Recently when we came together in Abentheuer for a big meeting with
the leaders of Harikesa Prabhu’s zone or former zone or whatever,
then also there was a topic on how to adjust the situation in the
society. And a long list of topics was made and one of the topics
that was made was the topic of proliferation of illicit sex within
ISKCON. Hot topic. And the mood was, let’s be honest about it. We can
have a ballot, a close ballot, and everyone can write if they are
following or not. Then put in the box and then we will see how many
devotees are following or not. A memorandum.
But the real thing is this: that maybe it’s not so easy to follow the
four regulative principles but we should understand it becomes very
easy if you are spiritually enlivened. So it’s not the problem that
we have to follow these HEAVY regulative principles and that is so
difficult, but rather we should see that we are not following
something else. So following the four regulative principles doesn’t
mean that you should concentrate: “I have to follow the four
regulative principles. [bites his lips]I’m going to follow these
four regulative principles! These teeth will never come off each
other even for a moment! Even when I eat I take only juice. Because
if I chew then for a moment my determination will slip. I will always
bite my teeth and in this way follow the four regulative principles,
hah! No way I am going to give up, no one catch me in a weak moment
because you know why? They [the teeth]are glued together.” Like
No, this is not the process. The process is rather that we do all the
other activities that cultivate spiritual satisfaction, then the four
regulative principles follow automatically. This is the thing. So
the focus is wrong. Actually, slip here, slip there, what can you do.
So to be honest, yes, sometimes, someone may say “I sometimes slip
with the four regulative principles.” Fine, that could be said but
you know, that’s not where the person is slipping. The person is
slipping somewhere else. The person is slipping in the activities
that give him the spiritual taste. And therefore it doesn’t work. So
we do need some adjustment. We do need some reform. What will we
Okay, let’s have three, for argument’s sake. Let’s have three
regulative principles. Now where are we going. In Abentheuer also
someone asked the question that “Well, but what when you cannot
follow the four regulative principles? Then at least can you be
accepted and can you be free from the fear that you will be
rejected?” Is that all what you want? Sure, sure, we love you, even
with three regulative principles, no problem. You are okay, we love
you, but there is still one little problem and that we cannot solve
for you: you cannot go back to Godhead. You cannot, you got to take
another birth. And that’s not going to be fun. Of course I mean, we
hope that your spiritual life will continue etc., but you got to take
one, you cannot go around that.
Because ultimately it’s not Srila Prabhupada who invented the four
regulative principles. “But I heard that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta wasn’t
asking for these at initiation, that it was only Prabhupada who
introduced this. I heard that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, when he gave
initiation, was never asking for the four regulative principles.
Prabhupada introduced that, that was new, an addition. Did you hear
it too?”
You see, that was understood that the rules of the scriptures have to
be followed because the followers of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta were
generally born in families that very much respected the scriptures.
But for the Westerners better spell it out.
“No illicit sex, got it? No intoxication, no gambling, and no meat,
fish or eggs. Can you repeat that?”
“Okay, I’ll come back next year.”
This was introduced in our society because it’s right there in the
First Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam: panam, striyam dyutam, it’s all
there. The four regulative principles are there. I think in our
movement we can be very broadminded and we have been often times
narrow minded. And that has to change. We have to become more warm,
more human, more open to the nature of men and women, although we are
not men and women, but anyway, as long as we believe we are, okay, we
will understand that, and fine. So we must be more broadminded with
that, but on the other hand we cannot be broad when it comes to
principles. We must maintain the purity because the purity is within
the principles. So we are ready to bend everything, we are ready to
bend for you and say, “Even if you follow no more principles, all
right, still we are happy that you’ve come to the temple. Still we
are happy that you at least like the Sunday feast. Keep a connection,
that’s good. Nice to see you, how are you doing, great that you are
here again, please come back next Sunday. Don’t miss a single one,
it’s going to be good again!”
We try to encourage, but on the other hand we cannot sell out the
philosophy to material desires. Kamais . . . this is intelligence
stolen by material desires. So that cannot be done, no. We cannot
change the scriptures just for convenience because we feel that our
nature drives us in the different direction. But rather we must take
shelter of the finer aspects of the scriptures or the other
activities. They will give us the strength to follow the four
regulative principles. And then anyway we won’t be thinking about it,
“Oh, I’m following these principles.” We’ll be thinking about many
nice things in Krsna consciousness.
And we have to make adjustments in our society to create an
atmosphere where the support structure is better for devotees. That’s
one thing which has been lacking Å a support structure. I also feel
that like we are either looking at complete surrender for the mission
of Lord Caitanya… We are going to distribute the mercy for every
town and village. We have our sankirtana boots on and we are out
there raining the sankirtana bombs on the kingdom of maya! I remember
that lecture in Sweden, like here we have the bombs and we are going
to bomb all the cities. That’s famous lecture. “Okay, we are going to
bomb the whole world with books and just bring about the Krsna
conscious revolution.” And when we get tired of it, suddenly, then we
turn around and now we are going to have home, sweet home varnasrama.
For me, okay, something is lacking. Okay, I take it back to my own
life. I was about six years in Vrndavana, then six years in Mayapur
and then again five years in Vrndavana. So well, in all these years,
when I was in Mayapur I was doing the Mayapur samadhi, a
construction, and I tell you, I didn’t have a minute for myself. And
everything was going to be BIG, we are going to do something BIG, we
are going to build the BIGGEST spiritual city in the world and this
is the BIGGEST samadhi, right? “It’s BIG!”, and it WAS big. And I
was having a big headache while I was trying to build this big
building. I was like, “Boy, this is big! Does it really have to be
this big?” “Yes, it has to be this big!” “Can we handle something as
big as this? This is big!”
Anyway, I was trying to do big. “Do big, do big!” Every day I was
doing big, and after years of doing big I had the same feeling
everybody else or many people get when they have to do big for a long
time. You have this, “I don’t know what it is with me today, but I
feel tired and I don’t want to do BIG. I want to do something SMALL.
So I also felt like that, like doing something small. And you know?
Vrndavana was completely different. In Vrndavana I was still in the
mood, “Okay, we are going to reorganize Vrndavana, we are going to
fix it up!” And everyone was going like, “Relax, relax, let’s go on
the parikrama.” “Parikrama?! Have no time for parikrama!” “Let’s just
go to the Yamuna.” And you sit on the side of the Yamuna and just
chant. Because this is Vrndavana, it’s such a place where
automatically you start thinking of Krsna, you slow down. In
Vrndavana it really doesn’t matter that you are the temple president
or that you are a sannyasi, or that you are in charge of the
sankirtana, or whatever you are. In Vrndavana, whether you are big or
small, no shoes, leave your shoes home and walk barefoot on the
parikrama, sit down and chant Hare Krsna.
So I feel that this is the other side. The other side to every town
and village is just to take the time to just be devotional sometimes.
In Vrndavana is maybe a little more the bhajan mood. “Bhajan?!
Bhajananandi?! We are gostyanandis, we are preachers!” Yes, but not
that the gostyananadi doesn’t include some bhajan as well. Bhajan is
also very much part. And what is that bhajan? Bhajan means to
worship Krsna with some feeling. Bhajan has some feeling into it,
singing song is called the bhajan. Bhaja hure mana… We put a little
heart in it. When you put a little heart in it all, then you feel
great. Then you feel completely devotional.

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