Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
1997 Badger, California (Part 4)
[This is this final part of that valuable antique lecture from Shrila Narayana Maharaja's initial world touring:]
Try to advance. Don’t waste your time criticizing or trying to control everything around you. Gurudeva can control. He is a controller. Shri Krishna, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and Shri Nityananda Prabhu are controllers. It is best to think in this way: “I am not the controller. Rather, I should be controlled by Them. I should try to control myself.”
This is the way to develop our Krishna consciousness. We must protect ourselves from committing offenses to others while chanting, remembering, and engaging in devotional service. Otherwise, those offences will spoil everything. All of our endeavors will be wasted and go into the garbage can.
If you see that a person is wretched, then don’t associate with him. Offer danòavat-pranama from a distance, meaning, don’t think about him at all. Otherwise, you can say, "Oh, my dandavat-pranamas. Now I should go.” But do not criticize. Guru can criticize and chastise, but we are not masters to chastise.
Be very humble and hanker for bhakti so that your hearts will melt. Try to serve Vaisnavas and guru. if you are performing abundant service to gurudeva but at the same time chastise Vaisnavas instead of honoring them, gurudeva will not accept your service.
Vaisnava service is also guru-puja. If a Guru says, "Do not serve any Vaisnavas. Only serve me. Give all your money to me, not to any other Vaisnava", he is not a Guru. A bona fide Guru does notspeak like this. He is broad-minded. He honors even an ant, thinking that Krishna is everywhere.
Don’t spend time thinking, “Shrila Prabhupada’s vyasasana is made only of cloth, and there are no jewels. I should fix it.” Everything is correct externally; just correct your mind. The external situation is sufficient. You only need more love and affection.
Please don’t be disturbed by my strong words. I don’t want to create any problem or give you any trouble. You are free to accept or disregard what I am saying. You can accept more, or less. I have a shop here. You can come and take the goods in my shop, or you can leave without them. If you think my goods are all right, you may take them; if not, then don’t take them.
The Vaisnava and the Prostitute
Badger, California: 1996 or 1997
Once, two Vaisnavas went to live in a town. One of them took up residence under a banyan tree, and it so happened that not far away from that banyan tree a prostitute lived on the second storey of a very beautiful building. The other Vaisnava resided in a temple in the middle of that town.
The Vaisnava who was living near the prostitute had one mood in his heart, while the mood of the Vaisnava in the temple was different. The Vaisnava in the temple saw that so many people were coming to visit the prostitute and then leaving again, and he imagined, "Oh! That Vaisnava is there with a prostitute!"
Regarding, the mood of the Vaisnava who lived near the prostitute, he considered, "Oh, I am so unfortunate that I cannot live in the temple. That other Vaisnava is so fortunate – he is always performing kirtana, always chanting, and always remembering Krishna." The first Vaisnava was always thinking of the fortune of the Vaisnava living in the temple, whereas the second Vaisnava was always criticizing: "I am so lucky that i am in the temple, while that wretched person is there with that prostitute."
In due course of time, death came to the Vaisnava in the temple. He saw three very frightful figures approaching him, and he asked them "Who are you?" "We are Yamadutas, the messengers of Death, and we have come to take you with us," they replied. The Vaisnava protested, "Oh, no! I am not the man you are looking for. He is over there! He is always with that prostitute, but I am a holy person, living in a temple!"
"No, no." the Yamadutas replied. "We know everything. We have come especially for you." "Where will you take me? To Svargaloka?" "No, we will take you to the most wretched of places and punish you, for you are always criticizing. That other Vaisnava is a real sadhu. He is always thinking favorably of you. He is always chanting the holy name and engaging in other devotional practices."
My instruction is the instruction of Shrila Rupa Gosvami in Shri Upadesamrta: never criticize anyone. if someone is doing bad things, he only causes harm for himself. if you criticize someone, thinking, "This is wrong," or "This fellow is very bad," then all the bad qualities that you are thinking about will enter your heart and the Yamadutas will come to punish you first. Always try to remember the good qualities of real Vaisnavas and Krishna; hearing, chanting, and remembering harikaöha.
I have heard that some of my disciples criticize ISKCON leaders and others. Please avoid this; it is not what I want. No matter whether persons belong to ISKCON or any other institution, no matter what is their caste or creed, do not criticize them. Even if such persons are actually bad, still, do not criticize them. Always remember true devotees and glorify them. This is a good process. This is the instruction of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, and also of parama-pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. Please be careful about this.