What Are You Doing, My Brothers, My Sisters?


Giving class in Badger


Badger, California: June 15, 2005 (Part 1)
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja



[Today, July 21, 2005, is Guru-purnima. It is the appearance day of Srila Vyasadeva, the literary incarnation of Lord Krsna who mercifully manifested all the Vedic literatures. Guru-purnima is also a special day that Srila Vyasadeva’s manifestation, Sri Guru, is worshipped throughout the world. The following discourse, given recently in Badger, California, discusses the importance of our relationship with Sri Guru.]

Yesterday the subject was very high, but for preachers it is essential to know. If anyone does not know all philosophical conclusions (siddhanta), he cannot be strong. At any time he may fall down.

siddhanta baliya citte na kara alasa
iha ha-ite krsne lage sudrdha manasa

[“A sincere student should not neglect the discussion of such conclusions, considering them controversial, for such discussions strengthen the mind. Thus one’s mind becomes attached to Sri Krsna.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 2.117)]

Do not try to jump to the top – to manjari-bhava (becoming a maidservant of Srimati Radhika). Manjari-bhava is the aim and object of our life, but we should try to start our development in devotion from the beginning. I am taking you on a very easy path. Though the subject was very high and deep, gradually it will become easier and very tasteful. Do not be disheartened, thinking, “Oh, it is such a high topic. We are not even able to touch it by mind.” Do not be hopeless; do not think in this way.

Yesterday I explained Srimad-bhagavatam’s first verse, and now we are explaining jiva-tattva.

bhayam dvitiyabhiniveasatah syad
isad apetasya viparyayo ’smrtih
tan-mayayato budha abhajet tam
bhaktyaikayesam guru-devatatma

[“Fear arises when a living entity misidentifies himself as the material body because of absorption in the external, illusory energy of the Lord. When the living entity thus turns away from the Supreme Lord, he also forgets his own constitutional position as a servant of the Lord. This bewildering, fearful condition is the effect of the potency for illusion, called maya. Therefore, an intelligent person should engage unflinchingly in the unalloyed devotional service of the Lord under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, whom he should accept as his worshipable deity and as his very life and soul.” (Srimad-bhagavatam 11.2.37)]

This verse was actually spoken by Srila Sukadeva Gosvami to Pariksit Maharaja. In all Vaisnava literature we find that one person is questioning and one is answering – as in Raya Ramananada Samvad (the conversation between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Raya Ramananda) and Sanatana Samvad (the conversation between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Sanatana Gosvami). Pariksit Maharaja questioned Sukadeva Gosvami as follows: “The jiva (living entity) is spiritual and conscious by transcendental constitution, whereas maya (Sri Krsna’s deluding, material potency) is inert and mundane. How is it, then, that the jiva became entangled in maya?

In his garland of Srimad-bhagavatam verses, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has quoted this above-mentioned verse. Krsna is one. He is our worshipable Deity. He is one without a second. But as I have told you, He has so many powers, so many potencies, so many jivas, and so many worlds. Nanda Maharaja, Mother Yasoda and all His associates are His manifestations, but He is the root.

By constitution, the jiva is an eternal servant of Lord Sri Krsna.

jivera ‘svarupa’ haya——krsnera ‘nitya-dasa’
krsnera ‘tatastha-sakti’ ‘bhedabheda-prakasa’

[“It is the living entity’s constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krsna, because he is the marginal energy of Krsna and a manifestation simultaneously one with and different from the Lord, like a molecular particle of sunshine or fire. Krsna has three varieties of energy.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Madya 20.108)]

As eternal servant of Krsna, the jiva is by nature always happy. However, as the above Srimad-bhagavatam verse mentions, “dvitiyabhiniveasatah” – he looked upon maya and was at once influenced by maya, who took him and threw him into this world. *[See endnote 1] She threw him very far, and then she covered him with two bodies; gross and subtle.

The jiva should have looked towards Krsna. Why did he look towards maya?

Krsna has given you independence. If you misuse your independence you will be punished, and no one will be able to save you. You have independence to choose a qualified, sincere guru; and later you are independent and leave him. You are independent to insult him, disobey his orders and to give him up; but surely you must know that you will be punished. No one will be able to save you. If you commit any offense to guru, what will guru do? He is very merciful, but Krsna is not so lenient. Guru may forgive you, but Krsna will crush you into pieces.

If one serves a blade of grass, considering it to represent Lord Krsna, and thinking, “He is my worshipable Lord Krsna,” will there be any fruit of ones worship or not? Will the grass give him the fruit, or, who will give it? Krsna will give that fruit. That person is worshipping the blade of grass, but the fruit comes from Krsna.

It is best if guru is uttama-adhikari, the top-most devotee. If your guru is not of such a high standard, not siddha, but he is sincere, at least a madhyama or a madhyama-uttama-adhikari and knowing all sastra, *[See Endnote 2] still you should honor him. He can remove all your doubts by logic and sastric evidence. If he cannot do so, he is not guru. Guru may be merciful even if you commit an offence at his lotus feet, but Krsna will punish you. We should be very careful about this.

“Isad apetasya viparyayo ’smrtih.” The jiva was standing on the line between the cit-jagat (transcendental world) and acit-jagat (the inert, material world). By chance he looked at this very lovely maya, who was showing the enjoyment of very beautiful ladies, husbands, and children calling, “Mommy, Mommy!” The jiva was attracted and thought, “I should enjoy.” Maya was guarding there and the jiva did not see her. She at once took him and gave him a subtle and gross body.

Then what happened? After the manifestation of this material body, which is a bag of blood, urine, stool and pus, the jiva began to think, “I am this body, and everything in relation to this body is mine.” Once you enter this realm of existence, there is no way to come out. There is a way, but you will not be able to find it by yourself.

So, “isad apetasya viparyayo ’smrtih.” When you looked upon maya and left Krsna by your free will – your independence – you became enveloped by the bodily conception of life (“viparyayo smrti”). With spiritual consciousness one can understand, “I am an eternal servant of Sri Krsna and I can serve Him with love and affection, like anyone in Vraja and Vaikuntha. I can also serve like the gopis.”

What is here in this world is a shadow of that consciousness. In your misconception of your self, you began to love the beautiful forms made of maya. Then, after a long time, a person carrying a Srimad-Bhagavatam under his arm, with tilaka, a shaved head and kanti-mala (beads) around his neck, came to you and asked, “What are you doing, my brothers, my sisters? You are misguided. You have derailed from the path. Come with me and I will show you the path to be happy”

“Tan-mayayato budha abhajet tam bhaktyaikayesam guru-devatatma.” Quoting Sri Narada Muni’s discussion with Krsna’s father, Vasudeva Maharaja, in the above-mentioned verse, Sukadeva Gosvami explained to Pariksit Maharaja the importance of being in sadhu-sanga.

‘sadhu-sanga’, ‘sadhu-sanga’——sarva-sastre kaya
lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya

[“The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment’s association with a pure devotee, one can attain all success. (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 22.54)]

The sadhu can change you in a moment, and then you can be happy.

“Yenatma suprasidati.” I cannot believe that if anyone is really chanting and remembering, he is not happy. Even if one is a kanistha-adhikari, but really chanting and weeping for Krsna, he will become happy. One may be entangled in so many anarthas (unwanted mentalities and habits) as Ajamila was, or lusty like Bilvamangala Thakura and millions of others like him. If one is chanting sincerely, he will become happy. He will show you the path and advise you, “I know a guru. By his help I am very happy. Come along with me, and I will show you to that guru.” This person is called vartma-pradarsaka guru.

In the meantime, because Lord Sri Krsna is very merciful, He becomes caitya-guru (the guru in the heart). Together with the vartma-pradarsaka guru, He takes you to a real guru, and this bona fide guru accepts you. You begin performing bhajana and gradually your anarthas go away. “Bhakyaikayesam” – You have accepted guru. Guru takes you on the path and you begin to do bhajana of Sri Krsna.

Lord Sri Krsna personally told Uddhava:

ekasyaiva mamamsasya
jivasyaiva maha-mate
bandho ’syavidyayanadir
vidyaya ca tathetarah

[“O most intelligent Uddhava, the living entity, called jiva, is part and parcel of Me, but due to ignorance he has been suffering in material bondage since time immemorial. By knowledge, however, he can be liberated.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.11.4)]

Krsna was speaking to Uddhava in the eleventh canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. The aim and object of life is especially discussed in the tenth canto. The process to achieve that goal, the teachings of knowledge and renunciation (jnana-vairagya) – and especially renunciation – is told in the first nine cantos. For abhideya-tattva (the established truths regarding the relationship between God and the living entity) and sadhana-tattva (the truths regarding the process to realize that relationship), Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has taken examples from the eleventh canto.

Foreseeing the end of His dynasty, foreseeing that the members of the Yadu dynasty would “quarrel” with each other and go to Goloka, Vaikuntha, Sri Krsna was sitting under a pippala tree, with one of His feet crossed over the other knee and the other foot down. At that time He was absorbed in thought, and in the meantime a hunter named Jara, who had approached the place, mistook His foot for a deer’s face and shot it. At that time Uddhava came there and Krsna mercifully told him chapters 7-29 of the eleventh canto. These chapters further describe the process to attain perfection in Krsna consciousness.

Sri Krsna said, “O Uddhava, you are maha-mati, very intelligent.” Who is actually intelligent? A devotee of Krsna is intelligent, because he has chosen the path of bhakti. There may be many so-called intelligent persons in the world, like the president of America, Russia, etc. They think they are the most intelligent, but they are not really.

Sri Krsna continued, “Uddhava, you should know that in this world – or any world – the jiva is My part and parcel.” The jiva has been in this world since time immemorial. Such a jiva is called a conditioned soul. He is anadi avidya; His ignorance has no calculable beginning, for the duration of his conditioning cannot be measured. However, by the influence of vidya (the embodiment of knowledge), yogamaya, he will be liberated from this world.

What is the meaning of “amsa”, or part? If you tear a flower, the flower is not whole anymore, and if you tear it further, it becomes like shreds and then is destroyed. The world is like this. If anything in this world is divided and further divided, the whole is lost. The spiritual realm is not like this world, however. Krsna remains as He is – complete – and yet parts and parcels emanate from Him. This is stated in many places in scriptures:

mamaivamso jiva-loke
jiva-bhutah sanatanah
manah-sasthanindriyani
prakrti-sthani karsati

[“The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.” (Bhagavad-gita 15.7)]

We should know in what way the jiva is a part of Sri Krsna. Krsna is the whole; He can never be divided into parts. This is because there is no limit to His length or width – no end, no top and no bottom. The entire world is within Him; He cannot be divided. We can cut a piece of stone or wood from a larger piece, but we cannot cut Krsna. The jiva is not a part of Krsna as a small piece of stone is part of the entirety of a large stone.

Krsna has two types of expansions in this connection. One is called svamsa and the other vibhinamsa. The svamsa expansions are His plenary portions or portions of His plenary portions; and the vibhinamsa expansions are His infinitesimal parts and parcels, the living entities. In tattva-vicara (the consideration of philosophical truth) His plenary incarnations are one with Him, but by rasa-vicara (the consideration of transcendental mellows, humors or relationships) they are different. Sri Krsna is the source of all incarnations and all others are His incarnations or manifestations.

Regarding Sri Krsna in relation to His svamsa incarnations, this can be compared to one lamp lighting another lamp. The power of both lamps is equal – they give equal light. Whatever power is there in one lamp is present in the other lamps.

Actually, there are some lamps whose light is equal to that original one and some that are very small – depending on the size of the lamp. This is also an analogy, but it is also not perfect. There is actually nothing in this world that we can use as a perfect example or analogy.

Another consideration, if you take the light from one lamp and give it to another lamp, the first lamp will remain the same as it was; it will be no less. Similarly, so many plenary incarnations have emanated from Krsna, the original source of all incarnations, and yet the source has not diminished in power:

Another example: you have not seen a cintamani stone, but you should know that there is cintamani. Cinta means thought or desire, and mani means jewel. That jewel can give anything you like – such as great quantities of gold, coins, etc. You should also know that what is produced from that cintamani will not be cintamani. Cintamani will give as much gold as you want, but that gold is not directly cintamani. Similarly, everything and everyone is coming from Sri Krsna, but all are not exactly Krsna.

Cintamani gives gold, and it is still present as before, without any transformation or diminution. In a similar way Krsna is present, and His parts and parcels like svamsa (His plenary portions) and vibhinamsa (infinitesimal parts and parcels) have emanated from Him:

om purnam adah purnam idam
purnat purnam udacyate
purnasya purnam adaya
purnam evavasisyate

[“The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as complete wholes. Whatever is produced of the Complete Whole is also complete in itself. Because He is the Complete Whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.” (Sri Isopanisad, invocation)]

Thus ends part 1 of this class.

[*Endnote 1– (Some quotes by Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja) “Throwing potency means somebody comes to take Krsna consciousness and maya will dictate, ‘Why you have come here? Go and enjoy life outside.’ And he goes away. That is throwing” (Nov 8, 1975, Morning Walk)

“It is impossible for anyone to surmount the two-pronged attack of daivi maya—that is, her covering potency and her throwing potency. The more we try to conquer this divine energy, the more powerfully she defeats us by exciting us through the mode of passion and punishing us with the threefold miseries, culminating in all-devouring death.” (Renunciation Through Wisdom, 1.1)

Endnote 2 –"One who has attained the intermediate stage is not very advanced in sastric knowledge, but he has firm faith in the Lord. Such a person is very fortunate to be situated on the intermediate platform." (Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 22.67)]

Transcriber: Vasanti dasi
Typists: Krsna-vallabha dasi and Anita dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi

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