Retreat Seminar Lecture

Uddhava-gītā US Retreat – Day 1 – Evening Lecture


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

Day 1 – Evening Lecture, Given By His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Uddhava-gītā Retreat – Gita-Nagari US, 30 May 2013

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: So everyone is nicely situated? Everyone is nicely fed? Prasādam was alright? And did you get some time to rest after Prasādam? And thank you very much. Jaya Sri Sri Radha Damodar ki jaya. Jaya Sri Sri Gaur Nitai ki jaya. Jagad Guru Śrīla Prabhupāda ki jaya! Samaveta bhakta vrinda ki jaya. All glories to the assembled devotees.

This morning and in two classes we practically covered up to the seventh, eighth and ninth chapters of the Eleventh Canto of [Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam]. Three chapters we covered. So we will come to the tenth chapter now. From seventh to ninth chapter described about the twenty four gurus of the avadhūta and this tenth chapter is actually describing the nature of fruitive activities.

Chapter 10: The Nature Of Fruitive Activity

Fruitive activity is the natural tendency. In the material nature one is fruitive. That means he does something and he wants to enjoy the result of his action. That is called karma and the goal of karma is bhukti. Bhukti means enjoyment. The goal of karma is enjoyment and the goal of jñāna is liberation, bhukti-mukti. The goal of yoga is siddhi and the goal of bhakti is prema. This prema is the ultimate goal of life. Premā pum-artho mahān. [Caitanya-mata-mañjuā] Caitanya Mahāprabhu pointed out that beyond this bhukti and mukti one should aspire for love of Godhead, prema, premā pum-artho mahān. Actually Caitanya Mahāprabhu is pointing out that this desire for liberation and desire for enjoyment, even desire for liberation, is like a pot of poison. It has also been described in Caitanya-caritāmta [CC Mad 19.176] as a piśācī. A piśācī means a witch who sucks blood. Bhukti and mukti have been compared to a witch, because they allure us away from our ultimate goal and ruin our existence. Even desire for liberation has been considered to be a pot of poison like the influence, or the work of a witch.

 So here Kṛṣṇa is telling Uddhava about the futility of karma. What is the point of trying to enjoy in this material nature? What is the nature of fruitive activity and how to transcend that influence? Everybody naturally wants to enjoy in the material nature. Only when one becomes situated in knowledge, then he understands. What is the knowledge? This knowledge is that the endeavor for enjoyment leads to suffering and the way to get out of this suffering condition is to become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. That is the essential knowledge. Real knowledge is to understand the nature of our situation. Our situation in this material nature and the actual remedy for that suffering condition.

 “A purified soul should see that because the conditioned souls who are dedicated to sense gratification have falsely accepted the objects of sense pleasure as truth, all of their endeavors are doomed to failure.” (SB 11.10.2)  Meaning that those who are thinking that the goal of life is to enjoy in this material nature, they are thoroughly misled. Their life is a failure.

“One who has fixed Me within his mind as the goal of life should give up activities based on sense gratification and should instead execute work governed by regulative principles for advancement.”  (SB 11.10.4)

So Kṛṣṇa is actually giving direct instructions; what should one do? That is the beauty of this Uddhava-gītā. In Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa was not so direct. In Uddhava-gītā He is just to the point. What is the goal of life? Now we can see, anyway it will come to that, let me just read these few points: “One who has accepted Me as the supreme goal of life should strictly observe the scriptural injunctions forbidding sinful activities and, as far as possible, should execute the injunctions prescribing minor regulative duties such as cleanliness. Ultimately, however, one should approach a bona fide spiritual master.” (SB 11.10.5)

 So this is the essence of devotional service. Actually this point has been very nicely established by Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura. In his Mādhurya-kādambinī  Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura is considering what is the cause of devotion? How does one get devotion? He is making various possibilities. This is how they do. They call it pūrva-paka and uttara-paka. They come up with a possibility and then remove that possibility. No, that is not possible. Is it possible to achieve devotional service through pious activities? That is one of the first things he is considering, but he is coming to the conclusion: “No”. Pious activities cannot give devotion to Kṛṣṇa. He is even going to the extent of questioning or proposing; does one get devotional service by Kṛṣṇa’s mercy? Even that he is rejecting. See how wonderfully he is coming to the conclusion. If Kṛṣṇa gives devotion to someone, and if Kṛṣṇa does not give devotion to someone else, then it means that Kṛṣṇa is being partial to somebody. Now Kṛṣṇa is totally impartial, Kṛṣṇa is completely equipoised. So it is not possible that Kṛṣṇa gives devotion?

 Then who gives devotion? How is it possible to get devotional service? It is possible to receive devotional service by the mercy of a devotee. Not by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, but by the mercy of a devotee, only then you get devotion. That is why it is so important to approach a devotee of the Lord who is practicing the process of pure devotional service. Here devotion also has different colours, different types. There is mixed devotion and there is pure devotion. Mixed devotion is when devotional service, even to Kṛṣṇa, is mixed with some other desire, then that is mixed devotional service. Other desires, what are the other desires? Again we are going to these two points, bhukti and mukti, karma and jñāna. When the devotion is mixed with karmic, fruitive desire then it is karma-miśra bhakti which is known as karma-yoga. When the devotional service is mixed with the desire for liberation then it is mixed with jñāna and it is called jñāna-miśra bhakti or jñāna-yoga. But when devotional service is devoid of these two influences, karma and jñāna, then it is called pure devotional service. How many of you remember the definition of pure devotional service from Nectar of Devotion?

anyābhilāitā-śūnya jñāna-karmādy-anāvtam
ānakūlyena k
ṛṣṇānu-śīlana bhaktir uttamā
[BRS 1.1.11]

 Jñāna-karmādy-anāvtam. Āvta means covered. When devotional service is free from the covering of jñāna and karma, no covering, no mixture, therefore it is called unalloyed devotion. Sometimes Prabhupāda selected these words so wonderfully. ‘Alloy’ means what? Alloy means mixture of other metals. Like iron mixed with other metals becomes steel. So this is an alloy, steel. But pure devotion is unalloyed. No alloy. Alloy actually blends together. Even the atomic structure changes, for an alloy. They put nickel, cadmium etc. and iron, simple ferrous, becomes an alloy. So, unalloyed, no mixture, that is pure devotional service. Pure means the substance in its original state, no other mixture.

 For example pure water, you need pure water. For medicines they need distilled water, pure water. If the water is mixed with something will that be considered pure? No. Even is that water is mixed with gold, it will not be considered to be pure. Water means pure water. Devotion means pure devotion. That is what Kṛṣṇa is actually pointing out here. One should be free from all these tendencies of desire for sense gratification. Devotion should be simply motivated to please Kṛṣṇa. That is the purpose.

 As we were discussing, how does one achieve pure devotional service? By approaching a pure devotee of the Lord. We can consider, was devotional service available in the Western world? How did it become available to the Western world? Because of the arrival of Śrīla Prabhupāda. Now this is the effect of a pure devotee’s influence. Prabhupāda came and then pure devotional service became available; first to America, then to Europe and then gradually all over the world. That is the effect of a pure devotee. What does a pure devotee do? A pure devotee makes pure devotees. Prabhupāda came and so many devotees appeared, so many individuals became devotees. Now sometimes some people say that in Iskcon no one is qualified. This was a big thing. I do not know how prevalent this mood is now, but there was a time when there was big thing which was called ‘Iskcon Reform Movement’. In colloquial terms they are known as tviks. Their point was, in Iskcon no one is qualified to be a guru. Therefore only Prabhupāda is the guru and Prabhupāda will continue to give initiation. Although there is no such precedent in the scriptures that one continues to give initiation after his disappearance from the planet.

Now we can see how they are wrong. To say that Prabhupāda was a pure devotee, but Prabhupāda could not make a single pure devotee. Does it not signify a total failure of Prabhupāda? Prabhupāda failed, if they stick to that concept. Prabhupāda could not make a single pure devotee. But what is the reality? What is the influence of a pure devotee? The influence of a pure devotee is that he makes pure devotees. Therefore pure devotees are often compared to a touchstone. By coming in contact with a touchstone others also become touchstones, in the spiritual context. Touchstone makes touchstone. Just by touch and that is the effect. By coming in contact with the pure devotee one becomes a pure devotee and then by coming in contact with those devotees others become pure devotees. This is how the influence of devotion spreads. That is what Caitanya Mahāprabhu was doing. Caitanya Mahāprabhu  would go to a village, stop there only for one night and throughout the night He would instruct the people, those who gathered there.

 In the morning He would leave and then Mahāprabhu would tell them, “Now, what I have given you, you go and give that to others.” yāre dekha, tāre kaha ‘kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa. [CC Mad 7.128]You give it to others.

That is how Mahāprabhu spread the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. That is how the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement spreads and that is how Śrīla Prabhupāda also spread the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. He came and he influenced others, young Americans who did not have any contact whatsoever with Vedic culture. What to speak of Vedic culture, they did not have any contact with spiritual life. They could not have cared less about spiritual life, but by coming in contact with Śrīla Prabhupāda they all became pure devotees. They went to different other places and by coming in contact with them those people became pure devotees. This is how the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement spreads.

 That is why it is so important [to come in contact with a pure devotee]. One of the most important criteria for receiving pure devotional service, as has been pointed out here, is to accept initiation from a bona fide spiritual master. Who is a bona fide spiritual master? What is the qualification of a bona fide spiritual master? Yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā sei ‘guru’ haya [CC Mad 8.128]. One who knows Kṛṣṇa in truth he is a bona fide spiritual master. It is not that only Prabhupāda’s disciples are pure devotees. It is not that only Prabhupāda is a pure devotee. Then we go to the next stage. Prabhupāda’s disciples, those who came in contact with Śrīla Prabhupāda, they are pure devotees. Those who are coming in contact with them, they also are becoming pure devotees. Those who will come in contact with them they also become pure devotees. So this is how the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is going to spread; is destined to spread.

Kṛṣṇa is pointing out that when one becomes serious about spiritual life – that means when one realizes that this material nature is a place of suffering and somehow or other we have to get out of this suffering condition – only when one comes in contact with a devotee of Kṛṣṇa does one get to know the real way of getting out of the suffering condition, because there are many other processes. Many of us had that experience. When we were searching for spiritual life, even in India, we came across people.

They said, “This is the way. That is the way.”

There are various processes; performing austerities is considered to be one way, yoga is considered to be one way, performing sacrifice is considered to be one way. Different individuals from their field will give direction in those respective areas, but those are not the real way.

 Parīkṣit Mahārāja also faced that situation when he was cursed. He went to the bank of the Ganges. He knew he had only seven days and he was considering; now what to do? Different exalted personalities who gathered there, they were giving him different directions, “Do this, perform austerities, perform yajña.” and so forth.

But only when Śukadeva Gosvāmī came, did he get the real path. What is the way? Surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Besides surrendering to Kṛṣṇa there is no way one can get out of this suffering condition.

 “One should see one’s real self-interest in life in all circumstances and should therefore remain detached from wife, children, home, land, relatives, friends, wealth and so on.” (SB 11.10.7)

 That is what a devotee reminds us. The business of a devotee is to point out what are the causes of bondage and what is the way to become free from bondage. The uniqueness of Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s line is that in other ages, even in the devotional path, there was a consideration of rejection, but in Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s Sankirtan movement the unique thing is that there is no need for rejection. There is a consideration of proper application. This proper application Prabhupāda pointed out as; what expression Prabhupāda used for that? ‘Dovetailing’. Dovetail means, you fit into that mold.

 Actually one day we were discussing about the meaning of that word dovetailing and Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu, who is an extremely brilliant scholar, he actually explained the word ‘dovetailing’. Dovetail is a word that is used in carpentry. Have you seen two pieces of wood, how do they joined together? One piece has a slot in an angular way and the other piece has a protruding wood in an angular way. What do the carpenters do? They just press it together and it becomes fixed up. That is the meaning of the word dovetailing, to fit in. So that is the uniqueness of sankīrtana. In other ages renunciation, detachment etc. was the way, but in the Kali-yuga Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave a very unique process. What is that process? The process of sankīrtana; what is sankīrtana? Dovetailing.

 Whatever is there, just use it in Kṛṣṇa’s service, apply it in Kṛṣṇa’s service, apply it in glorifying Kṛṣṇa. Just use it in Kṛṣṇa’s service and it will become spiritualized. In other ages the process was to give up the material and then embark on spiritual. In simple words we can say the senses are running towards the material direction. The process was to withdraw your senses from matter and project them onto the spiritual. The process of yoga was actually to withdraw. The fifth aspect of aṣṭāga-yoga is pratyāhāra. Pratyāhāra means withdrawal. Withdraw the senses and then comes the projection to Kṛṣṇa, dhyāna. Can you imagine how difficult this process of withdrawal is? We do not even have to go as far as withdrawing. Let us go to the area of prāāyāma. You know what is the goal of prāāyāma? The goal of prāāyāma is to stop breathing, because when you can stop breathing then only you can stop the activities of your mind.

Breathing and the functioning of our mind have a very close connection. We can see that. When you are very agitated, very disturbed in your mind, how do you breathe? Don’t you breathe fast and heavy? When your mind is peaceful how do you breathe? Slowly and softly. So this is how breathing and the functioning of the mind have a link. Therefore in yoga, in the prāāyāma stage, they actually practically stop the process of breathing in order to stop the functioning of the mind. The yoga aphorisms begin with that concept, artha citta-vtti-nirodhaCitta-vtti means the activities of the mind. What is the activity of the mind? The activity of the mind is to think. So stop thinking, nirodha. Nirodha means stopping, ceasing and cessation. Stop the mind’s activity. That is the goal of yoga. How many people can do that? One of the ways to do that is the fourth aspect of aṣṭāga-yoga, prāāyāma.

 Our breathing consists of three activities. Generally people think that breathing consists of two activities – inhaling and exhaling. No. Breathing has another activity, which is the most important aspect of breathing. That is retaining. Exhale, inhale and retain. That retaining aspect is called kumbhaka. Recaka, pūraka and kumbhaka. So in this way one remains in the state of kumbhaka, which means practically stop breathing. This is how they would control the mind. Then comes pratyāhāra. Pratyāhāra means withdrawing the mind, withdrawing the mind from the objects of the senses. Now only when one is capable of doing that he can properly meditate. The mind has been withdrawn from matter and now it is projected onto Kṛṣṇa who is situated in the heart. That was the process in other ages, especially through aṣṭāga-yoga. But in Kṛṣṇa consciousness Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave a very wonderful process. You do not have to withdraw your mind. Rather you offer it to Kṛṣṇa. Offer it to Kṛṣṇa directly.

 yad karoi yad aśnāsi yad jahoi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya tad kuru
va mad arpaam  [BG 9.27]

Yad karoi, can anyone stay without acting? No, we have to act. So whatever we do let us offer it to Kṛṣṇa, let us do it for Kṛṣṇa. Can you stay without eating? No, we have to eat. Offer the food to Kṛṣṇa and take Kṛṣṇa prasāda. In this way we can dovetail all our activities in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is such a simple process. It can be executed even by a child. This is how simple this process is.

 I was coming to explain this point. This point is quite a heavy point.

 “One should see one’s real self interest in life in all circumstances and should therefore remain detached from wife, children, home, land, relatives, friends, wealth and so on.” (SB 11.10.7)

 If you propose this how many people will come to you? I have to give up my wife, I have to give up my children, I have to give up my friends, I have to give up my relatives, I have to give up my job, I have to give up my bank balance. Everyone will run away, but sankīrtana is giving such a wonderful solution. You do not have to give up your wife, but make her into a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Engage her in serving Kṛṣṇa. You do not have to give up your children. Train them up to become devotees of Kṛṣṇa. You do not have to give up your job. The money that you are earning, ensure that money is used in Kṛṣṇa’s service. In this respect I will give a very simple solution. Sometimes people ask, “Well I am working and in such a terrible situation. What shall I do? I have to earn money to maintain my family, but this atmosphere is so polluting, so bad, I do not like to work.”

Their consideration is that working outside is not a Kṛṣṇa conscious activity. Most of my time is just wasted in this mundane activity. I just tell them: “Consider that your house is Kṛṣṇa’s house. Your home is Kṛṣṇa’s temple. Your family is Kṛṣṇa’s family. Therefore when you are earning money to maintain your household and take care of your family members, who are you doing it for? You are doing it for Kṛṣṇa’s house and for the members who are living in Kṛṣṇa’s house. Then earning money is it a mundane activity or it is transformed into a spiritual activity? At the end of the month when you get the money and this money is used in maintaining Kṛṣṇa’s household then it is spiritual activity.” So just by developing this consciousness we can transform our apparently material activity into spiritual. We can spiritualize our mundane activities.

 “Just as fire, which burns and illuminates, is different from firewood, which is to be burned to give illumination, similarly the seer within the body, the self-enlightened spirit soul, is different from the material body, which is to be illuminated by consciousness.” (SB 11.10.8)

 Now Kṛṣṇa is talking about the soul. What is the soul’s activity like? How should we understand the soul’s activity? Here Kṛṣṇa is giving an analogy – the fire and wood. Does wood have any semblance to fire? Does it look like fire, the wood? But there is fire in the wood. That is why under certain conditions the fire comes out from the wood. Similarly our body is like the wood and the soul is like fire. The soul is there. The soul’s influence in the body is there. Apparently the body is matter and it has no resemblance to the soul, but just as fire comes out from wood when it burns, by practicing the process of devotional service our spiritual identity will become manifest from this apparently material body. The human form of life is so special because in this human form of life we are getting an opportunity to become Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Now we have two types of bodies, material bodies are of two kinds. One is the gross body and the other is the subtle material body. A devotee must understand the difference between these two bodies. A person who is trying to make progress in spiritual life must understand the difference between these two bodies. Both these bodies are actually a product of material nature. Due to the modes of material nature we have developed these two types of bodies. They are gifts of nature you can say. Material existence occurs when one identifies himself with gross and subtle bodies, with these material bodies. Now in the previous point that Kṛṣṇa made is the fire and wood. From the wood fire comes out under certain conditions. Now we have to learn how the fire, or the soul, began to identify itself with matter. That is an important aspect of spiritual life. So this has been very nicely pointed out, but that will come later on. I can briefly give you an idea.

What is this condition of gross and subtle body? A spirit soul is a part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Being a part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead the soul is also qualitatively one with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this respect an analogy can be given – that of the sun. The sun is luminous, the sun is a source of light and heat, and there are innumerable rays coming out from the sun. Now those rays are also qualitatively one with the sun. Qualitatively the sun gives out light and heat. The rays also contain light and heat, but when the ray becomes separated from the sun, if under some condition the ray becomes separated from the sun, then will the ray have the light or heat? Now normally a ray cannot become separated from the sun. When a ray becomes separated from the sun then it loses its identity. Then there will not be any ray. For example the sun’s rays are coming directly, now here the rays are obstructed and there will not be any light. No rays will be coming in that direction, but the spirit soul’s condition is a little different.

 A spirit soul’s condition is that it severs its relationship with Kṛṣṇa, but still it continues with its identity, it continues to exist. Now consider a ray came to an area where it became separated from the sun, but it entered into that area. What is that area where there is no sun? The area of darkness. Maya or material nature is like that area of darkness. This material nature is the area where the sun’s rays do not enter. Therefore this area is in total darkness. Fortunately by the divine arrangement of Kṛṣṇa there is sun, therefore there is light. There is moon and there is fire. Therefore there is some light. Can you imagine this world without sun, moon or fire? Would there be any light? No. So this is the material nature, the nature of darkness. We have entered into this area and as a result of that we have severed our connection with Kṛṣṇa. Therefore we lost our spiritual qualities. The spiritual qualities that we used to have, sat, cit and ānanda, we have lost and coming into the region of darkness we have developed some other identity. That is: we started to identify ourselves with matter.

 In this respect also another analogy can be considered. A spark and fire. A spark is fire. When the spark comes out of the fire then can it retain its fiery qualities? A spark is a tiny fire when this tiny fire, a spark, comes out of the fire; it loses its fiery qualities. What is outside the fire? Outside the fire is ash and falling on a heap of ash that is around the fire, the spark becomes ash. Our situation is somewhat like that. We are tiny spiritual individuals, but when we became separated from Kṛṣṇa, the source of all spiritual energy, then we lost our spiritual qualities and we fell in an area where Kṛṣṇa’s energy is not manifest, where the sun is not available, where the sun is not entering. That is the area of darkness, that area of darkness is the material nature. We were actually fire, but now we are identifying ourselves with ash. We were spiritual, but losing our connection with Kṛṣṇa we are identifying ourselves with matter. We are considering our body made of matter to be our self. That is the condition of a living entity in the material nature.

Now the simple consideration is for that tiny little spark, that tiny little inflammable speck, that was spark at one time, if it wants to regain its fiery qualities, what does it have to do? It has to go back to the fire. If it goes back to the fire then again it will become fire. Now we are coming back again to the same point. How can a speck of inflammable substance, that was spark at one time, go back to the fire? By itself it cannot go back to the fire. Somebody has to carry him to the fire. Who is that somebody? That somebody is a devotee of the Lord. It is only by the mercy of the devotee of the Lord we can actually come. He may not take us by the hand and take us to the spiritual realm, but what he can do is he can just flick us and then we just fly into the spiritual nature. The pure devotee of the Lord motivates us to go towards Kṛṣṇa and then with our own effort and also by Kṛṣṇa’s mercy we go into the spiritual domain.

 So then Kṛṣṇa is pointing out:

 “The material senses create material activities, either pious or sinful, and the modes of nature set the material senses into motion.” [SB 11.10.31]

 What sends the senses into motion? The modes of material nature. We can actually see all these answers we can find in Bhagavad-gītā. The same knowledge Kṛṣṇa is giving in a different way. Prakte kriyamāāni guai karmāi sarvaśa  [BG 3.27]. Our involvement in the material nature is simply due to our karmic reactions and the influence of the modes of material nature, guai karmāi sarvaśa. But ahakāra-vimūhātmā kartāham iti manyate [BG 3.27], being bewildered by false ego we think we are the doers. That is our problem we are thinking we are the doers. I am doing. I achieved it. I should be glorified. What is that concept of “I”? That concept of I is ahakāra, false ego, misconception of I. Instead of I being the servant of Kṛṣṇa, I became the enjoyer of this material nature. Instead of being submissive to Kṛṣṇa I want to lord over this material nature. Instead of acting according to Kṛṣṇa’s instructions and according to His desire I am trying to act on my own and as the result of that I am entangled in this material nature.

 So we can see two only things are functioning. The material nature is actually a thing set in autopilot. Do you know autopilot? The plane in a certain condition, after it goes to a certain height, it is set into autopilot, then the plane moves on its own. The pilot does not have to do anything. The plane, on its own, takes a course. The material nature is something like that, an autopilot. This autopilot is working with two factors. One factor is gua and the other factor is karma. As Kṛṣṇa pointed out here the senses have been motivated by the modes of nature. Under the influence of the mode of goodness the senses function in a certain way. Under the influence of the mode of passion the senses function in some other way. Under the mode of ignorance the senses function in some other way. This is how the senses are being motivated or guided by the modes of material nature.

 “… The modes of nature set the material senses into motion. The living entity, being fully engaged by the material senses and modes of nature, experiences the various results of fruitive work.” [SB 11.10.31]

Experiences various results of fruitive work. That means karma, gua and karma. A living entity works, it functions in a certain way and it gets a result and it becomes affected by that. Now being affected by the result, the living entity again functions and that produces a result and then it gets entangled. In this way a living entity gets trapped.

Once Prabhupāda gave an example of how complex a living entity’s situation in this material nature is. He gave the example of a seed. A seed falls on the ground and a tree comes up. In the tree there are innumerable fruits.  In one season only there are innumerable fruits and season after season there are innumerable fruits coming. In those fruits there are innumerable seeds. In those seeds there are innumerable trees and in those trees can you imagine how many seeds are there? One little karma can entangle us into the material nature forever. Can you imagine just from one seed how many trees could possibly develop? Similarly, from one karma so many karmic reactions can develop. Therefore it is impossible to get out of karmic reactions. The only way we can get out of these karmic reactions is by surrendering to Kṛṣṇa. Because Kṛṣṇa is the only one who can burn out all our karma, wipe out all our karma. Aha tvām sarva-pāpebhyo mokayiāmi [BG 18.66], deliver you from all your sinful reactions. Kṛṣṇa actually meant all your karmic reactions, but He did not say that because people are attached to pious actions and averse to sinful reactions, because pious reactions give them enjoyment. Therefore everybody actually wants pious actions. Everybody wants the result of pious action. Therefore Kṛṣṇa did not deal with the pious actions, “If you want to enjoy your pious actions, fine, but you do not want to suffer your sinful reaction so I will deliver you from all your sinful reactions.” But actually what Kṛṣṇa meant is, “I will deliver you from both your pious and impious reactions.” That also Kṛṣṇa made clear in His instructions that devotional service frees one from both pious and impious activities.

 Then finally Uddhava asked a question to Kṛṣṇa:

 “O my Lord, Acyuta, the same living entity is sometimes described as eternally conditioned and at other times as eternally liberated. I am not able to understand, therefore, the actual situation of the living entity. You, my Lord, are the best of those who are expert in answering philosophical questions. Please explain to me the symptoms by which one can tell the difference between a living entity who is eternally liberated and one who is eternally conditioned. In what various ways would they remain situated, enjoy life, eat, evacuate, lie down, sit or move about?” [SB 11.10.36-37]

 So this chapter ends there with this question. After receiving the instructions from Kṛṣṇa about the futility of karmic involvement, the futility of fruitive activity, now He is actually entering into the region of knowledge jñāna. With this question it is now coming in. What was the question? The symptoms of conditioned and liberated living entities. What are the symptoms? There are some living entities that are conditioned or bound by the material nature and some living entities are free from the bondage of material nature. In simple words it can be said that some are materially involved and some are in their spiritual identity. So these are the two types of people.

11. The Symptoms Of Conditioned And Liberated Living Entities

So in response to that Kṛṣṇa is saying:

“My dear Uddhava, due to the influence of the material modes of nature, which are under My control, the living entity is sometimes designated as conditioned and sometimes as liberated. In fact, however, the soul is never really bound up or liberated, and since I am the Supreme Lord of Māyā, which is the cause of the modes of nature, I also am never to be considered liberated or in bondage.” [SB 11.11.1]

Kṛṣṇa is eternally liberated. First I will explain conditioned and liberated. This can be considered as imprisoned and free. There is a prison house and in the prison house generally there are prisoners. So prisoners are imprisoned. They are bound, meaning they are destined to stay in the prison. They cannot get out, but outside the prison they are not imprisoned. They are all free people. So who are prisoners? What is the criterion for becoming imprisoned? Those who broke the law of the king. The king has given the law and when one breaks the law that is a crime. Due to the crime one becomes imprisoned as a punishment. Now when one is situated in the prison he is suffering all kinds of punishments in the prison. But in the prison house also there are some people who are acting on behalf of the king. Although they are in the prison, are they prisoners? They are free, but they are in the prison. Now what is the difference between the prisoner and those people? The prisoners are the ones who broke the law of the king and therefore they are being punished in the prison. Whereas the employees of the king in the prison they are the king’s servants. They are the king’s representatives. Therefore they are not in prison, they are free.

Now there is another condition. The other condition is when a prisoner finds out from one of those people, those who are serving the king, what is the reason for their imprisonment. The prisoner forgot why he is being imprisoned, why he is being punished in the prison. That is our condition. We do not know why we are suffering, but then someone comes and tells us,

“You know why you are suffering? Because you broke the law of the king. You have committed a crime. Therefore you are suffering.”

So we ask, “So please tell me what should I do? I am sorry that I made this mistake.”

He says, “You can write a letter to the king and tell him that from now on you will never go against him, you will always abide by his law.”

He writes a letter to the king and this personality carries the letter to the king.

The king says, “That is a very good gesture. Now that he wants to surrender unto me watch him carefully. See that he is acting properly. See that he is not breaking the law anymore.”

He also informs the other caretakers of the prison, “This person actually wrote a letter to me asking for amnesty and so you take care of him. Watch him carefully and also help him.”

 So then this person starts to surrender himself to the king although he is in the prison. The king is out there in his palace, not in the prison, but the king is getting his report that this person is doing this and that. Then this person experiences that ever since he wrote a letter to the king the prison authorities are not punishing him. Not only that but they are giving him nice facilities. He gets good food, which he did not get before. Sometimes they take him out and give him some nice gifts. They gave him a nice cell to live in.

Then he starts to tell also other prisoners, “You know I did this and as the result of that I started to get this benefit.  Why don’t you also do that?”

When the king hears that this particular prisoner started to sing his glory and about the benefit of becoming submissive to him the king says, “Very good. Give him more facilities so that he can influence the other prisoners.”

Although the prisoner is dressed like a prisoner he is not treated like a prisoner anymore.

Finally the king sends a report, sends an order to the prison authorities, “I need a servant. My cook has retired and I need a good cook. I heard he is a very good cook, send him over to me.”

 So then now this prisoner is taken to the palace of the king. There he lives with the king, serves the king and enjoys with the king. Now you can see prisoner and free. There are different types of free individuals. One is those who are living outside the prison. They are all free. Those who are outside the material nature, those who are living in the spiritual nature, they are all eternally liberated souls. In the prison house those who are serving the king, on behalf of the king, they are also liberated. They are not prisoners.  Also among the prisoners those who have surrendered themselves to the king they are also on the way of liberation. They are also somewhat liberated. So that is the general understanding of conditioned state and liberated state.

 Then Kṛṣṇa actually makes a very wonderful point that we somehow discussed in the morning also. This material nature is like a dream. Kṛṣṇa is making that point here. I will just read some of those points:

 “Just as a dream is merely a creation of one’s intelligence but has no actual substance, similarly, material lamentation, illusion, happiness, distress and the acceptance of the material body under the influence of mayä are all creations of My illusory energy.” [SB 11.11.2]

 So our involvement and whatever we are going through in material nature is due to the influence of material nature, the illusory energy of Kṛṣṇa.

“Both knowledge and ignorance are beginningless and perpetually award liberation and bondage to embodied living beings.” [SB 11.11.3]

One who is in ignorance he is bound and one who is in knowledge he is liberated. As I mentioned earlier, this knowledge is due to our awareness of our existence in the material nature and our relationship with Kṛṣṇa. That is the real knowledge. Know what this material nature is. Know Who Kṛṣṇa is and how to become related to Kṛṣṇa.

 “The living entity, called jīva, is part and parcel of Me, but due to ignorance he has been suffering in material bondage since time immemorial. By knowledge, however, he can be liberated.” [SB 11.11.4]

 So by knowledge one can become liberated. Then Kṛṣṇa speaks about two birds in a tree (SB 11.11.6). In the tree of this body there are two birds. One is a fruit eating bird and other is a witnessing bird. He is not eating the fruits. He simply witnesses the activities of the other bird. So the fruit eating bird is the living entity, jīvātmā, and the witnessing bird, who is witnessing the activities of the other  is the Supersoul, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 Now this is actually a very important point:

 “One who is enlightened in self-realization, although living within the material body, sees himself as transcendental to the body.” [SB 11.11.8]

 One who has been enlightened in self realization. That means one who has understood and is acting according to his relationship to Kṛṣṇa, he, although residing in this material body, he is not bound. He is free.

 īhā yasya harer dāsye karmaā manasā girā
nikhilāsv apy avasthāsu jīvan-mukta
sa ucyate [BRS 1.2.187]

 One who has become engaged in devotional service to Kṛṣṇa, harer dāsye karmaā manasā girā. His activities, his body’s activities, manasā his mental activities, girā his speech, his body, mind and speech are engaged in serving Kṛṣṇa. He is liberated, nikhilāsv apy avasthāsu, under all circumstances. Although he may be living in his body, jīvan-mukta sa ucyate, although he is living in an apparently material body, he is liberated. So that is the state of liberation. Although he is in the body, but in the body is a pure spirit soul.

 Now if we go even deeper then we can see that he is a spirit soul devoid of the subtle body. He is a pure spirit soul. That means that he does not have the subtle body. He is in a gross body, but his subtle body has disappeared, dissolved. That also can be understood in this way. The subtle body comprised of three elements, mind intelligence and false ego. When the mind constantly thinks of Kṛṣṇa is that material or spiritual? When the intelligence is engaged in serving Kṛṣṇa, is that intelligence material or spiritual? When one has become, in this way, engaged in serving Kṛṣṇa, does he have a false ego or not? He is situated in his real identity so no false ego. So see what happened to his subtle body made of mind intelligence and false ego, gone. So that is a pure spirit soul without a subtle body. He is dwelling in the gross body made of matter, but that body is not material body.

In this respect Prabhupāda gives the example of iron and fire. When the iron is in fire is it fire or iron? When the iron becomes red hot is it iron or is it fire? If somebody said iron, somebody did say iron and do you know what Prabhupāda’s response was? Touch it. So that is the condition of the apparently material body of a pure devotee. Within his body there is a pure spirit soul devoid of material mind, material intelligence and false ego. There is a pure spirit soul dwelling in this apparently material body. So that body is not material, that body is spiritualized.

 “An enlightened person who is free from the contamination of material desire does not consider himself to be the performer of bodily activities.” [SB 11.11.9]

 I gave you the synopsis of this chapter in a way. Here this point is quite interesting. Remember this morning we discussed about certain gurus, twenty four gurus, which the avadhūta spoke about. Now here also Kṛṣṇa is mentioning those points.

 “Although the sky, or space, is the resting place of everything, the sky does not mix with anything, …” [SB 11.11.12-13]

 The avadhūta made that point. He learnt to be like the ether or the sky.

 “Similarly, the sun is not at all attached to the water in which it is reflected within innumerable reservoirs, and the mighty wind blowing everywhere is not affected by the innumerable aromas and atmospheres through which it passes. In the same way, a self-realized soul is completely detached from the material body and the material world around it. He is like a person who has awakened and arisen from a dream. With expert vision sharpened by detachment, the self-realized soul cuts all doubts to pieces through knowledge of the self and completely withdraws his consciousness from the expansion of material variety.” [SB 11.11.12-13]

 “A person is considered to be completely liberated from the gross and subtle material bodies when all the functions of his vital energy, senses, mind and intelligence are performed without material desire. Such a person, although situated within the body, is not entangled.” [SB 11.11.14]

 So that is the symptom of a liberated soul, although he is in the body, but he is not entangled.

 At this point I will invite some questions.

Devotee: Mahārāja, you were mentioning about unalloyed devotional service and how to maintain the purity. Then an individual as he gains more spiritual knowledge, a personal sādhana, a type of relationship may be established. How to differentiate between those two sometimes? Is it difficult or …

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Between unalloyed devotional and?

 Devotee: Personal sādhana or a personal relationship that one may have with the Lord.

 His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Yes, good, thank you. You see the difference is that one is a practicing stage and the other is the perfected stage. The unalloyed devotion is the perfected stage which is achieved through the practice. So sādhana-bhakti and sādhana-bhakti is leading to prema-bhakti.

 Yes mother Kṛṣṇapriyā.

 Kṛṣṇapriyā Dāsī: My question is that we often hear stories about when the different yogis would be practicing different austerities that the demigods would become concerned and try to deviate them so also on the path of devotional service it seems that as one tries to progress that test would come more and more subtle so how does one actually … (indistinct)

 His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: It is seen that in the scriptures there are many instances when one makes spiritual advancement the demigods come and create disturbance and try to deviate them from their path. That generally happens in the karma-kāṇḍa section not on the pure devotional platform. Because the demigods can see that this person is performing karma-kāṇḍa activities so his desire is probably fruitive. Probably they are going to take away my position. Through his austerities he will excel my achievement and take over. Therefore they try to distract them by sending Apsarās. Whereas for a devotee they do not have any material motivation and even if the demigods send the Apsarās, the devotees will preach to those Apsarās and make them into devotees. What to speak of the Apsarās, the devotees will speak to the demigods and make them into devotees. That is the power of devotional service. The devotional service is so wonderful that when one gets a taste of it no one can dissuade him from that path.

 Devotee: Are all avadhūtas paramahasas?

 His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Yes, good point. Are all avadhūtas paramahasas? Yes all real avadhūtas are paramahasas, but all paramahasas are not avadhūtas. The paramahasa stage is actually the uttama-adhikārī platform, but an uttama-adhikārī devotee, in order to preach, comes down to the madhyama-adhikārī platform, because if he functions on the uttama-adhikārī platform he would not be able to preach. Therefore in order to preach they come down from the uttama-adhikārī platform and come down to madhyama-adhikārī.

 Devotee: You also spoke about the right and wrong enjoyment. So usually I don’t remember hearing much about the joy in Kṛṣṇa consciousness usually we are told that we shouldn’t enjoy. So now hearing that it is okay it is natural for us to enjoy in connection with Kṛṣṇa consciousness… (Indistinct) … because in my mind it seems that to enjoy is connected with being selfish … (indistinct)

 His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Yes, very good point. I also made that point. Did everybody hear the question? You mentioned that through pure devotional service one enjoys and getting the higher taste one gives up the lower taste, but generally the understanding is that in devotional service we should not enjoy.

 Then my response to that is the jīva is ānandamaya. If there is no enjoyment why he will go for devotional service? If we promote that kind of understanding – no enjoyment – no one will join us. Rather the other day someone was telling me, Mother Yamuna was telling that person that her desire is to make Kṛṣṇa consciousness so exciting that all the youth would just come running to join this movement. It should be so exciting that everyone will want to join it. That is the real spirit of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but the point is that, as you mentioned at the beginning, right enjoyment and wrong enjoyment. We have to give up the concept of wrong enjoyment to get the right enjoyment.

 For example a person wants to enjoy as a king, he wants to revolt against the king, topple the kingdom, become the king and he wants to enjoy that. What would be the result of that attitude? As a rebel he would be arrested and put into prison. The more he develops that attitude the more severe will be his punishment. On the other hand another person he goes to the king and says, “My lord I want to serve you.”

[The king replies,] “What can you do?”

[The person answers,] “I can massage your feet very nicely.”

[The king says,] “Oh, that is good. I need a masseur come and stay with me.”

This person loves to massage, he is an expert masseur and  he massages the king’s body. He stays in the king’s palace. Along with the king he enjoys the food the king eats, he eats the same food and the palace where the king lives, he lives in the same palace. So that is the right enjoyment.

 Devotee: Enjoyment in the mood of service?

 His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Enjoyment by being surrendered to Kṛṣṇa and rendering devotional service to Kṛṣṇa is the right way to enjoy, but revolting against Kṛṣṇa trying to take over is the wrong way. That is what is rejected. We should never try to become the enjoyer, but we should become connected to the real enjoyer assuming the role of the enjoyed and that is how we are meant to enjoy.

Devotee: Why is it that Kṛṣṇa was more direct with Uddhava… (indistinct)

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Because to Arjuna Kṛṣṇa was giving the knowledge of karma-yoga  basically, whereas to Uddhava He is giving direct bhakti. The other reason is that Uddhava’s position as a devotee is more exalted that Arjuna’s that is why Kṛṣṇa is revealing the higher truth to him.

 Devotee: Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja. My question is in the previous class you were mentioning   about the different stages of sannyāsa, at least kutichaka, bahudaka and parivrājakācārya can Mahaāraja explain those stages … (indistinct)

 His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : There are four stages of sannyāsa, the first stage is kutichaka. In that stage one takes sannyāsa, but stays close to his house. He leaves his home, but stays close. Sometimes on a riverbank he makes a hut, lives there and sometimes his family members come and give him some food and take care of his needs. Then in the next stage, bahudaka, he is not staying close to his house and taking any foodstuffs from the family members. He goes out and begs from door to door and that is how he maintains himself, collecting food  from  many, bahudaka. Then he begins to wander, travel around imparting spiritual knowledge. That is parivrājaka and then he transcends the material nature and goes to the spiritual sky or becomes situated in the spiritual sky that is paramahasa.

 Devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda was on the paramahasa platform?

 His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Yes Prabhupāda was beyond paramahasa. He came down from uttama-adhikārī platform, paramahasa platform, to this parivrājaka platform to distribute Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

 Devotee: [Unclear] … what is the right way to interpret Uddhava’s  conversations with Krsna on aṣṭāga-yoga in Eleventh Canto… [Unclear]

 His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: What is your question?

 Devotee: What is the mood … (indistinct) … in trying to understand Eleventh Canto  teaching on Uddhava’s conversation with Kṛṣṇa on aṣṭāga-yoga?

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Aṣṭāga-yoga. We are not dealing with that chapter now. When that chapter comes then we can discuss.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes Āditya.

Āditya Dāsa: … [Unclear] … Yesterday you explained two different gurus … [Unclear]  … I was thinking all these different like the sky and the earth… [Unclear]  … was there mention of the method to actually acquire this knowledge … [Unclear].

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: What is the method of?

Āditya Dāsa: Was there mention of the method of acquiring this knowledge from…  because I was thinking he sees the sky and he has the understanding of the soul and things like that but is that the method because … (indistinct)

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: It is left up to the individual. There is no specific method as such, but at the most you can say is a state of consciousness, a state of spiritual elevation. When one becomes so open, one becomes so Kṛṣṇa conscious, that he is prepared to learn a lesson from anybody, which means he has become completely free from his false ego. Generally the tendency is, “Why should I learn from him? What does he know?”

That is a display of our false ego. We are acting on the false ego platform.

[But one should think,] “Oh, he is teaching such a nice lesson to me by his own behavior.”

 For example he gives the example of that kurara bird. That bird was carrying the food and he saw that other birds, more powerful birds, are attacking. He just dropped it and by doing that he became free from their attack. Normally one will see some birds are flying, some birds are being attacked by other birds and oh he was carrying something and he dropped it. We will just observe it, we will not reflect on it, but here what he is doing he is reflecting on it. Oh look at this bird, he was being attacked because of that and now he just gave it up. So this is the cause of material conflict. This is the cause of envy, so let me just withdraw from that just to avoid the negative onslaughts from others.

 Āditya Dāsa: Only through devotional service can one become … (indistinct)

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Yes, because only through devotional service can one become free from false ego. Other processes inflate false ego. For example the process of yoga; why the process of aṣṭāga-yoga can be detrimental? Because it deals with the subtle body and when it deals with the subtle body it strengthens the subtle body. Strengthening the subtle means your false ego becomes inflated, whereas devotional service teaches us how to get rid of the false ego, not to become a victim of false ego. That is why this is the most perfect process.  Actually the goal of all those [other processes] is come to the platform of devotion. Yoginām api sarveām  [BG6.47]. What is the goal of aṣṭāga-yoga? To become a devotee.

 Nīlamaṇi Dāsa: Mahārāja from the whole concept of the twenty four gurus we learn from that we should take  instruction from various places, if possible, but that is somewhat contradictory to the principle of receiving knowledge in paramparā or authorized sources … (indistinct) … how do we reconcile that?

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Very good point. This consideration of twenty four gurus, receiving instructions from different individuals and situations is it not contrary to our concept of guru paramparā, taking instruction from only our guru and the ācāryas in the same line?

 This is something like, you see, you have your home and you go collect different precious objects to decorate your home. Our paramparā is something like our home and collecting information and enriching ourselves is like collecting to decorate our home. Our loyalty remains with our paramparā, but wherever gold is available, wherever some valuable information is available, we collect it. But that should be done at a rather advanced stage. Otherwise one may become bewildered to such an extent that he may leave his paramparā and go somewhere else; that should not happen. Our loyalty to the paramparā must remain intact. That is our home our spiritual home, that is where we belong. We belong to ISKCON, but if some information is available [we should take it]. We search in the Google if we need some information. Today I tell you Google is the biggest guru. Frankly it is true. We get so much information from Google nowadays, we accept, we feel gratitude, we feel grateful to Google.

 Nīlamaṇi Dāsa: At the same time we should not go and hear pravacanas or… [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Well, at an advanced stage it is all right. Advanced means our faith has been properly established. There is no fear of deviating. Then it is all right. They are saying something nice, telling us about kṛṣṇa-kathā, why not? But we also have to use our intelligence, or use the information [we have to decide] what is right and what is wrong. Sometimes they say all kinds of things that are not really authoritative. So we reject it. After all we know who they are, but if there is something nice we take it.

 In that respect I must also admit that in the beginning Prabhupāda was very careful. Prabhupāda did not want devotees to go our anywhere. That is mainly because the devotees were rather immature and they were susceptible to become deviated. It happened. In the initial stage Prabhupāda was sending some of his disciples to India, but unfortunately some individuals took those disciples away and gave them initiation. When that happened then Prabhupāda stopped it. But at an advanced stage he would never do that. We find, it is happening, that people are leaving ISKCON and going to this place or that place, this sampradāya or that sampradāya, this guru or that guru, but that is due to their immaturity. At that stage it is better they do not go anywhere, but at an advanced stage yes he can do that. In that way he learns what to accept and what to reject.

 Yes Nandadulal.

 Nandadula Dāsa: Guru Mahārāja in the morning you mentioned about … [Unclear]  … it is said bhakti vina … [Unclear]

 His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes, bhakti vinā mukti nahe [CC Mad 25.30], without bhakti you cannot get mukti. Liberation you cannot get without devotion. Yoga, tapasya, all these processes cannot give you mukti, unless and until you accept devotional service. Then the second part of it, as you are saying, nāmābhāse sukhe mukti haya [CC Mad 25.30].

 koi janme brahma jñāne yei mukti naya
ei kahe nāmābhāse sei mukti haya
[CC Ant 3.194]

 Nāmābhāsa, not even pure chanting, at the clearing stage of chanting, one gets liberation. Therefore liberation is not a big thing for a devotee, because a devotee is already liberated. In nāmābhāsa he has already achieved mukti. So why should he go for mukti? He wants to go for prema.

 Yes Navin.

 Navin: Today we heard a lot about the ghasta āśrama and sannyāsa āśrama I am wondering how important it is for Iskcon devotees in the ghasta āśrama to take up the vānaprastha and what does that mean for Iskcon devotees?

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Vānaprastha actually means retired life. So at some point a householder [should retire from household life, but] nowadays it is not possible to go to the forest. Vānaprastha means going to the forest, but nowadays it is not possible to live in the forest because people are not really equipped, or they are physically not fit to live in a forest. But what they can do is move into an Iskcon  temple and live in the āśrama. That is vānaprastha for Iskcon devotees. Or they can travel and preach, or go to visit different temples. A householder at a certain stage can do that, or should do that.

 Yes Āditya.

 Āditya Dāsa: Guru Mahārāja you read the third verse of this chapter in that it says that both knowledge and ignorance being products of māyā are expansions of My potency … (indistinct)

 His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Māyā functions in two ways. In this respect Prabhupāda actually gives the example of a policeman. A policeman to a criminal is something very frightening, but to a law abiding person he is a source of safety. Same policeman, to one person he appears in one way and to the other person he appears in some other way. So those who are materially entangled they are bewildered by Kṛṣṇa’s illusory energy, Māyā. Those who are interested in making advancement in spiritual life, developing relationship with Kṛṣṇa, for them this same Māyā, Yogamāyā, is taking them to Kṛṣṇa, or giving them the knowledge, engaging them in Kṛṣṇa’s service. So in this way both ignorance and knowledge are the influence of Kṛṣṇa’s Māyā.

 Devotee:  You mentioned the fish is attached to the taste, the sense of taste, and it gets entangled with the … it gets attracted to the hook, but we also when we become devotees in the neophyte state we are very attracted to the prasādam and it is very detrimental for our progress. How to overcome the … (indistinct)

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: There is no need to overcome that, because that is a transcendental bait. The question is that today you mentioned that a fish being attracted to taste swallows the bait and gets hooked. Now we also are attracted to Kṛṣṇa prasādam due to our attachment to taste. So what should be done? Should we try to give up that? My answer is no we should accept that bait, it is a bait. By Kṛṣṇa prasādam we are getting hooked to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

 Yes Mother Vrajalīlā.

 Vrajalīlā Dasi: Thank you very much for being here and thank you so much for this class. I am very intrigued by a point you made about the pure devotee not having a subtle body.  In some ways it makes the entire philosophy sound so simplistic, that as long as one is dovetailing everything then the subtle body … if they are dovetailing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness then there will not be a subtle body and one is a pure devotee. Very simplistic. Śrīla Prabhupāda said that all of his disciples were pure devotees. So I guess my question is that are there levels of pure devotees, or can you please explain about that.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Thank you Mother Vrajalīlā. I think everyone heard the question, I do not have to repeat. Mother Vrajalila is saying that Śrīla Prabhupāda mentioned that all the devotees in ISKCON are pure devotees. Now she is saying there are different levels of pure devotion? So in that respect, Mother Vrajalīlā, my immediate response will be yes, there are different levels of pure devotion. In the sense some are in an immature stage, or unripe stage, and some are in a ripened stage of pure devotion. Some are in the practicing stage and some are in the perfected stage of pure devotion.

 In this respect Prabhupāda himself gave an example. Prabhupāda mentioned all the devotees in Iskcon are pure devotees and some devotees questioned, naturally, out of curiosity,

“Prabhupāda said everyone in Iskcon is a pure devotee, even the new bhakta who joined yesterday, is he a pure devotee? Or the one who just got initiated the other day is he a pure devotee?”  And so forth?

Prabhupāda said, “Yes, it is only a matter of green mango and ripe mango.”

The mango may be green today, but if it remains in the tree it will become a ripe mango. So those who are in Iskcon, if they stay in Iskcon, even though they may be just a new bhakta, in course of time they will become pure devotees, because Iskcon is an institution for making pure devotees. Iskcon is a factory that manufactures pure devotees. Yes some are green and some are ripe, but all the mangos will become ripe as long as they remain in the tree. Thank you. Does it answer your question?

Devotee: In the teachings of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu it is said that ultimately all the souls will go back home back to Godhead. So does that mean that everybody will become a pure devotee … [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Ultimately everyone will go back to Godhead? Yes, many will go back and many will come also. The king may give a total amnesty to all the prisoners, but does the prison house remain empty since then? No, new criminals will come and fill up the prison house. So that is what happens in the material nature.

 All glories to the assembled devotees.

All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda.


Audio-reference :

Transcription & Editing : His Grace Śyāmānanda Kṛṣṇa Dāsa

Festival Lecture

Dreams And Reality


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

The following lecture on Dreams and Reality was given by His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami in ISKCON Durban, South Africa at the Durban Ratha-Yatra Festival on 29 March 2013.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami:

Hare Kṛṣṇa!  So how are you all doing?  How do you like the festival?  How many of you were there on the parade?


And how was it?  Ecstatic?  Did you chant?  And dance?  Was it an expression of your ecstasy?

(Devotees respond:  Yes!)

Thank you!  Hare Kṛṣṇa!

And how did you like the presentation on the Astrology on Karma. I was also listening.  It was a very nice presentation. So do you understand what karma is?  Do you understand how astrology can predict your future according to the Vedic understanding?

Hare Kṛṣṇa.  Can everybody hear me? Thank you.  As I was saying, Vedas are considered to be a body with six different limbs and astrology is one of them.  Do you know which part of the body astrology is?  Eyes.  With your mundane eyes you can see only the present, but with the eyes of astrology you can see the past, present and future.

The Vedas are the most profound wisdom that the world has ever received.  All our presentations here in this arrangement, you will find, are based on the Vedas.  Today, whatever I am going to say, what I am going to speak, is also based on the Vedic wisdom.  So the topic that we are going to discuss about is “Dreams and Reality”.  Everybody knows about dreams.

The general definition of dream is a series of thoughts, images, or emotions occurring during sleep. We fall asleep and then we experience certain series of thoughts or images, projection of the mind and emotions, and we consider them to be real.  And as a matter of fact, the dreams are a reflection of reality. Whatever we experience in our real life – when those experiences are projected through our thoughts, those experiences are retained in our memories. Then in our sleep we experience some projections of those retained experiences, and consider them to be dreams.

And what is reality?  Reality is something that exists factually.  The dreams are not real.  The dreams are the creation of the mind.  Reality is what exists irrespective of our mental or emotional projection.  So this is the general understanding of Dreams and Reality.

Now I’ll go into another direction:  Do you know how many types of bodies you have?  How many bodies do you have?

One body we know we have is this one.  I have this one, you have your body.  That is one body.  But beyond that there is another body.  That body is the subtle body made of three subtle elements.  Those three subtle elements are mind, intelligence and false ego.  How many of you are already aware of these three subtle elements, please raise your hands.

Very good.  Okay, so I can see that I have quite a learned audience here.  So, in this way we have two different types of bodies.  One is the gross body made of five gross elements.  What are those five gross elements, how many of you know?  Okay.  Yes, they are earth – earth means solid substance; water – liquid substance; then fire – fiery substance; air and ether.  These are the five elements the body is made of.  We can see that this body has solid substance like flesh and bone. They are solid substances.  This body also has liquids like blood, mucous, etc.  Then this body has fire.  For example, does the body have temperature?  Where does the temperature come from?  So there must be fire.  Without fire can there be heat?  So the heat is coming from fire.

Next let us consider air. What is the air aspect of the body? According to the Vedic understanding there are five different types of airs in the body and they are known as Prana, Apana, Samana, Vyana, and Udana. Different functions of the body are conducted through these airs.  For example breathing. When you breathe, the breathing is conducted by prana.  Actually, what is prana doing?  Prana is holding the soul within the body.  The soul is trying to go out and prana is holding him back.  So prana is keeping the soul within the body.  Apana Vayu is causing the waste products of the body to be excreted from the body.  Then Samana Vayu maintains the equilibrium of the body.  Then Vyana Vayu is controlling the nervous system. In this way these five different types of airs control different activities of the body.

So we spoke about earth, fire, water, air and ether.  Ether is the space. I won’t go into the details of this because it will take a long time to explain what ether is.  But let us just accept that ether is the fifth element.  Now consider, all these five – earth, water, fire, air, and ether – are actually gross material elements.  Even ether is considered to be a gross material element. This body is made with these five elements.

When we say “reality”, we actually consider the wakeful state of the body.  When the body is awake, what we experience through the gross body, we consider that to be the world of reality around us.  Now we come to the subtle body. As I mentioned, the subtle body is composed of mind, intelligence and false ego.  These are the three subtle material elements that make up the subtle body.  Do you have a mind?  Everybody will accept that you have a mind.  Everybody will have to accept that he has intelligence.  Then false ego – it’s a little difficult to understand what false ego is.  In simple words it can be described that false ego is the identification of the body as the self.  When we think that this body is my actual identity – this body is me – that awareness is called “false ego”.  But this false ego is also a subtle material element.

According to the Vedic understanding, the wakeful state is the perception of our gross body and dream is the perception of our subtle body.  So in this way we can see that the gross body is made of earth, water, fire, air and ether; and the subtle body is made of mind, intelligence and false ego.

We actually have three states of existence.  One is, the wakeful state. When we are awake we are actually functioning on the gross body platform.  When we are awake, both the gross and subtle bodies are active.  But when the gross body falls asleep and the subtle body is active, then that is the dream state.  “Dream” means the experiences of the subtle body.  Whatever the subtle body experiences when the gross body is inactive, that is the dream state.  When both the gross and the subtle bodies become inactive, that is the state of deep sleep. Actually when we fall asleep we are not always in deep sleep.  When the subtle body is awake we are dreaming. In fact, most of the time, during sleep, we are dreaming.  The subtle body is active although the gross body remains inactive.  However when both the gross and the subtle bodies become inactive, that is the state of deep sleep.  This deep sleep is the real sleep.  Anybody who has gone through intense mental distress can testify that often, although they sleep, they don’t sleep.  Why? Because the subtle body remains awake and as a result of that they don’t experience proper sleep.  The real sleep is the deep sleep – when both the gross and subtle bodies become inactive.

Now I will enter into another dimension of our discussion.  This is based on a statement from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Eleventh Canto, Tenth Chapter, Text Three. Here we get another, deeper perspective. One who is sleeping may see the objects of sense gratification in a dream, but such pleasurable things are merely the creations of the mind.

A dream is creation of the mind when we are asleep, right?  But then we are going into another dimension: The living entity who is asleep in his spiritual identity also sees many objects of the sense, but these innumerable objects of temporary sensual pleasure are creations of the Lord’s illusory potency and have no permanent existence.

Have you got the point?

We know about sleep. During sleep our mind creates different objects.  Some objects are pleasing, some objects are distressful, but they are all the creation of the mind.  When we are forgetful of our gross body, we fall asleep.  Similarly when a living entity forgets his spiritual identity he is said to be asleep in his spiritual identity. When a living entity is asleep in his spiritual identity he sees many objects of the senses, but these innumerable objects of temporary sensual pleasure are creations of the Lord’s illusory potency; meaning they are not there.

So what is this point of the Vedas implying?    

It’s implying that this world also is unreal.  What we are experiencing in this world is also unreal when we are spiritually asleep.  So how many of you are spiritually asleep?  How many of you are spiritually awake?

Okay.  A few hands still went up for being spiritually awake, but the most of you accepted that you are spiritually asleep; meaning that you are forgetful. You are oblivious of your spiritual identity. When we are oblivious of our spiritual identity, or when we are spiritually sleeping, then we become subjected to Lord’s illusory energy.  What is the Sanskrit word for the illusory energy of the Lord?  How many of you know?

Devotees unanimously respond: Maya

Maya. Very good. The Sanskrit word maya means “illusion”.  This maya is the Lord’s illusory energy. In this maya-icdimension, we experience various types of objects of sense gratification. Everyone is trying to enjoy. A living entity by nature, in his constitutional position, is joyful.  Therefore the living entity is constantly searching for enjoyment. But when a living entity is spiritually inactive, or rather oblivious of his spiritual identity, then a living entity becomes subjected to the illusory energy of the Lord and he experiences a whole lot of unreal, dream-like experiences.

Now let us go back to the previous considerations that we made.  What did we consider?  That we have two types of material bodies:  the gross body and the subtle body.  Everybody will accept that the subtle body’s experiences are dreams.  But here it is being pointed out that the gross body’s experiences are also dreams.  The only difference is that the subtle body’s dream is a projection of his mind or creation of his mind, individually.  For example when you dream, a person sleeping next to you will not get to know what you are actually going through.  You may dream that you have become a King or a Queen, and you may be enjoying your wonderful situation, but the person sleeping next to you may not have any understanding of what you are going through.  Therefore those dreams are individual dreams.

However the gross body’s experiences are collective dreams.  At a certain space and time, whoever may come will experience the same things.  For example, we all are here in this particular space, in this particular point in time. Aren’t you all experiencing the same thing?  You are seeing the tent and you are listening to the class. At the same time we are also seeing things from our own perspective.  For example, from your point, you are seeing me; and from my point, I am seeing you.  Apart from that, you have your own way of thinking.   Somebody may be thinking, “Oh, what is he talking about? Better he shuts-up.” While some of you may be thinking, “Well, really after all, what he is saying makes some sense.”

So this is how we have our own way of perceiving things.  A simple example can be given in this respect.  A mother sees the baby and her heart becomes filled with love, and her love transforms her blood into milk.  A tiger sees the same baby and its mouth starts to salivate.  So the object may be the same, but the perceptions of different individuals may be different.  So that is this reality.

So in a way you can say that individually we create our own three-dimensional world. And in this collective dream, a projection of the Lord’s illusory energy, where we all are – those that have become oblivious of their spiritual identity go through a dream-like experience where they try and enjoy the objects of this world.  They try to exploit different objects of the sense gratification to derive some pleasure.

So now have you got the point?

We are talking about “real” and “reality”, right?  There are two types of dreams: individual dreams and collective dreams.  Are you with me?  How many of you accept that there is a consideration of collective dreams?  So this collective dream is when we become subjected to the Lord’s illusory energy.  When do we become subjected to the Lord’s illusory energy?  How many of you have got the answer?

(Devotee answers).

Yes, very good, when one is spiritually asleep then he becomes subjected to the Lord’s illusory energy.  And the Lord’s illusory energy is dream-like, or actually unreal.

Dream is a projection of reality.  What you experience in reality, in your mind you concoct and put things in a different observational combination and you create your own world of dreams.  For example, you have seen gold and you have seen mountains, and in your dreams you see a golden mountain.  So this is how you combine your experiences and project them through your mind when you are sleeping.  So dreams are only a projection of reality.  So what we are going through is projected in a dream.

We have pointed out that these material experiences that we are going through, the experiences of this nature through our gross material body, is also a dream, a collective dream.  Then the question is, what is reality?  We are dealing with dreams and reality.  Now we have come to a point that what we thought is reality, is also a dream.  Then the question is: what is the actual reality? The actual reality or the absolute reality is another reality, another world that exists beyond this material nature.  The world that exists beyond this material nature is beyond our sight, and that is spiritual reality.

After a dream when you wake up, what do you experience?  You experience the wakeful state or what you consider to be the reality.  So when you wake up from your collective dream of this dimension, where do you wake up?  You wake up in your spiritual identity, in the spiritual realm.  So let’s just go through this quickly:  Individual dream is when the gross body becomes inactive and the subtle body predominates the consciousness, right?  When the subtle body predominates your consciousness then that is dream.  What type of dream?  The gross body’s perception is also a kind of dream and that is collective dream.

Now let’s discuss “consciousness”.  What is consciousness?  Are you conscious?  How many of you are conscious?  How many of you are unconscious?  Okay, so all of you are conscious.  So then what is consciousness? When you are aware of yourself and what is around you, that is consciousness.  Our existence is relative to our consciousness.  When we are conscious then we are existing.  When we are not conscious, are we existing?  So our existence is relative to our consciousness.  Now the question is, we all are conscious, but where does the consciousness come from?

How many of you agree with me that consciousness comes from the soul? Now, we can consider that the alertness of the body is due to the presence of the soul.  I am aware of my body, you are aware of your body because of the presence of the soul.  When the soul leaves the body, will we be aware of our body?  For example, when somebody pricks us with a pin; we respond.  A mosquito bites; we respond.  But when the soul leaves the body, the body will be burnt to ashes and we will not respond.  Why?  Because the awareness has been withdrawn from the body.  So this awareness has been created due to the consciousness, due to the presence of the soul in the body.

What is the soul and how does consciousness come from the soul?  Have you seen how the sun radiates light?  There is a globe, and the light comes out from the sun.  Similarly, consciousness radiates from the soul.  It is the soul that generates consciousness.  And where does the soul come from?

Let us consider this point.  In this world of matter, do we find any consciousness?  There is a vedic branch of philosophy which is known as Sankhya philosophy.  “Sankhya” means analytical study of this nature.  They have very systematically come to the conclusion of understanding the nature of the soul transcending matter.  You know how they did it?  They analyzed the world and they considered there are five elements that we discussed before.  What are those five elements?  Earth, fire, water, air and ether.  And we have five senses. Eyes, ears, nose, skin and tongue.  These five senses interact with the five elements, and five objects of the senses are generated.  For example when ether acts with ear, sound is produced. When air interacts with skin, touch is produced. When fire interacts with eyes, form is produced. When water interacts with tongue, taste is produced. When earth interacts with nose, or olfactory organs, smell is produced.  So due to the interaction between five elements and the five senses the five objects of the senses are produced, like sound, touch, form, taste and smell.  So how many have you got that?  Three fives are fifteen.  Then they considered that there are five working senses with which we become active in this material nature.  What are those five working senses?  Hands, legs, anus, genitals and mouth.  So four fives are twenty.  Then they considered there are three subtle elements:  mind, intelligence and false ego.  So twenty plus three is twenty-three.  Then they considered the sum total of the material substance from which everything has evolved called the maha-tattva, which is the material element in its very elementary substance, its very basic substance. The total is twenty-four.  So in this way, the entire material nature has been analyzed with these twenty-four elements.  But then they considered that all of these twenty-four elements are objective in nature. Can the object exist without the subject?

So who is the subject?  I gave myself away.  I said “who” is the subject, so you got it.  I should have said “what” is the subject!  So who is the subject?  We are the subjects – the conscious beings. I am, therefore the world is.  You are, therefore this world is.  So if I am not here, will this world exist for me?  No.  So I am the subject.  And in this way, the entire material creation composed of these twenty-four elements exists because of my presence here. Now the entire material nature has been analyzed with these twenty-four considerations but I could not be found there.  “I” is beyond those twenty-four considerations.  So what would be the natural conclusion?  The natural conclusion is that I came from another world, right?  So this is how, through this very systematic analysis, it has been established that beyond this material nature there is another reality and that is called the spiritual reality.

Actually, although Sankhya philosophy analyzed it with twenty-four considerations, it is a very extensive philosophical analysis through which they come to the conclusion.  But in the Bhagavad-gītā how did Kṛṣṇa establish that?  It was established in just two verses, in four lines.  Kṛṣṇa said that this material nature is composed of eight elements.  Those eight elements are:

bhūmir āpo ‘nalo vāyuḥ

khaḿ mano buddhir eva ca

ahańkāra itīyaḿ me

bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭadhā

(Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, 7.4)

He says that this material nature is composed of eight elements.  They are earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego.

But then He says:

apareyam itas tv anyāḿ

prakṛtiḿ viddhi me parām

jīva-bhūtāḿ mahā-bāho

yayedaḿ dhāryate jagat

(Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, 7.5)

This world composed of these eight elements is inferior.  That is, as I mentioned, the objective reality, inferior.  But this inferior material nature is sustained by the living entities.  We, the living entities, sustain this world and he is saying that we come from His superior energy.

The living entities that are sustaining this material nature come from another reality, another nature.  In this way we can see that there is another reality beyond this material nature. So that reality is an actual reality; and material nature is a perverted reflection of that reality.  How is that reflection taking place?  That reflection is actually taking place through our mind, just as you see the reflection on a pool of water. How do you see that reflection? Kṛṣṇa is also making this point very beautifully.  In Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa says that this material nature is like a Banyan tree, which has its roots upwards, and branches downwards.  Have you seen a tree with the roots upwards and branch downwards?  How many of you have seen a tree with the roots upwards and branches downwards? As I mentioned, when you see a tree as a reflection in a pool of water, how do you see it?  Don’t you see the root upwards and branch downwards?  So similarly this material nature is a perverted reflection of the spiritual sky.  So that is the relationship between material nature and spiritual nature.

The spiritual world is the world where the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the center.  Now here also, what is the difference between spiritual nature and material nature?

By the way, I wanted to mention also that I will try to give a lot of time for questions and answers because in this type of discussion, question and answers is very important.  So I will conclude the talk and answer questions.  If you need any paper to write questions you can let us know.  Whoever wants can just pass this…

So we were just discussing what is the difference between material nature and spiritual world?  In simple words it can be described that the material world is the world where we put ourselves as the center, and the spiritual world is the world where God, or Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the center.

The difference between the material world and the spiritual world is not a physical difference as such; it is a difference of consciousness.  When we are the center, when we put ourselves as the center, that is material nature.  The world where God is the center, that is the spiritual world.  Now just consider in this world how we are acting, how we are reacting, how we are functioning, what is the motivation?  Don’t we put ourselves at the center?  Doesn’t the world revolve around us? That is material. As long as we do that, that is material.  And when we put Kṛṣṇa in the center then that is the spiritual world.  When you go to the spiritual world what will you find?  Kṛṣṇa is the center of everything.  And in material nature, what are we seeing, what are we experiencing?  All the time it is the consideration of me and mine.  That is material nature.  But when Kṛṣṇa is the center, that is spiritual.  That is the difference between material and spiritual worlds.

Kṛṣṇa is the absolute reality.  Kṛṣṇa is the Absolute Truth.  Do you know what is the specific characteristic of absolute truth?  The specific characteristic of absolute truth is that anything in relation to absolute truth is also absolute truth.  Are you familiar with the concept of infinity in mathematics?  How many of you are familiar with the concept of infinity in mathematics?  Okay, so what is infinity plus twenty-five? Rangini Radhika?  Infinity plus twenty-five?  Infinity.  Infinity multiplied by two thousand five hundred?  Infinity.  Infinity minus twenty-five trillion?  Infinity.  So infinity always remains infinity, and anything in relation to infinity is infinity.

Now if Kṛṣṇa is the Absolute Truth, anything related to Kṛṣṇa is also the Absolute Truth.  Actually in mathematics, although they do not understand generally, but through mathematics they actually have a concept of spiritual reality.  They have a concept of God, but they do not want to delve into that.  That is the unfortunate part.  So anything in relation to Kṛṣṇa is absolute.  Now Kṛṣṇa is real.  Is Kṛṣṇa’s reality or Kṛṣṇa’s domain real or unreal?  It’s real!  So the world where Kṛṣṇa is, that is the Absolute reality, that is the ultimate reality.  We all came from there. We are all spiritual beings.  How long will this material body last for?  Although everyone thinks that he is going to live forever, but will anybody be here forever?

You see, Yudhisthira Maharaja was asked by the personified religion, Dharmaraja, “What is the most amazing thing in this world?”  And do you know what was Yudhisthira Maharaja’s answer?  Yudhisthira Maharaja’s answer was that “although everybody sees that so many people have died in the past, so many people are dying in the present, and so many people will die in the future, but he thinks that he will never die.  So that is the most amazing thing in this world.  Everybody thinks that he is not going to die.”

And actually it’s not surprising, because everybody in reality is immortal.  The spirit soul is immortal.  The spirit soul does not die.  And because we are all spiritual beings we naturally think that we are not going to die.  But the problem is that when we identify ourselves with this material body, the material body is subject to death, therefore this body dies. But we never die.  Unfortunately, for as long as we identify ourselves with this material body, we become prone to death because we think that the body is the self, and the body will eventually die.  So we all are immortal, but we will become immortal in reality only when we become situated in the spiritual realm.

Now, to go into that, have you seen a spark from a fire?  A spark is a tiny little fire.  When that spark comes out of the fire, can it retain its fiery qualities?  It loses its fiery qualities, falls on a heap of ash, and turns into ash.  Similarly, we, the living entities, the tiny little spiritual entities, when we become separated from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then we lose our spiritual bodies.  And just as falling on a heap of ash, that inflammable state of that spark becomes ash; becoming separated from Kṛṣṇa and falling into this world of matter, we have become transformed into matter.  We are identifying ourselves with this body that is made of matter.  Is this point clear?

We are spiritual sparks.  Tiny little spiritual spark means tiny little living entity.  When we got separated from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, were we able to retain our spiritual identity?  No, that is what happened to us.  Because we have become separated from Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we lost our spiritual identity and we are mistakenly identifying ourselves with this body made of matter.  Now the spark has lost its fiery quality, becoming separated from the fire.  If it has to become a spark again, what does it have to do? Go back into the fire, or become reconnected to the fire.  Similarly for us to regain our spiritual identity we have to become reconnected to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  So how many of you want to regain your spiritual identity?  Very good.  So what do you have to do?  You have to simply re-establish your connection with Kṛṣṇa.  How do you become connected to somebody?

Did you ever consider that?  Through love.  Doesn’t love bring us together, and hatred separates us?  So if we want to become connected to the Supreme Personality of Godhead we simply have to offer our love to Him, and by creating this loving relationship we will establish our relationship with Him.  Now the consideration is, as they say, love is a two-way traffic.  That means both the parties have to be in love to make the love work.  We have to develop our loving relationship with Kṛṣṇa.  How to do that?  The thing that we need to consider here is that actually Kṛṣṇa loves us, but we do not love Him.  That is the problem.

Does Kṛṣṇa really love us? Okay, let’s consider, all the food that you are eating, and all the food that you have eaten – where did it come from?  Kṛṣṇa gave it to you, right?  Why did Kṛṣṇa give you all the food?  Because…he loves you!

Where did you get all the water to drink?  Who made this arrangement for all the water that you are drinking? There is a lot of water in the ocean. Can you drink that water?  But see what a wonderful arrangement Kṛṣṇa has made:  with the rays of the sun he makes the water from the ocean to evaporate, then that becomes cloud, then the cloud is transported by wind to different parts, then condensation takes place and it comes down in the form of rain.  Who made this arrangement?  Kṛṣṇa!  Why?

Devotees respond:  “He loves us.”

I can’t hear you!

Devotees respond louder:  “He loves us!”

Okay.  So he loves you.  More important than water is oxygen.  We take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide.  If the process just continued, what would happen?  The whole atmosphere would be filled with carbon dioxide.  Did that ever happen?  Why not?  Yes, because trees and plants are taking in carbon dioxide and giving out oxygen.  Who made this arrangement?

Devotees respond:  “Kṛṣṇa!”


Devotees respond:  “He loves us!”

That’s better!  So see Kṛṣṇa loves you, but the question is, do you love Him?  If you don’t love Him, will that love be complete?  For example, a young boy is in love with a young girl, but the young girl does not respond.  How does the young boy feel?  Doesn’t he feel terrible because his love is not being properly reciprocated?  Now Kṛṣṇa loves us, but we do not respond.  How does Kṛṣṇa feel?  But if you respond simply by saying, “Kṛṣṇa I love you”, then can you imagine how Kṛṣṇa will feel?  And that is the reality.  And when we develop our loving relationship with Kṛṣṇa in this way, we become situated in our constitutional position with Kṛṣṇa in the absolute reality. Now do you understand what is dream and what is reality?  What is the actual reality, the absolute reality?  The absolute reality is in the spiritual world.

Okay, I’ll take some questions. We have about twenty-five minutes.  Let’s take the questions that are already written.

(Reading question)  “How about a spiritual dream? “ Very good.  “How does one know that it is truly bona fide in the meaning of Kṛṣṇa consciousness?”  Very good.  Whose question is this?  Okay, very good.

As I mentioned earlier, spiritual means in relation to Kṛṣṇa.  When a dream is in relation to Kṛṣṇa then it is, as you say, a spiritual dream.  But then it is not a dream, it is reality.  Although it may appear to be like a dream, it is actually diametrically opposed to a dream, it is reality.  Just as sunrise and sunset, although diametrically opposite, appear to be similar; similarly a dream and experiences of the spiritual reality with Kṛṣṇa in the center appear to be similar.

(Reading question)  “I read in one of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books, Science of Reincarnation, a statement that claims that dreams are projections of previous lives lived.  Is a dream not a process whereby the soul leaves the body and through consciousness the individual gets to experience materialism through the soul?  Then the soul re-enters the body in a state called wakefulness and the soul chooses to leave the body and be free; that is, a body sleeping; more because the soul experiences less through its body.”  Whose question is that?  Okay, very good.

As I explained earlier, we have two bodies: gross material body, and subtle material body.  Dreams are experiences of the subtle material body.  It is not that in a dream the soul leaves the body.  The gross material body becomes inactive or the gross body falls asleep, but the subtle body remains active.  It is not a matter of entering, because these two bodies are there in relation to the soul.  When the soul leaves the body, then the body dies.  So it is not that the soul leaves the body.

When one is asleep, is he dead or alive?  Alive.  So what makes him alive?  The presence of the soul.  So that is the proof that the soul is still in the body.  But in this respect there is a similarity between sleep and death.  The similarity is that in sleep you come back to the same body when you wake up, but when you die; you wake up in another body.

(Live question):  “I always had the sense that when you reach that level of mastery, it is possible for your soul to leave your actual body and travel anywhere throughout the planets, or anywhere in the world; and then actually come to that same body.”

HHBCSM:  Why worry about that?  Are you not happy with just travelling in this body?  Are you not happy being here?

(Devotee): “It’s sort of a question of choice; that once your soul is free you get to choose if you want to leave your body or what…”

HHBCSM:  At a very advanced spiritual stage one can do that.

(Devotee):  “What I meant to…”

HHBCSM:  But the question is, what is the use?  After all you are just travelling in this world.  What really matters is to go back there.

(Devotee):  “Once you go back there is there a possibility that once we reach perfection to choose to manifest in this world again…”

HHBCSM:  That perfection will not come from your choosing.  It will be Kṛṣṇa’s decision.  When Kṛṣṇa wants, you will return.  You have prayed to Him:  “Kṛṣṇa, I want to get out of here”…

(Devotee):  “If I was to have this soul experience again of being here; if I asked Kṛṣṇa to let me be here to experience what it is…”

HHBCSM:  Yes, you have had plenty opportunity to experience that…

(Devotee):  “Yes, and I think there is plenty more coming still…”

HHBCSM:  Yes, it will come; but my question is, what is the use?  Okay, now let’s just deal with this question in a particular way.  You see, this material nature is like a prison house where you are subjected to punishment because of your wrong actions. As Bhaktivinoda Thakura put it in a very beautiful expression:  “The flesh is not our own alas, the mortal frame a chain…”  This mortal body is bondage, a chain.  “…The soul confined for former wrongs will try to rise again”.  The soul has been confined in this material body and in this material nature for our former wrongs, for our past misdeeds.  Just like a prisoner is being punished in the prison house because of his crimes.  Now does a prisoner, in his right consciousness, want to continue staying in the prison, or does he want to get out?

(Devotee):  “With the prisoner, there comes a time that when he becomes aware of his wrong-doing, then he realizes that…”

HHBCSM:  So then will the prisoner want to travel from one cell to another to experience what the prison is like, or will he want to get out of the prison?  The point is that the prisoner should want to get out of the prison.  So he should figure out what is the best way to get out.

(Reading question) “Is Kṛṣṇa the Supreme Personality personified, or is it a symbol, symbolizing the true self within, the soul, the brahman?”

HHBCSM:  As I mentioned, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the Absolute Truth. So if He is the Absolute Truth then why should His identity be false?  According to this point, Kṛṣṇa is not Kṛṣṇa, if Kṛṣṇa is a symbol.  Now is it dealing with the Absolute Truth, or is it dealing with something unreal?

Kṛṣṇa is Kṛṣṇa, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and we all are His eternal parts and parcels.  Yes, He has his impersonal aspect also. His energy is His impersonal aspect, brahmajyoti as was mentioned, brahmanBrahmajyoti is Kṛṣṇa’s bodily effulgence; that is not Kṛṣṇa the Personality of Godhead, it’s His radiation of the spiritual effulgence of His body.

(Reading question)  “If this world is considered unreal, then how it is that we emotionally react to something good or bad.  Kindly explain.”

HHBCSM:  You see, not really unreal, it is a dream.  For example in a dream, don’t you react?  In a dream if you see you have become a King, how do you feel?  Don’t you feel some sort of emotion?  Or if in a dream you see that a tiger is attacking you, don’t you feel scared?  Similarly in this material world also we are reacting to the happenings around us, or reacting to the happenings pertaining to us.  But those reactions are not of a permanent nature.  They are of a temporary nature, just as this material nature is.  But the spiritual reality is the reality where we experience the real emotion in relation to Kṛṣṇa.

We experience love, we experience joy, we experience laughter, we experience chivalry… In this way we experience various types of emotions with Kṛṣṇa in the center.  That is the difference.  Those emotions and reactions are of a permanent nature because they are in relation to Kṛṣṇa, whereas the emotions that we experience in this world are of a temporary nature.

(Live question):  “You mentioned that we are reacting; so how to react and still remain equipoised?  We are reacting in our day-to-day lives, but how to react…”

HHBCSM:  Good point.  The point is, don’t get involved – just accept it as it comes, because they are not of a permanent nature, they are transient.  Just as weather changes, sometimes in the summer it is hot and in the winter it is cold.  We know that it will pass, so just tolerate, titikshah.

(Reading question) “If I dream of Kṛṣṇa or spirituality-related matter is that unreal?”

As I said the ultimate reality is Kṛṣṇa so anything related to Kṛṣṇa is real, whether you are superimposing it or whether you are going through it.  For instance when you are chanting the names of Kṛṣṇa, although you are in this world, you are chanting and saying, “Kṛṣṇa, I love you; Kṛṣṇa, I love you; Kṛṣṇa, I love you…”  That is real because Kṛṣṇa is listening and Kṛṣṇa will positively reciprocate.  So that’s how it is real.

(Reading question)  “Kindly explain the out of body experiences and the state of consciousness when one is in a coma state.”

HHBCSM:  Very good. The state of coma is actually when the gross body is not functioning and is inactive.  But that doesn’t mean that the subtle body is inactive.  Just like a person is apparently inactive in his sleep but he is dreaming.  Apparently, externally, it seems like he is inactive or in his sleep, but that doesn’t mean that his subtle body is inactive.  So one may be in a coma, and his gross body may be inactive, but that doesn’t mean that his subtle body is inactive.  But sometimes one may be in a coma of both gross and subtle.  That can also happen.  So the coma means that the soul is there but either just the gross body is not active, or gross and subtle bodies are both inactive.

In our scriptures it is described that a state of coma is a state when Yamaraja, the supreme judge, cannot figure out what judgment to make.  So when he is in some turmoil then that individual remains in a kind of state of inactive waiting for Yamaraja to decide.

Okay now a few live questions…

(Live question):  “How can we be in constant touch with our spiritual reality?”

HHBCSM:  By constantly engaging our mind in thinking about the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  By engaging our intelligence to decide how we are going to please Him and be engaged in His loving devotional service.  In this way when our body, mind and words are engaged in the devotional service of the Lord, we are in constant touch with the spiritual world.

(Live question):  “Hare Kṛṣṇa Maharaja, it’s always good to have your association and somehow or the other remove our doubts.  Just to add to Kṛṣṇa Caran’s question, you see many of our difficulties arise from being in the kanistha, in the neophyte stage, and somehow or other these difficulties arise because of our fear.  And towards the end of Bhagavad-gītā, I believe it is 18.54 that one has to come to that brahma-bhutah platform to become ever-joyful.  So hopefully you can just comment a little bit further.  Thank you.”

HHBCSM:  Very good comment.  You see material nature is a nature where we are in constant anxiety because our existence here is so uncertain. Death may come at any time. We may be subjected to all kinds of difficult situations. That’s why we are in constant fear.  What is the constant fear?  To keep the body alive, maintain the body, preserve the body, to keep the body and soul together.  That’s why we are in constant fear.  But when you transcend the bodily platform and come to the spiritual platform, as you say, like brahma-bhutah prasannatma; then at that platform there is no anxiety and there is no fear, because the soul is not subjected to material calamities.  Does that answer your question?  Hare Kṛṣṇa!

 (Live question):  “Hare Kṛṣṇa Maharaja, just a short one.  Dreaming about Kṛṣṇa is good; dreaming bad dreams is also good for a devotee.  For a non-devotee, both are bad?  Please answer this one.”

HHBCSM:  I think you answered the question yourself.  The answer is, for a devotee everything is good, and for a non-devotee everything is bad.  Anyway, become a good devotee.  Thank you all very much.  All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda!  Gaura Premanande!  Hare Kṛṣṇa!  Thank you!


Audio-link : click here

Transcription: Sarisha Harischund
Editing : Mukunda Hari Dasa

Transcription - SB Canto 1

The Noble Character Of Draupadi


Om Namo Bhagvate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagvate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagvate Vasudevaya

So, today we are going to discuss the 7th chapter, 1st Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam. This chapter is entitled: “The Son of Drona Punished.” Son of Drona, is Asvatthama. Asvatthama is punished because he very inappropriately, very abominably, he killed the five sleeping sons of Draupadi. Not only he killed the five sons, he also killed the sleeping Pandavas generals and the important allies of the Pandavas after the battle of Kuruksetra. And Asvatthama’s incidence is coming here because Sukadeva Goswamiis describing the appearance of Pariksit, Maharaja. Pariksit, Maharaja’s appearance was linked with Asvatthama because when he was in the
womb of his mother, Asvatthama tried to kill him by using Brahmastra and at that time Krishna personally saved him. So, this chapter begins with, “What was the end of the sixth chapter? How did the sixth chapter end? Who remembers?”

“Yeah”, Narada Muni after instructing Vyasadeva left and then Shaunaka Rishi questioned “O Suta, the great and transcendentally powerful Vyasdeva heard everything from Sri Narada Muni.” So after Narada Muni’s departure “What did Vyasadeva do?”

Sri Suta said: “On the western bank of the River Sarasvati, which is intimately related with the Vedas, there is a cottage for meditation at Samyaprasa which enlivens the transcendental activities of the sages.” (SB 1.7.2)

River Sarasvati is on the western bank and is manifestation of the energy of Sarasvati. Sarasvati is a personality “Who is Sarasvatidevi?” She is the Goddess of learning therefore she is intimately connected to Vedas and her river is Sarasvati river. There are few very auspicious rivers in India and Sarasvati is one of them Vyasadeva was situated or he had an ashrama on the western bank of Sarasvati. “Why?” Because when we are situated on the western bank we face Sarasvati in the eastern direction so, eastern
direction is the auspicious direction, for receiving transcendental knowledge east is very auspicious direction. For yoga north is the
appropriate direction. For going to hell south is the auspicious direction (laughter) and for material prosperity west is the direction. East, North, West and South, So, Vyasadeva made his cottage on the western bank of the river Sarasvati at a place called Samyaprasa this place is also known as Badrika Ashrama because Badri is a kind of berries so that place had groves of berries therefore it was Badrika Ashrama. In that place Srila Vyasadeva in his own ashrama which was surrounded by berry trees sat down to meditate
after touching water for purification. That place was surrounded by Badri trees therefore the ashrama was known as Badrika ashrama. So there after touching water

asino pa upasprsya
pranidadhyau manah svayam

Sat down to meditate after touching water for purification. Thus he fixed his mind, perfectly engaging it by linking it in devotional service (Bhakti-yoga) without any tinge of materialism, and thus he saw the Absolute Personality of Godhead along with His external energy, which was under full control. (1.7.4)

So there he saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead along with his external energy and this external energy was completely under control. That means Vyasadeva saw Krishna as well as the material nature and when Krishna is the centre of the material nature the material is under full control. If the material nature is without Krishna, if we approach the material nature without Krishna, “What will happen?” She will be completely wild (laughter) like we see the form of Kali, Candi, Camunda, destructive form of material nature. Due to this external energy, the living entity although transcendental to the three modes of material nature thinks of him as a material product and thus undergoes the reactions of material miseries. Due to the influence of the external energy or the material nature the living entity although transcendental to three modes, the living entities are not actually meant to be under the control of the modes but when the living entity rejects Krishna then he becomes affected by the three modes of material nature and as a result of that he identifies himself with the material nature. “How does one identifies with the three modes of material nature?” By thinking that the body is he actually he is a soul but because his identification with the material nature he begins to identify himself with the material body and as result of that he forgets his identity as a soul which is beyond the modes of material nature. The soul is not affected
by the modes of the material nature it is the body that becomes affected and when the body becomes affected by the modes of the material nature the living entity thinks that he is being affected by the modes. The material miseries of the living entities which are superfluous to him can be directly mitigated by the linking process of devotional service. But the mass of people do not know this and therefore the learned Vyasadeva compiled this Vedic literature which is in relation with the Supreme Truth.  So this is a very important verse to remember. From tomorrow we will take one verse and write on the board and we will recite the verse as we do
usually do and then discuss the whole chapter. Now this verse is very important

anarthopasamam saksad
bhakti yogam adhoksaje
lokasyajanato vidvams
cakre satvata-samhitam

(SB 1.7.6)

This verse, you take note. (Repeats the verse) Anartha means the things which are superfluous, anartha that are not really necessary, not very desirable.

Anartha means not desirable. Upasanam. We know about anarth nivritti.  Upasanam actually means nivritti, upasanam means mitigation. So anarthaupasanam and anartha nivritti is the same thing. “And how does it happen?” Sakshad bhakti yogam adhoksage. Adhoksaja is Krsna and adhoksaje means unto Krsna. The linking process of devotional service. Adhoksaja –
unto the transcendence. Lokasya – of the general mass of men. Ajanat –
those who are unaware. The mass of people, the general mass do not know
about that. “What they do not know?” That anarthopasamam. bhakti-
yogam adhoks.aje. If one renders devotional service unto the Supreme
Personality of Godhead then all his material miseries are immediately
mitigated. “Do you want to suffer? Does anybody want to suffer?” No. then
“what should we do?” bhakti-yogam adhoks.aje. Render devotional service
unto Krsna. Lokasyajanata and vidvam the supreme learned. Cakre – compiled.
satvata samhitam – in relation with the supreme personality of godhead.
Satvatam means? This word satvata is coming from the word satva. Satva
means goodness or absolute truth. So there are samhitam. There are
literatures in different modes. “Now which literature is in the mode of
goodness?” There are six Puranas but there is one purana which is in the
mode of absolute goodness, pure mode of goodness. That is Srimad Bhagavatam.
And that is satvam samhitam. So lokasyajanata because it is unknown to the
general mass of people. Therefore vidvan – learned Vyasadeva compiled the
satvatam samhita. So you can see the importance of Srimad Bhagavatam. “Why
Vyasadeva compiled Bhagavatam?” To make people understand that by rendering
devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he can become
free from all material miseries. “Wonderful solution!” People are trying so
much to mitigate their material sufferings. “Isn’t it?” But the solution is
so simple. But because it is lokasyajanata – because people do not know
that they are suffering, they are trying so hard. But while they are trying
“What is happening?” They are increasing their miseries. They are not
decreasing their miseries. And the western world is a very good example for
that. “They are trying to make all kinds of arrangements but what is
happening?” It is causing more and more difficulties. For example they try
to derive all kinds of energy. Like first it was steam energy. Boiling
water you get the energy and with that energy, they were running mills.
They were running railways. Then they got electrical energy. And then they
got atomic energy. But they are making all these arrangements, but these
energies are misused. The atomic energy now has become the most powerful
and destructive arrangement. And the whole world is in total chaos. And
anxiety because of the terrorist attack and eventually “what will happen?
The terrorist are not going to sit down. They will attack and this time how
will they attack?” They will attack with the most powerful weapon. The
atomic energy, nuclear weapon, so many, like some years back, I was going
in London from one place to another. It was such a traffic jam, that there
are so many cars. They are fast moving cars. On both sides of the road.
Nice roads to make this car to move on and cars also move with two hundred/
two hundred and forty/ two hundred and fifty kilometres an hour. But we got
struck in a traffic jam and we had a very important meeting. And we struck
in a traffic jam for hours. And between those times somebody was telling
me. The driver was telling me that the time it takes from one point to
another point hundred years back, it is the same time now to go from that
point to that point. “Why?” They have created these fast moving cars but
their roads are jammed so many cars that the cars cannot move. And in this
way they are causing so many difficulties. Anyway, so at least we know how
to mitigate the miseries of the material nature. So the solution is:

anarthopasamam. saksad
bhakti yogam adhoksaje
lokasyajanato vidvams
cakre satvata-samhitam
(SB 1.7.6)

The material miseries of the living entity, which are superfluous to him,
can be directly mitigated by linking the process of devotional service. But
the mass of people, do not know this, and therefore the learned Vyasadeva
compiled this Vedic literature, which is in the relation with the Supreme
Truth. (SB 1.7.6 translation)

Simply by giving aural reception to this Vedic literature, the feeling for
loving devotional service to Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, sprouts up at once to extinguish the fire of lamentation, illusion
and fearfulness. (SB 1.7.7 translation)

This is also another very important verse

yasyam vai sruyaman.ayam
Krsne parama-puruse
bhaktir utpadyate pumsah
soka moha bhayapaha
(SB 1.7.7)

Jai Sri Sri Krishna Balarama ki Jai! Jai Sri Sri Radha Madanmohan Ki Jai!
Jai Sri Sri Gaura Nitai ki Jai! (Altar gates close)

Simply by giving aural reception to this Vedic literature, that is Srimad-
Bhagavatam, the feeling for loving devotional service to Lord Krishna, the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, sprouts up at once to extinguish the fire
of lamentation, illusion and fearfulness. Apaha means which extinguishes.
That which extinguishes.

The great sage Vyasadeva, after compiling the Srimad Bhagavatam and
revising it, taught it to his own son, Sri Sukadeva Gosvami, who was
already engaged in self-realization. (SB 1.7.8 translation)

Sukadeva Gosvami was already self realized. But Vyasdeva gave him Srimad
Bhagavatam. Then Saunaka Rishi makes a very pertinent question. He asks a
very wonderful question, “Sukadeva Goswami was already self realized so why
he had to study this vast literature Srimad Bhagavatam?”

Sri Saunaka asked Suta Gosvami: Sri Sukadeva Goswami was already on the
path of self-realization, and thus he was pleased with his own self. So why
did he take the trouble to undergo the study of such a vast literature? (SB
1.7.9 translation)

So then also comes another very important verse.

suta uvaca
atmaramas ca munayo
nirgrantha apy urukrame
kurvanty ahaitukim. bhaktim
ittham-bhuta-gun.o harih.
(SB 1.7.10)

“Why this verse is so important?” Because Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked
Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya to explain this verse. Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya
was an impersonalist. So this is the verse that smashes the impersonalist.
The impersonalist thinks that to merge into Brahman realization, to achieve
Brahman realization is the ultimate. Now the question is Sukadeva Goswami
was already on the Brahma bhuta platform, Brahman realized, then “why did
he study Srimad Bhagavatam after that?”

Ordinary people derive pleasure from their senses.

All different varieties of atmaramas, those who take pleasure in atma, or
soul. Atmara means those who derive pleasure from the atma, they do not
derive pleasure of their senses like ordinary people. Ordinary people
derive pleasure from their senses but a self realized soul derives pleasure
from his atma. Especially those established on the path of
self-realization, though freed from all kinds of material bondage, desire
to render unalloyed devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead.
This means that the Lord possesses transcendental qualities and therefore
can attract everyone, including liberated souls. (Explanation of SB 1.7.10

Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, son of Srila Vyasadeva, was not only
transcendentally powerful. He was also very dear to the devotees of the
Lord. Thus he underwent the study of this great narration (Srimad Bhagavatam)
(SB 1.7.11 translation)

Suta Gosvami thus addressed the rishis headed by Saunaka: Now I shall begin
the transcendental narration of the Lord Sri Krishna and topics of the
birth, activities and deliverance of King Pariksit, the sage amongst kings,
as well as topics of the renunciation of the worldly order by the sons of
Pandu (SB 1.7.12 translation)

“So now he is saying what he is going to describe now? He will narrate the
transcendental activities of Krishna. The activities of birth and
deliverance of King Pariksit, and how the Pandavas retired from the worldly

When the respective warriors of both camps, namely the Kauravas and the
Pandavas, were killed on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra and the dead
warriors obtained their deserved destinations, and when the son of
Dhr.taras.t.ra fell down lamenting, his spine broken, being beaten by the
club of Bhimasena, the son of Dronacarya (Asvatthama) beheaded the five
sleeping sons of Draupadi and delivered them as a prize to his master,
foolishly thinking that he would be pleased. Duryodhana, however,
disapproved of the heinous act, and he was not pleased in the least. (SB
1.7.13 and 14 translation)

Actually Duryodhana, when he lost the battle he was hiding under water and
Pandavas along with Krishna came to that lake and started to insult
Duryodhana. “You coward! You are hiding?” Like a warrior feels very
insulted and actually, cannot bear to hear any insult especially when he is
called a coward. Especially when he is told he should rather wear a sari
and not claim that he is a man. So Duryodhana came up and Yudhisthira gave
him an option. He said “Duryodhana, you fight any one of us five brothers
and if you win you will be considered victorious, we will accept defeat.”
We can see that how noble the kshatriyas used to be. Duryodhana selected
Bhima. Although he knew Bhima was the most powerful. But because Bhima was
his arch enemy. He always considered Bhima to be his arch enemy. So he
decided to fight with Bhima and the choosing of weapon was also left to
Duryodhana. And Duryodhana was very expert in mace fight with gada.
Balarama himself taught him how to fight with mace. That is why Balarama
was Duryodhana’s Guru. Balarama taught him how to fight with mace, and
Balarama’s weapon is mace. So who can be a better teacher than magnificent
Balarama? So Duryodhana learned mace fighting, gada yudha, how to fight
with mace, by Balarama. Bhima was also expert in mace fighting but
Duryodhana was actually better in mace fighting than Bhima. And so
Duryodhana selected Bhima. And Duryodhana selected mace to fight with
Bhima. And both of them were fighting and nobody would defeat. Duryodhana
was very expert and Bhima was also equivalent. They fought for a long time
and at that time, Krishna reminded Bhima of his promise that he was
supposed to break Duryodhana’s thigh. So in a mace fight or in any fight
hitting low the belt or low the navel is considered to be unfair. All the
attack has to be above. So Krishna indicated pointing that to his thigh and
then Bhima at a point when Duryodhana jumped Bhima just smacked his thigh
and broke his thigh. Balarama was there. Balarama was very upset. Balarama
attacked Bhima with him plough. He wanted to kill Bhima for breaking the
law. So Krishna prevented Balarama reminding that Bhima actually took a
vow. So when in order to fulfill his vow, he hit him there, was not unfair
according to the rule of fighting. And why Bhima took a vow to break
Duryodhana’s thigh? Because when they lost in that game of dice, when they
lost Draupadi in the game of dice, Yudhisthira Maharaja was playing with
Shakuni and he lost everything then finally they put Draupadi, as stake but
he lost. So Duryodhana ordered Dushashana to bring Draupadi to the
assembly, so Dushashana grabbed Draupadi, by her hair and dragged her away
into the assembly and then Duryodhana indicating his thigh, indicated by
pointing to his thigh to undress/disrobe her. That’s why Bhima took a vow
that he would break Duryodhana’s thigh when the time comes. And he took
another vow he took was he would drink Dushashana’s blood. And he did that,
when he killed Dushashana, just before killing, he tore open Dushashana’s
chest. So these are Ksatriyas (laughter) This is how Krishna pacified

And Duryodhana was laying there and then Asvatthama and Kripa came there.
Who was the third? Salva. Anyway three of them came. And they saw that
Duryodhana was lying there with a broken thigh. And Asvatthama was very
upset. All three of them were very upset that Bhima broke his thigh in a
mace fight, which was unfair. Then that night they were lying down under a
tree. And he saw Asvatthama couldn’t sleep. And he saw that one owl came
and attacked the nest of a bird. That was, and killed all the babies, the
baby birds. So from that he got an idea of attacking in night. And the
battle was over. So Pandavas army was sleeping in their tent and when they
were sleeping in their tent, Asvatthama went there and he went inside the
tent and started to slaughter everyone. And he killed the five sons of
Draupadi, First of all they were young boys, they were hardly about
fourteen years old. And the sleeping sons were killed. And he brought the
heads of those five sons of Draupadi to Duryodhana and he said he thought
that he would let Duryodhana leave his body happily. That was Asvatthama’s
idea. He would leave his body happily thinking that he has taken his
revenge. “The five Panadavas have been killed”. Asvatthama presented that
he brought the head of the five Pandavas. Duryodhana at first was happy but
then he took their head and out of anger he squished their head. And the
head crabbed. And from that Duryodhana could understand that these were not
the Pandavas’s head. These are the son-boys head. And Duryodhana became
very upset with Asvatthama that “you killed the boys, the sons of Pandavas.
You didn’t kill the Pandavas.” So that is how Duryodhana however
disapproved of the heinous act. And he was not pleased in the least.

Draupadi, the mother of the five children of the Pandavas, after hearing of
the massacre of her sons, began to cry in distress with eyes full of tears.
Trying to pacify her in her great loss, Arjuna spoke to her thus (SB 1.7.15

O gentle lady, when I present you with the head of that brahman.a, after
beheading him with arrows from my Gandiva bow, I shall then wipe the tears
from your eyes and pacify you. Then, after burning your sons’ bodies, you
can take your bath standing on his head. (SB 1.7.16 translation)

Arjuna, who is guided by the infallible Lord as friend and driver, thus
satisfied the dear lady by such statements. Then he dressed in armor and
armed himself with furious weapons, and getting into his chariot, he set
out to follow Asvatthama, the son of his martial teacher. (SB 1.7.17

Asvatthama, the murderer of the princes, seeing from a great distance
Arjunacoming at him with great speed, fled in his chariot, panic
stricken, just
to save his life, as Brahma fled in fear from Siva. (SB 1.7.18 translation)

Jai Sri Sri Radha Madanmohan Ki Jai! Jai Sri Sri Krishna Balarama Ki Jai !
Jai Sri Sri Gaura Nitai Ki Jai ! (altar gates open)

When the son of the brahman.a (Asvatthama) saw that his horses were tired,
he considered that there was no alternative for protection outside of his
using the ultimate weapon, the brahmastra (nuclear weapon)(SB 1.7.19

Since his life was in danger, he touched water in sanctity and concentrated
upon the chanting of the hymns for throwing nuclear weapons, although he
did not know how to withdraw such weapons.(SB 1.7.20 translation)

Thereupon a glaring light spread in all directions. It was so fierce that
Arjuna thought his own life in danger, and so he began to address Lord Sri
Krishna.(SB 1.7.21 translation)

Arjuna said: O my Lord Sri Krishna, You are the almighty Personality of
Godhead. There is no limit to Your different energies. Therefore only You
are competent to instill fearlessness in the hearts of Your devotees.
Everyone in the flames of material miseries can find the path of liberation
in You only. (SB 1.7.22 translation)

You are the original Personality of Godhead who expands Himself all over
the creations and is transcendental to material energy. You have cast away
the effects of the material energy by dint of Your spiritual potency. You
are always situated in eternal bliss and transcendental knowledge. (SB
1.7.23 translation)

And yet, though You are beyond the purview of the material energy, You
execute the four principles of liberation characterized by religion and so
on for the ultimate good of the conditioned souls. (SB 1.7.24 translation)

Thus You descend as an incarnation to remove the burden of the world and to
benefit Your friends, especially those who are Your exclusive devotees and
are wrapped in meditation upon You. (SB 1.7.25 translation)

O Lord of lords, how is it that this dangerous effulgence is spreading all
around? Where does it come from? I do not understand it. (SB 1.7.26

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Know from Me that this is the act
of the son of Drona. He has thrown the hymns of nuclear energy (brahmastra),
and he does not know how to retract the glare. He has helplessly done this,
being afraid of imminent death. ( SB 1.7.27 translation)

O Arjuna, only another brahmastra can counteract this weapon. Since you are
expert in the military science, subdue this weapon’s glare with the power
of your own weapon. (SB 1.7.28 translation)

Sri SutaGosvami said: Hearing this from the Personality of Godhead,
Arjunatouched water for purification, and after circumambulating Lord
Sri Krishna, he cast his brahmastra weapon to counteract the other one. (SB
1.7.29 translation)

When the rays of the two brahmastras combined, a great circle of fire, like
the disc of the sun, covered all outer space and the whole firmament of
planets. (SB 1.7.30 translation)

All the population of the three worlds was scorched by the combined heat of
the weapons. Everyone was reminded of the sam.vartaka fire which takes
place at the time of annihilation. (SB 1.7.31 translation)

Thus seeing the disturbance of the general populace and the imminent
destruction of the planets, Arjuna at once retracted both
brahmastraweapons, as Lord
Sri Krishna desired. (SB 1.7.32 translation)

So Arjuna first counteracted the Brahmastra and then retracted the
brahmastra which Asvatthama didn’t know how to retract the brahmastra.

Arjuna, his eyes blazing in anger like two red balls of copper, dexterously
arrested the son of Gautami and bound him with ropes like an animal. (SB
1.7.33 translation)

After binding Asvatthama, Arjuna wanted to take him to the military camp.
The Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna, looking on with His lotus eyes,
spoke to angry Arjuna. (SB 1.7.34 translation)

Lord Sri Krishna said: O Arjuna, you should not show mercy by releasing
this relative of a brahman.a (brahma-bandhu), for he has killed innocent
boys in their sleep. (SB 1.7.35 translation)

A person who knows the principles of religion does not kill an enemy who is
careless, intoxicated, insane, asleep, afraid or devoid of his chariot. Nor
does he kill a boy, a woman, a foolish creature or a surrendered soul. (SB
1.7.36 translation)

Kshatriyas although warriors and very valiant fighters, they very strictly
follow the principles of warfare. In this verse that had been explained. A
kshatriya is allowed to kill his enemy. A kshatriya could kill his enemy
and no sin will be in-born. But here it is pointed out under certain
condition a kshatriya doesn’t kill his enemy, if the enemy is careless,
intoxicated, insane, asleep, afraid or devoid of his chariot. If the enemy
doesn’t have a chariot. Nor does he kill a boy, a woman.

A cruel and wretched person who maintains his existence at the cost of
others’ lives deserves to be killed for his own well-being, otherwise he
will go down by his own actions. (SB 1.7.37 translation)

Furthermore, I have personally heard you promise Draupadi that you would
bring forth the head of the killer of her sons. (SB 1.7.38 translation)

So Krishna reminded Arjuna that you took a vow to kill Asvatthama and bring
his head to Draupadi, This man is an assassin and murderer of your own
family members. Not only that, but he has also dissatisfied his master. He
is but the burnt remnants of his family. Kill him immediately. (SB 1.7.39

Suta Gosvami said: Although Krishna, who was examining Arjuna in religion,
encouraged Arjuna to kill the son of Dronacarya, Arjuna, and a great soul,
did not like the idea of killing him, although Asvatthama was a heinous
murderer of Arjuna’s family members. (SB 1.7.40 translation)

After reaching his own camp, Arjuna, along with his dear friend and
charioteer (Sri Krishna), entrusted the murderer unto his dear wife, who
was lamenting for her murdered sons. (1.7.41 translation)

Sri SutaGosvami said: Draupadi then saw Asvatthama, who was bound with
ropes like an animal and silent for having enacted the most inglorious
murder. Due to her female nature, and due to her being naturally good and
well-behaved, she showed him due respects as a brahman.a. (SB 1.7.42

She could not tolerate Asvatthama’s being bound by ropes, and being a
devoted lady, she said: Release him, for he is a brahman.a, our spiritual
master. (SB 1.7.43 translation)

It was by Dronacarya’s mercy that you learned the military art of throwing
arrows and the confidential art of controlling weapons.(SB 1.7.44

He (Dronacarya) certainly still exists, being represented by his son. His
wife Krpi did not undergo a sati with him because she had a son. (SB 1.7.45

O most fortunate one who knows the principles of religion, it is not good
for you to cause grief to glorious family members who are always
respectable and worshipful. (SB 1.7.46 translation)

So this way, you can see how noble a personality Draupadi was. Although her
five children were murdered brutally in their sleep by Asvatthama and when
Asvatthama was dropped to her, just by seeing him, her whole attitude
changed. She said that here is a brahmana not an ordinary one, the son of
Arjuna’s spiritual master. And Dronacharya was so affectionate towards
Arjuna and she felt that this person shouldn’t be killed. She felt also
that if he is killed how his mother is going to feel. “I lost my sons. They
are not going to come back. But if he is killed, my sons are not going to
come back. But if he is killed, the way I am feeling the pain his mother is
going to feel the pain.” So Draupadi, requested Arjuna “Please release

My lord, do not make the wife of Dronacarya cry like me. I am aggrieved for
the death of my sons. She need not cry constantly like me. (SB 1.7.47

If the kingly administrative order, being unrestricted in sense control,
offends the brahman.a order and enrages them, then the fire of that
rageburns up the whole body of the royal family and brings grief upon
all. (SB
1.7.48 translation)

So we can see that like, sometimes people think especially in the west,
even some of our devotees think that in the Vedic culture women was
subjugated. The woman was maltreated and so forth. But here we can see how
glorious the women in the Vedic culture used to be. Like Draupadi, so wise
and such a profound character and such deep and broad attitude she had. She
is saying that what he knows the consequences of killing a Brahmana. That
killing a Brahmana can destroy the entire Kshatriya family. So that is how
the Brahmanical order was respected by the ruling class at that time.

Suta Gosvami said: O brahmanas, King Yudhist.hira fully supported the
statements of the Queen, which were in accordance with the principles of
religion and were justified, glorious, full of mercy and equity, and
without duplicity. (SB 1.7.49 translation)

Nakula and Sahadeva (the younger brothers of the King) and also Satyaki,
Arjuna, the Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna, son of Devaki, and the
ladies and others all unanimously agreed with the King. (SB 1.7.50

So Yudhisthira Maharaja was agreed with Draupadi,’s statement and everyone
else was agreed with Yudhisthira Maharaja’s statement.

Bhima <>, however, disagreed with them and
recommended killing this culprit who, in an angry mood, had murdered
sleeping children for no purpose and for neither his nor his master’s
interest. (SB 1.7.51 translation)

So others could forgive but Bhima could not. So he said no, he must be

Caturbhuja (the four-armed one), or the Personality of Godhead, after
hearing the words of Bhima, Draupadi and others, saw the face of His dear
friend Arjuna, and He began to speak as if smiling. (SB 1.7.52 translation)

The Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna said: A friend of a brahman.a is not
to be killed, but if he is an aggressor he must be killed. All these
rulings are in the scriptures, and you should act accordingly. You have to
fulfill your promise to your wife, and you must also act to the
satisfaction of Bhimasena and Me. (SB 1.7.53 and 54 translation)

So now Arjuna is in a dilemma. In one hand, he shouldn’t kill but on the
other hand he should kill him.

Just then Arjuna could understand the motive of the Lord by His equivocal
orders, and thus with his sword he severed both hair and jewel from the
head of Asvatthama.  (SB 1.7.55 translation)

Asvatthama was born with a jewel in his head. So Arjuna severed the jewel
from his head along with his hairs.

He (Asvatthama) had already lost his bodily luster due to infanticide, and
now, moreover, having lost the jewel from his head, he lost even more
strength. Thus he was unbound and driven out of the camp.(SB 1.7.56

Cutting the hair from his head, depriving him of his wealth and driving him
from his residence are the prescribed punishments for the relative of a
brahman.a. There is no injunction for killing the body. (SB 1.7.57

Thereafter, the sons of Pandu and Draupadi, overwhelmed with grief,
performed the proper rituals for the dead bodies of their relatives.(SB
1.7.58 translation)

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the First Canto, Seventh Chapter, of
the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled “The Son of Drona Punished.”

“Interesting hey!”Hare Krishna. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Does anybody have any question? Yes

Devotee asks a question to His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Ok. Yeah. Good. It has been mentioned
there that in the battle of Kurukshetra the soldiers on the both sides died
and attained their respective destinations. Those who were devotees they
went back to Godhead but those who were not devotees but because they died
in the battlefield, they went to heavenly planets. So when a Kshatriya dies
in a battlefield they go to heavenly planets. So if a Kshatriya dies in a
battlefield either he goes to heavenly planet or if he is a devotee of
Krishna especially when Krishna was there, some of them left their bodies
seeing Krishna. So they went back to Godhead. Take the mike.

Devotee asks a question to His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yeah. Aswatthama like a mad man is still
wandering around in the Himalayan mountains. He had a very long duration of
life. Almost immortal. So he didn’t die. He still exists but because of his
sinful activity, he didn’t stop there. He again released Brahmastra to kill
Pariksit Maharaja, so that will come in the next chapter. So he was such an
abominable personality. Although born out of such a great parentage. And
because he is so disturbed, because of his sinful reaction, like a mad man
he is wandering around. So Prabhupada said that he is the snowman,
abominable snowman. (laughter). Yes, Krishnachan. What’s your question?
Give him the mike.

Krishnachan das asks a question to His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: The five sons of Draupadi,, there must
have been some reason. But I don’t remember. But the thing is that
ultimately it is all the laws of material nature. In the material nature
everyone has to undergo various kinds of tribulations and especially
Kshatriyas, on one hand they have the facilities to enjoy. But everything
you see that this nature is full of suffering and it is also very important
to note that the Kshatriyas and especially when you read Mahabharata, we
see that it is so full of suffering. Which indicates the mode of passion
will bring suffering. Mode of passion will cause suffering and that is how
the law of nature is. You try to enjoy the material nature, you end up
suffering. Like an example is an classical example is Satyavati’s father
Devraja wanted that his daughter’s son become a king. And as a result of
that Bhismadeva had to take a vow that he would not have any claim and he
will not ever get married. Now satyavati’s two sons both of them died
young. See the grandfather wanted that the grandchildren become kings but
both of them although they became kings, they died very young and they died
without children. And there was not successor to the throne. And that same
Satyavati is requesting Bhisma that you please procreate to continue the
dynasty and Bhisma said that’s not possible. The Pandavas you know for so
many years were in exile. They get back their kingdom but then still they
lose everything in that game of dice. And then they get their kingdom. “And
consider what happens now that they got their kingdom back practically
everyone was dead, everyone died. Now you like to enjoy with your near and
dear ones but what’s the point in getting the kingdom back when all your
near and dear ones are gone. So in this way we get to see the real nature
of this material nature. What the material nature is like? This is what the
material nature is like. Trying to enjoy, make all kinds of arrangements
and no enjoyment, only suffering.” Yes. (in Hindi) Mike mein bolo.

Devotee asks a question to His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes, they will be here  until the time of
annihilation. (Laughter) Yeah, Krishna in Dwarka is sometimes Chaturbhuja
and sometime Dwibhuja. This is Dwarkadesa. Krishna Vasudeva. Krishna at the
time of his birth. “How many arms he have when he appeared at Kamsa’s
prison?” Four arms. He can take four arms as well as two arms. Also when
Akrura was taking Krishna from Vrindavan to Mathura. “What did Akrura see
when Krishna and and Balarama went to take bath?” He saw the four armed
form. So Mathuraesh Krishna and Dwarkesh Krishna / Vasudeva Krishna is
sometimes Dwibhuja sometimes Caturbhuja. But Vrindavan Krishna is always
Dwibhuja. He can take Chaturbhuja. He can always assume the form but that’s
not his original form. And the residents of Vrindavan especially Radharani
knows that. So once when Krishna disappeared from the rasa dance, he
assumed the four armed form and stood there. But Radharani was not
interested, the other Gopis offered obeisances but they also were not
interested because they knew that this is not the real Krishna. This is
another Krishna who is born in the Yadu Dynasty. But Vrajendra Nandan
Krishna is svayam bhagavan. Therefore Gopis offered obeisances and left.
But when Radharani saw, rather when Krishna saw Radharani, He could not
keep His four arms, His other two arms disappeared and He became two armed.

Devotee asks a question to His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami : Well that happened in her absence in the
battlefield. In the battlefield when they fight that’s one thing but here
he was brought to her bound like an animal, seeing that she felt compassion
and she was moved by compassion. Duryodhana is a Kshatriya and Kshatriyas
fight and kill each other. That’s ok. Killing a Brahmana was not right. Yes

Devotee asks a question to His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: okay, say what’s your question?

Devotee continues to ask a question to His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Okay, okay. Yeah. Once Brahma became
attracted to his daughter Saraswati. And he ran after her at that time Lord
Shiva became very angry that he being his father running after his
daughter. So Lord Shiva took his trident (laughter) and chased Brahma and
Brahma out of fear ran. Yes, Yamuna.

Yamuna dasi asks a question to His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Come again, it meant pure mode of goodness
is the same. Pure goodness. Pure goodness is transcendental. But material
goodness is mixed goodness. Material goodness is not pure. The goodness
sattva, raja and tama guna, the sattva in material nature is not pure.
There is some tinge of passion and ignorance in that goodness. Therefore it
is called mishra sattva. But transcendental goodness is suddha sattva, pure
goodness and Srimad Bhagavatam is transcendental goodness, nothing to do
with material nature. Other scriptures may derive some material benefit or
indicate some material benefit. Vedas are in three modes. Trai guna visaya
veda. The Vedas are influenced by the three modes but Arjuna, you become
transcendental to the modes and that is pure goodness. Yeah, okay.

Transcription : His Grace Kartika Dasa

Editing : Her Grace Hemavati Radhika Dasi


Sunshine Coast, Australia Seminars With His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami At The Mirage On 13-15 April 2012.

(please click on the picture for enlarged vision)

Disciples Articles

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj’s Call, Srila Prabhupada’s sharp transcendental Wit and Sri Sri Radha Radhanatha Chandan Yatra 2012, Chatsworth, Durban, Republic Of South Africa

Article Sent By His Grace Ramkinkar Prabhu

Hare Krishna

Dear Vaishnavas

Please accept our humble obeisances all glories to Guru Maharaj and Srila Prabhupada.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja urges India to become proud of its spiritual culture.

A just call made by Guru Maharaj on Indian soil.

When the world was befret of India’s Rich Spiritual Culture, Srila Prabhupada India’s own son, Spiritual Master, Ambassador, the Perfect Acarya and Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness   successfully planted the seed of Krishna Consciousness in every major city and continent of the World. It is now time for India to heed the call made by His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja to become proud of its spiritual culture.

In Durban, South Africa, today, HG Vibu Caitanya prabhu, Vice President at Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple, began the Sunday Love Feast program by relating a pastime of Srila Prabhupada’s interview with a presenter that belittle his guests at a Radio Station in LA. Srila Prabhupada was warned about his attitude.

Srila Prabhupada was not deterred but turned the tables on the interview team.

A highlight from a recent class in Mayapura by His Grace Badrinarayana Prabhu definitely shows how India can be proud of Srila Prabhupada as the most eminent ambassador of India’s spirituality:

The first thing (an American journalist) said (to Srila Prabhupada in an interview) was, “Your coming here to America and you are coming from India, what can you possibly teach us? We already have religious institutions. We
have our understanding of God and you are coming from a place where the death rate is so high. What can you teach us?” Prabhupada said, “Death rate is the same everywhere – one hundred percent.” [Laughter]

So the man was a little taken by that. There was a little pause then he came back and he said,

“According to your cosmology you say the world is flat.”

Now they are actually talking, it is a long story but the plane of the solar system, all the planets, – that is relatively flat.

That is what the Vedas are talking about. But this man misunderstood. He thought it meant the planet earth. So he said, “You say the world is flat.” Prabhupada replied,”Everywhere I walk it is.” [Laughter]

So he had a lady assistant. He was a little stunned so she came in as his partner to fill the gap and she said, “Why do you shave your head?” Srila Prabhupada replied, “Why do you shave your legs?” [Laughter] Prabhupada said, “Better have warm legs and cool brain.” [Laughter] So the show host had recovered and he came back one last time and in a very exasperated voice he said, “What would happen if everyone in the world became Krishna conscious?” Prabhupada said, “Don’t worry there will always be fools like you who won’t.”

[Laughter] The man was just shut down. That was it. And for the next ten minutes Prabhupada spoke uninterrupted. He owned the station.”[Laughter]

His Grace Vibu Caitanya prabhu went on to narrate the wonderful pastimes of Madavendra Puri with Lord Gopinath from Caitanya Caritamrita, the Chandan Yatra, the Lord sealing the sweet rice for Madavendra Puri and many more.

On 8 March 2012 the observance of Sri Gaura Purnima.

In a few weeks SSRR will be hosting the 24th Ratha Yatra Festival of Chariots at the Old Durban Drive Inn, Beach Front during the 6th  to 9th April 2012.

Procession at 1.30pm sharp on Friday and on Monday at 5pm. There is  ample service available for everyone. He requested the the devotees to inform other devotees in Johannesburg, Cape Town and other Cities of the time and date of the Chariot parades.

On 4th March 2012 a Special Istagosti will be held during the Sunday Love Feast program. Inputs are welcomed to guide management.

The evening program concluded with a slide presentation of future programs, Kirtan led by HG Sundaralal das from Mauritius followed by excellent Prasadam.

With love

Ramkinkar das & Team