In conversation with Srila Prabhupada
Tamāla Krishna: How do we enter into the modes of goodness?
Prabhupāda: Just try to follow the four principles as we have prescribed: no intoxication, no gambling, no illicit sex, and no meat-eating. That’s all. This is goodness. These prohibitions are there. Why? Just to keep you in goodness. In every religion… Now, in the Ten Commandments also, I see that “Thou shall not kill.” The same thing is there, but people are not obeying. That is a different thing. Nobody can be religious unless he is situated in the modes of goodness. A passionate person or a person in ignorance cannot be elevated to the religious platform. Religious platform means in goodness. Then you can understand. On the platform of goodness, you can understand the All-good. If you are on the platform of ignorance or passion, how can you understand the All-good? That is not possible. So one has to keep himself in goodness, and that goodness means one should follow the prohibitions.
Either you follow the Ten Commandments or these four commandments, the same thing. That means you have to keep yourself in goodness. The balance must be in goodness. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated, param brahma param dhāma pavitram paramam bhavān [Bg. 10.12]. Arjuna accepted Krishna as the supermost pure. How you can approach the supermost pure without becoming yourself pure? So this is the steppingstone to become pure. The Ekādaśī, why do we observe it? “To become pure.”
Brahmacarya, tapasya, austerity, penance, celibacy, keeping the mind always in Krishna consciousness, keeping the body always cleansed—these things will help us to keep us in goodness. Without goodness, it is not possible.
But Krishna consciousness is so nice that even if one is in the modes of passion and ignorance, he will at once be elevated on the platform of goodness, provided he agrees to follow the rules and regulations and chants Hare Krishna. This chanting of Hare Krishna and following the rules and regulation will keep you intact in goodness. Rest assured – without failure. Is that very difficult?
[An excerpt from the Q&A session after a lecture on the Srimad Bhagavatam (7.9.8) delivered in Seattle on October 21, 1968.)ALSO READ: DEATH SENTENCE GIVEN TO A MURDERER IS GOOD FOR HIM DIALOGUE BETWEEN CHAITANYA MAHAPRABHU AND CHAND KAZI ON COW KILLING TROUBLE & SUFFERING are the Results of Forgetting God Is It Possible To Become Krishna Conscious In This Very Lifetime? ONE SHOULD FORGET THAT HE IS INDIAN OR AMERICAN OR HINDU OR CHRISTIAN