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 we will answer the questions that they are asked. Sujitendria prabhu will be translating them. So please have your questions ready. Write them up. Those who are on the internet, send your questions by the chat. So all you devotees here will become world famous. Yesterday they were asking many good questions and many were taking sankalpa, pledge, to distribute books. We are very happy that so many men and ladies are present. Nitai Gaur Haribol! So we will go to 9.30 pm.
Question: Hare Krsna! (Guru maharaj, Yes, blessings!) I am Sarveswara Madhava das. What should be the morning program standard worship of a grihasta devotee? Especially the deity worship standard and waking up standard?
Guru maharaj: Yes! That should be your standard! You can see the standard in the temple, and if you are able to maintain that standard, then that is uttama! But if you are not able, then you make some alternative program and stick to that. In the temple worship, they go by the clock. But that is not always possible for grihastas. Sometimes one of the children may get sick, or there is some late night preaching program. So the system for home worship is that the person who is in charge of the worship, does not eat until the deity is worshipped. Of course, some people don’t have the installed deities. They are doing the practice. But they try to establish some similar system. One time Srila Prabhupada went to a grihasta’s house. And he was waiting in the waiting room. So then the servant went and informed the house owner and he came back. He told Srila Prabhupada, babu puja karta hai, babu is doing puja. Srila Prabhupada was dissatisfied and he said when a guru or a pure devotee comes to the house, that is more important than the puja. And the grihasta should have held his puja and come to receive Srila Prabhupada. So there are different rules for grihastas and it is not possible to go through all those details here. (Guru maharaj corrected Sujitendria prabhu here and said he was wrongly translating the word ‘details’ in Bengali!!) Vivaran is not kuti nati!! Next!
Question: Rasaraj prabhu asks, how to love Krsna?
Guru maharaj: This is a gradual process. In the Nectar of Devotion, I think the sixth chapter, there are two types of vidhi marg. One type is you strictly follow the rules. But higher than that, one spontaneously follows the rules and regulations. That is called raga marg. Say you are a pujari, you are doing your puja very mechanically but accurately, that is a basic standard. But like, Raghava Pandit, he was thinking he wants to offer the best things to his deities. So he had many coconut trees. But he knew that one coconut which was two miles away, but was the best, tasty coconut. So he got that one for the deity. Haribol! Haribol! Then the next higher stage is you develop loving ecstasy for the deity, for Krsna. Then beyond that is pure love. Haribol! Gauuuuranga! Nityananda! Gauranga! Nityananda! There is so much bliss if we hear the pastimes of Nitai Gaur, naturally, love and affection for Krsna develops. Next question.
Question: What is our actual connection to parampara – if it is through diksa guru, then we see that some of our previous acaryas did not take diksa in parampara. If it was through siksa, then we find there is stress in taking formal initiation.
Guru maharaj: Our parampara was given by Srila Bhaktisiddanta Saraswati Thakur, and he called it a bhagavat sampradaya. Everybody was initiated. But where the link was stronger with the siksa guru, he mentioned that. But that is only in about two or three cases. Mostly the diksa guru was also the siksa guru. Srila Prabhupada said he was the diksa guru and the siksa guru. But one may have more than one siksa guru. But usually the diksa guru is also the main siksa guru.
Question: Hare Krsna, dear Gurudev, PAMHO. My home is in Krsna nagar. I am very attracted to Panca Tattva and Radha Madhava. But I live in Kolkata now and here Radha Govinda are present and I am not so attracted. Though sometimes I think the Lord is one and the same, then why this is happening to me? What is the solution for this?
Guru maharaj: Madhavendra Puri, he found a Gopal deity in Govardhan. That deity told him that He was feeling very hot and ordered Madhavendra Puri to get some sandalwood paste. Madhavendra Puri travelled along the path of the Ganges and arrived at Remuna. So there, Gopinath deity is there. So Gopinath, every day had bhoga offering of kheer, sweet rice. But one night, He took a pot and put it behind His cloth. Then He ordered the pujari in his dream that I have kept a pot of kheer stowed away behind My cloth, there is a devotee of Mine, Madhavendra Puri, who is sitting in the market place and chanting japa. Please wake up and go give him this kheer. The pujari washed his hands and feet, wearing fresh clothes went to the deity room. Then he saw there was really a pot of kheer which Gopinath had hidden! After that Gopinath’s name came to be Kheer Cora Gopinath! Ha! The temple in Toronto has the deity of Kheer Cora Gopinath! So the pujari went and called out in the market, Madhavendra Puri, Madhavendra Puri! Who is called Madhavendra Puri? Then he saw Madhavendra Puri. He told him, you are the most fortunate of people in this world. For your sake, Gopinath stole kheer today! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! The pujari told him the details and Madhavendra Puri had the kheer prasad happily. Then he quickly ran away from that place because he knew the next day there would be a large crowd there. So he went to Cuttack and got some sandal wood and started travelling towards Vrndavana. But when he reached Remuna, the Gopal deity in his dream said that you should offer the sandalwood paste to Gopinath here and that He was non-different from Gopinath and by offering the sandalwood paste to Gopinath, He, Gopal, would also get the cooling effect. So it is natural that we have some relationship with a particular deity. But even if you are more attached to Radha Madhava and Panca Tattva, you can still worship Radha Govinda. That way, Radha Madhava will also be happy! Hare Krsna!
Question: There are ups and downs (Guru maharaj said: yes!) in our consciousness. Times come when we are very attentive in our service and sadhana and time comes when we get involved in offences in office and other things and not focused in sadhana and somehow completing our daily chanting but not in full consciousness. So how to be in full consciousness, attentive about our sadhana and service, without getting much distraction? Your humble servant, Saswata Nimai das.
Guru maharaj: This is also an anarta – called thick and thin. Sometimes a person is very, very fixed up, very thick in bhakti. Sometimes they are very thin. So that is why it is recommended that we try to do our chanting early in the morning because the grihastas, since they work to maintain their families, so there is natural distraction in the work. So they can do their work as a karma yoga. Since by their work they are able to purchase bhoga and worship the deities. Also they can do some preaching because their family is maintained. Also sometimes they are able to contribute and help the temple, economically. So they should see their work is also connected to bhakti. And in spite of working, they should use the results of their working in the service of Krsna.
Question: Was the Dhandaria family very instrumental in the formation of ISKCON India? Was the constitution of ISKCON India formed at 48D, Muktarama Babu Street, in Kolkata, where you used to visit after you arrived with Srila Prabhupada from America?
Guru maharaj: I remember, I stayed in Jitendra Mohan Avenue. That time was the Naxalite period. I stayed in the house of one Mattamal Goenka. And that time there was police with sand bag barricade and we had to raise our hands in the air and walk. And you saw two gangs of parties throwing bombs at each other. There were many life members in Calcutta who would help us in those days. And I may not remember all the names. But someone like Dhandaria, Bajaria and different Marwaris, Gujarati, Sindhis, were there. Also Bengalis! Ha! Ha! But actually the registration was done in Bombay and Srila Prabhupada was personally overseeing the registration and I wasn’t so much involved in that. So I was just trying to establish ISKCON in Calcutta. So it would be good to write a history of ISKCON India! And we could remember all the people who helped us. I started the Ratha Yatra in Calcutta! Srila Prabhupada had requested that we make a big Ratha Yatra in Calcutta. And since then I have been trying to attend every year! So thank you to all the people who have sacrificed and made ISKCON Calcutta possible! Is time up? Is there some essential question?
Question: Hare Krsna maharaj, PAMHO (Guru maharaj said: PAMHO!). Sometimes or most of the times it so happens that we know the philosophy, but there is no transformations of the heart according to that philosophy. Why does that happen? How can we rise above this and live according to the teachings along with its spirit? Thank you. Your servant, Shashikant.
Guru maharaj: I met one person, he said he was chanting Hare Krsna for 26 years. But he didn’t feel any ecstasy. I asked him if he was in our line. He said that he wasn’t in Lord Caitanya’s line. Some Sitaram, Omkarnath or something. I gave him the Panca Tattva mantra. SRI KRSNA CAITANYA PRABHU NITYANANDA SRI ADVAITA GADADHARA SRIVAS ADI GAURA BHAKTA VRNDA. So he thanked me and said he would chant that first. Then I left. But three months later I had to come to the same place. He came running to me, RUNNING! And he fell at my feet! WHAT MANTRA YOU HAVE GIVEN ME! WHAT MANTRA YOU HAVE GIVEN ME! I HAVE BEEN CHANTING THIS CAITANYA MANTRA, I HAVE BEEN FEELING SO MUCH BLISS! Haribol! Haribol! Haribol! So if you chant the name of Lord Caitanya, Nitai Gauranga, Nitai Gauranga jaya Nitai Gauranga! Sri Krsna Caitanya Prabhu Nityananda Sri Advaita Srivas Adi Gaura Bhakta Vrnda. Haribol! Haribol! So by Their mercy you should feel some bliss! If you are not feeling ecstasy, then you must be doing some vaisnava aparadh. Vaisnava aparadh can stop one’s aparadh. Lord Caitanya taught, vaisnava aparadh is like a mad elephant and it rips out the creeper of devotion and dries it up. Like a mad elephant stomping on a creeper. So even Lord Caitanya said that no one should say or criticize Jagai Madhai for their previous sins. Since they have taken initiation, they have been forgiven for all of their sins. Hare Krsna!
Thank you all very much, Dhanyavad! I hope that I have passed the test! You asked me tough questions!
Transcribed by Jayaraseshwari devi dasi, 09 July 2019