22 Dec The Paramount Importance Of Srimad-Bhagavatam
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRSNA CONSCIOUSNESS
Founder-AcaryaHis Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
THE FOLLOWING LECTURE ON SRIMAD-BHAGAVATAM, FIRST CANTO, CHAPTER TWO, DIVINITY AND DIVINE SERVICE, WAS GIVEN BY HIS HOLINESS BHAKTI CHARU SWAMI ON 22 DECEMBER 2006 IN ISKCON UJJAIN, INDIA.
So today we are going to discuss the second chapter of the first Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. This chapter is entitled as “Divinity and Divine Service.” How many of you remember the first chapter? What we discussed about the first chapter yesterday? [devotee: inaudible] Okay. What about others? How many of you did not understand what we discussed yesterday about the first chapter? So how many of you are not understanding what I am speaking about?
Anyway, so the first chapter, the beginning of the first Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam is describing how Srimad-Bhagavatam is the essence of the entire Vedas. It is the description of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the cause of all causes. He is the cause of creation, destruction and maintenance. He is the Supreme independent Personality of Godhead, completely independent, svarat. And when one gets to understand Him, his threefold miseries are completely uprooted. Then it is described how Srimad-Bhagavatam is the ripened fruit of the desire tree of the Vedic literature. And this ripened fruit of that desire tree has been mixed with the nectar from the lotus lips of Srila Sukadeva Gosvami. And then Srimad-Bhagavatam begins, like the background of Srimad-Bhagavatam, the sages in Naimisaranya, sixty thousand sages assembled in Naimisaranya and there they were performing a one-thousand year long sacrifice.
And one morning, after offering the sacrificial offering, they sat together and they requested Suta Gosvami to describe, to tell them about the ultimate benefit, what will cause the ultimate benefit of their life.
ta ekada tu munayah
sat-krtam sutam asinam
papracchur idam adarat
They asked him very respectfully, to Suta Gosvami, offering him the exalted seat. They said
tvaya khalu puranani
akhyatany apy adhitani
dharma-sastrani yany uta
You have mastered all the scriptures, Puranas, Itihasa, Dharma Shastra, the entire Vedas you have mastered, therefore, you are in a position to tell us what is the ultimate benefit for us, for the entire mankind in this very degraded age of Kali yuga. In the age of Kali, people are very unfortunate. Their life span is very short. Prayenalpayusah sabhya kalav asmin yuge janah. [SB 1.1.10] In the age of Kali, the duration of life (ayu) is very short. Prayenalpayusah sabhya kalav asmin yuge janah, in the age of Kali. And on top of that mandah sumanda-matayo, they are very lazy, mandah, they are sumanda-matayo, their mentality is very degraded, and manda-bhagya, they are very unfortunate also, and upadrutah, they are constantly troubled by different types of material calamities. Now on the other hand, bhurini bhuri-karmanisrotavyani vibhagasah [SB 1.1.11], on the other hand the Vedas are vast, bhurini, and bhuri-karmani. And in the Vedas, various kinds of activities have been prescribed and unless and until one understands the totality of the Vedas, one won’t be able to understand what is the purpose of the Vedas, what is the teaching of the Vedas. So in the situation like that, now we, the Vaishnavas, have assembled here in this holy land. So please instruct us.
So then this chapter, chapter two, is describing what happened after that. And then, one point I missed from previous chapter. They also described that actually the ultimate solution is the glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead – His name, His form, His qualities, His pastimes. His name, apannah samsrtim ghoram yan-nama vivaso grnan. [SB 1.1.14] [To a devotee:] Why are you so late in the class? [Devotee: inaudible] Don’t take these classes so lightly. Come to the class on time.
And the holy name of the Lord is so powerful that even if one chants the holy name unconsciously, yan-nama vivaso grnan tatahsadyo vimucyeta [SB 1.1.14], immediately he becomes free from all his material entanglements. And the lotus feet of the Lord is so wonderful that when one takes the shelter of that lotus feet of the Lord then he can at once become purified, whereas the water of the Ganges purifies one after prolonged use.
sadyah punanty upasprstah
And who will not glorify that Supreme Personality of Godhead in order to become delivered from the vices of the age of Kali, age of quarrel? And in this way Saunaka Rishi, on behalf of all the saintly personalities in Naimisaranya, requested Suta Gosvami to describe the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, because the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead can purify everyone of all material contamination. Especially in the age of Kali there is no other way but to take the shelter of the holy name. Then the last verse was
bruhi yogesvare krsne
svam kastham adhunopete
dharmah kam saranam gatah
Please tell us, since Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, yogesvare, the master of all mystics, since He has departed, since He left this material nature and went back to spiritual sky, Krishna who is the protector of dharma, whose shelter dharma has taken now? Dharmah kam saranam gatah.
Then it comes to the second chapter.
Ugrasrava [Suta Gosvami], the son of Romaharshana, being fully satisfied by the perfect questions of the brahmanas, thanked them and thus attempted to reply.
[translation SB 1.2.1]
So, Suta Gosvami was very pleased with every question because these questions were very relevant. Actually, an intelligent question always inspires a speaker of Bhagavata or a devotee. All spiritual topics, the Vedic literatures, actually is a matter of question and answer. What is Bhagavad-gita? Bhagavad-gita, Arjuna is asking the questions, Krishna is answering. Then Srimad-Bhagavatam also we are seeing questions and answers. The sages of Naimisaranya, or on behalf of the sages of Naimisaranya, Saunaka Rishi is asking the questions and Suta Gosvami is answering. Parikshit Maharaja is asking the questions, Sukadeva Gosvami is answering. Or sometimes it is described, like Vidura is asking questions, Maitreya Rishi is answering. In this way it is a matter of questions and answers. Pracetas are asking questions, Lord Shiva is answering. It’s a matter of question-answers. So either we describe the questions and answers asked by others and replied by others, or directly what has been asked to us, we answer those questions. So here we are actually describing how these question-answer sessions went on. Questions and answers is the process of receiving knowledge.
So at first Suta Gosvami offered his respects to his spiritual master. Who is Suta Gosvami’s spiritual master? It is Sukadeva Gosvami.
Srila Suta Gosvami said: Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto that great sage Sukadeva Gosvami who can enter the hearts of all. When he went away to take up the renounced order of life, leaving home without undergoing reformation by the sacred thread or the ceremonies observed by the higher castes, his father, Vyasadeva, fearing separation from him, cried out, “O my son!” Indeed, only the trees, which were absorbed in the same feelings of separation, echoed in response to the begrieved father.”
[Translation SB 1.2.2]
Vyasadeva was very much perturbed that Sukadeva Gosvami left. Right after his birth, Sukadeva Gosvami didn’t want to come out of his mother’s womb considering the condition of the material nature. He felt like it’s a very undesirable place to be in. So he didn’t want to come out. So he preferred to stay in his mother’s womb. For fourteen years he stayed there and then when he came out he just walked away, left. And Vyasadeva was concerned that my son is leaving home without being properly educated or properly instructed on the spiritual subject matter, without being properly reformed through the ceremony of upanayana or initiation. But Sukadeva Gosvami was a self realized soul even before his birth. He was completely absorbed in Brahman realization. So Vyasadeva then left, went after him when Sukadeva Gosvami left home, Vyasadeva just going after him, calling his son to home but there was no response from Sukadeva Gosvami. The only response came from the tree because of the echo. He was calling, “Oh my son, oh my son”, and the trees also echoed, “My son.”
Before reciting Srimad-Bhagavatam which is the very means of conquest, one should offer respectful obeisances unto the Personality of Godhead Narayana, unto Nara-Narayana Rishi -the Supreme human being, unto mother Saraswati – the Goddess of learning and Srila Vyasadeva – the author.
[Translation SB 1.2.4]
Then he started to describe
O sages, I have been justly questioned by you. Your questions are worthy because they relate to Lord Krishna and so are of relevance to the world’s welfare. Only questions of this sort are capable of completely satisfying the self.
[Translation SB 1.2.5]
Then he comes to the point, what is the point? This is a very important verse. What is the real dharma? What is the real purpose of religion?
sa vai pumsam paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokshaje
Sa vai pumsam paro dharmo, paro dharmo.
The supreme occupation, dharma for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.
[Translation SB 1.2.6]
Ahaituky, so this devotional service must be ahaituky and apratihata, should not be motivated by any cause, by any motive, should not be motivated by any material desire. It should be ahaituky. The word ahaituky has been described as causeless and apratihata is uninterrupted. So this yato bhaktir adhokshaje, the bhakti unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the transcendental law should be unmotivated, unconditional and uninterrupted. Constantly we should render service to the Lord. Then only what will happen? Then the heart will become completely satisfied. Then the soul will become completely satisfied, yayatma, due to which the atma, the self will become suprasidati, will become completely satisfied. Next verse also is a very beautiful verse.
janayaty asu vairagyam
jnanam ca yad ahaitukam
By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world.
[Translation SB 1.2.7].
Janayatyasu vairagyam jnanam ca yad ahaitukam. So vasudeve bhagavati, the devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva generates detachment and Absolute knowledge immediately, very quickly. So knowledge and renunciation, jnana and vairagya are secondary results of devotional service to the Lord. One does not have to separately endeavor for renunciation and knowledge. It will automatically become manifest.
In that respect it has been described that devotional service, Bhaktidevi, has two sons. Bhaktidevi has two sons. Those two sons are Jnana and Vairagya. So wherever the mother goes, the children will automatically follow her. So similarly, wherever there is a devotion to Krishna, Vasudeva, there is knowledge and vairagya automatically present. So the point actually is that devotees do not have to separately endeavor for knowledge and renunciation. It will happen automatically.
So this verse also is important. So try to memorize these verses. At some point I would like you to make it a point to memorize the verses. One verse a day. In this way you can very quickly memorize or systematically memorize Srimad-Bhagavatam chapter by chapter. When we were in New Jersey shooting for Abhay Charan, every morning we used to have Bhagavatam class and we used to memorize the verses, one verse a day. So Chiranjeev is laughing because every morning I made them memorize one verse. How many verses do you remember now? [laughs] So memorizing and then practicing. We must keep on repeating, otherwise we forget. But if we make an effort to memorize one verse a day and then repeat it, like are you getting any benefit? Is it helping, the repetition of Srimad Bhagavad-gita in the morning? One chapter, you are doing it for a week now? One chapter a week. We started off with one chapter for a fortnight from Ekadasi to Ekadasi. So it has come now to one chapter a week. Maybe now we can reduce it, maybe we recite one chapter for three days and then we come to one chapter a day and then in eighteen days we can do eighteen chapters.
So, vasudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogah prayojitah janayaty asu vairagyam jnanam ca yad ahaitukam.
[altar curtains close] Jaya Sri Sri Gaura Nitai ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Radha Madana Mohana ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Krishna Balaram ki jaya! Gaura Premanande Hari Haribol!
So vasudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogah prayojitah. Prayojitah means apply. When this bhakti is applied to Vasudeva – it’s a very beautiful presentation – when bhakti yoga is applied to Vasudeva, then what happens? Janayaty asu vairagyam jnanam ca yad ahaitukam. You apply bhakti yoga to Vasudeva and you immediately will have jnana and vairagya. Now jnana and vairagya is important, one has to become detached. If one remains attached to material nature, it will be difficult for him to free himself from the material bondage. And knowledge is necessary, jnana is necessary but it will automatically come. How it happens? How it happens? Just as when the sun comes up, immediately there is light and heat. It was cold here. In the morning it was very cold but as soon as the sun comes up, it becomes warm. Nights are dark, as soon as sun comes up light is there. How does it happen? That is the result of the sun rising, because sun has light and heat. So as soon as the sun comes up there is light and heat, automatically manifest. Or does one have to light up big, big search lights, flood lights? Not necessary; the sun automatically will give that. We do not have to make any endeavor ourselves to light up. The sun will appear and will make it (unclear). Similarly, just by applying bhakti yoga to Vasudeva, jnana and vairagya will automatically become manifest.
kamo labhaya hi smritah
All occupational engagements are certainly meant for ultimate liberation. So, dharmasya hyapavargyasya, apavargya mean liberation, freedom from material bondage. Nartho’rthayopakalpate, all the occupational engagement are meant for ultimate liberation. This verse also, one verse before also was very important.
notpadayed yadi ratim
srama eva hi kevalam
Dharmah svanushthitah, dharmah, or dharmah here or our understanding of dharmah is not actually religion. Dharmah is occupational duty. That is the definition of dharmah. Dharmah is not religion as such. There is only one religion so there is no need to worry about it. But our occupational duties may change. Occupational duties can be classified into two categories: the occupational duty of the body and the occupational duty of the soul. The occupational duty of the body can change. For example, what is the occupational duty of a cow, cow’s body? What is the functioning or the purpose or activity of the cow’s body? Cow’s body, what does it do? Give milk, cows give milk. And the occupational duty of a tiger? To hunt its prey and eat their flesh. So the occupational duty of a tiger is to kill, lion. Occupational duty of a dog? This has become man’s best friend. [laughter]
So these are the occupational duties. It is changing due to the body, due to the changing of body. The cow that gives milk and nourishes human being, if the same person, if the same soul next goes to a lion’s body, what will he do? He will eat the same person, right? The body will change. According to the body the occupational duty will change. Similarly, when it comes to a human being, when one is a sudra, what will be his occupational duty? It will be to serve. When he is a vaisya, what will be his occupational duty? To cater to the demands of the proprietor. When he becomes a ksatriya, what will be his occupational duty? To give protection to the society. And when one becomes a brahmana what will be his occupational duty? To impart knowledge, spiritual knowledge. The body is changing, occupational duty changes. But the occupational duty of the soul, what is the occupational duty of the soul? Is to serve Krishna.
Now the occupational duty of the lion soul, a cow soul, a sudra soul, a brahmana soul is the same. As long as he is in the body consciousness, his occupational duty may differ. But when he becomes situated in his spiritual identity, becomes situated in his self, then there is only one occupation. So the occupational duty of the soul is one. And what is that? To serve Krishna. Therefore, it is called nitya dharma. And the occupational duty of the body is called naimittika dharma. The body is nimitya and the dharma of the body is naimittika, whereas the occupational duty of the soul is constant. Therefore it is nitya. So here it has been pointed out
notpadayed yadi ratim
srama eva hi kevalam
The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labor if they do not provoke attraction to the message of the Personality of Godhead. [Translation SB 1.2.8]
Vishvaksena, who is Vishvaksena? Vishvaksena is the Personality of Godhead, Krishna. And then next one: all the occupational engagements are certainly meant for ultimate liberation. They should never be performed for material gain. [Translation SB 1.2.9] Should we perform dharma or occupational duty for material gain? Especially the spiritual activity should not be motivated by material gain. It should be performed only for the sake of ultimate liberation.
Furthermore, according to sages, one who is engaged in the ultimate occupational service should never use material gain to cultivate sense gratification. [Translation SB 1.2.9] Life’s desire should never be directed towards sense gratification.
labho jiveta yavata
nartho yas cehakarmabhih
Life’s desires should never be directed toward sense gratification. One should desire only a healthy life, or self-preservation, since a human being is meant for inquiry about the Absolute Truth. Nothing else should be the goal of one’s works.
[Translation SB 1.2.10]
Then, in this way, who is instructing? Suta Gosvami to the sages of Naimisharanya upon their questions. Then the next verse is very important. Try to memorize this verse also.
tattvam yajjnanam advayam
Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this non-dual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan. [Translation 1.2.11]
Although the substance is non-dual, it is identified by three names – Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. That will be explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam gradually. The thing is the jnani recognize that Absolute Truth, non-dual Absolute Truth as Brahman. The yogis realize that same Absolute Truth as Paramatma and devotees recognize as Bhagavan.
The seriously inquisitive student or sage, well equipped with knowledge and detachment, realizes that Absolute Truth by rendering devotional service in terms of what he has heard from the Vedanta-sruti.
[Translation SB 1.2.12]
O best among the twice-born, it is therefore concluded that the highest perfection one can achieve by discharging the duties prescribed for one’s own occupation according to caste divisions and orders of life is to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
[Translation SB 1.2.13]
So what was the purpose of varna and ashrama dharma? Dharma is varnashrama dharma. For human beings, especially for civilized human beings, the body dharma is varnashrama dharma. According to the body the human society has been divided into four categories. Those four categories are brahmana, kshatriya, vaishya, sudra and the human life has been divided into four stages: brahmachari, grihastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa. So these are four varnas and four ashramas and they are known as varnashrama dharma. So here it has been pointed out that the purpose of the varnashrama dharma should be only to hari-toshanam, satisfying or pleasing Sri Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Atah pumbhirdvija-sreshtha varnasrama-vibhagasah. [SB 1.2.13] Varna and asramavibha, divisions of the varna and ashrama. Svanushthitasya dharmasya, the purpose of practicing this dharma is samsiddhir hari-toshanam. The highest perfection samsiddhir is to please Sri Hari.
Therefore, with one-pointed attention, one should constantly hear about, glorify, remember and worship the Personality of Godhead, who is the protector of the devotees.
[Translation SB 1.2.14]
What should a devotee do? With one-pointed attention, with his consciousness fixed completely, should
tasmad ekena manasa
bhagavan satvatam patih
dhyeyah pujyas canityada
So, these are the four things. Srotavyah means must be heard about. One must hear and kirtitavyas ca, glorify. Hear, glorify, dhyeyah, meditate upon, and pujyas ca, worship – nityada, all the time. Therefore, tasmad means therefore, tasmad ekena manasa, ekena, eka means one and ekena means by one. Manasa, by the mind completely pointed into one point, one object. And what should we do? Srotavyahkirtitavyas ca, dhyeyah and pujyas ca nityada. To whom? Bhagavan and who is Bhagavan? Satvatam patih, the Lord of the satvatas, the protector of His devotees.
So this is the balancing factor. The devotee completely surrenders himself in serving the Lord and what does the Lord do? He protects His devotees. It is not that the devotees have to serve and all the time worry, “Oh, what will happen to me? What will happen to my family? Where the money will come from?” No, the devotee doesn’t have to worry about that. The devotee should only serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead and since the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the protector of His devotees, He will always take care of them. Therefore, a devotee doesn’t have to worry about anything. But then the consideration is, sometimes one may say, “Well, I am serving but at the same time I have to take care of…” Yes, if you are serving twenty five percent then Krishna will give you twenty five percent protection. If you are serving fifty percent, Krishna will give you fifty percent protection. But if you are serving hundred percent then what will be Krishna’s giving of protection? Hundred percent. You surrender yourself completely to Krishna, Krishna will give you protection. But if you are thinking well, I will keep something for myself and give something else to Krishna then Krishna will say, “Okay, so I will also get into the same shareholding arrangement. You give fifty percent, I will give fifty percent protection.”
With sword in hand, intelligent men cut through the binding knots of reactionary work, karma by remembering the Personality of Godhead. Therefore, who will not pay attention to His message?
[Translation SB 1.2.15]
I will just quickly go through.
O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done. By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vasudeva.
[Translation SB 1.2.16]
[altar curtains open] Jaya Sri Sri Krishna Balarama ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Radha Madana Mohana ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Gaura Nitai ki jaya!
So now it has been described that the service to the devotees is very important. Now srotavyahkirtitavyas ca dhyeyah pujyas ca nityada. But then also, that this will be possible only when we surrender unto a devotee of the Lord. Then next few verses are also very important.
hridy antah stho hyabhadrani
vidhunoti suhrit satam
bhaktir bhavati naishthiki
Tadarajas-tamo-bhavah [SB 1.2.19], anyway these verses are very beautiful verses. So I will just read the translation.
Sri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.
Hridy antah stho hy abhadrani vidhunoti suhrit satam. Suhrit satam, when one takes to devotional service then very quickly the Supreme Personality of Godhead purifies all the impurities from his heart.
By regular attendance in classes on the Bhagavatam and by rendering of service to the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact.
[Translation SB 1.2.18]
As soon as irrevocable loving service is established in the heart, the effects of nature’s modes of passion and ignorance, such as lust, desire and hankering, disappear from the heart. Then the devotee is established in goodness, and he becomes completely happy.
[Translation SB 1.2.19]
Thus established in the mode of unalloyed goodness, the man whose mind has been enlivened by contact with devotional service to the Lord gains positive scientific knowledge of the Personality of Godhead in the stage of liberation from all material association.
[Translation SB 1.2.20]
Thus the knot in the heart is pierced, and all misgivings are cut to pieces. The chain of fruitive actions is terminated when one sees the self as master.
[Translation SB 1.2.21]
Certainly, therefore, since time immemorial, all transcendentalists have been rendering devotional service to Lord Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, with great delight, because such devotional service is enlivening to the self.
The transcendental Personality of Godhead is indirectly associated with the three modes of material nature, namely passion, goodness and ignorance, and just for the material world’s creation, maintenance and destruction He accepts the three qualitative forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. Of these three, all human beings can derive ultimate benefit from Vishnu, the form of the quality of goodness.
[Translation SB 1.2.23]
sattvam rajas tama itiprakriter gunas tair
yuktah parah purushaeka ihasya dhatte
sreyamsi tatra khalusattva-tanor nrinam syuh
Firewood is a transformation of earth, but smoke is better than the raw wood. And fire is still better, for by fire we can derive the benefits of superior knowledge through Vedic sacrifices. Similarly, passion is better than ignorance, but goodness is best because by goodness one can come to realize the Absolute Truth.
[Translation SB 1.2.24]
Of the three modes – ignorance, passion and goodness – passion is better than ignorance but goodness is the best. Why? Because only through the mode of goodness one can realize the Absolute Truth.
Previously all the great sages rendered service unto the Personality of Godhead due to His existence above the three modes of material nature. They worshiped Him to become free from material conditions and thus derive the ultimate benefit. Whoever follows such great authorities is also eligible for liberation from the material world.
[Translation SB 1.2.25]
Those who are serious about liberation are certainly non envious, and they respect all. Yet they reject the horrible and ghastly forms of the demigods and worship only the all-blissful forms of Lord Vishnu and His plenary portions.
[Translation SB 1.2.26]
So those who are desirous of liberation they are certainly non-envious. Why people become envious? They become envious because when they see that somebody has something that he needs or he wants to have then they become envious. But the person who doesn’t have any desire for the material things, can he become envious? No. So those who are desirous, those who want to become free from material bondage, they are naturally non-envious because they have nothing to gain from this material nature. Why should they be envious?
An example can be given that if some children think that sand they play with is very valuable. Children may think that because they are building a castle made of sand. You do that when you are young, you make a house made of sand. So when the children play with sand, to them sand is very valuable, isn’t it? Then when you say, “Why you have so much sand? Give me some”, they say, “No, I can’t give it to you.” And they start fighting, “I’ll never speak to you. You never give me some sand.” But when the children grow up, they lose interest in the sand. Then does it have any value? Will they ever fight for sand? No. Similarly a person who has lost interest for material things, he will not fight for any material possessions. It’s okay, you take it. You want some sand, okay, you want some more, take some more, right?
So this is how he becomes free from envy because he doesn’t have any desire for possession. Although people desirous of freedom from material bondage they are non-envious but they are not interested in worshipping the demigods. Why? Because the result of worshipping the demigods, the purpose of worshipping the demigods is to get material benefits. So since they don’t need any material benefit they don’t feel to worship the demigods.
Those who are in the modes of passion and ignorance worship the forefathers, other living beings and the demigods who are in charge of cosmic activities, for they are urged by a desire to be materially benefited with women, wealth, power and progeny.
[Translation SB 1.2.27]
In the revealed scriptures, the ultimate object of knowledge is Sri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead. The purpose of performing sacrifice is to please Him. Yoga is for realizing Him. All fruitive activities are ultimately rewarded by Him only. He is supreme knowledge, and all severe austerities are performed to know Him. Religion, dharma is rendering loving service unto Him. He is the supreme goal of life.
[Translation SB 1.2.28-29]
So what is the ultimate dharma? To render loving devotional service unto Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In the beginning of the material creation, that Absolute Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva in His transcendental position, created the energies of cause and effect by His own internal energy.
[Translation SB 1.2.30]
So in the beginning of creation that Absolute Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva, in His transcendental position, created the energy of cause and effect by His own internal energy. So what is that cause and effect? That cause and effect is karmic reaction – karma. As you act accordingly there will be reaction.
After creating the material substance, the Lord Vasudeva expands Himself and enters into it. And although He is within the material modes of nature and appears to be; one of the created beings, He is always fully enlightened in His transcendental position.
[Translation SB 1.2.31]
Although He may appear to be one of the created beings but He is always transcendental.
The Lord, as Supersoul, pervades all things, just as fire permeates wood, and so He appears to be of many varieties, though He is the absolute one without a second.
[Translation SB 1.2.32]
The Supersoul enters into the bodies of the created beings who are influenced by the modes of material nature and causes them to enjoy the effects of these modes by the subtle mind. [Translation SB 1.2.33]
Thus the Lord of the universes maintains all planets inhabited by demigods, men and lower animals. Assuming the roles of incarnations, He performs pastimes to reclaim those in the mode of pure goodness.
[Translation SB 1.2.34]
So thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the first Canto, second chapter of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled “Divinity and Divine Service.”
So yesterday I mentioned that on your own also you read this chapter. I am just reading them out during the class, the whole chapter, but on your own also you read it, then you will be able to grasp it without difficulty. Always make an endeavor to study the scriptures and understand them. Always remember why you joined the ashrama. Why did you join ISKCON? How many of you are aware of the purpose of joining ISKCON? Please raise your hand. Okay. Nitai Chandra, okay, what is the purpose of joining? [devotee: To render devotional service] To render devotional service. Couldn’t you do it staying at home? Not that we are asking you to go home. Why move into the temple? So that you can fully engage yourselves, because when you stay home, at home then there are so many distractions, right? There are so many other entanglements, so many other responsibilities may be there. But when you are in the temple, it is uninterrupted. You can be twenty four hour engaged, isn’t it? Chaitanya, what do you think? Say now that you are staying in the temple for few days, how does it feel? Or whenever you go to a temple from home. [devotee: inaudible] Yeah, the association of devotees help and besides that, you have all the time to render devotional service. What about you? Full time. Now there is no hassle. You don’t have to go to work, rush in the morning. Rather, you can completely dedicate yourself.
Okay, thank you very much. And Bimal Krishna, do you want to add something to that? Like, I am asking the devotees who actually left home, left their jobs, left their service and they are in the temple. Bimal Krishna was very much engaged in London in his job but now he is temple president here, fully engaged. Does it feel better?
Okay. Why is it better? You are working harder. There you were working only for eight hours. Now you are working for at least sixteen hours. [laughs]
Yeah, right. [laughs] Bimal Krishna is saying that when he was working, at every hour or even less interval, he used look at his watch that when it will be five o’clock, right?
Pradeep, you were running your own business. What about you? You didn’t have to look at your watch? [laughter]. Rather, you stayed longer you made more money.
Earlier you were feeling like?
Devotee: Like a street dog.
Oh okay, okay. Now you always have a shelter. You have been a devotee for many years, otherwise to make such a move wouldn’t have been easy, to leave everything behind, move into the temple. Very good.
Hare Krishna. Yes?
BCS: Yeah. So this has been described actually, it is almost purified not fully because this nityam bhagavata sevaya can take us only to a point of certain (unclear). Maybe at the most to the point of bhava but that is, our endeavor can take us only to certain(unclear) but the ultimately thing will come in the form of the mercy of the Vaishnavas and Krishna. That we cannot force ourselves. So all the contamination will almost be purified but not completely purified unless and until we will receive the mercy.
BCS: Okay. Very good point. That reminds me, once when I was with Srila Prabhupada in Hrishikesha, in the evenings Prabhupada used to give darshana from five to six and then everybody was asked to leave. But if somebody was interested then we continued to speak to them. So one day there was a nice sannyasi, quite young. He was not very old, he was quite young and so I started to speak to him after Prabhupada’s darshana. I was sitting and he was actually a mayavadi. Most of the sadhus in India are actually mayavadis. So he was insisting that the Brahman realization is the ultimate. And so I quoted this verse and I told him that, that is the first stage of spiritual realization. And I pointed out that, that it is like when we want to know the Absolute Truth, then we try to understand the Absolute Truth by our own endeavor. And the process is questioning – is this the Absolute Truth? No, ‘neti neti.’ And through this process of ‘neti neti’ if one comes to the ultimate and penetrates through the covering of maya then you see the brahmajyoti. So through the process of jnana, the realization is brahmajyoti but when one sees the brahmajyoti his condition is like, say a man who has been in a dark room for a long, long time. And all of a sudden he is exposed to the mid-day sun, what will happen? He will become blind. So when one all of a sudden perceives the brahmajyoti being in the darkness of the material nature, he becomes blinded. So it is a kind of coming to a dead end. There is nothing to go beyond. Is this the Absolute Truth? Coming to find this Absolute Truth I become blind. I wanted to see the Absolute Truth but I become blind. So then recognizing that this is the dead end, he then changes his course and goes to the opposite direction. By the external endeavor he came to this dead end of Brahman realization. So then when he withdraws himself internally and that process is yoga. And when he achieves the perfection of this yoga practice, then he sees the Supersoul in the heart, the Paramatma. But in the light of the Paramatma he sees himself as a jivatma. He sees Paramatma, the great Supreme Atma, and he is a minute atma.
So when someone who is small comes across someone great, what happens? He naturally surrenders. So that surrender is actually the beginning of devotion. When one surrenders to the Lord then he begins to render devotional service unto Him. So after this Paramatma realization, one becomes engaged in devotional service and a result of that when he achieves perfection by receiving the mercy of the Lord then he sees Him as Bhagavan. So this is the successive, gradual development.
And I was recalling this incident in Hrishikesha. Then, that man, I don’t know how much he was convinced but I was screaming and shouting. Not screaming and shouting that way but I was so excitedly explaining to him that my voice became quite loud. So I, afterwards, I went down, downstairs and then Upendra prabhu, who was Prabhupada’s servant, he came and told me that Prabhupada was calling me. When I heard that Prabhupada was calling me then it occurred to me that I was, it was practically just next to Prabhupada’s room, I was screaming and shouting at that man, and I thought Prabhupada was going to blast me [laughs] for….
I was quite apprehensive that because I was not very pleasant to that person. Like sometimes when you become excited you become heavy. So I was thinking that Prabhupada would….I went to Prabhupada, then Prabhupada asked me, “So what were you doing?” I said, “Prabhupada I was preaching.” [laughter] And Prabhupada said, “Oh, what were you preaching?” So then I repeated what I said. When I said that Prabhupada was silent for quite some time. He didn’t say anything, he was just silent. So I asked Prabhupada, “Prabhupada, did I say anything wrong?” Prabhupada said, “No, you spoke very nicely. You preached very nicely.” [laughter]
I was only a few months in the movement at that time and Prabhupada used to be very appreciative when he saw we were preaching on the basis of scripture. That’s why it’s important that we study the scriptures very carefully and memorize the verses. Then our presentation will be perfect. Because if you preach on the basis of the scripture, on the basis of the verses of the scriptures, then you cannot go wrong. Therefore, the system is that whenever we say something it must be on the basis of scriptural evidence.
Like the other day, I was preaching, I was giving a class in Mayapura. In the evening the devotees came to see me in my room and I was giving, it was kirtana and then class. Jayadvaita Maharaja was there and a few other devotees also were there. And I was explaining how two different functions, one is the function of the body and the other is the function of the soul. The centre of the function of the body is the mind or mind, intelligence and false ego, the subtle body. The centre of the gross body is the subtle body or the mind and the seat of the mind is the head and the seat of the soul is the heart. The soul is in heart, the seat of the mind is the head. And afterwards, Jayadvaita Maharaja and I were sitting and one devotee came and he asked me like, what is the basis of this statement that the seat of the mind is the brain, is the brain centre. And for a moment I was stuck, I couldn’t remember, that I did speak and I spoke quite elaborately on that topic. And I was giving him the basic understanding that it is such a common understanding that, like don’t we say, if somebody is intelligent, we say that he has a good head, good brain. So mind and intelligence are synonymous to the brain. Whereas when it is a heart, soul, he has a good heart. Or the activities of the soul is presented to the heart, but the activities of the mind is presented to the head. But fortunately, I mean I was giving like such a common understanding that the seat of the mind is the head but then I just got one example. Long back I read in the Upanishad, just by Krishna’s mercy that thinking came to my mind, that this was a discussion taking place between Yajnavalkya and Gargi or Maitreya, Gargi. Yajnavalkya and Gargi. Gargi was asking questions and Yajnavalkya was answering. So they were questioning, question- answers was going on and going on. So she was asking what is the basis of, say for example, I don’t know the detail, so what is the basis of creation? The basis of creation is the elements. What are the elements? Earth, water, fire, air and ether. What is the basis of earth? Water. What is the basis of water? Fire. Going on and then she ultimately came to the mind, came to Brahman, and Yajnavalkya said the basis of that is Brahman. Like for example, what is the basis of maha-tattva, from which the whole manifestation took place? The basis of maha-tattva is Brahman. And then immediately he says that, “Gargi, don’t ask any more questions, because if you do then your head will fall off.” And naturally, the question is if sincerely she is asking questions, why should he say her head will fall off? But then the answer to that is that after Brahman you can go only with your mind and intellect. Beyond that you cannot go with your intellect. Up to Brahman you can go with your intellect. Therefore, the thing is that if you want to go beyond that then you have to give up your head, activities of your head, and you have go through your heart: devotional service. So this was the scriptural evidence that the seat of the mind is the head. The seat of the mind and intelligence is the head.
Okay. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! Gaura Premanande Hari Haribol!
So is it better inside or outside, the class? In the morning I was thinking that today there is some fog and it was little chilly outside so the sun rays wouldn’t have been that powerful. Okay, tomorrow we will see. And also, it is so close to the road, I was thinking that if we go for a class in the morning, then I mean outside…. better inside? Okay, Chiranjeev has given his verdict! [laughter]
Gaura Premanande Hari Haribol! Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!
Devotees: His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja ki jaya! Srila Prabhupada ki jaya! Nitai-Gaura Premanande Hari Haribol!
Transcription : His Grace Suhrid-Krishna Dasa
Editing : Her Grace Ranga Radhika Dasi
Audio reference: click here