(Wales, July 4, 2000)
In this world there are two kinds of human beings. A person of the first kind does not know who is God or who he is. He is always absorbed in sense gratification, thinking, "I am this physical body". Such persons are also of two kinds. Some are like animals and some are like demons. Demons are always against devotion. Animal-like persons are not against it, but they are not favorable because they are always engaged in their sense gratification. They are fully ignorant. Though their shapes are human, they are like animals-always engaged in sense gratification. 'Dharme nahina pasubhisumana.' They are like cows and others like them. They are like she-hogs, dogs, camels, and the most ignorant animals-the donkeys. Those who are not demons, but are not doing bhajana, are like very ignorant donkeys. They are kicked by the hind-legs of the she-donkeys and they are always taking all the burden of the washer-man. Those who do not do bhajana are in this category, even though they have human forms.
Those who are favorable to devotion are also of two kinds. Those of one kind are doing something, but they are not following the process, etiquette, and rules and regulations of devotees or devotion. They are in great numbers, whereas real devotees are very few in number. Even amongst this small number of devotees there are so many kinds. Some are initiated, but not properly. They are initiated by kula-gurus or fallen, so-called gurus who are not qualified, and third-class bogus gurus who have the false ego of being guru. These devotees are greater in number. Those who are initiated by qualified devotees, who have taken diksa but not properly, not by vidva virudhi (taking the instructions of guru and scriptures in the heart) think, "Oh, my fire sacrifice has been done, and my gurudeva has given me a sacred thread." And the ladies think, "Oh, gurudeva has given me a name." They wear big, big tilaka and kanthi-mala, but there is no real diksa, no divya-jnana, and no disappearance of unfavorable and sinful activities. These devotees are greater in number than real devotees. Most of us are in this category.
Some may be above this, but the greater number is of this class. They have no real relation with Krishna, and no tattva-jnana of Krishna-tattva, bhakti-tattva, jiva-tattva, or maya-tattva. They don't know who is Krishna, or what is the philosophical truth about Krishna, devotion and rasa. They don't know anything. They sit and act out the movements of saying their mantras, but what they are doing, they themselves don't know. Or, they can chant a mantra like, 'aim gurave namah', but where are their minds? After ten minutes they catch themselves and think, "Oh, what am I doing?" They were either sleeping or thinking of other things. Next they chant, 'klim gauraya namah', but again the mind is absent. After half an hour, they think, "Oh, what am I doing?" They are struggling in this way, and their number is also greater. Perhaps we are in this category. When worldly affairs come into their mind, like their job or anything else of that nature, they are very careful and cautious. Their minds are always in computers, and here and there; but they cannot give their energy to the guru-mantra, the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, or any mantra. Some pure devotees may come to visit, and they are then somewhat inspired, but after the devotees leave, the inspiration also leaves. Their number is also greater than that of real devotees.
In the category of those who are above this, there is still something lacking. Such devotees cannot follow 'trinad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih'. They cannot even follow the instructions of Srila Rupa Gosvami in Upadesamrta:
vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegam jihva-vegam udaropastha-vegam etan vegan yo visaheta dhirah sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat
I think that so many devotees do not know what this means. They never care about it. You can imagine what kind of devotees they are.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told Srila Sanatana Gosvami in Varanasi, "You should be bhadra". Bhadra means 'gentle by dress'. At that time Srila Sanatana Gosvami had a long beard and hair, and he was wearing very dirty clothes. He looked like a Muslim street-beggar who was going to Mekka to chant "Allah, Hoda." Mahaprabhu gave him an order, and at once he went to the Ganges, shaved and put on tilaka, and now he looked like a Vaisnava. We also see here that there are so many who are not putting on tilaka and are not shaved. They wear one strand of neck beads and that one strand is not even touching their necks. This means they have no interest in all these devotional principles. They are coming to classes, and therefore some attraction is there, but they don't want to follow all the regulations.
Even in the military there are rules and etiquettes. The soldiers must wear military uniform, other wise they will be punished at once. They have to run two miles with very heavy guns and boots: "Quick march, quick march, double march." That is discipline. Similarly, there is also some Vaisnava discipline. If we cannot obey and follow Vaisnava etiquette and discipline, how will we obtain this very high-class of Vraja-prema? Vraja-prema is not so easy to attain. It is stated in the scriptures that the chanting of one holy name is sufficient for perfection. We are chanting so many names, but not experiencing any results. So you will have to follow all these principals. First Vaisnava etiquette: this we can do very easily. As we can see, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Srila Rupa Gosvami and all their associates are paramahamsas, and still, all of them followed Vaisnava etiquette. Then why should we not follow? It is not sufficient to simply wear mala, beads. First there must be etiquette, and this is called Vaisnava-sadacara.
Our Rupa Gosvami, Jiva Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, and others have established some rules and regulations for those who cannot actually follow. For whom was jail created? For persons who are not following rules and regulations-for those who are causing disturbance to others. We have no taste. How will this taste come? If we follow the rules and regulations given by Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, then taste will come. If we are neglecting everything, however, and not following Vaisnava-etiquette, how can we hope to attain Vraja-prema? We will have to be punished.
For those who are following the etiquette, it is said,
If you want to master anything, you must follow some rules and regulations: daily reading, and completing the task given by your professor or teacher. There must be daily attendance, but not only attendance. There must also be careful study and hearing.
Vaco vegan-controlling the tongue. The tongue is very uncontrolled. It has no backbone. It can twist to this side and that side, and it can become long or short. It has no bone, however, and therefore it is uncontrolled. No one can control it. It may be possible to control the air, but not the tongue. The tongue creates all kinds of problems. Draupadi was a very high-class lady-devotee, always following all the rules and regulations. She was able to control herself and even her five husbands. However, she said to Duryodhana, "Blind father, blind son". She said only these words. Duryodhana became very angry and this caused the whole Mahabharata battle where lakhs and lakhs of people were killed. Another example is that of Sita devi, the wife of Lord Ramacandra. She also did not control her tongue. She said something to Laksmana, and for this reason the whole Ramayana battle took place.
So try to control your tongue. If you want to be peaceful and do bhajana, don't quarrel with your wives and husbands, your sons and daughters, and other devotees. I see that so many problems are coming, only due to the uncontrolled tongue. From today onwards you should promise, "I will not quarrel with my husband or wife, children, gurudeva, and all other devotees." If you control your tongue, anger will also be controlled. Without this, you cannot control your anger.
The tongue also always wants to taste very delicious things. If you do not control it, lust will increase. Your stomach will be destroyed and you will very soon become old and helpless. Srila Rupa Gosvami tells how to control the six urges in the next verse:
atyaharah prayasas ca prajalpo niyamagrahah jana-sangas ca laulyam ca sadbhir bhatir vinasyati
Don't take very rich foodstuff. Don't engage very much in the activities of your five senses, otherwise this will also be atyaharah. What did I say?
Aranya Maharaja: Srila Gurudeva is explaining that the fault of over-eating is not only the fault of the tongue. All five senses can be guilty of over-eating. If the eyes are wandering here and there and looking towards material sense-objects.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: You may see a very beautiful teenage lady, and by chance your eyes go there. Take that glance and turn it towards Krishna, the Vigrahas, and the Vaisnavas. If you are looking, looking, looking, and looking, attachment will come and you will become the dasa of that lady. You will not be able to control yourself. This is true of all the senses.
'Atyahara preyasas'. Don't try to become astrologers, and don't read books other than bhakti books. Don't go to palm-readers, who will tell you, "This is your lifeline, this is your money-line, and this is your son and daughter line."
Always try to engage all your senses in krsna-bhakti, in the development of your Krishna consciousness learning how you can please your gurudeva. This is sufficient. If you have not studied in school or college, there is no harm. Only by chanting, remembering, serving, and obeying your gurudeva, can you be happy. There are so many examples of this in the lives of Srila Haridasa Thakura and others. You cannot be happy by material endeavors. Don't try to be expert in worldly things. Try to be expert in Krishna bhakti. Try to develop the pure name.
'Atyaharah prayasas ca prajalpo'. Don't talk prajalpa. Don't speak about silly things. Only speak about that which is favorable for bhakti. If you are speaking about Krishna and Krishna bhakti, this is okay; but if you are criticizing those like like Kamsa or Jarasandha, it will not do. What should you do? Give up all these things. Only glorify Nanda, Yasoda, the gopis, gopas, Krishna, and all the devotees. Be far away from all these other things.
Don't care so much for your life-maintenance. You can do something when you are a lower class devotee. When you will become more mature, however, you will not have to do anything. What you need will very easily come.
'Prayasas ca prajalpo niyamagrahah.' You should think, 'I must chant.' How much? One lakh. (64 rounds). If you cannot do this, then chant fifty thousand names, or thirty-two rounds-not less than that. If you cannot do that, then somehow chant twenty-five rounds. And if you cannot do that, then go to the ocean and jump in at once. Then, in another life you can chant. If you cannot chant this much in this lifetime, then certainly go to the Pacific Ocean or Atlantic Ocean. You can do this, and there is harm.
If you want to be a devotee, then try to follow all these regulations. If you are chanting and in the meantime your gurudeva or any high-class of devotee comes to give a lecture, what should you do? Should you try to continue your chanting and complete your rounds, or should you go and hear your gurudeva's lecture? What should you do? You should hear. By hearing, your holy name will be very high class and you can also complete your rounds. You will be able to do many rounds. So don't do 'niymagrahah.' What is this 'niymagrahah?' You should explain the two kinds.
Aranya Maharaja: Here Srila Gurudeva is explaining the meaning in the word 'niyamagrahah'. 'Niyamagrahah' means to not follow the rules and regulations. This point is very clear, but the second meaning of the word is to excessively follow the rules and regulations in such a way that it does not actually enhance your bhakti, but rather becomes an impediment.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: If you want to develop your Krishna consciousness and you want taste in the name and pastimes of Krishna, then you must follow the third verse:
utsahan niscayad dhairyat tat tat-karma-pravartanat sanga-tyagat sato vrtteh sadhir bhaktih prasidhyati
When problems come, we become hopeless and think, "I am chanting the holy name more than sixteen rounds, and still so many problems are coming. So I should give up." Don't think like this. 'Utsahat.' 'Utsahat' means with enthusiasm. Then more than one lakh of nam will be completed. 'Niscayat' means the conviction or belief that, "Sooner or later I will have Krishna-prema. I must have it."
If you want krsna-prema, engage with strong determination in sravanam kirtanam visnu-smaranam padanam sevanam, and especially in sadhu sanga, nama kirtana, bhagavat sravana mathuravasa, and sri muritir sraddhaya seva. First complete all these things. After that you can try to so something to maintain your life. The holy name will arrange everything for you.
'Utsahan niscayad dhairyat, tat-tat-karma-pravartanat, sanga-tyagat. Don't associate with any bad persons, even if he is a father, a husband, or even a guru. If you want to have krsna-prema you should give up that kind of guru, what to speak of that kind of husband, children, and others. Krishna can save you. Krishna is the eternal, complete and supreme husband and beloved. These husbands, however, are cheaters, and these wives, are also cheaters. They can never save you. Only because you are very beautiful, are you pleasing your husband. If you have a little desire to be with any boyfriend, your husband will give you up. If you are in some way ugly, with two or three children, your husband may reject you and take a new wife.
And the wife will do the same thing to the husband. These problems are everywhere. Sanga tyagat sato vrtte. Always try to follow the rules and regulations and the etiquette of Vaisnava sadacara. Sometimes devotees in the matha think, "We are devotees. We should make a factory where various things will be produced. We can sell them and do hari-bhajana. In this way we will not go to beg." Actually, you will have to give more energy than you would to go begging. All varieties of goods can never be produced by chanting Hare Krishna. Your whole energy will go into the business. So follow the etiquette of our Gosvamis, and other devotees, even grhastas-how they maintain their lives.
dadati pratigrhnati guhyam akhyati prcchati bhunkte bhojayate caiva sad-vidham priti-laksanam
Always be with Vaisnavas. Always. Try to honor and respect them according to their stages: kanistha, madhyama and uttama. If you have no taste, then chant again and again. This is the medicine, this is the diet, and this is everything. Don't criticize any Vaisnavas. Never, never. Otherwise an offense will be committed and your bhakti will be uprooted. Then:
tan-nama-rupa-caritadi-sukirtananu- smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya tisthan vraje tad-anuragi jananugami kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram
Quickly, at once, do these things. Be in Vrindavana, always under the guidance of the rasika and tattva-jnana Vaisnavas and guru. Make sure your tongue is always chanting, "He Krishna karuna sindho dina-bandho jagat-pate gopesa gopika kanta radha-kanta namo' stute." Always chant the names: Radha-Ramana, Radha-Rasabhihari, and Radha-Kantha. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has given us the highest class of mantra, the maha mantra, Hare Krishna. Every name is there, (in that mantra), as well as all kinds of rasas. Right now you are not understanding these things. One day, however, if you become an elevated Vaisnava, then you can realize. What names should you should chant? The most beautiful and exalted names, like Radha-Ramana, Radha-Rasabhihari, and so on. By your tongue, always chant, and by your mind remember the sweet pastimes of Radha-Damodara, Radha-Rasabhihari, and Radha-Ramana. This is the essence of all sastric teachings.
If you have received diksa initiation, don't neglect the system or process that your guru has given for chanting gayatri mantras. Remember the Deity of that mantra, surrender to Him, pray, and be atma nivedanam. Fully understand all the mantras that he gave us.
We have not come to this world only to manage. If you are managing your preaching center, it is not enough. Why manage a center if you are not following these principles? In such a case there is no need of any center. If you are always quarrelling and not obeying, if you cannot chant and remember your gayatri mantras, and you are always engaging here and there in the affairs buildings, you should set fire to that preaching center at once. Preaching centers are to help you. If you cannot develop your Krishna consciousness, you are not helping yourself and so many problems are coming, there is no need of those preaching centers.
Don't make children's schools and colleges. You should set fire to them also. Now you are seeing very great problems with many of the children who were previously attending those schools. They have filed a law-suit against those who managed the schools. Those schools were started for the betterment of the children, but what became of them? The opposite.
Somehow try to manage your life's maintenance, and try to always develop your Krishna consciousness. Don't make 'gita-samsara': "I have Deities, but I cannot maintain everything. Who will look after my Deities? I have no time to chant and to do all the puja as well. Who will change Their clothes and perform arati three or four times a day? Who will cook for Them? I should have a beautiful wife or husband to help". What will happen? There will always be quarrelling and problems. So what is the need?
So try to follow all these things. Be in Vrindavana. "I cannot be in Vrindavana" "Why? Do you want krsna-prema? Why can't you go?" "O gurudeva, I can't go." "What is the problem? Give up all these things, and go to Vrindavana. You can't go because of your sense gratification?"
Try to obey at least the first six slokas of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's Manah-siksa. Remember this first sloka:
gurau gosthe gostalayisu sujane bhusura-gane sva-mantre sri namni vraja nava yuva dvandva sarane sada dambham hitva kuru ratim apurvam atitara maye svantar bhratas catubhir abhiyace dhrta padah
"O uncontrolled mind. O you who are very near and dear. O my dear friend, try to listen and obey me. You should always have rati." Rati does not only mean sraddha-but rather sraddha, nistha ruci, asakti and then that rati which means bhava-bhakti. Your rati should not be divided into fractions: some for the new child who is always crying, "ooh ah ooh ah," and you are always patting and consoling him, "O, you should sleep." Do not divide that rati with your wives and husbands, or with anything in this world. Have akanda-rati for guru. A real guru can give you taste and krsna-prema very easily.
Have rati for those who are favorable for your krsna-prema. Such persons are called diksa-guru and siksa guru. The places of Krishna pastimes in Vrindavana are called gostha, and you should have great honor for them. You can go there and roll in the dust, weeping, "O dust of Vrindavana, you are transcendental. Be pleased with me. Be merciful to me." In this way, sometimes reside in Nandagram, sometimes in Varsana, and especially at Radha Kunda and Syama Kunda, Giriraja Govardhana or Yamuna. Always weep and remember those who are there: Krishna and His mother Yasoda, His father Nanda, the gopas, the gopis, the cows, the peacocks, and all of His associates. Try to honor them.