We Have A Super-Excellent Process

We Have A Super-Excellent Process


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

The Following Lecture On Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.14 Was Given By His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami In Iskcon Ujjain, India.

tam imaṁ te pravakṣyāmi
yam avocaṁ purānaghe
ṛṣīṇāṁ śrotu-kāmānāṁ
yogaṁ sarvāṅga-naipuṇam 

Word for word:

tam imam — that very; te — to you; pravakṣyāmi — I shall explain; yam — which; avocam — I explained; purā — formerly; anaghe — O pious mother; ṛṣīṇām — to the sages; śrotukāmānām — eager to hear; yogam — yoga system; sarvaaṅga — in all respects; naipuṇam — serviceable and practical.


O most pious mother, I shall now explain unto you the ancient yoga system, which I explained formerly to the great sages. It is serviceable and practical in every way.


The Lord does not manufacture a new system of yoga. Sometimes it is claimed that someone has become an incarnation of God and is expounding a new theological aspect of the Absolute Truth. But here we find that although Kapila Muni is the Lord Himself and is capable of manufacturing a new doctrine for His mother, He nevertheless says, “I shall just explain the ancient system which I once explained to the great sages because they were also anxious to hear about it.” When we have a superexcellent process already present in Vedic scriptures, there is no need to concoct a new system, to mislead the innocent public. At present it has become a fashion to reject the standard system and present something bogus in the name of a newly invented process of yoga.

So Kapila Muni is answering the questions asked by his mother, Devahuti. We have seen the questions of Devahuti were so profound. What was the sum and substance of the questions of Devahuti? “And how can I become free from this material bondage?” We also mentioned that she became disgusted with the onslaught of the senses. She had become sick of the onslaught of the senses. The onslaught of the senses is? The senses are always dragging our consciousness us to the objects of sense enjoyment and it is constantly hankering for sense gratification and they are constantly us for the objects of sense gratification.

Dhyayate visayan pumsah
Sangas tesupajayate
Sangat sanjayate Kaman

Kamah, the desire for sense gratification. Now Kapila Muni is answering the questions. He is providing her the means to become free from the entanglement of the material nature. And in this verse he is actually telling his mother that he is going to explain to her the process that he has long ago explained to the sages. ṛṣīṇāṁ śrotu-kāmānāṁ. śrotu-kāmānāṁ means? Hearing and very desirous to hear. In order to understand any topic we have to become eager to hear. When we study something what do we do? We go to the institution, college, school or university and there we have to hear. The more attentively we hear, the more information we get of knowledge we acquire. A good student is one who hears attentively. A bad student is he who does not hear. The worse student is he who does not even attend the classes. It happens, especially in… Like in the school we have restrictions. If we don’t go to the classes, we will be questioned. But in the college that is not the case. And in the university it is even more freedom. But a good student, he regularly attends the classes, he hears attentively and he takes notes. At the end of the term he gets a good result. Mister Jeneja you must have been a very good student. What about Nanda Vraja?

So I am sure all of you are very good students. But the thing is that the process must be perfect and one must hear attentively. One must acquire the knowledge attentively. There are certain subjects where we have practical demonstration. Especially in the higher aspects of the studies we have the practical aspect. But with the transcendental subject matter there is no practical aspect as such. We can receive the knowledge only by hearing. That’s why this pantha is known as srotha pantha. Hearing, srotha. There is some practical demonstration also. We can see it. But the most practical way to verify the knowledge is through our intelligence. The informations are being provided and whether it makes sense…

At the most we can go to the practical aspect of this. we go to a crematorium and see a dead body. And consider what is the difference between this body, when this person was alive and now that person is dead. What is the difference? At least we get some idea. And then we can apply this information of this practical perception to the knowledge that is being presented. What is the first spiritual understanding? The first aspect of spiritual understanding is the presence of the soul. Our actual identity being the soul. That is what Kṛṣṇa did in the Bhagavad-gīta. He said the soul is never borne, the soul will never die. Birth and death is not pertaining to the soul. Na jayate mriyate va kadacit. The soul is never borne, the soul will never die. Death and birth are only pertaining to the body. The body is born, the body is dead. When the soul takes up a new body, it is called birth. When the soul leaves the old body it is called death. So the practical application is there. The practical perception is there. But the higher aspect of this knowledge we simply have to depend upon the informations provided by the authorities

And that knowledge actually started in a specific way. The first knowledge was imparted by the Lord unto Brahma. He gave the knowledge to Brahma first. Tene brahma hrda adi kavaye muhyanti yad suraya. This knowledge is so profound, so complex that muhyanti yad suraya. Even the demigods become bewildered about this knowledge. Even they cannot understand this knowledge. Muyhanti yat surayah. In Srimad-Bhagavatam and in Bhagavad-gīta also we see that Kṛṣṇa is saying the same thing. Yoga proktah puranah. And there also He used the same expression.  Puranate, purana anathe; Puranahe. Kṛṣṇa anahe. Anahe means sinless.

In that respect our pertaining the knowledge Kṛṣṇa also mentioned to address Arjuna as the anatha. So here we can see the word, what is the meaning of the word anagha? The meaning of the word anagha is sinless. To be qualified to receive this knowledge we have to become sinless. If we are sinful then we cannot receive this knowledge. That point has come up time and time again in Bhagavad-gīta. Kṛṣṇa so many times mentioned that those who become free from sinful activities… What is the verse? Yesam tu antavatam papam. Antavatam, the sins have become anta, ended. Those who have become free from sinful action. Those puna karmanam, those pious living entities. Tesam danda mohan nirmuktam… They have very attentively strong determination bhajante mam. They worship Me. And in Bhagavad-gīta also we see the same point. Kṛṣṇa is telling Arjuna that I gave this knowledge to Vivasvan. Kṛṣṇa also at the beginning, He also pointed out that I am giving you the knowledge because you are bhakto si me sakha ceti rahasyam eti uttamam. That I am imparting this rahasyam, that deep secret, great secret unto you, Arjuna. Because you are a bhakto si me sakha ceti. Because you are a devotee of … And you are a friend of Mine. The qualification of receiving the knowledge from Kṛṣṇa is devotion. We have to become a devotee. Otherwise … Do we reveal the secret to somebody who is a competitor? If you have a secret, do you tell the secret to your enemy? You tell the secret only to your friends because you know that if your enemies know they will take advantage of your secret. Or in business also it is a very common thing. They keep their trade secret. They keep their secrets and they don’t reveal their secret to others especially to their…

But if they want , if they have a collaboration of somebody… Say for example Toyota has some secret of manufacturing cars. Will Toyota give the secret to anybody and everybody? But if Toyota wants to join hands with Tata and have a collaboration  in India  then they will reveal the secrets to them. Similarly Kṛṣṇa reveals His identity only to His devotees not to anybody else. To others He leaves it up to them. Okay, you try, keep trying. Let’s see and you will see what happens. You won’t be able to reach that ultimate destination.

A wonderful example regarding that is Brahma. Such a powerful living entity. He wanted to get to know about himself. He did not know about the self but he was trying to find out the history of his identity, who he was. And Brahma had the ability to practically climb down from the universal all the way down to the Garbha-ocean. The lowest part of the universe. The seven planetary systems. Brahma is situated on the topmost region in Satya-loka. But he climbed down, he came very close to the navel of the Lord. But still he could not perceive the Lord. That is how difficult it is. But those who are devotees, for them, although it is a deep secret, Kṛṣṇa reveals it to them very, very easily. That is Kṛṣṇa’s special mercy.

And this knowledge, Kṛṣṇa pointed out that this knowledge was age old. Sakha.. yoga nasta parantapa. This yoga was lost by the influence of time. And that’s why I decided to give this knowledge to you. To revive this knowledge. Why? … sakha cetih. So here Prabhupāda is making one point very clear in his purport. The actual knowledge, the Absolute Truth is constant, there is no need to change that.  Nowadays it has become fashion, people come and they are inventing their own thing. They say yes, we invented a yoga system, we invented a process for spiritual advancement, for spiritual perfection. Just as nowadays they come up with new medicines. We have come up with the new medicines. Pharmaceutical companies are coming out with new medicines everyday. Because otherwise the commodity will not sell, people are not interested in old medicines. And through their research they are making some sort of improvement. But with the spiritual knowledge there is no room for improvement. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has given the perfect process and there is no need to improve that or change that.

In relation to the Absolute Truth we can see that certain things, like for example the sunrise is in the East. Will the sun ever rise anywhere else but in the East? No. Similarly the ultimate consideration is that the living entities’ constitutional position is that he is the eternal servant of the Lord and he must become the servant of the Lord. That is the ultimate conclusion. And that’s what has been pointed out time and time again. Surrender, surrender, surrender to the Lord.  Recognize who is the Lord. Identify yourself who you are and then become engaged in that occupation. Just become engaged in that occupation. You are a servant so become a servant to the Lord and you will see how all your problems will be solved. Once you become a servant of the Lord, no matter how difficult the situation may be, we become, we always remain properly situated.

We are always protected. The trouble actually starts when instead of becoming a servant, we want to become the lord and master. If we are facing some difficulty today, if our mind is not peaceful, if internally we are not happy, then we have to understand that something is wrong in our practice of devotional service. Instead of becoming the servant of the Lord we are becoming the master. If we remain the servant of the Lord then the Lord will take care of us and we will also depend upon Him and become free from anxiety. So often we come across this example. A child, when he is holding on to his father’s hand, does he have any anxiety. He may be in a very difficult situation. Like its very dark, he is in the middle of the forest. But he is with his father. What will the child do at that time? Will he be afraid? He is afraid. But what does he do? He holds on to his father even more tightly “Daddy, Daddy I am afraid”. And the father says: “Don’t worry.” Especially when the father is a very powerful person. Why should the child be afraid at times like that? The assurance of the father is always there. To become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa means to accept Him as the Supreme Shelter. Just the way a child holds on to his father. Just like a faithful servant holds on to his master. Will the servant of a very rich person have any anxiety? No, he knows. My master has all the means to take care of any difficult situation. The trouble starts when we reject the master and we want to become the master. Yes, then we become full of anxiety.

Let’s consider, as we gave the example, we are in the middle of the forest. Kṛṣṇa is there but we don’t want to recognize Him. What will be our situation? So many wild animals. We have to struggle. Unless and until we surrender to Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa will not come to our assistance. Kṛṣṇa says: “If you want to become independent, become independent.” Ye yatha Mam prapadyante. I will reciprocate the way one surrenders to Me. Okay, become independent and let’s see. That is Kṛṣṇa’s attitude. Become independent. On the other hand, when we depend upon Kṛṣṇa’s mercy everything becomes easy. In this deep dark jungle or  forest, we may be in anxiety. But when we know we are holding on to Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet. And Kṛṣṇa also gives us the assurance. Then you come across a mountain. We cannot climb a mountain. If we are depending upon Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa will make arrangements to transport us on top of the mountain. Then we come across a cliff. Kṛṣṇa says: “Don’t worry.” And He makes us fly across the cliff. This is how Kṛṣṇa always takes care of everything. Now the question may arise: “Does Kṛṣṇa really do that?” And the answer is: “Why don’t you try it and see what happens?” Depend upon Krsna and you will see Krsna takes care. It is not a fairy tale. It is a reality.

So Prabhupāda is pointing out that when people come up with these new ideas, new theories, we simply have to reject them, there is nothing new. Kṛṣṇa has given the age old system that came at the beginning of the creation. Brahma received it from the audio sound and still today that process is available through the disciplic succession. Let’s accept the process. It is available. What Kṛṣṇa gave at the time of creation to Brahma, the same process is available today. On the other hand this process has become very simplified due to the mercy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The same process was simplified. Simplified way means it is not that He gave something new. The qualification that was necessary to get to the point, we don’t need that qualification anymore. The qualification was to follow the process of the karma-kandha section of the Vedas. To follow the jnana-kandha section of the Vedas and then come to this platform of bhakti. After achieving the perfection of yoga one used to come to this platform of yoga one can come to this platform. Yoga is actually the ultimate consideration of jnana-kandha section. After achieving perfection of yoga one used to come the platform of perfection. But now we don’t need any such qualification. To get into the university you have to be a graduate. That is a minimum qualification. But the government, the king started a new system. He said you don’t have to be a graduate. Even if you are illiterate you will get admission. He can do that because he is the king. And he is making the system so easy because this system is actually very easy. This process is very easy. The only thing is that we have to get rid of our false ego and we have to learn to surrender. Actually all those practices were there to get rid of the false ego. Through the process of karma-kandha and jnana-kandha, eventually one used to come to the point of purification, perfect purification. He is to become free from all the contaminations of the heart, of which the most dangerous one is the false ego. After giving up the false ego one used to come to the platform of surrender.  Unless and until we become free from false ego we won’t be able to surrender. That used to be done in a very arduous way. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu made this point very clear. Why hold on to this false ego. Just get rid of your false ego. We should is to surrender, then there are two ways that we can surrender.  If admission to the university is surrender there are two ways of surrendering. One is becoming qualified by dint of our own endeavor. And the other way is just achieving the perfection by getting rid of the false ego. And that’s why the most important consideration for achieving, for acquiring this process is: “Trinad api sunicena, taror api sahesnena”. We simply have to become more humble than a blade of grass and more tolerant than a tree and this admission to the process is very simple because the qualification is not to become big but to become small. The trouble starts when you try to become big. But when you try to become small then there is no difficult path. If my height is 5 foot 6 and if I want to become 6 foot 2 it will be very difficult. But if my height is 5 foot 6 and I want to become 4 foot 2 then it will be very easy, its not at all difficult. To become small is not difficult but to become big is very difficult. In order to become big you have to have so many things but in order to become small you have to get rid of so many things. Getting ris is easier than acquiring. If you have 10 000 rupees and if you want to have 1 lahk  rupees then it will be very difficult because you only have 10 000 rupees. But if you have 10 000 rupees and you have to have 100 rupees then will it be difficult, get rid of 9 900 rupees. And what to speak of having nothing? To come to the point of having nothing is the easiest thing to do, no material possessions whatsoever, we are completely free from all possessions and then you free. I remember when I was small there was a song a poor man wants to become a rich man and the rich man wants to be the king but the man who has nothing is the king of kings.  So everybody wants to become big when actually the real source of joy, the real achievement  is to become free from all our possessions. And that is what Kṛṣṇa is reminding us and Kapila Muni is reminding us. Thank you very much. All Glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Does anybody have any question?

Devotee: First requirement is one should be serious and second is one should surrender so how can we be sinless.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes, to be sinless means, the sin is standing on four legs. Those four legs of sin are meat eating, intoxication, taking intoxication, indulging in illicit sex and gambling. If you abstain from these four preeminent sins, the sin will not be able to touch you. That’s why in ISKCON we follow the four regulative principles. Because all sins are pertaining to these four activities. When one abstains from these activities, sin cannot touch him. And becoming free from false ego is by hearing the glory of Kṛṣṇa. The more we hear the glory of Kṛṣṇa the more we realize how great He is. And then in relation to His greatness we begin to see how insignificant we are. We really begin to see, how He is the Supreme Creator, how He is the Supreme Maintainer, how He is the Supreme Enjoyer. And then we see ourselves as so minute. Like He just lifted Govardhana hill and He held it there for seven days. And who can do that? Now one may think: “Well, this is just a story.” But then the question is. If this is a fairy tale, then how come that the greatest of the intellectuals, the most brilliant personalities are accepting this? Right’. The people, those who are following Kṛṣṇa, those who are following the instructions of the scriptures, they are not ordinary living entities. For example Vyasadeva. Such a giant of an intellect, intellectual person. There is a history of these powerful individuals, like Sukadeva Gosvami. Even if we don’t want to go that far. Even in the recent past we have seen. Like Bhaktivinoda Thakur was such a brilliant person, devotee, he was holding such a big position under the British government. And he is accepting this. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur. Of his time he was considered the most brilliant person. And look at his writing. So brilliant. Then in the recent past we have seen Śrīla Prabhupāda. So brilliant! Why these personalities are accepting this? If they could accept it and if they have accepted it as the absolute truth., why should I hesitate? In this way our faith increases by hearing or reading the glories of Kṛṣṇa. And as a result of that, as we become aware of the greatness of Kṛṣṇa, we become, we begin to appreciate His greatness. And when we appreciate His greatness, then what happens? Automatically we become … So that is the process.

Devotee: If we accept bhakti..is it necessary to go….(unclear)

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes, right. If you have achieved pure devotion then you don’t have to do anything. But if you are not in the pure devotion then you have to practice to achieve the perfection. These are the art of the practice. There are two expressions: siddhi and sadhana. We do not become siddha straight away. To achieve to achieve the siddhi we have to do the sadhana. Yes, when one comes to the platform of perfection then there is no need for it. If you are able to chant the Holy Name of the Lord all the time, then there is no need for any rules and regulations.

Devotee: Can you please explain the words sarvam naipunam?

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: sarvam naipunam… has been translated by ‘in all respects serviceable and practical. Nipuna means expert. And sarvam naipunam means expert in all these practices. So now by practicing the yoga system, this yoga system is practical and perfect in all respects. Serviceable in all respects, that means if you follow this process of yoga, there is no need for any other process to follow. Sarvanga means in all respects, naipuna means practical and serviceable. It’s practical and it is serviceable.

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes, naipunam actually means, another way to look at the word naipunam. Naipunam is expert. Practical and this process will make one expert in that process.

Devotee: Is this yoga different from astanga yoga?

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes, you see astanga-yoga is the process of controlling the body and the mind. But this process is the yoga of the soul. So transcending the gross body and the subtle body you come to the platform of the pure spirit soul. As long as one is in the bodily platform he may need the process of astanga yoga. As long as one is in the mental platform he may need the astanga yoga. Actually the purpose of yoga is citta-vritti niroda- This citta-vritti is of the mind. It is a matter of controlling the mind. But beyond the mind is the soul. And this process is actually for the soul. That’s why astanga-yoga is a step to come to that. You control the mind. When the mind is controlled then you can think of Kṛṣṇa. Pantanjali’s yoga-system actually explains that. Why citta-vritti niroda. Because as long as the cittah has waves, vritti, then you won’t be able the reflection clearly. There is a lake and the water is full of waves. Will you be able to see anything there? But when the surface becomes still, when there is no more waves, then you can see, then this acts as a mirror And the lake acts as a mirror, full of water. Similarly when the mind becomes completely still then only we can see the Lord reflected, the reflection of the Lord as the Supersoul. That is why there is a need for cittah vritti. Otherwise the mind is always turbulent. Cancala manah Kṛṣṇa, cancala manah Kṛṣṇa, pramatti balah … The mind is cancala, very disturbed very agitated. But controlling the mind is very difficult. Even Arjuna is saying. Kṛṣṇa explained that controlling the mind with yoga. Arjuna says: “I won’t be able to do that.” Tasya… It is difficult to control the mind.

Devotee: (unclear)

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: The difference is through yoga one is trying to make the mind still by dint of his own endeavor. By chanting and depending on Kṛṣṇa and constantly telling: “Kṛṣṇa, I can’t control my mind, please help me out.” Then Kṛṣṇa comes and helps us to control the mind.

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes, that’s right. Yes, chanting has to be attentive. Attentive means hearing.

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: It will depend on different individuals. For example with some individuals with his prayers the Lord will respond very quickly. And with some it may take time. But maintaining, the best way to maintain faith is by remaining in good association. Your prayer has not been answered. You are feeling bad. Then you go and tell a devotee. Prabhu, this is what happened. Then what will the devotee tell you? Depend upon Kṛṣṇa. Krsna is not here to have a business with you. He is not your oder supply, Krsna if I want this You give me and if not I do not believe in You. That should not be our attitude. Sometimes Krsna may fulfill our desires, listen to our prayers but surrender means depending on Him. At a neophyte stage we want Krsna do this for me But at an advanced stage we will hesitate to demand things from Krsna as we realize that Krsna is not our servant but we are Krsna’s servant. If I need something or want something and Krsna does not give it to me then we have to understand that this is not good for us. Krsna does not want us to have this. Like the father and mother. Do they fulfill the children’s desire all the time? Sometimes a child wants something which is not good him. Will you give it to him? Similarly sometimes we may desire something and Kṛṣṇa knows that it is not going to be good for us. Kṛṣṇa will say: “No, you will not get it. It is not good for you.” We must become good children. We should think that Kṛṣṇa, if you did not give it to me, then I have to understand that it is unbeneficial for me.

(Transcribed by Ramananda Raya das and Edited by Hemavati Radhika dasi)