There are now about twenty boys in the gurukula. Their attendance at the full morning program has livened things up, especially during Srila Prabhupada's guru-puja. When Srila Prabhupada sits on his vyasasana after greeting the Deities, they all dance and chant with great enthusiasm along with the temple devotees, as Srila Prabhupada smiles approvingly. He had actually complained to the teachers when the boys first arrived that they were dull and not dancing much in kirtana. He took it as an indication that their teaching was deficient. "There is no life," he had told Jagadisa. But now they dance with abandon, grinning and jumping and scrambling for the Flowers that Srila Prabhupada showers over their heads as the kirtana reaches its climax. At the end they bow down as Prabhupada recites the prema-dhvani prayers and then sit attentively as he gives his lecture.
This morning's verse was a continuation of the glorification of the brahmanas by Lord Rishabhadeva, with the Lord declaring them to be so exalted that they have no interest in anything material, even the attainment of the heavenly planets. Prabhupada described vividly how there is no such thing as material enjoyment and gain. Citing Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati, he told us that material pleasures are akasa pushpaya?flowers in the sky and "as good as the egg of horse." That means there is no such thing. And to merge into the existence of the Lord is even worse, narakayate, a hellish condition. Yet despite the devotees' disregard for all things material, Prabhupada said, they do not desire to give up the material world. "Karmi is trying to go to the Svargaloka; jnanis want to go to the brahma-jyotir. The yogis also, they desire like that because they do not feel very comfortable within this material world. But a devotee, there is no such thing that in the material world they are uncomfortable. No. Why? Wherever there is Krishna, wherever there is Narayana, that is all right. That is the view of the devotional service. Narayana parah sarve na kutascana bibhyati/ svargapavarga narakeshvapi tulyartha darsinah [SB 6.17.28]. Narayana parah, they are not anxious either to go to Svargaloka or to refrain from it. They are satisfied: 'Wherever Krishna keeps me, that is all right. Never mind whether it is heaven or hell.' Because he has got Krishna within him. Premanjana cchurita bhakti vilocanena santah sadaiva hridayeshu vilokayanti [Bs. 5.38]. He is concerned with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So wherever Supreme Personality of Godhead is there, that is Vaikuntha."
The Lord is in everyone's heart, Prabhupada said, even the dog's and hog's, but He is not living with the dog and hog. He is always in Vaikuntha, and because the devotee is always with the Lord, he is also in Vaikuntha. Narada Muni, Prabhupada told us, sometimes goes to hell. But when he goes there, just as when he goes to heaven, he advises everyone he meets to simply chant Hare Krishna.
"Similarly, those who are preaching Krishna consciousness, they should not be afraid of this hell and heaven. Wherever they should go, they will simply preach, 'Chant Hare Krishna.' This is their business."
To get to this stage, though, means we have to be like Narottama dasa Thakura, Queen Kunti, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, all of whom prayed to attain the stage of akincana-gocara, complete freedom from all material wants. "If we want to enjoy something material," Prabhupada told us, "Oh, there is no question of bhagavad bhajana, because even if you have little pinch of desire to enjoy material comforts, you'll not be admitted."
Although coming to that stage may sound difficult, Prabhupada said that it isn't if we have the right mood. "So bhakti, devotional service, is not easy, but at the same time very easy, one moment's business, one moment's. But I must be willing. Krishna says, sarva dharman parityajya mam ekamsaranam [Bg. 18.66]. If I do it, immediately . . . But that, I am not willing." He gave a little chuckle of irony. "We have seen so many persons. Krishna says directly that 'You surrender unto Me,' [but] still, he says, 'When Krishna will be merciful, then I shall do.' What is this nonsense? Krishna is directly asking you. Again He has to become merciful? What kind of mercy? These are all pleas, different pleas. Actually He doesn't want that. 'I shall not surrender unto You, sir. I shall place some pleas. That's all.' " Despite taking birth and dying millions of times, he said, "Still, we are so shameless, we want to do again and again that thing."
Using the eating propensity to illustrate his point, Prabhupada gave a graphic example of how sense satisfaction is ultimately a meaningless mental concoction. "I am eating now without any plate, and if I can eat on the golden plate,' they are thinking, 'this is advancement of civilization.' So the eating process . . . Eating means kshut nivritti tushtih pushtih [SB 11.2.42]. When one is hungry, when he eats something, according to the taste . . . A gentleman is eating halava, puri, and the hog is eating stool. So the taste is the same. Either you eat halava, puri, or stool, you are eating according to the taste. Just like in the airplane we sit down. They are asking, 'sir, what can I . . . ?' We say, 'We refuse.' We don't touch anything in the airplane, because we know what is that. And the next man, he is eating very nicely the intestine of hog. We have seen it. He is very nicely eating with spoon and fork, very enjoying. And we are saying, 'Oh, what nasty thing he is eating.' We don't, do not touch even what is offered. We are [eating] whatever little things we have taken with us. But the result is the same, tushtih pushtih kshut nivritti. You are hungry, you take something, so your appetite will decrease and your satisfaction will increase. You will get strength?tushtih pushtih kshut nivritti. So this is not improvement. Eating by the hog and eating by the human being, the result is the same. But eating the intestines of the hog or eating halava, puri, it does not make any difference. Ei bhala, ei manda' saba 'manodharma' [Cc. Antya 4.176]?in this material world, 'This is good and this is bad,' this is all mental concoction. 'Dvaite' bhadrabhadra sakali samana. So we should not be attached. We should completely give up anything material. That is nishkincana."
The purpose in a devotee's life, Prabhupada told us, is simply the satisfaction of Krishna and nothing else, and he continued with his example of eating to impress this upon us. "We have no business with anything material, either in the golden plate or on the street, on the Floor. It does not make any difference. Our business is how to accept the prasadam, what Krishna has eaten; that is our concern. We are not interested with the intestine of hogs or halava, puri. No. We are interested to eat [that] which is already accepted by Krishna. Krishna bara dayamoy, koribare jihwa jay, sva prasad anna dilo bhai. Our business is that 'Krishna is so kind . . . ' The Krishna prasada, those who are eating Krishna prasada, they are enjoying everything. Krishna bara dayamoy, koribare jihwa jay. We have got thousands of nice preparations. Why should we go to the hotel and restaurant? There are so many nice preparations offered to Krishna. Patram pushpam. Krishna is ready to accept from a devotee whatever he offers, but within the limitation. Otherwise he will bring hog's intestine. That is not desired. If people say, 'Whatever I eat, I can offer to Krishna . . . ' There is a class, they say, 'Whatever I eat you can offer.' But that is not the process. The process is you must offer to Krishna what He wants."
Prabhupada's concluding words, although seemingly general, directed some further good philosophical advice to his disciple Manisa, who was sitting at the back of the temple room with her mother. "So we have to learn what is bhakti. Bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir anyatra syat [SB 11.2.42]. If actually we advance in devotional service, then naturally viraktir anyatra syat. That is nishkincana, no more taste with the material world. Nishkincanasya bhagavad bhajanonmukhasya/ param param jigamishor bhava sagarasya [Cc. Madhya 11.8]. We must know why we shall take to devotional service, param param jigamishor, not to remain within this material world. Padam padam yad vipadam na tesham [SB 10.14.58]. Here in the material world, padam padam vipadam?every step there is vipada; there is danger. So don't think that 'she is dying' or 'He is dying, and I shall not die.' Everyone will have to die. Every step, there is danger of dying. So before that death we must become fully Krishna conscious so that ante narayana smritih [SB 2.1.6]. The end will come today or tomorrow or day after tomorrow. Nobody will live here. But the success is if we can remember Narayana at the end of life. That is success. Ante narayana smritih; we should practice that. Don't bother about that 'I shall die tomorrow. You are dying today, so I am better than you.' Nobody will live here. Everyone will die, and we must be prepared for death. And the devotee has no fear for dying, because if he is completely surrendered to Krishna, then he is going back to Him. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti [Bg. 4.9]. Simply by surrendering to Krishna . . . Our bhakti yoga is so easy, simply man mana bhava mad bhakto mad yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65], very simple thing. So we should take to bhakti, devotional service, and reject everything. Nishkincana. That will make your life successful."
Prabhupada ended with his customary "Thank you very much," and the devotees cheered and offered their obeisances as Visala prabhu called out loudly, as he does every morning, "His Divine Grace, Srila Prabhupada ki jaya! His Divine Loving Grace, Srila Prabhupada ki jaya! Saviour of the Whole World, Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!"