I am extremely sorry for the last post. I was adding another page, copying whatever verses I had saved on the sweetness of Krishna, and instead of adding it like a page I sent it as a new blog, a fallout of waking up in the middle of the night on a spiritual burst!
Kindly check the new page entitled My Sweet Lord by clicking HERE.
I haven’t made new year resolutions since many years but right now I feel inspired to write that my new year resolution is that henceforth I will share whatever I have learnt, or will learn in future, with the devotees. I will not just `store’ it is as an information in my head or in any device.
I am sharing this wonderful verse by Kunti Maharani which we can all remember, recite and meditate upon daily (even just the translation) while being in front of Lord. I heard this from HG Dravid Prabhu in a class at Mayapur.
When Kāśī Miśra heard the proposal, he said, “I am very fortunate that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Lord of all prabhus, will stay at my home.”
Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport ‘In this verse the word prabhupāda, referring to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, is significant. Regarding this, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Prabhupāda comments, “Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and all His servants address Him as Prabhupāda. This means that there are many prabhus taking shelter under His lotus feet.”
The pure Vaiṣṇava is addressed as prabhu, and this address is an etiquette observed between Vaiṣṇavas. When many prabhus remain under the shelter of the lotus feet of another prabhu, the address Prabhupāda is given.
Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu and Śrī Advaita Prabhu are also addressed as Prabhupāda. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Śrī Advaita Prabhu and Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu are all viṣṇu-tattva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Viṣṇu. Therefore all living entities are under Their lotus feet.
Lord Viṣṇu is the eternal Lord of everyone, and the representative of Lord Viṣṇu is the Lord’s confidential servant. Such a person acts as the spiritual master for neophyte Vaiṣṇavas; therefore the spiritual master is as respectable as Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya or Lord Viṣṇu Himself. For this reason the spiritual master is addressed as Oṁ Viṣṇupāda or Prabhupāda.
The ācārya, the spiritual master, is generally respected by others as Śrīpāda, and the initiated Vaiṣṇavas are addressed as Prabhu. Prabhu, Prabhupāda and Viṣṇupāda are described in revealed scriptures like Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Caitanya-caritāmṛta and Caitanya-bhāgavata. In this regard, these scriptures present evidence accepted by unalloyed devotees.’
Q : How do we define an Uttama, madhyama and Kanishtha Adhikari ?
Ans : Sri Chaitanya Mahāprabhu teaches Sri Sanatana 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:
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 three class of devotees.
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 ?
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.’
CC Madhya 22.77: “All these transcendental qualities are the characteristics of pure Vaiṣṇavas, and they cannot be fully explained, but I shall try to point out some of the important qualities.
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.’
All glories to Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita.
All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I have never believed in coincidences nor took too much notice of them ever in my life.
But to my surprise I have found myself increasingly taking more hints than ever in my life. I wrote in brief about it in my earlier blog on Parmatama a few days back. I am sharing the latest incident which happened on 19th Oct which made me share it again on this topic.
I am quite dunce, more so in taking hints and my wife can share a long list on this topic. Over the last one year I have been getting so many hints, and such broad ones, that I have no other option but to notice them. It is like someone is raising a flag in front of me to notice the obvious hint.
Be it a trip, a lecture, seeing Lord, the hints have started dropping in like never before.
Sumeet Prabhu called me up on 19th morning around 7.45am. He had just returned from USA was sharing his experience at Seattle temple and in general about our spiritual journey. During the conversation he spoke about HH Bhakti Tiratha Swami ji and then suggested that I should read the book `Surrender’ by Maharaj. I replied with a lame yes but in my mind I thought I already have so many books to read and I don’t want to read too many books. Then the topic changed and we spoke about whether devotees should glorify each other or not. Inspite of good council by Sumeet Prabhuji in the past I stood on my ground that too much glorification among neophytes may lead to pride and then fall down. After talking for some time I requested Sumeet Prabhuji that I need to listen to the weekly lecture of HG Rukmini Krihsna Prabhuji over internet and we will meet on Sunday morning at the temple and catch up.
The lecture had already begun by the time I logged in and Prabhuji was speaking about envy. To my utter surprise after a few minutes HG Rukmini Prabhuji too talked about HH Bhakti Tiratha Swamiji and then asked the audience to read … what else… his book `Surrender’ ! I could not believe my ears. And then the next big surprise, after the lecture was a over a devotee asked prabhuji what should we do when we get appreciation or if someone over-glorify us. Prabhuji explained that it is all right to accept glorification and we should accept it with proper etiquette. We should not reply that please don’t speak like this and then get into a verbal duel with the other person on how we don’t deserve it. He explained that glorification cleanses the speaker and it is also our seva to accept it, he quoted the words Dadati Pratigrihnati, it is both accepting and giving . He explained that we should fold our hands and accept it, ensuring that we don’t get puffed up inside, we should then immediately transfer it to the Guru Paramapara. We should say `thank you so much that you could see this particular quality in me, it is all thanks to the mercy of Guru and Guru Parampara. Prabhuji explained that if we don’t allow the other person to speak then we stop other person’s cleansing and we too miss an opportunity to glorify Guru Parampara. It is win win for both provided we don’t `drink’ the glorification our own self.
The same evening HG Asit Prabhu spoke about … what else.. glorification of devotees among themselves, at the Gurgaon centre.
Now is there any way I could have missed the point ??
How merciful are all the Vaishanavas and how merciful is the sweet Lord who guides us repeatedly even when we ignore Him continuously. We all must learn to keep our internal ears tuned to the messages from the Lord. I have no idea how this tuning happened and I can take it as a causeless mercy of Guru Maharaj (how everything is happening so fast since I got initiated), HG Rukmini Krishna Prabhuji, HH Bhakti Madhurya swamiji, the wonderful devotees of Gurgaon, my sweet Lord and all the Vaishnavas whose heart is as soft as melted butter.
Or May be the most undeserving get most mercy. I remain most grateful and the only way I can hope to reciprocate is by praying that I get a chance to serve the Vaishanavas, ISKCON and my Guru Maharaj.