FOLLOWING IS A LECTURE ON SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM CANTO 10, CHAPTER 2, TEXT 35, GIVEN BY HIS HOLINESS BHAKTI CARU SWAMI IN ISKCON TOWACO, USA, ON 6 JUIN 2009.
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Srimad Bhagavatam Chapter Ten, Canto 2, Text 35
sattvam na ced dhatar idam nijam bhaved
guna-prakasair anumiyate bhavan
prakasate yasya ca yena va gunah
sattvam — suddha-sattva, transcendental; na — not; cet — if; dhatah — O reservoir of all energies, cause of all causes; idam — this; nijam — personal, spiritual; bhavet — could have been; vijnanam — transcendental knowledge; ajnana-bhida — which drives away the ignorance of the material modes; apamarjanam — completely vanquished; guna-prakasaih — by the awakening of such transcendental knowledge; anumiyate — becomes manifested; bhavan — Your Lordship; prakasate — exhibit; yasya — whose; ca — and; yena — by which; va — either; gunah — quality or intelligence.
O Lord, cause of all causes, if Your transcendental body were not beyond the modes of material nature, one could not understand the difference between matter and transcendence. Only by Your presence can one understand the transcendental nature of Your Lordship, who are the controller of material nature. Your transcendental nature is very difficult to understand unless one is influenced by the presence of Your transcendental form.
It is said, traigunya-visaya veda nistraigun yo bhavarjuna. Unless one is situated in transcendence, one cannot understand the transcendental nature of the Lord. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.29):
athapi te deva padambuja-dvaya-
prasada-lesanugrihita eva hi
janati tattvam bhagavan-mahimno
na canya eko ‘pi ciram vicinvan
Only by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead can one understand Him. Those who are in the modes of material nature, although speculating for thousands of years, cannot understand Him. The Lord has innumerable forms (ramadi-murtisu kala-niyamena tisthan [Bs. 5.39]), and unless these forms, such as Lord Ramacandra, Nrsimhadeva, Krishna and Balarama, were transcendental, how could they be worshiped by devotees since time immemorial? Bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah? (Bg.18.55). Devotees who awaken their transcendental nature in the presence of the Lord and who follow the rules and regulations of devotional service can understand Lord Krishna, Lord Ramacandra and other incarnations, who are not of this material world but who come from the spiritual world for the benefit of people in general. If one does not take to this process, one imagines or manufactures some form of God according to material qualities and can never awaken a real understanding of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The words bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah signify that unless one worships the Lord according to the regulative devotional principles, one cannot awaken the transcendental nature. Deity worship, even in the absence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, awakens the transcendental nature of the devotee, who thus becomes increasingly attached to the Lord’s lotus feet.
The appearance of Krishna is the answer to all imaginative iconography of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Everyone imagines the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead according to his mode of material nature. In the Brahma-samhita it is said that the Lord is the oldest person. Therefore a section of religionists imagine that God must be very old, and therefore they depict a form of the Lord like a very old man. But in the same Brahma-samhita, that is contradicted; although He is the oldest of all living entities, He has His eternal form as a fresh youth. The exact words used in this connection in the Srimad-Bhagavatam are vijnjanam ajnana-bhidapamarjanam. Vijnana means transcendental knowledge of the Supreme Personality; vijnana is also experienced knowledge. Transcendental knowledge has to be accepted by the descending process of disciplic succession as Brahma presents the knowledge of Krishna in the Brahma-samhita. Brahma-samhita is vijnana as realized by Brahma’s transcendental experience, and in that way he presented the form and the pastimes of Krishna in the transcendental abode. Ajnana-bhida means “that which can match all kinds of speculation.” In ignorance, people are imagining the form of the Lord; sometimes He has no form and sometimes He has form, according to their different imaginations. But the presentation of Krishna in the Brahma-samhita is vijnana – scientific, experienced knowledge given by Lord Brahma and accepted by Lord Caitanya. There is no doubt about it. Sri Krishna’s form, Sri Krishna’s flute, Krishna’s color – everything is reality. Here it is said that this vijnanam is always defeating all kinds of speculative knowledge. “Therefore,” the demigods prayed, “without Your appearing as Krishna, as You are, neither ajnana-bhida (the nescience of speculative knowledge) nor vijnanam would be realized. Ajnana-bhidapamarjanam – by Your appearance the speculative knowledge of ignorance will be vanquished, and the real, experienced knowledge of authorities like Lord Brahma will be established. Men influenced by the three modes of material nature imagine their own God according to the modes of material nature. In this way God is presented in various ways, but Your appearance will establish what the real form of God is.”
The highest blunder committed by the impersonalist is to think that when the incarnation of God comes, He accepts a form of matter in the mode of goodness. Actually the form of Krishna or Narayanaa is transcendental to any material idea. Even the greatest impersonalist, Sankaracarya, has admitted, narayanah paro ‘vyaktat: the material creation is caused by the avyakta, the impersonal manifestation of matter or the non phenomenal total reservoir of matter, and Krishna is transcendental to that material conception. This is expressed in the Srimad-Bhagavatam as suddha-sattva, or transcendental. The Lord does not belong to the material mode of goodness, for He is above the position of material goodness. He belongs to the transcendental, eternal status of bliss and knowledge.
“Dear Lord,” the demigods prayed, “when You appear in Your different incarnations, You take different names and forms according to different situations. Lord Krishna is Your name because You are all-attractive; You are called Shyamasundara because of Your transcendental beauty. Shyama means blackish, yet they say that You are more beautiful than thousands of cupids. Kandarpa-koti-kamaniya. Although You appear in a color which is compared to that of a blackish cloud, You are the transcendental Absolute, and therefore Your beauty is many, many times more attractive than the delicate body of Cupid. Sometimes You are called Giridhari because You lifted the hill known as Govardhana. You are sometimes called Nanda-nandana or Vasudeva or Devaki-nandana because You appear as the son of Maharaja Nanda or Devaki or Vasudeva. Impersonalists think that Your many names or forms are according to a particular type of work and quality because they accept You from the position of a material observer.
“Our dear Lord, the way of understanding is not to study Your absolute nature, form and activities by mental speculation. One must engage himself in devotional service; then one can understand Your absolute nature and Your transcendental form, name and quality. Actually, only a person who has a little taste for the service of Your lotus feet can understand Your transcendental nature or form and quality. Others may go on speculating for millions of years, but it is not possible for them to understand even a single part of Your actual position.” In other words, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, cannot be understood by the non devotees because there is a curtain of yogamaya which covers Krishna’s actual features. As confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (7.25), naham prakasah sarvasya. The Lord says, “I am not exposed to anyone and everyone.” When Krishna came, He was actually present on the battlefield of Kuruksetra, and everyone saw Him. But not everyone could understand that He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Still, everyone who died in His presence attained complete liberation from material bondage and was transferred to the spiritual world.
Because foolish mudhas do not awaken their spiritual nature, they do not understand Krishna or Rama (avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam [Bg. 9.11]). Even big academic scholars, not considering the endeavors of the acaryas who have recommended devotional service in many elaborate commentaries and notes, think that Krishna is fictitious. This is due to a lack of transcendental knowledge and a failure to awaken Krishna consciousness. One should have the common sense to ask why, if Krishna or Rama were fictitious, stalwart scholars like Sridhara Svami, Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Viraraghava, Vijayadhvaja, Vallabhacarya and many other recognized acaryas would have spent so much time to write about Krishna in notes and commentaries on Srimad-Bhagavatam.
sattvam na ced dhatar idam nijam bhaved
gunah-prakasair anumiyate bhavan
prakasate yasya ca yena va gunah
O Lord, cause of all causes, if Your transcendental body were not beyond the modes of material nature, one could not understand the difference between matter and transcendence. Only by Your presence can one understand the transcendental nature of Your Lordship, who is the controller of material nature. Your transcendental nature is very difficult to understand unless one is influenced by the presence of Your transcendental form.
So, the demigods are praying to Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, when He is in the womb of His mother, in the prison of Kamsa. They are offering their prayers. These are such beautiful prayers and in these prayers they are making this very wonderful point that Your form is transcendental to the modes of material nature. Sattvam na ced dhatar idam nijam bhaved. And if You did not assume this form, if You did not come with this form, people couldn’t understand or we couldn’t understand the difference between matter and spiritual nature, transcendence.
When we become involved in the material nature our activities actually revolve around our sense gratification. Everybody is simply trying to gratify his senses and he considers that sense gratification is the ultimate goal of life and as a result of that they become bound by the modes of nature and karmic reactions. That is the law of nature. This guna karma, guna and karma, prakriteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah. [Bg 3.27] In the material nature everyone is controlled by guna and karma. Whatever he is doing, he is simply controlled by guna and karma. But ahankara-vimudatma kartaham iti manyate. [Bg 3.27] Being bewildered by his ahankara, false ego, he thinks himself to be the doer.
So, from this verse we understand that nobody actually has the ability to do anything by himself. He is simply controlled by guna and karma. This is Krishna’s arrangement. We are thinking that we are doing, but what we are actually doing? We are simply acting according to our previous actions, karma. We are acting according to our karma. We have acted in the past in a certain way… [altar curtains open] Jaya Sri Sri Gaura Nitai ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Giridhari Gopala ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Sita Rama Lakshmana Hanumana ki jaya!
So Krishna is making that point prakriteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah; everything is being controlled by guna and karma. But the living entities are thinking that he is the doer and by thinking that he is the doer, meaning he has to act in order to get what he wants, he becomes subjected to the karmic reactions. And the karmic reactions are taking place according to the modes of nature. One act in a certain mode, the reaction will be like that. He acts in the mode of ignorance; the reaction will be according to that. One act in the mode of passion, the reaction will be in a certain way. He acts in the mode of goodness and there also the reaction will be in a certain way. And the reactions are like urdhvam gacchanti sattva-stha. [Bg 4.18] Those who are situated in the mode of goodness urddhvam gacchanti, they go high. They go to the upper planetary system. Madhye tisthanti rajasah; those who are influenced by the mode of passion they remain in this planet, madhye. And jaghanya-guna-vrtti-stha adho gacchanti tamasah. Being influenced by the jaghanya, very, very disgusting mode of ignorance, they go down.
So this is how living entities are acting and they’re getting result of their actions. And whatever is happening is simply because of that. So this is how we all have been tied down to this material nature by this very special arrangement of Krishna. But then Krishna comes. And when He comes He acts in a certain way which is in total defiance to the laws of material nature. And by seeing that we begin to realize that here is a person who can completely defy the laws of material nature. He is not acting according to the guna and karma. He is acting in His own sweet, independent way and He can do anything.
But His actions are generally motivated by two purposes. Paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam. [Bg 4.8] When He protects His devotees He protects His devotees in such a wonderful way that everyone becomes awestruck. And when He kills the demons He kills them in such a way that it looks so amazing. So that is the transcendental . But when he saw how He acted then he realized, “Oh, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” When Brahma saw Krishna killing Aghasura then Brahma became surprised that Aghasura, who could kill Aghasura in this way? He was such a terrible demon that even the demigods were afraid of him, so powerful. And the next moment he saw that Krishna is eating others’ ‘jhoota’, the foodstuff that has been contaminated by others eating it. For the Supreme Personality of Godhead to behave like that is absolutely inconceivable.
That’s why Brahma was surprised. In one hand He killed the demon, Aghasura, so easily, it looks like it may be the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the next moment He is behaving in such a way that even a civilized human being will not behave like that. A cultured, civilized person will not eat from somebody else’s plate, unless he is a very exalted spiritual personality or superior. Yes, jhoota is eaten from others as their remnants. Like a wife eats the remnants of her husband. Disciples eat the remnants of spiritual master, Vaishnavas. So that is alright. But here, Narayana is eating somebody’s jhoota, is unthinkable. That’s why Brahma became surprised and then he stole the, in order to test Krishna who He was, he stole the calves and cowherd boys. But then as he turned around, after keeping them in the cave, when he turned around he found that the scene is the same. That many calves are grazing and that many boys are just sitting around and having a picnic.
So Brahma was completely surprised. So now that’s why they are praying that, “Had You not come we couldn’t understand Your transcendental nature, transcendental nature that is beyond the modes of material nature. You are not subjected to the laws of this material nature, guna karma.” Even the exalted personalities are also affected by the guna and karma of this nature. Only difference is that the exalted personalities do not become affected by that, their consciousness doesn’t become affected by that. They become unperturbed. In distress and difficulty they remain anudvigna-manah. [Bg 2.56] They do not become perturbed. And sukhesu vigata-sprhah, in happiness they do not become attached. They remain detached and unperturbed. So that is the sign of mode of goodness.
So, exalted personalities are in the mode of goodness and they do not become affected by these arrangements of the modes of the material nature. But Krishna is beyond that. Like, when He protects His devotees He protects them in such a wonderful way and when He kills the demons He kills the demon in such a wonderful way. And when He plays with His devotees then also He plays in such a wonderful way. He is dancing rasa dance with so many thousands of gopis and He expanded Himself into that many personalities and He is dancing with them.
Now, normally people may think that how is it possible? How could Krishna expand Himself into sixteen thousand forms? Sometimes they may even wonder how could Krishna get married to sixteen thousand queens and build sixteen thousand palaces and live with them in those palaces expanding Himself into that many forms? These are inconceivable but Prabhupada’s point in that respect is if Krishna can expand Himself as the Supersoul and stay with everybody in his heart, so that is how many? Countless living entities. And Krishna expanded into countless numbers and residing with them in their hearts as the Supersoul. So if He can do that, why can’t He expand Himself at least in sixteen thousand forms? What’s so difficult for Krishna?
So that is Krishna’s transcendental nature, inconceivable potency. And by recognizing, by seeing, when one sees these wonderful activities of Krishna, he becomes completely amazed, unless he is envious. But those who are envious they are blinded with envy. That’s why they don’t see Krishna’s wonderful qualities. Due to their envy they just simply don’t want to accept it. They say, “Well, these are some exaggerations. How can a cowherd boy display such qualities? He is just a cowherd boy, I am a kshatriya! I am better than Him. Or I am a brahmana. I am better than Him.”
That was the problem with the kshatriya kings like Sishupala, Dantavakra, Jarasandha, and Kamsa; just could not accept Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead in spite of seeing His amazing qualities. Duryodhana saw Krishna’s universal form but even in spite of that he could not accept Krishna. He went against Him. That is the nature of a demon. Whereas the devotees, they, not only by seeing Krishna’s wonderful activities, even by hearing about Krishna’s wonderful activities they accept Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the difference between a devotee and a demon. The demons even after seeing Krishna’s wonderful activities cannot accept Krishna’s supremacy, whereas devotees just by hearing about Krishna’s wonderful activities they accept Him as their Lord and Master.
So Krishna displays but not that everybody gets a chance to see that. That’s why it is said that they are seeing transcendental reality, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His associates and their activities and their qualities cannot be seen by our eyes. They have to be seen by our ears. Shrutekshita, the word has been used in that respect. Shrutekshita. Shruta is hearing and ikshita is to see, seen by hearing. That is the way one has to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead: by hearing. And in this respect Prabhupada said that don’t try to see a sadhu with your eyes. See a sadhu with your ears. That is how much about Krishna he speaks about. How convincingly he speaks about Krishna, because if he himself is not convinced about Krishna he will not be able to speak about Krishna and convince others. But when a sadhu speaks about Krishna then one gets to see Krishna just by hearing the descriptions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
And on the part of a devotee, he has faith. But he has faith for the right authority, a bona fide person, not just anybody and everybody. Rather, sometimes when somebody speaks about Krishna, but if he himself is not convinced about Krishna or he himself has no devotion for Krishna they can’t tolerate that kind of narration. They walk away from there because they can see that it is just acting. It is not real stuff. He himself doesn’t have love for Krishna, he is speaking about Srimad Bhagavatam, giving Bhagavad katha, Bhagavad Saptaha.
So the important thing is that he speaks about Krishna with full conviction. His faith is transmitted actually. It is a matter of transmission of faith. The amount of faith we have in our heart to that extent we will be able to influence our sincere audience, sincere listeners. And that’s the point the demigods are making here, that transcendental reality, we have to recognize that beyond this material nature there is another reality, transcendental reality, spiritual sky, and we have to see the spiritual sky. And when Krishna comes that spiritual sky becomes manifest. Those who are fortunate they can see it themselves.
But even then when Krishna withdraws His pastimes sadhus are left behind who speak about Krishna’s transcendental pastimes. The scriptures like Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita they describe Krishna’s transcendental pastimes. And just by hearing about those pastimes we develop our faith in Krishna. And what does the sadhu do? He reconfirms our faith. He intensifies our faith. And as a result of that bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah. [SB 3.25.25] We develop taste for this hearing by which our ears and heart becomes completely satisfied and as a result of that we develop our attachment to Krishna which causes the cessation of material suffering. And due to this attachment we develop our love for Krishna.
Whereas the mayavadis they’re very, very unfortunate. Because they cannot accept Krishna’s personal form and they think, that’s what Prabhupada is pointing in the purport, that they think that ultimately everything is nirakara, formless, and the form is in the mode of goodness. That means that form is material. They do not have any understanding that beyond this impersonal Brahmajyoti there is a spiritual reality with variety and form and qualities and other attributes.
So that is the problem with the mayavadis and as a result of that they’ll never be able to understand the actual reality; the spiritual sky. They’re trying to see everything in the light of material nature. Everything is material, only Brahman is spiritual. And that spiritual Brahman is nirakara. So this akara is maya, this form is maya. But the devotees understand that, yes, this form, this material nature is maya, but beyond that there is an Absolute Reality where the Supreme Personality of Godhead is residing with His eternal associates. And we have the opportunity to go back to that spiritual reality if we follow the process properly.
So, so wonderfully Prabhupada is explaining all these points. We should just accept them with faith and try to understand them with our intelligence. Our heart should be filled with faith, shraddha, and our head should be filled with intelligence. Then only the spiritual reality will be perceivable.
Thank you very much! Hare Krishna! All glories to Srila Prabhupada! Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!
Does anybody have any questions yes, Chandrashekhara?
Devotee: The qualification for speaking Bhagavatam as we spoke about, you mentioned how devotees walk away from…so, in our impure state we still have to give Bhagavatam class even though we don’t have [inaudible]
BCS: You may not have love of God but you have faith. That’s why you joined ISKCON. That’s why you are practicing this process, isn’t it? You may be a green mango now, but you’ll become ripe. [laughter] And Prabhupada instituted this system so that the devotees learn how to preach. Prabhupada is forcing his devotees, go, give a class, so that you can go out and convince others. You practice! So that is the difference between a devotee and a non devotee. The devotee may not be very learned but he has one simple quality, one very important quality, is that he accepted Krishna as God and he is acting according to it. But others, they may have, many of them they are very learned. Many of them actually memorized the entire Srimad Bhagavatam! And they speak very eloquent lectures. But because they do not have that faith that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead that’s why they cannot transmit that faith. They’re giving a Srimad Bhagavatam class but their understanding is ultimately everything is Brahman and Krishna is in the mode of goodness, a form in the mode of goodness. And ultimately you and I, although we are glorifying Krishna, but someday I’ll become Krishna! Or I’ll become even better than Krishna. That is their understanding. And that is why it is so dangerous and ineffective. Yes? Madhupati prabhu, do you have a question?
Devotee: The question is about dividing our position, reinstating our position back to suddha satva. When we are in our real svarupa we are fixed in one mellow or the other. Is that a progression in that mellow or is that fixed mellow?
BCS: Generally, the mellows are fixed. But Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, if He wants He can change it. And those relationships or mellows are not something that we can determine. It’s up to Krishna to decide. That is the difference between material and spiritual. In the material nature we are trying to determine, whereas in the spiritual nature we are simply dependent upon Krishna’s will. Krishna is the one who decides and we simply follow. Just like consider, Jaya and Vijaya. They are gatekeepers and situated in Vaikuntha but Krishna made them play the role of His enemy. And what a fantastic acting they did under Yogamaya’s transcendental directorship! [laughs] And then the reward is elevation to Vrindavana. First elevation to Navadvipa as Jagai and Madhai, and elevation to Navadvipa means entrance to Vrindavana.
Devotee: When they were gatekeepers they were completely satisfied in their post. They were not thinking, “why don’t I progress.”
BCS: Right! They were not thinking of progress as such. Like in Vaikuntha, what was the mood? “I wish we could give this pleasure to the Lord.” But the problem was that to give that pleasure Vaikuntha was not possible. It was not possible to give that pleasure to Krishna in Vaikuntha. Therefore, the arrangement was that they will come to the material nature. So they simply wanted to serve. They didn’t think, “Oh, gatekeeper, why am I a gatekeeper?! Why I am not Krishna’s personal associate in His court?”
Devotee: I have a question, Maharaja. You talked about the demons that even though they’re seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead they still could not recognize Him or they were not accepting Him. But on the other hand when we see Mother Yashoda, she never accepted that He was the Lord and, I mean, is it that the feeling of love and envy was so dominating?
BCS: Yeah. You see, for the demon, demons are blinded with envy. Whereas devotees like Mother Yashoda is again blinded with love. That’s why she is not seeing Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And the difference between the devotee and the demon is, especially in Krishna’s Vrindavana pastimes, that while the demons, they want to harm Krishna, kill Krishna the devotees don’t think that. They are thinking they simply want to serve Krishna, they simply want to express their love for Krishna.
Devotee: So the feeling is higher than the intelligence?
BCS: Which one?
Devotee: Either way, in a good way or a bad way.
BCS: You see it is not that. It is not a matter of intelligence. It’s actually a matter of some kind of illusion. This illusion is called Yogamaya. It is because of Yogamaya that they’re not recognizing Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Now, what is the difference between Mahamaya’s influence and Yogamaya’s influence? Mahamaya’s influence is called illusion caused by ignorance, whereas Yogamaya’s influence is illusion caused by love. It is not that they did not know that Krishna is God, but to them it doesn’t matter whether Krishna is God or not. What prevails is their love for Krishna. You are my son, that’s what matters to me. You’re my friend, that’s what matters to me. If you are God or not doesn’t matter, still I love You. Even if you are not God still I love You. Even if You are God, I love You. Or their feeling is: If You are God, so what? If You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, so what? But You are my friend, that’s what matters to me.
Any question on the internet? Yeah, okay. Thank you. Yeah, Samika Rishi prabhu, you had a question?
Devotee: I think what you answered that in previous life they must have done so much sukriti. [inaudible] This is the Supreme Lord but then it changes into a loving relationship in various mellows. But it’s not that they would have known, how would they have loved unless He is Krishna. It is not that they are loving any abstract or somebody other than Krishna. He definitely loves Krishna. He is increasing all…
BCS: Yeah, right. But some loving relationships cannot be there unless you forget that He is God. Some loving relationships is not possible to have with God. Like, where God is God, if you know that He is Krishna you cannot possibly deal with Him…
Devotee: Maya arranges but at least they know the position of Krishna in the back of their mind. They are not informed but
BCS: Oh yeah, yeah. They’re not atheists. They’re devotees.
Devotee: They are not loving other than Krishna. They are loving Krishna.
BCS: They’re devotees no doubt, but their relationship with Krishna is in such a way that in order to fully appreciate that relationship they have to forget that Krishna is God. An example has been given in this way, the cowherd boys are climbing on to Krishna’s back, right? Playfully, they’re climbing on to, just like children they climb on to each other’s back. So they’re climbing on to Krishna’s back. Now which devotee will dare to go to in to the altar and put his foot on the Deity. Will you be able to do that? He’ll rather die but do a thing like that. But in Vrindavana they are doing it. So how is it possible? Yogamaya made them forget that Krishna is God. That’s why they can deal with Him like that, which is not possible in Vaikuntha, which is not possible with the understanding, with the awareness that Krishna is God.
Devotee: Like how, worshipping Gaura Nitai we are really entering into Vraja, Vrindavana Dhama, an intimate loving relationship is more higher than Vaikuntha? So just putting, like when we chant Sri Krishna Caitanya prabhu, that chant is not Lakshmi Narayana worship, it is Radha Krishna worship. Radha Krishna worship directly without Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Lakshmi Narayana worship.
BCS: Yeah, right.
Devotee: Can you explain that?
BCS: Yeah, yeah. You see, following Caitanya Mahaprabhu…okay, let me go back in this way. In Caitanya Caritamrta the purpose of Krishna’s appearance has been revealed, described as Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And this has been said that after revealing His pastimes in Vrindavana Krishna considered that I revealed My Vraja Lila, but how will anybody ever enter into this Vraja pastime of Mine? Because one will naturally, a devotee will naturally render devotional service to me in vaidhi bhakti. And by serving in vaidhi bhakti when he achieves perfection he’ll go to Vaikuntha. So serving vaidhi bhakti and into Vaikuntha. So he won’t be able to come to Vrindavana because from Vaikuntha he cannot go to Vrindavana. Therefore, Krishna decided to come as a devotee. Now when that devotee Krishna is served through vaidhi bhakti then he becomes qualified to enter into Vrindavana. You see, when the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself is served by vaidhi bhakti he goes to Vaikuntha. When the Supreme Personality of Godhead as a devotee is served through vaidhi bhakti that is the way to go to Vrindavana. So that is how Krishna actually came as Caitanya Mahaprabhu. This is an explanation of the verse anarpita-carim cirat [CC Adi 1.4].
Now there are two considerations to that. One consideration is that when one serves Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, then who is Caitanya Mahaprabhu? [audience member: Krishna] Not only Krishna, Radha Krishna. So when one achieves the perfection of serving Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in place of Caitanya Mahaprabhu he sees Radha Krishna. Just as Ramananda Raya did. Rasa-raja mahabhava dui eka rupa [CC Madhya 8.282]. So then when he sees Radha Krishna, where is he? He is in Vrindavana.
So that is one way to understand it and the other way to understand is that vaidhi bhakti leads to Vaikuntha and raganuga bhakti leads to Vrindavana. Now here is the problem. Devotee will always serve the Lord in vaidhi bhakti, right? So devotees will not jump into raganuga bhakti. So this is a problem that many devotees in ISKCON are being misled by some people that they’re claiming I’ll give you raganuga bhakti, right? Swami Maharaja gave you vaidhi bhakti, I’ll give you raganuga bhakti. But the point is shruti-smriti-puranadi-pancaratra-vidhim vina aikantiki harer bhaktir utpatayaiva kalpate [Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu 1.2.101]. See, shruti-smriti-puranadi-pancaratra-vidhim vina, vidhim vina, without vidhi, if aikantiki harer bhaktir, sincere devotion to Hari, Krishna, utpatayaiva kalpate, will simply create disturbance. So then how a sincere devotee will give up vaidhi bhakti and jump into raganuga bhakti? It is pointed out that aikantiki harer bhaktir utpatayaiva kalpate, it will simply create disturbance. As we are seeing how it is creating disturbance. These people are simply creating disturbance. Okay, now without raganuga bhakti you can’t enter into Vrindavana, but then again you, as a devotee, you won’t do anything but vaidhi bhakti.
Devotee: Yeah, Maharaja, we are doing vaidhi bhakti.
BCS: We are doing vaidhi bhakti. Now you serve Caitanya Mahaprabhu following vaidhi bhakti. Krishna as a devotee, you are rendering vaidhi bhakti to Him, right? Now, let us see, what is raganuga bhakti? Raga anuga. There are ragatmika bhaktas. The Vrajavasis are ragatmika bhaktas and their anuga, to follow them is raganuga bhakti, right? To follow a resident of Vrindavana is raganuga bhakti. That’s why, as I was telling yesterday, Lakshmidevi cannot enter into Vrindavana, because in order to enter into Vrindavana Narayana said you have to submit yourself to some gopi in Vrindavana. So that is raganuga bhakti. You submit yourself to a resident of Vrindavana and that’s how you make your entrance into Vrindavana.
So now, when we are serving Caitanya Mahaprabhu through vaidhi bhakti, who is Caitanya Mahaprabhu? [audience: Radha Krishna] Krishna in the mood of Radharani. So when you are serving Caitanya Mahaprabhu who are you serving? [audience: Radharani] Radharani, the greatest of ragatmika bhaktas. So this is how vaidhi bhakti is becoming transformed into raganuga bhakti automatically. So this is the perfect process Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave, Krishna gave coming as Caitanya Mahaprabhu and this is the perfect process that Srila Prabhupada gave. Those who do not understand that and accept that, you know, it is unfortunate.
BCS: There can be some exceptional devotees can be, you know, like they can develop that mood. There is, but the thing is that cannot be the normal standard. You see, Prabhupada came to give Krishna Consciousness to the mass. Now these, you know, exceptional cases of raganuga bhakti cannot be for the mass, for everybody. For everybody, see Mahaprabhu came and gave it, so why should we concoct something else? As you were saying, you know, following Mahaprabhu is the way. So Mahaprabhu came to bestow this mercy on us, so why shouldn’t we take an easy path but take a difficult one?
Devotee: Training somebody as a raganuga bhakta he may interpret such and such, seems like very dangerous because
BCS: The thing is, you see, like at a siddha stage, at an advanced stage when one is purified the self realized guru can give the siddha svarupa to the disciple, he can, but these are not the standard procedures. Like, the way Prabhupada pointed out Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura fought against it very, very vehemently, this point, that anartha nivritti didn’t take place, still in maya, still running after sense gratification and that kind of guru who is still running after sense gratification, giving his diksha to a similar kind of conditioned soul and giving his siddha svarupa out of his imagination.
Devotee: Maharaja, devotees who are already, like we are all materialistic and have attachment to the senses and by worshipping Caitanya Mahaprabhu how could they develop raganuga bhakti? Although they are not purified they are following Caitanya Mahaprabhu, they are worshipping Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the greatest devotee Srimati Radharani in the form of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So how could they develop this raganuga bhakti?
BCS: So here again, vaidhi bhakti means following the scriptural injunctions. What is the vaidhi bhakti to Caitanya Mahaprabhu? Yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah [SB 11.5.32]. So this sankirtana-prayair is the vaidhi bhakti to serve Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It doesn’t matter who you are just become engaged in Sankirtana Movement, spread the glory of the Lord all over the world. That’s the way to serve Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And then some day, it doesn’t matter when, by Mahaprabhu’s mercy we will find ourselves in Vrindavana. That is the mercy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And when we are here, let us just be engaged in sankirtana. Isn’t it wonderful to be engaged in sankirtana? So that is the transcendental aspect of spiritual activity. When you are performing it we enjoy, and when you achieve perfection we enjoy.
Thank you! Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu ki jaya!
Transcription : Her Grace Ranga Radhika Dasi
Editing : Her Grace Hemavati Radhika Dasi
Audio-Reference : click here