Radhanath Swami explains the plight of Draupadi and about Arjuna pacifying her:
Draupadī, the mother of the five children of the Pandavas, after hearing of the massacre of her sons, began to cry in distress with eyes full of tears. Trying to pacify her in her great loss, Arjuna spoke to her thus:
mātā śiśūnāḿ nidhanaḿ sutānāḿ
niśamya ghoraḿ paritapyamānā
tāḿ sāntvayann āha kirīṭamālī
“O gentle lady, when I present you with the head of that brahmana, after beheading him with arrows from my Gandiva bow, I shall then wipe the tears from your eyes and pacify you. Then, after burning your sons’ bodies, you can take your bath standing on his head.
tadā śucas te pramṛjāmi bhadre
yad brahma-bandhoḥ śira ātatāyinaḥ
gāṇḍīva-muktair viśikhair upāhare
tvākramya yat snāsyasi dagdha-putrā
An enemy who sets fire to the house, administers poison, attacks all of a sudden with deadly weapons, plunders wealth or usurps agricultural fields, or entices one’s wife is called an aggressor. Such an aggressor, though he be a brāhmaṇa or a so-called son of a brāhmaṇa, has to be punished in all circumstances. When Arjuna promised to behead the aggressor named Aśvatthāmā, he knew well that Aśvatthāmā was the son of a brāhmaṇa, but because the so-called brāhmaṇa acted like a butcher, he was taken as such, and there was no question of sin in killing such a brāhmaṇa’s son who proved to be a villain.
Radhanath Swami describes the Battle of Kurukshetra and war codes
This chapter from the Srimad Bhagwatam is beginning just after that great battle of Kurukshetra wherein due to the passion of fighting so many amazing and unusual events took place. Although Dronacarya and Bhisma were very exalted, noble persons and devotees of the Lord under the influence of the battle both of them behaved in such a way that is inconceivable to our understanding.
Drona so much hungry for victory even though he knew well he was on the wrong side even though he knew well that he had to lose this battle because he was fighting against the will of Krsna the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Still as a warrior he became so carried away in the battle that with his great power after he was made commander in chief after Bhisma was put on the bed of arrows he began to fight so ferociously that he was destroying the entire army of the Pandavas. And although according to the military codes the fighting proceeds after the sun rises and it must end after the sun sets.
And according to the proper kshatriya codes which he knew well being the greatest teacher of the military arts it is improper to attack a person less qualified than you with weapons that that person has no power to combat. We have seen often that you do not throw a brahmastra unless the person you are attacking has the power to throw a brahmastra. You do not fight with a bow and arrow unless your opponent has a bow and arrow. Generally if your opponent has a club you fight him with a club. If your opponent has nothing but his fist then you fight him with your fist this is the proper kshatriya code of honour but Drona was breaking all codes of honour he was taking the most terrible terribly powerful nuclear weapons and he was attacking soldiers who had nothing but a bow and arrow. He was destroying them whole sale. And after the sun set the smell of blood due to all the people that he was killing created such a kshatriya passion in his heart that he continued to fight throughout the entire night. Not giving any of the soldiers anytime to rest or even to eat or drink water. And because he was so powerful he was massacring the armies. It came to pass that the only the Pandavas had a chance of surviving and being victorious of behalf of Krsna is that they had to stop Drona from his massacre and as long he was so inspired as long as he was so enthusiastic to fight there was no one who could stand before him and stop him. So it was Krsna’s plan that we must somehow or the other discourage him. And the only thing that will discourage him is the news that his son one and only son Ashwattama is dead because he loves his son so dearly. He will not be able to fight if he hears that his son is dead. But Ashwathama had a benediction from Lord Siva that he could not be killed. So this was a very difficult thing and Drona knew it. If anyone would have informed Drona that your son is dead he would not have even considered that it could be true but Maharaj Yudhisthira was Dharamaraj. He was noted for his nobility that he had never spoken or even thought from his birth of anything immoral what to speak of a lie that is not true. When Yuddhisthira entered into the gambling arena and he gave his word that if you win you can have my wife if you can win you can have all my brothers if you win you can have my whole kingdom if you win I will go the forest in exile and he maintained his word at such a tremendous loss. So no one when a person is honourable people trust them. And amongst devotees it is very important that in our ordinary activities especially amongst vaisnavas that we are very truthful very honest not deceiving not trying to trick one another through juggling words. Because although sometimes this process is good for getting things done as a management technique we say one thing which isn’t what you really mean to try to get somebody to do something that they don’t want to do or you say various things which are not exactly the way it is so that you can get what you want form someone someway somehow this tendency. And immediately it may have a good effect but in the long run it has a disastrous effect because if we cannot be very honest straightforward and trustworthy in the most basic ordinary activities of our relationships then people simply cannot trust you. Even on serious matters people will question. Is this person telling me the truth? What is this person’s motive? But if a person is always straightforward always honest never trying to play games or tricks with other devotees to fulfil their own aims then people trust them and they will trust them in all circumstances because they have proven themselves. And this movement is based not on management. This movement is not based on the principle of getting things done no doubt utility is a principle. But ultimately the greatest utilitarian principle is when our relationships are based on love and trust. Srila Prabhupada said this movement will expand on the basis of love and trust and there cannot be trust without honesty. Srila Rupa Goswami has said that one must be straight forward even in ones most ordinary activities. Straight forward you tell it like it is. You don’t try to get something out of someone by telling them something else especially amongst devotees. And if we behave like this people will trust us. Because Yuddhisthira had never lied before in his life everyone knew that whatever he said was true there was no question.
Radhanath Swami explains why did Yuddhisthira Maharaj’s chariot touch the ground?
To the extent that Drona who knew that Shankar gave Ashwathama the benediction that he would not be killed he would not be defeated. Krsna knew that if Yuddhisthira says he is dead Drona has to believe it because Yuddhisthira never lies. The power of truth the power of honour but Yuddhisthira never lied in his whole life how could he start now it was against his nature utterly. Krsna told him to tell a lie. If Krsna comes directly to tell you to tell a lie then there is some justification because what Krsna says is the absolute truth. Krsna is the absolute truth. Whatever Krsna says is the truth. If Krsna says day is night and night is day then day is night and night is day but if you say it you are a liar because you are relative but Krsna is absolute param stayam dimihi. We mediate on Krsna because he is the Supreme truth. And truth is whatever emanates from Krsna. Therefore, when Krsna told Yuddhisthira to tell this lie he was requesting Yuddhisthira to surrender even his own pride in being truthful for the sake of Krsna’s service. And it is explained that Maharaj Yuddhisthira’s chariot it never touched the ground because of his never telling a lie because of his complete honourable morality throughout his life. But in this incident his chariot fell to the ground. Now the karma kandis who read the Mahabharat with the idea of developing in their artha, karma, dharma and moksa, economic development, sense gratification, religiosity and liberation they say on the basis of religiosity that Yuddhisthira Maharaja’s chariot fell to the ground because he lied on the order of Krsna. But the vaisnavas they have a much higher understanding of this principle. Yuddhisthira Maharaj’s chariot touched the ground because he hesitated to surrender to Krsna. He hesitated in having complete faith that whatever Krsna says is the highest supreme truth.
Radhanath Swami explains how Krsna helps the Pandavas
So it is explained that Krsna saw that Yuddhisthira was having a real hard time surrendering to telling the first lie in his existence. He did not recognise that it was not a lie it was Krsna’s desire. So Krsna gave him a concession. He said that there is an elephant Bhima go kill that elephant. Bhima killed that elephant that elephant’s name happened to be Ashwathama. So you say that Ashwathama is dead not a lie. So Yuddhisthira approached Drona who was in his ferocious spirit and as far as I remember other people tried to explain to him that Ashwathama is dead but he didn’t believe it. He said that I will only believe it if Yudhdisthira tells me. Now Krsna knows past, present and future he is in everyone’s heart. Yuddhisthira said that Ashwathama the elephant is dead. But Krsna blew his concshell so loud just when he said the elephant. So what Drona heard was Ashwathama (Maharaj emotes sound of conch) is dead. And he couldn’t believe him but he had to believe him. So he just didn’t want to fight anymore he lost his enthusiasm.
Dronacarya takes samadhi
And later and shortly after that Bhima began to chastise him severely. He started bringing up facts there is nothing that hurts more than truth and there is nothing that gives more pleasure than truth. Depending on which truth it maybe is. If someone lies against you it doesn’t hurt so bad but if someone tells truth about something you have done in the past it hurts a lot. So Bhima was saying ‘Drona you call yourself great warrior great brahmana you were there when Draupadi was stripped naked why did you not say anything? why didn’t you do anything?. You were there when Shakuni cheated us in the gambling match why didn’t you say anything why didn’t you do anything.’
He brought up so many incidents of how Drona due to his affiliation and association with Duryodhana engaged in so many nefarious, immoral acts. And everything Bhima was saying true and that further discouraged Drona from fighting. In fact he became so discouraged that he decided I am going to just resign from this battle. He put in his formal resignation immediately ‘I am no longer a commander in chief. I am no longer a warrior. I am going back to my occupation of a brahman and right then and there with the thought of the loss of his son and with the thought of all the immoralities that he was a part of he took of his armour and took off all of his weapons he sat on his chariot and sat in cross legged padmasan closed his eyes and entered into a state of samadhi mediation.
Drona and Drupada’s Friendship
Now Draupadi and Drstyadyumna her brother they were both born for very specific purposes. Maharaj Drupada and Drona they were both classmates in their what we may call gurukul. Drona was a brahamna, Drupada was a prince who was soon to be king. They became very dear friends and as they were partying after their graduation Drupada told Drona If ever there is anything you need you come to me because i will be king. So many years went by and Drupada became king. And when you become king however great noble you maybe sometimes the tendency to become infatuated is there because you have so much power prestige and influence. And he became a royal powerful king and he was a great warrior as well. Meanwhile Drona he was living very simple life. He was so poor but he and his wife did not mind utter poverty because brahmanas are not supposed to mind utter poverty. They are supposed to be content with whatever God provides and go on with their brahmanical activities of helping others. But one day their only son Ashwathama was playing with his friends and his friend said something about milk but he so poor he never tasted milk. He came and said to his mother and father what is this milk that I am hearing about form my friend. So they were thinking that we may not mind poverty for ourselves but at least we should give the basic necessities to our son so that he may grow up nicely. So Drona said to his wife and child that Drupada is my friend he will give us whatever we want, he has promised. Let us go to his kingdom. So they went before him. Drupada was sitting on his royal throne. Drona and his family were in torn rags in the name of clothes. They asked can you help us with some basic necessities of life and Drupada looked at him
‘Ah beggar! You are a beggar what do I need you for. How will you help me?’
‘But you promised’
‘As a child who takes seriously the promise of a child. Get out from here.’
He said this to Drona in front of his own wife and child this is great humiliation, terrible humiliation, unbearable because although Drona was Brahmana he had a kshatriya spirit as well. And kshatrityas dishonour is worse than death. Krsna says that in Gita. So he decided ‘I must revenge’.
So with his good intelligence Bhisma who was then acting as the king of Hastinapur the Kuru dynasty although he was not allowed to take the position of king he had to act and do the duties of the king. They were looking for someone to teach the Pandavas in the kuru military art. Now Drona was disciple of Parasurama so was Bhisma. Bhisma did not have time. So one day when they boys were playing together with a ball they were children ball went deep into a well. At that time Drona appeared but the boys didn’t know how to get the ball from the well. Drona took a ring and threw it down the well. And as it was falling he took an arrow and it went through the ring into the ball and then within seconds he shot so many arrows and each arrow stuck into the backside of the other arrow until it was just one long line of arrows going all the way to the top of the well and then he just pulled them up and gave the ball. And the boys were amazed they never had seen such archery skills in their whole life from anyone, miraculous! So they went home and spoke to Bhisma and told him ‘We met somebody we don’t know who he was. But what type of archer he is!’ And when Bhisma heard he said its Drona no one else can do it. So he went and asked Drona to teach them. And Drona taught them and after they graduated from his school, he said now it is time to give me guru daksina. And the daksina I want is I want you to defeat Drupada armies and I want you to bring him to me defeated as a captive prisoner alive. So he sent the Pandavas and the Kurus. First he sent the 100 sons of Drtarashtra headed by Duryodhana, Dyushasana and others and when they declared war against Drupada. Drupada easily defeated the 100 sons of Drtarashtra. They were running for their lives. Then he sent the 5 Pandavas. He told Arjuna that your specific duty is to bring Drupada to me alive and Bhima, Yuddhisthira, Nakula and Sahadeva you defeat his armies. They completely uprooted all of his armies. And although Drupada was a maharathi when he fought with Arjuna Arjuna was so gallant that he just captured and tied him up and brought him to Drona. And Drona put his feet on Drupada’s head and said now who is in a superior position now if you want to live you have to plead for your life from me. And Drupada was very humiliated and then Drona said just let him go he is like a captive animal. Let this animal go. So Drupada went but as a kshatriya he had to seek revenge. But one thing is he was so impressed by Arjuna the way Arjuna defeated him. He really appreciated Arjuna’s nobility and his skills. So he performed a yagya. He got all qualified Brahmans performed this yagya and in the yagya all the rituals took place and all of the devotional activities the last oblation they chanted mantra – through this oblation let a son be born to kill Drona. And from that oblation in the fire Drshtadyumna was born. And then he was thinking that Arjuna is such a wonderful soul I want him to be my son-in-law so let a daughter be born who will be the bride of Arjuna. And through the oblation Draupadi was born of fire. So as Dronacarya was sitting with his back erect in the padmasan mediating on the Supreme Lord everyone with great reverence was offering their respects to such a great soul who has just relieved himself from the battle. But to everyone’s amazement all of a sudden Drstadyumna came running at him with such speed that no one could stop him and before everyone everyone’s eyes he chopped off Drona’s head. And even the Pandavas were aghast Drshtadyumna was the commander-in-chief of their army what have you done how could you do this! And Drshtadyumna said I have done nothing wrong because I was born to kill him. I was born specifically for that purpose. There is no way I could have refrained from doing this. It was the will of destiny it had to be done and it had to be done by me. I was helpless to fulfil my birth in this purpose. So everyone knew this was true but Ashwathama who was fighting in another area of the battlefield and he came back that night he heard what had been done to his father. He vowed revenge.
So after the kurus were defeated the Pandavas were victorious there was only a very small handful of soldiers left in the Pandava army. And in the Kuru army Duryodhana had already been defeated and was lying with a broken spine due to the club of Bhima. He was just laying near a pond of water in Kurukshetra and there was Krtavarma, Krpacarya and Ashwathama. And all the other Kurus were dead. And amongst the Pandavas there was just the 5 sons of Draupadi who were just teenage children and Drshtadyumna and a few others. They were so exhausted that after the battle was over there was no celebration no victory march they just wanted to go to sleep. 18 days of terrible terrible fratricidal war. They just said it was over let’s just go to sleep. So Krsna, Sadyaki and the 5 Pandavas it was their duty to go to Hastinapur to inform Drtharashtra, Gandhari, Kunti and others that the battle was over. So they went to Hastinapur. And the others were sleeping in the tents. And somehow or the other Ashwathama was just lying in the forest thinking how will I advantage (?) the death of my father how. And as he was thinking like this he saw in the trees an owl and in the middle of the night there was a nest of birds a family of birds sleeping and the owl just jumped into the nest and killed them all. He thought ah! This is the way while they are sleeping I will massacre them. So somehow or the other he convinced Krtavarma and Krapacarya to help him. He was very powerful very forceful. And as they were sleeping they ran into the tents and they just started killing everyone in their sleep. Ashwathama went to Drshtadyumna and put his bows put rope put bow string rope around Drshtadyumna‘s neck to choke then he woke him up. When he woke up he was in such a situation. And Drshtadyumna said please if you are going to kill me kill me with an arrow let me die as kshatriya. Don’t strangle me like some sort of a…it is not proper death of kshatriya. And Ashwathama said because of what you have done to my father you have no right to die as a kshatriya and then he choked him to death.
Why vaisnavas can cry?
Mahabharat is much different than Vrndavan lila no doubt. Still it’s is our Guru Maharaj’s instruction we must hear and become purified by all of Krsna’s lilas. They have a great importance in our lives. So then he killed the 5 sons of Draupadi. She had one son from Yudhisthira one son from Bhima, one son from Arjuna, one from Sahadeva, one from Nakula. They were all killed when they were sleeping. And they were all very young just teenagers. And when the news reached Draupadi that her 5 little children were massacred in their sleep she naturally as a mother began to cry in distress with yes full of tears. Now one may ask how this is. And why is this? Krsna tells us in Gita:
aśocyān anvaśocas tvaḿ
prajñā-vādāḿś ca bhāṣase
gatāsūn agatāsūḿś ca
that a wise person laments neither for the living neither for the dead. Na hanyate hnyamane saria a wise person sees the soul and knows that it cannot be killed by any weapons. So why Draupadi was in such distress she was such a great soul. But then again we can ask why Arjuna was so weeping and so devastated upon the loss of Abhimanyu his own son. And why is it that Narottama Das Thakur beats his head against the rock in anguish feeling the separation of his beloved friend vaisnava friend Srinavasa Acarya. And why amongst the Gaudiya vaisnavas when Rupa and Sanatana left their bodies Lokanatha goswami and the others were so devastated in their hearts. And why is it that in a purport in the 4th Canto explains that when a spiritual master leaves it is the duty of a disciple to weep and to cry in separation. When Krsna says:
aśocyān anvaśocas tvaḿ
prajñā-vādāḿś ca bhāṣase
gatāsūn agatāsūḿś ca
That the wise men lament neither for the living nor for the dead. And why Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself when Haridasa Thakur left experienced such incredible emotion of separation from his devotee; because devotees by nature have very soft hearts.
On one level devotees cry when they see the distress of others and also devotees have their own natural relationships and although they may have complete knowledge that we are not this body we are the eternal soul still to be separated from great souls even though that soul may not be dead. The separation from that person is naturally very painful for the hart. In fact Ramananda Roy had the deepest highest conceptions of Krsna’s madhurya rasa. The highest understanding of the absolute truth. He was speaking to Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and he was practically the only person in Caitanya Mahprabhu’s whole life that he discussed openly the conjugal love of Radha and Krsna. Srila Prabhupada said Svarupa Damodar, Ramananda Roy were practically the only ones he went into great detail about this subject. And Lord Caitanya Himself said about Ramananda Roy that he was His guru. That he is the fit person the only fit person to discuss such topics. But Ramananda Roy himself in his most elevated state of consciousness during his conversation when he was asked by Mahaprabhu what is the greatest type of suffering. He said being away from vaisnavas is the only suffering. This is not material this is actually a very natural spiritual emotion.
Srila Prabhupada starts food for life
There is a story of Srila Prabhupada in Mayapur when he saw little children. He looked out his window from his quarters in Mayapur dham and he saw little children picking through the garbage trying to find something to eat. Prabhupada began to cry. Tears were flowing from his eyes and with a choked voice he told one of his disciples who was in charge of Mayapur that we should prepare prasadam so that not a single person within miles of this temple is hungry. That is our principle. And from that day on they started cooking food enough for everybody. Now one may think why mundane sentiments. Hunger is a mundane thing. But when a great soul sees the pure soul of another the part and parcel of Krsna having to suffer so many tribulations of this world it pains his heart. And if you don’t have that pain to see the sufferings of others you cannot preach you cannot be a preacher unless you can empathise with the pain of others and the pain that the preachers sees are the pains of material conditioning because the soul of others is under the misconception that they are this material body and due to that misidentification and illusion they engage in so many ignorant activities which create such karmic conditions which culminate in suffering in birth and death. This is not just sentimental this is compassion. Vaisnavas have such soft hearts but it is not that simple on a sentimental basis it is with knowledge. We are crying why this soul doesn’t come to Krsna. Why doesn’t this soul come out of this suffering condition? And it is this type of weeping for the sufferings of others that in stills the empowerment by which we can preach Krsna consciousness. So when we see such great souls in this condition it is actually a decoration which makes their devotional service beautiful. So Draupadi naturally was weeping because her children were dead. She was feeling separation from the souls of those children. And Arjuna he was also one of his own children. One child, one son and four nephews were killed. He was also very affected. But he had a different way of dealing with it than Draupadi. Draupadi as a mother simply wept. But Arjuna as a warrior and a kshatriya his response was justice must be served. You live by the sword you die by the sword.
And Srila Prabhuapada is explaining in this purport that it was perfect it is the duty of a kshatriya to make sure that justice is served. It is the necessity of society that such kshatriyas are living in Krsna consciousness. So Arjuna is trying to pacify Draupadi his wife. And Draupadi is in a state where her heart is utterly broken at the loss of her 5 children. And the wonderful story that follows will be continued tomorrow.
Questions to Radhanath Swami
Q. Drshtadyumna and Draupadi came out of the oblation of the fire so that means their birth was divine?
Ans. Not exactly divine. In other words their words their births were special because they were devotees. But the fact that they were born out of fire does not mean divine because Vrtrasura was also born of fire. You know this story Vrtrasura- when Indra conquered the demons they performed a yagya for a child to be born to kill Indra and the greatest demon Vrtrasura was born of that fire. But the brahmana …. chanted the mantra wrong. He chanted the mantra instead of saying– that’s why these yagyas are very delicate because every mantra has to be perfect. I can’t remember the exact sanskrit but I can tell you the translation. He meant to say that from this oblation a son will be born who will kill Indra but he mixed his words up and what came out was will be killed by Indra. And Vrtrasura was a very great demon but ultimately was killed by Indra. So it’s not that just because you are born out fire due to some mystical sacrifice that it’s divine certainly mystic but not necessarily divine.
Q. Drstadyumna’s death was very horrible death very bad in that sense so does that mean that he also had to suffer the laws of karma because he killed Dronacarya.
Ans. Mahabharat is a scripture that deals with mainly artha, karma, dharma and moksa and Srimad Bhagwatam takes the same stories and explains from the point of view of pure devotional service and its very important to understand this. From one point of view for the karma kandis they will say because he killed Drona in an unfair way he dies such a death. But from higher point of view that it really doesn’t matter how you die. The fact that he surrendered so much to being commander in chief of the army which was Krsna’s army he went back to godhead. He went back home back to godhead. For karma kandis it’s very particular how you die. You have to die at a certain time ain a certain place in a certain situation in a certain astrological constellation. You are affected by all those things. But for a devotee it simply doesn’t matter how you die. If you have been pleasing to Krsna you are going to go to Krsna. Prabhupada makes that very clear. For devotee death is always auspicious because he is always serving Krsna always thinking of Krsna. So from a vaisnava point of view we only what service he has done. He did great service.
Q Dronacarya is also considered a pure devotee?
Ans. He is considered a very exalted soul and he was an associate of Krsna that much we know and therefore, we offer all respects. It doesn’t really say whether he is pure devotee or not pure devotee but he was part of Krsna’s lila. He was an associate of Krsna’s lila so he is a very very exalted soul we must accept him as such. Because he was playing his part according to Krsna’s plan.
Thank you very much. Hari bol!
Q. You said about speaking the truth at any cost sometimes…
Ans. You want to develop love and trust amongst your god brothers and god sisters you must do that. If you try to trick them to get your way you ruin your trust worthiness in their mind. By doing that you are ruining the movement. Because this movement is depending on trusting relationships so we should not be so selfish.
Q. Sometimes we wonder what if they may not be able to take it rightly so let me wait for some time and tell them at an appropriate time
Ans. That is not being untruthful that is being sensitive. We should be sensitive but we should not outward lie to people and tell them one thing when something else is there. Unless under extreme circumstances you do that really for that person’s benefit. But you should be very experienced advanced devotee before thinking you have that authority. But if you are really doing it exclusively for that person’s benefit then it is acceptable. But if you are doing it just to get something done for your own benefit then it will create something very negative in the future. From one point of view you simply won’t have any friends. You simply won’t have friends. Because unless somebody can trust you can’t really be their friend it is not very deep. Friendship is based on trust. And for your own survival in Krsna consciousness you need to have intimate friendships with vaisnavas otherwise you will not survive in Krsna consciousness.
Q. Does it mean that you are attached what you think about what they feel about you. Sometimes we hesitate to speak because they may not take it or we feel that we are not right persons.
Ans. Not necessarily. You should honestly be aware that you are not exploiting that you have no personal motivation. You should present the truth in such a way that it is helpful for another person’s devotional service. You should not lie you should present the truth in such a way that is helpful for a person’s devotional service. Like recently, sometime back one very very great devotee he was on his death bed and somebody who was very dear to him was killed. So the devotees did not tell him. Why should his mind be disturbed by the killing of somebody who is very dear to him why not just let him very peacefully leave this world thinking of Krsna. So they did not tell him. That was an act of love. That was not untruthful that was an act of love. They did not lie to him they just did not tell him out of love. So we should speak the truth. We speak it to according to time place and circumstance in a way that it is most constructive for people’s spiritual progress in a way that we could best serve.