The Eyes to See, the Heart to Feel
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Question: Do we have to give up (renounce) everything?
Not renounce—bhog tyag, tyag tyag (ভোগ ত্যাগ, ত্যাগ ত্যাগ)—you must renounce renunciation; you must renounce what you renounce something for [renounce the cause of renouncing]. This is Prabhupad Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur's phrase—bhog tyag, tyag tyag. You must renounce enjoyment (bhog) and you must renounce renunciation (tyag). It is very nicely put. But for service of the Lord, for the service of your Guru you can do everything.
Question: How can one recognise when somebody has Krishna-prema?
How to recognise it? You must have good spectacles for that. You are wearing the spectacles of kama (lust), but to recognise Krishna-prema you must wear the spectacles of prema (divine, transcendental love). If you have Krishna-prema, you can recognise Krishna-prema—if you have love and affection for the Lord, then you will be able to recognise who has love and affection for the Lord. Otherwise, if you are wearing the spectacles of kama (other desires), you will not be able to see anything.
Srila Prabhupad gave an example. Suppose somebody studies at university—at university, boys and girls sit together, talk to each other, etc.; and suppose a cowherd boy is grazing cows and talking with some girls—this is not the same. Or like in India, when we chant and dance, somebody outside can say, "Oh, they are very needy and poor people, they have no food and cannot sleep all night, that is why they are chanting and dancing!" or people criticise us saying, "Oh, they are drinking whisky, and dancing and chanting all night!" They see what we are doing in another way. Even when I tell people about jive prema (Mahaprabhu called it "jive daya"), they cannot understand what it is.
So, those who have no power, they cannot enter this line, they cannot understand this line, and they cannot understand what Krishna-prema is...
Question: How a devotee recognise a true senior devotee?
Whether somebody is senior or junior does not depend upon age. You can realise, or understand, who is senior through service, through sincerity, through chastity. If you are a sincere seeker and have chastity, you will be able to understand who is senior, who is junior. It does not depend upon age—whether somebody came to Krishna consciousness five years ago or twenty year ago, is not the question. Gurudev also said that somebody is a 5% devotee, somebody is a 10% devotee, somebody is a 20% devotee, somebody is a 50% devotee, etc.
At the market, if you buy something at a good price, you get good things, but if you buy something at a low price, you will get rotten things. This is not a matter of joke actually, is is necessary to understand it. Mahaprabhu said, "Sraddha-anusari bhakti-adhikari (শ্রদ্ধা-অনুসারী ভক্তি-অধিকারী): quality of devotion depends faith." (Cc, 2.22.64)" Those who have strong faith, who are steady, will get great devotion.
You can see also that Prahlad Maharaj was only five years old, but everybody would pay their full obeisance to him—Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswar (Siva), all demigods would give him their full obeisance! He is a five-year-old boy, but everybody is giving him their full obeisance!
Prahlad Maharaj's time was very long ago, I can also give an example from Kali-yuga. In Mahaprabhu's time, Advaita Prabhu had a son called Achyutananda. One day, when Mahaprabhu came to Advaita Prabhu's house, Achyutananda asked his father,
"Who is this man? He has no hair, His head is shaved..."
"He is the son of Jagannath Misra. Before, His name was Nimai, and now He has taken sannyas from Keshav Bharati and His name is Sri Krishna Chaitanya," replied Advaita Prabhu.
"What?! But He is the Guru of the entire universe! Who can be His Guru?" asked Achyutananda.
Hearing this, Mahaprabhu laughed and asked Advaita Prabhu, "Who is the son here and who is the father?"
Advaita Prabhu admitted, "Yes, today I am the son and he is my father."
There was also another pastime. Mahaprabhu Himself said, "I will not give initiation to anybody," but how did five-year-old Kavi Karnapur, Sivananda's son, take initiation? He used his intelligence and he had got mercy from Mahaprabhu. One day, Mahaprabhu said to that boy, "Say, 'Hare Krishna!'" The boy said nothing. Mahaprabhu said again, "Hey, say, 'Hare Krishna!'" but he again said nothing. Then, Mahaprabhu asked the devotees present there, "When I went through the jungle Jharikhanda, even tigers and deer chanted Hare Krishna, but this boy is not chanting Hare Krishna! What has happened?" Then, Swarup Damodar, Raya Ramananda answered,
"Prabhu, he has already become Your disciple..."
"How is this possible?"
"You told him to chant Hare Krishna, so he has already taken the mantra from You, and he cannot say this mantra again in front of You, his Guru. You have made him Your disciple."
"Yes, maybe..." said Mahaprabhu shyly.
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