“Throughout his life a brahmana should consider material prestige to be like poison and dishonor to be like nectar. After all, if one learns to tolerate dishonor, then his agitation will subside and he will happily sleep, happily wake, and happily move about. The person who insults him will as a result of his sin become embarrassed, and his happiness in this and the next life will be vanquished.”
I was working in the Soviet army. I spend quite some years also in the Afghanistan war. It was so nasty experience that I wanted to orient myself to more peaceful atmosphere. So I joined the Moscow Institute that trains KGB staff. Of course it is not publicly known to be in that function. I chose the justice line, for to become some spy in the foreign countries did not fit with my mind either.
Once I had a discussion with one of my friends. He was a son of a highly placed KGB man. His father was a captain for a boat that was 'exporting goods'. Actually they were transporting weapons. My friend's father was involved in bringing weapons to Vietnam and also participated in the conflicts in Egypt and in Greece.
It's Krsna's mercy that there is this a time of the year thoughout the world when people receive gifts from their friends and loved ones. This fits in nicely with our Vaisnava culture because we are all about giving.
Giving the highest gift: knowledge about Krsna. There is nothing better that people can receive than this, for this is what everyone is looking for.
Because people are in maya, they don't know they want it, but a pure devotee like Srila Prabhupada knows what is best for them. Therefore he said, "If you want to please me, distribute my books."
He knew that the Krsna consciousness found in his books will give people the happiness they search for.
We have sambandha-jnana. Are we always remembering Krishna? What's the missing ingredient? The missing ingredient is what Dhruva has that we don't have: a grateful heart. He realizes where he was before, where he is now, and how it happened. It happened by the spiritual energy of the Personality of Godhead through His various representatives, which Dhruva very enthusiastically received and acted upon. He is feeling extremely grateful.
Adapted from a lecture by His Holiness Romapada Swami on the Prayers of Dhruva Maharaja (Part 2), given in Hyderabad in November 2005.
You flirt with maya, you get in trouble. Don't flirt with maya. Stay very strict. Stay near the trunk of the tree. Stay in line with the instructions of the spiritual master, and you will be protected.
Adapted from a lecture by His Holiness Romapada Swami on SB 5.8.1-11 entitled Pastimes of Bharata Maharaja Part 2, in Vrindavan in March 2011.
Q. When we are in a mood of surrender, is it possible to spiritualize all activities that do not break the four regulative principles? I ask because I am a student at a University, and am seeking to engage in my studies with a mood of service. While it is indirect service, what should be the appropriate mindset towards secular schooling?