INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRSNA CONSCIOUSNESS
Founder-AcaryaHis Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam ,Canto 01, Chapter 08, Text 40
Lecture given by His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami on 24-09-2005 at ISKCON Ujjain
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Hare Kṛṣṇa, I just found out from Ganga Nārāyaṇa Prabhu that my God Sister Mother Yasomati has not been formerly introduced to the devotees here. So I want to welcome Mother Yasomati to Ujjain with our usual three Haribols.
Haribol! Haribol! Haribol!
Mother Yasomati is a very, very senior disciple of Śrīla Prabhupāda. She is from Canada. Although she is from Canada but along with her husband, our very senior Godbrother Kala Prabhu, Mother Yasomati had been serving in different parts of the world: in South Africa, in Mauritius, in Māyāpur for many, many years, in many responsible positions. I consider Mother Yasomati to be one of the most exemplary devotees in the movement. In her household āśrama she brought up her children in a very exemplary way. All her children are very good devotees because of her and Kala Prabhu’s wonderful training. Actually the whole family is very close to me or I am very close to the whole family. In Māyāpur we serve together. Another identity of mother Yasomati is that she is the mother of Rasamanjari, mother in law of Jai Chaitanya, grandmother of Gaura Lila and Radhika Priya. So they are beautiful children. Actually many of my Godbrothers and Godsisters will be coming here.
As I told you many times that Krsna Consciousness is founded on the basis of respect for senior devotees and service attitude to the Vaiṣṇavas. So please take advantage of these wonderful opportunities in the presence of these very exemplary, advanced devotees. Actually just like a in a joint family how do you develop your relationships with other senior members of the family? In a joint family do you have relationship only with your father or you have relationships with your other uncles and aunts? Sometimes the relationships are even deeper with uncles and aunts than with the father and the mother because from father and mother we get chastisement but from uncles and aunts we get love and affection. So when we consider Iskcon as a family where Śrīla Prabhupāda is the head of the family and with Śrīla Prabhupāda in the centre we develop the loving relationships with all the members of the family. So take advantage of these opportunities and develop your sincere relationships with all the devotees, specially the senior devotees. Develop a service attitude when they are around, consider that this is Krsna providing with the opportunity to serve these senior devotees and make spiritual advancement. So, always take this opportunity and show all the respect. It is not that the respect should be offered only to guru or sanyasis or big devotees, no. In the world of the Vaiṣṇavas every senior devotee should be treated with utmost respect and that will be the sign of advancement.
A neophyte devotee will think that: Oh! Only my guru and no one else. But more advanced one is then the more he will develop the relationships and that will create such a wonderful mood in our temples of Iskcon. Like few days back Radhanatha Maharaja was here. How did you all feel? Wasn’t it a festivity? So, many other senior devotees will come. Take advantage of their association, take advantage of their presence. Thank you, Mother Yasomati for being so kind to come here. Hare Krsna. How is Radhika Priya doing? Radhika Priya, sleeping? We should also have a celebration of Radhika Priya’s arrival in this world. Maybe in the evening today we can have some celebration. Rasa Manjari, bring Radhika Priya this evening and we will have some sort of celebration. At least we can have some kirtan around here .We won’t be able to offer her Krsna prasādam as yet. But at least we can greet her with kirtan. Hare Krsna. Thank you all very much.
All Glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda!
Ananta Koti Vaiṣṇava Vrnda Ki Jaya!
Śrīla Prabhupāda Ki Jai!
Srila Prabhupāda’s Iskcon Family Ki Jaya!
Gaura Premanande Hari Haribol!
(In Bengali) whatever I just said everyone understood,who could not understand it? Raise your hand. There is no need to be ashamed about it.This is very important. Only three, all right, Ganga Nārāyaṇaa, please explain to them later. I will not take more time just for three otherwise it will be late. But what I have said in main summarized form is .Who is Mother Yasomati? Very good, Prabhupāda’s disciple. Now, what is the meaning of Prabhupāda’s disciple? It means they are very senior devotees. Those who are very senior Vaiṣṇavas and Vaiṣṇavīs, what will be our mental attitude towards them? We must be very respectful to them. Always respect them and serve them.
Okay. All right.Hare Krsna, Gaura Premanande Hari Haribol.
Oṁ Namo Bhagavate Vāsudevāya
Oṁ Namo Bhagavate Vāsudevāya
Oṁ Namo Bhagavate Vāsudevāya
ime — all these; jana–padāḥ — cities and towns; svṛddhāḥ — flourished; supakva — nature; auṣadhi — herbs; vīrudhaḥ — vegetables; vana — forests; adri — hills; nadī — rivers; udanvantaḥ — seas; hi — certainly; edhante — increasing; tava — by You; vīkṣitaiḥ — seen.
All these cities and villages are flourishing in all respects because the herbs and grains are in abundance, the trees are full of fruits, the rivers are flowing, the hills are full of minerals and the oceans full of wealth. And this is all due to Your glancing over them.
Human prosperity flourishes by natural gifts and not by gigantic industrial enterprises. The gigantic industrial enterprises are products of a godless civilization, and they cause the destruction of the noble aims of human life. The more we go on increasing such troublesome industries to squeeze out the vital energy of the human being, the more there will be unrest and dissatisfaction of the people in general, although a few only can live lavishly by exploitation. The natural gifts such as grains and vegetables, fruits, rivers, the hills of jewels and minerals, and the seas full of pearls are supplied by the order of the Supreme, and as He desires, material nature produces them in abundance or restricts them at times. The natural law is that the human being may take advantage of these godly gifts by nature and satisfactorily flourish on them without being captivated by the exploitative motive of lording it over material nature.
The more we attempt to exploit material nature according to our whims of enjoyment, the more we shall become entrapped by the reaction of such exploitative attempts. If we have sufficient grains, fruits, vegetables and herbs, then what is the necessity of running a slaughterhouse and killing poor animals? A man need not kill an animal if he has sufficient grains and vegetables to eat. The flow of river waters fertilizes the fields, and there is more than what we need. Minerals are produced in the hills, and the jewels in the ocean. If the human civilization has sufficient grains, minerals, jewels, water, milk, etc., then why should it hanker after terrible industrial enterprises at the cost of the labor of some unfortunate men? But all these natural gifts are dependent on the mercy of the Lord. What we need, therefore, is to be obedient to the laws of the Lord and achieve the perfection of human life by devotional service. The indications by Kuntīdevī are just to the point. She desires that God’s mercy be bestowed upon them so that natural prosperity is maintained by His grace.
BCS: So, Kuntīdevī is offering prayers to Kṛṣṇa, when He was just about to leave Hastināpura. Kuntīdevī is Krsna’s aunt. Therefore Kuntīdevī has a very close relationship with Krsna. But at the same time Kuntīdevī knows that Krsna is the Supreme Personality Of Godhead. Kuntīdevī is a great devotee of Krsna. Actually in the Vedic culture everyone, specially the members of the high class family were brought up with the understanding that the Supreme Personality Of Godhead is the Supreme Proprietor and the Supreme Enjoyer and every living entity, no matter how wealthy, how influential, how powerful he may be, is nothing but a servant of Krsna. Actually that is what Vedic culture is. In the Vedic culture, irrespective of one’s position, everyone accepted Krsna as the Supreme Personality Of Godhead. Visnu, Nārāyaṇa, other worshipable Deities, worshipable Lord of the civilized Vedic society. Those who worship others than Krsna, they were not considered to be very advanced. The demigod worshippers were not considered to be so advanced. The advanced people either accepted the Absolute Truth as the Brahman effulgence or the Supersoul or the Supreme Personality of Godhead: brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate.
Those who are amongst the spiritualist, those who are least advanced, they consider the Absolute Truth to be impersonal Brahman and they are known as jñānīs. Those who are little more advanced, they consider the Absolute Truth to be the Supersoul in the heart. They are known as yogis. The most advanced spiritualists recognize Krsna or Visnu or Nārāyaṇa to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They became His devotees.
There are three types of spiritualist: jñānīs, yogis and bhaktas. This is the spiritual platform. Below the spiritual platform is the material platform. People who are situated in the material platform, they are known as karmis: the people who wanted to enjoy the fruits of their actions. On that level those people are the worshippers of the different demigods. Materialistic people want to enjoy: bhukti-kāmī, mukti-kāmī and sidhhi-kāmī. The materialistic people, they want to enjoy the material nature with their own actions, fruitive workers. They are the bhukti-kāmī or those who want to enjoy the fruits of their work or fruits of their labors. So that is one category, materialistic people, karmīs, fruitive workers. Generally these materialistic people are not fortunate enough to understand the Supreme Position of Krsna. Because they are on the material platform, they do not have the proper knowledge about the spiritual platform. Therefore they see everything in the light of the material situation. Who are holding the highest positions in material nature? Different demigods are in charge of different departments of the material nature. Generally karmis are the demigod-worshipper. Among the demigods there are different departments, they are in charge, like Indra, Chandra, Varuna. Then a little more advanced stage is Gaṇeśa who gives material success.
yat-pāda-pallava-yugaṁ vinidhāya kumbha-
dvandve praṇāma-samaye sa gaṇādhirājaḥ
vighnān vihantum alam asya jagat-trayasya
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
Brahma Samhita 5.5
Jagat-trayasya,’ three worlds’ means heavenly planet, earth planet and lower planetary system. Their understanding is only up to the heavenly planet. Gaṇeśa removes the impediment from the path of one’s success, vighnān vihantum alam asya jagat-trayasya. Many people you will find in India are worshippers of Gaṇeśa. Especially the business community. Because those who are running businesses, they want success and Gaṇeśa is the giver of success. They worship Gaṇeśa so that Gaṇeśa would remove all the impediments from the path of their success.
Then, when they go even higher and they get to know Devī, Māyā, Mahā-māyā, the personified material nature. But then also Devī worship takes place in different categories, different levels. In the mode of ignorance she is worshipped as Kali and in the mode of passion she is worshipped as Durga and a little higher mode, not quite goodness, she is Jagatdhatri, Annapurna etc. But then when one transcends the material platform then his perception of the spiritual reality is impersonalistic. He thinks that all these forms are material. Therefore spiritual must be formless because all forms are material. If spiritual nature is opposed to material nature then there is no form in the spiritual world. That is the preliminary understanding of the spiritual reality. This stage of spiritual elevation is called jñāna stage. Karmi stage. Jñānī stage .Then comes the yoga stage. In the yogic stage one recognizes that the Absolute Truth is not impersonal but the Supersoul in the heart. Little more advanced. Not so much impersonal. It is the Supersoul in the heart Who is there in everybody’s heart.
Then he comes to the platform of devotional service. In devotional service one recognizes the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the Supreme Person. As the Supreme Personality of Godhead He is person. īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ. He is a person. He is Paramaḥ īśvaraḥ, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ. His form is sac-cid-ānanda. He is anādir ādir Govindaḥ, He is the cause of all causes.. He is the beginning of the beginningless. Anādir ādir. He is the beginning of that does not have any beginning. That is the inconceivable potency of the Lord.
Jaya Śrī Śrī Rādhā Madan Mohan Ki Jaya, Jai Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai Ki Jaya.
And He is the cause of all causes: sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam. Therefore we have to understand that recognizing the Absolute Truth as the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the highest level of spiritual achievement. The neophyte on the spiritual path will think that God is impersonal. Less advanced will know that God is the Supersoul. But the most advanced people will know that God is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the highest form of spiritual understanding and when one recognizes the Supreme Personality of Godhead then what happens to him. Supreme Personality, let us consider, Supreme Personality means the greatest personality, if you come across somebody who is very great, what will you do? You become his servant. When you come across somebody who is very great, what will happen, you naturally surrender to him, right? So when you recognize the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the Supreme with a capital S, not just the supreme, Supreme with a capital S. No one is superior to him. He is THE Supreme. What will happen to you?
Now if some great person comes here what will people do .Think of a great person who comes to Ujjain. Who is a great person? Can anybody think of somebody? Let us say Amitabh Bacchan. Everybody thinks he is a great person. Then what will happen to all the residence of Ujjain? What will they do, only queue up from Ujjain to Indore to receive him in the airport. They all bow down to him, oh, ah, all glory, all glory. So, that is the natural tendency of the human being. People think nowadays that the movie stars are the most exalted personalities. Since the people today have become very degraded, movie stars have become the most worship able.
In early days, I remember, at least in India, movie stars specially the actresses used to be considered as prostitutes. They were considered to be prostitutes. That’s how respectable people used to look down upon the movie people. So, in forty, fifty years, we can see how the society has degenerated, how the society has degraded. Now the prostitutes and pimps have become the most worshipable people. Anyway the point I was trying to make is that the natural tendency of human beings. When they come across somebody great he surrenders onto him, Oh, you are so great, so let me do something for you, right? This is the attitude of surrender. Now, can you imagine when somebody gets to know who Krsna is, what will be his attitude towards Him? What will be the natural tendency? To surrender. So, when we recognize the supremacy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead spontaneously, automatically, we surrender ourselves unto Him. And that is the beginning of devotional service. Śaraṇāgati, saranaga śaraṇāgati is the bhakatera prana, dainya, atma –nivedana, goptrtve varana ‘avasya raksibe Krsna’—visvasa, palana what was the line before
sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu jive doya kori’swa-parsada swiya dhama saha avatari’
atyanta durlabha prema koribare dana sikhaya śaraṇāgati bhakatera prana
Atyanta durlabha, very rare Krsna prema in order to bestow, in order to distribute the very rare Krsna prema He is teaching the process of surrender, śaraṇāgati, which is the life and soul of devotional service. The very foundation of devotional service bhakti is śaraṇāgati. So, this śaraṇāgati becomes natural, surrender becomes natural when we recognise the Supreme Position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is how, when one recognizes Krsna, he naturally becomes His devotee.
So the point is: the jñānīs consider the Absolute Truth to be brahmajyoti: vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate. The knowledge which is non duel advayam, advaya tattva recognises him as brahman, paramatma and bhagavan. Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate. These are the gradual elevation. Neophyte spiritualists see him as impersonal brahman. Little more advanced one sees Him as the Super- soul and the most advanced ones see Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Now devotees, those who worship Krsna, those who accept Krsna and serve Him by surrendering themselves unto Him, their activities often appear to be like the karmis.
Karmis are acting on the material platform.The spiritualists like jñānīs,yogis do not act on material platform. Karmis are those who act on a material platform. The spiritualists are those who act on the spiritual platform. Now the neophyte and the second class spiritualists they do not act on the material platform nor do they act on the spiritual platform. They are in a kind of a limbo. They do not really know what to do because they do not know what spiritual platform is. Therefore they are just involved in endeavor for jñāna,austerities and penances,and performance of aṣṭāṅga-yoga because they haven’t become situated on the spiritual platform .That’s why they do not know what to do therefore they become inactive. Yogis do not want to act on material platform nor do they know how to act on the spiritual platform, therefore they become inactive, same with the jñānīs but devotees are situated on the spiritual platform. Therefore they act on the spiritual platform but the spiritual platform is completely different from material platform. So less intelligent people may think that the devotees are acting therefore they must be like the karmis, materialistic people.
Materialistic people act, devotees act. So they just see the action but they do not see in which platform they are actually acting. Therefore often the devotees are misunderstood by less informed and less intelligent people. They think that “well they are not so advanced spiritually.See, they are just acting; they are like mundane people. The jñānis are much more advanced, the yogis are much more advanced. Oh! He lives in Himalayas for twenty five years. He has nothing to do with this material nature. He does not eat, he does not sleep, he does not breathe, so he must be the great person.” But who is really great? Relatively, comparatively the devotees are the greatest spiritually. Jñānīs and yogis will some day, some day when they receive the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His devotees will probably become a devotee of Iskcon, member of Iskcon.
The position of the Iskcon devotees are far superior to a yogi who is meditating in the Himalayas for twenty five thousand years. Less intelligent people may think: “Oh! he is so great,” but actually the devotee’s position is far superior to that person. And here we can see Kuntīdevī, she knows Krsna, although Krsna has allowed her to come so close to Him. But she never forgot that Krsna is God. But at the same time she is having a very intimate loving exchange with Krsna and Krsna is having a very intense loving exchange with Kuntīdevī and this is how the Lord reciprocates. This is how Krsna reciprocates. It is not only that when Krsna comes to perform His pastimes we will get an opportunity to develop a loving relationship with Krsna. No, if we practice the process of devotional service properly then we will be able to develop that loving relationship with Krsna in the heart. And that relationship is non different from the relationship that one develops with Krsna, when Krsna comes to this planet.
So that is the prerogative, that is the good fortune that we have by becoming a devotee. We are practicing but when we achieve our perfection of devotional service, we will develop our relationship with Krsna. Now we can also consider this point. Is this relationship material or spiritual? Naturally this relationship with Krsna is spiritual. Now is this relationship dependent upon our physical bodily relationship? No, this relationship is based on the spirit soul, right, the spiritual relationship. Say for example when you develop your relationship with somebody, do you develop the relationship through the cloth you are wearing or the dress you are wearing? Does your brother think that you are your shirt or shawl. Does your mother think that you are the dhoti. Or she sees you as a person that identity of course is physical relationship. Therefore it is based on physical identity. But when we develop our spiritual relationship with Krsna, that relationship is based on spiritual platform, the spirit soul relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Now does it depend upon the external situation? No, so this is the proof that anybody can develop his relationship with Krsna at any time, at any place. It does not depend upon the time and space factor of this material nature. So the relationship that Kuntīdevī had with Krsna, a devotee can have a similar relationship with Krsna and can reciprocate with Krsna in that relationship. So Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam through all these narrations and through all these descriptions is actually showing us devotees’ relationships with Kṛṣṇa and through the descriptions and prayers of those devotees revealing to us the inconceivable qualities and beauty and pastimes of Krsna. In this way through the scriptures we become related to Krsna, we become appreciative of Krsna, and eventually we become the devotees of Krsna.
What is Kuntīdevī saying here? Krsna because you are the Supreme Personality Of Godhead, just by Your favorable glance everything flourishes. When You glance something favorably then everything flourishes. Real prosperity is depended upon Krsna’s favorable glance. If Krsna withdraws his favorable glance then materially no matter how much we achieve it will all end in a big nothing. That is what the state of affairs is in this material nature today.
This world today has made lot of advancement materially but what is the state of their consciousness? The state of their consciousness is extremely miserable, extremely fallen, extremely degraded. What is the state of their heart? The state of their heart is full of envy and hatred. As a result of that they do not have any peace of mind. They are extremely miserable. They are suffering. They may have a lot of money. They may have made a lot of arrangements for comfort and luxury, but they are extremely miserable, so miserable that they can’t sleep at night. Their heart is so full of envy and hatred. They hate even their own children, they hate their own wives, they hate their own parents, and they hate their friends. That is the state of their existence. They are so full of hatred. They do not know what love is because their heart is so full of hatred. The people those who are closest to them, even with them they cannot develop any relationship. They are so full of hatred and envy. As a result of that they are killing each other. Ultimately why is that? Because they are not receiving the favorable glance of Krsna. Therefore there is no prosperity.
Apparent material opulence may be there but there is no prosperity. On the other hand where Krsna casts His favorable glance everything flourishes both materially and spiritually. Kuntīdevī is pointing that out. Even materially it was flourishing. What is the real sign of prosperity even materially? Big buildings, big palaces, big industries, big cars, big roads, no! The real sign of prosperity is there is abundance of food stuff, there is abundance of flowers, there is abundance of material opulence directly coming from nature: jewels, gold not plastics. Today everything is made of plastics. The metal they use just aluminum or steel as such base metals. They do not even know how to use gold. Nowadays they don’t use gold. Very rarely they use gold. Previously people used to eat in gold plate, rich people would eat in gold plate, middle class people would eat in silver plates and lower middle class people would eat in copper plates and poor people would eat in clay plates. Once they would use it then they threw it away. That is how opulent they were. But now they use clay plates and also they use it repeatedly.
In India even poor people would use clay plate and then throw it away after using it once. Not only the plate, even the pots they used to throw it away. They would cook it once in clay pot then they would throw it away. They won’t keep it. So we can see how this society has become so poverty stricken. Even materially they are so poverty stricken but when Krsna casts His glance everything is full of prosperity. There is abundance of food, abundance of fruits, nuts, vegetables, grains, beautiful flowers, the whole place is fragrant. Everywhere it is lush green, abundance of rain, abundance of sunshine. Prabhupāda used to say that because of the pious activities of the people those days it used to rain at night and during the day there would be bright sunshine. It would rain at night and during the day time, there will be bright sunshine. Won’t it be wonderful? Rain at night and during the day it is dry, bright sunshine. Trees and plants got all the water that they needed. Rivers became filled with water because of the rain. But most of the activities used to be outside, dry weather was necessary during the day time. So Śrīla Prabhupāda actually taught us what real prosperity is. Let us become devotees then everything will become opulent. Everything will happen. Our hearts will become fully satisfied and whatever we need for spreading Krsna consciousness will be there in abundance and the whole world will become happy.
Thank you very much.
All Glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Gaura Premanandī Hari Haribol.
Does anybody have any question?
Q: Guru Mahārāja, what attracts the favorable glance of Krsna?
BCS: Love, love is the attracting factor. Love Krsna, He will become attracted, right, doesn’t love attract? When you become attracted to somebody, what happens? You feel the love. It is the love that attracts. Love is the immediate outcome of attraction and vice versa. In order to attract we have to love. So by being devotees we become attracted to Krsna and we feel our love for Krsna and if we want to attract Krsna we have to develop our love for Krsna.
Is there any other question?
Ok, Gaura Premanandī Hari Haribol.
Audio-reference: Click here
Transcription : Her Grace Sacimata Devi Dasi.
Editing : Ramananda Raya Dasa