21 Apr Iskcon Brisbane Temple Lecture By His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Saturday 21 April 2007
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS
Founder-Ācārya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Lecture given by His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami in Brisbane temple,
on Saturday 21 April 2007
om ajñāna-timirāndhasya jñānāñjana-śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ
sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale
svayaṁ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṁ
vande ’haṁ śrī-guroḥ śrī-yuta-pada-kamalaṁ śrī-gurūn vaiṣṇavāṁś ca
śrī-rūpaṁ sāgrajātaṁ saha-gaṇa-raghunāthānvitaṁ taṁ sa-jīvam
sādvaitaṁ sāvadhūtaṁ parijana-sahitaṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanya-devaṁ
śrī-rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pādān saha-gaṇa-lalitā-śrī-viśākhānvitāṁś ca
he kṛṣṇa karuṇā-sindho
rādhā-kānta namo ’stu te
kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca
vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ
śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare
Hare Krishna. This afternoon I met many of you. I felt very happy to be here and to meet you all again unfortunately I haven’t been able to come to Australia that often but I do feel a very deep bond with Australia. In the early eighties I used to come here quite frequently and I developed deep friendship with many of the devotees here at that time and often I think of those days I have very fond memories of those days and I also have a very profound impression of this country of the people of this country and I do feel that people here are very nice, they are very receptive very friendly and Krishna Consciousness movement has established a very deep root here. This movement had been growing very wonderfully and I am confident that this country will play a very significant role in re-spiritualizing this world. It’s a massive work but we all collectively have to work towards that. Śrīla Prabhupāda gave us a very unique spiritual gift which is very rare even in the Vedic culture. This Krishna Consciousness was kept as a hidden secret it was not revealed it was not exposed so much only some rare fortunate souls had access to Krishna Consciousness.
It has been described that when one received the highest perfection of yoga when one reached the stage of Samadhi in yoga then one used to become qualified to receive Krishna Consciousness, Krishna Bhakti but that rare Krishna Bhakti has been distributed without any discrimination without any consideration of qualification to anyone and everyone in this age, although this age is most degraded the age of Kali is the most degraded age but in this age this Krishna Consciousness which is the most rare spiritual gift, even in spiritual sky not that everyone has access to spiritual process of Krishna prema or braja prema. But, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has distributed it without any discrimination that’s why Mahaprabhu has been described as mahavadanya the most munificent personality. The supreme personality of Godhead is very merciful he is Kripamaya he is full of mercy yet he did not display this kind of mercy previously as he did appearing as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So this Krishna prema has been given by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as a very special gift for the living entities of this age, therefore he has been glorified as namo mahavadanyaya Krishna prema pradayate, vadanya means most munificent most magnanimous and He is maha vadanya the Supreme manifestation of magnanimity and how that magnanimous aspect of the lord has been displayed here Krishna prema pradayate he is distributing Krishna prema love of Godhead love of Krishna this Krishna prema literally means the braja prema the way the residents of Vrindavan had their loving relationship with Krishna that has been given by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu which was otherwise not given. The same point has been clarified as anarpita charim chirat anarpita means which was never given before arpan means to give and anarpita that haven’t been given before chirat, forever for a long long time it was not given now in order to give that Karunaya Avtirna Kalau He has appeared very mercifully in this age of Kali kalau the age of Kali. In one hand the age of kali is very degraded age, the most fallen age people in this age are practically submerged in sinful activities kaler dose nidhe rajan, submerged in sinful activities unconsciously everyone is being drawn into sinful life, in one hand the age of kali is so degraded but Krishna appearing as Caitanya Mahaprabhu has bestowed the greatest good fortune to the living entities of this age karunaya avtirna kalau, so that is the gift, the unique and unprecedented gift of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu distributed it all over India but Mahaprabhu made a very wonderful prediction, an amazing prediction prithivite ache jata nagara adi gram sarvatra prachar hoibe more naam, to every town and village throughout the world in every town and village this Krishna Consciousness movement will spread.
It was actually an impossible prediction, an inconceivable prediction how could Krishna Consciousness movement spread throughout the world in every town and village? But in the recent past we saw although it appeared to be impossible a prediction but it happened. Śrīla Prabhupāda came and in the most amazing way within a very short span of ten years time this movement spread all over the world it’s another inconceivable feat. Śrīla Prabhupāda not only came and spread Krishna Consciousness but the way he did it is an amazing happening. A seventy year old man goes to America without any resources, without any contact with anyone, he just goes there and starts this movement form scratch, he did not have any resources he did not have any patronage, he did not have anyone to support him in A most insignificant way even, he was just a lone seventy year old man. He went to America and started this movement and then we see an impossible phenomena unfolding this movement just started to spread all over the world no other spiritual movement has spread the way this Krishna Consciousness movement has spread.
If you look at Christianity, whatever Christianity is today is the result of two thousand years of preaching. Islam about one thousand years of very very intense endeavor to spread their mission but this Krishna Consciousness movement this Hare Krishna movement spread all over the world in just ten years time! No other movement has spread the way this movement has and this is just the beginning there is no way of knowing how this movement is going to spread and the destiny of this movement is clear as broad day light, why? Because the substance that this movement has is the most profound spiritual understanding, most profound spiritual process. Like, often people take to their respective religion simply out of some sentimental reason or faith or compulsion but this Krishna Consciousness movement is founded on sound spiritual understanding and explanation. This Krishna Consciousness movement is, like Prabhupāda used to say if you have any question I have the answer, if you have a question I have the answer any question can be answered but any question pertaining to spiritual subject matter starting from the spirit soul all the way to supreme personality of Godhead, like in simple words Prabhupāda once mentioned, if you want to know about God you can come to me I can tell you what His name is, what He looks like, where He stays, what He does and I can even give you His telephone number so any question, any sincere question pertaining to the spiritual subject matter can be answered. How? Because the informations has been received from the most bona fide and most authentic source.
Krishna Consciousness is a science it’s a subject that can be very systematically studied, it’s a subject matter that can be very analytically analyzed and explained this is something that can be experimentally verified and that is what Krishna Consciousness is, there is no room for blind faith. Some religions say don’t ask questions those questions are blasphemous they don’t even want to get into Gods form they accept that God has a form but you are not supposed to ask about his form how He looks like that is considered to be blasphemy many a times they told that don’t ask these questions since they don’t have the answer they forbid the questions but that’s not the case with Krishna Consciousness. Prabhupāda pointed if you have a question I have the answer ask any question as a matter of fact devotees becomes excited when people ask intelligent questions because that gives them a chance to speak on that subject matter and very systematically establish the authenticity of this knowledge. And the subject matter is a science about the soul it’s a science about the spiritual reality the spiritual nature. And just like a subject has to be systematically studied following specific books under the guidance of qualified teachers this process also has to be studied following a specific syllabus under the guidance of the qualified teachers. When you do that, yes we become exponents in this science in this subject matter, and where did you receive this knowledge? We received this knowledge from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, originally this knowledge was imparted from the Lord Himself and that knowledge is flowing through a disciplic succession spiritual master o disciple then in the course of time the disciple becomes the spiritual master and imparts the knowledge to his disciple then in the course of time this disciple becomes the spiritual master and imparts the knowledge unto his disciple and that’s what constitutes the disciplic succession. And in the Bhagvad Gita also Krishna made the same point he actually mentioned that this knowledge has been imparted originally by Himself
Imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam
I imparted this knowledge, I poke this knowledge to Vivasvate to Vivasvan Sun God proktavan I spoke and Vivasvan manave prahur then Vivasvan imparted this knowledge this knowledge to his son Manu, manave prahur , Manur ikshavakave abravit and then Manu spoke this knowledge this knowledge ikshavakku his son, so Vivasvan’s son is Manu , Manu’s son is Ikshavaku and from this Ikshavaku originated one royal dynasty which is known as surya vamsha the Sun dynasty, Sun dynasty because this dynasty comes from the Sun god Vivasvan is the Sun god then his son to Manu Manu’s son
Evam parampara praptam in this way through disciplic succession parampara praptam imam rajarshayo viduh, rajarshayo raja means King and Rishi means a saintly sage so the Kings in this dynasty were actually the saintly sages but for the sake of benefiting the man kind they assumed the role of monarch actually they were saintly sages. They would have been happy living in the forest, cultivating the spiritual science but for the sake of benefiting others they have accepted the responsibility of becoming a King . although it may seem like being a King is so wonderful, it would be so nice to be a King, but actually a hassle to be a King, so much undesirable responsibilities, so much burdens, so much anxiety, so much struggle and often time it ends in distress. When we look in the history, like we can see that the Kings were actually not enjoying the poor characters were suffering. Even if we look at Mahabharata it’s a very actually it’s very it’s very painful to see these personalities how they were actually suffering. When you go deep into Mahabharata and analyze or see there those personalities you can see actually there was so much so much suffering, so much hurt, so much pain, so much anguish, so much agony. Just consider, one simple incident just try to consider that Bhishma took a vow of lifelong celibacy because his father became enchanted by one lady and the father of that girl told that the condition behind getting married or receiving would be that her son has to be the successor to the throne now Bhishma was already the crown prince, Shantanu’s elder the only son at that time and very wonderful personality very valiant character son of mother Ganga brought up in the heavenly planet he studied under the tutelage of Brihaspati the spiritual master of the demigods and learned the warfare using weapons from Parshuram the warrior incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, such a brilliant personality. He was the crown prince and Shantanu was deeply in love with his son he was practically he was his he was the apple of his eye and when Bhishma got this Satyavati, the lady who he fell in love with, her father said that I don’t mind giving my daughter but only one condition that her son has to be the successor to the throne he said how can that be? How can that be? I already have son who is the successor to the throne then the father said then forget about marrying my daughter I am sorry. So heartbroken Shantanu went back to his palace, Bhishma noticed that his father looked very morose, he asked him father but the father wouldn’t say anything. Then from the charioteer he actually found out what actually happened and he asked the charioteer can you please take me to that place, so he went and he approached the person the father of that girl and the father said I don’t mind offering my daughter to your father but I have condition that her son has to be the successor to the throne then he said okay her son will become the successor to the throne and I will forgo my right over the throne. The King of the fisherman, the father of that girl said yes very nice but what about your children you may forgo your right over the Kingdom but your children may start to fight over the right over the Kingdom so he said okay in that case I won’t get married and he accepted the life ong celibacy the vow of lifelong celibacy. Satyavati got married to Shnatanu and in course of time two sons were born Chitrangada and Vichitravirya but both the sons died prematurely, Chitrangada died fighting with a Gandharva whose name also was Chitrangada and Vichitravirya also died of of tuberculosis and there was nobody as a successor to the throne.
Bhishma was the only person but he denounced his right over the Kingdom he took a vow that he is not going to accept the Kingdom so although Bhishma is there but the Kingdom doesn’t have a King and not only that there is no successor to the dynasty and the same Satyavati for whose sake Bhishma has to take the vow of lifelong celibacy Satyavati was herself was asking Bhishma now get married please get married, I am telling you , for my sake you took the vow now I am telling you to get married Bhishma said no it’s not a matter of your telling or not it’s a matter of my vow I took a vow that I am not going to get married so I am not going to break that promise. Now can you imagine the situation at that time in the Kingdom? Two sons died so much struggle to establish her sons to the throne but both are dead now what happens when you are dead can you claim? Can you have any claim over anything in this material nature?
So this is how futile our endeavors in the material nature is and the result is disappointment, suffering and pain when you came to that chapter that part in Mahabharata you can see that it was such an ominous situation in the Kingdom so much uncertainty. Not only the son died but there was no successor to the throne, one of the most glorious dynasty but now it’s gone it’s broken there is no possibility of continuity of this of this dynasty. Bhishma is there but inspite of being there he is not there. One of the most glorious, one of the most valiant heroes but his deprived of this own Kingdom although he is there but he does not have any right over the Kingdom he himself has has refused, denied himself of that right . And then Vyasdeva was brought Vyasdeva and requested to procreate in the womb of Vichitravirya’s wives and this a Vedic custom when the brother dies without the children then the brother of the husband can procreate in the womb or rather could procreate in the womb of the sister in law but that custom has been rejected forbidden in the age of Kali. Other ages this custom was prevalent, authorized but not in the age of kali five things have been forbidden in the age of Kali
Ashvamedham, Gavalabdham, Sanyas Palapautrikam, Devarenasutatpatti, kalau panch vivarjayet
The horse sacrifice ashvamedh, gomedh gavalabdham cow sacrifice, and sanyasa accepting renounced order of life palapautrikam offering meat in the shraaddha ceremony of the forefather and devarenasutatpatti procreating through brother in law. These five have been forbidden. Anyway Vyasdeva was half brother through Parashar Muni Satyavati received Vyasdeva previous to getting married to Shantanu so she told Bhishma about that and then Bhishma suggested then ask him to come and procreate in the womb of wives of Vicitrvirya Amba, Ambika and Ambalika and two sons were born Dhritarashtra and Pandu. Dhritarashtra was blind so even though he was the elder brother he could not ascend the throne he couldn’t become the King and Pandu also he was cursed that if he ever united with his wives he would immediately die. So in this way we can see Mahabharata is a series of series of undesirable and agonizing anecdotes, happenings.
And then finally the two branches of cousins in the same family they started to fight and the worst battle in the world was fought in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. So this way we can see that this although it seems that the Kings are enjoying so much or when one becomes the King he has so much opportunity to enjoy but the reality is the very different. This Kshatriya they had some moments of joy but most of the times it was struggle. They would go to a battle field in total uncertainty when a Kshatriya warrior would go out to a battle the family members knew he may come back or may not come back and many a times they didn’t come back. And this point has been established in Bhagvad Gita, activities in the mod of passion causes distress, activities in the mode of passion causes distress so these are the activities in the mode of passion therefore intelligent class of people, wise people don’t get involved in activities in the mode of passion they rather stay in the mode of goodness. And the mode of goodness actually brings real joy not the apparent joy but substantial joy, the so called joy in the mode of passion is illusory it appears that there will be some enjoyment but the reality is very very different. But in the mode of goodness they simply stand aside and just become absorbed in spiritual activities and that involvement in the spiritual activity brings the real joy.
The source of real happiness the happiness everlasting the happiness that is ever increasing the happiness that inundates the heart with a feeling of ecstasy that is available only through spiritual indulgence not form anything else, materialistic involvement can never give us the everlasting joy. They may give us some temporary pleasure but that is not what heart is hankering for, this temporary pleasure come and go in the world of suffering when the suffering is reduced to some extent we call it pleasure we call it happiness but that’s not what our heart is hankering for the heart is hankering for something that is everlasting and that can be achieved only through being engaged in service of Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Thank you very much. All Glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda !
Does anybody have any question or comment?
If you have a question as I mentioned that spiritual subject matter is actually discussed through questions and answers. Often we do speak on the topic but it would be better even if it would be practically reciprocated through questions and answers.
Any question? Yes.
Devotee: question [inaudible]
BCS: Well it’s your baby so naturally you will love him. So if you say no don’t love become detached from him that is not practical and that’s also not fair how can a mother be told don’t love your child?
(Transcription: Dhananjaya Dāsa; Editing: Hemavati Radhika Dāsi)