Radhanath Swami says “Truth is Revealed when the Lord is Pleased”
Maharaj Parikshit is a great realized devotee throughout his life in the association of great souls he worshiped the supreme personality of Godhead. And the truth is revealed within the hearts of those whom Krishna is pleased with. There is no other access to the highest truth. Even the study of the authorised scriptures although the truth is very clear by the Lord’s words, to understand properly can only come when the Lord within our heart is pleased with our sincerity and he reveals the truth of those scriptures. When one becomes a humble servant of the great souls and one sincerely wants to commit his life to the loving service of the Lord then Krishna reveals more sublime truths of the Vedas.
So Maharaj Parikshit was such a servant of the Lord. Although he was a king living in great majesty, he had no attachments to anything but the Lord and His devotees, and devotional service. And this was of course proven later on in his life when he was cursed to die within seven days. He was not in any regret – for losing all of his property, his family or his very life. But he was in regret that he offended a great soul. This was his only regret – I have offended a great Vaishnava. I have offended a rishi. That is bad. Why I did, I do not even know, some inconceivable arrangement of the Lord. That is bad. To die is not a sad thing to lose my family, to lose all of my wealth and power He was trained up for so many years to be a good king. All that training is no longer of any avail – military, political training. To lose is not a loss. This is the nature of such a great soul. Because he understood that the real treasure of value is association with the Lord’s devotees, to hear and chant the glories of the Lord and worship him in such a way and to serve the Lord. And therefore on the bank of Ganga, amongst the great rishis, at the lotus feet of Sri Sukadeva Goswami, he found the ultimate satisfaction of devotional service.
So Maharaj Parikshit was truly a raja-rishi. He was a saintly person who was taking the occupation of king. And in previous ages, all kings were supposed to be rishis. They were supposed to be saintly persons. And they were rishis because they were always humbly taking advice and serving rishis. Therefore they were rishis themselves.
Radhanath Swami explains the Qualification for being a Vaishnava
If we hear from a Vaishnava, and we serve what we hear from a Vaishnava, then we are Vaishnava. What else is our qualification? We should not think that we are devotees because of some wonderful attribute about ourselves. What is our qualification for being a devotee? Because we are hearing from a devotee, and we are serving the instruction of a devotee – that makes us a devotee. The qualification is the person we are hearing from, the person we are serving. The qualification is never our own.
When we asked Srila Prabhupada, “What is our qualification for taking to this highest science of bhakti?” he told us, “don’t ever think you have any qualification. You have no qualification. I have made your qualifications.” Because we have been willing to hear from a devotee and serve a devotee, by his mercy we are to be considered a devotee. In this way, devotee is never proud. Because to be learned in a scripture, to be very austere, to be able to perform rituals very, very punctually with great cleanliness – these are not qualifications of devotees.
The Smartha Brahmanas, mayawadis, the Karma-kandis they can also perform tapasya, they can also learn scriptures eloquently, they can also perform rituals very nicely. That does not make you devotee. The only qualification in the eyes of God that makes you devotee is that you are willing to hear from a devotee and follow his instructions, and serve him.
Just try to learn the Truth! The process of Truth is only one way. Not by reading scripture. The way of learning the truth is to read the scripture under the guidance, by hearing from spiritual master, by enquiring submissively and rendering service to him. When you are a servant of the devotee, you are a devotee. There is no other way of being a devotee except being servant of a devotee. And what is that qualification? That he is allowing me to serve him. That’s all. And this type of humble consciousness will keep us always fixed at the lotus feet of Lord Krishna. And when we are fixed at those lotus feet, there is nothing to fear. There is no reason to be in anxiety.
Because ultimately by the grace of the guru and the Vaishnavas we are under Krishna’s personal potency. He is protecting us. He is watching over us from within and without. As the paramatma in and between every atom and within everybody’s heart, He is personally watching over us. And making sure just what we need for our spiritual progress will take place. And in this way, Maharaj Parikshit is very much admiring the cow and the bull because they are not seeing that anyone is the cause of their sufferings. It was explained in the previous verse that one who behaves sinfully, and causes another person suffering – that person has to suffer reaction. But then the cow and bull explained dharma, bhumi. (12:37) That one who sees that person is sinful and causing me suffering – that identification, that that person is the cause implicates the identifier with the same sinful activities.
As has been explained many times, when you see fault in others, your heart becomes contaminated by those faults. Fault-finders are always polluted people. Whatever they wear, whatever they call themselves – when you criticize others and look at faults and find faults, those same faults come into your heart. When you see good qualities in others, then those good qualities come into your own heart. So if we want to make spiritual advancement we should always be looking for the good in others.
Now here, it is explained that dharma, even though he was being beaten with sticks by Kali. Who is this Kali? The lowest, worst rascal. The cause of all rascaldom. He was a cruel, low class person dressed as a royal, great leader, ruler, and king. He was an imposter. And he was for no reason causing such violence to religion itself. And although Kali was standing there with a stick, with his cruel eyes, glaring at the bull with his three legs practically broken, standing there, crying, trembling, and urinating. And Maharaj Parikshit asks, “Who has done this to you?” and neither the cow or the bull said, “This person standing right in front of us, who is holding the stick.”
Sometimes in [the] court of law they go through so much effort to get some circumstantial evidence that a person is guilty. They have advocates and attorneys and lawyers and so many witnesses and jury’s – somehow or the other, to convince that this person must have done it. But Kali was caught red-handed, as they say. He was right there; he had a stick in his hand. The cow and the bull were personally watching him beating them and beating them and beating them with harsh, terrible words. And when they were asked, “Who did it?” they didn’t even indicate that he was responsible for anything. They began to speak very philosophically – that what is the cause of all causes. And they explained through the process of transcendental knowledge, how actually the will of the Lord is so inconceivable that we can’t think that with our fertile little we can understand what is happening and why.
When something bad comes to us, why it is happening, even if the person who is doing it to you is standing right before you, what he is a messenger of? Why the Lord has sent him? What type of karma has created this? We cannot understand. Only a very, very, very shallow materialistic, ignorant person will say, “He is the cause.” So dharma and bhumi were explaining so nicely that the inconceivable arrangements, so many people have their speculations to try to understand why we are suffering.
But Srila Prabhupada explains in the purport, due to the influence of this deluding energy and due to the presence of Kali personified right in front of the cow and bull. They very accurately explained how we cannot understand the reasons of suffering, how we cannot figure it out by our minds, by our intelligence, or by mental speculation. But they didn’t come to the conclusion, the conclusion that every devotee is fixed in väsudevaù sarvam iti sa mahätmä sudurlabhaù. That Krishna is the cause of all causes. There is no other cause but Krishna. Ultimately He is the controller of everything that exists. He is the controller of material nature.
Now Srila Prabhupada explains here that simultaneously although a devotee is always aware that Krishna is the ultimate cause of all causes, and everything is happening for our purification still the devotee will discriminate how Krishna is working through His deluding energy and why.
Sometimes the great Acharyas are very strong in their discrimination. Sometimes, so strong that people don’t like this. They think why sadhus are talking like this. Sadhus just say that everything is coming from Krishna, and just be happy, peaceful, and say you are nice, I am nice, and everything is nice. But we see Madhväcärya, he was like a warrior, battling against anything that was not supportive of eternal service to the eternal Lord and Ramanujacarya and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu when he met prakashananda Saraswati.. He could have said, “You are all right, I am all right, ultimately Krishna is speaking through you, and Krishna is speaking through me, so we are all one. Lord Chaitanya completely deflated and defeated Prakashananda Saraswati. Although Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the process explained that ultimately Krishna is the cause of all causes.
Krishna is the one that send Shankaracarya. And he quoted those beautiful shlokas from the Padma Purana that Krishna sent Lord Shiva in the form of a Brahman in this age of Kali Yuga to teach a covered form of Buddhism to delude the atheists. On one level he was re-establishing the authority of Vedas amongst the atheist class, and on another level, he was actually creating and propagating a philosophy that would very, very suitably and nicely facilitate the progress of degradation in the age of Kali. So these were his twofold purposes.
So Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu explains Krishna is the cause of his philosophy. But then he discriminated. Although Krishna is the cause, it’s wrong. And this is why it’s wrong. And this is what we must do to defeat it. He identified within this deluding energy how it was taking place and how it could be overcome, but at the same time, never forgetting that Krishna is the ultimate cause of all causes.
So similarly when the temple gets dirty, we can say, it’s Krishna’s arrangement. Krishna’s the cause of all causes, so the temple is dirty, so we should be very happy to worship the dirt. And say, if anyone comes, if guru Maharaj says “the temple is dirty,” you say, “Krishna is the cause of all causes. It couldn’t happen without Krishna. This is His house.” He would say, “Yes. We know Krishna is the cause of dirt, but we also discriminate how through deluding energy, material energy Krishna is allowing this to happen, and how to discriminate between cleanliness and dirtiness and how to drive all dirtiness away.” So we must discriminate but we must never ever forget that ultimately Krishna is the cause. The battle of Kurukshetra…Ultimately, Krishna is in the heart of Duryodhana and Dhritarastra. By their misuse of freewill, Krishna allowed them to be greedy rascals. If Krishna did not sanction it, they could not be such cruel, terrible people,, trying to kill the pandavas and cheat them in so many ways. But it is because of their own misuse of independence that Krishna allowed them and empowered them to be so evil.
So Krishna is the ultimate cause. But at the same time we must see how they are being controlled by material nature due to their enviousness. And therefore there is discrimination. He is doing and this is why he is doing. And Bhagavad Gita was spoken to Arjuna in this way. “Yes, I am the cause of all causes. He declares that throughout the Gita that nothing can happen without His sanction. He must see Me in everything and see Me everywhere but at the same time although that is the fact, through the agency of deluding energy, which is My energy, these men are misbehaving, and you must discriminate. You must discriminate and do the right. And what is the right? To battle against ignorance. Krishna is the cause of ignorance. Krishna is the cause of ignorance and He tells us to fight ignorance. So this is real sadhu.
Srila Prabhupada was…sometimes people would say, “Swamiji, why are you talking like this?” at Juhu beach he would walk. Whenever he was in Bombay, he would take his walk up and down the beach. And sometimes people would come and join him on the walk and talk to him. One man would always challenge him in so many ways, present so many Mayavadi ideas, so many materialistic scientific ideas, present so many pseudo-religious ideas, and Prabhupada would just smash them to pieces. He would call us cheaters, bluffers, rascals, Mayawadis, so many nice, harsh words. They would say, “Swamiji why are you saying like this? Everything is coming from God?” Srila Prabhupada talked, “Yes, Bhagavad Gita…the Kurus came from God, but Krishna said they are wrong. You discriminate why they are wrong, and you destroy them.”
So we must discriminate, and the testimony of Parikshit Maharaj is great Mahabhagavat. Understanding of this…he is so pleased that Dharma is not seeing that Kali is the cause of the suffering. He is so pleased to see how a devotee ultimately knows that Krishna is the cause of all causes, and does not blame anyone. He just takes everything for his purification. So that’s the way we should consider for ourselves. But at the same time in the verses that are about to come, Parikshit, with this knowledge that Krishna is the cause of all causes and not a blade of grass moves without His sanction, he picked up his sword and he was about to destroy the person with this stick. Dharma and bhumi didn’t even indicate that this Kali had anything to do with their suffering. Because they were Vaishnavas. They were seeing whatever was coming ultimately is by Krishna’s purification. That is Vaishnava’s will. But Parikshit Maharaj, knowing that that is true, also knows that you must discriminate, and with that mind that Krishna is the cause of all causes, you have to do the will of Krishna, and that is to discriminate and to do the right thing.
So we are asked to associate with devotees. In one sense, you can say that whoever comes to you, Krishna has sent them. If the prostitute comes to you…not a blade of grass…Krishna has sent her. If someone comes with alcohol or cigarettes, Krishna has sent. Not a blade of grass moves without His sanction. If we go home to visit our families, and everybody is sitting and watching the television set, we could think, Krishna’s arrangement. I didn’t turn on the television set. And Krishna is in the heart of my family members. So in this way, all devotees sometimes devotees are gathered together to taste the nectar of describing the faults of other devotees. That is called idle gossip which steals away all propensities for Krishna consciousness. We hear them all. “Did you hear what this devotee did?” “Yeah, I know a secret. I know things about that devotee that nobody else. But I will tell you. If you promise you will not tell anyone that I said it.” (Laughter)
Like this, so somehow or the other we come into the assembly of such devotees and think “This is Krishna’s arrangement. Krishna wants me to know all the faults of everybody. How everyone is a hypocrite, except the people talking.”
Radhanath Swami Speaks about Discrimination
We must discriminate. We must understand, yes, Krishna is the cause of all these people doing all these things, but as far as you are concerned, Krishna is the cause of testing you. Krishna is the cause of this test. Will you sit before the TV and think, “Aaah, Krishna wants me to enjoy.” Or will you say, “no, I will chant my rounds, I will read Bhagavatam, or I will go to the temple.”
So Krishna arranges every situation in our life, but oftentimes these situations are a test. And we have to be philosophically strong enough to discriminate and to understand how to pass the test. But at the same time, if we do not recognise that ultimately Krishna is the cause of all causes and this is all meant for my purification, then cannot properly discriminate and pass the test.
Sometimes devotees, in their practical activities – they have a difficult time making this balance. For example a manager, to be a manager on Krishna consciousness means you have to make so many discriminations. This is good, this is bad, this is right, this is wrong, this should be done, this should not be done, it must be like this, this person must go, and this person should stay. This is management. If you just say, everything is coming from Krishna, and then you just let everything happen.
Srila Prabhupada didn’t like that type of management. He was very harsh and strong. In Vrindavan, if they did not ring the bell at the exact amount of times as the hour of the day, and when the second hand touched twelve, he would chastise. Someone would say, “This is Vrindavan. This is the place of Radha-bhakti, the place beyond rules and regulations. Not only that; it is the place beyond time. (Laughter) It’s the Nitya Dham, the eternal abode, where time is conspicuous by its absence. And we like this philosophy.
So if time is conspicuous by its absence, and it is the timeless land, of no time, then why do we have to watch the second hand? And ring the bell?” because in our hearts, we must understand this, but at the same time, in our devotional service, we must be very, very efficient, very intelligent, very conscientious. Now someone who becomes so much absorbed in the managerial aspect, they start seeing everything mundane. And they forget that Krishna is the cause of all causes. And ultimately, they start thinking that they are the cause of all causes. It’s because of me that the temple is so clean, it’s because of me that brahmacharis are so staunch and because of me the world is turning. (Laughter) in this way, they forget that Krishna is cause of all causes. And when problems come they just become completely enmeshed in the problem. And it causes them so much anxiety and so much frustration.
So you have two choices when a problem comes that’s just a terrible problem, that no one wants to deal with but you are selected to do it. The two choices are to just…there are three choices actually. It’s probably more than three choices but…in general. One, is we can just get so absorbed in trying to solve this problem that we get just so absorbed in all the material discriminatory considerations of this problem, that we just become contaminated by all of our material conceptions. Two, is we just say, Krishna is the cause of all causes, so just let it happen. Why should I deal with it? I am a sadhu. And three, is the Krishna consciousness way of doing it. That is, to go through the struggle of using your intelligence to discriminate, to make everything as best as possible, but always ultimately to understand that Krishna is the cause of all causes, and why this is happening and how this is happening, it is all meant for my purification and the purification comes when I solve the problem according to my intelligence and capacity in the service of Krishna. It is for my purification, so I must do the work. That’s my purification, but I must see it coming from Krishna ultimately. That is Krishna consciousness. So this is very, very important.
In any service, when we have to deal with practical considerations, the tendency is to be artificially renounced, and think, “Why should I work so hard for this?” ultimately, Krishna is the controller; this is all temporary. And the other extreme, is we just get so absorbed in the mundane details of the problems that we just start thinking that this is the all in all. And we forget that Krishna is sending it and by His mercy as a test for me to become purified by serving, by performing the service. In this way, we can work with great intelligence, with great discrimination, with tremendous energy, and at the same time, be detached. And remember Krishna. This is the teachings of Gita; this is Bhagavata philosophy.
So Srila Prabhupada and the great acharyas, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, they were very, very strong. Who is right, who is wrong. Who is good, who is rascal. The word rascal is a very strong word. But Prabhupada shows the strongest possible words. He is so gentle, so loving, but when he would talk about atheists, he would say, “I kick their face with my boot.” But Vrindavandas Thakur also did that. Chaitanya Bhagavata… he says, “anyone …when Nityananda Prabhu would perform very, very mysterious, extraordinary pastimes. He says again and again.
Anyone who thinks that Nityananda Prabhu is an ordinary person, or anyone who criticizes him, I kick them in their head with my foot.” Now was that the way for a sadhu to talk? Yes, definitely. Why would he do like this? Why angry, kicking head? And the learned devotees explain what he means. He is actually merciful. Why does a merciful person kick someone? And this person is criticizing Lord Nityananda and the Vaishnavas. They don’t have any mercy. But if I kick that person in the head, then Lord Nityananda Prabhu will see, “Haw! My devotee is kicking him in the head, I should be very merciful to that person getting kicked in the head.” In this way, he is actually doing it for that person’s benefit, knowing that by doing so, it will attract the mercy of Lord Nityananda upon him, which is his only saving grace.
So we should know that actually Srila Prabhupada had unconditional, unalloyed love for Charles Darwin. (Laughter) he had unconditional love for…I don’t even want to mention all the names of the people that he spoke very strongly toward. All the bogus gurus, all the atheistic scientists, all the rascals – he had love for them. He had compassion for them. He understood that there was a disease they were covered by. And he also understood that although he was obviously praying for the mercy of the Lord to cure them of the disease, he did not want others to be contaminated by that disease. Therefore out of love and affection to protect the innocent, he discriminated.
When a doctor goes into a place where there is an epidemic, he has to point out what the disease is and how you contract it and how to stay away from it. He can’t say, “This is a very nice place. Everything is very nice.” The doctor is not affected that way. There is a cholera epidemic, the doctor comes in and says, “Actually this is all the will of the Lord. It’s very nice. Just go on with your life. If you live, if you die, it doesn’t matter.” At one level, yes, you must think like that. But on another level, it is the will of the Lord. But the will of the Lord is, you have the choice to live and go back to godhead, or die and take another birth. That’s the will of the Lord.
So we have to discriminate how to understand the will of the Lord and how to benefit. So this is the cause of the disease, this is the carrier of the disease, and this is what we must do to that carrier of the disease. That is love. That is compassion. This is a very wonderful verse that we are reading today. Thus it is concluded that the Lord’s energies are inconceivable. No one can estimate them by mental speculation or by word jugglery. We can only understand the inconceivable energies of the Lord by hearing submissively from the Lord’s devotees. And in this way, we do the needful.
We perform our service to make everything efficient and to do the best benefit for all. But at the same time, never forgetting Krishna’s the cause of all causes. Whatever suffering is coming upon me, a devotee knows, Krishna is giving it to me for my purification. But we also must discriminate. If a devotee does something wrong and the reaction is suffering, “yes, Krishna is giving me. This as a purification. But I should also discriminate to not do that wrong thing again.” Even the great souls – they do not do anything wrong. And still they suffer. For them, in a humble position, they understand that Krishna has a cause, He has a reason, either for my purification or for the purification of others, but Krishna has his reason. And in this way, keeping this proper balance, always remembering Krishna is the cause of all causes and learning how to perform devotional service by discriminating to understand how to reciprocate and serve him under the situation that He has personally and directly put us under.
Are there any questions?
Can’t hear the question.
Radhanath Swami explains how to Balance Management & Devotion
Ans: A manager in Krishna consciousness we have seen at one time one of the most tremendous empowered and exemplary managers in Krishna consciousness, he was able to just motivate people and mobilise people and discriminate. He was doing wonderful. But he got so caught up, day and night he was constantly thinking about solving or managing the problems. And he didn’t take it very seriously to chant his sixteen rounds. Why? Because he was so busy. There were so many problems and he was so expert that nobody could solve them as good as him. So during japa period, when everyone else was chanting japa, he was on the phone, talking to people, solving their problems, and during Srimad Bhagvatam when devotees were supposed to be sitting and hearing the words of Srila Prabhupada and Sukadeva Goswami, he was very busy going place to place, making the organisational arrangements so that everything can go smoothly. And he was fantastic. But after some time, he became such manager, that he lost his connection to Krishna. And then he couldn’t manage anything. So we should know that we have to perform our duty with great, great attention, with great, great care, and enthusiasm. But in order to keep the balance so that we never forget that Krishna is the cause of everything, that we never forget how and why we are doing what we are doing, and for whom, we must chant our sixteen rounds attentively every day. We must hear Srimad Bhagvatam and Bhagavad Gita every day. And that is the practical way in which Srila Prabhupada has given us to balance our life. Grihastas – they have so many considerations of this world. The Kurma Brahmana that decided to forget his wife and children, too much mental anxiety. “I will go with you Lord Caitanya and become sadhu.” And Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “No, No. No need. You go home.” Go home means what? “Go home” means you have to…somehow or the other you have to make sure your children are with good people and not with bad people. Somehow or the other you have to put them through school. Somehow or the other you have to have money. Somehow or the other you have to make your house liveable. So many thoughts, So many decisions. That’s grihasta life. You cannot avoid it. And you have to be responsible and do it. But if you chant your sixteen rounds every day, you keep nice association with devotees, you hear from guru, you read Srimad Bhagvatam, when you do your duty, you do it right, then you will understand how ultimately Krishna is the cause of all causes. Krishna is the one that is putting me in this situation. If I lose everything, if I gain everything, I deal with it according to the need, but I am not attached, because if I just do it with Krishna consciousness, with faith in Krishna, I know that I am making spiritual progress. It is all happening for my purification. And if we understand like this, we can be effective, efficient and we will never be in anxiety. We will never be frustrated. We will be blissful, chanting the Holy Names. (With audience) Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Are there any questions?
Q: as to managerial … so to say, activities, Krishna consciousness, there is always a struggle in our mind that some duties and some responsibilities, and some authority has been given to you. And you have to go on discriminating what is right and what is wrong. And we have been trained in that way, that whatever spiritual advancement you have made is only by the mercy of the devotees. And always that fear is there – that if I try to discriminate and by discriminating I might not be knowing these devotees full heart soul and what is he thinking, and if I offend him by doing the discrimination, my spiritual life will be completely spoilt off. I will be nowhere. So because of that fear we are so fearful that we are not able to take any decisions at all. So in such circumstances, what should we do?
Ans: you should not take part in any activities that are unfavourable for devotional service whoever may be inviting you to do so. And we should take part in those activities that are favorable for devotional service. You see, if someone is talking all nonsense, or having some sense gratification which is not favourable, we should not find fault with them, we should not criticize them. We should understand that the volume of goodness in that person just because of the fact that he is a devotee is millions of times greater than the mistakes they are making. So we have to see that. Sometimes devotees gossip. We should not think, “Oh they are not devotees”, or “they are rascals.” We should think, “they are wonderful souls, but somehow or the other, they are doing like this. But I am not such a wonderful soul. So I should not do like this.” They might be wonderful. Just like if your brother, or if your son has a disease, if you come close to the son in such a way that you catch the disease, what will that do for you? So you have to keep your distance, but still he is your brother, he is your son, so there is love. We should help our loved ones overcome the disease. But we shouldn’t become part of the disease. Hate the sin but don’t hate the sinner. Devotee hates no one. As I said, Prabhupada – the people he spoke against – he didn’t hate them. He was not antagonistic toward them. He loved them. He knows they are part and parcel of Krishna. But he understands that they the disease they had was causing them suffering, and he was trying to warn us that we should also not become contracted by that disease and suffer. So devotees are never fault finders. If we mark something that’s wrong, it’s out of discrimination, out of compassion, it’s out of concern, it’s in a mood of service. It’s never in a mood of envy. It’s never destructive. So yes, you have your weaknesses, I have my weaknesses, they have their weaknesses, when we see some weakness in some other devotee, we should understand that it is very insignificant compared to their goodness but at the same time we should not become weakened by associating with their weakness. We should try to help them and we should try to protect ourselves.
Q: you were just talking about the effect of the TV. Is this talking about the effect of watching television…(53:30)…you know, when we try to control our children watching television programs, you know, your God-brothers (?) and God-sisters (?) are always concerned about you. But they just tell you that you should not control them so much because when they grow up, they retaliate and they become worse. So it’s better you allow them to watch some things like cartoon or cricket match which is not going to affect them so much. So what do you do in that situation?
Ans: what to do in such a situation? There are so many things you can do in such a situation. One thing is not to have a TV. (Laughter)
That’s the easiest thing. Out of sight, out of mind.
Q: Our Children go to neighbor’s house who have television?
Ans: Anyways, what we have to do is try to give them a higher purpose in life, in higher activities. The idol mind is the devil’s workshop. If we can somehow or the other find ways of enthusing our children to be busy and active in nice, constructive, devotional activities, or activities that are conducive to higher consciousness, we should always do that. We should try to fill their lives with nice things. We should do that as far as possible. If somehow or the other they go to the neighbor’s house, what to do? The danger of television is this. Cartoons may be all. Cartoons are mostly violence these days, aren’t they? It’s just People beating each other and smashing each other and eating each other. (Laughter) and you know the children watch it, and then the children start beating each other and scratching each other, and eating each other. Why children are so accustomed to fighting? Because their innocent, little cartoons is mostly just people just beating up on each other. Right? I don’t know what cartoons you watch. In the West, there is Mighty Mouse. And he is a little mouse. And he is just beating up people all the time. And there is people squashing each other with bricks and …right? They are always fighting and fighting and fighting. And then children…their play is…to fight. So the cartoons…if it’s actually a nice cartoon about love and devotion, it’s very good. But most of them are just all about fighting and violence and envy and all kind of things that are presented in an innocent way. Innocent package, but the message is not very innocent. But then, even if it’s a very harmless type, which is sometimes there – maybe in India, there are harmless, nonviolent children’s shows, or whatever. The danger is once you marry your television, once you develop a consort with a television set, then the next station, and the next program and the next channel, you are subjected to that. You have already found so much interesting pleasure in this tube, then all these other cable channels and everything else with all these terrible, terrible, contaminating influences; you will become receptive to that as well. You have already surrendered your consciousness to the tube. So whatever the tube says, you will accept. So many devotees I have seen – they say I have a television just to watch the news. But I have not seen a single one that turns it off after the news. (Laughter) I am already here, I am sitting here, the news was good, let’s see what else there is. And then when it starts. Zzzhhh (Maharaj is making these sounds)…we become mesmerised by the power of maya which is so strongly manifesting through this medium. So it’s not very good. Television is … you know what, I have heard this and I agree: what the Muslims, under Muslim rule, for about eight hundred years – they were not able to destroy the spiritual culture of India. British rule for about two hundred years. They were not able to really destroy the spiritual culture in India. But in about ten years, American and European television is completely destroying the spiritual culture of India. And that is a fact. When the British and the Muslim were conquering and controlling and discriminating and persecuting, somehow or the other the Hindus remained strong. But when they turn on the television they sell out all their values.
Worse than the Mogul empire, more dangerous than the German empire, more dangerous than the British empire, is that innocent, little tube sitting in your home. It’s completely destroying the very fibre of the heritage and the spiritual culture of this entire land. More than anything else. And day by day, every day, it is destroying more of the culture of India than all these other foreign conquerors did in centuries. And that is a fact. So once we accustom ourselves to the innocent parts, it’s like the head and the tail of a coin. It’s hard to take the head and not to take the tail. It’s hard to watch the good shows and not the bad shows. And even the good shows, oftentimes they have so many subtle influences…so Mahabharata, Ramayana, show about yatras to Badrinath. They may be nice, but just the consciousness of finding pleasure through that medium, or finding enlightenment through that medium, is very, very dangerous. Because once maya traps you through that medium, so many polluted influences will come into your life. So what to do with children in this age of Kali Yuga? Where all these influences are all around? Obviously you cannot beat them and punish them every time they watch a cartoon. But you can, in your own home, not make the facility available. And try to explain to them as best as it is possible the dangers and try to engage them in so many wonderful activities. But that may mean you have to spend a lot of time with them. Usually when parents neglect the children and don’t have time for them, then they have to do something, so they just watch television. If the parents are taking them somewhere or doing this with them or something, then they don’t have so much need, but once they are addicted, then it’s very difficult. It’s an addiction. It’s an infatuation. I have seen it in the west – I would be safe to say that television has broken more families than anything else. People have no communication with each other. When they are eating dinner, the television is going…everyone’s like (Maharaj makes some gestures). When dinner is over…people in the families don’t even know each other in the West. They come home from school, they do their homework, and then as soon as that is done, everyone is sitting and watching the television. Parents don’t know their children. Children don’t know their parents. Children don’t know their brothers and sisters. All they know is the television. It’s the medium…there’s no communication. It’s tearing families apart, tearing society apart. And why is there so much infatuation for sex and violence in the West. Because that’s what they are watching all day. Whether it’s innocent cartoons, or whether it’s very, very gross…other types of programmes. They are just watching it all day. And what you associate with, you become. In the West now, there’s such incredible, uncontrollable infatuation towards sex and violence. And gross materialism – they are all just being brainwashed by their television sets. And now all those same, exact programmes that have ruined the western world, is in the living room of almost every house of India. It’s the greatest danger of the land. It’s maya in her most penetrating and powerful form. It’s best not to make friends with maya. So we should try to protect our children from its influence. But if they see us watching, then they will think, “Ooooh, very nice.” If they see we don’t watch, and we see…we think it’s harmless. That’s maya’s power. She makes the most harmful thing seem harmless. If someone gives you food and says, “This has poison in it,” will you take it? But if someone gives you food and says, “This is very good for you”, then you will take it. So anyone who has ever poisoned someone, they have never disclosed the poison. So that’s the way maya works. “This is very nice. You will learn so many things. You will get such a broad spectrum of the world and the universe. It will be so good for educating my children to just know so much about everything and how people think all over the world, and what different shows and how people…emotions, so much excitement, so much entertainment, so much fun. But the poison is there. Behind the scene, maya is trying to steal all of your virtues away. And through the television set, more than any other medium, she has stolen the virtues of the whole world. And this is Bharat varsha, the last hope of the world’s spiritual is the sustenance of the vedic culture in India. And it’s sad. Sometimes when I am travelling, we see in the poorest, poorest neighbourhoods where people have these little…I mean, what kind of houses – I don’t even know of what they are made. Sometimes they just take these sacks from potatoes and they just wrap them up and find some cans and make them flat (? – 1:07:07) Vanaspati cans and potato sacks…and they have a little house, about this big. And they are all living in it. And they are dope ground. (? – 1:07:16) but what do you see on the roof? Television antenna. (Laughter) you have seen? It’s become so much a part of Indian life. Maya’s the influence of Kali. Television is like this Kali standing with the stick. Same Kali that’s standing with the stick that’s beating the legs of the bull has now come in the form of television. It’s beating the legs of the bull of religion. It’s conquered the world, and now it’s come to conquer the last place – India. And every day, making great strides of progress. So somehow or the other, we should have such a wonderful, exciting satsanga of Vaishnavas within our homes, within the temple. I feel there is no time and no need for these crazy things. When you are in the middle of a wonderful kirtan, you are not thinking, what show is on television. And when you are just sitting home, all alone, doing nothing, and you sometimes…so we have to be very, very busy in Krishna consciousness. And give every opportunity to our children. We cannot force them; to some extent we can try. But we cannot force them. But what we can do is educate them, and be a good example for them, and try to keep them very, very positively busy in Krishna Consciousness.
It’s becoming very late…
Thank you very much.