19820429 Caitanya Caritamrita Adi-lila.17 Pastimes of young Lord Caitanya @ Denver, USA
The following is a lecture given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami on April 29th, 1982 in Denver Colorado. The class begins with a reading from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, Chapter 17.
Jayapataka Swami: …and by chanting and chanting, he became completely purified. Even if one chants a mantra by accident, or by some other… you see, not intentionally, even then, it’s called ajnata-sukrti, unconsciously so much benefit. So, that was in the Treta-yuga, in the Silver Age. Prahlada, in the Golden Age, he was chanting Hare Krishna, constantly, continuously, he was completely indestructible by his father. The father tried to kill his own 5-year-old child. He couldn’t do it.
Dhruva Maharaja was searching for Krishna. He couldn’t find Him until he was given a mantra. When he received the mantra “om namo bhagavate vasudevaya”, he chanted, then he could finally achieve Krishna. One has to receive a mantra, a name of Krishna, from a bona fide spiritual master, and this has been happening since time immemorial. Ajamila, one time, he chanted, “Narayana”, and he was saved from uh, death. He was saved from be… tak… from being taken by the Yamadutas into the, uh, lower planetary system for punishment, just by one time chanting the name of God. Powerful mantra. Powerful vibration. Purifies.
So, it’s not that this chanting is new. But, sometimes we chant, we commit offenses and we don’t get an effect. So many people are chanting Rama nama or Krishna nama, but because they’re committing offenses, they’re not able to actually make progress. Offenses mean that there is various categories, but there’s basically ten offenses to the Holy Name. If we commit these ten offenses, and chant, that limits the effect we get. It delays the effect. It limits it.
Because our chanting is not pure, so by Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mercy, even an unqualified person, by chanting His name, he is forgiven for offenses, therefore, the chanting has a full effect. Therefore before we chant Hare Krishna, you hear us chanting the panca-tattva maha-mantra. Everyone can repeat it one time.
Srivasadi Gaura Bhakta Vrnda
We chant that, in fact, Brahmananda Maharaja told me that in Africa, Prabhupada told them they should just chant that. They go into the Congo and they go into this mainly Lord Caitanya’s names because he has unlimited capacity to forgive. Then, we chant Caitanya’s name, then on His order we chant Hare Krishna.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare.
This is a great process of meditation, of yoga that’s been handed for millions of years, but it’s a very specialized and very unique secret and esoteric process from the past. It will not be generallyunderstood by everyone, or practiced by… although it was open to everyone, but Lord Caitanya, so to speak, had just opened up the storehouse, opened the treasure house, He just kind of, “Everyone can take it.” That was His specific mercy.
So, we can take advantage, and the proof is you can see how devotees around the world, they’re united. They’re one. Simply by chanting Hare Krishna, they’re getting transcendental benefit. By the mercy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, by these books are also sacred expressions. This is a type of sankirtana. Prabhupada had requested that we should distribute the books. Srila Ramesvara Swami has dedicated his life in organizing book distribution. This is a great service, greatest brhad-mrdanga.
This is all the movement of Caitanya, to broadcast the glories of Krishna, the chanting of the holy name. The spiritual knowledge. So, of course these are preliminary pastimes, especially the devotees can appreciate. Generally, we discuss after Lord Caitanya started His preaching. The public will understand better. But sometimes it’s nice to see how Lord Caitanya was… in the first 14 years, how He was acting. Then, at the 14th year, actually He fully got into single pointed sankirtana. Before, there was sankirtana, there was Krishna bhakti, but it was not so obvious to everyone. But, now we can take advantage of Lord Caitanya’s mercy, chant Hare Krishna, perfect our lives and help others. We should try with our life to do as much good as we can to others.
There’s no greater good that can be done than if you can give one this spiritual knowledge, because that means… just like you may be a kolavecha, you may be the… the king, but if you are actually Krishna conscious, that means that you don’t have any more dependence on the material happiness and distress. You’re always happy. Even the person has got… the big king, with all the diamonds, and all the gold and everything, is always hankering that, “This was not enough. That’s not good enough. I need more. I need this. I need this.” Always so many unfulfilled desires. And when one simply desires Krishna, that’s considered to be the greatest sadhu. That’s liberation.
Then one… Krishna may give that person… like Yudhisthira was the king of the world. That doesn’t mean every Krishna-bhakta has to be poor. Yudhisthira, Arjuna were emperors of the world. Pariksit was emperor of the world. Unlimited wealth. They could do so many asvamedha-yajnas. Rajasuya sacrifice, which take just literally thousands of tons of gold to perform those sacrifices. And also He had Sudama-vipra who was a poor Brahmana. Later he gave him a… huge palaces with jewels and servants. The devotee, in any condition is actually satisfied.
When he reaches that stage, Krishna doesn’t mind giving him so much wealth, but if a devotee is not mature, you get, prematurely, too much material opulence, then they may think, “Oh, this material opulence is happiness.” Then, they forget Krishna. Then they’re in maya. Then they’re caught up again in the samsara and laws of karma. But one is acting for Krishna, under Krishna’s shelter, one is above the law of karma. There’s no reaction for those activities, when one is acting.
You’re either poor man or rich man, for him, without connection to Krishna, then he’s bound up in the laws of karma, then his happiness is mixed with misery, and his misery is mixed with happiness. The devotee has got continual happiness. Externally, he may look miserable, or he may look very poor, or he may look very rich, but internally, his happiness is coming from Krishna. That is steady. That is unadulterated happiness.
Nitai Gaura Premanande, Hari Hari Bol!
Devotees: Hari Hari Bol!
Are there any questions?
Man: Yes sir, can you uh, speak to me about spiritual communism?
Jayapataka Swami: What would you like to know? What was Prabhupada’s definition? Everything belongs to Krishna. Yes. Spiritual Communism is everything belongs to Krishna.
isvasyam idam sarvam
yat kinca jagatyam jagat
tena tyaktena bhunjitha
ma grdhah kasya svid dhanam
that everything is the property of Krishna. We all… every person is allowed his quota. With that quota, they should be satisfied, and if they have surplus, then they should use that for the service of Krishna to help others. So, we accept that not the state is the owner of everything, but that Krishna is the owner of everything, and that the state is only acting on behalf of Krishna and to help the people to progress, spiritually. Satisfied?
Man: Well, I don’t still quite understand. I understand that everything belongs to Krishna, but…
Jayapataka Swami: So, if everything belongs to Krishna, and we each get our quota, then that’s automatically…
Man: That’s spiritual communism.
Jayapataka Swami: …spiritual communism. When you… you act in that consciousness, we act as spiritual parts of Krishna.
Man: How is it possible to attain that, as it is now? If not on the international side?
Jayapataka Swami: First of all, you have to bring up how… you have to bring about spiritual consciousness, then automatically, it happens.
Man: How to bring about spiritual consciousness.
Jayapataka Swami: By getting people to chant Hare Krishna.
Man: People have such a great misunderstanding. They don’t understand reincarnation. They don’t understand Krishna as an incarnation of the Lord. How can you bring this understanding out?
Jayapataka Swami: I remember that 10 years ago, no one even knew what reincarnation was. Now, if you ask people how many believe in reincarnation, you’d probably find that… has there been a Gallup Poll, how many believe in reincarnation? I know in Brazil, 90% believe in reincarnation, and it’s a Roman Catholic country (devotees laughing), and I think in America you’d probably find… I know in France 70 or 80% of people believe in reincarnation.
Man: They don’t understand Krishna as an incarnation of God.
Jayapataka Swami: Yeah, because they’re… because… be… because, you know… it’s a gradual process. We need more preachers. We need more people to explain. They’ll gradually know. First of all, let them understand what the soul is, what is… what is life, then that there is a Supreme Soul. Then, they can understand that Krishna is the same Supreme Soul that they know as “God” or they know as whatever they know Him as, Allah, Jehovah, The Father. Many people are accepting.
In North Carolina, two weeks ago, there was a PTA in all about 50 ladies all chanted Hare… or more than 150 elderly ladies all chanted Hare Krishna. Just that we have to go out and more or less, meet the public in different forums and gradually explain Krishna in ways that they can understand, ways they can relate to, then gradually people will come to know.
Man: How, “In different forums?”
Jayapataka Swami: Well, according to the audience, you have to present it.
Man: Like a salesman. Like a salesman talks to a construction worker at a construction site.
Jayapataka Swami: Right. Well a… you have to use at least the vocabulary and the concepts they’re familiar with. If any… If a physicist talks in uh… in calculus equations, then no one will know what he’s talking about, except for other physicists or mathematicians. Similarly, uh in the temple, we may discuss in a little bit more technical manner, but if you go out and meet certain people, you have to know how to… just like sometimes Prabhupada would meet people on the street, and he would say “God bless you.”. (devotees laughing)
Man: But the way the show’s being run now, people are trying to take money, you know, at the airports. It’s a con game.
Jayapataka Swami: Well, we’re giving out books.
Man: Yeah, I was first introduced to Krishna consciousness about six years ago in Atlanta, Georgia. (devotees laughing) I gave the man some change and I was walking… walking to the… catch my flight but uh it was all I could… not quite what the book was worth. I gave him what I had, sincerely, you know. Next thing I knew, he swatched it out of my hand, you know, and he’s gone, the book’s gone. If had more time, I would have tried to run him down or, you know, make a police report. But, you know, he cheated me. It speaks to the need of cheaters and the cheated, and I play both roles, or we change roles. You know, I was… I had a negative attitude about Krishna consciousness, for the last six years.
Jayapataka Swami: Well, I think in the beginning, some people were over-zealous. This may happen, but the point is, I don’t think it happens anymore. As far as I know, the distributors have become much more mature, and that these type of things have been brought to the attention of the leaders of the Society, and they’ve made various resolutions that are in the standards, that nothing illegal, or no type of… this type of activity, what they consider to be uh… how did the GBC resolution call it? Um, indiscreet sankirtana tactics, or something, these are not to be used… (devotee talking in background) These are not allowed.
This is not the movement of Lord Caitanya, that to make people… a lot of those people aren’t around anymore. They just… you know, in the beginning, some people just became a bit carried away, and definitely, we’ve suffered for that, but you can at least have the satisfaction of knowing that… at least, I assume that the person, uh turned the money into the temple, at least someone else got a book that paid the right amount of money. Now most of the places, we give out free books. You’d be surprised, how many free books we give out. So, six years ago, it was a little bit different than now. Now, many people get free books. And I’m sure that the temple’d be glad to give you a medium sized book for the money, you need reimbursed. (devotees laughing).
Man: At the time, it was very stressful. If it happened to me, I’m sure it happened to many others. Jayapataka Swami: Would you give him a Back to Godhead? (laughing)
Devotee: We’ll give him a whole case. (Everyone laughing)
Jayapataka Swami: If you’ll read ‘em we’ll be happy to give you as many books as you can read.
Devotee: I, you know… another thing to, in that particular point is that I think that sometimes, because the media… certain personalities that just… just like our movement in general, made that broadcast a little bit more than it actually, really occurred. For instance, you know, you… you might have had that experience, yourself, but uh, basically, you know, we’ve made investigations and we’ve found that a lot of times, that was a little bit, you know, over exemplified about our society, just, in general.
Jayapataka Swami: Any other questions? Yes?
Devotee: How is it possible for a devotee to go back to Godhead in a sankirtana van?
Jayapataka Swami: We’ll if you’re as Krishna conscious as they are, you get in. (devotees laugh)
Lady: So, why sometimes, the devotees of Krishna, worship Krishna, and these well-to-do guys worship (indistinct), why are the devotees, sometimes, not very rich?
Jayapataka Swami: Very nice question. As I mentioned before is that sometimes Krishna wants to… actually the devotee himself is so busy serving Krishna that they don’t have any time to waste in unnecessary pursuits to become rich. That they’re already so satisfied in Krishna’s service, that they’re happy with even a… just a minimal amount. So, rather than become distracted, they just use all of their energy in serving Krishna. In this way, one is actually… the devotee is richest of all, because by this type of devotional service, one is able to conquer Krishna.
Krishna is possessing all wealth. Just like Srila Prabhupada said that I have so many millions and millions and millions of dollars and temples, but I can never stay at any temple more than one week, or a few days, or two weeks. So, Prabhupada was always travelling, and as far as his personal belongings, he just had his, you know, his clothing and his books, and his… but technically, I mean, the whole movement was all under his inspiration and all his to engage in Krishna’s service and he saw it accordingly, but personally, one would consider that, well, simultaneously, he was living in a very simple way. Not having any… just a personal… everything he had, he invested in, uh, Krishna’s temples, Krishna’s books and Krishna’s work. Put up any… anything for any other separate purpose.
So, like that, the devotee himself prefers to live in a very simple way, doesn’t need to have all type of opulent things, which the materialist… they always want to get more and more opulent things, and as a result, they become always dissatisfied. So, if some opulence is needed for Krishna’s service, then one can accept it. In such cases, Krishna gives opulent… but, in general, the devotees, they don’t… they’re so busy, they’re already so satisfied in Krishna’s service that they don’t, they don’t bother to accumulate. If they get money, then immediately they spend it on Krishna. How much does one need? If you have clothing, and you have house, and you have enough to eat, what does it matter if you have a Rolls Royce limousine or if you have a Dodge Dart, or something?
Devotees: Jaya (laughing).
Devotee: Desire for it will less accost.
Jayapataka Swami: Yeah, but if you’re… as a devotee, if you don’t… you desire to get around, if you have service to get around, you don’t have the desires for a Rolls Royce… desire, unless it’s useful for preaching. Does that satisfy you?
You had your hand up?
Man: What would you say is the ultimate goal of Krishna consciousness?
Jayapataka Swami: The ultimate goal, the ultimate goal of Krishna consciousness is to be completely Krishna conscious. (everyone laughs) To do that service as described by Rupa Gosvami:
silanam bhaktir uttama
if you understand that.
Devotee: He doesn’t understand that.
Jayapataka Swami: So, that is, anyabhilasita-sunyam: to have no other desire. To have no other desire. Karma, jnana anavrtam. That includes not having any desire for any fruitive result, that, “I’m working hard. I should get the result for what I’m doing.”, or jnanam, to have some independent knowledge which is unrelated to our development of Krishna consciousness.
anukulyena krsnanu-silanam, to always be engaged in Krishna’s service in a favorable way, free from those desires, that is considered to be topmost Krishna consciousness, or topmost bhakti-yoga. So our goal to achieve that type of transcendental service where are intimately serving Krishna’s devotees, satisfying Krishna, directly, and that service is uninterrupted, and unmotivated with all these material desires and motives. That’s considered to be the perfectional platform of bhakti. Then, when one is serving in that way, then he gets a full Krishna realization, self-realization, and understand his eternal relationship with God.
Man: Each day, I remember Krishna, mostly I forget about Krishna. Now I’m wondering, “What does Krishna want from me? What does Krishna want...”
Jayapataka Swami: That you don’t forget Him. He appreciates you remembering Him, but now He wants you not to forget Him. When we forget Krishna, then immediately, our desires begin, immediately our suffering begins, then immediately our entanglement, and as we remember Krishna, then our freedom begins, then our (coughs), then our protection is there, so that, therefore, Lord Caitanya said, “Kirtaniya sada harih”: “One should always remember and chant Krishna.” In this way, one is transcendental to these material miseries.
So, that takes practice, because obviously in the beginning everyone’s going to forget Krishna, therefore, we associate with devotees, because with association of devotees, they help us to remember Krishna. We eat Krishna prasadam. We chant Krishna. We do services which we can see are related to Krishna because they’ve been authorized by a spiritual master.
Some people work in a temple, some people have outside jobs, that they work outside, and they’re supposed to give the fruits of their work to Krishna; they shouldn’t be work which is inimical to Krishna, you know, like being a butcher or something. In this way, Lord Krishna says, in the Gita, practice. By practice, then you’ll be able to reach the perfectional stage.
If you can immediately fix your mind on Krishna, then you can be perfect in no time, but if you can’t just always fix your mind on Krishna, without forgetting, then you have to practice, and that practice is called sadhana-bhakti, or the practice of devotional service.
Devotee: I’ve got a question about why brahmanas are too materially possessive with money. I once heard a story about this one brahmana, that’s going around to senior personalities, he went to Lord Visnu, and Laksmi was massaging His feet, Lord Visnu’s feet, and the brahmana put his foot on Lord Visnu’s chest, and Laksmi-devi wasn’t really too pleased about that, and ever since then, she hasn’t been too… taken too kindly to brahmanas, so to speak. I’m wondering if that could be another reason.
Jayapataka Swami: Of course, devotees are Vaisnavas, so they’re beyond brahmanism. Brghu-muni was just a brahmana, but he wasn’t a Vaisnava, otherwise he wouldn’t be kicking Krishna in the chest… (devotees laughing)…Visnu. So, Krishna consciousness is above the brahmanism.
You find some Krishna devotees, they may also have… the guru of Gadadhara prabhu, Pundarika Vidyanidhi, he was always wealthy. Surrounded by opulence, silken cloth, big baths, lights, silken cushions and people fanning him, and pallenquins, but Gadadhara, he was lifelong celibate brahmacari. The first time he saw his spiritual master, he thought that… (devotees laughing)… he wasn’t his spiritual master, then, but at that time he thought… he had a few doubts. Then it was revealed to him. That’s a whole other story. How it was revealed to him, how actually, that… that was like a show. He had those things, but actually, he was completely Krishna conscious. There’s not much time for that story.
Man: The Vedic scriptures speak of, you know, many ways and means of going about devotional service. You know, hearing and chanting, and I don’t know them all. One that I am attracted to, that I… I still don’t quite understand is thus, going to give some deity worship. Would you maybe elaborate briefly on it, or tell me a little bit more about, you know understand more. I’ve read, but still I don’t quite have the essence of this.
Jayapataka Swami: Deity worship for this age has been simplified by Narada Muni, and we follow the narada-pancaratrika system of deity worship. To actually do perfect deity worship is not possible in this age. Unless one’s chanting Hare Krishna, chanting the names, then it’s possible. There are many rules and regulations for deity worship, so this has been simplified, and it’s based around more chanting and, uh, kirtana of the Lord.
By worshipping a form of the Lord, see that’s an incarnation of Krishna. It’s called arca-avatara. Because we don’t have the vision to see Krishna, we haven’t developed that spiritual vision, so he comes before us in a form that we can handle, so that we can serve him in that way. So, that’s a very… that’s very good for our concentration, so we don’t forget Krishna. We have the form of Krishna. We… Those deities are installed by a bona-fide spiritual master, this way of calling Krishna, and He actually incarnates in the deity.
They’re not made by imagination. They’re made according to descriptions, the dimensions given in the Vedas, which are representative of Krishna, and then for Krishna, Himself, He personally is there, and there’s many pastimes with deities, where actually, one… the deity sometimes talks to the worshipper, sometimes the deity walks, although generally, that’s only reciprocating with some great, great devotee.
Generally, of course, for common devotees, we see the deities standing. We think the deity’s possibly made of stone or wood or this or that, that’s our materialistic vision. We shouldn’t see like that. We should see that this is actually an incarnation of Krishna, in a form, He… that He has agreed to come in this that we can handle and worship, and in this way, He’s receiving that worship, directly, and He’s reciprocating with it. We offer food to Him, and we take the remnants.
It’s a type of sacrifice, a type of meditation. We’re recommended to chant Hare Krishna in front of the deity. You can get your own Krishna deity, and offer incense and chant Hare Krishna, offer water to the deity. So its… if one wants to actually install a de… if he wants to worship a picture like a deity, if you do deity worship to a picture, the rules are much less strict. If you can establish in your house… do you have a picture of Krishna?
Reply: Yes, I do.
Jayapataka Swami: You can… you can set it up like they worship, there. Meditation and worship of that picture.
Devotee: He wants to offer you a pear.
Jayapataka Swami: Thank you. What is your name?
Devotee: His name is Harry Madison.
Jayapataka Swami: Harry: It’s almost like Hari. (Devotees laughing)
Harry: I’m nothing like Krishna.
Jayapataka Swami: No, but…
Jayapataka Swami: … devotees are named after names of Krishna.
Harry: What is your name?
Jayapataka Swami: Jayapataka Swami.
Harry: I have one more question.
Jayapataka Swami: Give everyone else a chance. We have a pretty slow group, tonight. Fully satisfy everybody.
No other questions?
Man: You were speaking about chanting, and ever since I’ve been coming to the temple, they’ve always emphasized chanting, and…
Jayapataka Swami: Do you have a set of beads?
Man: Yes, I do. I took them on my second visit, here.
Jayapataka Swami: You chant regularly?
Man: No, I don’t…
Jayapataka Swami: Irregularly?
Man: Yes. (Devotees laughing) You spoke of ten offenses while chanting, but you didn’t exactly mention what they were. I guess I could look ‘em up, but just telling me would be a lot easier, to say again.
Jayapataka Swami: (to the devotees) What’s the first offense?
Devotee: To blaspheme devotees who have dedicated their lives to the propagation of the holy names of the Lord.
Jayapataka Swami: Second offense?
Child Devotee: (speaking very softly)
Jayapataka Swami: Raise their hand. Raise higher. Speak loudly. (Laughing)
Child Devotee: (speaking even softer)
Jayapataka Swami: Hear that?
Jayapataka Swami: To say the names of demigods like Lord Siva, to be equal or greater than Krishna’s names. Third offense?
Devotee: Disobey the orders of the spiritual master.
Jayapataka Swami: Fourth offense?
Devotee: Blaspheme the Vedic literature, or literature in pursuance of the Veda.
Jayapataka Swami: Fifth offense?
Devotee: To consider the chanting of Hare Krishna an imagination.
Jayapataka Swami: To be… think that the chanting of Hare Krishna is some kind of imagination… the glories. Sixth?
Devotee: It’s some auspicious, ritualistic activity…
Devotee: It’s to give some material interpretation of the Lord.
Jayapataka Swami: To give an imagined interpretation. One is… the fifth was to think that the glories of the holy name, to be an exaggeration, or imagination, and the sixth is to give your own speculative interpretation. Seven? Devotee: To commit sinful activities on the strength of chanting the holy name. That means, like premeditated, “Well I, I can, I can do this activity, even like I’d kill this person, I go and chant Hare Krishna, then I’ll be purified from the sin.” Something like that.
Man: That doesn’t work?
Jayapataka Swami: That doesn’t work, no.
Jayapataka Swami: If you make a mistake, and do something, you can chant and get purified, but you can’t… you can’t like, do it on the basis that, “Later, I’ll chant and get purified.” Then, it won’t work. That’s… Krishna’s not that… can’t be cheated. You can’t repent before you do something, that you’re going to do.
Devotee: (laughing) Premeditated sin.
Jayapataka Swami: You have to try, you have to try to avoid it, you know, or sometimes you may not be able to, then you might not be forgiven sometimes, although not perpetually, but the premeditated, that’s considered offensive. It’s taking Krishna, mechanically.
Devotee: To consider the chanting of Hare Krishna as one of the auspicious, ritualistic activities which are offered in the Vedas as fruitive activities.
Jayapataka Swami: Nine? Yes.
Child devotee: (Softly) To instruct faithless persons.
Jayapataka Swami: What did she say?
Devotee: To talk to faithless persons about the glories of the holy name.
Jayapataka Swami: To the faithless persons, yes. Ten?
Devotee: To not…
Jayapataka Swami : The other gurukuli, alright. Have a seat.
Child Devotee: To commit sinful activities on the strength of chanting…
Jayapataka Swami: That was the seventh. Ten. Yes?
Child Devotee: To not have complete faith in chanting the holy name and to maintain material attachments, even after so many instructions on this matter.
Jayapataka Swami: Yes. (Devotees laugh and applaud) The thing is, just like a plant, if you water the plant every day, with at least a minimal amount of water, then you have… that’s plant A, then exhibit B, you pla… you water the plant… one day, some water, then two days you don’t give any water, then someday, some more, then some more days, you don’t give water, so which plant is going to grow faster? The regular one has some minimum per day, or the one that irregularly gets some water?
Man: The one that you water regularly, of course.
Jayapataka Swami: So, Lord Caitanya said that this, this uh, bhakti is like a seed in the heart, and the chanting and hearing is like watering. It’s irrigation, so that’s why we count how many times we chant, so that we can maintain some minimum.
So, it’s recommended… in the beginning you may only chant two rounds, or four rounds, or a… six rounds, but one should try to set some minimum. “At least, I’ll do two a day, or four a day, or six a day, or eight a day.” Like that. And then, regularly, do some basic… you may say, “Well, there wasn’t any time.” or, you just forgot, “Oh, I have finish… I have to finish my… my… my rounds, my chanting of Hare Krishna.” That’s called vrata. Vrata means that, uh, it’s like a vow, a promise. That, “I’m going to do this much at the minimum.” That gives one great strength, additional strength than just doing it one day, casually, and one who’s doing it on a… on a minimum basis, like that, this, it gives it an additional potency. Like more… and it’s also very practical, that we get regular watering.
Even in… even in athletics or in the yoga, or anything, exercise, they say if you exercise five days a week, then it’s alright, but if you only do two, three days, it doesn’t make much difference because there’s so much time in between that. So, you have to build up the spiritual strength, like building up a dam. Every day, a little bit’s leaking out in a sense because of our carelessness, our inattentiveness.
So, by keeping a minimum, we’ve built, we build up our strength. Gradually, it’s like filling up the glass. Once the glass is filled up with water, then there’s no room for anything else. As long as we’re only half-full, there’s still room for other…
Jayapataka Swami: It’s still half-empty. Or, worse yet, then you… other, the other stuff can go in there. So, Harry, why don’t you try to chant for yourself, you know? A minimum, at least chant like that. Try it. See how you advance. You can set your own, initially. What you can do, what you think you can do, every day. You may do more, some days. No harm. But, like that, minimum, but then you can raise your minimum. We do 16 as a minimum. Those who are initiated, takes about an hour and a half, two hours to do 16, ordinarily. Up to, you can… whatever one sets it. It’s very important that one do it regularly.
Man: Can I make a vow?
Jayapataka Swami: Yes.
Devotee: Your Divine Grace, you were talking a few moments ago about how, so often devotees would be so much absorbed in Krishna consciousness, that they wouldn’t worry about endeavoring separately, like to make acquisition of material opulences…
Jayapataka Swami: It’s like Srila Prabhupada. When he had the, was given his horoscope, he could’ve made millions of dollars, but when he got the order of Bhaktisiddhanta, to print books and do so many different preachings, so then, instead of just fully doing his business, he would use every spare moment to… to uh, print books and to print the Back to Godhead, and do so many works for Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. So, as a result, he never made… you know, at least… went on, but he never made it very rich. Although, he had the potential, if he would’ve just thrown himself into that.
If Bhaktisiddhanta had wanted that he should just give a lot of money… sometimes, devotees say that I just want to make millions for Krishna, then you see… you don’t see any money, you don’t see the devotee. (Devotees laughing)… and everything is lost. So, first of all, we should protect our Krishna consciousness.
There was one very wealthy man who, he decided that he wanted to give all of his wealth to Bhaktisiddhanta, so he gave everything to the last penny, to Bhaktisiddhanta, and that’s what he built the birthplace of Lord Caitanya temple with. Then, he became a babaji, and he just sat and chanted. That’s why his temple is in the gateway there. So that one babaji, he was one of the only two people that Bhaktisiddhanta acutally gave babaji initiation to. He just chanted Hare Krishna. He gave everything. He was a millionaire. He gave everything and then chanted Hare Krishna. What was the last part of your question?
Devotee: Sometimes I’ve seen that devotees are like meditating on how to actually collect Laksmi in so many different businesses, or devotees sell paraphernalia.
Jayapataka Swami: That’s for Krishna. It’s not for their own sense gratification.
Devotee: So, in the past also we could have done so nicely. Now, devotees who have acquired some Laksmi, and so could’ve done some nice temple worship and deity worship coming down. Devotees were satisfied, you know, just to do their little worship, or whatever. So…
Jayapataka Swami: Yeah but uh, now, everybody’s in complete ignorance. The whole world, for now, you can be satisfied, but how can any devotees be satisfied just himself worshipping, and himself being Krishna conscious, and not trying to help the others? Lord Caitanya said, janma sarthaka kari 'kara para-upakara, to perfect yourself, and then to help the others. That now, that you see, everywhere are around you people are suffering, they’re in complete ignorance of their spiritual identity. They don’t know what is the purpose of life. They think that these material objects of the… are their perfection, and they’re suffering at every minute, so naturally, a devotee, when he makes some advancement, is going to be thinking how to bring these people to Krishna consciousness.
And the people, they always think, “Well, how… Oh what are these people doing for society? How are you self-sufficient?” This, that. So, by showing how we can do various activities to engage people in Krishna’s service, like making bliss bars and so on, and so forth, that’s very big preaching for people like Americans who want to see that uh, you can still be productive and be Krishna conscious.
Now we should preach to them, that they can go on doing their business, no harm, but they should chant Hare Krishna. They should become Krishna conscious. They should gradually understand their real spiritual identity and their relationship with Krishna.
We are not opposed to making money. Some of these brahmanas, they’s make lots of money, but they would just spend it right away, on Krishna. Rupa and Sanatana were multi-millionaires, but they were continuously giving their money to the brahmanas in charity, who were preaching and doing various programs, and uh, that was only brahmanas, now we have to engage all kinds of people. All type of Vaisnavas with different propensities, so some people have propensities for doing different things, some of those people have propensities for doing business, or for, but I don’t think very many, (devotees laughing) maybe some people have propensity for working, for puja and for preaching, and so we engage the people, accordingly.
If one person doesn’t, uh, feel inclined, doesn’t feel the capability of, uh, being able to go out, and raise huge sums of money for Krishna, then that person shouldn’t… neither should he feel frustrated, on the one hand, that there’s no scope for him in Krishna consciousness, neither should he feel that the other people who are able to raise funds for Krishna, and who are giving the funds, and the funds are being used for preaching and for building nice temples and communities for Krishna, shouldn’t think that that activity is in any way materialistic. That’s all spiritual as long as their fruits are all going to Krishna, and used in Krishna’s service.
There are other services uh, that devotees can do, just like, in the temple, there’s people that cook, that do puja, they are all supportive to the preaching. Now, there’s other kinds of preaching coming up like nama-hatta preaching, like getting people to chant Hare Krishna, congregational programs, gurukula, which are not directly uh, connected, they may not be big fund raisers, there’s a scope for all different kinds of people, but no organization can run without land, capital, manpower and organization. Capital is also needed. So, in those days, the brahmanas used to go door to door and beg, and people used to give donations. Now, we can’t go door to door and beg, so to speak, so we give out books or we give other things and, in lieu of… and the donations are what we get.
You don’t just take. You give something, that’s our policy. But, we’re not satisfied that, “I should be Krishna conscious, and then never mind anybody else.” We want that everyone should be Krishna conscious. At least, get the chance to be Krishna conscious. It’s up to them. We can’t force them. It’s their independent choice, but we have to give them the choice, otherwise, as Harry said, there’s so many people that don’t know Krishna, don’t know His incarnation, don’t know anything about Him, don’t know who they are. Don’t know who Krishna is, who the devotees are. So, those people need to be helped.
Man: Excuse me. I was going to say, a lot of them know who the devotees are, but they… they don’t see the correlation between, you know God consciousness, and uh, you know people at the airport because they’re not reading the books. They may have a book, but they’re not reading it. Or, they get cheated at the airport and you know, and they cop an attitude, so they just throw the book away. I’ve seen it happen.
Jayapataka Swami: Now we need more congregational programs to add depth to the book di… people get the book. They have questions. They don’t know what to do. They’re in… so congregational program is when people read the book, a little interested, then you cultivate them, get them to chant, get them to advance, then get them also. They can distribute so many books and can explain to people the value of the books.
Some of our, some of our namahatta devotees, some of our friends of Krishna in India distributed 5,000… one man distributed 5,000 books last year. If you have a congregational program, congregation would like to take 5 or 10 books in a month and distribute to their friends. When they talk their friends into something good, then those people have a different aspect, a different uh, interest in the book.
I always said that we cannot be narrow-minded in our outlook of Krishna consciousness. We have to have a broad vision, how everyone can be accommodated in Krishna consciousness, everyone that has any desire to serve Krishna. They must be accommodated. As long as, you know, they’re not envious, they’re not destructive, I mean a sincere desire to serve Krishna.
Prabhupada told me, before I went to India, 1970, when I was just going through Los Angeles, for my first time, we went on a morning walk, then suddenly stopped then he said… I think we were in front of a church, then he said… maybe in front of the temple, he said that, “This Krishna consciousness, in the future will be similar… the temples will be similar to Christian churches in that there will be so many people who don’t live in the temple, hundreds and hundreds of people with every temple who will be around and who will practice Krishna conscious, in their home and who will come to the temple occasionally, but who will be supportive to the temple.
Jayapataka Swami: When the devotees order prints. I can show… I have a… I have a stack of business cards of people I meet on the airplane. People that have agreed to chant Hare Krishna, taken books, who are Vice-Presidents of multi-million dollar corporations, who are big executives, who are all different kind of people. All I do is ask them to chant Hare Krishna, then they… no one ever asks people to chant Hare Krishna. If you ask people to chant, some people will agree to chant.
Every time a sankirtana devotee meets a favorable person in the airport, there should be a program, get his name, have a put… and have a person write them a special letter, phone them up, cultivate them, “How did you like the book?”, send them another book another book if they liked it. Follow it up, just like every other organization in the world that’s successful. The Mormons go in South America, the poorest country in South America, and make 100,000 congregational members, 10%. They have to pay to be a member, to be in their… they have to donate to be a Mormon, and in the poorest 3rd world country, they’ll make $4,000,000 dollars a month. Because they simply go and meet the people, and they’re concerned that they not only get… you know, that they go to the next step and actually practice Krishna conscisousness, you know… whatever their consciousness is.
So, we’ve started this part of Latin America, and we’ll get people in the government, thousands of people. When I went in Peru, there’s 500 people, all friends of Krishna that went to the airport to greet me. They’re chanting, some two rounds, some 8 rounds, some 10 rounds, some 16 rounds, and all that can be done in North America, also. It’s just a question of having one person who’s willing to very patiently cultivate those kind of people. They take… It takes sometimes four or five years, they may never become full devotees, but they’ll do some service.
In London, they have Friend of Lord Krishna program. They have made over 500, or 1,000 members, they let them give whatever they want, as a donation. Some give 50 pences, and some give 500 pounds, a month. The average is maybe 5 or 10 pounds, but it adds up to enough to support the program and print a quarterly magazine. But it takes a couple years for developing that kind of outreach.
It’s a… it’s a… it’s a uh, it’s a whole new area of preaching, that Prabhupada said, “I’ve done half the work. Now you have to do the other half: Varnasrama preaching. Where’s the question of varnasrama? He said varnasrama means the people not in the temple, outside. Where’s the question of varnasrama if they don’t even chant Hare Krishna. Daiva-varnasrama begins with chanting Hare Krishna, then you engage them in service. So, meet a favorable person who’s got the book, next thing is try to get his name, try to get him to chant Hare Krishna.
The PTA, the women there, everyone was given a set of beads, shown how to chant, they chanted rounds. Many people bought beads and kept it. It’s like that. You ask the people to chant. If you explain it, some people like to do it. Prabhupada told... I understand, told Tripurari Maharaja that he should give out deities of Krishna on sankirtana. Tell people to put it on their television set, and wave the magic incense wand. (devotees laughing) Chant Hare Krishna, and anything they desire, make a wish to the deity, that this is the deity to answer all their desires. They should do this daily, and they’ll have all their desires satisfied. You want to try it in Thailand or South America: El Dios, de Deseos… de la… del Deseos, “The God of the Desires.”
Somehow or other: yena tena prakarena krsna manah nivesayet. Get the people to chant Hare Krishna. I know the congregational program in the long run will distribute so many books. Every thousand people connected to the temple, they distribute 10 books a month, 10,000 books, and everybody they’ll give it to will definitely read the book. In that one month, you give 10 people books and they’re going to read the book. Just like in North America, it’s a whole new concept.
What it will do is that, when these congregations are built up, the devotees will be at a much higher platform. Then, people will come in the temple, they’ll be looking to the devotees to give them ex… example, to give them instruction. They’ll look at the devotees as brahmanas. They’ll see themselves as being ksatriyas, and being vaisyas. Being supportive to the temple. They’ll look to the devotees as preachers and as guidance.
Already, I know that in southeast USA that they don’t ever, they don’t ever pay, you know, pay, have to pay stay in any ho… uh mo… you know, pay for any hotels. They always stay with the Friends of Lord Krishna houses, or in some Indian’s house, or something like that. It’s not that everyone has to be FOLK, it… just at least one person ought to be there, and one person just being… then every time a sankirtana devotee meets someone who takes a book and, “Oh, I like your movement. I… I’ve got about 5 of these books. I’m really into it. I really like you people.”, you know, only the guy never came to our temple, and he may never come, unless you know you get his name down, unless we write him a letter.
And now, in America, direct letter. You get these computers. You can write everybody a form letter, but it looks the same, and it looks like it’s a personalized letter, because its done by a computer. Now, in India, we have to type them all out. Here, you don’t even have to do that. They get that personalized touch, they appreciate, because everybody in the material world is very lonely. There’s no friend.
The secretary of the president of Bolivia is chanting 4 rounds of Hare Krishna, and he’s probably a Christian. Right… every time I go into Boliva I don’t, uh I don’t go through Customs or Immigration. They take me right… right up to the VIP lounge, to the door. Once I was greeted by the Minister of Industrial… Industrial Minister, once, by the television. And, when I leave, I don’t have to also go up through any frisk or any… They take me right up to the plane, and I go in. (Devotees laughing), and when I’m in the temple, usually, there’s one period from 2-4 in the afternoon when all the… everyone is thrown out, then the big government officials come, and they ask me about law of karma and other questions. Because we had one man in the government that was a friend of Krishna, he chants 8 rounds a day, is a vegetarian trying to get him to 16, but he’s a tough nut (devotees laugh loudly), and he’s uh, got everybody else into it. (devotee laughs)
Devotee: Is he a native of that country, or an Indian?
Jayapataka Swami: No, a native. There’s no… there’s no Indians in… in those… in that country, I haven’t met an Indian. I think there’s only twelve Indians in Peru, and I never met one of them. (devotees laughing) Devotee: How are they preaching to the government? How are they actually, getting them, you know, that close to somebody…
Jayapataka Swami: One guy was interested. He just came around the temple, then he brings all his friends, because they have an open thing. And he goes to Krishna, friend of Krishna. (devotees laugh) then he… you know, so then it’s very… anyone that’s a little interested, we’ll sign them up as a friend of Krishna, as a member of the congregation. Then, when the come up a little higher, they become a League of devotee, then after that, the initiation.
I initiated one or two professors, so far, of universities. Now they’re chanting 16 rounds and they’re following everything, because uh,… it took them a couple years to get around to it. They’re wonderful, you know, in their service and they’ll give money, and preach outside, they’re just, you know, they’re just too old and too, you know to move into the temple as a brahmacaris… you know brahmacari, just you know, it’s pretty tough. So at least you know, we don’t have in America, you can probably make [background noise], but there we don’t have it, so… [end of recording]
Transcribed by Jagannatha dasa April 16th, 2015 Sri Mayapura Dhama