680826 - Conversation - Montreal
(Redirected from Questions and Answers -- Montreal, August 26, 1968)
Prabhupāda: So your question, Rukmiṇī's question, Lord Caitanya's opulence . . . there are six kinds of opulences: richness, then fame, strength, influence, beauty, education and renunciation. So He exhibited all these six. He was very beautiful; therefore His name is Gaurasundara. Very beautiful—tall and stout and strong.
There was no comparison of His beauty at that time, He was so beautiful, fair complexion. This time He did not appear in black complexion, because people after fair complexion. So . . . and son of a very respectable brahmin family, and very highly educated.
His scholarly manifestation you'll find in the explanation of one verse:
- ātmārāmāś ca munayo
- nirgranthā apy urukrame
- kurvanty ahaitukīṁ bhaktim
- ittham-bhūta-guṇo hariḥ
- (SB 1.7.10)
This verse was twice explained, two times explained: once before Sanātana Gosvāmī and once before Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya. Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya was considered at that time to be the greatest learned man in India. At that time nyāya-śāstra, logic . . . amongst the learned scholar logic is the greatest weapon to get victory over his opponent. So learned scholar is always a very learned scholar in logic, nyāya-śāstra.
So this logic was taught in Bihar, Dharvanga. India, in different parts of India, different kinds of education was imparted. In Benares, the Mayavāda philosophy was very prominent. In Dharvanga, logic was very prominent. In Navadvīpa, philosophy was very prominent, and nyāya also. Similarly, in Bharampura . . . (indistinct) . . . there are many places, just like at the present moment there are many places, university.
So He was great logician, Caitanya Mahāprabhu. In His boyhood He would ask His contemporary friends to argue with Him on a subject matter, and He'll defeat him. And again He'll establish it. The very point on which He defeated His friend, He'll again establish it, and again nullify it. He was so talented. His name was therefore, other name, was Nimāi Paṇḍita.
One name is Gaurasundara, another name is Nimāi Paṇḍita. Paṇḍita means very learned scholar. And that is not hearsay, that because we are devotees we are speaking of Lord Caitanya very learned scholar. The evidence is there in the explanation of ātmārāma śloka (SB 1.7.10). He has explained that śloka in sixty-four different ways, one verse. He has described one word, ātmārāma, in eleven ways. Similarly munayo, nirgranthāḥ, urukrama, bhakti. Each word He has enunciated in so many ways.
So He showed His opulence in wisdom also, just like Kṛṣṇa showed His opulence by speaking Bhagavad-gītā in wisdom, not only miracles. Miracles a magician can also show. That is not very important thing. A yogī also can show so many miracles. But scholarly presentation of a certain thing, that requires opulence. And the most wonderful opulence He showed that is very unique, especially in this age, that at the age of twenty-four years He renounced the world.
He had His very beautiful and obedient wife, Lakṣmī devi, sixteen years old. She was by name Lakṣmī, and actually she was goddess of fortune . . . and His mother was so affectionate, there is no comparison. So in a home where mother is . . . affectionate mother is present, and very beloved wife is present, and at the very young age . . . He was twenty-four years old, and His wife was sixteen years old. Materially that is the age for sense gratification, but He renounced. He didn't care for His wife, didn't care for His mother.
So renunciation is also one of the opulences, and it is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam about His renunciation, tyaktvā sudustyaja-surepsita rājya-lakṣmīṁ (SB 11.5.34). Su-dustajya. Su-dus . . . Tyaja means give up, and du means difficult, difficult, and su means very difficult. In any word, if you apply, affix the word su, it becomes hundred times more magnified. Just like buddhi. Buddhi is intelligence, and if you affix subuddhi, that means very, very intelligent. Similarly dustyaja, "difficult to give up," and when you affix this alphabet su, it becomes "very, very, very difficult." So su-dustyaja, this word, has been used.
Tyaktvā sudustyaja-surepsita rājya-lakṣmīm (SB 11.5.34). Rājya-lakṣmīn means very happy home, home life, homely life. That is called rājya-lakṣmīn—one who is very happy at home. And the symptom of happiness at home, according to Vedic understanding, is the mother, wife and son. If one has got very good mother, one has got very good wife and one has got very good son, then his homely life is heaven. That is the standard of happiness.
So He was young man, and although He had a wife, He knew that He would give up, that He did not begot children. So His children were His devotees. Vṛndāvana Dāsa Ṭhākura has worshiped Him, saputrāya sakala traya: "My dear Lord, I offer my obeisances unto You along with Your sons." So Vṛndāvana Dāsa Ṭhākura is offering obeisances Lord Caitanya, and specifically mentioning, "with Your sons." Where are the sons? He did not beget any children. So His sons means His devotees, His followers. Kalatra means wife.
So Caitanya Mahāprabhu had all these facilities. He was learned, very honored young man in His country; He had many followings. In one incidence we can understand how beloved leader He was. The Kazi challenged His saṅkīrtana movement and first times warned Him not to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, and when He did not care for it, then he ordered that, er, that mṛdaṅga should be broken.
So the constables came and broke the mṛdaṅgas. This information was given to Lord Caitanya, and He ordered civil disobedience. He was the first man in the history of India who started this civil disobedience movement. It is not Gandhi who is the originator of civil disobedience; it was Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He said that "Defy the order of the Kazi." Kazi means magistrate.
So "This evening we shall go at the Kazi's house in hundreds of thousands, with mṛdaṅga and kīrtana." So simply by His order many hundreds of thousands young men—not young men; young, old, all kinds of men—gathered, and . . . so . . . the point is just how popular leader He was. Even in His young age, when He was only twenty years old, how popular He was. So . . . and because He was a learned brahmin, people would send Him many presentation.
A brahmin is not expected to work. That is dhana pratigraha. Pratigraha means accept offerings from others. Just like you offered so many things to me—money, clothing, food—so a sannyāsī, a brahmin, can accept. Not others. A gṛhastha cannot. There are restriction. A brahmacārī can, but he can accept on behalf of his spiritual master, not personally. These are the rules.
So He was learned brahmin, and people used to present Him profusely, so He had no economics problem. Not that He renounced the world on account of poverty or some strain. He had no poverty; He was opulent. A brahmin does not require any great amount of wealth just to pull on his family. So that much amount was more than that He was receiving.
He was teacher also. Paṭhana, pāṭhana, yajana, yājana. Brahmin's business is to teach and to become a very learned scholar and teach people how to worship Kṛṣṇa and become devotee himself, and accept charities from others and distribute it again. So He had all these opulences without any difficulty, and His family life—mother, wife . . . Caṇākya Paṇḍita says:
- mātā yasya gṛhe nāsti
- bhāryā cāpriya-vādinī
- araṇyaṁ tena gantavyaṁ
- yathāraṇyaṁ tathā gṛham
- (Cāṇakya-śloka 57)
Cāṇakya Paṇḍita is giving too much stress on mother and wife in family life. So he says if one's mother is dead and if his wife is not very . . . apriya-vādinī, and does not behave very well, ill-behaving, so Caṇākya Paṇḍita advises him that aranyaṁ tena gantavyam: such person should immediately go to the forest. Because in the Vedic understanding there is no divorce. If the wife is not very pleasing, there is no question of divorcing.
Cāṇakya Paṇḍita does not advise it, the advice that he should divorce such wife, but he says, aranyaṁ tena gantavyam: he should give up family life and go to the forest. Divorce was completely unknown, even up to, say, five years ago. Now this Nehru government has enacted Divorce Act in Hindu law, but actually, Hindu law-maker, they have no such thing as divorce.
So Caitanya Mahāprabhu, this is one of the brilliant examples of opulence, that He renounced His so happy family life, not disturbing life, and very . . . at a very young age, when everyone is after enjoying family life. So is it not a great opulence? Very great opulence. Young man, having good mother, good wife, good home, good reputation, good following, good parentage, beauty—everything—but He renounced.
That is the greatest opulence. He renounced everything for Kṛṣṇa. That is the greatest opulence of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Similarly, if we can follow His footprints . . . not that we have to give up everything, but give up everything for Kṛṣṇa. That is very nice.
(pause) So any other particular . . .?
Devotee: His Divine Grace Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī accepted both Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and Śrīla Gaurakiśora as his spiritual master.
Prabhupāda: Gaurakiśora dasa . . . Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was his father, and Gaurakiśora dāsa Bābājī was treating Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura . . . Although he was householder and Gaurakiśora dāsa Bābājī was renounced order, still, he used to offer great respect to Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, and Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura saw him a pure devotee; therefore he recommended his son, Bimala Prasāda. His former name was Bimala Prasāda, and he got this title Siddhānta Sarasvatī by writing one thesis on astronomy, astrology, astrological calculation according to solar system. So he got this title Siddhānta Sarasvatī.
So this Siddhānta Sarasvatī, Sarasvatī title also accepted by sannyāsa. Sarasvatī, Bhāratī, Puri, Araṇya, Bon, Parvat—there are ten names of sannyāsa according to Māyāvādī school, and according to Vaiṣṇava school there are 108 names. So this "svāmī" and "gosvāmī," they're also included within that 108 names. So he accepted Gaurakiśora dāsa Bābājī Maharaja his spiritual master.
Devotee (2): Does our line of succession go directly to Gaurakiśora dāsa Bābājī or to Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura?
Prabhupāda: No. Because he was treating Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura as his śikṣa guru, preceptor guru, so it is in the line.
Devotee (2): But is Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura directly in succession from Lord Caitanya?
Devotee (2): And Gaurakiśora dāsa Bābājī also?
Nayanābhirāma: Could you tell us about something about Lord Caitanya's production of Vaiṣṇava drama? Are there any of the plays that you know are still extant?
Prabhupāda: Yes. He was playing Vaiṣṇava drama in His household life, rather in student life, and He was taking the part of Rukmiṇī, because He was very beautiful young boy. Formerly, in our childhood also, we saw in drama there was no females taking part. If there was a female part, the man would be dressed just like a female.
Formerly, females are not allowed. If one has to find out a female for taking part in drama, then he has to find out from other quarters, not in respectable part. Now very, very respectable, educated girls are taking in drama and cinema in India. Formerly this was not possible.
And perhaps in the theatrical performances, stage, that was introduced by Lord Caitanya, drama. But His dramatical performances were limited within the devotees. He will not allow to take part in the performance who is not a devotee. So if our devotees . . . that movie was very nice. That's a good example. If we play . . . train our devotees to present some dramatical performances or movie, I think it will be very successful, because they will play from transcendental sentiment, not for trade purpose. So that will come out very successful. Yes.
In our childhood we had the occasion of taking part in a drama, Caitanya-līlā. I took the part of Advaita, and our friends, others, somebody took the part of Caitanya, Nityānanda. So that drama was so successful, it was unique in Calcutta. Because we were not . . . we were not professionals. I saw from the stage a huge gathering, they're all crying.
(laughs) I was surprised, "Why these people are crying?" You see? It was great successful, because we were not professionals. We were not devotees at that time, but some of us were devotee by family tradition, but not exactly what is actually meant by devotee. But still, because we were not professionals, the drama was so successful, unique.
And there was no female. Now Śacidevī, Śacidevī, the friend who take the part, took the part of Śacidevī, his shoulders were so big, (laughing) so just see. So there was no question of beautiful woman taking part. So still, the drama was very successful. Similarly, when Caitanya Mahāprabhu staged, all the devotees took part: Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura, Advaita, Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Nityānanda and Mukunda and other, all devotees.
Devotee (3): It's said that Nārada Muni delivered the chant to the earth. How was it . . . was it there before he came?
Devotee (3): Nārada Muni delivered the chanting, the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, to the earth?
Devotee (3): Was it here before he came? And what . . . how long ago did he come?
Prabhupāda: That you cannot calculate. Nārada Muni is one of the sons of Brahmā, so he's present since the time of creation. And many great sages and saintly devotees are all devotees of Nārada Muni. Prahlāda Mahārāja is disciple of Nārada Muni, Dhruva Mahārāja is the disciple of Nārada Muni, Vyāsadeva is disciple of Nārada Muni, Vālmīki is disciple of Nārada Muni. So Nārada Muni was very expert in getting disciples. He had so many disciples. Unlimited.
Devotee (4): Swāmījī, what's the meaning of "Ṭhākura"?
Prabhupāda: Ṭhākura actually means God. So one who is godly, he is also addressed as Ṭhākura. Yes?
Girl devotee: When we're dreaming, when we're asleep, are we in māyā?
Girl devotee: Even when we dream about . . .
Prabhupāda: So long you sleep, you waste your time.
Girl devotee: Swāmī, even when we dream about Godbrothers and Godsisters?
Girl devotee: Even when we dream about Godbrothers and Godsisters?
Prabhupāda: No. That is not māyā. I mean to say, dreaming . . . yes. Sleeping means stopping your active life. So that is a waste of time. We should rather . . . the mind is always active, and dreaming means the mind is acting. So dreaming is not always bad. Dreaming sometimes very good. What I mean, sleeping is not very good. Hmm.
Prabhupāda: Dāmodara, what is the price of these films?
Dāmodara: Price of the films?
Prabhupāda: Suppose if we take film, very long film, what will be the cost?
Dāmodara: Well, in an eight-millimeter, the size film that you saw last night, the other night, it's not very expensive. It costs a little more than a dollar a minute for, you know. So if there was an hour and a half film, it might cost $150. Not much. But to make a film of the quality that's seen in the theater, it's very expensive. An hour and a half film, it's not unusual, a hundred thousand dollars.
Prabhupāda: Oh! (laughing)
Dāmodara: That's quite a bit of difference. You see, when you have sound on a film it makes it very expensive. And the proper lighting. It takes a long time to make a film that has the right quality. It's expensive.
Prabhupāda: So why don't you get a financier? We can give so many ideas of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and we have got our players.
Dāmodara: Brahmānanda mentioned that I should write to some foundations, groups . . .
Dāmodara: . . . and I'll do so. There are a couple I've thought of. Making films on Vedic scriptures—they'll be interested in that.
Devotee (5): Somebody said you want to film the Bhagavad-gītā, Swāmījī?
Prabhupāda: Yes. If you can take up, I can direct you.
Devotee (6): In Sanskrit or in English?
Prabhupāda: English. Yes.
Devotee (5): Okay, Swāmījī. (laughter)
Prabhupāda: But it will be very expensive to arrange for the war field. Senayor ubhayor madhye (BG 1.21-22). We require so many elephants, so many chariots. That panoramic manifestation of war field, it will be very expensive. Where are the elephants? They don't find here elephants.
Devotee (7): Oh, you can rent elephants.
Devotee (7): You can rent elephants.
Prabhupāda: You can rent, but how many you can rent?
Devotee (7): Well, how many do we need? (laughter)
Prabhupāda: You know, there is . . . there was eighteen akṣauhiṇī senā, eighteen groups of akṣauhiṇī. One akṣauhiṇī, so many hundred thousands of soldiers, so many hundred thousands of chariots, so many hundred thousands of elephant, horses. That is one group. Such eighteen groups were present there. At least, to make a successful scene we require at least fifty elephants to make a show. And chariots. Then it will be something sceneric.
Bhagavad-gītā, I think, has not been attempted by any cinema company for this reason. It is very difficult to make arrangement for the war scene. This is not modern war. There are many modern war films. You can present that. But it is different kind of war. So if you want to present Bhagavad-gītā as it is, then these things will be required.
Devotee (8): Are there elephants available in India, Swāmījī?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Elephants, there are many in India. Elephants, camels, horses also. Still there are many.
Devotee (9): Could we film on location, on the battlefield?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. The battlefield is still existing, Kurukṣetra. Yes. It is about hundred . . . about within two hundred miles from Delhi. It is not far off.
(pause) That my red tape recorder is not replaced. Is it very costly now?
Devotee (10): I think so. Yeah. About five hundred dollars.
Prabhupāda: Five hundred dollars, that may be Japanese. The original is English.
Devotee (10): Oh, English? I thought it was German. English?
Prabhupāda: Yes. German or English. That is eight hundred dollars. It was very nice. Yes. I therefore used to keep daily in my compartment. I didn't allow to leave it here.
How you are feeling, Jadurāṇī? All right? So I think we shall chant little Hare Kṛṣṇa and close this meeting. (break) (end)
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