Prabhupada Comes To Detroit July 1971 (Part 4)

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By: 
Nityananda das, New Jayapur, Vanua Levu, Fiji Islands

Continuation...

Prabhupada explained that a fallen devotee is guaranteed a human birth in the next life, while the materialist may easily be demoted to the lower species of life. Further, the devotee takes birth either in a devotee or brahmana family, or in a wealthy aristocratic family.

So these children who are born in our Krishna consciousness Society, they are those children, those who could not finish Krishna consciousness last life. They have been given to take birth in the family of devotee husband and wife; therefore he's playing karatala. Otherwise it is not possible. He had practice in his last life; therefore he's quickly... He had got the chance. Again he's remembering and playing.

All the devotees looked upon Vaishnava das with amazement, understanding how he was a devotee in his previous life and was now displaying his kirtan proficiency carried over to this life. It was a Bhagavad-gita field trip, a practical example of the philosophy in daily life. Prabhupada said, “This is the fact.” “You'll see through the authority, scriptures.” Krishna Bhamini, the baby’s mother, sat there beaming with pride.

So this child is born of a devotee father and devotee mother. Now he'll again begin from the point where he lost last life. Suppose Krishna consciousness he executed fifty percent. So he'll begin from this life fifty-one percent. That fifty percent was in his stock. But ordinary karmis—cent percent lost. He has to begin another chapter of life according to his karma. Either he'll become a man or dog, there is no guarantee.

The judgement will be done by the superior authority, and he'll be given a particular type of body, as he has maintained the consciousness. Therefore our business, this Krishna consciousness movement, is to train the followers to Krishna consciousness so that next life he gets Krishna consciousness atmosphere. He's not promoted immediately, directly to the abode of Krishna. That is also possible. Mad-yajino 'pi yanti mam [Bg. 9.25]. "Those who are My devotees, they come to My place." Krishna says. So if you perfect your Krishna consciousness in this life, then you're guaranteed to be promoted to go back to home, back to Krishna. If you do not perfect, then next life is guaranteed, a very nice human body, either in a rich man's family or in a Krishna conscious family. Just try to understand how nice this movement is.

Someone asked a question and Prabhupada elaborated that although birth in a rich family is usually a distraction from spiritual life, for devotees it allows them to be free in that pursuit without the usual struggles for material needs.

If he thinks that "I have got this opportunity of opulence. I have nothing to bother about my living and eating. I am born rich man. Why I am given so much chance? Because last, my, I executed Krishna consciousness, yoga; I could not finish. Therefore Krishna has given me this chance that I'll not have to bother about my eating, sleeping. I save my time and engage myself in Krishna consciousness."

Otherwise, he continued, most wealthy persons become a great sense enjoyer “or a hippy,” due to bad association. It was our duty to go out and inform people of Krishna’s message without discrimination so they could come to Krishna consciousness.

On the second morning, July 17, was the initiations ceremony and fire sacrifice. Other sources indicate it was on the 18th, but one of the initiates, Pratyatosa das, notes that it was on his own birthday, the 17th. I was disappointed to see that Srila Prabhupada would not be personally performing the fire sacrifice, as he had in Boston a year and a half earlier. Jagadisa das, now the local GBC man, and assisted by Bhagavan das, the temple president, would conduct the yajna as Srila Prabhupada watched from his elevated seat. Prabhupada began the lecture:

So there are ten kinds of offenses. That is described. And the most important point is the committing sin on the strength of chanting Hare Krishna mantra. This is a fact that as soon you chant Krishna, all your resultant action of sinful activities immediately nullified. But if we again commit that sins, that is up to you. So we should not make it a business that "Let me go on committing sins, and it will be counteracted by chanting." No. This is not good. This is the greatest offense. Sometimes in Christian Church there is confession, and again they go and commit the same sin, and next time, again confession. Not like that. That is not good. One confession admitting, excused. But not that you commit sins over and over again and it will be excused. Similarly, you cannot commit sins on the strength of chanting. That is the greatest offense.

Prabhupada asked for the beads upon which he would chant one round of japa each. He asked where was Tulasi devi, and asked to open the windows. Jagadisa recited the purificatory mantras, being corrected in pronunciation by Prabhupada, who quietly chanted on the initiates’ beads while supervising everything. He was training his leading disciples to assist him in a fast growing movement. About twenty devotees sat there ready for first or second initiations, some from other temples. Prabhupada told Jagadisa, “Ten offenses, explain.” Prabhupada asked for chairs for some standing ladies.

Prabhupada interrupted Jagadisa’s lecture to clarify that our senses can be easily controlled by fixing the mind on Krishna, and next by controlling the tongue in chanting and tasting prasadam. Then he continued his japa while Jagadisa returned to his lecture. Very soon Prabhupada cut in again, explaining further how all the senses should be engaged in Krishna consciousness to prevent them from being attracted to maya. Jagadisa then continued, “So we must always try to fix our mind on Krishna's activities, Krishna's lotus feet...” when Prabhupada again interjected:

Bhavausadhi srotra-mano-'bhiramat. Krishna's pastimes are described as the medicine of the disease bhava. Bhava means repeated birth and death. This is a disease. So bhavausadhi. The medicine, panacea, for curing this disease, bhavausadhi. At the same time, srotra-mano-'bhiramat: it is very pleasing to hear, and very enlightening to the heart. Krishna's name is so nice, Krishna's pastime is so nice, that it is very pleasing, very satisfying, at the same time, it is the medicine for the disease of repeated birth and death.

Prabhupada began chanting on the beads again. Jagadisa paused and tried to resume speaking, saying, “One of the qualities of...” when Prabhupada spoke up once more.

The more you become free from material harassment, the more you make advance in spiritual life, or the more you make advance in spiritual life, the more you become detached to the material life.  These are the tests. Bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir anyatra syat [SB 11.2.42]. Bhakti, devotional life, spiritual life, the test is that viraktir anyatra. Anyatra means beyond, without Krishna, everything becomes detestful. The example is given just like a hungry man, when he's eating, as he's eating so he's feeling satisfaction and no hunger, proportionately. And at one time it will come, he'll say, "No, I don't want any more. I am completely satisfied." Svamin krtartho 'smi varam na yace [Cc. Madhya 22.42]. Just like Dhruva Maharaja. He said, "I am now completely satisfied. I have, I haven't got to ask anything, benediction." That is the progress and ultimate goal of bhakti. As soon as one is saturated with bhakti, he has no more demand, no more attraction for this material world. Not... Krishna attraction means decreasing attraction for the material world. Go on.

Prabhupada began chanting japa on the initiate’s beads again, but before Jagadisa could think to resume his speaking, Prabhupada spoke more.

One can test his advancement for spiritual life, how he is being detached to the material life. That's all. It is not to be taken certificate from others. Just like when you eat, you haven't got to take certificate from others. You'll feel, "Yes, I'm satisfied." That's all. You don't require, while eating nicely, you don't require to take certificate: "Am I eating nicely?" You'll know yourself.

Chanting japa a bit more, Prabhupada then continued. It was now clear that he was not displeased with Jagadisa’s attempted lecture, but rather he was so enthusiastic to impart transcendental knowledge himself.

Another example is given: the candy. Candy, when a man is suffering from jaundice disease, if you give him candy, he'll taste it bitter. That means more one is materially suffering, he'll not be interested to Krishna consciousness. But the example is this: The candy is the only medicine for jaundice. So we have to give him candy by force. And as he cures, he'll say, "Oh, candy's very nice. Candy's sweet." So in the beginning we have to force. We have to give the medicine just like horse is given medicine. Three men required to induce medicine to the mouth of the horse. So this is our duty, to inject Hare Krishna medicine just like pushing medicine in the throat of a horse. By force.

(....To be continued)

Prabhupada Comes To Detroit July 1971 (Part 1)

Prabhupada Comes To Detroit July 1971 (Part 2)

Prabhupada Comes To Detroit July 1971 (Part 3)

Thank you for spreading the word!