700222 - Ten Offenses Lecture - Los Angeles

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



700222IN-LOS ANGELES - February 22, 1970 - 17:20 Minutes



Prabhupāda: The first offense is blaspheming the Lord's devotee. Anyone... It does not matter that your spiritual master is devotee and nobody is devotee. No. The devotee..., the life of devotee is already explained, that he is fixed up in God. He has no other business than to think of God, talk of God, preaching of God, he's a devotee.

It does not matter whether he is born this country or that country or that province or this province or this planet or that planet. Anyone whose life is simply absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and thoughts of God, he's a devotee. So we should not blaspheme, that "Our process is better. Your process is..." That is due to ignorance. So this is offense: blaspheme the devotee.

And then considering the Lord and the demigods on the same level. Or assuming that there are many Gods. God is one. It is nonsense to think that there are many Gods. If there are many Gods, then there is no meaning of "God." ekam eva advitīyam. The Vedas say God is one, without any second, without any competitor. If God has competitor, then He's not God. The definition of God is that supreme.

So if there are many, then how God can be Supreme? God is great. "God is great" means nobody is greater than Him, nobody is equal to Him. Everybody is under Him. You may have very high qualifications, but you cannot be equal to God. God is one. Therefore the Māyāvādīs' philosophy that "You can accept, by imagination, any form of God and that is all right," no. You should have the actually the form of God.

Just like Kṛṣṇa says, mam ekam. Ekam means only one, "Unto Me." Of course, there are many other forms of God, but in order to concentrate your mind perfectly, you should only think of Kṛṣṇa. Mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). So we do not accept this nonsense philosophy that any name we chant, it becomes God. No. God's name. Of course, God's name may be sounding..., just like you say "water," I say jala.

But it means..., that object is the same. Similarly, if you have got actually any name for God, that's all right; otherwise take to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa means "all-attractive," and God's name cannot be otherwise. If God is not all-attractive, then He's not God. If God is attractive for a certain type of man or certain class of men and not attractive for others, then He's not God.

So you see Kṛṣṇa's activities, Kṛṣṇa's bodily feature, Kṛṣṇa's instruction, it is one, sublime. Sublime. Therefore He's God. And it is not our sentiment, but it is confirmed by the Vedic literature. Bhagavata says, kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28): "Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Brahma-saṁhitā says, īśvara parama-kṛṣṇa (Bs. 5.1). There are many gods, demigods, but God is one. Arjuna says, paraḥ brahma, every living entity is Brahman, but He's paraḥ brahma, the Supreme Brahman.

And Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, mattaḥ parataraṁ nasti kiñcid asti dhanañjaya (BG 7.7): "There is nothing more superior than Me." So these are..., we have to take evidences from the śāstra, kṛṣṇas tu bhagavan svayam. So nobody should think that "If I chant the name of this demigod or that demigod, this is equal to chant the name of Hari or Kṛṣṇa." No, that is an offense. This is third offense.

Then neglecting the orders of the spiritual master. The beginning of initiation is to voluntarily accept the spiritual master, to abide by his order. So, if you disobey his order, then it is offense. This is fourth offense.

Fifth offense: interpreting the holy name of God. Interpreting. Because we have got very fertile brains, we can interpret in so many ways. Māyā gives us such knowledge, this way and that way, that way. No. Don’t try to interpret. Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is. No interpretation. Kṛṣṇa says that mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). Kṛṣṇa says, "Just surrender unto Me," and we are teaching, "Just surrender to Kṛṣṇa." Is there any difference? No difference. Therefore in speaking we are actually the representative of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, "Surrender unto Me." And we, in the disciplic succession of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we are also speaking, "Just surrender to Kṛṣṇa."

We do not imitate, do not interpret, that "This 'Me' means me." The Māyāvādī philosopher, they say, everyone can say, "Me" means "I", "unto me." But is that grammatically correct? Eh? If I say that "Please give me a glass of water," now if any one of you say that "This 'me' means me," so you take every one of us wants a glass of water, then this is nonsense interpretating (sic). But the Māyāvādī philosophers, because they are atheists, because they do not accept the existence of God, they interpret the śāstras in different way so that... But that cannot stand. That may be very nice to some foolish men, but actually, if some..., they meet some intelligent man, then they are difficult... So this sort of interpretation is useless.

Committing sin on the strength of chanting. Now this is your beginning of life. This chanting means whatever you have done in your past life, sinful, that is now squared up. But you should not any more commit sin. The four pillars of sinful life is this, or this. What is that? That Illicit sex, that intoxication, meat-eating, and..., what is that? Gambling. These are the four pillars, just as your table stands on the four legs, or this house stands on four legs, four wheel, this car stands, similarly this sinful life personified stands on these four pillars. If you break these four pillars, then it has no standing.

Now, whatever has been done is done. That is not a disqualification. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement does not say that first of all you..., just like other śāstras say atonement, or you pay some fine for your sinful life or... No. Every conditioned soul is apt to commit some..., so many sins, knowingly or unknowingly, so whatever is done is done. Now from this day, no more sinful life. Don’t think, "Oh, I am chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, so this is a counteracting method, so let me commit this sinful act, and it will become counteracted because I am chanting." Don’t do that. We don't believe in that way. Not that is...

Just like somebody says that you commit sin, but you confess, and you're..., that's all right. By confessing, your sinful reaction is eradicated. But if you commit again, oh, that is foolishness. So this example I have given you several times: just like if you committed something wrong, you go to the court, criminal, and if you say, "My Lord, I did not know this, I mean to say, unlawful. So next time I shall be careful; I shall not do it," then it is excused. But if next time you go to the court and you'll say, "Please excuse," oh, that is..., there is no excuse. So this confession, once is right, twice is right, thrice is right; fourth time, oh, you are severely punished. That is common sense. So you do not commit sin, because by mistake you might commit some sin, that maybe excused; but if you take it a business, that "Because I am chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, therefore I can commit this sin, there is no reaction," no. That is offense. It is great offense.

Then, seventh offense: instructing the glories of the Lord's name to the unfaithful. This chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra we offer when one has become faithful. So many students come to us, but we see first of all that "He is now faithful. He's faithfully discharging." So generally, we allow six months' time to see how he's faithfully executing; then we offer these beads. Otherwise, if he's faithless, then after some time it will..., he'll give it up. So for the spiritual master it is also offense. If one is faithless, this chanting on beads should not be given to him. This is offense.

And then comparing the holy name with material piety. Just like this function we are holding today, it is not to be considered as some pious activity; it is transcendental. Pious activity can give you some reward in this material world, but this activity is beyond this material; it will give you place back to home, back to Godhead. So don’t compare with ordinary pious activity—just like somebody gives in charity, somebody makes something, religious activities. It is beyond religion. Beyond religion. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is beyond all religion. It is the postgraduate study of all religion. So don’t compare with any pious activity.

Then, inattention while chanting the holy name. You should chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa, and you should hear also. If your mind is acting, the mind is somewhere else, and you are chanting, oh, that is an offense. You should hear. This is called samādhi. If you chant and hear, then your mind is interlocked by hearing and chanting. This is samādhi. Samādhi means trance. Trance means completely absorbed in. So by hearing and chanting, acting both ways, you’ll be in trance, and that trance will keep you in the transcendental stage. That is called samādhi. So if we become inattentive, that is offense.

And attachment to material things while engaged in the practice of chanting. We should always remember that we are trying to be elevated to the spiritual platform, so spiritual platform means no more anxiety for sense gratification. That is spiritual platform. Material platform means everyone is hankering after sense gratification. All the people, they’re working day..., hard, day and night very hard, the aim is sex at night. That's all. Sense gratification. Karmīs, they cannot work if they have no facility for sex. So..., but these devotees of Kṛṣṇa, their aim is how to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. That is the difference. This is the difference between spiritual life and material life. Material life means everyone is trying to..., how to satisfy his sex. And spiritual life means he is also trying the same way, but his aim is how to satisfy Kṛṣṇa.

So, my occupation to satisfy something, that will continue; you cannot stop it. But spiritual life means to satisfy Kṛṣṇa, and material life means satisfying my senses. That is the difference. So in every action if you put this test, whether you are satisfying your senses or you're satisfying your Kṛṣṇa—you can test it—and as soon as you see that you are satisfying my whims and senses, then it is not Kṛṣṇa. So in this way, put..., make progress, and if you fail sometimes, Kṛṣṇa will excuse you. But you must be very much strict, guarding against this falldown. Then your elevation will be very quick and it will be very sound. So follow this principle of offenses... (end)