The following is a class given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaj on October 6th, 1979.
Offering garlands, flags are there, held big speakers. So this is your worship of Lenin. But we see that Lenin is a man, who is in a piece of earth, he is six feet by one feet, in a hole. He has died like anyone else, but we are preferring to worship Krishna, because we see He has got unlimited transcendental qualities. He has created the whole universe and all the unlimited universes. And therefore we prefer to worship Krishna who is God; rather than Lenin or anyone else who is a man. But whoever you may be, you must admit that we must worship someone. We must serve. So it's just a question of who you will serve. Service is the real religion of man. So the question is shall I serve other men who are imperfect or shall I serve the supreme perfect, Krishna. So then if we have a choice then we start to evaluate, ultimately, any intelligent person will say “No, I want to serve the greatest.”
There is a story about one man, he was a tailor. And he was sewing clothes for the other people. And he thought, “Why I am serving for... let me sew clothes for the greatest person. So then he found out the mayor of the town and he was sewing his clothes. He said, “Please, I want to serve you because you are very great.” Then he saw that when the King came, that, he was bowing down before the King and giving the taxes. So he said, “How is this you are bowing down?” He said, “This is the King, he is much greater.”
Then he went to the King, “Please dear King, you are the greatest person. I want to serve you.” So he said, “All right.” So then he came in and he was sewing clothes for the King. So then he saw that sometimes the King is going to the forest, and there in a forest there was one saint, one hermit and the King bowed down before this sadhu, this great devotee. And so he came and said, “Aha! What is this? King is bowing down?” He said, “I thought you were the greatest.” He said, “No but I am bowing before my Guru. My Guru is greater than I am.” Then he said “Accha”, (laughter) Indian; so then he said, “Oh! You are the greatest.” King's Guru says “No, I'm not the greatest. I'm the servant of the greatest. The greatest is Krishna. You should serve Him.” So this is natural, we should serve the greatest.
And of course, Krishna, His advice is “Yes, if you like to please Me, you co-operate together and try to give My teachings to the fallen souls. So they can lead a perfect life and come back to Me.” So this way one can serve everyone, by serving Krishna. Otherwise we'll simply be whimsical and there'd be no benefit by that. We'll waste our time and they’ll waste their time. Blind leading the blind. They all fall in a ditch. Is that all right?
Jayapataka Maharaj: So now who do you want to serve?
Devotee: [devotees speaking]...God Krishna
Jayapataka Maharaj: Hari bol !
Devotees in response: Hari bol!
Jayapataka Maharaj: Yes?
Devotee: I have 3 small questions.
Jayapataka Maharaj: I don't know if I can handle 3! (laughter) Devotee: First, is there any Indian guru except the Founder in ISKCON? Second, since there are so many souls coming and going out of Krishna, what steps are taken if some mistake is committed? I mean like if the proper soul is not given the proper body?
Jayapataka Maharaj: (laughs) Krishna doesn’t make mistakes.
Devotee: And third is, will there be a time when there is any Indian guru excluding the founder in ISKCON?
Jayapataka Maharaj: Guru is not Indian or American or German or Swedish.
Devotee: I mean his body.
Jayapataka Maharaj: The guru is not considered to have an ordinary material body. His body is spiritualized. He is given second birth as the son of Krishna. If one sees guru as being Indian or American, then it is described if one sees a Guru 'guru na mati' or if he sees Deity, 'murti shilasu' - if he sees the murti as a stone, as a material object or if he sees, what's the third one? A Vaishnava, 'Vaishnava jaati buddhi'- If he sees a Vaishnava as being of any particular caste, to see the guru as a human being, to see a vaishanava as a jathi, like a brahmin or a shudra or as a black or as a white or as a Russian or as a Chinese or as an American or an Indian. If one sees as jathi buddhi, then it says that these people are residents of hell.
Devotee: So there is no answer to this question?
Jayapataka Maharaj: That means that nobody can answer that question without being a paasandi, without being an offender. Because the Guru is not a question of nationality. You should understand what is guru? Guru is he who has Krishna; who is representing Krishna, according to the Sadhu and shastra, he is guru. And a Vaishnava, that someone who is a Vaishnava he is not part of this world. He is directly connected with Krishna.
Whatever he was previously before being a Vaishnava, that is due to so many karmas. But as soon as he becomes a Vaishnava all those karmas are finished. 'Apavithro pavithrova' - Whatever is pure or impure, whatever is impure that becomes purified. 'apavithro pavithrova va, sarvaa vastaan gathopi va, yah smaret pundari kaksham sa bahya bhyantaram shuchih, sri vishnu sri Vishnu sri Vishnu' - Inside and outside he becomes fully purified by the power of Vishnu mantra at the time of initiation. Just like a touchstone can touch lead and make it gold. The mantra of guru changes one from material to spiritual.
So if one sees a Vaishnava, “Oh he is an American Vaishnava, here is an Indian Vaishnava, then here is a Muslim Vaishnava or here is a this Vaishnava”, he does not know what is Vaishnava. He is making offense. Vaishnava has got no caste or creed. “Here is a very big fat Vaishnava, here is a thin Vaishnava.” That's not the qualification. Who has got Krishna, who is serving Krishna purely, he is Vaishnava. There is no other caste. This is special caste. When you say what is the gothra of a Vaishnava, it is Achyutha gothra.
It is a separate gothra , separate everything. You should try to find out who, which guru is a Vaishnava guru, not which guru is Indian or American or this or that , Swedish, or Russian or Chinese. Which guru is a pure Vaishnava guru? Who is purely serving Krishna? Whoever has Krishna. “Krishna ditte paare” You can give Krishna. That is what we pray everyday. You are guru because, you can give Krishna. If you find someone who has Krishna, who is very much addicted to Krishna, then you know that he has Krishna. Then you should try to get Krishna from him. That is what one tries to get from guru. That is the greatest thing he can get. If one approaches Guru, for something else, then he is not very intelligent.
So a guru may have any material body, but we have to see what he has; if he has Krishna or not. If he has Krishna then we should approach him. It's that what we want. Guru is meant to give Krishna. You go to the shop to buy some groceries. You go to the airline to get airline ticket. You go to guru to get Krishna. So you have to find out where is the Vaishnava guru who has Krishna. You may find Indian guru, but he may not have Krishna. You may find a Russian guru, but he may not have Krishna. Whoever the guru, you have to see if he is actually. Real guru means that he has no jathi. He is Vaishnava guru. You can understand?
Devotee: How can one get fixed up?
Jayapataka Maharaj: How can one get fixed up? By following the instructions of one’s spiritual master as more dear than one's own life. See, if somebody tries to understand what is Krishna consciousness with his own brain, he won't do it. One has to approach and take instruction from those who know. Krishna is the way He is. He spoke Bhagavad Gita. We should study the Bhagavad Gita, what Krishna has said. Everything is there. A lot of the questions are answered simply by reading the words of Krishna. But if you try to figure it out with your own limited intelligence, then what happens is that it can become very confusing.
Just like in our experience if I take something out of here it becomes empty. So you are thinking if I take souls out, then where everybody will go away. How the universe will go on? There is the one big God who will be standing there and all the planets will be empty. You see but the point is that there is constant influx also. Krishna can manifest so many additional souls though there are in different places. That is possible. So the universe is always filling up. So we have to understand a thing, we should not try to speculate that how this is going on. We should try to read from the authorized scriptures, hear from the bonafide sources how the thing is going on. Not try to think of it with our own brain. Because surely we'll make a mistake. It's very complex and it does not work in a way which may immediately come to our logic.
Just like the shastra says that bones are impure. 'Haar', you know bone? What is your mother tongue?
Devotee: Hindi. Jayapataka Swami: Hindi. So they call it 'haar', the bone?
Jayapataka Maharaj: Haddi. So they say the bone of any animal, this is considered to be impure. Asuchi, apavithra. But, we are using a bone everyday in our puja. We use the Shankh, the conch. So that is a bone of a sea animal. But shastra says that this is a pure one. In the same way, the shastra says that any stools, mal or moothra, what do you call?
Jayapataka Maharaj: Mal of any animal, this is apavithra or this is impure. You call asuchi?
Jayapataka Maharaj: Apavithra. So if one touches, he has to take a bath. If one due to touch, then he has to take a bath. That’s considered to be a very bad. Yet, we are using cow dung to purify the house. In the Hindu family, they'll take some cow dung and water and that will purify. Because, shastra says that cow dung is pavithra. Now you can say how it is here it is saying one thing and here it is saying another. Cow dung is nothing but stool of the cow. So shastra has got some general instruction and some specific instruction. The cow dung is an exception. Cow dung is the exception. And even now the scientist, they have tested cow dung. And they find that yes it has antiseptic qualities.
We don't care whether the scientist found it out or didn't find it out. We already know, scripture says 'Cow dung is pavithra'. So we believe it . And now the scientist after, took them 5000 years to invent the microscope. Now they can say, ‘Oh yes this is antiseptic’. But we knew by Shastric praman. Jagadish Chandra Bose is great scientist of India. He found that the plants have a consciousness. But the Vedas say in the Sanskrit that this is Jiva. Jiva means it has consciousness, has atma. So what Jagadish Chandra Bose has found out and now he is a famous scientist, that information he got from the Vedas. So we get our information directly from Krishna through the Vedas by the guru parampara. One has to link up with the guru parampara.
The chain of guru should go right back to Krishna that should be unbroken. And each master should follow his master perfectly. And that way this unbroken chain is bringing down the message. To know that who is qualified, one has to see that who is his father, who is his father, who is his guru, who is his guru and then see what is that line? Sometimes you find that person says “He is my guru, he said he is my guru.” Who is his guru? “Oh, he has no guru”, then he says. This is no sampradaya, this is no parampara. If you have here this light, and here is the wire and they say where does the wire go? It's going here; it's going there, it’s going there, it’s going here. Why it's not lighting, then you find out that here it's dangling, loose. It's not connected with the power house. So we have to connect with the power house. Krishna is the power house. If the connection is there, doesn't matter, some wire might be fat, some might be thin, may have different colour insulation. But if it is connected with the power house, and we touch it, what will happen? We get the shock. And if it is not connected, there is no light. I can make beautiful mail box, just here, paint that up, ‘Swedish Post Office’ and put it outside on the road. And people will go and start putting their letters and I’ll put the deliveries in such and such time. Will those letters go anywhere? Where?
Jayapataka Maharaj: You are very intelligent. [laughter] Someone who is intelligent, he can understand spiritual life. So the point is that the post office if they recognize, even the box may not be so good. May be little beat-up. Paint might be worn out. But if the post office recognizes, this is authorized box. Any mail you put, that will go. And even if you have very nice box, you might even need to see this painting with gold leaf ‘Post Office’. There is no use. Because it does not recognize. So one has to find out who is recognized by Krishna.
Other people they may have the idea that I want a box that this shape. But whatever shape the post office gives, that shape if we put our letter, it’ll go. Even if I build here one big building and put post office, that will just be one big dustbin. So we have to find who is recognized by Krishna. And that is recognized through this guru parampara. That person if we serve him, follow his instructions how to serve Krishna, then that message will go to Krishna. And Krishna’s mercy will come down through him. One more question.
Devotee: It is said that the spiritual master is not different from his instruction. Still in practice, we can't get this taste, we still feel difference when the person is present. What should be our attitude?
Jayapataka Maharaj: Well, when the spiritual master is personally present. Like say the spiritual master says that you should chant. So he says you should go to bed at 10o’clock and get up in the morning at 4. But spiritual master is arriving just at the time of mangala arti. So if you go to mangala arti and don't greet your spiritual master, you are considered to be an offender. Because, this higher principle is that the spiritual master when he is there, he should be received, unless he says “No.” But the idea is that, of course when the spiritual master is there, there is something special.
The point that when he is not present. So that sometimes devotees complain that those who are serving personally the spiritual master, it is very difficult. Because he may demand anything any time he may require in his service to Krishna. So this sometimes becomes very difficult. Time, schedule becomes off, so many different things. It becomes difficult to do many things. But, this is a higher principle is to serve directly. The point is that, say that one is not directly serving the spiritual master. But he has given an instruction. Then by following that instruction he can feel the presence of his spiritual master.
So on the other hand, when one is serving his spiritual master personally, in his presence, then it's also very easy. If he tells you “Go and get me this,” immediately you can understand that I should go and get this. Apart from the austerity of ,maybe his schedule is more rigorous than ordinary devotees. But one can easily follow such instructions, because he is just saying “Stand up, sit down, go here, come there”, like this, it’s very concrete. But when the spiritual master is not present, and he is given orders, “Don't do this, do this, don't do that, do this.”
Then the tendency is “Well, he is not watching”. That now we have to follow according to our faith, according to our love for him. Well, other time even our faith or love may not have been so strong because he is just there standing. So it's easy for us to follow on that sense. So that’s why I said that following the order is sometimes a greater test. And when one is actually following the orders of the spiritual master, he can feel his presence. How by following the order, I'm connected, I'm linked with him. Is that your question?
Transcribed by Vijaya Kumar, 14th March 2013.