Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How to Discharge Devotional Service

NoD 6-1970: How to Discharge Devotional Service

Chapter Six
How to Discharge Devotional Service

Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé states that his elder brother (Sanätana Gosvämé) has compiled Hari-bhakti-viläsa for the guidance of the Vaiñëavas and therein has mentioned many rules and regulations to be followed by the Vaiñëavas. Some of them are very important and prominent, and he will now mention these very important items for our benefit. The purport of this statement is that Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé proposes to mention only basic principles, not details. For example, a basic principle is that one has to accept a spiritual master. Exactly how one follows the instructions of his spiritual master is considered a detail. For example, if one is following the instruction of his spiritual master and that instruction is different from the instructions of another spiritual master, this is called detailed information. But the basic principle of acceptance of a spiritual master is good everywhere, although the details may be different. Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé does not wish to enter into details here, but wants to place before us only the principles.

He mentions the basic principles as follows: 1) accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master, 2) becoming initiated by the spiritual master and learning how to discharge devotional service from him, 3) obeying the orders of the spiritual master with faith and devotion, 4) following in the footsteps of great äcäryas (teachers) under the direction of the spiritual master, 5) inquiring from the spiritual master how to advance in Kåñëa consciousness, 6) being prepared to give up anything material for the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Çré Kåñëa (This means that when we are engaged in the devotional service of Kåñëa, we must be prepared to give up something which we may not like to give up, and also we have to accept something which we may not like to accept.), 7) residing in a sacred place of pilgrimage like Dvärakä or Våndävana, 8)  dealing with the material world only as far as necessary, 9) observing the fasting day on Ekädaçé, and 10) worshiping sacred trees like the banyan tree.

These ten items are preliminary necessities for beginning the discharge of devotional service in regulative principles. In the beginning, if a neophyte devotee observes the above-mentioned ten principles, surely he will quickly make good advancement in Kåñëa consciousness.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Transition States

banyan-tree-07 Bhagavad Gita As It Is

Srila Prabhupada

Chapter 15. The Yoga of the Supreme Person

Chapter 15, Verse 1.
The Blessed Lord said: There is a banyan tree which has its roots upward and its branches down and whose leaves are the Vedic hymns. One who knows this tree is the knower of the Vedas.

Chapter 15, Verse 2.
The branches of this tree extend downward and upward, nourished by the three modes of material nature. The twigs are the objects of the senses. This tree also has roots going down, and these are bound to the fruitive actions of human society.

Chapter 15, Verse 3-4.
The real form of this tree cannot be perceived in this world. No one can understand where it ends, where it begins, or where its foundation is. But with determination one must cut down this tree with the weapon of detachment. So doing, one must seek that place from which, having once gone, one never returns, and there surrender to that Supreme Personality of Godhead from whom everything has began and in whom everything is abiding since time immemorial.

In Social Systems Theory bifurcation means branching. In the Vedas the term anga means branch. This process is also called a phase transformation.

According to Butz (1997), “ A system moves from a previous order to a new and more complex order by virtue of a chaotic transitory period.”

According to Prigogine and Stengers (1984), this fluctuation or singular moment or bifurcation is inherently impossible to predict as to whether the transition will be towards higher states of order or disintegrate into chaos.

Hence, the system may be reacting to external, internal, vertical, and horizontal pressures as it attempts to survive.

Transitions are weak links in a system whether it is an organism or level of human organization.

One can observe that a baby calf or deer may have only seconds or minutes to get it’s legs after birth to avoid the wild predators that are only meters away.

Gaudiya Vaishnavism has a very long lineage. It has been nearly extinct several times as previously to the time when Krishna spoke the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna.

There has been many angas or branches since Bhaktivinoda revived Gaudiya Vaishnavism just over 100 years past.

One may observe the different camps diksa – ritvik, and mathas as the Caitanya Nsringha and IPBSYS or Pure Bhakti.

There are several lines operating under what is diksa ISKCON currently.

Monday, March 24, 2014



Bhaktivinoda Thakura


The word bhava indicates the jiva's forcible subjection to
repeated births in this world.   Bhava is a continuous cycle of
birth and death called mahadavagni (blazing fire), a raging
conflagration that cannot be extinguished by any means other than the congregational chanting of Krsna's holy name. 

    A question may arise at this point:  when one is at last
enlightened about his svadharma or eternal function as a liber­ated
soul, does he then cease chanting Krsna's holy name?  The
answer is no; the stoppage of chanting never occurs, because
chanting God's name is verily the soul's sva-dharma. The phrase
sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitarana confirms this by specifically
conveying the sense of the eternal activity of the spirit soul in
his original spiritual condition.

     Jivas who are enslaved by maya prefer to enjoy material
life, and this desire perpetuates their bondage to the cycle of
birth and death.  This the root cause of the threefold miseries.
But when the spirit soul becomes disgusted with material
enjoyment and re-dedicates his time and energy to Lord Krsna's
loving service, he reaps the greatest benefit. This benefit is
compared to a the cluster of pristine white lotuses, for just as
the moon's soothing rays  cause the white lotuses to blossom, the
rasaladen rays of the chanting of the holy name stirs the en­folded
petals of the lotus of the jiva's good fortune, causing it
to open.

    As it is said, "devotion gives birth to devotion": the
sincere and faithful devotee must therefore follow the principles
of elementary bhakti by regularly hearing and chanting the holy
name until the first light of pure devotion begins to dawn in the
heart. The closed lotus flower touched by the moon's rays
awakens in full bloom, and similarly, when the congregational
chanting of the holy name spreads the rays of bhava (the essence
of hladini) and impregnates the soul's heart, rati (conjugal love
for Sri Krsna) then lights up his consciousness, bestowing the
highest benediction.  This is what is meant by the "rays of the
benediction moon."

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sri Gauranga Pranama


Çré Gauräìga Praëäma

namo mahä-vadänyäya kåñëa-prema-pradäya te
kåñëäya kåñëa-caitanya-nämne gaura-tviñe namaù


namaù—obeisances; mahä-vadänyäya—who is most munificent and charitably disposed; kåñëa-prema—love of Kåñëa; pradäya—who can give; te—unto You; kåñëäya—the original Personality of Godhead; kåñëa-caitanya-nämne—under the name Kåñëa Caitanya; gaura-tviñe— whose complexion is the golden complexion of Çrématé Rädhäräëé;


O most munificent incarnation! You are Kåñëa Himself appearing as Çré Kåñëa Caitanya Mahäprabhu. You have assumed the golden color of Çrématé Rädhäräëé, and You are widely distributing pure love of Kåñëa. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bhagavad Gita Ch. 13: 8-12


Srila Prabhupada

Therefore our duty is, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. "We have to accept that way which is given by the mahājana." Mahājana. So śāstra... We are sometimes in difficulty to find out the mahājana, who is mahājana. That mahājana is also described in the śāstras, who can be accepted the greatest authority, mahājana. That is stated in the Sixth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Svayaṁbhur nāradaḥ śaṁbhuḥ [SB 6.3.20]. They are mahājanas. Svayambhuḥ means Brahmā. Brahmā is mahājana. Svayambhu, Nārada. Nārada Muni is mahājana. And Śambhu, Lord Śiva, he is also mahājana. Svayaṁbhur nāradaḥ śaṁbhuḥ kumāraḥ [SB 6.3.20], four Kumāras. Sanat-kumārādi, they are also mahājanas. Kapila, Kapiladeva who expounded that Sāṅkhya philosophy, Kapiladeva. He is incarnation of God. Kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ.

Svayambhuva Manu, he is also authority. Manu's name is also mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā. Imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayaṁ vivasvān manave prāhuḥ [Bg. 4.1]. So therefore Manu is also mahājana, he's authority. There is Manu-saṁhitā. Our Vedic system is conducted, the law, the law-giver is Manu. From Manu, the manuṣya, "man", these words have come, Manu. Descendant of Manu, human society, manuṣya.

So Prahlāda, Prahlāda Mahārāja is mahājana. Janaka, Janaka Mahārāja. Prahlādo janako bhīṣmaḥ, Bhīṣmadeva, grandfather Bhīṣmadeva, the grandfather of the Pāṇḍus. He is also mahājana. Prahlādo janako bhīṣmo baliḥ, Bali Mahārāja, he is mahājana. Vaiyāsakiḥ, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and Yamarāja, he is also mahājana.

So we have to follow the footsteps of the mahājana. Otherwise we shall be bewildered. Kṛṣṇa therefore, He says, ṛṣibhir bahudhā gītam: "There are many saintly persons, great sages, and they have spoken in various ways." But Kṛṣṇa concludes, the Vedānta-sūtra. Vedānta-sūtra, He gives reference because this Vedānta-sūtra comes from the disciplic succession of Brahma. Brahma-sūtra. Lord Brahma, Kṛṣṇa instructed Brahma. Tene brahma hrdā ādi-kavaye [SB 1.1.1]. Ādi-kavi is Brahmā, and Kṛṣṇa instructed him. Tene brahma... Brahmā means Vedas. Śabda-brahma. The śabda-brahma was instructed to Lord Brahmā by Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is the original guru.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, imaṁ vivasvate yogam proktavān aham: [Bg. 4.1] "This yoga system, Bhagavad-gītā yoga system, I first of all spoke to the sun-god." Vivasvān manave prāhuḥ. And the sun-god, whose name is Vivasvān, he spoke to his son Manu. Manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt. And Manu spoke to his son, Mahārāja Ikṣvāku. Mahārāja Ikṣvāku is coming from the dynasty of the sun-god Vivasvān. There are two kṣatriya families, one from the moon god, another, the sun-god. So Mahārāja Rāmacandra appeared in the family of the sūrya-vaṁśa, Ikṣvāku, Mahārāja Ikṣvāku.

So this is the paramparā system. And everything is described in the Brahma-sūtra by Vyāsadeva. Vyāsadeva happens to be the disciple of Nārada. Nārada happens to be disciple of Brahma. And from Vyāsadeva, Madhvācārya; then from Madhvācārya disciplic succession, Mādhavendra Purī. Mādhavendra Purī was the spiritual master of Īśvara Purī. Īśvara Purī was the spiritual master of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the spiritual master of the Six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvana: rūpa sanātana bhaṭṭa raghunāth, śrī jīva gopāla bhaṭṭa dāsa raghunāth. So from the Gosvāmīs, then Kavirāja Gosvāmī, Viśvanāth Cakravārtī Ṭhākura, then Jagannāth dās Bābājī, then Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Gaura-Kiśora dāsa Bābājī, Bhaktisiddhānta Sārasvatī. And we are servant of Bhaktisiddhānta. So there is a disciplic succession.

That paramparā should be followed. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. If we want to understand really Vedic literature, then we must follow the paramparā system. There are four sampradāyas, paramparā: the Rāmanuja Sampradāya, Madhvācārya Sampradāya, Viṣṇu Svāmī Sampradāya, Nimbārka Sampradāya. So we belong to the Madhvācārya Sampradāya. Fortunately, all these ācāryas, even Śaṅkarācārya, they appeared from South India. This sampradāya, ācārya-sampradāya, is going on all over India. So every sampradāya has got his commentary on the Brahma-sūtra. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says here, brahma sūtra-padaiś caiva hetumadbhir viniścitaiḥ [Bg. 13.5]. Unless a sampradāya, the four sampradāyas, they do not comment on the Brahma-sūtra, he'll not..., that sampradāya is not accepted. And if you do not accept the sampradāya..., sampradāya-vihīnā ye mantrās te niṣphalā matāḥ.

If you do not take your initiation mantra from the sampradāya, then it is useless. Now, there are so many apasampradāya. They do not come in disciplic succession, but becomes guru, teacher. Therefore everything is topsy-turvied. Nobody has got fixed idea what is God. Everyone has created his own philosophy. The whole thing is now confused.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Should One Accept Disciples?

Should One Accept Disciples?

by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada

Question 1: Is it necessary to be in the association of saintly persons (sadhu-sanga) at all times?

Answer: We must be in sadhu-sanga at every moment. I am weak. Without sadhu-sanga I cannot possibly save myself. If I remain far away from sadhu-sanga, then I will fall pray to the ill-mentality that “I am the master.” If we do not live in accordance with the instructions of the sadhu or the guru, then we will be plunged into great calamity. The moment we are without shelter, maya will capture us. Consequently, we will roam here and there in this material world as a servant of maya.

Question 2: How is one delivered from the cycle of material existence (samsara)?

Answer: Without the mercy of Bhagavan, no one can ever be delivered from material bondage. We are the eternally purchased slaves of Krsna. As soon as we forget this, we must become the slaves of maya. Only service to Bhagavan constitutes bhakti. The desire for sense gratification is not bhakti (abhakti); it is entanglement in material existence. The only way to be delivered from this disastrous material existence is to hear krsna-katha from Sri Guru and the Vaisnavas, accompanied by self-surrender, submissive inquiry and a service attitude. By hearing hari-katha with affection (priti), the tendency to get entangled in material existence will come to an end.

Question 3: Should one accept disciples?

Answer: Without becoming a suddha-bhakta* or a mukta (liberated soul), a person should not accept disciples. First, he should become a disciple himself by taking shelter of a bona fide guru, and he should also hear hari-katha from his lips. Then in his own life he should practise all he has heard from Sri Guru. Thereafter, by humbly performing kirtana – that is, repeating to others what he has heard – gradually he may also become a guru himself.

It is self-deception to think “I will intentionally remain laghu (insignificant) forever.” One must become guru.** This means one has to become a true devotee of Krsna, fully engaging all one’s senses in service to Krsna, at every moment.

This does not necessarily mean that one must accept disciples. Still, by the desire of Bhagavan, some suddha-bhaktas impart instructions for the welfare of the people in general. They are devoid of any selfish motive in doing so. Their purpose is to make those who are laghu (insignificant) become guru (significant); to make those averse to Bhagavan inclined towards Him; and to make everyone a devotee of Krsna.

* One of the definitions of suddha-bhakta given by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada is one who is free from the desire for wealth, women and fame.

** A literal definition for guru is heavy, or weighty with significance. In other words, to perform significant service to Krsna, one must accept heavy responsibility.

Question 4: Is Krsna the wealth of the guru?

Answer: Srila Gurudeva is the proprietor of Bhagavan. Bhagavan Sri Krsna is the wealth of Sri Gurudeva, so only Sri Guru can give us Bhagavan. It is solely by the mercy of Sri Guru that one will attain Krsna’s mercy and have darsana of Him.

Question 5: What does “darsana of Bhagavan” mean?

Answer: To have darsana of Bhagavan means cent-per-cent engagement of the senses in the service of Godhead. In other words, it means to serve Bhagavan with all of one’s senses throughout the twenty-four hours of the day. To be thus engaged is in fact to be established in atma-dharma (the constitutional function of the soul) and is actual bhagavat-darsana. Internal and external sphurti(transcendental vision) of Krsna, which arises by Sri Guru’s mercy as well as by the influence of one’s bhajana, is indeed darsanaof Krsna.

Question 6: Is it especially necessary to have antar-darsana (internal darsana)?

Answer: Certainly. To relinquish external vision – vision aimed at enjoying this world – along with the physical forms therein, it is especially necessary to have internal vision. Someone who does not have internal vision will surely have external vision, in which he sees everything as meant for his own enjoyment. Indeed, external vision means seeing maya, or illusion.

When someone is extremely eager to see the contents of the letter, he won’t waste his time staring at the external envelope. If we can perceive the whole universe as engaged in the service of Bhagavan, our external vision of it will be dispelled.

“Bhagavan pervades the whole universe; everyone’s heart is His place of residence. He constantly resides in the temple of my heart to bestow upon me the opportunity to serve Him.”

When this realization intensifies and becomes strong, we will see the whole world as His residence, just as we see our heart –atmavat manyate jagat. We will perceive the presence of our worshipable Lord everywhere. At that time there will be no question of having bahir-darsana, external vision; itara-darsana, separate vision from the interest of Krsna; laghu-darsana, insignificant vision; visva-darsana, objective vision of the phenomenal universe; and so forth. Only then will we perceive the whole world to be full of transcendental happiness.

Question 7: Can I protect myself?

Answer: Never. To think, “I will protect myself,” is a fiendish, non-devotee mentality. As soon as this type of ill-thought comes, one is endangered.

“Sri Krsna is my sole protector. What do I have to fear?” We should exclusively imbibe this exalted conception, just as Bhakta Prahlada Maharaja did. If we become indifferent to the narrations and instructions of Sri Bhagavan, then soon after, our reliance on Him will lessen. As a result of this, our various ill-thoughts and our false-egos would place us in a calamitous situation.

We will constantly busy ourselves in service to Bhagavan without wasting even a single moment. We have to serve, remaining exclusively in the association of sadhus. By constantly remaining in such sadhu-sanga, our aptitude for service will continuously be enhanced.

Bhagavan fulfils every desire of His surrendered bhaktas without fail, and He never rejects them – krsna sei satya kare, yei mage bhrtya [Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 15.166]. Only Sri Bhagavan has the ability to protect us by giving us shelter. Other than He, no one else has such power. With such resolute faith, we can become free from fear and anxiety, and become happy and successful. Krsna is the embodiment of auspiciousness; and therefore, if we have complete faith in His nature to bestow auspiciousness, we will certainly attain such auspiciousness. Words cannot express the kind of great auspiciousness that is obtained by surrendering fully at the lotus feet of Bhagavan.

Question 8: Who will be delivered?

Answer: It is only when we do not engage ourselves in service to Bhagavan that other thoughts, characteristic of the enjoying mentality, grasp us. The embodiment of compassion, Sri Krsna, is always ready to protect us from this danger, but how will we be protected if we do not entirely depend upon Him? As the guru, Krsna protects the jiva. Sri Guru is the embodiment of Krsna’s mercy. Sri Gurudeva, the representative of Sri Krsna, descends to this world to deliver the jiva from material existence and bring him back to Krsna. Only those fortunate seekers of the Truth who whole-heartedly accept the mercy of Sri Gurudeva can be delivered from this material existence and enter into the abode of transcendental peace and happiness.

Translated from Srila Prabhupadera Upadesamrta
by the Rays of The Harmonist team.
Published in Rays of The Harmonist No. 19 Gaura-purnima 2009
(within ‘Perfect Guidance for Our True well-being’)


Friday, January 17, 2014

Maha Mantra



His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda


The transcendental vibration established by the chanting of Hare Kåñëa,Hare Kåñëa, Kåñëa Kåñëa, Hare Hare/ Hare Räma, Hare Räma, Räma Räma, Hare Hare is the sublime method of reviving our Kåñëa consciousness. As living spiritual souls we are all originally Kåñëa conscious entities, but due to our association with matter from time immemorial, our consciousness is now polluted by the material atmosphere. The material atmosphere, in which we are now living, is
called mäyä, or illusion. Mäyä means "that which is not." And what is this illusion? The illusion is that we are all trying to be lords of material nature, while actually we are under the grip of her stringent laws. When a servant artificially tries to imitate the all-powerful master, this is called illusion. In this polluted concept of life, we are all trying to exploit the
resources of material nature, but actually we are becoming more and more entangled in her complexities. Therefore, although we are engaged in a hard struggle to conquer nature, we are ever more dependent on her. This illusory struggle against material nature can be stopped at once
by revival of our Kåñëa consciousness.

Kåñëa consciousness is not an artificial imposition on the mind; this consciousness is the original energy of the living entity. When we hear the transcendental vibration, this consciousness is revived. And this process is recommended for this age by authorities. By practical experience also, one can perceive that by chanting this mahä-mantra, or
the Great Chanting for Deliverance, one can at once feel a
transcendental ecstasy coming through from the spiritual stratum. And when one is factually on the plane of spiritual understanding-surpassing the stages of senses, mind, and intelligence-one is situated on the transcendental plane. This chanting of Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëa, Kåñëa Kåñëa, Hare Hare/ Hare Räma, Hare Räma, Räma Räma, Hare Hare is
directly enacted from the spiritual platform, and thus this sound vibration surpasses all lower strata of consciousness–namely sensual, mental, and intellectual. There is no need, therefore, to understand the language of the mantra, nor is there any need for mental speculation or any intellectual adjustment for chanting this mahä-mantra. It springs
automatically from the spiritual platform, and as such, anyone can take part in the chanting without any previous qualification, and dance in ecstasy.

We have seen this practically. Even a child can take part in the chanting, or even a dog can take part in it. Of course, for one who is too entangled in material life, it takes a little more time to come to the standard point, but even such a materially engrossed man is raised to the spiritual platform very quickly. When the mantra is chanted by a pure
devotee of the Lord in love, it has the greatest efficacy on the hearers,
and as such, this chanting should be heard from the lips of a pure devotee of the Lord, so that immediate effects can be achieved. As far as possible, chanting from the lips of nondevotees should be avoided. Milk touched by the lips of a serpent has poisonous effects. The word Harä is the form of addressing the energy of the Lord, and the words Kåñëa and Räma are forms of addressing the Lord Himself. Both
Kåñëa and Räma mean "the supreme pleasure," and Harä is the supreme pleasure energy of the Lord, changed to Hare in the vocative. The supreme pleasure energy of the Lord helps us to reach the Lord. The material energy, called mäyä, is also one of the multi-energies of the Lord. And we, the living entities, are also the energy–marginal energy– of the Lord. The living entities are described as superior to material
energy. When the superior energy is in contact with the inferior energy, an incompatible situation arises; but when the superior marginal energy is in contact with the superior energy, called Harä, the living entity is established in his happy, normal condition.

These three words, namely Hare, Kåñëa, and Räma, are the
transcendental seeds of the mahä-mantra. The chanting is a spiritual call for the Lord and His internal energy, Harä, to give protection to the conditioned soul. This chanting is exactly like the genuine cry of a child for its mother. Mother Harä helps the devotee achieve the grace of the supreme father, Hari, or Kåñëa, and the Lord reveals Himself to the
devotee who chants this mantra sincerely. No other means of spiritual realization, therefore, is as effective in this
age as chanting the mahä-mantra: Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëa, Kåñëa Kåñëa, Hare Hare/ Hare Räma, Hare Räma, Räma Räma, Hare Hare.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sri Caitanya – caritamrta Adi lila 1.16

Çré Caitanya-caritämåta, Ädi-lélä 1.16

Srila Prabhupada

Mäyäpur, April 9, 1975


Santoña: "In a temple of jewels in Våndävana, underneath a desire tree, Çré Çré Rädhä-Govinda, served by Their most confidential associates, sit upon an effulgent throne. I offer my humble obeisances unto Them."


preñöälébhiù sevyamänau smarämi
[Cc. Ädi 1.16]

So, description of Våndävana, Våndävana and Rädhä and Kåñëa situated there. The Våndävana... Vana means forest, and vånda means tulasé. Mostly there are tulasé plants and other trees also, but all the trees are living desire trees, spiritual. They can serve Kåñëa in any way, desire. They have become trees by their voluntary desire. They're all spiritual beings—there is no force—but everyone has got a particular tendency to serve Kåñëa in a different way. So these trees and plants, they are also living beings. They are not ordinary living beings, but they have decided to serve Kåñëa by supplying fruits and flowers. They want that service. Everyone has got his particular propensity. So someone is serving as the land there, someone is serving as the throne, someone is serving as the supplying agent of fruits and flowers, someone is engaged in His service as the gopés, confidential servitors. The cows, calves, everything—they are all different living entities. They are not made of these material things, material body. Änanda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhävitäbhis täbhir ya eva nija-rüpatayä kaläbhiù [Bs. 5.37]. They are all also expansion of Kåñëa's pleasure potency. In one sense they are also Kåñëa; they are not different from Kåñëa. Çakti-çaktimatayor abheda: "The power and the powerful, they are not different, identical." Just like the sun and the sunshine. So in the sun globe there is heat and light, and the sunshine, there is heat and light. So, so far heat and light is concerned, they are one. Similarly, Kåñëa and Kåñëa's pleasure potency, änanda-cinmaya, ahlädiné... It is already described, rädhä kåñëa-praëaya-vikåtir hlädiné-çaktir asmät.

So whatever description is there of Våndävana, that is expansion of Kåñëa's pleasure potency. They are not different. Therefore in the beginning it is said, dévyad, "shining," or "divine," "transcendental." So we should not consider Våndävana as ordinary forest. Here we have got Våndävana on this planet. That is also not ordinary forest. The exactly the same Våndävana as it is Goloka Våndävana... There is no difference. Therefore Narottama däsa Öhäkura says that

viñaya chäòiyä kabe çuddha ha 'be mana
kabe häma herabo, çré-våndävana
Viñaya chäòiyä.

Our present position is that we are materially diseased, so we have to become free from the material disease. Material disease means sense gratification, and the most formidable disease is sex. This is called material disease. So viñaya chäòiyä. We have to be, become free from the contamination of viñaya, material enjoyment. This is the statement of Narottama däsa Öhäkura.

viñaya chäòiyä kabe çuddha ha 'be mana
kabe häma herabo çré-våndävana

"When my mind will be cleansed of all material desires, then I shall be able to see what is Våndävana." It is very difficult to see Våndävana with material desires. Bhakti means the first qualification is to become free from all material desires.

tat-paratvena nirmalam
håñékena håñékeça-
sevanaà bhaktir ucyate
[Cc. Madhya 19.170]

änukülyena kåñëänu-
çélanaà bhaktir uttama
[Brs. 1.1.11]

You know all these definition of bhakti given in our Nectar of Devotion. So spiritual life means free from material desires. And material desires mean just to hanker after sense gratification. This is material desire. When we have no more desire for sense gratification, then we should think that we are on the spiritual platform.

So this description of Våndävana is spiritually described; therefore in the beginning the word is used, dévyad. Dévyad means divine. Kåñëa says, janma karma ca me divyam [Bg. 4.9]. This is not ordinary material thing. So desire tree also described in the Brahma-saàhitä: Cintämaëi-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-våkña [Bs. 5.29]—the same kalpa-våkña-lakñävåteñu surabhér abhipälayantam, lakñmé-sahasra-çata-sambhrama-sevyamänam. This lakñmé-sahasra-çata-sevyamänam is described here as preñöhälébhiù sevyamänau. Preñöha-älébhiù. Preñöha means very dear, and älé means gopés, associates of Rädhäräëé, friends. So they are all Lakñmés, goddess of fortune. Lakñmé... You have heard the name Lakñmé, Lakñmé-Näräyaëa, associates of Näräyaëa. Kåñëa is Näräyaëa. So all these gopés, they are expansion of Çrématé Rädhäräëé, the original Lakñmé. This is spiritual world. It is not impersonal, neither niräkära, formless. Everything form, but that form is different from this form. That form is sat-cid-änanda form—eternal, full of bliss, full of knowledge. This is not this material form. When we speak of formless, that means without any material form. Formless does not mean Kåñëa and His expansion, they are formless. They are not of material form. Aprakåta, not material. Here everything is prakåta. It is not, neither, eternal nor blissful nor full of knowledge. It is temporary, full of ignorance and always miserable, this form. We can understand it.

So that is just opposite. This form is temporary. Everyone knows this form will be finished. Antavanta ime dehä [Bg. 2.18], Kåñëa says. This body is antavat. Antavat means it will be finished. It grew at a certain date, and it will increase, it will stay, then it will dwindle, then it will produce some by-products and then vanish. This is called ñaò-vikära, six kinds of changes of the material body. Of the spiritual body there is no such change. That is the difference between spiritual body and material body. Therefore it is called sat. Sat means eternal; there is no change. Just like Kåñëa. His body is sac-cid-änanda; therefore He never grows old. You'll never find a picture of Kåñëa that He has grown old. No. There is no change. Advaitam acyutam anädim ananta-rüpam ädyaà puräëa-puruñam [Bs. 5.33]. Puräëa-puruñam means the oldest person. Because Kåñëa is the origin of everything... Sometimes they consider, "Because God is very old, therefore He must have big, big beard and..." That is imagination. Here you find the real description of God: advaitam acyutam anädim ananta-rüpam ädyam [Bs. 5.33], "Original," Puräëa-puruñam, "the oldest of all," nava-yauvanaà ca, "but His bodily feature is just like a fresh young man." That is Kåñëa. You'll never find Kåñëa... Kåñëa, when He was in the battlefield of Kurukñetra, He was a great-grandfather, but you'll find a young boy. That is Kåñëa. So that is eternal.
Now our body is not sat. Kåñëa's body is sat, cid, änanda. Our, this material body—asat. And because we have got... Asat means temporary, that will not exist. And because we have accepted this material body, therefore we are full of anxiety. Ultimately, what is our anxiety? We are always trying to... This is called struggle for existence, survival of the fittest. So we are trying to become the fittest, to exist. But that is not possible in this body. That is not possible, because it is asat; it is not sat. And because the struggle is that we want to exist in this body, therefore there is anxiety. Asad-grahät sadä samudvigna-dhiyäm asad-grahät [SB 7.5.5]. The çästra says that we are always full of anxieties. Why? Now, asad-grahät: "We have accepted this body, which will not exist." Asad-grahät. These are facts. Study çästra in that way. Why we are full of anxiety? Because we have accepted this body.

So our main business is how to get out of this entanglement of this temporary body. The people are not very seriously thinking, neither they have got sufficient knowledge how the temporary body is obtained, how it is changed, another temporary body, and there are 8,400,000 different forms of body, and we are changing one after another. Why this disease? "If I am, my position is, as I understand from Bhagavad-gétä, na hanyate hanyamäne çarére [Bg. 2.20]—I am not destroyed after the destruction of this body—why I am in this position that I have to change my body?" Tathä dehäntara-präptiù [Bg. 2.13]. This is intelligence. When you come to this intelligence, then athäto brahma jijïäsä; then the inquiry about spiritual life begins. But unfortunately, we are in such a civilization that we have no time to think of this great dangerous position of changing body one after another, and we have accepted it that "There is no remedy; we have to change or die for good." These theories, this ignorance, is going on, and Kåñëa consciousness movement is the only movement which is trying to educate man to this standard of knowledge, that he may at least think that "I am not this body, as I understand from the çästras. I am within the body. So how I can become free of this material body?" That is our real problem. Janma-måtyu-jarä-vyädhi-duùkha-doñänudarçanam [Bg. 13.9].

So if we take it very seriously, then we become gradually advanced and eligible or fit candidate to go into the spiritual world—dévyad-våndäraëya-kalpa-drumädhaù. We can go there. That is wanted. Be serious. Don't be misled by the allurement of mäyä. Remain strong. And then, in this life, you'll be able to become fit candidate to go back to home, back to Godhead. Dévyad-våndäranya-kalpa-drumädhaù. You'll also be one of the associates of Kåñëa, as you desire. Kåñëa will give you the opportunity to serve Him as you desire. If you want to serve Him as a gopé, you'll get that position. If you want to serve Him as cowherds boyfriend, you'll get that opportunity. If you want to serve Kåñëa following the footsteps of mother Yaçodä, accepting Kåñëa as your son, you'll get it. Accepting Kåñëa as your son, Nanda Mahäräja following... We have to follow their principles, not that "I shall become Nanda Mahäräja" or "I shall become Yaçodä," "I shall..." No, that is Mäyäväda. You have to follow how they are loving Kåñëa. You have to learn that. Then you'll get the chance of Kåñëa's association.

Dévyad-våndäraëya-kalpa-drumädhaù, preñöälébhiù sevyamänau smarämi. The Gauòéya Vaiñëava, generally, following the footsteps of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, they aspire to become one of the assistants of the gopés. There are others also who like to be the assistants of the cowherd boys. So our Gosvämés, Rüpa Gosvämé, çré rüpa sanätana bhaööa raghunätha, they were all the assistants of the gopés. Gopé-bhäva-rasämåtäbdhi-laharé-kallola-magnau muhur vande rüpa-sanätanau raghu-yugau çré-jéva-gopälakau. These six Gosvämés, rüpa sanätana bhaööa raghunätha çré jéva gopäla bhaööa däsa raghunätha, they were all very, very big men, not ordinary men—ministers, zamindars, learned scholars. They were not ordinary men. And they gave up everything. Tyaktvä türëam açeña-maëòala-pati-çreëéà sadä tucchavat. Just like Rüpa Gosvämé, Sanätana Gosvämé, he was, they were ministers in the government of Hussain Shah.

Raghunätha däsa Gosvämé was the only son of his father and uncle, very, very big zamindar, landholder. Twelve lakhs of rupees' income. Five hundred years twelve lakhs—twelve crores now. He was so rich man. Similarly, Gopäla Bhaööa Gosvämé, Çréla Jéva Gosvämé, they were very, very learned. Jéva Gosvämé was the nephew of Rüpa Gosvämé, very learned scholar. So either scholar, rich men, big politician—all of them gave up their occupational, material occupational duty and joined Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu in His saìkértana movement. So they were always absorbed in the gopés' activities, always thinking. Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu was always thinking of Çrématé Rädhäräëé's activities, and the Gosvämés, they were also thinking of the gopés' activities. Gopés' activities means to assist Çrémad-Rädhäräëé how to serve Kåñëa. Preñöälébhiù sevyamänau. They are always ready.
So in this way there is the description of the spiritual world. You just have a glimpse of the spiritual world, how they are perpetually enjoying blissful life with full knowledge. That is described here. Dévyad-våndäraëya-kalpa-drumädhah-çrémad ratnägära-siàhäsana-sthau. There the siàhäsana, the throne, that is also spiritual. That is not material. Everything spiritual. Simply in different capacity they are serving. There the water is also spiritual. So this spiritual realization, if we get the opportunity fortunate enough, then naturally we shall aspire to enter into the spiritual world. Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura said, kåñëera saàsära kara chäòi' anäcära: "If you want to enter into this association of spiritual kingdom, then practice here the family of Kåñëa." Just like here we are trying to be family members of Kåñëa. Here Kåñëa is sitting, Rädhä-Mädhava is sitting on the throne. He is the enjoyer, and we are trying to serve Him so that He may very nicely enjoy. This is called Kåñëa family-center, Kåñëa. Just like in ordinary family the head man is there, and he is the chief man, and all other—his wife, children, servants, and other friends, associates, even animals, cats, dogs, cows—everyone is serving the center point, master. Similarly, our Kåñëa family means Kåñëa is the master, and He is the supreme enjoyer. Bhoktäraà yajïa-tapasäà sarva-loka-maheçvaram [Bg. 5.29]. And if we understand this point, that Kåñëa is the center, He is the enjoyer, and we are meant for serving Him for His enjoyment, that is Kåñëa family….