HH KKS: ….Before I was a devotee somehow or other I got a Krishna book …… Bhagavad-gita I liked a lot but Krishna book I couldn’t relate to it. Because I thought there is no plot in the book! Usually I was used to the kind of books …..who is going to win and you are kind of tolerate and then you have to look at the last page to relief the tension
that has built up, I was reading such kind of books.
And then in the Krishna book, Krishna would come some demon would appear and
one two three, finish. Already dead! Too quick! No plot in this book! It
didn’t intrigue me. And then as I found out more about it I found out that
Krishna was performing the same pastimes again and again. I thought how this
is possible. The same pastimes again and again! Doesn’t it get boring?! My
mind was thinking ………and I was looking for something new.
So when I first came to the temple the devotees they let me in and they told
me sit down ………and they gave me a Back to Godhead to read. I said I already
read that, they said ‘Doesn’t matter. A devotee reads the same story again
Well that was the first order so I just decided I was going to surrender now
so whatever they will say I will do. So they showed me to read the magazine
and I started to read the story. And I read the story and they kept me
waiting for quite sometime. So I kept on reading the same story again and
again. And in fact after one hour the devotee that gave me the instruction
came and I was sort of, “I am here.” And he said, “That’s all right stay
And I sat there till the evening. I came there in the morning and I
sat there till the evening reading the same story over and over and over and
I got a lot of realizations!!
I have never read a story so much in depth on that day and I realized
actually that my whole approach to reading the Krishna book had been looking
for something new …..looking for something exciting but now I was finding a
whole different type of reading. I was going in depth. I was looking the
same pastime over and over but finding more and more intricate detail and
understanding how actually there was much more to it than I ever thought!
That was just by me reading on my own what to speak of hearing from advanced
and realized Vaisnavas.
So in this way gradually we are beginning to appreciate Krishna little by
little. In the beginning we cannot even see Krishna ……before Krishna
consciousness I checked out different things and one week I would be with
Tibetan Buddhist and another week I would be with some yogis somewhere and
then I would go somewhere with the program with the Sufis and it all was
spiritual and it all seemed different aspects of the same.
It didn’t cross my mind for a moment that I was here encountering different
philosophies that had totally opposite views and huge gaps between them and
they were universes apart. Now I understand that they were universes apart.
Now I can see that Sufis and the Buddhists are far apart but then I couldn’t
see. I couldn’t see. I thought it was sort of all the same.
But gradually, in the beginning we cannot understand the Supreme Personality
of Godhead. It doesn’t make sense. How can God be a person? It doesn’t
compute. Thus impersonalism seems natural. But only gradually,
hiranmayena patrena satyasyapihitam mukham
tat tvam pusann apavrnu (Iso 15)
Then gradually we began to appreciate that there is a Supreme Person behind
everything and gradually we began to understand that this impersonalism
could never be complete. How is it possible that it ever be complete? The
impersonal understanding! Yes there may be relief of suffering. Yes if there
is no more variety if there is only brahman and if this jagat is mithya and
brahma satya if this universe is false then we don’t have to worry about it,
what a relief.
Then we are free from all these entanglements from all these problems. Very
good! In this way impersonalism offers us very great benefit. Freedom from
all the entanglement! We can laugh at anything that happens in this world.
It’s just insignificant if one is realized Brahman. Then it’s all
meaningless. So that’s quite something. But that’s it.
There is no eternal activity. There is no eternal taste. There is just
relief from material suffering; that’s all. That is very poor. If we compare
that to the ever-increasing ocean of rasa that is displayed in the pastimes
of Krishna which is being churned more and more and more eternally.
Eternally increasing! The happiness the ananda the bliss is never ending. So
that is very amazing.
namaste sarasvati deve gaura vani pracarine nirvesesa sunyavadi pascatya
The western countries being delivered from impersonalism. That is
interesting. Because I had spent plenty of time in India and I had
encountered plenty of people who had shown me their altar and had every
possible deity on there.
And Indian altar resembles an Indian train. It’s very full. It’s too full.
Just like the train is too full the altar is also too full. Everyone is
there even if they don’t fit put them their why because you never know there
may be some blessings, put. Yes put it and you never know who is God just in
So it seemed that impersonalism was so widely spread here but then over the
years I began to see that no, it is not. Although there may be an
inclination towards impersonalism in India still there is also the tendency
to worship the superiors and personalities. To worship the demigods at least
if not the Supreme Lord. There is the concept of being dependent upon a
personality, to actually bow down in front of another person. That is
ingrained within the Indian tradition so much so that actually this tendency
is a personal tendency an element of personalism to worship lotus feet, to
worship the superior and so on.
In the west that concept is not there. It has just gone, disappeared. May be
once Christianity had that but as modern science came up Christianity said
all the personal aspect of Christian is just mythological. And impersonalism
became deeply rooted there. And then those who were anyway not so interested
or didn’t had much faith in religion impersonalism became so deeply rooted
that we couldn’t imagine that things depend on persons…………..not persons.
Nothing, everything just automatic!
By laws in a machine the universe and different powers and forces and
vectors work automatically through magnetic field and various other forces
and so on. Man in the machine. A mechanistic worldview! That’s where we come
from. That’s the west and as I was sitting on the western trains after
having being in India for a long time in a European winter then I saw it was
dark at 4 o’clock and riding on the train people wouldn’t even look at each
other what to speak of talk to each other.
In India people are always making lots of noise, always talking but sitting
on a train ….thousands of people not speaking a word and looking at each other
in the reflections on windows. Is that impersonalism? It sure looked like
So gradually I began to see how deeply we were ourselves affected by
impersonalism and gradually it began to dawn upon me a little bit that when
Srila Prabhupada and the acaryas are smashing the mayavadis ……..who are those
Gradually I began to realize we are the mayavadis. Or the mayavadi in us.
Its now a days very fashionable to speak about your inner child and things
like that! May be we could speak about our inner mayavadi. The little
mayavadi that is still within our heart in spite of everything! The fact
that we had not truly become servants, the fact that we have not become
Servant means attentive. In the ‘Nectar of Devotion’ the quality of dasyam
is described and there it is described that there is a general mood of
servitorship, dasyam and then it describes there is another particular
aspect the mood of the personal attendants.
The personal attendant is a better servant because the personal attendant the general mood is, “How I
can serve Krishna, what can I offer to Him?”
patram puspam phalam toyam (Bg 9.26)
Anything within the range of acceptable that we offer but personal attendant
means that what is the need of Krishna now and it changes from time to time.
You don’t offer Him the same in the morning as at noon nor in the evening.
There is another thing and at night something is offered so He will make it
through the night and early morning quickly some sweet, He must be low at
energy now. Something we must give Him. So its very personal attendant! It’s
actually our mood. Thus we must become a personal servant, not only of
Krishna but also of the Vaisnavas or particularly of a senior Vaisnava…..(More in part4)