Uddhava-gītā US Retreat – Day 2 – Mid-morning Lecture

Uddhava-gītā US Retreat – Day 2 – Mid-morning Lecture

INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS

Founder-Ācārya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Day 2 – Mid-Morning Lecture, Given By His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Uddhava-gītā retreat – gita-nagari us, 31 may 2013

nama om visnu-pādāya krsna-presthāya bhūtale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine

namas te sārasvate deve gaura-vānī-pracārine
nirviśesa-śūnyavādi-pāścātya-deśa-tārine

śrī-krsna-caitanya prabhu nityānanda
śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda

hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Hare Kṛṣṇa. So are you all ready for the next session? Are you all taking notes? Are you enjoying this seminar?

Devotees: Yes.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: So the last chapter we did was the instruction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Haṁsāvatāra. The Lord, upon Brahmā’s prayer, appeared as Haṁsāvatāra and instructed Brahmā and his sons: Sanaka, Sanātana, Sanandana and Sanat-kumāra.

Chapter 14: Devotional Service, the best way to make spiritual advancement

In the fourteenth chapter, the next chapter describes or Krsna explains the yoga-system to Uddhava. And about what kind of yoga is Krsna speaking here? This is the yoga of devotional service, bhakti-yoga. Krsna explained that the most excellent method of spiritual practice is devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thank you. Can everybody hear me?

Devotees: Yes

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: I can see some new faces this morning, this session. Welcome to all of you to this wonderful Gita-Nagari, in this seminar on Lord Krsna’s teachings to Uddhava, which is known as the Uddhava-gītā in the eleventh canto of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

So in this chapter, the fourteenth chapter of the eleventh canto, Krsna is describing about the process of devotional service as the most excellent way to make spiritual advancement. And he also speaks about the process of meditation. Actually, in this Kṛṣṇa is instructing upon Uddhava’s inquiry, upon Uddhava’s question. Uddhava asked: “What is the best way of making spiritual advancement?” You remember? In Bhagavad-gītā Arjuna also asked Him the same question. Among the personalists and impersonalists, which process is better? And what did Kṛṣṇa say: “Eva satata-yuktā ye bhaktās tvā paryupāsate” Then what is the next line? Teā ke yoga-vittamā The best yoga-vittamā , the best way to become connected to Kṛṣṇa is ‘eva satata-yuktā ye bhaktās tvā paryupāsate’. One who is rendering devotional service unto Me constantly, satata-yuktā, being constantly engaged, one who is constantly engaged in my devotional service, he is the most intimately connected to Me or that is the best way to become connected to Me: yoga-vittamā. Here also Uddhava is asking the similar question. Of all these processes, which is the best? And Kṛṣṇa is pointing out: devotional service is the best.

This is how when we properly study the scriptures, then it becomes very, very clear. Devotional service is the best possible way, not only the best possible way, there is no other way, no other way, no other way… By other means one cannot actually become situated in such loving relationship with Kṛṣṇa. If the goal of life is to become connected to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then besides devotional service there is no other way. In this Uddhava-gītā we will come at that point when Kṛṣṇa is saying: “By this process of devotional service Kṛṣṇa becomes conquered. Kṛṣṇa becomes sold out. Kṛṣṇa becomes conquered, Kṛṣṇa becomes his possession. No other process actually enables that. Here we know, the Uddhava-gītā, are we not getting this point time and time again? Previously also Kṛṣṇa mentioned: “Sāṅkhya, yoga, charity, austerity, performance of sacrifice, all these are not going to derive the same benefit. Devotional service is THE way. So when Uddhava asked which process of spiritual advancement is the best, then Kṛṣṇa made it very, very clear.  Devotional service is the way.

Kṛṣṇa explained that this process he gave to Brahmā. At the time of annihilation even the knowledge was lost. Not only at the beginning of creation Kṛṣṇa gave this knowledge. This knowledge gets lost at the time of annihilation and at the beginning of a new creation, when the new creation begins, then Kṛṣṇa imparts this knowledge to Brahmā. Then Brahmā gives this knowledge to his eldest son Manu. And Manu spoke this to Brighu Muni. This is the disciplic succession. Our disciplic succession: Brahmā, then Nārada, Nārada to Vyāsadeva and so forth. But here Kṛṣṇa is talking about another process and that process is, this line is: Brahmā to Manu, Manu gave it to Brighu Muni. Brighu Muni also is a son of Brahmā, Nārada’s brother. Ten sons of Brahmā: Pulaṣṭa, Pulaha, Atri, Marici, Angira, Vasistha, Brighu. This line is coming from Brighu and Brighu then gave it to the demigods. Brighu then gave it to the sages. And the sages gave it to the demigods.

But another thing happened actually due to this line, due to different individuals developing or receiving this knowledge, they also developed different branches of philosophy. Some are even atheistic philosophy, gross materialistic philosophy. And different philosophies arose, including various atheistic doctrines. Kṛṣṇa is saying: various atheistic doctrines also developed from this Vedic concept. Therefore there is a need to select.  There is a mixture. What we are getting now, is a lot of concepts, a lot of ideas, a lot of philosophies.  Now from this mixture we have to select the right one. Tough job. That’s why the living entities on their own cannot figure out what is the right way. The general tendency is that whatever tends to be a little better, we tend to think: “yes, this is the best.” It may be better than the other but that is not the best. The best one we have to understand from the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That again flows in a specific disciplic succession.

‘Because the living entity bewildered by illusion is incapable of ascertaining his eternal benefit, he mistakenly identifies ordinary vows of penance, austerity etc. to be the topmost spiritual practice.’ This is actually the bewildering aspect. Because the living entities are bewildered themselves. Therefore they cannot figure out what is the actual process to adopt. Because they are deluded they cannot ascertain their eternal benefit. The only true means of achieving happiness is to meditate on offering everything to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the simple spiritual consideration. Generally people are identifying themselves with their bodies, therefore they think that the goal of life is to enjoy through this body. If we look at this world today, what do we find? Everywhere we read newspapers, we read books, fictions, we see movies, we see TV’s, all these… What are they broadcasting through these media? They are simply broadcasting to enjoy.  And that enjoyment also is a very gross form of enjoyment. Sinful enjoyment.

What is being broadcast all over is a promotion of sinful enjoyment: meat eating, intoxication, illicit sex and gambling. Mostly, mainly illicit sex.  That is what is being promoted all over the world.  But when we step into the spiritual realm, when we come across a bonafide spiritual teacher, what does he tell us? Like Prabhupāda, what is the qualification to enter into spiritual life? Four regulative principles. No to all those sinful activities. Today the world is saying those four activities are the most important activities. And Iskcon is saying no to these four activities.  And yes to everything else.  We have only four no’s. Otherwise everything is yes. No meat eating, no intoxication, no illicit sex, no gambling.  Otherwise everything is all right, provided you engage them in service to Kṛṣṇa.

So offering the goal of life is to do everything for Kṛṣṇa, offer everything to Kṛṣṇa because He is the Proprietor.  īśāvāsyam ida sarva yat kiñca jagatyā jagat. A very, very simple understanding. Everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa. And not that He is the…, although He is the Supreme Enjoyer but He is also taking care of us. Yat kiñca jagatyā jagat. He is taking care of everybody. He is giving everybody his quota. Whatever we need, Kṛṣṇa has provided. In this way Kṛṣṇa is the suhdam sarva bhūtānām. When we enter into the platform of devotional service and receive knowledge, the proper information, then what do we get to see? Immediately we get to see that Kṛṣṇa is the Enjoyer. At the same time Kṛṣṇa is providing for everybody… Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Master, at the same time He is the dear most Friend.  Now we can understand this concept from our relationships with our seniors like the father. In the house the father is the proprietor but the father is taking care of everybody’s need in the house. So the father is not an irresponsible enjoyer. The father is the care taker. On our part we know that he is the enjoyer.  But the father is not demanding: “I am the enjoyer. Do everything for me.” The father’s caring attitude is: “What do you need? He does not even have to ask. And we do not even have to tell. He knows what we need. Even better than we do. The child does not know that he needs to go to a private school. He does not even know the difference between a public school and a private school, or a good school and a bad school. But the father says: “Okay, he should go in such and such school.” And in order to do that… I was talking to some parents the other day. In order to send the child to a private school the mother decided to take up a job. The father’s income was not enough to send the child to a private school. So the mother took up a job.

(Jaya Sri Sri Radha-Dāmodara Ki Jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai Ki Jaya!)

So Kṛṣṇa’s attitude is something like that. Or not something like that, from that we can see what Kṛṣṇa’s attitude must be towards the living entities. Kṛṣṇa is THE Father, the Supreme Father of all living entities. And therefore He is taking care of everyone.  He sees what is the need of different living entities. And therefore He takes care of them. Even before the living entities can consider or understand.  So when we have a Father like that, when we have a Master like that, when we have a Friend like Him, why should we worry? Isn’t it natural that we should surrender to Him? And that is the beginning of devotional service. Just surrender unto Kṛṣṇa. “Mām eka śarana  vraja”.  And what does that devotional service do? It destroys the countless sinful reactions of the living entity. The moment the living entity accepts this process of devotional service it immediately destroys his mountainous sinful reactions, which is otherwise impossible to get rid of. Like yesterday we considered one example:  “A seed giving rise to a tree, a tree producing fruits, the fruits have seeds, in those seeds there are innumerable trees, in each tree there are innumerable seeds and possibility of trees. And Prabhupāda pointed out our karmic reaction is like that. Once I asked Srīla Prabhupāda about karmic reactions and Prabhupāda pointed out it is extremely complex. And Prabhupāda gave this example. This is how complex our karmic reactions are. Just one little karma can tie us up eternally. How will you get rid of it? But Kṛṣṇa consciousness destroys all these karmic reactions. As Kṛṣṇa said: “Aham tvam sarva pāpebhy” Sarva pāpebhyo I will deliver you from all your sinful reactions. karmāi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājā. “Nirdahati” burnt out. This is also another consideration.  If you cut the tree, “You may say: “I cut the tree.” If you cut the tree, again there is the possibility of branches growing or seeds falling on the ground. But if all the seeds are burnt out, you fry the seeds, you roast the seeds, they won’t germinate. So that is what Kṛṣṇa consciousness does. It burns out all the sinful reactions.

So this way we can see that Kṛṣṇa consciousness in one hand frees us from all our karmic reactions and offers us a wonderful possibility of developing our loving relationship with Kṛṣṇa.  And this loving relationship is the source of joy. This is an important thing to remember. That love and joy are interlinked. And attraction and love are interlinked. Do you love somebody who is not attractive to you? Attraction leads to love. And love is the basis of joy. In the material platform people try to derive joy from these loving exchanges. They derive some joy but that joy is temporary. But the real joy is derived from developing our loving relationship with Kṛṣṇa. We love Kṛṣṇa, the result is joy. And the question is: “Why love Kṛṣṇa? “ Because you won’t be able to help it. Because He is all-attractive. Attraction, love, joy. Now say Kṛṣṇa is all-attractive.

So this is how this is undoubtedly the best possible, spiritual process. Because the devotee is very close to the Lord and he is able to purify the entire universe. Kṛṣṇa is making this point. ‘Because the devotee of the Lord is very dear to the Lord and very close to the Lord, therefore he is able to purify the whole world, the whole universe. Do you have to go very far? Śrīla Prabhupāda. What did he do? He purified the whole universe. How did he do it? Because he carries the power, because he is dear to Kṛṣṇa. As a matter of fact, what Kṛṣṇa does not do, his devotee does. Kṛṣṇa does not go out of his way to purify somebody. Do you remember, probably, I mentioned that yesterday by quoting Śrīla Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakur: “If Kṛṣṇa purified somebody and Kṛṣṇa did not purify somebody else, then Kṛṣṇa would be considered to be partial. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says: “Okay, I won’t do it. I am neutral, it is up to you.”  But Kṛṣṇa’s devotees go out of their way to purify others. And when one wants to do that, then Kṛṣṇa empowers him. That’s the wonderful thing. Kṛṣṇa empowers the devotee when the devotee wants to preach, when a devotee wants to sanctify others, when a devotee wants to propagate Kṛṣṇa’s glory everywhere, then Kṛṣṇa empowers him, Kṛṣṇa facilitates him. Devotee desires and Kṛṣṇa fulfills his desires. Another important point Kṛṣṇa is making in this chapter, is that at the beginning if a devotee is not able to purify himself completely, at the beginning if the devotee is lacking, still Kṛṣṇa will help him to make advancement. At the beginning one may fail to execute devotional service properly. Kṛṣṇa will help him to gain control over his senses. Kṛṣṇa will help him to become capable. Again we can go back to that relationship between father and child. If the child makes some mistakes in his early age, does the father reject the child? What does the father do? He helps him to correct himself. Don’t you see father and mother acting when children have difficulty in their home work? Then the parents help them. Mother assists, okay, helps them to overcome those mistakes. This is how Kṛṣṇa takes care of a living entity.

And when one wants to seriously make spiritual advancement, Kṛṣṇa advises him to give up all material possessions and other material attachments. In this way one will be able to constantly think of Kṛṣṇa. Finally Kṛṣṇa instructs Uddhava about the true object of meditation. What is the true object of meditation? Kṛṣṇa. “yogīnām api sarveā mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā śraddhāvān bhajate yo māsa me yukta-tamo mata. And in this chapter Kṛṣṇa makes a very, very wonderful statement. Kṛṣṇa is saying: “Uddhava, no one is as dear to Me as you are. Not even Brahmā, Lord Shiva, Lakxmi, or even I Myself, I am not as dear to Me as you are. Meaning, a devotee of Kṛṣṇa is more dear to Him than Himself.  Na tathā me priya-tama atma-yonir na sankarah. Atma-yoni, one who is self borne. Who is that? Brahmā. Śaṅkara.  Na Śakara. .. as you are dear to Me. Na caivatma… So this shows how dear Uddhava was to Kṛṣṇa.

Some beautiful statements from Kṛṣṇa. I will just read them from this chapter. With the dust of my pure devotees’ lotus feet I desire to purify the material worlds which are situated within Me. Thus I always follow the footsteps of My pure devotees who are free from all personal desires, rapt in thought of my pastimes, peaceful without any feelings of enmity and of equal disposition everywhere. Such a devotee can purify the whole universe. And Kṛṣṇa says: “I follow their footsteps.” Whereas devotees should follow Kṛṣṇa’s footsteps, but Kṛṣṇa He is saying: “I follow those devotees’ footsteps, their footsteps and wherever they go I go. Those who are free from any desire of personal gratification, whose minds are always attached to Me, who are peaceful without false ego and merciful to all living entities and whose consciousness is never affected by opportunities of sense gratification. A pure devotees’ consciousness is never affected by prospects of sense gratification. Like we see, one person, Rāmachandra Khan, sent a prostitute, an extremely beautiful prostitute to Haridāsa Ṭhākura, to make him fall down. But what did happen to Haridāsa Ṭhākura? Nothing. Because the person who got the taste of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, why would he be attracted to some mundane flesh and blood? A form made out of flesh, blood, pus and urine? Rather she became a devotee. And later on we saw that Māyā Devī herself came to test Haridāsa Ṭhākura. She failed. This is how a devotee of the Lord remains unaffected by any prospect of sense gratification. The most alluring prospects of sense gratification cannot deviate him from the path that he has established himself. Then again I point out: “If my devotee has not fully conquered his material senses, he may be harassed by his desires but his unflinching devotion for Me, he will not be defeated by sense gratification. Even if a devotee by his immaturity, by his neophyte situation, even if he becomes a victim of sense gratification, still it does not matter. Of course that does not mean that a devotee should fall down. One should not take advantage of these statements. Sometimes I noticed it happened. Somebody had spiritual difficulty and he was quoting this verse that even if a devotee has spiritual difficulty he should be considered as a saint. Which verse is that?

Devotee : Api cet su-durācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk

BCS: Yes, sādhur eva sa mantavya sayag vyavasito hi sa. He should be treated as a sādhu. That may be. But he should not take advantage of that. I am a sādhu, therefore I have a license to fall down. That should not be the situation. A devotee should never deviate from Kṛṣṇa consciousness. At a neophyte stage or apparently it may happen like that but it is not factual. Then that consideration comes.

This is another very beautiful statement: “Just as gold when smelted in fire gives up its impurities and returns to its pure, brilliant state, similarly the spirit soul absorbed in the fire of bhakti-yoga is purified of all contamination caused by fruitive activities and returns to its original position of serving Me in the spiritual world. Just as fire purifies gold, similarly Kṛṣṇa consciousness, devotion to Kṛṣṇa purifies the soul from all its impurities. And eventually he becomes originated in his original position and goes back to the spiritual world.

Next one also is very beautiful. When a diseased eye is treated with medicinal ointment it gradually recovers its power to see. Similarly when a conscious living entity purifies himself cleanses himself by hearing and chanting the pious narrations of My glories, he regains his ability to see Me, the absolute truth in my subtle spiritual form. We may not be able to see Kṛṣṇa now, but if we keep on hearing about Kṛṣṇa’s glory and chanting Kṛṣṇa’s glory, the pious narrations of Kṛṣṇa’s activities, then we will regain our ability to see Kṛṣṇa. Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena. When the eyes become anointed with love or bhakti, then santa sadaiva hdayeu vilokayanti, one sees the Personality of Godhead constantly in his heart.  Just as if one remembers Kṛṣṇa in his mind, then his mind will become absorbed in Kṛṣṇa.  So constant hearing is very important. One should make it a point to hear about Kṛṣṇa as much as possible. Just as by meditaiting upon the objects of the senses we become attracted to sense gratification: dhyāyato viayān pusa sagas teūpajāyate sagāt sañjāyate kāma.  Due to saga one develops desires to enjoy that object, kāma.  Just as by meditating upon the objects of senses we become attracted to sense gratification, meditating upon Kṛṣṇa we will become attracted to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Through Uddhava Kṛṣṇa is instructing us what to do. satata kīrtayanto mā, constantly hear and chant the glory of Kṛṣṇa.

Chapter 15 : Yoga Siddhis are impediments for a devotee

In the fifteenth chapter Kṛṣṇa describes the process of mystic yoga. Mystic yoga is commonly known as aṣṭāga-yoga. Kṛṣṇa describes that this process has eighteen mystic perfections which are known as yoga-siddhis. Out of them eight are primary and ten are minor or secondary. Generally it is considered to be eight yoga-siddhis, aṣṭa-siddhi. Aṣṭa, eight kinds of sidhhis. Siddhi means yogīc perfection, mystic power one achieves. And out of them, out of these eight, three are pertaining to the body. Aimā, mahimā and laghimā. Aimā is the process by which one becomes smaller than the smallest. One can become smaller than the smallest, very small… Like it is a mystic power. By performing aṣṭāga-yoga one receive these siddhis, one can become small. When Hanumān was entering Laṅkā, he became very small, he became small like a cat. But still the lady of Laṅkā puri, the guardian of Laṅkā personified, she  detected Hanumān. And she slapped Hanumān. And Hanumān slapped her back. [Laughter] That way a struggle ensued between the two of them. And then this lady, who was guarding Laṅkā, she admitted that she knew that when someone will slap her, then Laṅkā will be destroyed. She could recognize that this Hanumān has come to destroy Laṅkā.

So Hanumān became so small. And this is how he entered into Laṅkā. This is Hanumān’s yoga-siddhi, aimā-siddhi. One can become so small that he can even pass through a key-hole. Another siddhi is mahimā. Become so big like a mountain. And laghimā: become lighter than the lightest. Become so light that he can fly. So these are the mystic powers that one yogī achieves. There are other mystic powers. They are known as prāpti… Prāpti is a mystic power by which  he can get whatever he wants. Whatever he wants he can get that. Prākāmya, one can experience any enjoyable object, either in this world or the next. īśīta, one can manipulate the sub potencies of māyā, not the principle potencies of bewildering the living entities. Yoga-siddhi cannot overcome the primal influence of māyā. But the material nature has other sub potencies. Vāsita, then one becomes unimpeded, unaffected by the three modes of material nature. And kāmāvasāyitā: one can obtain anything from anywhere to the highest possible limit. Prabhupāda once mentioned that he encountered a yogī like that. Those days, pomegranates did not grow in India. Pomme granates used to grow in Aghanistan. And this person sitting in Kolkata he just  moved his hand and produced a pomegranate. He could pick up a pomegranate from Afghanistan and … So these are yoga-siddhis. And he is pointing out that one can get anything from anywhere, to the highest possible limit.

Then Kṛṣṇa is pointing out that these yoga-siddhis are actually not important. Rather these yoga-siddhis are impediments for a devotee, for his devotional practice. Because by yoga-siddhi one may get carried away by these siddhis. Or by these yoga-siddhis sometimes one can get a lot of false prestige; people may come not for the sake of devotion but for these siddhis. Like we see, in the material world, people are generally impressed with material things. Like there are some yogīs who have some yoga-siddhis. They perform some miracles. And thousands of people follow them. Not even yoga-siddhis, we have seen some people who can do some magic. They can perform some magic and people become attracted. One such person was Sai Baba. He would produce something like that, not even a pomegranate from Afghanistan. He would produce some watch, not even a Rolex, because that is expensive. Like a Sika-watch. At one time, those days Sikha watches were very, among moderately priced watches, Sika-watches were very popular. And Sai Baba was very expert at producing Sika-watches. And most of the time he produced ash and sometimes he produced some cash.  [Laughter] But people became so impressed with that. There was a big article once in one magazine in India called “Illustrious Weekly”.  It was a very popular magazine. And it described about a musicians’ encounter with Sai Baba. I don’t know if you all know. There was a very famous musician called Pishi Sarkar. He was very famous worldwide. Pishi Sarkar died some time ago. Pishi Sarkar’s son, he also was a magician. He was also a pilot of Indian Airlines. We used to know him. A very nice man. He used to come to Māyāpura.  He once also gave a performance in Māyāpura, a very impressive performance. Anyway, this person went to meet with Sai Baba. And he wrote about… They need their name and identity. So he wrote: “Magician.” Sai Baba refused to see him. Then next day he went again but did not give his actual name.  He gave his nickname and did not mention anything. This time he got his interview. When he went there Sai Baba waved his hand in the air and produced a sandesh. He gave it to him. And he also waved his hand and he produced a rasagula. [Laughter] Sai Baba was furious. And he told him: “Look you are just a cheap magician, I am also a magician, but I never claim to be spiritual. But you are cheating people by saying that you are … By just showing this magic trick you are just bewildering people. It was a big article in the early eighties I think. But inspite of the article, people keep following because they are just bewildered.  Now what to speak of these yoga-siddhis, mystic power. But then again Kṛṣṇa is saying that these mystic powers are actually an impediment on the path of devotion. Now we can see why it is an impediment. We see so many people are becoming so popular in countries like America. They do some mystic display, not even mystic powers, some such display and thousands of people become attracted by them. But when they speak you see, they hardly have any substance. So at least we understand that yoga-siddhi is not the goal of life.

Now one important thing Kṛṣṇa is mentioning here. These yoga-siddhis are automatically achieved by the devotees. There is one incident. You see Śyāmānanda prabhu had a disciple Rasikānanda Prabhu. Rasikānanda Prabhu was a very powerful person, he was a king, a prince actually but he became a devotee of Śyāmānanda Prabhu. Do you remember Śyāmānanda Prabhu? Jīva Gosvāmī had three śikā disciples: Śrīnivāsa Ācārya, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura and Śyāmānanda Prabhu. They were the three stalwart preachers after Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Very, very powerful preachers. So Śyāmānanda Prabhu’s disciple was Rasikānanda Prabhu. And one day Śyāmānanda Prabhu was (Jaya Sri Sri Radha-Dāmodara Ki Jaya). One morning Rasikānanda Prabhu was brushing his teeth, he was sitting on a stone. You see, in India people generally brush their teeth by the side of a pond. They wash their mouth. So he was sitting on a slab, a stone slab. He was brushing his teeth. Brushing not with tooth brush but they used to brush their teeth with twigs, neem twigs. And at that time somebody came and told him that: “You know, a big yogī has come riding on a tiger.” It’s true, I mean, a yogī he tamed even a tiger, he came riding on a tiger. So Rasikānanda Prabhu said: “So, is that so? So let me go and see him.” Saying that he went flying sitting on this stone slab. This stone slab was flying. And that yogī who came riding on a tiger became a disciple of Rasikānanda Prabhu. So he admitted, he recognized that his potency is far superior than his.

And in this respect also Prabhupāda once told me that the yoga-siddhi, how the devotees achieve them. I asked Śrīla Prabhupāda how the devotees achieve the yoga-siddhi without performing, without practicing. Because the yogīs, they make such an endeavor to achieve those siddhis. Then Prabhupāda first made one point. He said yogīs, real yogīs never practice yoga to achieve the yoga-siddhi. But as they make advancement the yoga-siddhis automatically become manifest to them. Yoga-siddhis automatically become available to them. Just as the kuṇḍalinī energy or you can say spiritual energy. Generally for ordinary human beings this energy functions only from the base which is situated at the end of the spinal column to the chakra which is opposite to the genetic organ. But a yogī, through the practice, it rises from one chakra to another. And that’s why it is so important that in order to make spiritual advancement one must abstain from sex life. So in order for the energy to rise one must seal that, one must prevent that possibility. And as the energy rises the yogī achieves his power. And then Prabhupāda pointed out: for a devotee one does not have to make a special effort to make the energy rise. By his devotional practice the energy automatically rises. He does not make any separate endeavor to make the energy rise from one chakra to another and so forth. And then Prabhupāda gave an example of an ordinary person trying to become rich. An ordinary person trying to become rich he will have to make so many endeavors to make money. But a person who has been born as the son of a rich man, he does not have to make any endeavor.  Just by his birth in a rich family he already inherited the wealth. Now, although the child is a millionaire, he does not get the million straight away. When he comes to his proper age, he gets his inheritance. So devotees are like that. The yogīs are people, those who are trying to make advancement by their own endeavor whereas the devotees already inherited it by their birth right. Devotees are the ones, those already borne not in a family of any other billionaire or trillionaire or zillionaire. Far beyond that. It’s only a matter of time. In due course of time devotees will automatically inherit that wealth. That’s the difference between a yogī and a devotee. And these are so insignificant for this rich man’s son. He does not really care about that. A person may be making a lot of endeavor to become rich, to buy a house in Beverly Hills. But a person who has his own palace in his father’s kingdom, will he be interested to buy an apartment in Beverley Hills? That is the difference between a yogī and a devotee. Devotees just by establishing their connection with Kṛṣṇa they automatically inherited an inconceivable amount of wealth. There is a beautiful statement here also that Kṛṣṇa is making: “Just like the body of aquatics cannot be injured by water.” Can the body of an aquatic be injured by water? No. Similarly the body of a yogī whose consciousness is purified by devotion to me – Kṛṣṇa is talking about the real yogī – the devotee, yogī, whose consciousness has been purified by devotion to Me, who is fully developed in the devotional science, cannot be injured by fire, sun, water, poison and so forth. A yogī’s body, a devotee’s body is invincible, invulnerable to any such condition. A learned devotee who worships Me through yoga meditation certainly obtains all the mystic potencies that I have described. See that is also what Śrīla Prabhupāda describes, a learned devotee who worships Me through the process of devotional service certainly obtains in all respects the mystic perfections that I have described, that means these eight siddhis, aṣṭa yoga-siddhis, aṇimā, laghimā, mahimā, prāpti, prākāmya, īśitva, vaśitva and kāmāvasāyitā. Learned experts in devotional service state that the mystic perfections of yoga that I have mentioned are actual impediments and are a waste of time for one who is practicing the supreme yoga by which one perceives all perfection in life directly from Me. Whatever mystic perfection can be achieved by good birth, herbs, austerities and mantras can all be achieved by devotional service to Me. The point is that by devotional service everything can be achieved. For a devotee nothing will be unobtainable. Everything will be obtainable for a devotee.

Chapter 16: Opulences of Krsna

So then we go to the next chapter. Okay, I will go through this chapter and then I will invite questions. If you have any questions while I am going on, please write it down.  So in this chapter Kṛṣṇa describes His various opulences. In Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa spoke about His opulences in which chapter? The tenth chapter. So here also Kṛṣṇa is speaking about His opulences. The Supreme Personality of Godhead does not have any beginning or end. He is the Cause of birth, maintenance and destruction of all living entities. Kṛṣṇa is the Cause of everyone’s birth, maintenance and destruction. He is the soul of all beings. And by secretly taking a residence in the heart of all living beings He sees everything. Kṛṣṇa is saying that He secretly situates His residence in the living body, where? In the heart. Secretly because nobody knows that, only He knows that. Kṛṣṇa is sitting in our heart but we don’t know. But His sitting in our heart has two purposes: upadraṣṭā and anumantā. Kṛṣṇa is witnessing and Kṛṣṇa is approving. We have desires and Kṛṣṇa sanctions some desires and Kṛṣṇa does not approve some other desires. That is one reason why Kṛṣṇa is in the heart of the living entities. But the other reason for Kṛṣṇa being in the heart of the living entities is that Kṛṣṇa sitting in the heart is waiting for us to turn our face towards Him. And Prabhupāda pointed out that the real reason for Kṛṣṇa being in our hearts is that He is waiting to see when we are going to turn our face towards Him. In this respect we can consider one analogy. The child says: “Daddy, daddy I want to go and play with my friends.” The father says: “Okay, come.” And the father takes the child to the field, to the park. And there he meets his friends and he plays with them and he has completely forgotten everything else. He is so absorbed in its play with His friends. And what does the father do at that time? He is sitting by the side of the park and watching his son. The son has completely forgotten the father. He is so absorbed in his game with his friends. But the father is just sitting there and watching. And then when the child becomes hurt or the child gets afraid when it becomes dark and all the friends have gone, then what does the child do? “Daddy, daddy, where are you?” Then he remembers. And then the father comes and picks him up and says: “Come, let’s go home.” Similarly Kṛṣṇa in our heart is just watching us playing our games with our friends. Sometimes we win and we are happy, sometimes we lose and we become morose. That’s the game we are playing in this world. But at some point when we call out to Kṛṣṇa : “Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, where are you?” Then Kṛṣṇa comes and He says: “Come, let’s go.” That’s how kind Kṛṣṇa is. So that is the main reason why Kṛṣṇa is in our hearts. He is just waiting when we are going to call out to Him. And when we do call out to Him with all sincerity: “Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, where are you?” then Kṛṣṇa says: “Okay, come, let’s go.”

So this is how Kṛṣṇa is situated in our hearts. Then as in the tenth chapter of Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa mentioned that all these opulences after which there is all power, beauty, fame, opulence, humility, charity, charm, good fortune, valor, tolerance and wisdom. Wherever there is a manifestation of such opulences, they are simply a manifestation of His potency. Yad yad vibhūtimat sattva. In Bhagavad-gītā, the tenth chapter after describing that, what is Kṛṣṇa saying? Wherever there is a display of unusual opulence, yad yad vibhūtimat sattva śrīmad ūrjitam eva vā , His opulence and grandeur, they all are nothing but an expansion of a display of a fraction of My energy. Tat tad evāvagaccha tva mama tejo-’śa-sambhavam.’ It has become manifest just as a manifestation of My potency.’ So that is the point that Kṛṣṇa makes here also. Material opulences are not substantially true and therefore one should not become too involved in meditating upon them. The pure devotees of the Lord utilize their intelligence to properly regulate the activities of their speech, mind and vital force and thus perfect their existence in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And wherever one sees this kind of display of opulence he knows that it is simply a manifestation of Kṛṣṇa’s grandeur, Kṛṣṇa’s wealth, Kṛṣṇa’s opulence. They are simply an expansion from Himself. Wherever there are these manifestations of this power, beauty, fame, opulence, humility, charity, charm, good fortune, valor, tolerance and wisdom, wherever they are manifest, they are simply expansions of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore when we see them, how should we see them? If we see things with our material eyes, then we will see: “O, how beautiful that person is.” But when we see with proper Kṛṣṇa conscious vision, then how will we see? O, how beautifully Kṛṣṇa’s energy has become manifest in that person. How beautifully Kṛṣṇa’s energy has become manifest in that person. How beautifully Kṛṣṇa’s opulence has become manifest in that person. And that is how one should utilize one’s intelligence to properly regulate the activities of speech, mind and vital force. And thus people should perfect their existence in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Speech is very important; these are the three factors of our action: our speech, our mind and our body. These are the three ways that we become active. With our speech (tongue) what should we do? Sing the glories of Kṛṣṇa and also relish Kṛṣṇa prasādam. Kṛṣṇa baa dayāmay, karibāre jihvā jay, sva-prasādānna dila bhāi. Now that you have relished this beautiful prasādam, should we not be grateful to Kṛṣṇa? “O Kṛṣṇa, so mercifully you gave us your prasādam, so now let me use my tongue in glorifying you!” That is the bag aspect ‘Gaya’, body. How should we utilize the body? We should utilize the body in rendering service to Kṛṣṇa. The body’s business is to work. Whatever we do, should be done to render service to Kṛṣṇa. And with mind, what should we do with the mind? The mind’s business is to think. We should always think about Kṛṣṇa. Think about Kṛṣṇa, render service to Kṛṣṇa and sing the glories of Kṛṣṇa. The three most effective means for spiritual advancement. Gāya, mana and vākya.

So now I will invite some questions.

Yes, Shyamal?

Devotee: I am wondering how… [Unclear]

BCS : Yes, the first thing is sādhana bhakti, right? Devotional service in practice, right? As you have been doing from your childhood, getting up early in the morning, attending mangala-arati, right? Are you still doing that? The response was not that exciting. [Laughter] Chanting your rounds. Attending Bhāgavatam class, right? Prabhupāda gave us the perfect system. We just do that and it will work. As for the opportunities to become engaged in the service of Kṛṣṇa, associate with exalted devotees, hear from them, okay?

Question: I have heard that in the heart of a neophyte devotee Kṛṣṇa is there as Paramātmā. However as a devotee reaches the advanced stage the Paramātmā gives away to Kṛṣṇa. Can you please help me understand and learn about this?

BCS: [Did you get hurt?] So, the question is that in the heart of a neophyte devotee Kṛṣṇa is present as Paramātmā. And then as one makes spiritual advancement, this Paramātmā gives way to Kṛṣṇa.

Yes, good point. Kṛṣṇa is present in everybody’s heart as the Supersoul, Paramātmā. As the witness, Kṛṣṇa is witnessing, watching everybody, what they are doing. [But as one becomes engaged in devotional service and begins to render his devotional service to Kṛṣṇa, expressing his love for Kṛṣṇa, then the Paramātmā begins to reciprocate. That reciprocating aspect of Paramātmā is Kṛṣṇa. The witnessing aspect of Kṛṣṇa is Paramātmā and when He begins to reciprocate then He is Kṛṣṇa. That is how in the heart of the devotee Kṛṣṇa becomes Kṛṣṇa.

Question: How do we use in devotional service in thinking, willing, feeling?

BCS: Feeling? Yes, feeling also is a function of the mind. Because feeling is an outcome of sentiment. And sentiment is also mind, mental. It is a reaction of the mind. Okay, the point is: How does one feel in his devotional service? One meditates upon Kṛṣṇa: thinking. He focuses his mind onto Kṛṣṇa: willing. When Kṛṣṇa reciprocates then comes the feeling. You can’t avoid it. Kṛṣṇa reciprocates and that reciprocal aspect is the feeling.

Question: How do we maintain our enthusiasm? Because sometimes in our devotional service we become discouraged, when we don’t become successful we feel… we don’t feel enthusiastic. How to overcome that?

BCS : Kṛṣṇa is saying:“You act but don’t become attached to the result of your action.” Do you act? Karmay evādhikāras te mā phaleu kadācana. You can act, you have adhikāra, you have your right to act but not in the result. Result you offer onto Kṛṣṇa. When you do that, whether you are successful or a failure, it won’t affect you because you have offered it to Kṛṣṇa. Right? And it is Kṛṣṇa Who will give you the results. Therefore don’t become either jubilant in success… Because when you become jubilant in success you can rest assured that you will become disappointed in failure. But if you are not jubilant in success then in failure also you will remain unperturbed. Keep on rendering service without being attached to the results. And do you think that by your preaching people will become devotees? No. Don’t think that by your preaching you will make devotees. Your business is to preach, you are getting an opportunity. But their becoming devotees will be Kṛṣṇa’s mercy.  That’s why in spite of so much effective preaching to so many people, some people will not become devotees. On the other hand somebody you barely spoke to, one fine morning you see that he has shown up in the temple and he has become a devotee. We don’t know who will become devotees and it is not due to our preaching. It is due to Kṛṣṇa’s mercy.

Question: Can you elaborate on service of a mother to her children and service to God Kṛṣṇa? Does anyone have the priority over the other one? Or is any less significant than the other one?  Like you mentioned gopīs will leave their family behind for Lord Kṛṣṇa. [Laughter]

BCS: Good. Very good question. See, generally the mothers’ duty is to take care of the children, it is the mothers’ responsibility. But the mother should take care of the children thinking that they are Kṛṣṇa’s children. They are not my children, they are Kṛṣṇa’s children. With that attitude the mother should take care of the children. But when ultimately one develops that kind of attachment to Kṛṣṇa… but mind you, in order to do that you have to go to Vrindavan, not stay in America. When you are in Vrindavan living in a gopa family, there are many other gopa and gopī families to take care of the children, then you can afford dumping them and go after Kṛṣṇa [Laughter], When you are here in America, take care of your children properly, recognizing they are Kṛṣṇa’s property, not your property. In this way when you are taking care of Kṛṣṇa’s children, while you are taking care of them, you are rendering devotional service to Kṛṣṇa. Therefore at the beginning of life, the mother is the first guru [unclear] and she gives the child Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Tell them about Kṛṣṇa. Tell them about Kṛṣṇa’s stories. Tell them about how wonderful Kṛṣṇa is.

Question: [Unclear]

BCS: Okay, good point. The reaction should be: “I tried my best to render this service to Kṛṣṇa.” That is the source of my joy. I tried my best. Not, so many people are clapping and saying well done, well done, right? The result should not be the criteria of our jubilation. Our service itself should be the cause of jubilation. (Jaya Sri Sri Radha-Dāmodara Ki Jaya) But the point is that if you become attached to the result, that means if you become jubilant in success then also you are exposing yourself to be exposed to morose in failure.

Question: [unclear]

That is fine. You watch your performance. Watch your performance in the way like when it is successful, then you consider that this is how you should do it or you can even try to improve it. And when there is a mistake or failure then you detect where you went wrong and improve yourself. Yes, that way your performance, you take note of and try to improve yourself, right?

Yes, what is your question?

Question: [unclear]

BCS: In order to prove that bhakti is the highest. If other yoga’s were not spoken about then there would not have been any question to understand that bhakti is the highest. But Kṛṣṇa, see how He is doing. He is speaking about karma-yoga. Then what is the ultimate consideration of karma-yoga? Yat karoi yad aśnāsi yaj juhoi dadāsi yat yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kuruva mad-arpaam. So what is the goal of karma, mad-arpanam? Offer it to me, offer the results to me. Then Kṛṣṇa speaks about aṣṭanga-yoga. Then he says that this yoga-system is the highest. Tapasvibhyo ’dhiko yogī jñānibhyo ’pi mato ’dhika karmibhyaś cādhiko yogī tasmād yogī bhavārjuna. The yogī is higher than a tapasvi, one who is performing austerity, one who is acquiring knowledge, one who is performing different activities and offering the results to Kṛṣṇa; Therefore Arjuna, you become a yogī: tasmād yogī bhavārjuna. But then Kṛṣṇa is saying: yogīnām api sarveā mad-gatenāntarātmanā śraddhāvān bhajate yo mā sa me yuktatamo mata. Of all the yogīs, one who has become very intimately connected to Me, he is the greatest of all yogīs. So Kṛṣṇa spoke about yoga. Who is the greatest yogī? Who is rendering devotional service unto Him. In this way, through all these stages Kṛṣṇa is pointing out that devotion to Kṛṣṇa is the highest. Okay?

Yes, she has the question.

Question: [unclear]

BCS: Yes, I hope I understood your question. It’s not that we should not glorify other devotees’ super excellent performances, but the point is one himself should not become affected by the result of his performance, the result of his devotional service, others will. Others will, the whole world will recognize, but he should not become affected. On the other hand the whole world may be criticizing him, blasting him, saying all kinds of things but he should not become affected about that. Why? Because his concern is not how the world is seeing him, his concern is how Kṛṣṇa is seeing him.  In that respect one ācārya of ours mentioned: “If the whole world glorifies me but Kṛṣṇa does not recognizes me, then what is the use of that glorification? On the other hand if the whole world spits on me, but Kṛṣṇa recognizes me then who cares about that spitting?”

Question: [Unclear]

Dhyāna-yoga is actually aṣṭāga-yoga. And jñāna-yoga is an aspect of yoga. There is karma and jñāna, these are the two aspects of vedic presentation. And of the jñāna, aṣṭāga-yoga is one aspect. Like in the category of jñāna comes nyāya. Of the six philosophies four come under the jñāna-aspect: nyāya, vaiśeika, khya and yoga. They come under jñāna,

Pūrva-mīmāsā, the preliminary conclusion or karma-mīmā comes under the karma-kāṇḍa section. Karma-kāṇḍajñāna-kāṇḍa. Then bhakti. Bhakti is the final conclusion. Jñana-kāṇḍa is superior to karma-kāṇḍa but bhakti is the ultimate. Aṣṭāga-yoga is coming under jñana- kāṇḍa. Therefore it is below bhakti. In which way? Because when one achieves perfection in aṣṭāga-yoga, then one comes to the platform of devotion. Therefore Prabhupāda is saying that those who have come to the platform of devotional service, it has to be understood that they have already surpassed all these other processes. It even has to be understood that they have already achieved the perfection of yoga.

Question: How to maintain our relationship with different types of devotees?

BCS: Very good point. Senior devotees, junior devotees and equals. Towards the senior devotees there should be respect, śraddhā. And towards the junior devotees there should be affection and compassion. Towards the senior śraddhā should rise, towards the junior affection and compassion. Among the equals friendship. Okay?

Question: [unclear] How devotees are seeing your performance?

BCS: Even in a community of devotees one should be unperturbed. Because sometimes Kṛṣṇa may make the devotees criticize us. Then what do we do? Do we start fighting with the devotees? No. We see, well, it is Kṛṣṇa Who is telling me. When we are in a proper atmosphere, we can take it in that spirit. And if the devotees are chastising me, Kṛṣṇa is chastising me through these devotees. And if the devotees are glorifying me, then I take a humble position: “Kṛṣṇa, you are so kind to me.” But there also we should remain unperturbed: sukha-dukhe same ktvā lābhālābhau jayājayau.

Question: [unclear]

BCS: Verify it with the senior the devotees. If you have any doubt whether it is my mind or it is real. It is my mental concoction or this is the right thing. Then you inquire from senior devotees.

Question: [unclear]

BCS: Okay, learn your lesson and do not confide in him anymore. [Laughter] Okay?

Question: [unclear]

BCS: What’s your question? I could not understand your question.

Question: [unclear]

BCS: If you feel that Kṛṣṇa is displeased then don’t get perturbed but correct yourself. Improve yourself. I try to serve my master, but my master was not pleased with me. That’s my mistake. A real servant will not get upset. How can I improve myself so that the next time he won’t get disturbed?

Question: [unclear]

If it is natural then react to that. That’s another thing. In spiritual life we have to be natural. There is no need to be artificial. Like if you are upset then cry. But by shedding the tears your heart will be purified. But don’t fight.

Question: [unclear]

What can be done, he is displeased. What can you do? You can lament or you can improve. Or you can do both, you can lament and improve. That feeling that I have not performed properly that feeling should be naturally there but at the same time there should be a tendency to improve our performance.

Question: [unclear]

BCS:  Without Kṛṣṇa’s approval even a blade of grass does not move. But at the same time we have our independence. You see? Kṛṣṇa gave us independence to decide for ourselves what we want to do. Right? For example. Whether I will be a devotee or a demon. Whether I will love Kṛṣṇa or whether I will develop animosity towards Kṛṣṇa, that is up to me. I can decide and act accordingly. That independence Kṛṣṇa has given us. Kṛṣṇa is not saying: “You become a devotee, you become a demon.”

Question : [unclear]

BCS : But in your daily life you can decide whether you get up at four o’clock in the morning and chant sixteen rounds. Isn’t it? Or do you want Kṛṣṇa to wake you up? This is how you have your independence. You can decide. Today this is what I am going to do. Prabhupāda wants me to do this. Through his books. And okay, I will do this, this, these things for Kṛṣṇa. So that is the utilization of our independence.

Question: [unclear]

BCS: We have to see how Kṛṣṇa’s mercy is coming. Kṛṣṇa’s devotees gave me Prabhupāda’s books. That is Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. Kṛṣṇa’s devotees came to me and told me about Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The devotees invited me to the temple and gave me Kṛṣṇa prasādam and there I heard devotees giving the Bhāgavatam class. And in the Bhāgavatam class the devotees so clearly explained that the ultimate goal of life is to serve Kṛṣṇa. So from now on I will commit myself to serve Kṛṣṇa. So we have to see how Kṛṣṇa’s mercy is coming. This is how Kṛṣṇa’s mercy is coming and we haveto observe it and recognize it and appreciate it.

Question: [unclear]

BCS: Don’t worry about them, just worry about yourself.

Question: [unclear]a

BCS: Yes, Āditya-Nārāyaṇa. This is not talking about this specific Vaiṣṇava-sampradāya. This is how this Vedic knowledge came to different individuals according to different, individual idealism and philosophies. And processes developed. You see, Brighu-muni is not coming in one the four sampradāyas.

Question: [unclear]

 Like Brahmā’s authorized line is Brahmā to Nārada and there are many other lines. They fall in the karma-kandha section and section. They pursue jñāna-kāṇḍa and karma-kāṇḍa – section. Bhakti section is coming from Nārada Muni.

Question : [unclear]

BCS: Yes, Gauīyā-vaiṣṇava-sampradāya is a unique line. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu very mercifully took initiation from the Mādhava-sampradāya. It is not that Mahāprabhu needed to link up to any sampradāya but to give the authotaritative recognition to the Mādhava- sampradāya, He took initiation from this sampradāya. Therefore it says isvara puri he danya sri caitanya Caitanya Mahāprabhu made Īśvara Purī glorified by taking initiation from him.

Question: [unclear]

BCS: Yes, okay, if you feel that somebody is not advanced enough to digest your glorification then don’t make him suffer from indigestion. [Laughter] That’s one way of looking at it. Another thing is: When you glorify somebody, do it with a pure heart. Don’t worry how he is going to take it, how he is going to be affected. Because glorification of one’s service. He did it. He distributed so many books. You are not thinking:”Oh, he is a new devotee; he is going to be puffed up. No, he did distribute so many books, so glorify him for that.” How his reaction will be, let it be his concern. But in this way, by glorifying you are purifying yourself. Because when you are glorifying somebody you are actually making spiritual advancement.

Question: [Unclear]

BCS: It is like asking to a millionaire’s son: “Why? [unclear]. That is his business. What he does with the million it is his concern. Are you going to ask: “Why did your father give you so much money?” As you are saying, why do the devotees need it? But sometimes for the sake of preaching devotees may use it. Like Rasikānanda Prabhu,  In order to show his power, specially to that person who came riding on a tiger, that a devotees mystic power is far superior to yours. And as a result of that, that person became his disciple.

Question: [Unclear]

BCS: Okay, let me deal with the question number one first.

Question: [Unclear]

BCS: By thinking about Kṛṣṇa, by remembering Kṛṣṇa’s instructions. That is how the mind is engaged. In this respect an example has been given. A person who is very attached to money, what does he always think of? Money. Even in his dream he thinks of money, right? Similarly, a devotee, because he loves Kṛṣṇa, he always thinks about Kṛṣṇa. Another example can be a young boy in love with a young girl. What does he always think of? He loves the girls, so what does he always think off? Similarly when one develops his love for Kṛṣṇa he will always think about Kṛṣṇa.

Question: [Unclear] [Laughter]

BCS: Good point. Now the question is, for what purpose are you driving the car?

Devotee: To go to the temple.

BCS: Now, because you are driving the car to go to the temple, your driving the car becomes devotional service.  The end justifies the means. A devotee is cooking for Kṛṣṇa. Is he thinking of Kṛṣṇa? Or is he thinking of the vegetables on the pan. His mind is absorbed in cooking, right? But because he is cooking for Kṛṣṇa this service becomes devotional service.

Question: [Unclear]

BCS: So beat it up with a stick. And bring it to its proper shape.

Question: [Unclear] [Laughter]

BCS: But at least you are thinking of it now. It is positive. You may not have been thinking of Kṛṣṇa at that time but later on you were thinking: “I should have thought about Kṛṣṇa at that time.”. This is how we are practicing to remember Kṛṣṇa. Last question.

Question: How to overcome… [unclear]

BCS: A river is flowing and on the river bed there are some boulders. Do the boulders stop the movement of the river? Rather it increases the speed of the current. Similarly obstacles will not prevent but enhance our devotion …

Question: [Unclear]

BCS: Yes, coma actually means his gross body is not functioning. As a doctor you should know. The gross body is not functioning but the subtle body is functioning. May be function or may not be. The subtle body can also be inactive, right? Then it is more like being in a deep sleep. And Prabhupāda once mentioned that being in coma means that Yamarāja cannot figure out where he should go. Because his karmic conclusions are so complex that Yamarāja is bewildered whether he should go to hell or to which hell, so he puts him in that state. Another thing is that this coma situation is an artificial arrangement by modern medical development. By artificial means they keep the soul in the body. The soul was destined to leave. But through artificial means, through ventilators, through this arrangement, through that arrangement they do not allow the soul to leave the body. It is a torture actually for the living entity.

Question: [Unclear]

BCS: Suicide. I wouldn’t say suicide. The person himself is not deciding. In that situation is the person deciding himself? He is in coma. How can he decide for himself? But his relatives..

Question: [Unclear]

BCS: Okay, then let me go. Very wise, right? So if that is his will, abide by his will.

Question: [Unclear]

BCS: The thing is that how are you extending his life span? By putting him on a ventilator? Or giving him all kind of artificial arrangements? What is the point to by artificial arrangements to increase his state in a body that is already finished? Just let us consider the house is falling apart. Another house is ready for him to move on. Now is it wise to keep him in that old dilapidated house where the roofs are leaking, sanitary does not work, there is no electricity, there is no water supply. What is the point of living in that house? When you know htat there is a new house waiting for him?

Question: [Unclear]

BCS: Good point. Good point. He is either suffering his karmic reaction. Who is going decide that karmic reaction? Yamarāja or you? Here you are not letting Yamarāja decide, you are taking the decision on your hand and that is the problem, right? Let Yamarāja’s decision be the final one. Yamadūtas are waiting and you are deciding, no. I am just saying the system or the relatives or the arrangement.

Okay, thank you very much. We are already… [applause]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Maharaja Ki Jaya!!

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Audio-recording: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQAtN_lMjV4

Transcription & Editing: Ramananda Raya Dasa

(Guru Maharaja mentioned 232 times the name of Kṛṣṇa during this lecture)