Initiation Lecture

Boston, December 26, 1969
Prabhupada: So this chanting Hare Krsna mantra is purifying your existence. Yasmad suddhyed sattvam. Sattvam means existence. You are existing, I am existing, God is existing eternally. The temporary existence that we see at the present moment, this is not our existence. This is our diseased condition, crazy condition. Pisaci paile yena mati-cchana haya. Pisaci means ghost or witches. When one is haunted by ghost he becomes upset of his own consciousness and talks all kinds of nonsense. Similarly, when our existence is covered by the material ghost we talk so many nonsense: "I am this body, and anything in relationship with this body is mine. I am dying. I belong to this family. I belong to this community, nation, this, that, planet." These are all just like a man haunted by ghost speaks nonsense, these are all nonsense. And the Krsna consciousness movement is to cure this disease. Suddhyed sattvam, existence. That is called svarupa, real identification. Mukti. Mukti means... This word is very popular, mukti, liberation. What is that liberation? Liberation means to come to this platform of Krsna consciousness. That is liberation. Svarupena vyavasthitih [SB 2.10.6]. Mukti is defined in the Srimad-Bhagavatam: muktir hitvanyatha rupam. Muktir hitva anyatha rupam. Anyatha rupam. Rupam means form. We are in a form which is not liberated form. Material form. This form which we have got just now, this form, when it will be finished, you'll never get this form. Another form. Another. Just like bubbles. Bubbles in the ocean, they come out. You cannot have the exact same bubbles, same measurement. No. That is going on. Similarly, this rupam is anyatha. This is not our rupam, our form. Therefore sometimes in Vedic literature it is stated, "formless." Formless does not mean has no form. Not this form. That is formless. But people with less intelligence, they think formless means there's no form. Formless means not this form. This is anyatha rupam. This is different from our real form. So mukti means to give up this unreal form and accept your real form. Just like freedom from disease. Get free from the diseased condition and come to real healthy life.
So this Krsna consciousness movement is for bringing men to the real life. Always remember this. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. It takes... Just like to cure a disease it takes little time. But if you take to the process of cure, then that is very good. In the Bhagavad-gita, Bhagavan, the Personality of Godhead says,
api cet su-duracaro
bhajate mam ananya-bhak
sadhur eva sa mantavyah
samyag vyavasito hi sah
[Bg. 9.30]
Ksipram bhavati dharmatma sasvac-chantim nigacchati. Those who have taken to Krsna consciousness seriously, even there are some faults, still, they are saintly persons. That is the recommendation of Krsna. Because that fault may be due to his past habits, but that is being stopped. Just like you make the switch off, no more electric current will act, but the fan still gives some rounds due to the past force. Similarly, a Krsna consciousness person, even if he's found in fault, Krsna says, "No." Sadhur eva sa mantavyah [Bg. 9.30]. "He's saintly person, sadhu." Why? Now, the process he has taken up, that will cure him in due course of time. Sasvac-chantim nigacchati. So these who have fortunately come to this platform of Krsna consciousness by association, by practice, this is the way. So stick to it. Don't go away. Even if you find some fault, don't go away from the association. Struggle, and Krsna will help you.
So this initiation process means beginning of this life of Krsna consciousness. And we shall try to be situated in our original consciousness. That is Krsna consciousness. Jivera svarupa haya nitya krsna dasa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. Real consciousness, as it is recommended by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, that He identifies Himself as eternal servant of Krsna. This is Krsna consciousness, and this is liberation, and this is mukti. If you simply stick to this principle, gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasa-dasanudasah [Cc. Madhya 13.80], that "I am nothing except the eternal servant of Krsna," then you are in the liberated platform. Krsna consciousness is so nice. You keep yourself. And for keeping yourself in that consciousness, the simple method is this chanting, Hare Krsna. You keep yourself chanting as many hours, twenty-four hours. Why as many hours? Twenty-four hours. Kirtaniyah sada harih [Cc. Adi 17.31]. Lord Caitanya says, "This is to be practiced twenty-four hours." And that you can do. It requires simply practice. Even in sleeping you can chant Hare Krsna. Even in sleeping. And there is no bar. In sleeping, in eating, in going to the toilet room, there is no restriction. You can go on, "Hare Krsna." You see. That will keep you in your svarupa, in your real identification, and you'll never be attacked by maya. Just like if you keep yourself vaccinated and if the period... What is called? Active. Then there is no fear of being infected. That is practical. If you get yourself vaccinated of certain type of infection and you keep yourself active... Just like doctors, they go, treat patients suffering from infectious disease, but they keep themselves always unaffected. They know the remedial measures, antiseptic, prophylactic processes. So this prophylactic antiseptic process is Krsna-kirtanam. Param vijayate sri-krsna-kirtanam. That is Lord Caitanya's blessing. Param vijayate. All glories to the sankirtana, sri-krsna-sankirtana. Kirtana means Krsna-kirtana. Not any other kirtana. The Mayavadi philosophers, they introduce so many other kirtanas. No. Kirtana means Krsna-kirtana: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama... Or any name glorifying the name of the Lord. That is kirtana. But this Hare Krsna mantra is especially recommended in this age, and Lord Caitanya personally chanted, so we should follow. Although every name of Krsna is as potent as the name Krsna... Visnu name, or there are thousands and thousands of names... Namnam akari bahudha. Bahudha means there is no counting. Innumerable names. And each name has the same potency like Krsna. But this is recommended, especially, those who take advantage. This is one thing.
And other thing, to take precaution so that maya may not attack you. You should be cautious also. And therefore we have to follow the four regulative principles: no illicit sex life and no meat-eating or nonvegetarian diet... We have no quarrel with vegetarian and nonvegetarian. We are after Krsna-prasadam. If Krsna accepts something beyond these vegetarian dishes, then we can accept also. But Krsna says, "No. Give Me patram puspam phalam toyam [Bg. 9.26]." Krsna can eat everything. He is God. But He says that "Give Me this." Patram puspam phalam toyam. "Offer Me this flower, fruit, water. Like that." So we are after Krsna-prasadam. That is our motto. We don't fight with vegetarian and non... We are not making propaganda... Just like there is vegetarian society. No. We have no business. Even if a man becomes vegetarian, what does he gain? In this material world, either vegetarian or nonvegetarian, they are on the same platform, birds of the same feather. You see? So that is not our propaganda. We are introducing Krsna-prasada; therefore we invite people to take nice prasada. So these four principles we should follow. We shall not accept anything which is not offered to Krsna. That is our position. And no illicit sex life, no gambling, no intoxication. We are already intoxicated, being haunted by the ghost of maya. And further intoxication...? Do you think intoxication can be cured by intoxication? No. That is not possible. So these four rules you have to follow. And you keep to Krsna consciousness. Then your life is sublime. Very simple thing. Very simple thing. But it is simple for the simple, but it is very hard for the crooked. Yes. So those who are going to be initiated, they should always remember these restrictive four rules and chant Hare Krsna at least sixteen rounds, and eat Bhagavat-prasadam, Krsna-prasadam, and be happy, dance. That's all. Is there any difficulty?
Devotees: No.
Prabhupada: (laughter) No difficulty. And people will write, "the bright-faced." Yes. They have to admit it. Because it is purifying. There is no impurity. Without being pure, how can you expect to reach God? This is all rascaldom. To keep oneself dirty, impure in mind, in body, in feeling, in character, and you want to go to God? Rascal. (laughter) Forget! There is no entrance for you to God.
yam brahma varunendra-rudra-marutah stunvanti divyaih stavair
vedaih sanga-pada-kramopanisadair gayanti yam sama-gah
dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yogino
yasyantam na viduh surasura-gana devaya tasmai namah
God's position is that, that the yogis, they are trying to capture God by meditation. And demigods like Brahma, Lord Siva and others, they are offering Vedic prayers. And the Sama Veda is always singing the glories of the Lord. The Lord is so exalted, so pure. So if you have to reach Krsna, you must be pure, cent percent pure. And that is not very difficult. This ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. Chant Hare Krsna and you become purified, purified, more, more, more, more. And day will come when you find that you are completely pure from all material contamination and you become eligible to enter into the kingdom of God, and that makes a solution of all problems.
So it is so nice. Always remember this, that "We have taken the best in the whole creation of the Lord, Krsna consciousness." Do not try to adulterate it. Keep it pure, and your life will be successful. This is an opportunity, this human form of life, this particular type of tongue which you can use. In other type of tongues you can chew, you can taste the blood and the flesh, and so many things. But you cannot chant Hare Krsna. But here is a tongue given by God. You can utilize it for chanting Hare Krsna. Don't miss this opportunity. That chewing facility, tasting facility, you'll get even in cat's life, dog's life. But this chanting facility you'll not get. This is in this life, human form of life. So don't misuse it. Chant Hare Krsna regularly and be happy.
Thank you very much. [break]
namah apavitrah pavitrah va
sarvavastham gatah api va
yah smaret pundarikaksam
sa abhyabhyantarah sucih
sri visnu sri visnu sri visnu
(devotees repeat) So mantra means... Namah. Nama means surrender, to become submissive. Namanta eva. Namanta eva. That is the qualification. Namah. When we utter this word namah, means "I surrender." Anyone, I say namaskara, namaskara means the surrendering process: "I accept the surrendering process." So when we surrender to Krsna or His representative, then apavitrah. Apavitrah means contaminated and pavitrah means purified. So one may be in contaminated stage or purified stage. It doesn't matter. One who... Yah smaret pundarikaksam, one who remembers Krsna, the lotus-eyed... Pundarikaksam means lotus-eyed Krsna. So bahya. Bahya means externally, and abhyantara, internally. Bahyabhyantara-sucih. Sucih means purified. And another meaning of sucih is brahmana. A brahmana means purified. So those who are going to be sacred-threaded today, they should remember that they are being accepted as sucih, as brahmana. After chanting process for the six months or one year, it is supposed that he has already become purified. Now he should be recognized that he is purified. So this sacred thread means recognition. Sacred thread means one should understand... Just like one understands a man (is) learned by the degrees M.A., B.A., or Ph.D., similarly, when there is sacred thread, it is understood that he has undergone the purificatory process under superior management, or guidance of spiritual master. This is called upanayana, upanayana, in Sanskrit. Upanayana: bringing him more near. The initiation is the beginning of purification, and offering the sacred thread means bringing him more nearer. Therefore the principle is those who are ordinarily initiated, they should not touch the Deity. Only those who are in sacred thread, they should touch. This is the system.
But Krsna-kirtana is so nice that even without sacred thread, because he is regularly chanting, he is to be supposed to be purified. That is the recommendation given by Jiva Gosvami. Anyone who is chanting regularly Hare Krsna mantra... Svado 'pi sadyah savanaya kalpate. Svadah. Sva means dog, and adah, adah means eating. Dog-eaters. The dog-eaters are considered to be the lowest of the mankind. But in the Bhagavata says that svado 'pi sadyah savanaya kalpate. Even if he is dog-eater, but by this process he immediately becomes qualified to offer sacrifice. Savanaya. This fire sacrifice is called savanaya. And Srila Jiva Gosvami gives notes on this line that a person born in the family of a brahmana awaits the sacred thread ceremony. But one who has become surely (?) purified by chanting Hare Krsna mantra, he immediately becomes a highly qualified brahmana. So don't misuse the opportunity obtained by you. Use it properly, and the life will be successful. So apavitrah pavitro va. In any condition of life, anyone who remembers Krsna, Pundarikaksam, so both wise-externally and internally—he becomes purified, suci. Suci means pure. And there is a verse written by one Vaisnava in Bengali. Not ordinary. He's Vrndavana dasa Thakura. Vrndavana dasa Thakura is one of the acaryas. He has written Caitanya-Bhagavata. As there is Srimad-Bhagavata, he has written Caitanya-Bhagavata. Perhaps you have heard the name. So his opinion is, muci haya suci haya yadi krsna bhaje. Muci and suci, just opposite. Muci means the most nasty cobbler. He eats everything and does all nonsense. He is called muci. Muci means cobbler. In India, when a cow or bull dies, these muci class are called to take away the carcass. So they take it away and they take out the skin and tan it for... This is the original system of shoe-making. And make some shoes and sell in the market. But not by killing cows. When it dies. So this business is done by the muci class. And they take the flesh also. After taking out the skin, the flesh they take. Therefore they are considered very low class, muci. And suci means brahmana. So Vrndavana dasa Thakura says, muci haya suci haya. A cobbler, muci, can become a suci, yadi krsna bhaje, if he's Krsna conscious. That's all. If he's Krsna conscious, never mind he is a cobbler, he becomes immediately brahmana. Muci haya suci haya yadi krsna bhaje. Suci haya muci haya yadi krsna tyaje. And even if he's born in a brahmana family, if he gives up Krsna consciousness, he's immediately cobbler. So don't lose this opportunity. Always remember Krsna, Krsna, Krsna. (laughter) Don't become cobbler. [break]
(leads devotees in prayers for fire sacrifice) Chant Hare Krsna. (all chant japa) [break] (kirtana) Now this flower has to be... You can offer puspanjali to Guru Maharaja. Yes. Get some pots. Yes. Get out all these flowers. (end)

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