Initiation Lecture

March 10
San Francisco


Prabhupāda: The meaning of this mantra is apavitraḥ pavitro vā. Apavitraḥ means unclean and pavitra means clean. So anyone who may be unclean or clean, it doesn’t matter. Apavitraḥ pavitro vā sarvāvasthāṁ gato ‘pi vā. Sarva means all. Avastha means condition. “In whatever condition one may be, either unclean or clean,” yaḥ, “anyone who,” smaret, “remembers,” puṇḍarīkākṣam… Puṇḍarīkākṣam means Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa’s another name is puṇḍarīkākṣam. Yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣam, sa: “That person,” bahya, “externally,” abhyantaram, “internally,” śuciḥ, “becomes at once purified.” Śrī-viṣṇu śrī-viṣṇu śrī-viṣṇu. Puṇḍarīkākṣam, Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu. So this is the remembrance. Śrī-viṣṇu, namaḥ śrī-viṣṇu śrī-viṣṇu. 

So this initiation means purification. In this material world we are all impure. Because we are impure, therefore death, disease, old age, and pangs of birth overcome us. Just like in diseased condition—we have experienced—there are so many painful conditions, similarly, in this materialistic way of life these symptoms, birth, death, disease, and old age, they are different kinds of miseries. The rascals, materialists, they are thinking that they’re making advance, but they have no solution for these things. The solution is by tapasya. Tapasya means voluntarily accepting some rules and regulations to purify him. That is called tapasya. Just like in diseased condition, one has to voluntarily accept the rules and regulations enforced by the physician: “You should not eat this. You should not do this. You should not go out. You should take rest. You should not, should not, should not,” so many. Similarly, if we want to purify ourselves, then four principles of purificatory process, namely illicit sex life and intoxication, meat-eating, and gambling, these four things must be… 

These four things are paraphernalia of your civilization. In the western… Not only western, eastern, everywhere. The Kali-yuga is spreading very rapidly, and wherever the Kali-yuga is very prominent, these four items are very prominent: unrestricted sex life, gambling, and meat-eating, and intoxication. When people become practiced to all this nonsense, they think, “Oh, what is wrong there?” But it is the most abominable part of human civilization. Anyone who are indulging in these four things, they cannot imagine where is he and how he will be free from this conditional life. So this is the purificatory process. So as you are being initiated, initiation means beginning of your purificatory process. So if we are serious about purification, then we must follow these four principles, if you want to be cured. 

Of course, this chanting of hari-nāma will make you purified. That’s nice. But just like this fire I am going to ignite. This is dry firewood. But if I help it, to keep it dry, then the fire will be very nice, blazing fire. But if I pour water on it, then it will be difficult to ignite. Similarly, the fire of Kṛṣṇa consciousness will keep you always progressing, but at the same time, if we also voluntarily do not pour water on that fire, then it will be nice. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa consciousness or chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa will keep you progressive. At the same time, voluntarily, if you do not commit all these nonsenses, then it will be very nice. And if you continue this water pouring, then… Just like a man is taking medicine at the same time doing all nonsense. Then his disease will not be cured, or may take very, very long time. So we should not be irresponsible in that way because life is very short. We do not know when death is coming, especially in these days. We are moving in the street, we are moving by plane, we are moving… Every step, there is danger. Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadām [SB 10.14.58]. It is a place of danger. So our life… We should consider this human form of life, especially Kṛṣṇa conscious life, is very important life. We should not be inattentive. So we should be very careful. Kṛṣṇa will, of course, protect you, but at the same time, we have got consciousness. We should also take care that before the next death comes, we must be fully prepared for being transferred to Kṛṣṇaloka. And it is very simple thing. If you keep yourself constantly in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that’s the only thing. Then you are sure to be going, transferred next life. As I was explaining last night, simply by understanding Kṛṣṇa… 

Kṛṣṇa is not like us. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How He is Supreme Personality of Godhead? That He proved when, while He was present. The history is there. Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, Kṛṣṇa’s activities, Kṛṣṇa’s wisdom, lecture, Bhagavad-gītā—everything is there. They are the proofs. There is a very nice verse by Yamunācārya that there are authentic literatures, there are authentic personalities, and they accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Authentic literatures, they give proof that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And by His wonderful activities we can understand that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But still, the atheistic rascal will not accept. You see? There are sufficient proofs. Just like Arjuna says, “Kṛṣṇa, You are the paraṁ brahma. It is not because I am Your friend I am flattering You. You have been accepted by authorities like Vyāsadeva, Nārada, in all scriptures, and You are personally explaining Yourself.” So there is no doubt about it, but the demons, in spite of all this—dog’s obstinacy—they will not accept. So let them go to hell. So far we are concerned, Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. His body is eternal, full of bliss, and full of knowledge, end sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. If we simply remember that Kṛṣṇa is like that, and as soon as we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, we remember Kṛṣṇa, and we understand that He is the Supreme Personality. 

This very consciousness will lead you. It is not very difficult. It is very easy, always thinking of Kṛṣṇa. And those who have taken already, they are thinking of Kṛṣṇa, and they are making progress both, I mean to say… Their health is improving; their mind is becoming very nice. So you will be also feeling. There is no need of talking. You will yourself feel, but you must follow. And there are ten kinds of offenses. That also, you should avoid. And these rules and regulations. Now chant mantras. [end]