Heart of a Vaishnava revealed

Hare Krishna Dear devotees,

We often read and hear, how being a devotee, our heart should be soft, full of humility and compassion for others. Sometime we are not even sure where to draw the final line as there are different instructions for devotees at different levels of consciousness. We do not even know what is true humility and many a times wonder how a pure Vaishnava thinks, what are his emotions and how does he acts?  

Caitanya Mahaprabhu quoted the below verse, from Mahabharat, to a brahmana during his visit to Mathura

tarko ’pratiṣṭha śrutayo vibhinnā
n
āsāv ṛṣir yasya mata na bhinnam
dharmasya tattva
nihita guhāyāṁ
mah
ājano yena gata sa panthāḥ

‘Dry arguments are inconclusive. A great personality whose opinion does not differ from others is not considered a great sage. Simply by studying the Vedas, which are variegated, one cannot come to the right path by which religious principles are understood. The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated, self-realized person. Consequently, as the śāstras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive path the mahājanas advocate.’

(CC Madhya 17.186)

There have been innumerable great devotees whose example we can take, Srimad Bhagavatam also mentions names of 12 mahajans. So which mahajan should we look up to?

Interestingly, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has stated that for us,  Gaudia Vaishnava , the followers of Mahaprabhu are the modern mahajans. We should follow them.  He writes :

The åñis and mahätmäs who have taught conduct before the appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu are counted among the previous mahäjanas. The conduct seen in the mahäjanas after the appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the conduct of later mahäjanas. The conduct of the later mahäjanas is superior and should be adopted. The conduct of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His followers is meant to teach people, so that conduct should be followed in all respects.

So let us hear about the thinking, feeling and acting of one of such mahajans, Srila Haridas Thakur, whom Caitanya Mahaprabhu declared to be Namacharya of our sampradaya. So he is definitely qualified to be one of modern mahajans. Let us find about the condition of his heart from Caitanya Bhagavat, may be we feel inspired to have a re-look at our own heart. 

Background

Srila Haridas Thakur was born in a muslim family in a village called Buron, and because of his presence there, many people became purified and took up the chanting of the holy name. After some years he left his village and travelled to a place near the river Ganga. He finally settled in the village of Phulia near Santipura.

He  passed his time wandering on the banks of the Ganga chanting the name of the Supreme Lord Krishna. It was common to see him dancing while he sang the glories of Lord Krishna’s name. People would gather around him just to see the unrestricted tears of love of Godhead that flowed profusely from his eyes, drenching his entire body. Even the strictest atheists marvelled at his behaviour.

The Circumstances

The local Qazi became envious of Haridas Thakur’s popularity and reported to the Nawab, “This man is acting like a Hindu; arrest him and punish him appropriately.” Thus Haridas Thakura was arrested.

In the court he was accused of practicing Hindu religion despite being a muslim. When Srila Haridas Thakur replied that God is one and the difference between Hindu God and Muslim God is in Name only, he was sentenced by the Nawab to be lashed in 22 market places until he dies.  

He was then dragged by the soldiers from one market place  to another, lashing him mercilessly. By the grace of Lord Krishna, Haridasa felt little pain in his body. Just like Prahlada in the Srimad Bhagavatam who was tortured by demons, Haridas never suffered at all. Not only was Haridas freed from his pain, whoever remembers this story of Srila Haridas will also be saved from the miseries of life. Throughout his ordeal, Haridasa’s one emotion was pity for the sentries. “O Lord Krishna, please be merciful upon these poor souls so they may not be punished because of me.”

(What would be our reaction if  someone were to give us a humiliating public chastisement, or God forbid, a tight slap, for no fault of ours?) 

What Krishna will not do for His pure devotee !

During Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mahaprakash pastime, He called for Haridas Thakur and shared that when Haridas Thakur was being beaten how Lord wanted to kill all the soldiers but He could not do so because Haridas Thakur himself was praying for those very soldiers!

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu revealed:

I hesitated in My heart to punish them for it will disturb you, knowing your compassionate nature.

My Sudarsan disc weapon was rendered impotent. I could not strike those men because you were determined to forgive them and so unable to see your misery I protected you from their lashes by placing My back on your back.

“I accepted all those lashes meant for you on My back, see the marks on my back.

Haridas Thakur’s glorification of Mahaprabhu

When Haridas heard about the Lord’s magnanimous deed he fell swooning to the ground. He lost all external consciousness and was immersed in an ocean of ecstasy.

Thakura Haridas said, “O Lord Visvambhara! You are the Lord and Protector of the Universe, now the responsibility of delivering a lowly fallen wretch like me rests on You, My Lord. How can I describe Your transcendental glories as I do not possess any good qualifications, I am sinful, and I am not even within the Vedic society.

(We all have many demoniac propensities but how do we see ourselves in the mirror every day?)

Just seeing me makes a person vulnerable to sin, and touching me makes one so contaminated that he must bath immediately; how can I say anything about Your divine pastimes?

(Whereas our mere touch or at least our power of speech is capable to turn any non-devotee into a devotee, God’s gift to mankind, only if others were to follow my instructions, or better, hear my pastimes!)

There is one fact that You yourself have stated, anyone remembering your lotus feet, be he an insignificant and fallen as an insect, is never forsaken by You. Whereas even a mighty king falls from grace if he disregards Your lotus feet. I am incapable of remembering You although I know you shelter the most impoverished soul if he simply remembers You.

(Remember Haridas Thakur would daily chant 300,000 names or 192 rounds every day. What most of us chant in 12 days!)

The evil Duryodhana and Suhsasana dragged the righteous Draupadi into the palace court wanting to disrobe her. Confronted with the danger of disgrace she remembered You, Krishna. And because of this You made her sari endlessly long by Your mystic potency. Yet the evil doers could not perceive Your hand in this.

I am so sinful that I cannot remember such a magnanimous Personality as You; O Lord! please therefore give me shelter at Your lotus feet.

The demon Hiranyakasipu inflicted all varieties of treachery and brutal methods trying to kill Prahlad like poisoning, hurling down from the mountain, throwing in boiling cauldron of oil etc. Yet throughout his tribulations Prahlad meditated upon Your lotus feet and was saved from each and every calmity. In this way You humbled many of his enemies and took away all their vitality and strength: finally You appeared in Person due to Prahlad’s meditation.

Once the five Pandavas were in grave dilemma fearing the wrath of Durvasa Muni, but by remembering You, You appeared personally and saved them. You calmed Yudhisthira Maharaja with your assuring words, see I am already here, you just sit down and relax and I will take care of Durvasa Muni and his army of disciples.”

Only the shred of vegetable left stuck to the side of the pot after the Pandavas had eaten was taken by; Lord Krishna relishing the thought of coming to His devotees aid. The sage with his disciples meanwhile bathing in the river suddenly felt full in the belly like having eaten a sumptuous meal” ashamed and tearful they fled.

The miraculous benefits of remembering Your lotus feet was amply demonstrated by the Pandavas in this incident. The path of true devotion for everyone is to remember You; You perform Your super excellent activities to rescue Your devotees.

(My own pastimes spontaneously start floating in my mind when I am chanting, for some strange reason happenings in my own life seems to be more interesting then Krishna’s pastimes)

“O Lord! I am such a destitute that I do not even possess the sweetness of Your memory and yet You have not forsaken me. Although I am unfit to see You, You are present before me in person. I am praying to You now for only one benediction.”

(Why is Krishna taking so much time to reciprocate? I am almost ready to join the boys!)

Lord Chaitanya replied, “Say all that you want to say, there is nothing that I do not want to give you.

Haridas spoke to the Lord with folded hands, “O Lord, I have known only misfortune yet You give me so much hope. Just allow me to partake of the remnant of foodstuffs of Your devotees totally surrendered to Your lotus feet. Let this activity be my permanent and most prominent service life after life. My sinful birth and existence is miserable, without remembering You, but now please make my life successful by granting me the remnant of Your servitors.

(What! Not to become a gopi? Not even a gopa or even a simple servant of Krishna. We can close our eyes and consider what will be our reply if Krishna decides to manifest in front of us and says ‘Ask Me anything you may desire’)

I feel within my heart that I have committed a grave offense by asking of You to situate a elevated status of that of a Vaishnava, although I am grossly unfit.

( He is considering it an offense that he even asked or desired to come to the level of a Vaishnava!)

O Lord! my master, Protector and the maintainer of the entire creation, I am spiritually lifeless, therefore kindly forgive my ignorance.

(After joining ISKCON I have gathered so much information!)

O Lord Visvambhara, the beautiful son of Mother Saci, You are my master, so be merciful to me and keep me as a dog in the house of a Vaishnava.”

( Not even a cow ! who is at least tied within the boundary of the home. A dog is not even allowed inside a cultured Vaishnava’s home)

Haridas Thakur was overwhelmed by feeling of ecstatic devotional emotions and he repeatedly petitioned the Lord, his desire for humility and devotional service unfulfilled.

( We are feeling morose simply by reading what all is Haridas Thakur requesting from Mahaprabhu!)

Caitanya Mahaprabhu reveals His heart

Lord Chaitanya replied, “Listen My dear Haridas, you are a highly elevated Vaishnava, if anyone spends a day in your services and association or you kindly speak to someone for a short time, that person certainly achieves Me, there is no doubt about this. Whoever respects and serves you does so to Me also, for I perpetually reside within you.

As my servitor Your position is unique, you have therefore imprisoned Me within your heart eternally. I bless you that since you are crowned already with a faultless character that you will always continue to worship and serve Me and My devotees without a single deviation or offense.”

A tumultuous sound of joy from the Vaishnavas greeted Lord Chaitanya’s boon to Haridas Thakur. High birth, caste, fruitive activities or wealth are worthless commodities to achieve love of Godhead only the intense loving desire for Krishna can bring one to the lotus feet of Krishna.

Where do I go from here, I definitely have a long way to go!

In the spiritual matters there is no loss or anything disheartening everything has a positive outcome. Please rejoice as we read below the benediction of just hearing the above chapter from Caitanya Bhagavat, Madhya Lila, chapter 10.

One who hears this pastime of the Lord and Haridas Thakur with proper faith will certainly enjoy the fruit of Lord Krishna prema. These words are not my concoction but the bold declarations of all scriptures. One is sure to experience the bliss of devotional service to Lord Krishna if one hears the transcendental activities of the pure devotees of the Supreme Lord. All glories to Haridas Thakur, a giant amongst the Vaishnavas, remembering him one is freed from all sinful reactions.

Where to read: ISKCONDESIRETREE E BOOK

Where to hear :  Audio book format in Android mobile app

Now it is upon us to see whether we even have a desire to enjoy the fruit of Krishna prema or not!

 

All glories to heart of a Vaishnava.

All glories to Srila Haridas Thakur.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

 

Your servant,

Giriraj dasa

Bhava for Krishna

Hare Krishna dear devotees,

So many times we hear the word ‘bhava’ among devotees that one should develop bhava for Krishna or so and so devotee has a very nice bhava. So what actually is this bhava? Is it emotions, is it feelings, is it love or is it a mixture of many things. Sometimes we use this term very casually or liberally in the devotee circles. Indeed, bhava, being the preliminary stage of elevation before the attainment of pure love of Krishna,  is a very deep topic. It is meant to be discussed by paramahamsas or liberated devotees. However keeping the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada in our consciousness we can pray and  try to taste a small drop from the unlimited ocean of nectar of devotion.

What is bhava ?

The state of being in love with the Godhead is compared to the sunshine emanating from the sun; this shining makes the devotee’s heart more and more lovely. The heart of such a devotee is situated in a transcendental position beyond even the mode of goodness. The process for making the heart even more sterilized by the sunshine of love is called bhäva.

(TLC , chapter 13)

How can I attain the state of Bhava ?

The transcendental ecstatic attachment for Kåñëa which results from perfectly understanding that Kåñëa’s person and name are identical is called bhäva. One who has attained bhäva is certainly not contaminated by material nature. He actually enjoys transcendental pleasure from bhäva, and when bhäva is intensified, it is called love of Godhead. Lord Caitanya told Prakäçänanda Sarasvaté that the holy name of Kåñëa, called the mahä-mantra (great chanting), enables anyone who chants it to attain the stage of love of Godhead, or intensified bhäva.

(TLC, chapter 19)

It all begins from hearing about Krishna and brings about Love for Krishna!

Generally we experience that people are primarily interested in seeing Kåñëa, but why is the emphasis on seeing? Let us hear about Him. We must come with a little faith, and as we hear, that faith will increase. One should come to the temple, listen to talks about Kåñëa, and then, after some time, officially take initiation into the service of the Lord. That is called bhajana-kriyä. At that time one has to abandon illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating and gambling. If one is still attached to all these habits, he should know that he is not making progress. When one is actually advanced in bhajana-kriyä, all these anarthas (unwanted things) will be finished. paraà dåñövä nivartate [BG. 2.59]. When one appreciates something better, he rejects all kinds of nonsense. Once one gets a taste of Kåñëa consciousness, he cannot remain without it. A drunkard cannot remain without a drink, but a devotee is drunk with Kåñëa consciousness. The immunization against all material diseases is this Kåñëa consciousness. To be immuned to the infection of the guëas, we have to engage in bhakti-yoga. Once we attain the perfectional stage, we attain ecstatic love of Godhead. In that state we cannot remain without Kåñëa for a moment. That is called bhäva, and that bhäva may increase to mahä-bhäva. This is not possible for ordinary human beings, but it was possible for the gopés and Rädhäräëé. Indeed, they could not live without Kåñëa. This is the highest stage of liberation.

(TLK, chapter 8)

I want to hear more!

There are two characteristics by which the seeds of love of Godhead can develop, and these are known as rati, or attachment, and bhäva, the condition immediately preceding love of Godhead. It is by such attachment and bhäva that the Supreme Lord Çré Kåñëa is conquered by His devotees. These two characteristics are present before any symptoms of love of Godhead are manifest. This was all explained to Sanätana Gosvämé by Lord Caitanya. Lord Caitanya told him that since there is really no end to describing the system of devotional service with attachment, He is simply trying to offer a sampling. Lord Caitanya then described the ultimate goal of devotional service, which is meant for one who wants to attain perfection. When one’s attachment to Kåñëa becomes very deep, one attains the condition called love of Godhead. Such a state of existence is considered a permanent situation for a devotee.

In Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu (1.3.1) the state of being in love with the Godhead is compared to the sunshine emanating from the sun; this shining makes the devotee’s heart more and more lovely. The heart of such a devotee is situated in a transcendental position beyond even the mode of goodness. The process for making the heart even more sterilized by the sunshine of love is called bhäva. A description of bhäva is given by Rüpa Gosvämé. Bhäva is called the permanent characteristic of the living entity, and the crucial point of progress for bhäva is called the marginal state of love of Godhead. When the bhäva state becomes deeper and deeper, learned devotees call it love of Godhead. As stated in the Närada-païcarätra:

ananya-mamatä viñëau mamatä prema-saìgatä

bhaktir ity ucyate bhéñma-prahlädoddhava-näradaiù

“When one is firmly convinced that Viñëu is the only object of love and worship and that there is no one else—not even a demigod—worthy of receiving devotional service, one feels intimacy in his love relationship with God, and this is approved by such personalities as Bhéñma, Prahläda, Uddhava and Närada.”

If, due to some righteous activities which provoke devotional service, one is influenced by the service attitude and takes shelter of the good association of pure devotees, he develops attachment for hearing and chanting. By developing chanting and hearing, one can advance further and further in regulative devotional service to the Supreme Lord. As one so advances, his misgivings about devotional service and his attraction for the material world proportionately diminish. By advancing in hearing and chanting, a devotee becomes more firmly fixed in his faith, and gradually his initial faith develops into a taste for devotional service, and that taste gradually develops into attachment. When attachment becomes pure, it exhibits the two characteristics of bhäva and rati. When rati increases, it is called love of Godhead, and love of Godhead is the ultimate goal of human life.

This process is summarized by Rüpa Gosvämé in Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu (1.4.15-16): The first requirement is faith; it is due to faith that one associates with pure devotees, and, by such association, develops devotional service. As devotional service develops, one’s misgivings diminish. Then one is situated in firm conviction, and from that conviction he develops a taste for devotional service and advances to the stage of attachment, whereby he follows the regulative principles of devotional service. After that point, after one makes further progress, he attains the state called bhäva, which is permanent. When such love of God increases, it reaches the highest stage of love of Godhead.”

In Sanskrit this highest stage is called premä, premä can be defined as love of God without any expectation of exchange or return. Actually the words premä and love are not synonymous, yet one can say that premä is the highest stage of love. One who has attained premä is the most perfect human being. Çrémad-Bhägavatam also confirms this statement (SB 3.25.25): Only by the association of pure devotees can one develop a taste for Kåñëa consciousness, and when he tries to apply Kåñëa consciousness in his life, he can achieve everything up to the stage of bhäva and prema.

In order to save us from getting cheated or fooled, scriptures share the external symptoms (as we do not have direct access to the heart of other person) of such a pure devotee who has reached the stage of Bhava ( whose association one must aspire and pray for)

Lord Caitanya, describing the symptoms of a person who has developed from faith to the stage of bhäva, states that such a person is never agitated even if there are causes for agitation. Nor does such a person waste his time even for a moment; he is always anxious to do something for Kåñëa. Even if he has no engagement, he will find some work to do for Kåñëa’s satisfaction. Nor does such a person like anything which is not connected with Kåñëa. Although he is situated in the best position, he does not hanker after honor or personal respect. He is confident in his work, and he is never under the impression that he is not making progress toward the supreme goal of life-going back to Godhead. Since he is fully convinced of his progress, he is always confident and keeps himself busy to achieve the highest goal. He is very much attached to gratifying the Lord and in chanting or hearing about the Lord, and he is always attached to describing the transcendental qualities of the Lord. He also prefers to live in holy places like Mathurä, Våndävana or Dvärakä. Such characteristics are visible in one who has developed to the stage of bhäva.

(TLC , chapter 13)

An Example

King Parékñit affords a good example of bhäva. When sitting on the banks of the Ganges waiting to meet his death, he said: “All the brähmaëas present here, as well as Mother Ganges, should know that I am a soul completely surrendered to Kåñëa. I do not mind if I am immediately bitten by the snake sent by the brähmaëa boy’s curse. Let the snake bite me as it likes. I shall be pleased if all of you present here will go on chanting the message of Kåñëa.” Such a devotee is always anxious to see that his time is not wasted in anything which is not connected with Kåñëa. Consequently he does not like the benefits derived from fruitive activity, yogic meditation or the cultivation of knowledge. His attachment is to discourses which are favorably related to Kåñëa. Such pure devotees of the Lord always pray to the Supreme Lord with tears in their eyes; their minds are always engaged in recollecting the activities of the Lord, and their bodies are always engaged in offering obeisances. In this way they are satisfied. Any devotee who is acting in devotional service dedicates his life and body for the purpose of the Lord.

(TLC , chapter 13)

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Your servant,

Giriraj dasa

Let’s progress firmly in Krishna consciousness

Hare Krishna.

7th Feb, 2016. Vrindavana.

Radha Govind Devji Jaipur

Sambandh, abhidheya and prayojana.

“The Vedic literatures give information about the living entity’s eternal relationship with Kṛṣṇa, which is called sambandha. The living entity’s understanding of this relationship and his acting accordingly is called abhidheya. Returning home, back to Godhead, is the ultimate goal of life and is called prayojana.
 
“Devotional service, or sense activity for the satisfaction of the Lord, is called abhidheya because it can develop one’s original love of Godhead, which is the goal of life. This goal is the living entity’s topmost interest and greatest wealth. Thus one attains the platform of transcendental loving service unto the Lord.
 
“When one attains the transcendental bliss of an intimate relationship with Kṛṣṇa, he renders service to Him and tastes the mellows of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

                                                                                                                                                          — CC Madhya 20.124-126

The whole Vedas are divided into three states. Sambandha: what is our connection with God? That is called sambandha. And then abhidheya. According to that relationship we have to act. That is called abhidheya. And why do we act? Because we have got the goal of life, to achieve the goal of life. So what is the goal of life? The goal of life is that to go back to home, back to Godhead. That is goal of life.

                                                                                                — Srila Prabhupada, Lecture, Madras, 2nd  Jan, 1976

..the Vedānta-sūtra consists of four chapters. The first two chapters discuss the relationship of the living entity with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is known as sambandha-jñāna, or knowledge of the relationship. The third chapter describes how one can act in his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is called abhidheya-jñāna. The relationship of the living entity with the Supreme Lord is described by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu: jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya kṛṣṇera ‘nitya-dāsa’. “The living entity is an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme God.” (Cc. Madhya 20.108) Therefore, to act in that relationship one must perform sādhana-bhakti, or the prescribed duties of service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is called abhidheya-jñāna. The fourth chapter describes the result of such devotional service (prayojana-jñāna). This ultimate goal of life is to go back home, back to Godhead.

                                                                                                                                                              — CC Adi 7 106p

I was hearing a lecture by HH Bhakti Vidyapurna Maharaj on the same topic and Maharaj explained  these three terms in a simpler way as well the relation between them.

Sambandha : attraction, what draws the mind.
Prayojana : attachment.

Both the above are moods, they create feelings but there is no activity.

Abhidheya : This is the actual expression of the above two.

So we become attracted towards Krishna and then due to that attraction we become attached to Krishna and then we want to do something. The real meaning comes with service.

We say mind has three functions: thinking, feeling and willing.

If something is attractive we think about it,  if we are not attracted then we won’t think about it. Feeling is when we get attached to it. Then..willing.. we actually do something about it. So we see Krishna, we become attracted to Krishna then we become attached to Krishna and then we finally want to serve Krishna.

So it is in abhidheya that we understand the knowledge, contemplate on it and then practice that knowledge. It is application. How we are related to Krishna and what we want to achieve, what is it’s purpose.

Abhidheya is the most important and critical part among the three and I am sharing some nectar, which I heard in last few months, on how we, as aspiring devotees, can traverse this wonderful and exciting journey,  making it more enriching and less painful (for us and those around us!)

Who am I and what is my eternal duty?

My real identity is that I’m a servant of Krishna and my duty is to serve Krishna.

My current role as a father, mother, husband, wife, daughter, doctor, businessman, artist, etc. is the ‘service’ Krishna has given me. I have to perform all these ‘services’ but I’m none of these.

jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya — kṛṣṇera ‘nitya-dāsa’

“It is the living entity’s constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa.”

                                                                                                                                         — CC Madhya 20 108

As aspiring devotees we  must drill it in our head that

Krishna is the controller and Krishna is the supreme enjoyer.

Hence, I am not the controller, I am not the enjoyer. (we should practice to remember this when we face challenging situations at home, and everywhere else in our life)

And I’m not even the doer. I can only desire. And Krishna may or may not fulfill all my desires, knowing well what is good for us at this stage.

More importantly, as an aspiring devotee, I should be very conscious of what are my desires ( at least my conscious desires, I have no control at our stage on my subconscious desires, but those too are are changing while I sincerely practice Krishna consciousness). I should daily read scriptures like Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavatam, Caitanya-caritāmṛta or vaishnava prayers and then note down on a piece of paper or a writing pad what should be my desires.

I should then practice to pray for these right kind of desires. It is a very nice sublime and enriching practice to speak and express such desires in front of our deities at home. It is an amazing experience. It also brings a lot of humility as we regularly (if not daily!) realise our helplessness as we fail despite our best intentions. It also acts as a catalyst for urgency and significance of  mercy from above. We realise the minuteness of everything we thought will hold us good in this world, my intelligence, my willpower, even my good intentions…

I can also practice to be more sensitive and contemplate regularly what is happening around me (my circumstances)  and then sincerely beg Srila Prabhupada and Krishna for guidance as to what I have to learn from changing, and challenging, circumstances in my life. This may help me learn without Krishna having to put a bomb under me to wake me up ! Become a conscious cooperator. And I should  be ready to ‘walk the talk’ and face any kind of ‘music’ which may crop up to get me out of my present groove.

Chanting attentively, which means trying to chant Nama conscious and Nama pleasing rounds, will ensure that I am sincerely seeking shelter of the spiritual energy of the Lord.

And in the meantime, whatever be my present ashram or situation, I have to sincerely try hard to practice the culture of Love, and not culture of lust. Every single challenge is training ground for us to progress in Krishna consciousness. I have to aspire and live the ‘madhyam’ culture in my daily life.

All this would definitely be a big struggle but this struggle for Krishna will help me develop my ‘weakened’ spiritual muscles. And this struggle is a very sweet struggle because I’m struggling for Krishna. And there is reciprocation in this struggle, it is NOT one sided, with me acting merely like a puppet. It is a dynamic relationship. It takes two to tango, ashraya and vishaya, subject and the object.

The whole journey is like a child who is learning to walk. He falls down and trips and sometimes gets hurt too. But the child remains enthusiastic, determined and endeavors hard to learn how to walk. And His parents are there to help him. The child too has the confidence that they will protect him. Yet sometimes to a child it may look cruel that even as he is trying hard to walk, the child tries to hold on to a support, struggling to even stand properly, the parent pushes that support a little further away from him. In reality the parent do that because they know it will help the child to learn to walk and gain some confidence in his own ability, even at a slight risk of child falling down on the ground and getting hurt a bit, but they are always next to the child to protect him. As a grown up, the child will always look back and be nothing but grateful to his parents for all their patience to help him walk, realising that they had no selfish interest other than his own benefit.

Same is the case of the beautiful relationship that develops between an aspiring devotee and Krishna. And it is just the beginning of the sweetest relationship a soul can ever taste.

A Note of caution. All these words may help me’understand’ it all this a bit but I will ‘realise’ it only when I practice it in my daily life, this knowledge is for application. And the best time to start practicing is… TODAY!

( As we struggle to implement all the above steps in our life it might be good idea to take shelter of Srila Rupa Goswami (by praying to him, reading his books & going to his samadhi) and praying to Sri Govind Devji (picture above), our acharaya and Deity of abhideya respectively)

Here is a short video of one of the most sweet mangal artis I have ever attended, at Radha Govind Devji temple, Jaipur.

Radhe Govind… Bhajo Radhe Govind, Paar Lagaa Dey Govind,

Jay Sri Radhe Krishna, pyaare Krishna…

राधे गोविन्द  भजो राधे गोविन्द  पार लगादे गोविन्द !!

जय श्री राधे कृष्णा प्यारे कृष्णा…

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

Power of prayer.

Hare Krishna.

25th December, 2015. Gurgaon

Pray to Krishna

It is simply amazing what incredible result our simple prayers can produce. We need nothing but a sincere cry from our heart. Let me share a recent experience.

I was fortunate to get the association of a very senior devotee sometime back. After meeting this devotee a couple of times my heart longed to get some opportunity to serve this amazing devotee. There didn’t seem to be any chance for me as the needs of this particular devotee are very few and on top of that this devotee is being served very well by a set of senior devotees. Still, I would pray regularly for some chance of service.

Few days back, after some gap, I again got an opportunity to meet this devotee. Before leaving home I prayed with all my heart in front of my altar, begging Lord to grant me some opportunity to serve this amazing devotee. I have Jagannath and Gopal deities at home and I literally rubbed my nose on the ground praying to Them.  The chances, as I mentioned, were bleak if not nil, still the desire in my heart to serve this devotee remained very strong, in fact it only grew stronger with the passage of time.

So I met this devotee and after our meeting was over, this devotee asked a senior devotee and myself to stay back for 5 minutes. As everyone left and the words came out of the mouth this devotee my jaw dropped! I was getting a service!! And that too a service which I could not even dream about! This devotee was observing my face and asked me why I suddenly have this strange look on my face. I shared how I have been praying to get some service and today I prayed with a little more heart and here I am receiving one! It was nothing short of a miracle for me. I was over the moon, I thought I had suddenly developed two wings!

The point I wish to emphasize here is that our prayers to Lord have huge potency. The power is not in us but it is in the prayer itself. So many times we hear devotees say ‘Prabhuji please pray for me’, the point is how much we are praying for our own self? We should not think that other devotee’s prayers have more power ( they have their own place) so let me request others where as Krishna will not hear my own prayers. This is not the case.

It doesn’t matter whether we are a neophyte or a senior devotee, initiated or not initiated, what matters is the sincerity of our prayer. Looking at my own self I would even dare add that even a contaminated heart is no disqualification, rather by the mercy of Gaura Nitai, this very disqualification has become our qualification to seek mercy from the Supreme Lord.

I will share another experience. During the recent Kartik, at one of the home programs I would stress the need to pray almost in every single class. Then after Kartik I requested all the devotees to share their experience of Kartik. One devotee, who attends all the classes diligently, shared how his chanting actually went down during this period, I was very surprised. Then I asked the Prabhuji did he pray before or even during the Kartik to help him chant better or help him overcome whatever challenge he was facing due to which he could not get time to chant, the reply … No.

This is our condition, rather this is my own condition, and not some just some ordinary condition but an unfortunate condition.

durdaivam idrisham ihajani nanuragaha

Lord, and His devotees, have given us so many ways to approach and seek help yet I am so unfortunate that I do not have time to pray and seek their intervention. Actually my condition is very fortunate because having come into Krishna consciousness there are so many means and methods but I am myself making my condition unfortunate by ignoring most of them.

As I looked back I could suddenly see so many means by which Krishna, and His devotees, are willing to help me but I am so unfortunate that I am completely blind to them. In my case, many a times, I am even uttering these prayers or verses but with no understanding or heart in it, this is my ‘durdaivam’.

I am copying some examples, which come to my mind right now, and the benedictions associated with them in Q&A format, along with the reference, from which everyone take benefit.

1. Do I have a desire to attain eternal residence in Vrindavan?

Daily recite Sri Vrinda-devi Ashtakam to Tulasi Maharani

Whoever hears or recites these eight prayers in glorification of Sri Vrinda Devi, becoming just like a bumble bee that is always anxious to taste the sweet nectarine lotus feet of the Divine Couple (the Lords of Vrindavan) – such a person verily attains eternal residence in Vrindavan. Having finally achieved the supreme goal of life, one thus remains situated in the ecstatic loving service of the Divine Couple Sri Sri Radha- Madhava.                                                                                                                                            —  Vrindashtakam verse 9

2. Do I have a desire to realise what is Love of God?

Read chapter 23 of CC Madhya lila regularly.

Whoever hears these instructions given to Sanātana Gosvāmī by the Lord comes very soon to realize love of God, Kṛṣṇa.                                                                       — verse 126 CC Madhya 23

3. Am I facing obstacles on the path of bhakti?

Take shelter of the six goswamis (and by sincerely reading Sri Shad Gosvamy Ashtaka daily).

ei chay gosai kori carana vandan  

jaha hoite bighna-nas abhista-puran

(I offer my obeisances to the feet of these six Gosvamis. By offering them obeisances all obstacles to devotion are destroyed and spiritual desires are fulfilled)

4. Do I have a sincere desire to understand the confidential truth of Sri Caitnaya Mahaprabhu?

Read chapter 8 of CC madhya lila regularly.

 The author requests every reader to hear these talks with faith and without argument. By studying them in this way, one will be able to understand the confidential truth of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. 

                                                                                                                     — verse 308 CC Madhya lila chapter 8 

5. Do I even have a remote desire to one day serve Sri Radha Krishna directly? 

Here is one clue:

These eleven excellent instructions to the mind grant all spiritual benedictions. A person who stays with the devotees, follows Shrila Rupa Gosvami, and with a sweet voice loudly sings these eleven verses will attain the matchless jewel of direct service to Shri Shri Radha-Krishna in the forest of Gokula.  verse 12 Sri Manah Shiksha

I am sure that there are hundreds of others benedictions given by our acharayas which may be relevant to us at  different stages of our spiritual journey. What is really needed for us is to sincerely seek them, understand their essence by carefully studying them (by always taking shelter of a senior devotee) and finally serve these prayers by reciting them sincerely from our heart.

As an aspiring devotee it will be very beneficial for us if we inculcate a prayerful mood. It will produce miraculous results.

I will grateful if devotees can share their own experience of results of their own prayers to Krishna or having taken shelter of a particular prayer. I will be very happy to share it on this blog or keep it private, whatever way you may desire. Please mail them to giriraj.bcs@gmail.com

All glories to Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Devotees can renounce renunciation!

Hare Krishna.

15th December, 2015. Gurgaon.

One hears so much about renunciation in our movement and many times as grihasthas (householders) we become confused as to what is actual renunciation for us and how can we practically apply it in our daily life. I searched on this topic and found some gems which I am sharing below.

We should be aware that as long as we remain attached to material enjoyment we will not be able to remain properly fixed in the process of bhakti yoga. As householders our goal should be  progressive renunciation of material enjoyment and not the dry renunciation from family life as practiced by jnanis or yogis, that is not our path. It was Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, a great disciple of Lord Caitanya, who said that Caitanya Mahaprabhu descended to teach detachment from whatever does not foster devotional service to Krishna.

What exactly is renunciation?

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said:

One who is unattached to the fruits of his work and who works as he is obligated is in the renounced order of life, and he is the true mystic, not he who lights no fire and performs no duty.

What is called renunciation you should know to be the same as yoga, or linking oneself with the Supreme, O son of Pandu, for one can never become a yogi unless he renounces the desire for sense gratification. (BG 6.1-2)

According to above definition, a renunciant is not simply someone who gives up external duties. A renunciant is one who gives up all personal, selfish interests, while at the same time working for Krishna’s interest.

Although these verses from the Bhagavad Gita appear to address renunciation by the yogi, they also apply to the a devotee. The yogi and the bhakta both practice renunciation, but in different ways. Both renounce sense gratification, and both restrain the senses. The yogi, however, does this by sitting down in a solitary place, controlling his breath, and refraining from all activity. The devotee, Srila Prabhupada explains, has a different method: “A person in Krishna consciousness has no opportunity to engage his senses in anything which is not for the purpose of Krishna.” In other words, a devotee is always renounced because he always engages in devotional activity.

If we are serious about going back to Godhead in this lifetime, then we must seriously apply the principles of renunciation and devotion. We have a certain amount of “business” to accomplish in the human form of life, and heading the list is the business of becoming detached from material desires. If we don’t become detached in this life, we will have to return in another life to continue. Prabhupada writes, “We should be determined to finish our duties in executing devotional service in this life. We should not wait for another life to finish our job.”

Devotional renunciation is easy and pleasant. All we have to do is refrain from sinful activity and, rather than avoiding activity, engage ourselves in acts of devotion. Our lives will become so filled with Krishna consciousness that we will have little time to worry about becoming attracted to the material world. Srila Prabhupada writes, “The more the activities of the material world are performed in Krishna consciousness, or for Vishnu only, the more the atmosphere becomes spiritualised by complete absorption.… Matter dovetailed for the cause of the Absolute Truth regains its spiritual quality. Krishna consciousness is the process of converting the illusory consciousness into Brahman, or the Supreme.” (Bhagavad Gita 4.24, purport)

Srila Rupa Gosvami taught yukta-vairagya,the principle of using even material things in Krishna’s service. He explains in Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu that yukta-vairagya is superior to its opposite, phalgu-vairagya, or artificial renunciation.

The Sanskrita word, phalgu, is also used to describe an underground river. What appears to be only a dry riverbed sometimes disguises that under the earth a river continues to flow. This is called phalgu. Srila Rupa Gosvami compares renunciation that neglects to use everything in Krishna’s service to such a river. Although the artificial renunciant appears to be detached from material activities and worldly things, internally a strong desire for these things still flows. That is why this form of renunciation is considered incomplete.

By practicing yukta-vairagya, we accept the body as material but not as the ultimate source of corruption. We concentrate on the soul, but we also take care of the body. After all, the body is a useful vehicle for carrying us from one Krishna conscious activity to another. Yukta-vairagya, or renunciation in Krishna consciousness, entails satisfying the needs of the senses simply and offering everything to Krishna. In this lies real happiness.

                                                                                  –HH Satsvarupa Maharaj in an article in BTG magazine

I am now copying a collection of  purports taken out by HG Srimati Mataji in one of her books, to get a taste of mood of our param Guru Srila Prabhupada and Lord Himself, when He came as Caitanya Mahaprabhu, on the topic on renunciation for householders.

As for detachment from children, wife and home, it is not meant that one should have no feeling for these. They are natural objects of affection. But when they are not favorable to spiritual progress, then one should not be attached to them. The best process for making the home pleasant is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If one is in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he can make his home very happy, because this process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is very easy. One need only chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, accept the remnants of foodstuffs offered to Kṛṣṇa, have some discussion on books like Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and engage oneself in Deity worship. These four things will make one happy. One should train the members of his family in this way. The family members can sit down morning and evening and chant together Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. If one can mold his family life in this way to develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness, following these four principles, then there is no need to change from family life to renounced life. ( BG 13.8-12p)

The brāhmaṇa begged Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, “My dear Lord, kindly show me favor and let me go with You. I can no longer tolerate the waves of misery caused by materialistic life.”

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, “Don’t speak like that again. Better to remain at home and chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa always.  (CC Madhya 7.126 -27)

It is not advisable in this Age of Kali to leave one’s family suddenly, for people are not trained as proper brahmacārīs and gṛhasthas. Therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu advised the brāhmaṇa not to be too eager to give up family life. It would be better to remain with his family and try to become purified by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra regularly under the direction of a spiritual master. This is the instruction of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. If this principle is followed by everyone, there is no need to accept sannyāsa. In the next verse Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu advises everyone to become an ideal householder by offenselessly chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and teaching the same principle to everyone he meets.   (CC Madya 7.127 p)

“Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa as they are given in the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land.”

This is the sublime mission of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Many people come and inquire whether they have to give up family life to join the Society, but that is not our mission. One can remain comfortably in his residence. We simply request everyone to chant the mahā-mantra: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. If one is a little literate and can read Bhagavad-gītā As It Is and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that is so much the better. (cc Madhya 7.128+p)

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu further advised the brāhmaṇa Kūrma, “If you follow this instruction, your materialistic life at home will not obstruct your spiritual advancement. Indeed, if you follow these regulative principles, we will again meet here, or, rather, you will never lose My company.”

This is an opportunity for everyone. If one simply follows the instructions of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, under the guidance of His representative, and chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, teaching everyone as far as possible the same principle, the contamination of the materialistic way of life will not even touch him. It does not matter whether one lives in a holy place like Vṛndāvana, Navadvīpa or Jagannātha Purī or in the midst of European cities, where the materialistic way of life is very prominent. If a devotee follows the instructions of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he lives in the company of the Lord. Wherever he lives, he converts that place into Vṛndāvana and Navadvīpa. This means that materialism cannot touch him. This is the secret of success for one advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. ( cc Madhya 7.129+P)

So we learnt that the as householders we should

  • Focus more on devotional service rather than on renunciation. ( more focus on positive, less on negative)
  • Real renunciation means renunciation from material sense gratification.
  • We should try to use everything we have (wealth, family, etc.) in the service of Lord.

Finally, by sincerely following the process given by Mahaprabhu, and the instructions of our acharayas, we must pray daily for their mercy, aspire and then take practical steps to make our present life successful by trying our best to finish all our ‘business’ in this very lifetime only, family life is not an impediment.

 

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

 

A nice lesson in Krishna consciousness

Hare Krishna.

29th October, 2015. Gurgaon

Quotes by Srila Prabhupada on Everyone Being A Preacher

Please accept my good wishes for a very devotional Kartik month.

I had two small realisations around preaching recently and an important lesson, I am sharing the same.

As the month of  Kartik approached this year, the enthusiasm within my own self was not so high. I did not know the reasons. Last Monday, 26th October,  I had to give a class at a home program. At the office I thought that as Kartik is starting from the next so it may be a good idea to share a little about Kartik month with devotees, specially the new devotees. It was a tight day at office but I managed to prepare a small power point presentation, copying mostly from Iskcondesiretree, as I thought it will be nice to show it on a projector. Then I went through the contents quickly so that I would know what I have to speak about. As I read the contents I was a bit surprised to read so many benedictions about Kartik month, the last slide also hit me.

So in the evening we did last 45 minutes of the class on the glories of Kartik month and in the middle I realised that many of the things which I am speaking are coming from my heart not from my memory or whatever little I had prepared. The class ended at an enthusiastic note with everyone charged up for the the Kartik month, including my own self!  As I drove back home after the class , the whole content and what all I spoke dawned heavily  upon me and a small realisation came over me on the importance of Kartik month starting the next morning. I immediately mentally took  note of what all I will try to do this Kartik, I was all excited!

In the morning out of nowhere (well not exactly out of nowhere but still it was first time that I actually did it), I felt inspired to read Nectar of Instruction verses and Manah Sikshah verses before starting my japa. Then in the evening I reached home early and  started reading an amazing book called MahaPrabhu meditations, which was lying unread since months. Then the whole family sang Damodarashtakam as we all offered ghee lamp to Lord Damodar, a perfect day!

Though today is only the third day of Kartik but I can frankly confess that this has been the best start for a Kartik month in all the last few years that I have been struggling to practice Krishna consciousness.

Below is the PDF of the presentation I made, Kindly feel free to use it in any way or please mail me, giriraj.bcs@gmail.com, in case you need it in a PPT format. Please move your cursor on the below picture you will see the menu on the bottom left side to browse to the next pages

Kartika_month_glorification2

I had a similar experience with my chanting earlier. At first I tried to improve my chanting by regulating my morning sadhana time. (It’s origin was the causeless mercy of HH Bhakti Prema maharaj, I write about it in detail some other time). Later in an impromptu decision I tried to help some sincere devotees improve their chanting, by making a whatsapp group to post our timings, almost immediately my own chanting improved dramatically.

In both the cases I experienced how, even while being a very neophyte preacher, it is me who is getting the most benefit!

An important lesson.

Last weekend I was sharing the same above experience about improvement in my chanting with a senior devotee, adding how recently I even took a class on how to improve our japa, something unthinkable for me just a few months back. As I was finishing my little talk another devotee walked in and he started asking some questions from the senior devotee. During the middle of that discussion the senior devotee gently spoke to him as to how some devotees get all excited when they get some reciprocation from the Holy Name, they start feeling that they have done some thing great as other devotees too start praising them but they forget that it is in fact simply the mercy of the Holy Name. The Holy Name becomes pleased when we try to serve Him. It hit me instantaneously, I knew it was meant for me only. Instead of thanking the Holy Name for showering mercy upon me, I mistakenly thought that because I helped others hence I got the results, it was all about me and my action. I thanked the senior devotee for correcting me, as I got the point, and admitted my incorrect and impersonal thought process. Later, I thanked the Holy name and Krishna for Their causeless mercy. I also prayed to Srila Prabhupada that may I always remember this important lesson all my life.

 I am copying four verses from Damodarastkam for the pleasure of the Lord and His dear devotees.

itīdṛk sva-līlābhir ānanda-kuṇḍe
sva-ghoṣam nimajjantam ākhyāpayantam
tadīyeṣita-jñeṣu bhaktair jitatvam
punaḥ prematas tam śatāvṛtti vande

varam deva mokṣam na mokṣāvadhim vā
na canyam vṛṇe ‘ham vareṣād apīha
idam te vapur nātha gopāla-bālam
sadā me manasy āvirāstām kim anyaiḥ

idam te mukhāmbhojam atyanta-nīlair
vṛtam kuntalaiḥ snigdha-raktaiś ca gopyā
muhuś cumbitam bimba-raktādharam me
manasy āvirāstām alam lakṣa-lābhaiḥ

namo deva dāmodarānanta viṣṇo
prasīda prabho duḥkha-jālābdhi-magnam
kṛpā-dṛṣṭi-vṛṣṭyāti-dīnam batānu
gṛhāṇeṣa mām ajñam edhy akṣi-dṛśyaḥ

Translation

Those super excellent pastimes of Lord Krishna’s babyhood drowned the inhabitants of Gokula in pools of ecstasy. To the devotees who are attracted only to His majestic aspect of Narayana in Vaikuntha, the Lord herein reveals: “I am conquered and overwhelmed by pure loving devotion.” To the Supreme Lord, Damodara, my obeisances hundreds and hundreds of times

O Lord, although You are able to give all kinds of benedictions, I do not pray to You for liberation, nor eternal life in Vaikuntha, nor any other boon. My only prayer is that Your childhood pastimes may constantly appear in my mind. O Lord, I do not even want to know your feature of Paramatma. I simply wish that Your childhood pastimes may ever be enacted in my heart.

O Lord, the cheeks of Your blackish lotus face, which is encircled by locks of curling hair, have become reddened like bimba fruits due to Mother Yashoda’s kisses. What more can I describe than this? Millions of opulence are of no use to me, but may this vision constantly remain in my mind.

O unlimited Vishnu! O master! O Lord! Be pleased upon me! I am drowning in an ocean of sorrow and am almost like a dead man. Please shower the rain of mercy on me; uplift me and protect me with Your nectarean vision.

All glories to the glorious Kartik month.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Should devotee chant any other mantra?

Hare Krishna

18th August, 2015. Gurgaon.

Here is another wonderful conversation where Srila Prabhupada shares so many wonderful gems.

Jayadvaita: Just like sometimes we’ll hear our men. They’ll be chanting… Like yesterday I heard someone was chanting “Nitai-Gaura, Nitai-Gaura, Nitai-Nitai-Gaura.” Like that, I’ll hear different mantras. Someone is chanting ‘Radhe, Radhe, Radhe, Radhe.” like that, at kirtana.

Prabhupada: Well, that is not done by the acaryas. But there is no harm chanting “Radhe.” But sometimes it is degraded to make something new, invention. Therefore better to stick to “Hare Krsna” and to “Sri-Krsna Caitanya Prabhupada-Nityananda.” Otherwise… Just like the sahajiyas, they have invented: “Nitai-Gaura Radhe Syama, Hare Krsna Hare Rama.” These things will come gradually. But they are not approved. They are called chara kirtana (?), means “concocted kirtana.” But there is no harm chanting “Radhe, Nitai-Gaura.” So better stick to this Panca-tattva, and maha-mantra. Just like “Nitai Gaura Radhe Syama, Hare Krsna Hare Rama.” There is “Nitai-Gaura, Radhe Syama,” but it is not approved. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. We have to follow the mahajana. In Caitanya-caritamrta you’ll find “Sri-Krsna-Caitanya Prabhu-Nityananda, Sri-Advaita Gadadhara…,” never “Nitai Gaura, Radhe Syama.” So why should we do that?

Jayapataka: The concocter of the “Nitai Gaura Radhe Syama,” previously he was a follower of Bhaktisiddhanta, but then he was rejected, and then he started his own camp.

Prabhupada: No, yes, he was meeting Bhaktivinoda Thakura. So… What is called? Carana dasa Babaji.

Satsvarupa: Srila Prabhupada, sometimes during arati, many bona fide bhajanas are sung, but not much Hare Krsna. Is that not a good tendency, that maybe just two or three minutes of Hare Krsna mantra and many other bhajanas?

Prabhupada: No. We should stick to Hare Krsna. Sri-Krsna-Caitanya Prabhu-Nityananda, jiva jago jiva jago…, these are authorized. But Hare Krsna is the maha-mantra. What is sung by mahajana, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Narottama dasa Thakura, that can be sung. [break]

Jayapataka: …you say is back to Godhead. But when one is situated in pure, transcendental love of Krsna, then that’s, then wherever he may be, that’s back to Godhead. Isn’t it?

Prabhupada: Yes.

Jayapataka: So then we should desire not to go back to Vaikuntha but to go back to…, to be situated in our pure service to Krsna.

Prabhupada: Yes. Pure devotee does not aspire anything, simply to be engaged in loving service of the Lord, wherever it may be. It doesn’t matter. [break]

Jayadvaita: …they know everything and they’re perfect in everything. But sometimes, from our material viewpoint, we see some discrepancies. Just like we think that…

Prabhupada: Because material viewpoint. The viewpoint is wrong; therefore you find discrepancies.

Jayadvaita: So we should think that we have the defect.

Prabhupada: Yes. Acarya is explained, bhakti-samsanah: “One who’s preaching the cult of devotional service, he’s acarya.” Then why should you find any discrepancy?

Jayadvaita: Because we see… For instance, sometimes the acarya may seem to forget something or not to know something, so from our point of view, if someone has forgotten, that is…

Prabhupada: No, no, no. Then…

Jayadvaita: …an imperfection.

Prabhupada: That is not the… Then you do not understand. Acarya is not God, omniscient. He is servant of God. His business is to preach bhakti cult. That is acarya.

Jayadvaita: And that is the perfection.

Prabhupada: That is the perfection. Hare Krsna.

Jayadvaita: So we have a misunderstanding about what perfection is?

Prabhupada: Yes. Perfection is here, how he is preaching bhakti cult. That’s all.

Satsvarupa: Srila Prabhupada, there’s also a question of reciprocation. You have so many disciples, thousands, and one devotee was asking me yesterday, “How does… I want to please Srila Prabhupada. How does he know my progress and my service because I’m…, when I’m so far away from him and if I don’t write him?”

Prabhupada: So his representatives are there, the president, the GBC. They will see.

Madhavananda: The representatives.

Jayadvaita: The representative may be there, but what is my personal relationship?

Prabhupada: Hm? To obey your spiritual master. Whatever he has said, you follow strictly. Follow the regulative principles. Chant sixteen rounds. That’s all.

Devotee (1): Prabhupada, when Srila Vyasadeva was lamenting after compiling so many Vedic literatures before compiling Srimad Bhagavatam, he said to his spiritual master, Narada Muni, that “You please enter within me and find out my deficiency. You are as good as the all-pervading Supersoul.”

Prabhupada: That is always the position of spiritual master, to find out the deficiency in the character of his disciple.

Devotee (1): He said that “You are as good as the all-pervading Supersoul.”

Prabhupada: Yes. He… He pointed out the deficiency, that “You have not described so elaborately about the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You have touched only the social, religious, political point of views.” That was his deficiency. So a disciple is always in deficiency before his spiritual master. Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, guru more murkha dekhi karila sasana [Cc. Adi 7.71]. “My spiritual master saw Me a fool number one. Therefore he has chastised Me.” So disciple should be always ready to be chastised. He should not think that he has become perfect. That is perfection. So long he thinks that he is not perfect-he’s to be chastised — then he’s perfect. And as soon as he thinks that he has become perfect, he’s nonsense immediately, nonsense number one. [Break] …always to be chastised by the spiritual master for perfection. And if he thinks that now he has become perfect, then he’s a foolish. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, guru more murkha dekhi. “My spiritual master saw Me a fool number one.” Was He fool number one? He’s God Himself. But that is the position. He should remain always a fool number one, ready to be chastised. Then he’s perfect. In the moral instruction, Canakya Pandita gives this instruction, that lalane bahavo dosas tadane bahavo gunah: “If you chastise your son or disciple, he’ll improve, and if you say, ‘Oh, you are all right,’ then he’ll degrade.” Tasmat putram ca sisyam ca tadayet na tu lalayet: “Therefore you always chastise your son and disciple. Never flat…” What is called?

Jayadvaita: Flatter.

Prabhupada: No.

Satsvarupa: Prabhupada, in one purport in the Bhagavad-gita, you write that a disciple of a bona fide spiritual master is supposed to know everything.

Prabhupada: Yes, if he follows the spiritual master.

Satsvarupa: But how could he know…? What does that mean, “everything”?

Prabhupada: Everything means whatever his guru knows, he should know, that much. Not like God, everything. Within his limit, that’s all. If he tries to understand whatever his guru has said, that much is “everything.” Otherwise, “everything” does not mean that we know everything, like God, like Krsna. That is not possible. If he regularly chants and follow the regulative principles, follows the orders of guru, then he knows everything. That’s all. Not very much… Knows everything, then what is the use of reading books when he knows everything? [break] …everything — except Krsna. Aham… Sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto [Bg. 15.15]. He knows past, present, future, everything. You cannot expect anyone to know like Krsna, everything.

Jayadvaita: Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita that one who knows Him knows everything.

Prabhupada: Yes. Because if he knows that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then he knows everything. That’s all. Not that he should know as Krsna. If he… Yasmin vijnate sarvam eva vijnatam… If he accepts Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, then he knows everything. That is finish.

Jayadvaita: That knowledge itself is…

Prabhupada: Eh?

Jayadvaita: That knowledge itself is complete.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Satsvarupa: There may be material things he doesn’t know, but they’re useless.

Prabhupada: Eh?

Satsvarupa: If there’s some material information that such a person doesn’t know, that’s not really knowledge anyway.

Prabhupada: I did not follow.

Satsvarupa: If he doesn’t know how many people live in…

Jayadvaita: Just like Gaura-kisora could not write. So it appeared that he did not, there was something that he did not know, although he knew Krsna.

Prabhupada: Yes. He knows everything. Otherwise how Bhaktisiddhanta accepted him as guru? He knows Krsna. That’s all.

Nalini-kanta: Whatever the spiritual master says, that is also perfect?

Prabhupada: Yes. Because he says nothing concocted. Whatever he says, he says from sastra, and guru.

Devotee (2): Srila Prabhupada, is there any instance when you were chastised by your spiritual master?

Prabhupada: Eh?

Devotee (2): Is there any instance when you were chastised by your spiritual master?

Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Oh, yes.

Devotee (2): Can you tell us?

Prabhupada: I remember the moment was very valuable. Yes.

Devotee (2): Can you tell us the story?

Prabhupada: Yes. I think I have said that.

Satsvarupa: When you were speaking to one man…

Prabhupada: Yes. He became very angry and chastised me.

Jagajivana: Srila Prabhupada, was this during a lecture by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta?

Prabhupada: Eh?

Jagajivana: Was this during a lecture?

Prabhupada: Yes. I was not… One of my old brother, he, he wanted to speak something. So I leaned my… I immediately became… (laughter) So he chastised him more than me.

Devotee (2): When Lord Caitanya chastised someone more than Advaita Acarya, Advaita felt that He had been neglected ’cause he had not received a greater chastisement.

Prabhupada: He wanted to be chastised, so Caitanya fulfilled His desire. (end)

(Morning Walk — April 9, 1975, Mayapur)

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.