(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 10 October 2013, Melbourne, Australia, Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.14)
This movement of Caitanya Mahaprabhu is a mercy movement but we have to take it seriously; we have to take responsibility. A devotee has to take responsibility for what he does wrong and then correct it. We can’t just say, ‘Oh, these things are just happening to me, what can I do? I mean, I am trying so much but it’s just not working, it’s out of control!’
No, IT is not out of control – YOU are out of control! We say, ‘My mind is out of control!’ No, it is not your mind that is out of control, you are out of control – you see the point? But we tend to just shift responsibility away from ourselves, ‘My mind is out of control, kali-yuga is out of control, everything is out of control – what can I do? There is nothing I can do, it’s all out of control. If things were more in control then I will chant Hare Krsna! I would… I want to be a devotee, I really want to.’ No, nothing is out of control, except you!
So begin to get yourself under control – maybe you cannot conquer everything within one day, but do something. Start to do the things that you can do. Some people lament about what they cannot do, ‘I really want to chant sixteen rounds but I cannot!!’
No problem, do what you can first. What can you do? Can you do some service, can you clean? Okay, then clean! Can you wash pots? Yes, come and wash pots, wash sixteen pots! After washing sixteen pots for a while, then try it again – maybe you would be able to chant sixteen rounds.
It works like this, while doing the things you can do, you get purified and after a while you can start doing things you could not do before. Take responsibility for what you are not doing right and correct it step-by-step. Don’t do it again, stop it and correct it. For example, ‘How can I stop smoking?’ By stopping! When you drive a car you simply push the brakes and stop.
But we are not used to taking responsibility and we have excuses – millions of excuses. ‘It’s my mom, it’s my dad, it’s my big brother – because of them I am not doing these things. Because of what they did to me, now I am doing all this nonsense.’ Endless excuses to justify and to shift our responsibility away.
But we must take responsibility because Hari-katha is not just some automatic thing. Sometimes in India, people consider it to be. Some of these pandits give very dry lectures; they sound like a door squeaking and everyone is in deep sleep but they go anyway because sat-sanga is considered a religious thing. Even if it is very painful, still we must do it. They take it that you just do these things and then you get the blessings – some automatic ritual and you get the blessing.
No! It is not like that! Through hearing we get knowledge and then WE have to make arrangements to change. We, us! We have to do it, change ourselves. But we say, ‘Oh, but I cannot change.’ Who says you cannot change? You changed a lot so far but now you have to change in a certain direction, in the direction of Krsna rather than change in the direction of maya. So one has to take responsibility – with intelligence.