barhāyite te nayane narāṇāḿ
lińgāni viṣṇor na nirīkṣato ye
pādau nṛṇāḿ tau druma-janma-bhājau
kṣetrāṇi nānuvrajato harer yau
barhāyite — like plumes of a peacock; te — those; nayane — eyes; narāṇām — of men; lińgāni — forms; viṣṇoḥ — of the Personality of Godhead; na — does not; nirīkṣataḥ — look upon; ye — all such; pādau — legs; nṛṇām — of men; tau — those; druma-janma — being born of the tree; bhājau — like that; kṣetrāṇi — holy places; na — never; anuvrajataḥ — goes after; hareḥ — of the Lord; yau — which.
The eyes which do not look at the symbolic representations of the Personality of Godhead Viṣṇu [His forms, name, quality, etc.] are like those printed on the plumes of the peacock, and the legs which do not move to the holy places [where the Lord is remembered] are considered to be like tree trunks.
Especially for the householder devotees, the path of Deity worship is strongly recommended. As far as possible, every householder, by the direction of the spiritual master, must install the Deity of Viṣṇu, forms like Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa or Sītā-Rāma especially, or any other form of the Lord, like Nṛsiḿha, Varāha, Gaura-Nitāi, Matsya, Kūrma, śālagrāma-śilā and many other forms of Viṣṇu, like Trivikrama, Keśava, Acyuta, Vāsudeva, Nārāyaṇa and Dāmodara, as recommended in the Vaiṣṇava-tantras or Purāṇas, and one’s family should worship strictly following the directions and regulations of arcana-vidhi. Any member of the family who is above twelve years of age should be initiated by a bona fide spiritual master, and all the members of the household should be engaged in the daily service of the Lord, beginning from morning (4 a.m.) till night (10 p.m.) by performing mańgala-ārātrika, nirañjana, arcana, pūjā, kīrtana, śṛńgāra, bhoga-vaikāli, sandhyā-ārātrika, pāṭha, bhoga (at night), śayana-ārātrika, etc. Engagement in such worship of the Deity, under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master, will greatly help the householders to purify their very existence and make rapid progress in spiritual knowledge. Simple theoretical book knowledge is not sufficient for a neophyte devotee. Book knowledge is theoretical, whereas the arcana process is practical. Spiritual knowledge must be developed by a combination of theoretical and practical knowledge, and that is the guaranteed way for attainment of spiritual perfection. The training of devotional service for a neophyte devotee completely depends on the expert spiritual master who knows how to lead his disciple to make gradual progress towards the path back home, back to Godhead. One should not become a pseudo spiritual master as a matter of business to meet one’s family expenditures; one must be an expert spiritual master to deliver the disciple from the clutches of impending death. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has defined the bona fide qualities of a spiritual master, and one of the verses in that description reads:
yuktasya bhaktāḿś ca niyuñjato ‘pi
vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam
Śrī-vigraha is the arcā, or suitable worshipable form of the Lord, and the disciple should be engaged in worshiping the Deity regularly by śṛńgāra, by proper decoration and dressing, as also by mandira-mārjana, the matter of cleansing the temple. The spiritual master teaches the neophyte devotee all these kindly and personally to help him gradually in the realization of the transcendental name, quality, form, etc., of the Lord.
Only attention engaged in the service of the Lord, especially in dressing and decorating the temple, accompanied by musical kīrtana and spiritual instructions from scriptures, can save the common man from the hellish cinema attractions and rubbish sex-songs broadcast everywhere by radios. If one is unable to maintain a temple at home, he should go to another’s temple where all the above performances are regularly executed. Visiting the temple of a devotee and looking at the profusely decorated forms of the Lord well dressed in a well-decorated, sanctified temple naturally infuse the mundane mind with spiritual inspiration. People should visit holy places like Vṛndāvana where such temples and worship of the Deity are specifically maintained. Formerly all rich men like kings and rich merchants constructed such temples under the direction of expert devotees of the Lord, like the six Gosvāmīs, and it is the duty of the common man to take advantage of these temples and festivals observed in the holy places of pilgrimage by following in the footsteps of great devotees (anuvraja). One should not visit all these sanctified pilgrimage places and temples with sightseeing in mind, but one must go to such temples and sanctified places immortalized by the transcendental pastimes of the Lord and be guided by proper men who know the science. This is called anuvraja. Anu means to follow. It is therefore best to follow the instruction of the bona fide spiritual master, even in visiting temples and the holy places of pilgrimage. One who does not move in that way is as good as a standing tree condemned by the Lord not to move. The moving tendency of the human being is misused by visiting places for sightseeing. The best purpose of such traveling tendencies could be fulfilled by visiting the holy places established by great ācāryas and thereby not being misled by the atheistic propaganda of moneymaking men who have no knowledge of spiritual matters.
It is being described how when one does not utilize all the facilities that the Supreme Godhead has given us for the purpose of purifying our existence through devotional service than our whole life is in vain and every aspect of our life is wasted. Here it begins by describing how with every rising and setting of the sun the duration of every one’s life decreases except one who utilizes that time by discussing topics of all good Personality of Godhead (SB 2.3.17). Do the trees not live? Do the bellows of the blacksmith not breath? All around us, do the beast not eat and discharge semen? (SB 2.3.18) Men who are like dogs, hogs, camels and asses praise those man who never listen to the transcendental past times of Lord Sri Krishna to deliverer from evils (SB 2.3.19). One who has not listened to the messages about the prowess and marvelous acts of the Personality of Godhead and has not sung and chanted loudly the worthy songs about the Lord is to be considered to posses ear holes like the holes of snakes and tongue like the tongue of a frog (SB 2.3.20). The upper portion of the body though crowned with the silk turban is only a heavy burden if not bowed down before the Personality of Godhead who can award liberation. And the hands though decorated with glittering bangles are like those of the dead man, if not engaged in the service of the Personality of Godhead (SB 2.3.21). The eyes which do not look at the symbolic representations of the Personality of Godhead are like those printed on the plumes of the peacock, and the legs which do not move to the holy places are considered to be like the trunks of trees (SB 2.3.22). The person who has not at anytime received the dust of the feet of the Lord’s pure devotee upon his head is certainly a dead body. And the person who has never experienced the aroma of the tulasi leaves from the lotus feet of the Lord is also a dead body, although breathing (SB 2.3.23). Certainly that’s heart is steel framed, which in spite of one’s chanting the holy name with concentration, does not change when ecstacy takes place, tears fill the eyes and hairs stand on end (SB 2.3.24). O Suta Goswami, your words are pleasing to our minds. Please therefore explain this to us as it was spoken by the great devotee Shukdeva Goswami, who is very expert to transcendental knowledge and who spoke to Maharaja Parikshit upon being asked (SB 2.3.25).
The eyes and the plumes of the peacock in spiritual and material worlds
Series of verses is just prior to Suta Goswami describing the beautiful narration between Maharaja Parikshit and Shukdeva Goswami. His verses are very strong because before we could hear Srimad Bhagwatam or any great spiritual literature in the proper state of consciousness we must understand we must be somewhat convinced of the futility of material life. And when that takes place we can take shelter of the sound vibration of the narrations of the Lord and His devotees. Here it is described the eyes which do not see the beautiful form of the Deity in the temple, they are like those printed on the plumes of the peacock. Actually the eyes and the feathers of the peacocks are very beautiful, so beautiful in fact that Krishna wear such peacock eyes on His crown. But there is a difference. Because in the spiritual world everything is conscious, nothing is dead matter. The peacock feather that Krishna wears on His crown, the eye of that peacock feather could actually see, could feel, could talk, could hear, all the senses are within the eye of that peacock feather. So that is the transcendental nature of the spiritual world. But in this material world the eye on the plume of the peacock, although it is very-very beautiful and very-very attractive, as far as seeing purpose it is completely useless, it is totally blind, it is unconscious. So although people today, they may decorate their eyes with all kinds of beautiful mascaras to make their eyes very charming and beautiful and with sidelong glances attract other people by their eyes, those eyes are considered to be completely blind and useless like dead matter, if they are not utilized for the purpose of the soul. Anything that is utilized for the purpose of the real desire of our soul is considered life. It is considered useful. The soul is always longing to be reunited with Krishna. If any part of our body that helps to bring about that awareness of reunion with Krishna, that has value. And whatever else we have if it is not utilized to reawaken that reunion with Krishna, it is simply useless. It is simply a product of dead matter. It is simply, as the Bhagvatam says, a dead corpse breathing. That’s all. Because matter is dead and anything pertaining to matter is dead. The source of all life is the soul. When the atma leaves the body all is there left is dead matter. Nobody cares for it. Nobody wants the dead corpse. Even when your beloved relative dies, we don’t want to embrace; you don’t want to keep it, you just immediately cremate it. It is the Vedic custom, within twenty four hours, you are supposed to bring it to the funeral fire and burn it with fire. Sweep the ashes in the holy river. Finished. The dead corpse is abominable because it has no life. There is no one home. There is no difference between the dead corpse and the chair or the flour or anything else except it decays, smell terrible after few minutes. It is simply dead. So the source of all life is the soul. And any activity which is in pursuance of giving pleasure to this body is simply the pursuance of dead matter and therefore it is death and any facility we have that is utilized simply for the service of the body , it is simply the service of death and it is dead. Therefore all these wonderful descriptions are being utilized. And its factual. These descriptions must be taken literally because the soul is the source of all life. The soul is all life. And the soul has only one real conscious existence. It is part of God. It is the eternal servant of God. Any activity that is in pursuance of the soul means activities in devotional service to the Lord. And whatever facilities that are not used for that purpose are simply death. They lead to death because they lead to the death of the body, the culmination. So here we find so many wonderful descriptions.
Eyes bring spiritual experiences which bring us closer to Krishna
The head that does not bow down before the Lord even if it is decorated with beautiful-beautiful silk turban, wonderful jewels, it is simply like all of the decoration of our head, all the decoration of our ego in this world, they only causes to sink in the ocean of material existence faster and faster. And these eyes, these eyes were created by God for one purpose- to bring in those spiritual experiences that will bring our heart closer to Krishna. It is the purpose of these eyes. And Krishna has created a culture and if we follow that culture, our eyes would be our best friends. When we see the beautiful form of Radha and Krishna, Gaura-Nitai, Balaram, Subhadra, Jagannath, when we seen the beautiful scene of this spiritual world, cows and peacocks, when we see those great souls who have descended from the spiritual world in previous acharyas, through our eyes, the remembrance of Krishna comes, through our eyes the form of Krishna, the beauty of Krishna and it attracts our heart. Then our eyes become our best friends. But when our eyes are utilized to look at those things which simply perpetuate bondage in this material world, then those very eyes which were created by God as a blessing become a curse. Here in Pune, in the month of January, all those who came to the yatra, we saw that beautiful drama that was performed by our God brother Sankirtan prabhu, Bilvamangala Thakur- Lilashuka. And how he was so much attracted by the objects of sense gratification but then he realized that it is all for bondage. And he was going to Vrindavan to utilize his eyes exclusively for the purpose of seeing the beautiful place of Krishna’s past times, to see the temples, to see Kalpabriksha trees, the Jamuna, to see the various Deities, to see all the Vaishnavas. In this way it is feast for the eyes. But when his eyes were again attracted to the objects of the senses, he realized that these eyes are my worst enemies and what you do with your enemies? You try to overcome them, destroy them. So he took the pins and he plugged out his eyes. Now this is a very painful experience but for him he understood that its more painful to the soul to utilize the eyes for betraying God. He would rather cause pain to the eyes than to the soul. That was his conclusion. And although he was blind because of his deep-deep desire to keep his mind and his consciousness always in Krishna, Krishna personally came before him as his own servant. The principle is very strong in this story that we must utilize the gifts that God has given us for the purpose of reuniting our consciousness again with Krishna.
Rubbish in heart is the cause of human suffering
Srila Prabhupada very much condemns here using the ears for any other purpose than hearing those sound vibrations which bring our consciousness again in reunion with Krishna. Today there are so much nonsense talks, there is so much nonsense propaganda. Prabhupada very strongly talks about cinema songs and sex songs and so many other songs within the radios. Rubbish, he says. Prabhupada use these words, we have to evaluate the content. What is rubbish? Rubbish is something just useless, terrible, get it out. In Vedic society they would never keep rubbish in the house. As soon as they use something some place outside it is taken immediately. Rubbish is like stool. Modern society, they keep the rubbish in the house, they keep the stool in the house. They don’t understand what is rubbish? The rubbish should be out. We don’t want anything to do with it. Because it simply contaminates. Rubbish contaminates. So all of this just contaminates our consciousness. When you accumulate rubbish you just become filthy, dirty, and this is the condition of the hearts of the conditioned soul in this age of Kaliyuga. The hearts being very pure and clean reservoirs of the wonderful qualities of Krishna consciousness. The hearts become a rubbish bin, a place to dump rubbish. You are just taking in more and more and more rubbish through our eyes, through our ears, through our mouths, through all of our senses and all that rubbish is just going into our heart. You are just accumulating birth after birth after birth, just a massive gigantic rubbish pile, all source of contaminated refuse. And yet in this material civilization due the lack of guidance people actually think that the more rubbish I can put in my heart, the more wonderful the life becomes. This is their idea. Just bring it in. Truck load after truck load. Just bring it in, dump it in my heart. That’s what I want to keep it all. Why the garbage bin? Why the toilet? Just put it in my heart. Hearts are becoming like latrines. It’s a fact. You just want to take all this foul contaminated substance and just bring it through our senses, just store it in our hearts. That’s the situation. And therefore everyone is in so much anxiety. So much perturbed. Why? If you want to keep generations and generations of all the stool and urine and all the garbage and waste just stored up in your house, would your house be nice place to live? This is my great-great grandfather. When he had typhoid, he vomited here. Now it’s filled with flies, decomposed, but I keep it because it’s very dear to me, reminds me of my great-great dear grandfather. Does anyone do like that in their house? But everyone does in their hearts because the heart is the house of the soul. Heart is the sitting place of the soul, where the soul lives. Just like you live in the house the soul lives in the house of the heart. And we have been generation after generation after generation, birth after birth after birth, just bringing in all the garbage of this world, all the contaminations and just putting it in our heart. Then we ask, people ask why God is so cruel? Why am I suffering? Why doesn’t God help me? God is helping. God is telling you. Flush your heart out. Just flush it. But we are saying, No God, no, because I like this rubbish. I had it so long. I identify with it. It’s me. I just bring it more and more every moment. It’s going in our ears, in our eyes, in our nose, in our mouth, and we are just flushing it all into our heart. And keep it very nice. And it stays there birth after birth after birth. All the material experiences you have, it’s stored in your heart. It doesn’t go away. Therefore Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explain
anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam
The Lord have come to teach us how to clean all this rubbish out. But the first principle is stop putting more rubbish in. That is why Srila Prabhupada preaches so strong to us. Follow these four regulated principles, no illicit sex, no intoxication or gambling or meat eating. And those activities or those perceptions which propagate these four sinful activities, by enjoying them is also a subtle form of breaking the four regulative principles. We say no illicit sex. Prabhupada explains the rubbish sex songs they play under radio. So illicit sex off course we know it means sex outside marriage, in grosser sense, sex for other purpose besides propagation of children in Krishna consciousness on a subtler level. But those sound vibrations which are directly propagating and invoking the desire for those activities, to enjoy those, to let them into our ears; into our senses is another form of illicit sex. And gambling- to hear about all this mental speculation is also another form of gambling. Intoxication. In this way, people are thinking that pleasure and life is simply to put more and more and more garbage in their hearts. And you may say that what is this. We are talking about making a heart like a latrine. We are just putting so much stool and you are thinking I don’t like stool. I am not putting stool in my heart but actually you are. Therefore, here it is explained, that you are like hogs. Because hogs like stool. In fact they love stool better than anything else. Prabhupada said give hog nice halva and he will speak with great conviction. No give me stool. I have seen. I have tested the hogs. I have seen hogs eating stool and I actually offer them halva and they just continue eating their stool. Whatever is said in the scriptures can be confirmed by practical experience. Because somehow or other they have become so polluted that they love the taste of stool. So similarly we our hearts are become so hog like that when you give nice halva of Krishna katha it says enough of this Harikatha. Let me hear some nice music. Let me hear some nice television shows. Why is that? We can sit in front of the television or listen to radio music for hours and hours and hours and be very-very entertained and after a few minutes of pravachan, kirtan, we are thinking oh… why is it going so long. When you are watching the television you are not looking at the watch. When will it end? When will it end? When you are hearing Harikatha you thinking when will it end? Why he is speaking so long? It’s over time. Why? Because we have developed the consciousness like hogs. We like the taste of the rubbish and stool of material sense gratification and we are not very much attracted to the nice sweet halva prasad, hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord. But through association we can transform our hog like tendencies into human like tendencies. Because human life is meant specifically and exclusively to hear and chant the glories of the Lord.
nayam deho deha-bhajam nrloke
kastan kaman arhate vid-bhujam ye
tapo divyam putraka yena sattvam
suddhyed yasmad brahma-saukhyam tv anantam
Sense gratification is meant for hogs and dogs that eat stool. That is the opinion of the Supreme personality Godhead. Human life is calculated to the degree we develop a taste of hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord and seeing the beautiful form of the Lord in the temple. And our animalistic propensities of lower species are to be understood to the degree we are still attracted to the rubbish in the stool of material sense enjoyment. So stop contaminating the heart with all of this. Start bringing in all pure spiritual energy into your hearts. Cleanse it. Make it the reservoir the abode of the Lord once again. And how that is possible is here being described by Srila Prabhupada. How grahasthas, they can utilize their entire lives and make their home a beautiful place which is invigorating, purifying to the mind and the senses. Grahastha ashram, we never say grahamedhi ashram. There is no such thing as grahamedhi ashram. If you are grahamedhi, you don’t live in ashram. You are simply a grahamedhi. That’s all. In fact, grahamedhis, they don’t live in ashram. They live in deep dark well. That is grahamedhi. Their homes are simply places for sense gratification, where everyone comes together, the family, simply for the purpose of enjoying their senses, and they like each other, as long as they accommodate sense gratification for one another. And we see that if the mother or the father or the son in the modern day becomes a devotee and wants to utilize the precious energy for the real purpose of life, Krishna consciousness, they become like an enemy. They upset everything. They disturb everything. So sad. The house is just the house of material rubbish. And sometimes they decorate all that rubbish with some pictures of demigods and little puja, but actually the whole house is for sense gratification. And when someone wants to actually live a life of real purification, live like a human being and everyone in the family thinks ooh, he has become an alien. He has become contaminated. Something is wrong with him. This is ruination of our family. This is what Hiranyakashipu thought of Prahalad. You are the ruination of our family because you are taking to this Krishna consciousness. So it is very sad,very sad. But here we find ashram means a place where everything is done for the purpose of self realization. That is the definition of ashram. Grahastha ashram means home is the temple of God. And grahastha ashram means regulated life. Grahamedhi means unregulated. And here it is described how the grahasthas, they should have the beautiful Deities of the Lord in their homes. And under the direction of the spiritual master and archana vidhi, the regulations of the scriptures, we should worship the Lord. Not according to our own personal whims. Generally here in India, things have become so diverted from the true path, that even people who have some altar or puja in the house, it is all around concoctions or the concoctions of others. It’s not done with real devotion. It’s not done in a way to regulate people their lives. The Deity worship should be actually to regulate the family in such a way to keep their consciousness always fixed on Krishna. And by doing this our lives become so filled up with doing devotional service that we simply don’t have time for all of these hellish forms of material sense gratification, because the idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Unless we are busy in Krishna consciousness then we will inevitably fall victim to Maya because we still have these hog like tendencies. Unless we are keeping our minds occupied in Krishna consciousness that tendency to taste the stool just stored again in our hearts will come so we have to be busy. That is why Srila Prabhupada is explaining that Grahasthas should be like this. Of course if they are going to the temple of the spiritual masters and they are doing preaching and doing seva, that is very-very good. That is very good. But so long as they are at their homes together they should be in atmosphere of Krishna consciousness prevailing. They should be in a regulated life as far as possible. Of course these days children they are so much influenced by the materialistic Western ways of society, it is very difficult to involve them. But somehow or other, by our example, some impression is made in their hearts, then they are very-very fortunate. We cannot force them but by our own enthusiasm, by our own commitment, and by our own loving concern for them, we want to change their hearts and naturally make them in to devotees.
People are more eager to go for sight seeing not to temple
And Srila Prabhupada also explains in this that we have a tendency to go places. One of the biggest industries all over the world is tourism. People like to go for sightseeing. People spend million of dollars for sightseeing. It’s unbelievable. You go to Niagara Falls which is on the border of New York and Canada at anytime any day in the year practically, especially in the summer, there are tens and thousands of people from every part of the world. There are people from Japan, there are people from China, there are people from Scandinavia, from Europe, from Africa, but I think the majority of people are from India. I have been there to distribute books for preaching and I will frankly say that there are tens and thousands of people from every part of the world but the majority are Indians. And why did they go? They go to see the water. There nothing else there except water. This is water falling. Some people go to jump in because they are so frustrated with life. That is the traditional form of suicide in America- jump into Niagara Falls. Its an authorized, acceptable way of committing suicide. You can’t live. Just water is so aggressively pouring and going way down, you jump and you are finish. If it was Ganges water, it would have been auspicious. But it is water from Lake Ontario, nothing auspicious, nothing purifying. Anyways people go to these places, just to see, and they all have their cameras. Now they have the videos. And they always have their relatives stand with the water behind. Whereever they go, you see I have been to Niagara Falls. It’s like a holy place. Of course, if we are Krishna conscious, every place is a holy place. Actually if you see this Niagara Falls, the power, devotee can only think of Krishna. This power is just unbelievable power. It’s not that I am trying to propagate going to Niagara Falls. Just the power of all this water, just billions of billions of trillions of gallons of water every second is pouring down so fast, so hard, its awesome. All you can do is just think Krishna astu bhagavan svayam. The power of His material energy is unbelievable. So the devotees can actually go anywhere and become enlivened in Krishna consciousness, if they are properly trained. So tens and thousands of people and it’s not the Niagara Falls is like in New York city or something , it’s in middle of nowhere. You have to spend so much money and so much time to get there. Yet there are tens and tens and thousands of people every day. But there is a tourist attraction that has even defeated Niagara Falls. That is Disney World. People go there to see diesel people dressed up like mice running around. And everyone likes these mice, little mice that walk around. Mickey Mouse, Mini Mouse, Donald Duck, people are very much attracted to animals. What is the consciousness? We are attracted to Radha and Krishna, they are attracted to Mini Mouse and Mickey Mouse, the divine couple of Kaliyuga. We have a temple of Radha Krishna just a few minutes away from Disney World. And on a Sunday there might be fifty-sixty people that come to see Radha and Krishna. And on that day there is probably five hundred thousand people go to see Mickey Mouse and Mini Mouse. Shri shri…. and I tell you without exaggeration I am not been but I have heard. If you go to that place the majority of people going to see Shri Shri Mickey and Mini are the people from India. They don’t want to come to the temple. They want to go to Disney World. And all these animatronics, different animals moving around, so much sense gratification. They like this. And what more, they die thinking about them. We wonder why in Mumbai there are so many rats? Not only Bombay but all over the world. Anyways people may think we are exaggerating or something but we are not exaggerating. We are underestimating the problem. People are so anxious. They work so hard all year around and then they want to go on vacation. They want to go sightseeing. And where did they go? They go to these various types of places where there is no benefit. There is no purification of the heart or the soul. This means people have completely forgotten the purpose of life. It’s a fact. You see these modern tourist attractions what are they for? What they have been created for? They have not been created to give you pleasure. They have been created to make money. That’s all. Giving you pleasure is only the means to make money for themselves. They have been created to exploit you. There is no other reason. None of them are free. Of course there are some nice natural places. But generally, the tourism, the process of getting you there, the process of selling you things when you there all is the process of making money and these places are propagated for the purpose of money making. And that’s exactly what Srila Prabhupada is explaining here. All these sightseeing places, the moving tendency of the human being is been misused by visiting places for sightseeing and he said that this is due to the misled atheistic propaganda of money making man. Very clear and direct and true words. In this way maya is simply eluding us and cheating us. But we find in the holy places people like six goswamis of Vrindavan, under the order of Shri Chaitainya Mahaprbhu, they excavated Vrindavan dham. Not for money making but for saving. To serve humanity, to purify humanity, by giving people such a wonderful and deep spiritual experience that they would want to perfect their lives in Krishna consciousness. The six goswamis in Vrindavan, they traveled to all of the twelve forest and Krishna by the mercy of Lord Chaitainya was revealing to them all the places of Krishna’s leela. And they were making little shrines and telling others about this is what has happened here. And now people go to Vrindawan, they not only see the beautiful temples that the six goswamis has established and the beautiful Deity of the Lord and especially at that time when they come to the temples, they would meet devotees, saintly people. We read in Chaitanya Charitamrita, the types of people that were living in Madan Mohan Temple, and Govindajis Temple. They were all disciplic descendants of Gadadhar pandit, Rupa Goswami, Sanatan Goswami, associates of Lord Chaitanya. When people would come to the temple they just wouldn’t see the Deity, there would associate with the holiest people, the humblest devotees. They would hear Bhagawat form them. They would hear Harikatha, Chaitanya Katha. They would have wonderful Kirtans. Then they would brought be brought to see the beautiful worship of the Deity. They would be told all about who is this Deity? Why we are worshiping the Deity? How you should worship the Deity at your homes? Then they would go to the various places. They would take bath in Jamuna. They will take parikrama of Shri Giriraj Gowardhan. They would go to Barsana, Nand gaon, all of these beautiful-beautiful places and they would be told stories about Krishna and have Kirtan and have prasad and in this way it’s just the wonderful-wonderful fulfilling experience that completely saturates all your senses with Krishna. Through your eyes you are just bringing Krishna in your heart, through your ears, through your nose, through your mouth, through the touch of these holy places, every sense, everything is just bringing Krishna into your heart and purifying all this rubbish from all previous births. This is what human life is for. Srila Prabhupada says that the legs that go to the other places are like the trunks of trees. Useless, dead matter. So the utilization of our precious lives and all facilities Krishna has given us is to be for purification, for helping to bring Krishna into our hearts, to awaken that consciousness we are all longing for i.e. Krishna consciousness.
- Maharaja, there are so many people whose living is dependent on tourism industry, so if we are condemning the tourism industry, I don’t think we should be so harsh here. Are we not becoming too harsh on the tourism industry?
Ans. I have said only what I heard what Prabhupada said. I have no rights to say anything different as his representative. If I say something different than my guru maharaja then I am a cheater. I am not saying that people should not make their living nicely but human life is not simply meant to accumulate money. Human life is meant for the purpose of God consciousness. They should Krishnaize the tourist place. They should make the tourist place with Krishna in the center. It’s nothing wrong with the place, but make Krishna the center. Give people something that will actually benefit them. Rather than giving people something that wastes their lives. If you speak to a sadhu he will speak like this. If you speak to an economist he may have his own ideas. What is best for the economy. But actually what is best for the economy when they utilize everything in the service of the Lord. All the economic problems of this world are ultimately due to misusing God’s property. There is so much bad Karma. So much terrible karma taking place. So just to pacify few people’s financial situation, to advocate or justify a whole life of sinful activities, sinful in the sense that if we do not understand that everything is the property of God and everything is made to be utilized in reference to the service of God, everything is sinful. Is it not? If I am coming to your house and just start taking everything away and using according to my purpose you will say I am sinful. And I am saying, no its mine. Govinda he agrees its mine. And Radhey Shyam, he says its mine. Krishna Nanda he may say it’s his. But he is allowing me to borrow it for some time. So we can have a whole group who is all convinced that its ours and making all sorts of wonderful arrangements how to share in such a way but you know it’s yours. So it’s sinful. Correct. So in truth everything belongs to God. And we have just created a society to divide up everything that belongs to God, to arrange how to call it our own without reference, without any consideration of what Krishna wants it to be used for. Krishna wants everything to be utilized for the best purpose for our lives. He wants everything to be utilized so that we can be liberated from misery and we can experience real happiness and real love. We have neglected that. That is a big problem. And we have created so many ways of just wasting our lives in forgetfulness of God. Like that.
2. Srila Prabhupada says, “bhakti dissolves the subtle body”, can you please explain how?
Ans. Bhakti dissolves the subtle body? The subtle body is the subtle material body. Krishna explains there are eight material elements- earth, water, fire, air, ether and three subtle elements mind, intelligence and the false ego. Now the false ego is what keeps the subtle body- the mind, intelligence and ego, keeps the soul revolving to the repetition of birth and death again and again and again. Bhutva bhutva praliyate. From one life of Brahma to another life of Brahma. Even at the end of Brahma’s life, when all the universes are destroyed still the subtle body keeps the soul engaged and the subtle body with the soul inside, with the soul covered by the subtle body enters into the body of Maha Vishnu for long-long inconceivable amount of time. And then when Maha Vishnu exhales again the universes come, again Brahma starts creating, again the eight million four hundred thousand species of life come into being, and by then by the glance of Vishnu all of the souls covered by that mind, intelligence and ego that it is acquired by previous births enters into the particular specie of life that it is karmically destined to enter into due to its past activities and desires. So the subtle body from the moment we come to this material creation we have this covering, the soul is covered by the subtle body and that same subtle body continues to keep the soul in forgetfulness of God birth after birth after birth, creation after creation, like that. Endlessly. And what we are saying, when we are talking about the heart, we are talking about the soul in the heart but this mind, intelligence and ego is also in the heart covering the soul. And when we were talking about making the heart into a latrine or rubbish dump or a toilet, I am not using exaggerating words and I am being very mild, what we are putting into our heart? What we are accumulating? It’s all accumulating in our subtle body. When we talk about the heart we don’t mean a muscle. We mean the subtle body that is within that muscle. The soul is not touched by these things. The soul is transcendental. It’s not material. But all the impressions, everything we hear, everything we see, everything we taste, everything we smell, everything we touch, everything we think, everything is dumped into our subtle body. And that subtle body is just a massive huge rubbish dump of material desires, attachments and impressions and it goes with us. It just carries the soul one place after another place after another place. Liberation means liberation from the subtle body. When the soul is free from the entrapment of that material subtle body, the soul is liberated. So bhakti, various other processes of yoga are specifically designed to try to deal with that subtle body. Like for instance siddha yoga, astanga yoga, various forms of materialistic yoga they are not dealing so much with the gross body, they are dealing with the subtle body. Through dhyan, through this awakening of kundalini, through the various chakras. This is dealing with subtle body. This is trying to cleanse the subtle body. Trying to purify the subtle body. But it is very difficult. Very-very difficult. Bhakti yoga deals directly with the soul. When we chant the holy names of the Lord that sound vibration is the sound vibration of the spiritual world, it is actually the sound vibration of Krishna. And it directly awakens our soul’s natural instincts to love God and to serve God. Therefore bhakti yoga deals with the awakening of our original spiritual consciousness and through that gradually, spontaneously, simultaneously to the degree our soul becomes attached to Krishna, the subtle body is dissolved. So through the process of bhakti we are not interested in simply trying to deal with the subtle body, we are trying to deal with the awakening of the soul. Therefore Krishna explains in Geeta that it is the highest process. As we awaken Krishna consciousness, without any separate efforts, simply by purely chanting the holy names of the Lord, the subtle body is once and for all is dissolved and the soul is transported to spiritual world.
3. Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita that those who worship demigods, in fact worship Me only, although in an improper way. But if by worshipping demigods we are worshipping Krishna only, why it is improper?
Ans. Because the simple explanation is given in Bhagwatam. Like a tree, a tree has many branches and fruits and flowers but the root of the tree nourishes the entire tree. If you put water in the root of the tree the whole tree will flourish. If you put water everywhere else in the tree but neglect the root, the tree will suffer and die.
aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate
iti matva bhajante mam
Krishna says I am the source of all material spiritual worlds. Krishna also says He is the source of all incarnations and all Gods. Krishnastu bhagavan swayam. So therefore when we worship Krishna, automatically like pouring the water on the root of the tree, automatically we are fulfilling every responsibility to everyone. By worshiping the various gods without understanding that their source, their root is Krishna is to worship them improperly. And generally such people they worship various gods for material purposes, not for eternal loving service to the Supreme Lord. But generally for the artha, dharma, kama, moksha. For economic development, for sense gratification, for religiousity or for liberation. This type of worship is imperfect because it does not give enlightenment, illumination for real satisfaction to the soul. Only through unalloyed love and devotion does a soul find satisfaction. So worshiping these various gods who are all part and parcel of Krishna, all expansions of Krishna, without understanding their relationship with Krishna, and worshiping them for simply temporarily result of this world, Krishna says it is improper. And it is for less intelligent people. Because these gods may satisfy your material desires but how long will it last. It is temporary. You can worship a god for successful business and your business may be successful but how long will it be successful? Still you have to die and leave it all behind. So this is less intelligent. If we are approaching some one great we should receive the greatest things from them. Krishna is telling us, take eternal life full of bliss and knowledge. That is what I want to give you. Why should we be spending our time trying for something else? It is improper.
4. What is the simplest method of prayer?
Ans. The simplest method of prayer is chanting of God’s name. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught this mahamantra. It’s a mantra but it is also to be sung in a mood of the prayer. The acharyas have explained that the prayer of the mahamantra is O Radha! O Krishna! Please engage me in your loving service. Not, my Lord please engage in my loving service. And we have to be honest. It is unfortunate that in practically every religion today whether it be Hindu or Christian or Islam or Buddhist or Judaism or Jainism or Zoroastrianism or so many other, Taoism, practically in every religion people are praying to the God or some conception of higher truth that please engage in my service. That is the prayer. Give me this. Give me that. These days its give me good grades in my exams. Give me money. Protect our nation. Give me wife. Give me child. So many prayers. My Lord please engage in my service. But the mahamantra is my Lord please engage me in Your service. This is very revolutionary. I am not asking anything from you. I am asking what can I do for You. I am begging You. Have you ever seen on the highways of Mumbai when you stop at the stop lights, when someone knocks on your window, and say buckshish-buckshish and you say yes, he says I want to give you this. I want to give you this donation. Do they ever say like that to you? It’s revolutionary, if they do. They wipe your window and then they knock on your window and then say buckshish and you say what you want? My buckshish, I begging you. Please-please accept this one thousand rupees from me. And the driver of the car says, thankyou very much. Have you met anybody like that? Revolutionary. It’s equally revolutionary for people to approach God in age of Kali not saying Lord-Lord buckshish I want to beg something from you. What? I am a beggar -beggar. I am begging you. Please engage me in Your service. Please take all my wealth, please take my family, please take my mind, my intelligence, my life, everything its yours. This is my begging prayer. Do you see people like this? Everyone is, God give me, give me, give me. So it is a very revolutionary prayer. And this is the meaning of the mahamantra.
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare
We are begging Krishna. We are performing so much seva. And then when we get Krishna’s notice we are begging Him. Please let me do more seva. They wipe your wind shield and then they open the door, they say I have something to beg you. What? Please let me wipe your back window also. That would be revolutionary. And you say can I give you some money for this? Say No, No, No. I have not come to do business with you. This is what Prahalad says. I have not come to do business with you. I have come to please you. To serve you. This is the prayer of the Mahamantra.
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare
5. When we see the Deity of the Lord, we feel attracted. Is our attraction really spiritual that we have become purified or are we feeling attracted only because the Deities are decorated or painted nicely.
Ans. He is asking are we being attracted because Deities being painted nicely or because of we are becoming more purified. Because the Deity in non different than Krishna. And however they are painted, if you are attracted to Them then your attraction is to Krishna. So the nicer they are painted the more you’ll be attracted to Them because we are still seeing things by certain material conditionings. But the purpose of Deity worship even with our material conditionings, we become so attracted and that attraction is to Krishna. So if they are painted very beautifully and you are attracted, that just increases your attraction to Krishna, it may be dealing with your material conditionings, but still it’s your increasing your attraction to Krishna. We should make the Deity as beautiful as possible. Whether we paint this way or that way, Krishna is Krishna. He is all beautiful. Even if it’s no paint on Him, He is all beautiful, if you have the eyes to see. Because our eyes are still seeing according to certain conceptions, when we paint Them very beautiful we become more attracted to Krishna. So therefore we want to decorate the Deities and make Them so nice so that everyone would be attracted to come and see Krishna. So everyone want to be pose as much as possible of their attention and love in Krishna. So we want to decorate Them so beautifully in this way. I was talking about tourist attractions. And just the other day on Ram Navami, infact, our very dear God brother Shyamsunder told the story of Srila Prabhupada when he went to the Soviet Union, the former Soviet Union, now it is Russia and they were being so restricted in those days. This was in the early seventies that if some foreigner came they were being monitored and they were not allowed to see people hardly or talk to people, to go out of their government arranged facility where they lived. So there was very little for them to do. So government was giving tourist of Soviet Union of Moscow. So Srila Prabhupada said let us go for tour of Moscow. So Shyamsunder and Prabhupada went on a tour and were in the bus and this is where Lenin has done like this and this where Marx has done like this, and this is building, that is built to parks, so Prabhupada was looking but of course we should understand that great souls they can see everything in relationship to Krishna. They can go even to the materialistic places of tourism and they can actually see may be this would give me some ideas by going here or give me some ideas how to capture these people for Krishna. To see how these people are being captured by maya, we will get some idea, how to capture them for Krishna. So they are going with an idea of service. People go to Grand Canyon. Have you ever heard of Grand Canyon? It is actually a Grand Canyon. It’s in Colorado, Arizona. It’s a huge-huge canyon. It’s awesome. It’s just gigantic, as far as the eyes can see. There is the Colorado river in the bottom, and this big-big mountain is just going down. And it’s actually awesome. And basically, the materialistic people they go there and why did they go there? They go there with their girlfriends. Because it’s a beautiful place to do whatever they do with their girlfriends and boyfriends. They actually go there for sex life. Grand Canyon is the place to go for sex life. Very natural atmosphere. And its famous for that to a large extent. And another people go just to take pictures. When a devotee sees it, you just become completely filled with Krishna. When you see what Krishna has done in this world. it’s so awesome. Devotees see Krishna. The temple president of our Tusan temple, he takes when devotees go there, he takes them to Grand Canyon. And they just chant japa:
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare
And they are just looking down this canyon. Some of the best japas devotees ever chanted is at Grand Canyon. It’s so impressive what Krishna has done. Devotees can go to these places and be Krishna conscious. They don’t go to enjoy their senses if there is any association with other devotees. And of course in India they have forgotten everything out in a very wonderful way. People like to see the Himalayas. So you go to Badrik Ashram, Kedarnath, Jamunotri, Gangotri you see the beautiful scenery in the world but the whole while you are just thinking of Krishna. And all sages and saints are there and like that. Of course unfortunately in India today even the holy places have become money making tourist attractions. This is how Kaliyuga is corrupting things. But if we go under the guidance of the spiritual masters and in association of devotees we can be transcendental to all of these material conceptions that actually go to the heart, Krishna consciousness. So Srila Prabhupada was on a tour of Moscow the tourist bus, where somebody in front is saying, this place to your right is where and like that and to your left you will see when Prabhupada was sitting and he was looking and he just seeing everything is Krishna energy then he said to Shyamsunder let us get out of here. Let us leave this place. Bus stops, they get out. Somehow or other he escaped. Because all over he is seeing Krishna everywhere, he understood that the whole atmosphere, the whole atmosphere of the people and the environment is so much just trying to find some sense enjoyment. Devotees do not like that. To be in that atmosphere. They want to be where everyone is coming to invigorate their Krishna consciousness, to remembering Krishna, like hearing His glories and chanting His holy name.
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare
Somehow we refrain from making our hearts into rubbish heaps. And let us fill our hearts with Krishna. You want to make our heart like a reservoir of nectar, amrita. Thank you very much.