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Tolerance is the Essence of Bhakti

Verse Number
BG 10.10

Submissive mood - The whole spiritual science forces us to be very humble. Unless we forget our ego, which is a great obstruction between us and Kṛṣṇa, we cannot proceed on the spiritual path. Our Lord Himself is very humble. You know He had a friend. His name was Sudama. And he was very poor. Sudama was very poor brahmin. So his wife was tired of the poverty. So one day the wife of Sudama, suggested Sudama that, "you know Kṛṣṇa and He is very rich king of Dwaraka. So you better go and see Him. So that He may give you something and our poverty will disappear." So Sudama agreed to go to Kṛṣṇa. Then Kṛṣṇa was his friend because they were both in the same class. So He was a school friend, mate. And because He was a friend, so he thought that if He will see the friend, and see what comes out. So when a friend goes to see a friend he must give some present to him. But Sudama was so very poor that he could not get any present. So some how or other his wife went to the neighbouring house and got some chipped rice, handful of chipped rice just tied in a torn cloth and Sudama took that bundle and went to Kṛṣṇa. When he approached the palace of Kṛṣṇa, the guards thought that, "this madman, where is he going?" So he asked guards that, you tell Kṛṣṇa that His friend Sudama has come to see Him. So guards went inside and informed Kṛṣṇa that, "your friend Sudama has come." 

That time Kṛṣṇa was taking rest. So He immedieately got up and went to the main door. And He saw His friend and embraced him. So everybody was surprised that what is Bhagavan doing you know, what is God doing? Big King embracing a beggar you know? So He took him inside and forced Sudama to sit on His bed stead. And He asked His queens to bring the hot water, scented water and flowers. So that He can wash the feet of His friend. This is the way Lord is very humble. 

 He is such a big person, the Supreme Absolute Truth. Nobody can equalise Him. Nobody can be higher than Him and He wanted to respected His friend, not by mere words, but by bathing his feet. This is the way, the Vedic culture, forces us to be very humble and Krishna by His own behaviour has shown that He is very humble and that's why Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the third verse of His Sikshastakam - we daily recite that verse. What is that verse? third verse from Sikshastakam?    

Devotee: (inaudible)

Maharaj: Very good. Come on. Loudly..I can't hear you. Please come hear. Loudly yes.


tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā
amāninā māna-dena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ

Maharaj: Yes. translation ?

Devotee: One should be more tolerant than a tree devoid of all false prestige and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind, one can chant the Holy Names of the Lord constantly.

Gurudev: the translation. Hey! You are Guru, Ah! You can be a Guru of Marundera. (Gurudev and devotees laugh) what is your name? 

Devotee: (not audible)

Gurudev: Ah!

Devotee: (not audible)

Gurudev: California? (Gurudev and devotees laugh). What is it? 

Devotee: Clifford

Gurudev: Clifford, I thought it was California. We will call you California. (Gurudev laughs). Anyway there is a Ka, means Kṛṣṇa. There is Kli, Ka, Ka in your name. So means Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa was your colour you know. Blackish blue, Very beautiful, like you. Very nice, nice to hear the translation. 

There are three conditions kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ means we have to chant Kṛṣṇa's names sadā, always. And how to chant always, unless we fulfill these three conditions, we cannot chant. It's very clear. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is very clear. 

Number one, condition number one is tṛṇād api su-nīcena, much more humble than the blade of grass. On the grass we walk, it never screams, it tolerates. And we should be more humble than that. This is the first condition and we saw that our Kṛṣṇa Himself is very humble. Otherwise who will wash the feet of beggar friend? Nobody will do it. But Lord has shown by His own behaviour how to behave. If you want to remember Lord continously and constantly, then we must be much more humble tham the blade of grass. This is the first condition.

Then second condition what is it? taror api sahiṣṇunā, what is the meaning? taror api sahiṣṇunā, taru means tree. More tolerant than the tree. Here the sunshine is very powerful. Sun is very burning. The tree takes all the sun on its head and gives the equal shade to everybody. Wether the child or small or big man or a rich man or poor man, criminal or a learned sage. It doesn't differentiate. Any colour black, brown or blue, white, any colour, or a man or lady, anybody goes on under a tree, it will get the equal shade. And tree tolerates the sun on its head. This is how we should behave that we should take all the hardships on our head. We should tolerate and give a very nice soothing shelter to anybody who comes to take shelter of us without discrimination. And not only human beings but the dog goes under a tree it also gets very nice shade, cow goes it gets nice shade, hen goes gets nice shade. It doesn't differentiate. This is how when we become tolerant, more tolerant than the tree then we can chant Kṛṣṇa's names. And there is another thing to be understood in the toleration of the tree. If you hit it, suppose it is a mango tree and if you hit it with a stone, then it will give you a mango. If somebody hits you with the stone Clifford, what you will do? You will run after him with two stones. (Gurudev and devotees laugh). This tree doesn't do that. Somebody hits the tree and you will give them the fruit. You carry fruits with you okay. Clifford, did you understand? You have to be more tolerant than the tree. So if somebody hits you, you have to give them the fruit. Aye! You understand? Jai!! (Gurudev laughs). More tolerant than that. 

What happened once there was a king in Maharastra and his name was Shivaji. So it so happenend that in one of the villages there was a lady and she had three, four children. So she could not feed the children from three, four days. So she wanted to go to the forest and get some mangoes from there, so that she can feed the children. So she went to the forest and it so happenend accidentally  that the king was also riding on his horse in the same forest. And she went to the tree and she wanted to hit the tree so that she can get the mangoes to feed her children. And accidentally it so happenend that king Shivaji was riding the horse and he was also under the same tree. So the same time she hit the tree and the stone hit the turban of Shivaji. Oh! God, the soldiers were very angry, "how can she hit our king you know". So they arrested her. They arrested her and put her into the prison. 

Next day Shivaji went to the court and he thought that, "the lady would not hit me you know unneccessarily. She must have some reason. So that's why she must have hit me on my head". So he called her and asked her, "What was the reason you hit me with the stone?" So she told the truth that, " I wanted to have few mangoes for my children who are hungry. Since last three four days, I could not feed them. So I wanted to have some fruits so that I can feed my children. But it so happenend that unluckily, accidently that it hit the tree and instead of hitting the tree the stone fell down on your turban. It was not my intention." 

So Shivaji was very noble king. So he thought, "it is correct if she would have hit the tree. The tree would have given her mango. So I'm much better than a tree. I'm much better than tree so I must give her more than the tree, more than the fruits." So Shivaji in  the end gave her 10 bhiga land, 10 acres of land and 10,000 rupees and told her that,  "you till the land feed your children eternally." This is the tolerance. We have to tolerate in our lifetime, we have to tolerate. Particularly in the married life the husband has to tolerate the wife, wife has to tolerate the husband. If they don't tolerate then there is separation from divorces and this and that and that and that. So many things, family breaks if there is no tolerance. We have to. To be a devotee we must be very humble, more humble than the grass, blade of grass and much more tolerant than the tree. This is 2nd condition. 

And the 3rd condition is, what is it 3rd line, ya! Yes! Yes dhoti man

Devotee: amāninā māna-dena

Gurudev: amāninā māna-dena, ( Gurudev laughs). You know dhoti man is in a chimpanzee's dress today. (Gurudev and devotees laugh). Look like a chimpanzee. ( Gurudev laughs). So you enjoy chimpanzee's dress you know (Gurudev laughs). You have 1st class dhoti you can put on. You didn't go home?  Aye! It's dirty. You could have washed it. There was no sun today. So couldn't dry anyway? Now tomorrow try. So amāninā māna-dena, we have to respect others and we don't have to expect any respect for ourselves. And this we will escape all the inebrieties. And as soon as we escape then our mind is free to engage in Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa's topics.These are the three conditions we must fulfill. What is it Arjuna, 1st condition?

Devotee: (not audible)

Gurudev: We must be more humble than the blade of grass. And then 2nd condition, taror iva sahiṣṇunā, yes? Neighbour of Clifford? Yes you. 

Devotee: (not audible) 

Gurudev: Pardon

Devotee: (not audible)

Gurudev: Tolerant than the tree. Very good. You are all Gurus man, you are not disciples. You are Gurus. What is your name? 

Devotee: (not audible)

Gurudev: Bhajan (devotees laugh)

Devotee: (not audible)

Gurudev: Ah! Bhajan

Devotee: Roger

Gurudev: Roger, Roger. I thought it was Bhajan. (Gurudev laughs) So and the 3rd one, amāninā māna-dena, we don't expect any respect for ourselves and we are ready to offer respect to others. Kṛṣṇa did not expect any respect from Sudama, his beggar friend. But He gave all the respects to him. This is how Kṛṣṇa demonstrates or teaches apni āchāri prabhu jivera sikhāya, apni āchari, we should put into practice and then we try to preach. Without putting into practice you cannot preach. If you want to preach, you must reach. You must do it in your life and then people will see and then follow. This is the easiest way to come to Bhagavad Gita. Once you cultivate these three qualities. In the beginning, we will have to force ourselves, then we become habituated to follow these things. In the beginning we have to force these things. We have to force, to get up early in the morning. We have to force to come to the temple. We have to force ourselves to chant Kṛṣṇa's names. And then slowly it becomes our nature. Now suppose tomorrow, you don't have any place to go to, you will not like it. In your area, you will go to some house and start bhajan or kirtan. This is how we get habituated to it. We have to get up early in the morning. It doesn't matter whether this place is available or not or any place is available. We don't worry at all. But daily in our house, outside the house, whenever we are free from the material duties, we engage ourselves in Kṛṣṇa's topics. And that is the meaning of mat-cittāḥ, mat-cittāḥ, mac-cittā mad-gata-prāṇā. 

And then whatever activities we do, part of our earnings has to be given to Kṛṣṇa. And the easiest way is that daily we eat something. We cannot stay without eating. We are eating daily. So please buy bhoga for Kṛṣṇa. Don't buy for you. Think that you are going to offer it to Kṛṣṇa. And then go and buy the things from the market. Just change of consciouness will help you, yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ, yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo, yajna means sacrifice and the greatest sacrifice in Kali yuga is sankirtan yajna. The chanting of Kṛṣṇa's names is the greatest sacrifice. And yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo, when we offer the food to Kṛṣṇa, He doesn't want anything. He is not after your bread or Chappati. He has plenty of it. He supplies everybody. He is known as bhuta-brt, all the living entities are maintained by Him. So He doesn't require anything from us. But to show our devotion to Him we offer everything to Him. So buy the fruits for Him, buy the wheat flour for Him, prepare nice, nice cooked food for Kṛṣṇa and then offer it with loving devotion to Him. yo me bhaktyā prayacchati, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ, yo me bhaktyā prayacchati, with devotion whatever you offer to Me, tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam, aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ, tad means that food or that thing we offer, whatever we offer to Kṛṣṇa, bhakty-upahṛtam, under your devotional service I accept it.

When we were children I had funny idea that only the prasadam could be offered to Kṛṣṇa, nothing else. So daily we were, our mother was preparing nice food and then she will nicely decorate the thali and force us to take it to the altar. So we were just going there. We were very hungry. We wanted to eat. Many times we were very angry with the mother that she forces us to take to the altar this, five minutes late again. So, but we somehow or the other we went and offered all, always you know. So one day what happenend that my father got me a new dhoti. So with new dhoti I was very pleased you know that now new dhoti is there. So I thought I will go home and show my mother, my mother will be pleased to see the new dhoti. So I went running home. And I said, "Mother I have new dhoti which my father has bought". Instead of she being happy she told that, "go and offer it to Kṛṣṇa". I was so very upset with her. I said, "what your Kṛṣṇa has to do with my dhoti?" ( Gurudev and devotees laugh). She couldn't explain you know but everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa and everything has got to be offered to Kṛṣṇa. That was vedic tradition. And it was the tradition in our house that whatever we bring, we offer it to Kṛṣṇa. And take it back as prasad, as His mercy. He doesn't want to keep our dhotis. He has plenty of dhotis and He doesn't put on white dhotis, always puts on yellow, ambar, you know silkish yellow. He doesn't want this cotton dhotis. So He gives us back, being purna, completely satisfied He doesn't want to keep anything Himself but we are very much satisfied to accept the things from Him as His mercy. And those things mucyante sarva kilbiṣaiḥ, those things liberate us from all the miseries of the Kali yuga. yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ, kilbiṣaiḥ means all sinful activities of Kaliyuga. It liberates us from all the sinful reactions.

 And as soon as we are liberated from the sinful reactions, then our mind is free to engage in the discussion of the Supreme Absolute Truth Kṛṣṇa. And then try to understand what is the meaning of mac-cittā mad-gata-prāṇā, our lives are devoted to Him. Whatever we are doing, you think of your activity. You may be working in the store or you may be the owner of the store or you may be doing something else but everywhere you are using Kṛṣṇa's energy. There are five great elements yesterday we saw. We are using the land or we are using the corn grown out of the land. Or we are using some manufactured goods, or we are using cotton or cloth or this or that. We are using all these things coming from Kṛṣṇa. Your activities are also going on because Kṛṣṇa is merciful. Otherwise He will stop your activities. So whatever we earn, whatever we get it is Kṛṣṇa's. And we have to purify our earnings. That is the main thing. And that is how whatever you buy, you buy for Kṛṣṇa. You offer it to Him. And accept it back as His mercy. This is known as mac-cittā, then your mind will always be Kṛṣṇaised. At the, at the moment, our mind is full of material things. This material consciouness has got to be raised to the spiritual consciouness. And it is very easy. By just chanting

Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

we can do it. And this us how our mind should also be engaged mac-cittā mad-gata-prāṇā, our life is devoted to Him. And as soon as every second you remember Kṛṣṇa, then whenever you open your mouth the preaching will come out. Suppose you meet your friend then you preach to him, bodhayantaḥ parasparam, it is the 2nd line. bodhayantaḥ, means "you preach". parasparam means "each other." This is how repeat two lines. mac-cittā mad-gata-prāṇā

Devotees: mac-cittā mad-gata-prāṇā

(Gurudev recites the verse 10.10 from Bhagavad Gita beautifully and devotees repeat.)

Gurudev: bodhayantaḥ, means preaching. As soon as our mind is always engaged in Kṛṣṇa, whenever your mouth opens the preaching will come out. We will always talk about Kṛṣṇa. And kathayantaś ca māṁ nityaṁ, and "always they talk about Me", instead of talking about other things which are completely temporary and full of misery. Other talks will put you in a risky position. In Bhagavatam very nice example is given that rainy season there are small ponds by the side of the road you know full of water, small ponds. And they are only for few days. As soon as there is water, the frogs come in. The frogs take birth in the water. And then in the evening praticularly when there is water, the frogs try to sing. They think that they are singing you know. Round, round, round they make sound. As soon as they start talking like this, the snake hears them and comes and eats them away. This is the result of useless talking. If you don't talk about Kṛṣṇa, the useless talk will force you to die early. As the frog tries to make the noise and the snake comes and eats it away, the same way if you talk nonsense, if you talk anything apart from Kṛṣṇa then the untime death is awaiting for you.  And that's why whenever we meet each other, we greet each other as Hare Kṛṣṇa. So our talk begins from Kṛṣṇa. So whatever follows is Kṛṣṇa. Hare Kṛṣṇa you tell first Hare Kṛṣṇa. And then whatever little talk you have to do, you do it. And it is all Kṛṣṇa's talk then and  this is how kathayantaś ca māṁ nityaṁ, and tuṣyanti ca ramanti ca. That tuṣyanti, that pleased, by Kṛṣṇa's talk we are pleased. And ramanti ca, you enjoy the transcendental bliss. You become completely blissful. With the God's talk, you become completely peaceful, blissful. With any other talk there is no bliss in our life. And these are few of the practical instructions. And this is the meaning of this verse. Please repeat again. 

Gurudev chants the verse again and devotees repeat: 

mac-cittā mad-gata-prāṇā bodhayantaḥ parasparam 
kathayantaś ca māṁ nityaṁ tuṣyanti ca ramanti ca

Gurudev chants the first catur sloki (verse 10.8) and devotees repeat:

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ

Gurudev chants the 2nd catur sloki (verse10.9) and devotees repeat: 

mac-cittā mad-gata-prāṇā bodhayantaḥ parasparam 
kathayantaś ca māṁ nityaṁ tuṣyanti ca ramanti ca

Gurudev: These are the two verses we have done. But knowing everything that Kṛṣṇa's name, these verses they are very important, we don't desire to come to this. There is no desire. There is no sincere desire. You know the reason for that? Why don't you want to do it?  You are very few today here. Otherwise if there is something else then we crowd together. But we don't want to come to God. You know it is very nicely described by Rupa Goswami that why we don't want to come to this. He said, syāt kṛṣṇa-nāma-caritādi-sitāpy avidya (NoI 7), syāt means very, kṛṣṇa-nāma, the names of Kṛṣṇa, caritā, the topics of Kṛṣṇa, syāt kṛṣṇa-nāma caritādi, topics etc., There are so many things about Kṛṣṇa to be known and studied. There is so many things to be studied. And it is like sita, sita means sugar candy. If you have sugar candy, you taste it from any corner and it will taste sweet. But avidya, we are ignorant. And about what? He has given a nice example in the 2nd line, pittopatapta-rasanasya na rocikā nu - pittopatapta, means we are suffering from jaundice. Those people who suffer from jaundice, (Talking to some devotee aside) what is it you are laughing man? Always I have to stay till you become quiet. You come blue shirt, you come further. You open your mouth, come, you see me, come a bit further. Come bit further, that's right. Don't create disturbance please till we are thinking about Vishnu. 

The, we are suffering from jaundice. You know our eyes become yellow. When we suffer from jaundice, the body becomes pale. The red blood vanishes, disappears and our blood also starts getting yellow. That is jaundice. And the jaundice disease spreads through the water. It's a risky disease and when there is a jaundice, when we are suffering from Jaundice, the sugarcane, which is very sweet, but if you, if you taste sugarcane, it will taste you bitter. Because you are suffering from Jaundice. Sugarcane is not bitter. Sugarcane is very sweet. But sugarcane is the medicine of jaundice. So if you continue eating sugarcane, then slowly the disease will decrease and then the disease decreases, you start tasting sugarcane sweet. This is our position. We are suffering from ignorance. We don't know the importance of Kṛṣṇa in our life. And that is the avidya, that is ignorance. But the names of Kṛṣṇa is the medicine for our, for our ignorance. So if you keep on chanting the names of Kṛṣṇa, then slowly your disease will decrease. And as the, your disease will decrease, then you will start relishing Kṛṣṇa's names. Please try to get rid of this disease.

Force your mind to engage in studying Bhagavad Gita as soon as possible. Daily at least you should study one verse. Keep one verse written in your pocket and wherever you have few minutes, you just go through it. And at the end of the day you will know one verse. Or at least in two days you will study one verse. And if you at all know in two days, in two days one verse, in 12 months you will have 180, 180 verses with you. And 180 verses means nearly five chapters from Bhagavad Gita. Please, try to study. By doing the studies you will have the knowledge. And as I told you yesterday there is a great responsibility on your shoulders. Your people are suffering unsurpassable sufferings, we see. It is unsurpassable suffering. And you also might be suffering some how or the other. By Kṛṣṇa's mercy you might have got job or something to eat or somewhere to stay, otherwise it is very difficult in these countries. The work is very difficult, staying is very difficult, the prices of the things are very high. So unless you come to Kṛṣṇa there is no other way. Please try to understand these things. There is no force. We cannot force.  We cannot guard you 24 hours a day. But please purify your existence. sattvam vishuddham vasudeva shabditam, unless sattva vishudha, unless your existence is extra purified you cannot understand Kṛṣṇa, cannot understand Vasudev. sattvam vishuddham vasudeva shabditam, unless your existence is purified you will not be able to concentrate on the study of the scriptures. Please try to get rid of unwanted habits. You are lucky to come to this place wherein nice, nice scriptures are there daily, nice knowledge is dissipated. There is nowhere place, like this nor in Marundera but no where in Harare or in Zimbabwe. This is the only place wherein we welcome you, we try to give you the knowledge free of charge, we don't charge you anything. 

 There are meditation centers. They are charging nearly one thousand dollars per hour in America and you go pay one thousand dollars to them and hold your nose and sit in front of them. They don't do anything. They just cut your money and enjoy themselves. This is the thing. Here there is no cheating and we are humbly requesting you to come to this point to study the scriptures and make your life perfect. Hare Kṛṣṇa. Do you want to ask anything? few minutes? Ah, you look nice with tilak! I see tilak on your forehead. What is your name? Ah! This dhoti man, man doesn't believe in tilak. I heard that you were in Durban for six months. So why did you leave your tilak? In Durban, what did you do in Durban? 

Devotee: (not audible)

Gurudev: Ah! Not to worry, it's alright. But please remember these things and follow these things. Have you anything to ask? Yes!

Devotee: (not audible)

Gurudev: what? What? 

Devotee: (not clear) 

Gurudev: Yes

Devotee continues: does not want to follow Kṛṣṇa. 

Gurudev: Yes

Devotee: (not audible)
Gurudev: Ah! The thing is you should start chanting mahamantra. Have you beads with you? These are beads you know. Have you? Have you beads like this? Then you get the bag and the beads and there is Kṛṣṇa bead. This is Kṛṣṇa bead and then you hold one bead after that and chant Mahamantra. You know Mahamantra? Ya! Yes! Chant please. 

Devotee: Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa

Gurudev: Hare Hare

Devotee: Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma  

Gurudev: Hare Hare

Gurudev: And then change bead again. And this is how continue for 108 times. And then you will complete one round. Start from one round. This is the beginning to follow Kṛṣṇa. And then slowly keep on coming to this place so that you will hear what to do more. Okay! But this is the beginning. So from today you should chant okay? Where are you staying? Are you in Marundera? Where are you working? 

Devotee: (not audible) 

Gurudev: Ah! That's very nice. You are very lucky. See your boss, he is in dhoti and nice kurta, nice tilak, see how nice he looks? And you also have a tilak. Very good!! Very nice!!! What is your name? 

Devotee: (not audible)

Gurudev: Ah!!! Thomas

Devotee: (not audible)

Gurudev: Soon you will change your name. You know, umm! Thomas is rubbish

(Devotees laugh)

Gurudev: Thomas is a beef eater name. We don't eat beef you know. So we will have nice Kṛṣṇa's names you know. Please Thomas, chant, start chanting okay. Stop eating meat as soon as possible. And slowly Kṛṣṇa will guide you. Your boss will guide you. Nice, nice Thomas. I will not forget, i will not forget you. Keep on coming. We are here for two days okay? Nice, nice very nice. Anything else? Jai! Yes, want to ask? This boy he was raising his hands. Anybody?  Hare Kṛṣṇa, All glories to Prabhupada ki, jai!!

Devotees: Jai!!!