In every religion there are various names of god various culture traditions and many many rituals. in one beautiful lecture srila prabhupad explained how the ritual are like phoniolus that are ment for the specific purpose of daubt telling our consciousness to the supreme consciousness. If we become attached to the rituals without understanding the purpose and the scientifice understanding of how and I works. It often become something very sectarian something very mundian witch may be have an opposite affect what is suppose to be achive one person says ohh my bible says like this and another person says ohh my quran says like this. Ohh my Vedas says like this recitation of mantra are ritual.studing of scripture is ritual.chanting gods name is ritual.namas, aartis, mass they are rituals all spiritual systems are full of rituals. in fact even in material life there are so many rituals.watching television is becoming a ritual. Yes there are certain things in cricket matches.that how they begain how they end how suppose to began and end they are rituals. Ritual are ceremony formulous in ofen time is rituals because we do not understand the substance of the purpose of it. Its hatraed, envey egoistic competitions. when you suppose to create unity, harmony, love, devotion.
In the bible there is a beautiful quotation the lord jesus says, to smarth brhmin you are like the smarth of br says you understand the ladder of law of god. You do not understand the spiritual power behind it.srila prabhupad explains that the ritual is a formula witch is ment to duatail our conscious to the supreme consciousness of god. and how set word the lord is bhava-grahi. That means he doesn’t accepts the thing that we offer. He accepts the purpose we intain witch something offer.he accepts the substance of our real consciousness. And the riruals are firm by witch we can express and develope that consciousness with that inner spirit.in another place srila prabhupad explains what is the use of all rituals. And what is use of speaking high philosophy. If we does not create a good character. The whole purpose of all spiritual science is transformation of heart. From selfish passions to the selfless service to others, from arrogance, the humility from envey to having the power to appreciate the others. And those who are doing better than us to actually inspired us. We learn from them and to tell others. If this transformation take place in our heart.to create a good character personal integrity and ultimately love for god. It is always to try. The srimad bhagvatam declaires. Dharma shanush…..….. whatever religious activities we may perform wharever it may be if in the end does not transform our consciousness to become godlee and to help us to aveaken our love of god within the hearts. Shrama evahi kevalam its all simply waste of time ethavepu sam sidhir hari toshanam…….whatever religion, whatever occupation, whatever dharma you may hear to its value its only to the extend that by performing it we please the supreme lord. Is the lord is please it is of great value if the god is not please shrama evahi kevalam. Its like offering oblations of pure ghees to ashes.what is the value of offering ghee to ashes. No values when we offer the aarti the content of our aspiration to please the lord is what all about its not rituals it’s the content of what our consciousness puts into that rituals when offering the insents.while taking Krishna says I’m the center of earth that the quality of the earth that is the fragrance so while taking the essence of fragrance in the most beautiful possible way and offer it back to Krishna patram pushpam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayashchiti… and is offer with devotion Krishna accepts it is.
Krishna fire the quality of fire is to give light to give more for offering the light of that fire to Krishna we are offering the texture in the cent of flower to krishna We are offering water to Krishna to taste with chamara we are offering air and breeze to Krishna the basic element that we are surviving upon the god has given us. The knowleding in aarti is th acknowledgement the everything all have the existing is to depend on the god.and with the sincere desire gratitude and devotion we are offering it for pleasure of the lord. E yathamam prapandyate…… as we approach Krishna Krishna reciprocate reward accordingly. There are different types of people who offer rituals to different purposes and we are doing same thing. They may get different types of results. One person may be offering aarti for prestige and for that person may get prestige that’s all about. And another person may be performing yagya or aarti for the purpose of getting material benidiction that person may get some material benidiction another is doing it with a very sincere desire to cleans to purify their hearts. And aveaken their love for god to please god. The supreme occupation for all humanity is that witch aveaken the love of god. This is the universal principle to purify our heart and to aveaken enate the love of god is the real essence of all spiritual practice. And if our rituals are perform with that emont mind that ritual like a vioko who actuly help to transform our consciousness to the supreme distination. Its like a package yes if you give so many gift with a nice package but inside the package is something horrible yes you give your mother a beautiful package and she opens and there is too much of hog in it. We should be happy but if you offer a nice package with a fragrant rose to something she always want it. In the package has its purpose you mail a package to someone it goes to that person but it’s the content of the package is all important. We when one chanting the holy names what is our motivation there are mayavadis who perform the aarti exactly to the same way we do we do kirtan and even chant japa as we may do with they ghost to become god. So they may approach liberation to be a greatest. At the most the lord chaitanya mahaprabhu teaches the consciousness of the devotees na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam va jagadish kamaye mama janmani janmani bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki.
Essence is the I do not want the wealth I do not want the pleasure of the opposite sex. I do not want the fame and followers. I only don’t want the liberation from sufferings. My deep desire is to be the servant of the servants of the servants unconditionally. Even birth after birth after birth. In whatever rituals whatever spiritual act we perform this our consciousness that lord had talked. We please him the most and he will bestow the blessings upon us. The the holy scriptures there are many beautiful stories. when the brijavasies were arranging the indra puja very very elaborate arrangements. To worship devata the indra. to drop the rain Krishna ask why are you doing yes and most people today they don’t know why they are doing because my mother tought me and her mother me and her mother tought me. If we don’t do it may be badluck. Out of fear because we havebeen worshiping him our family worshiping him. Is go for so many generations I don’t do it. God may be very angry with me and I don’t know realy so much about this god but I don’t want to take any chances. In Indiatoday a vast majority of people perhapes they perform their rituals. They do not want to take any chances. Have you ever seen that before for krishnas aspire you are doing and he explain we are cowhard agriculturist, vaishas, we are growing crops, we are taking care of cows, we depend on rain, indra is the devata that provides the rain. So this rituals has been done since time immemorials. From our relatives so we must continues. Krishnachallenged like how many of you challenge your parents if not with your mouth with your heart and mind yes ohh its raining over the ocean the ocean is not doing any rituals. So what we have to do it for and this is the will of karma. The law of karma is what you do it get back so if you are doing good karma so indra has to give a rain if you are doing bad karma then will not allow to give you good rain so what you have to waste the time for all this lessons to grediance to worship indra. Is too good be good that’s all and ultimately Krishna teaches the supreme lord who is above of all demigods and if you water the route of the tree the srimad bhagvatam all the part of the trees are automatically satisfied. If Krishnapleases all the devatas are blissful because he is the source of everything he has empowered in all of them ultimately they all of his devotees.
So Krishna perform the indra pooja I mean he conveinced them to a offer all the article for indra to goverdhan hill. After all he said if we worship the Brahmin the cow of goverdhan hill then we will be satisfied. And they did it and was not without some test but you all know the story. Indra became angary and Krishnareveal his supreme opulence by lefting the goverdhan for seven days and seven nights. And ultimately because Krishna was pleased and they did the exact same rituals that they do for indra Krishna don’t say to don’t do rituals he said do the same rituals for right purpose to please the supreme lord. Not with material desire that is the goal. In the srimad bhagvatam 5th canto we learned about the ritualistic Brahmans who kidnapped jad bharat how many of you know this story please raise your hands. Bharat maharaj who was the king you know he went to gandaki river and Himalayas to perfect his life in the meditation of lord that some how rather he attached to the deer and he took next life as a deer because what we attached to use our consciousness in that determine the next life within because he was such a an wow person he had the consciousness of previous life in the body of the deer.and in his next birth he became jadh bharat and he just not want to get trapp in the dangers of Maya how when you are very popular person maya attacks even more. So he presented himself as a complete full so nobody would offer him anything accept the bad things they would reducle him chastise him and then sometime beet him but he was a great devotee in heart. He was kidnapped by some dacoits who were brought to a priest who was doing kaali pooja and they were doing rituals just for a pride. The rituals of human sacrifice they had done it before in the even that boons for doing it. Because jad bharat was a great devotee they did all the rituals exactly according to theirs scriptures or their traditions. But he was displeasing godess of kaali like killing of great devotee what was the results. The godess kaali came out of the deity with the sword and chopp the heads of all the priest and all the dacoits and only left to survives is jada bharat. She offer her respects to him and he offer his respects back to her.
So in example performing the rituals with the wrong motive with the wrong intension it have very opposite effect in the 10th canto of srimad bhagvatam expain the very beautiful story witch illustrate this can I tell hari bole Krishna was holding his cows. And he told cowherd boys that I can see all you are very hungry not far from here there are some ritualistic brahamans who are performing a yagya karma kandi yagya for the purpose of elevation to higher planets but at this particular time is very auspicious for them to give in charity so go to them and beg for some food but you are little cowherd boy they may not take you so seriously. So beg in the name of balaram. Because he is a kshatriya by birth and you can beg in my name also so the little cowherd boys they were running to that place and the Brahmans were performing the yagyas their poojas very expertly chanting their mantras doing their rituals and it is certain break that little boys bow down in a great respect and address the brahmanas as the lords of the earth. Because the supreme lord is the lord of everything and everyone. and the brahmans are ment to be representative of the supreme lord so they are consider to be like the lord of the earth. They said not far from the here in the forest Krishna and balaram and they are very very hungry and they have sent us to ask to take some food back to them and we are very hungry too and we know this is very good time of to give something in charity so give us some food. They brahmans were so merse in performing their rituals they consider their ritual to be so important and his children to be unimportant that they paid no attention to them. Neglect is the very painful type of insult. If someone say something nice to you makes you feel very good. If someone say something not nice to you you feel very bad. But if somebody completely ignores you neglects you its very miserable. So boys their hearts were pained. Why because they were not just neglecting them you neglectingKrishna and balram. And the boys more than anything else from all of the world. They wanted to give food toKrishna and balaram and their service was unsuccessful they were coming back emty handed and the lord was hungry. They came back down caste to expainKrishna what happened.Krishna laugh and his laughing he said “ that it is the nature of begging sometime they give sometimes they do don’t give. Should not be attached to eatherone but their wifes are very great devotees. Go to the wifes and ask some foods for us. So they little boys went to the wife’s. Now the wife were sitting in the home they were helping the yagyas just on the sidelines they were really participating. Doing the domestic chors. When the gopas ask on behalf ofKrishna and balaram for some food immediately they just gathered the best possible foods and in the best pots. Put it on the heads brought it on the arms just take us take us now. Mean while the husband, the brothers, some of the children’s, other relatives they forbid them to go you cannot go what is this your husbands doing big yagyas and you are just leaving going cannot go they went to the forest eager so eager.
How do they learn about Krishna this is the very important part of the story. Just in their daily activities they would meet brajavasis. They would buy some flowers from flower sellers they sometime buy vegitable from vegetable sellers. in those people we talked aboutKrishna. GlorifyKrishna and balaram. They never saw Krishna, they never meet Krishna they just heard about Krishna fromKrishna devotees. When there were little children and just by hearing about Krishna they develop such love forKrishna. They love to see Krishna they run to pleaseKrishna. And here is the opportunity. They went to the forest in such anticipation in such a eagerness it is the nature if you are eager or lobha rupagoswami says if you are greedy to serve the lord then the lord reciprocates with that eagerness and this very much is the different between the hollow rituals without substance and the genuine act of love and devotion. Witch may have the same object for the rituals. It is our enthusiasms, our eagerness if we just chanting japa witch is the recommended process in the age of for self purifications the holy names of the lord if we are chanting with the japa inattentively.without realy try to hear the holy name. without realy striving to please the lord to that process. Then our japa is very much like a ritual. Hare krishna hare Krishna Krishna KrishnaKrishna hare hare hare ram hare ram ram ram hare hare we just try to get our rounds done. the results we get rounds done. but srila prabhupad says with the leaps we should be chanting with ears and we should be hearing with our heart. We should be crying out for the lord like a baby crying for the mother. Its not a ritual that’s my mother is only my shelter whatever active devotional service we perform if there is an enthusiasm and attentiveness to actually purify our heart and pleaseKrishna. Then whatever rituals we my perform we have a chimindas substance. And what is that substance is we access the empowerment and the mercy of god. Now we can reside prayers of great personalities. And that is purifying but ever more purifying when we more actuly enters the mood that they offers the prayers.
There are so many beautiful stories. Gajendra when he was in the verge of death he was ritualistically offering prayers it was from his core of his heart. pralhad maharaj when he offer his prayers, kunti devi when she offer her prayers, prabhupad prayers on jaladuta. If we try to understand the content of the feeling in witch they offering the prayers by the bhaktivinod, narottam das thakur. There is the enthusiasm to accept the mercy of the lord. To give once heart to the lord through that ritual that is the real contents. So these Brahmans wife they were so enthusiastic and determine to offer Krishna whateverKrishnawanted. Just to please Krishna they didn’t even perform any rituals they just went and they saw near the banks of the Yamuna Krishna was walking with his cowherd boyfriends and there they saw he had one arm and the shorder of another cowherdboy he had beautiful complection like a mansoon rain cloud his eyes were like large fully blosoom lotus pattels. His nose like susni flower. His leep like fresh bimbo fruit. His nake like a conshell had three lines on I, His sholder were broad his west was thin, he was standing so beautifully with yellow garland that resemble the lightnings. And there was a peacock feather adorning his beautiful beautiful hair that was curling around his moon like face and cascading over his sholder. there was a garland of fresh wild forest flowers that extended from his neck below his knees he was carring his flute and steak for holding the cows . his eyebrows were like bows of the cupid. The beautiful shining shark shape earing rings on his ears. He caste his glance of love upon them. The brahmans wife through there eyes they broughtKrishnain to the core of their hearts and they embressed him. Embressed him with love and he embressed them and reciprocate. It was the ultimate perfection of their life.Krishnagave them the ultimate experience of prema were ecstatic love why simply because they had such enthusiasum to please him and to serve him. They had such enthusiasum to hear his glories and chant his names.Krishnagave offer them place to sit and then told them your husband they needs you they are performing a yagya you should go home. They did not want to go home For them they consider who are our husbands who is anyone they are just dead corpses you are the life of life. The difference between a dead body and the living body is consciousness.
Consciousness is the symptom of the presence of the soul the atma and you are the soul of soul. You are the parmatma because the soul is part and partial of you little spark of you. Like a sun raise is the part of sun. that consciousness illuminates the whole once life. so ultimately Krishnais only you in love in everyone so here for serving you. That is the perfection of service to everyone. butKrishnaexplain to them that you will not achive perfection just by your physical approximity with me. You should go home and in separation from me in that feeling in love and separation you should rember me. You should speak my glories and you should hear my glories and chant by holy names hare Krishna hare Krishna Krishna Krishna hare hare hare ram hare ram ram ram hare hare. In this way you will always be with me and I will always be with you. That how you will achive perfection. The brahmans wife according to vishwanath chakravarti thakur they didn’t even want to be theKrishnaspersonal consorts. they say Krishna your cowhead boy and my consorts with brahmans wife so we will just leave in the forest and whatever you place to see garland and the gopies and they catch those garlands a way we will pick them on our head in that way we will glorify you and serve you. That was their selfless service attitudeKrishnatold them to return home. And when they did the husbands realize what fools they were to heal to heal about being a brahmans to heal with your initiated and gayatri mantra and all of that others. To heal with your expertise and performing all the rituals and the sacrificies. To heal with all your waste learning of vadas, to heal with of being gurus of some many peoples who come and touch feets and learn from us. Our wifes they haven’t done any of those things. But they have pleasedKrishna. They have surrendered toKrishna. Vedescha sarver ham ava deva vedanm chaham…the whole purpose of veda is to knowKrishna. To loveKrishna.
sarva dharman parityaga mam ekaam sharanam vraja aham tyvam sarva papebhyo moksha ishami ma suchaha…Krishnasays abandone all varieties of dharmas and surrender to me that is the purpose of all religion. To love god to access the empowerment of god so that we could be the instrument of gods love within this world. Sanatan dharma is not a particular sect sanatan dharma is a universal principle. Dharma means that witch cannot be separated from our existence our intrinsic nature. The dharma of chilly paper its hot. The dharma of a sugar is a sweet. The dharma of water is a liquid if you put it in unnatural situation it become solid but soon as put it in natural it become liquid. Sanatan dharma the dharma of every living being is to serve god with love. Savyam pumpsa paro dharmo yator bhakti adhokshati ahaitki a prati hata yayatma suprasidha ti ….what ever we see unmotivated unconditional loving service to the lord. And genuian compassion for other living beings that is real religion. It not a matter of being a hindu, or muslim or Christian or juu, paarsi or a jain. It’s the matter of developing the love of god. And developing the character of a person who has a love of god. Titikshava karunava surada sarva dehino…humility, tolerance, compassion, selfcontrol these are the qualities the one who loves god. These brahmans condemse them self. They had all the reputation all the initiations they perform all the rituals perfectly. But when the opportunity to render direct personal service to the lord was there they would too much imerge in their rituals to understand now is the chance to fulfill the purpose of them. Its like your working for the pachak you are working so hard. And your boss says to pachak he I don’t have time I’m working. Performing so many rituals the purpose of ritual is to pleaseKrishna. But when the opportunity to pleaseKrishnayou are too busy doing the riruals they realize that. And then the heart of hearts they surrendered to their wifes. They don’t do any of this there are none for any of this but they have understood the essence. In lord chitanya there was a poor bagger sukambar brahmachari every day would go to different houses no bady knew who he was. He was a pure devotee constaintly thinking ofKrishna, constaintly chanting krishnas name, constaintly egar to serve the lord. In everything he did. Everything he said but only the lord knows it within his heart everyone just considered him to a ordinary useless bagger. He had low cloth bag he would collect some low quality rice from the people houses when they throw into bag. One day when he was with lord chaitanya. lord chaitanya was manifesting his opulences as the supreme lord. He call sukambar forward and reach his hand in that bagger rice and eat it. Sukumber brahmachari now I’m finish what are you doing my lord. This is not suited for you this is baggers rice. Lord chaitanya said I have naver tasted anything so sweet and anything so nurrishing is the rice from sukumber brahmacharis bag. Now the amazing thing is generally is to make an offering to the lord according to proper rituals you have to take a bath, you have to cook in very hygienic circumstances and then you have to do proper mantras. Make the proper offerings. Sukumber brahmachari without any mantra, tantra or any yantra or mooja or pooja he didn’t even offer it the lord stolen from him. Because of his devotion the lord was hungry was starving for that rice. When Krishna went to hastinapur duryodhan had a magnifisant feast and why he reception forKrishna.Krishnawent to the house of his door. Who wasn’t even expecting him there was nothing prepared. He just got a banana peo shade it he was much millions of time happy with that because patram pushpam phalam toyam Krishna satisfy by the intent of what we offer by our love and devotion. So ritual to spiritual in the beginning of our spiritual path we follow what Is vaidhi bhakti.
Vaidhi bhakti means we perform certain rituals, certain rules and regulation for our purifications. But what there is a proper philosophy, a proper science behind it. Then all its meaningful form my own life with your permission I will say when I first came when I was in the west I saw the rituals of the religions of my country. And I was seem to so backward and unfashionable and empty all people was doing all this rituals but I didn’t see it realy transform their lifes. They were just materialistic people who did rituals every Sunday or whatever then I came into India and I remember when I saw people offering aarti to deity I thought god is ever superstisious stuff I thought this is so ritualistic. Never forget even when I mate prabhupad at cross maidan there was a devotee offering a aarti to radha and krishna deities and I was just so unconfortable may heart to see this rituals. He just look so external and I was thing my heart I never do that I meditate and pray but I never do rituals like that you offering insense you know. A couple years laters I was the poojari. And for the next seven year all I did was a poojary six offerings and six aarties everyday for deities and I loved it. I was thinking ohh my life how just to this poojary is nothing better. What was the different between when I first saw to when I was doing it. Is by prabhupad and vaishnavas mercy and by the scriptures I understood what it meant it was a science baced on a very deep profound all in composing philosophy of how to aveken the love of god. How way to express our intent to serve and to please god. It was beautiful thing that I ever seen, beautiful thing that I ever experience. Now we may be chanting the holy names and may be like a rituals. But if we just have the right enthusiasum the right intent then that rituals become something very very deeply spiritual. Cheto darpan marjanam bhava maha davagni nirvapanam….becouse it is done under the proper guidance with the proper purpose it purify our heart, purify our motivations. And gradually real, genuine, spiritual experience awakens from within. Lord chaitanya has prayed nitya sidhaKrishnaprema saja kabu noe sravanadi sudi chiti koru yadu hoi. The love of godhead is dormant within the heart of everyone. and all the nine process of devotional service are specially hearing and chanting the glories of the lord and association of those who are egar to serve the lord. It awakens the love that within our heart. Some people go to the church with the sillygog in the temple with the muschid in a very ritualistic way because we afread what will happen that we don’t go or because its good luck, because its our tradition. Or because we want something material but the greatest acharyas have establish temples for the purpose people coming together to share their realization to encourage one another to inspire one another. To give up those things that are unfavorable for loving god and to accept those things that are favorable for loving god.
When we see the deity we are not looking it stone. If we understand the science what deity worship is the philosophy behind it something so deep and glorious its not ideal worship. Its an opportunity to connect our consciousness and be totally absorb in the supreme. The yoga process yama, niyama, aasana, pranayam, pratyahara, dharana, dhayana but its all ment for the purpose of Samadhi. The yoga system is not just to have a good body. Its meant for Samadhi that’s the goal Samadhi sidhir eshwar pranitarnat.. the perfection of Samadhi is to become completely absorb in the mood of surrender to the lord. So the yoga system we keep our mind fixed on the goal they were actually achive the goal. And what ever spiritual path we may follow we keep our mind fix on the goal to purify our heart and to develop the pure love of god. ThenKrishnawill help us to overcome of impediment As he did with brahmans wife. So yes this rituals are wonderful gifts to give a form a shape and real opportunity to dautel our propensity, our consciousness everything in the loving service of the supreme consciousness. And if we see rituals in that light there are not longer any superstitious traditional rituals. But there is the actual opportunities to perfect our hearts. And in this age of kaliyuga the most powerful highly recommended form of all spiritual activities is the chanting the names of the lord. Kaler dosha nider aajan astir eka mahan guna kirtane deva Krishnasya mukta sanga param vrajet….. kaliyuga so many impediments, so many disqualifications but there is a benediction simply by chanting the gods name sincerely we can attain the perfection of liberation. What was possible in that dwapar yuga though meditation for long durations of time. In treta yuga through ritualistic ceremonies, sacrifice. In dwapar yuga through worshiping the deity of the lord in the temple. The same perfection in kali yuga can be achive if we chant the holy names. But what makes it very powerful offering to the lord and what makes this chanting very affective to have a deep spiritual experience is our sincerity it is that sincerity of that intent. That gives life and spirit and ultimately that gives life to our worship. And witch bring us the most sublime spiritual experience the poorushartha shiromani. lord chaitanya has come to give us this poorushartha shiromani the crist jewel of all golds. Witch is anandam budhi vardhanam pratipadam poornamruta swadanam. The highest pleasure of unmotivated love love for the supreme lord. I thank you very much and then whatever our practices witch may be apparently ritual and transform into a directive experience witch is purely spiritual.
So is there any questions you can ask gauranga prabhu will now express his sincere intense.
—-Question and answers—
Q: Maharaj what we should we do about our rituals should we follow the rituals or should we go to find the cause of the rituals thats why we are following this the rituals witch are performed by our parents or family members Different rituals are there in family ?
Ans– It is said mahajano yena dasa pantha..very much depend what you want if you want the real goal of life pure love of god then we follow the rituals there are recommended by the great acharyas by witch we can do so Krishna tells us in gita evam parampara praptam true knowledge is being past down to diciplic successions. So by following in the foot steps of great souls. Srila prabhupad in the diciplic succession of madhavacharya lord brahma andKrishnahas given us a philosophy a science and certain rituals. Witch are specially design specifically in the associations of holy people to aveakened that love so those rituals or those spiritual practices who have that affect where as other rituals witch are lesser substance there is no need sarva dharman pari tyaja Krishna tells we don’t have to follow those we should follow the path that will bring us to that highest place. That highest and purest perfection. We should certainly respect all demigods. And all forms of the lord. If we realy seeking the essence we will follow the path of the great acharyas. Is that answer your question may be you can read.
Q: Maharaj could you please explain the validity of performing the shradha ceremony by so called Brahmanas in this age?
Ans: The purpose of the shradha ceremony is to offer a particular types of sacrifice to the supreme lord for the purpose of blessing our departed forfathers or our relatives to our mother, father like that grand parents all others. And certainly it is perform in a proper intent with the proper Brahmanas who have great potent or great potency. Now lord chaitanya mahaprabhu perform shradha ceremony for his father. Advaitacharya greatest of vaishnav he also perform shradha ceremony for his forfathers. So it is actually the obligation for the child perform the shradha ceremony but today often times when people go to a particular the holy place to perform the shradha ceremony there so much money consciousness to the brahmans really care for their forefathers out of the care how many rupees they are going to get for it.
Have any of you heard that experience. we have talked to people who went to holy place may be gaya may be vrindavan may be badrinath so many different holy places and often time Brahmans they are fighting one another just getting customers. And then they barganning with you over the price of this and price of that. So you know certainly that is very much compromise for the real spirit of the shradha ceremony we suppose to be very very brave and very sobering offering a love to you forefather and the brahmas who are performing the ceremony should actually be in that spirit as well so today often certainly not always but often religious rituals become very much materialistic and for the purpose of making a living rather than a purpose of actually connecting people to the supreme. Bhaktisidhanta saraswati thakur said some poojaries they worships shaligram for the purpose of breaking wow nuts. So symbolic meaning if we want to break wawnuts you need a rock so they use the shaligram to break the wow nuts and sell the wow nuts. Another ways of performing their pooja for money they are doing rituals for the money. In the real vedic sense brahmans were never negotiate to demand money. They will perform their pooja as a service to the society. As a service to your forefathers, as a service to you to the soul and then dakshina is the very important part. We reciprocate by giving some donation. Seeking some charity to that brahmanas it becomes very very negotiated business preshorised situation when middle of the ceremony they sometimes started demanding more money.
You have seen two hundred rupees and then the middle of ceremony three hundred rupees and four hundred rupees received. So shradha is something very sacred. But ultimately if it is explain by lord narasimha to prahlad and many other places in the shastra if we sincealry and whole hartedly take shelter of the lord. Then lord will deliver and give liberation to generation and gererations of our forefathers. So many great devotees if we realy surrendering to the process of the pure path of the bhakti there is no need for shradha ceremony. But it is an active love that we can do. the best shradha ceremony in one sense we can do the rituals but for give more grace to our forefathers to invites sincere Brahmans, sincere vaishnavas sincere devotees to your house. Whatever venue it may be and to feed them wonderful Prasad and to have wonderful kirtan in the memory. How your disease gone. That will have More of the spiritual potency then just paying for the money. But you can also pay the money to do the ceremony. Does answered the questions youever had asked.
Q: Hare Krishna thank you maharaj what should be our understanding that the chanting sixteen rounds and following four regulative principles are not rituals but that actual spirituals.
Ans- they are really spirituals because it is recommended by the lord and the great acharyas. But srila prabhupad when he though us to chant hare Krishna he also gave us books to how and why we should chant hare Krishna. Actually we just chant the holy names of Krishna that alone will give us grant us the highest revolution of god but in order to chant properly we must understand the god is a person the supreme person and how the god is he has his supreme personality. All pervading Brahman, impersonal Brahman he also the parmatma with every living beings heart. A proper philosophical understanding of god takes away the confusion in our mind. And we can actually focus and real bhakti real devotion to the lord. That is very important and also we must have the proper service attitude. If you are offending people due to arrogance the lord is not going to please when you chant is name trinadapi sunichena taroriva sahishnuna a manina maan dena kirtaniya sada hari… we should try to be humble, tolerant, respectful to others not expecting our self. The beautiful prayers shikshashtakam teach us the consciousness by witch we can please the lord and attain highest spiritual potency when we chant the holy names. So its very much based on your enthusiasum our service attitude, our attentiveness, determinations, our humality these qualities bring deep substance that actually attractsKrishnato quickly purify our hearts. Therefore if we are sincere it is that sincerity that give substance and to be sincere means to realy be starving to develop this qualities. To live by this qualities and to chant with this qualities is that answered your question? And it is very deeply spiritual and we are following the direction of self realize souls that give a unlimited spiritual substance to our spiritual practice.
Q: Hare Krishna prabhuji you have said that our intension is to please the lord and to love the lord but when we will know that supreme lord is pleased.
Ans- when we follow his teaching carefully and sincerely we know he has pleased.Krishnatells us to forgive for your unforgiving he is not pleased.Krishnatell us to give up immortal activities if we don’t give up he will not please yes.Krishnatell us to remember him in a favorable attitude to please him, to serve him. And that is why it is important to have spiritual master. Because spiritual master gives very practicle application in our life who to please the lord. And when we found those teachings. Honestly, sincerely we know sure the lord has pleased. And we are not following them properly we know that he is not pleased. Its very simple. If you are thirsty and ask someone for water and give the ball of sand will you be pleased? So simple is that.
We all waiting when I was in room last summer I saw this very ancient church in honor we inscribe that was actually a sculpt right in the stone amazing that if you have committed sin come here to be forgiven hare Krishna and it also had like the price. Truly amazing because in those days if you committed sin you pay the priest according to your sin a certain amount of money and you forgiven. And that’s one of the reason protestian church came about because people protested against this. It was money making then was realy instead of teaching to change our lives. And give up your sins the more people send and pay us money the better. so price for everything that is an empty ritual you say and pay money this is an seventh offence against chanting the holyname. How to commit sin when prabhupad saw and then confest or then give some money and do it again. What ever spiritual practice must be done sincerely with the proper intent.
Q: Maharaj Iam little confusedKrishnasays in bhagvat gita ke my devotee always engage in the loving service of mine so I go to office I do chanting in the moorning. But the whole eight ours im working in the office but I have not engage inKrishnaservice for twenty four hours or whole day. Im just doing my chanting in moorning and when I come back I read few books. That’s it in the mooring and in the evening. ButKrishnasays my devotee always engage in devotional service twenty four hours. So little doubt in this.
Ans- And can gradulate you well done. if you are sincerely chating in the moorning, reading from srimad bhagvatam, from bhagavat gita and in the evening whenever possible to associate with devotional people. Then you are establishing a very very strong foundation spiritual foundation and that helps in your work as far as possible try to rememberKrishna. And if your sadhana is nice then naturally you will remberKrishnaeven in your work. And with the fruits of your works whatever you earn in the work if you utilize that in the service ofKrishnaand also it spiritualize your work. So this is actually very very recommended process for grihastha thank you.
Q: Hare Krishna, sir most of us not going to remind entire lecture of yours so I just request you to as a conclusion what you can say suppose out side someone ask me what did you get from that prerna lecture so I can tell him.
Ans- Thank you for your honesty, the essence of what we are speaking tonight is if we follow out spiritual practices with sincere intense under proper guidance then it will be a fruit the fruit of self realization. And if you chant the holynames and work and perform our rituals and spirit of real devotion. ThenKrishnapromises in gita that we will know him we will realize him without fail. Man mana bhava mad bhakto maadyaji maam nama skuru mama e vaishati satyam te pratijane priyosi me.. think of me worship me offer your homage unto me become my devotees and this way you will come to me without fail it is my promise. So by performing those spiritual practices under proper guidance with sincere devotions with the intent to please the lord. We will attainKrishnawithout fail is that all right.
Q: The first question is just one if at the end of the day it just about pleasingKrishnaand we should abandane all dharmas and all the everythings. And we do have such rituals.
Ans- because this rituals has we explained are practicle tangible ways witch we can express our intent to pleaseKrishna. To dau tale our consciousness and our propensity inKrishna’s service. Because in absorbing our consciousness inKrishnawe become purified. Really the purpose of all rituals is to absorb our consciousness in rendering services and pleasing gods. It a formula that helps us. When we are offering aarti to deity we are meditating on the beautiful form of the deity. And we are offeing our hearts through each of articles to deities. It’s a practice of tharo absobtion if we do it properly. And as a powerful intent affective purifying hearts. Otherwise what we can do whole day. You at the end of the day if all means to pleaseKrishnathen why do we do everything. Whatever we can do at the end of the day what pleasesKrishnais what we have done during the day. Yes and these rituals help us to absorb our consciousness inKrishnain proper service attitude, in a devotional mood and that’s foundational to what ever occupational duties we may perform rest of the day. It gives us spiritual perceptionas, spiritual state of consciousness In Witch we may do our work. Specially chanting the gods name. god is non different than his name. we really establish the lord within our heart. And this are the rituals witch help us to absorb our mind inKrishnaaarti, hearing srimad bhagvatam they are not just rituals. The spiritual practices that facilate our absorption inKrishnain purifying our heart. And then at the end of the day we know that I actually really absorb myself in the process of pleasingKrishna.
Q: Its basically if the essential thing or actually the an important thing I understood the content behind the rituals. Then what is the reason that witch is the particular rituals that we do other once. I mean why we do aarti instead of kinds of other mask. To any vedic yagya whatever why do we do particular yagyas that we do and not what everelse?
Ans- Because the great acharyas those liberated souls who mercyfuly a teaching the world the most experience direct and affecting ways of devolope our loveKrishnathey have recommended like this. In the age of kali the chanting of holy names is most powerful and important in our spiritual practices. Rupa goswami explains of the various spiritual practices five most important associating with the devotees, chanting the holy names, hearing srimad bhagvatam, going to holy places of the lord, and worshiping the deity of the lord. This are five our prominent most powerful and most effective in helping us to absorb our consciousness inKrishna.
Q: Dear maharaj what is the advanity of attening this yatras?
Ans- There are many advantitars one is it is an opportunity to leave everything else behind. To go to sanctify holy place in the association of the sincere dedicated devotees and absorb your self day and night in hearing and chanting the glories of the lord. Praying to the lord and you have nothing else to do infect not even allow to do anything else. So it is a very great spiritual opportunity. It help us also to develop very because we are with 24 hours with devotees for so many days so many years. It develops very deep relationship with other vaishnavs exclusively based on inspiring one another’s. In ourKrishnaconsciousness it helps us to develop real test for hearing and chanting. It help us to develop faith in our process. And in the holy dham in holy places these holy places of pilgrimage are very powerful but the associations of devotees that reveals the inner secrets of the holy places many devotees tell me they have their works as doctors, engineers, housewifes, teachers whatever if they do their sadhana in the mooning and practice Krishna consciousness very sincerely and they come and have deep relationship with devotees. Still they do their works very responsibly. But they tell me their life’s are really just living from one yatra to the next. One yatra is finished and as we were going through all their occupational duties performing their sadhana very nicelly. It really really give them so much inspiration to know that there is another yatra is coming. Going to yatra is like going back to godhead. we are Liberated from everything else except being amongst devotees, hearing the sweet glories ofKrishnaand nothing else to do for weeks at a time accept chant the holy names. Hare Krishna hare Krishna KrishnaKrishnahare hare hare ram hare ram ram ram hare hare. To charge our spiritual batteries. We wanted any further information you can askKrishnananda prabhu. He will give you a whole seminar on the whole subject. He may even take you one of this yatra.
Q: There are different people they believe in different religions in different way they believe into the god. Catholic people they believe in their way, the Muslims they believe in Allah, and in hindu religion also people believe in different gods. So what we have to say about means all of them are exactly doing right thing or they are just?
Ans- There is one supreme god. nam nam kari bahuda nija sarva shakti so that one supreme lord as many names according to his qualities, According to his relationships with his devotees, according to his wonderful pastimes, and the goal of every religion is to follow the commandments, to follow the will of the lord, to serve the lord and ultimately to learn to love the lord. And one who loves the lord develops the qualities of a sadhu that is the essence that is all it is important. U can be a devotee ofKrishnain a dequait. Yes but you are not really a devotee u may believe inKrishna. Real devotion means in the bible it is just said one who just calls out lord lord will not be given entrance into the kingdom of god. For one who does the will of the lord. That is the universal principle. Sri chaitanya mahaprabhu manifested just the form of the lord that each devotee worshiped him. To murari gupta he became lord ram. To another he became lord narayan, to another he was Krishna as a cowherd boy, to another he wasKrishnaand radharani. So there is one god. In ultimately that one god is a person. And Krishna krishnastu bhagavan sway am…the shastra tells us thatKrishnais the origan of all other form of gods. His pastimes of his devotees are the most intimate and the most sweet. So we are not sectarian but at the same time we are not fullish that anything you do is same. If we worship the demigods for material benefit we are not going to get the same goal as worshipingKrishnapure love. Yanti deva vrata devan pitru yanti pitruvata..Krishnasays if you worship forefather you go to the forefathers. If you worship the devatas you go to the planets the material planets of devatas. If you worship ghost and spirits what some people do you will go to those ghost and spirits. If you worship me with love and devotion you will attain me. So answered your question so it is very important that we have a clear conception of what is the absolute truth that is the essence of all religion to surrender with love to that absolute truth.
Q: Prabhuji how will do spiritualisum and materialusum go on with each other?
Ans- Devotional service is the art of spiritualizing the material world. Everything is potentially spiritual. This microphone for example is it material or spiritual what is your opinion its is material if I speak some political speech in it. If I sing a romantic love song on it. But if im speaking the words of god, or singing the names of god then this microphone is spiritual. In example there is a knife a thief picks up the knife and kill someone and take their money. And doctor takes a knifes and does a surgery and saves the persons life so the knife good or bad? If its in hands of good person it is good and if in the hands of bad person it is bad. So all material energy potentially spiritual if we see its relationships with god and use it according to that relationship with god. its like this room a few years ago it was a high school think about high school yes divided into four sections. So certainly it was a pious a high school but still was material is nothing spiritual about a high school people are going to paid a lot of money. Let say pay a lot of money and put their kids in this place.it is a business It’s a money making business in the form of a high school. So this room was just very ordinary material place. But now there about seven hundred people in this room to hear about god the lord is people from all over Bombay and world come and see the lord and worship the lord and pray for the lord here. And in a few minutes hundreds of student dancing in the names of the lord. So it’s a same room but its transform into spiritual. Bhakti is the art of transforming material energy in to spiritual energy through our intent and though proper guidance. The body when the body is used simply for our own selfish purposes its material body. When we use same body to engage in the service of the lord body become spiritualize become spiritually charged. So we do not want to denied material energy we simply want to utilize it inKrishna’s service and transform it into spiritual energy. Srila prabhupad gave very simple example that there is that if you drop one lakh of rupees on that street yes one person see that lakh rupees and look in both direction and pick it up and run away what you call that person. Thief another person see that lakh of rupees and says that’s Nikhils rupees im not going to get in that karma im I get arrested one the other way what is that person called. You could have give the name according to your realization and another person sees that lakh of rupees and say that this belongs to the kin prabhu here this is yours. Who is the best so in this world everything in this world belongs to god sarva loka maheshvaram. A very materialistic person will think this is mine I have earned it I have work hard for it it is mine and I can enjoy it anyway I want yes that persons called a thief. Because this not his everything is a property of god. second person is renounced to do just turn of this microphone. I become comicry and cramicated anything I do anything it do with any material world somebody gets money we say no but the highest is whatever there is let us use in the service of the lord. Then we transform material into spiritual through our consciousness and the best way to develop that consciousness is by harinam sankirtan. At this time we will all transform our consciousness. And through this microphone made out of secret element created byKrishnawe will chant the holy names.