-class devotee gives assurance to every living being that there is no fear of this material existence: “Let us live in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and conquer the nescience of material existence.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: So this assurance then, one, is that he is going to deal properly, and that dealing properly is giving Krishna consciousness. So then we can see from here is, he’ll be situated on the transcendental position, and he will be distributing that Krishna consciousness.
Continue Reading: Srila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura writes in his commentary to the same verse: “The Lord says, “Showing mercy, as a householder, by giving food, clothing and wealth to the jivas. As a sannyasi he will then give fearlessness to the jivas by giving teachings on Bhakti.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: Because you have things, right, people want things, but then they have them, then what’s the next step? Yeah, means you get them, but you are going to be in an anxiety if you can keep them. So there must be that assurance that only through devotional service, then there is stability. Because the material can’t give stability. Only if something is given by the Lord, it remains. If it’s by your karma, then it will remain as long as your karma it’s supposed to.
Mataji: But as devotees, we see everything given by the Lord.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes.
Mataji: That’s our position.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, because it is, ultimately. Now, whether it’s more because of your surrender, or just because you are associating with others. Even the karmis, it’s arranged by the Lord, but through the external energy.
Mataji: But that’s according to their [karma] strictly.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, yes.
Mataji: So what’s the difference?
HH BVPS Maharaja: It’s according to what’s good for your Krishna consciousness.
Mataji: My point, according to what you said, that everything given by the Lord remains, that means the karma remains or the karma moves out?
HH BVPS Maharaja: How would we know? What do you think it is? You think, you did it, then it’s going to last a shorter time.
Mataji: So, it’s perception.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Everything is perception. According to one of the leaders of the political correctness movement, it’s all perception
Mataji: But something [indistinct]01:24:35 concrete facts, according to the Lord’s arrangement.
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, but it’s a concrete fact that it’s arranged by the Lord, anyway. But the point is is, if I think I am the doer, then only how much have you done, you get. But if the attitude is right, this surrender to the Lord, then is how much the Lord wants to give, okay? The son shoveled the walkway, right? And then his father gives him 5 bucks. You know, he did the work, he gets the 5 bucks, right? But because of the relationship with the father and all that, he will inherit everything. Does that make sense? So that’s the whole thing. So you have two things happening at once. If you think, I am the doer, then Krishna will, it’s still He is sanctioning it, but He will step back, and it’s still not, it’s still gonna be what’s useful or not. Does that make sense? So that’s the whole thing, is when you surrender, then you have it. And when you wanna keep it, you loose it. That’s the… So if you wanna keep it, you have to surrender, but if you surrender, you are not worried about keeping it, therefore it stays. But as soon as you think “I have it”, it may go, because it’s about the relationship that’s important, not about the facility. Does that make sense? Yeah.
So that’s the thing, is that the Dharma is working on aparoksha. If you don’t recognize it, it’s there, as soon as you recognize it, it’s not there. Does that make sense? Just like, if you don’t recognize it, you are sleeping nicely. You are aware that “I am sleeping nicely,” you are not asleep. Does that make sense? It’s not exactly the way we want it to be, because the way we want it to be means, we have to be God, and since we are not God, then it’s not going to work that way. But even for Him, it’s about the relationship. Because He is everything. If anything you wanted, you can have, then after a while it’s about what you do with those things becomes more important. Does that make sense? You know, you go back to your place, you go out on the veranda there, you think, “Wow, would be nice if this was all our garden,” and suddenly all the buildings are gone, there is just this one huge garden, you know, 20 foot wall around it nicely, you know, it’s like that, and then other things you go through, you could be occupied for a few days, but after a while then what about people, what about interactions, then what you do with it? So that’s the whole thing is that for Krishna, because eternally whatever He is interested in, happens, so then for Him, interaction with the devotees is what He wants to happen. And He doesn’t control that, because it’s about the interaction, so Yoga-Maya controls this. So again, the element of surrender. Does that make sense? Yeah.
Prabhu: It seems that Krishna is surrendered to Yoga-Maya.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, because she makes the arrangements. She knows what He wants, but she arranges it. Does that make sense? Like the child is surrendered to the mother, he wants to eat, and she arranges it. Does that make sense? You know, so it works. But He puts Himself into that dependent position, because He is independent. We are trying to get control of everything, because we think, that’s how we are going to enjoy, but that’s not how Krishna enjoys, so therefore His enjoyment is less in Vaikuntha than in Vraja, because there He is God, He is the Supreme. Everybody is serving because He is God. You know, so Yoga-Maya still will work. Because otherwise, how does the jiva think he can interact with God? So there must be some Yoga-Maya. But it’s not as great as in Vrindavan. Is that ok?
Reading: “At present you know, by the vision of scriptures, that the whole world along with yourself, resides within me, the Supreme Lord. Then however, you will directly realize this.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: So he has the vision, so “shastra-caksus”, he can see like that. But then, with time one will directly realize. So that’s the whole idea is, from knowledge, from jnana comes vijnana. So if we take jnana, contemplate it, practice it, it will turn into vijnana.
Reading: “First you will see Me in the form of the first Purusha with a thousand heads, and you will see thousands of universes in My hairholes, along with yourself. Now you know Me as the Antaryami, existing in yourself.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: So, he knows himself as the Paramatma, but he will see Him as the thousand-headed Vishnu, as Garbhodakashayi, and ultimately as Karanodakashayi. So he is going up through all 3 stages, right?
Reading: “Some yogis meditate upon the Paramatma, measuring one pradesha , Who is residing in the heart within the body, and Who holds a lotus, wheel, conch, club in His four hands (Srimad Bhagavatam 2.2.8) But then, you will directly see Me as the third Purusha, Kshirodakashayi. I will show you all things created and uncreated.”
The Lord concludes: “O great sage, I shall manifest My own plenary portion through your wife, Devahūti, along with your nine daughters, and I shall instruct her in the system of philosophy that deals with the ultimate principles or categories.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: Right? Because how you actually ultimately see everything? Because we were saying, the perception, how do you see, how do you categorize? Because in the intellectual process, any information the mind gets, then first of all, when you are dealing with the intelligence, it has to be categorized. Once you categorize it, then you can expand from there and see how to apply it, but the first point is, you have to categorize it.
HH BVPS Maharaja: He is off, being a paramahamsa. So it works. Because categorization is not a problem. Is just that categorization connected to the Lord.
Reading: “Maitreya went on: Thus having spoken to Kardama Muni, the Lord, who reveals Himself only when the senses are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, departed from that lake called Bindu-sarovara, which was encircled by the River Sarasvatī. While the sage stood looking on, the Lord left by the pathway leading to Vaikuṇṭha, a path extolled by all great liberated souls. The sage stood listening as the hymns forming the basis of the Sāma Veda were vibrated by the flapping wings of the Lord’s carrier, Garuḍa.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: So the Sama Veda exists, in his flapping of the wings is the Sama Veda.
So when senses are in Krishna consciousness, He reveals. So when the senses are connected, then we understand Krishna, when the senses are not connected, then at that point it becomes less interesting. So that’s the meaning of sadhana. So sometimes there is understanding, sometimes there is not. So that’s why one keeps practicing, until that becomes stable. So this principle of, Kardama comes to the point of being stable. So it’s always seeing in that way, then there is not an oscillation there, he is just always on the transcendental platform.
Reading: Verses 35-47 The Lord fulfills His words.
In 2 days, as the Lord predicted, Svayambhuva Manu arrived and the sage’s hermitage with his daughter, Devahuti.
“Then, after the departure of the Lord, the worshipful sage Kardama stayed on the bank of Bindu-sarovara, awaiting the time of which the Lord had spoken. Svāyambhuva Manu, with his wife, mounted his chariot, which was decorated with golden ornaments. Placing his daughter on it with them, he began traveling all over the earth.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: So, means, the subtleties here is, means, this is husband and wife, making the arrangement, means he is going to make the things, but, as we pointed out, his wife was comfortable with this. So them having situated themselves, then the daughter is put on the chariot. Means, there is not just, “Ok, we are getting the daughter married,” so stick her on the chariot, and then the wife is saying, “Hey, what about me?” And it’s like, “Well I told you I will be leaving in five minutes,” not that kind of jazz. Do you understand? So, the husband and wife relationship is between them, and then the daughter is included. Because it’s about the daughter, but it’s about them making the arrangements for the daughter, so there is all kinds of subtleties, it’s not about the efficiency you are getting it done. It’s about all the considerations. So, in getting it done, then the considerations of the wife, the considerations of the daughter is there by Svayambuva. Otherwise, if you want to be practical, he would just go himself.
Prabhu: Make a phone call. [Laughter]
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, make a phone call. [Laughter] “Yo, ‘Dama!” [Laughter]
Reading: “He began traveling all over the earth. O Vidura, they reached the hermitage of the sage, who had just completed his vows of austerity on the very day foretold by the Lord.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: Because he was doing some particular austerities, the Lord came during those austerities being pleased, gave him the benediction, but still is when his austerities finished, that’s when these results came, otherwise they would be thinking, he didn’t finish his vow. So he finished his vow and then..
Reading: “The holy Lake Bindu-sarovara, flooded by the waters of the River Sarasvatī, was resorted to by hosts of eminent sages. Its holy water was not only auspicious but as sweet as nectar. It was called Bindu-sarovara because drops of tears had fallen there from the eyes of the Lord, Who was overwhelmed by extreme compassion for the sage who had sought His protection.”
HH BVPS Maharaja: So at this point, that’s when it got the name, Bindu-Sarovara. Because we see before, that He very affectionately was looking at the sage.
I guess we stop here.
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 Hari Bol!