(Click to enlarge photo of disciples bowing to Srila Prabhupada, Vrindavan 1972)
Prabhupāda: I am speaking of you of my personal experience how this eagerness of hearing is a very important thing. When I first met my spiritual master in 1933... not... I met him first in 1922. Then for several years I was out of Calcutta and I could not meet him. Again next meeting was in 1933.
So at that time I was simply inquiring from other disciples of my spiritual master—at that time I was not spiritual master... I mean to say, disciple—"So when His Holiness will speak?" So this information was noted by my spiritual master, and he was pleased to accept me immediately, that "This boy is very nice. He's very inquisitive to hear. He does not go away."
So this is a very good qualification. One who becomes inquisitive to hear, so śradda śuśrūṣoḥ. Śuśrūṣoḥ means one who is very inquisitive to hear; at the same time, to render service. These two qualifications. Śuśrūṣoḥ. Śraddadhānasya (SB 1.2.16), with faith. Vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ. For him the taste for hearing kṛṣṇa-kathā is very easy. And syān mahat-sevayā.
And this is also can be possible if we are fortunate enough to come in contact of a great soul, mahat-sevā. Mahat means great. And if we serve him, if we want to please him, mahat-sevayā viprāḥ: "My dear brāhmaṇas," he was addressing, puṇya-tīrtha-niṣevaṇāt. And puṇya-tīrtha. There are many sacred places. They are called puṇya-tīrtha. Sacred...
There are two kinds of sacred places. Just like if you go to a place... just like in Vṛndāvana or Kankhara. In India there are... in the Christian also you have got your sacred place. The Muhammadans they have got their sacred place, Medina, Mecca.
You have got your Jerusalem. Similarly, these... those who are followers of Vedic principles, they have got their several places, sacred places. One... some of you who have visited India might have seen Haridwar, Kankhar, Lakshmanjhula, Prayāg, Vṛndāvana and Rāmeśvaram. There are many places.
So by serving these sacred places...to serve these sacred places means to.... there are many good souls, great souls. So if you can find out such great souls, they are making their performances there. So if you find out some good, I mean to say, transcendentalist, and if you hear from him, then your process of life may be changed.
So puṇya-tīrtha-niṣe... or sometimes such person, they travel all over the world also. So if you come in contact with such person and if you hear, then the vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ is developed. Then your tendency for hearing about Kṛṣṇa and Vāsudeva will develop.
This is the two... thing, that you must be very much eager. And when you are eager, Kṛṣṇa will send you. Kṛṣṇa is within you. As soon as He understands that "Here is a person who actually wants transcendental elevation," He makes you contact with such person. Such persons are all over. They are in the world. It is not rare. Of course, in this age it is very rare. But if we are sincere, if we are eager...
buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi taṁ
yena mām upayānti te
In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that Kṛṣṇa, or the Supersoul, is situated within your heart. He's not very away long, long distant. He's just within yourself, sitting within you. You are also sitting in the heart, and the Supreme Lord also, as Supersoul, He is sitting there. You are sitting there two, just like friends. That is stated in the Upaniṣad, that two friends, two birds, sitting on the same tree. So this body is the tree, and you are sitting.
So as soon as we are sincere, we are eager to develop our spiritual consciousness, He gives us opportunity. Buddhi-yogam. That is buddhi-yoga, intelligence. He gives. What for? Yena mām upayānti te: by which one can attain perfection in understanding the Supreme Lord. This is given by Him. So we have to become serious and very eager. Unless you become eager...
God wants to see you that how much you are eager. So with the development of our eagerness and sincerity to have our knowledge in spiritual understanding, God will help us.
So śuśrūṣoḥ śraddadhānasya vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ syān mahat-sevayā (SB 1.2.16). Mahat-sevā means if you, by chance, you get in contact of a great personality, great soul who knows Kṛṣṇa science, you just try to please him. Therefore we, every day in the morning, we sing yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ.
By pleasing such great soul, the spiritual master, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ, to please him means to please God. Because he is representative of God. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto 'pi. If we cannot please such representative, bona fide representative of Kṛṣṇa, then there is no hope. There is no hope of our spiritual advancement.
Therefore the first duty in the morning is that dhyāyan stuvaṁs tasya yaśas tri-sandhyam. We have to remember about his glories and we have to offer our respectful obeisances unto him three times at least in a day, or tri-sandhyam. Tri-sandhyam means... In the morning, when the night is being passed, day is beginning, that is first sandhyam, junction.
And then when the sun is on the meridian, that is also another junction. And when the day is passing and night is beginning, that is another junction. So it is the duty of the student to offer respect to the bona fide spiritual master three times respect.
So serve, mahat-sevā, because that will, I mean to say, help me in making advance in spiritual knowledge. Syān mahat-sevayā viprāḥ puṇya-tīrtha-niṣevaṇāt (SB 1.2.16). And also by visiting sacred places. So it is not always possible to visit sacred places. It may be very distant place.
But when you get chance of a bona fide spiritual master, a great soul, if you try to please him, to satisfy him, that will make you eligible to have taste for kṛṣṇa-kathā, on the topics of Kṛṣṇa.
Thank you very much. Any question?
Devotee: Should one offer his respects to his spiritual master wherever he is at this first time, or should he go to where the spiritual master is to offer his respects?
Prabhupāda: What do you say? I do not follow. What is that?
Devotee: Should a disciple go to his spiritual master directly to offer the respects at least three times, or offer them where he is?
Prabhupāda: Well, if it is possible to go to him directly, that should be taken chance. But if he's not, it is not possible, then his picture or his idea should be offered respect. Yes. But if he's directly available, one should avail of that.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, San Francisco, March 27, 1967)