The following is a lecture given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami on May 31st, 1984 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The class begins with a reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10th Canto, Chapter 8, Verse 10.
Jayapataka Swami: Hare Krishna
Nanda Mahārāja said: My dear great sage, if you think that your performing this process of purification will make Kaṁsa suspicious, then secretly chant the Vedic hymns and perform the purifying process of second birth here in the cow shed of my house, without the knowledge of anyone else, even my relatives, for this process of purification is essential.
Jayapataka Swami: Nanda Maharaja said
Devotees: Nanda Maharaj said
Jayapataka Swami: My dear great sage
Devotees: My dear great sage
Jayapataka Swami: If you think
Devotees: If you think
Jayapataka Swami: that your performing
Devotees: that your performing
Jayapataka Swami: this process of purification
Devotees: this process of purification
Jayapataka Swami: will make Kamsa suspicious
Devotees: will make Kamsa suspicious
Jayapataka Swami: then secretly chant the Vedic hymns
Devotees: then secretly chant the Vedic hymns
Jayapataka Swami: and perform the purifying process of second birth
Devotees: and perform the purifying process of second birth
Jayapataka Swami: here in the cowshed of my house
Devotees: here in the cowshed of my house
Jayapataka Swami: without the knowledge of anyone else Devotees: without the knowledge of anyone else
Jayapataka Swami: even my relatives
Devotees: even my relatives
Jayapataka Swami: for this process of purification
Devotees: for this process of purification
Jayapataka Swami: is essential
Devotees: is essential
Purport by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada
Nanda Mahārāja did not like the idea of avoiding the purificatory process. Despite the many obstacles, he wanted to take advantage of Garga Muni’s presence and do what was needed. The purificatory process is essential specifically for brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and vaiśyas. Therefore, since Nanda Mahārāja presented himself as a vaiśya, this process of purification was essential. Formerly, such institutional activities were compulsory. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (Bg. 4.13). Without these activities of purification, the society would be considered a society of animals. To take advantage of Garga Muni’s presence, Nanda Mahārāja wanted to perform the nāma-karaṇa ceremonies, even secretly, without any gorgeous arrangements. Therefore, the opportunity for purification should be regarded as essent… as the essential duty of human society. In Kali-yuga, however, people have forgotten the essence. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ (Bhāg. 1.1.10). In this age, people are all bad and unfortunate, and they do not accept Vedic instructions to make their life successful. Nanda Mahārāja, however, did not want to neglect anything. To keep intact a happy society advanced in spiritual knowledge, he took full advantage of Garga Muni’s presence to do what was necessary. How degraded society has become within five thousand years. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyāḥ. The human life is obtained after many, many millions of births, and it is in… intended for purification. Previously, a father was eager to give all kinds of help to elevate his children, but at present, because of being misguided, people are prepared even to kill to avoid the responsibility of raising children.
Thus end the uh, Purport and Translation by His Divine Grace, Srila Abhaya Carana Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of the Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 10, Chapter 8, Text 10 in the matter of Lord Krishna Shows the Universal Form.
(inaudible) … in the sankirtana… (inaudible)
Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ. This is the Bhagavatam verse that describes the situation in this Kali yuga. Mandah means very bad, very unfortunate, and when you put sumanda, that means, that emphasizes it. So sumanda means in… incredibly bad, matayo, mentality uh, mental frame, mandya bhagya, bad luck, bad fortune. All type of disturbances are quite natural, and expected in uh, this Kali yuga. Its not all uncommon to find somebody completely uh, disturbed.
In fact, being disturbed is almost considered to be a natural stage by many people. uh, when I first arrived in New York city, I asked uh, somebody, and uh, one of the stores if I could have change for a dollar to make a phone call, and the person there swearing at me, screaming. So uh, he told me to get out of there, I wasn’t dressed as a devotee, I was in a he was in a very disturbed uh, state of mind. This is the nature of the Kali yuga, that people are disturbed, they are frustrated, they are unfortunate in so many ways.
So 5,000 years ago, the basis of the society was uh, that the human being should uh, become purified. They should become elevated in spiritual knowledge and they should try to achieve self-realization. But today, things have uh, gone down a lot, and people even uh, who are religious, so called religious, they don’t normally have any concept of anything beyond the body. Everything is uh, centered around the body, every uh, activity is uh, gauged by how uh, a person has improved the situation for enjoying the senses or for getting name, fame or some kind of uh, facility for that body. That this body is, this life is very short uh, period in a long series of uh, many lives and that uh, we should actually try to become purified in this life, so that we can transcend the uh… the contaminations and bondages of the material world, that is generally far from everybody’s mind.
So, something in this verse is very strong statement that without this activities of purification, the society would be considered the society of animals. But it’s true. What is an animal? I’m sure everyone heard so many times, how an animal has basically four activities of eating, sleeping uh, mating and uh, defending themselves, this is the natural activity of animals. So uh, in the modern day, Prabhupada he spoke out that uh, when he landed in the Australia, for instance, the uh, newspapers… in fact Prabhupada sent me this newspaper article when I was in Mayapur, the newspaper man uh, in Melbourne, they asked uh, Srila Prabhupada, that, “What is the purpose of your coming here in Australia?”
And Prabhupada said, “I have come here to save you from living a dog’s life.”
Everybody was a bit stunned, and uh, they said, “Well, how can you say that we are living a dog’s life.”, first every civilized person, they don’t consider that they are living a dog’s life, they think they are the top of the ladder. So Prabhupada… so called civilized.
So, Srila Prabhupada said, “Well, the dog is having sex, you’re having sex, a dog is uh, eating, you are eating, the dog is sleeping, you are sleeping, dog is fighting, you are fighting, uh, you may be do things in a more complicated way, but what is the difference in the activities?”, and then they all laughed and said, “Yes!” So they put in the headlines… it was actually in the headlines of the Age, the biggest paper at Melbourne. “Swamiji has come to save us from a dog’s life.” It said, and then the sub heading was, “He has come to hound us.” (laughter)
And then it explained, actually they were quite uh, true to … they explained Prabhupada’s point in the article. It was a very favorable article. The Australians have the sense of humor, probably in America they’d declare war if you had said that you know… Hey, I don’t know, maybe they wouldn’t, but the Australians, they have a very good sense of humor, so they took it in a very good way, they can laugh at themselves, that’s their… they have a kind of a slapstick humor.
So basically this was Srila Prabhupada’s intention that uh, alright in the west you have everything, here you have economic development, here you have good looks, you’re educated, you have nice clothing, enough to eat, you have materially everything that anybody can think about having at this time, but what you are lacking is Krishna, you are lacking spiritual culture, you see. Just with materialistic culture it’s animalistic, it becomes uh… it falls short of uh, actually bringing the real happiness that one wants, because the happiness that the people are running after is the happiness that you can get in the animal birth. Human birth is meant for more.
There are 8,400,000 species of life and a soul is going from one species to the next, until finally after coming through the aquatics, the animals, the uh, the plants, the animals, you know before that the birds, the reptiles, so many things. Animals… then finally you come to the human being species, but the dog is running after uh, you see, the… having… mating in the street, having sex in the street, so human… if they are only running after same thing, if their standard is just… alright to enjoy the senses on the same basis as the dogs… I was uh, in the… on the previous Nama Hatta tour, we stopped… we could see the Himalaya mountains, it was just in North Bengal, and when we travelled in India, it’s very uh… you know, every 100 kilometers there is a gas station but uh, basically uh, for… when you are travelling you wanna take a shower, you wanna do something, we just stopped by a river and uh, do all our morning duties and everything there, so we were going and the sun had uh, just come up, it was just dawn, so we stopped by the side of a river which was… which was a little cool out but because uh, it was the winter and you could see, maybe 65 or something, somewhat cool, not very cool but uh, we could see the Himalaya mountains in the distance, and so we stopped the car and went down and there was a… because it was winter, hadn’t rained for some time, there was a very big river bed and the water of course was only taking up a fourth of the total area, the other was all like sand, possibly in the rainy reason it would rage and snow from the mountains which come down.
So went to take our uh, to take our bath, and uh, as we were going down we saw… when we were taking a birth we saw two dogs there, and dogs were having a good time, they were biting each other, smelling each other, running around, tsh tsh, running here… I mean really playing around, having a great time you know, and then you could see, well you know, they were having a good time, they were very happy, uh, in their… in their frolicking and play and uh… and then we walked just a little bit further, and there was a… was a…. a skull, and one of the dogs had been licking out inside of it, and it was completely dried, looking out in the sand, bare eyes, teeth, looking up uh, and there was uh, just like right before you could see uh, you know well, here is the animal life and here is what the end of the animal life is.
You know, you enjoy the body and at the end of it you are… everything is… the dead body is there, and in the end you see that it is not. In the town, you see sometime… people, they normally cremate the bodies but if somebody is very poor, they will pay somebody to take the body down, cremate it. People might be cheaters fore-porters or, they call them coolies there, but fore-bearers, take the body down to burn it, and if there is nobody looking, they’ll sell the wood and throw the body in the river, and let it go and downstream the dogs get it, and like that, so… Sometimes you see these uh, cad…what you call ‘em cadavers? And uh, in the West normally people of course don’t see such things. They don’t see, uh, what are the different stages of life, what happens to the body, but uh, there it was kind of just revealing. I was just maybe a little philosophical, that uh, people play around and different things, but I mean the body after all isn’t going to stay around forever and uh, whatever the people in the world are enjoying, basically the same kind of happiness, playing around, or… the dogs I mean, they were really getting into it with each other, enjoying all different kind of sports and enjoyments that whatever, you know so maybe here we have a Ferris Wheel, and we have different you know discothṝque, same basic activities, it’s not like that much different, same enjoying mood.
So they… they took a poll apparently Europe, that what would people like to be in their next life, and in France the men said that they would like to be either a dog or a horse in their next life, and the woman said they would like to be either a cat or snake. (laughter) Because uh, I mean uh… of course they don’t think that uh, what a wonderful opportunity it is to be a human being. They are just thinking that the purpose of life is to enjoy, so a dog is carefree, doesn’t have any problem, can just uh, you know, lay in the sun or play around, doesn’t you know… human being means you gotta work, this is what they are thinking. You know have some headache, or have anxiety like that. Because we’ve made society so complex, you know, whatever the woman thinking about being a snake, I don’t know but uh, anyway that’s the French women’s opinion, apparently the Italian woman had a different idea but I… I don’t… I don’t remember whatever that was.
But basically people are very confused about life, and uh, you they may take it all with a sense of humor or they may take it very lightly, but actually it is a very serious business. That being a human being we should be very careful not to again fall back down the animal kingdom, we should become purified, in fact we should be elevated far out of this… this range of life.
We are born with advanced intellect, not just to use it uh, to work so hard and invest money and uh, make huge industrial uh, complexes and uh, make uh, you know, fantastic investments in the stock market and become multimillionaires, so that we can like our Fisher Mansion in Detroit, so that he could make nice place to where he made a ball room so he could dance and drink and big bedrooms and big bathrooms with gold handles, and that’s basically, so… just they can have a nice comfortable living, and they think that is success.
I just uh… somebody handed me a book, a couple of days ago, I just opened it up to a page, and it said that well, “One thing you have to realize is that, along with success there are many frustrations, you have to know that being “successful” doesn’t mean you are going to be happy, but you have to be satisfied with being successfully even though you are not happy. (laughter) Thanks. Don’t need that book.
So this is the basic, they think that… they are trying, they… they define what is to be successful, but if you have, this, this, this material things, then you are successful, and then it may… you are not going to be happy, you might, you may have a big house, but uh, you know, you may get divorced, you may have uh, many children but they may all become uh, you know misled… misguided, or you may have this but they all… become very frustrating, and then… you know, so in other words, just to suit this misguided society they have created false standards of success. The Vedic standard is very simple, person should be happy, if you are not happy what is the meaning of success? And happiness for a human being simply on the animalistic level is not going to be a complete happiness, even if temporarily one is… already feels happy or feels somewhat uh, uh, feels some pleasures, but then that pleasure you can get in the animal kingdom, so what’s going to happen is that, yes regress back into the reincarnation, back into the animal kingdom.
So by somehow or another, awakening them to their spiritual identity, to their spiritual uh, future, they... the… these people in this world they are given the… the best opportunity to come up to so much difficulty to the human species. It’s meant that from here we should go back to Godhead. We should go back to Krishna. This is what every prophet, son of God, holy man, guru, acarya, incarnation throughout the ages has said, that we should return to the kingdom of God, we should become God conscious, we should become purified, we should… you see, but they had to deal with different people in different situations, in different countries, so their specific advices to their followers may have uh, on the fine points diversed, but the goal of uh, being God conscious or going back to God on the ultimate issue. Somewhere in all these religious books, that the human being should become purified and return back to the kingdom of God, that is mentioned somewhere there it’s… it’s the goal, but uh, unfortunately people, they miss the opportunity, so the system of Vedic civilization was geared so that… the whole system of Vedic culture is geared so that the person can ultimately become purified from animalistic, materialistic, uh, life and become elevated to the spiritual platform, can actually go forward uh, and not go backward, it’s the tamasa ma, jyotir gama, leave the ignorance, leave the darkness, and go into the light, go towards the Absolute Truth. Athatho brahma jijnasa, inquire today, now, at this moment about the Absolute Truth.
So, Nanda Maharaja, he was concerned that “Here is my son, He should get every opportunity to uh, become purified, to… to progress towards spiritual realization.” This was his concern, this was the basis of uh, Vedic culture.
Infact, Srila Prabhupada, sometimes he told us some vedic, some stories, some humorous stories, uh, Gopal Bhara stories, uh, about a court gesture, the barber of the king used to be also the uh, the court gesture sometimes, or so… it’s just like that actually, court gesture in the ordinary sense we think in the medieval times, but he almost like a member of the cabinet in a certain way, and he was like an advisor, he was very sharp, but there was one person that the king could spoof on, and so Prabhupada told the sum of the interchanges between him and a Vedic King, and even those humorous stories were filled with uh, Vedic culture. The culture of spiritual purification, of uh… of uh, following basic system of uh, advancing towards God realization, where there are… and then cau… in the humor, or in the drama, or in the art, or in any… any facet of life was uh… was always visible.
All the festivals were centered, all the entertainment were centered about uh, increasing the peoples uh, spiritual awareness. Their love and faith in God, and in a… in a very attractive, in a very natural way, so uh, of course today it’s taboo to uh… to talk about uh, religion or to uh, to do things which appear to be “religious.” So we are trying to present Krishna consciousness, uh, as a culture, in many places. In eastern Europe we have to tell that we are singing Indian folk songs, well it’s all right because in India all the folk songs are spiritual, so in most of them, at least 50, but now there may there is a few new but, in this way we are able to… in many countries where religion is taboo, what we are able to preach on the basis of culture, similarly here in the West even though religion is not taboo, but the people shy away from it.
So because Krishna consciousness is a culture, but the whole culture is to purify, to uplift, to awaken one’s spiritual uh, dormant, consciousness. So in this way the culture itself is uh, purifying.
So we should understand that how deep is this whole uh, Vedic culture, that how it’s actually meant to take one from death, take one from suffering, take one from animalistic life, and bring one up to the perfectional stage. It’s very practical, perfectional stage means that one should be always happy happy. vasudeve bagavati, bhakti yoga projojita, janayati aasu vairagyam, yad tad jnanam ahaitukum.
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam
That one should be filled with knowledge, be…be…be detached from the ah...from the gross uh, attachments of the material world, from the suffering, and the uh, and enjoyment which are… tosses one from here to there in the material world, one should be in a very firm position as a human being, not just like the dog, if you throw something, the dog runs. Wherever you throw something it runs, it doesn’t have that type of control. It’s very frivolous, very light, practically speaking, people in the modern age, many of them just like dancing dogs in the hands of sense gratification. They just go wherever they are sent. Even they amass millions, they don’t know how to use it constructively, they think that now the purpose is to somehow, simply live very comfortably and enjoy, you see.
Where here Nanda Maharaja is very wealthy, if he wanted to do for some big… he would have spent a lot on the spiritual purification of Krishna, he would have had a big festival, in fact just after Krishna’s birth, this famous festival is called Nanda Mahostava where he distributed so many cows and charity to brahmanas and to uh, would give feasts for all the people, had a big festival uh, of chanting the holy names and brahmana’s chanting mantras and uh, uh, and just celebrating the birth of Krishna, the appearance of Krishna.
So that’s the day after Krsihna’s appearance which is called Janmastami, Nanda Mahotsava, that is the day that Srila Prabhupada appeared in this world, so we also observe Nanda Mahotsava as the Vyasa Puja, in Mayapur they offered over a thousand preparations for Lord Krishna and Prabhupada’s feast, recently.
So the uh… the festival is there, still comfortable living is there but simply the… that’s not the goal, it’s not that one has to be uncomfortable or one has to starve, or has to beat oneself, and uh, try to hate mate… but the whole thing is naturally, if we… if we have festivals, if we have our consciousness drawn to Krishna, that is what’s purifying, that is uh,what leads us in a very natural way to perfection, not that just by some type of gross abstinence, but by a sensible regulation, by a sensible uh, regulation of the material senses, and by very positive engagement in spiritual uh, spiritual activities, and with such nice activities.
But here, Nanda Maharaja, he couldn’t do a big festival, so he said at least do the purificatory rights, uh, somehow or another, even in secret, just… “Okay these are important, I want my son to get the best opportunity, he is thinking that Krishna is an ordinary boy, He needs to be purified.” actually Krishna of course is the supreme personality of Godhead, and this is an intimate pastime with Krishna, so Nanda Maharaja, he uh, is uh, not aware of Krishna’s real identity, that is seen by great realized souls, by uh, by the great spiritual masters, but Nanda Maharaja, he is filled with a relationship of love for Krishna as a parent, and he is thinking, just let me do whatever is the best for my son, so he becomes a devotee of God and so on. Does not realize that Krishna is Himself uh, the Lord.
That’s by Krishna’s own arrangement, that when He comes uh, He uh, allows His devotees to elevate with Him in a very intimate, loving way, and if they all the time thought that He was God, then they would be uh, very afraid in dealing with Him, they would be very cautiou… it wouldn’t be very natural, it would be uh, awkward situation, so he sets the scene in this way, but example is given, it gives us an insight what is the purpose of Vedic culture, what is the purpose of uh, Krishna consciousness movement, it’s for purification.
It’s so that we don’t simply uh, end up uh, as a dead uh, soul leaving the dead body and then going into another dead body without any spiritual culture, you see. Dead body is going to be just like on that river side, it’s just going to be… either it’s going to be buried in the ground and it’s eaten by worms, or it’s uh, burned and it becomes ashes, or it’s eaten by dogs and vultures and it becomes excrement, that’s what this body is headed for, what’s this body? This body is the machine of the material nature which is meant… especially the human body to be used to become purified, to purify our consciousness above the body consciousness where we can see the self and see God, where we can actually be Krishna conscious, that is the purpose of the human body. Not uh, just like the dogs to run around and to enjoy uh, you know, little bit of frivolous sense gratification.
The great Govinda Das he is saying in his bhaja hu re mana song, he’s saying
ei-dhana, yauvana, putra, parijana,
ithe ki āche paratīti re
kamala-dala-jala, jīvana ṭalamala,
bhaja huṁ hari-pada nīti re
That ei-dhana, yauvana, this… the wealth that we are able to accumulate. ei-dhana, yauvana – our youthful life, this wealth, this youth, ei-dhana, yauvana - children, bari jana- relatives, friends, society, ithe ki āche paratīti re- what… what is the transcendental feature of all these things? What is the transcendental value, what is the real spiritual value or permanent, eternal value in wealth, youth, friends, family and society and love ? kamala dala jala – it’s just like… it’s… it’s unstable.
It’s just like a drop of water floating on a lotus leaf. We just saw in the world’s uh, fare, we went on a uh, a brief tour because we wanna see how they do different uh, exhibitions so we can make similar exhibitions on Krishna consciousness in Mayapur. So one of the multimedia shows, just happened to show a lotus leaf on the pond, being shaken by the uh, and it showed right on there, on drop of water spinning around on the top of the lotus leaf. I said “There it is, kamala dala jala.” I think it was in the 3D.
Just what Govinda Das was talking about, a drop of water on a lotus leaf. A lotus leaf is like a lubricated. You put a drop of water on that, it just, it just, it just moves it’s beads up a into a little ball but it just moves. It has…it has no stability, at every second it’s just moving around and coming off and back on and moving around. That’s how our life is, at any moment… here in New Orleans, a man sitting in his house and an Eastern Airline jet crashes in his house, where is the stability?
Sitting having your morning breakfast, before you know it, you know, no wife, no kids, you got a jet sitting in your house, right? You think life here has got a lot of uh, stability?
You are driving to work, and uh, some drunken driver uh, runs the stop light and you… and you get uh, side swipe, you walk out in the street and the bus driver runs you over or a… you know, I mean life is kamala dala jala, it’s just like a drop of water on lotus, you can’t… any second anything can…you are walking uh, somebody uh, suddenly they have a headache, and it turns out to be a stroke or they have a little pain in the chest and it is a heart attack, where they are smoking a cigarette and they end up, they get lung cancer.
That’s the only uh, stability, whether your life, whatever situation it is, Krishna is the constant, He is the K factor, He is the factor who never changes. If we lead our life towards becoming spiritually conscious, that happiness that we get from the awakening of the self, from our understanding our relationship with Krishna, it’s non-dependent upon all of these temporary things, which do not have any permanent value, which can be destroyed or taken away at any second.
Here in America, that big uh, car… car manufacturer, Lea… Lea… I forget his name, he got arrested for a drug dealing, lost all his money, became bankrupt, so one second you are in a big society, name, fame, next you become infamous, everybody’s out to get you. You lose… so this is… this is the way of material life. Even in the time of Lord Caitanya, there was one uh, relative of a devotee, but he wasn’t himself uh, engaged in devotional service, he did pay his debt, before he knew it he was about to be uh… to be uh, killed for a… thrown of the cliff, I think what… thrown off some kind of a… on to spears or something because he wasn’t paying his debt.
So material life in one second, everything can turn over, it has no guarantee, so Govinda Das and the great acaryas say, “Don’t place you happiness, don’t place your life, don’t base it upon this material standard, place it upon God consciousness, upon Krishna consciousness, place it upon uh, purification, for that end.” and this is what the devotees are doing when they go out and do sankirtan, we have a marathon, so they are purifying themselves and they are giving an opportunity for the people who are in illusion, who are in this uh, unfortunate jivana tala mala turmoil situation. They may have temporarily some steadiness, but that steadiness is like the steadiness of a drop of water on the lotus leaf, for a second it may be still and then something else.
So the devotee are helping them. They are giving them the greatest opportunity by allowing them to engage in some kind of a purification, engaging them in some service. This is the actual purpose of life, is that they should become purified, human beings transcend the human platform and achieve the Godly platform, achieve the transcendental platform,
sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
They should become completely satisfied on the transcendental platform,
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
There any questions?
Question: How do you become a serious preacher?
Jayapataka Swami: A serious preacher, well a person can become a serious preacher in different ways, when one is a serious devotee, one becomes a serious... one can be a serious preacher.
If a person very serious about carrying out the order of guru, Vaisnava, Krishna, that uh, naturally becomes also a serious, whatever he does, including preaching. If a preacher becomes very uh, concerned about helping the people, awaken from their animalistic consciousness and come into their actual spiritual heritage, in that case they become very serious preachers, by developing their compassion, by actually seeing philosophically how people both those who appear to be happy, and those appear to be suffering are all in a very uh, precarious unfortunate condition, and they need to be uh, helped to become Krishna conscious, to become God conscious, to get out of this entire material entanglement.
In material life, happiness is the stepping stone to misery, and misery is the stepping stone to happiness. sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ. mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ Happiness and sadness is always changing just like the changing of the seasons, spring to summer, summer to fall, fall to winter, winter to spring, spring to summer, like that. So if someone’s happy, it doesn’t mean anything, it just means that within no time he going to be sad, even if someone’s suffering that doesn’t mean that much because after sometime things will change and he will become happy. So to simply try to help all the people who are uh, materially unfortunate, become materially fortunate, is alright in the material platform, but in the overall spiritual sense that falls short. That… that for us we wanna help everyone.
Of course those who are suffering materially, obviously it’s hard for them to concentrate on spiritual life. So many of Krishna conscious services like giving out prasad, also do have the material side effect. Like feeding their hunger… but the purpose is not to stop there, but to give them spiritual happiness. Even rich people, even so called successful people or happy people, their situation is also uh, one that deserves some sympathy, some compassion, some uh, mercy that they could actually become spiritually uh, situated, because their situation is very unstable, very soon they will also be put into material suffering if they are not already in it.
But devotee becomes very compassionate to the fallen soul, wants to see them become spiritually happy, wants to see them in their suffering, this is one way of becoming a very serious preacher where one in general takes up the mood of the spiritual master and Krishna and wants to carry out their instruction but also be very serious.
Any other questions?
Jayapataka Swami: The uh, of course I have never had uh, I never had it explain exactly that why, but seemed to be always explain in the progression of breathing, of getting oxygen and sunlight. A plant gets more oxygen and sunlight, somehow that’s an advantage in this planet, but exactly I couldn’t, just like the mammal fish, that whales and the porpoises are definitely more intelligent than the other fish. In fact they found that the porpoises are… they have a language, they communicate, they save many sailors in the sea, but of course uh, I have not had that authoritatively explained in the Vedas or really don’t have the confirmed answer.
But, uh, I don’t have the.. couldn’t quote you the verse, so better not say anything. Within the aquatics there are little amoebas and bugs like this and uh, there state of consciousness is really down (inaudible) but within certain categories you probably find different… just like you different levels also.
Jayapataka Swami: Drived around?
Jayapataka Swami: Hope they don’t take birth as dolphins.
Jayapataka Swami: It’s very hard for dolphin to engage in self-realization (laughter)
Jayapataka Swami: Uh, dolphins may of course chant the holy names of the God, but they don’t much facility to do any of the other very spiritual practices, maybe they use meditation but uh, they have to eat live fish and, basically they spend their time swimming around all the time.
Jayapataka Swami: I don’t know if it’s appropriate for the Vyasasana.
Jayapataka Swami: One devotee in 1966, had a job driving mink coats from the godown to the store… from the warehouse to the store, Prabhupada told him to give up the job, because we don’t want to be engaged in anything to do with slaughtering or killing of animals, including transporting though you are just a truck driver. It is not good because, anything until the final product used by the end user, everything from the trapping, killing, all the way up is uh, implicated.
When I joined the movement and then went to Montreal, we did book distribution, we got a notice from our land lord, we’d have to pay the rent or get out or something. So Prabhupada was there, he is the… he didn’t have a green card that time, and his visa had expired, so he was waiting. The temples in America were applying for the green card so he could come and visit them. So I got a job in the uh, A & W coffee shop, even though my previous family was rich or whatever, but I needed some kind of a job, somehow I got a job there, and they… they told Prabhupada that uh, “He has to uh, clean up.” I was just a clean up. I was just a cleanup boy. I took the job for a month or something… just to pull the temple through, and uh, some bhakta and uh, he is a cleanup boy and he cleans up you know, the used plates after they finish which, you know contains uh, you know, meat and things, hamburgers or whatever, so… or Prabhupada said, “Well, that’s after they have already eaten, so person who kills, who sells, who raises, the cows sells to the slaughter house, transports it, kills it, transports the meat, cooks the meat and then finally the person eats it. So that’s already after the act, there is no karma in that. A blind uncle is better than none.” That’s what he said that, better they have a blind uncle than no uncle, so that time we needed the money, so better they have a bad job than no job and that wasn’t… was after the karma fact, so now the devotees are very fortunate, they don’t have to work in such hellish conditions.
In most cases they can do sankirtan, and they can work in a vegetarian restaurant, and uh, serve the people, we had to do so many things just to uh, subsist then, but as far as the karma is concerned uh, we don’t deal on anything with leather, specially because that’s encouraging the whole slaughtering process. In India when a cow naturally dies, you just like our mridangas are only made from cows who die naturally. All slaughter houses, when they kill the cow they put salt on the hide to preserve it, but mridangas cannot be made from a cow skin that has salt in it. So when the cows die of old age, then you call it, “Tan it. Skin it.” and he takes of the skin and he dries it in the sun, and that can be used for shoes or uh, they use… nowadays they use it for shoes but in the Vedic times, I don’t know they use it for shoes or not, they might, but uh, used it for mrindangas and the tablas and things like that the straps and… you know, they all of fiberglass here, but in the original clay mridangas, just put leather straps, and those of them cows die naturally.
So Prabhupada said if you want to eat cows meat, let the cow die, and then eat it.
They said, “Well then it’s tough. It’s not a very… it’s not a very good point.
Jayapataka Swami: Well it will be easy to get some karmas, but uh, if one is trying to avoid, to basically avoid karma, and you are responsible for what you do, the people who live with you, what they do they are responsible. The only thing is by association you may be led into doing those things, and that type of association would be very conducive for developing one’s spiritual consciousness.
Some people are able to take a lot of association with devotees. I know some women who are married and their husbands are… they say, “Well, you can practice but I am not interested.” and they eat meat… the woman, their wives they chant, they follow everything in their house, and they cook vegetarian food for their husband, but when he goes out he may eat anything, so... they are able to maintain. It’s difficult, but they take association of devotees, they have a lot of children, they live in a society where there is no other alternative for them. They are somehow or other able to maintain, it’s very difficult but we have seen some people are able to do that. Normally in the… in the Western uh, northern European countries, nobody would have that much patience with their fallen husbands but… and society doesn’t demand it, but in other places, no… It’s just more difficult for a woman to… to disentangle one… herself in that situation.
Jayapataka Swami: Well, it’s… it’s recommended to use uh, with vinyl or some other kind of leather substitute, maybe that one piece and they you just put the corner… shoe man on the corner, put… and he’ll just put any strap you want there for 25 paisa, a quarter of a cent, but I don’t know in America what you do, but we should, for preaching of course a person can do… can use this things if they have to for preaching but if there is an alternative, then better to use the substitute. While you are preaching somebody may say, “Look at… you’re wearing leather.” but we don’t have to be fanatic, so kind of winter, you are working by the fire or something which is in Cananda or something, sometimes you have to wear boots. We tell utility is the principle. If you have choice then choose the more non-violent, but if there is not a choice or if it’s uh… then do what, do what will you know, that way we can’t walk barefoot, if there is no better choice, then do what you have to. Temple president and the purchaser, they will be responsible for giving you those, anyway.
Jayapataka Swami: What did he think they were?
Jayapataka Swami: You thought they were apples?
Jayapataka Swami: Frozen food, that’s why it’s best not to buy frozen vegetables, buy fresh vegetables. Cut them up.
So he said you should avoid, it’s said you should avoid eating those things, but I accidently eat them, it doesn’t mean that then you should give up your spiritual life or something, but you should… whatever the bad effect of that on your body you have to tolerate, and just pray to Krishna that your spiritual progress won’t be impeded. It was an accident. Try to avoid it.
Jayapataka Swami: Well we have to be very careful uh, because uh, some of the uh… some of the people uh, with… with him uh, are very envious of the Krishna conscious movement, they want to discourage people and they’re very diplomatic in presenting it, but the actual idea is… and they have somewhat different philosophy, which uh, some of them are offensive, so we generally try to just avoid their association, you have some, you don’t wanna be, at least out on the street, you don’t have to run away holding your ears or something but of course you can do that if they something offensive but just avoid the association. Maybe later on, things will improve, but there is some uh, people there who uh, are uh, inimical and so that we don’t… because just to avoid hearing any offenses or better to avoid. They can’t do anything to help us, but they do something to harm us at the present time. Uh, Bhaktilatika… Uh, Tim. Yeah, Tim. We’ll alternate.
Bhakta Tim: (inaudible)
Jayapataka Swami: Well you should… you should analyze every feeling and thought, with uh, feelings and thoughts, and the philosophy of uh, scriptures, if you are feeling some thoughts are the same as the spiritual masters express desires, the explanations of the Vedas, you should analyze that, but as they uh, newer devotee, you should…you should give deference to the older devotees, at least socially in you behavior and uh, if you don’t agree with something that they are doing or seeing, then later on you could, they can include inquiry from the spiritual master or some very senior devotee, that who is actually correct.
Because uh, and it may be that sometimes uh, you uh, you are correct, but in minor things it’s not worth a disagreement. Just like maybe the Corporal sometimes is correct and the Sergeant isn’t but the corporal follows the Sergeant, because that’s the way it is. Later on he is going to be a Sergeant… in a way, a Sergeant Major, or some Lieutenant, or whatever, he’ll move up, but the Sergeant who makes mistakes, he is not going to go anywhere, so we are not attached but uh, we have a follow a certain, whatever the service is, first like… something like a chain of command or something, that we should follow that just so that we avoid uh, wasting… we waste more time over small point, some of them say “It is better to sweep the floor with your right hand.” and you may be a leftie, so actually it’s easier in left hand and it doesn’t matter what hand you sweep the floor with, but you know… just you can have a whole argument, but then you know just whatever example you want to give, it’s better to analyze everything by the scriptures, by the words of the spiritual master. If you don’t know, well then your own opinion shouldn’t be given too much uh, credence unless it is confirmed, if you have an idea you should try it get it confirmed, this is the good idea, it’s just correct, “Is my understanding proper, according to the Vedas and the spiritual master?”
Latikabhakti Dasi: (inaudible)
Jayapataka Swami: While only the Six Goswamis, Lord Caitanya, the Six Goswamis, pancha-tattva, spiritual master, Krishna and the sankirtan are non-different, wherever there’s Caitanya Mahaprabhu all of His associates are there.
Jayapataka Swami: How?
Jayapataka Swami: Sure.
Jayapataka Swami: So any new… It’s late. The rest have to go out on sankirtan. Do you have anymore new people haven’t asked any question that want a question answered? Do you have a question?
Jayapataka Swami: Well, purificatory, purification is essential, the uh, the purificatory rights given in the Vedas are prescribed but in Kali yuga because the present age we are in, because people haven’t have the opportunity of all those purificatory rights, they’re an aid but they are not the end in themselves, it is recommended that one should chant the names of Krishna but the names of God, and that this the ultimate purificatory right or the ultimate purification is to constantly chant the mantras or the names of the Lord, so there are unlimited names of God, nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis. So one may chant the name Krishna, or Govinda, or Rama, Hare Krishna or one may chant some other bonafide name of God, but especially chanting the holy names, this is recommended in this age.
So we have been handed down this Hare Krishna chant as being a very effective and very powerful combination of the names of the Lord, which are especially recommended for this age, but we don’t say that uh, these are the only names of God somebody can chant. If they have other names they can do that. That will be more effective than any other purification in this particular age, for spiritual progress.
But if someone doesn’t have another name or if uh, is one is open minded and conceive that this names are… are effective, so why not chant them? Then we invite everyone to take this opportunity and chant Hare Krishna kirtans. Krishna’s just a name for God in Sanskrit, but these names are very time-proved to be successful. There are other names which uh, are also names of God but may address different mood or aspect of uh, the Lord or a different uh… it’ll be a different, so there are different kind of vibration, which may not be as effective for purification. Still it will be more effective than uh, another process in this particular day. The vibration is the way of purification, vibrating these sacred or transcendental names.
Do you chant Hare Krishna ? Have you tried it? Why don’t you try it? See if you can get any effect, get any benefit. Mantra means to deliver the mind, to uplift the consciousness. One doesn’t have to be a… The temple is the place where it is very convenient to chant, it’s… it’s set aside for that purpose, we can hear and we can chant and we can read but it’s not limited to the temples. We can chant in the park, we can chant on the bus, we can chant while we are walking, we can chant… there is so many spare moments, instead of… instead of putting our ear into a ghetto blaster… and uh, it’s not going to purify us, its adding more fuel to the fire (laughter) of our anxieties, and dissatisfactions, that uh, in this way it is very easy to purify the consciousness, and person comes to that transcendental platform very easily.
So, one doesn’t have to be tied into the so called organized aspect of it. Even a very free way one can chant anywhere, anytime, this is the wonder and the benediction or the special gift of Lord Caitanya’s movement, that He wanted that people will be able to practice their own homes, but it is a… it is beneficial, it’s conducive for someone who wants to advance in the spiritual… life to the get the association of likeminded spiritual people. That provides a type of a atmosphere which is uh, conducive for meditation and for spiritual practices. Once a person knows the basic uh… he is little bit habituated or has learned the processes of meditation, well they can perform anywhere, anytime.
Is that alright?
Devotee: Yeah. (inaudible)
Jayapataka Swami: Right. The devotees, if they are waiting in a line in customs… Sometimes it’s big lines in international flights, you stuck there for 45 minutes, so they chant, what are you going to do? \ So there is no, no uh, time which is allowed to just go wasted. If they have any time or, it can always be used for chanting, and that keeps the consciousness in a very purified, very awakened state, and in this way, everybody has so many spare moment, and so they try to fill it up with something and other but, by chanting one is actually making a step back in uh, making steps forward in spiritual progress, going towards the goal of life which is to become completely awakened, completely aware.
Transcribed by SADANANDA KRISHNA PREM DAS
Revised by Jagannatha dasa Brahmacari