Initiation Lecture , Boston , 1969-12-26

Prabhupāda: So this chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is purifying your existence. Yasmād śuddhyed sattvam [SB 5.5.1].

[Lord Ṛṣabhadeva told His sons: My dear boys, of all the living entities who have accepted material bodies in this world, one who has been awarded this human form should not work hard day and night simply for sense gratification, which is available even for dogs and hogs that eat stool. One should engage in penance and austerity to attain the divine position of devotional service. By such activity, one's heart is purified, and when one attains this position, he attains eternal, blissful life, which is transcendental to material happiness and which continues forever.]

Sattvam means existence. You are existing, I am existing, God is existing—eternally. The temporary existence that we see at the present moment, this is not our existence. This is our diseased condition, crazy condition. Piśācī pāile yena mati-cchana. Piśācī means ghost or witches. When one is haunted by ghost, he becomes upset of his own consciousness and talks all kinds of nonsense.

Similarly, when our existence is covered by the material ghost we talk so many nonense: "I am this body, and anything in relationship with this body is mine. I am dying. I belong to this family. I belong to this community, nation, this, that, planet." These are all just like a man haunted by ghost speaks nonsense, these are all nonsense. And the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to cure this disease.

Śuddhyed sattvam, existence. That is called svarūpa, real identification. Mukti. Mukti this... This word is very popular, mukti, liberation. What is that liberation? Liberation means to come to this platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is liberation. Svarūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ [SB 2.10.6].

[The merging of the living entity, along with his conditional living tendency, with the mystic lying down of the Mahā-Viṣṇu is called the winding up of the cosmic manifestation. Liberation is the permanent situation of the form of the living entity after he gives up the changeable gross and subtle material bodies.]

Mukti is defined in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: muktir hitvānyathā rūpam. Muktir hitvā anyathā rūpam. Anyathā rūpam. Rūpam means form. We are in a form which is not liberated form. Material form. This form which we have got just now, this form, when it will be finished, you'll never get this form. Another form. Another. Just like bubbles. Bubbles in the ocean, they come out. You cannot have exact the same bubbles, same measurement. No. That is going on.

Similarly, this rūpam is anyathā. This is not our rūpam, our form. Therefore sometimes in Vedic literature it is stated "formless." Formless does not mean has no form. Not this form. That is formless. But people with less intelligence, they think formless means there is no form. Formless means not this form. This is anyathā rūpam. This is different from our real form. So mukti means to give up this unreal form and accept your real form. Just like freedom from disease. Get free from the diseased condition and come to real, healthy life.

So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is for bringing men to the real life. Always remember this. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12].

[“’Let there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, which can cleanse the mirror of the heart and stop the miseries of the blazing fire of material existence. That chanting is the waxing moon that spreads the white lotus of good fortune for all living entities. It is the life and soul of all education. The chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa expands the blissful ocean of transcendental life. It gives a cooling effect to everyone and enables one to taste full nectar at every step.’]

It takes... Just like to cure a disease it takes little time. But if you take to the process of cure, then that is very good. In the Bhagavad-gītā, Bhagavān, the Personality of Godhead, says,

api cet su-durācāro
bhajate mām ananya-bhāk
sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ
samyag vyavasito hi saḥ

[Bg. 9.30]

[Even if one commits the most abominable actions, if he is engaged in devotional service, he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated.]

kṣipraṁ bhavati dharmātmā
śaśvac-chāntiṁ nigacchati

[He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kuntī, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.]

Those who have taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness seriously, even there are some faults, still, they are saintly persons. That is the recommendation of Kṛṣṇa. Because that fault may be due to his past habits, but that is being stopped. Just like you make the switch off, no more electric current will act, but the fan still gives some rounds due to the past force.

Similarly, a Kṛṣṇa consciousness person, even if he's found in fault, Kṛṣṇa says, "No." Sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ [Bg. 9.30]. "He's saintly person, sādhu." Why? Now, the process he has taken up, that will cure him in due course of time. Śaṣvac-chāntiṁ nigacchati.

So those who have fortunately come to this platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness by association, by practice, this is the way. So stick to it. Don't go away. Even if you find some fault, don't go away from the association. Struggle, and Kṛṣṇa will help you.

So this initiation process means beginning of this life of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And we shall try to be situated in our original consciousness. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya kṛṣṇa dāsa [Cc. Madhya 20.108].

[“It is the living entity’s constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa because he is the marginal energy of Kṛṣṇa and a manifestation simultaneously one with and different from the Lord, like a molecular particle of sunshine or fire. Kṛṣṇa has three varieties of energy.]

Real consciousness, as it is recommended by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, that He identifies Himself as eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and this is liberation, and this is mukti. If you simply stick to this principle, gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ [Cc. Madhya 13.80], that...

[“’I am not a brāhmaṇa, I am not a kṣatriya, I am not a vaiśya or a śūdra. Nor am I a brahmacārī, a householder, a vānaprastha or a sannyāsī. I identify Myself only as the servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the maintainer of the gopīs. He is like an ocean of nectar, and He is the cause of universal transcendental bliss. He is always existing with brilliance.’”]

"I am nothing except the eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa," then you are in the liberated platform. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so nice. You keep yourself.

And for keeping yourself in that consciousness, the simple method is this chanting, Hare Kṛṣṇa. You keep yourself chanting as many hours, twenty-four hours. Why as many hours? Twenty-four. Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ [Cc. Ādi 17.31].

[“One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor yet is always prepared to give all respect to others can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.”]

Lord Caitanya says, "This is to be practiced twenty-four hours." And that you can do. It requires simply practice. Even in sleeping you can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Even in sleeping. And there is no bar. In sleeping, in eating, in going to the toilet room, there is no restriction. You can go on chanting, "Hare Kṛṣṇa." You see? So that will keep you in your svarūpa, in your real identification, and you'll never be attacked by māyā.

Just like if you keep yourself vaccinated, and if the period... What is called? Active. Then there is no fear of being infected. That is practical. If you get yourself vaccinated of certain type of infection and you keep yourself active... Just like doctors, they go, treat patients suffering from infectious disease, but they keep themselves always unaffected. They know the remedial measures, antiseptic, prophylactic processes.

So this prophylactic antiseptic process is kṛṣṇa-kīrtanam. Paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-kīrtanam. That is Lord Caitanya's blessings. Paraṁ vijayate. All glories to the saṅkīrtana, śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana. Kīrtana means kṛṣṇa-kīrtana. Not any other kīrtana. The Māyāvādī philosopher, they introduce so many other kīrtanas. No.

Kīrtana means kṛṣṇa-kīrtana: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma... Or any name glorifying the name of the Lord. That is kīrtana. But this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is especially recommended in this age, and Lord Caitanya personally chanted, so we should follow.

Although every name of Kṛṣṇa is as potent as the name Kṛṣṇa... Viṣṇu name, or there are thousands and thousands of names... Nāmnām akāri bahudhā [Cc. Antya 20.16].

[“’My Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, in Your holy name there is all good fortune for the living entity, and therefore You have many names, such as “Kṛṣṇa” and “Govinda,” by which You expand Yourself. You have invested all Your potencies in those names, and there are no hard and fast rules for remembering them. My dear Lord, although You bestow such mercy upon the fallen, conditioned souls by liberally teaching Your holy names, I am so unfortunate that I commit offenses while chanting the holy name, and therefore I do not achieve attachment for chanting.’]

Bahudhā means there is no counting. Innumerable names. And each name has the same potency like Kṛṣṇa. But this is recommended, especially, those who take advantage. This is one thing.

This is one thing. And other thing: to take precaution so that māyā may not attack you. You should be cautious also. And therefore we have to follow the four regulative principles: no illicit sex life and no meat-eating, or nonvegetarian diet...

We have no quarrel with vegetarian and nonvegetarian. We are after kṛṣṇa-prasādam. If Kṛṣṇa accepts something beyond these vegetarian dishes, then we can accept also. But Kṛṣṇa says, "No. Give Me patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam" [Bg. 9.26].

[If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.]

Kṛṣṇa can eat everything. He is God. But He says that "Give Me this." Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam: "Offer Me this flower, fruit, water." Like that.

So we are after kṛṣṇa-prasādam. That is our motto. We don't fight with vegetarian and non... We are not making propaganda. Just like there is Vegetarian Society. No. We have no business. Even if a man becomes vegetarian, what does he gain? In this material world, either vegetarian or nonvegetarian, they are on the same platform, birds of the same feather. You see? So that is not our propaganda. We are introducing kṛṣṇa-prasāda; therefore we invite people to take nice prasāda.

So these four principles we should follow. We shall not accept anything which is not offered to Kṛṣṇa. That is our position. And no illicit sex life, no gambling, no intoxication. We are already intoxicated, being haunted by the ghost of māyā. And further intoxication...? Do you think intoxication can be cured by intoxication? No. That is not possible. So these four rules you have to follow. And you keep to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then your life is sublime. Very simple thing. Very simple thing. But it is simple for the simple, but it is very hard for the crooked. Yes.

So those who are going to be initiated, they should always remember these restrictive four rules and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa at least sixteen rounds, and eat bhagavat-prasādam, kṛṣṇa-prasādam, and be happy, dance. That's all. Is there any difficulty?

Devotees: No.

Prabhupāda: [laughter] No difficulty. And people will write "the bright-faced." Yes. They will have to admit it. Because it is purifying. There is no impurity. Without being pure, how can you expect to reach God? This is all rascaldom. To keep oneself dirty, unpure in mind, in body, in feelings, in character, and he wants to go to God? Rascal. [laughter] Forget! There is no entrance for you to God.

yaṁ brahmā varuṇendra-rudra-marutaḥ stunvanti divyaiḥ stavair
vedaiḥ sāṅga-pada-kramopaniṣadair gāyanti yaṁ sāma-gāḥ
dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yogino
yasyāntaṁ na viduḥ surāsura-gaṇā devāya tasmai namaḥ

[Sūta Gosvāmī said: Unto that personality whom Brahmā, Varuṇa, Indra, Rudra and the Maruts praise by chanting transcendental hymns and reciting the Vedas with all their corollaries, pada-kramas and Upaniṣads, to whom the chanters of the Sāma Veda always sing, whom the perfected yogīs see within their minds after fixing themselves in trance and becoming fully absorbed in thoughts of Him, and whose limit can never be found by any demigod or demon—unto that Supreme Personality of Godhead I offer my humble obeisances.]

God's position is that, that the yogīs, they are trying to capture God by meditation. And demigods like Brahmā, Lord Śiva and others, they are offering Vedic prayers. And the Sāma Veda is always singing the glories of the Lord. The Lord is so exalted, so pure.

So if you have to reach Kṛṣṇa, you must be pure, cent percent pure. That is not very difficult. This ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12].

[“’Let there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, which can cleanse the mirror of the heart and stop the miseries of the blazing fire of material existence. That chanting is the waxing moon that spreads the white lotus of good fortune for all living entities. It is the life and soul of all education. The chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa expands the blissful ocean of transcendental life. It gives a cooling effect to everyone and enables one to taste full nectar at every step.’]

Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and you become purified, purified, more, more, more, more. And day will come when you find that you are completely pure from all material contamination and you become eligible to enter into the kingdom of God, and that makes a solution of all problems.

So it is so nice. Always remember this, that "We have taken the best in the whole creation of the Lord, Kṛṣṇa consciousness." Do not try to adulterate it. Keep it pure, and your life will be successful. This is an opportunity, this human form of life, this particular type of tongue which you can use. In other type of tongues you can chew, you can taste the blood and the flesh, and so many things.

But you cannot chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. But here is a tongue given by God. You can utilize it for chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. Don't miss this opportunity. That chewing facility, tasting facility, you'll get even in cat's life, dog's life. But this chanting facility you'll not get. This is in this life, human form of life. So don't misuse it. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa regularly and be happy.

Thank you very much. [break]

namaḥ apavitraḥ pavitraḥ vā
sarvāvasthāṁ gataḥ api vā
yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ
sa abhyābhyantaraḥ 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] So mantra means... Namaḥ. Namaḥ means surrender, to become submissive. Namanta eva. Namanta eva. That is the process. Namaḥ. When we utter this word namaḥ, means "I surrender." Anyone, I say namaskāra, namaskāra means the surrendering process: "I accept the surrendering process." So when we surrender to Kṛṣṇa or His representative, then apavitraḥ.

Apavitraḥ means contaminated and pavitraḥ means purified. So one may be in contaminated stage or purified stage. It doesn't matter. One who... Yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣam, one who remembers Kṛṣṇa, the lotus-eyed... Puṇḍarīkākṣam means lotus-eyed Kṛṣṇa.

So bahya. Bahya means externally, and abhyantara, internally. Bahyābhyantara-śuciḥ. Śuciḥ means purified. And another meaning of śuciḥ is brāhmaṇa. A brāhmaṇa means purified. So those who are going to be sacred-threaded today, they should remember that they are being accepted as śuciḥ, as brāhmaṇa. After chanting process for the six months or one year, it is supposed that he has already become purified. Now he should be recognized that he is purified.

So this sacred thread means recognition. Sacred thread means one should understand... Just like one understands a man [is] learned by the degrees M.A., B.A. or Ph.D., similarly, when there is sacred thread, it is understood that he has undergone the purificatory process under superior management, or guidance of spiritual master.

This is called upanayana, upanayana, in Sanskrit. Upanayana: bringing him more near. The initiation is the beginning of purification, and offering the sacred thread means bringing him more nearer. Therefore the principle is those who are ordinarily initiated, they should not touch the Deity. Only those who are in sacred thread, they should touch. This is the system.

But kṛṣṇa-kīrtana is so nice that even without sacred thread, because he is regularly chanting, he is to be supposed to be purified. That is the recommendation given by Jīva Gosvāmī. Anyone who is chanting regularly Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra... Śvādo 'pi sadyaḥ savanāya kalpate [SB 3.33.6].

[To say nothing of the spiritual advancement of persons who see the Supreme Person face to face, even a person born in a family of dog-eaters immediately becomes eligible to perform Vedic sacrifices if he once utters the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead or chants about Him, hears about His pastimes, offers Him obeisances or even remembers Him.]

Śvādaḥ. Śvādaḥ. Śvā means dog, and adaḥ, adaḥ means eating. Dog-eaters. The dog-eaters are considered to be the lowest of the mankind. But in Bhāgavata says that śvādo 'pi sadyaḥ savanāya kalpate: even if he is dog-eater, but by this process he immediately becomes qualified to offer sacrifice. Savanāya. This fire sacrifice is called savanāya.

And Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī gives notes on this line that a person born in the family of a brāhmaṇa awaits the sacred thread ceremony. But one who has become surely[?] purified by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, he immediately becomes a highly qualified brāhmaṇa. So don't misuse the opportunity obtained by you. Use it properly, and the life will be successful.

So apavitraḥ pavitro vā. In any condition of life, anyone who remembers Kṛṣṇa, puṇḍarīkākṣam, so bothwise—externally and internally—he becomes purified, śuci. Śuci means pure. And there is a verse written by one Vaiṣṇava in Bengali. Not ordinary; he's Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura. Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura is one of the ācāryas. He has written Caitanya-Bhāgavata. As there is Śrīmad-Bhāgavata, he has written Caitanya-Bhāgavata. Perhaps you have heard the name. So his opinion is, muci haya śuci haya yadi kṛṣṇa bhaje.

Muci and śuci, just opposite. Muci means the most nasty cobbler. He eats everything and does all nonsense. He is called muci. Muci means cobbler. In India, when a cow or bull dies, these muci class are called to take away the carcass. So they take it away and they take out the skin and tan it for... This is the original system of shoe-making. And make some shoes and sell in the market. But not by killing cows. When it dies. So this business is done by the muci class. And they take the flesh also. After taking out the skin, the flesh they take. Therefore they are considered very low class, muci. And śuci means brāhmaṇa.

So Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura says, muci haya śuci haya. A cobbler, muci, can become a śuci, yadi kṛṣṇa bhaje, if he's Kṛṣṇa conscious. That's all. If he's Kṛṣṇa conscious, never mind he is a cobbler, he becomes immediately brāhmaṇa. Muci haya śuci haya yadi kṛṣṇa bhaje. Śuci haya muci haya yadi kṛṣṇa tyaje. And even if he's born in a brāhmaṇa family, if he gives up Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he's immediately cobbler.

[break] So don't lose this opportunity. Always remember Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa. [laughter] Don't become cobbler. [break]

[leads devotees in prayers for fire sacrifice]

Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. [all chant japa] Read first [break]. Just see how I am doing. You have to do like this. [japa] [break] This flower has to be placed on a plate... You can offer puṣpāñjali to Guru Mahārāja. Yes. Get some pots. Yes. Get out all these flowers. Yes, yes. Get out. Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end]