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A Lesson in Maintaining Proper Conduct

Once, I accompanied a preaching party from Śrī Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha to Jalandhara, where Śrī Bhakti Vallabha Tīrtha Mahārāja was also staying at the time. Every day, he and I spoke hari-kathā for a half-hour each. One day, my god brother Śrī Narendra Guptā, a householder, told me, “Mahārāja, please come to our house and watch the Rāmāyaṇa television program from time to time.”

 

 

I said, “Prabhu, it is against our principles to watch television or any series with actors who are greedy for money and who illicitly associate with women.”

 

Śrī Narendra Guptā then left the maṭha without saying anything further. After some days, he approached me to complain about a group of brahmacārīs. He said, “My wife, daughter-in-law and the other women of my family come to the maṭha in advance to make roṭis and other items and then stay for hari-kathā. I too want to come to hear hari-kathā, but I am unable, because some of the brahmacārīs come to my house to watch Rāmāyaṇa after the kīrtana performed before hari-kathā. I can’t just leave them alone in the house. What should I do?”

 

I told him, “Tell those brahmacārīs that Bhāratī Mahārāja forbids them from watching television at your house, but you should know that your dealings were improper. First, you personally requested me and other residents of the maṭha to watch television in your home, and now you want to forbid it. It’s a good thing I declined your request, otherwise I would have become your servant, for I would have had to go when you told me and stop going when you forbid me. It is for this reason that our Guru Mahārāja taught us to always conduct ourselves properly and not pay heed to anyone’s sentimental whims. If we do not maintain proper conduct, then how can we be good sādhakas?”

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