01 Jan The Law Of The Supreme Creator Part 2
THE FOLLOWING LECTURE ON THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM CANTO 3, CHAPTER 9, BRAHMA’S PRAYERS FOR CREATIVE ENERGY, TEXT 13, WAS GIVEN BY HIS HOLINESS BHAKTI CHARU SWAMI IN ISKCON UJJAIN, INDIA ON 1 JANUARY 2008.
Thank you very much. Does anybody have any question?
Devotee: Guru Maharaja, Brahma was the first living entity, he was just born, and there was nothing else at that time, then how is he talking about austerities and various people?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Yeah. You see, it is a situation after he got the revelation. He got the mantra, Gayatri, he meditated upon the Gayatri, saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead and then he is situated in perfect knowledge. Then he is not dealing only with this life, his whole awareness is not of the spiritual reality but also of the material nature from the past. And from the past he is actually deducting these conclusions.
Any other questions?
Devotee: I have a question. Everything should be offered to the Supreme Lord, Brahma is saying, but the thing is the living entities actually came to the material world and they are separately from Krishna. So then how was it possible that the living entities will feel like offering anything to Krishna unless they are spiritually advanced. How is it possible?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Yeah, that’s why the living entities need the guidance. A living entity becomes aware of his spiritual identity and becomes aware of the Supreme Personality of Godhead only when he comes across a spiritual teacher. And what does the spiritual teacher or spiritual master do? He guides him, he instructs him what to do and what not to do. On his own he cannot learn anything. On his own he cannot know anything. And that is not only about the spiritual subject, that is the case with anything, even material knowledge. How did you get to know that there is a country called America?
Devotee: By hearing from teacher.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : By hearing from authoritative source, reading from books. Your teacher taught you through the books of geography and that’s how you got to know. So in this way for every[one] to receive knowledge you need the guidance of books and qualified teachers. So the informations of these higher topics are available through the books called scriptures and the teachers are there to teach you on those subjects.
Devotee: Sometimes it is difficult to understand when people give you something but you don’t know how they got it, what they did to get these things, like money or whatever. So if we know that they did it in a fraud way, in a bad way, can we accept it?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Yeah, you can accept it provided you are going to offer it to Krishna.
Devotee: Then it is okay?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Then it is okay, otherwise you have to take the karma. If he got it through some unfair means, if he got it by committing some sin and then you get it from him and you enjoy it, then you will be subjected to that sin that was involved in that. Therefore, when you are taking something for yourself, it is always better to pay some price. That way the karmic aspect will be nullified.
Devotee: Sometimes it is difficult to explain to the people in the West. They say so whatever they do is good as long as you give it to Krishna and they don’t understand that.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : I see, yeah. See that understanding will come when they understand who Krishna is, who God is.
Devotee: The only way I could explain is, like Arjuna didn’t want to fight and he had to fight. He had to kill, and that is difficult to understand for them.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Well, okay, so that can be explained in this way. A judge has given death sentence to somebody. Why? Because he killed somebody. So for that crime the punishment is death sentence. Now the executioner is killing that person. Now is it his act of killing? He is simply following the order. In that way he will never be considered as a killer. Previously there used to be executioners. They used to take that axe and chop the head off, or take a sword and chop the head off. But now they give poison. They do that but the person who is executing that order, does anybody call him a criminal? Does anybody call him a killer? No, because he is actually carrying out the order of a system. Therefore he is not personally responsible for that. Hare Krishna. Yes?
Devotee: There are a few questions. This question is by Guru Gauranga prabhu. Here in this purport Srila Prabhupada states that anything done on account of the Lord is a permanent asset and accumulates in the form of unseen piety or gradual promotion to the unalloyed devotional service of the Lord. Some people [inaudible]
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : I see. The last part, read it again?
Devotee: He just quoted from the purport: Anything done on account of the Lord is a permanent asset and accumulates in the form of unseen piety for gradual promotion to the unalloyed devotional service of the Lord. People say…
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Let me see…sign of devotion…Yeah, so maybe he’ll come back. Guru Gauranga, the last part of your question is not clear. It came up to some people say, but maybe you can just add to that, like what is the actual question?
Devotee: He didn’t finish the question. I think he will come back.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Okay.
Devotee: This question is by bhaktin Karen. Is it possible for material scientists to learn anything of the actual creation? Are any materially accepted theories valid?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Any materially accepted?
Devotee: Any materially accepted theories valid.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Accepted series?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Theory, oh, whether any materialistic theory is valid. It will depend how correct it is to the actual reality. Like, what the materialistic scientists are doing, they are simply observing something and they’re coming to a conclusion. They are observing something, they are developing their hypothesis, meaning they are speculating by observing something, and then they are trying to justify that hypothesis with some logical observations or research and then after supporting it with the substantial research they are making it a thesis or a theory. Now observations are not reliable all the time. Like, just by observing something you may not know the real thing.
Say for example, this is actually a kind of a joke, but to make the point I will say it. You see, in India the washermen, how do they wash the cloth? They go to a pond and they dip the thing in water, put soap and they hit it on a piece of stone. That’s how they used to clean before the washing machine came into action. So one Englishman saw a washerman is cleaning cloth like that, so he wrote to his people back home in England saying the people here in India are so stupid that I saw one man, he was trying to break a stone with cloth, hitting it with a piece of cloth. [laughter] Now, you see, if that is his conclusion, that he is trying to break the stone by hitting it with a piece of cloth, and if his theory is simply based on that observation, he’ll never come to any conclusion, any justified conclusion. But if the Englishman was intelligent enough then what he should have done? He should have asked the person what he’s actually doing and then he would’ve known, “Oh, I see. He is actually cleaning cloth.” So that is the fallacy of the modern scientists in many cases. They are simply basing everything on their observation. But in reality our observation is so limited, and just by observing something you cannot really understand.
Like, for example, when I was a child and I used to listen to the radio I used to think that inside the radio there are small, small people actually making the sound. [laughter] They are singing, they are talking. Now, if I based my knowledge with that, that inside the radio there are small, small people and if I tried to create a theory out of that, would that theory ever receive any validity? Therefore the intelligent thing is to receive knowledge from the higher source. Those who know, receive the knowledge from them. Then it is easy.
Devotee: Here is the question by Guru Gauranga prabhu. He’s come back. Some people say that we are only performing devotional service but the Lord accepts a devotee, otherwise it is considered practice of devotional service. Here we see that all activities dedicated to the Lord gradually promote one to devotional service.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Yeah, okay. You see, devotional service has two aspects: one is devotional service in practice and then perfected devotional service. So it is not that the moment one comes to the platform of devotion he immediately achieves his perfection. Like, he comes to a platform and the initial stage is to, the devotion actually has two considerations: one aspect is surrender and the other aspect is the action to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As soon as one begins he doesn’t come to the platform of perfection like any other situation. So gradually by performing devotional service he comes to the platform of perfection. So that is what Brahmaji is saying here that initially one can offer the results of his actions to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He may have acted for the sake of his own sense gratification, for his enjoyment, but he is offering the results of his actions to the Lord, and by doing that gradually he will become purified and come to the platform of perfection.
Now to give an example of how it happens, initially one is acting according to the instructions. The scriptures say that offer the results of your actions to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because it has been instructed in the scriptures he does that. He offers the results to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He doesn’t really understand that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is… how He is receiving it, or whether He is receiving it all together at all, but because he has been instructed by his spiritual master he acts accordingly, offering the results. But then by offering the results he sees that he is getting the results out of that. He sees that by doing that he is getting so many benefits and gradually it becomes clearer and clearer to him. He begins to realize that it is not just a one way thing, that he is offering and the Lord is not accepting but he begins to realize that the Lord is accepting and the Lord is reciprocating. And in this way his submission to the Lord becomes more intensified. His consciousness of God or his awareness of God becomes clear, and he, because he receives the benefit out of it, his impetus for rendering service also increases and in this way, gradually, through this reciprocation with the Lord, through this loving exchange, through this receiving the benefits and rewards, his intensity improves or increases and finally he comes to a point when he is prepared to offer himself and everything that he has to the Lord and that is the point of pure devotional service. Is that clear, Guru Gauranga?
Devotee: Guru Maharaja, there is a question by someone called Farah, asking if a devotee falls down in this lifetime will he resume more chances in his next lifetime?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : What’s that? What’s the question?
Devotee: If a devotee falls down in this lifetime, will he resume more chances in his next lifetime?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : He resumes more chances?
Devotee: Does he resume more chances in his next lifetime?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Oh okay, whether he will get any chance in his next lifetime. It will depend. Some day he will get a chance but there is no guarantee that it will be in the next life. So why wait for that? So even if somebody falls down in this life he should just stand up and continue in this life only, not wait for the next lifetime because who knows what is going to happen in the next life? Don’t wait for your next life. So if you have fallen in this life don’t remain in that fallen condition and continue. That should be my advice. But yes, when he will resume in his next life then he will begin from the point where he left. But what is the guarantee in WHICH next life that will be? After one million lifetimes? Why wait for that? Therefore, once you have come to this platform, don’t give up. Continue. Even if you fall, stand up and keep walking. And if you are serious then you will see how the Lord is helping you when you try to stand up. And what to speak of when you are in the association of devotees and if you have some difficulty, what will the devotees do? Those who are around you. They’ll help you to stand up. They’ll even carry you if you have difficulty. Like, for example, when you are climbing a mountain in a group and if you fall, if you get injured, what will your other team members do? Will they leave you there, waiting for you to die? Or they’ll help you to stand up? They’ll even carry you if necessary! So that is why the association of devotees is so important.
Okay, Hare Krishna! Next question, yeah?
Devotee: When someone surrenders himself to the Lord does he maintain any attachments to his wealth, even though devotees in today’s world need money to maintain themselves?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Yeah, you see, when one is in a household situation, when he has responsibilities, it is advised that he maintains some reserve for the tough times, if at all there is. Now one may be surrendered but when one has a family, he is surrendered to the Lord but that doesn’t mean that he is has to offer all the money that he has in the bank to the Lord. Because he has other responsibilities, he is advised, yeah, you save something for your rainy days. But the more conducive situation in this respect will be, you offer yourself to the Lord and along with yourself you offer your family to the Lord and then you maintain the family as if you are maintaining the devotees of the Lord. And that is how everything is perfectly harmonized. And also, you offer yourself to the Lord and as a result of that whatever you are doing is for the Lord. So whatever assets you have is also going to be used in the service of the Lord. So it is a matter of practical consideration. There are no hard and fast rules as such. Use your common sense. Use your intelligence. Use your intelligence to make all the practical arrangements but offer your heart to the Lord. That’s the perfect balance.
[This part of the session in Hindi, translation by the transcriber]
Devotee: Guru Maharaja, I have three questions. How do we understand the difference between de demigods and Lord Krishna (Bhagavan)? People say Ganesha and Shiva are also Bhagavan.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Is there any reference in the scriptures regarding this? Do you say ‘Ganesha Bhagavan’ or do you say ‘Ganesha Deva’?
Devotee: Ganesha Deva.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Ganesha Deva. This is not our independent or individual opinion. Whatever opinion we carry is derived from the scriptures. Our teachings should be according to the scriptural injunctions. We think, we have heard, we say, there is no opinion like that. What is the opinion of the scriptures, what have the previous great souls, the acharyas thought us, mahajano yena gatha sa panthah, we follow those teachings of the mahajanas.
Devotee: Guru Maharaja, the second question is it is written we are the servants of the Lord and He is our master but I am unable to experience this relationship like that. I feel I am not even good enough to be His servant.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Can you please repeat that?
Devotee: The Lord is our master and I am His servant, but I am unable to have those feelings and I feel like I am not even worthy to be His servant.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : That’s why we need vaidhi bhakti. Vaidhi bhakti means performing devotional service according to the scriptural injunctions. This procedure will bring us perfection. Practice will bring you perfection. A child can’t walk but he tries to walk and sometimes while trying he falls down. If the child will think that is it is not capable of walking, that it will not try anymore, will it ever be able to walk? If the child falls down, what should we do? When the mother is near, what does she do? The mother picks it up and helps it to walk. In this way one day the child will be able to walk by himself. Similarly, if we are not able to experience our relationship with the Lord in the initial stage, it doesn’t matter. Gradually, after practicing we will able to relish our relationship with the Lord more and more.
As I said in the beginning, the taste will be there, it will develop. It is not that we are serving the Lord and the Lord doesn’t see anything or hear anything, or that He doesn’t reciprocate with us. If we act for the sake of the Lord, the Lord will reciprocate with us. Then our faith will strengthen: yes, the Lord is there. The first time He reciprocates one may think maybe this happened by accident. I did something for the Lord and was abundantly rewarded. So perhaps the Lord didn’t give this, maybe it happened by coincidence. The second time it happens, still one may think that okay, this is also by accident. But when it happens the third time, the fourth time, then what happens? Then the faith starts to develop that when I do something for the Lord He indeed accepts it and reciprocates with me. Gradually our way of thinking will adjust accordingly, when we see how much the Lord has already given us. Because I am doing things for Him that’s why He is rewarding me, but even better is to realize how much He has already given me.
The food we get since childhood, where is it coming from? The food we ate, did it come from the shop? Did the shopkeeper give it to you? Did the shopkeeper produce the food? Did we just get the food by giving money in return? The foodgrains, the vegetables, fruits, milk etcetera which we receive, who granted it to us? Whose arrangement is this? Look how the Lord arranged everything for our food supply. A little grain is placed in the soil, then it grows into a tree and fruits start to grow on the tree. We eat that fruit, isn’t it? And within that piece of fruit there is a seed. Within that seed there is another tree. How many fruits are there on that tree? In all those fruits there are seeds. In all the seeds there are trees. So tell me, who arranged all this? Not only for us, for all the upcoming generations, generation after generation the Lord has made all the arrangements.
We breathe air, we take in oxygen. We exhale carbon dioxide. If we would have kept inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, what would have happened to the atmosphere? Normally the whole atmosphere should have been filled up with carbon dioxide, but is that happening? Why not? Because the plants and trees absorb the carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Now who made this arrangement? In the same way if we start serving the Lord more and more we start to recognize His mercy and greatness more and more. When we start to feel the mercy of the Lord then our faith in the Lord strengthens, we become grateful to the Lord and in this way our relationship with Him becomes established. This is not blind faith. This is practical knowledge. We just have to open our ears and eyes and without prejudice receive it. Hare Krishna.
[End of Hindi session]
Devotee: God is even present in every particle, then why is there a need, like it is described in the Bhagavad Gita, “I am residing in the heart of every living entity?”
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : So what’s your question?
Devotee: The question is, if God is present anywhere, then what is the need to specify, “I am in the heart of every living entity?”
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Because He is there also. The question is, in that way you get to know that He is in your heart and then you begin to reciprocate, right? He is everywhere. He is also in your heart. So what are you going to do now? [In Hindi:] Will you go to sleep? He is in our heart after all. What will YOU do? What are you going to do about that? Are you going to do something about it? That you realize that He is watching you every moment, how you are acting He is seeing you. That awareness helps, right? It helps you from doing something inappropriate. [In Hindi:] If you are aware that the Lord is sitting in your heart observing everything, you will think of that before acting in a sinful way, won’t you? That’s why you need to know that He is there in your heart.
Devotee: [In Hindi:] Guru Maharaja, if someone is performing bhakti-yoga and whatever he does is without a desire for the fruits of his results, is he performing both karma-yoga and bhakti-yoga simultaneously?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : [In Hindi:] Karma-yoga and bhakti, meaning the actions performed with devotion for the Lord that is karma. The offering of the fruits of your actions to the Lord is karma-mishra bhakti or karma-yoga. There is no karma-yoga without bhakti. Karma is one thing and karma-yoga is another. When you perform actions in a devotional mood then it becomes karma-yoga. And when you perform actions without desiring any of the results, solely for the purpose of serving the Lord then that is suddha bhakti.
Devotee: Then karma-yoga and bhakti-yoga are not separate?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : No, they are not separate. They are different stages. In the lower stage it is karma-yoga, in the advanced stage it is bhakti. Yes?
Devotee: I have a question and before asking the question I would like to say, please forgive my thought because my knowledge is very, very less in comparison to the people who are sitting here.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : That’s alright.
Devotee: My question is, yesterday during the program I was told that Lord Vishnu and Krishna are one and another form of each other. With Vishnu you just need to serve Him and you just need to pray from a distance, but with Krishna you can be His lover, you can be His friend, you can be His parent and all those things. So my question is, if you are treating Krishna as your friend, then what’s the need to worship Him or do His puja? You can be eating with Him, you can be dancing with Him, you can be singing with Him, you can enjoy with Him, but what’s the need that you should go and worship Him? Because you don’t worship your friends. You just eat and enjoy and do everything good, what’s the need to worship them? [laughter]
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Very good, very good. You see, the first consideration is to develop our relationship with Him, that you are accepting Him as the Supreme. That is the first step, otherwise you have so many friends and Krishna is also your friend. Is there any difference?
Devotee: He is a genius kind of friend.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : No, the other friends are ordinary individuals but Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is also your friend, who can be your friend, right? But that friendship, the difference is, you see when it is a matter of developing a friendship with somebody very much exalted, then can you just go and demand your friendship with him? Okay, let’s put it this way. The friendship is among equals. Generally friendship is among equals, or rather, through friendship they become equal. But when it comes to developing a friendship with somebody who is very exalted, can you go and demand friendship from him? Like, say for example, can you just walk up to Manmohan Singh [the Prime Minister of India at that time] and say, “Are yaar, kaise hain?” [meaning: Hey buddy, how are things going?!] You cannot because he is so exalted, but if Manmohan Singh considers you to be a friend then, yes, there can be friendship. You see, an ordinary person cannot develop friendship with an exalted person, but an exalted person can come down to an ordinary person’s level and become friends to that person.
Now, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supreme, He is the Supreme Creator, He is the Supreme Maintainer, He is the Supreme, right? Now to develop friendship, can you force that friendship with Him? So we have to wait, if at all we have to wait for Him to accept us as His friend. We cannot force our friendship to Him. Therefore, at least to recognize that He is the Supreme, we have to develop our mentality and that is why worshipping Him is necessary because we are preparing our mentality to accept Him. You see the difference? So when Krishna comes and says that, “You are My friend”, then yes, that friendship can develop but until then we have to worship Him. You see, we are not treating Him as a friend as such but we are treating Him as somebody who is very exalted and that is why worship is necessary.
So any other questions from the internet? No.
Okay, Soni, yes?
Devotee: It is best to offer directly to Krishna, so what is the best tax to pay to Krishna?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Directly offer to Krishna, what?
Devotee: What is the best, as you told we should pay the tax.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Okay, very good point. You see, generally the procedure is that you pay to the departmental heads, but if you have access to the king and you can directly offer to him, then do we have to go through the via medium of the departments? No, so similarly if one can develop a direct relationship directly with Bhagavan, with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then there is no need to go through the via medium of the demigods.
Devotee: My question is what is the best tax? In what form do we pay to Krishna?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : What form? In any form, whatever is dear to you offer it to Him. If you love somebody what do you offer Him? If you love somebody then do you offer that person something that is not useful to you? [laughter] [In Hindi:] Oh, this is lying uselessly in the house, it is his birthday, let’s go and give it to him. If you love someone dearly, then what do you do? What is dear to you, you offer that thing to him. So similarly, when it comes to offering to Krishna and if we love Krishna then we will offer Him something that is very dear to us.
Okay, thank you very much! Hare Krishna! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Transcription : Her Grace Ranga Radhika Dasi
Editing : Ramananda Raya Dasa
Audio reference: click here