Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj
July 12, 2007
Devotee: Shrila Gurudeva, I have been smoking marijuana.
Shripad Padmanabha Maharaj: He wants to ask for forgiveness.
Shrila Gurudeva: Always remember that intoxicants cannot give you happiness. Death is coming very soon; you don't know exactly when it will come. If you neglect the rules and regulations, you will have to go to hell. You cannot imagine what hell is like.
Devotee: Attachment to this world is very bad for those who want to practice sadhana-bhakti. I am so attached to my family. What are the consequences?
Shrila Gurudeva: Try to give your attachment to Krishna, and in that way you will become happy forever. Other attachments will lead you to hell.
Shripad Madhava Maharaj: His family members are also devotees.
Shrila Gurudeva: That is okay, but don't be attached. See only that they are children of Krishna. You have been given the duty as a family member only to see that your family becomes devotees.
Vrindavana dasa (from Denmark): Shrila Gurudeva, the other day you asked me for my pranami. You explained that pranama (offering of obeisances) does not mean only to offer folded palms and sastang-dandavat (bowing down on the ground with all eight bodily joints), but to offer one's heart and soul to Gurudeva. In that context, what exactly does pranami mean?
Brajanatha dasa: The day before yesterday he gave you pranami (a donation) from someone else, and then you asked him, "Where is your pranami?"
Shrila Gurudeva: You have become a vantasi. Do you know the meaning of vantasi? It means that you again eat what you have already vomited. This is very bad. You left your wife and took saffron cloth (representing the life of brahmacarya), and then you rejected your saffron cloth and returned to her. Don't change like this.
Vrindavana dasa: But you said to me...
Shrila Gurudeva: I never told you to take saffron cloth, and never told you to give it up. Try to be strong.
Vrindavana dasa: I had never asked your permission to renounce and take saffron. Therefore I did not feel blessed. So, without feeling blessed...
Shrila Gurudeva: I do not want to hear any arguments. Be strong.
Vrindavana dasa: By your mercy Gurudeva.
Paramananda dasa (from Ireland): Shrila Gurudeva, when we are selling books, we sometimes meet people from the Muslim faith. When we tell them that our namacarya Shrila Haridasa Thakura was born in a Mohammadan family, they sometimes ask if in his childhood he ate meat.
Shrila Gurudeva: He never took meat in his entire life – since birth.
Shripad Madhava Maharaj: Although he was born in a Muslim family, his family members were like Hindus. He was brought up like a Hindu.
Shrila Gurudeva: He was an incarnation of the combination of Brahma and Prahlada. You should know that he would never take meat.
Paramananda dasa: And the Chand Kazi?
Shrila Gurudeva: At first he was eating meat. Then, by the association of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he gave up all his sinful activities.
Shripad Bhaktivedanta Vaisnava Maharaj is preaching everywhere in China in his sannyasa dress?
Shripada Madhava Maharaj: Not when he crosses the border.
Shripad Padmanabha Maharaj: It is not possible at that time.
Shrila Gurudeva: Only at the border?
Shripad Nemi Maharaj: Not only the border. The Buddhist religion is accepted by the government because it is China's official religion. But other religions are illegal; completely illegal.
Shrila Gurudeva: But the government says that it is all right for an Indian to wear saffron cloth in China.
Shripad Madhava Maharaj: The Svami Narayana groups went there. The government allowed Indians to attend their function because it is their own religion, but Westerners were not allowed.
Shripad Padmanabha Maharaj: If they see Indians wearing this dress, they don't have any suspicions; but if they see Westerners wearing this dress, they become very suspicious. They watch, and expel them from the country.
Shrila Gurudeva: Vaisnava Maharaj changes his cloth?
Shripad Padmanabha Maharaj: Yes, he must change his cloth when in public, but for preaching in a house he always wears his sannyasa dress.
Shrila Gurudeva: The devotees in China are preaching very well. Hundreds of devotees have been initiated there.
Devotee: In Hong Kong there is no problem to wear saffron cloth.
Shripad Padmanabha Maharaj: Previously, during the communist time in Russia, our Guru Maharaj, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada, gave sanction for the devotees to wear ordinary clothing for preaching. He was very pleased by this.
Gurudeva, which chapters will you speak about tonight?
Shrila Gurudeva: We will come to Krishna's pastimes with Kaliya, and then with Aristasura, and perhaps Pralambasura.
Shripad Padmanabha Maharaj: Govardhana?
Shrila Gurudeva: Govardhana.
Shripad Padmanabha Maharaj: Rasananda prabhu (now Shripad Shridhara Maharaj) told me yesterday that he wants to try to speak about Govardhana. He has a very good katha for Govardhana.
Shrila Gurudeva: All right. The pastimes of Govardhana include Krishna's punishing the demigod Indra and holding up Govardhana on His finger.
I want to finish those subjects very quickly, so that I can come to Venu-gita, Rasa-lila, and then Gopi-gita. I also want to speak something about Bhramara-gita.
Yasasvini dasi: If someone performs Nirjala Ekadasi but takes your personal prasada remnants, does that break the Ekadasi?
Shrila Gurudeva: Yes.
Yasasvini dasi: So which is better – to do Nirjala and take Gurudeva's remnants, or do Nirjala and not take it?
Shripad Madhava Maharaj: You can keep Gurudeva's remnants for honoring on the day after Nirjala. [In that way Nirjala is protected and the devotee is also honoring Gurudeva's prasad.]
Devotee: I have committed some offenses.
Shrila Gurudeva: Don't commit offenses. If you increase your chanting, offenses will disappear.