Initiation of Satyabhāmā Dāsī

Type:
Initiation
Date:
July 26
Year:
1968
Place:
Montreal

Prabhupāda: …auspicious day because it is all arrangement of His Divine Grace Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, my [Prabhupāda’s voice chokes up] beloved spiritual master. He is seeing. He had a great desire to preach Lord Caitanya’s message in the Western world. And I am sure he will be pleased to see so many young boys and girls are seriously engaged in preaching the gospel of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. That is my success.

So, His Divine Grace, my spiritual master, somehow or other liked me, that I should take up this responsibility. And on the first day I met him, I was at [that] time a very young man, a nationalist, and engaged in a very responsible office. So one of my friends casually took me. I did not like to go. But I am very much thankful to that friend, who is still living in Calcutta, that he forcibly took me to His Divine Grace. I was reluctant to see because in our house my father used to receive so many sannyāsīns, but I was not very much satisfied with their dealings. So I thought that Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja might be a similar man. So what business I have got to see him? But this friend took me forcibly, that “Why not see the man?”

So I went on his request, and I was so profited. So on the first visit he asked me that “Educated boys like you, you should go to foreign countries and preach the gospel of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. There is great necessity.” So I replied that “We are foreign-dominated nation, India. Who will hear about our message?” Actually, at that time the foreigners were thinking Indians as very nonsignificant because in the face of so many independent nations, India was dependent. There was one poet, Bengali poet. He lamented that “Even uncivilized nations like China, Japan and Burmese…” Not Burma. Burma was also dependent. “They are independent, and only India is dependent on the Britishers.” So anyway, my Guru Mahārāja, he convinced me that “Dependence, independence, they are temporary. But we are concerned with the eternal benefit of the human kind, and therefore you should take up this matter.”

So I never thought that I will have to take up this matter by his order. Because it is… This incident took place in 1922, more than fifty years. So anyway, so I was officially initiated in 1933, just before three years of his passing away from this mortal world. So at the last moment also, just a fortnight before his passing away, he wrote me the same thing. I wrote him one letter and just he replied the same thing that “You should try to preach this gospel amongst the persons who are conversant in English language. That will be very nice for you.” So I was dreaming sometimes that my Guru Mahārāja is calling me and I am leaving my home and going behind him. I was dreaming like that, and I was thinking, “Oh, I have to give up my home? My Guru Mahārāja wants me to give up my home life and take sannyāsa?” So I was thinking, “It is horrible. How can I leave my home?” This is called māyā. Of course, it’s a long story, but incidentally I am speaking to you because you are my dear children. So I was thinking that “How can I take sannyāsa and leave my home, my children?” So that was a horrible thought for me, I tell you. I was thinking seriously, “Oh, I will have to take this course. Guru Mahārāja wants me.” But actually I did not like to give up my home life. But Guru Mahārāja made me obliged to give up my home life. So now, by his order, or by his plan, I gave up my home life, I gave up a few children, but Guru Mahārāja is so kind that has given me so many nice children.

So by serving Kṛṣṇa, nobody becomes loser. This is my practical ex…, I mean, practical experience, nobody. So I am citing this example of my personal experience because… Just try to understand that before leaving my home was thinking that “I may be in great trouble.” Especially when I left my home for your country in 1965 alone, the government would not allow me to take any money. I had only a few book and forty rupees, Indian forty rupees. So I came in New York in such condition, but by the grace of my spiritual master Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja, and by the grace of Kṛṣṇa, everything happens by combined mercy of Kṛṣṇa and spiritual master.

In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said, guru-kṛṣṇa kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. There shall be combined mercy of Kṛṣṇa and guru. Then our mission of Kṛṣṇa consciousness will be successful. This is the secret. Kṛṣṇa is always within you. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg. 18.61]. Therefore Kṛṣṇa knows everything of your purpose, and He gives you opportunity to work as you have decided. If you decide to enjoy this material world, Kṛṣṇa will give you intelligence how to become very nice businessman, nice politician, very nice cunning man so that you can earn money and enjoy senses. Kṛṣṇa will give you intelligence. So many people are becoming very great in the estimation of material life. From very poor man, they are becoming millionaires. How? They have got intelligence, certainly. Without intelligence they cannot improve. But that intelligence is also given by Kṛṣṇa. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo: [Bg. 15.15] “I am sitting in everyone’s heart.” Mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca: “By Me, there is memory and by Me, there is forgetfulness.” So how Kṛṣṇa is giving forgetfulness, also memory? That means according to my desire. If I want to forget Kṛṣṇa and I want to enjoy this material world, He will give me necessary intelligence so that I can forget Kṛṣṇa for good and I can enjoy this material world very nicely.

It is not possible to enjoy this material world nicely. This is called illusion. Everyone is trying to enjoy this material world very nicely. That is illusion. There is no nice enjoyment. You can rise up to a very nice post, just like the President Kennedy. Oh, with great endeavor he rose up to that post, and all of a sudden he was shot down. So this material world is like that. You cannot have, I mean to say, undeterred, without any impediment, pleasure. No. Every step you want to enjoy material enjoyment and you have to face every step danger also. This is the process. So one who is intelligent, as it is stated in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, kṛṣṇa ye bhaje se baḍa catura. Unless one is perfectly intelligent and perfectly cleansed, one cannot take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So therefore guru-kṛṣṇa kṛpā pāya bhakti-latā-bīja. Kṛṣṇa is seated within everyone’s heart. If we want Kṛṣṇa sincerely, and how we want Kṛṣṇa sincerely? That is the mercy of the spiritual master.

Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. He gives the instruction that “Give up all this nonsense, your material activities. Just surrender unto Me.” But people are not very interested. Even open declaration by Kṛṣṇa, that “You just become surrendered unto Me. I will give you all protection from all sinful reaction. You just come to Me,” but people still, they are so much attached to illusion, māyā, that they cannot do it. But the spiritual master, he is so kind that he is begging from door to door, from country to country, from town to town, “My dear ladies, my dear gentlemen, my dear boys, my dear girls, please take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” So therefore he is doing very confidential service to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord. He gives simply orders. But the spiritual master executes that order practically. Therefore spiritual master is so dear to Kṛṣṇa. Yasya prasādād bhāgavata-prasādaḥ. So guru-kṛṣṇa kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja [Cc. Madhya 19.151].

So the idea is that whatever I have brought Kṛṣṇa consciousness message to your country, that is due to the grace of His Divine Grace, of my spiritual master, who is sitting here. And I am very glad that you have come here from San Francisco for your going to London mission. And in auspicious moment you have come so that there was going to be a ceremony, initiation ceremony. So it is all auspicious symptoms, and let us be situated firmly in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and act this missionary work, spreading Kṛṣṇa consciousness all over the world. That will make our life successful, and those who will take up this line of activities, they will be also very happy. Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that “Anyone who will take this message of Kṛṣṇa consciousness will be happy, and they will feel obliged to Me.” That is stated in Caitanya-caritāmṛta, that “When people will take this message of Kṛṣṇa consciousness all over the world, in every city and every town, they will feel obliged to Me.” Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu said like this. We have read in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

So actually the world is feeling so much disturbed by the arrangement of…, misarrangement, not arrangement, misarrangement of the leaders of the society. They have forgotten Kṛṣṇa or God. They are thinking that by material advancement they will be happy, but that is never possible. Just try to spread this message of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is very easy and very fact. Everyone can accept. So on this occasion, when you have come here from San Francisco prepared to go to London, so my hearty welcome to you, and please do this missionary work very nicely and Kṛṣṇa will be pleased upon you. It is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ [Bg. 18.69]. Anyone who is trying to spread this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is the most dear friend of Kṛṣṇa. If you want to please Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa says that “Anyone who is trying to spread this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, he is My most dear friend.” Na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ: [Bg. 18.69] “Nobody is so dear to Me as such person who is trying to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement in the world.” So you are all pledged to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. So if you take up this work seriously, Kṛṣṇa will be very much pleased upon you. Thank you very much. Now you come forward, those who are to be initiated. And today there will be thread ceremony for the students who have chanted Hare Kṛṣṇa for at least one year. So I think three or four. Mukunda, Gurudāsa, Śyāmasundara, you are prepared? And Umāpati, you are also prepared? Huh?

Umāpati: Well, am I also prepared?

Prabhupāda: No, means the thread ceremony? Yes. So you come forward. Sit down. One, two, three, four. And you also. You come. Girls, you also come. You’ll have that mantra, Gāyatrī mantra. Sit down. [break]

nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-presthāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine

[disciple repeats] So what is your name?

Satyabhāmā: Kate.

Prabhupāda: Kate. So your name should be… Is there any name Satyabhāmā? Satyabhāmā? No. So her name, Satyabhāmā dāsī. S-a-t-y-a-b-h-a-m-a. Satyabhāmā dāsī. So this is the process, you know, from, beginning from here, each bead, Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare. And there are ten kinds of offenses. While chanting, you should avoid ten kinds of offenses. So you will get the list. And summarily I can explain that satāṁ nindā. A Kṛṣṇa conscious person will never blaspheme any person, any religious leader, who is trying to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness or God consciousness. In any country, in any religion, anyone who has tried to spread God consciousness to the people, they are all respectable persons. Those who are atheist, those who do not believe in God or those who personally declare that “I am God,” we have nothing to do with such persons. But anyone in any country who accepts God as the Supreme, Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme, kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam [SB 1.3.28], such persons are respectable persons and we should offer our always respect to them. We have… Unnecessarily we do not want to criticize anyone. But when there is necessity, because we are preacher, it may be sometimes you’ll be faced with opposite elements, so we have to criticize in that respect. Generally we don’t praise or eulogize somebody or criticize somebody. That is not our business. Our business is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, God consciousness, always thinking that we are eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa.

And śruti-śāstra-nindanam. No scriptures of the world shall be decried. Any scripture which is preaching about God consciousness, that is bona fide. It may be in some scriptures information of God is not fully explained, but if the idea, target, is God, that is a scripture. So generally śruti-śāstra means Vedas, the books of knowledge. So one should not go beyond the books of knowledge, just like we are studying Bhagavad-gītā. So śruti-śāstra-nindanam. Nobody should criticize or malinterpret the statement in the scripture.

And artha-vādaḥ. Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare, Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare—this should not be interpreted because this is chanting. Hare means addressing the energy of Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa is Lord Himself. So we are addressing, “O energy of Kṛṣṇa, O Kṛṣṇa, Rāma, O the supreme enjoyer, and Hare, the same energy, spiritual energy.” Our prayer is “Please engage me in Your service.” We are all engaged in some sort of service. There is no doubt about it. But we are suffering. By rendering service to māyā, we are suffering. The māyā means the service which we offer to somebody, that somebody is not satisfied; and you are also offering service—we are not satisfied. He is not satisfied with you; you are not satisfied with him. This is called māyā. Just like recently there was postal strike. This is most important department of the state. The state is offering them salary to the best capacity; still, the postmen, they are not satisfied. And they are offering service to the state; the state is also not satisfied. So māyā’s service is like that. You go on throughout whole life. There are many examples.

Just like in your country, in our country, President Kennedy, he wanted to give service to the country, but the people were not satisfied. Somebody killed him. Gandhi, whole life he engaged himself to the service of the country, but he was killed by his countrymen. This is called māyā, that you offer service somebody—he is not satisfied; you are not satisfied. Nobody is satisfied. Therefore one should be intelligent, that “What kind of service I am rendering?” The man who I am… In the family, suppose a gentleman—throughout his life he has served the family—asked his wife, “Are you satisfied?” “Oh, what you have done for me?” Asked the son. Oh, he is not satisfied. So this is called māyā.

So one should be intelligent that “Why I am wasting my time in this way, where there is no satisfaction? Therefore I must render service to Kṛṣṇa. If I render service to Kṛṣṇa, then Kṛṣṇa will be satisfied and everyone will be satisfied. And I shall be satisfied because I am also part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa.” The same example: If you supply foodstuff to the stomach, then stomach is Kṛṣṇa. Then you are satisfied. Suppose you means individual parts. This hand is supplying sweetballs to the stomach. So this hand is satisfied; this hand also satisfied. And this head is also satisfied; the leg is also satisfied. You see? Similarly, anyone who serves Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, being satisfied… Tasmin tuṣṭe jagat tuṣṭam. Just [like] I pour water on the root. The branches, the leaves, the flowers, the fruits and everything, they will immediately… Pay tax to the government, central government. The tax is distributed—the education department, municipal department, this department, that department. Therefore the people are missing the center. They are trying to satisfy one another, but nobody is satisfied. And by illusion they cannot understand this mistake. Everyone is very much proud: “Oh, I am serving my country.” And he does not know what somebody, his countrymen, will come and kill him. You see? He does not know that. This is māyā. So one should be intelligent to serve Kṛṣṇa. This prayer Hare Kṛṣṇa means “Kṛṣṇa, I am so much harassed by this service of this māyā. Now please engage me in Your service.” This is our prayer. And as soon as I am engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service, then I will be satisfied, Kṛṣṇa will be satisfied, and the whole world will be satisfied. So nobody should interpret any other way. This is direct meaning. Nāmna artha-vādaḥ. Or to imagine some meaning. No imagination. It is all direct interpretation or direct meaning.

Then, nāmno balād yasya hi pāpa-buddhiḥ. One should not commit sin. The four principle sins, we have several times repeated. Again we are repeated, that all sins are based on four principle headings: illicit sex life, and nonvegetarian diet, gambling and intoxication. It is very scientific. If one can avoid these four principles of sinful activities he becomes pure. He hasn’t got to do much. If these four principles are followed, he will never touch any sinful activity. But if somebody thinks that “Because I am chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa and by chanting I become free from all sinful reaction, therefore let me do all nonsense,” no, that is the greatest sin. Nāmnād balād yasya hi pāpa-buddhiḥ. That is to be avoided.

And sāmyam śubha-kriyā mati-pramādaḥ. Just like we are having this function. There are many auspicious functions in every religious system, but it is not like that. It is transcendental. It is spiritual. It is not ordinary religious rituals. Chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa is not a ritualistic method. It is transcendental. It is natural, original relationship. So this should be avoided. And the conception of realizing oneself as this body, self-realization. No. That should be avoided. And one should not be inattentive while chanting. In this way ten kinds of offenses… Of course, in the beginning we have got… Because our life is contaminated, there may be so many falldowns, but we should be careful. The more we become careful, the more we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa without any offense, the more we quickly become advanced. Just like a person taking medicine, if he takes all care, then the medicine effects very quickly and the disease is cured very quickly, similarly, if we take precaution of these ten kinds of offenses… Of course, by chanting, gradually everything will be cleared, but still, we must be very cautious. Even we fall down, that, Kṛṣṇa will save us if we are sincere.

So these ten kinds of offenses should be avoided and at least sixteen rounds you must chant. All the Gosvāmīs in Vṛndāvana, they had a limited, not limited, a number, fixed, that “So many times I shall chant.” So we are offering only minimum of sixteen rounds. That, it will take, sixteen rounds, it will take about, utmost, three hours. So you should… Out of twenty-four hours, you should engage at least three hours for chanting. So then this is the beginning of initiation, and those who have chanted at least for one year, then the next initiation is to offer him Gāyatrī mantra. Some of the students, boys and girls, will be offered this Gāyatrī mantra. And when the Gāyatrī mantra is offered men, they are offered also sacred thread, and girls, they are not offered sacred thread. If their husband is a brāhmaṇa, she automatically becomes brāhmaṇa because wife is considered to be the half, better half. She is the better portion. So she automatically becomes better brāhmaṇa [laughter]. So better brāhmaṇa does not require any thread. There is a Bengali proverb, ya va nauket poiyete darkana naya [?]. The proverb is that in India if one has got sacred thread, he is immediately understood that he must be belonging to the higher caste, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, or vaiṣya. But if somebody knows that he is brāhmaṇa or kṣatriya, he doesn’t require to show the sacred thread. Similarly, the wives of brāhmaṇa is already known that he [she] is brāhmaṇa, so she does not require to show the sacred thread. So don’t be sorry because you will not be offered the sacred thread. That’s all right.

Now let us perform this yajña. Now chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Like this, eight, nine, ten. Do it again. [Ceremony continues, Prabhupāda recites Gāyatrī mantra, Gurudāsa repeating] So this mantra, morning, evening, and noon recite. [end]

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