The second chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam describes the conversation between Srila Suta Goswami and the sages of Naimisaranya were headed by the great Saunak Rsi. It is entitled Divinity and Divine Service. And the very essence of Bhagavad philosophy is most beautifully contained within the slokas of this particular chapter. There is one verse which Suta Goswami he chants
“Dharmasya hi apavargasya na artho arthaya upakalpate
Na arthasya dharma aikantasya kamo labhaya hi smritah”.
Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.9
That when one engaged in the loving service of the Lord, one will naturally by the mercy of the Lord acquire more and more facilities for the devotional service. That one should know for whom there is facilities belong and never use them for one’s own sense gratification. In this regard there are many great examples in the scriptures of great devotees, who hard attain and acquired great influence, great strengths, and great wealth. That yet they lived very simple, very humble, devoting everything for the pleasure of God. Indeed Sri Krishna describes in Gita
“patraà puñpaà phalaà toyaà
yo me bhaktyä prayacchati”
That whatever you may have, whether it is great or small. If it is offered with love, he will accept it with love.
“ye yathä mäà prapadyante
täàs tathaiva bhajämy aham”
If you approach Krishna with love, he accepts with love. He reciprocates with love. If you approach Krishna with ulterior motive, then Krishna will reciprocate with you accordingly.
Krishna’s Loving Give And Take
In this regard, there is a story which describes in the life of one of the great acaryas, how he as guru is reciprocating on behalf of Krishna according to the love of his disciples. And how if one has the mercy of guru and Krishna, then under all circumstances one can have complete faith that he has protected by all the glories of God Himself. People who are materialistic minded they are very afraid to surrender to Krishna. Some peoples very specifically choose to worship the demigods, because they are too much frightened of Lord Krishna. Because Lord Hari means, “one who steal away”. So they are afraid I give something to Krishna, he will take everything. After all he says in Bhagavad-Gita.
mäm ekaà çaraëaà vraja
ahaà tväà sarva-päpebhyo
mokñayiñyämi mä çucaù”
Surrender to me, surrender everything to me. By surrender our level he will accept everything. Ultimately he will take it all. So therefore better I save Krishna to the last year of my life. Let me enjoy and protect what I have now. They are afraid of Krishna. That is because they do not understand who Krishna is. Krishna is the well wishing father, friend and protector of all living beings. It is true that sometimes he will take with one hand, but he is always ready to give with his other hand. But sometimes the second hand waits for some time. An example is the Pandavas, they were devotees of Krishna and not a blade of grass moves without the sanction of the lord. So you may say the Krishna took away their kingdom, took away all of their influence, took away everything and catch them in the forest. But then a near fourteen years later he gave them the kingdom of the entire world. But at that time when they acquire the kingdom of the entire world they would not at all attach to anything, except Krishna. Over those 14 years they learn to complete and exclusively depend on the mercy of Krishna. And the proof was even know they will live in the royal palace of Hastinapur, with all the wealth and all the great accommodations and luxuries of the king of the earth. After Yudhisthira receive the message of Sri Krishna left this world for his eternal abode. He left his kingdom, he put Maharaja Parikshita in charge of everything and he went off to the Himalayas, why? Because what Krishna gave him with the other hand was not simple the kingdom of the world but He gave him a wealth hundreds, billions, and trillions of times greater than that. The richest of this world are very temporary. They never satisfied the soul. Krishna gave them Himself. He gave them bhakti. There is no greater treasure than Bhakti. Bhakti is love, devotion. That devotion will nourish the soul eternally. “änandämbudhi-vardhanaà prati-padaà pürëämåtäsvädanaà” it is through testing devotion to Krishna. That all ones desires are eternally and infinitely fulfilled. Krishna is simply waiting for us to make that gesture of using what he has given to us in His loving service without fear. The more we understand Krishna, the more we understand the philosophy of devotion the more we become fearless, why? Because we know that Krishna as our faithful friend and well wisher seated within our hearts. He is always looking after the best interest of his devotees.
“tat te ’nukampäà su-samékñamäëo
bhuïjäna evätma-kåtaà vipäkam
håd-väg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jéveta yo bhakti-pade sa däya-bhäk”
Caitanya-caritamrita Madhya 6.261
Krishna the Supreme Protector
Therefore devotees never complain, he is always grateful, very happy and whatever way Krishna deals with them. Ultimately and eventually this is the perfect mercy of god afford me. That Krishna, He will always protect me in all circumstances, if I simply utilize whatever I have for Him. As soon as you think to utilize anything you have for yourself, then you fall completely under the influence of your own power to protect yourself. And my dear friends whoever you are, you cannot protect your self. Even the greatest personalities on the history of this earth were utterly fallible in protecting them selves. President Kennedy at the whole military forces of the most powerful nation of the world that his finger tips. But he could not protect himself from being assassinated. Even in India Mohandas Gandhi had the love, the sympathy of probably more people that in the history of this modern age. He had hundreds and millions of people who loved him and respected him in anything for him, with all that influence, he could not protect himself. So however great you may be, however powerful you may be, we are “Jivatma”, we are insignificant, we are very small. And this material existence is immensely powerful and ultimately desperate our entire endeavor is to protect ourselves or to protect what we have and what is near and dear to us. Ultimately will be frustrated. That if you simply have faith in Krishna and put ourselves under his protection with faith and with trust that he will never abandoned us. A devotee does not gamble. But a devotee can take any risk with faith in Krishna. That is not gambling. When by you own efforts, you are taking an uncalculated risk, that is against the principles of spiritual life. That if you have complete faith in Krishna and in His service, trying to execute His will, He could take any risk and be fully confident. That there is nothing that can harm you.
A Heart Melting Story
There is a story of Srila Ramanuja acaraya, he was living in Srirangam which was the seat of the highest steam. Because that is where he made the headquarter of the Sri Sampradaya. So during his earthly lila this great Acarya decided that he would take his disciples on a pilgrimage to Sri Saila, which is today known as Tirupati. He and his followers began to travel by foot. They came to one village and they all very tired and hungry. He had two disciples in his village. One, his name was Barodacarya and the other was Yogesha. Yogesha was a very wealthy merchant. He was a very successful man in this world and he also had good devotion. So Ramanujacarya told two of his disciples. He said you go to Yogesha’s house and tell them we have come and we will soon becoming and ask him if it is all right, if he accommodates us for the day. So they went to his home. They arrived at his home and informed him that the great Ramanujacarya has come with some many of his disciples and he is desiring to reside in your good home. Yogesh was so overwhelmed with happiness that tears came out of his eyes, he just began to run in all direction making nice arrangements, getting the food, getting the accommodations. Everything prepared very nicely. But in his haste, these two messengers he did not even give them a sitting place or little water. So all his was passionately running around in great happiness making arrangements. The two messengers went back to Ramanujacarya. They reported that he is very live and exurban to greet you. Ramanuja asked them, how he greeted you. How did he greet you? You are my servants. They said, he did not give us even any water. He said, he has committed an offence. If you do not serve the servant, how can you expect to please the master? You are dearer to me than myself. So he said due to this offence, we will not go to his home. We will go to my other disciples home. So they went to his home, he was a very poor man. He had no money. His name was Baroda acarya and his wife’s name was Lakshmi. They lived together in very-very simple condition. In fact the husband, he would go out every morning to beg for food. Because he had not even any employment. And he would comeback at noon with some food and share with his wife and together they would hear, they would chant, they would be very devotion on their life. They lived very peaceful and very content on the service of their guru maharaja. So Ramanuja he said there is no need to send any messengers. Let us all just go. So he went into the home of that disciple and Ramanuja knocked upon the door and Lakshmi answered and she was shocked, my god, guru maharaja is here. This is too much mercy for me. She bow down and tears in his eyes with love and she gave all the disciples a nice seating place and whatever little she had, she started to offer them and she said, unfortunately my husband, he is out begging for some food for two of us. We will not expecting you. He will be not home till noon. That mean while why do not go to the river and take bath. And I’ll prepare something for you. So Ramanuja and all the disciples went to the river to take bath and she was thinking my god, this is the opportunity of my life to serve my guru maharaja. He has come and I must prepare something very nice. She went into the kitchen, she could not find even one grain of rice. They were so poor. They did not even have a grain in storage. So she was thinking, what a horrible offence. He has come with his disciples. My husband was barely bringing back enough for me and him. What will I do? So she was feeling very-very stricken with anxiety. How to serve my guru maharaja? Then she began to think that there was one very degraded and low class wealthy merchant, who was very attracted to her beauty. Many times he would send his female maid servants to offer her money and jewelry to come home and enjoy with him. And of course she would never look at him. She would never talk to him. She was very chaste. She was thinking, this is the only means I have to serve my spiritual master. So she very-very quietly and secretly went out the back of the house through the back door and she went to that wealthy man’s house. He lived in a big beautiful house, magnificent state for the servants and so much luxury and comfort and he was shocked to see her. What is she doing here? I already had given upon you. She said no, my guru maharaja has come. We do not have any grain of rice to feed him. I am feeling so bad, please if you arranged to give me some nice food to offer him. I’ll do what ever you want. I’ll come and I’ll fulfill whatever desire you have. But I must fulfill the desire of my guru maharaja. So he became very happy by all material standards, he was in ecstasy. Of course the devotees do not consider this ecstasy. So she sent wonderful, wonderful food and she prepared with such devotion. After she prepared, she fed Ramanujacarya and she fed all the disciples and they were very happy. They were thinking how is it possible. Such opulent and fine foods. So beautifully prepared by this poor family. They were enjoying immensely her bhakti. And as they were finishing her husband returned and he came into the house and she saw his guru maharaja is there. He was very surprised, he fell to the floor with great devotion and offered his obeisance and when he saw they were eating. He went to his wife and he said, how is it possible? She was very ashamed and too much embarrassed. She put her head down, tears in her eyes, and she says I have to confess. I have done a very bad thing. I have promise this man to fulfill his desires. Because it was the only possible way I could get the foods to serve our guru. When the husband heard this he lift in the air and began to dance and he said, this is wonderful thing. Do you not know that Narayana is the only purusa and he is the only enjoyer of all prakrit. Narayana is the husband of every living being. We are all meant for His enjoyment. And the spiritual master is the representative of Narayana. And one who is willing at all cost to please, to serve the spiritual master, give him pleasure, that person is the most chaste and wonder person in the whole wide world. He said, my dear wife, you have done the most wonderful thing. And they both went in and offer their obeisance to Ramanujacarya. And they explained to him, what Lakshmi devi had done? Ramanujacarya he took his remnants and he gave to them and said you just sit and take Prasad. They all took Prasad. Then Ramanuja said, now you take this Prasad the two of you and bring it to this wealthy merchant. So in his order they went and when they went to the house of the merchant, they let Lakshmi in, but they would not let her husband in. And when she came into the inner quarters, she said that here is some Prasad. It is my guru maharaja’s mahamaha Prasad. Please honor this Prasad. When he started taking this Prasad. Now this Prasad had such spiritual potency that simply by eating his Prasad, he lost all of his lusty desires. He became so purified that eating this Prasad by the time he finished he bow down to this woman and said, mataji, you are my mother. I am such a grave sinful demon, due to my uncontrolled desires, I have been thinking so badly of you. He said, if I would even so much touched you I would burned in the flame of hell. But you are my guru, you have saved me. You are so merciful and so compassionate. He said I want to meet your guru maharaja. Please take me to him. She said all right. So three of them went before Ramanujacarya and they all bow down together and he was in so much anxiety, his heart was just ripping apart with guilty feelings. That he had feeling this way about such a saintly person. Then Ramanuja put his hand on this man’s head and as soon as he touched his head, all of the anxieties left. Then he said my dear maharaja please accept me as your disciple. I am surrendering to you. I desire initiation and Ramanujacarya initiated him and gave him love of god, the goal of life. In this way everyone was very happy, enjoying like anything. And Ramanuja picked up Barodaacarya and embraced him with h
is own arms. He was so happy with his devotion. And then this wealthy merchant, he promised, he said I want to give a royal gift of great wealth to this poor couple. Please give me permission. And Ramanujacarya told his disciple you should accept this man. You are living in such a hard life. You should accept the wealth for this man is giving you. And you should live comfortably and then his devotee was folded hands and tears in his eyes, he said no-no lord; please money is the root of all evil. You are providing exactly what we need. What do we need any more? Please do not curse me with wealth. Let me just be a humble servant. Then Ramanuja was very happy. He embraced him again. He said simply because I have embraced you and touched your beautiful saintly form, I have become purified. Just that moment his other disciple Yogesha arrived. He was waiting for hours and hours and hours. They never came. He said what is happening. Maharaja I must have done some great offence. You promised to come, you never come. You came to this man’s house instead. What I have done? Ramanuja said that I sent two of my associates and you neglected them. Therefore you have committed a great offence, vaishnava aparadha. The man began to cry. He was feeling very miserable, what I have done? He said my dear guruji, he said honestly, it is not because of my attachment to wealth or greed that I was arrogant toward them, it is just that I was so excited that you are coming that I completely forgot all of out them. In anticipation but now I realize, if I do not satisfied the servant of the master, I cannot satisfy the master. I have committed a great offence. Please forgive me. I am very sorry. When Ramanuja saw the sincerity of his disciple, he said yes I am my way returning back, I promise, I’ll come and stay with you and fulfill all of your desires. Which he did?
Lesson from the story
So you see it does not matter whether one is rich or whether one is poor. The real essence of spiritual life is that complete trust in the mercy of god. If I simply try to please him and serve him that I cannot lose. That Krishna, as He says in Gita,
“ananyäç cintayanto mäà
ye janäù paryupäsate
yoga-kñemaà vahämy aham”
That for my devotee I preserved, what he has and I carry what he lacks. this is a perfect example. What ever it may be. In this particular story try to understand there is no greater wealth for a woman than her chastity. In the Vedic society if a woman is unchaste, no respectable person wants anything to do. A woman will die before losing her chastity. That is why Droupadi was in such a predicament. In the western country, if there is a woman in America, and Dhusashan was tearing up her cloths, she will say, all right it is Krishna’s mercy. You go ahead. What can I do? After all you are bigger than me. So everyone would understand. But Droupadi was not like that. Because he was very chaste. She was pure in heart. She understood the value of chastity, which is more important than her life. Therefore she was in a desperate condition. She was in the most desperate condition, a person can be possibly beyond. In that desperate condition she cried out for Krishna to save her, from a faith millions, trillions of times worse than death. It is said in Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna spoke to Arjuna that for one who has been dishonored is worse than death. The honor of a Kshtriya is never to leave a battle field. The honor of Brähmaëa is not the sell out, never to compromise to truth for one’s own sense gratification. For a Brahman to compromise on the truth to maintain himself is a faith hundreds, millions times worse than death. Therefore we find in the scriptures, so many great brahmanas devotees of the Lord. This was their honor. And they would die before compromising. The honor of a vaishya, is to be charitable, and protect its subjects. And we find in the sashtra so many persons who are willing to even put their life on the line in order to give charity. And the honor of sudra is to be loyal and faithful to the master and all circumstances. And the honor of a woman is her chastity. And people should live by honor. Unfortunately in Kali Yuga, most people have no chance of integrity, no sense of honor. Kali Yuga is the age, where people take everything very cheaply. But Droupadi was not taking things cheaply. She was willing to give her life, a hundreds and million of times before giving up chastity. And therefore when she cried out Krishna’s name “Hey krisha, Hey Govinda” She cried with such desperate helpless devotion, that Krishna was obliged to appear and save her from a fate worse than death.
Now here in this story Lakshmi devi she evaluated her chastity as much as Droupadi. She had such a sense of honor and purity in her life. But she had so much complete faith and trust that if I simply please my spiritual master everything will be auspicious. Ensure enough, she was saved. Not only she saved but she saved another person and her husband, he was not concerned with any wealth in this world and except pleasing his guru. My dear spiritual master, he was thinking, even when you are offering me great fortune as far as I am concerned, if I am pleasing you simply in pleasing you that is my greatest fortune, that is my greatest wealth. That is everything I need in life, to know that I am pleasing my guru maharaja. Without that noting has any needing and with that I need nothing else. I am in Vaikuntha. And Yogesha as far as he was concerned, he became very humble. He understood and this is a great danger, having wealth is not in spiritually disqualification but potentially it is. Potentially it is either qualification or disqualification.
It is a qualification when we understand that when we are simply the humble keeper of what is gods. But it is a great disqualification, when we become proud and in that pride we neglect, what is near and dear to the lord. And this is a very strong tendency. We begin to think that we are doing as so important and we are so important. That even least amongst the service of the Lord, if we neglect them, if we are offensive to them, it is a very great crisis to our spiritual advancement. And this tendency is there. These two men were simply the humble servants of Ramanujacarya. He was so much thinking that I am so important that I will serve my guru. He did not think that I am actually the humble servant of the servant of the servant of the servant and he neglected them. And in this way he created a great crisis in his life. Lord Jesus Christ said, as you treat the least amongst yourselves, that’s how you treat me. That means whether you are rich, whether you are poor, whether you are literate or illiterate, whether you are the king or whether you are a street sweeper. So therefore this great devotee, because of his sincere devotion, Ramanujacarya trained him through this incident, how to become a perfect wealthy man. He was wealthy. Ramanuja did not say give up your wealth. But taught him how to be the humble servant of the servant and never to be neglect any devotee of the Lord. In this way his life was perfectly situated in pleasing his spiritual master and pleasing Krishna.
“patraà puñpaà phalaà toyaà
yo me bhaktyä prayacchati
tad ahaà bhakty-upahåtam
Therefore Lord Krishna says if you offer me a leaf, a little water, a flower, or fruit. If you offer with humble devotion, I’ll accept it. There is nothing to fear, if Krishna accepts your devotion, you have nothing to fear in life. The more we hear the glories of the lord and the more we associate with persons who are genuinely surrendered to the lord, the more we become fearless. The more we become fearless to know that if I trust Krishna that is perfection of my life. When we take to spiritual life understand that based on your faith you are taking a risk. A materialistic person is thinking what if there is no God? What if so happens, there is in the god? What if, Krishna is god, what of somebody else. Then I am – whatever I give is gone, it is lost. We have to trust. We have to have faith. Yes, it is going to the right place. My energy and my life. I remember one devotee, he was about to take sanyasa and he asked to our Guru Maharaja. I am giving up everything, I am going to take to the renounced order of life. Then he said, what should I know? He said, you should know that Krishna is the supreme personality of godhead. If you know that then you will be a perfect sannyäsé. Because if you know that you will have faith and trust in him and you know that everything given up, it is going to the right place and you never lose those. But if you do not have faith then taking sanyasa is very frightening experience. My god. I am just floating in the wind, I have nothing in whole life to anymore. The greater service we can render to Krishna is to give ourselves to uplift others. To take risks, to make sacrifice for the shake of giving in charity to others. Whether that charity is wealth. Whether that charity is your human energy. Of course the greatest charity is to give a person god consciousness. Give that person an opportunity to be delivered from the cycle of birth and death. So one who is willing to take any risk and sacrifice anything do this for another. He said that person, he is most dear to Krishna. But in order to do this he explained, you have to have complete faith and conviction, that Krishna is the supreme protector. He is everywhere and He is in everything. We have to have faith in the truth. We have to have trust in the truth, and then we become fearless. Then we become peaceful and then factually we become infallible. Because we are protected on all sides by Krishna.
The Supreme Truth
And what is the truth. Krishna says in Bhagavad-Gita fourth chapter. When you have thus learned the truth, you will know that all living beings are in me, they are part of me, and they are mine. In the Rig Veda it is said, “Om tad …” This verse describes that the great souls they worships the lotus feet of Krishna as their only goal of life. And Vishnu is like the sun and he is the witness of everything we do. Just like the sun, over our head or at night the moon, it is constantly the witness of everything that takes place on earth. Krishna says in Gita that his two eyes are the sun and the moon. He is constantly watching over his devotee. He is watching over his none devotees too. The none devotees then cannot gate away any nonsense without Him seeing it. And the devotees they feel very protected, they feel Krishna is always watching over me. And he is always protecting me. “daivé hy eñä guëa-mayé mama mäyä duratyayä”. It is said for my devotees they are under my internal divine potency and I am always watching over them. I am always their protector. We are not of this world. We are of the spiritual world. Krishna sometimes compare to the sun and we are compare to the sunrays. We are part and parcel of him, right. Now the sunrays are heating the earth. Are they not? That the sunrays belong to the earth or the sun. What do you say? Is the sunrays is the property of the earth or the sun. When we see the sunrays we never say this is the earth, why? Because even no contact with earth, it not the earth. We will see the sunray even on the earth; we say this is sun, because the earth is dark and the sun is light. Because the sunray of light, we understand it belongs to the sun, it does not belong to the earth. So similarly this material energy of this earth planet is material. It is dead. The spirit soul is conscious. The spirit soul is part and parcel of the supreme consciousness of Krishna. Therefore although we may on this earth, we do not belong to this earth. We belong to our conscious source, which is like the sun, who is Krishna. “janma….” We are emanating form Krishna. We are in Krishna and we are His. A devotee has this faith that this is the truth. Therefore a devotee has faith and trust and there is no greater treasure and there is no greater benediction, there is no greater fortune than faith in god. Unmotivated, uninterrupted service to god which has to be based on complete faith. You cannot have unmotivated uninterrupted attitude of love without faith. Srila Prabhupada said spiritual movement is based on love and trust. Without love there cannot be trust, without trust there cannot be love. If we do not trust with one another, we cannot love with one another. Therefore faith is the preliminary support to all of our spiritual advancement. And to the degree we have faith to that degree we can force in our spiritual persuades. And faith comes by hearing and the association of those who have faith. Therefore there is no greater benediction in the entire world than the association of Sadhus. The definition of sadhu the one who actually knows the truth. We are all part of Krishna, we are in Krishna, we are His and one who has faith and trust in this statement of the truth. And someone who has that faith, by hearing and the association of those personalities that faith is developed within our heart, it wakens within our heart. And in the basis of that faith and the basis of that trust. There is no impediment that can come in our life. That disturbs our devotion to god. On the basis of that faith and trust we are on the royal road back to godhead. So by having faith and trust in Krishna and those divine representatives, who are spreading his glories on this earth, that is our greatest fortune and opportunity in life. And with this faith, then we can really understand this verse.
“patraà puñpaà phalaà toyaà
yo me bhaktyä prayacchati”
That what ever I offer to Krishna, if I offered with love and trust and he will accept it and when He accepts my life will perfect. Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.
Questions and Answers
QD: Maharaja you said that the devotees to take risk with faith in Krishna so what cost is always going out……………?
AM. There should be no risk in this regard. If there is seriously a risk in that regard, they should not be performing that service. Another words, unless we are so spiritually elevated we have no right to take risks independently. We have to know that what we are doing is the sanction and approved by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Another word, you can speculate. Just like I’ll give you an example. One devotee wants, he was thinking that I am collecting money and if I spend money, I can give less to my guru. So better of I steal. So he had to eat. So he went into the supermarket and he used to steal everyday. So that he could turn more money to his guru and of course one day he got caught and put in jail. When this information came to his guru, his guru said let him residing in jail, he had no right to steal. He said the longer he stays the more he learned his lesson. He cannot speculate and do things immorally. Risk the regulative principles of Krishna Consciousness on your speculation.
AM. That woman was very elevated. She was in a desperate condition. She was not simply collecting. She was considering that this is the greatest offence to my guru, he comes to our house, and do not have any grain of rice to offer him. She was in a desperate condition of consciousness. She was doing a little service to him.
AM: Everything is voluntary, how can you say involuntary. You came into this world voluntarily and leave this world voluntarily. What is that verse
viçväso naiva jäyate”
That mahä-prasäde govinde näma-brahmaëi vaiñëave, one should have complete faith in mahaprasad, in the holy name, and the mercy of the brahmanas. If one does not have faith, in these three things and has mind and mentality is hellish, hellish condition of life. These are three things that devotees are great faith in it. Mahaprasad, holy name and the saints, complete faith. Narad Muni simply by in his previous birth as a maid servant, simply by a little association with saintly persons and taking their Prasad, he became Narad muni in his next life. This is the power of Mahaprasad. It is manifesting, but it is manifesting in subtle platform that purification is taking place. But Krishna says as you approached him, he rewords you accordingly. If you approach the effects will be more understood and manifest you to the extent that you honor the Prasad, not eat the Prasad. Devotees do not eat the Prasad, they honor Prasad. You eat food, but that spiritual potency within the food is what makes a Prasad, you honor that you do not just eat it. You accept it. You worship it and you honor it. Through the process of eating. That should be our consciousness. Prasad is not something that you just, you know talk all about business and the local articles in the news paper, while you eating and just full your belly. That is not the way you take Prasad. If you approach Krishna that way, the effects will be very minimal. The effects will be there but in very subtle but in very minimal. But if you understand the glory and the potency of the Prasad. There is an entire chapter of Caitanya-caritamrita, where Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is doing nothing but glorifying the power of Prasad, the mercy of Prasad. With tears in his eyes, he is describing how not you can understand that this food has been tasted and is decorated with saliva of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is no power greater on earth than the mercy of god. Prasad means mercy of god is fully manifesting. Srila Prabhupada used to say even if the most sinful of all sinners take Prasad even once in his life, it is guaranteed human birth in the next life. Otherwise he would go to the lowest species, is the power of Prasad. In America we teach vegetarian cooking classes. And you see right before eyes the power of Prasad, unbelievable. I gained such faith by giving these classes. Because when you any colleges, you giving lectures, teaching Bhagavad-Gita philosophy. People say, yes-yes, very good philosophy. And then leave and you never see him again. But cooking class, cooking class is just an excuse to give Prasad. If you just go to college and you say I want a classroom to give Prasad. You think you can give a class room, they can say go back to West Virginia, you crazy person. But if you say teach them how to cook, academic education, culinary arts, they will say, yes, you can use the class room. And even you do not how to cook. You just see, ok, take this piece of – and roll it like into a circle and then you put it on the flame and try to go like this, everyone seen and then you say, ok, you eat this nice food. They all say very nice, very nice. I will take this class. I’ll come every week. Usually they come just in time to miss the lecture and then they eat Prasad and we have seen people completely transformed. Like they come in the room and look at me, then I say, o my god, as Hare Krishna teaching this course, I have been fool, I thought was cooking class, but it is a Hare Krishna class. But while I am hear I guess everyone says foods well. He tries to tell me anything about the philosophy, I’ll walkout. Then I walkout this person and could in their eyes, if you tries to preach to me, you are finished. And I look at them. He is just waiting for me, – punch me the face and through the food in my face and walk out. You can sense, one person is like that. Even a dull person like me can sometimes sense these things. – and fear in his eyes. Ok, you are approach me. How is the food? He said, very good. I said, thank you very much, then walk away. He thinks what kind of preacher is this? Then a few weeks later he comes upon -. What is your philosophy? I want to read your books, I want to chant, I want to surrender. I said, really. What brought about this change? He said something in the food. I do not know. I said this is not food, this is Prasad. He said whatever it is. I want more. Now once, twice or three times, or four time, what happen again and again. I remember one time I was chanting on the lawn of campus. We have time for one more story. This was highway university. What we used to do is, used to chant or go to different colleges every day of the week. Will be there for one day. We arrived early morning, I would be usually there myself alone or with one other. I had a little car and we get out of the car and sit on the campus and play either mridanga, harmonium and chant Hare Krishna and have some books to just talk to people. The people who are come by and there was a one man, who was a fundamental born against Christian. He was very powerful preacher. He came up to me and I was talking to some other people, and he said gate away from this man. The student what do you mean? Why you tell me to gate away. He says because he is – and he is the devil. I was just sitting there thinking, so many people met when we were preaching. I was thinking here is another one. He says, this is the devil, gate away from him. If you listen to what he says, your soul burn in help forever. And the person started thinking my god, what he says, he is making sense. Seems like a final student, you. He said to the preacher. Final student you my souls burn in help for ever. He said, no-no get away, get away. Then the person started, if you do not accept Christianity, is the only religion on the world. You must go to hell. You have to go on hell. He says right here my scripture the only scripture. There was crowed of about 100 people gathered around. And then he just go on and on and on waving and screaming like a mad man. I was thinking my god, had you talk to someone like this. He said, you are going to hell, you are going to hell. I said, tell me one thing. He said, what? I said, where are you going? You are going to hell. He said I am going to heaven. I said, all right, very good. He said, what do you mean by very good. I said, you are saying “I am going to hell”. He says, yes I say very good. What do you mean by very good? I said you are in heaven; I wanted to be in hell. If going to heaven means being with the closed minded phonetics like you, I think hell will be a very nice place. So then all the students of out of hundred students just started laughing out of that man laughing, see just get him embarrassed and walked away. What happen? He found out we are giving a vegetarian cooking class. He was thinking that these demons they are giving cooking classes to mislead some students. So he went to the faculty and said we have to close down this cooking class. He went to the din of the students. We have to, you know what these people are doing. They are teaching false doctrine and in the name of cooking, they are eluting our innocent little ships, they are in – clothing, our little ship students are going to devour them with this contaminated philosophy, if we allow them to serve this food. So the din of the student said, well we have no right to close them down. He said, you go to the class and you see if they are giving some false doctrine class. If they are teaching any religion, we close them down. But do know as far as, I know it is teaching of cooking. He says I’ll go. So this man went to the cooking class with four guards. They are all his disciples. And when they came in the class, he had his bible this big. And had a big cross on the front of it. And he was holding like this. Because he had this idea that the cross will protect him from their – vibrations these are emanating. So he came in like this .. and I was serving out the food. He was came up like—. I said, how are you today? He said I have come to monitor your class. I said, oh, very good, have some Prasad, have som
e dinner. So somehow or other there was about two hundred students in the class. He was just watching them with his cross like this. As he was watching, he saw they were enjoying the food so much. He decided to try it. Now we teach this class once a week, so he tried the food. I cam up to him. He was sitting down eating the food and when he was eating. First he asked about twenty students, as he said food all right. They said, yes-yes. I guess the smell of it, that just attracted his senses. And he could not control his senses. So came up to him and I really wanted to say too much. I said how did you like the food. And he would not say anything. He just – his bible. Then he left. Then next week, he came back, he was actually monitoring the class. He was there specifically to see, if I was come to talk anything about religion. Because I was not allowed to talk about any religion in the class. As soon as I did, he had four people with tepi-coats and everything. He was going to close it down. Go to the dean of the students and get it closed. So the next week he came back and he had small standard size bible. And he was holding like this, instead like this, he was holding like this. And then he came in and he listen to the whole demonstration and in the demonstration you know. I just say you of funny things and get people laugh usually and bring the preparation. They all laugh for me for bring such useless cook. I gave them Prasad and they enjoyed. So that’s one thing I learned as a teacher. The more you do things wrong, the more the students like you. Because every teacher, every student thinks that the teacher do everything just right. When the teacher makes – mistakes the students love to laugh at the teacher, when he makes mistakes. The more they laugh at the teacher, more they like the teacher. So I purposely make mistakes. Like I would be making masala with ghee and spices. I accidentally, I do on purpose but look like accident. I let the fire go into it and make a big fire and the fire will go on huge upper to the sealing. I say O’ my god, it is burning. And everyone goes laughing. And then the next week, there about twice of many students in the class. Because they tell other friends this teacher he does everything wrong. So they just thinking we never saw teacher does everything wrong. We wanted take his class. So during I made everything wrong and the sweetness of Krishna Prasad, so many people are coming. So this man he would sit there, he was like a stone. He was seriously grave and he be thinking that I suppose to be preaching some demoniac doctrine. I would just be telling people, how to roll the paddies and will just burning in everything and everyone is laughing. What is this? What can be more harmless than this? Anyone would take Prasad. That was second week. Then the third week, he had a little pocket bible. He had it in the pocket and he came alone. He actually he smiled at me that week. Was the third week he smiled. I said how are you? He said, fine, how are you? I think, my god, this man is really making spiritual advancement. Then he ate Prasad. Then the next week he came and he did not have any bible. This was the fourth week. And he listened to the class and he was laughing and then he took Prasad. He took seconds, he took thirds and he took fourth. The first time he tasted a little. The second time he took seconds. The second time thirds. He was eating more than any other student in the class. By the fourth week, he was just coming back again and again for second thirds and fourth. Then he would take home. I remember the fifth week, he said I have a church meeting after class, I like to bring some of these bag full for all the members of the church. Is that all right? For you because you are such a saintly person. Then after six weeks of eating Prasad for six weeks, once a week, he came up to me. He was real like, he did not come up in a comfortable way. He came up like, he was really in an anxiety. He had something to ask me. What I was thinking? Usually this people ask, I have a question for you. I said yes. He said, Do you accept the Jesus Christ the way the truth on life. There is no other way to father accept to him. And usually I said, yes of course. He said, why you are doing Hare Krishna. I said, because – Krishna, Krishna is the father of Jesus. Jesus is a guru very nice. But this man if he would ask any religious question and I would answered in any religious way, he was closed down. So I knew this person very much anxious to get closed down. So he came up to me. And he said very seriously I have a question for you. I was thinking, oh my god. He is going to ask me about this question that the always the question he asked. So I said, what your question is. He said, what is the recipe for halawa. I said, you like halawa. He said, I am addicted to it. I cannot stop eating it. He said I eat at least five or six bowls every Wednesday night and the rest of the night I am longing for it. I have to have it everyday. Can you tell me how to make it? So I sat down and wrote down the recipe for him. And he said thank you very much. And then he went home. Then the next week, the seventh week, he came and he said “how come when I made it, it does not taste like when you make it”. And I said this; I am not allowed to talk about in class. He said go outside the class room and you can tell me secretly. I said all right, we go out of the class room, this has nothing to do with the class. Okay. This is personal confidential alright. He said, yes. So we went outside into the campus, the lawn green of the campus. And he said, why is it? I tried it for the last everyday for six days and it does not taste like yours. I said because I offered it to Krishna. He said, really! He said even if offered it to Krishna, it taste like that you make it. I said yes. Then he said how to I offer to Krishna. And I told him you just say, Hare Krishna. That’s all. Actually you can offer to Christ. And he will offer to Krishna for you. He said really, he will. I said, yes, yes. So the next week the eighth week, there was a girl who was coming to the class every week, she was one of the senior journalist of the college newspaper and she wrote at least four articles in the college newspaper for praising our cooking class. Four of one was half page with pictures and glorifying, how was popular event in the whole campus. So this girl was completely like a devotee, she was chanting rounds and everything. The eighth week he was seating next to her eating halwa and he fall love with her. And then the ninth week after each class he would go to someone’s house and have kirtan and she used to come every week and take pictures and everything. Then the ninth week, he came for the Kirtan and he became completely a different person. He was always smiling. Everyone in the campus was telling me, this man is completely changed. He used just stand in front of the bars on Saturday nights, and everyone would go and out. He would say you will go in the hell. You will go into the hell. And he would just go up to students and just started chastising him. Now he became very gentle, very saintly. They said, what happened to him. I said I do not know what happened to him. All I know he eats halawa. I did not do anything. I said, do not blame me. All I did stay out of his away and halwa did the rest. This is one example. But there are so many examples. One student he came into the class, he was a philosophy maser, getting his master degree in philosophy and he was also a teacher of philosophy. He came into the class and he saw the devotees. He said oh my god, its Hare Krishna’s people. He said, anything to me I am leaving. We did not say anything to him. He made a bow, the day he went in. He said, anything about philosophy to me, I am leaving. So what happened is I did not say anything about philosophy. Because you know he can pickup these kinds of people. Some people went their room nicely talk philosophy immediately on individually. Otherwise he do not. I made a bow you speak about your philosophy, I am going to leave and I’ll never comeback. I hav
e been comeback for six weeks, you never said anything philosophy. But your food is so good; I just cannot stop eating this food. He said what is your philosophy. I remember there was one devotee, he was a sannyäsé his name was Vishnujana swami. And he used to say that the greatest power on all the earth, is apple chatany(something like pickle). Our apple cahtany makes more people god conscious than any other religion. And there is great sweet – in power of Prasad is inconceivable. Therefore one who has faith in Prasad and the holy name and in the brahmanas the devotees. That person will have any impediments in his spiritual growth. So now with this empowered information invested within our heart, we should honor Prasad.
Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.