Our surrender to Krishna

 

Is God unfair ?

“Why God has made somebody so opulent and why somebody so poor?” This is the general question we hear. Does God discriminates between different souls? Srimad Bhagavatam clears the doubt

naiñä parävara-matir bhavato nanu syät

jantor yathätmä-suhådo jagatas tathäpi

saàsevayä surataror iva te prasädaù

sevänurüpam udayo na parävaratvam

Like the ordinary living entity, my Lord, You have no such discrimination, thinking like ‘He is my friend; he is my enemy, he is favorable, he is unfavorable.’ Such conception of low grade and high grade You have not got. But according to one’s gradation of service, You offer them benediction exactly like the desire tree offers fruits according to the desire of the person. The desire tree has no distinction of low-grade and high-grade position of the beggar.”

(SB 7.9.27)

 

God is Absolute

Parävaratvam. Para means “better,” and apara means “inferior.” Superior and inferior. There are two things, superior and inferior, everywhere, but in the eyes of God, Krishna, there is no such thing superior or inferior. He’s superior, and everything is superior. This should be understood. There is no such discrimination that “Here is a devotee, so he’s superior, and here is a non-devotee, he’s inferior.” That is not God’s discrimination; that is your discrimination.

How is that?

If you like to remain as inferior, you can remain. God has given you independence. And if you like to become superior, you can become superior. It is not God’s discrimination; it is your discrimination. Mind this verse very carefully. Krishna says that “You fully become dependent upon Me, and I shall give you full protection.” This is superiority. As soon as I fully surrender to the supreme superior, Krishna, then my position is immediately superior. But if I don’t do that, then I remain inferior.

There is a verse in the Bhagava gita, ye yathä mäà prapadyante täàs tathaiva bhajämy aham (Bg 4.11- As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly.) “It is up to you to… If you surrender cent per cent, then I am also fully cent per cent for you.” But if you have got discrimination—”Certain percentage for my wife, certain percentage for my children, certain percentage for my country, certain percent…,” so on, so on, so on, so on, ultimately, “Zero for God”—then God is also zero. It is up to you. But if you take God—”You are my everything”—then He is also for you, everything. It is up to you. Parävaratvam. He does not discriminate; you discriminate.

Can we understand this via an example?

There are many persons, they come to Vrindavan, and whatever they have earned throughout the whole life, so they give everything to the wife and children and make contract that “I am going to Vrindavan. You send me at least two hundred rupees for my expenditure.” “And what about two lakhs and crores?” “Oh, that is yours. The two lakhs and crores, what I have earned, that is for you, my dear children, my dear wife, and you give me two hundred for God. So I am going to Vrindavan.” So Krishna is very intelligent: “All right, I am also for you two hundred.” Ye yathä mäm… This is the meaning, real meaning.

Srila Prabhupada calls it…

It is called…Responsive cooperation. “If you have surrendered to Me cent per cent, then I respond cent per cent. If you have surrendered twenty-five percent, then I respond twenty-five percent.” This is the position.

 

Mahajans know it!

Prahlada Maharaj knows it, that naiñä parävara-matir bhavato: “You have no such thing as discriminating.”

 

I am very fallen but why can’t God show more compassion?

So one may say that “I may… I am foolish. I may not surrender to Krishna cent per cent, but why He is not kind cent per cent?” So that is Krishna’s discrimination. Why He should? He can. He can become cent per cent, but He does not do so. That means Krishna is senscient; He is not impersonal. Don’t think that whatever you are doing, Krishna cannot see. In the Deity room, if you think that “This Deity is made of brass. Whatever nonsense I can do, He does not see,” no, He can see everything. Aïgäni yasya sakalendriya-våttimanti paçyanti pänti kalayanti [Bs. 5.32]. He sees. You rascal, you do not know how Krishna sees. You think that “He has these brass-made eyes. He cannot see. I can do all nonsense with…” No. That is not. He can see everything. Paçyanti pänti. Aïgäni yasya sakalendriya-våttimanti. He can see with His lotus feet. He can see with His hand. We can see simply with our eyes, but Krishna can see with all the… Aïgäni yasya sakalendriya-våttimanti. You have seen: Krishna is playing the flute. The fingers are open. A finger touching: “What you are doing?” We do not know the fingers can also see. But this is absolute. Krishna can use His any energy, any power, any part of the body, for anything else. This is Krishna. Aïgäni yasya sakalendriya-våttimanti. So Krishna can see within our mind how much we are surrendered and how much we are after material enjoyment.

So what should we do?

Therefore the best thing is we have to make zero. Anyäbhiläñitä-çünyam Çünyam means zero. Unless we make everything zero, simply Krishna fact… Krishna is the only fact, and everything zero.

Zero !!!

Without Krishna, everything zero. Just like one is one, and zero is zero, but when zero is added with one, it becomes ten immediately—ten times. Similarly, this material world is zero, and Krishna is one. If you want to enjoy the material world by your own effort, it will always prove zero. You’ll never be satisfied. But you add this zero by the side of Krishna, you enjoy like anything, ten times. Ten times. With zero it is zero, but when it is added with Krishna, it is ten times. Just see practically. Our Krishna consciousness movement was started with forty rupees. Now that forty rupees or something added with Krishna, it has become forty crores. You see practically. When I started for your country, I came to Mayapur. I offered my obeisances to my spiritual master, then I went. At that time I had no money even to purchase the ticket. And after that, I have come with forty crores. This is the secret: ye yathä mäà prapadyante

And the result will be…

If you fully surrender to Krishna, then Krishna is there. You have to learn how to take from Krishna. Of course, a devotee is never desirous to take anything from Krishna. He wants to give only. This is pure devotee. A pure devotee wants, “Krishna, whatever little I have got, You take it, everything.” And Krishna says, “Yes, because you have given your everything, even up to your life, I’ll also give you My everything to you.” This is Krishna.

God is like a wish fulfilling tree!

Krishna has no discrimination, but it is up to us to know how to take from Krishna. Just like the example is given here that saàsevayä surataror iva. Surataror iva. Surataroù means the desire tree. It is described in the Brahma-saàhitä, desire tree. Cintämaëi-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-våkña [Bs. 5.29]. That is kalpa vriksha….. kalpa vriksha there is in the higher planetary system, and especially in the Vaikuntha world. There are trees are kalpa vriksha, because everything is spiritual; nothing is dead. Here you can take some fruits or flower from a particular tree, but there, if you like, you ask kachoré and samosä from a tree—you get. But we have no idea what is surataroù, surataroù, what is kalpa Vriksha. Whatever you desire, you’ll get it. Surabhéh, surabhér abhipäl… The cows are surabhi. Here you have got limitation; you can milk morning and evening to a certain extent. But there the cows are surabhi. Surabhi means you can milk as many times as you like, and as much milk you want, you can take it. But these things are there, but we have no information. We are struggling here. Manaù-ñañöhänéndriyäëi prakåti-sthäni karñati [Bg. 15.7]. Because we are fools and rascals, we are trying to make some adjustment here. That is not possible.

It is duùkhälayam açäçvatam. This is mäyä. We are trying to be happy in this material… It will never be possible. But these fools and rascals, they do not know. They are making big, big plans how to become happy, how to become, in our country, in our home, in our society, in our family, and so on, so on, so on. This means we are simply becoming entangled. Ato gåha-kñetra-sutäpta-vittair janasya moho ‘yam [SB 5.5.8]. Ahaà moha, illusion. It will never be possible. Therefore, the conclusion is we should fully surrender cent per cent to Krishna, and then we become happy. Saàsevayä surataror iva te prasädaù.

The example is: just like the desire tree, kalpa Vriksha. It can fulfill any desire, any desire. We have got so many desires. Krishna can fulfill all the desires. Please surrender to Krishna. This is the process.

Conclusion

Pure devotion means first of all you learn not to order Krishna, “Krishna, give me this, give me that, give me that.” Don’t bother Krishna. That is the beginning of spiritual life. Anyäbhiläñitä-çünyam. You prepare to carry out every order of Krishna. Then it is spiritual life. Don’t make Krishna your order-supplier. You become order-supplier of Krishna.

If you learn how to give service to Krishna cent per cent, then you get everything, everything, without asking. Krishna knows everything, what is required for you. Just like a father knows what is the necessity of the child. The child never begs, “Father, give me this, give me that.” No. He’s simply dependent on parents. The parent knows. Similarly, if we become cent per cent dependent and serve Him faithfully under His order or His representative’s order, then the success is sure.

( Srila Prabhupada lecture, March 5 , 1976, Mayapur)

Now the amazing thing is that all of the above is simply transcript of a lecture given by Srila Prabhupada, I simply copied it ‘as it is’, the language, even the sequence of the paragraphs. I have only inserted questions based on each para! It is simply an amazing lecture, full of gems. We can hear the original audio of this lecture here. Transcript of the complete lecture is here.

If we simply read the transcript carefully and repeatedly or hear the audio with sincerity and attention then we can get many keys to make a very rapid progress in Krishna consciousness and surrender to Krishna.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

 

Your servant,

Giriraj dasa

Desire trees of Vrindavan!

Hare Krishna.

15th November, 2015. Vrindavan

(Trees of Vrindavan)

Last weekend, in Vrindavan, I stayed with the family of Deepak Handa prabhuji. Prabhuji is a very sincere, steady and soft-hearted devotee, it is indeed a good fortune to be able to get association of such a Vaishnava family.

We started our journey back to Gurgaon and as we were crossing Parikrama marg we saw a western mataji collapsing in front of us on the sidewalk. They were two matajis, in their mid thirties, one of them collapsed and a small crowd had gathered. Deepak prabhuji immediately stopped his car to check if everything was fine. Rather reluctantly, I too followed prabhuji, thinking what help can we give as we are on way back to Gurgaon. As we reached the spot we found that one local devotee had already stopped a rickshaw and was requesting them to show them to a nearby doctor whom he knew personally. Another local mataji too checked and as she found that the mataji who had collapsed was back on her feet and someone is taking her to a doctor,  she was satisfied and left. I too told Prabhuji let’s leave as everything seems settled, she just seemed weak and may be collapsed from exhaustion or weakness. The only hitch in my mind was to which doctor they were being taken to. I told the local devotee to take them to ISKCON hospital but he was firm to show them to the doctor he knew very well, he insisted that many local devotees see this doctor only.

All seemed settled but Deepak prabhuji refused to leave them like this. He said if we are slightly doubtful then let’s check the doctor. We were getting delayed and I thought by going to the doctor we will get further late and we should just move on. Of course I didn’t say it as Prabhuji seemed firm on helping them. Prabhuji went to park his car properly and I followed the two matajis to the doctor, along with the local devotee who recommended him, the doctor was very close by.

The doctor turned out to an ayuvedic doctor/practitioner. He checked her blood pressure, pulse, etc and said that she is suffering from severe acidity, may be even diarrhea, and that she has lost too much fluid.

He then scolded the devotee who brought her stating that he let this mataji lie down on his couch as she seemed to have passed urine, even stool, in her clothes. Suddenly I could smell the stench and felt repulsed. The doctor, said that he can’t do much instantaneously and the best course is that she drinks some energy drink (ORS) and take some precaution in eating. By this time Deepak Prabhuji had walked inside and started talking to the other mataji. We found that they have a flight the same evening to Norway! She didn’t seem to be in a condition to take a long flight today. We also found that they were staying quite close and finally it was agreed to let them go back to their room, get some rest, drink the ORS and then they can decide whatever action they wish to take. All settled.

Deepak Prabhuji then took the prescription for the ORS and requested the two matajis go back to their room and that we will deliver the ORS to their room or at their reception. I thought that one of the mataji is fine and she can easily pick up the ORS from a nearby chemist on their way back to their room. Still out of courtesy I told Prabhuji let me go and get the energy drinks.

As I came out I saw the rickshaw puller washing his seat as he too realised that it was smelling of urine. He didn’t complain as both the matajis again climbed back in the same rickshaw and left. The only thing in my mind was to quickly leave back for Gurgaon.

As I turned back, and slowly walked towards the main road to find a chemist, I suddenly realised that this  morning only I had prayed to one of the trees in MVT to kindly give me an opportunity to serve Dhama or some person in Dhama! Over the last few months it has become a habit for me to pray to the trees in Vrindavan, with amazing results. I had written about it in an early blog few months back (please read it here). I immediately felt utterly ashamed at my internal thought process during this whole incident. I realised that based on my prayer I received an opportunity to help someone in dhama yet I behaved internally like an insensitive moron. I was also relived that I was with Deepak Handa Prabhuji as I am sure that had I been alone I may not have even stopped or stopped and just moved on. But Krishna is so merciful that He ensured that I was with a devotee whose heart was soft. I profusely thanked Krishna and the tree to whom I had prayed in the morning .

In a swift change of mood I was full of excitement and there was sudden spring in my step as I absorbed what really had happened and how my desire got fulfilled within few hours and how close I was to miss it! I knew that had it not been for the presence of Deepak Prabhuji I would have certainly missed it. I went and bought those ORS drinks, then we went together and delivered at mataji’s room.

This incident may sound common but there were many learning for me

  1. It moved something in my heart. I will try to be more sensitive towards helping others, will pray for a softer heart.
  2. Remain constantly in the association of devotees, especially in dhama.
  3. I also learnt a good lesson from Deepak Prabhuji on what does being a devotee really means. I felt utterly ashamed from inside. What kind of a devotee I am with such a hard heart.
  4. This incident also showed me that if we are conscious in Krishna consciousness then we can clearly see that our prayers are being answered but we have become so blind and hard-hearted that we don’t see them.
  5. It solidified my faith that all trees in Vrindavan are Kalpa Vriksha (wish-fulfilling trees)
  6. It also helped me realise that when we pray from the level of our present level of advancement then it helps. I had heard it in a lecture few weeks back that whenever we pray for something then we should pray from the our present level and not try to jump to something higher for which we have no qualification. The example that exalted devotee gave was that if someone gifts us a penthouse in a very fancy building but we find that there are no stairs or lifts for it then it is useless for us. Similarly instead of praying for something very high like Krishna Prema or being present in one of the pastimes of Lord etc., it is better and practical to pray for advancement from our current level to the next level. One can not make progress from an artificial platform. Somehow those words stuck a chord in my heart and from that day my prayers changed and it seems to be working.

In the end, I am copying translation of three verses from Sri Vraja-riti-cintamani, by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura chapter 2, text 21, 22 & 23, glorifying the amazing trees of Vrindavan.

From the branches and roots of the trees of Vraja all Brahmas and Shivas emanate. Although the trees of Vraja are as splendid as the sun, they still are wonderful parasols to shade one from the sun’s rays. They shine with the luster of youth, just as the four Kumaras.

The trees of Vraja were never planted or husbanded. They never grew from any seed. They glisten with many leaves and flowers. They bear many ripe, unripe, and ripening fruits.

The splendid trees of Vrajabhumi are perfectly spiritual in nature and full of all potencies. They are just like the incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just as the conditioned souls misunderstand the spiritual nature of the Supreme Lord’s incarnations, in the same way they misunderstand the glory of these trees in Vraja.


All glories to the trees of Vrindavan.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

kalpa-vṛkṣa of Vrindavan

Hare Krishna.
16th March, 2015. Gurgaon

trees of Vrindavan

I had the good fortune to visit Sri Vrindavan Dhama the last Saturday. It was an impromptu visit, more to attend enlightening classes of Srimati Mataji than my attraction for Dhama.

As I paid obeisances to deities at home, I prayed to Srila Prabhupada in particular to please bless me with constant association of devotees on this trip. Let me share some beautiful realisations I had.

I shared in my previous blogs that I am hearing Brahma Samhita seminar by HH Tamal Krishna Goswami Maharaj. I can say this about the potency of the scripture and the pure devotees that just by hearing it I had such nice understandings and realisations. Few days back I heard the below famous verse from Brahma Samhita in the same seminar.

cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vṛkṣa-lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam
lakṣmī-sahasra-śata-sambhrama-sevyamānaṁ govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi (BS 5.29)

I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the first progenitor who is tending the cows, yielding all desire, in abodes built with spiritual gems, surrounded by millions of purpose trees, always served with great reverence and affection by hundreds of thousands of lakṣmīs or gopīs.

The purport says The purpose tree yields only the fruits of piety, wealth, fulfillment of desire and liberation; but the purpose trees in the abode of Kṛṣṇa bestow innumerable fruits in the shape of checkered divine love.

As HH Tamal Krishna Goswami maharaj expanded this verse one thing that somehow penetrated my steel framed heart was glorification of each tree in Dhama and how each tree is a wish fulfilling tree. I realised that I have never wished from any tree in Dhama. I resolved that next time whenever I will go to Dhama I will surely seek wish from a tree there.

I left for Vrindavan with Radheshyam Prabhuji and his family,a very senior and well respected devotee from Gurgaon. Actually another greed to go with Prabhuji is that in his presence my chanting is much much better. I practically chanted the whole way and we reached Vrindavan around 12.30pm. I rushed to grab darshan and then read the BG verse 6.35 and 6.36 which was the topic for our class. I sat at the reception of MVT and read those wonderful verses and their purport. The class was from 3-5 pm, the class was remarkable by the virtue of topic and the teacher. After the class I came back to the temple and attended the Kirtan and Gaur Arti. It was first time that I heard kirtan by HH B.A. Janaradhan Maharaj and maharaj sang beautifully. I met maharaj next day and share d how much I relished it.

14th Mar_2015

I checked into a ashram near the temple, took early dinner prasadam, had a bath, read a little and was fast asleep by 10pm.

I woke up in time next day and managed to pull myself out of the bed and get ready in time to reach before the start of morning arti at Srila Prabhupada’s samadhi.

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It is always a very purifying and humbling experience to sing Samsara davanala lidha loka… at Prabhupada samadhi early in the morning.

After the Arti it was time for Mangal Arti in the main Altar. Devotees were singing mahamantra and as clock came nearer to 4.30 am, the pitch of singing increased and almost at a crescendo darshan opened. What beautiful darshan!

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I can say this full conviction that I have never ever seen anyone looking so handsome in a bright red dhoti and turban as both Krishna Balram did. Their skin was lustrous, smile was deep and beauty simply unparalleled. I am very sorry that I could not capture the picture well as I was standing quite back and later forgot as I was bust drinking Their sheer beauty. I also checked with temple and other devotees, somehow they didn’t click any pictures at mangal arti on this Sunday. I really wish I could somehow share Their beauty with you. (All other high resolution pictures are from temple’s website for that day)

After a soul satisfying, and all senses satisfying, mangal arti, I went to Srila Prabhupada quarters to do japa.This is my favourite place to do japa as being in the presence of Srila Prabhupada and so many senior vaishnavas some part rubs off on my chanting as well.

SrilaPrabhupadaQuartersatISKCONVrindavan88

I started of well but after the 4th or 5th round of chanting I started getting tired and then more embarrassment followed as I started yawning…. regularly. I told myself because I had a hectic day yesterday and got up early today so it is better that I go back to my room and catch up with sleep, say for 30 minutes, then I will be fresh for the rest of the day. Still some part of me wanted to chant, knowing very well that my rounds will get delayed and their quality won’t be as good. My yawns increased further… I really felt sad. I felt guilty that Prabhupada is throwing me out of his room as I was yawning so regularly and he didn’t want others to get disturbed. I forced myself to sit but could not and feared that I may even fall asleep sitting like this. I got up with a heavy heart, paid my dandavat to Srila Prabhupada and said sorry for my behaviour. As I stepped out of Prabhupada’s quarter, I was hit by a chilled wind. It was if I was in hills. It had drizzled lightly, the sky was overcast and a lovely cool breeze was blowing. In less than a minute I was fresh as a daisy! I thanked Prabhupada, I was thinking Prabhupada was kicking me out whereas he was pushing me to go outside, get some fresh air and chant properly. I again thanked Prabhupada and chanted for next one hour in the corridor, pacing up and down. I was absolutely fresh when shringar darshan opened at 7.15am.

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I was very fortunate to meet HH Janananda Maharaj while he was entering the main compound. Maharaj confirmed that he will be coming to Gurgaon this week, Hari Bol !

I attended the Guru Puja and then it was time for the Srimad Bhagavatam class. As I was about to sit I was very surprised to see Murari prabhu, along with his wife, from Jaipur. They had come a day before for Govardhan Parikarma, more association! I will write about the class in a separate blog as it was another revelation.

I was back in temple at 12.45 to say my good bye to most beautiful and reciprocative deities!

I bought some prasad for home and while exiting somehow remembered my resolve to seek some wish from a tree in Vrindavan. I was walking down the corridor, from Prabhupada Samdhi towards the guest house side exit gate, and I saw the familiar tree standing in front. I stopped and thought why not ask for a wish from a tree inside the temple compound, why go outside ? As I walked then another thought came to my mind. why don’t I go and seek the wish from the Tamal tree inside the temple compound as it is always taking darshan of the deities. I countered that this tree seems more merciful as he is serving devotees by standing outside. Mind made up, I walked towards this tree, paid my obeisances mentally (it was raining) and then I touched my forehead with it’s stem and begged for my wishes. While doing it I realised that Srimatai Mataji had instructed me just few minutes back that we should live in present and see what can I do now rather make plans for the future, following the same thought process I sought a personal favour, a near impossible wish, still I prayed for it as I had no other option in hand and it was something immediate help me in my spiritual life. I felt good just touching the tree.

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It had started raining hard as I ran from temple to ashram, forgetting about my wishes almost instantly. I shared a cab with Amitabh Prabhuji on my return journey so I was fortunate to receive association of senior devotees throughout this trip.

Today morning as I was getting ready to leave for the office. I received a message, to my utter surprise what I had wished yesterday came true, delayed by a week but very much true! It is quite personal else I had would shared it. I simply could not believe my ears. I was so very happy and in my high spirits I even forgot to say thank you to deities but paid mental obeisances to my wish fulfilling tree while driving to work. I can say this much with confidence that as of early morning today the chances of my wish becoming true were as remote as a snowfall in Delhi and too in the month of June!!

As I look back and I can only appreciate the mercy of dhama. I also realise that I had been reading and hearing for last so many years that all trees in Dhama are wish fulfilling trees but not even a thought ever crossed my mind to seek something from them. Why ? What else then my lack of faith in scriptures and words of acharayas.

I realised during this trip that my spiritual bullock cart is aided by two wonderful, but unseen, wings. One of them is prayer and the second one is my faith in the words of acharayas and scriptures. On this trip I experienced the power of both.

I realised that whenever we try to build a relationship with Srila Prabhupada, based solely on our sincerity, then howsoever unqualified we may be, Prabhupada inspires us, guides us, in every possible way which is conducive for our devotional progress.

I love Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Sri Vrindavan Dhama.
All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.