THE BENEDICTINE TREE OF DIVINE ASPIRATION: CHAPTER THREE


Demolishing Pillars of Ego

 

A Lecture given on the Island of Maui, Hawaii,
by
His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

 

 

Why have I come here to the West? Many times I have thought about it. The devotees have spent much money for my World Tour. I do not know how much they have spent, but I am thinking that for me it is far too much. However, I must give something to my friends, to my Godbrothers, to the devotees and sincere seekers. I must give something, but what shall I give? I can only give a connection, and sometimes I can rectify.

If anyone has any questions, or if anyone has any deficiency or any doubts about Krsna consciousness, I shall try to remove these. I will try to give some nourishment to them, and I also will get some mercy from them—that is my wealth, and that is why I have come out from Nabadwip.

I know what is the position of Guru. Guru is not laghu, light. The Guru never has a light position. But I am very tiny, and a conditioned soul, so in which way will I give advice to others? However it is my good fortune that I have that type of seva. It is very hard seva, and it is very hard to continue it, actually.

It is hard in this way. First, we must prevent ego from coming to attack. Ego is a very bad thing for the practitioner. In the Scriptures we see:

ahankara-nivrttanam
kesavo nahi duragah
ahankara-yutanam hi
madhye parvvata-rasayah

(Brahma-vaivartta Purana)

The position of Krsna is that He is very near and dear to everyone of us, but why are we not feeling His presence within our heart? What is the cause? We must try to search the cause. We have received the Harinama Mahamantra from a great Guru, but how much actual progress are we making? This is necessary to consider.

A schoolboy receives every week or every month a progress report which he shows to his guardians, "This is my progress report." Similarly twenty-four hours pass every day, but what is our progress report in Krsna consciousness? This we must realise. We have a grand Guru, Srila Guru Maharaj, and a grand Guru, Srila Swami Maharaj; they are world-wide Gurus, and we have gained a connection with them. We are so fortunate no doubt, but what seed have they given to us? And have we planted it properly or not? Is it showing its form and glory or not? It is present in our heart, but it is necessary to realise how much it is showing itself. We can say that this is one kind of self realisation.

In this way it is as a reminder of Srila Guru Maharaj and Srila Swami Maharaj that we are meeting here, also we can discuss together how much progress we have made in the line of Krsna consciousness. If we have not progressed so much, where is the deficiency? It is necessary to know. The Scriptures say that Krsna is living within the heart of everyone and in all the environment. The Scriptures also say that it is possible to see Krsna; He is present everywhere. But why can we not see His presence within our heart always?

One very big obstruction to seeing Krsna is ego. We have freedom; everybody has freedom, and through freedom ego is growing. But in one way freedom is very good. I shall give an example. I have freedom of my tongue. I have a tongue, and that tongue can taste many opulent things. It can taste many opulent types of Prasada such as sweets and honey. But it is also within the freedom of my tongue to always taste bitter things.

Krsna has given the tongue, and all the senses, for service to Him, but at present we are not using them for that. We are eager to make ourselves like pillars of ego, thus preventing ourselves from making much progress. It is necessary to remove the ego from between ourselves and Krsna. Ego is in between us, and it works in a very bad way. We must remove it. But 'ego' means what?

What does everyone need? Everyone needs some position—everywhere we see it. But it is necessary to know what is our actual position, otherwise we cannot understand Krsna consciousness. If such enquiring feelings do not arise within us, then Krsna consciousness actually is not possible.

Mahaprabhu is Himself Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, and what did He say? He appears in this mundane world for our supreme benefit no doubt, but He has some interest to taste the Supreme Devotional Mood. He wants to taste in which way it is playing between Krsna and the devotees.

sei radhara bhava lana caitanyavatara
yuga-dharmma nama-prema kaila paracara

(Chaitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 4.220)

Krsna is very beautiful, 'Reality the Beautiful.' That is the Form of Krsna. Krsna's beauty is such that no other incarnation can compete with Him.

sarvvadbhuta-camatkara-
lila-kallola-varidhih
atulya-madhura-prema-
mandita-priya-mandalah

(Chaitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 23.82)

Krsna is playing with the Gopis, and there everything is automatically serving the whole environment. The Play of Krsna is going on there like waves in the ocean. Full happiness and full joyfulness are present. It is full of Divine Love, ecstasy and nectar. In the Lila of Krsna those waves are always playing.

Krsna lives with such loving souls who always try to serve Him in every way with their full energy. The Krsna conception is full-fledged theism, and they are using their full energy in serving Him. They are always playing with Krsna within the four types of Rasas.

Somebody feels, "I am the servant of the servants of the servant of Krsna." Someone else feels, "Krsna is my friend. Krsna and myself, we are equals. We shall play together in the playing ground." Such a person will join with others to take Krsna out from His house and go to a grass field or within a cave. They have the form of cowherd boys and they play with Krsna in many ways.

Others think, "Krsna is my son," and they show much affection in the mood of Vatsalya-rasa. And others are in the supreme Rasa, Madhura-rasa: the Ecstatic Divine Relationship of Consorthood and Paramour Love.

Krsna is not born from the womb of other ladies, but each of them is thinking, "Krsna is my son." Even the cows are thinking, "Krsna is my son!"

In Srimad-Bhagavatam we can see that all the Rasas are playing in a very ecstatic and joyful way in Vrndavana. Divine Love is always playing there.

trijagan-manasakarsi-
murali-kala-kujitah
asamanordhva-rupa-sri-
vismapita-caracarah

(Chaitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 23.83)

Krsna plays His flute, and everybody keeps contacted through that sound. When Krsna plays His flute, Mother Yasoda and other ladies with maternal feelings towards Him think, "Krsna is hungry. He wants to take some food and nourishment." And the cowherd boyfriends of Krsna think, "Oh, Krsna wants to play with us, now we shall go! Krsna is playing His flute and calling us." In this way the flute always keeps connection with the whole of that environment.

If suddenly the sound of His flute overflows from that plane and goes everywhere, everyone becomes puzzled, like Brahma. He thinks, "This is not my sound! I am the creator of the whole universe but this is not my sound. Where has this sound come from?"

Anantadeva has the form of a snake, and on his head the planets are present. It is described that this entire universe is upon his head, but when that huge Anantadeva heard the overflowing of that Divine Sound, He also was puzzled.

The whole universe becomes puzzled to try to understand from where this sound is coming. And not just our universe, but all the universes. That sound sometimes comes to other universes also, just like lightning which sometimes flashes through the sky, illuminating it for a moment.

But Krsna is just playing. Krsna doesn't know, and He has no time to know, who He is. He is always intoxicated with the devotees' love, and in a loving way He always plays in Vrajadhama, Vrndavana. That is His position. Atulya-madhura-prema-mandita-priya-mandalah.

His transcendental land is such that service is always going on there, and we are connected in that line. Srila Guru Maharaj gives a very nice example of how we are connected with that world: our connection is through the telescopic system. We cannot see how many stars are present in the sky; we cannot see them either in the day-time or the night-time. But through a telescope we can see many stars and planets; and a powerful telescope can show us even more.

Transcendental knowledge comes down through the telescopic system of the Guru-parampara. Actually that plane is our home, and we have shelter there, but only through service and hankering can we enter. Through the mood of hankering and the mood of service we can go to that plane. And that plane is transcendental and infinite.

Krsna can appear anywhere and everywhere at any time. It is possible by His will. We cannot control that. If an ant runs on the floor in front of me, he does not know I am sitting here, but if I touch the ant, he can understand, "Something is touching me." But that touch depends on my will, not his. I can withdraw my finger and the ant will no longer feel anything. In a similar way transcendental knowledge comes down in this mundane world; but all is dependent upon the will of that infinite world.

You have read in one of Srila Guru Maharaj's books that someone questioned him: "If the finite can understand the Infinite, then how can He be Infinite?" But Srila Guru Maharaj answered, "If the Infinite cannot make Himself known to the finite, then He is not Infinite!"

The Infinite has the absolute right to do everything, therefore He can show Himself also. We may be very tiny souls but He can show Himself to us, but that depends upon His will, and we need to attract His will. His 'will' means His mercy. We can only try to attract His mercy, otherwise it is not possible.

We cannot go directly to the King. If we want to go to the King we must first make some petition and identify ourselves and our wish. Our petition will be taken by an officer, then it will be passed on to someone else, then another. In this way our identity will become known and when our petition will win approval, only then can we meet with the King. This is the procedure, and it is found everywhere, not only for meeting the King. It also applies if we want to see the Prime Minister, or any minister or official. Similarly, if we want to join in the Krsna consciousness line it is necessary to follow a proper line of approach. Srila Guru Maharaj called it the 'proper channel.' If we come through the proper channel we can easily go to that transcendental world, and then we will be able to see what is going on there. From here we cannot understand, but it is possible for the transcendental world to appear within our heart.

In which way will we actually get Krsna consciousness?

atah sri-krsna-namadi
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah

We cannot chant pure Krsna-nama, so in which way shall we chant? The Scriptures and saints all say that Krsna-nama and Krsna are non-different, His body is a transcendental body, His playing ground is a transcendental playground, and when He appears in the Form of Harinama that also must be transcendental. So how with this mundane tongue can we chant the Hare Krsna Mahamantra?

Na bhaved grahyam indriyaih. Indriya means the senses: the tongue, eyes, ears, nose and skin. We have these five senses, and through them we can feel. But our senses are all mundane senses, so in which way will we chant and feel the transcendental Harinama? It is not possible by anything mundane, but if we gain a transcendental seed of Harinama, and if we can plant and nurture it in a proper way, then it will appear in our heart. When He appears I shall only be able to see Him through transcendental senses, so my senses will be transformed in this way, and through those senses I shall be able to see the play of Harinama.

Sriman Mahaprabhu said that Harinama Himself will appear within your heart, and when He will appear, you will then be able to feel His presence. You will be able to feel joyfulness, happiness and a living ecstasy. You will feel everything.

First we need a connection with the proper channel, then it is necessary to plant that within our heart. We have received that seed from a grand Guru, then it is up to us to plant it nicely. The ball is now in our own court; and whether someone can score a goal or not depends on their own capacity.

Capacity comes to us through the process of humility, tolerance and giving honour to others. Mahaprabhu expressed that mainly 'capacity' means that without offence we are to chant the Hare Krsna Mahamantra. If we are able to chant in this way, the Hare Krsna Mahamantra must appear within our heart. The ten kinds of offences are dangerous things*. [See Appendix III]

The main obstruction is ego. If we cannot first remove the ego then in which way can we chant? Therefore we must follow the four advices given to us by Sriman Mahaprabhu, then the ego will go out, and other obstructions will go out also. His advice is:

trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna,
amanina manadena
kirttaniyah sada harih

"One who knows himself as more insignificant than a blade of grass, who is as forbearing as a tree, and who gives due honour to others without desiring it for himself, is qualified to sing the glories of Lord Hari constantly."

First of all it is necessary to feel who we actually are and what our position is, then the ego cannot come, and we must be humble. Taror api sahisnuna means to be tolerant, like a tree. If you cut the branch of a tree he will not protest, and cannot protest also. Everything depends upon your will, but the tree treats you as his friend. If you cut his branches, next year he will still give fruit to you. He will not stop his benevolence.

In which way does the tendency to be an enemy come in this world? Everyone feels the need to have some position, and each have the tendency to make all others lower than themselves: that is ego. But if we give honour to everyone, even to those who have no honour, they must be pleased with us. Therefore if we can make ourselves very humble, tolerant and in the mood of giving honour to others—not only by mouth, but actually by our nature—then the enemy tendency will not come from any other side. Everyone will become our friend, and if we give honour to everyone, then no possibility will arise to make offence to the Vaisnavas. It is very difficult to know who is a Vaisnava and who is not. We do not have that type of capacity, so in which way shall we decide? Therefore it is necessary to always give honour to everyone.

Srila Swami Maharaj generally instructed, "Chant Hare Krsna and follow the four directives. Your duty is to chant Hare Krsna without offence. In this way you will get everything. And read the books. Why? It is necessary to read the Scriptures in order to make yourself good, but it is not permitted to read all the Scriptures."

It is not permitted because we may not be able to understand the content properly:

yaha, bhagavata pada vaisnavera sthane
ekanta asraya kara caitanya-carane

(Chaitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 5.131)

"If you want to read the Srimad-Bhagavatam, go to the Vaisnava who knows its real meaning. In front of him you are to read the Bhagavatam, and in that way you will gain some proper understanding, otherwise you will not be able to understand."

I can read Bengali, and there is a translation of Srimad Bhagavad-gita in Bengali, then why did Srila Guru Maharaj instruct me, "You go to Swami Maharaj and read Bhagavad-gita from him"? There is a reason for that. Srila Guru Maharaj explained, "By this process you will not go in the wrong way. Rather, your understanding must develop in the proper way." The Bhagavad-gita was the first of our books that I read.

[A child comes and makes an offering to Srila Govinda Maharaj and draws his attention.]

Seeing how the young children are coming and making offerings, and seeing how enlightened and attracted they are by Krsna consciousness, I am thinking this is all the mercy of Sri Krsna. I am moved to see it. These small boys are very enthusiastic to chant the Hare Krsna Mahamantra, and it is not only as a formality, but it is coming from their heart. It is genuine. They do not know about this mundane world and many things, but with the association of their fathers, mothers and other devotees, they feel much inspiration to chant the Hare Krsna Mahamantra.

They are so innocent. Sometimes we mention something to them to make them conform to customs, "Oh, this is not good, this is not the behaviour of a good Vaisnava...," but who are we to tell them like that? We must also show them humility, tolerance and honour.

But 'humility and tolerance' does not mean that if anybody kicks my Guru Maharaj's photo, or in front of me kicks a Vaisnava, that I shall tolerate such actions. This is not the actual meaning.

We must have tolerance of mind for anything against ourselves. If, however, we see too much disturbance, our first duty is to take ourselves as well as our dependents away from that place. We must leave such association. In this way it is necessary to protect ourselves and the children. At the same time the children must always receive some good inspiration, and I am seeing in the Western world that they are getting that.

I was in Australia, and seeing the mood of all the devotees and children, I was stunned. They are so enlightened with Krsna consciousness and so devoted. They gave me some photographs of us all together, and if you will see them you will be happy to notice how nicely they are chanting the Mahamantra and how enlightened they are with Krsna consciousness. Actually it is all the property of our Gurudeva.

Now that chair of Guru has come to me. What is my practice? It is that my Guru has ordered me, "Do this...," therefore I am doing it. But if any ego will come to me, then I will fall down, no doubt: "Oh, I am a grand Guru! Why are you not giving respect to me?" I have seen many examples of this. It is no joking matter.

For forty-two years I was with Srila Guru Maharaj. I did not go anywhere without his service, but all the Gurus came to Srila Guru Maharaj. So it is my fortune that I have seen many things in their dealings and how they gave constant honour to others. Some of that mood I have also gained from them.

Whenever they came to the Math they would always give honour to one another very nicely. Also my Srila Guru Maharaj right up to his last days expressed, "I am a student, I am not a master. You are also students. You are all my friends, and students; and I am feeling I am also a student." I have received that teaching from my Guru Maharaj, and I cannot forget it. I am a student. I am his servants' servant, and I am trying to serve his devotees.

I have come out from India to serve the devotees. I have come by the will of the devotees for the service to the devotees, and to give help to whoever has the devotional mood. I have come to help the sincere seekers who have eagerness for Krsna consciousness. I shall try to help them.

If a blind man cannot cross the road, what shall I do? I shall take his hand and help him: "Oh, come, you can cross the road now." In this way it is help to others.

om ajnana-timirandhasya
jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena
tasmai sri-gurave namah

All the conditioned souls are blind actually. They can neither see the Form of Sri Krsna nor the world of His transcendental affairs. They cannot see, so in this sense they are blind. They are searching, "Where is my property? Where is my property?" It is their property, but they cannot see it. The following example is given in Sri Chaitanya-caritamrta.

"You are the full proprietor of a large wealth but, even though it is within your own home, you do not know where it is hidden. You do not know that it is hidden within you. In searching for it, if you go to the western side, if you go to the southern side, or if you go to the northern side, you will be cheated. You can also dig a deep well, but you won't find any wealth there either. But if you go to the east corner of your house and dig there, you will find it." This example is given, and the expert who knows that, will show you: "Your wealth is within you. Try to get it in this particular way." Following him, you must be successful.

Srnvantu visve amrtasya putrah. "We are all sons of nectar, sons of the nectarean ocean." Therefore it is necessary for everyone to discover that wealth, and to find out that it is within, it is in our own heart. And it will be very helpful for us if anyone can show in which way we can easily discover it. This is Krsna consciousness.

When you give knowledge of one's wealth to someone, he will adjust his own activities in order to try to discover it—he will develop the proper devotional mood.

sravanam kirttanam visnoh
smaranam pada-sevanam
arccanam vandanam dasyam
sakhyam atma-nivedanam

iti pumsarpita visnau
bhaktis cen nava-laksana
kriyeta bhagavaty addha
tan manye 'dhitam uttamam

First is sravanam, hearing, and if you can listen very attentively, then you can chant—kirttanam. Then comes smaranam, pada-sevanam, arccanam, vandanam, dasyam, sakhyam and atma-nivedanam. These are the nine principal kinds of practising processes, and you will try to do them. They give nourishment to the bhakti-lata, the creeper of bhakti, the creeper of devotion. You must try to grow that creeper within your heart.

Question: Srila Maharaj, you mentioned how Srila Guru Maharaj asked you to read Srimad Bhagavad-gita under the guidance of Srila Swami Maharaj and that this process would keep you on the right track. Please could you explain this further.

Srila Govinda Maharaj: Yes, I can help to explain it through the following example. When a railway carriage runs along the main track it must not deviate to another track or become derailed. So Srila Guru Maharaj said, "When I am not here, you read Srimad Bhagavad-gita from Srila Swami Maharaj. Stay on the track!" That was his advice, rather his order. At that time he did not give advice to us; his order was sufficient!

Since the day of my joining the Math I have seen many things by the mercy of Srila Guru Maharaj. I have also gained many friends, and they are all very good Vaisnavas.

Srila Swami Maharaj was a very great Vaisnava, and when he expressed, "Govinda Maharaj is my son," it is not a light thing. At that time he was a grand world Guru. In the meeting for the opening of the Mayapur Chandradoy Mandir in 1973, he also told the gathering that he considered myself as his son, and Srila Sridhar Maharaj as his Siksa-Guru. In the opening meeting of his Temple he expressed it. I consider this as one kind of honour for me, and it is a high fortune, otherwise I would not get this type of honour. But I know that I am a very tiny and fallen soul, and I always feel it.

When Srila Guru Maharaj wanted to give his chair to me I was very afraid to take it. I did not want to be a Guru. Actually I have some previous brahminical experience: I was born in a family of brahmanas, and that family was a guru family. My father, grandfather, great-grandfather, etc. were all gurus. Being born in such a family I know what is the position of a Guru. Therefore I was not eager to take the position of Guru, and I did not want to play or pretend with others in such matters—that is not my nature. I therefore avoided: "Srila Guru Maharaj, I am a very fallen soul. I cannot be Guru now. You are Guru, please you continue."

"When will you be Guru?"

"I shall see, later."

More than thirty years passed in this way. But Srila Guru Maharaj was very knowledgeable in law and he said, "After giving this chair to you if I live for at least two years, then your position will be firm; otherwise some legal disturbances may come." He explained that if someone gives any property to others as a gift, then according to Indian law it will be secure if he remains alive for at least two more years.

Then Srila Guru Maharaj said, "I shall not stay in this world much longer so you must take it at this time. What I am telling you is my last desire. If you do not take this now, I shall die today. Do you hear that?"

I wanted to wait three months more, so I said, "Maharaj, I have not managed everything, so please give me three months more time."

Srila Guru Maharaj replied, "No. You must take sannyasa the day after tomorrow, and at that time you must take the chair of this Math. I shall give it to you, and if you say 'No,' then I must die today."

I told Srila Guru Maharaj, "Maharaj, I am your goat, your sacrificial goat. If you want to cut my tail, or if you want to cut my throat; that is your will. I am ready. When you are telling me this, what shall I do? I am ready for the sacrifice."

Srila Guru Maharaj immediately called Sripad Krsna Sarana Prabhu [Who since received sannyasa from Srila Govinda Maharaj—and the name 'Sripad Bhakti Prasun Aranya Maharaj.'] and instructed him, "Go and bring the priest. The day after tomorrow Govinda Maharaj will take sannyasa and I shall give all charge to him."

I was afraid to see the chair of Srila Guru Maharaj. I did not want to be a Guru. It was inconceivable to me, but I could not ignore it. I know what is the Guru's position, therefore I was afraid.

When Srila Guru Maharaj gave that position to me, from that day on I thought that I must be humble, I must be tolerant, and I must give honour to others. These are the first qualifications I need. I must feel that I am a servant of the servant of the servants of Srila Guru Maharaj.

What is the sannyasa promise, and what is the meaning of the sannyasi's tridanda? The meaning is, "With my body, with my speech and with my mind, I shall serve my Guru. I am promising this, and I am accepting the tridanda so that by holding it I shall always be reminded of my service."

In this way I promised to Srila Guru Maharaj, "I shall serve you with my body, I shall serve you with my mind and I shall serve you with my speech. I shall give this 'punishment' to myself. I make this promise in front of you and in front of the sacrificial fire." That is tridanda-sannyasa. Sannyasa does not mean to be a Guru, actually. But it means, "I must serve you with my full energy. I shall not spend one moment for any other purpose." That is real sannyasa.

In the Srimad-Bhagavatam is given a description:

etam sa asthaya paratma-nistham
adhyasitam purvvatamair maharsibhih
aham tarisyami duranta-param
tamo mukundanghri-nisevayaiva

"By the service to Krsna and the devotees, I must cross over the illusory environment and join the transcendental service world, the plane of dedication. I must join there." This is the sannyasa promise, and it is the real meaning of sannyasa.

In the present day we see that many sannyasis are feeling, "I took sannyasa, now everyone will serve me." But this is not the meaning of sannyasa. Rather, the sannyasi should serve everyone.

Such service may be: "If anyone will try to connect with Krsna consciousness, and if I have some seeds of that property, I must give that to him." If so, then first we must see that whoever wants connection is a sincere seeker. It is necessary to look and see whether he has sincerity and faith, otherwise giving him the seed may destroy me also.

There are ten kinds of Namaparadha. One of them is that you don't give advice to chant Harinama to one who has no faith. I composed verses about these ten offences. The first one is:

harinama mahamantra sarvva-mantra-sara
yandera karunabale jagate pracara
sei nama-parayana sadhu, mahajana
tanhadera ninda na kariha kadacana

"The Holy Name is chanted all over the world by the power and grace of the saints. They are always absorbed in chanting the Holy Name. Never abuse them at any time, because that will be an offence to the Name. The Name of Krsna and Krsna Himself are the same, and if you abuse those who are preaching Their glories, the Name will not be happy with you. The Name will not then appear in your heart."

The ninth aparadha is:

name sraddha-hina-jana—vidhata-vancita
tare nama dane aparadha suniscita

"Don't advise those who have no faith to chant Harinama."

You can notice that faith is necessary everywhere. If you are a follower of Mohammedanism, Christianity, Buddhism or Confucius, the first property of the follower is faith. You must be faithful, then you can enquire further.

The first necessity is to have faith. If someone is faithful and a sincere seeker, I shall try to give help to him, and that will also come to give help to me.

A real Guru always feels, "My disciple is not actually a disciple of myself. He is my Guru appearing in the form of my disciple in order to teach me." If these feelings will come to a Guru, he is a real Guru. Further, he will feel, "If I shall do anything wrong in front of my disciple he will also do wrong and will not be benefitted by my words; therefore I must try to be perfect."

Before taking sannyasa, and before taking this chair, I was a very angry person. My nature was that I could not tolerate anything wrong. If anyone told a lie, directly I would chastise him; that was my previous nature. But when Srila Guru Maharaj gave me the service of Guru, I left that bad nature. Now I am trying to follow the directives of Srila Guru Maharaj, and I am also telling those directives to my friends and to my disciples.

If I am humble, I can say to a boy, "You must be humble!" But if I am not humble, then in which way will he learn humility? If I will not give honour to others, then how will he learn it? Therefore when I have a position as a master, I must serve the disciple, at the same time that will help myself. This is the main and vital thing in the Krsna conscious line.

Now we are all to look to see how much progress we have made in our Krsna consciousness. It is necessary in any way to make some progress. We have very exalted Gurus in Srila Guru Maharaj and Srila Swami Maharaj. They are both in the line of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura who was very broad-hearted. We cannot conceive of how broad-hearted he was.

One day the following incident happened. Srila Prabhupada Saraswati Thakura wanted to establish a centre in London. He proposed that a student hostel be constructed where Indians and foreigners can stay. There would then be some chance to give them some nourishment, and some chance to preach to them about Krsna consciousness in a very sober way. By this we could gain some friends from the student section in London. Srila Prabhupada expressed that if necessary we can supply them their own type of food—meat—from a restaurant. The main thing is that they will come and that they will try to understand our conception. His point of view was that if we make a big student home where perhaps one thousand can stay, if ten men will come in the line of Krsna consciousness we shall feel ourselves successful. Why? Because it is a very rare thing to come in the line of Krsna consciousness. It was his proposal that we could gain some affection from the general younger section in this way, and for that, he was prepared to forego our prestige.

Srila Guru Maharaj came from a very exalted brahminical family famous all over India, and earlier he was very attached to brahminical standards. When Srila Prabhupada Saraswati Thakura mentioned the possibility of supplying meat, Srila Guru Maharaj was seated there and said to him, "Oh, Srila Prabhupada, our prestige will be lost if we arrange their non-vegetarian food to be brought from a restaurant."

Srila Prabhupada Saraswati Thakura replied, "We shall supply everyone with vegetarian food, but if anyone cannot tolerate only vegetarian food, we shall try to supply according to their needs." He showed such a degree of tolerance.

But Srila Guru Maharaj said, "We are Vaisnavas. If we do that, everyone will abuse our mission, and that will not be good."

Srila Prabhupada Saraswati Thakura responded, "A thousand births ago I considered this point and decided in this way."

Then Srila Prabhupada Saraswati Thakura said something. Upon hearing this, Srila Guru Maharaj's conception became very clear: "Always you must be within Vaikuntha-vrtti. Your mood must be always the full serving mood, then you can use anything for the service of Krsna."

Everything can be used in service to Krsna, so why did Srila Swami Maharaj advise his disciples to follow the four directives, and from where did he get those directives? I shall explain.

These are found in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Actually there are not four, but five, directives given there: dyutam, panam, striya, suna and jata-rupam. But why did Srila Swami Maharaj avoid mentioning much about the last, gold?

Money is the main problem for the conditioned souls. They get everything through money: gambling, drinking and intoxication, illicit sex, and killing animals—meat eating. And these are the other four places Kali was given to live in by Maharaj Pariksit.

Gambling, intoxication, illicit sex life and animal slaughter did not exist within the kingdom of Maharaj Pariksit therefore Kali feared for his life. He therefore asked Maharaj Pariksit, "Please allow me to also live where there is money."

The King agreed, "Yes, I am giving that place to you also. You can reside where there is gold—money." In this way Kali stays in five places, therefore actually there are five directives, but Srila Swami Maharaj did not stress much about the fifth, money. It is necessary to understand why. I can say the reason, and for that I have come here.

Srila Swami Maharaj always said, "You try to serve Krsna in any way. And in any way you can, try to collect money for use in service to Him."

He knew how money was coming for his mission, but he digested all the sin behind it. He did not express to the unqualified how much sin was in that money, but he digested it all himself. He had such power of digestion.

He did not instruct, "Don't bring money." Instead he advised, "Go for preaching and book distribution. Everywhere money is needed otherwise it is not possible to preach, so also collect money." He stood by that principle and he had the capacity to digest it. That is, he is a Saktyavesa-avatara. He is an incarnation of the power of Nityananda Prabhu, so he can digest everything.

He said, "Everything belongs to Krsna, therefore you are to serve Him in every respect and in every way. You can use everything in the service of Krsna." In this way he did not make others feel hopeless.

He knew that it is a very difficult thing to use money, so he took all that charge himself. He ordered, "Do this with the money, and do that. Whatever sinful things will come through that money, I shall take that."

Krsna said in Srimad Bhagavad-gita,

yajnarthat karmmano 'nyatra loko 'yam karmma-bandhanah
tad-artham karmma kaunteya mukta-sangah samacara

(Srimad Bhagavad-gita, 3.9)

If you will try to serve the Lord of Yajna, Krsna, with your full energy through a real Guru or real Vaisnava, you will not receive any mundane reaction. But if you don't engage in such service, you will receive reaction.

Srila Swami Maharaj came out from India to the West in order to spread Krsna consciousness throughout the mundane world, and he knew money to be necessary for that. It is the basis.

He thought: "If I tell my students, 'Don't touch money, Kali is there!' then my preaching programme will be hampered." In the West nobody else was able to preach, so Srila Swami Maharaj took that preaching responsibility himself. That was his actual desire.

Unlike Srila Swami Maharaj, our Srila Guru Maharaj continued his preaching in a very small way. He did not want to make his mission very big. He wanted to stay in Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math without going anywhere else. He did not want to construct many buildings. His wish was to have just one building for the Deities, and in a part of that building he wanted one room for his quarters and one room for guests. That was his desire, but when he trained me he expected that I would do some service for the devotees.

Many devotees started to come from the Eastern, Western, Southern and Northern worlds and Srila Guru Maharaj said, "This mission is now growing very big. You should put some limit to it."

But I was very enthusiastic to see everyone being drawn to Srila Guru Maharaj's teachings and I told Srila Guru Maharaj, "I shall take all the charge, don't you worry. If you give your permission I shall serve them."

He replied, "You do not know English so in which way will you serve them?"

I said, "Maharaj, by your mercy English will come to me. I shall not go to learn English. By your mercy everything that is necessary will come to me, therefore I am not worried about that."

In this way Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math has grown and by Srila Guru Maharaj's grace and the affection of you all we now have this chance to discuss such topics of Krsna consciousness in the line of Srila Guru Maharaj even here in Hawaii.

 


 

 

Chapter 2:
"Universal Grace"

Chapter 4:
"The Eye-Opener" ⇒

CONTENTS

Part I


1: Divine Benevolence Abroad*
2: Universal Grace
3: Demolishing Pillars of Ego

Part II


4: The Eye-Opener*
5: Life's Destination
6: Reaping the Eternal Fruit
7: Our Super Benefit
8: Everyone's Real Friend*

Appendices


I: Acharyya-charana-vandana
(Verses in glorification of Srila Govinda Maharaj)
II: Chanting the Mahamantra
III: Dasa-vidha Namaparadha
(The Ten Offences to the Holy Name)
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