THAT OWL WILL BLIND YOU
(A Morning Walk Discussion)
(Alachua, USA, May 28, 2001, am)
Srila Narayana Maharaja: There are two Laksmis. One is very near and dear to Narayana, and Her carrier is Garuda. She rides on Garuda with Narayana. The shadow of that Laksmi is the diety of wealth, and she rides on an owl carrier. Why? Owls cannot see during the day. That Laksmi, on that carrier, goes to any bad person, any unqualified person, lusty person, or wicked person. She may go anywhere. And, if she will go to any qualified person, she will make him blind. He will not be able to see anything that is paramartha, that which is transcendental. Those who are very wealthy will always be blind, and that Shadow of Laksmi will take him here and there. The fact that you are worshipping wealth shows that you are fond of that owl. However, if that wealth comes to you, you will become blind. We should always be careful about these things.
Devotee: Gurudeva, you gave me the name Laxmi-pati. What about this?
Srila Narayana Maharaja: That was your name before, and you wanted to keep it. That is why I have kept it. Otherwise I would not have done so.
Mahabuddhi dasa: This is Sudarsana prabhu. He has come from Miami.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Where are you from originally?
Sudarsana dasa: Ghayana
Ramesh dasa: It is in South America, nearby Trinidad. In Ghayana 70% of the population is Indian, and in Trinidad also.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Have you been initiated by anyone?
Mahabuddhi dasa: He has come to hear from you.
Sudarsana dasa: I was initiated when I was twelve, but I don't know if it was from any sampradaya or not.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Why don't you take initiation here and be in our line, and be happy forever. You are Indian and I am also. So we should be in one line. You should have some relation with us, and in the future you can become advanced in bhakti.
Aranya Maharaja: He has been very carefully studying Bhagavad- gita for many years. He has been studying himself, with no guidance from anyone.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: This will not be enough. Do you remember one sloka, Tad viddhi (Bg.4.34)?
Sudarsana dasa: I don't recall so many. I just read.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Do you remember the name of your father?
Sudarsana dasa: Yes.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: How can you remember this? This shows that your remembrance is there. You have the capacity to remember. What is the purport of the whole Gita? Can you say? What have you learned from Gita?
Sudarsana dasa: I am just reading it off and on.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: You should know. If you come in high-class association, they can tell you the purport of the Gita. Very easily, in one second, they can tell you.
[To the other devotees:] What are the symptoms of a madhyama-adhikari Vaisnava? If you don't answer, I will give you a very big slap.
Ramesh dasa: He has very strong faith in his spiritual master, and he follows higher class Vaisnava uttama-adhikaris.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Bogus answer. You?
Krsna Bhajana dasa: He sees the different gradations of devotees. He sees the innocent and he preaches to them, he sees those who are envious and avoids them, he associates and inquires confidentially with devotees of equal qualification, and he sees the uttama-adhikari and surrenders his life completely and follows under his guidance.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: More?
Brajendranandana dasa: I was going to say that they are completely attached to an uttama-adhikari, and they are always seeking out his association.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: I am asking about the madhyama-adhikari. What are his symptoms?
Brajandranandana dasa: They are able to discriminate between the different categories of devotees, and they are always seeking the association of the uttama devotee.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: More. More. I have told this a hundred times -- a hundred times. All of you want to jump to Radha-dasya. You never think of these things.
Krsnacandra dasa: He is expert in all forms of siddhanta and can counter any opposing arguments.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Ten percent. Ten points out of a hundred. Who can give more? Brajanatha prabhu.
Brajanatha dasa: The madhyama Vaisnava has love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and he deals with different devotees accordingly. He serves with his heart and soul the uttama Vaisnava, he has so much friendship with those who are equal, and he listens and inquires from those who are more advanced than him about how to practice his sadhana and bhajana. He is very merciful to those who are less advanced and who have less faith in krsna-bhakti, he helps the innocent, and he avoids those who are against bhakti and who are offenders.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Fifty percent. Not more than that. Not repeating what they have said
Aranya Maharaja: No, I will not touch what they have said. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said:
sastra-yukti nahi jane drdha, sraddhavan
'madhyama-adhikari' sei maha-bhagyavan
["One who has attained the intermediate stage is not very advanced in sastric knowledge, but he has firm faith in the Lord. Such a person is very fortunate to be situated on the intermediate platform." (Cc. Madhya 22.67)]
The madhyama-adhikari is very fortunate because even though he does not know all the scriptures perfectly, he has very, very strong faith. Now that he is madhyama-adhikari, his sambanda-jnana has come. He is chanting his mantras and realizing something.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: No sambandha jnana?
Aranya Maharaja: Yes, he has. I said it is coming now. He has thick a relation with Krsna and he knows tattva-siddhanta: jiva-tattva, maya- tattva, sakti-tattva, and sadhana-tattva.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: But his knowledge is not so strong.
Aranya Maharaja: It is not perfect like that of the uttama.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: But?
Aranya Maharaja: Sastra-yukti nahi. His knowledge is not perfect.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: But the word drdha is there.
Madhava Maharaja: Sraddhavana.
Aranya Maharaja: He has drdha in both sides. [Drdha means firm or strong. In this verse, in connection with the word sastra-yukti nahi, drdha means not strong knowledge. In connection with the word sraddhavan, it means strong faith.]
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Yes.
Aranya Maharaja: His doubts have gone away, and his mood that "I am the doer and enjoyer" is all going away. He respects his seniors all the time, and he follows them.
Madhava Maharaja: When the residents of Kulinagrama asked Mahaprabhu about the symptoms of a Vaisnava, Mahaprabhu told them: krsna-nama nirantara yanhara vadane / sei vaisnava-srestha, bhaja tanhara carane. "A person who is always chanting the holy name of the Lord is to be considered a first-class Vaisnava, and your duty is to serve his lotus feet."
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Without anarthas.
Madhava Maharaja: Yes, he is free from anarthas and is always chanting krsna-nama
Srila Narayana Maharaja: If he does not always have a taste in Krsna's name, then he is not madhyama-adhikari. Gradually he will have so much attachment for a high class of Vaisnavas, and he will become uttama after some time. You should try to be like that. You should know all these things, and try to be at least madhyama- kanistha. At least come to this stage. After that, madhyama-madhyama, after that, madhyama-uttama, and then uttama. If you are not doing this, and rather only coming with me but not hearing or following, then what can I say? You can drag my feet also. [This expression means trying to drag a higher personality down to one's own level.] So try to be like that.
Is that prabhu here?
Devotee: No, I think he is not feeling well, Gurudeva. He just passed by in a car.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: When Gurudeva is coming and one does not stand and do pranama, then he is bogus and he is against bhakti. He has no etiquette at all. He is bogus. If any very advanced Vaisnava is coming, I should stand up and I should do kirtana. Even if I am performing arcana, still I should stand up. If you don't respect Vaisnavas and guru, it is a very big offense. How can you preach if you don't know all the various Vaisnava sadacara (etiquettes)?