SB 5.5.3 — May 4, 1968, Boston

Prabhupāda: Just like in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there are description of great…, twelve great souls. Twelve great souls. They are just like svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ [SB 6.3.20]. Svayambhū means Brahmā. But he was also family man. And Nārada, he was renounced. He was brahmacārī. So there are twelve different description of mahātmās. Out of that, about seven personalities were all householders, but still they are accepted as great souls. Just like Bali Mahārāja and Prahlāda Mahārāja and Svayambhū, Brahmā. So out of this list of twelve persons, seven persons are gṛhasthas, householders. It does not mean that one, because he is householder, he cannot become a mahātmā, great soul. Just like here we see the five pictures, associates of Lord Caitanya. They were all householders. Even Lord Caitanya, He was householder and His first wife died. He married for the second time. Nityānanda Prabhu, He was also householder. Advaita Prabhu was also householder. Similarly Śrīvāsa, he was also householder. So it does not mean that householders cannot be mahātmā. That is not restricted. 

So how householder can be a mahātmā, that is also described here. 

ye vā mayīśe kṛta-sauhṛdārthā
janeṣu dehambhara-vārtikeṣu
gṛheṣu jāyātmaja-rātimatsu
na prīti-yuktā yāvad-arthāś ca loke
[SB 5.5.3]

The gṛhastha…, householder mahātmās are that their aim of life is to revive their relationship with God. That is the first qualification. Ye vā mayi īśe, their aim of life. They are living with… All mahātmā means their idea is how to attain spiritual perfection. How to attain spiritual perfection. That is mahātmā. So a householder, a gentleman or a person living with family, wife and children, his real aim is how to achieve the lost relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Ye vā mayīśe kṛta-sauhṛdārthāḥ. His only aim is how to achieve that perfection. And for that, janeṣu dehambhara-vārtikeṣu na prīti-yuktāḥ. Ye vā mayīśe kṛta-sauhṛdārthā janeṣu dehambhara… Therefore he’s not attached at all to persons who are simply interested in material advancement of life. 

There are two classes of persons. One is interested for developing material standard of life, and one is interested for spiritual development of life. So a householder, he can also become a mahātmā, provided he has got this tendency that he wants to develop his spiritual life. Then he is mahātmā. And not interested to increase economic development, or persons who are too much attached for enjoyment. Ye vā mayīśe kṛta-sauhṛdārthā janeṣu dehambhara-vārtikeṣu. Dehambhara-vārtikeṣu means persons here in the ordinary men, they are simply interested how to satisfy the bodily needs. That’s all. They are called dehambhara-vārtikeṣu. The materialistic civilization means how to keep this body very comfortably. Not only in this life. From their thinking also they accept works of piety, just like charity, religion. How? So next life they may be elevated to the heavenly planets and they can enjoy very long duration of life, association of very beautiful girls, and drink so many beverages. Their only aim is like that, how to provide this material body with all comforts. They are called dehambhara-vārtikeṣu. Deha means this body, and bhara, just to maintain this body. 

So a mahātmā, a gṛhastha, a householder who is interested to reestablish his lost relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is not interested with the association of such persons who are simply, I mean to say, interested in bodily comforts. Dehambhara-vārtikeṣu. And then what about his own family? He says gṛheṣu. Gṛheṣu means at his home. Jāyā. Jāyā means wife. Ātmaja means children. Jāyātmaja… Rāti means wealth or money. Na prīti-yuktāḥ. They’re not very much, I mean to say, addicted. Just like ordinary man, he’s very much fond of house, very much fond of wife, very much fond of children, very much fond of wealth. He is not like that. Yāvad arthaḥ prayojanam. They are fond of or they are interested with their relationship as much as is required. Therefore in the Vedic languages there are two kinds of householders. One is called gṛhamedhi, and the other is called gṛhastha. Gṛhastha means one who lives with family but his interest is realization of self and realization of God. And gṛhamedhi means he has no more interest. He has no interest what is spiritual life, what is God, but he’s simply interested in developing the family standard of life. So there are two classes of men. But one who is simply interested with spiritual life, they can also be claimed as mahātmā even in the household life. But his interest is only for God realization and his symptom is described that his only aim is God and he’s not attached with material comfort or he’s not attached with persons who are simply engaged for the improvement of bodily happiness. 

Yes. It is now quarter past eight. Now, if you have got any question, you can put before me. I shall try to answer. Yes. 

Guest (1): Can you tell us what the program is for Hindu priests or Hindu holy man, swami. 

Prabhupāda: It is not the question of Hindu. I say the description of great souls. Either he may be Hindu or Christian. It doesn’t matter. Great soul, the description or the symptom of great souls… [break] …one has to become Muhammadan, one has to become Christian. Just like if I say that “You speak truth. Don’t speak lie.” It is not that it is applicable to the Hindus or to the Christians. It is applicable to everyone. 

Guest (1): But in the Hindu religion do they have a certain title for the holy man? Do they call the holy man swami? 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. Swami means, I have described, that who has conquered over the demands of the senses. That is swami. Swami means who has attained the perfection of not being dictated by the senses. He is called swami. 

Guest (1): Is that the equivalent of a Hindu priest? 

Prabhupāda: Not Hindu priest. Hindu priest… There are many so-called priests. They are dictated by so many sense gratification. And there are many others also in other parts of the world who are restrained. So as you inquire what is swami, swami means master. And master, what does it mean? Master of the senses. Generally people are driven by the dictation of the senses. So if you can control your senses, then you become a swami. 

Guest (1): Do they have a period of training or a program for the training of the swamis? 

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Certainly. 

Guest (1): Can you tell me how long the program takes? 

Prabhupāda: That depends on the student. Yes. If you can quickly can control… There are processes. Just like we are training here. They’re American boys, but we are training them in that process. We don’t allow our students to have illicit sex life. We don’t allow our students to indulge in nonvegetarian diet. We don’t allow our students for intoxication. And we don’t allow our students for gambling. So these four principles they are practicing, they are chanting, and they are restraining. In this way, when one is trained as brahmacārī, then he can become a swami later on. Yes. The training is there. 

Guest (1): Is there a process of training to become swami, a process of training? 

Prabhupāda: Yes. The real aim is spiritual realization. But for realizing perfect spiritual life one has to undergo some training. Just like if one is serious of being cured of a certain type of disease he has to undergo certain type of training or regulation as prescribed by the physician. Then he gets cured. Similarly, we are all materially diseased at the present time. So spiritual life means completely freed from material disease. The material diseases are birth, death, old age, and bodily diseases. They are material disease. Because I am spirit soul, I am eternal. I have no death. I have no birth. But because I am contaminated with this material body, therefore with the birth and death of this body I am thinking that I am taking birth and dying. That is my material condition of life. Actually I am not subjected to birth and death. These things are very nicely described in the Bhagavad-gītā. Na jāyate na mriyate vā kadācin na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. So the immortality of the soul, transmigration of the soul, everything is described there. So there are books of authority. If we learn, if we’ll be trained, then our spiritual liberation is open. Therefore it is recommended here that one should associate with great souls. Without associating with great souls we don’t get all this information. 

Guest (1): Does the swami, once he has been installed in office, does he every…, wear a white long coat with a white hat? 

Prabhupāda: Of course, the real meaning of swami is one who has got control over his senses. It does not mean that by wearing a different colored garments one becomes master of senses. Neither it does mean that one, a man in gentleman’s dress with hat and coat, he cannot control his senses. Dress has nothing to do. But according to the Vedic system… Just like there is a particular uniform that this class of men, who have renounced this world, his robe or garment should be like this. That is simply… Just like policeman has got a particular type of uniform, but that does not mean that… That may be imitated even by a thief. So that is not very important thing, to dress. You can become a swami even with your this hats and coats. That doesn’t matter. Yes. 

Guest (2): Swami, I’m going to work to formulate this question. I don’t know if I can speak it clearly. Now it’s true that a soul must evolve through perhaps many lifetimes in order to reach the point at which he is ready to attempt renunciation. Right? 

Prabhupāda: No. Renunciation, that depends on your understanding. If you understand that “This thing is not good,” you can renounce it immediately. 

Guest (2): Then in order to reach the level at which you can understand that… 

Prabhupāda: No, no. There is no question. It is no question of understanding. If you understand in a minute… That depends on the student to understand. Something, “This is bad; this is good.” Now if you understand it properly, that “This is not good, bad,” so you can renounce it immediately. Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate [Bg. 2.59]. So that depends on your capacity to understand what is good, what is bad. If you think that this material existence, repeated birth and death and changing this body, is not good, then you can immediately renounce and you can prepare yourself for spiritual life. But if you think that “Oh, it doesn’t matter I am repeating my birth and death. It is good,” then you cannot renounce. 

Guest (2): Well, let’s take the situation of an individual who is very deeply addicted to the senses, such as sexual… 

Prabhupāda: That is only practice. There are processes by which you can give up so much addiction to sex life. There are processes. 

Guest (2): Processes which would not fall into the category of what a psychiatrist would call repression? Something that would cripple the mind in some other way? 

Prabhupāda: No. Why? Therefore I say if you think it is good… First of all you have to decide whether sex life is good or bad. First of all you have to understand this. If you think that sex life is very nice, then how can you give it up? It is not possible. 

Guest (2): You have to approach it with jñāna. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Jñāna. That is called knowledge. But it is a fact that sex life is not good because there are so many inebrieties. Just like modern civilization, they prescribe contraceptive method. Why? Why? Unless there is some bad result of sex life, why they are prescribing this medicine? Why? If it is good, then why the medicine counteractive? Therefore it is to be accepted it is not good. By reason. Why there are contraceptive methods? Let everyone enjoy sex life and let the result be there. Why contraceptive method? Therefore it is not good. 

Guest (3): It’s against the reproduction of human species. 

Prabhupāda: That means that is not good. You think that is not good therefore. Therefore this process is not good. If the result is not good, then process is not good. 

Guest (3): Well, if everybody remained celibate, 

Prabhupāda: That you can voluntarily do. That is brahmacārī. That is restraint. That is mahātmā. That is recommended in Vedic life, that you can have sex life only for children. That’s all. Therefore sex life without any desire of children is not good. Yes. 

Guest (2): Now, what is the situation of an individual who is double-minded and split, who is perhaps convinced, okay, intellectually, but nonetheless is torn by very deep emotions and distractions, very deeply sunk in māyā. Are there ways of dealing with his kind of problem? Do we have to force him, or is there some… 

Prabhupāda: First of all you have to understand that this material life… Material life means birth, death, old age and disease. Just try to understand. Do you like repeated birth, repeated death? Do you like? 

Guest (2): I have to work for those now.[?] 

Prabhupāda: Do you like? First of all answer. Do you like it? 

Guest (2): No. 

Prabhupāda: Do you like old age? 

Guest (2): No. 

Prabhupāda: Do you like disease? 

Guest (1): Oh, no. 

Prabhupāda: That is materialistic life. As soon as we get this body, there is birth, there is death, there is old age and there is disease. Therefore if you want real happiness then you have to get free from all these four—miserable life. That is spiritual life. You have to become free from birth, you have to become free from death, you have to become free from old age, and you have to become free from disease. That is real life. “I don’t like this” means this is not real life. The real life is different. So if that real life you want, then you have to follow the process. That is being discussed here. Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyet [SB 5.5.1]

Guest (4): Will the Swami give another service in the Arlington Street Church any time in the future? 

Prabhupāda: Arlington? 

Jadurāṇī: Are you going to be there again, he wants to know. 

Prabhupāda: Arlington Church? Yes, I was there. 

Guest (4): Will you be there again some time in the future? 

Prabhupāda: That, if you arrange, I can go. I am at your service. I have dedicated my life for this. Whenever you call me, whenever you invite me, I can go anywhere. Why Arlington Church? I can go to any place. Because it is my duty to give you, to deliver you this message of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā. That is my duty. 

Guest (5): Swami, what is om? 

Prabhupāda: Om is the concentrated name of God. 

Guest (5): Can one say om instead of “Kṛṣṇa” and gain the same benefit? 

Prabhupāda: Yes. But why instead of Kṛṣṇa? If one Kṛṣṇa is the same, why not Kṛṣṇa? Why stick to om? Om. Om is formless but Kṛṣṇa has got beautiful form, enjoying. And we are addicted to beautiful form. Why something [chuckling] which is not beautiful? Kṛṣṇa… Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, akṣarāṇām akāro ‘smi: “Amongst the alphabets I am oṁkāra.” So Kṛṣṇa says that “I am oṁkāra.” So in one sense oṁkāra and Kṛṣṇa the same. But I can see Kṛṣṇa very beautiful and so many things, but I do not see in oṁkāra that thing. Therefore my preference should be to Kṛṣṇa. Why shall I stick to om? Yes. 

Guest (6): Swamiji, how… What kind of a capacity is knowledge? 

Prabhupāda: Capacity of knowledge? 

Guest (6): Yes. Does that depend on his…, the previous body of the soul? 

Prabhupāda: No. You can earn the capacity in this life also. You forget whatever was in your previous life. It doesn’t matter. The śāstra is there and the spiritual master is there. The saintly persons are there. If you try to understand from right sources, then your knowledge is there. It is not that because in previous life you had been something, therefore you cannot understand. It is not like that. You, as human being, you have got the capacity to understand. Just like I am explaining that “Do you like death? Do you like birth? Do you like disease? Do you like old age?” Everybody will say, “No, I don’t like.” Then the next point is if you want to avoid it, if there is any process, do you like it? Certainly you’ll say, “Yes. I like it.” So this is commonsense affair. It doesn’t require any great achievement or pre-education. These are commonsense things. 

Guest (4): What I… I was going to ask you, Swami, if the sacred cow was a symbol symbolizing compassion for all living creatures? 

Prabhupāda: Not only cow. Any animal, they should be object of our compassion. If we want to eat something and live, so if you have got sufficient foodstuff in other kingdom… We have got vegetables, we have got grains, we have got milk. So many things. Fruit, flower. So many things. Just like we are living on these things. We don’t feel any inconvenience. And they are… According to medical science also, they are very rich in vitamins, food value. So why should we kill? Especially if we are human being, the cow is supplying us milk, the most important foodstuff. So instead of giving protection to the cow, if we kill, do you think that is very…, if you kill me, is that very good gratitude? So at least in the human life, these senses should be there. Cow protection is recommended in the Vedic literature because it is giving the most valuable foodstuff, milk. Apart from other sentiments, it is supplying, and in exchange of nothing. She simply eats some grasses from the ground. That’s all. You don’t have to provide cows with foodstuff. The things which you refuse, you take the grain and you supply the skin. You take the fruit pulp, you supply the skin. You take the, I mean to say, from paddy. You take the rice. You supply the straw and she delivers you a very nice foodstuff. And I have discussed all these points in my Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that human economic problem can be solved simply by having some land and some cows. That’s all. 

Guest (4): Cows would increase and multiply. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Every living entity will multiply. That is another thing. I mean to say from cow you get milk. From milk you get butter and so many milk products. And from the fields you get sufficient grains and fruits. So your economic question is solved immediately. If you have got some land, the land is…, immense land is still lying vacant all over the world. Yes. But they have diverted their energy in a different way. That is the miscalculation of the present civilization. They have forgotten that the aim of human life is to advance oneself in spiritual realization. So time should be saved as much as possible, and that time should be utilized for spiritual realization. But we have encumbered our civilization in such a way that we have lost all simple living thing. We have manufactured in so many ways encumbered ways of life. Therefore we have neglected spiritual life. And because we have neglected spiritual life there is no peace. If you want really peaceful life, then you have to make your material necessities simplified and engage your time for spiritual cultivation. Then you will have peace. And that is the best type of civilization. Plain living, high thinking. Now, in the modern days, the high living and plain thinking. Eating, sleeping, mating. This is plain thinking. This thinking also in the animals. They are also thinking what to eat, where to live, how to defend, how to have…, have semen or sex life. These are problems in animal life also. So if we keep that animal life problem, at the same time we claim that we are civilized, is it very nice? Civilization means how to get out of this material miseries—birth, death, disease and old age. That is real advancement of civilization. If there is any way and means to get out of this problem, then we must adopt in this human form of life. And that is possible in this human form of life. In no other life. 

Guest (7): Swamiji, are the Hindus essentially vegetarian in the sense of the Seventh Day Adventist… 

Prabhupāda: Not necessarily all Hindus are vegetarian. Not necessarily. There are many Hindus who are worse than others. So it is not that because one is Hindu or one is Indian, he’s vegetarian. No. But generally Hindu culture is based on this Vedic civilization. So those who are strictly following, they’re following the rules and regulations. So any other questions? Yes, you can ask. We are very glad to discuss all this. This should be discussed. 

Guest (2): Well, I don’t feel that the issue I brought up before was entirely clarified… [noise] 

Prabhupāda: They have no training, you see. These children, no training. So it is a risky civilization. We don’t train our children and they are going to be future… Child is the father of man, or what is called? 

Guest (4): Child is the father of man. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. So if from the beginning there is no training, so how we can expect good father and good children? 

Guest (4): They’re the divine folk. 

Prabhupāda: Divine folk? They don’t require any training? 

Guest (4): They’re born divine; they have their own divine religion. 

Prabhupāda: They don’t require any training? 

Guest (4): They have the religion. They have the one and only religion. 

Prabhupāda: That’s all right, but religion does not mean that one should be not trained up. Does it mean? 

Guest (4): They’re supposed to be divine. 

Prabhupāda: They’re supposed. That’s all right. Yes? 

Guest (2): Let me try to delineate that a little more precisely. I have known people who have said, “Well, yes, you know I don’t like birth, and I don’t like death, and I don’t like old age. But I have a tremendous driving need, and I don’t know how to deal with it. You see, I must have sex. I must have sex. And I’m tormented. I’m stuck in the trap. I’m ensnared.” You see? That is the individual I’m… Now if you can already reach the person through jñāna and convince him, and he can act on the decision of his will, then he’s obviously already in a high state. But what do you do with the sort of person who is split, who is torn by his instinctual physical needs and they drive him? You see? And yet he wants to do something. How can you deal with such a person without forcing him to contain himself in such a way that he will resent it? Or must he be allowed to expend his energy until he is convinced by experience? 

Prabhupāda: No. Just like amongst our students there are many married couples also, and there are brahmacārīs also. That I barred from this? He is not barred. Nobody is barred. Simply following some regulation. That will gradually train him. And the main principle is that as you go on hearing about this transcendental message, then you gradually become attached to these transcendental things. And the more you become attached to these transcendental things, the more you forget these material things. 

Guest (2): So it’s an evolutionary process, and one need not force. 

Prabhupāda: No. There is no question of force. There is no question of force. We don’t force. There is no question of force. Force cannot act. If I force you, then it will not act. You have to evolve yourself, from this platform to this platform. That is possible for everyone. 

Guest (2): So if someone feels he has an overwhelming need, he shouldn’t try to hold back to the point at which he suffers pain, but he should also chant or do something that will elevate him. And gradually he will… 

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, yes. First thing is… Suppose a man is too much sexually addicted. If he hears that “This is impediment to my spiritual advancement,” if he hears repeatedly, then he thinks of his weakness, that “This should not have been done, but I am so weak.” So with this knowledge he can advance. You see. At least, he must know that “This is not good for my spiritual advancement.” Then it will be… Then Kṛṣṇa, or God, will help him. There is an English proverb, “One who helps himself, God helps.” Yes. God’s help will come. So there is no question of despair. Anyone can begin, and the simple beginning is chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. So all our students, they were also addicted to such things, but by following this process they are also now free. So it is not impossible. There is no such program which is impossible to be performed. No. Practically this program is the simplest and the easiest process, and it can be adopted by anyone in any condition of life. That is the beauty of this process. 

Guest (5): And how does yoga…? 

Prabhupāda: Oh, that is not possible for us. Because yoga practice, if you really aim to the perfection of yoga, that is not possible in this age. If you are satisfied simply by some sitting posture and paying the fees, that is your business. You can do that. But it will never get you to the perfectional stage because you are completely unable to perform all the regulation and rules of yoga system. That is not possible. That I have described in many… Yes. So yoga system is very difficult for this age. But if you think that this fractional practice of yoga, a hundredth, one percent… That is not possible to reach to the perfectional stage. The perfectional stage is that if one is perfect in the yoga practice, he shall die at his will. Material laws cannot act upon him. He’ll be practiced to control the inside air in such a way that whenever he thinks fit, that “Now I shall leave my body for such and such planet. I shall go to such and such planet,” the yoga system will help him—if he is perfect. But who is such perfect man in the yoga system? It is not possible. 

Guest (2): But there have been yogis in India who have reached that… 

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, yes. But they do not come out. Because the yoga system is to practice in a secluded place alone. It is not a business that you have to open some yoga class and practice it. No. It is… First principle is that he must be alone and in a secluded place, in a sacred place. You see that they are described in the standard yoga śāstra. So they do not come, those who are really achieving perfection. They do not come out to the human society. 

Guest (4): How about… Do you know about Paramahaṁsa Yogānanda? Have you heard of Paramahaṁsa…? 

Prabhupāda: Yes, I have heard about him. But I say the real yogis, they do not come out. Because that will fail. It is clearly stated that he must live in a secluded place alone. Then yoga practice perfection is possible. 

Guest (2): In other words, he has no public ministry of any kind. 

Prabhupāda: No. It is not like that. He must be alone and in a secluded place and a sacred place, and the process is to sit… [aside:] Thank you very much. You should sit like this, you should eat like this, you should sleep like this. There are so many… They, they gave up… There were many yogis in the history. Just like Viśvāmitra. He was a great king. He gave up everything for practicing yoga. Why? He was king. He could practice yoga. Now, the yoga practice was recommended to Arjuna. He said, “Oh, it is not possible for me.” So it is not possible… Even five thousand years ago a person like Arjuna, he refused: “Oh, it is not possible for me.” How ordinary man who has not practiced even controlling the senses and other things? No. It is not possible. The yoga practice is accepted as a standard way of self-realization. That is all right, provided it is cent percent properly executed. That is… Cent percent properly executed. Yes. But that is not possible in this age. Nobody can do that. 

Guest (1): Can the Bhagavad-gītā be sung? 

Prabhupāda: Bhagavad-gītā? Yes. 

Guest (4): It is song of light? 

Prabhupāda: Yes. All right. Now have saṅkīrtana. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. 

Jāhnavā[?]: Chant śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya? 

Prabhupāda: Śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu nityānanda. Oh, yes. Chant. [kīrtana] [prema-dhvani] Distribute prasādam. The whole process is that we are aiming at the highest perfection of life. If there is little inconvenience by following the rules and regulation, we should accept it because aim is very high. 

Guest (4): One of the big ideas is the idea of “All life is divine, and divine compassion for all life.” 

Prabhupāda: Hm? 

Guest (4): It’s one of these big ideas, that all life is divine, and therefore we should have divine compassion for all forms of life. 

Prabhupāda: First of all you know what is divine life, then you will have… 

Guest (4): Oh. But when we find out… 

Prabhupāda: If you do not know what is divine life, then how you can distribute divine life to everyone? First of all you have to understand what is divine life. 

Guest (4): The life which is of divine origin and therefore… 

Prabhupāda: But what do you mean by divine? 

Guest (4): A creator. A God creator. And therefore, since we are included, we are created by God and should have divine compassion. 

Prabhupāda: There are so many creations, but which creation you have to accept? God is creator of so many things. 

Guest (4): Well, He created us also. 

Prabhupāda: That’s all right. He is creator. He is creator of everything. But why divide everything “bad” and “good”? Now, why do you distinguish “This is good” and “bad”? If everything is created by God, but that does not mean that everything is divine. Do you follow? Yes. You have to learn what is divine. Not that because God… God is creator of everything. 

Guest (4): But we should have divine love for life… 

Prabhupāda: Therefore I say what is divine love? 

Guest (4): What is divine love? 

Prabhupāda: Yes. 

Guest (4): Compassion. 

Prabhupāda: That we have to know. Without knowing how to become compassionate… Just like I’ll give you a practical example. This is my personal experience. One boy was suffering from some typhoid disease, and he asked his younger brother, “Please give me some biscuit.” He is forbidden to take biscuit because he was suffering from… And he thought, “Oh, my brother is suffering for want of biscuit.” So he supplied some biscuit. And the mother, when she learned that this young boy has supplied this diseased boy biscuit, she began to beat him like anything. So he thought that “I’m doing very divine service to my suffering brother.” But the result was beating by the mother. Therefore one should know what is service. Otherwise he will suffer. Without knowing what is divine service, one cannot be divinely compassionate. First of all one should make his own life divine; then he can make divine compassion. 

Guest (4): Isn’t it a simple idea to love life? 

Prabhupāda: The same thing. If you do not know how to love, then your love may produce bad result. Just like the same example. The boy, the younger boy thought that “I am loving my elder brother,” and he supplied some biscuit, which was forbidden by the physician. And as soon as the mother heard that he has supplied him biscuit, he began to beat him like anything. Punishment. He thought, “It is very good service. He’s in want of, in need of biscuit. So I am supplying him, stealing from the store. Mother will not know. So I am doing very good service.” But the result was beating. Similarly, we may think something that it is divine, but who is judging that this is divine or not divine? Therefore you have to learn how to serve divinely, then you can serve. Without knowing, you cannot. That will be disastrous. Everything requires expert knowledge; otherwise it will be disastrous. 

Guest (4): But isn’t the general idea… 

Prabhupāda: General idea is very good, but the one who is going to bestow divine service, he must know what is divine service and how to become divine. Lord Caitanya says, āpani ācari prabhu jīvera śikhāya. One has to first of all exhibit himself that he is divine, then he can, I mean to say, serve others divinely. “Physician heal thyself.” If a physician is diseased, a patient does not like to go to him. “Well, he is himself diseased.” So divine love is very good, but one should understand what is divine love. One should not misunderstand what is divine love. Just like in the material world, lust is accepted as love. A boy is loving a girl, a girl is loving… But it is lust. That is not love. But is going on in the name of love. The boy wants to enjoy the girl, the girl wants to enjoy the boy, and that is going on in love. Love is not like that. Love means, “I enjoy or not enjoy, I love you.” That is love. Just like Cowper said, “England, with all thy faults, I love you.” That is love. There is no return. Just like Rādhārāṇī’s love to Kṛṣṇa. She does not require any return. You see? Kṛṣṇa left Vṛndāvana, Rādhārāṇī, and their whole life remained simply crying for Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa never returned. But still, they loved Kṛṣṇa. That is love. That love is being shown by Caitanya Mahāprabhu: “Where is Kṛṣṇa? Where is Kṛṣṇa?” That’s Rādhārāṇī’s separation, love in separation. So love means without any return, without any sense gratification, without any consideration. That is love. Āśliṣya. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s… Āśliṣya vā pāda-ratāṁ pinaṣṭu mām adarśanān marma-hatāṁ karotu vā [Cc. Antya 20.47]. The lover is saying to the beloved, “Either You embrace me with love or you kick me, trample me down under Your feet. And if You make me brokenhearted without meeting me, so whatever You like, You can do. Still I love You.” That is love. That is only possible to love Kṛṣṇa. That is not materially possible. Here the so-called love means he or she wants some return for sense gratification. So there the so-called love is lust. It is going in the market in the name of love. There is no love. 

Guest (4): Is this Kṛṣṇa in this painting here? Right here. No, no, the next one. 

Prabhupāda: He is Kṛṣṇa. Yes. He’s loving the calf. 

Guest (4): It is a calf? 

Prabhupāda: Yes. The calf has come to Kṛṣṇa like this, and He is embracing: “Yes, come on.” You… Just see. The calf has no education, no knowledge… [end] 

Sharing means caring

Task Runner