…..So my point is, yes, when we come to the mode of goodness and we gradually become free from lower contamination then we can come to nistha, we can come to nistha in spiritual life. And that is something…but it’s not enough! It’s an in between stage, even in nistha when we are more purified than contaminated. It’s an in between stage. Prabhupada describes in the introduction of the Nectar of Devotion, that everything is resting on taste and thus the connection between taste and faith is undeniable. It’s very hard to maintain faith if there’s no taste. How long are we going to last? ‘I’m chanting Hare Krsna for 999 years and it’s been like one big austerity- every moment of it! I think I’m going to bloop!’ something like that, ‘I think I’m going to leave!’
There’s a story about a yogi who had withdrawn from the world and moved into a cave and for years was trying to just remember Krsna. Lets us say he was a yogi who was dedicated to Krsna. So this yogi for years was just trying to just meditate on Krsna in his cave. Anyway, but one day he wasn’t fulfilled and he was tolerating this lack of fulfillment for years. So one day, he just thought, ‘Who am I really?’ And then he left his cave and said, ‘I cannot stay here anymore.’ He came down the mountain and when he was sort of getting half way down the mountain, he saw a man who was putting a thread- a liken thread- over a bar of copper up and down. He said to this man, ‘What are you doing?’ the man said, ‘I’m cutting this copper.’ He said, ‘with this silk thread? That’s going to take a long time!’ he said, ‘that may be but eventually I’ll cut.’ The yogi thought to himself, ‘, this man, this ordinary man, this mundane man, this low class materialist has more determination than I have! I’ll go back to my cave and I will once again and dedicate myself to spiritual life!’

Ten years later, the yogi had another crisis. “and this time it’s too much! I’m going down the mountain and I’m going to stay down the mountain!’ He came and he saw a hole and it had a stone in front of it and he saw a rat. And this rat was trying to chew things off the stone so that he could get in his hole. He said, ‘even this animal, even this low creature is higher than me. I must continue.’ Ten more years, he did it for the rat and that was it! “ten years for a man with the thread, ten years for a rat…enough is enough! Thirty years! I’m old, I’ve given my life and it just didn’t work! I’m quitting- that’s it!” He came down the mountain and this time he went further down than he ever went! And he came to a village and just at the edge of the village there was a dog and this dog was in a bad shape; it was lying there, tongue hanging out of his mouth on the ground, flies all over…this dog looked like really bad. So he felt some compassion and he went and he got a little water and brought that dog some water. And just that, that gave him some sort of feeling that he had never had. All this time he had actually been thinking of himself. All these years he had been thinking of himself and still not satisfied in spiritual life, still not fulfilled in spiritual life. Even if he came to some higher levels but still no ecstasy. But when he gave something to that dog he got some taste because he acted out of compassion and that was a break through. From that day on, he began to give out mercy and it was there where his spiritual life actually changed when he truly…not just ‘Well, Prabhus, we have to go on sankirtana’ it’s our duty. We’re supposed to do it because Srila Prabhupada wanted it so we have to do it.’ ‘O now I must torture myself and do book distribution because Srila Prabhupada wanted it! Oh my God! Oh do I hate it! oh no! I have to go on the street and speak to strangers! Oh I dread every step of it but I must do it because Srila Prabhupada wanted it! And he made it really clear and you cant get around it! My health…even that excuse at the moment…I’m not such in bad health! I cannot fool myself; I cannot call myself surrendered if I don’t do it. So therefore once a month I go out for an hour. The sankirtana scores for yesterday: bhakta Bonzo did 2 books! Jaya! All glories! Thanks! We are flooding the world! Yes, the sankirtana is taking over! I did two books! Yes! Every town and village! Yes, my realization is on book distribution! A real seminar on book distribution!’

So like this, no we must really, really develop this spirit of compassion, this spirit of dedicating our life completely to it. That’s where the ruci begins to come, that’s where the taste kicks in, that’s when taste takes over. Taste is there from day one; the moment you come to the temple there is taste. You want a simply wonderful? ‘Uh, ya I’ll taste one…good!’ Pakora? ‘Ya!’ another one? ‘Yes!’ another, another, another…yes, yes, yes…Taste is there from day one; kirtana- everything- taste is there. But we speak of when taste becomes the guiding principle in our life; when we live on taste, when just that is it, when every moment in Krsna consciousness becomes relishable- that’s the stage of ruci. That goes hand in hand with compassion otherwise no ruci, it doesn’t come. Ruci is when we’re relishing every step of the service. Anusakti- we begin to develop such attachment to Krsna and we begin to more and more develop a particular desire to serve Krsna in a particular mood, in a particular way. And then when we become fixed in that mood then we become fixed in a sthaibhava; sthaibhava means a particular type of desire to serve Krsna in a particular way- the sthaibhava of a cowherd boy, or the sthaibhava of parental or whatever. Those are like the high levels of devotional service where you become fixed in a mood of bhava. It’s said when bhava becomes really fixed, then no more fall down so it is stated.

So in this way, it is said that (let me just see if I can remember this verse now)…so it is said that according to one’s level of being either a kanistha adhikari- a neophyte devotee with kamala sraddha, weak faith- or being a madhyama adhikari- firm faith (nistha)- or being uttama- of actually being absorbed beyond the material nature- absorbed in transcendence; so no longer focused on the material reality but focused on the spiritual reality, focused therefore on the relationship with Krsna. Uttama means focused on the relationship with Krsna. So living in that relationship with Krsna. One is classified as one of those, according to the faith that one has developed. So that is how it is stated, that verse, according to the faith that one has developed. So we were speaking that the faith is growing, the faith is developing and mature faith means the faith of the uttama, who completely knows that all happiness is there in my relationship with the Lord. He constantly lives in that relationship with the Lord and every moment he is investing in that. Thus he is always in an exchange with Krsna in everything that he does- wherever he is- it doesn’t matter. If he is alone on top of a mountain, he will chant, if he’s in the middle of Tokyo he will maybe preach or whatever. I said Tokyo because I have a movie clip which shows a Zen monk, and this Zen monk is in the middle of Tokyo and he has one of those hats that Zen monks have- sort of a basket hat that covers his total face up to the chin- and then in some sort of dress and then like white socks and sort of ballet shoes with strings that are criss-crossed around is calves and all the way up. So he’s really decked out! And then he’s got a bell in his hand and he’s in the middle of the shopping street and it’s just packed with people moving up and down and traffic and neon lights and it’s a big city- Tokyo. And he’s in the middle of the city and he’s walking very slow in meditation and he’s moving a foot and he’s putting it down and the foot is something like very slowly coming down. And then he rings the bell once every twenty seconds! Ting ting ting…20 seconds later…ting ting ting…and he just walks like that through the street…. ting ting ting…and (motor bike sound) and people walking by and he’s completely in that, under his ‘lamp shade’ and walking there in the street! It’s quite something. And if you look at that; I mean what these monks are doing, we could never do, we could never do. We are just…we don’t have such determination.

We don’t function on determination; we function on taste. Our process doesn’t rest on determination; in Zen it’s all in determination, they have to sit and the Zen master is walking behind and if they sleep- bang! – with a stick on the back! “Sit in meditation!” If for a moment…baf!!! That is Zen…we don’t have that program! That is Zen from Japan. But Lord Caitanya’s movement is completely different- completely different; it’s all based on taste but the key to it all is compassion. That’s really the key. Then that’s where we’ll finally get through the taste barrier. As a plane goes through a sound barrier (dramatic), Krsna consciousness we’ll go through the taste barrier, which is the most difficult barrier to go through. And every devotee struggles with that- that taste barrier. ‘No it didn’t work! Still I cant get through that taste barrier after all these years I cant make it through.’ But as soon as we go for a really compassionate spirit to give it out and to think about others to become absorbed and to see that we don’t have time to lose, that’s when it starts to happen. The whole world is on fire; there’s no time to lose! Then we stop playing around, then we get serious because it is serious. And we can do something about it- there’s no time to lose!…..contd tomo (last part)

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