Initiation of Bali-mardana Dasa

Montreal, July 29, 1968
Prabhupada: Two brahmacaris will be initiated in Krsna consciousness. You can come forward. Yes. [break] ...means the beginning and the beginning of Krsna consciousness. Because at the present moment we are merged into non-Krsna consciousness... (aside:) Oh, this sound, down. No, in this.
Girl: Speaker.
Hamsaduta: Oh, that speaker.
Prabhupada: All right, you... Let your... Beginning of Krsna consciousness means first of all faith. Adau sraddha: "The beginning is faith." What is that faith? Faith means firm conviction that "If I become transcendentally engaged in the service of the Lord, then my life becomes successful." This is called faith. And that conviction must be firm, not tottering faith. So when this faith is created, then actually the initiation begins. Otherwise initiation is not accepted. Krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya. When one is firmly convinced that "If I be engaged in the transcendental loving service of Krsna..." When we speak of Krsna, we should know, speak of God, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
So this firm conviction is the beginning of initiation. The Bhagavad-gita teaches this firm conviction gradually. And ultimately the Lord says, Krsna says to Arjuna, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] "My dear Arjuna, you give up all other engagement. Just be engaged in My service or be engaged in executing My order." "Then what about other things?" Krsna assures, aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami. If somebody thinks that "If I give up all other engagements and simply be engaged in Your service, to carry out Your order, then what about my other engagements? I have got so many other duties. I am engaged in my family affairs, I am engaged in my social affairs, I am engaged in my country's affairs, community affairs, so many things, my... Then what about those things?" Krsna says that "That I will see, how you can do it properly." Just like Arjuna. Arjuna was a military man. So Krsna said that "You give up all your engagements." That did not mean that Krsna..., Arjuna gave up his engagement as a military man. To give up all other engagements means to give up the engagements of your sense gratification. Instead of... At the present moment, with all our activities we are trying to gratify our senses. That's all. And surrender to Krsna means the beginning of satisfying the senses of Krsna. That is called bhakti. This is the definition of bhakti. What is that bhakti? Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. One has to become free from all designations. So long we are in the material conditional life, we have got various designations—"I am Indian," "I am American," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am Christian," "I am this," "I am that," so many designations, "I am nationalist," "I am Communist," "I am socialist," so many designations. So sarva-dharman parityajya [Bg. 18.66], means you have to give up the designations. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam. Now I am thinking, "I am nationalist," "I am Communist," "I am American," "I am Indian." So I have to give up these designations. And what I have to think? There must be thinking. I am not stopping my thinking what I am. That is indicated in the Vedas. Aham brahmasmi. That aham, my identity, is not lost, but at the present moment I am thinking that "I am this, I am that," but you have to think, you have to identify with Brahman, the Supreme Brahman. And when you identify with the Supreme Brahman, that is your liberated stage. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma [Bg. 18.54]. When you identify yourself with Brahman, then at once you become free from all these designative activities, prasannatma: "Oh, I have no more any duty in this material world." In this way, when you make further progress,
So when one, after being freed from all designation, when one is actually engaged in the activities of Brahman, that is called bhakti, or devotional service. So initiation means to be engaged in that Brahman activities. How Brahman activities? The same example can be cited, that Arjuna remained active, engaged in the battlefield, but in the beginning his identification was with his country, family, and so many other things. But later on, after understanding Bhagavad-gita, he identified himself with Krsna. This identification with Krsna means beginning of Krsna consciousness. So adau sraddha, when one becomes firmly convinced that "By becoming Krsna conscious or being engaged in the transcendental loving service of Krsna, my life is successful, life will be successful," that is the beginning of Krsna consciousness, or initiation. It is a stage. We have to go further and further till the stage of perfection. But initiation is the beginning. Adau sraddha. When one is firmly convinced, then he makes association with the devotees. Just like we have got this society, International Society for Krishna Consciousness. We are picking up persons who desire to be Krsna conscious. This is a society.
So firm conviction, then association. Adau sraddha tato sadhu-sanga. Unless there is good association, you cannot be strong enough. In every field of activities you must have good association, either in business field, or if you want to be licentious, then you have to mix with persons who are drunkards. So association has got some strength. If you want to become scholars, then you have to associate with scholarly persons in the university. And if you want to be a thief, then you have to find out the association of the thieves. Similarly, if you want to be Krsna conscious, then you have to find out persons who are Krsna conscious. So firm conviction, then association. After association, the next stage is regulated life for following the Krsna consciousness movement. This is called initiation. Or initiation from the very beginning. This is called diksa. The Sanskrit term is called diksa. Diksa means... Di, divya-jnanam, transcendental knowledge, and ksa, iksa. Iksa means darsana, to see, or ksapayati, explain. That is called diksa. Adau sraddha tato sadhu-sanga. First faith, then association, then beginning of regulative principles. And if one follows, then the next promotion is to the stage of anartha-nivrtti, disappearance of all misgivings. Just like in our association we don't allow four kinds of sinful activities: illicit sex life, nonvegetarian diet, intoxication, and gambling. So by following the regulative principles one becomes freed from all these sinful activities. He does not any more indulge in illicit sex life, he does not indulge in nonvegetarian diet, he does not indulge in intoxication and he does not indulge in gambling. That is called anartha-nivrtti. Unless one is above these four kinds of anartha, or sinful activities, one cannot be fixed up. When one is free from these four kinds of sinful activities, then he becomes fixed up. Ruci. Nistha, fixed up, and then ruci. Ruci means he increases the taste. Then asakti. Asakti means attachment. Then ecstasy, bhava. Then the last stage is that he becomes a lover of Krsna, and that loving stage of Krsna, there are different stages: santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, madhurya. The highest stage is the loving affairs between Krsna and the gopis. Of course, that is postgraduate stage of Krsna consciousness, but that stage is considered to be the most perfectional stage, how to love Krsna in the bhava, or in the position, of a gopi.
So two boys who are now ready to be initiated, my request to all, especially to boys who are just going to be initiated, that this Krsna consciousness movement is authorized because, even taking it for granted that it has begun from Krsna, then it is at least five thousand years old. Krsna appeared on this planet five thousand years ago. So if you take history of any religious or any cultural program within this world, no religion, no cultural program is older than 2,000 years or 2,500 years. But this Krsna consciousness movement, even according to history, it is five thousand years old, the older than any principles of religion or culture. And if you go above historical references, then it is coming down from millions and millions of years past, because it was first instructed, as we understand from the Bhagavad-gita, that it was first instructed to Surya. Imam vivasvate proktam: "I first of all spoke this science to Vivasvan, Surya." Surya means sun-god. So nobody can trace out history when sun-god took the lessons, but we can have little information from Manu-samhita, because Manu's age, Vivasvan... This age is called Vaivasvata Manu. So in the Bhagavad-gita it is said that first of all this initiation was given by Krsna to Vaivasvata, and he instructed his son, whose name is Vaivasvata Manu. So Vaivasvata Manu, by calculation we can understand forty millions of years ago... So this is not a new system that we are introducing or manufacturing by our concocted imagination, but it is authorized, coming down by disciplic succession from time immemorial. It may be that in this country it is being introduced for the last two or three years, but this system is the oldest system, oldest system, just like we are nityah sasvatah puranah. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said that the soul is eternal and Purana. Purana means the oldest. Purana. And in the Brahma-samhita it is also said, advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam adyam purana-purusam [Bs. 5.33]. So Krsna is also the oldest. Either Krsna or the living creatures, all of them are the oldest because they have no death, no birth. There is no history. Na jayate na mriyate. Bhagavad-gita says that the living entity, what to speak of God... They say, "God is dead." This is all nonsense. What to speak of God, even these living creatures, they are not dead. The death program is for this body, just like changing, changing the body, er, changing the dress. So if one changes one dress or apartment, that does not mean that he is dead. Similarly, if we change this body to another body... As we are changing our body constantly, every moment, similarly, if we change this body to another body, that does not mean death. So death is not accepted in the Vedic literature. So either God or the living creature, nobody dies. Every one is eternal, sasvata purana. Similarly, as we are the oldest and eternal; similarly this Krsna consciousness movement is also the oldest and eternal. [break]
So initiation means now we are in the consciousness of this body, which is never eternal, temporary. So we are going to Krsna consciousness means we are going to our eternal consciousness. We are changing from the temporary, bodily consciousness to the eternal consciousness. This is the sum and substance of Krsna consciousness. And we invite all ladies and gentlemen to come to our classes. We hold our classes three days in a week-Monday, Wednesday and Friday. So everyone is welcome, and everyone can inquire and understand the principles of Krsna consciousness. And if one is fortunate enough to understand what is this Krsna consciousness movement is, then his life will be perfect and successful.
(to initiates:) Now you come forward. [break] Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Then again, one round, er, one bead, sixteen names. Then second bead. In this way finish 108, come here. Begin from here, again come there. In this way, finish sixteen rounds. And so far offenses, I will explain later on and you will get paper. So what is your name?
Bill: Bill.
Prabhupada: So your spiritual name is Bali-mardana dasa. Take it. Just bow down. Nama...
nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhutale
srimate bhaktivedanta svamin iti namine
(repeats twice more)
Prabhupada: Thank you. Come on. Be happy. Bali-mardana dasa. B-a-l-i m-a-r-d-a-n. Bali-mardana dasa brahmacari. Bali-mardana means Krsna's name. Krsna, as Vamanadeva, he punished Bali Maharaja by capturing his whole kingdom. Mardana means punishment. And after all, Bali Maharaja became an authority because he showed the example of surrendering everything, sarvatma-snapane, even his body. First of all he gave his kingdom. Then, when it was not finished, then Krsna demanded Vamanadeva that "You have finished all your kingdom. Still you are debtor for one step, another. Where shall I keep another step?" So Bali Maharaja said, "Yes. I have got still place on my head. You can place Your step on my head." So he delivered his kingdom, his everything, at last his body, and Krsna became purchased by him. And since then, Bali Maharaja is one of the twelve authorities.
svayambhur naradah sambhuh
kumarah kapilo manuh
prahlado janako bhismo
balir vaiyasakir vayam
[SB 6.3.20]
So Bali is... Bali-mardana does not mean that he was... Because he was punished by Krsna, he is not ordinary person; he is authority. So even a person punished by Krsna becomes authority. Krsna is so nice. What to speak of a person who is directly loved by Krsna, even one is punished by Krsna, he becomes authority. So therefore Krsna's name is Bali-mardana. And Bali-mardana dasa means Krsna dasa, one who is servant of Krsna. Is that clear? Yes. [break] (japa) So that list you have not made, offenses, ten kinds of...?
Hamsaduta: Not yet. No.
Prabhupada: Why? You do that. They should be given that. You should avoid chanting, every one of you, ten kinds of offenses. The first offense is to decry the scriptures, Vedas. To accept authority of Vedas. Not to accept or decrying scriptures. Vedas means the book of transcendental knowledge. Not only Bhagavad-gita, even Bible or Koran, they are also, although Bhagavad-gita... Higher or secondary or primary, that is different. But whenever there is information of God, that is scripture, recognized. So we are concerned with the Vedas. So anyway, other scripture which is giving information of God scientifically or accepted by persons, that is also Vedas. One should not blaspheme the Vedas. This is first offense, to blaspheme. And satam ninda, those who are preaching the message of God, they should not be blasphemed. And then never interpret in the scriptures or in the chanting of Hare Krsna. And samya subha-kriya mati-pramadah. This chanting of Hare Krsna should not be executed as something auspicious activities. People generally go to church, to temple, to counteract their sinful activities. Somebody thinks actually that "If I go to church or temple, if I confess before God, then my sinful activities will be counteracted." But hari-nama should not be taken in that way. If we think that "I am chanting Hare Krsna; therefore I am free to commit all kinds of nonsense," then no. Then we will not be able to make progress. Samya subha-kriya mati-pramadah. And namna artha-vada. And while chanting, to think of aham mameti [SB 5.5.8], moha, this world as "mine," "I am this body," and without attention, inattentive, to become inattentive... While chanting, you must hear. Hare Krsna—you must give attention to hear. In this way there is paper. You will take from your Godbrothers ten kinds of offenses. If you avoid the offenses, then you make very good progress of chanting. You get good result. The first stage is chanting with offenses. That is natural, because nobody is expert. The second stage is without offenses. When one can chant without offenses, then he becomes liberated. And the third stage is to achieve in the transcendental platform in the loving service of the Lord. So this chanting of Hare Krsna is so powerful that it will gradually elevate you to the highest position. Chant Hare Krsna. (end)

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