Good Karma & Bad Karma

Question: Everyone has some karma, and sometimes someone else’s karma is disturbing me. How can I understand when I should try to correct this other person’s karma? How can I know if it is correct or incorrect to try to modify another person’s karma? How can I understand how to act for my benefit and for the benefit of this other person?
Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Actually karma means action. It is the law of this material world, ‘To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction’. This is Newton’s third law. As yet, no one has broken that law [laughter]. And there is good karma and bad karma. Good is what is giving us upliftment from the illusory environment to the transcendental plane. That is good karma. And there is some indication for that: what will be beneficial for everyone is good karma. And what is non-beneficial and what is harmful for others is called bad karma. Someone may be benefitted by that, but if it is breaking the society law, which has been made for the society’s benefit, we are considering that to be bad.
If our action, karma, will give us upliftment from the present level of the illusory environment to the transcendental plane, that will be very good karma. That is written in the scriptures. We see that there are so many religions in this material world within human society, but the target of all religions is to take us from a lower level to a higher level. And we can go up through our good karma. We see that indication within all religions. For that we are respecting all religions: all religions want our upliftment from this very lower level to a higher level. They are not only looking for their own benefit, but they are looking for the benefit of the human society, benefit of the dog society, benefit of the cow society, benefit of the plant society, even the benefit of the insect society: we can see that type of program within all religions. And we can practise that very easily if we  follow this Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
If we follow Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then we can easily practise and go to a higher level. And there the process is this: humility, tolerance, and giving honour to others. This is the first conditional process. These three qualities will make the whole world our friend. My karma will be more pious, and my practising will be harmless. Otherwise, someone will kill some goat, someone will kill this, someone will do that. Sometimes it may not be harmful for me, but it will be harmful for others. I have seen that it is a law here that you cannot cut down a big tree. You cannot cut it, you must maintain it. We are practising Kṛṣṇa consciousness in this way.
Question: How can you recognise what is good and what is bad?
Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: What is good for everyone is good, and what is bad for everyone  is bad [laughter]. It is natural. But sometimes it happens here that we cannot understand that an activity’s result  will be good in the future, though at present it looks bad. Then what will we do? Previously crystal sugar candy was the medicine for jaundice, hepatitis. It is written in the Ayurveda. But who has hepatitis will taste that sugar candy to be bitter, pittopatapta-rasanasya. When he first takes it, he will get a bitter taste, not a sweet taste. But finally it will give them their super benefit, and the disease will go out. Karma is also like that: we cannot always see that karma will give a sweet taste. In that case we must arrange a sugar coated pill, and then the disease will go out. For some persons the bitter is necessary, and for some persons sweet is necessary. But if the action will finally give a good result, then that karma will be good. If the final result will come good for everyone, that is good.
Pittopatapta-rasanasya: when we give them sugar candy, they will not feel that the taste is good. But finally it will cure them and they will taste the sweetness. But what is good for everyone and good for others is good karma. The colour may be a little different, and everyone will not feel it is tasteful. Everyone may not feel it is good, but for the patient it is necessary to give that type of karma to him, “Do this, do that.” It is not necessary for them to fully to understand, but according to their capacity they will take it.
Question: Does this mean that however it is coming we have to accept this medicine?
Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Yes, but the medicine must really be medicine and it will come from a doctor. Then that will be beneficial.
Question: Will the medicine have effect in a short time or long time?
Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: It is depending upon the person, and depending upon the situation of the disease, and how much we are attached.
Spoken by Srila Gurudev during his visit to Italy in September 2000
syāt kṛṣṇa-nāma-charitādi-sitāpy avidyā-
pittopatapta-rasanasya na rochikā nu
kintv ādarād anudinaṁ khalu saiva juṣṭā
svādvī kramād bhavati tad-gada-mūla-hantrī
(Śrī Upadeśāmṛta, verse 7)
“The holy name, character, pastimes and activities of Kṛṣṇa are all transcendentally sweet like sugar candy. Although the tongue of one afflicted by the jaundice of avidyā [ignorance] cannot taste anything sweet, it is wonderful that simply by carefully chanting these sweet names every day, a natural relish awakens within his tongue, and his disease is gradually destroyed at the root.”

The age of kirtan

You can find a full transcript and audio recording of this talk here. 
Sriman Mahaprabhu said,
bahubhir militvā yat kīrtanaṁ tad eva saṅkīrtanam
Congregational chanting is sankirtan, and if we can do sankirtan without offence we must be benefitted. In Kali-yuga the only religion for the conditioned souls is Harinam-sankirtan. We can see this in the scriptures, all over the Vedic literature.
Sriman Mahaprabhu appeared five hundred years ago in Sridham Nabadwip, Mayapur for that yuga-dharma, for spreading Krishna consciousness, in this mundane world. In Chaitanya-charitamrta we can see,
kali-yuga-dharma hari-nāma-saṅkīrtana
tāhā bilāite prabhura nade āgamana

The religion of the conditioned souls, of all the jiva-souls, in this age of Kali is Harinam-sankirtan. In Srimad Bhagavatam, the gist of all the Vedic scriptures, we can see,
kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇaṁ sāṅgopāṅgāstra-pārṣadam
yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi sumedhasaḥ

(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.5.32)
In Kali-yuga, Harinam-sankirtan is the only process, and it is a very sweet and very easy process to go to our destiny, Goloka Vrndavan, where we can get service to Lord Krishna. Here we are in the plane of exploitation: everybody is trying to exploit everybody else and this is the nature of this mundane world. But in the transcendental, spiritual, world, all the divine entities are always engaged in service to the Lord. All entities are serving everyone else in favour of Sri Krishna, and they are getting joyfulness, they are getting ecstasy, they are getting love, beauty, charm, and so on. We can see this description in Brahma-samhita.
We can see four ages in this mundane world: Satya, Treta, Dvapara, and Kali. Every age has a religion for rescuing the jiva-souls. We can see in the scriptures that the process is different in every yuga. We can see that there is also a chanting process in every age, but it is different. The Satya-yuga chanting process is:
nārāyaṇa-para vedā nārāyaṇa-parākṣarāḥ
nārāyaṇa-parā muktir nārāyaṇa-parā gatiḥ

rāma nārāyaṇānanta mukunda madhusūdana
kṛṣṇa keśava kaṁsāre hare vaikuṇṭha vāmana

hare murāre madhu-kaiṭabhāre
gopāla govinda mukunda saure
yajñeśa nārāyaṇa kṛṣṇa viṣṇo
virāśrayaṁ māṁ jagadīśa rakṣa

And Kali-yuga:
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare

This is the process given by Mahaprabhu, Sri Chaitanyadev. Nama-sankirtan was revealed in this mundane world through Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Kali means the age of quarrel, and we can see all inauspiciousness in Kali-yuga, but one auspicious thing is that,
kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ
kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-bandhaḥ paraṁ vrajet

(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 12.3.51)
Many things are bad—actually we can say that everything is bad in Kali-yuga—and there is no practical religion the jiva-souls can practise. And because of that one topmost facility is given by Krishna, that if we can chant His Name properly, without offence, then we can get liberation from this bad environment and we can establish ourselves in the divine service plane of Goloka Vrndavan where we can exclusively do seva to Sri Sri Radha Govinda.
In other ages we can see that the practising process is very hard.
kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ
dvāpare paricharyāyāṁ kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt

(Srimad Bhagavatam: 12.3.52)
[“Whatever results were obtained by meditating on the Personality of Lord Vishnu in Satya-yuga, or by performing elaborate sacrifices in Treta-yuga, or by performing Deity worship in Dvapara-yuga, can be obtained in Kali-yuga by simply performing the congregational chanting of the Holy Names of Lord Hari.”]
With so much austerity what result was obtained in the other three yugas, the conditioned souls of this Kali-yuga can get very easily through following this very happy process, and they are getting more than that: liberation, and after liberation, service to Krishna.
harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā

Mahaprabhu said this mahamantram is the only process to get real liberation and entrance to the transcendental service world. Actually we are all the members of that transcendental service world, but unfortunately we came here and are experiencing birth and death, sadness, happiness, and many things here. But it is all anitya, temporary, and our permanent plane is the service plane; that is actually our home. Everyone is serving and getting happiness, joyfulness, ecstasy, nectar, love, beauty, charm, and all fulfilment there in our home and we need to go that place, and the process in Kali-yuga is Harinam-sankirtan. This is the scriptural advice and Mahaprabhu actually manifested it. Punah pravartaka: through Mahaprabhu it was revealed in this mundane world. Then we have no other intention and we have no need to take other facilities from the scriptures: if we can only take that facility, we must be benefitted.
After Sriman Mahaprabhu, his dearmost associates, the six goswamis and others, preached Harinam-sankirtan in this world and in this age it was widely preached by Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur. He preached this conception of Harinam-sankirtan all over India, and he tried to preach it all over the world. Today we can see how it has spread all over the world by our divine master Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad and also our Srila Guru Maharaj, Om Visnupad Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Deva-Goswami. Now all over India, and all over the world, they are getting much peace, joy, and happiness through chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra. All over the world the conditioned souls are becoming inspired with this mahamantra. We are also a part of that, and we are feeling much happiness.

The sweet struggle

Before producing a child, labour pain will come to the mother. But the mother happily wants to tolerate that labour pain. Every mother knows labour pain is very heavy, but again they want to produce a child. Then pain is not always very painful in the heart.

When you take shelter of Srila Guru Maharaj you will have no fear from anywhere. You must get the right path and you must proceed in the right way. Some disturbance may come to us sometimes, and it is natural in this mundane world.
You know that verse,
uttiṣṭhata jāgrata prapyo varān nibhodhata
kṣurasya dhārā niśitā duratyayā

(Kaṭha-upaniṣad: 1.3.14) 
The bhakti path is a very happy way to go to Krishna, but on either side, crossing over this māyā, illusory environment, are very dirty things. And something must come to us. Without pain how will we get the real thing? If we get it easily we will not understand what we have got. Before producing a child, labour pain will come to the mother. But the mother happily wants to tolerate that labour pain. Every mother knows labour pain is very heavy, but again they want to produce a child. Then pain is not always very painful in the heart. Sometimes it is coming, no doubt: we are living in this mundane world, and it is a disturbful world. Here everything is always disturbing us. But we are under the guidance of our Guru Mahārāj. If we take shelter then we have no fear. We must come out of the illusion if we are surrendered. That is the one qualification necessary: sincerity and full surrender. That is enough for us.
Srila Gurudev speaking in Malaysia, 24 January 1993.

Sri Vaishnava Toshani Vol 3 No 1

Sri Vaishnava Toshani, May–June 1994, Vol 3 #1 is presented here.
pdf edition
ePub edition
I Have Only One Successor
by His Divine Grace B.R. Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj 
I Am Your Unknown Friend
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad
Safely On The Path Of Devotion
by His Divine Grace Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj
The Serving Mood
by Swami B.P. Janardan
The Path Of Divine Descent
by Swami B.A. Sagar
Religion Means Proper Adjustment
by Swami B.S. Tridandi
Response by Srutasrava Das
The Beauty Of His Smile
by Braja Mohini Dasi
Previous editions uploaded:
Jan–Feb 1992 Vol 1 No 1
March–April 1992 Vol 1 No 2
May–June 1992 Vol 1 No 3
Nov–Dec 1992, Vol 1 #6
May–June 1993, Vol 2 #2
Sept–Oct 1993, Vol 2 No 3

Scientific progress

It is necessary to jump in any way with our full energy and hankering for a connection with the transcendental wave.

Once Guru Mahārāj questioned someone, “Is Īśvar existing or not, is God existing or not?” And that person, a sādhu, maybe a paramahaṁsa sādhu, responded, “You are not seeing God? He is existing everywhere.” We heard this question’s answer from Guru Mahārāj. The transcendental wave is always flowing in this material world. We have a transcendental body, but it is covered by illusion. Moving or non-moving, there is life everywhere. It is proved by the scientists now. We have also heard from some sculptors that they give two kinds of certificate to stone: one certificate is dead stone, one is living stone. When we were making a building in Nabadwīp, we purchased stone for some stonework, and I saw that there were different rates. I asked the man that I purchased from, “You are saying four thousand per lorry, and he is saying three thousand six hundred per lorry.” “Oh, that is dead stone, dead stone!” I know about dead stone and living stone, but how did he know? That was my surprise.
Now science is proceeding to the philosophical world. I heard from Guru Mahārāj that the wife of Einstein asked him, “What are you now trying to discover?” and Einstein answered, “After five hundred years, you and I will be able to talk, just like we are speaking now. I want to make that kind of discovery.” Guru Mahārāj told this.
Then science is proceeding so far, but without the mood of submission it cannot touch the transcendental wave in any way. It is not possible. But it is very good news that so many scientists have joined with our Mission, and every year they are making seminars in different places about this knowledge. ‘Science and Religion’: when Pusta Kṛṣṇa came here last time he joined that meeting in Salt Lake City, Kolkata. So many scientists are with us, and they are researching still about Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is the situation.
It is necessary to jump in any way with our full energy and hankering for a connection with the transcendental wave. And it is a very appropriate time, because it is Kali Yuga. We know that there are so many disturbances and so many obstacles in this age. Only  Harinām-saṅkīrtan can give us a good result  by connecting us with the transcendental divine form of the Lord.
Śabda (sound), sparśāḥ (touch), rūpa (sight), rasa (taste), gandha (smell)—all the qualities in the material world are existing in a refined and positive way in the transcendental world. The transcendental sound vibration form of the Lord is called Harinām. It is very easy to believe, because now ether is connecting the whole world, and beyond this universe also. Now we are doing email, we are doing telephone, we are doing television. We are visiting many things through television. The carrier, the bearer, is ether. If it is possible in this material world, and we are actually a part of the transcendental world, then our spiritual connection must also be activated.
uttiṣṭhata jāgrata prapyo varān nibodhata
(Kaṭha Upaniṣad: 1.3.14)
“Awake, arise, and get your property. You are the sons of nectar, of the nectarean ocean. Then why are you sleeping and dreaming that a tiger has attacked you, and crying?”
It is actually a kind of dream. A tiger has not attacked us, but we are dreaming that a tiger has attacked us and crying very loudly in bed. But our friend who is near will not take a stick or a gun, he will go and touch me, and will tell, “Oh, wake up, wake up!”
śṛṇvantu viṣve amṛtasya putrā
(Śvetāṣvatara Upaniṣad: 2.5)
“Awake and arise, oh sons of nectar.” This is the call of the Upaniṣads. “You are the sons of nectar.” This is written on the cover of the book The Search for Sri Krishna. This is the clarion call.
uttiṣṭhata jāgrata prapyo varān nibodhata
kṣurasya dhārā niśitā duratyaya
[durgaṁ pathas tat kavayo vadanti]

(Kaṭha-upaniṣad: 1.3.14)
[“Arise! Awake! Try to understand the boon that you now have in this human form of life. The path of spiritual realization is very difficult; it is sharp like a razor’s edge. That is the opinion of learned transcendental scholars.”]
Srila Gurudev speaking in Italy during his visit in September 2000

Honeybees and ants

An ant will always search for where the hole is. That is the nature of an ant, but we are not ants, we are bees and we must try to search for where the ecstasy is.

pipīlikā paśyati maṇi mandire chidra
An ant will always search for where the hole is. That is the nature of an ant, but we are not ants, we are bees and we must try to search for where the ecstasy is. There are many fault searchers, many drain inspectors, but we are not drain inspectors. Śrīla Guru Mahārāj said this many times. They are always searching for where is the hole, where is the fault, but we are not like that. We must search for where is the ecstasy of Kṛṣṇa-prema and Kṛṣṇa-bhakti. Where is our life’s goal, that we must search. And if we search then we can see that our master is also searching for us. My master is also searching for me. That is the loving search for the lost servant. Guru Maharaj gave that heading to one of our books: “Loving Search for the Lost Servant.” It is a simple expression, but very wide meaning is there. It is not only that I am anxious, but my Lord is also very anxious to get my association.
I have seen one painting of Kṛṣṇa embracing the devotee, and I was surprised to see how the devotee depicted this idea. That painting is very perfect. Kṛṣṇa is embracing His devotee and they have both fainted. That is the real loving search for the lost servant.
Many things come through great personalities in this mundane world, and we are a part of that. Now we will try with our best, and I shall do what is possible by me.
I am very happy with you all. And I am also feeling very fortunate because I always have some engagement with the service of Guru Mahārāj and the service of the devotees. In that way also sometimes sleep is not coming: I am always thinking about how something can be done, how it will be possible, and many things. But the feeling is very nice. When Kṛṣṇa will take my every drop of blood, at that time I must feel I am satisfied. Those feelings must come to everybody. If they will think, they must come. It is not the property of a sannyasi or a brahmachari or a grhastha or vanaprastha. It is the property of a devotee. Who is devoted, it is his property.
Srila Gurudev speaking in March 1991, in Govardhan.

The Fundamental Basis

Your own realisation, your own research, everything, you leave it. What you are doing through your knowledge, that you leave. It may be your knowledge and it may be others’ knowledge that you are eating and vomiting, that is not a factor. But what is the fundamental basis? Namanta eva jīvanti: to fully surrender and live with sravan-kirtan.

You can find a full transcript and audio recording of this talk here. 
jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva
jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām
sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhir
ye prāyaśo ’jita jito ’py asi tais tri-lokyām
[“In whatever position they may be, those who give up the endeavour for knowledge, surrender to the sadhus, and dedicate their lives bodily, verbally, and mentally to their talks of the Lord, can conquer the Lord, who is otherwise unconquerable.”]
At this sloka Mahaprabhu said, “Eho haya, āge kaha āra. Yes, it is in the line and the fundamental basis is here.” What basis? Jñāne prayāsam udapāsya: first, what property you have, leave that. That is knowledge. Your own realisation, your own research, everything, you leave it. What you are doing through your knowledge, that you leave. It may be your knowledge and it may be others’ knowledge that you are eating and vomiting, that is not a factor. But what is the fundamental basis? Namanta eva jīvanti: to fully surrender and live with sravan-kirtan. That is the main thing. San-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām means kirtan and sravan. Sthāne sthitāḥ: anywhere. Śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhir: kaya, physically; mana, mentally; vākya, verbally. That is the main fundamental basis.
This type of question came when Guru Maharaj was searching for his Guru, “Where is my Guru, where is my Guru?” He went to Pranavananda Swami at the Bharat Seva Ashram Sangha and he asked him, “I know that you are not my Guru, but can you say where my Guru is?” And Pranavananda told to Guru Maharaj, “First go to Shankaracharya in jnana-marga; then yoga marga; and then go to bhakti-marga. Bhakti marga is superior, no doubt, but first it is necessary to follow karma, jnana, yoga—and then bhakti. That is also indicated in Gita externally. Then you do that.”
Guru Maharaj told Pranavananda, “But Mahaprabhu did not say, ‘First become a karmi, then become a jnani, then become a yogi, and then go to bhakti-yoga.’ Mahaprabhu did not say that and scripture also did not say that. Then why are you saying this? Bhakti-yoga is the starting point and bhakti-yoga is end. There is nothing in the middle.” Guru Maharaj gave this answer to Pranavananda, who is the founder president of Bharat Seva Ashram Sangha.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said the instruction sarva-dharmān parityajya Mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (“Give up all dharma and surrender to me exclusively”—Bg 18.66) was external, bahya, and told Ramananda Ray, “I want to hear the deeper and deepest conception about Krishna consciousness from you.” One by one Ramananda gave different conceptions and Mahaprabhu rejected them. Then when Ramananda said the verse Jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva Mahaprabhu said, “Eho haya, āge kaha āra: yes, it is okay, but say more than that; you proceed on.”
Bhakti-yoga starts with the mood of surrender and immediately starting practising life with sravan and kirtan. That is Mahaprabhu’s line: immediately you surrender and get up and do sravan and kirtan.
jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām
Jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām means, hear the divine glories of Lord Krishna from the proper channel. Not everyone is expert in glorifying properly. According to their mentality persons can glorify in a particular way, but proper glorification will come from the proper personality. And if you are fortunate, then you will get the opportunity to hear from them. We will hear from the great saints, sadhus, but here is a question: does sadhu means saffron cloth? That is not mentioned in the scriptures. Sadhu means sat, and sat means who can understand sachchidananda. He is a sadhu. Only sat is not good. Good, but not good. It is sufficient. But where there is chinmayananda, where there is the transcendental feelings and transcendental joyful presentation, there you will feel that this is a sadhu. That may be a brahmachari, may be a grhastha, may be a vanaprastha, may be a sannyasi, may be an antyaja, may be a mlechcha.
In this material world we make some standard for peace: “You will not disturb my family, and I shall not disturb your family.” These are the rules and regulations. Scriptural rules and regulations are like that, but they are always mixed with some religious theistic mentality. They are not atheistic in any way, they are always theistic. But the proper guideline is that devotion to Lord Krishna is final. Guru Maharaj said very clearly in Prapanna-jivanamrta book what is saranagati, what is surrender. What I said just now: first surrender, and then come out with your practising life.
Srila Guru Maharaj gave the meaning of surrender:
bhagavad-bhaktitaḥ sarvam ity utsṛjya vidher api
kaiṅkaryaṁ kṛṣṇa-pādaikāśrayatvaṁ śaraṇāgatiḥ
[“Having faith that everything is attained by devotion to the Supreme Lord, abandoning subservience to even scriptural injunctions, and taking shelter of Sri Krishna’s feet exclusively is known as saranagati.”]
This is written in Prapanna-jivanamrta. “Everything will be fulfilled, even scriptural advice you can avoid, but everything will be fulfilled by surrender to Sri Krishna. If you keep this knowledge fully with you everything will be successful through that.”
This kind of faith is described with an example given in Srimad Bhagavat:
yathā taror mūla-niṣechanena
tṛpyanti tat-skandha-bhujopaśākhāḥ 
prāṇopahārāch cha yathendriyāṇāṁ
tathaiva sarvārhaṇam achyutejyā
When we put water at the root of a tree, the whole tree is getting nourishment through that water. Like that, when we are putting our devotion to Lord Krishna then everything becomes very peaceful and happy. There is no question of who is Indra, who is Chandra, who is Varun, who is Brahma—it is not necessary to search because when I give my devotion to Krishna everyone gets that, in the same way that if the root of tree gets water then the whole tree gets nourishment. Krishna-bhakti is supreme. We must have devotion to Lord Krishna with full faith: full faith, this is the main thing. It is not necessary to calculate how much percentage I shall give here, how much percentage I shall give there.
I remember when I joined in this mission I came to Srila Guru Maharaj’s lotus feet and Guru Maharaj was happy to see my activity. But Guru Maharaj questioned me: “You joined my mission, that is okay, but can you follow me?” And I said, “Yes.” At that time my habit was to say, ‘Yes.’ In my life I did not say, ‘No’, but always ‘Yes.’ So when Guru Maharaj asked me, “Can you follow me?” I said, “Yes.” “No, no, not like that. What I shall tell you, you will follow, and what you know, you will leave that knowledge. Can you do that?” I said “Yes.” With the service of Guru Maharaj so many questions come, but I don’t care for that. What Guru Maharaj’s order is, I am doing that. That was my nature at that time. I had that inspiration and I have got a very, very good result with that: “If Guru Maharaj wants it, bas, sufficient, no question is there.”
Related reading:
Surrendered Service

Srila Guru Maharaj's Nature

Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī’s style was very peaceful. Mahāprabhu chose Rūpa Goswāmī as the leader of His sampradaya, and so there is special honour for Rūpa Goswāmī. Śrīla Sanātan Goswāmī was very busy in Vṛndāvan, but Rūpa Goswāmī Prabhu was not so busy like Sanātan Goswāmī. Śrīla Dās Goswāmī was following Rūpa Goswāmī. Dās Goswāmī was also a shy-natured man. And Śrīla Jīva Goswāmī was exalted with his quality and qualification, both. He was a great fighter for the sampradāya. Śrīla Prabhupād Saraswatī Goswāmī’s nature was like Jīva Goswāmī.
Śrīla Guru Mahārāj’s nature was something like Jīva Goswāmī, and something like Rūpa Goswāmī. Guru Mahārāj liked to fight, that was his nature. Anywhere that any fighting was going on, he was the first to go there. Once Guru Mahārāj was sick in Badarik Ashram, and with Guru Mahārāj was a qualified party: they were big pandits with different types of qualifications, like Sanskrit. A paṇḍit come and debated with our paṇḍits while Guru Mahārāj was in the next room, sick with pneumonia. But our paṇḍits could not control that visiting paṇḍit. Then Guru Mahārāj sat up in his bed and said, “Who is talking, bring him to me.” They went to Guru Mahārāj’s room, and that man took an atheistic position for debating with Guru Mahārāj, but seeing the face of Guru Mahārāj, and hearing only one śloka from Guru Mahārāj, he fell down at his lotus feet.
That paṇḍit asked, “What is the proof that the ātmā exists? Is there any proof?” And Guru Mahārāj immediately told that man,
ātmāparijñāna-mayo vivādo
hy astīti nāstīti bhidārtha-niṣṭhaḥ
[vyartho ’pi naivoparameta puṁsāṁ
mattaḥ parāvṛtta-dhiyāṁ sva-lokāt]

(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.22.34)
[The speculative argument of philosophers — “This world is real,” “No, it is not real” — is based upon incomplete knowledge of the Supreme Soul and is simply aimed at understanding material dualities. Although such argument is useless, persons who have turned their attention away from Me, their own true Self, are unable to give it up.]
That man was shocked to hear this, because he knew that śloka, he confessed. He took the feet of Guru Mahārāj, “Mahārāj, the answer is coming timely to you, not to me. This is the difference from you and me. I do not want to debate with you.” He was a great paṇḍit, but he surrendered to Guru Mahārāj.
ātmāparijñāna-mayo vivādo hy astīti nāstīti
“It is existing or not?” This type of question always comes, but we are all seeing that it is existing. When the body dies, the spirit goes out from the body and the body is spoiled. What better example can you give than this? Within the body was a kind of spirit, and when it goes from the body, within three days it will be spoiled and gas will come from that body. It is proved, but still they are asking, “It is or not?”
Everywhere we see the quality and qualification of ātmā, in everything we see the presence of ātmā. I am talking with you, you are intelligent, I am also intelligent, and we are both talking diplomatically about everything; who is doing that? Who is the diplomat living inside? You want to defeat me, and I want to defeat you, but in which way, and who is holding that brain? And when it is going out from the body everything is useless. There will be only insects, and nothing else inside. After three days you will only get insects growing there.
Spoken by Srila Gurudev during his visit to Italy in September 2000

Vaishnava Toshani: Vol 2 No 3

You have come to fight as a soldier, to save your country, or your people, or your honor. What your environment is, that does not depend on your whim. It may appear in any way, but you have to face that. However complex the battlefield may be, as a soldier you are to approach that. Otherwise you have no real faith in your own cause.

Sri Vaishnava Toshani, Sep–Oct 1993, Vol 2 #3 is presented here.
pdf edition
ePub edition
Beyond All Rituals
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
The Environment Is Your Friend
by His Divine Grace B.R. Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj
We Have Something Very Special
by His Holiness B.P. Janardan Maharaj
Mahaprabhu’s Divine Succession
by His Divine Grace B.S. Govinda Dev-Goswami, President Acharya
We Can Get Everything Through Love
by His Holiness B.S. Tridandi Maharaj
Our Saint From Above Visits Down-Under
by His Grace Mohanananda Das, World Tour Coordinator
Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Ashram Comes To Santa Cruz
by Sriman Hasyapriya Das
Sweet Distribution
by Sriman Mathuranath Das
Nourishing The Creeper
by Dinadhama Srutasrava Das
Previous editions uploaded:
Jan–Feb 1992 Vol 1 No 1
March–April 1992 Vol 1 No 2
May–June 1992 Vol 1 No 3
Nov–Dec 1992, Vol 1 #6
May–June 1993, Vol 2 #2

Hinduism & Krishna Consciousness

Question: Is Kṛṣṇa consciousness the same as Hinduism?
Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Previously Hindus were identified by who was living on the bank of the Sindhu River and following the Vedic knowledge and culture. The culture grew on both sides of that river. They were identified as Hindu. The Veda in Hinduism came down from the transcendental level: that knowledge was not made by any one man, but it came from God, and the Hindus followed that Vedic culture and knowledge as their religion.
Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness exists within that Vedic cultural society, but the conception is always different in some way with them. We know that this religion of Vaiṣṇavism has come from Viṣṇu as well as Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is our Guru, Kṛṣṇa is our Lord, Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, this is the conception. This conception is written in the Vedas, Vedānta, Upaniṣads, and so many other scriptures and it is indicated as the religion for all jīva-souls. ‘Jīva-souls’ means all the living entities in human form as well as other species of life; there are eighty-four hundred thousand species that are identified as jīva-souls. In the human form there is willing, feeling, and thinking. Within humans there is consciousness, blossoming consciousness, and fully blossomed consciousness. Other life-forms have consciousness but it is more suppressed than in humans. Trees have consciousness but it is suppressed consciousness. It is proved by the scientists now, but we know this knowledge from the time of the Vedic revelation, when it first descended. There are five levels of consciousness flowing.
Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the religion for all the jīva-souls. Here there is no differentiation based on caste, creed, race, colour, or anything else. In Hinduism there is some differentiation between brāhmaṇ, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, and brahmachārī, vānaprastha, gṛhastha, sannyās, and according to their different levels their living style is indicated. But our religion is not differentiating in that way. We know that we are part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but we are within the illusory environment, and from this illusory environment we need to connect with the transcendental world. And if anyone will follow this religion of the jīva-soul he will be benefitted. This is our conception. Hindusim differentiates between caste and creed, but this is non-sectarian. Īśvara, God, is one, and we are all part and parcel of God. Because we are very tiny jīva-souls, then our power is very little, and because of that we are defeated by the illusory environment. But in this age of Kali there is a super chance, that God has descended as a transcendental vibration form. If we try to satisfy Him through chanting, we can transform our plane from material to transcendental. For the transformation of material consciousness to transcendental consciousness we are practising chanting the Holy Name of the Lord, and we are also following some other Bhakti Yoga practices. This is my answer.
Spoken by Srila Gurudev during his visit to Italy in September 2000