Category Archives: Lecture Excerpts

How to Preach to a Dacoit

There is only the sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana.  Some may misunderstand or not have a full understanding of it, so they only take it to a certain level. That’s why then any thought, any action can be improved. Because you can always take from it what the essence is; then based on that sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana take it to a higher level. This is very important for preaching. You understand this – you can preach. The more you understand it, the more you can preach, the less you understand it, the less you can preach. People are unable to get anything across to anybody because they don’t understand this at all, they take the externals.

Means, somebody is engaged in an activity, the guy is a dacoit and he is the head dacoit of all his gang. And in the neighborhood, they are making trouble. So now we start with this: you want to make this dacoit a devotee. What do you start with? If you don’t know what you are doing, ‘Oh, all you are doing is wrong, you go to hell!’ is that going to resonate with this dacoit? What might be resonating is his gun after he has pulled it out and shot you in the head. But other than that it might not be getting very far.

The point is, he wants to see authority being established. He wants to see proper etiquette established. He wants to see that from that following of that there is profit and result. Does that sound Vedic or not? Because by proper performance, proper understanding of your position, proper performance of your duties in relation to others’ position – that dharma gives artha. That’s why they are getting a result -because they are the head of the gang, the others respect him, follows his orders and instruction, because of that they are getting their results. Because what they are dealing with is very meager, the results are also meager. Or they may be great, but they are temporary. They got lots of money, but they lose it very quickly. Someone else shoots down and steals it, or they spend it because they don’t have any value for the money.

The point is, they are following the same principles that we are, but they don’t know that they are doing it and their detail of it, they are using it on such a low level, but it is still the same process, that’s why it works. There is nothing that works in this world that is not following the Vedic authority. Foolish persons try to claim that the Vedas don’t apply now, but these foolish persons are uninformed. The Vedas always apply. So the idea is to educate yourself so that you can actually see how the principles are always at work.

So now the point is, you are an authority but then the point is, there are bigger gangs than you, so there are bigger authorities, so you also have to be careful with them. So keep going, so then there is the one who why does all this work, why is it that my… Who made the principle that might is there, who created might? So that is God. So He is the Supreme authority. And this etiquette is there, and that works in here. But if you expand it that He is the Supreme authority, that means also that you have etiquette in your gang and between gangs, but there is also etiquette between those who are not in gangs. So they are also a group. Generally known as mushrooms… So there are considerations there so you can take it beyond that there is another consideration.

These people also want to follow their authorities, make their profit. Your gang wants to do, another gang, that is correct. But why not do in such a way that nobody is disturbed? So you can slowly slowly start to elevate. They are offering respect to you, you protect them. And slowly you can introduce all these different qualities and the connection with the Supreme Lord. So then you are able to elevate them. So then they can be someone who could manage within the society, protect the devotees, that are underseeing that Krsna’s interests are maintained and be very dynamic about it. And they would give up methods that would be inappropriate now for because the point is, those methods were detail. The principle is, you are trying to effect something, you are trying to get something done, you are trying to get a result so that all remains in place. But the person doesn’t lose any enthusiasm, he just redirects it and how he thinks so it is still the same principle, it is not something different.

(From Science of Inquiry Lecture, 17th Oct 2008, Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur)

Transcription by Uddhava Priya Pr., used with permission

Minor adjustments made by website authors.

If We Try to Be Paramahamsas, but We Fail…

 

(From questions after talks on Mahabharata, Budapest, Hungary, 2011)

Question: The question is connected to our previous discussion about ksatriyas and how it’s defined what we should learn, what we should do and what is their positions. In our life we see that we start practicing Krishna consciousness, we understand that the ideal is becoming a Paramahamsa and we try to act like Paramahamsas, we dress like highly elevated devotees…

Continue reading If We Try to Be Paramahamsas, but We Fail…

Devotees Should Not Base Their Social Development on Prana-maya

One only notices qualities one has. Now, you might notice them in the positive or in the negative. So you associate with those you see in the positive, but you have to be careful that the negative that you are seeing is actually negative and it’s not just that one has a negative view of the world. Because we have to remember, if we look at it from the modern context, the person who is considered socially better situated is one who can find fault in everybody else and they find association in others that find fault in the same way they do. If they find fault differently, then you are still bogus. Continue reading Devotees Should Not Base Their Social Development on Prana-maya

THE ROLE OF THE INSTITUTION IN CHOOSING ONE’S SPIRITUAL MASTER

 

HH BVPS Maharaja: Something else? Yes, there is a hand, the unembodied hand.

Prabhu (behind a pillar): Recently we had a visiting sannyasi and the discussion went into who is qualified to be Guru and how do you choose a Guru. So the contention was from my side that the institution that we are part of, which Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati said, ‘Organized religion is a necessary evil,’ but the contention was that you have to ask sadhus who is qualified to be a spiritual master. Continue reading THE ROLE OF THE INSTITUTION IN CHOOSING ONE’S SPIRITUAL MASTER

Bathing in Radha Kunda

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is very kind, in that He manifested. Because they [the Shyamakunda and Radhakunda] were there, nobody knew about them, He could have just left it that way. Because here is the highest position, Govardhana is there, the highest spot, but within Govardhana then Radhakunda and Shyamakunda. Continue reading Bathing in Radha Kunda

Are Gurukula Kids Trained to Do Book Distribution?

(A DEEPER MEANING OF BOOK DISTRIBUTION)

Prabhu: I would like to ask a question about Gurukula, although I don’t have any candidates for sending there. As I understood that you spoke that they’re studying philosophy, I’m sure they study how to worship the Deities nicely and I’m sure they are studying how to make nice Vedic ceremonies. But I think the most important activity that Prabhupada meant, it was Sankirtana, book distribution. Are they prepared to do that or are they trained to do that?

HH BVPS Maharaja: To sell something, how much time does it take to learn? Devotees are doing so many things. They join Krishna consciousness… Continue reading Are Gurukula Kids Trained to Do Book Distribution?

How Apasampradayas Arise

Reading from ‘The Apasampradayas, deviant Vaishnava sects’ by Suhotra Svami*: “The link between namaparadha and full-blown deviation from the sampradaya is indicated by Srila Jiva Goswami who warns in the Bhakti Sandarbha that there are offenders to the holy name who are acikitsya or incorrigible (jnana-lava-durvidagdhastraacikitsyaatvadupeksa). Devotees, always compassionate, try to help fallen souls with good instruction. But if someone becomes insolent and arrogant due to acquiring a little knowledge from their association, he is disqualified from the sampradaya because of three kinds of namaparadha: sadhu-ninda (blasphemy of the devotees of the Lord), guru-avajna (disregard of the spiritual master) and srutisastraninda (blasphemy of the revealed scriptures).

“Yet the incorrigible offender never conceives the fact of his offenses. He cannot understand that the mercy of the spiritual master and the association of pure devotees are indispensable to the chanting of the holy name. Because he highly values wordly knowledge and accomplishments, he looks down upon the simple devotees who have surrendered themselves to devotional service. This is sadhu-ninda. He cannot accept that the spiritual master is a transcendental teacher, not a wordly one; thus he tries to measure the person and instructions of the guru by his own mental standards. This is guru-avajna. He studies the revealed scriptures as he would ordinary literature, gleaning from it whatever seems to support his preconceived notions, heedless of the rest. This is srutisastraninda.”

“They may not be able to always follow the order of the guru, or may not understand the things in shastra, don’t bicker with the other devotees, but he is not taking this as a main platform.”

HH BVPS Maharaja: So here is then the person who is performing nama-aparadha, then if they don’t have these problems… It doesn’t mean that… They may not be able to always follow the order of the guru, or may not understand the things in shastra, don’t bicker with the other devotees, but he is not taking this as a main platform. You can see that, okay, sometimes something is wrong, or something like this.

But here is someone who then doesn’t see the importance. Their own intelligence, their own perception on it is actually the main thing. So therefore the position of the acarya, the position of the vaishnavas, the position of the scripture is not the most prominent or driving element. And because of that then they separate themselves actually from the sampradaya. Because as we see here, they read the scriptures, but just take what they like and leave the rest.

“There is a difference between that there is difficulties, but the faith is there and you continue on in the devotional process, or that difficulties are there, but you think those difficulties are actually your qualifications.”

That’s what we saw before in the 6 systems of the Vedic philosophy, is they are taking it from scriptures, based on Veda, whatever they consider as their evidence, it goes back to the Veda, it’s all real evidence. But the problem is is, they only choose which evidence supports what they want, everything else they leave. Does that make sense? Like you have an example of that you are trying to establish that you don’t need to have a spiritual master, you’ll just directly take initiation from Prabhupada. So they’ll base it on a letter, even though you can give so much evidence from the books and other things, that won’t be accepted, it has to be a letter. Does that make sense? So this is that kind of aspect where you only accept which parts you like and everything else you reject. So then that’s there.

Or the devotees, because they are simple, like that, they’ve taken shelter of the Lord, they are performing their devotional activities, but they may not have great knowledge or be necessarily that thoughtful about the process, they just have faith, they just do it, so you consider them not so developed, because here you have, you are thoughtful, because you are making up your own system. Means, to make up your own system means you have to be thoughtful, but it’s just that you are applying the thoughtfulness improperly. Others aren’t, they are just going along with the system, so you don’t consider them special. So then that’s inappropriate.

And then the spiritual master instructions, then you look at him and you judge by your own. So in the same way, what you like, what you don’t like, it’s just on your own decision, it’s not by what is the standard, therefore even if you don’t see it that way, but you want to develop seeing it that way… Do you understand?

So, there is a difference between that there is difficulties, but the faith is there and you continue on in the devotional process, or that difficulties are there, but you think those difficulties are actually your qualifications. Does that make sense?

Prabhu (1): Maharaja, namaparadha is like a misgiving?

HH BVPS Maharaja: Namaparadha? Namaparadha can be anything. Means, it can be… Means, the specific one? Oh, yes, you would say it’s misgivings. But the misgivings, you take it that the misgivings are real, have substance and that they are actually something to judge from. Means, people may do that, but it’s not that they so much necessarily notice it. You know what I am saying? Just the conditioning is there, so you just continue in your conditioning as you always have, and then you are adding Krishna consciousness, so sometimes they conflict, because you have the pure devotional service and then the material, so it makes for that mixed devotional service.

But here it’s not that… Your point is that this is the most… How you say? The misgiving, it’s there, but you don’t necessarily notice it. Here the person is taking, noticing their misgiving and then making it that that is the standard by which you judge devotional service. You know what I am saying?

So you can see is that there is very nice… You can see, ok, you can understand someone is not situated in offenseless chanting, but they are still situated in devotional service. And then it’s very obvious, those who are completely apasampradaya. The difficulty would be what’s in-between, right? But the basic point is in-between is what is connected is proper and what’s not is not. So there may be more proportion of not, or more proportion of connected. But still, it’s considered within the sampradaya, you are just not so nicely situated. Does that make sense? So anything in-between, you don’t count it that they are from the apasampradaya, you count it that they are within the sampradaya. Does that make sense?

“It’s not so often that having given up the determined practice of devotional service, that very many create their own practices. Most just go back to whatever is their previous conditioning. But you see some, having come to the mundane platform then they create their own process and are actually able to continue in it. So that’s specifically your apasampradaya.”

Prabhu (2): So the main point would be to see that it’s progressing towards the apasampradaya or towards the sampradaya?

HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, means, what’s their determination? So in other words, if their determination is there, with discussion, just know they are convinced, ‘No, this is my, my perspective is correct,’ then there is going to be a difficulty there. Then it’s just a matter of do they just go out of devotional service, or do they actually in going out maintain a so-called practice of devotional service. Does that make sense? Yeah.

So generally you see is, means, it’s not so often that having given up the determined practice of devotional service, that very many create their own practices. Most just go back to whatever is their previous conditioning. But you see some, having come to the mundane platform then they create their own process and are actually able to continue in it. So that’s specifically your apasampradaya.

Because generally someone having dropped to the mundane platform we just say that they fell down. But now in that fallen position, no, now they make up a new, their own thing, then that’s where your apasampradaya. Because most people come to that and then they just disappear. Then after a while they figure out, ‘This is stupid,’ and then they come back to Krishna consciousness. But this is they’ll never figure out it’s stupid, because they think they have their own process.

(From His Holiness Bhaktividya Purna Svami Maharaja’s lecture on Apasampradayas, Sastra Caksus course, 1st March 2013, Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur)

*The book ‘The Apasampradayas, deviant Vaishnava sects’ by Suhotra Svami is a publication of The Bhaktivedanta Academy, Mayapur

Lecture audio:

SERVING TEA IN ISKCON RESTAURANT VS BHAKTISIDDHANTA SARASVATI SERVING MEAT TO BRITISH

Prabhu: Sometimes devotees like to say a lot about how Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati said, ‘Feed them meat if you have to, whatever it takes to get them to be Krishna conscious.’

HH BVPS Maharaja: Yeah, and so who is doing it? Continue reading SERVING TEA IN ISKCON RESTAURANT VS BHAKTISIDDHANTA SARASVATI SERVING MEAT TO BRITISH