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His Grace Purujit Dasa Answers Devotees' Questions

The following is a class given by His Grace Purujit Dasa, founder of the Bhaktivedanta Lives in Sound Society, to visiting devotees from the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

Hare Krishna devotees

Class by His Grace Purujit Dasa

Vyavasayatmika buddhi,

Ekeha kuru-nandana.

Bahu-sakha hy anantas ca

Buddhayo 'vyavasayinam

"Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched." (Bhagavad Gita 2.41)

Purujit: I was born in the darkness of ignorance, and my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, has opened my eyes with the torchlight of knowledge. I offer my humble obeisances unto his lotus feet.

So, this is the verse from the Bhagavad Gita. It's actually a very profound verse. Every verse is very deep, but this one specifically relates to the divisions among the different followers of the Vedic culture. "Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched."

So, Krishna says a few verses before to Arjuna that he should fight, but he should not expect results. In other words, Krishna consciousness does not mean to stop activity. We can go on, but the enjoyer of the results of our work is Krishna. If we simply stop action, it will not bring us happiness. And similarly if we simply work for the result, we will be constantly disturbed. Just like thieves, we are enjoying the property of the Lord. A thief cannot be happy. He is always in anxiety. Krishna says that one who does not have peace of mind cannot be happy. Everyone feels deep inside that: "Oh, I'm doing something bad." But because he does not have the alternative, sometimes he gives up action altogether. No more pleasure, no more food, no more this, no more that. Just like the impersonalists.

Therefore, Krishna consciousness means work, but work with the right consciousness - Krishna consciousness. Devotional service is not something artificial. You probably know that passage where Prabhupada explains the sanatana-dharma. Sanatana-dharma is the characteristic of every living entity. That's why Krishna consciousness is not a religion or a sect. It is the natural propensity of every living entity; everyone wants to serve, but they're serving in the wrong way. That's why the role of the spiritual master is to direct that service propensity in the right direction. This is why we need knowledge. Ultimately, Krishna consciousness, bhakti yoga has nothing to do with knowledge. It is the question of the heart, but on the conditional platform, our love is adulterated. We serve in a wrong way. That's why we need knowledge.

Otherwise, we will mistake that which is material for that which is spiritual and that which is spiritual for that which is material. This is the reason why we approach a bona fide spiritual master. Spiritual master means that he is the master in converting material into spiritual. Of course, the Krishna consciousness process does not require that we change our position. Just like Srila Prabhupada says, you can change your religion from Christian to Muslim, from Muslim to Buddhist etc., but if you are a nonsense person, then you will be a nonsense everywhere, whether you are a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, etc.

So we have to change our consciousness. That is important. And it is very simple. Instead of doing things for myself, I do it for Krishna's pleasure. When I cook, I don't cook for myself, I cook for Krishna's pleasure. I like to sing, I like to play musical instruments, that's ok, but do it for Krishna, chant for Krishna. And if you want to do it for Krishna, then you should know that because Krishna is a person, He has his particular taste. And we should understand what that taste is. What He wants, what He doesn't want. Like that. If we strike the right point and serve Krishna in the right way, we will feel ecstatic. And if we serve in a way that is not very pleasing to Krishna, then the bliss will not be there. This is explained in the Srimad Bhagavatam, First canto:

Sa vai pumsam paro dharmo

Yato bhaktir adhoksaje

Ahaituky apratihata

Yayatma suprasidati

“The most perfect occupation for all humankind is what is conducive to the attainment of devotional service of transcendence Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and undeterred so that the same shall completely satisfy the self.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.6)

That sort of service will satisfy the atma. We are speaking of pure devotional service. We are not speaking of mixed devotional service. There is devotional service mixed with jnana, and I explained this before. It manifests as giving up activities and as a denial. This is jnana - analytical. For example, a man decides: "I want to find out why there is life in this person." So he operates him, and he gets his heart, and he takes his heart in his hand. "Oh, so this is life." But then the life of that person is finished. It is not practical to simply study the knowledge. That is called jnana-misra bhakti, bhakti-yoga mixed with jnana.

And then you have another extreme karma-misra bhakti, devotional service mixed with fruitive mentality: "I become a famous kirtan singer and I will get many likes on Facebook, or I will be a famous pujari. We can become illusioned that we are practicing Krishna consciousness, but we are not serving Krishna, we are utilizing Krishna. So the nature of pure devotional service is that it is ahaituky apratihata. It cannot be checked by any material circumstance.

This verse is very important especially for us, the followers of Srila Prabhupada, because it is the verse which inspired Srila Prabhupada to come to the West. Those are his transcendental pastimes. And especially either Bhaktivinode Thakura or Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, they comment on this verse that a disciple should be ready to lay down his life to fulfill the instruction of his spiritual master. That is Krishna consciousness. It cannot be checked even by a material body. That sort of determination we have to develop in order to go back home, back to Godhead. If our determination is 99% it is not enough. We cannot go back to Godhead with 99% determination. We have to develop 100% determination, and that is called vyavasayatmika buddhi.

Hare Krishna.

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