taà tväà vayaà nätha samujjihänaà
dåñövä gatä nirvåtam adya sarve
gajä davärtä iva gäìgam ambhaù
tam—O Lord; tväm—Your Lordship; vayam—all of us; nätha—O master; samujjihänam—now appearing before us with all glories; saroja-näbha—O Lord, whose navel resembles a lotus flower, or from whose navel grows a lotus flower; ati-cira—for an extremely long time; épsita—desiring; artham—for the ultimate goal of life; dåñövä—seeing; gatäù—in our vision; nirvåtam—transcendental happiness; adya—today; sarve—all of us; gajäù—elephants; dava-artäù—being afflicted in a forest fire; iva—like; gäìgam ambhaù—with water from the Ganges.
Elephants afflicted by a forest fire become very happy when they get water from the Ganges. Similarly, O my Lord, from whose navel grows a lotus flower, since You have now appeared before us, we have become transcendentally happy. By seeing Your Lordship, whom we have desired to see for a very long time, we have achieved our ultimate goal in life.
The devotees of the Lord are always very eager to see the Supreme Lord face to face, but they do not demand that the Lord come before them, for a pure devotee considers such a demand to be contrary to devotional service. Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu teaches this lesson in His Çikñäñöaka. Adarçanän marma-hatäà karotu vä. The devotee is always eager to see the Lord face to face, but if he is brokenhearted because he cannot see the Lord, even life after life, he will never command the Lord to appear. This is a sign of pure devotion. Therefore in this verse we find the word ati-cira-épsita-artham, meaning that the devotee aspires for a long, long time to see the Lord. If the Lord, by His own pleasure, appears before the devotee, the devotee feels extremely happy, as Dhruva Mahäräja felt when he personally saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When Dhruva Mahäräja saw the Lord, he had no desire to ask the Lord for any benediction. Indeed, simply by seeing the Lord, Dhruva Mahäräja felt so satisfied that he did not want to ask the Lord for any benediction (svämin kåtärtho ‘smi varaà na yäce [Cc. Madhya 22.42]). A pure devotee, whether able or unable to see the Lord, always engages in the Lord’s devotional service, always hoping that at some time the Lord may be pleased to appear before him so that he can see the Lord face to face.
Srila Prabhupada’s purport begins and I will repeat “Elephants afflicted by a forest fire become very happy when they get water from the Ganges. Similarly, O my Lord, from whose navel grows a lotus flower, since You have now appeared before us, we have become transcendentally happy. By seeing Your Lordship, whom we have desired to see for a very long time, we have achieved our ultimate goal in life.”
– “The devotees of the Lord <PART OF PURPORT> contrary to Devotional Service“
We are reading from Srimad Bhagvatam Canto 8, Chapter 6 entitled ‘The demigods and demons declare a truce’, Text 13.
The analogy is given of an elephant being afflicted by a forest fire. In the jungle the elephant is so strong, so big that who can challenge an elephant yet despite its own strength, its own size, the elephant is prone towards situations beyond its control where it can suffer and it can die. Example is a forest fire; whether you a lion in a big jungle or an elephant, the largest living being that walks the earth. The whale is the largest in the water; the elephant is the largest being that walks the earth. Very powerful! They can uproot trees effortlessly, they can knock down houses. You brought a male elephant into this temple room – it practically could destroy the entire building if it wanted to do so. Extremely powerful! But even the elephant or anyone else; living in this material world means you are subjected to sufferings that are simply beyond our control however strong we are, however wealthy we are, whatever are position or post maybe. Example is fire. When there is a forest fire all the elephants and even if all the elephants came together and they created a society, like there’s the ‘Lion’s club’ they created the ‘Elephant’s club’ still with all their efforts they couldn’t help each other with a forest fire. Only rain could help them and rain is something which is beyond their control also. But here it says when elephants are afflicted by a forest fire that means beyond their control they are suffering, beyond their control they are on the verge of death. They are very happy when they get water from the Ganges, now they don’t create the water of the Ganges. In fact the water of the Ganges is descending from the lotus feet of the lord. It’s the Lord’s mercy. So similarly in this burning forest fire of material existences, for every living being from the insignificant ant up to Indra, the greatest of demigods, it is only the flow of mercy from the lotus feet of the Lord that can rescues us from the material fire of material existences, which is primarily birth, old age, disease, and death. And this story, Indra who rides on an elephant, the best of the elephants aravarta is bigger and stronger than any elephant of this world. Who in this predicament caught in the fire of material existence. What happened due to his powerful wealthy position? He was negligent to offer proper respect to another. And in this world you have to except the reaction. It was in the a Mistake was it was just done to neglect he if we neglect somebody but he did Dursvasa Muni happened to the road side and Indra was coming by on his elephant and Dursvasa Muni To bless him took of the garland from his own body and gave it to the king of heaven but Indra didn’t think so much but after all so other so many garlands.
Can you imagine how many garlands Indra gets? Can you imagine what kinds of flowers they are? Some of our preachers when they got out, so many people give them garlands most of them are simple marry gold. But Indra parijata flowers, malti flowers and malika flowers heavenly flowers he is getting it all day, every day, besides those garlands…..so Indra has so much glorification, so much wealth, so much of everything but he didn’t put much value in this simple garland which was actually the blessing of a saint. There is nothing more value then the blessing of saints. Blessings of Vaishnavas are more precious then anything that material creation could ever provide, because such blessings actually connect us to the flow of the Ganges of Krishna’s mercy. But Indra took something sacred to be something ordinary. It is common,
There is a beautiful verse that explains like this, one who sees the deity to be a statue of wood or stone, who see’s a guru to be an ordinary person according to material considerations, who sees the Vaishnava according to material consideration of a particular race or a particular caste, that person’s mind is the abode of hell. That means your mind becomes hell. Because your not appreciating a blessing, taking something sacred to be something ordinary. Now a person that has very little, what ever little he or she could get, is seen as a great favour, and one appreciates. But the problem is that when you have so much of everything then the tendency is not to take seriously all of these blessings of the lord. We take them to be something ordinary; we take them cheaply, for granted. This is one of the greatest stumbling blocks in Krishna Consciousness, and it’s something that devotees always have to seriously focus on. The holy name is Krishna himself, but the holy name is so merciful, Radha and Krishna make themselves so available at every moment. But all their potencies, everything is within the holy name. Krishna is there, the whole spiritual world is there, his Lilas are there, just waiting to reveal themselves to us, according to our yearning, our longing, and our desire. But out tendencies is this, we take it cheaply. I could chant anytime, so let me occupy my mind on something else. What a trick of maya, I could chant anytime so let me focus on something else now, but then you never chant, you never focus on your chanting and your mind is somewhere else because your thinking well, I have so many days I could chant, so many hours I could chant, I might not be attentive today but I’ll be attentive tomorrow. In this way day after day after day goes by and we are not attentive in our chanting of the holynames. We could come and see the Deity any time, because it’s so easily accessible, they are so easily accessible. The tendency is to not to really approach the Deity with heartfelt prayers. Not to be really grateful at every moment, “I am standing before the Lord, I am being blessed causelessly”. And the Vaishnavas, to see Vaishnavas as ordinary…I know devotees who did some mistakes or whatever and they are in prison or due to some occupational requirement they are sent to some place where there are no devotees. Such people are starving for the association, looking for the association of devotees and dying without the association of devotees and here we see them everywhere and we just walk by them as if we didn’t care, we take it for granted. And here Srila Prabhupada warns us, that a real devotee never demands from others. This consciousness of demanding from others is the mentality of ungratefulness. Devotees will not demand from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they will not demand from the Guru, they will not demand from another Vaishnava; Because as long as we have this demanding mentality it is impossible to make any spiritual progress. It’s simply completely materialistic, it’s not Krishna Consciousness.
Jivera swarupa hoi krishnera nitya das…we are servants, that is our eternal position. Devotional service means we want to give, we want o see the Lord, we may want the Lord to favour us in certain ways. But if we demand, the Lord will go away from us, we lose our mercy. We serve and it’s the Lord’s sweet will, how the Lord gives us his sweet mercy.
Mukunda dutt he was crying to see the Lord, he wasn’t demanding, he was crying because he was not able to see the Lord. his crying was not out of demand, this is innocence. “I want to see you…why are you being so cruel to me”. Mukunda Dutt was crying, saying, “when will I see the Lord?” The Lord said, “I never want to show myself to him.” He was crying, “when will I see, when will I see”, he wasn’t demanding. And then the Lord said, “you will see Me after 10million births!” He was in ecstasy, he was grateful. 10 million births is nothing for the gift of seeing the Lord and because of that consciousness he was so happy that all he had to do was carry on devotional service unconditionally for 10 million births and he would see the Lord. He was so happy, it’s guaranteed now for sure. The lord showed himself immediately, what does that mean? He is teaching us how to be devotees. Sometimes the sufferings of life wake us up. We take things for granted, unfortunately, shouldn’t be that way. The Ganges is flowing and we see it regularly if we are living in the forest….
The Ganges is flowing and we see it regularly if we are living in the forest near the Ganga. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was living in Navadwip, He never took the Ganga for granted, everyday he would go. He would do all kinds of playing and sports there, for here pleasure, but he would bow down. Ganges is the mercy of the Lord. Goddess of devotion in liquid form. But an ordinary person may take it for granted. But when there is a forest fire and there is nowhere to go, and you are burning, then you jump in the Ganga and the fire can’t touch you, then you will be thankful to the Ganga than ever before. So the miseries of material existence for a devotee are unfortunately sometimes necessary to take things seriously. Unless we suffer we will not take things seriously. Unless we suffer without and understand the need, then we take things cheaply. And one of the most abominable ways of taking things cheaply is to be demanding. Simply abominable from the perspective of devotional service.
na dhanaà na janaà na sundaréà
kavitäà vä jagad-éça kämaye
mama janmani janmanéçvare
bhavatäd bhaktir ahaituké tvayi
Mahaprabhu teaches us, I do not desire material wealth, materialistic followers, the opposite sex. All I want, life after life, is to serve You.
äçliñya vä päda-ratäà pinañöu mäm
You can do as you like with me because I am your servant. You can make me broken hearted by not being before me, you can embrace me, whatever you like.
Bhakti Vinod Thakur takes this principle,
märobi räkhobi-jo icchä tohärä
nitya-däsa prati tuwä adhikärä
My Lord, I am yours. I am not demanding you, I am yours. You demand to me. When you demand you take the role of a master, when you pray “I am yours, how can I serve you”,
Bhakti Vinod Thakur says, “My Lord, if you want to kill me please do that, that’s the perfection of my desires. And if you want to protect me, please protect me that would be the perfection of my desires. I am your servant. You can do anything you like with me.”
Srila Prabhupada didn’t demand Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur anything. Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur told him, “You go to the west.” Srila Prabhupada showed how a disciple treats his guru, no demands. How can I serve? That’s the question. That’s the perfection of all prayers. How can I serve you my Lord. That’s the way we should be among devotees also. Because we approach the Lord through the devotees. How to serve each other?
I wrote about that devotee I knew, Ghanshyam Baba. He didn’t demand anything, he just wanted to serve. He just wanted to give. This consciousness is Krishna Consciousness. We have a disease, we expect things according to our wish. That’s the source of all suffering. If we expect things to go according to our wish, we have to suffer and we cause suffering to other people as well. What pleases the Lord is the standard of Devotional Service, samsidhir haritoshanam.
How to please Him, how to make the vaishnavas happy? That should be our focus. Not to take things for granted and start seeing other devotees, the deities, the holy name in a materialistic way, that how could I use them for my purpose? This is Kaitava dharma, that’s the kind of religious principles that are common in this world. Because we think that “I am the center of all existence, all the universe is revolving around me. What makes me happy is good, what doesn’t make me happy is bad. Its that mentality that keeps us within material existence.
So the consciousness of the vaishnava is the opposite. Not to be selfish, but to be selfless. How can I please the Lord? How could I be the servant of the servant of the servant? The deities are here not for my pleasure. I am here for the deities’ pleasure. The vasinavas are not here for simply to satisfy my whims and my desires, I should be here to satisfy their desires. That is the service attitude. That’s what it means dasa dasa dasanudasa – that’s what it means to be grateful and Krishna conscious.
So, in this particular verse, as we find Lord Brahma is explaining very nicely, the situation of the demigods in their state in this particular chapter of Srimad bhagavatam. Indra took the garland of Durvasa muni for granted. It probably wasn’t as nice a garland as he gets when he was sitting on the throne, by the demigods. Does it describe what kind of flowers were in the garland? We can imagine what Indra gets, how many he gets! He gets so many garlands and jewels and everything else. But he just took it as ordinary. And he put it on the elephant’s trunk. And elephants can’t understand the value of maha maha Prasad. So, he just took the garlands and put between his legs and smashed it. And Durvasa muni saw this.
Durvasa muni is a great soul. He is one of the most active participants in Krishna’s lilas. He really activates things. Narada muni, Durvasa muni indifferent ways, they are right there to make the lilas exciting. Narada muni tells Kamsa… Kamsa says, “O Vasudeva, go home, it doesn’t matter, I am waiting for the eighth son.” And Narada muni said, “It could be any son. I heard the demigods talking. Visnu is coming to kill you. And all the demigods are coming with him.” Narada muni inconceivable, but he was doing it for the pleasure of the Lord. And now, 5000 years later, we are relishing these pastimes so much. Much more than if Kamsa just was lenient. If he was lieant, he may become a nice person. There would be no need for Krishna to appear to show His pastimes to the world.
And Durvasa muni – if Durvasa muni wasn’t the way he was, Krishna wouldn’t have come to take that vegetable from Draupadi’s pot and perform that miracle, which is one of the favorite pastimes of devotees forever. If it wasn’t for Durvasa muni, nobody would have ever known what a great devotee Ambarish was. Ambarish’s glories were brought out by Durvasa muni. So, he is a great personality, son of Anasuya and Atri muni.
So, when he was Indra take the blessing of a sadhu as something ordinary, and put it on his elephant, he was not seeing it as maha Prasad. He was seeing it as just another flower garland. Mahapradade govinde… Maha Prasad is very precious. Its very sacred. Tendency is just too see maha Prasad as just food, Mahaprasad as a garland. Someone gives you even a little plastic jewel from the Deity as mahaprasad that is more precious than all the diamonds of the world that are not offered.
Somebody asked Prabhupada, “What about putting kind of simple inexpensive jewellery on Krsna?” Prabhupada said “When its on Krsna’s body it becomes more precious than diamonds and ruies and emlards” because it becomes Krsna’s paraphernalia. We have to appreciate the spiritual value of blessings otherwise we get some mahaprasad and we say “I don’t like this mahaprasad” we take it ordinary, we are cheating ourselves. For one who is in a place where theres no mahaprasad even if he gets a rotten piece of mahaprasad by material standards, he will take that as more precious than anything else in the world. Absence, separation gives us an appreciation of the value of something. So Indra had no appreciation, he saw the blessing of a sadhu to be something ordinary and Durvasa Muni hes is a good doctor, he understood the medicine. Now sometimes medical treatments are very painful, we don’t like it but we need it. Yes? Murari Gupta Prabhu? How many times Murari Gupta Prabhu has stuck needles in my body and everytime just before he says. What do you say? What are your words? How he says the same thing just before it gets stuck in.
Murari Gupta Prabhu: Just a small prick, Maharaj.
How many times I have heard that. Small prick for the person whos doing the pricking. Sometimes to cure a person some tapasya is necessary. No pain, no gain sometimes thay say.
So it is that Durvasa Muni understood because Indra is so proud of having so much, so much control, so much power, so much wealth, so much everything. He is seeing the blessing of a sadhu to be ordinary. “Let him lose everything, then he’ll be crying, begging, pleading for that blessing and he’ll value it”. Because the blessing of a sadhu is the blessing of God, its not separate. The sadhu is simply an instrument to give God’s blessings. So there was a war between the asuras and the suras and it was right in the middle of the war that this happened. So after Durvasa gave that statement, “Lose everything” the asuras totally defeated. Very symbollic because we are all in a war against Maya and what is the war against Maya – its the war against the asuras within our heart. Yes? Its an internal battle, its Kurushetra going on within all of us. If we are not fighting that means we have surrendered to the Kurus. Arjuna didn’t want to fight, just let things be peaceful but then Duryodhana and the kurus would just continue to reign. So within our hearts unless we are fighting that means we are letting Maya just completely have total control without any resistance to rule our lives. That’s what this world is – its under the rule of Maya. So we are fighting and we are warned it’s the first offense against the Holy Name to blaspheme. We blaspheme when we take somebody to be ordinary, avaishnava. We think we can say anything, do anything, it doesn’t matter. It’s a type of selfishness, a type of ego. But what happens when you don’t appreciate the blessings we receive and because of that lack of appreciation we misuse it, we offend it then we lose the war, Krsna withdraws His potency to protect us, He withdraws He powers to protect us and we fall down – individually, collectively we just lose. Thats what happened to the demigods, they lost; but in Krsna Consciousness, even if you lose, Krsna is always there to save you but you have to take shelter. So the demigods were defeated by the demons just as every devotee will be defeated by Maya, if we offend other Vaisnavas, but now they had nothing, now they were under the rule of the Asuras, they were helpless, like an elephant afflicted by forest fire. Indra was so big but helpless, it’s beyond his powers. He comes to Brahma, and Brahma preaches to them, why are you so foolish? And then by Brahma’s mercy they approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the Supreme Personality of godhead appears before them. So this is the process, when we are in a suffering condition, we approach a Vaisnava like Lord Brahma, who is the original Guru, and he re-connects us to Krishna. So these sufferings are put on our path sometimes and they help us if we are sincere. If we are not sincere, we just give up and take shelter of other things which is not a solution. But if we are sincere then when these difficulties come upon us, we understand the values of the deities, we understand the values of the Vaisnava, we understand the value of the holy name and we don’t take it for granted, we need it.
If you’re on an aeroplane and they announce an emergency landing and you know that within minute its very likely you will die, its very unlikely that you’re going put your earphones to listen to some Hindi bollywood songs. And probably you are not going to be falling asleep when you are chanting the holy names. Why can’t we chant like that all the time? The fact is there is danger at every step, but those dangers make us aware of the reality. Actually all the suffering and miseries of this world are just making us aware of the reality of what this world is. Queen Kunti prayed,
Vipradasanu tatha sasva…
Let calamities come because those calamities help me to take seriously your mercy and to cry out for you with a single focus mind helplessly. Krishna came to Draupadi when she cried out, when she was in a helpless state. In such state we don’t take anything for granted, there is the opportunity not to. But those situations we shouldn’t just think that I’ll be Krishna Conscious when disaster comes, because you may die before the disaster comes. Let’s pray for a war so we will all suffer. That’s not a devotee’s mentality. We understand the potential is there, as Vaisnavas, we should take shelter of Krishna and serve Krishna whole heartedly with full attention, not just because there is danger around but because we love Krishna, because we want to love Krishna, that’s higher. In the great Vaisnavas, whether there is danger or not they are always in this mood not demanding of Krishna but just pleading Krishna, how can I serve you, how can I please you, I’m all yours and in dealing with other devotees in that mood too. That is a great Vaisnava. Neophyte devotees, they require very serious tragedies to wake them up, but we should cultivate taking Krishna’s blessings very seriously, as an act of love, as an act of real affection, not just a reaction to disaster. And then the disasters don’t even have to happen. But living in this material world they might anyway. But it doesn’t matter, for one who has love; it doesn’t matter if there is disaster or if everything is perfect. Love means I’m yours Krishna, at every moment, I’m yours and you’re focused in your consciousness and you’re grateful. Grateful for the opportunity, I have a tongue and I could chant. Grateful for the opportunity that there is a devotee I can serve, that I could help. Grateful for the opportunity that the deities are here.
Some of our devotees have been in Muslim countries, where nothing was allowed. In certain countries, it is very difficult, there are no other devotees, no deities, everything has to be very secret. Then we come to India to Radha Gopinath temple where everything is there, thousands of devotees. Sometimes devotees complain why is so crowded, too many people, lets keep this festival secret, so nobody finds out about it.
Gopinath temple, every thing is there, thousands of devotes. Some time devotees complain, “why it’s so crowded? Too many people! Lets keep this festival secret, so no body finds about it. Its like an ocean of nectar, ocean of mercy, ocean of blessing. Every vaisnava is so precious. We shouldn’t just see it as a crowd. We should see it as a ocean of nectar. Every individual is such a precious blessing of god. But as long we are in this mood of keeping my own will in the center and demanding, we can not appreciate Krishna consciousness. We can not appreciate the blessing of the Lord. Its not about me, but how can I serve. That is bhakti. And when devotees cry out, cry out for the Lord, it is in the mood of Mahaprabhu. The Gopis were crying to see Krishna. But they weren’t demanding. They were willing to serve Him with their heart, with their soul unconditionally forever. They were crying out for Krishna for 100 years without seeing Him. But they never become discouraged. They never gave up. “Oh! He is not coming lets find some one else.” That was the test of their greatness, that Krishna dintn’t come for over a 100 years. But they kept crying to see Him. And in that crying they were seeing Him within their hearts. It was deeper than anyone else could ever see. Because they wanted to serve Him, and they wanted please Him. They were crying for Krishna to come back to Vrindavan, because they knew that Krishna is happiest in Vrindavan. It was all for Krishna’s happiness.
This verse says, if we have desire to see for a very long time, we have achieved the ultimate goal in life. Srila prabhupada said, “A pure devotee whether able or unable to see the Lord always engages in Lord’s devotional service, always hoping that some time the Lord may be pleased to appear before Him, so that he could see the Lord face to face. But what is the process of seeing the Lord? Bhakti Siddhanta taught. Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada taught, “Do not try to see the Lord. Try to serve the Lord in such a away that He is happy to see you.” And when He is happy to see you, either in separation or He shows himself you face to face. That is the process. Thank you very much.
Question and Answer Session
Question: Maharaj, you spoke about demanding. When we hear nice stories about sacrifice and we appreciate very much and also reading and hearing, I have to imbibe all these qualities. And when situation arrives in our life we think that, “Oh! I have been targeted. Its politics against me.” and we become materially motivated. We appreciate on one hand such stories and but actually such situation is there, we calculate from the very very materialistic point of view, and cause troubles to others devotes and ourselves.
Radhanath Swami: What politic are there against you?
Certainly in this world, we have to deal with people who are demanding, who are selfish. That’s what material nature is about. So we have to deal with them, but we have to deal with them maintaining the sacred principles of selfless service. It does not mean that we serve people who are demanding sense gratification from us, we serve them by not giving sense gratification. We serve them by giving them what they need, and not what they want. So what it means to serve is according to time, place and person. If people are trying to politically manipulate you for their own selfish motives, to serve them is to not allow them to do it. To serve them is to do what’s best in that situation for Krishna Consciousness. That’s service. But because there is so much selfishness, that’s what the world is made out of. And it does effect devotees also. If we become effected by that, we have to deal with it in an intelligent way, but we have to maintain our principle of being the servant of the Lord and the servant of the vaishnavas. But if their influence causes us to become like them then we are lost. Yes there are so many selfish people in this world. But let me take shelter of people who aren’t selfishness and emulate their spirit rather than falling in the pit of influence of selfish people. People are trying to treat me politically, so let me become just like them, selfish politicians to defend myself. Then you have lost, they won, maya has won. But if that happens we have to respond in a practical, intelligent way on the basis of our own principles of selfless devotional service. Because if our demand to Krsna is “I am not going to be a pure devotee unless absolutely everybody else is a pure devotee” then you are never going to become purified. We have to maintain our principles, even if so many situations around us are antagonistic. Then we can do that if we are sincere, serious and without ulterior motives.
Question: Maharaj, this material world is a nasty place and somehow or other if we make some spiritual advancement, by the mercy of devotees and mercy of Krsna. If at all by His mercy Krsna is accepting us, and He takes us out of this material world, and Srila Prabhupada used to mention that even if Krsna has accepted you, then also will Krsna bring you in this material world to make you trained up to be a good candidate in his abode. But we always have a fear in our lives that when Kala Krsna das although he was with Mahaprabhu he got contaminated. But we people are so contaminated, and to again come to this material world, we will completely be dragged here itself. Is it possible that we can give a request to Krsna that please don’t bring us here anymore at all?
Radhanath Swami: If you are asking and not demanding then it is alright. You can ask as you like, but in the end the question should be “whatever you desire, I am yours”. Make sure you say that after you ask. When you become perfect, nitya siddhas, you come to a planet where Krsna is having his lila and you are a gopa or gopi, and you get trained up by the nitya siddhas from the spiritual world how to directly and personally serve Radha and Krsna in the material world. So there is no dangers there. It is very nice association. That’s if we become pure and perfect then you get that, but if we are less than that, we have to come back and we are put in a situation where we have every opportunity to complete our bhakti and become pure. But still we have free will. And in this material world there is always corruption, there is always disease, there is always death, there is always cruel people and nice people. It is full of dualities. But if we make good spiritual advancement, Krsna will make sure we are in good association. If we are perfect, He puts us in the association of Nitya siddhas to get trained up. But if we are not perfect we will be put in association of nice vaishnavas. But still we have to resist all of the corruptions of material existence. Krsna knows what you need. We can ask, but Krsna knows what we need, we should have faith and we should be grateful to accept that.
Question: On that last day in Mayapur yatra the story of Sri Sri Radha Manbihariji was narrated. The pure devotion exhibited by Sri Ramesh Baba in this story is hard to comprehend. How to understand such people and associate with them?
Radhanath Swami: Just by hearing these stories we are associating with them, that’s the principle. Look at what Prabhupada did, he left Vrindavan altogether, travelled the world, gave his life, gave his health, gave his life gave everything. Then there wer people who directly betrayed him, fell down, stole things, but he still somehow gave them a chance. But at the same time we have to protect. In that sense in such a yatra what is there to steal? Certainly they would not allow them near the deities to steal them or any thing else that was valuable. So we have to make sure that a person doesn’t do any damage, damage to himself/herself or damage to the mission or damage to Krishna’s property, but at the same time we want to give everyone a chance to be Krishna Conscious. That’s Vaishnavism. They certainly didn’t make him the pujari! There was no harm he could do, so why not give him a chance. Just walking among ten thousand people, sleeping on the ground in a big pandal, getting some rotis, there is nothing to steal.
Question: When he was refused to join the yatra, Ramesh Baba said, “Alright! this is Radha Rani’s yatra, he can stay in my camp”…
Radhanath Swami: Nothing to steal there! He wasn’t a violent person, he never heard anybody, he was just foolish…He was just a simple person who was bewildered. He wasn’t a criminal. That’s the way a Vaishnava sees. We see examples of pure Vaishnavism in this world are very important. Krishna stages these stories to revel what pure devotional service is.
Question: Sometimes we have to force devotees to work, by applying pressure or raising one’s voice or being heavy on them. How to balance such a situation?
Radhanath swami: We have to be intelligent. First of all we can demand for Krishna‘s service, but we should not demand for our own purposes. Srila Prabhupada was demanding us to serve but he never demanded anything for himself. That’s a pure devotee! He demanded us to serve Krishna in many ways but never anything for himself. He prayed to Krishna I am your puppet, let me dance as you like. In our life if… Raising our voice is a very dangerous thing, its not a very cultured thing either. only if its a really urgent situation to help a person to serve a person in their devotional service should it be done. Shouldn’t be done out of anger or frustration. And we should only become heavy like that only if we are very very convinced that we have no ulterior motive and it’s actually going to help that person, because it is a risk. But if a person is off and if its the only way to wake that person serious, then yes you must be heavy. Its for the person’s sake, its for the mission’s sake. it’s not just venting anger. Does that answer your question?
Thank you very much.
Srila Prabhupada ki Jai.