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  • Short Summary of Lord Ramachandra's Pastimes.

    Lord Ramachandra is an important incarnation of Krishna, the supreme lord, and His pastimes are briefly summarized by Srila Prabhupada in his purport to a verse from the ancient scripture Srimad-Bhagavatam. This is actually Srila Prabhupada's unedited writing from the original commentary on the Bhagavatam that he wrote before coming to the west in 1966. Please enjoy! Nara devatwam apannah sura karya chikirsaya Samudra nigrahadini chakre viryani atahparah Nara -- human being, devatwam -- divinity, apannah -- having assumed the form of, sura -- the demigods, karya -- activities, chikirsaya -- for the purpose of performing, samudra -- the Indian ocean, nigrahadini -- controlling, chakre -- did perform, viryani -- superhuman, prowess, ataparah -- there after. In the eighteenth incarnation of the Lord, He appeared as King Rama and in order to perform some pleasing work for the demigods, He did exhibited superhuman prowess in the acts of controlling the Indian ocean and then killing the atheist king Ravana on the other side of sea. PURPORT The Personality of Godhead Sri Rama assumed the form of a human being and appeared on the earth for the purpose of doing some pleasing work for the demigods or the administrative personalities for maintaining the orders of the universe. Sometimes great demons and atheist like Ravana and Hiranyakashipu and many others become very famous on account of advancing material civilization by the help of material science and other activities with a spirit of challenging the established order of the Lord. For example the attempt of flying over to other planets by material means, is a challenge over the established order. The conditions of each and every planet are different and different classes of human beings are accomodated there for particular purposes mentioned in the codes of the Lord. But puffed up by tiny success in material advancement sometimes the godless materialist challenges the existence of God. Ravana was one of them and he wanted to deport ordinary men to the planets of Indra (heaven) by material means without any consideration of the necessary qualifications. He wanted that a staircase may be built up directly reaching the heavenly planet so that people may not be required to undergo the routine of pious work for qualifying oneself to enter into that planet. He wanted to do many other similar work against the established rule of the Lord. Even he challenged the authority of Sri Rama the Personality of Godhead and kidnapped His wife Sita. Of course Lord Rama came to chastise these atheist class of men by the prayer and desire of the demigods and He therefore took up the challenge of Ravana and the complete activity is the subject matter of Ramayana. Because Lord Ramachandra was the Personality of Godhead He exhibited some superhuman activities which no human being including the materially advanced Ravana could do them. Lord Ramachandra prepared a royal road on the Indian ocean with stones which were floating on the water. The modern scientist have searched out the region of weightlessness but it is not possible for such scientist to bring in weightlessness anywhere and everywhere. But because weightlessness is the creation of the Lord by which He can make the gigantic planets fly and float in the air, so He made the stones even within this earth into weightlessness and prepared a stone bridge on the sea without any supporting pillars, That is the display of all powerfulness of God.

  • Who is Lord Ramachandra?

    Here are some verses and purports to the ancient scripture Srimad-Bhagavatam by His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada which explain the transcendental nature and pastimes of Lord Sri Ramachandra, the incarnation of God who came to lead, teach others by example and purify the world of a great demon, Ravana. Due to His causeless mercy upon all living entities within the universe, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, along with His plenary extensions, appeared in the family of Maharaja Iksvaku as the Lord of His internal potency, Sita. Under the order of His father, Maharaja Dasaratha, He entered the forest and lived there for considerable years with His wife and younger brother. Ravana, who was very materially powerful, with ten heads on his shoulders, committed a great offense against Him and was thus ultimately vanquished. PURPORT who is lord ramachandra Lord Rama is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and His brothers, namely Bharata, Laksmana and Satrughna, are His plenary expansions. All four brothers are visnu-tattva and were never ordinary human beings. There are many unscrupulous and ignorant commentators on Ramayana who present the younger brothers of Lord Ramacandra as ordinary living entities. But here in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the most authentic scripture on the science of Godhead, it is clearly stated that His brothers were His plenary expansions. Originally Lord Ramacandra is the incarnation of Vasudeva, Laksmana is the incarnation of Sankarsana, Bharata is the incarnation of Pradyumna, and Satrughna is the incarnation of Aniruddha, expansions of the Personality of Godhead. Laksmiji Sita is the internal potency of the Lord and is neither an ordinary woman nor the external potency incarnation of Durga. Durga is the external potency of the Lord, and she is associated with Lord Siva. As stated in the Bhagavad-gita (4.7), the Lord appears when there are discrepancies in the discharge of factual religion. Lord Ramacandra also appeared under the same circumstances, accompanied by His brothers, who are expansions of the Lord's internal potency, and by Laksmiji Sitadevi. Lord Ramacandra was ordered by His father, Maharaja Dasaratha, to leave home for the forest under awkward circumstances, and the Lord, as the ideal son of His father, carried out the order, even on the occasion of His being declared the King of Ayodhya. One of His younger brothers, Laksmanaji, desired to go with Him, and so also His eternal wife, Sitaji, desired to go with Him. The Lord agreed to both of them, and all together they entered the Dandakaranya Forest, to live there for fourteen years. During their stay in the forest, there was some quarrel between Ramacandra and Ravana, and the latter kidnapped the Lord's wife, Sita. The quarrel ended in the vanquishing of the greatly powerful Ravana, along with all his kingdom and family. Sita is Laksmiji, or the goddess of fortune, but she is never to be enjoyed by any living being. She is meant for being worshiped by the living being along with her husband, Sri Ramacandra. A materialistic man like Ravana does not understand this great truth, but on the contrary he wants to snatch Sitadevi from the custody of Rama and thus incurs great miseries. The materialists, who are after opulence and material prosperity, may take lessons from the Ramayana that the policy of exploiting the nature of the Lord without acknowledging the supremacy of the Supreme Lord is the policy of Ravana. Ravana was very advanced materially, so much so that he turned his kingdom, Lanka, into pure gold, or full material wealth. But because he did not recognize the supremacy of Lord Ramacandra and defied Him by stealing His wife, Sita, Ravana was killed, and all his opulence and power were destroyed. Lord Ramacandra is a full incarnation with six opulences in full, and He is therefore mentioned in this verse as kalesah, or master of all opulence. TEXT 24 The Personality of Godhead Ramacandra, being aggrieved for His distant intimate friend [Sita], glanced over the city of the enemy Ravana with red-hot eyes like those of Hara [who wanted to burn the kingdom of heaven]. The great ocean, trembling in fear, gave Him His way because its family members, the aquatics like the sharks, snakes and crocodiles, were being burnt by the heat of the angry red-hot eyes of the Lord. PURPORT The Personality of Godhead has every sentiment of a sentient being, like all other living beings, because He is the chief and original living entity, the supreme source of all other living beings. He is the nitya, or the chief eternal amongst all other eternals. He is the chief one, and all others are the dependent many. The many eternals are supported by the one eternal, and thus both the eternals are qualitatively one. Due to such oneness, both the eternals constitutionally have a complete range of sentiments, but the difference is that the sentiments of the chief eternal are different in quantity from the sentiments of the dependent eternals. When Ramacandra was angry and showed His red-hot eyes, the whole ocean became heated with that energy, so much so that the aquatics within the great ocean felt the heat, and the personified ocean trembled in fear and offered the Lord an easy path for reaching the enemy's city. The impersonalists will see havoc in this red-hot sentiment of the Lord because they want to see negation in perfection. Because the Lord is absolute, the impersonalists imagine that in the Absolute the sentiment of anger, which resembles mundane sentiments, must be conspicuous by absence. Due to a poor fund of knowledge, they do not realize that the sentiment of the Absolute Person is transcendental to all mundane concepts of quality and quantity. Had Lord Ramacandra's sentiment been of mundane origin, how could it disturb the whole ocean and its inhabitants? Can any mundane red-hot eye generate heat in the great ocean? These are factors to be distinguished in terms of the personal and impersonal conceptions of the Absolute Truth. As it is said in the beginning of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the Absolute Truth is the source of everything, so the Absolute Person cannot be devoid of the sentiments that are reflected in the temporary mundane world. Rather, the different sentiments found in the Absolute, either in anger or in mercy, have the same qualitative influence, or, in other words, there is no mundane difference of value because these sentiments are all on the absolute plane. Such sentiments are definitely not absent in the Absolute, as the impersonalists think, making their mundane estimation of the transcendental world. TEXT 25 When Ravana was engaged in the battle, the trunk of the elephant which carried the King of heaven, Indra, broke in pieces, having collided with the chest of Ravana, and the scattered broken parts illuminated all directions. Ravana therefore felt proud of his prowess and began to loiter in the midst of the fighting soldiers, thinking himself the conqueror of all directions. But his laughter, overtaken by joy, along with his very air of life, suddenly ceased with the tingling sound of the bow of Ramacandra, the Personality of Godhead. PURPORT However powerful a living being may be, when he is condemned by God no one can save him, and, similarly, however weak one may be, if he is protected by the Lord no one can annihilate him.

  • EVENT: Climate Change and Krishna Consciousness, 22 June in London

    Calling all UK based BLISS family! We have been invited by King's College London to participate in an event where religious and faith groups are exploring climate change. Join us in a beautiful forest in Loughton and hear a class by His Grace Purujit Prabhu. Then participate in a joyous kirtan for Krishna. We will also be distributing prasadam and books all day. WHAT? Krishna Consciousness and climate change WHEN? Saturday 22nd June, 10:30am - 5pm WHERE? The Church of the Holy Innocents, Church Rd, High Beech, Loughton IG10 4BF HOW? Register here

  • Everything belongs to Krishna

    Srila Prabhupada explains how everything in the world belongs to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By such a simple understanding all political and social problems in our society can be resolved. Svayambhuva Manu instructs that whatever exists, not only in the spiritual world but even within this material world, is the property of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is present everywhere as the Superconsciousness. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (13.3), ksetra-jnam capi mam viddhi sarva-ksetresu bharata: in every field -- in other words, in every body -- the Supreme Lord is existing as the Supersoul. The individual soul is given a body in which to live and act according to the instructions of the Supreme Person, and therefore the Supreme Person also exists within every body. We should not think that we are independent; rather, we should understand that we are allotted a certain portion of the total property of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishna This understanding will lead to perfect communism. Communists think in terms of their own nations, but the spiritual communism instructed here is not only nationwide but universal. Nothing belongs to any nation or any individual person; everything belongs to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the meaning of this verse. Atmavasyam idam visvam: whatever exists within this universe is the property of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The modern communistic theory, and also the idea of the United Nations, can be reformed -- indeed, rectified -- by the understanding that everything belongs to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord is not a creation of our intelligence; rather, He has created us. Atmavasyam idam visvam. Isavasyam idam sarvam [Iso mantra 1]. This universal communism can solve all the problems of the world. One should learn from the Vedic literature that one's body is also not the property of the individual soul, but is given to the individual soul according to his karma. Karmana daiva-netrena jantur dehopapattaye [SB 3.31.1]. The 8,400,000 different bodily forms are machines given to the individual soul. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (18.61): isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati bhramayan sarva-bhutani yantrarudhani mayaya "The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy." The Lord, as the Supersoul, sits in everyone's heart and observes the various desires of the individual soul. The Lord is so merciful that He gives the living entity the opportunity to enjoy varieties of desires in suitable bodies, which are nothing but machines (yantrarudhani mayaya [Bg. 18.61]). These machines are manufactured by the material ingredients of the external energy, and thus the living entity enjoys or suffers according to his desires. This opportunity is given by the Supersoul. Everything belongs to the Supreme, and therefore one should not usurp another's property. We have a tendency to manufacture many things. Especially nowadays, we are building skyscrapers and developing other material facilities. We should know, however, that the ingredients of the skyscrapers and machines cannot be manufactured by anyone but the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The whole world is nothing but a combination of the five material elements (tejo-vari-mrdam yatha vinimayah). A skyscraper is a transformation of earth, water and fire. Earth and water are combined and burnt into bricks by fire, and a skyscraper is essentially a tall construction of bricks. Although the bricks may be manufactured by man, the ingredients of the bricks are not. Of course, man, as a manufacturer, may accept a salary from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is stated here: tena tyaktena bhunjithah [Iso mantra 1]. One may construct a big skyscraper, but neither the constructor, the merchant nor the worker can claim proprietorship. Proprietorship belongs to the person who has spent for the building. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has manufactured water, earth, air, fire and the sky, and one can use these and take a salary (tena tyaktena bhunjithah). However, one cannot claim proprietorship. This is perfect communism. Our tendency to construct great buildings should be used only for constructing large and valuable temples in which to install the Deity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then our desire for construction will be fulfilled. Since all property belongs to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, everything should be offered to the Lord, and we should take only prasada (tena tyaktena bhunjithah). We should not fight among ourselves to take more than we need. As Narada said to Maharaja Yudhisthira: yavad bhriyeta jatharam tavat svatvam hi dehinam adhikam yo 'bhimanyeta sa steno dandam arhati "One may claim proprietorship to as much wealth as required to maintain body and soul together, but one who desires proprietorship over more than that must be considered a thief, and he deserves to be punished by the laws of nature." (SB 7.14.8) Of course, we need to be maintained in eating, sleeping, mating and defending (ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithuna), but since the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, has provided these necessities of life for the birds and bees, why not for mankind? There is no need for economic development; everything is provided. Therefore one should understand that everything belongs to Krsna, and with this idea, one may take prasada. However, if one interferes with the allotments of others, he is a thief. We should not accept more than what we actually need. Therefore, if by chance we get an abundance of money, we should always consider that it belongs to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Krsna consciousness we are getting sufficient money, but we should never think that the money belongs to us; it belongs to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and should be equally distributed to the workers, the devotees. No devotee should claim that any money or property belongs to him. If one thinks that any portion of property of this huge universe belongs to anyone, he is to be considered a thief and is punishable by the laws of nature. Daivi hy esa guna-mayi mama maya duratyaya: [Bg. 7.14] no one can surpass the vigilance of material nature or hide his intentions from material nature. If human society unlawfully claims that the property of the universe, either partially or wholly, belongs to mankind, all of human society will be cursed as a society of thieves and will be punished by the laws of nature. SB 8.1.11 purport >>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 8.1.11

  • New Release: Matchless Gift Magazine #12

    ✨ Introducing Our Newest Edition of 'Matchless Gift' Magazine! 📖 hare Krishna We're thrilled to announce the release of the latest issue of our beloved magazine, 'Matchless Gift'! 🎉 Hare Krishna magazine Packed with insightful articles, captivating stories, and uplifting messages, each page of 'Matchless Gift' is crafted to inspire and enlighten readers on their spiritual journey. In this edition, delve into the timeless wisdom of the Hare Krishna tradition, explore the beauty of devotion, and discover practical insights for leading a fulfilling life. But that's not all! By subscribing to 'Matchless Gift,' you'll ensure you never miss an issue. Plus, as a subscriber, you'll gain access to exclusive content, special offers, and community updates. Don't miss out on the opportunity to enrich your spiritual journey and connect with like-minded individuals. Purchase your copy of 'Matchless Gift' today and embark on a path of enlightenment with us! 🔗 Purchase Now 💌 Subscribe now and receive your monthly dose of inspiration directly to your doorstep! Check out some of our other issues... Ready to buy? Click me Matchless gift

  • Subjecting The Empowered Acharya To The Tenents Of The Sastra

    There was a demon of the name Vrkasura. He was the son of Sakuni. Vrkasura went to Kedarnatha, which is a pilgrimage in Kashmir in order to ignite a sacrificial fire to please Lord Siva. He has heard from Narada Muni that from the three deities: Vishnu, Brahma, Siva, it is Siva who can fulfill the benediction of his devotee fastest. After igniting the fire, Vrkasura began to offer his own flesh into the fire. This is the example of worship in the mode of ignorance as stated in the Bhagavad-gita: "Penance performed out of foolishness, with self-torture or to destroy or injure others, is said to be in the mode of ignorance." (Bg 17.19) Persons who perform such so-called sacrifice are declared by Krsna to be demons. He says: "Those who undergo severe austerities and penances not recommended in the scriptures, performing them out of pride and egoism, who are impelled by lust and attachment, who are foolish and who torture the material elements of the body as well as the Supersoul dwelling within, are to be known as demons." (Bg 17.5-6) So it was very clear from the sastric point of view that this Vrkasura was a first class demon. The worship of Lord Visnu or Krsna is very simple, and it can be executed by anyone in this world since a devotee can please the Lord very easily by offering a simple fruit, leaf, water or flower. But worship in the mode of ignorance, as exhibited by Vrkasura, is not only very difficult and painful, but is also a useless waste of time. Therefore the Bhagavad-gita says that the worshipers of the demigods are bereft of intelligence. Vrkasura continued such horrible sacrifices for 6 days, but he was unable to physically meet Lord Siva in order to get the benediction. This is the difference between a devotee and a demon. Srila Prabhupada comments in this connection: "A devotee is confident that whatever he offers to the Deity in full devotional service is accepted by the Lord, but a demon wants to see his worshipable deity face to face so that he can directly take the benediction. A devotee does not worship Visnu or Lord Krsna for any benediction. Therefore a devotee is called akama, free of desire, and a nondevotee is called sarva-kama, or desirous of everything. (KB 88: The Deliverance of Lord Siva) A devotee is satisfied with the vibrational presence of his worshipful Deity since his only objective is to serve, but those who are full of material desires want to physically see the Lord in order to engage the Lord in their service. The very insistence for the Lord to be present is a sign of trying to command the Lord instead of serving Him. For this reason such less intelligent worshippers rarely approach Lord Visnu or his bona fide representative for spiritual guidance. Instead they take shelter of demigods or physically present pseudo Gods who are always ready to serve their foolish followers with temporary and useless boons from the realm of sensualism. Vrkasura, being unable to physically associate with Lord Siva then started contemplating cutting off his own head and offering it to the sacrificial fire. He was so lusty to satisfy his material desires. At this point, Lord Siva, the epitome of compassion came to save the demon. The demon then asked a benediction from Lord Siva, which was most dangerous and foolish. Vrkasura asked Lord Siva for a special ability to crack one's head upon touching it. Lord Siva very unwillingly gave such benediction, but instead of being grateful to his benefactor, the foolish demon started chasing Lord Siva in order to test the benediction on Lord Siva first. These are the dealings of demons. There is a class of offensive persons who similarly attempt to subject the acharya to the rulings of the sastra. Their undertaking is non-different from the offensive mentality of Vrkasura in connection with Lord Siva. Instead of being eternally indebted to the acharya for teaching them the sastra, as soon as they learn a little, they want to attack the acharya and take his place. No genuine Vaishnava can be fooled by the pretentious display of devotion performed by such over-intelligent persons. He never takes part in their so-called worship of the acharya, but avoids them as a plague since he is fully aware of the effects of bad association. They take shelter of the statements of the Caitanya-caritamrta, which clearly declare: dharma-sthapana-hetu sadhura vyavahara "A devotee's behavior establishes the true purpose of religious principles. (Madhya 17.185) tarko ‘pratisthah srutayo vibhinna nasav rsir yasya matam na bhinnam dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhayam mahajano yena gatah sa panthah Dry arguments are inconclusive. A great personality whose opinion does not differ from others is not considered a great sage. Simply by studying the Vedas, which are variegated, one cannot come to the right path by which religious principles are understood. The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated, self-realized person. Consequently, as the sastras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive path the mahajanas advocate.'" (Madhya 17.186) Srila Prabhupada confirms about various acharya's vibrational presence to be non-different from the sastra: "The statements of Thakura Bhaktivinode are as good as scriptures because he is liberated person." (Letter to: Janardana -- New York, 26 April, 1968) "Anything sung in the praise of the Lord is Sruti-mantra. There are songs of Thakura Narottama dasa, one of the acaryas in the Gaudiya-sampradaya, composed in simple Bengali language. But Thakura Visvanatha Cakravarti, another very learned acarya of the same sampradaya, has approved the songs by Thakura Narottama dasa to be as good as Vedic mantras. And this is so because of the subject matter. The language is immaterial, but the subject matter is important." (SB 1.10.20) The very Vedic sastras both sruti and smrti are written by a liberated spiritual master Srila Vyasadeva. No intelligent person will hear a person who does not represent the original acharya.

  • What Does Srila Prabhupada Say About Comets?

    This is a conversation from a morning walk on January 3rd, 1974 in Los Angeles. Srila Prabhupada and his disciples are talking about a comet they have seen recently. In this conversation Srila Prabhupada reveals to us that a comet is a very bad sign. Gurukrpa: When we came on the plane from Miami we saw the comet. Yasodanandana: It was there for forty-five minutes. Prabhupada: Yes, a bad sign.. . Yasodanandana: As big as the sky. Prabhupada: How big? Yasodanandana: Big as the sky. It was flashing for forty-five minutes, this big... Gurukrpa: Flashing in horizontal directions. Devotee: The four or five first flashes were very, very big, and regularly every thirty seconds it was big flash, bigger than lightning, brighter, very bright. Gurukrpa: Very brilliant. Prabhupada: One part like this? Gurukrpa: Yes, very fast. Devotee: Across the sky, shoooot, shoooot, shoooot. Very fast. Gurukrpa: About forty-five min... We... It was still going, but the plane passed it and it stayed behind. Prabhupada: Uh, so this is bad sign. Constellation. According to astronomical calculations. Therefore we, we follow the astrology according to the constellation. The child born, everything has connection, the constellation of the star has influence on the child. So therefore the horoscope-maker takes the calculation of the constellation and then calculate what is his future. This dhumaketu is described in Dasavatara-stotra, dhumaketum iva kim api karalam [Dasavatara Stotra 10]. Dhumaketum iva. Dhumaketum iva kim api karalam. As soon as there is comet, there will be some disaster, very great disaster. In our childhood we saw the comet. Not this like; that was small comet. Still, the first world war was there declared. That we have seen in 1914. Nara-narayana: Halley's Comet. Prabhupada: Eh? Nara-narayana: I think they called it Halley's Comet. Halley's Comet. Prabhupada: Now the... You can expect at any moment disaster in this material world, but the comet is the sign that there will be some great disaster. It is... This material world, in every step there is disaster. Padam padam yad vipadam [SB 10.14.58]. But those who are taken shelter of Krsna, the disaster is not meant for them. Samasrita ye pada-pallava-plavam padam padam yad vipadam na tesam. They have seen a small comet in 1914 and it brought disaster, the first world war . The comet being discussed happened in the year 1974, let's take a look at some of the events of that year. - IRA begins bombing campaign on mainland Britain, bombs The Tower of London and the Houses of parliament and pubs in Birmingham - Worldwide Inflation causes dramatic increases in the cost of fuel, food and manufacturing - Gasoline shortages and price increases throughout the world help to cause problems in most of the western worlds economies -India successfully detonates its first nuclear weapon on May 18th becoming the sixth nation to do so. - Smallpox Epidemic in India causes the deaths of between 10,000 and 20,000 people - The largest series of tornadoes in history , hits 13 U.S. states and one Canadian province. By the time the last of 148 tornadoes hit early the following morning, 315 died and over 5,000 were injured. - Cyclone Tracy strikes on 25th December almost completely destroys Darwin, Australia - Famine caused by drought threatens millions in Africa Certainly a comet brings a great disaster, this was confirmed four times in this short conversation by Srila Prabhupada. However, there is a way to stay safe. Srila Prabhupada tells us: "But those who are taken shelter of Krsna, the disaster is not meant for them." So, in year 2022 started with Comet Leonard coming close to Earth and unleashing a couple of outbursts and flying further on. Who knows what Krsna has in store for us?

  • How to Serve the Spiritual Master (and Like It)

    A class on the Srimad Bhagavatam First Canto, Chapter 18, verse 6. Purujit Dasa: Maharaj Pariksit did not see Kali as his friend. Everything is coming from Krishna. Janmady asya yatah. So a pure devotee, a realized devotee of Krishna, he does not make any discrimination, he can utilize everything in the service of the Lord. Sometimes the so-called spiritualists make a show, that “oh I do not touch money, money will contaminate me, this is dirty money.” But our Srila Prabhupada, he said “oh, George Harrison, you want to give me one million dollars? C’mon, give me I will utilize it for Krishna’s service. Right? We have no guilt that “oh, I have taken some money”, we can take millions and millions of dollars because we know how to utilize that money for the service of Krishna. See? And by taking so much money we become purified from the desire for money. There is an analogy given that, sometimes, you might have a disease due to excessive consumption of milk products. If you take too many milk sweets you’re going to have a problem, but that same disarrangement of the bowels, you might have diarrhea or something, but the cure for this is to take a little curd or yogurt, with some herbs, there is a recipe like that, and if you take that, you become cured. But it is another milk product! Does it make any sense? I was eating milk products and I became sick, so I take another milk product and I become cured. From the material point of view it doesn’t make sense, but from the spiritual point of view, yes, because everything is coming from Krishna. So it is a question of consciousness, how to utilize it, how to utilize the money for Krishna. So that’s where Kali went, he took shelter of the gold, the money. In the kingdom of Maharaja Pariksit, there was no opportunity to engage in intoxication, illicit sex, gambling or meat eating, all the citizens where trained were trained very nicely. You see, Mahārāja Pariksit, Prabhupada says, he made sure that the citizens were properly trained. This is the duty of the leader. It is mentioned in the Srimad-Bhagavatam that one should not become a king, one should not become a mother, one should not become a father, one should not become a teacher, one should not become a guru, one should not become a worshipable demigod. Right? If you want to become Indra or something like that, then you must be qualified. What is that qualification? Anybody know? Nobody knows... (laughter) Devotee:…the samsara cycle. Purujit Dasa: … yes to liberate their dependents from the cycle of birth and death, samsara. So the leader, the government, the president, the prime minister, whatever, it's his duty. This is his prime duty, to make the citizens spiritually advanced. Because if the citizens are spiritually advanced, they will not kill, they will not rape, they will not create disturbance. The heart must be purified! Ceto-darpanma-marjanam [Antya 20.12]. You must purify your heart, if the heart is not purified, then even theoretically you might know, “Oh, this should not be done.” Still you will be pushed. You will have to do it, you must do it, “C’mon c’mon do it, do the nonsense”, “Oh but I don’t know…”, “No you must do it!”, “Oh, this is very sinful…”, “Do It! I said do it! C’mon.” The maya pushes the conditioned soul, you cannot help it. Yesterday we were discussing about the influence, the atmosphere of godlessness. In the age of Kali the atmosphere is surcharged with godlessness. Prabhupada says, everywhere, the atmosphere is contaminated. So you might even try, but there is no hope. Just like if you jump into the sea and want to swim across to the United States, all across the Atlantic ocean. Is that very intelligent? You have no chance, no chance. You’re going to be drowned. Similarly it is not possible to fight the influence of the age of Kali, unless you take to the the proper process. There is a particular religious function, religious process for the corresponding age. There are four ages, anybody know these? Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapara Yuga and Kali Yuga. What is the Yuga dharma in Satya Yuga? (Devotee answers) Meditation. Okay, what about Treta Yuga? (another devotee answers) Sacrifices, yes. And what about Dwarpara Yuga? Deity worship or temple worship, and Kali Yuga? Sankirtan-yajna, yes. You must apply the Yuga dharma process, you cannot avoid. “Oh maybe I will avoid it, I will do temple worship or mediation instead”. Srila Prabhupada mentions that when the installing the Krishna Balaram Deities in the temple in Vrindavan was going on Srila Prabhupada had to invite all the smarta Brahmins. The smarta brahmins they know all the mantras and the viddhis and it looks very impressive. Because otherwise the citizens of Vrindavan would not accept the ceremony as bonafide. Srila Prabhupada then wrote in his books, I think in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, that the actual installation was the Sankirtan, the devotees, the western disciples were performing Sankirtan along with the ritualistic ceremonies. The devotees were chanting, so the real installation was due to the Sankirtan, not due to the viddihs. Nowadays, there are no bona fide brahmins in the age of Kali. A bona-fide brahmana has some powers, just like Sringi. He had many powers, this little boy, but he had no culture. He had powers, he had so much power just because he was the son of bonafide brahmana, the semen, when he begot the child, the father, the semen was infused was all these powers. So powerful. So he was able to curse the most powerful devotee |Maharaja Pariksit, he was able to curse him, can you imagine? So powerful. The brahmanas in the previous ages, they were able to chant such mantras that they would simply say “die”, and you would die on the spot. This is possible by the purification of the mantra, its not just the chanting, but along with the chanting you must have a particular sadhana, a spiritual practice. You have to have a spiritual practice just like we do: rising early, cleansing the temple, cleansing the body, not indulging in mundane activities. This gives you powers. Somewhere I was reading, some Hari-bhakta-vilasa or wherever, and this, how do you call it, the four month season, chaturmasya, you can follow it if you want. Prabhupada says you can do it, it's not obligatory, but you can do it. First month you fast from the spinach, from the green leafy vegetables .Then they fast from yogurt or milk, then the last month they fast from meat. So chaturmasya, there are various austerities. If you practice you become more powerful, it was mentioned in that same scripture, if you do not speak prajalpa, if you learn to control your tongue, if you do not speak mundane talks, when you say something it will be executed. If you order, say “you do this” people will follow because your words will have potency. But if you talk about rubbish and then you want to instruct others, then that instruction will have no potency. So I don’t know whether it’s true or not, I was reading somewhere. But you can take inspiration. Why should I discuss prajalpa? Prajalpa means useless talk. What is the definition of prajalpa, does anybody know, except Makhancora? Mundane talks, it’s not related to Krishna, the Krishna consciousness movement. Okay good. Anyone else? It doesn’t give you material or spiritual benefit. Yes that was the one I was waiting for. Neither spiritual benefit nor material benefit, it doesn’t even have material benefit. That means that if you talk something and there is material benefit then that is not prajalpa, it is not prajalpa. Because there’s material benefit, say you want to make some business and make lots of money. That is not prajalpa if you talk about it, but neither spiritual benefit nor material benefit, simply wasting time talking for sense gratification that is prajalpa. That energy we have to discuss Krishna-katha, about Krishna, about Srila Prabhupada, about this philosophy of Krishna consciousness. About Prabhupada’s books. About the pastimes of Krishna, about the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-Gita, Chaitanya-Charitamrita. So many topics we have. About the pastimes of Krishna’s devotees, like we were discussing yesterday about Prahlada Maharaja and so on and so on. We misuse by discussing mundane things for sense gratification. So that injunction is there, that if you learn how to control the tongue and if you do not, under any circumstance, waste time discussing nonsense topics for sense gratification, for zero benefit, material or spiritual, then when you speak everybody will follow. You will go and talk to mayor of Fuengirola and say we want Ratha-yatra, you execute, she will do. Yes. We should invest our energy properly, what is the use of preaching, preaching, preaching so much but no determination, not no determination but no strictness, mixed up devotional service. One time Krishna, one time māyā. One time devotional service, one time sense gratification. Just like if you try to ignite a fire, you put fire, you put wood, then you try to ignite. But at the same time you’re pouring water in that fire. Is that intelligence? Is that intelligence, pouring water trying to light a fire? It’s a waste of energy. So Maharaja Pariksit was not envious of Kali personified because he was expert. He could see that he could dovetail, whatever nonsense in this age, he can dovetail. Very good. He did not see any obstacle. Not that “Oh it’s the age of Kali. Forget it. “ No. Alright, let’s do sankirtan-yajna. Various demigods are praying to take part in the sankirtan-yajna movement of Chaitanya Mahāprabhu. It is so auspicious, if we understand what is sankirtan, what it means. Sankirtan means you have to glorify Krishna, not mundane topics, under the guidance of the bonafide guru. How you can glorify if you do not hear from the guru? Regularly, you must flood your mind with Krishna topics, whatever you put in, then it will come out on the tongue. A well dressed fool is not recognized until he speaks. So you can be fool, but if you constantly hear from a pure devotee, then no matter how foolish you are you become the most intelligent. Actually it is better that you approach the guru as a fool with a clean slate, because then the guru can build you up from scratch as a first class character, pure devotee. We are coming to the spiritual master with all kinds of garbage. “ In my opinion”, “I think”, “Oh I don’t agree”. If you do not agree, why do you accept a guru? What to speak of agreeing with his message, his order, his instruction, but whatever he says you must immediately execute, no negligence. The guru says you do this, you must do it immediately. “Oh I will do it tomorrow”, “l will do it one year from now.”, “Oh, I will do when I’m older, let me enjoy for now.” That is not seriousness. You must immediately execute, then you can practice this in your daily life. As soon as Krishna gives you the inspiration that “Oh this should be done” don’t be neglectful, immediately you do it. In Slovak there is this saying that don’t postphone things you can do today, whatever you can do today, you do today. We have no such time to waste. Any time you can be dead. The body is dying as we are speaking, the body is dying, I’m dying, dying. Just like the moths, they are rushing towards the fire and they die. Similarly we are rushing through life, “ I want this I want that and this person is a nonsense I have to fight him” and blah, blah, blah, blah. And what are you doing? Simply approaching the fire of death. So there is no shortage of opportunity. The instruction is there, we must execute immediately, no delay. We rush for sense gratification, we rush to gratify our senses, but when the spiritual master gives instruction? “Oh, not now. For now I will chill, then later on I will execute.” Don’t do this, don’t leave it aside. So there was another thing mentioned, that, in the age of Kali, there is no reaction if one thinks of sinful acts. In the previous ages, simply thinking of sinful acts we would have sinful reaction, not a joke. So we are lucky we are living in Kali-yuga, because if we now, speaking for myself, if I had to be karmically implicated for all the sinful thoughts I had I would be rotting in hell for eternity. So we are very lucky that there are also advantages in the age of Kali. And similarly if you think of pious acts, then Prabhupada says there is immediate result. Just like if you execute the order of the guru, there is immediately the effect. Don’t be nonsense, that “Oh it is uncomfortable for me”. Yes, it is uncomfortable for you because you are a rascal. Because you have no affection for the guru, for Krishna, nothing! Only for sense gratification, that is very nice. But to execute the order, this is love. Sometime someone asked Prabhupada what does it mean to love the spiritual master. To execute his order. That is love. If you feel hesitant, “Maybe, I don’t know”, if you want to smuggle yourself out of the services. Don’t try to avoid the services. There should be fighting for the services, let me mop the floor immediately, very nice, oh he has not done it? Very good let me take advantage. Let me steal his service, he has not done it, let me steal his service. Ah, he’s a loser, I gain. And when he finds out you have stolen his service, the other devotee will chastise: “Ah! You’re such a rascal.” Then we can very nicely dovetail our conflict propensity of the age of Kali, let us fight for more service. And not just that, serving one another, serving devotees. Here, Prabhus are going on books, book distribution in Gibraltar. Very good! Let me do something, let me do some extra service for them. I have noticed that Paramahamsa prabhu, he cleansed the whole room for brahmacaris, organized everything, it looks very nice. (Paramahamsa speaks) It was Krsna Kisora? Oh, Krishna Kisora, very nice. See? He doesn’t say anything, so humble. Very good, see I noticed. Immediately I could see that, wow, someone has thought of the prabhus. They are there, suffering austerities in the cold, no shelter, no toilets, no nothing, for one week, sleeping on the beach, just to distribute Prabhupada’s books. Imagine, people have no appreciation for this kind of service. They do not advertise also, they do not take selfies, nobody knows. Krishna knows, Prabhupada knows. So Krishna Kisora, so nice, cleanse the room, let them not be disturbed when they come, very nice. Like that. See so you (points at Paramahamsa) should be angry “Oh you have stolen? I wanted to clean the room, and Krsna Kisora you have done it? Oh this is horrible. This is the end of the world.” So in this way, we can counteract. And mark my words, as soon this becomes a conflict, who’s going do this service, “No, you do” “No, you do it” “No, you do it”, then the atmosphere is surcharged with godlessness. You can see this, sometimes it is like that, So if it happend always remember: “Now we are in maya. Now Kali has entered, now Kali is here, devotees are arguing, nobody wants to serve Srila Prabhupada, nobody wants to do it. It is the greatest thing to serve Srila Prabhupada, to serve Krishna, the most ecstatic. It is not a burden, it’s the most ecstatic, it makes you happy spiritually, but because you have forgotten. “Oh I have this discomfort of the body”, you are not the body! The body doesn’t matter whether you feel pain or pleasure, we are spirit soul and we have to learn to act on that platform. So sinful activities. One is not implicated by karmic reaction when he thinks of them in the age of Kali, similarly when he thinks of pious activities, especially when he thinks of how to spread this Sankirtan movement, you get immediate results, you get rewarded. Even you might not be able to execute it physically. In Nectar of instruction, you might remember this, there is a description of the uttama-adhikari, he is always planning out how to spread this Krishna consciousness movement. So you become an uttama-adhikari. You should also plan out, have vision, be enthusiastic. “Let us make a Krishna band, let us make this, let us make that. Always, new ideas should come. Not nonsense ideas, but you should be accustomed to this culture, culturing the thoughts of how to expand this Krishna consciousness movement, always enthusiastic, always plan out. Whether you can execute it or not that is up to Krishna, that is up to Krishna. If Krishna sees that, “Yes, this is a good idea” then He will give you the facilities to execute. But your duty is to plan out. Krishna will fulfill your desire. Desire you must, you must have some sort of a desire, if you’re not planning out for the expansion of this movement, you must be planning out for the expansion of your sense gratification. One or the other, there is no in-between. Those who are not enthusiastic, you can know, they are contemplating some other plans. And if you mediate like this, even there is no result, you become advanced in Krishna consciousness, you become purified from material desires. And ultimately you go back home, back to Godhead.

  • Srila Prabhupada on Current War in Ukraine.

    With the nuclear threats of Mr. Putin and various counter threats imposed by the Western world, the words of Srila Prabhupada written more than half a century ago resonate with us today more than ever before. What will happen with current war in Ukraine? The Supreme Being or the Absolute Personality of Godhead being the complete Personality, He has the complete perfect brain to adjust everything completely by His different potencies. The Supreme Being is compared with the Fire and everything that be organic or inorganic are compared with the heat and light of the Fire. The fire distributes the energy in the form of heat and light and as such the Lord displays his energy in different ways and is the ultimate controller and sustainer of everything, dictator of everything, full of all potencies, knower of everything, benefactor of everyone, and full of all inconceivable opulences, power, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation. One should therefore be intelligent enough to know that except the Lord nobody is the proprietor of anything within the universe. Nobody should claim to be the proprietor of anything but he must accept things which are set aside by the Lord as his quota of maintenance. The cow gives milk but she does not drink the milk. The milk is designated as the food for the human being. The cow eats grass and straw but does not drink its own milk. Such is the arrangement of the Lord and we should be satisfied with the things as they have been very kindly set aside by Him. We should always think within our self as to whom belongs the things that we possess. Take for example our dwelling house which is made of earth, wood, stone, iron, cement, metals and so many other material things. If we think in terms of the Ishopanishad then we can know that we cannot produce either of the above mentioned building materials. We can simply bring them together like a cooly and transform them in different shapes by our own labor. A laborer cannot claim to become the proprietor of a thing because he has labored hard for manufacturing a particular thing. There is always a great quarrel between the laborers and the capitalist in the present day society. The quarrel is now taking an international shape and the world is at loggerhead between a man and a man just like the dogs and cats. The Ishopanishad cannot advice to the cats and dogs but it delivers the message of Godhead through the bonafide Acharyas. The human being may take Vedic lessons from the Ishopanishad that nobody should quarrel but they must be satisfied by the privilege given to him by the mercy of the Lord. There will be no peace if the communist or the capitalist or any other party claim to become the proprietor of the resources of nature which is the property of the Lord. The capitalist cannot curb down the communist simply by political maneuver neither the communist can gain over the capitalist simply by fighting for the stolen bread. If they do not recognize the proprietorship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead then the property which they claim to be their own must be taken as stolen property and therefore they shall be liable to be punished by the laws of nature. The atom bomb is there both in the hands of the communists and the capitalists and if both of them do not recognize the proprietorship of the Supreme Lord, it is sure and certain that the atom bomb from both the sides will ruin the career of the both the parties. Therefore in order to save themselves from the onslaught of the opposite party, both of them must follow the instruction of the Ishopanishad and bring in peace in the world. BTGPY27b: Sri Ishopanisad

  • How To Respect The Spiritual Master (Video)

    His Grace Purujit Prabhu explains the importance of accepting and respecting a bona-fide spiritual master in order to perfect one's life.

  • Accepting a Guru is Always a Free Choice

    In this article we explain what a surrender to a guru actually means and how this differs from the so-called guru relationship of the Mayavadi school of thought. There have always been two types of transcendentalists: the impersonalists and the personalists. Both of them seek liberation from the illusory identification with the body in their respective ways. The impersonalists' idea of liberation beyond the body means annihilation of an individual self and merging with the Brahman, which is the all-pervading aspect of the Supreme Absolute Truth. The personalists, however, do not want to give up their individuality. Quite the opposite, the perfection of the personal path is brought about by full revival of individuality without any trace of material contamination and engaging the pure self in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The following example illustrates the distinct differences between the two types of transcendentalists. There are many rivers, but ultimately they all flow within the ocean and thus cease to exist as separate rivers. This can be compared to the impersonalists' idea. There might be many individual beings, but at the time to liberation, they all become Brahman. Yet, within the rivers there can be found many living entities such as fish. When the river flows into the ocean, the fish continue to live. So according to the personalists' conception, even though the material body might merge with the mass of material energy, the individual souls (jivatmas) continue to exist even after liberation and in spiritual bodies (svarupa) they then serve the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna in one of the five different rasas or relationships. As the Bhagavad-gita confirms: Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be. (Bg.2.11) Lord Krsna clearly says here that individuality both ours and the Lord's is an eternal fact and the Lord is eternally the recipient of the individual souls' service.Furthermore the Lord says nainam chindanti sastrani : "The soul can never be cut into pieces by any weapon" and therefore the idea of Brahman divided into innumerable parts at one point and merging together is not supported by the statements of the Bhagavad-gita. In fact, the philosophy of the impersonalists is just like throwing out a baby along with the bath water. The bodily conception of life is certainly an illusion and one should get rid of it as he gets rid of a bathing water. However, one should not discard the very idea of individual existence just as one should not loose the baby while throwing away the water in which the baby was bathed. For a devotee, the material body is the gift of the Lord and since the Lord is true, the material body is also true. It is not false. The devotee uses the material body in the service of the Lord.  Iron rod which is put into the fire ultimately becomes firey by gradual heating. Similarly material body used for spiritual activities becomes spiritualized by gradual advancement in Krsna consciousness. One then serves the Lord in one's pure spiritual body (siddha-deha). Materialistic conception of “body” however is that it is perishable, full of ignorance and completely miserable. Therefore, people in general carry the same idea in mind when they are informed of the personal forms of the Lord and His devotees. For such materialistic men, the form of the gigantic material manifestation is supreme. Consequently they imagine that in the ultimate stage everything is impersonal. Because they are too materially absorbed and because they personally experience the pangs of material existence arising from material activities, the concept of personality after liberation from matter very much frightens them. When they are informed that spiritual life is also individual, personal and full of activities, they become afraid of becoming persons again. A diseased man also eats, also sleeps and he also evacuates, but all his activities are painful due to his disease. If he hears that in the healthy stage there is also sleeping, there is also eating and and there is also evacuating, he thinks it is the same as in the diseased condition. Similarly, an impersonalist being disgusted by material existence, wants to give up the very idea of individuality and make all his activities zero. The personalist's conception of surrender is different. Lord Krsna says: Abandon all varieties of religion and simply surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear. (Bg.18.66) While the impersonal idea denies the distinction between the Supreme and the part and parcel of Supreme, the personalists endeavor to solely give up the sense of overlordship. They willingly abandon the false idea of being the ultimate controller and they try to satisfy the desires of the Lord. Their individual sense of choice never diminishes. They engage in the service of the Lord in full surrender by their free will and with such free will they engage in varieties of services to the Lord. Therefore, after explaining the whole theistic science of the Bhagavad-gita and chalking up the path of perfection, the Lord concludes: Thus I have explained to you the most confidential of all knowledge. Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to do. (Bg. 18.63) The Lord lets the individual to "do as he wishes to do".  This is because one has to voluntarily surrender to the Lord. Such surrender is not caused by anything but the pure free will of the soul proper. One's decision to  surrender to will of the Lord is never hampered by anything. Krsna is prepared to bestow His mercy upon all living entities, and as soon as a living entity desires the Lord's mercy, the Lord immediately gives him an opportunity to meet a bona fide spiritual master. The bona fide spiritual master appears to the living entity as soon as the living entity desires to solve the miseries of material existence, namely birth, death, old age and disease. brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija Madhya 19.151 ”According to their karma, all living entities are wandering throughout the entire universe. Some of them are being elevated to the upper planetary systems, and some are going down into the lower planetary systems. Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Krsna. By the mercy of both Krsna and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service." Madhya 19.151 This is further confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita: The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy. (18.61) The Vedas, like the Mundaka Upanisad, as well as the Svetasvatara Upanisad compares a relationship of two kinds of souls residing in the heart to two friendly birds sitting on the same tree. One of the birds (the individual atomic soul) is eating the fruits of the tree, and the other bird (Paramatma) is simply watching His friend. Although as birds they are the same in quality, one of these two is captivated by the fruits of the material tree, while the other is simply witnessing the activities of His friend. Although they are friends, one is still the master and the other is the servant. The jiva soul is struggling very hard on the tree of the material body, but as soon as he agrees to accept the other bird as the supreme spiritual master, the subordinate bird immediately becomes free from all lamentations. Both the Mundaka Upanisad (3.1.2) and Svetasvatara Upanisad (4.7) confirm this statement as follows: "Although the two birds are on the same tree, the eating bird is fully engrossed with anxiety and moroseness as the enjoyer of the fruits of the tree. But if in some way or other he turns his face to his friend who is the Lord and knows His glories—at once the suffering bird becomes free from all anxieties." The Lord in the heart manifests externally in the form of the bona fide spiritual master and under his guidance, the jiva soul learns how to cultivate spiritual consciousness. The spiritual consciousness is already there in the heart of every living entity. It is simply reawakened by the spiritual sound vibration coming from the channel of the bona fide spiritual master. ”Pure love for Krsna is eternally established in the hearts of the living entities. It is not something to be gained from another source. When the heart is purified by hearing and chanting, this love naturally awakens." (Madhya 22.107) In order for such hearing and chanting of the glories of the Lord, executed with the sole aim to re-awaken our eternal relationship with the Lord, to take place, both the bona fide spiritual master uncontaminated by the material modes of nature and the receptive disciple must be present. The combination is compared by the acaryas to the interaction between husband and wife. If the husband is potent and the wife is fertile, by their mutual dealings, conception takes place. Similarly if the spiritual master is bona fide and authorized by the disciplic succession and the disciple is sincere, the hearing and chanting of the Lord has a spiritual effect and the seed of devotional service fructifies. However, if the eagerness on the part of the disciple is absent, the instruction of the spiritual master goes in vain.Therefore a bona fide spiritual master does not accept a disciple who is not eager to hear from him. There is no necessity of approaching a spiritual master unless one is in need of solving the real problems of life. One who does not know how to ask the spiritual master proper questions has no business to approach him. Therefore one must be jijnasu, inquisitive. He must inquire from the spiritual master about the ultimate aim of human life. Questions on how to improve one's bodily enjoyment in the material world are deliberately left unanswered by a bona fide spiritual master. Furthermore, one should render service. Unless one renders service to the spiritual master, the inquiries on the spiritual matters will not be effective. The impersonalist philosophers declare that the highest stage of knowledge is reached when the knower, the knowledge, and the object of knowledge become one entity. From their point of view then ultimately there is no difference between the spiritual master and the disciple -both are one, both are Brahman. They say, only in the state of illusion(maya), do the disciple and the spiritual master manifest as two individual beings. They fail to explain why Brahman becomes temporarily covered by maya. This is why they are called Mayavadis. They think everything is maya. Sripada Sankaracarya, who is the founder of the Mayavada school of thought recommended worship of 5 demigods (pancopasana) for his followers. Such worship was meant only to help those who are still in the bodily concept of life. It was a facility for the neophyte progressing in the spiritual knowledge, to imagine some form of the Brahman. Sädhakänäà hitvärthäya brahmaëo rüpa-kalpanaù. However,  according to the Mayavadi theory, ultimately such worship should be abandoned. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains: “The example given by them is that you rise up to a upper place with a wooden stair, and as soon as you reach there, you throw it away, so that you'll not be able to come back again. Similarly, their philosophy is: "With some imagination of form, you worship, and as soon as you realize Brahman, throw it away. No more." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.22 -- Los Angeles, June 19, 1972) The Mayavadi concept of spiritual master is similar. They think that the soul (impersonal Brahman) of the spiritual master incarnates into a material body for the purpose of guiding those who are still in illusion. They say that the Brahman takes a form of a guru in a bodily form so the souls trapped in bodily conception of life can relate to him and as soon as they reach perfection the relationship with the spiritual master ends. Yasomatinandana: Spiritual master gives knowledge, and then a disciple is eternally indebted to spiritual master. Prabhupada: Yes. Yasomatinandana: It is not that, like Mayavadis, they serve the spiritual master in the beginning and then they... Prabhupada: Then they... Yasomatinandana: ...themselves become... Prabhupada: ...throw him away, "Go away. I have now learned." Guru-mara-vidya, to, the knowledge of how to kill guru. Guru-mara-vidya. Their, the philosophy is that you cannot rise up. You take a ladder. But as soon as you rise, throw away the ladder. No more. No more needed. That is Mayavada philosophy. (Morning Walk -- December 5, 1973, Los Angeles) For the Mayavadis therefore reaching perfection necessarily means relinquishing the connection with the spiritual master. Although Narottama dasa Thakura sings: "One who has opened my eyes, my spiritual master, he's my father, life after life," the Mayavadis say: "Go away now." The devotee never rejects the spiritual master and he continues to honor him even after reaching the stage of perfection. Mr. Malhotra: Other traditions, guru disciple, then the disciple becomes guru, then disciple. The gurus may change. Prabhupada: They cannot change. If there are change of guru, the disciple acts, but does not, he'll never say that I have become equal or one with guru. That is not so. Mr. Malhotra: I am thinking about this, Swamiji, that your Guru Maharaja is preaching through you, and you are preaching through them. Prabhupada: Yes. Mr. Malhotra: So disciple is guru through his disciples. Prabhupada: That's all right. Evam parampara praptam [Bg. 4.2]. But that does not become, he has become. He may be representative of guru, representative of God, but it does not mean that he has become God. Mr. Malhotra: But he becomes guru with his disciples. Prabhupada: That's alright. Mr. Malhotra: Never equal to his guru. Prabhupada: Not equal, representative. I send one representative of this man, and he may be very expert, doing very good business, still he cannot be equal to me. He is acting as my representative, that's another thing. But not that he has become the original proprietor. Mr. Malhotra: But as your disciples, you are taken as guru. Prabhupada: But they will never say that they have become equal to me. "I have advanced to be my guru." Never say. Just like this boy, he is offering obeisances. He may be expert in preaching more than me, but he knows that "I am subordinate." Otherwise how he shall offer obeisances? He can think, "Oh, now I am so learned. I am so advanced. Why shall I accept him as superior?" No. That continues. Even after my death, after my disappearance, he will offer obeisances to my picture. Mr. Malhotra: But amongst his disciples he will be worshiped... Prabhupada: That's all right, but he remains a disciple of his guru. He will never say that "Now I have become guru, so I don't care for my guru." He will never say. Just like I am doing, but I am worshiping my guru still. So I remain subordinate to my guru, always. Even though I have become guru, still I am subordinate to my guru. (Room Conversation with Life Member, Mr. Malhotra -- December 22, 1976, Poona) In this connection, there is also an instructive pastime in the life of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, namely in His meeting the Mayavadi leader Prakasananda Saraswati. Prakasananda challenged Lord Caitanya to explain why He simply chants and dances while the engagement of the sannyasi is to study the Vedanta. To this Lord Caitanya answered: guru more murkha dekhi' karila sasan [Cc. Adi 7.71]. "My Guru Maharaja saw Me a fool number one, and he has chastised Me." He is God Himself, but he is showing us the example that for a devotee there is never a point where he becomes artificially proud of being liberated, or proud of being God. His liberation is always depend on the mercy of his spiritual master and he remains always an infinitesimal parcel of the Lord prone to a fall down. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada comments: Liberated soul never says that "I am liberated." As soon as he says "liberated," he's a rascal. A liberated soul will never say that "I am liberated." That is liberated. Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He is God -- guru more murkha dekhi' karila sasan [Cc. Adi 7.71]. "My Guru Maharaja saw Me a fool number one, and he has chastised Me." He's God. This is the example. If one remains always a servant ever-lastingly of guru, then he is liberated. And as soon as he thinks that he is liberated, he's a rascal. That is the teaching of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Guru more murkha dekhi'. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is murkha? Why He's posing Himself that murkha? "I am fool number one." That means that is liberation. You must be ready always to be chastised by guru. Then he's liberated. And as soon as he thinks that "I am beyond this chastisement, I am liberated," he's a rascal. Why Caitanya Mahaprabhu says guru more murkha dekhi' karila sasan? This is sahajiya-vada. He is thinking, "Oh I have become liberated. I don't require any direction of my guru. I'm liberated." Then he's rascal. (Room Conversation -- August 16, 1976, Bombay) Since the impersonalists believe that the Brahman must manifest in a concrete material body to guide the neophyte who might not be able to yet relate to the impersonal concept of the Absolute, they insist that there must be a guru in a bodily form always present to continue the disciplic succession. Thus a bona fide acarya, they say, must appoint a so-called living sadhu to succeed him. But this idea goes against the very principle of the minute independence of the jiva discussed above. If the successor acarya is selected by the predecessor and not by the disciple himself, where is the surrender on the part of the disciple? The great acarya might have given a suggestion about the successive acharya's qualifications, but the act of surrender itself is always an individual choice based on hearing. It is for this reason for example that Lord Krsna presents to us the Vedic knowledge. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains: ... not only does a living entity enjoy or suffer in this world according to the dictation from the Supreme Lord situated locally in the heart, but he receives the opportunity to understand Vedas from Him. If one is serious to understand the Vedic knowledge, then Krsna gives the required intelligence. Why does He present the Vedic knowledge for understanding? Because a living entity individually needs to understand Krsna. (Bg 15.15 purport) Similarly, without hearing sufficiently from the spiritual master and understanding his instructions, there is no question of surrender to him. The real consideration for choosing a spiritual master therefore is not a formal appointment from the previous acarya, but whether the master is conversant with the science of Krsna. This is confirmed by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene naya yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei ‘guru' haya "Whether one is a brahmana, a sannyasi or a sudra -- regardless of what he is -- he can become a spiritual master if he knows the science of Krsna." (Madhya 8.128) Furthermore Srila Jiva Gosvami, directly advises all the devotees of the Hare Krsna movement not to accept a spiritual master in terms of hereditary or customary social and ecclesiastical conventions. The disciple is always left to choose his spiritual master on his own. Indeed, none of the previous acaryas in the disciplic succession were ever appointed by their predecessors. The successor acarya proves himself by his personal capacity and recruits disciples from the ranks of non-devotee class of men by preaching. Srila Prabhupada explains: Prabhupada: So far designation is concerned, the spiritual master authorizes every one of his disciple. But it is up to the disciple to carry out the order, able to carry out or not. It is not that spiritual master is partial, he designates one and rejects other. He may do that. If the other is not qualified, he can do that. But actually his intention is not like that. He wants that each and every one of his disciple become as powerful as he is or more than that. That is his desire. Just like father wants every son to be as qualified or more qualified than the father. But it is up to the student or to the son to raise himself to that standard. (Room Conversation -- June 29, 1972, San Diego) The spiritual master only speaks what Krsna says. Therefore we have to hear and see whether the spiritual master speaks what Krsna says before we surrender to him. One must select the spiritual master with proper discrimination and not blindly. The sastras such as Hari bhakta vilasa enjoin that before we take a guru we study him carefully to find out whether we can surrender to him. We should not accept a guru suddenly out of fanaticism. It is not a cheap thing. After we accept the spiritual master we must follow his instructions. Therefore it is important that we test whether the person is qualified to be a spiritual master. The qualification of a spiritual master is that he must have realized the conclusion of the scriptures by deliberation and arguments and thus be able to convince others of these conclusions. So unless one is at least conversant with the preliminary knowledge of transcendental matters, how will he ascertain the bona fides of a spiritual master? For instance, if we want to purchase something, we must at least have some idea of what that thing is, otherwise we will be cheated. If we want to purchase a mango from the market, we must at least know what type of food a mango is and what it looks like. Therefore one's independent thoughtfulness is always recommended. One should not give too much importance to institutional appointments, but simply consider with cool head who is the bona fide spiritual master. Srila Prabhupada describes the consequences of mixing the pure Vaisnava philosophy with impersonal ideas by giving example of a great institution which was lost due to ambition of motivated disciples to occupy the post of their spiritual master. Such is the history of Gaudiya Matha society of his Guru Maharaja His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura. At a certain point of his divine lila, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta had to undergo surgical operation and therefore made a scrap paper in case he would leave this mortal plane. On the paper he listed three disciples who would have become the trustees of his Gaudiya Matha. One of the disciples kept the paper and later this was presented in the high-court and a property was given to him. On this basis, after Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's demise, the disciple artificially became a so-called acarya. But the other disciples were not satisfied and in order to counteract him, they conspired and voted in another false acarya. In this way two false acarya groups began to fight over the assets of the institution. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta instructed his disciples to form a governing body and conduct missionary activities cooperatively. He did not designate anyone to become his successor.  Srila Prabhupada explains: ...none of them were advised by Guru Maharaja to become acarya. His idea was "Let them manage; then whoever will be actual qualified for becoming acarya, they will elect. Why I should enforce upon them?" That was his plan. "Let them manage by strong governing body, as it is going on. Then acarya will come by his qualification." But they wanted that... Because at heart, they were, "After demise of Guru, I shall become acarya," "I shall become acarya." So all the acaryas began fight. (Room Conversation with American Banker -- September 21, 1973, Bombay) Therefore a sadhu comes out automatically by preaching work. A bona fide acarya is self-effulgent. He shines like the sun and there is no need to bring any torchlight to point at him. He shines through his teachings and it is up to us to accept him or not. This is the real meaning of surrender. Hanuman: One thing he's saying, this gentleman, and I would like to know, is your successor named or your successor will... Prabhupada: My success is always there. Yes. Just like the sun is there always. It may come before your vision or not. The sun is there. But if you are fortunate, you come before the sun. Otherwise you remain in darkness. Sun is open to everyone. Our Krsna consciousness movement -- Krsna is open to everyone. But if you are fortunate, you come to the light. If you are unfortunate, do not. That is your choice. Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. You do it. Now it is your choice. You surrender to Krsna or don't surrender. That is your business (Room Conversation with Sanskrit Professor, other Guests and Disciples -- February 12, 1975, Mexico)

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