Srila Prabhupada Speaks on Varnashrama
Devotee:: A sudra, if he is working, he cannot take brahmana initiation, but he can take hari-nama, is that it?
Srila Prabhupada: Just like sometimes our men, my devotee, they wash the cupboard. Does it mean he is a methar(?)? No. He can go to the Deity room also. He is not a methar(?) or sweeper. But sometimes we do that. So devotee is above all these consideration. But because there is management, they should appear as brahmana, as sudra, as ksatriya, like that.
sa gunan samatityaitan
mam ca vyabhicarini
bhakti-yogena yah sevate
A devotee, because he is working as a sudra, he is not a sudra; neither he is a brahmana. He is already in the spiritual platform. But
for management we have to do that. One can do the sudra's work nicely--let him be engaged in that way. Why he should imitate?
Devotee: Does he get second initiation?
Srila Prabhupada: Everything he will get.
Devotee: He gets.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. Second initiation means recognized: "Now he has become fully competent Vaisnava." Just like master is teaching the servant, "Now you give massage in this way, this way." But that does not mean he has become servant.
Devotee: What if the person working as sudra says, "I can do so much. I can...," Because the love was so high class.
Srila Prabhupada: First of all, try to understand. A devotee is neither brahmana nor sudra. He may act like a sudra, but he is not sudra. He may act like a brahmana; he is not brahmana. He is Vaisnava. Just like gopis. The gopis, they are village cowherds women. They are, according to social construction, they are not very high class. They did not belong to the brahmana class. But their worship, method of worship, has been taken the highest. Ramya kacid upasana vrajavadhu-vargena. They were village girls, and practically their character was also not good. Because at dead of night they are going to Krsna. But why they have been taken as the most topmost devotee of Krsna?It is the test, how much one has learned to love Krsna. That is wanted. Apparently he may appear as a brahmana, a sudra or vaisya. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. The only business is to see: sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adho... Aiye. HareKrsna. Jaya. That is wanted.
Devotee: What if the person cannot chant sixteen rounds a day. He says, "I can't..."
Srila Prabhupada: Then he is not even a human being. He is a rascal. That's all. He is not a human being. What to consider of talking...? Don't talk about him if he cannot chant sixteen rounds. He is not even a human. He is animal. (break)
Devotee: ...even he may be employed as factory worker or something.
Srila Prabhupada: Well, if you take factory workers are better than animals, that is another thing.
Devotee: One point that you made a few years ago in Vrndavana was that this demoniac civilization, especially in U.S.A., keeps a man so much engaged, they make them work so hard, just to earn the simple necessities of life, that they don't have time to cultivate spiritual life.
Srila Prabhupada: Well, if he likes, he can get time because he is not in the factory twenty-four hours. But if one... That is explained, apratihata. Krsna consciousness cannot be checked by any material condition. If anyone wants to become Krsna conscious, it is not checked. So there is nothing impediment, provided he wants to become. In any condition of life, sthane sthitah, if he simply hears about Krsna then everything is all right. He will gradually catch up everything and adjust things. But if he has no ears to hear about Krsna, then it is difficult. Therefore sravanam. The first thing is that. The first qualification--he must be eager to hear about Krsna. Then everything will come. Sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam, arcanam vandanam dasyam. (break)
Devotee: ...such devotees that they do service, they may be very big, they attract so many people, they are successful, kirtana and everything, but we know they are not chanting japa. What can we do in that situation? Are we...
Srila Prabhupada: Situation, he is doing some service. He is doing some service.
Srila Prabhupada: So because on account of that service, if he could not, that can be excused. But not that practice should be taken as
permanent business. The regulation is that if you cannot finish your chanting that day, then next day you should forget sleeping and eating and must finish it.
Devotee: Some persons we encounter they don't even chant at all, and yet we are in association with them, and they are...
Srila Prabhupada: No, if you miss on account of busy-ness, then next day you must finish it. You should not go to sleep. You should not... Yes, that day you should forget all other business. First of all compensate this.
Devotee: Some devotees have it as a chronic condition, though.
Srila Prabhupada: Then he is animal.
Devotee: But still, he's doing lots of good devotional service.
Devotee: He may even be manager.
Srila Prabhupada: Then they will get some chance later on. What is that devotee, if you do not follow the regulative principles? The business is that if one day you cannot, but finish. The next day you must finish. Now, for eating, he is very eager, and for sleeping, he is
very eager, and for finishing chanting, he has no eagerness. Then he is animal. It is simply an excuse. Yesterday you had no time? You were very busy? All right. Today you forget your sleeping and eating. Finish it. That is wanted. (break) And only for chanting, you have no time. This is not allowed. This is not allowed. This is cheating, that "I am so busy."
Devotee: Most of these devotees in Hyderabad, they are chanting twenty-five rounds a day or more.
Srila Prabhupada: That's all right. If you can chant more, that is good.
Devotee: ...must associate with them, that is difficult.
Srila Prabhupada: But you do your business. You don't follow them. That's all. You remain perfect. There are many imperfects, admitting, but you try to remain perfect so that they may see you, your behavior, and they may follow you. If everyone is sincere in his activity, then where is the question? The society means if I am defective, I am seeing that you are doing nicely, so I will be ashamed. That is also teaching. Actually that should be the practice. If I cannot finish my sixteen rounds due to some business, then next day I must finish it. If you say that "Next day also, I am busy," then you should forego your eating and sleeping and finish it. That is the way. You are so busy, but you do not forget your eating and sleeping. That is cheating. If you are so busy that you forget your eating and sleeping, then I can consider that you are very busy. But you do not forget this portion. "Whenever there is opportunity, I sleep and eat. And I have no time for chanting"--this is cheating. How long you can go on by cheating? You must finish it. Hare Krsna. Somebody, after initiation he promises, "Yes, I shall follow these rules and regulations. I shall chant sixteen rounds," before the fire, before the Deity, before the guru, and if he does not follow, then he is a cheater. What to speak of his becoming a Vaisnava, he is a cheater. He breaks all his promises. Therefore after seeing, observing a person is doing everything, then say second initiation, or then he should not be
recommended for second initiation unless the president and the other authorities see that he is doing nicely, he is following. Otherwise he should not be recommended. If he is recommended, that is also another cheating. If you know that this person is not following the rules and regulation, then why should you recommend him? Then it is another cheating. Viddhi-bhakti must be followed; otherwise it becomes sahajiya.....
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