We shall read from Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto Eight, Chapter Twenty-two. I will begin with the chapter summary, â€œBali Maharaja Surrenders His Life.â€
â€œThe summary of this twenty-second chapter is as follows. The Supreme Personality of Godhead was pleased by the behavior of Bali Maharaja. Thus the Lord placed him on the planet Sutala, and there, after bestowing benedictions upon him, the Lord agreed to become his doorman.
â€œBali Maharaja was extremely truthful. Being unable to keep his promise, he was very much afraid, for he knew that one who has deviated from truthfulness is insignificant in the eyes of society. An exalted person can suffer the consequences of hellish life, but he is very much afraid of being defamed for deviation from the truth. Bali Maharaja agreed with great pleasure to accept the punishment awarded him by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Bali Maharajaâ€™s dynasty there were many asuras who because of their enmity toward Visnu had achieved a destination more exalted than that of many mystic yogis. Bali Maharaja specifically remembered the determination of Prahlada Maharaja in devotional service. Considering all these points, he decided to give his head in charity as the place for Visnuâ€™s third step. Bali Maharaja also considered how great personalities give up their family relationships and material possessions to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Indeed, they sometimes even sacrifice their lives for the satisfaction of the Lord, just to become His personal servants. Accordingly, by following in the footsteps of previous acaryas and devotees, Bali Maharaja perceived himself successful.
â€œWhile Bali Maharaja, having been arrested by the ropes of Varuna, was offering prayers to the Lord, his grandfather Prahlada Maharaja appeared there and described how the Supreme Personality of Godhead had delivered Bali Maharaja by taking his possessions in a tricky way. While Prahlada Maharaja was present, Lord Brahma and Baliâ€™s wife, Vindhyavali, described the supremacy of the Supreme Lord. Since Bali Maharaja had given everything to the Lord, they prayed for his release. The Lord then described how a nondevoteeâ€™s possession of wealth is a danger whereas a devoteeâ€™s opulence is a benediction from the Lord. Then, being pleased with Bali Maharaja, the Supreme Lord offered His disc to protect Bali Maharaja and promised to remain with him.â€
COMMENT by Giriraj Swami
The Lord appears in various incarnations to favor the devotees. Bali Maharaja was also a devotee, and although he was born in a family of demons, Vamanadeva still appeared to favor him, as well as to favor the demigods, who were also devotees.
The Lord reciprocates with the particular mentality of the individual devotee. Bali Maharaja was inclined to give charity. In fact, he had achieved his opulence by the favor of the brahmanas to whom he had given so much in charity. Therefore Lord Visnu, in order to take service from Bali Maharaja, assumed the form of a brahmana and begged some charity from him. And because Bali Maharaja was so inclined to give charity to brahmanas, he agreed to give Vamanadeva whatever He asked. Vamana replied by saying, â€œI would like three steps of land.â€ Bali Maharaja was surprised. He said, â€œI thought you were more intelligent. You could ask for a whole planet. Why do you ask only for three steps of land?â€ And Vamana replied, â€œIf I cannot be satisfied by three steps of land, I will not be satisfied even by a whole planet.â€ Srila Prabhupada enunciated the same principle for devotees, especially for brahmacaris: â€œAll you need is a little service, a little prasada, and a little place to lie down at nightâ€â€”three steps of land and a little prasada and service. Vamanadeva Himself played the role of a brahmacari, so He set the example.
Now we come to the point at which Prahlada Maharaja appears in the arena where Bali Maharaja had been arrested and bound by the ropes of Varuna because of his failure to keep his promise. After Bali Maharaja agreed to give three steps of land, Vamanadeva expanded Himself into a gigantic form. With one step He covered the entire upper planetary system and His toe actually pierced the coverings of the universe; thus spiritual water from the causal ocean entered the universe through the hole made by Vamanadevaâ€™s toe, and that spiritual water became the Ganges River. Then with His second step He covered the entire lower portion of the universe, and so with two steps He had covered the entire universe. Thus He concluded that Bali Maharaja would be unable to fulfill his promise and that therefore he should be arrested and punished. Now, in the present chapter Bali Maharaja will find the most intelligent solution to the problem and tell the Lord, â€œYou can place Your third step on my head, and thus I will fulfill my promise.â€
So, Prahlada Maharaja came and made a statement that is important for todayâ€™s verse.
tvayaiva dattam padam aindram urjitam
hrtam tad evadya tathaiva sobhanam
manye mahan asya krto hy anugraho
vibhramsito yac chriya atma-mohanat
Prahlada Maharaja said: My Lord, it is Your Lordship who gave this Bali the very great opulence of the post of heavenly king, and now, today, it is You who have taken it all away. I think You have acted with equal beauty in both ways. Because his exalted position as king of heaven was putting him in the darkness of ignorance, You have done him a very merciful favor by taking away all his opulence.
PURPORT by Srila Prabhupada
As it is said, yasyaham anugrhnami harisye tad-dhanam sanaih (SB 10.88.8). It is by the mercy of the Lord that one gets all material opulence, but if such material opulence causes one to become puffed up and forget the process of self-realization, the Lord certainly takes all the opulence away. The Lord bestows mercy upon His devotee by helping him find out his constitutional position. For that purpose, the Lord is always ready to help the devotee in every way. But material opulence is sometimes dangerous because it diverts oneâ€™s attention to false prestige by giving one the impression that he is the owner and master of everything he surveys, although actually this is not the fact. To protect the devotee from such a misunderstanding, the Lord, showing special mercy, sometimes takes away his material possessions. Yasyaham anugrhnami harisye tad-dhanam sanaih.
Srila Prabhupada remarked that one astrologer in India had predicted that he would become the wealthiest man in India, and in the beginning Srila Prabhupada was very successful in businessâ€”first as the manager of Dr. Boseâ€™s chemical laboratory in Calcutta and later as the proprietor of his own business. But in time, somehow his business began to fail, and Srila Prabhupada came across the verse he quoted in the purport here (yasyaham anugrhnami), in which Lord Krsna says that the first installment of His special mercy upon a devotee is to take away the devoteeâ€™s opulence so that the devotee has no other recourse but to surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And if the devotee tries to build up his opulence again, the Lord will take it away again. And if the devotee tries to build it up again, again the Lord will take it awayâ€”until the devotee gives up the vain attempt to enjoy material opulence without the Lord.
Now, someone may hear about the Lordâ€™s special mercy and become fearful. â€œI donâ€™t want to lose my opulence. If I become a devotee and have to lose my opulence, then I better not become a devotee.â€ But actually, the Lord does not always take away the devoteeâ€™s opulence; sometimes the Lord gives the devotee more opulence, according to whatever is best for the particular devotee in a particular circumstance. So we should have faith in the Lord, that He will do whatever is best for us.
I have seen cases in Bombay where devotees have become extremely opulent by the grace of the Lord. There is a devotee in Bombay named Dr. Narendra Desai, who was later initiated as Nathaji dasa. Dr. Desaiâ€™s father was a very shrewd businessman and a member of parliament, but suddenly he passed away and Dr. Desai, who was relatively young at the time, was left with the responsibility of taking over the familyâ€™s businesses. I used to meet many of the more affluent people of Bombay, and I heard the talk about Dr. Desai, that he was a good person but not as shrewd as his father and that therefore he may not do so well in business. But in fact Dr. Desai increased the business many times over. He developed the business that was already very big from his fatherâ€™s time into something many times bigger. And he was very strict in his spiritual practices. He would get up early every morning, have mangala-arati at home, and then chant his rounds. He lived in a nice area of Bombay, and in the same compound there were five buildings situated around a large lawn or park, and there was a driveway that ran in front of the five buildings and encircled the park. So, in the morning he used to take a japa walk in the garden, and people would come up to him. Especially after he took initiation, people would approach himâ€”people who hardly knew himâ€”and they would say, â€œOh, you have taken initiation. Why didnâ€™t you consult me? I would have advised you differently.â€ But he opened new companies, and the new businesses flourished, and he became even more opulent.
So sometimes to encourage a devotee Krsna will give him more opulence, but if the devotee becomes bewildered by the opulence Krsna may take it away from him so that he becomes free from false prestige and comes to his constitutional position as the eternal servant of Krsna. Whatever Krsna has to do for the benefit of the devotee, He will do. Thus the Lord is like a father, or a parent. The father will do whatever is best for the child. Sometimes he will give bitter medicine to the child, and sometimes he will give sweet candies. But in both cases he acts for the childâ€™s benefit. Or sometimes he will embrace and kiss and indulge the child, and sometimes he will discipline the child. But whatever he does is meant for the childâ€™s benefit. So, the Supreme Lord is the Supreme Father, and whatever He does is for the devoteeâ€™s benefit. Whether He gives the devotee opulence or takes away the devoteeâ€™s opulence, He acts with equal beauty.
And the devotee accepts the Lordâ€™s dealings equally. He is completely surrendered to the Lord, with full faith that the Lord will do whatever is best for him. Thus Prthu Maharaja prayed:
tvan-mayayaddha jana isa khandito
yad anyad asasta rtatmano â€™budhah
yatha cared bala-hitam pita svayam
tatha tvam evarhasi nah samihitum
â€œMy Lord, due to Your illusory energy, all living beings in this material world have forgotten their real constitutional position, and out of ignorance they are always desirous of material happiness in the form of society, friendship, and love. Therefore, please do not ask me to take some material benefits from You, but as a father, not waiting for the sonâ€™s demand, does everything for the benefit of the son, please bestow upon me whatever You think best for me.â€ (SB 4.20.31)
Srila Prabhupada said that in his own case, in the beginning Krsna tested him by taking everything awayâ€”his business failedâ€”and that in the end Krsna tested him by giving him everything. And I would say that Srila Prabhupada, as Krsnaâ€™s representative and servant, actually did become the richest man in India. Not just spiritually, but even materially. Of course, he did not think anything was his own. He saw everything as Krsnaâ€™s, but he did have very nice places to stay, he had very nice servants, he had very nice prasada according to his taste, and he was blessed by all opulence by the grace of the Lord.
So now we come to todayâ€™s verse.
yaya hi vidvan api muhyate yatas
tat ko vicaste gatim atmano yatha
tasmai namas te jagad-isvaraya vai
Material opulence is so bewildering that it makes even a learned, self-controlled man forget to search for the goal of self-realization. But the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, the Lord of the universe, can see everything by His will. Therefore I offer my respectful obeisances unto Him.
The words ko vicaste gatim atmano yatha indicate that when one is puffed up by the false prestige of possessing material opulence, he certainly neglects the goal of self-realization. This is the position of the modern world. Because of so-called scientific improvements in material opulence, people have entirely given up the path of self-realization. Practically no one is interested in God, oneâ€™s relationship with God, or how one should act. Modern men have altogether forgotten such questions because they are mad for material possessions. If this kind of civilization continues, the time will soon come when the Supreme Personality of Godhead will take away all the material opulences. Then people will come to their senses.
The same principle that operates in an individualâ€™s life can also operate in the evolution of a societyâ€™s collective life. And here Srila Prabhupada gives the warning that if modern civilization continues to be mad after material acquisition and neglectful of the real goal of life, which is to be reinstated in oneâ€™s constitutional position as the eternal servant of Krsna and go back home, back to Godhead, then Krsna, to show favor to the bewildered souls of the modern age, may take away their opulence.
Srila Prabhupada often related the story of the yogi and the mouse. Once a mouse approached a yogi and said, â€œI am being harassed by a cat.â€ So the yogi said, â€œThen what do you want?â€ The mouse replied, â€œI want to become a cat.â€ â€œAll right,â€ said the yogi. And he fulfilled the mouseâ€™s desire. â€œNow you become a cat!â€ After some time the cat approached the yogi and said, â€œIâ€™m being harassed by a dog.â€ So the yogi said, â€œWhat do you want?â€ And the cat replied, â€œI want to become a dog.â€ â€œAll right; so be it.â€ After some time the dog approached the yogi and said, â€œI am afraid of a lion.â€ â€œSo you want to become a lion?â€ â€œYes.â€ â€œSo be it.â€ But as soon the dog became a lion he started to look at the yogi as if he was going to pounce on him and devour him. And the yogi immediately said, punar musika bhavaâ€”â€œAgain you become a mouse.â€
Srila Prabhupada explains that by the grace of the Lord the modern civilization has gotten bigger and bigger and bigger. But if in their opulence now people think they can finish the Lord and enjoy their opulence without Him, then the Lord may say, punar musika bhavaâ€”â€œAgain you become a mouse. No more skyscrapers, no more superhighways, no more mega-computers. Go back to the fields. Go back to the jungles.â€ Then people may become sober. They may wake up from their dream. They may consider, â€œBoy, weâ€™ve put all our efforts into material civilization and look what happened.â€
Srila Prabhupada thought that the means for taking away the opulence of the maddened materialistic civilization could be a world war or nuclear war. I remember that when I was part of the Western European zone, the GBC for the zone showed the leaders there a movie. Of course, in general we donâ€™t see movies, but the movie was about a town in England called Sheffield and what would happen there if an atomic bomb were dropped on itâ€”what would happen to the people. It was quite a terrifying look into the future of the world if we do become victims of the bomb. So, Srila Prabhupada has given the hint that if we remain maddened by material opulence and sense gratification, and forget God and the real purpose of life, then God may take away our material opulence to make us sober. And He may do it through some nuclear devastation. But then again, if by our preaching and distributing books people can wake up to their actual identities and purpose of life, they may not need to suffer the consequences of atomic warfare to wake up.
One day, in 1971, when Srila Prabhupada was staying in a house in Delhi, the father of the boy who was translating Srila Prabhupadaâ€™s books from English into Hindi came there to visit him. The father was also sort of a devotee, but he did have a bad habitâ€”smoking. So, Srila Prabhupada asked the father, â€œHave you given up smoking?â€ And the father answered, â€œNo. But isnâ€™t there some special mercy? Canâ€™t I get some special mercy so that I can give up smoking?â€ And Srila Prabhupada replied, â€œSpecial mercy? Yes, there is special mercy: yasyaham anugrhnami harisye tad-dhanam sanaih. The Lord can give special mercy, and when He gives that special mercy, the first thing He does is He takes away the devoteeâ€™s material opulence. And, as the verse continues, then the devotee becomes poverty-stricken, and when he becomes poverty-stricken all of his friends and relatives reject him. So he suffers doubly. He suffers because he has lost his opulence, and he suffers because his so-called friends and family rebuke him and neglect him. So yes, there is special mercy.â€ Then Mr. Gupta said, â€œNo, no. Thatâ€™s all right. I donâ€™t want any special mercy. Iâ€™ll make my own efforts.â€
So that is the basic choice. As long as we are faithful to Krsna, He wonâ€™t forsake us. He will give us the chance to come to Him voluntarily, but if He sees that there is an impediment that we are unable to overcomeâ€”and one impediment can be material opulenceâ€”He will remove the impediment so that we can come to Him more easily. And if the Lord does choose to take away the obstacle in the form of material opulence, the devotee accepts it. Yet if the devotee is strong enough to remember his position as the Lordâ€™s eternal servant and use the material opulence to serve Krsna, then the Lord does not have to take it away. As Srila Prabhupada said, â€œIn the beginning the Lord tested me by taking everything away, and in the end He tested me by giving me everything.â€ So if Krsna feels we are ready, He can give us any amount of opulence to be used in Krsnaâ€™s service.
Sometimes Srila Prabhupada would say, â€œKrsna is the proprietor of the universe, and He can give you the whole world, but what would you do with it?â€ When we preach, opulence does come, but as we become more and more pure, Krsna will entrust us with more and more opulence, because He knows that we will use it in His service and wonâ€™t become bewildered. As Srila Prabhupada once wrote to me, â€œIf we work sincerely without any material aspirations, Krsna will help in all respects.â€
In any case, our mood should be like that of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who prayed, manasa, deho, geho, jo kichu mor: â€œWhatever I haveâ€”my mind, my body, my words, my family, my household paraphernaliaâ€”it all belongs to You. In life or in death, in happiness or distress, in opulence or poverty, You are my Lord and I will serve You.â€
manasa, deho, geho, jo kichu mor
arpilun tuwa pade, nanda-kisor!
â€œMind, body, and family, whatever may be mine, I have surrendered at Your lotus feet, O youthful son of Nanda!â€
sampade vipade, jivane-marane
day mama gela, tuwa o-pada barane
â€œIn good fortune or bad, in life or death, all my difficulties have disappeared because I have chosen those lotus feet of Yours as my only shelter.â€ (Saranagati)
That should be our mood in devotional service. Hare Krsna.
Are there any questions or comments?
Sankara Pandita dasa: Do we have to reach any particular stage to understand that the Lord is reciprocating with our mentality?
Giriraj Swami: I would say that a devotee can perceive the Lordâ€™s reciprocation in any stage. Here I think of the different stages that begin with annamaya, appreciating the Lordâ€™s mercy in the form of food. When we were traveling in India with Srila Prabhupada, one tourist from England joined us, and sometimes he would sit next to me during prasada. And he would say, â€œI am so degraded. I am so fallen. I am so bad. But still the Lord is giving me prasada. The Lord is very merciful.â€ He would remark, â€œKrsna is there. Krsna is there. Otherwise, how could I get nice prasada every day, even though Iâ€™m such a fallen soul?â€ He saw that the Lord was associating with him or reciprocating with him by giving him prasada. So I think that any devotee in any stage can more or less appreciate the Lordâ€™s kindness.
And the higher levels of reciprocation will come as we advanceâ€”although in principle there is no difference. Krsna says, ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham: â€œAs all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly.â€ (Bg 4.11) But the higher stages come as one progresses. Then one may realize that he or she wants to serve the form of Lord Narayana, so the Lord will appear as Lord Narayana. Someone will want to serve the Lord in the form of Ramacandra, so He will appear in the form of Ramacandra to that devotee. Someone will want to serve the Lord in the form of Krsna, and the Lord will appear in His original form as Krsna. Then too, if one wants to serve Krsna in vatsalya-rasa, Krsna will appear as baby Krsna in kaumara age. If one wants to serve in sakhya-rasa, Krsna will appear in pauganda age, about five to ten. And if someone wants to serve in madhurya-rasa, Krsna will appear in His attractive feature as Kisora, in kaisora ageâ€”Kisora-Kisori. So, in the liberated stage when one actually begins to develop his or her eternal relationship with the Lord in the spiritual world, the Lord will reciprocate by manifesting Himself in the particular form in which the devotee wants to see Him and serve Him.
Candramauli Swami: [inaudible]
Giriraj Swami: Candramauli Swami says that the Lord will favor a devotee by giving him the association of advanced devotees and more and more opportunity for service.
Yes, that is very true, very true.
Devakinandana dasa: [inaudible]
Giriraj Swami: Devakinandana Prabhu says that as the world is becoming more materialistic we can expect that the situation will become more hellish. But at the same time, we are in the golden age of Lord Caitanya. So can we expect that the world will become better?
One thing I have heard that makes senseâ€”and Srila Prabhupada was not making predictions based on some mystic power or astrological calculations; he was just explaining the law of action and reactionâ€”is that if you are sinful you will suffer and if you are pious you will enjoy. If the people continue to be sinful, they will suffer more, and, as he said, the ultimate loss is the loss of the bodyâ€”death. Death is the ultimate calamity. One scenario that Srila Prabhupada mentioned is that if people do not become God conscious, there could be a nuclear devastation that would destroy much of the modern civilization and make people more sober. As Srila Prabhupada says here, â€œThe time will soon come when the Supreme Personality of Godhead will take away all the material opulence. Then people will come to their senses.â€ So, after people start to come to their senses, there will be more and more devotees. At present the number of devotees is insignificant compared with the number of demons. And the demons are much more powerful than the devotees. But after the devastation there will be many devotees, though there will still be many demons. So, the first war will be between the demonsâ€”one group of demons killing another group of demons. Then many devotees will come. And then the next war will be between the devotees and the demons, and the devotees will win. And then the world will become God conscious and happy.
Murari Caitanya dasa: [inaudible]
Giriraj Swami: Murari Prabhu heard that Srila Prabhupada said that the day will come when we wonâ€™t have temples. We will just have the holy name.
Murari Caitanya dasa: [inaudible]
Giriraj Swami: Well, the way you explained it, yes, it is true. We may not have temples, but we will always have the holy name. Thatâ€™s more of a principle. As far as a prediction for the future, we do hear that at the end of Kali-yuga the world will be so bad that devotees will not be able to practice Krsna consciousness openly. Then they may have only the holy name. They wouldnâ€™t be able to have temples and deities. We saw during the communist era that in some places devotees were not allowed to practice Krsna consciousness freely. But even in jail, even in prison camps, even in psychiatric hospitals, they had the holy name.
Giriraj Swami: The point is that whatever happens we will always have the holy name. Here the emphasis is on the importance of the holy name and the mercy of the holy name, not that Prabhupada was predicting that Krsna would take away our temples or any such thing.
Question: Can we determine whether someone is more Krsna conscious or less Krsna conscious by either the presence of or the absence of material opulence?
Giriraj Swami: There is no absolute answer, because anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam: devotional service is beyond karma and jnana. So there is no material qualification or disqualification for devotional service. Some devotees are opulent by destiny or by the will of the Lord, and some are poor by destiny or by the will of the Lord. And all can be pure devotees. For example, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was born in a very opulent position, but gradually he gave up more and more and more until finally he had nothingâ€”by the grace of the Lord. But Pundarika Vidyanidhi continued to be materially opulent. Once, Mukunda took Gadadhara Pandita to meet Pundarika Vidyanidhi, and Vidyanidhi was sitting like a prince, dressed in fine garments, amidst luxurious furniture and opulent paraphernalia, being fanned with long peacock feathers by two servants. Gadadhara Pandita doubted him: â€œHe is supposed to be a devotee and he is living in such luxury?â€ Mukunda detected the doubt in Gadadhara Panditaâ€™s mind, so he sang a beautiful verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam. When Pundarika Vidyanidhi heard the verse he was overwhelmed with transcendental ecstasy. Tears flowed from his eyes, and his body began to tremble and manifest all the symptoms of ecstatic love for Krsna. Then Gadadhara realized that Pundarika was an exalted devotee and that he (Gadadhara Pandita) had committed an offense by questioning how he could be an exalted devotee when he was enjoying an extravagant life. To atone for his offense Gadadhara Pandita resolved, â€œI should accept him as my spiritual master. I should become his disciple and take instruction and initiation from him.â€
So we cannot say definitely that if someone is poor he is more advanced or that if someone is rich he is more advanced. There is also markata-vairagya, the renunciation of monkeys. Srila Prabhupada says that monkeys appear to live like advanced babajis: they have no clothes, they have no house, and they eat only fruits and berries from trees. Yet each monkey has two dozen girlfriends. That is markata-vairagya, the renunciation of monkeys. So we cannot conclude that just because someone is living without opulence he is Krsna conscious, but neither can we conclude that just because someone has been graced with opulence he is Krsna conscious. He may have some opulence by virtue of past pious activities, but right now he could have a hellish mentalityâ€”and still be enjoying material opulence because of his karma. But pure devotional service is beyond karma (jnana-karmady-anavrtam). Good karma or bad karma, it does not matter. In any case, one can still serve Krsna.
Candramauli Swami: [inaudible]
Giriraj Swami: Candramauli Swami says that we can judge by how their material position affects their devotional service. In other words, if one is attached to Krsna, he wonâ€™t be attached to mayaâ€”to the extent that he is attached to Krsna. So, when someone who is poor and attached to Krsna gets opulence, he wonâ€™t be disturbed. He will continue to serve Krsna. And if someone is opulent and attached to Krsna, and then he loses his opulence, he also wonâ€™t be disturbed. He will continue in his service to Krsna. So the real factor is service to Krsna in any condition.
Devakinandana dasa: [inaudible]
Giriraj Swami: Devakinandana Prabhu says that Lord Caitanya instructed that one should not dress luxuriously or eat opulent food but that sometimes we see that devotees do dress opulently and eat delicious food and still they advance in love of Godhead.
There are some verses:
vairagi bhai gramya-katha na sunibe kane
gramya-varta na kahibe yabe milibe ane
bhala na khaibe ara bhala na paribe
hrdayete radha-krsna sarvada sevibe
â€œMy dear brother, you are in the renounced order of life and should not listen to talk about ordinary worldly things, nor should you talk about worldly things when you meet with others. Do not eat luxurious dishes or dress in fine garments, but always remain humble and serve Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha-Krsna in your heart of hearts.â€ (Prema-vivarta, Chapter Seven)
For one in the renounced order of life, these instructions were given. But then too, we also have the example of Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada was in the renounced order of life, but he was also the acarya, the â€œworld preacher of bhakti cult.â€ He didnâ€™t indulge in different types of new fashion, but he did accept nice clothes and nice quarters and nice prasada. Not excessive, but nice. Sometimes in America he rode in a Rolls Royce, and sometimes in India he rode in a rickshaw, but he was the same. And that is the point: whether he was riding in the rickshaw or riding in the Rolls Royce, he was the same. He was detached and fully absorbed in devotional service, in Krsna consciousness.
Candramauli Swami: [inaudible]
Giriraj Swami: Thatâ€™s nice. Candramauli Swami says that in Boston he heard that Srila Prabhupada had said that for himself he would like to go back to the Radha-Damodara temple and live in the simplicity of Vrndavana but that for him to do so would be sense gratification. Yes, Krsna wanted Srila Prabhupada to spread Krsna consciousness all over the whole world, and to do something opposed to what Krsna wants is sense gratification.
Devakinandana dasa: [inaudible]
Giriraj Swami: Devakinandana Prabhu says that George Harrison at one stage wanted to give up everythingâ€”give up his careerâ€”just to serve Krsna. But Srila Prabhupada wanted him to stay in his position and serve Krsna from his position. Yes, I also heard that Srila Prabhupada said, â€œYou remain as a Beatle and you write songs about Krsna.â€
Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!
Sri Sri Kisora-Kisori ki jaya!
August 15, 2000