The following is a lecture given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami on January 8th, 1984 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The class begins with a reading from the Bhagavad-gita Chapter 6, Verse 40.
…but if one does not attain such a perfectional stage, then he loses both materially and spiritually. It is enjoined in the scriptures that one has to suffer the reactions of not executing prescribed duties. Therefore one who fails to discharge transcendental activities properly becomes subject to these reactions. The Bhagavatam assures the unsuccessful transcendentalist that there need not be… that there, excuse me, need be no worries. Even though he may be subject to the reactions of not perfectly executing prescribed duties, he is still not a loser because auspicious Krishna consciousness is never forgotten. And one so engaged will continue to be so even if he is low-born in the next life. On the other hand one who strictly follows the prescribed duties, need not necessarily obtain auspicious results if he is lacking in Krishna consciousness.
Before I go on just to give a little background. This is sankya yoga chapter. Krishna describes to Arjuna the process of mystic meditation. Arjuna said he wanted to find out what was the truth, wanted to realize the self. Actually we are a combination of material body, a mind and the self. We are actually the self. And the mind and material body are gross and subtle… subtle and gross body respectively for caring about the soul or the self within this material world. Self-realisation means to realise the self. Normally we are aware of the body. Some people are aware of their psyche or their astral body or the mind. But to realize the self that is considered to be self realization. The self is the active principle in the body.
So Krishna describes various systems of yoga. Yoga means to link up with the Supreme. By the process of yoga, by linking up with the Supreme one can realize the Supreme Absolute Truth as well as the self. So this chapter Krishna previously described the process of sankya yoga. Sankya yoga means to sit in meditation in a secluded place on a kusa grass in a forest or on the Himalayas and to meditate on the form in the heart of the Supreme Lord. And there to just… not each too much not eat too little. Not sleep too much, not sleep too little. Sit straight up looking at the tip of the nose. Controlling the breathing and performing the eightfold mystic yoga system. So Arjuna replied that “This seems impossible for me. This seems to be more difficult than to control the mind. To have the mind be peaceful in that situation for me. It seems easier to control a hurricane. I cant imagine sitting in one place day after day, week after week, month after month until I achieve self realisation. I’d never be able to just sit still.”
Then Krishna said “Well, by practice you can control the mind.”
And then Arjuna’s reply was “If rather somebody engages in devotional service which is another process of yoga called bhakti yoga, or any form of yoga, and half way through or part way through fails to finish it then you lost time in your material pursuits and you didn’t finish your spiritual pursuits. So at that time you lost out in both the worlds. This is my fear.”
So then Krishna replying that “There is nothing to fear. Because even if…” because it is previously said in this verse today that “A transcendentalist engaged in auspicious activities does not meet with destruction either in this world or in the spiritual world. One who does good, My friend is never overcome by evil.” Whatever amount of progress one has made spiritually remains as an asset.
When the body becomes uninhabitable the soul, the self continues to exist. In goes on to a new body. So even at the time of taking another birth, and reincarnation or transmigration of the soul at that time one is still cognizant, or one’s spiritual assets are still there. There are many histories to this scenario. In our booklet Coming Back is a description of Maharaj King Bharata, and how he recalled his previous life. So however if one even works very hard in his material life, but at the end of life he has to lose whatever materially he has been able to accumulate. He can’t take anything with him.
Spiritually whatever you accumulate it’s your asset. You don’t lose it. And materially whatever you accumulate you can’t take with you. And if you are unable to accumulate, if you are unable to achieve your material goal, tough luck. Then you don’t get anything spiritual neither did you get anything material. And even if you get something material that’s for one life time, and then you’re back where you started again in the next life time, or maybe in a very bad situation.
So analyzing both the sides advice is given that one should not worry about performing some type of spiritual activities even if it may potentially make a difference in how much a person would materially progress. That is actually not supported that a person’s material success would not be affected by practicing spiritual life in terms of the amount of happiness achieved. The exact form may vary, but the happiness or a misery that the person is going to get, that comes automatically according to the law of karma or reaction and effect.
So just let me finish this Purport here. Prabhupada goes on to say:
The purport may be understood as follows. Humanity may be divided into two sections, namely, the regulated and the nonregulated. Those who are engaged simply in bestial sense gratifications without knowledge of their next life or spiritual salvation belong to the nonregulated section. And those who follow the principles of prescribed duties in the scriptures are classified amongst the regulated scr… section. The nonregulated section, both civilized and noncivilized, educated and noneducated, strong and weak, are full of animal propensities. Their activities are never auspicious, because enjoying the animal propensities of eating, sleeping, defending and mating, they perpetually remain in material existence, which is always miserable. On the other hand, those who are regulated by scriptural injunctions, and thus rise gradually to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, certainly progress in life.
Prabhupada goes on to say that if you could take the path of auspiciousness you could further divide it in to three sections:
One is the follower of scriptural rules and regulations, who are enjoying material prosperity.
Two, those who are trying to find out ultimate liberation from material existence and,
Three, those who are devotees in Krishna consciousness.
And then basically in the Vedic culture the society was divided according to the amount of spiritual interest, spiritual advancement a person had. The basic goal of the Varnasrama system is to bring the people up. The Varnasrama system is the ancient system of Vedic culture. Now there is a perverted reflection of that still existing in India. The Varnashrama system is a scientific system of assigning a specific occupational duties to different types of persons.
A priest, a Brahmana, a teacher would have certain type of responsibilities to the society. An administrator, a warrior, general king has a different set of responsibilities . A businessman, a different set. And a service holder yet another group of responsibilities. The intellectual class is meant to lead a very simple life; meant to teach and advise others, to eat a very simple pure diet. Has much responsibility but is also given respect and is supported by society.
The administrator class is supposed to protect the citizens from illegal activities, from criminals, from invasions and so on. They are supposed to regulate the activities, so or do some sort of administration. They have a different set of rules. They are supposed to take the advice from the spiritual persons. The business community they are supposed to provide the economic base for the whole nation, the whole world. They have another set of rules. In this way everyone has got a particular responsibility to society. But the goal of the different occupational duties of the spiritual stages was to bring one gradually up to the point of God realization, self-realization. Example is… just like for instance in Ramayana, written by Valmiki muni King Dasaratha was visited by I believe it was Vasistha muni and when Vasistha came to his to his court, he ask him that “How is your how is your progress in conquering reincarnation? What is the progress in your battle to conquer reincarnation?” To overcome, basically the great sages, the great munis they were not concerned much with the material side. They were more interested in achieving liberation and establishing a relationship with the supreme and ending the material bondage. Because of their auspicious activities, they would benefit the entire humanity.
Most of the pious people in the world they perform any kind of religious activity to get a blessing from God so that they can have material prosperity. Like in Germany, after the War, when they thought that God had forsaken them, many people became atheists. Because they had prayed during the War that “Our husbands will come back, they we’ll win, God bless us.” Of course they are praying on both sides so Krishna is in a tough situation. Whose side so he had to more or less tough situation he has to leave it up to the individuals’ karma. So when they lost, of course they were the aggressors. When they lost, they thought “Well God forsake our prayers.” You see, because most people they see God as some type of order supplier, Sears catalogue or something and then you can order just anything you want and he will bring it. So when he doesn’t give it, then they lose faith.
They don’t actually understand the higher relationship or spiritual transcendental understanding about the self and the Supreme Self how the material world is situated. They are concerned in a very simple level. Just like in Russia, after the War… after one of the wars, anyway the communists they are trying to convince the people that they should uh, give up religion. So the people are going to church, so the communists would say “Go to the church and pay for your bread. You are hungry go and pray for bread.” So they are going to the church and are praying, “God give us this day our daily bread.” They came out.
They said “Where is the bread? You prayed to God for bread?”
They said, “Yeah.”
“Did He give you any bread?”
“All right, you want us to get you bread, you pray to us.”
“Give us bread.”
“All right.” Shwip, and they bring in the vans and they are handing out bread. “You see, we are God. We are the… There’s no God. Whatever God there is, it’s Communism.”
So for simple people who are just thinking that “God is supposed to supply us. We asked Him. Why didn’t He give it?” Then they lose their faith that there’s some type of a higher reality. It is not a very scientific method, but I have seen that these are the type of methods also that have been used widely in the third-world countries to convert different people to one or other way of thinking.
So that is the normal level of a pious person; God-fearing or God-loving person. But Krishna consciousness is dealing with… it’s a totally different level. It’s not dealing with the normal level known as the religion which means certain sort of rituals, to perform pious activities to get ones material prosperity. This is a post-graduate course, or post-graduate practice to actually realize who we are, realize who is the Supreme Lord and ultimately also as this is a byproduct we will realize everything as to the relative situation of the material world that we are living in today.
So because Krishna consciousness is dealing with absolute factors… just like the Bhagavad-gita for instance it describes just as a person goes from childhood to youth to old age, kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati, just as we change so many bodies in this lifetime, right there’s a small child, becomes a youth becomes an old man you might have seen our changing body at… exhibition… exhibit at our ratha-yatra festival. At that time… at each stage, the body is different. Modern science says that every seven years the body goes through a complete change of cells. So that means we have already changed cells so many times. That means we have changed bodies. So how is the individual the same? What is keeping the link, you see? Modern science may say it’s the genes the DNA or something else. But the actual continuity is kept because of the self, the soul, the person is there within the body. He doesn’t change. The body changes. He doesn’t change.
When Krishna spoke this Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada our founder, guru made the point that Kaumaram yauvanam jara, going from childhood to youth to old age that statement is applicable for everyone. Whether a person is a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindu or an Atheist or an Agnostic or whatever, the communists, the capitalists it’s for everyone. Dogs, cats everyone is changing the body, childhood to youth to old age. But Krishna was speaking five thousand years ago, there was no Christianity, there was no Islam. There was atheism. That a permanent factor. There are always some atheists, and there was Vedic culture. Krishna was speaking for absolute, for everyone not just meant for a particular country or particular person.
That’s why Lord Caitanya said that people who are born in india, because they are very blessed, because there, these teachings have been revealed they should realize and then spread them all over the world.
bhārata-bhūmite haila manuṣya-janma yāra
janma sārthaka kari' kara para-upakāra
Prabhupada, he took that responsibility and took this message and spread it around the world. That’s why the Indian people appreciate Srila Prabhupada as a kind of transcendental ambassador. Just when his festival was performed in Vrindavan few just a month or so on November sixth was his disappearance his tirobhava tithi. At that time the Union Minister of the Central Government of India came down for that function to pay his homages to Srila Prabhupada. Although Krishna appeared in India at the time when He was speaking, that time there was only one world government. There was only one world culture and He was speaking in absolute sense for everyone. The Christians can’t say “Well I don’t… this doesn’t apply to me.” Another way He was speaking in a different platform another platform of religious rituals that… different forms of yoga are there, different forms of religious rituals they all fit within certain categories. Even the present day religious rituals the people are performing will… they’re fitting in to the category of performing religious ceremonies to get pious results to have material prosperity. That’s one level. The specific ritual may differ according to a certain heritage or tradition. That’s one of the levels.
Next level are those people who don’t want material prosperity. They want to follow just to increase their knowledge and purity and that sense, have elevation. Then there are those who actually want to be liberated from the material situation. They want salvation. And then there are those who are directly a devotee of the Lord. They are already liberated. They are already beyond the laws of material nature. This is easy to ex… to understand.
You take that the material nature is like an incredible web. Like a spider web. It’s so intricate that any fly get in to it, he gets stuck. Can’t get out. You take it that the weaver of this material nature, the ultimate creator, the ultimate intelligence behind it is the spider, that’s Krishna. If you are a fly, if you are a competitor, then you get tangled up in the material nature and you are have to follow its particular laws. But if you are a baby spider, then you can crawl around and you don’t get entangled. So the person who becomes a devotee of Krishna someone who gets connected with Him in a internal transcendental way, becomes transcendental to the material laws of reaction, the material laws of karma. So when you are already transcendental to those laws, then you are already considered liberated.
So the concept that one person is the fly, he is like the fly, stuck. He wants to get out of that entanglement. The devotee due to his relationship with Krishna is already transcendental.
Jaya Sri Sri Radha-Radhakanta
So I thank you aall very much for coming here and we’d like to invite all of you to come every Sunday and take the spiritual food.
…So this is very easy. You don’t have to change that particular direction. Look for the happiness little while and eating the Krishna food, chanting Hare Krishna, serving Krishna, and if you feel transcendentally happy and satisfied by that, then you can go on, and go in to it further. You can go from either direction. You can go first directly into the meditation, and if you feel any change, then you can inquire what it is all about, or if you are the kind of person who doesn’t want to do anything until you figure it all out, then you can read our books and study and try to figure it out first and then if you are convinced that there is something behind it, then you can chant. Both for those who are the more inquisitive seekers of the truth, as well as those who are the committed seekers of happiness there is the avenue for both. And for those who want both, truth and happiness and you can chant and read simultaneously.
Well, this is nobody else then you get. Anyone else?
Comment: I don’t know if it’s possible but, I’d like to try to rectify, if possible, the contradiction in ISKCON of concern over the position of Christ. One spiritual master claims he’s an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Another claims him to be only a spiritual master. Who is Jesus Christ?
Jayapataka Swami: There are five different types of principle categories of incarnations or avataras. There’s the uh, yuga avatara, guna avatara, lila avatara. Then theres the saktyavesa avatar. The saktyavesa avatar means… the other avatars are directly the Lord Himself coming down in to the world out of His own power. There are two kinds of individuals, two kinds of souls, the Supreme Self, who is independent, unlimited and there’s the limited individual soul. We all fit in that category. Within the limited individual selves, there are two divisions, those who are liberated from material conditions and those who are conditioned. So a pure devotee is someone who either was conditioned and liberated or who appeared here already liberated.
As a pure devotee the person already would have the power of Krishna behind him, with him. But normally they wouldn’t be called a saktyavesa avatar or an empowered… sakti means power. saktyavesa, avesa means empowered, an empowered incarnation. Krishna, He may empower an individual soul with His own power. So although the individual’s normal capacity would be say 100 watts, this is just for example, excuse me, but then Krishna gives them 500 watts or 1,000 watts, 10,000 watts from His own, so He empowers. Although as an individual soul, there are specific purpose, specific tasks when required Krishna or one of His direct incarnations come, He can empower one individual with enough power to do that.
So because Jesus was able to create a religious system which lasted for thousands of years, because he from the symptoms that he had anyone who has his extra ordinary power. If its spiritual power normally its known as saktyavesa avatar and if its material power, its known as a vibhuti. Even someone like, you can say that the power that Muhammad Ali had to win three world boxing champions, it was a vibhuti. Its not spiritual. But it was some special strength that he had that it was a vibhuti. Anything strong in the world, you take it, its a portion of the total power that us resting within Krishna. Thats a vibhuti or within the total material energy of Krishna.
So Christ will fit in the category of saktyavesa avatar as being empowered. So in that sense if someone said he was an avatara, there wouldn’t be a contradiction because at one occasion Srila Prabhupada described him as a saktyavesa avatar which means not God himself but as a individual who is empowered by God which he said was a son of God. Or that he was an individual but he had definitely some extra ordinary powers. As regarding to being a pure devotee, or a great devotee, well to be empowered like that, you’d have to be a great devotee.
His… he was in preaching specifically pure devotion exclusively. So in that sense, he may been empowered for certain time and for a certain system. But uh… from his teachings he wasn’t preaching for all times and all systems, and for all it wasn’t uh…
Question: And the Gospels of Michael, as well?
Jayapataka Swami: Well, I don’t want to bring in the controversies in that.
Comment: In those scriptures we find phenomena which are more applicable (inaudible)
Jayapataka Swami: We’re aware from many uh, scholars that there are other literatures attributed to Jesus which are much more in keeping with the Vedic tradition that he was supposed to have been brought up in, in the sixteen years when he was out of the public eye. They have his foot prints in Bombay. They, uh, these are the literatures claim that he did go and spend time in India and then when he went back and he began his gospel preaching in the far East. But that’s a whole, we don’t like to really discuss too far off of our own understanding of Krishna consciousness… of rather the Vedas. Because then it can just get to be a controversial thing because everyone has their own opinions about Christianity and that’s really not what we are here to discuss about. But since you wanted to know whether Jesus could be an avatara or not, at the same time be a great devotee or not. So I want to address that point that there is one type of avatar known as the saktyavesa which is a great devotee or an individual soul or great sage who is empowered for a particular purpose with a particular potency, energy of the Supreme Lord and he can perform that particular task. So he could fit within that category. But if you want to go further than that, then we will…
Huh? You want a definitive answer?
Reply: A spiritual master… (inaudible)
Jayapataka Swami: So I told… the way I…
Reply: You gave me both.
Jayapataka Swami: I just showed you how it could be both.
Reply: In one way he was saying he was Krishna Himself. An incarnation of Krishna…
Jayapataka Swami: No, an incarnation… there are five types of incarnation. One of them means that you are empowered by Krishna. So that’s also considered incarnation.
Reply: A living entity can be empowered by Krishna, but not an incarnation of Krishna, Himself.
Jayapataka Swami: No that’s consid… the person that’s… That’s considered to be an avatara. Name is avatara. Avatar means in Sanskrit, incarnation. So in a general sense someone could say he is an incarnation. But in a specific sense, no he wasn’t Krishna. And I am sure that that spiritual master, if you would ask him, he would explain that in that sense that it was saktyavesa.
Reply: Well, what he said was that he really is Krishna. Christ comes from Kristo, which means Krishna.
Jayapataka Swami: No but the etymology of that it was originally in Hebrew or Greek Jesus of the Christ. Jesus of the Christos, Jesus of Krishna. Jesus of Krishna. Just for short now they say Jesus Christ. It used to be Jesus of Christ in the ancient etymology the language.
Comment: He was concerned… (inaudible)
Jayapataka Swami: I can’t hear what he’s saying.
Comment: He was concerned the people would see his light. He emanated such light, the people could recognize, they’d fall down to his feet and worship him, and he would say, “Do not do this.” He said, “Worship God in spirit.” Jayapataka Swami: That point Srila Prabhupada said that you know the pure devotee, if they want to they have mystic powers. A bhakti yogi gets the eight forms of mystic power. At a point in the development if he wants it, but to show those mystic power, then the people will all be attracted by the mystic power. They’ll worship to get the mystic powers. But then you have defeated your purpose. You want to direct them to develop some… their relationship with God with Krishna, develop their love for the Supreme Lord. But instead, they are developing a desire that “I’d like to get that power myself. I’d like to be able to light up the dark street in the middle of the night, or to have that type of power.” Mean that people worship power rather than worshipping the powerful, where it’s coming from. So that’s why the pure devotees even if they could show these type of mystic powers, they avoid it because in doing so, in showing these types of powers, people get distracted from achieving the more… what is for them, much more beneficial spiritual rewards.
So in the sense it is considered… in other words, these people… Jesus tred to preach to them by words he had such a hard time or they were you know slow in understanding that. Jesus by sheer mystic exhibition he had to bring them under his control. That means his audience were little bit less intellectual. Otherwise like Srila Prabhupada he didn’t have to show any mystic power and he could convince the people in America, Japan, in different countries. That’s considered a much more high level of uh, preaching.
There are preachers in India that they show ashes coming from their hand and different things. You get a certain kind of follower by that but if it is dependent upon them showing some tricks, it’s not a very high level of faith. It’s very much dependent upon reinforcing their visible things. So generally that’s frowned upon or considered to be much lower level kind of preaching. Because the people it will be very hard for them to get out of that. They will be fixed that this is the actual goal. If you have these powers, it means you’re… you’ve made it. But those powers according to the Vedic understanding are just one level.
Those powers are also material. The material scientists are… they have achieved those same powers themselves. Weightlessness, go anywhere anytime by the jet or rocket or by flying saucer whatever to control the material nature. I mean, that’s what… that’s what everybody… in the whole material world people are sitting in the laboratories trying to do that. So to be infatuated by those powers is actually another subtle entanglement in material nature. To control material nature, you have to be here to do it. That means you can’t actually get out of the material entanglement. A liberated person can control material nature but they don’t… they don’t… they don’t need to. They rely on the higher intelligence of Krishna. That, what Krishna wants is going to be perfect. Because once you start trying to control it, that little bit of miscalculation, you get entangled.
Just like you feed people food and then one directional food was little bit off, somebody gets sick then you’re in trouble. It’s like the reaction. You do something like the material scientist they wanted to bring in what is it? Fox in to Australia to kill the rabbits who were destroying the lettuce crop or something. But then they didn’t figure out that there was nothing to eat the foxes. And they now got a fox problem. Either they are going to have to bring in tigers or (laughter) then if they have a tiger problem they’ll be in real trouble. So there’s not any real solution… Their solutions are worse problems.
So in controlling the material nature, its really only thing that serves that is for the yogi, kind of a confirmation that “Well, I reached that stage. I can control.” but if he actually gets distracted by controlling material nature, he’ll fall down. Whatever the when they do something the exhibition taking away some of their own potency. Then again they have to build it up. But if you’re using your energy in the service of Krishna, He replenishes you. So then you just keep building up. It’s just an actual perpetual motion cycle. As you’re giving back to Krishna, He’s giving back to you and it goes on increasing in that way. So when you link up in doing service for Krishna, it just keeps cycling back to you but in increased form. So then your power actually goes on accelerating.
Then if someone wants to cash it in, at one point, gets mystic power, and wants to use it, at that time, it’s not going back to Krishna. Its going for his own ego, enjoyment, then he starts draining out on his power. If he does something that harms other people for any reason then he is in a big trouble. But in some cases, even great Krishna conscious preachers like Narada muni they had to exhibit some mystic powers just to when you are dealing with a un… a rowdy audience. They just don’t want to listen, you’re telling him all kind of good instructions and they just don’t have a brain to hear, then at one point, pshew, they show some supernatural thing (laughter). “I can’t do that. He can do. He must be God.” But then it’s like the last straw. When you have to do that, means…
So I’ll let you take your prasadam now. If there are any questions you can see me. I will be… for a little bit, I’ll stay up till eight.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Haribol! Prabhupada ki jaya!
Jayapataka Swami: … call an angel, like Narada Muni. One of his devotees from the spiritual world to initiate him and how to actually become… how to reach him how to reach God, how to see God. There’s a system. So, he gave some mantras, a prayer “om namo bhagavate vasudevaya, I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Person who is the possessor of all transcendent… of all qualities in the maximum proportion, in the total… total quantities rather.” So he started to worship chanting this mantra meditating and after five months he was able to actually have a transcendental vision of the Lord for a… for a short time. At that time the Lord said that “In your heart, I know that you want to be a king. You are seeking Me because you are angry that your father rejected you. You wanted to show him that he can’t reject you. Otherwise, your ego as a prince you are wanting to find Me. So you… I am blessing you, you can become a king over this area for this period of time.”
And he said that “But now I had vision of You I don’t want to be a king. What would be a king after… I had wanted broken glass and now I got diamonds. Now I want to remain somehow in Your association. I remain in Your service.”
And so He said, “No, do this as a service.”
The blessing of spiritual advancement that desire itself that person laments that, “Why did I desire anything? Now I am stuck with this material situation.” So actually when the devotees are praying Hare Krishna they are offering, and that’s a prayer. What they are doing is that say you want to make an offering to God. So then some people might offer gold. Some people may offer service. Some people might offer so many different things. Well the vibration of God’s name on the absolute platform is non-different from God. A material name like in English this is book in Spanish it is libra and in Bengali it is boi, Hindi it’s called kitab. There are so many words. So the material vibration that’s a word that signifies an object is different from the object.
If I am thirsty and I yell, “Water, water, water.” unless somebody compassionate comes up to me and hands me a glass of water, its not going to quench my thirst. Because the name and the vibration and the object are different. But in the absolute platform, because there is a oneness, when you get to the platform of God, the platform of absolute, there is no difference… there is no differentiation in terms of the spiritual essential quality.
So the name which indicates only the Supreme Being is not different from the Supreme Being, Himself. There is not any difference in potential potency. So what could be a greater offering than offering the Lord himself? When you are chanting the name, just like the Lord’s prayer, it says, “Oh Lord, My father, Hallowed be Thy Name.” If you read the psalms in the Old Testament, there’s verse after verse glorifying the name of God. Throughout the Bible, there’s verses glorifying the name. The Rabbis used to chant the name of God but they wouldn’t allow the ordinary… What do they call them? The people the congregation. The laymen. They wouldn’t allow them to chant these name. That wasn’t spoken out loud to the… a layman.
It was a guarded secret, because they said that the name of God was so holy that if you were to say it, that you would possibly be damned. Don’t say the name in vain. So the word God as a title means the controller or the creator. It’s not… It’s like Prime Minister, or President. It’s not His personal name. It’s not a very... Of course in one sense God doesn’t have a name. In another sense he has unlimited names. You can’t limit God to one name. You can’t limit him in to one concept. But there are some names like the word Krishna is a Sanskrit name with… if you go in to the definition of it, there is no one else who fits up that definition except for God.
So there are some words like if you say the Supreme Lord who one without a second, well then that is all. That would definitely indicate one individual. But if you would say if you would say “The controller.” well there’s a lot of controllers. The controller New Orleans, Mayoral. The Mayor. The controller of the state, somebody else, controller of USA, you can find so many controllers. Controller of the universe. There may be someone in charge of this universe. But then if you say the Supreme Controller, and then you know then there’s the definition of Supreme, how many… the supreme controller of what? Of the universe? The Supreme Absolute Controller of which there’s no one over Him. Then you get it, in this way so the Christians, they have a… of course what… I’m certain they believe that when they pray, “God.” They’re indicating the Supreme Controller, the one where there’s nobody above Him, the ultimate. But there are a lot of subordinates which they might not be aware of.
So the actual thing is that if the person’s a real… wants to follow Christ, where is there the contradiction in chanting the names of God? And just happens that Krishna is in Sanskrit. If one wants to chant the name in Greek or Hebrew, or in… God is also I mean, “Lord, thy God.” that’s in English. Now we may choose to chant the name in Sanskrit because that’s the original language, and it’s a language filled with tremendous potential for glorifying God as well as discussing spiritual topics and it has a you know a broad uh… like there is a collection of a thousand names of God. The thou… Different names that don’t indicate anyone else but God. And, uh by meditating on these different names that’s also a form of prayer. So it’s done as an offering that, “I am offering this to You for Your pleasure. I don’t want anything in return.” Or someone might offer for something in return. There are those also that will chant the name of God so many times, just like someone chanting Hail Mary on a rosary and then they do that because they want to have their son or daughter get cured from Leukemia, or something. People may do that. But the higher offering is if you’re doing it as an offering. And you leave it.. or even if you have a desire, you leave it unspoken. No condition. “I am giving this to You unconditionally. You do what You think is best.” So what is Krishna conscious… for those people who are interested in the religious aspect of it, or the… that actually this is like a post-graduate course even for Christians. How to develop love of God. The system’s here you will find if you look you will look that we’re not presenting something altogether new. We couldn’t claim that. It’s in the Bible. But people don’t practice it. People don’t understand it because that… this have been handed down or haven’t been promoted very much for whatever reason but the essence of it is mentioned there. But Lord Caitanya you can get volumes if you read the Nectar of Devotion.
It’s the detailed, step by step that as you are chanting the name of God, as you are developing what will be the symptom, when a person begins in spiritual life, he is ninety-nine percent in material consciousness one percent God conscious. He has just one quality, faith. That’s considered to be the lowest level. Then one goes up from faith and starts to associate with actual spiritually awakened people, people who are real devotees, who already are situated in the path of developing love for God then its considered saying, you take it hundred percent God conscious as the goal and hundred percent material conscious is the antithesis.
So then about you could say twelve percent or four bits is a dollar: two bits. They had the bit system in ancient India. Sixteen bits. Four bits are a dollar? Four bits is a quarter. Four bits a dollar. They had a four bits and a quarter divided into four bits of a quarter. So that would be not two bits but a half a bit. Anyway it slight difference. Sixteen parts was called an ana. Two ana. Anyway one twelfth, or one eighth, that means twelve and a half. Then the next stage after that is called ana, anyway I don’t know if you want all the stages, but anyway all these like different stages are given. It’s all described there, very… what are the symptoms, what are the ways it’s developed, and on that basis you can analyze yourself how you are progressing and developing love for Him.
So actually when you understand the science, then you see that well… if someone says, “Oh I’m a Christian, I am attracted to Christianity, and we pray to God.”
Then you don’t want to say that “Don’t do it.” That’s crazy. “Do it. That’s wonderful. There’s nothing wrong with that.” But then at the same you know that… what is their concept or… how deeply do they understand that who God is and what is their relationship? Or what are they actually praying for? That if they were offering a service selflessly, if they knew that science, then they would get such a feel… such a reciprocation… If you offer all love to Krishna to God, you get the reciprocation of His love, that is so incredible that what any material thing you ask for is just garbage. It’s just ashes. It’s nothing. People are running all over the world looking for a friend just to get a little love. Can you imagine if we had exchanging love with God?
That’s where it’s at.
That’s what… That’s… that’s… There’s not a question of commandment but that’s… that’s what we think Jesus Christ was running after. He wasn’t running… He was running because he had some experience of real love with the Supreme Lord, or to some degree. So that’s what people are really hankering for. They are looking for a friend, maybe a boyfriend or a girlfriend or some sort of friend, they’re looking for that. But a human being can only reciprocate so much. Actually we are not agains… like Prabhupada said any process that can develop love for God, it’s a bonafide process. We’re not… whether its Christianity or whatever we are not against that. But the process of Krishna consciousness is just a very systematic , system which is based upon principles which are really not limited to… they’re not dogmas limited to one geographic area or one… They’re… they’re purely spiritual processes then because all of us are spiritually one. I mean physically one may be an Indian, one may be white, one may be black, one may be Arabian body, this… but spiritually the soul is of the same quality, part of God. So the spiritual, when you get up to the spiritual processes there’s not a difference.
I mean even teaching about Jesus said, “Love the Lord thy God with all your heart, with all your soul and mind.” How to do that? That’s a universal… what he said, that’s a very universal thing anyone has a heart, has a mind. How to do that? So it’s not possible to just… suddenly to redirect all ones affection, all ones energy, all ones attachment, and give it to God, especially if you don’t know anything about God. It’s very difficult. Unless one would get some incredible blessing it will normally not be possible to suddenly redirect it, so there’s been system given how to do that in a very gradual way.
Through meditation, through prayer, through a complete environment and that’s what Lalita Priya dasi, chanting Hare Krishna, gradually, she’s purifying her consciousness. She’s developing in that. That’s a prayer. But it’s a selfless prayer, or it can be a selfless prayer. And that’s considered to be the… the greatest offering you can give. Because you are offering something that if God has to pay you back say a person donates ten dollars to God. So say if He decides to give you hundred times, multiple of a hundred, because you gave to Him. So then you get ten times hundred is a thousand. But if you give God something which is unlimited, you give him your… His own name, “I am offering this to You. Hare Krishna.” How is He going to repay that?
So what happens like by giving your energy, you are giving your mind to the Lord by concentrating, by meditating, by offering to Him His own name, you directly bring yourself into His association then He gives Himself to you. He gives His love, His reciprocation He reveals His mysteries to you, depending upon how much you’re really concentrating on Him. How much you want it.
Comment: Last night I offered… when I prayed, I offered myself for Krishna to do the same thing. I believe that even the simplest person… (inaudible) what He wants you to do, He’ll give you that knowledge for whatever task you have. This is… This is what I do.
Jayapataka Swami: Hmm. Good. The Caitanya-Caritamrita describes that we are wandering around in the material world
brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva
guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja
And we get the mercy of guru… of Krishna and the spiritual master. By the mercy of Krishna and the mercy of the...
Do you have a question?
Reply: I’ll wait. He was first.
Jayapataka Swami: Alright, but if you have a question then I will stop and answer your question.
…that by the mercy of the Supreme Lord one gets the mercy of… by the mercy of the Supreme Lord, he leads one to the spiritual master who is already in touch with the Supreme Lord. And that spiritual master knows how to engage that individual in the service of God, the Supreme Lord so that that person can return to the Supreme Lord. Cause in the initial stage you believe it the dangers that the Lord may from within give some instructions but we the receiver’s not so pure that we can get messed up, we get a lot of static from our mind and we can a lot of times just concoct something, mentally. And we may think “Well it’s a religious experience. It’s the voice of God.” It might be my own mental speculation not may be what He wants. It may be dictated or affected by our own lust, our own greed, or our own desire. That’s the problem.
So that’s why we need a spiritual master and the Lord helps us to lead us to that spiritual master. Then if we follow his instruction, he… we may get some idea that “God wants me to do this. Krishna wants me to do this.” and with our spiritual master we will confirm that. “Yes this is an inspired idea.” Or, “No. This is an idea which is not going to be beneficial for you.” And in this way with the help of the spiritual master one is able to achieve complete perfection.
So your coming here may also be… is definitely part of Krishna’s desire. It’s up to you to take every opportunity, every situation try to use it to the best of your ability to help you advance in your spiritual life.
Did you get the prasada downstairs? He got (inaudible) Did they save any for him? Now we should save it for him. Is there anything left?
Reply: There’s some halavah and juice left. (laughter)
Guest: It’s okay.
Jayapataka Swami: Better get some before it’s all gone. You’re from New Mexico, isn’t it?
Jayapataka Swami: You’re here before? Bo… Dave? What’s your name?
Jayapataka Swami: John.
John: Yeah. I was asking, how does a person increase their preaching… Increase my ability to preach?
Jayapataka Swami: What’s your report from New Mexico?
Reply: (Inaudible) You know, I was here last night and you were talking about George Harrison pushing forward the Krishna consciousness movement… (inaudible)
Jayapataka Swami:how many times do you chant a day?
Jayapataka Swami: Do you count?
Jayapataka Swami: Well one way of achieving purity is if you chant fixed number of times Hare Krishna every day as a minimum.
Reply: I know.
Jayapataka Swami: If you fix the minimum… you probably know that we chant sixteen rounds, general devotees as a minimum, but you might fix it at four, two, four, six, eight, twelve. In that more or less make like a an oath or a promise, or a determination to not go below that. And then if you happen to fall behind one day, you make it up the next day, or stay up late and finish it, whatever. Without fail, you try to keep that minimum. And that’s better than one day chanting a hundred times and next day chanting once or none. It’s better to chant everyday ten times minimum. Then you’re guaranteed like, what do they call that, when you put money and amorization? Keeps increasing amorized. Like interest or some building up, creates some movement. That’s how you (inaudible). Chanting on the one side and reading. By chanting you will be able to understand more reading and other side there is avoid activities which are materially polluting. Beyond that, their not… it’s recommended one should associate with devotees. You are in New Mexico you will probably get some tapes, hear lectures of Prabhupada or myself. Since you’re in New Mexico you have a warm climate you can grow tulasi. Tulasi plant water tulasi everyday chant Hare Krishna for the tulasi offering cent. Then if you’re... You are vegetarian?
Reply: Pretty much so.
Jayapataka Swami: If you decide you can become Krishnatarian, that you could offer your food to Krishna. That would make you pure. More that you are spiritually purified, the more that you will be empowered to preach.
Reply: Thank you.
Jayapataka Swami: It becomes like a… So you just start. Even now, you chant your four rounds it takes half an hour a day. Or some day you might be doing ten or twelve. Either by count on your fingers, or count with beads, or count with a clicker counter, you fix a minimum and then do that when it’s comfortable, when you know you can do it, then you raise it up. Do the next… do a little bit more. When you get to sixteen, you don’t have to raise it anymore. It’s enough. Like that you try to get… then you get a rhythm. You get a spiritual rhythm which will help you build up more and more strength. Think you can do that?
Reply: I think so.
Jayapataka Swami: (inaudible)
Question: (inaudible) …What is the best way to control the desires? If you want… we ultimately want to be selfless, have that pure love where we don’t want any reciprocation unless it will please the spirit. Still I was asking, “How can you chant before you come up, you know? (inaudible)
Jayapataka Swami: First thing is don’t mix up things with desires. Then your mind is just like a big national library. It’s recorded all your activities in this life, previous lives in a subtle form and so then a thought may come up. If you desire that, if you want that, say a thought comes up to eat something, then if you accept that, “Yes.” then it becomes a desire. When the thought itself comes up, it’s a potential desire. It’s a desire in a very seed form. But then if you either change it… say a desire comes up to eat something, then you… you can dovetail that. That means you decided “Well that would be nice to offer to Krishna, for Him to eat.” Maybe there’ll be some prasad left. Then the desire… the thought comes to go somewhere, then you realize to go somewhere to preach, or something like that. You can dovetail the thought or you can just reject it as being not Krishna conscious. But if you latch on to it, if you identify with it then it becomes a desire.
So as these different thoughts come up like a tennis player hitting the ball, tchew, tchew, tchew, you have to knock it in the right place. Sort it out, either by ignoring it, that “This has got nothing to do with Krishna consciousness.” or by dovetailing it seeing how that idea could be used as a service for Krishna, or by… if it is a strong thought, by philosophically preaching to yourself, and rejecting it. And whichever one’s got a favorable response, directly coming back. After a thought comes up a few times and you repeatedly reject it, so it then starts coming back fewer and fewer times until finally it doesn’t come hardly at all.
Just like say a person is smoking everyday, the thoughts may be coming up thousand times a day. Hundred times in a day, then gradually it may come up more initially because when you say no, then remembering is coming more and more and more. But after a while, by just gradually reducing and toning it down and by fighting with the thought that it comes up the learning how to just avoid it or dovetail it, gradually after certain point, your mind starts to think about other things.
The best thing is to replace the thought with something positive. So that’s where chanting Hare Krishna comes in. Some other useless thought comes when we reject it, if we just leave the mind blank, whoop, it can come right back in again. So then we can try to concentrate on Krishna, or on our service. So this way when some other disturbing thought comes, we kick it out and then bring back in Krishna. So, then gradually that recurrence of thought reduces, reduces, reduces till finally the person doesn’t even think about it. I am sure that there are many devotees in the Krishna conscious movement who used to smoke cigarettes many packs a day, but you know, but they don’t think about smoking a cigarette, you know in one year they don’t think one time about it. May be when they first came they may be thinking about it off and on. It’s just a question that gradually different thoughts go away as you purify the consciousness and practice thinking about Krishna.
So you had a question?
Is that alright?
Jayapataka Swami: Um, I don’t mind. I don’t know what sanitary department here has said about it.
Comment: During the course of your speaking to the other gentleman, and I was relating this with (inaudible) … like this three times and I asked him, “What does that mean?” He said… and he did that to… on… in front of my face. He said, “There is a veil of non-being.” And when we got into your car, he said, “Oh, well how ‘bout you? Well how’s it going with you?”
And I said, “Last night you talked about…”
And then he said… and you said, “They’re aft…” He said, “They’re after you.”
Then I asked my (inaudible) could you verify that?
Then he said, “Why don’t you ask him?”
Is there something… Would it be uh… Is that something you’d rather answer privately, or…? You don’t remember?
Jayapataka Swami: At that time, you said, “How do you know?”
Reply: Excuse me?
Jayapataka Swami: At that time, you told me, “How do you know?”
Reply: How did I know what?
Jayapataka Swami: You told me that, “How did you know they were after me?”…
Reply: No… I said…
Jayapataka Swami: …or something like that.
Reply: …that’s what I was thinking about because you are one of the few who know.
Jayapataka Swami: (laughter) I think this is flying over everybody else’s heads.
Devotee: I should ask you at another time?
Jayapataka Swami: Is it you your private? Is it you r private personal question?
Reply: Private dharmic fluctuations?
Jayapataka Swami: Yes.
Reply: It’s on a… it’s on a different…
Jayapataka Swami: When we have a gathering like this, we like to answer questions which will apply for…
Interjection: Which will apply for a few people with access to the class.
Jayapataka Swami: For those present.
Reply: (chuckles) Well thank you. I’ve… we’ve experienced this little bit here, turbulence of souls. Thank you.
Jayapataka Swami: You had enough prasadam?
Reply: Oh, yes.
Question: There was a class once on stage that was meditating upon the Deities, that one should meditate on the feet of the Deity… on the bottom of the Deity, but due to one’s advancement… (inaudible) (laughter) …from head to toe. (inaudible) the rest of the Deity?
Jayapataka Swami: You never looked up from the lotus feet?
Reply: Sometimes they’re dressed so beautifully, you can’t look them all the way up. (inaudible)
Can you give me a glass of that cold water?
Krishna provides. Anything in the circle is perfect. So if you look first at the lotus feet of the lord, you can gradually look up. Then after you looking up at the lotus face. You go back down to the feet, then it’s alright. But just that it’s not considered very humble to just go… to just go right up to face. It’s considered humble to look at the lotus feet first. So that’s better. Less obtrusive. But if you do it in the round form. Its mentioned in first canto Bhagavatam, whatever’s done in the round is perfect.
Jayapataka Swami: Round. It’s a circle. Start at the lotus feet, look at the knees, look at the waist, look at the chest, look at the neck, look at the lotus mouth, look at the eyes and then look again at the lotus feet.
Do you have a question?
Reply: Me? No.
Question: Is there a possibility that there are uh, negative forces in ISKCON? Any kind of black magic or any such fields?
Jayapataka Swami: Do you know the definition of black magic?
Reply: Not as such… the worship of Lord Siva, or…
Jayapataka Swami: Alright. So, wherever there’s worship of the Supreme Lord, that count… that is all auspicious. There can’t be…
Reply: Is there possibly a holding of Krishna in a negative place, just vis a vis the maha-mantra, to control other people?
Jayapataka Swami: Well, because Krishna, He doesn’t give any benedictions which would be detrimental to His devotees. If a devotee wants to use that power to… to misuse that power upon others, that would cause the self-destruction of that person by the laws of nature, laws of karma. So Krishna wouldn’t give such a benediction. That’s why people who want that type of power worship Lord Siva because they… Siva doesn’t differentiate the intention of the person, good or bad.
Whether it will be good for the person in the long run or not, he doesn’t differentiate, doesn’t distinguish that. That’s why traditionally they go to Siva, they go to Durga because the demigods, they give their devotees some of the demigods give the devotees without considering what’s… whether it’s going to be good or bad for that devotee. While Krishna, being all-knowing, He’s not going… just like if you’re… if a little girl asks, “Give me a long knife. I want to play with it.” The father’s not going to give a knife to the baby to play with. He’d cut up. Father’d never do it.
So the Supreme Lord who everyone is actually the eternal child, the part and parcel, not going to give something as a personal benediction. If it’s gonna cause the destruction. If the person wants to take it in the ordinary course of events, that’s a separate thing, but directly as a special gift, as a boon or a wish fulfilled directly by the Lord, He is not going to gift something that’s going to be destructive. It would be counter-productive. That’s why we people who are interested in destructive powers don’t worship the Supreme Lord, because… in most cases. There are very few exceptions.
Question: How do you know if you’re praying to…
Jayapataka Swami: Thats why I was explaining that if one was having a spiritual master, that’s why the system of disciplic succession that the… there’s Krishna and His disciple, God, disciple, disciple, spiritual master, disciple. So through that disciplic succession, there is a connection. So that way, whether one personally has a connection with God or the one is not exactly sure, but in any case, one would confirm according to the scriptures, according to the spiritual master and according to the great devotees. Because the danger is that one wouldn’t want to make a mistake on the assumption that “I am in connection.” to something whimsical and independent.
So to be secure, to be safe, then one does everything. Even if one feels very strongly about it, even if one maybe feel dead sure that this is inspired but say as like a check and balance, if nothing else to show an example for others one would go to the spiritual master which confirm it with the scriptures. Because the scriptures are subject to interpretation. Therefore the spiritual master’s able to tell what the exact interpretation of that particular passage in the scriptures means whether it applies or not. If a person just uses the scripture there’s also room for interpretation. You can kind of stretch out a few different meanings.
If you look at one particular verse in isolation but then if you know the total gambit of the spiritual science, and… you can see how it all fits in. But if one has actually realized God, realized Krishna, then it’s no question, just like if you ask a person, “How do you know when the Sun comes up?” Say like somebody lives in the north pole, or somewhere doesn’t… you know happens to sleep six months a year and just misses it every year. The Sun shines six months and sets six months. And he just happens to like go underground for… but… so he asks somebody like what… “How am I going to know when the sun comes up. I’m going to stick around. This thing… this year I’m going to see the Sun. How will I know when it comes up?” You know he has his flashlight, he has his lantern, he’s got everything all set up, you know, to wait for the sun. “I don’t want to miss it.”
But when the sun comes you know, it doesn’t need your flashlight or anything. So it’s like that is that when a person actually realize God… a lot of people think they realize God, thats a different thing. That’s impersonal, but a lot of people they take… they see a light, they have some experience, they have a dream or they… they may… they may have some kind of an effect of even hallucination, and they may think of that as God realization. But an actual realization of God… the symptom would be… the symptom would be that the person would be completely attached to God actually. He would not be affected by the material attachments which would normally affect other people. From one point of view. Its not so easy. Its not easy to realize God. It’s not that people you know, walking down the street suddenly He just pops up or something. It’s something that takes a concerted...
Question: Who’s present?
Jayapataka Swami: Rama
Question: He’s one who’ll be helping with the cleanup. (inaudible)
Jayapataka Swami: He’s Rama or Ray?
Reply: He’s either Rama, Ray, or Raman. (inaudible)
Jayapataka Swami: Yeah, I told him his name was spiritual. Radha Raman.
So we don’t stress realization of God per se, as a prerequisite. Because that’s very rare. Normally that only happens after people die. After their bodies are finished. It’s very… but one can in this lifetime realize. It’s not… It’s happened. So that’s very rare. But the connection… connection a devotee can feel by chanting. Just like you feel a connection when you feel you are in some difficult situation and then you see all things fall together, and seem to come about and then you can feel there’s more than meet the eye, that there’s some type of help you’re being given.
Or like that, if you ask these to tell you about the things have happened to them when they go out to preach, they have stories which will make your hair stand on end. Incredible things that happened. So they feel the presence or connection that way. Throughout the day, and by chanting they feel connection. After you chant a number of times, just by chanting you feel the very deep connection. But just because one feels the connection, that doesn’t mean that one gets an idea to do something that one’s going to… one would still want to confirm that with the spiritual master, and after confirming and confirming and after certain kind of maturity then one’s connection would be recognized by the spiritual master to be so… so in tune that the spiritual master would authorize that person to become a spiritual master. He would authorize that person to confirm other people’s inspirations…
Jayapataka Swami: …and that’s how it gets handed down. Originally Jesus had the disciples and they had disciples, and they… but I don’t know what ha… I know that uh, in India when Saint Thomas came, part of India, he had disciples. That system was there, but what happened afterwards, I don’t know.
Transcribed by T.G.Srikanth/ Sripati acyuta das
Revised by Jagannatha dasa Brahmacari