Monday, December 1, 2008




naham vande tava caranayor dvandvam advandva-hetoh
kumbhipakam gurum api hare narakam napanetum
ramya-rama-mrdu-tanu-lata nandane napi rantum
bhave bhave hrdaya-bhavane bhavayeyam bhavantam


na--not; aham--I; vande--pray; tava--Your; caranayoh--of the lotus feet; dvandvam--to the pair; advandva--of release from duality; hetoh--for the reason; kumbhipakam--the planet of boiling oil; gurum--most severe; api--either; hare--O Hari; narakam--hell; na--not; apanetum--to avoid; ramya--very beautiful; rama--of the fair sex; mrdu--soft; tanu-lata--of creeperlike bodies; nandane--in the pleasure gardens of heaven; na api--nor; rantum--to enjoy; bhave bhave--in various rebirths; hrdaya--of my heart; bhavane--within the house; bhavayeyam--may I concentrate; bhavantam--on You.


O Lord Hari, it is not to be saved from the dualities of material existence or the grim tribulations of the Kumbhipaka hell that I pray to Your lotus feet. Nor is my purpose to enjoy the soft-skinned beautiful women who reside in the gardens of heaven. I pray to Your lotus feet only so that I may remember You alone in the core of my heart, birth after birth.


There are two classes of men: the atheists and the theists. The atheists have no faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, while the theists have various degrees of faith in Him.

The atheists are faithless on account of their many misdeeds in their present and past lives. They fall into four categories: (1) the gross materialists, (2) the immoral sinners, (3) the number-one fools, and (4) those who are bewildered by maya despite their mundane erudition. No one among these four classes of atheist ever believes in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, what to speak of offering prayers unto His lotus feet.

The theists, on the other hand, have faith in the Lord and pray to Him with various motives. One attains such a theistic life not by chance but as a result of performing many pious acts in both the present life and the past life. Such pious men also belong to four categories: (1) the needy, (2) those who have fallen into difficulty, (3) those who are inquisitive about the transcendental science, and (4) the genuine philosophers. The philosophers and those who are inquisitive are better than those in categories (1) and (2). But a pure devotee is far above these four classes of pious men, for he is in the transcendental position.
The needy pious man prays to God for a better standard of life, and the pious man who has fallen into material difficulty prays in order to get rid of his trouble. But the inquisitive man and the philosopher do not pray to God for amelioration of mundane problems. They pray for the ability to know Him as He is, and they try to reach Him through science and logic. Such pious men are generally known as theosophists.

Needy pious men pray to God to improve their economic condition because all they know is sense gratification, while those in difficulty ask Him to free them from a hellish life of tribulations. Such ignorant people do not know the value of human life. This life is meant to prepare one to return to the absolute world, the kingdom of God.

A pure devotee is neither a needy man, a man fallen into difficulty, nor an empiric philosopher who tries to approach the Divinity on the strength his own imperfect knowledge. A pure devotee receives knowledge of the Divinity from the right source--the disciplic succession of realized souls who have followed strictly the disciplinary method of devotional service under the guidance of bona fide spiritual masters. It is not possible to know the transcendental nature of the Divinity by dint of one's imperfect sense perception, but the Divinity reveals Himself to a pure devotee in proportion to the transcendental service rendered unto Him.

King Kulasekhara is a pure devotee, and as such he is not eager to improve himself by the standards of the empiric philosophers, distressed men, or fruitive workers of this world. Pious acts may lead a mundane creature toward the path of spiritual realization, but practical activity in the domain of devotional service to the Lord need not wait for the reactions of pious acts. A pure devotee does not think in terms of his personal gain or loss because he is fully surrendered to the Lord. He is concerned only with the service of the Lord and always engages in that service, and for this reason his heart is the Lord's home. The Lord being absolute, there is no difference between Him and His service. A pure devotee's heart is always filled with ideas about executing the Lord's service, which is bestowed upon the pure devotee through the transparent medium of the spiritual master.

The spiritual master in the authoritative line of disciplic succession is the "son of God," or in other words the Lord's bona fide representative. The proof that he is bona fide is his invincible faith in God, which protects him from the calamity of impersonalism. An impersonalist cannot be a bona fide spiritual master, for such a spiritual master's only purpose in life must be to render service to the Lord. He preaches the message of Godhead as the Lord's appointed agent and has nothing to do with sense gratification or the mundane wrangling of the impersonalists. No one can render devotional service to an impersonal entity because such service implies a reciprocal personal relationship between the servant and the master. In the impersonal school the so-called devotee is supposed to merge with the Lord and lose his separate existence.

Pure devotees like King Kulasekhara are particularly careful to avoid a process that will end in their becoming one with the existence of the Lord, a state known as advandva, nonduality. This is simply spiritual suicide. Out of the five kinds of salvation, advandva is the most abominable for a devotee. A pure devotee denounces such oneness with the Lord as worse than going to hell.

As His separated expansions, the living beings are part and parcel of the Lord. The Lord expands Himself into plenary parts and separated parts to enjoy transcendental pastimes, and if a living being refuses to engage in these transcendental blissful pastimes, he is at liberty to merge into the Absolute. This is something like a son's committing suicide instead of living with his father according to the rules the father sets down. By committing suicide, the son thus sacrifices the happiness he could have enjoyed by engaging in a filial loving relationship with his father and enjoying his father's estate. A pure devotee persistently avoids such a criminal policy, and King Kulasekhara is guiding us to avoid this pitfall.

The king also says that the reason he is praying to the Lord is not to be saved from the Kumbhipaka hell. Laborers in gigantic iron and steel mills suffer tribulations similar to those in the Kumbhipaka hell. Kumbhi means "pot," and paka means "boiling." So if a person were put into a pot of oil and the pot were set to boiling, he would have some idea of the suffering in Kumbhipaka hell.

There are innumerable hellish engagements in the modern so-called civilization, and by the grace of the Lord's illusory energy people think these hellish engagements are a great fortune. Modern industrial factories fully equipped with up-to-date machines are so many Kumbhipaka hells, and the organizers of these enterprises regard them as indispensable for the advancement of economic welfare. The mass of laborers exploited by the organizers directly experience the "welfare" conditions in these factories, but what the organizers do not know is that by the law of karma they will in due time become laborers in similar Kumbhipaka hells.

Intelligent persons certainly want to be saved from such Kumbhipaka hells, and they pray to God for this benediction. But a pure devotee does not pray in this way. A pure devotee of Narayana looks equally upon the happiness enjoyed in heaven, the transcendental bliss of becoming one with the Lord, and the tribulations experienced in the Kumbhipaka hell. He is not concerned with any of them because he is always engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. By the grace of the Lord, even in the Kumbhipaka hell a pure devotee can adjust the situation and turn it into Vaikuntha.

The Bhagavad-gita and all other revealed scriptures say that the Lord accompanies every living being in His localized aspect of Paramatma, the Supersoul. Therefore even a living being destined to reside in the Kumbhipaka hell is accompanied by his eternal companion, the Lord. But by His inconceivable power the Lord remains aloof from these hellish circumstances, just as the sky remains separate from the air although seemingly mixed with it.

Similarly, the pure devotee of the Lord does not live anywhere in this material world, although He appears to live among mundane creatures. Actually, the devotee lives in Vaikuntha. In this way the Supreme Lord bestows upon His pure devotee the inconceivable power that allows him to stay aloof from all mundane circumstances and reside eternally in the spiritual world. The devotee does not want this power consciously or unconsciously, but the Lord is careful about His devotee, just as a mother is always careful about her little child, who is completely dependent on her care.

A pure devotee like King Kulasekhara refuses to associate with beautiful soft-skinned women. There are different grades of women on different planets in the universe. Even on the earth there are different types of women who are enjoyed by different types of men. But on higher planets there are women many, many millions of times more beautiful than the women on this planet, and there are also many pleasure abodes where they can be enjoyed. The best of all of these is the Nandana Gardens on Svargaloka. In the Nandana Gardens--a "Garden of Eden"--those who are qualified can enjoy varieties of beautiful women called Apsaras. The demigods generally enjoy the company of the Apsaras in the same way that the great Mogul kings and nawabs enjoyed their harems. But these kings and nawabs are like straw before the demigods of Svargaloka, which lies in the third stratum of the universe.

The inner tendency to enjoy is in the core of every living being's heart. But in the diseased state of material existence the living being misuses that tendency. The more he increases this diseased, conditioned state, the longer he extends his period of material existence. The sastras advise, therefore, that a living entity should accept only those sense-enjoyable objects necessary for the upkeep of the material body and reject those that are just for sense gratification. In this way he will reduce the tendency for sense enjoyment. This restraint cannot be imposed by force; it must be voluntary.

Such restraint automatically develops in the course of one's executing devotional service. Thus one who is already engaged in devotional service need not restrain his senses artificially. A pure devotee like King Kulasekhara, therefore, neither desires sense enjoyment nor exerts himself to restrain his senses; rather, he tries only to engage himself in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, without any stop.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Narada Bhakti Sutra


Chapter 1

The Value of Devotion



athato bhaktim vyakhyasyamah


atha--now; atah--therefore; bhaktim--devotional service; vyakhyasyamah--we shall try to explain.


   Now, therefore, I will try to explain the process of devotional service.


   Devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is explained in the Bhagavad-gita, where the Lord says that a self-realized person is always in the transcendental state known as brahma-bhuta, which is characterized by joyfulness. When one is self-realized he becomes joyful. In other words, he is free from the material contamination of lamentation and hankering. As long as we are in material existence, we lament for the losses in our life and hanker for that which we do not have. A self-realized person is joyful because he is free from material lamentation and hankering.

   A self-realized person also sees all living entities equally. For him, there is no distinction between the higher and lower species of life. It is also stated that a learned man does not distinguish between a wise brahmana and a dog because he sees the soul within the body, not the external bodily features. Such a perfected, self-realized person becomes eligible to understand bhakti, or devotional service to the Lord.

   Bhakti is so sublime that only through bhakti can one understand the constitutional position of the Lord. That is clearly stated in the Bhagavad-gita (18.55): bhaktya mam abhijanati. "One can understand the Supreme Lord through devotional service, and by no other process." There are different processes of understanding the Absolute Truth, but if a person wants to understand the Supreme Lord as He is, he has to take to the process of bhakti-yoga. There are other mystic processes, such as karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, and dhyana-yoga, but it is not possible to understand the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, except through His devotional service. This is confirmed in the Fourth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita (4.3), where we learn that Krsna spoke the Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna simply because he was the Lord's devotee and friend. The Bhagavad-gita teaches the process of bhakti-yoga, and therefore Lord Krsna explained it to Arjuna because he was a great devotee. As far as spiritual life is concerned, becoming a devotee of the Lord is the high-est perfection…
   The strict followers of the karma-kanda portions of the Vedas perform various sacrifices for worship of different demigods in order to achieve particular material results. Out of many millions of such worshipers, some may actually engage in the process of understanding the Supreme, the Absolute Truth. They are called jnanis. Perfection for a jnani lies in attaining the stage of brahma-bhuta, or self-realization. Only after self-realization is attained does the stage of understanding devotional service begin. The conclusion is that one can begin the process of devotional service, or bhakti, when one is actually self-realized. One who is in the bodily concept of existence cannot understand the process of devotional service.

   It is for this reason that the Narada-bhakti-sutra begins, "Now, therefore, I shall try to explain the process of devotional service." The word "therefore" indicates that this process of devotional service is for the self-realized soul, one who is already liberated. Similarly, the Vedanta-sutra begins athato brahma-jijnasa. The word brahma-jijnasa refers to inquiry into the Supreme Absolute Truth, and it is recommended for those who have been elevated from the lower stage of addiction to the karma-kanda portion of the Vedas to the position of interest in the jnana-kanda portion. Only when a person is perfectly situated in the realization that he is not the body but a spirit soul can he begin the process of bhakti, or devotional service.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Krishna Community Faces Forced Eviction

10 Acres in Exchange for 116

On September 11, 2008 the assistant Hakim of Almaty province, S. Mukanov, informed the directors of the Society for Krishna Consciousness that the court has accepted the proposal of the Karasai district Hakim to declare the Society's buildings legally invalid.
Mukanov stated that the Kazakh authorities expect this proposal to be sustained by

court, and that the Temple and other buildings of the society would be declared illegal, demolished, the Society's members forcibly evicted.

In August the Krishna Society received the resolution of the Hakim of the Karasai
District stating that the Kazakh government’s 2001 act of acceptance of the Society’s buildings into official usage had been annulled. The Hakim’s resolution was not on government letterhead, had no official document number, had no signatures, and had no official stamps.

The directors of the Krishna Society had first seen this document in a meeting with the assistant Karasai Hakim in July 2008. During the meeting the Krishna Society directors were not accompanied by their advocate. Thus, despite being forced by the Hakim, they refused to sign the document.

The assistant Hakim angrily responded to their denial by saying, "Be prepared for new
court cases."

On July 30, 2008 the Council for Connections with Religious Organizations of the Kazakh Government held a meeting in Astana to discuss the situation with the Society for Krishna Consciousness.

At that time, an attempt was again made by the chairman of the National Religious Committee, A. Dozhan to force to the Krishna Society to sign an agreement to relocate to unusable land in the Iliy district of Almaty Province.

The directors of the Society have rejected this land, which is an active garbage dump.
The land is unsuitable for constructing a place of worship, has no essential communications, devoid of drinking or irrigation water.

As an alternative to the Kazakh government proposal, the Krishna Society has appealed that the government allow them to use the land where their temple and other buildings are situated. This land was legally purchased, privatized, and developed at huge expense by the Society’s members and cultivated for 9 years.

According to Article 17 of the Law on Freedom of Faith and Religious Organizations in Republic of Kazakhstan, religious organizations have a pre-emptive right to receive the religious buildings with the adjacent territory.

The assistant Hakim of Almaty province, S. Mukanov, responded that there would be no other concessions. He stated, "We have already filed a claim for demolishing the remaining buildings.”

The Karasai government has initiated trials against the Society for Krishna Consciousness since 2005. This has resulted in the demolition of 26 homes of Hindu practitioners in 2006 and 2007.

The court cases have also resulted in the confiscation of 116 acres of the Society's  land. This prime property was transferred to the Karasai district land reserve without compensation to the Society.

The proposed compulsory Temple demolition and forced eviction will be the final stage of the Kazakh government’s  campaign to destroy the largest established center of the Krishna Society in Central Asia.

technorati tags:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Guru Puja - Guru Nistha

I offer my humble apologies for not being able to post for Janmastami and Guru Puju appropriately.

This small video reflects what I believe what is not mature in myself and the Krishna movemenet writ large. This is guru nistha; Steady Faith in the guru and his words that he can delivery one to Krishna.

yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado
yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto ‘pi
dhyayan stuvams tasya yashas trisandhyam
vande guroh sri-charanaravindam

By his grace we gain divine benevolence.
Without his grace no progress can be made.
Always I offer him all accolade.
To his auspicious feet I pay obeisance.

Bhakta David

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Narada Bhakti Sutra


Chapter 1
The Value of Devotion



sa tv asmin parama-prema-rupa


sa--it; tu--and; asmin--for Him (the Supreme Lord); parama--highest; prema--pure love; rupa--having as its form.

Devotional service manifests as the most elevated, pure love for God.


As stated before, after attaining the highest stage of self-realization, one becomes situated in devotional service to the Lord. The perfection of devotional service is to attain love of God. Love of God involves the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the devotee, and the process of devotional service. Self-realization, the brahma-bhuta stage, is the beginning of spiritual life; it is not the perfectional stage. If a person understands that he is not his body and that he has nothing to do with this material world, he becomes free from material entanglement. But that realization is not the perfectional stage. The perfectional stage begins with activity in the self-realized position, and that activity is based on the understanding that a living entity is eternally the subordinate servitor of the Supreme Lord. Otherwise, there is no meaning to self-realization. If one is puffed up with the idea that he is the Supreme Brahman, or that he has become one with Narayana, or that he has merged into the brahmajyoti effulgence, then he has not grasped the perfection of life. As the Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.2.32) states,

ye 'nye 'ravindaksa vimukta-maninas
tvayy asta-bhavad avisuddha-buddhayah
aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah
patanty adho 'nadrta-yusmad-anghrayah

Persons who are falsely puffed up, thinking they have become liberated simply by understanding their constitutional position as Brahman, or spirit soul, are factually still contaminated. Their intelligence is impure because they have no understanding of the Personality of Godhead, and ultimately they fall down from their puffed-up position.

According to the Bhagavatam (1.2.11) there are three levels of transcendentalists: the self-realized knowers of the impersonal Brahman feature of the Absolute Truth; the knowers of the Paramatma, the localized aspect of the Supreme, which is understood by the process of mystic yoga; and the bhaktas, who are in knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and engage in His devotional service. Those who understand simply that the living being is not matter but spirit soul and who desire to merge into the Supreme Spirit Soul are in the lowest transcendental position. Above them are the mystic yogis, who by meditation see within their hearts the four-handed Visnu form of the Paramatma, or Supersoul. But persons who actually associate with the Supreme Lord, Krsna, are the highest among all transcendentalists. In the Sixth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita (6.47) the Lord confirms this:

yoginam api sarvesam mad-gatenantar-atmana
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam sa me yukta-tamo matah

"And of all yogis, the one with great faith who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself, and renders transcendental loving service to Me--he is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. That is My opinion." This is the highest perfectional stage, known as prema, or love of God.

In the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.4.15-16), Srila Rupa Gosvami, a great authority in the devotional line, describes the different stages in coming to the point of love of Godhead:

adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sango 'tha bhajana-kriya
tato 'nartha-nivrttih syat tato nistha rucis tatah
athasaktis tato bhavas tatah premabhyudancati
sadhakanam ayam premnah pradurbhave bhavet kramah

The first requirement is that one should have sufficient faith that the only process for attaining love of Godhead is bhakti, devotional service to the Lord. Throughout the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krsna teaches that one should give up all other processes of self-realization and fully surrender unto Him. That is faith. One who has full faith in Krsna (sraddha) and surrenders unto Him is eligible for being raised to the level of prema, which Lord Caitanya taught as the highest perfectional stage of human life.

Some persons are addicted to materially motivated religion, while others are addicted to economic development, sense gratification, or the idea of salvation from material existence. But prema, love of God, is above all these. This highest stage of love is above mundane religiosity, above economic development, above sense gratification, and above even liberation, or salvation. Thus love of God begins with the firm faith that one who engages in full devotional service has attained perfection in all these processes.

The next stage in the process of elevation to love of God is sadhu-sanga, association with persons already in the highest stage of love of God. One who avoids such association and simply engages in mental speculation or so-called meditation cannot be raised to the perfectional platform. But one who associates with pure devotees or an elevated devotional society goes to the next stage--bhajana-kriya, or acceptance of the regulative principles of worshiping the Supreme Lord. One who associates with a pure devotee of the Lord naturally accepts that person as his spiritual master, and when the neophyte devotee accepts a pure devotee as his spiritual master, the duty of the spiritual master is to train the neophyte in the principles of regulated devotional service, or vaidhi-bhakti. At this stage the devotee's service is based on his capacity to serve the Lord. The expert spiritual master engages his followers in work that will gradually develop their consciousness of service to the Lord. Therefore the preliminary stage of understanding prema, love of God, is to approach a proper pure devotee, accept him as one's spiritual master, and execute regulated devotional service under his guidance.

The next stage is called anartha-nivrtti, in which all the misgivings of material life are vanquished. A person gradually reaches this stage by regularly performing the primary principles of devotional service under the guidance of the spiritual master. There are many bad habits we acquire in the association of material contamination, chief of which are illicit sexual relationships, eating animal food, indulging in intoxication, and gambling. The first thing the expert spiritual master does when he engages his disciple in regulated devotional service is to instruct him to abstain from these four principles of sinful life.

Since God is supremely pure, one cannot rise to the highest perfectional stage of love of God without being purified. In the Bhagavad-gita (10.12), when Arjuna accepted Krsna as the Supreme Lord, he said, pavitram paramam bhavan: "You are the purest of the pure." The Lord is the purest, and thus anyone who wants to serve the Supreme Lord must also be pure. Unless a person is pure, he can neither understand what the Personality of Godhead is nor engage in His service in love, for devotional service, as stated before, begins from the point of self-realization, when all misgivings of materialistic life are vanquished.

After following the regulative principles and purifying the material senses, one attains the stage of nistha, firm faith in the Lord. When a person has attained this stage, no one can deviate him from the conception of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No one can persuade him that God is impersonal, without a form, or that any form created by imagination can be accepted as God. Those who espouse these more or less nonsensical conceptions of the Supreme Lord cannot dissuade him from firm faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna.

In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krsna stresses in many verses that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But despite Lord Krsna's stressing this point, many so-called scholars and commentators still deny the personal conception of the Lord. One famous scholar wrote in his commentary on the Bhagavad-gita that one does not have to surrender to Lord Krsna or even accept Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but that one should rather surrender to "the Supreme within Krsna." Such fools do not know what is within and what is without. They comment on the Bhagavad-gita according to their own whims. Such persons cannot be elevated to the highest stage of love of Godhead. The may be scholarly, and they may be elevated in other departments of knowledge, but they are not even neophytes in the process of attaining the highest stage of perfection, love of Godhead. Nistha implies that one should accept the words of Bhagavad-gita, the words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as they are, without any deviation or nonsensical commentary.

If a person is fortunate enough to vanquish all misgivings caused by material existence and rise up to the stage of nistha, he can then rise to the stages of ruci (taste) and asakti (attachment for the Lord). Asakti is the beginning of love of Godhead. By progressing, one then advances to the stage of relishing a reciprocal exchange with the Lord in ecstasy (bhava). Every living entity is eternally related to the Supreme Lord, and this relationship may be in any one of many transcendental humors. At the stage called asakti, attachment, a person can understand his relationship with the Supreme Lord. When he understands his position, he begins reciprocating with the Lord. By constant reciprocation with the Lord, the devotee is elevated to the highest stage of love of Godhead, prema.

technocrati tags:

Friday, June 6, 2008

Change of Rasa

This is an excerpt from a lecture on Siddha Pranali. Here Prabhupada states his opinion on rasa.

Ramesvara: Srila Prabhupada, when the devotee is in the original relationship with Krsna, his siddha-deha, why is it that he sometimes changes his original rasa with Krsna?

Prabhupada: Hm?

Ramesvara: Each one of us has an original relationship with Krsna, some as plant, some as tree, some as cow, some as cowherd boy. So if that is re-established, why should the devotee desire to change it?

Prabhupada: Well, that is spiritual kingdom. You can change if you like.

Tamala Krsna: It is not static, Prabhupada once explained. Love is not static.

Prabhupada: Generally, it is not changed. Just like mother Yasoda, she's mother all the time, eternally.

Tamala Krsna: The question came in Bombay two or three years ago. Prabhupada said that it is not static. You can have (inaudible).

Hari-sauri: I always understood before that the rasa was fixed, but that within that rasa one may take different..., one may take a different line.

Prabhupada: That will be revealed when you are liberated. Why you are bothering now?

Ramesvara: That's the point.

technorati tags:

Prabhupada on the Divine Couple

Haribol Prabhus
This excerpt is an excerpt from the Teachings of Lord Caitanya. One must understand that I am not purporting to comment as lila smaranam. I am “hoping that perhaps persons who are singing and /or aware of some of the highly excellent bhajanas are also aware of Srila Prabhupada’s comments on the Divine Couple. Just for the record I have read the Srimad Bhagavatam twice. I was using the Krishna Books for the Tenth Canto as the 10th Canto was not out yet. I eventually found a 10th Canto on the rasa lila in a thrift shop. It was not the original version but I believe I still have such at my mothers!

I have not read the last four Cantos.

I have read the TOLC, but again this was many years ago. I spend most of my evenings listening to the lectures by Srila Prabhupada which I may have listened to half. Over the last four years I have read several small books by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura which complements my main study of Srila Prabhupada’s work on the Srimad Bhagavatm itself. It is very hard for some bhaktas as myself to maintain hard copies of the large works

Taken form the introduction of Teachings of Lord Caitanya by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

In order to learn how Krsna's pleasure can be obtained, we must read the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam in which Krsna's pleasure potency is displayed in His pastimes with Radharani and the damsels of Vraja. Unfortunately, unintelligent people turn at once to the sports of Krsna in the Dasama-skandha, the Tenth Canto. Krsna's embracing Radharani or His dancing with the cowherd girls in the rasa dance are generally not understood by ordinary men because they consider these pastimes in the light of mundane lust. They incorrectly think that Krsna is like themselves and that He embraces the gopis just as an ordinary man embraces a young girl. Some people thus become interested in Krsna because they think that His religion allows indulgence in sex. This is not Krsna-bhakti, love of Krsna, but prakrta-sahajiya-- materialistic lust.

In order to avoid such errors, we should understand what Radha-Krsna actually is. Radha and Krsna display their pastimes through Krsna's internal energy. The pleasure potency of Krsna's internal energy is a most difficult subject matter, and unless one understands what Krsna is, he cannot understand it. Krsna does not take any pleasure in this material world, but He has a pleasure potency. Because we are part and parcel of Krsna, the pleasure potency is within us also, but we are trying to exhibit that pleasure potency in matter. Krsna, however, does not make such a vain attempt. The object of Krsna's pleasure potency is Radharani, and He exhibits His potency or His energy as Radharani and then engages in loving affairs with Her. In other words, Krsna does not take pleasure in this external energy but exhibits His internal energy, His pleasure potency, as Radharani. Thus Krsna manifests Himself as Radharani in order to exhibit His internal pleasure potency. Of the many extensions, expansions and incarnations of the Lord, this pleasure potency is the foremost and chief.

It is not that Radharani is separate from Krsna. Radharani is also Krsna, for there is no difference between the energy and the energetic. Without energy, there is no meaning to the energetic, and without the energetic, there is no energy. Similarly, without Radha there is no meaning to Krsna, and without Krsna, there is no meaning to Radha. Because of this, the Vaisnava philosophy first of all pays obeisances to and worships the internal pleasure potency of the Supreme Lord. Thus the Lord and His potency are always referred to as Radha-Krsna. Similarly, those who worship the name of Narayana first of all utter the name of Laksmi, as Laksmi-Narayana. Similarly, those who worship Lord Rama first of all utter the name of Sita. In any case--Sita-Rama, Radha-Krsna, Laksmi-Narayana--the potency always comes first.
Radha and Krsna are one, and when Krsna desires to enjoy pleasure, He manifests Himself as Radharani. The spiritual exchange of love between Radha and Krsna is the actual display of the internal pleasure potency of Krsna. Although we speak of "when" Krsna desires, just when He did desire we cannot say. We only speak in this way because in conditional life we take it that everything has a beginning; however, in the absolute or spiritual life there is neither beginning nor end. Yet in order to understand that Radha and Krsna are one and that They also become divided, the question "When?" automatically comes to mind. When Krsna desired to enjoy His pleasure potency, He manifested Himself in the separate form of Radharani, and when He wanted to understand Himself through the agency of Radha, He united with Radharani, and that unification is called Lord Caitanya.

Why did Krsna assume the form of Caitanya Mahaprabhu? It is explained that Krsna desired to know the glory of Radha's love. "Why is She so much in love with Me?" Krsna asked. "What is My special qualification that attracts Her so? And what is the actual way in which She loves Me?" It seems strange that Krsna, as the Supreme, should be attracted by anyone's love. We search after the love of a woman or a man because we are imperfect and lack something. The love of a woman, that potency and pleasure, is absent in man, and therefore a man wants a woman, but this is not the case with Krsna, who is full in Himself. Thus Krsna expressed surprise: "Why am I attracted by Radharani? And when Radharani feels My love, what is She actually feeling?" In order to taste the essence of that loving affair, Krsna appeared just as the moon appears on the horizon of the sea. Just as the moon was produced by the churning of the sea, by the churning of spiritual love affairs the moon of Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared. Indeed, Caitanya's complexion was golden, just like the moon. Although this is figurative language, it conveys the meaning behind the appearance of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The full significance of His appearance will be explained in later chapters.

technorati tags:

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Radhika Stava


If this bhajana by Rupa Goswami does not melt your heart and help you surrender you should consider yourself lost. It is one of the most beautiful and simply examples of devotion in the Gaudiya Sampradaya.

Sri Radhika-stava
(from Stava-mala)by Srila Rupa Gosvami

radhe jaya jaya madhava-dayite







lalita-sakhi guna-ramita-visakhe


karunam kuru mayi karuna-bharite



O Radha! O beloved of Madhava! O You who are worshiped by all the young girls of Gokula! All glories unto You! All glories unto You!

O You who dress Yourself in such a way as to increase Lord Damodara's love and attachment for You! O queen of Vrndavana, which is the pleasure grove of Lord Hari! O new moon who has arisen from the ocean of King Vrsabhanu! 0 friend of Lalita! O You who make Visakha loyal to You due to Your wonderful qualities of friendliness, kindness, and faithfulness to Krsna! O You who are filled with compassion! O You whose divine characteristics are described by the great sages Sanaka and Sanatana! O Radha, please be merciful to me!


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Krishna On His Appearance

Caitanya Caritamrta
Adi Lila
Chapter 3


dasa-sakha-pita-mata-kanta-gana lana
vraje krida kare krsna premavista hana

dasa--servants; sakha--friends; pita-mata--father and mother; kanta-gana--lovers; lana--taking; vraje--in Vraja; krida kare--plays; krsna--Lord Krsna; prema-avista--absorbed in love; hana--being.

Absorbed in such transcendental love, Lord Sri Krsna enjoys in Vraja with His devoted servants, friends, parents and conjugal lovers.

The descent of Sri Krsna, the Absolute Personality of Godhead, is very purposeful. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said that one who knows the truth about Sri Krsna's descent and His various activities is at once liberated and does not have to fall again to this existence of birth and death after he leaves his present material body. In other words, one who factually understands Krsna makes his life perfect. Imperfect life is realized in material existence, in five different relationships we share with everyone within the material world: neutrality, servitorship, friendship, filial love, and amorous love between husband and wife or lover and beloved. These five enjoyable relationships within the material world are perverted reflections of relationships with the Absolute Personality of Godhead in the transcendental nature. That Absolute Personality, Sri Krsna, descends to revive the five eternally existing relationships. Thus He manifests His transcendental pastimes in Vraja so that people may be attracted into that sphere of activities and leave aside their imitation relationships with the mundane. Then, after fully exhibiting all such activities, the Lord disappears.


yathesta vihari' krsna kare antardhana
antardhana kari' mane kare anumana

yatha-ista--as much as He wishes; vihari'--enjoying; krsna--Lord Krsna; kare--makes; antardhana--disappearance; antardhana kari'--disappearing; mane--in the mind; kare--He makes; anumana--consideration.

Lord Krsna enjoys His transcendental pastimes as long as He wishes, and then He disappears. After disappearing, however, He thinks thus:


cira-kala nahi kari prema-bhakti dana
bhakti vina jagatera nahi avasthana

cira-kala--for a long time; nahi kari--I have not done; prema-bhakti--loving devotional service; dana--giving; bhakti--devotional service; vina--without; jagatera--of the universe; nahi--not; avasthana--existence.

"For a long time I have not bestowed unalloyed loving service to Me upon the inhabitants of the world. Without such loving attachment, the existence of the material world is useless.

The Lord seldom awards pure transcendental love, but without such pure love of God, freed from fruitive activities and empiric speculation, one cannot attain perfection in life.


sakala jagate more kare vidhi-bhakti
vidhi-bhaktye vraja-bhava paite nahi sakti

sakala--all; jagate--in the universe; more--to Me; kare--they do; vidhi-bhakti--regulative devotional service; vidhi-bhaktye--by regulative devotional service; vraja-bhava--the feelings of those in Vraja; paite--to obtain; nahi--not; sakti--the power.

"Everywhere in the world people worship Me according to scriptural injunctions. But simply by following such regulative principles one cannot attain the loving sentiments of the devotees in Vrajabhumi.


aisvarya-jnanete saba jagat misrita
aisvarya-sithila-preme nahi mora prita

aisvarya-jnanete--with knowledge of the opulences; saba--all; jagat--the world; misrita--mixed; aisvarya-sithila-preme--to love enfeebled by opulence; nahi--there is not; mora--My; prita--attraction.

"Knowing My opulences, the whole world looks upon Me with awe and veneration. But devotion made feeble by such reverence does not attract Me.

After His appearance, Lord Krsna thought that He had not distributed the transcendental personal dealings with His devotees in dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya. One may understand the science of the Supreme Personality of Godhead from the Vedic literature and thus become a devotee of the Lord and worship Him within the regulative principles described in the scriptures, but one will not know in this way how Krsna is served by the residents of Vrajabhumi. One cannot understand the dealings of the Lord in Vrndavana simply by executing the ritualistic regulative principles mentioned in the scriptures. By following scriptural injunctions one may enhance his appreciation for the glories of the Lord, but there is no chance for one to enter into personal dealings with Him. Giving too much attention to understanding the exalted glories of the Lord reduces the chance of one's entering into personal loving affairs with the Lord. To teach the principles of such loving dealings, the Lord decided to appear as Lord Caitanya.


aisvarya-jnane vidhi-bhajana kariya
vaikunthake yaya catur-vidha mukti pana

aisvarya-jnane--in knowledge of the opulences; vidhi--according to rules and regulations; bhajana--worship; kariya--doing; vaikunthake--to Vaikuntha; yaya--they go; catuh-vidha--four kinds; mukti--liberation; pana--achieving.

"By performing such regulated devotional service in awe and veneration, one may go to Vaikuntha and attain the four kinds of liberation.


sarsti, sarupya, ara samipya, salokya
sayujya na laya bhakta yate brahma-aikya

sarsti--opulences equal with the Lord's; sarupya--the same form as the Lord's; ara--and; samipya--personal association with the Lord; salokya--residence on a Vaikuntha planet; sayujya--oneness with the Lord; na laya--they do not accept; bhakta--devotees; yate--since; brahma-aikya--oneness with Brahman.

"These liberations are sarsti [achieving opulences equal to those of the Lord], sarupya [having a form the same as the Lord's], samipya [living as a personal associate of the Lord] and salokya [living on a Vaikuntha planet]. Devotees never accept sayujya, however, since that is oneness with Brahman.

Those engaged in devotional service according to the ritualistic principles mentioned in the scriptures attain these different kinds of liberation. But although such devotees can attain sarsti, sarupya, samipya and salokya, they are not concerned with these liberations, for such devotees are satisfied only in rendering transcendental loving service to the Lord. The fifth kind of liberation, sayujya, is never accepted even by devotees who perform only ritualistic worship. To attain sayujya, or merging into the Brahman effulgence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the aspiration of the impersonalists. A devotee never cares for sayujya liberation.

technorati tags:

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Advent of Mahaprabhu

Here we have a very simple explanation by Prabhupada over the advent of Mahaprabhu. Anyone one who comprehends this mission is qualified to return to Godhead. So that being ascertained we submit to Swamiji's insights.

Caintanya Caritamrta Adi Lila
Chapter 3
The External Reasons for Lord Caitanya's Appearance

In this chapter the author has fully discussed the reason for the descent of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krsna, after displaying His pastimes as Lord Krsna, thought it wise to make His advent in the form of a devotee to explain personally the transcendental mellow reciprocations of service and love between Himself and His servants, friends, parents and fiancees. According to the Vedic literature, the foremost occupational duty for humanity in this Age of Kali is nama-sankirtana, or congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord. The incarnation for this age especially preaches this process, but only Krsna Himself can explain the confidential loving service performed in the four principal varieties of loving affairs between the Supreme Lord and His devotees. Lord Krsna therefore personally appeared, with His plenary portions, as Lord Caitanya. As stated in this chapter, only for that purpose did Lord Krsna appear personally in Navadvipa in the form of Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Krsnadasa Kaviraja has herein presented much authentic evidence from Srimad-Bhagavatam and other scriptures to substantiate the identity of Lord Caitanya with Sri Krsna Himself. He has described bodily symptoms in Lord Caitanya that are visible only in the person of the Supreme Lord, and he has proved that Lord Caitanya appeared with His personal associates--Sri Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara, Srivasa and other devotees--to preach the special significance of chanting Hare Krsna. The appearance of Lord Caitanya is both significant and confidential. He can be appreciated only by pure devotees and only through the process of devotional service. The Lord tried to conceal His identity as the Supreme Personality of Godhead by representing Himself as a devotee, but His pure devotees can recognize Him by His special features. The Vedas and Puranas foretell the appearance of Lord Caitanya, but still He is sometimes called, significantly, the concealed descent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Advaita Acarya was a contemporary of Lord Caitanya's father. He felt sorry for the condition of the world because even after Lord Krsna's appearance, no one had interest in devotional service to Krsna. This forgetfulness was so overwhelming that Advaita Prabhu was convinced that no one but Lord Krsna Himself could enlighten people about devotional service to the Supreme Lord. Therefore Advaita requested Lord Krsna to appear as Lord Caitanya. Offering tulasi leaves and Ganges water, He cried for the Lord's appearance. The Lord, being satisfied by His pure devotees, descends to satisfy them. As such, being pleased by Advaita Acarya, Lord Caitanya appeared.

technorati tags:

Saturday, March 8, 2008


by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura Prabhupada

The desire for sadhu-sanga and the inclination to serve Krishna (krishna-anusilana) appear in the jiva by the influence of sukriti.

The jiva’s aversion to Bhagavan is the result of his desire for sense enjoyment;consequently, he wanders throughout this world with the hope of attaining happiness. As long as his desire for worldly happiness does not wane, an inclination to serve Bhagavan cannot possibly arise in him. However, with the accumulation of abundant sukriti, or spiritual merit, his desire for worldly enjoyment slackens. This is the result of Bhagavan’s gradual mercy upon him. It is then that the desire for sadhu-sanga, the association of saintly persons, arises within him naturally.
Sraddha, or transcendental faith, arises by discussing topics about Krishna in sadhu-sanga. With the jiva’s increasing effort to engage in the cultivation of activities related to Krishna, a greed to attain Bhagavan appears within him. At that time, one should accept the shelter of the lotus feet of a guru whose character is spotless and who has full knowledge of philosophical truths. One should learn the art of bhajana from such a guru. Only by the strength of his bhajana does the jiva attain the complete mercy of Bhagavan.

To attain the mercy of Bhagavan is the sole purpose of sadhana

In the jiva’s condition of being completely captivated by maya, he must accept the activities of sadhana as indispensable in order to become eligible to attain the mercy of Bhagavan. Sriman Mahaprabhu has Himself said, “sadhana vina jivera sadhya vastu keha nahi paya – a jiva who does not perform sadhana does not attain his goal, or sadhya.” Although a person may have attained a little sraddha, if he is lazy about performing the activities of sadhana and simply sits back and hopes to attain Krishna’s mercy, he will not receive any real benefit. His life will simply pass by uselessly. Krishna is the embodiment of mercy, and in bestowing His boundless compassion upon the jivas, He has manifested the Vedic scriptures. Furthermore, He descends in every yuga and preaches the specific dharma, or spiritual means for deliverance, for that yuga. In this way, He endeavours to make all jivas under stand those Vedic scriptures and become favourably inclined toward Him. Particularly in Kali-yuga, His mercy is available without restriction. Those who do not become inclined to perform sadhana to attain Krishna, despite having such an opportunity, simply have no hope of ever attaining auspiciousness.

The specific result one attains at the stage of perfection is a function of the quality of one’s sadhana

Sri Krishna-candra is supremely independent. If He so desires, He can give His darsana to the jiva. That said, if a person’s heart lacks eagerness to perform even a little sadhana to attain Him, then that person’s yearning for Krishna cannot be genuine. Rather, it is simply a semblance of real hankering. Such a person would not in fact be satisfied even by the direct darsana of Bhagavan, but would return to this world from Vaikuntha to fulfil his hankering for the worthless happiness of this world.

The process of sadhana is nothing but the art of increasing one’s thirst to attain Bhagavan. A person receives the mercy of Krishna in proportion to the intensity of this thirst, which develops by performing sadhana marked by care and eagerness. When such sadhana is fully matured, Krishna manifests Himself to that person. He cannot withhold Himself.

The conditioned jiva will never achieve success if he relinquishes the activities of sadhana; he must embrace them with great care. He will approach perfection to the extent that he performs sadhana with honour.
What is sadhana?

Srila Rupa Gosvami has stated:
nitya-siddhasya bhavasya prakatyam hridi sadhyata
Sadhana is the process of awakening the eternal dormant propensity within one’s heart to love Krishna.(Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.2)

The jiva’s eternal constitutional nature is to be a servant of Bhagavan; and his eternal occupation is bhagavat-prema, to render loving service to Bhagavan.In the jiva’s conditioned state, his eternally perfect love is observed in the form of his love for sense objects. Sadhana is the process that revokes that love from the sense objects and causes this eternal love to appear in the heart.
The sastras delineate the various limbs of sadhana. Srila Rupa Gosvami has divided these into sixty-four divisions in his book Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu. Srimad-Bhagavatam divides them into nine forms, namely, sravanam, kirtanam, smaranam, etc. The essence of all sadhana, especially in Kali-yuga, is harinama – to chant the holy names of Krishna.
Sri nama-sankirtana is the highest sadhana, and the various other limbs of sadhana are its assistants.
When the best of scholars, Vasudeva Sarvabhauma, wished to know what is the highest sadhana, Sriman Mahaprabhu replied that harinama-sankirtana is topmost. This is described in Sri Caitanya-caritamrita (Madhya-lila 6.241):
bhakti-sadhana-sreshtha sunite haila manaprabhu upadesa kaila nama-sankirtana
Sri Mahaprabhu also spoke the following words to Sri Sanatana Gosvami:
bhajanera madhye sreshtha nava-vidha bhakti‘krishna-prema’, ‘krishna’ dite dhare maha-saktitara madhye sarva-sreshtha nama-sankirtananiraparadhe nama laile paya prema-dhana
Among the various methods of performing bhajana, the best is to execute the nine prescribed processes of bhakti. These processes carry the outstanding potency to bestow both krishna-prema and Krishna. Among the nine processes of bhakti, chanting the holy names is foremost. If one chants without committing any offences, one easily receives the treasure of pure love for Krishna. (Sri Caitanyacaritamrita, Antya-lila 4.70–71)
In this Kali-yuga, there is no other refuge for the jiva than chanting the names of Hari. Indeed, harinama is the only sadhana, and the other limbs of sadhana are accepted as its assistants.
In sastra we find the statement “‘eka’ anga sadhe, keha sadhe ‘bahu’ anga – some practise a single limb, whereas others practise many.” However, no one should think he can attain perfection by taking shelter of any limb other than harinama. When a sadhaka understands harinama to be the topmost sadhana and takes one-pointed shelter of nama, he can also perform the other limbs of sadhana. Sastra clearly declares:

harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalamkalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha
To attain one’s spiritual goal in Kali-yuga, there is no other way, there is no other way, there is no other way than to chant the holy name, chant the holy name, chant the holy name.
Sri nama is both the practice and the goal

Whoever is the recipient of Sriman Mahaprabhu’s mercy will single-mindedly take shelter of harinama without any duplicity. As he performs sadhana of harinama and gradually attains perfection, he will come to realise nama in the form of his sadhya, or goal. This is because Krishna’s name is both the goal and the means to attain it. There is no difference between Krishna’s name (nama) and Krishna Himself, the possessor of the name (nami).

It is necessary to deliberate a little on the subject of the practice, or sadhana, of sri nama. Sadhana is performed with the senses. Therefore, it is essential that the sadhaka firmly and expertly engage his senses in the activities of sadhana. One can perform the practices of sadhana in a charming way if one keeps the body healthy. This can be achieved by regulating one’s eating (yukta-ahara) and recreation (yukta-vihara).

In other words, if a person tortures his body by being falsely renounced, then all his senses become disabled. Consequently, instead of the sadhaka performing sadhana, he forfeits his life. In this regard, Bhagavan says in the Bhagavad-gita (6.16–17):
naty-asnatas tu yogo ’stina caikantam anasnatahna cati-svapna-silasyajagrato naiva carjuna
O Arjuna, yoga cannot be perfected by one who eats too much or too little, or who sleeps too much or too little.

yuktahara-viharasyayukta-ceshtasya karmasuyukta-svapnavabodhasyayogo bhavati duhkha-ha

For one who is moderate in eating and recreation, balanced in work, and regulated in sleeping and wakefulness, his practice of yoga destroys all material miseries.

The meaning here is that one who eats too much or hardly eats at all, who sleeps a lot or does not sleep enough, is never able to use his body and senses to perform the activities of sadhana. If a person does not allow his body to become unhealthy or his senses in active – by regulating all his endeavours including his eating, recreation, sleeping and waking – then his sadhana will be executed exquisitely and it will destroy all his miseries.

The implication is that one must engage one’s internal sense, the mind, in remembering and meditating upon sri nama, by protecting it from the four anarthas, or impediments to spiritual progress. These impediments are misconceptions about reality (svarupa-bhrama), the hankering for temporaty objects (asat-trishna), weakness of the heart in adopting the process of bhakti (hridayadaurbalya) and offences (aparadha). Moreover, one’s external senses should be protected from becoming habituated to activities that are unfavourable to one’s bhajana, such as over-eating, over-sleeping and endeavouring for sense objects. Instead, they should be incessantly engaged in the sadhana of nama-kirtana. The capacity to do so is indeed the expertise of a sadhaka.

The foundation of sadhana: determination to accept what is favourable for bhakti and to reject what is unfavourable

It is necessary for a sadhaka to be both vigilant and resolute in accepting what is favourable for his bhakti and rejecting what is unfavourable. Often various unfavourable things come into the life of a jiva in this material world, and if he does not carefully and decisively reject them, they will hinder his sadhana and delay him in attaining his cherished goal.

Sometimes one may think: “Let me do what is unfavourable for my sadhana today, and from tomorrow I will take special care to avoid this.’’ But one who manifests such weakness of heart (hridaya-daurbalya) will never attain auspiciousness. As soon as a sadhaka perceives something to be an obstacle to his bhajana, he should give it up immediately and embrace the mercy of Sriman Mahaprabhu. Determination is indeed the foundation of sadhana. If a person lacks determination, he cannot progress even a single step in his sadhana.

The sadhaka’s foremost assistant is sadhu-sanga

The sadhu is the sadhaka’s primary benefactor. The heart of the baddha-jiva is so captured by anarthas, that he cannot single-handedly remove them, despite his arduous attempts to do so. For one who remains in sadhu-sanga, however, anarthas have no chance of manifesting. Srila Narottama Thakura Mahasaya has rightly said:
kiva va karite pare, kama-krodha sadhakerayadi haya sadhujanara sanga
What can lust and anger do to a sadhaka if he is in the association of sadhus?
Sadhu-sanga is absolutely essential for one who wants to properly perform the activities of sadhana. Sriman Mahaprabhu has said:
krishna-bhakti-janma-mula haya ‘sadhu-sanga’krishna-prema janme, tenho punah mukhya anga
The underlying cause of the birth of bhakti to Sri Krishna is sadhu-sanga. Even after krishna-prema awakens in the heart, sadhu-sanga remains the foremost principle.(Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya-lila 22.83)
mahat-kripa vina kona karme ‘bhakti’ nayakrishna-bhakti dure rahu, samsara nahe kshaya
Unless a person is blessed by an exalted saint, none of the activities he performs can be considered to be bhakti. What to say of attaining krishna-bhakti, it is impossible for him even to extricate himself from material existence.(Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya-lila 22.51)

Incessantly accept the shelter of sri nama and pray for the mercy of sri nama

If one can chant the holy name in the association of a pure devotee who is attached to chanting, all his offences will be dispelled and nama-tattva will quickly manifest in his heart. Our prayer at the lotus feet of Sriman Mahaprabhu is that by incessantly chanting the holy name in the association of a suddha-bhakta we may soon experience the sweetness (rasa) of sri nama. We pray for nothing other than the mercy of sri nama.

[Appearing in english for the first time: Rays of the Harmonist No.16 Karttika 2006Translated from Sri Gaudiya Patrika, Year 8, Issue 7]

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sadhana and Saranagati

The Nectar Of Instruction

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


atyaharah prayasas ca
prajalpo niyamagrahah
jana-sangas ca laulyam ca
sadbhir bhaktir vinasyati

ati-aharah--overeating or too much collecting; prayasah--overendeavouring; ca--and; prajalpah--idle talk; niyama--rules and regulations; agrahah--too much attachment to (or agrahah--too much neglect of); jana-sangah--association with worldly-minded persons; ca--and; laulyam--ardent longing or greed; ca--and; sadbhih--by these six; bhaktih--devotional service; vinasyati--is destroyed.

One's devotional service is spoiled when he becomes too entangled in the following six activities: (1) eating more than necessary or collecting more funds than required; (2) overendeavoring for mundane things that are very difficult to obtain; (3) talking unnecessarily about mundane subject matters; (4) Practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them and not for the sake of spiritual advancement, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically; (5) associating with worldly-minded persons who are not interested in Krsna consciousness; and (6) being greedy for mundane

Human life is meant for plain living and high thinking. Since all conditioned living beings are under the control of the Lord's third energy, this material world is designed so that one is obliged to work. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has three primary energies, or potencies. The first is called antaranga-sakti, or the internal potency. The second is called tatastha-sakti, or the marginal potency. The third is called bahiranga-sakti, or the external potency. The living entities constitute the marginal potency, and they are situated between the internal and external Potencies. Being subordinate as eternal servants of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the jivatmas, or atomic living entities, must remain under the control of either the internal or external potency. When they are under the control of the internal potency, they display their natural, constitutional activity--namely, constant engagement in the devotional service of the Lord. This is stated in Bhagavad-gita (9.13):

mahatmanas tu mam partha
daivim prakrtim asritah
bhajanty ananya-manaso
jnatva bhutadim avyayam

"O son of Prtha, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible."

The word mahatma refers to those who are broadminded, not cripple-minded. Cripple-minded persons, always engaged in satisfying their senses, sometimes expand their activities in order to do good for others through some "ism" like nationalism, humanitarianism or altruism. They may reject personal sense gratification for the sense gratification of others, like the members of their family, community or society--either national or international. Actually all this is extended sense gratification, from personal to communal to social. This may all be very good from the material point of view, but such activities have no spiritual value. The basis of such activity is sense gratification, either personal or extended. Only when a person gratifies the senses of the Supreme Lord can he be called a mahatma, or broadminded person.

In the above-quoted verse from Bhagavad-gita, the words daivim prakrtim refer to the control of the internal potency, or pleasure potency, of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This pleasure potency is manifested as Srimati Radharani, or Her expansion Laksmi, the goddess of fortune. When the individual jiva souls are under the control of the internal energy, their only engagement is the satisfaction of Krsna, or Visnu. This is the position of a mahatma. If one is not a mahatma, he is a duratma, or a cripple-minded person. Such mentally crippled duratmas are put under the control of the Lord's external potency, mahamaya.

Indeed, all living entities within this material world are under the control of mahamaya, whose business is to subject them to the influence of threefold miseries: adhidaivika-klesa (sufferings caused by the demigods, such as droughts, earthquakes and storms), adhibhautika-klesa (sufferings caused by other living entities like insects or enemies), and adhyatmika-klesa (sufferings caused by one's own body and mind, such as mental and physical infirmities). Daiva-bhutatma-hetavah: the conditioned souls, subjected to these three miseries by the control of the external energy, suffer various difficulties.

The main problem confronting the conditioned souls is the repetition of birth, old age, disease and death. In the material world one has to work for the maintenance of the body and soul, but how can one perform such work in a way that is favorable for the execution of Krsna consciousness?

Everyone requires possessions such as food grains, clothing, money and other things necessary for the maintenance of the body, but one should not collect more than necessary for his actual basic needs. If this natural principle is followed, there will be no difficulty in maintaining the body.

technorati tags: