31 May Uddhava-gītā US Retreat – Day 2 – Morning Lecture
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS
Founder-Ācārya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Day 2 – Morning Session, Given By His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami – Uddhava-gītā Retreat – Gītā-Nagarī US, 31 May 2013
oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya
oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya
oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya
naraṁ caiva narottamam
devīṁ sarasvatīṁ vyāsaṁ
tato jayam udīrayet
bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhikī
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami (BCS) : Hare Kṛṣṇa, I can see that many of you have come here today. How many of you have come here today? Yesterday we started the seminar [Is the sound all right?] on Uddhava-gīta.
Uddhava-gīta has been described in the eleventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In the first ten Cantos different aspects of Purāṇa have been described. Maha-Purāṇa has ten symptoms leading to āśraya or supreme shelter or ultimate benefit. So that is coming to Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa is not an Incarnation but Kṛṣṇa as the Source of all Incarnations. After going through these complete descriptions of Purāṇa, Kṛṣṇa is now advising Uddhava on the essential teachings of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And that is Uddhava-gīta . Uddhava-gīta is from seventh chapter to twenty ninth chapter. Twenty three chapters are describing the Uddhava-gīta in the eleventh Canto. In that eleventh canto Kṛṣṇa is very emphatically pointing out that the ultimate goal is pure devotion to Kṛṣṇa. Gradually step by step He is describing that and He starts off the description with the anecdote of an avadhuta whom king Yadhu, Kṛṣṇa’s ancestor met. This avadhuta or paramahaṁsa devotee of the Lord described how he learned these descriptions from twenty four different gurus. There are various spiritual lessons he learned from different personalities, different living entities and also different phenomena’s, different elements. After describing that he pointed out that the goal of fruitive activities is to offer those activities to Kṛṣṇa. Fruitive activities mean acting for the sake of enjoying the results of the actions.
Generally people act in order to enjoy the results of those actions. But Kṛṣṇa pointed out in the tenth chapter that enjoying the results of one’s actions even though they are performed or executed according to the instructions of the Vedas is ultimately useless. But one must develop pure devotion to Kṛṣṇa because that is the ultimate goal. The purpose of renunciation and sannyāsa also should be to ultimately become a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa. In this way time and time again through different chapters Kṛṣṇa is pointing out that the ultimate goal of life or ultimate goal of any spiritual activity is to develop pure love for Kṛṣṇa. That is the goal of life and besides that there is no other objective. The purpose of our existence in the material nature or the reasons for our material bondage is our rejection of Kṛṣṇa. And as a result of that everybody is suffering. How can we get out of this condition, that imprisonment? Simply by developing our loving relationship with Kṛṣṇa. That is the ultimate goal of our life.
So now we are coming to the twelfth chapter of the eleventh canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. This chapter has been entitled as “Beyond renunciation and knowledge”. Renunciation is sannyāsa, renouncing. Yes renunciation is essential, renunciation is beneficial. But what is beyond renunciation? [What is that sound? Maybe you can switch off the fan, there is no need for the fan]
Chapter 12 : Pure devotees can only make us understand about the knowledge of the ultimate goal of life and glories of pure devotees
So this ultimate goal of life one can understand only due to the association of a pure devotee of the Lord. Without the association, without the mercy of the pure devotee of the Lord, it is not possible to receive the informations about the spiritual sky. It is very simple to understand that. That which is beyond our sense perception, how can we know about that? Things we cannot see, things about which we do not have any access through our senses, how can we get to know about that? Unless and until somebody who has the information about that world comes and tells us. For example at the beginning even Brahmā did not have this knowledge. Although Brahmā came directly from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Brahmā did not have this knowledge. Brahmā was in ignorance. That actually indicates that in the material nature everybody is born in ignorance. Janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ. Śūdra means a person who is in ignorance. So by birth everybody is in ignorance. Even Brahmā was in ignorance. But Brahmā was inquisitive to know. What should I do? Who am I, What am I doing here? Where did I come from? And that search led Brahmā to receive the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And as a result of that finally Brahmā received the instructions from the Lord. And that instruction from the Supreme Personality of Godhead came from within. That’s another thing: this knowledge cannot be acquired externally. This knowledge comes from within. This knowledge is known as revealed knowledge, it is a matter of revelation, it’s revealed from within. This knowledge we cannot acquire by our intellectual endeavor. This knowledge can be received only by the mercy of a Vaishnava who comes as a bonafide spiritual master. So we see that Brahmā received this knowledge from within his heart. That is how this knowledge came to this world.
And also yesterday we were discussing how this knowledge was not available in the Western world. This knowledge was limited only within India. But then Srila Prabhupāda came and this knowledge has become accessible, available in the West. Had Prabhupāda not come we would not have been sitting here discussing about the Uddhava-gīta . This is how this knowledge spreads, individually and collectively. Time and time again this point also has been established. Only by the association of a saintly personality this knowledge is available, that is the only means, that is the only way. Without the mercy of a devotee it is impossible to receive this knowledge. The books are there containing this knowledge, but still this knowledge will not be available. We notice that before Prabhupāda came to the West, Bhagavad-gītā was available. Many people read the Bhagavad-gītā, even Jefferson, Thoreau, these great philosophers, they were exposed to the Bhagavad-gītā. What did they understand? They appreciated the Bhagavad-gītā from their intellectual point of view. But the essence of Bhagavad-gītā was not available to them. Bhagavad-gītā was available but devotional service to Kṛṣṇa was not available to them. Only after Srila Prabhupāda came then devotion to Kṛṣṇa became available. So many people became devotees; so many people are becoming devotees all over the world just by the mercy of one personality. This is how this knowledge actually spreads, by the mercy of a saintly personality, which means a pure devotee of the Lord.
Now in this chapter the glories of the association of a devotee has been described, in the twelfth chapter. What does the association of a pure devotee do? It destroys the soul’s attachments to the material life. An individual, everybody in this material nature is attached to the material enjoyment, sense gratification, everybody. Starting from an insect up to the most exalted personalities. They all think that the goal of life is to enjoy, everybody is directed towards material enjoyment. From the childhood one is directed: “Go to school, study nicely, then go to college, become qualified so that you can enjoy. But then when you come across a pure devotee of the Lord, then what does he say? “That is all useless, give it up.” The association of a pure devotee, saintly devotees destroy the souls’ attachments to material life and he becomes attracted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the important consideration. We can give up something when we get something better. Say for example, in your hand you have some silver. But then when you get some gold. What do you do? Do you hold on to the silver? You drop the silver and get the gold. But then there is a hand full of diamonds. What do you do? You drop the gold and take the diamonds. So similarly when you get something higher, spontaneously we give up that which is lower in order to have that which is higher. So that is what we actually learn from a devotee.
Yesterday that point came up that it is said that a devotee should not enjoy. One should not try to enjoy. No! One should try to give up the false enjoyment, wrong enjoyment. What goes on in the name of enjoyment but is actually suffering, one should give that up for the sake of real enjoyment. And it is not a matter of scholarship. It is a matter of common sense. That’s why it has been pointed out time and time again that to become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa one does not have to become a big scholar. One has to have simple common sense. Unfortunately big scholars don’t have that. That is why they cannot accept that, that is the unfortunate state of affairs.
And then it has been pointed out, Kṛṣṇa pointed out to Udhhava: “Uddhava, nothing in this world, no other endeavour, even spiritual endeavour can give us pure devotion. He is saying : “Sankhya, yoga, religious activities, study of scriptures, austerities, renunciation, work of istha and purtam, these are also purificatory and pious activities, vows of fasting, worship of the demigods, secret mantras, visiting of holy places, not the adherence of any major or minor regulative principle can offer the same result. What we can get from the association of a pure devotee of the Lord, cannot be achieved by any of these endeavors, which actually means the perfection of jñana, sankhya philosophy, the perfection of yoga, one may achieve the perfection of yoga, still he will not get that. That will be discussed in the next chapters, in one of the later chapters I will come to that …
All these activities are considered to be pious activities prescribed in the Vedas, but even those activities cannot give that spiritual benefit that one derives simply from the association of a devotee. On the other hand by the association of devotees, what to speak of saintly personalities, pious individuals, even the demons can become devotees of the Lord. Many demons have become devotees although born in a demoniac family. To begin with Prahlad Mahārāja , Bali Mahārāja , Vritrasura, Banasura, Vivisan, they were born in demoniac families but they have become pure devotees of the Lord. What to speak of human beings, demigods or demons, even birds can become devotees, snakes can become devotees. Like birds, Garuda, a bird, an eternal associate of the Lord. Jatayu was a bird but because of his association with king Dasaratha he became a devotee. And he gave his life for the sake of protecting Sitadevi. He gave his life. Rāvaṇa killed him, but he fought with Rāvaṇa. Rāvaṇa was such a terrible demon but this bird fought with Rāvaṇa, broke his chariot. Rāvaṇa had a tough time fighting with him. These are the wonderful characteristics.
Kāliya became a devotee, a snake. Although initially he had such an inimical attitude. Snakes are generally envious, violent, aggressive and cruel. But this serpent became a devotee. There are other instances in Purāṇa that snakes became devotees. Once a snake came across Nārada Muni and it asked Nārada Muni: “Can you please give me some good advice?” So Nārada Muni said: “Don’t bite.” And the snake took the advice. And the snake stopped biting. After some time Nārada Muni came and found that the snake was in a pathetic state. So Nārada asked: “What happened?” The snake said: “Well people beat me up; they throw stones at me now that I have become non-violent.”So Nārada said: “Why is that?” The snake said: “Because I don’t bite, people are not afraid of me anymore. So they are just beating me, they are torturing me in various ways.” Nārada Muni said: “I told you not to bite; but I never told you not to show your hood.” So here is another instance where a snake became a devotee. We know that the hunter Mṛgāri became a devotee. This is how it becomes obvious how powerful the association of a pure devotee is. This is the potency; this is the power of the association of the pure devotee. Although they may be illiterate, they may be in a very, very degraded state of existence. They may be completely in different modes of material nature. But the association of a pure devotee can elevate them to the platform of pure devotion. That’s why yesterday we discussed about the touch stone. What is the characteristic of a touch stone ? In the material nature there are touch stones. But what does that touch stone do? It turns base metal into gold. But what does the spiritual touch stone do? It turns any other object into a touch stone. So that is the quality of a pure devotee. It converts any other living entity into a pure devotee.
Then finally he is pointing out about the damsels of Vraja. The damsels of Vrindavana, the gopīs, they were not very learned, they were not so much concerned about the studies of the Vedas and practicing the Vedic rituals and so forth. They were simple village girls, they were cowherd girls, not even brāhmana girls. Even some brāhmaṇas also… Anyway I will come to that later. Like the wives of the brāhmanas they became devotees of Kṛṣṇa. But Kṛṣṇa has specifically mentioned about the cowherd damsels or the damsels of Vrindavana. [Haribol, either listen to the class or go at the back, okay?] The best devotees are the damsels of Vrindavana. That’s what Kṛṣṇa is pointing out. Why? Because of the way they surrendered themselves to Kṛṣṇa, the way they offered themselves to Kṛṣṇa, that is the greatest kind of offering. They offered themselves to Kṛṣṇa without any reservations. They did not have any other considerations. For the sake of Kṛṣṇa they were prepared to give up everything. They did not care about their family. They did not care about their reputation. In the Vedic society the reputation for a woman is considered to be very, very important. It is considered the greatest jewel of a woman that she wears, is her reputation, her chastity. These young girls of Vrindavana they did not care for their reputation. Their activity was apparently immoral. They rejected, they gave up their husbands, they gave up their children, they did not have any consideration for anybody. It has been described that the mother was taken care of her child, as soon as she heard Kṛṣṇa’s flute, she dropped her baby and ran. Somebody was taking care of her husband… [laughter] That is the highest devotion. We can see also.. Apparently it seems it is not right. Sometimes the moralists bring up that point. Why is Kṛṣṇa behaving like that ? In that respect our ācāryas made a very simple point. Like if somebody becomes a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, does the husband mind that? There are a few… Provided the husband is in the right consciousness. Like there are so many ladies in our society, we see. They are married. They have become attracted to Kṛṣṇa, is there anything wrong? Rather they are glorified that they have become attracted to Kṛṣṇa. Even the husbands become proud of that. “Oh, my wife has become a devotee of Hare Kṛṣṇa”. And we make it a point also. When the husband becomes a devotee, one of the questions we ask, is: “Is your wife supporting you?” We make it a point: “Make her also a devotee if she is not a devotee” If the wife is a devotee then we ask that “make your husband into a devotee.” So that is the ultimate goal of life.
So then Kṛṣṇa pointed out the greatness of the gopīs’ devotion. When the gopīs were with Kṛṣṇa, one night appeared to be like a moment to them. Their attachment for Kṛṣṇa was so intense, their love for Kṛṣṇa was so intense, that when they were with Kṛṣṇa, they forgot everything, even they forgot about time. A night appeared like a moment to them. And when they became separated from Kṛṣṇa, then a moment appeared to be like a millennium according to the calculation of a demigod. yugāyitaṁ nimeṣeṇa cakṣuṣā prāvṛṣāyitam. This is how intense their love for Kṛṣṇa was. When they were in the association of Kṛṣṇa they were in the height of ecstacy. When they were separated from Kṛṣṇa, when Kṛṣṇa left Vrindavana. Of course, that’s another point: Kṛṣṇa never leaves Vrindavana. Kṛṣṇa simply appears to leave Vrindavana. vrindavanam parityajya kutra kadapi na gacchati …… Jīva Gosvami pointed out. Kṛṣṇa never takes a step outside of Vrindavana. Kṛṣṇa stays always in Vrindavana. But it seems that when they felt that Kṛṣṇa has left Vrindavana then they were plunged into an ocean of agony, so much so that they stopped eating. When Uddhava went to Vrindavana carrying the message of Kṛṣṇa, then he found in the fire place where they cook there are cobwebs, because they had not been used for so long. I don’t know whether you have cobwebs here? Do you get cobwebs here? Also. In India it is a pretty common thing. When something is not used for a long time, the rooms or something, you get cobwebs. This means they did not eat, they did not prepare food, due to separation from Kṛṣṇa. The consideration was how they were still alive? They stopped eating. This also has been pointed out in Brihat Bhagavatamritam. That question came up that how are they still alive then. Although they stopped eating… Balarama actually made that point. Because they are constantly remembering You. They constantly chant the Holy Name, that’s what is keeping the life in their body, just by the chanting of the Holy Name. The Supreme Lord, Sri Kṛṣṇa, after imparting this instruction to Uddhava, advised that for the sake of attaining the absolute truth, Uddhava should give up all considerations of religion and irreligion, as promulgated in the srutis and smritis. And instead take shelter of the examples of the women in Vrindavana. There is no need to follow any scriptures or follow any instructions that had been given in the Vedas, srutis and smritis. What should be the ultimate goal of life? To follow the examples of the residents of Vrindavana.
Chapter 13- Haṁsa Avatar
No we go to chapter thirteen. This chapter is describing about Haṁsavatara. Brahmā had four manasa-putras, four sons who appeared from his mind. Who are the first sons of Brahmā? The four Kumaras. The four Kumaras approached Brahmā about the ultimate goal of life. Brahmā admitted that he actually is not in a position to instruct about that. It has been explained why. That’s because Brahmā got so much involved in management. Because his consciousness was so affected by the mode of passion that he doubted whether he would be able to give the right advice. Therefore Brahmā admitted that maybe we should approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is another thing about the devotee of the Lord. He is honest. When he feels that he is not in a position to give instruction, he admits it and says: “Okay, let’s go to a higher authority to ask about that. And when they approached the Lord, then the Lord appeared as Haṁsa. Haṁsa means a swan. This is the Haṁsavatara Who appeared in the Satya-yuga. He instructed that the human being overwhelmed by sense gratification becomes bound by the three material modes of nature. What is the condition of a human being? A human being naturally becomes attracted to sense gratification. And this desire for sense gratification is simply due to the influence of the modes of material nature. Therefore the material nature becomes entangling. The spirit soul, as soon as he comes into the material nature, he becomes entangled.
Okay, maybe we can discuss this point a little elaborately. How does the living entity become entangled in the material nature? A living entity as soon as he turns his face away his face from Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha hañā bhoga-vāñchā kare. Bhoga-vāñchā kare Desires to enjoy. As soon as a living entity turns away his face from Kṛṣṇa, he develops his desire for enjoyment. How does it happen? A consciousness of a living entity is very minute. So it can be projected only unto one point in one direction. So when a living entities’ consciousness is projected towards Kṛṣṇa, when a living entity’s consciousness is looking towards Kṛṣṇa, then he is spiritually situated, then he is in the spiritual sky. But the moment the living entity turns away his consciousness from Kṛṣṇa, somehow or other, this point we cannot say when and why? Sometimes some people ask questions : “If the living entity is originally with Kṛṣṇa how did he then leave Kṛṣṇa and come to this material nature? And the thing is somehow or other. And Prahbupada said, actually this is, yes, this is a very important point… Prabhupāda actually mentioned the cause of our falldown we will never be able to figure out from the material point of view. Being in the material nature we will never be able to figure out why we fell down because the cause of our fall down lies in the spiritual nature. Therefore unless and until we go back to the spiritual nature we will not be able to find out why we fell down. But at least theoretically, it has been pointed out this way. Somehow or other the living entity looks away from Kṛṣṇa. What is away from Kṛṣṇa? Away from Kṛṣṇa is Kṛṣṇa’s external energy. What is the nature of Kṛṣṇa’s external energy? Inferior. But a jīva is superior. Although minute a jīva is superior. When a superior comes across an inferior what happens? A junior devotee comes to a senior devotee. And the senior devotee tells him : “Do this, do that” Right? Somebody once long time ago told: “In Iskcon I can figure out very easily who is the newest arrival. Because it goes down the chain of disciplic succession. A senior one tells a junior one to do something; that one tells somebody else who is inferior to him. And finally the one who does it he is the newest arrival in the movement, [laughter] the junior most devotee. It is a natural tendency of a superior to dominate over the inferior. Material nature is inferior. A living entity is coming from Kṛṣṇa’s superior energy. He naturally develops a desire to lord it over. Is a living entity lord and master? A living entity’s actual identity is that he is a servant. His constitution is that of a servant. But now he is assuming the role of a lord and master. Is that real? No. That’s why he gets a covering of false ego. False ego, wrong identity, unreal identity. That is how a living entity, as soon as he comes into contact with the material nature, material nature grabs him nikaṭa-stha māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare … very tightly grabs him down. And he gets the covering of false ego. And his identity changes. From the servant now he became a master. Then he begins to plan how he is going to enjoy this material nature. He gets the second covering of intelligence. And then his consciousness begins to flow towards the material direction through the mind… In this way with false ego, intelligence and mind he gets entangled or entrapped and develops a subtle body comprising of these three subtle elements. And then according to the shape of his subtle body or condition of his subtle body material nature awards him a gross body. Gross body is not up to us to develop. Gross body is a gift of material nature according to our subtle body. And in this way the living entity becomes entangled in this material nature.
The living entity gets entangled in the material nature. What happens when he gets entangled in the material nature? What is the result of his false ego, false identity? The result of his false identity is acting in a wrong way. And wrong action leads him to suffering. As a result of that the living entity constantly suffers in the material nature. The living entity overwhelmed by sense gratification becomes bound by the three modes of material nature. And therefore he should become free from the entanglement of the material nature. How to do that? With the mode of goodness we can overcome the influence of passion and ignorance. But eventually we have to give up the mode of goodness also. And that is possible only through devotional service. Mode of goodness is not the goal; the mode of goodness is utilized, used simply to get rid of the influence of passion and ignorance. Eventually we have to give up the mode of goodness also. Then one becomes situated in the transcendental mode, pure goodness, which is the spiritual state.
And there Kṛṣṇa is making one very important point, this point often comes up. Is the soul affected by the three modes of material nature? The answer is no. Kṛṣṇa is saying, the three modes : goodness, passion and ignorance are related to material intelligence, not to the soul. One should conquer the lower modes of passion and ignorance by the mode of goodness. And then one must surpass the mode of goodness by acting in the transcendental mode of pure goodness. What is acting in pure goodness? Devotional service, pure devotional service. By associating with the things in the modes of goodness, one becomes more fully situated in that mode. The three modes increase their different influences through various types of scriptures etc. Due to one’s conditioning one identifies with the material body and consequently with the mode of passion. The influence of mode of passion is to identify with the body and become active in the material nature. It’s describing how it happens. Passion produces misery. The mode of goodness produces happiness, the mode of passion produces misery and the mode of ignorance produces bewilderment. This is how Kṛṣṇa instructed as Haṁsavatara.
Here this point has been made. Even Brahmā is suffering agitation of the mind on account of the duties he has to perform. As I said Brahmā is a big manager and due to his involvement in his material duties his mind became agitated. Therefore when he was questioned by his sons, who were born from his mind about the means for driving away desires for sense gratification, he admitted that he was not able to give them an answer or properly guide them. In order to get insight in this matter he took shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And then the Lord appeared as Haṁsa. Lord Haṁsa proceeded to give instructions about the categorical identity of the self, the different states of consciousness. The different states of consciousness are wakeful state, sleep state and deep sleep state. These are also pertaining to our material body. When we are in a gross bodily platform, that state is called wakeful state. When both the gross body and the subtle body are active that is the wakeful state. When the gross body is inactive but the subtle body is active, that is the dream state. We dream. What is the dream? Dream is to act in the plane of the subtle body. The gross body fell asleep, the gross body is unconscious, inert. But the subtle body is still active. That is the state of dream state. . Dream is to go into the plane of the subtle body. The gross body fell asleep, the gross body is unconscious. But when the subtle body is still. But when both gross bodies and subtle bodies are inactive, that is the state of deep sleep. Wakeful state is the state that generally is influenced by the passion. Dream state also is influenced by passion. But deep sleep is in ignorance. So when we are in ignorance then we are in deep sleep. But to transcend that we have to go beyond the bodily platform, both the gross and subtle bodies. And the means of conquering over material existence… The sages headed by Saunaka became free from all their doubts by hearing the words of the Lord and worshiped him with pure devotion in mature love of God.
So we still have twenty five minutes. Should we go to the next chapter or should we ask questions? How many of you want to ask questions? Okay, very good, okay, let’s go into questions. As I said, questions and answers is the best way to cultivate knowledge.
Question : [unclear] BCS :The question is concerning this last point, wakeful, dream and deep sleep state. When we go into the deep sleep, how does it contribute to knowledge?
BCS : Ignorance doesn’t actually contribute much to knowledge. But at the same time we need it. You know why we need it? Because the living entity, due to the mode of passion, gets involved in the materialistic activities. These materialistic activities are very painful. Therefore he needs to give up. Let’s consider this way. What are we doing in the mode of passion? Carrying this body, a big lump we are carrying. Then we become tired and then we say: “To hell with it.” And that is the time we go to sleep. We need it, without sleep we cannot continue. That is what the deep sleep is contributing. In a way it is taking us close to Kṛṣṇa. Because we have given up our material consciousness, therefore we are somehow close to Kṛṣṇa but without awareness. That’s why it is in ignorance. But when this closeness to Kṛṣṇa is happening with knowledge. Otherwise It is happening passion to ignorance, passion to ignorance, like that. And then again entering into ignorance at night. Then again in the morning we come into the mode of passion. But with the mode of goodness we have to come out of that cycle of ignorance and passion, ignorance and passion. And then we have to transcend the mode of goodness because the mode of goodness runs the risk of falling in passion again. Prabhupāda gives the example. Yogis they go to the Himalayas, stay there for some time. Because they can’t stay in that state for too long, they come back to do some philanthropic work and nowadays they come back to America to make money. The thing is that the sustainable condition will be only when one is situated in pure goodness. Because the mode of goodness is also tinged with passion and ignorance. Material mode of goodness, it is not pure goodness, it is tinged with the passion and ignorance. Pure goodness is only in the spiritual platform.
Question : Maharaja, I have a question. In order to create something you need passion. [unclear]
BCS : Yes, very good point. In order to do things or achieve things we have to function in the mode of passion, we have to utilize the mode of passion. Otherwise we won’t be able to do much. That’s true, that’s very true. As you were saying, activity in the material nature is executed through the mode of passion. Without the mode of passion we cannot actually function. But the point is that generally the mode of passion will lead to suffering. Goodness leads to happiness. Passion leads to misery. But when that passion is utilized for the sake of Kṛṣṇa consciousness then that becomes the cause of freedom from bondage. An example can be given: Arjuna is fighting the battle. Srila Prabhupāda is saying, you can’t fight a battle unless you are extremely angry, which is in the mode of passion. But this passion of Arjuna is not for his own sense gratification. This passion is utilized for the sake of serving Kṛṣṇa. So, in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, when these modes are utilized then they become the cause of freedom from bondage, executing devoitional service. Yes, passion is necessary in order to do something, but we must be careful that it is done with the proper purpose of executing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Thank you. Hare Krishna.
Question : Spiritual knowledge appears from within. At the same time Prabhupāda is saying that we must use our intelligence and intellect to study the books.
BCS : Good point. The point is that: “you said that the spiritual knowledge is revealed from within. But at the same time Prabhupāda is saying that we must use our intelligence and intellect for studying books.” Studying books is the platform of sadhana bhakti. We are practicing devotional service. But ultimately the perfection will come as a revelation from within. Like ‘divya jnana hride prokasito’. The transcendental knowledge is revealed within the heart. We are practicing devotional service, sadhana bhakti, to achieve prema bhakti. That prema, love for Kṛṣṇa will develop from within. As a result of that Kṛṣṇa will manifest from within, He is there.
BCS: It depends, you know. Just like any other thing. If it is spiritual then it is beneficial, if it is material, like if you are dreaming that you are rendering lots of devotional service, which is very good. But if you are dreaming that you have become a queen and enjoying with the king. The ultimate consideration is that whether it is for my sense gratification or whether it is for rendering service to Kṛṣṇa. That is the ultimate criteria.
Question: [unclear] How can you make it consistent with the laws of material nature.
BCS: Yes, okay, good point. There you have to understand there are two natures, material nature and spiritual nature, right? Material nature and spiritual nature. By nature they are like this. They are like that due to the influence of the material nature. But the living entity is not material. Your body is material. The question is whether you want stay on the bodily platform or you want to come on the spiritual platform. Where are you from? Are you familiar with Prabhupāda’s books? Are you reading? Read Prabhupāda’s books and everything will become clear. Now the question is whether you want to remain on the material platform or you want to come to the spiritual platform. And there is a process by which you can become situated on your spiritual identity. And when you cultivate that then you come to your spiritual nature and transcend. Thank you. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Question: Guru Mahārāja, you mentioned that a pure devotee is likened to touch stone.
BCS: Here, the consideration is that the living entity is a conscious being with his independence. A living entity can decide whether he will accept it or not. He has the opportunity to The consideration is whether he will take advantage of that opportunity. It is up to him. That is the only difference. A stone is devoid of independence. Some metals have become touch stones. We are not stones, we are conscious living entities. With our consciousness, with our ability to discriminate, with our ability to decide. And when we utilize these faculties properly, then yes we can become…
BCS: Right and that is why the guru chastises, whether you like it or not.
Question: How can we perform service with love?
BCS: Yes, the point is that service is an expression of love. But sometimes we find that service dries out our love. [Laughter]
We are not rendering the service with love; we render service devoid of love. You see, there are two stages of devotion: one is devotional service in practice. When you are practicing then you have to make an endeavor. That endeavor may not be very pleasing. But when you achieve perfection, then it becomes natural.
An example can be given. You know how to ride a bicycle? Did you just jump in a bicycle and started to ride it? You are riding a bicycle You have to practice. What happened? How did you learn? You have to practice. While you were practicing, did you fall, did you get hurt? But still you continued to practice. Then one fine morning, you find yourself all of a sudden, you are balancing the cycle, then you are riding, right? Then it became easy and natural. Practicing stage is difficult. Practice is necessary to achieve the perfection. But when you achieve the perfection then it becomes spontaneous.
The same thing with devotional service or the same thing with love. Here the consideration is, here we have to love somebody whom we cannot see, whom we cannot touch. That is the problem. Therefore we have to cultivate the process so that we can see Him and we can perceive Him. But in order to do that we have to practice. Once we achieve perfection through the practice Because then we find that He is the ultimate object of our love. We love something that is beautiful, He is the most beautiful. We love something that is powerful, He is the most powerful. In this way He is endowed with all the qualities that attracts Him. Therefore love for Him is spontaneous. But we have to develop that love. And the way to develop that love is through hearing. That is the only faculty that we can conceive Him with. Only through hearing we can see Him. Only through hearing we can perceive Him. Therefore hearing is the only process. But then it works. Then we fall in love with Him, through hearing. Then the service becomes spontaneous, out of love. All right? Thank you.
Question: [unclear] The soul transmigrates. But when it fell down, who decides? [unclear]Will it start from the human beings or from the animals?
BCS: Prabhupāda said that when one falls down, the first position he goes through is Brahmā. Like in a way we can understand. We are come from the spiritual sky. How did it happen? But at least you know, we have to the words of our guru, Srila Prabhupāda. Okay, any other question? Yes, Aditya Narayana?
Question: [unclear] How do we chant with feeling?
BCS: The thing is we have to recognize that it is a prayer. The Hare Kṛṣṇa maha-mantra is a prayer. In a prayerful mood we have to chant.We are offering prayers to Krishna. And the prayers are mixed with or blended with our feelings. Like Kṛṣṇa, please deliver me from this miserable suffering condition. That is the first aspect of the prayer. Hare Kṛṣṇa. I am suffering in this material nature. Kṛṣṇa, please deliver me from this suffering condition.And in this way according to our internal state of consciousness, it will be mixed with our feelings. Prayers are not just uttering some words, prayers are heart felt.
Question: [unclear]The greed that we have. We should not be attached to [unclear].
BCS: It will come, right. Yes, sure. Tatra laulyam … It is the greed, that you can pay the price with, to get Kṛṣṇa. Lauliyam means greed. In the material nature we are greedy for the objects of our sense gratification. Isn’t it? We are greedy for things that will give us physical pleasure. But this greed should be directed to obtain the mercy of Kṛṣṇa. Greed should be there but it should be utilized for the right purpose.
Transcription & Editing : Rāmānanda Rāya Dāsa