Clear Conception, Clear Practice
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Question: In this world, there are so many religions, how to explain to others that this is the best and the only religion that we should follow?
This is a "bible" question. I can give the answer, and it is a very strong answer. Srimad Bhagavatam (1.1.2) said,
পৃথিবীতে যত কথা ধর্ম্মনামে-চলে ।
prthivite yaha kichu dharma name chale
"All religions, all kinds of preaching that are going on in this world are cheating." If you read Srimad Bhagavatam, you will get everything from it. Also, if you read our Guru Maharaj's books, Prapanna-jivanamritam, etc., you can tell many things about this. If you want to preach, you will find many examples there, this is a small matter. Actually, our Krishna consciousness starts from the place where others' conception finishes.
All misconceptions come from India... Sometimes I go to a big meeting where all these misconception sannyasis are there and I hear them say, "Oh, baba! These Gaudiya Math sannyasis are all too talkative!" So, when they know that Gaudiya Math sannyasis are going to give a lecture, they do not want to be present there. This kind of thing is happening...
People are always spreading some wrong conceptions, and you can defeat them in many ways, it is not a problem. You can read Srimad Bhagavad-gita, it is a small book, and you can say everything clearly. You know, Gurudev gave me only one book. I do not read other books—he gave me that one book and I only read that book. That book's name is Gaudiya-kantha-hara. Gurudev said, "If you read this book, you will be a 75% world preacher."
—Jay! [Devotees cheer]
Question: We are in illusion and Krishna consciousness is the only medicine... How much medicine do we need to take and for how long to drive away the illusion?
That depends upon the devotee's practice. Some can be cured immediately, and some not... For example, you can see in India somebody is only twenty-five years old, but they are already a police officer; at the same time you can also see a traffic warden—he is old, his beard is all white, but he is only a traffic warden. It depends upon practice.
Chaitanya-charitamrita (2.22.64) said, "Sraddha-anusari bhakti-adhikari (শ্রদ্ধা-অনুসারী ভক্তি-অধিকারী)." How much you will get depends on how much faith you have—if you have 10% faith, you will get 10%; if you have 50% faith, you get 50%; and if you have 100% faith, you will get 100%. What kind of devotion you get depends upon your faith.
Suppose there is an old man who has five children. One of his sons always chants, "My father is good! My father is good!" but he does not look after his father—he only says that his father is good but does not give him any nourishment. Another son, however, looks after his father. So, the father will give all his property to that second son. Some devotee only chants, saying, "Oh, Gurudev gave me the chanting beads, so I will only chant!" and when many devotees came and somebody asks him, "Please give some prasadam to them!" he says, "Oh, no, I have no time. I am chanting!" Will Krishna be happy with him? You must serve the Lord, the Lord's devotees. Why do I chant? To get service to the Lord. The first step in chanting is that through the chanting you must get service.
Question: I was thinking that to offer a better service to the Lord, perhaps the bhakti-yoga is not enough and we should practise other types of yoga?
No. Karma and jnana cannot give you bhakti. Only devotion can give devotion. Without devotion you cannot get Krishna.
People read Srimad Bhagavad-gita, but their reading is a misconception—people read only first eleven chapters because the twelfth chapter is bhakti-yoga, but in the end Krishna says, "Forget everything! Forget karma, jnana, only 'sarva-dharman parityajya, mam ekam saranam vraja'—leave everything, it is not necessary to do anything else, only surrender to Me, only serve Me. Forget everything else." You think that if you do it, you will not love your son, you will not be affectionate to your mother, you will neglect old people, etc. and you think some sin will come, but no, Krishna says, "It is not necessary to do anything else! Whatever kind of sin there is, I will free you from it. Moksayisyami ma suchah: do not be anxious, do not worry about anything, I will take care of everything." This is the last sloka in Srimad Bhagavad-gita—not any yoga, not any other conception, only devotion. Without devotion you cannot get anything.
Question: What should be the attitude of a devotee towards a person who is making a business of the Holy Name?
You can tell them humbly, "Prabhu, it is not good, do not do it... You are doing business with the Holy Name, and it is very bad..." Sometimes when I go for preaching in Bengal, I see people hire some party who come and also sell the Holy Name. They say, "We have a party and we can come and do kirtan at your house, you can give us 500 rupees." This is called Nam-aparadha, an offence of the Name. You should tell them that it is not good, but if they do not listen, then what can you do? You must not beat them, it is not good—this is not a devotee's behaviour. If they do like this, they will to hell...
I have told also many times that when the Gaudiya Maths ask for money, it is not good. Our Gurupadpadma does not ask for any money—he distributes the Holy name all over the world freely. You can tell them not to do it, but if they do not listen, what will you do? If they maintain their family in this way, what will be the result of such work? Also, such people cannot chant the Holy Name—Nama aksara bahiraya bate tabu Name kabhu naya (নামাক্ষর বাহিরায় বটে তবু নাম কভু নয়—Pv, 7.1). They only say the alphabet, the Holy Name does not come from their mouths.
There are many of such kind of distributors of the Holy Name, such kind of gurus available all over the world. It looks the same, but it is not. When two cars crash in an accident, there is some broken glass in the street. When some light falls on it, the pieces of glass look like diamonds, but if you take some in your hand, you will cut your fingers. So, if you take shelter of such a guru, you will go to hell—the Guru will go to hell and take you there...
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