Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
July 12, 1996
[The following transcription is a translation of Srila Gurudeva’s hari-katha in Hindi]
Gurudeva ausomeThere is no one more exalted than the gopis because Krsna places His head at their lotus feet. Without their mercy, will anything happen? Krsna had some unfulfilled desires. He had to ask for something from Radhaji. What was it?
Devotee: Svarupa and mood.
Srila Gurudeva: Without Srimati Radhika, Krsna cannot do anything. He has to bow down to Her lotus feet. Therefore, who is our aradhya, our worshipable deity? Srimati Radhika is our aradhya. How is Krsna related to you?
You should say, “He is the Prananatha of our Srimati Radhika and nothing else. I don’t have a direct relationship with Him.”
Our relationship is only with Radhaji. She is our Pranesvari, Aradhya Devi, and Sarvasya. Why? Krsna Himself bows down and takes shelter of Her lotus feet. He does austerities on the banks of Radha Kunda to please Srimati Radhika. Chanting Her names, He says, “Om Radhaya namah. Om Radhaya namah. Om Radhaya namah.” What would Krsna do when He would see the gopis coming to the banks of a pond? He would bring all the cows there. Therefore, you should not consider women to be inferior. If there is no Sakti (potency), then what can Saktiman (the possessor of potency) do? Can He do anything? If you don’t have the power to see, talk, or move; then what will you do? Only the potency can do everything? Without potency, the possessor of the potency is like a wilted tree. Because of His Sakti, Krsna is Rasika Sekhara. Without Sakti, what can He do? Then He becomes nirvisesa-brahma.
Hence, what do Sankaracarya and his followers say? They say, “Our Brahma is formless; Brahma doesn’t have qualities or specialties. Our Brahma doesn’t have any mercy or rasa.” They compare their conception of Brahma to the sky. What type of a guru is needed? The various gradations of gurus were told. Today, I will speak something on this. If anyone does not understand what I am saying, then please say so. I am not giving a class like an acarya, this is an ista-gosti. I have not come in the form of an acarya. This is an ista-gosti for you all. You can think of me as your father, son, or friend. So, there should be no reservations when friends ask another friend.
When Mahaprabhu and Raya Ramananda Prabhu met in the evening, Mahaprabhu tried hiding His identity. But, Raya Ramananda Prabhu is a topmost devotee; Mahaprabhu could not hide Himself from Him. Mahaprabhu said, “Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya sent Me here. He told me that you were a topmost rasik and scholarly devotee. Therefore, I have come to meet you.”
Raya Ramananda Prabhu replied, “Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya is greatly merciful to me. Therefore, he has sent You here to make my life successful.”
Both of them very humble; this is Vaisnavata. The more humble one is, then the more devotion he has. One cannot be a devotee if he is not humble. Rain showers forth on the peaks of a mountain, but the water doesn’t get stocked there. The water collects at the foot of the mountains. Similary, bhakti is there where there is humility or else not.
Mahaprabhu asked, “I want to ask you something.”
If a disciple goes near a guru, then he should humbly ask. Then the guru will understand what the disciple wants. Or else the guru will not answer the disciple’s questions.
tad viddhi pranipatena
upadeksyanti te jnanam
—Bhagavad Gita 4.34
[Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.]
Firstly, you should do service. Offer your dandavat pranamas and then do service. Then, you can faithfully ask to know the answers to your questions. You should not question to examine or defeat the guru. You should ask like how Arjuna questioned Krsna; he was so humble.
prabhu kahe,—“pada sloka sadhyera nirnaya”
—Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya 8.57
[sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu ordered Ramananda Raya, “Recite a verse from the revealed scriptures concerning the ultimate goal of life.”]
The disciple doesn’t know anything. But all of you have been practicing devotion for ten or twenty years, so you can understand something. But still, you don’t understand. You don’t understand what should be understood. What are we in need of? You should ascertain the goal first. You should know what the goal is? What is the goal? What do we want? This is called sadhya. The process you follow to attain your sadhya or goal is called sadhana. Therefore, you should firstly decide that “What do I want? What is the sadhya?” The goal for all the souls is being asked for. There are souls encaged in various types of bodies; the goal for all these souls is being determined here. You should listen to what I have to say, then you will realize that my instructions are very useful in your lives. My dear daughter, you should not go anywhere. All of you should come close and listen carefully for I don’t know if you will have the chance to listen again.
The first question that Mahaprabhu asked was, “What is the goal for all the souls?”
He did not ask for Himself; He asked for the benefit of all the souls. He wanted to have the goal for all the souls determined. All of us want happiness. We are always looking for ways to find happiness. We desire happiness that doesn’t have a shadow of misery. We desire this type of happiness. But, no matter how much we strive for happiness in this world, we always see that only misery comes uninvited. Old age and disease comes. Life then becomes a great struggle. If a husband leaves his wife, or if a wife leaves her husband, or if someone steals everything you have earned; then you face various types of problems. Therefore, people are trying in many ways to become happy in this world. Today, technology has advanced so much. So many advancements have been made, which extend from the kitchen to the various means of communication. Although people are in different countries or continents; but yet, they can speak to each other in a matter of moments. I am speaking here, but it is possible that what I am speaking here is also being heard in another place. Besides, many ISKCON devotees are always following me. They go anywhere I go.
They think, “What is happening here? Is Maharaja speaking against us? What is he doing? Is he making others against us?”
They are always thinking about me. We are sitting here, but news about me is reaching in Delhi, Mayapura, and in various places of America in a matter of moments.
So, we always strive for happiness. Science has advanced so much; massive advancement has been made in transportation, communication, and medical science. Bodily limbs or organs can be replaced now. A man’s brain can be replaced by a monkey’s brain.
So much advancement has been made. By the push of a button, the dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and all other rooms appear. All facilities have been made. If you are in need of anything, then by using the computer, anything you want will come. By using these instruments, you will even remember things that you have long forgotten. Much advancement has been made. But, this has also created a very serious problem. The qualities of the soul have died and much emphasis is placed on the body. The qualities of the heart are love, humility, and politeness. A person no longer thinks about his soul, the Supersoul, and the loving relationship between the soul and the Supersoul. And what has increased? The mood of “Eat, drink, and make merry,” has increased. Why have you left India? You were in India before.
In India, there is Vrndavana, Navadvipa Dhama, Puri, and other holy places. You think about these places in your homes. Then why did you leave India? There was no shortage of food, water, or clothing. But there was shortage of one thing.
You thought, “O brother, I desire the worldly happiness that the Westerners have. We will go to Canada and earn money. We will stay in a good house and make our children well educated. The comforts obtained here cannot be found in India. If I am in India, then I cannot marry a beautiful lady unless I don’t have money. Only if I have wealth can I marry a beautiful lady of high lineage. Hence, I have to study so much. I have to earn degrees like an M.A., Ph.D., or a D.Lit. I have to become an engineer or a doctor. Then, I can earn money in the Western countries with both my hands. Then, I can permanently reside here.”
Why do you think as such? You do so to obtain happiness. You left your parents and relatives for this and have come to this country to get happiness. But did you get happiness or not? This is to be considered later. But whatever you have done so far is to gain happiness. Putting our lives at stake, we do everything to get happiness. There are some wealthy families in India, but they are also stealing. They are even put in jail when they are caught. They steal to acquire more money; their stomachs are not full yet. Up until this day, no one’s stomach has ever become full by worldly happiness. And it will never be so. In reality what you think of happiness is not really happiness; it is anguish. People fight with each other for wine, women, and wealth. They even kill each other for this. But these W’s cannot give a person any happiness. If happiness is to be found with one’s spouse then a person can have many spouses. But will happiness be had by this? Or will a person die?
A person thinks, “I will marry a thousand women at the same time.”
Will his problems increase? What will happen? A person cannot satisfy even one woman. If he marries two women, then his wives will constantly fight between themselves. If ghee is the best, then drink a liter of ghee. What will happen? By drinking a liter of ghee will a person not die? Even the doctor will not be able to save him. Therefore, the things of this world will not give you any happiness. Happiness is something else. You may earn ten million dollars; yet, you will only deposit the money in the bank. What will you eat? You will only eat rotis and wear the same clothes. What else will you do?
But a person proudly thinks, “I have so much money in the bank.”
When he dies, the money will remain in the bank or his sons will inherit his wealth. Hence, the happiness you are chasing after is not really happiness. You should understand what happiness is really is. People here feel that happiness lies in drinking wine. But this is ignorance. A drunken man lies in the drain and has his mouth cleaned by a urinating dog. In this condition, a man is like a stone. This is not happiness. Therefore, it is said that one should have a goal established in his life.
But people say, “We are not qualified.”
“Then are you ready to be in this same stage of devotion for a million lives?”
By listening, one will gradually become qualified. The Gurudeva of the devotees who claim to be unqualified has written purports to the Caitanya Caritamrita. So, shouldn’t they read these books while they are distributing them? But they only distribute books and collect donations. Shouldn’t they open and read the books as well? Will bhakti be obtained by only distributing books? Sukriti will be had; this is true. But the books should be read as well. Svamiji has never said that “You should only distribute books and you should not read them.” Has he written anywhere like this? Never. The devotees should enter deep into these books. They should ask the Vaisnavas about what is written in the books. Everyone wants happiness. But what happiness really is should properly be decided upon. Therefore, sadhana is not ascertained first:
pada sloka sadhyera nirnaya
We should first decide what we want in our lives. We want happiness, this is all right. But, what is happiness? Hence, Raya Ramananda Prabhu said:
raya kahe,—“sva-dharmacarane visnu-bhakti haya”
—Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya 8.57
[Ramananda replied, “If one executes the prescribed duties of his social position, he awakens his original Krsna consciousness.]
We are working hard for happiness in this samsara, but happiness will not be had by this. How will happiness be had? By offering yourself at the lotus feet of the Lord and by engaging in bhakti, happiness will be had. Lord Krsna maintains the creation. We are born from Him. We are His part and parcel. Therefore, unless we don’t serve and engage in His bhakti by our body, mind, and words; then up until then, happiness can never be had. All of you know who Napoleon Bonaparte is. He wanted to conquer the world like Hitler. Ultimately he was wandering in the Alps and he was killed there. The British, Russian, and American armies caught him and drowned him alive in the ocean. Did he obtain any happiness? All of you know what happened to Hitler. What to speak of Ravana and others? They did everything to become happy, but everything they did only resulted in misery.
Therefore, Raya Ramananda Prabhu said, “Remaining in this world, follow your sva-dharma. By obtaining bhakti from your endeavors you will be happy in your life. This is our sadhya. We should do Visnu-bhakti.”
In India, regardless of whatever possessions they have, every householder surely has a salagrama-sila. It was like this before, but now everything is slowly disappearing. Even if a householder doesn’t have anything; nonetheless, he surely has a salagrama-sila, or a deity of Radha-Krsna, Laddu-Gopala, Sita-Rama, Sankaraji, or Ganesaji. The householders surely worship someone. Even if they do not do anything, they at least offer some water and flowers to Sankaraji. Some worship Sarasvati Devi while others worship someone else. But, they definitely worship someone. This has been said in the Gita also:
ye ‘py anya-devata-bhakta
te ‘pi mam eva kaunteya
—Bhagavad Gita 9.23
[Those who are devotees of other gods and who worship them with faith actually worship only Me, O son of Kunti, but they do so in a wrong way.]
All the demigods are not separate from Krsna. They are the opulence of Krsna. They carry out all their duties because of being empowered by Krsna. So, if we respect them, then we are respecting Krsna also. But it is not direct. By worshiping the demigods, we may or may not obtain Krsna. If we obtain sadhu-sanga, then we will gradually leave their worship, and we will repose all our love in Krsna. Or else everything will be spoiled. Therefore, it is said, “Sva-dharma acaran.”
Always speak the truth; don’t speak lies. If any guest comes to your house, then respect the guest.
“Pitri-deva-bhavo,” serve your father. “Matri-deva-bhavo,” serve your mother. These instructions should be taught. If someone says, “Don’t follow your mother and father,” then these words should never be considered.
Some say, “We were born because our parents were enjoying each other. So why do we need them?”
Don’t ever say like this. You should consider your parents to be a manifestation of Bhagavan. If one cannot learn to be devoted to his parents in his house, then he can never learn to be devoted to Bhagavan in any of his lives. We should respect our parents. They have given us a body. Day and night, they work so hard for us. And if we don’t respect them, then how will we ever respect Bhagavan? Only if there is some bhakti, then can it be offered to Bhagavan. You should understand this. So, you should respect your parents. You should respect your Guru-varga. Then, we can transfer that love to Krsna.
visaye je priti ebe achaye amara
sei mata priti hauka carane tomara
—Prabhu tava pada-yuge by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
[Whatever attraction I now have for worldly pleasures, may I develop such attraction for Your feet.]
What is bhakti? It is to transfer the love you have for your parents, brothers, sisters, wife, and children towards Krsna. This is bhakti. You can do everything while still remaining in your homes. You should carry out the duties you have towards your wife, parents, and society. You should speak the truth and never speak lies. Thus, you should worship Visnu. This is all right. But Mahaprabhu said:
prabhu kahe,—“eho bahya, age kaha ara”
—Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya 8.59
[The Lord replied, “This is external. You had better tell Me of some other means.”]
Mahaprabhu said, “This is not the sadhya.”
Then for whom is this sadhya intended for? It is for those who are entangled in samsara. Therefore, Mahaprabhu told Raya Ramananda, “Proceed further.”
Thus, Mahaprabhu and Raya Ramananda Prabhu are discussing sadhya and sadhana.
Devotee: They are discussing what the goal of bhakti is?
Srila Gurudeva: They are not discussing the goal of bhakti. They are discussing how we can achieve happiness and what we really want. So, it depends on what we really want. It depends on the mood or on the goal of life. Then the goal and the process to achieve it will be settled upon. We cannot have a rasagulla (an Indian sweet) if we go to a cloth or a paper shop. It is useless to go there. Firstly, what we want should be decided. And then, the process to attain what we want will be decided. So, Raya Ramananda Prabhu begins from the beginning i.e. from worldly things. Visnu-bhakti may give happiness. Whatever we do, we do with the intention of achieving happiness. If we desire happiness, then it will not be had by our own efforts. Happiness will only come by engaging in Bhagavan’s bhakti. Remaining in samsara you can do everything. But what will be prominent? By engaging in Visnu-bhakti, our karma will be rectified and we will achieve happiness. Or else, one will have the same fate as Ravana. Although he did everything, he became anguished and he died. Therefore, if you want happiness, then do Bhagavan Visnu’s bhakti while remaining in Varnasrama-dharma. The root objective of Varnasrama-dharma is Visnu’s bhakti. The name of anyone is not mentioned here. The personality who creates, maintains, and in whom the entire creation enters into at the time of universal devastation, is Visnu. You should serve Visnu who is present in the form of a salagrama-sila. Although the salagrama-sila doesn’t have a name and you cannot see His legs or head; yet, He is Bhagavan. He has heads, hands, and legs in all four directions. He sees the entire creation and He maintains it as well. Yet, He doesn’t have a special name.
We are doing Visnu’s seva while remaining in Varnasrama-dharma because we wish that our children will be all right. We pray that they don’t become ill. We pray that we live long and that our business will prosper. We do Visnu’s seva for this. Hence, this is considered external. The worship of Visnu while remaining in Varnasrama-dharma is done with this aim.
One thinks, “My endeavors may fail if I act on my own. But, by engaging in Visnu-bhakti, I will be happy. My children will become qualified and my business will flourish. Thus, happiness will be had.”
Hence, people practice Visnu-bhakti. This form of devotion has no relation with the atma; it is related to the body. Therefore, Mahaprabhu spoke of it as external. When devotion is related to the atma, then the atma will be helped. And, the Visnu-bhakti that is practiced while remaining in Varnasrama-dharma is meant for the happiness of the body.
A person prays, “My son is dying. Make him well Prabhu. You should be merciful.”
Another person prays, “We are very poor. You should give us something Prabhu. Nothing will happen without Your desire.”
Therefore, worship of Visnu is done for the well-being of the body and mind; it is not intended for the soul. Thus, it is considered external because it has no relationship with the atma. By engaging in the worship of Visnu while remaining in Varnasrama-dharma, you will have the fruit of enjoying worldly or heavenly happiness. Or, a person may ultimately attain liberation. He will not go beyond this. It has no relation with the atma. Therefore, Mahaprabhu said, “Go further. This has no relation with the atma.”
Raya Ramananda Prabhu then said:
raya kahe, “krsne karmarpana—sarva-sadhya-sara”
—Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya 8.59
[Ramananda replied, “To offer the results of one’s activities to Krsna is the essence of all perfection.”]
You are not the master of all your actions. Therefore, you should do your karma like eating, cooking, looking after your children, and other actions. But whatever karma you do, you should offer them to Krsna.
You should offer your karma to Krsna or else the fruits of your actions will bind you to samsara.
yajnarthat karmano ‘nyatra
loko ‘yam karma-bandhanah
tad-artham karma kaunteya
—Bhagavad Gita 3.9
[Work done as a sacrifice for Visnu has to be performed; otherwise work causes bondage in this material world. Therefore, O son of Kunti, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain free from bondage.]
Tad-artham; tad means Visnu. This means you have to offer all your karma to Visnu.
yat karosi yad asnasi
yaj juhosi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kurusva mad-arpanam
—Bhagavad Gita 9.27
[Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform—do that, O son of Kunti, as an offering to Me.]
Offer your karma to Bhagavan, then you will not be bound. So, you should do karma-yoga.
Mahaprabhu replied, “This is all right. But, this is not related to the atma. It is external.”
Since when has the conditioned soul become the doer of his karma? Can the conditioned soul claim anything as its own? Whose body is this? Who has given intelligence? Krsna has given the body and intelligence. Whose home is this?
A conditioned soul says, “This home is mine.”
“Really? Has your father built this house? Who has made the mud? Who has made water? Who has made the cement? Who has made intelligence? You claim that you have made everything.”
Therefore, whatever you do should be offered to Visnu. You can eat prasada up to your neck and do harinama kirtana. Then it is all right. Or else offering your karma has no relation with the atma and you will never be happy in your life. You should realize that you are not the doer. If you could, then why don’t you make one more son? If a man’s hair has turned white and his teeth have fallen out and if he cannot procreate anymore, then why can’t he make five more sons? Why he can’t he do it? You cannot do anything on your own.
So, you should think, “I am doing everything by Prabhu’s mercy so I will offer everything to Him,” or else any work you do will entangle you. What is karma? You cannot understand everything in one day; you will understand gradually. Is karma any action we do? No.
“I am going,” where is the karma in this activity? “I,” refers to the subject and “going,” refers to the verb. But where is the object? “I am eating a mango.” You are eating the mango delightfully, so who tastes the mango? Whose stomach is being filled? The stomach of the person who is eating the mango is being filled. So, this is karma. Anything we do for ourselves or for our family is karma. But if you buy something in the market and offer it in the service of Krsna, then this is not karma. It is bhakti. The action is the same. A person buys something in the market and eats it; this is karma. But if someone else buys the same item from the market and offering to Krsna, he partakes of the prasadam; then this is parama-bhakti. The action is the same. This should be understood. And, if one buys something just for the sake of it, but yet, the action has no relation with the atma, then you should know that this is jnana. Mukti will be had by this jnana. The person will not be bound to any work he performs in samsara.
Mahaprabhu said, “Eho bahya. This is external. This has no relation with the atma. You should proceed further.”
Then Raya Ramananda Prabhu said:
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
—Bhagavad Gita 18.66
[“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.”]
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Srila Gurudeva: Bhakti has everything. There is no such knowledge that is not present in bhakti.
Mahaprabhu said, “This is also external. There is no relationship with the atma here. Therefore, you should speak further.”
Then Raya Ramananda Prabhu said, “Svadharma-tyaga.”
In Varnasrama-dharma the worship of Visnu and the service to one’s parents and Gurujana is stated. One is also taught to be honest. But everything should be renounced in two ways. You should serve your parents, but you should not be attached. You should serve your parents while thinking them to be Krsna’s servants. You should serve children also in this mood; no harm.
You should think, “All this wealth belongs to Krsna. I am just a watchman.”
You should understand this way. Another form of renunciation is embodied in Sukadeva Gosvami and Narada Gosvami. They renounced everything. Once a person comes to this stage i.e. he has attained the lotus feet of Krsna, then he will not have a sense of possessiveness or attachment towards anyone. He will think of the entire creation as Krsna’s. This stage is very high. Therefore, even if you are remaining in samsara, then you should be attached. Or else, if you leave everything then you will not be able to take even a single breath. You will die if you don’t do any karma. You must do something or the other. Where will you get a roti from? How will you breathe if you have left samsara? Hence, in the first stage whatever attachments you have towards your wife, children, siblings, and relatives, should be renounced.
You should only think, “They belong to Krsna. I am Krsna’s.”
manasa, deha, geha-yo kichu mora
arpilun tuya pade, nanda-kisora
—Saranagati, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
[“Mind, body, family, everything I own I offer at Your lotus feet, O Nanda-kisora!”]
Svamiji used to sing this kirtana.
manasa, deha, geha-yo kichu mora
arpilun tuya pade, nanda-kisora
“O Prabhu, I surrender whatever I have at Your lotus feet. Now, I will not claim anyone as my own. They are all Yours. They are Your servants. Even the dog is your servant from the spiritual point of view. So, the dog is also worshipable.”
The soul is also present in the pig. Is Krsna not present in the pig as well? He is definitely there. He is also there in a fly. So, a devotee sees his Lord in everyone and offers obeisance to everyone in his mind. Thus, varnasrama-dharma is told to be renounced because it is external. But if sva-dharma is told to be renounced, then even the body will be renounced. Then what will remain? Will you leave the body behind? No. You will not have the conception of being the body.
You will think, “Krsna has given me a body made of flesh, bones, and blood. I will remain in it for some days and do sadhana.” The relationship you have with your body will only comprise of this mood. You should only accept those things that you easily obtain. Why should you be anxious about food for the entire day and night? Therefore, Raya Ramananda Prabhu spoke like this. In the sastra it is said:
mam ekam saranam vraja
All dharmas are told to be renounced. Some of these dharmas are worship of the demigods and demigoddesses. This worship was recommended in varnasrama-dharma, but now it is told to be left behind. You should be one-pointed.
mam ekam saranam vraja
Krsna says, “All the demigods have come from Me. They are My vibhuti; My opulence. You should leave the worship of ghosts and trees as well. What should you do? You should surrender at My lotus feet. If you become surrendered, then I will dispell all your miseries and the reasons for them.”
You may have left your wife; what did Mahaprabhu do? Yesterday, I spoke on how Mahaprabhu chanted Krsna Krsna and left His wife. A wife renounces everything for her husband. She renounces her chastity as well. She offers all her limbs for his service. Leaving her parents, she is staying with her husband. But the husband desires to renounce her; what form of justice is this? Is this justice? Ramacandra left Sita to make a washer-man happy. What form of justice is this? And, no one in Ayodhya questioned His actions. Can you say what the fault of Mother Sita was? Did she do anything wrong? Sukadeva Gosvami left his parents as soon as he was born.
“I am Krsna’s servant. I am His part and parcel. I will not be happy until I meet Him.” This is our svarupa-dharma. If you realize this, then all your bodily dharmas will be renounced. If a person thinks that he will incur sin by these actions, then Krsna says, “I will free you of all sins. You should not be concerned.”
Therefore, Mahaprabhu showed this in His actions. If one gets prema like this at the lotus feet of Krsna, then he will also make others like his wife, brother, and relatives easily attain the lotus feet of Krsna as well. He will be merciful to everyone. Hence, we are instructed to leave all forms of dharma in varnasrama-dharma. For instance, Maharaja Hariscandra would always speak the truth. He would never speak lies. He married and had a son. His son’s name was Rohitasva and his wife’s name was Saibya. He used to live with his family in his kingdom.
One day, Visvamitra came. He was a pure devotee; he was a tattva-darsi as well. He was also a brahma-jnani like Vasista. Ramacandra used to consider him like His guru. He would serve his feet. Visvamita thought, “He is in the lineage of Ramacandra. Yet, he considers lies to be the truth. He cannot understand this. He considers himself to be greatly righteous and truthful.”
Visvamitra came in Hariscandra’s dream and asked for his entire kingdom. On the next day he asked the King, “Do you remember that I had asked for your entire kingdom?”
“Then why haven’t you given your kingdom yet? You are a liar yet you consider yourself to be truthful. Why don’t you give me your kingdom?”
“All right. I give my kingdom to you.”
Visvamitra asked, “Give me a donation of ten thousand gold coins.”
Hariscandra said, “O treasurer, give Visvamitra Rsi ten thousand gold coins from the treasury.”
Visvamitra said, “You are a liar! How can you call for the treasures when the entire kingdom is mine? How can any wealth belong to you? Didn’t you give your kingdom?”
“Then did you give me your kingdom without your treasury?”
“Then where is the money?”
Now, Visvamitra wanted to make Hariscandra understand that Rohitasva and Saibya were not really his son and wife. He wanted to make Hariscandra understand that he was not the King as he thought himself to be. He told him, “Sell yourself and bring the money. You don’t have anything except your body.”
“All right. I will sell my body,” replied Hariscandra.
Hariscandra went to the market to sell himself, but Visvamitra said, “The market is mine. You will not sell yourself anywhere in my kingdom or else the money you obtain will be my money.”
“Then where should I go? I have no place left to go.”
“Okay, I have a solution. Go to Sankara’s abode—Kasi. Kasi is not a place of this earth. It is not within my kingdom. You should go there.”
When Hariscandra went there, a cemetery guard gave him five thousand gold coins for his services. Now five thousand gold coins had to be collected. The guard bought Hariscandra. Hariscandra then thought on how he could sell his wife and son. A brahmin then bought his wife and son for five thousand gold coins. Now, Hariscandra himself became a guard of the cemetery. But he thought, “I was a King.”
Srila Gurudeva: I am going to state in a booklet comprising of fifteen pages that I have never criticized ISKCON. I have always helped ISKCON and I have never opposed ISKCON in any way. I have never made any disciples from ISKCON. Anything said contrarily is a lie.
Devotee: But you can give siksa to anyone.
Srila Gurudeva: Definitely. When any devotee desires siksa, then why will I refuse? If this devotee asks me any questions, will I not answer? A disciple is he who accepts siksa. A person doesn’t become a disciple by only accepting mantras.
These devotees stayed with Svamiji. Svamiji gave them harinama and everything. He told them, “Don’t go anywhere else. Do Krsna’s bhajan.” But why are these devotees going to the university? What more is there to be learned there? Do they have faith in Svamiji’s words? Do they have faith in harinama? Therefore, they go to learn from the atheists in the universities. Tamala Krsna, Hrdayananda, and others are going. Seeing the leaders go, hundreds of devotees are also following them.
Devotee: They don’t have faith.
Srila Gurudeva: They don’t have faith in harinama. They don’t have faith in Svamiji. They think of Svamiji’s teachings to be incomplete; this is an offense. After joining the Matha, we never went to any college.
Devotee 2: By going to the university, they can preach?
Srila Gurudeva: Then they can come to our college. Svamiji recommended his disciples to come to our college.
Devotee: Will ISKCON break up and again be made?
Srila Gurudeva: Let’s see what Krsna’s desire is. I desire that these devotees correct themselves and help advance ISKCON’s cause. 90% of the devotees have left; only the leaders are left now. When I was in Houston, I heard the people say, “What has happened to Tamala Krsna? Why is he going to university? He has bought a car spending so much money? We are not giving donations for this. What is he doing?”
I only desire that they change their old ways and that they should learn to respect the Vaisnavas. I want them to run Svamiji’s mission properly. I am ready to help them in all ways. I didn’t want to come to the West, but Svamiji told me, “You must go. I will arrange everything for you.” Svamiji dragged me here.
Svamiji told me, “Let’s go. See the places I have preached in.”
Devotee: How has your experience been Maharaja?
Srila Gurudeva: I feel very good to have been in these places. I have seen many places where Svamiji did magic. He changed everyone and made them into devotees. Now it is the duty of his disciples to continue his mission. But if they don’t follow their duty then this is not good. If a father does anything, then his son should follow in his footsteps. This is the son’s duty.