Connecting Devotees Worldwide - In Service Of Srila Prabhupada
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“Prabhupada: …I.A.S. civil service examination before one man is posted in some responsible office. Similarly, to be recognized by Krsna, as He says na ca tasman manusyesu, one has to pass examination, severe test of examination. All the big, big devotees we see. Narada Muni, before becoming Narada Muni, he had to pass through severe examination, test. That chance is there in the human form of life, to pass the examination, test. But they are passing this human life with ordinary animal propensities. They are not trained up to pass the examination and be recognized by God. That civilization is lost, Vedic civilization, to prepare the human beings for passing the test, examination for being recognized by God.
tapasa brahmacaryena samena ca damena ca tyagena satya-saucabhyam yamena niyamena va
These things are required, tapasa brahmacaryena.
Atreya Rsi: To pass the examination, one must follow a strict, austere life.
Prabhupada: Yes. Tapasa brahmacaryena, beginning tapasya, austerity. Brahmacarya, celibacy. Tapasa brahmacaryena samena damena, controlling the senses, controlling the mind. Tyagena, by renunciation. Satya-saucabhyam, by following truthfulness and cleanliness. Yamena niyamena va, by practicing yoga, yama-niyama. These are the different items of being qualified. But all these things can be done by one stroke, kevalaya bhaktya, by engaging oneself in devotion, vasudeva-parayanah.
kecit kevalaya bhaktya vasudeva-parayanah agham dhunvanti kartsnyena niharam iva bhaskarah
One becomes qualified by one stroke of bhakti to Vasudeva. Just like the sunrise immediately dissipates the fog. Agham dhunvanti kartsnyena niharam iva bhaskarah. In the Kali-yuga, this one item of bhakti can make one perfectly fit candidate to pass the examination. Agham dhunvanti kartsnyena niharam iva bhaskarah. What is this nonsense life? There is no tapasya, no spiritual culture,”
(New Vrndavana, 1976)
Prabhupada: Now questions?
Devotee (1): So is there ever, for someone whose determination wavers and slackens here and there, is there ever a point where the neophyte devotee is in danger of just forgetting everything and falling, tumbling completely back?
Prabhupada: Everyone is neophyte. He should practice determination, that’s all. If he cannot practice, then why should he enter into this association? Let him remain aloof. One who has entered with the determination that “I must practice,” so if he cannot practice, then why this make show that “I belong to Krsna consciousness movement. I am initiated.” Why this farce? He must practice with determination that “By practicing I’ll be success.” That is wanted. He has no determination, why should he make a show? Drdha-vrata. Bhajante mam drdha-vratah. Drdha-vrata, that is wanted, determination. Hmm, go on. When one is determined, his success is assured. If he’s not determined, then success or failure.
Devotee (1): Can one develop determination gradually?
Prabhupada: Why gradually? When you promise before your spiritual master that no illicit sex, no gambling, no meat-eating, why should you fall down? If you have no determination, why should you promise in presence of the Deity, fire, spiritual master, Vaisnava? Why do you make this farce, if you have no determination? If you want to make it a farce, that depends on you. But you should not.
Devotee (1): When we make that promise…
Prabhupada: Yes, you should not fall down, that is determination. That is gentleman’s determination, that “I have given my promise. Why shall I fall down?” That is determination. “I must respect promise.” That is called drdha-vrata. So he’ll success. Where is the difficulty? There is no difficulty. But if we want to cheat, that is another thing. If we have no determination, we should not take up this life. Therefore, chance is given that “Stay with us for six months or one year, be determined. Then be initiated.” If you are not determined, what is the use of false initiation?
Devotee (1): Sometimes this weakness seems to be…
Prabhupada: Weakness there, you should rectify weakness. Why you should give any importance to weakness? Weakness is weakness. Rectify it.
Kuladri: This promise is the minimum determination.
Kuladri: This promise of following four regulative principles, chanting sixteen rounds daily, that is the minimum determination. Then, from there, he must increase.
(Morning Walk at Stow Lake, March 23, 1968, San Francisco)
“Prabhupada: We should forego sleeping even. The real regulated life is that if sixteen rounds is not completed, then we have to forego sleeping. You should take out hours from sleeping. We should be… The main thing is that we should always be careful that… We are going, we have taken up a very responsible task, Krsna consciousness. So we should be very much careful in discharging the duty. The devotee should be so much careful that he’ll always see “Whether this moment is spoiled or utilized?” Avyartha-kalatvam. Avyartha-kalatvam, that “My time may not be wasted.” He should be so careful, “Whether my time is being wasted?” and time wasted, the time we engage for our bodily necessities, that is wasted. Generally, conditioned souls, they are simply wasting their time. Only the period which we have engaged in Krsna consciousness, that is utilized. So we should be very much careful whether time is being wasted or being utilized.
Devotee (1): Sometimes, well, if you (we) slept less, we could do more for Krsna, but at the same time you (we) would be very tired. I mean, you could be… Well, you could regulate that.
Prabhupada: Yes. Practically everything depends on practice. Abhyasa-yoga-yuktena cetasa nanya-gamina. Abhyasa-yoga. Abhyasa-yoga means yoga practice… Practice it. So this whole Krsna consciousness movement is to practice transfering from one kind of consciousness to another. So we require practice. Just like one man can run few miles. I cannot run even one mile. He has practiced. We see some boys, they run, run on. They practice. Practice it. Strength of the heart increasing by practice. And if I run, my heart will be palpitating. Because I have no practice. So by practice, everything can be attained. Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. (break) …determination. And this determination is increased by celibacy. Brahmacarya is recommended to keep oneself determined. A brahmacari, if he determines something, he executes. He has got that strength of mind. Those who are too much addicted to sex life, they cannot be determined. They cannot be fixed-up. They are fluctuating, changing.”
(Lect SB. 6.1.13-14 NY 7/27/71)
Vimarsanam means to be thoughtful. Without being thoughtful, philosopher, how one can understand, what is his position? Thoughtful. And that thoughtfulness comprehends so many things. Tapasa. One has to learn it by tapasya. Just like if one wants to pass M.A. examination, then he has to go school, follow the principle of the schools, college, study, and take some pains. Then gradually he’ll come a passed M.A. student. And if he plays all the day on the street, how he can…? That is not possible. Therefore the process is being explained by Sukadeva Gosvami: tapasa. First thing is tapasya, austerity. Even it is painful… Austerity’s painful. Brahmacarya is painful. Because we want, unrestricted, to do everything. But no. As soon as it is regulated it appears to be painful. When it is practiced, it is not painful. One brahmacari in Indian city, in severe cold, he was sleeping in the open air, without any covering. And it was severe cold. But it was practice. During Magha-mela, many saintly persons come there on the bank of the Ganga, Ganges. This year we had our own camp; we have seen. The whole night they are sitting in the open air, without any covering.
So practice. So practice means if you undergo austerity, tapasya, everything will be practiced. That is a Bengali proverb: sarire na mahasaya(?). Mahasaya is a word used in India, a very respectable gentleman, mahasaya. So this sarira, this body is mahasaya. Ya sa haye sa taicha(?). Whatever he’ll practice, it will be accustomed. So practice. So here this Krsna consciousness movement is bringing them to the practice. Therefore you find, so nice, boys and girls, they’re practiced. As soon as they’re neglectful to the practice—-falls down. They cannot stay. Immediately goes out. So that is called austerity, tapasya. Practice. Practical life. So these are the processes.
tapasa brahmacaryena samena ca damena ca tyagena satya-saucabhyam yamena niyamena va deha-vag-buddhijam dhira dharmajnah sraddhayanvitah ksipanty agham mahad api venu-gulmam ivanalah
Venu-gulmam ivanalah. Just like there is a jungle—so many unwanted creepers—so you set fire. Everything will be burned into ashes and the field will be cleared, cleansed. So it is said: deha-vag-buddhijam dhira dharmajnah sraddhayanvitah. Those who are dhira… Dhira and adhira. Dhira means sober and adhira means extravagant. There are two classes of men, dhira and adhira. Here Sukadeva Gosvami’s speaking of the dhira. Who is dhira? Dhira means in spite of provocation, in spite of something present which agitates the mind, one remains, I mean to say, in his position, steady. He’s called dhira.
The dhira example is given by Kalidasa Pandita, a great poet in India, Sanskrit poet, long, long ago. He has written one book: Kumara-sambhava. Kumara-sambhava. In our college we read that book in Sanskrit class. Kumara-sambhava. So he has given one example of dhira about Lord Siva, Mahadeva. He was meditating and the demigods, they had a plan, that “The demons are fighting with us. We are being defeated. We want a commander in chief, who must be born out of the semina of Lord Siva.” But he was in meditation. So how to do it? So Parvati, she was sent. She was young girl. And she was worshiping the genital of Lord Siva. So a young girl, touching the genital, and she’s present, but still Lord Siva was in meditation. So Kalidasa—-here is the example of dhira. He’s called dhira. In spite of presence of a young girl touching the genital, he’s not, I mean to say, disturbed.
Just like Haridasa Thakura. You have heard the Haridasa Thakura. He was chanting Hare Krsna mantra, and somebody wanted to cut down. He was young man. So young prostitute was sent at dead of night. And he, she proposed… Haridasa Thakura said, “Yes, it is very nice proposal. Please sit down. Let me finish my chanting, and I shall enjoy.” So it became morning. The prostitute became, I mean to say, perturbed. And Haridasa Thakura replied, “I am very sorry. I could not finish my chanting. Please come this night again.” The first night, second night…, third night the prostitute fell down on his feet and said, “Sir, this was my intention. I was induced to do this act by some man who is your enemy. So kindly excuse me.” So Haridasa Thakura replied, “I knew that. But because you came to me, therefore I allowed you to come here, three days, so that you may be converted to be a devotee. So now take these chanting beads. You sit down. Go on chanting. I am leaving this place.” Here is another dhira.
So here it is said, deha-vag-buddhijam dhira dharmajnah. One who has control, deha, the body, vak, the words, buddhi, intelligence—they are dhira. So this tridandi. This tridandi-sannyasa means to become dhira, controlling sarira; deha, the body; vak, words; and intelligence. These things should be utilized. How? By dhira, those who are dhira. Dharmajna. One who knows actually the principle of religion. Dharmajna. Deha-vag-buddhijam dhira dharmajnah sraddhayanvitah, ksipanty agham mahad api. So because our life is continuously committing sinful activities, from time immemorial… You do not know when it began. Evolution, many births. Therefore this life is meant for rectifying all mistakes that we had committed in our previous life or in this life. How? By this process. Ksipanty agham. Agham means the resultant action of sinful life. Mahad api. Although it is very great, mahad api, how? Venu-gulmam, venu-gulmam ivanalah. Just like if you set fire to unwanted grass and creepers in the field. You set fire, and they will be all burned. Similarly, by this process, tapasa brahmacaryena, you can liquidate all of your sinful activities of life and you become purified.
The first thing is tapasya. The first… Tapasya means you have to accept some austerity. The same example can be given that the doctor says… Suppose a diabetic patient. So doctor prohibits him that “You cannot eat. You have to starve for some days.” So I do not like to starve, nobody likes to starve. But because doctor says you have to starve, if you want to cure a disease, then I have to voluntarily accept, accept starving. This is called tapasya: voluntarily accept some miserable condition of life. That is good. And human life is meant for that purpose.
So tapasya is required. Without tapasya you cannot make advancement in spiritual life, or life of knowledge. If you simply give away…, in the animal propensities of life, eating, sleeping, mating and defending and don’t accept the process of tapasya, then your human life is failure. You have to accept some tapasya if you want to make solution of the problems of life. Sukadeva Gosvami first recommends tapasya. Just like here, in our institution, whoever comes and becomes an initiated member, we first of all ask them to undergo tapasya. Tapasya. Especially in your country, it is a great tapasya to give up illicit sex life, to give up intoxication up to the point of smoking and tea drinking, and to give up meat-eating, and to give up gambling. Although they’re only four, but it is very difficult to give up these four items. Even Lord Zetland, in England, when he was asked to do this, one of my Godbrothers, Lord Zetland, Marquis of Zetland, he inquired from my Godbrother, “Swamiji, whether you can make us brahmana?” So he said, “Yes, why not? You have to give up these four principles of life, prohibited: no illicit sex, no intoxication, no gambling, and no meat-eating.” The Lord Zetland replied “Impossible.” Yes, it is impossible. Because in Europe and America, this is the way of life from the very beginning. And from India, our Indian gentlemen come here to learn this art, how to do it nicely. And they think it is advancement. India is automatically taught this tapasya by their culture, but they come here to forget that culture and accept another type of life.
But real, real fact is if you want to advance in spiritual understanding, if you want to make a solution of all the problems of your life, then you have to accept this life of austerity, tapasya. Restriction. Restriction is meant for human beings, not for the animals. Just like in our common dealings, when you drive your car, you have got some restriction. You cannot drive your car on the left side. That is offense. “Keep to the right.” You cannot drive your car when there is red light, or yellow light. You have to follow the restriction. But the dog, if it keeps to the left or crosses the street when there is red light, it is not punished, because it is animal, dog. But if you violate the laws, you’ll be punished. Why? That means you have got advanced consciousness. If you do not follow the rules and regulation, then you are nothing but animal. Human being, human life means voluntarily accepting the laws, the rules and regulation. That is human life. But now the propaganda is that everyone, one wants to be free, no regulative life. This is animal life. Just try to understand. The regulations, lawbooks, restrictions, they are meant for human being, not for animals. And if you want freedom from all restrictions, then you come to the animal life. Therefore Sukadeva Gosvami recommends first tapasya. If you want to stop the problems of life, then you have to accept the life of austerity, tapasya.
And what is the tapasya? That is also… Brahmacaryena. Brahmacaryena. Brahmacaryena means restricted sex life. Real meaning is no sex life, no sex, celibacy, completely. This is tapasya. Therefore, according to Vedic culture, the first beginning of life is brahmacari. (break) But in the brahmacari life there is no sex life. Only in the grhastha life there is sex life, married life. I was reading the other day a magazine, Watch… What is that? Watchtower. So this paper was criticizing so many immoral activities in the Christian world. And one item I was surprised to read that a Christian priest has sanctioned marriage between man to man. That was written there. I do not wish to discuss all those things, but people are degrading for want of this tapasya. People are not taught how to execute tapasya life, tapasvi life. Simply by criticizing will not do. Practically you have to be trained in the life of tapasya. Then it will be effective. Just like we are doing. Here, in our Krsna consciousness movement, in every center, everyone, at least who are living within this temple, must get up at four o’clock to perform the aratrika. This morning I was asking somebody that if you cannot rise, then you cannot live in this temple. Because this temple is meant for tapasya, not for extravagancy. Unless you follow the life of tapasya, you cannot make progress.
So this temple, we are inviting everyone to live here, to live with us, and practice tapasya. Then your life will be advanced. Then you’ll understand what is your constitutional position, what is God, or Krsna, what is your relationship with Him, what is the aim of life, how to execute it, how to make life successful. These things are taught here. This is called tapasya. And in the Vedas it is said that those who are executing the regulative life of tapasya, they are brahmanas. Etad viditva yah prayati sa eva brahmanah. Etad aviditva yah prayati sa krpanah(?). These are the Vedic injunctions. One who is dying… Everyone is dying. Nobody can live here permanently. That’s a fact. But one who is dying after executing the life of tapasya, he’s a brahmana. And one who is dying like cats and dogs, without any execution of tapasya, he’s called krpana. The two words are there in the Vedic literature: one is brahmana and one is krpana. Krpana means miser, and brahmana means liberal, broad-minded. Brahma janati iti brahmanah, or one who knows the Supreme, the Absolute Truth, he’s brahmana. And one who does not know, that is animal. This is the difference between animal and man. Man should be educated to understand the Absolute Truth. Therefore in the human society there is school, colleges, universities, philosophers, scientists, mathematician. Because human life is meant for knowledge. The animal life, they’re not required to take education. They are simply busy with how…, with the business how to eat, how sleep, how to mate and how to defend. That’s all.
So the tapasya life begins from celibacy, brahmacaryena. Sukadeva Gosvami recommends. Brahmacarya is described in the sastras that smaranam kirtanam kelih preksanam guhyam asanam(?). Sex life, smaranam, thinking of sex life, that is against brahmacarya. Complete celibacy means one should not think of even sex life. Smaranam. Or talk of sex life. Our modern literature, newspaper and everything, simply full with talks of sex life. But this is against brahmacarya life. Smaranam kirtanam keli. And actually indulging in sex life. Preksanam: looking, overlooking a nice boy or nice girl, that is also against brahmacarya. Guhyam asanam: whispering between girls and boys, that is also against brahmacari. Guhyam asanam sankalpam. Then determination of sex life. Vyavasaya: endeavoring how to effect sex life. So when we can stop all these activities, that is real brahmacarya. It is very difficult at the present age. Etan maithunyam astangam pravadanti manisinah vikarita brahmacaryam eda astanam laksanam iti(?). So brahmacarya means that you cannot think of sex life, you cannot talk of sex life, you cannot whisper about sex life, or you cannot endeavor for sex life. These eight types of activities in sex indulgence are against brahmacari life. But here it is prescribed that if you want to make solution of the problems of life, then you adopt, you have to adopt a life of tapasya, austerity, which begins from brahmacari.
To summarize this brahmacarya life in this age, we have given a simple formula, that “No illicit sex.” Sex is there. Sex is not bad. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said, dharmaviruddhah kamo ’smi: “Sex life which is not against the religious principles of life, that is I am.” Krsna says. So dharmaviruddha, according to Vedic civilization, one should have sex indulgence only once in a month. That is the prescription. And when the wife is pregnant there is no sex life. That is dharmaviruddha. That is not against the religious principles. Even in your life, married life, if you indulge sex life more than once in a month, or in pregnancy, that is against religious principles. So Krsna dharmaviruddhah kamo ’smi: “Lust, sex indulgence, which is not against the rules of religious principles, that is I am.” That means only for begetting children, nice children, so that there may not be disturbance. Unless there are nice population, children born in a systematic way, how you can expect peace in the world? That is described in the Bhagavad-gita. When there are varna-sankara the whole world becomes hell. This is described in the Bhagavad-gita. So the life of austerity begins from the life of celibacy, brahmacarya. So brahmacarya, the descriptions are given here, how you can execute brahmacari life. You cannot think of sex life, you cannot talk of sex life, you cannot whisper about sex life. There are eight types of different regulation to stop sex life. But these things are very difficult in this age. Therefore we have simply summarized that don’t have sex life beyond the married life. That is not good.
Then how brahmacarya can be executed? That is also given here: tapasa brahmacaryena samena. Samena means controlling the mind. The yoga system, astanga-yoga system, practicing the asana, sitting posture, breathing exercise, controlling the senses from outside engagement, pratyahara, these are, this yoga system is meant for controlling the mind and controlling the sense. If there is no control of mind and no control of senses, the so-called yoga practice is bogus. It has no meaning. Yoga indriya samyama. Yoga means to control the senses. That is the real meaning of yoga. So if one is unable to control the senses… I have seen in some yoga practice institution in New York. They are practicing some, this asana, and just after finishing, immediately smoking. You see. This much control they learned. So these, these are all bogus. This is not yoga system. Yoga system is not so easy, especially in this age. Yoga system means to control the senses, control the mind; and control the mind means you have to control so many things—your eating, your sleeping, your behaving. These are prescribed in the Bhagavad-gita, how to practice the astanga-yoga. You have to find out a suitable place, a sacred place, a solitary place. Therefore real yogis, they used to go to Himalaya. Sometimes some young men, here, in your country, they inquire from me how to go to Himalaya, and what you’ll do there, going there, Himalaya? So you are not practiced. So instead of practicing yoga in the Himalaya, you practice yoga here. We have come here to help you. Here this Krsna consciousness movement is there. If you are serious about practicing yoga, this, take bhakti-yoga. That will come, how it happens in the next lines.
So this astanga-yoga is not possible in this age—samo damah, controlling the mind, controlling the senses. Because nobody can properly practice the astanga-yoga system. Impossible. It is not only impossible now—even five thousand years ago, when Krsna was advising about this astanga-yoga to Arjuna. Arjuna was not ordinary man. He was friend of Krsna. He was a great son of a royal family. And Arjuna’s name and fame, everyone knows. So he said to Krsna: “My dear Krsna, this yoga practice is not possible to be performed by me. I am unable.” So Arjuna said frankly that he was unable to practice this yoga system. And what we are, in comparison to Arjuna? So this astanga-yoga system is not possible at all in this age. If you are satisfied by learning some sitting posture, artificially, that may give you some chance of good exercise of the body. You can keep good health. But there is no chance of spiritual realization by astanga-yoga practice in this age. So Sukadeva Gosvami says samena. Sama means manasa-niyamam, controlling the mind. The mind’s business is acception, acceptance and rejection. This is mind’s business. Even one is very elevated, the mind’s business is mind’s business. Mind will accept something: “It is very good,” and next moment it will reject. That is mind’s business. But you have to fix up your mind in something which you cannot reject. That is only the lotus feet of Krsna. If you fix up your mind on the lotus feet of Krsna, then your mind cannot go elsewhere. You practice it and you’ll see it. Sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayoh.
Therefore Ambarisa Maharaja fixed up his mind always… Our Krsna consciousness movement we are teaching our students, how to fix up the mind always in Krsna, some way or other. That is the first-class yoga system. And Krsna also advises. (break) …feet, and pray, bhajate. “Krsna, I am Your eternal servant. Kindly again engage me in Your service. Somehow or other, without being engaged in Your service, I have been dragged to the service of maya. Service I am going. I am rendering service. Because I am eternal servant, therefore my serving process is going on. But where it is going on? I am serving my lust, I am serving my anger, I am serving my greediness. So that means, in one word, I am serving my sense gratification. So kindly help me. Instead of serving my sense gratification, let me serve Your sense gratification.” That is yoga. That is first-class yoga. Pray always, fix up your mind in Krsna’s lotus feet, and pray that “I am eternal servant. Now I’m engaged in the service of my sense gratification, and You please help me. I have come to my senses, to engage my(self) in Your sense gratification.” The business is there, sense gratification. But Krsna consciousness means instead of satisfying one’s own senses, one should be ready to satisfy the senses of Krsna. That is Krsna consciousness.