Initiation of Bali-mardana Dāsā , Montreal , 1968-07-29

Prabhupāda: Two brahmacārīs will be initiated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You can come forward. Yes.

[break] ...means the beginning, and the beginning of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Because at the present moment we are merged into non–Kṛṣṇa consciousness...

[aside:] Oh, this sound, down. No, in this.

Girl: Speaker.

Haṁsadūta: Oh, that speaker. Something outside.

Prabhupāda: All right, you... Let your... Beginning of Kṛṣṇa consciousness means first of all faith. Ādau śraddhā: the beginning is faith. What is that faith? Faith means firm conviction that "If I become transcendentally engaged in the service of the Lord, then my life becomes successful."

This is called faith. And that conviction must be firm, not tottering faith. So when this faith is created, then actually the initiation begins. Otherwise initiation is not accepted. Kṛṣṇe bhakti kaile sarva-karma kṛta haya [Cc. Madhya 22.62].

[“Śraddhā is confident, firm faith that by rendering transcendental loving service to Kṛṣṇa one automatically performs all subsidiary activities. Such faith is favorable to the discharge of devotional service.]

[break] When one is firmly convinced that "If I be engaged in the transcendental loving service of Kṛṣṇa..." When we speak of Kṛṣṇa, we should know, speak of God, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

So this firm conviction is the beginning of initiation. The Bhagavad-gītā teaches this firm conviction gradually. And ultimately the Lord says, Kṛṣṇa says to Arjuna, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]:

[Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.]

"My dear Arjuna, you give up all other engagement. Just be engaged in My service or be engaged in executing My orders." "Then what about other things?" Kṛṣṇa assures, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi. If somebody thinks that "If I give up all other engagements and simply be engaged in Your service, to carry out Your order, then what about my other engagements? I have got so many other duties. I am engaged in my family affairs, I am engaged in my social affairs, I am engaged in my country's affairs, community affairs, so many things, my... Then what about those things?" Kṛṣṇa says that "That I will see, how you can do it properly."

Just like Arjuna. Arjuna was a military man. So Kṛṣṇa said that "You give up all your engagements." That did not mean that Kṛṣṇa..., Arjuna gave up his engagement as a military man. To give up all other engagements means to give up the engagements of your sense gratification. Instead of... At the present moment, with all our activities we are trying to gratify our senses. That's all. And surrender to Kṛṣṇa means the beginning of satisfying the senses of Kṛṣṇa. That is called bhakti. This is the definition of bhakti.

What is that bhakti? Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. One has to become free from all designations.

[“’Bhakti, or devotional service, means engaging all our senses in the service of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all the senses. When the spirit soul renders service unto the Supreme, there are two side effects. One is freed from all material designations, and one’s senses are purified simply by being employed in the service of the Lord.’]

So long we are in the material conditional life, we have got various designations—"I am Indian," "I am American," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am Christian," "I am this," "I am that," so many designations. "I am nationalist," "I am Communist," "I am socialist," so many designations. So sarva-dharmān parityajya [Bg. 18.66] means you have to give up the designations. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam. Now I am thinking, "I am nationalist," "I am Communist," "I am American," "I am Indian." So I have to give up these designations.

And what I have to think? There must be thinking. I am not stopping my thinking what I am. That is indicated in the Vedas: ahaṁ brahmāsmi. That aham, my identity, is not lost, but at the present moment I am thinking that "I am this," "I am that," but you have to think, you have to identify with Brahman, the Supreme Brahman.

And when you identify with the Supreme Brahman, that is your liberated stage. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā. When you identify yourself with Brahman, then at once you become free from all these designative activities. Prasannātmā: "Oh, I have no more any duty in this material world." In this way, when you make further progress,

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām

[Bg. 18.54]

[And of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.]

So when one, after being freed from all designation, when one is actually engaged in the activities of Brahman, that is called bhakti, or devotional service.

So initiation means to be engaged in that Brahman activities. How Brahman activities? The same example can be cited, that Arjuna remained active, engaged in the battlefield, but in the beginning his identification was with his country, family and so many other things. But later on, after understanding Bhagavad-gītā, he identified himself with Kṛṣṇa. This identification with Kṛṣṇa means beginning of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

So ādau śraddhā [Brs 1.4.15],

[In the beginning there must be faith. Then one becomes interested in associating with pure devotees. Thereafter one is initiated by the spiritual master and executes the regulative principles under his orders. Thus one is freed from all unwanted habits and becomes firmly fixed in devotional service. Thereafter, one develops taste and attachment. This is the way of sādhana-bhakti, the execution of devotional service according to the regulative principles. Gradually emotions intensify, and finally there is an awakening of love. This is the gradual development of love of Godhead for the devotee interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.]

When one becomes firmly convinced that "By becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious, or being engaged in the transcendental loving service of Kṛṣṇa, my life is successful, life will be successful," that is the beginning of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or initiation. It is a stage. We have to go further and further till the stage of perfection. But initiation is the beginning. Ādau śraddhā. When one is firmly convinced, then he makes association with the devotees. Just like we have got this Society, International Society for Krishna Consciousness. We are picking up persons who desire to be Kṛṣṇa conscious. This is a Society.

So firm conviction, then association. Ādau śraddhā tato sādhu-saṅga [Cc. Madhya 23.14].

Unless there is good association, you cannot be strong enough. In every field of activities you must have good association, either in business field, or if you want to be licentious, then you have to mix with persons who are drunkards. So association has got some strength. If you want to become scholars, then you have to associate with scholarly persons in the university. And if you want to be a thief, then you have to find out the association of the thieves. Similarly, if you want to be Kṛṣṇa conscious, then you have to find out persons who are Kṛṣṇa conscious. So firm conviction, then association.

After association, the next stage is regulative life for following the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. This is called initiation. Or initiation from the very beginning, this is called dīkṣā. The Sanskrit term is called dīkṣā. Dīkṣā means... Di, divya-jñānam, transcendental knowledge; and kṣā, ikṣā. Ikṣā means darśana, to see, or kṣapayati, explains. That is called dīkṣā. Ādau śraddhā tato sādhu-saṅga. First faith, then association, then beginning of regulative principles. And if one follows, then the next promotion is to the stage of anartha-nivṛtti, disappearance of all misgivings.

Just like in our association we don't allow four kinds of sinful activities: illicit sex life, nonvegetarian diet, intoxication and gambling. So by following the regulative principles one becomes freed from all these sinful activities. He does not any more indulge in illicit sex life, he does not indulge in nonvegetarian diet, he does not indulge in intoxication and he does not indulge in gambling. That is called anartha-nivṛtti. Unless one is above these four kinds of anartha, or sinful activities, one cannot be fixed up. When one is freed from these four kinds of sinful activities, then he becomes fixed up. Ruci. Niṣṭhā, fixed up, and then ruci. Ruci means he increases the taste.

Then āsakti. Āsakti means attachment. Then ecstasy, bhāva. Then the last stage is that he becomes a lover of Kṛṣṇa, and that loving stage of Kṛṣṇa, there are different stages: śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya, mādhurya. The highest stage is the loving affairs between Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs. Of course, that is postgraduate stage of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but that stage is considered to be the most perfectional stage, how to love Kṛṣṇa in the bhāva, or in the position, of a gopī.

So two boys who are now ready to be initiated, my request to all, especially to boys who are just going to be initiated, that this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is authorized because, even taking it for granted that it has begun from Kṛṣṇa, then it is at least five thousand years old. Kṛṣṇa appeared on this planet five thousand years ago. So if you take history of any religious or any cultural program within this world, no religion, no cultural program is older than 2,000 years or 2,500 years. But this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, even according to history, it is five thousand years old, the older than any principles of religion or culture.

And if you go above historical references, then it is coming down from millions and millions of years past, because it was first instructed, as we understand from the Bhagavad-gītā, that it was first instructed to Sūrya. Imaṁ vivasvate proktam [Bg. 4.1]:

[The Blessed Lord said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvān, and Vivasvān instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Ikṣvāku.]

"I first of all spoke this science to Vivasvān, Sūrya." Sūrya means sun-god. So nobody can trace out history when sun-god took the lessons, but we can have little information from Manu-saṁhitā, because Manu's age, Vivasvān... This age is called Vaivasvata Manu. So in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that first of all this initiation was given by Kṛṣṇa to Vaivasvata, and he instructed his son, whose name is Vaivasvata Manu. So Vaivasvata Manu, by calculation we can understand forty millions of years ago.

So this is not a new system that we are introducing or manufacturing by our concocted imagination, but it is authorized, coming down by disciplic succession from time immemorial. It may be that in this country it is being introduced for the last two or three years, but this system is the oldest system, oldest system, just like we are nityaḥ śāśvataḥ purāṇaḥ. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that the soul is eternal and Purāṇa. Purāṇa means the oldest. Purāṇa. And in the Brahma-saṁhitā it is also said, advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam ādyam purāṇa-puruṣam [Bs. 5.33].

[I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is inaccessible to the Vedas, but obtainable by pure unalloyed devotion of the soul, who is without a second, who is not subject to decay, is without a beginning, whose form is endless, who is the beginning, and the eternal puruṣa; yet He is a person possessing the beauty of blooming youth.]

So Kṛṣṇa is also the oldest. Either Kṛṣṇa or the living creatures, all of them are the oldest, because they have no death, no birth. There is no history. Na jāyate na mriyate [Bg. 2.20].

[For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.]

Bhagavad-gītā says that the living entity, what to speak of God... They say, "God is dead." This is all nonsense. What to speak of God, even these living creatures, they are not dead. The death program is for this body, just like changing, changing the body, er, changing the dress. So if one changes one dress or apartment, that does not mean that he is dead. Similarly, if we change this body to another body... As we are changing our body constantly, every moment, similarly, if we change this body to another body, that does not mean death.

So death is not accepted in the Vedic literature. So either God or the living creature, nobody dies. Everyone is eternal, śāśvata purāṇa. Similarly, as we are the oldest and eternal, similarly, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is also the oldest and eternal. [break]

So initiation means now we are in the consciousness of this body, which is never eternal—temporary. So we are going to Kṛṣṇa consciousness means we are going to our eternal consciousness. We are changing from the temporary, bodily consciousness to the eternal consciousness. This is the sum and substance of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

And we invite all ladies and gentlemen to come to our classes. We hold our classes three days in a week—Monday, Wednesday and Friday. So everyone is welcome, and everyone can inquire and understand the principles of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And if one is fortunate enough to understand what is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is, then his life will be perfect and successful.

[to initiates:] Now you come forward.

[break] Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Then again, one round sixt..., er, one bead, sixteen names. Then second bead. In this way finish 108, come here. Begin from here, again come there. In this way, finish sixteen rounds. And so far offenses, I will explain later on and you will get paper. So what is your name?

Bill: Bill.

Prabhupāda: So your spiritual name is Bali Mardana dāsa. Take it. Just bow down. Nama...

Bali Mardana:

nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhūtale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta svāmin iti nāmine

[I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, who is very dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa, having taken shelter at His lotus feet.]

[repeats twice more]

Prabhupāda: Thank you. Come on. Be happy. Bali Mardana dāsa. B-a-l-i m-a-r-d-a-n. Bali Mardana dāsa brahmacārī. Bali Mardana means Kṛṣṇa's name. Kṛṣṇa, as Vāmanadeva, He punished Bali Mahārāja by capturing his whole kingdom. Mardana means punishment. And after all, Bali Mahārāja became an authority, because he showed the example of surrendering everything, sarvātma-snapane, even his body. First of all he gave his kingdom.

Then, when it was not finished, then Kṛṣṇa demanded Vāmanadeva that "You have finished all your kingdom. Still you are debtor for one step, another. Where shall I keep another step?" So Bali Mahārāja said, "Yes. I have got still place on my head. You can place Your step on my head." So he delivered his kingdom, his everything, at last his body, and Kṛṣṇa became purchased by him. And since then, Bali Mahārāja is one of the twelve authorities.

svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ
kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ
prahlādo janako bhīṣmo
balir vaiyāsakir vayam

[SB 6.3.20]

[Lord Brahmā, Bhagavān Nārada, Lord Śiva, the four Kumāras, Lord Kapila [the son of Devahūti], Svāyambhuva Manu, Prahlāda Mahārāja, Janaka Mahārāja, Grandfather Bhīṣma, Bali Mahārāja, Śukadeva Gosvāmī and I myself know the real religious principle. My dear servants, this transcendental religious principle, which is known as bhāgavata-dharma, or surrender unto the Supreme Lord and love for Him, is uncontaminated by the material modes of nature. It is very confidential and difficult for ordinary human beings to understand, but if by chance one fortunately understands it, he is immediately liberated, and thus he returns home, back to Godhead.]

So Bali is... Bali Mardana does not mean that he was... Because he was punished by Kṛṣṇa, he is not ordinary person; he is authority. So even a person punished by Kṛṣṇa becomes authority. Kṛṣṇa is so nice. What to speak of a person who is directly loved by Kṛṣṇa, even one is punished by Kṛṣṇa, he becomes authority. So therefore Kṛṣṇa's name is Bali Mardana. And Bali Mardana dāsa means Kṛṣṇa dāsa, one who is servant of Kṛṣṇa. Is that clear? Yes.

[break] [japa] [break] So that list you have not made, offenses, ten kinds of...?

Haṁsadūta: Not yet. No.

Prabhupāda: Why? You do that. They should be given that. You should avoid chanting, every one of you, ten kinds of offenses. The first offense is to decry the scriptures, Vedas. To accept authority of Vedas. Not to accept or decrying scriptures. Vedas means the book of transcendental knowledge. Not only Bhagavad-gītā, even Bible or Koran, they are also, although, I mean to say, Bhagavad-gītā, I mean to say... Higher or secondary or primary, that is different.

But whenever there is information of God, that is scripture, recognized. So we are concerned with the Vedas. So anyway, other scripture which is giving information of God scientifically or accepted by persons, that is also Vedas. So one should not blaspheme the Vedas. This is first offense, to blaspheme.

And satāṁ nindā, those who are preaching the message of God, they should not be blasphemed. And then never interpret in the scriptures or in the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa. And sāmya śubha-kriyā mati-pramādaḥ.

[It is offensive to consider the chanting of the holy name equal to the performance of ordinary religious ceremonies or fire sacrifices, the observance of austere vows, or the practice of renunciation, all of which are materialistic auspicious activities.]

This chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa should not be executed as something auspicious activities. People generally go to church, to temple, to counteract their sinful activities.

Somebody thinks actually that "If I go to church or temple, if I confess before God, then my sinful activities will be counteracted." But hari-nāma should not be taken in that way. If we think that "I am chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, therefore I am free to commit all kinds of nonsense," then no. Then we will not be able to make progress. Sāmya śubha-kriyā mati-pramādaḥ.

And nāmna artha-vāda. And while chanting, to think of ahaṁ mameti [SB 5.5.8],

[The attraction between male and female is the basic principle of material existence. On the basis of this misconception, which ties together the hearts of the male and female, one becomes attracted to his body, home, property, children, relatives and wealth. In this way one increases life's illusions and thinks in terms of "I and mine."]

Moha, this world as "mine," "I am this body," and without attention, to inattentive, to become inattentive... While chanting, you must hear. Hare Kṛṣṇa—you must give attention to hear. In this way there is paper. You will take from your Godbrothers ten kinds of offenses. If you avoid the offenses, then you make very good progress of chanting. You get good result.

The first stage is chanting with offenses. That is natural, because nobody is expert. The second stage is without offenses. When one can chant without offenses, then he becomes liberated. And the third stage is to achieve in the transcendental platform in the loving service of the Lord. So this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa is so powerful that it will gradually elevate you to the highest position.

Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. [break] [prayers for fire sacrifice]

nama apavitraḥ pavitro vā
sarvāvasthāṁ gato 'pi vā
yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ
sa bāhyābhyantara-śuciḥ

śrī viṣṇu, śrī viṣṇu, śrī viṣṇu

[Garuḍa Purāṇa]

[Either pure or impure, or having passed through all conditions of material life, if one can remember the lotus-eyed Kṛṣṇa, he becomes externally and internally clean.]

[break] [end]