Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Understanding Krishna through His Pure Devotee (Srila Prabhupada)

VedaBase => Transcendental Diary by Hari Sauri Prabhu 3-5: Paris and New Mayapur

It was by now late afternoon. At least three hundred devotees from Sweden, Holland, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Austria, England, Belgium and other nations were gathered outside, eager for his darsana, and Prabhupada didn't disappoint them.

Prabhupada descended the wide spiral inner staircase leading from the second floor to the main entrance, and stepped out into the sunshine. All around him the devotees sang, offered obeisances, and provided the shelter of a ceremonial umbrella as Prabhupada strode across the grounds to the grassy venue of previous nights.

After a spirited kirtana Prabhupada gave a short talk on Bhagavad-gita 15.15. Jayatirtha prabhu read out the verse in English: "I am seated in everyone's heart and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas am I to be known; indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas."

First allowing Prthu-putra Swami to read out the French translation, Prabhupada then explained, "Knowledge given by Paramatma from within the core of the heart is explained by the modern scientist as intuition. They do not know where from the intuition is coming. And that is coming from God; therefore it is stated mattah, from Me. Smrtir jnanam apohanam ca. A small cub, dog, it has not opened the eyes, but still, immediately after birth, it is seeking the nipples of the mother. So wherefrom the knowledge comes? From his within, and that is from God."

Prabhupada elaborated on the example he gave to Mike Robinson in London. "Vedas means just like this dictaphone machine is manufactured, along with one literature is also compiled. So customers, they are given the delivery of the machine as well as the literature how to use it, that is the Vedas. Therefore Krsna says that vedanta-krt, 'I am the compiler of the Vedas.' Because if He does not give the literature, then how will you use the machine? The manufacturer of the machine he knows how to use it, what for it is, how to manipulate it -- everything is there. The Vedic knowledge means that. We have come to this material world. So just like we have purchased this machine for some enjoyment, similarly, we are fallen down to this material world for some material pleasure. So Krsna has given, God has given, a literature. If you'll be guided by the literature, that, your propensity to enjoy this material world, will be fulfilled; at the same time you'll again be able to go back home, back to Godhead. So now you discuss this point that why we have come to this material world, what is the purpose."

The devotees had many questions. Srila Prabhupada, noticeably more animated tonight than on previous nights, satisfied everyone by his lucid answers, especially on the subject of intuition and inner dictation.

The first questioner said that sometimes our mind fills with our sinful past memories when we try to meditate on Krsna. "How is this to be understood that Krsna says, 'From Me the memory comes.'"

"Memory comes to remind you that you were in this condition," Prabhupada said. "Whether you are to continue this condition or to make improvement, that is up to you. So if you take instruction from the Vedas then you'll understand that these conditions of life are not very pleasing. So we have to make progress in a different way."

Prabhupada confirmed Jayatirtha's question that conscience, the feeling that something is either right or wrong, comes from Krsna. Jayatirtha then added that a materialist sometimes thinks he is doing good when in fact he is not.

"He does not know what is good," Prabhupada replied. "He wants to do something, but he does not know what is good. The good is said by Krsna, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam, that is good. Or everything bad, whatever he does, everything bad. That's all. Just like this child, he wants to do so many things; he does not know what is good, what is bad. But the good thing is if he works according to the direction of his father, then it is good. And otherwise, whatever he'll do, that is childish, that's all; it is neither good nor bad, it is childish."

Another devotee asked if it was possible to follow Krsna by intuition. Prabhupada explained that there are two kinds of following: either we follow our own whims, in which case Krsna will give us the opportunity to fulfill our desires in a future life, or one can do what Krsna Himself says and be happy. "Otherwise, you'll have to go life after life and fulfill your whims and desires. Krsna will give you opportunity, but that will not solve your problems."

One of the sankirtana devotees had a query, "We can see that someone will take a book, and someone will not take a book. So does Krsna give beneficial instruction to someone, and not to someone else? Intuition in the heart to take or not to take the book?"

Srila Prabhupada smiled. "Yes. If one has to suffer more, Krsna says, 'No, no, now you enjoy. Why you read that? Better go to the restaurant and spend money for that.'"

During the meeting with the Marchands, Bhakta Ulain had noted a brief comment Prabhupada made about the moon. "Yesterday you told to that gentleman that the scientists, they thought that they have been on the moon planet. But does that actually mean they went to another planet than the moon planet?"

"They might have gone to hell! I do not know," Prabhupada said dryly, evoking peals of loud laughter and cheers. "We have no interest in such things. What profit will be there? What gain we'll get? You are here in this France and ... Don't be, I mean to say, subject to this unnecessary ... What is the profit? Be practical man. What is the profit there? Suppose they have gone to hell or moon, but what is the profit? Why don't you study practically? If after spending millions of dollars, if you have brought some sand -- the sand is available so much here. So what is the profit? Just like the moon planet is there in such a vast sky. That is an insignificant corner it is occupying. Even if you go there, then what about the vast sky? What can you do? So be practical. What is the use of wasting time in that way?"

Prabhupada wasn't denying the possibility of going to the moon. "But for that you have to prepare in a different way," he said. "Not that you get a small tricycle and go to the moon -- that is foolishness. So in our childhood also we were imagining, 'I have got this tricycle, I shall go to Europe, I shall go to the West, or ...' It is like that."

Someone else asked about the execution of devotional life. "We have all faith in you, Srila Prabhupada, and we want to follow your instructions word by word, but sometimes we can find some difficulty. In a case of difficulty, what should we do?"

"You should be patient," Prabhupada said. He quoted Srila Rupa Gosvami and elaborated, "Dhairya means 'patience.' Just like a girl is married and she wants a son; you cannot expect today is marriage, and tomorrow child. That is not possible, you have to wait."

Along the same lines another devotee asked, "If we don't finish our Krsna consciousness in this life, how will we come in contact with the guru in next life?"

Prabhupada first reassured him. "Yes, that arrangement will be done. You go on with your business." And then a little reprovingly he reminded him, "We are singing this song daily, why do you forget? Cakhu-dana dilo yei janme janme prabhu sei, one who has opened the eyes, he'll remain my master life after life."

Srila Prabhupada's confirmation of his loving commitment as their eternal lord and master penetrated the hearts of the devotees. They had traveled so far for just this kind of exchange. They burst spontaneously into a unanimous exclamation of affection. "Jaya Prabhupada!" they shouted, as he sat smiling in their midst.

The session continued with Visvambhara asking why we sometimes make mistakes even when we are sincerely trying to serve Krsna.

Prabhupada explained that service means by the order of the spiritual master. "So you should always be ready to take order from the master, there will be no mistake."

"Does that mean that our mistakes come from the false ego?" another devotee asked.

"Yes," Prabhupada said. "When you disobey the order of master, there will be mistake."

Alanatha dasa from Germany asked, "Sometimes in our practical dealings we have to make a decision and there is no possibility to refer to our authority. Shall we then try to understand what Krsna wants us to do?"

"Krsna will give you; that is intuition," Prabhupada told him. "If you are actually sincere, the correct intuition will come. Dadami buddhi-yogam tam yena mam upayanti, if it is for Krsna's purpose, then He'll give you intelligence: 'Do like this.'"

At the end, when one of the men asked if mental speculation could be stopped immediately, Prabhupada commanded him, "You must stop immediately!" Everyone laughed heartily and Prabhupada added that mental speculation is simply nonsense.

Prabhupada finally brought what had been the liveliest and most inspiring meeting of the visit to a close. The devotees, filled with enthusiasm from their intimate exchange with His Divine Grace, escorted him back to the Chateau with loud and enthusiastic kirtana.

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