karmäëi viphaläni vä
na tathaivärpitaà tvayi
ananyäç cintayanto mäà
ye janäù paryupäsate
yoga-kñemaà vahämy aham
Lord Shri Krsna tells us in the Bhagavad Gita that “for my devotee who surrenders unto me, I will protect what he has and carry what he lacks” .It is the power and the glory of the Vaishnavas. A materialistic person is constantly calculating his past present and future in this world through his sense perception, through what he has learnt through the study of material education. In fact Bhaktivinod Thakur does not have much good to say about material education. There is one beautiful song ‘Vidyara vilase’ where he explains that he was very scholarly throughout his life, working very hard studying many many books of literature of various sorts. Studying, and obtaining higher degrees and higher stages of prestige through his erudite scholarship. And he said’ “that the conclusion of all my studies is I’ve become a foolish ass and there is nothing more to be said than that. I have simply studied this illusory energy and have become more and more and more ensnared in the complexities of material energy. I have wasted my valuable time with hopes of gratification, pleasure…..well what do I have to show for it? A life of frustration”. So it is very easy and simple in this society to just coast along with the waves of illusion and calculate everything according to how everyone tells us life should be.
The vision and faith of the Vaishnavas
But the Vaishnav devotees of the Lord; they have a different vision. Their vision is based on faith in God. Their vision is that Krsna is perfect and complete, that Krsna is the supreme controller of all controllers, that I am his servant. Whether I am educated or uneducated does not matter .What really matters is what I do have I dedicate in the loving service of the lord. Whether one is a scholar or whether one is illiterate, from the point of view of God it makes absolutely no difference. Gaura Kishore Das Babaji never went to school in his life. He never learnt even to write his own name. But he had such complete faith in the grace of God and in the grace of Guru that he could answer anyone’s questions perfectly according to the authority of the Shastras. How is it possible? It is humanly impossible .It is beyond all logic. But one who has faith in God, there is only one type of logic in their lives-that Krsna can do anything and he never abandons his devotee. That is the only logic we know .Everything else is full of the perilous inadequacies of the illusory energy.
Work sincerely for Krsna
Man proposes, God disposes. It is not that because a devotee is completely dependant on the lord that he does nothing and simply waits for Krsna. Krsna tells Arjuna, that you are a fighter and you must fight with faith in me .Do not be attached to victory or defeat, loss or gain, attainment or loss. Nothing. Just fight for my pleasure, for my service and have faith that whatever is best will be done .That is our faith. We simply endeavor honestly and sincerely in devotional service and whatever the result is, is best .It is the grace of God; therefore we accept it with great, great joy and happiness. This is Krsna consciousness.
Results of no faith in Krsna
Our petty little problems, our unfulfilled desires ,our insignificant tiny insecurities–we concentrate on these things, like a little spark we fan it with our anxieties and it just grows bigger and bigger and bigger until we cannot even see or think of anything except ‘why is this happening to me?’. This is only due to one reason. We do not have faith in Krsna.
Hard work of the karmis-ends in frustration
Srila Prabhupada is describing here, that the karmis work their whole life to accumulate wealth. And what is the result? Often times an easy example of one great man in the eyes of the world….. .Actually yesterday I was riding in an airplane and I was talking to one young college student. He was asking nice questions. He was asking if I ever had the glorious fortune of being entitled to preach to movie stars. “You are based in Bombay do you ever get to preach to movie stars?” He was very anxious to hear any names that would awaken his dormant illusory consciousness. Wasn’t so dormant actually. I was thinking, the society is so upside down. In the Vedic culture actors and actresses were considered shudras and people would be ashamed to know such people. They might enjoy their entertainment but they would not want to know them, they would not want to mix with them. They would be very proud to associate with a sadhu, with a learned, self realized soul. But today people have to hide the fact that they are going to the Hare Krsna temple and associating with sadhus. Sometimes instead of Japa beads they have to use clickers so that people won’t know that they are associating with sadhus. Instead of going (———) they go click click click. Sometimes people wear their neck-beads in so many fashionable ways so that people do not know that they are associating with the Vaishnavas. And if somebody knows a movie star they say “Oh, you know who I met last night. Very nice, you are a lucky man.”But when I met a number one T.V. star in all of America he was only telling me how miserable he was, how lonely he was and how everybody like him was totally frustrated, empty and lonely in life. “na dhanaà na janaà na sundaréà” Lord Chaitanya said “I do not want women ,I do not want money ,I do not want fame”. But these people say, “I want more and more women I want more and more money and I want more and more fame”. He said every beautiful movie actress practically in America was on my show and I had sex with every one of them. They liked it and I liked it.
And money! 30,000 dollars a week! About more than 6 lakh rupees. I don’t know. 30,000 dollars is a lot. Too much. And fame! He had to disguise himself before he could go out of the house because people would go-“There he is! Look look!.” He had all fame, all money, all wealth, all beautiful women, and he was associating with the most famous people in the world and he told me that, “I was so lonely, so frustrated and I was in so much anxiety. Everywhere I looked all the people I was with were just putting on a show that they were very happy, blissful and successful in life. But every one of them was completely frustrated and lonely .Most of them had to take all sorts of drugs and intoxications just to face the world day after day”. So is this what we work like asses for?
Analogy-The donkey and the carrot
This is the illusion of Maya. One more thing and then you will be happy. Just like if you want to control a donkey you keep a carrot in front of it and it always thinks that if I take one more step I will get the carrot. But what they do is they tie the carrot to a stick on the back of the donkey’s head .So the carrot is always dangling right in front of it. And the donkey is thinking “Ah, the carrot is right in front of me .One more step and I will get it”. But as it goes one more step the carrot goes one more step with it. And throughout the day he is working and foaming at the mouth carrying big loads thinking “I am going to get the carrot .Just one more step. Well maybe not that step but the next step.”And he spends his whole life and finally at the end of the day, they give it the carrot. It doesn’t even taste good. It is rotten by then. Not only that, it doesn’t even fill it thinking what a waste of time. But the next day he is again chasing after the carrot.
Chasing Maya’s illusory carrot
This is how Maya works.
She always keeps some form of sense gratification, or illusory success dangling in front of us and we are thinking “If I only get it .One more step then I will be happy”. But even if you get it you are not satisfied. You are thinking ‘just one more thing, one more thing’. And this way we spend our whole life .Birth after birth after birth chasing after the carrot of the illusory energy. The poor man thinks “If only I was middle class then I could just live comfortably. Then you are middle class and you are thinking “Oh! if only I were upper class then I would really have what I want. And the upper class is thinking “If only I was a millionaire then I would really be successful in this world. And after you are a millionaire you are thinking “Oh, but I have so many enemies and so many people who are more powerful than me, if I only I was a billionaire then I would really be safe and secure in this world and then you become billionaire and then you think “My God! I am still frustrated, lonely and more agitated than ever. No matter how much I have I want more and more. There is only one alternative–suicide. Maybe if I commit suicide then I will forget all the anxieties of my life”. Or they take to the impersonal school of Yoga, thinking this is all totally frustrating. “Let me annihilate all my individuality and all perception of this world which is full of misery and just merge into all glorious nothingness”. No problems. “I don’t have to face anyone ever again”. This is called spiritual suicide.
The Lord will provide
But the devotees of the lord they have faith that Krsna will provide what I need and more. “Why should I work hard simply for my bodily maintenance?” One of the associates of Lord Jesus was expressing his desire “How will we get along?”Jesus said “You don’t even need to carry a begging bowl or second cloth .You don’t even need shoes. Just walk .God will provide whatever you want. Are the birds not eating well everyday? Are the lilies in the field not beautifully dressed with clothes even nicer than the king? If you surrender to the Lord who is providing for even them, you think he will not provide for you?”Where is our faith?
Srila Prabhupada-dedicating work for Krsna’s pleasure
Srila Prabhupada is using the example that he came to America with 40 rupees. You know what 40 rupees is in American currency? Its 2 dollars. In those days it was 2 dollars and 75 cents because the rupee has devaluated. Do you know what you can buy for 2 dollars in America? Just to buy a salad costs 5 dollars. Just some raw lettuce. You can hardly buy one meal for 2 dollars. There is absolutely no place you can stay for 2 dollars. The cheapest hotel is 25 dollars. You can’t even get anywhere for 2 dollars. If you are in New York subway, you can get a one way trip to another section of New York for 2 dollars. And if you want to go somewhere else you can’t even get anywhere.2 dollars is worthless. Not only that, you can’t even exchange a rupee in America. So actually he had nothing. See the illusion, in India people are working so hard for rupees, but outside of India rupee is not even worth the paper it is printed on. And he is explaining he didn’t work for a living; he didn’t try to make money. All he did is preach. He just sat under a tree with a drum and chanted “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. No fancy tunes just one melody .He just chanted it all day, playing on not a nice mridanga made in Bengal but a little cheap hippie drum. You know what is the result of that faith? 8 years later he had property worth 40 crores of rupees .Was he attached to any of it? “Krsna it is all yours it is all for your enjoyment”. He would still just eat chapattis and little dal. He was living the same way he did when he had 40 rupees and when he had 40 crores. Because he was dedicating whatever he did for Krsna’s pleasure.
Fearlessness born of faith
So a devotee has a fearless state of consciousness and a devotee could be content in any situation in life if that devotee simply has faith in Krsna.
Bhajahure mana sri nandanandana
abhay charanara vinda re.
Durlabha manava janama satsange
taro ho e bhava sindhu re.
My dear mind please fix yourself on the lotus feet of the supreme lord Hari, that beautiful son of Nanda maharaj. Always remembering Krsna with faith and devotion we become free from all the anxieties of life.
Real wealth of human life-faith
This human birth is very rare. It is not meant to live like a foolish ass. It is not meant to simply accept and assimilate the propaganda of this illusory energy. Human form of life is meant to associate with saintly persons and through that association to hear and to render service. To cultivate our faith and dependence on the mercy of the Lord. To reciprocate with the mercy of the Lord in every aspect of our lives with thanks, with gratitude. That is Krsna consciousness. And if we capture within our life, within our heart this approach then in fact we are the wealthiest, most fortunate men or women in all of the creation. There is nothing so sublime valuable and nothing so precious as faith. So let us nourish our faith, faith in krsna and be happy.
Expanding the movement by developing faith in one another
Prabhupada ends this purport with a very dynamic conclusion. He explains ‘nonetheless in the presence of so many enemies this movement progresses, going forward without any impediments .If the devotees continue to spread this movement dedicating life and soul to the lotus feet of krsna, no one will be able to check it. The movement will go forward without limits. Chant Hare Krsna’. So here we are trying to develop this temple like sparrows trying to dry the ocean, trying to collect for a van. We get one rupee here one rupee there like little baby sparrows. Trying to make an impact in this incredibly illusioned society of 12 million people. Trying to pay the bills, to distribute books, to remain pure. Sometimes it seems how it is possible? What do we do? What are we doing? Devotees work very hard, but not for their own maintenance. We see that krsna is providing everything we need and more. We should be happy with that. But we work very,very hard for the pleasure of Guru, not for ourselves. We should not work hard at all for ourselves. We should work for krsna. We should give every drop of our life’s energy for Guru and Krsna. But for ourselves we understand that Krsna will provide. We have no need to worry. That is faith. And the movement cannot be stopped. That is a fact. The only impediment is when we lack faith, faith in god, faith in one another; if there is no love and trust cultivated among each other then it is very difficult for anyone to have faith in Krsna or Guru. Faith in guru with no faith in his devotees is an illusion .We has to cultivate faith, love and trust in one another. And then nothing can stop this movement and its progress. Krsna will empower and all things will be done for him.
How to cultivate love and trust?
The first thing is never gossip, never spread rumours and never find faults. That is public enemy number one for depth in love and trust – when people gossip about each other behind each other’s backs, speculate about each other’s motives, talk about what this person has done, what that person has done, what this person might be doing. This fault-finding rumour-mongering destroys the integrity of everyone’s consciousness. There is no possibility of loving trust as long as this is going on. Finding fault and criticizing other Vaishnavas is worse than illicit sex, intoxication, gambling and meat eating. Because these things; even if you fall down, it is very bad of course, but you can atone for it. But when you disturb people’s faith in each other as in a congregation of devotees or create a situation in an atmosphere where nobody can relate and everybody is suspicious of each other (which is the result of rumours and gossip) than what happens is, you destroy the unity which is the very means of our progressing in the execution of our Guru’s mission. It is very serious. So that is the first thing. Glorify the devotees. No faults, no rumours, no gossip. Speak positively, constructively, encouragingly. That is the greatest service you can render.
What really attracts-The spirit of being a menial servant
Alongside that, we also have to follow the principles of Krsna consciousness very carefully. Chanting the holy name attentively, being the servant of the servant of the servant. Be the servant of your godbrothers and godsisters. Be their helper. Be menial. If everyone has that spirit then this movement will be so beautiful and so glorious that everyone will want to come. How many people are attracted to philosophy? They might say they are but how many of them really are? They might get entertained by philosophy; they may get some conviction by philosophy but people join this movement because they see love and trust amongst the devotees. Otherwise they won’t take our philosophy seriously. Just like we were recently at the Rainbow Gathering; and we were speaking so much philosophy, we were having so many kirtans, distributing so much Prasad: these things were purifying people’s hearts but the real thing they appreciated more than anything was “how you people work together so nicely-don’t argue, don’t find fault, don’t gossip”. “Everyone else in the society is doing this things; I want to be with you”. The real thing that wanted them to move to the community was that “you actually seem to love each other”. Because that is the fruit of our philosophy –love and trust. If they see that they will be attracted. If they don’t see that, “here’s about, you know, you talk about so much nice philosophy and the next thing I know is you are fighting among each other like cats and dogs; you are criticizing each other, you are gossiping about one another; if that is the fruit of your philosophy, I will just go home and watch television”. We have to learn to be the menial servant of the keeper of our godbrothers and godsisters. Whatever your position may be-whether you are a temple president, a Guru, a GBC, a street sweeper, a pujari, a temple commander, a college preacher, treasurer, even if you are the chairman of the board of the tape-ministry and library, that is all superficial. Actually we have only one position-the menial servant of every devotee. To the degree we all accept this position, to that degree there will be such a charming atmosphere of Vaikuntha that the whole world will want to come and be a part of it.
Understanding God and the material energy
Krsna says in the Gita
jnanam te ham sa vijnanam
idam vaksyamy asesatah
yaj jnatva neha bhuyo nyaj
That this science is to understand the phenomenal and the nominal side by side. That means you have to understand how this material energy is working. It doesn’t mean you have to be a PhD. If you use PhD in Krsna’s service that is glorious. But what this is saying that in order to have a complete understanding you must understand what is devotion to God and what are the results, what is this material energy and what are the results of following it? In fact at the beginning it is more important to understand the nature of material existence-how it is temporary; dukhalayam ashashvatam- how it is ultimately a place of misery. Janma- mrityu-jara-vyadhi-dukha-doshanudarshanam-how the real problems of life are birth,old age, disease and death. At the beginning stages this understanding is a very important impetus to take devotion to God seriously. You understand? So we have to cultivate knowledge and ignorance simultaneously. Cultivating ignorance doesn’t mean becoming ignorant. It means understanding what is ignorance. Understanding the nature of ignorance and how to overcome it by knowledge. So any other questions? So you are very happy to be back in the association of the jubilant Vaishnavas who are always hovering at the lotus feet of Radha Gopinatha. Any service I can offer please give me the chance.