The following is a question and answer session given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaja on September 13th, 1981 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Everyone is trying to use it to be happy. It is quite natural. Not only in the human species, but in the animal species or in the bird species, they are also trying to be happy by using whatever amount of brain power they have. But basically their brain power is dictated by some instinct.
Now, human beings have got additional brain power, intelligence to reason, to understand. Therefore a human being can, by using logic, by using some experience, intelligence, learning, can foresee to some extent what the future holds. Just like we can see that there are various dangers living in this world.
One goes to school for four years so that they get a college degree so that they can get a job and they are looking forward to the future. So this is a special quality of the human being. But we shouldn’t think that that quality is exclusive only to the human beings. In India we see that where people are eating fish, sometimes a cat waits outside the door of the wife’s… of the mother of the house’s kitchen, watching, waiting, planning, when the mother of the house will step out of the kitchen, he runs in and grabs the fish out of the plate and runs for it.
So even the animals, they have their plans. Some are more tricky than others. We say foxy, like a weasel. There are also crow like, fox like, weasle like, cat like, animals that are very clever but it is always for something to eat or something very immediate for gratifying the senses. So this is the basic difference between human life and animal life is that human life can go beyond that to actually consider what will give me permanent happiness, permanent peace, permanent situation.
In different religions there are different stages. One stage is a person wants to worship God in order to get over some difficulty or have some immediate economic response. Although I have been living in India now for fourteen years, when I was going to high school here in America, before I went to India, before I was a devotee, I remember when we used to play sports against some of the Pi Eleven or something like that, some catholic schools, before they would go into the basketball court or a football court, they would do a, whatever it is, make the cross. So they were praying to God for the immediate game, of course they did not always win, and I don’t know what that did for their faith. But that’s is one standard of religion.
In South India, they climb up the mountains on their knees to Mother Mary and they ask for their son’s cancer to be cured or for a new truck to be given to their family, or a new house or something like that. That is one standard of religion, “Give us this day our daily bread, give us some immediate response.” Then that type of religion, the communists, they decried. After the Second World War when the communists took over large parts of Europe or after the revolution in Russia, there was a starvation, there was famine. So they told the people that, “You go pray in a church and ask God for bread.”
So they went to the church and asked God, please give us bread. So the communists came out and the communists said, “Did you get any bread?”
They said “No.”
They said “Then, what kind of God was that? You ask us for bread, you pray to us with folded hands for bread.” They then folded their hands and asked, please give us bread. Then the communists, they had trucks waiting and they handed out the bread. “Now you see who is greater they said, God or us?” You see.
So in this way that’s Marx’ philosophy, if everybody has enough economically, then you don’t need God, you can just scratch out God. God is only an imagination that humans have made because they have some need… economic or social need. So when economic need is met, you don’t need God. But that is only a very… very materialistic form of religion, of relationship with God. Practically, just a step above animal.
Then one step higher than that is of course people want to lead pious lives so that they can go to some celestial abode, heaven, where they will have happier pleasures. In the Muslim religion, their heaven is with beautiful gardens where one can enjoy with young men and young women, so many different pleasures are there. That is their idea, to do a pious life and then go to a heaven where one can be happy enjoying bodily pleasures to the utmost. In the Vedas also they have karma kanda. If one is very pious and can go to some higher planetary system like the moon or the sun and get a body that lasts longer and have happiness that goes on for thousands and thousands of years, you see. Then these are two categories that are both considered to be bhukti. Immediate… some bodily happiness and return in this life or in the next.
Then some are performing some kind of religion or spiritual practice to get some freedom, salvation from all miseries. So that type of salvation, that is called mukti. There are different conceptions of salvation but that is a little bit higher standard. Then there are some yogis. They want to get some mystic powers, to cross over the ocean of space and going to different planets or to even approach the planet of God, the Supreme planet, beyond this universe or in the heart of this universe. So, in this way, there are some yogis, they want mystic powers, you see. But there is a scripture called the Srimad-Bhagavatam. You know there are actually literally hundreds and hundreds of Vedic literatures written in Sanskirt. These are the oldest, religious texts in the world’s spiritual texts.
They deal with everything, from the creation of the universe, to atomic theory, atomic weapons, airplanes, medicine, how to lead a happy family life, how to fight wars, how to do politics, how to grow things, everything in its own category is there. How to lead a happy life, what are the moral standards. Then going up, what are the spiritual standards. Finally what are the mystic processes of meditation, what is life, and ultimately, what is God. Who is God. What is the Absolute Truth. What is the cause of everything.
So out of all those hundreds of Vedic literatures, the cream is considered to be the Bhagavad-gita, which is studied by and revered by all of the followers of all vedic culture, all the Hindus, and even all the… many of the intellectuals all over the world like Trudeau, Einstein and even Hitler, they all read the Bhagavad-gita, still one of the most widely read books in the world. In India, they put the Bhagavad-gita in the hotels, they put the Bible here, there they put Bhagavad-gita. So that is the cream. But even more refined or just getting directly to the point even in the Gita is the Bhagavatam. So what the Bhagavatam is saying…
Bhagavata… Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita may sound confusing to the Western ear. One means the song of God and the other one means the song about God, or the lessons about God. Bhagavat, gita, Gita means song and Bhagavad means God, the Supreme powerful person. The song that He sung. Because Krsna personally sang the Bhagavad-gita, He personally spoke it. And the Bhagavatam, the long a, that means about Krsna, about the Supreme Person. So these two are considered to be the topmost literature on spiritual science.
Various yogas, various studies about nature, about life, reincarnation and ultimately God-realization, as well as to how to form society, so everyone can be happy and co… in harmony, these are all spoken in these literatures. So, in the very first second verse of this Bhagavatam, the song spoken about Krsna, they are saying this spiritual cultivation which is completely free from all cheating propensity is going to be discussed in this literature. This is very important that ‘all cheating propensities’ kaitava, cheating propensity means you’re doing a spiritual activity for some other purpose, for a child… for some limited purpose you are doing something which is supposed to be for some unlimited purpose. So, this Krsna consciousness is based upon these two literatures mainly. It is like a post graduate of all yogas.
So I would just like to tell a small story, a tale which is a true history. Of only five hundred years ago of the founder of this Hare Krsna movement, Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. On the far left in this temple, you will see tha ttwo figures are dancing with Their arms raised. On the left is Lord Nityananda and on His left is Lord Caitanya, Sri Krsna Caitanya. Sri means beautiful, opulent. So you may hear us often say Sri. Sri also means possessed of all good fortune. Just like you say Mister, in Sanskrit they say Sri. So Lord Caitanya, He brought all of the devotees together and they used to chant,
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Here there is a picture on the wall, you can see them chanting with these mridangas. The mridangas are the drums and the cymbals and dancing. He would start at sunset and chant the whole night, right until the next morning at about 3:15 or four o’clock. And of course, even in those days, there were some people who praised it very much and some people who thought He was going beyond the caste system. You know in India there is a caste system which has changed over the ages. It used to be a much more natural division of society.
But in more recent history, even 500 years ago, it became a very closed society where someone born in a particular caste for his whole life would be restricted in the way he acted, the way he did just according to the caste he was born in. So Lord Caitanya was a brahmana which was a spiritual caste but for His kirtan, this chanting of Hare Krsna, He accepted not only the brahmanas, not only the kingly class like ksatriyas, and not even the mercantile class, but also the labor class and even people who were technically outcaste, He accepted everyone. And He said that this caste understanding has been improperly used. And moreover His main point was that when someone comes to the spiritual platform, this caste has no relation in any case. Because someone who is fully spiritualized should never be considered as being from any particular country, or caste or whatever because the spiritual quality is beyond all material designations.
So in this way, just to avoid intruders and so many different people, He would have… this evening kirtan the whole night would be amongst His intimate devotees, a few hundred of them. Like we are chanting here today, they would go on chanting. But outside… in the daytime He would send His parties out. They would go throughout the towns and villages, chanting and encouraging others to also chant. But in the evening He would have a private kirtan.
In that kirtan, He would go deep into loving ecstasies, sometimes crying, sometimes laughing, sometimes He would faint on the ground, manifesting fully Krsna-prema or pure love for God. Sometimes He’d become stunned and in this way, there was also a pastime when He revealed that He was actually Krsna Himself who had come down as a devotee to teach this process of chanting congregationally the Lord’s name. So what happened you know, He has a very intimate group of devotees of which the leader of all His devotees was a humble householder. He had one son who was very prominent.
Hare Krsna. They’re going to close the door. Hare Krishna
And he had three brothers. So in his courtyard… He had a garden house. In his courtyard He would have these kirtans as I mentioned it would go on and on. One day they were having wonderful kirtan, kirtan means this chanting of Hare Krsna, technically it means glorifying. And all the devotees were dancing and chanting, and everyone was feeling unlimited transcendental happiness. That day, Srivas’s son, died.
When the ladies of the house saw that the son had died, inside the house a huge start… everyone started crying. It’s natural mother, sisters and everyone, if someone dies, they start crying. So the kirtan was going outside and Srivas he heard some ruckus. He went inside and asked “What’s going on?”
They’re all crying. The son has died. The son has died.
He said, “What!? You are crying over that? You want to disturb the chanting of Lord Caitanya? Stop it! Stop it now! No crying!”
“How can we stop crying? The son died!”
“If you don’t stop crying now, I am going to kill myself by jumping in the Ganges. Immediately you must stop this crying!”
So, they got scared, they just lost their son, they did not want to lose the husband, their father.
He said, “Don’t dare you cry. You don’t know chanting is going on and your son died. That means how fortunate he is! At this time, the Lord is here, the devotees were chanting and he left his body. Don’t cry I’m coming back. Now I am going to do kirtan.”
Then he left them inside. They were somehow or another controlling, and went out and he went on and joined the sankirtan. The whole night he did kirtan. Along with all the other devotees, it was a very ecstatic kirtan. Everyone was chanting and dancing and it was going on and on. Finally, just about as the sun was rising, then Lord Caitanya called for the kirtan to be completed.
Then the word came around that “Srivasa’s son is dead. Srivasa’s son is dead.” Everyone started looking real sad. Lord Caitanya, the whole time He knew what was going on. But He asked “Well, why is everyone looking sad?” Because Lord Caitanya knew, He is in everyone’s hearts and He knew what everyone’s thinking. So one person spoke up and said, “Well Srivasa’s son died.”
Lord Caitanya said, “No! I am feeling bad for that. What time… When did he die?”
“Well he died at sunset.”
“At sun set. And now it is sunrise! Why didn’t anyone say anything?”
Then Srivasa said, I did not want to disturb Your kirtan. I did not want to disturb Your ecstasies. So, therefore I didn’t inform You because I did not want to disturb the kirtan.”
And then Lord Caitanya, He just said that “How can I ever leave My devotees? His own son dies but never does his faith or his devotion even waver. He doesn’t even tell Me that his son died because he does not want to disturb Me while I’m chanting.”
And Lord Caitanya started crying that “What wonderful devotion!”
So then they requested that they wanted to take the son’s body now and do the last rites. So Lord Caitanya said, “Bring the body here.” They brought the body of the son to the courtyard. Then Lord Caitanya said, “Why? Why you want to leave Srivasa’s house?” to the dead body!
The dead body sits up and says, “Because no one can go beyond Your desire, master! When our time is gone in this body, we have to go. I was so fortunate that I could come and be born in this body in this family, with these devotees, but each of us are independent, working out the results of all our activities. How many mothers and fathers I’ve had and who is the real mother, who is the real father and who are the real children? Now it is my time to go. I only pray that I will always remain with Your devotees. Please do not deprive me of that.” Then the body lay back down and was silent.
“Hari bol! Hari bol! Hari bol!” Everyone started jumping up. How Lord Caitanya had made the dead son just come for that moment and as a spirit soul already departed, speak to all the devotees. Srivasa and the other devotees, they went to Lord Caitanya, “You are our father, You are our mother, You are our son, You are everything: Brother, master. Lord Caitanya and Nityananda… Lord Caitanya said any way, Nityananda prabhu and Myself, you can take Us as sons.
So then they went and they all took a bath in the Ganges after doing the last rites for the son, and in this way everyone became filled with transcendental joy, transcendental love for Krsna. All the family members’ sadness over losing the son went away. So in this world, what can be more painful than losing a son, for a parent? But if one actually has the spiritual vision, who we are, the point is that there are two bodies, the gross body made of earth and water and other things and then there is the subtle body, the mental body. When the gross body dies the subtle body carries the soul on to its next body. And each individual has his own string of activities to suffer and enjoy.
The son will not have the same future as the father or the mother necessarily. Each definitely have his individual fortune, based upon activities done in the past. This is the law of karma. In this way, sometimes we are brought together in family, in friendship, in society, and sometime we’re… definitely we’re split up. But Srivasa, he appeared to be a family man but he was the greatest yogi. He wasn’t a family man, he was a realized soul. He knew he wasn’t the body, he knew his son wasn’t the body, his wife wasn’t the body, and he was acting perfectly to maintain these relationships in so far as they didn’t interfere with his spiritual life. And he worked to uplift his family and the whole society spiritually. And when he lost his son, he knew the son has to go sooner or later. He’s gone. That means he’s going for the next birth, so why interrupt the spiritual process? Of course when someone is sick you say, but when they are gone, they are gone on to their next birth.
So in this way Lord Caitanya’s devotees, various devotees of various transcendental qualities, whereby they show… In fact, you may think this is a far off story, I am very sorry if you think that. I can tell you a story that happened two years ago. That was five hundred. Two years ago, one of our devotees, one of my Godbrothers’ disciple, in Kolkatta, Mrs… Mother Nandi, there her son just died by drowning in the lake. Other four sons were members of the Hare Krsna movement, and the one who wasn’t, drowned. So she came to the temple and we hear that her son had died. Normally Bengali women are very… any woman, any mother is very affectionate and it is a heart rendering thing for all mothers. But she was laughing and talking, and the other brothers were looking longfaced, everything. So we were thinking that this must be some false story, your son died?
She said, “Yes.”
“Why are you happy?”
“No one dies.” she said, “He just changed his body! Some day or the other we have to change the body. What is use of being sad?”
This is self realization. Just like you are walking from this room to the next, at the time of death, no fear, you are just going on to the next body. One step to the next. Absolutely no fear is needed, no fear at all, at any point in life, except that somehow or other we will forget our real spiritual link with God. That is the only fear which will cause us to be fearful in every other way. That is not even fear, that is just a caution.
That mother was completely satisfied. She said, “I am here in the temple praying for my son’s soul, what can I do by lamenting? Whatever he has done, he has to suffer and enjoy. As a mother, I am praying for him, I am doing some sacrifice, he will get the result. No one dies. They just go on in the eternal cycle of birth and death, birth and death until they finally reach the Supreme God.” That, two years ago.
So, I was flying PanAm from India. The plane was coming down and everyone had taken as many drinks as they could take within the transatlantic flight, singing songs and having a gay time. Just as the plane was coming down for the final landing, no smoking, fasten seat belt, everything was on. Coming right down to the tarmac, just as it was about to pull in. The jumbo had flattened and it was coming down in its own peculiar way. Suddenly went down and up again and pulled up and everyone went “Huh!” At that time, you could hear a pin drop, no one was saying a word.
As usual, as I am always doing,
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Especially in those moments you can always think of Krsna more clearly, but we are always practicing, so that is not out of practice. And immediately everyone was a little bit doubtful, “What happened?” So finally after a few maneuvers and this and that, what… exactly what happened, of course they never don’t tell us, some loose latch or something… they never give you the actual… You only read about it after the crash. Of course if you are around to read about it! Then this one person sitting next to me said, “Thank you, because of your prayers we made it.” About a 65 year old senior citizen was. People actually potentially, they get frightened at any moment because they don’t know what the future holds. So this Krsna consciousness movement, many people have different ideas.
One of our functions is to give people feast every Sunday night but that feast is not ordinary feast it is spiritual food, to help people feel fearless. The chanting is spiritual vibration to help you to be fearless. The philosophy is the real philosophy of life to help you become fearless. Unless a person is fearless, how can he be happy? Unless a person is fearless, how can he be peaceful? And if you are not peaceful, how can you be happy? That is why you see the devotees are happy. Of course, what does that mean? We have to take our material precautions. But ultimately we know where we stand, who we are, what is the universe, what is our relationship? That’s all we ask people to ask these questions.
As human beings we have the intellect not just to think how am I going to eat for the next fifty years but really what is this world? What is the purpose of life? Are we simply born to eat for fifty years and make a few by products and then go to an old folks’ home and die? Is that the purpose of life? Even my uncle Clarence who was a General in the Army Chaplain Corps who later on became a Chaplain in charge of retarded children homes for the Lutheran church or Protestant churches, ecclesiastical council, when his time was up, he was put in the old folks’ home and he was sitting there writing letters. He wrote a letter to me in India, I like the work you are doing, this one that one. Donated his body to science for cutting the eyeballs out and everything. In the last days of their life they don’t know how to concentrate on God. They don’t have that teaching, what is… “Who is God?”
They do some pious work, they do some nice work for people, that is nice but ultimately they do not have complete very understanding where they are headed? What is their relationship? How to actually develop that love for God that all the religions of the world are talking about? So instead they just get up to a type of pious type of social exchange. So this Krsna consciousness movement… yes, it’s actual… the original Indian culture, and now it’s been brought to the West. It is the post-graduate of all yogic practices, for one actually lives spiritual life throughout the day you can live spiritual life, while you are in the office, while you are in the family or wherever you are.
Simply by slight adjustment of perspective. Instead of seeing oneself by the superficial conditioning that is rammed down our throat, ears and eyes through the television, movies, radio, etc. So that we think are born on Esplanade you think you are one person, and if you are born ten streets down you think you are another kind of person. If you are born somewhere else, like Tarzan, he was born and brought up in the jungle, he thought he was a jungle man, ape man. That means that according to where they bus you and put you to school, then you’re going to accordingly develop a whole different personality, and you identify “This is me.” Just like My Fair Lady, they took a Cockney girl and trained her up to be a lady, something like that. So, this is what people are thinking, “This is me. I am a Harvard graduate, I am a Yale graduate, I am a Bulldog fan, I am a Tiger fan.” I don’t know the team here. I just came from Atlanta.
Guest 2: Gators.
Jayapataka Swami: Alligators?
Female Guest: Dallas Cowboys.
Jayapataka Swami: The Cowboys, like that. Saints, “I am a saint!” And they think… People are committing suicide in Brazil after a soccer team lost a game. It was such a demoralization. They were putting kerosene and lighting fire to themselves because their soccer team lost. Because they are indentifying so strongly.
So what is the first part of this Krsna consciousness? Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam Sarva upadi: all the designations which are superficial, which are not you, which are just coming from the social and other external types of association, those are transcended. Why do we shave our hair? Just so we can see what it’s like for a while not to be worried about which way it is! We can see ourselves that, “Well, after all my hair is not my personality. It is not me, the hair is just a...” Of course, people who have to live in a material world and they need it for interacting with other people, they keep their hair. But for those who are living in the temple, and are fully practicing this process as training priests and ministers, for them there is no need to keep their hair for doing their work, their service, then they can shave it off, just one less designation. One less thing to worry about.
That is the process of yoga, to control the mind and understand who we really are. When Prabhupada brought Krsna here to the West, people were astonished. Why… in India, why did people in the West accept Krsna? Because the first thing Prabhupad said was, you are not an American, you are not a Westerner, you are not a Chinese, you are not Russian, you are not a Republican or a Democrat or a Saint or a Bulldog. You are pure spirit soul. You are an eternal spirit soul that means a spark of life in the body.
Even the body itself is just a superficial covering. So we can use this body to achieve happiness in this life which is natural. Plus we can get permanent happiness coming right from the soul while in this body. No postdated check. Just now. Within a very short time you can feel unlimited spiritual happiness. So this Krsna consciousness movement is not based on depriving of anything which is essential to our existence. Rather everything is there, simply the advice is we should take everything in moderation and we should omit those things which are distractions to achieving our spiritual goal.
Have moderate food – of course, moderate food means what? You take Krsna, holy food up to the chin. No more than the chin! Because it is already sacred food, so that is the moderation. Then have not too much sex. But should be regulated in tune with spiritual life. No gambling, what is the use of gambling? Simply agitates the mind. And when you are already ecstatic chanting
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
then why get pulled down by material intoxication, which only lasts for a short time and then has so many side problems like hangovers and withdrawals, prison sentences, etc. and which doesn’t actually satisfy the soul?
[Break] … and be protected from dangers. Even you want to only chant ten minutes a day in your house. And you can come here on Sundays now and then. You are completely free to do that. Do whatever you can, nothing is lost by chanting Hare Krsna, by practicing this process, by reading and understanding this philosophy. Even if you want to just come in an intellectual way, you want to see what “Well, what’s their viewpoint?” Come and see what it is like. Feel welcome. To come, discuss, to argue. We don’t mind. Just don’t criticize. Unless you go and understand it in an objective way. After understanding if you have any questions or points or out of sheer innocence you want to ask certain questions, we don’t have any objection. Rather you should feel that this is your home.
If you have any anxiety and want to get away, come here in the temple during the week, hardly anyone is here during the day, you can sit here in the temple and you can chant Hare Krsna, and you can meditate and you can feel some peace. In the morning and evening we have kirtan, chanting and classes. In the day they have a few ceremonies, up till about… from 1 to 4 it is closed, but the rest of the day there is some chanting and meditation going on. You can feel welcome to come here.
Devotees are sometimes busy doing this and that service but usually someone will make a little time if anyone comes and if you have any questions, they will be happy to answer. It seems like many of you are… I have seen your faces before, you seem to be chanting. I’m going to be here for a few days and if anyone has any questions… how to make a temple in your house, how to become more involved in Krsna consciousness or just to discuss any philosophical questions, then I’m also… will be available in the next few days to answer and help you in any way.
If you are having some experiences, some mystic experiences, you don’t know how to explain or understand, that also we have experience to advise you. Don’t think you will be bothering me, this is our main business, main occupation, main service. We are simply advising people upon how to advance in their spiritual life, how to be freed from different problems. This is all we’re doing the whole time.
Actually, just recently… I just came from Boston. In the Boston Commons we had a Ratha Yatra festival and I was telling the thousands of people that had assembled there that the whole purpose of this Hare Krsna movement… Prabhupada, he came just about this time of the year, if not today itself…
Was it today, itself?
Yesterday. Tomorrow. On this day tomorrow, was the first day he set foot in North America from India. And he wrote in his book Upadesamrta, Nectar of Instruction, one of the principle purposes he made this International Society for Krsna Consciousness for was so that devotees could come together and exchange loving spiritual exchanges with each other. Now you may be wondering, what type of form they take, these spiritual exchanges?
So it is described in that book there are six types of loving exchanges – dinate prati grnati. The first one is giving fruit and accepting fruit. So for us it is a form of expressing our love and friendship. You are accepting fruit or bringing some vegetable or something for the deity, in this way there is like an exchange, that is a very intimate thing, exchanging food.
Then second is exchanging gifts, exchanging service. Just like sometimes someone comes early and helps to clean up or helps to prepare the things, little service, in this way the devotees are also, they’re giving sometimes the literature to someone or they are talking with someone, in different ways helping. In this way there is an exchange of love, of gifts, of service.
And finally is to reveal one’s mind, say we have some anxiety, we have some question, we have some doubts, “Where am I headed? Am I on the right course?” Some people, they know that they are not on the right course, there must be a better course, but they are too frightened to change. They are just like the ostrich that put their head… shutting the eyes, and they don’t want to look anywhere else. They don’t want to hear anything else. They are afraid. “No, no, I have enough.” So many people you meet like that.
They are not happy but they are afraid that “I got it all figured out. Somehow or another I think I know where I am going, I don’t want to hear anything, or look at anything else.” you see. But this is the sixth and fifth type of love exchange, when we actually tell our mind to someone. What’s on our mind we tell them. We tell, we confide in them, our thoughts of our spiritual life, our realizations, our feelings, with the spiritual master, or with a devotee of the Lord. And that person also confides and accepts that open discussion. And then a deeper spiritual meaning is brought out through the discussions and one is brought closer together. In this way the society is exchanging these type of relations which are beyond the physical platform, they are actually on the spiritual platform. In this way everyone is brought together in a harmony and friendship.
So we invite you to come and exchange on a spiritual platform these type of exchanges with the devotees here. In this way we hope that your life will take on more and more meaning. We would like to see, and we don’t see why not, every person in New Orleans, Louisiana, southern USA can sit down and chant
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare
together with their family and friends every day in their house. You can ask the Indian people that are here, generally, they are worshipping in their house. There is no reason why everyone can’t worship in their house. You can come here to the temple and learn how to worship, come here and learn how to practice.
So thank you very much for your patience and your attention, and I hope that I will see more of many of you in the next few days. Maybe if any of you have any questions, I could take this opportunity to answer.
Question: Could you tell me how you breathe on the physical (inaudible) caused by spiritual tension.
Jayapataka Swami: [aside]
Please don’t leave without taking prasadam, though.
Question: Could you tell me that?
Jayapataka Swami: Couldn’t… What did she?
Question: I’m under pressure. I work as a psychic and lately I’ve been very drawn. I’m trying to figure out the (inaudble) I’m doing very good, but it’s getting very bad for me.
Jayapataka Swami: Yes, because while you are doing these psychic things, you see, either in exchange for money or in exchange just as a favour for others. Now any type of service you do, whether psychic, material or physical service, which you are doing just as a gift or in lieu for something, ultimately you are responsible for the reaction for that because you are doing it for yourself. Just like according to the laws of karma, everything that happens to us, success and failure, is determined according to what we have done in the past.
We walk on the street and get run over by a metropolitan public service vehicle, its not because it was just an accident. But that was already determined that we were going to have to die that type of a death because in our previous life or in this life we deserved that kind of a reaction. Or we just see someone jump on to the train the last moment and we miss it and we get saved. That is all the result according to our fortune, fortune means what? According to what activities we have done, we have to reap. As you sow, so shall you reap. Tooth for a tooth, eye for an eye. It is there in all the different religious books but it is described as the law of karma, of cause and effect in the Vedas and it is described and explained very scientifically.
So, when you do something… just like there is a story of a man who gave a big donation to a complete poor beggar and that person became very well situated after that. But in the next life that person had to take birth as the son of the person that he gave donation to, because the beggar was now indebted to him for having given him a handout. The only way that that person could pay it back… the beggar, was that other person had to become his son. As a father you are always serving, as a mother you are always serving the child, that way he was… in the law of karma, that soul took birth as his son and therefore the debt was being repaid. So while you are doing all these services for different people, gradually, you see some of these reactions are just coming on you because you’re doing it on a material platform. So that… there’s a science of how to do things where you don’t get a reaction.
Krsna says that everything… if you give in charity, if you do as an austerity, whatever you do if you do as an offering to Me, then I will protect you from the reaction.
Question: Would you advise to stop doing palm reading for a while? Maybe…
Jayapataka Swami: Well, as far as the detailed discussion like that, that’s like a separate section. This is for more on what we’re discussing today. Any other questions? Did you have a question?
Question: Did you ever attend Catholic High School? Or was that…
Jayapataka Swami: I attended an Episcopal, Lutheran and… Episcopal and Lutheran High School. At that time in sports we played against them. So they did that. But as Episcopal, then we also did some of those things. I’m not… I am just saying that this is one type of appreciation of God. There is nothing wrong with that in terms of… I mean, it’s better than nothing. It is good but anything to do with God, it’s good. But they want Him to do their order, they want God to do a favor and carry their order.
They already have an idea” I am going to go out there and smash the South… Southern team… whatever it is, you know and then they want “Now God, help me so we can do it.” Just like in the German… Second World War all… on both sides, the Allies and the Germans they were all praying to God… All the wives, “Let my husbands come back safe.” But after the war there was a crisis of faith with the Germans, because they said “Well our husbands didn’t come back.” They never thought that “Let my husband…”or Hitler, he was the one that attacked the first, or he was the one that started the whole war and that they were aggressors, or this or that, and they didn’t come back.
At the start of the war, no one was asking, “God, is this going to be pleasing?” They just went out, so then, they told all the people, “Pray that your people come back.” When they didn’t come back, then they though, “Well God did not answer our prayer.” Whose prayer is He supposed to answer? So on these levels, God doesn’t actually get personally involved.
He has a law of karma. That according to a person’s activities, they have certain fortune and He just more or less sanctions it. He can… He’s not obliged to give those reactions but He allows it go on like that, except for some exceptions He may withold or give, but generally he does not get involved in all these petty things. But if someone requests for some special help, “Alright” So, then He reciprocates. If you ask Him to help, “Alright.” He’ll help. But does that mean if you don’t practice your football, or if there’s a better team, and then, just because you pray on that type of thing God’s going to help? It can help you to some extent, but the real thing that Lord Caitanya was teaching that when we’re developing real love for God, appreciation for God, a higher understanding is actually what we can do for Him.
Not that we can actually give Him anything, He has everything. But that… our attitude should be that “He is giving us everything and let us serve Him.” Just like a small child gives his father, “Here daddy, here are your shoes, your slippers for tonight.” or says something, it is an expression of love. How many people in their life think that, “Let me do something that is pleasing to God, for Krsna. Krsna has done so much for me, He has given me life. He’s given… Now what can I do to please Him?” Normally a materialist is thinking, “What’s good for me and what do I want?” And in social life, in business, it is very self-centerd. So when they go into religion, they take the same attitude, “God give me this, give me that, give me this, help me here.” Like God is simply made to serve me. But it’s backwards. We’re made to serve God! Everybody in the world is saying, “Serve me.” Therefore there is wars. Therefore, there’s competition which is unnatural. Unnatural competition. Therefore there’s all the time, problem, be… everyone is saying “Me. Serve me.” Even they pray to God, “God, why don’t You serve me? Give me more money. Give me more fame. Give me more wealth. Give me more power.” It’s backwards.
We’re supposed to be praying, “God, let me serve You!” If everyone in the world said, “Let us serve God.” Not just some fanatic, you now, way that you know… the way. Not in a fanatical where each person has their own idea of God, but real understanding of the Supreme Being, then there is automaticallly harmony. If everyone just tried to focus on what was ultimately pleasing… You think it is pleasing God that the Jews and the Muslims are killing each other? Nobody in their wildest dreams believes that. Including them. But the… Why are they doing it? The politicians they getting everyone fired up. You’re Jew, you are Mohammedan. You are Protestant, or are Catholic in Northern Ireland. Neither the Pope says, neither does the Archbishop say… of Canterbury that God is being pleased because the IRA is fighting against the other group.
What is pleasing to God? We should have a real understanding of that and people work for that. So in this age, the process given, that if people simply chant the name of God, and if they just develop… follow a process of worshipping God, which includes helping others to come to that platform, and if they read the factual literatures by God and about God, about Krsna, then their life is perfected.
So now everything is backwards. Instead of God-centered society, it is all self-centered. So what this Krsna consciousness movement is talking about is a complete revolution. Completely turning everyone’s point of reference 180 degrees around from self-centered to God-centered, to Krsna-centered. What that does, because there is only one Supreme Truth, there is only one Supreme God… He has many names: Krsna, Rama, Jehovah, whatever. So many millions of names. There is only one Supreme Absolute Truth, Person, Being.
So if everyone focuses on doing what would be ultimately pleasing to Him… Now Krsna says that “Every living creature is My part and parcel, they are all My children.” Then you should not hurt any living entity unnecessarily, neither human or animal. If you are starving, it’s one thing. That is an emergency.
So, in this way there are so many points that if you actually have a Krsna-centered or God-centered society then immediately everything becomes corrected. So much so that you will be surprised that recently there was a interna… a World Communist Congress, where they discussed that the most dangerous threat for their taking over the world with Communism is the Hare Krsna movement!
Because it’s… the Hare Krsna movement goes beyond international, national, even sectarian religious bonds. So they’re… “What they’re saying is that everything is the property of the Supreme Being. And no one has any individual right for more than one needs. So if this philosophy takes root then our class struggle, which is based on envying bigger Capitalists, the whole class struggle, everything will be finished. And already… I can just tell you we have a lot of preachers right now in Russia. And the KGB No. 2 man said that the two things, he said rock ‘n roll, and Hare Krsna were the cultural intrusion in their country.
So at least they… at least the one person, they had the… the first person, he had the time at least he studied our philosophy to the point that he could understand what we are dealing with goes over all the sectarian, all these limited visions. If people just got over the outside trappings, got over the superficial designation, just studied the philosophy that we are presenting, you can see there is the basis there for unity, no matter whether one was born a Catholic or a Protestant, or Jew, a Semetic, or Muslim or Hindu, whatever. The basis is there for unifying everyone.
Was there any other question? Was that alright?
Guest: Oh, that was beautiful.
Jayapataka Swami: Any other questions?
Guest: I have one more.
Jayapataka Swami: (indistinct)
Guest: What do you deal with…
Jayapataka Swami: One per person.
They serve prasada here in this room? Why don’t you bring it down? Get ready. Do you have any question?
Every year we have a big festival in India in March when thousands of people come from all over the world, from the South Pacific, from America and Canada, and South America, Latin America, from everywhere: Africa, Europe, Russia, Iceland. And for three weeks we go on a pilgrimage to Lord Caitanya’s birth place where that chanting originally happened 500 years ago that I told you about today, we are there for about eight days, bathing in the Ganges river, and having meetings and seminars and festivals and feasts.
At that time, about one million people come from the countryside there in India to participate in the festival. Then from there people go to different parts, Jagannath Puri, South India, Tirupati, Benares, Delhi, Bombay, for five-day pandals… pandal programs and then they go to Vrndavan, the birthplace of Krsna for another seven-day festival. Then everyone goes back to their country. It is very beautiful. If anyone is ever free in March and have an extra thousand dollars you don’t know what to do with, buy yourself an excursion fare to India. Come along. It’s pretty inexpensive from America. South America is 2,000 dollars round trip. They plan and save their whole life to go, once or twice. Prasada’s ready?
Hare Krsna! Thank you.
Everyone: Hari bol!
Transcribed by: Jayaraseshwari devi dasi 18 January 2014
Revised by Jagannatha dasa Brahmacari