Be Straight and Open
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Do you have any questions?
Question: I have some land and a cow. I am thinking to sell the milk and try to do some business with the dairy, and I am a little worried whether it is good for my spiritual life or not.
If you have a cow in your land, you can serve the cow and use some of the milk to make paramanna (sweet rice), to make sweets for the Deities, and if you sometimes also sell that milk and use the money you get for the service to your Guru and Vaishnavs, what is the problem? We are not nirvises-vadis, we are not renunciates, we are not yogis, we are not tyagis—we are servitors. We must be servitors, we are not renunciates. If you use the cow for your own enjoyment, to do your own business, that is not good, but if you serve cows and use their milk for service and sometimes also sell milk for the service to Krishna, it is not bad. For example, in our temple also sometimes there is much milk—we do not throw the milk away, we sell it and use the money from selling the milk to buy the cows' food or for some other services of our Gurudev. What is the problem? But if you sell the cow to buy a new one, that is a little bit difficult because they will buy your cow and kill it. That is not good.
Question: What should be the attitude of the devotees living in the temple towards those living outside the temple?
Actually, it does not matter who lives in the house and who lives in the temple—both a sannyasi or a brahmachari living in the temple and a householder can be a devotee. Sriman Mahaprabhu told also,
গৃহী হউক ত্যাগী হউক ভক্তে ভেদ নাই ।
grhi ha-uka tyagi ha-uka bhakte bheda nai
"There is no difference between devotees—be they householders or renunciants. If someone makes distinctions between them, they go to the hell of boiling oil (kumbhipaka)."
(Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, 17.22)
It does not matter whether one is a householder or a sannyasi—sometimes, even a grihastha devotees can live the paramahamsa life. In Srila Prabhupad's (Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur's) time, some householder devotees got much respect from others—sometimes even sannyasis paid their full obeisance to some householder devotees. I have heard about it from Gurudev. But what should be the devotional activities, what should be the attitude, what should be the behaviour—that must clear, and that must be proper.
Anyone who is pure can serve the Deities with faith ("sraddhaya sri murtir sevan")—even a sannyasi can do it, even a grihastha can do it, even a brahmachari can do it, even a vanaprastha can do it. It is not our line to discriminate between those who are householders and those who live in the temple. This is jealousy, and it is not good. If somebody thinks, "Oh, I live in the temple, so I am very big, I am greater than he"—this is not correct. That is not devotion. That is ati-badi conception. You know, in Mahaprabhu's time there was an ati-badi sampradaya. They think they are very (ati) big (badi), but they have no devotion. A devotee is the one who has humility, and it can be even a householder, a brahmachari, a sannyasi, anyone. Everybody must follow the rules and regulations, even householder devotees, even brahmacharis.
Sometimes Sriman Mahaprabhu also explained what is called vaishnavata, qualities of a Vaishnav. Their mind will always be simple, their heart will always be open—that is Vaishnavata. It is not good to have a crooked ('zigzag') mind or heart.
Also, Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur writes,
"ksane dante trna laya, ksane jathi mare
"Sometimes he takes a straw in his teeth, and sometimes he beats with a stick. Therefore this straw-stick holder cannot see Me."
prabhu bale,—"o beta yakhana yatha yaya
The Lord said, "Wherever this fellow goes, he mingles with the persons there and speaks like one of them."
bhakti-sthane uhara haila aparadha
"He has committed an offense against devotional service. Therefore he cannot see Me."
(Sri Chaitanya-bhagavata, Madhya-khanda, 10.185, 188, 192)
A khar-jhatiya means sometimes you are humble—you put a piece of grass in your mouth and say, "I am a cow,"—and sometimes you give somebody a slap! Mahaprabhu says sometimes you go to one place, somebody says, "This conception is good," and you agree, "Yes, yes"; then you go to another place, there somebody says other things, and you again agree, "Yes, that is also good!" It means you have no conception—you mix with everybody. Such mentality is not devotion.
nacha, gao, bhakta-sange kara sankirtana
"Dance, chant and perform sankirtan in the association of devotees, go out and preach about the chanting of Krishna-nam—by this process You will be able to deliver all fallen souls."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila, 7.92)
Sing, chant, and dance with devotees, go out to distribute the Holy Name in the world, distribute your pamphlets, giving people Krishna-nam upades (advise people to chant the Holy Name). OK?
Hari bol! Hari bol!
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