Giriraj Swami spoke on the first day of this year’s annual Gita Nagari retreat with Radhanath Swami.
“To be authentic means to distinguish between the devotional creeper and the materialistic weeds. Because the weeds can resemble the creeper, we may not be able to distinguish between them easily, and so we can benefit from the help of an expert gardener. To learn more about the weeds, we will read from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta 19.158:
” ‘Translation: Some unnecessary creepers growing with the bhakti creeper are the creepers of behavior unacceptable for those trying to attain perfection, diplomatic behavior, animal-killing, mundane profiteering, mundane adoration, and mundane importance. All these are unwanted creepers.
” ‘Purport: There is a certain pattern of behavior prescribed for those actually trying to become perfect. In our Krsna consciousness movement we advise our students not to eat meat, not to gamble, not to engage in illicit sex, and not to indulge in intoxication. People who indulge in these activities can never become perfect; therefore these regulative principles are for those interested in becoming perfect and going back to Godhead.’
“If the devotional creeper is watered and protected, it will grow and grow and penetrate the coverings of the universe and ultimately take shelter at the lotus feet of Krishna in Goloka Vrindavan. It will then produce the fruit of love of God, and the devotee will relish that fruit. That perfection can be attained even while in this body. Lord Caitanya explains that even after the devotional creeper takes shelter at the lotus feet of Krishna in the spiritual world, the devotee on earth continues to water the creeper by chanting and hearing. In other, words chanting and hearing about Krishna never stops.”
Kirtan, Gita Nagari
Authenticity and Harmony in Krishna consciousness, Gita Nagari