Preaching in Vaiṣṇava Summer Festival, Lithuania, 2011. Author of the photo unknown. If you know, please let us know.

Prabhu (1): Līlaśuka, the floor is yours, ask question.

Prabhu (2): Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. So my question is regarding yesterday, a point that you made. You mentioned that we have to engage what is strong in us and avoid our weakness. The example of brāhmana, of trying to avoid difficult or troublesome situations, wanting to be, let's say, liberated. So how do we deal with the weakness of the brāhmana, for example, so it would not be a hindrance to our devotional service. So how do we overcome this weakness? What is the method? Because it is devotional service, we see that we take a lot of trouble on ourselves with different kinds of services, so it is not really...

His Holiness Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Svāmī Mahārāja: Okay, one thing that is important, is we have to understand that the material world, it is not a place where the jīva can be happy. The material world is such that there is always problems, and when you are, you know, just on... Everybody will have problems with the senses, with the surroundings, you know, adhyātmika, adhidaivika and adhibhautika, and in that you are going to have arguments, disagreements, all that kind of jazz. And so, the best you can get in the material world, right, in other words, you can make an ad out of that: 'The best you can get is removal of pain.' It doesn't get better than that here, that is very important to understand. We have defined happiness in getting rid of pain. There is no positive happiness in the material world, it doesn't exist. Only in the spiritual world then you have real happiness because then you are directly the living entity with the Lord and the Lord's devotees are interacting on the eternal platform, based on affection. And that then gives actual happiness, positive happiness. In the material world you are never going to get actual happiness. You can get rid of pain, you can't get actual happiness. Does that make sense? So the point of, 'Oh, we take so much trouble, there is so much this and that,' - that's all there is in the material world is trouble.

Bot: Recording in progress.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Oh, okay, recording.

Okay? So there is only trouble. Means, you never before you joined listened to blues or anything like that? That's all there is. And then there is moments when the trouble is less or goes away momentarily, and then it is like fabulous. Why? Because the jīva by nature is ānanda - sat-cit-ānanda. So, there is always going to be trouble. This idea is, 'No, I am going to do all my service, there will be no trouble, it will just go all smoothly, everything will be perfect - that is heavenly planets that you are looking for, if you think it is going to happen here. Right? Because the point is is, this thing of being obstacles, that is just part of how nature works. Means, Kṛṣṇa just decides, 'Okay, this is happening,' right? And then - boom! It's all... Everybody is right there, right? Or does He have to wait while the gopīs, you know, get out of their house and dress themselves and come through the forest and then they come? No, He just goes, 'Hmm,' and then - puff! Then they are all right there, right? Is that how it works? No. I mean, it could work like that, but then why be Vraja? Why be human pastimes? What we are looking for is mystic yoga, right? That is Brahmaloka.

So the point is is, there is always going to be trouble. So know that, so you find how to engage your nature in Kṛṣṇa's service. So you say, 'How to overcome this?' It's not a matter of overcoming, it is a matter of engaging yourself in the Lord's service. Otherwise then you can... There is always that song, 'We shall overcome, we shall...' But they don't say how, right? They just say, 'Yes, we'll overcome,' but how? There is no practical thing. You overcome by engaging in Kṛṣṇa's service. It is like, you are hungry, you take prasāda, you don't eat bhoga. So you engage your nature in Kṛṣṇa's service, you worry about the positive things and then you'll see that the negative things don't get in the way, that's all. Like let's say, like here we are teaching class, okay, and we are discussing class, and so that is where we are engaging ourself. In the process we have to deal with: the current goes off, and we have to put this big, old, fat microphone here, and we have to change all the settings... Like every time the thing goes on I have to change the settings. Like before I just pushed the button and - Haribol! Right? Now I have to push this, that. That's why you saw me before, when you come on I have to do all that before we even start. Right? So that stuff we don't want to do. But because it is engaged in the Lord's service, we do it and it is not a problem because it enhances the service. So, therefore, it is not an obstacle, right? It is just more service. Does that make sense?

You know, it is just like you go in, it is time for prasāda, you go, you sit down, someone is serving prasāda, you eat. You finish, you get up, you go wash your hands, Haribol, right? Now let's say, you come late for prasāda, you are out on sankīrtaṇa or something, so it is not all arranged like that. So you have to go, where is the bucket? Find the bucket. Where is the plate? Go find a plate, this and that. But is it a problem? No. Because you are hungry and you are thinking about taking prasāda. So, therefore, you go through all those things and there is no problem, right? It has its own flavor. So there is a flavor in sitting down with all the devotees, and there is also a flavor in going, getting this and that, and filling up this, and then sitting over in the corner and eating and, you know, all that kind of jazz. Does that make sense? Yeah? So, therefore, we always have to remember, is if you focus on what is to be done, what is not to be done - they are there just to see that what is to be done goes all right. Does that make sense?

So, in other words, following the rules is going to be easier than not breaking the rules. In sādhana-bhakti then basically there is two kinds of practitioners: those that follow the rules and that is how they see, 'Yes, I follow all the rules,' and then the other practitioner, 'I never break the rules.' So, of the two, 'I follow the rules' will be be more pleasant, and 'I never break the rules' will be more austere, though they are both exactly the same, but the mentality is different. In either of them you have to be careful of pride, you have to be careful of what you are doing, but the point is, if you are following the rules, you are not breaking rules. And, of course, if you are not breaking anything, then you should be following. But the point is is, whichever works for you, you start from the one and just see the others going on. But by doing the positive aspects, because it pleases Kṛṣṇa, that is more important. Does that make sense? Is that all right? Yes?

Prabhu (2): Just... just one clarification here, it makes all sense. So, but then how do we... How can we measure that Kṛṣṇa is satisfied by what... How do we measure that now Kṛṣṇa is really satisfied and pleased with my positive actions?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Aha! So you want... It sounds, the question, the doubt comes up is whether we use the imperial system or we use the metric system, or is that... Or we use the old Vedic system of, you know, hands and angulas and hastas and like that, or how... What is....?

Prabhu (2): It's, you know... Well, okay, measure, let's not use that word. It's just that...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: No, measure is all right. Measure is all right. So the point is is that, is what you are doing according to śāstra? Is it according to authority? Is it something that you and your nature, you are comfortable with? Are the other devotees, appears to be they are comfortable with it? Yeah? Then you are good. You know, are you expecting that Kṛṣṇa has to come along and give you a pat on the back every time, 'Oh, that was so nice! You chanted that one round! Now can you... Now if you chant the second round, that will be really good,' and in that way you get through your 16 rounds. And, 'Wow, you washed your hands after you ate! That's so fabulous, I feel so happy!' Yeah? So the whole point is is that there is that maturity of knowing that the path that is given by the Ācāryas, you follow in that footsteps and then it will be good. You have a nature, you engage it. So that is the thing, is part of self-realization means, the most important is understanding the consciousness, right? That the consciousness is engaged. But also you have to see, since that consciousness is going to be expressed through action or abhidheya, then that means, body mind and words are the ones that are being engaged in that action, right? Yeah. So that being engaged in the action, then you have to see that, as we said, when you say 'time, place, circumstance,' circumstance means: does your body, does your mind and does your senses match that action? Does that make sense? So it is part of self-realization, though you will see, in general devotees avoid this like the plague. Not like Covid. Like the plague, you know, bubonic plague? Black death, you know, wipes out half of Europe - that one. So that is the whole point, is that because the thing is, because when you say, 'Oh, but we are discriminating,' or 'We are not this body,' but who said we are the body? Like what is this? That, right there? What is it?

Prabhu (2): Well, that's... that's the hand.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes, yes! So by saying 'this is a hand,' am I saying I am the hand now?

Prabhu (2): No.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: What is this?

Prabhu (2): It's... It seems to be the computer mouse.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes! It's a computer mouse. Does that mean now I am a computer mouse because I have identified it? What if I am identifying a potato? Does that mean now I am a potato? So if you identify that your body, mind and words, by guṇa and karma, are brāhmana, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra or some mix of that, then does that mean you are the body? Right? So that is the whole thing, is that then isn't it easier if you know what you are supposed to do? Just like, let's say, you know who you are and you know what to do, okay. You get into the car, okay? You get in the back seat on the right side, okay? Okay. But now, if you are supposed to drive the car, is that going to work? No. You have to be in the front seat, right? And so, if you are in Europe, I think, you have to be on the left side in the front, and if you are in England you have to be on the right side in the front, right? Unless you are a mother-in-law, then it doesn't matter where you sit in the back seat, you make everything work, right? Like yesterday we were discussing. So, the whole point is is, by identifying what tools you have, you know what you can do. Because otherwise people say, 'I am a manager,' okay, so does that mean that you are a kṣatriya or a vaiśya, or a śūdra, or a brāhmana? 'Oh, no, we don't get into all that,' then why are you saying 'I am a manager'? 'I am a professional,' okay, then in what category? Which capacity? 'Oh, no, no, no, that's discrimination.'

So this thing itself creates so much problem because then you can't figure out relationships, you can't figure out what you are supposed to be doing, what anybody else is supposed to be doing. And that was Prabhupāda's point, one of his points: if you are going to lead the temple or manage something, you have to yourself be engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service and be able to engage others. But being able to engage others means you know what their nature is and therefore you engage them like that. So if you have someone who is very shy, this that, they do very nice service in the temple, you don't say, 'Oh, this is Māyā, we are not the body, Prabhu, so you are going out on saṅkīrtana for the Christmas Marathon!' And they go out, and then they come back, and it is a problem. 'No, no, you gotta get out there, quit being this and that.' And then by Christmas comes around, they have already gone home to their mother and you never see them again. Who the hell gets the blame for that? 'Oh, they were insincere. I am such a fabulous temple president. They are insincere.' No, you get the credit for having driven a devotee away because you were blind to what their nature is, and your pride, you think 'Because I control material energy, I can make anybody do anything because I said so, because my word is the absolute in this world.' No? That is a problem. So why is that coming up? Because we use 'Oh, we are not this body, Prabhu, we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.' Why do we say that? Because then I do not have to follow any rules, I can do whatever I want. I make up the rules because 'I am not this body.' Go ahead, fly! Why are you spending so much money on tickets? You fly! I mean, how far is it in Europe? I mean, everything is so close, you could just fly, right? Like a bird, you know. Wouldn't that be good? Save on tickets like anything. Of course, it might be a bit of a problem if one of those fighter jets comes by and that, and the guy is looking out the window as you are going by and all that. You know, wave, smile!

So these are problems. So I mean, in this, here... Because, basically, everyone in this group is all senior managers and they have a lot of problem with, a few times with other managers, but a lot with GBCs. But we have to understand, is that the temple devotees have problem with us for the same reasons. It is a principle. If you don't accept people's nature and then how to engage that, it is a problem no matter what level you work on. If you are not understanding your nature, you'll have problems. It doesn't matter what level you work on. Right? You don't understand your nature or you don't know, then just... Then if that is the case, you just do what you are told. You work on the technical level, the lowest level, you don't have to worry. Others will engage you, you do some service for Kṛṣṇa that you like it, you do, you don't like it, they will adjust it around, and then you will advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But if you want to lead, how do you lead, how do you engage if you don't know if you are engaged properly?

So you have to know your nature. But it is not you, it is the conditioned nature. Mother Yaśodā, what kind of service does she do? Does she cook for Kṛṣṇa? Does she bathe Kṛṣṇa? Does she arrange His clothes and ornaments? Yes. Does she hang out in the gośālā and produce milk and gets milked by the cowherd boys? Yes? No? No. That is what the cows do. Does she sit out in the fields of Vṛndāvana, kind-of looking like grass, so the cows come along and nibble on her fingers? No. Does she go out with Kṛṣṇa in the midday and frolic around and yell in the wells and steal each other's lunch? Is she doing that? No, okay. What about going out at midnight dancing with Kṛṣṇa and everything like that? Is she doing that? No. What does she do? Right? She does all the nice services in Nanda Bhavan, right? She stays, she is there in the husband's house, she takes care of everything there, manage it. There is a hundred rooms in Nanda Bhavan, one hundred. That's serious management. And we are not talking about some Amsterdam apartment here. We are talking about a palace, right? So, and that is what she does. And the cowherd girls, what do they do? Right? Do they go out and wrestle and all that with Kṛṣṇa and stuff? No. They stay at home in the day and go out at night with Kṛṣṇa. The cowherd boys, are they going out at midnight and dancing with Kṛṣṇa? Right? 'It was so nice dancing with Kṛṣṇa in the daytime in the field, so we want to also go out at night, also.' No. What does this mean? Everybody has a nature that those are their natural, original nature. While we are, nature is covered, but the principle is, is that nature, you have to express your affection for Kṛṣṇa through the nature of what your body is. And so, since we have this particular conditioned body, then you have to live with that, and that's what you engage in Kṛṣṇa's service. Saying 'Oh, this is not equal, this is not this' or 'that's discrimination,' or 'we don't care for all these rules, oh, we are transcendental,' you can talk all that nonsense all day. But the reality is, you will act according to your nature no matter what you say. And someone who knows nature can point out how whatever you are doing now, even why you are saying that, you are saying that because of your conditioned nature. Does that make sense? Yeah?

So the point is is, we are just being asked to do what they do in the spiritual world. In the spiritual world, according to their position they render service to Kṛṣṇa, right? For them, because of their rati and attachment to Kṛṣṇa, then that particular form and situation is manifest, while for us that has come because of our conditioned mentality in that. But the principle is the same: what situation they are in they use that Kṛṣṇa's service. So what situation we are in we use it in Kṛṣṇa's service. Very straightforward. And so, if we are thinking, 'Oh, we don't have to do any of that,' who in the spiritual world does that? Who in the spiritual world goes, 'Well, you know, every day I stand back here and chant mantras and all that. while Lord Viṣṇu is getting His big abhiśeka. I want to be up in the front and do the abhiśeka. Why Viṣvaksena gets to do it every day? I want to do it. Why? Who is he? Why is he special? You know, we are all equal here in Vaikuṇṭha.' Is that how it works? Does Nanda Bābā's brothers, do they decide, 'Well, we are in charge'? Or Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja decides, 'Why we need two or three kings here? I will run the whole thing myself.' Yeah? Does it work like that? So that's the whole thing. Do we find the cows walking around on their hind legs and all that? No? Only in the far side. Right? So that is the whole thing, is that everybody does what they do. Do the trees get up and move? Are they Ents? Kṛṣṇa comes back from the field, all the trees get up and they all walk over there and that, and then when they go back then they walk back? No. They just stay in their place, right? Yamunā then moves all the way over to where Kṛṣṇa's house is, and then the morning when the cowherd boys come out and skipping, then she moves back? No. Everybody does their service. So it is a big problem that devotees don't accept this concept of the Varṇāśrama. And it is not about we have to establish a structure and this and that, no. Everybody has to know what their nature is and just follow that, that's all. And others who are leading know what it is and you see what they are manifesting today, that's how you deal with them. This whole thing, you have to make a whole structure, no, you don't. Nobody has to be identified. You don't say, 'Well, he is this, he is that,' no. You know that he has that nature, you engage him like that. Does that make some sense? Yeah.

So, therefore, then it is just a matter of knowing what it is, and that's what you do and what you don't do. If you are brahminical and you are doing brahminical service, that means it's, the basis is learning and teaching, right? And then within that, that means you know you are doing this. So unless you have a position of managerial authority, you don't worry about managerial authority. Just because the brāhmana is higher than than the kṣatriya position, doesn't mean that he now tells the kṣatriya what to do. This is a Western disease, or, let's say, a non-Vedic disease. And I mean, disease, like deep-rooted, is that 'If I am in a higher position, I tell everybody what to do in anything because I am authority.' No. You are higher in your area, you are higher because you are good in the area you are in, and the area you are in is higher, but it doesn't mean you know the other areas. Droṇācārya can give direction to the kṣatriyas because his area of brāhminical knowledge is that of administration and warfare. So in that he can give. At the same time as a brāhmana he knows how to chant the mantras and do the yajñas and that, but he doesn't take the main position - that Kṛpācārya does. But Kṛpācārya also knows how to fight and do all those things. But Droṇa leads in that, and then he leads in the other. But they can both do it. When the Kurus do a yajña, Droṇa and Kṛpa will be doing it, and if they need more brāhmanas, there is so many there.

So it is important to understand, is that as we understand our position, then we understand where we are strong, where we are weak. Does that make sense? And so, it is not that you are that. That is the whole point: we are trying to give up upādis, but you know what you are working with. Otherwise this whole thing of... How does it... You know, ostrich with their head in the sand and 'Oh, no, then everything will go just the way I think it should go.' No. There is the reality. If you have a managerial ability by your conditioning, you can manage. If you don't, you won't. It doesn't mean that you can't preach, you can't inspire others. Some of our senior most men in the movement, literally, they can't manage their way out of a wet paper bag, literally. But they can inspire people who can manage and they do some of the biggest projects and and things in this movement, and have the maximum influence on this movement. So the idea that 'I have to manage it to have that, or have money to do,' no. Purity is the force. So, even if you do have the managerial ability, but there is no purity, you can't manage in this society. I myself have seen big, big guys come into the movement, they can't do anything. They get frustrated by the smallest things and they leave and go back out into the material world, where then in the material world they accept them as a big guy, while in the society they couldn't even get together their basic devotional things. Because we have to remember, Kṛṣṇa is in charge. So that is the way it is, and so it's going to run the way Kṛṣṇa says. We have to accept that: that we were simply servants, and then we do our best. And so, if one wants, is able to do all these things, that will be very, very valuable. If you can understand your position, what you can do, and you can understand what others can do, and you can engage everybody - what a wonderful position! Right? But to just sideline all that is, 'Oh all that - that is not moral, that is against equality, that is discrimination, that is all these social evils' - that those who are leftists think. And so, therefore, that 'These points in philosophy and Kṛṣṇa consciousness are just wrong, they don't apply now, it's 2021, you know. And it's summertime, and we are singing the song,' right? And so then, is that going to work? Is Māyādevī, Triguṇa-mayī, with her with nimitta-śakti, the covering  potency, she is going to go, 'Oh, I can't cover this person because he doesn't believe in my covering potency. He says, "All this is nonsense, we are transcendental."' It is not going to... She can't work? One quarter of the cosmic creation, 1/10 000 of a tip of a hair  - who is going to win? Right? If we are looking on mundane things, who's going to win? Right? Māyā is going to win because she is authorized. And for us to sideline and put all these important elements of philosophy on the side because we don't like them, because 'I didn't grow up in that, my mommy never talked about them, my friends as karmīs, when I was a karmī never talked about this stuff. In fact, even if it was all right, it restricts me and I don't want to be restricted because human life means to regulate your life, and I don't want to be regulated. But I want all the benefits of being human, I want all the benefits of being in charge, I want to tell everyone else what to do because I don't want anyone telling me what to do. So, therefore, I am just going to ignore all this stuff and then just say, is, ''Hey, it doesn't apply now, it is a different time, you know, before, when Prabhupāda was here, you know, that's a hundred years ago, things are different now. And Lord Caitanya, 500 years ago, it is different. And Kṛṣṇa, 5,000 years ago, it is different, because I am so fabulous and unique, and what I do is so intelligent and wonderful, the demigods come and shower flowers when I do everything. So, you know, we can't do those things.'" Why not? Why can't you do those things? Because we are not actually human, we are animals, but we don't want to admit that we are behaving like an animal and come up to the human platform. We just want everybody to be fooled because we know how to talk nicely, and so then people will think that we are human when we are actually not. Because Varṇāśrama and these, these are for humans, regulating your life is for humans, raising the consciousness is for humans. But I want to act like an animal, so I will just put all this stuff on the side. Does that work?

Prabhu (2): Yeah. Thank you very much for the answer. It is very good, thank you.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay.

Prabhu (1): Before Ānanda Caitanya Prabhu, Narakṛti, your hand, it seems to be almost frozen. So...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Frozen? Okay, it's, it's...

Prabhu (1): Blue.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Very cold, very cold there down in South Czech, so let's warm his hand up before he has a problem.

Prabhu (3): Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja, please accept my humble obeisances. Jaya! I have noticed that you have talked about these topics of actually strategic planning without... Many years already back, without using these terms like 'strategic,' 'operational,' but you were essentially speaking the same thing all the time.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes.

Narakṛti Prabhu: And I have noticed also from before that you mentioned that the main qualification that was from Bhāgavatam, Third Canto, is that for one to discuss the topic, one has to listen in a humble way and his attitude is the main point in understanding what we are talking about. And when we try to discuss these things like sambandha-abhidheya-prayojana in our strategic planning with other leaders and other devotees, it seems that the discussion immediately slips into technical. Even for myself, immediately, like what practically we can do, and it's difficult to grasp the discussion of strategy on the goal in the terms like philosophy applied to organization in our endeavor in ISKCON. So maybe if you can give some advice or instruction, how to go about it when discussing with others? Because this pattern of thought is kind-of very difficult to overcome in our conditioning.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes, yes. No, it is a very good point. It's that the first thing is to be aware that what Prabhupāda has given us, what the Ācāryas have given us, what Kṛṣṇa has given us, is the science. By conditioning we take religion as a sentiment: you can believe or not. But Kṛṣṇa consciousness is a science. So Prabhupāda was saying is, it is a science. So we are a cultural institution, we are an institute. We are not... This is how things work. It is not that the dog does like that, just happens, if the dog does like that, because that is how Kṛṣṇa has made him. And so, there is things he will do. The cat will do different, the cow different, all these things. And so, when that is accepted, you will see, not only in management, but everywhere else will go. It is just like this: what if we take the principle that God made cows, right? And the purpose of cows, they give milk. And when you create... And why is milk important? Because it is used in sacrifice, and taking the remnants of sacrifice, dairy products, refines the brain tissues and makes it more easy to understand God consciousness. And those sacrifices are done by the brāhmanas. So, therefore, go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca. And when Kṛṣṇa made the cows, He created vaiśyas to take care of them. So if you are starting with this principle, then can you come up with the idea that human beings shouldn't be using any animal products?

Prabhu (3): No.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Absolutely not. In other words, if you are saying they shouldn't use animal products, that it is not natural. We have just created that - that is an atheistic point of view. Just straight up atheistic, because Kṛṣṇa created it this way. So we see, is that on all these different social issues, all it is is, we are going against the laws of nature, against the science, and then claiming we are scientific. That is one of the things, I think, Marx said it, or may have been one of his followers. But Marx said, if you want to create confusion, because in confusion people can't function, is blame the other party, the opposing party, of doing what you are doing. Let's say, I am doing something wrong, I just blame the other party for doing that particular wrong. You see politicians do it all the time, right? So then we don't actually address the issues. We talk about issues, but there is no issue. Issue means that there is different points of view. No, it is a science, it is not different points of view. There may be different aspects of application, but you have to accept the science and then see, 'Okay, how does that apply here?' And so then, with that application, then you do. But if things adjust, you go back to the point.

So the thing is is, we are not accustomed to looking at principles. We are just used to dealing in details. Now, why is that? If we want to take this back to the primordial thing, so it is obvious why it is there, is that there is Kṛṣṇa and then His energies. And they, Kṛṣṇa's energies are non-different and they are interacting based on affection. So Kṛṣṇa, He has His natural rasa, is every... The rasa of everything is Him. It is all, it has all the variety, but it is all Him, and so, therefore, there is a taste in that, that all the different things, all the variety, the spiritual, material, all the Vaikuṇṭhas, Goloka, that - it is all Him, and it all belongs to Him, and it all works by His nature. But the devotees, then they have, being part of that, they have their rasa, which is then, as dependent on Kṛṣṇa, as part, they interact with Kṛṣṇa. Right? And then Kṛṣṇa reciprocates that. So the reciprocation of the devotee and Kṛṣṇa - that is the rasa that gives the highest flavor, that is what we talked about: the five relationships and this, and then śraddhā... I mean, excuse me, you know, bhāva, prema, sneha and all this up to mahābhāva - that is where that taste comes in. So we see, it is much greater than the rasa of just being everything and having that sense of ownership about all. There is a taste there, so Kṛṣṇa is always on a wonderful platform, but interacting with the devotees - way more taste, right? So now, if you want to enjoy... So now, that means, okay, so this rasa is there, okay, and that is actually what Kṛṣṇa is interested in. But now we are... So that has to happen in a situation, right? This idea, things just happen and, you know, like telepathy or like that, but the point is is, it is the expression that is important. Right? So to express something, there is going to be the various forms, there is going to be the situations, the knowledge, the skills, and then the opportunities to perform actions that get that reaction that is used to express that affection. Right?

Prabhu (3): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So now, we are in the material world. We are all in the material world for one basic thing, right? That is wanting to deal with the situation, the knowledge, the skills, the opportunities and the results and the enjoyment of that without Kṛṣṇa. So, therefore, that is material. When you see the same thing, but in context of Kṛṣṇa, that is spiritual. So you can see, is that very easily we could function on the spiritual platform here because spiritual is not limited by time and space. So just because we are here doesn't mean that we can't do all the things, we can't function on that platform. So now, in that then Kṛṣṇa is the primary or the source, and all these energies are secondary or the detail. So from the material point of view we only see detail, that's it. This concept of principle and detail, it doesn't really mean anything to us. Within detail we will say, okay, this is a bigger detail, a more accommodating detail, and these are smaller details, so we call that a principle, when it's not. You know, just like we talk about inductive and deductive knowledge. So inductive means I start and I speculate and I get up to the Absolute Truth because I am so intelligent and I can understand everything, right? Deductive means it comes down from the Lord because you can't understand it, it's beyond you. You have limited senses, limited intelligence, and that intelligence and mind you are using are material anyway, they can't understand spirit. So until and unless it descends and is revealed, you can't understand it. But the reason we can use those two terms is because in the modern academy they use the term 'deductive.' And deductive means you go into a classroom and the teacher tells you, 'These are... This is the knowledge.' And they call that deductive, even though that knowledge was gained by someone else's inductive analysis. So it is still, it is like prāṇa-maya is just extended sense gratification. It includes others, so it looks like it is glorious, but it is still just sense gratification because if you are not getting something out of it, you don't do it. You are doing all the altruistic work, but when you go to that camp in Biafra and pass out, you know, mosquito nets to all those kids there, and they don't smile, you don't come back. But because you go and they smile and they all turn around because you are so nice and all that, therefore you come back, therefore you keep giving money. But if you went there and they say, 'We don't want white man's mosquito nets,' you wouldn't be back, you would go somewhere else.

So that's the whole point, is that it is still just the materialistic point of view of trying to see things without Kṛṣṇa. So we will say, 'Oh, that is just theory, we are being practical.' But the point is, is if you don't see Kṛṣṇa in it, what is your practicalness going to get you? We have been practical all these years, and the places where we are practical without considering Prabhupāda and the Ācāryas and Kṛṣṇa, how is that working out for us today? Those are the point places where it is falling apart, and the places where we always keep Kṛṣṇa there, those are working - it's that simple. And, of course, Māyā is always going to go for those places that work. And any place that doesn't work, she will make that, you know, everyone will think that's fabulous. And where it is working, they will say, 'Oh, this is bad. Oh, going out on...' Remember, there was some time before, 'Going out on Harināma is bad, you know, it makes us look like beggars,' and all that. Why? Because we are supposed to be these prestigious corporate people? Like that. Where did the Christians start? In some big bureaucracy? Where did the Jews start? The Muslims? Where did they start? They started on the ground level, and now look at them now! Now they can sit back with their nice bureaucracy. But this whole thing is that you don't do that, when it is Lord Caitanya's mission, and that's what Lord Caitanya did every day, and then to say going out on Harināma is bad for the movement, bad for our reputation, we are not going to make any devotees, where the hell does that come from, other than hell? And then we are going to say is, 'Oh, but we are just being practical.' Practical in what? Practical in that you feel good about yourself when you go out on the street because people think, 'Oh, here is a professional Hare Kṛṣṇa!' But if you go out on the street in your karmī clothes they won't know who you are. And not only that, you are not well dressed and all that, and so no one is going to care anyway. You know what I am saying? They won't even notice you. As Prabhupāda said, he was telling Gurukṛpa, 'Another face in the crowd.' Just another face. Who notices? Of course, the Chinese software that can tell 60 000 faces in the crowd and identify them, that's another thing. But the point is is, the people on the street there, they don't care.

So the whole point is is, we have to be very, very careful that if we don't make this philosophy the central point and then from that practically apply it... Here is another angle. So now we understand why it comes up: because the principle is Kṛṣṇa and we have avoided Kṛṣṇa, so that's why we just stick to details and say, 'Oh, we are being...' Because if I say, 'Oh, we are being practical,' it is one of those phrases that if you try to argue against it, you are not practical. 'Oh, that is discriminating,' so if you argue against it you are discriminating. Like the modern thing is if you say anything, 'Oh, that is racist, you are a racist!' So these are just, these are just political moves by politicians, that's all. Like that, and that is just how it works. But the fun part is, these are all mentioned in the śāstra, these techniques. But they all, the nīti has to be in line with artha, artha has to be in line with dharma, dharma has to be in line with bhakti. So that line you take, but if you are only taking the nīti, but not connecting it up, then it is like Duryodhana, the technique. We are not saying any devotees are like that. But the point being is that you won't get benefit by not following what the ācāryas have given. You won't get. Say what you want, but you won't get.

It's just like, I mentioned that time before, I think it was in the... May have been in the 1990s, that because there was this all that whole thing of that 'professional and no Harināma and the Gurus and, you know, if you are worshiping your Guru, you have to do it inside the trunk, you have your picture, you have to keep it in your private place and within your mind' because if anybody else sees that, you will hurt other people's refined, you know, paramahaṁsa sentiments that they saw a vaiṣṇava and, 'Oh, no, that's the worst thing that could happen in the world.' So you couldn't have your picture of your Guru around that anybody else, any other you know person with demoniac mentality could see, because 'the demons are the real thing' and like that kind of... Remember that kind of stuff? Okay. So then at one point they asked one of the senior American GBC, is that 'You know, everything is falling apart here, it is not really happening, but over in Russia it's all like happening. What are they doing? So go there, check it out and then come back and make a report and give it to us!' So he went there and all that, and when he came back, somehow or another then in the meeting, then he pointed out, he says, 'If we want to be successful and we want to follow what they are doing, then we have to declare, "This is the year of the Guru."' Because he said, it is working because they have faith in Guru, they are following Guru. Guru says, 'Preach,' they are doing it. He says, 'Distribute books,' they are doing it. They say, 'Do everything,' they are doing it. While we are saying, 'Don't follow Gurus, this and that, no, just follow the management, we don't need Gurus. You know, it is a private thing between you and your Guru, but as far as the institution goes, we don't need them.' And so what did he come back with? He simply came back and said what Prabhupāda said, what Prabhupāda was doing and what was going on before they messed it up.

So that's the whole thing, is we have to understand is being Kṛṣṇa conscious means whatever you are doing, Kṛṣṇa is the center. Now, of course, Prabhupāda makes the point that when Arjuna is fighting on the battlefield, it is not that he is absorbed in Kṛṣṇa and rolling around in the chariot in ecstasy. He is focusing on how to shoot the arrows nicely against this attack, that attack, but ultimately his point is, he is doing that, his motive is to please Kṛṣṇa. So, yes, you have to get into those details and apply them, but if you can't see how they go back and they serve Kṛṣṇa then you are going to have problems and atheistic ways of trying to break down these eternal principles because they don't jive with your Western mentality and Western background and how you identify yourself from the West. I mean, there is senior men who really think that there is nothing to gain from India because India is just a bunch of these simple guys, like that. And then that same simple guy comes to the very city they are living in, that they are floundering getting money, and you come back in five years, he is richer than the whole community, that same guy from the village that, you know, you say is so unsophisticated. And he comes there and he wipes the street with these so-called sophisticated, really together Westerners. And if you look, so many of the big, big, big guys, their CEOs are Indian. It used to be they were that, but in the last few years they are all Indians or Asians. Why? Because they follow the old traditions of relationship and this, they have families, they have these values. So they can think better, they are not weird in their thinking. It is mundane, but at least it's a better mundane. In other words, when you deal with attraction, when you deal on anna-maya, it is very distorted. When you come up to prāṇa-maya, it becomes a little bit in order, you can kind-of start to see that there is some meaning, but not much. When you come to mano-maya where they accept God's laws, then it becomes quite ordered, but they are only doing it because of the material benefits, so it is still mundane.

But for devotees it is not distorted, it is just small. The taste you have is real, but it is small. The attraction is there, it is real, but it is small. The faith you have is real, but it is small, and if you cultivate it, it will become big, and it will turn into bhāva, which then will turn into prema. But looking at the karmīs, as if they are like gods or something like that - that is so foolish. The biggest, like I mentioned, maybe a few years ago, the biggest order that Mercedes Benz ever made to one particular order was to a bunch of farmers in India. Because their land, you know, the cities grow, and at a certain time their farmland is right next to the city. So now you sell the land by, you know, square millimeter, it gets to that point. And so, this one farmer who is just a simple guy growing some wheat or something, now he is worth tens of millions. And so, in that there is one of the guys thinks, 'I want to get one of those nice cars.' He is talking with the other village guys because they sit around on their, on those wooden beds with the ropes on it and that and hang out and talk, and the other guy, 'Oh, yeah, that's cool, yeah, okay,' like that. And so then they go and they talk to the dealer, and what happens? The head of Mercedes himself personally flies to India, goes out to the village and takes the order. Because these guys have enough money that this guy wants this interior, that that, that's 150 orders of unique Mercedes Benz, it's the biggest on the planet ever has been, and there hasn't been another one like that. And it's these bozo farmers that we Westerners think these guys can do nothing. That's the point, we think that unless, basically, you know, unless you have this kind-of this whole Western thing and that Western way of thinking, you can't do anything. But that is not how it works. If you remember, in European history the Turks took over half of Europe, they weren't Westerners, and when they were taking over, you had  Genghis Khan coming into Europe and just wiping out, I mean, Hungary, he killed 90 percent of the people. How are they so successful? They are not Europeans.

So we have to look at it that there is laws of nature, and if we follow those laws, we will be successful. It doesn't matter where you are from or your background or that. You follow and they work. It's like a recipe. Does a recipe only work for Europeans? If I take that recipe for, let's say, rye bread that they make in Germany and I try to make that in another country on the planet, it won't work, right, because I am not German? Right? As soon as you open the recipe, then the page goes blank because you are not German, and they go, 'What happened to the recipe?' Then the German guy comes over, 'Oh, no, it says here you take this and that,' and then when you look it's not there again. Isn't that how it works? Kṛṣṇa's laws are universal. So this is another disease that we think Kṛṣṇa's laws aren't universal, Kṛṣṇa's culture is not universal. We think Western culture, and of Western culture, especially American culture is universal, right? I am not saying people that aren't American think like that, but it is a very influential thing. And so then that is always there. I mean, you see Europe, they at some point or another they tried to take over the whole rest of the world, when they still followed their kind-of religion and family and those kind of things, they did quite quite well because all the other cultures could relate. They didn't necessarily like to be controlled by someone else, but at least there was common religious and family values. But as soon as they become more materialistic, 'Let's destroy these cultures, then we'll make even more profit,' then immediately each one of those places, one by one, revolted and now what does the Dutch control? Right? This much space on a map that, you know, if a dam breaks then they are the largest swimming pool in the world, right? Or then next to them there is England, this big, and they also, they used to say, 'The sun never set on the British Empire.' Now it doesn't rise. Like that. Spain, who even... Spain is a big guy, at one point they were one of the major things, their Armada, this, that, they were the main force. Now they are gone. Italians, everybody knows Italians can't get anything together, except nice shoes, suits and cars, and food - don't mess with them on that. But other things, they are just known for it's a riot. But they used to run Europe. There was even a time when the Poles took over Europe. But they were so happy by having conquered Europe, they drank so much beer that everybody just kind-of went back and carried on the way they were, and everybody forgot that the Poles were in charge and so did they. So that's the whole thing, is everybody take... And where are they now? That is mentioned in the 11th Canto, the Aila-gītā, Bhūmī devī says, all these guys saying 'We are in control,' and all that, she laughs because they march back and forth and then after they are dead, and now where are they? Where is that Roman Empire? Where is... Where are even the Romans? Right? At least India, the culture of 5,000 years ago is still around today.

Prabhu (1): Italy is the poorest country in the whole EU, there is a serious discussion whether you even can anymore carry that because...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Wow!

Prabhu (1): Really, the poorest country.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Really? Poorer than Greece? Because before it was Greece. They are poorer than Greece?

Prabhu (1): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Oh, that is so funny. Yeah. So like that, that is the thing, is that we have to move on from our conditioning that somehow or another because we are non-vedic we are superior, we know how to deal with the material energy better. When actually, no, Kṛṣṇa knows how to deal with this material energy, it is His energy. He makes it work, He enters everything, He is in the atoms, that's why they stay together. You want to make a car, if Kṛṣṇa wasn't keeping the atoms together, you can't make things out of it. We see in, I think it is Fourth Canto, I think, when Mārkaṇḍeya is describing to Vidura about creation. Because Vidura said, 'I know creation, but can you explain it more how Kṛṣṇa is involved?' And so, when Kṛṣṇa glances on the pradhāna, and the pradhāna, then all these 24 elements separate individually, now the primordial demigods that are with Mahāviṣṇu, then now it's now their business, they put it all together, and you get all the 8,400,000  species and this and that, and all that kind-of stuff. They said, 'We can't do anything because they are individual atoms, you can't do anything, they are not attracted to each other, we can't make anything out...' You know, it is like trying to make something out of those funny little packing balls they put in the boxes, you know?

Prabhu (3): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: You take a handful and put them together, as soon as you let go they just fall apart. So then Kṛṣṇa entered into every atom of the material energy, and then because He is attractive, He is Madana-mohana, therefore one atom is attracted to another and therefore dirt will stay together or metal will stay together, or all these things. Then they can create, put together the things, so you get the mahat-tattva. So the point is is, anybody's success is only because Kṛṣṇa is in the atoms and you can only do things according to science. You say, if you try it this way, 'Oh, that won't work,' you have to do it another way, then it works. So that's the thing, is that at every moment people unknowingly are acknowledging God's superiority, but they won't acknowledge that it is Him. They will say, 'Oh, we made this,' or 'We know this,' or because... And as soon as we bring it out, then they want to sidestep it and say, 'Oh, that is sentiment,' or this or that. No, it is sentiment that you don't acknowledge God. Acknowledging God - that's science, and not acknowledging  - that's insanity. Does that make sense?

Prabhu (3): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So this is where all this has come from. So you see, is that as you understand it, that's the whole point of this approach, is that you see, is all the philosophy we know, everything we know, that is what we require for running this society. And if there are a few tricks we get from one of these books, then great, but it is all - all going to be tactical and technical. Most will be technical and a few points would be tactical, the really big points, you know, will be tactical. They are not talking operational. Military talks operation. They don't talk because they don't know the system. These are just, they are smart people, they observe something, they see a pattern, then they describe it, but because they don't know where that pattern comes from, they don't actually understand what is going on. So according to their karma they are able to understand a bit, they document that, it is more than anybody else knows, and so, therefore, yes, it is a bestseller. And so it has its, you can use it, but you have to know where it fits. If you are going to say, 'Oh, no, this comes up on the top,' it won't work, and that's why you see, in 25 years, since the introduction of this whole... I think it started with Kavi, right?

Prabhu (3): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: The whole introduction of all that kind of stuff, still it is not managing in any fabulous way. Why? Because it is Kṛṣṇa's world. So the song that says 'It's a man's world' - that man is Kṛṣṇa. So that's the important point. So that was what I was... What we discussed yesterday in the opening to going into this, is that you either... Means, if you have that firm... Firm faith means, nothing else is important, its value is its connection to Kṛṣṇa, otherwise it doesn't have an importance. And none of these things will save you, only Kṛṣṇa will save you. And so, therefore, doing everything in that context - that's what you do - that then is firm faith. And so, if you don't act in firm faith, you act in this weak faith, the problem is, this weak faith is pliable. Therefore we end up espousing all these non-theistic viewpoints. In other words, when I am less grumpy, I will say 'non-theistic,' and when more grumpy I will say 'atheistic.'

Prabhu (3): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: They mean the same thing, just one sounds a little better.

Prabhu (3): Yeah. Thank you.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Does that make sense?

Prabhu (3): Yeah. Mahārāja, but it looks like there are very few persons who see it in that way.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: But that is the whole point of this association of vaiṣṇavas, is to expand that.

Prabhu (3): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Because every vaiṣṇava can have firm faith that... It's just like you have, one devotee can then create so much... I mean, you see, if you go back in the 1960s, how many people went to Santa Fe? One. How many people went to San Francisco? One. How many people went to, you know, Ontario, Canada? One. How many people went to Germany? One. Right? How many people came from India to New York, landed in Boston, ended up in, wherever it was, upstate New York and then went down to Manhattan and ended up down in the Bowery? One. And then from there it expands. That is the beauty of the system - one person is convinced, so many people become convinced, and then those people... That's why it says... That's why when you see, when it is in Caitanya Caritāmṛta, it it tells a few occasions, Lord Caitanya is going to a place, somebody comes, he preaches, some local brāhmana is there or he hears about, and he comes from the next village, then he hears, then he goes back to his village, he then preaches and then everybody there, and then he becomes so, and then people from other villages come and hear, and then like that, and that way the whole of South India became Kṛṣṇa conscious. He just told three or four of the occasions, but he mentioned that this went on all the time, this is what was going on. And so in that way the whole of South... And so, Lord Caitanya is showing how every town and village. That's the thing, that's the method. So it is personal.

This thing that we have to make it impersonal and make it bureaucratic and, you know, 'Excuse me, excuse me! Wait, wait, wait! Here, Haribol, Haribol! [knock, knock, knock]. We have, we need a vote here, this devotee here needs to pick his nose and all that. Is... Do we have any... How many say yes? Okay, yeah you can pick. Oh, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, sorry, wait, wait. Can it be right side or left side?' 'No, don't get technical, both sides.' 'Okay, yeah you can pick your nose.' I mean, what's the point? Of what benefit is a bureaucracy if there is no leadership? No one on the planet, any successful person, will agree to a bureaucracy without leadership. If there is leadership, bureaucracy can assist. But if you say bureaucracy is going to be a leadership, there is no example of it working on the planet. None. Because everybody knows, what does congress do? Fight. What does the senate do? Fight. What does parliament in Europe and that? They just fight. So who has to make the decision? The prime minister, the president, the chancellor, whatever it is that you call them, they make the decision. And then the other guys go on fighting anyway. So bureaucracy can't run anything, it's not a system of administration. It is useful because then you can go out in so many areas and that is very useful, but it is only useful to assist leadership. And so, if we have leaders, this stuff spreads, and if we have bureaucracy, this stuff dies. Because the bureaucrat, he has to maintain his family, he wants to do his job, so that's all. So, as far as his family is maintained, then that's all. And if he is doing something, he is a leader. Then you hear, 'Oh, wow, this guy is doing some wonderful thing in his area,' and it's really nice. But if you just, all you hear from everyone else is 'He said no.' 'Oh, we want to do this!' 'No.' 'What about that?' Prabhupāda even said, bureaucrat means to say no. It is right there, it's the quote.

Prabhu (3): Yeah. But I am just thinking, if our devotees are so naive to think that things are resolved in committees and meetings, while when we speak with some politicians, like here, he said, 'Everything is resolved back in pub, when we talk to each other, and all the voting and everything, it's all prepared, it's all just for the masses.'

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah.

Prabhu (3): So, like America is, it has the biggest, I think, bureaucracy machine and the most expensive one in the world. But what they present to the, like a committee dealing and the conclusion and the resolution and so on, people don't see. And mainly our devotees are maybe so naive to think that this is really discussed on this meeting and the results are this really what was concluded on the meeting, without seeing the background, all those who were in politics, they know everything goes on in, you know, in golf club, in the dinner, then they make arrangements and there are so many things in the background running the whole show. And the whole show is really for the people. But our devotees think that really like we have a meeting, we agree in the meeting, and that is the result of the next our steps, which nowhere in the world works like this, it seems to...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: No, no. And even if you do have the meeting and resolve something, who is going to do it?

Prabhu (3): But that's the thing, the karmīs, they already know...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: No, no, but I am... Yes. But I am saying, karmīs then it is already worked out who is doing what. But in here then who is going to do it? They sit in a meeting. Who is going to do? Where is the connection between the meeting and, let's say, a temple president or project leader or that who is going to actually do it?

Prabhu (3): Well, they think... Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Like I said before, they decided on something that... They sat in the meeting, it sounded fabulous in the meeting, they presented and none of the presidents support it. Why do you think Prabhupāda had the presidents, you have to present the GBC resolutions to the presidents?

Prabhu (3): Yeah, yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Because... And then, after the discussion with them, then if there was anything to resolve, it went back to the GBC. It is not that we just said, this is the way it is. No, we present this, this is what we come up with, they give the support, they give this, they have... Then they go back and then they resolve. Of course, they have that: they have the last say, but the point is is, if it is not going to hit the ground, what is the point?

Prabhu (3): Well, the point is that public, what... If public is following us or I don't know who is following us, are following these resolutions and looking into them, if they are according to the modern viewpoint of equality, brotherhood, I don't know, in the society, democratic, and they want to see that all our resolutions include all these things, like we know...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: No, but who is they? Who? When was the last time you saw all the GBC resolutions?

Prabhu (3): Very rare.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah. So...

Prabhu (1): ... for me.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Nineteen what?

Prabhu (1): 1998 for me, although I was...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: 1998? [Laughter] Okay. Yeah, I mean, I remember in the 1970s keeping up, as soon as they come out, within a few days you get them, you read them, go through and be excited, 'Wow, this person is GBC here and there,' and it was very inspiring. That was 1970s. So the whole point is is that who sees them? So when they are saying, 'Oh, no, but people will see...' Who is this 'people'? Who sees? I mean, our own devotees don't see, our own leadership doesn't see, so why would any karmī see? And within those karmīs that see, what influence do they have? The person is, you know, he is a teacher in Indology at some college and that, and if they saw them why would they? But if they did, what influence do they have? Right? We are out on Harināma on the street in New York and they are sitting in Chicago, what influence do they have?

Prabhu (3): But all the religious organizations, at least in our country, are in the category of potential extremist groups because of their view and point. So it looks like some of these people from the... I don't call it secret service, but what they call it, like informational agencies, some of them are following what the groups are doing and what kind of resolutions are there.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: No, we have always had that. Means, there is always the stories that the CIA called one of our temples because they wanted to discuss, but because no one had ever answered the phone, because, you know, they are so spaced out, they dropped this from the list that we were, you know, any kind of threat. We were so unorganized we can't even answer the phone, right?

Prabhu (3): [Laughter] Yeah, so that is one of the cursors (?) and because....

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes, but that's there. But the whole point is is, Lord Caitanya, His mission, His talk during His whole lifetime was going on. Who was the government?

Prabhu (3): Muslims.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: And how much do they care about Harināma Saṅkīrtana?

Prabhu (3): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right? So that means the whole, Gosvāmīs and most of our.... Up until the British, when they came in the 1700s, that means, that whole time from late 1400s up until sometime in the 1700s, it is like 250-300 years, it was all under that rule.

Prabhu (3): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So the point is is, this is Lord Caitanya's mission, it will go on. You can word it nicely, you can be careful about that kind of stuff, that is there. But we can't give up our position. Because otherwise just right where you start, who is going to agree with no meat eating, no illicit sex, no gambling and no intoxication? Right?

Prabhu (3): That's extremist. That's called... considered extremist.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah. But the thing is, what about no smoking? You know, like that. Now they say it's dangerous. But they tried to make it... It was, they pointed it out that it will kill you back in the 1960s. But it took, I think, until the 1990s before it would be... Why? Because of the lobbies and all that. So these things are going on. So we are saying it is governments, when it is not, it is business, it's corporate. Because how much does the government say? If the corporate... It is the corporate is the main thing.

Prabhu (3): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Because the government doesn't run without money. So then that's the problem with this kind of system. So the point is is, we do what we do and people see us and people see the nice character and everything, so instead of trying to push political correctness, why not push vaiṣṇava etiquette? It is more refined, it is more stable, it is the same today as it was a hundred years ago and as it will be... So, in other words, for the next ten thousand years the same vaiṣṇava etiquette will remain. So it's just, it is eternal, and even if you have these things, how long do they last? Right? In communist Russia, did they not... Were there no devotees?

Prabhu (3): There were.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: In communist China are there no devotees today? Right? So you have these things, it will go on. You have the opportunity. But you can say, 'Oh, we can't go on in a big thing like that,' but we are not doing a big thing now. How many... Before it was, every temple did Harināma, how many do now? Now you can count them. London has a group that goes out, but it is the brahmacārī āśrama there. Then in New York, those fanatics go out. Then you have I think in Colorado, they go out, like that, but that is because the influence of some guys from India. I am not sure if LA does or not, it means, like that, it is a handful.

Prabhu (3): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: While it was before, everybody did. So where is this big thing? Where are these big programs? Where is the big preaching? So it's kind-of like, either use it... What is it? You use it or you... You have to use it, you have it, you engage it in Kṛṣṇa's service. Because the point is is, whatever the situation, you can always practice Kṛṣṇa consciousness. I mentioned that one time those...  In Russia, I think this one, this would have been before it opened up, I think. Some devotees were on the train, going the Vladivostok to Moscow run, that's seven days, right? So somewhere in-between this guy comes on and he has these photocopied Bhagavad-gītā, and he is coming up to them and telling them, 'You should read this, you should try to... It's very important,' and all that. And they are looking at it and 'Who is this guy?' and they try to ask, right, you know, what devotee is this? They find out he is just a karmī, like that and he said... They sat him down and, 'Why are you doing this,' and he says, 'Well, I found the book somewhere, someone had mislaid it or thrown it out,' and he read it and he was convinced and Prabhupāda in there says the importance of book distribution and all that. And so, therefore, he took that Gītā, he photocopied it and put it together, and then he has been distributing books like that. He didn't know that there were devotees, he didn't know there were temples, he didn't know there was nothing. And so then the devotees revealed about devotees and temples and that, the guy was surprised.

Prabhu (3): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So that's the point, is it will go on. Prabhupāda mentioned, this movement will be in every town and village, It is just a matter of who is going to take the credit. And even you say, 'Okay, well, you have these things and they will do all this,' as long as the modes of nature are there... Russia, you know, where is that communist Russia now? Where is that communist China? China is technically not communist. They are capitalist society with dictatorship, they are not communists. I even asked the other day, it says, 'So it means, everybody gets welfare and this and that, and medicine?' No, you have to buy it. They are just like any other capitalistic place. They just claim to be that way, they can maintain their... Because you have an ideology, so you can maintain. They are just a dictatorship, a capitalistic dictatorship. So they are smarter.

Prabhu (3): Yeah. We are in Europe going into similar direction, also here.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah, yeah. Because the socialism is strong. So England also, they are more of a socialist kind-of thing. Point is is, socialism is part of the Vedic system, but it is the system for the general public. And for the business, economic community, it is capitalism. For administration then you have that particular leadership. And then for the brāhmanas, then they follow the scriptures. So the whole point is is, it is a valid part, but the problem is, they have no balance. And how do you get that balance? It is only God consciousness. And then who is throwing the balance off? The intellectuals who are supposed to guide us. Problem. So then it's just... The point is is, ultimately we are discussing these things, so that we ourselves are comfortable and understand it for ourselves to use as much as we can in our own sphere of influence. But the point is is, ultimately it's whatever you have you do your best and just because the whole society is not running according to this, doesn't mean that you can't be Kṛṣṇa conscious and go back to Godhead. That is the beauty of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You just have to at the time of death remember Kṛṣṇa. How do you do that? By practicing to remember Kṛṣṇa. How do you do that? By chanting and associating with vaiṣṇavas and all that kind-of thing. So we can do.

So the whole point of the institution is to try to do that on a big scale, so the maximum amount of people are exposed to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The maximum amount of... We have things in place to see that individuals are advancing nicely - that's the point, so we can do something big. But it is not that the institution is what creates the Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But we have to know that the institution was created by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. They are saying that when Prabhupāda made ISKCON, there wasn't before. Rūpa Gosvāmī established the Viśva-vaiṣṇava Rāja-sabhā, right? Jīva Gosvāmī formalized it and then it came down, then Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura showed how to apply it in this age, and Bhaktisiddhānta then made it into an institution and then Prabhupāda followed.

Prabhu (3): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So the whole point is is that you can do things on that because they use it in the spiritual world. They use Varṇāśrama and they have kings, and they have all the organizations, but it is still all about the individuals. So the two go together, you can't separate them. An institution is made of individuals, and individuals by grouping together, then they can do something nice. So the whole point is, humans cooperate, and so they do something wonderful. Means, ants, they do something big because they cooperate, bees do something big because they cooperate, right? Is anything done by a bear? They just go around and grab things and eat things, and that's it, nothing goes on. So cooperation, you do something special. So that's the whole point. So you have a system by which the maximum amount of people can cooperate. So the weaknesses that are there, that is not the end of the world, that's just there... Means, you don't follow the natural form, these will come up, and so you can be convinced that you didn't do this therefore you have this, it's science. Not like, 'Oh, it's like this, it is the end of the world, nothing...' No. All it is is just proves the science is right. So follow the science and then these things don't happen. The difficulty is the conditioning, not these situations. You can turn these situations around in a moment.

Prabhu (3): Thank you, Mahārāja!

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Jaya ho! Haribol!

Prabhu (3): Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhu (1): Oh, we have here Ānanda Caitanya Prabhu, who actually, although this question is about modern day problem, but I am sure, you could tell hundreds of stories. He is the co-founder of the Lithuania yatra and started somewhere late 1970s, when you had number of friends looking for you from the KGB and from different... You went through the whole hell, some of your friends maybe not anymore in their bodies due to their religious conviction, so you managed. Welcome, Ānanda Caitanya Prabhu!

Prabhu (4): Hare Kṛṣṇa, dear Mahārāja, dear devotees!

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Hare Kṛṣṇa!

Prabhu (4): Please accept my humble obeisances, all glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda! Just on the second day you were talking about micromanaging, and you were mentioning something like micromanaging management doesn't come from brāhmanas, from kṣatriyas, from vaiśyas, śūdras. Where does it come from? What is the nature of micromanagement? What is... And seems like this attitude just spoils the relationship amongst the local leader or local... I don't know, temple president and the devotees. So is it to be avoided or is it of some use, this micromanagement? And just tell us about the nature, nature of this micromanagement mentality.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay. Means, this micro management mentality is all over the world, like that. Lord Caitanya warns about that when He is talking to Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. He says, grāmya-kathā śunibe [Cc Antya 6.236] grāmya-kathā koribe. No? You understand? Grāmya-kathā means the local village gossip: don't hear it, don't get involved in it. Because what is gossip? It is stuff that you have no control over and you have no business getting involved in. Right? If you have.... Let's say you have a hierarchy. If there is a hierarchy, that means, whatever is below you, the detail of that you don't get involved in. And then the one above him... So that means, you have the guy in the technical platform, you can say he is micromanaging and that. He is just managing everything that is just in front of him, how he does, he does this and everything like that, you know, as much as he can see, he does. But the guy above him is just seeing that he is doing his service, he doesn't have to get in there, 'No, no, when you have the mouse then don't use all the fingers, keep this one free and all that when you grab it like this, and you got to lift it up like this' and so on. But it doesn't matter. How he wants to do it, he wants to push it with his nose, what do you care, as long as it works? If he gets the work done, what do you care how he pushes the button? And so then that's the purpose, it is there on the tactical. Then the president, he doesn't have to get into all the details of the tactical guy, and definitely not the technical. He does his. And the GBC just has to see that the temple presidents.... Now and again he might see here and there, but how do you... How do you check rice? If you are cooking rice, how do you check rice? You get out all the grains, spread them out on the counter and then take a rolling pin and roll the whole thing, and then after rolling it you go, 'Ahhh, see, this one here wasn't cooked!' Is that how you do it? No, you take one grain. So if you do need, if there is a doubt, you see something is not right, then you might go into one place. That is what Prabhupāda says, the GBC can look at the accounts. But it is taken that, 'No, he manages the accounts.' No, he just looks to see if it is all right, and if it is all right, why get involved? The temple president is doing fine. The point is is, why have a hierarchy if the top guy is going to do everything? Then let him run the whole show. You know, we will just have... We have the building there and he is sitting halfway across the planet with his emails, he can run the temple. There will be no officers, no nothing, we will just have devotees there and he can every day tell everybody what to do, and he can do that in all of his centers all over the planet. And everybody there, because he is the one, then they will all email in him about, you know, 'Hey, I went there and there wasn't enough butter, now what should we do?' 'Oh, go buy butter!' 'Okay, but then the problem is is that the car has no petrol. So now what do we do?' 'Well, go buy petrol!' 'But then who should go buy petrol, because I am going to go get butter?' 'Okay, so you go get butter and let this one go get petrol,' and that. 'Okay, so, okay, great, but then where are we getting the money from?' 'Oh, yeah...' So then they can ask him all these things. These are all technical points that the tactical guy deals with, and if they are going to deal with it, go for it and see how well that works out for anybody! So the point is, when you delegate, that means you are not managing it, you are managing the guy you delegated it to, not what he is managing. But that also doesn't mean that you delegate it and you forget about it, you also have to follow up. So that's why you see, good managers follow up, but they follow up, 'Okay, we discussed yesterday that this was happening, did it happen?' So like that, it goes both ways, it is that balance between detachment and awareness. So if you don't have knowledge and you don't have detachment, how is it advanced? So if you are micromanaging everything, then why don't you come down and do this tactical work yourself?

So that's the whole thing: it can't run if you do that, and that is a problem when you just have these this level. You have a temple president, then he has his department heads, he has the Saṅkīrtana leader, he has his head pūjārī, he has his temple commander, maybe he has a guy running the restaurant and the guy that does, let's say, the college preaching. And so between those five guys he runs the whole temple. So he deals with the tactical, and those tactical have their devotees under them that do all the technical work. And so already that is a whole thing there. Now you have, you are going to have a GBC that has the GBC, then the assistant GBC, then the regional GBC and then then you are going to have some other... You are going to have all these levels... It's like how is that going to work? No one does it. No one does it. You know, it is just like the other day, you're going to have... America is going to talk with Russia, who goes? The president went, right? Whether he did a good job or not, that's a whole another discussion, but the point is is, he went. You have that group of meeting of all those heads of state, it was the heads of state that were there, it wasn't somebody else. So the point is is, seeing what is going on... I mean, you can say is, 'No, no, but he could have done that online,' so he and the presidents, they could have just talked online, you know, had a zoom conference. No, but they personally go there. So the whole point is is that Prabhupāda gave a system and you follow it, it works nicely. You don't follow it, then it is weak. Is that okay?

Prabhu (4): Yeah, thank you...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: It's just like we said, where does it come from? We gave the example yesterday of all the guys in the pubs, are they not micromanaging the government and sports? They are all drinking their beer and they are all saying, 'Why did he do that? Oh, so obvious, he should have done this! And why did he.... These guys are so stupid!' So they micromanage everything like that, and according to them then the world is a better place. Does anything get done? No, except for the bartender makes money, that's all. Other than that nothing else gets done. And the worst thing is, we don't even make any money off of it, at least the karmīs make money off of this. Is that okay?

Prabhu (4): Yes, thank you, Mahārāja! So in case if we have such a manager, micromanager, so better is to... He is to be removed, or to be educated?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Best is educated because we are an educational institution, so, therefore, we educate. See, in the corporate world if you are no good, they just fire you because their point is profit. But for us it is education, so you educate people. And if they... And according to how they can be educated, to what degree, that is the kind of service they do. Does that make sense?

Prabhu (4): Yes, thank you, thank you Mahārāja!

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay, thank you, Hare Kṛṣṇa!

Prabhu (1): Ānanda Caitanya Prabhu, like kind-of just came to me that our audience, although experienced devotees, still haven't... Had a little different time to go through the Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Nowadays the greatest obstacles, you know, too much halava on the Sunday feast for the beginning brahmacārīs and not maybe all the vegan kind-of elements considered. But there was also something else, when you started in late 1970s there, I am just, it's a little off.... Not off the topic, but kind-of the obstacle of Līlāśuka's question. Could you maybe just, I didn't ask you this before, anything, but just tell some, one story of the challenges of 1970s with KGB or a little later, or whatever, until the independence of Baltics were gained?

Prabhu (4): Thank you so much, thank you TattvavādaJī for the question, but... Like I can tell how I was made into a devotee, that actually I was interested in yoga and from something like from 15 year old I was already practicing yoga, mainly hatha yoga meditation. But then some devotees who were at that time underground, and you couldn't trace them or find them anywhere because they were persecuted, and they were very, very, very careful and cautious about with whom they deal, one devotee just approached me on the street and said, 'Uh, we know that you are interested in yoga, here is bead bag, here is the beads, here is the piece of paper with Mahāmantra,' and he said, 'Just chant this Mahāmantra on these beads.' So that was the preaching at that time, very, very conspirative and secret.

So I wasn't impressed with Mahāmantra at the first, but I just thought, 'In case I will lose this piece of paper with Mahāmantra, better I would learn it by heart right away.' And I didn't know the devotees, I didn't know where to find them, where they are at all, but I learned this Mahāmantra by heart right at the spot. And from time to time in my memory I was bringing it up, 'Oh, do I still remember this Mahāmantra? Oh, yes, I remember! Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare...' But I was not serious about chanting it daily, or whatever. But in one year or two I thought, 'Let me try,' and I took these beads and started chanting one round, two rounds, three rounds, eight rounds, two rounds, four rounds, 16 rounds, four rounds.... And it brought me to the stage that I took a vow, even not knowing devotees, something like 1982 or something, I took a vow, 'From now on I will chant Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahāmantra on beads 16 rounds daily.' And after that, for some time chanting, I started searching for devotee association, for devotees. And it took me maybe six months or one year, until I could trace them, because they were, some of them were already in prison or persecuted or banned from educational institutions or from job. And only when I met devotees and they agreed to accept me into their association, they trained me, they trained me in philosophy and Bhagavad-gītā, and then I was engaged in underground preaching of Bhagavad-gītā. Yeah.

So nowadays when we preach and when we meet younger generation devotees, we see how the youth is spoiled. Spoiled, like they... We didn't have any temples, any Deities, any books even, we didn't have the books, we didn't know the philosophy. I was preached that 'Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahāmantra and it's good for you,' - that was the philosophy. Now, I chanted Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahāmantra for a few years not knowing that Kṛṣṇa is God or that Kṛṣṇa is Supreme Personality of Godhead, I had no concept. There was no philosophy, no books to read, but still I chanted because, you know, it's a type of meditation, it's just get rid of your thoughts, get rid of something external and just chant, I was chanting. Later on only I found out, 'Oh, Kṛṣṇa, He is God, He is Supreme Personality of Godhead! Oh, really? That's interesting!' And then the books started appearing underground, and that's why I thought it's really, really a treasure of wisdom to be shared, that's why we were printing underground the books, which was initially started by Armenian devotees, and then they were put into prison at some point, and then in Lithuania we took it over. So nowadays the younger generation, youth, they come right to the temple, they are right there, all the books, you can read all the philosophy, there are regular classes. But still they find excuses, 'Oh, this is bad, this I don't like. Prasāda is not tasty,' or something, they look for excuses and for imperfections, so... Still, still real souls come, join, stay, practice and continue, and that's amazing, that's very amazing, that's the wonder of Śrīla Prabhupāda's movement.

Prabhu (1): Thank you, thank you very much for making... We are just coming next week, it's the best and biggest... ISKCON Baltics festival it's called, but it is definitely much bigger than Rāḍhadeśa, and last time before Corona, 1,200, I would say, enthusiastic practitioners. So by the efforts of you yourself and the others, thank you very much for making that still available for us.

Prabhu (4): You are welcome, please come and join our Harināma, our monastery, we go to the cities and do Harināma regularly, even during the Covid times.

Prabhu (1): I will be there in 10 days.

Prabhu (4): Thank you!

Prabhu (1): His Grace Ānanda Caitanya Prabhu kī jaya!

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Jaya!

Prabhu (1): Tapas, has your wife already come down from the galaxy, or are you making the question yourself?

Prabhu (5): I can ask if it is okay?

Prabhu (1): Yeah, yeah...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Why not?

Prabhu (5): Yeah, this question is related to a comment that you, Mahārāja, made not in this seminar, but in some previous seminar, when you commented upon the incidents in general that devotees are subject to... Yeah, the devotee is also subjected to certain challenges or sufferings that might be a little difficult to understand. And you made a comment that, well, you may deserve it or you might not have deserved it. So the question is, is there in this way injustice in the.... How to say? Creation, or... Yeah, what is the meaning of this comment, like you may deserve it or you may not deserve it? How is it connected to a possible injustice, or whatever? Can you explain, elaborate on that?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Well, the first point is is that how could there be any injustice in Kṛṣṇa's creation? He is controlling it, it is running however it is. So that aspect we shouldn't worry about, that shouldn't be a doubt. So the point comes, as we maybe deserve it or not, means, we may deserve it because we know the source of it, or we may not deserve it because we don't know the source of it - that's the meaning. It's just like I did something now, I did... I yelled at this guy, and so then the next day, you know, he makes politics. So I know the connection. But there is something I don't think I did anything and I can't see any connection, but that means it has connection from previous lives. You made trouble for someone in a previous life, and so this life you are getting the reaction. So in any case, whatever it is, Prabhupāda makes the point, if you can't understand the source of the trouble, then you can understand that it is just being arranged by Kṛṣṇa through the modes of nature, just whatever it is. You are getting some reaction for something before, and the reason that you are getting it, is it some way or another beneficial for you moving forward in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So the thing that the universe is unjust... Because we have to look at... We have to remember, it is a prison. So everybody who is in the material world is a criminal, right? Does that make sense? Yeah. So you have nice criminals, you have bad criminals, like that, but the whole point is this is there.

So as we opened in the beginning of the discussion, is this idea that everything will be perfect and wonderful, that is the spiritual world. Here good means it's okay, it goes on. It's just like, let's say, how you say? I think there is a... You see is like someone is a family person, they are in their 30s or in their 40s, and you ask them, 'How are things going?' and then, you know, 'Yeah, it is okay.' They are never saying, 'Oh, it's fabulous,' or 'Oh, that's disgusting, there's nothing, it's all finished,' no. They say, 'It's okay.' Means, it is going on, and that is considered good, that is considered... When you are young then you have all the ideology about a perfect world and all that. I think there's once... I can't remember who said it, but someone made the statement that 'If you are a young person, you know, like a school-age person and you are not, let's say....' I can't remember what it was, but it may have been, 'if you are not a socialist, there is something wrong with you,' he said. 'But when you turn 30, if you are still a socialist, there is something wrong with you.' So, in other words, you have all these ideals, but on the material platform, where is the direction for them, where is the knowledge, what is the reality? So only in Kṛṣṇa consciousness you actually learn how the world works, how things, what is the ideal, what is the standard. And then you try your best to come close to that because going back to Godhead doesn't depend upon you being materially perfect, it depends upon you being spiritually absorbed. So the perfection is in the intent of spiritual endeavor, is not in the necessity of that the external form of it is also perfect. So if that is understood then we do the best we can, and so we may be able to see the direct reason why I am getting this trouble or we may not, but it doesn't matter. The point is, we go on from our situation and serve Kṛṣṇa. So there is no injustice in the world. We have been here since time immemorial, so we have done enough in eternity, in unlimited time, to annoy quite a few people. So if we get some trouble this life, don't be surprised. Don't be surprised. But the point is is, whatever the situation, we always try to remember Kṛṣṇa, try to be absorbed in Kṛṣṇa. Is that all right?

Prabhu (5): Sure, thank you very much.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay. Yeah, so no, whatever happens to you is exactly what should be happening to you. Not more, not less. So if someone slapped you, you should not have been kicked, you will only be slapped. Māyā is a good manager, she knows what she is doing.

Prabhu (1): Good training.

Prabhu (5): Just in connection with this, I remember, Rādhānātha Mahārāja once... Because it's also like when something happens to you... So the question is, is it the test from Kṛṣṇa, a special test from Kṛṣṇa, or...? So what he said, 'First you see if you actually follow the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness' and then if you find that, 'Yeah, well, maybe I was slack in this and I was slack in that, and that's why it happened,' so I can't conclude that it is a test from Kṛṣṇa. It is just my own... It's just a result of my not practicing nicely and simply. So... This is not a question, just the comment that he made a point, that looking... Yeah, yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah, very nice. Because the point is is, means there is always, every moment then there is, Māyā is always testing. So you would say it is a test from Kṛṣṇa, but Prabhupāda makes the comment that Māyā, her service is to test you to see how serious you are about serving Kṛṣṇa. And when she tries all of her tests from every angle and you still are Kṛṣṇa conscious, then she herself personally recommends you to Kṛṣṇa, that this devotee is very serious, very sincere. Like that. So, you know, it's also we have the thing 'It's just the test of Māyā, what will you do?' The opportunity of Māyā comes up, do you take it or not? And if you don't take it then okay.

So, all these things together. But the main point is to focus on the relationship with Kṛṣṇa and our service to Kṛṣṇa. Getting too much into these details, then we lose the overall. Like we'll get into so much little detail of something that we forget about trying to develop love for Kṛṣṇa and associate with vaiṣṇavas and that, then what's the point? So that also can be applied from this into the personal life of individuals, is that the detail is important inasmuch as it supports the actual goal. But if we say, 'No, until this detail is worked out, we can't move forward,' no. It is until you, by being Kṛṣṇa conscious you move forward. Whether the material arrangement is perfect or not, that's another thing. If you are trying your best with the best intent and materially things don't work, you can go on with that good intent, serving Kṛṣṇa. But if we give up that good intent because materially it doesn't work, then Māyā's test worked - you are not so serious.

Prabhu (5): Seems like this tendency to... Which is quite natural, but this tendency to go into too much details and it's anumāna, it's you try to speculate to find out. This is part of this... generally, like said, the desire for liberation.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah.

Prabhu (5): Is that...?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah, yeah, because we don't want trouble. We either don't want trouble, we want it to be nice, so we are looking for heavenly facilities, or we don't want trouble, we just want trouble to go away and there is no trouble, and then it is liberation. So if we have some faith in the material world, then it will be, means, fruitive, and if we have no faith in the material world, but we are not absorbed in Kṛṣṇa, then that is liberation. But I think that is a very good point that you made there, is as how we can kind-of get over, get out of this loop, is that it is anumāna. Because with your senses you are not seeing anything to establish it, and then śāstra says, 'You do like this and this is the results,' but we are trying to speculate in-between, 'Well, is it this? Is it that? Is it so many things?' So it is the speculative, that attachment to mental speculation, that's there. But when the speculation is engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service, that 'The śāstra says this, and so in my situations, which applies where and all that, then I could see it happening here,' and then you make that connection - that is useful in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But if by speculating we just become bewildered and we lose our that kind-of faith in... How you say? In the Kṛṣṇa conscious process of philosophy or that, then that kind of speculation is useless. If it creates fear, that is material, that means, the whole speculative process was material. But if by going through it then you get faith, then it means it was spiritual. So, if we are starting with śabda and then applying the intellectual that, so that we could see it, then that is the process, but if we start with what we see and then we apply that speculation without the scripture, now then we will have problem. Or if we just use the scripture inasmuch as it supports our speculation and what we have seen, then that will be weak, that will be, that will create problems. That's a very nice thing, [about] the speculation. And you see, is there is more... And by mental speculation you get confusion, and we see the more we move in the direction that all the intellectuals and the academics, and the philosophers, and the philanthropists, these are all the valuable people, then the more we speculate, the more we get bewildered.

So we have to see is, there is a limit there because how many people are looking? Have you seen in the news and the headlines and the newspapers and on the internet that are they talking about us? Right? And how much stuff is out there? I mean, how many channels and how many uploads are being done by devotees? Thousands and thousands, and where is it... Is it coming in the headlines? No. So then what is the anxiety? There is the thing, 'Well, maybe, it could possibly be...' - that's mental speculation. It's not, so why worry about it? That's also a point of practical thing of management, don't get bogged down on what could happen. You take part in what you can do, what you can make happen, don't worry about what might happen, worry about what you can make happen? So then you get crippled by this, and so then it's there. And we always have to remember, the leftist kind-of thing is always atheistic. Because right means tradition, left means no tradition. No tradition means no God. Tradition is coming from God consciousness, in some way or another. You know what I am saying? So that's the whole thing, is so this leaning towards the left means you are leaning towards an atheistic position, so one shouldn't be surprised that it comes around and bites you on the backside. Because by nature that's what it is. So the sahajiyās care about Kṛṣṇa and His position and the spiritual? No? They just care about what they want to do. Just as much of the smārtas only care about the rules and what material benefits they will get. So they are talking about, 'Oh, we can't get all that, but where is all the material prosperity?' This is karma and jñāna.

Prabhu (5): Rūpa Gosvāmī says, you know, in Nectar of Devotion that... It is interesting, Nectar of Devotion, that he is very much emphasizing this, how bhakti is superior to liberation, it comes in several places. And he describes this tendency of jñāna, which is speculation, as ghost, compares to a ghost, takes your attention and occupies your mind and... They are like ghosts and they are very... And then they distract you from bhakti. So jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam, means, these ghosts, they take over too much, then you can't be a devotee, very difficult.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah. It will cripple devotional service.

Prabhu (5): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah. So everything is mentioned, it's just that we don't necessarily contemplate what we already have and appreciate the depth that it has. It's kind-of like, oh... Because we are used to the inductive method, so what you hear in the beginning that's the beginning stuff, and then you speculate the higher levels. But no, it's the higher level, it comes in that and that's always, you always can contemplate that. But they speculate something else. No, you contemplate what has been given, the principles, and see it always in that context, and those principles are right. So this idea, 'No, the fundaments are just there and then you leave that,' it's just like okay, let us say, just for an example, if we want to actually look at that, if that's true, okay. The children, they are taught first, you know, one, two, three, four, like that, if you are 10, and then the zero and then you have the two point, the two places, you get tens and three places, hundreds, four places, you get thousands. Then you have a decimal point, then you can do the negative. And then they learn two plus two is four, two plus three is five, two plus four is like that, you know. Two times two is four, two times three is six, two times... And then all these, learn all those things. And you can say, well, those are basic kind-of things like that, so when you get into advanced math we don't use that anymore. Is that how it works? They stop using numbers? They stop using the decimal place? They stop... No. Or, let's say, they learn reading, so they learn all the alphabets and they learn the sounds, but when you get into advanced stages of creative writing, we don't use the letters or sounds anymore, it's just these feelings and this? No. So the whole point is is, that's because these are fundaments, they never change. So these principles of we are the soul, we are not the body, we are servants by nature, we are servant of God, Kṛṣṇa is God, He is in control, everything comes from Him, all the scriptures are talking about our relationship with Him, and that devotion to Him is the ultimate point, and developing love for Him is - these are fundaments, they never change. So that's the point, they descend. So why is that there? We can say is, okay, but in the material it is going up and here it is coming down. Because where did the sounds and letters come from? Jīva Gosvāmī mentions, what is it? Nārāyaṇād udbhūto 'yaṁ varṇakramaḥ: the letters in the order that they are, they came from Nārāyaṇa. So that the letters in Sanskrit are learned ka kha ga gha na - that came from Nārāyaṇa, you can't change the order. So time, Kṛṣṇa is Time, time is the numbers, time is movement, where does that come from? Kṛṣṇa's arm goes like that - that's time, His svarūpa is the source of time. And so, in the spiritual world that assists things, in the material world that controls us.

So the whole point is is, these fundaments that everything is based on... Economics, the gopīs, when they are taking their pots of yogurt and going to the market, that is the source of our having something and selling it on the market. Right? Kṛṣṇa is a cowherd boy. Madhumaṅgala is a brāhmana. The gopīs are girls, He is a boy. Nanda Mahārāja is the king, you know, the vaiśya king, but then in Mathurā they have the kṣatriya kings. The brāhmanas are chanting mantras in the morning and doing the yajñas - that is all going on in the spiritual world, that is reflected here. So everything starts up, the things you can't change, rasa, you have the śānta, dāsya, like that, there is no sixth rasa, and the karmīs aren't trying to find out a sixth rasa. Right? We eat, we put food, we put it in our mouth, we digest. I don't know if you remember, but back in 1950s, 1960s they were talking about they'll come up with a superfood, just a pill, you take it you don't have to eat, won't that be fabulous? Where is that? Because people like eating, and so, even if you could come up with it, who would want to do that? So that's the whole thing, is that these things descend from the spiritual world and then they are here and we think that they are ours. And then we use them to speculate and try to figure out the spiritual world. We won't.

So this mental speculation can be engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service if you start with śabda as the exclusive authority. Everything what guru says is based on scripture, what the sādhu says is based on scripture. You can't base evidence on your mental speculation and your senses without it being confirmed by śāstra. So that's where the problem comes, is our attachment to mental speculation. Like before it was more about the sentiment, you know, being religious, 'We are devotees, we do,' but that kind-of is out the window because that's not left enough. And so then this speculation comes in, which is... And you see what's the point, is that anna-maya means no God, atheistic and no morals. Prāṇa-maya means you accept moralism, but you are still atheistic, and that's all the modern social kind-of things and like that, economics and all that. So then you come to the mano-maya, then that means you accept God and you accept moralism, but it is fruitive: you accept God, but only as much as it will get you in the heavenly planets. Then you come to the fourth level, vijñāna-maya, then their concept of God becomes impersonal and they give up morality because it is not about being moral so that I go to the heavenly planets. So they are just... But in the Vedic system they are renounced, in the modern system they are not. So what happens, the impersonalists, then he has that impersonal concept, but he drops down to the anna-maya platform. That's why Prabhupāda says, impersonalism and voidism, they breed sense gratification because that's where you come, you come back down to there. So they are talking all this, no God and all that and impersonal, but at the same time it is all about their senses and what is good for them. And then on a good day you hear a little bit of prāṇa-maya on social and the economic and that's it. And those are like, you know, almost spiritual. And anybody who is talking mano-maya or God's laws, 'Oh!' This is` like... Who was saying before, Narakṛti, that that's taking it's that's dangerous for the society. Why is it dangerous? Because it is dangerous for the left being the exclusive power. Democracy means, whoever you want is in power, but they have decided only they will be in power, so it is a dictatorship. And if they are foolish then they will close down the economics like a pure communist thing does, and then it will fail like China and Russia did. So both of them accepted capitalism, but they like to keep the... What do you call it? Dictatorship, right? And you have to remember, they are politically left, that is their ideology. So, therefore, being a dictator and being left don't go together, and capitalism and left don't really go together. So it doesn't make any sense. So that is the problem. And then they will blame everybody else that that's what they are doing, 'You are taking away our freedoms, you are taking away this...' They are taking away the freedoms by taking away God consciousness by [indistict] on that God consciousness, by following the traditions of God consciousness - those things are being removed, and then they are claiming that if you don't accept what they are doing, you are against freedom. So you see is, it's just the modes of nature, that's all. They go in a circle and, you know, it's big at one point and then it doesn't work, it falls apart, and so then you end up with Mad Max and all that, then where is the, all these ideologies then? Then it's just a matter of you gotta eat.

Prabhu (5): Yeah, it's, I think it is important for us especially in the Western tradition to understand that the whole Western civilization is since the... Basically, Renaissance, and maybe manifesting more clearly in the 18th century, is based on mental speculation.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes.

Prabhu (5): I mean the father of modern times is Descartes, and he is the master of ecclessia he wants to... With good intention, but... And then it moves on, and it ends up in the today which you have described is crazy postmodernistic leftist, this is just, it's just the fruit of this, where you end up.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah, yeah, it will just fall apart because...

Prabhu (5): Fall apart.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Tradition simply means that which works. It's just like, let's say, in your area there is five shops, and so you have checked out all the shops. So the one that has the things you like and the people you like and everything is most convenient, that is the one you always go to. You don't go to the one that gives you the most trouble, you go to the one that is most convenient. So tradition is just what works. Now, if people don't understand the tradition, then you have a problem because if someone asks and they see a fault in it, because there is always going to be a fault in everything, and you can't explain it, so they think it's that tradition is the problem. No, it's that this is making the best of a bad bargain. So that's why then it is worked out, this is what works and you stick to it, then it works fairly nicely. And if you don't then again you end up with the problems that come with it. It's just like you had arranged marriages and in India and no divorce rate. You have now anybody can do whatever they like, 75 percent get divorced. So you get the results.

So the tradition works, but if people can't explain why it is going on and what is the advantages, then no one wants to do it. So that's why we have to know our philosophy. So if all we know is how to have discussions in a meeting and we can quote from these self-help books and all this and that, but we don't know our own philosophy, then what is the point? So the point is is that there is a middle, there is a balance, Kṛṣṇa, it's Kṛṣṇa's science, so, therefore, that's the reality. And if you go off of it either way, there is trouble. So we are not saying, 'Left is bad, right is bad,' We are just saying, no, the middle is where you have to situate yourself, and that is based on Kṛṣṇa's direction, it is based on the laws of God. If you don't accept those then how are you going to... How is it going to work? Otherwise, everything is bad, once you get into things are bad, you can find fault in anything. If a person becomes critical, he can find fault in anything. So once you get into that, there is nothing that is good. For those who are critical in the political thing, what six months ago was all right today is not. So that's the thing, it changes so fast, it's not going to work. And like you said before, is that... Or once we said, is without education how do you move everything forward? It's like here, you want to be nice, people are having trouble in their own country, so you want to accommodate them, great. But when they come into your country, they should be trained in the social etiquette of the country, so that they live in that way. If you can't look at it, yeah, they are having problems and all that because because there is all fight and everything is going on there. But why is there fighting and everything going on there? And so you have to see, is it simply because somebody is making trouble or it's also that's the nature of those people? And so, therefore, you need some training so that you don't have to do like that. You want to be peaceful, behave yourself! No? Yeah. So like you said, you may have the best intentions, but if it's not in line with the natural laws of nature, it won't work.

Prabhu (1): Thank you TapasJī, thank you very much. Pātri Prabhu, you have still one question. I just, for the sake of our forum has seen you really, and you look always like just initiated brahmacārī, but I remember not seeing you on Leningrad Ratha-yātrā 1990, but already a few years after in Moscow. So can you maybe just shortly, a little mention... I remember you were just quit your military career as well as me, but when did you join? And, of course, your question then just soon after that.

Prabhu (6): I just met one devotee in the metro, underground, and he gave me one book, Bhagavad-gītā, and he told me, 'Are you a special person? Are you VIP?' I said, 'Well, I am,' as proud as I was, and he said, 'This is a book for VIP people,' and he showed me, 'This is for military... You are a military man,' because I was in military uniform, he told me, 'Well, this is a book for military people, it's about war.' It was Bhagavad-gītā. Dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre. So I saw some battlefield there and fighting guys, okay, let me take. 'I am a VIP,' so I took it. And then, of course, when I came back home, hardly I could read even one line. Dhr... dhr... dhri... Dhṛtarāṣṭra uvāca...  So I was thinking, 'It took me 10 minutes to read one line,' so I thought, 'What a book it is?' It took me...

Anyway, whatever it is, but slowly just to sleep, not to use sleeping pills after a tiring day I used to read this book and after two minutes I used to sleep. So, and I completed that book and when I realized, by finishing Bhagavad-gītā I realized, 'Yes, yeah, I am VIP - Very Insignificant Person.' And then I happened... The same day when he gave me the book, I found, one devotee told me.... I was vegetarian by that time, doing sports title. 'Well, there is one secret lecture underground,' still it was not openly yet. 'What is that?' 'You have to know about the Vedas. I can take you,' and it was just right after 10 minutes, starting somewhere in the underground, some school. And I said, 'Let's go,' just like that. Things should be done immediately, śubhasya śīghram. So I jumped and we went, and I found many, many shaved, in bedsheets people sitting. At that time Harikeśa Mahārāja came for the first time after 10 years being, you know, kicked out from the country, he came first time and he gave lecture. So when I came to the lecture, I was very surprised, but they told me, 'Take out your boots, because you have to come inside via foot,' so while in the uniform I just took out my big boots, rv (?) boots and I went inside in uniform. And visibly Harikeśa Mahārāja was very much disturbed because he thought, maybe some KGB came or somebody. And I just stood against the wall, I didn't sit down, I was really shocked by seeing so many crazy people, but he was speaking that śloka, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya, 'everything rests upon me as pearls, but I am not seen, know the truth about Me.' So I found this a very interesting point, and I took my notebook, which I always had, and I started to make notes. And Harikeśa Mahārāja maybe thought, this guy is making some list of present people to arrest them or something like that. So he immediately finished this his lecture and was about to leave. So before everybody left the hall, I just went quickly back myself, and when I went out, it was big, big mountain of shoes, I could not find my boots already. So I had to dig the shoes, I could not find, so I had to stand and wait when everybody will take their shoes. Meanwhile, Harikeśa Mahārāja came, and it was very narrow passage. So I stood against the wall while Harikeśa Mahārāja was passing near to me, and then he stopped, and then he looked. As Gour Govinda Mahārāja said, eye to eye union, he just looked at me, maybe 20 inches, like this close, and then looked and looked and looked, and everybody was so complete silence, and after maybe 20 seconds he loudly... Looked at my eyes, maybe he was thinking, 'What kind of KGB it is?' But then he found that this is simply a boy, it is just new soldier, all right, and then he looked and then very loudly, in my eyes he told, 'Haribool!' like this, very loudly. So I sweat, my cold sweat was there, and then all devotees started a heavy kīrtana, and that time I remember that feeling, I really felt like to take my uniform and dance with all devotees. That's the principle: till now I am dancing, what to do. And then I was thinking, 'Better to be in that army, better I will join Caitanya Mahāprabhu's army. So there is still an army, what to do. We have a little different uniform, and rest is the history. I went to Moscow and stayed there... Anyway, so this is very... I just started to practice, as Ānanda Caitanya said, no temples, we didn't have any centers, but that enthusiasm, that śakti pariṇāmavāda, which is so blissful, happy devotees, that really convinces me more than any philosophy. I want to be like them. Okay.

And then rest, after five years of practice I remember I came to Māyāpura, and I could not believe that this is a real spiritual world! And at that time, Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Mahārāja, you were doing yajña in that old place, yajñaśālā in Māyāpura, near the long building. So then I really was inspired, I want to stay in Gurukula, it's a little bit too late, I was 20 years old, 28 years old by that time already. So, but I still wanted to be in Gurukula and I remember I came and asked to Mahārāja, 'Can I stay in Gurukula?' and you looked at me very, very straightforward and said, 'Are you ready to clean the toilets?' I said, 'I am ready to do anything!' So, and that's the history. So I said, when I stayed with Naru Gopāla and then spend some time, few years. But then Prabhaviṣṇu Mahārāja said, 'I will give you initiation, but you have to do one thing. Are you ready?' So as army of Caitanya Mahāprabhu I had to say, 'So, yes, sir!' So get out from your home for preaching!' Bangladesh, India, and till date I am... Whatever, trying to serve mission of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, that's real army. Many challenges, but Kṛṣṇa keeping us in the front line soldiers so far. But by association and guidance of such wonderful vaiṣṇavas and your grace, Mahārāja, so your Holiness, so really just somehow maintaining our standards and trying to push this movement, pray until something happens. Push, to create strong H.O.L.D., Home Of Love and Devotion, that's good.

So I have this small question, small question, just in regard, really, it's very nice, very beautiful discussion and elaborate explanation, thank you very much. One question, Mahārāja, so you said yesterday that our organization, such a spectrum, from dog eaters to their traditional brāhmana family members, brāhmanas. And everybody coming and we have to give shelter to all kind of people, and we have to have such an army to fight with Māyā, but they have so different standards. And as you said also, as many opinions as many navels. [?In Nepali] - so many heads, so many thinkings. And, well, and also then Jīva Gosvāmī, I believe, in Bhakti-sandarbha, he explains that people, they are doing devotional service, as well as Kapila deva also explains in Third Canto Bhāgavatam, devotional service in different modes of nature. So Jīva Gosvāmī explains that there is separatist mentality. To keep things, organization together free from separatist groups, etc. But he said that three kinds of separatist mentality, daya-dṛk, pṛthag-bhāva and also... Anyway, so, daya-dṛk, pṛthag-bhāva separatist mentality in tamo-guṇa, rajo-guṇa and sattva-guṇa. And everybody, people, they have their own opinions, what is the most important thing. And as we learn, Prabhupāda said, 'Do the needful.' And very often happens in the meetings of management, everybody is thinking what is needful the most according to themselves. So, for every people, every person 'needful' means something else. And efficient and effective, efficient means to do right things and effective to do things right. So my question now: how to delineate and to establish that what is actually, as you said, of course, strategy is established by Kṛṣṇa, of course, but how to deal with the situation when people with different mentality, neophyte mentality - neo-fight, new new fight - always this is the situation, how to deal with this level when people are very often on anna-maya platform but we have to establish the strategy given by our Paramparā, and if they are not ready to accept it, what to do in that situation? And they happen to be leaders also.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Well, I mean, yeah, you have the aspect, is that if they say it is practical, but explain how is it practical in connection with Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You just have to keep asking questions. And much of the time you will see, is that devotees, though generally they would know the answer, they somehow or another never take it that the Kṛṣṇa conscious point is actually the answer. So if they say, 'We should do this,' well, why should we do it like that? So much of the time, 'Oh, it is obvious, well, everyone does like that,' so in a sense when is what everybody does that makes it right? Because everybody does today, and then tomorrow they are not doing. So why are you doing it this way? And then you take it back until they get it back to Kṛṣṇa - that's one way is if you have that kind of environment in which you can give that control. But that's why then Kṛṣṇa gives and then the Ācāryas give. So how is it in line with what Prabhupāda did? Where are the examples? So the thing is is, so when people... And you ask the questions back. Like if someone says that, 'Oh we can't... you can't say that. Where in the śāstra it says Kṛṣṇa wears a dhoti?' Because it doesn't use the term 'dhoti', like that and all that. But the point is, is that so you doubt Prabhupāda? 'No, no, no, but the scriptures...' So you doubt Prabhupāda? You can use that to... You know, it is like Prabhupāda with the Christians, 'Thou shalt not kill.' 'Yes, but it means this...' 'No, but it says you shoudn't kill.' 'Ehhh...' Like that, so they like to speculate, so you want to get rid of the speculation. If they say it is practical, how is it practical? Because you see from these meetings that so much has been discussed and that, but what of it has been practical? Which of it has hit the ground running? What decision has actually worked? So explain, how is it going to be practical? How does it unfold? Who is going to do what? Because their idea is 'I said it, it will be done.' So it's like Rameses, 'Let it be written, let it be done.' But just because they said it, does that mean it happens?

Kṛṣṇa is satya-saṅkalpa, we are definitely not. Because otherwise, if it was, then we could go, you know, we could say "I want halava,' and then there would be halava there, but there isn't halava there. So we are not satya-saṅkalpa. So it's just a matter of, they want to be real, then you be real! But the important thing is, we also discussed yesterday, you have to find pleasant ways to do that: how to say it, how to bring it out, so that no one gets offended by the way you speak. Because the point is is, that is always the first thing: someone is wrong and you point it out, they will get angry, because they can't defend themselves what they have done wrong, they will get angry at how you told them they were wrong. Does that make sense?

So, therefore, then the etiquette then stands that how you discuss it and all that then that becomes important. But you have to know what is there and you take it through. And if it doesn't work that time, you keep it in mind and slowly, slowly through the discussion you bring out different points. Because someone is going to say something that is not in line with what they are saying, it doesn't support what they are saying. And then at an appropriate time then you speak. That's why there is also the aspect where if you can do it, you have the control, speak later, if that is an option. People speak all this and then having heard what everyone says, then you can give a proper conclusion. And I have seen people who can do that, it is amazing what they do: very short thing they say and no problems, everybody agrees. I have seen it happen so many times in these big meetings, while in the beginning everyone is fighting over this and that and yelling and screaming and stuff like that, and then somebody sits there and watches all that, figures out what is the strong point, what is the weak points, and then points out how to do it with that strong points come out and how to avoid the weak points, and both parties are happy. But so you just kind-of have to just see what will work. Does that makes sense? And just continue to always, when you have the opportunities in the Bhāgavatam classes and this, then preach about pure devotional service and whatever things that you see that are problems in the devotional practices of devotees. But talk about the principle, not the detail, unless they are comfortable with you talking about the detail, you talk about the principles. Does that make sense?

Prabhu (6): Yes, Mahārāja, thank you. As they say that as a woman cannot become half pregnant, as a man cannot become half dead, so it cannot become half truth. So principle must be... Principle... stands for something, otherwise we fall down for nothing. So, basically, we have to stick to the principle.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes, yes.

Prabhu (1): Thank you, Mahārāja, very much. It's... We are a bit already over time, five minutes, so I think it is...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes. Jaya!

Om Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare

Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

Jaya! Śrīla Prabhupāda kī jaya!

Prabhu (1): His Holiness Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Mahārāja kī jaya!

Vedic Leadership and Management Summer Seminar Part 4, given as Zoom Conference on 15 July 2021 with ISKCON leaders