The following is a lecture given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami on April 21st, 1984 in Atlanta, Georgia. The class begins with a reading from the Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Adi-lila Chapter 9, Text 47.
ei ājṣā kaila yadi caitanya-mālākāra
parama ānanda pāila vṛkṣa-parivāra
ei ājṣā kaila yadi caitanya-mālākāra
parama ānanda pāila vṛkṣa-parivāra
Translation: The descendants of the tree [the devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu] were very glad to receive this order directly from the Lord.
Translation: The descendants of the tree
Devotees: The descendants of the tree
Jayapataka Swami: [the devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu]
Devotees: [the devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu]
Jayapataka Swami: were very glad
Devotees: were very glad
Jayapataka Swami: to receive this order
Devotees: to receive this order
Jayapataka Swami: directly from the Lord.
Devotees: directly from the Lord.
Purport: It is the desire of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu that the benevolent activities of the saṅkīrtana movement, which was inaugurated five hundred years ago in Navadvīpa, be spread all over the world for the benefit of all human beings. Unfortunately, there are many so-called followers of Caitanya Mahāprabhu who are satisfied simply to construct a temple, make a show of the Deities, collect some funds and utilize them for eating and sleeping. There is no question of their preaching the movement of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu all over the world. But even though they are unable to do so, if anyone else does it they become envious. This is the condition of the modern followers of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The Age of Kali is so strong that it affects even the so-called followers of Lord Caitanya. At least the followers of Caitanya Mahāprabhu must come out of India to preach His cult all over the world, for this is the mission of Lord Caitanya. The followers of Lord Caitanya must execute His will with heart and soul, being more tolerant than the trees and humbler than the straw in the street.
The descendants of the tree [the devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu] were very glad to receive this order directly from the Lord.
The order that he gave was that He wanted everyone to distribute the sankirtan movement.
dehinām iha dehiṣu
prāṇair arthair dhiyā vācā
It is the duty of every living being to perform welfare activities for the benefit of others with his life, wealth, intelligence and words. (SB 10.22.35)
So Lord Caitanya, He wanted everyone to distribute, especially who were born in Bhārata varsha. Bhārat varsha means… today of course the Indians recognize that their country is Bharat, in Sanskrit they still call it Bhārat. But in ancient Vedic history Bhārat actually means this entire planet, and it was renowned for being a stronghold of Vedic culture… of brahminical culture, of Vaisnava culture, but now that has reduced in size. But by Prabhupada's mercy because he carried out this order of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, now the movement is again… the culture is again spread all over the world.
Basically Srila Prabhupada, he made the beach-head. When the armies attack, the marines attack, they first of all have to somehow to get a beach-head. They have to land on the shore and dig in, and from there they gradually move inland. The first place where they take their shelter on the land is called the beach-head. From there then they can expand it.
We saw recently in the war of the Falklands or the Malinas that this type of thing was also there. So practically speaking Prabhupada has created the beach head, so the oasis all over the world where from Krsna consciousness can be expanded. So now it is up to all his followers to continue. He said actually that half the work is done the other half is remaining. But it’ actually a war against maya, not against the people, but against the illusion which is covering the people's intelligence, their spiritual intelligence, their spiritual vision.
Actually if somebody is blind and you see he is walking towards a crevice, towards a cliff, you don't say anything, you don’t make any attempt to stop him, isn't that a violent act? Surely he will fall off the cliff and perish. So those followers of Lord Caitanya in the modern day certainly they can see that the modern society is heading for sure destruction, heading for spiritual and material annihilation. If they don't try to open the eyes of those blind people then it is an act of violence.
Actually, serving in India is difficult for Westerners, of course. That is why Prabhupada said that you get many times the benefit. Similarly for those who are spiritually inclined, who like peaceful surroundings, freedom from agitations, India is a very suitable place and it is very frightening to come to the West, where everything is very harsh and very agitating, and very passionate and ignorant. So many of these... most of the followers of Lord Caitanya... of course only Srila Prabhupada has come out from the previous generations. And even today hardy one or two has ventured out. So thanks to Prabhupada, he has empowered the International Society of Krishna consciousness… for Krishna consciousness, on behalf of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's tree to carry out this responsibility. So now the weight is upon all of your shoulders as the new modern-day followers of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
When Srila Prabhupada wrote this he was still trying to encourage those followers of Lord Caitanya in India, but they have not taken up the call. Now he has handed down the responsibility to all of his children and grand-children and followers in the disciplic succession. So now it is our responsibility to see that this fruit of Lord Caitanya's tree is distributed all over the world, and in a broader sense from this planet Krsna consciousness should be spread all over the universe.
We heard that one day Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura was walking along with his followers, they were discussing so many topics, suddenly he stopped looked up at the moon and said, "There are so many Krsna bahirmukhs on the moon planet, they are all materialistic. We must go there and preach and make them God conscious.” Of course modern science does not know how living entities can live on every planet, that is their inadequacy. But just like if you look in the water there is living created, you look in the air there is living creatures, well, there are living creatures on every planet. But not all of them have the same metabolism as we do here. In fact in every different planet there are different metabolisms, different planes of consciousness, different vibrationary levels.
Some creatures are subtle creatures, and some entities are gross physical entities. There’re all various types of living entities in this universe. Those which are visible to our eyes and those which are invisible to ordinary vision. So actually the responsibility of delivering the universe is now upon all the followers of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Some people may be living in a very luxurious way enjoying material opulences, but that is not the perfection of life. If they are also neglecting to practice devotional service to Krsna then they are also completely under the bondage of this material world.
Their position is very very flickering, and even their so called happiness is actually an obstacle for them in their progress for real spiritual happiness, real spiritual understanding of their relationship with Krsna, which is eternal and which is actually the summum bonum of life. Even for those people who are materially well situated it is our responsibility to wake them up to their spiritual responsibility, their spiritual duty, purpose of life. But normally those people who are material well situated they are very puffed up, they do not want to hear from anyone, they are proud because they have got some sense gratification.
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate
They are bewildered by their false ego thinking that “I am doing everything, by my hard work, by my pious activities, by my intelligence, I have become rich, famous, beautiful, powerful, educated. What do I need for spiritual life? I am going to live forever, I am going to defeat my enemies.” This is their illusion. So it is difficult to preach to people who are puffed up.
So sometimes we see that poor people they are slightly more receptive because they have nowhere else to turn sometimes they also turn to Krsna, they turn to God, “God save us, God give us our material needs.” in that sense they are somewhat more receptive in certain cases. As a general rule they are somewhat more receptive. But that’s also… they are thinking that “The reason for my misfortune is that I am lacking some material opulences. If I could get the benediction of material wealth, fame, prosperity, then I would be happy. If only I could be born in America or migrate to America, then I will be happy - the land of the free and the brave.” That's what in many poorer nations they think.
But of course what to speak about America, even on the higher planets people have to suffer old age, disease, death, in addition to that in America you have to suffer many more dangers, because there are a lot of criminals here, so you have to fear for your life from the criminals, there are lots of diseases here which you do not even find in other countries. Because of the sinful activities of the people in America and Europe there are more instances of terrible diseases in these countries percentage per capita than you find in the developing nations where they have not developed to that standard yet, standard of more disease of a terrible nature. They may have more diarrhea or something, but here you have more unmentionable diseases, due to so many bad habits.
Of course in this material world there is no place which is actually a place of real happiness. Some places it could almost seem like you could happy - the illusion is very strong, but there’s no actual place of happiness. ā-brahma-bhuvanāl loke punar āvartino ’rjuna. Right from Brahmaloka down, wherever you take birth, again you have to come down here. Even if you go up to the Brahmaloka. But, if you go back to Krishnaloka, mam upetya tu kaunteya, punara janma na vidyate. You don’t ever have to come back here again for the repeated reincarnation of birth and death, old age, disease and so on.
Moreover, Prabhupada gave so many wonderful, beautiful lectures how we’re all looking for someone to love. Everyone’s looking for a friend. Sometimes man is looking in a woman, or man is looking in a man for a friend. Woman is looking for a man, or woman is looking for a woman for a friend. Someone to be friendly with. Someone to confide in. Someone to exchange uh, loving sentiments with.
But in this material world, no one is perfect. No one can fill the bill. Everyone will be lacking in reciprocation more or less. Because each individual has got his own interest, his own sensual, her own sensual interest to fulfill, and as long as the friends and friends sensual interest are more or less compatible, relationship is considered compatible. As soon as the sensual relationships… the sensual interests rather differ, those friendships break away.
If you all like to see the Bulldog football game, you become best friends. If you suddenly go on the other team, well that might be the end of your relationship. The Tigers, or whatever. Of course, then there are more stronger relationships, but then it… you see that as the interests change, those relationships fade away. That means the relationship is simply upon a certain similarity of interest, certain attachment due to association.
So, as we’re wandering around in this material world, we find people have similar likes and dislikes and we start to associate. Therefore, when we realize that, “This material world is not my eternal home. It is not where I belong. This is simply a temporary resting place. This is a prison. Very nicely decorated. You can go to the top of the prison and be quite comfortable for some time. Again you have to come down. You can go to the bottom of the prison and it’s unmentionable there.” But everyone has seen it sometime or another. And we may again see it if we don’t get out of here.
The actual friend we’re looking for is Krishna. He’s the real friend. He’s the perfect master, the perfect friend, the perfect son, child, the perfect lover, husband, perfect in every relationship. Krishna’s atmarama. He is completely self-satisfied. He has nothing that he requires from us. Rather it’s simply His mercy that He’s accepting the service and love, and out of His love, He reciprocates because He’s svarata, He’s independent, therefore, there’s never a time that His uh… that He lets down His devotee.
The devotee appro… even a person is very faithful to their friend, because of this material world, every conditioned soul has the propensity to make mistakes, to cheat, to be bewildered by senses, and uh, what’s the other one? Mistake, illusion, imperfect senses… Therefore, they can reject that friendship in the material world, for no good reason. But if somebody approaches Krishna, He promises that He will offer Me a fruit, a flower, a leaf, water in devotion, I will accept it. If anyone accepts Me, if anyone surrenders to Me, they approach Me with devotion, even if they’re born in this sinful birth, if they’re born in fallen condition, still I will accept them.
Krishna reciprocates perfectly with everyone. Because we’re connected with Krishna, just like… almost like a mother. Of course, nowadays mothers sometimes are not so much like mothers should be, but if you take a traditional mother, they don’t reject their child. A parent doesn’t reject the child under practically any condition. But that’s just a very dim sample. We’re part of Krishna. As long as we are approaching Krishna, not disturbing His other parts willfully, if we approach Krishna, He reciprocates. This is His promise. This is the practical experience. Anyone can have… ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamyaham. So Lord Caitanya gave this order to His followers to awaken the people to their eternal relationship with Krishna.
Take up this missionary work. It’s simply missionary work. In the Vedic culture, there are various stages of spiritual… of religion. Of course, in the Western world religion is religion. If you believe in God, that’s practically enough. It doesn’t go much further. But according to Vedic understanding, there’s different levels of your re… relationship and understanding of God. Beginning relationship is called karma-kanda. Of course, the… karma-kanda means to follow religious principles for the purpose of getting pious activity for elevating yourself in the material condition. Praying to God for better education, better position, better birth.
Below that, of course, there are those who give lip-service. They believe in God, but they don’t actually practice anything. That’s also a stage mentioned by Lord Caitanya, but that we don’t even need to mention, but that’s also a stage. Then, after that is the karma-kanda, jnana-kanda, those who want to merge, who want to get salvation, want to free themself from birth and death, but they don’t have any real practical understanding of their relationship with Krishna. They just want to free themselves from this material misery. They’re not interested anymore in daily bread. They’re not interested in elevating themselves materially. They want salvation. They want to end the repeated birth and death. So, they’re called jnanis. They want… moksa-kama. They want liberation. Then of course there’s those which are quite rare in the West. Maybe you see them sometimes. They’re not unseen, but they’re rare. Maybe some of these people like Rosicrucians, I don’t know exactly. They’re very mysterious. Maybe they have something of this intention. They want mystic powers. They practice various type of yoga, or sense-control, austerity for the purpose of gaining certain supernatural powers, supernatural perceptions, according to different rules and systems given in the Vedas.
And the most pure of those are of course… are those following the astanga-yoga system which is purely auspicious, and those mystic powers are meant for the good of everyone. There’s nothing wrong in achieving those mystic powers, I think… but still those mystic powers are different from realizing Krishna Himself. They also are an obstacle keeping you in the material world because you become… you may become infatuated with your mystic power, and thus you become distracted from going on to actually realize Krishna, which is the purpose.
So, therefore, what did Lord Caitanya say?
kṛṣṇa-bhakta—niṣkāma, ataeva ‘śānta’
kṛṣṇa-bhakta—niṣkāma, ataeva ‘śānta’ that those who are desiring material pious results, who are desiring liberation, who are desiring mystic power, they’re all uh, unfulfilled. They’re all dissatisfied, agitated more or less, but the pure devotee of Krishna is niskama, he’s actually desireless. That devotee is completely free from material desire. Therefore, the devotee of Krishna is peaceful, satisfied. Self-satisfied and fulfilled. So, actually we should try to give all these material religious people even who are on the level of karmi, jnani or siddhi-kamis the opportunity of reaching the ultimate perfection.
Someone may say, “No. I’m very religious. I pray to God.” That’s not in the… in Vedic culture, praying to God, if you don’t pray to God, you’re not even considered an entity. You’re considered a demon if you don’t believe in God. Anyone who doesn’t believe in the Personality of Godhead, by definition is an asura, is a demon. The… praying to God, that’s just like the ticket to existence. Other than that, you’re completely rejected as being under the influence of demoniac qualities.
What are you praying to God for? What is your goal? If you’re praying for material happiness, you don’t know the position of material happiness is flickering. Any second you’re finished. Again you’re going to be thrown in material misery. You don’t get the maximum shelter from Krishna by… uh praying for material happiness. You’re trying through your practices to get simply salvation. But what… once you’re saved, what do you do then? That’s just like getting out of the prison. You still have to find a job.
What’s the actual… in the liberated state, you can again fall back down. Just like people get out of prison. They again commit mistake, again they fall back down. Unless you know the positive practice of spiritual life, even you get liberated, you can fall back down again into the material world. Positive practice means devotional loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Mystic power… you sometime meet those, “Well, I read the Bhagavad-gita. I meditate.” They want… They think a little bit mystical. Of course people who actually have mystic power very few are… they have a little healing power, or if they have a little ability to pick out which card you picked out of the deck or something, then they think they’re already practically just next to God. So, in this way, all these people they may be very pious even, or they may be impious but Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to deliver all of them. Pāpī tāpī yata chilo, hari-nāme uddhārilo.
And to do this of course, Prabhupada sums it up here: “The followers of Lord Caitanya must execute His will with heart and soul, being more tolerant than the trees and humbler than the straw in the street.”
Let’s read one more verse. Very beautiful verse.
yei yāhāṅ tāhāṅ dāna kare prema-phala
phalāsvāde matta loka ha-ila sakala
yei yāhāṅ tāhāṅ dāna kare prema-phala
phalāsvāde matta loka ha-ila sakala
Translation: The fruit of love of God is so tasteful that wherever a devotee distributes it, those who relish the fruit, anywhere in the world, immediately become intoxicated.
The fruit of love of God
Devotees: The fruit of love of God
Jayapataka Swami: is so tasteful
Devotees: is so tasteful
Jayapataka Swami: that wherever a devotee distributes it
Devotees: that wherever a devotee distributes it
Jayapataka Swami: those who relish the fruit
Devotees: those who relish the fruit
Jayapataka Swami: anywhere in the world
Devotees: anywhere in the world
Jayapataka Swami: immediately become intoxicated
Devotees: immediately become intoxicated
Here the wonderful fruit of love of Godhead distributed by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu is described. We have practical experience that anyone who accepts this fruit and sincerely tastes it immediately becomes mad after it and gives up all his bad habits, being intoxicated by Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s gift, the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. The statements of Caitanya-caritāmṛta are so practical that anyone can test them. As far as we are concerned, we are most confident of the success of the distribution of the great fruit of love of Godhead through the medium of chanting the mahā-mantra —
Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa,
Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/
Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma,
Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
So here Srila Prabhuada, very confidently, and very enthusiastically, he encourages us. Simply if people take up the chanting, they’ll become intoxicated by this love for Godhead. Actually, people are looking to become happy. And once… Why do they take intoxication? To… why do they take shelter of so much sense gratification? Simply because it counteracts the miseries of life? Because it gives one a little taste of what one’s looking for: Happiness. But, the real full taste, we find in this chanting of Hare Krishna.
The material happiness is like a shadow, but until you see the real form, then you don’t know the difference of shadow from anything else. If only you’re seeing, like in England, so many days you don’t see any sun. It’s always overcast. Prabhupada said that, someone asked him in England, “What’s hell.” He said, “What’s hell? This is hell.” He said, “No sun.” Very nice. But if you never see any sun, what will you get to think? “Very nice.”
When the sun actually comes out, all the English people, they become very happy. It’s very rare. You see, the sun for them is a great benediction. Sunny day. So, that’s where that, “Good day. Good day. It’s a good day.” Everybody gets very happy. But, if you never see the sun, well then you get used to it. You think, “This is…” But once you have the comparison, “Oh, it’s so much nicer when you can actually have sunlight rather than overcast, fog and so on.” So, they have nothing to compare with. You try to preach to someone about Krishna consciousness unless they chant Hare Krishna, it’s almost impossible for them to under… it is impossible for them to actually understand what you’re talking about. Theoretically they may… some people may be more adept at getting some idea, and others, they just completely bypass… but actually understanding comes when they chant Hare Krishna and taste even a drop of the spiritual intoxication, or happiness you get from experiencing a fraction of love for Godhead.
Because it’s of a different category, it’s of a different nature, how they’ll experience that, unless they do it? So all we have to do is encourage as many people as possible to take up chanting of
Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa,
Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/
Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma,
Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
What is the great fruit of love of Godhead? Only through this medium of chanting this maha-mantra. Actually all our philosophy, all our programs are simply to induce people to take up the chanting, and once they’re chanting, the philosophy is to induce them to stick to the chanting and to keep away from maya. But the actual uh, fuel, the… the water which is irrigating the plant, or the fuel which is pushing on the rocket, that is our chanting.
Even other services can… not connected with chanting, they keep us from regressing, but they’re not as powerful to push us forward as the chanting itself. The chanting is specifically the sacrifice authorized in this age. Every time we’re chanting, every time we’re preaching the glories of the Lord, inducing others to… this is pushing us forward. Other services are helping us. But, so much as they’re connected with chanting, it has the maximum effect in this particular age.
In other ages, other sacrifices were there. I don’t have to go through all that. I’m sure you know that meditation and fire sacrifice and temple worship, these were processes in other ages, but in this age, specifically the chanting is recommended to propel us back to home, back to Godhead. Chanting… and Lord Caitanya’s so kind, He… simply by encouraging others to chant, this is… also gives us multiple effect in our chanting. So, somehow or another, people should take up especially chanting the maha-mantra. If they won’t chant the maha-mantra, chant any name of God. It’s a beginning. But the maha-mantra is especially empowered. Therefore, we chant the maha-mantra following Lord Caitanya’s instructions. And the practical effect is there.
Why do people give up… Like Prabhupada said here, “It’s practical experience that people give up their bad habits, being intoxicated by Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s gift.” Unless a person actually feels spiritual shelter, unless a person experiences a happiness exceeding that available in the three modes of material nature, then how is it possible to stay aloof from material sense gratification? So once we get the seed of devotional service, we have to be very careful to keep it always watered. We have to keep the… just like when you plant rice paddy, you have to always keep your field irrigated.
If you let the field dry out, then what happens is that the mud cracks, and then when you put irrigation water in again, it tends to just go right down into the substratum of the soil. It doesn’t stay on the top. So that again, you have to massage your soil, and you have to get it all muddy, and when it’s muddy, it’s called percolation. Then the water doesn’t percolate; it stays on the top. The mud itself creates like a… like a insulation, and the other danger’s when the water goes down, then all these weed seeds that are just lying there within the… in the soil by air, by birds, by so many means, weed seeds, they’re… they’re distributed all over land.
Dogs get them. You know, every… if you walk through the forest, you get… clothes get filled with all kinds of seeds. So, those are all over the soil, so how… in… in growing rice, weeds are a problem, so how… that’s why they keep them always wet. Not that rice can’t grow without water. Actually, some types of rice can grow with less water, but it’s more economical to irrigate than it is to weed. Because weeding in a rice plant, it means you have to… uh… of course, nowadays, they have chemical weeders, but, that’s another problem, eating all those chemicals, but anyway, without that, manually, it’s very difficult to weed rice, and apart from chemicals, it’s difficult for any machine to do it.
So, they do is they keep it irrigated and no weeds sprout. It’s very economical, very effective. So Prabhupada said in our heart we have material desire and they’re like seeds of material desire, and if we keep the heart flooded with the chanting of:
Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa,
Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/
Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma,
Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
Those seeds, they don’t sprout. Just like if you put a seed, and you soak it in water, it won’t sprout, but if you take the water away, then it sprouts. You soak some chickpeas, if you don’t take it out of the water, it won’t sprout. You soak it for one day, you take it out of the water, it sprouts. But if you keep the chickpeas sitting in the water for ten days, what happens? It rots. So we have to keep our material desires soaking long enough in the floods of Hare Krishna chanting that all those seeds of material desire rot and perish.
Then our heart becomes very light, at that time it’s very easy to continue chanting. In any case, we always keep our heart flooded, and then it doesn’t sprout so many material desires. So, that’s why when people chant and they start to flood their heart, then immediately they give up their bad habits. Those desires aren’t coming up. They’re perfectly satisfied in chanting. They’re not thinking of other things. But if they stop chanting, then immediately Maya’s there.
Lord Caitanya’s followers give the example that she’s just like your shadow. If you walk, look… if you towards the sun, you look back, where’s your shadow? Right there, as soon as you look.
kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha hañā bhoga-vāñchā kare
nikaṭa-stha māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare
You’re facing towards Krishna, but as soon as you turn your face away towards Krishna, immediately Maya comes up to you and tackles you, throwing you on the ground. So, don’t look away from Krishna. Always head towards Krishna, chanting the holy name, engage in devotional service knowing that Maya’s racing right behind you. But if you keep looking towards Krishna, you’ll always be a step ahead of Maya, and if you look back, well, she’ll be right there.
As soon as you stop, she’ll overtake you and tackle you and you’ll be again in her clutches, so you just keep chanting, stay away from Maya and as you’re chanting, induce others to chant in a missionary spirit of Lord Caitanya’s movement. That is the highest welfare work that can be done.
Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa,
Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/
Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma,
Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda
Question: You were saying that… what if someone is chanting Hare Krishna, and he is still experiencing difficulty in their spiritual life (inaudible)
Jayapataka Swami: Must be committing offenses in the chanting.
Jayapataka Swami: Well, Lord Caitanya doesn’t accept offenses, so if you chant Lord Caitanya more, then that would neutralize the effect of committing offenses, but in the long run one should be very careful to avoid the ten offenses.
Jayapataka Swami: Is it relating with the class, more or less, today?
Jayapataka Swami: Leave it up to Gokula Ranjana dasa prabhu.
Jayapataka Swami: This question came up on sankirtana? (laughter) I wish that people came and asked me this… I’d think “Wow the people are getting really advanced.” That a person on Concourse C.
Jayapataka Swami: That happens in India, you’ll meet people. They’ll come up in the post office and walk up to you, chanting on beads, and they’ll say, “Why are you chanting out loud and not softly?” Then you have to… “Isn’t it that you should do mental chanting?” Or they’ll come up to you and say, “Are you a visisthadvaita, or a dvaitadvaita, or are you advaita, or are you uh… acintya-bhedabheda-tattva? What is your…” you know, and then… I was thinking if they came up and asked us about… or they’ll come up and ask us, “Who is the father of Vyasadeva?” So, of course, we worship Krishna… or we worship Subhadra on the altar, specifically in the mood as Krishna’s and Balarama’s sister. She’s accompanying Them as specifically as Their sister, and… in that relationship as Their very dear most sister from the external relationship, and internally as yoga-maya. It always describes the Jagannatha is going along with His sister and brother and the other relationships are consequent. But of course, her actual identity is that she’s the yoga-maya.
Jayapataka Swami: It’s… you can think about that pastime sometime, but it’s recommended that… [break]
…rasa and Krishna arranged that Subhadra could uh, marry Arjuna rather than… and Balarama wanted him… her to marry someone else, and all these intrigues, of course, they’re very inspirational because they’re a little bit of lila, or pastime rasa nectar between the different uh… which is very esoteric, we should not… it’s beyond philosophy, it’s a type of loving relationship they’re exchanging, but you know, if you try… if you got into meditating on the family life of Arjuna and Subhadra, you could get down into some kind of materialistic thoughts which would rather be distractions rather than helping. Because those are actually superficial.
In… or we can’t understand exactly those various things. We should just understand uh… until we get up to that type of spiritual level where we can understand that a pure devotees coming down to assist Krishna, they take different roles that, within one personality, there sometime is many personalities. Sometimes people are combined and there’s… just like in Jahnava devi, she’s a combination of Ananga-Manjari as well as Revati, so she’s both expressing devotion to Balarama, to Nitai, as well as to Krishna in different parama-sva.. pastimes.
Like that it’s a very complex issue. So, therefore, it’s advised that until we get up to that liberated state, we should avoid thinking about those things if we at all get distracted by them, but otherwise, if you want to think about the pastime and how it went, that in itself, there’s nothing wrong with it, it just depends on where the mind goes. If the mind stays in the transcendental pastime, it’s alright. If the mind gets distracted, thinking material thoughts, then avoid it.
Jayapataka Swami: Yes.
Jayapataka Swami: Right.
Jayapataka Swami: You think of them in their formal aspects until we get to that level of liberation where we can actually realize our relationship with them.
You had a question, John?
John: I was just thinking about… (inaudible)
Jayapataka Swami: Oh yes. No hard and fast rule of when you can or can’t chant. Practically any time or circumstances.
John: What if you’re chanting and the situation comes where your mind makes associations with the chanting, (inaudible) do you just chant through it?
Jayapataka Swami: Associations with the chanting?
John: It’d be similar… well, a similar thing a little bit to the pastimes where (inaudible)
Jayapataka Swami: Yeah, the chanting is in three stages. In the beginning, because the mind is so out of control, that it can just come up with any, you know ridiculous combination of thoughts, even sometimes it might just be… it might be offensive, sometimes it might be inoffensive, sometimes it might be auspicious. So, at that time, the point is that because the mind is so uncontrolled that the chanting sometimes… while chanting one even commits and offense or thinks of offensive things, so that’s called the offensive state of chanting. But one should continue chanting and that will eventually purify. When you see that you’re somehow thinking of something offensive, you should try to take it out of your mind and continue chanting.
You continue chanting. You don’t stop chanting. The chanting itself is what’s cleansing. The chanting… it’s like when you stir up the water, sometimes some mud comes up too. So the chanting stirs up the mind and sometimes it stirs up a little mud, but then after a while, that gets purified and one continues to chant. As… initially it’s offensive. As you continue chanting, you reach a state called clearing, where gradually the offenses start to reduce. You can see that you’re making progress. Then from the clearing stage, you eventually come up to the stage called offenseless chanting.
There’s these three stages offensive, clearing and offenseless. So that’s our goal, to come up to the offenseless stage of chanting, at which time, then you can… tears incessantly can flow from the eyes, you always can feel separation from Krishna. You can feel transcendental ecstasy.
Jayapataka Swami: Very turbulent. So within that stormy weather, you have to somehow keep… just like when you’re going in the… in the sea, if the ship turns off the motor in the middle of a storm, then it’s in a far more precarious situation, because then it really gets thrown around by the waves. It has to keep on going, and… even in the stormy weather, and then it somehow goes through the swells, but by having that momentum that keeps in on the safer keel… if they just turned it off, and just pshew, then they really get thrown around, but if they’re moving forward, then they can hit the wave, and chop through it and they get through. I don’t know if any of you have ever been seamen, or went in a boat, but you know, sailboats, if it gets too windy, you just have to take up sail, and then they get really tossed around, but that’s… the advantage of a motor boat is that you have your momentum. You can get in and out of the waves better.
Get out of the storm. That’s the best thing. Chant louder. That’s what Haridasa Thakura did. When the mind would get too turbulent, he would just shout Hare Krishna, very loud. So loud, it would just block out any other offensive thoughts. So he’d be famous for… someone was screaming out Hare Krishna and people thought… It’s very effective. Of course, sometimes, if you do that system and you’re in the middle of the airport or something.
Jayapataka Swami: Namabhasa. Haridasa Thakura said you can get liberation from that, but you don’t get love of Godhead.
Jayapataka Swami: Definitely.
Jayapataka Swami: Auspicious signs.
Any questions, Tom?
Jayapataka Swami: Fertile ground, taking all the irrigation water.
Jayapataka Swami: Doesn’t it say they go into a coma because the demigods are deciding which body he’s going to take. When a person’s leaving… when it’s time to go, in case just at that moment, if there’s not a vacancy, or if they haven’t decided exactly where he should be put… where that soul should be put, then uh, they stay in coma. Just like Ajamila, while the Yamadutas and Visnudutas were fighting it out, he was in coma. They were trying to fight it out, where’s he going to go? Is he going to go to Hell, or Krishnaloka, or what’s going to happen to him? Comment: (inaudible)
Jayapataka Swami: That’s why according the Vedic uh, system, you burn the body. Within the… before the next sunrise or sunset. Otherwise, the soul, due to attachment just may be hanging over the body. That’s why everyone knows if you go to graveyards, you find a lot of invisible companions sometimes if you go there in the middle of the night. They’re so attached, they just hang over their body until it’s completely destroyed, even sometimes afterwards. So, you burn the body psht, there’s nothing to be attached to anymore. The connection is immediately finished and they can go free, especially if you put the ashes in the Ganges. It’s very auspicious.
Jayapataka Swami: I don’t know about sixteen rounds. I don’t know… I mean I don’t know that mantra… but basically the point is that… you can say that we’re teaching a system. The system is meditating on the names of God. Of course, Jesus Christ is the name of the son of God. But if you have faith on that name, then you can try the system of chanting and meditating in this way, and that will be more effective than any other method of worshipping Jesus Christ in this age. You’re chanting his name. Of course, Jesus himself said, “Our…” What is it? “Lord our father in heaven, hallowed by Thy Name.” He also said the name of God is very holy. But what is the name of God? Of course in Sanskrit the name for God, the personal name… not the title, but the personal name, is Krishna, and Rama. But if you have faith in another name which is in Hebrew or in some other language, well you can chant that and try and in this way you can meditate.
Jesus is of course is the name of the son of God. But there’s not much difference between… I mean there’s connection between the son and the father, so they can chant and uh, try in that way. Why don’t they chant the name of Jesus, and subsequently they can try to chant the different names of God the Father: Jehovah, Krishna, Govinda.
You want to say something, Gokula?
Jayapataka Swami: Just like Prabhupada, he said don’t disturb somebody. If they’re already… if they’re kind of fanatically fixed up in one thing. Like you meet some old lady sometimes he’d say… she’d say, “Please bless me to have faith in God.” Sometimes it’s uh, diffi… if you try… a person, unless they have enough association and understanding, if you destroy their faith in one thing they’re just kind of left. They have to have faith in Krishna, then you can take away their faith in something else.
So, sometimes people wouldn’t… Sometimes Prabhupada wouldn’t disturb people, and other times, when Prabhupada saw that they were being actually just like kind of hypocritical, or they’re actually could make advancement further, but they were just clinging onto something for the sake of a kind of sectarian attitude, then he would smash them and tell them, “You should actually come up to the… Don’t just be a bigot. Don’t just be sectarian.”
Jayapataka Swami: Especially if a person comes up the level of being a vegetarian, then they should come up. For the meat-eaters, it’s one thing. Just to encourage people, you know, Prabhupada would tell the Muslims, “Well chant Allah.” But then confidentially, he’d say, “Well Allah is not so much a transcendental name.” It’s name means like “The creator” or something. It’s not such a powerful name like Krishna.
Jayapataka Swami: It’s like chanting something like that. Well, not that powerful (laughter)
Jayapataka Swami: Something like that. It’s like chanting gurudeva, gurudeva, gurudeva, gurudeva.
Jayapataka Swami: In Europe, Trappist monks maintain themselves by making wine or beer. Beer in Germany. Belgium Trappist monk ale is considered…
Jayapataka Swami: But, it’s some on different levels. Some are looking for mystic powers, some for salvation and some for elevation, but actually very few are looking for pure love for Godhead, which is even what Jesus said. How can they develop ultimate, pure love for God, unless they know who God is, unless they have more information? And where are they going to get that information except from the Vedas? The Bible only gives hints. Koran only gives hints. Buddhist teaching doesn’t give any information about God. The science of God-realization, Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Caitanya-Caritamrta are the only sources of information.
Jayapataka Swami: Anyone who’s willing to hear.
Jayapataka Swami: It’ll be more effective. Preaching to people who are more uh, devotee-like but, we’d be eager… we’d be happy to lecture to anyone who’s wanted to hear.
Is there some offering now, or we could?
Jayapataka Swami: Should we do Prabhupada puja first, then?
Question: (inaudible) … this person’s a real demon. So, if we kill that person, are we going to get some rejoinder, some reaction?
Jayapataka Swami: Normally a devotee doesn’t… normally a devotee doesn’t fight or kill someone unless it’s in self-defense, and if it’s in self-defense, there’s no reaction. Normally, you don’t kill a person unless they try to kill you. It’s normally like, reciprocal, but if they come and disturb the devotees, or something like that… if they just come and say something, we don’t… we normally just tolerate it. It.. it’s just words. And if they come and they hurt a devotee, or try to molest a devotee, then someone goes, normally and physically stops him from doing that, and if they come with some deadly weapon, well then you can kill them.
And I don’t think the court of law would also approve if someone came and called you a dirty name and then you killed them. There has to be cause, cause for taking someone’s life. Of course, spiritually there might be cause, if they offend Krishna, you could kill them, but in the social structure of today, it probably would be not understood. It’d be difficult, so normally the preachers, they become very tolerant, but this offense, they… they just normally they shut the person up somehow, or leave the place. And the standard for grievously causing the person injury would be that that person would have to actually be physically endangering the well-being of some devotee.
Transcribed by Jagannatha dasa Brahmacari
Vinod Raao contributed to this transcript.