Hare Krishna, I am sharing excerpts from a lecture where Srila Prabhupada speaks a Householder mahatma. He tells us about the aim, symptoms and determination of such a householder. I pray that his words inspire us to become one.
Can a householder become a mahatma?
Question may be whether a mahātmā can be in the household life or not. That is being described: Yes. In household life also there can be mahātmā. Just like Advaita Mahāprabhu. Caitanya Mahāprabhu even; Nityānanda Mahāprabhu. They were all householders. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He was a householder. He married twice. His first wife died—He married for the second time. Regular householder, although He left household life very early. He was only twenty-four years old; therefore He had no children. But Nityānanda Prabhu had one child, Vīrabhadra, and Advaita Prabhu had two, three children, of which Acyutānanda was very highly elevated. Similarly, Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura, he had children.
So Caitanya Mahāprabhu does not say that one has to become in the renounced order, of sannyāsī, then he becomes a mahātmā. No. We also do not propagate such idea. At least, I am not doing that. I am creating householder, ideal householder. And my ideas are being fruitful. Here in London I sent six householders, and they are doing nice; sincerely they are working. Therefore I am very much proud of them.
What is the aim of such a householder?
A householder mahātmā has only one aim: how to attain the perfectional stage of love of God. That is the aim. Generally, a householder in the modern civilization, they are simply trying to accumulate money, increase the bank balance and make the society, friendship and love as the aim and object of life, and they have no other business. But a person who is mahātmā, his aim is different. His aim is “How to make my life perfect in Krishna consciousness. How to please Krishna, how to make friendship with Krishna.”
Everyone is seeking some friend. That is a fact. The businessmen or lawyer or politician, everyone is seeking some friend. Without friend… Society, friendship and love, these things are required. But a mahātmā householder, he is seeking actual friendship with Krishna… Because he knows, “If Krishna is my friend…”
Just like Arjuna sought friendship with Krishna; Duryodhana sought friendship with Krishna’s power. Krishna divided Himself. Because it was family warfare between two cousin brothers, and Krishna was also related with both of them by family relationship, so He said, “How can I take part with one and not with the other? Then that will be partiality. So anyway, I divide Myself into two. I am alone, one side, and in which side I shall go, I shall not fight. I shall not touch even a weapon. And the other side, all My soldiers.” Krishna had many soldiers. So Duryodhana thought that “I shall take Krishna’s soldiers,” and Arjuna thought, “I shall take Krishna only, even He does not fight.” So this is the determination of mahātmās, that they want simply Krishna’s friendship.
…A devotee has got four business: īśvare prīti, love for God, Krishna; friendship with devotees; and kindness to the neophytes; and rejection to the non-devotees. These four principles. A devotee’s only lovable object is Krishna. His only friend is devotee, another devotee.
(Lecture, 17 September 1969, London)
As a struggling householder devotee, mere thought of becoming a householder mahatma may seem very fetched but we can rise to that platform if we have the desire, sincerity and most importantly a will to please Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada desired that all householder devotees should become ideal householders. He mentioned in the above lecture how he is very proud of such sincere householders. Today we have hundreds of such householder mahatmas in our Krishna conscious society.
We can test ourselves with some checkpoints given by Srila Prabhupada in his above lecture-
- What am I doing in my daily sadhana which is helping me to cultivate friendship with Krishna?
- Do I seek friendship with Krishna as a person or with His power?
- Do I long for friendship with non-devotees?
- Are my best friends devotees?
- Is Krishna my only lovable object?
- Is the only aim of my life to please Krishna and His devotee?
Sounds tough! but it is a sweet struggle, it is adventurous and it is full of reciprocation from Krishna and His pure devotees.
All the best !
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.