Neither of these grades of fruitive workers realizes that both pious as well as sinful activities cause bondage. These materialists do not know that karma-yoga, activity performed without fruitive desire, is the best form of activity. Therefore they often think that the karma-yogīs are as attached to this material world as the gross materialists. The sole motive of the karma-yogī, however, is to instruct the members of society for their benefit. As Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, says in the Bhagavad-gītā (3.25) "As the ignorant perform their duties with attachment to results, the learned may similarly act, but without attachment, for the sake of leading people on the right path."
- 1 Bhagavad-gita As It Is
- 2 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 3 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 4 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
- 5 Lectures
- 6 Conversations and Morning Walks
- 7 Correspondence
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Chapters 1 - 6
If economic development and material comforts could drive away one's lamentations for family, social, national or international inebrieties, then Arjuna would not have said that even an unrivaled kingdom on earth or supremacy like that of the demigods in the heavenly planets would be unable to drive away his lamentations. He sought, therefore, refuge in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and that is the right path for peace and harmony. Economic development or supremacy over the world can be finished at any moment by the cataclysms of material nature. Even elevation into a higher planetary situation, as men are now seeking on the moon planet, can also be finished at one stroke.
As the ignorant perform their duties with attachment to results, the learned may similarly act, but without attachment, for the sake of leading people on the right path.
A person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and a person not in Kṛṣṇa consciousness are differentiated by different desires. A Kṛṣṇa conscious person does not do anything which is not conducive to development of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He may even act exactly like the ignorant person, who is too much attached to material activities, but one is engaged in such activities for the satisfaction of his sense gratification, whereas the other is engaged for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, the Kṛṣṇa conscious person is required to show the people how to act and how to engage the results of action for the purpose of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
The Lord is the original spiritual master, and a person in the disciplic succession can convey the message of the Lord as it is to his disciple. No one can be spiritually realized by manufacturing his own process, as is the fashion of the foolish pretenders. The Bhāgavatam (6.3.19) says, dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam: the path of religion is directly enunciated by the Lord. Therefore, mental speculation or dry arguments cannot help lead one to the right path. Nor by independent study of books of knowledge can one progress in spiritual life. One has to approach a bona fide spiritual master to receive the knowledge. Such a spiritual master should be accepted in full surrender, and one should serve the spiritual master like a menial servant, without false prestige.
SB Canto 1
The great sages are always anxious to do good to the people in general, and as such the sages headed by Śaunaka and others assembled at this holy place of Naimiṣāraṇya with a program of performing a great and continuous chain of sacrificial ceremonies. Forgetful men do not know the right path for peace and prosperity. However, the sages know it well, and therefore for the good of all men they are always anxious to perform acts which may bring about peace in the world. They are sincere friends to all living entities, and at the risk of great personal inconvenience they are always engaged in the service of the Lord for the good of all people. Lord Viṣṇu is just like a great tree, and all others, including the demigods, men, Siddhas, Cāraṇas, Vidyādharas and other living entities, are like branches, twigs and leaves of that tree.
He was present even during the exile of the Pāṇḍavas and used to advise them in circumstances when they were perplexed. He instructed them how to live incognito for one year, and his instructions were strictly followed by the Pāṇḍavas during that time. His name is mentioned also when the general funeral ceremony was performed after the Battle of Kurukṣetra. In the Anuṣāsana-parva of Mahābhārata (127.15-16), he gave religious instructions very elaborately to Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira. He was actually the right type of priest of a householder, for he could guide the Pāṇḍavas on the right path of religion. A priest is meant for guiding the householder progressively in the right path of āśrama-dharma, or the occupational duty of a particular caste. There is practically no difference between the family priest and the spiritual master. The sages, saints and brāhmaṇas were especially meant for such functions.
But Bhīṣma had no such bodily relation. Therefore the cause of attraction was due to the intimate relation of the soul. Yet because the relation of the body is very pleasing and natural, the Lord is more pleased when He is addressed as the son of Mahārāja Nanda, the son of Yaśodā, the lover of Rādhārāṇī. This affinity by bodily relation with the Lord is another feature of reciprocating loving service with the Lord. Bhīṣmadeva is conscious of this sweetness of transcendental humor, and therefore he likes to address the Lord as Vijaya-Sakhe, Pārtha-Sakhe, etc., exactly like Nanda-nandana or Yaśodā-nandana. The best way to establish our relation in transcendental sweetness is to approach Him through His recognized devotees. One should not try to establish the relation directly; there must be a via medium which is transparent and competent to lead us to the right path.
The devotees of the Lord are always in the heart of the Lord, and the Lord is always in the hearts of the devotees. That is the sweet relation between the Lord and His devotees. Due to unalloyed love and devotion for the Lord, the devotees always see Him within themselves, and the Lord also, although He has nothing to do and nothing to aspire to, is always busy in attending to the welfare of His devotees. For the ordinary living beings the law of nature is there for all actions and reactions, but He is always anxious to put His devotees on the right path. The devotees, therefore, are under the direct care of the Lord. And the Lord also voluntarily puts Himself under the care of His devotees only.
This world is compared to a forest fire caused by the cohesion of bamboo bushes. Such a forest fire takes place automatically, for bamboo cohesion occurs without external cause. Similarly, in the material world the wrath of those who want to lord it over material nature interacts, and the fire of war takes place, exhausting the unwanted population. Such fires or wars take place, and the Lord has nothing to do with them. But because He wants to maintain the creation, He desires the mass of people to follow the right path of self-realization, which enables the living beings to enter into the kingdom of God. The Lord wants the suffering human beings to come back home, back to Him, and cease to suffer the threefold material pangs.
One night when the Ṭhākura came to Cintāmaṇi's house in torrents of rain and thunder, Cintāmaṇi was astonished to see how the Ṭhākura could come on such a dreadful night after crossing a foaming river which was full of waves. She said to Ṭhākura Bilvamaṅgala that his attraction for the flesh and bone of an insignificant woman like her would be properly utilized if it could be diverted to the devotional service of the Lord to achieve attraction for the transcendental beauty of the Lord. It was a momentous hour for the Ṭhākura, and he took a turn towards spiritual realization by the words of a prostitute. Later on the Ṭhākura accepted the prostitute as his spiritual master, and in several places of his literary works he has glorified the name of Cintāmaṇi, who showed him the right path.
The muni thought it unwise on the part of Yamarāja that he was punished for his childish innocence, and thus the muni cursed Yamarāja to become a śūdra, and this śūdra incarnation of Yamarāja was known as Vidura, the śūdra brother of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Mahārāja Pāṇḍu. But this śūdra son of the Kuru dynasty was equally treated by Bhīṣmadeva, along with his other nephews, and in due course Vidura was married with a girl who was also born in the womb of a śūdrāṇī by a brāhmaṇa. Although Vidura did not inherit the property of his father (the brother of Bhīṣmadeva), still he was given sufficient state property by Dhṛtarāṣṭra, the elder brother of Vidura. Vidura was very much attached to his elder brother, and all along he tried to guide him on the right path. During the fratricidal war of Kurukṣetra, Vidura repeatedly implored his elder brother to do justice to the sons of Pāṇḍu, but Duryodhana did not like such interference by his uncle, and thus he practically insulted Vidura. This resulted in Vidura's leaving home for pilgrimage and taking instructions from Maitreya.
Vidura is trying to open his eyes to see that he cannot live more than his term and that he must prepare for death. Since death is inevitable, why should he accept such a humiliating position for living? It is better to take the right path, even at the risk of death. Human life is meant for finishing all kinds of miseries of material existence, and life should be so regulated that one can achieve the desired goal. Dhṛtarāṣṭra, due to his wrong conception of life, had already spoiled eighty percent of his achieved energy, so it behooved him to utilize the remaining days of his miserly life for the ultimate good. Such a life is called miserly because one cannot properly utilize the assets of the human form of life. Only by good luck does such a miserly man meet a self-realized soul like Vidura and by his instruction gets rid of the nescience of material existence.
A conditioned living being is under the full control of material nature, represented by eternal time and activities under the dictation of different modes of nature. There are three material modes of nature, namely goodness, passion and ignorance. Unless one is situated in the mode of goodness, one cannot see things as they are. The passionate and the ignorant cannot even see things as they are. Therefore a person who is passionate and ignorant cannot direct his activities on the right path. Only the man in the quality of goodness can help to a certain extent. Most persons are passionate and ignorant, and therefore their plans and projects can hardly do any good to others.
SB Canto 2
Even the minutest part of a living being is controlled by the empowered agency of the Lord. Since the demigods are included in the gigantic form of the Lord, worship of the Lord, whether in His gigantic material conception or in His eternal transcendental form as Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, also appeases the demigods and all the other parts and parcels, as much as watering the root of a tree distributes energy to all of the tree's other parts. Consequently, for a materialist also, worship of the universal gigantic form of the Lord leads one to the right path. One need not risk being misled by approaching many demigods for fulfillment of different desires. The real entity is the Lord Himself, and all others are imaginary, for everything is included in Him only.
The parts of the body are related to the body; similarly, the living being must know his relationship with the Lord. The human life is especially meant for this purpose, namely to know the factual relationship of every living being with the Supreme Lord. Without knowing this relationship, the human life is spoiled. The intelligent class of men, the brāhmaṇas, are therefore especially responsible for broadcasting this knowledge of our relationship with the Lord and leading the general mass of people to the right path. The administrative class is meant for protecting the living beings so that they can serve this purpose; the mercantile class is meant for producing food grains and distributing them to the complete human society so that the whole population is given a chance to live comfortably and discharge the duties of human life.
No one should try to give a new interpretation by dint of mundane knowledge. And the first step, therefore, in pursuance of the system of knowledge received by Brahmā, is to approach a bona fide guru who is the representative of the Lord following the paramparā system. No one should try to squeeze out his own meaning by imperfect mundane knowledge. The guru, or the bona fide spiritual master, is competent to teach the disciple in the right path with reference to the context of all authentic Vedic literature. He does not attempt to juggle words to bewilder the student. The bona fide spiritual master, by his personal activities, teaches the disciple the principles of devotional service.
The directive scriptures made by the Manus in different ages and millenniums are called sad-dharma, good guidance for the human beings, who should take advantage of all the revealed scriptures for their own interest, to make life's successful termination. The creation is not false, but it is a temporary manifestation just to give a chance for the conditioned souls to go back to Godhead. The desire to go back to Godhead and functions performed in that direction form the right path of work. When such a regulative path is accepted, the Lord gives all protection to His devotees by His causeless mercy, while the nondevotees risk their own activities to bind themselves in a chain of fruitive reactions. The word sad-dharma is significant in this connection.
SB Canto 3
A pure devotee of the Lord like Brahmā and persons in his disciplic succession are always unhappy to see the perplexities of the conditioned souls, who are suffering the onslaughts of the threefold miseries which pertain to the body and mind, to the disturbances of material nature, and to many other such material disadvantages. Not knowing adequate measures for relieving such difficulties, suffering persons sometimes pose themselves as leaders of the people, and the unfortunate followers are put into further disadvantages under such so-called leadership. This is like a blind man's leading another blind man to fall into a ditch. Therefore, unless the devotees of the Lord take pity on them and teach them the right path, their lives are hopeless failures. The devotees of the Lord who voluntarily take the responsibility of raising the foolish materialistic sense enjoyers are as confidential to the Lord as Lord Brahmā.
SB Canto 4
The great sage Maitreya continued: Thus the King, who became unintelligent due to his sinful life and deviation from the right path, became actually bereft of all good fortune. He could not accept the requests of the great sages, which the sages put before him with great respect, and therefore he was condemned.
Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura states that one has to ascertain the right path for his activities by following in the footsteps of great saintly persons and books of knowledge under the guidance of a spiritual master (sādhu-śāstra-guru-vākya). A saintly person is one who follows the Vedic injunctions, which are the orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The word guru refers to one who gives proper direction under the authority of the Vedic injunctions and according to the examples of the lives of great personalities. The best way to mold one's life is to follow in the footsteps of the authorized personalities like those mentioned herein by Pṛthu Mahārāja, beginning with Svāyambhuva Manu. The safest path in life is to follow such great personalities, especially those mentioned in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Wherever a king goes, he is supposed to be accompanied by his queen, but when the king, or conditioned soul, becomes greatly overpowered by the desire for sense gratification, he does not care for religious principles. Instead, with great pride, he accepts the bow and arrow of attachment and hatred. Our consciousness is always working in two ways—the right way and the wrong way. When one becomes too proud of his position, influenced by the mode of passion, he gives up the right path and accepts the wrong one. Kṣatriya kings are sometimes advised to go to the forest to hunt ferocious animals just to learn how to kill, but such forays are never meant for sense gratification. Killing animals to eat their flesh is forbidden for human beings.
SB Canto 7
Persons who are strongly entrapped by the consciousness of enjoying material life, and who have therefore accepted as their leader or guru a similar blind man attached to external sense objects, cannot understand that the goal of life is to return home, back to Godhead, and engage in the service of Lord Viṣṇu. As blind men guided by another blind man miss the right path and fall into a ditch, materially attached men led by another materially attached man are bound by the ropes of fruitive labor, which are made of very strong cords, and they continue again and again in materialistic life, suffering the threefold miseries.
To learn about religious principles and the perfection of life, one must take instruction from the disciplic succession of Nārada Muni. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is directly in the line of the Brahma-sampradāya. Nārada Muni received instructions from Lord Brahmā and in turn transmitted the instructions to Vyāsadeva. Vyāsadeva instructed his son Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who spoke Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is based on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā. Because Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam was spoken by Śukadeva Gosvāmī and Bhagavad-gītā was spoken by Kṛṣṇa, there is no difference between them. If we strictly follow the principle of disciplic succession, we are certainly on the right path of spiritual liberation, or eternal engagement in devotional service.
SB Canto 8
"One who seeks Your compassion and thus tolerates all kinds of adverse conditions due to the karma of his past deeds, who engages always in Your devotional service with his mind, words and body, and who always offers obeisances to You is certainly a bona fide candidate for liberation." (SB 10.14.8) A devotee knows that so-called punishment by the Supreme Personality of Godhead is only His favor to correct His devotee and bring him to the right path. Therefore the punishment awarded by the Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot be compared to even the greatest benefit awarded by one's material father, mother, brother or friend.
Since Your Lordship is indirectly the greatest well-wisher of us demons, You act for our best welfare by posing as if our enemy. Because demons like us always aspire for a position of false prestige, by chastising us You give us the eyes by which to see the right path.
Bali Mahārāja considered the Supreme Personality of Godhead a better friend to the demons than to the demigods. In the material world, the more one gets material possessions, the more he becomes blind to spiritual life. The demigods are devotees of the Lord for the sake of material possessions, but although the demons apparently do not have the Supreme Personality of Godhead on their side, He always acts as their well-wisher by depriving them of their positions of false prestige. By false prestige one is misguided, so the Supreme Lord takes away their position of false prestige as a special favor.
SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)
With various intentions, You perform pastimes to maintain the demigods, the saintly persons and the codes of religion for this world. By these pastimes You also kill those who stray from the right path and live by violence. Indeed, your present incarnation is meant to relieve the earth's burden.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, ""Dry arguments are inconclusive. A great personality whose opinion does not differ from others is not considered a great sage. Simply by studying the Vedas, which are variegated, one cannot come to the right path by which religious principles are understood. The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated, self-realized person. Consequently, as the śāstras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive path the mahājanas advocate.""
“"Dry arguments are inconclusive. A great personality whose opinion does not differ from others is not considered a great sage. Simply by studying the Vedas, which are variegated, one cannot come to the right path by which religious principles are understood. The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated, self-realized person. Consequently, as the śāstras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive path the mahājanas advocate."
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Renunciation Through Wisdom
Because of their uncontrolled senses, persons too addicted to materialistic life make progress toward hellish conditions and repeatedly chew that which has already been chewed. Their inclinations toward Kṛṣṇa are never aroused, either by the instructions of others, by their own efforts, or by a combination of both. Persons who are strongly entrapped by the consciousness of enjoying material life, and who have therefore accepted as their leader or guru a similar blind man attached to external sense objects, cannot understand that the goal of life is to return home, back to Godhead, and engage in the service of Lord Viṣṇu. As blind men guided by another blind man miss the right path and fall into a ditch, materially attached men led by another materially attached man are bound by the ropes of fruitive labor, which are made of very strong cords, and they continue again and again in materialistic life, suffering the threefold miseries.
Message of Godhead
When man, who is the highest of all created beings, is fully developed in consciousness, he concerns himself not only with his own self and the world where he lives, but he tries to understand the Absolute Truth. The Absolute Truth regulates man as well as the world, and knowing Him, the transcendentalist regulates his activities on the right path. This regulating process is commonly known as a system of faith or religion. All over the civilized world we find some process or form of religion—when man is devoid of any such religion or of transcendental traits, he is nothing but a beast. This subject matter, which the religionists delineate according to different countries, times, and people, is more or less aimed at the objective of the Absolute Truth.
If these leaders, including preachers and heads of state, do not perform this act of Vaiṣṇavism—and instead place themselves artificially in the exalted position of Viṣṇu, the supreme enjoyer—then they may indeed enjoy temporary gain, adoration, and mundane fame, and may delude their unfortunate followers from the right path by a false display of renunciation. But such materialistic, godless leaders will never be able to do any good for the ignorant souls who follow them like a flock of sheep to the slaughterhouse. By such leadership the leader himself is temporarily benefited, but the followers are put into the worst position. The leaders incite them toward false, illusory gain and thus engage them in various acts of sin. In temporarily benefiting themselves, such leaders sacrifice the real interest of their followers and destroy the followers.
To confirm that the Lord is always pure and uncontaminated, Śrī Īśopaniṣad describes Him as śuddham (antiseptic) and apāpa-viddham (prophylactic). He is antiseptic in the sense that even an impure thing can become purified just by touching Him. The word "prophylactic" refers to the power of His association. As mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā (9.30-31), a devotee may appear to be su-durācāra, not well behaved, in the beginning, but he should be accepted as pure because he is on the right path. This is due to the prophylactic nature of the Lord's association. The Lord is also apāpa-viddham because sin cannot touch Him. Even if He acts in a way that appears to be sinful, such actions are all-good, for there is no question of His being affected by sin.
An adhīra (one who has not undergone the training of a dhīra) cannot be an instructive leader. Modern politicians who pose themselves as dhīras are actually adhīras, and one cannot expect perfect knowledge from them. They are simply busy seeing to their own remuneration in dollars and cents. How, then, can they lead the mass of people to the right path of self-realization? Thus one must hear submissively from a dhīra in order to attain actual education.
Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura explains these verses in this way: "One should regard a devotee of Kṛṣṇa to be on the right path of the saints, even though such a devotee may seem to be su-durācāra, 'a person of loose character.' One should try to understand the real purport of the word su-durācāra. A conditioned soul has to act for double functions—namely for the maintenance of the body and again for self-realization. Social status, mental development, cleanliness, austerity, nourishment and the struggle for existence are all for the maintenance of the body. The self-realization part of one's activities is executed in one's occupation as a devotee of the Lord, and one performs actions in that connection also."
"One must perform these two different functions along parallel lines, because a conditioned soul cannot give up the maintenance of his body. The proportion of activities for maintenance of the body decreases, however, in proportion to the increase in devotional service. As long as the proportion of devotional service does not come to the right point, there is a chance for an occasional exhibition of worldliness. But it should be noted that such worldliness cannot continue for long because, by the grace of the Lord, such imperfections will come to an end very shortly. Therefore the path of devotional service is the only right path. If one is on the right path, even an occasional occurrence of worldliness does not hamper one in the advancement of self-realization."
O my Lord, as powerful as fire, O omnipotent one, now I offer You all obeisances, falling on the ground at Your feet. O my Lord, please lead me on the right path to reach You, and since You know all that I have done in the past, please free me from the reactions to my past sins so that there will be no hindrance to my progress.
Since the omnipotent Lord is situated within the heart of everyone, He can give directions to His sincere devotees by which they can attain the right path. Such directions are especially offered to the devotee, even if he desires something else. As far as others are concerned, God gives sanction to the doer only at the risk of the doer. But in the case of a devotee, the Lord directs him in such a way that he never acts wrongly.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
Your scripture may be different from my scripture. And nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. If you consult philosophers, you'll find one philosopher is differing from another philosopher. A big philosopher means who has cut down other philosophers and put up his own theory, "This is true." This is going on. So tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ smṛtayo vibhinnā nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. Then how to conclude what is the right path? I cannot establish it by my imperfect arguments. I cannot consult even the scriptures. Neither I can take real instruction from different philosophers. Then what, what is the way of having the real thing? So it says that dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām: "The truth of religiosity is very confidential, very secret."
"Whenever there is any flaw in the standard process of religiosity, at that time I take My incarnation and I come on this earth." So this is a fact. This is a fact. The whole material nature is working under the superintendence of the Supreme Lord. Now, whenever there is any discrepancy, just to rectify, sometimes punishment is given or sometimes the Lord comes Himself, or sometimes He sends His representative, or sometimes He leaves some books of knowledge. In this way the whole process from God's side is to put ourself always on the right path. That is the process going on. Now, just like in your Christian religion.
So the father is always affectionate to the sons. The sons may forget the father, but the father cannot forget. So Kṛṣṇa comes here out of His love for us to deliver us, to give us the right path. Sarva-dharmān parityajya: (BG 18.66) "My dear sons, why you are rotting in this miserable world? You come to Me. I'll give you all protection. You are the son of the Supreme. So you can enjoy life very supremely, very magnificently, without any death. Why you are rotting?" That is Kṛṣṇa's mercy. Ajo 'pi sann avyayātmā bhūtānām īśvaro 'pi san. Don't think that Kṛṣṇa comes just like we are come here, being obliged, prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni (BG 3.27), forced by the laws of nature according to our karma. He does not come like that. That is the difference between Kṛṣṇa and myself.
Now, by becoming Kṛṣṇa consciousness, by this yoga, bhakti-yoga, you can be successful. Yoga-saṁsiddhaḥ. And, in due course of time, you'll understand that "Yes, I am in right path. Oh." In due course of... Immediately you may be very doubtful, "Whether I have accepted the right path or not?" But in kālena, in due course, in due course of time, if you continue the process... Therefore in the next verse it is stated, śraddhāvān labhate jñānam. Śraddhāvān, one who is faithful, he can take up this knowledge. Faithful. Those who are hesitating, those who have no faith, oh, it is very difficult for them. We have to accept. Because the method is standard, and it is given by the highest authority, Kṛṣṇa, so we must have such faith, "Oh, here is a thing, authoritative."
Only one path. God is one, and to realize Him, the path is one. There cannot be two paths. Just like suppose in India. So India is from here to the eastern side? Yes. This is an example. But you cannot find in the western side. Just like Columbus. He wanted to discover India. He did not go to the eastern side; he went to the western side. So he found America, that's all. So if you want to find out God, then you have to take the right path. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ (BG 18.55). He never says, "By jñāna, karma, yoga one can achieve God." That is not possible. Only by bhakti. So if you want to have God, then you have to take to these devotional activities, but if you want to have māyā, you can take different paths.
So, parāvare brahmaṇi dharmato vrataiḥ. So one should execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness, dharmataḥ, in right path, and vrataiḥ. Bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ. Just like today, ekādaśī-vrata. Vrataiḥ. This ekādaśī-vrata is required. Just see. Here it is that "You have performed all the vratas." The purpose of ekādaśī-vrata is that today we should not eat much usual food, grains. The actual prescription is fasting. Nirjala-ekādaśī. Nirjala means there are many devotees who does not take even water. Water, drinking water, according to śāstra, it is taking food... It is drinking of food or no food. We can take both ways. So sometimes drinking of water is excused as upavāsa also.
You see? So andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ (SB 7.5.31). Just like one blind man is speaking other blind men, "Please follow me. I shall lead you to the right path." "But you are blind yourself, and we are also blind. What will be the help?" But no, they will follow. In our country, Gandhi promised that "I shall give you independence in one year, if you follow me—non-violence, non-cooperation." People followed, but it took thirty years. But actually, that is not independence. So these politicians, especially, they mislead us. Not only politicians, the so-called yogis, so-called... So many things. Real leader is Kṛṣṇa. So if we surrender to Kṛṣṇa as Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66), "Give up all other occupation, duties. Simply just surrender unto Me."
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures
Their intelligence is very bad. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā. And the unfortunate. In India there are so many Vedic literatures, full of treasure house of transcendental knowledge. But manda-bhāgyās they will read Lenin's literature. Just see how much unfortunate they have become. As if Lenin can speak more than Kṛṣṇa. This is going on. Manda... Not only here, everywhere, all the parts of the world, they are manda-bhāgyā. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ (SB 1.1.10). At the same time, they are disturbed by so many conditions. Just like at the present moment there is no rice, no wheat, no food. The agitation is... Manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ. Upadrutāḥ. They must be disturbed because they have not taken the right path.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Philosophy will give us the idea of the goal, and our practical application is to give us the right path.
Śyāmasundara: He says that the life of religion is mankind's most important function.
Prabhupāda: That's nice. We say also, without religion a living entity is no better than an animal. So that is very important.
Śyāmasundara: And he says that the evidence for God's existence is found primarily in one's personal inner experience. One has an intuitive experience that God exists.
Prabhupāda: God exists. Just like we say always that God is supposed to be the supreme father. So as I know, even though I did not see my father, but still I know that I had father, or I have father. So if God is the supreme father, He must be there.
Prabhupāda: If actually you want to know the highest goal of your life, he must approach guru. That is the (indistinct). In the Bhagavad-gītā, also it is said, tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34). You try to understand the highest truth by surrendering, praṇipātena, by serving, by giving service; tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā, by inquiring. In Bhāgavata also, tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam (SB 11.3.21). If you are actually inquisitive to understand the highest truth, then you must surrender yourself to the guru. That is the (indistinct). Not that by experience I go on, go on, go on, being baffled here, there, here, there, then automatically... No. You may not come even to the right path by such experience.
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa says that "You give up everything, just surrender unto Me," but because you are living entity, you can reject this proposal or accept this proposal. Not that blindly you have to surrender to Kṛṣṇa. No. That is not possible. The proposal is there, but it is up to you to surrender or not to surrender. Otherwise why Kṛṣṇa says that "You do it." If it is automatically, then there was no need of Kṛṣṇa's saying, "Do it." It would have come automatically to the surrendering point. Not like that. They are mistaken in that. The living entity has got the right to accept or reject. So if he takes, he makes his progress, accepting the right path, then he comes to the goal. But if he rejects, he'll not reach the goal (?). That depends on him.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1973 Conversations and Morning Walks
Guest (3): All Caitanya's, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura's, all these things, very nicely memorized. So I'm very glad, really. At least, he's on the right path.
Prabhupāda: Everyone can be on the right path provided rightly trained. Everyone has got the right of coming to the right path.
Guest (1): I see there are a lot of young children in the āśrama. Do you run sort of a school for them all?
Guest (1): You have your own school. Somebody teaches them.
Prabhupāda: Hm. They're just starting. Not yet started. But they're taking care.
Guest (1): How many children are here?
Prabhupāda: You can lie down. He's feeling sleepy. Give him some pad, and sleep there. There is pad. Go and sleep here. Let him sleep there.
Prabhupāda: Pañcavān.(?) This is the position. So at the present moment, to reform that, you cannot take them to the original position. It is not possible, it is Kali-yuga. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ (SB 1.1.10). They are very slow, they don't accept the right path... Just like God is here, Kṛṣṇa, kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28). But they're creating their own God. Even big, big leaders they are saying, "Eh, Kṛṣṇa, why Kṛṣṇa should be accepted?" Even big, big leaders, they do not believe that Kṛṣṇa was there on this planet, there was Kurukṣetra battle. You know better than me.
Prabhupāda: Smith Stanstreet, an English company. They gave me an agency. So some of my enemy... He was my, he was my employer, but he gave information that I am also manufacturing now, drug and chemical works. So they informed them that "He's pushing his own goods, not your goods." They... He wanted that agency. Yes. In this way, because as soon as you come in the... Even in the spiritual field, my godbrothers are envious. You see? So as soon as you become successful, there will be many enemies. That is natural. That is the sign of success. In your business, if there are many enemies, competitor, that means you are successful. So anyway, Kṛṣṇa has brought me to the right path. So I may not fall down. That's all.
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Therefore it will take time. Just like a man searching after the right path but he does not care to ask anybody, he is loitering in the forest.
Prof. Hopkins: You... I'm sure you're familiar with his essays on the Gītā.
Prof. Hopkins: Which I think are generally quite good, his essays on the Gītā themselves. Are there places there that you would strongly disagree with in his, what he says?
Prabhupāda: No, we disagree with the whole system because he is trying to understand the Absolute Truth by his own effort. That is not possible.
Prof. Olivier: And especially the young people, they are therefore living in a complete vacuum. For various reasons they do not want to accept...and I come back to the word religion again because this is what they have about, or see around them. They cannot identify themselves with the Christian religion. They cannot identify themselves with the Islamic religion. They are largely ignorant.
Prabhupāda: So they should be shown the right path.
Prof. Olivier: They should be.
Prabhupāda: This is the right path, original, authentic.
Prof. Olivier: There were not very many great scholars in South Africa amongst our Indian community, you know. They came out by and large as workers on the sugar plantations. A few were Christian missionaries, a few were jewelers and tailors and so on. And then for the last hundred years they were occupied in resisting...
Prabhupāda: Political struggle.
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. That will be rectified. Kṣipraṁ bhavati dharmātmā. Huh? What is that? Kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati (BG 9.31). Api cet sudurācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk (BG 9.30). When one has come to the fire, some way or other, he'll be warm, gradually. That is the.... He has come to the right path. (break) ...kāmād bhayāt, krodhāt. Either.... Anyone who comes to Kṛṣṇa.... Just like gopīs, they were captivated. They were village girls. They did not know what is God, what is Brahman, nothing. But they were captivated: "Kṛṣṇa is very beautiful boy." That's all. Even they forgot their own husbands. (break) ...or other, we have to develop our intense love of Kṛṣṇa. Then life is perfect. (break) (in car) One who is accepting this body as self, sa eva go-kharaḥ (SB 10.84.13).
Prabhupāda: Yes. We are coming from Detroit? There are so many factories for four-wheel vehicles, and there is no factory to educate man to the right path. Perhaps... This is our little attempt, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, how to educate to the right path. We are not getting any help, either from the authority... In our own way, as far as possible, we are doing. When people will be educated they will be able to understand who is guru, who is not guru. We can say, but who is going to accept? We say always that they are all rascals, but who will accept our statement? And the state, (if) there had been a department to see what is the qualification of guru, then immediately they would have taken steps. Just like in Kṛṣṇa's time one man falsely presented himself as God. Immediately his head was cut off. Pauṇḍraka. So the state must be very strong to punish the miscreant. But there is no such state.
1977 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Pandemonium, yes. This has to be reformed. You cannot avoid these four classes working under the superior instruction of brahminical culture. Then everything... This life successful, next life is back to home, back to Godhead. That is civilization, no speculation. The formula is already there. Bhagavad-gītā is the guidance, as it is. "Be happy here, and next life hope. Why you are disappointed? Take this way and be happy." This is our movement. We are not going to exploit anyone. We are giving the right path: "Be happy in this life and next life also." This is our mission. Para upakāra. They are blindly following some ways of life. Blind men, certainly, without guidance, we are falling down in the ditch. Once this human life is misused, he falls down in the ditch.
1947 to 1965 Correspondence
The mother nature or, the material energy of Godhead is, as she should naturally be, the most faithful mistress of Godhead. She does not tolerate the exploitative motive of the asura children of Her and for this he has to assume the role of Daiva Maya and takes at once Her grim trident and inflicts the weapon in the very heart of the asura although the latter is her own son. The asura is thus subjected to three-fold miseries and this is done according to the plan of Godhead. The mother nature, therefore chastises her disobedient sons in order to bring them to the right path of fulfilling the plan of Godhead. This process of chastisement is necessary for the benefit of both the asuras and the gods alike. Such process re-establishes the plan of Godhead. The asuras however when turned to act according to the plan of Godhead, at once become a God.
Please accept my blessings. Thank you very much for your letter postdated Jan 25, 1968, and I thank you very much for your proposal to come here and see me. I shall be so glad to see you and Danny personally as soon as possible. I requested you take charge of the Santa Fe Center because you were doing the job very nicely, and I still hope that your presence there will solve all the problems recently created. Mistakes there may be in our life, but if we stick to Krsna Consciousness, Krsna will surely put us on the right path. Your husband Sriman Subala das is living with me very peacefully, and he is carving Radha and Krsna, from hard wood. So this life of material existence is just like hard wood and if we can carve Krsna out of it, that is the success of our life.
Please accept my blessings. I beg to thank you very much for your letter dated October 21, 1969 and have noted the contents. It is very good news that Visnu Arati is advancing nicely in Krishna Consciousness and I know that you and your husband will always do your best to bring her up on the right path of Krishna Consciousness. To raise one soul to Krishna Consciousness is counted by Krishna as a very great service, so you do this duty carefully and Krishna will surely bestow His blessings upon you. I am also glad to learn that you are developing more and more a taste for thinking of Lord Krishna and His devotees. Such thinking is required, and you will see that as you think in this way, your taste for relishing the nectar of such meditation will increase more and more.
As usual, always be very careful that the regulative principles are being followed by yourself and others very strictly. If you keep to the standard in that way and make a nice Temple for serving the Lord that will be the right path for going home, back to Godhead.
Regarding "Devi Chandan", we have no use for it. It has got no place in our Vaisnava worship. So far the demigods are concerned, we Vaisnavas have nothing against them, so they may be offered all respects as part and parcel servitors of the Supreme Lord Krsna. The foolish persons may worship the Demigods as Supreme, but we see only that they are agents of the Lord and as such we may offer them our humble respects.
Bruce has not yet taken his initiation. He wants to remain with us independently. I have no objection for such conclusion but unless he is properly initiated, he cannot help you either in the kitchen or with Deity worship, but he can help you in translating and other activities. Our whole process in on the basis of surrender. I think he is lacking in that spirit. So I have given my permission for him to return to Japan. Try to train him to the right path.
So far as recruiting men is concerned, we have to create men. Preaching means to recruite more and more men. This process is called gosthananda which means pleasure by seeing increase of followers. So far I know, not a single Japanese has been initiated. What is the cause of it?
I am especially pleased that your Gurukula project is going forward nicely. I consider that this is one of our most important projects, because people in general are only suffering due to poor fund of knowledge. So if we have facility to give them the right knowledge of how to make an end to suffering condition of life, then we shall be performing the highest type of welfare work. So you can try on this point to convince rich businessmen, educators, politicians, etc. to help us push forward this gurukula system for guiding their young children on the right path to becoming sober, upright citizens. You can inform them that if they give me proper facilities that I can save all the young people of your country from the worst danger.
But as soon as there is clear sunlight or moonlight, all these insignificant glowing and croaking disappear. So our movement is Krishna. The Krishna Consciousness Movement is nondifferent from Krishna. If we therefore present the Krishna Consciousness in right earnestness, then certainly all these insignificant glowworms and frogs will have no more importance. Please therefore take it very seriously and do it on the right path which is not very difficult, then certainly we will come out victorious all over the world. I have read all the newspaper cuttings and handbills very attentively, and I very much appreciate the counter presented by us against the vilificaion by the enemies. Sriman Subala das's reply in the paper with reference to the context of sastra are excellently gorgeous.
You should understand that Krishna Consciousness is a purificatory process. One may not be purified immediately, but since he is on the right path for purification, one should not criticize him for some faults that he may still have. Just because some body has made some mistakes does that mean that you should give up your whole career in Krishna Consciousness? What will that accomplish? Simply more rebirth and death. The fact that you have left our movement just on account of some minor disagreements shows that you are not actually serious about going back to home, back to Godhead. I suggest that you become serious about spiritual life and try to overlook the minor offenses of others. You should keep yourself in the association of devotees, chant at least 16 rounds, read my books and follow all of the rules and regulations very strictly.