tatrendro rocanas tv äséd
deväç ca tuñitädayaù
During the reign of Svärociña, the post of Indra was assumed by Rocana, the son of Yajïa. Tuñita and others became the principal demigods, and Ürja, Stambha and others became the seven saints. All of them were faithful devotees of the Lord.
åñes tu vedaçirasas
tuñitä näma patny abhüt
tasyäà jajïe tato devo
vibhur ity abhiviçrutaù
Vedaçirä was a very celebrated åñi. From the womb of his wife, whose name was Tuñitä, came the avatära named Vibhu.
munayo ye dhåta-vratäù
anvaçikñan vrataà tasya
Vibhu remained a brahmacäri and never married throughout his life. From him, eighty-eight thousand other saintly persons took lessons on self-control, austerity and similar behavior.
tåtéya uttamo näma
pavanaù såïjayo yajïa-
hoträdyäs tat-sutä nåpa
O King, the third Manu, Uttama, was the son of King Priyavrata. Among the sons of this Manu were Pavana, Såïjaya and Yajïahotra.
satyä vedaçrutä bhadrä
devä indras tu satyajit
During the reign of the third Manu, Pramada and other sons of Vasiñöha became the seven sages. The Satyas, Vedaçrutas and Bhadras became demigods, and Satyajit was selected to be Indra, the King of heaven.
dharmasya sünåtäyäà tu
satyasena iti khyäto
jätaù satyavrataiù saha
In this manvantara, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared from the womb of Sünåtä, who was the wife of Dharma, the demigod in charge of religion. The Lord was celebrated as Satyasena, and He appeared with other demigods, known as the Satyavratas.
Satyasena, along with His friend Satyajit, who was the King of heaven, Indra, killed all the untruthful, impious and misbehaved Yakñas, Räkñasas and ghostly living entities, who gave pains to other living beings.
manur nämnä ca tämasaù
påthuù khyätir naraù ketur
ity ädyä daça tat-sutäù
The brother of the third Manu, Uttama, was celebrated by the name Tämasa, and he became the fourth Manu. Tämasa had ten sons, headed by Påthu, Khyäti, Nara and Ketu.
satyakä harayo vérä
deväs triçikha éçvaraù
åñayas tämase ‘ntare
During the reign of Tämasa Manu, among the demigods were the Satyakas, Haris and Véras. The heavenly King, Indra, was Triçikha. The sages in saptarñi-dhäma were headed by Jyotirdhäma.
devä vaidhåtayo näma
vidhåtes tanayä nåpa
nañöäù kälena yair vedä
vidhåtäù svena tejasä
O King, in the Tämasa manvantara the sons of Vidhåti, who were known as the Vaidhåtis, also became demigods. Since in course of time the Vedic authority was lost, these demigods, by their own powers, protected the Vedic authority.
In the Tämasa manvantara there were two kinds of demigods, and one of them was known as the Vaidhåtis. The duty of the demigods is to protect the authority of the Vedas. The word devatä refers to one who carries the authority of the Vedas, whereas Räkñasas are those who defy the Vedic authority. If the authority of the Vedas is lost, the entire universe becomes chaotic. Therefore, it is the duty of the demigods, as well as kings and aides of governments, to give full protection to the Vedic authority; otherwise human society will be in a chaotic condition in which there cannot be peace or prosperity.
Hare Krishna, I am very grateful for this opportunity to be with all of you once again in Sri Sri Radha Gopinath’s most merciful abode. Thank you very much. We are reading from canto 8 from Srimad Bhagavatam chapter 1 entitled “The Manus Administrators of the universe” text 20-29.
This chapter begins with king Pariksit spending the very last days of his life on the bank of the Ganga river sitting at the feet of Sukadev Goswami. Sukadev Goswami has already in previous chapters of Srimad Bhagavatam had described svayambhuva manu his descendents; he has just described the whole story of Sri Prahalad maharaj in the 7th canto. And Pariksit maharaj is just eager to hear more. He wants to hear all the different manus. Now why is this if you only have a few more days to live would you be asking about all the different manus. Honestly you would to hear Krishna book or something. Pariksit maharaj has only a few more days, its 100% for certain that he will die after 7 days. In the beginning of the first day he gave up his home went to the Ganges and then all other sages began to assembled, and he was enquiring from them all, requesting all of them to speak about the highest subjects and the supreme duty of all human beings, what is the proper duty of a man about to die, he especially wanted to hear about Krishna, who is the best friend and the Lord and intimate associate of his relatives the pandavas.
So Sukadev Goswami has just presented the beautiful story of Prahalad, and lord Narasingha dev – a story of total dependence on God. This was Prahalad’s opulence. He did not exhibit physical strength, he didn’t really have much of anything. He was completely depending on Krsna. He realized with complete faith, that if Krsna wants to destroy him, nothing can save you and if Krsna wants to destroy you nothing can save you. And was in such an extreme environment. Because Hiranyakasipu was the most powerful person in the entire universe. He has subjugated the entire universe. And little Prahllad was completely helpless, 5 years old. There was no body in the entire world that was coming to his aid. He was totally alone against Hiranyakashipu. And all the armies, military and chief commanders of Hiranyakasipu were collectively, vehemently hateful of Prahllad Maharaj. With words, with thoughts, with actions they were impelled to destroy him. We do not even find anybody even consoling Prahlad Maharaj. And he was just a frail little boy. Yet he was fearless and he was happy. This was something Hiranyakasipu and his followers could not tolerate. Not only could they not kill Prahlad, they could not make him unhappy. They could not agitate him and could not make him angry. Prahlad never said, you rotten father… he never became angry. As you say in today’s words, he never lost his cool. He was just composed, between assassinating attempts of Hiranyakasipu.
Whenever Prahlad would see his father, he would offer his obeisances with folded hands and say sweet words to him. And Hiranyakasipu was frustrated. He had everything on his side. He had all the wealth, all the power, mystic cities. Prahllad had nothing. Yet Prahlad was peaceful and Hiranyakasupu was always agitated. What was the strength of Prahlad? This was a mystery. In fact Hiranyakasipu himself asked what is your strength? Where do you get your strength, to defy my authority? And Prahlad very respectfully, as Hiranyakasipu had a sword and he was about to cut off Prahllad’s head, screaming at him with eyes blaring like red coal. ‘Where do you get your strength from to defy my authority?’ And Prahlad Maharaj just spoke the truth. ‘My father, same place where you get your strength from. From the supreme personality of Godhead’.
Hiranyakasipu hated God. He hated Visnu violently. Because Visnu has killed his brother.If you really look at it from a social psychological perspective, those words were the ultimate insult. The ultimate comparator, enemy and hated person or for Hiranyakasipu was Visnu. And Prahlad is saying whatever you have is only by the mercy of Visnu. Whatever strength you have is all Visnu’s strength. Prahlad was very intelligent and he knew that all those words of truth would infuriate his father. And even when his father was running to him with his heavy sharpen sword, about to severe him, Prahlad was not disturbed. He was happy. Because, he was depending on Krsna. That was his opulence. Complete dependence on the mercy of the lord. That was the ultimate opulence that anyone could have.
Aswaryasya samagrasya viryascha yasasasvasah – because He is the source of all strength. If we depend on Krnsa, we are beyond material existence. Haridas thakur was compared to Prahlad also. He was being beaten in 22 market places… violently beaten. Yet the whole time, he was smiling. And he was chanting Hare Krsna. And his executioners, the fact that they could not kill him, completely bewildered them. And more so, they could not make him unhappy. The only that Haridas was exhibiting was that he felt sorry for the people who were trying to kill him. The only unhappiness of Prahlad in his life, the only unhappiness, was, he felt sorry for his father. Because, he loved him. He loved the man who hated him… so much. And then we read, when the Lord Narahari appears and offers Prahlad any benediction, after destroying Hitanyakasipu, and the only benediction that Prahlad wants is that ‘give my father liberation. He was sinful, he was bad.’
Sukadev Goswami describes to Parikshit Maharaj in great detail. A devotee is beyond birth, beyond death. Because a devotee is completely depending on the Lord. And after completing the story, Parikshit maharaj wanted to hear about the manus. The last 10 verses we read today are quite technical. Just lists of names. And not very easy names to pronounce. What to speak about remembering them. The clock is ticking. I don’t know that if they had clocks those days. But seven days, every second is so precious. And Parikshit maharaj is asking about the manus. Because Parikshit maharaj is so intelligent, so cultured and so self realized. He understood he is going to ask Sukadev Goswami is about Krsna.
Because, everything is about Krsna if it is understood correctly. The entire history of the universe can be spoken in various ways. Some describe history through the medium of the rise and fall of different civilizations or through various wars among human beings or different isms – capitalism, communism, socialism or different philosophies and philosophers who lived and guided the thinking of people over the ages. Or from the vedic perspective – this is why the puranas are very important, the itihasas. The entire history of everything is focused around God or Krsna, the avatars of Krsna. What makes the manus so important that Parikshit wants to hear about them? It’s because the Lord incarnated again and again in connection to these manus.
Just previous to this verse, Sukadev Goswami was explaining how Svayambhuva manu ruled the entire world for many years and then he retired along with his wife Sutapa. And what did they do after getting retired? It is not that they, from the kings treasury over the years as they were kings, they built a retirement home for themselves. Sometimes we find kings in the Egyptian times, the great kings while they were living, would build massive pyramids for themselves, so that, when they would die as kings, all the best things they had were in their tombs – treasuries of money, crowns and all that stuff and they would be buried with that. And they would have Brahmins who arrange for different curses that anybody tries to take anything away, they will be cursed and all their generations will be cursed. These were mystic people too. To build the pyramids there had to be mystic powers in those days. And there were mystical curses. Why? They were so attached to keeping all their stuff, even after they were dead. Huge expenses, massive expenses for their tombs. And politicians these days, practically in so many countries, they really, whether they are kings, governors, ministers, whatever, they know they may not be in office as long as they would like to, so, they would try to get as much money as they can, and they accumulate it. Because they are not really sure what is going to happen afterwards. They want to make sure that they could live very comfortably, opulently, with security for the rest of their lives. So, they just.. during office, whether it is through bribes, or through whatever – legal means, they try to get as much as they can get when they can and build their security for the future.
Svambhuva Manu and his wife, she was exactly the same as him in this sense. They had everything, and when it came to retirement, they went to the forest with nothing. They have got not nothing. Why did they do that? Because the end of life is like a grand finale, of what you have don’t in human existence. And at this is the time when we should totally absorb our self in Krsna. And what that means is – totally depend on Krsna. That’s why these kings would leave everything. Because, then they have no other alternative then totally depend on Krsna.
We read about Kuresh, who is actually the Lord of a district of South India called Kura. That’s why he is Kuresh, Lord of Kura. He was so fabulously wealthy man, beautiful palaces, and his wife Andal. They were so charitable. They were the proprietors of massive expanses of land. They were landlords, so many people were paying them rent, taxes. And whatever they had practically, they would give in charity. From early morning, from the time of sunrise till night, their gates are open to give charity. Anybody who came, whatever they wanted, they would give it to them. They were so charitable. Then at night, the gates would be closed. And Lakshmidevi in the temple, asked one of Her pujaris. ‘What is that gate closing? What is that sound every night?’ – ‘that is the gate closing. He gives charity all day.’ And She is the goddess of fortune. She said – ‘I want to meet him’. So, the pujari came and told Kuresh and his wife Andal, that ‘Laxmi is so pleased that you are giving so much in charity to so many people. She wants to see you.’ That would make most of us thrilled.
Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur said, ‘Don’t try to see Krnsa, but try to serve Krnsa, that he wants to see you.’ But these days, most people only want to see Laxmi, more than they want to see Krsna. (laugh) She is the goddess of fortune. Kuresh was serving Laxmi that She wanted to see him. She personally called for him. Was he thrilled? He was such a devotee that he was ashamed. Instead of thinking that, ‘Just see Lakshmi is calling for me. Let the world know that she has called for me.’ He was ashamed that ‘I am giving this mundane stuff out. She is the giver of devotion, the supreme giver of devotion. And I am just doing this.’ So, he didn’t go to see Laxmi. Rather, he gave up everything he earned with his wife, and decided to go and live with his gurudev and cultivate Bhakti. Anyway, they were completely dependant on Krsna.
In the middle of the night, now, they went within a matter of minutes; they were billionaires to completely homeless wanderers with nothing, by their own choice. They had those big gates protecting them and their ministers, and now they are all alone in the middle of jungle at night. And for any of you who would have gone into the jungles in the middle of the night, I guess, it is something like Bombay! (laugh) there are all sorts of sounds, here in the jungle, all of a sudden, ssssss…. in the grass, snakes, ssssss…. then you hear … (Maharaj makes sounds of animals), and you can’t see anything. So, Andal was afraid, she was never in such a situation like this. She told Kuresh, ‘I am afraid’. Then Kuresh said, ‘Did you bring anything with you?’ ‘No, of course, not’ ‘Anything?’ She said, ‘Actually I brought one thing. I brought this silver cup. The purpose of this silver cup is to feed you. It’s not for me. It’s to feed you.’ He said, ‘that’s why you are afraid. Because you have brought something with you, you are not completely depending on Krsna. Throw the cup away.’ So, she threw the cup away deep into the dark forest. And as soon as she did that she became fearless.
Because, why are we afraid in this world? Because we are identifying with temporary body? We are identifying with temporary possessions. Everything is vulnerable. Our possessions could be taken away to be destroyed. Our body can be taken away and destroyed anytime, no matter who we are. Therefore, there is so much fear. Whether we have a lot or whether we have a little, to depend on Krnsa is to be honest, to be truthful and to understand the reality of our predicament. So, Kuresh and his good wife Andal, they went to Sri Rangam in a completely peaceful state. And whatever their Gurudev gave them – a Kutir, they were completely happy. But, the happiness was not the kutir. The happiness was in remembering Krsna, depending on Krsna.
So, Svayambhuva manu, and his wife, they were not a king of a kingdom but were the emperors of the entire world. And we read about the opulence, that they possessed. They left it all. They went to the middle of the forest with nothing, performed tapasya. And Svayambhuva manu was always offering beautiful prayers with complete devotion, depending on the mercy of the Lord. And while he was in trance, some rakshasas, a whole army of rakshasas came to kill him. Hare Krsna! Why would they do such a thing? In this world, the eternal pure soul covered over by the ahankara – the ego can become so demented, so envious and so cruel – they actually charged at him to eat him, they wanted to kill him and eat him, and he was in trance. Om namo bhagavate… something like that. He was chanting beautiful prayers, remembering Krsna, his eyes were closed, and they were attacking him. And he was completely depending on the Lord.
For one who loves the lord there are no enemies. Krsna explains this in Gita also. You don’t have enemies, You don’t see anyone as enemy, in fact it is said you are the friend of all living beings when you are surrender to the Lord. But yet throughout history, we find that those who are surrendered to the Lord, so many people hate them, are envious of them, try to destroy them. The Pandavas, they were the friend of all living beings, but so many people were trying to kill them. Prahlad was the friend of all living beings, but he was constantly under attack. That means the supersoul within the hearts of every living being and the soul of every living being loves the devotee of the Lord. But the false ego, the ahankar corrupts all the proper conception of who you are and what you really feel. So, this is the power of the ego. A perfectly compassionate, innocent man is trying to do tapasya and they are trying to kill him and eat him.
At that time the Lord Krsna incarnates as Yajna murti and He gets all the demigods to join him and they destroy all the rakshasas and protects the Svayambhuva manu. So, yes! These descriptions of various manus are the descriptions of Krsna. And how he appears in so many ways throughout history to protect the devotees, to reestablish the religion, and to annihilate the obstacles to pure devotional service. And we are about, in the next few verses to hear about how this manvantara, of the name of that – his story is about to usher in the story of Gajendra and how the Supreme Lord comes to save him in his desperation. If you ask Sukadev Goswami about the whether, he would describe it in terms of the various avataras of the Supreme. Because, He is seeing Krsna everywhere. Because Krsna is the cause of all causes. sarva karana karanam.
Is there any questions.
His story is about to usher in the story of Gajendra and how the Supreme Lord comes in…
If you ask Sukadev Goswami about the weather, he would describe it in terms of the various avataras of the Supreme Lord. Because krsna is every where, because he is seeing the truth. Krishna is sarva karana karanam, the cause of all causes. Sukadev Goswami is seeing Krishna as the cause of everything that is happening and he is so absorbed in Krishna that any situation he’ll connect it to Krishna. That is Krishna Consciousness. Srila Praphupada any thing he would look at give an analogy that connects it to Krishna. He’d see a tree…a devotee would ask how do we see nature and Prabhupada would answer, the tree… the soul… the soul of the tree is part of Krishna and Krishna as the supersoul is with in the tree. So if he sees the tree he is going to describe it from the perspective of Krishna’s presence within the tree. For one who sees me everywhere and everything in me for that person I am never lost nor is he ever lost to me. That is Gita. And that is bhakti, to see everything in relationship to Krishna. And therefore when Parikshit Maharaj when he asked Sukadev Goswmai about manus he was sure that he was goingto get pure krsna katha. Exactly what he wanted to hear, exactly what everyone wanted ot hear.
Is there any questions.
In the house hold like, as you are giving the example of Quresh. Even in our household life, we unederstand that the aim and goal of life is Self Realization. So after some point of time, we wind up all our activities and we try to focus on Krishna Consciousness, and we planned our life that everything goes alright and the main destination and the main goal is not sacrificed. So everyhting we planned it and we see to it that we will get this much and we will be able to survive. But 1 thing is very clear Maharaj that i can tell about myself is we are still attached to that whatever we are going to get from which we are going to survive and so we are not 100% dependable on Krishna. We are dependable on what we are going to get out of it and we will be surviving on that. So if we have that conciousness then we will get the highest destination or still we have to prolong and prolong and prolong, even although we have planned everything, still we are not at the level or Quresh and everything, we have not yet got it. We have not reached to that standard, 100% dependability on Krishna, that means still the purification is not total, so then the destination will not be so clear or some concession will be there.
Ans: Is that a question? Or is that a self analysis.
I wanted to know Maharaj, that although we are not 100% surrendered, we are attached to all other things also. Although we have planned it, we have done every thing needed for self-realization, the final goal of our life. But that standard of Quresh, we have not kept in our life, still we will be getting the same benefit that Quresh got it?
Ans: We cannot imitate, but it is our sacred duty to follow in the footsteps, to understand the spirit of the great souls, we cannot immitate Prahlad, we cannot immitate Haridas Thakur, we cannot imitate Dhruva Maharaj, we cannot imitate Quresh, we cannot imitate Raghunath Das Goswami, we cannot imitate Srila Prabhupada, but we can understand the principles that they held sacred and try to follow in their footsteps, by being the servant of the servant of their servants. That is the path of perfection. So in today’s world, we are reading about the Satyayuga. In the Satyayuga, of course, Quresh was in the Kaliyuga, but ultimately he lived in an ashram with his Gurudev, with his wife. But Svayambhuva Manu, and these devotees, they could just live in the forest. Most of us, we don’t have that training, where we could just live in the forest till we die. But it’s not required, it’s the spirit of dependence on Krishna that’s required. Whether you live in Vrindavan, or whether you live in Mumbai, that spirit of cultivating that complete dependence on Krishna. We may need things for our, if we don’t have our enough material resouces, it may be more difficult to depend on Krishna, Yes? So for some people just to have basic needs, that they require help them to focus their minds on their sadhna and serve others. So as a grihastha, we may have a home, we may have a family, we may have things, whether we have them or don’t have them, we should not be attached to them. We should use them, we should utilize them, for the higher purpose in life. And in that spirit we are following in the footsteps of the great souls. Does that answer your question?
Q2. sometimes in life we go through difficulties, and we think that Krishna has abandoned us. How can we in these times of difficulties, see everything as Krsna’s mercy?
Ans: Krsna never abandons us when we turn to him sincerely. And that is why we have these beautiful stories from the CC, SB, Mahabharat and Ramayan, to show, how people even in these most serious troubles, they turn to Krsna.”Tat te nu.. vibhagam” ,”When we are in difficult situations, even if we feel abandoned by Krishna, we should know that even if he apparently abandons us it is only to increase, the intesity of our longing to reconnect with him. The Gopis felt abandoned by Krishna, but in that situation, they didn’t forget Krishna, they longed for Krishna, they cried for Krishna, and actually they were closest to Krishna, than anyone, from within. Queen Kunti, when her children were, banished to the forest, she didn’t feel abandoned by Krishna. And even if she did, in that urgency she was really crying out for Krishna, because she really knew that she needed, Krishna’s help. And that’s when she felt Krishna’s presence the deepest. ‘.. Jagat Guru’, And when everything was nice, she was praying, “Let calamities happen again, because that’s when I am most deeply connected with you. Because that’s when I am most urgently crying out for you. So if we have association of devotees, who remind us of this. And we perform our sadhna in such a way, that we gain that spiritual connection, then we can spiritually grow, deeper and deeper in our Bhakti, and gain greater and greater connection to Krishna, in the troubles that come upon us. Bhakti is the art of turning curses into blessings, things that are most difficult, are most unwanted can be transformed into the greatest opportunities to connect to Krishna and develop our love for Krishna, and feel Krishna. But that’s our freewill, we have to make that choice. Krishna never ever ever abandons a devotee who turns to him. That is his promise. But surrendering to Krishna is not just a casual, complacent way of living. When you are hungry there is a need for food, Yes? We have to be hungry for Krishna. And the difficulties that come in our life are the opportunities, to really make us aware, how much we really need Krishna. And sometimes, the fire, of tribulations and difficulties in life burn away, our misconceptions, “Anything else can save me except Krishna.” And how do we access Krishna? Through the guidance and association of devotees. Through Srimad Bhagvatam and Bhagvad Gita, the words of the acaryas and through the holynames, through the deity and through our service, we take shelter. The troubles in life, can be transformed into blessings, if we just take shelter in that situation, so it is a blessing. Sometimes, “yasham an..shanaiy.” Yudhisthira Maharaj, asked kind of the same question, “You say, you protect your devotees, but why you took everything away from us?” And Krishna said, “When i show the greatest installment of my mercy and compassion on my devotee, i take everything away and everyone away. So that the devotee has no one else to turn to, except me.” But we need the help of association of devotees, we need our sadhna in order to turn to Krishna in that situation.” Sometimes Krishna takes away the temporary things, that are going to be lost anyway, just to give us himself and that’s a blessing. Does that answer your question?
Q. When we have sufferings, is it a result of our bad karma or Krishna wants to purify us?
Ans: Krsna always wants to purify us and that probably is also the result of your bad karma.
Q. Maharaj, we find that, Our young couples coming to Krishna Conciousness, sometimes the wife feels that, ” If my husband becomes very serious in Krishna Conciousness, then he will love Krishna more and more and he may not love me. And also, she feels that if he becomes more and more serious in K.C, he may show lack of interest in material life. On the other hand if the woman becomes very serious in Krishna Conciousness, then husband also feels kind of insecurity that she is becoming too serious in spiritual life, and he feels that spiritual life is equal to detachment. Because we find Prthu and Archi, Or Malay Dhavaj or Vaidarbhi all of them going towards forest and giving up everything and it is very frightening. Because they sometimes they come for the Bhagvatam class and they hear these things and they get frightened. So he also feels that becoming serious in spiritual life means that gradually we have to giveup the things of this world and so becuase of this also we would like to have young couples becoming serious in Krishna Conciousness and helping and assisting in preaching, we often find that they prefer to keep a little distance and occasionally visit and enjoy the spiritual entertainment by visiting temple. So what can give them some kind of assurance, that we only stand to gain by going closer to Krishna, we don’t stand to lose.
Ans: SB is as it is what could we do? We can’t say that Svaymbhuva Manu went to a retirement home with his wife. Fact is all these kings did go to the forest. But we learn from the acaryas, is the spirit because the fact is that we are going to lose everything materially today or tomorrow. So what really is important in life, what important is self-realization, and very few people could actually imitate what these very liberated paramhamsas have done. But as it was explained the spirit is what is important. As far as attachment, as far as Satarupa and Svayambhuva Manu, there is no people in the world today, that i have ever seen, husband and wife that were so faithful to each other and Kuresh and Andal, their love for each other, their complete dedication to each other as husband and wife is unparalleled. Bhaktivinoda Thakur and his wife, the connection of the dedication that they had for each other is unparalleled. Because they loved Krishna. Because they were detached from egoistic mundane stuff and they were really attached to Krishna, they had pure spiritual love for each other and they were completely in ecstatic love, they were duty bound to Krishna to take care of each other. Satarupa went to the forest with Svayambhuva Manu, not begrudgingly, she equally wanted to go. And they were together, whether in the palace or in the forest. So in these days, people who have all kinds of material attachents, they usually get divordced. Yes? It’s growing in India. It’s already about 70% rate in America within 3 years. In Krishna Conciousness, there no such thing as divorce. It cannot exist. It can only exist when you are not Krishna Conciousness and if devotees are divorcing, that means they are not Krishna Conscious, there is no divorce in Krishna Consciousness. And it’s not just that husband and wife in Krishna Conciousness, they hate each other, because they are maya, they just somehow or other suffer till the end with each other out of duty. Prabhupada explained the purpose of Marriage, is to be happy in Krishna Consciousness. They become spiritual partners, they share the highest goal with each other and if you are sharing the highest goal with each other, you are going to gain the highest respect for each other and through that respect as you love Krishna, you love every living entity, which includes your husband and your wife. We become more tolerant, we become more humble, relationship becomes deeper in bhakti. So, whether you are living in a palace, or living in a forest, it’s the same. To the degree you are attached to material things, to that degree you are going to have too much false ego, and you are going to be detached from Krishna. Husband and wife, no matter what situation, whether they are walking through the forest, whether they are flying first class on Jet Airways, to go to a holy place, how are we cultivating dependence on Krishna, how are we cultivating a taste to hear about Krishna, how we are cultivating a taste to chant the names of Krishna, how we are cultivating the taste to serve Krishna as a team. Then there is real love, there is real dedication, real commitment and there is real happiness.
In order to be able to do that in Grihastha Ashram, it’s not easy. You have to really surrender. Brahmacaris are surrendering in their way, depending on Krishna in their way. A person should not be a Brahmacari, simply because he doens’t want to bother with responsibilities of the family life. Brahmacaris should be Brahmacaris because they want to dedicate their full 100% energy, directly in the service of Guru and Krishna, without all of the distractions of bills, mortgages, getting food and putting kids in school and everything. Though it’s all service, no doubt, everything a proper grihastha does is devotional service. Whereas a Brahmacari could chanelize their full energy, totally without distraction in service to the entire society and in that state (if we do it properly) it’s a very rapid and powerful way of learning to completely depend on Krishna. So both ashramas are perfect if they are done properly.
Q. About the need to 100% dedicate our life and energy in service of Krishna. There are 2 principles, that i have been kind of confused about, 1) Many times we develop a desire and need to chant more or hear more. Also at the same time there are so many services and responsibilites that are coming up and we hear that if we take up more responsibilities for Srila Prabhupada’s mission, then we will make advancement and we will actually develop taste for hearing and chanting. So if we engage more in hearing and chanting that may mean, we may have to say no to few responsibilities that are coming our way. So my question Maharaj is, what are the principles that we should consider, or what parameters we should consider, when taking a decision whether to take more responsibilities, or how should we decide on taking up more and more for Krishna’s service?
A. In order to have good health, we have to have proper food and proper rest. If we sleep but not eat, we will not be healthy.
If you eat but not sleep, you will not be healthy. You have to balance both, intelligently , sincerely. Similarly, we have to give proper quality time to our sadhana, that is essential. And then we have to take responsibility. So they should be balanced. If we take so much responsibility, that we can’t keep our health proper or we can’t keep our sadhana proper, then we can’t sustain ourselves on a spiritual platform. Our sadhana is a critical part of our responsibility, to be exemplary in our sadhana. Our character, just taking on some management, or taking on some preaching, or taking on some book distribution, or whatever may be is responsibility. Taking on family, that’s a responsibility. But living with good character is also our responsibilty. And performing our sadhana, qualitatively, quantitatively, properly, is also our responsibility. And having proper relationships with vaishnavas is also our responsibility. So we have to see the whole picture and balance all our responsibilities in such a way that it is healthy for us. And in such a way that we can actually be really contributing something through our example and through our efforts to the society. So, as far as possible we should take on more and more responsibilities, but not at the cost of the basic foundational principles. We have to give the time for that. Our Krishna Consciousness should be qualititative, not just quantitative. We want to increase the quantity of what we do as far as possible, but not at the expense of the quality of our consciousness.
Thank you very much,