Initiation: Sri Ranga, Romaharsana, Sridhara Dasas
Los Angeles, July 3, 1970
Prabhupada: Ten kinds of offenses, they are mentioned in the paper. You should avoid, and follow the regulative principles. Just like if you ignite fire, if the wood is dry, then the fire very quickly takes place. And if it is moist, wet, then it takes time. So, so avoiding these ten kinds of offenses and following the rules and regulation will quickly ignite the fire of Krsna consciousness. Otherwise, the chanting of Hare Krsna mantra is powerful, even one is contaminated, but it will accelerate if you follow the rules and regulations and avoid the offenses. Therefore... So what are these ten kind of offenses? What is the first, first offense?
Devotee: Blaspheming the Lord's devotee?
Prabhupada: Yes. Those who are engaged in preaching the glories of the Lord, they should never be defamed. That is the greatest offense. Then next?
Devotee: Considering the Lord and the demigods on the same level.
Prabhupada: Yes. Those who are impersonalists, they think that "After all, the Absolute Truth is void or impersonal. So we can imagine any form." The Mayavadi philosopher says, sadhakanam hitarthaya brahmano rupah kalpanah. "Brahman, the Supreme Absolute Truth, He is formless, but because we cannot concentrate our mind in the formless, therefore let us imagine any form we like, and that will make me advance." This is not the philosophy. The Absolute Truth, Supreme Personality of Godhead, He has His form and He is not equal, nobody is equal to Him. So according to Vedic literature, you cannot put Visnu-tattva even on the equal footing with Brahma and Siva. His position, Visnu-tattva, is mahato mahiyan. He's the greatest of the greatest. So this is offense. There are many Mayavadi philosophers, they say "You can chant any name, either Krsna or Kali or Durga or..." And another mission says, "Any nonsense name you can chant. That doesn't matter." But our Vedic sastra, scripture, does not say that. It is said, harer nama. Not any other name. Harer nama. only the name of Hari. Sravanam kirtanam visnoh [SB 7.5.23]. To hear and chant about whom? Visnu. It is clearly stated there. So we have to chant Visnu name, we have to chant Harer name, Hari and Visnu, Krsna. They're the same. So this is my... You should not misguide yourself by thinking that "Any name will do." No. This
harer nama harer nama harer nama iva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha
[Cc. Adi 17.21]
Then what is the next? Guror avajna?
Devotee: Neglecting the order of the spiritual master.
Prabhupada: Yes. We are daily singing, yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasada. By pleasing the spiritual master we please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore if His order is disobeyed, if he is displeased, then yasyaprasadad na gatih kuto 'pi. If he is displeased, then he has no shelter. He's thrown in the wilderness. Therefore this should be strictly followed. Then next?
Devotee: Minimizing the authority of the scripture or...
Prabhupada: Yes. Scriptural injunction we should not minimize. We should not think contradictory. We should accept as it is. Then it will be good for us. Or interpretation. Scriptural interpretation is not required. Therefore, we are presenting Bhagavad-gita as it is, without any false interpretation. As it is. Krsna-Krsna. Kuruksetra-Kuruksetra. Pandava-Pandava. Dharma-ksetre kuru-ksetre samaveta [Bg. 1.1]. Krsna uvaca. Krsna, Bhagavan uvaca: "The Supreme Personality of Godhead said." And we should not add here that... What is called? Paramatma uvaca. No. Krsna uvaca. Paramatma is feature. In the Gita Press edition you will see "Paramatma." They never say Krsna. They're so much afraid that "If I say 'Krsna,' He will at once capture me." You see? (chuckles) So in a different way. "Param Brahman," "Caitanya," like this, so many impersonal ways they will say. But that is not required. Bhagavan uvaca means Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. Sometimes they say, "Blessed Lord said." No. Why you say? The Supreme Personality of Godhead Krsna said. Then, what is that next? No interpretation of the scripture. Next? What is the next item?
Devotee: Committing sin on the strength of chanting.
Prabhupada: Yes. On the strength of chanting, committing sin. Because as Dayananda explained to you, that this is a purificatory process. So if we think that "We are chanting. It is... I am being purified, so let me become contaminated by acting some sinful activities. I'll purify by chanting," this motive is very bad. This is the greatest offense. Once purified, that's all right, but don't commit again sinful. Sinful life should be stopped. From this day of initiation these four pillars of sinful life—illicit sex life, intoxication, meat-eating, and gambling—they should be broken. Not that "Let me do it. I have go the mantra machine, instrument for counteracting." No. You should not..., no more commit any sinful activities. Once you are purified, no more. Then, what is that?
Devotee: Instructing the glories of the Lord's name to the...
Prabhupada: Yes. We (are) therefore cautious. Unless one is recommended by the president... If he is eager, he is, I mean to say, accept brahmana, then we see that how he is attending our classes, how he is becoming little interested. Then we offer this first initiation. Otherwise, if we see that he is unmindful, then we should not canvass. Let him come. Just like Krsna says Arjuna that sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] "You just surrender unto Me." He's saying. Not that by force making him surrender. That kind of surrender will not stand. We should not canvass. Let him become attracted by Krsna consciousness movement, and he personally asks for harer nama [Cc. Adi 17.21]. Just like Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, bhakativinoda prabhu-carane padiya. As soon as Lord Caitanya says that "I have brought this medicine for killing maya." Hari-nama maha-mantra loilo. "Everyone can take from Me this chanting of Hare Krsna mantra." So bhakativinoda prabhu-carane padiya. The Bhaktivinoda Thakura immediately fell down on the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya and begged, "Please give me." So this, this should, the chance should be given like that. One should beg. Not that canvassing. No. That is not required. That is another offense. Unless one has increased little taste and he's personally eager to accept this chanting process, we should not canvass. That is not our... That is an offense. Then?
Devotee: Comparing the holy name with material piety.
Prabhupada: Yes. The whole thing is purification. Material contamination means desire to enjoy this material world. That is contamination. We have nothing to do with this material world. Brahma-bhutah. You are spirit. Unfortunately, we are put into this association. So that is another chapter. But now we are trying to come out of it. So at the same time I am trying to go back to home, back to Godhead, at the same time, desiring some material sense gratification, this is another offense. This should not be... We should try to forget. We shall try to forget, "No more I'll... No. There is no necessity of my materialness enjoyment." That sort of vow, determination, must be there. Then what is next?
Devotee: Becoming inattentive while chanting the holy name.
Prabhupada: Yes. While you (are) chanting, you should hear also. Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. You should hear at the same time. Then the mind and the senses are compact. That is samadhi. That is perfection of yoga. This yoga is recommended in the Bhagavad-gita. Yoginam api sarvesam mad-gatenantar-atmana [Bg. 6.47]. So everyone, while chanting, he should hear. All right. So what is your name?
Prabhupada: What is that?
Prabhupada: Kevin. Oh. So your spiritual name, Sri Ranga. Sri Ranga. Sri Ranganatha is Visnu. (It) is a very big temple in South India. Then, what is the name?
Prabhupada: So your name is Romaharsana. Romaharsana was a great learned scholar for explaining Vedic literature. But once upon a time he committed some offense. In a great meeting he was speaking about Vedic hymns, and Balarama, He entered that sacrificial arena. So all the sages and brahmanas and everyone stood up. This Romaharsana did not. So Balarama punished him, killed him. But although he was killed, but he got salvation and he was recognized. But, he... It was an example that we should be always very careful about offering respects to the Supreme Lord. He was sitting on the vyasasana. Vyasasana, one who is sitting on the vyasasana, if somebody comes, he does not require to offer respect. That is the rule. But that is not applicable when God enters. No. (laughter) That was his offense. So exemplary. He was killed not with any weapon. One straw. He was immediately... Balarama had some straw. So all the sages said that "Sir, we allowed him to sit on the vyasasana, and he was speaking. Now what is to be done? He's killed." So then Balarama said, "All right. If you want, I can make him immediately alive." So they also considered that "If we say that 'Make him alive,' then... Balarama's decision was to kill him. Then we overrule Him." Just see how the behavior. Then the saints and sages said, "No, Sir. We do not want. Whatever You have done, that is all right. But You do something, that we blessed this man for long life to speak. Now he is dead. So our version is also nullified. But we want that our version may not be nullified and Your action may not be nullified. You do something like that." (laughter) So then Balarama said, "All right. You bring his son. I shall empower him and he shall be a great speaker on this Vedic literature." And because his son means he himself... Atmaiva jayate putra. Son is born, there is no... The father and son there is no distinction. Just like in Bible sometimes it is said the son of God and God is one. That's a fact, because son is expansion of the body of the father. So Romaharsana's son was Suta Gosvami. This Suta Gosvami's name you have heard. He is speaking Bhagavatam. So Suta Gosvami was blessed by Balarama that "You, on behalf of your father..." So their version and Balarama's action was mitigated in this way. All right. Come one. So you be careful. Huh? Don't be like Romaharsana. You take the advantage, but don't make, commit mistake like Romaharsana. (laughter) Hare Krsna. Then what is your name?
Prabhupada: So you name is Sridhara. Sridhara is another name of Lord Visnu. Come on. Sridhara dasa..., brahmacari? You are brahmacari? All right. Jaya. You know the mantra? What is that mantra?
Prabhupada: No, not...
Prabhupada: No, this offering obeisances to the spiritual master. He knows it? Come on. What is your name?
Prabhupada: John. Sridhara? He is John.
Prabhupada: Oh, Charles. Your name is Gopala dasa. Come on. Govinda jaya gopala jaya jaya. So what are the restrictions?
Gopala: No meat, fish or eggs, no illicit sex connection.
Gopala: No gambling or speculating, and no intoxicants.
Prabhupada: So it will be possible? (laughter) Yes. For your country this is very, I mean, a big stricture, but one has to perform it, execute it for Krsna's sake. Krsnas te bhoga-tyaga (?). For Krsna's sake we can do anything. That is Krsna consciousness. Although it is very difficult for boys and girls in this country, but because they are taking Krsna consciousness, they should sacrifice their propensities for Krsna's sake. That is a vow. That is an austerity. So Krsna will be very much satisfied that "This boy, this girl has done so much. All right. Accept him." So strictly follow these rules and regulations. So every one of you know these regulative principles? Yes. Then you perform your yajna. [break] ...kevalam, kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha. (end)
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