List of articles:
- Follow and Practice
- Our Position
- "I and My"
- Yuga dharma – Religion for present age ("I and My" pt. 2)
- Stages of Bhakti ("I and My" pt. 3)
- The law of karma ("I and my" pt. 4)
- Independence is Our Greatest Enemy
- Open Your Heart to Krishna
- Hearing hari-katha – 1st part
- Hearing hari-katha – 2nd part
- The Ideal Acarya
- Sambandha, Abhidheya, Prayojana (video)
- Hearing hari-katha – 3rd part
- Guru-tattva (video)
- Devotion Only Under the Guidance of Authority
- Surrender is the Basis of Devotion (video)
- Only Consciousness can Understand Consciousness (video)
- How To Avoid Misconceptions (video)
- Don't Deceive Yourself – First Part
- Don't Deceive Yourself – Second Part
- Do We Have Faith in Krsna's Pastimes? - First part
- Do We Have Faith in Krsna's Pastimes? - Second Part
- Face the Truth
He can only be seen or realized by those who do not know the aisvarya of the Supreme Lord. Otherwise you can never understand or see the beautiful form of Krsna in Vrndavan – where He is playing just like an ordinary human. “He perpetually submerges the inhabitants of Gokula in pools of pure bliss and through them, He informs the devotees which are desirous of knowing His aspect of supreme opulence and majesty, that He is conquered only by those who are free from the knowledge of His aisvarya.” No interest to know His opulence – the inhabitants of Vrndavan are not interested to know anything else. This is qualification. But in two slokas after this, Satyavrata Muni says, “Obeisances to You, Oh Deva, Oh Bhaktavatsala – friend of the bhaktas, Damodara. Oh Ananta, who are endowed with limitless potency, Oh all-pervading Visnu. Oh my Master. Oh supremely independent Īsa.” Īsa means Supreme controller.
always pray in this mood, 'I have no qualification.
I am insignificant. I am so fallen.' Not just lip-deep
speaking, but being convinced of feeling like this.”
So after speaking about Krsna’s sweetness, Satyavrata Muni is coming now to His aspect of majesty and opulence. “I’m sinking deeply into the ocean of sorrow. Please favor me by showering the rain of Your merciful glance upon this surrendered soul, who is so pitifully fallen, and grant me Your direct darsan.” It seems here, this is some rasabhasa. First he tries to forget all the opulences and majesty of the Lord, but then he is praying, “You are endowed with limitless potency. Oh Master, supremely independent Controller, be pleased with me.” This is the prayer the devotees should perform for the Lord – in our stage especially, “Favor me by showering the rain of Your merciful glance upon this surrendered soul, who is so pitifully fallen, and grant me Your direct darsan.” This is a sloka not fitting together with the other one we just read. It is said that those who live in Vrndavan, or those who are very high-class devotees, they don’t even hanker for seeing Him, because this is some personal contamination. Some think, “I want to see Him, I want to see my Lord, otherwise I don’t believe. Maybe it’s not true that You exist.” Something like this.
One should always approach Him on this level, as one who is so pitifully fallen. A devotee’s repentance and mood are like this. Those who are sincerely praying to the Lord always pray in this mood, “I have no qualification. I am insignificant. I am so fallen.” Not just lip-deep speaking, but being convinced of feeling like this. These prayers we will find in all our songs, written by our acaryas. They themselves feel very fallen and low. Even Mahaprabhu Himself, when He chanted and when He revealed this sloka, trnad api sunicena, taror api sahisnuna. This is a natural ornament of a Vaisnava, to feel very fallen and insignificant – unworthy to be a devotee. If this attitude is not there it is only a show. Krsna feels very attracted to this kind of devotee. And also if one has this mood, this deep feeling, he will never do something wrong. He will never get into some mundane fights, or will never act on the false ego, because he always feels lower then the other one. He feels always that, “I am wrong. Everyone else is actually right. Everyone else is a servant of Krsna. I am trying but I am not.” With this attitude we have no problems. This is what Satyvrata Muni wants to say, I think. Krsna will appear before us, definitely, and we will get His darsan. “I am sinking deeply into an ocean of sorrow. Please be merciful. I have surrendered. I am so fallen. Then You will definitely give me darsan, You will come.”
This is one level that we have to pass. Until we have not attained this level, deep in our heart, what can we speak about the beautiful pastimes of Krsna? We will not catch it properly. When Mahaprabhu was hearing about these pastimes, the highest and most confidential, Jagadananda was not there. Nor were Sivananda, Advaita Acarya, or Nityananda. They were not present in such talks, and in such moods. Only three and a half persons were present. Does someone remember these persons who were present when Mahaprabhu spoke about the most confidential, and secret pastimes?
Devotee: Ramananda Raya
Maharaj: Yes. He was a householder. He was not a sannyasi. And the second one was Svarupa Damodar. He was constantly with Mahaprabhu. In the krsna-lila they came as Lalita and Visakha. And there were two more present. We do not hear much in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta about these persons. They were also on highest level and were allowed to stay with Mahaprabhu and discuss these high topics, because they were all free from any attachment in this material world to the opposite sex. There was one simple devotee Sikhi Mahiti and his sister named Madhavi. It is said three and a half. So they were all beyond mundane consciousness.
Ramananda Raya gave this great example. Everyone may know this. He trained the dancers of Jagannath – they were called devadasis. Most of them did not have good character, but they were dancing only for Jagannath. And Ramananda Raya was training them; they were young girls in the ages of 15 to 17. He was training them, washing them, touching them. Even the private parts of their bodies.
One devotee, Pradyumna Misra, was sent from Mahaprabhu to Ramananda, to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam and the confidential pastimes. When he saw Ramananda’s situation he was shocked, and thought, “What? I should hear Srimad-Bhagavatam from such a person who is the whole day with these ladies and even touches them?” So Pradyumna Misra went back to Mahaprabhu and said, “No, I cannot. Do you know what I saw?” Mahaprabhu said, “Don’t worry. He is not even the slightest attached to this material world. He is not acting as a man, he is Visakha, or female. He has a transcendental body, and has no attachment at all to anything of this world. So he can do this. You go there again and hear from him.” Then Pradyumna Misra went there and Ramananda said, “Please excuse me. I did not have time before, I had to finish training the devadasis. But today I have time for you.” Pradyumna Misra said, “Mahaprabhu sent me. Will you please speak about Srimad-Bhagavatam.” Ramananda was very pleased, and the whole day he could not stop speaking. Both of them were diving deep into the lilas of Srimad-Bhagavatam. In Sri Caitanya-caritamrta it is stated that the highest topics that are discussed in all the sastras, were discussed between Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya, when they met the first time. It was on the bank of the Godavari river, the place where our Guru Maharaj was ordered to make his first temple. The same place where this meeting happened.
The supreme pastimes of the Supreme Lord, Who is appearing just like an ordinary boy, acting like an ordinary human, can only be understood by those who are free from all mundane contamination and have attained their spiritual body – their svarupa. Those who are sincere will never speak openly about these pastimes because it is like opening the door to the sleeping room of the Supreme Lord, and letting every rascal come in. It is not allowed. Those who do like this, they are just living in an imaginary world of wrong understanding. They get some illusion about Krsna, some illusionary pastimes, and they just get lusty after hearing these pastimes. This we can see all over the world. So we have to be very careful. First, we have to do our duty.
Today in Vrndavan is Rasa-Purnima, the day when the senior devotees are going to remember these pastimes in seclusion. It is not openly discussed and shown. Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Maharaj even did not allow in his temple the julan-yatra, do you know it? Julan yatra, the swing pastime of Radha Govinda, is confidential and intimate. All the gopis and their talks, and movements, are explained here and only the highest class devotees can attain it. For those who are realized, this is reality, and when they speak about this they are entering the pastime. They are not speaking something that comes from their imagination. They are in the pastimes and experiencing them.
Guru Maharaj mostly spoke about Caitanya-lila. I was fortunately there in the early days of Guru Maharaj’s reading and telling about Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Caitanya Bhagavat. I was so charmed and fascinated, that when he started speaking about the pastimes and reading Caitanya Bhagavat then the whole temple there was transformed into a transcendental world, Navadvip-dham – what the pastimes tell of. And we were taken, he took us with him, into this lila. There was one thing I had never seen before, he always cried when he spoke. By some special theme, the tears would come. But he always immediately controlled this, and continued. He was living in Caitanya Bhagavat, in the pastimes. He didn’t tell us about what he read, but about what he saw. He was a part of the pastimes.
So, what to say of the pastimes of Radha Govinda? These pastimes are for us too high, and we should not run for these things now. They will come to us when we are fit. Just be patient, and pray, “Please favor me by showering the rain of Your merciful glance upon this surrendered soul, who is so pitifully fallen.” The Lord Himself will come, when we are fit. And He will say, “I am such. I am not like you think I am.” There will be no doubt anymore. Any doubts between Krsna and me will be destroyed. This means darsan, real darsan. When there’s no doubt anymore – is it like this, or is it not like this. This we should try to gain.
This Damodar month is helping us to become a member of Krsna’s family in Vrndavan. Someone who feels attracted to it will not feel any attraction to mundane relations anymore. It is like an animal life here, and there will never be an end. What is said at the end of a fairy tale – that they will live together forever and happily? Have any of you experienced this? You can write and imagine many things, but it never happens. These things don’t happen in this world – neither in this consciousness or in this mundane world here where we are acting and living. We have to go through some purification, to school, and this is a school where we are sitting here. At the same time, this temple is no different from Goloka. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is so merciful that He gives us a chance to live in an atmosphere where there is no difference between Vaikuntha. Maybe we see differently, but it’s not. For many years I’ve heard from different acaryas, when they come to our temple they say, “This is just like Vrndavan.” Of course, if you get used to it then mundane consciousness may enter and give us troubles, problems – even more problems then outside. Outside everybody is mad. But if you get mad here, then everyone immediately tells you to be careful and wake up. This kind of consciousness should be developed here, and just by living in this atmosphere maybe one day we will see Radha Govinda dancing on the altar. Not only this, but the whole temple transformed into Goloka Vrndavan. Why not? You just have to believe and have faith. We had faith that this temple would one day stand here. For Krsna, nothing is impossible. Why should He not personally come here also, to His place that He created? Why should He not? Should we stop now? No, we don’t give up.
Jay Sri Radha Damodar ki jay!
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.
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-rūpa 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.”
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.
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 Svarūpa 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.”
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 jñāna hŗde prakāśito, 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 ācarate yasmād ācāryas tena kīrttitah
“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 ātma-sātha - 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!
– 2nd part
(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 part
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.
We do not open our heart to the rogue, the demon or the sense enjoyer. We do not open our heart so that maya (illusionary energy) can come in. If you have faith in Krishna, you can open your heart to Him. He – like guru or a pure devotee - will never hurt you.
We should always open our heart for Krishna and His devotees. Otherwise we will never attain the platform of giving up our control. One day we should give Krishna all control, but for now we still want to control everything. We want to draw a kind of line: “This is my surrender, up to here.” After that we become fearful and take back our control. We think, “What will happen? Somebody may hurt me, someone may cheat me.” One who cannot open his heart has had some bad experiences in the past, experiences of being cheated or disappointed. So he always wants to have control over situations. He wants to be the ultimate end controller. He never gives Krishna the control.
Full surrender means that I give complete authority to Krishna- make or mar- and let Him do as He likes with me. This is the most advanced stage, and we have to approach it. We cannot always close ourselves off to His control and at the same time pray to Krishna for help. “Surrender” means that I give my life to Him. There is nothing sweeter than this. If Krishna cares for me what problem can I have? When we try to take care of ourselves, only problems will come.
We may think that we are fallen, and cannot be redeemed. Does that mean we should give up the process of surrendering to Krishna?
It doesn´t even take one second to surrender, but we think it is impossible. Why? The hindrance is only in our head, between our ears. Of course, to surrender fully is a question of sukriti (accumulation of your pious activities), but theoretically it is simple. One just has to do it. Immediately one can surrender 100 percent to Krishna and get His full mercy. We may try it and Krishna will show us how much we have surrendered.
You know, we want to surrender all these things we don´t want anyway but the important ones we want to keep under our control. We often see it like this, “Two percent for Krishna means 98 percent for me. Ten percent for Krishna means 90 percent for me.” If we think about it we can know how much we have surrendered and how much is left to me.
Advancement in spiritual life is dependent on this only and nothing else.
All problems are solved if we understand that we are always protected and pure, when see everything in connection with Krishna. Nothing can harm us, nothing can create a disturbance. As soon as we think, “the environment is doing something bad to me and I have to do something bad to them,” immediately I am suffering. I am disturbed. I am captured by the gunas: raja guna, tama guna, sattva guna.
It´s very simple. Everything is Krishna. I am for Him. He is my Lord. Whatever happens is arranged by His grace. Bad or good is no question. It´s always good. For the devotee, everything is perfect harmony. Only for materialists, those under the influence of Maya, they always see something wrong. This we have to learn, to see things differently. For this all the acharyas wrote so many shastras, and gave so many instructions. Through their books and in their example, through their association, we have to learn.
We should not take it easy. If we attain the platform of having contact with one pure soul, we should not think this is ordinary. As soon as we think like this, all our advancement is stopped. It is cut. We have to be very careful in the association of advanced devotees. We should not be shameless, thinking that they are ordinary. We should carefully watch what we are doing and thinking, because in the association of pure devotees, all these things are open. Seen. We should not be like an elephant in a glass shop. If you approach advanced devotees, we should not come like this, or we destroy all the beautiful plants. Our bhakti-latta, our plant of bhakti. If this plant is small it will be destroyed, when we are not careful.
We should not see the higher class devotees with the eyes of our limited vision. They are far beyond. They are not on our level. We should not think, “Oh, he must eat, or he is sick, or he is going on the toilet, or he is doing the same like me so what is different? He wears saffron, and so do I, so what is the difference?”
When we are very respectful and humble, we will realize that so many blessings and mercy are coming. But if we are talking on the level of being very proud, as we generally are, we are very gross. We think that “the maximum level everyone can attain is my level”, and then we are just taking everything on our level. But we can only see our little universe where we are moving…our Haunted House. We can´t see more. We must be careful, and then advancement will come very quickly.
This has to be spoken amongst the devotees.
Independence is our greatest enemy. You should know this. Independence is not freedom. It means that I am completely captured by Maya. When I become dependent on my spiritual master and Krishna, then I am really free. We may see the street dog, and think he is really free. He can run wherever he wants. But mostly he has nothing to eat, and he is beaten. In India you will see all these things. When a street dog comes, they immediately take a stone and throw it at him. But if one dog has a master, even if the dog is very small, and the street dog is big…if the master is going with the small one, and it will bark “Bow Wow”, at the big dog, the big dog becomes afraid because the master is with him.
Be careful. To be independent means you are under the control of Maya. If you are dependent on the mercy of the Lord, always dependent on Him, whatever happens…you have to depend on Him. He may kill us, or embrace us, whatever He likes. Then He will care nicely for us, we don´t have to care for anything. Everything will go very, very smoothly.
But if you think you are free, “I am independent, and don´t need anyone, I do my thing”….what are you doing? You are living like a ghost, like a street dog. You have no control. You think you are free but your desires are pushing you here and there, and you have no control.
Independence is our greatest enemy. It is not our friend.
question: In this world there are many people with different desires and different activities. There are good people and bad people, what is happening to them after leaving the body?
Srila BS Muni Maharaja: Those who perform bad activities, those who are harming others, they will take birth in a body where they cannot harm others, or they have to suffer in the next life. They will be punished. Those who perform good activities, they may go to higher planetary systems. The Christians call it heaven. There you may live a long lifetime, ten thousand years, and you will enjoy it. Your body does not become old, and not getting sick. But you will have to come back here to this material world. This is not the aim of what vaisnavas want. According to our activities we will take birth in the next life.
But there´s one thing, we may see a tiger, a lion, or a cat who is eating a mouse, or a lion that is attacking other animals, or even humans, and you may think that they are going to hell, but this is not so. They are not bound, only humans are bound. Those who can decide freely what to do, they are responsible for their activities. Animals, they are not responsible for their activities. There are also some people, for example those that take birth in Greenland, these people are born there because of their karma, their past activities. These people cannot be vegetarians because of where they live. These people will also not get so much reaction for these activities. Everything depend on the state of consciousness.
Somebody who knows that eating and killing animals is bad, because they are also living entities, knows that the animals feel pain. Like a human also feels when you hurt them. Those who know this, and they kill anyway; they will suffer very much in their next life. But those who are ignorant, they are almost like animals; they will not suffer from these things so much because they are ignorant.
Regarding karma, or action and reaction, is very complicated and we cannot calculate it from our standpoint. But we should understand that our life now is based on our past life, and it´s just continuing. So, bad people will take forms in their next life in the animal society. If someone is very harmful to others they will take birth as a tree or a stone, or first they go to a hellish planet, to Yamaraj. They will be punished very much. There is a description of how they will be punished in the Srimad Bhagavatam.
For every action, there is a reaction. We must understand this. It is very logical, scientific. If I say to someone, "you are such a nice man," this saying has a reaction, it makes you feel comfortable. If I say, "you are so foolish, and you are….some bad words", then you will feel very uncomfortable, and maybe punch me in the face. All these things have a reaction. Whatever I do has a reaction, accordingly. So it is very easy to calculate what our future will be, by looking at our present, and seeing the past.
If you are not doing good you will get a bad life. If you are good in your heart, and suffering now, this is because of the past. In the future we may get a good life. We should not be afraid. Everything is perfectly arranged by the higher authorities in this universe. Everything will come. Punishment will come to those who do bad things, and those who do good things will get their fruit accordingly. This is not under our control. We should not think that we are the controllers. We have not chosen this body. We have not chosen to take birth here, or there. We did not choose to be a man or woman, intelligent or not intelligent. Likewise, we also can´t choose our future. It will be arranged according to the laws of nature.
There are different stages in the process of bhakti. And the first is "sukriti", we have to get some sukriti. Which means we have to somehow or other develop the desire or consciousness that there may be a God. This can happen for example if you hear on the street Maha-Mantra, sankirtan, or you get some prasadam, or unconsciously you please a devotee, or you come to the temple even if you don´t want to. You may get some good results from these things. Then from this you develop sraddha, which means you develop some faith in the devotees, in the sastra, the scriptures. After this, you may desire to meet a devotee - sadhu sanga. You may hear from him, you may ask him questions, then you may say, “now I want to do something for the Infinite”. My whole life I am working very hard for me, and I´m not becoming happy. I am still not a millionaire. My whole life I am meditating about money and ladies and happiness, and I´m not getting satisfaction from this. So now I want to try to serve the Supreme, so that He can be satisfied, and by His satisfaction I will be satisfied deep in my heart. After sraddha comes bhajana-kriya, and anartha-nivritti. Anartha-nivritti means that our covering, our ignorance about our real identity, will be destroyed. Slowly I realise that I am not a member of this world. My real home is in the world where there is no death, old age, disease, or debt. This is my real home. Where I am now is only temporary, like a dream. You will realize slowly, "who I am". The next step is nishta, where you will go on continually, with faith, and try to serve the Supreme. You will get purified more and more, develop faith more and more, and then you will get taste. Then you will experience some love. Nobody can say, "I don´t want to love." Nobody can say this.
Like in our next program, there is a nice article from Srila Sridhar Maharaj. He is telling that we can say I don´t want money, opulence, I don´t want justice, even. I can say this. Justice…if you are thinking that by justice, you will develop the qualification to become a member of the spiritual world then you have no chance. We have performed terrible activities in this material world. By justice there is no chance for us. A devotee is thinking like this. But by the mercy of the Supreme Lord, by those who are the associates of the Supreme Lord, everything is possible. Mercy is above justice.
The next step is ruci. Ruci means taste. When I get the taste of the higher world, by chanting the name of the Lord, by serving Him, by putting my interest in the service of the Lord, not in “I and my”. Then there comes taste. Then there comes ashakti, bhava, and prema. This is a very high, developed love. This is not a love like we experience here in this material world. The love here is very flickering. Every moment it can be finished. Why? Because everyone here looks for their own interest. Why? Because as long as you satisfy me I will love you, but if I cannot get satisfaction, then I will look somewhere else for satisfaction. Basically this is the thinking in this material world. I and my. This thinking is not present in the higher sphere, the higher plane. There you will not find cheating, no consciousness of even thinking of such a thing. Everything is pure. Everything there is of a purest consciousness. Everything there can be seen. Your mind can be seen. You cannot hide behind your face or body. Consciousness means pure. Material consciousness means impure. Here you can pretend to be someone, or something, you are not. You can cheat others, and they cannot see it, because they can only see body. They can only see the material form. They have no eyes to see what is spiritual; they have no pure vision. But if you come to the higher plane all of these things are absent, they are not present there. Everything is pure, and love is also pure there.
So if you develop this higher taste, ruci, only by chanting the name of god, ecstatic symptoms may manifest. Tears may come to your eyes, happiness and ecstasy may come. Pure love is developing. From soul to soul, not body to body. This is the difference. It is from soul to soul. The body is temporary. The body cannot love, only the soul is capable of loving.
For example, somebody is dying; our beloved is laying there before us. You love him and you want to touch him, or her. Why not? Everything is here. Why not touch them? Why do you not feel love for this body. Then you say, “he is gone”. Why do you say this? What is gone? Everything is still there. What is gone? What did we love? This body or the person who was living in this body? We have to be intelligent to find out these things. If you understand this, you may understand many things. Are you loving the person in the body, or the body? If you love the body you will be disappointed, frustrated. After some time, the body is becoming old, it´s wrinkling. So we should understand that real love can only be from soul to soul. The person in the body. So we should study this philosophy, the Bhagavad Gita, the Srimad Bhagavatam, and chant the holy name, and take association with sadhu, and this thing will be revealed to you, and you will be free, you will be happy.
Whatever we experience in this world is just according to our activities. Our present life, or what we are facing, is a result of our past. Whatever we have done or created in the past is stored in our hearts, in our subconsciousness, and according to these past activities we see this world. Srila Sridhar Maharaj gives this nice saying, "Our mind is not in this world. The world is in our mind."
We may see things from a different perspective. One might see something as nice, and the other see it as very ugly. One might be disturbed by this thing, but the other one may be happy. Just according to our past experience, by our desire, we experience this material world. So, simply by chanting the name of Hare Krishna, we will clear our mind and hearts, and things will be known to us as they are.
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha
In many sastras, and Vedas, in very ancient books, thousands and thousands of years old, this verse is present. This sloka, this verse, is saying that in the age of Kali, the age in which we are living, the people are not very intelligent, they are not at all intelligent, and they have short lives and are fighting for the smallest things. Wars start because of only small, small differences between some leaders. They start wars, and kill thousands and thousands of people because of some personal interest. Nowadays this happens, this is Kali-yuga. In this age we are not very qualified to understand higher consciousness. We have no higher understanding of what is beyond this material world.
But there is one way. "Harer nama harer nama harer nama" three times it is repeated. It means for Kali-yuga people, one has to repeat it many times. Chanting the name of Hari, this is transcendental sound vibration. Very powerful names of transcendental sound vibration should be repeated. Their sound is not from this world and can bring us to a spiritual, higher plane. So for this, this sloka is spoken. Even the Supreme Lord incarnates here in this Kali-yuga, as Caitanya Mahaprabu, to start the chanting of the name of Hari. It´s called "Yuga Dharma". "Yuga" means "age", and that of which we are speaking now is Kali-yuga. This process is given in this Kali-yuga.All religions perform this, unconsciously maybe. In Christianity, it´s "hallowed be thy name", and in Islam also, they glorify the name of Allah, of God. And also in Hinduism, they are chanting the name of the Supreme. These are not ordinary names. Their sound vibrations are very powerful. The most powerful sound vibration is given by Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the maha-mantra, the great mantra. This is a powerful mantra, and by chanting this maha-mantra, one can realize very easily transcendental consciousness. One can then understand easily that what we are experiencing here is a very temporary, painful and short kind of pleasure and suffering.
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare
You may try to regularly chant this mantra. It´s not difficult to remember. By remembering this mantra, suffering will be destroyed and happiness will appear. Just by chanting this mantra. You may try, and experience it yourself. I give it for free now. Mahaprabhu gave it for free. You have to pay for whiskey, wine and beer. For all drugs…smoking…you have to pay very much. Take this simple mantra and you will become happy. It´s very simple, just make this sacrifice, and you will see that real happiness will come to your heart. And you should have faith in the Supreme Lord. It is described in the sastra, "According to your faith in the Supreme Lord your advancement will be measured."
There are two types of living entities. Nitya-baddha and nitya-siddha. The whole life of the former consists only in running for "my" and "I". So, this is called Maya, or illusion. Those with the universal consciousness, the second part, they're conscious of the universal interest, and that means God. They're God conscious. Their interest is to satisfy God. One is called conditioned, "nitya-baddha" it is called in sanskrit, and then there are those who are engaged in the satisfaction of the Supreme, of the Infinite, they are called "nitya-siddha". They are liberated. Liberated from birth, disease, old age, and death. They are always happy because they do not experience birth, disease, old age, or death. We are nitya-baddhas, which means we are eternally conditioned living entities, because our interest is to work for our satisfaction. That means provincial consciousness, and that means that our world, our universe is very small. Some may only care for themselves. It is a very egoistic way of thinking. Some care more for family, country, animals and the environment. But this is all conditioned.
We should understand the reason, for which are all the living beings coming here to this material world. Does anyone know why we are here? Because we do not have an interest to satisfy the Supreme interest, we want to satisfy our personal interest. Because of this we are coming to this conditioned world, where there is birth, disease, old age, and death. So we want to be separated from the universal interest, that means "separate" interest. Because of this we are going through many phases of happiness and distress. Sometimes happiness, sometimes distress; sometimes suffering, sometimes pleasure; according to our desire.
This conditioned world has laws. Whatever I do here or whatever I desire, I will get the result, the fruit. Just as it is has been said, "as I sow, so shall I harvest". I sow nice things here, I do pious activity, I do good to others, I will get good things. I will do some harm to others, I will perform criminal activities, I will get some punishment. This is the law of this material nature. Nobody can escape. Nobody can escape these universal laws. They are made like this for conditioned souls, for those who don't want to stay in the universal interest, in the association of the Supreme. They will come here to experience the pleasure of material life.
For example, once there was a businessman from Iran. I told him this material life has laws. According to your action, you will harvest, you will get the fruit. If you kill and eat animals, then you should expect that you will also be eaten in one your next lives. He said, "I am like a warrior." He had been in the Iranian War. He had been shot, he was a ksatrya. He said, "I don't care. I am ready to get the body of an animal and be slaughtered in the next life." It's easy to say, if you have a human body now…but if you come into the situation that somebody comes at you with a knife, and you will be killed, or eaten up, then it is not very pleasurable. So, it is foolish, for humans to think like this, because it will give pain to us. It is not natural to be killed in this way, to suffer all the consequences of our past activities.
For this there is given some knowledge, called Vedas, which means knowledge, tattva or truth. And it is given all over the world. Different cultures and different kinds of religions are similar. The most detailed and explicitly described truth about the laws of material nature, the Supreme, the Infinite, the Cause of All Causes, is given in the Vedas. And there is also given the process of how to become free of the laws of this material nature: that for all activities I have to give reactions. It is called prayascita. There is yoga prayascita, karma prayascita, jnana prayascita, and bhakti prayascita. Karma prayascita means, when I perform many good activities I will counteract the bad activities. I will destroy the negative. But the good activities also have some reaction. So I might destroy many activities, but still the root, the desire to enjoy separate from the Supreme, is still rooted in our hearts. Jnana prayascita, means to become free of all karma, but you will not be free from the desire to enjoy this material world. Bhakti prayascita, means through bhakti, surrender and devotional service to the Supreme, by establishing a relationship to the Supreme, you will uproot the roots of enjoying this material world.
It's compared to a bamboo forest. You have seen a bamboo forest? In India you can see this, the bamboo grows very close together. Sometimes the wind comes and the bamboo is rubbing together. And sometimes fire is coming from this rubbing, and the whole bamboo forest is burning down. Like this is jnana prayascita. The whole forest of our sinful desire will be destroyed. But the interesting thing is, that when the rainy season comes, this bamboo forest grows back, because the roots have not been destroyed. Because of this, bhakti prayascita is most powerful. Simply by chanting the name of Hari, the roots of our being the enjoyer of this material world, of being the exploiter, will be destroyed. The root will be destroyed. You will have no desire to enjoy "I and my". Your interests will be to become a servant of the Supreme, and to experience unlimited bliss and happiness, without problems. There are no problems on this plane, the transcendental plane. But because we have no idea what this transcendental plane is, we have no experience and we also don't believe in it. Basically we are not believing in God. We have no faith in God, and we are always acting without the knowledge that God is the Supreme, and everything is under His control.
(To be continued)
I would like to present a little practical knowledge so that we may understand our position in this world and in the spiritual world.
In the beginning, we have to pass many different stages in this material world. These stages are Bhur, Bhuvah, and Svah. Now, we are on the platform of Bhur. This means the fleshy, gross platform. Most of the population on this planet (99,9 %) can perceive on this platform only - just what they can experience through their eyes, their material senses. It is the lowest platform.
The next platform is Bhuvah. In this material world there are different planets, different regions where the bodies of living beings become more subtle. For example, on Svargaloka there is no body made of flesh- earth, water, fire, air, ether- and on another planet, bodies made of fire can be found. On the heavenly planet the living entities have bodies made of mind, intellect and false ego. So there is still the tendency to exploit, to enjoy – even if it is much more refined. Their ability to perceive things, their mystic powers, are much more developed then ours.
So we can check ourselves: can we see those subtle living beings wandering in the sky? Have we developed our senses so much that we can perceive the more subtle world in this material world?
Actually, heavenly planets are still on a very gross platform. Above these, planets of finer levels come- Maha, Jana, Tapa, Satya, Brahmaloka. These are different levels, or lokas. For example, Tapaloka – a platform, a planet, which can be attained by those who perform severe austerities. These beings are controlling their minds and senses; they are perfect living beings.
Those who are on the highest lokas, the highest platforms in this material world, can control their senses perfectly.
etān vegān yo viṣaheta dhīraḥ
sarvām apīmāṁ pṛthiviṁ sa śiṣyāt
Have we mastered or, can we control, all these urges: speech, mind, anger, tongue, belly and genitals? Have we reached this stage in our development? If we are able to control the demands of all these urges without acting on them, then we are able to become a spiritual master of the whole universe.
Those in the highest platforms have perfectly controlled their senses. Still, they are not in the spiritual world. They still live in the material world, and don´t have permission, the visa, to cross the Viraja. Many of them have some interest in controlling the minds of others. They have some “I and my” interest- to get mystical powers, to enjoy the pure atmosphere on higher planets.
Before we can pass the border to the spiritual world, get the entrance to Vaikuntha, there are all these levels to go through and we have to become a master of material demands. As self-controlled beings, we may first enter the Brahmaloka (Brahman), where we are relieved from all these material demands, we are free from them, no longer agitated by anything from this material world. But still we do not have a personal concept of the Supreme Lord.
It is very important that we check ourselves to see how well we have mastered the demands of our senses; how much we have enabled the eyes to see finer levels; how much we have mastered the vision to see the subtle forms of living beings. Can we see the great munis travelling? Have I seen Sri Narada Muni? Did I have his darshan? It is said that even if we mention his name, he appears. But who has seen him? Has anybody has seen Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva? Have we attained the vision of those very advanced beings that are living in this material world?
Whoever is qualified to get their darshan may also become qualified to cross the border between this material world and the spiritual world. And when we are qualified to cross this border we can speak of what is happening in Vaikuntha. We must become qualified for entering into these higher levels of spiritual life. Then, being situated there, we can speak from the level we are experiencing therein. Then this will be first class.
It is said there are different kinds of gurus. First, those who stand on both their feet in this material plane and show us the way to go up to Vaikuntha, Goloka. Next are those who stand on one foot in this material world and on one foot in the spiritual world, and can connect us to the spiritual world. And then there are some who stand with both of their feet in the spiritual world. Whatever they speak comes from their experience- they tell you about Sri Krishna because they see Sri Krishna. In the moment they are speaking they are seeing Him, they have His association, they are His. They are the perfect personalities, sad-gurus, the eternal gurus.
Those who are engaged in sadhana bhakti should avoid ten kinds of offences.
navirato duscaritan nasanto nasamahituh
nasanta-manaso vapi prajnanenaninam apnuyat
„Neither person who does not avoid sinful deeds, nor a person who is not peaceful, nor a person who is not serious and dilligent, nor a person whose heart is agitated can, even with a great intelectuall endeavor, attain the Supreme Lord.“ (Katha Upanisad 1.2.24)
If we want to make progress on the spiritual path, we must live with sadhus. They are all the time submerged in devotional service to the Supreme Lord. To see, hear, touch or have any contact with Supreme Person is for us impossible. He is Adhoksaja, situated beyond perception of our senses. How can we serve to someone who is unknown? How may we know Him? In the scriptures it is recommended that it is possible only through association of those beings who have connection with Supermundane sphere. Sadhu is a person who is able to perceive Supreme with his spiritual senses. Also is recommended to avoid association with materialistic persons.
varam huta-vaha-jvala panjarantar-vyavasthitih
„Even if one is forced to live within a cage of iron or in the midst of a blazing fire, he should accept this position rather then live with non devotees who are through against the supremacy of the Lord. (Katyayana-samhita)
This is the basic understanding for those who want to attain Him to whom everything belongs. Further is said:
soka-marsadibhir bhavair akrantam yasya manasam
katham tasya mukundasya sphurti-sambhavana bhavet
„Within the heart of a person who is overpowered by lamentation or anger, there is no posibility of Krsna's being manifested.“ (Padma Purana)
Person who is full of anger, do not understand that whatever is going on, is all under the control of higher energies. Everything is reaction for our past deeds. One who realized that all actions whether good or bad are results of our past actions neither laments nor is angry. It is always necessary to remind us what is reality and what is illusion. I must know what is the purpose of life. Who Am I? Why Am I here? Where Am I going? Those of animal nature have not such questions, only those who are inteligent are searching for truth. What should be our conduct?
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te pratijane priyo si me
„Being My devotee offer your mind to Me. Offer articles to Me in worship Me. Offer respects to Me. I promise that you will come to Me without doubt, for you are most dear to Me.“ (Bhagavad-gita 18.65)
In the same way in this present age materialistic persons are always reminding us what to do. They have to keep us in material consciousness. The contemporary propaganda in this world is to work. Those who have a nice job are considered most fortunate people on this planet. Then what to do with our money? Advertising agents reminding us what is our necessity, how to live, how to think, how to enjoy. They are soldiers of Kali-yuga. But those who are sincerly asking, they will find the answer, the way from illusion into the real life. Sincerity is most important quality for spiritual life. One who is not sincer will be cheated. If one understand that everything here is of temporary nature he will search for the way out from this prison. Our real self is covered with many layers. From most gross to more and more subtle. In the Bhagavad-gita (7.4) Sri Krsna said to Arjuna:
bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me bhinna prakrtir astadha
„Earth, water, fire, air, ether (as well as their sense objects), mind,intelligence, false ego (with the ten senses and mahat tattva) are my separated external energy in eight divisions.
With none of this material energies we can cross over river Viraja, the border beetwen material and spiritual world. But there is a method by which we can attain Him.
brahma-bhuta prasannatma na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu mad bhaktim labhate param
„Having attained the state of brahman, being a pure soul, who does not lament in loss what he has or desire for he does not have, and looks upon all beings equal. He then attains prema bhakti.“ (Bhagavad-gita 18.54)
Unconditional surrender! We must understand, that we are not doers. We may think that we have ability to come near to Him. But if he do not allow us we cannot do anything. He is Supreme subject and we all are objects of His will. It means that viza for us to enter spiritual world can be issued only there. Only if He will decide than I may enter; not otherwise. He Himself established method of disciplic succession which is enunciated in the Vedic scriptures.
tad viddhi pranipatena, pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam, jnaninas tattva-darsinah
„Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Surrender to him and inquire submissively from him and render service at his lotos feet. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you, for he has seen the truth.“ (Bhagavad-gita 4.34)
It is not easy, but the only way. Spiritual master will tell you everything what to do.Those who don't follow this descending method can't attain any succes. What is the meaning of bhakti? It is unalloyed devotional service to the Supreme Lord. Vedic literature is describing form of God in detail. His qualities, pastimes, names, etc.. Every name is describing His particular quality, feature, activity. Lord is manifesting His sweetest pastimes in Goloka Vrindavana and Gaudiya Vaishnavas are attracted by those highest pastimes. Those who are living there have only one aim; to satisfy Krsna. They have not their own desires at all. Everything there is transparent, nothing can be hidden.Vaikuntha means, without borders, unlimited. As a infinitesimal parts of Supreme Lord we may be taken there, but only if we are acting according to His sweet will. As He like us to do and not with our own imaginations, our prejudices. Than we can be admitted. I'm speaking only that what I have heard from my Gurudeva, what is in the scripture, and what I received from sadhus. Understanding will come if we follow this line.