Question and Answer with Srila Acharyapada and Tirthapada
Rameshwar Swami: Ah… yes, that… There are a number of ways that you can come to understand the existence of GOD. Either by use of our intelligence we can come to understand, or better than that by direct perception. By the process of bhakti yoga we can come to see GOD face to face. And that will certainly convince us (devotees laugh). But from the point of view of logic, we can give one or two simple tests. Our favorite test is this point. That just as the existence of a wrist watch implies or proves the existence of a watch maker, so similarly the existence of this vast and complex material universe proves the existence of the universe maker.
This is the point. Just like this wrist watch is a very complex thing. No one can understand and no one will be able to accept that it has come about by chance. Rather, it is to be understood that there's someone who is intelligent , someone who is capable, dexterous , even you have to say a genius would be able to create such a thing such as a wrist watch. Do you agree or not agree? Devotee speaking: I agree but how do I bring up the point about seeing something which I cannot see.
H.H. Rameshwar Swami: Well, the point is that first of all you have to accept that he is there. Now by this simple evidence we can show that if there is wrist watch, there must be intelligent wrist watch maker. So what to speak of how intelligent and how great GOD must be,who created this universe so complex. That the body of 100 trillion cells, so many trillions of living entities are there with so many complex bodies. And besides that, even however complex this material universe is, even more wonderful thing is that there are living persons within this universe. So how ingenious GOD must be. How great GOD must be. How able and dexterous He must be. This is the first point : that is to say to accept the existence of GOD. That is the first point.
And the second point is, if GOD is so great like that and if we can accept the fact– we already proved logically– that we must be able to accept the fact that we have been created by him, manifested by him. It should be understood that we must have been manifested by him for some purpose. Just like no one would do anything without a purpose, what to speak of making a complex thing as this universe and all the living entities within this universe. There must be some purpose. So certainly this must be taken as important goal in our life to understand what is that purpose, what is our relationship with this super intelligent being, super powerful being that is GOD.
So first of all we have to understand that there is GOD and then we have to accept we have the urgent (inaudible) to come to understand what is our position and relationship with him. Then if we study the vedic literatures especially Bhagavat Gita and the Bhagav at purana,Srimad Bhagvatam. We can come to understand what is the process, whereby we can come to directly perceive our relationship with GOD and finally come to see GOD face to face. The system, scientific system has been given in the vedic literatures how to do this. You simply have to take up this experiment. It’s not a difficult thing. Just like you may not believe that hydrogen and oxygen combined in a certain way will equal water. You may not believe it but you can go into the laboratory and you can prove it by experiment. Anyone can do it. It’s not a difficult thing. But we may be skeptic, no I don’t believe hydrogen and oxygen equal water. What kind of foolishness is that? You go into the laboratory and test it.
So similarly you can test whether or not there is GOD by following the laboratory experiment. That laboratory experiment is called bhakti yoga. So many great acharyas in the past have carried out this experiment to a successful end. And they have given their adjudgement in the form of so many tikhas, so many commentaries on the shastras. It was their personal realization that shine through… So you can (pause. Devotee saying something to maharaj) also can come to understand directly by following the experiment. The great acharyas said that.“ Mahajana yena gata su pantha”. The vedic literatures advise us we have to follow the footsteps of the previous acharayas the mahajanas.
If we do what they have done then we can come to the same realization. Just as if we follow any laboratory experiment, which has previously been done by scientists we can come to the same conclusion, because it is scientific. So in this way first of all we accept the existence of GOD. Then that'd be a preliminary requirement. Therefore it is stated in the shastras “adau shraddha”. In the beginning there has to be at least little faith. That there is something worthwhile. That there is no God then what’s the use of trying to understand him. But if we have this little faith in the beginning and then “ tatho sadhu sanga bhajana kriya”.Then we can begin to associate with sadhus. In their association we can come to understand what is the siddhanta. What is the actual meaning of the vedas. What is the proper practice. And In this way by incorporating that practice in our life we can finally come to understand through our own direct perception. “ Raja vidya Raja guhyam pavitram idam uttamam pratyaksha vagamam dharmyam susukham kartam avyayam.” This knowledge is the superexcellent knowledge, because pratyaksha vagamam, because direct perception of the self by the individual. It is not simply idol faith, blind faith. You can directly perceive that existence. Practice it in the right way, authorized way, according to the instructions of the shastras and previous acharyas.
A child :( inaudible)
(devotees and Rameshwar Maharaja laugh).
Rameshwar Maharajs continues lecturing:
If God is supremely good and joyful then why does he make people die and everyone becomes sad. Maybe she had such an experience recently? Grandmother has died or something?
Devotee answers : (inaudible)
Rameshwar Maharaja : Uncle has died? I am sorry.
H.H. Jayapataka Swami starts speaking:
Mukham karoti vachalam panghum langhayati girim jat kripa tama ham vande Sri Gurum dinatarinam.”
Of course Krsna is all merciful. Krsna is all merciful and therefore he comes down to this world and he tells everyone that please don’t stay here. This is no place for gentlemen. Please don’t stay here because here if you stay, everyone, you all have to die. You come back with me to my eternal abode. There, there is no birth, no death, no disease, no misery. Why do you want to stay here? Why do you want to stay here in this miserable place. But we are such rascals, that we want to enjoy. We want to enjoy in the prison of Krishna. We are actually God’s servant. His eternal servant. But instead we are trying to enjoy. Like little Gods ourselves. Therefore we are responsible for action and we are forced to suffer. Due to our foolishness. So God is so kind that he is giving us a chance. You please come back. He comes down simply to attract the fallen souls. To go back to the spiritual world, where there is no birth, no death. So one has to understand what is the Lord’s kindness. Because if we were to stay in this body for ever, that would also not be satisfying either to the materialist or to the spiritualist. Because the materialist, he has so many desires, which he cannot satisfy in this body. So again he gets another chance for another body. After death, again there is rebirth. Then after rebirth again there is death. This chain is going on. So for the materialist it’s a new opportunity to give up his old body. And get a new body. But we know that at the end of the new body, again comes another death. So that is not very nice. So therefore we take Krsna’s higher advice, which is to wind up this material business and to go back to him. So you are a very young girl. Prahlad maharaj said that “Kaumaram aacharet pragyo.” That one should start to prepare himself or herself for going back to Krsna from the very childhood. So now you should prepare yourself, so that you can be finished once and for all with this nonsense birth death. You become a pure devotee of Krsna and go right back to Krsna at the end of this life and see Krsna all your life face to face. This is possible. Devotees shouting “Jai”.
Rameshwar Maharaja : Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Question by a devotee : (inaudible)
H.H. Rameshwar Maharaj: yes, God has many names. It is a fact. Still amongst all God’s names this is among one of the paradoxes you could say. Although the name of God is absolute at the same time there are first class names and second class names. We should say the major names and the minor names as described in the shastras. The names of God in relationship with his activities in this material world are considered his minor names. We can say he’s the supporter of the universe the creator of the universe. We use some name which supports that, that is a minor name of God. Because this is one of his minor functions.
Just like we can give an example the queen in England. Maharaj asking the devotee: are you English? Where are you from? Devotee replies. New York? (everybody laughs). Anyway here we have a queen, you know. She has so many titles. First of all she is of course her majesty, the queen. That’s her main title. And besides that she has many personal names like Elizabeth. Besides that her husband probably calls her dear. (devotees laugh) So and on top of that she has minor names. Leader of the Scottish regiment. She has a whole list. She is the colonel of the royal artillery. (devotees laughs)… she has so many titles are there. So some of them are minor titles, names and some of them are major names like The Sovereign. The queen. The major and minor names and then there are the most intimate names. Her intimate names can only be spoken by her most intimate associates. If I address the queen as dear(devotees laughing). That wouldn’t be considered to be very good I am not in a position to do that. I would have to address her as your majesty. But her dear friends or close friends, associates may call her dear. Her children may call her mother.
So in this way similarly God has got unlimited names. Because he has unlimited positions. You can call him creator of the universe, maintainer of the universe. Shelter of the living entities. You may call him all-powerful. Almighty. Omniscient. So many names you can give, describing his various qualities, Describing his various functions, describing the various relationships we may have with him. But out of all those names Krsna is the most superexcellent. Why is that? Because everything else is included within the name of Krsna. All of the minor names and all of the major names are included in the name of Krsna. Krsna means the all attractive. So everything is included within this.
(Child shouts “Hari bol.” Another devotee SShhhhhhes him).
God Almighty… is that not an attractive thing? Would you call that attractive? Attractive. God is very beautiful. Attractive or not attractive? Attractive. So in this way you can go down any of God’s positions, any of God’s qualities. You will find they all describe something which is attractive. So since Krsna means all attractive, it includes all of the aspects which could be described in any other name. Therefore this name of Krsna is the supreme name of God. This is uttered by his most confidential associates.
Devotee : (inaudible)
Rameshwar Maharaja: Yes it doesn’t make any difference, but still that one name is most descriptive.
Devotee : (inaudible)
Rameshwar Maharaja: Well, it may be… That may be in Greek, the language of the Yavanas.
Devotee : (inaudible)
Rameshwar Maharaja : Yes, but how do you know that the Christ (unclear) the same sound vibration. Sound comes first in the universal scheme of things. In the beginning of creation, sound is uttered. The sound has got inherent meaning. The sound has got inherent meaning. So even you may say that Christ means Anointed One. The root is the same. Krsna , Christ.
Devotee : (inaudible).
Rameshwar Maharaja : The Cardinal says Christ is the Anointed One. Prabhupada says He is the Anointed One? No.
Devotee : Prabhupada in his book…
Rameshwar Maharaja : Anyway, Christ is anointed by Krishna. Devotees call out : Haribol!!!
Simultaneously one and different. Devotee saying something. Yes that is our philosophy. Achintya bhedaved tattva. That the living entity is simultaneously one and different from God. So first of all, the root is the same. By chanting the name of God the full potency is there. You can chant any name of God, they are all the same, but still we chant Krsna because it’s the most intimate name. Most fully descriptive name. (Devotee saying something, Maharaj and other devotees laughing). By chanting the holy names of God the aphorism is specific. Harinam Harinam Harinam kalo nastaiva naistaiva nastaiva gatir anya tha. In this age there is no other way “Nasthaiva nasthaiva nasthaiva” it’s stated 3 times.
There is no other way no other way no other way. When you chant the holyname of God. So it has been stated “ Nam nam akari bahuda nija sarva shaktis” Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said, "Nam nam ." He has hundreds and thousands of names. Krsna’s got hundreds of thousands of names and each one “Sarva Shaktis”. Sarva means all, shaktis means energies or potencies. He invested all of his transcendental potencies in his holy name. Just like the same example of the queen. Whatever you call her will she not know, you mean her? So if you call her the colonel of the royal artillery, that’s her. So she will answer, is it not? (devotee says, ''Yes"). Then If you call her the queen , she will also answer. If you call her the sergeant she will answer. Because they are all her names. If you call her any bona fide name, she will answer because she knows who she is. She will answer to any name but she has intimate names which are more important to her. So you understand that point or not?
Devotee : Yes, but I don't understand why…
Rameshwar Maharaj: what is your favourite name prabhus? Everyone calls out: KRSNAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!! What can you do? It’s a personal thing with us.( Everyone laughs). Does anybody else have any other question? Yes, that's right. But that is a personal thing. We like the name Krishna.
Guru Maharaja speaking to Rameshwar Maharaja: The English are good listeners, but the Germans are good questioners. So far…(inaudible).
Rameshwar Maharaja : Alright prabhu, you’ve been challenged. Is it possible that the English will be defeated by the Germans? (devotees laugh)
Rameshwar Maharaja : Jai!
Guru Maharaj speaking:
When we leave this body, at that time if the yamdutas come it’s very painful for the attached person to leave this body. So that time the yamadut puts one to sleep, and rip them out of the body. If they are not put to sleep that moment will be very painful. Then one is taken. Then he takes birth again. Then when he’s in the womb again , then for the period of his growth, from the womb as an embryo. He is unconscious. So that unconscious state is like a long sleep. And then one wakes up. Even within the womb one wakes up. About 7 months, usually the living being becomes conscious. And even , the bhagvatam describes how one can have recollection of previous birth at that time. But when one is born, in the womb the person is not so much conscious of his body.
But at the same time his mind is very clear. Because he does not have such developed senses. Of course he can feel the biting of the worms in the mother’s womb. They bite the tender skin of the baby. Then when the mother takes very spicy food, that also feels very hot on the baby. Also there is bad smell. These things , he can get some feelings. But basically his consciousness is not so much centered in the senses apart from very obvious things and is able to remember even the previous birth, if he is very fortunate. What happens is that at the time of birth it’s such a painful experience. He is forced through a very small opening, and that is such excruciating pain that he is completely unconscious. And then he is waken up when he is born again. The doctor or nurse slaps the baby wakes him up, he starts breathing and starts crying. At that time he tries to gain knowledge through his newly acquired senses, which are basically developed. So he starts having new experience with these senses and he forgets, generally speaking the previous birth. This is actually a boon by Krsna because if one remembers all the previous births that’s not all good. He has to remember so much garbage altogether. So the person is given a new slate, a chance by Krsna’s mercy to again try to satisfy his desire. One time a devotee asked Srila Prabhupada that why can’t we remember our previous birth? Prabhupad asked what’s the advantage? This birth there are so many things you should forget(devotees and GM laugh) ; now you want to remember your previous births. We want to remember Kṛṣṇa. We don’t want to remember our previous birth.
Because in our previous birth if we have done so much materialistic activity what’s the use of knowing it. The thing is that we should know what is our original relationship with Krsna. That is what is essential. So we forget our previous birth by Krsna’s mercy to allow a fresh start. Many devotees like bhakti Vinod Thakur wish that if I don’t make it back to Krsna in this life at least I can be born in the family of Vaishnavas in my next life. So that way, life is a great opportunity for the children born in ISKCON , right from the very beginning they have the opportunity to know Krsna. They don’t have to go through all the hard knocks, they can be immediately taught about Krsna directly. And if they're fortunate, they can become pure devotees very easily. If they have that good fortune. So we got to accept that forgetting the previous birth, that's also Krishna's mercy.
Devotee : I want to know a karma-yogi.. is he a devotee of Lord Krishna?
Rameshwar Maharaj: A Karma Yogi. What is your definition of a karma yogi?
Devotee : Somebody who works, he has a family. He looks after them and he helpls.
H.H Rameshwar Maharaj: Well, simply by looking after yourself, or your family , you're not necessarily a Karma-yogi. Yoga means union with GOD.
Devotee speaks : (inaudible).
H.H Rameshwar Maharaj: the point is you can remain with your family, with your business als, but at the same time you can fully be engaged in Krsna’s service. This is the important point to understand. Real karma yoga means,action in Krsna consciousness. The point is how to always be fixed in consciousness of Krsna. And how to work in such a way that as a result of your work Kṛṣṇa, is glorified. For example , so I am working in order to raise my family; now, simply to raise my family, that is going on in any species of life. The tigers are also raising their families, the monkeys are also raising their family. Simply to raise a family and give food and shelter and so on, that in itself is not praiseworthy. However, raising the family in Krsna consciousness, that is an act of devotion. To raise my children so that from the very beginning of their life they are remembering Krsna. To deal with my wife in such a way that she can come to remember Krsna. And in this way go back home back to Godhead. This is an act of devotion. So if I am using my household in that way. If I am using the fruits of my work, whether I am doing business or service, whatever that may be, if I am using the fruit of that to glorify Krsna then I can be considered a pure devotee of Krsna. Even if I may not be living in a temple with a shaven head and so on. There are many examples in history. Just like Srila Acharyapada was discussing Bhakti Vinod Thakur, his picture is here, the last one at the end.
Bhakti Vinod Thakur. He was the father of 11 or 12 children Srila Acharyapada? Maharaj? I think 11 children or 12 children. Anyway…Bhakti Vinod Thakur is one of the most prominent examples in recent history of great devotee at the same time maintained his household situation. So it's not so much of a question of what position you are in Varna Ashram, whether you are grihastha or Sannyasi. Rather it’s a question of what is your consciousness. The proof of what your consciousness is how you are working, how you are acting. That automatically makes you a pure devotee, because you are working to support a family and you are being a devotee (unclear) manifesting 24 hours a day.
Question by a Devotee :
Rameshwar Maharaja: Krsna is there, that is a fact. Krishna's consciousness is always blissful. sac cid ananda. That is the nature of Krsna. Anandmay Abhyasat. Nature of God is that he is always blissful. And if you are aware of God, then you are also blissful ; if you are forgetful of God then you are miserable. There is a big difference (everyone laughs). A big difference in being blissful & being miserable. Even though God is always there. Devotee : Yeah, I think you mentioned a couple of arguments, but I think (unclear) they are Krishna is still there..I think the best thing you could say, give Krishna from their platform. People won't have to wait then..I think…(unclear)
Rameshwar Maharaj: Yes, the best thing is (unclear) everyone to become Krishna's devotees by chanting of the holy names of God, giving them Krsna prasadam, and trying to explain to them the science of knowledge about God. Any other question? Devotee : (inaudible) Understand natural disaster?
Of course, that whenever there is earth quake, hurricane. At that time those who are born… it's a very good time for demons to be born. So that should be accepted that a demon is being born at that time. Of course, as long as we are talking about birth, there is also something that has to be born in everyone's heart. And that is the Bhakti Lata in everyone's hearts. The seed of devotion. That is very urgently required to be born. By any means. So that is planted of course by the pure devotee in the heart. You probably…. you ever made sugar? From the sugar cane? H.H. Rameshwar Maharaja : Have I made sugar from sugarcane? (H.H. Rameshwar Maharaja asks himself and everybody laughs).
Gurumaharaja: Have you seen a sugarcane?
Rameshwar Maharaja: I have seen a sugarcane.
Guru Maharaj: Sugarcane…Sugarcane, unfortunately except a little bit of a bee in the sugarcane… when one crushes the sugarcane, one gets the juice. Sugarcane juice. Prabhupada, he would like to take sugarcane juice. Maharaj: Yes, that I know.
Gurumaharaja : No doubt Thirthapada! (devotees laugh). Prabhupada would put lemon and ginger.
Rameshwar Maharaja : Yes, and (unclear) also(devotees laugh again)
Gurumaharaja: So this analogy has been given. And actually we've seen, because in Mayapur we grow sugarcane. So the analogy has been given.
Rameshwar Maharaja : Here ( unclear) grow sugarcane.
Gurumaharaja : Can we grow here?
Rameshwar Maharaja : No.
Gurumaharaja continues speaking :
If you don’t get the right place, it doesn't get sweet. So there we grow sugarcane. First the seed is planted and from the seed comes the sugar cane stalk. When that’s ripe we cut the stalk and crush it to get out the juice. The Mayapur juice is so thick. It's so thick that one can only take about one glass and he is completely overwhelmed (everybody laughs). Two glasses and he is over-flown(devotees laugh again)
Guru Maharaj: So, when we take the juice and cook it down, (Rameshwar Maharaja: there is so much sweet nectar running in mayapur) in a big pan ; and when the heat is applied, then the sugarcane juice comes to a boil. So when it starts to boil, then, all kind of little dust, dirt, impurity, they come off. A type of foam starts to rise. So that foam comes to the top; then we take a spoon and we take the foam and we throw it. So this is described by the Achrayas that first when we get the seed of devotion then that grows, then that becomes sugarcane. Becomes more refined becomes juice.
Then when the real juice, the real enthusiasm of devotion starts, so many dirty ideas and desires, they may come, as if from nowhere, just like that impurities are coming in the sugarcane juice when the heat is applied. We take and throw. In other words, as soon as the thoughts come, other than pure devotional service, one should simply neglect it. We should take it and throw it. So, actually, there's sometimes you see, while we make sugarcane , we found that this foam was relished by the dogs. (Rameshwar Maharaj and others laugh).
They would come and eat that dirty foam. (Rameshwar Maharaja : Accha?) They loved it very much (A few devotees laugh again). So like that, we can understand that all these dirty things, these are material desires only fit for the dogs. So you might be wondering that how we are cooking this sugarcane juice. Where do we get the firewood from?
Maharaj: The sugarcane stalks.
Guru Maharaj: Yeah… The sugarcane stalks themselves (inaudible). In other words, devotional service itself is sufficient. One doesn’t have to rely on gyana or joga or karma. Simply by bhakti, by devotion, that is enough. So just like that, the sugarcane stalk themselves is providing the fuel. We don’t have to look elsewhere. So in the same way, devotional service provides the right direction ; one doesn’t have to go anywhere else. So then what happens is, finally all the impurities are gone. And the pure bubbling hot juice is boiling. So what happens is, that becomes more, more and more, more condensed.
Finally one takes the spoon and lifts it up in the air, and as the sugarcane juice drips, when it’s just at the right stage, it hardens into a thin rib, like toffee candy, right in the air. Then one knows that now this is at the correct stage to make gur or molasses. Then one takes it down, puts it into a container, but that in itself dosen't make gur. It just stays like a soup. It’s a secret. Only the experts, you see, sugarcane professors.. know ( devotees laugh). So right now , I will reveal this secret to you. (devotees respond : jai!) One has to take a particle of sugar or crystal from another container. And of course there is a way one can manufacture it, but it’s a difficult process.
It's much easy to take one seed of the crystal, and as soon that one particle of crystal is dropped in the pot of thick soup, immediately the whole thing crystallizes. Into little crystals. (a little silence and whispering and laughing). Just like that we may be practicing our devotional service and we are making some progress. But we are still dependent on the mercy of the Vaishnavas, mercy of the spiritual master. That mercy, that association, that mercy from outside, that is what gives the real form to our devotional service. Other than that, we are on a certain stage, but finally, by the mercy of Guru and Krsna we will reach the perfectional stage.
So now we have gur. That gur, of course has little bit of molasses in it, a little bit bitter. So we want to get gur candy which is much more sweet. For that, we have to take and cook down further. And we have to stretch that and it becomes gur candy. That can be further refined by adding milk and different things and one can get brown sugar. From the brown sugar one can further refine and get white sugar. And from white sugar, one can further refine and get sugar candy. This sugar candy, that is the highest and pure platform of sugar. So now we have gone through the you see, whole range. From the seed of the sugarcane right to the sugar candy. So this has been described by Bhakti Vinod Thakura. As the seed is the shraddha or faith and the sugarcane juice, that is satsanga, association of devotees. When that is further refined to gur i.e molasses makes the crystal...
Gurumaharaja to Rameshwar Maharaja : you know gur?
Rameshwar Maharaja : Yes, very tasty.(devotees laugh).
Gurumaharaja continues speaking :
So that is compared to anartha nivritti. Devotional service with some unwanted characteristics, which have to be purified. Then the next stage is of course the sugar and gur candy. Gur candy is like fixed devotional service , nistha. And the brown sugar, that is like ruchi. Taste for devotional service. Then the purified white sugar, that is like ashakti.
Ashakti is the attachment to devotional service. And Bhava, this is like unrefined sugar candy. There is an unrefined type of sugar candy. Then there is the big chunks of the refined sugar candy. So the unrefined sugar candy, that is bhava ecstatic devotion. When one starts manifesting the eight, asta satvika bhavas, symptoms of crying, laughing etc., etc. Prema or pure love of God, that is the pure sugar candy. So in this way the comparison is made, one can see very easily simply by processing the sugar cane.
Devotee: We make lovely sugar candy too.
Gurumahraja : You make?
Devotee : We make lovely sugar candy.
Gurumaharaj: Jai! (everyone laughs).Now you make the seed of devotion grow just in the same process.
Rameshwar Maharaja: Rohini Nandana… Shree Rohini Nandana prabhu
Rohinandana Prabhu speaks : (inaudible)
Guru Maharaj: One has to be very careful. That when the impurities come up, if one is not careful if he allows, when the water is bubbling, so as soon as it comes up one has to take it and throw, the impurities on the sugarcane. In the same way, when a thought comes, if we hesitate, some thought comes and we think, "Oh that's not bad, I might be able to enjoy in this material world that way." If we just hesitate, if we just allow ourselves to think that there is any other alternative whatsoever to enjoying, you see, any alternative to being happy other than Krsna consciousness, when the thought comes up, then you see, that’s like the impurity coming up again it boils the impurity comes up and mixes again, it will come up, and up and up again until we just take it and throw it. So when it comes up we reject.
So, of course at the same time it also seems, when we are cooking the gur, you don't know anything about foam coming. It takes a good hour, and it keeps coming , coming ; so how many millions of births we have been rotting in this material world, how many impurities we have, you may be astonished to find out (devotees laugh). But of course, if one… the more one puts his devotional heat on, the more expert he is in throwing the impurities our whenever they come, the quicker the job will be and, within a very short time, you will have the pure juice.
Devotee : How do we approach Lord Kṛṣṇa?
Rameshwar Maharaj: One should approach Him in humility. If one imagines himself to be more intelligent than the spiritual master, then he won’t be able to gain the full mercy. If one imagines that the spiritual master is an ordinary man , then he won't be able to appreciate the instructions of the spiritual master. He is rejecting and accepting, just like with anybody, you may reject something and reject something. With the spiritual master you cannot do that way. So the main point is if someone is worth approaching as Guru then he is worth approaching with full humility.
And if someone is not worth approaching with humility then he is not worth approaching at all. There’s no use in accepting the spiritual master as fashion, a fad. One has to be deadly seriously. Approaching a guru is deadly serious matter. Of course, as Srila Acharayapad has very nicely described that only by his mercy can we become extricated from our aeons long sojourn in this material world of birth and death. With deadly seriousness and the quality of humility. That will put us in proper frame of mind in following his instructions. Another question?
Devotee (to Gurumaharaj) : Srila Acaryapada, since the election… communists…
Gurumaharaj: Communists have almost given up on Mayapur.
We approached one of the communist ministers to get a big park for Ratha Yatra festival two years ago. At that time we showed him many pictures, Radha London Ishwar picture. Pictures from many different places. And he was saying, "Oh fantastic. wonderful, great!" We wanted to talk to him about life membership and other things. After everything was over, we asked him that please somehow if we could get the park for a fare. Then he smiled, said, "Don’t bother, he said, "Don’t waste your time. You can’t have it. And everyone was shocked. But we are doing such nice work.
In Mayapur we are feeding so many people, so many people who are going to our schools there so many people who are working. Then he said, "Whatever you are doing in Mayapur do it there. But don’t do anything in Calcutta. If you try, then I will crush you." Then they said : why are you saying that?
[Minister said} you have a philosophy and ideology, I have a philosophy, yours and mine are completely opposite. My philosophy is to stop your ideology. Unfortunately we have to announce that now this minister is paralyzed. (everyone laughs. Rameshwar Maharaj also laughs).
Guru Maharaj: Left side of his body became paralyzed. He had to come to America to get treated. Everybody: Laughing loudly. The thing is that we should show compassion. Then we approached the government again for that park. Because he wasn’t present, he left some message, he said you can't have that park. But so we took another park (everyone laughs), because he didn’t leave any messages (devotees laugh again). Because he was in hospital. So it turned out that the park we took was the biggest park in town. It was actually a better place than the place we had asked for ; it was Krsna’s mercy.
Rameshwar Maharaj: How many people attended that Ratha Yatra? Gurumaharaj: 30 lakhs, 3 million people. They said you please stay on 1 side of the road. (Maharaj and everyone else laugh out loud), so that the traffic can go by. But after we went half way down there was no place on side of the road. There was no road. There were simply people. So we were taking so long, with so many people. Previous year ,there was a big crowd also. It was so dangerous that people pulled and the front wheel had bent in a little bit. So we got a powerful truck to lift the front portion, that was two years ago. But this year we had special airbrakes.
And we had a big steering mechanism, because the trouble there is when the people pull it , they don’t pull they RUNNNNN !!! (Everyone laughs). They pull so hard that when the cart lurches forward they get scared that they will get crushed under the cart and they just run ( Everybody laughs again) Some of the ladies almost got crushed. So what happened was, we had air brakes, because everybody was pulling so hard. So when we got to (it's the 9 kilometers route) after we got to 5 kilometers, because we used air brakes so much the air tank was empty. So we had to stop right there. There were so many people but there was no incident. But there was one guy who had hit a devotee. And all of sudden from nowhere, this bull came and smashed that guy.(devotees Laugh). Huge bull went into the crowd. There was nowhere for the bull to go to. Finally they drove him out. In the mean time we got the spare air tank . They were pushing and pulling. We couldn't see anything , we could only see people. So we had devotees doing kirtan, we had seven different parties doing kirtan. And four outside groups. The procession alone was about a kilometer and a half in length. So we had to stop 3 sankirtan parties . They simply stood by the people and simply held them back..so that instead of running they would just kind of track…otherwise it was just so frantic, the cart was so fast, with a five-ton cart... the people were (unclear)like that. So finally we got through the… there was no untoward incident. The whole thing was amazing. So in this way there was a nine day festival and a big program on the ninth day. Then again we took the deities back. In the back trip , about 3 quarters of a million people were there. When we were going, we had to put a lighting inside the Ratha because it was dark. It just lit up the street. Of course, here you might think… but in Calcutta there is no electricity(devotees laugh). There is constant load shedding. The one thing the communist is unable to do, that is : not generate enough electricity (devotees Laugh).
Rameshwar Maharj: I was reading the other day that in some communist country had achieved success by making everyone equal. Everyone was equally miserable (Devotees laugh).
Gurumaharaja: So just lit up beautifully. Then we took the deities and we started going, there was just an ocean of people; we couldn't see. It was like someone going through water on the boat.. riding,riding through and he never made it… It was really inspiring. Everyone was chanting.. We got two tonnes of white sugar candy, which we were throwing out. And the people just were screaming for… We had to be very careful, because if we threw when the cart moved, people would rush under the cart. The big 9 foot wheels were turning. One lady fell down under the cart and the whole cart rolled right over. But Somehow she was in the middle and the wheels missed her. She got up on the other side and she was safe(everyone laughing).
The police said it was the biggest possession they ever saw. As soon as they saw the crowd they sat in their police van and didn’t do anything. (everyone laughs). They were helpless. But the people themselves, they cooperated. In Mayapur, we had that incident two years ago, [ where devotees were harassed] , after that we had a possession where 25,000 people marched. The whole thing was over the international news. The consulate from America and France came to me and told me that the chief minister who was the head of the congress party that time , I wish, I wish this never happened. He got lot of headaches, he got letters from Washington. Because so many different nationalities were involved. Each government sent their complaints why our country men are being harassed. There were the French, British and Americans (some devotees laugh).
So actually the main trouble in Mayapur the bigger obstacle was this crazy lady who was the district magistrate. And she was a complete demon. She came there and she announced that she was the incarnation of Durga. (devotees laugh). And She tried to show everyone that she was an expert administrator. But she created such a havoc in the district there that she's been transferred as the clerk of the Life Insurance Corporation of India. Then she was no longer there. In the present district magistrate is there, who was doing much more good for Mayapur. He came with his wife and had darshan twice in Mayapur. He said he loved Mayapur very much. He found it very clean and very well-managed. You know , has no comparison of it… So things are progressing there. We're getting… Right now, for instance, we are not doing the big temple, we are doing the Samadhi Mandir for Srila Prabhupada. (Rameswar Maharaj: Jai. Everyone: Jai) And the big temple, for it, we are doing some preliminary designs. And of course, other people also may be doing designs ; so whatever, the design the GBC decides will ultimately be built. So right now, as for the actual construction, we are working on Prabhupada Samadhi Mandir. And that’s a very big task. I just happened to show the head of the Caitanya Math …came over… There is a team of 12 architects working, you know, very pukka, air-conditioned office, with drawing tables, special lighting. Very professional. So when the head went there and saw the design, he just looked at it, looked at it, and looked at… (everyone laughs).
He said, ”I never saw a temple like that before.. Then said that "How big is it going to be?" We said, "About 200 feet." He said, "WOWWWW!!!!"(everyone laughs). He was speechless ; then he said, "So many people will come to see." So we got everything ready, just to… we could have started (unclear) by Janmastami but we are purchasing a few pieces of land right around the area. And because there is very high river level right now, we are going to start as soon as the danger of flood is over, otherwise we might incur a big loss (which is about the middle of October); at that time we are going to start driving the piles.
Prabhupada always dreamed of the day when the Mayapur piles would shake all the other temples (everyone laughs). (Silence for some time). Gurumaharaj continues speaking :
Very good to tell about Vrindavan Samadhi (everyone: Jai) Vrindavan Samadhi got permission… you see , what happened was that there was some engineer who just holding everything because he wanted a bribe, and then someone squealed on him ;then he got real frightened. So, he initially had a policy, so what happened is that district magistrate became… he, he had to get permission of (unclear) as a commissioner ; he had to get permission. And for this , they were running around, running around, for about three months now, before we get the permission, the municipality gave permission. They couldn't go forward. It just so happened that this commissioner came out to see this Vrindavan Temple. When he came there, he had darshan, and we gave him a full prasadam, He was a Seikh gentleman and he was fully satisfied. And so then they went and approached him and told him , this is the problem . And he said immediately , "All right, district magistrate is fine and by now I think that the permission (unclear) redesigned is probably already signed by now. So immediately the Vrindavan Temple got on…. (devotees : Jai!). It was really an ordeal..
Any other question?
Devotee : Why do devotees have to struggle to spread the sankirtan mission all over the universe?
H.H Rameshwar Maharaj: Of course, Just like Srila Acharyapada was talking on that point. Of course, in the material universe, there's always trouble between the devotees and the non-devotees. This struggle must be there. Even in the dawning years of universe there was struggle between devotees and the non-devotees. As you know there was some churning of the ocean. So, finally Lord Vishnu had to incarnate in order to assist the devotees in defeating the demons. So this is the Lord’s pastime. The devotees are trying to serve Kṛṣṇa, and they are getting opposition from the non devotees. So because of that opposition, they are having to take shelter more and more of Krsna. They are having to call out to Him, "My dear Lord, I am trying to render some service unto you. But in spite of my efforts, opposition is coming from non devotee class of men and so many difficulties are there ; you please assist us so that we can serve you more and more nicely. In that way, devotees are taking more and more shelter of Krsna. And Krsna on his side, He is seeing, "Oh my devotees are distressed, they are trying to push forward this movement on behalf , and still they are getting opposition from non devotees. I will have to personally come… So in that way, simply sweetness, transcendental pleasure… If there were no opposition, we more or less become, how do you say… (unclear) actually we become useless. If there were no opposition, then we would not use our intelligence to spread Krsna consciousness. Krsna wants us to pray to him, "Give us intelligence how to spread Krsna consciousness ; He wants us to take shelter of Him.
So these oppositions are good actually. Prabhupada never minded opposition. He only minded if we lost heart in the face of opposition. Oppositions will always be there. But this gives the opportunity to the devotees to perform so many heroic deeds. Just like Srila Prabhupad and the Bombay property. Certainly Krsna could have immediately given the property, is it not? Do you think Krsna could not have given the Bombay property? There was so much opposition. So much opposition. So many troubles. And Srila Prabhupad very valiantly continued ; he had found Sri Sri Radha Rasa Bihari, he was going to build a palace. So very heroically and valiantly went on with the struggle. And finally the victory came. So Prabhupad became glorified in Krsna’s eyes and everyone’s eyes. Because in face of all opposition he pushed forward heroically. And was ultimately victorious (unclear). So if there had been no struggle, then we couldn’t have glorified Srila Prabhupad at this moment. So there will be opposition there will be struggle. Devotees will have to take shelter of the Lord, pray to the Lord for assistance. So they get good intelligence how to spread Krsna consciousness, but ultimately you will be successful and, as a result, a new chapter will be written in Caitanya Caritamrita , Srimad Bhagavatam, how the devotees of this Iskcon movement by the direction of his Divine Grace Srila Prabhupad have transformed the whole face of the earth with Krsna bhakti.
That chapter will be written. But struggle is a little adventure. Who would read Mahabharat if the story had read something like this : Then Pandu had five sons. They grew up very nicely. And they became the rulers in the kingdom. Everyone lived in peace and prosperity and then they passed away. Who knows who would be interested. Because there were so many difficulties… they were in exile, went to war, this and that and finally, Yudhistir Maharaj was crowned the king and the whole country rejoiced. And the demigods came to shower flowers.