Mukham karoti vacalam pangum langayate girim
Yat kripa tam aham vande sri gurum dina tarinam
Paramananda Madhavam Sri Caitanya Isvaram

Hare Krsna! So we are here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and we are welcoming the devotees who are watching around the world on my Facebook page. Tomorrow night I will be giving a class in the Kuala Lumpur temple. So tonight I will not be giving class, but a short question and answer session here. I was graced by many devotees, asking questions for the past few nights and on Monday I go back to India, where I will be giving classes regularly there. On the 4th of July is the Ratha Yatra in Puri and Kolkata. This is the big anniversary Ratha Yatra which Srila Prabhupada asked and I was supposed to start in Kolkata, and I started it and moved to Mayapur, but every year I attend the Kolkata Ratha Yatra. So Lord Caitanya used to take the devotees to the Gundica temple and do the Gundica Marjana. Some devotees put water on the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya and drank the water. Lord Caitanya asked Swarup Damodar, what is your Gaudiya doing.? He had put him in charge of all the Bengal vaisnavas called Gaudiyas. So what is your Gaudiya doing? They are taking water to the temple. So Swarup Damodar, he grabbed him by the neck and pushed the devotee out. So in the temple we are not supposed to take water from anyone’s lotus feet. Lord Caitanya was taking the wrong by a devotee and He was teaching by example. But there He would clean the temple with brooms, with all levels of cleanliness, and that is described as the temple was as clean as Lord Caitanya’s heart! So we want to clean our hearts by chanting Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. And He also cleaned the temple in the way of cleaning our heart. Any way, if there are any questions, I will answer a few questions and then I will go to take rest. Any questions?

Question: Vraja Krsna das, Mayapur: Guru maharaj, PAMRO. Being in a big congregation like Mayapur, we feel like being alone in a crowd. How can temples maintain that simplicity and closeness they had in small groups or temples, while still growing into a big congregation?

Guru maharaj: Within the big temple, there should be many small groups like the brahmacaris have counselors and each counsellor has maybe 10 or 20 counselees. Similarly the grihastas should have some smaller groups, counselors, bhakti vrksas, namahattas, they should have some smaller groups. Then you can associate within the big group, with your smaller group, and have the same intimacy, while being part of a larger community. Hare Krsna!

Question: Suvradev Babu, Bangladesh, PAMRO. Who was the introducer of the Panca Tattva mantra in our line? How Lord Caitanya and others used to chant 500 years ago? Did they used japa beads like us?

Guru maharaj; The Panca Tattva, as we sing it, was introduced by Siddha Jagannathdas Babaji. He created this mantra which is similar to various mantras in the Caitanya Caritamrita, Caitanya Bhagavat. But he made this particular mantra – Sri Krsna Caitanya Prabhu Nityananda, Sri Advaita Gadadhara, Srivas Adi Gaura Bhakti Vrnda. Some had japa beads like we see in the temple that Jagai and Madhai, their samadhi is there and they have their japa beads over their samadhi. Sometimes Lord Caitanya would count on His fingers and sometimes He would use japa beads. But generally japa beads were used by vaisnavas. Finger counting was another alternative. Hare Krsna!

Question: Redding UK, Ramakanhai Mathuresha das: PAMRO. What qualities did Krsna like to see in His devotees and how can we come more closer to Krsna?

Guru maharaj: While we see that all the qualities mentioned in devotees, one of the special qualities is nirmatsara naam or freedom from envy. Also we see that the definition of bhakti is called sarva padi vinir muktam tat parat yena nirmalam. Hrisikena Hrisikesa sevanam bhaktir ucayate. That bhakti is described as being freed from all material designations, and to be completely pure. You use your senses in the service of the Master of the senses. So enthusiasm, utsaha, is especially qualified when one is very enthusiasti to render devotional service. Rendering devotional service without any motive, that is called causeless service or pure devotion. It is another quality that Krsna appreciates very much. So if one is doing devotional service, to get recognition, or to get respect or to get some positon, these are weeds on the path of devotional service. So we should be avoiding these other motives. We want to give the pleasure to Krsna, and that is our only motive.

Question: Naraharidev das, Toronto, Canada: PAMRO, If we listen to Srila Prabhupada’s books instead of reading them is that acceptable? Many time I am unable to find time to sit and read peacefully the books. Kindly advise.

Guru maharaj: Hearing the books of Srila Prabhupada is also alright. Some of the books are available with purport. But some, I think, only with the translation. So one should try to get the books with the purport, so that you can actually hear, not only Srila Prabhupada’s translation but His own Bhaktivedanta purports. Advaita das and some other devotees have the Bhagavad-gita available with the purports on the internet. I am not sure about the Bhagavatam, who gives it with the purports. But we should try to get the books with the purports and we can listen to that while we are driving, or while we are cooking, or doing some household work. Hare Krsna!

Question: Gunagari Gauranga das, Kolkata: What should be our real mood to join brahmachari ashrama?

Guru maharaj: You see, whether one is a grihasta or one is a brahmacari, the mood should be to serve Krsna. Being a brahmacari is a special facility because life is very simple, and one can directly engage in Krsna’s service all the time. Being a grihasta you have to work, earn some money, maintain your griha, maintain a wife, then children. So there are many different services. And you have to chant and you have to take Krsna prasadam, and you have to also do some devotional service. So a grihasta life has a lot of responsibilities. While brahmacari life, one should take it as a great facility to render devotional service purely to Krsna, without any other distraction. Hare Krsna!

Question: Sucaru Murari das: Caitanya Caritamrita says that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to give specifically raga marga bhakti, or raaganuga bhakti. Raga marga bhakti korite pracarana. How do we know if we are practicing the same? How and when do we begin and what is the process?

Guru maharaj: In the Nectar of Devotion, I think it is the sixth chapter, there is a facility that when we do the different stages of bhakti, first stage is called vidhi marg, and that has two sub stages. One is that we strictly follow the rules and regulations. The second is that we are spontaneous in our service. It is still considered as on the platform of vidhi marg, but there we are spontaneously rising early, spontaneously we are trying to improve our service to Krsna. If a pujari decides to decorate a deity more beautifully, if we are a cook, we try to cook the food more nicely, if we are a book distributor, we try to distribute the books in a way by which the people will be friendly and inclined to read the book and like this. So that level of vidhi marg is called raaganuga. So then from there we come to the stage of spontaneous, ecstatic love for Krsna and that has four stages. So from the beginning to the end, spontaneous raga marga is part of the process. We try to do the service spontaneously, naturally, increase it making it better. Hare Krsna! Thank you very much and I will see you tomorrow at the Kuala Lumpur temple little earlier.

Transcribed by Jayaraseshwari devi dasi
29 June 2019