HH BVPS Maharaja lecturing in Mayapur. Year and author unknown

Prabhu (1): Welcome everybody to the transcendental Leadership Satsanga! We got yesterday such a nice feedback, directly to Mahārāja about such a wonderful opportunity to actually get directly revealing and uplifting [answers] to the questions which are so many. So, we are more than thankful, and especially thankful to His Holiness Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Mahārāja. Kī jaya! So before we continue with the Mahābhārata, could Mahārāja... Could it be possible that a few questions from yesterday was left there, so that those...

HH Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Mahārāja: Yes, yes, as you please.

Prabhu (1): Yeah, okay. Līlaśuka, are you there?

Prabhu (2): Yes, I am here.

Prabhu (1): Jaya! So Līlaśuka, of course, everybody knows, but he was the previous temple president of Estonia, and nowadays a traveling preacher. And are you now in...? Where are you now in? Tartu? Pārnu? Or just in Tallinn?

Prabhu (2): Well, right now I am near Tallin.

Prabhu (1): Hmm. So yes, so you had questions about yesterday's topic, where Mahārāja was mentioning something about talking with the ladies. Please, make...

Prabhu (2): So the question is that, can you please kindly explain the principle of gṛhasthas not talking with women?

HH BVPS Mahārāja:The point is is, if there's service and this and that. But the idea that you can, that it's just sitting alone with someone who is not their wife, that's the point. They can talk to women, but it's not... They wouldn't talk alone. So the idea that, 'Oh, it's only brahmacārīs, sannyāsīs that can't sit alone with women.' No it's no man sits alone with women - that's the rule. Like that. It's just that we may, because we'll take it there. But a lot of times it's thought, 'Oh I am a gṛhastha, now there is no restriction.' But it's still, because the point is, you can sit with your wife all you like alone, but all other ladies then it would be more of a, you know, formal or more open situation and all that. Does that make sense? It's just that then no one has any doubts or anxieties, or this or that. So it's just...

Because even though you are dealing with the spiritual process, you are dealing with a spiritual movement, it's not that everybody in the movement is necessarily on the transcendental platform. And so, many have a lot of social issues and social attachments and these and that. So considering that then they are dealt with. But because of those restrictions then it creates a very nice forum for Kṛṣṇa's pastimes. Because we think, 'No, I can do anything I want anytime, anywhere, anyhow, and that will make me happy.' No, it doesn't. I mean, what would you think? Okay, the guys are out there, they are playing, let's say, football. And, you know, they throw it out there, some guy kicks it with his foot, the next guy then grabs it with his hand and then tosses it. The next guy pulls out a cricket bat and then whacks it, and then the next guy just picks it up and puts it under his arm and starts running with it, knocking people over. So you think, 'Well, what is this?' So the point is is, we see anytime there is a game there is restrictions. And the more developed the game, the more rules there are, right? It's like if you are playing rock-paper-scissors, there is not a lot of rules. But if you play these more organized games, more and more and more and more rules are there. So this idea that freedom is the answer to happiness... No. It's having a structure in which therefore then you are able to use your mind, intelligence and senses and get something done. Because if something is just so easy, it's not actually that great. We say, 'Oh, I want this, that and this,' but no, you don't. We expect that there's going to be... It shouldn't be overly restrictive, but unless there is restrictions then... It's just like, let's say, you order a sandwich and you get two pieces of bread with nothing in-between. And you ask, 'Hey, what happened to the rest of the stuff?' 'Oh, we didn't feel like putting anything.' And then you can say, 'Well, I don't feel like paying anything,' you know. And the other guy says, 'Well, I feel like hitting you in the head.' 'And I feel like burning down your restaurant.' You know. So, I mean, then how do you have a society? Do you understand?

So that's the whole point, is this idea of 'freedom, no restrictions' is totally bogus. Means, now, you take now, you must be knowing a little bit of the up-to-date kind-of social environment that's going on around us now, right? Because there is, at least in English, I'm sure every language has it, but 'idle mind is a devil's workshop,' right? So now with the Covid everybody is sitting at home for the last year. They are all going nuts. So you see, is that those who are into these political, social issues, everything is under attack. I just heard yesterday that people are starting agitation against pianos. Why? Because pianos have black and white keys. And which are the main keys? The white ones. You know, so we should have all black keys. Who knows? It's just they have nothing to do, they are going nuts. So the thing is is, they say it's about being liberal, being a... Everybody is equal, everybody... But they restrict more and more and more and more and more. You can't say anything, you can't do anything, you can't... Anything you do is wrong. Someone is offended by whatever you do. So in the name of liberality they are more restrictive than, let's say, a fascist government. You know what I am saying? I mean, it's like... What was that? It's just they become so restrictive, it becomes more and more orwellian as we go. It's just certain things for them is all right, but at the same time is, if it's not exactly what they think is all right, it's totally wrong. You will be cancelled. Anybody says something, they're canceled, anybody does, they are canceled, that's it. So, I mean, what kind of... What is that? In Latin that's... I can't remember the name, but it's called the... The translation is 'governance by the offended.' Means, those people who are offended, they take the lead, and then everything that they deal is about what they feel offended about. That's the government. You don't hear them talking about something positive, moving forward, what are you going to do, what is... No. It's just tear everything down, destroy everything, like this. So it becomes very nihilistic. It's just all they can say is 'destroy it.' They can't say what you should do, how to move forward, what's the positive. So this whole idea that there will be freedom. No it doesn't... That's not the way it is. Gṛhasta isn't a license to just sit around and do whatever you want. Gṛhasta is how you therefore with the wife then can move forward in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, how you can work as a team - that's what it's for. But that's your wife, not someone else's. Does that make sense?

Prabhu (2): Of course.

HH BVPS Mahārāja:Yeah. So, it doesn't mean they can't talk to other ladies. They have some program, people come over, everybody is talking, but it's a formal thing, everybody is there and all that. You don't go off talk to them, go off separately talk. Does that make sense?

Prabhu (2): Yes, very much. Thank you very much. Everything is very clear.

HH BVPS Mahārāja:Okay, very good, thank you.

Prabhu (1): This is Līla..., this is your... Just a comment, this your question was quite widespread philosophy, so-called philosophy in the early 1990s. And then, you know, many things happened. History shows, they took those...

HH BVPS Mahārāja:Yeah.

Prabhu (1): ...from one of the brahmacārinīs run away... So much catastrophe out of this one so-called freedom point, or whatever, so much...

HH BVPS Mahārāja:Yes.

Prabhu (2): Exactly what what kind of catastrophe? I couldn't understand the point.

Prabhu (1): I said that this was a widespread philosophy in those days of early 1990s. And lot of catastrophes. Created a lot of scandals, you know, adultery. Temple presidents falldown, so many, you know. Most of our first temple presidents all fell to this trap. So...

Prabhu (2): That means, not following this principle which I spoke about?

Prabhu (1): Yeah, not following what Mahārāja now said and explained, but following that, you know, gṛhasthas can talk with anybody, anybody's wife alone.

Prabhu (2): Okay, I got it. Thank you for the comment.

Prabhu (1): Okay. There is... If Doyāl Mora has a question related to this then please ask.

Prabhu (3): So I wonder... Maybe it's a bit off topic, in which case I apologize. But Mahārāja, I very much appreciated what you were saying yesterday, about the division between institution, society and the movement. So I was just hoping, please could you share with me some tips on how can we help to start to build a society here in ISKCON London?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Means, if you understand what you are dealing with then naturally you will work in ways to develop it and you will give some direction on things when it's not going in the proper way. The point is is, as of now people can't define what is ISKCON. Because the point is, ISKCON has all these features. ISKCON is a mission. ISKCON is a movement. ISKCON is a society. ISKCON is this institution. They can't define them. So the point is is, therefore, as was mentioned yesterday, somebody is a member within ISKCON, but not in the institution, but within the society and that. And so then they are saying, you know, 'No one is taking care of me.' But they are expecting the institution to take care. But no, 'ISKCON take care' means these other elements. Because what we talked... Last, let's say, five years has been a big push on community development, but in what way are they actually cultivating training and bringing up community? I haven't seen it. Individuals, yes, do that. You know, Rādhānātha Mahārāja does, Nirāñjana Mahārāja does, Śivarāma Mahārāja does. But in general, no. It's, you know, people, the institutional, they can't tell the difference between these features. And because of that they don't know how to... Where something is going wrong. Because you see, in the early days people moved in the temple, everything was taken care of. Because everybody lived in the temple, you just lived with what facility was there and you did full-time service. But now people want to do occasional service and live like a modern middle-class Westerner. How is that... Where does that come from? Why would that be something that the institution has to take care of?

That's community business. But that's why it's called Varṇa-āśrama. Because before all the āśramas were running, and the only varṇa was brāhminical, and that's what was in the temple. And so, therefore then everybody does full-time service, connected with preaching and deity worship and education. And so, everything Kṛṣṇa is taking care. But when people want to live a lifestyle outside of that, on their own, independently, the institution can't take care of that. The community has to take care of that. And the point is is, if you are living outside of... If you are not living as a brāhmana, - kṣatriyas, vaiśyas, śūdras - they work. Brāhmana, he also is working full-time, but it's  within the activities that you do in āśrama. In other words, the four āśramas, that is the āśrama and the occupation of a brāhmana. And then, further than that, then the kṣatriyas have their aspects, vaiśyas theirs, like this. So they have to be doing something, they have to be creating an environment in which economics can flourish. In other words, they have to themselves be generating profit through economic development, or they have to be working for the other three. You don't have a fourth option. You know, sitting on your can at home and getting paid by the government - that's not exactly one of the things. Because everybody thinks like that, who's going to, where is that money going to come from? Right? Means, donations are accepted by brāhmanas because they are full-time working in that capacity, and it doesn't generate money. So those who generate money - they are the ones who deal with it, right?

It's a really straightforward, very simple system. Now, the details of it, that gets very sophisticated. But the point is is, we think the details make or break it. No, it's the principle makes it or breaks it. If you accept the principle then with time you will work out, by endeavoring with your intelligence you will work out the details. But because we approach it from the ascending process, instead of the descending process, 'Oh, if these little details don't work, throw the whole thing out!' And then, what are you left with? You are left with go out and get a job, that's what you are left with, right? But no, you don't want to go out and get a job, you don't want to do this and that, you know, like that. So then it's a problem. So laziness is not part of the Vedic system, and laziness is not part of the Western system who actually are people who really do things. Professionals aren't lazy. So we are professional spiritualists, so we are busy in that field. We are busy in that field, we have knowledge in the field, we know how to apply it. Prabhupāda makes the point: we are spiritual professionals. People say, 'Oh, we have to be professional, you know, like the karmīs...' No we are already professionals. But it's not seen. Why? Because no one has any background or saṁskāra that relates to it. But you would expect after 50 years that they could, by reading Prabhupāda's books and doing like this, that they start to get some idea about it. But if you spend 50 years opposing it, why would Kṛṣṇa reveal it?

The point is is that it's very, very practical, and nowadays people, it's not about pract... See, where is the taste? One, you are not doing anything in connection with Kṛṣṇa. You are not doing anything necessarily in connection with your duties that will give a taste. You are not necessarily applying a knowledge or skills or anything like that. You just want to feel. You know, that's the whole idea, 'If I feel...' So the whole point is is, the idea is, you want to intensify feelings. So how do I intensify feelings? Now you have to make issues. And then you have made your issue, okay, they went out for their march last year, right? You know, they went out pillaging and burning and all that kind-of stuff. Somehow or another in the history books those who pillaged and burned then were not considered, looked at in a good way. Like that. No offense to all those from the Northern parts of the Baltic and all that, or Denmark, which are famous as their occupation was pillaging and burning. But it will be looked at as a lower thing. But nowadays somehow or another the liberal, they can go out and march on the streets, burn things down, steal everything out of the shops, no one can, no one says anything. Did they say anything about how many millions or billions of dollars were lost in America due to all that pillaging? And therefore what kind of people are this? Right? So, therefore, you can understand, it is political. It has nothing to do with actual ideologies and all that. Just people want to intensify, 'Because I went out there, I yelled, I screamed and, you know, everybody has to respect that I am getting what I need. And so, why can't people accommodate that?' But then if others come out and yell and scream at them, then, 'Oh, oh, why are you doing this? You know, I'm just coming out here trying to express myself, you know, freedom of speech,' and all that kind of jazz. So we have a big problem here. Because in the name of trying to bring everybody closer together, you know, equality and that, they are creating more and more divisions. Prabhupāda always said, that you have the United Nations, every year there is another flag. So what was bigger becomes smaller, and that smaller becomes smaller until... I remember seeing a political cartoon. You have, I don't know if you have ever seen it, but there is a famous American painting where there is a farmer and his wife in overalls and that. He is sitting there with a pitchfork. Very classic American, with the straw and the whole thing, and like that. And then his house in the background. So it's the same exact picture, but in the background there is this big billboard that says 'The Sovereign Country of This Guy's Farm.' So they were saying is that you start out with these big things, they break down to smaller, until you're going to have each land that's his own country.

So that's the whole point is, that's how the animal kingdom works. So that's the point, without Kṛṣṇa consciousness there is no such thing as universal. There is no such thing as real ideology, all these things like that. So we are pessimistic about that you are going to be happy in the material world, but we are not pessimistic about spiritual existence. We have an ideology about that you are going to be able to be happy in the spiritual world. But we know it's not going to be here. So all the proper things of ideology and all those of pessimism, they are already there in Kṛṣṇa consciousness in their balance. That independence is there, that dependence is there, it's all perfectly balanced. It's the only universal understanding. Means, literally. There isn't anything else. People will say and do and that, and where is it? Because the stuff that people are talking today, these aren't new. These are philosophies that go back so far. They think of being liberal and socialism, these are all written by guys in the 1800s, 1700s, you know, based on stuff that was said before by Plato a few thousand years ago. I mean, it's just, nothing is new, right?

So the whole point is is, if you can appreciate this yourself then you'll point out how to develop community, how to work with the institution of the temple and how it can be a center of activities and inspiration for the devotees. In other words, you are showing kīrtana and devotees, so vaiṣṇava association, Deity worship, people can do that in their homes. They come to the temple, who can, and who can't come so often or like this and that, they do these things in their homes. And just as you have satsaṅga in the temple, they can have that at home with people in their neighborhood. They can't always get over to the temple, it takes an hour to get across town, but the people in their neighborhood, they can invite them to their house. That was one of the principles of League of Devotees when Prabhupāda had, is one family, they invite 10 other families to their house and do a program and train them. And with time those people, they will be trained where they can start doing programs in their house. And in this way then within a short time you have tens of thousands of people involved. That's how the community preaching works. But you have to be training them in this. Just saying, 'Oh, they are community, they don't have to work under the authority of the temple,' great, fine. But at the same time is, where is the development? I don't see it, literally. No one is trained, no one knows. I would be actually surprised if so many of these community people that they are making, that didn't join in the temples and that, just came up on their own, and they are not Indian or Asian, they might also not even know you clean your backside with water. There is a good chance they don't know that. Or how to put on tilaka, or how to wear a dhoti, or how to do that, how to wash your hands before you... How to make an offering. Because everybody is talking about the political side. 'No, separate from the temple, it runs on its own! We don't need temples anymore! That's archaic, that's ancient! No one does that anymore!' It's kind-of like, who is this 'no one'? Who are these unfortunate souls that say this? Or think this?

The point is is, all this is together. It's all part of one big, big movement. The whole mission, this is what it's doing. So the gosvāmīs, they had temples. Then we know there was communities. The whole thing was a movement, they all associated, and they had a mission to make people into pure devotees. So it's the same thing as what we've always done. It's just now that we can learn to do that. And you don't need any 'isms' to do it. You just need Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And that faith that that's all you need - that is the symptom of a madhyama-adhikārī. And not having that faith  - that is the symptom of someone lower whose anarthas haven't been cleared enough for them to have that faith. And then if we take that as a platform, 'Oh, people don't have faith, so we have to cater to that.' Then it's like saying that the neophytes, the kaniṣṭḥas, the prākṛta-bhaktas, they are supposed to lead the movement. Lead it where? So it's very... It's a sad situation when people don't even understand what they have been given and that whatever they are looking for, it's already there. You know, equality is on the platform of the soul. You are never going to have equality on the body. You can't! Every physical form is different, every subtle body is different, every soul is different, and they are saying, 'Oh, it will all be equal.' No, everybody is different.

So then, how about this: this guy did this work and he made ten things. This guy did, at the same time did three things. So we are going to praise the guy who made ten things and tell him 'It's so nice that you could make these five things.' And the guy who made three things, we'll tell, 'Oh, it's so wonderful you made five things.' Where is it going to go? The guy doing ten will drop it down to five, and the guy doing three, he will get credit for five, and he will drop it down to one. And then economically it falls apart. You go too far left, economically it dies. You just have to look at Russia. The USSR, it died because economically it couldn't function because of this so-called equality. China was dying, until they on the market level ran as capitalists, right? Governmentally they are communists, but actually they are capitalists. Does that make sense?

Prabhu (3): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So they are kind-of like capitalistic fascists. You know, some weird new thing. But the point is is, this idea of all this equality won't work. China already tried that. Everybody, they only made one size of clothes, size 36, one devotee was telling me. Everybody wore the same thing. If it was too long you rolled up the sleeves or rolled up the pant legs. And if you were one of these really monster big guys, they made size 42 for them. But, I mean, that's the extremes that these things go to. And how well was that looked at by the Western liberal world? And now we are talking the same thing? So if it wasn't good for them to do it, why would it be good for anybody else to do it?

So, one has to understand is, you have to look at what is real. It is God's world, not our world. It is God's laws, not our laws. And just because we think that we should be able to fly, doesn't mean we fly. Did you ever hear of Francis of Assisi flying off the roof and flying around the village and coming back? But he would get up on the roof and flap his arms and feel like 'I can fly,' but he was not that stupid to do it. So the whole point is is, no the laws are there. You simply have to accept that and follow it. Like we said in the beginning, if a kid doesn't want to follow the rules of the game, no one wants them in the game. It's a disturbance. The guys playing don't want, people watching don't want. But now you bring down a whole bunch of kids, 'Oh, we all want to play, but we don't want to do this and that.' It just is trouble for everyone. Therefore Rūpa Gosvāmī made the point, what's it?Śruti-smṛti-purāṇadi-pāñcarātriki-vidhiṁ vinā. Without the rules it's bogus, that's all. 'No, no but Prabhupāda said this... But actually...' Bogus! 'Oh, you know, but the karmīs are doing this, we have to also...' Bogus! It's just straight up bogus. And anybody was more successful than Prabhupāda? Going to America with 40 rupees. Rupees! Rupees! Came back with the 40 rupees to India. You know, went there, set up a hundred temples, like that. How did he do it? Just by preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness and showing devotees how to apply Kṛṣṇa consciousness into their situation. None of this thing where 'Oh, you are like this and you can't do that, and you are not from India, so you can't do all this, so you don't have to do any of this, you know...' And so then, yeah, go... Then why come here? Why come to ISKCON? Check out Ramakrishna Mission or something, or, you know, Transcendental Meditation maybe. So the point is is, you want to go back to Godhead, that's what Lord Caitanya is offering. You want to stay in the material world comfortably and kind-of dabble, put your toes a little bit into the water, yeah, you can. But don't claim that it's equivalent to someone practicing pure devotional service. That's straight, upfront cheating, nothing less. And we are trying to be gracious here, otherwise you could say much more about that. So the whole point is is, there is no advantage, there is no benefit, so that's why it says it's just a disturbance to the society.

So that's why the thing is is, none of these 'isms' are important for us as Kṛṣṇa con... But you have to understand the Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Many times we take them and then apply it again on the bodily platform. 'Oh, the men are superior to the women and all...' No, it's not. That's not what it said. The souls are all equal, but everybody has their duty, has their mentality, has their position. So physio-sociological nature - you have to act according to that. That's just the way it goes. Say what you like, that's the way it is, right?

Prabhu (3): Yes.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So it's just a matter of... Sorry? Yes, yes, it means... Just a quote yesterday, Prabhupāda said in Kolkata that the temple is not for economic development, it's there for education. But at the same time is, we do things, money comes in. You distribute books, you do this and that, money comes in. But it's not that the temple is about raising money, the temple is about education. And then money is there for that. Just like schools, there is... It's, they're educating, but at the same time, as you know, funds are raised. So it's a secondary aspect. So that's very important. Because we look at what's the greatest in volume that's what's most important. But that's the way vaiśyas and śūdras look at things, literally. What is more? More people, 'Oh, so many people say, therefore it must be true!' That's for śūdras. Brāhmanas means, 'This is what Kṛṣṇa says, this is the Absolute Truth, no one else accepts it, it's still true and I believe it.' That's a brāhmana. Kṣatriyas are, the śāstra say this, that's what people should be doing. That's the whole thing.

So that's why you see in Gītā it mentions, brāhmanas and kṣatriyas work on qualities. Vaiśyas and śūdras work on their particular knowledge and skill. It doesn't mention anything about quality. You can be a fabulous vaiśya and be a total criminal, you know, nastiest person on the planet. But he makes money, everybody leaves him alone. Same with śūdras: he is the best singer, best dancer, even though everybody hates him, but they leave him alone because he is the best. But you have a kṣatriya who is a problem, then everybody will get rid of him. Brāhmana who has that attitude, you want to get rid of them. So we have to understand, is that if you want to have the viewpoint of the bourgeois, and that's it, it's about who has got money, therefore you have power, and I want... 'I have money, therefore I want all the facilities of everybody else who is above me,' then how are you going to establish a community, a society? Because it's all about prestige. Yes, you deal with prestige. But the whole point is, it's not about prestige.

So, one has to see this balance. Otherwise then how will you effect community? There has to be rules, there has to be standards, and people then do their best, right? Because that's the advantage of community. They sit at home. When they come to the temple, you behave yourself. And when they go home, if they want to take off their clothes and jump up and down on the furniture, while, you know, singing some weirdo song, they can do that. What do we care? But when they come together and associate as the society, then they should follow the rules.  And those who are living in the temple, they follow nicely. You don't have guys that are lazy, like Prabhupāda mentioned, in the temple - no lazies, no crazies. They should stay in the community, come around, encourage them to come, do service, take prasāda, but they won't stay in the temple. Like that. Does that make sense? Because otherwise then the problem is is, they are lazy, they won't do any service. So then why be in the temple? Go outside. You can be lazy, but then you don't eat, so you have to work. Crazy is that they want to do their own thing, they don't care about anybody else, it's all about them, it's this '-ism', that '-ism.' No, live outside in the community, then you can do all the '-isms' you want. The temple, it's about this is what Lord Caitanya said, this is what Prabhupāda and Kṛṣṇa said. So we do that.

That doesn't mean, 'Oh, you're not thinking for yourself,' because thinking means it has to be stupid. 'Oh, if I am thinking something stupid, now I'm intellectual.' No, you analyze what it is that the ācāryas have given us, you commit yourself to that. So then we are saying, 'Oh, a doctor is not thinking because he just follows what he was taught in school.' That's the point, is that where they want freedom then they'll break down all rules, and where they want equality and fraternity then they'll create rules that don't even need to be created. So it's a disease. I am only mentioning these three because that is the basis of democracy, no? Liberty, fraternity, equity - that is the basis. So the conservatives are about freedom, but that means, freedom means, they don't want control by the government, but they'll follow their own community rules. While then the liberals, they don't mind the government control, but they have no community rules as such for themselves, but they create for everybody else. So it's a real mishmash what goes on. It doesn't make any sense. Because the more extreme they get then the more weird it gets. The closer to the middle the more real it is. Why? Because in the middle - that's Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The path of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is in the middle. So if you follow that then you find things go nicely. But the more extreme you become then it doesn't work.

And then you'll just get it going the other way. They go too weird with all this liberal stuff, like that, you'll see there will be a reaction that will bring it so far back the other way, it will be really annoying. And then from being there, then they'll be all this and that, and they will swing it back the other way. Why can't they just be happy and leave it in the middle?

So for devotees then if they are getting a taste in the association of the vaiṣṇavas, in the devotional practices, in their preaching and that, then the taste is already there, they don't have to be extreme. But if they are not getting a taste you got to get a taste somewhere, and wherever you are getting it you want to make it more and more extreme to get more and more taste. So it's just the way the jīva works, sat-cit-ānanda. They have to have happiness. They are conscious. They have to apply that consciousness in an activity. And that activity should generate some happiness. Because the material world doesn't really generate happiness, so, therefore, then they do something extreme that's different. Does that make sense?

Prabhu (3): Perfectly. Thank you so much, Mahārāja!

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay. Jaya ho! Hare Kṛṣṇa!

Prabhu (1): There will be still one more question about yesterday, ISKCON communities, expectations and that topic, which we had about those things...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay.

Mātājī (1): Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja!

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Hare Kṛṣṇa! Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Mātājī (1): Please accept my humble obeisances.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Jaya Nitāi!

Mātājī (1): Mahārāja, could you kindly explain why it takes sometimes a long time to understand basic philosophical principles? Like, let's say, karma, or like yesterday you were talking about that people are doing some service, but then they become disappointed because they didn't get these material benefits? So these are like basic philosophical questions or principles. But why does it sometimes take such a long time to really realize them and understand them, and then to see it in a Kṛṣṇa conscious perspective?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay. Yes, yes. okay. Means, you have... One thing is that when the philosophy, the essential points are being preached... Like if you go back and look at any of the points that people make back in the, especially in the 1960s, especially in the 1960s...

Mātājī (2): It looks like Mahārāja has dropped out. We just give a few seconds for him to come back on... Mahārāja is back now.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, you'll see there, devotees are talking about the point 'we are not the body, we are the soul,' you know, 'we are a servant of Kṛṣṇa,' that learning, developing love for God is the ultimate goal, the process is the devotional service and the essence of that is chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. You'll see they are all talking about these things. And Prabhupāda in the philosophy is talking all these fundamental principles. You don't necessarily hear that being talked now. Management, yes. Some other political theory, yes. But other stuff, not necessarily. So that becomes a difficulty, is that whatever is being discussed, whatever is in the ether, that's the kind of thing that becomes prominent in people's minds. If you are discussing about cultivating devotional service and all that, then it will go. Like the other day someone was telling me, on Nityānanda Trayodaśī in Vṛndāvana during the lecture, then... It's Nityānanda Trayodaśī, it's about Lord Nityānanda, right? But in the thing at one point they got off onto female dīkṣā gurus and about this and that, and about the importance of these things, and how this one this and that one that... And they were presenting a platform and discussing the pros and cons of that. Whatever happened about just Lord Nityānanda's pastimes, or philosophy considering Lord Nityānanda, or something? So that becomes a difficulty, where the actual fundamental principles aren't the ones being discussed necessarily. So that's going to be one point, is that whatever you are associating with and whoever you are associating, whatever they say, that's the thing that will be prominent in mind.

Then the other thing comes is the background. So in religion... Because we look at religion means it's piety, piety gives good results, right? And so, therefore then you have your Abrahamic religions, that will be generally the backgrounds we are from. And so then that means you do good and you'll go to heaven. And even nowadays, instead of you work hard and go to heaven, then it's, you know, heaven on earth and good will... Heaven will come down here. So then if I am doing all these religious activities and I am not improving my material facility and material experience, then we got a problem.

Yes? Tapas jī, I see it looks like there is a hand there. Does that mean you have something to...?

Prabhu (1): He is waiting after my wife's question, then he will make that...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Oh, okay so that's... His hand is for after her hand...

Prabhu (1): Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: There is a queue of hands? Okay. So then because of that aspect of this then sometimes devotees by habit, you know, just by the background and that, can fall into that. Because the idea is piety means it gives good results in the material platform and impiety gives bad results. So I am not doing impiety, so why aren't we getting the material results? But the point is is, we are getting spiritual results. So whether we get material results or not, that's not why we are doing things. But if everybody is working in that attitude of pure devotion, we see example that everything goes very nicely, right? Materially it's all nicely, but it doesn't mean that something can't go wrong. But materially things go nicely. But if you are trying for that then it moves away. It's like a mirage. You can sit where you are and you can enjoy looking at the water and the coconut trees and everything else that's there, sitting out in the middle of the desert, right? But as soon as you walk towards it, it keeps moving back.

So the point is is, as long as you are just focused on your service and association of vaiṣṇavas and trying to please Kṛṣṇa then you will get an experience of a nice environment. But as soon as you try to directly perceive and enjoy that material environment, it recedes. Because it's not about us, it's not about enjoying separately from Kṛṣṇa. So that becomes a problem there. Because karma yoga means you are engaging your activities in the Lord's service. But it doesn't mean that you are doing it for the karmic benefit. You might have some immediate aspect like that and you'll offer it to Kṛṣṇa. So there is the aspect of renunciation, that 'I work, I get the thing and then I offer it to Kṛṣṇa and then afterwards it's there.' But if we are thinking, 'No, I am doing this, I should get a material result,' then that's just karma. That's not karma-yoga, right? And it's definitely not sannyāsa, where I am doing this work just for Kṛṣṇa.

So then one has to be very, very careful to see what's the mentality. So because it's about 'Everybody should get something. Everyone,  everybody should this and that,' and everything... Nice. But the point is is, how is that going to come about? It's going to come about by Kṛṣṇa consciousness and working nicely together. But if it's going to be, by political issues you are going to make it happen, it won't happen. So we can just... That's what you learn from history. It won't happen. Does that make sense?

Mātājī (1): Yes, Mahārāja. So overcoming this means that one has to have like maybe some better association then?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes, yes. You see that the association is nice, you read Prabhupāda's books, you see that your devotional practices are going nicely and all that. Because the point is is, whatever you get if you are materially inclined, you will never be happy. That's a guarantee. Otherwise then if a person thinks, 'Oh, yes, if I had a two-bedroom apartment I would be happy.' But there is plenty of people with two-bedroom apartments thinking 'If I had a three-bedroom or a four-bedroom I would be happy.' And then those guys are thinking 'If I only had a six-bedroom I would be happy.' Then the other guy is thinking, 'If I had one of those nice, you know, either Hollywood or Palm Beach mansions I would be happy.' And then they have that, and then they want, 'Okay, I want one in Palm Beach, I want one in LA, I need some place, a big place and penthouse suite in New York, I need one in London, I need one in Paris, I need one... ' You know, all over the world. So, greed means whatever you have you want more. Satisfaction means, whatever you have you are fine because it's great. Whatever situation we are in and thinking it's not very good, someone else would be in ecstasy if they had it. So that's the thing is, be satisfied with what you have, and then Kṛṣṇa will arrange however He likes. But it's up to Him because the point is is, the devotional attitude is more important to Him than us getting distracted by material things.

Mātājī (1): Thank you Mahārāja.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Is that okay?

Mātājī (1): Yeah, it is.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Very good. Hare Kṛṣṇa

Mātājī (1): Thank you. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhu (1): Tapas, even your hand has become blue. I hope, not frozen.

Prabhu (4): Haha. Okay, Mahārāja, first of all I want to just... I really appreciated these talks yesterday and today where you called a spade a spade and really conceptualized very clearly and with such a conviction what many of us feel. And this is more like a comment, it struck me that... Just came to my mind when I heard you speak, and this is not the first time you have mentioned these points. But it's how Prabhupāda was commenting on these Westerners, it is really... They are not easily... You have to... They don't accept things easily, you have to argue them over and over again in an argument and explain over and over again. And how Prabhupāda was saying that it's hard work to preach. And he said, yeah, because you have to say it over and over again. And this is like the compassion of Prabhupāda and all those who follow him, that this is like to beat out this or to remove this: 'Impersonal calamity thou has removed.'

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes, yes.

Prabhu (4): You know, it is deep rooted, and it's so deep rooted. And you mentioned the Greeks, yeah, they had this concept of anarchia and hierarchia. It's a sacred order, and no order. And Socrates was supporting that there is a sacred... There is a truth and there is a sacred order. It's a sacred order, hierarchy. It's not just authoritarian system. It's a hierarchy. But modern, it struck me when you spoke now, modern civilization is actually anarchistic.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes.

Prabhu (4): But it becomes just like... It's funny also, you know, like in terms of democracy. The Socrates was... We could say, it's just meaningless... Yeah, because he was sentenced to death because he actually did his democratic rights to actually speak with people. Haha.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes, yes. That's the thing, yes. The liberals say it is freedom of speech, but if you speak anything that they don't agree with, you should be... Then like you mentioned before, then it's cancel culture.

Prabhu (4): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So they are not actually liberal. They just want to feel good that they call themselves liberal.

Prabhu (4): And it's like, this so much fits with... They call, age of Kali is the age of hypocrisy, and as soon as you get this anarchia, nihilism, you have to have some hypocrisy, it just goes along.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes.

Prabhu (4): So but it's like you mentioned, it's so, it's so.... In preaching among devotees, especially in the West, this is such a... This is a very deeply rooted obstacle, actually. And we have to, like Prabhupāda pointed out to some disciples in 1966, 'Why are you trying to kill Kṛṣṇa?' and they were completely shocked because they didn't... Because he pointed the traits in themselves... You know, there were some disciples who gave a class, and there was some traits of māyāvāda and Prabhupāda became very furious, and they were shocked because, 'Oh, no, we are devotees, we don't want to kill Kṛṣṇa!' And then those, the one who told this story, he said, 'Yes, at that point we understood we are the māyāvādīs, it's not what Prabhupāda talks about in his books, it's ourselves.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes.

Prabhu (4): So yeah, it just struck me how all this what you are speaking about, yeah, they are based in this bottom line: anarchist. It's nihilistic background that we are from.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes, that's just, that's our background. You look at any of them, it's like you had some form and structure in in Greece and in Rome. But as they went North, it was total insanity. So at one point... It took them years to conquer the Galls, or the French. And the Germans, they didn't bother. They tried, but at one point they just said, 'Okay, here is the Danube River, you stay that side, we will stay this side and everybody is happy.' But they weren't satisfied and then they came down, you know, all the Germanic tribes, even as far as all the way up North, they came down and then came down into... and came into from the bottom. They came into Italy, and so the government was overthrown by vandals, which are Vikings up North. So you can be proud: your peoples defeated Rome, right? So like this, and so it's just complete craziness, and then after that the whole thing just kind-of falls apart.

And so it's just inherent in the mentality because unless you accept the Vedic version, there is no common point on which everybody can agree. People unscrupulously try to say that, 'No, that's Indian.' But Prabhupāda points out, it's not Indian. Kṛṣṇa is saying it. He is not Indian. He has created the whole universe, how can you say He is Indian? So what He says applies to everybody. For some people it may be easier, some people it's harder, but that's because of their piety. They have been more close to following the Vedic version, it's easier. They have been farther away from it, it's harder. But the point is is, for the soul it's the natural culture, so if you want a universal culture you have to follow the one given by Kṛṣṇa. And then some of the finer details, yes, time, place and circumstance, they may be applied more, might be applied less. You know, yes, you are in the temple or you are in home and you are going to the bathroom. So then after you finish you wash your feet and hands and mouth and come out. But let's say, you are traveling in the car and all that, you are stopping at the petrol station, use the bathroom, you are not going to wash your feet. You are going to wash your hands and mouth, unless the place is really funky, then maybe you won't even... You'll come out of the bathroom and pull out water out of the door of your car and wash your hands there. You know, you work it out. But as soon as you get home then you are going to then take a bath and use your own regular stuff.

So, yes, time place and circumstance is there for the details. But we have to understand, time, place and circumstance - that's tactical and technical. But the point is is, it's based on, supporting what is the strategy and the operational. So the difficulty comes is, we try to elevate technical up to the point that it becomes tactical, tactical becomes the operation, and it becomes the strategy. So that's the difficulty, is we don't actually see the descending process. We use the ascending, 'I don't see it, I haven't experienced it, so it's not real.' But the point is, no, it's descending. This is the reality. The other day I was reading something where Bhaktiviṇoda Ṭhākura is describing rasa. And he is pointing out that all rasa comes from Kṛṣṇa. So, therefore, even in the material world then... Because cause and effect, Kṛṣṇa has the sat-cit-ānanda, therefore everything is in threes, right? So you have this situation you're in, you have the willpower of doing things, and you have the result. Everything is all the threes because He has those three kind-of aspects. And so, he was pointing out that the material world is just a reflection of the spiritual world, so everything comes from there. But in the spiritual world everything is perfect. In the spiritual world everything gives ecstasy, it gives bliss. So he was pointing out, so in the rasas you have the the five direct rasas, right? And then you have the secondary rasas. So then the primary rasas, they are in the secondary rasas. But in the secondary you see, you have the laughter, the hāsya, the comedy aspect, you have the chivalry aspect, you have the wonder aspect, you know. So these and the others, then these come into the material, reflected in the material world as material piety, the good things to do. And then the things, the other rasas that are indirect, they don't themselves directly give the devotees bliss, but from them then it makes you think of Kṛṣṇa, and then brings about bliss. So things like the fear, the disgust and all those things, those reflected into the material world as impiety. But in the spiritual world Mother Yaśodā sees Kṛṣṇa in Kāliya's coils and fear overtakes her, but then in that fear she is absorbed in Kṛṣṇa, so she is actually in ecstasy. But it gives symptoms like... Different, like that. But everything, everything, because it's connected to Kṛṣṇa, therefore is all perfect. But in the material world then there is that duality because it's not connected to Kṛṣṇa. So these things give a nice result, these things give a bad result.

So it's not understood, it all comes from Kṛṣṇa. So we try to say, 'Okay, well,  that's spiritual and that, but then we have to be practical. We are in the material world, we have to take care of these things.' But all the material world has come from Kṛṣṇa, it follows Kṛṣṇa's rules. Scientists... We always say, 'Oh, yukta-vairāgya, we are using everything in Kṛṣṇa's service.' But when they say 'yukta-vairāgya,' they will always mention a plane, your phone, your computer and maybe a car. They never mention your body, your mind, your words, your money, your family, your house, they never mention that. But the whole point is is, where does technology come from? Where do the laws? You can't make a computer against the laws of nature. Planes have to have the proper amount of wing and lift according to the  amount of thrust that they have, you have to follow the laws of nature. They can't just arbitrarily put anything together, right? It's Kṛṣṇa's law, so it's still Kṛṣṇa. But it's seen that 'Oh, it's separate from Kṛṣṇa.' And so then that's the problem. So we think everything is different from Kṛṣṇa when it's all Kṛṣṇa's potency. It works because of Kṛṣṇa.

So if that's appreciated then we will start to see, 'No, these laws are eternal. They work for everybody.' Because everybody, like Prabhupāda points out, the ācāryas point out, everybody is following Varṇāśrama, just not very scientifically. Means, if you say to someone, 'In society then there are kind-of like your intellectual class that you are dealing with, you have your administrative class, you have the mercantile class and you have those who work, have jobs and work for others,' who is going to say, 'No'?

So the whole point is that it's already there. And if you say, 'Well, student life, and you focus on your studies, you do better, but if you get all into this, you know, all the things between boys and girls, study time goes down, so you have to control that for that,' they won't say no. Gṛhastha life means married, having a job, doing all these things, doing whatever you like. You know, like that. And then you have those who are retired, so then they are focusing more on just what works for them and this and that. Everybody, all there. And then for those cultures that have it, yeah, then they are going to have monks. Who is going to say no? You have five rasas. You, say, you appreciate somebody, you have the attitude of assisting to somebody, you have friendship with somebody, you have that parental kind-of, senior relationship with somebody, and there is a conjugal relationship. Is there another relationship? No. So that's the whole thing, is that it's all coming from Kṛṣṇa. Numbers, one, two, three, four, five and with zero - zero is from India. Others didn't have zero. So it's all from here. And all these things have names. They do it every hundred instead of every thousand, there is a name. And so you have the arbuda, the padma, the this and that, but it goes up into the quadrillions. They all have names. So that's everything is already there, it's already done by Kṛṣṇa. And then we may foolishly think, 'Oh, no, but the West is different and you can't do these things...' What do you mean? It's God's laws.

Oh, so when the plane is flying over India then the Indian plane flies, but as soon as it crosses the border then they have to land and get in another plane because now you have to use a Middle-eastern plane because it'll only... Because the rules and laws of nature are different. And that will take you up to Turkey, then you have to land again. Then you get another plane, then you can fly across Europe and all that. And depending upon what you say or not, whether you can get to England or not, but at least you can take a boat across. No. It's the same thing. The laws are everywhere. That's the one thing that is universal. It's all there, so that means, Kṛṣṇa, what He is giving, everybody can follow because it's the soul. And we see it, people from every country are chanting, they are doing, they are offering their food and that works, those principles work. And then the details that are there, the closer you follow the better.

Just like vegetarians sit down, they can peacefully eat a meal, you know, sit pleasantly, talk with friends about just chit chat and that. Vegans can't. They have to sit there with hating everybody on the planet. They can't peacefully eat. Because it's close, but not quite there. Because it's a political issue, it's not spiritual, right? We eat what Kṛṣṇa eats, we are krishnatarians. Technically we are not vegetarians, we are krishnatarians. But Kṛṣṇa eats vegetarian foods, so we offer that to Kṛṣṇa. Vegan is a political position. It's not, they are not doing... Is there any vegan farms for animals and protection and dairy and... Nothing. Vegans want to have nothing to do with animals, no pets, no wool, no silk, no honey, nothing that has anything to do with an animal. They do nothing for animals, though it's presented as if, 'Oh, they are the savior for animals.' They couldn't care less. They just don't want any violence and this and that, so therefore that's a nice thing, that's good if you're a karmī. But if you are a devotee it's a real waste of time. And you will find that all the vegans live in the cities. I mean, are they going out to farms and taking care of the land and the cows and...? No. So, like you said, hypocrisy. So that's the thing, is that if we take these things up... And we are only doing it because the karmīs are into it. If the kar... Vegan has been around forever, right? Śrī Lankan Buddhists - they are vegan, that's their philosophy. It's a Buddhist philosophy. And they have been vegan forever. Only now it catches on. So it's not like 'Oh, it's the newest...' So that's the thing, is that why is it that we're talking about it? And why is it that when the karmīs are into it, now we are into it? It's just like before, when the karmīs were in the pigtails then the girls were all into pigtails. Not pigtails, I mean, ponytails. Ponytail means you tie your hair in the back into a thing, but don't braid it. But we would braid it or wrap it up, put it into a bun. So when they got into ponytails then all our, so many of our would have ponytails. So whatever the karmīs are doing, that's what we are talking about.

You know, they are talking about all these different varieties of managerial programs, then we talk about it. Like we are talking about strategic planning now like it's just something latest thing, like that. It was documented, you could say, to be used, brought out with good... What do you call it? Understanding and focus and attention that it could be written down and documented back in the 1700s. And suddenly now today it's the latest thing? It's always been there. And if you look at it it's the stuff that we say. You have the primary, you have the secondary. That's all it's pointing out. They just take it, 'Oh, you are looking at the time, place, circumstances, what you have, what you want to get...' That's the tactical aspect of it, right? The other thing is this... But if you are going to look at time, place and circumstance, what's your standard by which you are judging what you can do? That's your strategy: how to be Kṛṣṇa conscious in this situation, how to preach in this situation, how to practice Kṛṣṇa consciousness in this situation - that's what you are looking at. Then you look at time, place and circumstance. But we take time, place and circumstance and elevate it up on the top, then you are just dealing with the tactical, and that's for people who have a brain. And so then you don't get anywhere.

It's like government will say 'We are here to protect the people and create a safe environment in which they can live.' They may do it or not, but they will say, 'That's what we are doing.' Educators will say, 'We are trying to educate people in this way or that way,' and things like that. Do the vaiśyas say, 'We are here to make absolutely as much money as we can and we couldn't... That's what we are here for.' Will they say that? 'Oh, no, you know, we are trying to do something. You know, we are eco-friendly, we are working on a carbon footprint. We just bought ten thousand acres in Brazil of Amazon forest, and we are maintaining that...' How are they maintaining it? It's just sitting there, they don't even go there. None of them they have seen it, right? And so they're saying, 'So, therefore now all the carbon emissions of our thing are balanced by that. And so we have a zero carbon thing, and so, see, we are... Buy our products we are good for you.' What does it mean? 'Buy our products, we make profit.' So they try to present as if it is something fabulous - that's the whole point of this prāṇa-maya, this whole artha thing, or this vaiśya thing, is present artha as something spiritual, something divine, something special, and all the '-isms' are. And Prabhupāda says, we couldn't care less about '-isms'. Except for vaiṣṇavism - that one we are okay with.

So that's the thing is, these things are useless. There is a way, if you understand the principle then there is aspects of it that you will engage in Kṛṣṇa's service. But the point is is, it's its ability to be engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service that is of value. So let us say, you go to some place and all there is is some vegetables and this and that, and no dairy. You take that, offer it to Kṛṣṇa. Why is it a value? It's being offered to Kṛṣṇa. Not because, 'Oh, it's vegan, that's why it's good.' No it's offerable to Kṛṣṇa. Someplace else you go and all you get is some dairy stuff. You offer it to Kṛṣṇa. Why? Because it's a value, Kṛṣṇa.

So that's the whole point, is we make something that's... Due to the mode of ignorance we make religion into irreligion and irreligion into religion. Therefore being vegetarian is a bad thing. So that's coming from the mode of ignorance, straight up-front. People will go this and that, 'Oh, well, for you it's just lust, you just want to eat dairy products!' And he says, 'Oh, no, we want to offer to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa likes.' Of all the things that are there, of all the five things that are in our diet... Right? We have  grains, we have vegetables, we have fruit, we have dairy and we have sweeteners, or sugar. Viśvanāṭha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says, these are the five things that make up human diet. Prabhupāda quotes that in that verse, Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ [Bg. 9.26]. And so then those five, of those five, Kṛṣṇa's favorite is dairy, right? And so that's there. So, therefore, we are pleasing Kṛṣṇa. It's all His anyway. Someone is not taking properly care of his cow, does that mean He doesn't like it? Your kid goes off to school, he is at a boarding school. It's a good boarding school, but in there he is not being taken care of properly. Now the mother goes, 'Oh, I'm having nothing to do with this child because she's being abused.' But, you know, what are we talking about? Are we using any brains here? The point is is, they're all, all these belong to Kṛṣṇa anyway. So, therefore, cows by dharma give milk, that's what they do. Devotees offer it to Kṛṣṇa - that's what they do. The dairy farmer is supposed to nicely take care. If he doesn't take care, that's his fault. Why now the other two have to stop their duties because he is not doing? This makes no sense at all. And is anybody going to the farmers and explaining to them how to take care of the cows and that we are willing to pay more money for them to take care of the cows? Who is doing it? I heard of one temple, I think it's Melbourne with their farm, they did that. So it's just politics, it's just getting into a political thing to get the bile moving, so you can feel good about yourself.

So that's the aspect, is one has to be very, very careful to see that these things are just distractions from pure devotional service. The point is it's about Kṛṣṇa, how to please Kṛṣṇa. One devotee was talking to Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, he had told him to go preach and he was saying, 'Oh, there is not much facility, and this and that, and you would... The environment is not that great.' And then Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī looked at him and was nodding his head and said, 'Yes, I thought like that also, 10,000 lifetimes ago.' So yeah, you can think like this. And then there is what the ācāryas are saying. Prabhupāda started the movement when he was beginning, before 26 Second Avenue, preaching in the yoga studios. He started there. [Laughter] And then found it wasn't much happening. And then Kṛṣṇa gave him the opportunity to speak to the youth and all that, and then things started happening. So it's looked at now, 'Oh, no, that's the latest thing,' it's always been. The yoga studios aren't new. They were around in the 1960s. People have been doing yoga, and this is called Orientalism, since the 1800s, 1700s, like that. It was more aristocracy, it wasn't the general public. Otherwise, how did Vivekānanda come to America and  give a lecture and people appreciated? Because that would have been all the wealthy people and all that, they would have come around. They have an interest in the Orient, and they would have listened and all that. And like that, it wasn't common people. So now after 200 years, and it comes down to where the common people are doing yoga, which is fine. But we should never think anything is new. Did that answer anything, or did we get too distracted?

Prabhu (4): Fully answered and much more.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Oh, okay, okay.

Prabhu (4): Yeah.

Prabhu (1): Thank you. Oh, you would like to still...

Prabhu (4): Just a little... Yeah, just for a little conclusion... I mean, so this, because it's very much widespread, these ideas in the West, of relativism and liberalism...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes.

Prabhu (4): And it's also okay, we as devotees growing up, we are also conditioned, and it's quite deep. But if I understand you right, so this liberal means, seems to be free, relative means, also seems to be liberal and free, but it actually leads to the opposite -  totalitarian.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes.

Prabhu (4): Because it seems like it's, just you are just... It's just like the whole demons' project of just removing God to make space for themselves. And you can do it in this way also.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes, because it sounds good. See, is that all that, when you say 'totalitarianism,' they are all left-wing. They are extreme left, so they have taken it so far it gets really weird. But that's the direction you are moving. So the more it's becoming more liberal, the more it goes in that direction. Because nowadays you can't say anything. Before it was, someone said something and other was 'No, but they don't agree with that...' You could have a healthy discussion. Now you say something, 'Bang!' like that, you are just canceled. Everybody goes on, they boycott you, this, they boycott that, everything and then it's just nothing. You know, you are just gone. So that's totalitarian. So that's the point, when we say 'freedom,' we mean, 'freedom' means they are free to do whatever they like. They are not restricted by any social or religious rules.

Conservatives, they are more about freedom, in that the government doesn't control us because we have standards, we are going to do, we are going to make our money and everything like that. But then the problem is is, they will make money at the expense of everybody else, and so only their community will benefit. So that is their weakness. So that's why you have to have a balance, that's why it is you make how much money you can make, but then you are giving in charity. Can you imagine these billionaires, they are giving half of it in charity? How much things could be done! The education could come up, the other things could come up, all these different things would come up. But they are not. So that's the problem. And the left, they may or may not generate, but the farther they go left you can't generate because there is no self-will. Everybody has to be the same, think the same, be the same - that's where it comes from. So it's a mess.

The mundane consciousness, the mundane levels on any of these, they are always a problem. But especially when you get down into prāṇa-maya and anna-maya then there is going to be a problem because they are non-theistic. They are atheistic. While if you get up to mano-maya, the religious platform, then it's theistic. You accept that there is a Supreme and He has laws. Now, generally speaking, they are not really so situated in theism because it's only about how much the Lord adds to their facility and their enjoyment. You know, as Mātājī's question before was about. And so, they like God because He takes care of us. And when He doesn't take care of them they have their doubts, you know, their faith is compromised and stuff like that. So only those that then understand that, yes this is about... So that's going to be devotees.

So it's a problem, if we are not careful. That we have to be able to identify what our conditioning is. Otherwise then we won't know. That's why Lord Caitanya is explaining to Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī about the the devotional creeper. When it grows by the watering process of chanting, the weeds are also watered. And so you have, an expert gardener knows what is a weed and what is not because they look very similar.

I've seen, when in the field, when they plant rice, they plant, it's very small. And then they will come by a short time later, some days or weeks, like that, and go through and weed it. And I was standing there once watching those, they go through, you know, there's the water sitting there. And they're going through and they're picking out this and that. And very quickly, they're not sitting there and looking at it and doing stuff, they're just going through it like this. So there are handfuls of this which they throw on the side. And I asked him, it says, 'They look the same, how do you tell the difference?' He says, 'We know.'

So that's why Prabhupāda says, 'expert gardener,' he has to know what is the creeper and what is the weed. Then he can pull out the weeds. But if you don't, the weeds will grow and choke the growth of the creeper. But the chanting of the Holy Name is so powerful that you can very easily, if you focus on this and commit yourself to it, you can pull out the weeds. That's the point: in one lifetime you can pull out the weeds. You are getting rid of billions of lifetimes, unlimited lifetimes of nonsense in one lifetime. So that means, the Holy Name is powerful, the process is powerful, the cit potency is powerful, the vaiṣṇava association is powerful. You know, these five items that Lord Caitanya gives us - they are powerful. So whenever you commit yourself to them, they'll work. And when you don't then the weeds grow. So even the devotees that get distracted by all these '-isms' and this and that, if they come to the point and understand, they could very, very quickly, by Kṛṣṇa's grace all these weeds will be removed and they could move forward. So it's not like the, 'No, we have to destroy everything, take everything down, start all over again,' this is nonsense. No, all you have to do is be Kṛṣṇa conscious, that's all. And then it just moves forward as if nothing happened. And then, 'Oh, but he was this, and he was that. He said this and that...' No, you don't have to worry. What's going on now? What is he saying now? He is not saying that now? Then we are good.

So that's just how it works, is that devotional service is universal. It is perfect. It works for all souls. It's just a matter if they want to commit themselves to it or not. Because we see, people on all the seven continents, they are able to take up Kṛṣṇa consciousness and do fine. And on the seven continents there is quite a bit of difference many times in their lifestyle and the backgrounds and everything like that. And even within one continent the range of rich to poor, intellectual down to the common worker, all these different things, or from any of the āśramas, married, unmarried, used to be married, once they get married, you know all these different things, they are all able to chant. So that's, we can see, it works. So it's not that, 'Oh, yeah, it just works in India.' It has been working all over the world. Right? Russia has more temples than America, right? And there they come from an atheistic background. So then? You know, it works. So wherever you go, you apply it, then it just grows. It's a creeper, you just have to watch out for the weeds. So it's not that you can say, 'Oh, it only works here or there... Oh, that's an Indian thing...' Then why does it work on all seven continents? Literally. So that's the point, is it's the universal thing. It's Kṛṣṇa's laws. Kṛṣṇa made everything, so therefore why wouldn't it work? Is that all right?

Prabhu (4): Yes, it does. I have another question. I heard the discussion about that we have... It's our duty also to be good gardener and be aware of our conditionings, the weeds.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes, yes.

Prabhu (4): That's part of our duty.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: That's anartha-nivṛtti, being aware. We can't get rid of them, but we are willing to get rid of them. We want to get rid of them, we make some endeavor to get rid of them. And then seeing that, then Lord Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa will remove them all. As it is mentioned, all the demons in Vṛndāvana, they represent all the variety of weeds. And so, the demons that Balarāma killed, then we make our endeavor for it - you know, to try to control the senses, try to control these different things. And Balarāma, seeing we are making that endeavor, He removes them. And with Kṛṣṇa, that we are trying to please Kṛṣṇa nicely and all that and serve Him, then He takes care of them. So the point is is, if we sincerely serve the Lords, therefore Gaura-Nitāi, then it will all work out. But we have to be aware, we are making our endeavor, but Kṛṣṇa will take care. Otherwise, how do you get rid of billions of lifetimes in a moment? It's not that we are going to do it. Even if we did, one at a time, 'Okay, there is one. One, two, three...' You know, how long is it going to take to get up to a billion? And Kṛṣṇa, in a moment, it's gone. So if you are looking for efficiency - surrender to Kṛṣṇa. [Laughter]

Prabhu (4): Yeah, we shouldn't just hold on to it.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah. No, no but He's pulling in there like that 'Ehhh...' Like that, yeah. But Kṛṣṇa will leave it. Okay, we will pull out a different one. But at some time you are going to have to address it. That's why you see sometimes certain devotees advance in certain areas but not in a different one. So that's the advantage of a society, is that you always have someone who in a particular area is outstanding, and that's then what you look at. 'Okay, he is good in this, I will look to him for that.' But we tend to think, 'Oh, no, he has a flaw over in this area, so he is good at nothing.' But that's not how it works. You hire a lawyer, and then you look into his background if he smokes or drinks? If you did that you would not find one lawyer on the planet that you could hire. So, therefore, is he good as a lawyer? Then you hire him. A plumber, do you look into his background of.. Like this and that. No. If he knows his plumbing, he does. The electrician, he knows that. So in the same way is that this guy, he is inspired in chanting japa. He sits there, he is like that. This guy is inspired in kīrtana. This guy is inspired in prasāda. This guy is inspired in vaiṣṇava seva. This guy is inspired in cleaning the temple. This guy is inspired in book distribution. So you associate with them on that level. And other things then, you know, you keep it more neutral. Then you always have. But then to say, 'Oh, nobody, everyone has got a fault and this and that...' What are you talking about? We are in the material world. That they are doing something... Material world means everything is bad. So if anybody is surrendered to Kṛṣṇa that's a good thing. That you don't find in the material world - take that! It's not like, 'Oh, no, he is bad, everybody is bad, this one...' Then you only end up with nirviśeṣa, that just get rid of everything.

So that's the difficulty, is that one has to see is, that culture means, you get something for what it's a value. Like you buy an apple because it does apple stuff. You don't buy an apple because I decided, 'This apple, I'll use it to fly to London.' No, you can eat the apple, you can't use it to fly. So we do anyway, we buy a thing, we do a thing because it does a specific thing. So why wouldn't we associate because of the specific benefit? So that's the problem. If we say it's all bad, then why are you still working? Why are you taking money? Why are you still on your phone? The air is bad - why are you breathing it? Is that okay? [Laughter]

Prabhu (4): Thank you very much.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Thank you. Jaya ho! Hare Kṛṣṇa!

Prabhu (1): Gaura Nitāi Prabhu from Denmark...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Denmark? Okay.

Prabhu (1): He is the temple president of the Copenhagen temple.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Ahh, okay, okay, very good!

Prabhu (5): Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja!

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Hare Kṛṣṇa!

Prabhu (5): And thank you so much for enlightening us on this most important topic. I have two questions and...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay.

Prabhu (5): First, I am a little curious because often in relation to Varṇāśrama dharma then you are speaking on the Mahābhārata. And in that connection I was just wondering... Because now I read a couple of versions, for example, the version of Kṛṣṇa Dharma. And I was just slightly disappointed by the chapter on Bhīṣmadeva's instructions to Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, where this 55-day conversation between these two very, very elevated mahājanas, that is condensed into like a single paragraph. So after 400 pages of shooting of arrows, then I was hoping for a little more detail. So in that connection, then I am just wondering if you have some good resources? Like do we have an edition of the Śānti-parva in ISKCON that is like...?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: No, no. If you are into the full thing, then look at Gāṅguli. See, this is Kṛṣṇa Dharma, it's that fat, right? Here, just one second... [Mahārāja walks over to bookshelf]

Prabhu (5): Sounds heavy...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: That's the Mahābhārata!

Prabhu (5): Mahārāja, the screen is frozen, I don't see...

Mātājī (2): It was basically many volumes.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Can you see now?

Prabhu (5): I just see an empty wall, unfortunately.

Mātājī (2): We can see it.

Prabhu (5): My screen is frozen, but I understand...

Mātājī (2): I think Mahārāja, it's more than the Caitanya Caritāmṛta, right?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah, it's like Caitanya Caritāmṛta. It's a hundred thousand verses. That means, five times the Bhāgavatam. So, if you are interested in that kind of detail then you have to read the complete version. And the best one I have seen like that is by... Translated back in the 1800s by Gāṅguli.

Prabhu (5): Hmm. Okay.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: You have heard of Gāṅguli?

Prabhu (5): No, I haven't...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah, but it's written in 1800s English, so 'thine' and 'thou'-s and all that kind of stuff. So if you are cool with, you know, Shakespeare kind-of language, then go for it.

Prabhu (5): So, I am still waiting to find something in ISKCON...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: But in ISKCON they are only going to do stuff like this. Because they are just telling stories. It says 'retold.' Who wants to hear all that jazz? So there are a few people who can appreciate it and do it, but they are going to be less. But the problem is is, Gāṅguli is not a devotee, so the devotional aspects he won't necessarily put. But he will be someone who has some faith in the Vedic system, so he is generally going to put the Vedic things in a proper light. While, let's say, more later ones, done, let's say, like Penguin does the full Mahābharata. And so, some things that that guy who translated, he appreciates, then he'll put it in a good light, and things he doesn't appreciate about the Vedic culture, he will say something is wrong with it. So then that's an annoyance.

So the Bhāgavatam then gives the aspect of Bhīṣma on the bed of arrows, and so that will give all the essence. That's the main points. You understand that, what Bhāgavatam in First Canto explains - then you have a good, proper standing. With that then you can go into Gāṅguli's and look at all the details and get the finer points. But most people can't relate to it. Because, like it was mentioned before, it's a hierarchy. You have the king, you have his councils, you have the how things work and all that. Manu is explaining all those things. People read Manu, two thousand verses, the only thing they know is that, 'Oh, if a thief steals something, they cut off his finger,' that's it. So they don't notice how the king is supposed to, how he sets up his kingdom, how he starts with finding the brāhmanas and respecting the brāhmanas and that, and then from there it expands. And it gives the order of what's important. Means, if he is alive then everything will work, and then it goes down from there. Then he requires his treasury, he requires his army, he requires this. But if you have any of the higher, you can create the lower. So all these... It will be... It's the same standard stuff. Just Bhīṣmadeva, because of his maturity and experience from so many years of leading the Kurus and being a mahājana, and where he has that proper understanding of Kṛṣṇa's rules and that, then he gives very nice instructions. But the point is is, his Mahābhārata also is that... See, the war is about five of these. So the before the war and that is going to be not so many. Like one or two of these, right? Then the war. War is the major volume of the whole thing. Then you have a bit at the end, and then the Pāṇdavas retire, they go to the... That's mentioned in the Bhāgavatam, what happened after. So the whole Mahābhārata is explained in, the essentials from the viewpoint of devotional service, in the First Canto. You catch that, you can catch it all. If you can't catch First Canto, even if you read the Mahābhārata you won't catch it. But if you understand the First Canto, then if you read Mahābhārata, then it will make sense. Because it's a descending process. It's not that, 'Okay, the more knowledge we have, then the better we can do.' No, the more you understand the principles, then the more detail you can apply. If you don't understand the principle, you can't properly understand the detail. It's not like modern academics where the more detail you know then supposedly then you are going to be able to do something. If that was the case then why aren't all the academics doing so well in the world? I can guarantee you, that professor teaching the MBA course would not be able to go out and open a business. Guaranteed. That doesn't mean he shouldn't teach it. But what I'm meaning is, is it's not in the... It's all about ascending process. While in the Vedic you would learn business from a businessman. You wouldn't learn it from an academic.

Prabhu (5): Mahārāja, thank you so much. I think, Gāṅguli's version seems to be a little bit... uh, extensive, but, yeah...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: A little bit extensive? [Laughter] It's a little bit extensive? It's 12 volumes.

Prabhu (5): So I think I will just stick to the Bhāgavatam, as is prescribed for us in Kali-yuga. Another question is this, in relation to preaching and trying to establish a society, and applying the principle of lazy intelligence and using our energy and our endeavor where it makes the most of a difference. So I am just thinking about the dynamics of educating children. Because I see, for example, in our community, in our congregation here, we have spent a lot of time preaching to young men, Westerners like myself. And there is a chance that we might, like once or twice a year, catch a young man in his twenties, mid-twenties who has had a history of drug abuse and illicit sexual relationships and so on and so forth. And we can spend a lot of time like trying to create and store some faith into them. And then we have the Indian community where they are having anna-prāśana ceremony every second week. Like they are producing a lot of children. So I am just wondering a little about our focus. It seems that we are quite like preoccupied with breaking the ice and introducing newcomers and kind-of neglecting the next generation. And I am just thinking, these children, they're taking birth like with faith, they are entering into these families by the dint of their previous piety. So you have a lot of experience in Māyāpur with souls being born into devotee families. For me it's a new experience. I am trying to create some community. And so, I'm just wondering about like targeting young Indians. And if you have some advice in that regard, and if it is a worthwhile endeavor. Because I see that initially, like right now I am running a little internet school, and the kids, they are very, very receptive. They are learning verses from the Bhagavad-gītā and they are hearing the stories of the Bhāgavatam, and they are very appreciative. But I am just wondering about when these kids, they will enter into their teenage years... And so maybe you could say a little about your experience in that regard, you have some word of advice maybe?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Point is is, you just keep... Whatever avenue that you have, that you can relate to and your devotees in your circle that you are working with can relate to, you develop those programs. And so you are going to preach to these people. You can't worry, 'Oh, but when they become teenagers they may go away ..' You have to work as that when they become teenagers they will stay, even if they don't. See is, why is education for the brāhmanas? Are brāhmanas looking for profit?

Prabhu (5): No, they are looking for knowledge.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay. Are they looking for control?

Prabhu (5): No.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Are they looking for, you know, that whatever they do that it will be... How you say? Recognized by everybody and everybody will think they are doing fabulous?

Prabhu (5): Well, not of the pure brāhmanas.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right. So are we interested in anybody else other than pure brāhmanas as leadership?

Prabhu (5): Oh, as leadership? I am thinking like, just about the...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Don't give me what's around. Tell me what we are supposed to be doing!

Prabhu (5): As leadership, sure, brāhmanas, ideally, yes.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes, okay. So, therefore, since that's what we are ideal, that's the strategy that Prabhupāda has given us, we will stick to that. Others want to do other things, let them do. What do we care? So now, the point is, why is education for brāhmanas? Because they are the only ones that can put up with putting in so many years and that, and then people go away. And then you keep doing, until one stays. Kṣatriyas, you know, it's like that, they will stop doing - it's not practical. Vaiśyas, there is no profit, they will stop. Śūdras, if it's not about themselves, they will stop. Does that make sense? So you have to think like a brāhmana. You are going to try to do, it works, then great. And if it doesn't work you are going to keep at it because this is what Kṛṣṇa said we are supposed to do. Right? This is our duty. This is what we do. So, therefore, you teach. You find out the best way that they are becoming appreciative, that they are developing and moving forward. Some will get through nicely through teenage, some may get kind-of halfway through, some will fall apart at seams. But the point is it's what happens. It's so much about profit and loss now. Before in our temple in 1973, over three months the temple would have 30 devotees in it, and over another three months you would have 50 devotees, and it would go back up and down to this. So you would have five people join, five-ten people join a month, and you would also have five-ten people a month leave. No one noticed. You just keep at it, keep preaching. Now it is, 'Oh, there is so many leavings, what's wrong with us?' and all that. What do you mean? They are conditioned. That's as far as they can handle.

Do you understand? So you make something and see what's getting the best results. So if within the Indian community you can do something for the kids, you do. Within the local community you are doing something, you do. Point is is, there are no, other than you and your devotees there is no one else in Denmark that is devotees? That are living outside and stuff? They don't have families, they don't have kids?

Prabhu (5): Definitely, there is plenty.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah. So, therefore then, if you can cultivate them, nice. If they are not interested, you cultivate the Indians, like that. You cultivate whoever is willing. That was Prabhupāda's point: he will go anywhere where anybody is willing. So, according to your ability and those who work with you, their ability, and how much you can work with, you choose what you can work with nicely and you are getting a good result, put your effort there. Some other aspects come up as you are going along, then you add them in. But don't worry, you know, 'Should we deal with Indians or not, or with Westerners or not? You know, we are in the West, we should deal with Westerners...' It's kind-of like... How you say? One has to appreciate that, technically speaking, I don't know a nice way to say this, but white men are dying out. Everybody else in the world, they don't mind getting married and having children. So, therefore, you will see, all these Western countries, the white population is getting less and less and less. And everybody else is, they identify more with the rabbit population, you know, how rabbits go for it. So they are happy. So this whole thing that, 'Oh, only if you preach to Westerners that's valuable preaching, and this and that. The Asians, oh, that doesn't matter and all that.' But we have to appreciate is, in America they just... Because when the new president takes over, they put people in all the places and that, and the cabinets, and all the different positions around the government. 55 of those major positions are all from an Indian background. Means, they are Americans, they are born in America, but their heritage is India. That's how it works. You know, you got to... One has to let that go. And wherever it is, means, you have white guy that is interested - preach to them! You have Indians that are interested - preach to them! You know, if you have a Chinese guy there, you preach to him. It's whoever is willing to listen, that's who you preach to. Whatever form, they have their campus that they will let you in there and preach, do it. If you go down to the [indistinct] there. You go out on the street, do Harināma and that work, you do that. You go sit in the park and talk to people... And that way you find whatever works.

And so, but know that you put it in, you put in the time. You are steady. That's the whole point: brāhminical culture means you are steady at it. And so then it will grow. And you are willing to start with a few. If you could start a school with two or three people, you do. I think, I can't remember, but I think it was in America, one of the major schools there, universities, very famous... Princeton, right? It's one of the Ivy League. It started with one professor and, I think, seven students. That's where it started. All of the big universities started like that. Oxford, Cambridge, you know, Paris, Bologna, everybody. They all started with one teacher and a few people hundreds of years ago or a thousand years ago, or like that. And then they grow. So education start... And it happened. It's in somebody's house, then it gets bigger, then they buy the house next door and expand the college. And then at some point, then they get a big building. At some point people give money and they actually build a facility. They just start like that. This whole idea, 'No, we have to have a big thing and a big classroom and all the different desks,' no, you don't. You have a teacher, you have kids - you can teach. And with that... That's why brāhmanas, they do that. They can do that. Everybody else, then they gotta cut a profile. Is that okay?

Prabhu (5): Thank you very much Mahārāja! That was very inspiring and very encouraging, and enlightening also. Thank you so much!

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay. Hare Kṛṣṇa!

Prabhu (1): Gaura Nitāi, you are developing the Avanti school there already?

Prabhu (5): Well, right now we actually... We are a little skeptical about the whole situation because... The environment for developing a private school in Denmark seems very, very favorable, the government are supportive of it. But right now we are a little hesitant to actually start the school if it will depend on government funds, as the whole economical situation of the world is a little bit shaky. So we don't want to start up something that we cannot maintain. So right now, instead of developing an actual private school, then we have started an online educational program, where the kids, they... Right now we have 40 children enrolled, and it's working out quite nicely. We are basically just teaching them Bhagavad-gītā and like learning key verses. One little girl she wants to... Yeah, she is learning two Bhagavad-gītā verses a day and has taken a vow to to memorize the whole thing before the end of 2021, and she's just nine years old. So there's a few like with a good brahminical inclination in the group. But we are basically just learning Bhagavad-gītā. And then we are discussing the stories of the Bhāgavatam, following the model of Aruddha Devi, she wrote this 'Homeschooling Kṛṣṇa's Children.'

Prabhu (1): The comparison, I'd like to say that in Finland we have been having now 18 years, just once a week, instead of Christian studies, they are all Indian kids. And they are now Helsinki, Tampere together 158. Yes, but they are only once a week, two hours per week. So something is there, better than nothing. Government is supporting, government is paying their everything. Teachers are salary-paid.

All right, Mahārāja's time seems to be a bit getting there. There would be still a Doyāl, you would have one question. But... Mahārāja, do we have any more time?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: What is his question?

Prabhu (1): Doyāl?

Prabhu (3): Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja! A few times I have heard you mentioned these are terms, strategical and operational and technical. Please, I would like to understand this system. I understand it is something valuable. Could you please elaborate a little bit, so I can understand?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: It's a system called strategic planning. We have only brought it up because that's the main thing that the GBC are trying to use with Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Prabhu. But they are using the corporate form of it, rather than a governmental form, or as we should use as the society, a brāhminical form, an educational form. So then, because they are using a corporate form, and the corporate in this... So the strategy is what you are trying to gain. The operational are methods by which you can gain that. Then organizing that operational, that's your tactical. And then the very, you know, the little details, that's your technical. So it's a very straightforward thing. So if money is your goal, your strategy, then that means your operational means, like according to Gītā, it will be cows, land, business and banking, right? Then you are going to say is that, so the technical will be how to set up the farm, how to set up a bank, how to set up a business and that. And the technical will just be the little details of how you do things and this and that. So it's very straightforward. But so, for us then pure devotional service, people coming to the point of developing love for Kṛṣṇa - that's our strategy. So, therefore, operational means, what things assist in that. So, therefore, temples, communities, farms, restaurants, education programs, book distribution, BBT - all these things, then they are operational that deal with this. Tactical will be how you organize those. Technical will be little details. You know, it's just like... Does that make sense?

Prabhu (3): Yeah, so sambandha, abhidheya, prayojana.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah. But the point is, prayojana is the strategy.

Prabhu (3): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Like that. And so, abhideya is that what things can be used. And so, your sambandha then will be what do you have. So nowadays mostly in strategic planning they just, 'Oh, okay, what do you have? Where do you want to go? And how do you go about doing that?' Okay. So that's basically what they are looking at. But they are not really seeing it on what is the primary and secondary and those things, so it's not as scientifically developed. But it's a useful thing. So we're talking about that just because it's the kind-of go-to system that is being discussed these days.

Prabhu (3): Right, right. Okay.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Otherwise what Bhīṣmadeva says, that's how you set up administration. Administration is just one thing, right? What kṣatriyas do is only one part of the whole Varṇāśrama, it's one out of eight. Important. But then you could say, 'Well, without money you can't set up that, so the vaiśya is important, but, you know, without the people coming to work every day, and then without them... That's the most important. And why does he come to work? Because he has a family. And so therefore, families. How do you have a family? Because they have sex. So, therefore, the most important thing for any kind of social and spiritual development is sex.'

So, therefore, we have to be very, very careful. Is that no, it's a descending process, not an ascending process. It has to be, we are developing love for God. What are the recommended processes by Kṛṣṇa and the Ācāryas and the Vedas, how to do that? And then the Ācāryas tell us. So, Prabhupāda has given us that whole structure. So the goals and that are there, the operational things on how, what can attain those, and even many of the tactical aspects Prabhupāda has already given us. Now it's a matter of using our intelligence, right? So that's sometimes where then people get upset, because it is an area that they don't know, it is an approach they don't know. So then they will say, 'Oh, you are restricting us. You are not thinking, you are just following these old dogmatic things like that.' No, that's a bogus approach. That would be like saying... Like, let's say Maradona, or any of these guys, then they are guys who don't think, right? You have these strict rules in soccer or in football, but they are able to take those and do amazing things with it. Like that. So the whole point is is, you know, the guys that did Google, or the guys that did Apple, or any of these things - a kid sitting in a garage, but following the rules of business they did it. They just did it and some... They used their brains.

So this idea is that, 'No, I have to be free to do whatever I feel like,' - that's not for humans. That's for animals. Humans work within a structure and use their intelligence how to work within that structure. That's the glory of them. But to say is, 'Oh, this is old, this is archaic, this doesn't work,' it's kind of like, gravity doesn't work anymore? You don't drink water anymore? You don't breathe air? Your blood doesn't go around? The heart doesn't pump? I mean it's like: what's changed in the last thousands [of years], what's changed since the Greeks? Greeks, they were the ones that didn't mind gays. So therefore now it's taken 3000 years for the society to be cool with that? So and then we are saying, 'Oh, this is new.' What do you mean? The greeks were doing that 3000 years ago. And what's even fun, is in India they have always had these... I don't know what you call... The transgender. They have always had. Yeah, they are called hijra over here. Sometimes you see them on the trains and out in the street. They have always been here, they are part of the scene. Prabhupāda was explaining the pastime of Lord Caitanya's birth. Then one of the things he says is that these hijras, these transgender people, they will all come. And then they dance and this and that and give blessings, and then you feed them, give them  some gifts, some things like that. And it's part of the drama Prabhupāda is explaining. So they are part of the scene. And then now it's, 'Oh, no, but what about this and that and all these things, whatever the karmīs are talking...' And then we are thinking, 'Oh, see, we are up to date.' What are you talking about? India was doing this stuff eons before the West ever thought about it. So that's the whole point, is that God's laws, they are the eternal laws and everything else it's just a fad. No?

Prabhu (3): Yes.

Prabhu (1): Well, could you just in half a minute, just to mention what is your seva and in one sense how you are related to planning and leadership management?

Prabhu (3): You are asking me?

Prabhu (1): Yeah, yeah. Just that we all are not just aware of your... We are not doubting your role there, but we are just not aware...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: You are talking to me? You are talking to me? I don't see anyone else here [Laughter]

Prabhu (3): No one else here? [Laughter] He got to be talking to you.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah, yeah. [Laughter] You know, it's so funny.

Prabhu (3): Please forgive me. Yes, allow me to introduce. I am Doyāl Mora Dāsa, so I am the āśrama leader and the vice president of ISKCON London.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Great.

Prabhu (4): Of what?

Prabhu (1): Of what? Where?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: He is Soho.

Prabhu (4): Oh, okay.

HH BVPS Mahārāja:Yeah, I mean, the Manor, that's out in the boonies somewhere, right? You know, so that's a...

Prabhu (3): Yeah that's... In that sense, out in the wooko (?)

HH BVPS Mahārāja:Yes, like that. Just before, you know, past the stump, right?

Prabhu (3): [Laughter] Yeah that's in the... Out in the sticks.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes, out in the sticks.

Prabhu (1): Very much welcome to the seminar! All was so nice like it could be, just... We just, on the behalf of all of us, this has been the short seminar of two days. Gopāla Kṛṣṇa is the only one who has been in the mid-winter in Finland, there is still plus 40, snow. But we give the last word to the founder of the Lithuania yātrā, His Grace Ānanda Caitanya Prabhu, who is a traveling preacher, now located in Lithuania in the monastery, on the behalf of all us others.

Mātājī (2): And as requested, Tattvavāda Prabhu, we are working on maybe another couple of days, so we can inform devotees on this.

Prabhu (1): So, Ānanda Caitanya is just saying to Mahārāja on behalf of all of us... We can hear...

Prabhu(6): Can you hear me now?

Prabhu (1): Yeah, we can hear you now.

Prabhu(6): Wonderful, wonderful just looking where I can switch the camera on. Anyway, thank you Mahārāja, thank you. Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Mahārāja, thank you so much...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Jaya ho! Thank you!

Prabhu(6): ...for... Yeah, Hare Kṛṣṇa. Please accept my humble obeisances Mahārāja! That was a surprise from Tattvavāda Prabhu. I want to express my gratitude for the strong, strong as ever words and strong mood of preaching. I love it so much. I remember meeting you back a few years ago in Helsinki when we came with a group of our Harināma Mandira brahmacārīs devotees.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay, very nice, very nice.

Prabhu(6): That was, that was great. So always appreciate your seminars so much. Sometimes listening to the recordings, and by the mercy of Tattvavāda Prabhu now we have had an opportunity to meet you practically in person. Nowadays, you know, Coronavirus situation, but still devotees use technologies...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes.

Prabhu(6): And still we are together. We are together. So thank you very much, I appreciate a lot. Also some devotee joined from our āśrama to participate, one French boy, Paul Fremont, he was today online as well. He came from France to join in Lithuania our āśrama, stayed for a while. And he is a sincere boy, most probably I am advising him to go to Māyāpur, and most probably he will show up in your Gurukula to pay his obeisances to you and get your mercy to continue performing devotional service. Thank you so much. And we are always dependent on your blessings, on your support, on your strong words, on your strong opinion, on your clear, clear preaching and thank you so much... Hare Kṛṣṇa.


HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay. Jaya ho! Hare Kṛṣṇa! Jaya Nitāi! Jaya Nitāi!

Prabhu (1): Mahārāja, you would like to say a few words? We are already over the time.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes. No, it's just a matter of, Kṛṣṇa has His mission and He has sent His devotees, and so we can have faith that His mission is valid, it works. We see any time it's applied nicely, it always works. I remember, once things were a little strange in America and they weren't making any devotees and they couldn't figure out. So for many devotees, they thought, 'Oh, it's because we are using these old, archaic systems, like Harināma and Sunday programs and this and that. We have to do something modern, like the yoga studios or this and that.' And so, then while they were saying all this, then Harināmas were stopping and everything like that. Then somehow or another Kṛṣṇa consciousness was introduced into Russia, after the glass mask. And then within a short time they had a hundred temples. So then the GBC in America though, 'Wow, what's going on here?' So they sent Harikeśa Mahārāja, I mean, they sent Ravīndra Svarūpa Prabhu to Russia to see what's going on. And he went there and everything, and he saw, they are doing what we used to do. And so, then one of the main things was, is they had faith in Guru and Kṛṣṇa, rather than saying, 'Oh, nobody is a pure devotee, nobody this that.' They were just saying, 'Yeah, the vaiṣṇavas are here, have that faith, go forward!' He says, that's what's making it work. So just following the system that Prabhupāda gave works. You use your intelligence, you try to find situations in which you can make them work the best and you move forward. The doubting tamas, it doesn't actually work out very good. So if we have that faith... Faith means it's with intelligence, that's why utsāhān means endeavor with intelligence, using your intelligence you see this works. And so then you are going and discriminating, this is bringing it closer. And so then that way then things will move forward.

So I woud like to thank everyone for joining us, it was very nice. And hope everybody... How you say? Wish everyone well. Jaya ho! Thank you! Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhu (1): HH Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Mahārāja kī jaya!

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Jaya ho! Haribol! Jaya Nitāi!

Vedic Leadership and Management Winter Seminar Part 2, based on the instructions of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira in the Mahābhārata, given as Zoom Conference on 9 March 2021 with European leaders