Faith Is the Currency
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Question: One of the natural conditions of the soul is to desire many things. How can we know if certain material things are actually beneficial for us?
Through association. If you have good association, you can easily understand everything. Otherwise, before we used to eat everything (meat, fish, etc.)—our mind is naughty, it always asks for everything, but the jiva soul does not ask for anything. The jiva soul (atma) always wants to serve paramatma, but the atma is covered by the illusory environment, so it cannot cannot serve now, it has no freedom. I have told this many times. When you remove the illusory environment, the atma will be able to serve paramatma. You must manage material desires through practice:
বিষয়ে যে প্রীতি এবে আছয়ে আমার ।
visaye ye priti ebe achhaye amara
"May I have the same affection and attraction to your feet that I now have for material things."
(Gitavali, 4.5, Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)
Bhaktivinod Thakur says: you must change the kind of desires you have for material things and offer them to the Lord. Sometimes some desire comes to you, for example you think, "Oh, I want a samosa, I am very hungry! This samosa is very nice..." Take the samosa, buy it and give it to Nitai, then take prasadam. Or you want to buy a sari, "Oh, it is a very nice sari! I want to buy it!" Buy and give it for Radharani, and you can wear another sari as prasadam. You must remember that you are not alone. For example, you have four children and you think, "I will buy four apples." No. Do not buy four apples, buy five apples—one for the Lord.
If you can practise in this way, you will succeed, no doubt.
Question: One of the offences is to preach to people who have no faith. Yesterday you said that in order to make somebody a devotee we must shed gallons of blood. So, how these two things can be harmonised?
Yes, it is necessary to try to preach. That offence of the maha-mantra that you are talking about means trying to making somebody a devotee and give initiation to those who have no respect for maha-mantra. That is an offence. Preaching is another thing though. "Come to the temple, join us, take some prasadam"—that is our preaching. If people come, they can gradually begin to chant, but you must not immediately give initiation to them and give them the beads if they have no faith.
When Mahaprabhu went to Kasi, He said,
ভারি বোঝা লঞা আইলাঙ, কেমনে লঞা যাব ?
bhari bojha lana ailana, kemane lana yaba?
"I have brought a heavy load to sell in this city. To take it back again is a very difficult job; therefore if I get but a fraction of the price, I shall sell it here in this city of Kasi."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 17.145)
Actually, Mahaprabhu did not go there to preach—He went there to rescue all the people who followed mayavadi conception. Kasi (Benares) is a place full of mayavadi sannyasis. If you go there even now (I have been there many times), you will see that a devotee of Krishna is very rare there—not even 1% are devotees of Krishna there, perhaps only 0.001%. Mahaprabhu would visit Acharya Chandrasekhara's house in Kasi, and we have been to that place also—now there are no devotees of Mahaprabhu in that area...
So, when Mahaprabhu was in that area, He cried and prayed, "I have brought, I have carried so many things from Nabadwip, it is such a heavy load on My head—do I now have to go again back to Nabadwip with all this? I cannot do it. I must distribute it! If somebody has even a little faith, I will give it to them!" "Mulya" means value—sraddha-mulya (the price paid by faith). So, Mahaprabhu says, "If somebody can pay at least a little price, I will distribute it to them!"
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