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  • Tests in Krishna consciousness

    Q: If you want to be with the devotees, but for the moment, the family duties do not allow you, what can be your hope, your aspiration?

    Q: There is a movie about Srila Prabhupada's story being released now. Can you share some of your favourite stories with Srila Prabhupada?

    Chiang Mai 2017 - Tests in Krishna consciousness

    Author: Bhakti Sudhir Goswami Cycle: Chiang Mai 2017 Uploaded by: Priyanana Created at: 14 September, 2017
    Date: 2017-09-13 Place: Gupta Govardhan Chiang Mai Downloaded: 2594 Played: 4250
    Transcribed by: Lila Priya Edited by: Enakshi Devi Dasi

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    Goswāmī Mahārāj:
    vande ’haṁ śrī-guroḥ śrī-yuta-pada-
    kamalaṁ śrī-gurūn vaiṣṇavāṁś ca
    śrī-rūpaṁ sāgrajātaṁ saha-gaṇa-
    raghunāthānvitaṁ taṁ sa-jīvam
    sādvaitaṁ sāvadhūtaṁ parijana-
    sahitaṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanya-devaṁ
    śrī-rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pādān saha-gaṇa-
    lalitā-śrī-viśākhānvitāṁś ca
    ( Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Antya-līlā 2.1)
    nāma-śreṣṭhaṁ manum api śacī-putram
    atra svarūpaṁ rūpaṁ tasyāgrajam
    uru-purīṁ māthurīṁ goṣṭhavāṭīm
    rādhā-kuṇḍaṁ giri-varam aho!
    rādhikā-mādhavāśāṁ prāpto yasya
    prathita-kṛpayā śrī guruṁ taṁ nato ’smi
    (Śrī Muktā-charitam: 2)
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Prabhu, is there some question?
    Devotee: Maharaj, there is one question from... online question, from Belarus (Bela-Russia; Belarus), asked by one of our devotees. She's saying Hare Kṛṣṇa, and... “Ideally, I want to be in a spiritual environment... (meaning sādhu-saṅga, probably)... but there's no opportunity for that because of some obligations I'm entangled with; like family obligations. What can I hope for in that situation?”
    And... just... that is her question; she would be thankful, if you just say something about that.
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Well, a philosophical question comes to mind. If Kṛṣṇa wants to reveal himself to someone, can anything obstruct that? If it's the will of Kṛṣṇa, can anything prevent that? So, there comes the question of faith. And guru-vaiṣṇava; sādhu-śāstra-guru and vaiṣṇava. The Absolute revealing Himself in relative circumstance. Is there some particular relative circumstance, where He cannot make Himself known?
    I'm speaking these things in a rhetorical way, with the understanding that in each case, the answer is, of course—not. So, that's the good news. If Kṛṣṇa, if it is His divine will to reveal Himself. For the Absolute to reveal Himself, make Himself known, there's no relative circumstance that can prevent that. That's good for us. What comes to mind is in Rūpa Goswāmī's śloka collection; śloka with regard to the Holly Name.
    ākṛṣṭiḥ kṛta-cetasāṁ su-manasām uccāṭanaṁ cāṁhasām
    ācaṇḍālam amūka-loka-sulabho vaśyaś ca mukti-śriyaḥ
    no dīkṣāṁ na ca sat-kriyāṁ na ca puraścaryāṁ manāg īkṣate
    mantro ’yaṁ rasanā-spṛg eva phalati śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmātmakaḥ
    ( Chaitanya-charitāmṛta, Madhya 15.110)
    Saying, Sri Kṛṣṇa Nam can spring out of the soil, regardless of its pH content. Whatever it is ... If it is the will of Kṛṣṇa; no dīkṣāṁ na ca sat- kriyāṁ...(Cc Madhya 15.110). There's no prerequisite for this, other than Kṛṣṇa's will. And beginning, middle and end, devotees are resigned to the will of Kṛṣṇa. But rather we should think that if someone, as expressed here, is sincere and fervent in their prayer, in a very difficult circumstance—what would be generally taken to be difficult, mundane circumstance, then Kṛṣṇa would be extra merciful to them. Because, in the midst of relative difficulty, they’re still, they're lamenting that circumstance.
    Lamentation has its value in Kṛṣṇa conception. Everything when connected to Kṛṣṇa, it has value. And sometimes very high value; and can yield the desired thing. So, the lamentation, the genuine lamentation of heart for the absence of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is Kṛṣṇa conscious; is a good thing. It reminds us, even in a very high sense of the last verse of the Śikṣāṣṭakam. And we should remember, the Śikṣāṣṭakam is expressed by Mahāprabhu, but He's mirroring the sentiments of the heart of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.
    This is where Śrīla Guru Mahārāj came with the 'Golden Volcano of Divine Lava' conception. To show at some... It's a very intense, ecstatic eruption of heart. Just as the volcanic eruption. The lava... It reach temperature and intensity, it can no longer be contain. And then there is this eruption; and then the lava comes streaming out. So, he is saying, “The heart under pressure; under the pressure of separation.” But the sentiment growing greater and greater; but separation pushing against that, squeezing the heart as wore... Then, this volcanic eruption of divine sentiment. So, there, and given in the Charitāmṛtam, because, we should note that this is in the conclusion of the Antya-lila, the Śikṣāṣṭakam; final verses of Śikṣāṣṭakam presented there;
    āśliṣya vā pāda-ratāṁ pinaṣṭu mām adarśanān
    marma-hatāṁ karotu vā yathā tathā vā vidadhātu
    lampaṭo mat-prāṇa-nāthas tu sa eva nāparaḥ
    ( Śrī Śikṣāṣṭakam: 8— Cc Antya 20.47)
    ...adarśanān marma-hatāṁ...(Śikṣāṣṭakam: 8 )This is very peculiar and... and poignant, and relevant. Even this is such a high expression, still it's all encompassing. So, there's some... something there, for the aspiring servitors section. That, what is being addressed, is how to continue faithful adherence in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, in the absence of Kṛṣṇa; adarśan. Not... apparently not seeing Kṛṣṇa; apparently, Kṛṣṇa's not appearing.
    Because, we could think that in the presence of Kṛṣṇa; enamored by the beauty, charm, sweetness of Kṛṣṇa, then everything will be alright. But in the absence of Kṛṣṇa, and that is relevant to our situation; from the higher devotees in the higher sense—separation. But it is the only realistic perspective, consideration, for those in our position. So, there's some hope in there. And it reveals that sort of faithful adherence that's necessary in Kṛṣṇa culture; that in the absence of Kṛṣṇa consciousness—to continue.
    This staff, Śrīla Guru Mahārāj, he once said. that, “If you think that you're Kṛṣṇa conscious to any degree...” He didn't say, “Oh, that's unhealthy or counter to devotional culture.” His words were blunt; he said, “If you think this way, you're finished!” [laughing]. An extreme position—”You're finished!” He didn't say, ”Well, you know, it's not the best...” No. He didn't say that; or, ”It won't be helpful to you.” No. He said, “You're finished!” [laughing] So, what is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness... That because if you think, that you're in possession of that thing— then it's something else. It cannot be Kṛṣṇa. That may be the expression of the highest devotees; that's another plane; madhu-sneha, ghrta-sneha (Ujjvala-Nilamani). That's another thing.
    But in this position, always one of aspiration. And that means: one is not— does not possess what they seek; adarśanam. In the midst of 'No-Kṛṣṇa'—the absence of Kṛṣṇa consciousness—if one can go on. And Guru Maharaj said that, “If you can candidly, honestly admit that after all you may've invested in Kṛṣṇa culture, that you have nothing; maybe you've gone minus; you've gone in an opposite direction.”
    But, he's saying: “I have no other shelter, I have no other interest; this is what I seek.” Guru Mahārāj said, “In the midst of that; that acknowledgement that you have achieved nothing, in fact you're going wrong... but you have no other shelter and nothing else is worth pursuing.” He said, “Then, you might just be a devotee.” [laughing] Even then he wasn't saying, “Then you're a devotee.” He said,
    “ No—you might, then you might be a devotee.” That you keep pursuing Kṛṣṇa in Kṛṣṇa culture; Kṛṣṇa consciousness, in the absence of the same. With no apparent Kṛṣṇa, no substantial achievement; that sort of tenacity is required. Like the Olympian athletes. They're training, they're giving everything; everything to achieve this goal. And we know, only one person can get the gold medal.
    Then they have gold, silver, bronze. But all these others, thousands of others put in the same time; the same training—maybe even more in some cases. They do not achieve the top most thing. And still if you're to enquire from them, “Wasn't that a waste of time?” They'll say, “Oh, no, no, no; it was worth every moment!” Because they consider that the pursuit is so noble, so high, so wonderful, that everything what was invested in that pursuit, that they wish they could've given more. It's not based merely, solely upon this ultimate achievement. That's the type of devotion or dedication is required.
    Śrīla Guru Mahārāj points out this sort of dedication we observe, as I told: in the olympian, in the businessman and the worker, in so many different ways. He said, “Should we think that in pursuit of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the amount of... the level of dedication, intensity, sacrifice, would be equal to that; less than that; greater than that? For the ultimate achievement, should it not be—not only equal to that—but greater than that level of self-sacrifice? And would seems, just from a analytical point of view, to be a proposition that is not commensurate; it's not properly balanced. On the one side is the finite—on the other side is the Infinite.
    So, the finite will sacrifice the whole of its 'finite-self 'and achieve the Infinite. That seems, from the purely analytical point of view, not fair. Why should the Infinite have to give the whole of the Infinite, even if a finite sacrifice. The whole finite is that infinitesimal compared to the Infinite. But we're told by Rūpa Goswāmī and all the great devotees, “Such is the power of devotion, which is synonymous with love and affection.” Is not that there's mundane love, and there's spiritual love. Love means spiritual love, actually. Prem; kṛṣṇa-prem; śrī-kṛṣṇākarṣiṇī ca sā (Brs1.1.17). Rūpa Goswāmī says, “If someone possesses a drop of that divine substance, it's sufficient to bring the Infinite under the control of the finite.” Which is the hallmark of devotion; where the Infinite comes under the control of a finite.
    But what is especially enchanting to Kṛṣṇa, is under great adversity, that one pursuits Kṛṣṇa consciousness; they remain faithful in adherence. In the Bhāgavatam we have the example: Kunti Devi;
    vipadaḥ santu tāḥ śaśvat
    tatra tatra jagad-guro
    bhavato darśanaṁ yat syād
    apunar bhava-darśanam
    (Srimad Bhagavatam: 1.8.25)
    She is reflecting on her life and her pastimes with the Pāṇḍavas and Kṛṣṇa. And she comes to a very peculiar conclusion. She's saying, “When circumstances are very... seemingly favorable, relatively easy, there is a tendency to be forgetful of Kṛṣṇa”. Things are going very nicely; overwhelmed by smooth flow, karmic circumstance.
    Like we're told about the demigods; that, why Jiva Goswami said, “That is not desirable; human life is more desirable”. Because in... as in a hellish condition there's this abject suffering there; enjoyment, unobstructed enjoyment, forgetfulness of Kṛṣṇa conception. And then—the desirability of engaging in spiritual culture. So, he's saying, “Human life is preferable”. But Kunti says, “So, when things were relatively OK, then there was a tendency to forget You. But when I was put under great adversity, then my remembrance of You was very intense and earnest. And at the great necessity to remember You and take shelter of the remembrance of Your lotus feet. So, in retrospect it would seem to me, adverse circumstances are my friend”
    And this is, what's the word..? Congruous, or word like that. With the prayers of Brahmā in the Bhāgavatam; tat te ’nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam... (SB 10.14.8).Where's in Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa told Arjuna;
    mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
    āgamāpāyino ’nityās
    tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata
    (Bhagavad-gita 2.14)
    Saying, ”The world, in a way it's... is surrounded, insurmountably by karmic circumstance”. What is my advise..? tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata,(Bg 2.14).
    Tolerate the way you tolerate unpleasant weather conditions.The way you make adjustments for the seasonal changes; deal with the world in that way. That's one level of advice given by Kṛṣṇa to Arjuna in Bhagavad-gītā. But, the Bhāgavatam—Guru Mahārāj said, takes it a step further; where Kṛṣṇa is telling Arjuna [error], tat te ’nukampāṁ... Not Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, but Brahmā; his prayers to Kṛṣṇa, tat te ’nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo...(SB:10.14.8.)Try and understand; if you look: samīkṣa, means 'to examine'; to consider, to analyze, su-samīkṣa, means: 'with greater scrutiny.' To, acutely examine, right. So, he's saying, “If you look deeply in whatever circumstances you find yourself in, you'll realize the mercy of Kṛṣṇa.”
    The friendly hand of Kṛṣṇa is there in the background. He think from a deeper level of analysis and scrutiny. If you go deep, you'll always see the friendly hand of Kṛṣṇa there. He's not trying... putting you in some circumstance to take you down, right. He's not trying to, 'smite thee' from the face of the earth, because you did something wrong. [laughing] bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁsarva-loka-maheśvaram...(Bg:5.29). Everything is meant for Kṛṣṇa's enjoyment. Not a blade of grass moves without the will of God. Yajña-tapas...yajña... vai viṣṇu... (SB:9.7.3.) yajña...yajña-tapasāṁ.... sarva-loka-maheśvaram... (Bg:2.9). He is the Supreme Controller of everything. He's in control.
    It's the demonic; the āsurik (āsura). What Kṛṣṇa says... what did He say; īśvaro ’ham ahaṁ bhogi siddho ’haṁ balavān sukhī...(Bg:16.14). “I'm in control.” It's like Humanism. One Humanistic slogan saying, ”I'm perfect; I'm powerful; I'm... I'm number one. I'm, you know... I rule, I'm the best!” So, that's āsurik mentality; ...ahaṁ bhogi...(Bg:16.14); ”I'm the enjoyer!” siddho; ”I'm perfect!” balavān; “Powerful!” sukhī; “I'm happy!” But, actually—that is Kṛṣṇa's position. bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁsarva-loka-maheśvaram suhṛdaṁ... (Bg:5.9). So, you would think, such a person is unapproachable; what about me? We're nothing. You just said, “We're infinitesimal yet complimentary aspects of the Infinite.” Then He says the good news, suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ...(Bg:5.29),”I'm your dear most friend.”
    So, if like in this world, if your dear most friend is in charge of everything, that's good for you, right? That means you have some inner sense, some special privileges. Not to abuse; but it's very encouraging to think, “Oh, the person everything is being controlled by; someone who is friendly to me. Not someone who is against me.” It seems, to people in life, that everything is arranged in such a way as to make their lives miserable; or that life is a never ending series of humiliation. [laughing]
    Like, you know, “Life is so short...” Or knowing that we have to die. Or, life is full of suffering, varieties of suffering, and its so short. [laughing] A never ending series of humiliations. But actually, su-samīkṣa, it also means: examination; test. So, when a teacher tests the students, does that mean that the teacher is cruel? “Our teacher is so cruel! We thought she was nice; now she wants to examine us. Why?
    Everything was so happy and smiley, and now examination has come. Or, the so-called... what is that—pop quiz; flash quiz? Where everything is going on, they're studying, and then the teacher says, ”Ok, close your books!” And without any... now, there is a test. And, they're like, “Oh!“ It's not that the teacher is cruel, or against the student. Actually, the teacher wants to help the student advance to the next level. But, sometimes examination is required, and sometimes examination without notice, is required; it meant to help the student. Because, it will identify our faults, right?
    There, in... Tolstoy said, that, “In life, you discover your faults, and fortunately you're given time to correct them.” This is the formula: you find out what your faults are, and then you have time in life to correct those faults. That's a very generous way of looking at things. And if you don't... [laughing] then... kalo 'smi... ( Bg:11.32),”Time; I'm the destroyer of everything.” At last—mercy in another form. So, this examination—Kunti, she thinks it's a good thing. The Bhāgavatam; Brahmā-stuti (Prayers of Lord Brahmā), he thinks, it's a good thing. It helps promote the students to the next level.
    So, when we look at the world's situation, in this śloka in the Gītā Kṛṣṇa's saying, “If you realize that: whom... for whom everything is meant and who's in control of everything...” that, ...suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ... (Bg:5.29) “He's the dear most friend of every living being”. Then, what will be the result? Instead of being in never ending unceasing anxiety, what would happen; jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati...(Bg:5.29). You see the word śānti there; ... jñātvā... He is saying, “Knowing this; if you can know this and believe it, and understand it, then you'll get some peace.” You'll think, ”Oh, He is not against me”. So, these circumstances, ostensibly; immediately; locally—t's displeasing, upsetting, discouraging. But if I look on a deeper level, I see, ”Oh, Kṛṣṇa's in the back ground. Kṛṣṇa's in control. He put me in this circumstance; it must be ultimately for my benefit.”
    How can I benefit from this? How can I go forward, make progress?” And then, just something very high ,that comes to mind... and not to imitate, but to know that such a sweet plane is there. We're told... And look, if we're speaking of humiliation, the great souls... but, when Śukadev shows up to the scene of Parīkṣit Mahārāj, and all the assembled sages—we were told: children were running after him, throwing things at him, calling him names, making fun of him. It didn't touch him, māna-śūnyatā (Cc:Madhya.23.18). He doesn't have the ego that can... Button, that you can press by this kind of misbehavior. But, what's there astonishing is to see, when the naked 16 year-old boy, who appears like a 'mad urchin', enters the assembly of all these sages with a big beard. And they're... that they all stand up and bow; and they elevate the boy to the presidential seat.
    And he is the mouthpiece for the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. So, those who are hurling insults and throwing things, they had to reconsider things. Why all these great sādhus are bowing to this boy? But, we're told; Gaura Kiśor Dās Bābājī Mahārāj was also seen, by some perhaps young, foolish people—as being a mad man. And there, to Gaura Kiśor Dās Bābājī Mahārāj—they're throwing things and calling names. And Guru Mahārāj said, “And what was his response? Because he has that deep level of vision, he said, 'Kṛṣṇa, I know it's You behind all of this. You're using these boys to say these things, to throw these things. It's You, Kṛṣṇa, who's doing this!'”
    But... and only Babaji Maharaj can say that, and he said, “And I know how to deal with you. I will complain to Ma Yaśodā and then you'll be in big trouble; that's what I will do!” [laughing] So, not to imitate that, but to understand that such sweetness is there; have to look deeper to see that. When Jagadānanda Paṇḍit out of love and affection, you know, he wanted to make a bed for Mahāprabhu. And he took two bahirvas (sheets) and then some cotton from a certain tree, and he made a beautiful bed and a little pillow and everything, and dyed it saffron and presented it to Mahāprabhu. And Mahāprabhu rejected it, as being unfit for sannyāsi.
    And he said, ”Jagadānanda, he wants me to enjoy!” [laughing] And that hurt the feelings of Jagadānanda Paṇḍit. We were told, Svarūpa Dāmodar; he figure it out. He took some banana trunks. You can see those threads in there; he separated them all, and he made some kind of a bed. After much pleading, Mahāprabhu accepted. Jagadānanda Paṇḍit brought sandalwood oil. Maybe like, 15 kilos of it. Because Mahāprabhu in His Divine madness, His head is overheating, and His body... So, they think, ”If we put the sandalwood oil then it'll give Him some relief. And Mahāprabhu said... when He saw that, He said, “No, I am sannyāsī. I can't wear this perfume, so people would think I'm keeping a woman secretly.”
    He said, “But you can, what will be good though, if you give it to... offer it to Jagannāth. And, after much pleading, the Mahāprabhu said, “But really... what I... Just give it to Jagannāth.” And then He said to Jagadānanda, ”I hear you've brought...” And Jagadānanda Paṇḍit now is very angry. He said, “I didn't bring any oil; there's no oil.” He took the whole pot and smashed it in front of Mahāprabhu. And there was sandalwood oil everywhere, and he went to... Slam the door... he went to his room and locked the door, and started fasting. [laughing] As we're told, Jagadānanda is like the Queen, Dvāraka Queen, Satyabhāmā; has this type of mood.
    Then Mahaprabhu's thinking, ”What to do?” and is kind of, like... [sound of knocking] knocked on the door, [laughing] and said, ”Jagadānanda, I would like to eat prasādam cooked by your hand today.” Jagadānanda go, ”Aaa...” he go...[whoshhhh—sound of door sliding] the door slides open. Jagadānanda Paṇḍit go...[sound of hands rubbing]... Goes to the kitchen, is very happy, making many things; presenting to Mahāprabhu. And Mahāprabhu's tasting this, and saying, “Maybe what is cooked with intensity of that anger is even more tasteful.” [laughing] And them... Mahāprabhu actually says, “Here, make a plate for you and I; we'll take prasādam together.” Think of how affectionate Mahāprabhu was to His devotee. ”You and I, we'll take prasādam together”.
    But Jagadānanda Paṇḍit said, finding some excuse, “No, I will take separately.” And he's giving Mahāprabhu more and more. And we're told, he's feeding Mahāprabhu so much, it's like enough for ten men. And Mahāprabhu has to keep eating, to get Jagadānanda's like, temperature to come down. He wanted Mahāprabhu's temperature to come down; instead his went up. Now Mahāprabhu's bringing his temperature down, and eating, eating, eating, and then finally... [laughing] Mahāprabhu's saying something like, “Stop it!” [laughing] “I can't eat anymore!” And Jagadānanda go, ”Oh, yeah...” [laughing] And later he takes something. And Mahāprabhu is... wants to rest, and asking, “Is Jagadānanda taking prasādam yet?” And Govinda look, and sees Jagadānanda... ”Yes!” Then Mahāprabhu, ”OK.” Then He can rest.
    So... oh, and when Jagadānanda Paṇḍit... We can say, Jagadānanda Paṇḍit is a hard head...[laughing] In Vṛndāvan, we're told, he wouldn't... he wouldn't accept the bed from Mahāprabhu. Then he's now angry again.... Mahāprabhu says, “What to do?” And Jagadānanda Paṇḍit's there, “I want to go to Vṛndāvan. Give me permission to go to Vṛndāvan.” Mahāprabhu said, “No. You only wanna go to Vrindavan 'cause you're angry.” [laughing] And Jagadānanda Paṇḍit...“No, no. I wanna go to Vṛndāvan for a long time.” ”No. It's just because you're angry.” “No. I really wanna go.” [laughing] Then he plead with Svarūpa Dāmodar, ”Please, convince Mahāprabhu to let me go to Vṛndāvan.” Finally, they let him go. And Mahāprabhu tell them, “When you're there, stay always with Sanātan Goswāmī, and don't leave Sanātan for a moment. And, of what you observe of the local people, don't make... keep your distance. They have some special relationship with Kṛṣṇa. Don't mix with them, don't imitate them, just keep a respectful distance.”
    He goes to Vṛndāvan. He's with Sanātan Goswāmī. We know he can cook. So, Jagadānanda's cooking and he sees Sanātan Goswāmī Prabhu wearing the saffran turban. And Jagadānanda Paṇḍit, it makes him ecstatic. He's thinking, “Oh, the clothes of Mahāprabhu, he's wearing as a turban; how wonderful, the dear... dearest servitor of Mahāprabhu.” So, he's there and asking, “So, this is from Mahaprabhu?” And Sanātan Goswāmī, “Oh, no, it's from Mukunda Saraswatī; he gave me that.” And Jagadānanda's, ”What???” And he has the pot and he's thinking... [laughing]... he wants to punish Sanātan Goswāmī with the pot. This type of person... [laughing]
    And then Sanātan Goswāmī says, ”Actually, you're right.” He said, “This color...” the rakta-veṣa; means red color... he says, “... it's not fit for Vaiṣṇava.” It's very interesting... So, later, when Śrīla Saraswatī Ṭhākur shows up in Vṛndāvan in saffran dress flanked by two disciples in European dress, the people, the locals they're very upset about this; the local bābājī and cata-gosāi... others, And they cite this reference... they say, “Sanātan Goswāmī Prabhu says in Chaitanya-charitāmṛta, that this color is not fit for a Vaiṣṇava, so, what you're gonna say to that?”
    So, if you read Saraswatī Ṭhākur's purport and that section, it's very beautiful. He says, “We consider, you know: Sanātan Goswāmī, Rūpa Goswāmī, Raghunāth dāsa, they're like our supreme guru-varga; they're paramahaṁsa Vaiṣṇavas; paramahaṁsas's beyond varṇāśrama. The highest aspect of varṇā, you know: varṇā and āśrama—the highest āśrama is sannyāsa-āśrama in a varṇāśrama system. Paramahaṁsa is beyond that. So, Saraswatī Ṭhākur said, “We don't consider ourselves that, but rather like; pūjala rāga pātha gaurava-bhaṅge, mātala hari jana viṣaya raṅge (Śrīla Saraswatī Ṭhākur). We're... They're above as worshipable, and the white dress of devami, and raṅge; beneath, a step below. And from the varṇāśrama position, we're serving them.”
    There once, Śrīla Guru Mahārāj and Śrīla Keśava Mahārāj, they met some bābājīs in Vṛndāvan who were upset by the preaching of the Gauḍīya Maṭh. 'Cause it was diminishing their prestige, and calling them to question their authenticity and their vaiṣṇavata. So, Guru Mahārāj started explaining in term: that actually we consider the bābājīs are Guru. But think... you know, Rūpa Goswāmī, Sanātan, Raghunāth dāsa etc. And he said, “And the men started becoming like, very happy.” And Guru Mahārāj's explaining, how they're in the higher section and we're lower. And it's, like... getting more and more happy.
    And then he said... And then Keśava Mahārāj said, “But we don't consider that you are that.” [laughing] 'Cause all he said, Keśava Mahārāj said, “The men said, 'Why you're giving the brāhmin thread freely to non-brāhmins?'” And he said, “What is higher: the brāhmin's thread or the kaupīna (loincloth) of the bābājī, the bābājī way?” And they have to say, “No, that is higher.” But that, you give to anyone and everyone, regardless of their varṇā. And then, so much prays for the bābājīs, and they becoming happy. And he said, ”But just to understand, we don't accept that you're that...” [laughing] “that you are paramahamsa babajis.” So, why did I say that?
    Devotee: You recited Sanātan Goswāmī's, saying...
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Oh, right... Jagadānanda Paṇḍit...
    Devotee: Saffran cloth... [inaudible]
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Right, right... And... Reading; how to read circumstances... Oh, this is what I want to say, that... So, when Jagadānanda Paṇḍit is apologetic to Sanātan Goswāmī, and Sanātan Goswāmī Prabhu, he's so happy, actually; he's saying, “Because, if the circumstances were not arranged this way, I wouldn't have got to see this type of affection, that you have for Mahāprabhu.” Hare Kṛṣṇa!
    He understands, and saying, ”This circumstances, they've shown a spotlight on the sort of intense love and affection you have for Mahāprabhu. And I feel myself upgraded by that.” So, this was all good. That's the point I was trying to make. So, we can't have a stereotype about what is the favorable circumstance or not. It's whether we can connect to genuine Kṛṣṇa culture, kṛṣṇa-anusilana. Kṛṣṇa-anusilana doesn't mean what I like doing within Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It means, what's actually pleasing to Kṛṣṇa.
    So, when Rūpa and Sanātan Goswāmī came to join Mahāprabhu in the dead of night. They met Him in Rāmakeli, and right there and then, they could no longer contain themselves in their secular life. Now, that Mahāprabhu was coming out and preaching in earnest, they wanted to join with Him. So, they meet with Him and show such great humility; but Mahāprabhu tells them, “Now is not the time. So, you return to your so-called family life, and your position in the world, and at the right time, I will call you.”
    And there he quotes that... what is that?.. para-vyasaninī... śloka (Cc:Madhya 1.211) where He says, “The wife who has a paramour, she is even more attentive to her household duties, to not be... not arouse suspicion. But within her heart, she's always thinking of the paramour.” So, sometimes the devotees find themselves seemingly, inextricably surrounded by karmic circumstance, which we've generated. So, Guru Mahārāj's saying, “Externally, you can show some... you can acknowledge that obligation, 'cause, it's really, it's a result of our own doing; it's karmic reaction. But, within a heart one is always remembering Guru and Vaiṣṇava, Radha-Govinda, Mahāprabhu and their divine associates.”
    And lastly, we can think, ”God helps those that help themselves”. Or Gurudev, he sometimes would quote this Bengali saying, that... You know what a blacksmith is? Saying... the blacksmith says, “Give me some metal and I'll make you a sword.” You need a sword to cut through... “Give me some metal and I'll make you a sword' “. So, something has to come from our side, right? At least in the form of, like, willingness to dedicate oneself and offer one's energy; there's always something that can be done, right?
    When Kṛṣṇa and Balarām are walking to the Vṛndāvan forest, and Kṛṣṇa starts praising the trees. Really—as much as for Balarām; for Kṛṣṇa, the trees are like, they appear to be bowing. They're like, giving daṇḍavat, offering their fruits. Sometimes they're crying in ecstasy, they're shivering. But Kṛṣṇa tells Balarām, “Oh, look how're the trees, how happy they are to see you and serve you.” And He says, “They're such magnanimous souls.” Why? Because, they... they're giving themselves for the service of others. And remember, this is the chapter that precedes the yajña- brāhmins.
    So, there's a hint of what is to come. So, look, like magnanimous they are. They're always offering themselves in service to others. And there, the śloka, which also appears in Caritāmṛta, perhaps in chapter 7, Ādi-līlā etāvaj janma-sāphalyaṁ...dehinām iha dehiṣu... (Cc:Ādi 9.42). I forget the rest, but the same... You can always serve in some capacity with your body, mind, words, your wealth, your intelligence; there's always something, that you can do. So, if in the midst of such trying circumstances one laments that they cannot do more, that's a good thing. Follow that thread, and you can see it's indirectly bringing about some intense remembrance of Kṛṣṇa and His devotees. Anything else?
    Devotee: Question from Enakshi Didi, Santa Cruz, “Dandavats, dear Maharaj...”
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Hare Krishna!
    Devotee: “ The movie Hare Kṛṣṇa (the mantra, the movement and the Swāmī who started it all) is on the tour in the States now, sharing the touching story of Śrīla Prabhupād 's life and his mission of spiritual revolution in the Western world. Can you please, share your favorite stories about the precious time with Śrīla Prabhupād and his beautiful personality. Thank you!”
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Many things to consider. But, I recall being in India with Śrīlā Prabhupāda, around the time he was translating the seventh canto of the Bhāgavatam. And by that, I mean more specifically; Prahlad Charit—the pastimes of Prahlāda Mahārāj, and also the preaching of Prahlāda Mahārāj, which was very favorite to him. The ślokas: yan maithunādi-gṛhamedhi-sukhaṁ hi tucchaṁ...(SB:7.9.45);… māyā-sukhāya bharam udvahato vimūḍhān (SB:7.9.43)
    matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā
    mitho ’bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām
    adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ
    punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām
    ( Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: 7.5.30)
    That sequence;...na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ...(SB:7.5.31), etc. And there, being bathed in the dust of the lotus feet; ābhiṣek...’bhiṣekaṁ niṣkiñcanānāṁ na vṛṇīta yāvat (SB:7.5.32). But he's so much emphasizing preaching as the primary means for not only extending Kṛṣṇa consciousness to others, but as indispensable part of your own development; fulfills both.
    You will develop to the maximum and you'll be extending Kṛṣṇa consciousness to others. I remember on a walk... Prabhupāda liked to walk around this kuṇḍa, the pukur; the ponds. Some of the ponds in India, they are filled with lotus flowers; they're surrounded by flowers. And on this one morning, there's like a narrow footpath, so Śrīlā Prabhupāda leading [tapping sound]... you know, with his cane, and we're all following behind. And he bent over; there's like, bushes with some beautiful flowers, and he bent over and picked two flowers. And he went [some gesture] put one behind this ear, one behind the other ear and go... [tapping sound] start walking. And then all the devotees... we all shamelessly imitated Prabhupāda.
    We're jumping on, pulling the flowers and then we put flowers behind our ears and, so, in single file— Prabhupāda leading the way. You see this whole group going around, circumambulating the kuṇḍa, and everyone has two flowers behind their ears [laughing]. But leaving that place... Prabhupāda liked to walk in the morning... And like in some park, and there're many Indian people who walk in the morning, and dignitary people. And then, Prabhupāda decided to sit. But, he's very quiet this one morning... and, so, everyone else was quiet; like no questions, nothing just... 'Cause some watched Prabhupāda, we talk and played full banter, or mock-fighting the scientists with Svarūp Dāmodar... things like that. But sometimes, in India, different mood he's showing; in this particular morning, he's not saying anything and sort of giving the impression that no one else should say anything, or ask him questions.
    So, then he seats beneath this tree; we're in this park in Delhi and we all sit around; we're chanting... Prabhupāda is there, and this men is going by. And, as when they see Prabhupāda, they give praṇam and... and one group of men come by, and Prabhupāda said, “Oh, I know that man.” And then... but they keep going; and then he left it. And I thought, ”It really seemed like he wanted to continue that.” So, I paid my daṇḍavat and then I went on and I sort of ran down to those men. And I said, “My Guru Mahārāj says that he knows one of you.” And one man says like, “I saw him at the Delhi Pandal.” And I thought, ”Oh, OK! maybe this is the man.”
    But then another man said, “He used to come to me, when I used to sell him paper for printing his books.” That means, the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam! I went like, “Ooo.” And, so... that seemed like it was going to be it. And then, before I went back, and they said... before I went, they said, “Tell us, why have you come to India: for peace of mind(?)” Like that. And I was chanting little bit, and Prabhupāda... And Prabhupāda, in the Prahlāda-section of the Bhāgavatam, when he's saying, “I have no difficulty, but for others, we... We can take Kṛṣṇa nam—but for others we're trying to extend to them.” So, I said,
    “The reason I've come to India is to give you peace of mind.” And they all went, ”Oh, baba!” Anyway, then... then I say, ”I can chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahā Mantra any time, but I've come here to give you peace of mind.” Then I went back to see Śrīlā Prabhupāda and he's there, but he's like, waiting for report. And I said, “The one man there, he said he saw you at the Delhi Pandal” And Prabhupāda said, “That's not the man.” And i'm like, ”Oh my God...” and I said, “There's another man, and he said he sold you paper for your Bhāgavatam.” “Yes, that's the man!”
    And then, he became silent again. And then, I was wondering if I should tell him the rest or not. [laughing] Since because he was so quiet that day and grave, and I said, “ Śrīlā Prabhupāda...” And he looked up like, ”This better be good.” [laughing] And I said, “They asked me, why I've come to India.” And then, like— that caught Prabhupāda's attention. “And?” “They asked me if I came to India for peace of mind.” Then I said, “But I recall your preaching on Prahlāda Mahārāj saying, 'We can take Hare Kṛṣṇa Maha Mantra, we have no problem'...” I said. But I told them, ”I've come to India to give you peace of mind.” And Prabhupāda said, ”You said that?” And I though, ”Oh, now I'm in trouble. I've insulted these men...”
    He said, ”You said that?” I said, ”Yes, I said that.” And Prahlāda said, ”This is preaching! This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness!” [laughing] (and like in the song the Shower...) [laughing] That made him happy. That's why he brought us to India; was to preach to the Indians. So, they're thinking, “Oh, we're coming to India to get peace of mind, and such thing.” But Prabhupāda brought us to India, to actually preach to the Indians. Because he thought, they will take this seriously if it's coming from westerners. Even though we don't have saṃskāra; we're less qualified, still, they're so enamored by western civilization.
    As Saraswatī Ṭhākur said, “Western civilization—crush it!” So, he knew, they're enamored by western civilization, so, that has to be defeated. And Prabhupād's strategy was: then bring westerners to India. And, we can see how perfect that idea was, and how huge the expansion of his movement in India has been, to these day. So, is a perfect strategy. [laughing] Hare Kṛṣṇa.
    Bg - Bhagavad-gītā As It Is
    Brs - Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu
    Cc - Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta
    SB - Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
    Un - Ujjvala-Nilamani