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The Nectar of Devotion
Calcutta, January 27, 1973
Prabhupada: Not thirty-two. Twenty-three.
Prabhupada: Page twenty-three. Open.
Madhavananda: Here, twenty-five, page twenty-five.
Prabhupada: Hm? Page twenty-five?
Prabhupada: Yes. Go on.
Madhavananda: Page twenty-five. I ended...
Madhavananda: I ended on the second paragraph. Right here. "The vaisyas are meant for pro..."
Madhavananda: "The vaisyas are meant for producing agricultural products, trading them and distributing them. And the working class, or sudras, are those who haven't the intelligence of the brahmanas or the ksatriyas or the vaisyas, and therefore they are meant to help these higher classes by bodily labor. In this way, there is full cooperation and spiritual advancement amongst all the different orders of society. And when there is no such cooperation, the members of society will fall down. That is the present position..."
Prabhupada: Yes. That is everywhere. Even in, in our society, Krsna conscious society, if there is no mutual cooperation, then it will fall down immediately. So as Rupa Gosvami advises, the first thing is enthusiasm, utsahan. Utsahan dhairyat tat-tat-karma-pravartanat... (aside:) Why Syamasundara is not here? Tat-tat-karma-pravartanat, sato vrtteh sadhu-sanga sadbhir bhaktih prasidhyati. If you want actually to make progress in our devotional life, the utsahan, enthusiasm, is the first thing. If you are lacking enthusiasm, then you should rest, instead of making too much agitation within the mind. The... If you cannot find out... Some, something has dropped in the water, in the river, you cannot see the things dropped within the water by agitating the water. Just stand still for sometimes. As soon as the water is settled up, you'll see the things as they are. So as soon as our enthusiasm is agitated, it is better to sit down in any temple suitable and chant Hare Krsna. There is no question of being disappointed. After all, we commit so many mistakes. That is human nature. To err is human. That is not fault. But try to rectify with cool head. That is required. So similarly, there are different classes of men in the society: brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra. They should cooperate for the common cause. They do not know the common cause. The common cause is Krsna. For Krsna's service, we should submit to the immediate officer or commander. Just like soldiers. Soldiers, there is no question of discrimination. Whatever is ordered by the commander, immediately done. Go on.
Madhavananda: "That is the present position in the Kali-yuga, this age of quarrel. Nobody is doing his duty, and everyone is simply puffed up by calling himself a brahmana, intellectual, or a ksatriya, soldier or statesman. But actually such people are without status."
Prabhupada: This is the statement exactly. Everyone has to do his duty. Otherwise, simply by name, I have become a great devotee, but if I do not do what is enjoined in the sastras or the spiritual master, then that is simply false, puffed-up position. Go on.
Madhavananda: "They are out of touch with the Supreme Personality of Godhead because they are not Krsna conscious. Therefore the Krsna consciousness movement is intended to set the whole of human society in proper condition so that everyone will be happy and take profit from developing Krsna consciousness. Lord Sri Krsna instructed Uddhava that by following the injunctions of the social and spiritual orders of human society, one can satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as a result of such satisfaction, the whole society gets all the necessities of life amply and without difficulty. This is because, after all, the Supreme Personality of Godhead maintains all other living entities. If the whole world performs its respective duties and remains in Krsna consciousness, there is no doubt that all of its members will live very peacefully and happily. Without wanting the necessities of life, the whole world will be turned into Vaikuntha, a spiritual abode. Even without being transferred to the kingdom of God, by following the injunctions of the Srimad-Bhagavatam and prosecuting the duties of Krsna consciousness. all human society will be happy in all respects."
Prabhupada: Now what is the argument against this? (aside:) Why don't you open this? All, open all fans.
Madhavananda: Just the, just...
Prabhupada: Open the doors. Open, fully open. Now we say simply by developing Krsna consciousness every member in the society, human society, will be happy. This is our proposal. Now discuss on this point, whether actually people will be happy or unhappy. What is the counterargument? It should be understood by threadbare discussion, how Krsna consciousness movement can make the whole society happy. This is the proposal. Now those who are not Krsna conscious, what argument they will forward against this proposition? Yes.
Revatinandana: Who would run the factories?
Prabhupada: So that means the world as it is going on, it is a necessity. Do you think like that? This world, as it is going on, fighting one another, killing one another, stealing one's property and... Do you think that this order of things must go on? Just like the..., it is a proposal when everyone becomes honest, how the prison house will go on? It will be stopped. That's a great anxiety. Do you think the prison house, there is necessity that it will go on? That answer was given by Caitanya Mahaprabhu that... Vasudeva Datta proposed, "My dear Lord, You have come. You take all the sinful persons from this world. Let them be delivered, as You have personally come. So if You think they're so sinful, they cannot be taken back to home, back to Godhead, then I take all their sins. You take them only." That was his offer. Vaisnava. Vaisnava thinks like that, that he may remain in the hell, but by Krsna consciousness everyone may be delivered. That is real Vaisnava. Para-duhkha-duhkhi. Vaisnava is unhappy by seeing others unhappy. Para-duhkha-duhkhi. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu replied that "Suppose I take all the living entities of this universe, and still there are so many other universes. This universe is just like one mustard seed in the bag of mustard seeds." So you do not think that everyone will become Krsna conscious. You don't be, I mean to say, agitated with this thought: "The prison house will be closed." No. It will go on. The business will go on. It is not so easy that everyone should... But if some percentage of people take to Krsna consciousness, leading men, then it will be... You, you... They'll follow. Yad yad acarati sresthas lokas tad anuvartate [Bg. 3.21]. You, you do not think that the bad habits of people, non-Krsna conscious, will stop altogether. No. That is not possible. One hasn't got to think over this. It will go on, side by side. Because this is material world. Maya. Maya is very strong. Daivi hi esa gunamayi. But those who are taken shelter of Krsna, for them, there is no unhappiness. Visvam purnam sukhayate. For them, the whole world becomes happy. There is no question of distress. Go on.
Madhavananda: "There is a similar statement by Sri Krsna Himself to Uddhava in the Eleventh Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Twenty-seventh Chapter, verse 49. The Lord says there, 'My dear Uddhava, all persons are engaged in activities, whether those indicated in the revealed scriptures or ordinary worldly activities. If by the result of either of such activities they worship Me in Krsna consciousness, then automatically they become very happy within this world, as well as in the next. Of this there is no doubt.' We can conclude from this statement by Krsna that activities in Krsna consciousness will give everyone all perfection in their desires.
"Thus the Krsna consciousness movement is so nice that there is no need of even designating oneself brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha or sannyasi. Let everyone be engaged in whatever occupation he now has. Simply let him worship Lord Krsna by the result of his activities in Krsna consciousness. That will adjust the whole situation and everyone will be happy and peaceful within this world. In the Narada-pancaratra, the regulative princi..."
Prabhupada: "Everyone" means one who takes to Krsna consciousness. "Everyone" does not mean that one who does not. But if one takes to Krsna consciousness, by his influence, hundreds will be happy. Hundreds will be happy. So a few people, if they become Krsna conscious, then there will be tremendous benefit to the human society. Not that everyone will become Krsna conscious. By the presence of really a pure Krsna conscious person, many people will be benefited.
Madhavananda: "In the Narada-pancaratra, the regulative principles of devotional service are described as follows: 'Any activities sanctioned in the revealed scriptures and aiming at the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are accepted by saintly teachers as the regulative principles of devotional service."
Prabhupada: This is the primary point. Whatever, laukiki and vaidiki. Vaidiki means according to the scriptures, and laukiki means ordinary, common activities. Both of them, when, they are executed for satisfying of Krsna, it is immediately transcendental. Go on.
Madhavananda: "If somebody regularly executes such service under the Supreme Personality of Godhead under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master, then gradually he rises to the platform of serving in pure love of God." "Chapter Three: Eligibility of the Candidate for Accepting Devotional Service. On account of his association with mahatmas, or great souls one hundred percent in the devotional service of the Lord, one may attain a little bit of attraction for Sri Krsna, but, at the same time, one may remain very much attached to fruitive activities and material sense enjoyment and not be prepared to undergo the different types of renunciation. Such a person, if he has unflinching attraction to Krsna, becomes an eligible candidate for discharging devotional service.
"This attraction for Krsna consciousness in association with pure devotees is the sign of great fortune. It is confirmed by Lord Caitanya that the only..., only the fortunate persons, by mercy of both the bona fide spiritual master and Krsna, will get the seed of devotional service. In this connection, Lord Krsna says in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Eleventh Canto, Twentieth Chapter, verse 8: 'My dear Uddhava, only by exceptional fortune does someone become attached, attracted to Me, Krsna. And even if one is not completely detached from fruitive activities or is not completely attached to devotional service, such service is quickly effective.'
"Devotees can be divided into three classes. The first, or uppermost class, is described as follows: One is very expert in the study of relevant scriptures and he is also expert in putting forward arguments in terms of those scriptures. He can very nicely present conclusions with perfect discretion and can consider the ways of devotional..."
Prabhupada: These are the symptoms of the topmost devotee. He has got full knowledge in scripture. He can argue on the basis of scripture. He can convince the other party. These are the symptoms of uttama-adhikari.
Madhavananda: "He understands perfectly that the ultimate goal of life is to attain to the transcendental loving service of Krsna, and he knows that Krsna is the only object of worship and love. This first-class devotee is one who has strictly followed the rules and regulations under the training of a bona fide spiritual master and is sincerely obeying him in accord with revealed scriptures. Thus being fully trained to preach and become a spiritual master himself, he is considered first class. A first-class devotee never deviates from the principles of higher authority, and he attains firm faith in the scriptures by understanding with all reasons and arguments. When we speak of arguments and reason, it means arguments and reason on the basis of revealed scripture. The first-class devotee is not interested in dry speculative methods for wasting time. In other words, one who has attained a mature determination in the matter of devotional service can be accepted as the first-class devotee.
"The second-class devotee has been defined by the following symptoms: he is not very expert in arguing on the strength of revealed scripture, but he has firm faith in the objective. The purport of this description is that the second-class devotee has firm faith in the procedure of devotional service unto Krsna, but he may sometimes fail to offer arguments and decisions on the strength of revealed scripture to an opposing party. But at the same time, he is still undaunted within himself as to his decision that Krsna is the supreme object of worship.
"The neophyte, or third-class devotee, is one whose faith is not strong and, at the same time, does not recognize the decision of the revealed scripture. The neophyte's faith can be changed by someone else with strong arguments or by an opposite decision. Unlike the second-class devotee, who also cannot put forward arguments and evidences from the scriptures, but who has still, has all faith in the objective, the neophyte has no firm faith in the objective. Thus he is called a neophyte devotee.
"Further classification of the neophyte devotee is made in the Bhagavad-gita. It is stated there that four classes of men, namely those who are distressed, those who are in need of money, those who are inquisitive and those who are wise, begin devotional service and come to the Lord for relief in the matter of their respectful self-satisfaction. They go into some place of worship and pray to God for mitigation of material distress or for some economic development, or to satisfy their inquisitiveness. And a wise man who simply realizes the greatness of God is also counted amongst the neophytes. Such beginners can be elevated to the second-class platform if they associate with pure devotees.
"An example of the neophyte class is Maharaja Dhruva. He was in need of his father's kingdom and therefore engaged himself in devotional service to the Lord. Then, in the end, when he was completely purified, he declined to accept any material benediction from the Lord. Similarly, Gajendra was also distressed and prayed to Krsna for protection, after which he became a pure devotee. Similarly Sanaka, Sanatana, Sananda and Sanat-kumara were all in the category of wise, saintly persons, and they were also attracted by devotional service. A similar thing happened to the assembly in the Naimisaranya Forest, headed by the sage Saunaka. They were inquisitive and were always asking Suta Gosvami about Krsna. Thus they achieved the association of a pure devotee and became pure devotees themselves. So that is the way of elevating oneself. In whatever condition one may be, if he is fortunate enough to associate with pure devotees, then very quickly he is elevated to the second-class or first-class platform.
"These four types of devotees have been described in the Seventh Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, and they, they have all been accepted as pious. Without becoming pious, no one can come to devotional service. It is explained in the Bhagavad-gita that only one who has completely executed pious activities and whose sinful reactions of life have completely stopped can take to Krsna consciousness. Others cannot. The neophyte devotees are classified into four groups: the distressed, those who are in need of money, the inquisitive and the wise—according to their gradations of pious activities. Without pious activities, if a man is in a distressed condition, he becomes an agnostic, communist, or something like that. Because he does not firmly believe in God, he thinks that he can adjust his distressed condition by totally disbelieving in Him.
"Lord Krsna, however, has explained in the Gita that out of these four types of neophytes, the one who is very..., who is wise is very dear to Him because a wise man, if he is attached to Krsna, is not seeking an exchange of material benefits. A wise man who becomes attached to Krsna does not want any return from Him, neither in the form of relieving distress nor in gaining money. This means that from the very beginning the basic principle of attachment to Krsna is, more or less, love. Furthermore, due to his wisdom and study of sastra and scriptures, he can understand also that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead."[break]
Acyutananda: When people are starving and they have no clothing, then how can they take to Krsna consciousness? First give them food, then clothing and education, and then Krsna consciousness.
Prabhupada: Those who are Krsna conscious, are they starving? Then why they not become Krsna conscious?
Acyutananda: They said because first they had, had to give them food so that they could have time to...
Prabhupada: No. Those who have taken to Krsna consciousness, practically, we are not starving.
Devotee: In India... [break]
Prabhupada: ...stomach. In India there are many persons whose stomach is already filled up, but he's not chanting Hare Krsna. That is not a condition, that because the stomach is filled up, therefore one will chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna. Ahaituky apratihata. Chanting of Hare Krsna mantra is not caused by anything. Ahaituky apratihata. It cannot be checked by any condition. Your chanting of Hare Krsna mantra cannot be checked because one is poor. No. That is not a fact. Any condition, one can chant Hare Krsna. Now a poor man is suffering without chanting Hare Krsna. So what is the harm if he chants Hare Krsna? There are many poor men, they're not chanting Hare Krsna. They're suffering. But, in that condition, if they're induced to chant Hare Krsna, what is the harm if there is some benefit?
Pancadravida: Well, these welfare workers say, "We have a positive solution. We believe the answer is by providing food and shelter, clothing. Or if you will offer..."
Prabhupada: But you cannot, you have not done this. There are so many men without shelter, without food. What you have done for them? The Ramakrishna Mission began for daridra-narayana seva. They have got so much big, big buildings, institutions. And why the daridra-narayana is lying on the street? What they are doing? Why do they not take the daridra-narayanas in the big, big building they have got? Their mission is daridra-narayana seva. Why they are not doing that?
Indian man: (Hindi conversation with Srila Prabhupada) [break]
Prabhupada: "...and naturally inclined to enjoy. And you have encouraged them in that way in the name of religion. This is very condemned and is quite unreasonable. Because they are guided under your instructions, they will accept such activities in the name of religion and will hardly care for prohibitions. They will hardly care for prohibitions." (Hindi—end)
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