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Can the older boys be trained in a particular kind of devotional service? For example, press work?

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"Can the older boys be trained in a particular kind of devotional service? For example, press work"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Oh, yes, everything is devotional. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam (SB 7.5.23), there are varieties. We are not Māyāvādī, impersonalists, finished, all business. It is not like that. So whatever business is going on in our movement, everything should be taught according to the capacity, boys or girls, it doesn't matter. Some department is suitable for the boys, some department are suitable for the girls. In this way, they should be trained up.
Room Conversation -- July 31, 1976, New Mayapur (French farm):

Prabhupāda: So Gurukula means to teach how to become very, very faithful, cent percent faithful, to the bona fide guru. That is Gurukula. So you have to teach like that. By behavior, by life, by action. That is Gurukula. This sum and substance of... Brahmacārī gurukule vasan dānto guror hitam. Where is that?

Harikeśa: We don't have the book.

Prabhupāda: What you have got? Simply your face, that's all. I'll have to see your face. Why this book is not there?

Hari-śauri: It's Seven, Three. There was only your copies available at the moment, and we gave it to George Harrison.

Prabhupāda: And you could not secure any more.

Hari-śauri: The only other copy is in New York.

Prabhupāda: Any other Bhāgavata? Just see. Reference book must be always there. This is the principle of Gurukula. Now from this platform, on this understanding you have to organize.

Jyotirmāyī: You were saying that there are mainly three principles to learn: how to be obedient, how to know, read your books and be self-controlled. So that's what I explained to the teachers, that they should do that.

Prabhupāda: Guru says there are four principles to be followed, they should be taught in that way. No illicit sex, no gambling, no meat-eating, no intoxication. Guru says that you chant at least sixteen, that should be taught. Risen early, rise early in the morning, that should be taught. So whatever guru says, you have to teach them perfectly, from childhood; then there will be no deviation when they are grown-up.

Jyotirmāyī: We have them chant now down there. When they chant japa, they chant very enthusiastically. So the teacher himself chants...

Prabhupāda: No, no. According to age, according to... But this is the principle. Gurukula means to learn how to become obedient, self-controlled, and act on behalf of guru. This is Gurukula. Not to learn grammar very scholarly, grammarian. No, that is not Gurukula. There are many thousands scholars—who cares for them? Put in the life. That is important. Our movement has drawn the attention of the world on account of life and the knowledge. They are finding the knowledge in the book and they are finding the practical application in the life. That is the important thing. Books there are many, but the books as they are described, they are being followed. That is Gurukula.


brahmacārī guru-kule
vasan dānto guror hitam
ācaran dāsavan nīco
gurau sudṛḍha-sauhṛdaḥ
(SB 7.12.1)

Prabhupāda: Guror hitam. So, a brahmacārī, a brahmacārī should live in the Gurukula for the following purposes. The first is that he should be trained up how to control the senses. So that, if you teach, any child from the childhood, he'll be trained up. In that case, that female children should be separated.

Jyotirmāyī: I wanted to know also what should we do once they are sixteen, because you said they should be trained in a Gurukula until they are sixteen. So once they are sixteen...

Prabhupāda: Once Sarasvatī said that "We have no sex with woman." (laughter) So, innocent, she does not know. That is, if they are kept separate, they remain innocent. And they are taught that all women should be addressed as mother. Whatever self-control. And female children should be taught how to become faithful to the husband, and to learn the arts of cooking, arts of painting—that should be their subject matter.

Jyotirmāyī: Painting?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Sixty-four arts, Rādhārāṇī did. Then She could control Kṛṣṇa.

Jyotirmāyī: So after they have learned all the academics, reading, writing, all these.

Prabhupāda: Academic is ordinary, ABCD, that's all. Not very much. But these arts. They should learn how to cook nicely.

Jyotirmāyī: And what should the boys be taught from ten to sixteen?

Prabhupāda: The principle is same, that when they grow up they learn the śāstra. The more they read, the more they learn. Then they become preacher, teacher. The grown-up children, those who are fifteen, sixteen, they can teach five-, six-years-old.

Jyotirmāyī: Then they can take responsibility themselves.

Prabhupāda: In this way. Elderly student... That is the way of Indian teaching, that there is one teacher, and how he's managing hundreds? That means there are groups. One who is elderly student, he's taking some beginners: "Write a or A like this." That he can teach. What he has learned, he can teach. Similarly, next group, next group. So in this way, one teacher can manage hundreds of students of different categories. This is organization. Not that everything I have to do. I cannot teach anybody to do it. That is not intelligence. Intelligence is that employ others to help you. That is intelligence. Not that "Oh, I was busy, I could not do it." Why? What about your assistant? Train assistant so that in your absence things can be done. So the elderly students, they could be... Just Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to do that. When He was sixteen years old he could argue with Keśava Kāśmīrī, because He was practiced. In this way, stage after stage, everyone should be expert. Everyone should be teacher and student.

Bhagavān: The boys, they should learn how also to cook?

Prabhupāda: Huh? I never said that. Why you are bringing that question? I said the girls should be. Cooking is not boy's business. But cooking is not a very difficult art. If they want, the boys can... (coughs) There are so many, in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta sindhu it is stated, how Rādhārāṇī was qualified. So these things should be taught to the girls. If the girls are taught to give service to the husband to the greatest satisfaction, there will be no disagreement.

Yogeśvara: Can the older boys be trained in a particular kind of devotional service? For example, press work?

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes, everything is devotional. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam (SB 7.5.23), there are varieties. We are not Māyāvādī, impersonalists, finished, all business. It is not like that. So whatever business is going on in our movement, everything should be taught according to the capacity, boys or girls, it doesn't matter. Some department is suitable for the boys, some department are suitable for the girls. In this way, they should be trained up. But everyone should be trained up to give service. That is Gurukula. And brahmacārī, this sex impulse should be controlled. That ruins the whole character. Our big, big sannyāsīs are becoming victimized. So that is the danger. Woman is good, man is good; when they combine together, bad. This is the material world. Both of them are good, but when they combine together, they are bad. This is material world. In the spiritual world, there is no such combination of sense gratification. Therefore it is always good. Everyone is part and parcel of God. So they are good. In the spiritual world, they combine together, it becomes bad, in the material world. In the spiritual world there is no such combination of sense gratification. Therefore they are always good. So you have to train like that. In the spiritual world there are very, very beautiful women, thousand, thousands times. Here, in the heavenly planets, they are calculated the best perfectional body of the woman. But in the spiritual world, still further. But there is no attraction of sex. They are working together, serving together, everything. But the sex attraction, there is no. They are elevated so much in the service of the Lord.... Sex attraction is a kind of pleasure. So there are different types of pleasure. Here, if somebody, good foodstuff is there, and.... That is also another sense pleasure, and by the time one beautiful woman is canvassing, "Now, come and let us enjoy," he will give up this good food. He'll go for sex. Because he will think this is better than that. So one pleasure is rejected if one is engaged in better pleasure. Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate (BG 2.59). So in the spiritual world the service of the Lord is so pleasing, that they can neglect this sex pleasure. That is spiritual world. They have no attachment for sex pleasure. Yadāvadhi mama cetaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravinde nava-nava-rasa-dhāmānudyata bata nārī-saṅgame bhavati mukha-vikāraḥ suṣṭu. When one spits on the sex pleasure, that means he is elevated in spiritual life. So in the material world that is not possible. But by training, by knowledge, one can be elevated. That is Gurukula. So these are the general principles. Now arrange.

Jyotirmāyī: I was thinking about that, that because the girls are trained like brahmacārīnis also in the Gurukula, they should be also kept very, very simple, just like the little boys, brahmacārīs.

Prabhupāda: No, our life is simple. We don't want luxury. We don't want luxury, but as we are accustomed in so many ways, as far as possible. But life should be very simple. To increase unnecessary things unnecessarily, that is material life.

Jyotirmāyī: I was thinking in that way, simple clothes, no jewels, just like the boys, simple...

Prabhupāda: Don't say "no." But give a taste for the good, then it will be automatically "no." And if you say "no" then he'll, they will rebel. The four "no's," that is very difficult. Still they are breaking. No illicit sex, they are breaking. But if they develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness, this will be automatically "no." So don't bring many "no's," but give them positive life. Then it will be automatically "no." And if you say "no," that will be a struggle. This is the psychology. Positive engagement is devotional service. So if they are attracted by devotional service, other things will be automatically "no." Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate. Just like Ekādaśī day. Ekādaśī day, we observe fasting. And there are many patients in the hospital, they are also fasting. But they'll "No, no." They'll, within heart, "If I get, I shall eat, I shall eat." But those who are devotee, they voluntarily "no." The same fasting is going on for the devotees and the hospital patient. And that "no" and this "no," there is difference. Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate (BG 2.59). It is not meant for the mass of people, but at least if we keep a section of people ideal to the human society, they will be guided. At the present moment, there is no ideal section. Everyone is rascal, demons, rogues, everything. There is no ideal character. All politicians, scientists, leaders, they are all drunkards and woman-hunters. So what they can lead? There is no ideal man in the society. The politicians are giving big, big speech in the United Nations. They'll go to the same hotel where another debauchee is dancing and drinking. That's all. That is his character. Is it not? So what he will do? We can give a very big speech, that's all. What is his character? There is no ideal character in the present human society. Do they appreciate our, these restrictions?

Bhagavān: Our restrictions? Yes, they are impressed. They sometimes write about the Gurukula that we are treating roughly the children by making them so austere. But every time they show the picture, the children are always happy.

Prabhupāda: They have standardized their happiness on these principles—illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling. That is the standard. And if you deny that, they say, "Oh, it is impossible. These are the primary principles of life." Yes. Such a big man like Rolan(?) said, he said, "Oh, it is impossible." He was a big man, philosopher, very nice gentleman; still, he said "Oh, it is impossible."

Jyotirmāyī: You were saying that the children should learn these three, geography and these things, and I wanted to know if they should also learn what they call biology, that is how the body is working, what are the bones and blood and...

Prabhupāda: What is the use?

Jyotirmāyī: Just to have some general knowledge...

Prabhupāda: Simply waste of time, simply waste of time.

Jyotirmāyī: Even the basic of this?

Prabhupāda: What is the basic? What you will know by that? Biology is going on, whether you study or not study. You are eating, it is transforming into blood, everyone knows. And how he's transforming into blood? What is the use?

Jyotirmāyī: You were saying they should learn geography and history, just for general knowledge.

Prabhupāda: That is because you have to go from America to India. You must know. (laughter) You have to calculate two plus two equal to four, a little mathematics. But this biology and this "logy," they are useless. There is no necessity. What you'll gain by understanding biology? Even one who knows biology, the medical man, he gives a tablet, "Perhaps it may help you." "Perhaps." He's not sure. So what is the use? First of all, he'll take one ounce of blood from you, and they send, this station, that station, now making a chart, then he'll give you a tablet, "Perhaps it may help." This is going on. Even the biggest pathologist, medical man, cannot guarantee that whatever medicine... (break)

Yogeśvara: ...some group doctors? Some portion of the devotees medical knowledge?

Prabhupāda: There is no harm, but when medical men are available by paying something, why should you waste your time? There are so many things we purchase, you pay for them. Not that we have to learn everything. So many things we have to do. Does it mean that you have to learn everything?

Hari-śauri: There's lots of doctors, but there's no brāhmaṇas, devotees.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So the principle is, don't waste time. If one has already learned medical science, all right, bring him to some service. But not that our men have to go to the medical college to learn medical science. That is not the point.

Jyotirmāyī: So because we're in the country, I was taking the children in the land here and teaching them how to recognize the different plants. Is that useful, or should I not do that?

Prabhupāda: Different plants?

Jyotirmāyī: Plants, yes, here we have so many different plants growing, some medical plants, some that can be eaten. Is there any use?

Prabhupāda: No. Different plants, that is botanical study, that has also no utilization. But you can teach them, "Just see, this plant is coming from earth. The earth is the mother of this plant." These things you can convince them. Is it not a fact? The grass is coming, the tree is coming, and the animal eating grass. Then the animal is coming. The man is eating food grains, then man is coming. So originally the earth is the mother, feeding everyone. Is there any denial? What do you think? So earth is the mother of all living entities, convince them. So all living entities are children. Mother earth is the mother. The father? Where is father, find out. Everyone has got idea, father, mother and children. Children are there. The mother is there. Where is the father? If somebody says "I have not seen father; how can I recognize father?" that does not mean... Because the mother is there, because the children are there, there must be father. If you do not know, try to know it from your mother, from your superior. From Veda-mātā. You have to know from the Vedas.

Bhagavān: So at that young age they can very easily develop faith in Kṛṣṇa and guru.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā.

sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ
tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā
(BG 14.4)

That's all. That study will be nice. Ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ. Just like father gives the seed, similarly, Kṛṣṇa gives the seed. The seed, when pushed into the womb of the mother and properly nourished, a rose plant comes out. This plant comes out. The seed is there. It is very easy. The father injects the seed within the womb of the mother, and the childs come out. Similarly, whatever is coming out from the earth, the seed-giving father is Kṛṣṇa, and when the seed is pushed within the womb of the mother, then the plant is coming, and everything. This nature's law is going on. Where is the necessity of understanding more than this? We understand the mother is pregnant. Now how she has been, how the child is growing, that is not under your control. It is going on. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi (BG 3.27), immediately it is in hand of the nature. Even if you study, you cannot understand how things are arranged—the intestine is joined to the navel of the child and the food is supplied, how it is mechanical: do you know everything? Can anyone do? Can anyone understand? But things are there. That is being done by prakṛtiḥ. Even if you study, you cannot understand. So best thing is to understand that it is being done by nature under the instruction of Supreme Lord. Let us chant Hare Kṛṣṇa instead of studying these.... There are many students, many botanists, many.... They, vaguely they are studying, and the have no understanding of Kṛṣṇa. They're denying, rather the father. The child has come into existence without father. This is their knowledge. So instead of becoming such a fool and rascal it is better not to study.

Jyotirmāyī: I also thought of a way to help the children remember the Kṛṣṇa book stories easier. It was... You started that long time ago with Madhupuri, you asked her to make the Kṛṣṇa book into a poem. That was a long time ago in New York, then she didn't do it...

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa book is not difficult to be understood by...

Jyotirmāyī: I was thinking if we make into poem and put music and they sing it, then they can remember...

Prabhupāda: That you can do, to make it understandable easily. It is already easy. If you want to make more easy, then do that.

MadhuGopaldas +  and Rishab +
August 18, 0011 JL +
May 3, 0012 JL +
BG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 0 +, Conv: 1 +  and Let: 0 +