Looking back to 1987, I remember trying my best to counsel several weeping ISKCON Vaisnavas when they learned that their guru had just defaulted his position. Their guru was previously a dynamic, conquering her who shone like fire through preaching, making disciples, and leading the sankirtan movement. Yet, those weeping Vaisnavas sitting in my office would have traded all the joy they shared with him during the victories just to have him remain their own spiritually-healthy guru. These devotees had surrendered their young and capable lives to Lord Krishna, but now they grieved because their guru was careless in following his own guru’s instructions.
This paper suggests one major safeguard which will definitely help to avert future calamities.
WHAT SHOULD A GURU DO IN THE MORNING?
It is my contention that an ISKCON guru must fully participate in the temple morning program each day lest he disqualifies himself to be a guru. Of course there may be exceptions such as an emergency or a serious illness but if he can walk (or be carried), talk and honor prasadam, he should be shining like a beacon at the morning program. During his last visit to the West in September of 1977, Srila Prabhupada personally came to the morning program every day while he stayed at the Manor. If ever a guru had a valid excuse for not attending the morning program it was then, yet he underwent the inconvenience to set an example.
A synonym for the word guru is acarya which means one who teaches by example. Guru means preacher and preacher means acarya— äcära pracära. A devotee who executes sadhana bhakti carefully for many years may be allowed to accept disciples. A main qualification for one’s becoming a guru in the first place was his strict adherence to the practices defined by his spiritual master. After some time however if that devotee, now guiding disciples, relaxes his sadhana due to “being advanced,” or to “preaching,” or some other reason, is it not a fly in the ointment? Unable to maintain the standard after accepting disciples, he should either immediately rectify the situation or in our humble opinion, discontinue accepting more disciples until he is able to recover. Meticulous attendance at the morning program is required for devotees living in an ISKCON temple, and it is a prerequisite for receiving brahminical initiation, why then should it not apply for gurus?
Äpani äcari prabhu jéveri çikñäya. That is Caitanya Mahäprabhu’s movement. He teaches others by behaving Himself. “Example is better than precept.” If you cannot rise early in the morning, then how can you ask others to rise early in the morning? What is the effect? There is no effect. We have got business early in the morning, to attend maìgala ärati. And if you sleep yourself and teach others, so who will take it? (Srila Prabhupada on a Morning Walk — April 23, 1974, Hyderabad)
GURU AS MADHYAMA ADHIKARI
Why must an advanced teacher clock in, so to speak, for temple services and rudimentary classes?
Because our spiritual master has ordered us to attend the morning program. Because this is the standard spiritual practice since time immemorial. Because gurus, i.e. acaryas, teach by their personal example.
yad yad äcarati çreñöhas
tat tad evetaro janaù
sa yat pramäëaà kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues. (Bhagavad-gita 3.21)
Because rising early to see the Lord, hear His glories and to dance and chant before Him are not mere rituals for neophytes—they are Goloka activities. Because due to so many guru falldowns, faith is low and needs to be improved. Seeing gurus at morning programs definitely enhances the faith of the devotees. Because we may not have yet attained the highest stage of a paramahamsa. Because even if one is a paramahamsa, he voluntarily acts on the level of madhyama adhikari for preaching purposes. Whatever action a guru performs…the disciples perform. Where gurus don’t attend, it should come as no surprise that disciples don’t either. One senior Godbrother recently confided in me that in his opinion the singlemost important way to improve ISKCON would be to make sure that all of the leaders were exemplary in their devotional practices especially in attending the morning program. A guru who does not attend morning temple programs is super-conspicuous by his absence. Conversely, when the guru is there, more of his sisyas will be there.
WHEN THE CONCHSHELL BLOWS
If gurus don’t attend mangala arati it sends out a signal as loud as the conchshell that there are other more important things to do at four thirty in the morning than attending mangala arati. Younger devotees will think that later when they mature, they too can do more important things at that time of the day. A guru must know that staying up late at night can be a mortal enemy of mangala arati.
Q: Is attending mangala arati optional for a guru?
A: It is indeed obligatory.
Q: But Srila Prabhupada didn’t attend.
A: That is correct. However he was fully awake every brahma muhurta at four thirty AM singing his melodious Bhaktivedanta purports for all to hear.
Q: But he did say “do as I am doing.”
A: His statement shouldn’t be taken out of context. He wanted to impress his sannyasis, in particular, with the importance of performing all types of services for Krishna. “Do as I am doing” means to do the needful and be expert in spreading Krishna consciousness like he was.
There are many things Srila Prabhupada did which none of us are able to copy, such as sleeping only four hours a day and rising at 1 AM for translating Bhagavatam, etc. One modern devotee-poet wrote to Srila Prabhupada:
Sri Krishna lifted up Govardhana
With His lotus left hand
But you lifted up the whole wide world
On your Guru Maharaja’s command
As rasa dancing is exclusively for Krishna and drinking an ocean of poison is only for Lord Siva, let us concede His Divine Grace the unique privilege of not attending mangala arati by graciously not attempting to claim the right for ourselves. He clearly instructed his followers to attend and he did not authorize missing mangala arati.
One time it was brought to his attention that a senior devotee was not attending mangala arati. “Do it to set the example for the other devotees,” Çréla Prabhupäda said. “You, yourself are very advanced. You do not need to attend mangala arati, but you should set the example for those that require it.”
LISTENING TO JUNIORS?
Q: If a guru is not requested to give the morning temple Srimad Bhagavatam class, should he stay for the class or go elsewhere?
A: A guru should still sit in the temple room and hear the Bhägavata philosophy explained by the speaker just like the four Kumaras and the six Goswamis of Vrndavana listen to each other transmit their realizations. If the speaker is junior to the guru, it is no reason to abandon the class, since Narada Muni and Srila Vyäsadeva offered full attention to a junior speaker.
Q: Isn’t it a waste of a guru’s time to sit and listen to a neophyte devotee give a Bhagavatam class when the guru could be directly drinking the nectar from Srila Prabhupada’s books and purports?
A: The Srimad Bhagavatam class exclusively uses Srila Prabhupäda’s translations and purports, so even gurus can relish the verses and purports in association with other Vaisnavas. When a guru vacates Bhagavatam classes, it sets a precedent for others devotees to follow.
Q: What if the guru finds the class…well, just plain boring?
A: Uh oh. And may I ask what is more interesting…reading books by scholars or hearing lectures given by secular professors? As disheartening as it may be, if a guru cannot bring himself to sit and hear Srimad Bhagavatam classes given by other Vaisnavas in good standing, he has apparently lost some of his taste for Krishna katha.
A few years ago, the devotees at a successful temple in Europe invited me to visit their center. After I gave the Srimad Bhagavatam class one morning, one devotee asked what I thought about seminars since he knew I was involved in Vaisnava education. I said that I thought seminars were great and so did Srila Prabhupada that is why he instituted two daily seminars in every ISKCON center. He asked what I meant. I said the morning Srimad Bhagavatam seminar and the evening Bhagavad-gita seminar. The person explained that he wasn’t referring to those seminars, he meant other types of seminars and workshops. I expressed that it seemed presumptuous to promote extra seminars while slighting the ones established by our spiritual master.
Q: Instead of attending Bhagavatam class, the guru could be writing books for the benefit of the whole world or organizing some type of preaching strategy. After all, the guru is a general in the sankirtan army so why must he be expected to obey all the routine regulations like a new recruit?
A: There is certainly a fine line between a) the privileges afforded to an experienced devotee-preacher, b) negligence of spiritual duty and c) hypocrisy. It is agreed that we do not want to foster an ISKCON where spiritual leaders’ creativity is stifled nor where spiritual leaders are suspect at every moment. On the other hand, we cannot overlook the weighty responsibilities of the guru.
A guru must attend classes given by devotees on his level, (i.e. Godbrother colleagues), out of respect to the Vaisnava speaker as well as to the sacred Bhagavatam scripture itself. When a junior devotee speaks, the guru attends too, but it could be as a teacher observing the progress of a student. Like a teacher, he listens to how well the student has assimilated the subject matter and is able to convey it. A guru may offer comments and even discrete corrections if required and in this way, he adds value to the class. Such participation encourages the students and the audience while simultaneously fulfilling the guru’s own responsibility to attend the class as a parampara learner himself.
ARJUNA DIDN’T CHANT 16 ROUNDS
Srila Prabhupada once made a statement that Arjuna didn’t chant 16 rounds because of his fighting a war. There was a devotee acting as a guru in our movement who tried using this statement to exclude himself from chanting sixteen rounds. He reasoned that he, like Arjuna, was working very hard managing, preaching and fighting the forces of maya. Nevertheless, the devotee fell down. One difference is that Arjuna’s gurudeva, Sri Krishna, was constantly by his side sanctioning each of His disciple’s actions, whereas our gurudeva constantly wrote and spoke that his disciple(s) must always chant a minimum of sixteen rounds every day.
What may be allowed for Arjuna is not allowed for all. Remembering the story of a monkey who imitated a lumberman, we should perform our own duty without attempting to perform that of another.
Q: Does every guru in ISKCON have to chant sixteen rounds daily?
A: Yes, it is considered one of the qualifications of a guru.
Q: But, one might argue that Haridasa Thakura was allowed by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to reduce his number of rounds.
A: True, but that was only days before Haridasa departed from this world at a time when his body was barely functional. Haridasa’ daily number of rounds was 174 plus and as a matter of reference, he also declined Lord Caitanya’s offer to reduce.
Q: Why wouldn’t it be okay for a guru to chant less than sixteen rounds if circumstances warranted?
A: Because Srila Prabhupada, our beloved spiritual master and transparent via media, negotiated on our behalf with Lord Krishna and They came to a mutual concession: sixteen rounds. Sixteen rounds was, is and will be the minimum medicine to cure our disease. On the subject of chanting rounds, we strongly urge gurus to chant these within the vision of devotees to allay doubts and enthuse everybody.
GREETINGS & PUJA
Q: Is it necessary for a guru to be present each day to greet the deities? Isn’t this merely a formality or ritual required only by neophytes?
A: If this were not important why would Srila Prabhupada have done it himself every day? He was the only guru in ISKCON and because he set the proper example, the movement flourished. Now in order for our movement to flourish— all ISKCON gurus must combinedly greet the deities.
There is an interesting incident connected to gurupuja. Once, a few of Srila Prabhupada’s leading disciples left the gurupuja ceremony where Srila Prabhupada was being worshiped in order to take care of some other service. It seemed innocent enough, however His Divine Grace took this as an indication of conspiracy against him.
A GURU’S PRIORITIES
We have discussed the need for gurus to attend all aspects of the morning temple program each day. Yet what if extenuating circumstances arise? For example, what if:
A guru regularly arrives at midnight or there abouts making it difficult for him to attend.
A guru is so busy managing his duties that he hasn’t time to attend.
A guru is too tired to attend.
A guru has poor health and therefore has trouble attending.
A guru worships his own deities privately and doesn’t attend.
A guru studies or writes during that time and doesn’t attend.
A guru prefers to sleep during that time.
A guru must prioritize his activities allocating the morning program NUMBER 1 TOP SPOT. Even if he cannot do anything else the rest of the day, he should attend the entire morning program if for no other reason than to honor the emphasis Srila Prabhupada placed on it. Gurus must show that the morning program is not a waste of time, rather there is simply nothing more important to be doing.
Recent history has shown that neglect of the morning program brings falldown for gurus.
Our society wants and needs spiritually healthy gurus.
WHEN TO DEFER
There are some ISKCON gurus today who do not place participating in the morning temple program as their number one priority. Such devotees may have capabilities as speakers, managers, etc. yet they should not take the position of initiating gurus because that requires one to act as an example for his sisyas. If the guru is unable to daily attend the morning program, it is probably a good time for him to defer from initiating more disciples until he recovers.
Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu therefore stated that the spiritual master who plays the part of Kåñëa’s representative has to consume all the sinful reactions of his disciple. Sometimes a spiritual master takes the risk of being overwhelmed by the sinful reactions of the disciples and undergoes a sort of tribulation due to their acceptance. Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu therefore advised that one not accept many disciples. (Srimad Bhagavatam 4.21.31 Purport)
A guru who does not attend the morning program scrupulously, may already be exhibiting effects of being overwhelmed. He can defer from initiating for some time while he concentrates on his own sadhana and that of his already initiated disciples. We are not commenting here upon a devotee’s value, preaching ability, or spiritual advancement, instead we are suggesting that if one does not perform the functions of a guru either by choice or due to factors beyond his control, then he should not accept the post of taking formal disciples.
Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.
Sanatana Goswami said to Haridasa Thakura:
äpane äcare keha, nä kare pracära
pracära karena keha, nä karena äcära
“Some behave very well but do not preach the cult of Kåñëa consciousness, whereas others preach but do not behave properly.
‘äcära’, ‘pracära’,——nämera karaha ‘dui’ kärya
tumi——sarva-guru, tumi jagatera ärya
“You simultaneously perform both duties in relation to the holy name by your personal behavior and by your preaching. Therefore you are the spiritual master of the entire world, for you are the most advanced devotee in the world.”
PURPORT: Sanätana Gosvämé clearly defines herein the bona fide spiritual master of the world. The qualifications expressed in this connection are that one must act according to the scriptural injunctions and at the same time preach. One who does so is a bona fide spiritual master. Haridäsa Öhäkura was the ideal spiritual master because he regularly chanted on his beads a prescribed number of times. Indeed, he was chanting the holy name of the Lord 300,000 times a day. Similarly, the members of the Kåñëa consciousness movement chant a minimum of sixteen rounds a day, which can be done without difficulty, and at the same time they must preach the cult of Caitanya Mahäprabhu according to the gospel of Bhagavad-gétä As It Is. One who does so is quite fit to become a spiritual master for the entire world. (Caitanya-caritämåta Antya 4.102 Antya 4.103 with purport)
2. In this Kåñëa consciousness movement we require everyone to rise early in the morning, by four A.M., and attend maìgala-ärati, or morning worship, then read Çrémad-Bhägavatam, perform kértana, and so forth. (Nectar of Instruction; Text 3; Purport)
3. When one is further advanced by chanting the Hare Kåñëa mantra sixteen rounds daily, following the regulative principles and attending classes, he receives the sacred thread (brahminical recognition) after the second six months. (Caitanya-caritämåta Madhya 15.108 Purport)
4. So you are the president there at Schloss Rettershof, it is your duty to see that the standards of Krishna Consciousness are always maintained, especially chanting 16 rounds daily, observing the four regulative principles, no meat, fish, eggs, no intoxication, no gambling, and no illicit sex life. The students must all attend morning and evening arati and classes. If we follow this simple program along with regular sankirtana, distributing the books and preaching, then there will be no fall down. Just like if one keeps himself clean and properly nourished by eating regularly, he will not infect disease, but if there is neglect, then there is room for infection, he becomes weak and fall prey to disease. So Krishna consciousness is the medicine for the material disease, and chanting Hare Krishna mantra sincerely is the basic ingredient of that medicine. (Letter to: Cakravarti — New Delhi 2 December, 1975)
5. Interviewer: Did you work out the spiritual disciplines for the group yourself? I mean about the morning chanting and the recital of the two thousand Hare Kåñëas a day and… Did you work those out yourself?…
Prabhupäda: No, this is the disciplic process.
Interviewer: Yes, who originated those steps?
Prabhupäda: It is since time immemorial. Just like in the Bhagavad-gétä you’ll find, satataà kértayanto mäà yatantaç ca dåòha-vratäù [Bg. 9.14].
satataà kértayanto mäà
yatantaç ca dåòha-vratäù
namasyantaç ca mäà bhaktyä
“Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion.” [Bg. 9.14]
Prabhupäda: So this was spoken five thousand years ago and we are doing the same thing. Now your answer is there, it is not that I invented something.
Interviewer: Yes, you didn’t invent it, I get the point, that it derives from the Vedic scriptures.
Prabhupäda: Whatever we are doing, it is authorized. That is the principle for spiritual understanding. (Interview with Religious Editor of the Associated Press — July 16, 1976, New York)
6. Äcärya means he must show by example. Äpani äcari bhakti çikhäimu sabäre. (Morning Walk — December 5, 1973, Los Angeles)
7. And for a devotee, one who is actually pure devotee of Kåñëa, he is sa guëän samatétyaitän [Bg. 14.26]. Not that a tiny devotee can claim that he has overcome the influence of this world. No. This is called paramahaàsa. Sa guëän samatétyaitän [Bg. 14.26]. Not that because you have taken to devotional…, you have become immediately. The process has begun immediately, curing process. But we should not think that we have become perfect. That is wrong. Yajïa-däna-tapaù-karma na tyäjyam. Therefore you must follow the regulative principles. As soon as you become a rascal—”Now I have become advanced. I don’t require to chant sixteen rounds. I can do whatever I like”—then he has gone to hell. Upstart, immediately he becomes paramahaàsa. He’s a rascal… Therefore amongst the devotees, there are three grades: kaniñöha-adhikäré, madhyama-adhikäré, and uttama-adhikäré. So if the kaniñöha-adhikäré thinks that “I have become uttama-adhikäré,” then he’s a rascal. He’s a rascal. If he wants to imitate the uttama-adhikäré, then he’s a rascal. (Morning Walk — February 4, 1976, Mäyäpura)
8. But a guru, although he is paramahaàsa, because he is teaching, he come down as madhyama-adhikäré. There are three kinds of Vaiñëava: kaniñöha adhikäré, madhyama adhikäré and uttama adhikäré. Uttama adhikäré may be without kunti, without çikhä, without Vaiñëava symptoms. He’s paramahaàsa. But when he comes to the preaching platform he must become a madhyama adhikäré, not to imitate uttama adhikäré, because he has to teach. He cannot deviate from the teaching principles. So what you are speaking, that “Without çikhä without kunti, one can become guru,” that is fact for the paramahaàsa, not for the preacher. Preacher must behave very nicely. (Lecture: Çré Caitanya-caritämåta, Madhya-lélä 8.128 — Bhubanesvara, January 24, 1977)
9. So the future of this Krishna Consciousness movement is very bright, so long the managers remain vigilant that 16 rounds are being chanted by everyone without fail, that they are all rising before four morning, attending mangal arati. (Letter to: Karandhara — Bombay 22 December, 1972)
10. You must rise early (before 4:00 AM), attend the mangala arati, attend the classes, chant at least 16 good rounds daily, and observe the four basic principles. These things you must do without fail otherwise, there is no question of spiritual life. (Letter to: Caranaravinda — Mayapur 2 April, 1975)
11. Everyone should attend the class, rise early in the morning, attend maìgala-ärati. (Çrémad-Bhägavatam 7.12.3 Lecture by Srila Prabhupada — Bombay, April 14, 1976)
12. That is the test. Yes. One who cannot rise early in the morning, he is not spiritually serious. (Room Conversation — December 13, 1970, Indore)
13. Sannyasi simply means to do as I am doing, and sometimes I have to manage, sometimes cook, sometimes go to the bank, keep the money, write books, chant, preach in the class, keep accounts–sannyasi should be expert in every department. (Letter to: Satsvarupa — Vrindaban 5 November, 1972)
14. So I am very much pleased upon you for your kindly guiding and training the new devotees in so many ways. Yes, if you simply instruct them as I have taught also you, being yourself always the perfect example and above suspicion, that will act with great force. I am doing that. And I wanted to make some sannyasis to do what I am doing, and if you keep the standard, always chanting Hare Krishna, then it will go on continuously without impediment. That is your duty as sannyasa, to keep yourself always above suspicion in Krishna Consciousness programme, and to teach others to become like you, that’s all. That is our perfect programme. (Letter to: Sudama — Bombay 23 December, 1972)
15. Jayadeva das (UK) from “I Never Knew You”
16. (Srila Prabhupada Uvaca; 62. By Srutikirti dasa Adhikari)
17. In the discussions held among the four brothers, one of them, namely Sanandana, was selected to speak, and the other brothers became the audience to hear him. (Krishna Book 87: Prayers by the Personified Vedas)
18. You must see that they strictly follow the regulative principles, the four prohibitions as well as the devotional practices of arising early, taking morning bath, putting on tilaka, attending mangal arati, chanting japa 16 rounds, and attending Srimad Bhagavatam class. This is the duty of all my initiated disciples, whether they are big or they are small. Actually in our movement there is no such thing as big or small. Everyone is a devotee. So everyone is expected to follow the devotional practices. Here in Vrindaban I am enjoying my disciples how they are speaking. So two times daily everyone must attend the classes. During the morning and evening times there should be no business, simply kirtana, chant, dance, and be purified. Do not be paramahamsa that now I haven’t got to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita. Don’t be a better paramahamsa than your Guru Maharaja. I go and sit and I enjoy the lectures and how they are performing kirtana. So as I am doing, you must also do. (Letter to: Gopijanavallabha — Vrindaban 19 September, 1974)
19. In the great assembly of saintly personalities, there was Vyäsadeva the brahmarñi, Närada the devarñi, Paraçuräma the great ruler of the kñatriya kings, etc. Some of them were powerful incarnations of the Lord. Çukadeva Gosvämé [the speaker] was not known as brahmarñi, räjarñi or devarñi, nor was he an incarnation like Närada, Vyäsa or Paraçuräma. (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.19.30 Purport)
20. satäà prasaìgän mama vérya-saàvido
bhavanti håt-karëa-rasäyanäù kathäù
taj-joñaëäd äçv apavarga-vartmani
çraddhä ratir bhaktir anukramiñyati
SYNONYMS: satäm—of pure devotees; prasaìgät—through the association; mama—My; vérya—wonderful activities; saàvidaù—by discussion of; bhavanti—become; håt—to the heart; karëa—to the ear; rasa-ayanäù—pleasing; kathäù—the stories; tat—of that; joñaëät—by cultivation; äçu—quickly; apavarga—of liberation; vartmani—on the path; çraddhä—firm faith; ratiù—attraction; bhaktiù—devotion; anukramiñyati—will follow in order.
TRANSLATION: In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin. (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.25.25 Spoken by Lord Kapiladeva)
21. You must see that they strictly follow the regulative principles, the four prohibitions as well as the devotional practices of arising early, taking morning bath, putting on tilaka, attending mangal arati, chanting japa 16 rounds, and attending Srimad Bhagavatam class. This is the duty of all my initiated disciples, whether they are big or they are small. Actually in our movement there is no such thing as big or small. Everyone is a devotee. So everyone is expected to follow the devotional practices. Here in Vrindaban I am enjoying my disciples how they are speaking. So two times daily everyone must attend the classes. During the morning and evening times there should be no business, simply kirtana, chant, dance, and be purified. Do not be paramahamsa that now I haven’t got to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita. Don’t be a better paramahamsa than your Guru Maharaja. I go and sit and I enjoy the lectures and how they are performing kirtana. So as I am doing, you must also do. (Letter to: Gopijanavallabha — Vrindaban 19 September, 1974)
22. “Arjuna, when he was fighting the battle of Kuruksetra, he did not chant his 16 rounds. When you are fighting a battle, where is the time to chant your rounds?”(Srila Prabhupada speaking: Prabhupada Uvaca 49: Sruti Kirti dasa)
23. There is no question of your falldown. Chant 16 rounds regularly and no power in all three worlds will make you fall down. Krishna will save you always.( Letter to: Himavati — London 19 August, 1971)
24. When I had only been in the movement for a few weeks Srila Prabhupada personally drove home the point about chanting rounds like a thunderbolt. It was 1970 in the Los Angeles temple. His Divine Grace while seated on his vyasasana decided to do a spot check to see if all of his disciples present were chanting their prescribed number of rounds each day. One brahmacari confessed he wasn’t on account of his working very hard and sleeping only four hours nightly. Srila Prabhupada replied forcefully, “Then sleep two hours– but you must finish sixteen rounds every day!” (His Divine Grace, by Danavir Goswami)
25. Just like Arjuna, he was not a Vedantist, he was not a brähmaëa, he was not a sannyäsé. He was householder. He was military man. But he knew his business, how to do it nicely. So you do your business nicely. That is expert. And when it is dovetailed in Kåñëa, there is no gradation that this business is better and that business is lower because everything is for Kåñëa. So that business becomes Kåñëa. Do it nicely and Kåñëa is satisfied. And that is your success. Avyäpare suvyaparam yo naraù kartum icchati, sa-mulo hanyate ’khila pärthiva vänaraù.(?) Expert. There is a very nice story in Sanskrit. A monkey. A monkey… You might have some experience, that sawmen, who cut wood? Sawmen. So a sawman was cutting wood by the saw. So at the end of business it was half cut so he pulled down a, I mean to say, a plug so that next day he will come and he’ll again begin sawing. So went away. So one monkey came. So monkey sat down there and began to pull on the plug because monkey’s business is simply mischievous. So he did not know that some portion of his thigh was within the hole and when he took out this plug it was, (claps) I mean to say, clipped, and he could not get out and died. So the instruction is that… ’Khila pärthiva vänaraù, vyäpare suvyaparam. Avyäpara means a occupation, an occupation which is not fit for you. That is avyäpara. Avyäpara-suvyaparam. And one occupation which is not exactly fitting you, you do not know how to do it, so avyäpare suvyaparam yo kartu… If one wants to act in a business in which he is unable to do, then he is killed just like this fool monkey. Avyäpare suvyaparam yo naraù kartum icchati, sa-mulo hanyate. That foolish person is killed just like this monkey. The monkey’s business was not to imitate the sawman, but he wanted to imitate. The result was that he was killed. So that is not expertness. Expertness is you just try to do which is easily performed by you. You don’t accept anything heavy task because Kåñëa does not want that you have to do this heavy task. Whatever you know, you just apply it. (Room Conversation — July 16, 1968, Montreal)
26. Out of many such Vaiñëavas, one may be found to be very seriously engaged in the service of the Lord and strictly following all the regulative principles, chanting the prescribed number of rounds on japa beads and always thinking of how to expand the Kåñëa consciousness movement. Such a Vaiñëava should be accepted as an uttama-adhikäré, a highly advanced devotee, and his association should always be sought. (Nectar of Instruction 5)
27. So the future of this Krishna Consciousness movement is very bright, so long the managers remain vigilant that 16 rounds are being chanted by everyone without fail, that they are all rising before four morning, attending mangal arati–our leaders shall be careful not to kill the spirit of enthusiastic service, which is individual and spontaneous and voluntary.(Letter to: Karandhara — Bombay 22 December, 1972)
28. His spiritual master had said that anyone who didn’t chant sixty-four rounds a day was fallen. At first some of the boys thought that they would also have to chant sixty-four rounds, and they became perplexed: that would take all day! How could you go to a job if you had to chant sixty-four rounds? How could anyone chant sixty-four rounds? Then someone said Swamiji had told him that thirty-two rounds a day would be a sufficient minimum for the West. Wally said he had heard Swamiji say twenty-five—but even that seemed impossible. Then Prabhupäda offered the rock-bottom minimum: sixteen rounds a day, without fail. Whoever got initiated would have to promise. (Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta Volume 2. 19: Satsvarupa Goswami)
29. So we have to stick to these principles to keep ourselves on the transcendental platform, rising early in the morning, offer maìgala ärati, then gradually, one after another, attending class, guru-püjä, and so on, so on. (Lecture: Çrémad-Bhägavatam 6.1.61 — Våndävana, August 28, 1975)
30. Prabhupäda: So in every center they must rise early in the morning. They must follow the regulative principles. They must attend class. Otherwise let them go out. We don’t want. (Room Conversation — November 25, 1975, Delhi)
31. The man who cannot rise early in the morning and cannot take the brahminical principle, çüdra, kñatriya, vaiçya, he should be helped with the knowledge acquired by the brähmaëa. (Room Conversation with Banker — September 21, 1973, Bombay)
32. Äcärya, you have heard the name äcärya. Äcärya means he teaches by personal behavior. Just like I teach you, “no intoxication.” So if I am addicted to intoxication and if I say that “You don’t take any intoxication,” then who will care for me? This is therefore äcära. Äcärati. Practically you have to behave; then you can preach. Otherwise you cannot become äcärya. Äcärya means one who practices the äcära and then teaches. He is äcärya. So äcära. Na çaucaà näpi cäcäro na satyam. Satyam means truthfulness. He is preaching something and doing something. That is not truthfulness. (Lecture; Bhagavad-gétä 16.7 — Hyderabad, December 15, 1976)
33. So I do not think the leaders are themselves following, nor they are seeing the others are following strictly. That must be rectified at once. (Letter to: Karandhara — Bombay 22 December, 1972)