– Bhagavad-gétä [2.45]
The Vedas mainly deal with the subject of the three modes of material nature. Rise above these modes, O Arjuna. Be transcendental to all of them. Be free from all dualities and from all anxieties for gain and safety, and be established in the self.
All material activities involve actions and reactions in the three modes of material nature. They are meant for fruitive results, which cause bondage in the material world. The Vedas deal mostly with fruitive activities to gradually elevate the general public from the field of sense gratification to a position on the transcendental plane.
Arjuna, as a student and friend of Lord Kåñëa, is advised to raise himself to the transcendental position of Vedänta philosophy where, in the beginning, there is brahma-jijïäsä, or questions on the supreme transcendence. All the living entities who are in the material world are struggling very hard for existence. For them the Lord, after creation of the material world, gave the Vedic wisdom advising how to live and get rid of the material entanglement. When the activities for sense gratification, namely the karma-käëòa chapter, are finished, then the chance for spiritual realization is offered in the form of the Upaniñads, which are part of different Vedas, as the Bhagavad-gétä is a part of the fifth Veda, namely the Mahäbhärata. The Upaniñads mark the beginning of transcendental life.
As long as the material body exists, there are actions and reactions in the material modes. One has to learn tolerance in the face of dualities such as happiness and distress, or cold and warmth, and by tolerating such dualities become free from anxieties regarding gain and loss. This transcendental position is achieved in full Kåñëa consciousness when one is fully dependent on the good will of Kåñëa.
The scriptures of the world are the guidebooks for all humanity—how to advance in all the various fields of occupation. In fact it is said that the Vedas are like a desire tree. Because whatever you desire, it teaches you how to fulfill that desire. There are various sections of the Vedas for different people of different levels of consciousness. Just as it is said, ‘there are different çlokas for different folks.’ If someone wants a good husband or a good wife, there are sections of the Vedas which explain which particular god to worship, when and how, and certainly your desire will be fulfilled in due course of time if you follow this procedure properly. Some people want good health. There are sections in the Vedas which explain how to perform various püjäs and accept various disciplines in one’s life by which one can live a long life in good health. Others desire great wealth, money, prestige and fame. These things all can be attained by following the various sections of the karma-käëòa division of the Vedas. Karma-käëòa means the path which teaches you how to improve your karma and live a more comfortable and luxurious life. In fact such great asuras as Hiraëyakaçipu, they were also students of the Vedas. In fact the greatest asuras in the history of this world were students of the Vedas. Because they knew that the Vedas were a desire tree. Hiraëyakaçipu, by performing the Vedic rites in order to satisfy Lord Brahmä, he was able to conquer the entire universe. Rävaëa was a devotee of Lord Çaìkara, and because he followed very carefully the systematic procedures of the Vedas by pleasing Lord Çaìkara, he gave him benedictions by which he could conquer all of the world. He attained great mystic powers and of course, he used it all for his own envious and selfish purposes.
So the Vedas teach, whoever you are the best way of attaining the fulfillment of your desires, and because generally people in this world are very materialistic, when God speaks through the Vedas he does not expect that everyone is willing to surrender to him immediately. So therefore there are instructions which gradually bring one closer from the mode of ignorance, tamo-guëa, to the mode of passion; from the mode of passion rajo-guëa to the to the mode of goodness and ultimately from the mode of goodness to the transcendental position of making the service of the Lord one’s life and soul. Sometimes it appears that there are contradictions in the Vedas, and if you do not understand the purpose of the Vedas then you definitely will see contradictions. Unless you see what is the plan of the Lord and how He is developing these Vedic literatures in such a way to bring the conditioned souls to the platform of consciousness[??] of pure devotion, then it will appear that there are so many contradictory instructions for so many contrary people.
Just like five plus five is ten (5+5=10), and also eight plus two is ten (8+2=10), and also nine plus one is ten (9+1=10). And also six plus four is ten (6+4=10), and seven plus three is also ten (7+3=10). So there are different ways of approaching ten. If you are small minded, you think, ‘Only the way that I have learnt, that is the only way to approach ten.’ But if you understand the real nature of the number ten, you will understand how it can be divided in so many ways. So one who understands the truth, understands things as they are. But one who understands one part, only one approach to the truth, he cannot see how various paths of self-realization are harmonious with one another, but Kåñëa explains here to Arjuna that dharmaà tu säkñäd bhagavad-praëétaà, that the Vedas are spoken by God—they are not written by any common man. They were written by Çréla Vyäsadeva, who was a literery incarnation of Godhead Himself.
And Kåñëa is explaining that the Vedas mainly deal with how to increase your sense gratification, and that is a fact. They are mainly discussing artha, käma, dharma, mokña. How you can become more proficient in your economic development, how you can follow the system of piety or religiosity and ultimately it also teaches liberation. But Kåñëa is explaining that there is an ultimate beyond this ultimate of liberation. [Bg 7.19]
bahünäà janmanäm ante
jïänavän mäà prapadyate
väsudevaù sarvam iti
sa mahätmä su-durlabhaù
After following the various Vedic processes in the various religions of the world, when one finally comes to the point of knowledge, he surrenders to Me, Kåñëa says and therefore he is telling Arjuna in this verse that, ‘the Vedas are mainly for the common man who is not willing to surrender to God but you should not be like them.’ He said, ‘Give up all these preliminary instructions. Give up the three modes of material nature and be established in the self. [Bg 18.66]:
mäm ekaà çaraëaà vraja
ahaà tväà sarva-päpebhyo
mokñayiñyämi mä çucaù
Kåñëa says, “Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender to Me.” That is the only state of happiness.
This month there is the celebration of Lord Gaëeça and people all over India, especially in Maharashtra are worshipping Lord Gaëapati with great devotion often, and with many, many rituals. Now, of course, the Vedas explain how to worship Lord Gaëeça and why. There are people who worship, him in the mode of ignorance. People worship him in the mode of passion. People worship him in the mode of goodness and people also worship him on a transcendental platform, and you will find that they have a different type of worship and they worship him for a different purpose.
I remember when I first came to India, I was passing through Old Delhi and there was a Gaëeça temple. And I saw this whole family of about thirty people, and they were just worshipping the mürti of Gaëeça with such enthusiasm, and they had such longing in their eyes. So I was thinking that these people are really, really saintly people. ‘I should learn something from them.’ So I waited about one hour while the püjä was going on and I was very much impressed. And I was thinking, “Such devotion! I want to find out how to be like this.” So afterward, I spoke to them. They spoke very nice English.
I said, “Can you tell me about this püjä that you are performing? Tell me what is your philosophical feelings and thinking when you are performing this püjä?”
And the man said, “Oh, I just expanded my business and the whole family is coming together to pray to him to make our business prosperous.’
I said, “Is that all?”
He said, “What more is there than that? If your business is prosperous everything else follows.”
And then I decided that I should go on looking for my spiritual master.
So Kåñëa says in Gétä, [Bg 7.20]
kämais tais tair håta-jïänäù
taà taà niyamam ästhäya
prakåtyä niyatäù svayä
If that’s what you want from Gaëeça, then that’s what he will give you. Eventually, he will give it. But Kåñëa says that those who are very small minded and very unfortunate—they worship the devatäs for material benedictions. Because such benedictions are limited and temporary. Ultimately they cause frustration and bondage. Whatever the demigods give you to satisfy your senses, ultimately they are giving you problems, because it is temporary. To the degree you attain things in this world, to that degree you become attached to those things, and when they are taken away,—and they will be, either today or tomorrow—there is frustration, there is sorrow. All your material attachments culminate in death.
Therefore because in Çré Çré Rädhä-Gopénätha Mandira, we are following in the footsteps of the Brahma-Madhva-Gauòéya Vaiñëava sampradäya and we are also on behalf of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedänta Svämé Prabhupäda, we are presenting the revealed truths of the essence of the Vedas as it has been handed down by the great äcäryas since time immemorial, we would like to offer our glorification to Lord Gaëeça according to the principles of pure devotional service.
You see, the birthday of a great soul is honoured not for what we can get from him, but what we could give to him. Correct? Just like, on somebody’s birthday, do you come and say, “What gifts have you brought for me?”? Or do you bring a gift and say, “I’m giving you this, but I want this in exchange.” That is the way you celebrate a person’s birthday? How many do like this? «Oh, today is Tattva’s birthday party, so we invite everybody, and everyone comes and says, “Tattva, here is a garland but I want one crore (ten million) of rupees in return.” (Hari! Hari! [in the background]). “Oh, Tattva Prabhu, very nice! I am so happy to celebrate your birthday. I’ll sing and I’ll dance, but in return, I want that you give me a good husband.”» (Laughter)
‘I want money… I want wealth, I want money, I want prestige, I want a business, I want everything. Give me! Give me! Give me!’ What kind of a birthday… Tattva would be just… , “My God, better I wasn’t ever born!” (Devotee laughs) “What kind of friends are this?” On a person’s birthday, you should be giving. You shouldn’t expect anything in return. Just give! This is love. We should not do business with these great personalities. Actual worship is not business, it is an expression of love.
Prahläda Mahäräja… Lord Nåsiàha-deva came just to protect him, to destroy Hiraëyakaçipu. And after Nåsiàha-deva did like this, He asked Prahläda Mahäräja, “Now ask for any benediction from Me.” And Prahläda said, “My Lord, why do You ask me to ask a benediction? Do You think I’m a businessman? Maybe… You may be a businessman amongst other people, but…” Prahläda said, “ I am not doing business with You. I am Your devotee! A devotee does not do business with his Lord. If I am giving You something and expecting something in return, that means business.” Love means unconditional.
So therefore let us glorify the unconditional love of Lord Gaëeça. What he has contributed to the world, we should be grateful for that. And what he could really give us, we should understand. In other words, when you go to a rich man, do you ask him for ten paisa? (1 rupee = 100 paisa) When you go to a rich man, you can get a lot. But most of all, you should be going… and you should be going to please him. So Lord Gaëeça, it is described that he was living in Badarikäçrama, on the bank of the river Sarasvaté. And he had a beautiful cave. If you go to Badarénätha, you will see his cave. It is about a ten minute walk from the cave of Çré Veda-vyäsa. and when Veda-vyäsa was writing the Mahäbhärata, the Çrémad Bhägavata and various of the other Vedic literatures, Veda-vyäsa in the seclusion of his own cave was speaking what the Lord in his heart was inspiring him to speak. He was a çaktyäveña avatära who was perfectly in tune with the Lord in the heart. And as he spoke, Lord Gaëeça was sitting in his cave, and he was writing.
So factually, the very basis of our spiritual lives, is by the mercy of Lord Gaëeça. Because he has written the Vedas, and without the Vedas there would be no standard of how to live in devotion to God. All the great äcäryas, their authority is based on how much they are perfectly repeating the conclusions of the Vedas. When the great äcäryas speak, they confirm everything as truth by citing the passages of the Vedas. We have no means of understanding how to approach God without the scriptures of the world. Kåñëa says in the Bhagavad-gétä that one who disregards the rules and regulations of the scriptures, that person is doomed to suffering and bondage in his life. So how glorious; of a debt that we all owe Lord Gaëeça, that he has written the Vedas, and shown us the path by which we can ‘evolve’ from our conditioned state of bondage to a liberated state of pure devotion. Kåñëa says in Gétä, vedaiç ca sarvair aham eva vedyo vedänta-kåd veda-vid eva cäham. (Bg 15.15) Very important to understand this verse. Kåñëa says, “I am the compiler of the Vedas and by all the Vedas I am to be known. So therefore we can understand through the scripture that Kåñëa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. [Bg 7.7]:
mattaù parataraà nänyat
kiïcid asti dhanaïjaya
mayi sarvam idaà protaà
sütre maëi-gaëä iva
Kåñëa says, “There is no truth superior to Me. Everything is resting upon me as pearls are strung on a thread.”
So therefore this very, very great personality is the empowered representative being perfectly utilized as the instrument in the hands of the Lord to write His very words, and to teach us how to surrender to Kåñëa. What does Gaëeça write in his Bhagavad-gétä? sarva-dharmän parityajya mäm ekaà çaraëaà vraja… He’s saying that Kåñëa, the Lord of all the worlds is saying, “Abandon all varieties of religion, and just surrender to Me.” And we are reading his writing. And this is what he is explaining to us. So this is the glory… we should see these glorious demigids, in such exalted positions, that they are pure devotees of the Lord, who are department heads acting on behalf of the Lord to give all of us the opportunity to live within this world happily and ultimately achieve the ultimate goal of life.
Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé explains that in the Vedas it is explained that Lord Gaëeça especially is worshipped to remove impediments on one’s path in life. Therefore he explains that a devotee can pray to Lord Gaëeça to remove his impediments in his path of devotion to Kåñëa. ‘oà gaëeçapataye namaù’ In fact Gauòéya Vaiñëavas oftentimes before they go on the altar of the Lord, they offer their obeisances to Lord Gaëeça, and oftentimes in Gauòéya Vaiñëava temples, in Näräyaëa temples all around, you see a little mürti of Gaëeça over the altar. Because… the reason we cannot worship the Lord with love is there are so many impediments in our hearts. Those impediments are essentially the tendency to commit offences to the Lord and His devotees; hmm?
So therefore if such a great demigod can help us remove impediments, let us ask him to remove these impediments that are keeping me from being able to show love to your own master, Lord Hari. This is the same way we approach the spiritual master. This is the same way we approach the great saints. ‘Please remove impediments from my heart, so that pure love of God can manifest.’ And of course, we worship those great souls, who by their example show complete faith and complete devotion to the Lord. The Lord is non-different than His name. It is said in the scriptures that one who understands in truth, this realization that there is no difference between the name of God and God, that person is a self realized soul. We theoretically understand that God is non-different than His name. But do we have complete faith in that truth? As soon as we have complete faith and conviction that God is non-different than His name, we are pure devotees, we are liberated; we are no longer in this material world.
So you know this story of the race between the two brothers who are the sons of Lord Çaìkara. There was Kärtikeya and Gaëeça. And they were supposed to have a race around the world? Now of course from all material logic, Kärtikeya was much faster. He was a warrior. He’s always seen holding a spear. He is built like a very dexterous and very powerful warrior who can fight with the speed of the mind. And not only that—his carrier is a very, very empowered peacock that can fly faster than lightning. And on the other side there was Lord Gaëeça. Lord Gaëeça is mostly known as a paëòita. He writes the Vedas, he sits at the Badarikäçrama with Veda-vyäsa, and he’s writing and writing and writing. And his devotees, they’re always offering him all these big läòòüs, so he’s not very lean and thin. In fact he is quite stout… Raghunätha is getting encouragement from this. (Laughter)
So you know, he’s not such a fast runner like that. And although he’s heavy and he’s like that… he doesn’t ride on a flying peacock, but he rides on a… mouse. How fast is a mouse? So then the race began. ‘On your mark, get, set, go! And Kärtikeya was shzzzip! … he was off. Nobody could see him within the next second. And Lord Gaëeça, he’s just… “Okay mouse, go.” Ta doo ta too, ta doo ta too… like that. And Gaëeça was thinking, “Ah, I have complete faith in the name of Räma. That is all I need. So he wrote on the ground the name ‘Räma’, and because he had absolute faith that Räma was non-different than His name, he simply did parikramä around the name of Räma. And a few seconds later, shzzzzz…. Kärtikeya returned and he saw Gaëeça had only gone a few steps, and he said, “Ah just see…”
“Lord Gaëeça has won the race!”
“What!? How is this possible?”
“Because it took you a few seconds to go around the whole world. But everything is within Räma. The name of Räma is non-different than Räma. He has not only gone around the world, he has gone around entire universe. Not only around the entire universe, he has gone around the entire cosmic manifestation. Not only around the entire cosmic manifestation, he has gone around the entire existence. He has circumambulated all infinity, and everything within it. So this is the glory of the great souls. They have complete faith that the name of the Lord is non-different than the Lord Himself. Rüpa Gosvämé has told us that if you like to travel, circumambulate the temple of Viñëu three times a day. Because if you circumambulate, you have already gone around everything that exists, you’ve been everywhere.”
I remember, at one time my Guru Mahäräja told me that ‘You go up this mountain, and there is a temple up there of Rädhä and Kåñëa; and you stay there the rest of your life and you never leave it.’ He told me to be the püjäré and he said, “A good püjäré never ever, ever leaves the deities, until the day he dies.”
So I said, “Well, about how far can I go from the house?”
He said, “You cannot leave the building of the temple.”
I said, “But we have no bathrooms in the temple. It would not be polite for me to respond to nature in Kåñëa’s temple,”
“Okay, you can go within twenty meters and dig a hole in the ground. That’s the farthest you can go from the temple.”
So for many years I was up there. And for seventy five percent of the time, I was all alone. So sometimes I would think, “How nice it would be to travel to this place and that place.” And then I would remember the words of Rüpa Gosvämé. So whenever I would get this very strong itch to start travelling, I would just start circumambulating the temple. Then I would think, “Ah, I’ve been everywhere. I’ve been everywhere and back. Now I’m satisfied.” And what I learned was that if you have that faith, you actually have the realization that you have been everywhere and back, because everything is within Kåñëa. When Kåñëa opened His mouth for His mother to see whether He had eaten dirt, she saw the entire universe within His mouth. Kåñëa wanted to prove to the world that everything is within Him. And it is said, näma-cintämaëi kåñëa-caitanya räsa vigraha—that the name of Kåñëa is non different than Kåñëa. näm-näm akäri bahudä nija sarva çaktis taträpi… … nänurägaù.
Lord Caitanya has prayed, “My Dear Lord, in Your name You have empowered all of Your potencies, all of Your glories—everything is within Your name.” That is our faith. But how many really have that faith? That in all situations if we simply call out the name of God, we are protected by His divine mercy.
Draupadé, when she was being disrobed, she cried out, “he Kåñëa! he Govinda!” and Kåñëa promised that if you approach Me in devotion, I will preserve what you have and I carry what you lack. He preserved her chastity and He carried her säré. So it was so long that Duùçäsana could not disturb her. This is the glory of the name of God.
So Lord Gaëeça has so wonderfully and beautifully through his own example, showed his complete faith in the name of God. And in this way he is an äcärya because he is teaching us by his example, the goal of life—to have complete faith in the name of God. So therefore we understand that he is a demigod and he is empowered to give material benedictions to those who approach him for that. But that does not please him. The demigods are never pleased by those who ask for material benedictions. They have to give it, if you give them the proper service. But they are pleased when they see a person approaching them for the supreme goal of life—prema pumärtha mahän—which is love of God.
So therefore it is only really the devotees who really give pleasure and worship to the great demigods, because the devotees are satisfying the real desires of the demigods. The demigods want to see everyone go back home, back to Godhead. The gopés worshipped Goddess Durgä to have Kåñëa as their husband. Not because they wanted to enjoy Kåñëa but they wanted to completely surrender their lives for Kåñëa’s enjoyment. So in this way if we really want to offer the ultimate glory in service for the pleasure of Lord Gaëapati, the greatest thing we can do is glorify his divine qualities as a pure devotee of the Lord, and be inspired by those divine qualities, and not simply ask him like a businessman—‘Give me this and give me that,’ but we offer him our love on the basis of the great inspiration he’s giving us. He’s given us the Vedas and he’s given us such a wonderful example of an äcärya, and therefore if we really want to please him, we will ask him to help us to please the object of his love.
And then we can really understand the real… from the point of view of what Kåñëa is speaking in this verse of Bhagavad-gétä, from the point of view of being above the three modes of material nature, from the point of view of striving for the conclusion of all knowledge—utter surrender to the feet of God. From that point of view, we can understand our relationship with such great, empowered souls. From the transcendental point of view that Kåñëa is pleading with us to come to, we can accept everything favourable for devotional service and reject everything unfavourable. Increase of material attachments is unfavourable. Development of the service attitude, of the loving devotional attitude is utterly favourable. So let this be our real desire in life. And then our lives will be perfect. When you water the root of the tree, all parts of the tree are nourished. When we satisfy Kåñëa, who says, ahaà sarvasya prabhavo mattaù sarvaà pravartate, that He is the source and the root of everything. By that process every demigod, every living being is ultimately satisfied, because He is the root of all.
So there is no greater pleasure to any of the devatäs than when they see their devotees surrendering to Näräyaëa. And there is no greater pleasure than if they can assist in helping us to remove impediments in the service of Näräyaëa.
So let us make this our great goal of life, and in this way we will become most fortunate. And in this way we can give the greatest pleasure to our objects of worship. Thank you very much. Hare Kåñëa. Is there any questions?
Q 1. He is asking, ‘Why Lord Çiva, Lord Gaëeça, they are easily pleased? Açutoña means—he’s very easily pleased (Lord Çiva). Why would he give us something that is not good for us?
A 1. Because you have to understand that Lord Çiva is actually an expansion of Näräyaëa. He is above the position of a jévätmä—an ordinary living entity. But because he accepts the post of a demigod, he has to live according to that post. The post of the demigods is that they have no independence. If you give them the worship, they have to give you what you want.
In other words—just like in America, there are gun stores that sell rifles and pistols and various guns. Now, if you have a license and if you have the money, they cannot refuse you whoever you are. Even if you are known to be a murderer, if you have the license and you have the money, they are obligated by law to give you the gun that you want. They can’t say, “No, no, I cannot give to you because you’re a criminal.” If they do, they will be put in jail, because they are not allowed to discriminate. So similarly, the position of the demigods is—anyone who approaches them and performs the proper tapasyä, performs the proper ritual, they must give them the benediction that they want. They have no choice. They are not independent. If you approach a businessman in a business way, he has to do business with you. Right? It is business. “You paid, I have to give the goods.” They cannot even consider… even in the story of Lord Çiva. Våkäsura was a demon—he was cutting off his flesh and offering it to Çiva with mantras. Ultimately Lord Çiva had to come to him and said, “What do you want?”
He said, “I want that anybody whose head I touch will crack and he will die.”
Lord Çiva said, “This is demoniac. How can I give you this?”
He said, “This is what I want.”
Lord Çiva had to give it to him. And the first person he wanted to kill was Lord Çiva! Because he wanted his wife, Pärvaté, to be his own. So he started chasing Lord Çiva all around and Lord Çiva was running away. Finally, Lord Näräyaëa saw this and He disguised Himself as a little boy. (36:30) And he said to Våkäsura, “What are you doing?”
He said, “Aha, I want Pärvaté as my wife.”
“How are you going to get Pärvaté as your wife? Her husband is very great.”
“Ah, but I have the benediction by him that if I touch his head, he will die. And I’m going to touch his head. You just see!”
And Lord Näräyaëa said, “Ha! You are such a crazy fellow!”
“What do you mean, ‘crazy fellow’?”
“Because you believed Lord Çiva. I have seen this Lord Çiva so many times. He gives all these benedictions—they never work! You’re running all this way, all over the universe spending all your valuable energy; you’re going to touch his head and nothing is going to happen! And then everyone is going to laugh at you; all your friends—‘Ha ha ha ha! What a fool!’”
“Yes! You are going to look like a great fool! You’ll be so embarrassed. How can you trust this Lord Çiva? How can you trust somebody who is wearing snakes and skulls and all these things!?”
“Then, what should I do?”
“Well, at least, if there is a slightest doubt in your mind, you should test this benediction before you make a fool out of yourself.”
“How do I test?”
“Well, what you should do is, you should touch your head and see if it works.”
“Oh? That’s good.”
Phhoooooh!! He was dead. (Laughter)
This is in the Bhägavata. So you see, even though he knew that this man was a demon, he had no choice; he had to give it. Because he (Våkäsura) paid the cost. He did his tapasyä, he performed his püjä.
So you see, people who are very materialistic, they like to worship those persons who are in that position of demigods. Because they know the demigod has to give them what they want. The people who are materialistic oftentimes, they are afraid to worship Kåñëa. Why? Because Kåñëa is not a demigod. He is svayaà bhagavän. That means He is independent to do whatever He wants. If you worship the demigods for a benediction, they will give you the benediction. But if you worship Kåñëa for the same benediction, He may give it, He may not give it; He may even take everything else away. His name is Lord Hari—which means ‘one who steals’. yasyäham anugrahämi hariçye tad-dhanaà çanaiù. Kåñëa says that, “When I show My mercy to My devotee, I give him what he wants. But when I show My real mercy, I take everything away so he has no one else to turn to except Me.”
So Kåñëa is the supreme father—ahaà béja-pradä-pitä. He gives you what you need, not what you want. If what you need and what you want is the same, He will give you. Just like we have this little child. Does your child like to go to school? Does any child like to go to school? So do you say, “Alright, I am your father. Do not go to school.”?
If he comes to you and says, “Father, I am asking for a benediction.”
“Yes, I am your father. What do you want?”
“I never want to go to school again.” (Laughter)
What will you say? Will you say, “Lo and behold! Never will you go to school again!”? (Laughter) No, you will say, “Get on the bus and go to school.” Right?
Children like to eat sweets? Läòòüs and guläb-jämuns and all these things. So children say, “Father, grant me a benediction—I only want to eat guläb-jämuns.” And the father says, “You eat your capätés, and your rice and your däl.” Because the father gives the child what he needs, not what he wants. If the child wants rice and capätés, yes. That is a good father (40:37)
So Kåñëa is the supreme, He is the perfect father. So if you ask for something that is not conducive for your spiritual development, do you think he is going to give it to you? He will say, “No. You have these things that are causing you bondage, and you want more? You are asking Me? Not only will I not give you what you want, but I will take everything you have away.” Only Näräyaëa has that priority. The others have to give you. That is why materialistic people are often very much attached to worshipping devatäs. They are very afraid of Lord Hari, because they do not have faith that Kåñëa loves you and will give you exactly what you need. The demigods want to give you what you need, but unfortunately you leave them no choice to give them… because you are asking for something that is going to cause difficulty in your life. That is why the devotees of Räma and the devotees of Kåñëa… vaiñëavänäà yathä çaàbhu, they all worship Lord Çiva because they know he is easily pleased and they know how dear he is to Näräyaëa. And they know if they can please him, how much he can bestow upon them—Kåñëa consciousness. He is the paraà vaiñëava.
So if he is easily pleased worship him for the right thing, not for the wrong thing. Is there any other questions? Yes.
Q 2) Devotee: We have come across a…
A 2) I am trying to think of one. I think you are right (laughs). because when there are trials and tribulations in our life, that is the greatest opportunity to express the purity of our devotion. Anybody can be a nice devotee when everything is going the way you like it. The test of the real devotion, the test of your faith, the opportunity to express the most intensified love is when there is problems in your life. So therefore the pure devotees, to teach us… you see, in Vaikuëöha—nobody has any problems. You’re talking about pure devotees in this world. Vaikuëöha is a place with no anxiety. In Vaikuëöha there is no problems—ever. Everyone is simply happy—eternally. No demons, nobody criticizing you, no lack of anything; everything is simply wonderful. But in this material world—this is a place of birth and death, this is a place of great attachment. So how to be relieved of this attachment, how to learn to take shelter of Kåñëa? The pure devotees in this world, they come on behalf of Kåñëa to show others. Otherwise what business do they have to be in this world? Why don’t they just stay in Vaikuëöha? They come to this world to assist the Lord in His mission, which is to teach us how to be pure devotees, and unless trials, tribulations and tests come into our life, it is practically impossible for us to ever really, sincerely take shelter of the Lord.
The tendency of this world is—if everything is nice, even though we’re religious, we think, ‘Yes, yes. Kåñëa is very nice. Yes, I know Kåñëa; yes, I am His devotee; yes, I’m chanting my rounds; yes, I’m doing my püjä; yes, I give my donations.’ Right? But that is not the process of going back to Godhead. You have to see that Kåñëa is your life and soul. You have to have no other support and no other shelter… çré kåñëa çaraëaà mäm. No other shelter than God. And unless you are tested and put in a very, very great crisis, generally you never really have the opportunity to whole-heartedly cry out, “Kåñëa! Save me! Kåñëa! From this day I am Yours!” So that is the process by which each and everyone of us has to become God conscious, and the pure devotees… yad yad äcarati çreñöhas tat tad evetaro janaù [Bg 3.21] we will follow in their footsteps. So Kåñëa arranges their life and soul in such a way to teach us by their example—how to turn to God when the crises in life come upon us. And in this way, by accepting these crises, they are offering the greatest service to the Lord, for our benefit. You understand? Therefore in this material world, whether you are a devotee or not a devotee, there will be crises and suffering in your life. (45:41)
The difference is—if you’re not a devotee, in that situation, you simply get further entangled in bondage and ignorance. But a devotee, in that situation—the doors to liberation are open for him. kaunteya pratijänéhi na me bhaktaù praëaçyati. Kåñëa says, “Declare it boldly, Arjuna, that My devotee will never perish. I will always protect My devotee.” We have that faith. And with that faith, there is no obstacle that can divert our attention away from the goal of life. Thank you very much. Hare Kåñëa!