PLEASE NOTE, THIS DOCUMENT IS AT DRAFT (NOT PERFECT) STAGE. IT IS RECOMMENDED TO READ WITH GM’S VIDEO IN BACKGROUND.
Mukham karoti vacalam pangum langayate girim
Yat kripa tam aham vande sri gurum dina tarinam
Paramananda Madhavam Sri Caitanya Isvaram
So today is Yogini Ekadasi, a special day when the Lord says this day, whoever observes this Ekadasi, He generally takes birth as His associate, in other words they ride high. So the Lord, He gives many facilities to return to Him. But the conditioned souls, they generally don’t take advantage. That is why we need to outreach people, so that they can understand about the Lord and His devotional service.
So nice to see all of you! Lord Caitanya, I would like to discuss about Him today. You see at first He was Nimai Pandit, He was the greatest pandit in Navadvip. At that time Navadvip was the center of learning, in the whole of India. So He had many students, thousands of students learning under Him. And He could challenge anyone, and in those days He would debate with people. So He would very nicely ask a question, and the person would answer the question. Then He would say that the answer was wrong. He would convince the person, and then the person would agree, yes, I am wrong. Then He would prove that that person was right! And He would give a logical reason, and the person would again agree. And then he would again defeat the person. So that is Lord Caitanya He said, that tarka bahu duur, tarka and logic takes one far from the truth. Because using logic we can create so many things. The actual system of learning is by descending knowledge. To get the information from the guru parampara. To understand by sadhu, sastra, guru. This logic is not good enough. Because we can give logical reasoning. So like that, Nimai Pandit was having so many youthful students. Then He went to Gaya to perform pindi for His deceased father. And then He met Ishwara Puri maharaj again, who was the favorite disciple of Madhavendra Puri. So He asked Ishwara Puri to please give Him initiation. And after getting initiated by him, He manifested love for Krsna. He started to chant, and people were amazed at His chanting and ecstacies, that tears would roll from His eyes like torrents of rain. He would spin around and tears would fly and wet all the people. So then He performed the puja for the lotus feet of Gadadhar, the incarnation of Visnu who had kept the Gaya asura under control. So then Lord Caitanya thought He would go to Vrndavana. But there was a voice from the sky that said, no, you have to go back to Navadvip and start the sankirtan movement. You can go to Vrndavana later. So He headed back with His students, he went back to Navadvip. On the way He stopped in Kanainatsala where He say Lord Krsna as a young boy, playing on His flute. Krsna came up to Him and embraced Him. And that deeply affected Lord Caitanya. He ran after Krsna but Lord Krsna had disappeared. So when He got back to Navadvip, He was totally changed! He left as Nimai Pandit and He came back as Gaurahari! In the house of Suklambara brahmacari, who had a cottage by the side of the Ganges, He went there and met with some vaisnavas. Senior vaisnavas. And there He confided in them that, you don’t know what it is like to achieve Krsna, to have Him and then to lose Him! For 12 hours nonstop He had kirtan, sometimes He would put His arms around the neck of some devotee and He was crying so much that it seemed like the Ganges was flowing. Sometimes He fainted and fell to the ground. So the devotees, they were amazed at the change of Nimai Pandit, that He was such a devotee. And before, He was a big arguer. So Lord Caitanya saw Gadadhara prabhu and said, You are fortunate, You are a devotee all Your life. I wasted time in so much argumentation and mundane scholarship. And now I realize that there is nothing more than Krsna. Krsna in the beginning, the middle and in the end. He is the Absolute Truth. When Lord Caitanya went back to His students, He was teaching Sanskrit. Everything, He connected with the Holy Name. All His teachings ended up with Krsna. So the students, they thought that our master Nimai Pandit has changed! So they went to His teacher, Gangadas Pandit, and they complained that Nimai Prabhu seems to have changed. He only talks to us about Krsna! So then Gangadas Pandit went to see Nimai Pandit. Nimai Pandit said, I am the same Nimai Pandit, I can defeat anyone, I can show that they are wrong and then defeat them and say they are right and then again show they are wrong. I am the same Nimai Pandit, I can defeat anyone! And then He went to the side of the road, let some pandit come I can take him! The brother of Srivas prabhu came. He was singing a song how Putana, the witch, the child killer, was delivered by Krsna, and promoted to be one of His mothers in the spiritual world. When Nimai Pandit heard this, He rolled on the ground and He was crying in separation from Krsna. So it seems that our master, He has changed! So many things happened. So finally Gaurasundar, He, on the side of the Ganges, told all His students, that I realized that there is nothing greater than Krsna. I have always given you the best of education. I taught you the most that I knew. Now that I realize that Krsna is everything, how can I not give you the most I know? So I free all of you, if you want to go to some other master, you are welcome, but I will be teaching you how Krsna is the root of everything. So one of His head students stood up and said, You see, You have always given us the best education but You never told us before about Krsna. You didn’t teach us the Harinam sankirtan. So I don’t want to go anywhere else, we will stay with You, but you should teach us how to do the Harinam, how to practice Krsna consciousness, Krsna bhakti. Otherwise, how do we know? So then Lord Caitanya packed up His books, and said I cannot teach you these mundane things any more. The students said, we don’t care, we won’t go anywhere else. So then Lord Caitanya brought some vaisnavas, to teach them how to do Harinam. Actually it was Lord Caitanya’s movement started out, mainly with the youths. He had His students, the best students, the cream of the youths, and all became His followers in the Harinam sankirtan, and they began to chant and practice bhakti yoga. So in this way, people were amazed to see Lord Caitanya and all His students chanting the holy name and loud kirtan would go on in Navadvip. Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare! So Lord Caitanya just as He was attracted to the young people, and He especially empowered them to chant Hare Krsna, and to become vaisnavas, to understand the philosophy, and to help to spread the movement, in the same way, we are hoping that all the youths will take up to Krsna bhakti and help Caitanya Mahaprabhu spread the sankirtan movement. Here in Malaysia, I have been for about ten days or two weeks. And here the youths have arranged a kirtan mela last year in Melaka. And the youths from all over the country came together to participate in the kirtan mela. So the youths like to do kirtan. And kirtan mela was a big success. Even Bhakti Vinoda Swami, he came from India to participate. Many people came from all over to participate. So in the same way, we hope that may devotees will participate and chant Hare Krsna together. So the human form of life is a great opportunity to reestablish our lost relationship with Krsna. And in this way, our human life should be a success. So we are very happy to see so many youths participating in this call. So we also want to give you the opportunity to ask questions. I don’t know exactly how that is possible.
Question: Vanamali Govinda prabhu, ICC Bengaluru: How to enhance youth preaching tin today’s age of distraction more efficiently?
Guru maharaj: Distract the people with Krsna consciousness. Since everyone is being distracted, why not distract him with Krsna bhakti?! Krsna bhakti gives great transcendental bliss! Everyone wants to be happy, but are distracted because of the different options to be happy. So give them the option of Krsna bhakti, and that gives one unlimited happiness! So Rupa Goswami said, how much bliss, how much ecstasy is there in the two syllables Krs na. So give that chanting to the youths. Certainly if they chant, they can taste some of the bliss. If you are happy, you don’t get distracted. If you are not happy, you are always looking for happiness. So in this material world, people are suffering so much, and naturally they are looking for happiness. And we are giving the real formula for happiness. Thank you.
Question: Bhanuprakash, Tirupati: Guru Maharaj I want to become an IAS officer but I don’t know how I can use this in Prabhupada’s movement. And I afraid of losing Krsna consciousness during preparation for this exam. Please help me.
Guru Maharaj: IAS officer can be also IPS, IFS, different IRS. I don’t know which you are aspiring for. But certainly one having a position like IAS can also utilize that in Krsna’s service. We welcome various IAS officers, district magistrates, residency divisional leaders, secretaries and so on. So also in the foreign service in some countries there are devotees and they help us to get our Indian passport replaced. In many different ways they help. So that is not the problem. Now to maintain your Krsna consciousness, anything you want to do that may be an exam. So whether it is a Chartered Accountant or an IAS officer, it is a very difficult exam. So one has to continue the chanting, that helps you to focus your mind. It gives more stamina to excel in the test. And also we get Krsna’s mercy. I know one devotee, he took the IAS exam many times but he didn’t pass, although he had a law degree. Then finally he decided to just to be a lawyer and he got his bar certificate, and he has been helping the devotees as a lawyer. So similarly I know some devotee that passed as CA, some devotees they don’t pass, but they find some other job. So that is life!
Question: Kuvin Thala Balam, Penang: Hare Krsna Guru Maharaj, how can I practice my bhakti yoga as a university, hostel student?
Guru Maharaj: You see, the study of the university you consider that as a devotional service. Since you can use your occupation either directly or indirectlyr in Ksna’s service. Indirectly means that you earn money and maintain yourself and you also preach Krsna consciousness. And directly means you get your degree. Later on you directly be in the temple and use your education in Krsna’s service. In some cases one’s education may be used directly in the service of Krsna, while one is in the congregation. For instance, we have an air force officer. While serving in the air force he made many other officers as devotees. So sometimes you can use your education to help your work colleagues to become devotees. Or sometimes, one spends some years as a brahmacari and then later they decide that they want to stay brahmacari or get married. So using their education, they get a job. Or to preach to all the youths! Ha! I will answer each question very short because apparently there are many questions.
Question: Durgesh, New Delhi: Hare Krsna Guru Maharaj. When the mind alone has attraction to do sinful activity, how can I avoid this and always remember guru and Gauranga’s teachings?
Guru maharaj: Idle mind is the devil’s workshop. So don’t keep your mind idle. If you are not studying, then chant or read, don’t leave your mind idle. Otherwise it will go on sinful thoughts.
Question: Sai Sanket: I am not very consistent in bhakti. If I don’t go to temple, sometimes I lose interest. How can I improve myself?
Guru Maharaj: In the Upadesamrita, or the Nectar Of Instruction, it recommends six practices which are useful for devotional service. One of those is association with devotees. When you go to temple, naturally you associate with devotees. If you don’t go to temple, then you probably associate with non-devotees. And that is an obstacle to our devotional service. That is also mention in the Nectar Of Instruction. Six obstacles.
Question: Jaya Balaji, Bengaluru: PAMHO. How to be sincere in our Krsna consciousness when our surrounding is full of maya?
Guru Maharaj: That is the ultimate test that there is so much maya but we keep our kind on Krsna. Lord Caitanya said that just like a wife who has another lover than the husband, she does her household duties very carefully not to be discovered, but her mind is always on her lover. In the same way, we should always keep our mind on Krsna even though there is so much of maya.
Question: Iskcon RAichur, Hare Krsna Guru Maharaj, How do we make youth coming to temple to be consistent in their visits and attend programs?
Guru Maharaj: We don’t make anyone regular, we encourage them. So when people come to temple we are very friendly by talking to them so they are encouraged to come to temple regularly. Also, doesn’t harm to call and ask, are you alright? We miss you at the temple. I thought maybe you are sick or something. Not that we say you are in maya you are not coming to temple! Not like that, talking in a friendly way. Like that try to encourage the people. I heard one story of a couple. They were always being cultivated by some devotee, and they thought they would move to some other part of the city to escape! But the devotees found out where the mail was being forward to and then recommended a bhakti vrksa group in that area to go and visit them. They came to see the couple and the couple said, oh no! Let us surrender!
Question: TODU Giridharan, Penang. Those souls who wish to enjoy separately from the Lord are given the material world which bewilders the soul to take up God consciousness in a state where the soul has been wiped off his previous memory, why did the Lord not instead give those souls who want to be separate in the spiritual world instead of material world?
Guru Maharaj: The spiritual world you have full consciousness, so therefore you are aware that Krsna is the Supreme Lord. You don’t want that! You want to think you are the supreme! So then you have to be in the material world, In the spiritual world, you have to love Krsna and you go there.
Question: Ayush Gupta, Pune: Hare Krsna GM, PAMRO. How to tolerate sleep during chanting? I had thought that due to less sleep I was feeling sleepy during chanting but even after 6 and half hours of sleep, I feel sleepy during chanting. I even find it difficult to walk and chant. Please help!
Guru Maharaj: Well, feeling sleepy while you chant is a sign of advancement! Normally you hear that people say the mind is agitated and it wanders. So if you are chanting and feeling sleepy, that means you are feeling peaceful! Because no one can sleep unless they are in peace. But that is not the most advanced stage but it is a little advance. I am surprised to see that you find it difficult to walk. That is really tired! Usually a person can walk and stay awake. Sometimes, I would time myself to see how long it takes me to chant each round and then I would see how long it takes to chant three rounds. If necessary, walking to focus or focus on a picture or Prabhupada murti or something, and then we see how long it takes to chant. And try to chant and listen very carefully. Then naturally if one is trying to increase the quality and the time of chanting, and also they reduce the time, then one stays awake. Or sometimes, people have some vitamin deficiency, I don’t know C or what, some vitamins. And therefore they need more sleep. Or take some vitamin supplement. Materialists they need eight hours, they say. But normally six hours is enough for devotees. But it is hard to see what each person needs. Some say that if you go to bed late at night you don’t get as good a sleep as when you go to bed early. Or some eat so much at night that it makes their sleep not so restful. So those are different practices. You can see and try different things. Srila Prabhupada said utility is the principle.
Question: Hare Krsna Guru Maharaj, PAMHO, How to improve our chanting without offences? Yours son, Purna Bhagavan das, Vijayawada
Guru Maharaj: I said that in the previous answer, timing one’s rounds, is one way to increase the quality. Also sometimes have someone to listen to your chanting or record to hear how you are chanting. Some people chant Hare Rama Hare RAmmmma. So we don’t realize that we are chanting wrongly. Some people take more than 7 half minutes per round because they sometimes chant extra names, or they chant too slow, or otherwise they go two forward one back two forward one back. So sometime they need to take out the beads, if they are chanting too slow, and see how they are advancing properly on the beads. These are very practical things.
Question: Balaji. Hare Krsna Guru Maharaj: Please help, how to make relationships with devotees without offending them, to talk in a sweet manner, and also is attachment to a particular devotee good or dangerous? What kind of attachment should be there?
Guru Maharaj: In the third verse of the Siksastakam, Lord Caitanya advises that one should offer respect to others and not expect any respect for one’s self. This formula is very effective to make friends with devotees and not to offend anyone. As far as what type of devotees, you should associate with, normally, we should associate with devotees who help us advance in our Krsna conscioiusness. Hare Krsna.
Question: Sarveswar Shyam das, Iskcon Guntoor: Guru Maharaj. What inspires youth to sacrifice our life to Iskcon other than doing our job at the same time practicing devotion?
Guru Maharaj: I personally was inspired to want to achieve Krsna in this lifetime. And to help as many souls as possible to that end. So by serving Krsna as a brahmacari, as a sanyasi, I did not have any conflict of interest. But that is a decision that every individual has to make. I personally saw that a lot of time went in maintaining family, but we see that some grihastas are very effective in their devotional service. But generally a brahmacari is able to give more time in serving Krsna. We call this brihad vrata because it is a very difficult sacrifice to make. But one is able to advance very quickly in this ashram. So at least one should spend some years in their youth as a brahmacari. Then even if they decide later to get married, they can be very controlled in their grihasta life, because they have that background.
Question: Iskcon Tiruchi: Hare Krsna Maharaj, PAMHO, Balaji Gopal: How to give Krsna consciousness to new youth and make them understand our philosophy? In today’s world, the youth boys are very disturbed and well attached to material life.
Guru maharaj: So see how Srila Prabhupada did it! And why are people disturbed? Because they don’t know the purpose of life. So if the youths are intelligent, they should understand what is the purpose of life. They should see that life is meant to free us from the cycle of birth and death. And that is to solve the problem of disease, old age, death and rebirth. One has to be patient and those who are intelligent, they can understand. Some people take longer time to understand, we should be very patient and consistent with them. Some people like Krsna prasadam, some like the philosophy, some like chanting, see what they like and try to give them what they like. In this way, try to attract them to Krsna consciousness. Then when they make others Krsna conscious, you get a type of satisfaction which everybody is hankering for. Hare Krsna!
Thank you all for your attention and participation. We would like to thank Murali Shyam das for arranging this class. If you liked the class, please write in to tell. Thank you.
Transcribed by Jayaraseshwari devi dasi
29 June 2019