Mahaprabhu has issued a general order, «Whomever you meet, talk with him only about Krishna.»

yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krsna’-upadesa
amara ajnaya guru hana tara’ ei desa

«Whomever you find, talk with him only about Krishna. In that case, I am your Guru.» Mahaprabhu has given this most broad and wide advice. The underlying feeling is, «Do relief work. All are in danger, acute danger. So, don’t consider so many minor things but go on with relief work and connect all fully with Krishna. The jaw of death is devouring them — save them! Now they are in the human species, but after death they may be lost in some other species. So, while their heads are on the surface, try to hold them; otherwise, they may dive deep into the inner current, and you won’t be able to see them. From the human species, they may go down to another species and be lost waiting there. There are so many different layers, but when they are floating, their heads are seen above the water, catch them, save them; otherwise, at the next moment they may go down under the water, and they will be lost without trace. So, wherever you find them, somehow connect them with Krishna. Try to give them that connection. It is so urgent: «Take the Name of Krishna — always! You can have no plea of, ‘I am taking food’ or ‘I am going to sleep’.»

Our Guru Maharaj wanted the continuous attempt. He said, «While taking food, or going to bed, doing anything or going anywhere, keep connection with Krishna. Only try to keep His connection.» Our connection with Krishna is so urgent. What a valuable life that is, and where are we? In the jaws of mortality! So, everyone needs to be saved. Save them. Do relief work. In this general activity, no specific order is necessary. It is a general thing; it is common sense in the devotional school, and by this process you will be helped yourself. You will be able to keep yourself from sinking just as by the movement of one’s hands and feet, one can keep himself floating on water. It is something like that. Kirtan will help you in that way. So, try to practise Krishna consciousness, any time and every time, to anyone and everyone.

There is an article in which our Guru Maharaj addressed his disciples, «Vipada-uddharana-bandhu-gana: you are my saviours. You are all saviours to me in my danger — in the real danger of my life.» He addressed his disciples in such a way: «You are all my saviours. You have given me support. You have come to hear me, and so I have the chance of kirtan, Krishna-kirtan. So, you have come to save me. You are supplying food to me; otherwise, I would have died without engagement. In this eternal atmosphere, we are helpless without the cultivation of Krishna consciousness. You have all come to give me engagement in Krishna-kirtan, and so you have come to save me from my dangerous position.»

He addressed his disciples in such a way. It is so deep, «You are all my friends; you have come to release me from my danger — to save me from my danger.»

He saw his disciples in such a great way, and this is reality. So, Krishna-kirtan is the only life-giving, life-saving thing in this world. Without Krishna consciousness, the souls are going down deeper into the unknown quarter.

Srila Guru Maharaj (to a devotee): You have returned here to the Math after taking the Name of Krishna throughout the world! Krishna-kirtan was so dear to our Guru Maharaj, and especially to carry Krishna consciousness to the West. His incarnation at this time was mainly meant for that: to take it to the Western civilisation.

Devotee: In the countries where I preach, the law says that everybody has to have a job; therefore, the devotees are all working. In addition to their regular work, they also do puja and so on. Sometimes they say it is becoming ‘mechanical’.Their puja, sadhana, lectures, etc. are becoming mechanical. So, their question is, how to keep everything in such a way that it is fresh?

Srila Guru Maharaj: How can it be mechanical? ‘Mechanical’ will be that which is ordered by the government. Physically, we are to observe that, but our inner tendency will be towards the worship. Then, how can that be mechanical? That is real, and the mechanical thing will be the outer show which the government requires of us.

When Mahaprabhu began His sankirtan preaching mission, at that time the two brothers Rupa and Sanatan were engaged in the service of the king in Gauda Des. They were very high scholars and studied the scriptures. Sanatan found that the time for the Yuga-avatar, the Lord’s incarnation for Kali-yuga to preach Nam-sankirtan, was drawing near. So, he was alert: «Has that incarnation appeared? And where?» Then, when he heard that in Nabadwip, Nam-sankirtan, the preaching of the Holy Name, was already begun by Sri Chaitanyadev as Gauranga, he could trace that the Avatar, the incarnation of the Lord, must have come there and that Gauranga was that Avatar. Then, he wrote a letter to Mahaprabhu: «We are fallen souls and are engaged in the management of this government which is anti-Hindu. We are engaged in such a position, and outwardly we are affected by this influence. So, what will be our future?»

Mahaprabhu replied to them with a letter, in which he wrote:

para-vyasanini nari vyagrapi grha-karmasu
tad evasvadayaty antar nava-sanga-rasayanam
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 1.211)

«A married lady who has love and affection for another gentleman may be seen to be always engaged in her household activities, but her heart always realises, or tastes, the company of that person whom she loves. Though outwardly she is seen to be very busy with household work, at heart she’s always enjoying the company of her beloved.» Similarly, outwardly you may be captured and may be seen to be busy in the association of the government’s activities, but your heart is not there. It is searching something, and it is receiving the benefit of the association of that inner substance.

So, others cannot capture our heart; they can control our physical activity, but whenever we shall do something in the form of worship, of Hari-nam, our heart will go there. So how can that be mechanical? The mechanical side will be the outer side, and the sincere side will be the inner. The man is inside. The man proper is not found in his forced activity. Generally, also, ordinary men do like that: they outwardly show their cooperation and show that they are not interfering with politics, but internally the heart cannot be captured by anyone. The devotee’s heart will go towards the Lord.

Of course, when great personages like Christ, Mohammed, or Sri Chaitanyadev Himself come for the good of the public, they preach openly, thus causing disturbance to the existing order and there is some clash; they cross over that and are victorious. But as far as ordinary people are concerned, the government does not generally challenge them or interfere in their private affairs. But when preaching from a centre where there is the sort of inspiration, «You fight with the external circumstances and establish this particular creed and thereby save the people», in this case there will be some difficulty. There it will be necessary to fight with any anti-party. But for the private individual’s practising life, that is not necessary.

Devotee: In some countries, the devotees are not allowed to preach. They are allowed to worship in their houses but outside they are not allowed to preach. So, what do you recommend for them so that they may advance in spiritual life?

Srila Guru Maharaj: To do whatever is possible to make the best of a bad bargain — that should be the policy. Whatever is possible to do, you should take that advantage inside the house. Later, if the Lord wishes, favourable circumstances will come, and then you will push out. At present, you alone cannot fight with them in this respect, so as much as possible, you will do it inside. But if the Lord wishes for preaching there outside, He will give you favourable circumstances, and then you can go out. Otherwise, save yourself first and do as much as possible within the circumstances with the policy of ‘making the best of a bad bargain’. When the special will of the Lord will come to devour the whole and change the people’s hearts wholesale, then the circumstances will be otherwise. But at present, first save yourself, and then do as much as is possible to make progress and be satisfied with that. Just fighting is not necessary, but to keep up the very life, that is necessary. The fire, the spark is there; when it will be in a favourable environment, it will be transformed into a conflagration. The spark must be maintained.

Devotee: So, how can we maintain the fire?

Srila Guru Maharaj: In your heart; and whomever you find to be favourable, you can spread it to them, but in a restricted way, not very boldly asserting or pushing onwards. Keeping within that limited boundary, do as much as possible without inviting the outward clear fight. And don’t enter into politics.

As much as possible, you must try. But that means to be prepared to risk everything, and to die, to be a martyr. But to actually fight is not necessary. As much as possible, you will follow yukta-vairagya, the middle path. Yukta-vairagya means not a clear, external fight, but to go on, to maintain everything in a consonance, in harmony with the external circumstances. And whenever you get any chance to advance, capture it. In this way you should go on.

So, ‘wait and see’ and do your duty. Don’t rush ahead forcefully or hastily; otherwise, your energy will be wasted: the higher quality energy will be wasted in a lower class of fight. The higher quality substance will be wasted. Though actually it is not really wasted, but for the time being it will be checked. No energy used in service is wasted.

nehabhikrama-naso ’sti pratyavayo na vidyate
svalpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita: 2.40)

«Even a small beginning in this devotional service cannot go in vain, nor can any loss be suffered. The most insignificant practice of such devotional service saves one from the all-devouring fear of repeated birth and death in this world.»

Still, the best policy is not to invite any fight but to approach in a mild way, ready to make the best of a bad bargain. Otherwise, if you go directly to attack, you will be killed or imprisoned. But that is also one type of policy! One may be imprisoned, but also because of one’s incarceration, the atmosphere may change. Or, if one is murdered like Christ, then some influence may also come out of such a life-sacrificing position. That also we find, but that is an extreme step.

We want the middle course. We will wait and see, and take any good chance to advance, but not waste our energy in the first fight. This is the policy. One who wants victory won’t be very rash, but he will be very diplomatic — sometimes coming back, sometimes making progress, and sometimes taking a firm stand. So, military force is not all, but the strategy and tactics have their position.

One kind of policy also is that the military may attack the enemy from another side. Similarly, in your preaching duties, you may try to make some progress where there is not so much restriction from the authorities. Then, if those people should accept your preaching propositions, they will become strong, and the opposition will be influenced from that direction. We won’t go to attack from this side, but if it is more suitable to attack from the other side or from the rear, then we can prepare our army there. So, instead of going immediately to capture a particular section, you may preach somewhere else within that region. The influence will gradually spread until it reaches the neighbours of that section, and ultimately, they themselves will be influenced a little later.

It is also not necessary that our attention for preaching be drawn specifically to a certain section. There are so many people to be helped. When I was in Madras, some people came and said, «Oh, you do not help the diseased people and the poor. You do not attend any hospital or any death-bed, but if they die, to whom will you preach? What is your answer?»

I answered, «Suppose there is a famine, and some food is given by the government. If I am distributing that to so many people all around who are begging food but one man runs away, should I stop my distribution and run after him? Or, because there are so many people here, shall I continue distributing? There is no want of people to receive the distribution — there is a whole throng. So, should I stop distributing?»

Similarly, everywhere there are so many souls to receive our preaching. They are needy, and leaving them we shall not go to dogmatically seek a particular section and only run after them, for that has no value. Needy persons are everywhere. There is no dearth of people to receive what we have, even if it is only a little. You have the duty to distribute devotion to the public, but there is no dearth of recipients. Everywhere on every side of you there is demand, so you can go on distributing where it is necessary and favourable — not that leaving a particular group who are demanding, you will select one particular place only and go there. Only if your energy is overflowing, then you can go. Otherwise, there are so many places where you can distribute Krishna consciousness, so utilise yourself there — that is to make the best of a bad bargain. And if you find some evil influence, some anti-party coming to cause disturbance to your preaching of nectar, then you will oppose them but only as much as is possible within your power.

We are to follow the middle path, just as in the case of vairagya, renunciation, we follow yukta-vairagya. Too much renunciation will waste our energy, and too much indulgence is also a waste of energy; therefore, we are advised to follow the middle path, and that is called yukta-vairagya.

naty asnatas tu yogo ’sti na chaikantam-anasnatah
na chati-svapna-silasya jagrato naiva charjuna
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita: 6.16)

«O Arjuna, yoga practice is impossible for anyone who overeats, undereats, oversleeps, or undersleeps.»

The middle path has been recommended; too much of anything is to be left aside. If one attempts to live without sleep or without food, that is bad, and too much food or too much sleep is also bad. We are advised to accept the middle path, and that will be more progressive and fruitful. So, to ‘make the best of a bad bargain’ should be the policy. We are not to specifically invite a fight, and also we are not to only avoid it. The middle course will always be helpful for us. We are not to lose our energy — to waste it only for fighting — but it is necessary for us to give the positive thing and engage our energy there. If we can give a thing to the left side, why should we be determined to go to the right side and thereby waste our energy? Our business will be to give, to distribute the nectar, and we shall have no stubbornness to distribute nectar on the right side only. If any opposition comes, we can go to the left side and distribute there.

Distribution of nectar and saving people is our object of life and not to concentrate on, or be biased towards, a particular group. Wherever and however we get the facility, by that way we shall go. If a particular route is considered to be dangerous, than we shall go by another, neither wasting our energy nor the opportunity.

So, yukta-vairagya, the middle course, is to make the best of a bad bargain. It means neither inviting a fight nor avoiding it, but taking the middle course. According to our capacity, we will be able to face the opposition. But merely love of opposing is not necessary. We should have no prejudice for anything. Unprejudiced, we shall only engage in the positive line — in that way we shall move. We should live for the positive interest, and not for the love of any negative things such as, «I love to fight with the enemies.» To fight with the enemies, that is one thing, and to distribute nectar to the public at large is another. In order to do that, you must first know the proper conception and all the circumstances yourself, and only then try to give that to others. No false representation will be helpful. So, first be sure of your knowledge, then distribute it. ‘Half-truth is more dangerous than a falsehood.’

In only twelve years, Swami Maharaj did such a miracle. It is inconceivable. What he has done is more than a miracle. So, I say it was not his power, but inspired by some higher agency he did it. That is also his credit, that he could invite the higher help. He had such great hankering for preaching — any time and every time. What Mahaprabhu came here for, that is the best necessity of everyone. So, any engagement for any purpose other than to preach the doctrine of Mahaprabhu is not only a waste of energy, but it is a loss for the whole population. The fittest thing necessary for all time to come and for everyone is Krishna consciousness, Krishna’s connection. To try to connect whoever you come across with Krishna is the highest benefit of everyone. And without that, whatever engagement we shall do will not only be a loss of energy but disservice to the people by drawing their attention to some bogus enterprise; it is bad and injurious. So, only give connection with Krishna, the Infinite Lover, the beloved Absolute. Try to give everyone connection with Him.

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