I humbly welcome you to our weekly podcast The Spiritual Medicine where we take the prescribed medicines in the form of Krishna Consciousness to cure us from the material pangs of birth, old age, disease, and death.
In this episode, we cover up the last part of our series called Need of a Guru.
In this episode Srila Prabhupada tells us about a very interesting theory which is called the axiomatic theory which in confirmity with the 3 parallel lines namely Guru, Sadhu, Sastra facilitates our enlightenment in the path of self realization. If you want to know further, continue listening to this audio clip taken from Srila Prabhupada’s lecture on Oct 1968 in Seattle.
Srila Prabhupada, “Sādhu śāstra, guru vākya, tinete kariya aikya.
Spiritual realization can be perfected by three parallel process. Sādhu. Sādhu means saintly persons, who are realized souls, sādhu. And śāstra. Śāstra means scriptures, authoritative scriptures, Vedic scriptures, śāstra. Sādhu, śāstra and guru, a spiritual master. Three parallel line.
And if you place your car or vehicle on these three parallel line, your car will go direct to Kṛṣṇa. Tinete kariyā aikya. Just like in the railway line you see two parallel lines. If they are in order, the railway carriages are carried very smoothly to the destination. Here also, there are three parallel lines—sādhu, śāstra, guru: saintly person, association of saintly person; acceptance of bona fide spiritual master, and faith in the scriptures. That’s all. Then your carriage will be going nicely, without any disturbance. Sādhu śāstra guru vākya, cittete kariyā aikya [Prema-bhakti-candrikā].
[My only wish is to have my consciousness purified by the words emanating from his lotus mouth. Attachment to his lotus feet is the perfection that fulfills all desires.]
So here in the Bhagavad-gītā, the Supreme Personality of Godhead explaining Himself, Kṛṣṇa. So if you say, “How can I believe that Kṛṣṇa said? Somebody has written in the name of Kṛṣṇa that ‘Kṛṣṇa said,’ ‘God said.’ ” No. This is called disciplic succession. You will see in this book, Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa, what Kṛṣṇa said, and how Arjuna understood.
These things are described there. And the sādhu, saintly person, beginning from Vyāsadeva, Nārada, down to many ācāryas, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī, and latest, Lord Caitanya, in this way, they have accepted, “Yes. It is spoken by Kṛṣṇa.” So this is the proof: if saintly persons have accepted. They have not denied. Authorities, they have accepted, “Yes.” This is called sādhu.
And because sādhu, saintly persons, have accepted, therefore it is scripture. That is the test. Just like… It is commonsense affair. If the lawyers accept some book, then it is to be understood that this is law book. You cannot say that “How can I accept this is law?” The evidence is the lawyers are accepting. Medical… If the medical practitioners accept, then that is authoritative medical book. Similarly, if saintly persons are accepting Bhagavad-gītā as scripture, you cannot deny it.
So sādhu śāstra: saintly person and scriptures, two things, and with spiritual master, three, three parallel lines, who accept the sādhu and the scripture. Sādhu confirms the scripture and spiritual master accept the scripture. Simple process. So they are not in disagreement. What is spoken in the scripture is accepted by saintly person, and what is spoken in the scripture, the spiritual master explains only that thing. That’s all.
So via media is the scripture. Just like lawyer and the litigants—via media is the law book. Similarly, the spiritual master, the scripture… Saintly person means who confirms the Vedic injunction, who accepts. And scripture means what is accepted by the saintly person. And spiritual master means who follows the scripture.
So things equal to the same thing are equal to one another. This is axiomatic truth. If you have got hundred dollars, and another man has got hundred dollar, and if I have got hundred dollar, then we are all equal. Similarly, sādhu śāstra guru vākya, when these three parallel lines in agreement, then life is success.”
How beautifully Srila Prabhupada clarifies on the conformity of the 3 parallel lines with the axiomatic theory. Without his explanation we would never have understood the spiritual subject matters on our own. That is why we need a Guru.
Thus we come to the end of our series Need Of a Guru.
Unlike material life, the spiritual life is build on the foundation of two pillars namely submissiveness and service to the Guru. In other words, there is no success obtained if a spiritual aspirant does not let go of his false ego and pride. One can never ever receive the transcendental knowledge if one does not ask relevant spiritual questions with humility.
We should memorize the purport given by Srila Prabhupada in BG 4.34 wherein he reveals the secret of advancement in spiritual life in this context.
tad viddhi praṇipātena
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
tat — that knowledge of different sacrifices; viddhi — try to understand; praṇipātena — by approaching a spiritual master; paripraśnena — by submissive inquiries; sevayā — by the rendering of service; upadekṣyanti — they will initiate; te — you; jñānam — into knowledge; jñāninaḥ — the self-realized; tattva — of the truth; darśinaḥ — seers.
Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.
The path of spiritual realization is undoubtedly difficult. The Lord therefore advises us to approach a bona fide spiritual master in the line of disciplic succession from the Lord Himself. No one can be a bona fide spiritual master without following this principle of disciplic succession. The Lord is the original spiritual master, and a person in the disciplic succession can convey the message of the Lord as it is to his disciple. No one can be spiritually realized by manufacturing his own process, as is the fashion of the foolish pretenders. The Bhāgavatam (6.3.19) says, dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam: the path of religion is directly enunciated by the Lord. Therefore, mental speculation or dry arguments cannot help lead one to the right path. Nor by independent study of books of knowledge can one progress in spiritual life. One has to approach a bona fide spiritual master to receive the knowledge. Such a spiritual master should be accepted in full surrender, and one should serve the spiritual master like a menial servant, without false prestige. Satisfaction of the self-realized spiritual master is the secret of advancement in spiritual life. Inquiries and submission constitute the proper combination for spiritual understanding. Unless there is submission and service, inquiries from the learned spiritual master will not be effective. One must be able to pass the test of the spiritual master, and when he sees the genuine desire of the disciple, he automatically blesses the disciple with genuine spiritual understanding. In this verse, both blind following and absurd inquiries are condemned. Not only should one hear submissively from the spiritual master, but one must also get a clear understanding from him, in submission and service and inquiries. A bona fide spiritual master is by nature very kind toward the disciple. Therefore when the student is submissive and is always ready to render service, the reciprocation of knowledge and inquiries becomes perfect.
This brings us to the end of our second episode of the series Need Of a Guru. Hope you discovered the said secret by hearing carefully the above narration of Srila Prabhupada’s purport.
The material world is full of people to exploit each other for their own sense gratification. Hungry for credit and praise, they seldom bother to guide one who one is and who is God. Instead, they themselves desire to become God. However, the representatives of Krsna, God, are always there to open our eyes and enlighten us without any personal agenda. They genuinely help us reach back home, back to Godhead where we, as God’s infinitesimal parts and parcels originally belong to.
This is the reason the following mantra is chanted to offer our obeisances to Guru.
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-guruve namaḥ
Srila Prabhupada, “This is guru. Guru means he’ll always enlighten the disciples with the light of śāstra. Not that he will say, “There is no need of śāstra. I am incarnation. I, whatever I speak, you take it.” No. This is rascal. You should immediately, who has no reference to the śāstra, immediately take him as a rascal number one. This is the conclusion.”
(BG 1.24-25 July 20, 1973 in London)
Now through the following excerpt we get to know the person who requires a Guru and the process of approaching a Guru.
Srila Prabhupada, “Who requires a guru? Who requires? Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta [SB 11.3.21]. One should surrender unto guru. Jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam: one who is inquisitive to understand the transcendental knowledge. The ordinary man does not require to search out the guru to find out astrology = “Gurujī, kindly tell me what will be the price next…?” Not that guru. Jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam: one who is serious to understand about the transcendental knowledge. Uttamam. Udgata-tamam: beyond this material world.
This material world is tama, darkness. So if one is very serious to inquire about the world of light, for him there is need of guru, not for ordinary person. Guru, we should not make a guru as a fashion. Everyone makes a guru, “Let me have a guru also, any kind of…” No. That is not required. Guru is required by somebody who is serious to know about the transcendental world, the world of light. Tamasi mā jyotir gama.”
(SB 1.2.15 Oct 26,1972 in Vrindavan)
This covers the first part of the series-‘Need of a Guru.’
On our journey back Home, back to Godhead we may all become discouraged time and again. Nevertheless, the association of devotees is potent enough to keep infusing the spirit of devotional service in us. In other words, this is a magical formula steering us towards uninterrupted bhakti!!! The meaning of the same must be accurately understood through the following excerpts.
Srila Prabhupada, “Satāṁ prasaṅga: by association of devotees. Satām. Satām means devotees. Sat, sat means that exists eternally is called sat. Kṛṣṇa is sat, oṁ tat sat. So devotees are also sat. So satāṁ prasaṅga, by association… Prasaṅga means very intimate association. Saṅga means association, and pra means still elevated or intimate association.
Kṛṣṇa’s words, Kṛṣṇa’s teachings, Kṛṣṇa’s topics, they become very palatable in the association of devotee. In the association of nondevotee one cannot understand Kṛṣṇa, neither it becomes very palatable. Bhagavad-gītā is well known in your country since a very long time. There are so many editions of Bhagavad-gītā in your country, Indian and foreign editions. Many.
But nobody could become a Kṛṣṇa conscious…, a Kṛṣṇa’s devotee, because they were not discussed amongst the devotees. They took it, Bhagavad-gītā, as table talks or some sort of philosophical… They could not seriously understand Kṛṣṇa, because the writing or discussing or discourses took place amongst the nondevotees. Satāṁ prasaṅgāt.
But if you want actually Kṛṣṇa, then you have to talk of Kṛṣṇa amongst devotees. We are opening different centers just to give people chance they may have intimate association with the devotees. Satāṁ prasaṅgāt mama vīrya-saṁvido. Vīrya-saṁvida. Vīrya means full potency. Mama vīrya-saṁvida bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ. Hṛd means heart, and karṇa means ear. Rasāyanāḥ means pleasing, very pleasing, tasteful, rasāyanāḥ.
satāṁ prasaṅgam mama vīrya-saṁvido
bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ
First of all, in order to take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one has to be engaged about Kṛṣṇa. Just like Bhagavad-gītā: Kṛṣṇa is preaching a philosophy to Arjuna. People try to understand. That is kṛṣṇa-kathā. That kṛṣṇa-kathā becomes effective when they’re discussed within the circle of devotees. Satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido. Actually it is full of potency.
Just contrary to this, there is another injunction, by Sanātana Gosvāmī: avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇaṁ pūtaṁ hari-kathāmṛtam na suryatram [Hari-bhakti-vilāsa, quoted from Padma Purāṇa]. When kṛṣṇa-kathā, Kṛṣṇa topics, is discussed by a person who is not a vaiṣṇava, dedicated life to Kṛṣṇa, that is not to be heard. Avaiṣṇava mukhodgīrṇaṁ pūtaṁ hari-kathāmṛtam śravaṇaṁ na kartavyam.
One fashionable speaker is teaching Bhagavad-gītā… Just like the other day a rascal came, he, he’s announcing that he’s the authority of Bhagavad-gītā. You know that rascal? [laughter] Very well. Yes. [indicating devotee:] He wanted to study from Sanskrit from the rascal. You could not understand; that I see. So śāstra says, śravaṇaṁ na kartavyam [Hari-bhakti-vilāsa]: one should not hear from him. Why? Kṛṣṇa-kathā is nice. Why it should not be heard from a person who is not a devotee, but he may be scholar? But Sanātana Goswami says, śravaṇaṁ na kartavyam: never.
So the reason, the example he has given, sarpocchiṣṭaṁ payo yathā. Milk, everyone knows milk is very nourishing food. But as soon as it is touched by a serpent it is poison. You can say, “Milk is very nice. What is the wrong if it is touched by the serpent?” But Sanātana Goswami warns that it is not to be touched, because it has become now poison.
Instead of milk, it has become poison. So we should be very careful not to discuss. It is meant for the kaniṣṭha adhikārī, those who are neophytes. They may be affected. But those who are strong enough, advanced, they are not affected. But that is different thing. Generally. So we should not discuss kṛṣṇa-kathā with a person who is a nondevotee.
So nondevotees… Who are nondevotees? Caitanya Mahāprabhu has also said like that. Caitanya Mahāprabhu was enquired by one nice householder devotee, “What is the general behavior of a Vaiṣṇava?” He immediately answered, asat-saṅga-tyāgī vaiṣṇava-ācāra [Cc. Madhya 22.87]: “One has to give up the association of asat.” Sat, I have told you, sat means devotee, and asat means nondevotee. Asat-saṅga… Simply to give up the association of nondevotees. That is vaiṣṇava-ācāra.
How a Vaiṣṇava should behave, how he should maintain his standard, Caitanya Mahāprabhu says in one word: asat-saṅga-tyāgī avaiṣṇava-ācāra. Just like Kṛṣṇa says, satāṁ prasaṅga mama vīrya-saṁvido. One can develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness in association with devotee. The same thing Caitanya Mahāprabhu said in a different way: asat-saṅga-tyāgī, not to associate with nondevotees. That is vaiṣṇava-ācāra.
So in future we shall be very careful, all the devotees, not to talk with rascals, nondevotees. It will impure; it will have poisonous effect; and that will kill Kṛṣṇa consciousness. I do not know how this man was allowed to stay here for so many months. Nobody could detect that “Here is a serpent”? So you should be very careful in future.
That is very easy to understand, who is a serpent. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu has said. Because one may inquire, “Who is asat? How can I understand?” Asat eka strī-saṅgī kṛṣṇābhakta. Asat means who is attached to…, very much attached to woman. You see that man, he was posing himself as yogī, and he is living with one woman. He, it was God’s grace that he came with that woman so that he disclosed himself. By Kṛṣṇa’s grace. Asat eka strī-saṅgī kṛṣṇābhakta. Strī-saṅgī. One should not be attached to any woman except his wife. Then he becomes asat. Asat eka strī-saṅgī kṛṣṇābhakta.
So we should be very careful, asat, who is asat. It doesn’t matter if one is very highly educated; still he should not be associated. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita has given instruction that vidhayalam krto ‘pi san tyaja durjana-saṁsargam. Durjana-saṁsargam, association of rascals, nondevotees, tyaja, give up. “Oh, he is very learned scholar in Sanskrit.”
But vidhalayaṁ kṛto ‘pi san, “In spite of his being very learned scholar, you should kick him out.” Vidhalayaṁ kṛto ‘pi san. How is that? Yes, he is giving example, maṇinā bhūṣitaḥ sarpaḥ kim asau na bhayaṅkaraḥ. A serpent… You know some serpent has got jewels on the head. Does it mean a serpent with jewel on hood is not ferocious, because he has got jewel? He’s as ferocious as ordinary serpent. That these things we should know.
So I do not know how this man was given shelter in our temple. Nobody could understand that “Here is a serpent,” and he was accepted as Sanskrit scholar. So you should be very much careful about this thing in future.
(Initiation lecture on July 28, 1971 in New York)
Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgaḥ [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15]. This chanting and hearing should be in the association of devotees. First of all, one must have faith that chanting is good. Then he should chant in the society of the devotees. Then it will develop. He can chant anywhere. But if he chants alone… There was saṅkīrtana. Bahubhīr militā. Many devotees chanting together, that is called saṅkīrtana. So one, our movement is saṅkīrtana movement; many devotees together would chant the holy name of God. Then it is very quickly successful. Just like a person who comes to our center in the association of the devotees, after few weeks, he also becomes devotee. Quickly. And there are many others, they are seeing that there is a group like this, but because they do not come, they do not understand. Therefore the quick development process is to execute devotional service in the association of devotees, sādhu-saṅga.
‘sādhu-saṅga’, ‘sādhu-saṅga’—sarva-śāstre kaya
lava-mātra sādhu-saṅge sarva-siddhi haya
[Cc. Madhya 22.54]
Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that sādhu-saṅga, association of devotees, is very, very important. Even for a moment if there is association, he immediately comes to the path of perfection. [pause] So if you actually remain a sādhu, devotee, then anyone who will come with your association, he’ll be perfect by association. Means this process of perfection will begin immediately.
(Morning Walk on June 11, 1974 on Paris)
bhavāpavargo bhramato yadā bhavej
janasya tarhy acyuta sat-samāgamaḥ
sat-saṅgamo yarhi tadaiva sad-gatau
parāvareśe tvayi jāyate matiḥ
bhava — of material existence; apavargaḥ — the cessation; bhramataḥ — who has been wandering; yadā — when; bhavet — occurs; janasya — for a person; tarhi — at that time; acyuta — O infallible Lord; sat — of saintly devotees; samāgamaḥ — the association; sat-saṇgamaḥ — saintly association; yarhi — when; tadā — then; eva — only; sat — of the saintly; gatau — who is the goal; para — of superior (the causes of material creation); avara — and inferior (their products); īśe — for the Supreme Lord; tvayi — Yourself; jāyate — is born; matiḥ — devotion.
When the material life of a wandering soul has ceased, O Acyuta, he may attain the association of Your devotees. And when he associates with them, there awakens in him devotion unto You, who are the goal of the devotees and the Lord of all causes and their effects.
Ācāryas Jīva Gosvāmī and Viśvanātha Cakravartī agree on the following point: Although it is stated here that when material life ceases one attains the association of devotees, in fact it is the association of the Lord’s devotees that enables one to transcend material existence. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī explains this apparent inversion of sequence by quoting the Kāvya-prakāśa (10.153) as follows: kārya-kāraṇayoś ca paurvāparya-viparyayo vijñeyātiśayoktiḥ syāt sa. “A statement in which the logical order of a cause and its effect is reversed should be understood as atiśayokti, emphasis by extreme assertion.” Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī cites the following commentary on this statement: kāraṇasya śīghra-kārītāṁ vaktuṁ kāryasya pūrvam uktau. “To express the swift action of a cause, one may assert the result before the cause.”
In this connection Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī points out that the merciful association of the Lord’s devotees makes possible our determination to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. And the ācārya agrees with Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī that this verse is an instance of atiśayokti.
By association of the devotees, the faith becomes stronger. And the more your faith becomes stronger, you make progress. This is the way. Progress means the same faith becoming stronger, stronger, strongest. The same faith. The principle is the same = Kṛṣṇa. Then you know more about Kṛṣṇa. Then you become more faithful.
(Room Conversation on July 14, 1973, in London)
Imitating great acaryas and doing nirjana bhajan or devotion in isolation only causes falldown. Herein, it is noteworthy to mention the verse written by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, Srila Prabhupada’s spiritual master:
duṣṭa mana! tumi kisera vaiṣṇava?
pratiṣṭhāra tare, nirjanera ghare,
tava harināma kevala kaitava
Srila Prabhupada translates, “There are many who like to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra in a silent, solitary place, but if one is not interested in preaching, talking constantly to the non-devotees the influence of the modes of nature is very difficult to surpass. Therefore unless one is extremely advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one should not imitate Haridāsa Ṭhākura, who had no other business than chanting the holy name always, twenty-four hours a day. Prahlāda Mahārāja does not condemn such a process; he accepts it, but without active service to the Lord, simply by such methods one generally cannot attain liberation. One cannot attain liberation simply by false pride.”
( Purport SB 7.9.46)
Thus, from the above excerpts it is crystal clear that how crucial it is for the devotees to come together and engage in Krsna Consciousness activities thereby securing themselves from going astray into maya and constantly remembering Lord Krishna and pleasing Him all the time.
There must be one source, one origin from whom all emanate and who has originally been in existence since eternity.
The following excerpts provides the basis of this fact and ultimately establishes the same.
ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ
kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam
mṛḍayanti yuge yuge
ete — all these; ca — and; aṁśa — plenary portions; kalāḥ — portions of the plenary portions; puṁsaḥ — of the Supreme; kṛṣṇaḥ — Lord Kṛṣṇa; tu — but; bhagavān — the Personality of Godhead; svayam — in person; indra-ari — the enemies of Indra; vyākulam — disturbed; lokam — all the planets; mṛḍayanti — gives protection; yuge yuge — in different ages.
All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists.
To make this verse more comprehendible, Srila Prabhupada in his lecture dated Jan 2, 1976 in Madras, says, “So the bhāgavata-dharmam, bhagavān, kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam. In the list of the incarnation given in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there is name of Kṛṣṇa also. But at the conclusion, Vyāsadeva says, ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam [SB 1.3.28]. He concludes that “All the incarnation mentioned here, they are aṁśa-kalāḥ, part, partly manifestation or part of partly manifestation.” Kalāḥ means part or partly. “But the name which is mentioned here, Kṛṣṇa, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam. [break] Ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam. So Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is accepted by all the ācāryas. And in the Bhagavad-gītā Arjuna says, asamordhva. Asama: “There is no equal to you, asama; and urdhva, nobody is greater than You.” That is God. Supreme means who has no equal, neither anyone is greater than. Everyone is under. That is called asama urdhva. This is there.
So there cannot be any competitor of God. God is one. Ekaṁ brahma dvitīyaṁ nāsti. But He expands in different way. That is explained in the Varāha Purāṇa, svāṁśa vibhinnāṁśa. He expands as Viṣṇu-tattva. That is svāṁśa. And He expands as jīva-tattva. That is vibhinnāṁśa. So we are also expansions of God, vibhinnāṁśa, a small fragmental portion. The qualities are there, very, very small quantity. But the whole potency is there in Kṛṣṇa. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]. So there is one supreme living being, a supreme eternal, and that is Kṛṣṇa.
In another lecture,Srila Prabhupada says, “As I have got my father, my father has got father, his father, his father his… Who is the original father? The original father is Kṛṣṇa. Ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā [Bg. 14.4]. So where is the difficulty to understand? There must be one original father. If you go on researching who is the original father, then you’ll come to the conclusion that Kṛṣṇa is the original father.
īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ
This is the Vedic version. Sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam [Bs. 5.1]. Father’s father, his father, his father, you go on, go on, you come to Brahmā. Brahmā is considered as the forefather or grandfather, pitāmaha. But Kṛṣṇa is addressed in the Bhagavad-gītā = prapitāmaha, even the father of Brahmā. Prapitāmaha. You’ll find in the Eleventh Chapter, prapitāmaha [Bg. 11.39]. He’s father of… Tene brahma hṛdā ādi-kavaye [SB 1.1.1]. You know, those who are conversant with the śāstras, that Brahmā’s another name is Svayambhū. He’s not born of any material father and mother. He’s born on the lotus flower sprouted from the navel of Mahā-Viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Therefore his name is Svayambhū. Svayambhū is one of the authorities because he was first educated about the Vedic knowledge by Kṛṣṇa, or Viṣṇu. Tene brahma hṛdā. Brahma means Vedic knowledge. Tene means imparted. Ādi-kavaye, the ādi-kavi, the original person. Tene brahma hṛdā ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ. Even big, big personalities, they become bewildered to understand Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says… We have already discussed:
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin vetti māṁ tattvataḥ
So Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Person. Kṛṣṇa is the original of everything, original source of everything. That is the verdict of the… Therefore Arjuna accepted, sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye yad vadasi keśava [Bg. 10.14] = “My dear Kṛṣṇa, whatever You are saying, I accept Him, accept all these in toto, not deducting, not giving my own commentation.” This is the way of studying Bhagavad-gītā. So if you study Bhagavad-gītā as it is, as it is said in the…, and if you accept it, then your life is successful. Otherwise, panthās tu koṭi-śata-vatsara-sampragamyo vāyor athāpi manaso muni-puṅgavānām [Bs. 5.34], you’ll never understand what is God or what is ultimate source, what is Absolute Truth.
(BG 7.9-10 Lecture in Feb 24,1974 in Bombay)
Srila Prabhupada, “God, Kṛṣṇa, He’s the original person, because from the original father, you can take, from whom everyone has come. Therefore He’s the oldest. Advaitam acyutam anādim ādyam. Ādyam means the original person. Man is made after God; therefore God is original person. So that person, ādyam, acyutam, anādim, nava-yauvanaṁ ca.
(Lecture on 26 Oct,1968 Montreal)
“Kṛṣṇa is the origin of everything. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ. He’s the origin of even Nārāyaṇa. He’s the origin of Brahmā. He’s origin of Lord Śiva. He’s origin of the Brahman effulgence. He’s origin of Paramātmā. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg. 18.61]. So… But the origin from Paramātmā is another expansion of Kṛṣṇa. That is also explained = ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam [SB 1.3.28].
Our this philosophy, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we are pointing out the Supreme Person. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam.
(SB 1.2.25 lecture on Nov 5,1972 in Vrndavan)
“Ādi-puruṣam, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original. You have to find out the original. That is called philosophy. Philosophy means searching out the original. Darśana. In Sanskrit word it is called darśana: to see the original, to find out the original.”
(Lecture onTeachings of Lord Chaitanya on Sept 25, 1968, in Seattle)
“This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement: find out who is the original person. Naturally, everyone is anxious to find out the original person of a family, original person of a society, original person of a nation, original person of humanity… You go on searching. But if you can find out the original person from whom everything has come out, that is Brahman. Janmādy asya yataḥ
The Vedānta-sūtra says Brahman, the Absolute Truth, is that from whom everything has emanated. Very simple description. What is God, what is the Absolute Truth, very simple definition—the original person.
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means to approach the original person. The original person is not dead, because everything emanates from the original person, so everything is working very nicely. The sun is rising, the moon is rising, the seasons are changing, so…, there is night, there is day, just in the order. So the function of the body of the original person is going on nicely. How you can say that God is dead?”
(Lecture on Oct 2,1968 in Seattle)
The following room conversation is further enlightening.
Prabhupāda: Origin is already there. How you can be originator? Already life is there. How you can be originator? That is your foolishness.
Rūpānuga: They’re simply trying to disprove Kṛṣṇa. “If I can do this,” they’re saying, “if I can create life, then there’s no need to postulate a God. I can be God.”
Prabhupāda: That means demon.
Rūpānuga: Yes, they want to be God. Their vision is…
Prabhupāda: So how we can respect the demons? We cannot.
Rūpānuga: No. We’ll not give them any credit.
Prabhupāda: The other fools, they can give some respect, but we are not going to do that. We say, “You will never be able.” We can say. This rascal, we can give some knowledge, that “Your this attempt will be failure.” Because we know life cannot be created. How he will create? We know the formula, na jāyate. So how this rascal will be able to create? I am not a scientist, but on the strength of Bhagavad-gītā’s assertion, na jāyate na mriyate: “Neither it is created; neither it dies.” So if somebody wants to create, then at once we shall call him a fool. We have got test tube. Very boldly we shall say. Now let them prove that he can create. This is our position. So Kṛṣṇa conscious person, he has got very strong position. He speaks just what Kṛṣṇa speaks. That’s all, finished.”
In another instance on Mar 1, 1975 in Atlanta, Srila Prabhupāda said that everything is generated from His energy. He is original cause of two energies—material and spiritual. Therefore He is the original cause.
“Kṛṣṇa is the original scientist, and His brain has done this, like this, like this…” That is Bhāgavata: who is the original scientist, who is original philosopher, original—everything original. Anādir ādir govindaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. Govinda is the origin of everything. Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19]. Vāsudeva is the original founder. That is a fact. The origin is Kṛṣṇa, but they do not find it. [loud noise of water truck] Now, this sprinkling is being done, water and air. Now, who is the origin of air and water? You have combined together, utilizing as a spray, but who is the origin of air and water? You cannot manufacture air or water. You are taking advantage of it by mixing together, sprinkling, but where is the origin of water and air?”
(Lecture on July 18, 1975 in San Francisco)
CC Adi 2.83
kṛṣṇera svayaṁ-bhagavattā — ihā haila sādhya
svayaṁ-bhagavānera kṛṣṇatva haila bādhya
kṛṣṇera — of Lord Kṛṣṇa; svayam-bhagavattā — the quality of being Himself the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ihā — this; haila — was; sādhya — to be established; svayam-bhagavānera — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; kṛṣṇatva — the quality of being Lord Kṛṣṇa; haila — was; bādhya — obligatory
“This establishes that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead. The original Personality of Godhead is therefore necessarily Kṛṣṇa.”
Thus, from the above numerous excerpts we find that the Original Supreme Personality of Godhead is Krsna Himself to whom we eternally belong to and from whom everything both animate and inanimate emanates.
The acceptance of this very fact firmly estables us in our constitutional position of being His infinitesimal part and parcel meant only to serve Him with love.
“I Want”,” Give me” – these are the words which always constitute our prayers to God.
The real meaning of renunciation is very difficult to comprehend for the karmis (materialists), jnanis (knowledge seekers), and yogis (meditators).But for devotees it is not so. Why? Because they know that everything belongs to Krishna and we are meant only to serve Him. They have “nothing to possess” since they live in their constitutional position of being the eternal servant of Lord Krishna as a consequence of which there is cessation of all material hankerings. Srila Prabhupada has in a number of his lectures and conversations explained this to clear the subject matter.
Srila Prabhupada, “Because in the karmī stage we have got two diseases = hankering and lamenting. Whatever we have got, if it is lost, then I lament = “Oh, I got this and that and it is now lost.” And whatever we do not possess, we hanker after. So for possessing, we hanker, we work so hard. And when it is lost, we again lament and cry. This is karmī stage.
So brahma-bhūtaḥ stage… Jñāna stage means he has no more lamenting or hankering. Prasannātmā: “Oh, I am…, ahaṁ brahmāsmi. What I have got to do with this body? My business is to cultivate transcendental knowledge, brahma-jñāna.” So in that stage, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu [Bg. 18.54]. That is the test. He has no lamenting. He has no hankering. And he’s equal to everyone. Paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ.
brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
He has no distinction. So in this way when one is situated, then mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām [Bg. 18.54], then he comes to the devotional platform. And when he comes to the devotional platform, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ [Bg. 18.55], then he’s able.”
(Lecture on BG 7.1 on Jan 27, 1973, in Calcutta)
In another instances Srila Prabhupada again mentions :-
“In the material existence we have got two diseases: hankering for things which we do not possess and lamenting for things which we have lost. But actually we don’t possess anything; everything belongs to God.
That is the Vedic injunction. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam [Īśo mantra 1]
[Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.]
Whatever we see, that is the property of the Supreme Lord. And this claiming that “This is my property,” “This is my body,” “This is my country,” “This is my home,” “This is my…,” “This is my…,” this is called illusion.
Actually we do not possess anything. So when you actually come on the spiritual consciousness, you understand that nothing belongs to you. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati a kāṅkṣati [Bg. 18.54].”
(Lecture with Allen Ginsberg at Ohio University on May 12, 1969 in Columbus)
In this context, Queen Kunti’s prayers has to remembered. In Chapter 10 of his book, Teachings of Queen Kunti, Srila Prabhupada writes:-
“When one becomes akiñcana, having nothing to possess, Kṛṣṇa becomes one’s only riches. Expressing this understanding, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says:
hā hā prabhu nanda-suta vṛṣabhānu-sutā-yuta
karuṇā karaha ei-bāra
narottama dāsa kahe na ṭheliyā raṅga-pāya
tumi vinā ke āche āmāra
“Kṛṣṇa, but for You I have nothing to claim. I have no possessions. You are my only possession, so please don’t neglect me.”
This position is very nice. When one does not depend on anything material but simply depends on Kṛṣṇa, one has attained the first-class position of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is addressed as akiñcana-vitta. “When one becomes materially impoverished, You are the only wealth.” Namo ’kiñcana-vittāya nivṛtta-guṇa-vṛttaye. “When one takes You as one’s only possession, one immediately becomes free from the activities of the material nature.” In other words, by accepting Kṛṣṇa in this way, one attains the transcendental position of the Absolute. Ātmārāmāya: “At that time, one becomes happy with You. Kṛṣṇa, You are happy with Yourself, and one who surrenders to You becomes happy, as You are.” There is no difference between Kṛṣṇa’s body and Kṛṣṇa Himself. He is entirely self, entirely spirit. We, on the other hand, have a body that is different from ourselves. I am self, but I possess a material body. But when we actually become dependent on Kṛṣṇa, who is completely self-satisfied, we can also be self-satisfied with Kṛṣṇa.
Kaivalya-pataye namaḥ. The Māyāvādī philosophers, the monists, want to become one with the Supreme. The Supreme is self-satisfied, and they also want to be self-satisfied by becoming one with the Supreme. Our philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the same, but instead of becoming one with Kṛṣṇa, we depend on Kṛṣṇa. That is actual oneness. If we simply agree to abide by the orders of Kṛṣṇa and have no disagreement with Him, we are situated in actual oneness.
The Māyāvādī philosophers think, “Why shall I keep my individual, separate existence? I shall merge into the Supreme.” But that is not possible. From the very beginning, we are separated parts of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa therefore says in Bhagavad-gītā, “My dear Arjuna, you should know that you, I, and all the persons assembled on this battlefield were individuals in the past, we are individuals at present, and in the future we shall continue to remain individuals.”
Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām. Kṛṣṇa is the supreme nitya, the supreme living force, among the innumerable living forces. We living entities (jīva) are innumerable (ananta); there is no counting how many we are. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa is also a living entity, but He is the chief, the supreme living entity. That is the difference. One leader may have many followers. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa, the supreme living entity, is the supreme leader, and we are subordinate, dependent living entities.
That we are dependent is not very difficult to understand. If Kṛṣṇa does not supply us food, we shall starve, because independently we cannot produce anything. Eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān: Kṛṣṇa is maintaining everything, and we are being maintained. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is the real predominator, and we should be willing to be predominate. That is our natural constitutional position. If we falsely want to become predominators in this material world, we are in illusion. We must give up this illusion and always try to be predominated by Kṛṣṇa. Then our life will be successful.”
So, now further on renouncing.
Srila Prabhupada, “Renouncing means that you are falsely possessing. So you give it to Kṛṣṇa, the original proprietor. Just like one-hundred-dollars note, a child has taken from the father. The child does not know how to use that hundred dollars note, but he…, he’ll not give it to the father. “No, I shall not give it.” Father is begging: “Oh, my dear child, you are so nice. [laughter] Kindly give it to me.” Actually the note belongs to the father. But because he’s child, he’s innocent, ignorant, he does not know.
Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, dadāsi yat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam [Bg. 9.27]. Dāna, this tyāga, “You renounces this world for Me. You renounce your wealth, your property for Me.” The same thing. Everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa. He’s not a beggar. But He’s patting the child, “Oh, you are very good boy. Kindly give it to Me.” That is the way. Kṛṣṇa is so kind. Because… The same example: the child does not know how to utilize that hundred dollars note. He’ll simply spoil it. The best thing is to give it over, hand it over to the father. He knows how to use it. It is his property.
Similarly, this tyāgena means to practice to give everything to Kṛṣṇa. Everything. Tyāgena. Śamena damena tyāgena. This is the different steps of elevating yourself to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.”
(Lecture on SB 6.1.13-14, on July 27, 1971 in New York)
“Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, niṣkiñcanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya [Cc. Madhya 11.8]. Bhagavad-bhajana, to become devotee, Kṛṣṇa conscious, is meant for niṣkiñcanasya, one who does not possess anything in the material world. That does not mean he should be poverty-stricken. No. He should know it fully that “Nothing belongs to me; everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa. I am simply His servant, that’s all.” This is called akiñcana. If I think that “Keeping Kṛṣṇa in front, let me possess some material things,” that is another cheating. That is not… Akiñcana. You should be fully conscious that “Everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa and nothing to us.” Then Kṛṣṇa becomes your suhṛda. He takes charge, how your benefit will be there, ultimate. Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakaṁ dadāmi [Bg. 10.10]. Prīti-pūrvakam. This is very great determination, that “Kṛṣṇa, I simply want You, nothing, anything else. Nothing.”
Na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ kavitāṁ vā jagadīśa [Cc. Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4]. This is Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s teaching. Caitanya Mahāprabhu has taught this philosophy repeatedly. Niṣkiñcanasya bhagavad-bhajana. Bhagavad-bhajana means He Himself became niṣkiñcana. He was Kṛṣṇa Himself, most opulent. Tyaktvā surepsitaḥ, sudustyaja-surepsita-rājya-lakṣmīm [SB 11.5.34]. Caitanya Mahāprabhu had the most beautiful wife, goddess of fortune, Viṣṇu-priyā, Lakṣmī-priyā. But for the benefit of the whole world, although He is Kṛṣṇa, He showed us the example. At the age of twenty-four years, He took sannyāsa.
Renunciation does not mean give up this world. That I was explaining. Our philosophy is not the jagat is mithyā. Why jagan mithyā? We don’t say that. Jagat is fact. It may be temporary, but it is a fact. Now, so long we have got this jagat, let us utilize it for Kṛṣṇa. That is renunciation. We cannot say this microphone is mithyā. So long the microphone is in my possession, let it be used for Kṛṣṇa’s service. This is renunciation. Everyone using this microphone, these modern machines, for his personal gain. But we are not using for personal gain. We are traveling all over the world, spending so much money, jet plane and this plane, just to push Kṛṣṇa consciousness as much as possible. This is renunciation, not that sitting one place doing nothing and become Kṛṣṇa conscious. Then there will be falldown. Don’t imitate Haridāsa Ṭhākura. That is not possible. You must work.
So to such person, Kṛṣṇa is suhṛda. Suhṛda. Here it is said, api naḥ suhṛdas tāta, uncle, bāndhavāḥ kṛṣṇa-devatāḥ. Kṛṣṇa-devatāḥ means one who has accepted Kṛṣṇa as the worshipable Deity. He is called kṛṣṇa-devatāḥ. There are so many demigods they have taken to worship. The Romans were worshiping demigods. The India, in India they also worship demigods. That will not make you happy. Antavat tu phalaṁ teṣāṁ tad bhavaty alpa-medhasām [Bg. 7.23]. To take some benediction from the demigods, although people go there, kāṅkṣantaḥ karmaṇāṁ siddhiṁ yajanta iha devatāḥ [Bg. 4.12]. People are very much attached to enjoy this material world, so they worship Durgā, Kālī, or Lord Śiva. Kāṅkṣantaḥ karmaṇāṁ siddhim. They get immediately some material benefit. But tad bhavaty alpa-medhasām. What you will do with some temporary material benefit? That is the instruction of Kṛṣṇa. Don’t be attracted by the temporary material benefits. Just try for permanent, eternal benefit. Go back to home, back to Godhead. That is the… That is the… What you will do? Suppose you become king. How long you will remain king? Or there are so many dangers. Sometimes the kings are beheaded. King John was beheaded. So material position is always tiltering, tilting. Yes. There is no fixed position. It will end. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, antavat tu phalaṁ teṣām [Bg. 7.23]. Antavat means it will end, today or tomorrow or hundred years after. It will end. So why should you… You are eternal. Why should you hanker after these things which will exist for some few years? You are eternal. Accept the eternal position. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Eternal position.
So for that eternal position, you have to make kṛṣṇa-devatāḥ, Kṛṣṇa as the worshipable Deity. Kṛṣṇa is eternal, and if you fix up your service to Kṛṣṇa, then Kṛṣṇa will accept you as servant; naturally, you become eternal.
Actually, Kṛṣṇa is the only friend, and He is sitting in everyone’s heart. He is so nice friend that He is simply trying to induce us to turn our face towards Kṛṣṇa. He is coming as avatāra, incarnation. He is giving us advice from within. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. He’s such a nice friend. Although we have left Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa has not left us. Here He is living with me within my heart to give me advice, “Please come back.” Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekam.
So Kṛṣṇa is so nice friend. He is such a nice friend that even to the enemy He gives the greatest benediction. Just like Pūtanā. Pūtanā came to kill Kṛṣṇa, smearing poison on her breast. But Kṛṣṇa gave her promotion on the motherly platform. Kṛṣṇa is so grateful that “This demon might have come to Me to poison Me, but I have sucked her breast. She has become My mother, therefore she must get the position of My mother.” Kṛṣṇa is so grateful. If you give little service to Kṛṣṇa sincerely, Kṛṣṇa will never forget you. And He’s so powerful. If Kṛṣṇa becomes your friend and Kṛṣṇa remembers you, then what you want more? Just imagine. So Kṛṣṇa… Here it is said, kṛṣṇa-devatāḥ. Fix up your mind in Kṛṣṇa and be happy.”
(Lecture SB 1.13.11,on June 2, 1974 in Geneva)
Thus, herein we see that how Krsna Consciousness is the true way of being happy. Renunciation/Nothing to Possess is the state of true bliss and one should pray for this permanent source of happiness instead of foolishly craving for temporary mundane so called happiness.
There is a natural propensity of proprietorship in every human being on this material plane. Nevertheless, the acceptance of authority is completely unavoidable. In other words, we must bow down to a superior for guidance.
But, unfortunately, we do not know the correct authority as a consequence of which we remain confused.
pāñcarātriki vidhiṁ vinā
aikāntikī harer bhaktir
[Devotional service of the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literatures like the Upaniṣads, Purāṇas and Nārada-pañcarātra is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society.]
This is the definition given by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, that to become a devotee of the Lord, Kṛṣṇa, one has to follow the principles of śruti and smṛti, and pāñcarātriki-vidhi.
The shastras/scriptures are the ultimate authority and one who receives It through the knower of the same has clarity in one’s consciousness. This is confirmed in one of the room conversations dated 11 Sept 1969, where Srila Prabhupada says, “Authority is the original text.”
In the following verse said by Yamaraj, the 12 authorities/knowers of the original text are listed:-
svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ
kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ
prahlādo janako bhīṣmo
balir vaiyāsakir vayam
Lord Brahmā, Bhagavān Nārada, Lord Śiva, the four Kumāras, Lord Kapila [the son of Devahūti], Svāyambhuva Manu, Prahlāda Mahārāja, Janaka Mahārāja, Grandfather Bhīṣma, Bali Mahārāja, Śukadeva Gosvāmī and I myself know the real religious principle.
In Chapter 20, Nectar of Devotion, it is mentionned that a person who acts exactly according to the tenets of scripture is called śāstra-cakṣus. Śāstra-cakṣus means one who sees through the eyes of the authorized scriptures. Actually, any man of knowledge and experience should see everything through these books. For example, with our naked eye we perceive the sun globe simply as some glaring substance, but when we see through authorized books of science and other literature, we can understand how much greater the sun globe is than this earth and how powerful it is. So seeing things through the naked eye is not actually seeing. Seeing things through the authorized books or authorized teachers is the correct way to see. So, although Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and can see all that is past, present and future, to teach the people in general He used to always refer to the scriptures. For example, in Bhagavad-gītā, although Kṛṣṇa was speaking as the supreme authority, He still mentioned and quoted Vedānta-sūtra as authority. There is a statement in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam wherein a person jokingly says that Kṛṣṇa, the enemy of Kaṁsa, is known as the seer through the śāstras.
In one of his lectures dated Oct 18, 1968, in Seattle, Srila Prabhupada says, ” Spiritual realization can be perfected by three parallel process. Sādhu. Sādhu means saintly persons, who are realized souls, sādhu. And śāstra. Śāstra means scriptures, authoritative scriptures, Vedic scriptures, śāstra. Sādhu, śāstra and guru, a spiritual master.”
In another instance during a conversation with Mike Robinson, an interviewer for the London Broadcasting Company, Śrīla Prabhupāda said, “Yes, it’s all in the literature. We’re explaining it in English. But we’re not manufacturing anything. If we were to manufacture knowledge, then everything would be spoiled. The Vedic literature is something like the literature that explains how to set up this microphone. It says, “Do it like this: some of the screws should be on this side, around the metal.” You cannot make any change; then everything would be spoiled. Similarly, because we are not manufacturing anything, one simply has to read one of our books, and he receives real spiritual knowledge.”
In addition to this, it is worth mentioning here about the context of the questions one must ask:-
In Back to Godhead magazine, dated April 20, 1960, Śrīla Prabhupāda said, “Since a human being is a rational animal, he is born to make inquiries and questions. The greater the number of questions, the greater the advancement of knowledge and science.… The most intelligent man, however, inquires about what happens after death.”
Therefore we can see how crucial it is to “INQUIRE” and “ACQUIRE” knowledge by acknowledging the correct “AUTHORITY” thereby clearing all our confusions. We must also not forget that amongst the ten offences committed against the Holy Name, the fourth one is blaspheming the Vedic scriptures. So, we have to be careful about it.
Who am I? Why am I here? What is the reason of my suffering?…
Sounds familiar? Such questions must have been a crucial part of our times of reflections on the journey of life. In other words, certain circumstances have ushered in such contemplations but unfortunately, we do not get any satisfactory answers. The reason behind this dissatisfaction is our lack of knowledge of the fact that we are not this temporary body but eternal souls, part and parcel of the Supreme Soul, meant only to serve Him. We must endeavour to fulfil the need of our true self as souls. Instead of just cleaning the cage one must tender the bird staying inside. Similarly, if we just look after the body we might suffer severely from spiritual starvation.
In his purport to SB 1.2.8, Srila Prabhupada writes, “The question of the satisfaction of the self is raised herein. The self is beyond the gross body and subtle mind. He is the potent active principle of the body and mind. Without knowing the need of the dormant soul, one cannot be happy simply with emolument of the body and mind. The body and the mind are but superfluous outer coverings of the spirit soul. The spirit soul’s needs must be fulfilled. Simply by cleansing the cage of the bird, one does not satisfy the bird. One must actually know the needs of the bird himself.
The need of the spirit soul is that he wants to get out of the limited sphere of material bondage and fulfill his desire for complete freedom. He wants to get out of the covered walls of the greater universe. He wants to see the free light and the spirit. That complete freedom is achieved when he meets the complete spirit, the Personality of Godhead. There is a dormant affection for God within everyone; spiritual existence is manifested through the gross body and mind in the form of perverted affection for gross and subtle matter. Therefore we have to engage ourselves in occupational engagements that will evoke our divine consciousness. This is possible only by hearing and chanting the divine activities of the Supreme Lord, and any occupational activity which does not help one to achieve attachment for hearing and chanting the transcendental message of Godhead is said herein to be simply a waste of time. This is because other occupational duties (whatever ism they may belong to) cannot give liberation to the soul. Even the activities of the salvationists are considered to be useless because of their failure to pick up the fountainhead of all liberties. The gross materialist can practically see that his material gain is limited only to time and space, either in this world or in the other. Even if he goes up to the Svargaloka, he will find no permanent abode for his hankering soul. The hankering soul must be satisfied by the perfect scientific process of perfect devotional service.”
Being beaten up again and again by the unmerciful situations of life, each and every one of us- yearn for an immediate cure. The medicine of such a diseased condition is to assimilate and distribute Krsna Consciousness all over the world. We are living in an emergency situation and the immediate concern one should have is to give Krsna Consciousness to one and all and follow in the footsteps of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In his book, The Science of Self Realization, Srila Prabhupada mentions that when Rūpa Gosvāmī first met Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Prayāga, Lord Caitanya was chanting and dancing in the street, “Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa.” At that time also Rūpa Gosvāmī offered one prayer. Namo mahā-vadānyāya kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te: “Oh, You are the most munificent of all incarnations because You are distributing love of Godhead.” Kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te/ kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmne gaura-tviṣe namaḥ: “You are Kṛṣṇa Himself, because if You were not Kṛṣṇa You could not distribute kṛṣṇa-prema, or love of God, for love of Kṛṣṇa, is not so easily acquired. But You are distributing this love freely to everyone.”
Yes, Kṛṣṇa consciousness is available. You can purchase it from this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. But what is the price? It is such a nice thing, but you have to pay the price. What is that? Tatra laulyam api mūlyam ekalam: Simply your eagerness. That is the price. You have to pay this price. Then you get Kṛṣṇa, immediately. Kṛṣṇa is not poor, and the Kṛṣṇa-seller – the Kṛṣṇa devotee – he’s also not poor. He can distribute Kṛṣṇa free. And he’s doing that. You simply have to purchase Him by your eagerness.
(Chapter 2,The Journey of Self Discovery)
The devotees must always be respected in this regard-
kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca
vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ
“I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaiṣṇava devotees of the Lord, who can fulfill the desires of everyone, just like desire trees, and who are full of compassion for the fallen souls.” A devotee displays great compassion toward conditioned souls. The word kṛpā means “mercy,” and sindhu means “ocean.” A devotee is an ocean of mercy, and he naturally wants to distribute this mercy. Lord Jesus Christ, for instance, was God conscious, Kṛṣṇa conscious, but he was not satisfied in keeping this knowledge within himself. Had he continued to live alone in God consciousness, he would not have met crucifixion. But no. Being a devotee and naturally compassionate, he also wanted to take care of others by making them God conscious. Although he was forbidden to preach God consciousness, he continued to do so at the risk of his own life. This is the nature of a devotee.
It is therefore stated in Bhagavad-gītā (18.68–69) that the devotee who preaches is most dear to the Lord.
ya idaṁ paramaṁ guhyaṁ
bhaktiṁ mayi parāṁ kṛtvā
mām evaiṣyaty asaṁśayaḥ
“For one who explains the supreme secret to the devotees, devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me.”
na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu
kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ
bhavitā na ca me tasmād
anyaḥ priyataro bhuvi
“There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear.” Therefore the devotees go out to preach, and going forth, they sometimes meet opposing elements. Sometimes they are defeated, sometimes disappointed, sometimes able to convince, sometimes unable. It is not that every devotee is well equipped to preach.
(Chapter 5,The Path of Perfection.)
In the same chapter Srila Prabhupada mentions that a Kṛṣṇa conscious person does not sit down idly. “He knows that Kṛṣṇa consciousness is such an important philosophy that it should be distributed. Therefore the members of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness society are not just sitting in the temple but are going out on saṅkīrtana parties, preaching and distributing this supreme philosophy. That is the mission of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His disciples. Other yogis may be satisfied with their own elevation and sit in secluded places, practicing yoga. For them, yoga is nothing more than their personal concern. A devotee, however, is not satisfied just in elevating his personal self.”
bhārata-bhūmite haila manuṣya-janma yāra
janma sārthaka kari’ kara para-upakāra
[Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Ādi 9.41]
Anyone who has taken birth in India should make his life perfect by becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious. Then he should distribute Kṛṣṇa consciousness all over the world.
CC Ādi 9.36.
ataeva āmi ājñā diluṅ sabākāre
yāhāṅ tāhāṅ prema-phala deha’ yāre tāre
ataeva — therefore; āmi — I; ājñā — order; diluṅ — give; sabākāre — to everyone; yāhāṅ — wherever; tāhāṅ — everywhere; prema-phala — the fruit of love of Godhead; deha’ — distribute; yāre — anyone; tāre — everyone.
“Therefore I order every man within this universe to accept this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and distribute it everywhere.
In this connection there is a song sung by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura:
enechi auṣadhi māyā nāśibāra lāgi’
harināma-mahāmantra lao tumi māgi’
bhakativinoda prabhu-caraṇe paḍiyā
sei harināma-mantra la-ila māgiyā
The saṅkīrtana movement has been introduced by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu just to dispel the illusion of māyā, by which everyone in this material world thinks himself to be a product of matter and therefore to have many duties pertaining to the body. Actually, the living entity is not his material body: he is a spirit soul. He has a spiritual need to be eternally blissful and full of knowledge, but unfortunately he identifies himself with the body, sometimes as a human being, sometimes as an animal, sometimes a tree, sometimes an aquatic, sometimes a demigod, and so on. Thus with each change of body he develops a different type of consciousness with different types of activities and thus becomes increasingly entangled in material existence, transmigrating perpetually from one body to another. Under the spell of māyā, or illusion, he does not consider the past or future but is simply satisfied with the short life span that he has gotten for the present. To eradicate this illusion, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has brought the saṅkīrtana movement, and He requests everyone to accept and distribute it. A person who is actually a follower of Śrī Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura must immediately accept the request of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu by offering respectful obeisances unto His lotus feet and thus beg from Him the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. If one is fortunate enough to beg from the Lord this Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, his life is successful.
“We distribute such exalted thing Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we distribute free.” (Ref:-Room conversation with psychiatrist Oct 3, 1972, in Los Angeles.)
Therefore, concluding this post, I hope I was able to inspire even one of the readers to take up the process of this magnificent movement to heart and benefit humanity at large.
It is not an uncommon thing when devotees become complacent in their devotional services. Maya is indeed very strong and we erroneously take her lightly as a consequence of which the tendency of falling becomes apparent. In other words, the only remedy for such a dreadful situation lies in CONSTANT SERVICE.
In the following excerpt, we must notice how Srila Prabhupada is emphasizing on the need of being BUSY in Bhakti to counter-attack Maya’s strong blows.
Rukmini dasi: Once going up to Prabhupada’s room in Los Angeles Baradraj was walking into Prabhupada’s room a little bit ahead of me and Prabhupada said, “Where is Rukmini?” And he said, “Oh, she’s always busy doing something.” Then I walked in slightly behind him and Prabhupada saw me and he said, “Yes, always stay busy, busy, busy. Otherwise Maya will say, Come and play with me,'” and he held out his arms like someone trying to embrace someone. He said, “Maya will say, Come and play with me.”
Srila Prabhupada in one of his conversations dated June 1st, 1977 at Vrindavan had said, “I want to see that you are always busy. Busy-ness. That will give me pleasure. Laziness I don’t want. Personally, I was never lazy. I did not like laziness.”
In another instance, Srila Prabhupada says, “You’ll find, whenever you’ll come to our temple, you’ll find they’re busy with something. Similarly, we are simply busy with Kṛṣṇa business. We try to remember Kṛṣṇa twenty-four hours. That is our method.” (July 18, 1971, at Detroit in conversation with Mohsin Hassan.)
I am very glad that Janaki is busy decorating the temple; this is what I want, that every disciple should always remain busy in some work for Krishna. We shall not allow to remain vacant our mind, and if the mind is always filled up with Krishna Consciousness activities, there is no chance of Maya to sit on the mind and force us to act under her spell. Maharaja Ambarisa he did like that and in spite of his becoming a responsible emperor of the world, he was a great devotee of Lord Krishna, and he successfully winned the challenge of a great yogi, Durvasa. (Letter to Mukunda dated May 6 1968)
“So there are two different platforms, the material and the spiritual. Followers of the Vedic civilization, which is practiced in India – although nowadays it is distorted – actually, these people are not lazy. They are very, very busy. Not only very, very busy, but also kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha: they are trying to become self-realized from the very beginning of life. They are so busy that they want to begin the busy-ness from their very childhood. Therefore it is wrong to think they are lazy.
People who accuse followers of Vedic civilization of laziness or of “inhibiting progress” do not know what real progress is. The Vedic civilization is not interested in the false progress of economic development. For instance, sometimes people boast, “We have gone from the hut to the skyscraper.” They think this is progress. But in the Vedic system of civilization, one thinks about how much he is advanced in self-realization. He may live in a hut and become very advanced in self-realzation. But if he wastes his time turning his hut into a skyscraper, then his whole life is wasted, finished. And in his next life he is going to be a dog, although he does not know it. That’s all.” (Civilization and Transcendence, Chapter-2)
“Our Vedic culture teaches that whatever you do, you must satisfy the Supreme Lord. That is real culture.
Sva-karmaṇā tam abhyarcya siddhiṁ vindati mānavaḥ. You may do any business – the brāhmaṇa’s business, the kṣatriya’s business, the vaiśya’s business, or the śūdra’s business – but by your business you should satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You may be a merchant, a professional man, a legal advisor, a medical man – it doesn’t matter. But if you want perfection in your business, then you must try to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Otherwise you are simply wasting your time.
In Bhagavad-gītā [3.9], Lord Kṛṣṇa says, yajñārthāt karmaṇaḥ. The word yajña refers to Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord. You have to work for Him. Otherwise you become bound by the reactions of your activities (anyatra loko ’yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ). And as long as you are in the bondage of karma, you have to transmigrate from one body to another.” (The Journey of Self Discovery, Chapter 6)
Srila Prabhupada had written extensively on spiritual solutions to all material problems. Reading his books is one of the most magnificent ways of staying busy. Instead of reading mundane stories on irrelevant topics, one must try to read on the solutions of contemporary human dilemmas. In this way, we will surely become resistant to the clutches of Maya.