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Western Idiosyncrasies

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Vyasa Puja of Srila B.S. Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj
Sri Nrisingha Palli, evening class
1 January 2021, part 13, translated from Bengali


You must give up meat, fish, eggs, onion, garlic, masoor dal (lentils). When we go abroad, there is sometimes no moong dal available in the country, so we have to take masoor dal (lentils). What are we to do? We have to take it or just not eat dal at all while abroad. One time, I was abroad with Gurudev. I had not eaten masoor dal for a long time, and when I ate it in front of Gurudev, I liked the taste and ate a lot of it—Gurudev told me, "Yes, eat, eat! You will not get this dal in Bengal!" What will you say?

Another time, we sat down to take prasad. A beautiful dressed-up, dolled-up girl was distributing prasad. She looked like a goddess who has come from heaven; a very good-looking girl. She was giving some sweets they made themselves, but she had very long nails! Leave that, how did she distribute prasad? She held her clothes with her right hand, pressing them to her stomach, and with her left hand, she distributed sweets! I said, "No, no, I do not need sweets, thank you!" Gurudev saw it, and he told me, "Oh, but you are not diabetic yet, have you already given up eating sweets? I know why you did not take the sweets!" [His Divine Grace and devotees burst out laughing.] I did not feel like taking it at all. They do not take bath even once during a week—they do not bath for fifteen days or even a whole month—and when they pass stool, they do not use water, so you have to take food from their hand, and on top of that, she was giving it with her left hand! I lost all appetite! [Laughter.]

They have to be taught everything. Those who are staying with me live in a pure way; they have learnt all these things. Different countries have different ways, and not everybody can come and stay with us. Such is their culture. What will they understand? They do not understand anything... Once, a Western devotee came to pay obeisance to Gurudev. He took off his shoes and was about to pay obeisance to Gurudev, but he had his mala (chanting beads) on his neck, and somebody told him that his mala was touching the ground, it was not good, so what did that devotee do? He took the mala off his neck and kept it on his shoes! [Laughter.] What will they understand then? They have to be taught everything. They do not know all this culture; they must gradually learn the proper culture. It is necessary to explain everything to them. Those who came to the mission in the old days know these things, so they come wearing saris, etc.

...Have you ever been to a beach? I went there once when I was in Venezuela. They offered me to go to the beach, and I thought, "OK, let me go once to see what a beach is like. I have never been to a beach." When I saw it, I said, "I am seeing it for the first time in my life, and I do not want to see it ever again. Let us leave quickly!" I went there with the drums and kartals, and everybody was laughing. People do not wear clothes there! Even women take off their clothes and stay like that! There, nobody, not even women, wear clothes when they swim. Everyone is undressed! How can I stay there, tell me? We went there to do kirtan, but they are all laughing. Thousands of boys and girls jump and swim in the ocean without any clothes! When I saw it, I thought, "O Lord, why have You brought me here? You have brought me here to preach, so that I can preach Hari-kirtan here and bring them benefit. Bugger it, I do not need to give any benefit here! Let us go from here quickly!" [His Divine Grace laughs.]

When I went to Russia, we went through some parks. I just closed my eyes! One time, we were doing kirtan; Srila Ashram Maharaj was walking next to me. Suddenly, we saw a pretty girl with a bottle in her hand walking towards us. There is no way to avoid it—everyone is walking down the street, but the girl saw Ashram Maharaj, and suddenly she threw the bottle away, came near and jumped on him! I bolted out of there at once! [Laughter.]

Gurudev told also about New Zealand after he went there. You know that in our country and in other countries, people shake hands when they greet or thank each other. Do you know what they do in New Zealand? When somebody comes to visit your home, the guest and the host come close to each other and rub noses! [Explosive laughter.] What kind of customs are these?! But these are their rules. When Gurudev came to somebody's house, they greet guests in this way, so you have to rub noses with the host! [Laughter.]

Such are the places where I have travelled... People come from such places to chant the Holy Name and practise Krishna consciousness. Gurudev brought people from such places to this path. Now they live like civilised people: they wear saris, they cook, etc. When you go to public events or places in those countries, you cannot even look, but it is necessary to preach there. There, amidst the crowds, it is necessary to take out a microphone and chant, preach. Moreover, when you see all those things and all those people, you have to stay straight. Do you think everyone can do that? At festivals, people do not even wear clothes. They only wear something on their hips and cover their bust a little, and the whole body is without any clothes. Now some of these things are also coming to this country too. You saw yesterday that some girls came wearing jeans. India is slowly becoming like the West. If I say all these things, they will print it in newspapers, saying, "Oh, Maharaj has said this and this about ladies' clothes." We cannot speak about these things because everyone is independent now—you cannot tell anything to anyone.

This is the age of Kali. Kali is slowly coming more and more...

Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay.

Those who will take initiation tomorrow must come upstairs to the veranda. Be ready by 8 a.m. There will be a fire sacrifice for those who are taking the second initiation. If there are many people taking initiation, I will first give the second initiation. If you can sit at the fire sacrifice, it will be good. Mantras are chanted during the sacrifice, so if you listen to those mantras, it is good for you. I will not take more time today. I am finishing here.

[To the pujari] Prabhu, I am finishing. Put the Deities to rest! I am going to chant Hari Haraye now and finish.

[His Divine Grace chants Hari Haraye Nama Krsna, recites Jaya Dhvani, and concludes thus the evening class.]

There is a festival the day after tomorrow. Please stay. If anyone has to leave earlier, if there is some urgency, I will not say anything, but please take prasadam in the morning before you leave, it will be good.


[Note: We ask readers for forgiveness if these words from the holy mouth of His Divine Grace come across as jarring. This part of the lecture is published with no intention of demeaning anyone but with the view to acquaint readers with the vision and mood of His Divine Grace as well as offer guidance to those who are not aware of basic lifestyle dignity and encouragement to those who struggle to adjust with the oft-perverted environment. Vox populi is not vox dei.]


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Dignity of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math: (3) Our Practising Life Principle
'Krishna always tests us, but we cannot tolerate so much. Also we do not accept what is in favour of devotion properly, sometimes we accept what is favourable but sometimes we also accept what is unfavourable to devotion. This is bad.'


Gurudev! krpa-bindu diya
'When I examine myself for qualifications, I find none. Your mercy is everything.'
গুরুদেব! কৃপাবিন্দু দিয়া

It is necessary to understand where the mantra and the guru come from.