The Need For A Living Guru

The Need For A Living Guru


Srimad Bhagavatam, third Canto, ninth chapter ‘Brahma’s Prayers For Creative Energy’, text twenty six.maitreya uvaca
sva-sambhavam nisamyaivam
yavan mano-vacah stutva
virarama sa khinnavat

maitreyah uvaca — the great sage Maitreya said; sva-sambhavam — the source of his appearance; nisamya — by seeing; evam — thus; tapah — penance; vidya — knowledge; samadhibhih — as also by concentration of the mind; yavat — as far as possible; manah — mind; vacah — words; stutva — having prayed; virarama — became silent; sah — he (Brahma); khinna-vat — as if tired.

The sage Maitreya said: O Vidura, after observing the source of his appearance, namely the Personality of Godhead, Brahma prayed for His mercy as far as his mind and words would permit him. Thus having prayed, he became silent, as if tired from his activities of penance, knowledge and mental concentration.

Brahma’s enlightenment in knowledge was due to the Lord sitting within his heart. After being created, Brahma could not ascertain the source of his appearance, but after penance and mental concentration he could see the source of his birth, and thus he became enlightened through his heart. The spiritual master outside and the spiritual master within are both representations of the Lord. Unless one has contact with such bona fide representations, one cannot claim to be a spiritual master. Lord Brahma had no opportunity to take the help of a spiritual master from outside because at that time Brahma himself was the only creature in the universe. Therefore, on becoming satisfied by the prayers of Brahma, the Lord enlightened him about everything from within.
[End of Purport]

maitreya uvaca
sva-sambhavam nisamyaivam
yavan mano-vacah stutva
virarama sa khinnavat

The sage Maitreya said: O Vidura, after observing the source of his appearance, namely the Personality of Godhead, Brahma prayed for His mercy as far as his mind and words would permit him. Thus having prayed, he became silent, as if tired from his activities of penance, knowledge and mental concentration.

So Vidura met Maitreya Rishi and Maitreya Rishi started to instruct him on the transcendental knowledge, the highest form of transcendental knowledge. The highest form of transcendental knowledge is Srimad Bhagavatam. Actually Krishna told Maitreya to instruct Vidura because Vidura was very dear to Krishna. Before departing from this planet Krishna met two personalities. He met Uddhava and He met Maitreya Rishi.

Uddhava was very dear to Krishna. Uddhava was very close to Krishna. Uddhava is an ideal devotee of Krishna. In Dwaraka Krishna had many associates, the Yadus, and among the Yadus the position of Uddhava was the highest.  When Narada Muni went in search of the best devotee and he was told that the residents of Dwaraka are the most exalted devotees, so Narada Muni went to Dwaraka and he started to praise the residents of Dwaraka as the most exalted devotees. But then the residents of Dwaraka actually told him that Uddhava was the greatest devotee of Krishna because he is not only Krishna’s relative, but he was Krishna’s friend, he was Krishna’s minister. Uddhava was very wise. Krishna would ask Uddhava for consultation. He would ask Uddhava’s advice, so Udhava, just like a minister advices the king, Uddhava used to advice Krishna. Krishna would ask Uddhava, “Uddhava, what do you think I should do in a situation like this?” And Uddhava would say do this, this, this, this.

And not only that, Uddhava’s appearance was just like Krishna’s.  He looked exactly like Krishna and Uddhava used to take Krishna’s remnants only. He would not take anything else but Krishna’s remnants. Not only Krishna’s prasada he would take, he would even wear the dresses that Krishna had discarded. He used to wear the clothes that were worn by Krishna, therefore Uddhava used to wear the same clothes as Krishna used to wear. Now he looked like Krishna, he dressed like Krishna, the only thing that he didn’t have is the peacock feather on his head but otherwise Uddhava looked exactly like Krishna – by his appearance, by his dress. Therefore, when Uddhava went to Vrindavana, and seeing him from a distance everybody thought that Krishna has returned. Uddhava actually went back to Vrindavana in the same chariot that Akrura drove to bring Krishna, and in the same chariot Uddhava also went to Vrindavana. So he looked like Krishna, came in the same chariot, they thought that Krishna came and therefore they became very excited, “Oh, Krishna came back! Krishna came back!” But then, when they noticed that it was not Krishna, it was somebody else, their condition was like somebody achieved, somebody acquired a great wealth and then all of a sudden he lost it. A poor man got a great wealth. Something like you got a message that you won the lottery, you got five crore rupees, the news came, how would you feel? You’ll feel, although you are a devotee, although you want to use the money for Krishna’s service, but you will feel very excited. But then if you get the the message, “Oh, actually it was a mistake,” how would you feel? So the gopis’ condition was like that. They thought Krishna came back. They became so happy, so happy they were dancing in ecstasy, but then they got the news it was not Krishna. It was Uddhava. So their hearts were completely shattered. Already it was shattered and now it became even worse.

So that is how dear Uddhava was to Krishna because he was all the time absorbed in Krishna consciousness. He didn’t think of anything else but Krishna. Like Uddhava would come to Krishna’s room before Krishna woke up and he left Krishna’s room after Krishna went to sleep. So throughout the day he was with Krishna in Dwaraka. So that is how absorbed Uddhava was in thoughts of Krishna, that is how deep was Uddhava’s love for Krishna and therefore, naturally, Uddhava also was very dear to Krishna. And Krishna knew his condition, how he would feel after He left the planet. Krishna already sent all the other Yadus back to Dwaraka [Vaikuntha]. He made them fight among themselves and made them wind up their business in the material nature and sent them back to the spiritual sky before He, He was about to wind [up] His pastimes. And Uddhava was left, Uddhava was not involved in that fight. So Krishna knew how difficult it will be for Uddhava after He left, so Krishna advised Uddhava, “Uddhava, you go to Badarikashrama and there you stay in the association of Nara-Narayana.” Because Nara-Narayana is also an incarnation of Krishna so Uddhava would get the association. So that is what He advised Uddhava and He told Maitreya Rishi who came also to see Him at that time, He told Maitreya that, “Vidura will be coming, so you instruct him on the transcendental knowledge.” Because at the time of great pain one needs this transcendental knowledge to survive. Without the transcendental knowledge we cannot really survive, or when we have the transcendental knowledge it becomes easier for us to deal with the difficult situation.

Say for example, the example that I was giving, you got five crores rupees in a lottery. The people actually came, you got the check and everything, so how you’ll feel? You’ll feel that, “Oh, now I am so happy! I have five crore rupees and now I can fulfill all my desires.” But then comes a phone call, “Sorry, sir, we actually delivered a wrong message. You didn’t win the lottery, somebody else won the lottery.” Many people will have a heart attack. [laughter] But a devotee, how will a devotee deal with this situation? A devotee will think that even if I got the money, I would have used it in Krishna’s service. So if I didn’t get it, so what? Krishna didn’t want me to. I would have used it in Krishna’s service. Now Krishna doesn’t want me to have this money. So it is all Krishna’s desire, Krishna’s plan. And what to speak of five crores, Krishna can give me five hundred thousand crores to me if Krishna wants, isn’t it? If Krishna wants Krishna can give us anything. What is five crores to a rich man in this world? And what is five crores to a demigod? What is five crores to Lord Brahma? Now Krishna can say, “So, Krishna Dasanudasa, you become Indra now.” Krishna can say that. Krishna can give us the position of Indra. Krishna can give us the position of any demigod. Krishna can give us the position of even Lord Brahma. So Krishna can give us any position, therefore a devotee is not attached to position, a devotee is not attached to wealth, a devotee is not attached to anything because he knows that the personality he is serving, He owns everything. Therefore he is not attached to anything because he knows that his master owns everything and his master can give him anything according to His plan, according to His desire. That’s why we see that devotees can deal with any situation so bravely, so wisely and so peacefully.
Sometimes I think of one incidence that I had in the early part of my devotional service. I was in Vrindavana with Srila Prabhupada at that time and one little girl, she just swallowed a few tablets of chloroquine (the medicine for malaria). The devotees used to come from the West and used to carry chloroquine because malaria was quite prevalent in India. So as a prevention for malaria or if they got malaria, they… But this bottle of chloroquine tablets was there and this little girl swallowed a few pills of chloroquine and she died. It was so painful to see such a sweet, little girl to leave her body like that all of a sudden. Even I was feeling, because this girl used to come to me and she was very fond of me and I was completely devastated when she died. But I saw her mother, she was not at all affected by that, and that’s the time I realized that what Krishna consciousness does. Krishna consciousness makes us so detached with proper understanding, proper knowledge, that even a mother, when her only child – maybe she was what, four years old at that time – just died like that all of a sudden. Generally the mother would be completely devastated, but she was, because she knew that she was not her daughter. She was actually a spirit soul who is Krishna’s daughter. She came to her for the time being and she left. And Prabhupada said, “She had some business to finish. She came and she finished her business and she went back to Godhead.” So when the mother understood that, of course Prabhupada said that afterwards, but even before that she was so composed. Now we can see, like when the mother sees, “Oh, my daughter went back to Godhead. So why should I cry? Maybe I also will have a chance now, she went back to Godhead, she will tell Radharani, “Please bring my mother also back to Your lotus feet.”
So that is how Krishna consciousness gives us another dimension altogether to look at things and that is the meaning of transcending maya. Maya ties us down to this material nature. Maya’s business is to tie us down with love and affection. We become attached with our love for friends, relatives and other acquaintances, but when we become situated in Krishna consciousness we transcend that platform and come to another reality, that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and we are His eternal servants and our situation in this material nature is like a dream. The real reality is actually death and all that is happening in this material nature is like a dream. That’s how we have to look at life. Death is the reality and whatever is happening is like a dream. It’s happening, it’s happening. The only thing is, the difference between a dream and this reality is, the dream is individual and this reality is collective. Dream is, when we dream in our sleep only I can experience it individually. We can experience them individually. But this dream, what’s the difference? This is a collective dream. Whoever is here at this time and space will go through the same dream, isn’t it? What is the only reality? The only reality is Krishna consciousness. The only reality is Krishna. What is that verse from catuh-shloki?

rite ‘rtham yat pratiyeta
na pratiyeta catmani
tad vidyad atmano mayam
yathabhaso yatha tamah
[SB 2.9.34]

So what is the meaning? Rite ‘rtham, if it is without – rite means without – yat pratiyeta, appears to be existing, appears to be real but is not connected to Krishna, tad vidyad atmano mayam, that is maya. What is maya? It appears to be real but it is not connected to Krishna. Now you reverse the situation. Something that is connected to Krishna, then what it is? That is the reality. Reality is, whatever is connected to Krishna is reality even though it appears to be non-existent. If we reverse it, what appears to be existing but not connected to Krishna is maya. So reverse the situation: if something is connected to Krishna but it appears that it is non-existent, that is the reality. So that is the knowledge. That is the transcendental reality, the knowledge or understanding of the transcendental reality.

So that is how we have to deal with this nature. That is how we have to utilize our existence. Just become connected to Krishna and connect everything to Krishna. Then what will happen? Connect everything to Krishna, then that will become real. Connect everything that is there to Krishna. So that is the understanding that is received. That is the knowledge, that is the information that we can receive from Srimad Bhagavatam. So when we know Srimad Bhagavatam then everything will become easy. Krishna knew for Vidura it would be very difficult when he would get to know Krishna left the planet. Therefore Krishna arranged that Maitreya Rishi, when Vidura would receive the knowledge that Krishna left the planet, soon after that Maitreya Rishi would instruct him on the transcendental knowledge and that will make Vidura pacified. That will pacify Vidura.

Now why this is Srimad Bhagavatam what Maitreya told? We can understand that this is Srimad Bhagavatam from the symptom of Srimad Bhagavatam.  What are the symptoms of a Maha Purana? What are the symptoms of Srimad Bhagavatam? Why Bhagavatam is a Maha Purana or why Bhagavatam is Bhagavatam? There are how many symptoms? [audience: ten] Ten, beginning from sarga. So sarga means creation. And secondary creation, atra sargo visargas ca, then sthanam poshanam utaya manvataresanukatha nirodho muktir asrayah. [SB 2.10.1] So these are the ten symptoms of a Maha Purana or these are the ten symptoms of the Bhagavatam because that is the Maha Purana. And we see Maitreya’s instruction is covering all that. Therefore this is Bhagavatam.
Brahma received Bhagavatam from Krishna through catuh-sloki and then it expanded in the heart of Brahma. Brahma gave that knowledge but here also it is being represented through Maitreya Rishi. And time and time again we will see that Bhagavatam is dealing with these few aspects. So creation has been described, and visarga, secondary creation is about to be described. The universes have been created but they are empty. So what was the secondary aspect of creation? Brahma’s appearance and Brahma started the creation. So here Brahma appeared, Brahma’s appearance has been described. But what was Brahma’s situation? He started to wonder, “Oh my God, where am I?” Brahma started to scratch his head, “Where did I come from?! Can’t remember anything.” Where actually he came from, his mind was completely blank. There was no memory from the past. It happens sometimes. What is it called medically, Ganganarayana? When one loses one’s memory completely?  [Devotee: coma] Coma is unconscious, but [Devotee: Alzheimer] Alzheimer! Is it Alzheimer? Like no memory of the past. You are fine, you can see where you are, everything you remember now that is happening you can understand, you can deal with it, but no memory of the past. “What’s your name, sir?”
“I don’t know.”
“Whose son are you? Where did you come from?”

So Brahma’s situation was like that. At least, with us, somebody can ask us, somebody can tell us, but Brahma didn’t have anybody. He was the only person sitting there, that also on a lotus. Brahma couldn’t figure out what was happening but then Brahma meditated. He didn’t know the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He was instructed, “Tapaha, tapaha. Brahma, now you perform austerity.” Austerity means project your senses internally. That is the meaning of austerity. Don’t allow your senses to go out, project your senses internally. And Brahma did that, he projected his senses internally – dhyana – and as a result of that Brahma saw, Brahma first heard the sound, “OM.” And then OM expanded into bhur bhuvah svaha. Brahma heard that from the sound. It sounded like the flute but it carried a certain meaning, certain specific words. And Brahma started to meditate on those words: tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi dhiyo yo nah prachodayat. Brahma meditated upon that and as a result of that the spiritual sky became revealed in Brahma’s heart. Tene brahma hrida ya adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah. [SB 1.1.1] Tene brahma hrida, in the heart of Brahma the transcendental nature became manifest. And Brahma saw, what did Brahma see? Cintamani-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vriksha [Sri Brahma Samhita, 5.29]. Venum kvanantam aravinda-dalayataksam [Sri Brahma Samhita, 5.30]. So this is what Brahma is seeing. Ramadi-murtisu kalaniyamena tisthan [Sri Brahma Samhita, 5.39].

It could be questioned that how did Brahma get to know about Ramachandra? When Brahma received the transcendental knowledge then everything became manifest in his heart. It was Brahma’s perception of the spiritual reality. It was not like just we coming into a room and seeing something. We are not seeing the room. Brahma was not seeing the spiritual sky, he was seeing everything! Everything became manifest, just like a flash. Everything was there in his memory, now in a flash it came back, from previous kalpas, from previous bodies, from previous existence. So this is how the spiritual reality became manifest in Brahma’s heart. And then finally Brahma is describing sriyah kantah kantah parama-purusha kalpa-taravo [Sri Brahma Samhita, 5.56], description of Vrindavana and Krishna there with the gopis. Sriyah, who are these sriyahs? Who are these gopis? They are the goddesses of fortune. They are not just ordinary cowherd girls. The goddesses of fortune have been elevated in this position of the gopis. So this is how the spiritual reality became manifest in the heart of Brahma, tene brahma hrida adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah. Brahma hrida, in the heart of Brahma, adi-kavaye. Adi-kavi is Brahma and brahma hrida, this transcendental knowledge became manifest in the heart of Brahma. Divya-jnana hride prakashito, the transcendental knowledge in this way becomes revealed in the heart.

So here Prabhupada is pointing out that why we need both external and internal guidance for this understanding. We can’t get this knowledge otherwise. Brahma was fortunate he could receive the mantra, Gayatri, from Krishna directly. Brahma did not have any guru as such. There are three types of gurus. There is siksa-guru, diksa-guru and chaitya-guru. Generally siksa-gurus and diksa-gurus are manifest externally. But Brahma did not have that good fortune because he was the only personality. Therefore who became that external guru for Brahma? Krishna became the external guru, although Brahma didn’t see Him.

So here we can see the importance of having a living guru, a guru that we can deal with. Sometimes there are some considerations that we don’t need a guru, we don’t need a diksa-guru. No, we need! Prabhupada is pointing out. Through this incidence it is becoming clear. Just the guru in the heart is not enough. They are saying Prabhupada is the guru, but the thing is can they deal with Srila Prabhupada directly? Will Prabhupada play the flute? Of course, for some Prabhupada is playing the tape recorder and giving the mantra. That’s okay. You can get the mantra from the tape recorder, Gayatri mantra, from Prabhupada. Yes, one can say that, “I got the mantra from Prabhupada.” But there is another aspect of the guru, another aspect of the necessity of diksa. That is that to the guru one can surrender. We have to surrender and to surrender I need a living person. And that personality must be in contact with, we should be in contact with that personality.
Like yesterday I was giving an example to Radha Vallabha. I was telling him that you can surrender to me but most of the time I am not here. Therefore, Ganganarayana is here as the temple president. Now when you say that you are surrendered to me, you have to surrender to Ganganarayana. You say that, “Well, I accept you but I don’t accept Ganganarayana”, then that will not be proper surrender. So, similarly in our spiritual life also, just surrendering to Krishna will not be proper surrender. We have to be surrendered to Krishna’s representatives who are in front of us, who are dealing with us. Of course I gave the example of Ganganarayana, that doesn’t mean that Ganganarayana is the only representative I have. [laughs] It was just an example. The point is that we have to surrender to our authority, whoever is there, that structure is there, that authority structure.

Similarly, say for example, Arunaksha is the head pujari, so he is the head of the pujari department. Now, those who are in the pujari department they have to be surrendered to him. We can’t say that, “I will work in the pujari department but I’ll not accept Arunaksha’s authority.” That means we are not actually surrendering to the line of authority structure. So that is the need for having a guru, meaning a person to whom I can surrender. I can’t surrender myself to a non-existent person who is not present here with us, in front of us. Why? Because if I do something wrong then who is going to correct me? He is not there. I can say, or somebody who hasn’t been initiated by Srila Prabhupada can say, “Well, I will take initiation from Srila Prabhupada and no one else.” Then the question will come that who will correct you when you go wrong? Is there a need for correction? And if you feel there is a need for correction and if you’re accepting somebody to correct you, then that person is your guru. Especially we need to make an official arrangement like that and that’s why diksa is so important. And that is the consideration that we have about the ritviks. Why the ritvik theory doesn’t work? Because of this!

So the point here actually is that Brahma’s situation was very unusual, because he was the only person. But others, from Brahma downwards, there is always somebody when somebody is surrendering to. Like for example, Narada Muni surrendered to Brahma. Therefore Brahma is Narada Muni’s guru and Narada is his disciple. Narada Muni instructed to Vyasadeva. Vyasadeva could have said, “Why should I accept you, Narada Muni? I accept Brahma.” But he didn’t do that. Narada Muni came to him, had a direct exchange and as a result of that exchange that guru-disciple relationship was established. And here an important consideration also is that Narada Muni did not light a fire and gave initiation in that way to Vyasadeva. Narada Muni did not perform a fire sacrifice and change Vyasadeva’s name, “From now you are no more Vyasadeva, from now on you are Krishna dasa.” [laughs] No, there was no formality of initiation as such but in the heart that initiation took place. Surrender was there. Vyasadeva recognized, “Oh, I am sorry. Now I realize that I made a mistake. Thank you so much, Narada Muni, for instructing me in the right way.”

So this is how the transcendental knowledge flows. Everybody needs a guru and there are external gurus who come, someone will give diksa and many others will give siksa. They’re the gurus also, those who are giving the siksa. And siksa is actually more important than diksa. What if there is diksa, the formality of diksa, but no siksa? Will that initiation have any effect? No. Like, one may not see the guru afterwards, after diksa. Say for example, Mrigari met Narada Muni just once and Narada Muni instructed him and he took his instruction as his life and soul. His whole life was transformed. His whole life changed just because of that. Narada Muni didn’t have to sit with him and start giving instructions. It is a matter of taking the instruction in the heart. That is what is required from the disciple. The spiritual master may just give one instruction and the disciple will be spiritually enlightened. So that is how the spiritual process works.
And then there is the chaitya-guru, the Lord in the heart. The Supersoul is actually the chaitya-guru. The Lord in the heart is chaitya-guru. So these are the two lines on which our spiritual life progresses. So just as a train moves on two lines, on these two lines our spiritual life moves. We depend upon the external spiritual master, we also depend upon our internal spiritual master. And what does the external spiritual master do? The external spiritual master actually reminds us about the internal spiritual master. Who is that internal spiritual master? Krishna Himself.

Siksa-gurus ca [bhagavan] me sikhi-puchha-mauli. [CC Adi 1.57] In Krishna Karnamrta Bilvamangala Thakura is writing, “My diksa-guru is Chintamani.” Who is his diksa-guru? A prostitute! His external guru is a prostitute. The prostitute seeing him in such attachment, developing such attachment to her, she said, “I wish you develop this attachment to Krishna, then your whole life would have been successful. The attachment you have for me, this body made of pus, stool and urine, if you had this attachment for Krishna then your life would have been successful.” He took that instruction and therefore he accepted her as his guru. Not that he had any connection after that. He left just getting the instruction. And then who instructed him from within? Krishna Himself. Sikhi-puccha-mauli, the personality who has a peacock feather on His head.  Who is that personality? Krishna.
So this is how one takes advantage of this spiritual opportunity. Wherever the knowledge comes, wherever the information comes, wherever the inspiration comes, we have to take that. But the most important thing is, in order to receive that opportunity, in order to take advantage of the opportunity we have to get rid of our false ego. If we allow our false ego to flourish then this won’t [work]. So we have to get rid of false ego, become serious about spiritual life. Krishna will give us all the opportunities, all the facilities, because Krishna wants us to go back to Him.

Hare Krishna. Gaura premanande Hari Haribol! Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!
Srimad Bhagavatam ki jaya!
Samaveta bhakta vrinda ki jaya!

Any question? Yes?
Devotee: [inaudible]
BCS: Well, I mean, we have to understand that that was a stage, that was a phase. He did not become tired. As if, as if means it appeared. Brahma was not tired. Rather, he got into a meditative mood. After offering the prayers, when he stopped, it appeared as if he was tired. But actually what was Brahma’s situation? As you said, purnamrtasvadanam, naturally he was experiencing that purnamrta, but he became silent. That means he kind of withdrew himself completely within to perceive the Lord’s pastimes. Externally he described and now internally he is relishing. And that’s the difference between Brahma became tired or ‘as if’ he was tired. What is the meaning of these words ‘as if’? As if means it appears, but actually it is not. Naturally Brahma was not tired. Who becomes tired in spiritual activity? Nobody.

Devotee: This question is from Ramananda Raya prabhu. Brahma could understand that the sound waves was the Lord’s instruction while his memory was blank. Does this mean the intelligence is independent from the memory?
BCS: Naturally intelligence is independent from the memory. Like, memory is in the mind. Memory is the storage in the mind. The impressions of the sense perceptions are stored, that is the memory. And the intelligence is the ability to relate to the stored memory. In the computer you don’t see that? Does the memory itself run the computer? Ramananda, what actually makes the computer to run? It’s the program? So program is the intelligence and the memory is the memory. So that is the difference. The ability to use the memory is the intelligence.

Devotee: The next question is from bhaktin Carol. Did actual creation takes place in the spiritual world?
BCS: Did actual creation?

Devotee: Takes place in the spiritual world.
BCS: Did she say takes place or take place?

Devotee: Take place.
BCS: Yeah, it’s your English, don’t pass it as her English. Did creation take place in the spiritual?

Devotee: World.
BCS: Creation, the origin, the root of creation is in the spiritual world because it is coming from the Lord Himself, but the manifestation of the creation is in the external, material nature. Is it clear, bhaktin Carol?
Yes, Radha Govinda?

Devotee: What should our answer be to those people who will ask, “Where is the water after this nama sankirtana?”
BCS: Yeah, I actually answered that in the press conference. I mentioned that our business is to pray to the Lord. We are the servants. We are not telling the Lord do this, do that. If we do that, then we are not acting as His servants. We’re acting as His master. Now we appeal to Him, now let us see how He makes the arrangement. Whether He will make the arrangement from the top or whether He will make the arrangement from the bottom, it’s up to Him. [laughter] It’s not that because we perform some sankirtana there must be rain. Then what we are doing actually? We are saying, “Krishna, You better act properly otherwise You’ll be in trouble. We perform sankirtana and now You have to give.” Then are we acting as His devotee? Are we acting as His servant? No. We just pray to Him and then let us see what He does. You wait. And if they ask where is the water, then the question will be, “Why are you asking? You didn’t join during the sankirtana!” [laughter]

Devotee: [inaudible]
BCS: Yeah, yeah. Okay, yes?

Devotee: Are the laws of the spiritual world and the laws of the material world antagonistic to each other?
BCS: It will depend. It will depend, see, the law of the material nature also is the spiritual law. And that law is called dharma: the law given by the Lord. So if you act on that instruction, that law, then you are not in the material nature, you are in the spiritual nature. Or the spiritual nature is in perfect harmony with the material nature. But if one does not abide by that law but creates his own law, yes, that will be in conflict with the spiritual law. Say, the governments are creating the law. If the laws are without accepting the Supreme Personality of Godhead then, yes, it is in conflict, it is antagonistic. Like, the government is saying, “Give all the money to me and when I become a minister I’ll take your money and put in my pocket. That is the law.” That law is no good. You pay tax so that the ministers can fill their coffers. That is not law. Whatever we collect from you must be engaged in Krishna’s service. That is the real, like in this respect there is a very nice example that can be cited. You see, the Jews were trying to get Jesus and they wanted to present Jesus as a rebel. So they gave him some coins and asked, “Jesus, who should we pay this?” They thought that he was going to say, “Pay this to God.” That would mean he is telling people not to pay tax to Caesar. So Jesus’ reply was, “Pay unto Caesar that is of Caesar. Pay unto God that is of God.” What belongs to Caesar give it to Caesar, but what belongs to God, give it to God.

Okay, thank you very much! Hare Krishna! All glories to Srila Prabhupada! Gaura Premanande Hari Haribol!

Transcription & editing : Her Grace Ranga Radhika Dasi

Audio reference: click here