Not a Laughing Matter


Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja lecturing in Badger.

June 16, 2005: Badger, California (Part 2)
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja


We have been discussing the conditioned soul. We have explained how you came under the control of maya, and how you can become liberated and serve the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna. We have been explaining this for two days, and there are three days left.

Srila Sukadeva Gosvami told Maharaja Pariksit:

jantur vai bhava etasmin
yam yam yonim anuvrajet
tasyam tasyam sa labhate
nirvrtim na virajyate

[“The living entity, in whatever species of life he appears, finds a particular type of satisfaction in that species, and he is never averse to being situated in such a condition.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.30.4)]

From the beginning of creation, the jiva has been traveling throughout many species of life. In every species he thinks, “This wife and children are mine, mine, mine.” But he is never satisfied. You cannot be satisfied by this mentality. If you pour ghee into the fire, the fire will increase. It cannot be controlled by ghee. Similarly, even if the jiva enters into the species of dogs, cats, hogs and pigs, he feels very happy and never wants to give up that body, what to speak of when he is in a human body. He never becomes detached from worldly desires.

Don’t think this is the first time you are getting married. You have been married before, in this and other species of life. Pigs have hundreds of wives at one time, and elephants and monkeys also have so many wives. Monkeys have no house and no job, and they eat by stealing. What are the duties of all these animals? They simply eat drink and be merry – nothing else.

This is not a matter to laugh about. It is a matter to deeply think about. Even though we are hearing and getting knowledge, and even though we have been in so many species of life, we are still not satisfied – and we are still not doing bhajana.

You say you have love and affection for guru and Sri Krsna, but you should keep your hand on your heart and ask yourselves, “Do I have more love for Krsna than I have for my wife, or husband, and children? Do I serve Krsna more than I do my children?” You make money. How much do you spend on yourself and your wife or husband, daughters and sons, and how much on Krsna? By asking these questions you can judge how much love and affection you have for Krsna.

Through the medium of the collection of Srimad-Bhagavatam verses in his book Sri Srimad Bhagavat Arka Maricimala, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has explained: Alas, due to the bewilderment of maya, they have no detachment and they are not serving Krsna.

You should all think about this, and follow the principles of bhakti. You can never be satisfied by sex life.

By previous and present karma, the soul is sometimes covered by the bodies of a male, sometimes a female, and sometimes a genderless body. We have seen this in India, and such persons are called khoja (the third gender). Sometimes the soul accepts bodies of demigods or demigoddesses, sometimes human, and sometimes trees and creepers. If you fail to take advantage of the opportunity of the human form of life, you will again have to enter these lower species. Be determined in your heart. Otherwise, nobody will be able to save you.

The sons of the demigod Kuvera – Nalakuvera and Managriva – became trees. It may be that the living entities in the bodies of trees were sometimes in human bodies, and again they had to become trees.

[Question:] If someone has received diksa initiation, can he still fall down?

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Yes, certainly. If he is in bad association and has left guru and bhakti and is like an animal by eating meat, taking drugs, smoking and committing offenses at the lotus feet of Vaisnavas, he will certainly fall down to the lower species. If anyone has truly received diksa, however, he will not fall down. In other words, if divya-jnana (divine knowledge) is manifesting in his heart, how can he fall down? The diksa of those who fall is not complete.

As stated in the book Jaiva-dharma, when Vrajanatha and Vijaya-kumara took diksa, they received a vision of all the associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu singing and dancing. This is real diksa. Our diksa is generally formal – for attaining qualification. We are not qualified, so qualification is given by pancaratriki *[See endnote 1]. There is no other process.

Just after creating the universe, Lord Brahma began to think, "I have created the gross and subtle bodies of the living beings. Now I see everywhere that the living entities are very unhappy and are suffering so much, because they have forgotten Krsna. How can I make them happy?"

bhagavan brahma kartsnyena
trir anviksya manisaya
tad adhyavasyat kuta-stho
ratir atman yato bhavet

[“The great personality Brahma, with great attention and concentration of the mind, studied the Vedas three times, and after scrutinizing them, he ascertained that attraction for the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna is the highest perfection of religion.” (Srimad-bhagavatam 2.2.34)]

He began to think deeply, as Krsna thinks, as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu thinks, and as Advaita Acarya thinks. Advaita Acarya was worried for the living entities. He thought, "I will call Lord Krsna. If He does not come, I will destroy the entire world." He thought that unless the Lord Himself will descend and save the living entities, he will not be able to tolerate the nonsense of this materialistic civilization. He therefore took three tulasi leaves and Ganges water, and began to worship Lord Krsna.

Thus, one reason for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s descent was Advaita Acarya’s call. Advaita Acarya had been thinking deeply. In the end, he came to the conclusion that if someone will have any attachment to Krsna, in any way, that person will benefit.

We cannot be happy by material things; Material acquisitions only cause lust and material desires to increase. Only accept whatever you require to maintain your life, and develop strong attachment for Sri Krsna. “Yena tena prakarena manah krsne nivesayet – Somehow or other, try to apply your mind in Krsna.”

I have called you only for this; not for anything else. Somehow you should have bhakti – this is the idea of our guru-parampara – and therefore you must all follow these instructions.
The personified Vedas told Lord Sri Krsna:

pibanti ye bhagavata atmanah satam
kathamrtam sravana-putesu sambhrtam
punanti te visaya-vidusitasayam
vrajanti tac-carana-saroruhantikam

[“Those who drink through aural reception, fully filled with the nectarean message of Lord Krsna, the beloved of the devotees, purify the polluted aim of life known as material enjoyment and thus go back to Godhead, to the lotus feet of Him [the Personality of Godhead” Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.2.37].

Lord Brahma considered that those who will chant and remember the sweet pastimes of Lord Sri Krsna by their ears, which are like two cups, will become liberated. We should therefore try to hear. As much as you will hear, Sri Krsna will come into your heart and, as a bosom friend, He will take away all your bad qualities. This is the easiest way.

Pariksit Maharaja was cursed to die in seven days. He thought, “I should hear about Sri Krsna for seven days. That is the method I should adopt for perfection.” Maha-bhagavata Srila Sukadeva Gosvami then came to him, and in the meantime not less than 60,000 Rsis and Maharsis like Narada, Vyasadeva and Parasara also came. Seeing them Pariksit Maharaja considered, “This is very wonderful. This is not a curse; it is actually a boon. To have met with these Rsis and in their association to have the opportunity to be remembering Sri Krsna, all evil will go away. These Rsis and great devotees are all here. So this is not a curse, but rather a benediction.”

vijita-hrsika-vayubhir adanta-manas tura-gam
ya iha yatanti yantum ati-lolam upaya-khidah
vyasana-satanvitah samavahaya guros caranam
vanija ivaja santy akrta-karna-dhara jaladhau

[“The mind is like an impetuous horse that even persons who have regulated their senses and breath cannot control. Those in this world who try to tame the uncontrolled mind, but who abandon the feet of their spiritual master, encounter hundreds of obstacles in their cultivation of various distressful practices. O unborn Lord, they are like merchants on a boat in the ocean who have failed to employ a helmsman. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.87.33)]

In the above-mentioned verse the Vedas are telling us to take shelter in the lotus feet of a sad-guru, bona fide guru – not just guru, but sad-guru. Those who have sad-guru should hear hari-katha from him. All realized Vaisnavas are sad-guru; they are especially siksa-guru. There may be different gradations of gurus, but they should all be sincere.

etavan eva loke ’smin
pumsam nihsreyasodayah
tivrena bhakti-yogena
mano mayy arpitam sthiram

["Therefore, persons whose minds are fixed on the Lord engage in the intensive practice of devotional service. That is the only means for attainment of the final perfection of life. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.44)]

Be careful and hear. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami is telling us:

labdhva su-durlabham idam bahu-sambhavante
manusyam artha-dam anityam apiha dhirah
turnam yateta na pated anu-mrtyu yavan
nihsreyasaya visayah khalu sarvatah syat

[“After many, many births and deaths one achieves the rare human form of life, which, although temporary, affords one the opportunity to attain the highest perfection. Thus a sober human being should quickly endeavor for the ultimate perfection of life as long as his body, which is always subject to death, has not fallen down and died. After all, sense gratification is available even in the most abominable species of life, whereas Krsna consciousness is possible only for a human being.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.9.29)]

The only sreyas (ultimate good) is attachment to the lotus feet of Krsna. There is no other. Other than bhakti, whatever we are going to do in this world will not be sreyas, but are preyas (temporary, false happiness or benefit). Bhakti begins with sadhu-sanga, and from sadhu-sanga comes sraddha (faith). There are two kinds of sraddha. One kind is called sastra-avadharanamayi sraddha. This faith is impelled by hearing from sastra, and the devotee thinks, “It is our duty to serve.” Lobhamayi sraddha is impelled by hearing the sweet pastimes of Lord Sri Krsna from self-realized souls, and it inspires greed to follow the footsteps of the residents of Vraja. Lobhamayi sraddha gradually becomes raganuga-bhakti *[See endnote 2]. Vaidhi-bhakti *[See endnote 3] is aisvarya-bhakti. This means it is performed with awe and reverence and rules and regulations.

When raganuga bhakti will come, this is called nisreyasaya. Vaidhi-bhakti is sreyas, but not nisreyasya (the very topmost ultimate benefit, namely manjari-bhava). “Turnam na patet” means before dying. Time is not certain. Pariksit Maharaja had seven days, but we have no certainty how many days we have before death comes. We could die just after leaving this class.

[This ends part 2]

[*Endnote 1 – “The Deities must be worshiped, and this is called pancaratriki-vidhi. There must also be bhagavata-vidhi, reading Srimad Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. pancaratriki-vidhi and bhagavata-vidhi go hand in hand. By participating in these two processes, the neophyte can gradually attain the intermediate stage.” (Teachings of Lord Kapiladeva, Purport text 36)

“The worship of the Deity in the temple is essential to reduce one's restlessness due to the contaminations of conditional life. Thus Narada, in his Pancaratriki vidhi, and other great sages have sometimes stressed that since every conditioned soul has a bodily concept of life aimed at sense enjoyment, to restrict this sense enjoyment the rules and regulations for worshiping the Deity in the temple are essential. Srila Rupa Gosvami has described that the holy name of the Lord can be chanted by liberated souls, but almost all the souls we have to initiate are conditioned. It is advised that one chant the holy name of the Lord without offenses and according to the regulative principles, yet due to their past bad habits they violate these rules and regulations. Thus the regulative principles for worship of the Deity are also simultaneously essential.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 7.76 Purport)

“In this age of Kali, so many gurus have sprung up, and because they do not refer to the sruti-smrti-puranadi-pancaratriki-vidhi (BRS 1.2.101), they are creating a great disturbance in the world in regard to understanding the Absolute Truth. However, those who follow the pancaratriki-vidhi under the guidance of a proper spiritual master can understand the Absolute Truth. So at the present moment, because these purificatory processes are not accepted, even in India, they're unable. Everything has topsy-turvied.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.12.10 Purport)]

[*Endnote 2: “One has to serve Krsna according to these regulative principles, but if one develops spontaneous love for Krsna as exhibited in the activities of those who live in Vrajabhumi, one attains the platform of raganuga-bhakti. One who has developed this spontaneous love is eligible for elevation to the platform enjoyed by the inhabitants of Vrajabhumi. In Vrajabhumi, there are no regulative principles set forth for Krsna's service. Rather, everything is carried out in spontaneous, natural love for Krsna." (Sri Caitanya-cartiamrta, Madya 8.221 purport)

"Devotional service in spontaneous love is vividly expressed and manifested by the inhabitants of Vrndavana. Devotional service that accords with their devotional service is called raganuga-bhakti, or devotional service following in the wake of spontaneous loving service." (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 22.154)]

[*Endnote 3: “Those who have not attained the platform of spontaneous attachment in devotional service render devotional service under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master according to the regulative principles mentioned in the revealed scriptures. According to the revealed scriptures, this kind of devotional service is called vaidhi bhakti. (Madhya-lila 22.109)]

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