June 16, 2005: Badger, California (Part 3)
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Srila Narayana Maharaja in Badger, on the day after this lecture, with Bhagavan dasa and disciples.
Those who are wise and intelligent should begin now. Don’t be weak. It is easy to speak on these subjects, but very hard to practice. We should try to practice.
Srila Sukadeva Gosvami is telling us:
ayur harati vai pumsam
udyann astam ca yann asau
tasyarte yat-ksano nita
[“Both by rising and by setting, the sun decreases the duration of life of everyone – except one who utilizes the time by discussing topics of the all-good Personality of Godhead.” (Srimad-bhagavatam 2.3.17)]
This is one of the verses selected by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in his Bhagavat-arka-maricimala. You have heard the story of two rats cutting the two branches, which represent day and night. Day and night come from the Sun’s movement, and thus the Sun is cutting your lifetime. You don’t know how many days, or hours, or moments are left, but you can know that the Sun is cutting. It can cut the lives of everyone, except those who are chanting and remembering the glories of Lord Sri Krsna.
srnvatah sraddhaya nityam
grnatas ca sva-cestitam
bhagavan visate hrdi
[“Persons who hear Srimad-Bhagavatam regularly and are always taking the matter very seriously will have the Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna manifested in their hearts within a short time.” (Srimad-bhagavatam 2.8.4)]
dhunoti samalam krsnah
salilasya yatha carat
[“The sound incarnation of Lord Krsna, the Supreme Soul (i.e. Srimad-Bhagavatam), enters into the heart of a self-realized devotee, sits on the lotus flower of his loving relationship, and thus cleanses the dust of material association, such as lust, anger and hankering. Thus it acts like autumnal rains upon pools of muddy water.” (Srimad-bhagavatam 2.8.5)
The importance of faith is indicated here. If you have faith in the words of guru, sadhu and sastra, then, simply by hearing, you will very, very, very easily be freed from all difficulties and problems. If you have such faith and you are hearing, then, by that hearing, at once without delay, you will be free. In the above-mentioned verses it is stated: “after some days,” or “within a short time,” but in the beginning of the Bhagavatam Srila Sukadeva Gosvami has said “immediately”:
dharmah projjhita-kaitavo ’tra paramo nirmatsaranam satam
vedyam vastavam atra vastu sivadam tapa-trayonmulanam
srimad-bhagavate maha-muni-krte kim va parair isvarah
sadyo hrdy avarudhyate ’tra krtibhih susrusubhis tat-ksanat
[“Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhagavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyasadeva , is sufficient in itself for God realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart.”(Srimad-bhagavatam 1.1.2)]
The word “tat-ksanat” in the above verse means immediate. How wonderful this is! We should therefore hear hari-katha, but instead we want to hear topics of sense-gratification. We should hear hari-katha with faith. Then, without a moments delay, at once, Sri Krsna will come in your heart as an intimate friend.
He washes out and takes away all the worldly desires, anarthas (unwanted habits) and aparadhas (offences) from our heart. Simply hear with faith, and Krsna will enter your heart and do everything required.
There was once a Rsi named Khatvanga Maharaja who went to heaven to fight with the demons, and he defeated them. The son of Sankara, Kartikeya, who was the commander general of the demigods, told him, “We are very pleased with you, so you can take any boon from us.” Khatvanga Maharaja replied, “I want real liberation; that is, service to Lord Krsna. If you cannot give me that, then I have no boon to ask of you. Please tell me how many days or how many years I will live.” They told him, “You have only twelve minutes.” He then said, “Take me to Vrndavana.” They brought him there, and he at once dedicated his life fully to Krsna. He gave up his great kingdom and his attachment for his wife and children, and he meditated on Sri Krsna. There are so many examples like his.
A conditioned soul should follow vaidhi-bhakti.*[See endnote 1] To achieve raganuga-bhakti* [See endnote 2] is very rare. We should not try to pretend that we are already raganuga devotees. Especially in our Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya, by reading Srimad-bhagavatam and Caitanya-caritamrta – though it appears to be vaidhi-bhakti – such reading and hearing will very soon bring raganuga. We should follow vaidhi-bhakti, and from vaidhi-bhakti, raganuga-bhakti will come.
What is sadhana-bhakti?
krti-sadhya bhavet sadhya-
bhava sa sadhanabhidha
prakatyam hrdi sadhyata
[“When transcendental devotional service, by which love for Krsna is attained, is executed by the senses, it is called sadhana-bhakti, or the regulative discharge of devotional service. Such devotion eternally exists within the heart of every living entity. The awakening of this eternal devotion is the potentiality of devotional service in practice.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 22.105)]
What we conditioned souls are doing is not sadhana, for we are chanting and remembering without an aim. By performance of true sadhana-bhakti we can attain bhava-bhakti, but what is bhava-bhakti?
krd asau bhava ucyate
[“When devotional service is executed on the transcendental platform of pure goodness, it is like a sun-ray of love for Krsna. At such a time, devotional service causes the heart to be softened by various tastes, and one is then situated in bhava (transcendental emotion).” (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 23.5)]
Suddha-sattva is very high, for it means the mood of Srimati Radhika, the gopis and the Vrajavasis. The highest moods are in the gopis and Srimati Radhika – the way in which She loves Krsna. By a devotee’s following Sri Radhika and the gopis, their mood partly comes into his heart, and that mood is called suddha-sattva.
What is visesa-atma? It is the essence of two transcendental energies – samvit and hladini – manifested on the platform of sandhini within our heart. There is no equivalent English word for bhava, but when it descends on the heart it is called suddha-sattva visesa-atma. If prema (pure love for Sri Krsna) is compared with surya (the Sun), then a little part of that, a semblance, is called bhava. At that time the heart is softened by various transcendental tastes (ruci).
Here, ruci means desire to serve Krsna. At that time the cit (the heart) becomes melted. That is called rati or bhava. When your heart is consumed with this mood while performing sadhana, bhava will then manifest. If you are chanting and remembering and your mood and goal is set, then bhava-bhakti will come. Then, at the time of bhava, our mood will be to attain prema. This is the process, and its progress can come very easily.
ko nama loke purusartha-saravit
apiya karnanjalibhir bhavapaham
aho virajyeta vina naretaram
[“Who, other than one who is not a human being, can exist in this world and not be interested in the ultimate goal of life? Who can refuse the nectar of narrations about the Personality of Godhead’s activities, which by itself can deliver one from all material pangs?” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.13.50)]
Two devotees of the same mood converse about the glories and sweet pastimes of Lord Sri Krsna throughout the day and night. Srila Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Raya Ramananda are examples. One devotee may say, “Sri Krsna is very merciful,” and the other devotee may reply, “Radha is so merciful.” The other devotee says, “Can I tell something?” And the other devotee replies,“Oh yes, I want to hear.”
Sri Krsna once disguised Himself as an angel, and He came to the village of Yavat, where Srimati Radhika was sitting with Her sakhis. He appeared as a beautiful blackish young girl. Radhika asked Her sakhi, “Who has come?” Her sakhi replied, “I don’t know, but She is very attractive and enchanting. This is the first time we have seen Her.”
Srimati Radhika stood up and welcomed that ‘girl.’ She and Her sakhi asked, “Where did you come from? Why have you come? You look like an angel. Who are you?”
The ‘girl’ was silent. Then Srimati Radhika asked, “Why are you sad? Are you lamenting about something? Tell me, and I will supply a remedy. If there is some suffering, it subsides when we talk about it with others. Perhaps your husband is not qualified, so you have no love for him. Perhaps you don’t like him, and you have some friendship with a boyfriend. Is that the problem?”
Still, the ‘girl’ was grave and did not say anything. Srimati Radhika then said, “Perhaps you have a headache or some pain in your body, and that is why you are not speaking. My father has given me some good maha-narayana massage oil. It can cure anyone; it can make anyone become very happy. I will rub it on you, because you are my sakhi.” Still that ‘girl’ did not speak.
What became after that? I will tell you tomorrow. This is a very mysterious and wonderful sweet pastime and you will be able to read it very soon. I will give it in a form of a publication. [The publication is called Prema-Samputa. It is Srila Narayana Maharaja’s translation of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura’s book of that name.]
Srila Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami used to tell each other sweet pastimes such as this one. By conversing about the pastimes of Sri Krsna, they remembered Him and Srimati Radhika. They hear and question, “What happened after that…and after that?”
Follow this principle, and then you will see that you have forgotten all worldly desires.
[* Endnote 1: “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 2: “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)]
Transcriber: Vasanti dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Typist: Lalit-kisori dasi and Anita dasi