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Australia Preaching Tour Of Bhakti Charu Swami

b297de62719e1ea88b82e79eb6ce9d70His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja reached Melbourne, Australia on the 18th January 2016 after successful preaching in Malaysia and Singapore. His Holiness received a warm welcome by the local devotees and travelled for about 2.5 hours to the Sen Prabhu’s house in Seaton. Once, when Srila Prabhupada went to Africa, on seeing very few Africans in the audience, he asked the preachers, “Where are the Africans? Have I come to Africa to meet the Indians?” Thus Maharaja makes it a point to focus on preaching to the local people of a particular country. So, in evening there was a special program held for a small gathering of the local Australians at Sen Prabhu’s house. Sen prabhu is a local devotee.


On 19th January 2016, Maharaja returned to Melbourne. Maharaja gave a most wonderful evening program at the Melbourne temple and lectured on Srimad Bhagavad Gita AS IT IS and lead an ecstatic Kirtan at the end. Maharaja also had a special meeting with the temple Brahmacharis (celibate residential monks). You can watch video of the class here


The next day, Maharaja flew to Brisbane where he stayed at HG Janakaraja Prabhu’s house. That evening Maharaja gave program at ISKCON Brisbane temple.


On the 21st January 2016, Maharaja visited a disciple of HH Tamala Krishna Maharaja and then drove to new Govardhan farm where Maharaja had special meeting with HH Mukunda Maharaja. HH Mukunda Maharaja is one of the first disciples of Srila Prabhupada and he had recently experienced a severe health crisis. After meeting Maharaja, there was another amazing program held at the Govardhan dham temple.


After giving morning Srimad Bhagavatam class at the temple on the 22nd January 2016, Maharaja flew to Blueys beach, the location for the 2016Australian retreat. More than 60 devotees from Australia participated in this three days retreat with Maharaja. The topic for the retreat was “Krishna’s pastimes in Mathura and Dwarka.” In the evening Maharaja gave the introduction class.


Then from the 23rd to the 26th January 2016, Maharaja took all the participants through various pastimes of Krishna in Mathura and Dwarka. Maharaja spoke so profoundly on those pastimes that every devotee was so absorbed in the pastimes not only were they listening but felts as if they were experiencing it as well. There were three sessions daily and in the evening there was beach walks. The last two days of the retreat also had special classes on Bhagavad Gita AS IT IS.


Maharaja also had a special interview session with Roh Singh. Roh is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer for Populis, Australia. Roh has led start-ups and major organisations in Australia. Prior to starting Populis, Roh was based out of BlackBerry’s Asia Headquarters in Singapore. Maharaja had an amazing discussion with him where he asked many questions on soul, the science behind actions and reactions (karma) and Maharaja answered these questions most extraordinarily yet it was easily understandable.


On the 27th January 2016, Maharaja came to Sydney. There Maharaja stayed at HG Satya Maharani Mataji’s house. Mataji is a very enthusiastic preacher in Australia and she organizes many innovative ways to preach Krishna Consciousness to the local people in Australia. The next day Maharaja had a very special and intimate program with the disciples of HH Tamala Krishna Goswami Maharaja. HH Tamala Krishna Maharaja left this world on the 26th January some years ago and he told Maharaja to take care of his disciples. More than 100 devotees attended this program with Maharaja.


The following day, HG Satya Maharani Mataji arranged a program at her house for the local Australian audience, new to the Krishna Consciousness movement. Maharaja spoke these 15 people on the real philosophy behind the “Creation of the Universe.”
In evening, there was another preaching program for the local people at the city’s Govinda’s restaurant.


On 30th January 2016, Roh Singh invited Maharaja for a session at his house on the topic: 12 tools for happiness. Around 20 very influential business leaders discussed their views on this topic and later that evening, Maharaja gave another program at the Sydney temple.
The next day was the last day of Maharaja’s preaching visit to Australia. There was an initiation ceremony where 9 devotees received first initiation and 2 devotees received second initiation. In evening Maharaja left Australia for India via Dubai, continuing his eternal loving service to Srila Prabhupada.



Transcription - SB Canto 6

Ajāmila Got A Second Chance / Appearance Day Śrīla Jayadeva Gosvāmī


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

The following lecture on Śrīmad Bhāgavatam Canto 6, Chapter 2, Verse 17, was given by His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami on 22 January 2014 in Iskcon Juhu – Mumbai, India.

Hare Kṛṣṇa. Today was Śrīla Prabhupāda’s class. We just listened to the Śrīla Prabhupāda’s class. So, I was, since I am here only for today – this afternoon I am leaving – Vraja Hari requested me to give a class after Śrīla Prabhupāda’s lecture. So, what I will do, as usual what we do in our classes is, elaborate Śrīla Prabhupāda’s presentation, that is the custom, that is the system we have in Iskcon, in giving Bhāgavatam class, we read the verse, Prabhupāda’s translation, Prabhupāda’s purport and then give the class based on Śrīla Prabhupāda’s teachings. So, today will do the same thing. We just listened Śrīla Prabhupāda’s lecture and try to speak on that, try to elaborate on that. The verse that Śrīla Prabhupāda gave the class on is from the 6th canto, 2nd chapter, text 17.

tais tāny aghāni pūyante
nādharmajaṁ tad-dhṛdayaṁ
tad apīśāṅghri-sevayā

Translation by Śrīla Prabhupāda

Although one may neutralize the reactions of sinful life through austerity, charity, vows and other such methods, these pious activities cannot uproot the material desires in one’s heart. However, if one serves the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead, he is immediately freed from all such contaminations.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: So, please repeat after me.

Although one may neutralize the reactions of sinful life through austerity, charity, vows and other such methods, these pious activities cannot uproot the material desires in one’s heart. However, if one serves the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead, he is immediately freed from all such contaminations.

Devotees repeat.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: So, this verse is in relation to Ajāmila delivered by Viṣṇudūtas. So, you all remember Ajāmila’s episode? What happened to Ajāmila? Ajāmila, although he was the son of a brāhmaṇa, although he was trained up very nicely in his early days as a young boy, but unfortunately Ajāmila fell down due to bad association, and he became extremely sinful, extremely sinful. But fortunately at the time of his death, he called out his youngest son by his, to whom he was very attached by his name ‘Nārāyaṇa’. His youngest’s son name was Nārāyaṇa and Ajāmila was very attached to his youngest son. So, at the time of death when the Yamadūtas came to reclaim him to be taken to Yamalaya, to be punished for his sinful reactions, Ajāmila being extremely afraid and also realizing now the time has come for him to die, he remembered his youngest son to whom he was very attached to. Actually that’s what will happen to all of us. At the time of death we will remember the object of our deepest attachment, wherever we develop our deepest attachment that will be the last thought at the time of leaving the body.

So, Ajāmila was extremely attached to his youngest son and he remembered him and by Kṛṣṇa’s mercy the name of that son was Nārāyaṇa and he called out to him by his name, and as soon as he chanted the name of Nārāyaṇa, immediately Viṣṇudūtas came and drove away the Yamadūtas and this is how Ajāmila got a second chance. He got a second chance. He was about to die because of his sinful activities he was meant to be punished very severely in Yamalaya, in the abode of Yamarāja and in this context, this verse is saying, that although, one may neutralize the reactions of sinful life through austerities, vows and other such methods, these pious activities cannot uproot the material desires from one’s heart. These things: austerity and pious activities can neutralize our sinful reactions but cannot completely free our hearts from our sinful reactions. The austerities can nullify some sinful reactions, but it cannot uproot the material desires from the heart. And then it has been pointed out, the only thing that can only uproot the material desires from our heart is devotional service to the lotus feet of the Lord. So I will just read the purport.

Purport: As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.2.42), bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir anyatra ca: devotional service is so powerful that one who performs devotional service is immediately freed from all sinful desires. All desires within this material world are sinful because material desire means sense gratification, which always involves action that is more or less sinful. Pure bhakti, however, is anyābhilāṣitā-śūnya; in other words, it is free from material desires, which result from karma and jñāna. One who is situated in devotional service no longer has material desires, and therefore he is beyond sinful life. Material desires should be completely stopped. Otherwise, although one’s austerities, penances and charity may free one from sin for the time being, one’s desires will reappear because his heart is impure. Thus he will act sinfully and suffer.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: So, Prabhupāda is pointing out in the purport elaborating this verse that austerities, penances and other such activities and charity, austerities, charities and vows, tapasya, tapo, dan and vrata may purify and uproot the…, may purify the sinful reactions but it cannot uproot the desires for sense gratification, and Prabhupāda is pointing out that any kind of sense gratification, or, most of the sense gratification is due to our material desires, therefore, they are sinful. All our desires are sinful because they are intended for enjoying this body. That is the root of all our sinful activities. So the the pāpa or sinful activities may be neutralized by pious activities like austerities, charity and vows, but it cannot uproot the desire for sense gratification from the heart. Therefore, although the sinful activities have been neutralized, but there is a possibility of new, possibility of new production of sinful activities, because the desire for sense gratification is there.

So, Prabhupāda is pointing out, elaborating this verse that devotional service is the only thing that can actually uproot the desires from the heart for sense gratification, because pure devotional service means anyābhilāṣitā śūnyam, no other desire, no other desire, anyābhilāṣitā śūnyam, devoid of any other desires besides desire to serve Kṛṣṇa. Even the desire, what to speak of desire for sense gratification, pure devotional service is even free from the desire for liberation, jñāna karmadyanavratam. Karma leads to sense gratification or, sense gratification results into indulgence in karmic reactions, and jñāna leads to liberation. Karma leads to material sense gratification and jñāna leads to liberation from material bondage, but pure devotional service is jñāna karmadyanavrtam, devoid of the desire not only for sense gratification, but even the desire, devoid of desire of liberation. The devotee doesn’t even desire for liberation. Even liberation is offered to a devotee not only the sahayujya mukti but the mukti in Vaikuntha of Sārūpya, Sālokya, Sāmīpya, and Sārṣṭi, dīyamānaṁ na gṛhṇanti vinā mat sevanaṁ janāḥ, even they are offered to a devotee, a devotee doesn’t want to accept it. A devotee simply wants mat sevanaṁ, my service, why? Because the service to Kṛṣṇa is more relishable, more enjoyable than even the platform of liberation. So, devotional service is so joyful, that one automatically gives up the desire for sense gratification or even liberation. That is called param dṛṣṭvā, getting the higher taste. When we get the higher taste we can automatically give up, not can but we automatically give up the lower taste. Getting the higher taste we give up lower taste. So, the taste for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness is so relishable that one gives up his desire for sense gratification or even liberation, jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam.

And then while giving the class Prabhupāda was pointing out, he was elaborating on that, that what is the cause of sinful activity? The cause of sinful activity is due to our bodily designations. And we become active in the bodily designation due to mode of passion and ignorance. kāma lobha dayas ca, no Prabhupāda quoted the verse ‘kāma eṣa krodha eṣa rajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥ’. All these desires for sense gratification comes from the mode of passion, rajo guṇa samudbhavaḥ. We become active in the material nature due the mode of passion, rajo guṇa, and what is the purpose of becoming active in the mode of material nature? Sense gratification stemming from kāma, lust and one after another it goes on and on and on lust, anger, greed, pride, illusion, envy. ‘Kāma’ means the desire to gratify our senses, desire to exploit the objects of this material nature for our sense pleasure that’s lust. Lust leads to greed. When the desire for enjoyment is frustrated we become angry, and anger leads to bewilderment. When we become angry, ‘krodhāt bhavati sammoha’ and ‘sammohāt smriti vibhrama’, we become bewildered and as a result of our bewilderment we lost our smriti memory. So in this way this lust, desire for sense gratification ties us up down, or rather ties us down to this material nature all due to the mode of passion and then being active due to the mode of passion, we become tired then we fall asleep, mode of ignorance. So, material nature is cycling, one in the material nature is simply rotating from passion to ignorance, ignorance to passion, passion to ignorance, ignorance to passion. Throughout the day due to mode of passion we become so active and then at night we become tired and we fall asleep mode of ignorance, passion to ignorance. Then in the morning again we wake up, become active again in the mode of passion, work through out the day and in the night fall asleep in the mode of ignorance.

Then, Prabhupāda is pointing out that when one becomes situated in the mode of goodness he actually comes out of that cycle of passion and ignorance. He stands aside and with his knowledge, he observes the influence of these two modes (Jaya Śrī Śrī Gaur Nitāi ki jaya, jaya Śrī Śrī Rādhārāsa Bihārī ki jaya, jaya Śrī Śrī Sītā Rāma Laksman Hanumān ki jaya) and this passion and ignorance can be overcome or we can come out of the cycle of this influence of passion and ignorance with the mode of goodness. Goodness is knowledge, goodness is generated from real knowledge, wisdom and then one can stand aside and then, Prabhupāda is pointing out that to come to the mode of goodness one performs these austerities. He performs these pious activities. He should take the vows of not being affected by the modes of passion and ignorance. But then also Prabhupāda is pointing out that austerities are very difficult in this age. People are not strong enough to perform austerities. In other ages people used to perform austerities in a very very serious and severe way. They use d to go on top of Himālaya or Vindhaya mountain, and there they used to perform severe austerity. Like even demons used to perform severe austerities, like Hiraṇyakaśipu. He performed such austerities that the ants ate up his whole body and created an ant hill. His entire body was eaten up by the ants and he was standing on just on one leg and that also on the two toes of his left foot, with his hands raised upwards and not moving, not what to speak of eating, sleeping. Those, no concern for the body standing there. They were such powerful personalities. The powerful means their spirit souls were so strong with their spiritual potency that they were not affected by their bodies’ influence, but eventually for the demons it is all for the sake of their bodies. And they are undergoing these austerities for the sake of greater sense gratification. So, we can see I mean, how severe used to be the austerity of those people. Now to just think of it, we may shatter like going on top a Mandara mountain, on top of a mountain and on top of that mountain standing on one leg with his hands raised upwards, not moving at all because if you move, then, we can see, like the ants gathered around his body and started to eat. If he moved then the ants has to move out, so, because he was standing there without moving the ants just kept on eating his body. So, what to speak of that kind of austerity, any kind of austerity is not possible for this age.

 So, for us in, simple words, nullifying our karmic reactions through pious activities is completely out of question. There is no way we can become free from our sinful activities by performance of austerities, vows and other pious activities, but there is another very wonderful possibility. That possibility has been pointed out in this verse. That is these pious activities may nullify the karmic reactions but they cannot uproot the desires for enjoyment, sense gratification from the heart. That can be nullified only by pure devotional service. So, although we are unqualified to perform pious activities to nullify our karmic reactions, but we have got the facility to uproot the desire for sense gratification from the heart by pure devotional service. That is a wonderful prerogative for us in this most degraded age of Kali. We got the benefit of, we got the access to pure devotional service by the mercy of Śrīla Prabhupāda who is distributing the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu created a wonderful opportunity, created a wonderful opportunity for the people of this age of Kali and that opportunity is direct access to pure devotional service which was not available in other ages. They had to achieve; they had to come to the platform of pure devotional service in other ages by performing all kinds of gradual development by gradually developing from karma to the jñāna platform and perfection of jñāna is in samādhi and after samādhi they used to come to the platform of surrender or prapati or śaraṇāgati. See, the process was like that. Perform the karma kāṇḍa, act according to the karma kāṇḍa section of the Vedas, then, transcending the karma kāṇḍa section they would come to jñāna kāṇḍa section of the Vedas and the highest platform of jñāna kāṇḍa is Aṣṭāṅga yoga and through Aṣṭāṅga yoga when they would perform, they would achieve the perfection of Aṣṭāṅga yoga through samādhi and through samādhi when they would be able to see the Lord in the heart, then only they would be able to surrender to the Lord. By seeing the Lord in the heart and seeing his greatness and in relation to  the Lord’s greatness, when they would see their minuteness, they would surrender to the Lord. And that surrender is the beginning of devotion, śaraṇāgati, but in this age Caitanya Mahāprabhu came to give us the access of śaraṇāgati directly.

‘śrī kṛṣṇa caitanya prabhu jīve doyā kori sva pārṣada svīya dham saha avatari atyanta durlabha prem karibāre dan sikhyaa śaraṇāgati bhaktera prāṇa’. Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu in order to bestow His inconceivable mercy upon the fallen age of Kali and to bestow upon them a very, very rare Kṛṣṇa prema, He is teaching the process of śaraṇāgati along with His associates and devotees. So, this is the rare opportunity that we have received direct access to devotional service, pure devotional service, and by having the access to pure devotional service, there is no need to separately perform these pious activities, but the only thing is that we should not indulge in sinful activities. Now that we have access to pure devotional service, no more sinful activities and that is why Śrīla Prabhupāda instituted these four regulative principles: no meat eating, no intoxication, no illicit sex, no gambling, because these are the four pillars, these are the four legs of sin, just as an animal stands on four legs, sin personified stands on four legs and these are the four legs of sin and by abstaining from these sinful activities, one will automatically indulge in the pillars or the four foundation of dharma and what are the four foundations of dharma, four pillars of dharma? Austerity, Mercy, Cleanliness and Truthfulness. Just abstain from these four sinful activities and the foundation of dharma will be established. Automatically austerity will be performed; automatically mercy will be displayed; automatically we will become purified free from contamination, and automatically we will become situated on the platform of truthfulness. So that is the most wonderful gift of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu which Śrīla Prabhupāda has distributed all over the world so mercifully and it is due to Śrīla Prabhupāda’s mercy we have got this life, the life of pure devotional service. We don’t have to worry about anything else. Simply we have to follow this process. Chant the Holy Name which is the highest form of devotional activity, chanting the Holy Name and we have to protect ourselves by following these four regulative principles and Prabhupāda gave us the assurance. You just do that, chant the Holy Name of the Lord offenselessly without committing the ten offenses to the Holy Name and follow these four regulative principles and your journey back to the spiritual sky is guaranteed. Śrīla Prabhupāda assured us of that. So, that is the most, most wonderful display of the Lord’s mercy through His pure devotee in this most degraded age, for the most degraded individual like ourselves. Thank you all very much.

Today also is the appearance day of Śrīla Jayadev Gosvāmī. Jayadev Gosvāmī is the great devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Jayadev Gosvāmī appeared even before Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Vraja prema, Kṛṣṇa’s Vṛndāvana pastimes was not properly understood by the people. Very few understood the wonderful loving relationship that Kṛṣṇa had with the damsels of Vṛndāvana, and Śrīla Jayadev Gosvāmī is one such devotee. He was a great poet. One of his masterpiece, one of his masterpieces is …

Devotee: Gītā Govindam.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes, Gītā Govindam, Gītā Govindam and the songs of Govinda and that Nṛsiṁhadev prayers that we sing everyday ‘tava kara kamala vare’ is from the invocation of Gītā Govinda. He spoke about ten different incarnations of the Lord in the invocation. Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to relish Jayadev’s poetry in Gītā Govinda ‘candana carcita nila kalebara pitā vasana vanamālī’. So, it’s a beautiful narration. Jayadev’s poetry also had a very, very special relationship with Jagannātha. Jagannātha used to love to listen to Jayadev’s poetry. Most of the performances of Devdasis in Jagannātha Purī, the girls would dance in front of Lord Jagannātha for His pleasure based on Gītā Govinda of Jayadev Gosvāmī and Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself also used to relish. There are few, very few personalities like that who had access to Kṛṣṇa’s Vraja prema. Vṛndāvana pastimes are very rare, very special. Kṛṣṇa’s Vṛndāvana pastimes are beyond Vaikuṇṭha. In simple words we can say that Kṛṣṇa the Supreme Personality of Godhead in Vaikuṇṭha is not the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that’s the specialty of Kṛṣṇa’s Vraja līlā. Kṛṣṇa of Vṛndāvana is not the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Vṛndāvana Kṛṣṇa is a cowherd boy. Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana has three special relationships with His devotees that is not possible to have with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Those three relationships are friendship, parental and conjugal relationships, sākhya, vātsalya and madhura. Why they are not possible with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because sākhya takes place, friendship takes place among equals. Now who can become equal to the Supreme Personality of Godhead? Therefore, forget about friendship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. At least in friendship, friendship takes place among equals, vātsalya, parental, there the object of love becomes subordinate to the subject. So, who can become greater than the Supreme Personality of Godhead? Can anybody become greater than the Supreme Personality of Godhead? And conjugal, the loving relationship like that of a young boy and a young girl, how that kind of relationship be possible with the Supreme Personality of Godhead? Now it may not be, not possible for one to become equal to the Lord; it may not be possible to become superior to the Lord and it may not be possible for developing a relationship like that between a young girl and a young boy with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but if the Lord wants, He can become equal. One cannot become equal to Kṛṣṇa, but if Kṛṣṇa wants, He can become equal to somebody. If Kṛṣṇa wants He can become subordinate to somebody and Vṛndāvana is the place where Kṛṣṇa has become equal to His devotees, Kṛṣṇa has become subordinate to His devotees and so forth. But in order to do that, Kṛṣṇa had to make His devotees forget that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that is Vṛndāvana. Kṛṣṇa made Yogamāyā, by the arrangement of Yogamāyā the devotees of Vṛndāvana have forgotten that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Again, there are two kinds of forgetfulness: one is forgetfulness out of ignorance and what is the other kind of forgetfulness? Forgetfulness out of love, out of ignorance you forget, that’s understandable. But this is a very special kind of forgetfulness. Forgetting the position of the person due to intense love for that person. Example: the son has become the state president, big man, but does the mother treat him like a state president? It is not that the mother doesn’t know that he is the state president but to the mother it doesn’t matter that he is a state president. Even when he comes home late she chastises him, what you had been doing so late at night [Laughter]. So, this is the kind of forgetfulness out of love, that is called mamatā, the possessiveness, He is mine. Kṛṣṇa is mine. His position doesn’t matter, what really matters is: He is mine, He is my friend, He is my child, He is my beloved, and that is Vṛndāvana. So, this Vṛndāvana which is beyond Vaikuṇṭha, in Vaikuṇṭha Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but in Vṛndāvana, Kṛṣṇa is not the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa is the cowherd boy and He has His amazingly intense loving relationships with His devotees.

So Jayadev Gosvāmī is one such rare personality who knew about Kṛṣṇa’s identity in Vṛndāvana. Another person is Chandidās. Jayadeva, Chandidās, Vidyāpati, Kavi Karṇapūra, his Kṛṣṇa Karṇāmṛta is so rare. Caitanya Mahāprabhu relished it so much, that He personally  copied it when He went to South India. Two books He copied with His own hands. One is Brahmā Saṁhitā and the other is Kṛṣṇa Karṇāmṛta. So, these are some very, very rare personalities, who appeared before Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Otherwise before Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Kṛṣṇa’s Vṛndāvana pastimes were a mystery to most of the people. Vāsudeva, an associate of Caitanya Mahāprabhu is mentioning that way that yadi gaura na hoite tabe ki hoite kemone dharitam de, if Caitanya Mahāprabhu did not have come, then, how would I have maintained my body and soul together. Because, then who would have revealed the loving relationship between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa? Who would have revealed the glory of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī? ‘Yadi gaura na hoite tabe ki hoite kemone dharitām de prema rasa sīmā rādhāro mahimā jagate jānate ke’. Then who had revealed the glory of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī whose love is the highest epitome of transcendental loving relationship. ‘mādhura vṛnda, vipina-mādhuri, praveśa cāturī sār’, who would have been able to have access to the sweetness of the forest of Vṛndāvana; ‘baraja-yuvati bhaver bhakat, śakati hoito kar’ who would have had the strength, who would have had the power to access to the loving relationship of Kṛṣṇa and the young damsels of Vṛndāvana. So, it was not available before Caitanya Mahāprabhu. We all are very fortunate due to Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mercy we understood Kṛṣṇa’s vraja līlā, we have access to Kṛṣṇa’s vraja līlā, but otherwise it was not, only some rare personalities had access to that. But most of the people didn’t even understand their presentation.

One very wonderful episode with Jayadeva’s life is that he was writing. While he was writing Gītā Govinda, there is a chapter, a section of māna bhañjana. Rādhārāṇī became upset. Rādhārāṇī became angry, that loving anger is called mān and bhañjana is breaking. So, breaking that māna of Rādhārāṇī that section, that chapter. Rādhārāṇī became very upset. Kṛṣṇa was supposed to come to her at night. All the gopīs had made all the arrangements in the groves of Vṛndāvana but they were waiting and waiting and waiting. Kṛṣṇa didn’t come. Then finally when Kṛṣṇa came, Rādhārāṇī became so upset, she told her friends: “Tell that person not to come near me. Tell Him that I don’t even want to see His face. Tell Him to get lost.” So, that is the angry mood of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. So, at that time, Kṛṣṇa came begging forgiveness from Rādhārāṇī and while He was expressing His submission to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, Kṛṣṇa is telling that “please give me the shelter of your magnanimous lotus feet.” Jayadeva couldn’t write that. How can he write that Kṛṣṇa is asking Radharanis shelter rather everybody wants Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet, but Kṛṣṇa is asking Rādhārāṇī’s lotus feet. So, he left that. He couldn’t write it. He felt that he can’t write that. So, he then just stopped writing and he went to take his bath. So, when he came back from taking his bath, he probably took his prasāda and then when he came back to start writing again, he saw that those two lines are written there. So, he was surprised. So, he asked his wife, “Did anybody come and write anything here?” So, she said yes, you went to take his bath, take your bath and then you quickly came back and wrote something and then you went to take your bath[Laughter]. So, then, he understood who actually came and wrote it. So, Kṛṣṇa Himself came disguised as Jayadev Gosvāmī and wrote these two lines. So that is how great a devotee he was. So, today is his birth, appearance day.

This day is celebrated in his birth place in northern part of Bengal in a place called Kenduvilya. They have big festivity, but unfortunately it is the festivity of the apa-sampradāyas. Like what they do, you know? This is the festival of smoking gāñjā. All these people just gather there, in this there is a big mela Kenduvidya mela. So, this is how we can see how degraded this age has become. Such a great poet’s presentation has so badly been tarnished by these kind of degraded people. Anyway, Śrīla Prabhupāda came to revive the glory of these personalities. Iskcon is the only place where these great devotees are being truly recognized and glorified. Śrīla Jayadev Gosvāmī ki jaya. Śrīla Jayadev Gosvāmī Prabhupāda ki jaya. Gaura premānande.

Devotees: Hari Hari bol.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Jagad Guru Śrīla Prabhupāda ki jaya. Does anybody have any comment? Mahārāja do you have any or question? Yeah.

Devotee: [unclear] Question is related to whether attending social functions is sense gratification.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Well! you can take them as sense gratification or you can also take them as social obligation. I would suggest that take it as social obligation. Don’t go there for sense gratification.

Devotee: [unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes.

Devotee: [unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yeah. Good, very good point. Like when they are serving the feast make them to, make them serve Kṛṣṇa prasāda. It can be cooked by Govinda’s and served there. That can be done.

Devotee: [unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: No, not that. Make the whole feast as Kṛṣṇa prasāda. Otherwise you know mixing all those kinds of inedible stuff is not also desirable. Just giving one peda [Laughter] is not going to serve the purpose.

Devotee: [unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes, good.

Devotee: [unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: What is your question?

Devotee: [unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: yes. Yes. Actually, in Bhagavad Gītā Kṛṣṇa is not revealing the vraja aspect. He is revealing the Vaikuṇṭha aspect, the paramātmā aspect, right? īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe ’rjuna tiṣṭhati. Like, He is not giving the full, you know, understanding of vraja in that way, but the last instruction is giving the indication of vraja, ‘mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja’, and that verse is leading to Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, which is actually revealing vraja. See the last verse of Bhagavad Gītā is leading to the first verse of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam sarva-dharmān parityajya(Bhagavad Gītā 18.66) dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo ’tra paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satāṁ(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.1.2). So, where Bhagavad Gītā ended, Śrīmad Bhāgavatam began. Hare Kṛṣṇa. Okay, so and ….

Devotee: Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja. My question is related to Jayadev Gosvāmī and like you said that apasampradāyas have spread out in this area [unclear] Holy Name should be spread [unclear] similarly in the Haridas thakur’s Samādhi, in Jagannātha Purī [unclear] Iskcon can revive… …………….

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes.

Devotee: [unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: It will happen. It will happen. Let Iskcon continue its preaching work as Śrīla Prabhupāda designed, then, everything will come to Iskcon. Not only all the places of Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s pastimes Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, but even, you know, like it will spread in every town and village. So, all the places will come under the proper care and protection of Iskcon. Does it answer your question? Like, there is no need to struggle to get them, you know because then you don’t know what to do. Like, I mean, we have so much to do, like what they are doing let them do, right? Like, you know, there are two ways two strategies of battle. One strategy is attack the capital, take over the capital. So, that is Kali’s strategy and the other attack strategy is surround the enemy from all sides and crush it, that is Mahāprabhu’s strategy.

Devotees: [laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Right[laughter]? So, our business is let Kṛṣṇa Consciousness spread and then attack will come from all every ten sides, not only from eight sides, from above and below also [laughter] and the enemies won’t have any space to hide. It will happen in course of time otherwise, you know, if we get into an unnecessary struggle, our real purpose will be lost. We will just get caught up with those unnecessary activities. Let’s spread the Holy Name and it will happen in course of time. Mother Siddhi Lalsa. Give her the mike.

Devotee: Mahārāja, Śrīla Prabhupāda …Lord Caitanya’s …..young generation … our paintings so how can they… children, [unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Well! I think this question can be presented to the BBT trustees [Laughter] and at least my simple response to that will be, you see, Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Kṛṣṇa came as Caitanya Mahāprabhu to give an access to Vṛndāvana, and the way to do that is saṅkīrtana. Saṅkīrtana means effective chanting of the holy name and propagation of the holy name, effective cultivation of devotional service to Kṛṣṇa and engagement of others in to that service, and the taste of that is so wonderful that one will automatically be free from hrid roga, the heart disease, as Prabhupāda was mentioning in that lecture today, the heart disease and that heart disease is desire for sense gratification. You see, Kaliyuga is a very, very difficult age. You see, I mean you may not include, any way I mean, not so as we were saying certain kind of picture in the BBT publication and all. We may do that but what about when people go and see the bill boards outside. That is hundred times worse than anything that has been painted in Iskcon. Now how can we, not that we can make them go out blind fold; they will be exposed to all kinds of things in the age of Kali. The only antidote to that is Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. Let them get the higher taste of Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. Therefore and that is how they will be able to overcome the influence of this age of Kali. So, and that will be happening through preaching and preaching means teaching. Not that we go out and preach to the congregation only; we have to preach to our own devotees; we have to preach to our own children and that is how we have to educate them and it is through proper knowledge that one will be able to overcome these influences. Anyway, I mean that is my, you know, response to that question, which is actually a very relevant question. I agree, I don’t deny that, but my understanding is let us develop Kṛṣṇa Consciousness in such a way that will automatically create a shield to protect ourselves from the onslaught of the age of Kali. Thank you. Hare Kṛṣṇa. All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. We can end the class with a short kīrtana.

End of lecture.


Transcription : Anonymous helper.

Editing : Rāmānanda Rāya Dāsa


Installation of new altar at Gita Nagari

On 30th November 2013, His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami  was invited to install the new altar at Gita Nagari, the spiritual farming community in rural Pennsylvania, USA.

Watch the video here:


Retreat Seminar Lecture

Uddhava-gītā US Retreat – Day 2 – Evening Lecture


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

Day 2 – Evening Session, Given By His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Uddhava-gītā Retreat – Gita-Nagari US, 31 May 2013

Chapter 17 Description Of The Var
āśrama System

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: So now Kṛṣṇa will speak about varāśrama. You first want to hear about vānaprastha-āśrama or ghastha-āśrama? [Laughter] Anyway, I will start with vānaprastha-āśrama. Prepare yourself for that. And then we will go into the responsibilities of ghastha-āśrama.

So first Kṛṣṇa is speaking about the varṇas, the description of the varāśrama-system. In Satya-yuga there was only one vara or one social order and that order was known as hasa. In Satya-yuga there was no brāhmaa, katriya, vaiśya, śūdra as such. There was only one social order and that was known as hasa. And in that age men were naturally engaged in pure devotional service. Everyone was automatically dedicated to pure devotional service. And since everyone was perfect, that age was known as? What is the other name of Satya-yuga? Kta-yuga. Because everyone was perfect at that age it was known as Kta-yuga. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, people used to perceive Him in the heart through the process of meditation. They were so pure that they could see the Lord in the heart. However in Treta-yuga the Supreme Personality of Godhead created the four varas. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā: “Cātur-varya mayā sṛṣṭa gua-karma-vibhāgaśa.” In Satya-yuga because everyone was completely pure, everyone was worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So the effect of guna and karma was not so diverse. Everyone was engaged in pure devotional service. By nature they were naturally austere; they were naturally situated in meditation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But in Treta-yuga the division started: four varas and āśramas which prescribed material and spiritual duties for the different members of the society. And how were these varas prescribed?  Kṛṣṇa mentions gua-karma-vibhāgaśa. Guna, how many guas are there in the material nature? Three guas: sattva-gua, rajo-gua and tamo-gua. So those who are influenced by the modes of goodness, what is their nature like, what is their natural characteristic like? They are automatically, they are naturally spiritually inclined. Therefore they are brāhmaas. Then those who are influenced by the mode of passion, what was their nature like? The mode of goodness leads one to knowledge, the mode of passion leads to action. When people become active it is due to the mode of passion. And when one is influenced by the mode of passion, then what does one naturally want to do? He wants to enjoy. Not only the human beings are influenced by the modes, even the animals are influenced. Which animal is influenced by the mode of goodness? The cow. And have you noticed the nature of the cow? What is the nature of the cow? So peaceful, so gentle. It just eats grass and gives milk, the most valuable product. It takes nothing and it gives the greatest benefit. That is the mode of goodness. And which animal is in the mode of passion? The lion. So have you seen the nature of a lion? Just compare the nature of a cow and a lion. Completely different. This is how the modes influence the living entities. In the mode of goodness one becomes peaceful, gentle, thoughtful, meditative, withdrawn, yet rendering the greatest benefit. Whereas in the mode of passion one is trying to get whatever he wants. At the same time he is noble. Look at the nature of a lion. The lion is a very noble animal actually. A lion will not kill any other animal if it is not hungry. If the lion is not hungry, the lion won’t attack any other animal. Rather the lion will give protection. Katriyas are like that. The word katriya means? katat trāyate iti katriya. Kat means injury. The one who protects the society and the members of the society from injury, he is a katriya. The katriya gives protection. In one hand he wants to enjoy but at the same time he is there to give protection. Whoever surrenders unto him, he says: “Don’t worry, I will give protection.” He will even give his life to protect his subordinates. That is a real katriya. In one hand they have a very, very intense desire to enjoy, but at the same time they are there to give protection. And he is very valiant, heroic, he is very powerful and he is fearless, that is a katriya. And then there are some people, those who are in the mixed mode of passion and ignorance. Due to passion they want to enjoy. But because of the mixed mode of passion and ignorance, they don’t have the strength of a katriya. Therefore what do they do? You see, the difference between a vaiśya is that the vaiśya will buy what he wants to enjoy, with money he will get it, while the katriya will get it with his strength. Like you have seen in Mahābhārata specially, a katriya prince likes a girl and he will go and pick her up. And it won’t be easy for him. He won’t steal the girl in the middle of the night. He will do it in the broad daylight when everyone is around and his mood will be: “Okay, I am claiming her, if anybody wants, he can stop me. And he will fight, he will fight. And by defeating others in that battle he will claim his princess. Like you have seen Arjuna, you have seen Kṛṣṇa, you have seen Bhīṣma. He of course would not get these three girls, Ambā, Ambikā and Ambālikā for himself. He got them for his brother, Vicitravīrya. His brother was young, so he went and he claimed. He said: “Look, I am Bhīṣma, son of Śāntanu, I have a brother, so for my brother I am claiming these three girls. If anyone wants, he can stop me. He can try to stop me. And that’s what happened. He picked up these three girls on his chariot and as he drove the others attacked him, surrounded him. And Bhīṣma alone fought with all of them and defeated them. Although the others were also powerful katriyas also but Bhīṣma defeated them all. Similarly when Kṛṣṇa defeated Rukmiṇī, the same thing happened. Arjuna claimed Subhadrā, the same thing happened. He fought. And Subhadrā was driving the chariot, expressing her accepting of Arjuna. These are the katriyas. But a vaiśya does not really have that kind of strength and valor. Therefore the vaiśya makes money. How does he make money? You know what is the definition of business according to Vedic standards? Making profit by catering to the needs of the society. You make your money, a vaiśya is meant to make money but he is catering to the need of the society. The society needs food. A vaiśya will supply that – krishi – by cultivation of land. He will supply food, go-rakā, and he will bring things form different parts of the world and then sell them. He will buy things from the place where it costs nothing and he will bring things to the place where it costs a hell of a lot, I am sorry, [laughs] where it costs a lot of money. That is a vaiśya’s business: krishi, go-rakā and vanisha: “Business”, business is you get the things where it is needed and you make your profit. They would do things, like simple things, like salt. They would go to the ocean where there is an abundance of salt and bring it to the in-land. In the in-land you don’t get no salt. The salt costed him nothing and he would sell it to them at a very high price. This is the vanisha, business, trading. But unfortunately what is today’s definition of business? See what actually happens: catering to the demand. What are the demands of the society? Food, clothes, jewelries etc. But now, what are they doing? They create an artificial demand through the publicity, advertisements, through the media, they are creating artificial demands and they are selling their product. They are creating a product and they create a demand for that and they are making their profit. And you know what is the modern day definition of business? The actual definition of business is catering to the demand of the society, catering to the need of the society and make profit. Todays’ definition of business is: “Business is the noble art of cheating people.” It’s a noble art of cheating people. They are cheating people but they are legally cheating people. The more expert you are in cheating the better business man you are. And catering to the demand of the society. And what has become the biggest demand in today’s society? Meat, intoxication, prostitution and gambling. From that you can see what is the state of affairs in this world. The four sinful activities have become the biggest business. This is how it shows how the society is degrading. And that’s why there is such a need of properly establishing the varāśrama-system. So vaiśya caters to the needs of the society. They are needed. Somebody has to bring what we need in the society. They are bringing. And then śūdras, they don’t have the independent ability; they don’t have the ability to become independently engaged. Therefore they have to function under others, specially the four higher classes, they are actually catering them. In this way the śūdras act under the guidance of either a brāhmaa, a katriya, or a vaiśya.

Then it comes to the brahmacārī order. Some members of the higher classes, that means brāhmaa, katriya and vaiśya they will accept initiation, they will accept a bonafide spiritual master and take initiation. A sacred thread he will accept at that time, yajna-upavita. They should go and live at the gurukula, live with the guru and receive instructions from the spiritual master. With a pacified mind the student should absorb himself in study of the Vedas. He will get initiated and become qualified to study the Vedas. And by studying the Vedas he receives the knowledge and then only he is qualified as a brāhmaa. Brahma janatā iti brāhmaa. One who has received the spiritual knowledge he is a brāhmaa. He must regularly perform worship at the three junctions of the day. Brāhmaas chant gāyatrī three times a day. These three times are called sandhas, the conjunctions, three conjunctions. When the night is turning into the day, one sandha and then the forenoon is turning into the afternoon, second sandha, then the day is turning into night that is the third sandha. In these three sandhas he should perform his worship of the Lord by chanting the mantra: ‘dhyāyan stuvas tasya yaśas tri-sandhya vande guro śrī-caraāravindam.’

Brahmacārī life has been described here. Such a pure life. He accepts for his maintenance whatever remnants of the Lord he is granted. He should render menial service to his spiritual master by massaging his feet and worshiping him and he should avoid all sense gratification and strictly maintain the vow of celibacy. With his mind, body and words, he should worship the Supreme Lord in the form of the Supersoul in the way prescribed for him.  For a brahmacārīs seeing or touching women and the conversation or sports in the form of sports in the association of women are absolutely disallowed. Everyone is also advised to always remember that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the Supersoul dwelling within the hearts of all. Anyone who wants to make spiritual advancement must remember that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is residing in everyone’s heart. With that understanding one should deal with everybody. When we deal with each other with that understanding, then naturally peace and prosperity will prevail. Our attitude towards others will become most respectful. People speak of nonviolence but real nonviolence will be possible only when we see the Supreme Personality of Godhead is present in everyone’s heart. Otherwise it is simple body consciousness. After studying different aspects of the Vedas, a brāhmaa who has material desires may take permission from the spiritual master and enter family life. Otherwise if he has no material desire he may become a vānaprastha or a sannyāsa. The proper order of succession should be followed in changing from one spiritual order to the next.

Now the instructions on householders. So it is from brahmacārī life entering into household life. Not bachelor life to household life. One who wishes to enter the household order should accept a wife who is of the same social caste, class, who is not objectionable and who is somewhat younger in age. The wife should be younger in age. The obligatory duties of the three classes were twice borne: the  brāhmaas, katriyas and vaiśyas  are worship of the Lord, study of the Vedas and giving in charity. Three higher classes, worship of the Lord, study of the Vedas and giving in charity. Occupational duties of accepting charity, teaching others and performing sacrifice for others are the privilege of the brāhmaas alone. The brāhmaas duty is to accept charity, teach and perform sacrifice for others. The brāhmaas’ occupation has been described as pathan, pāthan, yajan, yājan, dāna and pratigraha. Pathan: study, pāthan: teach, yajan: performing sacrifices and conduct sacrifices. Giving in charity and also accept charity. If a brāhmaa considers that his consciousness is contaminated by such activities, he may sustains his existence by collecting grains from the fields. Some brāhmaas would not even want to take such help from others, mainly katriyas and vaiśyas. Sometimes they may consider: “Why should I take money from anybody?”Like the way Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī felt. His father was sending a lot of money. And he considered: “Why should I take money from my father? After all he is a materialist. And taking money from him will contaminate my consciousness.” Although with this money he was feeding Caitanya Mahāprabhu and other Vaiṣṇavas but he stopped taking money. So in this way at some stage a brāhmaṇa may not want to take such help from others. At that stage what should he do? He would just go and collect grains from the field. What kind of grains do you get in the field? After harvesting the grains that are lying in the fields, he would pick them up. It is called ulcha-vritti. Some brāhmaas were like that. Prabhupāda mentioned that Cāṇakya was such a brāhmaṇa. Prabhupāda also said that in today’s world Cāṇakya was actually the last brāhmaa. He was very upright, very determined, very learned and very detached. He made a king, he made Chandragupta the king, but when he saw that he became a little disrespectful towards him, he left. And when Cāṇakya’s guidance was not there Candragupta’s dynasty fell apart. That is the support of a brāhmaa. In de Vedic time the kings used to be guided by the brāhmaas. They would guide them so much so that even when they would go to a battle, they would guide them. No, this is not the right time, don’t go now. They were so wise. I mean they knew perfect astrological science. From astrology they could figure out what would be the outcome and they would say: “Don’t go today, wait for your time and then he would guide him in an auspicious moment: “Okay, now go and fight with him.” So when somebody has someone to guide like that life becomes so much easier. Therefore the katriyas in the early India were always guided by the brāhmaas Ministers were always brāhmaas. Śrīla Prabhupāda also when he went to meet Indira Gandhi, Prabhupāda also proposed that make only the brāhmaas the ministers. Prabhupāda also made that in India, there are no brāhmaas, only he was making some brāhmaas in Iskcon, the real brāhmaas you find only in Iskcon. So what Prabhupāda actually meant, that let the Iskcon devotees become the ministers. Prabhupāda didn’t say that, I mean I am just concluding. Real brāhmaas, not some caste brāhmaas, Prabhupāda was very critical about, I mean I am sure there are some brāhmaas here, please don’t mind. Prabhupāda used to give an example, very proud I am a brāhmaa. See my brāhmin thread, but what I am doing? I am a clerk in somebody’s office. Or in some cases Prabhupāda also pointed out that in Calcutta there is a big market place called Burra Bazaar. In Burra Bazaar you find some thela walas, they carry the push cart; they drive, they pull the push carts; he is wearing a brāhmin thread and working as a labor. That is not brāhmaa. Brāhmaa means according to qualification; qualification means one who is an expert in Vedic wisdom that is the quality of a brāhmaa.

The quality of a brāhmaa again has been pointed out here. A brāhmaa who is properly fixed in his personal duty, rejects all insignificant material desires, always serves the Vaiṣṇavas and is under the protection of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The householder should study the Vedas every day and maintain his wards with money honestly earned by his own occupation. As far as possible, he should execute the worship of the Lord by ritual sacrifices. Remaining unattached to material life and fixed in devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, a householder may finally take the order of vānaprastha, so that he can fully involve himself in the Lord’s worship. If he has a grown son, he may directly take to the renounced order of life.

Chapter 18: Vānaprastha And Sannyāsa:

Okay, so, I go to the next chapter now. Varāśrama is continuing. In this chapter, Kṛṣṇa is actually describing the duties of a vānaprastha and sannyāsa. Ready to hear? Well, maybe I should tell you before that to relieve you from your anxiety. The vānaprastha order that has been prescribed here is not possible for this age [Laughter]. Yesterday the question actually came up about how one should take vānaprastha and remember I pointed out that in this age accepting vānaprastha means joining an Iskcon temple. But then also there is a criteria that you must remember, when you join an Iskcon temple, make sure that, all your bank balance goes to Iskcon. Why I am saying it because one quite a wealthy person came and joined Māyāpura when Prabhupāda was here. And Prabhupāda asked when we reported, not I, I was there; someone reported to Prabhupāda that such and such person, very wealthy, he was a jeweler joined Iskcon. Prabhupāda asked: “Did he bring his money with him?” [Laughter] Then he said: “No, Srila Prabhupāda he didn’t give any donation so far. Then Prabhupāda said: “Then he is not serious.” And then Prabhupāda pointed out: “All my money is for my wife and my children and me for Iskcon. Let Iskcon take my burden and whatever I have, let my children and wife enjoy, that’s not serious.” And Prabhupāda predicted that he wouldn’t last for long and it was true enough, of course Prabhupāda said, it can never go wrong. And after few days his wife and children came and he gave up his vānaprastha and he went back. So, vānaprastha should be an attitude not where we are. It should be an attitude; I am offering myself to Kṛṣṇa.

Okay, when you are in household life you have certain, material responsibilities, you have to earn money, you have to save money but when you are leaving your household life, then what? Then whatever you have accumulated should go to Kṛṣṇa. Whatever you have should go to Kṛṣṇa and people used to do that, people used to give so much that recently one quite an insignificant temple in South India, when the government officials started to assess their assets, they found tons of gold, millions of dollars worth of jewelries. I am sure you all read that. Where did it come from? Because people donated to Kṛṣṇa. So that is the attitude of a real devotee. It is Kṛṣṇa’s, not mine. So when one takes to vānaprastha order, one should offer one’s wealth also to Kṛṣṇa.

One who is taking to the vānaprastha-stage should leave his wife. He should leave his wife at home in the care of his sons. Or else take her along and with a peaceful mind spend the third quarter of his life in the forest. Third quarter means? The duration of human life is one hundred years, divided by four is twenty five, twenty five to fifty, fifty to seventy five, and seventy five to hundred. ‘Pañcāśordhva vana vrajet’ after you become fifty years old; go to the forest, meaning accept vānaprastha. Should I ask you something just out of curiosity? How many of you are above fifty here? Does it say something? it’s time to hit the forest path? [Laughter] with your money, with your bank balance. Okay, make sure, ‘Pañcāśordhva  vana vrajet.’ So first quarter is up to twenty five, second quarter, third quarter fifty to seventy five one should spend in this way either alone or along with his wife he should go to the forest. I am going to some important part, many other things, I don’t want to scare you. [Laughter] He should bathe three times daily in cold water and sleep on the ground. Where? Not in your bedroom floor but in the forest. Lord Rāmacandra did that when He went to the forest, the first night Lakṣmaṇa collected some dry leaves, put them together and Rāmacandra slept on that, a prince sleeping on a bed like that, just some leaves!

During the hot season he should stand beneath the fearsome heat of the Sun with fire blazing on four sides. During the rainy seasons he should stand in the midst of the downpour of the rain and during the cold winter he should submerge himself in water up to his neck. So this is how one actually frees himself from the attachment of the body. They were so powerful individuals that they could do that. In this age it won’t be possible and that’s why all these processes are not important Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave a very simple process. ‘Harer Nāma Harer Nāma Harer Nāmaiva Kevalam Kalau Nāsty Eva Nāsty Eva Nāsty Eva Gatir Anyathā’ ‘grihe thako vane thako sada hari bole dako’ whether you are staying at home or whether you are staying in the forest chant the Holy Name. So isn’t it a very simple process? We don’t really have to go through all that. Now do you want to hear about sannyāsa? [Laughter] Actually I will feel embarrassed to read that [Laughter]. Anyway we have to be honest.


The fourth order of life is meant for sannyāsa that means generally seventy five to hundred. One should develop complete detachment from attaining residence on different planets up to Brahmāloka. He should not have not any desire for elevation to higher planetary systems for greater sense gratification, that is the main point. Sannyāsī should not be interested at all in any kind of sense gratification even in the higher planetary system. Such wishes for material elevations are due to desire for the fruits of material activity. When one recognizes that endeavors to achieve residence on higher planets ultimately award only suffering, then it is enjoined that one should take to sannyāsa in a spirit of renunciation. The process of accepting sannyāsa involves worshiping the Lord with sacrifice, giving everything one possesses in charity to the priests and establishing within one’s own heart the various sacrificial fires. ‘Niragnir na cākriya from within he actually cultivates the sacrificial fire, not externally by performing the sacrifice. His whole existence becomes a sacrifice. That is a real sannyāsa.

For a sannyāsī, association with women or even the sight of women is more undesirable than taking poison. Do you remember when Caitanya Mahāprabhu was asked to meet King Pratāparudra, Caitanya Mahāprabhu mentioned that. Why? Because Pratāparudra it’s not only the association of a woman but the association of one who associates with women. So that’s why Mahāprabhu rejected. No, I can’t. Rather, for a sannyāsa it’s better to even drink poison than to see the face of a king because the kings are to be considered to be in an enjoying spirit. Except in emergencies, the sannyāsī should never wear more clothing than a loincloth or some simple covering over his loincloth. He should carry no more than his staff and water pot. Giving up all violence to living creatures, he should become subdued in the functions of his body, mind and speech. He should remain detached and fixed on the self and travel alone to such pure places as the mountains, rivers and forests. Thus engaged, he should remember the Supreme Personality of Godhead and dwell in a place that is fearless and not heavily populated.

So anyways these are the injunctions about a sannyāsī. Actually after getting sannyāsa, I asked Prabhupāda, why don’t we do all that? Then Prabhupāda told me: “Our sannyāsa is different.” Our sannyāsa is not that sannyāsa that we accept. Our sannyāsa is for the sake of preaching and then Prabhupāda explained that the sannyāsa order that we are following in Iskcon which was actually established by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura is simply to commit oneself completely in serving the Lord and spreading his glories. Our sannyāsa is called tridaṇḍa. These three daṇḍas signify body, mind and words. A sannyāsī’s body is completely dedicated to serve Kṛṣṇa, his mind is completely dedicated to remember Kṛṣṇa all the time and his speech is completely dedicated to glorify Kṛṣṇa or spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that is the sannyāsa that we are following in Iskcon and Prabhupāda pointed out that in order to do that, whatever is necessary we accept that. Actually in this instruction to Uddhava, Kṛṣṇa also mentions about the sannyāsa order, this order that we are following. I don’t know whether I will be able to go that far because tomorrow is going to be the last class. Anyway I will briefly mention that.

Song of the Avanti Brāhmaa

There was a brāhmaa in Avanti, Avantipur, Avanti, with a lot of pride I can say is Ujjain. So this Avanti brāhmaa, he was a very rich man but he was a miser. All he cared about is just to accumulate money and this money he would not spend for his family members or even for himself. He was such a miser. And as a result of that, his family members and his servants were quite disgusted with him and eventually this brāhmaa lost all his money. So, when he lost all his money then his family members started to treat him so badly that they eventually kicked him out of the house. So that time this brāhmaa realized that all the relationships in the material nature are simply based on financial dealings, money. And then he considered that actually the ultimate of goal of life is to take shelter of Mukunda and he renounced everything and accepted sannyāsa order. And when he was travelling, he was singing a song. That song is ‘etāḿ sa āsthāya parātma-niṣṭhām adhyāsitāḿ pūrvatamair maharṣibhiḥ ahaḿ tariṣyāmi duranta-pāraḿ tamo mukundāńghri-niṣevayaiva’ So now I have taken shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I have become fixed up on my spiritual goal by taking shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I have become fixed up on the spiritual path by taking shelter of The Supreme Personality of Godhead. The path that has been shown by the previous mahātmās, the personalities from the past, they have taken shelter of Kṛṣṇa and rejected everything and this is how they have accepted a spiritual path ‘pūrvatamair maharṣibhiḥ’ and following that path I will overcome the insurmountable portion of material nature, simply by taking shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda ‘tamo mukundāńghri-niṣevayaiva’.

Prabhupāda pointed out: “That is the spirit of our sannyāsa order.” The purpose of our sannyāsa is to simply take shelter of Kṛṣṇa’s lotus Feet. And in this way, by taking shelter of Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet we will overcome, we will surmount, we will surpass the insurmountable ocean of material nature. So that is the order of sannyāsa that we are following in Iskcon.

Paramahasa explained

Now this morning we also discussed about paramahasa, no, yesterday we discussed about the paramahasa avadhuta. Here is an anecdote of an avadhuta, characteristic of avadhuta described. A paramahasa ok, now here we can also consider, the paramahasa is also sannyāsa stage, the highest stage of sannyāsa. Sannyāsa has four stages. Kuīcaka, bahūdaka, parivrājaka and paramahasa.

Kuīcaka is the first stage when one takes sannyāsa but lives near his house and sometimes his family members bring some food for him. Then the next stage he goes out and begs from door to door and that’s how he maintains himself. And then he wanders from one place to another preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness – Parivrājaka and then paramahasa he is beyond this material modes, he is situated in transcendental nature. So these are the four stages of sannyāsa. The ultimate stage of sannyāsa is paramahasa. A paramahasa is not under the control of injunctions and prohibitions. Rules and regulations don’t apply to the paramahasas. They don’t act according to the rules and regulation because we can consider rules and regulations are made to take us out of the material nature into the spiritual nature. So one who is situated in the spiritual nature does not need to follow rules and regulations. Rather he behaves on the spiritual platform, the pure spiritual platform. But then again, yesterday I also mentioned in response to somebody’s question, that like a personality like Srila Prabhupāda, a paramahasa, he comes down to the platform of madhyama-adhikārī to preach. While preaching we have to follow the rules and regulations otherwise what example is set! And that is why paramahasas cannot preach. They are too far out. Their activities are completely unpredictable. ‘nrityanti gayanti hasa tatha loko bajya’ he sometimes dances, he sometimes cries, he sometimes rolls on the ground, sometimes he laughs, without any consideration of what people are thinking about him. Loko bajyam what people are thinking about him is no consideration. He is simply acting in a way out of his intense love with Kṛṣṇa. That is how he behaves, that is the paramahasa stage.

A paramahasa is not under the control of the injunctions and prohibitions. He is a devotee of the Supreme Lord detached from external sense gratification and completely free from the desire of even subtle gratificatory goals as liberation, he is even beyond liberation. He doesn’t care about liberation he is an expert in discrimination and like a simple child. On one hand he is expert in making discrimination and at the same time he is simple as a child. He is free from concepts of pride and insult, although actually competent he wanders about like a dull person and although most learned he engages himself like an insane fool in incoherent speech.

So although he is the most learned he acts like a fool. Although he is most competent, he wanders about like a dull person. And although he is most learned and he behaves like an insane fool in incoherent speech and although fixed in the Vedas he behaves in an unordered fashion. His life is completely fixed on the Vedic wisdom, the Vedas but he is behaving as if he is not at all concerned about that and in an unordered fashion. He tolerates the words of others and never shows contempt for anyone else. He avoids acting as a enemy or mainly indulging in argument, he sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead in all creatures and also all living beings within the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although he has to make some effort to find food for maintaining his body he doesn’t become joyful when he finds something nor does he become depressed when not finding anything. Just like the Supreme Personality of Godhead is also not at all subjected to the orders of prohibition.  Vedic wisdom by His sweet free will executes various prescribed duties. Although the Supreme Personality of Godhead doesn’t have to act according to the rules and regulations of the scriptures, or following the prescribed duties still this paramahasa does that just as the Supreme Personality of Godhead does. The Supreme Lord Himself, although not subject to the Vedic orders of prohibition by His own free will executes various prescribed duties, similarly the paramahasa, even while on the platform of freedom from such subjugation to Vedic rules and prohibitions carries out various duties.

Another wonderful example of a paramahasa is Jaḍa Bhārat. Jaḍa means retarded; apparently it looked like he is retarded but he was a pure devotee. In his previous life, he was king Bhārat, ruler of the entire earth planet. He left everything and went to the forest on the bank of the Gaṇḍakī river and there he became attached to a deer. As a king he gave up his kingdom he gave up his wife, children, everything but eventually he just became attached to a deer and due to his attachment to that deer, when he left his body he got the body of a deer. But although he was in the deer’s body he was a jatismar, he remembered his past life. In a body of a deer but his consciousness is still elevated and did not deteriorate. And therefore even as a deer he did not want to become entangled. He left his family, deer family; he went to an āśrama. And he used to stay near the āśrama and when the sādhus would discuss about Kṛṣṇa kathā he would sit there and attentively listen. Even as a deer he was fully Kṛṣṇa conscious and then his next life he was born in a brāhmaa family, exalted brāhmaa family but he started to behave like a retarded child because he didn’t want to develop any attachment. So that is another example of an avadhūta. Although he is most exalted but his behavior was like a retarded person. So much so that his brothers even cheated him. That’s what he wanted, not to develop any attachment to anyone. If he was a bright smart successful individual, very successful in life, then so many people would have become attached to him.

Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī hākura said he did not want to pursue his educational career. He dropped out actually. Probably he was one of the first drop outs. Everything begins in India. So Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī hākura and why he did do that? Because he mentioned that if he is very successful in life then there will be a pressure to pursue materialistic goals, there will be pressure to… But if he is good for nothing then no one will press, put pressure. If he is very successful then so many fathers in law will come with the proposals for their daughters but if he is not successful nobody will come to him. So this is how sometimes the exalted devotees voluntarily do not pursue a materialistic way of life, do not endeavor for material success.

So here Jaḍa Bhārat’s attitude was something like that, like let me be completely useless. The only person who was attached to him was his father. And his father actually used to feel bad that my son is born in a brāhmaa family and he can’t even pronounce a mantra. What a disgrace! He tried to make him chant some mantra but he will pretend as if he cannot even pronounce a Sanskrit word but when his father died his brothers cheated him of the property inheritance. And not only that they started to engage him in all kinds of menial work and not only his brothers and sisters in law but even the neighbors used to take advantage of him because everybody thought that this character is a dodo. So let’s use him for all kinds of jobs, heavy work. And that’s what actually what they were doing. Sometimes they engaged him in guarding the fields at night because wild animals would come and destroy the crop at times. So there is a need for someone to stay in the field to drive the animals. How do they do that? They actually take some metal and they shake it like a bell and it would ring or they would have some kind of metal piece and they would beat it and the animals would run away. So Jaḍa Bhārat was doing that. And in the mean time some dacoits, they were looking for someone to offer sacrifice to goddess Kali. And they were looking for, actually they had somebody they got some person to sacrifice to Kali but somehow that person escaped. Now it’s the time to worship Kali and they could not find him, they have to find somebody and they found Jaḍa Bhārat in the middle of the fields; they said ok let’s take him and Jaḍa Bhārat did not protest. Okay, that is what the Lord wants? Let it be. But then you all know what happened. They bathed Jaḍa Bhārat and decorated him with hibiscus flowers. Hibiscus flowers, red hibiscus flowers are very dear to Kali just as Tulasi is very dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa. Bel leaves are dear to Lord Shiva. Hibiscus is dear to Kali and so they put hibiscus garland on his neck and as they were about to chop his head off, Kali couldn’t tolerate that. She just appeared piercing her mūrti and she picked up that chopper with which they were about to sacrifice Jaḍa Bhārat and with that chopper she started to kill those dacoits. So that is how a pure devotee is protected by the Lord. Pure devotee is completely surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead just as Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura said ‘marobi rakhobi ja iccha tohara’ whether you want to protect me or whether you want to kill me it’s entirely up to You ‘ja iccha tohara’ whatever You desire. ‘Nityadāsa prati tuwa adhikara’ You have complete right upon Your eternal servant.

A person who desires his own best interest should take shelter of a bonafide spiritual master. Again we are coming back to that point. In whichever order of life we are in, especially brāhmaa, katriya, vaisya should take shelter of a bonafide spiritual master because spiritual master imparts the spiritual knowledge. ‘Divya jñāna hrde prokasito’ the transcendental knowledge is revealed in the heart by the mercy of a bonafide spiritual master. So time and time again it has been pointed out in the scriptures, even in Uddhava-gīta, we came across this instruction yesterday, Kṛṣṇa is saying that when we become serious in spiritual life we must surrender to a bonafide spiritual master. Again Kṛṣṇa is pointing out that anyone serious in spiritual life must take shelter of a bonafide spiritual master.

Filling his mind with faith, keeping free from enviousness, remaining fixed in devotion, the disciple should serve the spiritual master whom he should regard as non-different from the Supreme Lord, non-different from the Supreme Lord. When Prabhupāda was about to give initiation to a first group of devotees in New York, Prabhupāda mentioned that to them, the spiritual master should be treated as good as God and some of the devotees became quite, the expression they used was ‘freaked out’; they became very perturbed. What swamiji is saying we have to treat him like God but then again it was Kīrtanānanda Swami who explained to them, that he is not saying that you should treat him as God but as good as God. And Prabhupāda many times explained what it means, like… an agent. When you are seeing an agent, don’t you see the principal through him. For example, you go to, like you see many, like, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Toyota. So you go to buy a car. When you walk into that don’t you think that you have come to Mercedes Benz because he is an agent? The person who set that up, that is not Mercedes Benz but he is delivering Mercedes Benz goods. So because the spiritual master is giving Kṛṣṇa because he is the representative of Kṛṣṇa because he is the agent of Kṛṣṇa therefore he should be seen as non different from Him. Meaning what I want from Kṛṣṇa, I can get from him. To get Mercedes Benz you don’t have to go to Stuttgart in Mercedes Benz factory in Germany. Sitting in Portrayal, sitting in Gita Nagari you can walk into a Mercedes Benz showroom and get a Mercedes Benz car. Now this showroom is run by an agent. So that is how, that is the relationship between Kṛṣṇa and a spiritual master who is representing Kṛṣṇa.

For a brahmacārī the primary duty is service to the spiritual master. The main duties of a householder are protection to living beings and sacrifice. Householder’s business is to give protection to all living beings. Prabhupāda said that even the animals in the house, not only the domestic animals, even the animals in the vicinity of house should be treated or taken care of by householder. Prabhupāda said in the house area if there is a snake, the householder should take care of the snake also. He must take care that the snake is properly fed. So that is how broad minded the Vedic culture is. But we can see as opposed to that, what is today’s culture even the domestic animal like cow who gives so much milk, gives so much, so many facilities as soon as she is dry send her to the slaughterhouse, no compassion, no love. Actually what happened in today’s world? All the finer feelings have been lost because of meat eating and intoxication. Intoxication kills the finer feelings and that’s what makes people so cruel and so that is how unfortunate the world has become today.

So, different duties of different orders have been described in this way by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One acquires firm devotion to the Supreme Lord by always rendering service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead through one owns particular prescribed duty, by not engaging in the worship of any other personality, by thinking of any other creatures as the place of the residence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One must see that everybody is a place of residence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead because the Lord is there in their hearts. Here is the Lord in that body, so I must treat him accordingly. So more we develop that consciousness more will make spiritual advancement or vice versa the more we make spiritual advancement the more we will see the residence of Supreme Personality of Godhead in that person ‘sarva-bhuteshu yah pasyed bhagavad-bhavam atmanah’ in every living entity he sees the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Okay, so now we are left with about half an hour. Okay, does anybody have any question? Yes

Devotee: Thank you for the class, we learn [unclear]. My question is about, will he be stuck in his mind before he goes to Sri Kṛṣṇa’s dhāma [unclear] in the 13 days lapse some things happens to his soul before he goes back to Godhead.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Who said that?

Devotee: I was watching [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: I don’t think so. Anyway the point is, his point is, I got your point, let me just that when one leaves his body after 13 days he goes to Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, therefore my question is where did you get that? He said Personally I don’t think… because that is not right. People those who are materially attached after leaving their body they can’t really go ahead to the next destination ( Jaya Sri Sri Rādh Dāmodar Ki Jaya, Jaya Sri Sri Gaura Nitai Ki Jaya) and they remain attached in their subtle body to the gross body. The subtle body remains attached to the gross body. The more attached one is the longer time it takes to become free. Therefore the śūdras, the śraddhā ceremony takes place after one month and generally brāhmaṇas the śraddhā ceremony takes place on the 13th day after 12 days on the 13th day.

Śraddhā ceremony, they make arrangements to help him to reach his next destination, this can be Yamalaya also. Most of the people go to Yamalaya after 13 days, right? Like but the devotees generally their śraddhā takes place after 3 days because they don’t have that kind of attachment. Whether they will go back to Godhead and all that needs proper preparation. Unless one is completely purified one will not be able to go back to Godhead. Not that just after death everybody goes to Godhead yes, a pure devotee may go back to Godhead straight away. Because he is already purified as I mentioned the other day a pure devotee is a person who is a pure spirit soul dwelling in this body that stage is called jīvan-mukta stage. So when he leaves his body after death then he goes back to the spiritual sky. Yes Kirtida?

Devotee: My question is that Caitanya Mahāprabhu was very much against Māyāvāda still He accepted sannyāsa diksha from a Māyāvādi that is Keśava Bhāratī. [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took sannyāsa in the māyāvāda order because those days the sannyāsa order meant in that order, which is is in Śaṅkarācārya order. Mahāprabhu took sannyāsa in that order because that was the custom those days but Caitanya Mahāprabhu by His teachings is defeating māyāvāda philosophy. That reminds me of one point also, I noticed some of you have shaved head but no śikhā. You know what shaved head no śikhā means? Shaved head no śikhā, that means māyāvādi. You know what our attitude towards māyāvādi is? Prabhupāda said a vaiṣṇava’s attitude towards māyāvādi is that when you see him with your clothes go into the water and take bath. So that is our attitude towards a māyāvādi. So whenever you shave your head, make it a point to keep a śikhā and I tell you it’s becoming a fashion nowadays. You see there was a time nobody thought of shaving his head especially in the western world nobody shaved his head, only Iskcon started the trend. Even the sādhus and gurus who came from India they were long haired hippies. Only Iskcon introduced this culture of shaving head and now you see so many people have shaved head. Especially when I go to the airport I am amazed to see so many people have shaved head. So Iskcon did it, it has become a trend, it has become a fashion. Now you keep your śikhā, that will also become a fashion. You see everybody is keeping śikha. So don’t be afraid or ashamed to keep śikhā. You looked strange when you have a shaved head but now people don’t think that shaved head is a strange sight. Similarly you may think śikhā will be strange. No, they will accept it and it will become a trend. And most important thing is don’t be ashamed of what you are doing. Because what you are doing is the best possible thing one can do. So why should you be embarrassed? And during Prabhupāda’s time everybody had shaved head. If the growth was more than two weeks Prabhupāda said it’s your hippy mentality coming out. Just two weeks growth, Prabhupāda said it’s a tendency to keep long hair. Iskcon means Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava means either shaved head or no care for hair. Let it become matted hair. Yes?

Devotee: Mahārāja you were mentioning about the four stages of life and in the third quarter of life one should take vānaprastha married at [Unclear] 35, children at 40 so responsibilities till 65 and so on so what is your advice?

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Well no comment. [Laughter] Yadunath?

Devotee: In America lot of guys these days tough guys or bullies say that might is right, katriyas are very noble where does the ability in taking another’s property or taking away a woman [Unclear]  then also come across it is said that ksatriyas are hunters and meat eaters …[Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes, well, meat eating is allowed for katriyas but gambling in the age of Kali is forbidden, right! And besides that, in this present structure, in the democratic structure there is no room for katriyas. You see a katriya will have his own kingdom and a katriya will have his own law not his law but the law it will be ordained by Manusamhita. So the point is in this age that is the most difficult thing to achieve, to establish the katriya order. they are powerful no doubt they get what they want but at the same time they are guided by the brāhmaas. The katriya culture got destroyed because first of all the brāhmaas became corrupt. When the katriyas lost their respect for the brāhmaas they did not want to take their advice and besides that the brāhmaas were not qualified to give them advice so when the katriyas became independent without the guidance of the brāhmaas then only the trouble started in the Vedic culture. Prabhupāda pointed out that since time immemorial India had been ruling over the entire world, the Indian kings and nobody actually had ever been able to enter India. No invader had been able to enter India because the Indian warriors, katriyas were so powerful, it’s only about a thousand years ago that the invaders entered into India. Why? Because the katriyas became weak and then what happened? Gradually foreign invaders, rulers came, they took over and now India is the biggest democracy. And Prabhupāda said democracy means demon crazy [laughter] and democracy, like just consider, democracy means of the people, by the people, for the people. Now people are ignorant. How the ignorant mass can elect a wise leader? And in this society, democratic society what happens? Nobody has the right to be on his own, everybody has fit into the structure of democracy of the people, for the people and so forth. Therefore, in order to order varāśrama dharma we have to properly establish, we have to first get rid of democracy. In varāśrama dharma there is a specific order. The katriyas are ruling, not by the people by election but by his power, physical and military power a king establishes his kingdom and he is susceptible to be attacked by other kings and if other more powerful kings come then he will take over his kingdom. So in this way the most powerful king rules over the earth planet where all the other kings are subordinate to him. Right?

Now tell me in democracy is there any room for that? No, in democratic world there is no room for that. We are seeing how democracy is spreading but varāśrama does not promote democracy, varāśrama promotes monarchy and you know what are the semblances of katriyas in this world today. The mafias are the only katriyas and look at their way of behaving, you surrender to me and I will give you protection. I mean the real mafias, the good mafias, the Godfather. [Laughter] So that is the mood of a katriya, whoever surrenders unto them, okay, you are my man I will give you all protection but if somebody comes up with that attitude, what will happen? This system will immediately crush him. He has to function outside the law. But a real katriya will take over, establish his kingdom, set up his ministers guided by his spiritual master and that’s how he will rule over the kingdom, that is varāśrama. Alright? Yes

Devotee: And the example of taking a woman, is that alright [Unclear]?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: You see that when that is the standard, then it’s alright. You know if the father says that my daughter has the freedom to select her own husband, he invites all the kings, he invites the kings, not that someone surreptitiously comes and steals his daughter. Like there is big assembly and all the kings have assembled there. Now it’s the choice of the princess whom she wants to select and the katriya spirit is like that. If somebody takes away something that I wanted I will try to stop him, and there was a fight.

 Okay, yes.

Devotee: Mahārāja it is said that after the death, whatever you had in your mind at the last moment of passing away, you get another birth. But when somebody dies in India we have Garua Purāa. [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swam: I didn’t hear the last word what you said

Devotee: In śraddhā ceremony

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: śraddhā ceremony Yes.

Devotee: In śraddhā-ceremony there is a custom 13 days and at that time Garua Purāa is read. Like you were saying not everybody will go to Goloka they will go to Yamarāja. So on one hand I would say that another womb is ready to receive that person according to his last wish, so I was thinking [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Okay, good point, I got your point. So, one will get his body according to his last thought. What will be his last thought? His last thought will be where his deepest attachment is. Don’t I mean you asked a question, let me answer it. His last thought is going to be where his deepest attachment is and then accordingly, he will get… The nature will make arrangements to prepare him for his next body. It is not that immediately after death one gets the new body. He gets prepared for the next body. In most cases as I said, say for example, somebody behaved like a pig throughout his life; he is now prepared to get a pig’s body. So then he goes he is taken to Yamalaya and he is Yamalaya he is subjected to various kinds of treatment. One of the treatments is, say for example, he is plunged into a pool of stool, yes, and naturally it’s  disgusting but eventually he begins to like the stool, he likes stool, he began to like it. Now he is ready for a pig’s body; he is placed in a appropriate womb; he comes out as a pig body and all he does he looks for stool everywhere. So, this is how according to the subtle body nature shapes it. Yes, Shyamla…

Devotee: Mahārāja, two questions are on the list, one is [unclear] pure devotion to Kṛṣṇa I was wondering we come to this material world when we turned away from Kṛṣṇa, how is it that they [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Okay, okay did everybody hear the question? It is not like that everybody is born in Satya-yuga, right? The individuals who have that kind of mentality, only they are born in Satya-yuga. You get the point. There are innumerable souls with various kinds of propensities. Now some are very exalted, some are very spiritually elevated, some are very spiritually devoted to Kṛṣṇa. Those souls get a chance to be born in Satya-yuga. Similarly those who are extremely fallen they get a chance to be born in Kali-yuga. Kali-yuga is the time for most fallen living entities but fortunately these most fallen living entities get a chance to be elevated to the highest spiritual destination. That is the unique opportunity for the age of Kali.

Devotee: Mahārāja, my second question is that, how is that, there is an unlimited stream of people coming from the spiritual world. Is it that because Kṛṣṇa continues to create the living entities or [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: To begin with the living entities are innumerable; what to speak of living entities even Kṛṣṇa’s incarnations are innumerable; if Kṛṣṇa is so innumerable can you imagine what is the condition of living entities? So it is innumerable, right? And the living entities are, they are from the spiritual sky, they are not generated in the material nature. But what actually happens? It is due to the glance of the Supreme Lord, glance of Mahā-Viṣṇu, the material nature becomes activated and it is through His glance that the living entities come to the material nature. And when He withdraws His glance, all the living entities go back to Him, but they go back to Him in an unconscious state, like in asleep, they are there, but they are fast asleep. So that is their state, although they went to Mahā-Viṣṇu, but they are not aware that they are with Mahā-Viṣṇu. Yes you have a question? Yes, Mother I will take your question afterwards, Mother Kṛṣṇa Priya.

Devotee: [Unclear] as you were speaking devotional service to be pure, unalloyed to the Supreme Lord, you know it seems to be… we find at times..the devotees although the Supreme Personality of Godhead is manifest.. This is not engaging in devotional service… [unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes as individuals we have the facility, we have the option, how we are going to behave, The Lord is here, now the question is whether we will look at Him or whether we look away from Him. That prerogative we have. Now when we recognize we should serve Him, then we get an opportunity to serve Him and that’s one consideration and the other consideration is, you see when a great spiritual personality comes he creates that spiritual tidal wave and as a result of that so many people become attracted. For example, during Śrīla Prabhupāda times, so many people became attracted. It is because the tidal wave that Śrīla Prabhupāda created. But after Prabhupāda’s disappearance gradually it faded away but then again it is coming up. Gradually it’s coming up. Especially in those countries whether Kṛṣṇa consciousness was there, where we could not go, like the communist countries, Kṛṣṇa consciousness is flourishingly so wonderfully. So we are going through a wave. The movement goes through waves, wave means going up and coming down. So this movement is also going like that, went up, came down, it will go up again, it will go up again. And I am sure Kṛṣṇa will make the arrangement and the thing is, temples will again become so full that we will feel that one temple is not enough, we need so many more temples.

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: By our own example, yes like senior devotees take up the responsibility to motivate others and become exemplary and that’s how this movement is going to grow and we see a senior exalted devotee comes,  you know people become attracted and similarly when they go, there is a void created if that spirit goes away. So but the thing is that we have to learn to overcome these possibilities by becoming everybody making an endeavor to become advanced. We should not think that okay the senior devotees will become advanced and let me just be neophyte. No, we should make an endeavor; everybody should make an endeavor to become advanced. Especially, that is why it is important that we attract the youth because the future, the real hope lies with the youth. They are the ones who are full of spirit, full of enthusiasm, and they are the ones who can commit for a cause. When you become old then we don’t have the vitality and enthusiasm. Thank You. Yes she has a question.

Devotee: [Unclear] …hearing, chanting, studying and engage in …. Practical devotional service and at the same time we need to engage in hearing and chanting.. Because devotees choose.what should be the sign and symptom that we are out of the balance between hearing, chanting, sādhana and practical devotional service.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: What’s the practical balance of individually becoming engaged in serving and hearing and chanting? I guess that will depend on the individual. They have to set the balance how to do it, right! And specially you see, when devotees are situated in respective set ups, like when they are householders, you see, it’s easy when all are brahmacārīs, then you set up a standard 4.30 magala-ārati if you don’t come to magala-ārati no breakfast. But you can’t tell that to a householder, who is living in his house. You get the point? They have to set their own standard how they want to follow but I generally advice that the priority should be first to chant your chant rounds. Priority should be chanting your rounds. I noticed many times householders are so caught up with the Deity worship that they don’t have the time to chant the rounds. In this age Deity worship is not the process, chanting the Holy Name of the Lord is the process. That’s what one should be very, very careful about. Chant your rounds first then if you have time then you can do the Deity worship otherwise you can go to the temple and do the Deity worship. The brāhmaas are doing already; you don’t need to have a separate Deity worship standard. Go to the temple that’s what Prabhupāda used to say. If you want to have your own Deities then why I am establishing these temples. That means you will become so busy with your Deities that you will not have any time to serve the Deities in the temple. So first priority is chanting and if you asked me then I will say the next priority will be reading Prabhupāda’s books and then you can decide what you want to do with the time you have. Not that I am too busy with my Deity worship I can’t chant my 16 rounds although I am initiated, no that’s not acceptable. Okay. Hare Kṛṣṇa. Okay, last question.

Devotee: Guru Mahārāja, chanting japa comes first, Deity worship comes next.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: No, reading Srila Prabhupāda’s books is the second priority and then you decide what you want to do with your time and I know it’s difficult you know when both husband and wife are working. You know it is very difficult to maintain a proper spiritual standard. And that’s why my thing is, that first you finish your rounds.

 Yes Prema Sindhu. You have a question. I will take your question next. Let me just

 Devotee: You see there is a pure devotee, a vaiṣṇava like Prabhupāda quotes Cāṇakya. Is Cāṇakya a pure devotee, a vaiṣṇava because Prabhupāda quotes him in his purports?

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: No, Cāṇakya won’t be considered as a pure devotee. He is a brāhmaa; He is a brāhmaa; he is a first class brāhmaa no doubt. Most probably at least the way I know or my understanding goes he was not a devotee as such I mean a pure devotee as such. A pure devotee would establish Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (Jaya Sri Sri Rādhā-Dāmodara Ki Jaya). That gentleman has a question. Let’s take that question and let’s end that way. Can you come forward and take the mike? Where are you from? I am seeing you for the first time.

Oh! Baltimore. Okay, very good.

Devotee: This is confusing me, so I have a question. My question is about karma. As you said we should respect everybody as Paramātmā resides in everyone’s body. Also you said that, also you said about the cows… [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: That is I am talking about that attitude is the highest stage of devotion.

Devotee: Right, the question I have is, if Paramātmā is in everybody’s body, and the body has a problem [unclear] …body that is made of food or clothing or medicine then you call it as a karma but if I go to the Iskcon, same thing then it is not called karma, if that is the situation [unclear].. All people will stop charity, you think Iskcon will be able to handle all those people and if I do some charity then why it is called karma?

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: So what’s your point actually?

Devotee: My point is that I have been stopped by Iskcon devotees as well as the gurus that don’t do this charity because those actions cause you reactions. So you give all, whatever you want to do, give to Iskcon and then [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Okay if you want to do it, just go ahead and do it. If you want to do charity…

Devotee: No [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: the point is what Iskcon devotees say is correct, it’s a matter of whether you understood or not. First you listen, I heard your question now let me answer that and listen carefully. First you sit down and then I will answer you. Say for example, you give somebody some money and he goes out and eats meat, is that a sinful action?

Devotee: No he won’t go and eat meat.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: I am saying if he does. Look I don’t want to get into an argument. I am simply trying to answer your question. So listen carefully. If you give somebody some facility and he goes out and does something wrong which is sinful, because you have assisted him in doing that, you become responsible for that to some extent, not to the full extent. That is the point the Iskcon devotees were trying to tell you and if they say that if you want to do charity do it through Iskcon because Iskcon is rendering all the activities in promotin Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So when you assist the purpose of Iskcon promoting the Kṛṣṇa consciousness then the good actions that is being performed you will get the benefit for that. So, now, it’s up to you to decide, whether you want to follow Iskcon’s advice, or whether you want to follow your own decision. The choice is yours. Thank you very much.

Devotees rejoice and clap. His Holiness Bhakti Charu Mahārāja Ki Jaya!

End of lecture – Lecture duration 1:57:20

Audio-link :

Transcription & Editing: Rāmānanda Rāya Dāsa

Retreat Seminar Lecture

Uddhava-gītā US Retreat – Day 2 – Morning Lecture


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

nārāyaṇaṁ namaskṛtya
naraṁ caiva narottamam
devīṁ sarasvatīṁ vyāsaṁ
tato jayam udīrayet

naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu
nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā
bhagavaty uttama-śloke
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.

Overview 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 śūdra. 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. yugāyita nimeea cakuā 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- Hasa 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 nikaa-stha māyā tāre jāpaiyā 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.

Question: [unclear]

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…

Question: [unclear]

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.

Hare Kṛṣṇa

Transcription & Editing : Rāmānanda Rāya Dāsa