GM: We should always be associating with the advanced devotees. We can do that by directly association or by reading. How the vaishnavas in the shaastra behaved in different situations. And we try to correct ourselves, we talk to our spouses or we talk to some guru, how to refine our activities, how to be more vaishnava or vaishnavi. And there are some like in the Nectar Of Devotion, some chapters give all your seva aparadhs and naama aparadhs, so one can see these and keep them to heart. There are somethings which are external, like putting your feet out to the deities. Most Indians know, they should not do such a thing, but in other countries they don’t have this basic knowledge. They will ask what is wrong with my feet? My feet, my hands what is the difference? So this is etiquette. So like that, not gossiping in front of the deities. We take it that we are in the presence of God, in the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we don’t just gossip in front of the Lord. Not even in the presence of some president or governor or someone, you don’t just speak among yourselves but you will be respectful. What to speak of the Supreme Person? So most of the etiquettes are common sense, but today people don’t have even common sense. So therefore, it is written down We should not gossip in front of the deities, should not put our feet to the deities, should not wear shoes in the temple. The things that are second nature in India, they don’t understand in the West. On my first visit to South America, I asked someone please take care of my shoes because in India they steal shoes, I don’t know. So when I was offering my pranam and praying to the deity, I looked over and that devotee who had I had told to take care of my shoes, brought my shoes in front of the deity! Ha! I said, what are you doing? He said, I am taking care of your shoes! Ha! So they are very simple. They don’t have this culture. That if you don’t wear shoes, you don’t carry the shoes in front of the deities. So you have to be very patient and have to gradually explain to them. So if you get too heavy, then they will think this is not nice. Maybe they are eating with the wrong hand. They don’t know the difference between right hand or left hand! So if you go – YOU ARE IN MAYA, YOU ARE EATING WITH THE LEFT HAND, NO! They will fly out!  The person will say, oh it is so heavy, I will leave! So you should gently explain what is our culture, and they will appreciate. But we cannot say it aggressively.

26th March 2019
Sri Dham Mayapur, India