Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta teaches

sri-caitanya-caritamrta

Q: What are nine symptoms manifest in one’s behavior when seed of ecstatic emotion for Kṛṣṇa fructifies in ones heart ?

A:

CC Madhya 23.18-19: “‘When the seed of ecstatic emotion for Kṛṣṇa fructifies, the following nine symptoms manifest in one’s behavior:

1. forgiveness,
2. concern that time should not be wasted,
3. detachment,
4. absence of false prestige,
5. hope,
6. eagerness,
7. a taste for chanting the holy name of the Lord,
8. attachment to descriptions of the transcendental qualities of the Lord, and 9. affection for those places where the Lord resides — that is, a temple or a holy place like Vṛndāvana.

These are all called anubhāva, subordinate signs of ecstatic emotion. They are visible in a person in whose heart the seed of love of God has begun to fructify.’

CC Madhya 23.20: “If love for Kṛṣṇa in a seedling state has fructified in one’s heart, one is not agitated by material things.

Q: What is the process to achieve the ultimate goal of life – love of God ? Explain each step in this process.

Ans

CC Madhya 23.9: “If, by good fortune, a living entity develops faith in Kṛṣṇa, he begins to associate with devotees.

CC Madhya 23.10: “When one is encouraged in devotional service by the association of devotees, one becomes free from all unwanted contamination by following the regulative principles and chanting and hearing.

CC Madhya 23.11: “When one is freed from all unwanted contamination, he advances with firm faith. When firm faith in devotional service awakens, a taste for hearing and chanting also awakens.

CC Madhya 23.12: “After taste is awakened, a deep attachment arises, and from that attachment the seed of love for Kṛṣṇa grows in the heart.

CC Madhya 23.13: “When that ecstatic emotional stage intensifies, it is called love of Godhead. Such love is life’s ultimate goal and the reservoir of all pleasure.

Srila Prabhupada quotes Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura who summarizes this growth of love of Godhead as a gradual process. A person becomes interested in devotional service by some good fortune. Eventually he becomes interested in pure devotional service without material contamination. At that point, a person wants to associate with devotees. As a result of this association, he becomes more and more interested in discharging devotional service and hearing and chanting. The more one is interested in hearing and chanting, the more he is purified of material contamination. Liberation from material contamination is called anartha-nivṛtti, indicating a diminishing of all unwanted things. This is the test of development in devotional service. If one actually develops the devotional attitude, he must be freed from the material contamination of illicit sex, intoxication, gambling and meat-eating. These are the preliminary symptoms. When one is freed from all material contamination, his firm faith in devotional service awakens. When firm faith develops, a taste arises, and by that taste one becomes attached to devotional service. When this attachment intensifies, the seed of love of Kṛṣṇa fructifies. This position is called prīti or rati (affection) or bhāva (emotion). When rati intensifies, it is called love of Godhead. This love of Godhead is actually life’s highest perfection and the reservoir of all pleasure.

Thus devotional life is divided into two stages — sādhana-bhakti and bhāva-bhakti. Sādhana-bhakti refers to the development of devotional service through the regulative principles. The basic principle for the execution of devotional service is faith. Above that, there is association with devotees, and after that there is initiation by a bona fide spiritual master. After initiation, when one follows the regulative principles of devotional service, one becomes freed from all unwanted things. In this way one becomes firmly fixed and gradually develops a taste for devotional service. The more the taste grows, the more one desires to render service to the Lord. In this way one becomes attached to a particular mellow in the Lord’s service — śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya or madhura. As a result of such attachment, bhāva develops. Bhāva-bhakti is the platform of purified goodness. By such purified goodness, one’s heart melts in devotional service. Bhāva-bhakti is the first seed of love of Godhead. This emotional stage is there before one attains pure love. When that emotional stage intensifies, it is called prema-bhakti, or transcendental love of Godhead. This gradual process is also described in the following two verses, which are found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.4.15-16).

ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-
saṅgo ‘tha bhajana-kriyā
tato ‘nartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt
tato niṣṭhā rucis tataḥ
athāsaktis tato bhāvas
tataḥ premābhyudañcati
sādhakānām ayaṁ premṇaḥ
prādurbhāve bhavet kramaḥ

CC Madhya 23.14-15: “‘In the beginning there must be faith. Then one becomes interested in associating with pure devotees. Thereafter one is initiated by the spiritual master and executes the regulative principles under his orders. Thus one is freed from all unwanted habits and becomes firmly fixed in devotional service. Thereafter, one develops taste and attachment. This is the way of sādhana-bhakti, the execution of devotional service according to the regulative principles. Gradually emotions intensify, and finally there is an awakening of love. This is the gradual development of love of Godhead for the devotee interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.’

Q: How did Caitanya MahaPrabhu gave the knowledge to Sri Rupa Goswami.

Ans : By entering the heart of Rūpa Gosvāmī

cc m 19.117

śrī-rūpa-hṛdaye prabhu śakti sañcārilā
sarva-tattva-nirūpaṇe ‘pravīṇa’ karilā

By entering the heart of Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu empowered him to ascertain properly the conclusions of all truths. He made him an experienced devotee whose decisions correctly agreed with the verdicts of the disciplic succession. Thus Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī was personally empowered by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

The principles of devotional service are only apparently under the jurisdiction of material activity. To be rightly guided, one must be personally guided by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This was the case with Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī and other ācāryas.

Q: what is anurag, Bhāva and mahā-bhāva ?
A: Srila Prabhupada explains in cc m 19.178

Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura quotes Rūpa Gosvāmī as follows: “The loving propensity of the āśraya (devotee) toward the viṣaya (Lord) becomes so ecstatic that even after enjoying the company of the beloved, the devotee feels that his enjoyment is insufficient. At such a time, the lover sees the beloved in different ways. Such a development of ecstasy is called anurāga.

When anurāga reaches its highest limit and becomes perceivable in the body, it is called bhāva.

When the bodily symptoms are not very distinct, however, the emotional state is still called anurāga, not bhāva.

When bhāva ecstasy is intensified, it is called mahā-bhāva. The symptoms of mahā-bhāva are visible only in the bodies of eternal associates like the gopīs.”

Q: what is raga ?
a: Srila Prabhupada explains in cc m 19.177

“That stage at which affection for the beloved converts unhappiness into happiness is called rāga, or attachment.


Q: what is pure love for Krishna?

A:

Srila Prabhupada explains in cc m 19. 177

“When the heart is completely softened and devoid of all material desires and when one’s emotional feelings become very strong, one becomes very much attached to Kṛṣṇa. Such purified emotion is known as pure love.”

Q: what books should one read ?

A: Caitanya Mahāprabhu teaches Sri Sanatan Goswami in CC Madhya 22.118:

bahu-grantha-kalābhyāsa-vyākhyāna varjiba

One should not partially study many scriptures just to be able to give references and expand explanations.

Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport
I
One should not partially study a book just to pose oneself as a great scholar by being able to refer to scriptures. In our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we have therefore limited our study of the Vedic literatures to the Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Caitanya-caritāmṛta and Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu. These four works are sufficient for preaching purposes. They are adequate for the understanding of the philosophy and the spreading of missionary activities all over the world. If one studies a particular book, he must do so thoroughly. That is the principle. By thoroughly studying a limited number of books, one can understand the philosophy.

Q: What is the meaning of words śrotavyaḥ, kīrtitavyaḥ and smartavyaḥ ?

A: Caitanya Mahāprabhu quotes the below verse from SB 2.1.5 to Sri Sanatan Goswami in CC Madhya 22.110:

tasmād bhārata sarvātmā
bhagavān harir īśvaraḥ
śrotavyaḥ kīrtitavyaś ca
smartavyaś cecchatābhayam

Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport

It is one’s duty to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead through the hearing process. This is called śrotavyaḥ.

If one has heard properly about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his duty is to glorify the Lord and preach His glories. This is called kīrtitavyaḥ.

When one hears about the Lord and glorifies Him, it is natural to think of Him. This is called smartavyaḥ.

Q: From where can we get Pure love for Kṛṣṇa ?

A:

CC Madhya 22.107: “Pure love for Kṛṣṇa is eternally established in the hearts of the living entities. It is not something to be gained from another source. When the heart is purified by hearing and chanting, this love naturally awakens.

Q: What is the process by which dormant love for Kṛṣṇa is awakened ?
A:
Caitanya Mahāprabhu explains to Sri Sanatan Goswami
CC Madhya 22.105: “‘When transcendental devotional service, by which love for Kṛṣṇa is attained, is executed by the senses, it is called sādhana-bhakti, or the regulative discharge of devotional service. Such devotion eternally exists within the heart of every living entity. The awakening of this eternal devotion is the potentiality of devotional service in practice.’

The Srila Prabhupada expands it in his purport

This verse is found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.2). Because living entities are minute, atomic parts and parcels of the Lord, devotional service is already present within them in a dormant condition. Devotional service begins with śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam, hearing and chanting. When a man is sleeping, he can be awakened by sound vibration; therefore every conditioned soul should be given the chance to hear the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra chanted by a pure Vaiṣṇava. One who hears the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra thus vibrated is awakened to spiritual consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In this way one’s mind gradually becomes purified, as stated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu (ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]). When the mind is purified, the senses are also purified. Instead of using the senses for sense gratification, the awakened devotee employs the senses in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. This is the process by which dormant love for Kṛṣṇa is awakened.

Q: When does a living entity attains immortality ?

A: Mahāprabhu quote the below verse from (SB 11.29.34)

CC Madhya 22.103: “‘The living entity who is subjected to birth and death attains immortality when he gives up all material activities, dedicates his life to the execution of My order, and acts according to My directions. In this way he becomes fit to enjoy the spiritual bliss derived from exchanging loving mellows with Me.’


Q: how many kinds of devotees are there and what are the six qualities of the devotee who are fully surrendered to Lord ?

A:

CC Madhya 22.99: “There are two kinds of devotees — those who are fully satiated and free from all material desires and those who are fully surrendered to the lotus feet of the Lord. Their qualities are one and the same, but those who are fully surrendered to Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet are qualified with another transcendental quality — ātma-samarpaṇa, full surrender without reservation.

CC Madhya 22.100: “‘The six divisions of surrender are the acceptance of those things favorable to devotional service, the rejection of unfavorable things, the conviction that Kṛṣṇa will give protection, the acceptance of the Lord as one’s guardian or master, full self-surrender, and humility.

Srila Prabhupada expands these qualities in his purport

1) The devotee has to accept everything that is favorable for the rendering of transcendental loving service to the Lord.

(2) He must reject everything unfavorable to the Lord’s service. This is also called renunciation.

(3) A devotee must be firmly convinced that Kṛṣṇa will give him protection. No one else can actually give one protection, and being firmly convinced of this is called faith. This kind of faith is different from the faith of an impersonalist who wants to merge into the Brahman effulgence in order to benefit by cessation of repeated birth and death. A devotee wants to remain always in the Lord’s service. In this way, Kṛṣṇa is merciful to His devotee and gives him all protection from the dangers found on the path of devotional service.

(4) The devotee should accept Kṛṣṇa as his supreme maintainer and master. He should not think that he is being protected by a demigod. He should depend only on Kṛṣṇa, considering Him the only protector. The devotee must be firmly convinced that within the three worlds he has no protector or maintainer other than Kṛṣṇa.

(5) Self-surrender means remembering that one’s activities and desires are not independent. The devotee is completely dependent on Kṛṣṇa, and he acts and thinks as Kṛṣṇa desires.

(6) The devotee is meek and humble.

Q: What is meant by having Shradha in Krishna ?

A:

CC Madhya 22.62: “Śraddhā is confident, firm faith that by rendering transcendental loving service to Kṛṣṇa one automatically performs all subsidiary activities. Such faith is favorable to the discharge of devotional service.

Q: Who can make us taste the sweet pastimes of Sri Krishna with gopis ?
A: from the devotee who has spontaneous love for Krishna and chant Holy name with ecstatic love.

CC Madhya 21.119: “The transcendental mellows generated from the dealings between the gopīs and Kṛṣṇa cannot be tasted by means of fruitive activity, yogic austerities, speculative knowledge, regulative devotional service, mantra-yoga or meditation. This sweetness can be tasted only through the spontaneous love of liberated persons who chant the holy names with great ecstatic love.

Q: what is paravyoma ?

A:

CC Madhya 21.50: “‘Between the spiritual and the material world is a body of water known as the river Virajā. This water is generated from the bodily perspiration of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known as Vedāṅga. Thus the river flows.’

CC Madhya 21.51: “‘Beyond the river Virajā is the spiritual nature, which is indestructible, eternal, inexhaustible and unlimited. It is the supreme abode, consisting of three fourths of the Lord’s opulences. It is known as paravyoma, the spiritual sky.’

CC Madhya 21.88: “‘”Beyond the river Virajā is the spiritual nature, which is indestructible, eternal, inexhaustible and unlimited. It is the supreme abode, consisting of three fourths of the Lord’s opulences. It is known as paravyoma, the spiritual sky.”‘

Q: Why is this world called eka-pāda ?

A:

CC Madhya 21.55: “The spiritual world is considered to be three fourths of the energy and opulence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whereas this material world is only one fourth of that energy. That is our understanding.

CC Madhya 21.56: “‘Because it consists of three fourths of the Lord’s energy, the spiritual world is called tri-pād-bhūta. Being a manifestation of one fourth of the Lord’s energy, the material world is called eka-pāda.’

Q: What does The word Radha means ?
A: cc ADI 4.87

kṛṣṇa-vāñchā-pūrti-rūpa kare ārādhane
ataeva ‘rādhikā’ nāma purāṇe vākhāne

kṛṣṇa-vāñchā — of the desire of Lord Kṛṣṇa; pūrti-rūpa — of the nature of fulfillment; kare — does; ārādhane — worship; ataeva — therefore; rādhikā — Śrīmatī Rādhikā; nāma — named; purāṇe — in the Purāṇas; vākhāne — in the description.

Her worship [ārādhana] consists of fulfilling the desires of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Therefore the Purāṇas call Her Rādhikā.
The name “Rādhā” is derived from the root word ārādhana, which means “worship.” The personality who excels all in worshiping Kṛṣṇa may therefore be called Rādhikā, the greatest servitor.

Q: what is the difference between lust and love ?

A:

CC Ādi 4.165: The desire to gratify one’s own senses is kāma [lust], but the desire to please the senses of Lord Kṛṣṇa is prema [love].

Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport of this verse

Acts of sense gratification may be performed under the cover of public welfare, nationalism, religion, altruism, ethical codes, Biblical codes, health directives, fruitive action, bashfulness, tolerance, personal comfort, liberation from material bondage, progress, family affection or fear of social ostracism or legal punishment, but all these categories are different subdivisions of one substance — sense gratification. All such good acts are performed basically for one’s own sense gratification, for no one can sacrifice his personal interest while discharging these much-advertised moral and religious principles. But above all this is a transcendental stage in which one feels himself to be only an eternal servitor of Kṛṣṇa, the absolute Personality of Godhead. All acts performed in this sense of servitude are called pure love of God because they are performed for the absolute sense gratification of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

CC Ādi 4.171: Therefore lust and love are quite different. Lust is like dense darkness, but love is like the bright sun.

CC.adi.4.200-201: The reservoir of love derives pleasure when the lovable object is pleased.

Q: what is the greatest ignorance ?
A:

CC Ādi 3.61: The greatest ignorance consists of activities, whether religious or irreligious, that are opposed to devotional service. They are to be known as sins [kalmaṣa].

Q: Is there is real love in the material world ? How can we get real love in our lives ?

A: we only have little glimpse of love in the material world and we can get real love by dovetailing our love with Krishna.

Srila Prabhupada explains in the introduction of Chaitanaya Charitramrita

Even in this material world we can have a little sense of love. How is this possible? It is due to the presence of our original love of God. Whatever we find within our experience within this conditioned life is situated in the Supreme Lord, who is the ultimate source of everything. In our original relationship with the Supreme Lord there is real love, and that love is reflected pervertedly through material conditions. Our real love is continuous and unending, but because that love is reflected pervertedly in this material world, it lacks continuity and is inebriating. If we want real, transcendental love, we have to transfer our love to the supreme lovable object-Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the basic principle of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Q: How can we learn about how to develop ‘ love of Godhead’ ?
A:We can learn it only from the Teachings of Chaitanya MahaPrabhu.

Srila Prabhupada explains in the introduction of Chaitanaya Charitramrita that

We have often heard the phrase “love of Godhead.” How far this love of Godhead can actually be developed can be learned from the Vaiṣṇava philosophy. Theoretical knowledge of love of God can be found in many places and in many scriptures, but what that love of Godhead actually is and how it is developed can be found in the Vaiṣṇava literatures. It is the unique and highest development of love of God that is given by Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Caitanya Mahāprabhu informs us that in every country and in every scripture there is some hint of love of Godhead. But no one knows what love of Godhead actually is. The Vedic scriptures, however, are different in that they can direct the individual in the proper way to love God. Other scriptures do not give information on how one can love God, nor do they actually define or describe what or who the Godhead actually is. Although they officially promote love of Godhead, they have no idea how to execute it

Lord Caitanya, preaching as an ācārya, a great teacher, taught that we can enter into a relationship with God and actually become God’s friend, parent or lover. In the Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa showed Arjuna His universal form because Arjuna was His very dear friend. Upon seeing Kṛṣṇa as the Lord of the universes, however, Arjuna asked Kṛṣṇa to forgive the familiarity of his friendship. Lord Caitanya goes beyond this point. Through Lord Caitanya we can become friends with Kṛṣṇa, and there will be no limit to this friendship. We can become friends of Kṛṣṇa not in awe or adoration but in complete freedom. We can even relate to God as His father or mother. This is the philosophy not only of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta but of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as well. There are no other scriptures in the world in which God is treated as the son of a devotee. Usually God is seen as the almighty father who supplies the demands of His sons. The great devotees, however, sometimes treat God as a son in their execution of devotional service. The son demands, and the father and mother supply, and in supplying Kṛṣṇa the devotee becomes like a father or mother. Instead of taking from God, we give to God. It was in this relationship that Kṛṣṇa’s mother, Yaśodā, told the Lord, “Here, eat this or You’ll die. Eat nicely.” In this way Kṛṣṇa, although the proprietor of everything, depends on the mercy of His devotee. This is a uniquely high level of friendship, in which the devotee actually believes himself to be the father or mother of Kṛṣṇa.

However, Lord Caitanya’s greatest gift was His teaching that Kṛṣṇa can be treated as one’s lover. In this relationship the Lord becomes so much attached to His devotee that He expresses His inability to reciprocate. Kṛṣṇa was so obliged to the gopīs, the cowherd girls of Vṛndāvana, that He felt unable to return their love. “I cannot repay your love,” He told them. “I have no more assets to give.” Devotional service on this highest, most excellent platform of lover and beloved, which had never been given by any previous incarnation or ācārya, was given by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Therefore Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja, quoting Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, writes in the fourth verse of his book, “Lord Caitanya is Kṛṣṇa in a yellow complexion, and He is Śacīnandana, the son of mother Śacī. He is the most charitable personality because He came to deliver kṛṣṇa-prema, unalloyed love for Kṛṣṇa, to everyone. May you always keep Him in your hearts. It will be easy to understand Kṛṣṇa through Him.”

Q: What should a person do when receives seed of devotional service ?
A:

CC Madhya 19.152: “When a person receives the seed of devotional service, he should take care of it by becoming a gardener and sowing the seed in his heart. If he waters the seed gradually by the process of śravaṇa and kīrtana [hearing and chanting], the seed will begin to sprout.

Q: Can we get Krishna Prema while still maintaining material desires in our heart ?
A: No

MahaPrabhu tells Rupa Goswami in cc m 19. 175

“If one is infected with the desire for material enjoyment or material liberation, he cannot rise to the platform of pure loving service unto the Lord, even though he may superficially render devotional service according to the routine regulative principles.

Then MahaPrabhu pushes it further in the next verse 176

The material desire to enjoy the material world and the desire to become liberated from material bondage are considered to be two witches, and they haunt one like ghosts. As long as these witches remain within the heart, how can one feel transcendental bliss?


Q: Can we be in the material world and still get Krishna Prema ?

A:

CC Madhya 19.155: “The creeper greatly expands in the Goloka Vṛndāvana planet, and there it produces the fruit of love for Kṛṣṇa. Although remaining in the material world, the gardener regularly sprinkles the creeper with the water of hearing and chanting.


Q: What happens when one develops pure devotional service ?

A: The devotee then constantly serves Krishna.

Krishna Das Kaviraja writes the below verse in cc.m.19.167

anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ
jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam
ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-
śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā

When first-class devotional service develops, one must be devoid of all material desires, knowledge obtained by monistic philosophy, and fruitive action. The devotee must constantly serve Kṛṣṇa favorably, as Kṛṣṇa desires.

This famous verse is also found in Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī’s Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.1.11).

Q: What is Sadhna Bhakti and what is the process ?
A: By engaging all our senses in the service of the Lord.

MahaPrabhu quoted following verse from the Nārada-pañcarātra, it is also found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.1.12).

sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ
tat-paratvena nirmalam
hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-
sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate

Bhakti, or devotional service, means engaging all our senses in the service of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all the senses. When the spirit soul renders service unto the Supreme, there are two side effects. One is freed from all material designations, and one’s senses are purified simply

Srila Prabhupada explains it in cc m 19.177 that Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.2) gives the following information about sādhana-bhakti:

The process of devotional service — beginning with chanting and hearing — is called sādhana-bhakti. This includes the regulative principles that are intended to awaken one to devotional service. Devotional service is always dormant in everyone’s heart, and by the offenseless chanting of the holy names of the Lord, one’s original dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness is awakened. This awakening to Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the beginning of sādhana-bhakti. This can be divided into many different parts, including faith, association with devotees, initiation by the spiritual master, engagement in devotional service under the instructions of a spiritual master, steadiness in devotional service and the awakening of a taste for devotional service.

Q: How to develop love for Krishna, Krishna Prema ?
A : By rendering pure devotional service.

MahaPrabhu taught Rupa Goswami in in verse 167 cc MADHYA 19 That

‘śuddha-bhakti’ haite haya ‘premā’ utpanna

“When one is situated in pure devotional service, he develops love of Godhead;

MahaPrabhu again stresses in cc madhya 19.169

ei ‘śuddha-bhakti’ — ihā haite ‘premā’ haya

“These activities are called śuddha-bhakti, pure devotional service. If one renders such pure devotional service, he develops his original love for Kṛṣṇa in due course of time.

Then CC Madhya 19.177:

“By regularly rendering devotional service, one gradually becomes attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When that attachment is intensified, it becomes love of Godhead.

Q: What is Pañcarātra and Bhāgavata systems ?

A: Srila Prabhupada explains in cc madhya 19.169

The Pañcarātra system includes methods of temple worship, and the Bhāgavata system includes the spreading of Kṛṣṇa conscious philosophy through the recitation of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and the discussion of philosophy with people who are interested.

Q: as per MahaPrabhu what is ultimate perfection of life ?

A: MahaPrabhu tells Sanatana Goswami n cc madhya 19.164 that

To taste the fruit of devotional service in Goloka Vṛndāvana is the highest perfection of life

eita parama-phala ‘parama-puruṣārtha’
yāṅra āge tṛṇa-tulya cāri puruṣārtha

eita — this; parama-phala — the supreme goal of life; parama — supreme; puruṣa-artha — interest of the living being; yāṅra āge — in the presence of which; tṛṇa-tulya — very insignificant; cāri — four; puruṣa-artha — the different types of human interests.

“To taste the fruit of devotional service in Goloka Vṛndāvana is the highest perfection of life, and in the presence of such perfection, the four material perfections — religion, economic development, sense gratification and liberation — are very insignificant achievements.

Srila Prabhupada adds that ” The highest achievement attained by the jñānīs, or impersonalists, is becoming one with the Supreme, generally known as mokṣa, liberation. The highest achievements of the yogīs are the eight material perfections, such as aṇimā, laghimā and prāpti. Yet these are nothing compared to the eternal bliss of the devotee who returns back to Godhead and tastes the fruit of devotional service to the lotus feet of the Lord. The material perfections, even up to the point of liberation, are very insignificant in comparison; therefore the pure devotee is never interested in such things. His only interest is in perfecting his devotional service to the Lord.”

Q: Where do I get Krishna Prema ? And how to awaken it ?
A: MahaPrabhu told Sanatana Goswami in cc madhya 22.107

nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-prema ‘sādhya’ kabhu naya
śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte karaye udaya

nitya-siddha — eternally established; kṛṣṇa-prema — love of Kṛṣṇa; sādhya — to be gained; kabhu — at any time; naya — not; śravaṇa-ādi — by hearing, etc.; śuddha — purified; citte — in the heart; karaye udaya — awakens.

“Pure love for Kṛṣṇa is eternally established in the hearts of the living entities. It is not something to be gained from another source. When the heart is purified by hearing and chanting, this love naturally awakens.

In earlier verse 105 MahaPrabhu says how to awake it

“‘When transcendental devotional service, by which love for Kṛṣṇa is attained, is executed by the senses, it is called sādhana-bhakti, or the regulative discharge of devotional service. Such devotion eternally exists within the heart of every living entity. The awakening of this eternal devotion is the potentiality of devotional service in practice.’

Shravanam and Kirtanam . Cetodarpan …..

Q: why The activities of a pure Vaiṣṇava cannot be understood even by a learned scholar in the material world ?

A: Srila Prabhupada summarises in the purport of verses cc m 19.155 where MahaPrabhu is teaching Rupa Goswami that

‘ Out of many millions of living entities, one may be fortunate enough to receive the seed of the bhakti-latā, the creeper of devotional service. By the grace of the spiritual master and Kṛṣṇa, one nourishes the bhakti-latā by regularly sprinkling it with the water of śravaṇa-kīrtana, hearing and chanting. In this way the seed of the bhakti-latā sprouts and grows up and up through the whole universe until it penetrates the covering of the material universe and reaches the spiritual world. The bhakti-latā continues to grow until it reaches the topmost planetary system, Goloka Vṛndāvana, where Kṛṣṇa lives. There the creeper takes shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord, and that is its final destination. At that time the creeper begins to grow the fruits of ecstatic love of God.

Srila Prabhupada then explains that ‘ In Goloka Vṛndāvana the devotees have very intimate relationships with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The devotee engages in the Lord’s service in great ecstatic love. Such love was exhibited personally by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in His teachings to the people of the material world. The fruit of the devotional creeper is the pure desire to serve and please the senses of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Kṛṣṇendriya-prīti-icchā dhare ‘prema’ nāma. (Cc. Ādi. 4.165) In the spiritual world one has no desire other than to please the senses of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The conditioned soul within the material world can neither understand nor appreciate how a pure devotee in the material world can render confidential service to the Lord out of feelings of ecstatic love and always engage in pleasing the Supreme Lord’s senses. Although seen within this material world, the pure devotee always engages in the confidential service of the Lord. An ordinary neophyte devotee cannot realize this; therefore it is said, vaiṣṇavera kriyā-mudrā vijñeha nā bujhaya. The activities of a pure Vaiṣṇava cannot be understood even by a learned scholar in the material world.

Q: how can we ignite the dormant love for Krishna in our heart ?
A: Everyone has dormant kṛṣṇa-bhakti — love for Kṛṣṇa — and in the association of good devotees, that love is revealed. As stated in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya 22.107):

nitya-siddha-kṛṣṇa-prema ‘sādhya’ kabhu naya
śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte karaye udaya

Dormant devotional service to Kṛṣṇa is within everyone. Simply by associating with devotees, hearing their good instructions and chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, dormant love for Kṛṣṇa is awakened. In this way one acquires the seed of devotional service. Guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja.

Q: who is an Aryan ?
A: SB 3.33.7

aho bata śva-paco ‘to garīyān
yaj-jihvāgre vartate nāma tubhyam
tepus tapas te juhuvuḥ sasnur āryā
brahmānūcur nāma gṛṇanti ye te

“‘My dear Lord, one who always keeps Your holy name on his tongue becomes greater than an initiated brāhmaṇa. Although he may be born in a family of dog-eaters and may therefore, by material calculation, be the lowest among men, he is still glorious. This is the wonderful effect of chanting the holy name of the Lord. It is therefore concluded that one who chants the holy name of the Lord should be understood to have performed all kinds of austerities and great sacrifices mentioned in the Vedas. He has already taken his bath in all the holy places of pilgrimage, he has studied all the Vedas, and he is actually an Aryan.'”

This verse was also quoted by Vallabha Bhaṭṭācārya in cc m 19.72 when MahaPrabhu tells him not to touch Roop and Sanatana Goswami as he is high caste Brahmin.

Srila Prabhupada explains in purport of SB 3.33.7
They are called āryāḥ because they have already finished all these requirements, and therefore they must be among the Āryans or those who have qualified themselves to become Āryans. “Āryan” refers to those who are civilized, whose manners are regulated according to the Vedic rituals. Any devotee who is chanting the holy name of the Lord is the best kind of Āryan. Unless one studies the Vedas, one cannot become an Āryan, but it is automatically understood that the chanters have already studied all the Vedic literature.

Q: what blessing to seek from senior devotees ?

A: MahaPrabhu blessed Raghupati Upādhyāya in cc m 19 93

āsi’ teṅho kaila prabhura caraṇa vandana
‘kṛṣṇe mati rahu’ bali’ prabhura vacana

Raghupati Upādhyāya first offered his respects to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and the Lord gave him His blessings, saying, “Always stay in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.”

Q: What can I do to please Krishna ?
A: MahaPrabhu says in cc antya 20. 58 that to please Krishna we should render service to Him.

“Kṛṣṇa is My life and soul. Kṛṣṇa is the treasure of My life. Indeed, Kṛṣṇa is the very life of My life. I therefore keep Him always in My heart and try to please Him by rendering service. That is My constant meditation.

Q: Why do some devotee end up joining prākṛta-sahajiyās ?

A: Srila Prabhupada explains in cc antya 20.55

A devotee who is satisfied only with his own sense gratification certainly falls down from the service of Kṛṣṇa. Being attracted by material happiness, he later joins the prākṛta-sahajiyās, who are considered to be non-devotees.

Srila Prabhupada explains few verses before in verse 52 that
If Kṛṣṇa becomes happy by giving him distress, such a devotee accepts that unhappiness as the greatest of all happiness. Those who are materialistic, however, who are very proud of material wealth and have no spiritual knowledge, like the prākṛta-sahajiyās, regard their own happiness as the aim of life. Some of them aspire to enjoy themselves by sharing the happiness of Kṛṣṇa.

Q: Should we regard our own happiness as the aim of life ?

A: NO !

Srila Prabhupada quotes SBST in purport of cc antya 20.52

Those who are materialistic, however, who are very proud of material wealth and have no spiritual knowledge, like the prākṛta-sahajiyās, regard their own happiness as the aim of life. Some of them aspire to enjoy themselves by sharing the happiness of Kṛṣṇa. This is the mentality of fruitive workers who want to enjoy sense gratification by making a show of service to Kṛṣṇa.

Then whose enjoyment ? The same verse

“I do not mind My personal distress. I only wish for the happiness of Kṛṣṇa, for His happiness is the goal of My life. However, if He feels great happiness in giving Me distress, that distress is the best of My happiness.

SBST says that a devotee does not care about his own happiness and distress; he is simply interested in seeing that Kṛṣṇa is happy, and for that purpose he engages in various activities. A pure devotee has no way of sensing happiness except by seeing that Kṛṣṇa is happy in every respect. If Kṛṣṇa becomes happy by giving him distress, such a devotee accepts that unhappiness as the greatest of all happiness.

But aren’t we become happy by serving Krishna ? Of course, but that’s not the goal, that is like a by product. Like we say a Vaishnava purifies Tirath but he never thinks that I am going to holy places to purify them.

Srila Prabhupada again stresses in verse 55 that A devotee who is satisfied only with his own sense gratification certainly falls down from the service of Kṛṣṇa.

What should be our Bhava MahaPrabhu says in verse that

“If Kṛṣṇa, attracted by the beauty of some other woman, wants to enjoy with her but is unhappy because He cannot get her, I fall down at her feet, catch her hand and bring her to Kṛṣṇa to engage her for His happiness.

So whenever we find that a particular devotee or devotees serve The Lord very well. Then we must glorify them and make them more enthusiastic in their service to The Lord. Similarly we should in ever other person how his/ her qualification or talent can be used to serve Krishna. We should be on the lowest pedestal always helping others serve Krishna more.

Verse 56

If a gopī envious of Me satisfies Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa desires her, I shall not hesitate to go to her house and become her maid servant, for then My happiness will be awakened.

Srila Prabhupada again stresses in verse 57 that a devotee should engage himself exclusively for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa, without personal motives. That will make his life successful.


Q: What is the behavior of a Vaishnava ?
A: MahaPrabhu tells us in cc antya 20.25 while explaining us Trinad api sinichena….

uttama hañā vaiṣṇava habe nirabhimāna
jīve sammāna dibe jāni’ ‘kṛṣṇa’-adhiṣṭhāna

uttama hañā — although being very much exalted; vaiṣṇava — a devotee; habe — should become; nirabhimāna — without pride; jīve — to all living entities; sammāna dibe — should give respect; jāni’ — knowing; kṛṣṇa-adhiṣṭhāna — the resting place of Kṛṣṇa.

“Although a Vaiṣṇava is the most exalted person, he is prideless and gives all respect to everyone, knowing everyone to be the resting place of Kṛṣṇa.

MahaPrabhu stresses in verse 28 in same continuation

premera svabhāva — yāhāṅ premera sambandha
sei māne, — ‘kṛṣṇe mora nāhi prema-gandha’

premera svabhāva — the nature of love of Godhead; yāhāṅ — where; premera sambandha — a relationship of love of Godhead; sei māne — he recognizes; kṛṣṇe — unto Lord Kṛṣṇa; mora — my; nāhi — there is not; prema-gandha — even a scent of love of Godhead.


Wherever there is a relationship of love of Godhead, its natural symptom is that the devotee does not think himself a devotee. Instead, he always thinks that he has not even a drop of love for Kṛṣṇa.

Q: how should we chant the Mahamantra ?

A MahaPrabhu tells

CC Antya 20.20: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “O Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī and Rāmānanda Rāya, hear from Me the symptoms of how one should chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra to awaken very easily one’s dormant love for Kṛṣṇa.

CC Antya 20.21: “‘One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor but is always prepared to give all respect to others can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.’

CC Antya 20.22: “These are the symptoms of one who chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Although he is very exalted, he thinks himself lower than the grass on the ground, and like a tree, he tolerates everything in two ways.

CC Antya 20.23: “When a tree is cut down, it does not protest, and even when drying up, it does not ask anyone for water.

CC Antya 20.24: “The tree delivers its fruits, flowers and whatever else it possesses to anyone and everyone. It tolerates scorching heat and torrents of rain, yet it still gives shelter to others.

CC Antya 20.25: “Although a Vaiṣṇava is the most exalted person, he is prideless and gives all respect to everyone, knowing everyone to be the resting place of Kṛṣṇa.

CC Antya 20.26: “If one chants the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa in this manner, he will certainly awaken his dormant love for Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet.”

CC Antya 20.27: As Lord Caitanya spoke in this way, His humility increased, and He began praying to Kṛṣṇa that He could discharge pure devotional service.

CC Antya 20.28: Wherever there is a relationship of love of Godhead, its natural symptom is that the devotee does not think himself a devotee. Instead, he always thinks that he has not even a drop of love for Kṛṣṇa.

Q How is Krishna all attractive ?
A.
Ramanand Raya describes

Cc m 8.144

śṛṅgāra-rasarāja-maya-mūrti-dhara
ataeva ātma-paryanta-sarva-citta-hara

śṛṅgāra-rasa-rāja-maya — consisting of the mellow of conjugal love, which is the king of mellows; mūrti-dhara — Kṛṣṇa, the personified reservoir of all pleasure; ataeva — therefore; ātma-paryanta — even up to His own self; sarva — all; citta — of hearts; hara — the attractor.

“Kṛṣṇa is all-attractive for devotees in all mellows because He is the personification of the conjugal mellow. Kṛṣṇa is attractive not only to all the devotees, but to Himself as well.

Next verse no. 145 says
lakṣmī-kāntādi avatārera hare mana
lakṣmī-ādi nārī-gaṇera kare ākarṣaṇa

lakṣmī-kānta-ādi — of the goddess of fortune’s husband (Nārāyaṇa); avatārera — of the incarnation; hare — He enchants; mana — the mind; lakṣmī — the goddess of fortune; ādi — headed by; nārī-gaṇera — of all women; kare — does; ākarṣaṇa — attraction.

“He also attracts Nārāyaṇa, who is the incarnation of Saṅkarṣaṇa and the husband of the goddess of fortune. He attracts not only Nārāyaṇa but also all women, headed by the goddess of fortune, the consort of Nārāyaṇa.

Next verse 146 explains

“[Addressing Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, Lord Mahā-Viṣṇu (the Mahāpuruṣa) said:] ‘I wanted to see both of you, and therefore I have brought the sons of the brāhmaṇa here. Both of you have appeared in the material world to reestablish religious principles, and you have both appeared here with all your potencies. After killing all the demons, please quickly return to the spiritual world.’

This is a quotation from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.89.58) concerning Kṛṣṇa’s endeavor to take Arjuna beyond the material universe when Arjuna was searching for the sons of a brāhmaṇa.

Lord Mahā-Viṣṇu, who is situated beyond this material world, was also attracted by the bodily features of Kṛṣṇa. Mahā-Viṣṇu had actually stolen the sons of the brāhmaṇa in Dvārakā so that Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna would come visit Him. This verse is quoted to show that Kṛṣṇa is so attractive that He attracts Mahā-Viṣṇu.

Verse 148 says
āpana-mādhurye hare āpanāra mana
āpanā āpani cāhe karite āliṅgana

āpana — own; mādhurye — by sweetness; hare — steals; āpanāra — His own; mana — mind; āpanā — Himself; āpani — He; cāhe — wants; karite — to do; āliṅgana — embracing.

“Lord Kṛṣṇa’s sweetness is so attractive that it steals away His own mind. Thus even He wants to embrace Himself.

Verse 149 describes His pastime at Dwarka

“‘Upon seeing His own reflection in a bejeweled pillar of His Dvārakā palace, Kṛṣṇa desired to embrace it, saying, “Alas, I have never seen such a person before. Who is He? Just by seeing Him I have become eager to embrace Him, exactly like Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.”‘”

This is a verse from Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī’s Lalita-mādhava (8.34).

Q how can one be freed from all undesirable habits ?
A. Cc antya 20.11

MahaPrabhu says that

nāma-saṅkīrtana haite sarvānartha-nāśa
sarva-śubhodaya, kṛṣṇa-premera ullāsa

nāma-saṅkīrtana — chanting of the holy names of the Lord; haite — from; sarva-anartha-nāśa — destruction of all undesirable things; sarva-śubha-udaya — awakening of all good fortune; kṛṣṇa-premera ullāsa — the beginning of the flow of love of Kṛṣṇa.

“Simply by chanting the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, one can be freed from all undesirable habits. This is the means of awakening all good fortune and initiating the flow of waves of love for Kṛṣṇa.

Q why does Krishna has 3 main potencies ?
A. Ramananda Raya describes Jin cc m 8.154

sac-cid-ānanda-maya kṛṣṇera svarūpa
ataeva svarūpa-śakti haya tina rūpa

sat-cit-ānanda-maya — eternal bliss and knowledge; kṛṣṇera — of Lord Kṛṣṇa; svarūpa — the real transcendental form; ataeva — therefore; svarūpa-śakti — His spiritual personal potency; haya — is; tina rūpa — three forms.

“Originally Lord Kṛṣṇa is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1], the transcendental form of eternity, bliss and knowledge; therefore His personal potency, the internal potency, has three different forms.

Verse 155 explains

ānandāṁśe ‘hlādinī’, sad-aṁśe ‘sandhinī’
cid-aṁśe ‘samvit’, yāre jñāna kari’ māni

ānanda-aṁśe — in bliss; hlādinī — the pleasure-giving potency; sat-aṁśe — in eternity; sandhinī — the creative potency; cit-aṁśe — in knowledge; samvit — the knowledge potency; yāre — which; jñāna — knowledge; kari’ — taking as; māni — I accept.

“Hlādinī is His aspect of bliss; sandhinī, of eternal existence; and samvit, of cognizance, which is also accepted as knowledge.

Verse 157

kṛṣṇake āhlāde, tā’te nāma — ‘hlādinī’
sei śakti-dvāre sukha āsvāde āpani

“The potency called hlādinī gives Kṛṣṇa transcendental pleasure. Through this pleasure potency, Kṛṣṇa personally tastes all spiritual pleasure.

Q: why Krishna does not feel pain and we feel it as we are also spiritual ?
A:. Ramananda Raya describes in cc m 8.156

hlādinī sandhinī samvit
tvayy ekā sarva-saṁśraye
hlāda-tāpa-karī miśrā
tvayi no guṇa-varjite

“‘My dear Lord, You are the transcendental reservoir of all transcendental qualities. Your pleasure potency, existence potency and knowledge potency are actually all one internal spiritual potency. The conditioned soul, although actually spiritual, sometimes experiences pleasure, sometimes pain and sometimes a mixture of pain and pleasure. This is due to his being touched by matter. But because You are above all material qualities, these are not found in You. Your superior spiritual potency is completely transcendental, and for You there is no such thing as relative pleasure, pleasure mixed with pain, or pain itself.’
This is a quotation from the Viṣṇu Purāṇa (1.12.69).

Q: Does the pleasure relished by devotees is material or transcendental ?
A: Ramananda Raya explains in 157 verse that

“The potency called hlādinī gives Kṛṣṇa transcendental pleasure. Through this pleasure potency, Kṛṣṇa personally tastes all spiritual pleasure.

Then he describes in cc m 8. 158

sukha-rūpa kṛṣṇa kare sukha āsvādana
bhakta-gaṇe sukha dite ‘hlādinī’ — kāraṇa

“Lord Kṛṣṇa tastes all kinds of transcendental happiness, although He Himself is happiness personified. The pleasure relished by His pure devotees is also manifested by His pleasure potency.

Q: What is the best education ?
A: Mahaprabhu ask Ramananda Raya in cc m 8.245

prabhu kahe, — “kon vidyā vidyā-madhye sāra?”
rāya kahe, — “kṛṣṇa-bhakti vinā vidyā nāhi āra”

On one occasion the Lord inquired, “Of all types of education, which is the most important?”

Rāmānanda Rāya replied, “No education is important other than the transcendental devotional service of Kṛṣṇa.”

Srila Prabhupada explains in purport

Texts 245 to 257 are all questions and answers between Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Rāmānanda Rāya. In these exchanges there is an attempt to show the difference between material and spiritual existence. Education in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is always transcendental and is the best of all forms of education.

Material education aims at increasing the activities of material sense gratification. Beyond material sense gratification is another negative form of knowledge called brahma-vidyā, or impersonal transcendental knowledge. But beyond that brahma-vidyā, or knowledge of the impersonal Brahman, is knowledge of devotional service to the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu. This knowledge is higher. And higher still is devotional service to Lord Kṛṣṇa, which is the topmost form of education.

According to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (4.29.49), tat karma hari-toṣaṁ yat sā vidyā tan-matir yayā: “Work meant for pleasing the Supreme Lord is the best, and education that enhances one’s Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the best.”

Sp writes in this verse’s purport that ‘Actually, anything that is done which does not lead to Kṛṣṇa consciousness is a sinful activity, and any education that does not lead one to understand Kṛṣṇa is false education. If Kṛṣṇa consciousness is missing, one is simply engaged in false activities and false educational pursuits.’


Also, according to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (7.5.23-24):

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyam sakhyam ātma-nivedanam
iti puṁsārpitā viṣṇau bhaktiś cen nava-lakṣaṇā
kriyeta bhagavaty addhā tan manye ‘dhītam uttamam

This is a statement given by Prahlāda Mahārāja in answer to a question raised by his father. Prahlāda Mahārāja said, “To hear or chant about Lord Viṣṇu, to remember Him, to serve His lotus feet, to worship Him, to offer prayers to Him, to become His servant and His friend, to sacrifice everything for His service — all these are varieties of devotional service. One who is engaged in such activities is understood to be educated to the topmost perfection.”

Q: which is the most glorious activity for us to aspire for ?

A: Mahaprabhu asks Ramananda Raya in cc m 8. 246

‘kīrti-gaṇa-madhye jīvera kon baḍa kīrti?’
‘kṛṣṇa-bhakta baliyā yāṅhāra haya khyāti’

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then asked Rāmānanda Rāya, “Out of all glorious activities, which is the most glorious?”
Rāmānanda Rāya replied, “That person who is reputed to be a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa enjoys the utmost fame and glory.”

The greatest reputation a living being can have is to be a devotee of Kṛṣṇa and to act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In the material world everyone is trying to be famous by accumulating a large bank balance or material opulence. There is a steady competition among karmīs attempting to advance in a wealthy society. The whole world is turning in accordance with that competitive mood. But this kind of name and fame is temporary, for it lasts only as long as the temporary material body exists. One may become famous as a brahma-jñānī, an impersonalist scholar, or one may become a materially opulent person. In either case, such reputations are inferior to the reputation of Kṛṣṇa’s devotee.

In the Garuḍa Purāṇa it is said:
kalau bhāgavataṁ nāma durlabhaṁ naiva labhyate
brahma-rudra-padotkṛṣṭaṁ guruṇā kathitaṁ mama

“In this Age of Kali, the fame of one who is known as a great devotee is very rare. However, such a position is superior to that of the great demigods like Brahmā and Mahādeva. This is the opinion of all spiritual masters.”

In the Itihāsa-samuccaya, Nārada tells Puṇḍarīka:
janmāntara-sahasreṣu yasya syād buddhir īdṛśī
dāso ‘haṁ vāsudevasya sarvāl lokān samuddharet

“After many, many births, when a person realizes that he is the eternal servant of Vāsudeva, he can deliver all the worlds.”

In the Ādi Purāṇa, in a conversation between Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, it is said, bhaktānām anugacchanti muktayaḥ śrutibhiḥ saha: “The most exalted position of liberation is given by Vedic knowledge. Everyone follows in the footsteps of the devotee.”

Similarly, in the Bṛhan-nāradīya Purāṇa it is further stated,
adyāpi ca muni-śreṣṭhā brahmādyā api devatāḥ:

“Until now, even the great demigods like Brahmā and Lord Śiva did not know the influence of a devotee.”

The Garuḍa Purāṇa similarly states:

brāhmaṇānāṁ sahasrebhyaḥ satra-yājī viśiṣyate
satra-yājī-sahasrebhyaḥ sarva-vedānta-pāragaḥ
sarva-vedānta-vit-koṭyā viṣṇu-bhakto viśiṣyate
vaiṣṇavānāṁ sahasrebhya ekānty eko viśiṣyate

“It is said that out of thousands of brāhmaṇas, one is qualified to perform sacrifices, and out of many thousands of such qualified brāhmaṇas expert in sacrificial offerings, one learned brāhmaṇa may have passed beyond all Vedic knowledge. He is considered the best among all these brāhmaṇas. And yet, out of thousands of such brāhmaṇas who have surpassed Vedic knowledge, one person may be a viṣṇu-bhakta, and he is most famous. Out of many thousands of such Vaiṣṇavas, one who is completely fixed in the service of Lord Kṛṣṇa is most famous. Indeed, a person who is completely devoted to the service of the Lord certainly returns home, back to Godhead.”

There is also the following statement in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.13.4):
śrutasya puṁsāṁ sucira-śramasya
nanv añjasā sūribhir īḍito ‘rthaḥ
tat-tad-guṇānuśravaṇaṁ mukunda-
pādāravindaṁ hṛdayeṣu yeṣām

“After much hard labor, a person highly learned in Vedic literature certainly becomes very famous. However, one who is always hearing and chanting the glories of the lotus feet of Mukunda within his heart is certainly superior.”

In the Nārāyaṇa-vyūha-stava it is said:
nāhaṁ brahmāpi bhūyāsaṁ tvad-bhakti-rahito hare
tvayi bhaktas tu kīṭo ‘pi bhūyāsaṁ janma-janmasu

“I do not aspire to take birth as a Brahmā if that Brahmā is not a devotee of the Lord. I shall be satisfied simply to take birth as an insect if I am given a chance to remain in the house of a devotee,”

There are many similar verses in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, especially 3.25.38, 4.24.29, 4.31.22, 7.9.24, and 10.14.30.

It was Lord Śiva who said, “I do not know the truth about Kṛṣṇa, but a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa knows all the truth.

Out of all the devotees of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Prahlāda is the greatest.”

Above Prahlāda, the Pāṇḍavas are supposedly more advanced.
Above the Pāṇḍavas are the members of the Yadu dynasty, who are even more advanced.
In the Yadu dynasty, Uddhava is the furthest advanced,
and above Uddhava are the damsels of Vraja-dhāma, the gopīs themselves.

In the Bṛhad-vāmana Purāṇa, Lord Brahmā tells Bhṛgu:
ṣaṣṭi-varṣa-sahasrāṇi mayā taptaṁ tapaḥ purā
nanda-gopa-vraja-strīṇāṁ pāda-reṇūpalabdhaye

“I underwent meditation and austerities for sixty thousand years just to understand the dust of the lotus feet of the gopīs. Still, I could not understand it. To say nothing of me, even Lord Śiva, Lord Śeṣa and the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, could not understand it.”

In the Ādi Purāṇa the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself says:
na tathā me priyatamo brahmā rudraś ca pārthiva
na ca lakṣmīr na cātmā ca yathā gopī-jano mama

“Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva, the goddess of fortune and even My own self are not as dear to Me as the gopīs.”

Of all the gopīs, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is the topmost.

Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī are the most exalted servitors of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Those who adhere to their service are known as rūpānuga devotees. The Caitanya-candrāmṛta (26) gives the following statement about Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī:

The qualities of one engaged in the service of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu — such as reputation, austerities, penances and knowledge — are not to be compared to the good qualities of others. Such is the perfection of a devotee always engaged in the service of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Q. What is most painful pain ?

A: Mahaprabhu asks Ramananda Raya in cc m 8. 248

‘duḥkha-madhye kona duḥkha haya gurutara?’
‘kṛṣṇa-bhakta-viraha vinā duḥkha nāhi dekhi para

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked, “Of all kinds of distress, what is the most painful?”
Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya replied, “Apart from separation from the devotee of Kṛṣṇa, I know of no unbearable unhappiness.”

Concerning this, the Lord states in the Vedic literature:
mām anārādhya duḥkhārtaḥ kuṭumbāsakta-mānasaḥ
sat-saṅga-rahito martyo vṛddha-sevā-paricyutaḥ

“A person who does not worship Me, who is unduly attached to family and who does not stick to devotional service must be considered a most unhappy person. Similarly, one who does not associate with Vaiṣṇavas, or who does not render service to his superior, is also a most unhappy person.”

There is also the following statement in the Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta (1.5.44):
sva-jīvanādhikaṁ prārthyaṁ śrī-viṣṇu-jana-saṅgataḥ
vicchedena kṣaṇaṁ cātra na sukhāṁśaṁ labhāmahe

“Out of all kinds of desirable things experienced in the life of a living entity, association with the devotees of the Lord is the greatest. When we are separated from a devotee even for a moment, we cannot enjoy happiness.”

Q: Who is most rich person ?

A: Mahaprabhu asks Ramananda Raya in cc m 8. 247

‘sampattira madhye jīvera kon sampatti gaṇi?’
‘rādhā-kṛṣṇe prema yāṅra, sei baḍa dhanī’

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked, “Of the many capitalists who possess great riches, who is the topmost?”
Rāmānanda Rāya replied, “He who is richest in love for Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa is the greatest capitalist.”

Srila Prabhupada explains in its purport

Everyone in this material world is attempting to acquire riches to satisfy the senses. Actually no one cares for anything other than acquiring material possessions and maintaining them. The wealthy are generally accepted as the most important personalities in this material world, but when we compare a material man of wealth to one wealthy in devotional service to Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, the latter is found to be the greatest capitalist.

According to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.39.2):
kim alabhyaṁ bhagavati prasanne śrī-niketane
tathāpi tat-parā rājan na hi vāñchanti kiñcana

“What is difficult for the devotees of Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is the shelter of the goddess of fortune? Although such devotees can obtain anything, O King, they do not desire anything.”

Q: who should be accepted as the greatest among liberated ?

A: Mahaprabhu asks Ramananda Raya in cc m 8. 249

‘mukta-madhye kon jīva mukta kari’ māni?’
‘kṛṣṇa-prema yāṅra, sei mukta-śiromaṇi’

mukta-madhye — among the liberated; kon — what; jīva — living entity; mukta — liberated; kari’ — considering as; māni — We accept; kṛṣṇa-prema — one who loves Kṛṣṇa; yāṅra — of whom; sei — such a person; mukta-śiromaṇi — the topmost of all liberated souls.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then inquired, “Out of all liberated persons, who should be accepted as the greatest?”
Rāmānanda Rāya replied, “He who has love for Kṛṣṇa has attained the topmost liberation.”

Srila Prabhupada explains in purport

In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (6.14.5), it is said:
muktānām api siddhānāṁ nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇaḥ
su-durlabhaḥ praśāntātmā kotiṣv api mahā-mune

“O great sage, of the many millions of liberated persons and of the millions who have attained perfection, he who is a devotee of Lord Nārāyaṇa is very, very rare. Indeed, he is the most perfect and peaceful person.”

Q: who should be accepted as the greatest among liberated ?

A: Mahaprabhu asks Ramananda Raya in cc m 8. 249

‘mukta-madhye kon jīva mukta kari’ māni?’
‘kṛṣṇa-prema yāṅra, sei mukta-śiromaṇi’

mukta-madhye — among the liberated; kon — what; jīva — living entity; mukta — liberated; kari’ — considering as; māni — We accept; kṛṣṇa-prema — one who loves Kṛṣṇa; yāṅra — of whom; sei — such a person; mukta-śiromaṇi — the topmost of all liberated souls.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then inquired, “Out of all liberated persons, who should be accepted as the greatest?”
Rāmānanda Rāya replied, “He who has love for Kṛṣṇa has attained the topmost liberation.”

Srila Prabhupada explains in purport

In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (6.14.5), it is said:
muktānām api siddhānāṁ nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇaḥ
su-durlabhaḥ praśāntātmā kotiṣv api mahā-mune

“O great sage, of the many millions of liberated persons and of the millions who have attained perfection, he who is a devotee of Lord Nārāyaṇa is very, very rare. Indeed, he is the most perfect and peaceful person.”

Q: Which is the best song ?
A: Mahaprabhu asks Ramananda Raya in cc m 8. 250

‘gāna-madhye kona gāna — jīvera nija dharma?’
‘rādhā-kṛṣṇera prema-keli’ — yei gītera marma

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu next asked Rāmānanda Rāya, “Among many songs, which song is to be considered the actual religion of the living entity?”
Rāmānanda Rāya replied, “That song describing the loving affairs of Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa is superior to all other songs.”

Srila Prabhupada explains in purport

As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.33.36):
anugrahāya bhaktānāṁ mānuṣaṁ deham āsthitaḥ
bhajate tādṛśīḥ krīḍā yāḥ śrutvā tat-paro bhavet

“Lord Kṛṣṇa descends apparently as a human being, and He exhibits His transcendental pastimes in Vṛndāvana so that the conditioned soul may be attracted to hearing His transcendental activities.”

Nondevotees are strictly prohibited from participating in songs celebrating the loving affairs of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Unless one is a devotee, it is very dangerous to hear the songs about the pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa that were written by Jayadeva Gosvāmī, Caṇḍīdāsa and other exalted devotees. Lord Śiva drank an ocean of poison, but one should not imitate this. One must first become a pure devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Only then can one enjoy hearing the songs of Jayadeva and relish transcendental bliss. If one simply imitates the activities of Lord Śiva and drinks poison, one will certainly meet with death.

The talks between Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Rāmānanda Rāya are meant for advanced devotees only. Those who are on the mundane platform and who study these talks in order to put forward some thesis for a Ph.D. will not be able to understand them. Instead, these conversations will have a poisonous effect.

Q: which is the most auspicious and beneficial activity for us ?

A: Mahaprabhu asks Ramananda Raya in cc m 8. 251

‘śreyo-madhye kona śreyaḥ jīvera haya sāra?’
‘kṛṣṇa-bhakta-saṅga vinā śreyaḥ nāhi āra’

Then Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked, “Out of all auspicious and beneficial activities, which is best for the living entity?”
Rāmānanda Rāya replied, “The only auspicious activity is association with the devotees of Kṛṣṇa.”

Srila Prabhupada explains

According to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.2.30):
ata ātyantikaṁ kṣemaṁ pṛcchāmo bhavato ‘naghāḥ
saṁsāre ‘smin kṣaṇārdho ‘pi sat-saṅgaḥ śevadhir nṛṇām

“We are asking you to tell us what is the most perfect welfare activity. I think that in this material world, association with devotees — even if it be for a moment — is the greatest treasure house for mankind.”

Comments by senior devotees

The materially conditioned souls spend their days and nights discussing various topics of sense gratification. They never find time to hear about transcendental knowledge. But if even only briefly or accidentally they hear hari-kathā, topics of Kṛṣṇa, in the association of pure devotees of the Lord, their propensity to suffer in material existence will slacken. When one sees liberated persons, hears about Kṛṣṇa from them, remembers their saintly behavior and so on, one’s tendency to bind himself in the illusion of sense gratification is diminished, and he becomes eager to serve the Supreme Lord.

Q: what should we constantly remember ?

A: Mahaprabhu asks Ramananda Raya in cc m 8. 252

‘kāṅhāra smaraṇa jīva karibe anukṣaṇa?’
‘kṛṣṇa’-nāma-guṇa-līlā — pradhāna smaraṇa’

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked, “What should all living entities constantly remember?”
Rāmānanda Rāya replied, “The chief objects of remembrance are always the Lord’s holy name, qualities and pastimes.”

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.2.36) states:
tasmāt sarvātmanā rājan hariḥ sarvatra sarvadā
śrotavyaḥ kīrtitavyaś ca smartavyo bhagavān nṛṇām

Śukadeva Gosvāmī concludes, “The business of the living entity is to always remember the Supreme Personality of Godhead in every circumstance. The Lord should be heard about, glorified and remembered by all human beings.”

Q: what is the best form of meditation ?

A: Mahaprabhu asks Ramananda Raya in cc m 8. 253

‘dhyeya-madhye jīvera kartavya kon dhyāna?’
‘rādhā-kṛṣṇa-padāmbuja-dhyāna — pradhāna’

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu further inquired, “Out of many types of meditation, which is required for all living entities?”
Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya replied, “The chief duty of every living entity is to meditate upon the lotus feet of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.”

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.14) states:
tasmād ekena manasā bhagavān sātvatāṁ patiḥ
śrotavyaḥ kīrtitavyaś ca dhyeyaḥ pūjyaś ca nityadā

Sūta Gosvāmī replied to the sages headed by Śaunaka, “Everyone should very attentively listen to the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One should glorify His activities and meditate upon Him regularly.”

Q: what is the destination of those who desire liberation and those who desire sense gratification?

A: Mahaprabhu asks Ramananda Raya in cc m 8. 257

‘mukti, bhukti vāñche yei, kāhāṅ duṅhāra gati?’
‘sthāvara-deha, deva-deha yaiche avasthiti’

mukti — liberation; bhukti — sense enjoyment; vāñche — desires; yei — one who; kāhāṅ — where; duṅhāra — of both of them; gati — the destination; sthāvara-deha — the body of a tree; deva-deha — the body of a demigod; yaiche — just as; avasthiti — situated.

“And what is the destination of those who desire liberation and those who desire sense gratification?” Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked.
Rāmānanda Rāya replied, “Those who attempt to merge into the existence of the Supreme Lord will have to accept bodies like those of trees. And those who are overly inclined toward sense gratification will attain the bodies of demigods.”

Srila Prabhupada explains

Those who desire liberation by merging into the existence of God do not desire sense gratification within the material world. On the other hand, they have no information about serving the lotus feet of the Lord. Consequently, they are doomed to stand like trees for many thousands of years. Although trees are living entities, they are nonmoving. The liberated soul who merges into the existence of the Lord is no better than the trees. Trees also stand in the Lord’s existence because material energy and the Lord’s energy are the same. Similarly, the Brahman effulgence is also the energy of the Supreme Lord. It is the same whether one remains in the Brahman effulgence or in the material energy because in neither is there spiritual activity. Better situated are those who desire sense gratification and promotion to the heavenly planets. Such people want to enjoy themselves like denizens of heaven in the gardens of paradise. They at least retain their individuality in order to enjoy life. But the impersonalists, who try to lose their individuality, also lose both material and spiritual pleasure. The last destination of the Buddhist philosophers is to become just like a stone, which is immovable and has neither material nor spiritual activity.

Q: how should we introduce ourselves ?
A. Mahaprabhu asks Ramananda Raya in cc m 8.21

tathāpi puchila, — tumi rāya rāmānanda?
teṅho kahe, — sei haṅa dāsa śūdra manda

tathāpi — still; puchila — He inquired; tumi — you; rāya rāmānanda — Rāmānanda Rāya; teṅho kahe — he replied; sei haṅa — I am that; dāsa — servant; śūdra — belonging to the śūdra community; manda — very low.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then inquired whether he was Rāmānanda Rāya, and he replied, “Yes, I am Your very low servant, and I belong to the śūdra community.”

Sri Ramananda Raya was at that time Governor of Madras, a highly learned and grave person, a mahā-paṇḍita. And otherwise he was an incarnation of the gopī Viśākhā, a principal gopī assisting Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.

Q: Who is the most worshipable object ?

A: Mahaprabhu asks Ramananda Raya in cc m 8. 256

‘upāsyera madhye kon upāsya pradhāna?’
‘śreṣṭha upāsya — yugala ‘rādhā-kṛṣṇa’ nāma’

upāsyera — objects of worship; madhye — among; kon — which; upāsya — worshipable object; pradhāna — the chief; śreṣṭha — the chief; upāsya — worshipable object; yugala — the couple; rādhā-kṛṣṇa nāma — the holy name of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, or Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked, “Among all worshipable objects, which is the chief?”
Rāmānanda Rāya replied, “The chief worshipable object is the holy name of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.”

Srila Prabhupada explains

According to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (6.3.22):
etāvān eva loke ‘smin puṁsāṁ dharmaḥ paraḥ smṛtaḥ
bhakti-yogo bhagavati tan-nāma-grahaṇādibhiḥ

“In this material world the living entity’s only business is to accept the path of bhakti-yoga and chant the holy name of the Lord.”

Q: What is the benefit of Nama sankirtan ?
A. MahaPrabhu speaks in Cc antya 20 8-12 to RR and Swarup Damodar

CC Antya 20.8: In great jubilation, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “My dear Svarūpa Dāmodara and Rāmānanda Rāya, know from Me that chanting the holy names is the most feasible means of salvation in this Age of Kali.

CC Antya 20.9: “In this Age of Kali, the process of worshiping Kṛṣṇa is to perform sacrifice by chanting the holy name of the Lord. One who does so is certainly very intelligent, and he attains shelter at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa.

CC Antya 20.10: “‘In the Age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the name of Kṛṣṇa. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Kṛṣṇa Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions.’

CC Antya 20.11: “Simply by chanting the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, one can be freed from all undesirable habits. This is the means of awakening all good fortune and initiating the flow of waves of love for Kṛṣṇa.

CC Antya 20.12: “‘Let there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, which can cleanse the mirror of the heart and stop the miseries of the blazing fire of material existence. That chanting is the waxing moon that spreads the white lotus of good fortune for all living entities. It is the life and soul of all education. The chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa expands the blissful ocean of transcendental life. It gives a cooling effect to everyone and enables one to taste full nectar at every step.’

“By performing congregational chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, one can destroy the sinful condition of material existence, purify the unclean heart and awaken all varieties of devotional service.

“The result of chanting is that one awakens his love for Kṛṣṇa and tastes transcendental bliss. Ultimately, one attains the association of Kṛṣṇa and engages in His devotional service, as if immersing himself in a great ocean of love.”

Q: how should we chant the Mahamantra ?

A MahaPrabhu tells

CC Antya 20.20: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “O Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī and Rāmānanda Rāya, hear from Me the symptoms of how one should chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra to awaken very easily one’s dormant love for Kṛṣṇa.

CC Antya 20.21: “‘One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor but is always prepared to give all respect to others can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.’

CC Antya 20.22: “These are the symptoms of one who chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Although he is very exalted, he thinks himself lower than the grass on the ground, and like a tree, he tolerates everything in two ways.

CC Antya 20.23: “When a tree is cut down, it does not protest, and even when drying up, it does not ask anyone for water.

CC Antya 20.24: “The tree delivers its fruits, flowers and whatever else it possesses to anyone and everyone. It tolerates scorching heat and torrents of rain, yet it still gives shelter to others.

CC Antya 20.25: “Although a Vaiṣṇava is the most exalted person, he is prideless and gives all respect to everyone, knowing everyone to be the resting place of Kṛṣṇa.

CC Antya 20.26: “If one chants the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa in this manner, he will certainly awaken his dormant love for Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet.”

CC Antya 20.27: As Lord Caitanya spoke in this way, His humility increased, and He began praying to Kṛṣṇa that He could discharge pure devotional service.

CC Antya 20.28: Wherever there is a relationship of love of Godhead, its natural symptom is that the devotee does not think himself a devotee. Instead, he always thinks that he has not even a drop of love for Kṛṣṇa.

Q: Are living entities and God are one ?

And : No, it’s is a faulty conclusion

Cc m 19.143

aparimitā dhruvās tanu-bhṛto yadi sarva-gatās
tarhi na śāsyateti niyamo dhruva netarathā
ajani ca yan-mayaṁ tad avimucya niyantṛ bhavet
samam anujānatāṁ yad amataṁ mata-duṣṭatayā

“‘O Lord, although the living entities who have accepted material bodies are spiritual and unlimited in number, if they were all-pervading there would be no question of their being under Your control. If they are accepted, however, as particles of the eternally existing spiritual entity — as part of You, who are the supreme spirit whole — we must conclude that they are always under Your control. If the living entities are simply satisfied with being identical with You as spiritual particles, then they will be happy being controllers of so many things. The conclusion that the living entities and the Supreme Personality of Godhead are one and the same is a faulty conclusion. It is not a fact.’

This verse, which is also from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.87.30), was spoken by the personified Vedas.

Q: What are three level of devotees ?

Ans Mahāprabhu teaches Sri Sanatan Goswami

CC Madhya 22.64: “A faithful devotee is a truly eligible candidate for the loving service of the Lord. According to one’s faith, one is classified as a topmost devotee, an intermediate devotee or an inferior devotee.

Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport that
The word śraddhāvān (faithful) means understanding Kṛṣṇa to be the summum bonum — the eternal truth and absolute transcendence. If one has full faith in Kṛṣṇa and confidence in Him, one becomes eligible to discharge devotional service confidentially. According to one’s faith, one is a topmost, intermediate or inferior devotee.

CC Madhya 22.65: “One who is expert in logic, argument and the revealed scriptures and who has firm faith in Kṛṣṇa is classified as a topmost devotee. He can deliver the whole world.

CC Madhya 22.66: “‘One who is expert in logic and in understanding the revealed scriptures, and who always has firm conviction and deep faith that is not blind, is to be considered a topmost devotee in devotional service.’

CC Madhya 22.67: “One who is not very expert in argument and logic based on the revealed scriptures but who has firm faith is considered a second-class devotee. He also must be considered most fortunate.

CC Madhya 22.68: “‘He who does not know scriptural argument very well but who has firm faith is called an intermediate or second-class devotee.’

CC Madhya 22.69: “One whose faith is soft and pliable is called a neophyte, but by gradually following the process he will rise to the platform of a first-class devotee.

CC Madhya 22.70: “‘One whose faith is not very strong, who is just beginning, should be considered a neophyte devotee.’

Q : describe the qualities of the above devotees at three levels
Ans :

CC Madhya 22.71: “A devotee is considered superlative or superior according to his attachment and love. In the Eleventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the following symptoms have been given.

CC Madhya 22.72: “‘A person advanced in devotional service sees within everything the soul of souls, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Consequently he always sees the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the cause of all causes and understands that all things are situated in Him. (SB 11.2.45)

CC Madhya 22.73: “‘An intermediate, second-class devotee shows love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is friendly to all devotees and is very merciful to neophytes and ignorant people. The intermediate devotee neglects those who are envious of devotional service. (SB 11.2.46)

CC Madhya 22.74: “‘A prākṛta-bhakta, or materialistic devotee, does not purposefully study the śāstra and try to understand the actual standard of pure devotional service. Consequently he does not show proper respect to advanced devotees. He may, however, follow the regulative principles learned from his spiritual master or from his family who worships the Deity. He is to be considered on the material platform, although he is trying to advance in devotional service. Such a person is a bhakta-prāya [neophyte devotee], or bhaktābhāsa, for he is a little enlightened by Vaiṣṇava philosophy.’ (SB 11.2.47)

A: Where does a Vaishnava stands ?
Ans:

CC Madhya 22.75: “A Vaiṣṇava is one who has developed all good transcendental qualities. All the good qualities of Kṛṣṇa gradually develop in Kṛṣṇa’s devotee.

CC Madhya 22.76: “‘In one who has unflinching devotional faith in Kṛṣṇa, all the good qualities of Kṛṣṇa and the demigods are consistently manifest. However, he who has no devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead has no good qualifications because he is engaged by mental concoction in material existence, which is the external feature of the Lord.’

Q: How does Bhakti appear in someone’s life?

CC Madhya 22.45: Mahāprabhu teaches Sri Sanatan Goswami the process of devotional service.

kona bhāgye kāro saṁsāra kṣayonmukha haya
sādhu-saṅge tabe kṛṣṇe rati upajaya

“By good fortune one becomes eligible to cross the ocean of nescience, and when one’s term of material existence decreases, one may get an opportunity to associate with pure devotees. By such association, one’s attraction to Kṛṣṇa is awakened.

Purport
Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura explains this point. Is this bhāgya (fortune) the result of an accident or something else? In the scriptures, devotional service and pious activity are considered fortunate. Pious activities can be divided into three categories: pious activities that awaken one’s dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness are called bhakty-unmukhī sukṛti, pious activities that bestow material opulence are called bhogonmukhī sukṛti, and pious activities that enable the living entity to merge into the existence of the Supreme are called mokṣonmukhī sukṛti. These last two awards of pious activity are not actually fortunate. Pious activities are fortunate when they help one become Kṛṣṇa conscious. The good fortune of bhakty-unmukhī is attainable only when one comes in contact with a devotee. By associating with a devotee willingly or unwillingly, one advances in devotional service, and thus one’s dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness is awakened.

CC Madhya 22.46: “‘O my Lord! O infallible Supreme Person! When a person wandering throughout the universes becomes eligible for liberation from material existence, he gets an opportunity to associate with devotees. When he associates with devotees, his attraction for You is awakened. You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the highest goal of the topmost devotees and the Lord of the universe.’

CC Madhya 22.47: “Kṛṣṇa is situated in everyone’s heart as the caittya-guru, the spiritual master within. When He is kind to some fortunate conditioned soul, He personally gives him lessons so he can progress in devotional service, instructing the person as the Supersoul within and the spiritual master without.

CC Madhya 22.48: “‘O my Lord! Transcendental poets and experts in spiritual science could not fully express their indebtedness to You, even if they were endowed with the prolonged lifetime of Brahmā, for You appear in two features — externally as the ācārya and internally as the Supersoul — to deliver the embodied living being by directing him how to come to You.’

CC Madhya 22.49: “By associating with a devotee, one awakens his faith in devotional service to Kṛṣṇa. Because of devotional service, one’s dormant love for Kṛṣṇa awakens, and thus one’s material, conditioned existence comes to an end.

CC Madhya 22.50: “‘Somehow or other, if one is attracted to talks about Me and has faith in the instructions I have set forth in the Bhagavad-gītā, and if one is neither falsely detached from material things nor very much attracted to material existence, his dormant love for Me will be awakened by devotional service.’

CC Madhya 22.51: “Unless one is favored by a pure devotee, one cannot attain the platform of devotional service. To say nothing of kṛṣṇa-bhakti, one cannot even be relieved from the bondage of material existence.

CC Madhya 22.52: “‘O King Rahūgaṇa, without taking upon one’s head the dust from the lotus feet of a pure devotee [a mahājana or mahātmā], one cannot attain devotional service. Devotional service is not possible to attain simply by undergoing severe austerities and penances, by gorgeously worshiping the Deity, or by strictly following the rules and regulations of the sannyāsa or gṛhastha order; nor is it attained by studying the Vedas, submerging oneself in water, or exposing oneself to fire or scorching sunlight.’

CC Madhya 22.53: “‘Unless human society accepts the dust of the lotus feet of great mahātmās — devotees who have nothing to do with material possessions — mankind cannot turn its attention to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. Those lotus feet vanquish all the unwanted, miserable conditions of material life.’

CC Madhya 22.54: “The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment’s association with a pure devotee, one can attain all success.
CC Madhya 22.55: “‘The value of a moment’s association with a devotee of the Lord cannot be compared even to the attainment of the heavenly planets or liberation from matter, and what to speak of worldly benedictions in the form of material prosperity, which is for those who are meant for death.’

Q: Does a Raganuga devotee shows his symptoms externally ?

A: No

Cc madhya 22.156-157

bāhya, antara, — ihāra dui ta’ sādhana
‘bāhye’ sādhaka-dehe kare śravaṇa-kīrtana
‘mane’ nija-siddha-deha kariyā bhāvana
rātri-dine kare vraje kṛṣṇera sevana

.
“There are two processes by which one may execute this rāgānugā bhakti — external and internal. When self-realized, the advanced devotee externally remains like a neophyte and executes all the śāstric injunctions, especially those concerning hearing and chanting. But within his mind, in his original, purified, self-realized position, he serves Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana in his particular way. He serves Kṛṣṇa twenty-four hours a day, all day and night.

Q: When it’s said that time destroy everyone, does it include devotees also ?
A:

CC Madhya 22.162: “‘My dear mother, Devahūti! O emblem of peace! My weapon, the disc of time, never vanquishes those for whom I am very dear — for whom I am the Supersoul, son, friend, spiritual master, well-wisher, worshipable Deity and desired goal. Since the devotees are always attached to Me, they are never vanquished by the agents of time.’

Q: Does a devotee need to cultivate the path of knowledge and renunciation as a separate endeavour ?

A: No

CC Madhya 22.145: “The path of speculative knowledge and renunciation is not essential for devotional service. Indeed, good qualities such as nonviolence and control of the mind and senses automatically accompany a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Sometimes a neophyte devotee or ordinary person thinks highly of speculative knowledge, austerity, penances and renunciation, thinking them the only path for advancement in devotional service. Actually this is not a fact. The path of knowledge, mystic yoga and renunciation has nothing to do with the pure soul.

In the material world, such activities end in material enjoyment or merging into the effulgence of the Supreme. They have nothing to do with the eternal loving service of the Lord. If one abandons speculative knowledge and simply engages in devotional service, he has attained his perfection. The devotee has no need for speculative knowledge, pious activity or mystic yoga. All these are automatically present when one renders the Lord transcendental loving service.

CC Madhya 22.146: “‘For one who is fully engaged in My devotional service, whose mind is fixed on Me in bhakti-yoga, the path of speculative knowledge and dry renunciation is not very beneficial.’

Srila Prabhupada writes that ‘ The path of devotional service is always independent of other activity. The path of speculative knowledge and mystic yoga may be a little beneficial in the beginning, but it cannot be considered part of devotional service.

This verse (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.20.31) was spoken by Lord Kṛṣṇa when He was speaking to Uddhava before His departure from this material world. These are important instructions given directly by Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Kṛṣṇa explains to Uddhava that the mechanical process of speculative knowledge and yoga is not necessary for advancing in devotional service. Devotional service is completely spiritual; it has nothing to do with material things. It is awakened by hearing and chanting in the association of devotees. Because devotional service is always transcendental, it has nothing to do with material activity.’

CC Madhya 22.147: “‘O hunter, good qualities like nonviolence, which you have developed, are not very astonishing, for those who are engaged in the Lord’s devotional service are never inclined to give pain to others because of envy.’

(This is a quotation from the Skanda Purāṇa. It was spoken by Nārada Muni to the reformed hunter Mṛgāri.)

Q: Does a devotee has to pay his debt to devas, forefathers, etc ?

A: No.

CC Madhya 22.140: “If a person gives up all material desires and completely engages in the transcendental loving service of Kṛṣṇa, as enjoined in the revealed scriptures, he is never indebted to the demigods, sages or forefathers.

Srila Prabhupada explains in his purport that after birth, every man is indebted in so many ways.

He is indebted to the demigods for their supplying necessities like air, light and water.

When one takes advantage of the Vedic literatures, one becomes indebted to great sages like Vyāsadeva, Nārada, Devala and Asita.

When one takes birth in a particular family, he becomes indebted to his forefathers.

We are even indebted to common living entities like cows, from whom we take milk. Because we accept service from so many animals, we become indebted.

However, if one is completely engaged in the Lord’s devotional service, he is absolved of all debts. This is confirmed in the following verse, quoted from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.5.41).

CC Madhya 22.141: “‘One who has given up all material duties and taken full shelter at the lotus feet of Mukunda, who gives shelter to all, is not indebted to the demigods, great sages, ordinary living beings, relatives, friends, mankind or even his forefathers who have passed away.’

Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport.

It is said:

adhyāpanaṁ brahma-yajñaḥ pitṛ-yajñas tu tarpaṇam
homo daivo balir bhauto nṛ-yajño ‘tithi-pūjanam

“By offering oblations with ghee, one satisfies the demigods.

By studying the Vedas, one performs brahma-yajña, which satisfies the great sages.

Offering libations of water before one’s forefathers is called pitṛ-yajña.

By offering tribute, one performs bhūta-yajña.

By properly receiving guests, one performs nṛ-yajña.

” These are the five yajñas that liquidate the five kinds of indebtedness — indebtedness to the demigods, great sages, forefathers, living entities and common men. Therefore one has to perform these five kinds of yajñas.

But when one takes to the saṅkīrtana-yajña (the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra), one does not have to perform any other yajña. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Nārada Muni made a statement about the systematic performance of bhāgavata-dharma in connection with statements previously made by the nine Yogendras before Mahārāja Nimi. The sage Karabhājana Ṛṣi explained the four incarnations of the four yugas, and at the end, in this verse (text 141), he explained the position of Kṛṣṇa’s pure devotee and how he is absolved of all debts.

Q: When awe and reverence is prominent, does it effect our love of Godhead ? Give two examples.

A: MahaPrabhu while teaching Rupa Goswami tells us in cc m 9.194

When opulence is very prominent, love of Godhead is somewhat crippled.

MahaPrabhu in verse 196 give the example that “When Kṛṣṇa offered prayers at the lotus feet of His mother and father, Vasudeva and Devakī, they both felt awe, reverence and fear due to knowledge of His opulences.” Adds verse 197 “they became fearful and did not embrace Them”

Srila Prabhupada writes that “Both the father and the mother wanted to embrace their sons, but they understood that Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and they therefore hesitated to embrace Them. Their parental love for Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma was therefore hampered and decreased by awe and reverence.”

When Kṛṣṇa manifested His universal form, Arjuna became reverent and fearful, and he begged forgiveness for his past impudence toward Kṛṣṇa as a friend. BG 11.41-42

Q: Where can on find Pure attachment for Krishna without awe and reverence ?

A: MahaPrabhu teaches Rupa Goswami in cc m 19.193

Pure attachment without reverence is found in Gokula Vṛndāvana. Attachment in which awe and reverence are prominent is found in the two cities Mathurā and Dvārakā and in Vaikuṇṭha.

Q: How is a Krishna devotee rare soul ?
A: MahaPrabhu teaches Rupa Goswami that

CC Madhya 19.146: “Among human beings, those who are followers of the Vedic principles are considered civilized. Among these, almost half simply give lip service while committing all kinds of sinful activities against these principles. Such people do not care for the regulative principles.

CC Madhya 19.147: “Among the followers of Vedic knowledge, most are following the process of fruitive activity and distinguishing between good and bad work. Out of many such sincere fruitive actors, there may be one who is actually wise.

CC Madhya 19.148: “Out of many millions of such wise men, one may actually become liberated [mukta], and out of many millions of such liberated persons, a pure devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa is very difficult to find.

Lord Krishna also says in Bhagavad Gita 7.19

bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ

After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.

Q: How do we surrender to Krishna and save ourself from Maya.

Mahāprabhu teaches Sri Sanatan Goswami

CC Madhya 22.31: “Kṛṣṇa is compared to sunshine, and māyā is compared to darkness. Wherever there is sunshine, there cannot be darkness. As soon as one takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the darkness of illusion (the influence of the external energy) will immediately vanish.

CC Madhya 22.32: “‘The external illusory energy of Kṛṣṇa, known as māyā, is always ashamed to stand in front of Kṛṣṇa, just as darkness is ashamed to remain before the sunshine. However, that māyā bewilders unfortunate people who have no intelligence. Thus they simply boast that this material world is theirs and that they are its enjoyers.’

CC Madhya 22.33: “One is immediately freed from the clutches of māyā if he seriously and sincerely says, ‘My dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, although I have forgotten You for so many long years in the material world, today I am surrendering unto You. I am Your sincere and serious servant. Please engage me in Your service.’

CC Madhya 22.34: “‘It is My vow that if one only once seriously surrenders unto Me, saying “My dear Lord, from this day I am Yours,” and prays to Me for courage, I shall immediately award courage to that person, and he will always remain safe from that time on.’

CC Madhya 22.35: “Due to bad association, the living entity desires material happiness, liberation or merging into the impersonal aspect of the Lord, or he engages in mystic yoga for material power. If such a person actually becomes intelligent, he takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness by engaging himself in intense devotional service to Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

CC Madhya 22.36: “‘Whether one desires everything or nothing, or whether he desires to merge into the existence of the Lord, he is intelligent only if he worships Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by rendering transcendental loving service.’

CC Madhya 22.37: “If those who desire material enjoyment or merging into the existence of the Absolute Truth engage in the Lord’s transcendental loving service, they will immediately attain shelter at Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet, although they did not ask for it. Kṛṣṇa is therefore very merciful.

Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagwan

CC Ādi 2.10: In terms of His various manifestations, He is known in three features, called the impersonal Brahman, the localized Paramātmā and the original Personality of Godhead.

CC Ādi 2.11: “Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth say that it is nondual knowledge and is called impersonal Brahman, the localized Paramātmā and the Personality of Godhead.” (SB1.2.11)

CC Ādi 2.12: What the Upaniṣads call the transcendental, impersonal Brahman is the realm of the glowing effulgence of the same Supreme Person.

CC Ādi 2.13: As with the naked eye one cannot know the sun except as a glowing substance, merely by philosophical speculation one cannot understand Lord Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental varieties.

CC Ādi 2.14: “I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is endowed with great power. The glowing effulgence of His transcendental form is the impersonal Brahman, which is absolute, complete and unlimited and which displays the varieties of countless planets, with their different opulences, in millions and millions of universes.” (BS 5.40)

CC Ādi 2.15: [Lord Brahmā said:] “The opulences of the impersonal Brahman spread throughout the millions and millions of universes. That Brahman is but the bodily effulgence of Govinda.”

CC Ādi 2.16: “I worship Govinda. He is my Lord. Only by His grace am I empowered to create the universe.”
Purport
The Bhagavad-gītā (14.27) clearly mentions that the impersonal Brahman is dependent upon Govinda. That is the real conception of absolute knowledge.

CC Ādi 2.17: “Naked saints and sannyāsīs who undergo severe physical penances, who can raise the semen to the brain, and who are completely equipoised in Brahman can live in the realm known as Brahmaloka.”

CC Ādi 2.18: He who is described in the yoga-śāstras as the indwelling Supersoul [ātmā antar-yāmī] is also a plenary portion of Govinda’s personal expansion.

CC Ādi 2.19: As the one sun appears reflected in countless jewels, so Govinda manifests Himself [as Paramātmā] in the hearts of all living beings.

CC Ādi 2.20: [The Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, said:] “What more shall I say to you? I live throughout this cosmic manifestation merely by My single plenary portion.” (BG 10.42)

CC Ādi 2.21: [Grandfather Bhīṣma said:] “As the one sun appears differently situated to different seers, so also do You, the unborn, appear differently represented as the Paramātmā in every living being. But when a seer knows himself to be one of Your own servitors, no longer does he maintain such duality. Thus I am now able to comprehend Your eternal forms, knowing well the Paramātmā to be only Your plenary portion.” (SB 1.9.42)

CC Ādi 2.25: Through their service, devotees see that Personality of Godhead, just as the denizens of heaven see the personality of the sun.

Purport
The Supreme Personality of Godhead has His eternal form, which cannot be seen by material eyes or mental speculation. Only by transcendental devotional service can one understand the transcendental form of the Lord. The comparison is made here to the qualifications for viewing the personal features of the sun-god. The sun-god is a person who, although not visible to our eyes, is seen from the higher planets by the demigods, whose eyes are suitable for seeing through the glaring sunshine that surrounds him. Every planet has its own atmosphere according to the influence of the arrangement of material nature. It is therefore necessary to have a particular type of bodily construction to reach a particular planet. The inhabitants of earth may be able to reach the moon, but the inhabitants of heaven can reach even the fiery sphere called the sun. What is impossible for man on earth is easy for the demigods in heaven because of their different bodies. Similarly, to see the Supreme Lord one must have the spiritual eyes of devotional service. The Personality of Godhead is unapproachable by those who are habituated to speculation about the Absolute Truth in terms of experimental scientific thought, without reference to the transcendental vibration. The ascending approach to the Absolute Truth ends in the realization of impersonal Brahman and the localized Paramātmā but not the Supreme Transcendental Personality.

CC Ādi 2.26: Those who walk the paths of knowledge and yoga worship only Him, for it is Him they perceive as the impersonal Brahman and localized Paramātmā.

Q: Who is a Vaishnava and what his qualities ?
A:
CC Madhya 22.75: “A Vaiṣṇava is one who has developed all good transcendental qualities. All the good qualities of Kṛṣṇa gradually develop in Kṛṣṇa’s devotee.

CC Madhya 22.78-80: “Devotees are always merciful, humble, truthful, equal to all, faultless, magnanimous, mild and clean. They are without material possessions, and they perform welfare work for everyone. They are peaceful, surrendered to Kṛṣṇa and desireless. They are indifferent to material acquisitions and are fixed in devotional service. They completely control the six bad qualities — lust, anger, greed and so forth. They eat only as much as required, and they are not inebriated. They are respectful, grave, compassionate and without false prestige. They are friendly, poetic, expert and silent.

CC Madhya 22.81: “‘Devotees are always tolerant, forbearing and very merciful. They are the well-wishers of every living entity. They follow the scriptural injunctions, and because they have no enemies, they are very peaceful. These are the decorations of devotees.’

Value of association of devotees

CC Madhya 22.51: “Unless one is favored by a pure devotee, one cannot attain the platform of devotional service. To say nothing of kṛṣṇa-bhakti, one cannot even be relieved from the bondage of material existence.

CC Madhya 22.52: “‘O King Rahūgaṇa, without taking upon one’s head the dust from the lotus feet of a pure devotee [a mahājana or mahātmā], one cannot attain devotional service. Devotional service is not possible to attain simply by undergoing severe austerities and penances, by gorgeously worshiping the Deity, or by strictly following the rules and regulations of the sannyāsa or gṛhastha order; nor is it attained by studying the Vedas, submerging oneself in water, or exposing oneself to fire or scorching sunlight.’

CC Madhya 22.53: “‘Unless human society accepts the dust of the lotus feet of great mahātmās — devotees who have nothing to do with material possessions — mankind cannot turn its attention to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. Those lotus feet vanquish all the unwanted, miserable conditions of material life.’

CC Madhya 22.54: “The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment’s association with a pure devotee, one can attain all success.

CC Madhya 22.55: “‘The value of a moment’s association with a devotee of the Lord cannot be compared even to the attainment of the heavenly planets or liberation from matter, and what to speak of worldly benedictions in the form of material prosperity, which is for those who are meant for death.’

CC Madhya 22.83: “The root cause of devotional service to Lord Kṛṣṇa is association with advanced devotees. Even when one’s dormant love for Kṛṣṇa awakens, association with devotees is still most essential.

CC Madhya 22.85: “‘O devotees! O you who are free from all sins! Let me inquire from you about that which is supremely auspicious for all living entities. Association with a pure devotee for even half a moment in this material world is the greatest treasure for human society.’ (SB 11.2.30)

CC Madhya 22.86: “‘The spiritually powerful message of Godhead can be properly discussed only in a society of devotees, and it is greatly pleasing to hear in that association. If one hears from devotees, the way of transcendental experience quickly opens, and gradually one attains firm faith that in due course develops into attraction and devotion.

Yukta vairagaya not Vairagya is the way forward in devotional life.

CC Madhya 22.50: “‘Somehow or other, if one is attracted to talks about Me and has faith in the instructions I have set forth in the Bhagavad-gītā, and if one is neither falsely detached from material things nor very much attracted to material existence, his dormant love for Me will be awakened by devotional service.’

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