Transcript of this morning’s SB class by Rukmini Mataji

Date: October 7, 2006
Verse: SB 7.15.40
Speaker: HG Rukmini Mataji
Location: ISKCON New Vrindaban []
Occasion: Vaishnavi Retreat 2006 []

atmanam ced vijaniyat param jnana-dhutasayah
kim icchan kasya va hetor deham pusnati lampatah

TRANSLATION: The human form of body is meant for understanding the self and
the Supreme Self, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, both of whom are
transcendentally situated. If both of them can be understood when one is
purified by advanced knowledge, for what reason and for whom does a foolish,
greedy person maintain the body for sense gratification?

PURPORT: Of course, everyone in this material world is interested in
maintaining the body for sense gratification, but by cultivating knowledge
one should gradually understand that the body is not the self. Both the soul
and the Supersoul are transcendental to the material world. This is to be
understood in the human form of life, especially when one takes sannyasa. A
sannyasi, one who has understood the self, should be engaged in elevating
the self and associating with the Superself. Our Krsna consciousness
movement is meant for elevating the living being for promotion back home,
back to Godhead. Seeking such elevation is one’s duty in the human form of
life. Unless one performs this duty, why should one maintain the body?
Especially if a sannyasi not only maintains the body by ordinary means but
does everything to maintain the body, including even eating meat and other
abominable things, he must be a lampatah, a greedy person simply engaged in
sense gratification. A sannyasi must specifically remove himself from the
urges of the tongue, belly and genitals, which disturb one as long as one is
not fully aware that the body is separate from the soul.

[End of purport]

[invocatory prayers]

Rukmini Mataji: In this chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam we are continuing to
hear the instructions of Narada Muni to Maharaja Yudhisthira, “Instructions
for Civilized Human Beings.” There’s a question asked in this text. [Repeats

So I want to ask you for what reason and for whom, generally as we observe
in this world, for what and for whom are people maintaining the body for
sense gratification? [someone gives answer]

Yes, right, for themselves, their extended family and community. People are
thinking that I’ll save money for my children and grandchildren, and all
will enjoy. But so often there’s very little gratitude from the family as
our constitutional nature is higher, we are eternal servants of Krsna. So
this greedy motivation doesn’t satisfy the self.

My mother-in-law was very sweet and actively saved a treasured set of china
plates for each of her children. She had three children and gave one to each
of them. Now this set had been used for 50 years for eating meat so I was
less than enthusiastic, and I think the others threw them in the basement,
and she was hurt by this. As a devotee we have to think that my love is
meant for Krsna. Not that we shouldn’t love our children, but we should act
in such a way as to give this kind of love to them.

There’s another story in India that Srila Prabhupada told how the
grandfather is treated like a household dog. The grandfather is lying on the
verandah and it’s getting cold. So the father tells his son to go get a
blanket for the grandfather and the son says, “I’ll take him half a blanket,
the other half is for you.” This is ingratitude. So we have to give our
children Krsna consciousness; then we’re giving them a love that will
outlast us and propel them to Krsna.

Srila Prabhupada, once here in New Vrindaban, saw two kittens playing and
wrestling on the grass and he said there is love and happiness in the
material world. Everyone was surprised to hear this from him, but then he
said that this happiness is like drops of water in the desert, it doesn’t
satisfy the self.

Once Srila Prabhupada was asked after a lecture what was the purpose of
life. The devotees expected him to say for realize the Lord or something
similar, but he said the purpose of life is to enjoy. He explained it in a
dynamic way, that the purpose of life is to enjoy, to come to our real
position in relation to Krsna. Krsna plays so many pranks, he’s so charming,
he has so much fun, he’s so attractive. The idea is that our minds should
also become attracted to that and we should go back to him and enjoy as one
of his friends, lovers, parents, servants, cows, etc.

So we should take this as our urgent need, to be able to taste that love and
give our family the type of love that will take them back to Godhead, not
the type of love that will be an extension of our ego. An old Jewish lady
who comes to our store told me that her son was a doctor before he was born.
[laughter] So this is a very needy love, a need-based love; we have to go
beyond this to try to love purely without strings attached.

Rumi tells a story that there was a very wealthy doctor who brought his son
to the Islamic school to learn about God. So the Imam put him to cleaning
the bathrooms. The father returned some time later and was very surprised to
see this and said, “I could bring you ten Turkish slaves to clean the
bathroom, why have you put my son there?” The Imam replied that “If you have
a patient who is very sick and give the medicine to the Turkish slaves,
then? So your son has the disease of arrogance so to teach him gratitude and
humility this is the process.”

In Bhagavad-gita we hear the analogy that the body is like a chariot, senses
are like five horses pulling it, mind is like the reins, intelligence is
supposed to be the driver, and the real person is the passenger. If we are
not dictating where we want to go, if they drag us here and there as they
like, then we will fall off the cliff. So we have to dictate that Krsna is
what we want, Srila Prabhupada’s service is what we want.

So in this purport Srila Prabhupada is quoting the verse from Nectar of

vaco vegam manasah krodha vegam
jihva vegam udaropastha vegam
etan vegan yo visaheta dhirah
sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat

The verse says that if someone can control the pushings of the voice, mind,
anger, tongue, belly and gentitals, then he is qualified to accept disciples
all over the world. Srila Prabhupada is the example of this real sannyasa.

Once Srila Prabhupada was asked why all these people are worshipping him and
he said, “Because I have given up sex desire.”

The unqualified sannyasi, the greedy pseudo-sannyasi, is so greedy that he
even eats meat. Prabhupada in particular is talking about a certain mission
in India which does a lot of humanitarian work, but he expertly doesn’t
mention them by name as he said if you kill a skunk your hand will smell. So
this order is very active in Bengal. In India many people have Tulasi at
home, but this leader said, “Why grow Tulasi? Grow eggplant, at least you
will have something to eat.” He was trying to destroy the natural bhakti of
the people. He especially mentions eggplant as eggplant is only for taste;
it doesn’t have much nutrition.

Prabhupada would tell the story of the cheater and cheated. Some people
would dress up as sannyasis and congregate where other sannyasis were, but
their purpose was to attract women. At the same time there are some women
who think it would be good to have a child by a sannyasi–the child will be
powerful–and they go this place but ultimately get cheated by these false
sannyasis. If you want to love Krsna, he will reciprocate in full. But if
you want to cheat him, he will cheat you.

In Bengal there is a saying, “Biral tapasvi”, the cat renunciate. I’ve seen
this, a cat on the bank of the Ganga waiting near the mouse hole, poised
just like in meditation staring into that mouse hole. Why is he a cheater?
As he is only fixed on sense gratification. The object is just sense
gratification. In Pancatantra there is a story of the old crane. He can’t
catch the fish so fast any more, so he tells the fish trickily that “I’ve
become very detached now in my old age and taken sannyasa and I no longer
will eat fish.” So the less intelligent fish comes closer and gets eaten by
the crane. This type of renunciation is not needed.

This word lampatah is used in the Siksastaka too, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu,
in the mood of Srimati Radharani, is calling Krsna a lampatah. But here the
word is used to mean an ordinary greedy person.

Another story from Rumi: when we go to the bank we watch the teller so
carefully as he counts our money, but when God sends blessings we don’t
notice. The greedy person is counting more and more, lampatah. But there is
another type of lampatah which is mentioned in a beautiful verse from the

viceyani vicaryani vicintyani punah punah
krpanasya dhananiva tvan-namani bhavantu nah

“O Lord, just as a miser continually collects, counts, and remembers his
money, in the same way let us continually collect, count, and remember Your
holy names.”

Isn’t that a nice meditation? This was versified by Dravida Prabhu.

One who has a taste for Krsna consciousness is greedy to count, collect and
contemplate Krsna’s names. This is our constitutional nature. Just like Rupa
Goswami said that “If I had millions of tongues and ears then I could chant
properly.” This is the type of greed we want to cultivate. When we don’t try
to contemplate this then we are not satisfied and neither is Krsna as he is
also longing for us to come back.

The Christians say that God is jealous. We don’t say exactly that, but
because he wants us to come back so in that sense he wants our exclusive
love, that we give up the contemporary love that occupies us. This brings us
to the point of Krsna as a lampatah:

aslisya va pada-ratam pinastu mam
adarsanan marma-hatam karotu va
yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato
mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah

So in this verse Lord Caitanya, in the voice of Radharani, is praying to
Krsna that I am your maidservant, I fall at your feet and you can embrace me
or trample me as you are a lampatah, not to be trusted. But you are my Lord

Sometimes devotees would go away saying I should be a good Christian rather
than a bad devotee. But here Lord Caitanya says we must love the Lord

What kind of a lover is Krsna? The gopis wanted to know this when they came
for the rasa-lila and he was teasing them saying they must have come to
admire the forest. They were getting so disturbed and asked him, “Are you
just like an ungrateful student who just wants to take and enjoy from the
guru, he lives in the ashram and eats and sleeps nicely and doesn’t come to
the programme? Or are you the kind of lover who reciprocates evenly, or do
you give more like a parent? What kind of a lover are you?”

Krsna replied that “I am the type of lover who causes his lover’s love to
increase.” Like when a poor man gets rich and then loses it again, he
becomes mad. This is the kind of lover that Krsna is, he increases our love
by his reciprocation–or by his non-reciprocation.

There is a verse that Krsna is not in Vaikuntha or in the yogi’s hearts, but
he is there where his devotees chant his names. Jiva Goswami explains this
and raises an objection, “But it’s not true as we don’t see you.” Then he
explains in Krsna’s voice, “I’m there when you’re chanting but sometimes I’m
invisible to increase your love.”

Many of us are mothers, but we can tell when the child is faking crying,
crocodile tears, but when they cry ardently, then you have to just drop
everything and run to them. Bhaktivinoda Thakur says we should chant with a
heart full of contrition, remorse at what we’ve done and praying to chant
the holy name without offence, then we can be protected from further

“Krsna gave me all shelter and I left him”–to feel this pain is the
beginning of pure chanting. Sometimes advanced devotees talk about this,
that, “I left Krsna, he gave me everything and I turned my back on him”.
This laulyam is the only price. Krsna says “I am purchased by one who sings
my name with tears in the eyes,” not just one who cries easily,
artificially. Gaurakisora Das Babaji said that when someone artificially
tries to act beyond their level, this is absurd like a girl who has never
had children pretending to have labour pains.

In Nectar of Devotion one of the qualifications of a devotee is to utilize
every moment in the service of the Lord. This is a real qualification.

The genuine prayer from the heart is needed. We all have that ability to
cry. Jean Paul Sartre, the existentialist, complained that it seems that the
human being is condemned to be God conscious, because it’s embedded in us to
cry to God.

When Bhakti-tirtha Maharaja was very sick, on one of his last days, he came
to Sacinandana Swami in a dream. Sacinandana Swami was so happy and asked
him how he was feeling. Maharaja replied that there are two dogs fighting in
the heart; which one are you going to feed? He realized that the one that
you feed the most will win the fight. Both those dogs are greedy for the
love of your heart and they represent the lower nature and the higher

So there are three kinds of greed: the greed of the materialist, the greed
of a devotee and the greed of Krsna. This is mission of the human form of
life, to excavate this lost love.

Are there any questions or comments?

Question: A symptom of love is tears, but not false tears. What is it when
we experience something that moves us, and we tell it and we cry. . . ?

Rukmini Mataji: You have to look in the heart and see the motivation. Am I
saying or doing this so Olivia will look over and see me and think, “Wow,
Rukmini is so advanced!” Are we doing this to get some kind of profit,
adoration or distinction, or to get some big maha plate as you are a big
GBC? You have to see the heart. Read the Nectar of Devotion very carefully,
the symptoms are given what is real advancement.

Comment: [unclear] People cry even at sad movies, we hear these stories and
the tears do come, it’s not that we’re trying to show anything but it is
more sentimental but if it’s done along with sadhana then it can help.

Rukmini Mataji: That is shadow attachment, it is like an inkling of the real
thing. Sometimes devotees as they are chanting see Krsna in their mind and
think it is their imagination but it is real. This is the beginning. . . .
If you see the deities in their beautiful flower outfit and feel something,
this is real, the beginning.

Yes, Nidra Prabhu?

Nidra DD: Rukmini Prabhu, could you say something more about genuine greed
as we sometimes have an attachment for service but we may not want to share
that service with others and we think it is pure attachment. . . .

Rukmini Mataji: To be attached to Krsna’s service is a wonderful thing and
we should want to share it with others and teach others. If you don’t teach
others, then it’s like a bucket with holes–everything will diminish if
we’re not sharing. Ultimately we should try to be attached to Krsna himself.
In the beginning we may be attached to the service, but later we become
attached to Krsna himself. And to do that you can be conscious that you are
doing it for Krsna. If you are making ghee wicks you can think, “Krsna, I
hope you like these ghee wicks I’m making for you.”

Nidra is very dedicated to book distribution. There are so many great souls
here, it’s amazing. Krsnanandini has a wonderful story how she came to Krsna

Krsnanandini DD: Thank you for sharing from your heart. It’s always very
wonderful to hear. My question is how does one avoid complacency in the long
run? In the beginning we may be very enthusiastic but that seems to slacken
with time.

Rukmini Mataji: In the neophyte stage this is known as ghana-tarala, thick
and thin. Like a little boy is going to school with a book and thinks
himself a big scholar, but then he throws it down and goes to play on the

When we feel our minds going into that phase of complacency we should cry
out to Krsna, we should cry to not go there. We should chant some verses,
make some ardent prayers. Meomorising verses is a great medicine for the
spaced-out mind. We should cry with sincere hearts. Just slap yourself,
don’t let yourself go to that place. We are supposed to be constantly
chanting, the holy name, slokas.

Comment: It’s very important to seek out the association of those who are
advanced as enthusiasm is contagious. [incomplete]

Rukmimi Mataji: Yes, this is coming from a verse spoken by Hiranyakasipu
that association is like a crystal stone, it reflects whatever is around it.
So choose your association carefully. If you have a friend whose association
pulls you down, then give them some maha and hang out with someone else. As
one devotee told me recently, we’re living on borrowed time, at any moment
we may go. So hang with people who inspire you, who want Krsna. If you’re
ironing or cooking, put on a tape and hear; there are so many wonderful
lectures by advanced devotees.

Comment: I had an instruction form Tamal Krsna Maharaja that when we’re
chanting and feeling something and think it’s real, to very strictly keep it

Rukmini Mataji: Yes, someone who wants to make a show is artificial. Our
acaryas like the Six Goswamis are searching for Krsna, not that they see
Krsna. We have to be very cautious of this; after Lord Caitanya our line
became contaminated by this sahajiyaism. So someone who is genuine will try
to hide it. Sometimes it may not be possible to always conceal it, like in
India once Prabhupada was singing Jaya Radha Madhava and couldn’t control
his ecstasy. He went into a trance and all the devotees began chanting. But
generally our Goswamis are searching, “he radhe vraja devike”, not sitting
smugly saying that “I am seeing Krsna.” We hear this sometimes in India,
“Yes, my grandmother used to feed Krsna with her breast milk.” [laughter]

Question: We women are naturally sentimental and emotional beings and
sometimes more feeling comes up when we are in the association of devotees.
If we stifle that then what happens?

Rukmini Mataji: It’s not to be made a show, love for Krsna, but sharing with
your Godisisters and sharing Krsna consciousness and crying is wonderful.
There’s so much love and attachment between devotees which is wonderful and
shouldn’t be stifled. [missed some]

Mantrini DD: On one of the Srila Prabhupada memory tapes someone asked this
to Prabhupada, he says one shouldn’t show this in public, but in the family
it is OK. It’s among devotees, so it’s not a show, it couldn’t be more real
with these people like trusted Godsisters. [incomplete]

Comment: There’s a story that among some followers of Gaurakisora Das Babaji
there was one rich man who was a false sadhu. He came to see Gaurakisora Das
Babaji and while they were chanting the man went into ecstasy, he was in a
trance while chanting. All the others were respecting him but Gaurakisora
Das Babaji ignored him and told him to leave. Some of the people there were
hurt by this but Gaurakisora Das Babaji told them that someone who has
genuine love for Krsna will not show it in public, just like a chaste wife
will not display any part of her body in public. But in the family of
devotees it’s all right.

Rukmini Mataji: These are the symptoms of love, this is the goal, I think we
should stop here. Thank you very much, Haribol. Srila Prabhupada ki jai!


[Note: transcript is not verbatim]

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Reader Comments


Thank you for sharing this wonderful and inspiring class, this are the things that will in the future keep us going, wanting more Krishna katha..
your servant.
Gopa Vadhu Devi dasi