Krishna is organizing everything in my path for my own advancement

Sri Madhan-Madhuri Kunja Ashram, Vilnius 
Hari-katha by Sripad Vasanta Prabhu

What the soul is hungry for?

What is the difference between material duty and eternal duty? How is it that I can keep my job and at the same time I can continue doing bhakti? First of all, it is easy to follow bhakti when we are new devotees because at the beginning Vaishnavas give so much mercy to help us advance. It is because if the person is very hungry and like going to have a test or the exam soon but the person has not eaten for three days. His life depends on how he passes the exam and we must get ready for the exam, some instruction has to come. Anyhow the person is hungry and thirsty and he has not taken a bath for three days. If you just sit down with this person and try to teach and prepare the person for the exam there will be no use because the person is hungry and if he is hungry he is thinking about food and where can he get some water. These are very basic survival things unless the person is very advanced yogi, then he will not be thinking about food and water.

In the same way is the conditioned soul in this world – we are always thinking about our own pleasure, our own enjoyment and from the moment we come into this world everything is guided towards enjoyment. What do parents tell us: “You have to be good at school because if you are good at school then you will be able to get money and you will be able to marry nicely and you will have nice house, car, etc.”. Everything is for the purpose of our own enjoyment and we judge this to be normal.

Our soul is very hungry for spiritual topics, very hungry for Krishna, because the soul has forgotten. It is like we have been sleeping for many lives and we are very hungry so the first thing that Guru and Vaishnavas are going to do is they are going to feed us with mercy. They try to make us strong so then eventually you will be able to accept further instructions but first they must strengthen our heart and our confidence in them that they are well wishers and they are here to take care of us.

The soul is very hungry for Krishna and the Truth

We are all hungry for the presence of the divine in our lives but we don’t remember because at our core belief we believe that happiness can be attained without a presence of Krishna. This is why it is said that have fallen into maya, that means illusion. We believe very deeply that happiness to be attained without the presence of God in our life, without the presence of Krishna, and this is the greatest misconception that anyone can have.

The whole point of the Varna Ashrama Dharma, the Vedas and the whole philosophy of Vaishnavism is that eventually, we may come to the remembrance of the fact that we are tiny little souls that are part of the super soul, meaning God, or the absolute consciousness, Krishna. But we don’t think like this. We think that anyhow we want to find happiness without the presence of God in my life. We can try in many different ways that is why God created so many species, 8.4 million species of life, as it is said in Bhagavad-Gita. So there is belief that I can be happy without God in the form of a snake, in the form of a worm or human form – so many forms.

What do I believe my happiness is?

In this entire maze, we are at this present moment in this present life after millions of lives of traveling and believing that we can be happy any way without the presence of God in our life, we believe in that truly and life time after life time our believe changes a little bit into: “I have already tried that, now we are going to try this”. In one life one is coming in a body of the male and then next life one comes in the body of the female. In one life one comes in the body of the white person and in the next life one comes in the body of the black person and it is all due to trying to seek pleasure. Material pleasure is bond to have a reaction so everything that we do inside of the video game has a reaction because everything is highly interactive. For example if I take my hand and I bang then some sound will be produced and there are neighbors around. They have the capacity to hear so if I am banging some reaction will be and I am not in control of the reaction of my neighbor. If he reacts in angry way – some karma, reaction is created. If I create a reaction and life time after life time I create a certain type of consciousness, around a certain type of believe.

Every reaction that we have in our life is from our enjoyment. Everything we are doing it is because we believe that: “If I am doing this then I will become happy and then I will become the enjoyer of everything” so we try everything: relationship, business, having children, marriage but everything is not in the attitude that: “I am the servant” but rather it is in the attitude of: “I will enjoy”. So naturally when you try to enjoy another person, try to enjoy the material energy you have a reaction and if you are good then the reaction is good and if you have not done so well when the reaction is bad. This is why we end up in the situations we end up in.

We become what we think

We have to accept that for one life time we have a certain type of nature, a certain type of body and this body is like program and it is coming from your ancestors. For example if anybody has taste for singing they were thinking in past life: “I want to sing in my next life” and they believe that by singing they will be happy. Other people thinking: “In my next life I want to control the environment, I am very expert of controlling – I will be manager”. Then next life you are manager then the manager is thinking: “I am very good at managing, I want to be president”. Then after president the one wants to be a king. When you are king then thinking: “I want to be God” but this is not possible because you can ascend only to the level of demigods. So if you see anybody very powerful in the world but anyway this power is not enough. The person wants to rule not only a little section of consciousness but wants to rule over a big section of consciousness and this is meant to bind us to the reaction.

Many people are organizing seminars and inviting others: “I will teach you how to be happy”. The problem is that if you go there, you believe that this person will teach you, that if you follow the process then you will be happy. But if you follow his process then every fifteen days he is asking for more money and says that this will make you happy if you give him money. Then saying: “Fifteen more days with me and if you give me more money then you will be happy”. Then you become like a cow for that person, he is taking all your power because money is representation of the power. So if he is taking all your power he is becoming more and more powerful and rich and you – something you learn but eventually he creates karma with you because he takes your money but if his promises are not fulfilled then some anger is meant to come: “I trusted you, you took my money, why I am not happy?”.

Who is at the center?

From the beginning you come to Vaishnavas they will ask why are you listening to people who are saying that God is not at the center of the universe? If the person doesn’t have God at the center of his consciousness then how can he teach me to be happy if the source of happiness is not present in his core consciousness, where happiness come from? Dreamed of, invented? Happiness is not an invented thing, happiness is essential to the soul that is called ananda and Anandini Srimati Radhika is the expression of God’s eternal potency or Shakti, it is his Ladini Shakti. If Radharani is not present then how possible that happiness will be present? It is just an illusion. How can we see and how can we detect a person who is really teaching us how to become happy? The person who is teaching us happiness is absolutely aligns with the principle of the universe, which is that God is at the center. This is how easily you can detect if anybody is selling something.

What is your point of reference?

Some people say: “You don’t need Guru, you are your own Guru. No need teacher, because everything you have inside” but if I don’t need Guru then why are you teaching that I don’t need Guru? They tell that you don’t need to listen to anybody, everything you understand yourself but at the moment you are listening to them they become your teachers. Some other people say that God is nothing, the goal of life is nothing, we came from the unmanifest and we are going to the unmanifest. So at the center there is no personality, it is called mayavadi philosophy – nothing is there, but if nothing is there why are you teaching something? You try to elevate from suffering but suffering is an illusion? If there is nothing why are you teaching something? If there is nothing, then you realize nothing and nothing you can say, nothing you are eating, nothing you are breathing, nothing you are taking, nothing you are giving. Here very easily we can detect misconception because philosophy is mistaken, it can’t produce any good result.

What is my nature?

Everybody has nature. Some people have nature to be teachers, some people have nature to be Kshatriya or Warrior, manager or some people nature is to be famous. The question is – according to my nature what is the activity that I should be performing? If you are acting according to your nature then very easily everything is flowing. For example if you have propensity to sing then you are singing, you are not stressed in front of the others, you are connected to your message, you have some skill. Even if the activity is temporary it will be a flow. Natures are different, for example one boy liked mathematics and he wanted to be an engineer and I couldn’t understand how somebody can have a desire to think about math for the rest of his life – that is not my nature. When we are young we don’t understand that people have different natures. Some people really like to go and be engineers or some people are accountants and all their lives they count what people earn to the government and this is how they earn for living. This is not my nature, but according to their nature they like their career. So everybody has a certain nature.

It gets tricky when we come to the platform in our life where we are already listening and engaging in devotional service but due to our nature we have the propensity to do the activities that we have been doing from the past lives and also we have received a certain type of body. For example if you go to a tiger and tell: “Tiger, stop being wild”. The tiger can’t help it. There was this famous case of two magicians in Las Vegas. They had white tigers from the moment when they were little and one of the tigers bit the magician and there was a scandal. But the tiger is a tiger. You can take a tiger from the jungle but you can’t take the jungle from the tiger because of its nature, it is a wild animal.

Religion and philosophy always have to come together

Srila Prabhupada used to say: “Religion without philosophy is sentimentalism and philosophy without religion is called speculation”. Religion without philosophy is when you are trying to connect but you don’t understand to whom you are connecting to. For example one handsome young man comes out of nowhere to a beautiful girl and invites to go for prasadam ice-cream but the girl doesn’t know anything about this magnificent young man. Anyway the proposal has come so she has two options: to go for the ice-cream or not. In our world the proposal for the ice- cream leads to a bigger things than the ice-cream that sometimes are not as sweet as an ice- cream and only with time and by knowing the person we can get to know the nature and sometimes by knowing the nature we understand that people of different nature are not compatible. So you have to know the nature.

If we are trying to connect with someone, this is God, religion. Religion is a process where you try to reconnect with God. Religion comes from the Latin word “religare” that mean “to reunite”. Unite particular consciousness with God’s consciousness but if you have no philosophy then what will happen? There will be only sentimentalism because you don’t know whom you are talking about, you don’t know to whom you are trying to connect to, you don’t know who you are. If you don’t know who you are and if you don’t know where you are going how can you be practicing something that you don’t understand? That is religion without philosophy. When there is religion without philosophy then people very fanatic, they are very proud of rules and regulations and they are following everything correctly and whoever is not following they are sinners and going to hell and then you have a holy inquisition and all of these things. That happened in the world not so long ago, 500 years ago, in Latin America there was a holy inquisition. There was a bunch of priests hanging a bunch of people because they were practicing rituals. Massively, thousands of people died. There is even a museum where you can go and see the machines than inquisitors used to torture the people in the name of God – they are very creative. So there is religion without philosophy. If you don’t understand philosophy then you will never understand. The God is above the judgement, he is merciful that everybody, every single soul, in this world belongs to God and they are going to God. You have to understand that there is free will and people have karma so you don’t need to judge them or put them in jail. That is religion without philosophy.

Then there is philosophy without religion that is what we usually get here in the world because everybody figures out the way to be happy and then they want to teach others. It is when: “I figure out the way how to be happy, give me a little bit of money and a little bit of honey materially and we will write a book about it, etc.” but it is not based or connected with a religious process. What good is a book if it can’t help to connect transcendentally with my source? So there is no process. You can read a book and the concepts may be ok, but there is no process and it is not helping me, not leading to self-realization. Srila Prabhupada speaks about the necessity to see it as a marriage of religion and philosophy that always has to come together.

Renounce the results of your actions

One lady was asking: “Should I stay in my work which is to manage kitchen work, buy products for the kitchen and arrange everything or should I drop everything and just go and become a nun because I want to do bhakti? Is this bhakti what I am doing?”. She was confused.

This is the same situation like in the chapter 3 in Bhagavad-Gita when Arjuna is asking Krishna: “Isn’t it better not to fight? You are telling me that I should engage my consciousness in serving you so I am thinking that it is better not to fight”.

Also Krishna was speaking to Arjuna: “By the power of intelligence, by the power of knowledge, one has to renounce”. He uses the word “renunciation” from material activities but Arjuna doesn’t understand what the Lord means, he says: “You must renounce” and Arjuna is thinking: “Well, he is telling me that by intelligence I must renounce so why should I do fruitive work if you are telling me to use my intelligence to renounce?”.

So when Krishna is saying: “You must renounce by the power of your intelligence” this means that you must renounce the results of your actions. Everything we do we are making business with a universe and consciousness. Everything we do we are expecting that the result that we want will come to us and that is the expectation that we have. The motivation behind any activity we do is: “What can I get from this?”. Krishna is telling to Arjuna: “You are a warrior so by your nature, by your birth, by your cast, by your position you have been blessed to fight”. Now the problem is that you want to enjoy results of your actions and it means that you don’t want to give anything and you want to enjoy everything. Krishna explains to Arjuna: “What could be better for a Kshatriya or a warrior of your caliber then having an opportunity to fight in religious war?” which means he is representing dharma, he is fighting for righteousness and he is upholding the principles of morality, ethics and religious principles of this land. He said: “What better gift could you receive as a Kshatriya than being allowed to perform that duty?” and yet you are not saying that happiness is in the performance of that duty being given the blessing that yes, this is what you are going do in this life. We have this idea that happiness can’t be right now, that happiness has to be something that happens after.

Take care of the flower and understand that it is not for you

My friend shared this message last day: “Every flower of tomorrow is the seed of today” and it is true – if you don’t take care of the seed how can you ever have a flower? So by not planting a seed would that be a good result? No. Krishna is saying: “Plant the seed, grow the seed, take care of the seed, see the flower bloom and when the flower blooms understand that the flower is not for you” because that would be business. For example there was a little town and there were very humble people and they used to live with their animals so whenever quests would come they would kill a lamb and would make a party. One day a father gave a little lamb to his son to take care of so since he was very little he was taking care of this little lamb, he was like his best friend. One day little lamb grew up enough that they made a party for his birthday with a little lamb and they sat him down to eat his little lamb. How cruel is that? We do the same with our actions: we grow a little lamb, we growing, growing, growing but we don’t understand that this little lamb is not to be eaten, it is to be offered, it is worth to let live.

It is the same with a flower – you are taking care of the flower, the flower is growing, blooming and you think: “This flower is mine, it is for me. It has bloomed so beautifully as a result of my actions” and we want to enjoy it. Did you realize the amount of work that you did to grow that plant into a beautiful flower? Did you create the water that waters the seed? Did you create the seed? Did you create the earth that hosts the seed? Have you created the Sun that empowers the growth of the seed? Have you created the planet that allows the conditions for life to bear life? No. So we have not done much, yet we want to enjoy.

It is the same with Arjuna, he has a body of the Ksatriya but he doesn’t want to take care of the flower but Krishna says: “Why not, take care of the flower”.

The opportunity to perform a duty that is according to your nature is a greatest blessing

In the 3rd chapter Krishna explains to Arjuna why karma yoga is necessary. If one asks why a person can’t do just a bhakti and drop everything and just go to serve Krishna – you can do it, but do you really want to do it for Krishna or do you really want to do it because you want to quit school and don’t do your exam? Some people say: “I don’t see a point in anything, I don’t see a point in studying”. The point is that you already generated this body so if you can’t be a monk at least you can be a good servant. In Bhagavad-Gita Krishna is not saying: “Everybody should become a monk”, he never says like that. Some people by their nature will be very good monks and they will become yogis, they have acquired that by their birth status but for the rest of us, especially if you have a desire to marry or if you have children already it means that you got to work because Krishna says: “Even to maintain this body one has to work”.

For anything we do in this life we must understand that we have a relationship with a universe, our body has a material relationship with a universe, that means that our body is always taking from the universe. From the moment when the body wakes up it takes air, water, Sun from the universe, our body takes space in the universe. The relationship that our body has with environment is one of taking. Ask yourself how much do you give to the environment? Only when you are dead you leave your body and then something is left, but how much do we give? Our philosophy in capitalism is: “Take as much as you can and you will be happy”. This is philosophy and philosophy without religion is sentiments. Everybody wants more but is it what the Vedas tells us? The Vedas tell us: “Learn to see that just by being given the opportunity to perform a duty that is according to your nature that is a greatest blessing”.

Perform service that is good for you according to your nature

There is one person, when first time he came to Radhe Kunj Prabhuji asked him: “Did you bring that truck of food?” and he said: “NO”. Then Prabhuji said: “No problem, one day you will bring many trucks of food and you will feed one thousand people”. This is his nature, he likes to feed people, organize parties, conscious gatherings so why should Vaishnava take that away from him? Rather he understands, that this person definitely is not a monk in this life, but does that mean that he can’t advance, does that mean that he can’t be a good person and serve the Vaishnavas and attain Krishna consciousness?

The attitude of the Vaishanvas is to look transcendentally and say: “According to your nature what service would be good for you” and they give you that service so you can perform it. The problem is that we are always looking for praise for the service. We are doing anything and it is very hard for us to do it because we don’t want to work and we are looking that somebody would praise us for our duty. Like if you have a baby and you are a mother – this is a hardest work in the universe and nobody recognizes it. Therefore Gurudeva always used to say: “The love for the child of the mother is the nearest thing to bhakti in this world, the closets to purity that you have in this world because it is so selfless” but on the other hand we believe that everything here is for us to explore. So our body has a material relationship with the environment where we are always taking.

I let go of something selflessly to please another

We are doing Yagyas where we offer grains because we are giving back for everything that we have taken. Yagya is a fire sacrifice, sacrifice means: “I let go of something selflessly to please another”. We are letting go of the best we have that is grains and ghee and people have to pay otherwise instead of getting benediction they will get cursed. Many people don’t want to give back – what benefic can be there? It is karmic balance. If you own 50 rupees to the bank and you go there and say: “I am here to pay 25 of 50 rupees that I own” but the person at the bank will say: “No, you own not 25 but 50 rupees”. And you say: “I only have 25 and there are things that I want to buy, can I have credit 1000 rupees more?”. So you already own 25 and you going out having 1025 to give to the bank. This is what we do. Yagyas work because we are trying to make a karmic balance. You can see if planets are bad or there is bad period that means that my balance is very low – how can I balance giving back? I have taken so much but how much do I give, how much do I help the Sadhus, what have I done for my environment? How much have I given? So Yagya is in order to sacrifice something that we have in order to balance but furthermore if we have an intention to please another: “Dear God, I have taken so much from this planet, please have some back, may it please you” and we offer a bowl of grains and ghee. How many grains and ghee do we eat per month? And we give only one. So if we make a balance in product then one Yagya would not be enough. Sometimes Prabhuji say: “You have bad karma, you give your weight in grain”. Sometimes he say double, triple, two, three Yagyas. Some people say that it is very costly, but their karma is very costly. He is just trying to help you, not to take from you. Sadhu is aware – he knows that if he takes something from you that it is not his, he will generate karma – why would the Sadhu want to do it to himself? He has no desire for that. At the same time he wants to help you so he says give this or that donation.

What do we take and what do we give?

If I have an ambition for anything big in my life and if I am taking then how am I repaying? This is called karma. You are coming near by Vaishnava and Vaishnava tells you that now you have to give rupees in donation. Some people think that Vaishnava is cheating you but actually he is trying to help you. You have taken so much. Anything we are taking for ourselves, anything that feeds our pride – this we must pay. Prabhuji is giving some order because you have debt, who will pay for you? Prabhuji, Mahaprabhu, Gurudeva? They are not calling you to become a princess, they are calling you to chant maha-mantra, engage in Guru-seva, giving the place in the ashram, sending Deities, organizing prasadam, everything. Some people can’t see and if somebody has a nature of a king or queen – this is a big work.

There is a song in a movie a little lion was singing in the movie “Lion King”: “I just can’t wait to be a King” and this is a really sad story because the uncle kills the dad and he has to go with hippies and when he comes back he has to take back the Kingdom. But when he was little he was imagining that being a king is very easy, very happy.

According to nature we are given the job in this world. Why – to give back. You are taking space, so through your duty, your work you will discharge that karma which means try to add some value back in to the universe. Sometimes very bad karma is coming and Sadhu is saying: “There is some really bad karma – wash toilets”. He sees that a wave of toilet water was coming towards you – what you have generated in your past life but you say: “Why, I have been washing toilets for one or two years, why should I do?”. What can Sadhu do if you think that you already paid? I am proud, thinking why Vaishnava is sending me to wash toilets?

Who is real sadhu?

Krishna is telling Arjuna: “Don’t think that intelligence is renunciation”. Using your intelligence to renounce doesn’t mean that it is to avoid your duty”. Even the monks have duties. Look at Prabhuji’s life – he a monk and his duty is to attend everybody in this world. Is he attached? He is serving everybody. Is this his karma? No, but it is his dharma, his duty. So he sits there but he is free from his own glories, absolutely has no attachment to the result of his actions – this is real sadhu. Anybody pretending to be a sadhu has attachment to the results of their actions.

In Bhagavad-Gita at the beginning of chapter 3 it is said: “A person can post himself as a sadhu but in reality they have attachment to the result of their actions, they are only setting up everything but they are not real sadhu”. This is why it is so difficult to find real sadhu who has absolutely no attachment to the results of their action. This is why they actions are called causeless mercy and pure love. Sadhus will never be attached to what comes from you they have no desire for your association, karma, your energy or to be with you in any way because they have cleared the level, they are absolutely free. They have no desire to become Guru or have disciples. Yet they understand: “I have no desire for this battle, no desire for this flower but it is Gurudeva’s garden so I must take care of these flowers”. Premananda understands that: “These flowers are not mine”. Is a job of a gardener an easy job? No. Taking care of the garden is one of the most difficult things that you can ever imagine because the flowers have free will. You are taking care of the flower for a little while and then it comes and says: “I am getting get married, I was born to be a rose”. Ok, what can you do, you have free will, and they go. A lesson of non- attachment is there. Be unattached to the result of your actions.

The difference between empirical knowledge and devotional service

In the chapter 3, Verse 3, the supreme personality of God had said:

śrī-bhagavān uvāca
loke ’smin dvi-vidhā niṣṭhā
purā proktā mayānagha
jñāna-yogena sāṅkhyānāṁ
karma-yogena yoginām

“O sinless Arjuna, I have already explained that there are two classes of men who realize the Self. Some are inclined to understand Him by empirical, philosophical speculation, and others are inclined to know Him by devotional work”

This verse is so important. Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva explaining: there are two types of people so how can you become enlightenment? Enlightenment means that: “I understand who am I, what is my relationship with an absolute” – then I am enlightenment. Some people have the tendency to become enlightenment by speculation and knowledge. Which means they like to read and they like empirical dissolvement so they use their brain. Some people are trying to understand what is honey – they go and read a book about honey. What does the honey come from, where do the bees come from, what is the purpose of honey? They are reading about it and there are other people who are taking care of the bees, collecting the honey then they are offering the honey and tasting the honey. Which of the two is going to understand quicker? This is the difference between the empirical knowledge and devotional service. Why it is so important, why everybody is encouraged to perform devotional service?

So there are two paths: people that take the empirical, philosophical pathway, reading scriptures by themselves, and people that take devotional service and out of the two Krishna recommends devotional service as highly superior. Some people say that the devotees don’t look happy, but they are essentially happy. If people don’t see happiness in Srila Prabhudapa then why does he have so many followers? This is transcendental happiness, transcendental bliss that is natural to the soul.

Prabhuji is teaching us devotional service. Who can keep up with Premananda Prabhu? It is impossible. Prabhuji is fully conscious of Krishna but at the same time by the mercy of Vaishnavas the impossible becomes possible. The unmanifest will become manifest. What is the unmanifest in me? Ladini Shakti. The unmanifest in me is Anandini’s potency. I have no idea that I am God’s divine potency of love 24 hours per day for eternity. I have forgot it that I am a divine potency that was created for the only purpose – to serve Krishna and give him ananda, or happiness.

Everything that comes to me belongs to Krishna and can be offered for his pleasure

Some people say: “I can’t understand how bhakti yoga can be higher than postures of yoga and controlling my breath and chanting mantra alone and just focusing on the tip of my nose and controlling my life air?”. Well, when you have done all of this, you have gone through all asanas, you have gone through all the levels, you manage to control your breath, you are fully focused on honey, at the center of your consciousness you have honey – are you tasting honey? Do you know what that is or is it speculation on a mental level? Do you have an experience of it? Devotional service immediately gives you an experience of being connected to the divine absolute through the loving service right here, right now by cooking, chanting, cleaning the temple, by performing all activities that Gurudeva has indicated. Then you are directly taking care of the bees. If you take care of the bees then bees will give honey because the nature of the bees is to give honey. So if you serve Vaishnavas you are going to get honey because the nature of Vaishnavas is to be engaged in loving service for the Supreme. Vaishanava is always serving Krishna, they are thinking about Krishna 24 hours per day in Krishna consciousness. Everything they do in Krishna consciousness, which means, that they understand that: “This flower, that I am watering right now is not for me from the moment when the seed comes”. Gurudeva has seeds in his hand and he knows that the seeds are for Krishna. Some people still ask: “Gurudeva, but do the flowers exists? How do you know that from these will be flowers?” but Gurudeva knows that there is a flower inside of the seed. Sometimes it is a whole tree inside of that little seed and the tree is full of flowers. Gurudeva and Vaishnavas know, he can see that and they understand that their duty is to take care of these little seeds so one day they will become a tree that blooms and blossoms and they dedicate themselves to that but they understand that the tree belongs to Krishna. “Everything and everyone that comes to me belongs to Krishna and can be offered for his pleasure” – that is the enlightenment that is Krishna consciousness.

Krishna is organizing everything in my path for my own advancement

Everything that is meant to happen to you by your previous actions will happen to you. No way around it and if you think that by staying away from something you are going to skip that reaction – no way. It is better to understand that: “Whatever have Gurudeva organized for me I must do it to the level best of my ability”. This is prayer of the Devotee who understands: “I am not alone, Krishna is organizing everything in my path for my own advancement” so if Gurudeva gave me any service or any instruction – I must try to follow. Otherwise by my own mind, by my own consciousness anyway I will get my reaction, anyway I will react to my reaction and anyway I will generate karma with that reaction. By following the path that Gurudeva has indicated for me, taking care of the duties that he has given to me and offering the results of my actions to Gurudeva – this is how I get liberated. This is how you find purpose in your life. Don’t say no to the future.

Why did you come to Krishna consciousness?

Everybody has a job and we can do it in Krishna consciousness – that is where we are getting, but there is no way of skipping your duty so if you are meant to marry or have children, if that has been organized – do it properly. If something is meant for you Gurudeva will say: “Yes, take it. If Gurudeva just wants to play with you because he needs to burn karma if you have a desire for something then he will let you think that it is yours for one or two years but then when you ask again he tells you: “Don’t do it anymore” and then you say: “Why, are you playing with me?” and then Gurudeva will look at you: “Are you playing with me? What is your desire?”. He is just showing you, what will happen if he will take this away from you? Are you still interested in bhakti? Will you still come around to Krishna consciousness or did you came just for the cake? I gave you many things, but if I take away then what happens? Then you understand what you are made of, what is your desire, what is the truth why I came here. Then you say: “I don’t understand this man” but it is very easy to understand: “Chant Hare Krishna, do devotional service, do not criticize Vaishnavas and you will be happy”.

Act and then offer the result of that action

“Not by abstaining from work one can attain the freedom from reaction, but by renunciation alone can one attain the perfection”. If I renounce everything and I will become a Sannyasa – can I attain perfection then? Krishna explains that one should not take Sannyasa before one is ready philosophically and has not been properly trained by the older Vaishnava. If you just take renunciation out of your own will without Guru’s instruction then you just going to upset everybody because you are not qualified, you don’t even know what you are doing and it is very tough for the person who has material desires. You may say: “I am letting go of this” but you are always thinking about it. So engage in action – act, and then offer the result of that action. For example children: they come and you know that you have a reaction. Sometimes you have auchy and sometimes they help you. If this is reaction what can you do, can you renounce your children: “This kid drives me nuts, I am not going to feed him”. Would that free you or do you have a duty to perform your duty with a best of your quality and try to give them the best you have and then be detached from whatever they do?

“Everybody is forced to act according to the qualities he acquired from the material nature then no one can reframe from doing something not even for a moment”. So everybody has a nature and nobody can reframe from acting not even for a moment. For example babies: they want something and they are going to ask you when they are hungry. If you don’t listen to them they will cry – this is their nature. Some babies are active and some are very calm.

One person was asking: “Should I become a manager and make a lot of money?” and I said yes, do it, discharge your karma, because I know that he is good at it. Then buy ice cram for Vaishnavas. If we act not according to our nature then only frustration comes. So if we get a job that is not our position we try to perform but we can’t do it. Some people are very expert at doing some job even from the first day because it is their nature and they can react the transcendence if they remember that the flower is not theirs.

Devotional service is a sacrifice

Prabhupada is explaining that one should not enter the renounced life before understanding what it is about. Devotional service is Yagya, it is sacrifice, the chanting of the holy name is Yagya, it is sacrifice. We are offering our time, our youth, energy, life force to try to please. The balance is very high – millions of lifetimes focused on oneself, doing sinful activities, having bad selfish nature focused on me and now in the devotional service they say: “Maha-mantra is the quickest way to attain perfection” because if you repeat the word “honey” all day at the end of the day you will think: “Where is honey?” but maha-mantra is more powerful because between God and his name there is no difference. Sadly some people have no consciousness so we go to TV, youtube, going to listen to somebody who is not Krishna conscious. Krishna consciousness means that the person is a Vrajavasi, the person is absorbed in the mood of Vrajavasis and he is serving under the guidance of Lalita Devi and Rupa Goswami or any of the Vrajavasis such as Mother Yasoda, Nanda baba. That is what Krishna consciousness means. If the person is a part of a religious institution – he is trying, good, but have they realized it? Seldomly, but somebody that has attained Krishna consciousness is the person who has Krishna and serving Krishna 24 hours per day in the moods of the Vrajavasis and Vrajadevis and Krishna is very happy with that person.

Where is happiness?

Are we going to look where is happiness? Nowadays so many things available – when you look to facebook you are opening the window to a certain type of consciousness. You may think that this person is far away and you never going to meet him but actually they are inside of your mind. When you listen to somebody they can affect your emotions because they live in your consciousness so you have to be very careful who you let in your consciousness. Before you listen to anybody the first question to ask is: “Why do I allow this person to come near by? Is this person Krishna conscious? Is this person aware of love? Does this person know Srimati Radhika? Is this person a servant of Vaishnavas? Is this person a servant of the servant of Srimati Radhika who is the love potency of God’s heart – is this the point from where he is speaking? Is he speaking about the transcendental love?” and if he is not then we are wasting our time and only pain will come from that because he is going to tell that you are limited, you are not transcendental because this is what he sees. If you ask a blind man if he ever saw a rainbow he will tell you his point of view: “Rainbows don’t exist, I have never seen one” – and he will have very strong arguments. This is a very limited point of view and somebody who comes from a transcendental point of view they emanate love, peace and kindness, calm and immediately by coming in contact you will feel so happy. Our body is very sensitive and frequency of the Sadhu is very high, he can immediately pass it on, they can gently bring your mind to a beautiful state of consciousness – this is a quality of a true Vaishnava, who is always absorbed in Krishna consciousness. So just ask yourself – does this person come from the path of pure love? And if he is not then how can he be right? “Even if you are right you are wrong because your mood sucks” – he can speak all he knows about honey but if he has no honey what is the point? They say: “Love is very sweet” but if his mood is not very sweet? Vaishnava will always be very sweet. So just not by posting that he is Sannyasa one becomes a Sannyasa.

Bhakti path is a step-by-step journey

Srila Prabhupada again is reminding us that if we want to follow this path it is a process, it is step by step journey, it is organic, beautiful and in order to lead one must follow so become a good student and eventually you will get there. So for those who are trying to renounce and when it is not your nature – better be happy, fulfill your duty and offer the result of the action for the pleasure of God. If you have brahmachari nature, like one boy – from the first day when he came, Prabhuji said: “You are going to be monk for the rest of your life” because this is his nature. For some people Prabhuji organizes marriage and for some telling otherwise because his sees the nature. Sadhu can see person’s potential and person’s nature. There is going to be one life at some point when you will stop being materialist and you start being a brahmachari or like a one pointed personality – that has to happen in one life, maybe it is this one so Sadhu is trying to make you strong, trying to help you so you can renounce that.

What is in your heart?

If you coming to sadhu and asking: “Gurudeva, can I touch the fire?” and Gurudeva is ignoring you it means it is your free will. If you want to touch the fire then go and touch the fire. Is it prudent to touch the fire if sadhu is telling not to touch the fire? But if sadhu tells: “Don’t touch the fire” you will become angry on sadhu and you will never come back, this is why he lets you go and he knows that you will come back. So at the beginning sadhus will not give instruction, they will not tell what to do because we have no trust but when trust is gained then sadhu will begin to give instruction. So now for most of us it is obvious that if you put your hand in the fire then you will get burned but at some point of the journey it is not so obvious and we need to do it – nature. Sadhu lets to do and he knows what going to happen. Sadhu can see the future by nature. They look at your heart and they look at your nature. They know if things going to work out for you or not, are you going to suffer and come back or no. Are you part of the family or are you going to be part of another family – they know everything because Premananda Prabhu told me a secret: “Sadhus have a very pure heart” so they do not have judgement, they are just very transparent so they can see whatever is in your heart. Like in the autumn season the lake becomes very clear and you can see down – so Vaishnavas are like that, their hearts are like that, a mirror is very clear. You stand before them – they know everything.

Perform your duty

In Bhagavad-gita Krishna is saying: “Perform your prescribed duty. By doing so it is better then no working. One can not even maintain his physical body without work” – so you have to do your duty. Vaishnavas take your karma and burn it and offer it to Krishna.

If you have a duty, you have tendency, you can’t control your senses, you don’t become like a brahmachari or a monk – engage in karma yoga but offer the result of your actions. Like another person has the nature that he likes to be very famous, talk to all sort of people – this is his nature and what is the instruction for him is? Can he be inside of the temple and restrain himself? He said that he wants to be a Sannyasa, but in ten lives maybe. He has a desire but can he really be a Sannyasa? So he is let to perform his duty.

Gurudeva very expertly has organized the platform where everybody can be engaged according to their nature. Premanada Prabhu says that ashram is not a temple. Ashram is the place where you take shelter that is Vaishnavas heart. It is not relevant if you are living in the house or you are in Radhe Kunj – irrelevant. What is relevant that you have taken shelter of sadhu because then any of your activities become bhakti. What is relevant it is not the activity, what it relevant that we are under the shelter of sadhu. If you have tendency, fire for material activity – go and do it and clear that layer and then your desire change. If anybody wants to perform Yagya or give a donation Premananda Prabhu is happily organizing because then we are all advancing.

Who is your best friend?

Most of you are going to get married and most of you are. Some people ask: “Is Krishna rejecting me if I am married?” – absolutely no, you can become a sadhu if you are performing your duties in this world. Lord Shiva had a job of being in charge of ghosts, witches, goblins, demons – that was his job yet he was a greatest devotee of the Lord because he is not thinking: “These are mine demons” but he is thinking: “All these jivas need help and my duty is to help them”. Some people say: “Don’t pray to Shiva because he will become pleased immediately and very easily gives you material fruits” but there is wisdom behind Shiva’s booms. If a Vaishnava is giving you a boom, why does Shiva give material booms? According to the nature the desire has to be satisfied. This is one thing that is irrelevant, to understand that the Vaishnava is my best friend because if I don’t understand “Ei bara Karuno koro Vaishnava Gosai”, if I don’t understand that Vaishnavas are my well-wishers and my best friends in this life, then who can help me? I may take the ropes of the Sannyasa or become an author, philosopher, spiritual teacher, but if I am not under the shelter of a Vaishnava then the maze just keeps getting bigger and bigger and illusion is unlimited. The moment when I understand that Vaishnavas are my best friends and this is only by their causeless mercy I am able to advance in this life, the moment you understand, the moment the bhakti-lata will starts growing because a little seed will give a little tiny plant called sraddha, which means I will attain faith for Vaishnavas and then from sraddha I will have a desire for Sadhu-sanga. After Sadhu-sanga I will have desire to serve sadhus intimately and then I will get a desire to get through anartha nivritti which means conquering my false ego. The first step the Vaishnavas are trying to give me is faith, faith in Guru, in the fact that you can take shelter here, this is your home, go and perform your duty and offer as much as you can and come back home.

Have a look of how much you take and try to make a balance of what you give

Srila Prabhupada says that Yagya is necessary, because our consciousness need to be purified and number one purifying agent is fire or tapasya and also sacrifice which is Yagya. During Yagya we are giving, balancing, when balance comes then sadness goes and when there is imbalance then there is sadness, then nothing is missing. Sadness means I have taken too much or I want too much but if I am balanced, I am in peace what Gurudeva gave me means I have done my Yagya.

Everyday when you wake up you should remember: “I have taken so much”. You should be conscious of how much you take – food, media, air, water, clothing, Sun, all consumption. Have a look of how much you take and try to make a balance of what you give. Always there will be a disbalance – we take more than we give. So Gurudeva is saying: “Everyday at least 16 rounds because at least that is the balance or of you do puja or cooking for Thakuji with attitude of gratitude: “Thank you for everything, this is for you, it is a gift, no string attached, I am not expecting anything – this is for you I hope you are happy may this make you happy”. What else can I do – I am fallen, low condition, small brain, only thinking about myself, but this is for you. Then offer to God and see what happens. That is a constant practice every day. Everyday remember, everyday do Yagya, everyday you are burning fire, digestion is fire. Everyday you are eating, consuming, but how much are you giving in that fire? If I have attachment and taking money as mine – then I am angry so we should think: “I am just a servant of God and my duty is to distribute”. So everyday you must offer something, make a sacrifice to establish good relationship with God and if you are giving anything then very quickly the relationship will be so good and happy but don’t expect anything in return because this is called business.

The only way to master Truth is to become a servant of the Truth

Once a disciple asked Gurudeva: “Gurudeva, how can I master the Truth?” and Gurudeva said: “You don’t master Truth, the only way to master Truth is to become a servant of the Truth, only then you will understand Truth”. So you don’t master Krishna, you don’t master that relationship, you become the servant of the servant of the servant of Krishna otherwise it is business. Love is service, service is love, anything else is business. Check yourself how much I am involved in business, how much do I believe that this going to give me happiness? How much do I run away from live? Never run away, engage fully, fearlessly with all your heart. I have little I give little. I have a lot – I give a lot. Thank for what God has given.

At some point you will be blessed and then the path will be clear

If anybody very wise but very dry – don’t listen. If anybody very expert but not happy – why I am listening? Before listening remember to ask yourself – is this person’s heart full of love and kindness? If it is not then don’t waste your time. You can use that time and life force and listen to Guru and Vaishnavas, somebody who has love will definitely give a better result.

When you are looking for yourself many things come and go, but at some point you will be blessed and then the path will be clear. You will feel naturally that this is your path. Naturally you will understand that this is a blessing from my Gurudeva, I must do good work. Everybody has something to do according to their nature. Some people will take care of children, some people will cook, some people will take care of other people, some people will have restaurant. Also try to remember that anything I do is not for my significance, but I want to give something, I don’t need “Thank you”, I don’t anybody look at me. The opportunity of performing that service is enough then your heart become simple and you will understand: “I have an opportunity to perform this service and opportunity for this association and this is enough”. Opportunity is enough and you will always be happy, you don’t think: “I don’t have” you think: “I have”. What kindness will take for? Mahaprabhu is magnanimous, so he gives mercy to everybody different according to nature and program different. Vaishnavas have clean heart so they can see what is good for everybody. So we must have faith and offer what we can do according to our nature. You can perform your duty and be stable and healthy but why do you need more than you need? Happiness is not there. You can perform your duty and add value in your country for people – do that, but too high ambitions – what for? It will not give you happiness but a bigger headache.

Remember that everything what is coming is good for me. This is what I choose so I will perform my role and my duty very well. Remember, in the movies the tough roles are the ones that get the Oscars. Your service is your relationship with God – you and God, nobody else. It is your relationship with Gurudeva – you and Gurudeva, nobody else. I hope you realized – nobody else and only you and Gurudeva know if you engaged or if you are not engaged. Some people say that they don’t really want to engage in bhakti, they say: “I am loosing my strength and my power”. At the beginning Sadhu will take care and will give so much inspiration and power and push you forward but at some point you have to understand that this is a path that I choose, so I should engage.

My friend used to tell me one song: “This world is full of Kings and thieves, this world is full of friends and enemies, this world is full of virgins and prostitutes, this world is full of light and darkness of sweet and sorrow but amongst everything is nobody like you”. This song is for Gurudeva. So many people out there, so colorful but in the heart we should know: “E bara Bara Karuna koro” – there is nobody like you, Gurudeva, my choice is made. So I wish for all of you that one day you will find this at the core of your heart. Once you understand what is in your

heart, where my heart lives, what is the core of my consciousness, that day you can say: “Gurudeva, there is nobody like you”. That day all anxiety will be removed, gone. No desire will be able to take you, nothing will be able to move you. The move Vaishnavas give us association the more we understand and this is beautiful to reach that level of consciousness: “I want nothing else just you. You are in my life and I am happy.”