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Lecture & Initiation

Seattle, October 20, 1968
Prabhupada: (sings) Govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami **. (audience responds) So Krsna consciousness movement means to approach the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. This is Krsna consciousness. Directly. This is a special gift of Lord Caitanya that... In this age there are so many anomalies, defects in the life of human being that gradually they are giving up the idea of Krsna consciousness, or God consciousness. Not only gradually they are giving up, they have already given up. So Vedanta-sutra therefore says, athato brahma jijnasa. It is not that a different type of religious system we have introduced. It is a great necessity of the present day. Because we say that either you follow scripture, Bible, or you follow Koran or you follow Vedas, the aim is God. But at the present moment, due to the influence of this Kali-yuga... Kali-yuga means the age of quarrel and disagreement. So in this age people are embarrassed in so many ways. First disqualification is that they do not live for long time. The average duration of life in India is thirty-five years, and I do not know exactly what is the average age here, but in India the people are overcrowded. They have no such intelligence, or they did not care to go outside India, colonize. Everyone went there to exploit, but they never thought of exploiting other places. That is their cultural... They do not try to encroach upon others' property. Anyway, India's position is very precarious, because they have left their own culture and they're trying to imitate the Western culture, which they cannot due to so many circumstances, and therefore they're put into, between the horns of Scylla and Charybdis. You see.
So this age is like that. Not only in India, in other countries the difficulties are in a different way. The problems are different. But there are problems, either in India or in America or in China. Everywhere, they are trying to make so many schemes for world peace. In your country also, in America even, there is no safety of life for big men like Kennedys, you see. Anyone can be killed at any moment, and there is no action. So there is another problem. In Communist country they are, by force, they're ruling on the citizens. So many Russians, so many Chinese, they are going away out of their country. They do not like this Communist idea. So problems are there due to this age. Due to this age of Kali, the problems are there. And what are the problems? The problems are that in this age people are very short-lived, their duration of life. We do not know when we shall die. At any moment. It is said that during Lord Ramacandra's rule, a brahmana... (aside:) It's not working? ...he came to the king, "My dear king, my son has died. So please explain why, in the presence of father, a son shall die." Just see how much the king was responsible. An old father came to complain to the king, "What is the reason that in the presence of the father, a son dies? Please explain." So just see how much responsible government was there. The government is responsible if the son dies before the father. Naturally, the father is older than the son, so he must die first. So such responsible government was there. Now in the civilized world anyone can be killed by anyone, but nobody cares for it.
So duration of life is very uncertain in this age. At any moment we can die. But this life, this human form of life, is meant for a sublime gain. What is that? To make a permanent solution of the miserable condition of our life. In this... So long we are in this material form, this body, we have to change from one body to another, one body to another. Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi [Bg. 13.9]. Repeated birth, repeated death. Soul is immortal, eternal, but changing, just like you are changing the dress. So this problem they do not take into account, but this is a problem. The human life is meant for making a solution of this problem, but neither they have any knowledge, nor they are very much serious about solving these problems. So duration, if you get a long duration of life, then there is chance you may meet somebody, you may meet some good association that you can make the solution of your life. But that is also impossible now because our duration of life is very short. Prayena alpayusah sabhya kalav asmin yuge janah mandah. And even whatever duration of life we have got, we are not properly utilizing. We are utilizing this life just like animal, simply eating, sleeping, mating and defending. That's all. In this age, if anyone can eat sumptuously, he thinks, "Oh, my day's duty is finished." If anyone can provide a wife and two or three children, he is to be considered as a very big man. You see. He is providing a family. Because mostly they are without family, without any responsibility. This is the symptoms of this age.
So even if we have got short life, we are not very serious. Mandah, very slow. Just like here, we are preaching this Krsna consciousness movement. Nobody is serious about to learn or to understand what is this movement. And if somebody is interested, they want to be cheated. They want something cheap or cheap something for self-realization. They have got money, they want to pay somebody some fees, and if he says that "I'll give you some mantra and you will, fifteen minutes meditation, within six months you'll become God," these things they want. Mandah manda-matayo. Manda-matayo means very foolish conclusion. They do not think that "Solution of the problems of life can be purchased only by paying thirty-five dollars?" They have become so foolish. Because if we say that to make a solution of your problems of life you have to follow these principles, "Oh, this is very difficult. Let me pay thirty-five dollars and solve it, make a solution." You see? So they want to be cheated. They are called manda-matayo. And cheaters come and cheat them. Mandah sumanda-matayo manda-bhagya [SB 1.1.10]. Manda-bhagya means they are unfortunate also. Even God comes and canvasses Himself, "Please come to Me," oh, they don't care for it. You see? Therefore unfortunate. If somebody comes and offers you one million dollars, if you say, "I don't like it," then are you not unfortunate? So Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that
harer nama harer nama harer nama eva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha
[Cc. Adi 17.21]
"For self-realization simply you chant Hare Krsna and see the result." No. They'll not accept. Therefore unfortunate. If you are canvassing the best thing, the easiest process, but they'll not accept, they want to be cheated... You see? Mandah sumanda-matayo manda-bhagya hy upadrutah [SB 1.1.10]. And harassed by so many thingsthis Draft Board, this board, that board, this, that, so many things. This is their position. Short life, very slow, no understanding, and if they want to understand, they want to be cheated, they are unfortunate, and disturbed. This is the position of the present days. It doesn't matter whether you are born in America or in India, this is the whole position.
So there is a great need of this movement, and we are spreading this Krsna consciousness movement, and this is practical, very easy, and just suitable for this age. It doesn't consider how much you are qualified. It doesn't consider. Whatever your past life may be, you simply come here, chant Hare Krsna with your tongueGod has given you a tongueand taste Krsna prasada, Love Feast, and make your life successful. Very easy process. So this is our program. So invite anyone to join this movement, and you'll be benefited. And you will see practically. It is pratyaksavagamam dharmyam. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said that this process of self-realization is directly perceivable. Directly perceivable. Pratyaksavagamam dharmyam. Just like when you eat, you can understand that you are eating, you can understand that your hunger is being satisfied, you can understand that you are getting strength. So you haven't got to take certificate. You can yourself understand it is so nice thing. Pratyaksavagamam. Pratyaksa means directly, avagamam. You understand it directly. If you meditate, so-called meditation, you do not know how far you are making progress. You see. You are in oblivion. You do not know. But here, if you chant Hare Krsna, you'll directly feel, directly feel. I have got so many students, so many letters, how they are feeling directly. It is so nice. Pratyaksavagamam dharmyam su-sukham kartum avyayam [Bg. 9.2]. And very nice to perform. Chant and dance and eat. What do you want more? (laughter) Simply chanting, dancing, and eating nice sweetballs, kachori. So su-sukham and kartum avyayam. While performing, while practicing this process, it is very pleasurable, and avyayam. Avyayam means whatever you do, even if you execute one percent of this movement, that is your permanent asset. Permanent asset. If you do two percent, three percent, four percent... But don't wait for next life. Finish, cent percent. It is not very easy to execute; therefore finish. Don't wait, that "Let me finish in this life a certain percentage of self-realization, and next life I shall do." And what is the test of realization, finishing full percentage? The test is how much you have learned to love God, Krsna, that's all. You have got your love, you love somebody, but if you divide your love, that "I shall love this country and my society, my girlfriend and this and that, or boyfriend, and I shall try to love Krsna also..." No. That is also nice, but if you give predominance, all predominance, simply to love Krsna, you'll automatically love other things, and your life will be perfect. Other loving affairs will not be minus. Just like a Krsna conscious person, he loves not only his family and society; he loves even the animal, he loves even the ant, his love is so much expanded. It is so nice thing. How much you can love? Anything, as soon as there is some misunderstanding, the love is broken. But Krsna love is so sound that you'll never break, and your love will be expanded universally. It is so nice thing. And love you have got. You have simply misplaced your loving capacity to so many things. You just revert it to Krsna, and when you perfectly love Krsna, you'll see that you're loving your country, your society, your friend, more than what you loved before, it is so nice thing.
So take to this Krsna consciousness movement and be happy in this life and next life. If you can finish your loving affairs to Krsna in this life, then you have done cent percent. If not, whatever percentage you have executed in this life, that will remain with you. It will not go. That is assured in the Bhagavad-gita, that sucinam srimatam gehe yoga bhrasto sanjayate [Bg. 6.41]. One who cannot execute this yoga process completely cent per cent, he is given next birth a chance to take birth in a rich family or to get birth in a very pure family. Two alternatives. So either you take birth in pure family or in rich family, at least your birth as a human being is guaranteed. But if you don't take to this Krsna consciousness movement, you do not know what is your next birth. There are 8,400,000 different species of life, and you can be transferred to any one of them. If you are transferred to become a tree... Just like I've seen in San Francisco. They said that "This tree is standing for seven thousand years." They stand up on the bench for seven thousand years. The boys are sometimes punished by the teachers in the school, "Stand up on the bench." So these trees are punished, "Stand up," by nature's law. So there is chance of becoming a tree, there is chance of becoming a dog, a cat, or even a rat. So many lives there are. Don't miss this opportunity of human form of life. Perfect your love of Krsna and be happy in this life and next life.
So this initiation... As many of our students are initiated, so some of our students are going to be initiated this evening. The initiation means the third stage of joining this movement. The first stage is sraddha, a little faith. Just like our students are going in the marketplace, they are chanting, and many people are contributing some money; somebody's purchasing our Back to Godhead. This is the beginning of faith: "Oh, here is a nice movement. Let me cooperate." Adau sraddha. Then, if he becomes little more interested, then he comes here, into the class. "All right, let us see what these people are teaching, this Krsna consciousness." So they come. So that is the second stage. The first stage is automatic sympathy for this movement. The second stage is joining or associating with this, our activities. Just like you have kindly come here. You are hearing me. Similarly, if somebody becomes more interested or his faith is still further advanced, then he comes, that is the second stage. And the third stage is... Adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sanga atha bhajana-kriya [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15]. Now, the initiation means beginning of the activities. Beginning of the activities. How one can develop Krsna consciousness to the perfectional state, that is called initiation. It is not that initiation means finished. It is the third stage. Then the fourth stage will be, one who is initiated, if he follows the rules and regulation, and if he chants Hare Krsna with a fixed-up counting, then gradually his all misgivings will vanish. What are the misgivings? We ask our students to refrain from that illicit sex life, nonvegetarian diet, and intoxication, and to take part in gambling. These four things. So ordinarily these four things are very prominent in the society, especially in the Western countries. But these students who take initiation and follows chanting, they very easily give up these four things without any difficulty. That is called anartha nivrtti. That is the fourth stage. The fifth stage is then he becomes fixed up: "Yes." Just like one student, Mr. Anderson, I've not seen him, but simply by associating with our other devotees, he has written that "I wish to devote my whole being for this Krsna consciousness." This is called nistha, fixed up. Tato nistha tato ruci. Ruci means they get a taste. Why these boys are going out? This chanting, they have got a taste. They have developed a taste. Otherwise for nothing they are not wasting time. They are educated, they are grown up. So taste. Fixed up, then taste, tathasaktis. When the taste is, then attachment. He cannot give it up. And I receive so many letters. Some students, they could not cope with their Godbrothers, they go away, but they'll write that "I cannot go. I cannot go." He's captured. You see? Umapati has written that letter, that he becomes in difficulty, he cannot live, he cannot l-i-v-e or l-e-a-v-e. He's in Dallas. You see? He cannot quit the company, or some misunderstanding, he cannot live with Godbrothers. But that is temporary. So that is called asaktih, attachment. Tathasaktis tato bhava. Then gradually increasing, some ecstatic position, always thinking of Krsna. And then perfectional stage, that he loves Krsna cent percent. So this is the process.
So this initiation means the third stage of Krsna consciousness. Those who are being initiated, they should remember that they have to follow the rules and regulations. Just like if a man wants to be cured from a certain type of disease, he has to follow the regulation given by the physician, and that will help him to recover from the illness very quickly. So these four principles of restriction they should follow, and chant at least sixteen rounds daily, and gradually he'll get fixed up in this conviction and will have attachment and taste, and then love of Krsna will automatically... It is there in everyone's heart. Love of Krsna, it is not a foreign thing that we are imposing. No. It is there, everywhere, in every living entity. Otherwise how these American boys and girls are taking it if it is not there? It is there. I am simply helping. Just like matches: there is fire, and one can help only simply rubbing, that's all. There is fire. You cannot get fire rubbing two, I mean to say, sticks, if there is no, that chemicals on the top. So Krsna consciousness is there in everyone's heart; simply one has to revive it by this association, this Krsna consciousness association. So it is neither difficult, nor impractical, nor very unpalatable. Everything is nice. So our request to everyone that let them take this munificent gift of Lord Caitanya, Krsna consciousness movement, and Hare Krsna chanting, and you'll be happy. That is our program.
Thank you very much. (devotees offer obeisances) Give him. You want to ask me anything?
Young man: Excuse me?
Prabhupada: You want to ask me anything?
Young man: No.
Prabhupada: That's good. Now do it like that (as) I have done. Yes, like that. Three times that. Once more, yes. Touch in your mouth. Yes. Take little. Take little water and wash your hand. Yes. Throw it. That's all. Do like that. (devotees chanting) Left. Chant Hare Krsna.
om apavitrah pavitro va
sarvavastham gato 'pi va
yah smaret pundarikaksam
sa bahyabhyantara-sucih
sri visnu sri visnu sri visnu
(devotees respond) Again do it. Like that. Take water and then drink. [break] Nama apavitrah... (repeats) Do it again. (Prabhupada chants mantras for fire sacrifice, devotees responding) Thank you. Now give me beads. Beads. Somebody. (Prabhupada chants on beads, devotees chant japa) What is your name?
Bill: Bill.
Prabhupada: So your spiritual name is Vilasa-vigraha. Vilasa-vigraha. V-i-l-a-s-v-i-g-r-a-h-a. Vilasa-vigraha. You begin from here, big bead: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. This finger you should not touch. Similarly next. In this way you come to this side, again begin from here to this side. Your Godbrothers will teach you. And there are ten kinds of offenses which you shall avoid. That I shall explain. You have got paper, that ten kinds of offense?
Devotee: Yes.
Prabhupada: Bow down. (word by word with boy repeating:)
nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta svamin iti namine
Chant Hare Krsna and be happy. Thank you. Hare Krsna. (japa) Your name?
Rob: Rob.
Prabhupada: Rob. So your spiritual name is Revatinandana. R-e-v-a-t-i, Revati, nandana, n-a-n-d-a-n. Revatinandana means son of Revati. Revati was one of the wives of Vasudeva, Krsna's stepmother. And Balarama was his son. So Revatinandana means Balarama. Revatinandana dasa brahmacari, your name. Chant beginning from here and then so on. Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Then next. In this way, you come this side, again begin from here. Your Godbrothers will teach. Bow down. Bow down. (boy responding:)
nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta svamin iti namine
Now take your beads. Begin. Chant. (japa) What is this made of? Metal? Why it is so weighty, this?
Young man: It's a seed, Swamiji.
Prabhupada: Oh, it is seed? What is that seed?
Young man: I don't know. A big seed.
Prabhupada: It is very weighty. Just like bullet. Krsna bullet. (laughter) (japa) So your spiritual name is Srimati dasi. Srimati. S-r-i-m-a-t-i. Srimati dasi. Srimati means Radharani.
Srimati: Means what?
Prabhupada: Srimati means Radharani. So Radharani dasi means you are maidservant of Radharani. Don't think that you are maidservant of this world. (chuckles) It is very fortunate to become maidservant of Radharani. Yes. So Srimati dasi, your name. So you'll chant beginning from here, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Then next. In this way come this side and again begin. Sixteen rounds at least. (Srimati repeating:)
nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta svamin iti namine
All right. Take. Be happy.
Srimati: Hare Krsna.
Prabhupada: So where is that paper, ten kinds of offenses? Where is that paper? There are three stages of chanting. What is that?
Young man: It is a picture she drew.
Prabhupada: Oh, you have drawn this? Good. Very nice. Thank you very much.
Jahnava: With your blessing, would you give this to Sharon? Would you give this to Sharon with your blessing?
Young man: Srimati dasi.
Prabhupada: Oh. It is a presentation. (chuckles)
Srimati: Thank you.
Madhudvisa: Srila Prabhupada? Should I read the ten offenses?
Prabhupada: Yes.
Madhudvisa: We have them here.
Prabhupada: Just see. Go on reading. Yes, you read.
Madhudvisa: "The ten offenses to avoid while chanting the maha-mantra. Number one: Blaspheming the Lord's devotee."
Prabhupada: Now just try to understand. Any devotee of Lord should not be blasphemed. It doesn't matter in any country. Just like Lord Jesus Christ, he is a great devotee. And even Muhammad, he's also a devotee. It is not that because we are devotee and they are not devotee. Don't think like that. Anyone who is preaching the glories of God, he is a devotee. He should not be blasphemed. You should be careful. Then?
Madhudvisa: "Number two: Considering the Lord and other demigods on the same level or assuming there are many Gods."
Prabhupada: Yes. Just like there are many nonsense, they say that demigods... Of course, you have no affairs with demigods. Vedic religion there are hundreds and thousands of demigods. Especially it is going on that either you worship Krsna or Lord Siva or Kali, the same thing. This is nonsense. You should not, I mean to, place on the same level with the Supreme Lord. Nobody is greater than Lord. Nobody is equal than the Lord. So this equality should be avoided. Then?
Madhudvisa: "Number three: Neglecting the orders of the spiritual master."
Prabhupada: Yes. Spiritual master's order should be as your life and soul. Then everything will be clear. Then?
Madhudvisa: "Number four: Minimizing the authority of the Vedas."
Prabhupada: Yes. Nobody should minimize the authorized scripture. This is also offense. Then?
Madhudvisa: "Number five: Interpreting the holy names of God."
Prabhupada: Yes. Now just like we are chanting Hare Krsna, just like the other day some boy was: "a symbolic." It is not symbolic. Krsna... We are chanting "Krsna," addressing Krsna. Hare means addressing Krsna's energy, and we are praying that "Please engage me in Your service." That is Hare Krsna. There is no other interpretation. Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. The only prayer is, "O the energy of Lord, O Lord Krsna, Lord Rama, please engage me in Your service." That's all. There is no other second interpretation. Then?
Madhudvisa: "Number six: Committing sin on the strength of chanting."
Prabhupada: Yes. Now this initiation, from this day your account, past life, all sinful activities, is now what is called, adjusted. Closed. It is finished. Now because by chanting Hare Krsna you can finish your sinful activities' reaction, that does not mean that you will repeat: "Oh, I shall commit sinful activities and I shall chant. It will be adjusted. The balance will be nil." No. Not like that. Don't commit that. Whatever is done is done. No more. Now there should be pure life. No illicit sex life, no intoxication, no gambling, and no meat-eating. Finished now. It is not that "Oh, I am chanting Hare Krsna. Let me go to the hotel and take some meat." No. Then it will be a great sin. Don't do that. Then the chanting of Hare Krsna will not fructify if you commit offense. Next?
Madhudvisa: "Number seven: Instructing the Lord's name to the unfaithful."
Prabhupada: Yes. Unfaithful, those who have no faith, that Lord and His name are absolute. Just like here in this material world, the name and the person is different. Suppose your name is Mr. John. So if I chant "John, John, John," so John may be a hundred miles away. There is no response. But the name, holy name of God, God is present everywhere. Just like the television. Television is being, I mean to say, released in some place. If you have got the machine, immediately the picture is in your room. If it is, materially, it can be so possible, how much possibility there is in spiritual Krsna name? Immediately you chant Krsna's name, that means Krsna is immediately on your tongue. So what is that?
Madhudvisa: Seven? "Instructing the holy name to the unfaithful."
Prabhupada: So, one who has no faith that the name of the Lord and the Lord Himself the same, there is no difference, one should not be instructed about the glories of the Lord. He should be instructed to understand, but if he's unable to understand, then he should not be initiated. He should require some time to understand. But you should always remember that nama cintamanih krsnas caitanya-rasa-vigrahah: [Cc. Madhya 17.133] Krsna and Krsna's name nondifferent. As soon as you chant Hare Krsna, that means Krsna is dancing on your tongue. You should be careful in that way. Just like if Krsna... As you offer so much respect to your spiritual master as soon as he's present, so if Krsna is present on your tongue, how much careful you should be. So you should always know that Krsna is there. Krsna is always everywhere. God is everywhere, but we have no realization. But this particular chanting, as soon as chant holy name, that means you must know. So by associating with Krsna you become purified. Srnvatam sva-kathah. Just like associating with fire you become warm, similarly, associate with Krsna means you become purified. Gradually you become spiritualized. No more material. Finished. This is the process. Then?
Madhudvisa: "Number eight: Comparing the holy name to material piety."
Prabhupada: Yes. Now this function is being done. It should not be taken that we are doing something, religious rituals. No. Religious ritual is different thing. This is... Although it appears like rituals, but it is transcendental. It is above all kinds of religion. It is postgraduate study. The process is how to develop love of Godhead. This is above all rel... Religion means, generally, some kind of faith. But it is not the question of faith. It is actually developing, how much you are loving Krsna, or God. So it is above all religions. It is not ordinary religion. Religion means... Suppose you are Christian, I am Hindu. As soon as this body is finished, my Christianism or religion, everything is finished. But this love of God will not finish. It will go with you. Any birth you go, it will develop. If you can finish, then you go directly to Krsna, back to Godhead, and finish your all material connection. Even if you are not able, then it goes with you. Asset. It is... The bank balance will not be diminished. It will increase. Then?
Madhudvisa: "Number nine: Inattentive while chanting the holy name."
Prabhupada: Yes. While you are chanting we should hear also. That is meditation. Hare Krsna, these two words, Hare Krsna, you'll hear also. If you hear, then your mind and your tongue both captivated. That is perfect. Therefore meditation, the first-class yoga, hearing and chanting. Then?
Madhudvisa: Then finally number ten: "Attachment to material things while engaged in the practice of chanting."
Prabhupada: Yes. The whole process is that we are going to transfer our love from matter to God. So we should try to minimize. It will be automatically. Bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir anyatra syat [SB 11.2.42]. If you actually develop love of Godhead, then naturally you forget to love all these material nonsense. That is sequence. But you should try also. You should... This will happen. Just like if we eat, then gradually you minimize your hankering after eating. When you are full, then you say, "I don't want any more. Yes, I am..." Similarly... [break] ...so nice that with the progress of Krsna consciousness you forget the so-called material nonsense enjoyment. And when you are in perfect stage, oh, you don't care for anything of this material nonsense. This is the test. You cannot say "I am progressing in meditation by my material attachment to all sense gratification" is the same. That is no progress. Progress means that you will minimize your material attachment for sense gratification. This is progress. Now you can chant... Ah, you have got... Chant Hare Krsna. (end)

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