Matha is a Sanskrit and Bengali word referring to monastery, temple, cloister, hermitage, school or college. The following essay speaking about the qualifications, activities and attitude of the residents of the Matha is translated from a Bengali article that first appeared in an issue Nadiya Prakasa, the daily devotional newspaper started by Srila Prabhupad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur. As was common practice for the journals started by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupad, no name was given for the author of this article. Nor did the book we found it published in give a date of publication. However, it is clear that it was written some time after the disappearance of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupad.
Mathanti vasanti chatra yasmin iti mathah – the term “matha” implies a place where students reside under the subordination of an acarya. A general house is for sense enjoyment, but a matha is an institution for the service of The Supreme Lord Hari. A general house is a place where the mood of enjoyment is very prominent, where everyone is busy trying to establish their superiority, and where the residents are full of anxiety how to become lords of others. In contrast to that is a matha a place of non-duplicitous topics of service to the Lord where the principal of subordination is fully present and everyone is trying to be good.
For the service of the Supreme object of devotion Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupad the follower of Srila Rupa Gosvami, has established mathas or missions under the subordination of the personifications of devotion, the Gaudiya vaisnava followers of Sri Krsna Caitanyadeva, the inaugurator of the sankirtana movement. In the sense that a word referring to a container also designates that which is known to be contained, since the word matha indicates the abode of the Lord, and since the Lord is always surrounded by his devotees, matha therefore also refers to the pure devotees, the personifications of the Lord’s shelter, that reside there. Thus matha is a place where the Lord’s deity form is surrounded by many pure-hearted devotees who are always engaged in discharging loving service under the guidance and instruction of their spiritual master. It is a regular, permanent, assembly or mission of devotees where everyone is engaged wholeheartedly in the congregational chanting of the Holy Name of Lord Hari. Following the instructions of their spiritual master, the resident devotees engage twenty-four hours a day in preaching the Holy Name, and thus maintain perfect transcendental harmony, enjoying themselves along with others in loving devotional service to the deity of the Lord. Even in ancient times, Visnu temples were called mathas. Subservience is the very life of the matha. The principle of anugatya – subservience, fidelity, or obedience – is the backbone of devotional service and is another name for bhakti. The residents of the matha render non-duplicitous devotional service to the spiritual master twenty-four hours a day. Unless one’s anugatya is genuine, one cannot be addressed as a matha-vasi, a resident of the matha. The word “matha-vasi” can also be taken to mean “ante-vasi” one dwelling in the guru’s asrama or “siksarthi” one who is desirous of learning, or “sisya”, a student or disciple. The matha-vasi strives to understand the desire of his guru by rendering menial service unto his lotus feet. To fulfill the guru’s desire is the only duty of a matha-vasi.
One who is artificial or duplicitous in the service of the acarya is not eligible to live in the matha. Such artificial behavior leaves the religion of brahmacarya, sannyasa, vana-prastha, and grhastha unprotected. The extent that one is actually a matha-vasi can be determined by one’s pure love and devotion to the lotus feet of the acarya of the matha.
In spite of unbearable troubles, severe calamities, and immense humiliation, a real matha-vasi will never give up the service of his guru. He never feels discouraged to see the reluctance of the common masses of people of this universe to accept non-duplicitous devotional service. Rather, he remains steady in his own sadhana. Considering himself lower than the straw in the street and being more tolerant than a tree, in order to satisfy the transcendental senses of the absolute truth such a devotee always engages in the kirtana of Hari under the guidance of the asraya-vigraha.
Asraya-vigraha: The technical term asraya-vigraha, when used in Gaudiya Vaisnava literature, refers to a dear devotee of the Lord. This is because the quality of bhakti, love of God, has taken up residence (asraya) in the body (vigraha) of such a dear devotee.
He knows that life after life the dust of his guru’s lotus feet is his eternal position and his everything. He is not attached to anyone in this material world. “So much danger may come. Everyone in this world may selfishly declare their independence. Still I will not give up my vow of serving Sri Guru and Gauranga.” That kind of sincerity and determination will always be present in the heart of a real matha-vasi.
A matha-vasi should always consider himself as fully under the maintenance and protection of his guru. Considering himself lower than the straw in the street, his attitude is, “I am the property of my spiritual master.” He is always hankering for mercy and is more tolerant than a tree. He is forgiving. He has neither enemies nor friends in this material world. He sees everyone equally. He considers any kind of danger and distress to be the mercy of the Lord, and he remains undisturbed. Considering himself a wretched beggar, he is always praying for mercy. He is always free from desires for false prestige and position. Knowing that guru and Krsna reside in every living entity, he respects everyone accordingly. Carrying on his head the order of Sriman Mahaprabhu, he chants the Holy Name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking himself lower than the straw in the street, being more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and ready to offer all respect to others. In this state of mind, he chants the Holy Name of the Lord constantly.
Matha-vasis never speak gossip or frivolous talks unrelated to Krsna. They always practice yukta-vairagya, engaging everything in the service of the Lord. They are loyal servants and are decorated with humility. They never consider themselves the lord of anyone, but rather see everyone as guru. They always recognize the sincere service attitude of those vaisnavas who are rendering non-duplicitous service at the lotus feet of Sri Guru as the hladini-krpa-vrtti, the mercy of the Lord’s internal potency. As such, the matha-vasi offers sincere respects to them while he himself, decorated with a mood of non-duplicitous humble servitorship, always remains eager to follow the ideal constant service attitude exhibited by his spiritual master. He never criticizes or talks about others. Since his heart is always strongly searching for the absolute truth, the faultfinding nature does not touch him. Concentrating his mind upon the Lord, he is always chanting the Holy Name of Krsna. He is determined to give up materialistic association and is always associating with and hankering for more association of devotees. He remains in anticipation of the mercy of the Lord.
Based on his internal realization, he has strong faith that there is no recourse other than getting the mercy of sadhu-guru. A beggar of mercy, he is always engaged in loving service with his body, mind and speech. He always offers respect to others with folded hands. The consideration, amara saman hina nahi e samsare — “no one in this world is more fallen than myself,” naturally arises in his heart. He never forgets the lotus feet of the Lord even for a fraction of moment. In happiness or distress, good fortune or danger, in all situations, he is always absorbed in devotional service. He considers everyone his guru. He never acts for himself. He is always engaged in the service of guru and Krsna. Sri Guru and Gauranga are the objects of his love, and he considers them his own. He is affectionate and clever, krsna krpa karibena drdha kari jane — “He has full faith that Krsna will shower his mercy.” He is always connected with His worshipable deity.
Describing Srila Raghunath Das Gosvami, Sivananda Sena said (Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 6.253):ratri-dina kare tenho nama-sankirtana
ksana-matra nahi chade prabhura carana
“He chants the hare krsna maha-mantra all day and night. He never gives up the shelter of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu even for a moment.”
There is a difference between the matha-vasi and the niskincana nirjana-vasi—those who have no material possessions and stay in a solitary place, or the vrksatala-vasi—those living under the shade of a tree. The matha-vasi follows certain rules and regulations under the guidance of a bona-fide acarya and thereby obtains the most auspicious thing. The niskincana nirjana-vasi does not act under anyone’s guidance.
Inside: Editorial - Srila Prabhupad * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur * Amrta Vani - Srila Prabhupad * Opening of the New Temple - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Matha Vasi - Resident of the Monastery * Sri Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 2, (195-234) – Srila Vrndavan Das Thakur * Srimad Bhagavatam 11.27.48-53 (Uddhava gita) (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur) * From Sadhaka’s Notebook – Srila Bhakti Sadhak Muni Maharaj
The mathas were not established to favor ordinary people but to help pure devotees advance in spiritual life. We serve Lord Gauranga simply by performing sri-krsna-sankirtana. The Bhagavatam verse, yajnaih sankirtana prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah, supports this idea. The example set by Sri Krsna’s Gaura pastimes is the only auspicious way to perfection for the jivas. The mathas have not been established to please bhogis or tyagis (enjoyers or renunciates). They have been established to preach pure devotional service. We receive blessings as we serve Hari by establishing mathas. Our intention is not to collect one or two rupees to benefit the matha. We should not be eager to take help from unscrupulous people. Rather, if we can benefit anyone by speaking the bold truth, then the matha’s purpose is served. People will often play tricks on us. We should consider such tricks the Lord’s test. It is difficult to cross beyond insurmountable maya unless we are greatly fortunate. Mayavadis and bhogis are both conditioned souls. By the mercy of Krsna’s devotees, persons who surrender to Hari can discriminate between good and bad, right and wrong. Know for certain that being drawn by the enjoying spirit, many people cannot realize the Absolute Truth.
It is more intelligent to create a living matha rather than to build a matha for comfortable living. Creating a living matha means to attract faithful persons to surrender at the lotus feet of the spiritual master. The highest welfare activity is to attract living entities to serve the spiritual master’s lotus feet by describing to them the spiritual master’s glories and service. For this we spend gallons of blood. Such preaching will please both guru and Krsna. Therefore to dedicate body, mind, and speech to such philanthropic activities is the perfection of life.
A matha surcharged with talk of Krsna’s glories and service is non-different from Vaikuntha. Thus living in a matha is just like living in a dhama. Hari-katha must be prominent in the matha. There is no use in building a matha simply to facilitate eating and sleeping. Mathas should be built only to spread hari-katha. This will benefit ourselves and others. Devotees who are fully dedicated to their spiritual master are the living source, and we are to hear from such living sources so that we too can become dedicated devotees. People devoid and bereft of service to the spiritual master are dead even as they breathe. Do not associate with such non-devotees if you do not want to harm your spiritual progress.
Inside: Editorial - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur * Amrta Vani - Srila Prabhupad * Qualifications for Chanting the Name - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Ahaituki Bhakti - Srila BV Puri Maharaj * Sri Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 2, (169-178) – Srila Vrndavan Das Thakur * Srimad Bhagavatam 11.22.43-47 (Uddhava gita) (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur) * Face the Truth – Srila Bhakti Sadhak Muni Maharaj
It is very easy to feel and understand, that we can’t serve Hari, Guru, Vaisnava. But “I’m serving, I have got,“ to say this that is most difficult. The nature of our acquirement is such. We are going to capture those that are higher in all respect than we and that also in infinite degree. Then how it is possible?
We must be conscious, we want to be connected with the superiors. The superiors whom it is impossible to control. Only the love, the affection – no right, no force – that is the plane of approach. And love and affection mean sacrifice. Sacrifice, self-sacrifice that is the royal road. Self-sacrifice. By sacrifice no undesirable things can enter. Sacrifice of selfish ideas – and it has got no end.
We must not be afraid of any dejection. From the beginning we are to promise, we are to sign a creed that we not require any result, any consequence. That is with Him, that is with Infinite. That is with Infinite! Only the part of duty – which may be insignificant – attached to my position, my concern is only with that. The rest is in His hand, we must not bother about that. Only we shall concentrate ourselves to that one point – what is my duty, to ascertain that and to accept that. The rest will come out of its own accord. I won’t go to bother about that. With this spirit we are to begin any endeavor. Gaura Haribol!
I’m going to take a bath in the ocean of sacrifice. Sacrifice – die to live. In Hegel’s very good expression – die to live. That is the process of living – to die. What we are at present, die. Die! Put your whole self as a weight for the sacrifice. The weight is your wholesale ego.
Die, and you don’t die. At the same time it will be clear that you want to die but you can’t die. Your inner acquaintance will come out that you don’t die. You don’t die, you are eternal. You will be able find out: “At every moment I try to do that thing at the cost of my death but death is not coming. Why? I’m trying to embrace death but death not come. What’s the matter?” Then: “I won’t die. I won’t die! I’m eternal!” Then the power and the courage became more and more, bigger and bigger.
Die to live, sacrifice, ahuti. Yajna, this word yajna means ahuti, put into fire. You put yourself into the fire. Your dearest thing put into the fire. Yajna means sacrifice.yajnarthat karmano ’nyatra loko ’yam karma-bandhanah
“Selfless duty performed as an offering to the Supreme Lord is called yajna, or sacrifice. All action performed for any other purpose is the cause of bondage in this world of repeated birth and death.”
“I’m the only enjoyer and master of all sacrifices.“
“I’m the master, the controller and enjoyer, the recipient of the sacrifice whenever it occurs. The recipient is Myself. The only beneficiary in the world is Myself.” Krsna says, “I’m the only beneficiary, no other. All transmitted, all transmitting agents, but the ultimate beneficiary is Myself. aham hi sarva-yajnanam bhokta ca prabhur eva ca, but that Myself, that I is friendly to you, not foe. suhrdam sarva-bhutanam (Bhagavad-gita 5.29) “I’m your best friend.”
That is proper adjustment which we hanker after. The Absolute Guardian, the Owner is my friend. He is my friend, we are to realize that and do accordingly with “Heart within, and God o’erhead!”Gaura Haribol, Gaura Haribol !
We should see this material world and everything in it as full of ingredients for the Lord’s service. Everything in this world is meant for Krsna’s service. The day when we can look at the world like this and become liberated from the material conception, we will be able to see the material world as the spiritual world, Goloka. We should treat all women as Krsna’s beloveds. They are to be enjoyed by Him. Do not look at them with an enjoying spirit. They are meant to be enjoyed by Krsna, never by the living entities. Treat your father and mother as Krsna’s father and mother. Instead of considering your children your servants, treat them as friends of child Krsna. Then you will not see the material world everywhere but Goloka.
A pure devotee sees that nothing is meant for his own enjoyment. All animate and inanimate objects are meant for the Lord’s service. Therefore all our activities should be directed toward His unalloyed service. Sastra states:sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam
hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate
“Bhakti, or devotional service, means engaging all our senses in the service of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the master of all the senses. When the spirit soul renders service unto the Supreme, there are two side effects. One is freed from all material designations, and one’s senses are purified simply by being employed in the service of the Lord.”
All our services must target Him only. All our senses should be engaged in the service of the master of the senses. All are servitors of Krsna. Therefore we shall not deprive them of their service. Let all of them offer their services to Krsna. Let us pray, “May the Supreme Lord accept our service.” If we use the bricks for our own house, then there will be problems, but if we use the bricks to build a temple for the Lord, we will be happy and blessed. The proper use of inanimate objects is to engage them in the Lord’s service, and if they are engaged in satisfying the living entities’ senses, then we are misusing or exploiting them. We should direct our senses to serve Krsna. All objects are really the Lord’s property. They are not meant for the pleasure of conditioned souls. It is wrong and misguided to think that everything we see has been created for us. Nothing is meant for our sensuous enjoyment. Everything should be properly adjusted for service to God. If all this world’s inanimate objects are engaged in Hari’s service, then their purpose is served. For example, these bamboos here—if they are used to arrange a stage for propagating hari-katha, then they have been properly utilized. We use these things for the service of Hari and His devotees. All the Vaisnava’s activities are aimed at pleasing the Supreme Lord, the spiritual master, and the other Vaisnavas. A true devotee does not do anything for his sensuous enjoyment. A pure devotee does not do anything for himself or his relatives. Whatever he does, he does for the Absolute. He is always true to the Supreme Lord’s service.
Devotee: Maharaj, is that supposed to be inspiring? It seems discouraging. It’s very difficult to hear this. I will never be able to call myself a devotee with those kinds of terms. It’s very depressing.
not one thing that has any meaning for you or
that gives you a positive result. It’s all useless.”
Srila Muni Maharaj: If you go to the world as an enjoyer, an exploiter, you think it’s easier? How to come out of this suffering? You can go on as an exploiting unit, and then you will go down, down to the animal platform – to madness. But if you want to come out of this, it is not so easy. It is a fight. If one wants to come out from this conditioned world where you constantly face danger, death, disease – all these things we are constantly facing – it should be easy if you see things as they really are. It is not giving you happiness to live in this condition here. You are always facing problems. But to come out you have to fight for it. How much fighting is going on when we remember all the past times of the great devotees? Prahlad, all six Gosvamis – how much trouble did they have – the Pandavas, even Lord Rama Himself. They all faced so many troubles. It makes life like an adventure. Otherwise you become a tool of the lower world. It is not easy. What is necessary is sincerity and humility – and to get the realization that this is not the place I want to stay. We like things, many things are nice, and in 50 years we can again speak about it.
According to the Vedas, someone who is intelligent wants to come out from this. And this is not an easy thing. We put our finger to the fire, and we like it, but then we get some burn. And even after we take the finger away, the burning isn’t finished. It goes on. So we have to tolerate these things. It is our world we are living in. Created by us. This is not the easy way. It’s never been said that this is an easy way. It is actually impossible.
Srila Muni Maharaj: It is only possible through the mercy of Guru, Vaisnava and Krsna that we can come out. Otherwise we have no hope. Everything is running between our ears. The whole problem is there. This we must understand. If you kick out the garbage, then everything will be gone. Nothing will be left. You must realize that the problems are only here, between your ears, nowhere else. If you see that everything is Krsna’s, and meant for Him, you will become free of this pressure – this what you think is so painful and impossible. This is the secret. Everything is made from Him for Him, and I am also a part of Him. Everything is meant for His pleasure. If I take something for myself, why should I complain to Him or anyone? If I steal it away, there is no one I can complain to. This is the law in this material world: If you put your finger in the fire it will burn. So if you take something you will be punished. A simple law you cannot avoid. It is working like this. Like the planet Earth’s gravity, which is hard to overcome. If we could, then we would go everywhere. But it’s made like this; otherwise we could fly around like the birds. But we are put in a prison. We must stay here. If we go up we will die, because there is no air to breathe. We are in this body as if in a prison house. Why? It’s not because He is such a cruel creature. It’s because we are so foolish. It is our mistake. Yes. For such a long time we are living here, and we are still trying to enjoy, thinking that there is something that we have not discovered. You will soon see when you look in the mirror that you are getting old and you are not anymore attractive. You are becoming older. How frustrating it must be for those people, who are like ghosts, trying to put their skin back up with operations. It is the law for all living things in the material world. Foolish people try to change it. They think that when they are 50 or 60 years old they can act like 20 year old, and run around like they are the rulers of the universe and can have whatever they want.
It is a painful process to go through. If you do it voluntarily, and not by force, then it is much easier. It is told in the Bhagavad-gita how to give up this enjoying mood by using intelligence. When you overcome the enjoying mood, all problems will be gone. The problems are just between the ears. They are in us. We speculate and think so much of our illusion. There is not one real thing that comes in the mind – not one thing that has any meaning for you or that gives you a positive result. It’s all useless.
We are parts of Krsna and we are meant for His pleasure. Everything is meant for Him. If we can agree with this, we can live in perfect harmony and stop fighting against His way. Everything is perfect – except that we are trying to swim against the current of the river. This is the problem. Otherwise everything is perfect. It’s not easy. Once Svami Maharaj (A.C. Bhaktivedanta) was asked by one disciple, “You say bhakti is such an easy practice, then why is it so difficult?” He replied, “This process is very easy, but to surrender is very difficult.”
We can surrender to the world as it is. Whoever is being born into hellish circumstances, and have to live in the lowest level of life, are not innocent people. They have committed sins in their past lives. So what can you do? We can try to do something against, but then we see that we cannot. It’s all an illusory play. Nothing can be avoided. Some are born and die in a horrible way, perhaps because they have killed someone in their past life in the same way. Things are coming back as action and reaction.
So to come out of this is not so easy, but it is possible by following the surrendering process, though it is very difficult, as Svami Maharaj has said, “The bhakti process is very easy, but to surrender is very difficult.” He himself had experience with this. He had family life for many years. Tears came when he would speak about this. This is sincerity. But fortunately we have got a very powerful weapon.
Mahaprabhu, our General, our Supreme, gave us this weapon. We can always chant and take shelter of Him, just by chanting His Name. This is the medicine for how to come out.
Inside: Editorial - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur * Amrta Vani - Srila Prabhupad * Qualifications for Chanting the Name - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Ahaituki Bhakti - Srila BV Puri Maharaj * Sri Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 2, (169-178) – Srila Vrndavan Das Thakur * Srimad Bhagavatam 11.22.43-47 (Uddhava gita) (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur) * Face the Truth – Srila Bhakti Sadhak Muni Maharaj
When we reach the highest position of disappointment, then sometimes, somehow or other, from the core of our heart we pray, “Oh Lord, I am helpless, save me! I am under the control of so many enemies in the form of friends. Such a hopeless position I hold, my Lord. From time immemorial I am serving all these masters, but they are not satisfied with my service. Now I find myself in this helpless position, my Lord. You should only come on Your own accord, and assert Yourself. Then they will fly away in fear of You. Otherwise I have no hope.” This sort of ardent prayer from the core of the heart towards the Savior, that is what is necessary for us. With our faith and earnestness we can aspire after that mercy. If we increase the quality of our negativity, the feeling that we are so low, the positive will be automatically attracted. We must try to increase the power of our position as a negative unit.
Trnad api sunicena (feeling lower than the grass), dainyam (humility), atmanivedana (surrender). Hankering in surrender is our wealth. We are the sakti, the potency, and potency refers to the negative unit of the Positive, the Potent. We should increase our negative side, our hankering. The Positive will be automatically attracted to us.
Do We Have Faith in Krsna's Pastimes?
How can we take part in a kirtan with Mahaprabhu, in the association with pure devotees? We will never relish it, never experience a real spiritual understanding of ecstasy, if we do not know that when pure devotees chant and dance then Mahaprabhu and Nityananda, as well as pure devotees, are appearing and dancing. They are with us. We have to develop the finer sentiments, and if we cannot then we have to become humble and not disturb this finer sphere. We must become careful, otherwise we will be punished – kicked – and material desires will come and catch us. Then our mind will be filled with desire for enjoying, greed for money, lust for ladies.
It is only because we are averse to Krsna that all these material desires are coming. We have no faith in sadhu, guru and Krsna. We have to know these things. When we go out the door and can’t remember these things, then the hari-katha was all useless talk. Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj says on this point, we must have association with sadhus and practice our sadhana.
Sadhana is most important. We must always chant Hare Krsna. As well, he tells what to do whenever we are attacked by maya and lust. He says to chant the Nrsimha mantra four times, especially before you go to bed. First say, “sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda, sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaurabhakta- vrnda,” four times. Then, chant the Nrsimha mantra.namas te narasimhaya
ito nrsimhah parato nrsimho
yato yato yami tato nrsimhah
bahir nrsimho hrdaye nrsimho
nrsimham adim saranam prapadye
“I offer my obeisances to Lord Nrsimhadeva, who is always giving bliss to His devotees like Prahlada Maharaja and chiseling at the hearts of demons like Hiranyakasipu. The devotee always sees Lord Nrsimhadeva everywhere. Lord Nrsimhadeva is within and without. Therefore let us all take shelter of Lord Nrsimha.”
kesava dhrta-narahari-rupa jaya jagadisa hare
“O my Lord Nrsimha, Your hands are very beautiful like the lotus flower, but with Your long nails You have ripped apart the wasp Hiranyakasipu. Unto You, Lord of the universe, I offer my humble obeisances.”
Chant this four times in the evening, and He will protect you. Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj is giving us this suggestion in many letters.
He is the only enjoyer. Don ’t enjoy things meant for Him.”
Srila Bhakti Sadhak Muni Maharaj
We have to remember the Lord. So many lose faith. As soon as they get lost, maya is immediately coming. It takes not even one second. If you are inattentive, then maya enters and pollutes everything. Just like a dirty witch. As soon as she enters she is vomiting and putting dirt everywhere.
You should not forget. You should remember and practice these things. Even if it seems like it does not work, we should try it again, and go on. The Lord will see our heart if we are sincere, and we will be protected by sadhu, guru, and Vaisnava. If we are not sincere, then what to do? Krsna will slowly make for you a highway, straight to hell. You will have to go to the material world, and believe in maya.
Maharaj continues reading from Caitanya Bhagavata (Antyakhanda 484-488): “Simply by remembering You, all bondages of ignorance are destroyed. If You do not reveal Yourself, who will have the power to know You? You are free from anger and supremely peaceful. You are the ultimate controller. You are the thousand-headed original Lord who sustains the universe. You are Sri Laksman, the destroyer of the demoniac dynasty. You are Haladhar, son of the cowherd. You have incarnated in this world to deliver the foolish, fallen and wretched souls.”
We have to believe that He is God, and God can do all these things. If you are not an atheist, then you have to be a theist. A theist believes that there is a God. And if you believe there is a God, then you have to believe that He has all the powers that He and His devotees have described.
He can do everything. Nothing is impossible. He is not under the laws that we are under. He can do whatever He likes. He is omniscient, all-powerful. Not even a grain of sand can be outside of Him. There can be nothing outside of God. It is not possible. Otherwise the position of God would be incomplete. But He is complete. So everything must be in Him, and there is nothing outside of Him. He is the sum total of everything, and we are here to satisfy Him. If we don ’t want to satisfy Him, then we have to stay in the material world and try to enjoy our material body.
If we are intelligent, we will recognize the real subject matter of material creation, and in this way accept Him as the Supreme. If you think you can act in this world on your own, then you stay here and you will not become a candidate for God. But if you become helpless, and realize how foolish you are, then you become an object for God, for Nityananda. He will appear and help you. We have to become free from arrogance, and thinking that we are the controller and enjoyer. Everything belongs to Him.
There is one bonafide class of brahmanas in India. They are getting bhoga, offering it, and eating all of it. They all have very big bodies. All the service they do is eating, but not for their satisfaction. Krsna is eating through them. It is a high position. It may be enjoyable for beginners, but if you do it or forty or fifty years, then it becomes a very austere act.
Do everything for Krsna. Everything belongs to Him. He is the only enjoyer. Don ’t enjoy things meant for Him. If you do this, you will be a fool, and Krsna will keep you in the place where you can be the enjoyer of His property. Don ’t think you come close to Krsna in this mood – it ’s not possible.
Inside: Editorial - Srila Prabhupad * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur * Amrta Vani - Srila Prabhupad * Intelligently Aware - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Mana, Surrender and Nama - Srila BV Puri Maharaj * Do We Have Faith in Krsna's Pastimes? (2) – Srila Bhakti Sadhak Muni Maharaj
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te pratijane priyo ‘si me
Mad-bhakto, be My devotee. Mad-yaji bhava, worship Me, Mam namaskuru, serve Me. Namaskuru means namaskaram and the real meaning of namaskaram is to surrender. “I fall prostrated before You and I surrender to You. You should bless me. I give up my ego and offer this body to You. My mind belongs to You, everything belongs to You. I am Yours. All the universes are Yours. You are the Supreme Master.” If we do this, then our surrender will be complete.
The teachings of the Bhagavad-gita say that the mind should always remember the Lord. That we should always speak about devotion to the Lord, His Names, His lilas and His gunas. We should always repeat the glories of the Supreme Lord. Then your bhajan or worship will start. Service means not only doing things with the hands, but with the mind. The mind must be given to Him, must be offered to His feet. This is service. Then He will bless us.
This mana (mind) is independent now, it does not surrender. It preserves the ego, but that ego must disappear. When you surrender, that ego will disappear and then you will be happy, you will enjoy peace. Santi, santi, santi what is that santi? Santi means one who will have no desires, who will give up all desires. Only then can one enjoy peace. But how to give up all desires? This is the problem. One cannot give up all desires. Desires are not created by him, but they depend upon his past activities that force him to think about some things with which he had a relationship previously. Now he cannot destroy this relationship.
Gradually that mana should become weaker and weaker. Now it is the most powerful. The physical body can be destroyed, it cannot survive for long time. But the mana will survive. Although this physical body will become weak, the mana will not become weak, it will remain strong. How to weaken it? How to divert its enjoyment spirit, its desires? Everything must be diverted toward the service to Lord Krsna.
You cannot destroy mana. Mana will remain and will destroy you, then it will take another body. Mana, buddhi and ahankara (mind, intellect and false ego), these three things will always take rebirth. Hundreds, thousands and crores of births. It is impossible to calculate and no one knows about it. Everybody is under the influence of maya. What happened last week, I cannot remember. What has happened last year by this time I also cannot remember. How can I remember previous births? I have no remembrance at all. We have to adjust ourselves to the present situation and remember the Lord, the Supreme Lord Krsna. We should always read about Krsna’s activities, from the beginning of His life. He was in this world for 125 years. From His birth up to His disappearance He performed so many sublime lilas. If we talk and hear about those pastimes then we can achieve perfection.
sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam
arcanam vandanam dasyam sakhyam atma-nivedanam
iti pumsarpita visnau bhaktis cen nava-laksana
kriyeta bhagavaty addha tan manye 'dhitam uttamam
We have these nine types of bhakti: to hear, to utter, to remember, to offer prayers, to do service, do perform arcanam, to think of Him as our Master and ourselves as His servants, to think of Krsna as our eternal Friend, our eternal Master and to submit to Him, atma-nivedana.
So there are nine types of bhakti. We can practice only one or two types, or all combined. It depends on our energy. One type is to always hear the glories of Krsna and this is sufficient. When we have the physical capacity of hearing, day and night one can speak and another can hear. That listening is also a type of bhakti. If you listen, no other activity is necessary. Always do your daily services and always listen to the glories of Krsna. Then after hearing you have to repeat it. Of course you may have some difficulties or disgust for repeating, but in hearing you don’t find such difficulties, you can always be happy listening to the sound. This sound is called sabda-brahma. Bhagavata-Nama is sabda-brahma. This is the sound to hear, not the sound produced by ether and air. Krsna is sabda brahma, Rama is sabda-brahma, Hari is sabda-brahma.
Because there is no difference between the nama and the rupa. Nama and rupa, both are One. If you repeat Krsna, Krsna, Krsna, the same Krsna Who is standing in the Temple, the same Krsna Who appeared five thousand years ago in Mathura, the name Krsna and the form Krsna, both are One. But in the case of the worldly names there is difference between the name and the form. But when we speak of sabda-brahma, there is no difference between sabda and sabdi, nama and nami, vaca and vacaka, both are one. If one is repeating nama - harer nama, harer nama, harer namaiva kevalam - it is the surest, the simplest way to obtain the sublime state or our purification. To obtain the lotus feet of Krsna we should repeat this sabda-brahma.namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis
tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah
etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi
durdaivam idrsam ihajani nanuragah
"O my Lord, Your Holy Name bestows auspiciousness upon all. And You have unlimited Names such as Krsna and Govinda by which You reveal Yourself. In Your many Holy Names You have kindly invested all Your transcendental potency. And in chanting these Names, there are no strict rules concerning time or place. Out of Your causeless mercy, You have descended in the form of divine sound, but my great misfortune is that I have no love for Your Holy Name."
Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave us the Siksastakam, eight slokas on the efficacy of the Nama-sankirtana:ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam
anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam urnamrtasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam
"The Holy Name of Krsna cleanses the mirror of the heart and extinguishes the fire of misery in the forest of birth and death. As the evening lotus blooms in the moon's cooling rays, the heart begins to blossom in the nectar of the Name. And at last the soul awakens to its real inner treasure-a life of love with Krsna. Again and again tasting nectar, the soul dives and surfaces in the ever-increasing ocean of ecstatic joy. All phases of the self of which we may conceive are fully satisfied and purified, and at last conquered by the all-auspicious influence of the Holy Name of Krsna."
Inside: Editorial - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Vaisnava Ninda - Criticizing a Vaisnava - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur * Srimad Bhagavat Tatparya - Srila Prabhupad * Searching for Life’s Secret - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Sri Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 2, (150-168) – Srila Vrndavan Das Thakur * Do We Have Faith in Krsna's Pastimes? – Srila Bhakti Sadhak Muni Maharaj
Srila Muni Maharaj reads from Amrta Vani: We cannot chant Krsna’s transcendental Holy Name when we are full of anarthas because while chanting it is possible to commit offenses. There is no such consideration of offenses while chanting Sri Gaura-Nityananda’s Names. If a living entity sincerely chants the Names of Gaura-Nityananda, considering these personalities Supreme, all his anarthas will be destroyed even if he is full of anarthas. Caitanya-caritamrta states:'krsna-nama' kare aparadhera vicara
krsna balile aparadhira na haya vikara
“There are offenses to be considered while chanting the Hare Krsna mantra. Therefore simply by chanting Hare Krsna one does not become ecstatic.” (Adi-lila 8.24)caitanya-nityanande nahi esaba vicara
nama laite prema dena, vahe asrudhara
svatantra isvara prabhu atyanta udara
tanre na bhajile kabhu na haya nistara
“But if one only chants, with some slight faith, the Holy Names of Lord Caitanya and Nityananda, very quickly he is cleansed of all offenses. Thus as soon as he chants the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, he feels the ecstasy of love for God. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the independent Supreme Personality of Godhead, is greatly magnanimous. Unless one worships Him, one can never be liberated.“ (Adi-lila 8.31-32)
Srila Muni Maharaj speaks: Today I was reading Srila Bhakti Vallabh Tirtha Maharaj’s letters to his disciples, and the same questions are always being asked by the devotees: Why is there maya? Why is Krsna not taking me? Why do I have no taste for hari-katha? Why is hari-katha not attracting me? And he always gives the same answer: because we are adverse to Krsna. We actually do not want Krsna at all!
We have to first question ourselves. Is there any belief of Krsna’s existence in me? Do I have any devotion to Him? Do I have any feeling for Him, or do I actually doubt that He exists?
This is what creates obstacles. We lack faith that Krsna is everything, all attractive, all-powerful, omniscient and omnipresent. We have no belief in these things. This lack of faith causes us not to see that whatever is arranged, is His arrangement. We do not believe, therefore we think someone else has arranged it.
It is interesting how our mind works. It is always pulling us down to the mundane world, into frustrations, taking us away from Krsna. We should watch this. We have to keep the mind focused. Many things will come into the mind, but we must give Krsna the first place. Do not leave Krsna. Do not go to this material plane and try to find happiness there. Whatever you find there will make it difficult to hear and appreciate hari-katha. Do not search for shelter in other things.
Srila Muni Maharaj reads Caitanya Bhagavata (Antya-khanda 5.469-487): Nityananda went to the house of His dear Advaita Acarya in Santipura. When Advaita saw Nityananda's face, He could not understand how joyful He became. He roared loudly and chanted the Name of Hari. Then Advaita circumbulated Nityananda and offered Him obeisances. Nityananda Svarupa embraced Advaita and soaked His body with tears of ecstatic love. They both became overwhelmed upon seeing each other, and They felt unlimited, indescribable ecstasy. They rolled on the ground in each other's embrace, and They tried to grab each other's feet. The two roared more loudly than milions of lions, and They were unable to control Their madness.
After a while the two most sober Prabhus became pacified and sat down together in one place. The broad-minded Advaita folded His hands and happily offered prayers to Nityananda. “Your form is Nityananda, and your Name is Nityananda. You are the personification of Lord Caitanya's transcendental qualities. You are the ultimate cause of all living entities' deliverance. You protect religious principles even during the total annihilation. You propagate Lord Caitanya's devotional service in ecstatic love. You are the fully empowered branch of the tree of Lord Caitanya. You are the Supreme Instructor of all devotees headed by Brahma, Siva, and Narada. Everyone attains devotional service to Visnu by Your mercy, yet You are never touched by pride. You are the deliverer of the fallen souls. You do not find faults in others. Only a person who has heaps of piety can understand You. You are the personification of all sacrifice. Simply by remembering You, all bondage of ignorance is destroyed. If you do not reveal Yourself, who has the power to know You? You are free from anger, you are supremely blissful, and You are the ultimate controller. You are the thousand headed original Lord who sustains the universe. You are Sri Laksman, the destroyer of the demonic dynasty. You are Haladhara the son of cowherd (gopa-putra).
– through the association with those who have developed taste.”
Srila Bhakti Sadhak Muni Maharaj
While Srila Muni Maharaj is reading, the mobile phone from someone in the audience repeatedly rings. That person gets up and leaves the room.
Srila Muni Maharaj speaks: We lose a lot when we are distracted by these things. When you go to a lecture, or a program, please turn off your machine.
I just say these things. I am not referring to anyone personally; this is the age now. It is astonishing how important these things have become to us. We immediately get up and leave hari-katha to take a call, because we do not recognize the value of hari-katha.
The time will come when we will have to permanently leave the body and everything connected to it. At that time, of what use are these things? Then actually, how important is it even now? Surely these belongings should not be the most important things to us, standing in the first place. Here should be Krsna. But truly He is neither in the first place, nor even second or third place. He is coming at the end of the line.
Not until we have many problems and troubles, will we give up and put Him in the first place, offering Him our garbage. However, shortly after becoming free, we choose to dive back into the same kind of garbage again.
Even in the lives of those who come to visit the temple, Krsna surely does not have the first place. If nothing works anymore then the visitors may come. If everything falls apart, and everything is lost, then people come. Krsna has to arrange difficulties for us. But still we do not believe in Him and go on with spending time on useless things. How important and powerful is it then, to hear and to get taste for hari-katha, and to understand that hari-katha is a reality?
While hearing hari-katha, we are diving into a world that is free from material things. We are diving in, but still we feel bored. This is the situation in Kali-yuga, our age. For those who are getting a taste for hearing the divine pastimes of the Lord, and putting them as the all-in-all, nothing is more important.
One day we have to leave this place. We may be here now, and in ten seconds, ten days, ten years everything will be taken away. If we do not remember these pastimes, we will have to take rebirth in this world and search for all kinds of dirty things to get enjoyment. One cannot find peace anywhere in this material world, up to Brahma-loka. There is no peace, no happiness – there are no such things in the material world.
How can we be attracted to hari-katha? Only by sadhu-sanga is this possible – through the association with those who have developed taste. Our Guru Maharaj had so much taste for reading Caitanya Bhagavata. I will never forget how many ecstatic symptoms he manifested while reading Caitanya Bhagavata. After one Kartik month I went to visit him at Puri. Everyday while there, I was also reading Caitanya-caritamrta. It was the first time I could read these books, and I could remember Gurudev, and feel this reality. That what they are speaking is not ordinary. The words are reality. It is truth. It is real truth. And these pastimes are continually going on. Even right now. If you read these pastimes you can enter them and be in the spiritual world.
On the other hand, if so many things are more important then these eternal pastimes, how can you enter them? How can you understand? Instead, you will develop an aversion to hearing. We begin to think hari-katha is “just ok”, something to be tolerated.
One day, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur was chanting the Lord’s Names and wandering in the sky, at his sweet will. Suddenly he found that he was just near Yamalaya where Yama, the lord of death, holds court for judging the sinners of this world. He also found there Brahma, Narada, Siva, and others, discussing with Yamaraja the meaning of two slokas spoken by Sri Krsna in Bhagavad-gita (9.30,31); but they could not solve the problem of discerning the proper meaning of the slokas.api cet suduracaro, bhajate mam ananya-bhak
sadhur eva sa mantavyah, samyag vyavasito hi sah
“Externally, a person may be seen to commit many sins, but if he is exclusively given to My devotion, he should be considered most pure – a saint. Whatever he does, he does cent-per-cent rightly. “ksipram bhavati dharmatma, sasvac-chantim nigacchati
kaunteya pratijanihi, na me bhaktah pranasyati
“Very soon, he will become religious in his behavior, and he will be seen to acquire real peace in his life. O son of Kunti, confidently declare to the public that my devotee never meets ruination.“
under the charge of Krsna, or we shall accrue great
difficulty. We should try to find the good in them,
for that will help us a great deal.”
The exclusive devotee is transcendental to piety and sinfulness But one who is engaged in the Lord’s exclusive devotion, ananya-bhajana, has been defined by the Lord in His own words, sarva-dharman parityajya, mam ekam saranam vraja, “My exclusive devotee is he who gives up all phases of duties (sarva-dharman) and surrenders to My feet, accepting only his duty to Me. “ (Bhagavad-gita 18.66)
How, then, having already surpassed all phases of duties and surrendered to the Lord, can that exclusive devotee (ananya-bhak) further be seen to become a ‘dutiful’ or an externally ‘pious man’ (ksipram bhavati dharmatma)? This is an anomaly. Yamaraja, Brahma, Narada, etc., discussed this point, but could not arrive at any solution. How can one become “righteous in the near future.“ when he has already abandoned all kinds of duties, either righteous or unrighteous, in order to exclusively surrender to the feet of the Supreme Lord? Finding no solution, they sent for Srila Bhaktivinod thakur who, they noticed, was moving in the sky and taking the Name of the Lord, “He is a pure devotee – and not an ordinary devotee – he has deep knowledge of the scriptures, so let him come and explain these verses of Bhagavad-gita.“
And so, Srila Bhaktivinod thakur was invited, and he went there. He gave the meaning. Api cet suduracaro, bhajate mam ananya-bhak (Bhagavad-gita 9.30) – despite his outer practices, the exclusive devotee (ananya-bhak) is to be accepted (mantavyah) as a cent-per-cent saint (sadhu). Therefore, the conclusion is that he who can realize this, he who declares that an exclusive devotee of Krsna, regardless of his outer practices, is cent-per-cent saintly – he will soon become dharmatma, virtuous and religious. His statement and conclusion is cent-per-cent correct, and his conduct will soon become very pure and he, too, will have the chance of accepting the path towards eternal truth.
Whether or not we obey provincial laws, we must obey His Absolute law. “So Arjuna, you take advantage of this and boldly declare to the public that My devotee who gives him-self wholly unto Me can never come to ruination. Even if he may be seen to be outwardly doing something wrong – he will be saved. His successful life is assured. By this declaration, you will get the benefit of becoming righteous and have the chance of attaining eternal spiritual peace. Whoever can understand this and has the courage to declare that My exclusive devotee is never subject to ruination – he, in turn, gets his chance to come to this path of exclusive devotion, and he will attain eternal peace.”
He will attain everything because he has the proper appreciation for exclusive devotion. Everything is for the Lord, and not for any other part. In the Absolute, everything is ‘for itself.’ ‘The Absolute is for itself.’ Whether or not we obey or disobey the laws of provincial or separate interest, we must without fail obey the rule that everything is for Him. This is the main rule, and all others are subsidiary. We may or may not carry on our duties, but we must carry on our duty towards the center; this is the all-important factor in every case. Thus, one who can appreciate this and boldly assert it to the public must have substantial appreciation for this conception, and he is sure to survive and improve his future condition very soon. “He will attain the path of eternal peace, and that is the service of Myself, Krsna.” This is the underlying meaning.
The highest quality in every part of the whole is that everyone must be dedicated towards the center, even crossing his dutifulness in respect to any other environmental position. And one who can feel, appreciate, and assert this – he will also soon achieve such a position. His inner heart can appreciate, and that is something of a realization on that path; it will very soon take effect, and the public will see, “Oh, he is also entering this path of ananya-bhajana, the exclusive adherence to the call of the Absolute Center, and that is all-in-all.”
“Dharma means morals, duties, including duties to father, mother, country, society, humanity; etc. But if one neglects all these and keeps a straight relationship towards Me, he will be considered free of any fault. He is in the line of sarva-dharman parityajya, mam ekam saranam vraja (Bhagavad-gita 18.66). He is doing right, and one who can simply appreciate this will also very soon be converted to the same class.” This is the whole purport. In the standard or most general interpretation, the beginner in devotional service may have so many bad tendencies in his behavior, but when he matures these must disappear. Nonetheless, undesirable behavior may sometimes be seen to persist, at least externally.
The more we are particular about the conduct of others, the more we lose our own time and energy. Instead of benefiting us, such a practice is reactionary. If I try to find fault with anyone, especially a devotee, the fault will come back to me. By chewing the poison in his body, that poison will come to me. Avoid such association. Try to find the good in others – that will help you.
There was a system in our Math at the time of our Guru Maharaj: he ordered one devotee to praise another – especially one that the devotee disliked. Thus, the devotee would be forced to find the goodness in the other devotee who he didn’t particularly like, and thereby be benefited. Eliminating what was bad in his conception of the other person, he was to search for what good he could find, and thereby be benefited.
There need be no culture with any bad thing, anywhere, especially in the devotees. Krsna has taken charge of His surrendered souls (ananya-bhak). Thus, whatever good or bad may be present in them is His responsibility. Any badness or evil in a devotee may disappear at any time by His will, otherwise Krsna may have that tendency continue in order to serve some purpose of His. We must have this vision. We must not dare to criticize those who are directly under the charge of Krsna, or we shall accrue great difficulty. We should try to find the good in them, for that will help us a great deal. This is not a theoretical matter, but a most practical consideration.
Srila Rupa Gosvami has given the example that the sacred Ganges water may externally appear to be filthy, but that outward filthiness of mud, bubbles and foam cannot change the purifying capacity of the Ganges water. Similarly, the devotee himself, the pure soul or atma, is the purifying agent – the purest and most normal factor in the world. Whatever may be externally seen in his character is like the mud, bubbles and foam that is found in the Ganges water. The purifying capacity of the Ganges water is separate, and cannot be disturbed by any foam or dirt mixed with the water. The spiritual capacity does not depend in any way on the apparent material capacity. A Vaisnava may sometimes be seen to be a little greedy, a little angry; or physically he may be blind or deaf or lame – but the saintly character of the Vaisnava is independent of the mental or physical characteristics.
During Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s tour of South India, there was the case of Vasudeva-vipra, at Kurmaksetra. He was a leper, but at the same time he was a great devotee. His physical behavior was also uniquely exemplary: if any worms fell from his open sores to the ground, he would pick them up and replace them in the sores so the worms would not die. He was a thorough devotee. Mahaprabhu embraced him, and by the touch of His embrace, the leprosy disappeared.
Also, Srila Sanatana Gosvami contracted sores all over his body due to the contact of bad water in the jungle, when he was returning from Vrndavana to Puri. Mahaprabhu used to welcome him by embracing him, but Sanatana would try to withdraw. He objected, “Don’t touch me! This is the body of a sinful man.” The sores were oozing and emitting a bad odor, but Mahaprabhu embraced him forcibly. Sanatana had decided, “I shall either leave this place or I shall invite death by falling under the wheel of the cart of Lord Jagannatha.” But as the Lord in the heart of all, Mahaprabhu knew Sanatana’s mind. He chastised him, and embraced him, forcibly. All the sores disappeared, and Sanatana’s body immediately became like gold.
Mahaprabhu said, “Sanatana, you are a Vaisnava. Your body is not defective. Aprakrta-deha tomara 'prakrta' kabhu naya (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 4.173). Krsna is testing Me. I am a sannyasi, and He is examining whether there is any partiality in My dealings with a Vaisnava simply because of his externally having so many sores. He is examining whether I will shrink from the association of such a Vaisnava and cast him aside. But your body is already pure, and only for the purpose of testing the public, Krsna has created this; and if I cannot see this, I will have failed His test and will have been deceived by Krsna. It is a mere show, it is nothing; your body is pure because you are a Vaisnava, a devotee of Krsna. This impurity is only an appearance in order to serve Krsna’s divine purpose. Wherever there is Vaisnavata, true saintly devotedness, there can never be any contamination.
Only to test my devotion has Krsna sent you to Me in this condition.” So Mahaprabhu embraced him and demonstrated that he was absolutely pure. Whether externally pure or impure, the whole principle is that our exclusive devotion for Krsna is the only necessity. In the ordinary sense, the gopis are also sinners. They crossed the laws of society and the sastras, so they are ‘sinners.’ But they hold the highest position of purity by their exclusive devotedness to Krsna and no other. They cannot help but to serve Krsna cent-per-cent, even at the risk of crossing the entire code of morality. They are considered to be the highest devotional ideal.
But that sort of devotion is not so cheap that everyone will go on with their activities in this world, taking advantage of such ideals. That won’t do. The real measure of devotion must be there, not that anyone may do anything passing in the name of pure devotion, like the prakrta-sahajiyas. That can’t be allowed.
Inside: Editorial - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur * Vaisnava Ninda - Criticizing a Vaisnava - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur * When does the Pure Name Manifests? - Srila Prabhupad * The Highest Conception of Conduct - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.24 (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur) * Ekadasi (2) – Srila Bhakti Sadhak Muni Maharaj
(Translated from the original Bengali first published in Sajjana-tosani, Volume 5, Issues 2, 3, and 5, in May, June, and August of 1893.)
Amongst all the offenses that a soul can commit, there is no offense more severe than criticism of a Vaisnava. Therefore, discussing criticism of a Vaisnava according to the scriptures is necessary. In the Skanda Purana, it is written:nindan kurvanti ye mudha vaisnavanan mahatmanam
patanti pitrbhih sardhan maharaurava sanjnite
hanti nindanti vai dvesti vaisnavan nabhinandati
krudhyate yati no harsam darsane patanani sat
“A foolish person who criticises a great Vaisnava falls into the hell known as Maharaurava along with their forefathers. There are six deplorable acts that are causes of falling down. One who (1) kills a Vaisnava, (2) criticises a Vaisnava, (3) envies a Vaisnava, or, upon seeing a Vaisnava, (4) does not offer respect, (5) becomes angry, or (6) feels displeased, will fall down.“
It is written in the Srimad Bhagavatam (10.74.40):nindam bhagavatah srnvams tat-parasya janasya va
tato napaiti yah so 'pi yaty adhah sukrtac cyutah
“One who does not leave a place where the Lord or the Vaisnavas are being criticised looses all of their sukrti (spiritual fortune) and falls down.”
When we are to be this careful about criticism of a Vaisnava, then it is extremely necessary to first define a Vaisnava and clarify by which acts offences to a Vaisnava are made.
are a special type of fault: they are attached to the soul itself.
Therefore, those who desire to serve the Lord are especially
apprehensive about offences.”
Dividing all souls into four groups is necessary. These are the four groups of souls: (1) ordinary souls, (2) pious souls, (3) brahmanas and Vaisnava-prayas (those who are ‘nearly Vaisnavas’), and (4) Vaisnavas. Every soul is an abode of Sri Krsna—with this conception we should respect all souls. Amongst them, giving some special respect to pious souls is necessary. Honouring brahmanas and Vaisnava-prayas is our duty, and serving the feet of Vaisnavas is most essential. If one does not respect souls, does not specially respect pious souls, or does not honour brahmanas and Vaisnava-prayas, one commits sin (papa), but if one disrespects or dishonours a Vaisnava, one commits offence (aparadh). Sins are removed by ordinary atonement, but offences do not easily go away. Sins are attached to the gross and subtle bodies; offences are a special type of fault: they are attached to the soul itself. Therefore, those who desire to serve the Lord are especially apprehensive about offences.
Through the three verses of Srimad Bhagavatam written below, a Vaisnava has been defined according three divisions: a Vaisnava, a superior Vaisnava (Vaisnava-tara), and a superlative Vaisnava (Vaisnava-tama).
A beginner Vaisnava (kanistha-Vaisnava):arcayam eva haraye pujan yah sraddhayehate na tad-bhaktesu canyesu sa bhaktah prakrtah smrtah
“A devotee who faithfully engages in the worship of the deity in the temple but does not behave properly toward other devotees or people in general is called an unrefined devotee.”
One who worships the Deity of the Lord with faith acquired from cultural tradition but does not worship the devotees of the Lord is a beginner Vaisnava, that is, they are just entering the practice of devotion. The difference between faith developed through tradition and faith based on scripture is that faith developed through tradition only arises from cultural education. From faith based on scripture (sastriya sraddha), faith in Vaisnavas, develops through deep conviction in the statements of the scriptures and the scriptures’ authority. Only when faith based on scripture develops does a soul become an intermediate stage Vaisnava (madhyama-adhikari). Until it develops, a practitioner’s engagement in material activities (karmadhikar) does not end. Sriman Mahaprabhu spoke about such practitioners in this way:suddha vaisnava nahe, kintu vaisnavera praya
“They are not pure Vaisnavas; they are Vaisnava-prayas (nearly Vaisnavas).”
When beginner Vaisnavas, that is, Vaisnava-prayas, associate with genuine sadhus, they can become pure Vaisnavas.
An intermediate Vaisnava (madhyama-Vaisnava):isvare tad-adhinesu balisesu dvisatsu ca prema-maitri-krpopeksa yah karoti sa madhyamah
“An intermediate or second-class devotee, called madhyama-adhikari, offers his love to the Supreme Lord, is a sincere friend to all the devotees of the Lord, shows mercy to ignorant people who are innocent, and disregards those who are envious of the Lord.”
One who loves the Lord, forms friendship with Vaisnavas,acts kindly to the unknowing—Vaisnava-prayas, souls who areunaware of the nature of devotion, and ignores those who are inimical to the Lord and the Vaisnavas (remains indifferent to, tolerates, or avoids such persons according to the situation, and, with this mentality, also acts kindly towards the inimical or unknowing as appropriate) is an intermediate Vaisnava.” Only intermediate Vaisnavas are qualified to serve Vaisnavas, as beginner Vaisnavas do not do this (and are thus known as Vaisnava-prayas; they are not called Vaisnavas).
An advanced Vaisnava (uttama Vaisnava):sarva-bhutesu yah pasyed bhagavad-bhavam atmanah
bhutani bhagavaty atmany esa bhagavatottamah
“The most advanced devotee sees Supreme Lord, one’s object of worship, within everything, and sees everything in the Supreme Lord.”
One who sees the presence of their beloved Lord in all beings, and within their heart perceives all beings as manifestations of the Lord, sees the whole world as a Vaisnava sheltered by the Lord—this is an advanced Vaisnava. Such Vaisnavas see no distinction between Vaisnavas and non-Vaisnavas.
Through these verses it has become clear that until they develop the other characteristics of an intermediate Vaisnava, even those amongst the beginner class who have developed faith based on scripture and become qualified to serve Vaisnavas are beginner Vaisnavas, that is, ‘Vaisnavas’. An intermediate Vaisnava is a superior Vaisnava (Vaisnava-tara). An advanced Vaisnava is a superlative Vaisnava (Vaisnava-tama). In this regard, the way in which Sriman Mahaprabhu demonstrated these three classes of Vaisnavas is noteworthy.ataeva yara mukhe eka krsna-nama
sei ta’ vaisnava, kariha tanhara sammana
krsna-nama nirantara yanhara vadane
sei vaisnava-srestha, bhaja tanhara carane
yanhara darsane mukhe aise krsna-nama
tanhare janiha tumi 'vaisnava-pradhana'
krama kari' kahe prabhu 'vaisnava'-laksana
'vaisnava', 'vaisnavatara', ara 'vaisnavatama'
“'One in whose mouth the Name of Krsna has once appeared is a Vaisnava; honour them. One in whose mouth the Name of Krsna always appears is a superior Vaisnava; serve their feet. Know one by whose presence the Name of Krsna appears in the mouths of other souls to be a superlative Vaisnava.’ In a gradation, the Lord described the qualifications of Vaisnavas: a Vaisnava, a superior Vaisnava, and a superlative Vaisnava.”
According to the advice of Sriman Mahaprabhu, simply by pronouncing the Name of Krsna one becomes a Vaisnava. Those amongst the beginner class who have been shown to be Vaisnava-prayas, that is, a semblance of Vaisnava (Vaisnavabhas), pronounce only a semblance of the Name (Namabhas); they do not pronounce the Name; Sriman Mahaprabhu does not consider them actual Vaisnavas. One who can once pronounce the pure Name is a pure Vaisnava. One who constantly pronounces the pure Name is a superior Vaisnava. One, whose simple presence causes the Holy Name to manifest in the mouths of others, is a superlative Vaisnava. It is also noteworthy in this regard that becoming a pure Vaisnava does not depend on initiation or other rites. Initiation means accepting a mantra suitable for worshiping the Deity of the Lord to become a Vaisnava-praya. For the Name, such initiation is not necessary, as per the statements of the Lord:prabhu kahe, “yanra mukhe suni ekabara
krsna-nama, sei pujya, srestha sabakara
eka krsna-name kare sarva-papa ksaya
nava-vidha bhakti purna nama haite haya
diksa-purascharya-vidhi apeksa na kare
jihva-sparse a-candala sabare uddhare
anusanga-phale kare sansarera ksaya
citta akarsiya karaya krsne premodaya
ataeva yanra mukhe eka krsna-nama
sei ta' vaisnava, kariha tanhara sammana”
“The Lord said, ‘One from whose mouth I once hear the Name of Krsna is worshipable. They are the best of all. Once pronouncing the Name of Krsna destroys all sins. Through the Name, the nine processes of devotion are perfected. The Name does not depend on initiation or preparatory rites. Just by touching the tongue, the Name delivers everyone, even untouchables. Incidentally, the Name destroys one’s entanglement in the world. The Name attracts the heart and awakens divine love for Krsna; therefore, one in whose mouth the Name of Krsna has once appeared is a Vaisnava. I offer them the greatest honour.’“
There is no scope here to discuss the difference between the Name and a semblance of the Name (Namabhas). At another time, I will discuss this matter in depth. In this regard, I can say this much: if the Name is pronounced with faith based on scripture, that is, pure surrender, then the Name appears. The ‘Name’ that is connected with desirousness of other ends or covered by knowledge (jnana), action (karma), yoga, renunciation (tyaga), and so on, is a semblance of the Name. Even though results up to liberation arise from a semblance of the Name, the pure Name—not a semblance of the Name—is pronounced by the mouth of the Vaisnava. The Name pronounced with knowledge of the Name’s nature, understanding of the Name being nondifferent from the Named (the Lord), and perception of the soul’s spiritual senses as the source of the Name, is alone the Name. Those on whose tongue one such Name appears are Vaisnavas. As the Name appears, all active and inactive sin is destroyed. As soon as the Name arises, divine love arises.
yathaitam aisvarim´ mayam´ dustaram akrtatmabhih
taranty anjah sthula-dhiyo maharsa idam ucyatam
King Nimi said: O great sage! You should explain how even a foolish materialist can easily cross over the illusory energy of the Supreme Lord, which is always insurmountable for those who are not accomplished.
Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur: The King already knows that one can cross maya by bhakti for it was already said:bhayam´ dvitiyabhinivesatah syad
isad apetasya viparyayo 'smrtih
tan-mayayato budha abhajet tam´
For the jiva averse to the Lord, there will be samsara because of his absorption in the material coverings on the soul, arising from the Lord’s maya. Samsara takes the form of identity with body and lack of identity with soul. Therefore, the intelligent person, taking guru as his Lord and very self, should fully worship the Lord with pure bhakti. (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.2.37)
However, seeing karmis who thought they were learned present in the assembly, the King asks this question. Akrtatmabhih means by persons with imperfect or slow intelligence, since Amara-kosa says krta means complete. You should explain how foolish persons like karmis can easily cross maya, which is difficult to cross by holding a dog’s tail. The King asks this question while glancing towards the karmis present.
karmany arabhamananam´ duhkha-hatyai sukhaya ca
pasyet paka-viparyasam´ mithuni-carinam´ nrnam
Prabuddha said: One should see that the activities of those who endeavor for destruction of sorrow and creation of happiness by sex life achieve the opposite results.
Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur: Karmis do not cross maya at all. One should see this with discrimination. This is explained in three verses. Paka-viparyasam´ means “opposite results.”
grhapatyapta-pasubhih ka pritih sadhitais calaih
What happiness can be attained by wealth, a perpetual source of distress, which is difficult to acquire, and which is death for the soul and what happiness can be attained by objects obtained through wealth, since they are all temporary?
Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur: What happiness is attained by wealth? None. What happiness is attained by house and other things attained by wealth? No happiness is attained because the things are temporary.
sa-tulyatisaya-dhvam´sam´ yatha mandala-vartinam
One should know that the objects of this world and the next produced by karma are temporary, just like the existence of kings who have competition with equals, envy of superiors and lamentation because of defeat.
Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur: Thus this world and the next cannot give happiness. Sruti says tad yatheha karma-cito lokah ksiyate, evam evamutra punya-cito lokah ksiyate: just as this life is destroyed by exhaustion of karmas, so next life is destroyed by exhaustion of pious acts. (Chandogya Upanisad 8.1.6) However, even at the time of enjoyment one can see that happiness is mixed with sorrow. It is just like kings having rivalry with equals, envy of superiors and lamenation at their own defeat.
sabde pare ca nisnatam´ brahmany upasamasrayam
Therefore one who is inquisitive about the highest truth should surrender to a guru who is skilful in the scriptures and fixed in realization, while not being under the control of anger and greed.
Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur: Now bhakti, the means of crossing samsara, which was previously explained, is described. Please listen. One should surrender to a guru who is skilful (nisnatam´) in understanding the meaning of the Vedas (sabde) and other scriptures. If he does not have this quality, the faith of the disciple will become weak, since he will not be able to destroy the doubts of the disappointed disciple. He should be capable as well in realizing the Lord (pare). Otherwise, his mercy will not bear results. The position of being fixed in realization of the Lord is described: he is not under control of anger and greed (upasamasrayam).
Inside: Editorial - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur * Patramrta - The Destruction of Anarthas - Srila Prabhupad * With Sincerity to Safety - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Don't Discuss - Do Nama-bhajan! - Srila BV Puri Maharaj * Sri Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 2, (106-149) – Srila Vrndavan Das Thakur * Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3.17-21 (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur) * Ekadasi – Srila Bhakti Sadhak Muni Maharaj
Do nama-kirtana and through it you will obtain perfection. And after you obtain this perfection you will understand whether you belong to Goloka or to Vaikuntha, or whether you belong to dasya, sakhya, vatsalya or srngara-bhakti. Only then will you know. This is not something which you can achieve by training. These are not topics on which you can give five year training courses. It is not a training course. This raga-bhakti is not a training course. It depends only upon the blessings of Guru, Vaisnavas and the Lord. Our progress depends upon the blessings of sadhus, mahatmas, Guru and Bhagavan. Without their blessings we cannot march forward. There is no march. If you make a khichiri – rice, dhal, vegetables all mixed together – you cannot be happy, you cannot taste it. You will not obtain ruci. You have to go step by step. After ruci will come asakti and after that bhava. But we have not come to bhava at all. We talk of rasa, but we have not obtained the bhava stage. Rasa is different. Many are saying that bhakti is bhava.
We don’t appreciate rasam. Because rasa means to have vikaram (change, transformation). The nirvisesa-vadi are saying that the bhakti-rasa is nirvikara (without exchange and transformation). But this is not the pure conception. Their conception is that there is only nirvikaram (no exchange or transformation) nirvisesam (impersonal), nirakaram (formless) and nothing more. But they cannot understand this. That Mahaprabhu is dancing and His body is shivering, His colour is changing, His throat is choking, His hair is standing on end.
All these symptoms they are considered as nirvikaram. They say that a jnani does not require this. How can they understand? The first thing is that you have to follow the process of Rupa Gosvami.adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sango 'tha bhajana-kriya
tato 'nartha-nivṛttih syat tato nistha rucis tatah
athasaktis tato bhavas tatah premabhyudancati
sadhakanam ayam premnah pradurbhave bhavet kramah
we have attraction and for others we feel disgust.
We all have this, but we should go beyond that.
Then our doubts will be cleared.”
Bhakti Vaibhav Puri Gosvami Maharaj
You have to wait for that. If you give up the rail lines, how far can you go even if you run? The train is running on these rail lines. The path has already been laid and you have to adjust yourself accordingly. This train, when it remains on the right track, can drag any load and it will take us to the right destination.
There are certain lazy fellows who have no time to practice bhajan or sadhana, but they are happy to take part in these lazy discussions.bhidyate hrdaya-granthis chidyante sarva-samsayah
ksiyante casya karmani drsta evatmanisvare
The devotee is always engaged in service, he has no time. Once Vallabhacarya came to Mahaprabhu and told Him, “I have written a commentary on the Divine Name. My commentary is a very lucid one, it is better than Sridhara’s.” Then Mahaprabhu gently avoided him, “I have no time, sir, I must finish my number of Names, so I have no time to hear your commentary.” Gently He avoided him. He said, “I know that Krsna is Nanda-nandana. There may be hundreds or thousands of commentaries on Him, but all I know is that Krsna is Nanda-nandana. So why should you come and tell me your commentaries. Only lazy fellows like to discuss.”
All the devotees were afraid to hear from Vallabhacarya because Mahaprabhu had avoided him. Now if Mahaprabhu comes to a conclusion and has given a judgement, who are these rascals to come and say, “No, no! He is a scholar, he has done this and that.”
These lazy fellows always like to discuss about the raga-bhakti. They never do sadhana. The time they use to argue, is that sadhana? It is not sadhana at all. To develop sadhana-bhakti you have to only hear, not to discuss. Discussion means that there is something you have to accept and something you have to reject. What portion do we have to accept? What portion do we have to reject? What can be understood? Bhidyate hridaya-granthis, chidyante sarva-samsayah. When the ahankara is not there, then you are free from these sort of discussions. Ragam and dvesam, like and dislike. For some things we have attraction and for others we feel disgust. We all have this, but we should go beyond that. Then our doubts will be cleared. We should come in touch with Bhagavan, Krsna. We have to come in contact with Krsna. If anybody comes to you and says, “Oh, you are not doing bhajan” and you argue with him, you will lose your time. Then the time for food will come and you have not done any sadhana. Food is desired, then you have to go to the latrine because you must pass urine. You cannot stop all of these activities. But you will stop krsna-bhajana. You will never do krsna-bhajana. You will never leave your food or control your urine. This is how we are lazy people. We enjoy happiness in argument; the mana is enjoying it and it is called manaso bhyasam, the happiness of the mind. And we think that we have properly utilized our time. But the bhakta will never do that.
If you are really craving the mercy of the Lord, you will never lose even one second. Pariksit Maharaja said to Sukadeva Gosvami, “Do not stop for even one second, I do not want to rest even for one second. If I lose one second I will never make it up, I will never recover that lost second in my life. In seven days it will be one second less, one minute lost.” For a man who is very intelligent, when anything threatens to destroy his bhakti, he will be very honest, sincere and clever not to embrace it or to discuss it. He will not lose his time in useless discussions.
His mind has no taste for it, on the contrary he will sleep. If one does not sleep in these arguments it is because he wants to defeat others, he wants to establish himself. Mahaprabhu says, “Don’t argue! Arguments have no place!”
People who like to argue will always be separated one from the other. The way you do bhajan should not be discussed with others. What is that bhajan? To repeat Nama. Every day you should complete one lakha Nama. You must make time for this. Then you may discuss whatever, because you will be happy that you have repeated Nama one hundred thousand times. Now if you are not chanting one lakha, when somebody comes to you and talks, you cannot count Nama. The time you lose, two or three hours are wasted. How can you make up three hours? How can you complete your Nama? You have to complete the Nama 365 days a year. Every day. You don’t know when the blessings of the Lord will come to you.
We must repeat Nama, but we are chanting it recklessly. My mind is roaming and my tongue is repeating. The beads are going down, but my tongue is not moving so quickly. “Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna”, and then are finished. This is how they cheat themselves. They are deceivers, they are cheating themselves and they are cheating others. They want to derive happiness by discussing. What do you discuss? You have to discuss only on the method of hearing, on how to use time properly. In 24 hours we eat, rest etc. Can we spare eight hours of our day for Nama? Regularly and with the mind attached to it, you should repeat Nama, this is sadhana. We are not at all doing sadhana and we discuss high topics. We do not go to school, our names are not even in the register and we want to discuss about things unknown to us. This is the situation. We are lazy, we are not doing bhajan at all. But bhajana is necessary. You say that you are chanting sixteen rounds, this is nonsense. You cannot be happy with only sixteen rounds. If a man has an actual appetite for bhakti, he cannot be satisfied with only sixteen rounds.tunde tandavini ratim vitanute tundavali-labdhaye
karna-kroda-kadambini ghatayate karnarbudebhyah sprham
cetah-prangana-sangini vijayate sarvendriyanam krtim
no jane janita kiyadbhir amrtaih krsneti varna-dvayi
“I do not understand how much nectar there is in these two syllables Krs-na. When I repeat Nama I think, why has Brahma given me only one tongue? One is not sufficient for me to repeat Nama. How can I repeat Nama day and night with only one tongue? I want more tongues. Tundavali-labdhaye / karna-kroda-kadambini ghatayate karnarbudebhyah sprham. When I hear that Nama I think two ears are not sufficient. I need a hundred crores of ears to hear Nama. When He dances on my tongue, He dances in my heart and all my organs are dancing.” Do you experience that? And you talk all this nonsense. These rogues who are arguing or establishing such things, have they experienced that? No.
“How can I approach this process sir? What is the procedure?” You have to eat to live. What food do you want? Nama is the food. Are you having Nama? Do you repeat Nama? They say, “Yes, I’m repeating it”, but this is an excuse. By repeating that kind of Nama, you will never get anything. This is not the process. You have to go beyond Svargaloka, Maharloka, Janaloka, Satyaloka, Brahmaloka and Vaikuntha. Where are you? Where are we? It is a misfortune, we should not discuss those topics. We should know that these people are kamadinam kati na katidha palita durnidesas. They are under the influence of kama. They cannot control desires. As soon as their indriyam, the senses, will come in contact with their objects, they will fall down. Because they are lazy fellows, they will come in touch with it. They do not have the power that can enable them to abstain. So Nama should be repeated.
See how Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami used to do that. In Vrndavana he was the only person who was vairagi.vairagya-yug-bhakti-rasam prayatnair
apayayan mam anabhipsum andham
krpambudhir yah para-duhkha-duhkhi
sanatanas tam prabhum asrayami
He said, “I’m a blind man, I never wanted to chant, but my gurus Sanatana Gosvami and Rupa Gosvami forcibly tied my hands and legs. It is like when you give medicine to a beast. This body is a beast, I’m a beast. Forcibly they have poured this nectar into my mouth. I am unwilling, I am unfit, yet they are so merciful.” We are not in the position to hear these subjects. Where we are? We are in hell, we are at the bottom of hell, but still we discuss these things.
Inside: Editorial - Srila Prabhupad * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur * Amrta Vani - Some people say that everyone is equal. Are they correct? - Srila Prabhupad * With Sincerity to Safety - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Sri Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 2, (80-105) – Srila Vrndavan Das Thakur * Srimad Bhagavatam 11.14.15-17 (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur) * Process of Surrender – Srila Bhakti Sadhak Muni Maharaj
adhisthanam tatha karta
karanam ca prthah-vidham
vividhas ca prthak cesta
daivam caivatra pancamam
Any event is a combination of many things. But those that are sincere, that are eager to help their own self really, they cannot be misguided for long. That should be our solace, our consolation. “If I do not like to be a party to deceive myself, then none can deceive me in this world.” That fairness of mind one should have, because the vigilant eye of the Absolute is always there. We must have such confidence and such faith that the vigilant eye of the Supreme is everywhere. I may not see that, but He is my best friend and only I want to come to Him and He knows it. So, to Whom I am going, He is looking at everything although I may not. The Absolute is the absolute possibility. The finite is to go to meet the Infinite! It is the most audacious, the most impossible thing, and we are going to make it possible by our inner urge. Our inner urge, that is everything.
Question: So the calculating mentality may not be our best friend?
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: It may not be of great help. Of course we cannot avoid calculation when we are in a certain stage. But still we should know that the calculative mentality may not be of much help ultimately. Prayer is more powerful to seek the help of the highest to whom I am trying to go. If I seek His help, then He will send some agent to me. If I should get such an agent on my side along the way, then I will be more secure in my progress. Prayer, prayer and Saranagati. Prayer reaches to Him only when we surrender.
But calculation may be of the nature of self-analysis: “Here I have nothing, I have no power, so how can I be lifted? My knowledge and my judgment are futile and have got no power. My free will, my judgment, my everything is so meager. So how can it come in contact and make some progress regarding the infinite? This is impossible!” In this way self-analysis will take us to surrender.
Surrender and prayer will be of primary importance to any spiritual student. Saranagati means surrender. As much as we make surrender towards Him our prayer will be genuine. When I shall see myself as clearly helpless then only will my prayer be substantial and then the help will come accordingly.
On the whole there is only one most important factor - sadhu-sanga. So many things are all interdependent but first importance is to be given to sadhu-sanga. But sadhu-sanga is also affected by the results of so many previous events. So many things are all interdependent but still some points have been given more stress. More importance has been given to firstly sadhu-sanga, then Sastra, then Saranagati, then prayer. Though many things are there, a complex and interdependent interhelp, but still if we are to select some principle thing for our help the first thing will be sadhu-sanga, association with those more advanced than myself, and next importance will be given to the Sastra, the advices of the great sadhus. With these two we shall take practical steps in Saranagati. Saranagati is real when it is sincere. And sincerity means, “I am helpless. By self-analysis I am helpless.” As much as I consider myself to be helpless my prayer to the Lord will be accordingly intense, and the help from that side will come to that degree. Sanga means serving attitude, not physical contact but serving. Higher things can be contacted only through the relationship of serving tendency, not otherwise.
Question: Therefore is prayer a more benedicting activity?
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Prayer also should be pure. “O Lord give me my bread,” is also a prayer. And another type of prayer is: “Please save me, I do not know what is my real interest. Please enlighten me.” There are so many different types of prayer and how we pray is determined by our association and our spiritual advice.
Question: Is praying for the revelation of the Absolute more important than glorification of the Absolute?
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Yes. “Please You reveal within me what truth is, who am I, where am I, what is my goal of life and how to reach there. Why am I suffering? I do not know how to get out of this miserable life, so please help me. I do not know, but only I can guess that You are goodness, ecstasy and happiness. I want You. I am very tired of my present situation, I cannot tolerate it any longer. Please take me up.”
Question: Should that type of prayer be given more importance and stressed more than the glorification of the Absolute?
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: The prayer to the highest degree that we find is: “I want Your connection. You may utilize me. You may think me to be Yours and keeping me in Your connection utilize me according to Your sweet will. I have no particular claim nor aspiration that I must attain this or that, but only I want to be Your faithful servant and so You please utilize me in any way You like. Only that inseparable connection with You I want. I am Your slave: I want to be Your slave. Your connection I want: Your sincere connection, and You know best what connection that is. I do not know what is what, but You know what is best. Only consider me as Your own and utilize me.” That should be the nature of our prayer.
Actual service to Krishna is rendered simply by serving the spiritual master and the Vaisnavas. The sahajiyas (imitators) cannot understand this. They think that one who worships Krishna is great, and therefore they proudly consider themselves Vaisnavas, accept service from others, and renounce their guru-seva and vaisnava-seva. Those who have heard the teachings of Sri Caitanyadeva and the Gosvamis, however, know well that it is possible to serve Krishna only by serving the Guru and the Vaisnavas, who are all Krishna’s dear devotees. What is the point in making a show of serving Krishna while neglecting to serve His devotees?
Those who renounce their subordination and service to the spiritual master pretend to serve Krishna and chant the Holy Name, but they commit offenses at every step. As long as one continues to commit offenses he cannot serve Krishna or chant His Holy Names purely. Only the surrendered devotees engaged in guru-seva and vaisnava-seva attain pure devotion by their mercy. Sri Caitanyadeva and the Gosvamis bestow mercy on those who serve Guru and the Vaisnavas with love and devotion.
I used to think of myself as a learned scholar in mathematics and philosophy, but by my good fortune I met my spiritual master. When he shocked me by pointing out that my great qualities—my truthfulness, my pure moral life, and my vast learning—were insignificant, I realized how great he must be to consider such qualities insignificant. By his push I could understand that there was no person as fallen and wretched as myself. I understood my actual position.
Here was a great soul who placed no value on qualities such as learning and moral character—qualities I esteemed highly. I understood what an invaluable object this great personality must possess! I concluded that he was either extremely merciful or extremely proud. Thereafter I took shelter of the Supreme Lord with humility. By the Lord’s mercy I realized that without the service and mercy of such an akincana, I could not achieve spiritual success. When I developed that good intelligence, I received the shelter and unlimited mercy of my spiritual master and my life became successful. Here I am speaking about that most auspicious personality whom I have realized by the mercy of the Supreme Lord, my own spiritual master.
The shock I received from my spiritual master made me realize that unless people are similarly shocked they will not come to their senses. Therefore I declare that I am the most foolish person in the entire world. Do not become foolish like me! Do not try to measure the spiritual master or Krishna. Discuss krsna-katha and you will certainly become a great personality.
Don't Deceive Yourself
We have to advance in our spiritual life. Krishna consciousness means to be connected 24-hours a day, to not be for even one second disconnected. We have no eyes to see, we have very limited vision. Therefore, whenever we approach a pure devotee, we pull him down to the mundane level. We see him with our eyes as ordinary, like anyone else.
How much can we see? How much have we realized Krishna and Supersoul or soul consciousness? Soul consciousness, Supersoul consciousness, means that we are conscious of everything. Now we do not have this consciousness. Our consciousness is just engaged with our problems, with our tiny mundane cultivation of our whatever. And we are arguing.
Imagine what kind of sacrifice such devotees as our Gurudev and his godbrothers and Prabhupad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati are doing. What we read in the Amrta Vani (Nectar of Instruction for Immortality) about the spiritual master is a standard for how the spiritual master himself has to speak.
that we are close to Him,
that we are Krishna conscious
– we will be deceived by maya.”
He has to speak like this so that others may understand the position of spiritual master. When Svami Maharaj came, he had to teach his devotees how to worship, how to respect Vaisnava and Guru. He himself had to do this because all of these newcomers were thinking, “He is the same as me.” Ignorant people will think like this, “He is just like me.” We should be very careful, because as long as we think in this way, all we understand about him is that which we are projecting on him – our level, our vision, is making him like this.
What realization do we have? How can we realize something if we approach him from our level? We have to be very careful. If we want to get the real benefit, we have to follow the teaching of our Guru Maharaj, of our Param Gurudev.
Devotee: How to uproot this attitude towards pure devotees?
Srila Muni Maharaj: When we hear these things, we should do more then just hear it, and then go out and do speak all kinds of nonsense, concerning only the external world – the weather, our bodily conditions, all discussed in detail. We must think, “What is the interest of Krishna in these things? Is He pleased if I talk to Him like this?”
There are many topics being discussed, but there is no topic concerning what we have read – for example, about Mahaprabhu’s pastimes. In this way there is not a continuous flow, you know? After hearing hari-katha we leave the temple room, and the flow is interrupted. Why is it like this? Because actually we don’t have any taste for hari-katha. We have the taste for it only if we are speaking about it, because we like to hear our speaking, and we like the attention others give us, “Oh, he is speaking so nicely!” We get taste for these things: pratistha. We like to be in the position of speaker. But this is not pleasing to Krishna. This is for our pratistha. Very subtle impurity.
When I am speaking I have to also take a lot of sacrifice. When I speak that Krishna consciousness is a 24-hours process, then I have to practice it, I have to live it as much as possible. Spiritual consciousness is something different from mundane consciousness – it is beyond mundane. So if we come from these high spiritual talks and immediately jump into the material topics, talking all kinds of nonsense, then we are committing offense actually.
We have no faith in what Prabhupad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, sastra and Mahaprabhu said. We have no faith. We are egocentric and so much involved in our “I and my” thinking that we are not able to let the universal consciousness work in us. We are not able to meditate about Krishna, because it is always contaminated with this “I and my”. Basically we are only doing things that are for us, for our comfort.
Deceptively we put up a big billboard and write Hare Krishna on it, but our real interest is only in ourselves. When this habit changes, we become a real devotee – there is no “I and my”, there is only “my Lord, let me do something for Your satisfaction. What can I do? I am not able to manage “I and my.” I offer my everything to You.” And then when He comes a little closer to test us, we get scared and start crying.
We should understand that we are very far away from Krishna. As long as we think we know something, that we are close to Him, that we are Krishna conscious – we will be deceived by Maya. Our interest is only “I and my” interest. And we sell it very expertly, with many tricks. We try to fulfill our interest and sell it as Krishna’s interest. We cheat ourselves very expertly. We find various ways for how to cheat ourselves and think it is Krishna consciousness. But what is Krishna consciousness will be decided by Krishna, and those who are more advanced then we are.
So, real surrender, real Krishna consciousness means big sacrifice. We have to cross this border, otherwise we will only live in the imitation of Krishna consciousness.
To make it easy, to make compromises, doesn’t mean this is the real thing. Our Guru Maharaj did not make any compromise. Many times he reacted like a thunderbolt. Half-truth is more dangerous than falsehood. So either you tell the truth or don’t, but never half, otherwise you will be cheated. Srila Gurudeva ki jay!
Inside: The Basic Idea - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Editorial - Srila Prabhupad * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur * Amrta Vani - How is it possible to actually serve Krsna? - Srila Prabhupad * Learn To Die - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Jivera 'svarupa' haya — guru 'nitya-dasa' - Srila BK Santa Maharaj * Mahaprabhu and sabda-Nama - Om Visnupad BV Puri Maharaj * Sri Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 2, (71-79) – Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur * Srimad Bhagavatam 11.14.13-11.14.14 (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur) * Don't Deceive Yourself (2nd part) – Srila Bhakti Sadhak Muni Maharaj
During the British regime, I went to Rangoon, Burma, for preaching. Then Sripad Yajak Maharaj and I were companions. One day I read:jivera 'svarupa' haya — krsnera 'nitya-dasa'
krsnera 'tatastha-Sakti' 'bhedabheda-prakaSa'
“The costitutional position of a jiva (individual soul) is that he is an eternal servant (nitya-dasa) of Krishna. He is Krishna's marginal potency (tatastha-Sakti) and manifestation of the Lord simultaneously different from and identical with Him (bhedabheda-prakaSa).”
I render to my Guru. If I have any identity,
it is that I am a servant of My Guru.”
I told Yajak Maharaj, “Maharaj, I do not accept this.” He said, “What are you saying? This was written by Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Gosvami. Who are you to not accept it?”
I then wrote an essay explaining my realization called Bhrtya paricaya (The Signs of a Servant) and send it to the daily Nadiya Prakasa. At that time Sri Pranavananda Brahmacari (latter Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Maharaj) and Krishna Kanti Brahamacari (latter Srila Bhakti Kusum Sraman Maharaj) were the editor and publisher respectively of this daily newspaper.
In my article, I wrote, “It is true that the individual soul's eternal identity is to be the servant of Lord Krishna. Nevertheless, it is impossible for me to accept this. Why? Because I have no aquaintance with Krishna. I have never seen Him. I do not know Him, I do not understand Him and I have not attained Him.” At the conclusion of my article, I wrote, “My qualifications can be known from the service I render to my Guru. If I have any identity, it is that I am a servant of My Guru.”
Prabhupad (Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati) read the essay and said with tears in his eyes, “What a great thing has been written down by such a little boy!” He said to Krishna Kanti Prabhu, “Please, write to this boy that his Gurudev blesses him after reading his article.”
This is the truth. Where have we seen Krishna? We have seen a stone statue. It is Sri Gurudev who takes away my material understanding; he removes the cataract from my eyes. I shall be able to see the Lord by his grace. To whom, therefore, shall I give most importance? How can I give the same degree of importance to anyone else? I shall only offer respect to other sadhus with a view of getting the mercy of my Guru, for in this life I am not ready to admit any other person, whoever he may be, if it means losing the mercy of my spiritual master (guru-kripa).
Sri Sri Guru Gaurangau Jayatah!
Dear Vaishnavas, Vaishnavis, dear friends,
on 1st and 2nd May 2014 some ceremonies and worship will take place on Sri Sri Radha Govinda's in Traiskirchen, due to the start of the temple construction. We would like to invite You all to participate these auspicious events.
The main ritual, the laying of the foundation stones will be on 2nd May, which is on the auspicious lunar day of Akshaya Tritiya under the auspicious star of Rohini.
Address: Mühlenweg 1-6, 2514 Traiskirchen
further Information by email: hari..firstname.lastname@example.org
or by phone: ++43 (0)650 351 89 04 or ++43 (0)1 812 05 74
1st May 2014
Begin 9.00, duration approx. 2 Hours
- Bhutabali – the cardinal and interim directions of the building are marked and the Digpalakas, the presiding deities of the directions are invocated.
- Bhu Varaha puja – the land is taken possession of
- Mrtsangrahanam & AnkurArpanam - setting the seeds how to see if the soil and land gives prosperity
- Adisesa puja – worship of Ananta Sesa, the thousand headed snake, who will carry the temple on its hoods.
- Prasadam – distribution of spiritual vegetarian food
2. May 2014
Mainritual – laying of the foundation
Begin 9.00, duration approx. 2 Hours
- Sankalpa - Vow
- Mandala painting
- Kumbastapanam – Installation of the Kumbhas (ritual pots)
- Vastu Homa – Fire sacrifice for Vastu Purusha, Manifestation of the Supreme within the building
- Sila stapanam – laying of the foundation stones
- Ashirvadam – blessings
- Prasadam – distribution of spiritual vegetarian food
in the service of Sri Guru, Gauranga and the Vaishnavas
the devotees of Sri Sri Radha Govinda Gaudiya Math
If we want a guarantee that Krsna will be satisfied with whatever process we undertake, the most important tenet of our movement is that we must act under His agent. His satisfaction depends on that. If the agent is a false man, then our whole effort is wasted. But if he is a real agent, then we must gain through him. If through our connection with him we are connected to Vaikuntha, then our actions will be valued. Otherwise we may lose, and commit offenses: nama-aparadha, seva-aparadha, arcana-aparadha, offenses against the Holy Name, against devotional service, and against the proper worship of the Lord.
acquisition. We may have acquired so much, our
progress may be such, but we must not be proud.
We should not be satisfied with ourselves.”
It is written in the scriptures. If service is not properly done, then we are sure to commit some offenses against the Deity. Either we give satisfaction to Him, or we give some trouble. That is an intolerable way of conducting that holy process. We must guard against nama-aparadha and seva-aparadha. We must not be over-confident of our previous acquisition. We may have acquired so much, our progress may be such, but we must not be proud. We should not be satisfied with ourselves.
Mahaprabhu Himself said, “I am taking the Name, I am showing so much peace, shedding so many tears, in the Name of Krsna. But why? It is all false. My tears are only for show, to convince others that I am such a great devotee.” In such a way we must disbelieve that we are devotees. We must be very careful - very, very careful. Kaviraja Gosvami and Narottama Thakura have written thus.
“I am neglected, I am left behind, I am excluded. I am so low; I am so contaminated. I am rejected from the Infinite lila. I could not utilize this great fortunate wave.” This should be the feeling of a real Vaisnava who has an actual relationship with the Infinite. As much as the finite comes in contact with the Infinite, the disposition cannot but be affected. It is not imitation; it cannot but be the real thing.
“I am empty, I don’t get anything,” that should be our mood. “I feel emptiness within me. I can’t get it, my life is frustrated. My life is going to be frustrated. I don’t get a drop of the grace of the Lord, and I have left the world; everything is gone. If you don’t accept me, I am undone. Please make me a servant of the servant of the servant of the servant. Give me the remotest connection. Graciously give me some remotest connection to Yourself. I can’t tolerate it otherwise.” This heartfelt, heart-rending prayer must come from the devotees of the Lord, then we will find our fortune. The charm for the world outside must be fully eliminated from the heart, fully emptied. And the near future will be filled with the nectar of the grace of Krsna.
Bhukti and mukti, the desires for enjoyment and renunciation are compared with ghosts. These two types of ghosts reside in the heart. So how do we dare to express that bhakti lives in our heart? The noble lady of devotion, will she come there, lying on the same bench with these ghosts? How can we expect that? Have we freed ourselves from all these nasty things that we dare to invite the lady of Krsna-bhakti to come here?
We decided to start at the beginning of April with the foundation of the new temple for Sri Sri Radha Govindaji. By the end of April, the drain and the deeper parts of the foundation should be completed.
On Aksaya Tritiya, May 2nd, will be the installation of Ananta Sesa. Ananta Sesa is the personification of service to the Supreme. He assumes different forms in order to render service. Every temple is an expansion of Ananta Sesa. Aksaya Tritiya is an especially suitable day (tithi) to start something which should last for a long time. This day, in this year, is under the star Rohini, which is considered to be even more auspicious. Different ceremonies will be performed on this day, the exact schedule will be published soon.
After the installation of Ananta Sesa will the foundation will be completed and the building of the main structure can start. In the meantime a pit has been constructed for the water connection. The water pipe will be connected by the Wasserleitungsverband within the next weeks.
Costs for the connection fee and construction is approximately 15.000€. To complete the bare brickwork by the construction company we need another 70.000€.
The major portion of the interior work and technical installation will be done by Vaisnavas and friends. If you have the capacity to support us financially please help liberally. Whoever wants to support this auspicious project should contact us.
Inside: Editorial * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur * Amrta Vani - How Can We Enhance Our Devotional Service? - Srila Prabhupad * We Must Disbelieve That We Are Devotees - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Om Visnupad Sri Srimad Bhakti Vaibhav Puri Gosvami Maharaj's´History in Sri Gaudiya Math * Sri Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 2, (50-70) – Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur * Srimad Bhagavatam 11.14.10-11.14.12 (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur) * Don't Deceive Yourself – Srila Bhakti Sadhak Muni Maharaj
Don't Deceive Yourself
– First Part
Spiritual life has a high standard. It is not a cheap thing. Just by putting on saffron clothes, or putting on tilak or even chanting and speaking nicely, attractively, is not enough to understand it. Srila Sridhar Maharaj says, “My attempt should be backed by my whole energy, all my prospects – everything. This is the attitude I should have to search for drop of Vaikuntha nectar. Otherwise our effort will be useless.”
We are very small – tiny. So, we should not expect that if we surrender some tiny part of our life to Krsna, that we can receive too much from His side. Srila Sridhar Maharaj says, “You think that by sacrificing only a part of your smallness that your aspiration for the whole can be fulfilled? Is it reasonable to expect such? No, it is not so easy.”
We have to reflect on our spiritual life. My activities, my chanting, everything I do – what is the motive? Just to get a comfortable life? To get kanaka, kamini, pratistha – money, women, popularity? What is the real motive for my seva (service)? Actually seva should not be shown to others. One who is doing real seva is never disconnected from Krsna. He doesn’t have any taste or attraction for mundane talks. He will just avoid them or try to redirect the talks to be about Krsna.
We should not make Krsna consciousness cheap. It is the most sweet thing, “It is the land of confidence, goodness, fairness and sweetness.” If you want to go there, you have to offer your personal interest. Of course, we are speaking about the highest, but at least we should know this. We should know that we are not on this level. We should not think that we are there and we can preach to others. This can only be done by those who are there. We have to accept this fact and never argue against it. Because any argument against will pull us down to the illusory platform.
We must not be separated for even a blink of the eye.
Such is the consciousness of great sadhus.
Is there anybody who has chanted the Name of Krsna and Krsna came to his heart? When Krsna is coming into the heart, than no other interest from this world will remain there. This is something very high, and not everyone understands this now. But if we are open-hearted, if we are serious, we will get something. However much we have allowed Krsna to come into our heart, is how much understanding we will get. Without this, whatever we speak will only be mundane. Even speaking about Krsna is mundane if you don't become a transparent medium of His will. If we are not attracting Krsna through our activities, through our service, through our attitude of surrender, then whatever we say will be only superficial, mundane. Even talks about Krsna will be mundane external speaking. It will not touch the soul – it will not be useful. Therefore we should become very serious.
Actually the thing is that even most of the devotees do not know what spiritual life is. Just outwardly chanting, putting on Vaisnava clothing, and imitating devotees doesn’t make us a devotee. To become a devotee means much more. To become a devotee means to surrender; that you offer your life to the Supreme Lord, to Gurudev. Let Him do whatever He likes to do with you.
Many things have to be cleared, many things have to be conquered – all these anarthas, unwanted things. That which is not in the interest of Krsna has to be rejected. And when we watch our talking and our activities, we should always be conscious, asking ourselves, “Does it give any pleasure to Krsna? Or is it just mundane talking for my, and others, entertainment? Is there any pleasure for Krsna by doing so?” We have to become serious, in every second.
Krsna consciousness is not only five minutes in the morning, five minutes in the evening, thinking every five minutes about Krsna or speaking about mundane topics like a madman then saying one time “Krsna”, and then everything becomes “Krsnalyzed”.
Krsna consciousness means every second. We must not be separated for even a blink of the eye. Such is the consciousness of great sadhus. They laugh at Westerners, even sannyasis, who run around in the holy places considering themselves to be great devotees, but are completely on the level of mundane consciousness. However, these great sadhus are merciful. But nevertheless, we should know that they know our real level. Therefore we should become very meek and humble, we should avoid to come too close to the highest class of devotees. Because in reality, whatever we do with mundane consciousness in the association of a great devotee will be an offense.
We are on a very gross level, thinking that everyone is just like us – on our level. We are not aware that great devotees are non-different from Krsna. So with our gross understanding, with our heavy mind, we commit offense just by opening of our mouth; we pull them down to our level. They are on such a fine, subtle level!
Any experience about the Lord must come from upper to lower. It does not depend on us. We can only increase the intensity of our hankering, of our serving attitude (sevonmukhata), and whether He will descend to this plane or not depends on His whim. There is transcendental substance He moves according to His sweet will. He may come down or He may not, at His whim. He is free. We can only increase our earnestness for His presence. Although the potency and the potent are inseparably connected, we must generally know our-selves to be of the marginal potency.
He is everywhere - He is nowhere; everything is within Him - nothing is in Him. Such is His peculiar and mystic position (Bhagavad-gita 9.4-6). Thus, our duty is to try to serve Him. We should not put much emphasis on 'feeling' Him either by mind, by body, or even by intelligence. He is everywhere, and He is nowhere: in a flash He may show, “Yes, I am here”; yet, when we are earnestly searching for Him, He may be nowhere to be found. His nature is independent. We can search, but we cannot say that we shall find Him.
Aslisya va pada-ratam pinastu mam, adarsanan marma-hatam karotu va: our duty is to devote ourselves cent-per-cent and most intensely for Him. We are only to serve Him. And service does not mean that we must necessarily come into direct contact with Him. Remote service is also service; through His devotee it becomes tangible. We should try to serve Him through His devotees, without expectation of any reward. We should have no desire except to serve, even without expecting to see Him once, to have His darsana. We shall only want to be utilized by Him. The little energy we have must be utilized for His cause. We are His potency, and we should prove that we belong to Him. Mahaprabhu says, “He may embrace me or reject me, or He may even be indifferent towards me. Whatever He likes, He may do, but I have no alternative but to serve Him.” We must adopt such an exclusive and unconditional attitude. Not that, “If He doesn't want to reciprocate according to my will, I won't like to approach Him; so I shall join the atheists or the mayavadis. If You don't come forward to satisfy me, then I shall seek my own way - I don't want You!” If there is any tinge of such an attitude, we are far, far away.
greatest agent of His service will constitute
the safer and higher relationship of ananya-
-bhajana, exclusive service eliminating all else.
Yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato, mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah. “We have no alternative but to serve You.” To search means to serve: “I want to be utilized for His cause. However petty the service may be, nothing is petty when in His connection, the least connection, even from far away. He need not please me, even by giving His darsana in a lightning way. Everything depends on His will.”
Unconditional offering unto Him shows faith of the highest type. If our offering is conditional, we shall have to remain far from Him. The characteristic of the highest faith is absolutely unconditional: “I am only to be satisfied with just the chance to serve Him from afar, through some medium; or many mediums, not only one. Dasa-dasa-dasanudasatvam - servant of the servant of the servant of the servant . . . I have His connection from afar, and my energy passes through the devotees, towards Him, towards the center of fulfillment. Whatever my position may be, I want my connection with the greatest fulfillment of the whole world!” Everyone is searching for such fulfillment of all their innermost necessities.
Sarva-dharman parityajya, mam ekam saranam vraja (Bhagavad-gita 18.66): the search for Him eliminates all other duties. A true devotee thinks, “There is no obligation to anyone except one, and He is my Lord, Krsna.” And His most laudable and greatest servitors are those who are in contact with His greatest agent. Not His direct contact, but contact with the greatest agent of His service will constitute the safer and higher relationship of ananya-bhajana, exclusive service eliminating all else.
Wherever there is an absence of complete faith in the most auspicious personality, there is bound to be inauspiciousness. Therefore, the ascending or unauthorized path should be totally rejected and the descending or authorized path of disciplic succession accepted. If we really want to benefit, we will have to offer everything we have accumulated since birth to the Lord’s lotus feet without reservation and await His causeless mercy. Until we are favored by a glimmer of His causeless mercy, we will not be able to understand krsna-katha. If we do not have full faith that the Lord alone bestows all auspiciousness, we will not be able to give everything up without hesitation. We may think, “If I give everything to Krsna, I may actually lose everything and find myself in trouble if Krsna has nothing to give me.” Such doubts are baseless. By maintaining such doubts, we simply invite inauspiciousness.
but even in our independence we are dependent
on the Lord. The moment we attempt to misuse
our independence by opposing this understanding
we will bring about our own ruination.
The Lord never refuses His surrendered devotee or leaves his desires unfulfilled. The Lord has the sole power to fulfill all our requirements and to give us full protection. If we can gain this conviction, we will become fearless. We will no longer feel anxiety. We will become happy. It is not possible to describe how much benefit the living entity receives by the Lord’s causeless mercy. When the Lord does bestow His mercy, it’s not that we become satisfied even after serving Him constantly. Rather, we receive an invaluable wealth of transcendental longing for the Lord’s service. We will not lament that we cultivated attraction to the Lord’s name, form, qualities, and pastimes, and we will not think they are boring or that our future is dark with possible disappointment. We will never think we have been cheated by surrendering to His lotus feet. Our most magnanimous, able, and grateful Lord will never throw us into the ocean of disappointment.
We have an invaluable jewel called independence, but even in our independence we are dependent on the Lord. The moment we attempt to misuse our independence by opposing this understanding we will bring about our own ruination.
If we approach worldly people with high expectations, they can neither fulfill our ambitions nor solve our problems. That is why Bhagavad-gita clearly instructs us to take complete shelter at Sri Krsna's lotus feet. He alone is the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Lord. To surrender to Him is the ultimate goal of our life. Simply by surrendering to Him, we perfect our life. We should discuss how to surrender completely despite our anarthas and impediments.
After long and difficult negotiations, the municipality of Traiskirchen has issued an official building permit for the construction of the temple. The challenge we now face is funding of the project.
In addition we are looking for skilled and unskilled workers for the construction and finishing of the temple building. Those who would like to support us with this all-auspicious construction please contact us.
Inside: Editorial * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur * Amrta Vani - Does Lack of Faith in God Cause Distress - Srila Prabhupad * Homeward Journey - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Sadhu-Sanga is Always Necessary - Srila BV Puri Maharaj * Sri Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 2, (23-49) – Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur * Srimad Bhagavatam 11.14.1-11.14.9 (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur) * Guru Tattva (Pt. 3) – Srila Bhakti Sadhak Muni Maharaj
Devotee: Some people are saying that it is necessary to read only Prabhupada's books [Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami] and that this is the way to get his association. But on the other hand, Prabhupada says in many of his purports that personal association with saintly persons is important. How can we fully realize that?
Srila Bhakti Vaibhav Puri Maharaj: You see, when sadhus are not available, there are the sastras and you must read them. But when sadhus are available near or far, you have to approach them, you have to talk with them. Because the Scriptures may help us, but practically speaking wherever you find a sadhu practising, you should go to that sadhu and receive direct instructions from him. The Scriptures cannot bless you. They may clear your doubts, but the blessings come from the sadhus. You have to approach a living sadhu. There is no other way. He must bless us. But if you go to a sadhu who is not a real sadhu, then he will delude you. Then you will have to pray to Lord Krsna that He comes to You as a bona fide sadhu. You will do your duty by thinking, “Only when Krsna will bless me, will I get that association.” We don't know for how long we will survive, janma-mrtyu-jara-duhkhair. We should know that we are unreal, we don't know what will happen one hour from now. So we should not procrastinate, we should not be lazy in doing this [searching for a real sadhu].
There is a statement given by Ravana, “Once I had an idea to build a ladder to Svarga-loka. I could have done it, but I waited.” No! Whatever you think is good, do it immediately, don't delay. Krsna will help you. If you are not able, Krsna will help you to know how to adopt and select the process. He will give the remedy and the blessings. There is always Krsna. In the beginning, in the middle and at the end there is Krsna. Without Krsna nothing can be done. This is the devotee's conception and this is called Krsna consciousness. We are not speaking of a jnani's or yogi's conception. We are speaking of a bhakta's conception. The obtainment of the bhakta and that of the jnani or yogi are different. They are all different.
The bhakta is always happy, he does not want even moksa. “I will never suffer if I have to take another birth, I will be happy to be born as a devotee or in the house of a devotee. Whether I may be in a human form or in beast form, I must be close to a sadhu.” Sadhu-sanga is always necessary.'sadhu-sanga', 'sadhu-sanga'- sarva sastre kaya,
lava matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya.
All the scriptures say, “Seek the association of sadhus!” Which sadhus? A living sadhu, not sadhus who have left this world. You can have their teachings through books, but the association of a living sadhu will be more effective.
So if a sadhu is present you have to approach him. Do not argue this. Do simple, practical things and seek the sadhu's association. You should talk to a sadhu, hear from him and observe his behaviour, then your heart will be greatly benefited. But if you only read the sastras or the quotations of the sadhus, you will not have as much benefit. Sadhus are always present, do not say that sadhus are not there, as long as the world will exist sadhus will always be there. It is only by fortune that we will meet them. And if I come in contact with a sadhu, whatever blessings I need I will get.
We do not have to compare ourselves with others, we do not have to hanker after worldly things, we only want Lord Krsna. If we feel a strong necessity Krsna will come to us. We must feel this necessity and practise immediately. Whatever the sadhu says, we have to obey him. If we go on reading the sastras, they will never give us the same strength. By reading them you can destroy your doubts, but you will be able to destroy them even more if you have the association of a sadhu, because you can observe his activities and you can understand them. If you are sincere, you will get a sincere association, but if you are not sincere you will get nothing. This sincerity must be there. It depends upon us, because Krsna will never deceive anybody. He is called Krtajna. In the sahasra-Nama He is called Krtajna, because whatever I do He will accept. If I think of Him and weep for Him, He will help me.
Inside: Editorial * What Is Gaudiya Math Doing? * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur * In Praise of Saranagati - Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj * Amrta Vani - How can we understand the Absolute Truth? - Srila Prabhupad * The Standard for Nama Sankirtana - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Pure Devotion - Srila BV Puri Maharaj * Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 2, (17-22) – Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur * Srimad Bhagavatam 11.2.48-11.2.52 (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur) * Guru Tattva (Pt. 2) – Srila Bhakti Sadhak Muni Maharaj
There are many hypocrite sects who counterfeit bhakti (devotion) by assuming the paraphernalia of the false devotee but are not aware that bhakti is an impulse of the soul. Of these, some for the purpose of filling their bellies, some for fame, some again by simulating for some other purpose, practise deception on men.
The Gaudiya Math says, that in the name of dharma it is not proper to practise trade. Not using Hari to serve our own pleasures, our duty is only to serve Sri Hari. The Gaudiya Math says that imitating the devotee of Hari or putting on the dress of Narada as in a theatrical performance is far from walking after the devotee of Hari or following Narada. The delightful tune, time, cadence alone do not constitute the hari-kirtan of the Gaudiya Math; those are found even in the performances of the gramophone or harlots. Cetanata, ‘consciousness’ is necessary, the fiery life is necessary, simultaneous practice and preaching is necessary. The Gaudiya Math says that he who does not possess a pure character is not fit even to be styled ‘man’ not to speak of being regarded as religious (dharmik). The Gaudiya Math keeps at a distance from the five kali-sthanas (abodes of quarrel). The kali-sthanas according to the opinion of the Bhagavata are the following:
1) dissipating games such as cards, dice etc.; trade or the profession of a trader in the name of dharma; 2) indulgence in luxuries such as betel, tobacco, wines, etc.; 3) improper association with women or unusual addiction to one’s own wife; 4) animal slaughter; not to proclaim the truth to people but to deceive them by lies; not to preach hari-katha ‘the word of God’ to jiva; in lieu of hari-katha to give other kinds of advice; 5) by cheating people or by accepting money that is earned by their labour from the people in general, to apply such wealth to the maintenance of wife and children, or increasing the scope of one’s own enjoyments; not to employ everything—the body, mind and speech of the jiva, life, wealth and intellect—in the service of Sri Visnu Who is the proprietor of all things and the Lord of all wealth.
the hari-kirtan of the Gaudiya Math; those are found
even in the performances of the gramophone or harlots.
Cetanata, ‘consciousness’ is necessary,
the fiery life is necessary,
simultaneous practice and preaching is necessary.”
The sastra says, of all things the human body is the dearest to God; the human body is the giver of the paramartha (highest good) and is very difficult to obtain; and therefore, while this body lasts, without being immersed in any other thing, not being deceived by supposing that any other method except sorrow-stupor-fear-killing bhakti is productive of good, it is our duty unceasingly to practise devotion. Other forms of devotion to God are weak, the devotion denoted by kirtana is strong. Once the protection of the strong bhakti is secured, it gives to jivas the highest good with little effort on their part.
Therefore, by preaching kirtana at all times to induce, by right of the highest kinship, the whole of the jiva to turn Homeward is true universal love, true help of others, true kindness and the true duty of life. The Gaudiya Math embracing all the inhabitants of the universe without exception, in sadness calling upon all to turn their face towards God to be preachers of this bhakti denoted by kirtana, say:he sadhavah sakalam eva vihaya durat
Ye, the righteous, bidding good-bye to everything from a distance, offer the devotion of your hearts to the feet of Caitanyacandra.
At that time, Krsna pointed out, "You see! You thought that Govardhana Hill was only a heap of stone. No - it is living, it is the Supreme Personality of Godhead." At that time, Krsna revealed Himself as Govardhana Hill and showed how it is also His extended self. According to authorities in our line, Radha-kunda is the extended self of Srimati Radharani and Govardhana is the extended self of Krsna. And so we worship a stone from Govardhana Hill, a part of Giridhari, as Krsna Himself. We may understand from this that a part of the infinite is infinite. And yet so feeble is our ordinary vision that although Govardhana-sila is a part of the infinite, and therefore also infinite, to our material vision it is only a piece of stone.
This pastime shows that a thing may appear to be ordinary stone, but its possibility is infinite. In the general sense, Einstein's theory of relativity has announced that anything we see is that thing plus something more. In his own scientific way he explains that the reality of a thing includes its possibilities, its prospect - reality is not at a standstill.
Reality is not limited to what is seen or conceived by our senses. Our vision or estimation of anything may be limited, but unknown to us, its prospect may be unlimited. Everything has infinite possibility. We do not even know what infinite possibility a particle of sand may have. We do not know what sort of possibility may exist within a leaf of a plant. It may appear ordinary, but it may contain invaluable medicinal properties.
A part of the infinite is also infinite. The Govardhana-sila represents Krsna as the master and keeper of cows. Within Govardhana is that mild and soft conception of God the Beautiful. We beg for His mercy, His affection, and His gracious glance upon us.
That may save us from the negative influence of this material environment. When we try to put a stop to our material form of life and take our course towards Godhead, Krsna consciousness, neglecting the imperative duties that are upon us, so many difficulties may come to trouble us, to trap us in our journey towards the ultimate truth. But if we stick to the order of Krsna, He will protect us. Krsna confirms this in Bhagavad-gita:sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
He says, "Abandon all other conceptions of duty and just surrender unto Me. Have no fear. I shall protect you and free you from all sinful reactions that might arise from neglecting your ordinary duties."
Different material tendencies and mental impulses may attack us - even Indra himself, the king of heaven and the controller of all ordinary activities, may attack us - but if we are attentive towards our goal, if we are careful to read the order of Krsna, He will protect us in the shade of His lotus feet. He will give us shelter under the shade of Govardhana Hill, where no Indra will be able to touch our heads. And with full faith that Krsna will give us protection, we should try to take shelter under Govardhana Hill and pray: "O Krsna, give me protection from all the difficulties that may come to attack me because of my leaving behind my ordinary obligations."
Although many anomalies may try to catch us, Krsna will protect us. And in His representation as Govardhana Hill, that wonderful master of the cows will save us from all sorts of difficulties. How is this possible? God works wonders. His ways are unknown and inconceivable.
If we want to enjoy the pleasures of this world, we will suffer, because all diseases will come. It is the function of Nature that you cannot enjoy. You will have to weep if you enjoy, because that enjoyment is not real. One can say, “I know that this enjoyment or attachment and its side-effects will bring only suffering. I know this, still I am unable to give it up.” Suppose a person wants to eat some particular diet or has attachment to a wife and children. He knows that he is supposed to give it up, but he cannot. He is aware of the after-effects of these attachments, but still is unable to leave them. He is not an Isvara, he is only an infinitesimal jiva, therefore he cannot control himself. Isvara can control the limbs, but the jiva cannot.
Still he, the bhakta, does not leave his bhajan. He is always weeping for Krsna, “Oh Krsna, I know that this should not be done, but I am doing it, because I am not fit. Please make me fit!” Suppose a man likes a mango or whatever. He knows it may be bad for his health and that he has to give it up, but he is unable to control himself. Then he prays, “Oh Lord, please help me!” That prayer will help him. When the time will come, automatically that attachment will go away. However, if all a sudden, we give up one thing and we take another, it will not last. Because it is Nature’s function. So one must have sufficient strength to control himself. Self-control is different from spontaneity.
There is a story about Guru Nanak. He was very fond of payasam rice, milk and sugar. One day he ate a very large quantity of this payasam and he vomited. So on that day he gave it up. After vomiting he told himself, “This happened because I have such a taste for this preparation, so eat it now! Eat it!”
The devotee’s attitude should be, “I am unable to control my limbs, I have no capability to control my organs. The Lord must help me." This is the correct process. Guru Nanak’s approach was a long procedure because it was an ascending process, not a descending one. Without the help of the Lord, Guru Nanak took the initiative to give up this payasam. He gave it up, no doubt, but this does not show that he has obtained bliss. One may give up whatever is not necessary, but this does not mean that he will automatically obtain bliss. What is that bliss? To have the darsana of the Lord. Nothing except that can be called bliss. The bliss of yogis and jnanis is to give up their enjoyment, but they cannot be happy: rasavarjam raso 'py asya / param drstva nivartate. Forcing themselves they say, "No, I don’t want to enjoy." But that will never last. Only when this detachment will come automatically, will it last.
world, we will suffer, because all diseases
will come. It is the function of Nature that you
cannot enjoy. You will have to weep if you
enjoy, because that enjoyment is not real.”
Om Visnupada Sri Srimad
Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Gosvami Maharaja
Like in the story of Bilvamangala. He was too attached to Cintamani, a harlot. One day he wanted to cross the river to go to that harlot, but there was a heavy flood. The boats were not available, so he jumped into the river. Fortunately he saw a corpse, took hold of it and was t able to cross the river. He reached the harlot’s house, but she was upstairs and there was no way to go inside. Then he saw a rope hanging from the boundary wall, he caught hold of it and jumped over. He knocked at the harlot’s door and went inside. Seeing him, Cintamani said, “How were you able to come here, sir?” He replied, “There was some rope there and with it I could cross over the boundary wall.” “But there is no rope at all!” Then with the help of some light they saw that it was not a rope, but a snake. “You did not realize that it was a snake?! And you crossed the river holding onto a corpse! If you could have one percent of this attachment for Lord Krsna, you would be greatly benefited.” Immediately, upon hearing these words, he was transformed. “Yes, I prostrate before you. You are my siksa-guru, from today onward I will stop with this attachment!”
Afterwards he went to his diksa-guru Somagiri to take sannyasa and then he tore out his eyes, because they were the cause of his calamities. Of course, this may seem like an ascending process, but he was weeping and weeping for Krsna. He remembered all His lilas and wrote the Krsna-karnamrta. He had so much attachment for Krsna. Whatever attachment he had for the harlot was doubled, tripled a hundred times more for Krsna. So he wrote many wonderful slokas and he sang them.
He was a blind man singing and Krsna would come and listen to him. Once when he had finished, Krsna asked him, “Where do you want to go, sir?“ “I want to go to that place.” “Then take hold of My hand and come with Me.” Taking Krsna’s hand he was guided to that particular place and Krsna said, “Here is the place you wanted to reach,” and He left. So this is the stage he had obtained. Anyhow it is all the Lord’s grace. Without His grace, sacrifice never lasts. Sacrifice depends upon the blessings of the Lord. So we have to depend upon the blessings of the Lord.
Inside: Editorial * What Is Gaudiya Math Doing? * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura * Amrta Vani - Why Can't Everyone Understand Transcendental Subject Matter? - Srila Prabhupada * Ocean of Faith - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaja * Ascending and Descending Process - Srila BV Puri Maharaja * Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 2, (1-12) – Srila Vrindavana Dasa Thakura * Srimad Bhagavatam 11.2.44-11.2.47 (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura) * Guru Tattva (Pt. 1) – Srila Bhakti Sadhaka Muni Maharaja
The Gaudiya Math is the missionary of this all time kirtana. The Gaudiya Math begs everyone of us to offer his all to Krsna. The dhum-dham or pomp and display of the Gaudiya Math is for the sole purpose of making all efforts of the world krsna-para ‘having Krsna as their goal’; the offering to Krsna comes first and after the offering has been made, bhakti begins. The Gaudiya Math says, “make the offering to Krsna first and after that has been done profess to be a bhakta (devotee).” The Gaudiya Math says,“do not imitate the kirtankari (one who does kirtana). Dhang ‘burlesque’ is the other name of anukarana ‘imitation’. By arraying oneself in the trappings of dhang or shang ‘harlequin’, people can be deceived but no good is done either to oneself or to others. It is those who follow the kirtankari that are really their own benefactors, or properly alive to self-interest, and also benefactors of others, or mindful of other’s interests. They are not blinded by considerations of undue personal advantages, nor do they cheat others and are, therefore, truly disinterested. It is by kirtana alone that the claims of self-interest, interests of others, and disinterestedness are simultaneously satisfied.”
Bhoga (enjoyment) or mukti (freedom from misery) in the shape of prevention of famines etc. is gained by namaparadha (offensively taking the Name) or by namabhasa (taking the dimly perceived Name). That by which crores of times greater eternal good is produced—whereby the lotus of the eternal well-being of the jiva blossoms forth, that Sri Nama; the Holy Name itself—the Gaudiya Math endeavours to give away freely. They are earnestly trying to give away freely Krsna Himself.
In this world there are many persons who spread unwholesome doctrines after advertising their intention to give good advice; but most men are deceived by the idea that the actual pleasurable experience of the moment is the ‘good’. In Sanatana Siksa (Instruction to Sanatana Gosvami)ke ami, keno more jare tapa-troy
iha nahi jani kemone hito hoy
“Who am I, why the threefold misery doth wear me out? Ignorant of this, how can good ensue.” In answer to the question ‘how can there be good’, the message of the ‘good’ that Gaurasundara, the expounder of the sanatan-dharma (eternal religion) delivered to us regarding the only means of obtaining that ‘good’—if it once reached our ears we would not have considered bhakti denoted by kirtana as weak, and other methods as strong. Turning our face away from the direction in which the treasure would be easily found, we would not have hurried towards the South for the bite of wasps, towards the West for the terrors of the Yaksa (the demon that guards wordly riches), towards the North for offering our lives to the fangs of the black snake. Our Home is Eastwards, but we are running with all speed away from East toward other points of the compass; and when the people of the East call out to us to turn back, deluded by the mirage we say, ‘We will not listen to you, see what beautiful lakes full of the cleanest water lie yonder before our very eyes.’ Talking thus and being by degrees enamoured of that which only appears to our senses, we are ever moving away from home towards foreign lands. In those circumstances the doings of the Gaudiya Math sometimes seem to us and to those who are like-minded with ourselves as being contrary to our ideas. This is likely and need not cause any surprise; but all this notwithstanding the Gaudiya Math bearing its message, with its bright flag flying, emblazoning on it the words that attract our ears and eyes, is saying—neha yat-karma dharmaya na viragaya kalpate
na tirtha-pada-sevayai jivann api mrto hi sah
evan nrnam kriya-yogah sarve samsrti-hetavah
ta evatma-vinaSaya kalpante kalpitah pare
yad atra kriyate karma bhagavat-paritosanam
jnanam yat tad adhinam hi bhakti-yoga-samanvitam
“The work that is not done for the sake of dharma, the dharma that is not performed for the purpose of viraga (renunciation), the vairagya (renunciation) that is not practised for the service of Visnu, the person who practises such work, dharma, or vairagya is dead in life. The naimittik (conditional) kamya-karmas (fruitive works) are the cause of samsara-bandhan (the bondage of the world), or yoni-bhramana (birth-journeys); but those very works if they are done for God have the power to destroy ungodliness. The bhagavajjnana (divine knowledge) associated with bhakti (devotion), denoted by sravana, kirtana, etc. (listening to, singing etc.) is assuredly the chaste fruit of works that are performed in this world for pleasing God.”
It is this that is the subject of the propaganda of the Sri Gaudiya Math. The Sri Gaudiya Math by its practice proclaims that by the gratification of the senses of jiva, instead of the gratification of the senses of God, no good can accrue either to oneself or to others. By invocation of mukti (salvation) in deprecation of the pleasures of the senses of the jiva, God is not served.
Srila Bhakti Sadhaka Muni Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Vicar Visnu Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Tilak Niskincan Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Svarup Sridhar Maharaja and Srila Bhakti Cakor Nrsimha Maharajaaho bata sva-paco 'to gariyan
yaj-jihvagre vartate nama tubhyam
tepus tapas te juhuvuh sasnur arya
brahmanucur nama grinanti ye te
My dear Lord, one who always keeps Your holy name on his tongue becomes greater than an initiated brahmana. Although he may be born in a family of dog-eaters and therefore by material calculation may be the lowest among men, he is still glorious. This is the wonderful effect of chanting the holy name of the Lord. It is therefore concluded that one who chants the holy name of the Lord should be understood to have performed all kinds of austerities and great sacrifices mentioned in the Vedas. He has already taken his bath in all the holy places of pilgrimage. He has studied all the Vedas, and he is actually an Aryan.
On Wednesday 28th of August 2013 we will celebrate appearance of Lord Krsna on this planet.
4:30 Mangala arati
7:45 Sringar arati
19:00 Sandhya arati
19.30 Hari Katha – lecture of Srila BS Muni Maharaja
21:00 Bharatanatyam Dance: Madhurashtakam (Krishna´s pastimes)
22.30 Abhishek – ceremonial bath
23.00 Bhoga offering – offering meals to Deities
24.00 Arati; follows Prasadam
No path in this material world is auspicious except the path of service to the Supreme Lord. The mentality that we understand life better than the devotees do leads us to hell, and therefore keeping such a mentality is harmful. The secret of success in spiritual life is to follow the path traversed by the Lord's devotees.
We should follow the devotees no matter how difficult the path is. If we wish to be successful in our following, we must be humble enough to realize how worthles we are. If we understand our disqualification, we can become qualified to see the beauty of the lotus feet of Krsna's devotees.
Ordinary human beings are always proposing how to get sense gratification. If we consider such topics religious, we can never become religious. Serving the devotees is the best form of auspiciousness.
Gentle Moonlight Commentary
vidyara vilase, katainu kala, parama sahase ami
tomara carana, na bhajinu kabhu, ekhana Sarana tumi
I spent my time absorbed in the pleasures of learning with great confidence. I never served Your feet. Now You are my shelter.padite padite, bharasa badila, jnane gati habe mani‘
se aSa biphala, se jnana durbala, se jnana ajnana jani
Studying continuously, my confidence that I would attain the fulfillment of life through knowledge increased. However, that hope was futile and that knowledge was useless. I now know such ‘knowledge’ to be ignorance.jada-vidya yata, mayara vaibhava, tomara bhajane badha
moha janamiya, anitya samsare, jivake karaye gadha
All mundane learning is an exhibition of the opulence of maya and an obstacle to Your service. It brings about infatuation for the temporary world and makes an ass of the jiva.sei gadha ha‘ye, samsarera bojha, bahinu aneka kala
varddhakye ekhana, Saktira abhave, kichu nahi lage bhala
I became such an ass, and bore the burden of my household for so long. Now aged and devoid of strength, nothing brings me any pleasure.jivana yatana, hoilo ekhana, se vidya avidya bhela
avidyara jvala, ghatila visama, se vidya hoilo Sela
My life has now become agony. My learning has proven to be ignorance and the burning pain of that ignorance has become unbearably torturous. My ‘learning’ has turned into a spear (that has pierced my heart).tomara carana, vina kichu dhana, samsare na ache ara
bhakativinoda, jada-vidya chadi,‘ tuya pada kore sara
O Lord! There is nothing of value in this material world other than Your feet. Bhaktivinoda abandons all mundane learning and accepts Your feet as his be-all and end-all.
(second sloka) jnane gati: “I would attain the fulfillment of life through knowledge.” In Srimad Bhagavad-gita (4.33) Krsna says: “sarvam karmakhilam partha jnane parisamapyate - O Arjuna, all actions are fulfilled through knowledge.”
se jnana durbala: “That Knowledge was useless.” Knowledge alone is unable to fulfill one's spiritual desires. This is explained by Sriman Mahaprabhu to Srila Sanatana Gosvami Prabhu in Sri Caitanya Caritamrta (Madhya -lila 22.17-18):krsna bhakti haya abhideya-pradhana
ei saba sadhanera ati tuchchha bala
krsna-bhakti vina taha dite nare phala
“Krsna-bhakti is the fundamental means of spiritual progress (because the jiva is by nature an eternal servant of Krsna). Karma (pious action), yoga (self-regulation), and jnana (knowledge) are all dependent on bhakti; they have no actual power of their own. Without Krsna-bhakti, they are all unable to deliver results.”
se jnana ajnana: “That knowledge is ignorance.” All knowledge of the mundane world is really illusory knowledge, or, ignorance. This is described in the Katha Upanisad (1.2.5):avidyayam antare vartamanah
svayam dhirah panditam manyamanah
damdramyamanah pariyanti mudha
andhenaiva niyamana yathandhah
“Insincere fools who remain in ignorance, yet consider themselves sober (free from any illusion) and wise (learned authorities), are deluded just like blind persons being led by other blind persons.”
(third sloka) jada-vidya … jivake karaye gadha: “Mundane learning makes an ass of the jiva.” This refers to apara-vidya, inferior knowledge; that is, knowledge that construes material objects as meant for one's own enjoyment.
In this regard, shortly after returning from Gaya, Nimai Pandit advised His students as follows (Sri Caitanya Bhagavata: Madhya-khanda 1.158-9)sastrera na jane marma, adhypana kare
gaddabhera praya yena sastra bahi' mare
padina sunina loka gela care-khare
krsna maha-mahotsave vancila tahare
“Those who do not know the purport of the scriptures, yet teach them to others, are like asses: they bear the load of the scriptures in vain. Reading and hearing of the scriptures leads only to death and destruction for both these teachers and their audiences. They are all deprived of the joy of the grand festival of love for Krsna.”
In Srimad Bhagavatam (10.84.13), Krsna Himself explains:yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke
sva-dhih kalatradisu bhauma ijya-dhih
yat-tirtha-buddhih salile na karhicij
janesv abhijnesu sa eva go-kharah
“One who considers their decaying material body, made of mucus, bile, and air, to be their actual self (but does not realize themselves to be a servant of the Lord); who considers their spouse, family, and associated paraphernalia to be their possessions (yet feels no affectionate attachment for the devotees of the Lord); who considers a graven image made of earth or other material elements to be the Lord (but has no reverence for the devotees of the Lord); and who considers a body of water to be a place of pilgrimage (but fails to understand that the devotees of the Lord are the ultimate place of pilgrimage) – such a person is an ass among cows (a foolish beast fit only to bear the burden of carrying food for other animals).”
According to Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, the words bhauma ijya-dhih, “who thinks an image made of earth is worshipable," refer not to the Deity form of the Supreme Lord in His temple but to deities of demigods. And the words yat-tirtha-buddhih salile, “who sees a place of pilgrimage as merely the water there," refer not to sacred rivers like the Ganges or Yamuna but to lesser rivers.
Krsna explains the components of His inferior energy (apara-prakrti) in Srimad Bhagavad-gita (7. 4-5)bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh
kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me
bhinna prakrtir astadha / apareyam
“Earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, intelligence, and false ego are the eight divisions of My inferior, material energy.”
We should note the difference between a servant and a trader. Many approach with some trading purpose, but the character of the real devotee should be that of a servant. Sri Prahlada Maharaja has mentioned that one who associates with the sadhus, wanting something in return for his personal interest, is making 'trade' with the sadhus. He thinks, "How much can I gain, and how much shall I have to give?" But a pure devotee should not have any such separate interest. Rather, he should try to merge within the interest of the Lord. In whatever position he is, it does not matter - whether he is a brahmacari, a sannyasi, a grhastha, a vanaprastha or any other position - he must be willing to merge (visate tad anantaram).
He will not like to keep any separate account. His sole objective will be to enter into the family of the Godhead. This is the very basis of pure devotion. Tato mam tattvato jnatva, visate tad anantaram (Bg. 18.55). We want to surrender, to be one of common interest with the Lord, and not to approach, ask some questions, pocket the answers, and then make trade with them elsewhere in any way. Once, when I was being asked many questions, I replied, "This is not an inquiry office. The inquisitive want to satisfy their idle curiosity; or, they want to be masters of many keys - that they will be able to give solutions to everyone's problems, and attain some status. They have many motives but they cannot understand the real necessity.
We require specific articles to execute worship, such as incense, flowers, lamp, etc. Similarly, if we wish to realize the supersubjective plane, there are three specific necessities: pranipata, pariprasna, and seva. Without these three ingredients, our search will be imitative, unsubstantial and farcical.
Pranipata means 'to fall flat near the feet of the worshipable': "I have come to the end of all enterprise with my previous plane of life; I could find nothing there to fulfill my life's objectives. Finally, after 'completing my errands,' I have come here." This is the practical symptom of pranipata.
Pariprasna means 'sincere inquiry.' Honest and sincere inquiry is allowed. The spirit of such inquiry is, "I want to know how I can be utilized in any way. All the charm for living elsewhere is over. My sole inquiry is 'How can I be utilized here?' "
And seva, service, is the all-important factor. "I have come to serve and to be utilized for the cause of the subject about which I have inquired. I have not come to take anything from here. I have come only to serve, with no other motive."
A devotee of the Lord whose intelligence is illuminated with Vedic knowledge is actually learned. The sastra (scripture) states, pandito bandha moksa-vit, murkho dehady-aham-buddhih: “A wise man is one who knows the process of freedom from the bondage of material life, and a fool is one who identifies with his material body and mind.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.19.41-42). One who considers the material body to be the self is certainly a fool, even though he may have a certificate for his education.
Mundane scholars are aware only of mundane sound vibration. Since they are conditioned by maya (illusion) and consider the body to be the self, they are unable to realize scripture's actual purport. Because Srimad Bhagavatam and other Vedic literatures are non-different from the Supreme Lord, they are understood and realized only by devotion.
Since the proud mundane scholars are devoid of devotional service to the Lord, they are intoxicated by false ego. Therefore how will such people understand the confidential purport of the sastras headed by Srimad Bhagavatam, which are non-different from the Lord? Can an idol maker see the Lord's Deity form?
If wealth, beauty, high birth, and learning are not attributed to proper candidates, they cause ruination. For non-devotees they are as good as death. They give anxiety, cause material existence, and enhance the false ego. For devotees, however, they are ornaments and do not produce anarthas.
surrendering body, mind, and speech, only
then will we be able to realize the confi-
dential purport of the sastras (scriptures).”
The meaning of the sastra and the meaning of material sound vibration is not the same. The sastras appear to contain mundane words, but they are full of transcendental sound vibration. They are the incarnation of the Supreme Lord. Therefore the mahajanas (great souls) said that transcendental subject matter is inconceivable – Adhoksaja. The sastras can be realized only by a devotee practicing devotional service and not by worldly academic learning.
Sastra is directly Krsna. It is His incarnation. Lord Krsna has personally manifested in this world, in the form of sastra, to provide us with something we need. Gaurangadeva said:sastra-guru-atma'-rupe apanare janana krsna mora prabhu, trata' jivera haya jnana
“The forgetful conditioned soul is educated by Krsna through the Vedic literatures, the realized spiritual master, and the Supersoul. Through these, he can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead as He is, and he can understand that Lord Krsna is his eternal master and deliverer from the clutches of maya. In this way, one can acquire real knowledge of his conditioned life and can come to understand how to attain liberation.”
If we try to study sastra while lost in mental speculation, we will be cheated. Sastra reveals its treasure only to surrendered souls. If we have the same unalloyed devotion for the spiritual master as we have for Supreme Lord, the purports of all scriptures will reveal themselves to us automatically. People proud of their knowledge cannot understand the purport of sastra. If we hear from the sadhus (saints) while surrendering body, mind, and speech, only then will we be able to realize the confidential purport of the sastras (scriptures).
Srila Bhakti Sadhaka Muni Maharaja reads and comments on the book of Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Gosvami Maharaja – “Loving Search for the Lost Servant” in Sridham Mayapur, February 2013
The topics of the discourse are the following: Faith in the higher plane * The foundation of devotion is self-surrender * A devotee depends wholly on Krsna * Selfishness and extended selfishness * Our false ego must be finished * Enjoyment and renunciation are abnormal * Everything is for Krsna's pleasure – nothing is for our pleasure * See the environment with proper vision * We can be in Krsna's lila wherever we are * Connection with Krsna means life – disconnection means death * I'm moving according to His desire * The ticket to that plane is whole self-sacrifice * As long as I don't forget Krsna, I can accept everything * May we never be separated from pure devotee * The example of Bharata Maharaja * Without association of Krsna
There are so many rules and regulations, so many things to do, but the all-important thing is dedication. With what mood do I serve? To satisfy Vaisnava, Guru, Radha-Govinda, Mahaprabhu? Do I serve with this mentality or just for many other reasons?
We should not choose how we serve Krsna. We should practice service under the order of a Vaisnava. We know what we like to do, but dedication means that we will do what Vaisnava, what Krsna, is asking from us. This is surrender. We like to do so many things and then we say it is devotional service. But this is not devotional service. To do something we like, or what we think is good, is not devotional service - it is an activity we like to do. But devotional service becomes more intense if we follow the order of Guru, Vaisnava, Krsna. Dedication is necessary. Krsna anusilanam, this is the highest. If we do this we will very quickly understand all the sweet topics that Vaisnavas speak.
One who does kirtana according to his liking may not get the desired benefit from the transcendental platform, because he may do it only for his entertainment. It is even said that when we read books like Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam or any devotional literature we may not get any benefit. It is not considered devotional service if Guru has not ordered us to read it. These are very strong words. But we get the real benefit when Guru orders us to read this book and we read it. Then this is devotional service. But if we take that book and say: “Oh, this is not interesting, I like that one much more,” then it is not devotional service but sense gratification. Can you understand the difference?
The problem we have is that we do not accept authority. We do not accept Guru. We accept as our gurus only those who flatter us, in correspondence to our whims and opinions. This is the problem we have here.
Spiritual life is very difficult, but is it very simple for the simple-minded. Those who are very simple understand that whatever comes from authority has to be done. As when we joined this movement, we just wanted to become Krsna conscious, we wanted to be liberated from this material world. So, we had many gurus, many authorities in our last thirty-five years. We tried to follow their orders as best as possible, though later many of them fell down.
The thing is that, if we follow an order from authority, then whatever reaction comes from this does not come to us, it comes to the authority. If a non-bona fide authority orders me to do some senseless service, the results are not my responsibility, and I do not have to suffer the consequences. The authority has to suffer.
authority. We do not accept Guru. We accept
as our gurus only those who flatter us,
in correspondence to our whims and opinions.”
In the same way if we give a donation with the attitude that we want to give it to the Supreme Lord, for Vaisnava-seva or to build the temple, it may be misused, but we will not be held responsible. The reaction will come to those who misuse the donation. Our attitude was proper – to give to the Supreme Lord for service. Those authorities that misuse donations or the energy of the devotees in service are responsible. We have to develop this understanding even when it is very hard.
If we think we can attain Goloka just by our speculation, then we will realize that we fall again and again, we do not move forward or we move very slowly.
Even the devotees of Mahaprabhu Himself like Jagadananda or Gadadhar Pandit never went to Vrndavana without the permission of other devotees or Mahaprabhu. Gadadhar Pandit was Radharani Herself but Mahaprabhu did not want him to go to Vrndavana. He collapsed; he went unconscious when he had to turn back to Puri. And Jagadananda tried for years, but Mahaprabhu did not want him to go, so he did not go. How dependent these high-class devotees were! We may think, “I am a high-class devotee. Nobody can tell me anything.” But who can be higher than Jagadananda or Gadadhar Pandit? They followed very strictly the order of their authority.
Another example is given: One sannyasi of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta went on a pilgrimage to Badarikasrama. When Prabhupada heard this, he immediately wrote a letter to Srila Sridhar Maharaja who was in charge of the math (monastery) in Kuruksetra, “If this sannyasi comes, do not let him enter the temple. Throw him out.” The action of the sannyasi was unauthorized. He went on his own. He did not go with the permission of his spiritual master or the authorities. To be chastised by Guru is actually a mercy, but very rarely will someone understand it as merciful. These kinds of dealings are only found among high-class devotees.
tesam evanukampartham, aham ajnana-jam tamah
nasayamy atma-bhava-stho, jnana-dipena bhasvata
“I am so indebted to those devotees that whenever they feel the pain of My separation, I cannot tolerate it. I immediately run to cooperate with them in accepting My service. Such is the intensity of the demand I feel from them.”
In an examination hall, many of us may sit for the examination, yet many are unsuccessful and fall back. But we are not to dwell on them. Rather, we shall try to keep company with the successful candidates. They should be the focus of our attention, and with their help we shall progress. Progress means selection and elimination, and there is no end of making progress. We must take courage to that extent.
Everywhere and in whatever direction we may go, we shall find both successful and unsuccessful candidates. We shall try to avoid the unsuccessful. Some may be brilliant in the primary classes, but in pro-gressing further, we find that they are proving dull and cannot pass the test. And there may be many who were not very successful in the primary classes but flourish in higher education. Thus, we should not be discouraged and disappointed on hearing that so many once respected stalwarts are falling away. We should try to feel the actual soil. We need a sincere acquaintance with the soil on which we are moving. It is unintelligible to the fullest extent, but we must spare some energy to cultivate a deeper feeling for where we are, what we want, and where we are going. We must have a deeper feeling for the plane of our objective and achievement. We must not allow ourselves to be captured by the outer charm of things, but we should try to feel and trace the reality as our friend.
Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Gosvami Maharaja
klesa-ghni subhada moksa-, laghuta-krt sudurllabha
sandrananda-visesatma, sri-krsnakarsini ca sa
“Uttama-bhakti, the purest devotion, is the vanquisher of all sin and ignorance, and the bestower of all auspiciousness; liberation is belittled in the presence of such devotion, which is very rarely attained, the embodiment of the deepest ecstasy, and the attractor of Sri Krsna Himself.”
Even if we achieve liberation from all the undesirable forces around us, pure devotion undermines this position of liberation (moksa-laghuta-krt). We may be a liberated soul, free from the reactions and apprehension of the future, but association with the positive engagement, bhakti, is much more difficult to attain (sudurllabha). To obtain a passport is not the same as securing a ‘visa.’ One may have a passport, but in order to secure a visa it will have to be necessary to undergo more trouble. In other words, we may be released by the reactionary plane, yet we may not have entrance into the higher plane. To have entrance there is far beyond this liberation. The qualification to eagerly aspire to give oneself wholly for the other plane of life is hardly to be found in anyone. Such a person has no motive to acquire anything for the plane in which he had previously been living for so long.
Furthermore, if he is appointed to be a preacher, an agent to do relief work here, he will execute that duty solely under the appointment of, and in the interest of, that higher plane, without any attachment that “I shall bring some good to the people.” He will think, “I must put myself wholly at the disposal of the higher plane, and I shall not be eager to become an acarya, a spiritual master. Otherwise, there is the danger of committing namaparadha, offense against the Lord’s name.”
Asraddadhane vimukhe 'py asrnvati, yas copadesa siva-namaparadhah. It is an offense to give the holy name to the faithless. It betrays the motivation to gain a ‘position’ in the higher sphere. This is a type of mundane attachment, a spiritual tradery, as is the habit of caste ‘Gosvamins’ and other spurious lines. Rather, the healthy attitude should be, “If I am appointed from above, then I shall serve as appointed, and that too, only for the interest of those who have appointed me. I am entering that rank solely for the interest of that higher land.” That should be the pure and perfect approach.
So, with a passport alone we cannot hope to enter easily into that higher plane which is sudurllabha, very rarely attained. But if we can enter, we shall feel sandrananda visesatma, “Yes, the very plane itself is most happy and full of independent spirit. I desired to secure a ‘visa’ to enter this country, and now I find that it really is as promised. I directly perceive that I am breathing in a far higher, sweeter atmosphere - a homely atmosphere that far excels anything of my previous soil.” And finally, sri-krsnakarsini ca sa: Krsna Himself, Reality the Beautiful, who attracts the hearts of all - even He is attracted by the dedication of his surrendered servitor. Neither power nor knowledge have any play in this domain, but the Sweet Absolute is captured by the love of His devotee.
yadi dasyasi me kaman
varams tvam varadarsabha
kamanam hrdy asamroham
bhavatas tu vrne varam
O my Lord, best of the givers of benediction, if You at all want to bestow a desirable benediction upon me, then I pray from Your Lordship that within the core of my heart there be no material desires.
By good fortune and the Lord's mercy we have been given a human birth. The human form of life is extremely rare, and there is no guarantee that in our next life we will again become humans. By some misfortune we might become a ghost, witch, hobgoblin, animal, bird, or insect. It is not possible to worship Hari in those species. Therefore we should not use whatever time we have left in our present body for pointless activities.
Life is temporary. Still, human life can award spiritual salvation. Therefore as long as we are alive, we should quickly earn our spiritual perfection. Human beings proudly consider themselves brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas, or sudras, brahmacaris, grhasthas, vanaprasthas, or sannyasis. Those who are intelligent, however, should not claim these false identities. We are simply the Lord's servants. We are not products of this world. To consider the body the self is an illusion. Sri Mahaprabhu said:jivera svabhava, krsna-'dasa'-abhimana
dehe atma-jnane acchadita sei 'jnana'
The original nature of every living entity is to consider himself the eternal servant of Krsna. But under the influence of Maya he thinks himself to be the body, and thus his original consciousness is covered.
Hari's holy name does not appear on the tongues of persons puffed up with the false ego of material proprietorship. We are eternally conditioned souls. Due to our forgetfulness of Krsna we have fallen into illusion. Now we have no alternative but to give up our false ego and take complete shelter at the lotus feet of guru and Krsna. Elephants think themselves elephants and dogs dogs, but humans should not think like this. Rather, they should be proud of their real identity. Sri Mahaprabhu said, jivera 'svarupa' haya krsnera 'nitya-dasa: "It is the living entity's constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krsna" (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 20.108) Lord Hari is situated in every atom, and He attracts fools and the learned alike. Only those who have no desire for material enjoyment, for becoming the master, no desire to command respect as sadhus, are qualified to hear His instructions. Those who are attached to something so insignificant as their own pride, however, will not hear the Lord's call.
Still, such persons should know that death is inevitable, adya vabda satante va mrtyur vai praninam dhruvah: either today or in a hundred years every living entity must die. We are cognizant, but if despite our cognizance we did not approach the Lord's devotees and hear their instructions attentively, ruination is inevitable.
There is no chance to worship Hari in any form of life other than the human form. Therefore we should engage in Hari-bhajana until we die by giving up all other engagements. That's the only way we can attain the ultimate goal of life.
Everyone in this world is ready to ruin us. In this land of nofriendship, our so-called relatives are unfavorable for our devotional service. We therefore have no alternative but to take shelter of Vaisnavas. Vaisnavas are our actual relatives. We do not need to do anything for anyone. Just serve the Lord's devotees along with others. Let everyone serve the Lord with his or her knowledge, intelligence, academic qualification, physical strength, wealth, and expertise. The more we delay doing so, the more trouble we will find ourselves in.
People who follow non-Vaisnava religious principle cannot attain auspiciousness. All auspiciousness is held in the hand of those who take shelter at the lotus feet of a Vaisnava. The non-Vaisnavas are decorated only with the garlands of birth and death. Persons attached to hari-bhajana no longer enter the wombs of mothers. What to speak of Vaisnavas, even those who have the opportunity to see the lotus feet of an extraordinary Vaisnava will not take birth again.
Srila Bhakti Sadhaka Muni Maharaja speaks about:
descend of divya jnana * devotion to guru * disciple's attitude * who is guru? * qualification of devotee * necessity of living spiritual guide * cheating gurus * enjoyment is our worst dissease * giving is higher than taking * Sudama's story * learn to give * check yourself – what is your intention * qualification of disciple * step by step process * preaching in the west * we want quality not quantity * guru is not limited by one form * it's a living thing
– 3rd part
“We do not want cheating gurus. We want that we become free from this prison house of the material world. We want to go to our eternal home. Because we are not at home here, we are just visitors, temporarily here, in this material world.” This is the speaking of our gurus and acaryas. What we are telling here is coming in the line of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. It is important to know, otherwise only to know how to enjoy and please the sense in this world will not give us real happiness.
To hear hari-katha is not very pleasing to our senses at this time. We want to be entertained. We want to hear stories, like the Mahabharata. We want to hear love stories, thrillers. To hear the stories of heroes, of fighting, like Bhima or Bhisma - so many heroes in this world. They were great devotees of course. The Mahabharata was written in the beginning of kali-yuga, a long time ago. It was written for the sudras, and for ladies. Those who like to hear stories.
In the middle of the Mahabharata is the Bhagavat-gita. Vyasadev combined it, he was tricky and put the Bhavagad -gita in the middle of this nice historical epic. Mahabharata means “the story of the great India, at the time of five thousand years ago”. When King Pariksit was the king of the whole world he met, on his tour through his kingdom, one man that was beating and torturing a bull, and this man was Kali personified. That means kali-yuga, a very dark person. And when he saw that Kali was cutting the feet of this bull, and he was beating it, the king immediately wanted to kill Kali. But Kali immediately put down his weapons and made obeisances because he knew he had no chance to fight with King Pariksit. And he said, “What should I do? I am this kind of person.” He was attracted to gold, ladies, drinking and gambling; all kali- yuga habits. But the king was merciful. As a real king, a real ksatrya, he doesn´t kill someone that surrenders to him. So he sent him to the East, to Africa. So they say that the Africans have their origins from Kali.
And other races were sent to different places in this world, like the Daityas. They were a very powerful, demoniac race. Where Prahlad Maharaj took birth. The founder of this race was Hiranyakasipu. Daityas are connected with Deutschland (Germany). They were driven out of India. It is historically described like this in the Vedas. And we know that the race of the Daityas were, and still are today, very expert materialists. They are very strong and want to rule over the whole world. Like Hiranyakasipu who took over the whole universe, he was so strong, but he was defeated afterwards. Like the Daityas, who tried it again, sixty or seventy years ago, but they were defeated again. Of course, other races aren´t less demoniac or less materialistic, we have to see it like this.
So the sastras, Mahabharata, and other Vedic scriptures give us information about early India. In the beginning there were the Sindhu and Sarasvati rivers, where the great saints were living. Like Vyasadev, they lived very near to the Himalayas at this time. But as we also know from science, the Himalayas are very new. They grew in the last thousands of years and became very high. Those who were living there moved down to the sea, to south India. Kashyapa Muni, a great saint from many thousands of years ago, he moved to the western side, to the Caspian Sea, and it´s called after him. In some parts of the Vedas, the founding, as well as the philosophical basis of Islam and Christianity, it is also historically explained. A god brother (Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj) of our Gurudev sometimes speaks of these things.
We are more interested in hearing stories, and entertainment, then hearing the truth, the most important thing. Krsna may even come into this door and tell us… “You become a servant of mine, and all your problems will be solved.” We would not believe Him. We would not trust Him.
This is the basis of what makes the difference between one pure devotee and one that has less faith. Those who have full faith are fully seeing Krsna everywhere, behind everything. Whatever they see, whatever happens, whatever is going on: Krsna is behind it. It is not an accident. Is not arranged by others or by me. I am not the controller, and nobody else here is the controller. We are all controlled by the Supreme. No one can say anything without His will. No one can do anything without His will.
When Arjuna said, “I don´t want to fight this battle in Kuruksetra, because my relatives are on the other side, like my guru Dronacarya and my grandfather Bhisma. So many relatives. I don´t want to fight.” Then Krsna answered, “This battle is already arranged. Those who will die on this battlefield are already arranged to die, because of the collective karma they will be killed, whether you are part of it or not. But if you fight on My order, you will be glorified. If you run away then it will be shameful for you, because you are a fighter, a ksatrya. It is your duty, you have to fight.” But Arjuna did not like this. And for this reason Krsna spoke the Bhagavad-gita to him. Nobody can be killed; nobody can die, because we are all eternal souls.dehino smin yatha dehe, kaumaram yauvanam yara
tatha dehantara praptir, dhiras tatra na muhyati
I, the soul, am wandering through childhood to youth to old age. I am always the same person, but the body is changing, and death means nothing else except that I am changing my body, getting a new body. But I am always the same. So you can´t kill anyone, because we are all eternal. Nobody is dying, only the external form. Just like a dream. In the dream you may think you are a fighter, a businessman, this or that, but when the dream is gone you understand it was only a dream. So when the body is gone, you will also think, “My god, now it´s finished”, like the dream. There´s no mother, no wife, no husband, I can´t take anything with me. Everything is gone. So practically speaking we are also only living in a dream now, but we think this is reality. Just like when we are dreaming, we think it is reality. When we dream we suffer, we enjoy, and see many things. In a dream we think it is real.
As Krsna told, this is all temporary, illusionary, it´s not real. And Arjuna understood. In the end he said, “Yes my Lord, I have understood and I surrender myself to Your lotus feet and do what You have ordered me to do. Then the big battle started.
Arjuna, the Pandavas and all the great devotees are not dying, they are living in the great sastras. We hear about them and remember them. They are eternal associates of the Lord. The Bhagavad-gita is spoken in other universes, continuously, it is nitya-lila. These are the pastimes of the Supreme Lord.
Namaparadha – Chanting the name with offenses. Aparadha means to disfigure, not to deal properly but to mishandle something. By such mishandling we cannot get our desired result. In the laboratory a scientist is making an experiment, but an experiment is only successful when everything is properly handled. Otherwise there may be an explosion and the scientist may die.
Namabhasa – Shadow expressions of the holy name that can give liberation. They may take us to the abscissa from the negative side, but they cannot give any positive attainment. There is neither any exploiting tendency there, nor any serving tendency – that is a marginal position.
Suddha-nama – The pure name, must have its original form in nirguna bhumika, far beyond the misconception of maya. The influence of maya reaches up to Viraja; then there is Brahmaloka, then Paravyoma (spiritual sky). The real Name must have its origin in Paravyoma, and Krsna-nama originates in Goloka, the most original plane of the whole existence. To be really Krsna-nama, it must have its origin in the highest plane of Vrndavana.
and it should be chanted in the association
of the sadhu (saint).”
It is true that an infinite magnitude of sin may be removed, dispersed, and dismissed by one utterance of the Name. But that Name must not be only the physical sound. It must have as its characteristics those of Vaikuntha: unlimited, eternal, from the plane of eternity. Sadhu-sanga, the Name must be taken from Gurudeva, and it should be chanted in the association of the sadhu.
If we take the Name, then there must be service. Sat-sanga. Sadhu-sanga Krsna-nama. Service means to dedicate oneself completely to that which we serve. In that way we shall take the Name. For what purpose are we taking the Name of the Lord? Kanaka, kamini, pratistha: not for money, not for sense gratification, not to achieve popularity. We are ready to sacrifice ourselves completely for Him, for His Name. With that attitude we shall take the Name.
For the Name to be Krsna, Krsna has to descend there. Don’t be self-deceptive; do not think that in taking the Name we have become great sadhus. It is not like that. Krsna has to come down in the form of the sound to us. He is spiritual; He is transcendental. Sevonmukhe, our complete surrender towards Him will attract Him, and He’ll graciously come down to grace us in the form of the Name, in our actions, in performing our duties. At every step He will come.
Inside: What Is Gaudiya Math Doing? * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura * How Should We Call the Supreme Lord? - Srila Prabhupada * Surrender to Sri Guru - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaja * Pure Devotion (2nd part) - Srila BV Puri Maharaja * Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 1, (51-94) – Srila Vrindavana Dasa Thakura * Srimad Bhagavatam 11th Canto (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura) * Theory Won’t Do Anything – We Must Practice and Realize – Srila BS Muni Maharaja
prema-dhama-devam eva naumi gaura-sundaram
The universal gods, perfected beings, salvationists, mystic yogis, and exalted servitors of the Absolute Truth, Sri Krsna, constantly chanted the glories of Sri Gaurasundara.
In regard to Lord Chaitanya’s pastimes, Srila Rupa Gosvami has mentioned the following verse in his Sri Chaitanyastakah:sadopasyah sriman dhrta-manuja-kayaih pranayitam
vahadbhir gir-vanair girisa-paramesthi-prabhrtibhih
“The gods, headed by Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma, accepted the garb of ordinary men in the pastimes of Sri Chaitanyadeva in order to eternally worship Him with heartfelt affection.” Sri Chaitanyadeva is the embodiment of that vast nectarine ocean found in Lord Krishna’s Holy Name, which is none other than Sri Gauranga’s own pure Name. Sri Chaitanyadeva is compared to that grand milk ocean which, after being churned, produced nectar. The nectar Mahaprabhu distributes is Lord Krishna’s Holy Names, which extinguish all the miseries of material existence, such as anxieties arising from sinful activities performed in direct opposition to the Lord, and the three-fold sufferings which fuel the grand forest fire that scorches those in search of sense gratification, salvation, and mystic yoga perfections. I offer my obeisances to that beautiful Golden Lord, Gauranga Sundar, the divine form of Krsna prema.
apane acare keha, na kare pracara
pracara karena keha, na karena acara
"Some behave very well but do not preach the cult of Kṛsna consciousness, whereas others preach but do not behave properly."'acara', 'pracara', — namera karaha 'dui' karya
tumi — sarva-guru, tumi jagatera arya
"You simultaneously perform both duties in relation to the holy name by your personal behavior and by your preaching. Therefore you are the spiritual master of the entire world, for you are the most advanced devotee in the world."
My affection incarnate,
I have this morning come to Sri Gaudiya Math from Puri with “P”. Immediately on arrival at the station I heard that by the will of God “T” has gone away from us. You knew “T” as your son; he is a servant of Krsna. He came into the household of Vaisnava, you served him in the office of the parents of a Vaisnava, he has gone away after accepting that amount of service which he was in need. “T” indeed got his body from you but he is a soul – a Vaisnava. His eternal duty is service of God.
A Vaisnava comes into this world on the pretext of individual need and remains in material space for the alloted period of such mission and thereafter proceeds wheresoever Baladeva sends him according to his fitness. You know Maha Laksmi (sat energy) dwells in the heart of Baladeva and Krsna with His ecstatic energy dwells in Maha Laksmi. Therefore “T” has gone away in order to serve the object of his worship. As he happens to be a soul - a Vaisnava, emanating from Lord Nityananda, the incarnation of the power of being, if you learn to look upon Nityananda as a son, you will no longer experience any want. Nityananda Himself has been present as the Knower of the heart of “T”, you have served Him – continue to serve Him still.
The mass of matter of which the body of your son was composed in elemental space, has dissolved into five elements. But the soul of “T” remains employed in the constant service of God and His energy. Your son as an object of selfish enjoyment has been dissociated from the company of his father, as a similar object of selfish enjoyment. He is an object of enjoyment of God, and therefore his duty as a Vaisnava is to remain the object of God's enjoyment; that is God's servant.
God knows that you are not enthralled in the bondage of maya (illusory energy). He will not, therefore, overwhelm you in your misery, aiding you with the power of His infinite mercy. Please recall to memory the story of Srivas and his son.* Peruse Soka-satana of Thakur Bhaktivinode and Sri Caitanya Bhagavata of Thakur Vrindavan Das.
At the time when Mahaprabhu accepted sannyas, He said to his aged mother, His wife Visnu priya Devi and to the inhabitants of Navadwip: “I'm only a being variously connected with you. After my departure establish in My place, all these relationships with Krsna and afford me opportunity of freely serving Krsna.” In the absence of “T” you also will have more time for serving Godhead. What God does is for our good. What more can I say to console you?
(this letter was originally published in The Harmonist, in September 1927)
*The story runs thus in the Caitanya Bhagavata (Madhya-khanda 25, 57-65): The Lord ask the dead child: “Why are you leaving Srivasa's house?” The child replied, “O Lord, this is the destiny arranged by You. Who has the power to change it?” All the devotees were struck with wonder to hear the dead child reply to the Lord's question. The child said,”I stayed and enjoyed as long as I was destined to live in this body. That destined time is now completed, so I cannot remain longer. Now I'm going to another predestined body. My destined time in this body is finished, so I cannot stay. Be merciful so that I may not forget You. O Lord, who is anyone's father and who is anyone's son? Everyone enjoys the fruit of his own karma. As long as I had the good fortune, I lived in at the house of Srivasa. Now I'm going to the house of someone else. I offer my obeisances at the feet of You and Your associates. Please don't consider my offenses. I'm leaving now.”
The lecture delivered by Srila Bhakti Sadhaka Muni Maharaja on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the appearance of our beloved Gurudeva Nitya-lila pravista Om Visnupada Paramahamsa 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Gosvami Maharaja in Jagannath Puri, 28th of January 2013.
Question: How do we reconcile the fact that in some sastras it says that Siva is supreme?
Srila Sridhar Maharaja: Siva is a type who is inquiring after something but Visnu is a type who has everything within. Siva is searching.
The sastra says differently for different sections according to their capability of catching the truth. In the primary literature it may be said that the sun is fixed and the planets are moving but in higher astronomy it may be said that the sun is also moving, with all the planets also moving around it. But to the children the whole truth may not be said. The truth is given partially, and by installments. Sastra has adopted this policy of giving things by installments in order that it will be acceptable accordingly by the different sections. Then when they will reach to that standard the sastra will come to say, "This is not the end, my boy. You will have to go further." This policy has been adopted in the sastra by the givers of the revealed truth.loke vyavayamisa-madya-seva
nitya hi jantor na hi tatra codana
vyavasthitis tesu vivaha-yajna
sura-grahair asu nivrttir ista
(Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.11)
Partially, by installments, the truth is being distributed to them because they cannot accept the whole truth. They cannot understand the whole truth at once. The scripture advises that, "If you want to be united with the ladies, then marry and in that way go on. If you want to take fish and meat, then you dedicate it to a certain deity and in society you take it partially under the direction of a particular company who will make such arrangements. Your merit will be given to that animal whose body you are taking, but go on in contact with that company and take meat." The advice is meant like that.
Similarly: "If you want to take wine, then first offer it to such-and-such god and then take it." But it is not that, "You do not want it but I am forcing it on you." Rather, "Because you cannot imagine your existence without the help of these things I am giving some provision to you under some restriction. Then again I will come and take you up to the further, higher advice: 'Now take this!"'
Then, presently the sastra tells, "Already for fifty years you have been trying to enjoy, now come to the life of renunciation: give up everything. Come and devote yourself exclusively in the search for the future life in a scientific way." In this way the progressive steps are given. Human life itself is gradually progressing: first there is student life, then household life, to work, then the third life is for retirement, and the fourth life, sannyasa , is for giving up everything and going on independently. In this way there is classification in the human life.
In the section of the Puranas known as the Saiva Puranas it tells that Siva is supreme. The Puranas are divided into three. In all there are eighteen in number: six are sattvik, the upper division, six are rajasik, the middle division; and six are tamasik, the lower division. This classification is mentioned in the Puranas.
In Gaudiya-Kanthahar you will find mention of all these things: the classification of the Puranas. Some are meant for the lower, some for the middle and some for the higher sections of society. For this purpose the Puranas are divided into three groups of six. Vedartha-puranat: the Puranas are supplementary to the meanings of the Vedas, the higher revelation scriptures. The Puranas are called Puranas because they make the meaning of the Veda full. According to the degree and capacity of the people, sastra has approached in different levels.
Question: So can we say that the Puranas are giving a lower conception?
Srila Sridhar Maharaja: Some Puranas are giving the lower or minimum conception: "The minimum is that you do this." The Manu-samhita says: "I am giving a list of fishes by name: 'Eat these particular types of fish but do not take these other species.' That does not mean that without fish if you go on then that will he bad. But because you cannot do without taking these things, because it is inconceivable for you to go on with your life without taking these things, I am giving the advice, 'That type will create some disease, that one will create some mischief, that one even more mischief, therefore the less mischievous things you should take.' But my underlying meaning is that I shall call you after some time, 'Go up!'. That indomitable spirit is within you to get all these lower things, so I must at least advise you to do something. (Pravrtti esa bhutanam)“
The Upanisads make the analogy of riding on a horse. The horse is running towards a particular direction and, although the rider pulls on the reins, the horse won't come back. Then he is allowed to go at his free-will for some time and then again the rider draws on the reins In this way, after some attempts, the horse will come back on course: it can be turned. In the Upanisads it is mentioned that our ego is running like the horse. This body is a chariot and the senses are like horses taking me towards their particular wrong directions, But I shall try to take them, to alter their course to some other direction. They may not care for me so what to do but let them go a little ahead for some time. But I shall try again and again and eventually I shall see that the horse is responding to my command. The indomitable tendency towards this exploitation is here (pravrttir-esa bhutanam). But what to do except give it all up and go to the other side beyond indifference and abnegation (nivrttis tu mahaphala) . And that is proper adjustment.yajnarthat karmano nyatra, loko yam karma-bandhanah
tad-artham karma kaunteya, mukta-sangah samacara
(Bhagavad-gita - 3.9)
Everything should be connected with the Center otherwise you will be responsible for exploitation and thereby get reaction. But if you can connect everything according to the scripture, according to the rules to deal with the Center, then you are relieved from your local responsibility, You must work in the Central intensity and the Center will make adjustment.
Bowing down to the lotus feet of Sri Guru, Sri Gauranga and Sri Radha-Govinda, we humbly offer this Gaura Vani into the hands of our beloved spiritual master Nitya-lila pravista Om Visnupada Paramahamsa 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Gosvami Maharaja who descended into this world 100 years ago. He preached nothing other than Gaura Vani - the unalloyed devotional service towards the Supreme Lord as inaugurated by Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu.
Let the least satisfaction of Sri Gurudeva become the sole aim of our existence, so that we may never deviate an inch from his teachings and thereby adopt the path of pseudo-devotion.
Inside: What Is Gaudiya Math Doing? * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura * Can One Totally Renounce the Empirical Path? - Srila Prabhupada * Neccesity of a Real Agent - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaja * Pure Devotion - Srila BV Puri Maharaja * Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 1, (1-50) – Srila Vrindavana Dasa Thakura * Srimad Bhagavatam 11th Canto (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura) * Krsna Is Not For Your Enjoyment – Srila BS Muni Maharaja
We would like to invite you to the 100th anniversary of the appearance of our beloved Gurudeva Nitya-lila pravista Om Visnupada Paramahamsa 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Gosvami Maharaja. The celebration will take place on February 1st, 2013 in Sri Sri Radha Govinda Gaudiya Math, Vienna.
Morning program: 4:30 Mangala arati; Tulasi parikrama, 5:00 Bhajan, japa; 7:45 Shringara arati, bhajan, lecture
Main program: 11:30 Bhoga arati; 12:00 Gurupuja, afterward opportunity glorifying Srila Gurudeva by own words for all present.; cca 13:00 Prasadam
Evening program: 19:00 Sandhja arati; 19:20 Tulasi parikrama; 19:30 Bhajan, lecture; 20:30 Shajan arati, prasadam
1. Srila Gurudeva, 2. Srila Bhakti Jivan Janardan Maharaja, 3. Srila Krishna Das Babaji, 4. Srila Bhakti Promod Puri Maharaja, 5. Srila Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaja, 6. Srila Bhakti Hridoy Bon Maharaja, 7. Srila Bhakti Gaurava Vaikhanas Maharaja 8. Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaja
upa niya tu yah sisyam, vedam adhyapayed dvijah
sankalpam sa-rahasyam ca, tam acaryam pracaksate
“An acarya is not one who only confers the sacred thread. He trains his disciples in sacrifice and teaches them the confidential meaning of the Vedas. Such a spiritual master is an acarya, according to saintly authorities.“ (Manu Samhita 2.140)
Guru is not an ordinary person. Sad-guru is someone who is standing with both feet in the spiritual world. He is not someone who is just giving external advices or sacred thread. This is not his only duty or activity. He trains his disciples in sacrifice and teaches them the confidential meaning of the Vedas. These are the real activities of a Guru. What does it mean, “he trains his disciples in sacrifice?“
It means that we are not to use or to exploit this material world for our pleasure. We sacrifice these things, we sacrifice the enjoying spirit. He teaches us how to give all these „nice“ things, which we want to enjoy, to Krishna. He is not making himself Krishna, he is pointing to Krishna. He is only teaching us how to become a servant of Krishna and “he teaches the confidential meaning of the Vedas.“ What is the confidential meaning of the Vedas? The basic understanding is given in Bhagavad-gita and Krishna Himself says that the teachings in Bhagavad-gita are the greatest secret of all secrets. There is no greater secret than these words I‘m speaking here in Bhagavad-gita. We may say, “but we all have already read Bhagavad-gita.“ Many of us have read it many times. What secret is there, what is the secret? This secret you cannot get or understand just by reading it. This confidential knowledge, the secret of teachings of the Vedas or the teachings of spiritual life can only be revealed by a bona fide spiritual master. Divya jnana hrde prakaSito, he is revealing this divine knowledge about the Supreme in our heart. It cannot be understood just by reading. It cannot be understood by someone who has not realized it. The spiritual master is someone who can reveal divine knowledge in our heart, who can liberate us from the circle of birth and death in this life or in any life. But we do not have to give up the body to realize or to enter the world where we are no more experiencing birth, death, old age and disease. This is a bona fide spiritual master, this is a divine master. This is an acarya according to saintly authorities.
We are so much fortunate, because we got the most merciful most advanced master. He has the power to reveal Krishna to us. It is not that he is gone when he is leaving the body, and it is not that he comes when he takes birth in this world. Guru is a principle which is eternal. He is always available for those who want him. He will always live in the hearts of those sincere disciples who always try to satisfy him.
Because of this I try to change my prayers, I‘m not trying to beg, “give me, or free me of this, help me, do this or do that.“ He has already given everything, therefore I realized that my duty is now: “How now can I repay back my debts what I had borrowed? How can I please you now? What shall I do?“ In this way one should also pray. We should not pray only for our personal interest, we should just pray how to properly serve him. How to satisfy him and how to satisfy Krishna. Because by satisfying Guru, Krishna is satisfied. This is the opinion of the sastra.
svayam acarate yasmad acaryas tena kirttitah
“An acarya is one who fully understands the conclusions of the revealed scriptures and whose behavior reflects his deep realization. He is a living example for he teaches the meaning of the scriptures both by word and deed.“ (Vayu Purana)
Scriptures mention the qualities of an acarya, and we find all these qualities fully manifested in our Gurudeva. By the mercy of our Gurudeva this Math (Sri Sri Radha-Govinda Gaudiya Math) is working and we should never have any doubt that Gurudeva‘s hand is always here to protect us. You should be sure that if you are connected with Gurudeva then you are always protected. Even sometimes it seems very hard but Gurudeva is always here. As much as Krishna is sitting in our heart, Gurudeva is also present there. Because he is very close to Krishna and is always with Krishna. We should try to become surrendered to our Gurudeva and realize, “koro more atma-satha - kindly accept my soul and make me like you.” By following his advices, by staying connected with him, we will become like him. When you put iron into the fire it develops the same qualities as fire.Srila Gurudeva Nitya-lila-pravista Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Gosvami Maharaja ki jaya!
Whatever we have learned since childhood is mundane education. Such education simply taught us how to live in this world. When spiritual knowledge is established in the heart, we easily realize the insignificance of the above-mentioned education. “I am a servant of the Lord and not the object of service. To render service to the Lord is my only duty. I will not do anything other than serve the Lord": when these pious mentalities capture my heart, all my sinful mentalities and whatever I have learned from my worldly father, mother, relatives, and teachers will be removed. As soon as I forget that Krsna is the only enjoyer, I will fall into the ocean of material existence.
The conditioned life of those inclined to the Lord's service is exhausted, and the conditioned life of those averse to the Lord's service is enhanced. Those who are attached to this world do not like to serve, hear about, or have time for the Lord. Even if they make a show of hearing about the Lord, they immediately reject the teachings if they are not to their liking. They give no importance to hari-katha. They prefer to pay attention only to needs of the today.
If we want to know God, we must approach God’s devotees. There is no other way to know Him.
– 2nd part
(public program, 10th June 2012)
(Srila Bhakti Sadhaka Muni Maharaja reads and comments the teachings of His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada.)
Srila Prabhupada: The Lord´s devotees always see the Lord, everywhere. Whereas those who are envious of Him, do not even believe in His existence. Being situated in the marginal position, sometimes we display a taste for serving Hari, and at the next moment become busy with sense gratification. If we simply develop a strong desire to become intoxicated by serving Hari, our propensity for material enjoyment will be vanquished. Material enjoyment includes both temporary happiness and distress, but service to Hari pleases Lord Hari. We should always remain eager to please the Lord.
Srila Muni Maharaja: “So the happiness that one can get by pleasing the Supreme Lord, is without beginning or end. It will continue. There will be no distress. There will be no bad reaction. But if you want to enjoy the temporary pleasures of this mundane world, for any amount of enjoyment you will experience the same amount of distress. This is the law of this material nature. So we should always remain eager to please the Lord, because when He is pleased you will be pleased also. When we are eager to please the Lord, then we will also always be happy. This is the secret.“
But from whom should we hear topics about Krsna?
Srila Prabhupada: We should hear topics about the Supreme Lord from a bona fide spiritual master. For the Lord’s pleasure we have to preach those topics to the inquisitive, not to the faithless, but we should hear from a spiritual master, not an atheist. If by mistake we have accepted a non-devotee as guru, we should renounce him and take shelter of a Vaisnava.
Srila Muni Maharaja: “This happens in these times also. There are many so-called gurus that are exploiting and cheating their disciples. But what we should not forget is, that we should see Krsna behind everything. So, He may also have arranged for you a cheater guru, a market guru, because your desire is that you want to be cheated. Outside, society is arranged like this. We want to be cheated. We don´t want the real thing. We want to be in illusion. For this illusion, even when Krsna would come now, into this door, and He would ask you…”Why are you not serving Me? Why are you not satisfying Me? I am the source of you, and everything that exists.” You would say, “But, uh, I have so many duties. I must go to work tomorrow. I have so many things to do. I have to pay my bills. Who will pay my bills?
Actually in reality, we are looking for gurus to help us pay our bills, to get a nice material life, to be cheated… to continue in the prison house of this material world. Life after life. Even if Krishna would come and tell you, “I can save you from birth and death, you can come to My land, My place, where there is no birth or death, no working like an ass in this world, only for a little enjoyment. Waiting forty-five to fifty years, working hard, waiting for pension so that you can enjoy your life. But in reality, in pension you can´t enjoy. You just try to keep the body healthy. When you ask someone in pension, how they are, if they are enjoying, they say, “No”. The main goal of their life at this age is to be healthy. This is what brings them satisfaction. Their desires have reduced to being healthy, not to suffer.
So such cheating gurus, we do not want. We want that we become free from this prison house of the material world. We want to go to our eternal home. Because we are not at home here, we are just visitors, temporarily here, in this material world.
This is the speaking of our gurus and acaryas. What we are telling here is coming in the line of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. It is important to know, otherwise only to know how to enjoy and please the sense in this world will not give us real happiness.“
1st january 2013 tirobhava mahotsava (celebration of his disapperance)
Let me tell you about an incident from the time when I first came to the Math to be at the lotos feet of my Guru Maharaja. The temple in Sri Mayapur had been opened and the deities had been instaled there The circumbulation of Sri Navadvipa Dhama on the occasion of Sri Gaura Purnima had also taken place. At the end of the festival everyone was going back home. Srila Prabhupada was sitting in a canvas chair and so many others were surrounding him. Some were giving dandavats and going away – taking leave to go home.
Then Prabhupad began saying, “Apanara amake vancana kariben na – You should not deceive me!” Prabhupad announced. My ear was very acute and I thought, “Where is the question of deception?” Festival had ended, everyone was going home, how they were deceiving him? “You came to me with the understanding that you have come for the service of Krsna and with that idea I also accepted you as my friends. Now you have attended this particular ceremony only as a fashion and you are going away again, back into family life. I feel that I am being cheated.”
Prabhupad went on, “If you say ‘I have some urgent business, I am coming, I am only finishing a little job.’ No, no! There is nothing that should detain you there in your family duties. Even if anyone says that, ‘A fire is there, please allow me to extinguish the fire and I will come back.” No! That is also not necessary. What the fire will burn is not your own. Rather, your necessity is to get out of the charm of what the fire burns. All your internal engagement is with Krsna. The internal demand in your atma, in your soul, all can be satisfied by Krsna – nowhere else. You may find there the wholesale engagement of your self and you should leave this mal-engagement as soon as possible.”
He was speaking very forcefully and that captured my heart. “Oh, such a degree to which the service of Krsna is so much imperative to us, that even the whole world is reduced to ashes, it is no harm to us.” All our demands can only be fulfilled by Krsna. This is our relation with Krsna. Such an extreme statement of fact, of the spiritual necessity. I won’t hear this anywhere else, but I heard it there with such intense necessity for the service of Krsna. So I had my determination that, “I shall come here for my whole life!” I decided on that day.
“All of your inner hankering you may fulfill in the holy feet of Krsna. Krsna can satisfy all your inner hankerings. And this environment to which you give so much importance is your enemy. That has kept you away from Krsna consciousness. Your real place, proper home, it is here.” So he told this in such a way that I sold my life there in the service of Krsna. Such a degree of intensity I have never seen, I never thought it was possible – that in the present world we should serve Krsna, not losing even a second. The whole world may be burning to ashes, I do not lose anything. On the other side, if I get out of that snare, that snare of affection, then I am saved. All my hankerings can be satisfied in detail only in the service of Krsna – my inner hankering. Never and nowhere else can that be found. I sold my head there. Everything!
Devotee: Why don't the Gaudiya Vaisnavas use any yoga practices such as yoga-asanas, pranayama, etc. in their service to Krsna?
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: The Gaudiya Vaisnavas discard any artificial things. God is with the heart and that is the important part. We are to appeal to the heart and have transaction with the heart, and not that by manipulation of the natural forces we shall gain some mystic power and try to exert that on God. Is that a form of worship? For one who has a heart, the hearty transaction is the most natural. And that is service. Satisfaction is for the Lord so what is the value of trying to gain some power from elsewhere and by dint of that, to try to encroach upon Him? What is the result of doing yoga? It will give some power but what effect can that power have on Him? None. We are not to try to exert our energy upon Him, but the opposite is necessary. We are to consider that we are the most fallen of the fallen and the meanest of the mean. "I want Your grace. Please accept me as a slave, as Your meanest servant." This is the way to approach the higher and not that we are to gather some power and by dint of that power jump on that Superior Entity, for that is not the process of getting Him, of receiving His favour. Favour is favour! The Lord is all-complete and all-perfect. If we want His favour we must approach keeping ourselves in the meanest position. We have no position. We are nowhere. We are wholesale dependent upon Him. This is our natural position, our constitutional position. We are wholly dependent upon Him. So any petition to Him must be with this temperament: "I want Your favour. Your grace. Please accept me. I am so heinous, so sinful, and the meanest of the mean. You are my best friend, but neglecting You I left and went somewhere else to search for my prospect, I was so mean. I am not only a sinner but I am a traitor, a treacherous man." In this way we are to go back to our highest and most affectionate friend.
What help will this yoga power do for me? He is above all seduction. Shall I think that with the power of yoga I shall influence Him to favour me? It is not possible for Him to be controlled in any way by yogic power; so yoga can give me no benefit. What will yoga do for me? He is all-independent, absolute. He is perfect in Himself. To try to exert other influences upon Him will have no effect rather that will anger Him. Instead we are to approach Him with some recommendation or with a guardian.
The Guru and Vaisnavas are our guardians. We are not to go to any external power of nature but to His agents, and ask them to plead for us. By yoga we can acquire some subtle power, but no power can work on Him against His sweet will. We must approach Him in the line of His sweet will and with those who have faith in His sweet will. Those who have faith in His sweet will are His devotees. Through them we must approach Him and not by any attempt through any other power, for that will give just the opposite result. If we want to know Him, it is futile! We cannot know Him by our attempts. Still, if we find such necessity, we shall pray, "Please make Yourself known to me," otherwise it is not necessary to waste our energy asking that He will reveal Himself. If we can leave the idea that we must know Him then that request becomes redundant. Rather our mood should be, "I want to satisfy You. I want to contribute something for Your satisfaction. Please accept me. You are full. You are perfect. You have no needs, but for my necessity please give me some sort of service." Service means in the line of satisfaction to Him, and that should be our attitude to approach Him. To approach a friend, an affectionate friend, so many mystic persons should not be called to help in our attempt.yamadibhir yoga-pathaih, kama-lobha-hato muhuh
mukunda-sevaya yadvat, tathatmaddha nil samyati
It may be possible for us to control our senses to a certain extent and for some time by the practice of yoga, but yoga cannot give the Absolute. That He is Absolute means He is above all. Absolute means that He is self-sufficient; He is not dependent on any other thing. Yoga can only help us to control our mental and physical anomalies or eccentricities, that too only for the time being, not for eternity. For the time being, lust, anger, greed, illusion, etc. (kama, krodha, lobha, moha, etc.) all may be brought under control but only for some temporary period. Mukunda-sevaya— but if we can engage ourselves in the service of Mukunda, then all disturbances will leave us once and for all. By finding the sweet taste in His service and company, all these so-called charming proposals will retire eternally. The charm for lust, the charm for anger or for greed, all these things will vanish altogether and won't come back again if only we can get the taste of serving the Lord, Mukunda.naham vedair na tapasa, na danena na cejyaya sakya evam-vidho
drastum, drstavan asi yan mama bhaktya tv ananyaya sakya,
aham evam-vidho 'rjjuna jnatum drastum ca tattvena,
pravestum ca parantapa
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita 11.53,54)
"All other means fail. Only exclusive devotion can draw Me as you see Me here, Arjuna, but other things cannot lead to such a position. Temporary devotion also will not be sufficient, but what is necessary is permanent, exclusive devotion."sarvva-dharmman parityajya, mam ekam saranam vraja
"Reject all else and only concentrate on My own Self for that is the only sort of devotion that can draw Me to the devotee. All else is futile and shameful. It is not that someone will come with hired persons to canvas Me. No! My agents are the best benefactors to you. They are searching to canvas persons in my favour. My agents are there and not for any business purpose. Their business is to do good to others, and with this idea so many agents are out to canvas for Me. Come through them and do not seek any recommendation from outside to use various means to try to force Me to favour you. That is not the proper path, but come to Me through My own agents. They have no aspiration to fulfil for themselves. They are all-given to My service and they are wandering trying to recruit persons, to benefit them. So come through My agents, never otherwise. What is yoga? There is air and there are so many things but by controlling those do you think you will force JMe to come to you? I am the Absolute Autocrat. I don't care for anything else. I have no necessity to care for anything else. Not any force, any tactics, any cunning methods, any canvassing— nothing can influence Me. I am the Autocrat. And admitting the line of autocracy, try to come to Me. There are many demigods. They are making trade, but I am not amongst the commodities of their trading. None can make trade with Me. I am Absolute. I look only for devotion, exclusive devotion which is not formal, but natural, hearty and sincere. I look for that. I look for the heart and not for anything else— bhava-grahi-janarddanah."patram puspam phalam toyam, yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtdm, asnami prayatatmanah
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita 9.26)
"Whatever My devotee offers to Me with sincere devotion, with sincere affection, I accept that. It does not matter whether it is a leaf, a flower, water, or anything else. Rich food or rich presentations are not necessary for Me, but what I want is the heart. I want sincerity and good faith. That is the highest requirement within Me."
There is a carefully written poem: "Oh Krsna, You have everything but only You do not have Your heart. Your heart has been stolen by the Gopis. You have everything except for Your heart and mind, they are not present in You for they have already been stolen by the Gopis. So You take my heart. You accept my mind. That is what is wanting in You, so please accept my heart and mind for Yourself. Your heart is missing, and that lias attracted my heart towards You, so please take it."
If we get the association of a real sadhu even for a moment, then that may turn the direction of our life. A sadhu is like a very valuable gem. What he gives is far more valuable than anything in this world. One may have gems, diamonds, money or a kingdom but they are not valuable to all. This is all mortal even though they may be valuable to a particular class of human thought. There are so many things in creation that are nothing to the sadhu. But anandam, sweetness, has a general value. It is necessary even for the tree, the creeper and even the stone. In whatever position the seeker may be in, he will be highly satisfied.
Yasmin prapti sarvam idam praptam bhavati – if we get a little of that, we think that, “No other thing but this can satisfy me. This is the thing for which I have been striving for after so many lives together. Now I have found the object of my search.” We can find higher things only through the connection of service. If we want the association of things of a higher type then we must offer ourselves to their service. We must keep this broad thought always in mind. I cannot utilize it as if it is my servant. But I shall offer to be a servant of Him, if I really want His association. Only through service can I be connected with Him. I shall work for His interest. His interest will be more valuable than that of mine.jivera svarüpa haya krsnera nitya dasa
krsnera tatastha-sakti bhedabheda prakasa
The constitutional position of the living entity is as an eternal servant of Krsna. Because the living entity is of the marginal potency of Krsna, his manifestation is simultaneously one with and different from Him. (Cc. Madhya 20.108)
It is our fortune that we, in our constitutional position, have the position of a slave to Krsna. Slavery. Those who are free would be astounded to hear this word ‘slavery’. The Gaudiya Matha is preaching slavery! The Ramakrishna Mission and others preached against Gaudiya Matha, “They are preaching slavery! This Gaudiya Matha promotes slave mentality – that I am Krsna dasa, a servant of the servant of the servant of the Lord. That means they are preaching slave mentality. And we are preaching so-ham – we are the big Brahman! We are the biggest. We are the greatest. Instead of that the Gaudiya Matha says you are a slave to Krsna. The Gaudiya Matha is creating a bad impression in society, discouraging people.” Prabhupada told, “Gaudiya Matha stands for the dignity of the human race! The whole human race wants immortality. Gaudiya Matha stands for the most dignified position. Slavery, surrender – surrender to what? To the Absolute Good, to the Absolute Center. To become the slave of Krsna is not a joke. That impossible thought that, “I am Brahman!” That is the greatest disease. “I am the biggest and I want to be the monarch of all I survey” means. “I am the most heinous exploiting agent.” We are so eager to get imperial service, we are so eager to get a higher service in the administration, but to get service in the highest management of the Supreme Lord – that is the most dignified thing. The Gaudiya Matha stands for the dignity of the human race! What is the human race? They are like the mist, like the trees, creepers, and worms – the prey of death. The king will also have to die helplessly, the big general, the politician – all will have to go and face death for eternity. But the Gaudiya Matha stands for the eternal dignified position – friendly service to the Supreme Entity. The Gaudiya Matha says complete selfabnegation, self-surrender to the prime cause. To give is divine and the aspiration that, “I can get,” that is devilish. “I want to lord it over everything” – that is a devilish spirit. But Krsna is such that slavery to Him is the highest attainment for us in His relationship. That is not easily achieved.
– 1st part
(public program, 10th June 2012)
What we are reading now are the writings of our Paramgurudeva, Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada. He is one of the greatest acaryas in the Vaisnava line, in the last century. He was leaving this world in 1937, first of January. So our Gurudeva got initiated half a year before Prabhupada left this world. Paramgurudeva was an extra-ordinary person. He was srutadhara, which means he was a great scholar. He knew all the philosophies of this world. Whatever he would read once, he could remember exactly. Line-for line. Prabhupada was an extra-ordinary person, but not only for this. Scholarly people you will find all over the world. But he had full spiritual realization and understanding of the divine scriptures, of the bhakti verses, all the Vedas. In his young age he was living in Mayapur, there in a field, in a very small hut, for 9 years. Living there and chanting the Maha-Mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Three hundred thousand names daily, like Haridasa Thakura. He was chanting, and studying the books day and night.
His father was a judge, a magistrate, and also a great acaraya in our line Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. He wrote many songs, and was one of the biggest acaryas. Bhaktivinoda Thakura asked Prabhupada to accept Gaura-Kisora Das Babaji as a spiritual master. The interesting thing was that Babaji Maharaja could neither read, nor write. He was illiterate. So Prabhupada's father was suggesting that he should take shelter with this Guru. A Guru that was illiterate. So, you may ask, “How is this possible?” But Gaura-Kisora Das Babaji understood the conclusion of all the Vedas, because he is an eternal associate of the Lord.
But Babaji Maharaja did not want to accept any disciples. Prabhupada asked him many times, because the order of his father was to accept him. So he decided to jump off a bridge if he could not get initiation. Then he asked Gaura-Kisora again to initiate him into chanting the holy name. And he said, “You wait, I will ask Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.” After some time Gaura-Kisora initiated him. He became his Guru. The Guru of the most scholarly person, most intelligent person, was illiterate, but Babaji Maharaja was most advanced in spiritual understanding.
So we have to hear from such persons, and this is a writing of our Paramgurudeva, Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada.
There are some questions asked and he is given answers to the questions. The first question is, “How is it possible to hear hari-katha, in the association of devotees, if we live far from devotees or at home?”
Srila Prabhupada: “There is always a discussion of hari-katha in our Math. There are sixty-four Maths all over India and also in England. And there is always this discussion of hari-katha in these Maths, and the residents there are always engaged in Lord Hari´s service. So it is our duty to associate in all respects with devotees, for whom the Lord´s service is their life and soul. That place where there is no krsna-katha is extremely unfavorable for bhakti, even if it is filled with relatives and items for comfortable living. I simply think of Mahaprabhu´s mercy when I see the devotees in the Math. Continue discussing hari-katha, being eager to serve the Lord at all times.
Pious persons that desire their own good should visit the Math from time to time, to hear krsna-katha from the spiritual master and the Vaisnavas. If we have a taste for krsna-katha, and the propensity to serve Krsna, then that taste will keep us aloof from bad association. By always reading spiritual magazines and studying the literature written by the mahajanas while constantly begging for Sri Guru-Gauranga´s mercy we can attain the result of hearing krsna-katha from the mouth of the devotees. Although in this material world we cannot always meet with devotees from the spiritual world, the pastimes and conversations of the devotees who were contemporaries of Mahaprabhu have been permanently recorded in books. Therefore there is no need for disappointment. If we live somewhere and discuss krsna-katha, we will certainly attain auspiciousness, and nothing can harm us.”
Srila Muni Maharaja: Krsna-katha is very important. We should talk about Krsna, read about Krsna. It´s very auspicious and nothing can harm us. As Krsna says also, in the Bhagavad-gita, in the last slokas, “Wherever there is Krishna and Arjuna there will always be victory, wealth, and wisdom. All these qualities will be there.” So there is no harm to hear about Krishna, and to think about Krsna and Arjuna.
Srila Prabhupada: “If we simply engage in discussing topics of the Lord, while living anywhere, by the Lord´s mercy we can realize the glories of devotional service, the Lord´s mercy, and come to remember the Lord in our day-to-day life. A devotee should live wherever the Lord is pleased to keep him, and should forget his own material interests. When the propensity to serve the Lord is awakened in the heart, while discussing hari-katha, in the association of devotees, then he will automatically remember Hari under all circumstances. In order to test us, the Supreme Lord is always present behind what we can see. If we see the Lord´s mercy behind each and every incident we will no longer feel distress. The material world, material existence, is the place where we are tested. If we wish to pass the test we must hear krsna-katha from a pure devotee. Even though at present we may not always have the opportunity to hear hari-katha, in the association of devotees, if we continuously hear it in the form of discussing Vaisnava literature, we will not feel the absence of Vaisnava association.”
Srila Muni Maharaja: So the very important vision of one who wants to get some realization, peace, and happiness, is that behind everything that may come into your vision, you should see Krsna behind all these things. It may be not a very favorable situation sometimes, but we should accept that Krsna is behind each incident. That he is testing us. We should always think like this. Whatever comes in our vision, whatever we see, we should see Krsna behind it. He´s behind all the things that are going on in this world.
Indra became angry when his sacrifice was disrupted, and thus he caused rain and hail to fall on Gokula, accompained by lightning and powerful winds, all of which brought great suffering to the cowherds, animals and women there. When Lord Krsna, who is by nature always compassionate, saw the condition of those who had only Him as their shelter, he smiled broadly and lifted Govardhana Hill with one hand, just as a small child picks up a mushroom to play with it. Holding up the hill, He protested the cowherd community. May He, govinda, The lord of the cows and destroeyr of Indra's false pride, be pleased with us.     (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.26.25)
Lecture from Srila Bhakti Sadhaka Muni Maharaja
Sri Srímad Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Gosvami Maharaja
Srila Bhakti Rakshaka Sridhar Deva Goswami Maharaj was born in Hapaniya, West Bengal, in 1895. The pastimes of his youth were spent in learning and he naturally excelled in every subject that he took up. From his childhood, his tendency was towards the culture of faith in God and the study of the Vedas, Upanishads, and other scriptures. He received the sacred thread according to his family tradition when fourteen years old, and his affinity for the divine world kept on increasing. In his early years he was especially attracted to Lord Ramachandra, but later, when he came in contact with the doctrine of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he began to read Bhagavad Gita and developed an attraction for Lord Krishna.
After completing his primary and secondary education, Srila Sridhar Maharaj entered Krishnanath College in Berhampore (District Murshidabad), Bengal. After four years of study, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy. For some time Srila Sridhar Maharaj was searching for a sadhu from whom he could take initiation, but could not find anyone to his liking. Then, by the grace of the Almighty, Srila Sridhar Maharaj met his eternal guide and preceptor Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, and in 1927 became his initiated disciple.
In 1930 Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur awarded Srila Sridhar Maharaj sannyas and bestowed upon him the name Bhakti Rakshaka, meaning "guardian of devotion." Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur saw in Srila Sridhar Maharaj the ability to perfectly protect the Gaudiya Vaishnava line from misrepresentation and misconception. After reading Srila Sridhar Maharaj's Sanskrit compositions glorifying Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur remarked, "Now I am satisfied that, after I leave, there will be at least one man who can represent my conclusions (bhaktisiddhanta)."
Srila Sridhar Maharaj was recognized for his vast understanding and realization of the shastra and thus his guru also awarded him the title sastra-nipuna, meaning one who is very expert or intelligent in understanding the meaning of shastra. Not only was Srila Sridhar Maharaj recognized by his guru for his advancement in Krishna consciousness, but he was also recognized by many of his affectionate godbrothers for his seniority. Many of them, such as Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Goswami Maharaj and many of others, considered him to be their siksha guru.
Once in a letter Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj commented as follows: "What Sripad Sridhar Maharaj has directed, I take it on my head. He is my ever wellwisher. After the departure of Prabhupada (Saraswati Thakur) it is appropriate that I should accept his direction. I got direction from him that I shall live in this country forever."
Sometime after the passing away of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur in 1936, Srila Sridhar Maharaj established his own temple, Sri Chaitanya Saraswata Math, on the banks of the sacred Ganges in Nabadwip Dham, the holy land of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Having deeply assimilated the teachings of Sri Chaitanya, Srila Sridhar Maharaj began composing original texts.
The senior members of the Gaudiya Vaishnava community deeply appreciated all the literary works of Srila Sridhar Maharaj. The well-known, if not famous, disciple of Saraswati Thakur, Srila Akinchana Das Babaji Maharaj, used to say, "I find the writings of Sripad Sridhar Maharaj to be not different from those of Narottama Das Thakur."
Many enlightened souls have proclaimed the greatness of the Gayatri-nigudhartha as the supreme wealth of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas. Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Goswami Maharaj wrote: "Sridhar Maharaj's explanation of Brahma-gayatri, the mother of all the Vedas, indicating how it is centred on the meditation of Srimati Radharani, was revealed to him in the depth of his realization. It is the result of Paramaradhya Sri Srila Prabhupada's divine grace on him"
Krishna is deva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who reveals His pastimes of love in the eternal Goloka Vrindavan surrounded by His devotees imbued with wonderful love of God. The honorific suffix deva was given to Srila Sridhar Maharaj's name, as Sridhar deva Goswami, due to his ability to reveal the inner meaning of the Supreme Lord's divine pastimes of love to the sincerely aspiring devotee. The way that Srila Sridhar Maharaj spoke of the Supreme Lord's pastimes was absolutely wonderful. His voice and every move¬ment were filled with divine love for Godhead. He was, as one disciple exclaimed, "beauty, sweetness, and charm in motion."
During the last days of his manifest pastimes, Srila Sridhar Maharaj remained always absorbed in deep moods of devotional separation and hankering for the divine service of Sri Sri Radha Govinda. Then in 1988, on the Amavasya, or the dark moon night, of the month of July, Srila Sridhar Maharaj withdrew his manifest presence from this earthly plane to enter the nitya lila (eternal pastimes) of the Supreme Lord.
How can we maintain the fortune we have received?
Do not thirst for sense gratification. Do not desire to commit sinful activities. Rather, use your energy to engage in Lord Hari's service staying far away from the concerns of worldly morality. With such full surrender, you will achieve perfection. Jagai and Madhai did not commit further sinful activities after taking shelter of Sriman Mahaprabhu, and we should not either.
Only those who understand that hari-bhajana is the ultimate goal can feel the distress of others. By worshiping Hari one achieves eternal life; those who worship Him do not die. While materialists engage constantly with the enemies of lust, anger, and greed, devotees have no such enemies. When one has the natural tendency to worship Hari, one need not control his senses by force. Rather, by sincerely engaging in the Lord's service, the poisonous teeth of the senses are easily uprooted by the Lord's mercy.
Even the most experienced conditioned souls are interested in sense gratification, even though in their pursuit of happiness they are forced to suffer distress. Devotees, however, do not meet the pendulum swing of happiness and distress in this world. Rather, this world is a place of complete happiness for them because they have no desires. They do not even desire to become an Indra, what to speak of a Brahma, lord of all the demigods. A materialist would never choose to become an insect in this world, but a devotee would not mind such a birth as long as he could engage in hari-bhajana. Because of such an attitude, even the demigods are made fortunate by the mercy of Lord Caitanya's devotees.
It is important to become self-realized in this life. Otherwise, absorbed in matter at the time of death, we will be forced to take birth again in the material world. If we do not associate with the Lord's devotees during this life, we will end up forming narrow-minded groups and sects.
mac-citta mad-gata-prana, bodhayantah parasparam
kathayantaS ca mam nityam, tusyanti ca ramanti ca
Mac-citta: "Their attention is in Me"; mad-gata-prana: "Their energy is also spent for my cause"; bodha-yantah parasparam: "They mutually assist one another." This reminds us of the 'Napoleonic chair.' Once, when stranded in a marsh, Napoleon arranged that each man sit on the lap of another, in a circular formation; each automatically protected the other from the otherwise fatal cold and they could all remain awake to pass the whole night of intolerable cold. Otherwise his army would have perished So, by mutual help, one devotee is asking questions, another is answering, and they are both getting engagement. The questioner is giving some energy and the answerer is also energizing. Bodhayantah parasparam: those of equal standing exchange their thoughts about Krsna - kathayantas ca mam nityam - and thereby their blissfulness is generated. By mutual understanding and discussion, a kind of nectar arises that nourishes the devotees. "One is asking something about Me and another is answering, and thereby that discussion creates a flow of nectar that nourishes both parties." Tusyanti ca ramanti ca: "Satisfaction is generated from that mutual understanding, and it develops up to ramanti ca, up to the quality of the absolute reciprocation, the 'wholesale transaction.' It rises up to that standard, ramanti ca, and again I give them a further installment, an illumination of new light (dadami buddhi-yogam tam), and they take a new course and are promoted into the 'suicide squad,' that squadron which is eligible for every type of service."
To be competent for any type of sacrifice or service
That particular type of 'soldier' is competent to fight on the land, in the water, in the sky or in any circumstances, and he is prepared for any form of fighting, any form of service. "I direct them to that section."
Yena mam upayanti te (Bg. 10.10). Unconditional service: they are ready for any service demanded of them. They are ready to sacrifice their lives for any form of service, and that peculiar group is in Vrndavana. I mentioned to Sripada A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja that in Gita, after ramanti (10.9) comes buddhi-yoga and then upayanti (10.10); according to me, the meaning is that ramanti or divine service in madhura-rasa progresses through buddhi-yoga or yoga-maya, up to upayanti, or the highest plane of service in Vrndavana. Sripada Swami Maharaja responded, "What more could it mean than this!"
Hence, upayanti means kama-rupa. In his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Srila Rupa Goswami has mentioned sambandha-rupa and kama-rupa, the two types of Ragatmika-bhakti, or devotion rendered by the Eternal Associates of the Lord, headed by the residents of Vraja. In sambandha-rupa the Lord's Associates cooperate according to their fixed relative positions of dasya, sakhya,vatsalya or madhura, whereas in kama-rupa they come forward to serve any necessity that is demanded of them. They are ready to serve any and every desire of the Absolute.
They are like that group of soldiers who have been trained to do any service in the war without being limited to fighting only in a particular division such as the army, navy or air force. They are prepared for all sorts of service, anywhere. Such is the kama-rupa group. This is upayanti te; they are awarded the instruction (dadami buddhi-yogam tam) by which they earn such capacity in the service of the Supreme. Krsna is ready to cooperate with the servitors in any position. In Mathura, He gave even Sairindhri, Kubja, the chance to render higher service. Krsna is prepared for anything, and so the other side, His servitors, must also be prepared in that way. The high conception of kama-rupa is very, very abstruse. It is most difficult for ordinary mortals to comprehend.tesam evanukampartham, aham ajnana-jam tamah
naSayamy atma-bhava-stho, jnana-dipena bhasvata
"I am so indebted to those devotees that whenever they feel the pain of My separation, I cannot tolerate it. I immediately run to cooperate with them in accepting My service. Such is the intensity of the demand I feel from them."
mac-citta mad-gata-prana, bodhayantah parasparam
kathayantaS ca mam nityam, tusyanti ca ramanti ca
“Those surrendered devotees take Me as their life and soul, and go on discussing My ambrosial narrations among one another exchanging the ecstasies of devotion unto Me. They constantly relish the nectar of their realized divine relationships with Me in their respective internal natures of servitorship, friendship, parenthood, or consorthood.”
The Supreme Lord Krsna is speaking about His pure devotees: mac-citta mad-gata-prana "I am in their heart of hearts, in their every thought. Their entire energy their whole life is dedicated to My satisfaction. In private life they converse about Me to mutually enlighten one another, and in public life also, they always love to talk about Me, and nothing else. For every time, place, and circumstance, I am the only subject of their discussion." Tu,yantica "They find very much satisfaction." Up to the divine relationship of parenthood (vatsalya-rasa) there is a feeling of satisfacton.
Futhermore, ramanti ca "Just as a wife enjoys conjugal relationship with her husband, the devotees similarly feel such ecstasy in My intimate company when speaking about Me." This has also been explained by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana, and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.
tesam satata-yuktanam, bhajatam priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam, yena mam upayanti te
“To those devotees who are constantly dedicated to Me, and who engage in My service out of their love for Me, I bestow the internal divine inspiration by which they can approach Me and render various intimate services unto Me.”
In this verse, the Lord says, "The highest group of My servitors (whose sentiment was described in the previous verse by the word ramanti) are those who are constantly engaged (sataka-yukta) in My service in consorthood (madhura-rasa) with heartfelt love (bhajatam priti-purvakam). Then He says that He will give them further inspiration or inner instruction "by which they can come to Him" (yena mam upayanti te). When already in this and the previous verse the devotees ́ service to the Lord has been described as eternal (by the words nityam and satata-yukta), Lord Krsna's statement that He will give them further inspiration by which they can come to Him appears to be redundant. Therefore, in the expression mam upayanti te ("They will come to Me"), the word upayanti must be defined as parakiya-bhavena-upapati. Pati means husband, and upapati means paramour.
"For those who have already come into divine relationship with Me as My wife (ramanti), I give them the special inspiration to come to Me as a paramour (upapati)."
In Vrndavana, Lord Krsna is not considered a lawful husband, but He is the Lord of the heart, transcendental to even the husband (parakiya-rasa). Deceiving their husbands, the gopis of Vrndavana unite with Krsna. They do not allow a second party to come between them and Krsna. They cannot allow the interception of even scriptural regulation and social law, because Krsna's position is absolute, and such a relationship is more relishable to Him. This is Vrndavana bhajana, and this is the meaning of upapati.vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca visnoh
Sraddhanvito 'nuSṛnuyad atha varnayed yah
bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam
hṛd-rogam aSv apahinoty acirena dhirah
"A self-controlled, sense-controlled person who, having become endowed with sublime faith in the divine pastimes transcendentally enjoyed by Lord Krsna with the gopis (Rasa-lila), and who, having heard those divine pastimes from the lotus mouth of the bona fide guru, continuously sings or narrates their glories such a person swiftly achieves the most elevated form of pure devotion for the Lord, and is promptly able to ward off the heart disease of lust."
In his writings, Srila Jiva Goswami has laid stress on the word dhira, meaning 'self-controlled'. To hear these elevated subjects, one must enter into the culture of sense-control, otherwise he will be destroyed.naitat samacarej jatu, manasapi hy aniSvarah
vinaSyatyacaran maudhyad, yatharudro 'bdhi-jam visam
"No one should ever even think of imitating this behavior of the Supreme Lord and the gopis. If out of gross foolishness anyone tries to imitate the pastimes of the Lord, he will be utterly destroyed, just as if he tried to imitate Lord Siva by drinking the poison which arose from the ocean." (It is described elsewhere in the Srimad Bhagavatam that once the demigods and the demons jointly engaged in churning the ocean. As a result of that churning, both nectar and poison were produced.)
"My relationship with them is independent of everything conceivable. It crosses law, society, scripture everything. It is most innate and natural, and it does not require any social or scriptural sanction. I say to them, 'You may show formal respect to all these restrictions and live in the society. But from the heart of your heart, you are Mine.' This is the special inspiration and insight I give to those devotees (yena mam upayanti te)."
"Externally there are social and scriptural demands, but My position is over and above them. Veda is My instruction for the benefit of the masses, who have deviated from Me, and the society is also under the jurisdiction of those general instructions given to the public by Me. But My divine relationship with everything is intrinsic and independent. It does not require recognition from anyone. Such a relationship is the highest. It is the constant. It supercedes all law and society which are guided by the Vedas; rather all the Vedas are searching for such a thing."
Srutibhir vimrgyam (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.61). Visesa-mrgya the Vedas are searching after this ideal divine position. In the section of the Srimad Bhagavatam which deals with Rasa-lila, the Vedas are begging forgiveness:
"We are generally supposed to give tidings of You, but we could not describe You as we now experience You here. Now we understand that we have committed an offense, because we could not distribute this Rasa-lila, this Vraja-lila, to the people."
Like signposts, all the revealed scriptures are only showing the direction; but where, how? "We don't know." Only, "In this direction He may be available."
Anywhere and everywhere, everything belongs to Him. For one who knows this, all possibilities of sensual pleasure and exploitation are uprooted. For example, an unmarried woman may have the possibility of being approached by many but there is less possibility for those who are married, because they are possessed by someone. Similarly, when we are able to know that everything is only for the satisfaction of Krsna, then we shall realize that all our exploiting tendencies have vanished forever. Nothing will remain to be utilized for the pleasure of our sensual experience. It will be very deeply felt in our hearts that everything has its existence only for His satisfaction, and there is no room for any other exploitation.
And we are also included there our existence is also only for His satisfaction. Everything is meant for His divine pastimes (lila), and there is no possibility for any others' pastimes. All are included in that one lila. Encroachment will disappear when we learn the proper utility of everything. He is the owner, and His ownership is absolute. The scriptures, society, and law designate, "This is yours, that is another's, or that belongs to third party." This is something like a temporary lease, but the permanent ownership is in all respects with Him. All others possessor and property, master and servant are all relative, and only sanctioned by Him for the time being. The Absolute Owner, Possessor, and Enjoyer is He alone. When we arrive at such a conclusion, only then is complete purification of our hearts possible. Everyone is thinking of themselves as many masters of many things, but this is all heart disease (hrd-rogam). This is all conceived in a diseased state of consciousness. In a healthy state, when the heart is quite wholesome, we can see the Supreme whole, and we can see that everything is meant only for His satisfaction.
kaler-dosa-nidhe rajann asti hy eko mahan gunah
kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet
O king! Although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age. Simply by chanting Krsna's Name, one can become free from material bondage and attains Supreme Lord.
harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha
In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the Holy Name of the Lord, chanting the Holy Name of the Lord, chanting the Holy Name of the Lord. There is no other way, no other way, no other way.
In this Age of Kali, the Holy Name of the Lord, the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, is the incarnation of Lord Krsna. Simply by chanting the Holy Name, one associates with the Lord directly. Anyone who does this is certainly delivered. This verse repeats the word 'eva' ['certainly'] three times for emphasis, and it also three times repeats just to make common people understand. The use of the word 'kevala' ['only'] prohibits all other processes, such as cultivation of knowledge, practice of mystic yoga, and performance of austerities and fruitive activities.
On Sunday 7th of October Srila Bhakti Vicar Visnu Maharaja (disciple of Srila Bhakti Vallabha Tirtha Maharaja) and Srikanta Prabhu (disciple of Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaja) will give lecture in our Math. All of you are heartily invited.
Ecstasy personified is Krsna Himself, and He feels, tastes and enjoys
Himself; but only through faith is it possible to transmit and
distribute that ecstasy and joy to others.
Faith is the very nature of the hladini-sakti, the ecstasy potency,
which is represented in full by Srimati Radharani. Faith is the only
means through which we can see, hear, or feel the higher world;
otherwise it is all meaningless to us.