06 Aug Srimad Bhagavatam. Canto 3. Ch.24. T.11, ‘Renunciation of Kardama Muni’.
Following is a lecture given by His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami on Srimad Bhagavatam. Third Canto. Chapter Twenty Four, ‘Renunciation of Kardama Muni’. Text Eleven, on 6th August 2010 in ISKCON Ujjain.
kardamam cedam abhyadhat
sabhajayan — worshiping; visuddhena — pure; cetasa — with a heart; tat — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; cikirsitam — the intended activities; prahrsyamanaih — gladdened; asubhih— with senses; kardamam — to Kardama Muni; ca — and Devahuti; idam — this; abhyadhat — spoke.
After worshiping the Supreme Lord with gladdened senses and a pure heart for His intended activities as an incarnation, Brahma spoke as follows to Kardama and Devahuti.
As explained in Bhagavad-gita, Fourth Chapter, anyone who understands the transcendental activities, the appearance and the disappearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is to be considered liberated. Brahma, therefore, is a liberated soul. Although he is in charge of this material world, he is not exactly like the common living entity. Since he is liberated from the majority of the follies of the common living entities, he was in knowledge of the appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and he therefore worshiped the Lord’s activities, and with a glad heart he also praised Kardama Muni because the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as Kapila, had appeared as his son. One who can become the father of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is certainly a great devotee. There is a verse spoken by a brahmana in which he says that he does not know what the Vedas and what the puranas are, but while others might be interested in the Vedas or puranas, he is interested in Nanda Maharaja, who appeared as the father of Krishna. The brahmana wanted to worship Nanda Maharaja because the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as a child, crawled in the yard of his house. These are some of the good sentiments of devotees. If a recognized devotee brings forth the Supreme Personality of Godhead as his son, how he should be praised! Brahma, therefore, not only worshiped the incarnation of Godhead Kapila but also praised His so-called father, Kardama Muni.
[End of Purport]
kardamam cedam abhyadhat
So, this chapter is describing how the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared as the son of Kardama Muni and Devahuti. Then Brahma came and started to offer his prayers to Kardama Muni and Devahuti while he was also praying to the Supreme Personality of Godhead who just appeared as their son.
So, this verse is describing, after worshipping the Supreme Lord- who is the Supreme Lord here? The Supreme Lord here is Kapila Muni- with gladdened senses and a pure heart for His intended activities as an incarnation. And Brahma’s senses were gladdened and his heart was pure because he is a devotee. A devotee’s heart is purified from all material contamination. And his senses are gladdened because he just saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In the purport Prabhupada is emphasizing on that point that Brahma is a pure devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sometimes people think that since Brahma is involved in taking care of the material affairs, controlling the universe or universal affairs, Brahma is materially involved. But Prabhupada is clarifying that point, that we should not consider Brahma to be an ordinary living entity. Brahma is not only a very, very exalted personality but he is a great devotee.
There are twelve mahajanas, exemplary devotees of the Lord. So those twelve mahajanas, one of them is Lord Brahma, Svayambhu. Brahma’s name comes first in that list. Svayambhur narada sambhuh. [SB 6.3.20] Those great devotees, mahajanas, the exemplary devotees or Vaishnavas, the first is Brahma. The name came that way. Brahma, then Narada Muni. Narada sambhu, Lord Shiva. Then Kapila Muni. Kapila kumara, the four kumaras: Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana and Sanat Kumar (the four sons of Brahma). Kapila kumara manuh prahlada janaka bhishma. Prahlada Maharaja, Janakaraja and Bhishma. And vaiyasakir balir vayam. Vaiyasaki is Vyasadeva’s son, Sukadeva Goswami. Bali Maharaja, although a demon, here in this category we see that two of them are actually demons, daityas, demons: Prahlada Maharaja and Bali Maharaja. Vaiyasakir bali and vayam, we. Who is saying this? This is a statement of Yamaraja.
So, what is the symptom of a devotee? How do you recognize a devotee? Do we recognize a devotee by his birth? By his material condition? By his material situation? No, the sign of a devotee is through his surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It doesn’t matter from whatever category, whatever background one comes. Like candalo’pi dvija-shrestho hari- bhakti-parayanah. One maybe a candala but hari bhakti parayanah, when he becomes a devotee of Hari, Krishna, then he is dvija shrestha, he is superior, he is greater than a brahmana.
Here also we are seeing that so many devotees, as I just mentioned like they are born in a demoniac family. By birth they are demons, Prahlada Maharaja, Bali Maharaja, but why they have been recognized as great devotees, exemplary devotees? Because of their devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, it has been pointed out that vaishnavera nahi jati kuladi vicara. There is no consideration for jati, kula. Jati means caste and creed of a Vaishnava. Vaishnava can appear in any family.
The worst of mankind is actually candala. Candalas, in the human category, the candalas are considered to be the lowest because their activities are very abominable. Their activity is to burn dead bodies. It is a very degraded activity because burning dead bodies in a crematorium makes the heart very hard. That is why they are considered to be the lowest of mankind. But even a candala can become a devotee.
What to speak of human beings, even an animal can become a devotee of Krishna. A wonderful example is Hanumana. In the community of monkeys there is Hanumana and there are so many other monkeys who are great devotees. The bird can be a devotee. Example is Garuda, example is Jatayu, example is Sampati. They are birds, but they are great devotees of the Lord.
So the Vedic Karma Kanda section may have consideration for caste and creed but when it comes to devotional service there is no such consideration. Because the devotional service is the activity of the soul, soul’s activity. Now, the soul can, any soul at any place can become a devotee. But what is the criteria for becoming a devotee? When can one become a devotee, or when does one get the opportunity to become a devotee? That is the most important consideration. One can become a devotee only by coming in contact with a devotee. Without the contact of a devotee it is not possible to become a devotee. That is why the devotional consideration is not of birth or any other criteria.
Yes, to be a brahmana generally one has to be born in a brahmanas family, generally. But that also is not sufficient. One may be born in a brahmana family but he has to practice as a brahmana. He has to become qualified. In our scriptures we find there are many…brahmanas, they actually were demons. Like Ravana, he is born of an exalted brahmana father, Vishrava. Hiranyakasipu, Hiranyaksa [born of] Kashyapa, son of Brahma. So, by birth they may be very exalted, but their activity is making them into demons. Whereas the devotion can be practiced by…but to receive, how can one become a devotee? The answer is only by coming in contact with a devotee. That is why it is important that the devotees go out and preach. Preach means provide the opportunity to others to become a devotee.
A devotee, a Vaishnava is very compassionate. He is very merciful. That’s why he goes out and gives Krishna to others. That’s why he goes out and gives others the opportunity to become a devotee. Like, one such example is Dasu Ratnakara. Ratnakara was a Dasu. Dasu means a robber, a bandit. He used to rob people and kill them. Such a sinful activity! That is how he used to maintain himself. That’s how he used to maintain his family. But Ratnakara came in contact with Narada Muni and became a devotee. If he didn’t come across Narada Muni he couldn’t become a devotee. Another such example is Mrigari. Mrigari was a hunter. He was not only a hunter, he was a very cruel hunter. He used to kill animals half dead, then kill them fully. And he used to derive joy by seeing that the animals are suffering out of pain. But he came across Narada Muni and he became a devotee.
In a similar note we can also consider that in Ujjain ISKCON devotees came and many of you became devotees. Like, if ISKCON didn’t come, if the devotees didn’t come, if we didn’t have the contact with the devotees could we become a devotee? Either through ISKCON or either through the devotees of ISKCON in Ujjain or some of you also became devotees otherwise but it is by the contact of a devotee that one can become a devotee.
Now you have become devotees and actually everyone, if we look back we can see that it is because of the contact with a devotee that we become a devotee. If we didn’t come in contact with a devotee could we become a devotee? Is there anyone who became a devotee without the contact of a devotee here? No one. Now, you became a devotee because you came in touch with a devotee. Now that you became a devotee what should you do? Should you go out and give it to others? This is how a devotee creates the good fortune.
Now, why do we have to come in contact with a devotee to become a devotee? Why? Because it is by contact with a devotee that you get to know about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. Only a devotee can explain who Krishna is. Krishna Himself is saying bhaktya mam abhijanati. [Bg 18.55] Bhaktya mam abhijanati; it is only through devotion that one can get to know Me. Only devotees know Me, bhaktya. Without devotion one cannot know Krishna. Those who are not devotees they will think that Krishna is impersonal Brahman or Paramatma. Without devotion understanding of Krishna will be as Brahmajyoti or as the Supersoul, Paramatma.
Brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate. [SB 1.2.11] That Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Absolute Truth, is seen as Brahman. Brahman is the light, Brahmajyoti, Paramatma, the Supersoul in the heart and Bhagavan. Brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam yaj jnanam advayam. Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam. Tattva-vida, tattva-vida means those who know the tattva, those who know the Absolute Truth. Vadanti means ‘they say’. Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam yaj jnanam advayam. The knowledge that is advaya. Na advaya. Advaya means dvaya, dvitiya. Dvi means two and advaya means no two. No two means one only, no two. Advaya, one. Yaj jnanam advayam. The knowledge that is advaya. Advaya jnana. They speak about the advaya jnana as, in one hand they are saying advaya, no two, non dual, but brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate. That means that that one Absolute Truth is seen as Brahmajyoti, Paramatma and Bhagavan.
So, who sees that as Brahmajyoti? The jnanis see Him as Brahmajyoti, yogis see Him as Paramatma and bhaktas see Him as Bhagavan. Now why is it seen that way? Same thing can be seen also in three different or many different ways. Like for example, now that we are sitting in the room we are seeing the sun. We are seeing the sun? Are you seeing the sun? But you are seeing the sun. You are seeing the sun in the form of the light, right? The light is the sun but when you are seeing from inside the room you are seeing him not as the sun, you are seeing him as the light. Then you go out of the room, then what will you see? You will see the sun globe. And when you go into the sun globe, then what will you see? If you can enter there. If you can enter there then you will see that the sun is a person, Sun God. His name is Vivasvan and he is surrounded by his associates. So this is how the same thing can be seen in different ways.
Another example can be given in this respect. Like, at night you are standing in the platform of a station, railway station. You are waiting for your train to Delhi, in Ujjain station, at night. What do you see first? First you see that, that yeah, abh yeh train aa rahi hai [yes, now the train is coming]. Then when the train comes closer then you see the train. And when the train stands on the platform, then what do you see? You see different compartments. In the compartments there are people inside. So, even material things can be seen, same thing can be seen in different ways due to the distance of perception. When we see from a distance it seems in another way, in one way, and as we get closer we see in another way. So, similarly the Supreme Personality of Godhead when we see Him from a distance we see Him as light, Brahmajyoti. When we get closer to Him more we see Him as the Supersoul in the heart. And when we become His devotee then we see Him as Bhagavan.
Now what is the difference between Supersoul (Paramatma) and Bhagavan? Now I’ll ask this question to you, how many of you know the answer? What is the difference between Supersoul (Paramatma) and Bhagavan? Okay, anyone else? Yes, you tell me. [inaudible] Antar kya hai? [what is the difference?] Paramatma aur Bhagavan mein antar kya hai? [what is the difference between Paramatma and Bhagavan?] [answer inaudible] Okay, Murari, did you [inaudible]? [Paramatma is seated in the heart] No, what is the difference between Paramatma and Bhagavan? [Paramatma is inactive, he is just the witness] Very good. [whereas Bhagavan is performing lilas, He is active with devotees] Yes. Paramatma, He is upadrshtanumanta ca. [Bg 13.23] He is the upadrshta. He is the witness. He is in the heart. He is just watching our activity. And anumanta, and He is approving. But Bhagavan is active. Paramatma is inactive. Paramatma is not moving. He is just standing there, just watching, whereas Bhagavan is active.
Another consideration is when does Paramatma in the heart become active? When does the Paramatma become active? How many of you know this answer? Okay. [when we fully surrender unto Lord Sri Krishna] Any others? Yeah? [through love] Very good. When there is a loving exchange, when the jiva loves the Lord, offers his love to the Lord. His point is correct also, because that love begins with surrender. The first stage of love is surrender. But that surrender leads to the loving relationship. And in that love the Lord becomes active, as Paramatma He is inactive. Therefore, through devotion the Paramatma who is in the heart, He becomes active, isn’t it? In love, don’t we have actions from both sides? Somebody loves somebody. When the other person gets to know that he loves him then he reciprocates that love. So this is how love leads to reciprocation or action.
Therefore, through bhakti He is seen as Bhagavan. Brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate. And when somebody develops this love or devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead he not only renders service to the Lord, he also goes out to distribute that love of God to others. He goes out to tell others, he goes out to teach others how to become a devotee of the Lord. Therefore, a devotee is a preacher, a devotee preaches. He goes out and reminds others, tells others how to become a devotee. And that is the most important business that a devotee has. His most important consideration is how to make others, how to give this prema, Krishna prema, how to remind others to develop their loving relationship with Krishna. Give it to others.
So that is why it is so important that we preach. How is the preaching going on in Ujjain? You all are here. How many of you are preaching? Please raise your hands. How many of you are not preaching? Not preaching. Okay. So please preach. The opportunities are there to give Krishna to others. Mahaprabhu said yare dekha tara kaha krishna upadesa. [CC Madhya 7.128] Whoever you see instruct him about Krishna, tara kaha krishna upadesa, instruct him about Krishna, tell him about Krishna.
Okay. Thank you very much! Hare Krishna!
Any question? Yes?
Devotee: The true devotee must be that who has realized, a self realized soul. Then only the love comes. The good preachers are those who have realized first. So before preaching one must have realized first.
BCS: You see, the nice thing about devotion, devotional service, is that it is the means and it is also the end. So that, as you said, the ultimate point actually is self realization. And how does one become realized? By devotion. Therefore, devotional service, bhakti, has two phases, two aspects: sadhana bhakti and prema bhakti. Sadhana bhakti is the practicing stage of devotion and prema bhakti is the perfected stage of devotion. As you were saying, realization, so that realization is the perfected stage. But how do we become realized? Through bhakti. Through bhakti we make advancement and at the end also we find bhakti. Bhakti is the means, bhakti is the end. Like, whether one is realized or not it doesn’t matter.
Bhakti, to become a devotee of the Lord, is something like being the son of a very rich man. A very rich man’s son, just by birth he is a rich man, right? But when he is a child, when he is not grown up, he doesn’t have the money in hand. The father doesn’t give him the money. But he is rich. He has it already, just by being the son of his father. And when he reaches certain age then he inherits his fathers’ wealth. So similarly when one becomes a devotee he becomes like the son of a rich man. Not only rich man, he becomes the son of the richest man, Krishna!
Now he has accepted his situation but then he may have his conditioning. Conditionings are like habits, bad habits. The bad habits is difficult to give up. You know, say for example, those who drink. Can they give up overnight? It takes them sometime. Those who have the habit of taking drugs, it takes them some time. In this way there are so many bad habits. Similarly, our soul has developed many bad habits and it is taking time to get rid of those bad habits. But if the medicine is working then those habits will disappear. So this bhakti, or Krishna Consciousness is the medicine. By taking this medicine the disease will be cured. It’s like a bad habit or it is like a disease, it will take some time but it will go away. Because the right medicine is being applied. So that is how bhakti is both the means as well as the end.
Devotee: There are many examples of devotees whose birth is not from a high background, but by the contact of a devotee, as you said, they are completely transformed. But there are others who even after coming this far fall back to their bad habits. So those who maintain their position as those who went ahead is it because of their devotion of the past life or is it just only their sincerity?
BCS: It can be both. It is difficult to say because different individuals will have different, you know, course. Like, in some it is past advanced situation and with some it is sincerity. With some it is the good association. That is an important factor, that if you remain in good association you will remain fixed up. But if you drift away from good association then you run the risk of falling down. So these are the three main considerations; previous sukriti (advancement), own sincerity and right association. These are the factors for spiritual advancement.
Devotee: I have one more question, that is a devotee is a preacher. We also we hear it is actually Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu who has already done the task of preaching and we are the instruments. So since it is that way that it is Krishna’s will who becomes a devotee. So then why should we be enthusiastic to go out and preach because Krishna has already done it and is already declared it will happen.
BCS: No, Krishna has not already done it. Krishna’s half done it and the other half is depending upon you. Because it is through you that Krishna’s mercy will become manifest. It is through devotees Krishna’s mercy will become manifest. Krishna’s mercy will not directly become manifest, right?
Devotee: You said that if I don’t do it somebody else will do it any day. It will happen anyway, if I don’t do it. Like that.
BCS: Well, you do it. When you do it, you get the benefit. You get the advantage. So some food is there. You may think if I can eat it somebody else will eat it. [laughter] Now, if you don’t eat it then you won’t get the benefit. Somebody else will get the benefit. So Krishna has done it but Krishna is giving us the opportunity to take the benefit out of it. By becoming an instrument in the hand of Krishna WE get the spiritual benefit. We make spiritual advancement.
Devotee: Sometimes we may not find certain facilities or instruments to preach, or certain vehicles to preach, for example [inaudible] Then how some of us are supposed to preach?
BCS: The opportunity for preaching is there everywhere. If we don’t have anybody to preach there are so many ants. Preach to those ants!
Devotee: I am not talking about the body.
BCS: Then what?
Devotee: I am talking about an institution, you know
BCS: You don’t need an institution to preach to the ants.
Devotee: We don’t need an institution to preach to the ants.
BCS: You don’t need an institution to preach to anybody. To preach you don’t need an institution. To support your preaching you need an institution. So that’s why Prabhupada created ISKCON. And then when you are acting as an institution on behalf of an institution you have to become a part of the institution. That means you have to accept the authority structure of the institution. You have to be properly situated in the institution. And then both the conditions become fulfilled. Like the desire to preach and to give the support. Like everybody needs your support. As I was saying, without the right association it is difficult to maintain Krishna Consciousness. So that’s why, to protect our Krishna Consciousness, we need the association of devotees. And the institution means the association of devotees. So for preaching we don’t need the institution but to support our preaching we need the institution.
BCS: Anyway, I don’t know what others are doing. I don’t think this is a forum for such discussion. What others are doing go and ask them what they are doing. If you want to find out what we are doing you can come and see what is happening here. We know about what we are doing. We are not concerned about what others are doing.
BCS: So go and ask them. This big katha that you attended, you should have asked them there. Why are you coming to me and asking me? I was not there. If you go into that then you’ll see that money is Lakshmi. Lakshmi is with Narayana, Lakshmi is always with Narayana. Lakshmi, when becomes separated from Narayana, then that Lakshmi becomes maya. And that is undesirable. When somebody tries to take Lakshmi away from Narayana then that is not right. Like Ravana. He wanted to steal Sita of Rama. So those who do not use the Lakshmi for Krishna’s sake, for Narayana’s sake, they’re actually acting like a Ravana. Even though they are paying tax and they are making white money. It’s all black money. It’s not only black money, it’s stolen money.
Devotee: We are part and parcel of the Lord, who is Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. Of which we are part and parcel?
BCS: Where you are. Are you doing bhakti? If you are doing bhakti then it is Bhagavan. But then you see Brahman and Paramatma also because Brahman is the jyoti of Bhagavan. The effulgence of the Lord is Brahmajyoti. When the Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, that is Paramatma. But the Lord Himself is Bhagavan. So when you see Bhagavan you see Paramatma and Brahmajyoti also. Similarly, when you see Paramatma then you see Brahmajyoti. The higher you go you see more. But from lower you don’t see the higher. Say for example, when you are inside the room you are seeing only the light of the sun. You are not seeing the sun globe. But when you go out and see the sun globe, you see the sun globe and you are seeing the light also. And when you go into the sun planet then you will see Sun God and you will see the sun planet and the light also. So in this way, the higher perception includes the lower perception.
BCS: Yeah, you see the difference between, say Parashurama and Kapila Muni, Kapila Muni is incarnation of the Lord but He is preaching devotion whereas Parashurama is not preaching devotion. He is just annihilating the kshatriyas. So His role is not in relation to devotion.
BCS: You see, like all haven’t been included. There are others also, but twelve examples are cited here. It’s not that only twelve are devotees. There are other devotees. For example, Hanumana is a devotee. An example is there, but for some reason Hanumana hasn’t been included here. Mainly because Hanumana is not coming in the line of Bhagavata, Bhagavatam.
BCS: Paramahamsa? Actually, the mahajanas are paramahamsas. The highest class of devotees are the paramahamsas. So they are all paramahamsas.
BCS: Knowledge automatically comes, like when the sun comes up then do you need a lamp? So knowledge is like a lamp. With that light of the lamp you see things. But when the sun comes up in the sky then do you need the lamp? No! Rather, there is no need for lamp because there is so much light, that in the light you are seeing everything. So that’s why it is said that with bhakti, jnana and vairagya (knowledge and renunciation) are automatically there. Bhakti is the mother and jnana and vairagya are two sons. So wherever the mother goes these two sons are also there with her. So when there is development of bhakti, jnana and vairagya will automatically happen there. We don’t have to separately try for that. Just as we said, like when the sun comes up, then to see the sun I need a lamp? Why not? Because the light is already there with the sun.
Devotee: If somebody murders somebody [inaudible]
BCS: No here is the upadrashta. He is seeing that he is murdering and the punishment will be the anumanta aspect. He says, okay you murdered? Now you suffer. You’re punished. So, He is seeing, He is witnessing and He is sanctioning. He is seeing the action and He is giving the result. He is giving the reaction.
Devotee: So, I have to suffer for this?
BCS: Yes, if you murder you have to suffer. [laughter]
Devotee: What is the worst bad habit of the soul?
BCS: What is the worst bad habit of the soul? To turn away from Krishna.
Okay, so I’ll stop now. Thank you all very much! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Transcription : Her Grace Ranga Radhika Dasi & Rishma Mohanlal-Jaggan Dasi
Editing : Her Grace Hemavati Radhika Dasi
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