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700703 - Lecture Initiation - Los Angeles

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

700703IN-LOS ANGELES - July 03, 1970 - 21:51 Minutes

Prabhupāda: Ten kinds of offenses, they are mentioned in the paper. You should avoid, and follow the regulative principles. Just like if you ignite fire, if the wood is dry, then the fire very quickly takes place. And if it is moist, wet, then it takes time. So . . . so avoiding these ten kinds of offenses and following the rules and regulation will quickly ignite the fire of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Otherwise, the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is powerful, even one is contaminated, but it will accelerate if you follow the rules and regulations and avoid the offenses. Therefore . . .

So what are these ten kind of offenses? What is the first, first offense?

Devotee (1): Blaspheming the Lord's devotee?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Those who are engaged in preaching the glories of the Lord, they should never be defamed. That is the greatest offense. Then next?

Devotee (2): Considering the Lord and the demigods on the same level.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Those who are impersonalists, they think that "After all, the Absolute Truth is void, or impersonal. So we can imagine any form." The Māyāvādī philosopher says, sādhakānām hitarthaya brahmaṇo rūpaḥ kalpanaḥ: "Brahman, the Supreme Absolute Truth, He is formless, but because we cannot concentrate our mind in the formless, therefore let us imagine any form we like, and that will make me advance." This is not the philosophy.

The Absolute Truth, Supreme Personality of Godhead, He has His form and He is not equal . . . nobody is equal to Him. So according to Vedic literature, you cannot put viṣṇu-tattva even on the equal footing with Brahmā and Śiva. His position, viṣṇu-tattva, is mahato mahīyān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.2.20). He's the greatest of the greatest. So this is offense.

There are many Māyāvādī philosophers, they say: "You can chant any name, either Kṛṣṇa or Kali or Durgā or . . ." And another mission says, "Any nonsense name you can chant. That doesn't matter." But our Vedic śāstra, scripture, does not say that. It is said: harer nāma. Not any other name. Harer nāma: only the name of Hari. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ (SB 7.5.23).

To hear and chant about whom? Viṣṇu. It is clearly stated there. So we have to chant Viṣṇu name, we have to chant harer name, Hari and Viṣṇu, Kṛṣṇa—they're the same. So this is my . . . you should not misguide yourself by thinking that, "Any name will do." No. This:

harer nāma harer nāma harer nāma iva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
(CC Adi 17.21)

Then what is the next? Guror avajñā?

Devotee (3): Neglecting the order of the spiritual master.

Prabhupāda: Yes. We are daily singing, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasāda (Śrī Śrī Gurv-aṣṭaka 8): by pleasing the spiritual master we please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore if his order is disobeyed, if he is displeased, then yasyāprasādād na gatiḥ kuto 'pi. If he is displeased, then he has no shelter. He's thrown in the wilderness. Therefore this should be strictly followed. Then next?

Devotee (3): Minimizing the authority of the scripture or . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes. Scriptural injunction we should not minimize. We should not think contradictory. We should accept as it is. Then it will be good for us. Or interpretation. Scriptural interpretation is not required. Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is, without any false interpretation. As it is. Kṛṣṇa—Kṛṣṇa. Kurukṣetra—Kurukṣetra. Pāṇḍava—Pāṇḍava. Dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre samavetā (BG 1.1). Kṛṣṇa uvāca. Kṛṣṇa, bhagavān uvāca: "The Supreme Personality of Godhead said." And we should not add here that . . . paramāt . . . what is called? Paramātmā uvāca. No. Kṛṣṇa uvāca. Paramātmā is feature.

In the Gītā Press edition you will see "Paramātmā". They never say: "Kṛṣṇa." They're so much afraid that, "If I say 'Kṛṣṇa,' He will at once capture me." You see? (chuckles) So in a different way. "Paraṁ Brahman," "Caitanya," like this, so many impersonal way they will say. But that is not required. Bhagavān uvāca means Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. Sometimes they say: "Blessed Lord said". No. Why you say? The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, said.

Then, what is that next? No interpretation of the scripture. Next? What is the next item?

Devotee: Committing sin on the strength of chanting.

Prabhupāda: Yes. On the strength of chanting, committing sin. Because as Dayānanda explained to you, that this is a purificatory process. So if we think that, "We are chanting. It is . . . I am being purified, so let me become contaminated by acting some sinful activities. I'll purify by chanting," this motive is very bad. This is the greatest offense.

Once purified, that's all right, but don't commit again sinful. Sinful life should be stopped. From this day of initiation these four pillars of sinful life—illicit sex life, intoxication, meat-eating and gambling—they should be broken. Not that, "Let me do it. I have got the mantra, machine, instrument for counteracting." No. You should not . . . no more commit any sinful activities. Once you are purified, no more.

Then, what is that?

Devotee (2): Instructing the glories of the Lord's name to the . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes. We (are) therefore cautious. Unless one is recommended by the president . . . if he is eager, he is . . . I mean to say, to accept harinām, then we see that how he is attending our classes, how he is becoming little interested. Then we offer this first initiation. Otherwise, if we see that he is unmindful, then we should not canvass. Let him come.

Just like Kṛṣṇa says Arjuna that, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66): "You just surrender unto Me." He's saying. Not that by force making him surrender. That kind of surrender will not stand. We should not canvass. Let him become attracted by Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and he personally asks for harer nāma (CC Adi 17.21).

Just like Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says, bhakativinoda prabhu-caraṇe paḍiyā (Jīv Jāgo). As soon as Lord Caitanya says that, "I have brought this medicine for killing māyā," hari-nāma mahā-mantra loilo. "Everyone can take from Me this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra." So bhakativinoda prabhu-caraṇe paḍiyā. The Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura immediately fell down on the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya and begged, "Please give me."

So this, this should . . . the chance should be given like that. One should beg. Not that canvassing. No. That is not required. That is another offense. Unless one has increased little taste and he's personally eager to accept this chanting process, we should not canvass. That is not our . . . that is an offense.


Devotee: Comparing the holy name with material piety.

Prabhupāda: Yes. The whole thing is purification. Material contamination means desire to enjoy this material world. That is contamination. We have nothing to do with this material world. Brahma-bhūtaḥ. You are spirit. Unfortunately, I (we) are put into this association. So that is another chapter. But now we are trying to come out of it.

So at the same time I am trying to go back to home, back to Godhead, at the same time desiring some material sense gratification, this is another offense. This should not be done. We should try to forget. We shall try to forget, "No more I'll . . . no. There is no necessity of my materialness enjoyment." That sort of vow, determination, must be there.

Then, what is next?

Devotee: Becoming inattentive while chanting the holy name.

Prabhupāda: Yes. While you (are) chanting, you should hear also. Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. You should hear at the same time. Then the mind and the senses are compact. That is samādhi. That is perfection of yoga. This yoga is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā: yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā (BG 6.47). So everyone, while chanting, he should hear. All right.


So, what is your name?

Kevin: Kevin.

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Devotees: Kevin.

Prabhupāda: Kevin. Oh. So your spiritual name, Śrī Raṅga. Śrī Raṅga. Śrī Raṅganātha is Viṣṇu. It is a very big temple in South India.

Then, what is the name?

Robert: Robert.

Prabhupāda: So your name is Romaharṣaṇa. Romaharṣaṇa was a great learned scholar for explaining Vedic literature. But once upon a time he committed some offense. In a great meeting he was speaking about Vedic hymns, and Balarāma, He entered that sacrificial arena. So all the sages and brāhmins and everyone stood up. This Romaharṣaṇa did not. So Balarāma punished him, killed him. But although he was killed, but he got salvation and he was recognized. But, he . . .

It was an example that we should be always very careful about offering respect to the Supreme Lord. He was sitting on the vyāsāsana. Vyāsāsana, one who is sitting on the vyāsāsana, if somebody comes, he does not require to offer respect. That is the rule. But that is not applicable when God enters. No. (laughter) That was his offense. So exemplary. He was killed not with any weapon. One straw. He was immediately . . . Balarāma had some straw.

So all the sages said that, "Sir, we allowed him to sit on the vyāsāsana, and he was speaking. Now what is to be done? He's killed." So then Balarāma said, "All right. If you want, I can make him immediately alive." So they also considered that, "If we say that 'Make him alive', then . . . Balarāma's decision was to kill him. Then we overrule Him." Just see how the behavior. Then the saints and sages said: "No, Sir. We do not want. Whatever You have done, that is all right. But You do something, that we blessed this man for long life to speak. Now he is dead. So our version is also nullified. But we want that our version may not be nullified and Your action may not be nullified. You do something like this." (laughter)

So then Balarāma said, "All right. You bring his son. I shall empower him, and he'll be a great speaker on this Vedic literature." And because his son means he himself . . . ātmaiva jayate putra. Son is born, there is no . . . the father and son, there is no distinction. Just like in Bible sometimes it is said the son of God and God is one. That's a fact, because son is expansion of the body of the father. So Romaharṣaṇa's son was Sūta Gosvāmī. This Sūta Gosvāmī's name you have heard. He is speaking Bhāgavatam. So Sūta Gosvāmī was blessed by Balarāma that, "You, on behalf of your father . . ." So their version and Balarāma's action was mitigated in this way.

All right. Come one. So you be careful. Huh? Don't be like Romaharṣaṇa. (chuckles) You take the advantage, but don't make . . . commit mistake like Romaharṣaṇa. (laughs) (laughter) Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Then, what is your name?

John: John.

Prabhupāda: So your name is Śrīdhara. Śrīdhara is another name of Lord Viṣṇu. Come on. Śrīdhara dāsa . . . brahmacārī? You are brahmacārī? All right. Jaya. You know the mantra?

Śrīdhara: Yes.

Prabhupāda: What is that mantra?

Śrīdhara: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa . . .

Prabhupāda: No, not . . .

Śrīdhara: . . . Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.

Prabhupāda: No, this offering obeisance to the spiritual master. He knows it?

Come on. What is your name?

Charles: Chuck.

Prabhupāda: John. Śrīdhara? He is John.

Charles: Charles.

Prabhupāda: Oh, Charles. Your name is Gopāla dāsa. Come on. Govinda jaya jaya gopāla jaya jaya. So what are the restrictions?

Gopāla: No meat, fish or eggs, no illicit sex life.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Gopāla: . . . no gambling or speculate, and no intoxicants.

Prabhupāda: So it will be possible? (laughter) Yes. For your country this is very, I mean, a big stricture, but one has to perform it, execute it for Kṛṣṇa's sake. Kṛṣṇas te bhoga-tyāga. For Kṛṣṇa's sake we can do anything. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Although it is very difficult for boys and girls in this country, but because they are taking Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they should sacrifice their propensities for Kṛṣṇa's sake. That is a vow. That is an austerity. So Kṛṣṇa will be very much satisfied, so "This boy, this girl has done so much. All right. Accept him." So strictly follow these rules and regulation. Hmm.

So every one of you know these regulative principles? Yes. Then you perform your yajña.

(break) . . . kevalam, kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā (CC Adi 17.21). (end)