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We all have a very big false ego. In one way or another it comes out. This is actually the biggest obstacle for going back home to Godhead: our big fat false ego. And it sits on top of us. It say, I am not moving from here. So what is the medicine against this ego? That is the main question, because with that false ego we won’t get into the spiritual world. You know, there are different coverings of the universe. And each covering is ten times wider than the previous one. So that means the false ego is ten times bigger than the covering of the intelligence, which is ten times more than the covering of the mind, which is ten times bigger than the covering of ether, which is ten times bigger than the covering of air, and like that. So it is even difficult to calculate how big this false ego is. It is so big. And you cannot go to the spiritual world if you cannot cross beyond it. That is the point.

And the false ego takes any shape. You may say, I’m a man. I’m better than the women. And the women will go: “Who is this man anyway? They all come from our womb.” You may have a male false ego or a female false ego. But it is all false ego. As long as you think, I’m a man or I’m a woman, that is false ego. This is very big. The male-female false ego, one of the major problems of this world. And what’s the solution? The “I am the servant” idea. If I understand myself to be a servant: no problem.
Then you have the other false ego. I’m rich. Or you think: “I’m poor”. But both are false ego. You are not rich and you are not poor. This is only temporary, external appearance. As soon as you say, I am, you can be sure it is some false ego coming. Unless you say, I am an eternal servant of Krsna, and you only act that way.

But in the beginning, even the devotees, they have a false ego. I’m a devotee. I am better than everybody else. That’s also false ego. The false ego can come into you because I’m brahmacari. Oh, I am practicing celibacy. So I am very high. That is another false ego. Another person say, I’m a temple president. Wow, everybody comes to me and says: “Jay, Maharaja!” Now my ego can really fly. Before long nobody can say anything to me. Now I’m trying to practice spiritual life, I’m getting so much honor. And that honor is driving me mad. Even physically you can see that. When you are in this material world, nobody looks at you. You are very timid. Fearful. If you want to relate to some member of the opposite sex, you can hardly talk. You start stuttering. And like this everything is so complicated. But then, when you’re a temple president, and you are doing nice preaching, then the matajis are coming: “Prabhu, can I serve you?” Before that they don’t look at you, and now they are asking “Can I serve you?”

So when you want to leave this material world, many mayas come to tie you down. Maya will put so many tests to you to see if you are really interested in devotion. Maya will send money, the opposite sex, and fame. And if you become puffed up, then you will have big problems. The big false ego. What is the medicine against that? Let’s hear your opinion, What is the medicine against the big, fat false ego? You can offer me some help here. But all very short.

Balaram Prakash, what you say, what is the best medicine against this false ego? The Mahamantra if you can say it like that, even if only once, it is a very sharp sword against the false ego with which we can fight. So, Mahamantra is the medicine for false ego. If you can sing it properly. Yes.

Another idea? Tamal? Serving others. Like what? We try to serve those who we look down. Very interesting. What else help?
Janardan Prabhu, what recommendation you give? To be in the shelter of the one who has no false ego. And to serve him. Fantastic.
Madhavi, what recommendation will you give? Devotional service.
Visvanath, what idea do you have? My duty is to serve my family with the blessings of my Gurudevas.
Jagannath? Humbleness and prayers. Mahamantra, prayer.
Who else would like to offer some help against the big fat false ego?
Kesava Maharaj? Not to think of ourselves as the owner. More help!
Premavardhan? To be honest with ourselves and humble.
Jagannath also says, humble. I need more help. This is not enough. Wash the toilet every day. I have heard wonderful things. But I’m missing the most important practical ones.
But of course everything what you have said is also true and is also important. So, something more.
Gauranga? Preaching to others. Also true.
Balaram? To gain Krsna’s mercy, without which there is nothing.
Harijan Maharaj: Serving the Deities and the devotees under the guidance of the spiritual master.
More! We need more help. This false ego is too big. Sadhana? Be more concrete. Self control and practicing the spiritual knowledge. Yes.
Madhavi: Regularly asking others: What is my mistake? Very nice.
Radhika Prasad? There is a saying that you will become like the one you associate with. Yes. Association.
Yogeshvar? Seeking self-knowledge. More, more.
Govardhan? To serve Tulasi Devi because she is most dear to Krsna. Very good. You see, we have quite some help. But I’m missing the most important.
The most important is Mahamantra. That is a fact. To serve our guru. That has been mentioned already. The real desire to get rid of our false ego. Lobha, the greed. Yes. Love and desire to get the mercy of Radharani. Yes. More.
Govardhan: To try to see Govinda in everything and through this to think about him all the time. Very good. More. One thing was spoken in general, but no specifics were given. But it is the most important. For practical humility.
Yogeshvar: Krsna should always be in the centre of our life. Yes. More. He says sravanam, kirtanam…
What does that mean, practically? To hear the Bhagavatam. That is what I was waiting for. But what does it mean? How the Bhagavatam helps against your false ego? First because you sit down and you listen. Sitting in front of another Vaishnava and listening. And having discussion on the meaning of the sloka. Those who don’t come to class every day, their ego is becoming bigger and bigger. And if you live in a circumstance where you cannot, where there is no class going on, then you must give the class. Or you must listen very carefully to one tape every morning, of your Gurudev. This hearing about these subjects, this is the food for our soul. Just like you need food for maintaining the body, you need spiritual food to keep the false ego down. When you don’t go on listening to the classes regularly, your spiritual advancement is very slow. And your ego will grow and grow.
But I need another one. This was one. Let’s see who knows the secret for conquering the false ego. Another secret. But very important. Worshipping the Deity, yes, that has been mentioned. The Gayatri mantra. That is also a big help. More, more.
To serve the devotees, to live in a saintly place. Yes. Good, more, more.
To offer prasadam. Very nice.
Once Janardan Prabhu asked Gurudev, how it is possible to develop in spiritual life, he answered, only when the devotees are satisfied with us. Very good. More.
Actually this is the way. But how? Loving and trust. Yes. To create harmony with our spiritual master. Steadiness and enthusiasm. To see others above us. Very good. More. I’m looking for something very practical.
To read Bhagavad-gita. Good, but what I’m looking for it is very important and it repeats all the time. Not an attitude. You have propsed many perfect attitudes. But what practical thing you do?
Balaram: To distribute the glorification of the holy name. Yes.
Bhakti? To remember Krsna. I got you.
Govinda? To serve those you spend most of your time with.
Tamal said, you serve those who you don’t like. Very good, come on.
Yogeshvar: Meditation.
You give up?
Govardhan: Trying to love each other. Perfect.
To do what the spiritual master asks to do. Yes. And one particular thing he asks? What particular thing the spiritual master asks that we remain humble and that our false ego will not disturb?
Govardhan: to surrender. Yes. When I said, you will all go, aaaaaah.
Kesava Maharaj: Always think of Krsna and never forget Krsna. Yes. To put everything before the feet of the guru, success and failure, everything. Yes. Chanting the holy name. Yes.
Govinda: To communicate with other and accept also the opposite opinion, those ideas which do not agree with ours. Aha, how do you that? No way. He does not do this. We are getting there. How, how? How do you do what Govinda just said? Tolerance, patience, love and trust.
Devaki: Ista-gosti. Thank you, Devaki. What’s the translation of ista-gosti? Disclosing our mind to others. No. What means ista? He is the Lord of our heart. And gosti means? Coming together to find out how to serve Him in harmony. But ista-gosti has many more aspects. Ista-gosti means the meeting of those who are concerned with the progress of the community. Ista-gosti means the attempt to make everybody happily engaged according to his capacities. Ista-gosti means that we distribute the services among ourselves. And we report to the other devotees what am I doing. Ista-gosti means giving up the independence. Oh, I just do what I like. Therefore ista-gosti is so important in this connection.

And Vaishnava Tanács is also a type of ista-gosti. The meeting of all the devotees is also a type of ista-gosti. Every department must have ista gosti every week to make it work. In a material company you have something called the Board of Directors. There is a director for production, a director for accounting, delivery, product development, each department has a director. And in many companies every morning the day starts with the meeting of the Board of Directors. Why? Because if any of the departments fail, all the other departments are affected. So nobody can fail. Even the owner of the company, he does not interfere there. Because only the director of a department has the vision what’s going on in my department? So if one of the directors says, I don’t like these meetings, I don’t go there. You only talk so much, I don’t like it. Immediately he loses the right to be a director of the department. They remove him on the very day. Why? Because a company cannot afford that any department is not well coordinated.

So the so-called directors have to be very humble. Not only that. I’m called the director of production. But then there is a director of keeping the personnel. Of hiring and watching all the people work. So if the director of person considers that I am not treating the people nicely and my false ego is creating conflict with the people in my department, the other director will say: Sorry, Mr. Director, you are not doing your job nicely. Because I’m the director of the people and I’m hearing complaints. Then the director of production says, Very sorry, tell me how I shall deal with this. So the director becomes the servant of the other director. And if the sales department says, your supplies are coming too slow, you have to increase. Then he has to be very humble. Yes, we will do everything to increase. He cannot say, ah, come on, leave me alone.

Now I ask you one question. Do you conduct your ista-gostis in that spirit of cooperation and humility. And if your answer is no, that means you are feeding a big, fat false ego. And instead of being a big help to the community, your ego may be an obstacle to the community. But because everything we do is voluntary, we are not a company, we are a spiritual family, therefore we are not careful enough. Because even though it is a voluntary thing, still, if any department fails, many things are affected. Many things become slow. Or they become ineffective.

Because we do need each other. If the Deity is not properly worshipped, all our devotion is in problem. If there is no classes in the temple, all the brahmacaris will become in maya. If the book production does not have any books, we have nothing to preach. If the CDs are not being copied, and put into availability, then you cannot give out the nectar. Or if they are copied, but in bad copies which go wrong, then everybody is getting into trouble by getting out that material. And like this I can give you at least a thousand examples where difficulties arise if the ista-gosti is not very sophisticated. Every ashram must have a Board of Directors. Even though you are maybe the only one in your department. That does not matter. Still you are a director of a department.

You need a reception department. Pujari department, kitchen department, buying supplies department, new devotee training department, treasury and accounting department, art department, construction department, university preaching department, printing division department, home page department, movie making department, public relations department.

How many departments you need? Now, if you don’t have those departments, because you never thought of having them, or because you don’t make any ista-gostis, or because you do not read the president handbook, the chat extracts, then you don’t have these things and you don’t become aware of the difficulty. For me every devotee is a potential department director. Every devotee is a potential temple president. And they have to be in the ista-gostis to learn how these things are going on.

You can compare a good ista-gosti to a college class. Of business administration and ashram management. If I go every week to my class of business administration and ashram management, that means my weekly ista-gosti, after one year I start understanding something. And after four years I’m a professional. I start understanding what it means to develop a community. Daivik varna ashrama as Prabhupad used to say, has to be understood and developed.

Do you know what it means daivik varna ashram? That means that the children of the devotees like Gauranga and all the young kids who are growing up, that they enter into a sophisticated organization of spiritual dimension. With preaching opportunities, job opportunities, and the real siddhanta is the guiding star. When young people come into Krsna Consciousness, and they start managing the temples, that is a big success. This means there is some proper development.

So to organize our communities first class, it is not a nice engagement. It is not just a nice option. It’s the natural requirement. And if the old people don’t work hard for that, then, instead of cultivating devotion, they are just cultivating a big fat ego. That’s why you have to become every day more humble. And to sit together with others, that makes you humble. To listen to the opinions of others, that makes you humble. To not become angry with others, even if they have a different opinion of yours, that makes you humble. And to hear your service constructively criticized, that makes you humble.

Hey, don’t forget, in my analogy of the company, in my comparison to the Board of Directors in a company, if any director rejects to be criticized, he is fired. Get out of here, get out. A program director must be willing to be constructively criticized. In the material world, big companies, they pay big amounts of money only for one reason. So that experts will come inside the company, and criticize everything they see. Even the directors, they are shaking. Because the experts, they will say: This is not working well. This is stagnant. This meeting is not working. This production department does not even have a list of projects. This is a joke. And then everybody goes, ah, we have to change so much. And then the owner comes. He says: “Now you can change, or you can go.”

Why? You see, when we live together, 1-2-3 years, our big fat false ego sits into a position, and it starts creating fences around the ego. Prohibited area. Entry is not allowed. This is my ego area, everywhere you will find ego area, big fat ego areas everywhere. And if a new man comes, he is intelligent, he says: Why is this here? They say, no, you don’t look there. This is only for older devotees. Then he says: I have a suggestion. No, no, don’t talk about this. That has been decided seven years ago. But it looks stupid. Oh, you are a very offensive bhakta. You will not make any advancement, if you challenge the seniors.

That is called the „Peter principle”. It is a principle which says, in every organization after some time every post is occupied by somebody who is not qualified. Because in an organization, what to speak of a voluntary organization, if you do your job nicely, they give you more service. When you do it nicely, they give you more service. Then they give you more service. And then you cannot do it nicely, because it is too much. Then they say, OK, you stay this way. So you are actually becoming inefficient.

And so therefore ista-gosti is very, very important. In an ista-gosti we honestly analyze what we wish to do, how to do, when to do, who can help. And the temple presidents and the sannyasis, if they don’t know what I’m saying right now, if they don’t practice these principles, then this will not grow very much. This will not be very successful. That is a fact. So we have to be very determined to learn from each other.

I don’t know everything. I’m not a professional. Many of you know more than me about certain areas of life. But I know that, and I recognize that. And I work with this understanding. I don’t impose my limitations on an expert. On the contrary, I try to draw the expert into the level of Board of Directors.

And for an ista-gosti how nice would be if there is 200 people participating in the ista-gosti. But then you say, 200 people discussing something, it is becoming impractical. Then what do you do then? You divide it into areas of specialists. And they will report to the whole ista-gosti what is the final outcome. Now you please don’t get the misunderstanding that what I am explaining iit could be mundane. Good temple management is not mundane. It is transcendental. Everything we use for Krsna becomes transcendental. Even the computer. that’s why so many computers are accepted in this service of Mahaprabhu and Krsna. And Rupa Goswami 500 years ago, he gave the understanding that not using modern things for Krsna is phalgu vairagya, it is false renunciation.

So in this way also, how to manage your, like our program here, it to manage Krsna Consciousness in an entire country. Such a wonderful country like Hungary. So, how we are going to do that? Well, we have to become very good. And when intelligent people come, they will say, this is good. I can participate here. Not that there is just a bunch of big false egos, you cannot have any opinion, then you will go away and you feel disheartened. Now do you understand why the ista-gosti is so important to conquer the big, fat false ego? And everybody has to sit there, from the beginning to the end. Humble. Learning. And offering his own constructive views on the departments of others as well.

Because it works both ways. To offer constructive criticism, or to accept constructive criticism from others, this makes humble. Without that your humility is a joke. I am such a humble devotee. I am the most fallen. I am like the worm in the stool. But don’t tell me anything. Don’t ask me to come to a meeting. Don’t ask me to make a financial report of my activities. Every department has to be financially transparent. A department which is not financially transparent, cannot exist. Only a privately owned company, maybe only the owner knows what’s going on in the finances. But then the tax department comes. It says, give me all your papers. Show me your accounts. So even the private people have to be transparent. And if they are not, then they come and cut your business. If you refuse to cooperate, according to the local rules, they just close your business. That’s all. Bankrupt. And make you a court case for not paying taxes. So, coming to the meetings, bringing your financial reports, that is humility. Because we are all working with Krsna’s property, and for Krsna’s property. That is the reality. (Thank you for opening our eyes.)

And devotees, they sometimes are very negligent with some technical things. Not because they are bad devotees. Just because they have not learned it. They have not understood the importance. But if somebody questions their conduct, if somebody says, You, why you don’t keep accounts? They go, You don’t trust me? OK. So they say, You don’ trust me? Ten years I’m doing service, and you dare to question my trustworthiness? No, Prabhu. I am not doubting you. I’m only saying, you must keep accounts nicely for our departments to work. For the well-being of the whole society. So we need your department also to be transparent. So it’s a big job to do trnad api sunicena… It is a big job. It does not mean just to say: Haribol. Dandavats. It means hard work to make everything the best we can. And the standards of quality is the authority. You may ask, Who sets the standards? Not an easy question. According to Vaishnava philosophy the standard of quality is coming from the best way you can achieve. The standard of speed is the highest speed you can do while still achieving the best quality. Like sometimes people do things so quick that the product is very low standard. That’s not Vaishnava philosophy. vaishnava philosophy is the highest speed while maintaining the highest quality. How quick you cook and how quick you type, how determined you are for making things successful. How many yoga courses a day Gauramantra can give? How many classes can be there in the Vaishnava Academy Életház? How many hours can you go on sankirtan? How many articles do you load every week to your home page? How much care you put to maintain the temple? How much energy, how much money you can spend for making beautification of everything? Everything has a standard. According to time, place and circumstance. If you have more money, the standard changes. So, how do you find this out? Ista-gosti. Smaller, medium, large ista-gostis, but not my private decision. And I think, like Madhavi said, you should ask the devotees, are you satisfied with my performance? That is the best. Do you have an idea how I can do my things better? That is a natural statement for a humble person. This is the reality of life. And as soon as we come down from that reality, into some ego sphere, it becomes an ego reality. Like dictators. They say, in my country everything is done the way I want. Poor country. The guy has no view, he is living in the past, he is only thinking how to get his stupid face on every coin and in every bill. And his buildings are big, like monuments of his big ego. While the whole country is in trouble. And the children don’t get education. So this is a situation with dictators. It’s pretty bad. Therefore, it’s very interesting, daivik varnashram, there is democracy for the brahmins. There is capitalism for the vaishyas. There is monarchy for the kshatriyas. And there is communism for the shudras. So, how does it work? The democracy is the highest. But only brahmins know how to manage it. The king is the monarch. He is very powerful. He has military might. But the brahmins are on top of him. And they tell him how to do it. The vaishyas, there are capitalists. They say, make money, hey, do this, do that. They manage everything. But the kshatriyas are on top. Are you dealing honestly? Are you not damaging nature? Kshatriyas manage the maintenance of overall brahminical principles. And the shudras, they are just working, to get something so that they can live. Your opinion is not so important. Because you are not taking responsibility. You just do your work. That’s very nice. So in this way the Vedic society is quite a sophisticated system of adapting the imperfect world to some progressive approach. Everybody has a chance to go up. To go up is being promoted. And in this way it is a very fair society. And modern governments in theory they try to imitate such a thing. But it doesn’t work. Because they don’t have brahmins. They are not cultivating brahminic principles. So either a military man takes the power, or the vaishyas take the power, or the shudras link up with some military man and they take the power. But all of them, after they got the power, they start thinking, oh, how to manage this? How to make it honest and fair? That’s why the people conclude that democracy is the least of all ills. But a Krsna-conscious dictator would be better than a democracy. And the communist system, where the members of the Politburo are spiritually minded, they would definitely be a better government than we see in the disaster countries of today.

But restriction should only be imposed from those who are the well-wishers of others. If restrictions are imposed by those who are contaminated in consciousness, then everybody feels very unhappy. But if my well-wisher tells me, do not smoke and do not drink, then I feel, oh, it’s OK. Anyhow, enough of that for today. I just say these things to make you aware that in Krsna Consciousness we have to deal with many more fields and areas then we are normally thinking about. And how we manage our temple, it has to be an example. That others will see, oh, they’re really putting the Lord on top. They really have ista-gosti. Not ego-gosti. Where a few big fat egos get together, and they are just sharing their conveniences, and they don’t want more members to participate, claiming that they have no experience, or claiming anything else, in order to stick to the wrong ways of the past.

Srila Prabhupad said, The duty of a sannyasi is to enthuse and to correct. But how can he correct? Only enthusing the people to correct. A sannyasi has no legislative power, and he does not have a private army, so what is his power? Enthusiasm for the truth. A local temple, there is a little bit of legislative power. Because who manages the money, he has some power. That is always there, somebody must manage. But the secret of a sannyasi is that he enthuses everybody else. He goes everywhere and enthuses.

And the first thing he enthuses is, the hearing and chanting of Srimad Bhagavatam. And the second thing he enthuses, is the active program of ista-gosti. And he participates in the ista-gosti as one of the servants. This is the process. You don’t know much ista-gostis. Sometimes I go to 5-6-7 ista-gostis in one week. I’m going from one ista-gosti to the next, to the next. And I love it. Because that’s the forum where we become humble. That’s the forum where we plan how to serve. And that’s the forum where you meet the most interesting people. The greatest jewels of Vaishnavism you meet in the ista-gostis. Because they all come. How to increase, how to make it better? And this is the best meeting real sadhus. Sadhus at work.

Because one thing is to meet a sadhu, Haribol, Haribol, but it is much better to see a sadhu at work. Because then you can learn from him. So I hope with these few words I have given you some food for thought. And our battle against the big ego will become more successful. And our chance to get out of this material world will be more successful. Please don’t forget.
The ego covering of the universe is the biggest and most difficult one to overcome. It is much easier to become a celibate. Or it is much easier to restrict your eating to only drinking milk or only eating fruits. To conquer the ego is the final, last and biggest battle.

And of course that battle starts from the fist day when you come in contact with Krsna Consciousness. And when I see devotees who are qualified in the material world, university graduates, technicians, successful businessmen, but they sit down in the ista-gosti, and work together with everybody else on an equal level for the goal of our Radha-Gopi-Vallabha, then I am very happy. And I know there is a big future.

So keep including as many people as you can in your ista-gostis. Not only those who live in the temple. That is meaningless. Some people, they don’t live in the temple because they have no business in the temple. But their desire to serve Krsna is just as big as those who live in the temple. And maybe their capacity is even bigger, then those who live in the temple. So make your ista-gostis real happy celebrations. With nice prasadam and nice kirtan and ever increasing commitment to try to do the best we can for the Lord of our Heart. And to make sure that everybody is happy who is trying to participate. Because we know that happiness depends on wanting to participate in such a noble cause. If you don’t care for such a noble cause, how do you expect to be happy?

Thank you very much for giving me your valuable time this morning. Of course, it is not your time. It belongs to Radha-Gopi-Vallabha anyway. And I am very grateful they allow me to serve you by speaking this morning. Haribol. Now we have to relax the mind. Called digestion period.

Vancha kalpa tarubhyas ca krpa sindhubhya eva ca, patitanam pavanebhyo vaisnavebhyo namo namah

 
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